Saturday, 10 February 2018

Ambush at Rotkirch

A quick game played out in the 1758 campaign. This sees a supply train for the Hungarian forces north of Colslau being ambushed by a light Prussian force.
I began to play this game with the Honours of War rules, but in the first combat I found both the Austrian and Prussian Hussars wiped each other out. The speed with which units can be destroyed is something about the rules that I haven't really liked, and so after a bit of tweaking I have gone back to my old Horse and Musket rules. With a few updates to take out removal of bases as part of the mechanisms, I've arrived at a set of rules I really enjoy. The page has been updated today.
I actually didn't play this one solo. John came around and it took about half an hour to play through, with quite a satisfactory conclusion.

The Austrian supply column winds its way along the road.

A view showing Rotkirch in the background.
 The scenario called for the Prussians to roll for when they would appear. Each turn they rolled a d6. In the first turn they needed a 6, in the second a 5 or 6 and so on. They arrived in Turn 3.

The Prussians arrive.
 The forces were:
Austria - 1 Hussar regiment, 1 Grenadier regiment and 1 Grenz battalion.
Prussia - 2 Hussar regiments and 2 Freikorps battalions.
The Austrians had four carts that they needed to get off the southern table edge. If a Prussian unit contacted a cart it would be captured.

Because I was playing a real person, I didn't end up taking photos of the whole action, but it ended with the Austrian Hadik Hussars being routed and the Austrians losing two carts to the Prussian raiders. The other two carts were safely delivered. This will affect the siege of Colslau in that a detachment of Hungarians will be sent north to garrison the road via Rotkirch, and the garrison will not have to endure heavy bombardment on Colslau itself.

The end of the battle as the Malachowsky Hussars catch the Austrian wagon just before it leaves the table.
 The Malachowsky Hussars restored their reputation after their precipitous flight at Brudenitz, earning a commendation for their role in routing their Austrian opposites and then managing to secure the second Austrian wagon.
Hunkering down in Rotkirche the Warasdiner Grenz and the Grenadier regiment keep the Prussian Freikorps at bay.
On the Austrian side the Warasdiner Grenz earned a commendation for their delaying action against the Freikorps, which saved two of the wagons.


Saturday, 3 February 2018

The siege of Colslau begins

Following the skirmish at Brudenitz the survivors of Kessel's command retreated into Colslau, except for the Hussars who moved north to allow for raids on the Austrian supply lines. The Austrians are now able to set up siege lines on all sides of the city.
Here are some photos of the siege's progress:
The northern bank and the Hungarian Brigade that has been sent to blockade it. This offers the most direct line of assault, but is at the very end of the Austrian supply lines, so von Schilcher has decided to simply blockade here.
The Western suburbs over the Rotwasser are the easiest to access for the Austrians. It has been stoutly defended however,as can be seen by the Austrian casualties outside the breach. The town is on fire here.

South of the Elsa the suburb of Onszow burns. On first arriving the Austrians tried to storm the defences. The results can be seen in no-man's-land.

The Hungarian siege lines. Engineers busily go about their work.

A supply column winds its way into the Austrian lines south of the Elsa.

Inside Colslau the 47 Rohr regiment which fought at Brudenitz is held in reserve for any breaches made.

To the north, outside of the siege lines Prussian Freikorps and Austrian Grenzers eye each other over the Rotwasser.

An aerial view of the Austrian lines south of the Elsa.

Colslau under siege.
 Colslau's position is important. If the Austrian's take it they will have excellent communications with the Russians operating to the East. It won't be long before Frederick dispatches a relief expedition. The odds on favourite to command it will be General von Pritzwalk, who gave such sterling service in the last campaign on Rotwasser.

And the most recent regiment to join the Austrian army, IR 43 Platz. 

Friday, 2 February 2018

Colonial Marines and choppers

The start of the new school year has been keeping me busy, but I finally put the last touches on a set of 5 Prodos Colonial Marines for Glenn last night. This was really just a trial run to see how they would come out.
The five figures all together

 The details on them were just too fine to paint eyes on unfortunately, but the camo was relatively easy. Glenn wanted them 'kind of dark', like in the movie, so that was the effect I was going for.

After much wheeling and dealing Craig has ended up back with the Team Yankee Soviets, and I'm painting it for him. These Hinds will carry the Afgantsy into battle.

That doesn't mean that I'm not going to have any Soviets though - I've planned out a T-64 based army list, and the first elements are already on their way. This is of course, a natural extension of getting those West Germans painted. It would also explain this why I now have several boxes of Battlefront West German stuff sitting on my table ready to be put together. So much for project management and planning...
I always planned to do Team Yankee this year,honest...
The last of the Seven Years War battalions are also slowly getting done as well.


Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Skirmish at Brudenitz - the campaign begins

My first battle of the year using the Honours of War rules fits into the beginning of my Seven Years War campaign.
Set in 1758 in the fictional Rotwasser valley, the campaign centres around the possession of the fortress of Colslau which controls the confluence of the Rotwasser with the Elsa river. The Austrians have sent a force to besiege Colslau, and the campaign opens in April with the advance of the Imperial forces to encircle the fortress.
The map of the Rotwasser valley, Colslau is left centre (labelled 1)
The initial positions in the first week of April are as follows:
The Prussians: in Colslau 4,000 garrison troops under General Kranwitz; to the north at Rotbrucke a single regiment of IR 44 von Jungkenn Fusiliers under their colonel; to the east at Brudernitz on the Elsa river, Garrison Regiment II Alt-Sydow, IR 47 Rohr Fusiliers, Hussar regiment 7 von Malachowski under General Kessell.

The Austrians: At Sitzburg to the west of Colslau Regiments 12 Botta, 16 Konigsegg, 28 Wied, the 1 regiment of grenadiers and the 6 Liechtenstein Dragoons under General von Schilcher; At Ober-Rotberg to the South East of Colslau Regiments 31 Haller, 34 Batthanynayi, 37 Esterhazy, the Warasdiner grenzers, and the 31 De Ligne Dragoons under Baron Nokedli; At Sibilnitz north-east of Colslau Regiment 14 Salm, 36 Browne, 38 De Ligne and 24 Esterhazy Hussars under General Palmino.

Von Schilcher, in overall command, has advanced his preparations to besiege the western suburbs of Colslau. Nokedli is preparing to entrench the around the south bank of the Elsa, while Palmino has been dispatched to cross the Elsa at the only bridge at Brudernitz. He is then to advance south-west and begin operations to cut off the last road out of Colslau.

Thus we come to 8th April 1758 and the first conflict at Brudernitz. General Kessell has deployed his small force on the southern bank of the Elsa as Palmino advances towards him. For the purposes of the Honours of War rules, Kessell is competent while Palmino is dithering.

The battlefield at the beginning of the action, Brudernitz and the north bank in the foreground, Sibilnitz at the back.
The action was a short and sharp one. The Malachowski Hussars were charge by the Esterhazy hussars, but with their countercharge forced them into retreat and then pursued them to a rout from the field. Before they could reform though, they were left exposed to canister fire from the Austrian artillery, which did for them. The infantry battle was an even match, until the Browne regiment marched up and deployed on the flank of the Alt-Sydow garrison regiment. The Prussians couldnot stand up to the crossfire and enfilade and proceeded to retreat into the Elsa. This left the Rohr regiment which abandoned the field and moved north.
End of the battle. The Browne regiment can be seen in the foreground, in the position in which it was able to enfilade the Alt-Sydow regiment. The Rohr regiment can be seen retreating over the bridge.
So the first skirmish has seen the Prussians retreat north towards Andelnitz (22 on the map) and Palmino secure the Elsa crossign for the Austrians. Will Kessel take his survivors into Colslau or head north to maintain his freedom of action?


Monday, 15 January 2018

On a painting streak

I've been busy with the brushes over the last few days, and managed to progress some projects.
German grenadiers for Craig. As always, he will add the tufts etc.
Houses for East Prussia - I'm going to need these for the Seven Years War and WWI
IR19 Markgraf Karl, somewhere in East Prussia
Musketeer Regiment 14 Salm-Salm.
This and the previous regiment are all Lancashire Games figures
2 batteries of Union artillery
2 batteries of Confederate artillery
Kampfgruppe Muller for Team Yankee
And another angle.
The West Germans were a bit of a spur of the moment thing. I'd got the airbrush out for some bits and pieces for Craig, and thought I might as well have a go with these guys. I really like how they turned out. Oh dear, remember what I said about focusing on purchasing terrain this year? I think I might have a new distraction already...

On the painting tray are some French colonels for John, some Prodos Marines for Alien vs Predator for Glenn, some Samurai for Dan and another Austrian regiment (Hoch & Deutschmeister), so plenty of variety to come. Also, hopefully I'll get a game in real soon.


