Wednesday, 22 January 2020

More From the Workbench

Well distractions from elephants aside I have managed to get a bit more doen that finished off a couple of units for the Sikh Wars project.

These seven guys are the last of the converted Perry Carlist British Legion painted as the Nottinghamshire regiment in covered bell top shako's.
Here is the unit in full ready for basing, this takes my British and HEIC troops to 7 battalions, enough for a game once the basing department finished them off for me.
Two more skirmishers, the first will be the Bengal Europeans, a Foundry figure with the Shako furniture cut down, the other is an Iron Duke Sepoy with a head swapped on from Foundry as the original was a skull cap.
Here are the six Sepoys to make up a small skirmsh screen, I want one of these for each brigade.
And the start of a Bengal European skirmish screen, I will do six of these then if I am happy will do a full battalion as well. They look OK so far.
Having  sold my Studio Miniatures Dragoons I replaced them with the old Foundry ones which I prefer. However the horses are particularly small so I replaced them with Perry British Peninsular light dragoon horses. I like them.
And the same unit here ready to be based. More detail once they are back based and I can do a few different photos of the full unit.
Baggage! As previousley stated I am keen to have a baggage train so here are a couple of camels I am quite pleased with these to add to the Elephant.
Lastly some Scots for the forthcoming 1745 project. Still working on my colour schemes for these guys.
As well as actual Highlanders from Warlord and minor conversions of Ebor WSS I am also looking at some good fit Militia figures from Perry that I can use as Loyalist militia and Jacobite Lowlanders.
I do like these figures in particular, the Officer looks the mtts nuts.
The Ebor marching figure is also great and the spare head from Flags of War (second in from left) is really nice. I enjoyed painting the bagpiper too.
I am really excited to get my Kickstarter from Flags of War in a few weeks they look awesome. In the meantime I hope to have soem of these based up and share with you what I am planning for the whole basing peice to make best use of the figures.

See you soon.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

First French and Indian Game

Steve has made good progress with Chris"s French and Indians so we opted for a Sharp Practice as the last game before Christmas to try them out.

We had a bigger table this time and a different mix of troops, the objective being to hold the buildings at the end of the game.

I had the British forces;

Two units of settlers 6 skirmishers each commander with level 1 commander each on table occupying a house
2 Units of rangers 6 skirmishers each with level 3 commanders
2 groups of British regulars with level 2 commander
2 groups of colonial militia with level 1 commander
Plus a separate level 3 leader

56 figures
Chris had the French and Indians:

3 units of 12 Indians each with level 2 leaders
2 units of Coureur de bois with level 3 leaders
1 extra level 3 commander
1 move able deployment point.

48 figures.

So the edge in terms of numbers definitely with the British but the flexibility all in favour of the French.
The biggest threat I can see is from the Indians using their mobile deployment point to get around my flank and swamp me at one point, as the deployment point can only be moved if out of line of site I throw a unit of Settlers out of their cabin and into the woods to force Chris to deploy further away. I know I am a cruel and ruthless commander.
I decide that the further cabin is too exposed to defend, as you can only fire two muskets from a window only four of the 6 defenders could fire so I start to pull them back as the Courer du bois deploy in the woods at the end of the table.
I decide my rangers can push out to the left and support the settlers. The formed units will advance to the woods to my front.
My first Settlers get to the edge of the woods forcing the Indians to deploy, not sure how happy they are about it mind you. They fire a volley that adds a little shock but nothing else.
Wasting no time Chris's Indians pounce on the settlers and with some great dice wipe them out to  a man. Time will tell if their sacrifice was worth while.

The first unit of Rangers gets to the other side of the woods too late to support the settlers, it is now also becoming apparent that Chris's main attacked will by his 36 Indians through the Woods and I have allocated only 18 skirmishers to stop them and 6 of those are dead. Oh dear.
Chris takes his time pushing his three units of 12 redskins out in an ark to take advantage of the wood line. I need to re=think my plan.
As the second unit of rangers reaches the edge of the woods Chris opens fire with three hits, I get lucky with my casualty dice, three ones is no damage. Still it serves as a warning.
Back at the other end of the table the formed foot have not got far at all but my settlers are doing OK against the Courer du Bois.
I decide to change tactics before its too late, I can now see the Indian or all committed to my left flank and only two units of skirmishers are coming from my front and right, I start to pull the regulars and militia back to the settlement with a view to forming up behind the fences. I will keep one unit of rangers with them and send the other to help the settlers keep the Courer du bois busy.

