Thursday, September 28, 2017

Assyrian Mounted Archers #5

What?  Another stand of Assyrian mounted archers shows up on display?  Yes, indeed!  
Trotting off the painting desk is the fifth stand of mounted archers to depart its mustering station.  Figures are, again, from Wargames Foundry and I have yet to tire of painting these fine horsemen.  Good thing I have not grown tired of them.  I must have another dozen in The Lead Pile!  Detailing is superb on both horse and rider and a real pleasure to tackle.
With the bringing out on display of these fine fellows, only one unit remains to complete the current tranche of Assyrians.  After that, time to set up a group photo of the Army in its current state.  While painting effort is transitioning to other projects, Assyrians will remain in the mix.  I may change my mind and plunge headlong back into painting Assyrians with a fury as this past summer has witnessed.  Other hobby activities are drawing my interest, though, including many upcoming games.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Assyrian Wars - Auxiliary Spearmen

Units for the Assyrian Wars project continue mustering out from the painting desk.  I must admit that I have become quite energized by this project.  The Assyrian Army is a varied and interesting army to field.
Today's finished unit is a 14 figure stand of Auxiliary spearmen from Wargames Foundry.  The tall, dirty white shields I like.  Expect to see another unit or two carrying white shields in the future.  Foundry's Assyrians are fun to paint and look good in close order.  Even though much of my painting activity over the summer has been focused on this project, I have not tired of painting Assyrians yet.  Good thing.  A box of assorted unpainted Assyrians remains.
Two more units remain on the workbench for this project.  After those two units are completed, I will take a breath and hold a pass-in--review.  Surprising to me how quickly an army can be fielded.

Sticking with the Assyrian Wars project for a moment more, I picked up Foundry's Kallapani set and wondering what to do with it under Impetvs rules.  Impetvs lists Kallapani as a 'T' missile stand that moves like cavalry or chariot of 3H.  Should the cart with riders be mounted onto a stand with dismounted archers?  Should the cart be mounted separately from the 'T' missile stand?  If so, how?  

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Chariot Rebasing Part III - The Final Four?

As I emerge from the darkness of the rebasing tunnel into the light of day, the final four Assyrian chariots roll off the workbench.  Each of these four chariots has been mounted onto a larger 120mm x 80mm base with the addition of three supporting infantry.  
With these war carts taking their place on the "Completed" side of the project ledger, nine such chariots can now be fielded in battle.  Nine, four-horse chariots!  That seems a lot. When positioned in line with base sides touching, the mass spans a width of almost four feet on the gaming table.  Four feet of chariots! That is a lot!  
The full Assyrian Army display is not far off now.  Still remaining to finish are a couple of heavy infantry stands and one more medium cavalry stand.  After that, a parade review is in order.  I had the collection out on the table this morning and it really has become a large force.  I hope it strikes fear into my opponents.
Oh, there are still many more Assyrians left in The Lead Pile.  After the three units mentioned above march off the painting desk, painting efforts ought to show a bit more diversity.  Other projects should see some work in the painting queue.  Enough figures are under arms in the Assyrian Army to put into the field a good sized force.  With that goal met, painting effort can be diverted to other projects.  I imagine Assyrians will maintain there presence in solid painting rotation.

What other projects are under consideration for reinforcements?  With a Great Game game planned for later in October, one more battalion of Russian infantry could be put to good use.  To that end, 24 Great War Miniatures' Crimean War Russians have lingered in The Lead Pile for about a year.  Time to give them a coat of paint.  Perhaps a unit or two for the Reconquista project could go into the queue too?  In the last Casting Room Miniatures' sale, I picked up enough Norman foot to field two stands of infantry.  Excellent looking sculpts that I look forward to putting to the brush.  Of course, lots of 18mm options for either the 1799, 1859, or SYW projects.  I should quit daydreaming about painting and get to it!    

Saturday, September 23, 2017

5-Years Before the Screen - Results!

The results from the Five Year Blog Drawing are in and the winners named.
A few statistics...
Number of Participants: 27
Ranking of Entries per Participant:

Obs Follower #
6 PHIL 7
16 ED M 1
22 PETER 1
26 TIM GOW 1

*Recall that extra entries were allowed for publicizing the anniversary drawing and for being among the Top 10 Contributors. 