Thursday, 11 January 2018

First painting

It's been a week since we got back from Aussie, and it was an excellent trip with the family. Since I've got home I've been catching up on lost time and getting through some painting and prep. The first thing I did was finish John's 95th Rifles, the Chosen Men box from Warlord Games with 16 riflemen and a dog. Having completed that (no photos unfortunately as I took them to him before I thought to take a snap) I promptly moved into some 15mm Seven Years War. I have 4 regiments of Prussian musketeers and 4 of Austrians to paint, together with some casualties and a couple of limbers. These are all now prepped and primed and ready to go, and I have started with IR 15 the Prussian Leibgarde.

IR15 Leibgarde Regiment
Parading past Der Alte Fritz himself.
Currently IR19 Markgraf Karl is sitting on the painting tray half complete.

Project Management Take 2

I thought I'd try and be structured with my projects this year, with completion dates to work towards. I'm dividing the year into thirds. The first third I want to complete the Prussians and Austrians for the Seven Years War, plus the American Civil War armies which are also now all prepped and ready to be painted. There are 11 regiments (5 Confederate and 6 Union) of infantry, 8 regiments of cavalry (mounted and dismounted) and some heavy artillery and limbers. Finally, I want to aim to get another Marian Roman and Gallic army painted for DBA in the quest to have BBDBA armies available by the end of the year for this period.

The second third of the year will be concentrating on the 15mm Seven Years War Russians, to get them finished by August for the anniversary of Zorndorf. Well, the intention is there...

The final third will be spent on the German and Russian 1914 armies, hopefully they can be used in a game to mark Armistice weekend, even if they aren't complete by that point.

The plans, of course, are affected by painting for others, but if I don't meet my targets by the due dates, then I'll move onto the next project. That way I can guarantee progress in each of the periods, whether or not I complete them. I can always proxy Austrians at Zorndorf if necessary.

The line-up for others isn't reducing. Most of it will be for Craig, and consists of Battlefront German grenadiers (which I've had for half a year but am struggling to get into), 28mm Soviets, some Luftwaffe and Volksturm for Bolt Action, and a few other bits and pieces. I have some 28mm Napoleonics for John, some figures for Dan, Glenn and Chris, and then I think I'll call it a year on painting for others.  It would be nice to only have my own stuff to work through for a while.

Planning the games for the year

To go with the painting schedule, I'm planning a succession of campaigns this year. The first will be a Seven Years War Campaign to run in the first third of the year, fighting a series of linked battles between the Prussians and the Austrians, which should end up completed. Next will be an American Civil War campaign, using everything that I've managed to complete by May. A second Seven Years War campaign will follow this in the final third, with the Russians involved. Next December I hope to be able to fight out a series of linked battles on the Eastern Front in WWI as well.

Alongside these games, I aim to get more DBA. Portable Battle, Clobberin' Time and Song of Broken Legions games in as well. We'll see if I can manage 3 games a month - that is the goal.

Look - a book!

The Aussie trip didn't see any toy soldier purchases, but they did see me raid a couple of second hand bookstores and pick up a whole pile of great books (my wife was not impressed that we had to try and get all of this stuff packed into the luggage for the return trip). But amongst the loot was a book that I didn't even pay for. This was a gift from Marcus when I visited him in Canberra. Last year he and Dan came across a building being prepared to be demolished, with all of the possessions left inside going with it. Well they were allowed to go in and raid this site, and the chap who owned it turned out to be a real military head. They grabbed tons of books and still didn't get through it all. One of the volumes was this:

This book by Esposito and Elting is on my bucket list. There was a volume in the library at my University and I read it cover to cover, photocopying a good number of the maps along the way. I offered to buy it off him, but Marcus said at the time that if I went to Canberra to visit him, I could have it, so I did and now I have. In return I might get some 6mm figs to paint up for his copy of  'Travel Battle' as a return gesture.
If you don't know this book, it is simply a must have if you are an map fiend and Napoleonaphile like me. It covers the campaigns that he was personally involved in, describing the battles in detail and matching them with fantastic maps.
Overview of the armies at the start of the Marengo campaign.
One of the maps detailing the course of the battle.
Obviously, acquiring this has made me very, very happy. Thanks Marcus!

Potential purchases

With the cabinets bulging I plan to resist any new temptations this year. Not easy, as Gangs of Rome looks totally amazing, but I aim to stick to my guns - no new projects! (... Except maybe some French and British for Napoleon in Egypt, which isn't really a new project as I already have some test figures...).
Anyway, aside from some dismounted cavalry for the ACW and a few battalions to finish off the Franco-Prussian War armies, figure purchases are to be kept at a minimum. The word this year will be 'terrain'. The ACW demands some very specific styles of building that I don't currently possess. The ECW, although not this year's project (locked in for 2019), also needs some terrain built and bought for it.
And although not an essential terrain item, I couldn't resist buying this as a Late Roman era camp for some Huns or other Barbarians in DBA:
The fall of the Roman Empire...
You've gotta love Aquarium decorations...


Monday, 18 December 2017

2017 wrap up

This is my last post for this year, as we are about to head over the ditch to the land of Oz for Xmas. As such, this post will be a reflection on 2017 - achievements and otherwise.

1. The 6 x 6 challenge
This idea from Kaptain Kobold at the Stronghold Rebuilt to get people blogging more about games rather than, 'look what I just painted', was a brilliant one, and got me playing the most games I've managed in a year this century. I didn't actually finish the challenge, but I ended up playing 40 games - four more than the 6x6, but just not in the right categories. As such, the 6 x 6 was a fantastic challenge and helped me develop some of my own rules, explore DBA v3.0 and have plenty of fun along the way.
The highlights for me were playing through Clobberin' Time and slowly building figures for the NDC Universe - the comics characters Dan and I began to invent 30 years ago. It is a bit of a kick seeing them come alive on the table. The other highlight was the discovery of Tony Aguilar's and Musashi's DBA battle reports on Youtube, lately added to by NZ's own Greg Kelleher and Mark Baker.
Aphid (foreground) was one of our first ever creations. Tiger Girl came into being this year.
Crazy fun - Delta Wave versus the Snowmen from Mars in a random dinosaur park.
2. Acquisitions
This is a big category this year, fueled by being gifted stuff and purchases made with commission money. Most importantly, I completed my Practical Wargamer magazine collection this year. So inspirational that I have several magazines next to my bed at the moment where I've been reading through some American Civil War articles and getting sidetracked by things like 15th Century Ireland - FOCUS!
Paul's gift of 15mm American Civil War armies has launched me straight into a new period, and I only have about a third of the armies that I need to complete for this project.
The English Civil War in 28mm are all sitting there partially assembled now - 2000 points for Warhammer English Civil War per side. That one is going to be a biggie, and is ear-marked for 2019.
Multiple DBA armies have also found there way into the cabinet, with most of my favourite eras in ancient history now covered.
Collection complete!
3. Painting Commissions
A slightly quieter year commission-wise in 2017. I started the year by finishing off some German 15mm Flames of War figures for Craig, then some 15mm British Paras, followed by painting some 28s for Geoff mid-year, and then the Walking Dead figures at the end of the year. Wanting to get some of my own projects finished got in the way a little this year, and I have a queue waiting for me in 2018 - John's Napoleonics and some more 15mm WWII from Craig, but I'll get there...
The top tray of Walking Dead figures just prior to sending.
4. Painting for my collections
I rounded out a number of Seven Years War 15mm units, although I still have more to go (next year). I painted 28mm Marlburian armies for the Pikeman's Lament (and then sold them), 4 DBA armies, Chaco War and Vietnam War armies for the Portable Wargame and several factions for Song of Broken Legions. Alongside this there have been numerous experiments and other bits and pieces just for something different to paint. In total, it has been a good painting year, aside from the month where my back packed up.

5. Blogging
Including this one, there will be 55 posts this year, 5 down on 2016. I haven't posted anywhere as many photos of painting as I have in the past, and this is in keeping with my resolution to try to have more games blogged and not just pictures of figures. I do now wish that I had some record of the 15mm Britsh paras, though, as I had forgotten that I'd painted them!
The 6 x 6 has been a great blogging event to participate in. Thanks you Kaptain Kobold for organising it. In August I started a 'Project Management' blog challenge to try to get people to link to each other's blogs a bit. I have to say that Mark and Jonathan have been the best at sticking to their plans. Me, not so much...

6. 2018
Two big anniversaries dominate next year's plans: 100 years since the end of WWI and 260 years since the battle of Zorndorf. Hence my goal is to have the 15mm Russian Seven Years War army ready to fight by August, and my 18mm Russian and German armies ready to go in the same month. If I get the time I will also try to complete the Flames of War Great War British and Germans. Alongside these I aim to have the American Civil War armies finished by the end of February.
Commission-wise, I have 15mm Grenadiers, a platoon of 28mm Luftwaffe infantry and several helicopters to paint for Craig, 28mm Napoleonic Rifles, Highlanders and artillery for John, 9 Samurai for Dan, a platoon of 15mm Goums for Chris, and some Prodos Space Marines for Glenn. It looks like another busy year of painting, but hopefully also of gaming.
Without the 6 x 6 I am going to set myself a target of 3 games a month, and see if I can make it work.

Merry Xmas everyone, and we will see you in the New Year.