Friday, December 8, 2023

Old Glory RJW Cossacks and Artillery Crew

These are also from Old Glory's Boxer Rising/Rebellion range. A bag each of cossacks (sadly without fur caps), and artillery crew. I ordered a couple of Tsuba Miniatures cannon for the crew to man. Plan to base some of the figures with the gun, and a few as singles. Should've ordered another cannon as there are 19 figures, and only plan to use 4 or 5 per cannon. Also ordered a pair each of Tsuba Hotchkiss and Maxim machine guns with crew.

The cossacks are painted up as Trans-Baikal troops with yellow uniform distinctions. They all carry what appear to be whips in their right hand. If their right hands were posed differently, I might've added lances.
The figures are all pretty nicely sculpted, again not overly detailed and making them easy to paint. The horses themselves are very nicely posed and proportioned, IMO.
I also just received a copy of The Men Who Would Be Kings. Very similar to the "Rampant" line of rules, but geared more for 19th Century Colonial (Imperialist?) armies versus tribal hordes. I was thinking of using it for RJW skirmish, but may mod it with stuff from Rebels and Patriots. On the gaming front, plan to be at our annual Dragon Rampant Christmas game day next weekend at Bruce Meyer's place in Gig Harbor. Bruce is the owner/proprietor of Brigade Games, and graciously opens up his place every year for this - we did skip one year due to the lockdown though. And in heavier news, the hotel that was used for our annual big convention in May, Enfilade, has been sold and the contract with our club voided. The powers to be are searching for a new location to host the convention. It had been held at the hotel in Olympia for about 20 years or so. I was fortunate to attend the last 17 there (missing the lockdown year). The place holds fond memories for me - being the place where I was first exposed to gaming, and making long-lasting friendships there over the years, including a great horde from Canada. Until next time, thanks for stopping by and wishing you all the best this holiday season.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Old Glory RJW Russian Infantry

These are actually from their Boxer Rising/Rebellion range, but the uniforms are pretty much the same. In fact, the main reaason I wanted these Old Glory figures was to match the Meiji IJA figures also from the same range.

These are from two bags of infanry with 30 figures each (although I think there are a couple of extras). Half have their tunics painted in Vallejo Bone White (the two units on the left), and the other half have tunics painted with Vallejo Off White (the two units on the right). The lighter shade of Off White looks a bit more striking, but the tunics were supposedly dyed earthy/khaki colors on campaign.
The flags were downloaded and printed from fellow gamer Mark Strachan's "1866 And All That" blog: 
Awaiting a copy of "The Men Who Would Be Kings" to see how these troops will be classed.
Next up are a bag each of Old Glory Russian Cossacks (although not wearing fur caps) and Artillery (still needing guns). Thanks for stopping by and wishing you the best this holiday seasons.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Siege of Louisbourg, 1758 - Rebels and Patriots Game

Hosted a nice playtest for a game I plan to run at next year's Enfilade convention. The scenario is based upon the intial landings by the British led by General Wolfe.  The game went for eight turns with the battle being a seesaw affair and ending up with both sides at the center of the battlefield. The British left did manage to destroy or push back most of their opposite side due to superior fire power. The British left consisted of several small units of Rangers and Light Infantry. The British right was slowed by movement in difficult terrain (rocky beach), and also a failed Activation of one unit rolling double 1's. A subsequent roll ended up having that unit fired upon a nearby boat of fellow British and killing three of them before even hitting the beach. The French had picquets in the center manned by small units of Marines. They decided to abandon the picquets leaving them open to the British. However, the French received reinforcements in turn 3, where they decided to return to the picquets - still not reach by the British. A large group of allied natives joined the French but failed to make it out of the woodline after being shot at by the British. The British grenadiers made slow advance in the center - even having to retreat back to the shore after failing Activations with rolls of double 1's. After seeing the battle reach a stalement, we called the game a draw. With movement being only 6 or 8 inches per turn, it was decided that one of the original victory conditions for the British to reach the opposite end of the table was very unlikely. A change to the victory condition would be to overrun or take over the picquets mid-table. Also, destroy more of the enemy units would be an alternate condition. Otherwise the scenario seemed to play out well. Here are a few pictures from the game.

