Saturday, 14 January 2023

New Regiment de Ligne ~ and Re-Basing

Continuing on with my current Napoleonic's binge, I decided I needed more French infantry. So I started painting. Along the way I also decided that, whilst I was at it, I should have a look at how my infantry is based.

My French infantry are currently based on 50mm wide bases, 40mm deep with 6 figures in two ranks. Each battalion has 24 figures on four bases. I don't really like this basing but I did it because it sort of matched my Prussians which are based in a similar fashion. After the exchange of several emails, lots of thinking (whilst painting these recent figures) and a long discussion I decided to re-base. 
Being a wargamer of a certain age and pedigree, I started wargaming Napoleonic's using Bruce Quarries rules and Airfix figures in the late 70's. As a result I have a certain mental image of what Napoleonic Wargames should look like. I also have an affinity to BQ's 1:33 figure/soldier ratio when creating battalions and regiments. so: Single ranks of figures with correct company composition and battalion strengths is what sits right in my mind.
A while back I rebased my Prussians onto double rank bases for use with General d'Armee. These bases look nice, they're easy to manoeuvre on the table and they make transport easy and, as stated above I followed suit with my French. But during my recent games they just don't sit right with my image of how Napoleonic wargames should look. 
So I thunk about it and I thunk some more. Cavalry and guns are okay. It's the infantry that are the problem. I didn't want lots of little bases and I didn't want big bases and I didn't want to use sabot bases. I have a whole lot of green plastic bases from many Perry boxes so my solution was to use those bases and put three figures on each base (45mm width). This means each base is a company. Six of these to a battalion all painted with the correct distinctions. I also added a tête de colonne to give me a battalion of 21 figures: not the 24 figures of a 1:33 ratio, but close enough.
To me these battalions look correct. One of my main reservation was: "Will they work with the General d'Armee rules?" My conclusion is that if proper formations don't work with the rules then the rules are broken. Any historical game system should work with historical troop formations. If they don't the problem sits with the rules and not the formations. Besides that: We'll make the rules work in our favour!

Having said all that: Here's my newest Regiment de Ligne.
Only a dozen or so regiments to go (then it's the Prussians turn!)

Wednesday, 4 January 2023

19eme Dragoons

I've had a box of Perry plastic French Dragoons sitting on the self for a long while and it was time that I got to them so they could take to the table and do their dragoonish thing.
When I got these I was keen to paint them up and get them into action but then the plague got in the way and my Napoleonic wargaming came to an abrupt halt and so did my desire to construct and paint these chaps. But we're getting back into the Napoleonic swing of things and their time has come at last.
For some reason there are 14 figures in this box. With the previous regiment I made I just did 12 figures and I don't know what ever happened to the other two figures. But with this set I decided to do all 14 and make a separate command base. I think they look better this way.
These figures are a bugger to paint because they have some great detail that I didn't want to miss. As a result they took a while to do but the results are definitely worth the effort. The coat for the bugler is a real challenge but I did my best to get him looking half decent.
So here is the 19th Regiment of Dragoons. I may add another base in the future to make an equal 8 bases. If I do that I will also add another two bases to my other regiment (the 1st Dragoon Regt) at the same time but there's zero level urgency for any such thing.

As it is, I now have a brigade of dragoons (1st and 19th) ready to take to the battlefield. I have a regiment of Warlord Chasseurs (very horrible figures) that did a while back and I have a box of Warlord Lancers (also not great figures) that I assembled a couple of years back but never painted. I'm very tempted to paint them at the moment but I need to do another French Infantry battalion before I do that. I also have some Prussian Dragoons that I'm keen to paint too!

Sunday, 25 December 2022

1, 2, 3, 4, 5... ADC's Working Overtime

We're having a very quiet Christmas in here St Helena so I managed to finish a bunch of French ADC's for General d'Armee. All they needed was the bases done and a few photographs taken. I'm still trying to get use to the camera on my new(ish) phone. So today I played with the "pro" options that my friend  Robin showed me, and used a little light box I picked up from Aldi a few weeks back.

