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Saturday, 26 December 2015

The boxing day gallop... Huzzah

                          Well here I sit feeling guiltily stuffed with xmas goodies and very little to show for the last couple of weeks. Apart from a quick visit to the new star wars film and some long walks along the beach in our balmy winter here I have achieved very little on wargaming front. I am planning a three table Blucher extravaganza in February but thats another story altogether. So all there is to see is a unit of 6mm MDF French hussars and some of those beautiful TBM buildings in a scenic setting.  Hope you like them.

       First up a quick shot of the hussars with the chateau of Ligny . Really nice building.

For the hussars I used a mix of hussars with sheepskin and for the officers hussars with pointed shabraque. I added leopardskins for the colonels etc.

Out of interest I came in quite close to these to show the painted detail. I'm pleased with the results.

 These TBM waterloo buildings really are outstanding. I love the reduced footprint. With this batch I carved off the moulded hedges etc and added greenery from woodland scenics. I really like these.

                   On Xmas eve I received a new batch of figures from Commision Figurines that have really excited me. Bicorn infantry in greatcoats with backpacks with shouldered muskets that are just great. Light cavalry with tarleton helmets and British horse artillery in tarleton. He really is getting good at producing this stuff. painted figures will appear as I have time to do them.

Friday, 4 December 2015

More boys for the archduke...

              I realise I have been a bit quiet for the last few days but as I said in an earlier post I needed a break from the conversions and research etc. I decided to concentrate on some basic Infantry brigades for the Austrians. After a steady week long plod I have another division ready for the fray.
              Once again all the figures are 6mm from Commision Figurines in MDF. The more I work with these figures , the more I like them. They have a toy soldier quality that really appeals to me. I guess I also love how easy they are to paint. I now have enough basic infantry divisions. divisions for 3 of the 1809 army corps. Think I'll go for one more heheheh..
               Ok enough rambling here are a few photos displaying the brigades in all their glory and a couple showing how our insert system works for Blucher. It is proving a very comfortable way to play the game. All three brigades are shown with attached artillery batteries.

I used all the latest ideas on these bases including a mounted officer, more than one flag some conversions to officers etc etc. They also have the new style bases with smaller labels. I think they are a great improvement on previous efforts.

                            We have played a good few games now with the new dice and insert system and it certainly speeds up play and makes remembering traits etc much easier. Below are a couple of pictures demonstrating how the insert and labelling system works.

The tickets are backed with steel paper from Coritani magnetic displays. We have tickets reproducing various formations and simply replace them for the units we want to use. If you look at the labels you can see that most of the info is excess baggage but I like having it and think it all adds to the atmosphere if you have brigade names etc to quote in AAR's  The dice have been a great addition. and certainly reduce the need to hunt for a china-graph after every casualty heheh
This photo demonstrates the flexibility of the insert system. The previous photos show the brigades with an artillery battery attached. This one shows the brigade with either the battery removed or lost in combat. You simply remove the battery and insert a blank. They could also be skirmishers or attached cavalry squadrons or even a divisional commander or corps commander. Very pleased with this.

                           I have actually run out of Austrian figures to paint so maybe I'll do  few French cavalry units next! Come on posty gimee my next order hahahahah.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Massena's Germans.

                       The army of Germany 1809 continues to grow. I have just completed the blucher version of Massenas German brigades. mainly the field army of Baden and Hesse and the combined cavalry brigade. All of course in 6mm MDF.

It consists of two brigades from Baden on the left of the picture , two brigades of Hessians to the right At the rear is the combined Baden and Hessian cavalry brigade.  They make a colourful addition to the French options.
 One choice I did make here was to add quite a few standards to each base accentuating the national differences.  The cavalry at the rear are all conversions all of them having had head swaps.
 The Baden infantry seen here are the basic helmeted infantry figure with few changes. I modelled both the foot artiullry in Bicorne and the Horse artillery in helmets shown here as attached batteries. 
The infantry are the bicorn infantry but as they are not yet available with backpacks which were issued to the Hessians in 1808, I decided to convert some. Long job and not one I would like to repeat. However I do like the end result.

I think I need a break from conversions etc and will spend a few days producing out of the box French and Austrian brigades.

Monday, 9 November 2015

A highly des. res.

                 I have always been a fan of Total battle miniatures range of 6mm buildings but in particular I really LOVE the Waterloo range of reduced footprint buildings. Now as I have said on many occasions I am absolute shite at painting them. Fortunately I have some highly skilled friends who have painted them for me. I do however enjoy placing them in a good setting and mount them on terrain boards to slip onto the playing area. Last night I finished painting the chateau of Ligny. I hope folks like it. Although an advocate of cheap alternative figures I have no inhibitions about spending a lot of time and cash on the setting they game in.

 Now I hope folks like it because I think its one of the finest commercial six mm building models I have ever seen and can't wait to get it into a game.


                                    I have a number of this range ready for basing and indeed some have already been posted a few months back. They work not only with 6mm but look great alongside my 10mm imagination troop`s as well. I particularly love the period feel they have.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

some loose ends

               Needing a break from painting the Bavarians, I decided to tidy up some loose ends.

                                    First off I used the last of my TBM painted buildings to produce a BUA i could use for anything from a well heeled village to a city block. The quality of the buildings would look fine in a town or city and with a few hedgerows etc easily translate into a country side location.

This will fit particularly well with the 10mm imagination stuff. I'm now convinced that 6mm terrain works better with 10mm figures than the "correct" scale stuff.


  I have also been aware for a while that I was  Blucher base short of Austrian grenadiers. Now these are a bit of a pain because the converged units need to have various facing colours on a single base. Normally this wouldn't bother me but with the patches on bearskins the colours leap out at you.

I continue to mount the figures on metal 40x20 bases. I do like the large diorama style bases many gamers are using but I really don't want to lose the flexibility of small bases and sabots. I still have a desire for divisional level games with 6mm figures.

Trying to move towards a diorama look I decided to add a mounted officer to one of the elements. I think it helps.

Most of my existing figures are now incorporated in Blucher bases. Maybe a photo of the whole collection would be fun. Now I have to just knuckle down to producing more of the same .  Oh dear the fluttering grows louder heheheh.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Lefebvre's command..(well pàrt of it)

                   I am having a small break from actual gaming for personal reasons. Just a couple of weeks for a few regular tests and stuff. Things we have to accept as we learn to live longer than previous generations heheh. I am however still painting and assembling and converting. I am trying to concentrate on the 1809 Bavarian corps in Germany. Lefebvre's command. I currently have finished in Blucher term two divisions around 16,000 men with one division still to go. I am forced to stop for a week or so while I wait for more troops from Walt at Commission Figurines. I'm going to use the break to tidy up odds and ends on my Blucher units. Just a few pics of The Bavarians. I have included both distance shots and very close ups. The close ups demonstrate the semi flat, "blocky" nature of the models while the distant shots show when you apply the arms length rule the appearance changes to a very acceptable wargaming look!

 I am very happy with the way they have turned out especially with the new basing method. The colour is a little bright but "real" cornflower blue looked a wee bit dark to me.
The infantry are basically straight from the box. The cavalry are big conversions and the skirmishers are French with helmeted heads

I am looking forward to getting them completed and indeed to play some 1809 games without any French on the table.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

A most enjoyable day..

                Bit of a grey old day today. Still warm but overcast. The weather however meant little to Erik and I as The Austrian 1st, 2nd and Liechtenstein's reserve cavalry corps tried to hammer Davout's 3rd corps along the Danube. No AAR I'm afraid  but we did take a  few very nice action photos. Hope you enjoy them. 

Th e game had a good feel to it with lots of ebb and flow. Most enjoyable.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

oh those winter nights

                  We are finally beginning to see a drop in temperature. We are down to the high 20's now and at night there's a definite chill from the Mountains. I can also hear that damn butterfly again. The Napoleonics are quite large now. I can field several corps for both sides and I have maintained focus for over a year.. Unbelievable. I hear my long neglected 15mm ancients calling to me in  those moments of inattention. Now it's a real shame to leave them in the cupboards for so long because although painted some 20 years ago they are still quite pretty and were put together at the height of my "everyman different craze" must do something with them.

some of the many I have in cabinets gathering dust.

                    However what stops me now, as then, is rules. I played DBM to death and was left with the feeling of a " good game but not a lot to do with ancients". Now I look around in the hope of finding something to light my fire. I'm not asking much just.

1/ Simple enough to learn in a couple of hours.
2/ Detailed enough to feel "right" but finish a game in 2 or 3 hours.
3/ not many bases. I really don't like pushing around small bases for hours. I much prefer massed  troops a little like my pictures above
4/ Not too many tables and no rosters.

                 Is this so much to ask?

I need to look at "impetus" and "to the strongest". They sound interesting.  I saw "l'Art de la Guerre" last week but as the rulebook resembled the first volume of the encyclopaedia Britannica I decided to give it a miss. There must be many more out there I just need to look around.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Sire we are running out of marshals.......... postscript

 My opponent in the pittino river debacle sent me the photo shown below of the moment immediately after Broussiers hapless charge across the marsh. I just had to share it here because although it's quite close up it shows the MDF figures off wonderfully

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Sire we are running out of marshals...................

                     May 1809 The Pettino River runs South through Northern Italy close to the Border with Austria. The river and the picturesque valley it lies in, threads its way through rolling, densely wooded hills and ridges. Although not of any economic value it was probably one of the last realistic defensive lines on Eugene's Advance into Austria. The late snows and the prolonged period of heavy rain had turned the river's crossing points into wide marshy morasses and deepened other stretches into impassable deep water runs. A locally spawned stream known to the locals  as  "merdoso piccolo fiume" runs down from the hills to join the Pettino at the town of "Formaggioblupuzzolente" which has a small but thriving cheese industry. To the west lies the town of"quisotto" and to the east "lassù". 

