Friday, December 20, 2013

Let's try this again...

Yesterday I tried to post up these photos of my Dromedary Corps, along with their warband list for use with Legends of The High Seas. Sadly, Blogger saw fit to completely mess with the formatting of my "copy and paste" on the warband list and wouldn't let me correct it, no matter how hard I tried.

So, until I work it all out, you'll just get the pretty pictures.

Above is my Dromedary Corps warband (minus the Savant that will accompany them). These models are sculpted by Paul Hicks, and sold by Brigade Games as part of their excellent Napoleon In Egypt range.

For each of the mounted models, I painted up a matching model on foot (just in case their camel gets shot from underneath them). From left to right: The Captain (is his local attire), the ADC (in a dashing red, Hussar pelise), and two Dromedary Corps troopers.

Should they all end up on foot, they'll look something like this. I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoyed painting the models, they were a real treat!

Merry Christmas, and see you all next year!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

French Troops in Egypt

Hello everyone. Its seems the Guns of April crew is off to a slow start for the 2014 event but behind the scenes we are working diligently towards our goal. When we completed our 2013 event portraying the first day actions at Gettysburg we all voted on what we would like to do for 2014. As previously mentioned we are going to run a skirmish level game of small warbands fighting it out in Egypt.

I took this opportunity to try a few new painting techniques after experiencing the time consuming painting process I used during our first project of the Battle of Salamanca. I primed my miniatures white rather than black which goes against everything I stand for when painting miniatures but since I was only painting 12 miniatures what the worse that could happen, right? :)

I tried another first by purchasing a bottle of the new Vallejo Model Wash Light Grey to see if it would make a nice wash for the white clothing and leather. After a few experimentations using the wash right out of the bottle wasn't giving me the right look so I added some Vallejo Gloss Varnish, water, and white glue for the desired result.

The miniatures are ready for some clean up but the wash allowed me to shade the white areas and it also showed me all the details on the miniature which was an added benefit. The next steps will be to begin basing all the colors to prepare the miniature for the Army Painter Dark Shade 'wash'.

Until next time.....

Friday, September 13, 2013

My goodness, it's hot in here!

You could certainly be forgiven for thinking that we've all been on an extended summer vacation. Some of us did manage to escape for a bit, while others have been reveling in the joy that is new parenthood. Anyway, as the weather starts to turn cooler, we're about to turn our efforts back to preparations for Adepticon 2014!

Next year, the Guns of April efforts will be split (or doubled, depending on how you look at it) between two projects. The first is one that is led by Joe Krone, a man working on his first set of published rules for fighting in Eighteenth-Century North America. When Joe is ready, he'll jump in with what the project is all about.

The second project (led by yours truly) is all about skirmish battles in the streets of Alexandria, Egypt, in 1800 (or thereabouts). Inspired by a great article by Steve Dake on the Rosetta Stone published in WI294, I've conned Steve into writing even more for us, and worked with him on creating warbands (or "parties") for the turbulent time surrounding the discovery of the Rosetta Stone (and countless other antiquities).

Above you can see the start of my French Dromedary Corp party. Soon, very soon, they'll have camels too!

We've worked up eight party lists to be used with the Legends of the High Seas rules (from Warhammer Historical, and based on the Lord of The Rings rules). These lists are:

• Dromedary Corp
• Infantry
• Cavalry
• Royal Navy
• Army
• Egyptians
• Ottoman Turks
• Mamelukes

I'm thinking that as we progress through this project I should post the lists to solicit feedback for you guys. What do you think?


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Gettysburg: The True Account......

On the anniversary of The Battle of Gettysburg, I thought it was fitting to review a recently published book on the battle by a good friend, fellow gamer and avid historian, Iain C. Martin.  The book is titled "Gettysburg: The True Account Of Two Young Heroes In The Greatest Battle Of The Civil War."  The book is a 172 page hardcover book intended for the young adult reader and those new to the period and the battle.  Iain has published a number of other books on various periods and you can find a more complete list of those at the following link.

Although intended for a young adult audience I found the book a fantastic reference on the battle.  For those like myself who have a very general idea of the battle, I found the book gave a very readable analysis of the battle and the major players and avoided being bogged down by excessive details and analysis.  So although a "general history" I found it contained exactly what the initiate to The Battle of Gettysburg needed to comprehend the scope and importance of the battle.

The book is filled with quotes from many sources, from the legendary such as Robert E. Lee to the relatively unknown.  This later group includes two young adults who, as civilians living in Gettysburg, published first hand accounts of the battle many years later.  Iain has a real knack for weaving the stories and words of those involved into the narrative, which brings the story to life in a real way.  Rather than an academic treatment of the regiments, charges, and skirmishes of the battle, the book puts a human face to the battle and allows the reader to feel a emotional connection to the events.

