Wednesday, June 29, 2022

One More Before We Go.

A long while ago, I bought two of the Prince August mounted cowboy moulds but had never painted any up. As the Kapelle Rebellion has started coming together, I decided to do at least 1 of each. Its rather surprising how well shiny toy soldier semi-flat horsemen can mix in with fully round ones of a similar size and style. 

The PA cowboys are in front, in the rear are two Scruby ACW riders on Zinnbrigade horses.

The previous game had been the first Kapelle Rebellion game that hadn't been played with some version of the Square Brigadier. The game was so so at best, part of that was the particular OHW scenario I had chosen, but part of it was the first draft of a new set of rules for the off grid games. I let it sit for a few days and then started thinking about it. Eventually, I decided that since I was using neither grid nor multi-figure bases, I could do something a little more Old School. Once a set were quickly drawn up, I decided they needed to be tried while they were fresh, but with a simple, Old School scenario. 

The Rebel army stands to as Domion forces deploy on the horizon (aka the opposing table edge.).

Hopefully I can play this out on Thursday, otherwise it'll have to be next week. 


Sunday, June 26, 2022

Another One Rides On Board

 This twice converted Scruby ACW 40mm cavalry unit is now ready to rumble and roll dice. 

Since this is minor sideshow, I've decided to limit the armies for the Kapelle Rebellion to what is needed for small scenarios such as the ones in  One Hour Wargames and various other sources. Just enough to make use of whats done for a quick game now and then, a game a bit different from my usual fare. 

Apart from moving some infantry and gunners from abandoned foamcore test company bases onto individual washer bases, the Faraway Expeditionary Force in Kapelle is now complete with 6 infantry companies, two squadrons of cavalry, one mountain and two field artillery guns plus an armoured car and various comandeered trucks. The rebels and their allies just need  two more mounted figures and a bit of basing and they'll be done as well. 

But, whats not done can wait for a while, its time to get back to the 1790's!

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Intermission

The repulse of the Dominion column in April, due largely to the intervention of an Oerberg column, has stirred the nascent rebellion in Kapelle. In addition to the local defense forces which are being formed in many a village, the insurgent government has begun raising regular units, relying largely on contributions of arms, uniforms and instructors from Oerberg.

Fresh off the painting desk this morning.

I have a feeling that the question of a free and independant Republic of Kapelle is a long way from decided. 

_______________

Meanwhile, I took advantage of being home alone (human-wise) to spend a little extra hobby time this week. The OHW hadn't taken long to play, ending somewhere around turn 9 out of 15.  It was a little too quick with too few decisions to make for the game to be satisfying so I decided to try again, and again, fiddling with organization and rules in between each round. In the final game, the Oerberg force would have won by getting 2 units off somewhere around turn 9 out of 15, if they'd gone first on the next turn, but....... 

The final game,  just before Tin Lizzie's MG cuts down the remnant of the Oerberg Mounted Police by rolling 3x6's on 3!!!! dice, followed by the Lancers overrunning the Railway company and the Commander. 
Oh well.
 

Like many One Hour Wargames, it only took about 20 minutes of actual playing time to play. As much time was spent taking pictures and at least that much again trying to figure out if a new or revised set of rules were working and why or why not.  For example,  which is better, more smaller units vs fewer larger ones, or the same number of larger units for that matter, die modifiers for cover vs Old School 1/2 casualties vs dropping dice ala Battlecry, and so on and on, orders dice vs command radius + activation roll vs....etc etc.  Then I thought about the scenario and wondered how it could possibly last more than 20 minutes. I'll have to try the rules with a different scenario, preferably not another OHW one, as handy as they are.

Now however, it's time to move on to the 1790's. I want to paint up at least one new unit, two if things go well, and then it'll be game time on Tuesday!  

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Quick as a Mouse!

This week's game was Scenario 25, "Infiltration", from Thomas's One Hour Wargames.  The premise is that one side (Oerberg in this case)  has sent four units to raid an enemy supply depot which is just off the other side of the table. The other side (The Dominion of Faraway) has one unit on guard, two more approaching from the depot to block the way (turn 3), and finally, three units chasing the raiders (turn 6).

