Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Painting Challenge Prep

For once I'm being a little more methodical in my preparation for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge; I'm actually preparing the figures I'm going to paint ahead of time! The last couple of years I've still had quite a lot of units still to paint in preparation for our big January game; too many for my small and messy workspace!

This time I'm just painting for myself without the looming deadline of the first weekend after the New Year spurring me to finish the last few brigades. I've given myself the target of 400 points to complete and below will be the first few units to be undercoated before the off in 10 days' time.

1 of 2 HaT Wurttemberg artillery batteries

HaT Wurttemberg Jager zu Pferd

Zvezda French Cuirassiers

Curt was encouraging the issuing of challenges between entrants, so as one of two challenge participants painting in The One True Scale, I've challenged the other to a race to reach 200 points! Sander, I hope you've got your running shoes on! (Truly, without the pressure of a deadline, I reckon I'll not be painting at anything like the rate I was last year...)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Wargaming/Modelling on YouTube

I'd never really thought of our hobby as something that would lend itself to the medium of video, but I am proved wrong!

Last week I was pleasantly surprised to have an email from Gary Wright via the Kontactr widget on my blog. Gary has his own YouTube channel Marksman Gaming and produces fillums about his work on 1/72 figures, including, but not restricted to Napoleonic figures. Besides his own YouTube channel, he suggested I take a look at others as well like Blucher1815red (whose work I'm already familiar with through Benno's Forum).

With a definitely individual presentation style, Gary takes us through what's on his workbench and what he's finished and up coming plans. The great thing about his and Blucher1815red's channels are that they both give you a good insight into figure sets that you might be considering buying. You can see the figures from all angles as Gary and Blucher give their thoughts on the figures while giving you an all angles view of the figures, something that PSR can't give you.

I really admire Blucher's painting style and it's interesting to see how he does it.

Here's a couple more wargames oriented channels, too, with a focus on 28mm figures. I'm sure you'll be able to find a channel somewhere which focuses on your own special niche!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Here We Go Again!


Thanks to a timely email from Curt, I was reminded of the approaching advent of the 5th Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. For some reason I had missed his post inviting all comers to this annual internet frenzy of painting. Thanks for the electronic nudge, Curt!

This year the theme is Anti-Heroes and with 72 entrants from 13 countries, it really is a behemoth of global proportions! I can see the possibility of Ned Kelly featuring as a particular Antipodean Anti-Hero! I may have to try my hand at a little conversion work...

This time I don't have the looming deadline of the annual January game as we will be fighting Waterloo for the second time (the first time was the year before I joined the club), so the required figures are all ready to go.

Even though I don't have a big project to power through, I do still have some things on the go like my Wurrtembergers.

So my plan for the Challenge will be to paint:

  • 6 9-figure battalions of Napoleonic Wurrtemberg infantry
  • 2 8-figure regiments of Napoleonic Wurrtemberg cavalry
  • 2 batteries of Napoleonic Wurrtemberg artillery
  • 1 8-figure regiment of Napoleonic French Cuirrassiers
  • 3 8-figure bases of Late Antiquity Gothic heavy infantry
  • 1 3-figure base of Late Antiquity Gothic skirmish infantry
  • Various WWII Soviet infantry which I still need to finish for the worlds' longest running commission! 
I have put my name down for a target of 400 points, and have no idea whether or not this will be too ambitious a target or not! I suppose I could just do a little bit of maths...........Nah! Why break the habit of a lifetime? I'll just wing it and see how it goes!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Johnny Württemberger

It's been an age since the last time I posted anything to do with my figures. To be precise, the 26th of September was the last post which featured a new unit off my workbench!

To make up for that dismal record, I give you not one, but two, new units! I give you the 1st Battalion of the Herzog Wilhelm Regiment (the battalion I painted earlier was actually the 2nd, more on that later) and the Fußjäger Btn Nr.1 König.

According to Napflags, previous to 1806 the Württemberg army were issued with the 1798 Ducal colours. After 1806, when the duchy was upgraded to a kingdom, 6 new regiments were created by adding a second battalion to the existing musketeer battalions, with the new battalions being issued new Royal colours while the original battalions retained the old Ducal colours. So this battalion I've just finished are sporting the 1798 Ducal colours and the previous one I painted have the 1806 Royal colours. I've been told that the Württembergers didn't take their colours into battle anyway, so it's all a moot point anyway! I don't care, because a big flappy flag is just the cherry on top of painting a battalion, in my humble opinion and button counters be damned I say! :)

The figure closest to camera is an extra from the first battalion painted and has had a dry-brushing of white over his trousers. It's fairly obvious in the harsh light of the flash!

I think I'll eventually dry-brush the rest of the battalion so that it matches the first one.

Fußjäger -
You can see where the British 95th Rifles got their ideas from in terms of uniform and weaponry!

I based them individually so that the whole battalion can be easily deployed in skirmish order

One small brigade - the start of bigger things!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

It's Just Not Cricket! - Another Peninsular Battle

Who says wargaming is a gentleman's game?
This post brings my batreps up to date.

This was the Friday meeting after the Saturday where we found out the news of Pete's passing, and the funeral still hadn't been held, so a lot of us (myself included) still couldn't actually believe he wasn't going to be around anymore.

Anyway, the best thing to honour his memory was to keep on on keeping on and to try and kill a general or two!

As you can tell by the quality of the photos I forgot to bring my camera and had to rely on my phone for the pictures. I also didn't check the contents of my army box and realised when I was setting up, that I'd left my British cavalry at home! D'oh!

Anyway, my partner for the game, Garry, lent me some of his Dragoon Guards (downgraded to heavy dragoons) for the night, and I boosted my numbers with some more infantry, I just hoped that that wasn't going to be a fatal flaw in our game!

Garry's HEAVY dragoons (28mm metal!), much heavier than my 20/23mm plastic!
Garry and I faced Andrew S., Tim and John R., so we had our hands full! Garry faced Andrew, who seemed to have the bulk of the French forces on that flank. Tim had a force of mainly light infantry in the centre, and John had a small holding force on the French right. However, he had a large cavalry force, which kept me focussed on that flank, while Tim advanced in the centre, taking his time and picking his target.

It eventually turned out that his target was me! I held a building which was key to both flanks of my division. To the left were the battalions keeping John in check and to the right were my best troops, the 92nd Gordon Highlanders and the 71st Glasgow Highland Light Infantry, conforming to the line of Garry's division, which was steadily falling back under pressure from Andrew's troops.

In the end, Tim forced my battalion out of the building they were holding, but my highlanders were able to fall back without much trouble. The charge on my line which inevitably came was stopped in its tracks by disciplined fire. On the left flank, John pressed in with a combined arms attack, forcing me into a defensive position. After eventually throwing away my dragoons in an ill-advised charge on a closed column supported by artillery, his cavalry came on and broke a couple of my British line battalions. I still had an untouched Portuguese battalion to throw into the fight and my Scots battalions were still showing a lot of fight, so I wasn't in any way defeated by the end of the game.

Garry had been pushed back almost to the edge of the board, it looked like, but he was gearing up for a counter punch, already having sent his cavalry at some unfortunate limbered French artillery, scattering them to the four winds!

It ended with Garry and I pushed back, but certainly not beaten (though our opponents might view it differently!)

My troops in high spirits at the off! The 39th  Foot advances

The 92nd advances, along with a foot battery, watched by the general.

The 39th in square against the cavalry threat on the far left flank. They took some beating from French artillery while pinned by the cavalry threat.

Tim's Legere brigade advances, with a battalion of Wurzburgers in the lead, passing through the built up area.

John R. pointing out the flaw in my plan.

The next shot, very unsteady due to laughter!
You can see Tim's French massing for the charge on the church at the top left, while the rest of his force are in line, keeping the attention of the highlanders to their front. At the rear you can see there's plenty of Portuguese to plug any holes.

Tim's hammer about to fall on the church viewed from the left.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Battle of Lissewitz, 1806

Apologies for the lack of posting here for a while; life (and death) have got in the way of much hobby-related happenings in my neck of the woods! What with having to apply for my own job (Grrrrr!!) after the latest restructure at work caused by cuts to tertiary education in the Federal Budget, and Pete's untimely death, it's been a rather stressful couple of weeks. I've had a couple of games at the club, but haven't had the time or inclination to document them.

