Monday, 30 December 2013

A look ahead to 2014

After my last post it is time to try and set myself some wargaming goals for 2014. My main aim is that I want to play more games. When it comes to my wargaming hobby I am a gamer first, I get most of my enjoyment from this side of the hobby, pitting my wits against my opponent, seeing a battle unfold etc. The painting of figures and scenery building has always been a secondary part of the hobby. Compared to some figures I see in blog world,  I know my skills in these areas are only modest but sufficient for my needs. However this can often mean a lull in painting when I am not gaming.

So far sometime in May I will have a trip up to Mick's for a re-fight of the Battle of Ramillies, though there will probably be an earlier game to refresh ourselves on the rules and iron out anomalies. I am really looking forward to this as the War of Spanish Succession is a period that is my first love. I am also making it an aim to get down to the club more often.

So on to projects for 2014.

15mm Napoleonics - I want to complete enough troops for both the Austrians and Westphalians to allow me to run some divisional level games at the club. This will equate to an extra brigade of infantry for each side with some supporting artillery and cavalry.

15mm FPW - Once again I am aiming to try and get the Bavarians up to corps strength. I know Mick is painting up the Saxons and with a possible large game at the end of the year would give this project some impetus.

10mm Crimean War - I need to complete 1 more Russian infantry division and some cavalry. That would finish the Russian Order of Battle for Alma. I also have a hankering to painting up a Turkish infantry division.

15mm WSS - The Friedlingen project needs a bit of a kick start this year, I really would like to get it finished, so much so I am going to draw up a painting plan as I did for Ramillies for the required troops. This will give me a progress check and provide some focus for my efforts.

Well you may have noticed that 28mm is missing from my list of projects. This is mainly because I can no longer justify the costs of new projects in this scale. This does not mean I will paint none, I am sure some will cross the painting table but mainly for skirmish gaming or to top up some existing collections. I already have large collections in 28mm for VBCW, F&IW, El Cid, Arthurians, Late Romans, Germanics and Huns.

No doubt I will not stick to this, I never seem to as always something new and shiny will grab my attention.

All that is left is to wish you all a Happy New Year and may the dice Gods bless you in 2014.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

2013 review

Well with 2013 nearly over I thought it was about time I did a little review on the progress of my numerous projects and to set myself some goals for 2014. A quick look back at a post from the start of the years highlights my aims for 2013. So how did I do

28mm Greeks – I was determined to get these done, but sadly there has been no further progress made on these. Not a good start, though I do put that down to nobody else in the club showing an interest in Ancients so I have had nothing to spur me on with these.

28mm FIW – I wanted to finish this project, adding some civilians and provincials. I did finish off a few more Indians and some settlers so I could say it is completed, but more could still be added.

15mm FPW – I wanted to add at least one more French infantry division and expand my Bavarians up to corps strength. Well partial success as I have added a 3rd French division, but I am yet to start on the Bavarians.

15mm ACW – With only a handful of figures to do, these should have been easy, but it took until a couple of weeks before the clubs Gettysburg display that motivated me to get these done.

15mm WSS – I wanted to complete the units requires for Friedlingen, namely the French. Well I did complete 2 battalions but then got sidetracked into completing the British contingent for the Battle of Ramillies. So at least they were for the correct period.

So what distracted me from my targets. Well, apart for the WSS British I can think of a few more. GNW Swedes, due to picking up a bargain from E bay I did a few battalions and squadrons. Next there was the 10mm Crimean War figures for which I blame Neal. So far I have done 2 Russian Infantry divisions. Lastly there were some 15mm Napoleonics. Always a period I have shied away from, but this year decided to take the plunge. So far I have some Austrians, Brunswickers and Westphalians, nearly enough to put on a game at the club using Black Powder.

On the gaming front this year I have seen a significant reduction in the games that I have played. I did manage to get to Mick’s for the Re-fight of Flodden as well as a large FPW game. At either Neal's or Dave's I had some great fun trying out General de Brigade and Black Powder for Napoleonics as well as a few games of Bolt Action. However at the club I only managed to be involved in a few games mainly because I just haven't been a regular attendee like I used to be.

My painting totals for this year have rather exceeded my expectations, though in 28mm I seem to have lost a little enthusiasim for painting these, where as I seem to enjoy painting 10 and 15mm scales.

