Friday, October 17, 2014

Waterloo Dutch Belgian Horse Artillery

This is my second attempt to paint up two batteries of Dutch Belgian Horse Artillery for (one of) my Waterloo projects.  My first attempt can be seen here:

I took four Waterloo 1815 figures and removed their backpacks and replaced them with pouches. They have painted up okay, but as I am finding with this project, the varnish is turning them glossy.  I still haven't decided if that is how I will leave them, but it is good enough for now.

A poor attempt an arty shot using an uncharacteristically cloudy sky for Perth.

An unintentional "wet look" to the ground.

It's a bit more noticeable in this photo and the following ones, but I did a bad job on the gun elevation, made worse by the scenic effect on the basing as the wheels are indented, but the trail slightly elevated by the plaster I used to build up the base.

I like the pose of the guy looking hopefully out into the distance while the ball is more likely to bury itself six feet under just a few yards in front of him. 

The guns are detachable.  A style which produces a few loose cannon.

This last photo was taken using a flash, the rest are all natural light.

While I am still thinking up the best way to show unit status etc, it never hurts to have a few casualty markers and so, using the trusty Airfix set, I painted up these three.  The fallen jager is the companion headswap to the officer I did for the Belgian infantry. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The African Campaign

Today Richard and I played Jedko Games' African Campaign.  Despite being a boardgamer back in the 1970s I had never played this game (SPI seemed the dominant/available provider of games, except for Avalon Hill).  It played well after all these years, a true classic.

By April 1942 the Axis were in a difficult position which was only getting worse.

The 8th Army held a line south from Sidi Barrani for a good while towards the end of 1941, until the Axis finally broke through.

This was the final position and proved too much for the Axis who are about to start retreating having placed minefields, but not enough strength to hold the position.

An elegant and simple system that worked well portraying the cut and thrust of the campaign.

Regimental Fire and Fury in 28mm

A double first for me - first game of Regimental Fire and Fury and first game using 28mm figures.  I had bought the rules back in January this year at Cancon from Dean of Olympian Games.  Having the rules for only ten months before actually using them is also a bit of a first (although I'm getting better).

There were six of using trying out the rules and each had a brigade.  Phil C who supplied the figures umpired.

I kept on getting confused with Fire and Fury, but this had started to dissipate as the game went only, unfortunately so did my troops.

More photos and commentary can be found here:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Flaming Fokkers

Last night we played an ambush scenario of Wings of Glory with three Fokkers surprising an Allied bomber escorted by two Sopwith Camels.  We were using altitude but it doesn't show in the pictures.  Basically the Camels were above and the bomber below the Fokkers for most of the game.

The game got off to an immediate start as the Fokkers (I was in command of the red one and the zebra, Simon had the yellow one) swooped on the bomber (Stephen N who also had one of the Camels under his command, with Stephen B taking the other Camel - all the models and accessories are Stephen N's).

Bomber set on fire, but oh dear, the three Fokkers collided!  

The yellow Fokker caught fire and then exploded while the zebra Fokker trailed smoke as it headed for home.

The red Fokker which was suffering engine failure pursued the bomber a bit before it too decided to head for home (both of my Fokkers had taken a lot of damage in the collision).

In heading for home it got a long distance shot in on one of the Camels that promptly blew up!

It made for a very quick game.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Stalingrad Crossfire Scenario

Last night at the club I umpired the Stalingrad Crossfire Scenario.  It is the one that comes with the rules.  An abstract and some play aids can be found here:

Mark B arrived first so he got to be the Germans.  Stephen took the Russians.  It was their first time with the rules.  They had received the abstract prior to the game and I only provided minimal explanation as to the rule mechanics, concentrating more on the scenario.  They seemed to pick it up easy enough, although the hidden deployment did cause a bit of problem and based on feedback I have developed an additional player aid by way of a map that can be used to write the location of a the units, rather than recording the location on the OoB list.

The playing area.  
It is amazing what you can do with cardboard, kitty litter, PVA glue and some paint.

Just in case anyone was in doubt of the scenario/period.

Using Recon by Fire, the Soviets successfully reveal some of the Nazis.  Recon by Fire is a thankless task as you need to throw a six.  Seems Stephen has the skills.

It was the Soviet's lucky day as in the factory, not only did they again successfully conduct Recon by Fire they went on to close assault the Nazis and capture their first building segment.  The Soviet's had mastered the art of throwing a six on a single dice.

The third platoon of the first company pour fire into a Soviet held segment of the factory, but without the Soviet's ability to throw sixes they have a tough time getting a result.

Despite Mark B bringing out a special set of green dice, the Soviets continued to display superior die rolling and were able to capture all the buildings in the factory complex.

Great game, even if just to see the look of disbelief on Mark B's face as Stephen threw yet another six.

I suppose I should clarify that Stephen was using my dice.  Apart from the green dice I provided everything, including the eclectic mix of 1/72nd scale figures (mainly plastic, but with a few metal dudes as well).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Seven Pines to the slaughter

On Monday Mark W indulged me by playing the Seven Pines Fire and Fury scenario, even though ACW is not his cup of tea.  As it was his first game with the rules I suggested he take the Confederates and he played some music about "southern boys raising hell" to get himself suitably psyched up.

At 13:00 the leading reb brigades bashed against the Union.  Naglee stood firm, but Palmer was bundled back.  The rebs broke through and hit Naglee a second time, pushing  these brigades of Casey's Division back on the Twin House redoubt.

Naglee's and Palmer's brigades try to rally.

Wessells' brigade looks a little thin facing the rebel hordes.

Here they come!

The second wave of rebels had arrived at 13:30 and took the fight to the redoubt.

It took some fighting, but by 14:00 the Confederates had captured the Twin House redoubt.

Casey's division fell back behind the abatis. Both batteries had been damaged and all three brigades were now spent.  The remainder of Keyes' corps waits patiently behind the Seven Pines Crossroads redoubt.

Four rebel brigades and a battery are now on the field.

As 14:30 comes around General Casey must be feeling a bit nervous.

Here they come again!

By 15:00 the Confederates had broken through Casey's Division for a second time and taken the  crossroads redoubts.  The breakthrough outcome saved the Confederates of facing the Union guns. 
It is now up to the thin blue line of Deven's cavalry brigade to attempt to hold them.

Damaged artillery and routed Union infantry collect around the Williamsburg Road as Generals Keyes and  Crouch try and rally them.

Wessells' brigade still holds part of the abatis on the Union left. 

On the Union right, Naglee's brigade, though spent, has positioned themselves behind the rebels left flank.  The Confederates bring up artillery.

The Union cavalry held, but by 15:30 a second Rebel brigade had passed through the redoubts.  While spent, it matched the much reduced Union brigades that stood in its way.

Peck's brigade counterattacks.

Naglee's brigade is demolished.

This is the position Longstreet's Confederate corps was in at 15:30.

By 16:00 the Confederates had driven off Develin's brigade.  Both of their leading brigades were spent, but Jenkins has now arrived (top left hand corner in the photo) and is heading for the crossroads.

On the Confederate right the going is a little tougher.  Peck's brigade is still standing firm and Heintzlemann's corps has started to emerge out of the swamp.

16:30 and the Rebels are pressing on.  There is one good Union battery holding the Williamsburg Road.  The thin blue line has rallied, but is a very pale shade of blue now.

The Union reinforcements have the rebel right flank under pressure.

It took a while for Heintzlmann to clear the swamp, but they are well placed to attack.

By 17:00 Berry's brigade is threatening to retake the Twin House redoubt which the rebels have had to shift troops over to cover.

One damaged battery is now all that is holding the Williamsburg Road for the Union.  If it was just the two spent rebel brigades Generals Keyes and Crouch would not have been worried, but Confederates have Jenkins' fresh brigade right behind them.

Peck's second counterattack is repulsed.

At 17:30 Berry has a clear path to retake the Twin House redoubt having broken the Confederate force sent to protect it. 

Kearny's Brigade of Heintzlmann's Corps makes a counterattack, but is bloodily repulsed.

The Confederates have Jenkins (far left of the photo) facing Peck's and Kearny's brigades that are both spent.  General Crouch and General Casey's replacement have what is left of the Union artillery covering the Williamsburg Road.

Losses were staggering on both sides.

We had started at 10:00 and finished at 16:00 which was about twice as long as I had expected the game to take.

We were playing with a rule that a musketry cannonade combat result of just disorder on an already disordered unit resulted in a stand loss.  I thought this would speed things up.  Next time I would play it as an additional stand lost whenever a disordered unit receives another disorder outcome.

We were also playing with risk to generals, for when a unit contacts an unattached enemy general.  On a roll of 1-3 the general has to roll on the leader loss table.   General Casey fell this way.

Strategically the Union recapture of the Twin House redoubt might have saved the day.  The Confederates held the Seven Pine Crossroads redoubt, but had failed to take the Williamsburg Road (although they were damn close).  However the Union force was just about wiped out.  They had one fresh brigade remaining and two spent brigades.  The Rebels had one if not two fresh brigades, a worn brigade and two spent brigades on the field of battle.