Sunday, December 30, 2018

Last Unit for 2018 - Egyptian Bowmen

With the clock ticking down toward the end of 2018, these Black Tree Design Egyptian bowmen are likely the last of the Old Year figures to muster out from the painting desk.  I will snap shut the Painting Ledger for 2018 in another post.  As a teaser, the number of figures crossing the painting desk was greater than expected when the painting goal (900 figures) was set back in January.  
Also got the Assyrian Army out on the tabletop for its Baptism of Fire against the Vile Kush in a pair of Friday afternoon games.  As I came to grips with both and foe and rules, my glorious Assyrians went down to the Egyptians, two games to none.  Ouch!  I need to lick my wounds and consider what might have been.  To the Strongest! played very fast even when considering time taken for kibitzing and rules' consultations.   

Even though these Egyptian bowmen are "officially" the last off the painting desk in 2018, several units are in work in various degrees of completion.  Variety abounds including the reorganization of cavalry for the 28mm Napoleonic collection.  British Light Dragoons will likely be the next to trot out under their new organization with British heavy dragoons not far behind.

In other milestones, today I celebrated a birthday.  My dog has a sense of humor.  From the dog, I received the following birthday card:

Funny dog.  

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Edward Aldrich's Regiment of Foote

At present, I am following the progression of several ECW campaigns (and one just finished).  The powerful pull of tuning in to these campaigns coupled with thoughts of getting in a game of For King and Parliament using the To The Strongest! system was too much. An ECW regiment of foote was pushed into the painting queue while my interest was under this spell.  To that end, a 27 figure body of infantry musters off the painting desk as the Edward Aldrich Regiment of Foote.

Having picked up a large batch of unpainted Renegade ECW figures for a bargain price about one year ago, time to justify that purchase by painting and fielding them.  The ECW collection is one of the collections considered finished by my reckoning although there is always room to add an additional unit or two until the gaming table buckles under the weight of lead.
Renegade ECW figures are of the Big and Beautiful category in my book.  Excellent sculpting but big figures.  Renegade's ECW figures fit in well alongside Redoubt and BicorneRedoubt figures comprise the bulk of this collection.  It is a shame that the folks from Renegade have such trouble in keeping their business a going concern.  Perhaps that explains why Renegade surfaces for a short only to eventually close-up shop.  To the owners, the business must be an ongoing concern.

After finishing off this regiment of foote, interest in this project prompted me to push another unit into the painting queue.  That unit is a regiment of horse from Empress Miniatures.  While the Empress figures look superb, I am finding them more difficult to paint than Renegade.  More on that comparison when I field the cavalry.    

Monday, December 24, 2018

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

’Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.  Wait!  That is not this house!  Activity is buzzing here including some work at the painting desk.  Rather than Santa and his reindeer making an appearance, the Napoleonic cavalry reorganization yields its first group of newly organized cavalry.

As briefly mentioned in an earlier post, the 28mm Napoleonic Peninsular War project is undergoing a reorganization.  Unit strength is being lifted from the former eight figures per BMU to nine figures per BMU.  One BMU drops from four stands of two figures each down three stands of three figures each.  This reorg requires one additional trooper per unit to be requisitioned and painted.  The first six units muster out under their new organization.  Six new figures among the old.  Can you spot the new recruit in each unit?  I cannot.  Still plenty of cavalry to retrofit but this is a start.  Next to tackle; British heavy dragoons.
British 10th Hussar Regiment
1st KGL Hussar Regiment
French 10th Chasseurs a Cheval Regiment
French 13th Chasseurs a Cheval Regiment
French 18th Dragoon Regiment
French 20th Dragoon Regiment
Merry Christmas!     

Friday, December 21, 2018

Egyptian Slingers

Painting activity in November and December seems to have focused on the Assyrian Wars project in 25mm. Today's output backs up that notion.
Off the painting desk today are two stands of Egyptian slingers based as skirmishers per Impetvs guidelines.  Figures are BTD from their excellent Egyptian range.  With their simple attire, an Egyptian Army can be brought into service very quickly.  Surprisingly quickly, really.  Although my plan was to field only a few Egyptian units, my tendency to over-buy during BTD sales led to a small pile of Egyptians.  Looking at the mix of Egyptians purchased, it is clear that there was not much method or foresight into my acquisitions.  
A late fall surge in Biblicals crossing the painting desk has produced ten units for the gaming table.  Half of these stands are Egyptians.  Two more stands of Egyptians are in the pipeline including one more chariot.  Certainly not enough units to field an Egyptian Army on my own but enough to augment Jake's Egyptians.  With a grid in place and To the Strongest! in hand, perhaps, the Assyrians Wars collection will see action in the not too distant future?

