Friday, December 25, 2009

A Hippopotamus for Chrsitmas

I haven't been totally idle on the gaming front, but I don't have anything finished to show yet. I've been working on another bridge and a building, prepping minis for painting, doing some preliminary painting, etc.

Just to show off some of my Christmas goodies: A hippo from Foundry. I bought this and some other animals which will make appearances here as they get painted. I've always included some animals in my miniature collections. Way back when I was in my teens (and even before) buying the Airfix plastic sets, I remember having the Tarzan set with several animals.
And a new table to take the place of my old card tables for gaming. This is a very sturdy (and Heavy!) table that collapses down as you see it here. In this state the tabletop measures 20 by 40 inches. By pulling out one side and flipping over the top it can be expanded out to 40x40,. Pull it further apart and add 1 or 2 drop leaves and it can be expanded further to 40x56 or 40x72. The "drawers are just decorative, not functional. It would've been nice if the width was 48 indtead of 40, but even as is I think it makes a good gaming table. (Now I just need to "break it in".)

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Troops from Grand Thidwick

Introducing the 3rd Glossopshire Croats, commanded by Col. Bourneville Smythe-Basset. The standard bearer of this unit and other recent units to receive flags later, once I have a few units that need flags.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Troops

Introducing the Pandours San Serif, commanded by Colonel Cliché. Sharp-eyed readers may notice their similarity to the Paprikash Pandour Grenadiers, the main differences being the style of hat and the white cuffs vs. the yellow cuffs of the grenadiers.

I seem to be accumulating a fair number of excess officers and NCOs. They're too full of character to not paint and use, but I don't have troops for all of them at this point. They're too martial for diplomatic service or other duties. I think I'll just have to find more recruits to serve under all of those fine officers.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Battle of Potzenpanz - illustrated

The Soweiter League's main force arrives, spread across the battlefront.

The Main force of the Batrachian army appears to the south, concentrating on the town of Poztenpanz and Potzie's farm.

Both forces advance on their objectives.

To the west the balance of the Soweiter League forces make their way through the village of Potzdorf.

Battle commences in the east.

The Jingleheimer-Schwartz Dragoons spot the Wild Goose Chasseurs.

The fighting continues in the east.

The Jingelheimer-Schwartz Dragoons and Wild Goose Chasseurs charge each other.

Things have not gone well for the Batrachians.

The Mayeux Musketeers and Ballyfoole Light Artillery reach the hill to the southwest of Potzenpanz.

Fighting continues.

The Mayeux Musketeers capture the Batrachian gun, while the rest of the Soweiter forces push the Batrachains out of Potzenpanz and Potzie's farm.

The Cuirassiers Royale finish off the Hasenpfeffer-Heisenberg Hussars, but by this time the battle is lost. Time to withdraw and leave the battlefield to the Soweiter League's forces.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Battle of Potzenpanz - day 2

Main forces

Soweiter League:
General von Bluster of Hesse-Offenbach
Ober-Umlaut Untersee Horse Marines, Col. von Oberwasser
Jingleheimer-Schwartz Dragoons, Col. Jingleheimer
Ballyfoole Grenadiers, Col. Kelly
Mayeux Musketeers, Col.D'Artagnan
Jingleheimer-Schwartz Musketeers, Col. Schwartzenberger
Saxe-Urquhart Highlanders 2 (aka the Soforth Highlanders), Col. MacHardy
Ballyfoole Light Artillery, Capt. O'Leary

Batrachian Empire:
General de Siécle
Cuirassiers Royale, Col. Descarte
Wild Goose Chasseurs, Col. de Foie-Gras
Paprikash Grenadiers, Col. Paprikash
King's Musketeers, Col. Truffault
Musketeers de Limbourg, Col. Fromage
Pandours du Pinque, Col. Clouseau
Bombardy Royal Artillery, battery 1, Capt. Soufflé

The battle plans for day one were based on simple die rolls to see which of the three main objectives each advance party would try to take. I assumed each force was small enough they wouldn't split up, so I rolled 1D6, giving each objective an equal chance. As it turned out both forces aimed to take Potzie's Farm.

Before even rolling for that though I came up with some options for the Batrachian main force, based on which objective they went for on the first day - this was set up even before I knew what the objective for day one was. As it turned out the result for day 2 was the Batrachians tried to keep their forces fairly concentrated on two objectives, the farm and the town of Potzenpanz.

