28 October 2015

A Scary Plan...................has Succeeded

Well everything that was for sale is sold. This included my Prussian and Austrian armies plus their respective lead piles. Also surprisingly, the Hanoverian Brigade sold quickly. With these funds I can replace my present French and Anglo-Portuguese armies with painted 18mm AB miniatures unit for unit. I received my first AB unit from Spain today and the painting has exceeded my expectations, I am chuffed.

After discussion with my friend Iannick in Montreal (he only pleaded a bit), I have decided to keep my Anglo-Portuguese Army and my Brunswick Corps in 28 mm. It is only fair, as Iannick really was my impetus early on to paint 2700 Napoleonics. Oddly enough he was also babbling something about 6mm, but we will keep that under wraps for now!

Well that leaves almost 1000 French to get rid. I have decided now that since I have the money to essentially fund almost a year of commission painting from the initial sell off, the French collection will go at a more controlled rate. The first battalion, the 54e ligne is now up on TMP. This is really the best painted unit in the collection except for maybe the 13e legere. 

24 October 2015

Chronic Iohannes: Siege Of Cataractonium, A Dux Campaign comes to an End

Myself and Adam played another game in our Dux Britannarium campaign this past Thursday. It had been almost 2 months since our last game, but surprisingly the rules were quite fresh in both our minds. As usual, there was some confusion about supports in combat but this is really not unusual in this rule set. As much fun as the campaign was, the ruleset is little work, and it is quite difficult at times to get a clear answer to a question.

Not withstanding we had a great campaign which went from March 550AD to October 555AD, the Britons lost provinces and gained them back, the Saxon Warlord Cuthwolf rose to become a king, while Antoninus became a Legatus. Despite this difference in status they came head to head in front of the gates of Cataractonium. As usual Adam has done a great job of documenting the battle and I will refer you to his blog The Fencing Frog for some excellent photo and commentary.

I think it only fitting to present a short summary of the action from the Briton's perspective.

It was a chilly morning in late October, somewhat like this morning in Salem, Massachussetts almost 1500 years later, frost was in the air and a few snow flakes were falling. The wretched inhabitants of Cataractonium had now held out for 7 months against the continued onslaught of Cuthwolf the Red's blood thirsty Saxons. Food was running out and winter was coming. More and more Saxons were arriving to press the siege and bring it to a conclusion before the heavy snows started to fall in the Kingdom of the Old North. By now, Cuthwolf's warband had increased from 34 men to 48 men and included a foul smelling Bard as well as a demonic looking Wicca. Cuthwulf was accompanied by his man mountain champion Wulfric, as well the Nobles Wulfgeat and Eaglmund, both wodenborn.

Suddenly horns were heard from the south, and the far sighted of the besieged Britons could soon see the red cruciate emblazoned standards of their noble lord Antoninus. Was relief at hand, was their misery finally to be lifted? The Legatus had arrived and with him, thanks to the support of his  liege lord King Peredur Longspear, he had 48 hardy Britons in his force. With him was his Champion Cyneric as well as the Nobles Aefric and Morcant, who recently had been ransomed from the Saxons. The Bard Euphonius was detailing the exploits of his Lord in extremely long epic poem, while I, the Priest Iohannes was there of course to chronicle this, one of my Lord's great battles.

Both the Saxons and the Britons faced off: Songs were sang, mead was drank and champions engaged in single combat, unfortunately our Lord's exploits were drowned out by the raucous Saxons and Cuthwolf came out with twice the authority of Antoninus and Cyneric was wounded  (essentially the Saxon Lord started the battle with 4CI and a command range of 12" while The Briton Lord has his CI reduced to 2 with a command range of 6", additionally the Briton champion added only 1d6 to any fight he was involved in. Starting morale was 9 for both sides with both holding 6 Fate Cards at the start of the game).

Antoninus knew that his strength lay in his shield-wall , as well as the blood thirsty nature of his Saxon adversary. He had to appear weak in order to entice the Saxon into attacking but at the same time be able to maneuver in out out of his shield-wall at opportune moments. At the same time he had to be cautious as both he and his champion were unable to fight at their usual ability as well as voice being weakened.  Clearly his forces had not to be separated.

