Tuesday, 15 January 2019

War of 1812 British Light Dragoons

To be fair, I painted these between Christmas and New Year, but I have been trying to maximise the number of comments on my blog, so have left my first game report up there for a week to make sure I got as many as possible!

Everyone has their own painting style and many are better than mine I am sure, but as I was painting these Perry plastic cavalry as the 19th Light Dragoons, I decided I would take three of four "Work in progress" shots, and here they are:

I firstly under coat with black the dry brush with white, to show up as much detail as possible. Then add the main block colours

 Tidy up and paint silver 
 Base colour for the horses
 Add reins etc, highlight horses body and touch up the bit etc with silver
 The two figures based from three different angles....

So lets see how many comments I can get this time - going for a target to beat of 4 (plus my replies =8)!

I will wait till the weekend before my next post :)

Friday, 11 January 2019

First Game of 2019 - Russian Civil War using "Red Actions!"

Last night, Chris, Nick and I attended Julian's residence for our first get together this year. I finally got to use most of the RCW figures I painted about a year ago (I think - may be longer!) as Julian had finished off enough of his White force to make up a reasonable opposition

The rules we chose to try for this period were "Red Actions!", a free download from "The Perfect Captain" website.

These rules have a number of unusual features, including cards giving all the stats of different troop types, and some of the nomenclature is unusual - a morale test is called a "Fear" test in some circumstances or a "Serious" test in others etc. Movement is also unusual in that the sides dice each turn for initiative and then move one unit each, back and forth, until one side or other has used an action for every unit in their force, then the side with more units gets to move the remaining ones all together without the other side being able to react.

Julian had set up a test scenario of around three units of White infantry, each with a supporting HMG, two cavalry units and a field gun, defending a village surrounded by forest, whilst the Bolshevik attackers had six infantry units, with three HMG, three cavalry units, two mortars and an armoured car. Each side had one on call aircraft that could appear on a 5 o6, then stay over the table for the next three turns, then leave and not return.

The game took a LONG time as we were just learning the rules and I think we got a few things wrong, but they seemed to work ok and we are looking forward to giving these rules and figures another outing soon!

Here are some images of the action:

 The Red centre - Austin armoured car, naval infantry, HMG and conscript infantry
 The foremost of the defending White infantry supported by an HMG
 Some of the Red unit cards showing all their stats
 Two of Nicks White infantry units redeploying to their right to counter the Red advance
 The threat Nick's men were moving to oppose
 Red Naval infantry firing from the edge of the wood at the White unit in the first image above - these sailors are females from Hinterland.
 The White aircraft came on first, strafing both one of Chris's Red cavalry units and my armoured car.
 The third and final attack by the White air force - more "Terror" markers for the Red cavalry!
 One of Julian's White cavalry units charged home against Chris's conscripts defending a wood and won the combat, pushing the infantry back
 The Red air force intervenes - strafing the victorious cavalry, causing them to lose a base AND rout off towards the village!
 Nick withdraws his one unit of White infantry in the face of two Red units supported by cavalry and an HMG
 The Red plane makes a second strafing run against Julian's infantry
 General view of the centre of the table - the Red Naval infantry advanced out of the woods but instantly took lots of hits and were forced to pull back again!
Close up view of the Red cavalry - they are Old Glory WW1 Russians - most of the other figures are Copplestone or Brigade Games Back of Beyond/RCW.

Final view of the Red advance on the left flank.

By this stage we had been at the table for nearly five hours - with 45 minutes for dinner - so decided to call a halt. Neither side had a clear advantage - the Reds had lost the armoured car to a direct hit by the White field gun and also lost an HMG. The Whites had a couple of units down a base and still had one more round of airpower that may have removed their field gun - so if we had carried on, the extra numbers the Reds had may have taken the day, but the Whites were better quality, so it was no sure fire thing.

A fun game and quirky, interesting rule set with some unusual twists - EG close combat, both sides calculate their "Fighting Value" by multiplying the Attack value on the card by the number of bases, then you calculate the ratio of the attacker to defender EG 30 points to 20 points would be 3:2. then you roll 2D6 and read off a results chart. A low roll generally favours the weaker side, which can be attacker or defender obviously and a higher roll favours the stronger side.

Look forward to getting these troops on the table again soon!

Saturday, 29 December 2018

The REAL Last Game of 2018 - unless I have another one on Monday!

Turns out the title of my earlier blog was somewhat premature, as my friend Nick kindly invited a couple of us over to his place for game of Hail Caesar on Friday 28 Dec. We had all played these rules previously, but quite some time ago, so this was a test/learning game as much as anything else.

The scenario was loosely 12/13th century Hungarians against a random assortment of Eastern Steppe peoples - Nick provided the Hungarians (beautifully painted and based as is his wont) whilst Andrew and I combined to provide a purely mounted army of Cataphracts, medium cavalry and horse archers. My contribution was from my all female Dark Ages army - my figures are all Eureka with the exception of one command figure. The points were 502 on our side to 589 on Nicks.

Nick won the initiative but sportingly let Andrew and me go first. My horse archers advanced three operations, fired on a unit of foot archers, and disordered them. Andrew on our left flank advanced three units of light cav again for three operations and got right up in the face of some of Nicks cavalry opposing him. His arrows forced one unit back to the table edge.

