Sunday, March 15, 2015

Tamames 1809

My Spanish army has had another outing and another victory for Spain.

Below - The First division fires its volley and then runs away.

Last month we fought the fictitious sequel to this action San Cristobel in which the Spanish army fought a glorious fighting retreat against the French. So we decided to give the actual battle a go despite how difficult it would be for the French. Historically Marchand thought he could defeat a large Spanish army with a Division but found his skills were lacking for the task. The french players had a hard task, Marchand really was out of his depth and severely outnumbered but he went in anyway.

Details are over at Colin's blog Tamames

In this re-fight Jim and Ross went for a right hook against the Spanish lines. The Spanish Division was overrun, the regular infantry and artillery firing to the last while the raw units around them ran for the hills at the slightest large noise.

My plan was simple, let the French take the first line but make them pay dearly for it. Then suck them into the poor terrain where hopefully they would run out of steam on the Second line and then the Spanish would surge forward.  The french attack was strong but once again at the crucial time vital units were milling around out of action and then french ran out of men. As those missing units finally got involved it was too late.  If those extra 4 or 5 units had of been in the strike point the Spanish would have been in big big trouble.

A wave of French infantry surged over the 1st Division - the gunners died at their feet,  the raw troops ran for the hills, French cavalry crushed a militia square and the Spanish second line looked on nervously.

However in the midst of the french storm stood the Principe Infantry Regiment.

A brief interlude -   In my history of wargaming I have had two units that have become the stuff of legend. The first was the 33rd Foot who 20 years ago earned themselves an unsavory reputation. In every action they routed, not in the thick of battle of course but in extreme circumstances (oh look its raining - ROUT, French artillery killed 1 figure - ROUT). The 33rd was the worst performing unit of my British army, in fact any army with the dubious honour that it never finished a battle still on the table in any fit state.

The next Regiment started earning its reputation 6 years ago - A Spanish Guard unit that proved itself to be an irresistible and unstoppable force in any battle.  It always ended up at the critical point, holding back masses of the enemy with a sheer arrogance of will and luck that still astound me. In the previous battle it held Ventosa against 6 times its number, and then marched out in good order.

At Tamames wave after wave of french troops attacked and were repulsed. Luck was on their side as it always is with the Regiment holding out against all. It was the this point the the French morale started to fail, a steady stream of units routing to the rear and at this point the French abandoned the attack.

Above - Principe Shaken but not stirred - The pink beads on the French means they are broken, a lot of pink was used this day !

The game was concluded here. The very next turn I was going to unleash the Spanish army in counter attack but it was not needed. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sci Fi Scenery

I managed to sprain my ankle last week and after some xrays and hobbling around I am now getting back into the swing of things.

Still waiting on my work phone grrrrrrrr - I should just walk down and buy one.

I have another 20 54mm Turks to prep and I have been busily gluing away over the last two nights using a mix of epoxy, superglue and blue tack (Thanks for all the tips). I got  a bit bored last night with Turks so made up my 15mm sci-fi scenery that is made from laser cut .MDF

Very weak photos below.

The scenery is from Mad mecha and consist of some two story apartments, some solar panels and a series of one story shops. When I first got them some time ago I could not work out how they went together (I don't know how I could not work out how to do it when I first got them). Now that epic moment of stupidity is over I made them up last night. I have enough now to fill a table and I can also mix them into my modern games hopefully.

Below a pic of the kitchen table press-ganged into my workshop. Buildings pretty much everywhere and the Turks on the left having a rest.

 Two floors of the shops.

I'm going to spray them with flat white and then paint each section to make them a little more real.

Friday, February 20, 2015

San Cristobel 1809

Bonjour de Nouveau Caledonie,

My final night in New Caledonia, the French holiday hotspot in the middle of the pacific. After several days of subjecting the locals to my not so fluent french I finally caught up on reading blogs.

I would also kill for a cup of tea. Milk is hard to come by here and I have had only one brew in 4 days. NZ tomorrow and a good few pots of darjeeling are needed I think.

Now allow me to direct you to a report of my Spanish armies latest outing - a stunning victory at San Cristobel.

Paul, Duke de San Cristobel and myself conducted a fighting retreat with the utmost precision against French forces trying to cut off our line of retreat. The Spanish army moved in unison, fought in unison and bloodied the french with every step. An absolute miracle !

(You know things are going well when half way through the game you have only taken a single hit and the enemy has lost regiment after regiment.)

The little village at Ventosa was a salient in our line but I thought it would fall quickly. The french scoffed at the troops there so I made a simple statement.......""Look at them they have bearskins on".

And thus started the legend of an Epic Spanish Victory

Luck was on the spanish side this day. When a devastating volley was needed it came, when our position became difficult the french stumbled and we made our escape. When the French finally managed to clear their traffic jam and spread across the field I thought "oh dear this is about to turn ugly". Infantry upon infantry across the line, cavalry looking at my donkey cavalry. And at that moment they became distracted by Ventosa and it brought us precious time indeed.

A thoroughly enjoyable game all around. To make things better we just wholloped england in 12 overs. I must have been the only person in Noumea watching it, drinking bad french beer and yelling at the tv.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

54mm and 1/72 fun and games


I joined the 54mm painting team for the Museum display and got myself all ready to paint my 40 figures. So here are the 5 figures I received two weeks ago which I was given which I must say left me a little downhearted. Don't get me wrong the logistics issues are very understandable (Canterbury  charged into it with heaps of us getting stuck in) , it was mainly my enthusiasm and impatience that got the better me as I was all set to charge into it due to my preference of doingf far too much all at once. Seeing other painters in the north island painting 10's at a time does not help - such is my eagerness to paint more of them.

I have done the initial base - coat so all that is left to do on these is the wash and highlights. I'll leave these till I get some more as I prefer to do these things in bulk. The figures are all mostly the same uniform but I did the 5th one differently to see how the change would look for future figures.

The arms on these lads were an absolute bastard to glue on but once done and filled it wasn't too bad.

I am painting up some small 1/72 forces for some Solo skirmish gaming. some Strelets Romans, more like 25mm than 1/72 but they look quite fine fellows. They will be my human forces for my Fantasy land.
Dark Alliance orcs
 Light Alliance Dwarves
Dark Alliance Half Orcs or alternatively(well I call them this) called "Lord of the Rings uruks" considering they are sculpts from the movie scenes. They even have the white hand on the shields.
 And a 15mm British RHA gunner I'm painting for Colin. Over the last few years I have seen these chaps sitting in Colin's garage and as thanks for his hosting of games I said I'd paint them for him.

Very soon I will post an incredible bias account of my Spanish Army giving the french a damn good hammering.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


In my new role I have been extremely busy with some long days recently, hopefully in the next week or two things will settle down. I have not done any painting at all apart from put some 54mm figures together and fill the seams.

I did take some pictures of my painted Hinchiffe Saxon's. They are yet to have their bases completed as I simply don't have the time. I've tried black lining for a change to see how they look - not bad I think given the state of the figures when I picked them up 2nd hand.

A Minifig unit !
And some hotspur figures.

Friday, January 30, 2015


My camera issue could be about to be solved as a result of a  positive turn of events personally,  as I am now General Manager at work.. This position will take a lot more hours and responsibility and painting time will suffer so I need to PAINT PAINT PAINT like crazy until it really kicks in.  As I now also get a state of the art mobile phone :) I'm going to ensure it has a state of the art camera and viola ! all my problems are solved.
On the 15th of January I said I would paint the following figures and aim to have it completed in 2-3 weeks. Rather ambitious as I had several nights off but I have made stead progress over the last 11 or so days.

  • 96 Hinchcliffe Saxons(Reg du Roi, Reg Von Low, Reg Prince Max, Reg Prince Auguste)
    • 14 Perry French Hussars (10th Hussars)
    • 24 Minifig French Legere (8th Legere Regiment)
    • 24 Hotspur French Line. (84th Line Regiment)
    • 24 1/72 Confederate Cavalry
    • 15 or so 28mm casualties.
 The results:

  1. 72 Hinchcliffe figures are re-painted\touched up  (24 yet to be based as I ran out of bases and replacements are due) and only have to have the standards attached. One lot of 24 figures left to do.
  2. 24 Minifig French Legere (8th Legere Regiment) and 24 Hotspur French Line. (84th Line Regiment) have undergone their base coats and tonight will hopefully see them almost completed.
  3. I have painted the horses of the 12 1/72 confederate cavalry for some variety to painting and I hope to have these done in time.
  4. Some 15mm British Foot artillery have snuck into the list too and are half done.
And some tinkering with my 1/72 Confederates which will most likely be my next project (after the project in between of course) or I'll give my 1/72 SYW figures a finish. After toiling with 25/28mm figures I like to get stuck onto 1/72 as they are so easy to paint (being so small).

Monday, January 26, 2015

Solo campaign map styles


I have been pondering a bit on solo campaigns I plan to run. I have done a few so far but the are mostly very simple. Simple is good but I want to try something a little more complex

The period isn't set as I am just conducting a paper exercise on what map and type of map movement is needed.

Piquet - Theatre of War style.

Each grid is an area of terrain that effects the table top battle (rolled randomly). The type of square indicates the number of impetus needed to enter it (impetus is rolled for randomly) and the ability to move is determined by cards (eg: to move into brown you need to draw a card Move in rough terrain AND also have the 6 impetus needed to go into it).

The random nature of the above map is the direction I am leaning for. The card and impetus make solo gaming quite appealing as it increases the fog of war and inability to move the forces wherever they want . Its very bland and cold and gives no detail as to the local area - I might adjust this grid and simply overlay it over an existing map so at least the square movement can work but I get to see the local area and lament over certain places (Like a mid 1990's Wargame campaign town of Craonne where the 33rd Foot lost its dignity).

More detailed maps

 These give more flavour, but increase the complexity of moving and fog of war. The above give a lot more detail to the area you are in so you can get more of a feel for the local area, I guess getting more involved in the story\background. However force movement becomes incredibly complex. You either have to detail several sets of orders for a non player forces and randomly assign on (reviewing every X days) or have the non player faction not as detailed - ie: simply blips that can  be something or might be simply rumour or shadows.

 a) Point to Point
 A map with point to point movement.(We used this type in the late Barry Taylor's Spanish and German campaigns) where a forces can move a number of point to point road segments.

 A hex based map  eg: Infantry move 3 squares on road, 2 in rough terrain etc etc (The Tony bath style)

c) The fantastic battle-finder system (
A load of tables all joined together - a lot of the leg work is done ! They supply several games all with maps that could be useful.

If anything battlefinder will be a start as they are so versatile and all that is needed is the in between table movements.

Something for me to mull over anyway and play around with. I've already created several maps for campaigns of various genres so the creativity is there, just the forces, armies and time aren't. I'm yet to decide on how orders would work but I'm leaning towards a random dice roll of three to six  sets of orders, I guess the key will be making sure there is are always multiple objective available for the non player side.