‘Goons

Dra-goons, that is. This week’s work involved the painting of a handful of 28mm Dragoons for my Sharp Practice project.

Another five dismounted dragoons await the tender ministrations of my paint brush, and then I will have to order the mounted versions. Though it will hurt my wallet, particularly with the aforementioned mounted figures, I think I’m going to stay with metal miniatures for this entire project.

These figures are from Brigade Games’ Napoleonic line.In my opinion, (obviously, since I wrote it), Brigade’s figures are every bit the equal of Perry (which I also love). To forestall any confusion, I’m speaking of Brigade Games in the USA-I don’t think they have any affiliation with the UK company of the same name.

Until next time…

Rifling Through

Arise, arise, blog! Live!

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95th Rifles on the Dusty Road. Some bossy fellow points the way.

 

Well, it’s been a minute or two, but I’ve been a-hobbying lately, and have managed to finish off the 95th Rifles for my long-suffering Lasalle Light Division project.

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95th Rifles in Line, 43rd Monmothshire advances along the road. Bossy fellows abound.

With this regiment out of the way, I only have to paint up the 1st Cacadores, and I’ll have my core force completed. The 1st is mounted up on tongue suppressors, and ready for priming, so perhaps early September will see the completion of the first, core, stage of this project (there are additional supporting forces to be painted).

The astute observer will notice that I’ve knocked together a miniature terrain board for photographic staging. I used this exercise to try out some new-to-me techniques, including using sifted dirt and tile grout for a ground base. I think the ground work looks pretty fantastic. The finished product is a good representation of an arid area, and the ‘scale’ of the dirt works well with the figure scale. One thing is certain: you can’t beat the price and availability of dirt!

I’ve borrowed/stolen some techniques from Luke Towan’s excellent model railroad YouTube channel. His tutorials are well worth a watch, and are sure to inspire some new ideas, even if the techniques aren’t directly applicable, without modification, to the rigors of a wargaming table.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

6th Cacadores for Sharp Practice II

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6th Cacadores – 8 troopers, an NCO and an officer.

 

Just a quick update. I’ve made a good start on a few Portuguese skirmishers from the 6th Cacadores. I should have twelve troopers for the standard Sharp Practice elements, so I need to purchase and paint four more. This is my way of avoiding painting 95th Rifles!

These figures are from Brigade Games, and I believe they were sculpted by Paul Hicks. They are wonderful sculpts-highly detailed, and pretty easy to paint. They’re easily on par with the Perry miniatures I’ve painted, and they’re produced here in the U.S..

The thumbnails below will take you to a full size image.

 

 

 

Thunder at Cassino!

I had the opportunity to playtest one of Grady West’s fantastic 1/285 adaptations of old Avalon Hill board games this past weekend. This one was Thunder at Cassino-a project he’s been working on for at least a year (and, to me, that’s a LOT of progress in a year’s time). Thunder at Cassino covers the campaign to break through the German defenses at Monte Cassino, and the particular scenario we played covered the third battle. Click here to look at the previous game I played in, covering Turning Point Stalingrad.

The Germans were fielding panzergrenadiers and fallschirmjagers, while the allies were a British and British Commonwealth force consisting of British regulars, New Zealanders, Indians and Ghurkas (GHURKAS!!)

I was on the allied side, and was nominated (read forced) to be the overall commander. My fellow allied commander was Ralph, and he took the New Zealander force, which would do the hard slogging through the town below the Monte Cassino monastery, while I took the British regulars, Indians, and GHURKAS!!

This game is platoon level, meaning that each counter/stand of infantry represents a platoon. There are rules encouraging company cohesion, but nothing addressing higher levels of command.

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The Avalon Hill box cover art

The allies had the numbers, while the Germans had the edge in troop quality and a big advantage on the defense, due to the heavily rubbled terrain. The next couple of photos cover the preliminary allied bombardment, and illustrate why the terrain is so heavily rubbled!

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Grady painted many a B-17 and B-25 to illustrate the rubble generating preliminary bombardment. This is a man dedicated to his art, as the bombers go away after the preliminary bombardment, never to return!

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The allies do have another air asset, though…a fighter bomber group (or maybe it’s just a squadron…not sure on the scale of the air assets) that definitely got its licks in over the course of the game.

