Saturday, 8 December 2018

Napoleonic Naval Game

There will be no modelling or wargaming for me this weekend, and this a very short post as we away for a visit to Wellington, New Zealand. However, during the week I was able to play a couple of Napoleonic naval games using Galleons and Galleys rules by Ganesha Games. I kept the games simple with no special rules applied. The game uses opposing dice rolls for combat and whatever reason (I cannot fathom why) I am not a fan of opposing dice rolls. So for the second game I tried a modified mechanism for combat, where the attacking ship rolled a single dice and modifiers to determine hits rather than opposing dice rolls. This seems to work ok and I will see how it goes with the next games I play.

Napoleonic Naval Game
Some close quarters action
The ships used are ones a made a couple of week's ago from MDF and cardboard.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Starting WW2 Western Desert Project

I have been able to paint a few test units for my WW2 Western Desert project. The Bases are 2x2 inches. They are photographed on a canvas drop sheet bought cheaply at the local hardware store. The plan is to use a combination of sponging and stippling to get similar colour tones to the bases.

Since completing these tanks a few more 1/300 Heroics and Ros models have left the painting table. I am hoping this will keep me going during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

ECW Campaign Game 11 Report

Game 11 of the English Civil War, and the last game of the campaign 1642 year, has the Parliamentarian and Royalist forces contesting for control of the Cornwall region. The locally recruited forces clashed near the town of Callington.

Opening battle deployment
The battle began at 9am with the Royalist commander eager to attack the Parliamentarian forces which had taken up a defensive position straddling a nearby village.

Parliament deployment
Royalist deployment as seen by Parliament cavalry positioned on the hill
The early moves saw a unit of Royalist commanded shot move up to occupy the church on their left flank. Parliament responded to this moving up their dragoons to engage in a musketry dual. Meanwhile in the centre, after the Royalist artillery ran out of ammunition, their full contingent of dragoons and part of the centre line moved forward to harass the village defenders.

Royalist opening moves
Nervous of Royalist right wing cavalry, the Parliamentarian commander moved his reserve cavalry from behind the village to counter any ideas the Royalists may have had of sweeping around the woods and attaching the rear. The Parliament centre units, supported by commanded shot located in the woods, were putting up a stout defence and the Royalist dragoons ranks were being quickly thinned out.

Parliamentarian cavalry move from behind the wood on the flank
With their dragoons routed the whole Royalist centre and left wing cavalry advanced forward to engage Parliamentarian forces in the village. Shooting from the village was fierce and very quickly all the Parliamentarian centre was out of ammunition. Their cavalry right-wing was holding their own having moved up to engage in pistol fire. The Royalist cavalry quickly reacted and charged and a cavalry melee ensued.
Royalist line advances
Cavalry engagement
At just after noon the battle was very balanced. The centre was in a bit of a stalemate while on both flanks cavalry melees were underway with neither side gaining the ascendancy. At this point the Parliamentarian commander ordered his commanded shot to move from the safety of the woods and engage the Royalist centre on the flank.

By mid-afternoon Royalist cavalry on both flanks had gained ascendancy. Although one unit of Parliamentarian cavalry still held the hilltop on their right flank.

The situation in the centre was still good for the Parliament as their units were putting up a stubborn defence and the Royalist commander was beginning to be worried that his attacking infantry may crack and rout. However, relief came from his left wing cavalry, who having defeated their counterparts, charged the exposed commanded shot who were a thorn in the side of their centre.

Support from an elite pike unit helps the Royalist left flank
Commanded shot get charged down
Having lost control of the flanks the Parliamentarian centre succumbs to the pressure and their forces retire late into the afternoon.

Another victory to the Royalist cause who end the 1642 campaign year in a good position. The campaign will be continuing into the year 1643 with slightly adjusted rules for the campaign now all the regions are controlled by one or the other side. Also for the battles there will be the introduction of chance cards which may aid, or hinder, a marching army on their way to battle.

Troop movements during the battle

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Parcel arrives for my next project

While I have my latest English Civil War game on the tabletop and I am hoping to complete the game tonight, then get the game report written up at the weekend. All of this is providing I do not get too distracted by the contents of a parcel which arrived for my next project.

Current game in progress
My next project is WW2 Western Desert using 1/300 scale miniatures by Heroics and Ros. I chose this scale partly as I think it to be more suitable for tank battles and the openness of the Western Desert terrain, and secondly for a change. I currently have 1/76 scale WW2 Northern Europe and did not really want any more WW2 armies in the same scale.

Parcel contents
My current plans are to use a variation of the Lock 'n' Load's living rules for their Tank on Tank game. Units will be represented by two models on a 2x2 inch stand. In addition to basing and painting the models I will be creating the necessary terrain and tabletop cover.

Heroics and Ros miniatures
I am looking forward to this project as I have never gamed in this scale before.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

ECW Campaign Game 11 Setup and Wooden Ships

As the English Civil War campaign year 1642 comes to an end. We see the Royalist and Parliamentarian causes fighting to control the last remaining region, Cornwall, before preparing for the coming year 1643. It will be in the years 1643 to 1646 where the campaign rules will change from just trying to control regions, to also trying to maintain a marching army to win major battles.

After this 11th game there will be a slight pause while I write up the campaign rules and make the chance cards for 1643-46. Along with finalising some adjustments to the tabletop rules, these being the current scribbles on my rule sheet. The purpose of the 1642 games apart from controlling regions was to help me play test and tidy up certain aspects of the rules.

