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.)