Sunday, August 20, 2017

A New Peter Laing Figure

    I won a lot of Peter Laing Boers on Ebay a couple of weeks ago. While looking at the photos, the Boer rifleman standing firing seemed to be wearing a frock coat.  When I received to order, the figures were not Boer riflemen, but what I believe Peter Laing F322; Rifleman hunting shirt, firing. While I would have liked the Boers, I must admit that receiving figures that are new to me more than makes up for any disappointment.

   As mentioned last time, I wanted to start rebasing my AWI Minifigs. I have got the washers off the painted figures (had a few close calls where I almost damaged the figures). I remounted the figures on 3/8"X 3/8" plastic squares.

    After several posting on Man of Tin and Wargame Miscellany about Heroscape, I pulled some of my Heroscape pieces to have a quick AWI wargame using my new C&C Tricorne dice. It was (Loosely) based on Bunker Hill. I  have been thinking of whither to use Heroscape or grids for my wargames. I came up with the simple solution; whatever I feel like using at the time. Problem solved!
Peter Laing F322: Rifleman hunting shirt, firing

The British army assaulting the rebels on Bunker Hill

The British light infantry tries to turn both flanks.

The British start suffering heavy losses.

The British grenadiers near the top of the picture manages to get into the rebel defenses. At the bottom of the picture, one unit of militia retreats and the Regulars have another breach in the line.

The British get the initiative roll and push another unit into an undefended part of the fortifications. Had the rebels won the roll, they were going to slide their line to defend against that very move.

The British have the rebels on the run, save two units that are nearly surrounded,  and the rebel leader.

In the real battle, once the militia broke, they fled the field of battle. However, this is my little world, so they rallied and charged forward. The rebel leader joins the isolated unit to  motivate them.

This is my "elite" unit of militia. I painted them wearing uniform clothing, after an old brochure I have from Old Sturbridge Village with a militiaman toasting on the front. Many years ago I painted some Esci Napoleonics as 1812 militia, using this same uniform. For this game I treated them as a Provincial unit.

The rebels force a couple of British units back.

The British wipes out the militiamen with the commander. What's more, they  direct deadly fire that all but destroys what's left of the rebel army.

The British grenadiers close in on the rebel leader. In the real battle one of the American leaders, Joseph Warren,  was killed as the rebel line fell. There is a famous painting showing a grenadier attempting to bayonet Joseph Warren. In the painting, a British officer is holding the barrel of the grenadier's musket, stopping him from bayoneting the already mortally wounded Warren.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"New" Peter Laing Boers and C & C Tricorne

       A short time ago Jay was trying to give away some Peter Laing Boers. He approached both Wargame Miscellany and Man of Tin Blogs, both who actually mentioned me and suggested I might be interested.  I think that was very kind of Bob and Mark to pass on free (!) Peter Laings.  I am not sure I could pass up free PLs. Jay contacted me and of course I accepted his kind offer. The figures arrived and after looking at Jay's address and the PL Boers, I realized that I had seen them before. When I first started collecting PL figures, I did a Google search for them. There were few pictures of them. However, I did find the Jackson Gamers website and in it there was a Boer War game, by none other than Jay himself.  To me, getting these figures is like an Old School gamer getting some Donald Featherstone or Charles Grant figures. Of course, now I find myself deciding if I will leave these figures as is, or painting them. Thank you Jay for these fine figures, I hope to put them to good use. And as often as I use myPL Boers, they should see plenty of action.

     The Boers are mounted on metal squares, which I believe were used for cardboard wargame pieces from boardgames. There are good, as the pictures below will show. Jay made small trays with magnetic tape on the bottom, making these an excellent way to transport figures. When I first started gaming, one reason I used washers were to mount the figures on magnetic movement trays. I gradually moved away from movement trays, but stuck with the washers, a necessity with PL small bases. However, I started buying cheaper washers that will not work on magnetic trays.

   After reading some of Man of Tin blogs, I started mounting my figures on plastic squares. The figures do not tip over as easily in squares. I find the PL Boers are on squares larger than I like, but they still fit nicely on Heroscape terrain and my homemade squares game board.  This has me rethinking the way I am going forward with mounting my figures.

    My last posting I mentioned that the new Richard Borg game, Command & Colors Tricorne is coming out soon. And as mentioned, the new dice have two retreat flags on each dice. When I bought Battle Cry, I also bought some custom Battle Cry wood dice. As I have 30 of them, I repainted 4 with the new C&C Tricorne configuration. I also went to Compass Games website. On it they actually have the rules, (which I still don't understand). I printed out the units cheat sheet, and using this and Stronghold Rebuilt "See the Elephant" rules, and breaking out my first generation AWI Minifigs, fought a practice game.  The new dice seem to have lots of promise; the game certainly isn't as bloody as some games I've played. It also has me thinking of rebasing my AWI figures to squares. After reading a Man of Tin blog where he said that besides marking the unit on the bottom of the base, but also their "Battle Honors", I have wanted to go back to organizing my toy soldiers into units.
My "new" Peter Laing Boers that Jay kindly gave me.

