Recent French command figures for Franco Prussian War/1859

I have been trying to build up a French Army to fight my Prussians and Austrians for the period 1870 and 1859 respectively.  This is a period that interests me and provides lots of gaming with battles in Italy, France and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1866.

With almost two full corps of Austrian troops and one of Prussians plus a Bavarian Division I felt it was time to beef up my French.  Sometime ago I bought some French infantry on Ebay already painted.  Rather nicely done and based.  What they needed was to be rebased and command stands painted.  I have had the Old Glory figures for sometime and just now started to work on the French having done Prussians for sometime.  These are the ones I just finished.

15mm Old Glory FPW Command just finished

15mm Old Glory FPW Command just finished

15mm Old Glory FPW figures

15mm Old Glory FPW figures

These figures took me longer than I expected and I can’t say for sure why.  I had written down all the colors I used on the last batch but still they seemed to take longer.  I admit not being 100% satisfied with them either but on a tabletop they will most likely be alright.

15 mm Old Glory FPW command figures painted

15 mm Old Glory FPW command figures painted

Still they will allow me to finish up 4 more stands to add to my French Corp.  I don’t have any artillery or cavalry though I am afraid.  Oh well.

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Campaign for the British Isles

The club I game with likes to do campaign games and we have started a new one which takes place in the British Isles after the Romans have left Britain and in the wake a power vacum has left multiple kingdoms at war.  Each player has choice of armies and some special cards each turn to play if they choose to lay claim and invade other players’ territory.

The players and the fictional kingdoms are Kon with Dumnonia which is British, myself with Gwynedd also British, Wil with Elmet which is British, Rick ruler of Gwent another British Kingdom, Ben the Saxon ruler of Ceint, George another Saxon ruler of Anglia, Del the Irish ruler of Rheged and Brian way up north ruling the Picts of Strathcylde.

First three terms saw several raids and two battles over claimed territory.  One being Ben’s invasion of one of Kon’s provinces that lead to a defeat for Kon by just 18 points.  While George another Saxon invaded Wil’s Kingdom both sides picking cavalry armies (the Saxon’s though only had ponies) which led to a draw so George did not gain any territory.

Tonight Kon was invaded by Rick.  Meanwhile Kon played a card to raid by sea Rick’s land which lowered the number of troop points Rick could use.  Meanwhile Ben also allied with Kon which lowered his troop numbers more.  To add insult to injury yet I also raided Rick’s lands from another side further lowering his forces number.  So Kon was started the game with a 300 point advantage.

For a map of the crazy turn 4 moves see below.  A nice visual representation created by Ben Forenshell.

Turn 4 moves

Meanwhile Kon picked a cavalry army and Rick picked the skirmish army for the battle.

Part of Rick's army on Turn 4

Part of Rick’s army on Turn 4

Rick wanted to try out the army that had limited cav and heavy infantry but lots of bowmen and slingers for range fire.  Not a bad idea because though they lacked the heavy punch of Kon’s forces they did have lots of ranged fire.  So Garrie helped Rick with his forces and I helped Kon with the cav and heavy infantry.

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Rick moved up toward the one building which was one of the objectives which was needed while Kon advanced towards this building from the other objective.

Kon takes and defends an objective

Kon takes and defends an objective

That is pretty much how it ended I am afraid.  As Rick did not challenge Kon and get into striking distance the action was limited.  Kon and I stayed back and exchanged fire.  Neither side wanted to make a mistake so did not move much and the game was therefore not as interesting as the last two battles.

As it was necessary for Rick to gain points to win the territory the lack of taking the second objective and not inflicting many losses to Kon’s forces left him leaving the field of battle defeated.  Everyone agreed that much was learned especially about using a skirmish army.  Kon did feel he had missed an early chance to bag some skirmishers with his cavalry but once that opportunity was gone it never presented itself again during the evening.

During turn 5 I expect a very different outcome.

World War I Movie Wings from 1927

Sunday night my wife and I watched a silent film about the air war during World War I called Wings.  It is a film my wife had picked for netflix which may surprise some people as it is a war film more my type of fare.  The film was considered ground breaking in 1927 and was the most expensive film to that date.  It also won the academy award for best picture.  It came out just before the end of silent films but was very successful.

