22 July 2014

Longstreet Campaign: Game 8

Our 8th and penultimate battle was fought at the Hobby Bunker June 26. We played the Crossroads scenario for a second time and I elected to defend. 
used with permission
I set up my artillery on both flanks but this was a bit of a mistake as Adam's main thrust was towards the centre. It took me quite a bit of time (ie near the end of the first deck) to get them brought into battle.

Adam's initial attack was quite successful and I was thrown back and he captured the crossroads to earn himself an Epic Point. I was also a little unlucky with my deck as all my interrupt cards were very slow in coming. It really did look quite grim but eventually my cannon were brought to bear and I was able to defeat the Rebels. It was a very close game though and we both I believed played quite well. I lead going into the last game by 1 Epic Point. You can see the complete AR on Adam's blog the Fencing Frog.
146th NY being pummeled in combat.

My post game process was so-so, I got 2 Light Artillery cards which were of little benefit. But the Priority card will be quite useful in the last battle and with the See the Elephant and Hail to the Chief cards I was able to improve my units. But the best card was the US Coloured Troops which allow me to field a 10 base regiment of eager troops. You can see the full post battle process below.
As you can see two new units have entered the fray (still need to base them), the 19th Indiana and the 54th Massachusetts. I see that Adam has had two more Longstreet games at the Whiz and he has a many experienced troops. He has been a formidable opponent. 
Well we will see how it goes, the Campaign deciding game is in two days. Stay tuned.

29 June 2014

Winter War Soviets: NKVD Squad

I recently received the figures for my Chain of Command Winter War Soviets. There are several choices in 20mm Soviets, but none really for early war. My research leads me to believe that the Soviets troops sent to Finland in 1939 had slightly different uniforms then those in mid and late war. I believe they had a different helmut and neither snow suits nor telogrieka uniforms had yet been issued. Really I had not much choice except for troops in overcoats. I had a long look and really the nicest figures were TQD Castings Kursk Soviets. 

When they arrived a couple of weeks ago, I was quite pleased with my choice. Wrong helmets  but other wise good to go.They really are nice figures. Chain of Command lists the Winter War soviets has having 4 fifteen man squads in each platoon. To break things up, I decided to go with one squad of NKVD. Multiple sources indicate that several regiments of NKVD border police fought in Finland, but I really could not resist the blue and red cap of the NKVD internal police. Not really in winter attire but so it goes.

Soviet squads in CoC have a JL, 12 riflemen and a 2 man LMG team. There was no LMG's modeled in the TQD NKVD figures so I decided to make a slight adjustment. I substituted the LMG with 4 SMG armed men as well as an SMG armed JL. This makes them slightly overpowered at close in fighting but underpowered at longer ranges. However, according to the CoCulator both squads work out to being 25 points. I liked the idea of the NKVD being sent in has close combat troops.

As you can see these are very nice figures, it would have been nice to have more poses but that is a very minor criticism. Mark at CP Models was great with which to deal, and I can highly recommend this company and these troops.

The NKVD came with slotta bases, I cut them down and then used the residual metal to buttress the  figure
They appear pretty solid

I have only a few soviet vehicles left to winterize they should be up soon.

18 June 2014

Longstreet Campaign: Game 7

Almost a month since my last post, and gaming activity almost down to zero. I have been finishing up some Soviet vehicles, but otherwise on the painting front........zero. The Drive on Minsk-1941 Chain of Command campaign at the Hobby Bunker has trickled down to zero, I do not think I have had a game since January, but maybe it was even before Xmas. It is always a challenge for me to game on a regular basis as as I work shifts and every second weekend but unfortunately the other players involved appear also to have had multiple distractions. Hoping for a game in early July. I have had my June, 1944 Operation Tonga campaign for the same group ready to go since April!

Then there is the tragedy of Iannick's knee. He had elective surgery on it in February and he is still not up. He has been my regular opponent and excellent gaming friend since the start of my interest in the hobby, we usually have a game every 6-8 weeks alas now none since last year. Life is just not the same without lugging figures and terrain to Montreal. Hopefully though a game in early August.

Finally there has been my Longstreet Campaign with Adam. Now is Adam is a gamer, from his blog I get a sense he gets in at least two games a week. So meeting and getting to game with him on a regular basis has been great. That has been a little slow as well unfortunately but hopefully our next game will be next week. We did get to play the last Thursday in May, and I finally gained a significant victory. We replayed the Walled Farm Scenario.
used with permission
Adam won the toss and elected to be the defender. I placed almost all my terrain choices in the middle in front of the farm. I have become quite apprehensive of Adam's superiority in artillery, and wanted to advance under cover. You can see the AR on Adam's blog. He was a little unlucky with the dice, but I think I played a pretty good game defeating him just after one deck.

The post game process is quite interesting in Longstreet and it all went well without too much attrition until the Campaign Card draw. I pulled 3 artillery cards which were of little value to me, aside from being able to upgrade to another heavy artillery battery. The Name in the Papers did allow me to pull ahead in Epic Points, but I have always found this card a little unfair. I was hoping to get the Coloured Troops card, my only route to Eager troops or at least a See the Elephant card, but nada. I did however finally get promoted up to a Major General, I think Adam must be the equivalent of a Marshall of France by now!

You can see Adam's post game process here. He still has a force with which to be reckoned as you can see.

Other things:
  • Well the Habs lost to the Rangers but a great season!
  • I just received my Soviet troops for my Winter war project, I selected TQD Castings and the figures are just great, plan to have 3 squads of Soviet regulars and 1 squad of NKVD. I think they are going to look very good.
  • Hopefully will have some images of my Soviet vehicles up soon.
  • The next Longstreet battle will see the debut of the 146th NY.

