Friday, September 28, 2018

A Return to the Assyrian Wars

With a self-imposed goal of focusing on pushing 18mm projects across the painting desk in 2018, 25/28mm output has been drastically reduced.  One project seeing much activity in 2017 but none thus far in 2018, is the Assyrian Wars project in 25mm.  After a long parade of 15/18mm units mustering off from the painting desk, I have fallen off the wagon albeit briefly.
With the recent diversion of Spanish-American prone infantry making their way into the painting queue, I doubled down with more work of the 25mm variety.

Off from the workbench today is a 12-figure stand of Assyrian infantry.  Figures are Black Tree Design led by Wargames Foundry command carrying Newline Design shields.  A good combination, I think!

Having not painting any units for this project since December of 2017, I forgot how much I enjoyed working on this project.  Figures are fun to paint and the Impetvs stands look good with a cluster of figures.  Perhaps expect a few more Assyrian Wars figures to enter into the painting queue.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

What To Do With Prone Figures?

In among the parade of 18mm figures destined for the 1799 and SYW projects, a handful of Spanish-American War figures slipped into the painting queue.  Figures are 25mm Old Glory from the super Spanish-American War range.  

A number of the 30-figure infantry packs includes one or two prone figures.  Even though I do not like placing them on a stand with other figures in formed units, I did want to put them use.  Well, I somewhat retract the distaste for placing prone figures on maneuver elements.  Prone figures do look suitable for stands of skirmishers and I have used prone figures in skirmish vignettes before.       
The solution I decided upon was to employ these prone figures as markers to identify unit status of "going to ground."  For that, these figures are perfect.  Once I discovered a use for these prone figure "castaways" that Old Glory added to each pack, my bemoaning of Old Glory packing useless prone figures into each pack turned to thoughts that they did not pack enough!  That shortfall was easily remedied.  Old Glory made up a custom pack of prone figures with my counts of nationality, service, and field dress.  While they may not advertise the fact of custom packaging, this is not the first time Old Glory has provided packs customized to my specifications.  Great company!  

Spanish-American War: Another project that ought to see some time at the gaming table. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Drawing Results

The results are in from the Six-Year Anniversary Drawing.  The winners and the amount of gift card won are listed below:

                             6 YEAR ANNIVERSARY GIFT CARD
1 CHASSEUR 11 50
2 GONSALVO 19 25
Having the first name selected in the random sampling, CHASSEUR receives the top prize of a USD$50 gift card.  GONSALVO and PRUFROCK each win a USD$25 gift card. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who participated and commented on the anniversary milestone.  Thanks go out to everyone who pops into the Palouse Wargaming Journal whether regularly or occasionally.  Welcome to the half-dozen new Followers among the ranks.  Hope you find something of occasional interest herein.

Winners may submit their request for Gift Card vendor by submitting an email via the Contact Form request.

Now, back to our regular programming...

Friday, September 21, 2018

Innsbruck, Austria: Hofkirche and Maximilian I

Maximilian I Cenotaph
In our travels to Austria and Germany in May, Innsbruck was the first stop after making the long, transatlantic flight followed by a four and a half hour train from Zurich.  Innsbruck was meant as a destination in which to catch up on lost sleep and adjust to the time change before we set off in earnest.

Besides the Tyrol Panorama (see Tirol Panorama), the Hofkirche was another destination to visit on my "Things to do in Innsbruck" list.  The Hofkirche was built as a memorial to Maximilian I by his grandson, Ferdinand I in 1553. 
The inside of the church is dominated by a massive, black marble cenotaph devoted to Maximilian I.  An iron grille encloses the cenotaph.
Ornate iron grille work
Adorning the sides of the memorial are a number of reliefs from important events during Maximilian's reign.  A few of the reliefs in which I could translate the descriptions are:
Capture of Kufstein Fortress, 1504
Victory over Bavarians at Regensburg, 1504

Capture of Fortress of Murano, 1514

Battle relief in which I did not capture the caption 
Encircling Maximilian's cenotaph are 28 large, bronze statues.  The statues are of ancestors, relatives, and heroes.  All face the memorial to honor Maximilian.  

Several of the statues that I could identify are:
Ernest, Duke of Austria
Ferdinand I
King Arthur
Phillip I
Rudolph I
Theoderic the Great
Finally, the hero of the Tyrolean Rebellion of 1809, Andreas Hofer, is buried in the Hofkirche.
Tomb of Andreas Hofer
While Maximilian I is buried elsewhere, the Hofkirche and his memorial are worthy of a visit while in Innsbruck.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

SYW Prussian Cuirassier RGT #7

Prussian cuirassiers continue mustering off from the workbench.  I mentioned once before that I picked up several handfuls of unpainted Eureka Prussian cuirassiers at bargain prices.  That purchase seems to be the gift that keeps on giving.  Six squadrons (36 figures) have passed through the painting queue in 2018 and there are likely another six squadrons left in The Lead Pile.  Based upon our decision to fight Honours of War battles at half scale where two stands (12 figures) equates to a horse regiment, I probably have more cuirassiers than I will ever need to field.   A quick tally from the Painting Log shows that 14 such cuirassier regiments can be fielded.  That is a lot of heavy horsemen! 
These dozen cuirassiers trot off the painting desk as Cuirassier Regiment #7 with yellow facing.  By now, these heavy cavalry ought to be easily identifiable as Eureka Miniatures' figures.  My favorite cavalry for this period and size. 
While a rematch of Zorndorf awaits, activity at the painting desk is active.  In queue are a number of units for the 1799 and 1859 projects including my first sampling of Austrians in casquet from Lancashire Games.  To break up the continued push with 15/18mm painting, a couple of 25/28mm units slipped into the painting queue and should be mustering out soon. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Six Years Past

Another year of blogging is in the books at Palouse Wargaming Journal as the ledger closes on Year 6 in the journey of chronicling my hobby activities.

While the year just passed witnessed a steady stream of units parading across the painting desk and marching off into their storage boxes, a few items stand out during the previous twelve months.  To name a few of my favorites:

French & Indian War Solo Relay Campaign - with the cooperation and dedication of Peter at Grid Based Wargaming, a SYW campaign raged over five months as I took on the operational role of administering the campaign via the boardgame, Montcalm & Wolfe while Peter resolved each action on his gaming table.  That was great fun.

Seven Years War/War of Austrian Succession Gaming - the battle of Mollwitz saw action on the gaming table twice (or was it three times?) and the battle of Zorndorf once.  More battles of Zorndorf are expected in the future.  I watched Jake's (Dartfrog's Adventures in 6mm) Russian SYW project begin and end with the result being the mustering of the Russian OOB for Zorndorf.  The guys have seemingly accepted Honours of War as a satisfactory set of SYW rules. 

ACW Gaming in 10mm - I tried my hand at scenario design using Norm's (Battlefields and Warriors) ACW rules, Two Flags - One Nation for the action at Fox's Gap.  Played that scenario several times; some solo and a few FtF.  Plans for getting TF-ON back out onto the gaming table before year-end is anticipated.

To The Strongest - Finally got a chance to give To the Strongest rules a try on the gaming table at Chaeronea.  Although I went down in defeat in the first playing, I am impressed by the simplicity and nuance of the game.  I look forward to many more repeats of this one. 

Napoleonics Gaming - Returned to the Peninsula to fight the action at Foz d'Arouce multiple times in 28mm.  Great to get this collection out onto the gaming table after so long in storage.

Of course, a smattering of travelogues occasionally popped up with many more in the bin to share in the future.

Besides reaching a milestone of six years blogging, The Palouse Wargaming Journal approaches 1,000 posts.  Perhaps by Christmas that milestone will be reached?  

As I mentioned in last year's anniversary commemoration,
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.
this reflective summarization has not wavered.

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):

  • Publicly follow the blog by clicking on the "Follow" button (if you have not already done so). 
  • 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, Mark Strachan gets ten more entries while Stew receives one additional entry.  Rankings will be taken at time of contest closure.
  • 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.
  • Favorite Post in Year 6: For an extra five entries, identify one of your favorite postings in the past year and why.
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 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.

1 x USD $50.00 and 2 x USD $25.00 Gift Cards will be awarded.

Contest will close 22SEP2018.
Good Luck!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

French Legere for the 1799 Project

Another battalion musters off the painting desk destined for the 1799 project.  This time, a thirteen figure stand of early French legere in side plume.  Notice this battalion is marching off without a flag.  Banners need to be distributed to this and several legere battalions.  For this project, I have been making my own.  Perhaps, I may need to buy flags for the legere or try my hand at photocopying images from a book and translating that image to paper.  Unless, I can find suitable flags on the Internet.  Figures are AB Miniatures.   
Only one stand of legere made it out from the production line since this is the last of the AB legere in inventory.  Since at least two more legere battalions will be required to fill a Rivoli roster, the next order to Eureka will include a couple dozen of these fine figures.  An order to Eureka must wait until Eureka USA receives an inventory restock from the Mother Ship.  

Speaking of Rivoli, a planned winter game of the battle requires an OOB.  Soon, attention must turn towards building an OOB and assessing what is needed to bring both rosters up to strength.  Until then, plenty of activity at the painting station to keep me busy.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Comparison of AB vs Battle Honors Napoleonics

AB Austrians
Recent work at the painting desk continues to be dominated by a steady stream of units filing into the ranks of the 1799 project.  This tendency continues with the completion of two battalions of thirteen figures each rallying to the Austrian colors.

First up is a battalion of AB Miniatures' Austrians for IR#20 in helmet.  Fine figures of which many have crossed the painting desk. 
Battle Honors' Austrians
Second off the painting desk is another Austrian infantry battalion.  This time, the unit musters out as a battalion from IR#4.  Figures in this battalion are from Battle Honors and feature Austrian infantry from the FRW range in casquet.  Fine figures as well but more slight than the AB Austrians in helmet.  Interestingly, the sculptor for both ranges is Tony Barton. 

How much more slight?  

Looking at a side-by-side comparison, the AB figures appear to be about half a head taller than the Battle Honors' figures.  Notice how much more robust the AB figures in thickness than the Battle Honors.  The Battle Honors figures seem a bit anemic compared to their well-fed brethren.

From my experience with both manufacturers, AB tend to be more robust and larger than Battle Honors in general.  Within the Battle Honors Napoleonic range, I see much more variability in size from figure to figure.  Some SKUs are larger; others smaller.

Even though size differences are noticeable in close comparisons such as this, on the gaming table, these differences tend to disappear especially when looking down upon the gaming table from three feet above.  I may not mix the two within the same unit but I certainly field both on the gaming table. 

Two more units to add to the Completed roster.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Russian Conscripts/Dismounted Cossacks in 1799

With the Austrians and French contingents in the 1799 project seeing almost all of the output from the painting desk, time to muscle a couple of Russian units into the production line.  Mustering off the production line today are two 13 figure stands of either dismounted Cossacks or conscripts.
Having much of the Russian cavalry arm during the 1799 campaign in Italy and Switzerland comprised of Cossacks, it seems natural that there would be situations requiring these mounted irregular horsemen to dismount in the rugged mountains of the Alps.  These stands could also represent poorly armed conscripts.       
While the two mounted officers are from AB, the infantry are from a very old bag of Old Glory figures I have had for close to twenty years.  Not only have these figures been lurking in The Lead Pile for at least twenty years, they have been sitting primered in the painting queue for at least two years.  That is correct.  Every time I either put freshly primered figures into the painting queue or take a handful out, these Russians sit idly awaiting their turn.  For whatever reason, I just could not motivate myself to push these figures across the painting station until now.  Having this monkey off my back feels good!

Since these conscripts/Cossacks would be at home in the later Napoleonic Wars, I suppose it is somewhat fitting to have these Russian infantry muster out on the anniversary of the Great Battle of Borodino in 1812.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Grenz Guns and Gunners for 1799

With the ochre paint still close by after recently painting two Austrian guns and a German Pak 40, adding another pair of Austrian guns for the 1799 project seemed appropriate.  That is what I did!  The guns and crew are AB's from the French Revolution War range of Austrians.  Well sculpted range and great fun to paint.  Unfortunately, these two guns exhaust The Lead Pile of Austrian artillery for the earlier Napoleonic period.  More guns and crew in the earlier uniform will be needed for a 1799 battle unless I want to dip into the vast stockpile of painted Austrian guns and crew painted for the 1809 and later campaigns.    
The workbench is busy with an assortment of figures seeing activity.  Glancing at the workbench, seven battalions of infantry are approaching the finish line to add to the 1799 project.  Two more squadrons of Prussian cuirassiers for the SYW are marching through the production line too.  Even after painting six squadrons (36 figures) of Prussian cuirassier in 2018, a small pile still remains in inventory.  Why did I order so many cuirassiers?  Well, a fellow was selling off a bunch of unpainted Eureka Prussian cuirassier at bargain prices.  He made an offer I could not resist!  There still might be another 4-5 squadrons worth of Prussian lead in The Lead Pile.  Already the Prussian cavalry arm is huge but more remains to muster.  Back to work.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Zorndorf: A Tale of Two Battles

Russians await the Prussian emergence from the woods
The first of likely several 260th anniversary Battles of Zorndorf is in the history books.  Fighting the battle as a four player game with two players per side worked well.  No one seemed overwhelmed with the number of troops under command nor did players spend a lot time watching idly.  Kevin and Scott commanded the Prussians while Jake and I took charge of the Russians. 

Initial troop positions are illustrated on the photo below viewed from behind and above the Prussian lines:
Initial dispositions
A view from the east looking down the length of the twelve foot table, provides a sense of scope of battle.  Twelve feet of 18mm figures is a splendid sight.  Most of the following photos are taken from behind the Russian lines or from the east.  
View of battle lines from east
The battle began with a cannonade of counter-battery as each side sought to soften the opposition before stepping off on the march to close.  The Prussians began with an artillery advantage both in number of guns and in massed guns. Counter battery at long range is not that effective given guns under fire may remove two hits per turn if beyond 30cm from the enemy.  Even with massed Prussian batteries in the artillery duel, the Russian guns remained firm. 
Battle lines before the advance
Finally under the impression that the Russian guns had been softened up enough, the Prussian army stepped into action.  While Frederick on the Prussian left carefully maneuvered his troops, Dohna in the center, stepped off with his large brigade and advanced under the cover of the intervening Stein Busch.
Dohna seeks an advance under cover of woods
Advancing with open flanks, Dohna entered the woods and began the difficult and time-consuming task of moving close order infantry through the dense vegetation.
Dohna enters the woods
View from east with Dohna entering Stein Busch
The long, thin red lines
With Dohna's brigade safely concealed in the woods, the Prussian commander of the Prussian right (Scott) seemed confident.  Would that confidence last?
Scott giving a two thumbs up.
While Dohna's brigade huddled in the woods, artillery counter-battery continued all along the front. As casualties mounted in the Prussian center, Frederick is encouraged by Dohna to apply pressure on the Russian right.
Dohna hesitant to pop out from the cover of the woods
Frederick obliges by setting Manteuffel's grenadiers towards the enemy.  As the grenadiers marched steadily towards the Russian First Line, support materialized to his left in the form of Seydlitz and his cavalry.  Manteuffel will not face the Russians alone.   
Seeing several Russian batteries withdraw from the First Line due to casualties, Seydlitz struck.  In a daring (some would argue brash) attack, Seydlitz launched his heavy cavalry down the steep banks of the Zabern-Grund and up the other side.  When Seydlitz' cuirassiers crested the grund, they faced lines of Russians in good order supported by guns that had not withdrawn from the sustained bombardment. 
As Seydlitz' heavies closed upon the Russians, one cavalry regiment took heavy casualties and withdrew.  The second regiment continued on into the awaiting Russians and was badly handled before routing.  Despite witnessing the partial destruction of Seydlitz's cavalry, Manteuffel's grenadiers continued the advance. 
With Dohna holed up in Stein Busch and casualties mounting on the Prussian left, Demiku's outclassed Russian cavalry wing sensed an opportunity to counter the Prussian cavalry advantage on the Prussian right.  Moving forward with hussars on the east bank of the grund and heavies on the west bank, Demiku tempted the Prussian cavalry wing to respond.  Respond they did.  The Russian cavalry, inferior to most of their Prussian counterparts, held their own in a series of charges and countercharges.  Demiku bought some time and reduced the Prussian cavalry threats on the Russian left, for now.
Demiku attacks!
At this point in the battle, Prussian command viewed the situation dire.  With Dohna stuck in the Stein Busch seeing casualties mount from both Russian artillery and musketry and Frederick stymied on the Prussian left, the Prussian announced that a Russian victory was almost certainly assured.  The Russian position seemed unassailable.  The Russians remarked the battle was far from over and we should play on.  With those prognostications, a truce for lunch was declared. 

After lunch, Prussian morale improved enough to fight on.  That they did!  

The attack on the Russian right picked up where it left off before lunch.  As the Prussian grenadiers of Manteuffel closed with Saltykov's First Line, Saltykov responded by swinging his line forward to meet the oncoming Russians.  A combination of long range artillery bombardment and close range musketry softened the Russian First Line considerably.  Russian guns and troops were withdrawing from the First Line including the scattering of several Russian regiments.  In minutes, the Russian right looked to be nearing a breach by the Prussians.
A gap opens in Russian line
To plug the gap in the Russian line, cavalry were sent forward while Seydlitz countered by trying an outflanking maneuver on the Russian line.
Pressure on Russian right
Having seen his First Line waver, Fermor abandoned the field and his army.  Wasting no time, Saltkov assumed command and encouraged the Observation Corps, thus far content to remain on the defensive, to get into the action.  Brown's Observation Corps obeyed Saltykov's directive and lurched into action.  He will move up to threaten the flank of Dohna's brigade isolated in the woods. 
Browne's Observation Corps moves to attack Dohna
While Browne advanced on Dohna, Demiku's cavalry pitched back into Schorlemmer's Right Wing cavalry.  Again, the Russian cavalry held their own against superior troops but a regiment of hussars was lost in the clash.  Demiku's aggressiveness worked to keep Brown's infantry from harassment by Prussian cavalry. 
Demiku in action again
At this point, units lost are about even although the Russian right suffered more than they can gave.  In the center, Dohna and Saltykov pounded away at each other as a couple of Dohna's regiments advanced out of the woods to meet the new threat from Browne's Observation Corps.
View from east end of battlefield looking west
Back on the Russian right, Saltykov's right flank, now reeling, fell back as the Second line of Galytsin tried to move up.  The Russian right wavered under the combination of artillery and superior firepower of the Prussian grenadiers.
Russian Second Line move up to fill the gaps
While the Russian right attempted to stabilize, the Russian left continued applying more pressure.  Browne pressed forward against Dohna while Demiku charged back into the Prussian RW cavalry.  The Left Wing artillery repositioned two batteries to better support both Demiku's cavalry and Browne's infantry.
Fighting escalates on the left
The combination of Prussian artillery and superb Prussian musketry was too great an advantage against Browne's Observation Corps.  One regiment seemed to disappear each turn as cannon and musketry brought down huge swaths of red clad Russians. 
Russian Observation Corps takes a pounding
Even with Dohna's Prussian infantry suffering from each fusillade, they held their ground while Russians were mowed down.  Casualties among the Observation Corps were staggering.  The inferior musketry of the Russians was no match for the disciplined volleys of the Prussians. 
Slaughter of the Observation Corps continues
Back on the Russian right, the Prussians closed in for another assault.  Casualties were high for the Prussians but they pressed on.  Both sides suffered heavy casualties as the Russian line continued to thin.  The location of the Russian baggage park prevented the Second Line from efficiently taking over from the First Line. 
Prussian grenadiers prepare to attack
As the Russian right devolved into close range exchanges of musketry, Seydlitz made his presence felt once more.  Coming up out of the grund, he struck a grenadier regiment, unable to turn to face this threat, in flank.  Although Russian guns belched out destruction and stopped one heavy cavalry regiment, the second regiment of heavies scattered the grenadiers and turned the Russian right.    
Too much pressure for the Russian right
With that effort, the Russians have had enough.  Saltykov ordered a retreat to save what he can of the Russian army. A glorious victory for the Prussians! 
Russians begin withdrawal
With the Prussians on the verge of quitting the field in the morning, a turn-about in the afternoon heard them roar like a lion.  Long range artillery coupled with accurate musketry won the day.  Having first fire on most game turns proved important over the course of battle.  Final count of lost units was 11 for the Russians to 5 for the Prussians. The Russian left took a beating once they engaged with the Prussians.  Most of Browne's command had quit the field by afternoon.

This proved to be an entertaining first outing for Jake's newly raised Russian army and we are likely to see Zorndorf tackled at least a time or two more before passing on to another battle.  A few scenario modifications are under consideration for the next clash but nothing too drastic, for sure.

Congratulations to Kevin and Scott in their Prussian victory.  Well played guys!