Thursday, 22 September 2016

Landwehr Sculpt #3

It took me a bit longer due to unexpected events but I finally managed to finish the 3rd sculpt for my Prussian Landwehr.

This one's a little different in that he has a different cap, his right leg is forward and his knapsack is on his hip instead of on his back. Other than that he's pretty much the same. His cap makes him appear a bit taller than the other two.

I like the sense of determination on in this sculpt.

Sorry for the bad pics (I really need a better camera).

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Landwehr Sculpt #2

It's been a few weeks but sculpt #2 is finished.
I had to wait for a musket to be cast (so that I don't have to sculpt them over and over again) and that took a bit longer that I anticipated.

Anyhoo, here is #2. He's pretty much the same as the first figure except that he seems much uglier than his pal. With this chap I decided to lean his body further forward. This gives a couple of nice effects - a) It make him look more animated, and b) it gives him more forward momentum & urgency. Both hands holding the musket gives him a look of more determination as well as a sense vulnerability.

Another thing that is different is the inclusion of cuff on his sleeves. Landwehr of this period wore a range of clothing and not everyone in a regiment could be expected to be dressed the same so the inclusion of variations is accurate.

You may also notice the axe which is carried in place of the sword normally carried by the line infantry. This was also a common occurrence with various tools carried in this manner.

All in all, I quite like this one.

One thing that I noticed is that in the photos his right arm looks a bit thin but on the actual figure this isn't the case. On a more critical look it's due to a crease in the underside of his coat sleeve. I think I might need to fix this.

I was loaned a book detailing all of the Prussian Landwehr units of 1813/14 and it has some nice detail. One image that I like is a Landwehr Pioneer. I've never seen one of these in 28mm so it's definitely a figure worth making.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

The Prussians Keep on Coming

They've slowed down a bit but the Prussians are still coming.

The next lot for my Prussian Project is the 12th Reserve Infantry Regiment. These chaps are part of the 8th Brigade. I'm making both the 7th and 8th Brigades 1813. There are a couple of reasons I'm making both brigades: a) They each share half of the same cavalry regiments, b) Neither brigade is large enough to field as a wargaming "Army", c) Both brigades are based around the Leib Regiment / Brandenburg troops, & d) The more troops the better.

The 12th Reserve Infantry have a pretty simple uniform. Grey with red collar tabs (the 3rd battalion had dark orange collar tabs). I did take a couple of liberties with their uniform by adding red piping on their cuffs and along the bottom of the jacket. The reason for this being that I used Perry plastics for them and I had to slice of the cuff flaps which left half the cuff with piping and a flat bit where I removed the flap. So, a red piping line fixed this.

As for the red piping in the coat... Well their coat is not supposed to have tails but the figures do have tails. I decided to paint piping on the tails (even though you can hardly see them) because the detail on their left hand side is almost nil. So to define the line between their jacket and pants I, once again, decided on a line of red piping.

They look okay anyhow. At least I could paint the Command base to represent the Line Infantry cadre who came from the Leib Regiment (8th Line).

And here's a pic of how they may have appeared in a wargaming publication of the 1960's or 70's

Saturday, 3 September 2016

It's September, again and that means, Pirates!

It has become an annual thing that every September NWA turns it's collective mind to all things Piratey.

This year kicked off on Friday evening with an all in pirate brawl. Sailing our ships around three tables, shooting at each and every other player & searching the various islands for hidden plunder. And so, El h'Emmingo, brave and handsome captain of the Hairy Kraken, took to the high seas to do his best pirating.

We used the old tried and tested Legend's of the Hugh Sea's rules (from GW Historical). They have been tweaked a bit over the years to make games a bit easier to organise. In this respect everyone starts with the same crew: 1 Captain, 2 officers, 3 Cutthroats and 6 Pirates/Rogues and a small ship with 4 canon. The Cutthroats each have a musket and all the rest of the crew, a sword and pistol.

 The view from the port  with the big island visible at the far end.

The Hairy Kraken and her determined crew of cutthroats & scurvy sea dogs.

We were told to place our ship anywhere on the table. I chose the far end off the coast of the large island. The only other ship close by was Stephen's ship which was docked at the jetty.