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Hurricane in action

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Ralph’s New Zealanders spread out into the town, watched over by Nazis in the castle above. There was a little armor on the table, but this was decidedly NOT tank country. Hard fighting ensued.

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Many a bloody close combat was fought in the zones below the monastery…

This entire battle went really well for the allies. The Germans made a huge blunder in not moving to immediately occupy the monastery…instead they focused on counterattacking the New Zealanders down in the town. On turn two, my fast moving mountain climbing Ghurkas were able to sweep into the monastery virtually unopposed. Ghurkas are extremely good at close combat, and there was no way that even highly trained fallschirmjager engineers were going to dislodge them.

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How sweet it is!

I’d like to claim that it was my tactical acumen that lead to our landslide of a victory, but really it was a mixture of the players not knowing the gaming system, and not fully grasping the vulnerabilities inherent in the initial setup. I will give us allies a little credit for fully exploiting them, though.

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Not only did we take the monastery, but Ralph’s New Zealanders were able to storm the castle after a particularly heavy bombardment from his corps artillery tubes. This position had a commanding view of the town below, perfect for calling down artillery, but the Germans never really exploited it.

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Just because I needed to show the Union Jack flying ‘over’ Monte Cassino.

This is an excellent set of rules, and Grady’s miniatures adaptation is top notch. We didn’t finish our game, but we had some extremely slow moving players, particularly in the first couple of turns. I don’t think the open-flanked Ghurka attack will be a problem again-Grady has stated that he will make certain the defenders are aware of the danger in the future.

If you get a chance to play this game at one of the conventions Grady will bring it to, I HIGHLY recommend it.

 

Legere and Barrels

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All of zem.

I’ve been procrastinating on starting my 15mm 95th Rifles for Lasalle (although I did clean up all 50 casts, and mount them on craft sticks in preparation for priming!) by finishing up my 28mm French legere for Song of Drums and Shakos/Sharp Practice II. I also painted a couple of resin barrels, as you might
have gathered from the subtle title of this post.

A basic force in SD&S is a dozen figures, and, conveniently, it seems like skirmishers/light troops in Sharp II are assembled in groups of six.

Soon I will have to start purchasing mass quantities of 28mm figures for my Sharp Practice line infantry. I may go the plastics route, Then again, I REALLY hate assembling plastic figures, and this is a sort of slow going luxury project for me, so maybe I’ll go ahead and bite the (expensive) lead bullet.

 

 

More French!

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Recent production: three chasseurs, a drummer, and sappeur

My long-suffering Song of Drums and Shakos/Sharp Practice project has also seen a little progress this month. In fact, I now have enough figures to put on a French vs. Brunswicker game of Song of Drums and Shakos. I’m intrigued by the streamlined V2 of Sharp Practice that comes out next month-maybe I’ll ramp up 28mm production, and try to get something ready for that by this Fall.

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The specialists. Sappers are intimidating fellows! There’s something incongruously brutal about that axe and apron in the middle of all the normal uniform finery.

Huzzah for Hussars!

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1st KGL Hussars for Lasalle

I’ve completed another unit for my Lasalle project. This is the 1st KGL Hussars. My Osprey stated that the 1st KGL Hussars were mounted on horses of an “assortment” of colors and markings, and certainly they would have had a variety of horse colors while on campaign, but I kind of wish I’d gone with all one color, just the same.

Next up, I’ll be painting a bushel basket full of 95th Rifles. I’ll be happy to paint something dull, after the cornucopia of color and detail these Hussars had.

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Sooooo many details to paint!

Tazewell II: The Shellackening

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Me and the Scarlet J convened for our first miniatures game of the year on that blackest of weekends: Valentine’s Weekend (I kid. Sort of.).

We replayed the Battle of Tazewell, a small engagement in Tazewell, Tennessee during 1862. I’ve described the particulars of this excellent small (and, more importantly, quick) Potomac Publications scenario in an earlier post. Go read it, if you’re interested.

In the meantime, here are some captioned pictures for your enjoyment.

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State of play at the beginning of the battle: A lone Union regiment, watched over by a section of Parrot guns, is deployed in extended line just in front of a woods line. Two Confederate regiments are just out of musket range.