10mm Artillery - 3
10mm Foot figures - 233
10mm Mounted figures - 4
15mm Artillery - 32
15mm Foot figures - 914
15mm Mounted figures - 235
15mm Vehicles - 3
28mm Artillery -
28mm Foot figures - 29
28mm Mounted figures - 1

Bye bye for now, I will post up details shortly of what my plans are for next year.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

X-wing and an update

Sorry that it's been a bit quiet on the posting front, mainly down to not having much time or energy for gaming. I blame it on these dark nights, I just want to sit in front of the fire watching TV. I have done some painting, mainly at weekends but haven't gotten around to taking pictures of any of them. I completed 2 more battalions for my Westphalian Napoleonics, some mounted brigadiers and a couple of figures for my F&IW collection.

Last week I even turned up at the club for only about the second time in a couple of months. Luckily they decided to put on a X-wing game which gave us a chance to try out a couple of the new ships, a B-wing and the Tie Bomber. To accompany the B-wing the rebels took an red squadron X wing and the Imperials took 2 extra tie fighters, one academy and one obsidian squadron pilot.

The game did not start out too well for the Imperials as I lost the academy pilot to the heavy payload of the B-wing. I did manage to even the score as a combination of the tie bomber and fighter put paid to the X-wing. The game then settled down to a game of cat and mouse with the B wing. Unfortunately the Bomber took a critical hit which prevented it from using abilities, i.e. no target lock preventing me using its valuable payload.

Eventually the rebels accounted for both of my ships the the B-wing was also reduced to its last hull point. I must admit these 2 new craft add an extra dimension to the game. So much so I went and purchased a B-wing to add to my rebel fleet. I did manage a few pictures of the game.

Tie fighter evades the B-wing
Bomber and tie hunting the B-wing
B-wing fires and misses
Tie fighter fires and also misses

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Napoleonic progress

In between he gaming nights at Dave's I have manged to find some time to paint up more of my own Napoleonic collection. Still rather modest compared to most, but seems to be coming along nicely. First up is  the allied cavalry, the Brunswick Hussars, these even managed to make it into the game and caused some devastation to my French infantry.

Brunswick hussars
Brunswick Hussars
The unit still requires a flag, but so far my efforts have been in vain. The figures are all from CGM and the bases are from Warbase. To support my Austrian troops I have also completed a unit of Dragoons, Baron Franz Levenher. These figures are all from Warmodelling / Fantassin. I like the pose of these figures but the metal is very tough and makes cleaning up the figures prior to painting a bit of a chore.

Baron Franz Levenher
Baron Franz Levenher
Allied cavalry
So far the Warmodelling and CGM figures are a decent match size wise, though I may not mix them in the same units, though that's just a personal choice. After concentrating on these it was time i did some of their opponents, namely some Westphalians. Why Westphalians, well because the fought in both the Danube theatre and in the Peninsular, nobody else was doing them and I quite like the fact that they weren't the best troops that Napoleon had.

I've used a list from Nazfiger which details X corps of which the Westphalian division was a part. It will give me 2 brigades of infantry, includes the Grenadiers and Jaeger Carabiniers. There are also a couple of attached cavalry units including some Cuirassiers.

The first units are 2 battalions of the 5th infantry regiment. these figures are a mix from Warrior miniatures for the line, the elite companies are from AB I think? the other unit is from the 1st infantry regiment. these figures are from Old Glory. The flags for all the units are from Warflag.

1st and 2nd battalions, 5th infantry
1st battalion, 1st infantry
Westphalian attack columns
Next up is a few extra additions to the Austrians. Another infantry battalion, this time the figures are from Warmodelling. These were not my favourite to paint and there were some significant differences in the size and bulk of the figures, but I suppose all shapes and sizes would have enlisted. Like the cavalry the metal was brittle, I even snapped one of the muskets after painting much to my annoyance. Also I completed an artillery battery, these figures are from Warrior. I have left the artillery piece loose from the base so that it can be attached to limbers when I finally get around to painting some.

Austrian infantry
Austrian infantry
Austrian artillery battery
I have also just finished painting up a couple of brigadiers for the Westphalians as well as the Grenadiers. After this I have one more Westphalian infantry battalion, some Austrian Jaegers and a French Chasseur regiment to paint.

Friday, 8 November 2013

1809 Somewhere in Germany part 5, the Finale and defeat

Well on Wednesday we got to finish the last few moves of the game. To say my position was precarious after last week was an understatement as from the first roll the Austrians won the initiative and continued to drive in my right flank

collapsing flank
This caused yet another of my battalion s to break, only the church was acting as a bulwark. As fast as I could the troops on my left flank were trying to cross over to hold the line. However they had their own problem as the Brunswick Hussars continued to cause havoc before blown horses forced them to retire.

