Sunday, September 29, 2013

Battle Masters Wargame with Peter Laing Figures

        I've been wanting to use my Peter Laing Medievals. Looking at different rule sets I found myself checking out Battle Masters, a board game that used miniatures and was card driven. It is a game of fantasy figures, the Army of Chaos full of Orcs and Goblins, vs the Imperial Army, with knights and a mighty cannon. Buying a used game can cost quite a bit. When I first learned of this game I did buy a set of the movement cards and downloaded the rules from the internet. I even was considering buying a copy of Battle Masters recently; the fact the "board" is actually a 4 foot by 5 foot mat changed my mind. The thought of crawling on the floor trying to keep Molly, my dog, from rampaging across the field, got that out of my mind.

     I finally just decided to use my Peter Laings. A quick green paint job on some of the Assyrians formed my Chaos army; Peter Laing Medievals formed the Imperial Army.

     The battle was joined yesterday.  I really don't see me playing too many games with these rules. But to be fair, my downfall is that I suck at shuffling cards! Any doubt on this fact was dispelled with this game. After "shuffling" the deck, the game commenced. The Chaos Army quickly crossed the battlefield with the Imperial Army barely moving.  At first the army of Chaos was living up to their name, thanks to the continual drawing of cards.  Eventually I got down to the clumps of Imperial Army cards, which let loose the Imperial knights. The knights quickly wiped out the Army of Chaos. I read several reviews that stated that the battles tend to go to the Imperial Amy.  After playing this game, I can see why. Four units of powerful cavalry verses one powerful unit and two light units.

The Army of Chaos, on top of the board, can be seen storming across the field. The Imperial Army stands and waits.

Between the Imperial archers (bottom left of picture) and Men at Arms, one Goblin wolf rider  unit is wiped out.

Unit of Men at Arms devastates a goblin infantry unit.

When an ogre card is drawn,  a special deck is used. It has 3 ogre move cards, 3 ogre attack cards. The ogre can flip all 6 cards before the next move takes place. Here is the start of the ogre rampage!

After wiping out a complete unit of Men at Arms, he damages another unit of Men at Arms, before going after the knights. The ogre is actually a Ceasar Miniatures plastic orc.

The tide of battle turns; the knights start their rampage.

One bold knight finally lays the ogre low! For each hit on the ogre, one of his cards are taken away. When all six cards are gone, he is dead. Luckily for the Imperial army, the ogre cards showed up after his demise.

At this point in the game the Chaos army only has two warrior units left; the Imperial army continued to draw knights cards.  The knights can be seen closing on the last of the Chaos forces. In the end the Chaos army was eliminated completely.

My next project is to try my hand at Battlelore, a Richard Borg fantasy Medieval board game.  Of course this is a card driven game........

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Looks at Books: More Military History Books

         My wife and I just got back from vacation in Maryland. We were visiting my wife's niece and family. One day everyone was out working so we took off for some sightseeing. We spent a couple of hours at a local zoo, then went to Havre DeGrace to check out the Main St., which has many antique shops.
       As we started walking the second shop we came to happened to be a bookstore.  We went in and I found a good selection of War of 1812 books. Not surprising as Havre De Grace suffered a British raid during the War of 1812 in which Admiral Cockburn plundered the town.  I found the first book shown,  " Final Invasion", a book on the Battle of Plattsburgh.  I turned the corner, and there was a whole aisle of Civil War books! Now my wife was already bored and left the store.  I started to do a quick scan of the books and figured I would quickly check the rest of the store.  It was a very small store, after all. Or so I thought until I went around the next corner and found another room, this filled with military and general history books. I dare say my mouth went dry and found myself getting very nervous at the time I was spending hunting through the shelves.  There were many Osprey books, of which I picked up four.  I quickly picked up some other books, as shown below.  Next visit I will have to take off by myself so I can browse at leisure. I best start putting some money aside.
I had many of the War of 1812 books; this is one I didn't so it was a must buy.

I very nice book illustrated with photos of reenactors.

A nice general history with great color illustrations of the uniforms of the period.

I actually bought this one on Ebay the day I left for Maryland.  I was waiting for me when I got home.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Battling Peter Laing Ottoman Turks

       My order  of Peter Laing Turks came in right before my wife and I were leaving for a week vacation.  I wanted to get a quick wargame in before leaving. The armies lists in The Hordes Of The Things seems to be a great source for wargaming armies.  Amongst them is an army for the adventures of Baron Munchausen.  Watching the movie, the Baron is in a city besieged by the Ottoman Turks.  Needless to say, this gave me an idea for a game. However,  there is no Ottoman army listed in HOTTs rules I have. However, online someone made additional rules for HOTTs and also had added an Ottoman army to the list.  So now I had my two armies. The Army of Baron Munchausen is based on the Russian army. Unfortunately, I don't have a Baron Muchausen riding a cannonball figure or a balloon, so I had at substitute with more traditional units.  For the Russian Army, I used Peter Laing  War of Spanish Secession figures. For rules I used a set of simple rules from the old MWAN magazine.
Russian Army on top, Ottoman Army on bottom.

Looking down the Ottoman line. I really have to work on lighting.

The Russian cavalry have been successful in forcing back the Ottoman cavalry.

The Ottoman cavalry counterattacks and the janissaries are coming up fast.

