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

 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!
 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.
 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

*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.

*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.

*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 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.

*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?

Friday, April 24, 2015


 Well, it would seem to be a case of another week, another regiment. In this case it's they Kreytzen Fusiliers. Still waiting on flags, so the standard-bearers are not in the shot.
I'm told this was a fairly undistinguished regiment, although did see it's fair share of action in the Seven Years War. Yes, I did paint them for the fairly unique pink small-clothes. The white gaiters are a piece of semi-artistic license as I felt that black would suck a lot of the life out of the pink.

That might do me for the immediate future as I seem now to have enough Prussian infantry to be getting on with. I've also painted my way out from under my pile of RSM Prussian infantry, as well. I'll be moving onto renovating and fleshing out three or four regiments of cavalry that I have knocking about here and the it'll be time to get on with some games.

Although, as Chris said in a recent comment, I might do a few bits and bobs just for the fun of it. I have a couple of dozen von Kleist grenzers that need basing up and then too I'd love a couple of Jaeger detachments to round things out. Oops, then there are some limbers that need painting as well.

Plenty to do.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How Large an Army?

I am currently painting my seventh unit of RSM Prussians and in the process have just about painted myself to the bottom of my Prussian Infantry silo. Don't get too excited. There are plenty of other silos.
That being said, I laid out the first six of these 36-figure units last weekend and thought, phew, chappie, these do take up a goodly bit of the table-top, watteau?
Now, I've a French army that with a bit of stretching could easily come up to - shall we say - 10 units if infantry and 6-8 units of cavalry of thirty-six and a dozen figures respectively. I can't imagine that you could really get many more figures on a table without it collapsing under the strain and the combined weight of figures acheiving some kind of critical mass and forming a singularity. If I were to hive off some of the grenadier stands I could probably come up with a few more units as well. Likewise the Prussians. They could easily be made up to nine units of infantry if we combined the grenadier companies from the existing units and settled on 30 figure units of foot. I've three units of Horse in varius states of repair and enough bits and bobs to flesh them out.
It may be that I am at the point now of having workable armies for most occasions. The end may be in sight.
Now what do I do?