Thursday, March 19, 2015

Blue Moon 18mm Napoleonic British Hussars

I am still working on fielding all the troops needed for any of the General de Brigade Peninsular War scenarios.  I have pretty well settled on Blue Moon for my Napoleonic armies, since the range is affordable and attractive.  All the British cavalry I will need are two regiments of light dragoons and one of hussars.

Here are the 1st KGL Hussars.  They fought very well, and of course their uniform was colorful!  I opted to paint these in their white gloves.

Blue Moon provides three different rider and six different horse poses.  By bending arms, I was able to introduce even more variety.

I had a Dullcote mishap with these.  I will probably break out the airbrush and spray them with an acrylic matt clear, then try the Dullcote again once the humidity drops,

I was very pleased with these figures.  They should look great on the tabletop!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ancient Greek Light Troops

Here are the final figures for my classical Greek army.  These are all Old Glory 15mm figures on Litko bases.  (You can see the hoplites and the cavalry by clicking the links.)

First up are the archers.  There are twelve bases.  Greek armies usually did not make much use of bows, but Athens kept a force of mercenary archers on hand.

The majority of Greek light troops would have been javelin men.  The sculptor chose to portray these men with a bare right foot and shod left foot.  I thought it was a mistake until I read Head's Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars, where the only drawing of a Greek javelin man showed just this configuration.  Apparently there is ONE written reference to skirmishers wearing a sandal on their lead foot so they could kick the enemy.  I am skeptical, not least because I have tried walking with just one shoe.  It's not pleasant.  There are 32 bases of javelin men here.

Last are the peltasts.  I would usually consider these medium infantry, capable of skirmishing or fighting in close order in a pinch.  All rules I have ever seen, however, class them as light infantry.  There are twelve bases of peltasts in my army.

With these light bases finished, my Greek army is complete!  I may add to it in the future, but for now I am calling this project done!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Battle of Raymond, May 12th, 1863

Last weekend I hosted a Regimental Fire and Fury game at my house.  I don't have a dedicated wargames room anymore (added three kids and moved to a smaller house), so I rarely host.  When I do, I like to try something interesting.

Most historians reckon Champion Hill as the most decisive battle of the Vicksburg campaign, but if Pemberton and Johnston were going to beat Grant, they would have had to unite their forces and fight outside of Vicksburg.  Grant's victory at Raymond ensured that the two Confederate armies would remain separate.  Had Pemberton reacted more forcefully and blocked Grant a Raymond, Grant would have been hard pressed to retain his momentum in the campaign.

I used to have a 9' by 5' ping pong table on which to game, but I have had to come up with something else in my new house.  I use my dining room table, then add three plywood panels, each measureing 3' by 5'.  I put my gaming mat on top, and I have a pretty functional gaming surface.  All the terrain you see is by The Terrain Guy, sadly defunct.  The trees are my own, scavenged here and there.  I mount them on steel washers, then flock the bases.

At the historical battle, the Confederates fought a delaying action at 14 Mile Creek, with one Confederate brigade taking on a division of McPherson's Union corps.  You can see the vital Raymond crossroads in the distance.  If Grant is to interpose his army between Pemberton and Johnston, he will need to take Raymond before either Confederate general can react.

I have been reading two Wargaming in History volumes, covering Bull Run and the Shenandoah Valley campaign.  The authors have tweaked Regimental Fire and Fury in some interesting ways.  I decided to introduce some of their modifications into this scenario.  Most Confederate units started hidden, so I gave Jon a mix of unit markers and dummy markers.  Hopefully this would keep the Union commanders on their toes.

There were also two hidden fords over the creek.  The Union found one of the fords during the game. Infantry could cross the creek anywhere, taking a full turn to do so.  Artillery could cross only on bridges or fords.  I classed all the woods as rough terrain, impenetrable to artillery.

The Union brigades entered on these two roads.  Don and Scott were our Union commanders, and they chose to focus all their effort on the bridge.

Don and Scott are experienced Fire and Fury players.  They've been at this since the original rules came out!  With two large brigades of Union veterans, I expected them to make short work of the Confederate cavalry screening the river.

The Confederate cavalry regiments were mostly made up of local home guards and hurriedly gathered fragments of other units.  I rated them all trained.  Most were armed with shotguns, so they were not much good in a firefight!  The single Confederate artillery section harassed the Union troops as they deployed.  Jon rolled pretty well with those guns, and the Union had some trouble shaking out into line.

Soon the weight of Union numbers was starting to tell.  The Confederate cavalry could not hold, and Jon committed his infantry to the defense of the creek.  I had a deck of twelve cards with two aces mixed in.  I drew a card for every brigade maneuver roll.  An ace of spades caused an immediate lull in the fighting.  Both sides pulled back equally until they were 8" away from each other.  All disorder and low on ammo markers lifted, and we advanced to the next turn.  An ace of diamonds caused any Confederate infantry regiments in charge range to raise a rebel yell, ignore terrain restrictions, and charge the nearest Union unit!

Here is the result of our first ace of diamonds pull.  Jon's rebel infantry has left their safe positions and charged the Union juggernaut!  The Confederates were duly punished this time.

With the Confederate infantry weakened, Don and Scott made another push against the creek.  By now all the Confederate units were revealed.  That rebel line had looked pretty easy to break at first.  Now it looked much more formidable.  The Union generals were trying to overcome the rebels with firepower, but despite having a 5:1 advantage in guns, the Union batteries were mostly silent all game,

Another ace of diamonds, and the rebels crossed the creek again!  This time they rolled very well and pushed the Union infantry back.  Scott's lead regiments were now worn.

Kevin took over command of the rebel south wing.  In his attack, the Union brigade commander fell, mortally wounded.

Jon's northern wing of Confederates attacked the other Union brigade.  In his volley, the Union brigade commander was grievously wounded and carried to the rear.  In the melee that followed, the Union division commander was hit.  The Union regiments gave ground, leaking stragglers to the rear.

With all three of their generals down, a third of their regiments worn, and their attack a shambles, the Union commanders decided to call off the attack and await reinforcements.  Our game ended with a minor Confederate victory.