My Plan was simple: Sail up in front of Steve's ship while he's stuck, blast his ship with canister, kill the crew and steal his ship. What could be easier?

Phase 1 of the cunning plan: "Rake 'em with canister men!"

Well, I caught Steve completely by surprise whilst his crew searched the cargo on the jetty. Unfortunately, 12 months of not pirating and I got the rules wrong and under played my canister shots, which lead to the killing of only two of Steve's crew. A musket shot took another of his crew but Steve replied with his own muskets and killed one of my jolly chaps.

I was slowing down the Hairy Kraken and kept close to Steve and in the next turn I managed to get in another two shots of canister. Steve's crew had already moved back onto the ship and my guns took three of them this time. All of my muskets missed as did the enemy's.

Now that Steve had his crew aboard he decided to sail and I had to get out of the way quickly. Unfortunately (for El h'Emmingo) the placing of the ships meant that Steve managed to get a shot of canister at the Hairy Kraken and killed 3 of the crew. The swine!

But, the blackguard Steve sailed away and E' h'Emmingo managed to turn the HK and pull up at the jetty and from there alighted  for a search of the island.

Leaving some of the crew to guard the ship, El h'Emmingo decided to head for the mysterious cave not far from shore...

El h'Emmingo leads his crew from the front.

Whereupon a ragged priest with obvious mental illness problems and a sword, charged out and attacked! I decided to try and placate him with kind piratey words but he stabbed me. So I killed him and, in traditional D&D fashion looted his bloody corpse. "Does he have a +1 sword?" I asked. Alas no... But he did have a silver crucifix and a be-gemmed rosary. He also had a hostage, who turned out to be none other than the Governor's winsome Daughter. Will she succumb to the Latin charms of the handsome El h'Emmingo?

Meanwhile, back at the ship, Tom sailed up. Musket shots were exchanged and another of the Hairy Kraken's brave crew fell to the deck mortally wounded. Then he sailed away again only to be attacked by The Kraken!

Captain Rufus House (Sean) then sailed up and decided to ignore the Hairy Kraken and take on The Kraken. Whereupon, with two extremely accurate shots from his canon managed to virtually kill the beast, earning himself the moniker: Squid Killer!

Tom v's The Kraken (with Fly as the Pirate Master) 

And so... El h'Emmingo and the remaining crew of Hairy K sailed off to the far distant port, delivered the Governor's Daughter & picked up a reward. And, as our brave legend of the high sea's sailed out of port for more adventure, the game ended with El h'Emmingo the victor with the most loot (1400 doubloons).

Here's some more photo's care of Richard B.

Charles' crew do not appear to be faring very well at all.

 And your beloved blogger in action at the far end of the table.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Prussian Landwehr Test Sculpt

I need Landwehr for the two Prussian corps that I'm building. Unfortunately, I need about 180 of them. To me, that's a lot of figures and that means 'expensive' (especially if I buy them from Perry). I could get them from Elite Miniatures who have a distributor here in Australia but that still comes to a cost of bout $500 for the lot.

So, I decided to try sculpting them. The pic below is my test figure. I've never made any Napoleonic figures before and, when it comes down to it, these guys are a good starter due to their no-frills uniforms.

I'm quite happy with him for a first attempt and the photos don't really do him justice. Size-wise he'll fit well with Perry metals. He's a bit chunky next to their plastic Prussians but, then again, so are their own metals. I'll be taking him for a trip to Eureka for some critique later today.

I had to change the way I sculpt for this figure. Part of the reason for this is that I haven't sculpted for a while and I'm a bit rusty. However, the newer method I tried proved to be much easier. All it involved was using lots of smaller pieces of putty and using a different combo of tools.

Anyway, here's Landwehr Ludwig:

Saturday, 20 August 2016

August Napoleonic Game

After a couple of weeks rest from Napoleonic's we had another game last night at the club. I had a few more Prussians to put on the table this time around so my opponent Mike Goldyn added some Polish cavalry to forces. This time around we set up a simple table and set up on opposite edges and advanced towards each other.