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

All Things Must Pass

Zorndorf no more
After having a long run on the gaming table of nearly five months, the Zorndorf battlefield passes into the annals of the Palouse Wargaming Journal.  No more long lines of red-coated Russians and blue-coated Prussians at attention waiting to greet me every time I walk down into the game room.  There may be a brief period of mourning with no Zorndorf on the table but a new interest is sure to take its place.  With a backlog of games waiting for some table space to open up, it was time to take down the battle and put away the figures.  Jake will be happy to see the return of his fine Russian Army away on campaign for so long.  A return engagement is not out of the question at a later date.  For now, though, time to move on.

Having cleared the table and carefully put away the troops, my first thoughts were focused on grid-based gaming.  With an empty table, now would be the perfect opportunity to create a gridded mat.  Who knows when the gaming table will be barren again?
Italian Wars troops deployed for battle on the grid
With two, six feet by four feet flocked felt mats by MKP stored under the gaming table, I unrolled them on the table and began formulating a plan.
ECW troops deployed for battle on the grid
To the Strongest! (TtS!) was the main driver for the pull toward gaming on a grid on a large scale.  Given that, the first question to arise was the size of the rectangular grid to plot out on the mats.  While getting the basics of TtS! under my belt in Scott's recent 15mm Ancients games, I really needed a gridded game mat for my own rules' study to advance my understanding of the system.
ECW BMU spacing looks good.
Several of the 28mm collections use Impetvs basing with a 120mm frontage.  For 120mm frontage, TtS! suggests a grid size of 150mm squares.  For the 32mm ECW collection, which is not based for Impetvs, cavalry has a frontage of 180mm and infantry maintains a frontage of 140mm; both too large for a 150mm grid.  
Italian Wars battle line from behind
Wanting to use both 4'x6' mats together to form a 6'x8' playing area, only one grid pattern could be chosen.  In the end, I decided upon a 200mm grid and set to work laying out the grid.  200mm grid is the suggested size for "large" unit sizes as defined in TtS!  Out of the 8' x 6' playing area, a grid of 9 boxes by 12 boxes can be produced.  Perfect size for a TtS! battlefield.
Angle view of two pike blocks and supports
The result?  After laying out the grid, I pulled a handful of ECW units and Italian Wars units from their storage boxes and deployed them upon their new battle mat.  While half intervals exist especially between the 120mm frontage Impetvs units, the appearance does not look too spaced-out to my eye.  Others may disagree but there it is.  A grid box of 200mm is perfect to accommodate the depth of a pike block three stands deep (180mm).  The grid is in place and ready for a test.  
Scottish foot arrayed for battle
One advantage of the recommended battle mat size of 12 grids by 9 is that a four foot by six foot portion of the gaming table remains open when TtS! is on the table.  I could have more than one game in play at a time!

Seeing the Italian Wars troops out on the table reminds me that I have a small stack of flags to distribute to the lads.  Another task to address. 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Egyptian Chariot and Runners

Activity at the painting desk slowed somewhat over the last two weeks as I worked my way through the Zorndorf solo battle and drafting of the accompanying three part battle report.  That work left not much time in the evenings for painting sessions but that is beginning to change.  Time to consider the next battle to put out onto the gaming table and the next unit mustering off the painting desk.  
The Assyrian Wars project continues to see activity at the painting desk.  This time an entry for the Egyptian side of the ledger clears the painting queue.  Chariot and runners are all from Black Tree Design.  These particular models have been lingering in The Lead Pile for a long time.  This chariot and several others were purchased during a sale in which chariots and cavalry were marked down 40%.  That sale may have been last Christmas or two Christmas' before.  Excellent models as I have mentioned many times before.  The Egyptians and Assyrians are among my favorite ranges of figures from BTD.  Figures are mounted upon an Impetvs-sized base and are ready to take to the field.
Likely off the painting table next will be two, four figure stands of Egyptian slingers.  After those figures clear the painting desk, next out will be the first of the reorganized Napoleonic cavalry in 28mm.  I tackled six cavalry formations to begin the reorg.  Each unit required the painting of one additional trooper to bring each unit up to a complement of nine horsemen from eight.  Yes, this effort requires rebasing 48 cavalry along with the six new recruits.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Zorndorf: Once More Into the Breach Part III

At last check in the fight at Zorndorf, the Russian right's First Line under the command of Saltykov collapsed.  Seeing the destruction of the First Line, the Russian CiC, Fermor, left the battle to "bring up additional reinforcements."  In his place, Saltykov stepped into the role of Commander in Chief.  Saltykov's First Line will now be commanded by "ex-Saltykov" to reduce confusion since Saltykov is now CiC.

