Sunday, April 23, 2017

2nd Battle of Twinkenham

The Bluvian Army falls back towards Twinkenham, with the Redian Army in close pursuit. With some of his reinforcements coming up, the Bluvian Army turns to make a stand.
The Bluvian general decides to use several small hills to anchor his line on. The Redian general  uses the woods to screen his advance.

The Blue dragoons set up in the woods to try to slow the Reds left flank. One Blue brigade obviously didn't understand his orders and continues to advance in the center.

The two Red brigades drive the Blue dragoons from the woods. The dragoons, having been heavily used in the campaign,  break and runs. Meanwhile, the Blue general pushes forward a second brigade in the center.

Two Red brigades hits the Blue line on both flanks.

The Blue cavalry, which had been on he hills protecting the left flank, charges down the hill and pushes one brigade back.  The rightmost Blue brigade pushes back the brigade to it's front.

The leftmost Red brigade hits the Blue brigade, which has another regiment break and run. The Blue cavalry is hit by  volleyfire, and is routed.

The Bluvian has been holding their line, but have suffered heavy casualties. At this point they have no more reserves; the Red army has two infantry brigades advancing who have yet been engaged. The Bluvian army continues their retreat.
The Bluvian Army has suffered 425 casualties; the Redian Army, 225.

The next battle I plan to have the Bluvian Army stationary on the ground of their choosing. The last couple of battles the defending force had to advance on the ground they wanted to defend. Often they couldn't reach the chosen ground. It really  didn't make sense that the army would march past the ground they want to defend, then have to march back to the ground they want to defend!  As a solo gamer, by having the defending army stationary, the game would come down to maneuvering one army to dislodge the other army.

My next posting will be a book review. The book has opened a whole new world of imagi-nation wargaming potential.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Battle of Scottsdale

The Redian Army falls back to it's second line of defense at Scottsdale. The Bluvian Army dallies for several days at Twinkenham, for no apparent reason. However, as their reinforcements finally arrive, they push forward towards Scottsdale.
The start of the battle. Scottsdale is in the center right of the picture.

The Redian general blows his advantage of being on the ground first. The Bluvian general rapidly pushes his cavalry, dragoons and artillery forward, seizing the great woods in the center.

The red dragoons on the right drives back the blue cavalry with rifle fire.

The blue cavalry counterattacks, and the blue artillery forces back one red infantry brigade.

The cavalry fight on the right is costing both units losses. Red pushes forward all his infantry brigades.

The red dragoons eliminate the blue cavalry.

Two red brigades charge the blue dragoons in the great woods.

The red dragoons flank the blue artillery and overruns it

The red dragoons have also positioned themselves behind the blue dragoons  in the woods.

One of the blue infantry brigades drives back the red dragoons, as the blue dragoons maneuver out of the woods.  The blue general loses his composure and orders the army to fall back to their lines at Twinkenham.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Homecast Hills and the Battle of Twinkenham

 I went out this week and bought a new card reader for my computer. Below are some of the home cast hills.

     Using the 2mm blocks on a small board has been most enjoyable, however, without a clear goal the battles tend to be repetitious.  I decided to make a small campaign, using a straight line campaign. There are five towns along the line (the line representing the Old King's Road) with five towns along it. The two armies will first meet in the center town (Twinkenham) for their first battle. The invading Bluvian Army is pushing for the important crossroad at Oak Grove; the Redian Army is trying to push the blue army back to Old Harbor, from whence the invasion started. Both armies start with a six unit army drawn from One Hour Wargames, with additional reinforcements in the form of 3 units from the OHW lists.  The campaign shall go on until either one army captures its' goal or concedes the campaign due to losses.
The two hills made from my mold are on the left, the rest are the poured freeform hills.

The hills with troops on them.

The Bluvian Army approaches Twinkenham. The Blues are heavy on cavalry, having two cavalry and one dragoon regiments. The dragoons have ranged fire and are excellent for skirmishing, however, are weak in close combat.

The Blue cavalry pushes forward to try to take Twinkenham village.

The Redian Army pushes its unit of Dragoons forward to engage the blue cavalry.  

The red army eliminates one cavalry stand on the right and their artillery hits  the other cavalry in the center, which loses one stand.

The blue dragoons (left center) drives back one red regiment. The blue cavalry on the right drives back the red dragoons. It looks like the battle might be over already.

The reds counterattack.

The reds manager to break the blue cavalry on their left. The reds also bring forward their reserves on their right. The last couple of games I have allowed the armies to keep up to two units off the board as reinforcements. They can be put on their back line during any of their turns. 

The blue cavalry in the center hits one red regiment hard and drives them back in panic.

The blue cavalry breaks the infantry unit, then turns on the reds artillery and takes one gun. The blue dragoons hits the red infantry outside of Twinkenham.

The battle at this point from the Redian side. The blue cavalry is in position to overrun the last of the red artillery, or attack the Redian general. All Redian infantry have suffered losses; the Bluvian infantry has two infantry regiments that haven't suffered any losses (the blue reserves can be seen entering the board at top. ) The Redian retreat.  The Bluvian general  holds his cavalry back;  he might need them and for reinforcements is only going to get one dragoon regiment. The Redian losses for the battle are 925; the Bluvian 400.                                                                                                

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Clever by Half: My First Scratchbuilt Mold

       What little gaming I have been doing has involved 2mm armies. I started thinking of using Battle Cry scenarios on a grid board. However, I didn't have enough terrain pieces. There is no shortage of wooded terrain pieces, however, I lacked hills. The price for hills are around $2.00 a piece from Irregular. Right now money is tight,  so that was not an option.  I then thought, why not make my own? And while I like the Irregular terrain pieces, the hills from Irregular makes it hard to deploy forces on them. I decided to make my own mold. So before going to work, using some clay I made a small hill that was flat enough to deploy a 4 piece unit on it. I then mixed the rubber to make a one piece mold. By the time I got home from work the mold would be ready to use.

     When I got home the mold was indeed ready to use. I poured the first hill and was happy with the result. After the second hill it dawned on me how much metal my mold used. And at $5.00 a ingot, I was going trough quite a bit of metal. I switched to my scrap metal, to save my good casting metal. On the third pouring, I spelt some metal on the work board. After it solidified, before it went back into the pot, I realized that it looked like a nice little hill. I poured a few more spots of metal on the work board and using a wood stick, could shape the hill.  I stopped using my mold and  made a couple of more hills this way. They saved quite a lot of metal, and look better than the molded hills. I plan to pour some more soon; maybe even try to make them stackable to make different level hills.  I went trough approximately 3 ingots of metal, enough for at least 7 Irregular hills. Maybe I didn't save too much money doing it myself.

   I wish I could provide some photographs, however I misplaced my card reader and the SD card I use for my gaming.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

More Casting and 2 Wargames

         My wife has had to work Saturday nights recently. I try to get all my work done early to get some gaming in. This week, besides my usual work, there was a union meeting which I had to attend, which went on for 2 hours. It was also a beautiful day so Jerry got some extra playtime in. It was getting late and it looked like little gaming was going to get done.

         After my last casting session, I decided to order some new metal. In the past most metal has come from old home casts that I never used.  I ordered some low melt, easy pour metal. Hopefully this would solve some of the issues with the molds filling properly. It proved to be a wise investment. After the casting session, there were enough figures to complete one army of soldiers in tricorns, and enough for another 4 units. I have learned not to skimp on metal.

        I also got two wargames in, one using Peter Laing Turks vs Mamelukes, just because they are such good figures.  The second game, my new 2mm Irregular Miniatures ACW armies "Saw the Elephant". And speaking of "seeing the elephant", for this game the rules used were fromThe Stronghold Rebuilt and are called "See the Elephant". There are several interesting twists to these rules that make them a great little set of grid based rules. Perhaps the best is that cavalry has a range of two, and when adjacent to the enemy, still only get two dice. The reasoning for the range of two is that cavalry often dismounted and fought as skirmishers. And when closing with the enemy,  they don't seem to simulate a heavy cavalry charge. I really can't think of too many cavalry charges in the Civil War  against infantry, simply because a charge against rifle muskets could be suicidal. The rules are free and I strongly recommend that you at least give them a look.
Newly cast AWI figures.

Peter Laing Turks vs Mamelukes

Mamelukes won the battle

2mm ACW battle.

The good thing of battles at this size is the board can be picked up and turned so you can view  the battle from the playing general's side.

The left Confederate brigade stays on the "reverse slope" to avoid the Union artillery. The Confederate cavalry on the right is "dismounted" and is firing on the advancing infantry brigade.

The Union start pushing forward a 3rd brigade into the fight.

The Confederate cavalry has been pushed back.

The Rebels deploy an infantry brigade to protect the right flank. At the left of the picture another brigade is moving to reinforce the right.

The Confederate left moves forward to try to distract the Union general. The Rebel  brigade on the right  deploys and is facing two Yankee brigades.

The Union left brigades push forward. The right Union brigade moves off the ridge to engage the dismounted Confederate cavalry.

The Union left have caused 50% casualties to the Rebel brigade and it has been forced back.

The Union now orders forward all their units.

The Union brigade assaults the left ridge and breaks the last regiment holding  the ridge. The Confederates right collapses completely and the Rebels concede the field. (If the Confederates had won the initiative roll, they would have conceded the battle before they lost so many units. This would be important in a campaign.)

This game proved a most enjoyable game. I changed a few things from the rules, mainly I used Battle Cry dice instead of 6D dice that are use in the rules.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Charge of the Light Brigade

     While my wife was in Maryland, I spent one night watching the 1968 movie, "Charge of the Light Brigade". The first time I watched this, I really didn't care much for it, except the actual day of Balaclava. I then read Cecil Woodham-Smiths' "The Reason Why", and found that the movie follows the true story, with some "artistic license". It is certainly better than "The Charge of the Light Brigade" with Errol Flynn.  I now find it among my favorite movies.

   After watching the movie, I did some research online and read that the Director also recreated the charge of the Heavy Brigade, but this was removed from the final cut. I have an old issue of Military Illustrated Past & Present, which had the second part of an article " The Making of the Charge" by John Mollo. John Mollo served as advisor on the uniforms in the movie.  I went on Ebay and managed to find the first part of the article. In it Mr. Mollo mentions the charge of the Heavy Brigade, stating; "Impressive as the scene was, it was probably just as well it 'ended on the cutting room floor'- since apart from the excellent brass helmets made in Rome, the Heavies were, at the Directors insistence, incorrectly uniformed in Light Dragoon blue."  In the one photograph in the magazine of the charge of the Heavy Brigade,  I believe the scene would have added much to the movie, even if the uniforms are wrong. Someone mentioned that the BFI has a 4 hour uncut version of the movie. I was wondering if anyone has seen this missing scene?

My Peter Laing Light Brigade

Peter Laing Heavy Brigade

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

AWI Peter Laing Figures

I managed to trade some old figures I wasn't using anymore for some samples of Peter Laing American War of Independence figures.
Officer figure, standard bearer, cavalryman, and Highlander.

Hessian grenadier, light infantryman, frontiersman, infantryman, Highlander, and British grenadier.

I already made a mold using the marching "hatman" and British grenadier.  The  Hatman tends to be semi flat  and is quite hard to mold.