Friday, March 31, 2017

Foundry Black Bande Arquebusier Skirmishers

After having pushed out 46 Artizan Landsknecht to represent the Black Bande (see Landsknecht Black Bande), a four-figure stand of arquebusier moved across the painting desk to finish off the pike block.
Unlike the Artizan Landsknechts that these four hand gunners will join, these figures are from Wargames Foundry's excellent and venerable Renaissance range.  Truly first rate sculpting and the models have held up very well over the years.   
In addition to these arquesbusiers, a nine-figure stand of Landsknecht hand gunners is seeing action at the painting desk.  These nine-figure, when finished, will be fielded as an Impetvs 'T' stand of missile troops carrying the Black Bande motif of red/black.  
Remaining in The Lead Pile are enough pikemen to field at least one more Foundry Landsknecht pike block, nine TAG Italian crossbowmen, three stradiots, a couple of guns, and a couple unopened bags of Old Glory arquebusier and crossbowmen.  A number of odds and ends remain but the available inventory has been worked through.  The cavalry remaining, besides the outstanding Perry Stradiots, are Foundry late medieval Men-at-Arms.  Since these are much smaller than either Foundry's Gendarmes or Perry, I may pass on painting these.  Several units of the Foundry late medievals have already been fielded but the size differences are noticeable. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

BTD German Gebirgsjager in 28mm

A second section of German Mountain troops marches off the painting desk.  These nicely sculpted 28mm figures are from Black Tree Design and follow closely on the heels of the first section painted back in late February (see BTD Gebirgsjager).
Now, I am two-thirds of the way through fielding a platoon of mountain troops for Chain of Command (CoC).  Once the platoon is finished, time to consider preparing for a CoC game with these figures thrown into the mix.  In which theater of operations will these lads see service first?  The last playing of CoC was quite distant and I have likely forgotten every rule.
Painting desk is still in a state of chaos as more than a half-dozen units are readying themselves for exit.  That is "chaos" in the best sense of the word since recent painting activity has figures figuratively flying across the painting desk from bare lead to painted.

Getting a WWII skirmish game back on the table would be enjoyable but my gaming table is presently fully occupied with Montebello 1859 awaiting a fourth trial.  On Saturday, an ACW game in 28mm is on the gaming schedule as Scott rolls out his beautiful ACW collection and we give Pickett's Charge a test in Kevin's lair.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Assyrian Chariot Pass-in-Review

With the Assyrian chariot refurbishing sub-project having been completed for a few weeks, high time for a Pass-in-Review.  Having pushed the planned nine chariot review onto a back-burner, Peter's Canaanite chariot review (see Gonsalvo's Chariot Review) prompted action on my part.

The nine, four horse chariots are all from Wargames Foundry's excellent 25mm range.  Each chariot is a massive playing piece with much heft.  Collectively, they represent a colorful and impressive force to field onto the gaming table.  When these are all deployed upon the battlefield, they will present a fearsome force to face.  

With a chariot core of nine vehicles, the new 25mm Biblical project is off to a very good start.  Having laid a solid foundation for an Assyrian Army, attention must now turn towards calling up a number of supporting units.  While many other projects are seeing their turn at the painting desk, at some point Assyrian foot and horse units must begin to find their way into the painting queue pipeline.  A large lot of Assyrian lead has found its way into The Lead Pile awaiting attention.  Until that time, I have these fine fellows to admire. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring in Spokane

Spokane Falls
Spring has arrived in Spokane!
Foot bridge to Canada Island closed due to high water
After a seemingly long, snow-packed winter, temperatures increased last week and the last of the snow has melted away.  With the rapid increase in temperatures, the regional waterways are engorged with water.  The Spokane River bifurcating Spokane is no exception.  With the downtown and Riverfront Park situated astride the river and surrounding the falls, to observe the power of Mother Nature pushing its way over the falls is an awesome sight.

With the river at flood stage, high volumes of water present a spectacle at the falls.  This fleeting spectacle will not last long.  Taking the opportunity to catch the high water in action, Nancy and I walked around Riverfront Park to see the natural commotion for ourselves.  We were not disappointed.
Springtime also coincided with the first outdoor cycling of the year.  While it was along my typical post-work cycling route of about 24 miles, it felt very pleasant to have the sun on my face despite the 45 F air temperature.  I am happy to report that body and bike fared well on this first outdoor cycling outing of the year.  I could discuss the uncountable number of pothole features left in the roadways after the winter glaciers retreated but that is best left unsaid.
The Route
The Stats
With partial sun this morning and temperatures expected to hit the mid 40s F, perhaps I can make it outdoors on the bike this afternoon?  Still a bit cold for my tastes but with sun, tolerable.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

French 13th Dragoon Rgt in 1799

A variety of figures, sizes, and periods have crossed the painting desk lately.  Well, maybe no more than usually seen but it seems like more variety than typical.
This time, a twelve figure regiment of French dragoons for the 1799 project canter off from the paint table.  As most figures in this project, the dragoons are from the excellent range of 18mm Napoleonics from AB Miniatures
These troopers are being fielded as four squadrons of the 13th Dragoon Regiment which saw action at Zurich in 1799.
A second dozen of these fine figures await in The Lead Pile.  When dragoons next get pushed into the painting queue for the 1799 project, a regiment seeing more action in the campaign ought be be considered.  Perhaps either the 12th or 16th Dragoon Regiments? 
No more 1799 releases for now, however.  The painting desk is inundated with a medley of figures from several projects.  Next off the workbench will likely see either WWII Gebirgsjagers or ancient Celt slingers.  Those are still a couple of days out.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Liccaner Grenz Battalion in 1859

Only after having planned the Montebello OB and pulled figures from their storage boxes, did I discover that the collection was light on Austrian grenz infantry.  Before looking through the boxes, having only one battalion of grenz seemed impossible.  The painting log should have been consulted. 
Given that shortfall and oversight, fielding an additional battalion seemed prudent.  With that inspiration, an 18 figure battalion of the Liccaner Grenz Regiment #1 rolls off the painting desk.  Figures are 15mm Old Glory from the infantry pack.  Good, solid figures even though a few of the command figures tend towards arriving sans heads.
By my count, fourteen battalions of grenz were present in June at Solferino/San Martino so I have some serious work to accomplish to bring these light troop contingents up to muster.  Luckily, only three battalions were present at Montebello and jaegers were put in place as reasonable substitutes.  Another battalion awaits in the painting queue.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Battle of Montebello 1859 - Game 3

Having experienced a close result in Game 2, Jake and I held another Friday Night At The Fights on March 3 to give Montebello 1859 another go.  With a draw in Game 2 and each player having a renewed interest in tackling the problems faced by both commanders, the game was reset and player commands remained as in Game 2.  That is, Jake commanded the French and I commanded the Austrians.  To see Jake's revised plan for approaching the task at hand, please see Operation Design Montebello Part Deux.

On to the game!
Initial deployments and troop concentrations
Rather than attacking Cascina Nuova, Baum pulls back
 to defend the northern approaches to Montebello.
Two squadrons of 12th Hussars come forward to lend support.
One battalion of 74th Line advances from Cascina Nuova to
 harass the Austrian hussars.
French small arms fire drives the Austrians back from the 
Genestrello bridge.  Forey is operating under a more 
 aggressive plan than in prior games.
While the jaegers in Genestrello dish out punishment to the 74th,
Beuret's brigade breaks out from Genestrello bottleneck to drive

off Austrian support.
Is the French plan to contain and then bypass Genestrello?
With Sardinian cavalry swarming to the north of Montebello,
 Austrian infantry form a barrier to contain the aggressive Allied
Rather than fight deployed Austrian rifled muskets, the
 Sardinians make a dash for the railway bridge!  A bold move
 that drives the Austrian covering force back across the railway
 bridge in disarray.
Sardinian light horse seize the railway bridge over the Coppa!
In a hammer and anvil approach, Hesse advances to press
 Blanchard's brigade against Baum's forces in the fields north
  of Montebello.  Attacks against Calcabobbio go in.
The noose tightens?
Flush with success, Sardinian cavalry push on, taking both
 the main bridge at Casteggio as well as Castegggio itself!
Even with Sardinian cavalry running amok in the Austrian
 rear, Hesse continues to press Blanchard.
Preparing the defense of Montebello
Paumgarten reacts to push back the impetuous Sardinian cavalry.
Spillberger marches on the railway bridge while Gaal confronts
the Sardinians on the eastern approaches to Casteggio.
Sardinian cavalry pushed back across the Coppa.
In the north, French retake Calcabobbio
Situation when action called as an Allied Minor Victory.
Blanchard's brigade holding Hesse in check.
As commander of the Austrian forces, this scrap was a real nail-biter.  Austrian casualties were heavy and while The White Menace bent, it never broke.  French battle plan to strike deep into the Austrian rear while simply cordoning and bypassing Genestrello and Montebello paid dividends exposing the Austrians to a few near embarrassing moments.  With Austrian reserves nearby, the impudent Sardinian cavalry could not hold their gains without infantry support.  In the end, both Genestrello and Montebello fell to French aggressions and Forey claimed a minor victory on points.

With two FtF battles in the books within one week, the rules are surviving contact nicely.  As Austrian commander, I forgot to include the large battalion modifier during fire but that may not have made much difference in overall play.   A few tweaks will be put in place prior to the next game but most remain as is.  Next game?  Yes, we plan to fight Montebello one more time with commands reversed.  I bet Jake will not forget Austrian large battalion modifiers!  One tweak to the scenario: Austrians may activate all three wings once enemy forces have crossed the Coppa.  In the prior games, Austrians could only activate two of their three wings on any given turn.

Can I better Jake's result as French commander?  We will see.