Friday, 19 February 2021

Broken Camera Update

With the frustrating 'hiatus' dragging on an update is overdue. I have been told today that my camera lens has been repaired and will be available for collection next Friday (26th Feb). Needless to say the pandemic has slowed the process down considerably. The cavalry skirmish at Isserlohn has been ready to play for the past few weeks and is gathering dust!

I have though been making inroads into my lead pile. So much so that re-supplies are needed from Baccus and it was welcome news indeed that their shopping cart re-opened today albeit for limited sized orders. My order as gone in which will bring me within touching distance of completing all the figures necessary for Talavera.

Another period receiving attention is the ECW. Aside from the existing project working my way through scenarios in the south west I have decided to add the Battle of Edgehill on the 'to do' list. To do it justice it will be played at a ratio of 1:10 requiring almost 3,000 figures. The obvious downside being that it will take time to paint this lot and although I have around 1,000 figures at present it is unlikely I will get it onto the tabletop this year. Painting of the largest foote regiment has been completed today and basing will commence tomorrow. This is 104 figures strong (40 pike and 64 musketeers). I can't wait to see the finished unit - it will in fact be the largest I have completed in any period!

All being well my next post will be Isserlohn followed by a rolling programme of after action reports.

Sunday, 31 January 2021

A Slight Technical Hitch!

I was about half way through the Tourane game when a mishap occurred with the camera. During the process of remounting it on the tripod it slipped out of my hands and although I managed to break some of the camera's fall, it nevertheless landed lens first on the floor.

After launching a torrent of abuse at the ceiling and recovering some sense of decorum I tentatively tested the lens. Mercifully it was still working apart from the zoom function. It was partially jammed limiting my ability to get closeup shots.

I nursed it through the rest of Tourane and also the subsequent ACW skirmish at Rorketon but it was clearly in need of attention.  

The pandemic is not the best of times to organise a repair and have been informed it will be at least 2 - 3 weeks before it is returned. Rather than wait, I set up the table to play the next ACW campaign game with the intention of using my old camera.

Sadly the photographic results were generally poor with only 2 or 3 worthy of consideration. I have therefore decided to wait for the lens repair which will mean a hiatus before the next AAR is posted. 

On the plus side, I will be using the extra time to get more figures and terrain painted. I have 3 significant Napoleonic games lined up which I will hope will further advertise the benefits of 6mm. In order:

Campaign - French v Anglo-Portuguese force. Almost 2,000 figures and ready to play.

Battle of Talavera - 4,500 figures. Good progress on painting additional figures, mainly Spanish, with the end in sight. Now awaiting re-opening of the Baccus shopping cart.

Campaign - French v Prussian. 5,000 figures and my largest game since Waterloo. The Prussians are throwing everything they have (3,000 figures) in halting Napoleon. I need to paint over 600 additional Prussians and as with Talavera, I am now awaiting on Baccus.

I apologise for this quiet period but hopefully will have some goodies for the blog fairly soon.



Saturday, 23 January 2021

ACW Warplan Campaign: Cavalry Skirmish at Rorketon

The ACW campaign commences. As with my Napoleonic campaign, I am using the Warplan 5/5 system but with railways added. Refer to my first blog which provides an introduction together with the first map moves.

To recap:

The lead cavalry elements of the Union army has advanced north to scout the Confederate positions. Several Confederate cavalry units have fallen back in the face of a more numerous enemy. A couple of Confederate cavalry regiments though took the opportunity to engage the Union forces with the intention of giving them a bloody nose. To the right, Phillips with his cavalry legion based at Rorketon is one such and his location becomes the scene for the first action of the campaign.

Continued -

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Nap Campaign: Map Moves 31st March - 1st April 1808

With the campaign moving into a new month it is time to calculate the number of newly raised reinforcements for each army.

Each square on the map is allocated a value. This is based on what is contained within that square. e.g. a rural square with no inhabitants will have a minimum value recognising a purely agricultural contribution, whereas a heavily populated town with industrial units will have the opposite. A capital will contain a bonus so it is important that countries maintain possession of that.

