Friday, December 26, 2008

Shameless Plug

I paint a lot of the figures that I use in my wargames, but I'm also not afraid to buy figures when I can get ones painted as well or better than I can paint myself. The figures shown here are examples of the latter. They're one of the five units of French Young Guard that I'm listing for sale on Ebay (see my auctions here:

I purchased these figures a couple of years ago at Historicon in the flea market area. They're very nicely painted figures from I believe Battle Honors or Old Glory.

The reason I'm selling them is after basing up my French Army for Volley & Bayonet, I found that I had far too many Young Guard. These units are what remains after basing up both Young Guard corps for V&B. One of the big selling points for V&B for me is the low figure count necessary to field large armies. I purchased these figures when we were still using Napoleon's Battles which requires far more figures to represent the same units.

So, please visit my auctions, or send the links to interested friends. I'd love to find these figures a good home and turn the money earned by selling them back into other wargaming projects.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kingsbridge - Covered Bridge

When my friend James and I decided to start doing projects for each other, the this is the first piece I asked him to make for me. Considering all of the covered bridges in New England, New York and Pennsylvania during the revolution and the American Civil War, I thought having a covered bridge for skirmish gaming and as a focal piece for larger battles would be great. The first use I had in mind was as the center piece for an AWI skirmish or V&B wing scale game using the forces that skirmished near Kingsbridge during the battle of White Plains. You can just make out the bridge in this photo when I ran this game at the first Tricon convention.

The bridge was masterfully built by James modeled after a covered bridge that still stands a short distance from his home in Vermont. The bridge accommodates 25mm figures nicely as shown in the photos. The roof, walls and even the deck are removable to allow access to the figures inside, or to simulate the destruction of the bridge by removing it and replacing it with some rubble. The river features sand shores, real rocks and water made from liquid latex artist's medium hand colored with powdered pigments. The roof is shingled by hand with individual wooden shingles.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Small Breastworks - British Skirmishers

This is another of the terrain pieces my friend James made me a few years ago. This one was designed to hold a single unit of infantry based for The British are Coming! (TBAC) rules. We played TBAC for several years, but for the past few years have been playing Volley & Bayonet exclusively. We played a modified (house rules) version of TBAC which converted it to a turn, counter-turn system instead of the simultaneous movement system that it was designed to use. We found it worked more smoothly than the original design. In the end switching to V&B seemed the natural thing to do as our club has basically standardized V&B for all black powder periods. Having one set of rules for multiple periods means we don't have to teach the rules each game and we can get right to playing. Besting your opponent more often comes down to better battlefield decisions rather than a superior expertise in the rules. The V&B figure basing is slightly different than The British are Coming! but this terrain piece still seems to work nicely.

The British skirmishers are three stands I completed recently in order to prepare for a Brandywine Creek game I wanted to run. I needed to represent several small battalions, so I needed some extra skirmish stands. Knowing that this circumstance would occur often, I painted these three stands very genericly so that they can be used whenever I need such units. They're Old Glory figures from their 'British Firing Line' pack. I like this set of poses a lot and I've used several of these packs of figures to sprinkle throughout my other units to give the units a look of being in action instead of at parade rest. The rocks on the stands are small pieces of broken cork primed black and dry-brushed gray. They don't add much weight to the stand and fill the stand nicely giving the skirmishers some terrain to hide behind.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

V&B Road to Glory Rules Question

This is just a quick post about a rules question I'm going to be asking on the V&B mailing list. Since Yahoo Groups doesn't allow picture attachments to the e-mails sent to the mailing list, and I'm not savvy about posting to the Yahoo groups files section, I thought I'd just post my photo here and ask the question on the list and point the list membership here to view the photos. The figures are some random V&B stands from my French and Italian Napoleonic armies. I used them for this photo because they were handy.

My question revolves around the changes that are a result of the last sentence of rule 10.3.2 Advances After Combat which reads, "A victorious unit may not advnace to contact an enemy unit, and must stop a quarter inch away from it." add to the new version of the rules. In the situation where two lines of troops meet and one unit loses a melee and retreats (see photo above), our intrepretation of the first edition of the rules was that unit B above would be allowed to occupy position X vacated by unit 2. According to the new rule, this would be prohibited by the 1/4" non-advance zone shown from the neighboring units (see below). My question is simply is this an intended outcome, or was the 1/4" prohibition only intended to apply to the front face of enemy units?