A unit of Boers with the metal bases mentioned in dispatches. They do fit nicely on my terrain pieces.

Three of my homemade C&C Tricorne dice.

The American army on the left is made up of three regular infantry, two Provincial infantry, and one artillery units. The British have three regular infantry, two artillery, and one Dragoon units.

The 24th Foot pushes back the 12th Continentals.

Between the 12th Cont. and artillery, the 24th is forced to retreat.

The 10th Regiment attacks a unit of Provincials.

The Provincials lose half their men, but still stands their ground. 

At the top of the picture the British infantry closes on a Continental regiment. The Dragoons are quickly advancing.

The 10th destroys the Provincial unit.

The Continental infantry at the top of the photo closes in for melee with the regulars...

....and pushes them back. Meanwhile, the 10th is fired on.

The 10th continues to advance and the Dragoons hits the infantry in the flank.

The Dragoons force the infantry to retreat and in the pursue kills one man. Meanwhile the 10th  causes 50% casualties  to the 8th Massachusetts.

The American right charges forward.

The regulars suffer more casualties.

The Dragoons charge the last Provincial unit.

With the C&C Tricorne rules, Provincial units must retreat two squares for every flag.   As they couldn't retreat two squares, they lost two men.  However, in this situation,  should the whole unit have been lost? I had the unit fall back one and the lost two men. In this game I used my AWI militia as Provincials. In C&C Tricorne, Militia units must retreat 3 hexes for every flag. For this test game, I didn't want the Americans to be too weak.

However, the subject is moot. The Dragoons on their follow up killed the last infantryman and forced the general to retreat.

While the Dragoons were attacking, the 10th and 24th force the American right back.

The American right counterattacked.

The 8th Massachusetts attacks the 10th and forced them back 2 squares.

While the American right was having success, the leftmost infantry was attack by both the Dragoons and regular infantry.

The combined attack overwhelms the infantry. The 24th eliminates the 12th Continentals. The Americans below 50% and lose the battle.

    After this game I want to rebase my Minifigs AWI figures onto square bases, so I can mark the units on the stands. In the past when I have superglued figures to washers, and it was easy enough to separate the washers from the figures. I tried to remove the washers from these figures, without success. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

On Retreats in Wargames

    If you check in here on occasion, you will have noticed that I haven't posted much in a while. Personal problems and lack of time is part of it; also I just can't get motivated to do any gaming.  I still check several wargames blogs daily; it has been a couple of weeks since I checked out my own, if only to see the activity it is producing.  I don't know if that's a bad sign. I do hope to maybe have some news on some figures in the near future.

     I mainly go to Facebook to visit groups that I belong to. One is a Command & Colors Napoleonic group. On it someone mentioned that the much anticipated C & C Tricorne is about to be released. They also provided a picture from Compass Games website, showing a page from the rules. What caught my eye was that the dice will only have one "infantry" side, but two "retreat" sides.
This has me thinking of trying games with two retreat sides to it.

     As I have mentioned before, as a solo gamer I believe rules used should have some kind of automatic retreats beyond the gamers control. Before finding rules with retreats factored into them, I had the "Hitler Complex", troops cannot retreat; they must hold the ground at all costs.  When I first started playing games with automatic retreats, I found myself ready to give up on them. Eventually I convinced myself that I was playing the roll of general, not the individual unit commanders, and that units will break and run, no matter what the general wants. The first retreat rules I used were Donald Featherstone morale rules, along with Junior General morale rules. I remember a time  having an AWI wargame using the Junior General rules. The American general spent the entire game racing back and forth across the battlefield, rallying his different regiments that broke at the littlest losses.

    When I found Chris Salander's Horse & Musket 2.0 rules in MWAN # 102, it changed my gaming forever. Although not the perfect set of rules (they were designed as a starter set), the automatic retreat in the rules simplified retreats in my games. In the game each figure has a dice roll, and a 'retreat' roll affects an individual piece, not the entire unit. One good thing about H&M 2.0 is that you could convert the rules for other periods. With the avant of Richard Borg's Command & Colors system, for me his retreat rules and dice have rekindled a flagging interest in wargames.

Extreme results from dice rolls; a unit pushed to the edge of the board. Rolls like this can prove disastrous to one's battle plan.

A successful cavalry charge.

The retreating cavalry outruns their pursuers.