Thursday, May 26, 2016

Battle of Mollwitz

    Last night I put my new troops into battle.I used the HOLD THE LINE scenario; Mollwitz. For movement I used H.T.L. command points. Each army is given Command Action Points. To this the results of a dice rolls is added to it. The dice roll can add between 1 and 3 APs to the army's AP. In this game the Prussians start out with 3 APs, the Austrian 2 APs. For rules I used the BATTLE CRY variant for AWI Battles I have.
The Austrians are at the top of the board, the Prussian at the bottom. One problem using a different game board is that originally I was going to use my BATTLELORE board. However, I didn't have three building pieces for the town of Mollwitz. I took out my BATTLE CRY game, which had three building tiles but I was short three straight water tiles!

 The scenario description tells how the Austrian general Neipperg started the battle by attacking Frederick's flank with his cavalry. At first I wasn't going to read the description of the battle and just fight it my way. However, after reading it, the cavalry attack sounded like a good way to get the game going.  It was a good start for the Austrians; they wiped out one Prussian dragoon unit, and forced back both the other dragoon unit and an infantry unit, causing heavy casualties. The Austrian artillery hits a grenadier unit, costing one grenadier.

However, the Prussian counter attack in its turn eliminates one Austrian dragoon unit and kills General Romer, who was leading the charge. The loss of the unit count towards 1 Victory Point, the death of the General counts as another VP. The first side to lose 5 VPs loses the battle.

The Austrian cavalry eliminates the last of the Prussian dragoons and push back another infantry unit. The Austrian artillery continues to hit the grenadiers.

The Prussian right finally eliminates the pesky dragoons. The Prussian artillery  forces an infantry unit to retreat.

The Prussian right hits the Austrian leftmost unit hard causing 3/4 casualties. The Prussian artillery causes another infantry unit to retreat.

Austrian artillery counter fire forces one Prussian battery back.

The Austrians rally and push forward. One of the Prussian batteries lose 50% .

The Prussians push the Austrians back. The leftmost Austrian infantry unit is eliminated. The Austrians are down 4 VPs, the Prussians 2 VPs.

The Austrians won't give up and inflect 50% casualties on the left most Prussian grenadier unit.

At this point the Prussians make a big mistake. The grenadiers in the center move and blocks the line of fire on one of their batteries. The battery then advances, hoping for a clear field of fire next move.

At this point, the Austrians have some bad dice rolls. In the center one Austrian infantry fires on a Prussian grenadier unit. He rolls two "artillery"and one "crossed swords". With these rules crossed swords are ignored unless there's a general, or light infantry are firing. Meanwhile, another Austrian unit, who could either fire on the same grenadiers or the artillery, chooses the artillery, hoping for an easy VP. As can be seen, they roll two "infantry"and one "crossed swords"! If only they  attacked the grenadiers, they would have another VP.

The grenadiers in the center eliminate the Austrian to their front. The Austrians have lost 5 VPs  and lose the battle.

 The game was enjoyable. It played out in about a hour, including taking the pictures. With the limited time I have, these  scenarios will work out well. And they could be used for other periods with some work.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Two Armies in Two Days

     In my last posting, I mentioned that I was going to use Peter Laing WSS figures for my SYW project. The figures are painted simply, Prussians with blue coats and Austrians with white and brown. I did no detailing besides black hats, brown muskets and flesh faces and hands.  For cavalry I did paint Prussian dragoons with light blue coats and yellow pants, the Prussian cuirassiers were already painted. For the Austrian cavalry I had some cavalry already painted white (these will be cuirassiers) and for Austrian dragoons I painted them with green coats with red pants. A note on the cavalry. For several years these cavalry figures have been sitting unused. I could never decide how to paint them. With the limited number of figures and wanting to do both the WSS and Great Northern War, I could never commit to painting these figures. These particular cavalry figures are my favorites. I decided that they deserved to be used. I reasoned that if I painted the Austrian dragoons with green coats, they could do double duty as Russian cavalry. And the Prussian dragoons could pass as Swedish cavalry with faded uniforms.

     These figures have been painted with hobby acrylics. I have no plans to put the usual gloss lacquer coat on them at this time. If I do decide that I want to repaint them, the paint will come off easily enough. It is just as easy to put the lacquer coat on if I want to save them. Plus, I can add more details to the uniforms at a later date if I choose to.

