Tuesday, April 4, 2017

28mm Fencing

As part of the MAW2 project I was keen on doing up some new terrain to use. The group has plenty of buildings, so I was going to focus on fences and Southeast Texas trees ... though admit don't know how those look different than the trees we already have at the store :)

First though I would work on the fences, and as I wanted to do lots of them, I was going to do them "cookie cutter" style. I purchased some bamboo skewers, got the tacky glue, clippers and a miniature to use as a guide and went to work on a prototype. I rough cut out a template (might do up another one to make it a little "cleaner"), then lots of short supports and long beams for my first batch.

I settled on a 11" long, three section fence for the bulk of my fencing (I'll do a few two section ones so as to be able to vary the fenced off sections). I wanted the fence to be high so brought the top up to a figure's shoulders.

With the prototype done, I cranked out six more sections, with one of being a gate. Though before doing anymore I decided to base and paint them up in case I needed to make any more changes.

For the basing, I wanted to have a small footprint, so instead of a section of cardstock, I went with a couple of washers in the middle and a blob of hot glue for the outer posts.

It work out well, except I inadvertently weakened the gate section and had to glob a lot of glue on to give it some strength. The downside to the washers is that I think the fences are "game weak" and won't stand up to much of your typically wargamer handling ... but the are easily fixable so onto the paint!

I primed the fences and then using some some cheap acrylic paint, got to painting them. I chose Territorial Beige for the base color and then did a wet blend with Trail Tan.  I actually let most of the paint dry so it was more of a "dry" wet blend :), then flocked the bases and called them good.

Overall they came pretty good and won't be changing the process much, if at all. The painting of the fences turned out to be the longest part of the build! This first batch was a little over five feet of fencing and I want to at least double that. With perhaps a couple of special sections, like a broken fence, or a fence line tied into a dirt mound or rock etc... any Southeast Texas terrain ideas are welcomed!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Battle of Halle 1815

Over the weekend our group fought out a what if scenario I had designed to use Ken's extensive collection of Waterloo troops. We used the Black Powder rules by Warlord Games as it was the easiest set of rules to get back into gaming Napoleonic's. Attending the game was Mike (Dutch), Myself (British) and Ken (Hanoverian) on the Allied side, while Chris (14th Division) and Mark (12th Division & Cavalry) commanded the French.

The basic premise of the scenario is that Hill's II corps situated around the Belgian city of Halle had been ordered to march to and join Wellington with the main army. Hill had been covering the Allied lines of communications in case Napoleon tried to send troops to severe that link, and in this case he did just that. Napoleon has sent Marshall Gérards VI corps to cut off and turn the allied flank. Both corps had some difficulty traveling along the country roads and bumped into each other around the small hamlet of De Boukendael.

General Hills allied force comprised of Lyon's 6th Hanoverian Brigade, Johnstone's 6th British Brigade, d'Hauw 1st Netherlands Brigade and two Hussars regiments from the Hanoverian Cavalry Brigade.
British Infantry near the hamlet, Hanoverians off in the distance holding the right.
VI corps fielded both brigades of Bourmont 14th Division and one brigade from Pécheux 12th Division.  Berruyer 2nd cavalry Brigade from 7th Cavalry Division also supported the attack on the right flank.
GdB Toussaint 2nd Brigade, one battalion not seen as it is moving through the woods.
The French were attacking and started off with a general advance. Only one brigade was late off the start line, but they too were soon moving towards the Dutch (we had no blunders during the game, a first I believe!). From left to right, columns of French infantry advanced with skirmishers out front trying to disrupt the allied battle line.
The six battalions of the 30th and 96th Ligne regiments from GdB Rome's brigade.
They attacked on the French right. 
On the Allied right, the Hanoverian Brigade bore the brunt of the initial attacks but held fast against the onslaught of French Battalions. Remarkable even the landwehr battalions did not break from the initial stress of the French attacks.
The guns of the Hanoverian battery were not able to engage the fast approaching French columns with much effect. 

The French battalions of GdB Mazarny 1st Brigade attacking.

