Saturday, December 30, 2017

Northern Conspiracy December 2017 Game Night

Last night about 14 of the Northern Conspirators braved single-digit temperatures, slick roads and a burst sprinkler pipe in the hotel to attend December game night. Considering the slick roads and holiday season, a good turn out. Two games were run. To the left Mark Decouteau's War of 1812 game of the Battle of Lundy's Lane. This game was run using Mark and Ed's house rule wing scale variant of Volley & Bayonet. Talking to Ed after the game it looks like he and Mark are on the right track with this variant and all had a good time. Apologies for the poor focus on the photo. The lighting in the room was a bit dark and the hotel maintenance staff were a bit too overwhelmed with the flooding to ask for their help with it.

The other game was my 28mm WWII Iron Cross game. This was a hypothetical fight over an unnamed village in France on or around D-day plus four. The scenario was a German defense of a small village with the British attacking. The Germans started with a platoon of Osttruppen (Poles) in the village with the British marching on a superior force with armor support and the Germans bringing in some regular grenadiers and some scraped-together light armor to defend.

Rob and Charlie were the British. Although they didn't stop for tea, Charlie's force flanked the town and a large portion of it never really got into the fight. Charlie's armor and mortars were used to good effect, but the infantry lagged behind. On Rob's side he decided to also develop a heavy Vickers MG field of fire supported by his Sherman before going in with his Tommies. Once fully engaged it looked effective, but the Poles held firm responding to several rallies from their German officers.

In the end the Poles held out long enough for the German reinforcements to arrive and solidify the situation for the day. D-day +5 would probably see them pulling out under the darkness of night, but for this day the Germans carried the battle for the village.

We like the activation system and combat systems in Iron Cross a lot. It's a simple game with a lot to recommend. There are a few 'dark corners' in it that are left for the game master to handle. For my games I'm working on a consistent set of guidelines to use game-to-game to keep things predictable. I've worked up a QRS that is more intuitive for us on the west side of the Atlantic. Once I'm happy with it I will probably make it available for public consumption.

Friday, December 29, 2017

More WWII British Infantry and Support Weapons

These will likely be the last figures posted for 2017. The year started off well with me doing quite a bit of 28mm vehicle conversions for WWII skirmish gaming, but personal events kept me away from the painting table for most of the year. With a game to put on tomorrow, I found the motivation to base up these figures which have been languishing on the painting table since late spring.

The infantry in the force consists of ten rifle-armed infantry, two Thompson-armed NCOs and a crouching figure suitable as an officer or forward observer as needed. In addition to the grunts, there is another 3" mortar and a 'Six-pounder' anti-tank gun. All figures are West Wind figures (from Old Glory here in the USA) with the exception of the two NCOs which I believe are Artisan. They are block painted and finished with my home made 'magic wash'. Grass tufts are Leadbearer's tufts which I highly recommend. I'll count this as 21 figures for this year's painting totals counting each special weapon as a single figure.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas

I'd like to take this chance to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy new year.

Things at home have been distracting from my hobby, but with a work break coming up I hope to finish basing up some 28mm WWII British I've recently finished painting.

I'll also be hosting an Iron Cross game at our club's December game night later in the month that should make for some nice photo ops for a last game of the year.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Two French vs Austrian Napoleonic Campaign Games

Last Saturday, ten of us got together to play the opening battles in a new Napoleonic campaign run by Charlie, the author of Napoleon's Rules of War. We used my large twelve-foot table, split in half to play two battles simultaneously. Seen at the left the full length of the table as the battles begun.

On the near table, the larger of the two battles was played with French players Rob, Earl and Byron (left to right left photo) and Austrian players Peter, Kevin and I (right photo left to right with me behind the camera).

At this battle the French were outnumbered three to four, with the Austrians having their corps artillery in addition to the additional other troops. The French did well causing more Austrian casualties than they received before being forced to withdraw from the battle due to their own casualties.

On the far table were Ralph as the sole French commander and Bob and Mike as the Austrian commanders. The troops in addition to the players were 2:1 in favor of the Austrians. Ralph fought a good defense, but the Austrian numbers here brought a predictable result.

This was an enjoyable rare December game. With all that goes on during the month we were happy to sneak in a day of gaming, and get both large games on the table for an afternoon of fun.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Northern Conspiracy October 2017 Game Day

Last Saturday fellow blogger and club-mate Ed M hosted an EPIC-sized 28mm alternate Waterloo scenario of Prussians vs. French in the Ramillies Gap. The game featured Charlie's excellent rules, Napoleon's Rules of War with some modifications specifically added by Ed for the game. For more photos and information, Ed has a lovely article on his blog about the game day from the game master's point of view.

