Sunday, September 11, 2022

Mustering the Troops


It has been over a month since I've posted anything, which is not really unusual.  Various non-gaming related events have "interfered" with my gaming activities.  But I have been working on several gaming items.  One being obtaining a copy of the 2nd edition of Dan Mersey's "Lion Rampant" medieval rules.  After reading through the rules and digesting the changes, I said, "Self, we need to have a medieval game."  So I dug out my vintage 25mm Medieval troops and started planning.

After updating my "retinue" list (now a "warband" list) from our last games back in 2015, I planned on what I needed to do to bring some of the units up to date.  Many of my units have gone from washers (infantry) and rectangular metal bases (cavalry) to hexagonal bases, but not all.  I did that to differentiate my Medieval units from those of Lord Sterling who has the Kingdom of Parallelogram and the Kingdom of Circumference.  I decided in the Duchy of Hexagonal, although I called it the Duchy of Bentwood.

Please click on a picture for a larger image.

So here are the first eight Warbands (each of 24 points), first the forces loyal to Duke William Worthington:

From the left - Bentwood Castle, Castle Kilgarren, Cove Hold, and Southern Hold.  Since I took this picture I've substituted some units for others, but the basic composition remains the same.

Bentwood Castle (Duke William) -- two elite cavalry (AKA knight) units, two heavy infantry units, and one Archer unit.

Castle Kilgarren (Sir Robert Hastings, Constable) -- one elite cavalry unit, one heavy cavalry unit, two veteran heavy infantry units, and one skirmisher unit.

Cove Hold (Count Leslie Dumfries) -- one elite cavalry unit, two heavy cavalry units, one veteran heavy infantry unit, and one crossbow unit.

Southern Hold (Baron Hugh Guisby) -- one elite cavalry unit, two heavy cavalry units, one veteran heavy infantry unit, and one archer unit

Against them are arrayed the rebellious alliance:

From the left - the Teutobergerwald Abbey, Free City of Haven and Men of the Dale, High Tor Keep, and High Reaches Castle.  Again a couple of units have been substituted since the pictures was taken.

Teutobergerwald Abbey (Lord Abbot Heinrich von Kurland) -- two elite cavalry units, two heavy infantry units, and one crossbow unit.

Free City of Haven (Walter, Hereditary Manager of the Free City) and Men of the Dale -- one heavy cavalry unit, one veteran heavy infantry unit, two light infantry units, and one veteran archer unit (the Men of the Dale).

High Tor Keep (Baron Stephen de Bleu) -- two elite infantry units, two light infantry units, and one archer unit.

High Reaches Castle (Freiherr Uwe von Strenger) -- one elite cavalry unit, one heavy cavalry units, two heavy infantry units, and one veteran archer unit.

With these warbands, I designed a small game for our Thursday "Old Guys" Group.  It pitted three loyal warbands against three rebel warbands using the "Bloodbath" scenario from the rule book.  Each warband was 'balanced' with one heavy cavalry unit, one heavy infantry unit, and one missile unit.  It was an interesting game with all the players either getting introduced or re-introduced to the rules.

The Warband from the Free City of Haven was successful in repulsing the Warband of Cove Hold from taking a rolling hill on one end of the battlefield.  The Cove Hold heavy cavalry and heavy infantry were singularly unsuccessful in driving the Havenites from the hill and suffered tremendous casualties.

An overview of the entire battlefield towards the end of the action.  There was much bloodshed, several leaders were killed in challenge duels, and the rebels persevered over the loyalists.

I have a larger game scheduled for my wargaming group on Saturday.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Rajah of Kashgar


While painting on a unit of Pushtun infantry, I decided to use an extra Old Glory figure to make the ruler of my little imaginary princedom, Kashgar in the vale of Khalaam.  And so I present, the Rajah of Kashgar.

The Rajah (center) flanked by his wife, the Rani, and his Sikh councilor, Lal Singh.

The Rajah is from the Old Glory CNP-01, Pathan Command pack while the Rani and Lal Singh are Pulp Figures and were featured on previous blog postings.

Now back to the Pushtuns.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

International Naval Wargames Day - Yellow Sea, 1905


Our group gathered at a friend's house on Saturday, 6 August, for a naval wargame.  We used my 1:2400 scale Russian and Japanese Panzerschiffe ships on a Cigar Box battle mat with David Manley's "White Bear, Red Sun" rules.

