Tuesday, 17 January 2017

1st Nivernais

It took me a bit longer than I anticipated but I finally finished the second battalion of my French WSS force. Like the 1st Bourbon this battalion is part of Montmorency's Brigade at Blenhiem.

I like the colours of this battalion. The strange mix of blue cuffs, red gaiters and yellow hat lace makes them look very colourful. This contrasts well with their flag which is somewhat understated.

I'm not sure about the cuff colour. I looked at a lot of reference material and other models of this unit and the colour varied dramatically, from a light cobalt to a very dark blue (even a dark green bordering on black). I opted for a dark sky blue.

Again, I made the flags using photoshop.

I mounted them on the custom 60 x 50mm bases that we had made by Mike Parker.

The photos are taken in front of some card-stock buildings that I made a few weeks back, just before Christmas. For a dollar per pdf, paper and pages from a watercolour pad they make very nice 28mm terrain (they can be scaled to any figure size too). The most expensive part about these is the printer ink cartridges.





Tuesday, 10 January 2017

My First WSS Regiment

Well, I've started into my 2017 War of Spanish Succession project.

This is the 1st Bourbon Regiment from Montmorency's Brigade as at Blenheim. I decided to use Blenheim as a reference point because there is a lot of information available and I decided to start with Montmorency's Brigade because I once use to live in the Melbourne suburb of Montmorency and it isn't far from where I live now.

I'm going to make about 7 or 8 infantry regiments, 2 or 3 of cavalry, one dragoon regiment and a few guns. For "Lily Banners" that's about three commands and should be enough to get some decent games underway.

The figures are Ebor Miniatures and although they look quite nice they're not as easy to paint as Front Rank and they require quite a bit to effort to clean up mold lines. I hope that then next regiment I do are a better cast.

Anyway, the end result looks nice.

The flags were, again, made by me using photoshop. The flag finials are by by Front Rank, they top the whole thing off very nicely.





Monday, 2 January 2017

WWII ~ My Introduction to Wargaming

I decided to paint up some WWII stuff.

Like many folks of my era, I was introduced to wargaming and modelling via Airfix kits and plastic figures. These figures were HO/OO scale or, 1/72 or, as they are called today 20mm. I played a lot of WWII wargames in my youth and I had a very large collection of figures and vehicles of all nations. Unfortunately I sold them off a long while back for a variety of reasons and never played WWII again.

Until now!

In getting back into WWII, I had options. This time around I can go for 15mm, 28mm, 18mm etc but I opted for good old 1/72 (20mm). To me this is the correct scale for WWII. There are loads of cheap figures available as well as a huge range of vehicle, AFV and aircraft kits.
One thing I really don't understand is WWII in 28mm. To me it just seems an expensive and limited option to take.

I like WWII wargaming at the tactical level using a 1:1 man/figure/vehicle ratio and I like games to be platoon or, at the most, company sized encounters. The rules I use to use are not appreciated by today's players so I've had to look for something new and as yet I haven't settled on anything. I might just be a stick in the mud and keep with what I like. Who knows?

So, I went out and bought some troops. A box of Germans and a box of G.I.'s. I thought a platoon of each would be a good starting point. I figured a platoon of each, with a couple of vehicles added should be able to provide some simple games as well as being good for testing out various sets of rules.

The figures I got are by Valiant Games. They are supposed to be 1/72 but they are actually a bit bigger. No worries though because I don't intend to buy many of them. Each box has a full platoon as well as heavy weapons so they are just what I want.

Anyhow, I painted up a platoon of G.I.'s first ~ 41 figures in three 12 man sections and a 5 man command team ~  and they took me about a week (due to Christmas festivities). I expect the Germans to take less than that when I get started. They are nice figures. I did a pretty basic paint job on them and they came up okay. They are based on washers because they're cheap and to give them some weight.








Sunday, 25 December 2016

First CSA Regiment

'Tis Boxing Day and I hope that you've all survived Christmas with all your faculties intact.

Hot on the heels of my Test ACW Federal regiment come these brave Secessionists.

I did these with my same quick-paint method: flesh, block colours, limited detail, watered down wash (GW Agrax Earthshade) and mat varnish brushed on. It's a fast and effective way to get large battalions done quickly. I water-down the wash about 50/50 so that it gets into the nooks and crannies without staining the colours very much.

I took my time with these guys due to those things that you have to do at this time of the year. So they ended up taking me about 6 days from start to finish. I did them as a basic, 5 base, regiment for the new Pickett's Charge rules.

I made the flag using Photoshop out of a basic Confederate flag image I found on the net.




Saturday, 17 December 2016

Holding Rupert ~ Last Battle for 2016

Holding Rupert - Is that the town or Parliament's objective?

A Parliamentary army is holed up in a strong defensive position in a small town. They have stone walls, buildings and  a swift, yet shallow river. They are out numbered by about two to one with the hope of reinforcements arriving on one of the flanks.

