Monday, July 29, 2013

Protector of the Realm

Last Friday evening I hosted a game of "Protector of the Realm" at our club's game night. The game is a War of the Roses mini campaign for DBA with some slight modifications to DBA itself to give the game a more accurate WOTR feel. I picked up the campaign rules from the author about 15 years ago ago at Historicon. This was before most people had websites and very soon after he disappeared. Still the rules are very fun. The theme of the game night was in honor for one of our club members who recently passed away and was titled: "Games Leo would love". Leo and I co-hosted this game annually for years and based on how much fun the players had last Friday, I'm hoping Leo smiled down upon us and enjoyed the show.

The game started off with Paul (yellow shirt) as King Henry. Paul racked up a goodly sized lead when he was deposed by Ralph for a long and prosperous (slightly more for Ralph than the other players) reign. At the end Greg (standing above) mounted a bid to de-throne Ralph, but it was unsuccessful and in the end Ralph was victorious. In truth, everyone won as the game was great fun for all.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Wing Scale VB&G Napoleonics (2)

Last night a few of us went over to my friend Ed's house to play test his game for our upcoming club game night. The game is a post Leipzig 1813 scenario designed for playing with his home-modified version of the Volley & Bayonet Road to Glory rule set. Ed's modifications are an evolution of an effort he and my friend Mark D. have been collaborating on for a while. The scenario was well thought out and Ed's modifications seem fun and easily understood.

As for the game, I played well, but so did my opponent George (in the Hawaiian shirt). Sometimes the dice gods smile upon us, sometimes they smile upon our opponents. Last night was one of the latter for sure. With equal skill applied you'd expect a close run affair, but George took me to the woodshed for an old fashioned whooping. In the end my entire command was shattered and for the most part destroyed as well. George had some exhausted units but he still had a full regiment of Prussians willing and able to capitalize on the giant hole he'd made in my side the French rear guard.

At the bottom of the article is another attempt at a panoramic view of the table in video form from YouTube.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Disordered Markers

I designed this play aid at the request of my friend Gordon from Adler Hobby. It holds a 16mm die and has a 'frontage' at the top flat side of 40mm. It's made of two layers of 1/8" (3mm) thick Baltic birch plywood. The marker can be used for Black Powder, Tremble Ye Tirants, British Grenadier or a myriad of other rule sets where the disorder points on a unit is a number from 1 to 6 or less. I'm not sure if Gordon will sell these at his store, use them for personal use or ask me to sell them on my website. Leave a comment here if you're interested in some.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Carthaginian Citizen Spearmen

This is a unit of Carthaginian citizen spearmen that I finished painting just before heading out on vacation. I had to wait for the Army Painter quickshade to dry before basing them, so they didn't get based up until I returned from vacation. This is a unit of six bases which will make one unit in Field of Glory (bottom photo) or two units in Hanibal at the Gates (left and immediately below right and left). The figures are Old Glory. They painted up quite easily with good detail and a reasonably small amount of flash. The hands drill nicely for the wire spears, which are from Warlord Games.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cretan Archers (2) and Elephant Escorts

Just before leaving for my vacation I had a couple of days at the painting table. I didn't want to start a large project and have it sit half finished during my trip, so I worked on these two small projects.

The first project is two additional stands of Cretan Archers to extend my previous unit of Cretan Archers from six (6) to eight (8) bases - a full Field of Glory unit. I wanted to complete the unit and my uncle had these extra figures in his dead lead box. He offered them to me to help me out. I thought the best way to say 'thank you' for the figures was to get them painted up. Above you will see them deployed as a single Hanibal at the Gates (HATG) unit which is two WRG bases front-to-back. Eventually I will make up some sabot bases for use when using these figures with HATG.

The second small project was some escorts for my Carthaginian elephants. I'm planning on putting one skirmisher figure on each Elephant base to represent the light troops that would protect the elephants from enemy skirmishers. I've temporarily affixed these to a base with putty for photographic purposes. I've painted up two Numidian skirmishers and four Spanish skirmishers. These will eventually re-appear here on completed elephant units. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Satatoga Battlefield National Park

The second historical stop during our vacation at Lake George, NY was to visit the Saratoga Battlefield National Park. As all of my AWI armies are tailored for the 1777, specifically the Saratoga campaign this visit has been on my 'to-do' list for a long time. The park does not disappoint. The national park service has preserved a large portion of the land on which the battle occurred and has done a good job of indicating the locations of works on the battlefields where appropriate. The visitor's center has a good movie, a modest collection of artifacts and an excellent 'electronic map' showing both engagements during the campaign. The park is well staffed and some rangers and licensed guides are present in period clothing for an extra added touch. I did notice some of the plaques could use a good cleaning and some of the wooden gun carriages could use some maintenance, or better replacing with metal replacements such as the ones used by the civil war battlefield parks, appropriately modified for an AWI look of course.

The title picture is the Benedict Arnold 'Boot' monument. I apologize for the lack of many outdoors photos from the battlefield as it was pouring when I visited, somewhat ruining most of my photographs. A return visit has already been put on my 'to-do' list as well as a visit to the Fort Anne museums nearby. Below is a collection of photos from my visit that I hope you will enjoy.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fort Ticonderoga

My wife Lori and I are vacationing in lovely Lake George, New York in our RV this week. The first historic side trip is to the Fort Ticonderoga historic park. The park is privately owned, originally founded by the Pell family (of Pell grant fame). The fortress has been rebuilt on the original ruins as after the fort was abandoned after the hostilities of the American Revolution ceased locals robbed it's walls for the quarried stone to build local dwellings and structures. The restoration is wonderful and your modern day entrance fees include demonstrations by hired staff in AWI uniform manning some active encampments, a color guard and fife and drum band at noon and a host of excellent museum staff. Although this isn't a state or federal park, it maintains all the quality, and in some ways more, than either.

The fort is located such that an overall photo isn't possible from the grounds. I'm including my photos from the day including, of personal interest, some wargaming figures donated to the collection, and several items from their arms collection. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Marcellus Africanus - Hero of Rome

Last night Charlie (left as Hannibal), Mike (right as Mars) and I got together to do some more board game moves in our Second Punic War campaign. As it ended up the board game didn't generate any more good tabletop battles, but the campaign did come to a conclusion....a Roman victory!  We chose to resolve all of the remaining battles using the board game's card battle system as they were all lopsided enough that we thought they wouldn't be fun on the tabletop. The board game and campaign did generate a large amount of very fun Field of Glory tabletop games and I would call it a huge success. I'd like to thank Mike for running it, Charlie to be a fun and challenging opponent and everyone who participated on both sides as tabletop wing commanders.

As for the conclusion of the campaign, here's the Roman view of the final moves: After the conclusion of the battle of Icosium, Hannibal retreated through coastal Numidia while Marcellus continued to press the attack. Marcellus forced the issue and destroyed the depleted Carthaginian field army in a subsequent battle along the coast using a double envelopment battle strategy. Scipio descended on Carthage itself and began a siege which was about to capture the capital as the campaign ended. Marcellus solidified Rome's holdings in Africa and prepared to reinforce Scipio if needed.

In a brilliant, and almost wildly successful ploy, Hanno took the Carthaginian field army from Spain and attacked several Roman cities in Italy and Sicily.  Hanno raided and captured Syracuse and used it as a base of operations to capture several more cities and provinces in southeastern Italy. Sardinia and Corsica revolted from Carthaginian rule and swore loyalty to Rome while various Roman generals were sent by the Senate to tend to Hanno. In the end the Gods smiled in Rome's favor and Hanno's army was lost at sea in a storm sealing Carthage's fate. As the sun set on the campaign Rome was able to claw itself to a small edge in land holdings and claim victory. In Rome the Senate and Citizens have already begun telling tales of the successful and popular Marcellus Africanus who won four major battles and destroyed Hannibal's army in detail in the field. Scipio was relegated to obscurity as a General who only conducted one partially successful siege under orders from Marcellus. That's one of the great things about Wargaming, re-creating and sometimes changing history. Above right is a photograph of the board at the conclusion of the campaign.