    And so painting these armies took two days of spare time to paint. Last year I wanted to make it a goal to start using figures that I have collected for the mere fact that they are Peter Laing. To use this simple painting technique I might be able to field armies quickly.
The completed Prussian Army.

The horsemen in front represent generals. I painted the horses different colors to distinguish  the generals; I always put the commanding general on a white horse (unless it's an army of evil, then of course it's black.)

The Austrian Army completed.

When I took these photos, I had just completed painting the generals. The bases have since been painted green.

The two armies. Many of the Austrian infantry were already painted from another project. I do not believe painting them would have added more than half an hours' extra work.

Monday, May 23, 2016

New Fields of Battle, and Raising New Armies

          While pondering how to use the mat I have on order with Hotzmats, I started researching on how to make hex terrain on the internet. I did find several downloadable hex templates, along with how to use them. I almost wished I had found these, as I could have made my own mats. One I did find very useful was a 1 inch hex sheet. I found these worked good with my 2mm armies. I printed one on green paper. I can see printing these sheets and drawing on rivers and roads on them, and once done I could draw troop movements on them, or file away for use later.

     I've also rethought what figures to use with the HOLD THE LINE scenarios. I don't have many Editions Brokaw SYW cavalry. The Peter Laing cavalry I have are too small to use with the Edition Brokaw figures. Yesterday I tallied how many figures I would need for the scenarios. I decided to use my Peter Laing WSS figures. I would paint them simply, with blue coats for the Prussians and White for the Austrians. I actually managed to get the infantry figures painted in one night. Hopefully I can get the cavalry done just as fast.
The green paper with printed hexes. The 2mm terrain pieces fits well on the hexes, and there is plenty of room for the figures.

The Prussian army is issued their blue coats.

Some of the Austrians. the brown figures are Austrian artillerymen, and Grenzers. The Grenzers are grenadiers with their mitres cut down.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Back from Vacation

    I didn't get as much done as far as wargames while on vacation, besides painting some figures and a little reading. Right before leaving, I got two small books I had ordered; H.G. Wells FLOOR GAMES  and Robert Louis Stevensons' STEVENSON AT PLAY.
        Before leaving on vacation I ordered a wargame mat from   Hotzmats. I ended up buying a green quarter mat with 3 inch hexes.  This will make the playing field smaller than a Command & Colors board. However, the larger hexes will allow me to make terrain pieces and still have room for figures. The mat is slightly larger than the table I presently use, but I will get a piece of plywood that will fit into my wargame space.

All the hobby paints I wanted to take with me wouldn't fit into the small art box I have. I found this pill case at a dollar store.  This gave me plenty of room for other supplies. The individual sections aren't airtight, so I put it in a ziplock bag. The paints were good for the week. 

I got 12 Peter Laing Dragoons in a lot of Ancient figures I bought last year. I divided them into 4 -3 man units. 

These are some home casts that I wanted to try different uniforms.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Hodge-Podge Game

     As I had mentioned I have been playing with the idea of using scenarios from HOLD THE LINE game, on my BATTLELORE game board, using modified BATTLE CRY rules.  My plan to use Edition Brokaw SYW figures changed. I was looking for some painted 1st generation Minifigs SYW cavalry, when I came across some Peter Laing cavalry I had bought last year that I had completely forgot about. I took them off the stands they were on, gave them a coat of gloss lacquer, and decided to use them for a game.

    My wife is recovering well from her surgery and is hopefully going back to work on May 20. She asked if we could go camping before she returns to work. It was a fair request so we are heading out for a week. She went for a walk on the beach this afternoon with a friend, so I decided to squeeze in a game before we left.

    I decided to use the HOLD THE LINE scenario: "Sheriffmuir   November 13, 1715- Confusion on the Moors."  The title described the game. This game turned out quite confusing. This battle took place during the Jacobite rebellion of 1715.
  Units in HOLD THE LINE use Morale Points (MP)  to decide how many hits a unit can take. The Jacobite units have 2 MPs. The Loyalist infantry have 4 MPs and the cavalry 3MPs. At first I was going to just use the typical BATTLE CRY units of 4 infantry and 3 cavalry. But as the Jacobites outnumbered the Loyalists, I decided to use the HOLD THE LINE units.

