Saturday, January 28, 2012

Something Like Salamanca Black Powder Playtest

Pulled off a nice Black Powder game today with the assistance of a few of the local Black Powder enthusiasts (okay Pat L. likes Waterloo better). The set up was loosely based on the Battle of Salamanca; instead of divisions, we had three brigades per side. It was basically a linear battlefield, with the British having the advantage of having all of their units on the table at the start, as well as having several already in line formation. The French, to simulate their blundering into the British, had to wait until the second turn to bring on their cavalry and one of their artillery batteries. Here is the British center in good position after their first turn:
On the eastern side of the battlefield, the 71st Highland LI occupied the village, while the remaining units of their brigade moved up in line to face the French right.
I failed to take a photo of the combat between a Small unit of French Dragoons and 1st KGL Hussars on the western side of the battlefield. The Dragoons lost their round of combat and had to retire to their rear - unfortunately off the board and out of the game. Previous to this the Dragoons had destroyed a Small unit of 60th Rifles - I must remember to take more pictures during combat.
The 1st KGL Hussars' victory was short-lived though; soon after the French 9th Hussars managed to move through the woods, reform and charge into the 1st KGL Hussars' flank. Needless to say, the 9th Hussars exacted revenge by destroying the 1st KGL Hussars in combat.
After silencing a British RHA battery with fire, the French commander on the right opted to use the Follow Me command to skillfully get his units into hand to hand combat. The results were the Coldstream Guards being destroyed. By the way, both French and British had Staff Ratings of 8.
ADDENDUM: Looking at this photo now - I can't recall if the French infantry charged into the Coldstream Guards first - locking them into combat; or if the French cav charged first and the Guards should've formed square - thereby denying the cav coming into contact. Must provide better GMing in the future!

With the loss of the Coldstream Guards, coupled with the earlier loss of the 1st KGL Hussars, it was declared a French victory. This is the opposite of what happened at Salamanca, but again, the scenario was not an exact duplicate of the battle. My fellow gamers said they had a great time and felt the game was set up pretty fairly. One suggestion was to have the French units coming on in the second turn not being able to automatically come on, but had to pass a Command roll first. This is a great idea, but I may leave it the way it is as I like to have the game move fast - especially since this will be run at Enfilade! with players who may not have prior experience with the rules.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Narrow Escape Before the Battle

A French Vivandiere who was foraging in town narrowly escapes detection by the British right before the battle. She must've pretended she was with the British; or the Spaniards would've surely captured her, or worse.
Looks like she may have to leave ol' Jenny loaded up with hard earned supplies. Stay tuned for what happens next.

ADDENDUM - initial battle dispositions:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

General Rowland Hill - Commanding

He's now ready to command the brigades that will take on the French this Saturday. I have couple of spare Perry figures that I may swap out with the Victrix foot guys here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Front Rank General Rowland Hill - WIP

This is the third Front Rank character I recently ordered. Another fine figure with cleanly sculpted details. General Hill was one of the best commanders that served under Wellington. In fact, he was one of the few commanders that Wellington could rely on for independent operations. Besides distinguished service in the Peninsular, he led a charge against the Imperial Guard at Waterloo. He survived the war and went on to become CINC of the Forces from 1828-39.
He will be the overall British commander for Black Powder games.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Terrain Cloth - or JoAnn's Revisted

As the greenish cloth I have is only 8 X 5', and the material was catching the wooden stands, I figured I'd take a look at what JoAnn's had to offer (again). I picked up a nice mottled fleece for only about $6.00 a yard. I now have a 12 X 5' terrain cloth. It's light, yet has enough depth to it for a nice feel. Being 100% polyester, the wooden stands now can be slid without catching (or worse, breaking off bayonets).
I can add some green patches here and there, but I'll wait for a warm, sunny day to do this. I went ahead and placed the figures back on for the Black Powder game. EDIT: I've decided against doing this and will add patches of fur here and there for grass - my next terrain project - stay tuned ;)!
I'll add some terrain in the center areas to block LOS.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Black Powder Playtest Set-up

I'm calling this one "Something like Salamanca" as it's based very loosely on that battle, on a much smaller scale of course. Instead of divisions, there will only be several brigades per side and concentrating on the western and center portion of the battle. I ended up using a smaller table at one end (the western side) to increase the length of the battlefield. As Gunny Highway would whisper in a scratchy voice, "You improvise, adapt and overcome." This playtest is for a game at Enfilade! in May - which will have a 12 X 5' table. The playtest is scheduled for next Saturday with a few of the Puyallup Wargamers.
Here is the French brigade that is duplicating Thomieres' doomed division moving in column to the west, oblivious to the British infantry already formed in line to shoot them to pieces; with a light cavalry unit to swoop in on any survivors. Or maybe the French player can pull off a good defense - we shall see.
British center - also with infantry in line formation with a Horse Artillery and a Small unit of Rifles.
French brigade in the center consisting of two infantry battalions and a unit of light cavalry which will come on the second turn. Note that one of the infantry battalions is in mixed formation with skirmishing Voltigeurs out front (see pages 78-89 of the Advanced Rules LOL!).
Here we find another British brigade coming out of the village of Los Arapiles; the overall British commander is also nearby.
The easternmost French brigade which will have its unit of heavy cavalry and artillery battery move on in the second turn. The overall French commander is also on this end of the battlefield.
 Another view of the battlefield; this time from the west.
I may put some blocking-LOS terrain in the center of the battlefield. We'll see what my fellow gamers say next weekend. Looking at the cloth, it appears pretty sorry. I am currently researching for a good (price/looks) replacement. I like the stuff Terrain Guy has, but not sure if I want to spend that much. On the other hand, I've probably already spent half the price of a good mat on several not so great (for gaming) fabric from JoAnn's. Maybe I should cut my losses and just spend the money on something decent.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Late-Japanese (Samurai) WAB Army

