Friday, April 21, 2017

Annual Birthday Game Is Next


Date: May 6, 2017
Time Period: Seven Years' War
Location: INDIA
Rules: Batailles de l'Ancien Régime (1740-1763) BAR
Circumstances: Pre-Game Preparations


**********          **********          **********

"Tonight ladies and gentlemen we have a very special presentation for you coming all the way from India. Some know I am very interested in the Seven Years' War and...."

"Really Bill?"

"Hmm. --- And Colonials too."

"Yer kidd'n!"

"Hey --- cut out the jokes --- and don't interrupt the show! 
So we thought, why not combine the two in the 18th Century? --- That's just what we'll be doing on my belated Annual Birthday Game Day on May 6, 2017. --- Three new units will appear."

French Sepoy Battalion from the Nellore District 1750-1755 adapted from René Chartrand's description. See Osprey's MEN-AT-ARMS SERIES #313 LOUIS XV'S ARMY (5) COLONIAL AND NAVAL TROOPS, pages 19 and 47 plus Color Plate G.

Twelve 1750-1755 Nellore District companies were dressed this way:
Three companies above in yellow coats faced in red, green and blue.
Three companies in red coats faced in yellow, green and blue.
Three companies in green coats faced in red, yellow and blue.
Three companies in blue coats faced in red, green and yellow.
My drummer uniforms are totally fictional.

All are 28mm. Line soldiers are from Indus Miniatures, drummers are Crusader and most officers are Front Rank from their Seven Years' War European and North American French and Indian War lines.

I luckily had a colorful GMB flag from Regiment Aquitaine on hand and decided to use it --- just because.... it is colorfully busy. French officers wore their own regimentals from France. All but the drummers were expertly painted by John Preece.

So what's cook'n Bill?

"Whaaaat? Who let you in here anyway?"

"They're wearing chef's hats aren't they? 
We'll have curry chicken, samosa and chai tea."

"The very idea. --- Chef's hats!

"With basmati rice."

"Now cut that out!"

Here's some shocking 28mm firepower from Indus Miniatures. 

Do you think I painted the lion's head realistically? This model is terrific.

Indus Miniatures Hindu Archers. Every bowman has his own color scheme; all 72 of 'em! They were a lot of fun to paint. Fast too.

I have no idea if native forces formed units of bowmen. I simply reasoned, if the Romans, Carthaginians and Medieval armies had bow units, why can't there be some in India? My talented friend Juergen contends they should be broken apart and spread out in other units of mixed weapons. Gee, that makes sense to me. Maybe I am too taken with skirmisher screens of one kind or another. 

Depending on the two forces in the game, I told Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz) I could break this unit in half letting the British use one.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

There is little time left before the game to add more units. However, these thirty-five or a bunch of them are supposed to reinforce two units needing more numbers. Wish me luck won't you?

*****     *****     *****     *****

"Thank you for watching the show tonight ladies and gentlemen. We'll....

"Bill! --- Bill?"

"Oh. It's you guys again. Well?"

"You'll never get those natives finished in time!"

"That's what you think, do you?"

"Never in a million years!"

"Hmm. --- Well, I 'll show you! 
Goodnight everybody. We'll be back in three weeks with our next show."


*****     *****     *****     *****

CLOSING REMARKS

1) And I have to terra-form the table, figure orders of battle and design the scenario.

2) Do you think I can finish in time?

3) Your remarks are welcome below at Comments.

*****     *****     *****     *****

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Painting Challenge Done


PAINTING CHALLENGE

The post dated March 9th, 2017 showed what I planned to paint in my Personal Painting Challenge. A few pards joined in too. That made it more fun. Here is what I finished nine hours before the 11:59pm deadline on April 15th. Reason: To jump-start our S. Pacific WWII Campaign. You know, to add more stuff.

Two Japanese Type 95 HA GO Light Tanks. They are armed with a 37mm main gun and two machine guns. The turret MG broke off on the leading tank. Yours will too. It is a very easy fix. It was replaced by a small length of wire cut from a paper clip.

The leading AFV turret decal shows it is an HQ tank. The second tank's decal looks a little like the number 5. It is not. It means it is from the 1st Company.

Models are resin with some metal from the Bolt Action range offered by Warlord Games; really nice models.

Clunky tanks are my favorite AFVs, especially if fast.