The raiders managed to pass the Dominion outpost, but not without some losses. The PomPom crew seemed to be having engine problems (dice) so unlimbered and started putting shells into the sandbags. 


At the far end of the table, a company of  Ross's Rifles deployed, supported by a Mountain Gun. The raiders quickly debussed or dismounted and began shooting over their heads. 


The remnant of the outpost garrison cheered loudly as Larsen's Lancers and Tin Lizzy sped past in hot pursuit.


The Lancers caught up to the Pompom in good time then, rather than risk a charge, dismounted and finished off the crew with rifle fire. The infantry quickly debussed as they approached the enemy but the camp guard had stopped the raiders cold and Tin Lizzy's MG had finished the job on this end.
All in an hour's work.


Some people might have noticed that the table doesn't look as gridish as it did. I had suspected this was coming, and indeed, paiting the grid on  had been a last throw of the dice for using a grid for anything but small portable games. Its a lengthy explantion and maybe I'll write something on it eventually, but my main table is now grid free again, unless of course a gridded cloth is laid overtop of it when I get the urge.  

This means the rules of a few of my collections need a rewrite but, what doesn't really?  I'll want to play at least another game before I share these rather simple, nothing innovative, off-grid, rules but they are promising.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Halt! Who Goes.....ALARM!!!

Sometime, somewhere near the Kapelle/Oerburg border, there was a Dominion supply depot, and an outpost. Early one morning......


To be continued!

Monday, June 20, 2022

Right, Clear The Table, NEXT!!!!!

 Due to popular vote for a more modern game, aided by the itch to get recently refurbished figures on the table......

Larsen's Lancers in Khaki, now led by an NCO with pistol.

After the last outing for these lads (See Incident at Square Crossroad (16 Apr 22) ) I decided that I needed to refurnish/convert more figures. For example: Larsen's Lancers Khaki Squadron had a lame horse and a broken lance and the Dominion Forces no longer had a serious numbers advantage.  So I started by repairing the Lancers, then looked around for the optimum source of recruits.

Dominon Dragoons in Drab (work in progress) and the First Recruit for the Kapelle Rifles, looking suspiciously like a certain retired miniature......

The Dragoons were Historifig Scruby ACW figures, originally converted to Mexican-American War US Dragoons, a project long ago abandoned, now being re-converted to something more appropriate for the early 20thC. 

The Canadian militia private was part of a forlorn attempt a few years ago to replace my 54mm toy soldiers by 40mm figures as part of a standardization program. Predictably, it failed. Luckily, no new figures had been purchased. The armies were started with homecastings of a few orignal sculpts and various existing conversions of Zinnbrigade and Scruby castings. All have been or will be recucled...... in one way or another......  ("What'll be private? Volunteer for a new uniform and a bit of genetic modification? or go into the melting pot?" " Gulp? Anything for Her Majesty Sir! I'll volunteer please.")

There's a few busy days coming up, then some quiet ones. My current target to play the next game is Thursday. I've got the first few ideas for a scenario.........

Friday, June 17, 2022

The Barbarians Are At the Gate!

The Adventures of Prince Micheal: Episode 24: 

Where in Hades are my reinforcements?

The old saying:  "Comes the summer, comes the Saxon" was running though the garrison commander's head as he  looked again at the Saxon camp outside the gate and wondered if anyone would answer his calls for help. The camp was astir and soon the enemy began to advance. If anyone was coming, they'd best come soon!


Soon the din of battle, the trumpets, the shouts of his men and warcries of the enemy, the hum of arrows and the crash of catapult shot hitting stone, and all the din of war, drowned all thoughts beyond his immediate duties.


A cry of "The Picts!" drew his attention. It was what he had feared, the old alliance and no sign of the Duke coming to his aid. His small garrison stood alone. But wait! Those weren't Picts! Could it be.......YES! Those were King Malcolm's Britons from north of the wall, with the young Prince Micheal at their head! Not alone then!


