Sunday, December 27, 2015

New Figures

     I have made a couple of new purchases. One was a lot of Frying Pan & Blanket Amalgamated War of 1812 figures.  There are enough figures to make an American regiment from 1814, if you are using their rules' THE COMPLETE BRIGADIER. Also, there were 12 artillerymen and 9 British infantry. After seeing them I went looking for the War of 1812 Militia figures I have, without success. While looking for the militia, I did find my Minifigs 4.7 naval guns which I had lost. I wanted to use these guns with my Peter Laing figures.

   Another purchase I made was some 10mm plastic figures from a company by the name of Gordon & Hague. They are based figures already painted. They come painted and based already. each base is individually packaged. I did some research of the company. It seemed that after a couple of years in business, the company who molded the figures went out of business. G&H then planned to switch to 15mm plastic figures; however they went out of business. I was getting interested in these figures. However, when they were in business the price of single stands were quite high. In fact I bought 10 stands which with postage cost $2.00 per stand. When I opened them, one figure dropped off the base with no abuse on my part. I dare say that if I want to war-game ACW in 10mm, I will stick to Old Glory figures.

A Gordon & Hague artillery and Confederate militia stand.

An assembled and primed Minifigs 4.7 gun.

The 4.7 manned by Peter Laing figures.

Frying Pan & Blanket Amalgamated British War of 1812 Infantry.

FP&BA War of 1812 American command figures.

FP&BA War of 1812 American infantry.

FP&BA War of 1812 artillery

Friday, December 11, 2015

New Home Casting

British Infantry

22nd New York State Militia

U.S. Army

Another British regiment

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Peter Laing Medievals

       While I haven't been working on any one project, I did take a quick inventory of my Peter Laing Medieval figures, not counting the very large collection of Norman figures. The biggest surprise was that I have 45 mounted knight figures, more than I thought I had. I have enough figures to make two small armies. I was also looking through my old PRACTICAL WARGAMER magazines for inspiration. There was a good article on the French Wars of Religion 1562-1598. While I only have the first of two articles, on Ebay someone was selling 4 copies of PRACTICAL WARGAMER, one of which has the second article in it. I bought the lot, although I have copies of the other three issues. Keep your eyes open on this blog if you are looking for copies of PRACTICAL WARGAMER, as I will probably give away the duplicate issues.

     I have also been working on a secret mold and have been having good success in casting with the mold.
The collection of mounted knights.

Sorting out the different Medieval figures.

The unarmored spearmen with shields on the march.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Testing Rule Changes with a Wargame

As mentioned in the last posting, I thought that the Vikings were too weak and the Saxon peasants too strong. So, using BATTLELORE rules where certain forces would be "bold", where they ignore the first retreat roll, and the peasants would be "frightened", where they would retreat 2 spaces for every retreat roll.  I also started using the "battle back" rule, where a bold unit could fight back if they weren't forced to retreat.  This, being a game just to test the changes, had no terrain and I had no plan to photograph it. I did take a few shots with my phone after it started, as it made for a better game.
The Saxon army advances, being careful to keep their  units supported.

The Saxon shield wall starts inflecting losses  on the Viking.

The Viking pull back their medium infantry, and the Viking heavy infantry hits the Saxon shield wall and breaks through it.

The Saxon heavy infantry starts losing heavily.

The Saxons lose 50% of their units; the Viking continue to attack. The Viking archers aim at the priest, who was the Saxons leader.

He is forced to retreat with what's left of the army.

Using the right rules made for a better game. I have to remember to use rules as they are written; it didn't complicate the game that much. I do think that Ross Macfarland's suggestions from the last comments as to what units are bold are the way to go. I think I will play one more Viking game, with larger forces, and the above changes to the rules.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Viking Wargame

      While I haven't been doing as much with gaming recently, I try to work on figures at least half an hour each day. Last year I got a sizable collection of Peter Laing Viking, Norman and Saxon figures. I haven't done much with them. I wasn't crazy about the painting of the Viking so  I started stripping some of the figures. The paint came off easily; I don't think the figures were primed before painting.
     I also got a large collection of BATTLELORE supplement sets. These are the first series figures that are cartoonish. I personally like the figures and, with each se,t besides new figures you get additional scenarios for games. I have in the past used a couple of the scenarios to use Peter Laing figures; I fought Agincourt several times ,of which I wrote postings of.

      This week I also started watching BBCs series THE LAST KINGDOM. I had missed the first 6 episodes but luckily with my cable TV I could watch the entire 6 episodes this week. It made me want to do a war-game. I touched up some of the painted Viking and based them.  I was using my simplified BATTLELORE rules for the battle.
The Vikings are at the top of the page, the Saxons on the bottom. 

Both sides advance.

The Viking's original plan was to close then form a shield wall. One band though charged forward to draw first blood. 

