More Work To Get Ready For February Wargames

Long-term goal has been for me to run some games from 1859 Italy, 1866 Austro-Prussian War and 1870 Franco-Prussian War. Spent lots of time painting figures from various manufacturers and buying some painted figures. This project goes back for me to the early 1990’s when I started painting Austrians.

Anyway, here are some recent figures I have painted up all the figures are 15mm. Most recently, I have painting mostly Austrian troops after working on French troops for a long time. I had a large number of Austrians painted but I chose to make all my regiments 4 battalion regiments for 1859 and I wanted another corps for large battles so this led to more painting. I have painted up some more artillery for the new corps as well. Went a little different from my earlier troops as the artillery is all in greatcoat. This is more an 1866 look than 1859 but I wanted a little variation in my artillery. They will look fine for battles run in the 1866 period anyway.

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Old Glory Figures with old Howard Hues Yellow Ochre for the gun carriage don’t know if that paint is still sold anymore I think not

 

Also painted up my first regiment of Austrian Hussars, this being the 9th Regiment. I have stated in the past posts that I do not really like to paint horses and do not feel I am good at it. That has not changed but I want to have two cavalry divisions so painting will just have to be done. Have to try to improve my work, perhaps the practice will help me out. In the past, I painted dragoons that can be seen on the blog front page.

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Austrian 9th Hussar Regiment, I think the busby would only for full dress according to some of my sources

It can be asked do you really need cavalry all that much for this period and it appears a valid question. The cavalry had largely lost its battlefield relevance by 1859 and totally had by 1870. Scouting was poor on both sides with cavalry and really having them charge to allow infantry or artillery escape was becoming more of a norm as the French in 1870. Sacrificing cavalry to the modern firepower becoming a common tactic of the day.   I just like giving the players the option to use them having them on the tabletop no matter what players end up doing with them.

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Like many of my figures for this period I need to make a flag for the unit.

The figures are from old glory and I admit to having a slight question about the accuracy of the headgear especially in regards to the year 1859. This is just from my reading of an Osprey book on the uniforms of cavalry for the period. Still this is not a major thing. I am not sure it is incorrect and even if it is who really is going to argue. Still have enough unpainted figures for another regiment of hussars and will like at the OB but most likely paint one for the 10th Hussar Regiment.

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Mounted Austrian Dragoons

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Project For February 2018

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Old Glory figures to finish out my regiments making them all 4 battalion strong

Even though I have lacked the time to going game with my friends this month I have not been totally idle on the gaming front. I originally wanted had planned to start-up a series of games from the period of 1859 in Italy between the Austrians and French. A period I have been working on painting up figures since the 1990’s. Over the many years, I finally feel that the numbers of figures have been built up to, play proper games reflecting large battles that are historically accurate.

Although January 2018 is too busy for me to start gaming this period, I have been able to set up for February 2018. Looking forward to running some games but has had to plan it out as what to run which is perhaps the hardest part. It has appeared to me over many years of researching the period and playing games with other people’s figures and rules the Austrians have a hard time winning any battles. This is especially true if you play the historical battles with the exact order of battles and set ups you see this happen a lot. The Austrians lose a lot if not always and that may be historically accurate but perhaps not the most fun for the people playing the Austrians.

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Therefore, I feel it is good to play historical battles and see if for whatever reason players can get a non-historical outcome. Just the same, we will also play several games that are not actual battles from the period. In addition, we will run several battles that are actual battles but from other periods. I have also prepared some games to be played that are battles from history but are being adapted for this period. Looking forward to getting these figures on the game table and it is good the club members are willing to try it.

1877 Russo Turkish War Project

I started a side project that had been on my mind for a while in 2017.  My interest in 19th Century Wars of Europe has been going on for a while.  To some degree I have acted upon it with some figures having a Crimean War Army, a 1859 & 1866 Austrian Army, French 1859 & 1870 Army as well as Prussian & Bavarian 1870 war armies.  Though my painting focus for sometime has been with the French, Austrian and Prussians this has left me little time for any other painting.  I had been researching the 1877 Russo Turkish War.

