Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas Everyone

Hope that the day brings you everything that you expect!  My exams are marked and grades recorded in the system.  My daughter is home and my mother in law is visiting and we’re as set as we’re going to be.

New posts after Boxing Day once I get rolling on the Painting Challenge X.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Challenge Time Again

The 10th Edition of the Painting Challenge has been announced and I've entered it again.  It will be my nth time in the challenge (n is a positive integer less than 10 and beyond my aging memory as I type).

There are  few twists this year including the mysterious challenge map below.  I've no idea what this involves but I'm up for a challenge and a mystery.

So what are in my plans this Winter?
  • More 28mm SYW units, French and Hanoverian
  • 28mm mdf buildings for the SYW and Italian Wars
  • 1/2400 Chilean, Peruvian and British ironclads for the battle of Pacocha and the War of the Pacific
  • 1/2400 Anglo-Dutch Wars squadrons
  • What ever else my fevered imagination and  short attention span come up with.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Taking Time To Remember

My father who served in the Royal Navy in Korea
My great uncles who served in WW2, especially Peter killed in the fall of Singapore
My grandfather who fought on the Western Front in WW1
My great grandfather who served in the Tirah campaign on India’s north west frontier
And many others

Monday, November 4, 2019

Dutch Delights? A New Project

It’s been quiet on the blog over the last few months, because life has been busy other wise.  My daughter shifted Unis  across Canada, with most of August spent shipping her back to Halifax and most of September spent recovering from that while diving into the fall term.  October saw me on the road four times, Montreal, Banff, Prince Albert and Toronto.

There’s been gaming with the regular group including a WW2 naval and some General d’Armee and board games and much planning for the upcoming challenge.  Book purchases and blog readings (Barry Hilton being a particular bad influence)  lead me to the Anglo Dutch naval wars.  So to that end I’ve gone and bought two squadrons from TumblingDice 1/2400 range.  More on this to follow.

In the meantime I've been having a go at gaming by email using Barry Hilton's collection.  You can read an AAR of my first action here.  He gave several blog followers a point list and asked us to come up with small squadrons.  Mine is based on the squadron De Ruyter took to Africa and the New World just before the start of the Second Dutch War.  In the first action I sailed into a British trading post and recovered two Dutch Indiamen held by those perfidious Brits.  Pictures filched from Barry's site below - they make great eye candy and I hope I can do half as well.

I was given a photo of the game board with some details on the Brits and gave Barry a set of orders.  It all worked out rather nicely I think.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

SYW Action - Battle for Windmill Hill

Last week I put on a SYW action using my 28mm toys and using Honours of War for the first time.  This featured mostly units that i had put together in the past two editions of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge and the first action for a lot of the units on table.

The opposing forces were as follows
CinC General Mohr (Jeremy)
Infantry Brigade (dithering)
  • Royal Welsh Fusiliers (superior), Keith's Highlanders, Hessian Erbprinz Regiment, Hessian Garrison  Regiment Kutzleben (small)
  • Hessian light artillery battery
Cavalry Brigade (dashing)
  • 15th Light Dragoons, Hanoverian Luckner's Hussars (inferior)
Detached unit Hessian Jaegers light infantry with rifles

CinC General St-Andre (Stacey) 
Infantry Brigade (dithering)
  • Grenadiers de France (superior), Touraine, Diesbach, Nassau Royal-Louis
  • Light artillery battery
Advant-Garde (dashing)
  • Orleans Dragoons (inferior), Bercheny Hussars (inferior)
  • Chasseurs de Fischer light infantry
Detached unit Volontaires de 'lArmee light infantry 

Each side deployed 6" on the table with the objective of taking Windmill hill in the centre.  Terrain wise the hill was gentle,  I counted the windmill base as light cover but not as a BUA and there were some BUAs and woods and a stream on the flanks and back table edges.