I watched an episode of Battlground (the old Edward Woodwood TV show about wargaming) and noted that during each move the players would state what they were doing. So we tried doing this and it seemed to work pretty well. It seems that communication is an important factor when it comes to simultaneous movement. Because you're not reacting to enemy movement in "your move", stating your intentions clearly and carrying them out as stated make matters easier. If something happens that causes you to react differently that you stated there is the rule of taking 1/4 of a move to assess the changed situation and reacting accordingly.

Besides all that, we're going back to old school gaming and it seems the gentlemanly thing to do. So why not do it that way.

Anyway, the game started simply with both sides advancing. I pushed out my skirmishers on both flanks. I had my (new) gun battery deployed from the first move and they started a barrage from turn 1, inflicting some casualties on the Polish center.

We continued to advance with a Polish cavalry regiment making its presence know coming from the flank around some woodson the right. My fusilier battalion turned to face them and formed into a closed column. This formation, which isn't included in the rules, became a topic of confusion in later turns. My Fusilier company skirmishing out front made a dash for the protection of the nearby woods and became separated from their parent unit.

In the center, my guns continued their barrage and inflicted more casualties on the center Polish battalion. On the right a Prussian musketeer battalion formed line on the top of a hill and my two squadrons of uhlans advanced.

Turn three and both the Polish and Prussian cavalry charged. Prussian shooting caused a casualty on the Poles but it wasn't enough to stop them from charging home. On the right the Polish infantry formed square and brought fire to bear on the uhlans from the front and flank causing a single casualty. The flank fire, although not effective was enough of a factor to prevent their charging home and they retired in good order. But the Polish square took some casualties from the Prussian guns.

 On the flanks skirmishers from both sides fired on each other with some minor casualties caused but without any decisive outcomes.

Turn 4 - Because the Polish charge took the entire period of turn 4 to hit home the resulting combat didn't take place until turn 3. We didn't know what to do with the closed column so we decided on reduced factors as per a square. This seemed to work for the first round of combat where the Polish cavalry forced the Prussian closed column back. A morale test had the Prussians holding firm which triggered a morale test for the Poles who also passed the option to charge again.

The Skirmishing continued on the flanks with the same results as before. The guns gain opened up on the Polish center battalion who were now looking a bit battered. The uhlans retired voluntarily in good order.

Turn 5 - The Polish continued to advance in the canter but the poor center battalion were now in canister range and took a pounding but a morale test had them Halt where they were (not a good thing for the next turn - Had it happened!). Although by this time after 5 consecutive turns of firing the Prussian guns needed to rest.

So what happened?

The Polish cavalry pushed on into the Prussian column and this time hit them hard (5 casualties). This is where we got a bit unstuck. The closed column seemed to be completely ineffective. They may as well have been in a column of divisions.

We talked it over and called in some other fine fellows (Messers Jenkins and Gerhrad) for their opinions. We came to the conclusion that the closed column should be treated as a square if attacked from the front or rear but as a column if attacked from the flank. We also talked pros and cons of square v's closed column.

When you look at it Square provides the best formation v's cavalry. However it's static but also enables shooting from all sides. The closed column should be solid from the front or rear but only enables shooting from the front. On the plus side it's mobile.

We decided that squares don't get pushed back following a combat but they will suffer from being unformed like all other formations. Any resulting morale tests will normally see average troops holding firm but there is the likelihood that poor troops (Spanish/Neapolitan, etc...) could break and run. A closed column, because it's a mobile formation would be pushed back the 50mm for losing a combat as stated in the rules. It would also become unformed. But, like the square you could expect half decent troops to hold firm from resulting morale tests.

Likewise most cavalry, if they a forced to retire, could easily reform for a second try.

And something else to consider: The rules don't take into account cavalry being blown. There is no mention of this anywhere in the rules!

Another problem that arose from this melee was: If the cavalry's morale test results in "Charge" do they charge in the follow up round or are they just continuing to press the attack? We didn't solve this question because it got lost in all the talk of squares and closed columns.

Overall, it was another good game. We keep getting bogged down with situations that we can't easily solve but this is okay. The idea of all these small games (apart from the fact that my forces are still quite small) is to hammer the rules into good working order. The other basic aspects- movement, shooting, formation changes, etc... has become faster and we can pretty much calculate things without referring to the charts. Some of this is down to making movement and formation changes into general concepts and removing them from the National Characteristics quagmire.