Thursday, December 30, 2021

There's Something That Needs To Be Dealt With.....

 And Prince Micheal & I intend to deal with it, first thing in the New Year!

Wishing all my readers and their loved ones a safe and happier new year in 2022.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Battle of Ville Saint Etienne.

This was a battle well worth some story telling but Christmas, as quiet as it was, has left me contented and lazy (not to mention over fed and tired) so I'll just set the scene and let the captions of the pictures explain the action. 

This action is a fictional one set in the Low Countries in late December 1793.  The allied army has been scattered in penny packets along the frontier and has settled in for a sparse but quiet Christmas. Across a small frozen river, an ambitious French commander has decided to try and strike a blow against the aristo's and their lackeys. On the morning of the Feast of St. Stefan, he has planned a surprise assault across the bridge by his demi-brigade with his skirmishers  distracting the enemy as well as supporting the assault and a flanking move by four squadrons of Hussars.

The allies had placed a battery on a hill within long range shot of the bridge and supported it with the Black Watch.  A mixed Brigade of cavalry is camped behind them. Companies of Jaegers are on picquet duties  near two known fords. In the small town is an understrength battalion of Emigres and a full battalion of Hessians. 

An overview of the battlefield as the game began.

Several turns later, when the illustrator reappeared, we find that the French infantry have taken the first half of the village after a stiff fight, and the French cavalry have finally arrived.

Beyond the village, the cavalry fight has begun with charge and countercharge.

 In the town, the French pushed on and captured the Stone House but counter attacks by the Highlanders and the Hessians recaptured the two white houses behind them. All in all, it was beginning to look like an Allied victory, but their losses had been very heavy and only the French had fresh troops to commit.

In the blink of an eye things changed, beyond the town,"les canaris" shattered the Scots Greys and remaining York Hussars.

The fighting along the riverbank was fierce but the volleys from the French Whitecoats, supported by artillery firing cannister, and sharpshooters, mowed down the unsupported Black Watch. The allied force had been cut to pieces and their commander had no choice but to retreat while the route was still open.

Next post, behind the scenes.


Sunday, December 26, 2021

General Wenceslaus Looked Out On The Feast of Stephen

It was dawn when the General was woken by the sound of musket fire. Those damned godless revolutionaries making some kind of trouble. He called for his aide and reached for his boots.

As dawn broke, the French skirmishers opened fire while columns of infantry left their cover and rushed slowly towards the bridge.
 (I blame the brandy for their poor rolling.)

The picquet at the bridge opened fire and held their position just long enough to allow the garrison to begin falling out, arms in hand.

Despite the urging of their officers, les Bleus seemed to reluctant to advance but les Blancs made their way gingerly over the frozen river and closed on the town. Even the tardy brigade of Hussars had finally appeared behind the enemy left flank. It was all taking too long though and the allies were already forming up and concentrating.

To be continued..........


Friday, December 24, 2021

All is Calm, All is Quet

Christmas Eve in the Low Countries, 1793. An allied outpost in the little town of Belmont. 

Believing that the fresh snow and Christmas will keep even the republican French in their billets, the allies have posted picquets and settled down for the night. The officers of course, have gathered at the local inn.

I have a feeling that its not just Santa who is planning a surprise.

Merry Christmas to everyone who has stopped by. May you and your families and friends have a safe and happy holiday season.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Just in the St Nick of Time

I was beginning to wonder if I was going to find a few hours to finish these guys off before Christmas when suddenly, everything went quiet. Covid made a sneaky flank attack with the new variant bringing back tougher restrictions, the weather turned wintery and  my wife closed her dog grooming shop a few days early so didn't need her gofer.  Suddenly I had some time to myself while still awake.

More shiny toy soldiers ready for the wars. (and a 2nd coat of green on their bases!)

At first it was tricky getting the painting style to match the ones I painted 2 years ago, but it seems to be becoming natural and by the time I had them glossed I was having trouble identifying which 6 of the 16 were new figures. 

It helped that one of the things I did  instead of painting this week was to rearrange my hobby space. I now have a more comfy set up and chair and can make better use of the available lighting. In fact, it was good enough that I was able to clearly watch my hands shake as I tried to paint the stripes. Can't help but think that's likely to get worse rather than better but I've just about managed to adjust my painting style to minimize the impact. 

Now, do I stick with painting for the French Rev or turn to Elastolin and Prince Valiant........wonder what the last game of the year will be....hmmmm.....any requests?

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Nil desperandum

Its been a rather frustrating, what can go wrong will go wrong, kind of day, both for chores and hobby. However, I can get a bit stubborn, and anyone who claims that swearing at inanimate objects is silly and ineffectual, either hasn't tried it or doesn't swear with sufficient feeling. 

So, all of today's self selected crucial prewinter outside tasks for today were done and the six skirmisher recruits for my Revolutionary French are converted, assembled and primed. 

The kneeling body is one of the new Prince August Jaegers, the rest are Zinnbrigade Napoleonic French, with some arm conversions. All have been awarded my original homecast heads.  

Tomorrow is Sunday and I predict that paint will flow.


Friday, December 17, 2021

A start

Its going to be a while before I can do any casting so I dug about in my supply of spare parts and bodies, reviewed the holes in my existing order of battle and chose an alternate unit to work on.

French skirmishers in the making.

To bring my French skirmishers up to scratch, I need to convert 6 more. The work has begun. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

And Now....

....well....I'm not sure. Busy days ahead and when in doubt, paint.  Back to the 1790's I think.

If I can coax one more heavy cavalryman and an officer out of the moulds, (hmm make that 2 cavalrymen given the shanks on that first horse) I'll balance the opposing cavalry forces. If not, I  could use a second gun and crew and always, more infantry, especially more skirmishers for the French.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

First Battle of Newfield Crossing

At last the preliminary skirmishing of the opposing Advance Guards was over and enough troops were present for battle to begin.

<Note: you may click on the pictures to enlarge them.>

After a short cavalry clash, the Dominion cavalry pulled back. Their job was done, they had delayed the Rebel army long enough for the Grenadiers to occupy the little town on Newfield Crossing.

Slowly the opposing forces arrived and deployed. General Lannigan, wondering where the heck the Black Hats were, ordered Blue River Battalion to move around the left and attack the town from the north while the Oberhilse Blues attacked from the West supported by the Redcap battery.

The fire from the town was fierce and the Blues were eventually forced back, exhausted.

To the south, Colonel Nolan's Black Hats had finally arrived, but with signs of more redcoats arriving on his flank, the Colonel was reluctant to push forward without orders. MacDuff's Highlanders were also reluctant to push on to the town leaving the Bluecoats behind. At last MacDuff's impatient nature got the best of him and he sent his men into the woods.  

By dusk, the Dominion had a firm grip on the crossroads and the Rebels had suffered heavy losses and made little progress. General Lannigan ordered the men to fallback for now.

Will General Lannigan renew the assault in the morning? Only time will tell.


The Model Major General

54mm figures, mostly home cast on a 4ft x 6ft table.

Friday, December 10, 2021

And Will Soon Continue

 Its a long boring story.......however.....

A couple of turns in and the boys are ready to "get down to it".

The battle should resume and be fought to a conclusion by this time tomorrow. Rainy days and Saturdays really pick me up.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Now It Begins

 The game is set, ye old clash of advance guards at a crossroads.  

The opposing armies begin to deploy and jockey for position. 

More to follow! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

One Step Closer

I got a little bit more done this morning. The general idea for the scenario is in place and I got a bit more 'work' done on the table.

The central section of the table, waiting for the armies. The roads are made from traction sand which I can't get anymore (black grit seems to have taken over) which is why I sometimes use painted masking tape roads like the streams. The woods are formed by placing trees, rocks and "bushes" on painted cloth bases. Fields and so on can be added the same way. The table top itself has been mottled a bit. This will continue to be added to and changed as time goes by. 

One of the things that I like about a painted wooden table top is that in addition to terrain items that are placed on top, I can add features such as rivers, roads and woods with paint or painted masking tape and then over paint them when I want to change them. After a few months and years, the table top loses its unrealistic monotone colour and begins to look as messy and irregular as most real terrain.

The colours are slightly off in this shot due to a lighting issue this morning but at least it gives a better look at a quick masking tape stream. Essentially the tape is laid down then painted with the same green as the table (I keep a quart of my custom mix on hand.) The stream was then painted over top. When leisure time is available, the painting can be gussied up with rocks, currents and ripples, reeds etc on the banks, and maybe a bit more gloss on the water.   

Looks like Thursday will be a Snow Day which means the dice are very likelyt to be rolling.. 

You'll Wonder Where The Hexes Went When....

Serendipity really. I recently bought some OSB for some non-wargaming projects.  Having cut 1 piece down to 6'x4', tested the footprint and functionality, the project was unanimously cancelled. Well, it never hurts to have spare materials hanging around but it suddenly  hit me that I've been itching to extend my table to 6'x4' again and make it it sturdier. Serendipity!

My latest experiments with a gridded table have finally failed beyond redemption. I can see some of the attractions, especially for a small, sit-down, cardtable sort of game but over all, the minuses equal the positives and its not my style.  So, I  tore down my flimsy patchwork table and replaced it with a more solid one piece of OSB then painted it. 

Now to test it!

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Now The Battle is Lost and Won

 The battle has been fought and a report posted on the Gathering of Hosts blog.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Interruptions Always Interruptions

The first couple of turns have been played, reinforcements  have begun to appear, and Federation scouts are discovering that the recent rains have raised water levels leaving few practicable fords.

Then "real" life intervened...sighh.....the game will continue!