Two field battalions from Major-General Lyons 6th Hanoverian Brigade.

The French attack against the Dutch battalions holding the shallow ridge slowed once they reached the top and discovered several more infantry battalions, as well as cavalry and artillery supporting the forward infantry battalions.

A charge by Verden's Hanoverian hussars was thrown back by counter charging French Hussars, who carried on into the Dutch militia battalions. Fortunately they formed a disordered square and the hussars retired to their own lines after inflicting numerous casualties on the square, though unable to break it. 
British 9lbs fire on the French infantry lining a small woods.
The British in the center had been relatively idle initially just exchanging artillery fire with a French battalion formed upon the edge of a small woods. So to relieve the pressure on the Dutch, two battalions of British infantry (one the 91st Highlanders) moved to support the Dutch by advancing on the French columns. They then spent the rest of the battle exchanging close range musketry with french skirmishers.

The battalion supporting the 91st late in the battle reformed to face to its right and engaged the French battalion which had been poorly engaged by British 9lbs. However this extra weight of fire soon drove the frenchmen out of the woods.
91st Highlanders face off against French skirmishers from a battalion of the 30th Ligne
By now the battle on the French left versus the Hanoverians was coming to a head. The lead battalion of the 9th Legere broke and then the rest of Mazarny brigade began to retire from the field. Though Mazarny was able to send forward his last fresh battalion to cover the retreat ... this of course broke the hanoverians!

1st battalion / 44th Ligne - The Rock of De Boukendail 
A battalion from Toussaint 2nd Brigade had pushed ahead of the rest of the brigade. They charged the Hanoverian battery and routed the gunners, then were counter charged by a german field battalion but held and then broke the germans. Before they could reorganize they were charged by a British Battalion (2/54th) but even though the British surge into them several times, they held on before forcing the 54th to retire! They only quite the field after the rest of the brigade was broken.

This brought an end to the battle in an Allied victory, though just. The Dutch were only holding on by miraculous efforts of its junior officers (ie Mike kept rolling 6's for his morale saves!). Though as noted above the unit of the game has to go to chris French battalion, it passed seven breaks test, most them at -2 or more during the game!

While not my best scenario, it is was pretty good and balanced overall; I believe everyone had a really good time and that is the main point of these games. Not sure when we'll next do a game, but think it will be in the 1813 Leipzig area with Prussians, Russians and French.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Bombers Over Germany

Last Saturday Ken ran a Check Your 6! game, it was a medium sized scenario as he wanted to tryout a few house rules. One was combining the pilot and plane agility modifiers, simplifying bomber defensive fire and using two CABs.  Below is his write up of how the game went.

Somewhere Over Germany, February 1944.
The American raid consisted of 16x B-17s (F’s and G’s) escorted at first by 4x P-51C’s and later by 4x P-47D Razorbacks. The Luftwaffe sent up to intercepted the bombers 4x ME-109G-6, 2x ME-110G-2/R3 and 2x FW-190A-8/R2.  Chris piloted the Allies while John and Ken flew the Defenders of the Reich.

Only the lead bomber of each group tracked altitude. 
 The P-51s preceded the bombers and dove to meet the incoming fighters aiming for the lumbering ME-110’s. The ME-109s maneuvered to protect the 110’s and 190’s.

The Dogfight Begins!
After a turn or two of maneuvering planes where in a position of open fire.

John’s ace ME-109 quickly dispatched three of the four P-51s, while heavy bomber fire damaged the ME-110s and FW-190s (despite the latter’s heavy armor).

The green ME-110 pilot scored the first bomber kill with a hail of cannon fire. The lone P-51 circled the periphery of the battle while the P-47s lead by Ace Robert Johnson closed with the German attackers.  John was able to maneuver his Ace ME-109 pilot behind a wounded bomber.  Needing to roll a 4 or higher on 2d6 to score an “aimed” hit, the pilot flinched at the wrong moment and John rolled a 3, just missing.

