28 April 2016

The End of an Era

Over the last week I decided to get rid of my 28mm Anglo-Portuguese army, they were well priced and sold quickly. Selling off the French army was painful, it is just not worth my time. I was also able yesterday to get rid of my 28mm NKE figures, both painted and unpainted. This project really had little interest for me.

So where does that leave me, well I still have a little over a hundred 28mm Napoleonics which I have kept for Sharpe Practice. Most of these are already based singly but thankfully it is little work to rebase the rest. I also still have some unpainted 28mm Napoleonics which I have been holding onto until the Sharpe Practice 2 ruleset was released. Well I now have it and can go through this small lead pile to see what I may need for supports.

All that was left than was my 28mm Brunswick Corps, I really had no use for it but at the same time this was my favourite army and I just did not want to sell it. Thankfully Iannick has accepted it as a gift. I had some satisfaction in giving the "Black Hoard" to someone who especially favours brightly coloured armies. Joking aside, I was very happy to give the Corps to him as I have to say he started me off in wargaming. We have not had much of a chance to play in the last year but I am going to Montreal for a month this summer and I am sure we will get in a few games.

So is it still wargaming in 28mm? Well yes it is. I have a lots of other 28mm troops aside from those destined for Sharpe Practice. I have got a very nice FIW British force which I am going to supplement with some more Indians also for Sharpe Practice. I have 4 Dark Age warbands, which are still frequently used. I have the Revenants warband in a box, they do look like an interesting group to paint. I also have some Japanese Warring States figures both painted and unpainted which I think I will keep. Samurai are just so cool, and I do enjoy painting them. I am hoping that someone develops a ruleset for large scale skirmishes for this period.

Well that is all I suppose, aside from taking down my Roll Call of the 28mm Napoleonic Armies and substituting it with an 18mm Napoleonic Roll Call!

25 April 2016

Enjoying SAGA

Over the last few weeks I have got several games of SAGA in with Adam, and I must say that I have enjoyed playing the game again. I believe it probably has been a couple of years since I have played.

The game is certainly nuanced and although probably a poor simulation (my preferred style of gaming) of Dark Ages warfare, it is a lot of fun. Adam has been playing Vikings and most recently Norse-Gaels, while I have been playing Anglo-Danes but Vikings in our last encounter. The Battleboards certainly make the game a lot of fun.

Here are some links to AR's of our recent games.

Adam has beaten me in every game but I managed a tie in our last game. The great thing about the ruleset is that with the same group of figures one can play several different factions. Each faction however is quite different. It has been a lot of fun. I can recommend the game.

19 April 2016

AB Napoleonics

I have been promising for some time to show off this new Napoleonic army, so here we go. I decided to go with exclusively AB Miniatures which are thought to be the best in this scale. They are very nice, minimal flash generally (although of course I painted very few of them) and there really is an enormous selection. My only criticism is that the metal is a little soft; we have lost some bayonets and because of this the flagpoles are a bit of a joke, so much so that I have had both painting services remove them. I have replaced them all myself with stiff metal lances (I bought a bunch a long time ago so I have forgotten from where they came). This has added a bit of work for me but I had to add standards anyway. Most of the standards are from GMB with a few from Adolfo Ramos. I would have liked to have used Flagdude but we all know that story!

After a lot of thought, I have decided to go with a Peninsular War OB, generally mirroring the Battle of Salamanca in July of 1812. I am sure I will drift into the Hundred Days campaign, but for now limiting myself to the Peninsula was thought prudent (after all this project had to be self funding from the sale of my 28mm figures). I will not go into the unit by unit detail of the OB but suffice to say it is as follows:

  • First Division: Fermor's, Von Lowe's and Wheatley's Brigades
  • Third Division: Wallace's Campbell's and Power's Brigades
  • Light Division: Barnard's and Vandeleur's Brigades
  • 5 Regiments of Cavalry
  • 1 Battery of RHA
  • 1 Battery of RFA
  • Foy's First Division: Chemineau's and Desgravier's Brigades
  • Clausel's Second Division: Berlier's and Barbot's Brigades
  • A Guards Brigade with 5 battalions
  • 8 Regiments of Cavalry
  • 3 Batteries of Artillery
SPANISH Portago's Division (Spanish Army of Estremdura 1808)
  • 6 infantry Battalions
  • 1 Cavalry Regiment
  • 1 Artillery Battery
They are not all photographed as the Spanish are on their way from Spain and I am missing still 9 battalions of French, some artillery as well as a battalion of caçadores (3 French on the way), but the rest are below.

The units have been based for the General Bonaparte meets Chain of Command (a playtest title) ruleset. As I have said ad nauseum, this is the best Napoleonic ruleset I have played. The formed infantry units vary from 6-10 stands, but stands are also required for two different types of skirmishers (as discussed below). Command figure stands are also required for colonels, Brigadiers, and Divisional Generals as well as ADC's. The game is aimed at the Divisional level with 2-4 brigades per side with cavalry and artillery support.