The rules set Bloody Big Battles and the scenarios offered in with them I found very helpful for battles during this period.  So I decided to do something different for me and send figures to Fernando Enterprises in Sri Lanka to be painted something friends of mine do often.  I knew I would not have the time to do the painting so to get some figures on the table I decided to pay to have some painted.  First shipment combined with a friends worked fine.  Took a little longer than I expected but I got some Russian Infantry back from Sri Lanka.  I had decided to work on Russians first.  I based the figures and bought a bunch of Russian Infantry and Guard Infantry to have sent in the next shipment.

Got very specific and was really looking forward to getting the figures back in 2017 as this was going to pretty much do my Russian forces as I started to paint some Russian Artillery myself.  I admit it was a task to match the paint job from Fernando Enterprise as theirs is better than my average paint job.  I had to work harder than normal.

That is when the news arrived from Rick.  He had been searched for the shipment and so had Fernando Enterprises.  No they were not just taking a while to paint like last time they had never arrived.  I value Rick taking all the effort to try to track down the figures as they are not just mine but his and another friends in the shipment.  Right now it is not looking good.   After several tracking requests put on by Rick no information.  Yes the shipment was insured but still just kind of unhappy about the figures.  My part of the order was 68 infantry and 16 cavalry which is a blow to me.

So the 1877 Russo-Turkish Project which was a secondary project now has become stalled.  This order was going to finish off my Russian forces and allow me to get a Turkish Army painted and on the table in the not too horrible future originally perhaps by the end of 2018.  Now that does not look very possible.  Besides not really being thrilled about replacing the missing figures which I can afford to do.  I am not as confident about sending figures to paint to Fernando Enterprises again though I really did like the paint job they did.  No complaints about the painting that is for sure.

Defending the Road Part 3

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Roger’s Rangers skirmish before colonial militia and British grenadiers

Final night for this battle as it was declared nighttime was approaching. The game was started with no set number of turns set so it was not an issue but it is a question that I thought about and will address later. Rick returned to take over one of the British wings this week. Click images for larger views.

Troupe du marine are being worn down in the farm complex and now wavering

 

These turns for the most part were pretty bloody for the French forces. The Farm was receiving volley after volley along the wooden wall. Each time I rolled of the disordered and replaced fallen Troupe de Marine with a reserve troop the British would volley with defensive fire, cause at least one casualty, and disorder the troops halving the firepower. Not a good scenario and really was taking a toll.

 

 

French Line broken through on the left side by the British line near the farm

 

More French Line taking a pounding on the left flank

 

 

Highlanders stopped in the woods by natives and Troupes de marine

 

The Highlanders were leaning towards wavering in the woods but made the roll and charged the Indians who responded to the charge by falling back a full move. The artillery I moved away from the woods to protect them from the Highlanders. The other flank saw aggressive moves by Frederick to force back the flank attack and cause Danny to realign some of his troops. This still felt like a holding action. Trading shots again with the British still felt with a game of attrition with more weight for the British.

 

As the native troops fell back in the woods, a fresh unit of Troop de Marine had been moving over before the natives retreated from the Highlanders charge. This allowed a full volley to cause major damage to Highlanders followed by a second volley to send their status to wavering. Meanwhile the front line next to the farm took so much fire it ended up going from wavering to shaken and trading fire just went to being destroyed.

 

Ended up moving my one 3 stand French back towards the farm and breaking it up one stand to set up flanking fire and two stands back into the farm complex. Another turn brought the Highlanders down to shaken and lost a stand just barely holding on. Meanwhile the skirmishing Natives were moved back up to snipe at the Highlanders again and the Troop de Marine were moved more to face any break through.

 

Long and short units stared to fall apart on each side from fire and the occasional melee was especially bloody. The French lost the Troop De Marine unit from fire on the wall and from troops who had entered the buildings from the center under Danny. This caused two stands of line to be moved into the Farm complex to try to hold it. The charge by Frederick’s Core De Boise was bloody and after several round pretty much led to their destruction. Meanwhile my small band of Core De Boise near the farm were charged lost troops during the fall back and later ended up routing destroyed off the board.