Set up prior to the game. French side with reinforcements to arrive later in the game waiting in the tray. The French had two small naval cannon to move where they wanted to, up to 30" from the British shoreline.
British Rangers and Light Infantry already on the table at the start of the game. The rest of the British in landing boats needing a successful movement Activation roll to hit the shore. Another thing we found out was the rocky shoreline being difficult terrain slowed down movement too much. This will be removed from future games, and allowed the British troops to land and make a half movement once hitting shore.
British went first in turn 1 - landing most of their troops on the rocky shoreline. However, one boat failed with a double 1 Activation roll. A further roll had them shooting into the friendly troops next to them taking out 3 figures before they in turn successfully landed.
British left with small units of Rangers and Light Infantry wreaking havoc on the small units of French Marines manning their picquets. This really demoralized the French and had them retreating in the next turn. They were also allowed reinforcements to arrive to bolster their courage.
British Rangers and Light Infantry advancing - 78th Highland Grenadiers behind them.
French picquet in the center deciding to stand or fall back. Their reinforcements in the distance behind them.
French troops advancing to meet the British.
French reinforcements manning picquets earlier vacated by Marines.
British Rangers taking over an abandoned picquet.
One of the French naval guns destroyed an entire British unit with several turns of firing.
Native warband joining their French allies. They never made contact with the British.
British Grenadiers advancing in the center of the battlefield. This was about the end of turn 8 where the game was called a draw.

Another enjoyable Rebels and Patriots game which is my current favorite for skirmish gaming the musket era. Speaking of rules, just ordered a copy of The Men Who Would Be King. Planning to try it out for Russo-Japanese War. I've had some Meiji Imperial Japanese Army figures a for many years, but finally picked up some Russians to face them. Here they are after a stain of Minwax last night. Also, posed them with a 120mm resin "used" figure recently picked up off of ebay and repaired and re-painted.
Thanks for checking out the blog and wishing you all a happy holiday season.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Wooden Hand of Captain Danjou - The French Foreign legion at Camerone

Just got done play-testing The Wooden Hand of Captain Danjou - The French Foreign legion at Camerone by Howard Whitehouse, hosted by Kevin Smyth ("A Gamer's Tales" blog). A very nice set of skirmish rules made all the more enjoyable with Kevin's beautiful collection of French Foreign Legion and Mexican troops. Another buddy scratch-built the great looking Hacienda Camarón.

I ran a 7-man unit of legionnaires led by a sergeant and corporal. The corporal was killed early on, but the sergeant and rest of the unit managed to survive holed up in the hacienda until we called the game at the end of turn 7. Each of the French figures were named for actual legionnaires that were at the battle. 
The rules were fairly simple, using D6's for shooting and melee. Movement was dictated by zones - either near or long-range. Movement within the hacienda compound was limited to one movement per turn - for example starting at the inside of a wall to the courtyard, from the courtyard you could move into the hacienda in the next turn. Same for movement within the hacienda - to include the second floor and also the rooftop.
The French could fire with one D6 per figure, but the Mexican dismounted troops could only fire one D6 per five figures. The Mexican infantry - which came on at turn 4, could fire one D6 per three figures. Also, the French could fire anytime during the game, but with ammunition limited to 20 rounds, which was kept track of on a card.
For melee, the French officers and NCO's were given a plus 2 to their hits.
Mexican infantry advancing up to the southern walls of the hacienda complex.
Mexican cavalry, both mounted and dismounted attempting to breach a break in the outer wall.
Mexican infantry assaulting the western side of the compound.
Mexican cavalry inside the compound - most of the French have retreated inside the hacienda proper.
The hacienda had separate rooms, and also a removable second floor and rooftop.
Mexican infantry about to enter the hacienda's courtyard.
The hacienda's first floor with the center and far room occupied by French; Mexican dismounted cavalry have entered the nearest room through the side door and windows.

As this was the first playtest with the rules, there was much discussion during and after the game, but all were very happy with it and look forward to more playtesting. Kevin is planning to host this game next May at our annual convention, Enfilade. I'm sure he'll be posting a much more detailed (accurate) description of the game on his own blog later - please be sure to check it out if you're interested.