The table after one move, Allies on the left and French on the right.
The French deployment with Curt looking on philosophically

Allied deployment
The start of the cavalry clash.  This ended up with the French routed and the Allies victorious in no state to continue without rallying

Infantry scrum with Diesbach fighting the highlanders with Grenadiers and Fusiliers in support.  On the right Touraine has force the Hessians back and captured the battery.  On the left the Voluntiares charged the Fusiliers in the flank to remove their support from the Highlanders.

Later in the action with both sides taking casualties, retreating and/or routing.  Fischer have occupied the windmill and force the Jaegers back.  On the far right the cavalry battle continues towards it's bloody conclusion
I'll put some thoughts together on the rules.  In general the gave the right result and were easy to pickup, but felt too mechanical.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Gaming With Miles AAR Part Deux

More photos from my game with Miles.

One unit of defenders pushed back out of the position, with two others taking casualties and a fourth now moving in to counterattacks.

More horsey catastrophes!

Geekism in action!

And again!

Yes that's right Miles, put down the phone and smile!

Reinforcements at last, but alas too late.

I really enjoyed the GDA system and hope to play more games with it.  I like the uncertainty of the brigade activation, which hampered my assault on the monastery several turns running.  However, I sometimes wonder if our little tin brigadiers know better than I do.  A full all assault might have worked but at cost, while the slow but steady attrition definitely worked.

Monday, June 17, 2019

I Have Been to the Lair of the UberGeek

Last weekend I was onsite at the Lair of the UberGeek, Mile Reidy.  Miles and his wife were great hosts and not serial killers as previously advertised.  However, I did make the mistake of jokingly asking where the guns were kept and finding out!

A major highlight was being let downstairs into Miles gaming room, and more important being let back upstairs in reasonably alive condition.   It was great to see Miles' huge gaming collection including his hand crafted Monitor and Merrimack models.

We played a game of General d'Armee, my second game using this rule set and I really like what I've seen so far.  I see a SYW conversion of these in my future.  We used Miles 15mm Peninsula war figures.  I used to game with my own collections of 15s a lot, but sold them off over the years to do 28s.  I see the advantages but still prefer the heft of the bigger figures, plus my eyes are not what they were 20 odd years ago.  It was a scenario where the French (me) were trying to take a defended monastery held by the Brits and Spanish.  I had 3 infantry brigades on table plus a cavalry brigade off table to my left.  Miles had 2 infantry brigades on table, plus cavalry and infantry brigades off table to my left.

We had a good game, with a lot of back and forth swings of momentum and a French victory much to my surprise.  Highlights of the AAR as follows.

  • On my left, both sides cavalry brigades arrived early on with a fair bit of marching required to reach the monastery including a river crossing.  My cavalry brigade was well in hand, allowing me the freedom to write if off with out causing much damage to the British what so ever.  Seriously I passed every command roll to get them moving and flunked every charge or melee roll.  However, I forced the enemy to deploy on site and significantly delayed him from influencing the fight at the monastery.
  • On the right we had a bit of a stand off with both side's brigades standing back and making faces at one another.  Finally we both got enough activations to allow us to close with me advancing to threaten the monastery and Miles advancing to threaten my right flank to draw me away from the Monastery.
  • In the centre things did happen.  I put two brigades into column with skirmishers and artillery support and advanced on the Spanish brigade holding the monastery.  Multiple attempts to get an infantry assault going were foiled by failed activations, of course which ever brigade wasn't order to assault activated with no problems!
  • With the assault delayed I resorted to using fire and limited charges to keep the defenders busy and wear them down.  Some of my units were getting pasted and I thought I was close to done. However, I was doing more damage to the defenders than I realized and my one battalion charges were mostly successful.  In the end, the Spanish brigade was done for and I took the position.  Miles got his reinforcements on table and en route to the position but would have to force a river crossing and he threw the towel.
Good scenarios, good game, good rules and good company - wins all around!
Miles redeploys at the monastery as the French columns approach

I did manage to get a fair concentration aimed at the key point

My cavalry ride into the shadow of the valley of death

Miles checks cavalry melee rules while a firefight goes on at the monastery in the background


Sunday, June 16, 2019

A Visit With the Uber Geek

Last week my academic travels took me south of the border to Baltimore, and the lair of the Uber Geek Miles Ready.  I always enjoy my trips south of the 49th parallel safety line, America would be a fine country if it wasn't for all of the Republicans (maybe the administration can build a wall of something to keep them out).