Moving in for the final kill against the French

 

 

Feeling gutsy after causing a British line unit to be destroyed and disordered another, I decided to charge the line unit with my mostly untouched French line unit. This turned out to be a major mistake and might have been the costly decision to turn the tide. I felt I was being overmatched in the firepower department so decided to stop trading fire in an attritional firefight and charge a disordered line unit that I slightly outnumbered. Took a casualty on the way in which caused me to be disordered. This made it almost an even up roll which simply left it up to luck. Rick rolled just one higher so we each lost a troop and did another round of combat. Then Rick rolled more than 6 higher than me and that did that trick caused major loses and the unit to fall back pretty much out of the game as being any use. This allowed the British to turn large number of troops against one single stand and 2 line units and 2 cannons were ganging up leaving a whole as another unit. Danny on the other side of the farm complex surged against the long stretched line of French troops outnumbering him with cannon, line troops, and grenadiers.

Rick, Danny, Del & Frederick checking the stats in a game of inches.

 

 

Summary:

 

French felt they could not hold the area much longer being outnumbered if we fought it out to the last man. From the French left to right the situation stands the Highlanders were shaken with only 9 figures from a 24-figure unit left and disordered. They had seemed like the major threat earlier in the game but now were just holding on. Still they had been trading shots with the Natives for 3 turns neither side hitting anything but trees due to low rolls. The Natives were wavering due to loses as well which could lead to them not lasting long either with a bad roll. This flank was kind of draw then. The Natives held up the Highlanders and one more casualty and they could have been destroyed which could have changed the game. This would have left the Natives to fire into the flank of the British lines marching on the French line troops. Do not know if this was game changer but really could have helped distract and hold up the British

 

Rest of the left flank had three French line units in shaken down to one stand with 3 to 4 figures along with 1 fresh unit of Troopes de Marine and a fresh 2 stand grenadier unit with one cannon. They were facing two wavering British line units, 2 cannons, 1 fresh line unit, 1 fresh elite Highlander unit and 1 fresh elite Grenadier unit. Not good for the French overmatched even if the two wavering line units are destroyed the British still would have more cannon, more troops of better quality this is just not likely going to last. This only would change if Rick rolled nothing but ones for all time. In addition, if there is a charge it could end in a turn or two the melee being so deadly. This seemed like a total loss for the French.

Farm Complex this was largely a draw now but again something that could change fast. French line wait for the British to come over the wall or out of the building. Coming over the wall or out of the building would mostly likely be deadly on the British but so few French are their if the British try to move more troops into the farm this could change.

Roadway to Montreal next to the farm complex has cannon and British troop numbers starting to tell. The quality of troops and numbers are stretching the French too thin to hold it is just being ground down.  A very fun games perhaps a turn limit would have helped the French out but still I highly recommend the scenario and the terrain and figures.  What a way to end 2017.

Defending the Road to Montreal Part 2

A new Wednesday brought two new wing commanders to the game with Del replacing Rick for the British Crown Right Wing forces and Frederick took over for George for the Right Wing of the French forces. The change in players might not change the strategy but the dice rolls seemed to change for each side.  Last weeks events are here. Click on images for larger views.

View from the left flank of the French Lines

 

Del moved more forces at the line troops and cannon of the French while trying to move some weight against the Farm compound. On the other flank, the battle continued with Frederick moving at the British forces that also surge forward. A small force is moved against the farm from the other side but is seen off with fire from the windows.
The natives in the woods felt the steady pressure from the highlanders. Trying to hold them back has only worked so much as they are very strong in the charge and the natives fall back in response. Meanwhile the British charge a French line unit that is disordered from fire and after the cannons destroy the colonial troops in extended line. I took a calculated risk with the cannon and chose to stand and fight getting to fire first at the line at close range but did not end up the victor and lost a gunner and was forced to abandon the two guns. My line unit by the farm faced a charge as well and was forced to retire after taking substantial casualties and disordering two more line units during the retreat to my chagrin.

Charge!!