The Saxons were not easily frightened though. The enemy behind them did not distract them from their work, if anything, it seemed to sharpen their aim as the archers on the wall were decimated by that hail like neither the wall, nor their armour, existed! The Earl's Hearthguard, who had been in reserve, faced about and almost casually threw back a rash charge by the Prince's Companions. 


Finally, the ladders and siege tower crashed against the wall and a surge of yelling Saxon warriors raced up and onto the battlements, cutting down the soldiers on the wall. The Centurion hurriedly organized a defence of the gate tower, trusting that the soldiers in the towers would hold as well, containing the invaders to the walkway on the walls where they had no cover.


Below, Micheal's Valdurians made short work of the artillery crew while his archers softened up the Hearthguard's shieldwall. He could see Saxons swarming over the wall and there was no time to lose. He led his small band of companions against Helgin and his huscarls! 


The struggle on the wall was fierce, but for now, the garrison was still containing the Saxon foothold.
 

The Valdurian charge against the Saxon shield wall was fierce, but brief. Micheal again met Helgin sword against sword and the old man went down. "HOLD!" cried Michael, "It's over! Call back your warriors from the wall, carry your Lord back to his boat, and be gone."  He did his best to sound confident and garcious in victory but he could see that the garrison and his own advanced guard had suffered heavily as well, and there was no telling who would win if the fight went on. The Saxon's had had their fill though and were dismayed by the Old Man's fall. Red Legs, Captain of the Hearthguard, stepped forward, stabbing his spear into the ground, and nodded his agreement. 

It was over........for now

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

And now it begins....

One might say that the assault had its ups and downs.
(But probably shouldn't.)


Battle Report tomorrow! 


Monday, June 13, 2022

Keeping The Watch Along The Borderline

 Spring is turning to summer and with it have come the Saxons! 

As always these days, there are not enough men to garrison the wall securely. The guards were sufficient to bar the gates and keep the first raiders at bay, but not enough to stem a full assault, especially as the Saxons seem to be lead by an experienced Captain with an unusual power of command over his men. While the Saxon contingents continue to arrive, their leader has set them to building siege engines and an assault tower.

The beacons have been lit to summon help, but who will answer and when?

(To be continued....)

Saturday, June 11, 2022

And The Winner Is......

Thank you to all for the votes! If you haven't responded yet, fear not, leave a comment here and it will be added to the queue and could affect what the next game will be.

There were 16 votes by comment or message from 13 people so far. (Some people included a 2nd choice which is great.). A total of 6 periods were mentioned, and I will put all 6  in the queue, most requested first. 

The hands down winner was Prince Valiant and I'm working on scenario ideas. While doing so, it occurred to me that they would be perfect for an outdoor wilderness scenario, but I think I''ll save that for when I get some Algonquin warriors without muskets painted up and have read Prince Valiant's North American episodes. A good excuse for reading in the shade on a hot spring/summer day.

The second runner up was early 20thC and I resumed working on  bringing a couple of the units up to scratch yesterday, and thinking about a follow up scenario to the last game. 

Third runner up was the French Revolution so they will be back ere long, hopefully with at least 1 new unit, a proper naval landing party (instead of Pirates) and some, not yet royal, Marines. A raid on the coast is in my mind.


There was one vote for tricornes and since I'm not keen on trying to squeeze my Not Quite The Seven Years War Charge! armies onto my little table, I hope that an Anglo-French scrap in North America will do.  

Lastly, there were votes for 16thC and my not even vaguely historical Medieval/Fantasy collection from my Gathering of Hosts blog. Once I get a stand or two of my new Scots pikemen painted up, the 16thC will make an overdue reappearance, while I consider what the story line for The Gathering of Hosts suggests next. We'll be well into July by then!



Now, time for more coffee while I come up with a story line and scenario for Prince Micheal in the Age of King Arthur!

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Where Away?

There are a lot worse crises in this world than "Which of my toys shall I play with?"  but here I am. 

I'm not in the mood to do more conversions and painting of Turkish reinforcements, not to mention terrain all of which I want to add before they take to the table again. A look through what I've played over the last year showed that every one of my current collections has been on the table in the last year, even if for one small game, so its down to what I'm inspired to do. 

When I'm not inspired,  I sometimes call on the bolder of my helpful and appreciated readers for suggestions and requests! 

So any preferences?  Anything in my current collections is fair ball. (See My Current Collections page if wondering what those are. There are 7 current "Active" ones and 3 "Semi-retired" ones to choose from.

Prince Valiant perhaps?


or Blue vs Grey:


Maybe something slightly more modern? 


Or??? 

What would you like to see?   To have your say, please leave a comment or drop me an email at rmacfa@gmail.com

Our operators are standing by! 


 

Monday, June 6, 2022

Seizing a Base

Bonaparte's Egyptian adventure is well known but not many are familiar with some of the smaller expeditions that did not directly involve the future Emperor. 

This incident was the start of the forgotten expedition to seize the minor port of Demiacre. Under the command of General St. Michel, 2 battalions of infantry (4 Stands each) , a squadron of cavalry (2 stands) and a section of artillery were ordered to secure a village which controlled both a good supply of fresh water and the exit of a pass through the Syrian hills which would lay to the rear of the besieging force. 

The Turkish garrison consisted of 4 companies of infantry and a gun. 

As the French closed in and stormed the battery, dust clouds announced the arrival of reinforcements for the defenders. 


The fighting was fierce.


The 3rd French Battalion was forced to form square as the Mamlukes raced towards them and it was left to the 1st Battalion to seize the village with the support of the artillery. 


A Mamluke charge against the French Hussars was repulsed as was the first charge against the square while the defenders of the village fought stubbornly.


The sun was setting (turn 14 of 15) when finally the Turks gave way after heavy losses and the remnants of their force faded away towards the hills leaving the French to secure the town and wells, and see to their many wounded. 


Game Notes

I'll skip the long rambling bit and just say that I wasn't in the mood for either a few bigger units or the grid so fell back on old habits where each stand is a unit but can be grouped into formations, basically a simplified version of Hearts of Tin. I enjoyed the game enough that I'll write them up and post them once I've played a few more games. 

The scenario itself was improvised as I laid out the table but did draw on my experiences with the scenarios in One Hour Wargames. 

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Mid-Day At The Oasis

Let's slip off to a sand dune, real soon and kick up a little dust.......


(with apologies to Maria Muldaur -  ahh 70's music! Good memories....)

The Initial French Assault near mid-day

Now the battle is lost and won. Tomorrow a battle report should appear!

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Somewhere in Syria, 1799

Down on the coast, Acre was under siege. In the hills, the Turkish forces gathered and sought to deny supplies to the Infidel invaders.

Excitement ripples through the town as dust clouds are seen. The Franks are here!

To be continued.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Sometimes Things Go Smooth

 Other times, not so much.

Sometimes, its a matter of unrelated distraction, like a ton of yardwork etc, or  just being tired, or the continuing decline of my eyes and of my steadiness of hand leading to slips that need touch ups, again, and again.......  

Still, the first 4 figure Squadron (or Troop) is done. 


Between the new additions and some reasonable stand-ins, I have enough for a first little action this weekend, just to give it a whirl before moving on to something else for a bit. 


Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Recruits Continue To Answer The Call

 Three more cavalrymen ready for paint.

I am wavering between 4 or 6 figure cavalry units so have decided to paint up 12 Mamlukes so that I can do either 3x4  or 2x6 figure units. After all, this is going to be just an exotic sideshow, a few little skirmishes...right?

Sunday, May 29, 2022

One Done

Seven more to go! 

2 Frenchmen, 1 Mamluke, what are the odds?

Like all my French Rev 40's, not proper 'toy soldier' style but glossy but with a little bit of shading. Not a replication of any particular style other than my own but perhaps a subconscious bit of 'homage' to  both toy soldiers and to some 70's glossy wargame figures. .   

