Saturday, April 21, 2012

And with that, the game was over...

So, after all this planning, painting, travelling, building, and a bit of drinking, the first project of our little group has come to fruition. The 2012 200th Anniversary "What if?" Salamanca battle went off very smoothly, and to a very appreciative group of onlookers and passers by. Here are a quick(ish) batch of photos from the game. More detail will follow once we get some sleep and take some better photos.

From the start, the British column was up against it as we struggled with our command rolls. From failures to complete blunders, our initial strategy was in tatters from the start.

Not wanting to gloat too early, the French commanders attempt to hide their mirth at our plight.

By the time we were able to form a credible defensive line, the French second brigade was racing across the northern portion of the table.

Had this been a straight forward, stand up fight, our Guards battalions would have certainly held the center.

More action at the northern end of the line as the 42nd hastily form square in the face of French Hussars.

The battle for the chapel was a complete bunfight! All manner of units were trying to unseat the 95th from their loopholes.

With a few jammy rolls towards the end of the game, the French were able to bring three cannon into close range of the 3rd Foot Guards, with another at medium range in enfilade. After 13 shots from artillery, and another three from the Legere to the Guards front. This powerhouse unit was forced to retire 12".

After four hours of hard fighting, and incredibly enthusiastic piss-taking, the game fell to the French. It was determined as "A minor French victory, with no allowance for future French bragging, and no-one owed anyone any beers."

Above are the crew, from left to right: Joe Krone, Chris Ferich, Jamie Welling, Alex Akers, Brien Dulaney, myself, and Dave Pauwels,

There was quite a bit of spirited discussion following the game, and the results were:
a) This event had been a roaring success, despite never setting indicators for success, and
b) We'll be tackling some part of the Gettysburg battle for our 2013 project (another anniversary game of course)!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On their way to Chicago

Over the weekend I started laying out my miniatures contribution to the Guns Of April project, just so I could get a good sense of my Napoleonics collection so far. I was pretty happy to see it all arrayed in an almost march past-type set up. With command stands and casualty markers (and pesky Frenchies) there are well over 300 models ready to do battle on our little (12'x6') slice of the Spanish countryside.

After snapping a few fairly crappy shots (the one above being the best) I started packing it all in my lovely custom foam trays, ordered from my first choice in miniature storage and transport, Battlefoam.

In this tray we have the British Divisional commander, four Brigade commanders, eleven casualty markers, and the French Leger unit I finished up for Mr Pauwels.

In the second tray we have the 1st KGL Hussars, the 3rd and 4th Dragoons, the 2nd Caçadores, two small units of the 60th Rifles, two RHA guns, one, RA gun, and six disruption markers.

In the third tray we have the 2nd Bttn of the 69th Ligne (for use by Mr Dulaney), the 1st and 2nd Bttns of KGL Line, the 79th (Cameron) Highlanders, the steeds for the 11th French Dragoons, and both ox-drawn water carts, as well as the last three disruption markers.

And finally, in the fourth tray we have the two large units of Foot Guards (2nd and 3rd), as well as all the British flags (from the Flag Dude).

And here's the stack : )

These models are now all on their way to Chicago for the big game on Friday night, in the back of a Penske truck piloted by our very own Joe Krone (also Global Events Manager for Battlefront Miniatures).

With any luck everything will arrive safe and sound.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

And your Objective is...

During our playtest at the beginning of February, we determined that three different objectives would be the way to go. As our gallant forces will both start the game marching south to link up with the rest of the French and British armies, we designated the road exit on the southern table edge as objective number one. The second objective will be the small chapel on the southern table, and important defensible position. The third was originally "the high ground", the ridgelines on both long edges of the table. Despite us being "gentleman wargamers", Joe and I both recognized that the vague term "high ground" could cause some concerns later on.

To rectify this problem, we decided we would create smaller objectives that were easier to capture or defend. Enter a wonderful post by Mr Awdry on his blog 28mm Victorian Warfare. In this post he built a water cart for his Colonial adventures from some great model pieces from Trent Miniatures (which is owned by Duncan Macfarane, former owner and editor of Wargames Illustrated). As Michael also points out in his post, this idea originally came from the Arcane Scenery and Models blog, where Duncan's friend (known only to me as Captain Splendid) had built one last September.

