Friday, December 2, 2016

28mm Late-War British Weapons Teams

These are some late-war British infantry weapons teams, including some of the Bren guns needed for my last batch of infantry. I still have more Bren gun teams to paint to catch up on what I was short, but these are what I had on hand at the time. Since I only had two teams (4 figures) of Bren gunners, I tossed in a pack of Piat teams and a pack of Vickers medium machine guns to make painting the figures a bit more time efficient.

All figures are West Wind, purchased from Old Glory. Apologies for the large variance in the lighting quality of the photos, the weather conditions were challenging today for photography, but with winter coming, it's catch as catch can on that front.

One bag of West Wind Vickers MMGs contains two teams worth of figures, one on the march and one deployed. The deployed team has a separate model for the gun while the walking team is carrying it broken down. I'm not sure if I'll use this as a single team, swapping out the poses as appropriate or as two teams. The latter is most likely. 

 The desperately needed Bren gun teams. Only two teams of four total figures. These are a partial pack of left-over figures. More have been ordered and received and will see the painting table soon.

 One bag of West Wind Piat gunners contains eight figures - enough for four teams. That's probably more than I'll ever need. There's no sense in having a couple-odd unpainted figures rattling about in the dead lead collection, so I painted them all. I'm starting to do that more and more. It helps keep the oddball unpainted 'dead lead' under control.

Previously I had based all of my team weapon figures individually based and marked each figure's base with a colored rock to indicate the type of heavy weapon. After further thought this method seemed very clunky and would likely be confusing to others when I hosted games with these figures. I chose to base all of these teams together on team sized bases. Now that I have chosen to do this, I'll need to re-base many of my team figures.  Having all of my British figures on hand for this project, I re-based the other British team weapons similarly. These included my previously painted Bren gun teams as well as Commando Vickers MMG, Bren and Piat teams that I previously purchased off of Ebay. Total effort logged for this job is 19 figures painted and 5 stands re-based.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Northern Conspiracy November 2016 Game Night

Last Friday evening our club got together for our November game night. Charlie, pictured to the left, hosted an Austrian vs French Napoleonic game using his rules, Napoleon's Rules of War. I was on the Austrian side with Ed, Bob and Kevin. The French were Ralph, Earl, and Dick. This was Charlie's first test of his attack and defend scenario rules with the Austrian's attacking.

Our plan was to load up our right flank with our more numerous Cavalry and assault in the center and on the right supported by our artillery and a small cavalry reserve. I was in the center. Early on Ralph's batteries were deadly, eliminating my battery before they could get off a shot. Ed pushed the cavalry hard and fast to the left and followed up aggressively with his infantry. Across the rest of the field we advanced with Kevin on the right flank having the furthest to travel and having to slog through some plowed fields and woods. Feeling the pressure of the enemy batteries I pressed in the center, probably more hastily than I should have. My first attacks were repulsed, but my second, went through with costly casualties paid for the ground gained. On the left Ed's infantry did great work with their muskets, but on the right our batteries were mostly ineffective. As Kevin's attacks started to go in our army reached it's exhaustion point, just before I could reach our second objective which would have allowed us to sustain additional hits before stopping. The French held long enough to successfully defend the field.

Balance of the scenario was good, and the exhaustion points of each army were very close. Had I been more conservative in the center, maybe I would have allowed Kevin the time he needed to bring home the attack on our right.

There were two other excellent games run on Friday. One was Peter's ACW river boat battle:

And the other was Tom's 15mm ACW Gettysburg cavalry battle:

Thursday, October 27, 2016

28mm British WWII Tommies (2)

I've been painting a lot of ancients figures for the past approximately two years. After recovering from a nasty six-week flu I was in the mood to paint, but I also wanted a break from painting shields. For this WWII seemed to be the perfect choice.

This is my second batch of West Wind 28mm British late-war infantry. My first batch can be seen in a previous blog post. These 28 figures will fill out the bulk of three British infantry squads including three NCOs with sub machine guns, three higher level officers with pistols, and 22 rifle-armed infantry in standard late-war British kit. I was short the appropriate number of Bren gunners to paint them at the same time as their rifle-armed compatriots, so they will be painted later, some with some other heavy weapons squads that are currently on the painting table, and the balance with the next batch of infantry squads I paint up.

The sub-machine gun-armed NCOs are all armed with Sten guns. As usual for my SMG-armed figures, each base has a rust-colored rock on the back to make identifying the SMG figures easier for us with older eyes.

The pistol-armed officers are the first that I've painted, so I had to come up with a way to easily identify them. I chose a pile of three jagged light brown rocks on the back of the stand.

There are two rifle-armed infantry that are charismatic enough to also be used as NCOs if I want to break these up into smaller squads.

And here are some close-ups of some of the rifles, and a look at the back to show the webbing, packs and other kit.

Edit: That moment when you only find out AFTER you post to the blog, that somehow you screwed up and missed painting a canteen......

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Battle of Adrianapolis

This past weekend we got together to play another game of Hanibal at the Gates. This was another fight in Greece between the invading forces of Levant, who used a Macedonian Successor model army against the defending Greeks who chose a Roman model army. You can read the campaign master's official account of the game in Sallusto's History starting on page 16. For the first two photos, I've stitched together the photos using some on-line panorama software. Getting a single-photo of the entire tabletop was not possible from my position at the table.

The Levant army was comprised of two cataphract divisions and four large pike block wings. With some woods and dense hills on one side of the battlefield, the Levant army covered the entire open area of the battlefield. Their plan was simple - roll straight forward and crush the Roman army with sheer numbers. The plan worked very well. Assigned the Roman center my orders were to tie up the left two pike wings with my legion while Bob used his Veteran legion, and some reinforcements from my Extrordinarii division to attack the Cataphracts and Mike would use his two legions to try to overwhelm the right most pike wing by out flanking it in some woods. For my contribution I only successfully slowed down one of the two pike blocks, the other split off into two smaller groups and continued to harass Bob's command. The cost of the delay was the majority of my legion with no significant damage to the pikes they opposed.

Bob had some early success on the left, but then Charlie stabilized things there and the Cataphracts held firm, their heavy armor proving difficult to attack. By the end of the battle Bob had lost his legion and only eliminated two stands of Cataphracts. Some of our cavalry had managed to squirt through the Levant lines, but it was too little, to late.

On the right, Mike's command was able to finally eliminate the Levant flank guard, but by then the two Levant pike wings had done their damage, killed a few legion stands and turned around to nullify the turned flank. On his flank Mike was able to eliminate a single pike stand with concentrated skirmish fire and a few attacks from his legion stands.

As the night got long, Mike chose to end the battle as a fighting withdrawal. This saved him some casualties in the campaign, but also let the Levant invader off with less total casualties than a completed battle. I expect more unrest in Greece in upcoming turns. Greece seems to be where all the action is so far in the campaign.

Below are some more photos from the game, including some eye-candy shots of the figures.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Northern Conspiracy October 2016 Game Day - French & Indian War

This past Saturday, fellow Northern Conspirator and friend Earl hosted our club's game day. The theme for the day was French & Indian War. Earl provided all the terrain, figures and scenarios for the entire club to game all day - two sessions, three games each session. This was a Herculean effort and Earl pulled it off beautifully! Fellow conspirator and blogger Ed M has also written up the event on his blog, which you can read here.

There were two teams of six players on each team, the French (shown left) and the British (shown right). I'm missing from the British photo as I was taking the photo.

The British pulled lots for which table they would play on. Bob and I pulled table three. The mission was for the British to protect some supplies on two wagons and three animals, while the French were tasked to take those supplies and burn the British fort nearby.

Ralph and Chris were our opponents. Ralph headed for the fort to commit arson, while Chris started to approach our supplies through some light woods. Bob (shown left) defended the supplies while my Indians and British regulars attacked Chris' Coreur De Bois. Fortune was with me early in this game. In a system where you roll for 6s to hit enemies in cover, a Yahtzee in 6s is pretty deadly. I also had more than my fair share of hits in my second round of fire. Chris took it like a consummate sportsman, but the early damage really sealed his fate. Ralph had to cross a wide expanse of open ground to get to the fort and fared similarly on his side.

Other round 1 table photos:

In Round 2, Kevin and I pulled table one against French Players Phil and Ralph. This was another scenario where the French wanted to burn down all the British stuff. The French wasted no time in burning three fields of crops and two buildings. They also killed several civilians and obliterated two full units of local militia, while Kevin's British regulars and my Rangers rushed to oppose them. We called time with the game split 18-22 in favor of the British. The French thought future gains would be tough due to all the burning fields blocking most avenues of advance, but from our side I think my Rangers were in serious danger of being obliterated very quickly by the French numbers. I'd call it a draw at best. Likely given a couple more turns either side could have turned the game with some good shooting rolls.

Other round two game photos:

Anyone who's run even a single game at a game night or convention knows how much work it is. I cannot even imagine running a whole game day alone. Earl did a great job at pulling off a great event for the club. Thanks Earl!