Thursday, 30 May 2019

Deciding on the next mini-project

As I slowly edge towards the completion of my paper soldier Jacobite '45 armies with a couple of artillery pieces.

I think for my next project I am going to participate in a challenge proposed on the blog wrong - where "The idea being you buy and paint an army with a view to gaming with it for £30 (or the local currency equivalent) or less in a set number of weeks." For me this will be to build two armies for $60 Australian Dollars to play a One-Hour Wargame.

My plan for this challenge is to do another paper army. I am currently trying to decide between the War of the Spanish Succession or the Norman Conquest 1066. I have in the past made some Normans and Saxons paper soldiers, but would now like to redo them at the increased scale of 42mm rather than 28mm.

I suspect I am leaning towards Normans and Saxons with the aim of completing the challenge over a 6 week period.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Some books arrived in the post

Three books arrived in the post this week:

  • Rules for Wargaming - by Arthur Taylor
  • Military Modelling Guide to Siege Wargaming - by Stuart Asquith
  • Osprey Warrior Series - Samurai 1550-1660

The Samurai book is for a future project I have planned which is still a few months away from starting. For the moment it will go into the cupboard until I get closer to starting the project.

The Guide to Seige Wargaming was a surprise pickup. While it does not come with any rules, it does provide an overview and advice on the following:

  • The Nature of Fortification
  • The Strategical View
  • A Seige in Detail
  • Sieges Through History
  • Battles Fought to Raise Sieges
  • Appendix 1 - Figures and Equipment
  • Appendix 2 - Further Reading

It was almost a year ago a I played my last siege game as part of the French Indian War campaign. I am hoping to get a few more ideas from this book, such as a siege operation against a fortified house as part of an English Civil War game.

The Rules for Wargaming was first published in 1971 and its 60 pages are packed with 8 rule sets. I have vague memories of the book from a long time ago, when I borrowing it from a wargaming school friend. It is an interesting little rule book covering a number of periods:

  • English Civil War
  • Marlborough's Wars
  • Napoleonic Warfare
  • American Civil War
  • Mechanised Warfare
  • 18th Century Naval Warfare
  • Modern Naval Warfare
  • Air Warfare 1914-1918

The rules themselves aim to remove chance from the tactical actions on the tabletop. For example, in shooting units cause a set number of casualties based upon the firing unit's strength. The book encourages the use of campaigns and map moves preceding the game. Incorporated into the campaign approach is weather, which is determined by the roll of dice, along with unit condition and a general's quality which are effected by the last game played, either positively of negatively.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Jacobite Rebellion Paper Armies

For the past few months now I have been glueing and cutting paper soldier units from the Peter Dennis "Wargame the Jacobite '45" book. As I complete a unit they get popped away in a couple of shoeboxes and I keep a rough mental note of what has been completed. I had a feeling enough had been completed and put them out on the tabletop to check.

British Forces (first two rows)
A review of British forces showed I had completed:

  • 2 x Government Militia
  • 1 x Highland Infantry
  • 5 x Infantry
  • 1 x Artillery
  • 2 x Mortars
  • 1 x Skirmishers (incomplete by 2 stands)
  • 1 x Cavalry
  • 1 x Cavalry Militia

Closer view of British forces
Jacobite forces completed are:

  • 3 x Highlanders
  • 1 x Highlanders Marching
  • 3 x Lowland Infantry
  • 2 x Cavalry
  • 2 x Royal Ecossais Regiments
  • 1 x Irish Piquets
  • 1 x Skirmishers
  • 1 x Artillery
  • 1 x Commander

First 3 rows are Jacobite forces
Both sides need some more skirmishers, another artillery piece, wagons, and some more commanders. The book also has some casualty figures which I may make up and put on stands with a space for dice to mark hits. So all in all about two weeks work, then I can call it a day for the time being.

A closer view of the Jacobites
All the paper soldiers when copied were increased in size by 50% from the 28mm to 42mm figures. They are easier to cut around and are easier to see without glasses.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

ECW Campaign Campaign Game 20

As the Royalist army marched through the West Midlands their path was blocked by a larger Parliamentarian force near the town of Droitwich. Being outnumbered the Royalist army took up position on a large hill opposite the bridge.