The game was a one-day campaign and game all wrapped up into one. The order of march was determined prior to the players arriving, but approach marches were up to each player. I was commanding Prussian 1st division with Byron my 2iC commanding the right brigade, while I was on the left - tasked with taking the town. Opposite us was the French primary push complete with the young guard and it's accompanying grand battery!

The French artillery hit early and often. I was able to return the favor against French infantry in the town with my 12-pounder battery, driving them out. Towards the end of the day more French reinforced the town. With the battle drawing to a close I made a push into the town with a multi-battalion force while the Prussian grenadiers supported the attack on the right neutralizing a young guard battalion that was worn down from ranged fire. My attack was only partially successful with my regulars locked in a struggle for the town with the French.

Across the battlefield there were losses and gains on both sides, most of which still in the balance when we ran out of time. This was an epic fight fought to a draw - everyone won since we all had a great time. Many photos below....

 Prussian center advanced guard approaches the battlefield...
Main bodies of French and Prussian forces in the center. The French, first to the town, secure it.

The main forces engage each other, first with artillery, then cavalry, then combined attacks. Prussian position battery clears the front of the town.

The Young Guard arrives, secures the town and advances to attack  the center.

Towards the end of the game here is a series of left-to-tight panoramic photos. Left of center, the French dragoon division arrives and threatens Prussian 2nd division. Prussian reserve cavalry responds. In the distance, 3rd division presses the French light cavalry.
In the Center the struggle for the town continues. Prussian grenadiers holding the town's left flank, French Young Guard hold the town right.
 Right center, Byron's command at a stand off with Dave's French.
Extreme right, Mike, Michael and Kevin press against Earl's French.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Napoleonic Game Day Test Game

Last Friday a few of us got together to help our friend Ed M. test some of the components of a HUGE Napoleonic game he's running at the upcoming club game day in October. Ed wanted to get a significant amount of the troops onto a table larger than he can fit in his game room, so he asked to use my 12-foot table. I was happy to help! Ed's write-up of the game with more photos can be seen on his blog. The scenario is an alternate Waterloo campaign featuring Ed's beautiful French and Prussian figures. I'll leave more of the description of the game for the reader to discover over at Ed's excellent Blog.

Left to right, French marshals, Earl, Ralph and Peter in the opening moves of the game.

Prussian marshal Mike in the background and CinC Bob in the foreground. I rounded out the Prussian test team.

The best shots I could get of the full expanse of the table. It's tough to get far enough away from a 12-foot table in an 18-foot room! That's a LOT of figures. For game day this table will be 18 feet long, so there should be good room for manoeuvring. Where there was on the flanks in this game it was quite interesting.

Obligatory eye-candy shots of Ed's beautiful figures.

The game started out with Bob being uncharacteristically aggressive with his Landwher cavalry, with predictable results. Earl's infantry and Artillery were deadly and when they couldn't finish the job Ralph's joined in on the fun. Deadly.

On our left flank Peter's cavalry charged Mike's cavalry across a stream, jumping it like it was a casual steeple chase course, sending Mike's cavalry to the rear in disarray with Peter's cavalry in hot pursuit breaking through the Prussian lines causing Bob to commit some reserves there to clean up the mess.

On the left flank I sent my Landwher infantry off on an errand to secure the town on our left while Earl's cavalry secured the French flank opposite me. My attacks against Earl's infantry there were unsuccessful, and lucky for me the game was called due to the hour before his cavalry could sweep into my Landwher.

It was a fun night and I believe Ed got what he needed for information in order to make the club's game day game even better.

For blog purposes I'm only counting this as half a game hosted. Ed did all the work, I just provided the table and some terrain. Thanks for the fun game Ed.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Laser DOWN!

Most readers of this blog know that I have a laser engraver that I use to cut acrylic, plywood, balsa and paper to make wargaming items for personal use and for sale as a small hobby business. The other evening I was cutting a job for a customer and the laser stopped working suddenly.

Come to find out I've finally worn out (blown up sir!) the Y-axis servo motor pictured to the left. It's performed it's last chooch as AVE would say. So I had to order up a new one from the manufacturer. $230.00 later it's on its way. Hopefully I'll swap it in and be back up and running soon. At least it's not as expensive as when I blew the laser tube a year ago. That repair cost me $3,000.00. The only difference between men and boys are the cost of their toys I guess.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

15mm Paint Shack Youtube Channel


Kent Galpin of the 15mm Paint Shack has started up his own YouTube channel. It will include tutorials, figure reviews and general videos of his painting projects. Contrary to the name of his painting service, Kent also paints beautiful 28mm and 32mm figures. 

Some readers of this blog will remember that I've had Kent paint some figures for me. You can read more about my opinion of Kent's work on my post here.

Here's a close-up of a sample 28mm AWI officer Kent painted up for me: