Saturday, December 27, 2008

Disaster Averted

As I was working on my unit of Beja camelry, a disaster struck! I was using a container of Aleene's Tacky Glue to secure the riders to the camels. Everything was going OK until I felt glue on my hand holding the bottle. The bottle was old and the plastic had deteriorated, causing a large crack to open. I immediately summoned assistance from my wife and was able to get almost all the tacky glue into a medium sized margarine container. But I knew that it won't last very long and there was a lot of glue. So, I got my bucket of fine sand and bucket of spackle and mixed some basing material, using the tacky glue, sand, and spackle.

I used it to add basing effects to the 12 Beja camels, a Beja foot leader, and a whole batch of imagi-nation SYW era troops.

These are the Ral Partha Beja camelry after the bases had been augmented with the mix and then painted a base coat of burnt sienna. I'll do some dry brushing of tan and cream and finish the bases by adding some small rocks and grass. The riders still have to have their shields and weapons added and the leader (third from left, front row) his banner.

Here is my improvised work station on the dining room table with two battalions of Eureka Saxons. Their bases have been prepped with the mix. They are awaiting a coat of white glue prior to being dunked into my flocking mix.

And here are some completed figures, all Eureka Saxons, drying on some newspaper.

I'll have to admit I was discombobulated (that's "all shook up" in Southernese) by the tacky glue bottle splitting. I didn't realize at the time that it was that old. But later when I tried to recall when I purchased it, all I could remember was it was a long time ago.

Highlanders in Progress

For several weeks, I have been slowly painting the next unit for my imagi-nations. This will be the mercenary Campbell's Highland Battalion, currently in the service of the Markgraf of Carpania.

Composed of 24 Front Rank Highlanders from their Jacobite line, they will be uniformed in a mid-smokey blue with buff facings. The kilts are a representation of the Campbell tartan of blue and green. This picture shows the first company carrying the inhaber's color, a white St. Andrew's cross saltire on a blue field. In the background is the second company. It may take a little longer to finish them (the tartans are time consuming!), especially since our group's theme for 2009 is Colonial Adventuring and I will be adding to my Colonial armies, starting with some Beja tribesmen (AKA Fuzzy-Wuzzies) for a mini-campaign in the Sudan.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

40 Years Ago

A little remembrance from 40 years ago.

And from today.

Merry Christmas to All!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Ballet Comes to Town

Off and on for the past several weeks, I've been doing some non-wargame figure painting - ballerinas for my daughter's dance academy - Bluebird Dance Academy. These MegaMinis figures were procured to use as performance gifts to the girls in the dance academy after their winter performance this coming Saturday. Although I didn't put a lot of detail into the figures (mainly because of their small size), they did come out rather nicely, if I say so myself.

Here are the dancers of the company, led by Ballet Mistress Leslie, in the blue skirt. The younger girls are in the light pink leotards and tights on both flanks (see, I did get a wargaming term in!), while the older girls in black leotards and light pink tights are in the center.

And here the company of dancers entertains the Duke and Duchess of Courland (on the left) and the Margrave and Margravine of Carpania (on the right), in a holiday-inspired scene of cordiality between the two enemies in normal imagi-nation life.

Carpanian Pioneers

These figures were started before MilleniumCon last month but I didn't get them finished in time. They have now been completed and have joined the artillery train of the Margraviate of Carpania.

This company consists of one Hinchliffe SYW officer, one Foundry Prussian grenadier sergeant (in rear rank with halbard), the special Grenadier Books figure (in front rank, consulting the latest tome on military engineering), and nine Crusader Prussian pioneers (from the grenadier command pack). The pioneers were part of an eBay purchase.

Each two figures are painted in the regimentals of one of the six regiments of the Carpanian army - Musketeer Regiments Zweibieren, Teutonica, Clausthaler, and Schweiger and Fusilier Regiments von Stuppe and Paulaner. They will probably be brigaded with the converged grenadier battalion and Campbell's Highland Battalion (still a work in progress) to form a special assault force.

They were actually finished in very late November and boosted my November painting total to 43 Olley points -- 12 pioneers, 15 jagers, 5 limbers (3 points each), and one artillery accessory.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pictures from MilleniumCon

Here are a few pictures that I took on Friday evening (Nov. 14) at the MilleniumCon XI convention in Round Rock, TX.

The game gaming and dealer room on the first floor of the Wingate Convention building. There was also gaming on the second floor, mainly the various tournaments.

This is a very detailed game board for the WW2 game called "Madness in the Bocage." It used the Frontline-Command rules.