Meanwhile the flank with Danny and Frederick was mixing it up with close range combat even the wavering line unit of the French had been doing well before its destruction. The back and forth and high rolls were going in Frederick’s favor. In the center the French started to take casualties with the Troupe de marine losing a figure a turn and becoming disordered each time forcing me to rally them and move up a reserve each turn. Fortunately, my rolls allowed this combat to continue. Feeling the pressure from oncoming lines of troops cause the reserves who last week were sent to George’s flank to about-face and head back towards the other flank.

 

 

Caught out in the open with the option to fire or charge I chose to fire with a fresh line unit, a cannon and natives to hit for high value and kill yet another British Battalion commander. Meanwhile I knocked another out for a turn with the Troupe de marine. This lead to retaking of the guns. I tried to hold out for a while trading shots with Del in an attempt to cause as many casualties but ultimately the gunners were shot to pieces and the guns lost. Still in another melee, I defeated a line unit and ended up destroying it. Meanwhile the natives trading shots with the highlanders are falling back and leaning towards wavering.

Trading fire with the British Line one unit starts to waver

 

Face to Face with the enemy to fall back or stay and take the charge a decision to be made.

 

British overrun some of the French cannon

Two nights in and the farm compound and the road to Montreal are still in French hands. Seen some real swings in the dice rolling that affected each flank. Del rolled much better than Rick this week and this caused more casualties especially in melee. I rolled well for movement, morale, and so for fire but not well in melee. The other flank saw Frederick get hot with the dice and press the British Crown forces back some on the far flank. This is a reversal the week before when George had bad luck with the dice. Danny got to experience the dice going cold for him as opposed to last week and the pitfall of the rules being disordered at the wrong time. Though he might have rolled alright for fire either being disordered in the defensive fire phase or offensive fire phase he was failing to roll to rally the troops at key times. This was allowing Frederic to hit his disordered line troops with good ordered troops and pay the price for this forcing back his troops.

 

Frederick on the French right flank forcing back the British

 

French still hold the farm after repeated attacks.

 

Both French & British second lines coming into play as the first lines are destroyed by fire and melee

 

Summary:
Going in with the cold steel has been bloody and the French had good results with this for Frederic while I on the receiving end not so much. So several more British Crown units destroyed for the cost of 1 and half on my flank. The Courer des bois though have retreated to stay alive and the natives even in the woods may not last much longer with the highlanders bearing down on them. I now feel better about having one artillery piece on the other flank as all the other French guns have been destroyed. Not good for the French they are outgunned now. One British flank has retreated some to reorganize which is good. Still I am not looking forward to trying to defeat the weight of numbers on my flank especially the multiple units of highlanders. The Farm is still in French hands but the troops are being whittled down. Further, the British have noticed I have moved the French Grenadiers out of the farm to protect my flank and face any attempt to exploit a break through. They are my only Elite unit on the table and it was my hope to use them in an offensive counterstroke to break through a line but it appears that will not be possible.

We will play another night and hope the French can just hold on even though outnumbered. If the woods flank folds against the highlanders though I fear it could be over in short order. Going to have to grind down some British units.

Defending the Road to Montreal Part 1

Lots of fine British soldiers including elite Highlanders line up

Disclaimer:

I found that adds are no showing up on my blog now. I noticed the ad for the earrings my wife bought my mother-in-law the other day and have been informed I have to pay to have it removed.  I will not pay but in no way condone or endorse the advertising. So any advertisements you find on the blog I have not placed. Now on to the post.

 

 

In an earlier post, I mentioned the years of playing the period of the French & Indian War that got me in touch with the club I belong too now. More than 20 years it seems now it has been gaming with the Wednesday Night Gamers of Alexandria. Therefore, Del set up a game for the French & Indian War (Part of the 7 Years War but in the colonies) taking place on the road to Montreal. Rules are a set we have played for years based on Fire & Fury. The figures are 25mm and come from the collections of Del and Rick that meant many nice figures on the table. Enjoying the paint job on those figures, more than we ever had on the table before and not all the figures that Rick and Del have wow! The British Crown forces have 3 battalions of highlanders painted up by Fernando Enterprises I like the tartans. Lots of highlanders are there any left in Scotland? Click pictures for larger images.