I commissioned 2 painters, Jose M D Aznarez (aka Pep) in Spain and Big Battalions (Graham John Campbell) in Thailand. I found Pep on TMP, he regularly sells painted AB units, so I bought a unit, found the painting to be excellent so went ahead a ordered the French units as well as half my British units from him. A little later I came up on Big Battalions on eBay, I established communication with Graham in a somewhat round about way and he sold me 8 units of painted French cavalry. These were also quite excellent so I put in an order for the 10 remaining British battalions I had not yet commissioned.

I really can not say enough positive about both these men, Pep is an excellent painter and Graham runs a first class painting service. I acquired this massive army (I am afraid to count the number of units) in less then 6 months. They both have excellent communication skills and I never worried once about the accuracy of their uniform details. Amazingly enough, neither took money up front, they purchased the figures themselves and only charged me when the figures were painted and ready to be shipped. I can recommend both services without hesitation. Pep and I purchased our figures from Eureka Miniatures USA, I have to say that Rob Walter runs an excellent operation, I have never had to wait for more then 2 days for an order. I am sure the Australian Eureka operation is the same.

Well on to the figures.
Hard to photograph the lot but here they are
Bde Chemineau by Pep
Le Jeune Garde by Pep
French Cavalry by BB
French Divisional Commander by Pep
Dragoons by BB
Garde Lanciers and Cuirassiers by BB
French Hussars by BB
Look at those numerals!
Le Jeune Garde by Pep
French Divisional Commander with ADC by Pep
French Legere by Pep
French Cavalry Division stand with ADC by Pep
My painting contribution!
French Infantry Division stand by Pep
French line by Pep
British Rifles advancing
Barnard's Bde of the Light Division. The Riffles are by BB, the 43rd by me and the Cacadores by Pep
British Divisional Commander by Pep
Von Lowe's Bde by BB
Fermor's Bde in the farground by Pep and Wheatley's Brigade in the near ground by BB, BB did a great job on the 5th/60th Rifles.  I unfortunately have no close ups of the job on the tartan by BB but it is impressive
KGL Brigade by BB
Vandeleur's Brigade with the Cacadores and 52nd by Pep and the 3/95th Rifles by BB.
Kempt's Brigade, by Pep and BB (if you have not figured it out yet they use different basing styles). The 1/45 is on the way from Spain. 
GMB Flags
Powers Portuguese Bde missing the 11th Cacadores by BB
British Cavalry by Pep
Voltiguers by BB
These skirmishers are based as Tiralleurs de Combat, they have the ability to break off  from the parent battalions and add a skirmish screen. They can also stay formed with their battalion and fight as a regular base. This is one of the things I like about the General Bonaparte meets Chain of Command ruleset.

British Cavalry is quite impressive......
......but not as impressive as French Cavalry
These British Rifles (by BB) are based as Tiralleurs en Grande Bande. The bases are twice as wide as a typical infantry base and hold 3 figures. In the ruleset these units always fight in skirmish formation.

Barnard's Brigade from the Light Division with 2 battalions fighting in Tiralleurs en Grande Bande Formation.
RHA painted by me
5/60th Rifles in Tirailleurs de Combat formation skirmishing for the Coldstream Guards
Le Jeune garde followed by the 25e legere.
Well illustrated command structure with GdB in the centre with 2 colonels with  a regiment each (of 2 battalions)
GdD off to the side with a separate base for the ADC, all important to playing this ruleset.
I can say that I have absolutely no regrets selling my 28mm Napoleonics. I finally have a coherent Peninsular force which will soon be complete. They are all on metal bases and the amount of storage required is minimal. As you can see from the first photo it is possible to field the 3 British divisions and 2 French divisions with cavalry and cannon on a 6x4 terrain. They are beautifully painted....what more could I want!

18 April 2016

500,000 Pageviews!!!

An anniversary of sorts one could say, and average of over 5000 page views per month over the nearly 8 years since I started Wargaming in 28mm.

Let us have a little look back, the original blog title was Fuentes de Ornoro and with the initial plan to document my progress in building the forces to fight the said battle. It is interesting to me that at the time my plan was to build the forces so I could play the battle using the Le Feu Sacre ruleset from Too Fat Lardies. I planned to have 12-16 figure single rank bases in 28 mm. 

From my original post, it seems that command stand and skirmish basing was important to me.  It is amusing to think that it really the only thing I have held on to. I have gone through multiple different rulesets and basing configurations but held on to the idea that I wanted command bases and skirmish stands. I have even got rid of the bulk of my 28mm Napoleonic collection (around 800 left of the original 2800 figures that were painted over the last 8-9 years).

It is also funny to think that I have come somewhat a full circle in Napoleonic rules preference, I have not returned to Le Feu Sacre but am now playing a Napoleonic ruleset by the same author Darren Green, General Bonaparte meets Chain of Command (a name I suspect that will change when it comes out of playtest).

Somewhere along the way the blog title got changed to Wargaming in 28mm and sometimes smaller. This was to accommodate a foray into 15mm WWII wargaming that was pretty short-lived with a fairly complete DAK and 8th Army being sold off to Australia. I suppose I thought about changing the name back to Wargaming in 28mm, but then along came Chain of Command and my decision to go with 20mm figures.

The subject of my posts over the years have mirrored by transition from a painter to a wargamer. As time has gone by, I clearly have become less interested in painting and more interested in play testing rules especially Napoleonic rulesets. As you can see below these have been some of my most popular posts. This has been well illustrated by the fact that I have commissioned painters to paint a 15mm ACW Union army, 6mm British and French Napoleonic armies and most recently a 18mm AB Napoleonic force to replace my sold 28mm Napoleonic figures.

So what have people liked, well it looks like this:

Field of Glory Ruleset Review: Over 7500 hits, this was part one of a playtest review of this ruleset for grand tactical Napoleonic gaming from Slitherine. I never played it after, probably because I am less interested in grand tactical wargaming. I am not sure how successful this ruleset is, but there sure were a lot of hits.

A SAGA Warband from the Emirate of Seville: Over 5800 hits, I have never really understand why this was such a popular post but I can guess. To be clever, I originally used arabic calligraphy in the title. I suspect that the number of hits had nothing to do with wargamers, but more from government security agencies and wog-types looking to join up to sacrifice their worthless selves. Best to shut up I suppose, but I have noticed that I spend a lot of time on the internet browsing sites that offer reproduction Dane-Axes. Anyway re-writing the title in english seemed to stop the flow to this post.

Field of Glory Ruleset Review: Almost 2300 hits, part 2 of above.

Another Non-Wargaming Post!: Over 2100 hits, not sure why people are interested in holiday snaps, but this post chronicling myself and Jennifer's 2012 trip to Italy was quite popular.

La Haie Sainte: A Black Powder AAR: Almost 1200 hits. An AAR post using a series of hand written notes from the commanders to document the action with a linked playtest, this time of Warlord Game's Napoleonic ruleset Black Powder. This is not a bad ruleset and it actually does quite a good job of playing asymmetric games, as I found with this encounter and subsequently with a Hougoumont game. I find the mechanic though hard to remember and a bit boring.

I was going to stop at 5, but I noticed that the sixth most popular post was one dear to my heart:

Skraeling Warlord and who were the Skraelings anyway?: Over a 1000 hits, since I am a from The Rock, I am quite gratified to see this was quite popular.

Closely followed by the following all at 900 hits.

Well where to from now, I turn 60 this year, so lots of wargaming left yet! Less interested in painting though, so I suspect I will keep the commission painters busy. To celebrate this milestone, I will post some photos of my new 18mm AB army in my next post. My main non-gaming hobby focus is now terrain building, and hopefully I will have some posts of my two latest projects: Stalingrad and Jungle terrain for the Pacific and Far East WWII gaming.

And finally on to gaming, clearly I am a committed Lardie (adherent of Too Fat Lardies rulesets). These rulesets just stand above others in tactical complexity but simplistic mechanics. They truly live up to their motto "Play the period not the rules". I will continue to be deeply involved in Chain of Command and Dux Britanniarum, and will follow the Napoleonic derivative of CoC to it's conclusion. I am also quite excited about Sharp Practice 2 which is just about to be released. For non Lardite rulesets, I will probably continue SAGA and have a look at their new campaign supplement Age of the the Wolf and hope to have a go at Blucher for grand tactical Napoleonic wargaming using 6mm figures. Over the last 2-3 years, I have found that campaigning is much more fun than stand alone games.

14 April 2016

Attack on an Outpost: Pacific 1942

This has been a bit of a weird week for gaming, I had games hopefully lined up for today and this Saturday but they both fell through. My son happened to be home and when asked agreed to give my new 1941 Pacific troops ago. I still have 3 squads of USMC to paint as well as 2 squads of Japanese and some supports to do, but the leadership and 2 squads of each as well as some limited support were available so we said why not.

Still a lot of work to do on terrain as you can see below the board is pretty sparse for jungle but we did have enough to set down to block LOS and give cover. We decided to play scenario 6 with the USMC attacking a Japanese jungle outpost.
You can see the Japanese outpost to the left foreground. 
Patrol phase, it is only my son's 2nd game, he still finds this a bit of a puzzle. He played the USMC and I played the Japanese. He diced 9 on supports so got 11 supports (2 point differential between Platoon Force Rating) so I ended up getting 5 points of supports. We both had a starting Morale of 9. Simon took a Mortar team, 50cal HMG, Bazooka and a Corpsman. I took a MMG and 1 entrenchment.
Japanese JOP's
Japanese Squad and MMG.
I get a double 6 and decide to attack.
The positions of the troops and their movements through out the game.
Final Combat, the USMC were routed.
We got in maybe 12-14 phases in 1 turn with 3-4 double 6's on each side and 2 CoC Dice each, so there was lots of play. I was a little luckier with my dice and was able to beat Simon's FM down to 4 so he withdrew, it took about 60 minutes so a nice little game. Time to work on more terrain.