One of the several Colonial games played at MilleniumCon. This particular one was called "Unaguafria - 1879," using plastic figures and the Damned Human Race rules.

This was a "sort-of" Colonial game - "Zulu - 40K Style."
Set on Tau Ceti IV, the 24th Praetorians defend a small steading ...

... from the hordes of hulking green natives. Rules used were GW's Warhammer - 40K, 5th edition.

And to wrap things up, an Axis and Allies board game of the climatic war of Middle Earth's Third Age.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Battle Streamer for Timofievich Coassacks

In his dispatch to the Imperial War Ministry after the Battle of Steinkreisdorf, General Blei-Sammeln, commander of the Imperial Reichsarmee, mentioned the contributions of the Timofievch Cossacks from the Duchy of Courland. (See Emperor vs Elector - 2008/11/frankfurt-is-saved-for-empress for the dispatch and this report for the actions of the Timofievich Cossacks Hunsrucker Allgemeine Zeitung .)

Duke Pavlov of Courland has awarded the Cossack pulk (regiment) a battle streamer for their outstanding participation in the victory.

Duke Pavlov, accompanied by Colonel Ignace Alleshazy (commander of Courland's light troops), award the battle streamer, emblazoned "Steinkreisdorf 15 Nov 1758" to the commander of the Timofievich Cossacks.

After the presentation, the commander and his standard bearer return to their unit with the coveted battle streamer attached to the pulk's standard.

Note: This was an easy addition. Lettering is Times New Roman, 8 pitch, with ruler assisted lines drawn in red pen. The resulting streamer was then cut out and glued to the top of the standard pole. It is printed on both sides and was folded together and glued with white glue. I plan on doing this in any future battles if a unit excels and is mentioned in the dispatches.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Skirmish at Jungsteindorf

On Friday evening, November 14, Ed Youngstrom and Bill Protz held a tutorial session on the Batailles de l'Ancien Regime (BAR) rules for some of us who would be playing in the Texas Big Battalions game the next day.

Here is my take on the small action, which I am proposing was a skirmish the day before the big battle at Steinkreisdorf.

An advanced guard of Germanians clashed briefly with an advanced guard of Osterreichers over the village of Jungsteindorf. Both sides had two infantry battalions, a dragoon regiment (of two squadrons), and a 6-lbr gun. I commanded one of the Germanian infantry battalions and the pictures were taken from that perspective.

The Germanian battalion that I commanded and the 6-lbr gun march towards Jungsteindorf.

One of the two Osterreicher battalions which I was facing.

The cavalry action between the two dragoon regiments. In what would be a foreshadowing of the cavalry actions during the fighting at Steinkreisdorf, the Germanians were defeated and fled the field.

Supported by the 6-lbr (just out of the picture to the left), my battalion squares off in a firefight with the Osterreichers. I was on a small ridge which gave both of us a slight decrement in firepower. I later moved forward off of it to continue the musketry fight at closer range.

After helping me against the Osterreicher infantry, the 6-lbr was turned against the enemy dragoons who were regrouping after defeating the Germanian cavalry.

Even though it has only been five days since that little skirmish, I cannot recall who "won" the tutorial battle. But, no matter; we all learned some valuable lessons for the big battle the next day at Steinkreisdorf.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Battle of Steinkreisdorf - Part 2

After a break for lunch, some of the participants from the morning's battle returned to complete the action on the east end of the big table. The enclosed farmstead of Ostburg was the center for this action.

Here the Electorate (on the far side of the table) had a cavalry brigade on its left flank, an infantry brigade in the center, and a combined brigade of cavalry, grenadiers, and jagers on its right. The opposing Imperials had a cavalry brigade on its right flank, an infantry brigade in the center, and mixed brigade of infantry and cavalry on its right.

This time I decided to give cavalry a try and took command of the Electorate cavalry consisting of one regiment each of Germanian cuirassiers, dragoons, and hussars. My opponent this time was Chris Bump who took command of the mercenary cavalry from Weisspferdheim, consisting of two heavy horse and two hussar regiments (all plastic Spencer-Smith figures!). Each of our regiments had two 12-figure squadrons.

We quickly got into crossed sabers as my dragoons and cuirassiers charged the Weisser heavy horse. Even though I moved the hussars around behind the heavies to support them, Chris was able to outflank my cuirassiers with a squadron of hussars while the other squadron engaged my lead hussar squadron. His second hussar regiment maneuvered in support to the rear.