I also diced for each unit of the Soweiter League's main force to see where they entered. I gave them an equal chance for each objective. The result was more of a split between all 3 objectives. The only change I made to the dispositionsafter rolling was to swap the Mayeux Musketeers and the 2nd unit of Saxe-Urquhart Highlanders, so the Highlanders could go in to support their fellows.

Start of day 2

The center units of the Soweiter forces managed to occupy 2 buildings in Potzenpanz, while the right wing (to the west) composed of the Mayeux Musketeers, the Jingleheimer-Schwartz Dragoons and the Ballyfoole Light Artillery headed for the village of Potzdorf. And on the left wing 2nd unit of Highlanders marched in to support their fellow Scots at Potzie's Farm.

Meanwhile on the Batrachian right the Musketeers de Limbourg marched in to add their weight to the Queen's Musketeers in attempting to take the farm. The Cuirassiers Royale, with the remnants of the Poupon Dragoons, rode forward to face off against the Hasenpfeffer-Heisenberg Hussars. And the rest of the Batrachian forces headed for Potzenpanz. The Pandours du Pinque occupy one building.

Day 2, mid-morning

Heavy fighting occured between the infantry at the barn, with the balance swinging back and forth through much of the battle. The cavalry on that wing also struggled for quite a while. In Potzenpanz itself hoouse-to-house fighting took a heavy toll, especially on the Batrachians who tried to take the initiative and push the Soweiter forces from the town. And in the west the Soweiter forces finding no opposition in Potzdorf swing around and head for Potzenpanz from the southwest.

Day 2, late morning

The Wild Goose Chasseurs and the Jingleheimer-Schwartz Dragoons battled it out just south of Potzenpanz, while the Mayeux Musketeers and the Ballyfoole Light Artillery followed up. The Artillery took up a postion on the hill southwest of Potzenpanz and the Mayeux Musketeers pressed forward. While this is going on the Bombardy Artillery Battery 1 unlimbered and prepared to fire at any targets that present themselves from the southwest.

The fighting in Potzenpanz has been furious. The Paprikash Grenadiers try to storm the building occupied by the Ballyfoole Grenadiers, but take heavy casualties and depart the field. The King's musketeers also fail to take the building occupied by the Jingleheimer-Schwartz Musketeers, and so pull back into join the remaining Pandours du Pinque in the third building.

Day 2, mid day

The infantry around the farm continued to fight for control. The Batrachians managed to force Saxe-Urquhart Highlanders (SH1) into retreating, but their place was taken up by Soforth Highlanders (SH2). The heavy fighting took it's toll on the Batrachians, too, eliminating the Queen's Musketeers and forcing the Musketeers de Limbourg to fall back. General Soleau kept this from being a full scale rout, pulling the retreating forces together. Then, along with the Bombardy Artillery battery 2 they made an ordered withdrawal.

The Jingleheimer-Schwartz Dragoons eliminated the Wild Goose Chasseurs, but in turn were wiped out by the Bombardy Artillery battery 1. The artillery was in turn overrun by the Mayeux Musketeers.

In Potzenpanz the remaining Soweiter infantry forced the Batrachians out of their building, with the much reduced Batrachians fleeing the town. At this point it was unclear what the fate of General de Siécle was as he was in the thick of the fighting.

Day 2, Afternoon

To the east the cavalry melee between the Cuirassiers Royale and the Hasenpfeffer-Heisenberg Hussars finally resulted in the Hussars being eliminated from the field of battle. But by that time the Cuirassiers realize the rest of the Batrachian army has been eliminated or forced to retreat.

Bowing to the better part of valor the Cuirassiers made an ordered withdrawal and departed the field of battle.
Day 2, late afternoon

Final result: another defeat for the Batrachians, the Soweiter League holds the town of Potzenpanz and Poztie's Farm, the Batrachians have departed, and the fate of General de Siécle is unknown...

(pictures to follow in a later post)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Battle of Potzenpanz - day 1

(Based on the Tabletop Teaser in Battlegames 19)

The bucolic tranquility of the Potzenthal is stirred up a bit as some time after midday advance parties of the armies of the Soweiter League and the Batrachian Empire face off against one another on the hills overlooking the valley. Each force consists of a single regiment of cavalry, one infantry regiment and one cannon.

