Monday, May 28, 2012

De-cluttering Rosbif's Wargaming Stuff

Mrs Rosbif decided it was time to de-clutter the house (read get rid of a whole lot of crap taking up space).

In order that my wargaming stuff not become a target for the cleaning whirlwind, I dragged out a cabinet from the shed and set it up next the workbench. It now contains all the stuff that is not currently being worked on and my armies and scenery in the 3 lower drawers. Best of all (in Mrs. R's opinion!) is that the cabinet doors close, keeping the unseemly mess hidden.

All nice and tidy, and now I have room for all my stuff so that I need not resort to storing things on the floor!

The pile o'plastic

British and allies

French and allies

Terrain and scenery

Sunday, May 27, 2012

New Project, New Period

I bought Strelet's new Egyptian Campaign British Line set with the vague thought of using as Royal Marines (even though I've got HaT's Marines and sailors set!), but now I feel like buying all the other sets in this range including British Light, French Line and Light as well as Mameluke cavalry to build up both sides of the 1800 British invasion of Egypt. Strelets also have British and French artillery in the pipeline.

I've been reading Macksey's history of the campaign with all the familiar names of the future Peninsular War getting an early taste of battling the French. Review to follow once I finish it, but in the meantime, here's the first British Line figure from the set. They're on the chunky side, but not much different from the HaT French figures I have. I quite like them!

I am still moving steadily along with the dragoons and the Spaniards and will carry on with Jim's Soviets, too, so I don't know when this project will be completed.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dashing Don - Dragon del Regimiento de Sagunto

I couldn't resist; I just had to start my Spanish cavalry!

Here's the first of my conversions depicting the Dragoons of the Regiment of Sagunto. Compared with the plate below from the Vinkhuijzen Collection of the NYPL, he comes out quite well, though I painted his turnbacks green rather than leaving them yellow piped in red. Not sure if I can be fagged changing them though!

The head comes from Lancier Bleu's useful range of specialty conversion heads, purpose-made for 1/72 conversion.

My British dragoons are all repaired awaiting their new steeds which will be painted up this weekend (if I can stay focused long enough!).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Soviet Light Mortar Crew #2

Here's the finished product!

The mould lines are a bit too prominent under the light, but I painted them as received as I was given them already undercoated.

Next in line is another LMG team, then an artillery base!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Soviet Light Mortar & Crew

After all my travails with my Napoleonics, it's time to get cracking with Jimbo's Soviets. After last year's infantry, I'll be painting and basing up his command, heavy weapons, artillery and observer units.

First up is a light mortar and crew by Plastic Soldier. They're not in the snow; the artist's gel will be painted and embellished with foliage and ballast for a more aestival (look it up!) feel.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

History of Rome podcast

Continuing my historical diversions, I've been listening to The History of Rome podcast and am finding it a fascinating tale ably related by the sometimes witty, but always informative and entertaining, Mike Duncan. He's taken on the ambitious task of relating the whole history from go-to-whoa; the founding of Rome in 700 and something BC (sorry; memory's not that great!), through to the fall of the Western Empire with the dethroning of Romulus Augustus in 476 AD. A mighty task I think you'll agree! He started the podcast in 2007 and has only just reached the end of the story earlier this month.

I'm currently listening to the podcasts covering the period after the Marian Wars and Sulla's death when it seems like Rome is pausing to catch its breath after all the mayhem of the previous years, but looks nervously to the future as such giants as Pompey, Crassus, Cicero and the man himself, Julius Caesar, all circle each other waiting to outdo the others in the attempt to win the prize of ultimate power over the rotting carcase of the Republic.