This pictorial evidence needs to be destroyed :)
Unfortunately for the bombers, both ME-110s maneuvered into trailing positions and opened up. Two turns in a row the Germans downed at least one bomber.  However the defensive fire from the remaining B-17's finally downed the slow moving 110’s.

After 12 turns the bombers had reached their drop point and we ended the game (the Luftwaffe had nothing to stop them at this point!). We then calculated victory points, though we had forgot to check crew survival at the moment of destruction, so the totals are swayed to the favor of the Germans initially but after all the victory points were tallied, the US gained a slight victory.

The butcher’s bill:
8 B-17s, 3 P-51s, 2 ME-110s, 2 FW-190 and 2 ME-109, 1 German Ace, 2 German Veteran pilots, 1 US Ace and 1 US Veteran pilot.

Not seen are two damaged ME-109's, one at a max speed of one!
Notes from the game
We used a modification to the bomber defensive fire rules in an attempt to speed up play. Basically the closet bomber to a fight was designated as the primary firer for base To_hit #, while other nearby bombers added in  To-Hit modifiers (Edit: it worked ok IMO). We also simplified the modifier by combing the pilot and plane modifiers together. We used the differential between the attack and defender and a chart for the range categories, then cross indexed with deflecting or tailing to locate To-hit #. It is simpler than it sounds. (Edit: this work really well and would take it a step further, use one range chart with To-Hit numbers increased by two. Then To-Hit roll is Range # = 2d6 + Attacker - Defender +2 Tailing. The usual cannon modifiers would apply if appropriate.)

Cannon fire is very deadly.  After playing some Pacific Theater games with Zeroes rolling 2d4 and 2d10s and Wildcats rolling 4d6 for damage, FW-190A-8/R2s rolling 2d20s and 2d10s results in more outright destructions over damaging.  This was also the first time in our playing of CY6! that an Ace pilot was shot down.

Next up Jets over Germany!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Resguardo Irregular Cavalry

I have painted my last unit for my Second Mexican-American War force! Of course I have said that in the past and seem to keep adding units to the army (and as I write this I realize I probably need to paint up six figures for the dismounted option for this unit!).

As I previously posted, I was not happy with the size of the Gringo40 figures. So I bought a pack of Old Glory irregular mexican cavalry on our last order with OG. These were from their mexican american war line, and I suspect not much would have changed in the ensuing 20 years, so I think they'll fit in pretty well as 1864 irregular cavalry . I did clip off the cross piece of the lances to make them more "modern" :)

I intend to use these figures as a Resguardo Irregular Cavalry unit, but I may also use them as line lancers. So I decided to paint them a little more uniformed than they "probably" would have been. I searched online for a pic, found one of a cavalryman in a bluish/grey jackets and greenish/black pants that I liked for inspiration. I mostly copied the picture but did add a few of my own flourishes (like the red/white/green bands) to get the below results.

Resguardo Irregular Cavalry
And to lead this trusty (well more likely untrustworthy) unit, is Fausto "I don't need no stinking rank" Hernandez.
Fausto Hernandez
The pack came with ten figures, and I used eight figures for the unit and the one for the leader. This left the below figure that I painted up as well. Not sure what I'll use him for, perhaps a scout or messenger, but most likely he'll grace the table as an NPC in any games we play.
Señor Pepe Romero with his old pistola

Our British force has fallen through, but looks like we have pick up another Mexican force. So I expect the next blog post for the MAW2 project will be a battle report of the first scenario of the programmed campaign I have worked on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Battle of Haberdorf - 1760

James was in town for a few days and had an inkling to game, so he grabbed his 15mm SYW figures from the garage and we had a pickup game last Saturday. We have of late been using Honours of War by Osprey Publishing for our Seven Years War fix. I have played HoW several times and enjoy the rules immensely, in particular when played with the 15mm figures (more room to game).

For this battle, James (left flank) and Steve (right flank) controlled the Prussian army of (from left to right), a Cavalry Brigade of four regiments, an Infantry Brigade of five battalions and a light battery, an Infantry Brigade of six battalions, an Infantry Brigade of six battalions, an Infantry Brigade of five battalions and a light battery, and a Cavalry Brigade of four regiments. Finally they had an Independent battery of medium guns.

