Monday, December 31, 2012

Final Painting of 2012

Yesterday I completed a small batch of disparate figures that had been sitting around my painting desk for far too long.

First some Miniature Figurines American Revolutionary War figures:

An American general, using the MiniFig General Washington figure, painted from scratch.

And a Hessian general, using the same figure.  This was a repaint of a previously painted figure that I purchased.

New figures for Bland's Dragoons (American).  I previously had inherited a unit of nine of these from my friend Doc Ord.  With the acquisition of three more, they are now part of a six stand regiment.  The newly painted figures are the officer on the front stand and two of the four figures on the back stands plus three of those four horses.  I think I did a fairly decent job of matching Doc's paint job.
And the whole regiment together.  They will be used to help oppose my British cavalry - 17th Light Dragoons, Queen's Rangers, and the Loyalist York Dragoons (an "made-up" designation).

An Old Glory Darkest Africa figure:

This is the leader from the Old Glory bearers set.  I needed a senior leader for my Zanzabari units and he seemed to fit the bill perfectly.  He is a slightly taller figure than the rest of my Zanzabari so he'll stand out as their leader.

My Chinese Back of Beyond forces needed some additional leaders so I added the Pulp Figures PYG-14 Chun King warlord command pack.

The warlord in the center and the standard bearer will lead the entire Chinese force.  The two figures on each end will join one of his warlord infantry units to replace some leader figures who are getting promoted.  The bald-headed guy in khaki will lead my German uniformed Chinese forces.  He's armed with a submachinegun and looks rather nasty so he'll be a good guy to keep them in check.  The basing details correspond to the units that are already done to which these guys will be added.
And my early 20th Century "Pulp" forces got some additional stalwarts to increase the strength of the "Knights of the Cresent Moon."

Three Tommy Gun toting "Knights" from the Brigade Games line of figures.  They'll join the ones I already have painted.

To make a fairly heavily armed band to help protect the treasures of the Near East from those ravenous "tomb raiders" who plague that part of the world.

And finally, Bob Murch's Pulp Figures of "The Sergeants Three and Gunga Din."

Those three brave and rogueish sergeants plus the bugle tooting Gunga Din.  The bases aren't completed yet but they are ready for adventures.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ice Halo around Moon

This evening as my daughters left to return to their house, we noticed that the moon had a huge ice halo around it.  It is the biggest halo that I have ever seen.  The halo was wider that my outstretched hand from the end of my thumb to the end of my little finger (about 9") at arm's length.  It truly was a magnificent sight.

I have taken a picture of it but my camera's field of view wasn't wide enough to catch the halo is all its glory.  But here it is for your viewing pleasure.

The halo ring is out at the margins and corners of the picture.  There was a smaller ring much closer to the moon.  The dark splotches in the lower right corner are the upper branches of a huge oak tree in my yard.

The picture was taken about 9:00 pm CDT using an Olympus SP-320 digital camera with the night scene setting from my driveway in Jackson, Mississippi.

New Additions to Possum Ridge

It has been too long since I posted here.  So in light of the Christmas season, here are some of the new additions to the imaginary town of Possum Ridge, Mississippi, which is an O-scale railroad layout and town constructed every Christmas at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, where I work.

Previous posts about Possum Ridge can be found at "Christmas 2011 at the Barracks" and "Trains on Christmas Day" on this blog.

The biggest addition is a crop dusting airstrip and plane.  Crop dusting was (and still is) used extensively in the Mississippi Delta for insect control.  For many years it was the only way to control the deadly cotton boll weevil which was devastating our cotton crops.

A new piece of motive power for the railroad is this Shay engine.  It provides the sawmill in town with freshly cut timber from the surrounding forests.

And you can't have a railroad without a hobo camp.  This one is located very close to the area's still!  The hobos know where the "good stuff" is.

One of my donations to the collection was a Model T Coca Cola delivery van.  Here he is making a delivery to Osborne's country store.  The van is a Matchbox Model of Yesteryear vehicle and was excess to my needs.  I decided it would be a great addition to Possum Ridge.

And the final addition is another delivery vehicle that I donated, a Carnation milk truck, which has just made a large delivery to Luna's Coffee Shop.

All here at Col Campbell's Barracks wish everyone a

very merry Christmas

and a

happy and prosperous New Year!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Colonial Barracks, 2012 (Nov 2-4)

It has been over a week since the Colonial Barracks convention in New Orleans, so I suppose I should post my pictures from the convention.  Not all the games were photographed as I was involved in playing or running games from Friday evening through Saturday evening.

So here they are, grouped by the game:

The Battle of Jalapa - 1846 -- a fictitious action based on a "what if" Santa Ana had not taken his army north to its destruction in the Buena Vista campaign, but kept them to face General Winfield Scott's army advancing from Veracruz.  My friend, Electric Ed, ran this game using Larry Brom's The Sound of the Guns rules and his own 15mm American and Mexican armies.

