Sunday, 17 June 2018

More plastic Spencer Smith figures

Late this week a parcel arrived full of Spencer Smith plastic figures. The opportunity to purchase these figures came last month from a fellow Blogger who was helping a family sort out and deal with  a wargaming collection of figures and books.

The majority of figures are from Spencer Smith's 18th Century figure range, but do include few Napoleonic cavalry which will provide useful additions to my Napoleonic armies. The infantry are a mix of traditional looking Spencer Smith figures and their Connoisseur Figure range.

Here are photos of some of the collection...

71 Grenadiers (some will be destined to be Austrian Grenadiers in my Napoleonic armies)
A few of the cavalry which came in various poses. In all there are 77 cavalry.
133 infantry both shooting and at the ready
12 Napoleonic cavalry including these hard plastic figures of unknown origin.
61 command and officer figures
This collection, particularly the cavalry, allows the expansion of my Seven Years War French Indian War collection to include European battles (eg the Battle of Minden). In addition some figures will be used to add the odd unit of cavalry and infantry to my Napoleonic forces.

For the moment though I am carefully sorting and storing these figures. I have to first complete painting my English Civil War figures.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Making rules in a mini-booklet format

For the present I seem to have settled on my 3D dice WW2 house rules. My available hobby time this week has been spent playing and testing these rules with some small games. One thing I really wanted to do was get the rules slimmed down so they would fit only one page. As I like simple rules and preferably short rules.

The finished wargame rules as a "zine" booklet
The reason behind aiming at one page of rules, was somewhere in the back of my memory I remembered reading on anther blog where they had written their rules in a "zine" format. If you are wondering what is a "zine" format? Simple ones are one sheet of paper folded into a mini-booklet. A Google search of "zine format" soon provide me with the necessary instructions.

The idea must have stuck in my memory, and now with these WW2 rules it seemed a good time to try and produce them in a "zine" booklet format.

(After a bit of searching I found the blog and post here.)

The rules written up, printed and folded ready to make the booklet
Ready for use
The booklet is nice and convenient and don't take up as much room as a flat sheet of paper on the tabletop. I do put a couple of staples in the centre fold to hold the booklet together.

A game in progress
Anyway here are some more close up photos of the rules themselves. As you can see my proof-reading is a bit suspect. (I always did get "tries hard, could do better" in my school reports.)

The smallest font I used was 14pt to make reading easier.

Front and back page
Pages 2 and 3
Pages 4 and 5
Pages 6 and 7

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Painting ECW units and testing WW2 rules

Not a lot of wargaming or painting done this past weekend due to disruption from other necessary activities taking priority. However, with what available time there was, I did manage to complete a unit of Dragoons to add to my English Civil War armies. At the rate I am going in a couple of months I should have sufficient to have an ECW game using One Hour Wargame rules and a scenario.

ECW units completed so far
Latest addition - Dragoons
I did manage to squeeze in a WW2 game yesterday. I have been messing around with some rule changes for a few weeks now. It has been the usual case of some changes worked and some didn't. Anyway, while I had little time to play over the weekend, I did have time to ponder the rules and a scribbled set of rules was completed. I am now playing through some test games while typing up rule changes before I forget them, and trying to slim them down to fit on one page with a readable font size.

WW2 game in progress with Allied troops supporting a Churchill tank.
Over the next week or so I will get the opportunity to play out a siege game as part of the French Indian War campaign (see Palouse Wargaming Journal).

Friday, 8 June 2018

Some more secondhand books

Yesterday a two secondhand books I purchased a couple of weeks ago arrived in the post. When I made the purchase I was originally looking for Wargaming Pike and Shot by Donald Featherstone, but I also saw Battles with Model Soldiers was available at a reasonable price and could not resist.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

French Indian War - Game 14

Game 14 has French commander Rigaud spring an ambush on a regiment of British Regulars as they march through mountains near Oswegatchie. The game setup is described in the previous post and the campaign lead up moves on Palouse Wargaming Journal. Where Jonathan makes all the solo campaign moves and the results from my solo tabletop battles are fed back into the campaign.

British light infantry encounter a blocking force of French Regulars.
Light Infantry from both sides exchange musket fire. While the main British column advances.
The French Militia spring the ambush on the unsuspecting British units.
The British column begins to organise itself and engages blocking French units.
The flanking French Militia are spotted by the British and they realise their dire predicament as their escape route is threatened.  
The British reorganise pulling their light infantry back to hold open their path of escape.
French Regulars start to push forward to pressure the British as they struggle to defend both their front and flank.
Militia firing volleys at the British flank units.
The light infantry prepare to defend against advancing Militia.
Militia cross the river under fire from light infantry positioned in the woods.
While sustaining losses the French Regulars advance.
Both sides are losing units as British units retire.
Light infantry hold off the Militia.
The retreating British units are delayed by the Militia. 
The French close in.
The British resolve ends after losing their second unit. 
At this point I would have normally ended the game and declared a French victory, but this is an ambush and an ambushing force would press ahead with their advantage and attempt to completely rout the surprised force. So I opted to carry on playing the game and see if the British could extricate their remaining forces or be completely decimated.

British units fail to dislodge the blocking Militia and lose another unit.
Another British unit is lost before their Light Infantry are able to flee the ambush.
So a decisive French victory with the British regiment decimated, but at a cost. Their Militia regiment was severely mauled.

Monday, 4 June 2018

French Indian War campaign - game 14 setup

After a frustrating weekend of trying out some WW2 rule options, all of which came to no avail. It was time to return to the next French Indian War campaign game, and its background described on Jonathan's Palouse Wargaming Journal. This game sees French commander Rigaud ambush of some British Regulars in the mountains near Oswegatchie.

An overview of the tabletop: hills, river, woods, impassable rocks, and rough ground represented by brown felt.
The orders of battle:

British - 1 x Regular Regiment
French - 1 x Regular Regiment and 1 x Militia Regiment, commanded by Rigaud.

For this game regiments are each represented by 4 units on the tabletop. For the regulars their fourth unit will be a light infantry unit.
British on the march with their light infantry unit leading the way.
The game is taking place in mountainous terrain. To translate this to the tabletop I have opted for a river running down the centre of a valley along which the British are marching. The river is fordable in most places and treated as difficult terrain, except where there are rocking outcrops which are impassable.

The French Regulars (with light infantry unit) block the British path.
French Militia waiting to spring the ambush.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Telegraph poles for the tabletop

When I setup my terrain for WW2 games, and before any miniatures are placed, I find there is little to distinguish it from my Napoleonic games. So with that in mind I decided what I needed was some telegraph poles.

Telegraph poles ready to leave the painting table
The telegraph poles were quickly made using 4mm dowel and a matchstick cut in half for cross pieces. Holes were drilled in the MDF bases and cut dowel glued to the base. Painting was simple, dark brown with watered down grey quickly painted over to break up the brown.

Allied forces advance into a town.
In all 13 telegraph poles rolled off the painting table, sufficient to add a hint of 20th century to my tabletop.