Captured territory will deny that country of its Value Units (VU's) with the victor gaining 25% of those lost. 

At the start of play on the 1st of the month, calculations are made for each country who then spend their VU's on reinforcements replacing losses in existing units. All those relevant units are identified at this stage (much to the pleasure of their commanders!) and the number of new recruits allotted. 

All regular recruits are classed as 2nd Line. i.e. trained but inexperienced. Recruits to militia units are conscripts. Needless to say, 2nd Line troops are more expensive than conscripts. Artillery crews and cavalry also attract a premium. Too many new recruits joining a unit could downgrade its quality. e.g. a veteran battalion that receives 50% or more recruits are reduced to 'line' status.

When that has all been calculated it is time to determine when those recruits arrive at their respective units. To keep this simple, I roll one D6 for each force. A force being all those units represented by one counter on the map. Each pip on the dice represents one day after the 1st day of the month. So a '3' will mean they arrive on the 4th of the month.  

When they arrive they are simply added to the rosters. I appreciate that it would seem a little odd that all recruits from whichever nation all arrive within the first week of each month but to make it completely realistic would be a logistical nightmare.

To give some idea of the numbers involved, on this occasion the French, with by far the largest number of VU's at 735, are able to purchase around 300 replacements. They have lost far more (1,200 to be precise)! So this is not a game changer but allows some units to avoid extinction. The Prussians are down to 268 VU's purchasing a little over 100 figures having lost 2,210.

Turning now to the map moves for these 2 days -

Continued -

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Nap Campaign: Battle of Tourane

 Before I start the AAR, a recap of events leading up to this battle:

The top of the map are the positions of the main French and allied forces. We are concerned about the situation in the bottom left. This represents the situation at the end of the previous day following the Battle of Tourane Peninsular (see previous AAR). The Dutch/Belgian brigade (orange 2) had been defeated and is now retreating towards the coastal village of Tourane (22A13). Col Best's Hanoverian brigade (yellow 4) managed to escape and now begins his trek to rejoin the main allied forces.

D'Erlon with 2 infantry divisions and 1 cavalry division (blue 6) is determined to destroy the Dutch/Belgians who had been a threat to the French flank. The latter prepares a last stand at Tourane determined to see the French suffer badly.

Continued -

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Plans for 2021

With the new year looming it is time to plan the year ahead. As in previous years this will be broken down into Battles, Campaigns and Painting/modelling. 

There is one new project, the Battle of Trebia from the 2nd Punic Wars. An old favourite period of mine and given added impetus from the LittleWars TV episode.

BATTLES

There will almost certainly be more from the various projects (see "My Collections and Projects" tab above which will be regularly updated) and those listed below will be priorities.

ANCIENTS:

Early Imperial Roman 16th Legion v Ancient British Trinovantes tribe in East Anglia.

2nd Punic War - Battle of Trebia (Both sides need painting so 50:50 if achieved this year).


ECW:

Battle of Chewton Mendip.

Looking further out I hope to play some of the more well known battles, the first being Edgehill. It is unlikely to be in the coming year but is a possibility depending on how fast I can paint the additional figures required!


NAPOLEONIC:

Battle of Talavera - Peninsular War project. Over the past month I have made good progress painting the Spanish force required. I have several allied units to paint for the French but this battle is now a probability for this coming year.

Battle of Tourane - Campaign Dutch v French. This, in all probability, will be the first game of the year.


ACW:

Cavalry skirmish at Rorketon - from the new campaign.

Scenarios - I have yet to decide if any will be played with concentration being placed on the campaign.

Gettysburg is still up there but unlikely given all other projects planned.


COLONIAL:

Rorkes Drift - Almost half the Zulus painted with most of the British needed to be done including the buildings.


WW2:

Air action and battle south of Nibeiwa - Operation Compass campaign

Battles from the "Reconnaissance in Strength" mini-campaign (Soviets v Germans) - I intend to play this as a continual rolling battle to completion of the campaign.

Groesbeek Heights - Op Market Garden

Continued -

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Review of 2020

With the wargame table packed away for the Xmas festivities it is time to review how the past year progressed.

As with previous yearly reviews I will revisit my plans for the year to see how they panned out and will add any unplanned events!

Text in italics are taken directly from my years' plans.

Before I start I should mention there are 2 events which will impact on my wargaming this coming year. From mid February I will be away for 5 weeks. The second, and rather more impactive, is a house move. Assuming we manage to sell our house ok we intend to move before the end of the year. This will severely restrict the gaming side of the hobby although I hope to maintain at least a degree of figure painting. One of the criteria for our new home will be it possesses, or has the potential to possess, a wargames room. So, all being well, normal service should be resumed in due course. It may of course give me the opportunity to experiment with skirmishing in 6mm. Chain of Command on a coffee table looks promising!

We managed to get away for 5 weeks returning to the mayhem that was Covid-19! This also clashed with our house move which fortunately, was completed in April. My worst fears about not having wargame space were not realised, and even better still I had slightly more room than previously! So normal service resumed.

WARS OF THE ROSES:

Battle of Shrewsbury - From the Kingmaker campaign. 400 - 500 figures need to be painted, the first of which has now been primed and on my painting table.


Completed with AAR on the blog.

Continued -

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Market Garden: XXX Corps Breakout

This scenario is taken from the Rapid Fire! supplement 'Market Garden'. Converting Rapid Fire orders of battle to Blitzkrieg Commander IV is relatively simple. Artillery is translated 1:1 as are support weapons. Infantry have 3 bases to a company (1 base = 1 platoon). Mine are based in multiples of 4 figures and given that RF companies average around 8 figures it is a simple matter of increasing numbers by 50% to calculate how many are needed for the reduced German battalions.

Where there is transport that needs to be increased slightly to ensure all units have a vehicle assigned. Tanks are a little different. In RF the tank ratio is 1:5 compared to 1:3 or 4 in BKC. A squadron of 3 tanks therefore becomes 5 and so on.

This will mean rather more tanks and vehicles travelling along the road from Joe's Bridge and the increased possibility of a traffic jam! Should be interesting.

The scenario book recommends a table size of 8' x 5' for 20mm (although allows for flexibility). I calculated that 4'6" x 3' should be sufficient for 6mm.

Game details:

Table Size - 4'6" x 3'

 Figures - Heroics & Ros 1/300 (Brit carriers GHQ 1/285)

Rules - Blitzkrieg Commander IV

ORDERS OF BATTLE:


Continued -

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Market Garden: XXX Corps Breakout Preview

Still on a WW2 theme I bring a preview of my next game, "XXX Corps Breakout", the first game of my Operation Market Garden project. This is to play through the scenarios in the Rapid Fire 'Market Garden' supplement and possibly turning it into a campaign.

Details of the game will be provided on the AAR which should be completed fairly soon. In the meantime I am posting photos of the German position through which XXX Corps will have to fight. All the figures and vehicles are by Heroics & Ros.

XXX Corps will arrive along the road in the foreground and all armour must remain on it until they reach Valkenswaard in the distance.

Continued -

Monday, 30 November 2020

Operation Compass: Map Moves 11th December 1940

Selby Force had a great start to the campaign having completely destroyed the 1st Libyan Infantry Division. Attention now switches to the south:


Having taken its first objective, Selby Force now slows up to allow for the 'left hook' to take place. 

To the far south the 4th Armoured Brigade with the 11th Indian Brigade attack the 63rd Italian Division who occupy a hastily prepared defensive position in the open desert.

To the north of that action, the 7th Armoured Brigade with the 5th Indian and 16th British Brigades assault the Nibeiwa camp occupied by the Maletti Division.

Firstly though the air phase must be completed. On this occasion 3 Italian fighter squadrons have intercepted 2 Blenheim bomber squadrons escorted by a squadron of Hurricanes.