Campaign map
So on to the next game which will decide which cause will control Cornwall. Royalists are best position because they control an adjacent region, and as a consequence will be able to re-roll one poor recruiting dice score.

Orders of battle are:

5 x Cavalry
4 x Infantry
2 x Dragoons/Commanded Shot
1 x Artillery

5 x Cavalry
4 x Infantry
3 x Dragoons/Commanded Shot
1 x Artillery
1 x Elite Pike

Terrain to be fought over was selected using cards. I will be continuing this approach in the next stage of the campaign. Each card represents a 2x2 foot area of the tabletop. The positioning of the terrain on the card, centre or corners is reflected on the tabletop. Roads get added after the terrain is placed, but have no influence on the game.

Used to determine the tabletop layout.
While I progress with the campaign my modelling has shifted for a short while to wooden ships. Another three rolled off the painting desk this week. I tried a dark brown, rather than black, on their hulls just to mix it up and also lightened up their sails. There are four ship yet to be painted and I also want to add a couple of frigates and sloops. This won't be happening this weekend, the weather is for rain and I only saw and sand MDF sheets outside due to the dust.

Three ship additions in the front
Steps on how the make these semi-flat wooden (MDF) ships HERE.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

ECW Campaign - Game 10 Report

Parliament leadership decided to contest for control of the East Midlands. Recruiting between the rival factions had been fairly even with both sides fielding almost identical forces, Parliament had the slight advantage of one additional infantry unit. These forces clashed near the town of Irchester at Bakeman's farm. The battle began at the gentlemanly hour of 11am.

Looking down the tabletop
Parliamentarian forces have secured Bakeman's farm 
Royalist line at 11am
Initial deployments
When setting up this game, somewhat late in the day, I made a mistake of allowing the larger Parliamentarian force select the side and setup first. Normally it would have been the smaller force. I didn't realise until halfway through the game and decided to keep going with the game as forces were pretty much evenly matched.

The couple of woods in at the centre were going to breakup both sides battle lines and create a series of individual battles. As the Royalist commander made the first move.

Royalist cavalry push forward
On the other flank Royalist dragoons move onto the hill and engage in musketry with forces around Bakeman's farm.  Parliamentary reserve cavalry move around in support.
Both sides used there commanded shot to occupy woods and support their advancing infantry centres.
Dragoons harass Royalist cavalry while their cavalry move up.
The bulk of Royalist cavalry charge forward to meet the advancing Parliamentarian cavalry.
On the other flank Parliament cavalry prepare to charge forward, but the dragoons were quick to spot the danger and retired back to the Royalist centre line.
By late afternoon the tide seemed to be with Parliament.
The cavalry engagement was going Parliament's way as the reserve Royalist unit prepares to charge in.
A minor Royalist victory on the flank as they win the cavalry engagement. 
Royalists push forward with their cavalry and infantry on the other flank. All of a sudden Parliament forces are looking shaky.
Royalist cavalry mop up the Dragoons. While in the centre units with ammunition continue to exchange musket fire.
As dusk closed in fighting was very uncoordinated. Some Royalist infantry were able to advance and capture Parliamentarian artillery. 
Parliament resolve faltered and their units began retiring. Leaving the field of battle to Royalist forces as night closed in.
So a minor victory to the Royalist forces. This was an important victory which will give them control of the East Midland region. If they win Cornwall, the last region to be contested, in the next battle they will be in a strong position going into 1643.

Battle movements

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Wooden (MDF) ships of the line

This weekend has been one focussed on modelling as it was some nice to be outside (and it was dusty modelling work). My next English Civil War campaign will have to wait until tonight.

Back to the modelling. A couple of months ago I bought Naval Wargames by Donald Featherstone, a bit of an opportunistic buy, and it is one of those books where I enjoy reading the odd chapter here and there and looking at the various old black and white photos. Anyway, as I have been adding a few units to my Spencer Smith Napoleonic armies I though it would be quite useful to add some ships for a future campaign. One of the photos in the book was of some home cast flat ships of the Napoleonic period.

Now I do not have any casting experience (yet) but do have a bit of modelling with balsa wood, MDF and cardboard. So with that in mind I thought I would attempt to create a semi-flat ship inspired by the original photo.

Finished MDF ship
The inspiration from Naval Wargames
The following are a series photos going through the process for creating wooden ships.

First I cut out a couple of cardboard templated 
Not a good photo of the MDF with outline to be cut out, but the templates help creating consistency between models 
Using a jig-saw I cut out the ship centre.
Next I cut out bits to show the rigging and make the two side bits for the hull. Using the templates again to mark out the hull pieces ignore the rigging.
The two hull pieces are stuck on.
Everything gets sanded and the bow and stern are shaped. Finally, a toothpick is added for the bowsprit. 
Bases are added
That is the end of the MDF and toothpick work and it is time to move to the cardboard and painting phase.

Sails are added. Again I use a templates to help speed things up. 
Cereal and snack boxes come in very handy for the sails. The based get flocked to help provide some texture for painting later.
The whole model get a good coating of PVA glue before a coat of grey undercoat.
Painting begins and the rigging is drawn on with a pen. 
I won't go through the whole painting process. Once painted the whole model got a coat of PVA glue to seal it and make it glossy. The finished ship...

So far the production line has seven ships of the line and a couple of frigates all ready for adding sails and painting. Cost? Less than $5.