Battle positions
While being fordable any unit, excluding artillery, crossing the river would take one hit. So it was preferable to have most units cross the river via the single available bridge.

Tabletop and deployments with Royalists on the hill and Parliament lined up along the river bank.
Royalist position
Parliamentarian positions
The battle began around 10am as the Parliamentarian commander pushed his dragoons across the river down stream of the bridge while infantry moved across the bridge supported by cavalry who forded the river. In response Royalists pushed their dragoons into the fields to engage the cavalry at range, and also charged with some of their cavalry into Parliament's infantry who had suffered from accurate musketry.

Parliamentarian cavalry soon engaged the dragoons with pistols from across the river while others moved and engaged Royalist cavalry. The battle was becoming an arm wrestle around the bridge with both sides losing units.

Royalist cavalry about to respond by charging into the Parliament cavalry.
On the Royalist right flank the commanded shot were successfully distracting Parliament's dragoons and allowing the Royalist infantry to engage units crossing the bridge unhindered.

Royalists holding the hill while in the background commanded shot engage the dragoons.
More Parliamentarian units cross the bridge.
By mid-afternoon Royalist forces had lost the battle on both wings and retired as Parliament prepared for a final assault in the hill.

Royalist forces decise to retire.
An unsurprising victory to Parliament who entered the battle with 12 units versus 9 Royalist units. The Royalist forces will retire back to the North Midlands to lick their wounds. Parliament will now have at least one opportunity the strike at a Royalist region before the year 1644 comes to a close.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

A bit of everything this weekend

So far this weekend is turning out to be a bit of everything when it comes to model making and wargaming. First, I managed to finish off the English Civil War game which will be written up later this weekend.
ECW game in progress more to follow in the next post.
Second, I finished off the latest unit of paper soldiers for the Jacobite Rebellion armies. I have lost count of how many units I have cutout and made, so I will be getting all their units out of their shoe box homes and lined up on the tabletop.

More paper soldiers
Third, having recently reacquainted myself with my 19th Century image-nations armies for a game. One thing I did not like was how the mix of flags worked and I repainted all the flags using surplus transfers from my space marine kits for some of the details.

Repainted flags for 19th century image-nation forces
Fourth, creating reeds or jungle grasses from some fake grass I picked up at an art shop a month or so ago around Easter time. I am not sure what the actual purpose of this fake grass is, but as soon as I saw it I though it would be useful on the wargaming table as terrain. The individual tuffs of grass can be easily detached (pulled off) but need a bit of weight to stay put on the tabletop. Weight was added by glueing washers to the base which I had sprayed green.

Recent purchase
A quick trial showed the effectiveness, but the plastic grass needs some weight to make them stay put as reeds beside the river.
Another use is as long jungle grasses for my Crossfire WW2 Burma games.
Washers were sprayed with green paint then glued to the plastic grass tuffs.
River without reeds 
River with reeds added. 
Fifth, I reworked my existing felt cloth I use to represent woods. Spraying the dark green felt with a lighter green and sand to get some colour variation.

Original felt
Sprayed with a lighter green and sand paint
After spraying and with trees
Not a lot of difference, but the look is softened

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Return to the ECW campaign

It has been about six weeks since the last time I played an English Civil War game as part of my on-going campaign. The last battle saw Parliament attempt to increase their control of the South Coast region, only to see their army repulsed in July 1644.

Campaign map as at August 1644
Moving ahead to August (after a roll of 1 on a D3 dice) we have a Royalist army march from the North Midlands into the West Midlands. However in Royalist controlled regions trouble was brewing with clubmen gangs fed up with deprivations cause by the war causing problems for local garrisons. This has resulted the artillery train being delayed and a smaller force being available (although some say poor dice rolling was the cause of that).

On the other hand Parliaments army was buoyed by a wealthy commander who supplied an additional cavalry unit (from his own purse no less) along with the continuing benefit throughout 1644 of well funded armies curtesy of excise taxes.

Chance cards in play for this game.

Orders of battle...