Highlights of my trip included

  • Meeting Miles and his lovely wife Marybeth (no pictures, they move to fast to be recorded on camera)
  • Eating Marybeth's wonderful food (including the crab above and others that Miles didn't want to eat) 
  • Meeting Mile's friend Ed from York and his wife Theresa, and eating the crab that Ed didn't want to eat
  • Staying at their Bond Villain lair in St Michael's MD
    Miles Fig tree.  I'll be interested in the AAR reports of Miles vs the local rodents and Raccoons

  • A visit to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.  A great museum complex with charming gate staff, blow hard tour guides and a fine collection of traditional wooden boats.  The young lady at the ticket booth won Miles heart over by asking "perhaps you could check the board to see if you qualify for any of our discounts"  instead of "are you old enough to be a senior?". No pictures because it was raining.
  • A game in Miles game room in his "closer to town" house, AAR with lots of pictures in a post to follow.
  • A visit to the Radio control yacht racing shop close to Annapolis MD where Miles' banker friend Bob tempted him with a new form of crack.  It looked great fun, but I am already at full capacity on geek projects with my budget fully allocated.  Besides I couldn't fit a ten foot replica J class sloop in my luggage.
  • Watching high finance unfold as Miles and his friend took conference calls in the front seat of Miles Tesla.  I quite enjoyed watching them as they essentially played buzzword bingo put the with the on mute.
Apparently this was a test weekend as Ed and I were the first gamers to stay overnight while MaryBeth was on site - always a stressful event.  We seemed to have passed the test, being judged as "not nearly as creepy as I expected".  I guess I'll have to try to be more creepy next time.  Of course, if Miles gamer friends are so sketchy that I was considered a safe bet, that's his look out.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

AHPC Fellowship Bonus Round

My submission for the fellowship round is a band of nine intrepid fantasy adventurers - three fighters, an archer, a mage, a healer two thieves and a ranger.  Oh and they are also seven mice, a shrew and a gecko!

Here's the full set, although a couple of the shy ones are hiding in the back row.  I'll see if I can draw them forth shortly.  These miniatures come in Red Hat's board game Mice & Mystics and its expansion Downwood Tales.  The game features a royal (Human) household that overtaken by an evil sorceress and the heroes change themselves into mice to escape.    long the way they battle cockroaches, rats, centipedes and spiders (including their human enemies who also morph themselves).  It is a surprising good play, with simple rules,  great story line scenarios, a good challenge and lots of nice colour.  The currency is cheese, there's a ring of cat strength magic item and triggering a mouse trap means that your mouse both takes a hit and gets a cheese.  Better yet you can find a dinner fork and mouse-a-pult yourself over danger.

Tilda, Colin, Maginose

First up we have the leader, Price Colin in his red cloak flanked by his counsellors Tilda the healer and Maginos the mystic.  Tilda also fights with a nasty mace and gets more deadly if she's defending wounded comrades.  Maginos has his familiar wyvern Meeps who's been transformed into a lady bug.

Filch, Nez, Lily
Next up we have the royal armourer Nez, flanked by Filch the scamp and Lily the archer. Nez is a tinkerer (which is sometimes useful) and a warrior which is always useful especially when he uses his Thundersqueak ability.  Lily has always been a mouse and is a member of a local mouse clan that Colin befriends.  We meet her in one of the early scenarios when they rescue her from a mousetrap.

Jakobe, Ansel, Ditty
The last set of three are characters that we will meet in the expansion game as Colin and fiends venture into Downwood.  As with Lily, these characters have always been critters.  Jakobe the gecko is their guide and carries a boomerang.  He looks chatty and may try and sell us car insurance.  Ansel is a valiant mouse warrior and wears a serpent scale breastplate.  Ditty the shrew is a scamp.  She carries a peppercorn sling and a fiddle.

