Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Battle of Ottignies - Take Three

At the NWS last night I took James of the ANF through his first game of Napoleon's Battles.  James had long suffered me making comparisons between NB and Shako and so it was an important event for me.  We had planned a day of gaming, but events out of our control conspired against us.  This was probably a good outcome as I was trying to work out how to use my limited 1/72nd scale forces to do the Battle of Quatre Bras.  But I digress.

Background to the scenario can be found in this post.  James took the French and Mark B the Prussians (his second go).  I umpired.  I also decided to take a different approach to photographs, using the "hold the camera at arms length high above the table and trust to digital technology" technique.  Seems to have worked fine...

At the end of the first turn, the French have seized the low rise, bravely exposing themselves to Prussian artillery fire by crossing the crest.  The Prussians were playing defensively, deploying in line, a formation I'm not fond of.  The French cavalry had immediately attacked the Prussian cavalry and successfully neutralised it for a turn. 

The second turn saw a repeat of the first.  More inconclusive cavalry action, except that the Prussian cavalry commander was taken prisoner when he mistakenly thought the French were Prussians  and went up to order them to turn about.  The Prussian artillery continues to damage the French.

Turn three and still more inconclusive cavalry action, although it is beginning to wear down one of the French cavalry units which had finally been trapped in the Prussian "cone of fire" (The Prussians had deployed some guns in the belief that they would get a pass through shot - not in these rules, sorry.)  Acting on umpire advice the French pulled back one brigade which was close to dispersing after withstanding over an hour's bombardment from the Prussian guns.  Attention was now turning to the other troops on the hill and three Prussian brigades were engaged in what turned out to be a fairly ineffective fire, until their guns came in to action that is.
However the French had attacked.  One brigade lead by Vandamme had been repulsed, but its companion was now lodged in the Prussian lines.

The last turn.  Weight of Prussian fire had driven one brigade off the rise and dispersed the isolated brigade.  The French were now in trouble as their incremental losses meant they had few fresh troops to make another assault.    The Prussians were largely intact although some of their batteries had been silenced.

This was the third time I had run this game.  It seems that three or four turns is the most I can get through with new players, competing with the distractions of venue and social engagement.  The table size worked well (three feet deep and four wide although we were just using three feet) along with the numbers of troops.

Each time play has been quiet different which I find interesting.  I'm now determined to give it a go solo.

In these photos the labels really seem to dominate.  As the umpire I found them really helpful in keeping track of things.  The only variation I have added to the label is to include the original unit size.  I'm still perfecting colour coding.  Also thinking I should revisit the flag/pin option I was looking at previously (I think I over complicated it when I tried to also use it to mark casualties).  I also wish I had more figures to use as casualty and rout/disorder markers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

52nd Light Infantry

On the home stretch now.  After this unit there are only three more to go and then I will have finished rebasing and tarting up last year's Xmas big buy.

Defending the hedge and reminding me I need a heap more hedges for Waterloo.

I picked up three sets of 24 of this painted unit.  I've rearranged the figures between the three.  I wanted a more heterogeneous look and like the way these guys have finished up looking "active" as light infantry should.

Marching up a sunken road perhaps.

Flag lifted from the Warflags site.

And to think I used to try and paint these flags by hand.

These guys were painted by Dragon Painting Service, all I have done is change the basing, done a few repairs to chipped paint, roughly over painted white on the buff webbing, changed the shako ornament and cockade and replaced the flag.

When I proudly showed them off to the family, my daughter liked the flag and my partner wanted to put them on eBay.

Monday, December 15, 2014

ESCI Italian Alpini

I recently saw this post on Paul's Plastic Warriors blog and thought to myself, hey, I've painted up some of them.

One pack made one company for Crossfire.

Machine gun squad.  I like the bandaged head.  Looking at this photo I see that some of the paint has flaked off his boots and the green plastic is showing through.

The company commander trying to get me to focus on him.

I can't remember when I did these, but I recall researching to find a unit to base them on.  Better still I made a note under the Company Commander's stand.

