Saturday, 12 August 2017

Longstreet campaign - the walled farm scenario, spring 1862

Here are some photos from our first 1862 game. It's my fault the picture quality is not the best, but I hope they give a reasonable impression of our game.

We rolled for the scenario and got the walled farm and rolled again and I was attacker. My objective was to take the building at the rear of the farm and score lots of Epic Points. My opponent was slightly hampered by having to put one of his units off-table in reserve till turn 6.  

Here's an overview after the first couple of turns. I've decided to throw my attack on my right and outflank the walls.  My opponent had his artillery behind the wall in the middle but began to withdraw it when I moved right. I messed up the placement of my own artillery as I should have left myself with a clearer field of fire.  

Here's the other flank. I had two artillery bases, but a good shot by the union guns destroyed one of my guns (I'd say they were just lucky !) . The black smoke marker in front of the union battery shows they have fired.  My intention on this flank was just to keep the union occupied. In the centre, moving through the woods are my (semi-painted) dismounted cavalry. They are here because opposite them is the union cavalry behind the wheatfield. 

A closer view of my attackers. Note the number of confederate bases at this point. Still the strength with which they started the scenario. 

A couple of things to note here. There's a big patch of rough marshy ground appeared in front of my advance. That's because my opponent played a very good 'Poor Surveying' card as an interrupt in my movement phase. Because this is rough terrain, I needed to play 2 move cards to be able to move through it. Luckily I'd had done that to make sure my dismounted cavalry kept moving through the woods in the centre.

In Longstreet, like Maurice, a player can play an interrupt card in his opponent's turn and this can often mess up a deployment or move or a combat. 

Also here is the view after my opponents turn where I managed to play a 'Confusion' interrupt card and his defenders behind the wall advanced out into the open. They became a nice target for my next turn.

A couple of turns later and I've defeated the advanced union unit, though I have taken some casualties to do so. I also managed to play the 'Old Rivals' interrupt card on my opponent which stopped his reserve unit advancing. Essentially this card means two officers in  my opponents army start arguing over a girl and don't order their unit to do anything till they resolve their differences. 

Some views of the centre and right. In the centre my dismounted cavalry press ahead through the wheatfield. On the right it continues to be handbags at 100 paces though I have tentatively started to advance. The sad thing here is that both of us have veteran units with a hero on this flank. They were to remain unused throughout the game.

The confederates press on. Note the Cupar Volunteers in the centre are now down to 3 bases, the Dunfermline infantry on the right are 4 bases and the Leven infantry on the left are 5 bases. It was just after that point I took the objective, my opponent's morale crumbled and the union gave way. A victory for the Army of Southern Fife, but at a cost.

To finish up the campaign game, we then go through the post-battle process. This is when we might get promoted, get Epic Points, get replacements, possibly recruit new units and maybe even loose some bases to 'camp fever' or disease. I was lucky enough to launch a few grand charges in the game so got a few Epic Points for that, along with some for winning the battle and the objective.

Roll on the next battle. Luckily two more chaps at the club liked what we've started and want to join in. A third chap may also join in, so we could have a few players for the rest of the campaign. 

Monday, 31 July 2017

Longstreet Campaign

Recently I bought the new Fire and Fury brigade rules for the American civil war. This was the 2nd edition of a great set of rules that brought in some ideas from the regimental set.

However, while I was skimming through them, I realised that it was probably 3 years since I last played an ACW game, and that was Longstreet. Somehow ACW games dropped away in recent times; just too many games to play.

So after some thought I spoke to chaps at the club and two of us decided to start a Longstreet campaign. A couple of weeks ago we played our 1861 game.  We are hoping that as we go along, more chaps at the club will join in. 

If you don't know, Longstreet is a card driven miniatures game and great fun. Very similar in feel to Maurice, another Sam Mustafa game and one of our favourites. 

The great thing about the Longstreet campaign is that players don't  play on a map to win territory; they play for personal prestige in the form of Epic points. You get points for taking part in a battle, and leading grand charges or defending against great attacks. The objective is really to get your commanders name in the papers and history books. 