Here it is with all options; actually the new Armies of Antiquity list stops at 1500 AD, conveniently leaving out firearms. Too bad, as I'd already painted up a Dixon canon as well as OG teppo ashigaru. They'll just wait in the wings until a supplement comes out for them.
Anyway, I was supposed to play this army (at 2K less the teppo and cannon) today, but most of the other WAB players wanted to cancel due to weather conditions. The weather conditions aren't bad today, but they may need to clean up their property. Since my army was already prepped for travel, I figured I'd at least take group photo. I do want to add sashimono to the rest of the cavalry; also plan to add some army banners for looks as the new AoA doesn't include them in the list.

ADDENDUM - a comparison pic per a TMP request:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Perry Mounted Samurai Completed

In spite of a power outage for over 30 hours, I managed to finish up these guys. Heck, I needed something to do.
I painted up the two remaining horses by battery operated lighting. Not as bright as I'd wanted, but it worked. I had to hold the figures up next to the light to get them done. That little transistor radio was all the entertainment we had while the power was out - actually listened to a news broadcast to hear what was going on.
Power went about 7:00am yesterday due to our winter weather - probably trees falling on power lines. It only just came back on about an hour or so ago - 4:00pm the next day. I wasn't alone, about 300,000 paying customers were out of power for most of this period. That's just the households, so I'm sure you can double that number easily. Anyway, only minor damage to our property - a shade tree our front yard couldn't take the prolonged period ice remained on its limbs. Here are my two boys cleaning up the damage.
The backyard looks okay - the bamboo and pine didn't appear broken, and hopefully should straighten up after all the ice comes off.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Perry Mounted Samurai - WIP +1

Samurai are done - just need to paint their horses. Two of these guys will be lords and one, probably the guy with the skull sashimono, will be the army general.
Due to heavy snow, work was cancelled so I got to stay at home today. In between shoveling snow out of the driveway, I managed to paint up these nice Perry figures. Oh, and I even got to do some winter warfare training with the indigenous population in my back yard.
They're pretty fit and have keen sense of smell, but they have a limited attention span.

Addendum: General's horse painted:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Perry Mounted Samurai - WIP

Started on the sashimono for some Perry mounted Samurai. The designs are taken from the excellent Samurai Archives forum.
The initial pattern was roughly sketched with a pencil
These guys will be the general and lords for a Late-Japanese WAB army using the list in the new Armies of Antiquity supplement. I don't have the supplement, but a buddy let me use his book for the list. I understand that the supplement is mainly geared for tournament players. I wished they had continued on with the more detailed/specific supplements - like the cancelled Divine Wind and Successors book.
Hopefully I can have these guys done before a game this coming Saturday; if not, I have some TAG Samurai to fill in.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Black Powder French Command Stands

Ready for the game later this month, two more French command stands. The Cuirassier will command the brigade with heavy cavalry and Lefebvre-Desnouettes will be the overall commander. Although Lefebvre-Desnouettes was captured in 1808 and never returned to the Peninsular, he'll continue to command the French for Black Powder purposes.
The Guard Artillery officer and two musicians are also Front Rank figures; the remainder are from Foundry's Napoleon & Staff set. Granted the guy with the spy scope is a Marshal, but let's just say he's helping Lefebvre-Desnouettes out - making sure he doesn't get caught by the British.
The ADC has a red arm band signifying he's on the staff of a general of division, so he must be just delivering a message to the general of brigade.
Comparison shot per a TMPer's query:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Front Rank Cuirassier General - WIP

Finished the second Front Rank French officer. He'll command the brigade that has the heavy cavalry unit.
Another fine Front Rank sculpt - as you can see this one has the saddle and figure cast as one piece. He'll be mounted on a round stand along with a couple of additional foot figures.

Front Rank General Lefebvre-Desnouettes - Ready to Command

Here he is in the full-dress uniform as commander of the Guard Chasseurs a Cheval. He'll be on a round command stand for Black Powder next. Actually, I going to start on another Front Rank French commander first.
The postman also delivered a copy of Over the Top and Vlad - I had taken advantage of their sale recently. It only took 9 days to get here.