The results are okay but they still needed a bit of adjustment in photoshop. The pics look a bit flat to me.
The figures are all Perry Miniatures. I'm not keen on their metal horses. By that I mean all of them. Not just the Napoleonic ones. I find them to be pretty rough in some areas and they need a fair bit of prep. I appreciate their plastic horses much more.
However, these are nice looking figures and they should add to the overall look of the game. They will look much better on the table than tokens or dice. I like this one in the light cavalry uniform best. He was an easy figure to paint and has some nice detail.
I was not keen to paint this one below. I decided to assemble him before painting because I though he would be a real pain to fix in to place after painting. As a result he wasn't easy to paint. But he did come out looking pretty nice. The leopard skin saddle cloth came out looking nice. I've done these saddles in 15mm but this is my first in 28mm. I hope this chap can stay in one piece considering the rigors of the wargaming table. I did pin him pretty securely so he should be okay (I hope!).

I'm not sure about this one. I think he's actually an infantry colonel that got mixed in with the ADC's. Whatever... He's an ADC now and he better do a good job or else he might find himself on half pay as a reservist.
And that's it. I started these guys a couple of weeks back and decided to get them painted and out of the way before starting on the regiment of French Dragoons that I have prepped and undercoated.

Also, before I sign off these little beauties arrived in the mail a couple of days ago. Just in time for Christmas.
Lucky me!

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Prussian Attack ~ Gd'A

We're still trying to get back our Napoleonic mojo so we played another game of General d'Armee. We're getting a better handle on the rules and hopefully we'll get more games in early next year.

This time it was my friend Fly as the French and I played the Prussians. Previous games have been multi player affairs but my troops just don't spread far enough for multi player games. As a result this game made a lot more sense to Fly (only his second try at Gd'A) and we got much further along than previously.
There were more Prussians than French so I decided to attack. Me attacking was also the best way to present the various aspects of the game. Beside that; they're Prussians and they work best when they're used aggressively.
The French were pretty much regular line quality with two battalions of veteran leger. The Prussians were a mixed bag with the veteran Leib regiment as the core with two reserve regiments and four landwehr battalions.
We both had quite strong skirmish lines. My Prussians are the historical 7th Brigade for 1813/14 which is very much a light brigade and, as a result, has a fair few rifle companies (I've just represented these companies with skirmish bases). I've also included Lotzow's Friekorps which I'm in the process of completing.
For some strange reason we both deployed our cavalry on our respective right flanks. As a result they never came into contact with each other. My cavalry (below) made some disastrous charges but the French cav just protected the deployed horse battery. This game changed my view about light cavalry deployment. They should be placed in reserve and not used as a strike force. I did this once previously to good effect. I should remember this in the future.
Below: The Lieb Regiment in the centre with the Saxon Thuringian regiment in support, advanced slowly across a stream. They are supported by a landwehr brigade on the right who are, in turn, supported by a light cavalry brigade on the flank.
The French cavalry did very little but their horse battery did a lot of damage to the Prussian battalions taking their time to get across the stream. Lutzow's Freikorp especially got themselves bogged down and became Hesitant several times on the banks of the stream as the horse guns pounded them.
Eventually the Leib crossed the stream and began shaking out to begin their attack. The skirmish lines in the centre exchanged several turns of shooting with casualties on both sides (the first base of the game that was removed were Prussian skirmishers). The skirmish rules also work well for protecting the battalions behind. The skirmish rules are one of my favourite aspects of Gd'A.
My cavalry got into position to charge but became Hesitant. This gave the French time to form square and successfully pepper them with skirmish fire. I had a choice to sit there and get shot up or charge. So the cavalry charged! It was a dismal effort. The squares shot well and causing  4 casualties (and that was halved for being in square!). They uhlans rolled snake eyes for the charge and the support re-roll was a 2 for a total of 3 followed by the deductions for casualties... A bad result?
The worst possible result!

And my Prussian cavalry routed. This caused the brigade to Falter but they did manage to rally. If they hadn't they could have broken and taken the horse battery with them.
I got the Leib Regiment in position for the attack in the centre and... They Hesitated! With one battalion sitting in front of a French battery I thought the attack was doomed. But the fire from the guns was desultory at best and the battalion remained in good order.
The reserve regiment supporting on the left were slow getting over the stream as they had become Hesitant several times. The only thing that kept them in good order was that the Friekorp was the main target of the horse guns and their skirmishers kept the French voltigeurs busy.
The Leib's attack went in and they took out the foot battery caused one battalion to retreat and another to rout . This caused the French brigade to Falter. It was looking grim for the French centre but a check of the rules and we realised we were on the wrong track. The French managed to hold it together and hold the centre.

