Sunday, June 17, 2018

A New Book and More Temptation

    Recently I realized that I have been doing little real reading. I spend more time on my cell phone or computer, but spend it  looking up videos. So a couple of months ago I started bringing books to work with me that I read during coffee breaks and my lunch time. I have been reading different books from the Ballentine Illustrated History of the Violent Century, a series of books mainly about WW1 & WW2 from the 1970's.

     May wife was given the OK to go back to work. So she wanted to go strawberry picking two towns over. As I passed right by a used bookstore that has a large collection of the Ballentine books, I was going to pull in to pick a couple more books. When I went to the row where the books are, there were several boxes of new books out. Going quickly through them, it was obvious that the former owner had a great interest in the British Army uniforms from the 19th century, as I do. I couldn't spend much time looking at them, as my wife was out in the hot car (I did leave it running with the AC on). There was one book I couldn't leave behind on the Foot Regiments of the Guard.  Hopefully I will have some spare money that I might be able to pick up some more of these books.
A book I couldn't pass up. Richly illustrated with photographs from the period. 
This picture really caught my attention. I would have imagined wagon drivers of the Guards would be wearing some kind of forage cap. I sure would have loved a Peter Laing set like this photo!

Another great picture that explains the William Britain's Guards wearing bearskins  in combat poses. I was surprised to read that the Guards wore their bearskins during field exercises. It must have truly been brutal in  the summer.

Another (out of focus) photo of a rout march, again wearing bearskins.

Another photo of the Guards on the march wearing bearskins, although a few are actually carrying their bearskins. In the background is a steam tractor, perhaps pulling a trailer with supplies.

The collection of books have several other books with regimental histories and uniforms, including several militia regiments.  There are also books with regimental badges and cloth badges, and one very interesting book showing regimental buttons from all the different militia regiments.  With my wife returning to work, I might pay another visit to the bookstore next Saturday.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

New Tanks for Interwar Gaming

     A few months back I saw a video on Youtube of the British Army using tankettes and  small mechanized units on maneuvers before WW2.  Watching the video I thought of what an actual battle between two forces armed the same might look like. It started me thinking of doing some interwar games.  With several other bloggers doing interwar gaming, there are plenty of good ideas for such gaming.

     What I really like about the interwar years are tankettes. Somehow I find the concept tanks that were made during the interwar years more interesting than the tanks designed during WW2. I was looking for tanks that might work for interwar gaming and with Peter Laing figures. I started  looking at Axis & Allies miniatures.Several gaming companies sell the tanks and figures individually. The prices tend to run on the expensive side, based on the "rarity" of the tank. However, I did find some early war tanks that could work for interwar games at a reasonable price.
Peter Laing figure compared to Japanese Type 97 TeKe tankette and Type 95 Ha-Go.

Italian L3/35 tankette  and Carro Armato M13/40.

Renault R-35 and Polish TKS tankette.

Micromachines Panzer Mk1, compared to the Axis & Allies tanks.

U.S. M3 Stuart.

I bought some other tanks, which were larger, and probably more to scale with 15mm figures (such as the Stuart tank).
As I "play" wargames, scale is not a high priority for me. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Risk Napoleonic Figures Comparison

     After my last posting, I went looking for more of my Risk figures. When I first got the game, I started painting several armies of the Napoleonic Wars.  I was going to post some pictures of them.  In the comments on the last posting, David Crook mentioned about some other plastic Risk Napoleonic figures. I know there were 4 different Napoleonic Risk plastic figures that I know of (of which I've had two.) There was a version with kneeling soldiers, another kneeling soldiers with rifle at ready, the small version of the advancing figures, and the newest version, of figures firing muskets. I have taken some pictures to compare the two different figures, along with some other figures for comparison.
Risk Old Guard Conversions. All the painted figures were mounted on to washers.  The washers were magnetic.

Risk figures painted as Prussians and French light infantry.

The first three figures painted as War of 1812 American infantry, next three painted as Austrians, last two as British.

Two Risk figures, compared to two Heritage 15mm Napoleonettes.

Two metal cavalry men compared to the infantry figure.

