Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Latest Commission: 15mm FoG

Fresh off the painting desk, here's my latest commission.  These are all 15mm Old Glory ancients, based for Field of Glory.  I didn't have good light for these shots, so some colors are a bit off.

All the Figures

This was a large commission, with 148 foot, 28 horse, six elephants, and 18 crew.

Mercenary Greek Hoplites

African Spearmen

Carthaginian Elephants

Numidian Light Horse

Spanish Cavalry

Numidian Javelinmen


Roman Elephants




Cretan Archers

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Battle of Raab, June 14th, 2009

The gaming group met today at Jon's house for a refight of Raab, a battle wherein Eugene's French army tried to keep John's Austrian army from joining Archduke Charles on the Danube.  Jon provided the figures and the table, and we used his modified version of Republique as our rules.

The Battlefield

John occupied a good defensive position and awaited the French attack.  This view down the table is from the Austrian left.  On their far left, the Austrian cavalry guarded a ford across the river.  Most of the Austrian cavalry were of poor quality.  The French would have to find the ford, get their superior cavalry across the stream, and roll up the Austrian left.  In the center, the Austrians had an infantry corps occupying two villages on high ground.  The French had an infantry corps of better quality in position to attack.  On the Austrian right, another infantry corps with an attached cavalry division guarded the army's flank.  The French had a huge division of Italians on their left.  The Austrians also had a powerful reserve corps stationed between the center and the right.

The stream which flows through the center of the board was a significant obstacle.  Any infantry unit crossing the stream automatically became disorganized (indicated by a white pom-pom).  Cavalry and artillery could only cross at the single bridge on the Austrian right.

Austrian Center

Here is the core position that the Austrians had to defend.  The two villages were defensive strong points.  You can see the Austrian reserve corps at the bottom right.

French Commanders

Austin commanded the French cavalry corps.  Don commanded the French infantry.

The Referee

Jon had his box of tokens ready to denote loss of men or cohesion.

Austin Searches for the Ford

Austin's French cavalry took three turns to find the ford.  While his scouts searched, he moved his guns up to break up the Austrian cavalry.

Don Moves into the Attack

Don wasted no time, moving his infantry up to the river line.

Scott Deploys His Forces

Scott R. commanded the Austrian cavalry corps and the infantry holding the towns in the center.

Don Crosses the River

In the center, Don moved his French infantry against Scott R.'s raw Austrian infantry.  Don accumulated white puffs by crossing the river, but he soon rallied them off.

Don Menaces the Austrian Right

At the same time, Don moved his Italians in position to hit the Austrian right.  I commanded this Austrian corps and the Austrian reserve.

Don Studies the Terrain

With a strong force in position, Don looked for a likely target for his attack.

French Attack in the Center

Don massed his infantry in the center and struck the inexperienced Austrian brigades holding the hill.  By stacking up his brigades, Don was able to get combat modifiers for supporting his lead units.

Austrians Counterattack on the Right

I moved my cavalry division from the army's extreme right to menace Don's Italians' flank, forcing his flank brigade to form square.  I moved an infantry division to hit his vulnerable infantry.

First Austrian Success

My attack succeeded in throwing Don's left back across the stream, but I didn't cause many casualties.

French Make Progress in the Center

In the meantime, Don's French infantry had pushed the Austrian center out of its first position and captured one of the towns.  Scott R.'s infantry were losing men and cohesion.

Austrian Attack on the Right

The Italians on the French left had trouble rallying off their disorder from crossing the stream.  I changed the Austrian corps' orders to attack and moved to push the whole Italian division back across the stream.

Austrians Commit Their Reserves

I also changed the orders for the reserve corps, ordering them to recapture the center defensive lines that the French had siezed.  With a grenz battalion in the lead, the Austrians counterattacked.

Battle is Joined on the Left

After three turns, Austin's scouts had found the ford.  He moved his heavy cavalry forward, and Scott R. attacked the French column as it crossed the stream.

Austrian Victory on the Right.

Having seen the Italians back to their starting point, the Austrians resumed their position defending the army's right.  The Italian division spent the rest of the game trying to rally off its disorder puffs.

Center in the Balance

Don's attack had made great progress in the center.  The French held three of the four town squares.  Scott R.'s Austrian corps had lost three of its five units, and one of the remaining brigades was irretrievably broken and running for the rear.  The Austrian reserve corps was slowly pushing the French back, but without causing many casualties.

Victory on the Left

The cavalry fight on the left disolved into a chaotic, whirling series of melees.  Each side fed their cavalry into the fight in small packets, rarely in full division strength.  Austin had to funnel all his horse through that one bottleneck at the ford, but even so it was amazing that Scott R. was able to keep his outclassed cavalry in the fight.

At last, Scott R. was able to make a concerted attack on the disorganized French.  As Scott R.'s irregular cavalry broke the lead French brigades, panic beset the French force.  Austin had to retreat, losing several regiments whose retreat was blocked by the rocky stream.

Victory in the Center

The Austrian reserve corps managed to make two division strength attacks against the reeling French infantry.  The elite Austrian grenadiers spearheaded one attack, while that same Grenz regiment spearheaded the other.  Both attacks were successful enough to trigger French divisional panic.  With the French high command injured and removed from the fight, the French regiments had trouble rallying off their disorder.  The Austrians managed to retake their initial position and force the French back across the river.