As for myself, I'm hosting a Rebels and Patriots playtest the day after tomorrow (Friday). The scenario  will be the initial landing of General Wolfe at Louisbourg. On the painting table, working on some Old Glory Russians from their Boxer Rising range. Plan to try out a Russo-Japanese skirmish game using The Men Who Would Be Kings. Have never played these rules before, and actually waiting on a copy from ebay. Until next time, thanks for checking out the blog and wishing you the best this holiday season!

Friday, November 24, 2023

Les Britanniques Arrivent! Les Britanniques Arrivent! (In Paper Boats)

Made some boats out of cardstock and foam core to use in a Siege of Louisbourg scenario. Although there are few really nice resin ships made by John Jenkins Designs, as well as Perry, I only intend to use these for the initial movement/landing phase of the game. Also, the material used was from the local Dollar Tree, and stuff already on hand.

Each boat can fit up to 12 figures on 25mm round bases - so you could stuff in a few more on 20mm bases. The foam core base and support panels inside make them sturdy enough for simple movement during gaming. Of course, these are just representational, and don't include seamen rowers.
Used a color pattern from some illustrations of period boats found on the internet.
Here's the build process, which was quite simple.
Foam core bottoms and rear panels were cut with a box cutter. The cardstock attached around the base and rear panel with a glue gun.
Gave the outsides some texturing with acrylic caulking. This prompted me to add the panels inside to keep the side panels from warping. Luckily there was still enough room to fit the 12 figures on 25mm round bases.

Using masking tape and paint already in the supply cabinet (khaki, black, and red) - painted the base coloring. Dry-brushed a lighter red and khaki over the base coat before giving them a final coat of clear flat.
The playtest for this game is scheduled for next Friday, and will be using Rebels and Patriots for the rules. The one mod will be having the boats attempt to land with an Activation roll for movement - up to 12". The French will initially be placed in cover up to 24" from the British side. The French will also have two 6 pound naval guns. The British can be targeted while still in the boats - of course.

This project was a revisit of one done years ago when I played another Siege of Louisbourg game using Muskets and Tomahawks. It was a smaller game with less figures and only three paper boats. Here's a link to that game

Well, enough for now, and thank you very much for visiting the blog and wishing you all a great holiday season.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Boeing Museum of Flight Game Day

Just got back from another great game day at the Boeing Museum of Flight. This has been an annual thing for about 10 years or so now. Our good NHMGS president, Kevin Smyth ("A Gamer's Tales" blog), reached out to the museum way back when and somehow gets us in for free on their yearly "Hobby Day". In addition to us getting to host games - we get around 6 or so tables for the morning and afternooon periods - there are also displays from the local scale modellers club, and also the local RC model flying club. This weekend hosted an additional event - the CooperCon, it's a meeting of folks who discuss and share "info" on DB Cooper and his caper. It kind of makes sense to have it there as he did jump out of a Boeing 727 somewhere over the Pacific NW. Anyway, back to the game day - in the morning period I got to play in my buddy Lawrence's game based on the battle at the White River (near present day Auburn) in 1856 between US troops from Fort Steilacoom and the local natives (warriors from the Nisqually, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, and Klickitat tribes). I ran some of the US troops and our side ended up pushing most of the natives back into the wood. The rules used is called Brother Against Brother. The rules seemed to favor our troops as we could charge the natives, but they couldn't charge us. A successful charge to reach within 6" of the enemy forced the enemy to retire 3D10 inches. We also had 30" max range with our muskets and the natives' trade muskets only had a 20" max range. Besides our game in the first period, there was also a Tribal game of "cavemen vs. cavemen". Since I played in a Tribal Game last month at the Veteran's Museum, figured I'd give someone else a chance to try the rules. It was another great looking game put on by David Sullivan ("I Live With Cats" blog). A Wings of War game and a Vietnam bombing campaign game called "Thuds Over Hanoi" were also in the morning period. I played both games in years past so opted to get into the White River game. The afternoon period had a bit fewer games, Kevin ran his Air Race game (always a favorite - and another one I got to play in a few years ago), my buddy James ran a Bolt Action WW1 East Africa game, and another buddy, Wil, hosted a WW2 Soviet vs. German Chain of Command game on the next table. Managed to take a few pictures of  the games - also some pictures from the WW1 and WW2 exhibits. I've posted pictures of these exhibits before from previous game days here, but figured it's been awhile so maybe some folks haven't seen them. Oh, and I did get a nice Sheppard's Pie lunch special at the cafe.

That's the NHMGS gaming tables on the left, near the US Air aircraft cutaway. We used be under the SR-71, but the scale modeller's get the space now. It's actually darker (harder to see) under the SR-71 anyway.
The view looking down into the main hall from the upper deck.
The RC airplane guys setting up in the upper deck area. Some of the models are pretty big.
The table for the White River game prior to starting.
The Tribal game prior to starting.
The Wings of War set up.
The Thuds Over Hanoi set up. I mentioned to the GM, another buddy, that I had just watched Rolling Thunder - the one with William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones - he said he hadn't seen it before. It doesn't have really anything to do with the war proper, but has some nice shoot out scenes - reminicent of Peckinpa stuff, but I digress...
The section of troops that I ran in the White River game. The grey beads on the bayonets indicate they've fired and need to reload the next turn. A black bead would indicate the musket got fouled - and also needed a turn for that to be cleared. D10's are used for firing (and moving), most hits at over close range require 0's or 1's. Close range (less than half max range) in the open, hit on 0's, 1's, and 2's. Oh, and the activation of units is by card draw - highest to lowest player, black cards trumping red for ties. You can choose to move, charge, fire, or reload as an activation. Also, activations can be different for individual figures within the same unit. 
The Tribal game. The game I played last month was set in the Early Bronze Age with chariots and bows. This one is set in prehistoric times - I think the mammoths (or are they mastdadons - never can tell the difference) are separate objectives.
Thuds Over Hanoi game. F-105's and Phantoms, I think. Also, the NVA/VC have rockets, etc. to try and take down aircraft. The dense foliage represents troops hidden in the jungle.
Some of the natives in the White River game. The GM apologized for the figures being more representative of Eastern Woodland tribes - we let him slide on it.
This is another unit of US troops run by another player - they've charged into a unit of native - and forced them to retire away. His troops were later taken out by musket fire from different native units.
Some reinforcements from Fort Steilacoom - these were run by another player on our side. He could only bring on one unit at turn 5, and the rest in the next turns. Check out the cool dice cup in the background.
My troops about to charge into two native units - forcing them to retreat. The red bead indicates that figure will have +1 to his next firing as "revenge" for losing a comrade in a previous turn to the native's musket fire. To be honest, this is only the second time I've played Brother Against Brother in over a decade - but the way my buddy ran it really made it easy to play.
More US troops make it across the river - including the supply train.
Our little NHMGS table for the public to peruse - and ask questions about this strange hobby. There were a lot of visitors roaming the museum and most seemed to enjoy seeing our stuff and asking what the heck we were doing with toy soldiers. In fact, the adults seemed more interested than the kids.
My buddy James explaining the finer points of his Bolt Action WW1 East Africa game prior to commencing. James is a retired Infantry Colonel and lives about 10 minutes away from me - and we enjoy playing a lot of the same rules, like Bolt Action, Black Powder, and Rebels and Patriots. We're in the minority though, as most of our buddies dislike Bolt Action and Black Powder, for various reasons.
Second period - not as many games at the first period, but folks were just enjoying catching up with each and generally shooting the breeze. That's Kevin at the table on the right in the blue shirt, running his Air Race game.
Another shot of the Bolt Action WW1 East Africa game.
Planes at the starting line of the Air Race game.
Wil's Chain of Command game, Black Death Defending Stalingrad. 
The other end of the Chain of Command table - had to get a shot of the downed German aircraft in the building.
I've had worse for more money. It was actually pretty good - and filling.
And a few shots of the WW2 and WW2 displays - not going to show my ignorance of aircraft, so hopefully you'll be able to recognize them.

Well it was a nice day at the museum, gaming and catching up of with old gaming buddies. Thanks again for checking out the blog and hope you're all doing well and enjoying the holiday time of year.