In Nicks first turn, he forgot to do initiative moves first and rolled badly for the units opposing me - so basically they did nothing. On Andrews front, his light/medium cavalry on our left flank forced all Andrews to pull back - whilst in the centre, his extra heavy cavalry (Cataphract equivalents) drove off some covering light cavalry -  they rolled for three moves again and rode right off the edge of the table (luckily under these rules they can come back on again!) - then crashed into Andrews heavies (who had unfortunately BOTH been disordered by the passage through their lines of the fleeing lights!)

An epic melee ensued over the remainder of the game which eventually saw Andrew loose both his heavy units whilst Nick lost one of his four. On my side of the table, Nicks solid wedge of infantry advanced in base to base contact so they all supported each other, the front rank comprising archers who combined with more horse archers and skirmishers in the woods to discomfit all my light cavalry and force them back. My solid line of medium and heavy cavalry confronted this move but could not get the number of actions to carry out a charge - which would probably have ended badly but it would have been nice to see what happened - alas, it was not to be - after 4 hours play, we had completed 3 moves but decided to call it a day, with the Hungarians the winners.

Here are the images from the game

Nicks wonderfully painted and based Medieval infantry 

Some supporting light cavalry archers

My contribution to the game - Cataphracts, Medium and Light cavalry

My leader figure - who has featured on this blog previously!

The Hungarian camp, complete with at least one "follower" in yellow dress

Nicks heavy cavalry arrayed for battle

My first move - light cavalry rush forward three moves (36 inches) and disorder one of Nick units

In the centre - Andrews cavalry advance rapidly too

On our left flank, another 36 inch move took Andrews horse archers right up to Nicks line

Behind the screen of archers, an ominous rumble as the heavy cavalry advance, knee to knee

In the centre, Nicks first move - his four units of heavy cavalry come surging forwards

After a couple of rounds of melee, Andrews heavies have been pushed back behind the light horse archers again

Close up of the victorious Hungarian heavy cavalry

The action continues in another turn as the Steppe people are gradually forced back

On my flank, a solid wall of infantry and archers advance and drive off my light horse

My flank from another angle, Nick inveigled his bow armed skirmishers into the flanking woods and rained arrows down on my unfortunate light horse

A solitary unit of horse archers faces a wall of steel

My heavy and medium cavalry reposition to attempt a charge against Nick infantry

Annoying skirmishers in the woods

Action in the centre is dominated by the Hungarian heavy cavalry

The final clash of the heavies - Andrews second unit was destroyed 

Hungarians run rampant in the middle of the battlefield

The left flank as the game draws to a close

One final shot of my second line of cavalry, who failed to roll sufficiently low for a three action turn and were thus unable to charge the Hungarian infantry - who knows what might have happened if they had made it in?

A great way to spend one of my days off work over the Christmas/summer break here in New Zealand - the plan is to have several more games using these rules so we can become reasonably competent in them and able to run through most of the phases without constant reference to the rule book!

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

2018 Painted Figure Count

So I am copying this idea from another blog - cant recall who, I am sure many wargames blogs have a similar accounting at the end of the year!

I have had a rather unproductive year in my own mind, as I have had long periods with little or nothing to paint - but when I went through my blog postings and reviewed the figures mentioned therein, all of a sudden, I still seem to have painted a few units!

So following is a list, in roughly chronological order, of what I have painted this year:

Portuguese Napoleonic - 24 Cacadores, 84 Line Infantry and 3 mounted officers

War of 1812 British - 64th and 49th Foot (Old Glory Second Edition), 5th Foot (Perry plastic), 2/95th and the 1/60th Foot - total of 78 infantry - plus 4 mounted officers

2 RCW Tanks and a female HMG crew

A single AWI mounted colonel

WW1 in E Africa dismounted cavalry (Old Glory) - 15 figures

ECW Frame Gun - unknown provenance - 4 figures

ECW Cavalry - Perry Miniatures - 6 figures

15mm WW2 Brits - FoW figures - 40 bases of infantry, 8 command bases, 13 HMG bases, 6 mortar bases and 5 x 6lb AT guns - total of 250 figures
Christmas Comes but Once a Year - and with it, some toys to assemble and paint!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and received at least a few useful presents in amongst the usual dross that is standard fare once you pass 25 years of age!

I repeated my plan from my birthday in August and my young adult children (19 and 17) played the game - unfortunately, my wife reverted to the traditional t shirts and shorts, but you cant win them all!

I provided a list of 5 or 6 possibilities from which they selected the following items:

These will all be added to my War of 1812 collection, with both infantry and Light Dragoons in the later uniforms. I have not bought Perry cavalry before and am happy to note that they actually provide 28 cavalry figures although only 14 horses, so in fact, by purchasing separate horse sprues, it will be possible to produce a total of 28 cavalry from a single pack, as long as you are happy that the second 14 are in the earlier uniform (which I am!).

Oh, and we also got this "family" Christmas present, which cost the equivalent of 15 boxes of Perry figures and has already made an impact on my painting desk by spilling a jar of brush washing water ...TWICE!