I'm not sure if Sarah's Challenge includes only human characters.  But there are three female anthropomorphic rodents in this groups so I've tagged them any way.  Here are the three ladies in question, Mother Hen Tilda, Adventurous Lily and well keep a hand on your valuables Ditty.

Final group shot.
FYI when we play M&M, I play Tilda, Curt plays Filch, Sylvain is Nez, Jeremey is Maginos and Stacey is Colin.

Points wise these figures are shorter than 28s and taller than 20s.  I'll leave it to the gods and GMs to work out my points

Monday, March 4, 2019

AHPC Curtgeld

Lighting's not the best.  I may need to touch up the facial details too, he's looking too mono-hued here.

Time to pay the piper, so here's my Curtgeld for the Ninth Challenge.  He's an officer from the French Dillon Regiment from the SYW.  The figure is by Front Rank and I really love the pose with hat off and sword out.
Front Figures paint up very nicely.  The raised buttons and lace work are very much appreciated.

Dillon's was a famous regiment in the 18th century, part of the Irish brigade formed after the Glorious Revolution (or War of English Succession depending).  recruitment cam originally from Irishmen wanting to change the British Monarchy back to a Catholic Jacobite, although the percentage of actual Irishmen diminished over time.  The colonelcy passed down through the family and many officers were Dillon's themselves. After valiant service in the Wars of English, Spanish, Polish and Austrian Succession, the SYW and the AWI, it was disbanded after the French Revolution.  Incredibly some officers then formed Emigre Dillon's regiments paid by George III and serving with the British.  So Irishmen who joined the Irish Army to overthrow George III, ended up serving George III to defeat a Republic and reinstall the Bourbons.  The intellectual contortions required for this defy me.

Beyond the regular Curtgeld tradition, there is another challenge tradition that seems to have fallen by the wayside over time.  There have been several cases of Challengers Curtgelding Cut with figures representing Bob Dylan, despite (or perhaps because of) Curt's fervent anti-Dylan hatred.  To rectify the recent tailing off of the tradition, I therefore present Robert (Bob) Dillon as my Curtgeld for this challenge.

By my count this will take me over my 500 point Challenge Target with 3 weeks left to go.  This figure also adds 5 points to my BP side duel total,

Saturday, March 2, 2019

AHPC Nassuers and Command Stand

I continue to be a one hit wonder here with my ongoing progress on the SYW project.  I have two items in this post.
I can't remember which are the 8 newly painted figures, so here's the full 24 man battalion

First up are the final 8 members of the Nassau Prince Louis Regiment, completing the regiment that formed my Mercenary Bonus round post. Here's the full 24 man battalion, all Front Rank figures with flags printed at home based on images found at Kronoskaf.

Generally the French Army's foreign infantry regiments seem to have been better rated than the native french regiments.  The reasons differed by nationality with the Swiss being professionals and the Irish being more Anti-British.  I suspect with the German regiments it was due to the officers, as these regiments offered opportunities for ambitious gentlemen who might not meet the criteria (French speaking and Catholic) required for the "French" regiments.  It is worth noting that the two premier french generals prior to the SYW (Maurice and Berwick) were both foreign and both bastard sons of foreign Kings.
Close up to show the unit tables at the back of the basing.

A quick note on unit organization.  I've opted for 24 man foot units with 12 man cavalry and 16-18 man light infantry units.  For the formed regiments I've put a unit table on each base to keep the regiments straight, with the unit name and a small pic of their flag.  This should especially aid the  French army which should have  many infantry units in grey/white.  I have of course got 4 French regiments in 4 different uniforms and only one wearing white to date.

From the other side of the hill, we have Ferdinand of Brunswick and escort.  The allied army in western Germany was a truly polyglot affair,  mostly Hanoverian with contingents from Britain, Hesse, Brunswick and Prussia and generals from Brunswick who were also Prussian officers.  Since the Brits paid for the whole thing it was known as His Britannic Majesty's Army in Germany.