These USA M3 tanks are certainly clunky and fast. The paint and decal scheme are for operations in late December 1941 and early 1942 on Luzon in the Philippines.

My M3s came from Warlord's Bolt Action three tank boxed set. There are enough parts for Soviet, Western Desert and Tunisia variations. I jury-rigged mine as best I could for the US Army on Luzon in 1941-42. You could probably alter them for the USMC early in the war.

These are superior models. The engineering put into these plastic models is proof.

They will be looking for the HA GOs in the first photo soon.

These are newly painted 28mm Japanese Army infantry from Brigade Games and The Assault Group.

These fellows are almost all fairly active in keeping with Army doctrine to move fast and never mind waiting to build up your force before attacking. Apparently this worked versus less well-trained and poorly equipped opponents such as the Philippine Army in 1941 but not the USMC in 1942.

CLOSING REMARKS
1) This personal challenge worked well for several people as an incentive to cross the finish line before time ran out. Deadlines work. Anything was eligible; partially finished or totally unfinished items, easy or more involved to do. The idea was to get a bunch of stuff done.

2) John joined in painting more than sixty items from various time periods. Ditto for Michael M.

3) John emailed me saying he wants to start another Painting Challenge. Okay John! You are on. Let's see, sixty French Sepoys need basing and underlying movement trays. That counts for something, eh guys? Well! This needs to get done for a SYW game in India soon.

4) How did you do? Your remarks are welcome at Comments below.

*********          **********          **********

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Painting Challenge and Us ---You Too Gridley!



Want to have a friendly Painting Challenge? 

So said  I in an email to Chuck and John this week. Both signed onto "The Painting Challenge" as did a few friends in a chat group.

Why? --- What's the incentive, Bill?
  • Personal satisfaction.
  • Finish lingering stuff. (Even partially completed items.)
  • End painting funks, if  any.
  • Get new stuff ready for a games.

Since the first of this year, I've painted very little. Was it a painting funk - the lack of motivation to paint? Probably not. I've had good reasons - prodigious ones really. We all do. Anyway, I am putting a stop to this stoppage declaring my plans to the world; you fellows anyway. I'll tell you a secret. This declaration in itself is an incentive. 

I asked, "How about painting 35 things for our personal collections by 11:59pm Saturday April 15th?

What?
Anything - even stuff that is started but unfinished. In my case:

I primer painted 30x WWII Japanese infantry. 

Moved 3x nearly completed Stuart tanks closer to my brushes for accents and decals.

Moved 2x Japanese light tanks which need everything forward in my consciousness.

Here are my 35 things to finish in just about as many days.

A Few Tips:

1. Use no wiggle words such as, Should, I hope to, Maybe, I can't, We'll see, I dunno',  Pressure - um no way!, A competition - how plebeian!, etc. 

2. Get off your electronic devices. I mean it! Off! These are "time vampires."

3. Use a timer. It's amazing how as time crunches down, one stays on task.

4. No television. No movies. Listen to uplifting or upbeat music instead. No Brahms please!

5. Writers demand solitude when they wright. Family and friends know this. Well! You are a painter. You can demand solitude to paint. It's okay to stop if someones hair is really on fire or a nuclear war starts. Otherwise let nothing get in your way.

6) I'll compose an excuse for you if you are invited to a game though! Go play.

7) Plan a game needing this stuff. This really helps! April and May 2017 will see us go to the Philippines in 1942. Hence all the germane WWII items for me.

8) Do this with friends and have fun with it.

9) I need to brush on a protective coating of Blick Matte Acrylic/Varnish on my Stuarts right after posting this. However, before I sign off, what are your plans and tips? May we please see them below in Comments?
*****

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 Games


2017 Games (Weeknights Red) + (Weekends Blue)
**********          **********          **********
January was unusually busy because of five Flight School Sessions. These were held so thirteen pilots including myself  would be more up to speed for the 3rd. BIG BoB on 28 January 2017.

