Friday, 18 October 2019

On the Workbench: Completed Royalist Army for Glastonbury

The Royalist army under the command of Hopton has been completed for the Battle of Glastonbury:

Since the last update, Dragoons and command have been added.

Mounted Dragoons bottom right of the photo and dismounted along the middle. Now I have gone really small for the dismounted dragoon bases! Something of a trial run for how I will base the British firing lines in the Zulu project. They are 3 to a base measuring 15mm x 10mm depth. The idea behind this being the ability to line them up in a single rank behind a hedgerow, fence or defending walls. I would not recommend basing an entire army (unless small) in this way for 6mm but limited units such as this should be fine.

I am well underway now in painting the first Parliamentarian foot regiment which will be smaller in size to their Royalist counterparts. The Roundheads were outnumbered in this action so will be quicker to prepare. I have to confess I am rather looking forward to playing this period again, it has been far too long since my last game.  

Sunday, 13 October 2019

2mm Napoleonic test battle: 'Austria 1809'

This is a fictional battle to try out my new 2mm Napoleonic figures. The reason for having a look at this scale is the possibility of playing the largest Napoleonic battles on my maximum (7'6" x 4'6") table and not taking years to paint the figures. Each base represents a brigade and therefore suitable rules will be used. In this particular action I am using my version of Fast Play Grande Armee. Essentially this is pretty much as written with a few tweaks.

This scenario is by Tom Barkalow and is downloadable from the Grande Armee website. 

The setting for this battle in the 1809 campaign and is a fictitious corps engagement assumed to be fought a few weeks after Apern-Essling. The premise is that French scouts have located an unguarded road that leads behind Austrian positions and a corps is dispatched as an advanced force to get as far along the road as possible. The Austrians detect the movement and hurriedly rush the nearest corps into a blocking position while pondering what to do next.

The French goal is to open the road being blocked by the Austrian forces and to hold it open off the table. The Austrian goal is to prevent this.

Weather: sunny.
Ground is hard
Game length is 4 turns.

Continued - 

Friday, 11 October 2019

Battlefield Maps

For some time I have been intending to find software or a method of easily producing battlefield maps for my AAR's. Where I have played scenarios from publications I have been loathe to copy those directly into the blog. Aside from potential copyright issues I have felt uncomfortable using somebody else's intellectual property without their permission. 

Recently I have been viewing the backlog of Little Wars TV excellent Youtube videos when I arrived at one providing a tutorial on how they create their maps using the free Microsoft Paint programme. Even for a technophobe such as myself this appeared achievable. I used a very basic one for the first time the Buq Buq WW2 AAR. 

The following are three I have created for forthcoming games:

2mm Napoleonic test game "Austria 1809"

ACW Battle of 1st Winchester

ECW Battle of Glastonbury
The borders represent my 9" section terrain boards. So top is 4'6" x 3', middle 6' x 3'9" and bottom 3'9" x 3'9". These are the colours used by Little Wars TV apart from stone walls, hedgerows and crop fields which are my own creations. I may experiment a little with the greens to make the hills clearer and likewise darken the blue for rivers.

Unlike Little Wars I switch to PhotoScape X to add text, arrows and unit symbols. For Glastonbury I finally switched back again to Paint to fill in the white section of the cavalry symbols and add the dash to indicate the facing of each unit. I find PhotoScape X is easier to use for moving text around and changing its angle.

To save time I have created a plain map in base green for each sized board I am likely to use. I then just copy over the relevant size that I need and fill in detail from there.

If you get the urge to create some yourself, pop over to the Little Wars TV website (link on the right) and locate the map tutorial. 

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Operation Compass: Buq Buq

For the final action in Battle for the Camps I turn to Buq Buq. It is a scenario drawn from Robert Avery's "Operation Compass" for "I Ain't Been Shot, Mum" rules. Orbats were largely taken from "Benghazi Handicap" by Frank Chadwick for Command Decision with some adjustments to allow for what I possessed.

With Operation Compass progressing well, the 7th Armoured Brigade supported by 2 squadrons of the 11th Hussars had been sent forward to Buq Buq on the coast. There they found the Italians in full retreat and, sweeping through the town, caught up with the 64th Catanzaro Division a little to the east. Some parts of the division were caught while moving and surrendered after a brief hammering from the British tanks. The rest had found a good defensive position amongst the sand dunes between the coastal road and the sea, with their flanks protected by saltpans and mud-flats.

From "Operation Compass" by Robert Avery.
This scenario represents that attack on the remains of the 64th Catanzaro Division as they hurriedly prepare their defensive positions. 

The British armour will assault a makeshift Italian artillery position not knowing than an area of the ground that they will have to cross is a dried salt marsh that will bog down their vehicles.

The Battlefield and Terrain:

The terrain consists of a sequence of long, low sandy dunes with the most prominent marked in a darker colour on the map (mine are a little too large and rocky but will have to stand in until I produce more dunes). The going is very bad and at the start of each turn, any vehicle that intends to move must roll 2d6: If it rolls a 'double 1', then it has become temporarily bogged down and cannot move that turn. A 'double 6', it has broken down.

Otherwise the table is covered with slight undulations and patches of rough scrub that provide some sort of cover and spotting benefits but are shallow and sparse enough not to affect movement. All infantry moving up or down the dunes deducts 2cm from movement. The dunes provide same sort of cover as high ground.

The dried salt marsh is a significant hazard. Any vehicle that ends its movement within that area is automatically bogged down for the rest of the game. Any vehicle that completely crosses the area during its turn bogs down permanently half way across.

The black and white bars around the map edges represent each of my 9" tile sections.

Contintued -

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

On the Workbench: Royalist Foot

Good progress has been made of late with the ECW project. 2 more Royalist foot regiments have been completed including another with a slight colour change:

The blue and greencoats in the foreground are the newly completed regiments. I know that very few, if any, regiments managed to maintain any uniform appearance but well.... these are wargame figures! In my old re-enactment days all regiments wore their designated colour coat with pride and although not strictly accurate, it does look good. 

The regiment in the background is Hopton's bluecoats and the first I painted. I have had something of a mental block with these. The first blue I tried was simply not right. A second attempt was better and featured in an 'On the Workbench' post. I was still not happy so once again tried another shade. This time Vallejo 902 Azure blue. They still look a little bright in the photos but are ok in the raw. This is the first time I have used Kevin Dallimore's 3 coat method on 6mm!    

The other issue was whether to go 2 or 4 deep with the musketeers. These are large units and strung out 2 deep would use a substantial chunk of the battlefield. So for these it is 4 deep for now which reflects the above depiction of Naseby quite well.

This brings to a conclusion the Royalist foot for the Battle of Glastonbury. I am now well into the Dragoons followed by the command bases which will complete the Royalist force. 

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Little Wars TV

The most recent Gods Own Scale podcast involved an interview of Greg Wagman from Little Wars TV. I had occasionally dipped into some of its Youtube videos but shamefully paid little attention. The podcast piqued my interest and I have begun watching the back catalogue of episodes on Youtube. And I can honestly say I am blown away. The production quality is easily on a par with professional TV documentaries with engaging characters and topics. The fact that no professional equipment or expertise was used makes it all the more remarkable.

Even better still, 6mm features prominently (although not exclusively) and demonstrates well the attractions of this scale. I would urge everyone not already aware, even those not interested in 6mm, to take a look at their videos. They include such topics as battlefield visits, rules reviews, terrain construction and after action reports. You can sign up on their website for access to other free stuff including downloads and videos. I have added a link to my links list on the right for their website which is here The Youtube channel is here:

There is just one drawback. It generates ideas and inspiration for yet more projects!!! Immediately after their 'Trebia' episode I was scanning the Baccus website for Carthaginians!

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

On the Workbench: 2mm French Corps complete

For the last few days, in between preparing ebay listings, I have forged ahead to complete the 2mm French Napoleonic Corps for my test game. This is made up of 3 divisions and 1 cavalry division. Each base is a brigade. The 3 artillery units and a Portuguese brigade in the foreground are Corps troops.

I do not like units to be too generic in size, preferring each to more accurately reflect differences in strength. Hence the variation in numbers. The game is now pretty much good to go and will be near the top of games to be played as soon as my ebay sales are finished. The plan remains to test the 'Blucher' rules versus 'Grande Armee' both by Sam Mustafa.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

On the Workbench: Two Regiments of Royalist Horse

Completed today are two more regiments of Royalist Horse for the forthcoming ECW battle, the Battle of Glastonbury.

These are Sir Humphrey Bennet's Regt in the lead with Sir George Vaughan's Bluecoats in the rear. In reality they could be any Royalist Regt and with Bennet's Horse having no distinctive coat colour making it even more generic. In time I will paint up command stands with orange sashes enabling them to switch sides!

The trees in the background are the improved versions of cheapies from China. Aside from adding foliage to bases I am experimenting placing loose clump foliage around the wood perimeter. I will use a couple more different shades when placed on the tabletop to make it look a little more realistic. 

Followers of the blog will know that I prefer single based trees for the versatility that offers. The downside being that it will be extremely difficult if not impossible to replicate some of the impressive dense woods placed on some tabletop battlefields. Foliage is at its most dense around the outer perimeter of woodland and I am hoping to improve the appearance of my woods by replicating that. How far I go with it will depend on how much it affects play. The more terrain you add the more impressive the tabletop but can also be a hindrance to moving figures around.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

On the Workbench: 6mm Streams or 2mm Rivers

A few months ago I converted several river sections I had made for 15mm ACW to streams/runoffs for 6mm. These were acetate with one side painted. I am now adding to them and include here a short tutorial on how these were made.

It is a very simple method, cheap, quick and quite effective:

The first stage is to paint one side of an A4 size acetate sheet (I apologise for the slightly blurry image but hopefully you get the idea). 

I used a mix of cheap artists acrylic paint. Black, Chocolate Brown and Tan. A dark shade was maintained using the brown and tan to create an irregular look. To protect the paint I gave it a coat of spray gloss varnish.

Continued -

Monday, 2 September 2019

On the Workbench: Prince Maurice's Foot Regt

Another ECW foot regiment has been completed. The regiment raised by Prince Maurice:

A slight experiment here. Baccus supply 2 standard bearers in their command strip. So far I have only been using one but with these particular regiments being on the large size, I decided to use them both enabling 2 separate smaller regiments to be created when required:

Continued -