Any plan is better than no plan!

The Indians volley my retreating rangers but again I am lucky with the saving dice, however the unit heading forward to support the settlers is not so lucky and starts to take casualties in the open.

The cars now fall well for my formed units and I quickly get the British regulars behind the fences and the militia lines out to the rear of the settlement to stop us being flanked, the rangers are in the cabin and the Indians are very reluctant to leave the safety of the woods, who can blame them.
Chris pushed one unit out to try and get around behind us but the Militias first volley of the day is devastating and Chris decides the woods are where he needs to stay and pulls the badly mauled Indians back.
My rangers have taken two more volleys from the both sides and start to be pushed back leaving the Settlers on their own, but to be fair they have doe  really well and forced one unit of the French back and damaged the other.
Chris now concedes that he is not going to be able to get anywhere near the settlement now and the British take a win.A fun game and a lesson in what does and does not work for the Indians, we agree that more cover will probably be needed for them to be successful in future games.

Thanks for putting the game on Steve, as usual great fun.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Back to My Own Basing for a Bit

So with basing department on 70 hours a week until panto season is done I am not getting any basing back. So for now I have made a start on a few bits and peices.

Firstly three commanders for the 1745 project.

These blokes are all Galloping Major command figures designed as American militia. The figures are really characterful and very easy to paint.

I will be using these as commanders for Jacobite Lowlanders and also Loyalist militias, perhaps also as what they are meant for in our French and Indian games. The next two are from my new phone so I thought I would see how they looked in comparison. 

I also managed to base up a few bits for the Sikh Wars project, firstly another cavalry commander using  Studio Miniatures commander with a head swap and arm swap. Not sure about the horse.
The first of my Gurkhas are a 6 figure skirmish screen, ideal for both Sharp Practice and Black Powder. 5 are Iron Duke Sepoys and the other a Foundry Sepoy. Three of them had direct head swaps with Gurkha figures, the other three had greenstuff added to the cap to make them a bit more Gurkha-ish. I added Kukri's to the right hips using a a spear head clipped off the spear and then twisted slightly to give the impression of a curved bladed Kukri.

Happy by the way the have come out but I might hang on to do the whole battalion until after Iron Duke release their Gurkhas in the future.
Lastly is the nellie. I mentioned in an earlier post this was a gift from chum Mark.

Mark and I bought our first ever Wargames figures around 30 years ago, Wargames Foundry Indian Mutiny, these are all long gone now but Mark had hung on to the Elephant for that time and donated it to the Sikh Wars project a couple of weeks ago. Cheers Pal.

So a good dusting off, a bit of black primer on the bits where metal had come through and a wash over and we were off. I was keen to keep the colour schemes the same for the figures and the equipment, the gun and carriage though I prefer this blue-grey to the natural wood. Hope you like the end result.

I am happy with the ned result and I hope Mark likes it too. I dont usually do many limbers, I dont get the painting time I would like and a limber, gun, horses and riders is almost as time consuming as a unit of cavalry. However I am keen to have  abaggage train for India. Both for Sharp Practice scenarios and in particular for a future battle of Bhudowhal.

Bhudowhal was the day before Aliwal, Harry Smiths famous victory without a mistake. However in his approach march Sir Harry's troops were exhausted by walking through heavy sand and began to run out of water, they strayed too near the guns of the Sikh fortress and started to take casualties, a horde of irregular cavalry appeared but didtn pounce, the Sikh General being none too aggressive. Towards the end the Sikhs pounced ont eh baggage train and wiped out a company of British sepoys. I cant help feelign this would make a great what if scenario, a more aggressive Sikh commander, the Avitable brigade turning up earlier than it did, Smith turning aroudn to save his baggage.

Anyway, one for the future when I finish enough troops to fight it.

For now thats all I managed to get based, hope you like them, into the box they go until we can get them out to game with soon.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Raid on Valencia AAR

This is a game that has taken on a life of its own. I played a relativelt small raid with Mark, Chris Flowers and Steve a few months ago with Moors raiding villages for livestock and Christian reinforcements turning up to try recapture the booty which went really well.

A couple of weeks ago Jerry took the idea a step further with larger forces and a Castle and put it on at the Stockton show.

This weekend we put even more forces on a 14 foot table with El Cid holding the fortified town of Valencia at one end and having to recpture all the reived livestock. It went really well as it happens.

