Monday, 14 October 2019

Fenris Stone Walls

Quite awhile ago I ordered some Fenris 28mm dry stack stone walls for my Mordheim table (see the Kodsticklerburg link to the right). I never got around to using them however for our Battle of Denbigh Green game I needed some to go around the Ziterdes Mill House. So I did a bit of a rush job on them; all they got was a primer coat with GWs Grey Seer spray and a home made black wash. They actually looked pretty good but I wanted a little more variation in the stone.
I picked out about a third of the stones with Americana's Shale Green (one of my favourite colours for stone) and 3 or 4 on each side and on top with Americana's Pebble and Ceramacoat's Charcoal.
I thinned the with a mix of Golden's Acrylic Flow Release and water; this worked especially well the darker charcoal.
These are the nicest stone walls I have painted. I like them so much I just ordered some more: a couple more straight sections, some more curves and some corner pieces so I don't have the dead end corners you can see in the pictures. Great texture, clear definition between the stones and the casting was very nearly perfect.

Monday, 7 October 2019

The Battle of Denbigh Green

In this game we re-fight an action, The Battle of Denbigh Green, November 1st 1645,  as laid out in the excellent Partizan Press book English Civil War Gaming Scenarios, Vol 2.. In this scenario Sir William Vaughan has lead a force to relieve the city of Chester of a siege. The Parliamentarians have sent a small army to intercept and drive off the relief force. Having caught word of the enemy's approach, Vaughan has set his few infantry at an important crossroads in a defensive position. Two small units of musketeers lay hidden in the hedges.
His Horse, cobbled together from the veterans of various regiments are deployed on Denbigh Green opposite the Parliamentarian Horse:

  Here the brigaded Shire foot march along in column towards the Royalist position.
A juicy target for an ambush but unfortunately, Sir Watt's musketeers are discovered and shot up before they can spring their trap:

As usual as the game progressed and I got more and more engrossed photos became rarer.
The cavalry battle on Denbigh green started well for the Royalists initially even though the first charge failed, Egerton's Horse were able to chase Greave's Horse from the table.
After that though the fragility of the small Royalist horse units started to tell as they soon found themselves Shaken and Disordered, unable to achieve much.
With the Parliamentarian foot in column on the road they were able to swoop up and combined with Sgt. Maj. Gen. James Lothian good command rating, the Chesire foot rated as reliable (+1 to Command rolls when issuing orders to that regiment) they and the Shire foot quickly cornered the Royalist regiments in the court yard. Shot from the front and the flank and then charged, the best unit, Prince Maurice's Firelocks fled the table:
Effectively ending the game as both Battalias were now broken, most of the remaining units also disordered severely compromising their ability to fight. The Royalist Horse reserves showed up just in time to see their co-combatants running for the table edge.  We decided to treat this game as if it were a campaign and continued playing to see how many Royalist units actually made it off the table.

Murdock, the Parliamentarian commander has posted better pictures and more description on his blog here.

Here are the forces, adapted from the Partizan Press book for Pike and Shotte; the profiles are from Warlord's To Kill A King supplement:

 I chose this scenario for two reasons: one, we would be using the Pike and Shotte rules we had only used once before in 2016. Secondly, it didn't require a lot of specific terrain pieces. Many of the relatively open battles require larger forces and I felt that as we were effectively relearning the rules I preferred smaller forces (roughly 4000 troops combined for both sides). I had already started on the hedges, the Ziterdes building came primed so the only structure that needed to be modeled was the ruined priory and the wall for that was already half painted.

I did an initial solo run through, but found that the Parliamentarian foot had a slow slog getting to the Royalist position. So I made a few changes that, in hind sight, may have made it a little too easy. Firstly, as we were playing by the rules for crossing obstacles on the QRS, I changed the cost of crossing obstacles to 1 whole move not 1 whole  turn. Secondly, I made the Chesire Foot Reliable which combined with being in March Column on road made the command roll for Lothian (Rating 9) to give them order a 12(!). I also removed two rows of hedges between White Church (the mill) and the Parliamentarian table edge.  Having said that, the result was pretty much historical with perhaps the defenders getting overwhelmed a little sooner than they did historically.

We got most of the rules right however I forgot that my Horse units coming on from reserve on the road from Denbigh Castle also got +2 to their Command roll and were allowed one move even on a failed order. As I did it for 2 turns in a row there is the slim  possibility that they may have made a difference. But ah well...

Monday, 30 September 2019

More Terrain For ECW Game

I have polished off the ruins for our game next weekend.
The building is left over bits I had from the Warlord Games Ruined Hamlet set, the walls are the Italeri/Warlord Games plastic Stone Walls set.
As usual a mix of different foliage products and static grasses, from a variety of manufactures as well as some home made bits for overgrowth mounted on a MDF base.

Painted using a mix of Ceramacoat, Cote D'arms, Scale 75 and Golden High Flow acrylics.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Terrain For an ECW Game

With an upcoming game of Pike and Shotte using our ECW armies, it is my turn to devise a scenario and forces. After choosing a scenario from a Partizan Press book- the battle of Denbigh Green- I came to realise that I had very little ECW -specific terrain. The scenario calls for hedges, a church and a ruined priory. Although I had large batch of unfinished hedging from Jeff I didn't have either a priory (ruined or otherwise) or a church. I do have some Bolt Action plastic ruins and a foam Ziterdes Mill House, a decent size structure; these would have to double as a ruined priory and the church.

Although the mill house comes half painted (primed in 2 colours?) I decided to spend some time on it, painting the daub, wood and stonework.
As you can imagine, the detail isn't as crisp as resin however still quite easy to paint.
The sculpting of the stone walls is really well done; the roof looks to be wood shingle but doesn't have the wood grain texture of the windows and beams. Also, it came primed a rust red so perhaps it is supposed to be slate.
When Jeff passed away he left me about 14' of  hedging made from Scotch Brite scouring pads. I primed them, flocked the pad material with a mix of Scenic Express SuperLEAF material, then based them with my ECW basing blend (a variety of Woodland Scenics fine turf and static grasses). 

Most of these are done - just 3 more feet to go...

Yesterday I started on the ruined priory. I only had a few pieces of  the Bolt Action ruins so I made do and added a Italeri stone wall that I had started painting earlier. Hopefully by next weekend this will also be finished.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Battle Of Shiloh

This Sunday past Murdock, his son and I, traveled down to the War Dungeon where another Brigade Fire and Fury battle was being hosted by Nate and McLean.
The photo above taken from the south western approach looking down Purdy road towards Shiloh church shows how close the Confederate and Union troops start to each other.

North of the hornets' nest and advancing Confederate army Union troops enjoy a relaxing morning puttering around their tents:
Sherman's troops stationed around Shiloh church are amongst the first to discover the impending attack:
As are Peabody's brigade under Prentiss; they are the first to be pushed from their positions- their Commander killed in battle- falling back in spectacular fashion to the sunken road:
 Confederate troops, following up  hit the peach orchard and the outer border of the hornet's nest: 
With their comrades fleeing towards their encampments the other Union troops eventually realise that there is a battle in progress:

As Union reinforcements start to arrive, marching up both Corinth roads, Peabody's brigade (after offering very light resistance while ensconced in a good defensive position) again flee! In the photo below, Prentiss attempts to regroup them at the encampment while another brigade prepares to advance into the woods in an attempt to re-take the eastern end of the sunken road:
In the foreground, more union troops  under Mclernand form up outside their camp while in the distance, Sherman's troops continue to stall the Confederate advance on the Union right:
There the confederates are hampered by 'too many officers, not enough troops' syndrome:

Confederate reinforcements enter the table, headed for the meat grinder that was the hornets' nest:
Their arrival helps secure the sunken road and puts them in a good position for the Union counter attack:
The view from the Confederate left shows them having swept away the last of Sherman's brigades including mortally wounding the great man himself:
Pulling a page from the Confederate hand book, the union commanders decide to feed brigade after brigade into the hornets' nest in an attempt to push the resilient confederates off of the sunken road:
It is at this point we called the game although there were still several more turns to play.  Technically it was a draw but it looked like a confederate victory was very possible. For a complete victory the confederate had to control the sunken road (no Union troops on it) and push to the north-eastern corner of the battle field, essentially corralling union troops against the river. Both sides seem to be playing for a draw as Sherman's efforts on the union right stalled the confederate advance long enough for Union troops to reorganise and reinforcements to get into position. Both sides seemed to be critically hamstrung by dire maneuvre rolls at key times, including a string of them that caused disorder and retiring moves on the union left .

In the end the Union held the western end of the sunken road (but their position there was tenuous at best)  and the confederates held the centre and eastern end (with nearby union troops reeling in disorder):

In a similar vein to our Battle of Gaines Mill the terrain really dictated how the battle would be fought and, indeed, played out in nearly identical fashion to the actual event.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Angry Piper's Terrain Challenge: Part 2

The first piece for The Angry Piper's Terrain Challenge is complete.
The trees were mostly made before hand; the base for the Hornets' Nest was the focus of this part of the challenge:
I glued some thin cork sections down, in two layers; smoothed the transitions with drywall mud before a light sanding and then my patented mix of sanded grout and vinyl tile adhesive was smeared all lover it. Careful to avoid the roads (but I forgot about the Bloody Pond) , I sprinkled ground fir bark on top and pressed it firmly into the grout/adhesive mixture while it was still wet. Once dry a layer of watered down white glue to seal it and then a sprinkling of Woodland Scenics dark foliage for light undergrowth.
 Then some 2mm static grass, followed by brush and bushes to finish it off. This view shows "bloody" pond with the Sunken Road running along side of it:
Wicker field in the north-east corner of the piece:
Looking north, up the Eastern Corinth Road (the intersection with the sunken road just visible in the middle of the picture):
Looking north west along the sunken road, it bends to the right behind the trees, after crossing the Eastern Corinth Road:
I think I may make a couple more snake rail fences to demarcate the boundary between the hornets'  nest/sunken road and Duncan's field. Not entirely necessary though as I have some made up, they are just a little long.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

The Angry Piper's Terrain Challenge

The Angry Piper has issued a Terrain Challenge for the month of August. I have taken the bait and will focus on couple of terrain items.

On August 18th we will be convening at The War Dungeon to re-fight the battle of Shiloh from the ACW using our go-to rule set, Brigade Fire and Fury. My contribution to the game will be to construct the area know as 'The Hornets Nest'. In reality it won't occupy that big an area of the table but it is a key feature in which Union troops were able to hold up the Confederate attack. This terrain feature will also contain The Sunken Road (in reality, just a wagon track between fields) which runs along the southern edge of the hornet's nest.

Here is the basic layout on MDF, 19" by 22" at it's widest parts.North -east is at the bottom of the picture:
The square in the lower right is Wicker Field; the sharp indent at the top will border Duncan field; the cork strip running across for left to right is the Eastern Corinth road. In faint pencil along the left hand edge is the sunken road, deviating to the right after it bisects the Eastern Corinth rd..

Of course, we also  need more trees:

As the above work has to be done by the 18th. I am confident I will be able to complete another fairly straight forward terrain piece. In March of 2018 my buddy David and I built a couple of tables to run Pulp Alley games at Trumpeter's Salute in Burnaby, BC (blog here). One of the tables is a city table with a canal running along side it:
The plan was to (eventually) have a railroad piece we can slot into the canal; that will be the second piece I hope to build for The Angry Piper's Terrain Challenge.