Soweiter League:
General Louis-Louis Milieu of Mayeux
Heisenberg-Hasenpfeffer Hussars, Col. Oddkugel
The 86th Saxe-Urquhart Highlanders, Col. Stanley MacLaurel
The Offenbach Artillery, Capt. Pachelbel

Batrachian Empire:
General Napoleon Soleau
The Poupon Dragoons, Col. Moutarde
The Queen's Musketeers, 1st Regiment, Col. Dormez-vous
The Bombardy Royal Artillery, battery 2, Capt. Bombardieu

Map of initial dispositions:

Both forces converge on Potzie's farm to the east of the town of Potzenpanz, attempting to gain a foothold in a defensible position before the arrival of the main forces.

The Highlanders march in quickly and occupy the barn, while the Hussars and artillery hold the hill just northwest of the farm. Meanwhile the Queen's Musketeers enter the walled-in field just south of the road, stirring up the livestock there. At the same time the Poupon Dragoons surge forward and the Batrachian artillery comes up to support the Queen's Musketeers.

The Offenbach artillery unlimbers and fires off a devastating volley at the Poupon Dragoons. The Dragoons decide discretion is the better part of valor and beat a hasty retreat back to the hill south of the walled field.

Following this action the infantry on both sides let loose with a couple of volleys, but both sides being protected by walls and barn only minimal casualities result. The artillery on both sides also exchange fire, with even less effect.

As it is now getting a little dark for continued fighting the Batrachians pull back out of musket range to settle down for the night. The Highlanders bed down in and around the barn. The cavalry and artillery do likewise on their respective hilltops - the Poupon Dragoons having recovered from their retreat.

Map of positions as night falls:

The main forces of both armies are expected to arrive in the morning.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

End of an Era

Following General D'Zastre's abysmal performance in the invasion of the Soweiter League, especially his less than stellar actions at the recent battle of Sachertortenwald, the general has been recalled to the Batrachian court. His replacement is an old soldier and hero of the War of the Boar and the French Onion War, General Fin de Siècle. General de Siècle is well-liked by the common troops and seen as a down-to-earth soldier. On the other hand his recall from retirement and promotion to commander-in-chief of the Batrachian Army in the Soweiter theatre is not sitting well with some of the younger generals. It especially rankles with General Napoleon Soleau, who expected to be appointed to command the invasion after the abrupt departure of General D'Zastre. General Soleau, while honoring the general for past service to the empire, sees the general as well past his prime ("the old man should've stayed in his estates enjoying his quiet life in the country").
General de Siècle arrives with reinforcements, the Pandour Grenadiers de Blasè, commanded by Colonel Boldizsar Paprikash, formerly of the Bossanovan army (Colonel Paprikash had to flee from Bossanova after being suspected of honorable dealings with enemies and underlings). Also commonly known as the Paprikash Grenadiers.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rhinos and Remounts

More acquisitions for the Soweiter League's National Zoological Garden, mother and baby white rhinos.
Remounted cavalry on the new bases. Still more in progress.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tricornes and Laurel and Hardy

I had been looking for a dvd replacement for my vcr tape of Bonnie Scotland, one of my favorite Laurel and Hardy movies. An excellent comedy and parody of Colonial movies of the Northwest frontier. I found a dvd set that had that movie (as well as extras I haven't looked at yet), plus another movie called The Devil's Brother, which I had not seen before. I watched The Devil's Brother this afternoon. It's based on a light opera called Fra Diavolo, and is about a bandit in northern Italy in the tricorne era. There are some great Laurel and Hardy comedy bits, as well as the main story about the bandit, and soldiers in tricornes. Black and white, of course, so not much chance of getting uniform color ideas. ha ha

I have been playing around with ideas to rebase my cavalry. I had been using large fender washers, but to get a large enough base to fit the length the width is wider than it needs to be. I experimented with a few options until I hit on an idea to glue 2 of the same washers I use for my infantry figures to a piece of plasticard. It's fairly thin card, so it's easy to cut with scissors. So after gluing 2 washers to the plastic I cut the sides straight with a razor saw (makes it easy to keep the cut straight, just push the saw blade right up against the 2 washers) and then use scissors to cut around the curve of the washers on the ends, ending up with an oblong base. I then sand off the rough edges. I can fairly quickly crank out several bases with a consistent size. With the washers they will stick to the magnetic movement trays. So I'll be rebasing my cavalry in the next few days or so. Command figures will probably still go on the large fender washers, which also helps them stand out from the rank and file cavalry on oblong bases.