As with our last game one of our players was missing. This time it was Leith. As previously we started the game with the proviso that when Leith arrived he would march his troops onto the table in the nick of time to save the day.

So this time it was Tom and I with our brave Kings Men led by Prince Rupert who had this one chance to crush the Roundheads led by Essex (Neil). Chee-Yan Hiew (Chee) joined in to help Neil out on the Parliament right. King Charles was also in attendance in a non-command role and basically bringing  the Devil's own luck to my command rolls.

Royalist Deployment

We were pretty much packed into our deployment zone. Some idiot had placed several fields in our deployment zone making things very difficult (okay it was me). Both Tom & I deployed in the aggressive Swedish style with our musketeers forward.








A King's eye view of the battlefield.

The Roundhead Defence.




Let the Battle Commence

I managed a modest advance on the right flank but in my center I was hampered by the wheat fields. My horse, which started off the table failed to arrive. I guess they were still under the weather from the previous night's carousing. Tom failed to get off his start line on the left but, by using Rupert's command, he go his center to advance.




Turn two: I failed all of my command rolls. My horse still failed to arrive. Tom managed to advance but one regiment of horse rolled a Blunder and left the table (no doubt to plunder some baggage). His cannon managed some accurate shooting and did some nasty work on one of Chee's musketeer units.

I got moving again on my flank and my horse arrived ready to dash forward and rout the enemy (well that was my plan).



First blood of the day: The unfortunate musketeers below (center) and the accurate 
gunners that dealt them a harsh lesson.


Cannon fire was being exchanged on both sides. My dragoons on foot managed to plough through the wheat field and get off some shots at the Roundheads' near the bridge in the center. My commanded shotte on the right made a mad dash to a hillock only to find Cromwell and his Ironside's waiting on the other side of the river. All would have been fine but the rest of the battallia stayed put and so they found themselves isolated way out in front of the rest of the army.


In the center Vaughn's regiment was still bogged down in the wheat fields partly due to poor command rolls. But I did get one regiment around and into musketry range thanks to a command role via Rupert. Tom was making a slow but steady advance with his guns continuing their deadly fire into Chee's ranks.






As I expected, Cromwell called to his cuirassiers, "Follow Me." But they didn't. 
The King's influence on my command roles continued and the battallia on the right flank again, refused to move. As did my horse, those doughty chaps on whom I placed much faith. Drunk again, think I.

Again Cromwell called to his men and this time they followed!

Commanded Shotte: 3 dice, plus an extra dice for First Fire, hitting on 3's for close range... I rolled one hit and the Ironside's shrugged it off like an annoying blowfly. Amazingly, the commanded shotte stood their ground in the first round of combat and even managed to inflict some casualties. I even managed to get a full regiment in support for the second round.


Unfortunately the commanded shotte didn't survive the second round of combat.
Time to form a hedgehog, men!



Tom's steady advance continued on the left. He was further away from King Charles so my guess is that the influence of his Devil's Luck on Tom's command roles was less than the infernal influence on mine.

More Parliament horse crossed the river and I was forced to form two regiments into hedgehogs. The royalist musketry and cannon was beginning to tell and a few of Neil's unit's fled the field as our slow advance continued.



See these units? This is the result of a poorly worded order. "Advance", said I, and I rolled very low so they had to advance as far as possible, only to get bogged down in the river.

I attempted to charge the cuirassiers and only managed to trot slowly forward which failed to contact. Neil, in his turn managed to charge home. I counter charged and the cavalry battle was on!

William Waller, attempted to rally one of his musketeer units and failed miserably. He blundered and they had to charge the closest enemy unit. They jumped the wall and into the river but they were already in bad shape and they lost and routed.




Horse v's Horse 

The cavalry battle that started with the cuirassiers charging ended up going on for a few turns. I lost the first round and the Ironside's followed up with a Sweeping Advance and sent my horse packing. They then managed to pull back.

I did get another regiment of horse up to deal with them using a Follow Me order, and they managed to push the Ironsides back in disorder. Unfortunately my horse couldn't follow up because they were forced to retire.

But Cromwell, that wily warty faced scoundrel, called another Follow Me and smashed my second regiment after following up with another Sweeping Advance. They didn't rout but they were shaken which was enough to break the battallia.



Tom's foot were now in a strong position and able to pour an overwhelming amount of musketry across the river.

The Parliament left was looking thin and despite the success of their horse the battallia was now broken. 

Outcome:

We called the game at this point. Parliament would have been able to make a controlled withdrawal even though their left was broken. The river and a need for my troops to reorganize would help them and I had no horse capable to chasing them down. Their center and right were still in good order but flagging. 

What happened to Sir Leith and his reinforcements?

We don't know. Just like our game two weeks previously, the reinforcements didn't arrive.


Bonus pic:
Using photoshop & one of the pics above I decided to design a cover for
a fictional 1970's set of rules that might have been had they ever be written: