Saturday, May 30, 2015

New Army Plans and New Figures

      Right before going camping last weekend, I had got the 3 Neil Thomas wargames books I had ordered. The long weekend of camping gave me time to go through the books. While I am not necessarily going to use the rules, his army lists are going to be of big use. With the different war-game rules I use, such as BATTLE CRY, C&C; NAPOLEONICS, BATTLELORE, and MEMOIR OF BATTLE, his 8 unit armies are just right for these games. With 4 man infantry units, 3 man cavalry units, and 1 gun with 2 men crews, using his army lists it would only take 34 figures to make a ECW Royalist Army, and the New Model Army would take 43 figures. Of course not all the figures would be used but that many figures are not beyond my painting skills.

   I received my new rubber for making molds. After some thought I decided that the first mold would be Minifigs 1st generation woodland Indian and Hessian grenadier. I tried some new ideas making the mold, which I think made better figures.
Two samples from the new mold. Only one figure went back into the pot. Hopefully the new method will work as well with Peter Laing figures.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Shiak-Brookshire War: Ambush at Needmore

     General Gillingham and the Brookshire Army quickly regrouped after their defeat at Edgewood Crossing. The army reached Needmore. The town itself was too small to provide for the army. Gillingham kept three of the units with the least causalities and ordered the rest to press on to Grafton, the next town on the turnpike. Besides the three infantry units at Needmore, there was another artillery battery which was moving forward to join Gillinghams' command. With this force he would use them as an "Army of Observation" to watch the Shiak army.
    Gillingham was expecting the Shiak Army to retreat, as it had done in the past. He was sadly mistaken. After resting for a day, scouts reported that the Shiak Army was on the move and heading towards Needmore.  As the sun sat that day, the Shiak Army started forming before Needmore.  General Gillingham sent a courier to Grafton with the order for the rest of the army to return to Needmore. However, General Loring had his cavalry scouring the countryside, and captured the rider.   The Shiak Army, instead of attacking right away, went into encampment. General Loring wanted his troops fresh for the battle and now, with the captured rider, knew he wasn't facing the whole army.
     It became apparent to Gillingham that his messenger didn't get through that night. He decided to launch an attack before the Shiak army could launch theirs.

The Brookshire infantry worked their way through the woods on the Shiak left flank. The artillery stayed in Needmore to support the attack. Early the next morning as the Shiak Army was forming up for the assault on Needmore, the Brookshire Army attacked.

The attack went well at first, causing one unit to retreat and hitting one battery.

The assault continued roll up the Shiak left.

The leftmost Shiak unit was destroyed.

Things were looking good for the Brookshire army.

However, General Loring rallied his troops and managed to blunt the attack.

The Shiak army now formed a battle line, and started to cause heavy losses to the Brookshire forces.

The Shiak army now started to counter attack.

The Brookshire losses continued to mount. The tide of battle changed.

The Shiak attack won the day; Needmore fell to the Shiak army and General Gillingham almost became a prisoner.

This game I tried to use stay with Neil Thomas' scenario. The Shiak army couldn't respond until the third turn. The scenario was from ONE HOUR WARGAMES: Scenario 22: Ambush.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Attention Span of a Goldfish

     On my job I spend a good part of the day driving by myself. I therefore listen to a lot of talk radio. This week one show mentioned that scientists believe that the average American, with all our technology, have less of an attention span of a goldfish; the goldfish having an attention span of 9 seconds as opposed to the average American attention span of 8 seconds. Why do I bring this up? My Austrian Army stands almost completed; I have started yet another project! No, not making molds or basing armies for ONE HOUR WARGAMES.  I have started sorting figures for a possible English Civil War war-game.  I recently received my copy of Neil Thomas' WARGAMES: AN INTRODUCTION and find myself thinking of a Pike and Shot war-game. However, besides the ECW,  Mr. Thomas gives the make up of several different Pike & Shot armies.  What's more, Ross Macfarlane gave me a sizable collection of Peter Laing Renaissance figures. However, my knowledge  of Renaissance armies is almost non existent.
     I had found myself laughing at the scientists; as mentioned above I now believe they are on to something. This is a three day weekend for me. My wife and I are going camping. Hopefully I can figure what I want to do next.  I fought a war-game last weekend (the second of my mini campaign); perhaps when we come back Monday I can get a report on the game done.