Chris (left) and I (right) ran the Russian Army. It was composed of (left to right) a Cavalry Brigade of four regiments, an Infantry Brigade of six battalions and a light battery, a Grenadier Brigade of six battalions and a light battery, an Infantry Brigade of six battalions and a light battery, and a Cavalry Brigade of four regiments. Finally we had two independent batteries of medium guns and a cossack regiment of inferior quality.

Each side had an Army break level of sixteen, and the crossroads objective was worth two army breakpoints. While the Prussian army received a +1 to their move initiative roll and their cavalry was efficient at maneuvering, the Russians had two more grenadier battalions and one less inferior battalion than the Prussian side, they had two battalions of Saxons (who of course are always inferior in any ruleset).

We set up the table and roughed out our battle plans … then we rolled for our brigadier command ability. We have found that this makes for a much more exciting game by rolling the quality of the brigadiers after the setup. In this case both Prussian cavalry brigadiers were Dithering, while the trailing Prussian infantry brigadier was Dashing. The Russians only had one Dithering brigadier, and the rest of the leaders on either side were deemed Dependable.


The Russian right flank was pretty congested, and I soon realized that I needed to get the far right infantry brigade out of the way of the cavalry that was bringing up the rear of the column.

But true to form the dithering commanders on both sides failed to advance at the start of the game. In particular this really hurt the Prussian left flank cavalry brigade as they had a chance to really clog up the Russian right. They rolled so badly that it was in fact the Russian cavalry that moved through the gap and charged home. However, after the dust settled it was the Russians who were decimated! One lone Dragoon regiment was all the stood between the beat up Prussian cavalry brigade (sans 1 dragoon rgt) and the flank of the Russian battle line.

The cavalry on the other flank also clashed, while not as decisive nor as bloody as the other flank, it did keep both sides cavalry out of the rest of the battle. The Russians for the most part rallied enough regiments to push the Prussian cavalry off the battlefield by the end of the battle.

In the center, the two infantry battle lines slowly advanced towards each other (the Prussians deployed earlier than expected), and so the only sounds of combat were some sporadic artillery fire from both sides artillery batteries.

But the Prussian advance began in earnest once it had formed two lines of infantry. Sadly the two units of Saxons were in the center brigade and once they clashed with the Russians quickly collapsed leaving a large hole in the Prussian line.

The Russians had two medium batteries, an infantry brigade and the grenadier brigade to hold off the approaching three Prussian Infantry brigades (a couple of Grenadier battalions in each of the flank brigade). The two sides spent the bulk of the next couple of hours hammering away at each other, with the Prussians ever so slowly pushing the Russians back. The Prussian side controlled the objective for most of the battle and this brought the Russian army close to breaking. Once the Russian line fell back to a line that had a copse of woods that anchored its left flank, the tide started to turn the final fresh brigade of russian infantry finally got into action.

The far right Prussian brigade of infantry tried to turn the Russian left flank, but it just took to long to develope and they spent to much time worry over cossacks! It was successful up to a point, as it forced the Russians to fall back to protect their flank. But by this time the last fresh infantry brigade was crashing into the depleted Prussian center.

The third Russian infantry brigade had to wait a bit to find room to deploy. Though this allowed it to arrive in the nick of time! It swung to the right and came into action and soon swept away the depleted Prussian battalions trying to hold on in the center.

We played for almost five hours before the Prussian army broke. The game ended seventeen to twelve for the army morale, as the Russians were able to recapture the crossroads and rout several battalions on the last turn.

As is becoming the norm with these rules, I had a blast playing and am already looking forward to the next time we can game. I highly recommend the rules to anyone interested in the Seven Years War, though I think it is best using 15mm figures as you can have units march on, a second battle line, turning movements and a reformation area et... which is much more difficult (impossible) to do in 28mm.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

US 155mm Battery

Lately I have been finishing up old projects, and this week it was a section of US 155mm howitzers for Flames of War that I finally finished.