The Germanian cuirassiers were badly handled by the Weisser heavy horse and hussars while the Germanian dragoons lost out to the other Weisser heavy horse. Our hussars fought each other to a standstill. In the ensuing turns, first my cuirassiers and then my dragoons were sent reeling out of the fight. Only the reserve hussar squadron prevented complete destruction.

While all the cavalry action was happening, a battalion of Germanians occupied the farmstead without opposition from the Imperials. Young Fahnrich Brad commanded a mixed brigade of Osterreicher and Saxe-Jungbacher infantry. They quickly began to shoot the Germanians to pieces - must have been poor ammunition that caused the Germanians so many problems that afternoon!

This picture shows the aftermath of the cavalry fracas, with only two cuirassiers and a few hussars left. A Germanian infantry battalion was seconded to the cavalry brigadier to assist in protecting the flank. A handful of Germanian hussars gallop along in front of them, fleeing from some Weisser hussars up near the farmstead. The rest of the Weisser cavalry is regrouping.

Here is a closer shot of the Germanian hussars in full flight! These magnificently painted Foundry figures were no match for the older (and evidently more battle experienced) Weisser Spencer-Smiths.

A final shot of the Germanian left flank, with the infantry forming square while the hussars flee even though the brigade commander is trying unsuccessfully to rally them. The two last cuirassiers sit on the edge of the battlefield and decide that discretion is the better part of battle before riding away themselves.

This action was a complete bust for the Germanians -- the cavalry was destroyed, the infantry was shot to pieces, and the right flank forces were sent fleeing. This action is where young Brad earned his spurs and his mention in Blei-Sammlen's dispatch. Although I had fun with the game, it wasn't very pleasant watching my vaunted Germanian cavalry vanish before my very eyes. A Seydlitz I am definitely not!

Battle at Steinkreisdorf - Part One

The Texas Big Battalions Seven Years War game is now history. As reported in several posts recently on the Emperor versus Elector blog, a number of wargamers from Texas, Mississippi, Wisconsin, and divers other locales joined at MilleniumCon in Round Rock, Texas on November 15 to fight a battle in the ongoing campaign between the Electoral forces (Germania, Britannia, and their Germanic allies) and the Imperium (Osterreich, Gallia, and their Germanic allies). This battle was linked to several previous actions that are described on Der Alte Fritz blog. You can see these links to the left.

The objective for the Electoral forces was to halt a Osterreich/Gallian attempt to relief the beleaguered fortress city of Frankfurt. Some 2,500 25-30mm figures were mustered for action. This report will attempt to portray the parts of that battle from the perspective of one of the participants, Col Campbell (my wargaming alter ego). Unfortunately, there weren't enough players for the entire force so in the morning we just fought on the center and one end of the board. The other end of the board was left set up and we fought that battle in the afternoon.

The table was set up in the lobby of the Wingate Inn Conference Center. It was 32 feet (~10m) long and 5 feet (~1.6m) wide. While not as wide it should have been for the Batailles de l'Ancien Regime (BAR) rules, it allowed the participants to get in close very quickly! As always, click on the pictures to see a larger version.

With Ed Youngstrom (red shirt, left rear) and Bill Protz (blue shirt, right rear) giving directions, the forces are deployed on the Champs de Mars.

While Ed gets his official game master portrait made, the commanders gather to admire the troop deployments. Along the right side of the table (game direction south) are Paul (in jacket, Herzog Ignaz of the Herzogtum Pfalz-Kognat-Obersehen), Bill Protz (Msr. Chevert of Gallia and the author of the BAR rules), Fahnrich Brad von Austin (a 13-year old who was later named the game's Most Valuable Player - see the Nov. 15 letter posted on the Emperor versus Elector blog), and a father and son who commanded on the far left Imperial flank.

Markgraf Hapnich of Carpania and his entourage watch the battle from the comfort of his pavilion. Note that his faithful manservant is waiting with a snifter of the Markgraf's favorite schnapps. Frivolous Fiona has brought her own beverage, some fine single malt Scotch whiskey.

A view of the Carpanian infantry brigade with the musketeers on the left backed up by the converged grenadiers, the heavy artillery in the center, and the fusiliers on the right backed up by a battalion of Germanians.

The combined Courland and Sachsen-Wachsenstein brigade, with the Timofievich Cossacks on the far left, then the Tamnii Narod Pandurs, the Courland musketeers and grenadiers (in two lines), the Courland and Sachsen heavy artillery, and the Sachsen-Wachsenstein Contributory Kreis Regiment on the right.