So, I sent off the request for two of the Gribeauval Limbers and a pack of Large Sherry Casks. Once they arrived I constructed the water carts as described in the two linked posts above. Unfortunately my sherry casks were suffering from a small casting issue on the ends so I went to work with a bit of putty and all was set right.

Rather than have the water carts lying around, I needed them to be mobile, trudging along with the rest of the thirsty and weary soldiers. After taking a look through the Perry Miniatures website for other ideas, I stumbled on their Oxen Teams. A quick order later and they were on there way to me from the UK. The day they arrived I quickly cleaned up the pieces, stuck them on my painting sticks, and primed them white (uncharacteristic of me, I know). A wash with Gryphonne Sepia and some quick highlights with Vallejo Pale Sand and they were ready for their patches of reddish brown.

Initially I had planned to paint one water cart in grey and the other in green (to match the artillery carriages of each army), and I was going to have the ox teams lead by a rifleman (for the British) and a voltiguer (for the French). In the end I settled for a different grey for both (with several washes on the lower edges of the new Citadel Agrax Earthshade wash), and left off any "handlers", reasoning it would mean I could then comfortably use them in any army at a later date, and realizing it would be MUCH easier to complete ; )

I hope you like them, now let's see if we Brits can't wrest that water cart on the left away from the Frenchies!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Brigade Menne: Mis y jour.

Well met!  Here are a few pics from an updated Brigade Menne (our third brigade, part of Feyer's Division).  This is both battalions of the 26th Ligne.  I have one more stand (voltigeurs) to add to the 2nd Battalion.  There's also a shot of a Foot artillery piece.

The 1st Battalion of my Leger is completed (thanks to Master Taylor) and I have two stands left on the 2nd.  Additionally, Menne himself just needs the base finished.  Finally, I have one more Horse gun to finish.  It'll be close.  You may find me at Adepticon Friday afternoon finishing some last-minute troops...

I'm also preparing mentally by reading the applicable chapters in 'The Spanish Ulcer'- a great history of the Peninsular War.

Dave P.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What we need is a little leadership!

The Command for Brigade Chemineau
 And we got some!  2 more bases of Brigade Commanders that is!  Both bases pictured here are painted by Dave Taylor once again.  Lending his hand to ensure the British will be crushed under the hooves of the finest cavalry in the world!

Cavalry Command from Boyer and Curto's Cavalry Divisions
 Dave grabbed these guys from me one evening and finished them off in a week before turning them back over to myself.  I got the based up and ready to roll the other night.  The gears are turning and the painting is steadily moving along!

The beginnings of the 3rd Hussars
 Hmm, I am seeing a pattern here.  The 3rd Hussars are in full swing as far as painting goes.  Again, Dave threw in with the victors and painted up the horses, leaving the blue gray of the 3rd to my discretion.  The trooper is not done yet but it gives you an idea of the uniform.

1st Battalion of the 69th Ligne
And I just had to put this guy in there.  My last battalion of infantry for the project.  I think his facial expression sums it all up! I love his snarling look.

Tonight I finished up the flesh tones on all of the infantry and Foy's command base.  Not up to my normal standard but definitely good enough for the table top.  The tiny black lines are in place for the eyes.  And things are progressing nicely!  All in all, for my portion of this project I have 36 models on my painting table.  And 8 more working days to go.  As much as I may stress in the final days.  I love this stuff!

More to come!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Why the red coats?

So, the blood doesn't show.

With a game like Black Powder, where all your models are either on the table or off the table, you need to have something to mark the declining status of the health and morale of your units. There are, of course, plenty of ways to denote these things - during our playtesting we used poker chips or Warlord Games sell laser cut tokens (just two examples).

Well, I figured enough effort had gone into the battalions of fine British soldiery that they deserved something a little more special. Above (and below) are the first batch of my casualty/shaken markers. Once a battalion takes a casualty, the marker will be put down and the red d6 turned to 1. As they take more casualties I can turn the d6 to the appropriate level. These models are from the Perry Miniatures French heavy cavalry boxes. I have a handful of Perry metal British casualties on their way to me as I type. I hope they arrive in time!