As a reminder on the current state of the battle following Part II (See: Once More Into the Breach Part II), below is the current situation map at the start of Turn 9.
Situation Turn 9 with Saltykov's line broken
Notice that the retrograde movement of a portion of Saltykov's long First Line command has been fractured into three major components.  First Line regiments deployed into the Stein Busch and linking with Browne's brigade are now out of command and must act independently until brought back under command.  Dohna and Schorlemmer are beginning to apply pressure to Browne as distances close.

Turn 9.
Initiative for the First Move goes to the Russians.  With that, Galytsin orders his Second Line to advance to plug the hole left by ex-Saltykov's retreating infantry.
Galytsin's Second Line steps up to fill the gap
As ranges close, the resulting musketry and canister exchanges are brutal.  Losses mount on anyone within range.  Few are left unscathed.

In attempt to relieve some of this mounting destruction, Schorlemmer orders a charge.  On the Prussian right, Schorlemmer's Leib Cuirassiers charge into the Russian battery on the end of the line.  In an attempt to protect the guns, the Leib regiment, in turn, is charged by Russian heavy cavalry riding down and then back up out of the grund.
Charge and counter charge with Russian guns under threat.
The Russian heavies, mired in negotiating the difficult terrain of the grund, are too late to intercede.  Hitting the Russian guns before they, themselves, can be caught by the Russian heavies, the Prussian cuirassiers  scatter the guns.  With no pursuit, the Leib Cuirassiers attempt to recover before hit in flank by the Russians.  Due to the difficult nature of the ground crossed, the Russians have no momentum in the charge.  In the disorganized sword clashes that follow, both sides suffer heavily.  Fortunately for the Prussians, the Russian cuirassiers, now isolated from support, retreat back across the grund.     
Clash of the heavies
Dead Pile
Turn 10.
While the Russian First Line draws an admirable move with Saltykov's dashing personality nearby, Prussian cavalry on both wings strike.

On the Prussian right, Seydlitz finally completes his pan-battlefield tour and strikes Demiku's Russian cavalry wing in a seemingly uneven encounter.
Seydlitz attacks!
On the left, Marschall's cavalry reserve hits Gaugreben's cavalry and battery protecting the Russian baggage train.
Marschall attacks!
To the east of the Stein Busch, Browne's Observation corps steps off to advance on Dohna's brigade.  With elements of ex-Saltykov deployed in the woods, Dohna finds himself outnumbered.
Browne advances against Dohna
The Russians win the dicing for First Fire.  A cheer and musketry erupt from the Russian First Line.  Casualties are frightful as elements of the Russian First Line pour fire into the lead regiments at close range.  Preussen IR is destroyed in the murderous volley as is Dohna IR.  As Dohna Musketeers rout through their support, they carry the Below regiment along with them in their flight.    
Russians unleash a murderous First Fire
The exchange is not one-sided.  Manteuffel pours close range musketry into the closest Russian regiments.  Having only moments before moved up into the front line, Riazanskiy Musketeers are shot to pieces by Manteuffel's grenadiers.  As the musketeers scatter, they carry away two more Russian regiments and a battery in their flight.
Both sides waver under the hail of lead.
Casualties continue to mount as the Nevskiy Regiment breaks and scatters the 1/3 Grenadiers as it routs through.  One more Prussian regiment of de Biaix' infantry brigade folds under the pressure from Russian musketry.
Two more regiments Done For.
On the Prussian right, a similar scene is seen.  With Browne going on the attack, Dohna is met with heavy fire from two directions: Browne to his front and elements of the First Line in the woods.  One Prussian regiment dissolves under the volume of fire.
Browne vs Dohna
Seydlitz crashes into two of Demiku's cavalry regiments on the far right of the battlefield in line abreast.  In the first clash, Gens du Arms Cuirassiers with support hit the Russian hussars.  In the first clash of heavies vs lights and Superior vs Inferior, the lead regiment of hussars is scattered.  The Prussian cuirassiers pursue and pitch into the supporting hussars.  The second regiment of hussars fares no better than the first and is destroyed. 

In the second clash, Prussian dragoons are bested by Russian cuirassiers and fall back in retreat.  Now uncovered with the destruction of the hussars to their left, the Russians retreat back toward safety.  On the Prussian right, advantage Prussia. 
Seydiltz smashes into Demiku
Over on the Prussian left, Marschall's cavalry brigade strikes the left end of the Russian line frontally.  With the Russian line solidly anchored on the grund, no other option available to breach the Russian line.  With one regiment of dragoons targeting the artillery, three cavalry regiments remain to attack the Russian horse.
Marschall strikes, destroying the artillery with great loss
Already wavering from Prussian artillery bombardments, the Russian guns are destroyed but with great loss to the Prussian dragoons.  Schorlemmer's Dragoons retreat to allow time to recover.  As the Russian guns to their right disintegrate,  the cohesion of the Russian cavalry drops just as they are hit by the three regiments of charging Prussian dragoons.

Marschall's work is quick and effective.  In the clash, the lead Russian cavalry regiment is destroyed and its supporting regiment of hussars flees in retreat.  On the Prussian left, advantage Prussia.  The Russian baggage train is now defenseless. 
Marschall overpowers Gaugreben's cavalry
The situation at the end of Turn 10 shows that both Russian flanks have been compromised.  Gaugreben's small cavalry formation on the Russian right experiences defeat in detail and Demiku's large cavalry wing on the left is in tatters.

Prussian infantry has taken a lot of lumps with the Russians still in command of the center.  Browne, on the Russian left looks poised to go onto the attack.
Situation end of Turn 10
The Dead Pile grew dramatically over this turn.  Another turn like this and no one may be able to muster the strength for offensive action.
Dead Pile Turn 10
Turn 11.
With the Russian right compromised by Marschall's defeat of the Russian cavalry, Saltykov orders the Russian right to reform.  Still in solid command of the center, the Russian right begins forming a line angling back to anchor on the impassable woods.  On the Russian left, Browne with support from elements of the First Line go on the attack.
The Russian right reforming
Browne on the attack
Russian center holds
At close range, musketry volleys are devastating.  De Biaix' boys punish the red-clad lads to their fore but the Russian center holds.  On the Russian left, Browne's brigade, now on the attack, spews much lead.  With the inferior firepower of the Observation Corps, casualties are light against Dohna but sufficient to drive Dohna back upon supports.
Dohna driven back
While the Russian right collapses, the Russian center has repulsed Prussian attacks.  Dohna and de Biaix' brigades are in retreat.   
Prussians in retreat
Browne pressuring Dohna
Musketry intensifies on the Russian right as the Prussians under Manteuffel and Kanitz push to swing shut the gate on the Russian position before the refused Russian flank is formed.
The Prussian swinging gate
As casualties rise, regiments are forced to retreat
While infantry continue to blast one another in the center of the battlefield, on the flanks destruction of the Russian cavalry continues.

On the Russian right, Marschall's reserve cavalry continues its pursuit of the fleeing Russian horse.  Catching the Russians along the grund, both combatants fight until neither can fight more.  Both regiments scatter, done for the day.  The remainder of Marschall's reserve cavalry reaches the ponderous Russian baggage train and either capture or destroy it.   
Marschall destroys the baggage train
On the Russian left, Seydlitz continues denuding the Russian flank of cavalry.  Despite receiving harassing fire from musketry across the grund, Seydlitz' heavy cavalry continues its rampage.  All of Demiku's cavalry flee from the field.
Seydliz clears the Russian left
Dead Pile Turn 11
Turn 12.
At the start of Turn 12, Prussians have turned both flanks of the Russian Army.  Russian cavalry is nowhere to be seen.  Frederick controls the Victory Point Objective villages of Quartschen and Zicher in the Russian rear.  Russian baggage train is in Prussian hands.  The Russians still hold the center but Russian advanced positions in the western boundary of Stein Busch is quickly becoming untenable.  After tallying units lost, routing, and Victory Point Objectives held, The Russian Army has reached its Army Break Point.  The battle is over.
Situation Turn 12
Russian right
Russian left
The Russians, while suffering mightily, still maintain a strong presence in the center.  Without cavalry and artillery to support their infantry, it is likely only a matter of time before the Prussian guns and cavalry can redeploy to overwhelm the battered troops.

While the Russians could still dish out damage, in the long game, the Russian position is compromised.  A decision to the Prussians on points.  

My thoughts on the battle I save for another time.