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Hurry Up and Wait

 The plan for today was to finish painting my proto-Mamluke but suddenly things came together to make it a good day for casting, so .....


With a bit of work, I finally got one of the slashing pose with a full length sabre. The other chap, whose horse is now rearing will either beg a sabre hand from somewhere else or get a lance. One of the galloping swordsmen who had a short sabre is going to end up firing a pistol. 

I also did some test figures while I was at it.  


I hunted down my lancer and gave the mould a good wash and scrub. To my surprise I didn't need a big struggle to get a decent casting. I also had another go at a cowboy shooting a rifle while galloping, but its not quite there yet. Size and pose wise, the figure will mix well with the lancer and  Prussian hussar to make a second unit of Mamluke cavalry. I found my old Turk mould and it still works, though with a little extra flash, so there's another potential unit. The new Grenz  figure is there  for conversion to Albanian infantry, one day.

But first I have to finish the first Mamluke and then his new friends. 





Friday, May 27, 2022

A bit here, a bit there

 Been a busy couple of days but I've managed a few minutes here and there.



Tomorrow is a day off, mostly, and I should be able to finish my prototype Mamluke on Saturday as well as having another go at casting some more conversion fodder. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

We're Going To Need More Cavalry

Here's my first prototype Mamluke conversion:

Prince August Hussar before and after. Painting is now in ptogress.

I was planning to do these with a sabre but so far I have yet to coax a full one out of the mould. Luckily there are a lot of paintings of Mamlukes wielding light lances both underhand and overhand, as well as others firing pistols.


Monday, May 23, 2022

Quick and Dirty but....

 Done!

The first company has answered the call.

I decided to go with a standard colour coat but various coloured trousers and sleeves. I haven't decided yet  how I want to finish the bases on my 1790's units so I've just painted them brown for now. I also need to come up with a design for the flag, so for now, they fight under an invisible banner!

There is actually a bit of shading on these but I was in a hurry and the light wasn't great. 

Hopefully, I'll get a prototype troop of mounted Mamlukes done on the weekend and with a few volunteer stand-ins, can play a small game. 


Sunday, May 22, 2022

Recruits Have Poured In

Actually, they were poured a couple of years ago, but are just now being armed and dressed.

Homecast original Turkish infantry to fight the French.

The unprimed figure is there as an example of the original casting from nearly 20 years ago with his too thin bow. The shield and quiver were separate and the intention was to do some as archers, some with arquebus and others with shield and scimitar or spear. The three painted figures in the back were all that were painted and they have now been updated with muskets apart from the chap with sword and buckler.

I'm still undecided as to how uniform to make them. Obviously they are all dressed alike (having come from the same mould) but the colours might vary or I might give them uniform coats or do them all in blue trousers for ease in sorting should I do a second unit. Opinions on the question welcomed.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Now Mahmud, Now's Your Time!

The 1790's West Indies game played last week was the sort of level of game that I had had in mind for my 40mm French Revolution games, low level actions between small forces. (What would have been called a skirmish back then, rather then the sort of 1:1 semi-role playing games that get called Skirmish games these days.)   Somehow, old habits had been starting to drag me back towards conventional wargame scenarios with battalions of men. Saved! and in the nick of time. 

The game also reminded me of one another setting that was an itch waiting to be scratched, Napoleon in Egypt. I had had my 15mm Turkish army and a few bags of 15mm Minifig French in Egypt castings but they never got painted and all are gone. Well, I'm not going to try and refight the Siege of Acre in 40mm but I would be quite happy to table an attack on an oasis or perhaps an attack on a smaller fortified port, complete with a landing party of sailors and marines, led by a young Midshipman or Lieutenant......  

These were some of my earliest sculpting and casting efforts, better as a learning experience than anything else, but they may finally get a chance to hit the table.