The American left wing, commanded by yours truly, with the right wing visible in the distance beyond the woods.
Part of the Mexican right wing and center.
Mexican defenders of Jalapa.
The American left wing is threatened by Mexican cavalry from across the stream.
While one American infantry regiment lines the bank of the stream, other regiments are attacked by the second Mexican cavalry regiment.  But a battery of American artillery suddenly finds an straight shot down the Mexican cavalry line.  BOOM! 
Lead regiments of the second American division enter, led by the Regiment of U.S. Marines (red flag on left).
As the Mexican cavalry advanced across the stream,  the 1st Mississippi Rifles (red shirts in foreground) deploy across the stream to outflank the Mexican cavalry.

What happened to the Mexican cavalry?  What is left of them can be seen in the distance as they have fallen back a considerable distance.  The Americans continue their advance against the Mexican infantry who have deployed in lines across the road to Mexico City.

A closer view of the Mexican right wing infantry deployed to contest the American advance after their cavalry attack was defeated.  The American battery in the right foreground has already routed a Mexican unit by fire, receiving a marker (the yellow ring) which signifies that when they test their initial morale, they will automatically be upgraded one morale grade.

In the center, the Americans steadily advance.  Their artillery and musket fire forces the defenders of Jalapa to retreat.

On the American right flank, the 2nd U.S. Dragoons attack a Mexican artillery battery on a small hill.  The Mexican cavalry in the foreground have just defeated the Tennessee Militia Cavalry, forcing them to withdraw.
 The Defense of Beaune-La-Rolande, 28 Nov 1870.  A small force of Prussians defends this French village needed by the French Army of the Loire on its advance to Paris.  Can the Prussians hold out until their reinforcements can "march to the sound of the guns?"  I ran this game using Larry Brom's Chassepot and Needlegun rules and figures from Doc Ord's, Lord Sterling's, and my Franco-German War armies.

Beaune-La-Rolande with its Prussian garrison moving into position.
Two of the French commanders advance their forces against the Prussian defenders.  The Prussian heavy battery on the hill in the foreground lost one of 6 gunners to French Mitrailleuse fire and fled in abject rout.  Luckily they were rallied and eventually returned to their guns.
At this time my rechargeable batteries finally gave up the ghost.  Not having any replacements, I was unable to finish photographing my game.  However John from the Nomadic Old School Gamer blog did get a bunch of pictures.  During the lunch break, I ran out and bought some regular batteries for my camera so I could get additional pictures.

The Great European War of 1892.  Paul Arceneaux ran this battle using his vintage 54mm figures, some of which were, as Paul said, "old enough to be your grandfather."

An overview of the battle after its conclusion.

A close-up of the British army as it resists the attacks from its opposing European Consortium forces.

Scottish Highlanders and Indian Army sepoys flanked by British battalions.
The Hive and the Flame demonstration.  Rules developer Terry Sofian flew down from St. Louis with his rules, some British forces, and his bugs.  Combining elements of The Sword and the Flame and 800 Fighting Englishmen, The Hive and the Flame pits the British Empire at the end of the 19th Century against its most formidable enemies - alien arthropods controlled by "the Hive."  I commanded a "brigade" of the bugs in this battle.

This was also probably a first for a TSATF game - we had more female players (3, 2 British and 1 bug commanders) than male players (both bug commanders).  One of the British commanders was no other than Lori Brom herself, the "great man's" daughter!

The mighty British, supported by four steam tanks, advances across the plains.

One of the many bug units consisting of 20 warriors and 4 "brains"

Bugs advance towards the British
Initial contact between the bugs and the British.

After being swarmed by bugs, one of the British tanks has blown up!

Although threatened by a tank, my bugs ignore it to surround and later annihilate a British machinegun unit and the remnants of an infantry unit.  But the bug line on the right are leaderless and have turned "amok."  They will attack the closest unit, which unfortunately turned out to be mine.  OOPS!

After beating off the "amok" bugs, I turn the remnants of my lead command against a British square.  The British finally got smart and began to fight from squares.  Lori Brom commanded this square and her dice rolling was phenominal.  She thoroughly defeated my bug attack.  She has evidently not inherited her dad's abysmal dice rolling gene.

As the battle drew to a close, the bugs swarmed another British tank and, I believe, caused it to blow up as well, to the detriment of the bugs on and around it.
In Nicaragua, 1926.  Using With Ol' Gimlet Eye, Ken Hafer ran a battle between the Sandinista rebels and a column of U.S. Marines and sailors.  For the second year in a row, the Marines and sailors were clobbered.

