Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Eureka Miniatures Early French Battalion 3

The third battalion for my Napoleonic Early French project done. This time it's a 24 man battalion plus command instead of the 36 man sized units I painted before. Our group here decided to reduce the standard battalion size a bit in the hope we can get them on the table a bit sooner. While 36 looks better I think 24 still looks OK but for painting it makes a huge difference. Well to me anyway, it's something psychological with those 36 sized units. When you start it it feels like a major project that will take ages to finish while a 24 sized unit feels just as another thing on the painting desk.
I will rearrange the other battalions so they gan go both ways but now I only need to paint 48 more to have six of them finished :-)

This was my final submission for the annual Painting challenge @Analogue Hobbies. It's in the fortnight theme bonus round which I recommend you to check if you did not already as there are some insane good entries over there. This is what I posted:
For the last stands in this years challenge I finally managed to get a decent sized unit done.  I love firing lines in an army. They are not the most practical for gaming but any of my armies needs at least one.
These excellent Eureka miniatures are initially painted for the Wars of the Third Coalition but I will allow them to be fielded up to 1807 and use them with a simple flag swap for the Revolutionary wars in Europe and even Egypt. So these battalions will give me a great base to expand on and paint up theatre specific units for the various armies in the future.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter War Finnish

Those of you who follow the challenge @Analogue Hobbies might have seen these riflemen before...

Inspired by the fun we have playing Chain of Command I started with these Finnish rifleman from the Baker Company kickstarter.
I did about half a platoon a few years back using Brigade games and  Battle Honors figures so I was overly excited when this Baker kickstarter arrived on the scene. Eager to get my platoon to strength I backed for a finnish platoon deal and hoped for the best. Especially when Baker company announced it would catch up to modern standards since their current range was outdated and not compatible to the current standard of miniatures. Unfortunately it didn't turn out exactly how I wished for.

 IMHO Baker has been a victim of it's own success and he started sculpting, producing and shipping thousands and thousands of figures like a madman. And yes, I do appreciate the energy and enthusiasm he puts into it but I feel he just forgot his first goal as I understood it: Get Baker Company on the map again with fine quality modern figures.
So it became a rush job and you notice it.  Flash everywhere, some weird faces and a couple of odd figures. A detailed inspection does not make you that much happier.
I decided to paint up a few and see how they turned out. I took them to my friends here for a final test (they are waiting for their Russians now) if I would continue with them. Well, obviously we found them good enough to give them a paint and have a few games. I was lucky I painted the other half of the platoon in a heavy mud look so I could throw all sorts of brown on those as well which helps camouflaging things.

In the end I'm happy how they turned out and I look forward receiving the extras for this kickstarter because for 60£ you get a lot, and I mean a lot, of extras. That, all the hardware you will get, and the fact these are Winter War makes the kickstarted worthwhile to me. I just hope Baker learned from this journey and sorts thing out when he starts his next kickstarter. We know he can sculpt well because there are good quality figures with these as well.

And the machine gun from Brigade games from the first half of the platoon I did previously. Just because I like this piece...

Complete platoon can be found here

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

AWI AAR, the promotion of Loudmouth Bill

We started our 2014 gaming year very well with an AWI skirmish battle hosted by RobP. Now let's  follow the new year's and try to get some sort of AAR on the blog. We used Musket & Tomahawks for the game, which is fast becoming one of our favorite rulesets. Fast, simple, fun. And don't ask me why but we never have any discussion on the rules whatsoever.

Anyway, the day before the game we all received an email with some background of the battle, troop  details,  commander and objectives. All presented in a nice storyline.

I got to play a local commander named Bill. He was leading an impressive looking set of men with big muskets and apparently even bigger talk. Despite their many shortcomings they were willing to fight for the freedom of their country. As their homes were very dear to them their objective was to defend all the houses in area. That big mouth local commander Bill had his own agenda though. Yes, he wanted to save the village, but this could also be his opportunity to gain fame and glory. No this must be his moment of glory, Bill decided.  If he could show the Army commander his bravery and skills he might be in for a promotion! So he was not planning for any defensive moves. No, he planned for an attack in the open for everyone to see. That should get the proper attention and win the promotion for him.
Also, a few days earlier some professional riflemen had arrived in the small village. They had been ordered to cut off the supplies to the British Ford and to clear the area from Redcoats.

The four other players received their orders as well with the Indians to take the Fort. Since you never know what their next move is I placed a unit of Riflemen behind a wall just outside the village n. With their rifles they covered a large portion of the area. The Continental Regular army had their eye on the Fort as well but as soon as they noticed the Redcoats entering the area they went straight on in to the nearest enemy. The British had to hold the Fort and bring home the supply wagon while securing the area from any danger.

Setup for the game

The first British arrive at the scene
Opposed by an impressive first line of defense.
This is getting scary
Meanwhile, the garrison at the Fort is organizing the defense
and Continental regulars are approaching to save the day for the local defenders

The Indians appear from the woods to storm the Fort
while the British try to secure the bridge
Supply wagon starts to move towards the Fort with the Lights clearing the area
Riflemen protecting the houses from the advancing grenadiers

With the British Lights taking position at the fence and in clear view from the overall Commander at the end of the road, Bill decided this had to be his moment. He would be the hero of the day and get his promotion. He ordered his remaining troops to move in the open to prepare for a frontal assault on the surprised British Lights. It was all or nothing. And while the other commanders later stated it looked like a suicide assault Bill knew better than that. If he could hold the initiative and inflict some casualties to the Lights from shooting with the units on the left and near the house he would have a good chance for a successful assault.

And so it happened (count your cards guys:). Initiative remained with the local defenders and they immediately opened fire from the left killing a few Redcoats. This was the sign for the charge and five brave men and a brave woman launched forward.
The Lights, still confused by this sudden attack, tried to hold their line at the fence but it was too much for them. They tried to fight back but they panicked and tried to get away. In the end, not a singe men of the Light survived. Even the three fleeing on the picture lost their lives a minute after the picture was taken. The locals lost one men and the only woman in the charge.
On top of all this they are now in a great position to take on the next group of intruders.
Now that should settle Bill's promotion I would think.

Continental regulars making sure the village is protected from advancing grenadiers

Bill is enjoying control over his village
At the Fort fierce fighting as well, with the British reduced from this
to this by the Indians and Riflemen. But they have hold their objective, the Fort was safe
After a few hours it was time to head off to the restaurant but not before the final conclusion. Rob decided it was a draw based on victory points for the houses, Fort and a couple of other things.  Draw or not, it felt like a major victory to Bill and both Bill and I had a great day.

I've uploaded all pictures of the day here

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Repainting Early War Germans

 It must have been over 10 years ago that the usual suspects of this group decided to start WWII gaming. As at time it took ages to get something done we decided to take a shortcut and use a painting service so we could start gaming quickly. The plan was simple, we buy our stuff at Salute and hand it over to Sanath of Fernando Enterprises. I'm not aware of their quality today but at that time they had some very talented painters who did the most gorgeous ancient and Roman armies for us. I will take some pictures soon to show you these as well.                                                                                               I remember meeting with Sanath the day after Salute at a Hotel in the area and he welcomed us with a whole entourage of people who accompanied him. At the time Crusader sold unit boxes with a nice picture on it so we handed over the Germans, Brits and French platoons and pointed to the boxes; Please paint it like that and all is fine.
Six weeks later we received the figures and they were nicely painted. Nicely painted but not completely historically correct. The German uniform was too blue to my taste and the equipment was simply wrong. Well, not their fault, I should have been more explicit with my instructions so I decided not to bother and simply get them on the table for some good games using the Iran Ivan rules.
For the last few years these Germans lived in a forgotten box but with the release of Chain of Command I knew they were going to see some actions so I decided to repaint parts of them so at least I am happy with them. To get rid of the blueish tone I did a few tests and in the end decided that Vallejo 920 would do the trick on the uniform for me.
Most of the faces, trousers, boots and rifles have survived, all other parts repainted...
Support will follow soon.

Original paintjob

Original paintjob
The result:

German Mortar team from Warlord. Recently painted to complement the platoon

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New year, new resolutions

So time to resurrect the blog and re-join the fun @the blogosphere.

I noticed it has been eight months since I last posted and checked the blog so I needed to decide to either give it up or give it another fresh attempt in 2014. Last May I switched jobs and put all my energy in making this a success. While doing this all wargaming related activities became a rarity. I barely painted, stopped checking blogs and only played a few games.
Now things have settled I've started to paint again and actually had a few games last Month. Inspiration has returned like never before so the painting desk has way too many different periods patiently waiting for their turn once more. Back to normal so to say.
I will continue posting battle report, painting results and what more irregularly as before with lots of WWII stuff in the near future. After a few games of Chain of Command I'm so impressed with the game I started painting platoons in three different scales. I know, insane, but I just had to join all the different projects in our group.

Ok, I when I started this blog I promised myself never to post without any pictures so here's a few from recent games:

 Back in August I visited Rejects HQ to pick up a HUGE Old West train Postie (Battleaxe painting service) painted for me. Poor him, it took him a bit longer than expected but I will post the excellent results here soon. They put up a great ACW game which Ray and Lee blogged about a long time ago...Thanks again guys for the fantastic day.

This is how I remember BigLee, dissapointed by another bad dice roll. Really, I'm a bad roller and I have a friend Marc who is a bad dice roller but BigLee tops us all. May the dice be with you this year!

Have a great 2014!