1) Jan. 5 (Thursday) WWII Philippines
2) Jan. 8 (Sunday): SYW BAR (Day after Tundra Con) , Appleton, WI
3) Jan. 9 (Monday) Battle of Britain Flight School
4) Jan. 10 (Tuesday) Battle of Britain Flight School
5) Jan. 16 (Monday) Battle of Britain Flight School
6) Jan. 17 (Tuesday) Battle of Britain Flight School
7) Jan. 22 (Sunday) Battle of Britain Flight School
8) Jan. 26 (Thursday) Stargrunt II at John's
9) Jan. 28 (Saturday) 3rd. BIG Battle of Britain Game

**********          **********          **********
10) Feb. 2 (Thursday) Naval Thunder
11) Feb. 8 (Wednesday) Pirate Naval The Arrival
12) Feb 11 (Saturday) WWII Chain of Command (at Dan & Morgan's)
13) Feb. 15 (Wednesday) Pirate Naval The Finish
14 & 15) Feb. 18 (Saturday) Naval Descent + Pirate Naval
16) Feb. 23 (Thursday) 54mm SUDAN (BAR Colonial Rules)
17) Feb. 28 (Tuesday) Monster Island at John's)
**********          **********          **********
18) Mar. 11 (Saturday) Rescheduled Annual Light Troop Game at Keith's
19) Mar. 22 (Wednesday) Monster Island Test II
20) Mar. 30 (Thursday) Monster Island Test III
**********          **********          **********
21) April 5 (Wednesday) IJN Attack on Clark Air Field (Bag The Hun)
22) April 11 (Tuesday) Micr-Armor East Front at John's
23) April 19 (Wednesday) IJN Attack on Clark Air Field (Bag The Hun)
24) April 28-30 (Fri.-Sun.) HMGS Little Wars Convention, Lombard, IL

**********          **********          **********
?) May 6 (Sat.) Bill's Annual Birthday Game in INDIA
10th Anniversary of BAR 

?) May WWII in 1942 Phillippines

**********          **********          **********

?) Jul. 12-16 (Wed.-Sun.) Historicon, Fredericksburg, VA

**********          **********          **********

?) August 26 (Saturday Evening) 4th. BIG Battle of Britain Game

**********          **********          **********

?) September (Saturday) Annual BIG Colonial Game (Sudan or NW Frontier)

**********          **********          **********

?) October (?) Mordheim #2

***********         **********          **********

Sunday, December 4, 2016

IMAGINEERING UTTERLY NEW THINGS


Or --- What Happened When A Vexing Cold Attacked Me!


IT STARTED THIS WAY
December 3, 2016 was to be our annual Light Troop Game. It didn't happen because a disagreeable virus the night before laid me low. Rather than contaminate my pards, I called the host and he immediately thought it best to postpone the game to a later date. Everyone understood, especially the four friends I was driving to the game 1.5 hours away. I figured there was no way being in the close confines of a car would not get them contaminated.

THE WEEK BEFORE
Saw many of us getting miniatures collected and packed for the game. Mine remained on the table....

Especially Bad Squiddos regal and lovely 28mm Catherine The Great. 

She was not going to be Catherine The Great on December 3rd. However, she was going to be associated with Hinterland's 28mm Princess Victoria mounted Hussars just finished for the game.

Such fun to paint in the prior week.

Their dismounted counterparts including matching hair color were completed several years ago. Once upon a time they guarded Lady Diana Pettygree in the Annual Light Troop Game held at Randy F's.

Opinion: The ladies are styled historically and beautifully which I really appreciate --- rather than heroically or scantily clad. Sculpting females in a lovely way is needed too. How about it you designers out there?

THEN IMAGINEERING KICKED IN
John B. has mentioned an interest to do something post WWI in Russia. I fancy he may mean the Reds versus the Whites. I don't think he has any of either side yet. However, he completed twelve gorgeous and varied mounted and dismounted Cossacks for the cancelled game. They could feature in 1919-1925 Russia. And....

So could these 28mm Tiger Miniatures Bulgarians. These fellows appeared in my blog Story Expedition To Alexandrapour 3-5 years ago as Russians. To me they look like Russians of the era. Tents and buildings are from Miniature Building Authority.

The USA vendor is Recreational Conflict.

These riders have dismounted counterparts --- not shown.

WHO ELSE COULD BE FIELDED?

As I was taking photographs of the Russians, I remembered....

These 28mm USA infantry also suitable (close enough) with imagination. The USA, Canada and India sent Expeditionary Forces into Vladivostok and/or Murmansk in 1919 or so.

So here are Americans trotting down the scratch-built dock somewhere in conflicted Russia. Miniatures are from the collection of Der Alte Fritz, Jim P., artfully painted by his nephew Alex.