The winners of the three USD$25 Gift vouchers in the order of their selection are:

Obs Follower # Entries Entry
2 ED M

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who either participated in the drawing, follow the PWJ, or stop by for an occasional visit.

If you are a lucky winner (and Ed with only one entry in the drawing, you are lucky!), please send your email details and electronic gift voucher choice via the Contact Form.  Once received, your electronic voucher will be purchased and delivered lickety-split.

Note: 27SEP2017 - All gift cards have been awarded.

Thanks again,

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Action at Willoughby Run

Two Flags - One Nation ACW Rules
After getting soundly trounced in a recent Friday Night at the Fights match against Jake in the Action at Mill Creek, I moved on to a solo game of Norm's hex-based, Two Flags - One Nation.
Confederates overrun Federal positions
 to declare victory in Action At Mill Creek
The battle refought in this showing is the Action at Willoughby Run as presented on Norm's Battlefields and Warriors blog (see Action at Willoughby Run).
Initial Deployments
Norm lays out the scenario specifics in detail on his blog for review, so my overview will be brief.  In the opening action at the Battle of Gettysburg, Archer's Confederate Brigade is attempting to dislodge Gamble's cavalry from the banks of Willoughby Run and take McPherson's Ridge.

The gaming area is quite compact at only six hexes by six hexes and definitely fits within Norm's "Gaming in Small Places" motif.  The force composition for this action is compact too.  Four Confederate regiments and Pegram's artillery against Gamble's three Federal cavalry regiments and Calef's guns.  As reinforcements, the Federals can expect to receive regiments of the Iron Brigade to appear sometime mid-morning.  Confederates begin off board and Pegram's artillery remains off board throughout the game.

08:15 Having the first player turn, Calef's guns target Pegram's guns scoring one hit.  With all Rebels off board, that is it for Federal fire.  Pegram's guns return fire on Calef causing one hit which the Federal guns coolly ignore.  Situated in woods, Calef's casualties are halved.  Archer's brigade splashes into Willoughby Run.
8:26. Calef's guns continue counter battery fire against Pegram at long range.  Again, Pegram is tagged with a single hit.  Then the carbines of Gamble's cavalry erupt all along the line.  The 13/5 AL takes a hit while the 1 TENN suffers withering fire taking four hits.  Not able to stand up to the hot fire emitted from the carbines, 1 TENN falls back in disorder.  
On Archer's left, fire from the 13/5 AL fires into 8NY causing casualties but halved due to the cover of the terrain.  On Archer's right, the 14 TENN charges out of the creek to come to grips with the Federal cavalry blocking its advance.  As it climbs the banks of Willoughby Run, 12 IL/3 IN cavalry fires into the approaching Rebels causing light casualties.  The Tennesseans do not falter.  Neither do the Federal cavalry.  In the close combat, the Tennesseans get the worst of the exchange suffering two more hits to none for the Federals.  Both sides are locked into a close range fire fight, neither giving ground. 
8:45. Calef's guns cannot silence Pegram as Federal cavalry continue chipping away at the Confederate resolve through small arms fire.  Pegram, however, can find his target and scores another hit on Calef.  Even with one of the Confederate regiments out of the battle line, Rebel fire is telling on the Federal troopers.  The Federals stand firm despite rising casualties.

9:02. Calef continues having no luck against Pegram's guns but the Federal cavalry make up for their artillery's inefficiency.  The 13/5 AL, on the Rebel left, suffers two more hits and loses its resolve falling back disordered.  On the Rebel right, the 14 TENN having suffered at the hands of Federal troopers only moments ago, is hit yet again from the deadly Federal carbines.  It loses its nerve too and falls back disordered.  The 7 TENN, now alone in the creek, takes another hit but remains fixated to its position in a precarious position, isolated from support.

Although at 5 Heavy Casualties, the 14 TENN is not required to take a Capability Test during the Retreat Phase since the Union player is the Phasing Player.  In its half of the turn, 14 TENN will test for retreat.  Being on the board edge, it will be considered as routed off table if it fails the Capability Test.
With the Rebel assault in shambles and three of the four regiments at least down to 50% effectiveness,  Archer calls off the attack.

Well!  That was a cracking little game!  Unfortunately for the Confederates, a quick and bloody affair resolved against them.  Archer's brigade took heavy casualties in its attempt to come to grips with Gamble's dismounted cavalry.  Gamble did not even need to call upon the Iron Brigade for support.