The game took about four and a half hours to complete (or six hours with a break for hamburgers).  It was a very close fight everywhere but the Austrian right, and the whole battle came down to a few lucky die rolls.  The crippling of the French command structure in the center really helped the Austrians to retake the towns, and the almost unbelievable success of the Autrian irregular cavalry on the right meant that the leaderless French infantry lacked cavalry support.

With our recent ECW game, that makes for two nail biters in a row!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

28mm Cornfield

I'm continuing to build terrain for my 28mm figures.  I've always wanted some convincing looking corn stalks for fighting ACW battles, and I think I've found my solution.

O Scale Corn

I found these at Scenic Express's web store.  They are meant for model railroad layouts, but they're sturdy enough for wargaming use.  Each base has five corn stalks, and they're well modelled.  The only problem is the price.  At $6 per base, this small cornfield cost me $120!

Still, I might have to bow to fate and spend even more.  These are the perfect size for 28mm figures, reaching just over the heads of upright figures.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Crusader 28mm Napoleonic French Command

After some serious thought, I chose Crusader's Rank and File Napoleonic French for my next mini project.  I'll be building a line infantry battalion in 1:20 for General de Brigade.  While I'm waiting for my order to come in from Merrimack Old Glory Shipyard, and while I was waiting for the primer to dry on my next batch of commission figures, I whipped up the rest of the command pack.  This is pack RFH-25 "Napoleonic French Command in Bicorne."

I haven't seen any pictures of these miniatures anywhere on the web, at least not painted, so I took shots from multiple angles to give a good idea how they look.  Click on any of the pictures to view a larger image.

Chef de Battalion

The officer figure has a lot of character in his face.  He's scowling slightly as he advances.

Eagle Bearer

I used a 50mm Old Glory spear shaft for the eagle pole, drilling out the bottom of the eagle for a snug fit.  The flag is from Warflag.


This is one of the few drummer figures I've ever seen where the crum cords actually have the weave sculpted.  Musicians' uniforms varied wildly between regiments, and I've never felt the inclination to do the serious research required to get them just right for each.  I took this color scheme from the Osprey.

Full Pack

This is what you get for your $9.00 ($5.40 with the army discount).  I plan on doing the trousers in various shades of tan, white, and grey to give the unit that veteran look.  The Crusader figures were a joy to paint: clean castings with good relief.  It took me about two hours to paint these four figures.  I'm looking forward to painting the rest of the battalion, but that will have to wait until I've finished my latest commission.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

ECW Battle

The gaming group met at Jon's house yesterday to play out an English Civil War battle.  Jon provided the beautifully painted figures, recently rebased.  We used "Ironsides" as our rules.

The King's Army

Charles I had two brigades of infantry and two of cavalry.  There were nine infantry regiments,  eight cavalry regiments, and two batteries in his army.

Parliament's Army

Lord Essex's army was almost an even match for the king, with two brigades of infantry and two of cavalry.  Parliament fielded eight infantry regiments, seven cavalry regiments, one regiment of dismounted dragoons, and two batteries.

Rupert's Brigade

Prince Rupert commanded the cavalry on the king's right.

The King's Infantry

Charles' army started on a hill.  Jon's figures look great with those GMB flags.

Cromwell's Cavalry

Cromwell commanded on Parliament's left.  His three cavalry regiments and lone regiment of dragoons would have to defeat Rupert's four regiments of cavaliers.

Essex's Infantry

Here's Lord Essex in the center of his line.  You can see the fruits of Jon's rebasing here.  Each regiment had a single pike block with 15 figures on a stand with 60mm frontage and 80mm depth.  Each regiment had four 40mm square stands of musketeers with three figures each.  Regiments' combat value is denoted by a single marker at the back of the unit.

Parliament's Right Flank

Parliament had four regiments of cavalry on their right, facing off against an equal number of Royalist cavalry.

Don's Attack

Don commanded Parliament's right, with a brigade each of cavalry and infantry.  Austin opposed him with half the Royalist force.  I commanded Parliament's right with the same strength, and Scott R. commanded the Royalists to my front.

While both side's cavalry fought for mastery of the flanks, Don sent his infantry brigade against the Royalist line.

Don's Cavalry Attacks

Don's cavalry brigade had some success at the beginning of the game, but Austin rallied his defeated horse and returned to the field.  Don sent one cavalry regiment into the Royalist rear, but an infantry regiment pinned it for the remainder of the game.

Austin Counters

Austin pushed back Don's infantry, destroying one of Don's regiments.  Both sides surged back and forth, with infantry strength declining, the regiments retiring, rallying, and heading back into the fight.

MacPhee Breaks the King's Right

Cromwell's three regiments suffered a reverse at the beginning of the battle, but he rallied his troopers and sent them straight at Rupert's horse.  Rupert was carried of the field by a routing regiment, but he returned to lead a death-or-glory charge that crushed one of Cromwell's regiments.  Cromwell attached himself to his cuirassiers, rode straight for Rupert, and destroyed the last of the Royalists' right wing cavalry.

My infantry hammered away at their Royalist opposition, destroying one regiment and whittling away the strength of the rest.

Scott R.

With his cavalry all destroyed and his infantry on the run, Scott R. avoided having his picture taken.

Parliament Victorious

Don and I celebrated our close-fought victory by striking an anachronistic Napoleonic pose.

Royalists Retire

Scott R. and Austin decided to break off the engagement.  Their army was battered, but not broken.  Surely a nearby alehouse would afford some decent brandy and a wench or two to help them recover themselves for the next bout.