Heritage Napoleonette, 2 plastic Risk infantrymen, metal infantryman, metal cavalryman, plastic cavalryman.

Plastic Risk infantrymen compared to Old Glory 10mm figures.

Plastic Risk infantry compared to Old Glory 10mm, and at the far right, Perry Miniatures Travel Battle 8mm infantry.

Comparison of the plastic and metal figures.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Wargaming with Old Risk Figures

     I started thinking of another Chessboard Campaign. Each side would get three cities on their side. Of course the goal was to capture the opposing side's cities. For this game I wanted to use figures that were generic. I came across some old Risk figures. They were from the 40th anniversary addition, which were made of metal This Risk set came out when I first started wargaming. Coincidently, around the same time, I found Chris Salander's set of rules, in which he suggested using Risk figures with his rules.

     I set up the game to try my newest campaign rules. After playing a few rounds, I realized these rules weren't working. However, after seeing the Risk figures on the board, I reset the board and played a quick game using Chris Salander's H&M 2.0.  I really liked seeing these old soldiers back in action. It brought me back to those early wargames.
The green army scores three hits on the blue army.

On the left, the green army captures one of the blue cities.

The blue army recaptures their city.

The green cavalry hits the blue cavalry from two directions.

They manage to push back two of the blue cavalrymen.

The blue army counterattacks and hits the green center.

The green center breaks, and the right city falls to blue infantry.

The blue army has the second green city surrounded and is about to be captured. Green concedes the field to blue army.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Two Wargames

       This week I had time for two wargames. The goal was to try out new rules. One was to try my Chessboard Campaign; the other Bob Cordery's "Portable Wargames", with a change to one of the rules.

    The "Chessboard Campaign" didn't work out as planned. Usually using the Horse & Musket 2.0 rules, most of the action takes place in the center of the board. I used my house rules to fight an ancients battle between Turks and Arabs. The Arabs succeeded in pushing the Turks to their back line before the Turks lost 50% of their army. Using my proposed campaign rules, the Turks would have no room to maneuver in the next game. Any army in such a situation would probably retreat to fight another day.  So it's back to the drawing board for the Chessboard Campaign, although I do have another idea for my chessboard.

    I decided to try to take another look at Bob Cordery's Portable Wargames. In his rules, one rolls to see if their unit hits the opponents unit. If they score a hit, they then roll for the results.  I just roll two dice; one for hits, the other for results if they score a hit. I also changed the rule where if certain pips comes up, the unit can choose to either loss one strength point, or retreat one square. For my game, the unit retreats, unless it can't retreat. At that point they lose the SP. A nice simple fix to having built in automatic retreats.   I then made a mistake that affected the trail run. I chose the armies and scenarios based on Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargame. The armies were fine, however, the scenario chosen was #3, which was a river crossing where the goal is to seize two bridges. This led to a game where the armies were bottlenecked into two areas, and the game bogged down. That, along with me referring to the rulebook constantly, slowed the game to a crawl. I should have just used an open terrain field to learn the basics of the rules.
The Turks are on the left, the Arabs on the right.

The figures on the white horses on the baselines were the "Headquarters" that the other side must capture.

The Turks have dropped below 50%, ending the battle. 

In my proposed campaign rules, the Turks would deploy on the squares behind the blue  chalk line.  As can be seen , there is no room for the Turks to really do any maneuvering.  Back to the drawing board! 

Portable Wargame. British army on the top; Boers on the bottom. This game gave me a chance to use my newly acquired Peter Laing Victorian Parade figures.

Both armies advances.

Artillery fire pushes one Boer unit back. At first I rolled for initiative, then realized that I forgot that artillery fire is supposed to take place before movement. Also, this was a solo game. However, I didn't use the solo rules that are mentioned in Portable Wargames.  I really wanted to get a feel for the rules. Both sides got to move all units each turn.

As can be seen from the above photos, the games was a back and forth game. For me the game bogged down.  I think the game would have been more enjoyable with an open field to allow more maneuver, at least until I get the rules down pat. Of course, I only read the rules once (I try to read them three times before playing) proving that even simple rules aren't so simple!