The Saxons had more discipline and formed shield walls. In BATTLELORE if you have two units forward and a unit behind, they are "supported" and can ignore the first"retreat" roll.

On the hill on the left, the Berserkers are causing havoc. The Berserkers I treated as "heavy cavalry" . That gives them 4 dice to roll and can followup and combat a second time if they force a retreat.

In the middle of the picture can be seen two dice. This is where, between a medium infantry unit and light unit of Saxons  wiped out a heavy unit of Viking. The two dice shows the light infantry roll that wiped out the unit.

A close up of the above shot.

The Viking start inflecting heavy losses on the Saxons.

The two crossbow units on the Saxon left manage to eliminate the Berserkers. The Saxon Bodyguards, with help from another unit, cuts down the the Viking Chieftain and his bodyguard. Another Saxon unit drives off a unit of Viking archers.

Close up of the Berserkers defeat.

Close up of the Viking chieftains death.

With the death of their chieftain and their flanks being encircled, the Viking retreat.

I think if I continue to use these rules I will have to reread them. The fact that the Saxon peasants  fight as well as Viking just doesn't seem right. There are different rules in the more advance rules. Viking should be "bold" where they ignore the first "retreat" rolls. The Saxons should be "frightened", where every "retreat" roll they retreat two spaces instead of one. Something to think about.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

40 Years Ago Today....

      40 years ago today my father was laid to rest. My father served in the 67th Evacuation Hospital in Europe during WW2. The 67th landed D+6 and won 5 battle stars. The 67th was stationed in Malmady at the start of the Battle of the Bulge, fortunately it was not overrun. The 67th ended the war in Czechoslovakia. I can't tell many stories of my fathers service, as he spoke little about it. When he did it was of the horrors of war. It took me a long time to get what he was trying to tell me.
My father, First Sergeant John T. Patriquin (on right), with  Pvt. Clyde Snyder. While doing some online research on the 67th Evac. Hospital, I read how Pvt. Snyder was one of 50 men who volunteered to stay behind with the hospital supplies when the 67th retreated from Malmady.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

42mm Britains figures

     I have been waiting for some figures I bought on Ebay. They are some Britains, 4 which are smaller than the usual 54mm figures.  I bought them hoping they would be the same size as Zinnbrigade 42mm Prussian parade figures.  The package came in today. I think they are the same scale, although a book I have lists the Britains as being 44mm.
The Ebay lot. The 4 figures on the left were the figures I wanted.

The figures belong to Britains  "W" series.

Unfortunately, the Highlander is damaged, with a large hole in the side. The upper part of the torso seems to have been crushed. The figure is still usable though.

A converted Zinnbrigade figures stands with the Britains. They are a good match.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New Casting

      I realized that my rubber for making molds was getting to the end of it's shelf life.  I have some toy soldiers coming soon which I hope to make molds of. I did want to see if the rubber was still good. I decided to make a mold of a Minifigs general figure. It is in the classic "heroic" pose; being a figure on a rearing horse,pointing forward to where the action is. It is a complicated figure and didn't hold out much hope that it would turn out useful figures. Happily, the figures came out good enough for my use.
The master.

A couple of shots of the castings after trimming and priming.

Starting to paint a couple. One good thing is there is little detail around the head, so they can be painted looking forward (as with the red coated figure) or facing sideways (as with the blue coated figure).

Friday, October 30, 2015

A New Dog and ECW Unit

        We decided to get a new dog. While the original plan was no new pets. It was my wife who asked if we could get another dog. My only stipulation was that it had to be a rescue dog. There is a Jack Russell Terrier rescue in our state, so we started the adoption proceeding. While returning from our vacation in Maryland, we swung by the rescue and picked up our newest family member, Jerry. Needless to say, the last couple of weeks have been adjusting to the quirks of a new dog, and him adjusting to us. I have had little time for wargaming.

    However, while on vacation I started thinking of making larger units if I was to continue with an English Civil War game. I decided to raise an experimental regiment to test out some ideas. The trouble was how to base the figures. As most infantry formations had musketeers on the end with pikemen in the middle, basing them side by side wouldn't work out well. So I decided to base the one in front of the other. I also wanted to have a standard bearer. At first the plan was to have a pikeman with the flag. However, I do have quite a few nice command figures and it seemed a shame that I don't use the in my regular gaming. So I made a command stand. If I use the BATTLELORE variants I used in my last game, the command stand wouldn't count except as a marker. Of course if I wanted a longer game, it could be that a unit takes 5 hits instead of the usual 4. Below is a few shots of the regiment. They need their coat of varnish and I still haven't got a flag for them yet.

Jerry, our newest member of the family.

A typical jack, Jerry needs plenty of exercise, which tends to cut into my war-game time.

My experimental ECW regiment. If I raise more regiments, they will each get a different color uniform.

This is how I based the figures. I also put each figure on a washer. That way if I ever want to rebase them or use them individually, they will be ready for action.