Brunswick Hussars continue their carnage
The remnant flee for it
Back in the centre things were getting worse, the decision was made to save the artillery and they were limbered up to begin moving off the battlefield. However due to routing units in my lines I had a large number of morale tests to take. Those battalions that had been going toe to toe with the Austrians saw their courage finally spent and fled from the foe. Suddenly the whole brigade need to test and promptly failed. In one move 4 battalions out of the 5 dispersed and were removed from the field.

The panic setting in (red dice)
C-in-C left rather isolated
The Guard has broken!! (well not actually guards)
Victorious Austrians
At this point we called the game, quick order changes were given to my left flank brigades to fall back while I would try and hold the Church to give everything else a chance to flee. Despite the defeat I have really enjoyed this game. I am growing to like the General de Brigade rules, a lot more complicated than say Black Powder which are fine for a club night, but give a good feel for the period. I need to work on the order system as I often got caught out not realising certain actions were unavailable depending on brigade orders. At one stage the Westphalians ended up advancing into a position where they had to test for morale due to a routing unit and promptly faltered.

Hopefully over the weekend I'll get some pictures put up of the last few Napoleonic units I've painted up.

Friday, 1 November 2013

1809 Somewhere in Germany part 4, collapsing flanks and dodgy orders!

On Tuesday night I popped over to Dave's for a continuation of our Napoleonic battle. The title of this post will soon become very clear. First the dodgy orders, to those who have followed the earlier battle reports will know that my Cavalry brigade had done some sterling work on my right flank, routing the Austrian cavalry from the field. They had since retired back to my lines to prepare a counter attack against any breakthrough on my front line.

Retiring French cavalry after a job well done
Now a new order had come through from Corps command. My victorious cavalry were required to the south of the battlefield and promptly continued their march straight from the field of battle. My one advantage in the game suddenly taken away. With the loss of cavalry support those pesky Brunswick Hussars became a real threat as will be seen later.

Over on my right flank, once more Neal drove his Austrian infantry against my lines and this time he smashed a rather larger hole. Suddenly the whole brigade required panic tests and a couple of units began to falter against the sustained pressure.

The hole appears

Neal then followed up his advantage by trying to roll up my lines. The first succeeded in launching its attack but this time my faltering troops held their nerve. His other attack was quickly repulsed as a supporting unit poured deadly fire (double 6) into the attackers to protect the flanks of their comrades.

It was now over on my left flank that I had to get my troops moving with all speed, first to check the Austrian reinforcements and to shore up my centre. It was at this time that the Brunswick Hussars began their move. charging towards my advancing lines. Deciding to receive the charge and pour in fire from 2 battalions I though I would be able to stop them. Neal passed their morale and they crashed home, what carnage they caused ripping Frenchmen apart.

Austrian reinforcements
Black hussars charge
7-1 kill ratio
So as the night ended things were not looking good. My right flank is collapsing and the reinforcements have been checked by the Hussars (and I bloody painted them). Next week all being well i.e. it's not too cold, I think will be the concluding instalment. It will take some timing to extricate my troops, especially saving the artillery .

Collapsing right flank
 It doesn't make a pretty picture does it!

Friday, 25 October 2013

1809 Somewhere in Germany part 3 the re-inforcements

Well on Thursday Neal and I made the short trip to Dave's for the third instalment of our battle. We were both instructed to bring some extra troops for the other to use. Obviously we were both gentlemanly about it and no under hand tactics were involved. I supplied Neal with my Austrians and Brunswick troops and he supplied me with some French line units.

The Austrians continued to press their advantage against the woods on my right flank which was recently vacated by my Hessian brigade. First the Austrian Jaegers then artillery were brought up to begin the contest for the church. My light Infantry brigade deployed their skirmishers to face off against the jaegers and provide some cover from the artillery that began to pound my position.

Austrian massed battery commences firing
The broken Hessian's flee through my lines
On my left Flank the first of my reinforcements began to arrive. Four battalions of French infantry were soon followed by a small brigade of two Westphalian battalions. Both brigades with orders to reinforce the position occupied by my cavalry brigade to allow them to retire to cover any other emerging threats. Meanwhile on the opposite side of the table Neal was reinforced by and Austrian infantry brigade and a Brunswick brigade led by the Black Duke himself. They also brought up an extra battery of artillery and a small regiment of Brunswick Hussars.