A new 4th edition FOW is coming out this year (IMO entirely NOT needed), though it is geared toward Mid-War (which is entirely needed). Fortunately most of my American forces can be used in both mid or late war, as can these 155mm's.

US 155mm Howitzer Section
The green on the howitzers was darker than I wanted, but it will suffice for gaming. With all the 28mm figures I have painted these past few years, I had forgotten how much darker paints looks on 15's.
The 155mm Howitzer model barely fits on the supplied base
I went with a painted table, as I felt a wood color would blend to much with the pants. I like this staff team set, especially as it is just a generic set.
The Staff Team, ready to repeat any bombardments or coordinate other indirect fire.
I was not happy with how the tan jackets turned out, and they really don't look the same as my original US figures. I will just tell myself that they are newer issued jackets and have not faded as much :)
Battery Commander, he also can acts as a secondary spotter.
I really liked the FO figures, and the only thing that would have made them better is if the figure on the left was either looking through binos or was consulting a map.
FO Team, ready to call in the big guns!
I may look at finishing up my French Foreign legion figures ... I have a few AT guns and another platoon to do for them. Though I am trying to talk myself into doing up a Team Yankee army for the store.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pike & Shotte Campaign Battle - The Bridge

Even though I told the guys I wasn't going to blog about yesterday's game, I do have a few pics of the game, and thought it would be easy to do a quick post.

Mike had arrange for another round of the P&S campaign they've been running (even convinced me to roll up a mercenary command!). Mike and Troy supplied all the figures and set up the table for the The Bridge scenario out of the mini campaign in The Devils Playground book. Brett was also able to make it, so it turned into a two vs two game.

Troy and I set up on the left of the river, while Mike and Brett set up on the right. They won the initiative which allowed Mike to throw forward a pike block onto the bridge. Brett, Troy and I basically sat around for the next couple of turns (Brett and I searching for a ford in the river).

The Bridge
 The victory condition for the scenario is to control the bridge for three consecutive turns ... of course Troy and I spent the next two turns dawdling around our baseline! So before we lost, I had my commander take charge of a group of rabble and charge the bridge (passed a Follow Me order).

My lone unit of militia was all that stood between victory and defeat ... as it turned out only a few more turns before defeat took hold of our armies :) but we did manage to do a little damage to some shotte units.

Deciding enough was enough, Mike ordered his pike block to changed into column and charged across the bridge into my militia. Surprisingly it took a couple of turns (and misinterpreted rule) before the pikemen gained the advantage and drove off my militia. 

By now the bulk of Mike's and Brett's foot units were supporting the unit on the bridge and to top it off, Brett's cavalry finally found the ford and started crossing the river.

After being driven back from my now shaken militia broke my command. This was because earlier in the game, some musketry had drove off my other Militia unit (they actually ran away when I tried to rally them!) My unit of Cuirassier never were able to join the fray.

We called the game and rolled for experience and extra units as per the rules. It seems that my Cuirassiers were issued lances and learned how to use them (Lancer ability and +1 H-to-H), while a unit of militia pick up a few muskets (+1 shooting) and finally, the crew of the medium guns was issued some swords (+1 H-to-H). So after the game this is what my Mercenary Company looked liked (no extra units):

Captain Bruenig (Reliable, SR=7)

Unit Type Weapon H-to-H Shooting Morale Stamina Special
Cuirassier Heavy Horse Lance, Sword & Pistol 7 - 4+ 2 Mercenary, Caracole,
Hvy Cav +1, Lancer
Militia Foot Warband Mixed Melee & Ranged 1 1 6 2 Mercenary, Militia, Rabble
Militia Foot Warband Mixed Melee 1 - 6 2 Mercenary, Militia, Rabble
Artillery Ordnance Light Gun (24") 1 3-2-1 6 1 Mercenary
Artillery Ordnance  Medium Gun (36") 2 3-2-1 6 1 Mercenary

There is also talk about a reset and fiddling around with the campaign rules (Troy's leader now commands 13 units!).