On the flank the Prussian cavalry re-gouped and with the second regiment taking the lead they charged again. This time the French were in column... But they managed to form square and the result was the same with exactly the same dice rolls. My cavalry were pathetic on this day.
The attack in the centre lost momentum after a minor French counter attack which pushed back the lead regiment. The reserve brigade, left of centre, charged but stopped short of the French lines. The veteran leger attacked on their flank destroying one landwehr battalion and driving back another in a rout causing yet another brigade to Falter. With the cavalry also Faltering again and trying to re-group the landwehr had no support other than the horse guns. On the opposite flank the friekorp were still muddling around on the banks of the stream and getting nowhere fast. The Prussian attack had faltered all round.

We came to a sort of result. It was getting late and we were getting tired. But the Prussians had run out of steam and the leger on the flank were going to overrun the remains of the leger brigade with ease and ruin their day.

After getting through about a dozen turns we had a good handle on the Turn phases and the basic mechanics. But a re-read of the whole rules over the Christmas period should iron out any mistakes and reinforce the basics. I'm planning to paint more Napoleonic's during the holidays whilst taking a short rest from Wars of the Roses. I have a French dragoon regiment ready and I'm also hoping to do the cavalry and artillery for Lutzow's Friekorp which will make them into a nice little independent command.

So that's it for now. Merry Christmas.

Monday, 12 December 2022

A Little Post ~ 6mm WWII

I've been toying with the idea of 6mm WWII for O Group but I've been put off by several reasons. One reason is that good quality 6mm seems expensive to me. It also comes from the U.S. and the postage from the U.S. to Australia is usually exorbitant. I know there are cheaper alternatives but to me they look like rubbish.

However, I recently saw a comparison of 6mm WWII armour on Facebook and I was impressed by a company called 2d6 Wargaming. I looked at their web store and they were well priced. They had an inexpensive WWII German infantry company. So I ordered one with a couple of armoured vehicles for a test run.
They took a while to get to me but when they did I was quite pleased with them. They are nice little figures. I ordered 2 Pz IV's and a Panther which are superbly detailed and well cast. The infantry have enough detail to be able to discern what they're supposed to be. I didn't bother painting much detail on them but it is there if you want to paint it. 

There are enough infantry for a square company of 4 platoons with heavy weapons (2x MMG and 2 x 81mm mortars. There is also a strip for a Company HQ with officers & radios as well as 4 platoon HQ strips with an officer, 2 x NCO's and a 50mm mortar. I didn't make these up as HQ bases. I just included several of the figures in the section bases.
Above is a platoon of 3 infantry sections plus an attached MMG. Each base is 50mm x 25mm.
The Company HQ base with an added 50mm mortar.
The MMG sections.
The armour. 2 x Pz IVH's and a Panther (Ausf G I think).

They came out very nice and were very easy to paint. I think I spent more time on the bases than I did painting the actual models. 

I'm still not sure if I should pursue 6mm for O Group but these 2d6 models are nice and they make the decision more difficult. I have a lot of 20mm but going down the 6mm path would make for a better game on a 6'x4' table. It would make the battlefield a lot larger but I'd have to invest in 6mm terrain. That wouldn't be too much cost wise but it would take time to gather, so I'm still not sure.

Saturday, 10 December 2022

Lancastrians Get Their Chance ~ WotR's 1st Game

After spending the past few months painting up my Lancastrians array, I finally got to put them on the table and roll some dice in anger. They had a great first outing against Tom's Yorkists and they didn't die in drove as might be expected of a new army. 
We played Never Mind the Billhooks and I really liked the game. I had my reservations about Billhooks as I've based all my troops Hail Caesar but I needn't have worried and I was very pleasantly surprised. I had this idea that Billhooks was very bloody with lots of casualties. It was, but not to the extent or the way that I expected.
Leading my army I had the Dukes of Somerset and Exeter with Jasper Tudor. I also had Lord Roos leading my mounted knights but I needed a separate commander for them and the only command base on horse that I have is Lord Henry Percy so he got drafted to lead the heavy horse.
I was facing King Edward IV, Earl of Warwick, Lord Fauconberg and some minor noble leading the kings mounted knights.
Tom put this fantastic piece on the table. It looked far better than this picture gives credit. I recognise the tent as being from Eureka Miniatures. They use to cast them several years back. Tom said the figures are from various Perry WotR command sets. Great work.
And here we are deployed. Exeter on the far left with Jasper Tudor. This side of the stream: Somerset and Percy. We also had two units of skirmishers. Tom had Burgundian crossbows and I had two units of French handgonners.
Facing Exeter and Tudor was the Earl of Warwick whilst the Duke of Somerset had to deal with Edward and Fauconberg. The mounted knights faced each other across boggy ground that was not really suitable for mounted troops.
The initial manoeuvre phase is really good. It allows you to quickly & easily get your troops to where they can start to come to blows. First blood came when my French handgonners shot at Warwick's archers. Thus ended the manoeuvre phase.
Initially both sides continued to advance with some exchange of arrows. The Yorkist mercenaries moved up on both flanks. One band into the little village on my left and the other on my right threatening my knights. As a result I was cautious about moving my knights forward.

