Monday, 30 October 2017

Back of Beyond/Russian Civil War - First Figure!

Some years ago I purchased the Copplestone set of four "Bolshevik Heroines". I painted up three of the figures but not the fourth.

Now that a friend and I are contemplating/planning to build up a collection of 28mm figures for this period, I had a rummage through the various places that left over bits and pieces reside, and managed to find the lady in question. 

As a one off, she only took a couple of hours to paint and base - the flag is one I found online and looks suitably Bolshevik I believe - the inscription PCCP in Cyrillic script is the equivalent of the later CCCP - IE the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, whilst the motto alongside the image of Lenin reads "All power to the Soviets!"

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Warlord Covenanter Regiment Completed

I have finally managed to finish off a command base, three bases of pike and four of shot. With the way I have chosen to base these, I still have enough shot for another regiment, so just figuring out whether I will use Perry or similar to provide some extra pike and a command element, or if I will get a second packet of Warlord, creating three units form two packets ......

 The pike block and command figures
 An opponents view of the pike block
 The four shot elements with the command
The four shot elements

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Hard Plastic Scots Cavalry

Here is the first stand of the Warlord Scots Covenanter cavalry. There is no obvious "officer" figure in the pack, so I have nominated this one and paired him with a bugler. Next up will be the standard bearer and a trooper with a lance.

I have also completed the command element for the infantry and have started work on another musket element and the first pike element

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Plastic Covenanters

Friday night and half of Saturday has been spent assembling the Warlord 28mm hard plastic figures that arrived on Thursday. I must admit, I find this task a bit of a pain but its mostly done now, so I have started to paint the first few infantry and cavalry.

 A selection of the assembled musketeers with a variety of headgear
 Eight of the twelve pike figures - less variety is possible with these but again I have varied some of the headgear
 Half of the cavalry - strangely, despite being listed as Scots Lancers, there are only 6 lance armed arms to go around the twelve figures. Three of these are metal for no apparent reason - they are not the command figures and they ride standard plastic horses like the other figures in the set.........
 The first element of Covenanter shot that I painted this afternoon - they have come out quite nicely I think although I don't seem to be able to get as good a paint job on plastic figures as I can on metal.....

Friday, 20 October 2017

Battle of Savages Station - ACW Game using Kalistra Rules

On Wednesday evening Julian, John and I caught up for an ACW game using Julian's troops.

The scenario he had picked was Savage's Station - a rearguard action by the Union during the peninsula campaign.

I took command of the Union and J&J were the Confederates

The number of troops on each side was roughly equal and to win, the CSA had to have at least two units on my base line or have killed six units.

I initially had a nice solid line but made a couple of glaring tactical errors that led to my defeat.

Firstly, I thought I was in the 17th or 18th century and charged one of John's infantry units frontally with a regiment of cavalry - that didn't go well!

Secondly, I started messing around redeploying my left flank when Julian was advancing through the woods and this really stuffed things up. I had forgotten that in these rules BOTH sides fire infantry each turn, so I should have just stood still and slugged it out. My redeployment meant a couple of units were out of line and Julian was able to get three firing onto one at a critical moment.

The third issue was not tactical, it was just dice rolling was average at the best EG I had a couple of charges late in the game when my elite Zouaves rolled 4 dice against 2 for Julian's shaken defenders - I needed to score a 4 on a 10 sided dice and Julian needed a 7 - and TWICE I rolled one hit to his one hit!

Anyway, it was all done in the best possible taste ...but I got a severe thrashing!

Here are the images - not as nice as the ones at Tarawera due to Julian's dodgy mood lighting - all very well for romantic dinner parties but crap for taking pictures of toy soldiers.....

 Initial deployment - Union on the right. The Rebs had an "armoured train" firing as one artillery piece

The CSA deployment and the "armoured train" on the rail track!