French Infantry reinforcements
Austrian Infantry brigade and Hussars
Brunswick Infantry brigade and artillery
In the centre the Austrians once again launched an assault on my lines and once again accurate musketry from my line battalions repulsed their attacks. This was to be repeated for a number of turns until Neal changed tack and got involved in a protract musketry duel in which t he Austrian were gaining the upper hand. With pressure now on the centre and my right flank casualties were beginning to mount. Neal's poor dice from a week ago were gone replaced with lots of 5 and 6's.

Austrian pressure on my centre/right flank
My centre under pressure
Now it would be a race to see whose reinforcements would get into position quicker. The Brunswick brigade was already bearing down on my centre obviously urged on by the Black Duke, while the Austrian were more slowly advancing. My French  brigade had taken up position allowing my cavalry to reform while the Westphalian's were on a quick march to my centre to help shore it up.

Battlefield view from my left wing
Battlefield view from the Austrian left wing
Well I'm now looking forward to next weeks instalment. I'm really enjoying this game as it hangs in the balance. It also has a good Napoleonic feel to it. Just enough troops to keep feeding into the line. Fantastic

Friday, 18 October 2013

1809 somewhere in Germany part 2

On Wednesday Neal and myself got over to Dave's for the continuation of our battle. This time I managed to take more photos. Most of the action concentrated on my left flank with the cavalry duel. On my right flank Neal continued to probe against the Hessian's while waiting for his centre to bring more pressure on to my lines.

From the first move of the day I committed my cavalry brigade, Lancers, Dragoons and Hussars straight into the thick of it. Somehow my Elite unit of mounted Grenadiers turned their nose up at the thought of hitting some Austrian Hussars in the flank.

French cavalry charge
The results didn't all go my own way. My lancers got severely mauled by some Austrian Dragoons, but elsewhere the French began to get the upper hand, slowly driving the Austrians back before eventually breaking the brigade.

Austrian hussars flee
Austrian cavalry begin to fall back
Eventually even the mounted Grenadiers got in on the act, smashing into the Austrian dragoons and shattering them. I must admit at this point that Neal's dice wally when it came to morale rolls.

Grenadiers in on the action
Austrian cavalry have fled
Across in the centre the Austrian infantry began there advance towards the road junction. The 2 fields began to hamper advance. As they got closer 2 batteries of Hessian artillery began to pour heavy fire into the columns. Casualties were slowly mounting when the Austrians made their first assault driving back the voltiguers. They were then stopped by French musketry, allowing the voltiguers to get back into a position to protect the lines.

Austrian view of the French lines
Austrian columns slowed by the fields
Austrians drive off the voltiguers
French musketry halts the Austrian advance
On my right flanks things remain pretty much as they had throughout the game. Austrian Jaeger's and artillery exchanging fire with the Hessian brigade. It was becoming quite worrying as casualties began to mount among the Hessian infantry and artillery. Then disaster struck. one of the Hessian batteries was destroyed causing panic in the lines. Then one of the infantry battalions fell back under pressure causing the whole brigade to retire. At this point time was up until next week. I'll need to use my Elite infantry brigade to plug the gap on the right after the Hessian's had faltered.

Dave has also mentioned that next week both sides will be reinforced, possibly an infantry brigade per side. I'll need to bring along my Austrian brigade for Neal to use and he'll bring some French for me. Also my 2 new Westphalian battalions may get a run out. Until next week. 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

1809 Somewhere in Germany

On Wednesday night I managed to get over to Dave's who was putting on an 1809 game in has garage. After much deliberation I decided to take the French for a change. The rules we were using were General De Brigade, a very good set but I'm still trying to get used to the different nuances in the rules.

The game revolved around the French (me) holding the road junction against an Austrian attack (Neal). I decided to deploy the Hessians into the wood on my right and my main infantry brigade would advance onto the junction. A smaller brigade including the grenadiers were held back to attack as a reserve. My cavalry were out on the open flank to my left facing off against an Austrian cavalry brigade.

Initial deployment with Austrians threatening the flank
French cavalry deployment
Hessians occupy the wood
SO far the initial moves have seen the Austrians begin to exert some pressure on the Hessians. The French reserves have finally arrived to occupy the grounds of the church. Another 2 Austrian brigades of infantry have finally deployed on the table and began their advance towards the junction. The cavalry brigades on both sides are facing off, just waiting to see who commits to the charge first.

Cavalry face off
French infantry in position
Austrian reinforcements
Looking forward to next week for the follow up moves. Think we will start to get stuck into each other. There s also the prospect of additional reserves for both sides. Better get those Westphalians finished on time.