The action was a "what if" scenario between the Russian Pacific Fleet based in Port Arthur and the Japanese Combined Fleet.

The orders of battle were:

Russian Pacific Fleet:
     1st Battle Division -- Petropavlovsk (B) [fleet flag], Poltava (B), Sebastopol (B), Tsesarevich (B)
     2nd Battle Division -- Peresvyet (B) [flag], Pobyeda (B), Oslyabya (B), Petvizan (B)
     Long-Distance Scout Division -- Bayan (AC) [flag], Diana (PC), Pallada (PC), Aurora (PC)

Japanese Combined Fleet:
     1st Division, Sub-Group A -- Mikasa (B) [fleet flag], Asahi (B), Fuji (B), Yashima (B)
     1st Division, Sub-Group B -- Shikishima (B) [flag], Hatsuse (B), Niishin (AC), Kasuga (AC)
     2nd Division -- Izumo (AC) [flag], Azuma (AC), Asama (AC), Yakumo (AC), Tokiwa (AC), Iwate (AC)

The rules have four levels of damage:  
     Damaged (black puff) -1 to firing for rest of game; cannot be repaired
     Silenced (orange or yellow puff) no firing and -1 when fired upon; can be repaired back to 'Damaged'
     Crippled (red puff), no firing or moving and -2 when fired upon; can be repaired back to 'Silenced'

All six commands started out in line ahead formation and sailed toward the enemy.  We join the action in progress (I forgot to start taking pictures until several turns into game.).  "North" is to the top of all the pictures.  Please click on a picture for a  larger image.

Russian ships on the left and Japanese ships on right.  Top - Russian 1st Battle Division versus Japanese 2nd Division (armored cruisers); center - Russian 2nd Battle Division versus Japanese Division 1-A; bottom - Russian Long-Range Scouting Division versus Japanese Division 1-B.

Japanese 1-B and 1-A Divisions begin to engage the Russian Long-Range Scouting (LRS) Division and the 2nd Battle Division.

With the Bayan silenced (orange puff), the rest of the cruisers try to shield him from the Japanese 1-B Division.  In the background, the two battleship divisions engage each other closely with the Mikasa also being silenced.  The dice indicate Action Points allocated to repair damage to ships.

At the northern end of the action, the Japanese 2nd Division navigates around the rear of the Russian 1st Battle Division.  The two lead Japanese cruisers are damaged, but the Russian battleships are proving tough nuts to crack.

Back down south, the Russian cruisers run from the Japanese battleships and armored cruisers of Division 1-B.  Their "pop guns" are of little use against the armor of the larger Japanese ships.  At the top, the Japanese Division 1-A turns away to help their smaller armored cruiser cousins, leaving one battleship crippled and dead in the water (red puff).  She was later repaired and rejoined the fray.

Seeing the Japanese disengage, the Russian 2nd Division turns its guns onto the Japanese Division 1-B.  Both sides begin to score hits (black puffs).  The Russian cruisers try to cross the Japanese T to see if they can do better with their pop guns; they couoldn't.

Back up north the trail Japanese armored cruiser Yakumo is hit many times and begins to sink.

As the Japanese cruisers on Division 2 draw away, the Russian 1st Division battleships unexpectedly cross the T of the Japanese Division 1-A battleships, inflicting more damage to the lead Japanese battleship (orange puff) and the two trail ones (black puffs).  But they have a battleship that has fallen out of the line (orange puff)

Under fire from the Japanese battleships and armored cruisers, the Russian protected cruiser Aurora is crippled (red puff).  His comrades dodge around him while the Russian 2nd Battle Division doesn't have much success against the Japanese ships.

Continuing to blast the Russians, the Japanese are successful in sinking the poor Aurora.  Well, looks like some other ship will have to start the revolution.  The Russian battleships have turned away.  Their admiral must have had second thoughts about engaging the Japanese.

To the north, the flaming wreck of the Japanese armored cruiser Yakumo still lights up the scene as her fellow cruisers turn toward the Russian battleships whose T has been crossed by the Japanese Division 1-A battleships.  The trailing Russian battleship is crippled (red puff) and suffers a critical hit setting him on fire!  But two of the Japanese battleships are silenced (orange puffs) and can't contribute to punishing the Russians.

