Thursday, May 29, 2014

Little Wars Regiment

      The last post got me thinking of forming my Airfix Civil War figures into regiments again. I had done so before and the last wargame that  I fought against my brother consisted of 6 regiments of Airfix Confederates (who won the battle, by the way).

      I am thinking of forming 13 man regiments; one officer, two NCOs and ten privates. To make movement easier in games where figures are individually based, I have an officer on one flank and that figure moves; all other figures dress on the officer figure. With Little Wars, there is a chance the officer will be killed (as was seen in the last game), so the regiment would then dress on one of the NCOs.
What a proposed regiment would look like. The two soldiers at attention are the NCOs.

After the last battle against my brother, I was going to redo my army with the victorious regiments wearing the above uniforms. I did up a couple of the regiments, but they have since disbanded.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Little Wars: Battle of the Round Top

       In my last posting I mentioned the different ideas for gaming found at ,especially games by Pete Belli. I decided to dig out my Airfix Civil War soldiers and have a quick game. For infantry fire every 5 infantrymen got one shot. If it can to hand-to-hand combat, instead of using H.G.Wells rules, I would use the rules from "The War Game" by Captain Sachs, which I found in "The Wargaming Pioneers" by John Curry . In these rules when two force came together, after the difference in opposing forces were taken prisoner, both sides lost every other man, the side losing more then had to retreat.

      For this game I just scattered terrain pieces with no thought going into it and randomly picked which side a force would enter the battle from.  Time was short and I wanted to get this game in.
A view from behind the Union lines. Both sides had four 11man regiments and two batteries.

Behind the rebel lines. Notice the stack of ammo for the cannon, which is cut down spruces  from plastic toy soldier sets.

After a couple of moves both sides were coming into range. Infantry had to be within a foot of the enemy to fire.

Another shot from behind the Confederate line.

The same move from behind the Union lines. Measuring stick can be seen in the background. At the end of the move dice were rolled for initiative.

The Confederates open fire on the 2 center Union regiments, causing appalling losses.

A close up of the carnage. Both union officers went down in this fire; at the top of the picture can be seen one officer who was catapulted backwards from a direct hit.

The Union right regiment losses one man.

The Union on the left fire at the rebels in the woods and causes one casualty; one of the regiments officers.

In the center they kill two rebels.

And the right regiment kills two more.

At the Union field hospital the results of the first combat can be seen; not a good start!

The Confederate surgeons will be a little less busy than their Union counterparts.

The two right Confederates launch a bayonet attack the the Union left regiment.....

and, outnumbering the yankees two to one, captures the entire regiment! The ill starred regiment can be seen marching off to a rebel prison escorted by three rebels.

This blurry photo,( taken while the photographer came under direct enemy fire!) shows the the rebels on this turn fired high and only killed one soldier, and almost a combat photographer!

The left Union battery exacts some revenge for the loss of the regiment.

The right Union regiment also kills another reb.

The Rebel field hospital at this point......

....and the Union hospital.

The Confederates bring the Union battery under fire, killing three gunners and prevents the gun from firing this turn. (In the bottom of the picture can be seen my "canister templet" which I was going to use to determine point blank artillery fire. Alas, it wasn't used!)

The Confederate fire decimates the Union center.

And the right regiment loses one.

The Union army breaks and runs.

The right regiment fall back through Hanlonburg.

The Union army marches by their fallen comrades. It has been a disastrous day for the Union.
The Confederate positions at the end of the day.  They have enough captured artillery for two new batteries!

And their losses compared to the yankees  is not bad. Notice the captured yankees being escorted in the right of the photo.

If this game had been played several years ago my regiments would have been numbered or named as once these figures were divided into regiments. While working on another project, I broke up the old regiments to reform new units. I might just have to reform some of the old units.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Great Ideas for Battle Cry & Little Wars

     While trying to find scenarios for "Battle Cry", I followed a link that Bob Condrey had for Battle Cry variants. It brought me to and a designer by the name of Pete Belli. He has many battle reports using Battle Cry, Little Wars, Memoir 44 and other rule sets using unusual themes for battles. Everything from Pancho Villa to Alien invasions to H.G. Wells vs. the Kaiser! What's more, he uses unpainted 1/72 plastic soldiers to fight the battles. I had just about given up completely on plastic figures, selling and giving away thousands of my 1/72 plastics; thank goodness I held onto my Airfix and Atlantic figures!

   Mr. Belli also uses Micro Machines toy vehicles and aircraft in his scenarios. I first saw Micro Machines just as their popularity wained.  I did buy quite a few sets until the local stores stopped carrying them. It's a shame that Galoob, the company who produced them, have stopped making them. One of the last sets I got was a set "Merkava Tank Platoon" consisting of three Merkava tanks. The military sets are great little miniatures perfect for war-games. They tended to be painted funky colors and weird camouflaged schemes but can easily be painted and are the right size for 15mm war-games, although they look right if using with Memoir44 games.  I do believe that there would be a niche market if they were to sell "Platoon sets" such as the Merkava platoon set.  I took a quick inventory of what I have in ways of Micro Machines fighting vehicles and show some photos of whatI have.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Size DOES Matter

     After my vacation in Maryland I found myself thinking of different conflicts since I graduated from high school, especially the Falklands War and the bush wars in Africa. What's more inThe Stronghold Rebuilt there is a Memoir 44 scenario for the Falklands War. This got me looking for15mm figures for this period, especially British and Argentine forces. I started with Peter Pig, QRF Miniatures, and MJ Figures (who have a line of Falkland War figures). After ordering some of the figures from each company it became obvious that the figures aren't very compatible, as can be seen by the photos.

left to right; Peter Laing, Peter Pig, QRF, QRF Selous Scout figure, MJ Figures, 1/72 Matchbox.

The Peter Laing is a Chasseur d' Alpin figure painted as a modern figure.

While it has nothing to do with toy soldiers, finally after 30 years of wanting one, I bought a genuine British DPM smock. Usually when I do find them for sale they are too small.  I came across a website that had new smocks that were the right size!  

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Toy Soldier Battle of Sow Creek

      In the last few weeks events have been going on that have limited my wargaming projects.  About all that was accomplished is some reading. I found online a pdf of "Tin Army of the Potomac", a book from the 1800s telling the story of the American Civil War and a child learning the history of the war by playing with toy soldiers. The soldiers as described in the book are of German manufacture from the late 1800s and the illustrations seem to show semi-flat figures in spiked helmets. This got me thinking of using my Peter Laing goose-stepping German with Battle Cry scenarios. I had found the scenario book from Battle Cry, only to lose it again! However, there are several sites online with various scenarios. At least the problem of coming up with scenarios have been solved for now.

     The Shiak Army now started the invasion of Brookshire.  It came as no surprise to the Brookshire Army and hd a large force drawn up behind Sow Creek, protecting the major rail junction there.
Shiak Army is on top of photo, Brookshire Army on bottom.

Another view from behind the Brookshire lines.

After first move the armies close.  Although using a Battle Cry scenario, I am using Bob Condrey's Memoir of Battle  rules so all units move. 

The Shiak Army hits the Brookshire left flank hard; it routs one infantry unit and quickly inflects heavy losses on the infantry on the ridge.

On the Brookshire left flank the Shiak Army tries to work around the flank.

The routed Brookshire unit rallies and hits the opposing infantry unit hard.  The Brookshire cavalry attacks the small hill occupied by the Shiak cavalry . The other Brookshire units on the ridge  need more target practice as they shoot high and misses the easy targets.

One Shiak unit attacked the Brookshire battery; the battery inflects 50% casualties on the unit and routs them.

The Brookshire right flank units push back the Shiak assault on that flank.

The Shiak cavalry counterattacks and causes 2/3% losses to one of the Brookshire cavalry units.

On the ridge line the Brookshire Army continues to suffer heavy losses but still holds on. Another Shiak infantry unit assaults the battery, led by General McCleen.

The Brookshire right flank is hit hard and the Volunteer Grenadiers lose 3/4 of their men, but still hold firm.

The Brookshire cavalry finally defeats the Shiak cavalry and the Brookshire infantry starts hitting the advancing Shiak infantry.

What's more the Brookshire guns score a major success when the kill General McCleen! The Shiak army now has lost their general.

The Brookshire right holds firm and the Grenadier Volunteers even manage to force one unit to retreat.

The Shiak artillery hits one of the Brookshire cavalry units who losses 2/3 and retreats.

The Shiak army routs the Brookshire artillery and overrun 3 Brookshire infantry units in the center.

The Grenadier Volunteers find themselves holding the right flank by themselves!

The Brookshire cavalry attacks the Shiak battery but cannot carry it.

The Grenadier Volunteers push another Shiak unit back.

The Shiak infantry finally captures the ridge.

The Shiak infantry attacks the battery again; the battery holds but General Johnstone is killed during the fight.

At this point the Brookshire Army has lost 8 units and is over the 6 units for defeat. The Shiak infantry on the right  circles the gallant Grenadier Volunteers and takes them prisoner.

The battlefield at the end.

The score at the end; the Brookshire capture on left and Shiak on right. A decisive victory for Shiak.

      This game was based on the First Bull Run. I am thinking of replaying it on a squared board instead using a set of variant rules for movement. The variant rules you roll so many dice to activate units. However such rules will mean a longer game. I was tight for time on this game so I used Bob Corderys Memoir of Battle rules, which makes for a fast and furious game!