A few minutes later I wondered if my Japanese Special Naval Landing Force could also land? Though the SNLF did not exist until the 1930s, there were Japanese marines who looked like these fellows serving in The Boxer Rebellion. The Japanese were ardently anti-communist and did commit combatants into the region. These fellows are 28mms from Pulp Miniatures in Canada.

AND SO....

"Vill you join me to defeat the Red Menace and restore the monarchy?"


FROM DON FEATHERSTONE'S --- SOLO WARGAMING

"We wargamers are no less fallible than other human-beings to the pangs of sickness, so that there usually comes a time when Fate beats us in the dice throw and we are put on our backs and pushed around by surgeons, doctors, nurses and wives for varying periods. When recovery is just around the corner, Man displays an unfailing sign - his return to normalcy is heralded by a desire to resume some pastime or practice...." p. 148

CLOSING REMARKS

1. Imagineering allows latitude with uniforms and fictionalized history. Many of you do this with your 18th Century armies, don't you? Jim has Hesse-Seewald. I have Gallia. Michael has Litharus and so on. Close enough --- is often --- good enough --- and fun.

2. Catherine or whomever she may become is obviously a survivor of the Russian monarchy because she wears a proper 18th Century uniform. Here it is a retro ceremonial uniform. It just occurred to me I have Pulp miniatures who can double for her in more customary 1919 garments when in the field.

3. So as I write the day after the cancelled game, you see Don's words come true for me, "...to return to normalcy...to resume [wargaming]."

4. This also shows what we can do with our collections - cutting bindings of strict historicity - if we want to. It's liberating actually.

5. Will we do the above concepts? I don't know, but the idea is banked here for later withdrawal.

6. I haven't been able to do much but things are getting better. I may try to paint some 1/2400 Australian WWII destroyers later today. Easy does it. However, it would be better for a little while if I take a nap.

7. I did rest after posting this. Later the three destroyers were completed.

Here they are: Voyager, Vampire and Vendetta; late WWI British V Class destroyers eventually transferred to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). They served in WWII. Destroyers are easy. (GHQ 1/2400 scale)

8.What are you able to do when sickness strikes?

Your remarks are welcome below. Click on Comments.

*****     *****     *****

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Prussians Attack French Supply Depot


Date: November 25, 2016
Genre: 28-30mm Seven Years' War
Location: Thuringia
Situation: French Supply Depot Attacked
Rules: See Photo Below
Batailles de l'Ancien Régime 1740-1763 {BAR}
Available here: http://oldregimerules.com/
+++++     +++++     +++++     +++++     +++++     +++++     +++++

WE COMMENCE

Most armies think November is a poor campaign month. Prussia's Frederick II does not think so. In a lightning move, he formed two fast-marching columns to penetrate deep into Thuringia....


To destroy this French supply depot and on....

THE FRENCH RIGHT FLANK 

An adjacent powder magazine. Prussians appear in the hazy distance on the French right flank. BAR Version #1 uses speedy movement rates to get to grips faster. The leading regiment (Blue Hussars) started Turn 1 on the far side of the bridge. It cantered 18" adding a 24" road bonus travelling almost four feet in one turn! We like that.

In an effort to cave in the Prussians on the bridge road off image to the right, Colonel Bercheney's Hussars engaged the Prussian Black Hussars. The result at first was inconclusive. Meanwhile, the leading Prussian blue hussars swung off the road toward the depot off image to the lower left.

Next turn the Prussian Norman Dragoons erupted through a forest defile into the rear of Bercheney's horsemen. I did not see them on the Back Table because of a wooded area and because Morgan E. unintentionally blocked my view going about his duty playing the game. Had I seen them, I would have left before being overwhelmed.  Kudos to Jim P. commanding the Prussian dragoons!

Closer to the bridge another hussar action ensued trying to cave in the Prussians from another angle.

As the newly arrived Erbprinz Regiment held the extreme French right flank above.

The Erbprinz Regiment soon elected to contend the area solely within the hedged enclosure. It's Grand Division formerly on this side of the hedge was annihilated by the von Bungle Regiment.

Later von Bungle withdrew to the dry river bed because....

French and Austrian infantry from the Allied Back Table arrived west of the powder magazine and....