Having to move onto the map on the first turn meant Gamble would get to fire first.  In that first fire, the Rebels had a hot time.  Not only that first fire but the cavalry kept the hot fire throughout the action.  Even in Close Combat, the 14 TENN threw two '1's to no 5's or 6's.  That meant the 14th took two casualties to the cavalry's none.  Ouch!  

Willoughby Run proved to be an intense and vicious little scenario.  Perfect for solo play even played from either side.  The Confederates step into the fire on turn one.  In game time, this action was over in less than an hour.  Real time might have been about the same if I had not stopped for a few photos and note taking.  This action deserves another attempt to see if Archer's brigade can make a more competitive showing.  Without division commanders on the field, Archer did not have the ability to call in his superior to attach to one of his regiments.  Attaching a division commander to a unit allows that one unit to fire and then move.  That might have made a difference in assaulting out from the creek.

Given the state of Archer's Brigade, I thought it sensible to call off the attack.  At 9:02, the Confederates seemed incapable of mounting a viable attack against Gamble's cavalry any time soon.  With the imminent arrival of the Iron Brigade, Archer stood little chance of success.

On a rules note, I moved away from the 15 minute disorder duration and the need to track each unit's disorder duration on slips of paper.  Instead, I computed equivalent probabilities and translated disorder to either one or two "turns" of disorder determined by the roll of 2D6.  Worked well for this game and simplified tracking and resolution.  Perhaps, more about the 15 and 30 minute disorder simulations and outcomes from this study in another posting?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Assyrian Wars - Scythian/Cimmerian Horse Archers

No surprise out from the painting desk today.  Nope.  More work on the Assyrian Wars project.  This time, the Assyrian Army receives recruits of the light cavalry variety.  Figures are Wargames Foundry.
Joining the swelling ranks of Assyrians, two light cavalry or 'CL' in Impetvs parlance take their place in the battle line.
Positioned on the base in a swirling motion gives the effect of the light horse archers harassing their foe by keeping a steady rain of arrows upon the enemy.  As each warrior unleashes his arrow he rotates back to reload before returning for another round.

Still more Assyrians in the queue including two more heavy chariots mustering out after the refit to a large base and additional of infantry supports.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Chariot Rebasing Part II

The notion of rebasing the 28mm Assyrian chariots from one chariot per 60mm x 80mm base to one chariot per 120mm x 80mm base got a hard think following the first rebasing trial (see A Rebasing Dilemma).  It really was not a hard decision at all.  The new configuration has a pleasing look so I forged ahead with the plan to rebase the eight remaining Assyrian chariots.

Well, the next four chariots have completed their conversion including the painting of three foot figures to accompany each chariot.  Below are the results for the first four of eight chariots:

I like the look of one cart per 120mm frontage.  The addition of infantry support tends to fill out the composition of the stand so that it looks fully occupied.
For comparison, the five rebased chariots were placed in the first line with a two chariot stand equivalent in the back rank.  The single chariot with infantry support looks just as good (or better) than two chariots adjacent on half sized bases.  In battle line, shown below, it looks impressive.  
With five Assyrian chariots converted, four remain to convert.  That means another dozen infantry support needs to be painted.

That also means the sole Egyptian chariot required a conversion as well.  I like the look of it too.
All of these chariot conversions have ramifications to another project.  The 28mm Punic Wars project fields two Celtic/Gallic chariots on a single half-sized base.  Yep.  They will need conversion to two large bases as well along with painting a half-dozen infantry supports.

With thoughts of a Punic Wars game a week from today, I better get busy if the Gallic chariots are to see action on the gaming table.  The madness never ends.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Five Years Before the Screen

Five years have passed before the screen (my thanks to R.H. Dana Jr. for the catchy title which I paraphrase) since the Palouse Wargaming Journal set sail into the blogosphere.  Prodded by only slight nudging from a few friends to "get with the times," I fired up PWJ in September 2012.  My, how time flies and postings accrue.  To date, post count exceeds 800.  Never did I envision having that much material to share.  Many of the posts offer up details on recent painting output but posting units as they depart the painting desk is a good method for chronicling my collections.

Maintaining a blog I discovered to be quite rewarding.  Reporting hobby activities including both painting and playing has provided much enjoyment.  Blogging also provided an incentive and motivation to push on with "just one more unit" in a project I thought finished.  Are projects really ever truly complete?  After more than forty years in the hobby, I still have no answer although some projects remain dormant.  Maintaining the Journal through regular contributions allows me to focus catalog my efforts and track where I have tread and where the next path may lead.  I can look over my shoulder and see what went before even when memory of those activities fades.