Royalist Units:

  • 3 x cavalry
  • 3 x infantry
  • 2 x dragoons
  • 1 x elite pike
Parliament Units:
  • 5 x cavalry
  • 4 x infantry
  • 2 x dragoons
  • 1 x lobster cavalry
  • 1 x Artillery

The battle is taking place near the town of Driotwich.

Terrain cards
The terrain cards were drawn and tabletop setup. The Royalists commander will choose the long table edge to defend. While there is a river this is fordable at any point to all units except artillery, and all unit crossing the river will suffer the loss of 1 hit.

Tabletop layout.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

A bit of 19th Century gaming

It has been a busy weekend having just returned from a holiday and doing the usual sorting out that goes with returning home. However, I was able to spend Saturday morning at Little Wars Melbourne wargames show. There were approximately 30 wargame tables in action all the ones I looked at were well presented. One participation table took my attention because it had some splendid Franco-Prussian figuresby Spencer Smith along with some simple one-page rules. All very old school and I was able to participate in a quick and most enjoyable game before moving on to have a look at various games in progress and peruse items for sale around the hall.

Franco-Prussian game from the show
After being inspired by Saturday's Franco-Prussian participation game, I dragged out my 19th Century imagination figures (Greater Novia and Ustorian forces) for a quick game.

Having set up the table I used the scenarios chapter from "19th Century Wargaming" by Neil Thomas to determine force composition.

Ustorian Forces

  • 4 infantry units
  • 1 skirmish unit
  • 2 cavalry units
  • 1 dragoon unit
  • 2 artillery units

Due to traffic congestion 3 Ustorian units would be delayed in arriving until turn 4.

Greater Novia Forces
  • 4 infantry units
  • 2 skirmish unit
  • 1 cavalry units
  • 1 dragoon unit
  • 2 artillery units
3 units were on a flanking march and would arrive on either flank in turn 5.

The rules I used are a mash-up of "One Hour Wargaming" and Horse and Musket rules from Donald Featherstone's "Tackle Model Soldiers This Way". A link to the rules can be found at the top of the post.

Early game deployments
Ustorian units occupy the town and are engaged by advancing Greater Novia units. Both sides used their cavalry and dragoons to protect their exposed flank.
Ustorian flanking forces arrive and become quickly engaged in the fight.
Greater Novia forces keep the pressure up attacking the town as reinforcements arrive to fill the gaps where units have been lost. 
On the other flank Ustorian units are both engaged and threatened by cavalry.
Casualties were beginning to mount on a number of units on both sides.
Novia cavalry getting the upper hand and have cleared the town as Ustorian units rush  to support their artillery around the town.
In some final desperate fighting Greater Novia forces were able to secure the town. While on the other flank their cavalry  roam the open flank and will create problems for Ustorian forces.
At close of play both sides were down to their last 3 units, but a minor victory was given to Greater Novia forces as they had taken and held the town. It has been quite some time since I had these Spencer Smith figures on the tabletop.

Monday, 6 May 2019

WW2 Western Desert

I had originally intended to write up a game report from a few days ago, but time got away from me and I am now on holiday with my game notes at home. So here are a few photos.

The game played was loosely based upon "a larger action" from the book "An Introduction to Wargaming" by John Sanders. It has two similar sized forces trying to control a ridge between two escarpments. The Germans are already in position and occupying the ridge. While advancing is a British force there to investigate reports of German activity.

I ended up playing the game three times, trying out different approaches for the British forces. The first time the British pushed forward and were easily beaten. In the second play through they waited for their artillery to provide support to their attacks, which successfully defeated the German right. Allowing them to eventually flank and capture the ridge. The third play through ended up a draw.

When I am on holiday while travelling between sights I will often mull rule ideas over in my head. One idea I am thinking of trying is to use a deck of cards rather than dice for the Tank on Tank rules. I have no idea how the game will flow and it may turn out to be not such a good idea. But I have recently really enjoyed some One-Hour Skirmish Wargaming games which use a deck of cards rather than dice to determine outcomes. So I will give cards a try upon my return home.

As for my holiday - I am currently here...