But on my left Exeter's archers moved up boldly and shot an arrow storm at the Burgundians in the village almost wiping them out whilst Exeter himself lead lead his men-at-arms through the hedges and into the village where they proceeded to harass the livestock.
We rolled for our commanders at the start of the battle and I ended up with Somerset rolling a 6 (Hero!) but I also rolled 1 for Jasper Tudor (Dolt). In the centre both sides peppered each other with arrows but Somerset decided to take the fight to King Edward the usurper and charged in leading his men at arms. A big scrum took place where Somerset was able to bring his billmen up into Fauconberg's troops but only after his archers had been wiped out.
The boggy ground between the heavy horse was a problem. Tom was all for getting rid of it. I thought it would be interesting. You know: Fog of War and all that stuff. There are plenty of instance in the histories of troops deploying in poor positions. If we had both made better choices we'd both have avoided deploying in front of a bog. But we didn't so we'd just have to suffer the consequences of poor judgement.
On the left Exeter lead his men-at-arms into the village where they tramped about causing havoc and mayhem. In the centre, Tudor was having trouble commanding his troops, His archers did some good work against Warwick but his men-at-arms just stood around getting shot up by the cannon facing them until they took to their heels and left the field.
Eventually the mounted knights clashed when Percy led his troops into the fray. They were out numbered but did sterling work driving off the King's knights with minor losses. Unfortunately they were now prime targets of the Burgundian crossbows.
Somerset's attack was running out of steam but they almost took down Edward. During the attack the King was almost killed and only survived with 1 wound left... and that last dice was a 2 so he was only saved by one pip on the dice. Saved by a whisker.

At this stage Tom was ready to concede defeat but we played one more turn because we had plenty of time. This turned into two turns... Then three... Edward had a band of men-at-arms on the bridge which he now brought across to face Somerset. Somerset's billmen were thrown back by Fauconberg's foot knights and Somerset's knights were wiped out by Edward. Somerset retreated towards the billmen.
Exeter came to his senses and left his men-at-arms to their merrymaking in order to take command of his archers and billmen. On my left Warwick lost his archers and was heavily out numbered so decided to retreat back across the bridge under several fights of arrows from Exeter and Tudor archers. Exeter advanced.
Somerset and his remaining troops made a slow retreat in the centre as Edward and Fauconberg attempted to catch him up. I had one chance and that involved Jasper Tudor turning his archers into Edward's flank and losing a storm of arrow (I had a reload card). But he did nothing. Twice in a row his card was the bottom of the deck meaning that it didn't get drawn. So he didn't get to activate his troops. He truly was a Dolt for this game. 
As a result Somerset retreated off the table giving York the win. They were almost done. They were seriously on the ropes and, as mentioned earlier, Tom was willing to call it quits. Unfortunately Somerset's attack ran out of steam because he didn't have any reserves. Percy's horse got caught in the boggy ground and couldn't manoeuvre fast enough to make a difference. They buggered around and got shot up by crossbows until they routed. And Jasper Tudor was just having a very bad day.

I thought the game was a blast. I really enjoyed it. I was unsure about NMTBh but I kept an open mind and I'm glad that I did. I'd play it again in a heartbeat. Our club's last meeting for 2022 is next week and I have a Napoleonic game planned. But 2023 will be here soon and I'm hoping to play Billhooks again as soon as I can. 

And a "thank you" to Tom for a great game. 

The only question now is: Should I keep doing Lancastrians or should I start painting York?

Edit: Some extra bonus photos taken by club member Russell: