Sunday, August 02, 2015

A Glorious Cavacade (and a small Cannonade)

 Not all has been connoisseur toy-soldier nobbling and John Garrett reading, oh no, no, no! Here in the Duchy of Alzheim, we believe in the virtues of hard work, buckling down to it and of course, getting on with things. So, in that vein, a small reveal of the fruits of my various labors.

Starting with the freshly-mounted CR#5, you may note that I have splashed out and bought the riders in from another painter with some money I was fortunate to receive for my birthday back in March. Well done Rich from DPC. I am well pleased with his tiny troopers as they sit astride my own horses. I have no fears they will not fight for me as those I myself have painted. My own generalship is far more likely to let me down.
My current butterflies have led me to the 7YW for the now, and thus I am inspired to get on with my Prussian Cavalry arm. Here (along with the Cuirassiers) we have the current state of affairs. HR#1 and HR#5 both provisionally complete but for a single wretched casting I was short for each. Nonetheless, close enough for now.
 The artillery has long needed limbers and so I have cranked a couple of out. I am just painting up another team or two to draw them as we speak (so to say) and am waiting on the first wash to dry before i paint their manes and harness.
 They do look the part, do they not?
What's next? hard to say. I have a regiment of dragoons who need a bit of a spruce-up before I will be happy t add them to the order of battle and a further half unit of von Kleists dragoons likewise in need of a little tidy up and a small reinforcement. That will bring me to two each of dragoons and Hussars and a single unit of Cuirassiers. I guess one more of Cuirassiers is in order and we might be about done for the Prussians. Although...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Alec Harrison

 I sometimes think that with two large 18th Century armies, a large Colonial army, various WW2 forces, quite large Ancient armies and so on and so forth if my days of building huge forces of 7-800 figures a side might be drawing to a close. Obviously this is nonsense, but if it were ever to happen (and there is yet time, I am but a mere lad of 47 years) then this is one diversion for my declining years.
 I was leafing through my old magazines over the weekend. What better way is there to pass the time these bitter cold winter nights, I ask you? Anyway, in between glasses of Shiraz, I came across these articles featuring the work of one Mr Alec Harrison of the BMSS in the March 1988 issue of Military Modelling and the inestimable Practical Wargamer of January/February 1994
His work is utterly charming in my eyes and has the advantages of using 30mm Willie figures, all converted to one degree or another yet retaining that certain poise of the originals. It has been a fun process trying to work out the original figures and I am tempted to say that much that may have been in the original catalogue may not now be there. I am lookng especially at the Gensdarmes above, although they have since turned up again as remastered figures in the Tradition Catalogue. The wheel turns again.

I would like to try my hand at this kind of thing at some time in the no too distant future. I just need to lay in a stock of lead foil and learn how to solder.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Omdurman 1898, a Sticky Situation



 Cor, what a pickle.
Willie Lancers with Perry Plastics.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Few of my Favorite Things

Minots
 Over the past couple of years I have been building what I would describe as a collection of figures rather than a complete war-gaming army. Every now and then I come across small collections of quite well-painted vintage figures by Stadden, Willie or Minot. Painted or unpainted they may be and I try to snap them up; sometimes in the face of fairly stiff opposition!
Staddens
 I am very keen to leave them as much as possible in their original conditon if they are painted.
 They all seem to mix in quite well. A happy coincidence.
Willies
Staddens
 Sometimes they are quite familiar subjects like these staff officers.
 And sometimes they are not like this Minot(?) Emperor at his work.
 They also work well together.
 Some are not quite so felicitous, but what the hey.
Unpainted ones I am happy to paint at my no pace. As I have no goals for this collection I am quite happy to potter about, take the Funckens and my Blandfords as references and simply enjoy the work of the master craftsmen who made these delightful miniatures.

Remember Majuba or; Up the Chamla with Old Buller

African or Indian?
He was beloved by his troops, reviled by Leo Amery as symbolizing everything that was wrong with the British Amy at the time and somewhat rehabilitated by Thomas Pakenham as the man who perhaps first taught the Army how to fight a modern war. This rendition of Redvers Buller VC is of course a simple conversion with paint of the Willie "von Bismarck" from their Franco-Prussian War range.
Some more Willies ready to give Johnny Pathan one up the Chamla. not too sure as to whether they may join the "Littler Britons" collection or my broader colonial forces. They were at least an entertaining challenge to paint.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Test Game



Well, I managed a small test of the rules this evening. I laid out three units of foot, one of horse and a gun per side, wavered and added another unit of foot to one army. And made it a guards unit. In for a penny, in for a pound.

The scenario involved an attack on a village. The weaker side was defending with two units and a gun lining a wall at the perimeter with the third staggered back a move outside to the flank but still in communication with the garrison. The cavalry were staggered further back again. The attackers came on, three units of foot abreast, the fourth tucked behind that on the right flank. Their cavalry faced that of the enemy although neither side really wanted to plunge in.

The attackers declared a charge after two moves of steady advance. Steady artillery fire had removed a pip from one of the enemy units in the village and it was this that the Guards (who were also a little depleted in their pip store) attacked, driving it back from the wall and electing to follow up with another round of melee which drove  their opponents from the field. Their comrades had likewise been driven back, but had manfully rallied and cast their own opponents back out of the village.

The remaining units continued their advance until within musketry range, their generals joining them in order to prepare to bolster their pip store. One General lost a pip when his unit was fired on. The attackers had their fourth unit in close attendance on that which was to the fore should it need to fall back.

So, three moves played out in thirty minutes on the living room floor. Lessons learned? I think the defender ought to have a cover bonus when being fired on. Can't believe I missed it, really! Also, I think a defender ought to be able to shoot as a charge reaction. Evading as a charge reaction? I don't think so.

The rules seemed to work fairly well. I like the shooting rules, simple and fast moving. The melee was rather fun with some real ebb and flow. The Guards were tough, but now overwhelmingly so. I'd like to try a larger game with say six units of infantry per side to check the command and FBIGO rules.

So far so good.

ALSO - I thought it might be a good idea to put a copy of the rules on their own page. I'll just update that so the most current version is permanently up there.

Monday, June 01, 2015

The Age of Linear Warfare

I've been tinkering a little with a set of convention rules. The basic idea is to get out either the Prince August and Meisterzinn moulds and get casting.

Any comments would be welcome:



The Age of Linear Warfare

Notes
*Equipment: A 48” baton marked in 4” increments. A number of six-sided dice for the adjudication of combat; a number of six sided mini-dice equal to the number of units on the table and; one extra token to mark the extra pip Guards units may have.
*Units, be they Foot or Horse, have an 8” frontage. Figures are mounted on two 4” wide wood strips. As many figures as are regarded as aesthetically pleasing may be used.
*Every unit gets a number of pips (generally six). When this store of pips has been exhausted, the unit is considered destroyed.

Move
*Line Infantry 8”
*Light Infantry and Line Cavalry 12”
*Artillery 8”
Any unit may expend a pip to gain a double move to charge. Charges must be declared at the start of the turn.

Shoot
*Infantry – I die per stand. Range 8”.
Cavalry do not shoot.
*Artillery – 4 8” bands: Band 1 – 5 dice, Band 2 – 3 dice, Band3 – 2 dice, Band 4 – 1 die.
Procedure: roll dice and pray for 4+. Every Hit thus obtained removes one ‘pip’ from the defender’s store.

Melee
*Melee is adjudicated with a simple opposed dice roll with modifiers as follows: +1 if Guards, defending a linear obstacle, charging unto melee or if the pip difference between the attacker and defender is two or more "pips".
*Loss of the Melee results in a one-move push-back for the loser and  the loss of one 'pip'. The victor may elect to follow up with another round of Melee with a +1 advantage on the dice roll. A subsequent second will result in the losing unit being destroyed regardless of remaining 'pips'. Draws result in a mutual push-back of a full move.

Morale
*Units down to the last pip may perform no offensive action.
*When half the army has been destroyed, the remainder must withdraw.
*A unit may choose to Fall Back In Good Order. It retires a full move during the next move Phase. Thenceforth, it may recover one pip per turn in which it may perform no other actions.
*Guards units may have an extra “seventh” pip. Light Infantry have four pips only.
*Generals. Have two pips. They are not affected by morale rules. On joining a unit, they will recover a pip for that unit. Any unit attacked whilst with a General attached must flip a coin to see which of them bears any pip loss.

EDIT - Melee Rules updated. 
EDIT #2 - Melee rules updated again.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Down t'pit

Just digging through the lead pile at the moment, and just as I send the boy down the mineshaft to see what he might pull out next, my eye alights on these:

I think the mounted officer is from the mountain gun set
Hmmm. Willies. All dressed up for the Boer War. Or the Sudan. Or even rather usefully on the North Western Frontier.

The Conoisseur gun looks good with them, and I think the boy has come back, all smirched with dust and dead daddy-longlegs with...

Nineteen of the 21st Lancers, a mule-borne mountain gun (5 mules, assorted gun bits, 5 muleteers, four gunners and an NCO - one question though, are the long strips depending from their hands casting vents or walking sticks?), assorted British and Highlander infantry and enough Ghurkas to bring a tear to the old man's eye. And look, there are the sample Pathans, Boers and Zulus I ordered at the same time. And the extra Bismark I wanted to paint as General Buller.
Imagine me in khaki
Oh dear, whatever shall I paint next?