The premise of the game is that there are two villages and a monastry outside Valencia with livestock to feed the city. There is also a wagon train being escorted to the city. The Moors must capture livestock and the wagon train. 1 point for each herd and 1 point for each enemy formed unit destroyed but losing one point for each of their own destroyed.
Each village is defended by a unit of unarmoured foot and 2 units of skirmishers, the wagon train by 2 unit of unarmoured cavalry. The skirmishers dont count towards our victory points. Jerry ( whose troops and buildings these all were) Ian and Chris Flowers command the various Christian forces.

The first commands of Moors  are commanded by Richard and Richard, Mmm that wont be confusing will it! Rich C is on the right with 4 units of blackguard and two of archers, he then has 2 units of light cavalry, one of horse archers and two of camel mounted troops. Rich L has 4 unarmoured foot and 2 units of archers with 4 light cavalry and a unit of horse archers.

Off table I have a brigade with 2 armnoured and 2 unarmoured Andalusian foot and a unit of crossbows, I also have a brigade of 3 units of armoured cavalry and a further unit of horse archers.

Inside Valencia El Cid has 6 units of armoured cavalry, two of unarmoured cavalry and what looks like about 6 units of armoured foot with supporting skirmishers,

Our plan is simple ride up to the two villages, kill the defenders and steal the livestock, we wont be able to catch the wagon train so ignore unless it looks easy prey. Then leg it before the far superior Christian Garrison of Valencia can come to grips with us. Well that was the plan anyway.

First two moves and the Moors make steady progress towards the vilages and the Christians make preparations to meet them.

As the first two forces slow down my heavier reinforcements turn up move two and the Cavalry element quickly overtake the slower moving Camels and light cavalry under Rich C. Whislt my foot are a bit steadier and moving in support of Rich's Black guard.
We are soon into long range bow fire with minimal impact as both sides are in cover and most of the formed Moorish units have stalled in their movement.

Rich and Rich push steadily forward as my heavier cavalry now form the vanguardand prepare to charge some of Jerry's defenders.

However we need to get a shift on as El Cid has appeared and his leading his heavy armoured KNights out of the main gate of Valencia and the wagon train is almost beyond catching.

My sneaky horse archers who have already done a fair ammount of damage pounce on a small herd of cattle and bring them under control. At last we have our first point.

Mty heavy cavalry declare a charge on the defenders of the monastry and just as things are lookign good I roll a double six BLUNDER! My first two units retire through the the third unit pinning them, we wont be doign anythign for  awhile it seems.
The rest of our forces continue to steadily advance and Rich L is closing in on the large herd of sheep which keeps grazing and moving in the oppositie direct he needs them to. Fortunately for us there is a bottle neck on the bridge out of the city and El Cid is slow to come to the rescue of his villages.

With the wagon train nearing Valenica the light cavalry guarding it turn around to support the villages against the Moors and Christian resistant is stiffening agains tour incursion.

With time running out Rich C finally gets the Blackguard to advance and into combat with the defenders of the first village. The inital result is a draw but the defenders are badly mauled and the Black Guard have lots of support.

My hevay cavalry are stil millign aroudn in coonfusion so Rich C now overtakes me with hsi light cavalry and camelry, with the Black guard on his left flank.
However with El Cid still blocking the bridge the Garrison of Valencia is debouching from the side gates and comign to get us.

And there are a lot of them!
Rich L finally captures the sheep and brings them under control and Rich C destroys the unit of foot in the village so we are now 3-1 on points but we need to be careful with the Valecnian defenders closing in.

The Black Guard now close on the monastry defenders and charge home whilst I finally get m y heavy cavalry under control and moving forward again and Rich L is into combat with the Light Cavalry that had been guardign the wagon train.
We get mixed results with the Chrsrtian light cavalry and crossbows being wiped out but the monastry defenders manage to hold on and fall back from the Black Guard.
We are now winning 5 -1 and on top of things with another herd almost in our grasp but El Cid is finally moving and we dont have the heavy troops to stand up to the Christian Knights.

Rich C and Rich L both lift another herd of beasts and we all start to pull back except the Black Guard who have another go at the Monastry guards. Rich throws reasonably well but Jerry throws better and Rich manages five ones for his saving throw!

On the upside he passes his break test and we take the opportunity to pull everythign back 7-1 up and we decide its goign to stay that way before El Cid can catch up with us.

Another great game using Jerry's beautiful collection and the Hail Caesar rules, great fun, even if your Richard throwing 5 ones to save!
Thanks gents for a great days gaming.