One of the two Union batteries
 The right flank of the Union force deploys - the ill fated cavalry advance can be seen in the upper right
The CSA left commanded by John
 The three regiment CSA cavalry brigade on the right - part of Julian's command
 The Union cavalry on my right make their ill conceived charge
 The two forces face off across no mans land
 Above and below - the Union charge from both sides

As a result of my example, Julian's cavalry hastily dismounted and advance to contact on foot!
 The remnants of my second cavalry unit where they retreated to on the back line
 Julian's infantry advance on the CSA right/Union left wing - these three units put their combined fire power onto the single Union regiment seen in the shot
John's CSA infantry advance against my right wing
The situation in the centre of the field
 The units I mistakenly redeployed to "refuse" the flank - I should have left them in line to fire as the Rebs advanced......
The two elite units of Zouaves in the centre
My last attempt to salvage something from the disaster - three units charge the advancing CSA - the elite Zoauves against a shaken regular unit FAILED to win the combat ...GGGRRRRR!
The action has not developed much on my right wing
 My right wing unit charges John's shaken infantry unit and drove them back
But now its three to one and no way of stopping the CSA getting to the base line
Action in the centre - my Zouaves did push back two units of Rebs - one which routed 6 hexes - right to the very edge of the table - top centre behind the hill!
But it was all to no avail - Julian had also put himself in a position to walk any number of units up to the Union table edge.

A fun game but my poor dice rolling was a LITTLE bit frustrating!

Thursday, 19 October 2017

New Toys......

In preparation for our trip to Tarawera, I had finished off several units of Covenanter infantry, and this has inspired me to do a few more! So I have purchased a packet each of hard plastic Scots Lancers and Covenanter infantry by Warlord - actually, it was my VERY belated birthday present from my mother in law and daughter - I should have had them in late August, and might even have got them ready to take away to the game.....anyway, they are here now!

Annual Wargaming Trip - Day 5 (the last one.....)

And so the dawn broke on our final half day of escape from reality and after our usual cooked breakfast, we adjourned to the "shed" to be introduced to Mark's wonderful mini game based around his collection of Perry Retreat from Moscow figures. This took the form of all the players being on the same side against a mechanic based on the Pony Wars rules. Mark functioned as umpire/game master, activating and fighting the Russians who appeared on the table based on trigger points reached by (but unknown to) the French.

Each of the rest of us commanded one unit of the retreating French. Paul had the cavalry, Chris, Barry, John and I had a unit of infantry each and Rick, with his usual flair, commanded the sleigh mounted cavalry unit!

We basically had to move from one edge of the table to the other, exiting over a bridge at the far end. En route, we passed a couple of villages, some woods and an Orthodox church. We were expecting to locate a cache of food at some point on our march but instead found l'Empereur and a small escort of La Garde waiting for us in the first village. The pesky Russians appeared at random based on cards Mark drew and all they basically did was head straight for the Emperor, attacking anyone who got in their way!

The game lasted a couple of hours and was a close run thing at several points. Paul managed to lose the French cavalry and Ricks sleighs were a bit shaky by the end of things, but the infantry were pretty staunch and we got Napoleon safely to the bridge!

Great fun and a nice simple way to end the week, one unit each and all on the same side meant we were happy and relaxed for the drive back to Auckland!

Here are my photos of the game

 The French revving their engines on the start line........
 Paul's cavalry detachment lead the way
 Rick's sleigh unit heads off to engage the first Russians to appear
 And Paul skirts the village in case it contains any "baddies"...but as usual, the PBI had to walk up the road to see what happened!
Quelle Surprise - c'est L'empereur et sa Garde
 Meanwhile, Rick moves around a unit of pike armed peasant militia to give them a volley en passant
Napoleon moves off with the Guard to the fore
More Russians appear and converge on the Emperors position
The cavalry charge a Russian unit while the sleighs  fly past to their rear
 Cossacks heading towards Napoleon are confronted by John and Barry's infantry units
 OH BUGGER! Russian artillery appears directly in line with Napoleons sleigh and score a hit!
But Barry's infantry assault them from the flank and put the gunners to flight
 Rick's sleighs have reached the river and engage a Russian infantry square
 A general view of the game at the half way point - another Russian gun has appeared plus a regiment of regular cavalry to add to the many infantry units
The Guard clear a path for the emperors sleigh
 French units create a "tunnel" for the emperor to move along - Russian units are on each side, baying for blood and vengeance
 The final act - the Russian peasants adjacent to the bridge charged the guard and nearly broke through to kill Napoleon!
 Rick had moved half his sleighs to the "safe" side of the bridge as they were in a pretty bad way after charging the length of the table, blazing away at every Russian unit they encountered
 The last roll of the dice for the Russian - but this time, the guard did not "recule"!

And the way was opened for the emperor to retire safely across the river and continue his ignominious journey westwards!