Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Waiting for their ship of the desert to come in.

When I started on these, I was picturing this snazzy unit in  embroidered sleeveless vests and so on. Then it occurred to me that an almost never mentioned camel gun unit, which may have only appeared at one battle, might not have been an elite unit. Revisiting what few sources I have, it seemed like the regular infantry and artillery of the New Army all seemed to have worn very plain uniforms with sleeved jackets, no lace etc. Sighhhh .....  I mean I could have done them like some Emir's personal guard camel battery, but........

Anyway, here they are drilling with a very placid mountain gun while they wait for their camels.

I hope for their sake that the camels will be as placid as this carriage.

The crew were  converted from Schildkrot 1900 Prussian artillery crew, pretty much every one of my 40mm armies from 1799 to 1918 contains some of these gunners with new uniforms. 

Here is this lot in their underwear.

Up next, more infantry, maybe Turks, maybe French but I think I need to roll some dice.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Council of War

One more quick and easy figure ticked as done:

Rossi Pasha meets the commander of his Central European infantry.

Next up......... more infantry I think, but French or Turkish? or gunners either Turkish camel gunners or French Horse Artillery or......

Friday, March 24, 2023

For My Next Act

 This guy has nothing up his sleeve!

PA, new SYW general waving hat with sword arm replacing the hat arm, and a head from one of the Austrian light infantry moulds. The story of how an Austrian general came to command Mamlukes and camel guns might have been an interesting tale.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

One More Done

Not my best work but they'll do. Maybe this weekend I'll find out the key thing: how lucky are they?

40mm 1790's French 20th Dragoons.
Prince August SYW dragoon bodies with Zinnbrigade British Dragoon heads

Somedays I miss being able to see clearly both near and far and miss having a relatively steady hand that didn't twitch or jump at awkward moments, but overall I'm just grateful I can still paint at all.

Monday, March 20, 2023

There Once Was A Troop of Republican Dragoons

 and there will be again ere long.

Prince August SYW Dragoons with Zinnbrigade Waterloo British Dragoon heads.

In addition, I finally broke down, gave in to temptation, and ordered a pair of Irregular kneeling camels to give the Mamluke column some firepower once I've added swivel guns and crews. Each stand can replace a stand of Mamlukes....(-sneaky eh?)  and give the player commanding the Mamlukes some firepower.

OK This guy is a Persian but I found a reference to some Turkish/Mamluke cavalry being supported by camel guns during Bonaparte's Syrian campaign. Close enough for me.

Oh, and I'll have to add light artillery to the weapons chart.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Sloppy Dozen

That's the first 4 stands of Mamlukes converted and painted. Just 4 more stands and a Commander to finish the Turkish cavalry.

They were one French Hussar and two cowboys, but they're all Mamlukes now!

I'm at that stage now when I start wondering "What was I thinking?!". The conversions weren't too bad, but painting the Mamlukes as individuals sure slows things down and neither eyes nor hands are what they were. On top of that, I've only started to learn how to get the best out of the new paints, so these are a bit wonky or splotchy in spots to say the least.

I think I'll do a Turkish commander next, then the French Dragoons, followed by some Turkish infantry and an enlarged village. Once I get that done, I'd best play a solo test game.

Friday, March 17, 2023

It Was Work, Honest

First non-solo game of the year. 

Old Longtime friends Les and Paul and I, got together  to try out the latest version of Hearts of Tin (aka A Whiff of Grape) which I'm planning to use at Huzzah!. 

The scenario was improvised, a small force holding the high ground against a larger force, with reinforcements arriving to help the defence. 

Rather than haul my stuff in town, we used Les' 10mm Pendraken 18thC figures, but this time, instead of treating each stand of 10mm figures as a stand and measuring in cm, we treated each 3 stand battalion as a "stand", and measured in inches. 

It worked great! We got a fair number of Les' units out and managed to set up, play till we agreed to call it, and then pack away, in about 4 hours. That was very encouraging as was the feel of the game.

Now, back to adding more 40mm Mamlukes!

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Recalled To Life

A Tale of Two Campaigns.

 (With apologies to Dickens)

Well, it was a quick and easy conversion, with a quick and sloppy paint touch up, the job should have been finished more than a week ago but life, and a couple of games, interfered again and again. Still, they're done now.  

The Orleans Regiment at the time of The War of the Austrian Succession has become the French Republic's 13th Regiment for the War of the First Coalition, with full 'toy soldier' level of accuracy........  

Now, back to Dragoons and Mamlukes. 

Sunday, March 12, 2023

A Charge Is As Good As A Rest

I hadn't realized how much I missed my multi figure based armies until I played that last 1790's game. What devil had wanted me to go back to single figures, something I'd almost never done until I wrote MacDuff for 25mm Colonial games in the 90's and finally played Charge! which I'd had since '73? The new rules using individual soldiers worked ok, but took twice the time and work to play, and added nothing really apart from a a few 'war stories' and photo ops. It had no more drama, history, or opportunities for generalship, than my old Hearts of Tin had provided, and took a lot of extra time and effort.

I decided it was time to  give myself a break from the 1790's. Atlantica always seems like a good place to go to escape from reality. Here's a quick look at what followed:

The Free Corps fighting to keep the Kapelle Territory free and independent for a little longer.