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View toward the initial Union deployment.

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Union reinforcements begin to file in by road column. In the distance, Brigadier de Courcy watches over his men.

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Starting off with a bang (or a shout and sound of bayonets being fixed). I take advantage of my early advantage in numbers and charge the single Yank regiment in position to fight. The two Georgia regiments push the bluebellies back into the woods for the moment.

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Elements of Rain’s brigade push into the woods, only to be met with fierce Yankee resistance.

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Rebels massing for the charge.

 

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Defending agains oncoming Yankees. For once my artillery gets the best of the Bluebellies, and managed to damage all three sections of the northerner battery.

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Lots of shooting, as the Yank battery retreats to safety. Notice the disordered Greycoat regiment at the bottom of the screen-they’ve taken 70% casualties, but have somehow managed not to flee the battlefield.

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The Yankee brigade charges en masse from the woods, making contact all along the line.

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The charges do not go well for yours truly. TSJ managed to roll no less than three (3!!!) 10s in a row, while I rolled a 1, 2, and 3. Dismal! That Tennessee regiment toward the top has been flanked, and is in serious trouble.

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For some reason it always lifts my spirits to damage Zouaves.

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The remnants of my line.

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TSJ having to remove casualties. A rare sight, this game!

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The lone bright spot at end game for the Confederate forces. Brig. Rains and a North Carolina regiment capture a wooded hilltop, but wonder where the rest of the brigade has melted off to!

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My brigade essentially ran away after the big Union charge. Here we see the humiliating disparity in casualties!

Obviously this was a major Union victory, and illustrates what a disaster a streak of bad luck can be when receiving a mass charge from the enemy! Despite being bled white by The Scarlet J, I had a good time. This is a challenging, fun, and quick scenario, which is an excellent combination!

 

52nd Oxfordshire

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The 52nd leads, 43rd in the middle, 3rd Cacadores in the rear.

For my first post of the new year, may I present to you the 52nd Oxfordshire? The 52nd is a large elite unit for the Lasalle project, consisting of 6 bases of close order infantry, and 3 bases of skirmishers.

 

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Deployed in line.

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In line, skirmish markers deployed.

2015: Year in Review

How Did I Do in 2015?

My stated goals for 2015 were to:

Build more Terrain
Mixed results on this account! I did manage to build an enormous cloth-and-caulk terrain mat for the desert, and created a few BUA bases for Spearhead, but that’s about it! I have a half-finished 28mm old west Pony Express station sitting on top of a shelf somewhere, but I can’t really count that, can I?

Projects: 15mm Union ACW, 15mm AWI British, and 28mm Napoleonic
While I’ve made some progress on the Nappy skirmish stuff, I painted not one stroke of Union blue, and only completed one unit of British for the AWI project. Instead, I’ve puttered around with 15mm WWII, 1/285 WWII, and now 15mm Napoleonics! Ridiculous.

Develop a Budget for Wargaming
I didn’t do very well on this score for the first half of 2015, but since fall I’ve been doing much better. I’m trying to keep things to under $40/month, which is about what it costs to buy one 15mm battalion sized unit in most of the 19th and 18th century rules sets I’m interested in. That’s about all I can paint in a month, so it seems a good number. I’ll try to carry this forward into 2016.

——————-

Games Played

  • 2 games of Jim Day’s Panzer set in the Western Desert theater of WWII.
  • 1 game of This Very Ground (at Recruits)
  • 5 games of Regimental Fire and Fury
  • 1 game of Neil Thomas’s ACW rules
  • 2 games of Napoleon’s Battles.

Let’s see. That’s 11 games in a year. Almost once a month. Eh. I’d like to be doing more in 2016!

————–

Goals for 2016

My focus will be on getting a playable 15mm Napoleonics force for Sam Mustafa’s Lasalle. I’ve already made some progress on this front, and just need to keep up the momentum.

Keep up the budget. $40/month! I can do it!

Have more fun. I tend to be super competitive, which can get in the way of having fun (especially when losing). I’d like to chillax on this front.

That’s it. Simple goals for a simple man. Below are random pictures from the year’s gaming….

 

 

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