23 May 2014

Longstreet Campaign: Game 6

This is a bit of a late update. I have been quite busy at work, have been really stuck into the progress of the les habitants through the Stanley Cup Playoffs (including driving to Montreal and see their stupendous victory over the Bruins in game 6) as well as trying to get my ACW army based.

used with permission
For our sixth game we played the Meeting Engagement scenario. I took the attacker side. The game started off well enough, but Adam is just getting better and better at playing Longstreet and I got trounced yet again. His artillery supremacy was also quite a challenge, but he is quite a willy player and now for the first time in our campaign he has pulled ahead in Epic points. You can find the AAR on his blog The Fencing Frog.

Our next game is scheduled for next Thursday, this is a full 4 weeks since the last game so I am hoping that Adam has become a little rusty! Unfortunately although I now have the advantage in the cards, he still really has a good army whose ranks are stuffed with eager veteran troops.
Adam's Order of Battle for 1864
This is quite a challenge as you can see from my OB, which is filled with seasoned units. I did get a good draw on the campaign cards and now have a complete artillery regiment with 3 full batteries.
My Order of Battle
Anyway the exciting thing about the next battle is that we will see the debut of my own troops. Many thanks to Adam's friend Cortland who has lent his troops to date. I hate basing, but I got all the troops done that I need for the next battle and their flags fortuitously arrived this week. Still have 4 more infantry and 2 more cavalry regiments to base, as well as one more heavy rifle artillery battery unit with 3 more limbers (not yet painted). But here I present the first six infantry, one cavalry and 3 artillery units.
From back to front the 24th Michigan (mixed iron brigade regular army uniforms), the 19th Maine (thought these northern boys wold need havelars) as well as 7th Wisconsin (lead unit of the iron brigade).

Lovely flags from Flagdude

From back to front the 15th Massachusetts, the 1st Minnesota (in firing line without bayonets) and the 5th New York (hard to do a unit army without some zouaves) 

Wait until you see the 146th New York in their sky blue uniforms.

The 6th Ohio both mounted and unmounted.

Three batteries with their limbers, have a unit of howitzers,  12 pd smoothbore as well as  10pd Parrotts  light rifles.

02 May 2014

Army in a Box from Fernando

On February 21st, this year I emailed Fernando Painting Services in Sri Lanka to tell them that I was interested in getting some Blue Moon ACW miniatures painted. By February 24th, I had a quote not only for the painting but for the painting service to directly purchase the figures in the US and have them sent to Sri Lanka. The company actually paid for the figures themselves and then billed me. We ran into some problems as neither of the two credit card companies (one associated with a local bank and one associated a national bank) would approve any payments to Sr Lanka. I had to send a cheque by registered mail. Not withstanding this when the figures arrived in Sri Lanka on March 10, they started the paint job even though they had yet to receive the cheque for the figures (I had not even sent the cheque for the painting). On March 17th they received the first cheque, and by then the painting was well underway and I was receiving photographed samples. The only modification I had to make was to get the figures with havelars painted correctly (they were painted blue rather then white). On April 24th, I got notice that all my figures were done and fortunately the cheque for the painting arrived soon the next day. Once the figures were weighed for shipping, I still owed $30, but by then I realised that I could use a Canadian credit card to finish the purchase without difficulty (after living now in the US for 15 years, I have come to the conclusion that they have the worst and most antiquated banking system in the western world). Today, May 2, the figures arrived.

Absolutely amazing service, 402 figures done in 2 months on spec! So how was the job done, very well indeed. The box arrived well packaged which each group of figures in their own packaging, not one figure was damaged. I had planned to apply washes, as I had ordered the lowest standard at 70 cents each, I believe. They do not need washes. Well this is what they look like.
The package groups from Blue Moon was preserved so there would be no confusion. Everything was carefully labeled.

Standard Infantry firing.

Iron Brigade

Infantry with havelars

Cavalry with carbines and well as some dismounted cavalry

Artillerists and more dismounted cavalry

The sergeant even has his stripes!

Zoauve command, this was the only screw up and my fault, half should be red and blue , but the other half should be light blue (146th NY), but only 5 figures to re-paint.

5th New York

146th New York

More cavalry

402 figures
Just to show that I can paint 18 mm figures, here are some of Berden's Sharpshooters and Heros as well as some limbers for Longstreet. I also have a dozen cannons ready to paint.
Well I have to give this company 10/10, just terrific job and terrific service. Highly recommended. Oh by the way, here is the OB of my ACW Union force.

30 April 2014

Some Napoleonics for a Change

In an effort to paint down the metal heap, I am going through each of my biscuit tins (each holds a different nationality) in an attempt to empty them. Amazingly enough the French Napoleonic tin is almost empty. I still have some command figures unpainted and one artillery limber, but the last infantry unit is on the paint table now. I also still have one full box and two partial boxes of Perry Plastic French cavalry. I think I will sell the hussar box, but will keep the 4 Heavy Cavalry figures and the 4 Dragoons figures and paint them to bring these units up to twelve. Then I suppose, I shall be in the market again because at that point the reserve pile is done.

Over the last week I have been working on some Guard Chasseurs with an attached company of Mamelukes as well as finishing off a Artillerie à Cheval unit.
A large cavalry unit for my army with 14 figures

From Foundry, probably the last I will paint, but I do like their lancers!

Three bases had been painted about 5 years ago, I have just added the three bases of Mamelukes and one base of  Guard Chasseurs (3rd from the left)

Hopefully you can see the evolution of my painting

A Mixed unit of Front Rank and Perry, aside from the wheel width they are a good match

The two Front Rank Cannon were painted about 3 years ago, I have just added the Howitzer

The Perry Artillery are certainly very nice figures