I decided that the scenario would consist of a column of Faraway Trading Company troops, backed by some battalions of the Queen's regulars, paying a visit to a native Kapelle village to collect taxes and punish resistance. The village elders had sent out messengers seeking help and Brigadier Zinn's Oberhilse Free Corps, in the pay of neighbouring Kyuquoit, answered the call.   

Mid-game, the Free Corps has managed to march on and deploy in the nick of time. Prolonged and bloody close quarter fighting ensued.

The struggle for the village was prolonged with the middle houses changing hands three times, and casualties were high on both sides.

Both sides had taken heavy losses as the sun sank. (3 turns left out of 15) Her Majesty suddenly appeared out of nowhere, surveyed the table, and ordered Larsen's Lancers to over run the mercenaries battery and sweep away the armed farmers, allowing her redcoats to secure the village. 

I forgot to time the game, and was interrupted a few times, but I think it took about two hours of actual playing time and victory (possession of the village) and wasn't decided until the last turn when the remaining troop of Lancers made their 2nd charge on the guns and rolled three 6's while the gun whiffed. The loss brought the defenders to their break point on the last turn. Soooooo close!

The rules used may be found here: A Whiff of Dice: A Hearts of Tin variant.

The struggle over the gun was bloody but HM was right and her soldiers cleared the rebels out of the town and forced, what she considered to be mercenaries, to retreat. Her troops paid dearly for their narrow victory but the merchants and land speculators were pleased.

Now, I return myself to the French Revolution........

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Never As Easy As It Seems

The plan was to play a game this morning.

What happened was a lot of useful work refurbishing units and getting them ready to play.

A Faraway Trading Company column approaches an apparently empty Kapelle village. (But we know better)

Yes, having exhausted various ways to make every collection different in rules, level of play etc, I've finally decided the challenge is over and I'm going to be lazy again and just play what works for me. This 1840's game could easily be played with my French Rev armies using essentially the same weapons and tactics but since I have these guys and like 'em, and still have space for them, I'm not going to worry about it. 

Now it's a Sunday Solo 1840's Kapelle game using Whiff of Dice (aka Revived and improved Hearts of Tin) that I'm planning.

Friday, March 10, 2023

When I decided to downsize my table last year, I thought seriously about a 5 ft x 5 ft table but the room was cramped enough and I only had a 4'x8' board to work with. I whimped out and settled on 4'x5' table. While testing my convention game I jury rigged a 5'x6' surface and imagined a foot or two of sea to help fill the table while leaving room on each end for coffee cups etc. 

Well, I took down the temporary expansion and the 4x5 looked so forlorn, and having a square table had been so handy that I relocated or removed some shelf units, boxes etc and started collecting ends and scraps of 1/4" board of various dimensions. It was a bit tricky to get everything steady and level but I got there and touched up the old paint just enough to blend in a little.

I wanted to test the table and the rules but wanted a break from the French Revolution so turned to an older collection. 

Its the illusion of perspective that makes the square look longer than it is wide.

So, somewhere in the disputed Kapelle region, two armies converge on a sleepy little village at a crossroad....

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Just A Quick Update

Another busy week, part hobby and brain workout with an even larger non-hobby part, but I managed another playtest of a slightly modified scenario. 

The rules have, I think, come together in a completely different old fashioned  style than when I started. They are back to a version of Hearts of Tin, having more echos of Joe Morschauser, than Featherstone, Grant, Lawford and Young etc. The scenario has been adjusted for 6 players though playable with fewer. 

Should have known my old white coated Orleans Cavalry would earn their keep if updated. Last turn of the game, a brilliant charge and die roll turned the game result on its head as they over ran the convoy capturing the Royalist convoy of arms and money on the last turn!

There's a dozen or so figures left to paint up for this scenario, then I need to get back to painting Turks and Mamlukes as there's only something like 10 weeks left to prepare!

Sunday, March 5, 2023

There Are Good Reasons For Play Testing

 But its late, so, more on the topic tomorrow. 

Meanwhile, a shot of the adhoc 6'x5.5' table roughly 1/2 way through a solo test.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Recycle, Reuniform

Late last century......when I found the HAWKS running a "Not Quite The SYW" Charge! game at Cold Wars...'98?... using homecast Prince August and Meisterzinn figures, I was hooked! I bought my copy of Charge! in 1972 but had only played a few small 30mm skirmishes before getting sucked into WRG Ancients.

When I got home from that Cold Wars, I ordered 1 infantry and 1 cavalry mould, converted command figures where necessary with such a thin recruiting pool, and brought them down to join in the next time I went to Cold Wars (Y2K iir).  Well, the years have rolled on and my SYW troops haven't been making it to the table very often. As far as I can tell, my Orleans Cavalry last saw the table in 2019 and before that, well, its lost in the mists of time.

While browsing my Funcken Lace Wars, looking for something else, I noticed that the early 90's  French cavalry could be made from the PA charging cavalryman if I swapped their tricorne heads for my bicorne heads. That thought soon grew into: "If I did a head swap on my Orleans cavalry and repainted just the coats and belts, they'd work fine. My oldest cavalry regiment would see more action and I wouldn't have to wait until spring before casting more cavalry to add to the over crowded shelves and storage boxes.

" Gentlemen, I need a volunteer...."

Incidentaly, if anyone is wondering why the posts have suddenly slowed down its partly household winter duties and partly a trip to the dentist which resulted in an immediate, unexpected, extraction of 2 teeth. Ouchhh!  A week later its still sore enough to be distracting and demotivating but there are signs of healing so a test of yet another go at a the rules is imminent!