Beyond the well detailed chronicling of those three days, the book gives a brief analysis of the importance of the conflict and it's impact on our country even today.  By no means is this a detailed historical treatment and debate but it simply attempts to highlight other historians have argued is the lasting impact on our country.

In addition to wonderful coverage of the battle itself, the book is packed full of period photographs, beautiful artwork and military maps.  The book is a wonderful reference for any miniature gamer looking to recreate the units of this period in miniature.  It is the sort of book you could sit and page through, stopping to analyze pictures from the period or to admire the dynamic and beautiful artwork by Don Troiani.

Although marketed as a young adult book I think most fans of civil war history and especially novice historical gamers like me will find this book thoroughly readable and a wonderful visual and historical reference.  I know this book will become a permanent part of my historical wargaming reference collection and see use for many years to come.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Gettysburg, 1 July 1863. The Game Report

Finally, after a year of planning, modeling, painting, and cursing the size of the project, the 2013 Guns Of April Gettysburg game has been played out. Last Friday night at Adepticon, most of the GOA team gathered and threw down on our table that had traveled all the way from Maryland on the Battlefront Miniatures truck. As is always the way with big, collaborative projects, there were a few hiccups along the way. These hiccups included:

• One team member unable to deliver his four regiments of Confederates to Rob before he left for the show. Thankfully Merle had thought to bring some spares and after a frenzied hour of flocking, we had enough modes to cover the shortfall.

• Yours truly forgetting to bring his Guns Of April shirt. Not much that could be done about it, but rest assured I did not play sans shirt.

• The rental truck containing our tables and terrain leaked as it traveled through the wild storms that lashed the Midwest on their journey out to the show. The boards suffered the worst of it, with the surface buckling in a number of places, and the PVA glue being "reactivated" - creating large patches of white on the tables. Fortunately we were able to move a couple of tree bases around to cover the most glaring of these spots. As you can see in the table shot above, the overall effect wasn't diminished as the eye was drawn to the details, filling in "the gaps" as it were.

We had six team members playing: Dave P, Joe, Merle, and myself for the Union - Rob and Jamie for the Confederates. Fortunately Merle's buddies Chris and Jay volunteered to fill the command shoes for the Rebels, and we set off with four players aside.

The Confederates fielded four Infantry Brigades, two of them supported by attached artillery.
The Union fielded three Infantry Brigades, one Cavalry Brigade, and one Artillery Brigade.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention we had over 1,000 models on the table at one point, not too shabby ; )

Anyway, on to the photos!

Looking west along the Chambersburg Pike, the famous Seminary in the foreground (graciously supplied by Jim Ferich) and flanked by Buford's Cavalry Brigade (commanded by Dave P).

The view from the southeast, the Iron Brigade (commanded by me) in column advancing along McPherson's Ridge and Willoughby Run.

Archer's Confederate Infantry Brigade (commanded by Rob) appear from the west, ready to advance on Gettysburg. All other Confederate brigades were off table and would enter play randomly.

Rob (left), Chris (center), and Jay (right) begin to plan their assault.

A great command roll saw the Iron Brigade barrel down the pike towards Archer's Brigade (their historical counterparts in the battle).

At the start of the second turn, two of the Confederate Brigades appeared to the north. It was with no small amount of consternation that the Union realized, with some good rolling, that the rebels could break the back of the North early on. We also had plenty of onlookers for the game, anywhere from 5-25 at a time. Not too bad for a convention founded on sci-fi and fantasy gaming.

Here you can see the Confederates advancing onto the table, starting to close in on the Iron Brigade on the right, and traversing the Railway Cut on the left.

The Iron Brigade hunker down behind the fences on the Chambersburg Pike.

By now the Union Artillery Brigade had entered play but unfortunately, due to some miscalculations, found itself up against a fence, still limbered up. The following turn saw the gunners handily beaten in combat by the boys from the South. Without a single shot being fired, the Union's much-valued support was removed from the table.

Looking north we can see the Buford's Cavalry and a Union Infantry Brigade (commanded by Merele) building a solid defensive line across the Railway Cut, hoping to prevent a breakout by Jamie's Confederates.

About two thirds of the way through the battle, you can see (roughly) the state of affairs. The Union right is pretty solid, while it's left is seriously strung out and under attack from two sides. Also, most of the cookies have been eaten ; )

On the western end of the Union line the 2nd Wisconsin are under assault from rebels to the left and front. Thanks to some surprising dice rolling I was able to bust out a paraphrase of the quote that lead to the Iron Brigade's nickname (McClellan to Hooker: "What troops are those fighting in the Pike?" Hooker replied, "[Brigadier] General Gibbon's brigade of Western men." McClellan stated, "They must be made of iron."). After three combat phases, however, the 2nd Wisconsin finally failed their break test and were forced to retire.

And finally, Joe's Irish Brigade (after four turns of nothing but one move per turn) were able to create a new defensive line, just as the Iron Brigade were broken and started to fall back.

In the end, we all agreed that it had been an excellent game and that the result was a minor Union victory, but not so strong as to cause the Confederates to buy us beers. There was a little bit of backslapping and a few huzzahs, before we launched straight into discussions about next year's project. But more on that later...

Thanks to everyone who has been following this blog for your comments and support along the way : )


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Iron Brigade - Complete!

Brigadier General Solomon Meredith and the color bearer for the 1st (Iron) Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Corps. 

Just a few more days until we get to see everything on the tabletop. Very exciting!

2nd Wisconsin 

6th Wisconsin 

 7th Wisconsin 

 19th Indiana 

 24th Michigan 

 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry - mounted 

 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry - dismounted (and yes, the fence does travel with them)

The Iron Brigade on the march, supported by the men of the 6th Penn. Cavalry. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Irish Brigade ++ Action Front!!!!

I have completed my brigade ready for Adepticon with time to spare. That makes me very happy. For all of you tournament and weekend warrior gamers I am sure you are intimately familiar with staying up until 4am the night before the big event. Then it takes you a week to recover from all the work you put into your army and you don't touch a paint brush for 6 months. Yep, that's right then you are immediately behind on your next project only to repeat the same process over and over again.

Well, as I have gotten older and it became a little bit harder to recover from long weekends I bust my hump the week or two before the event so I can recover and enjoy my gaming weekend. So, with 4 days before our big American Civil War battle I have finished my contribution to the game including a handful of scenery. 

Here are some pictures of the brigade in all its glory. Enjoy and if you are going to Adepticon be sure to come by the game and say 'helllo'.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Archer's Brigade complete !

Well its been about six months since I was asked to join this little adventure called The Guns Of April and I must say could not be happier with the experience. Below is the finished product of Archers Brigade. I know there are a lot of final photos but I hope you all enjoy them as much as I enjoyed painting them!

 I wanted to represent the 14th Tennessee taking mass casualties because of the major losses that they took at Gettysburg. I hope the above photo translates well with the majority of the color company being cut down as they marched, and the brave few in the rear rank trying to keep the colors from hitting the ground.

 Again another view of the 14th Tennessee color company being cut down in the above photo.

Well there it is in all of its glory, the completed Archer's Brigade. I hope you all have enjoyed following my little portion of this project as well as following the excellent work from all of my other teammates. Id like to thank everyone for all of the positive feedback on our project and to future projects that will be coming down the pike. Again, I hope you all have enjoyed this years progess thus far and until next year keep the paint flying


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Conan O'Brien invades Atlanta

Now that the episode has aired, I can talk openly about the photographs I posted earlier. I recently joined a dual impression American Civil War reenactment group portraying the 28th GA and 123rd NY. They have a long history of performing in movies and TV shows so they were asked to help with the Conan O'Brien Show. The idea was Conan wanted to join the unit and see if he had the skills to become one of the few and proud reenactors. :)

I thought you would enjoy the skit and it was a fun day filming. Here is the link.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Scenic Effects

I worked a half-a-day on Good Friday and decided to base all of my elements that we ready for it. I was originally going to base my entire army at the end and planned to take one full week basing my stuff. Well...........24 hours later and nearly 75% of my army has scenic effects applied to them. I was going into Friday evening with mixed feelings. First of all, I was getting quite burned out of highlighting blue and black and took the basing project as a nice break. I was worried about whether or not I would be able to complete my overall task but when I finished in an evening it excited me about completing my project. So, the 'distraction' ended up reinvigorating my willpower to finish my infantry. So, I have 18 days in which to finish highlighting 60 miniatures and base them. A very possible goal if I don't have too many life issues get in the way. Enough of the blather. Here are some pictures........

Infantry and Artillery Brigade Commander

Artillery Pieces

 Casualties - Disorder Markers

Casualties - Hit Markers

 114th PA Regiment - Zouaves - 3 of 5 stands 

63rd NY Regiment - Irish Brigade 

6th NY Cavalry

 6th NY Cavarly - Dismounted