   The first problem I ran into is the these games don't have standard terrain pieces. Some are easy enough, like rivers, hills and forests. However, in this scenario there are 5 hexes which seem to have ponds on them. As this battle happens on "the moors", I assumed that this might be a marshy area.         (My knowledge of moors are based on what I saw on old Sherlock Holmes movies). I put down 5 hexes with various water on it. For the Jacobites I used some Peter Laings painted as French.
The French, er, the Jacobites on the left, the Loyalists on the right. Once again I rolled average dice to decide how many units could move each turn. 

The Loyalists advance all their infantry. At this point I had my next issue with mixing rules. In the BATTLE CRY rules, if a unit can't retreat, they have to lose one playing piece. In the HOLD THE LINE scenarios, the units are sometimes grouped together, as can be seen with the Jacobites in this game. Instead of using this rule, I figured that if a unit retreated into another unit, that unit would probably break and retreat, too. So, as seen at the top of the picture, two Jacobite units fall back (yellow arrows). The Jacobite movement is shown with yellow arrows, the Loyalists with red arrows.

The Jacobite right infantry attacks, killing two and forcing the loyalists to retreat.

The Loyalists force one cavalry unit to retreat, and kills two infantry.

The Jacobites hit hard using their cavalry. The Loyalists lose 7 infantry and one unit retreats two hexes.

The Jacobite cavalry overrun one infantry unit.

There Loyalist counterattack eliminates one cavalry unit.

The Jacobites continue their advance.

The Loyalist cavalry starts to attack the Jacobite left flank.

In the foreground, a Loyalist infantry unit eliminates the last of a cavalry unit.  At the top of the picture, the Loyalist cavalry units overrun three Jacobite infantry units.

Another view of the Loyalist cavalry charge.

The Jacobite attack takes out two Loyalist infantry units.

The Loyalist cavalry  continue to pressure the Jacobite infantry. One Jacobite unit falls back into the marshes.

The Jacobites now launch an all out attack.

The Jacobite cavalry eliminates one cavalry unit, then turns, charges up the hill and eliminates the last of the Loyalist infantry. Meanwhile, the Jacobite infantry charge out of the marsh and wipes out the Loyalist cavalry (notice the three cavalry dice).  The Loyalists have lost 6 units, and has lost the battle.

This battle proved more fun than I thought it would be. While camping, I will have a chance to work out some of my ideas .

Monday, May 2, 2016

Command & Color Games

      In the last few weeks I have had little time for gaming. What time I have spent has mainly been on research. Most of the time has been reading up on Richard Borg's Command & Color gaming systems. I have several of Richard Borg games, including Battlelore, Battle Cry and Memoir 44. And while online I came across several games made by Worthington Games, including Clash for a Continent and Hold the Line. The one thing all these games have in common are they have hex game boards, with 9 x 13 layout of the hexes with separate hexes for different terrain. And while all the games use the same style game boards, they have different rules.  One thing I like about these games are they all come with several scenarios.  I have managed to download 45 scenarios from the Worthington games. They are from the Jacobite Rebellions, War of Austrian Secession, and Frederick the Great's wars.
      When I first got back into wargaming, I bought Edition Brokaws WSS and SYW figures. With the downloaded scenarios, I have been looking over these figures again. While I have plenty of infantry, I skimped on cavalry. I do have 1st generation Minifigs cavalry that I can use for the period. For the Jacobite Rebellion, I am thinking of using Peter Laing. One of my first molds was a Peter Laing highlander from the period with a musket.  With one of my goals being to use more of my figures  that haven't been used before, I can spend more time on figures and less time working out game set up.
    I am thinking of taking the different boards and terrain pieces and pooling them, where I could use the different pieces on the different boards.
Typical Richard Borg size board.  I put some terrain pieces on the lower right. This board is from Battlelore.

Some Edition Brokaw SYW Prussians advance on the river. In the foreground some Jagers have seized a hill.

Editions Brokaw Austrian grenadiers fall back before the Prussians.

From above the terrain looks good. It would be nice to make custom hexes in stead of flat hills and woods.