Here I'm rectifying that lack of posting with the first of 2 batreps, this one the Battle of Lissewitz, 1806. This was one of Darren's scenarios set in the Prussian Campaign, where the French were driving on Berlin. I'm not sure if this was a historical battle, as I can't find reference to it anywhere. As there were Russian troops involved in our scenario, it probably was most likely fictional. I'll be able to confirm that after I speak to Darren this weekend.

Under the able command of General Garry, Robin, John R. and Andrew B. and I commanded the French forces against the forces of reaction led by General Tim, commanding Quinny, Jim and John W. They were one player short as Pete was supposed to have a command on the Allied side. The French forces were to push through the allies and march on Berlin. The Allies, obviously, had to stop us. My entry point was bordered with heavy woods with a stream in front of me. My orders were to take the village just across the stream and link up with Robin's command, then push on ahead if able to. As you'll see, I managed to do the first 2 no problems, but the 3rd objective was just a bit beyond us!

As I don't have the appropriate bicorne era French troops, I borrowed some of Darren's lovely Eureka figures while he carried out umpiring duties.

The layout.
My troops are in the bottom right corner.
Tim supervises Jim's troop deployment!

My vanguard.

Quinny's vanguard holds the village across the stream.

On the other flank, the Prussians hold the villages with a reserve to the rear.

While my vanguard moves forward, my 2nd brigade enters the table! I had good luck with my dice for rolling for entry.

The first battalion across the stream uses the rickety bridge..

While the second goes across the river, picking up 2 disorders. Quinny initially didn't realise that the stream was fordable and scrambled to redeploy the troops in the woods to meet my advance

My elite light infantry force a crossing over the bridge with the general attached. Can my terrible luck at river crossings be finally set to rest?

Meanwhile on the left flank, my infantry and artillery advance in the teeth of Prussian artillery fire!

Robin and Andrew have forced John W.'s troops out of the village, while John R.'s cavalry move up in support.

My assault across the river looks like it's going well, with the woods being outflanked on 2 sides.

Quinny's general has other ideas. He thinks he's Gandalf: "You shall not pass!"
Unfortunately, he was right! Prussian artillery fire killed my general and in the resulting morale check, the light infantry broke and fled to the rear! 
The dead general.
If there was any time that Pete was looking down on this game, this was it! That was typical of Pete: when there was a chance that the general would become a casualty, he usually managed to make it happen!

My final brigade enters the board as the breaking unit leaves.

I win the woods as Quinny retreats to the village and his guns position themselves for flanking fire.

Quinny's reinforcements arrive in the distance, but so do two battalions Garry's guard infantry on the extreme left

A battalion of Chasseurs of the Guard!
A huge regiment of Prussian cavalry also moves up to support Quinny's troops in the village.

Serried ranks of French troops advance.

Garry's guard troops cross the stream as Quinny's troops try to intercept

My infantry moved up to fire on the flank of Quinny's column in order to distract them from what was coming: Garry's guard troops charging straight ahead!

The Guard went through the Prussians like a hot knife through butter. Quinny failed his resulting divisional morale test... 

...and all units head for the hills! Don't stop to collect your artillery, boys!

In a bit of an anti-climax, I take possession of the vacated village. Tim's cavalry screen Quinny's routing division.

The traffic jam over the stream grows.

My infantry fans out to the right, with the light cavalry deploying on the hill.

I had assumed that the infantry square blocked the Prussians' charge line...

...but sadly, I was mistaken!

The infantry fired on the Prussians' flank...

...sending them off to the rear!

But what's this? The Allied reserve makes and appearance just where Quinny's division had been!

Prussian and Russian guard infantry and cavalry! 

Russian Grenadiers!

My infantry fan out, linking with Robin's corps on the right, facing the front.

Garry's unstoppable Chasseurs of the Guard gear up for their next assignment

Tim charges my guns, whose gunners flee for the village.

My infantry fire on the cavalry's flanks, sending them off back where they came from.

Guard vs. guard!

Quinny's Prussian guardsmen charged, so I met them half way with my big battalions.

A draw!
To the left, a lone battalion of Chasseurs in closed column gets blatted by infantry and artillery fire.

The situation at the end of the battle: The French have advanced, capturing all the villages, but stiff resistance has stopped the attack.

Despite my best efforts, Quinny managed to get the Chasseurs to break! That was victory enough for him!

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