I had sculpted and cast an exploratory 40mm Turkish figure some 20 years ago for an early 16thC Landsknechts vs Turks game but it had a lot of problems and the whole thing was going to be be way too much work for too few games and it never got off the ground. A small, low level, Napoleon in Egypt, toy soldier game though, that I think I can do now. Work has started on replacing mis-cast bows with muskets for at least one unit of the old figures while I eye the PA Rosmach French Hussars as a basis for some Mamluke type cavalry and some 17thC Polish infantry and gunners as potential to be modified to some sort of toy Turkish irregulars! 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Its A Jungle Out There

Saturday being a glorious day with no obligations, I couldn't resist giving some of the lads an outing in the sun. By sheer intention I had mowed the bit of side yard slope that I used for two games last Spring the day before so it was just a matter of picking the lucky lads who would get out. So far I've stuck to 54's outside but the 40's aren't that much smaller and I had just the right bunch ready to go.

Belmont Island, West Indies, (don't bother checking your maps) sometime in the 1790's. Hired Jaegers scouting ahead of a British column, spy on a supposedly secret French base. 

Over the winter I've had time to think about where my French Rev. forces are headed and decided that I had slid into the rut of "battles" without noticing it, whereas the original plan had been more of a skirmish/semiskirmish (depending on one's definition of skirmish) game. So. it's been "Heigh-ho and back we go". The standard unit is once again an 8 man company but I don't have the patience for card activation by unit or any fussy stuff, so the original "With MacDuff to the Frontier" was out but there was no need to invent anything new so I just scribbled down some quick basic rules and started thinking about a quick and easy outdoor scenario.  Having taken a closer look at the mown battle area, and thought about the available troops, I decided on a British column sent to capture a French base that has been built in the jungle to support a new army of freed slaves.

As the column approached the French base, the troops begin to deploy off the 'road',  into the undergrowth, and creep closer. 


The French sentries were alert and opened fire before the deployment was complete but the attack pressed forward while French troops were soon spilling out of their barracks and forming up. The battle was on!  

An assault by the De Brouille Regiment was thrown back but the Black Watch was at hand. 



The Riflemen had proved most useful in weakening the French fire line despite their breastwork while the assaults by the emigre's had resulted in heavy casualties on either side. The first assault by the Highlanders had been held, just, but  the second go went over the wall and the French morale collapsed. The York Hussars were set loose to round up or disperse the remaining French.

For the curious, here's the "Back of a Postcard" rules I scribbled down. All measurements were done with one of my sticks with coloured bands. I think the one I grabbed had 60mm bands but they might have been 2" or 3", doesn't really matter. 

Ross's new Back of a Postcard version of A Whiff of Dice

Initiative & Game length: Draw 15 cards, turn 1 over at the start of each turn when the last card is played the game is over. Red: British go 1st, Black: French go 1st, Joker=The turn is over, draw next card. 

Sequence: 1st player units move or shoot, both sides resolve melee then 2nd player does the same. If one side loses its general, the player with a general decides who goes first each turn regardless of colour.

Move: Deployed Infantry: 2 lengths, Skirmishers or Infantry in Column: 3 lengths, Cavalry: 4 lengths. 

Terrain: Infantry lose 1 length to move through jungle or cross an obstacle. Cavalry and artillery may not move through jungle, cost 2 lengths to cross obstacle. Road negates terrain for column. 

Shooting: Muskets: Range 2 lengths 1d@2 figures, 5,6 hits.  Artillery: Canister: Range 3 3d@gun. 5,6 hits. Shot: Range 6 2d@gun  4,5,6 hits.  +1 if Rifles or Canister, -1 if difficult target (enemy in cover, skirmishers, or cavalry)

Melee: Infantry: 1d@2, Rifles 1d@3, Cavalry 1d each; 4,5,6 hits,  -1 vs cover. Side taking most hits retreats full move.

Commander: Once per turn may join unit which takes a hit and roll 1d. 5,6=hit cancelled or if in melee 1 may be inflicted on enemy, 2,3,4 no effect, 1 Commander is wounded and removed. (See initiative)

Morale: Unit losing over 1/2 figures retreats. (pick 'em up) 'Army' losing over 1/2 units concedes game unless overruled by scenario.