Ferdinand of Brunswick was lent to HBMAG by Frederick the Great in late 1757 following the Duke of Cumberland's epic defeat at Hastenbeck and the overrunning of Hanover by French armies.  Ferdinand quick turned things about with a strong campaign that saw him move from east of the Elbe to west of the Rhine in 1758.  He followed this up with a major Victory at Minden in 1759 and kept the army in the game for the rest of the war.

He's accompanied by one of Prussia's Black Hussars, one of several Prussian cavalry regiments serving in Western Germany.  This is the third time I've painted this uniform, and in the third scale.  In high school in the 70s I put French Shakos on Airfix British Hussars to do the regiment in 20mm Nappy's.  In the 80s I had the regiment in my 15mm SYW army, and it served well in some truly epic wargames.  Both figures are Front Rank 28mm and paint up very nicely.  Front Rank does a very good job with making the lace work standout and thus easy to paint.  I also like the horses, which are large look powerful.

By my count that's 8 foot at 5 points a pop, and two cavalry at 10 points each for 60 points.  These will count towards both me total and the BP duel (although that point is moot given the lead Alex has built).

Monday, February 4, 2019

Regiment Nassau Prince Louis

It's the Mercenary Bonus Round over at the Painting Challenge, please go have a look at al of the lovely work here.  My submission is below.

For the Mercenary Bonus Round I have a German Regiment from the French Army in  Seven Years War.  There are 16 members of the Nassau Prince Louis Regiment, using 28mm Front Rank figures.  Napoleonic wargamers will be familiar with Nassauers who fought for the French in the Peninsula, and then against the French in the 100 days campaign.  Under the Ancient Regime, the french army raised a number of foreign regiments, which were in many cases considered better than the native French regiments.  Not being French citizens, I think that these can qualify as Mercenaries.

Swiss, Irish, Scots, Italian, German and Walloon regiments all served in the Western Germany in the SYW.  Recruitment and organisation varied according to the nationality, but many of the German regiments came from the Palatinate region of western Germany, including this regiment from the Nassau area.  This Regiment started as the Nassau-Saarbruck regiment until it merged with the Nassau-Ussinghen Regiment in 1758, becoming the Nassau regiment whose colonel was Prince Louis of Nassau (I'm not sure which line as the history, naming and ruling houses of minor German states is convoluted).

I quite like the office with the spontoon.  I gave him a non-regulation red waistcoat, which is a hold over from their pre-1758 uniform.
You can see where the "spare" Grenadier figures from my last unit went.  Unlike "French" regiments, "German" regiments had no separate Grenadier companies rather each company had a section of Grenadiers.  Gotta love the flags for this army.

I don't think I've ever painting a figure this orange before, at least not intentionally.  Base coat is Grumbacher Vermilion with over washes (dark red and black?)

Like many German regiments in French service, they wore blue uniforms, in this case faced red.  The House of Nassau is related to the House of Orange, as can be seen with their flags and drummer's liveries.  Like Dutch fans at the World Cup or Olympic Speed Skating oval, the drummers wear ORANGE!   I took a couple of liberties on uniform details, so button counters be forewarned.  The Front Rank figures came with collars, while the Nassau uniform did not until after the SYW.  Had I caught it earlier I would have trimmed the collars off but I didn't catch this until about half way through the painting process, and went with red collars as I thought it looked nice.  Also the drummer should possibly have red lapels under the lace (the figures had none but lots of lace) and orange breeches (just caught this one now).  However, SYW uniforms weren't regulated as much as later periods and I figure a to would depend on local supply and colonel's whim.  Neither the drummer not the collars look out of place, so I'm good with them.

I also like the NCO pointing.

So that's 16 28mm foot figures plus two flags is 82 points plus bonus round points.  There's another 8 Nassuaers on the work bench to bring the unit up to standard complement of 24, but they'll have to wait a week or so.