Besides curating a large amount of information on my hobby activities, the most rewarding benefit gained is the introduction to a number of like-minded individuals.  Friendships gained through these communications are important and appreciated.

To show my appreciation and gratitude to those who stop by for an occasional visit or regular readers who not only take the time for a visit but also to compose a reply, I offer a drawing for a gift card or three.

The Rules for Contest Entry:
There are two criteria for participating in the drawing (both must be satisfied):

  1. Publicly follow the blog by clicking on the "Follow" button (if you have not already done so). 
  2. Leave a comment to this post declaring your wish be entered into the drawing. 
Get Extra Entries:
  • Top Commenter Bonus: To reward the Top Commenters and to encourage others toward more frequent contributions, the Top 10 will receive additional weightings to their entries. For the verbose Top 10, to your singular entry, you will receive additional entries equal to the inverse order of your ranking.  That is, Dartfrog gets ten more entries while Cyrus would receive one additional entry.
  • Publicize the Contest: If a contestant is, perhaps, willing to reduce the probability of winning by prompting others to join in, publicize this Give-Away on your blog.  Put a link back to your blog in the comments for verification.  In exchange for possibly diluting your change of winning, you get five extra entries.
The Prizes:
If your winning entry is pulled from the Random Sampling (without replacement) Hat, the winner will receive an electronic gift card to the wargaming vendor of your choice.  It is the winner's choice but the vendor must offer the purchase and delivery of an electronic gift card. is an example of a book vendor fitting this criteria as are Eureka Miniatures, Brigade Games, and Newline Designs. There are many others.  If the winner can find a vendor offering this capability, gift card will be purchased and voucher sent on via email. 

3 x USD $25.00 Gift Cards will be awarded

Contest will close 22SEP2017.
Good Luck!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Newline Designs' Israelite/Hebrew Spearmen

Following upon my first foray into Newline Designs' range of 28mm Biblicals with Babylonians (see Babylonian Spearmen), a dozen Israeli/Hebrew armored spearmen went onto the painting desk.
With a little more rounded sculpting style than the Perry brothers' Foundry Assyrians, these figures are quite nice.  Similar in style to the Babylonians fielded earlier, I am beginning to appreciate the differences in sculpting styles between the two manufacturers.  Newline Designs' figures that I have are a little heavier than Foundry.  I should add BTD Assyrians into the comparison as well.  To my eye, all three work well within the same army.  
Unlike the Babylonian spearmen standing, these Hebrew did not have the spear molded to the figure.  Rather, the spears are separate and made of a softer and thicker metal than the Northstar spears I typically use.  Since these spears seemed rigid enough, I opted to use them.  Time will tell if that was a wise decision.

These Newline Designs' Biblicals have a bit of Old School charm and, when purchased on sale, are a bargain.  

What is left in the painting queue?  No surprise here.  Several more units for the Assyrian Wars project are making their way through the production line.  Included in these are four more Assyrian heavy chariot upgrades to a regular-sized cavalry base (120mm x 80mm) with accompanying infantry support.  A battle array with these carts on line will be an impressive sight.  Also, my lone Egyptian heavy chariot is getting the same makeover.  That is, rebased onto a 120mm frontage with infantry support.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

More Assyrian (Chaldean) Archers

After a brief, very brief, diversion into the Reconquista project, paintwork returns to the theme of the summer; Assyrians.
In a seemingly army of archers, one more stand of archers moves out from the painting desk.  At current count, six, nine-figure Impetvs 'T' stands of such missile troops can be called upon for service.
As all Assyrian archers coming before, these figures are Wargames Foundry.  With their simple tunics, these Chaldean bowmen provide a fine example of auxiliary troops.  Still, a number of Assyrian units are marching through the painting queue including the upgrading of four of the four-horse chariots with runners and new bases.    

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Litko and Lasers!

After having grumbled more than once about the long lead times (three week turn-around is not uncommon) and high shipping costs of getting a package delivered from Litko, it is only fair to publicly update my assessment.