The start of the newest war-game.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Preparing for the Next Batch of Molds

     This week the new order of rubber came in for molds. Now comes the hard part; deciding which figures to mold. I have a drawer set aside in which I put figures that are high on my mold making list. While most people would concentrate on making figures for the most current project, I find myself thinking of figures that I only have one copy. Below are 4 figures that are strong contenders for the first mold.
Minifigs Prussian Grenadier, Highland grenadier, woodland indian, and Peter Laing naval officer ( who could also pass for a thin Napoleon).

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

New Projects Considered

     The last few days I've been doing some work on my Austrian Army. I've got 4 infantry units and 2 cavalry units just about finished. I plan to cast some more infantry figures in the next couple of days. After finishing the infantry figures, they were put aside in a group.  They looked pretty impressive  in a group. It started me thinking of maybe making based armies with 12 man infantry regiments, 9 man cavalry regiments, and batteries with a gun and 4 man crews. In the last week I have bought 2 lots of 1st generation Minifigs French cavalry, enough for several regiments if based as mentioned above. I also came across several packages of Empire Miniatures French infantry still in their original packs, along with one of Austrian grenadiers. Each pack has 24 figures in them.  Of course, it would be hard to open those packages after all these years. However, I also have several hundred Heritage Napoleonettes that could be used to form the armies.

   I also have been rethinking my "battlefield". While the foam works ok, it tends to separate during the games. I think I will go back to a board, and try using tape for roads and rivers as other people do.

   I have received my first new Neil Thomas book, WARGAMING:AN INTRODUCTION.  Just looking through it, the book will be of value just based on his suggestions  for different army makeups. It's a shame he skipped several periods of time as far as the armies are concerned; however, perhaps he plans more detailed books to cover those periods (such as horse & musket 18th century).

My home cast Austrian Army. One cavalry unit is actually painted with late 19th-early 20th century uniforms; however, I like those uniforms and it is my army, so....

One of the unopened packs mentioned. This pack includes the command figures, so this would be an ideal set to base.

This is a pack of French skirmishers, again with command figures.

Here is the pack of Austrian grenadiers; again with command.

This pack is just of 24 infantry advancing.

I have also placed an order for new rubber for mold making. While I have a few figures already planned for molding,  if this project proceeds, my current plans might change.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Shiak- Brookshire War: Battle of Edgewood Crossing

     I decided to fight a mini campaign using my newly painted Peter Laing Zouaves and Confederates. I picked out three scenarios from ONE HOUR WARGAMES and will built the narrative around the results of the battles.

      The Shiak invasion of Brookshire has been a dismal failure. All along the border the Shiak army has been turned back. Another army is being raised by General Loring, a young lion of a soldier. Now Loring thinks part of the problem is the uniforms the army wears. They are bland and does nothing for the spirit of the troops. And so he orders new uniforms for his infantry units. Each uniform stands out from the rest.  His army has 5 infantry units, 2 artillery batteries and 2 cavalry units.

    General Lorings' first goal is to seize the strategic crossroad at Edgewood Crossing. Here two turnpikes meet; one linking Shiak to Brookshire, the other runs parallel to the border. His cavalry scouts tells him that there is a battery of artillery, supported by 2 infantry units. This force is drawn up between heavy woods on one side, and a small lake on the other.  He plans to advance up the road before more Brookshire units can come up.

    General Gillingham of the Brookshire army is guarding this district. He has 5 infantry units, 2 light infantry units, and 2 batteries. Without cavalry, he is unaware that the Shiak army is so close.

The Shiak advance guard starts down the road.

The Shiak army starts deploying on both sides of the road. They suffer hits from the artillery, but manage to hit the battery with long range rifle fire. A Brookshire light infantry unit moves into the woods.

The Shiak infantry charges into the mouth of the gun....

...but is forced to retreat. Meanwhile, the light infantry in the woods is hitting the Shiak artillery with long range fire.

Three more units of Brookshire troops arrive on the field. The original force is still holding their own, even forcing back more Shiak units.

Another Shiak unit comes up to relieve the hard pressed infantry on the road.  This unit overruns the gun. Meanwhile, the Shiak battery on the right has hit the Brookshire infantry hard, and an infantry unit starts chasing them. On the far left, another Shiak unit has entered the woods trying to outflank the light infantry.

The Brookshire infantry in front of the artillery manage to pick off the rest of the gunners, the other Brookshire battery  hits the infantry  that captured the other battery, and the rightmost infantry unit of Shiak breaks and runs.

The Shiak infantry in the woods start clearing the woods and the cavalry charges the infantry in front of it, giving the battered infantry time to regroup. The artillery battery by the lake manages to score a hit on the infantry to it's front. 

The Shiak infantry on the road storms the battery in front of it and carries the gun. The Brookshire army is at it's breaking point...

...but three fresh Brookshire infantry units arrives to save the day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Starting a New Project

      One benefit of being a slow reader is when you find a good book you can savor reading it. I still haven't finished reading Neil Thomas' WARGAMING 19th CENTURY EUROPE.  I find myself rereading different sections for inspiration.  Some of the figures I took on vacation were some home cast APW Austrian infantry. The figures would make good ACW militia from the start of the war. After reading some of the scenarios in Mr. Thomas' book, I decided to cast some more of the figures to make a Austrian themed army.

   Today after work I figured I had an hour to do some casting.  While waiting for the metal to melt, I spent time organizing the molds I have made. After 20 minutes the metal still hadn't melted; I had forgot to plug in my melting pot! However, once I got going, I had a very productive session. Only 3 infantry figures went back into the pot. Most of the figures needed minimal work to clean them up. I also cast 6 Austrian dragoon figures. I almost have enough figures for a war-game army using Bob Corderys' Memoir of Battle rules.
The finished product.

The infantry figures. Two figures were too badly cast to be of use.

The 6 dragoon figures. The sword arms on them weren't completely formed.  However for my use they will work.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

New Peter Laing Units Formed

     Donna and I have just gotten back from camping this week. Our original plans were changed due to the fact our dog has taken ill and she needed daily IV treatments, which I had to give her. So instead of New York and temperatures in the mid 60s, we settled for a campsite 20 miles away and days in the 40s. Molly came along this trip and the fresh air seemed to do her good.

 However, I did bring some Peter Laing figures with the goal of getting them painted. With the nights dropping into the high  30s, we spent a lot of time in the camper, giving me time to get the figures painted. They include 5 units of Civil War Zouaves, 5 units of Confederate infantry and 2 units of Confederate cavalry ( these will represent Shiak and Brookshire forces in the ongoing war between those two countries.
Civil War Zouaves gives one many uniforms to pick from. Of course I tried to keep a few to be used with the French Army, too.

The Confederate cavalry uniforms.

The Confederate infantry. It is hard to see but three of the figures have different facing. The officer is a home cast figure.

I also brought along Neil Thomas'  WARGAMING NINETEENTH CENTURY EUROPE 1815-1878.  I have tried to read this book in the past but couldn't get into it. This time I started just by reading the scenarios, then the army lists. I then started reading the battle descriptions. At this point I was hooked and went back to the beginning.  I have been enjoying this book so much I ordered three other wargaming books written by Mr. Thomas.  This book also has me wanting to cast some of the APW Austrian infantry that I made a mold of and have them fight my PL French.