There are 9 games in the campaign, arranged by years. So one game in 1861 and two in 1862 when the Confederates have a slight advantage in cards. Then three games in 1863 when neither side has an advantage, and on to two games in 1864 and one in 1865 when the Union has a slight advantage.  And because my friend is a naval fan, we will likely substitute one game for a naval bash. 

In keeping with the spirit of the game, and as we are in central Scotland, I have command of the Army of Southern Fife.  Going into 1862 it is made up of the 1st Dunfermline, 2nd Kelty, 3rd Cupar volunteers and 4th Leven infantry, the South Fife Legion cavalry and batteries A and B of the Fife artillery.

My opponent commands the Union Army of the Tay, made up of the Perthshire volunteers, the Dunning and Luncarty infantry, the Blairgowrie Raiders cavalry and Stanley's artillery.  I can't remember now which units my opponent recruited for 1862.

This week we are planning to play our first 1862 game. I'll try to remember to take photos. 

More later ...

On the bench

I sort of lost the painting impetus recently, while at the same time trying to finish off my medieval Hungarians.  They were another army that's been in a box for ages. 

Here's some pictures. Only the light horse to go now, but it's been slow.  First the war wagons.

Pretty much finished other than some final touches and addinf flock to the bases.

Then the knights.

The foot chappies. The knights and these too, need flock added but I'll have a major flocking session after I finish the light horse.

And the light horse.  First the raw stuff, just started.

And then where I am tonight with them.

And another shot of the inside of the box.

I'm not sure about the final destiny of these chaps. I've only used them twice in all the years I've had them, so they may be sold.  I'll decide when they are all finished. 

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Essex 15mm SYW and their damn cast-on flags

I don't know if you have Essex 15mm Seven Years War figures.  Great figures - except the cast on flags. They have been a bugbear of mine for years, but I've finally got around to adding wire flag-poles to Essex SYW officer.  

Now, I'm a great fan of Essex 15mm, and I have bought thousands over the last 25 plus years, from ancients through to Napoleonics. They are a delight to paint. All except the cast on flags on some figures. Essex have eventually taken the hints from many gamers and have started to cast standard bearers without cast on flags.  But for a while, I've bought SYW officers and added wire flag-poles so that I can add paper flags.  

Here's some photos.  First is where I started. I just didn't want to paint these standards freehand. 

Luckily, Essex do both Prussian and Austrian officers on their own. Here are a couple of flags beside the basic officer figure. I've slightly bent the officer's arm and filed the inside of his left hand a bit to take the pole.

Another picture showing two finished chaps at the left.  The flag-poles are actually jumbo paper clips. I bought a pack of 50 or 100 from a supermarket. They did the job and were cheap.  It only took a little time to do. 

And what to do with lots of surplus standard bearers. They were undercoated and used as test beds for inks and some paints, so they were not totally useless. 

Ready for priming.  The chaps at the front are the new Essex SYW French standard bearers without cast on flags. 

And all the figures undercoated and ready for paint.  I am far happier at having just a flag-pole where I can attach a printed paper flag.

An interesting final note is that the British standard bearer doesn't have the flag wrapped around him so what there is can be carved off. Similarly, some cavalry standard bearers have flags that can be carved off.  Only a few cavalry figures need replaced, and again, luckily, there's a nice Essex Prussian dragoon figure carrying a musket upright in his hand which is easy to convert into a standard bearer.

Of course, all this is a bit more expensive by having to buy all these extra officers, and it all needs a bit of work. But the end result, to my mind and eye, is far more satisfactory.  I just need to splash some paint on them because most have been in boxes for years.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Pikeman's Lament at the Perth club

A week ago we had a bash at Pikeman's Lament using 28mm Great Northern War figures. There were seven of us around the table. Six of us had played Lion Rampant before though only two of us had played PL before.  

The figures were originally based for Lily Banners rules. We gave up playing those after a couple of times, but the basing of the figures in 6's and 3's made them good for PL. 

Each side had two basic armies plus an artillery piece. We then split forces into three so that each player had a proportion of the troops. Here are some photos from the course of the evening.  It's not really an after action report, more snapshots of the fun.

Here is situation after a couple of turns and forces advance. The measuring sticks at the right of the table are different lengths for the moves of different troop types. I made these to save messing about with tapes. Also on the table are slips of paper, each of which has the unit stats for a troop type. I did these so that we would not have to constantly flick through the rulebook and can just refer to the sheets.