A view of the town of Steinkreisdorf. The monument is the center was brought by me and is patterned on those used by Bill Protz and Der Alte Fritz. In the rear are some of the Imperial infantry drawn up in battle order.

Ed Youngstrom (Landgraf Bogey of Hesse-Fedora) was the game master. Here he gives some general observations prior to the battle beginning.

We were extremely fortunate to have Bill Protz (Messieur Chevert of the Gallian Army), author of the BAR rules present to lend his wisdom to the affair. Here he is explaining how the rules work. The mechanics were very easy to acquire and soon all of us were handling actions almost on our own. Herzog Ignaz (Paul) and Fahnrich Brad are seated to his right and left, respectively.

The battle begins! I was honored to be playing opposite Bill Protz, who commanded a brigade of five or six 2-squadron regiments of Imperial cavalry, including the two squadrons that I brought from the Duchy of Courland. Against this I had two fusilier battalions, one from Carpania (first line) and one from Germania (second line). In this picture you can also see the Hesse-Fedoran brigade to my left and their opponents, the Sachsen-Wachsensteiners.

Msr. Chevert launches his first dragoon regiment against the Carpanian fusiliers. In their first fight, the fusiliers stood firm, shot up the Imperial dragoons, and then chased them off after a fiercely fought melee.

General Gilles (whose last name I unfortunately do not remember) commanded a mixed Gallian and Osterreich infantry brigade. Here the Carpanian musketeer battalion trades opening volleys with some Osterreichers.

On the far western flank of the battlefield was a tremendous clash of heavy cavalry. I think each side had three to four regiments. The Gallian/Osterreichers are on the left and the Germanian/Hesse-Fedorans are on the right. If I remember correctly, the Imperial forces finally prevailed here.

While his cavalry is fighting my fusiliers, Msr. Chevert assists the young Fahnrich Brad in maneuvering and shooting the Sachsen-Wachsensteiners. On the right, the Carpanian grenadiers and heavy artillery occupy Steinkreisdorf without opposition from the Imperials.

With a few losses, the Carpanian fusiliers repulse the Imperial cavalry. But there are more lined up behind these. It would be a long day for the Carpanians!

Further to the east on the battlefield, the Courlanders advance against the Hesse-Fedorans.

An unidentified Imperial commander peers around some trees at the Hesse-Fedoran heavy cavalry as the Courland Timofievich Cossacks gallop into action. Although I wasn't able to keep up with all their activities, I was told after the battle that they covered themselves with glory and were mentioned in the dispatch of General Blei-Sammeln!

As more Imperial cavalry attack the Carpanian fusiliers, the Hesse-Fedoran commander adjusts his line, observed by Fahnrich Brad and the Courlanders and Sachsen-Wachsensteiners

Further to the west, the Carpanian jagers were detached to support a Germanian brigade commanded by General Chris Bump. Chris handled them very well and they assisted in resisting the attack by two Gallian battalions.

The gap between the Germanians of Chris Bump and the Carpanian infantry was filled by the Warsteiner Freikorps and the Hapnich Dragoons. They, along with a Germanian battalion, opposed a Gallian infantry battalion.

After enduring several volleys from the Gallians, Colonel von Valkenhayn launched the dragoons against the Gallians. The combination of the cavalry charge and volleys from the Warsteiners and Germanians was enough to defeat the Gallians and force them to flee for their lives.

Here the victorious Hapnich Dragoons (although at half strength after the melee) keep watch on the Osterreich/Gallian second line. An abandoned Gallian gun stands forlorn to their left.

Meanwhile, the Carpanian fusiliers were finally forced to retire by the Imperial cavalry. But the Germanian fusilier battalion in the second line stepped out smartly and took up where the Carpanians left off, defeating another Imperial attack.

While the Germanians were in action, the Carpanians rallied and reformed under the urging of Baron von Stuppe, the commander of the Carpanian brigade. But still more Imperial cavalry were in the offing and eventually the Carpanian and Germanian fusiliers would be forced from the battlefield by the pressure from Msr. Chevert's well-handled heavy dragoons.

The Carpanian grenadiers held on to the town of Steinkreisdorf at the end of the battle. They assisted the Carpanian musketeers in defeating two Osterreicher battalions, although the musketeers were forced to withdraw due to heavy losses.

On the right flank of the Electorate forces, the Hapnich dragoons, Carpanian jagers, and what was left of the Germanian brigade were able to hold onto the unnamed village. Although the Gallian infantry was still a threat, both sides had fought to a virtual stand-off.

This ends the reporting from the morning's action. The afternoon battle will be reported in another posting.