Wings is perhaps a bit predictable with the plot of two men in love with the same woman joining the Army Air Corp and fighting in Europe during World War I.  That said the air scenes are impressive and I understand why the film was liked so much in 1927.  Even though some of the special effects that were seen as totally new would be considered tame today it is good.  It was cutting edge stuff never before done in 1927.

The battlefield scenes with a cast of thousand are good at capturing the trench warfare of the western front.  The film was shot with thousands of troops from the U.S. Second Infantry Division and planes from the U.S. Army Air Corp.  This is really well done and both my wife and I liked the film that could be watched with sound effects put in by Lucas Films in 2012 or with a regular orchestra as in 1927.

The film made director William Wellman’s career and you can understand why after watching it.  The actors include Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rodgers and Richard Arlen.  Gary Cooper has two minutes in the film and this was before he was a star but you can pick him out in the film easily.

It was a good movie to see for multiple reasons besides if you have an interest in World War I flying.  It was a great choice the credit goes to my wife and it is available on Netflix so I recomend giving it a try.  The bonus feature that tells the story about how the film got made is especially interesting to watch after seeing the film.  A lot of good information is given on the story behind the film is given.

Wednesday Night Gamers of Alexandria getting ready for Cold Wars

This is my first entry in a new area for me: Blogging.  I have seen many really nice blogs so I thought I would give it a try.  I have been with a group of war gamers for the last 18 or so years.  We are all active in the hobby but several really like to run games at Historical Miniatures Gaming Society conventions and we took a break from a campaign game to play test one of those games.

We were using Del Stover’s new 10mm American Civil War figures which Del has been painting like a fiend to get ready for the convention.  Much to my surprise my rebels commander was a French dragoon as Del had no commanders.

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The Union’s orders were to take the road crossing which I was defending and did not take a good picture of.  Overall it was a lackluster night for the Union.  I hung back on top of the hill at the crossroads and Kon protected my right flank with another brigade of troops.  I stayed on the hill and the Union kept behind cover in skirmish order at long range.  I needed to roll a 6 followed by a 4 to even get a hit and a six sided dice.  I did not do much damage with my two guns or infantry.  The union forces of Garrie and Ben were more than willing to try and hit me a long range, which they did.  Ben even shot over his own troops with his guns and killed a quarter of one regiment.  The only hits that regiment took the whole game.

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I decided to try and come down off the hill to hit Garrie’s flank and force him out of the woods.  Little did I know what he had behind the woods.

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With command rolls and over all lack of anyone wanting to come out in the open and get blasted neither side really was aggressive.  Ben after taking out my one unit on the hill which I could not get into skirmish order with his grand battery started to move his guns down the road like Panzer V’s.  Perhaps not totally realistic.  Meanwhile Kon and Brian were meeting on the hillcrest on the other flank. Kon shot up Brian’s regiment as it charged and inflicted 50% casualties as they were in column and killed his attached general.  Kon’s troops were already hurt and in skirmish order but bad rolls meant Brian did less damage to them than expected.

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Then as things started to get towards the last turns for the night the union forces decided they needed to try and take the cross roads.  Oh well now they decide to come across the field.

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Now my artillery is down to one strength point having to deal with fire from 4 union guns and I score some damage before it is destroyed.  But it is too late the Union cannot reach the objective.  I still think I could have held the flank if we played longer as the union was going to have to cross a lot of open ground.

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What is left of my brigade is behind these trees but still in control of the road at the top of the hill so a confederate victory.  I learned that I really want to be in skirmish order and in cover all the time even at long range.  I could have pulled back actually and never been hit as the union players did not want to cross the open ground.  Of course neither did I want to do this.  Attacking can be deadly as Brian learned.  I imagine that Del will tweak this scenario some as he has also learned somethings and will want to make some changes before Cold Wars.  Still I did enjoy it though I really had trouble rolling the 6’s I needed.  Though I made all my morale rolls so that counts for something.

Overall a fun time was had by all and I expect we will get back to the campaign game next week.  More on that another time.