Sunday 27 October 2013

Crimean War Russians

I made a start basing up my Crimean Russians this weekend. I still need to put sand send static grass onto the bases but thought I would post a couple photos anyway. Shown are two regiments of hussars, two of Cossacks (all Foundry) and eight battalions, i.e. two regiments, of infantry (Ebor miniatures).

Wednesday 23 October 2013

More Crimean War British

Well, I might not have been able to do any painting over the last two weeks but I have managed to do some basing and tufting! Shown here is the so called Light Division (less one battalion, the 23rd Foot), with supporting artillery. The figures are a mixture of Foundry, Great War Miniatures and Warlord Games, and they all appear to fit in well together. This brings my British infantry to completion, as I now have these six battalions, plus three each of Highlanders and Guards for the 1st Division, with supporting field and horse artillery. The cavalry, in the shape of the Light Brigade, are almost done; just got one last unit of light dragoons to do. I also need to finish my commanders and casualty markers then the army is complete.

I had made good progress with the Russians but I am stalled at present post operation. Nevertheless, there are 16 battalions painted and waiting patiently to be based up, plus lots of artillery and cavalry in various stages of completion. I will put some photos up once they're done.

Thursday 10 October 2013

Normal service not quite resumed........

Well, I was ejected, er, discharged, from hospital on Tuesday afternoon and am now enjoying the delights of daytime tv, and I am home being very well looked after. Far too early to know if the operation was a success although my left leg and foot are quite numb in parts thanks to the battering my nervous system has taken, making walking difficult. All perfectly normal apparently and my back doesn't hurt much, even the bit that makes me look like a Borg with lots of metal staples in it!

Itching to get up to the games room to get on with some painting, and get the Crimean Russians fully based up, but as I'm not allowed to sit for too long or at all if hunched up, and the stairs are a bit tricky to negotiate at the moment I may have to wait a little while yet. Hopefully next week, as I keep forgetting that I had what amounts to major surgery on Monday.

Thursday 3 October 2013

American Civil War battle report

This summer in a moment of madness and opportunism I bought two ACW armies off Paul Stevenson. He was shifting the Redoubt Miniatures part of his collection. Painted, based, lots of them and a bargain too! John came up this week for a game and as it'll be my last at home for a few weeks subject to the after effects of my operation next week, we decided to givethe ACW troops a baptism of fire in their new home.

The scenario was a simple one. Both sides had a brigade of cavalry and three of infantry. The Confederates had 3 regiments of cavalry and ten of infantry with  4 guns while the Federals had 2 units of cavalry and 12 of infantry. Four of the Federal infantry units were classed as 'large', but they were also 'newly raised' which in Black Powder means that you don't quite know how they will perform when first in contact with the enemy. The Federals were supported by 5 batteries. Both armies' objective was the vital crossroads in the centre of the table, and they entered from opposite corners. Both sides forces would be preceded by their cavalry followed by at least one brigade of infantry in turn 1.
I got to go first and threw low for my cavalry so we made it right up to the crossroads with one regiment while a second, supported by their artillery, occupied the building and surrounding area. The third regiment moved up in support. My first infantry brigade headed off through the woods on my right to try and get to the road before the Federals. John started by throwing a blunder! His cavalry belted off straight ahead up the road and almost crashed into mine. His next command roll for the infantry following them up was also a blunder! They headed off in more or less the right direction, through the woods. His next brigade managed to get on the table but there was one hell of a traffic jam developing!
My cavalry shook out into line and shot up the Federal horsemen, disordering them in the process. The Confederates then occupied the cherry orchard and moved their supporting cavalry up, to catch the Federals from the front and in the flank and disorder them again. The other Federal cavalry advanced and dismounted in the cornfields, and were trading fire with the Rebs in the buildings. Federal infantry were advancing in long columns, and the remaining Confederates were also on the table and making steady progress towards the enemy. My brigade on the right made slow work of occupying the fence line on the road but managed to eventually without much hindrance from the Federals as John was throwing some miserable command dice which stopped him deploying fast and take advantage of his superior numbers.
The Federal cavalry brigade was eventually driven off as both units were shaken, leaving a nice hole for Johns infantry to plug. On the left my infantry made slow progress but did manage to form some sort of rather exposed line along the fence line. The dismounted cavalry in the orchard were driven off and broken by Federal infantry.