A view from the right. The Swedish gun waited till late in the game before causing casualties.

The hill in the centre was the objective. Here both sides advance. Also, the generals behind some units are there to denote which units the officer is with. Swedes are on the left, Russians on the right.

More action. There are a few less Russians in the middle.

And even less Russians.
And so ended an excellent game. A victory to the Swedes. Lots of action, banter and general slagging at rolling 1's or double 1's or 6's.  I can't recall all the characteristics of the officers now, but there was one who ignored challenges, one who was a mercenary and one who could shoot his own men to 'encourage the others'. 

All in all, a great game.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

from lead mountain to plastic hillock

It has long been a standing joke that all gamers have a lead mountain; a stash of unpainted metal figures that may or may not get painted. 

I've been trying to reduce my own lead mountain, both painted and unpainted, but in the past few months a growing plastic hillock has been appearing.

At first I suppose there was Malifaux a couple of years ago, where I have both metal and plastic figures, but the big push really began last August with a game of Lion Rampant.  This saw the purchase of these Wars of Roses chappies.

Then towards the end of last year there was Bolt Action. 

And finally, (Cyril), in the last few weeks there was Pikeman's Lament which led to this.

I have to laugh. My Wars or Roses are not yet fully painted and I've added more to the growing pile of plastic. And not pictured are boxes of Perry AWI infantry, British Light Dragoons and Warlord artillery that were (are) intended for an old-school imagi-nations game.  And I'm tempted by the Warlord WSS figures, and the Carronade show is approaching. 

So much for having a clear-out.  Still it's fun.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

first airbrush attempt at camouflage

Here is my first attempt to do the German late war camouflage with the airbrush for my Bolt Action tanks. I've just tackled the Panzer 4 for the moment.

The tanks were sprayed with Army Painter Desert Yellow then dry brushed with a bone colour. This provided a good base for starting the green camouflage. At this point I'm still intending to add the brown, though I do like the green on the yellow on it's own. At a later date, I'll be applying a wash to the tank to accent the detail and help blend the colours.

And some pictures with the skirts put on dry. I'll finish the painting before I glue these in place. 

And the rest of the vehicles. I'm still debating if I'll do long stripes like the panzer 4, or do broader stripes, shorter stripes or patches.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Pikeman's Lament

We had our first game of Pikeman's Lament on Thursday.  Great game.

My friend forgot to bring his figures or rules (he said something about getting ready for Twickenham on Saturday!). But we made do with my Wars of Roses stuff.

The armies were taken from the list put on the website by Michael Leck, one of the authors. We used 30 years war Swedes and Imperialists. The game was a blast though we were learning as we went along.  The big power units were the Swedish gallopers, who if they win a melee, get to follow up and fight again. One unit effectively wiped out two of my foot units. 

I used a unit of trotters, who can roll for a caracole move, of moving half and then firing. Pike units can form a close order that gives them a melee bonus, but neither of us used this.

Another nice touch was the character traits of the commander. My friend rolled on the table and got a 'brutal' commander. His special trait was that if a unit failed a moral check, he could kill one of his men 'to encourage the others' and recover moral.  It was really funny during our game because it saved his units several times.

Overall, another great game, and one we're looking to trying again with Great Northern War figures.

The inspiration of the game also saw my WoR figures getting moved on to paint trays. I'm going to try splash some more paint on them before the next game.    

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Some British for Bolt Action

Some of the British got finished. These are my test figures to try our colour combinations before I move on to the rest of the British force. 

First the crew for the vehicles.  There was one for the Stuart and I did 4 for the Sherman and Firefly just to see how they turned out.  I wanted to do two figures in grey berets for the Scots Greys. I don't know if the grey berets were used in WW2 or if it's more recent, but I reckoned it was a nice touch.

And the chap in the Stuart.

The first option for the Firefly. The grey beret isn't too obvious because of the goggles.

The second option.  I might not actually glue the figures in place, but attach them with blu-tak as the mood takes me. 

And the metal infantry with the bases finished.  The transfers on the sleeves were a bit of a nuisance to put on, and I'm not sure if they add much.  I'll debate what to do about transfers on the other infantry.