How could I resist a name like Marcolini?

These marching guys in greatcoats and felt hats were another nice pose.  As can be seen I was having trouble with my camera when trying to take closeups of multiple figures. 

And the pack contained these two chaps.

I always thought I could use them as Forward Observors.

Monday, December 8, 2014


Colgar6 with his post inspired me to go hunt out my harpies and have them do a photo shoot for posterity.  Poor things have been forced to lurk in dark corners of various boxes since the big move.

Singing for her supper.

Bird wouldn't stay still.

No idea of the brand, would have painted her 25 years ago give or take 5 years.
Don't know the brand of this figure either, but according to the note I made on the base, she was painted August 1986.

I was rather pleased with her.

A project for next year is to use them in a game of Songs of Blades and Heroes.

Airfix Italian Infantry

This is inspired by Paul's post:

A long time a go I painted these.

This was in the days when I was just starting to explore basing methods.

There is a conversion of an Airfix Japanese infantry man in there, waving his arm to encourage the marching figures, a pose I particularly liked/like.  Actually I think he is trying to throw a grenade or maybe playing fetch with the unit's mascot which is out of picture.

There is another (slight) conversion with one of the marching guys now carrying a light machine gun, which I am pretty sure I took from the 2nd Edition Airfix Afrika Korps.

I think these figures also had an experimental coat of wood varnish of some sort.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

7th Hussars

This was another one of the DPS painted units I got for Xmas last year.  It was a bit odd and I couldn't decide whether it was the 4e or 11e Hussards.  I cleaned them off, but hadn't decided when along comes the chance to do Waterloo and what am I short of?  British light cavalry.

The wonderful site gave me the 7th Hussars.

Apart from removing the plume, it was mainly repainting the busby, saddle trim and some other detailing.  No flying pelisse, but in this scale they could be wearing them or not and it would look much the same.

16BrLC in line.

12BrLC in column.

16BrLC in column.


One other change I made was to swap out some standing horses for Old Glory walkers, trotters and gallopers that I had spare.  Two had missing tails, but I rebuilt them using wire and plaster.

NWS Kris Kringle

Secret Santa is normally something I would keep away from, but I thought I would participate in the one we had as part of the NWS Xmas dinner last night.

And jolly glad I was too.

I parted with something that has probably gone on to be a collectors item, but was not for me.

I picked up some 28mm French partisans... Um?  What am I going to do with them?

Well, after the Kris Kringle there was then a round of swaps and I heard "who collects 15mm Napoleonics?"  "Me!" I yell, knowing that at least another person at may table was also in that space, so I had to work fast.  Luckily the 28mm figures I had to swap were something of value and we made the deal and I now have a bag of Old Glory French Cuirassiers.

Better still, this was actually the contribution by the other 15mm collector at my table, so no hard feelings.

Now, there was also a supplementary allocation of Kris Kringle gifts as it seemed that more had been put in than had been pulled out.  This time the challenge was to answer a question.  The first one was about the movie Gettysburg - no idea who financed it.  The next was about someone who was in the news due to their backside... Duh?  I know our PM and other politicians have been making regular arses of themselves, but the answer required a single name.  Where to start?  Luckily a person at my table knew the answer (and will explain later to his significant other how he came to know it I am sure).  Oh well, out of luck.  

Last question was what other battle occurred on the same day as Waterloo.  Warve I scream (well, muttered somewhat forcefully and made myself heard) and picked up The Sand of Sudan by Carlo Pagano.  Yeah!  Another thing I wanted.

But it gets better.  The knower of bottoms passed on their prize to me as they were leaving (perhaps he was trying to divest himself of incriminating evidence before SWMBO got round to questioning him).  Regardless, my win and thank you!

Thirty Mahdists that look very fierce and hopefully not too challenging to construct and paint up (but only after Waterloo 2015).

Sorry for the shocking photos.  I took them outside.  It was in the shade, but the sun light was blinding and obvious effected the camera's setting.

And just to provide closure, here is something I didn't know.

Kim Kardashian's bare-bottom broke the internet