Thursday 29 September 2022

Mexican vs Apache Sharp Practice AAR

 Chris C decided this week he would get his wonderful Mexican and Apache collections on table for a game of Sharp Practice.

He has had many of these for some time but recently rebased them for use with Sharp Practice and this was to be their first outing after re-basing.

Based on the battle of Tres Castillos in Chihuahua in 1880 where Victorio's band of Apache were destroyed by the Mexicans.

The Apache were hiding near a lake in the desert with their families and a large Mexican force attacked them from both sides. Looking at the above picture you can see the Apache have plenty of cover but no where to pull back to.
These two slept through the whole thing. A long hot day I suspect.
The Apache had the flexibility of being skirmishers and of the majority of the cover. The Mexicans the advantage of many more troops and also surrounding the Apache so they had nowhere to go.
Steve's State Militia deployed and immediatly fired a long range volley which caused casualties amongst the Apaches.

To offset the massively outnumbering forces of Mexicans the Apaches had two units with repeating carbine rifles. allowing them to fire twice in a turn but not getting the extended range. They also had a blank card allowing any unit with repeaters and extra shot.
On my side I have a formation of state militia and a formation of town militia supported by a group of 6 skirmishers. I am facing the best of the Apache, two groups under Victorio armed with Winchester Carbines. So doubled firepower as they dont need to re-load but not the extended range of repeating rifles. Chris also has a card allowing an extra round of firing for any repeater armed unit.    
A long range shot causes two hits both of which I save on the Town Militia, I doubt I will get so lucky going forward.
A further couple of rounds of shooting and the Town Militia are suffering quite a lot of shock. They get a return volley away but not much impact.

A further round of firing sees my Town Militia leader shot and knocked down. Its not looking good.
On the other side Steves State Militia formations are closing with the Apache, on this side the units are mainly armed with mixed weapons and are classed as poor shots to reflect the Bows, Muskets etc they are fighting with.

Sots from the formation on the flank and the skirmishers ont he other flank have started to whittle down the Apache who of course have no where to retreat to.
Shock and casualties are mounting on my side, particularly on the Town Militia who look very shakey and have too much shock to be able to advance, my skirmishers and state Militia however are returning fire with the odd hit.
Chris turns one of his flanking units to return fire on my skirmishers, this does however reduce the fire going into Steve who has taken very few casualties so far.

As Steve closes on the other side he puts a couple of close range volleys in and suddenly the Apache are in big trouble with lots of casualties and shock. My guys continue to fire at the repeater armed warriors and knock off a couple more causing one unit to retreat, but they can only retreat closer to Steves advancing troops.
Two units of Apache break completely under the weight of fire reducing Chris force morale further.
A further two volleys from Steve and the Apache at his side are almost wiped out.
My skirmishers close with the remaining three Apache with repeaters, whilst the Apache win, just, there are virtually no Apache warriors remaining in the centre of their position and Chris's force morale is spent.
A Mexican victory which was always on the cards really. Sharp Practice handled this later period really well, giving the Apache mixed weapons as well as repeaters in different units gave both sides some headaches. All told a cracking game I am sure we will see more of these lovely figures. 

Friday 16 September 2022

August Holiday Workbench

 Chum Chris Charlton very kindly gifted me a lovely little gun emplacement, too big really for 28mm but perfect for my 40mm.

I couldnt wait so parked the other painting and cracked into this before finding myself painting a gun for my Spanish to go inside it. Lovely little piece this cheers Chris.

