Friday, April 17, 2015

Napoleonic French Brigade Commander and Leger Battalion

While I'm awaiting the start of my SYW imagi-nation game Saturday morning (see last post), I've been trying to finish some Napoleonic French figures for a May play test of one of my convention games for Bayou Wars in June.  This week I finally finished a French infantry brigade commander and one of his battalions, the 1st Battalion, 36th Leger Regiment.  All of these figures are either venerable "true" 25mm Jack Scruby castings or newer Historifigs castings which are the immediate descendants of Jack's figures.

Almost all of my Napoleonic forces are organized around the composition of the Prussian, Russian, and French/Allied commands that fought over Berlin after the summer 1813 armistice.  The various uniforms may not be entirely accurate but they are close enough for me as I'm not a button and lace fanatic with my Napoleonics.

As the label states, this is General de Brigade Jarry, commander of the 2nd Brigade, 32nd French Infantry Division.  Jarry is a former leger officer (of the 36th Leger) who still wears his leger uniform even though he has been promoted.  All of my brigade and higher commanders are mounted on round bases of different sizes to distinguish them from the rectangular and square infantry, cavalry, and artillery bases.

The 1st Battalion, 36th Leger Regiment still has its carabiniers in black bear skin caps and its voltiguers in brown colpacks with yellow bags.  Nothing is too good for Jarry's old regiment!  All of my infantry battalions of any nationality are organized into four 4-figure stands which fits both my wallet and the rules I use - "The Sound of the Guns" by Larry Brom.

The bases are by Litko, which is almost all I use nowadays.  I used to cut my own bases but I've found out the savings in my own labor more than overcomes the slight increase in cost.  Plus the Litko bases just look so good!

The other battalion (4th) of the 36th Leger is being painted and the rest of the brigade, two battalions of the 131st Line Infantry Regiment, are awaiting their turn under the brush.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Spring Campaigning is Beginning in Central Europa

The campaign season is upon us.  The snows in the Thuringian Forest have melted and the grass is lush in the valleys and dales.  Commissary agents for the various Electoral and Imperium states as well as from Germania, Britannia, and Gallia have been scouring the countryside for food stuffs and animal fodder.  The bakeries and cannon foundries are working overtime.  Surely war is coming once again to Europa.

Eisenmuhlen cannon foundry in Carpania (picture by Col Campbell)

Field bakery in Hesse-Seewald (picture from Der Alte Fritz's blog)

Having heard rumblings of Imperial activity in the Saxon lands near our neighbor and ally the Kingdom of Hesse-Seewald, the Markgraf has directed his small army to march southeast through Coburg to threaten the Imperial base at Bayreuth.  General der Infanterie Baron Rolfe von Stuppe, commander of the Carpanian army, is mustering his regiments, aided by a Britannian infantry regiment and heavy dragoon squadron as well as several guns.  Baron von Stuppe is using the appellation Electorische Armee Thuringen (Electoral Army in Thuringia) for his small force since Carpania supports the Electoral forces headed by King Friedrich II of Germania.

Markgraf von Hapnich of Carpania watches his army muster (picture by Col Campbell)
The advance guard of Carpanian jagers and dragoons leaves Potsdorf for the field (picture by Col Campbell)
At the Imperial base at Bayreuth, the Reichsarmeeabteilung Obere-Sachsen (Army Detachment Upper Saxony) has been marshalling its forces under the command of Feldmarshall-Leutnant Freiherr Bernard von Alderheim.  It consists of forces from Courland, Sachsen-Wachsenstein, and Gallia.  Von Alderheim has deployed his pulk (regiment) of Courland Cossacks out to the northwest of Bayreuth to keep an eye out for the Carpanians, whom he is sure will march to the support of the Hesse-Seewalders.

FML Freiherr von Alderheim (picture by Col Campbell)

Courland Cossacks and Pandurs deploy to screen the mustering (picture by Col Campbell)
For additional details of developments in Hesse-Seewald, please refer to these blog postings from Der Alte Fritz:  

This is in preparation for a SYW imagi-nations game on Saturday, April 18.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Fight for the Fosse Way

In preparation for a big Very British Civil War game at the UK's Partizan convention on May 31, Pete Barfield (Panzerkaput) asked that VBCW gamers run a game using the terrain that he will use.  We were to inform him of the results so he could make a compilation and use them as the starting point for the big game.

Since I was planning on running a VBCW game this spring, using Pete's scenario made it somewhat easier for me.  So with the basics out of the way, then all I had to do was figure out which rule set to use - "Went the Day Well?" or "The Sword to Adventure."  Of course I chose one that we've never played - "Rugged Adventures" from Pulp Miniatures: and  I made up ten different commands, five for each side, assigned a playing card to each, and had the 7 players who showed up draw for their commands.  It turned out that we had four on the Royalists side (2 Royalists [Jay and Larry] and 2 BUF [Ed and Sean]) and 3 on the Anglican Coalition side (Anglican LDF [Travis], Socialist Brewery workers [Mike], and red sailors [Phil]).  What I didn't tell anyone was that there was a command of Ghurkhas inside one of the farmsteads escorting part of the crown jewels [game master contolled].  Surprise! Surprise!

