Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hauverstover 2nd Infantry

The second Hauverstover Infantry regiment is ready. This is a quick post to show the figs. These are 10 mm Old Glory. They are based on 50 MM Litko bases. Here is the full line.

Here is a close-up showing a little more detail. It actually pained me to paint the cords on the flag over the owl, but it had to be complete. There will be a change to the flag design coming for the 3rd infantry, and maybe others. I like them on paper, but this one was a challenge to paint. I need a simpler design.

I have experimented with several backgrounds for taking pictures, this one was a medium gray. Not sure that I am satisfied yet. I guess that is part of the fun.

Next up will be my 28mm Norman Saga army. Wow, something in a larger scale for a while. I am currently blocking colors on my cavalry. I will post some shots when they are farther along. Right now they are pretty messy.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ducks Bellow for Rum

I just received my copy of Dux Bellorum. I am looking forward to reading it and playing a few games with the rest of the Basement Generals. However, it is the end of a very long day, so Ducks Bellowing seems extremely funny at this point. Probably not.

I bought these figures over the weekend to go with this rule set. I now have another project to get started. However, these are going to fall in line after my Saga Normans. All in all it was a good holiday weekend. I finished the Wilson's Creek ACW board game. I should be done with my 2nd Hauverstoverian infantry regiment soon. I just have the tricorn lace to paint and then I can base them. On the figs I bought for Dux, (Armalion - Leichte Weidener Ritter) the casting for the leader had a horse head coming out of his crown! A little snipping and filing and he looks tons better. His opponents would have been vulnerable because they would be laughing themselves silly.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hauverstover - 2nd Infantry - Flags

The Old Glory 10mm Marlburian range has cast flags as part of their sculpts. Working in larger scales, I have always used paper flags. This allowed either a purchase of a ready made flag or producing my own using a vector graphics program. When creating a vector based image, I can draw as large as I like, and then shrink the image down to the final size without loss of clarity. Hand painting these little 10mm flags has been a challenge. I have enjoyed it and the learning process as well.

In a previous post, I showed the flags for the Hauverstover 1st Infantry unit. This post is about the 2nd Infantry unit. Their flag is more complex. I think the flag came out pretty good, so it deserved a posting. This is what I was trying to represent in a flag that is less than a centimeter square.

The best I could do was to break the flag down into basic shapes. Then it was time to determine the level of detail to be added. At this scale the flag becomes impressionistic. The following image shows the basic striped flag and then the addition of the moon. The figs sat for a week or so at this point. Trepidation kicked in big time.

Next came the basic shape of the owl in flight. I just tried to get the head, ears, wings and tail onto the flag in the appropriate positions. It was really rough at this point.

Next were the lighter brown shapes for the face, wings and tail feathers. I began to realize that the ears were too big. I would have to trim them down later.

The final steps were adding a little lighter color to indicate the legs and eyes. Then three small black dots for the eyes and beak.

The figures still need to be finished, but I am pretty happy with the flags. A fun project all in all. Happy gaming!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pea Ridge - Finally

A few weeks ago, I put together the Pea Ridge ACW game from Wargame Downloads. It just sat gathering dust for many days and nights. We have finally managed to play a couple of games. This is a report about the most recent one.

The scenario starts with the Union deployed south of an imaginary line through Leetown and Pratts Store. The cameras point of view is from the Confederate side looking south. This image shows Greg's initial deployment.

The Rebel enter the game on the two roads at the north side of the table. In the image above a gray counter marks one of the starting positions. The other is off camera to the extreme right. For the first turn, all the Rebel troops are considered in Command Control. The rule set in use is Brothers At Arms, it stresses the importance of command and control. The Union has a good set of commanders, the Rebels don't. This has proven to be the Achilles heel for the rebel side in both games. Their forces are split to the east and west of Pea Ridge, one force is inevitably out of command. Its movement then is severely curtailed.

For this game, I chose to put the Rebel overall commander in proximity with the force attacking Elkhorn Tavern. This left McCulloh's force on the west on their own resources. The next image shows the battle progressing after several turns. The Union realized that the western Rebels are having trouble moving and swept forward to capture the objective in the middle. At this point, the Union owns 4 of the 6 objective markers, but the battle in and around Elkhorn Tavern is heating up.

The battle on the west side of Pea Ridge is a non event. The Rebels grabbed the closest objective. However, there was always the problem with command to keep that force moving. That front basically just stalled with the occasionally exchange of cannon fire.

The action was on the east side of Pea Ridge. The rebs made some good progress, grabbing the objective to the southeast of Elkhorn Tavern. The Union was being pushed back.

And then that one union counter holding Clemon's Farm dug in like a tick. The rebs threw overwhelming firepower against that unit. It was not overwhelmed, it would not budge. The Rebel offensive stalled.

In the game, day light was running out, and we were running short of libations. The game ended in a draw just as the beer and scotch ran out. Here is the final position at sunset.

All in all a good game. I like the rule set, the mechanics are fairly clear. Command and Control is the heart of this game. If you are out of command, your units just sit. I am going to build the Wilson Creek game next. Same rules, but hopefully it will be a bit more even on C&C.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

An Argument in Hauverstover

At a distant point in time years past, the duchy of Hauverstover was ruled by the Duke and Duchess Steinmauer. Gerhard Steinmauer had met a dark haired, blue eyed hellion named Elke Osterwald and had been totally smitten. Their courtship was a tempestuous one. Elke had led Gerhard on a merry chase before accepting a proposal of marriage.

When it became time to form an army for the defense of Hauverstover, the topic of uniform coloring had risen. Gerhard liked a white coat with blue pants, while Elke preferred a gray coat with dark red trousers. In a moment of compromise, a blend of blue and red was suggested for the trousers and a dark purple was adopted. Both Gerhard and Elke claimed this compromise as their own idea and had great fun over the years arguing about it. However, when it came to the coat coloring, neither would budge a bit.

Duke Gerhard was very close to making a proclamation that the Infantry dress would be white coats with purple trousers. He was in his study, drafting the order, when a quick tap on his shoulder redirected his attention. He turned to see Elke looking at him with a particularly mischievous glint in her eye.

"I have interesting news my dear stuffy old Duke!"

Gerhard just quirked an eyebrow, and awaited the announcement. The last time had been about gophers eating the tulip bulbs in the gardens and how a cute little rat-terrier would solve the problem. The dratted dog was constantly getting muddy paws on his boots.

"My love, you are going to be a father. I hope you are pleased."

The Duke was overwhelmed with emotion, and grabbed his wife for an embrace. They laughed and kissed and stared at each other, both delighted with the news.

"Elke my dear, this is so wonderful. May I grant you anything? The Moon? Just say the word! "

By this time, Elke had noticed the draft of the order. With a quick smile, "Gray Coats?"

The Duke smiled and wrote the following order. "On all odd numbered infantry regiments the standard dress will be a white coat with dark purple trousers. In honor to the duchess, the even numbered regiments will have gray jackets and dark purple trousers."

Over time the gray-coated regiments became known as The Duchess' Guard. That general order stands to this day.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

ACW - Finished Limbers

I just put the finishing touches on my 15MM ACW limber project for Longstreet. They came out pretty well, that is they will be okay for table top quality. Now I can get back to my Maurice / Hauverstover project. That is of course, if nothing else grabs my fancy.

Over the years, I have experimented with different mixes of static grass colors to arrive at something that looks good on the table top. But I have never been completely satisfied. This is another batch that is close, but still not exactly what I am working for. It is almost there, so I am recording the formula for later use. Maybe with just a couple more tweaks it will be what I want

  • 2 TBSP - Medium Green Static Grass
  • 1 TBSP - Harvest Gold Static Grass
  • 1 TBSP - Green Grass Fine Turf
  • 1 TBSP - Summer Lawn Blend Flock and Turf

The limbers from the front

The limbers from the back

Now, I think I had better get a new coat of wax on my car before winter sets in. Happy gaming!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

ACW - Limber project

The ACW Union Artillery Limber project is almost complete for my Longstreet forces. These are in 15 MM using Old Glory castings. I have never found the need to paint limbers before. Simply turning an artillery base around indicated that it was limbered or not. I may resort to that same technique in the future. After this project is done, I will have two Union Artillery Limbers, the issue is the cost of an actual cannon model per limber. Seeing these two cannon effectively out of play drives a stake into my parsimonious personality.

An overall view of the pieces that will go into two limbers. The draft horses were painted very plainly. Most of the time was spent on the harness. A few of the horse models were given socks and blazes but I didn't go overboard.

This is a little closer view to the models that represent one limber. I am now to the point that I just want to get these done so I can go back to my Hauverstover project. Since these are limbers and will not be on the table top that often this level of quality is going to be good enough. By the way, nice focus on the shot. I was aiming for the horses in front. Auto-focus evidently decided to ignore me.

Finally, I looked all over the interweb and through the Osprey books to find the correct painting for a triangular pennant. Everything I could find stated that flags were either rectangular or swallow-tail. This is a compromise, that I found in one of the Osprey books. I am also showing this little guy because his mustache came out perfect.

Finally, on recommendations from some of the Basement Generals, I took a little road trip over the past weekend to Harrisburg, Missouri. A little town in the middle of the state about 15 miles north of I-70. The target was a BBQ joint named Lonnie Ray's. If barbeque is a favorite of yours, make this pilgrimage. The brisket was amazing. I will making this trip again soon!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ACW - Pea Ridge

I bought Pea Ridge, Wilson's Creek and First Manassas from Greg at Wargame Downloads. I was intrigued because the site said that one could build the battle board in 3D. Maybe I will get to that in the future, but that may end up being an unrealized project. Pea Ridge is the first of three that I assembled.

After the purchase, one receives a ZIP file download that has several PDF files included. These PDFs include the battle board, counters, rules, instructions for making the 3D board and a small history about the particular battle.

One of the first things I realized is that the battle board is on A4 metric paper. I have a B/W printer, so off to one of the big chains that does color laser printing. I found that printing Actual Size, centered on Legal size paper produced the correct results. Next was a visit to a Hobby and Craft store to get some Black Foam Core, Spray Adhesive and Mat paper.

Assembly was pretty easy since the map was kept to 2D. Note, when working with foam core, have several new #11 blades ready for your knife. When cutting with a dull blade, the foam will tear and look nasty. A razor sharp knife glides through the material effortlessly, but the foam core dulls a new one pretty quickly. I used three blades for this project. I wanted a nice clean look.

Battle Board

All the games in this series use the Brothers At Arms rules set. It looks to be a pretty straight forward rule set with some interesting rules for Command and Control and Zones of Control. I look forward to playing the initial Pea Ridge game this week. Are you ready Greg?

I do not understand why the authors of this game chose to create hex based unit counters. It meant just that much more cutting and trimming and doesn't really add anything of value. Square counters would have served just as well. On my next game, First Manassas, I will be converting the counters to squares. However this is a minor nit, all in all the assembly was easy and was a nice Saturday afternoon project.

Finally my OCD kicked in, since I was not able to find a box that I liked. I made one, and used the remaining Pea Ridge cover page as the box cover. I now understand why games are so flaming expensive. There is a lot of work to build the board, make the counters, create the rules and package the whole thing. All told, I have about 25$ into this one game for purchase, printing and craft supplies. That seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Recruits Wargaming Convention - Part 2.

There are a lot of pretty games that are put on at Recruits. This session continued that trend. On Saturday afternoon I found one of the special ones. This was a scenario based in the privateer years on the Spanish Main. HMS Redoubt had sailed from Port Royale with a small invasion force. The target was the rich but sleepy Spanish town of Santa Domingo.

I did not get the name of the game master other than Jeff with a nom de plume of Gully. This oversight withstanding, Gully put on a first class game. This little video is just a pan across the town, just to give you an idea of the amount of work and preparation that went into this game. Truly impressive.

The town may have been sleepy, but it was armed to the teeth. Here are some photos of what awaited the British invaders. I love the fact that Gully included fishermen on the docks as an extra detail flourish. Also, countless tables, chairs, crates and barrels were scattered about.

I volunteered for the task of acting as a distraction. I sailed my little boats to the far edge of the town and started my assault. This was to distract some of the guns from focusing on the main invasion. The first Spanish artillery salvo sunk one of my boats. Soldiers swimming toward shore do not constitute much of a threat. The soldiers swam slowly, weighted down with guns, knives, swords and menacing facial expressions. They were all killed to a man before they reached shore.

My other boat came under fire from cannon, swivel guns and musketry. The fisherman even threw a carp in my direction. The crew in the second boat was also killed. All of them except the officer. As the boat reached shore, he was facing 3 cannon, 2 swivel guns and 10 or 15 muskets. He apologized for the misunderstanding in his most polite and formal Spanish, and then promptly surrendered.

At this stage in the day, I was about spent on playing war games. I found a bunch of friends and we played board games for the rest of the evening. All in all looking back over the convention, I had a great time filled with lots of laughter. As the convention was closing, my board game buddies went to a local establishment and finished the time with drinks and appetizers.

Thanks Recruits! See you next year.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Recruits Wargaming Convention - Part 1.

This past weekend was the Recruits Wargaming Convention held in Lee's Summit, MO. This is going to be a fairly long post but I want to capture my experience while it is fresh in my mind. Recruits is an annual convention, generally held in middle September. My first impression was of the gorgeous weather that had bloomed for the weekend. The massive heat of a mid-west summer had broken, and the sunny, high 70s temperature was absolutely perfect. This post shows a limited number of games where I participated. I am sure there will be more pictures and information at the Recruits web site about the overall experience.

The second impression of the convention is how inexpensive it is. 5$ gains you a pass for the weekend! So I went over on Friday night around 6:00 PM, played until closing at 11:00 PM and was then back for an all day Saturday. On Saturday, the doors opened at 8:00 AM and gaming started around 9:00 AM. I played all day and finished at 10:00 PM completely sated with gaming. The point about expense needs to be taken further. Food and drinks are available on site for minimal costs. A bottle of water is 1$. Hot dogs are 1$. Slices of pizza 2$. This allowed me to focus the vast majority of my gaming funds on wargaming paraphernalia. There are vendors, a silent auction and a raffle. I spent money in all three venues.

The third impression, is the age disparity between gamers. This convention is held at a high school, with the intent to introduce new gamers into the hobby. There are old grey-beards like yours truly down to spotted face teenagers that are finding a way to socialize over a gaming table. It is an interesting mix and a lot of fun. Finally, it was a weekend of getting reacquainted with old friends. That is the part I treasure most. Now on to the events!

Friday night I played in a game of French and Indian Wars. This is done with 54MM figures and beautiful scenery by Chris at CluckAmok. The idea was for the British to protect two different built up areas, a little fort and a small homestead. The French and Indians were to burn both establishments. The British had some hidden militia in both areas. The Indians could appear anywhere on the board. The first two images are an overview of the board.

A ferocious band of Indians appear suddenly in the forest. They are carrying torches and are obviously up to no good.

The provincial army raises the alarm about the Indians in the woods.

A unit of Grenadiers makes a volley at the enemy in the distance.

The British form lines, however it was a little too late, off in the distance, the fort burns. At the end of the day, the fort was burning. The farmstead was secure. The French and Indians had taken heavy casualties, but it ended in a draw.

On Saturday, I played in an American Revolutionary War game, followed by a sea assault in the age of pirates. First up is the American Revolutionary game. The scenario was that a American supply train had to start on one side of the battlefield, move along a road, cross a bridge and then get off the battlefield. The English wanted to destroy or capture the wagons, the Americans needed to protect it. I think those oxen realized they were the evening meal, because they were slow! They moved 2" per turn.

Here is a view of the battlefield with the supply train on the right. It would take almost 7 turns before the wagons would reach the bridge.

Americans had the militia deployed forward, with the regulars waiting to defend the road.

The militia performed admirably by stalling the British advance well past all expectations. The losses on both sides were brutal. However the militia was eventually driven back. Losses were high and they finally routed.

The right flank of the British was in no hurry to engage the American Regulars now opposing them. Fresh Americans with artillery waited. The action switched to the center of the battlefield. The British assaulted the town in hopes to cut the road and capture the supply wagons.

Losses were high on both sides. The British reached the town and the American Regulars were getting shaky. It was neck and neck at this point, but we were out of time. It was ruled that the British had a narrow victory. The damnable oxen hadn't crossed the bridge and the British were pressing.

This was a nice game, but it tested my math abilities. The best thing about this game was the great guys playing and the mountain of dead markers that the GM had painted. Looking at the table, one could see where the lines had come together, fought, bounced and slammed together again.

This post is getting rather long with a lot of images. I will post about the Invasion on the Spanish Main in part 2.