With a number of the main units completed its also been time to start painting a couple of figures from the next units to try get the Pallettes right. This Flashing Blade Cacadore Officer has had a bit of conversion work done on him by the late Ian Smith. A lovely job, not sure this will be the final brown for the unit but the sky blue looks nice.
He does remind me a little of Sweet William in a Portuguese uniform.
I also decided to change the head on this French figure so my Spanish have even more Variety with an advancing figure, I think this will fit in really well, I made add another.
For my French I am working on the Paris Municipal Guard, This Sash and Sabre figure will be the first of the Voltiguers. I hope to have a couple of groups of these in skirmish order.
With the first fusilier and Voltiguer complete it would be remiss of me not to paint a grenadier. These chaps will be in bearskins as I couldnt resist adding a unit in bearskins.
I have different resources giving me red or green collars. In the end red seemed most likely to me.
OK so its September now clearly I have got more done so adding these in at the last minute.

The British light Dragoons are now done with the addition of these two, just basing required. The firing figure is the original base figure the other has converted hands and sword arm.

Then adding to the lovely Paris Municipal Guard, I have not given these guys collar and cuff piping, more research shows, white, green or no piping at all, as green wouldn't really be visible I am going with none. I actually think it looks better without. 

The photo here of the Paris Municipal Guard commander doesnt really do him justice, he has come out well. This is the Perrys ligne officer with head and arm swap.

Two more Municipal Guard Grenadiers takes me to 6. The left figure a slightly different stance to the right.

And one more Spanish musketeer, I notice I have missed the yellow metal bar in the cockade so will get that fixed.

Good progress getting me closer with a couple more of the units.

This last picture is one of two boxes for painted figures waiting to be based, quite a bit in here for the 40mm project just waiting on bits here and there to get a number of units complete.

Thanks for stopping by.

Assault on the Trans Siberian RCW AAR

We had planned a big Russian Civil War game at Chris Flowers place for some time, the completion of a Red armoured Train by Chris Charlton and a whole bunch of extra reds and whites by Dave and Si meant the game was even bigger than initially anticipated.

We use Triumph of The Will and The rules work on the premise of a units will to press on, hence the title Triumph of the Will. This is mainly expressed by the number of figures in a unit. The larger the unit the more willing to press on. The level of training (Regular, Drilled, Militia) represents their fighting ability and how easily their will is eroded by losing figures. Unusualy most dice rolls require you to roll low, just as well when I am rolling.

In our game a town and its nearby railway station is being besieged by the Whites supported by an armoured train. Getting wind of Red reinforcements on the way the Whites launch an attack to try and take the town before it can be relieved. Deploying at the far end of 13 feet of table the Reds have a lot of road to travel to save their besieged comrades.
The whites in our game had generally slightly better troops and more of the modern gear with aircraft available more often, slightly higher numbers of MG's and guns and a train from move one. This reflects the increased availability of this gear to the whites through the support of the International great powers. The reds however had trenches and would eventually have the edge in numbers.

White Order of battle:

Attack force Under Richard C
One armoured Car
6 units of 9 Storm Troops, Aggressive Regulars
4 Units of 8 Cossacks, Aggressive Regulars
2 Units of 8 Drilled
1 Armoured Car
1 MG

Supporting Force Richard L

1 MG Drilled
2 Field Guns Drilled
1 Armoured train with Field Gun
4 Units 8 White Infantry Drilled

Right Wing John

2 units of 6 Asiatic Cossacks Aggressive Regulars
4 Units 8 White Infantry Drilled
1 Field Gun Drilled
1 MG Drilled

Reserve John

4 Units White Infantry Drilled
3 Units Cossacks Aggressive Regulars
1 Tchanka MG Cart

The Whites would have  apre-programmed bombing Run from a Sopwith 1 1/2 strutter and a Spad on a roll of a 6 each turn.

The Reds had more of a mixed bag.