                                   The archduke John who was believed to have died in a previous skirmish had in fact survived and was recovering slowly from his wounds. He had spent the previous night with the rearguard divisions of Chastelers corp at lassù. Around midnight he learned from vedettes that the French were strung out along the road to their rear and apparently out running their supplies. In a moment he decided to turnabout and force a delaying battle at the river line. Hasty messages recalled his retreating columns  and he finally drifted off to sleep planning his action for delaying skirmish that would come to be known as the battle of The Pettino river.

 The nature of the terrain heavily restricted vision and the early morning mist didn't help as this view along the river looking north through the town shows.

Both sides chose to use reserve moves  but with their prior knowledge of the situation the Austrians struck first and occupied the river line

 Eugene adopted a defensive attitude sending Barbou's Division to cover the town and bridge while Broussier occupied the ridge overlooking the river in the north. In the centre Lecchi's Italians formed the link between the two flank divisions. To his surprise the Austrian grenadier battalions marched through the town and onto the small plain to the west.
 11:00am  Wolfskeels grenadiers continued there advance. One brigade occupied the plateau in the south while the second also left the town Knesevich's division of grenze and landwehr hold defensive positions to the east of the river behind the marshes. The streets of  Lassu filled with troops as Besanez of IX corps marched his division into town.
 Besanez swept his division into the rear of knesavitch re-inforcing his position. Eugene looked a little puzzled as Broussier moved his troops down off the ridge to occupy the ground along the marsh 
He assumed he wanted to deny the use of the river crossing to the Austrians. Eugene felt he could relax a little as news arrived that Macdonalds VI corps had arrived on the battlefield and he prepared to link them up with Barbous division  and togetherassault the town.

By now it had become obvious that John was seriously ill. His inactivity was wearing on his generals patience and the lack of order removing all the advantages the Austrians had built till now. Macdonalds corps took up position in Barbou's rear and both commanders prepared to assault the town. To Eugene's horror Broussier led his troops into the marsh and attacked the Austrians on the east bank of the Pettino. As the Austrians outnumbered him 3 to one here, this did not look good. It looked even worse as his troops poured back across the river. D'hautpol's Italians arrived to boost the numbers.

 Eugene entered a period of severe shock and insecurity and seemed incapable of issuing fresh orders- The Italians reinforced the survivors of the debacle on the ridgline and VI corps moved into position but little else was achieved.
 John was still out of action in one of the towns fine houses while his commanders seethed in inactivity demanding he give them orders.The arrival of both the French cavalry corps and the remainder of the Austrian IXth corps was stilled in a cloud of immovable indecision.
For those who are wondering what the hell I'm talking about My opponent had experienced a run of bad momentum rolls that can only be described as crap. The best he had achieved on 2 dice was 5 this turn his first roll with 3 dice he rolled the total you see here. His general was intuitive . I declined to re-roll any dice.  His luck was to continue in this manner till the end of the game. His best total was  11. After Broussier's charge Eugene also rolled really badly for 3 turns hence the apparent inactivity

By 3:30 in the afternoon The French cavalry had moved into the middle of the field to stabilise the position. The last of the Austrian divisions was camping in and around  Lassù in the vague hope that some orders might arrive. The only real effort came from some Austrian cavalry brigades from VIII corps that crossed the river to threaten the Infantry in the centre. Several infantry brigades joined their advance.

 Despite or because the inaction of their companions, the Austrian light cavalry in the centre having crossed the river charged the Italian guard cavalry and an infantry brigade.  The hussars drove the Italians back, while the light horse bounced off the infantry squares. Meanwhile South of the town the Austrian grenadier battalions were being decimated by the continuous infantry fire and 6th corps positioned themselves to assault the town. 
 In an almost nightmarish instance of dejavue, Eugene looked on bemused as Grouchy placed himself at the head of a dragoon brigade and hammered uphill into the ranks of the Austrian hussars. He cheered as the dragoons drove the hussars off the ridge, only to fall into silence as Grouchy placed his hand into his shirt, withdrew it covered in blood and slowly tumbled from his horse. He blanched as he thought how he would tell the Emperor that a fourth  corps commander had died in his service in less than 16 days

 The closing hour of daylight saw some desultory actions with little result. Several French units were destroyed by musketry but niether army managed to make much impact on the other . As night fell the lines seperated. The French set their campsites and John thankful that his planned skirmish having turned into a bloodbath had not got out of hand, quietly withdrew across the Pettino and resumed his return to Austria.

This may not have been the most Dynamic battle I have ever played but it certainly ranks as one of the funniest. Best laugh I have had for years.  I am severely worried because I don't have many corps commanders left!!