One of John's regiments on my left was exposed and not well supported so I threw common sense to the wind and charged it with one of my units. Another managed to throw a low command score and moved around its flank and deployed into line. I survived the closing fire. But in the melee, although I killed 3 of the Federals, I missed ALL my saves and lost 5 in return, thereby loosing the melee. I failed my break test and ran. Both supporting units had to take break tests, and both also failed and broke. So in less a few minutes my whole left flank was up in the air! Thankfully, John's brigade facing them was badly cut up with half it's units shaken.
On the right we spent most of the game exchanging long range fire and neither side was able to close as we were being very efficient at disordering each other. I lost a gun which was left exposed when I tried to withdraw my dismounted cavalry and replace them with an infantry regiment who failed to move up into the line. John's two brigades on my right were getting badly shot up, disordered and one unit in each was shaken. I was winning the fire fight (just!) but the Federal reserves pushed through and renewed the fight with fresh troops.

At this point we had to call it a day. We were both within one brigade of our respective army break points, although I felt that my position would be untenable if we'd played another couple of moves. As it was it was agreed we had fought each other to a draw, although the Confederates would in truth have struggled to hold the superior Federal numbers at bay if we'd gone on much longer, although there was a reasonable chance that the Federals may have had more troops shaken in the process. We will never know.
It was a good game and we got a lot done in about 3 hours with quite large forces. I think the ACW chapter in BP is a bit of a space filler (as indeed is the Crimean one imho) as it doesn't really suggest much more than a basic knowledge of the period, troop types, etc. No matter, the joy of BP is that you can tinker with them to make them 'feel' right to your heart's content. John made an interesting comment as well, that whatever period you play using BP it never feels like just another game using the same set of rules, e.g. ACW feel like ACW, SYW feel like SYW. Having played a whole range of games and periods using BP (and P&S) over the past few months I would happily agree.

Franco-Prussian War: Fighting to a conclusion

This weeks game at the club was the concluding part of the Franco-Prussian War game started last week. I was determined to see the game through to a decision as I won't be able to get the the club for several weeks. I'm hoping that I'll be able to do a little painting once I get home from hospital, as I am very close to getting my Crimean War collection battle ready. Fingers crossed!

We left the battle with the Bavarians trying to oust the French from the main town with their supporting Wurtemburgers manfully soaking up long range French chassepot and artillery fire. My Prussians were in retreat having failed to take the village on the river, leaving an uhlan regiment dangerously exposed to close range rifle fire. Oops! Meanwhile, the French main force was being attacked by a Baden brigade on the flank and a Prussian brigade with supporting cavalry in its rear.

 (Bavarians and Wurtemburgers press home their attack on the town and evict the4 French defenders after a hard melee)

(At the other end of the battlefield the Prussians advance slowly driving all before them while the Baden brigade are held up by a combination of deadly chassepot fire and some aggressive French cavalry.)
(The last desperate French line of defence)
 (The second Prussian assault on the small village guarding the ford. This was also beaten off but the defenders were left shaken and part of an exhausted brigade)

 So ended the game. The French were being attacked on three sides and the main Prussian objective had been taken. A very fluid and fast moving game with lots going on. Man of the match has to go to the French cavalry who messed up the Badener's attack very nicely even if they were all driven off in the end.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

More Poles, Prussians and Crimean War

Quite a few figures appear to be rumbling off the stocks at the moment. First of all are the last of my Polish 17thC cavalry, in the form of more Cossacks and Pancerni.

 (Dancing bear. The model is actually a Games Workshop Empire piece but works ok for 17thC Poles I think)
 The following photos are of elements of the British part of my Crimean War collection. Brigade of Guards, Highland Brigade, the Rifle Brigade, foot and horse artillery and 4/5ths of the Light Cavalry Brigade. I have another 5 British regiments painted up but I'm waiting for the flags. Generals and the last squadron for the Light Brigade are on the painting table.The Russians are well on their way with 12 battalions and some of the artillery ready for basing and 4 more battalions, the generals, the rest of the artillery and 4 regiments of cavalry on the go.

 Finally here are some shots of my Austro or France Prussian War Prussian infantry. Three battalions so far. Long ago I had these armies in 6mm. Almost enough to do Konigratz or most FPW early battles! Faced with an attack of realism, I fancy painting up enough 28mm figures to do the campaign on the Maine with Prussians and their allies (maybe 10-12 btns) against the Austrians, Bavarians and other Federal German states in VII and VIII Federal Corps.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day as John is coming up to fight an ACW game in 28mm.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Wargamers' porn.......

I got this in the post today. I will do a review once my blood pressure is back to normal ;o) Oh I must have a lie down!