Nice looking troops but can the French line fight and hold the road

 

So Del set up an interesting scenario with a little bit of a nod to La Hayes Sainte as a farmhouse compound is found in the middle of the table near the road that must be kept by the French forces. French forces set up first and can occupy the farmhouse compound with limited troops, which we did. The forces of the English Crown were then allowed to set up after their set up the French were allowed to move up to 3 units. I moved one gun to a flank which I kind of regret now. French won the roll off with a good roll by George and he and I moved first.

Facing down the British Light Infantry and loyal colonist

 

First blood to the French as the French Troupes de marine rise up from behind the farmhouse walls and combine with French Line who volley to inflict casualties on the elite of British Light Troops under Rick’s command. Rolling a natural 10 causes a roll for the leader of the Light Troops who is killed. Meanwhile the French guns pound the extended line of colonial loyalist troops. Colonials masking Rick’s guns save them from fire but also do not let him fire which I admit to being happy about.

Troupes de marine, Coureurs de bois and French line open fire and cause damage

 

 

Meanwhile the French forces under George are taking fire from Danny’s artillery. The native war band I put in the woods I am not rolling well for and are barely moving. They count as regulars in the woods but a low roll stalls their advance. The cannon on the flank is also limbered but barely moving. Artillery is whittling down the colonial extended line and I kill their commander with a high roll. Moved the Coureurs de bois under the wall with the Troop de Marine and increase the firepower against Rick’s Troops.

French right flank feeling the fire from the British

 

Disordered French in the first line

 

The other flank sees Danny’s troops moving in on George’s troops who are not making all the movement rolls to get better positions. The cannon continue to inflict heavy casualties against his French line unit. One of the highlanders under Rick’s command goes impetuous on a high roll uh oh.

George not happy with the rolls

 

Another leader down with more casualties from the French cannon towards a British line unit under Rick’s command. The troops under Rick’s command are moving at the farmhouse compound while Danny is making a large flanking movement with lines of troops his wing of infantry moving along like a tidal wave looking to crash upon George’s line.

Can the French hold on

 

View from the road to Montreal

Move a skirmish line of troops to cover my first line of French regulars in the open who are taking fire as they are outnumbered by Rick’s regulars and artillery. This protects them as the farmhouse wall is protecting the Troupe de marine somewhat and giving a cover bonus. The British Lights were destroyed and first line of colonial troops are wavering as another of Rick’s commanders is killed. Leading from the front looks good but can be deadly.

Nothing like a good wall for cover bonus, even without leaders lots of troops march on

Things are not all good for the French as the first line of regulars on the other flank under George have had the commander killed and are down to half strength they may not last long. The Highlanders in the woods have reached the French Native Allies and each side inflicts a casualty after two rounds of combat but the natives are left disordered. The Highlanders though sometimes hard to control as they went impetuous at the nearest enemy which is the natives are actually rated pretty well in the woods unlike many other regular troops.

Wavering French Line on the right flank

 

Lines of troops closing the range and starting to cause each other problems.

 

 

Therefore, the results for the night are somewhat satisfying for the French, as the center has not collapsed, as I have been worrying about the farm compound. The long-range fire by both sides artillery is being deadly. Two of my guns have their horses gone because of fire but are all right while George on the other flank has lost a gunner. Took two hours for George to inflict a casualty on Danny while losing half a battalion of line troops in the process. The native allies in the woods are not helping as much I would like and I am not sure how well they will stand up to the highlanders. I did not expect Rick to want to cross the river and attack the natives and I am a little afraid for them. Overall, the reserves have not been committed yet and this can be looked on as a positive.

 

Summary:

 

British forces have lost at least 4 battalion commanders. One elite unit of light troops has been destroyed and unit of colonial troops is wavering.   A further three-line units have taken damage along with a Highlander battalion.

 

French forces have held the center with no casualties in the farm compound. George’s wing has one line unit wavering having lost half their troops and the battalion commander. Further, the French guns on George’s flank have taken casualties and one is down to half strength. This was accomplished with minimal hits on the British Line of Danny coming at the flank. The quantity and quality of the British troops could be the deciding factor with these two wide flanking maneuvers. Next week will need to see if the French can hold on. This battle would last two more weeks so more posts in the future to finish it out.  Thanks for looking.

Gaming the French & Indian War Again

Got together with the club I game with after a fairly long absence. The period of the French & Indian War really got me involved with some people who I have been gaming with for years now. So I always have a little nostalgia for it as it really cemented me for a while gaming on a regular basis and brought me in contact with a host of individuals. At the time, I first played this period it was something I never thought of doing and really did not know that much about. As I come from the west coast of the United States, you do not have any history associated with that conflict as the Northeastern United States does.

 

It has been more than 20 years but still I like to play the period now and again. I have no photographs, which is just as well it was ugly. As the British, we were supposed to take a native village defended by French Regulars, Native Tribes, French Grenadiers, Cord du Boise, and I at least was awful at it. My elite British Grenadiers, Light Troops nor colonial troops neither did any damage of note and mostly were shot up and surrounded by Indians. I felt a little overwhelmed with being surrounded from the get go almost and distracted by the canoes on the river on my flank. Most likely what they were supposed to do.

 

Through in awful rolls on the British side with high rolls on the French and you get the idea it was not the kind of outcome you would like. Going straight in would have been best I guess but the rolls would have meant the same end just perhaps a little faster. I tried to maneuver for better firing and I just do not think that was ever possible. The figures are nice though some have seen the wear and tear of years of use. Have to give credit to Del for those great figures among others the Highlanders really look good.

Disordered troops facing the guns

Disordered British troops facing the guns

 

 

Not Posted Anything in a While

I admit to not taking the time to post anything in a while. I actually was very busy with life events and did not make it too much in the way of wargames so had less to say on this. I would only make it to one game then not make it for a number of weeks so would not finish the battle so did not post anything Baseball season and just responsibilities hurt my gaming and posting not to mention painting. It is hard to paint figures when your wife expects you to be working in the yard with her. I found time just is not available and perhaps I am going to have to get use to this and find an alternative to painting my own figures, as it takes too long when you have no time.

 

I really do still find painting figures enjoyable though and would like not give it up. Lack of time now just seems to be holding me back from painting. At this time in my life, I understand my role at home and know I cannot just ignore them so perhaps painting figures and war-gaming even though I enjoy them now will go to the bottom of the list of things to be done. Unfortunate but true.

June 6, 2017

Woke up this morning and remembered Operation Overlord took place on this day 1944. It kind of snuck up on me even though I have been researching the battle some back in April and May I had not thought about the specific date.

The invasion was a real achievement on many levels and I felt with all the World War II veterans passing away it is time we remember them more and more. I heard on the radio later in the day a passage from a diary from an American soldier who landed at Omaha beach it was something to hear.
Never wargamed the landing at D-Day. I have done lots of World War II games. Italian campaigns, the Eastern Front, Western Front battles before the fall of France and later such as the battle of the bulge. I have even done an Operation Market Garden game before but never D-Day.

I admit to be in the planning stages of trip to Normandy to see the invasion sites. I would like to get to do it in 2018 but we will see if that is something that is done or 2019.

Still here is remember those who fought on June 6, 1944 for everyone.

Painting Workbench for April 2017

Continuing my plan to write about my figure painting workbench every month took me some time to write this time.  Like many posts these days I am late in writing something.  I have decided not to include any pictures for the month of April as it largely was a repeat of the month of March.

Trying to complete the long-term goal of having complete armies for Austria, Prussia, France, Bavaria and Saxony for the period of 1859 through 1870, I continued to paint French troops.  Just like last month it was filling the wholes in troop types of my French Infantry Corp.  I needed Zouaves, Turco and Mounted Officers.  This month I painted 2 stands of 3 stand unit of the 2nd Zouave Regiment and two mounted Brigade Commanders.  Very similar to last month.

This was a total of 10 infantry and 2 mounted commanders.  Not as good as in past months even though I feel I have gotten faster with a good process for painting I have been very busy with other things. Getting closer and closer to the goal still.  I got some unpainted lead on eBay recently to help me with any missing figures I needed.  Still you have to paint them.