My friend, Electric Ed, looks over the battlefield.
The Battle of Cowpens.  Doc Ord used Disperse, Ye Damned Rebels! to run this battle using his finely painted 28mm American Revolutionary forces.

Doc Ord overseeing the battle from his position behind the American lines.  A Tory cavalry unit is advancing in the foreground.

American infantry face off against an advancing line of British infantry.
American Civil War Skirmish.  My friend, Lord Sterling, unveiled a new rule set, The Sword and Secession, a variant of The Sword and the Flame, at this convention.  His game pitted small sized Union and Confederate units in the wilds of somewhere in the South.

Lord Sterling, seated in the center with the beard and balding head, oversees the game using his new rules.

Along the Sweetwater Canal, Egypt, 1882.  Using Larry Brom's old 30mm Anglo-Indian and Egyptian army, Lord Sterling ran a mega-game of the Anglo-Indian attack against Colonel Arabi's Egyptian army in 1882.  This was the piece-de-resistance game of the convention.  We had six Egyptian commanders and five British commanders, each with a brigade of infantry or cavalry.  I was so busy as the Anglo-Indian commander that this is the only picture I took.  John's Nomadic Old School Gamer blog (link above) has more pictures.

My brigade on the Anglo-Indian left flank consisted of two Highland battalions, the Grenadier Guards, and an artillery battery.  We held off and then defeated a brigade of two Egyptian cavalry regiments and a brigade of three Egyptian infantry battalions.  I will have to be honest and tell that one of my Highland battalions did get routed and I could not rally them before they scampered away.
After the Gaming Was Over.  We all sat around and told stories of old gamers, conventions long ago, and games in which we had played.  It was a grand old time.

The "after gaming" session.
And finally, the grand old man himself, with whose rules we have all had such fun in gaming over the decades:

Photo by Tim Chadwick
Larry Brom (Sergeant, USMC, Korean War veteran)
Author of The Sword and the Flame and all the other rules we have enjoyed

Larry's sweatshirt reads:
To err is human
To forgive divine
Neither is
Marine Corps policy

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Brandenburg Dragoons Join Prussian 6th Division

Finally, after what seemed to be weeks of on and off painting, I completed the 1st Brandenburg Dragooner Regiment Nr. 2 for my 1870s Prussian forces.  This regiment will be part of the multi-owner German and French forces that will slug it out in the battle of Beaune-La-Rolande on Saturday morning at the Colonial Barracks convention in New Orleans.

Composed of sixteen Castaway Arts Prussian dragoons, the 1st Brandenburg Dragoons were part of the 6th Infantry Division during the invasion of France in 1870.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Salt Works Fight

Today our wargaming group gathered at Lord Sterling's house for another play test of his The Sword and Secession rules variant to The Sword and the Flame.  As the overall Confederate commander, I had to defend the Cedar Key salt works against a group of Union raiders from some of the East Gulf blockading squadron.

My single unit of regular Confederate infantry advances to drive the Union raiders from the salt works.  Earlier one of my militia units was routed away from the works by Union musket fire.  My advance is being supported by a unit of dismounted Confederate militia cavalry (left rear).  You may recognize MiniFig British Victorian naval landing party figures - they were playing the role of Union sailors.
Although the Union forces gained control of the salt works, they didn't have enough time to destroy the large wrought iron evaporation vats before the second half of the Confederate reinforcements arrived and drove them away.

Soon a battle report will be posted on the Jackson Gamers new web site -- link.

Lord Sterling will be running this game at the Colonial Barracks convention, the first weekend in November.  This rule variant will eventually be published by Sergeants3, probably sometime in 2013.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

More Franco-German War Artillery

I've added to my artillery complements for the French and Prussian forces that I have for the 1870-1871 Franco-German (AKA Franco-Prussian) War.  They consist of two batteries of French light artillery and one battery of Prussian heavy artillery.

The first French battery is composed of six 85mm rifled, breech-loaded guns (link), even thought he gunners have swabs and ramrods!  In the Chassepot and Needlegun rules that we use, each battery has three guns and six gunners which represent the six guns normally used in European artillery batteries of this time period.  The guns are actually American Civil War 12-lb Napoleons from Sash & Saber, but are being used as French 85mm here.  The gunners are from Castaway Arts in Australia.
The second French battery is similarly composed.  These two batteries, plus an 8-gun Mitralleuse battery will be the artillery arm of my French "division" from the Armee de la Loire, a post-Sedan organization.

The Prussian heavy battery is composed of six 6-lb rifled breechloading guns.  I've had these guns for quite a while, but cannot recall who manufactured them.  They will provide part of the artillery support for my German forces along with the two 4-lb batteries shown in a previous post.  As with the French, the gunners are from Castaway Arts.

This artillery will be used in a Franco-German War game I will be running at the Colonial Barracks convention the first weekend in November down in New Orleans.