Ed and I took a lot of pictures but I only decided to use a small number.  The fighting broke down into three smaller battles over the three farmsteads.  Pete provided a table layout which I tried to follow as best as I could.

The Anglican Coalition entered from the top (red force) while the  Royalists entered from the bottom (blue force).

Here's my version with Brookfield Farm in the foreground.  If you look closely by the center farmstead (Grange Farm) you might spot a special visitor and his particular conveyance.

The two commands of regular Royalist infantry [Jay and Larry] quickly captured the Brookfield Farm.  When the East Bergholt Local Defense Force (the East Bergholt Hunt Club) [Travis] closed, the Royalists began to advance on them with bayonets fixed.
From the Hunt Club's perspective, those glistening bayonets didn't look too inviting.

Meanwhile on the other flank, the red sailors from the Harwich Maritime Defence Force [Phil] seized the Bridge Farm before a section of BUF Bolton Rifles [Sean] could get there.

In the center, the Brown Brewery Workers [Mike] closed on the Grange Farm only to hear a distinctly British voice [game master] asking who they were and what did they think they were doing.  Not being able to answer to the satisfaction of the Ghurkha officer, they begin to exchange fire.

Another section of BUF Bolton Rifles [Ed] then appeared on the other side of the Grange Farm, satisfied the Ghurkha commander as to their bona fides, and helped drive the brewery workers away.

The Hunt Club couldn't stand against the charge of the Royalist regulars and scampered for home leaving the Brookfield Farm securely in Royalist hands.
With the Brookfield Farm securely in their control, the Royalist regulars began to sweep across the battlefield only to run into a column of Anglican Coalition reinforcements [Travis' second command].
The red sailors were attacked at the Bridge Farm by a section of BUF Bolton Rifles [Sean] but the sturdy walls of the building kept them safe from BUF rifle fire.

With their leader killed, possibly by one of his own men (he wasn't very popular with them), the BUF Bolton Rifles scurried away from the Bridge Farm leaving the red sailors in possession of that farmstead.

The battle ended then since I had to leave for a movie and supper date with my wife.  The Royalists held two of the three farmsteads - Brookfield and Grange - while the Anglican coalition only held one - Bridge Farm.  These results were reported to Pete.  We'll find out in two months how the big battle at Partizan turns out, having done our part in setting it up.

As far as the "Rugged Adventure" rules, they worked fairly well even though we didn't do much of the "role playing" that the rule set supports.  Unfortunately Travis was assaulted by twice his number and lost his command about two-thirds of the way through the game.  But having plenty of other commands left, he brought on a section of Anglican Coalition regulars who stopped the Royalists from sweeping across the battlefield.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Lion Rampant Game

It is been some time since we played this game using the newly released Lion Rampant rules.  Finally I have some time to make the game report.

Six of us gathered on February 21 at my church's Fellowship Hall.  The Duke of Bentwood and his allied vassals were attempting to put down an uprising of several of his discontented vassals.  The scenario we used was the first one in the rule set, called "Bloodbath" which was a straightforward fight between the two sides.  Each player had a 24-point retinue.  For the most part, the figures are all vintage Miniature Figurines, Scruby, Ral Partha, and other 1970s and 1980s manufacturers.

Bentwood - Alex K. (Bentwood Castle guard), Jay S. (Lord Sterling) (Kilgarren Castle guard), and Phil Y (Cove Hold guard).

Rebels - Bill H. (Teutobergerwald), Ed S. (Men of Haven and the Dale), and Sean P (High Tor Keep).

I think I'll just let the pictures speak for them selves.  Unless otherwise indicated, the photos were taken by me.  Please click on them for a larger image.

The Bentwood commanders - Alex, Jay, and Phil - deploy their retinues.

Two of the rebel commanders - Sean and Bill - deploy their retinues.  I initially commanded the third rebel retinue (on the far end) until Ed arrived.

Phil smiles as he hopes Ed's retinue is falling into his trap.  The Doctor observes the advance of Ed's mounted sergeants.
One of Ed's foot sergeant unis advances.  Led by "Boudicea" (blue cloak), this mixed figure unit acquitted itself fairly well in the battle.  [photo by Ed]
Sean's foot retinue advances in the center.  In the distant, Alex's right flank retinue is visible.
Another view of the center and left of the rebels as they attack the Duke's forces.  Sean's retinue is laid out with a two expert foot yeomen units and a foot sergeant unit in the first line (right to left)  and a foot archer unit and expert foot sergeant unit in the second line (right to left).  Beyond Sean's left are several of Bill's Teutobergerwald units.  Opposite them are units of Alex's right flank and Jay's center of the Duke's army.  [photo by Ed]
Ed's mounted sergeants run into the very accurate bolts of Phil's crossbowmen.  The pointed oval marker behind the two  mounted sergeants left alive denotes that they are battered.  See previous post for how I made these.