The parallels with other periods strike me as I listen to to this, not only of the chaos of the French Republic of the mid 1790s, but also of the Soviet Union after Lenin's death: high stakes games where the price of failure is death at the hands of your opponents and the last man standing with the greatest number of followers wins. From the perspective of 21st century western liberal-democratic comfort, I can look back with relief that current day politics is slightly more genteel (but only slightly!).Whatever happens in the future of modern politics, it's all been done before by the Romans!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Getting Back on the Horse that Threw Me

I can finally look at the dragoons again and have sorted out the recoverable figures. One rider out of 8 damaged beyond repair and three out of 8 horses salvageable. That's not too bad, and as I have plenty of horses left over I'll get cracking on them soon, especially as the latest essay's out of the way (Huzzah!).

One benefit of the dragoon debacle is that I've solved the niggling problem of the bugler with the physically impossible helmet crest; I've replace his head with one of the custom-conversion heads as if he's lost his helmet mid-charge!

As I now have a few French dragoons without heads and more custom-conversion heads in bicornes, I've decided to combine them to create (wait for it...) Spanish cavalry! Yes, I know I cursed my Spaniards in my last AAR, but I do have a soft spot for them and their peacock plumage. I've had a hankering for some canary-yellow clad cavalry, if only to give the opposition something to laugh at!

Bare-headed bugler boy of company B!
(undercoated head - he hasn't been looking down the cannon's mouth  á lá Wile E. Coyote)

Putative Spanish cavalryman

A la carga!
I will start on some more British and Portuguese infantry soon, I swear! As well as Royal Marines, Wurttembergers, Westphalians etc. etc......... ;-)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Anglo-Iberian Ill Fortune, or "I'm Sick of Playing Spanish!"

Last Friday night saw NWA's sale-night, but due to Rosbif's short commons, I didn't buy anything, despite there being some good stuff on offer with club members flogging unwanted gear and traders selling their wares. Oh, well, when the junior Rosbifs are off our hands and I'm enjoying my retirement, I intend on blowing my superannuation on my hobby (that is if Greece doesn't drag the world's economies and superannuation funds down with it !).

I'd organised a game with Andrew S. and had created a 1200 point list, then was told Pete E. was a last minute inclusion on the allied side, so Andrew bumped his French forces up to 2000 points, only to find out that Pete decided not to play after all! Not wanting to waste Andrew's quick effort of mental arithmetic, I volunteered to increase my forces to match, filling the remaining ~800 points with my Spanish. 

Bad choice! I should have stuck to my guns and said we'll stay with the 1200 points, thanks! Expanding my Allied forces by padding out with a Spanish division (my only option) replaced quality with quantity, badly diluting quality in the process. My British division spent the battle relatively inactive, while my poor Spaniards copped a pasting that even the inclusion of the Walloon Guards and my converged grenadier battalion could do nothing to stop!

The highlights of the game were the French blowtorch immediately applied to the feet of the Spanish in the shape of Andrew's hussars, quickly followed up by his elite infantry, and my spectacular success on my left flank with a brigade charge by my light dragoons against Andrew's newest unit of French cuirassiers. Otherwise there was just a bit of artillery firing in the centre and a skirmish attack by my rifles and light bobs that inflicted less damage than it sustained!

As you can see, I used the denim roads for the first time, but in the intervening time, they've got a mite crumpled! I'll have to cut them into shorter lengths and store them under something flat and heavy to get them back to a useable state.

Again the pictures are from my phone, as although I remembered my camera, I didn't remember to check to see if the batteries were fully charged, so apologies for the non-expandable photos!

Spanish deployed on the right with Portuguese and British Lights in the foreground

British forces on the left flank
Initial deployments of forces

Rifles lead the way with the line regiments following close behind

The Spanish units on the right flank form into square as soon as the hussars are spotted

Andrew's infantry moves up over the abandoned redoubt and into the field

the central brigade moves forward

One Spanish battalion occupies the southern BUA while two others form line in rear support

The converged grenadier square moves up to try a flank shot on the hussars, who sneer at their effort!