Taking advantage of Litko's traditional Labor Day sale, I placed an order large enough to qualify for free shipping.  Order was placed on Saturday amidst the long US Labor Day holiday weekend.  An email later that day gave notification that my package was ready for shipping.  On Saturday, the same day as order placement?  Even considering the long holiday, my package arrived in Washington State on Wednesday.  Five day turn-around from order placement to receipt with three of those days during the long three-day weekend.  Outstanding!
Recent additions to the woodpile
Better yet, Litko now offers a flat rate, standard shipping option for USD $5.00.  Excellent!

Unrelated to the woodpile resupply, I picked up a device from that I expect to see service as a wargame aid.  That device is a dual laser level that shoots out two orthogonal beams of light.  With help from this device, perhaps I can easily lay out a grid on a game mat?
Laser Level

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Return to the Reconquista

After a steady stream of Assyrians, another project needed a bit of attention to add variety to the painting queue.  To that end, into the painting queue went a dozen Moors from BTD's Warriors of Islam range and four, BTD Spanish bowmen.
Selected was a variety of warriors all standing with spears grounded.  All have a variety of headgear and shields. A nice mix, I think.  Soldier spear grounded is my favorite pose in the BTD range.  The pose of advancing with spear is somewhat unwieldy so having a bunch of the standing figures in The Lead Pile is welcome.  Still enough figures for several more heavy foot units await in the stockpile. 
Along with the Moorish heavy foot, across the painting desk scrambled four bowmen.  With basic wardrobe and muted colors, this quartet made it out from the workbench quickly.  It is rewarding to get quick results even though the skirmish stand holds only four figures.  
Having managed a small diversion from the Assyrian Wars project, time to put brush back to work painting Assyrians.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Assyrian Mounted Archers #4

The fourth stand of Assyrian mounted archers trots off the painting desk.  Like the three stands going before, these figures are Wargames Foundry.
While four stands of bow-armed horsemen are a sizable contingent under Impetvs, each Neo-Assyrian army may field up to eight such stands.  That is a lot of cavalry!  With up to two Skythian/Cimmerian light cavalry, one Guard cavalry and five heavy chariots added into the mix, an Assyrian army can pack a lot of mobile punch.
Speaking of Skythian/Cimmerian light horse archers, I ought to add those into the painting queue.  With only three figures per stand, knocking out a stand of light cavalry should be an easy diversion from fielding the larger infantry units. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Armies of the Italian Wars of Unification 1848-1870 (1)

Advertised as the first of a two-part series covering the three Italian Wars of Unification, I awaited the release of Osprey's MAA's 512 Armies of the Italian Wars of Unification 1848-70 (1) with anticipation.  While my interest is primarily focused on the second unification war of 1859-1860, the first and third wars would hold interest as well.  What topics and uniforms would be included in Volume 1?  I enjoy Giuseppe Rava's artwork so there was much for which to look forward.  Over several months leading up to its release, several versions of the cover artwork were shown.  Which illustrations would make the cover?  

Upon announcement of the book's release, I quickly ordered a copy.  With quick Amazon shipping, the book arrived in two days.

While Rava's illustrations are colorful and first rate works of art, the textual content is a disappointment.  The text consists almost entirely of describing organization and weapons.  For a proper uniform guide, I expect some historical background and army organization, no doubt, but details on uniforms worn are paramount.  "Details" in the sense of providing enough information to make the book a valuable addition to the body of uniformology.  Ideally, the book should offer a uniform guide first and foremost.

Some uniform details are present.  However, uniform specifics are tucked away in the back of the book in the Plate Commentaries as well as in captions accompanying black & white illustrations.  Having uniform details accompanying period black & white illustrations is an odd choice.    Still not enough information from which to paint the Piedmont, Neapolitan, and Sicilian armies.  With a wealth of uniform information readily available on the internet, gathering these sources and incorporating into a booklet could provide a foundation for a uniform guide.

For a few, useful uniform guides on the Risorgimento, see my earlier post on Risorgimento Uniform Guides.

While this is not the book I would have written, all is not lost.  Looking at the B&W illustrations and Rava's full color uniform plates, the 1848 Neapolitan uniforms have a striking similarity in style to uniforms worn by the Mexican Army during the Mexican-American War.  That is a useful bit of information!  If fielding a Neapolitan army for the 1848-1849 conflict is troublesome with respect to figures, Mexican regulars (including Grenadier Guards of the Supreme Power) could stand in for Neapolitans with only minimal differences especially in 15mm.  Well, that may be my approach if I work in that direction.