The Russian battleship's fires were extinguished but his damage was so heavy that he is still crippled (red puff).  His fellows pull away to regroup, leaving the Japanese battleships and cruisers to sail by each other as cheers erupt from both divisions.

Back down south the Russian cruisers frantically try to escape from the guns of the Japanese Division 1-B battleships and armored cruisers.  The Russian 2nd Battle Division tries to decide whether to pass ahead of or down the starboard side of the cruisers.

Back up north, pummeled by Japanese battleships and armored cruisers, the Russian battleship Tseserevich explodes from a critical hit on his magazines.

Finally the Russian battleships get the range and pummel the Japanese armored cruiser Niishin, sending her to the bottom.

This ended the battle as darkness began to fall allowing the Russian ships to escape back to Port Arthur.  The Japanese sank a Russian battleship and a protected cruiser while loosing two armored cruisers of their own. 

Everyone had a good time and my pre-dreadnoughts saw action for the first time in over four years.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

And Thugees Join the Cast!


After painting Russians, British, and Indians, it was time to get working on some enemies for them.  Enter a 16-figure unit of Indian thugees (or ill-costumed very irregular tribal warriors).  All but one are Bob Murch's Pulp Figures from packs PBT-22, 23 and 27.  The better costumed leader is a figure that I've had for many a year.  Until I needed a leader figure for these guys, he was a my pirate box.  But with such a nice turban, sword, and musket, I knew he really belonged in the 19th Century Northwest Frontier fighting against the forces of the Raj.

These figures can be used in a number of roles, both fighting for and against the Raj or defending their village against marauders.

Now on to more "enemies" of the Raj - Pathans!

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Indian Army Corps of Guides - Unit #2


Regaining my stamina after a mild bout with Covid, I finished painting and basing my second company of Indian Army Corps of Guides.  Lead by their stolid havildar, these stalwart soldiers will bring glory to the Raj.  See the post on the 1st Company for details about the Guides service.

While preparing these figures for painting I noticed that one of them was missing part of his base, the part beneath his left foot.  Contemplating trouble with stability and the possibility of a broken ankle, I found a small rock in my "bag of rocks" that could be used to provide the figure with a stable footing.

On your left is a figure with a completely cast base and on your right is the incomplete figure with its added rock for stability.  If you'll look carefully in the first picture, this 'rocky' fellow is on the far left in the front row.

Now on to a unit of "Thuggees" who will be some opponents to the forces of the Raj.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Bits and Bobs


After a number of years of on and off (but mainly off) painting, I've finally finished a batch of various terrain pieces for my 25mm forces.  Many of these can be used in various genres while a couple are only common to the Victorian/Edwardian colonial era.  So here they are ---

These three "barricade" pieces are made up of barrels, a chest, and various bags.  They can be used from the Pirate era all the way to at least the early 20th Century.  I mounted each of them on wood strips to increase the height for compatibility with 28mm figures.

The bee hives of "Tanga" of course probably didn't look anything like these wooden spindle ends, but I think they turned out rather well.  Just make sure you are well away from them if they get disturbed!

Two piles of trade goods and some barrels of spiritous liquid.

Big bins of food stuff and bales of cotton, both good for cover from enemy fire.

Two large silage bins made of stone, useful from Medieval times to the early 20th Century (and even beyond in some places).

So these now join my other bits and bobs of terrain pieces that will enhance an otherwise drab battlefield.

The figures are some of my just recently painted Indian Army Corps of Guides (see previous post).

Indian Army Corps of Guides - Unit #1


The Indian Army Corps of Guides was raised in 1846 to serve on the Northwest Frontier.  It quickly developed as one of the elite units of the Indian Army.  It was composed of both Hindu and Moslem troops.  In 1947, upon the partition of India and Pakistan, the Corps was assigned to the Pakistani Army and still exists as the 2nd Battalion (The Guides) of the Frontier Force Regiment.

This unit is composed of Foundry figures from NW014 and NW021.  Unfortunately Foundry had them all sculpted with full beards so this unit (and its #2, still being painted) will be all Hindu.

The 1st Company, led by Leftenant Manly-Jones (center with pistol) and seconded by Havildar Ranjit Singh (right rear with rifle at the carry).

I think this is one of the most distinctive group of figures that I've painted.  The contrasts of browns and tans set off by the red "cap" and cuff markings make the entire uniform stand out.