Edited: On the left you see the washers glued to the black plasticcard. In the center, how it looks after trimming and adding a horse. On the right is a cavalry figure mounted on one of the fender washers I had been using. As you can see, the new basing gives me more length for the figures, while taking up less width. This gives me uniform bases with enough length for the Foundry horses most of my cavalry figures are riding (some have short bases, some long, depending on their stance)

I have been using greenstuff to fix the minis to the bases, washer side up, but there's no reason you couldn't glue it the other way around. The greenstuff isn't necessary for this, but I like to use it to hide the join between the bases and the mini's own base. For this I use old greenstuff that is getting old and a bit lumpy and not as useful for finer sculpting (I don't sculpt often so I end up with plenty of greenstuff like this for these purposes).
Of course, you could glue the minis to the bases and use whatever base-enhancing techniques you like.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Battle of Sachertortenwald - the battle report

with maps...
Batrachian forces, commanded by General D'Zastre
The King's Musketeers
The Queen's Musketeers
Musketeers de Limbourg
King's Grenadiers (or Grenadiers du Leroy)
Cuirassiers Royale
Poupon Dragoons
Chasseurs de la Moutarde (light infantry)
Royal Artillery

Soweiter League forces, commanded by General Milieu
Saxe-Urquhart 86th Highlanders
Ballyfoole Grenadiers
Mayeux Musketeers
Jägers zu Pfeffernüsse
Offenbach Artillery

The morning starts out with the Soweiter League's infantry and artillery encamped on the edge of the Sachertortenwald Forest, while their cavalry is off somewhere foraging. Alarms ring out as Soweiter sentries spot Batrachian forces approaching on the road to the west, winding through some hills. At the same time the Batrachians realize their intended route through the forest is blocked by enemy forces. The Batrachians are unsure of their location, but do know they need to head east through the forest to link up with other Batrachian forces. Not expecting to encounter any enemy forces they are a bit strung out on the road. Both sides are surprised to encounter sizable enemy forces here.

The Cuirassiers halt to allow the King's Musketeers to get into line, soon to be followed by the Queen's Musketeers also deploying into line. The Grenadiers come up quickly in road column. Meanwhile the Soweiter forces organize into line for defense. The Highlanders placing themselves across the road. The Mayeux Musketeers, Offenbach artillery and Ballyfoole Grenadiers prepare to occupy the large hill closest to the forest.
The Batrachian infantry get into line formation ready for pressing forward, while the Cuirassiers begin their advance up the road. As they proceed they come under heavy fire from the Offenbach cannon on the hill. At the same time the King's Musketeers and Musketeers de Limbourg north of the road and the Queen's Musketeers and King's Grenadiers south of the road begin to advance as well. The light infantry joins the advance, proceeding through the woods to the south. Meanwhile the Batrachian artillery follows up on the road behind the main advance and the Poupon Dragoons come up along side the artillery.
As the morning wears on the much-reduced Cuirassiers approach the Highlanders and sound the charge, ploughing into the Highlanders. The Highlanders manage to hold their own, driving off or wiping out the Cuirassiers.
At about the same time the Queen's Musketeers, after taking heavy fire from the Mayeux Musketeers and Offenbach cannon, decide they've had enough and flee back down the road westwards.
Next it's the King's Musketeers turn to charge the Highlanders, killing many and routing the rest. But the Highlanders, accompanied by General Milieu, manage to recover and take up a position on the road just inside the forest. The Mayeux Musketeers start to withdraw from the hill back towards the forest.
The King's Grenadiers approach the hill, taking a hit from the Offenbach artillery, which then joins the Mayeux Musketeers in withdrawing off the hill. The Ballyfoole Grenadiers get another hit on the King's Grenadiers. In spite of casualties the King's Grenadiers still manage to gain the hilltop.
At this point the Batrachian line infantry and cavalry seem to halt their advance and the only movement is the artillery unlimbering on the road, and the tail end of the Queen's Musketeers disappearing down the road. The Chasseurs de la Moutarde (light infantry) have been approaching through the southern woods and have now come out into the open. Thus exposed they take heavy fire from the Ballyfoole Grenadiers and are effectively removed from the battle.

The Ballyfoole Grenadiers now pull back off the hill to join the balance of the Soweiter forces preparing to defend just inside the forest.
A flurry of firing proceeds all around, with the result of some casualties among the King's Grenadiers. The Poupon Dragoons reach the forest and attempt to engage the light infantry there. The infantry manages to evade (I allowed them to evade and pull back if they rolled a 6 on 1D6).
The King's Grenadiers and Batrachian artillery inflict a few casualties on the Mayeux Musketeers and Ballyfoole Grenadiers. The Poupon Dragoons melee with the Highlanders, but the Highlanders come out ahead.
The King's Grenadiers inflict more hits on the Ballyfoole Grenadiers and then charge into them. At the same time the Batrachian artillery inflicts more hits on the Mayeux Musketeers. The King's Musketeers proceed up the road into the forest, hitting the Highlanders in the flank (and inflict no casualties!). The Musketeers de Limbourg follow up into the gap to take on the Mayeux Musketeers.
The Ballyfoole Grenadiers finish off the King's Grenadiers and General D'Zastre runs away down the road to the west.
The Musketeers de Limbourg stand and fire at the Mayeux Musketeers, finishing them off. The Highlanders finally succumb to the combined onslaught of the Poupon Dragoons and the King's Musketeers.
The remaining Batrachian forces begin moving up the road, heading east into the forest and away from the scene of battle. The Soweiter light infantry get one last hit against the King's Musketeers.

Thus the battle ends, with some of the Batrachian forces destroyed, others fled back down the road to the west and a few marching off through the forest heading eastwards. Unfortunately they didn't get as many through as they needed to. Another victory for the Soweiter League.
Where is General D'Zastre? What will become of him now, following yet another defeat?

For this battle I used a set of simple rules based on the SHAM rules (Steve's Horse and Musket rules). These are very simple rules, but do cause some units to fail to move occasionally, among other battle "effects". I played it out bit by bit over the course of several evenings, so I'm not sure of the actual playing time. The scenario is "Making the Best of a Bad job" from Scenarios for All Ages. It seemed like a suitable scenario to follow on from previous battles, and I had enough troops and terrain to play it. The camp shown in the photos was not needed, just an added touch for the prelude to battle and a fun little project to put together.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Battle of Sachertortenwald

Artist's renditions of the battle. Battle report with maps and more details to follow in a later post.

The morning finds the Soweiter League's infantry and artillery encamped upon the edge of the Sachertortenwald. (I made the tents with some white plasticard I had lying around, covering with white cloth, painted a cream color. I'm not too "crazy" about the tents. I'll probably try making different ones one of these days.)
The Batrachian forces start to come into view, with the Cuirassiers Royale in the lead, closely followed by the King's Musketeers, and the alarm is raised. The Soweiter forces quickly deploy to fend off the enemy.
More Batrachian forces appear.
The Soweiter forces have deployed into line and march towards the closest hill to prepare their first line of defense.
The Cuirassiers halt to allow the infantry to deploy for battle before proceeding any further up the road.
The Batrachian forces start coming together and arraying for battle.
The Soweiter forces gain the hill.
The Batrachiansm now arrayed for battle, begin their approach.
The battle commences.And continues...
And continues, as the Soweiter forces are pushed back...
And rages on...
And continues (with some undesriable consequences for certain parties)...
Some Batrachian forces near their objective (as noted in a previous report the Batrachians must exit the better part of their forces off the road through the forest to the east), but is it enough?
Leaving a depleted Soweiter army in their wake.

(This action was fought on 2 card tables butted together with an old paper-backed style GW battlemat thrown on top. I reduced the sie of each line infantry unit to 12 figures rather than the full 16 I have painted, and the other forces reduced similarly. This worked just fine as the rules I was using work on the basis of stands, where each infantry unit is usually 4 stands. Thus I removed 3 minis each time a "stand" was lost. I may even try reducing things further to make each infantry unit only 8 minis - then I can treat each of my 16 figure units as battalions with 2 regiments. Far from cool and epic spectacle of "big battalions", but for a solo gamer like me with limited space and a slow painter it seems a workable solution.)