The Britons were able to slowly maneuver into two back to back formations, one of the elite and warriors and one of levy. This formation easily formed into a triangle when one of it's flanks was threatened, by breaking off the warriors on the Briton left flank to confront a threatening Saxon mob. The dice gods were on the side of the Britons and Saxon losses rapidly dropped their morale to 0, while the Britons had lost only 8 men. 

Victory to the Britons, the siege was lifted and the Saxons were vanquished from our shores, the campaign was over.

Well it was a great campaign; it was our second, the previous being an ACW using the Longstreet rules, which Adam won.

So we are 1 to 1, what is next I wonder?

Many thanks to Adam, he started the campaign many months ago using borrowed figures but was able to paint and field a complete Saxon force by it's end.

22 October 2015

A Scary Plan............maybe Succeeding

Well the Austrians and Prussians are gone. I have been able to use the proceeds to duplicate my French Army unit for unit in painted 18mm AB miniatures as well as get at least a British Division. I am really pleased. All I have to do is wait 3 months!
With this sale I have decided to put up my  Front Rank Austrian and Calpe Prussian Lead Piles.
A Real Calpe Pile!

These are both going at more then 50% off with free shipping.

Up next painted is the 1st Hanoverian Brigade at Waterloo on Ebay.

Well that leaves the French, many of which can be seen here, almost 1000 figures, any offers?

15 October 2015

Scary New Plan........Maybe

Over the last 10 years I have painted some 2700 28mm Napoleonics. Generally they are based 6 figures to 40x40mm bases in 4 stand units. Recently have felt that maybe the units should be 6 stands.

What to do........should I rebase?!!!!!!!!

At the same time two more issues have come to the forefront. Storage and terrain size. Even though I have a big gaming space the Napoleonics are consuming a considerable proportion of it and at the same time are seldom used. I also really want to stick to gaming on 4x6 terrains which I now have well sorted and transportable.

I have also found in my recent games of GBCoC and Lasalle, I would like to have a slightly larger armies on the table then I can get with the 40x40mm bases. Increasing the unit size to 6 stands essentially increases the footprint by 50%. That is not going to work on a 4x6' table.

My recent foray in ACW have shown me the advantages of 15-18 mm armies, I have a considerably sized Union army which is in one small box.

While these thoughts have been going through my head, I have been looking at painted 18 mm AB Napoleonic units that are for sale. Essentially well painted 6 stand infantry units are available for around $100. I am not crazy enough to want to start painting 18 mm Napoleonics!

So what to do? I suppose it comes down to whether in my 60th year, I want to paint or game. I like painting and I have enjoyed painting 28 mm figures and I am unlikely to stop, but I do like gaming more. For gaming tactical level Napoleonics there does appear to be an advantage with 18mm over 28mm, especially in respect to transportability and terrain size.


  • Nice shiny new armies
  • Less storage space needed
  • Easier to transport
  • Tactical Napoleonic gaming with bigger armies on smaller tables
  • I do not have a big lead pile, but what I  have I would have to sell, so I could stop looking at it
  • No rebasing


  • The two groups (BTB and Montreal) with whom I game, have 28 mm Napoleonics
  • Difficulty in selling my present collection in large lots quickly
  • The purchase of 18 mm painted units is contingent on a neutral cash flow
  • The work of packing up armies to mail


  • Sell the Austrian Brigade, I really have little interest in this army, this will tell me how hard it will be to get rid of my Napoleonics. They are on eBay now.
  • If this is successful, sell the Prussian Division next. It is going to be hard for me to let go, as this is my favourite army and by far the best painted force I have. But at the same time my main Napoleonic compatriots in Montreal are not that interested in Waterloo.
  • I would follow this with the French, as again Iannick in Montreal has a large French army.
  • Save my British and Allies for last, and may end up keeping them so I can fight Iannick's French.
So that is all, I suspect it will all come to naught.