On the left flank, the light dragoons and cuirassiers face off

Things look grim for the Spanish flank as the infantry turn up!
The French occupy the northern edge of the field

The Spanish 9lber did some useful work on the ridge, while the 2 French 8lbers kept the majority  of the infantry on the reverse slope

My horse gun battery on the left hand ridge kept the infantry and second cuirassier regiment  on the reverse slope. The artillery sparked the devastating charge of my light dragoons!
Trying to stem the flood with an anchored line. Possibly should have tried closed columns, rather than squares on the flanks?

Andrew's hussars move further around the flank allowing the infantry to face the square. i tried to move the whole formation further back, but it was just like moving the deck chairs on the Titanic!

I thought that the skirmishers should keep the French in the centre busy and add a few disorders to them  before they tried an attack. They managed to disorder the French, but copped a savaging from the artillery. Only their high morale status saved them!

The French advance on the Spanish-occupied BUA

The guerrilleros actually did something more than lend colour to the game: they succeeded in adding a disorder to the oncoming French. I needed to roll a 1, and that's what I did!
Rifles and light bobs about to meet their maker!

After the artillery wounded the French general, I decided that the time was ripe for a brigade charge on the cuirassiers. I took a bit of consideration as to whether or not to take the charge, but you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs!  With my luck with cavalry, I fully expected a disaster! 

Luckily the second cuirrassier regiment was out of range for an opportunity charge in support, so I got to smash  his new cuirrassiers with my massive overlap!

I had grand visions of pinning his flank with one cavalry regt and sending the other on a wild rampage around hi rear, but events overtook me.

He deployed his infantry in square on to protect his cavalry flank. I wanted to bring up my guns to blast them, but...

...things started getting crook on the other flank. My right hand square on the anchored line was charged  by a  French infantry column.

Things looked up briefly during the pre-melee morale test...

...and looked even better when Andrew rolled this!

Still he forced the square to retreat and the line of Walloon Guards to retire :(

That opened the way for more unpleasantness!

Finally the way was cleared...

...for the hussars!

My flank was well and truly broken and the whole Spanish division routed. Not even my highlanders would be able to  stem this rout!

I think the decision is clear for what I need on concentrate on as my next painting project: More British and Portuguese infantry! Hill's 2nd Corps circa 1813 it is!

Friday, May 18, 2012

What next?

After the heart-break of my dragoons, I need to find another project (I can't look at them now; they make me too sad. {Sobs!}).

I'll tackle the remainder of Jim's Soviets in the mean time, but what should I do for my own project?

These are the projects I have on the go, or planning to start:
  • More Italians, line and light infantry?
  • More Westphalians, line and light infantry, hussars and cuirrassiers?
  • Wurttemberger infantry and artillery?
  • More British & Portuguese infantry for my c1813 2nd Corps?
  • Zvezda French cuirassiers?
  • More Royal Marines and naval landing party?
  • Strelets Egyptian campaign British and French infantry?
  • Or, completely out of left field, Romans and Goths?
Suggestions welcome, but I reserve the right to change my mind from the resulting consensus! ;-)

I also need to get cracking on my medal mystery, too. Next stop to see if my in-laws over in the Old Dart can make their way to the IWM and National Archives!

All of this probably won't happen until I finish the last 2 papers for this semester, of course :(

Monday, May 14, 2012

Oh, The Humanity!

I'm afraid my dragoons will not be destined to brave the table-top, as they met with a terrible tragedy too awful to relate (nearly)!

My work bench has become too crowded with stuff for my dragoons to fit. I was going to put them in the metal tool-box that I carry my troops in, but as it was already full, and I didn't have time to make room, I left them on the floor next to the tool-box. In the middle of the night a person, who shall remain unnamed, stumbling around in the dark, trod on them all breaking, bending and snapping all the newly completed dragoons!

I'm not sure they are retrievable; I'll sort them into those that I think can be saved and those that can't, then make up some replacements. Most of the riders could probably be re-used, but the horses are all fairly well cactus.

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