The janissaries  start a strong attack on the Russian left.

The Ottoman center has suffered heavy losses; it is up to the janissaries to win the day.

The Ottomans rout the Russian artillery on the left.

The Russian infantry now comes into play and start inflicting heavy losses in the Ottomans.

The Russians are closing in on the Sultan himself, who now decides that the day is lost.

I haven't used these rules in a while and forgot how much fun I have with them. While they are "Horse & Musket" rules, in the past I changed them to use for Medieval and WW2. I am going to take them with me and try to change some of the rules I have trouble with.

Friday, September 13, 2013

15mm Peter Laing Ottoman Turks

         I recently bought several lots of Peter Laing Ottoman Turks.  I've long been interested in the Ottoman Empire during the 1400s through 1600s. The figures are all I hoped they would be. Most of the foot figures were painted the same. They are painted high gloss. I experimented by painting just the uniform, leaving the rest of the figure alone. Then I coated it with a high gloss varnish.  At least if I choose to repaint them, I won't have to paint the entire figure. The original owner did a better job than I could.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

15mm Peter Laing Knights

Peter Laing seems to get a bad rap for detail. However, as can be seen by these photos with a good paint job they can be quite handsome little figures.

Needless to say, I didn't paint these figures.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

15mm Peter Laing Medieval Battle

      As mentioned in my last post, I have been reading some old rules for fighting ancient battles. I was reading one set that combined the board games, Battle Cry and Lionheart.  I started thinking of other rules I have used. I wanted to use Heroscape dice, that uses both attack and defense dice. One drawback is there is no "retreat" using these dice. I decided to use regular dice, using 6's as hits, and 5's as retreats.  Heavy troops would throw the defense dice for saves, one for every figure.  Medium figures would get one "defense" dice for every two figures.

     I also decided to use my Peter Laing Medieval figures for a trial game. I've had them for quite a while and have been wanting to use them. Most of the rules sets needed more figures than I have painted. However, as this was to be a simple practice game, I figured they would do.

   The scenario is simple. A local Baron has decided that he needs not answer to any man, even his King.  The King gathers an army to show that there can be but one ruler.

At the top, the Barons army from left; 2 units of peasant infantry, one unit of  peasant archers, 2 units of mounted knights with the Baron, 1 unit of foot men at arms, another unit of peasant archers, and one more of peasant infantry.
   At the bottom, the Kings army; from left; 1 unit peasant infantry,1 unit men at arms, 2 units Mounted knights with the King,  1 unit of men at arms, 1 unit of regular archers, 1 of peasant infantry.

The Kings standard.

The Barons standard.

The Kings Knights quickly close with the Barons knights, leaving the footmen behind.

At this point of the battle the Barons army had thrown back the Kings knights, who also lost one of their number to the peasant archers.

What's worse, the Barons knights wipe out one of the kings knights unit.

Even after such losses, the Kings forces push back the Barons knights.

It looks as though the King will carry the day.  

At the top of the page several peasant units are fighting their own battle, with the Barons forces getting the better of the engagement. One of the Barons units of knights is down to one man; the Baron joins this unit  and leads it forward. 

The peasant archers manage to bring down one of the knights.

Spurred on by the Baron, the Kings knights lose another man.

In the next move, the last of the Kings knight is eliminated and the Barons forces break through on all fronts.

Even the peasants on the Barons left have carried the day.

One unit of the Barons peasants break though and come face to face with the King himself. However, the King realizes the day is lost and withdraws what's left of his army.

This game was only to test a few ideas for a simple game that I might use on occasion when I bring out my Peter Laing   ancients and medieval figures.  A plain flat board with no features, I expected a rather boring game. It actually turned out fun and with a little work it could provide a game that would be fun for a few games. The peasants at first seemed as though they would play no part in the battle. In the end, as shown in the last photo, they ended up in the thick of it.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Battle Cry Ancients

        Recently I just can't get any project going. Last week I was going through some of my Peter Laings trying to get some inspiration.  After a while even that lost my interest.  As I sat there I noticed a copy of "Hordes Of The Things"  and brought it down to flip through.  Looking at the different armies I started getting some ideas.  While of course the rules are for fantasy warfare,  they have generic and semi-historical armies that could make a fun project.
    Now I have heard DBA and HOTT rules are hard to understand when you read them. After trying I see what they mean.  I started thinking of other rules I have found on line. One set was an ancient variation of Battle Cry that uses DBA stands.  It seemed like a good possibility. After all, the rules even mention camels and elephants! I dug out some of my Peter Laings, including camels and elephants to give them a go.
On the left is an Arab army with three camel units in the middle.  On the right  is a Persian army with an elephant unit in the center.

My elephants didn't last long in the battle. An armored camel unit rolled three "retreat"  dice;  the elephants routed right off the table!

The Persian heavy cavalry managed to rout in turn one of the armored camel units.

In the end the Arab camel units broke through the Persian center (once again rolling three  retreat dice against the Persian heavy cavalry, forcing them off the board) and ended the battle.

The rules seemed to work all right. Of course it was just a thrown together game to try out the basics. I didn't use the cards for movement.  There are a couple of other sets of rules I am going to try out.

I am trying to think of a way to use Heroscape dice. There are two different sets of dice, attack dice and defense dice.  They just seem like they would be great for Ancient wargaming.