Advanced slowly stopping several times to engage in firefights. The Prussians lost a resolute battalion in the exchange. Meanwhile, von Bungle (not shown) struggled near the bridge due to vegetation encumbering it in the dry river bed.

French right flank stabilized.


THE FRENCH CENTER

Prussians march forward to the left of and toward the supply depot....

Closing on and soon engaging defenders.... 

 Such as a portion of Auvergne in the heavy stone enclosure.

 The stone wall reduced casualties from prodigious Prussian musketry.

When the Prussians moved closer....

 Auvergne having had enough withdrew out of harm's way --- for a while.

Then Languedoc arrived mid-afternoon directly into the compound by a series of D6 throws.


And took up a defensive position behind supply boxes.
Why? --- Prussians arriving in the upper left!

 Other Languedoc's split off to the right of the main building.

Close to 4:00pm half of Languedoc has become the new French left flank.
Why? Read about it next on....

THE FRENCH LEFT FLANK

To the left is an impassable ridge (east wall of the basement) on the French far left flank. As the French Guyenne battalion arrived, Fischer's Chasseurs a Cheval at first opposed onrushing Prussians and then shifted right....

Opposing Prussian riders heading forward in the this photo's top right.

This opened the way for opposing infantry to fire at each other. Though the Prussian Fusiliers won the initiative to fire first, the French used a Joker (fog of war) to fire first instead with deadly effect. The fusiliers with casualties removed fired next. Afterwards they withdrew to the building and fenced area in the upper right.

And shown in the upper left of this photo. 
Meanwhile, Fischer's Chasseurs charged Prussian cavalry opposite them.  

Result: The Chasseurs won on the right and lost on the left.
But---more Prussian infantry is marching forward.

 Guyenne shifted from the left side of the tower to it's right to oppose them.

 As you see here.


Back to the far left French flank again. Fischer's last light horsemen and their former opponents have rallied and reorganized as Prussian dragoons thunder down the road toward the stone building.

A few turns later surviving Fischer's Chasseurs charged into the same Prussian cavalry they had engaged earlier. The initial clash went well enough but you see newly arriving Prussian dragoons.


These fed into the melee next turn causing the end of Fischer's last light horsemen.
Here is the thing!
See that road leading out of the photo's lower left? We reasoned the Prussians would go down that road onto the French Back Table. Afterward there was nothing to stop them riding into the rear of the French Army. Nothing. Plus....

Guyenne and another French battalion (four and five photos previously) to the right of the tower ceased to function effectively.

The French left flank was lost after a robust and effective defense.

CLOSING REMARKS

1. Our players were:
Seated left to right: Jim H., Morgan E., Dan E. and Chris K. Standing left to right: Der Alte Fritz Jim P., Bob B., Bob M. and yours truly Bill P. Photo courtesy of Jim P.

The Prussian Back Table is behind our cast.

2. The powder magazine is a magnificent Herb Gundt creation; HG Walls. All other buildings and the bridge are from wonderful Miniature Building Authority. The heavy stone wall is a very well-done William Britians 54mm structure.

3. The table on the French left flank abuts the basement wall. This removes a walkway but allows the table to be larger on the French far right flank. More table space is the result. We've done it this way for years to get more table area to play on. We don't miss the walkway near the wall. We really don't. Try abutting your table against one wall in your home so you can add extra table square footage at the other end.

4. Approximate numbers:
Prussian Infantry: 510.
French/Austrian Infantry: 360 (60 more added when an extra player arrived)
Prussian Cavalry: 148
French Cavalry: 112
Prussian Arty: 2x Light 6 Pounders
Saxon Arty. in the tower: 1 Heavy 4 Pounder and 1 Light 12 Pounder.

5. Table sizes:
Main Table: 6'x 16' approximately.
Prussian Back Table: 2.5'x 16' approximately.
French Back Table: 2.5' x 14' approximately.

6. Earlier I mentioned we used BAR Version #1 for movement rates in the game.

BAR Version #2 shortens same (weapon ranges too) by 1/3. This makes it suitable for smaller tables and 15-20mm miniatures. Here is a photo of the Quick Reference Charts Version #2.

We did not consult the main rule book once in the game. 

7. Aren't uniforms of the mid-18th century splendid?

8. Your remarks are very welcome at Comments below.

+++++     +++++     +++++     +++++     +++++     +++++     +++++