Bill's left flank Teutobergerwald retinue advances against Alex's forces.
Bill's Teutobergerwald foot sergeants have tangled with Alex's "blue" mounted men-at-arms.  Bill's unit was in schiltron formation which gives it an advantage in defense, especially against mounted troops.  Both sides lost one man, but Alex's mounted unit had to retire from the action since they didn't break Bill's schiltron.  The gold rings around selected figures indicate the individual unit "commander."  [photo by Ed]

A closer view of Bill's Teutobergerwald schiltron.  These are vintage Miniature Figurines figures.  [photo by Ed]
Sean's and Bill's rebels start to mix it up with Alex's and Jay's "loyalists."

Bill's mounted men-at-arms move over a hill and discover Alex's foot sergeants who immediately form a schiltron against them.

One of Alex's mounted men-at-arms units moves around a hedge to get at the rebels.

While Alex's "blue" mounted men-at-arms are re-grouping, his "red" mounted men-at-arms units are attacking one of Bill's mounted men-at-arms units.  In the distance by the hedge, one of Jay's mounted men-at-arms units (light blue) is attacking a unit of Sean's retinue. 

And Jay's "light blue" mounted men-at-arms slam home against Sean's expert foot sergeants with their great battle axes, while one of Bill's Teutobergerwald foot sergeant units looks on.

At the end of the fight (which lasted 6 turns, if I remember correctly), the losses were:

Duchy of Bentwood (15 units) - 4 destroyed, 4 battered, 7 still in fight

Rebels (15 units) - 7 destroyed, 2 battered, 6 still in fight.

So the Duke of Bentwood can claim this as a victory but the rebels will be continuing the fight against him.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cove Hold Household Men-at-Arms

The county of Cove Hold is one of the domains of my imaginary medieval country of the Duchy of Bentwood.  The count is a loyal supporter of the Duke and maintains both a household guard and a county guard troop.  The household guard has been raised already as were three of the six county guard.  The other three county guard were completed tonight.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I bring you the green clad Cove Hold household guard and county guard.

The Count of Cove Hold (center) with his household guard

The county guard of Cove Hold

The household guard are a mix of Miniature Figurines and Ral Partha figures, while the county guard are old Heritage figures on a mix of Heritage and Ral Partha horses.

Both of these mounted men-at-arms troops are part of the larger Cove Hold retinue (for the Lion Rampant rules) which will be featured on future postings.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mounted Men-at-Arms (Medieval)

I just completed nine mounted men-at-arms (knights) for my 25mm medieval forces.  These knights can be used for either the venerable Rules by Ral or the newer Lion Rampant rules.

The first batch are three knights are to round out several units.  The other six are a new unit.  Please click on the pictures for larger images.

Two Miniature Figurine mounted knights flank a Teutonic knight from an unknown manufacturer.  Both banners are hand-painted over a pre-printed banner.

A unit of six knights, all from the same unknown manufacturer, will be led by the guy in the bright yellow outfit and the duck on his helmet (le Baron de Canard).

EDIT:  Thanks to Nic and Daryl on The Miniatures Page, it appears that the "Teutonic" knight and the six in the second picture are probably all Essex figures.
I have three more knights to paint to bring another unit up to strength, then its on to some venerable 25mm Scruby Napoleonic French infantry to start getting ready for a play test in May of the scenario I'll be using at our regional convention, Bayou Wars, whose theme is "1215(Rochester/Manga Carter)/1415 (Agincourt)/1615(Osaka)/1815(Waterloo)."  My scenario will involve the Prussian pursuit of Grouchy's wing after the fighting at Wavre, as I have it planned now.  I'm also seriously thinking about a 1415-ish game, probably using Lion Rampant rules, involving actions either before or after Agincourt.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Lion Rampant Battered Markers

We had our first Lion Rampant game today (report to be forthcoming).  To get ready for the game, I wanted some nice looking "battered" markers for my units.  Through the generosity of several wargamers who sent me a varied collection of shields and weapons, I constructed my markers.

I recall seeing pointed oblong wooden pieces at my local Ace Hardware store.  As unusual the friendly sales associate knew exactly what I meant and pointed me to the wood joining biscuits.

These wooden biscuits are used to join two flat pieces of wood but the make excellent bases for various markers.  I spray painted them flat brown, glued on green flock, and then attached the shields and weapons that I had painted.  After a good spraying with a maximum hold hair spray, I glued small washers to the underside to give them some weight. 
Markers just placed in front of a unit of 25mm knights (mounted men-at-arms).

Close-up of the finished products.

I think they will work very well not only for Lion Rampant but for any medieval game where one needs to show a unit that has lost cohesion.
Again thanks to my much appreciated benefactors!