Town Defence Force Steve

1 MG Drilled
1 Field Gun Drilled
4 x 7 Militia
4 x 8 Drilled

Station Defence Chris F

1 MG
1 Field Gun
3 x 7 Militia Cavalry
2 x 8 Siberian Rifles Regular
2 x 10 Sailors Aggressive Regulars

Reinforcements from move 2 Dave and Chris C

1 armoured train
4 Units 10 Sailors Aggressive Regulars
8 Units 8 Red Infantry Drilled
5 Units 8 Cavalry Drilled
1 Tchanka MG Cart

1 Unit 6 Partisans in Ambush
Red Sopwith Camel on a roll of a 6.

Move one and the Whites launch their Assault on the POW's and Militia holding the town, the left unit here are ex Austro Hungarian POW's who did quite  a bit of fighting  after some ideological recruiting in prison camps and months march away from home with no food.

They get lucky with the roll of a 6 and a Spad fighter comes on and attacks the town. They have also pre-programmed a bombing run on the Red Militia Cavalry which quickly destroys one unit of the reds.

Richards White armoured car trundles forward without its supports and along with the massed white guns begins to take a heavy toll of the defenders whilst John starts to push the White cavalry of the reserve forward on the left.

The reserve infantry from Si's collection also start to push forward on the white left wing.
Meanwhile the red infantry suPports are arriving, lovely figures from Daves Collection. They do have a long way to go though.
The overpowering firepower of the White artillery coupled with the elan of the white officer storm units is causing Steve severe problems, he has quickly lost both MG and Gun alongside multiple infantry casualties.

The whites storm the first trench lines and see off the militia with minimal casualties.
Richards units defending the White trenches set off in support and the train begins to move around to the right flank to support John.
John has meanwhile got stuck in on the right flank as Chris and Dave arrive with large numbers of red reinforcements and an armoured train crammed with their best troops, red sailors.

The reds get a fighter on the roll of a six, unfortunately they take it in turns to roll anything but a six all day and the red Sopwith never leaves the box.
Rich L's cossack brigade launches itself at the right hand side of the town held by two units of drilled red infantry.This front unit is one of my favourites painted as Ossetians.
Meanwhile the reds are pushed further back in the town and begin to concentrate their remaining troops in the bombed out factory.

A unit of Siberian Cossacks reaches the reds in the trench on the flanks of the town, the first unit of red infantry is cut down but the Cossacks take horrendous casualties with only 3 out of 8 remaining.
The whites get another Spad and the plain decimates yet another Sotnia of red cavalry whilst Johns troops press forward to prevent the reds relieving the town.
The next three units of Richards Cossacks close with the remaining red infantry in the forward trenches, in the back ground we see the white armoured train arriving on the right flank to support John.
Johns artillery fire has been deadly and both the Red MG and Field gun have been destroyed but the veteran red Siberian rifles make a stand and start to punish the white infantry advancing across the open ground.

The whites advance in a determined manner but two units are practically destroyed by the Siberian rifles and the supports from Dave and Chris. In the back ground we see Asiatic Cossacks dealing with a band of Partisans which ambushed them from the forest.
A close up for Shaun and Mark. These are from Studio Siberia painted as Siberian Cossacks, lovely figures but rather delicate swords.
Chris F  has pushed a unit of sailors to the edge of town to give some much needed support to Steve. The other unit pulls back however as the Cossacks are closing and they dont want to be caught by those sashka sabres in the open.
The battle for the bombed out factory is becoming desperate, Rich L's artillery is taking a toll whilst his Cossacks move in on one flank and Rich C's infantry have control of the rest of town and prepare to close in on the other flank supported by the armoured car.
Dave's lovely figures and Chris's fantastic train were just starting to reach the area of action when we ended the game as we ran out of time. Sorry guys.
The game effectively ended with a draw, the Whites were close to capturing the Town but were nowhere near capturing the station and with reinforcements already reaching both, the White advance was likely to stall.

I need to apologise to Chris and Dave who got very little fighting in having to march right across the table. My bad I thought you would be able to get there quicker chaps.

The rules are a bit clunky but do give a feel for Russian Civil War so we will probably amend them slightly to make them a little more playable before using them again. Another game of this planned for September. Mongolia is supposed to be nice in the Autumn!

Thanks everyone for taking part.