Monday, 17 December 2018

Last Post of 2018

My last entry for the year; not much to report. After the Carnage and Glory ECW game I came to realise that I needed more command stands. Jeff had several as part of his collection he left me, a few of which I separated from their thick MDF bases so I could add to their paint jobs and base them to match my own collection.
The following picture is of another of Jeff's command stands; the models above were based similarly and had the same paint job (the base is hidden by the cloth- it is about 6mm thick). Instead of stripping them I just decided to add to the existing job.

The flags are generic ECW flags from Flags of War, the figures are from Perry's ECW range, blisters ECW2 and ECW3.

Have a good Christmas and New Year!

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Another Gun and a Game

With a game upcoming this weekend I discovered two things: I needed another cannon and ... I actually had one stashed away! I don't remember buying it but was happily suprised to see it in a box of ECW blisters and figures. Like the previous gun, this is a Warlord Games casting. Great figures, easy to paint. As time was a factor, and this is a light field gun anyway, the base is simple without fortification:

With the gun finished just yesterday it was time for an outing. My ECW figures had not been out of the basement for a long time so I was looking forward to this game. I had to supplement my own figures with some of Jeff's collection; as he had several command stands and ensigns it was particularly handy. In the photos his are the ones on thick pea green coloured stands. The rules used were Carnage and Glory II, a computer moderated system.  I had never used such a system before so this was new ground for me; Murdock had given them a run through a couple of times so knew what to expect.  

We deployed for a basic "meeting engagement" scenario. We both went with the standard ECW deployment of cavalry on the wings and infantry in the middle. Although Parliament had the advantage of more infantry, including Dragoons, the King had more cavalry regiments at his disposal. My plan was to try and hold the centre long enough for my cavalry to overwhelm his and close in. I figured that Prince Rupert and his cavaliers were sure to over-run their opponents but I had doubts about how long my foot could hold the centre. It turns out, my expectations were wrong on both accounts....
Below, the Royalist centre at deployment: yes, the figure on the hex base waving his hat looking quite a bit like Cromwell is actually the King (oh what a portent of what was to be a in a few short years...)
 The Royalist left flank loaded for bear, including the aggressive Prince Rupert (the command figure on the grey on the right edge of the photo):
Although it took us a while to get into the flow of how the game works I did like the system. Each regiment has a number attached to it (the blue tag behind the coronet/ensign of each unit). Whenever the unit does anything- move, cross difficult terrain, shoot, charge, engage in melee, etc- it's number is entered into the program and the end result is determined, and any effects tracked, by the program. Basically the computer does all the tedious record keeping and math. Inevitably we would try to do something like a formation change and we would get the predictable...

Lord Byron's Cavalry Brigade gets wound up for a charge into the enemy waiting in the distance:

The presence of the enemy dragoons entering the hay field doesn't phase them...

... but just to be sure Byron leads a regiment to chase them off. Surely, with Rupert to lead the rest of the cavalry (charging into the enemy in the distance) success was inevitable...
Nope... sadly, Mr. Computer hasn't bought into the Legend that is Prince Rupert of The Rhine and they were seen off and pursued by the Parliamentarian cavalry:
In fact, in what was to be a key feature of the game, Rupert is captured! This is the last we see of him...
Surely, on the right flank where we out number the Parliamentarian horse nearly two to one, things will be better:
Once again... nope... In both cavalry engagements, the Royalists are repulsed and the pursuers chased them down and then continued on to do the same to the supporting regiments they crash into. These two photos show victorious Parliamentarian horse in the background, fleeing royalist horse to the left, and- in the case of the pic directly below- 2 regiments of Royalist horse apparently incapable of providing support (this was Sir John Urry's brigade and he must a have been a real twat as he couldn't motivate, inspire or rally a regiment until the final turn of the game when it was far too late).

In fact, in this game, defeating your opponent seemed to turn the victorious unit into super killer robots of deth!1! On the final turn of the game we fought 6 melees that were a result of pursuers from both sides crashing into otherwise healthy units and in every case but one (including infantry) the pursuers won.

Oddly enough, the area where I thought I might have the most trouble seemed to be my strength: the centre. 
Below, Tillier's brigade gains the hill and holds it until the end of the game despite an assault from the Parliamentarian foot.
Below, Lord Byron's foot (blue coated regiment in the middle) refuses to charge the enemy despite the presence of both Sergeant Major Sir John Girlington (mounted figure at the lower left corner of the regiment) and their brigade commander Lord Warren. I can't blame them as they had taken massive casualties from musket fire and yet remained in the battle line. However, had I managed it, I might have created an opening with two other regiments waiting to exploit it. 
In the end, the collapse of the cavalry on the right flank and the capture of Rupert on the left was too much for the royalist morale to ignore and the King was forced to leave the battlefield to the enemy.

Overall, a very satisfying game although with no rule book to refer to, learning as I went, and not really knowing what possible outcomes were, or the odds,  did make things a little ... opaque.  We had some issues with interpenetration: in one case fleeing cavalry contacting enemy infantry and another where a cavalry regiment clipped a friendly battery as it counter-charged. Murdock made some ad hoc rulings and they worked on both accounts.  I could see things really flying along if you had a referee entering the data and running the game. As I said earlier, I liked the way things worked and look forward to using the system again.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Boatswain's Creek and Boatswain's Swamp

Boatswain's creek and Boatswain's swamp have been modeled. I did the creek first; I made a few mistakes from which I learned when it came to making the swamp:

I didn't quite get the colour right; it is too beige. Boatswain's creek is an orangey-brown and - in reality- not very wide. As the ground scale of the game is approximately 1"=40 yards, a thick pencil line would have sufficed. The valley that it is in is shown as wooded on the scenario map so I have also made a number of trees. 

Another problem I have is that the creek does not want to sit flat. It is on painted canvas, coated with 3 coats of high gloss paint. All those layers have cased the edges and ends to curl up.
I have a few possible solutions for that.

Here is the view from the rebels' side of the creek. They will have to assault Yankee positions on the other side; nice eh?

The swamp turned out better I think. Although the water is too brown now it is closer to actual colour of Boatswain's creek.
This area too, the rebels will have to cross. The hill on the right will be defended by Yankees in hastily prepared defenses.
The wider breadth of the canvas has prevented the edges and ends from curling too much I think.
I used a ton of different materials for the swamp: tufts from Gamers Grass and Army Painter; static grass from Heki; shrubs of my own construction made from War World Scenics Static grass and both Scenic Express Superleaf and Woodland Scenics coarse turf; Woodland Scenics clump foliage and Scenics Express Superturf as well as shrubs made from 3M contour sanding pads with WS coarse turf.
I am nearly finished this project (it was only going to be the hills but I got a bit carried away...); a few more trees, two bridges, some field defenses and (possibly) a couple more sections of split rail fencing. 

Monday, 12 November 2018

Warlord Games Saker Cannon and Crew

In between stages of my terrain projects I am trying to add bits and pieces to my other armies. Here I have completed a Warlord Games Saker Cannon and Crew.

I rather pooched the bases for the crew- I should have made the whole stand bigger so there was room to fit the  muddy bases beside the wooden decking (made from scribed Evergreen Plastics sheet styrene).

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

2 Small Hills

Well... smaller than the previous batch. They are each about 30cm by 50cm. Made in the same fashion with 2 exceptions, both improvements over the previous method:
-these two hills are based on 3mm MDF; I wish I had done this for the previous set although it would have made the larger hills a tad heavy.
-after slathering them in tile adhesive/grout mix I began sticking shrubs and rocks directly and applied the static grass immediately. As the adhesive mix takes a long time to dry it worked perfectly; you actually have about an hour to an hour and half of working time- after that it starts to skim.

Here is the raw foam sanded and glued to MDF bases.

The finished hills:

Here some 15mm Numdian horsemen give you an idea of scale:

(without a significant amount of light in the background the camera wants to compensate by yellowing all the greens)

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Battle of Gaines' Mill Terrain; Part 2

The bulk of the hills are done. In retrospect, I should have used 2" styrofoam or 2 layers of the 1". This is my first terrain designed specifically for 15mm miniatures and I think I erred on the small side.

After the adhesive and sand dried I marked in the roads and starting adding brush in the valleys:
As the battle took place on June 27th. I stayed away from browns and golds as my one trip to Virginia was in July and I was impressed with how lush everything was. The valleys around the hills are mostly forest and swamp and between them is Boatswain Creek. 

As I didn't take pictures of every stage I will give you a rundown of the various steps and follow that up with a number of pictures of the finished hills. I flocked all the hills in 2mm Woodlands Scenics Medium Green and Light Green static grass; doing it in patches and varying the mix to create a little diversity. Then more shrubs and bushes using Woodland Scenics Lichen, Medium Green and Light Green Clump Foliage, Scenic Express Coarse Turf (light and medium green) and some leafy shrubs of my own making. Then some Silflor 4mm Summer grass static grass along the bottom edges of the hills. Then the final touch was to spray the tops with adhesive (I used LePages Spray Adhesive) and sprinkle a mix of Woodland Scenics Coarse Turf (light and medium green) and Scenic Express SuperLeaf (medium green).

Next up: trees.