And, as disruption plays an important part in the game too, I figured some other markers would do the trick there. Below you can see a half dozen casualties from the Front Rank British range, most of them clutching their painful gutshots. The chap on the far left is converted from a Perry plastic rifleman, again clutching his wounded stomach. All of these have been based on hex bases to make them stand out at a glance from the other, larger and rounder casualty bases.

With less than two weeks until our fateful game, I expect we'll see a wonderful flurry of posts on this interesting chronicle of the project. I know that over the last three weeks or so I've painted at least 27 French horses. Can't wait to see them all on the tabletop!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

6th Dragoons are done!!!!

Thank god for small favors. I was able to finish 16 dragoons on Friday night and having 8 horses already completed it allowed me to add a little glue and 'Bam!!' a unit of 8 done. I will be working on 8 horses today to hopefully finish up the other unit of 8 and then on to my remaining 7 infantry and about 12 backpacks. That should complete my 'required' troops and then on to some casualties and some more dragoons.

Where the $%^&Q$ are the horses?

Here is the 15th Dragoons in all their glory. Welllllllllll.........They are in all their glory if they were riding to Camelot and the bat boys were banging coconuts together. The horses are being highlighted today so they soon should have their trusty steeds.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Brigade Chemineau begins to take shape...

13th Chasseurs

As you can see I have been a bit busy with Brigade Chemineau.  I can not take all of the credit.  The above unit was painted by none other than Mr. Dave Taylor.  Proof that in his heart, he loves the French and wishes them victory in this endeavor!  Why else would he paint the dreaded 13th Chasseurs?  Aside from the fact he wants our Port Wine and Brandy!  I did manage to paint the Commander of the unit however!

1st Battalion, 6th Legere

Here is a never before seen unit. The 1st Battalion of the 6th Legere. Since they are the first they have the Eagle.  And I wanted them to appear like they would be the best.  These models have a bit more character than the standard plastics.  When you think of the British in Napoleonics, you think of "the thin red line".  And when you think of the French, you can't help but think of columns of troops in attack formation.  The drums beating the pas des charge.  The muskets with their bayonets at the charge.  Ready to fire a quick volley and press the attack home.  Crushing the enemy with the weight of the French attack column! Slaughtering their enemies. Making them break and flee like the cowardly scum that they are! Pour l'empereur! Pour la France! Pour la victoire!

2nd Battalion, 6th Legere

Sorry.  I am getting a big carried away with the pride I feel for my fellow French Players and this army we have created (with the help of some of the traitorous Brits)!

Finally we have the unit you have seen plenty of, but not in it's final glory as it is now!  The 2nd Battalion of the 6th Legere.

We have roughly 15 more days to get work done.  And I have 35 more models to complete.  The 1st Batallion of the 69th Ligne, the 3rd Hussars, and Foy along with his command.  And maybe some Dragoons.

Jusqu'à la prochaine fois mes amis!

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Field of Battle

With just under three weeks left until our game at Adepticon I figured I'd show you the progress we've been making on the tables that will make up the 12' x 6 ' battlefield. The photo above is from the south-eastern portion of the actual battlefield. While our fight takes place further north and east, this pic gives you an idea of the relatively featureless field of battle. Anyway, on with the photos.

We've put a bit of a cart track down the middle of the table, added to the surface after the original glued sand texture had dried. To add this track we simply dribbled globs of wood glue onto the table in three thin lines then sprinkled another layer of sand over it.

In the original battle, Foy's Division (French) and the Guards Division (British) basically stared at each other across a valley from the crests of two ridgelines (until Foy's Division was called on to cover the retreat of the main French army). Above are the WIP shots of the two ridgelines laid out on the floor of the Battlefront US warehouse.

Here are the same ridgelines, after being sanded, laying on top of the three 6' x 4' tables, which have been drybrush to match our basing scheme.

Relatively flat and featureless, our table will end up with a few more rocky outcrops and some appropriate flock and tufts of grass.

And here's a sample of our rocky outcrops.

Our thanks to those that have worked on the tables: Joe Krone, Brien Dulaney, and Becky
& Heath Alexander!