Update, December 8th: For the curious, here's the answer I got from Frank Chadwick, the author of V&B: "Correct. It was actually never my intention that stands be able to advance into contact after melee, but that was not clear from the 1st edition rules. -- Frank" It's great to have such a quick and concise response from the rules author. Thanks Frank!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Queens Loyal Rangers and Redoubt

Giles over at Tarleton's Quarter recently posted some photos of some of his excellent terrain pieces and that reminded me that I should do the same over here on my blog. This is the first of such posts. I'm also showing some figures I painted up a while ago that get a lot of use in my games, my Queen's Loyal Rangers.

The redoubt was scratch built by my friend James Gibbons in trade for some modeling work I did for him. We had a good system of exchanging time for time equally trading specialties. I received some excellent terrain like this redoubt, James received several 1/72 scale WWI aircraft models to use in his wargames. It was a great trade. The redoubt is sized for 25mm figures and features a firing step, and also an artillery embrasure with removeable gun platform.

The Queen's Loyal Rangers unit has both a formed stand, as well as two separate skirmish stands. Like most of my AWI figures, depending on the scale I use for my V&B games, the stands can represent the Queen's Rangers in all V&B scales by using a single skirmish stand, two skirmish stands, the formed stand, or all three stands. A lot of my close-up photos don't show my painting style in the best light as I use heavy highlights and washes to give a good tabletop look. The photo below of the Rangers in the redoubt gives a better impression of how this look works on the tabletop.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Brother against Brother at Carnage

Here are some photos from the Brother against Brother game I ran at the Carnage convention this past weekend. The scenario was a skirmish level game on a portion of the Gettysburg terrain, specificly the Rose Woods and the Wheatfield, areas where the 5th New Hampshire Volunteers saw action and where their commander, Colonel Cross was mortally wounded. The terrain, and having Colonel Cross and some squads from the 5th New Hampshire are where the historical portion of the scenario ends. Of course you cannot represent the action in this large of a portion of the Gettysburg battlefield in skirmish scale, but the terrain makes for a great backdrop for a scenario game. Thanks goes to my friend Byron for some of the better photos.

This was a close fought game with possession of the wheatfield and the Rose woods, both of the major objectives of the scenario, being split between the Union and Confederate teams. With the objectives split 50/50 the battle came down to casualty counts where the Confederates achieved a minor victory, eliminating one more Union squad than they lost. Everyone had fun and I was very fortunate to have a table of skilled and very sportsmanlike players. Everyone learned the rules by turn 2, and things went smoothly from there on.

Carnage is a mixed convention with historical miniatures, fantasy/science fiction miniatures, board gaming, card gaming and role playing games all at the same convention, each with their own halls or areas. The Carnage staff go to great lengths to provide assistance for the game masters and run a very good convention. I ran this game as part of the "Centuries of Conflict" themed historical period, which this year was the 19h Century. Next year will be the 20th century, and I have to decide if I'm going to do a Blue Max WWI Air-to-Air combat game or a WWII eastern front battle.

I'm also including a close-up of the Devil's Den terrain piece I made for the game. It's made with gaps between the stones to allow the single-figure skirmish stands to fit between or on top of the rocks as well as on the hill slope. In the Wheatfield photo you can also see the 25mm rail fences I made for the game using my laser cutter. The fences were designed to assemble quickly as I needed to make 14 feet of fences in a couple of hours for the game. I'm considering offering them as my first wargaming product as a new endevor to add to my radio control airplane products. If and when I do I'll post a link here.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Carnage 11 Convention Coming Up!

Our friends in nearby Fairlee Vermont are running their mixed gaming convention, Carnage, for the 11th year this November 7-9 at the Lake Morey Resort. The Northern Conspiracy's own Byron Champlin will again this year be coordinating the Centuries of Conflict event at Carnage. This year's theme will feature wargames from all theaters of warfare during the 19th century and many of the games will be run by fellow Northern Conspirators. There's a lot more information about Carnage and Centuries of Conflict in the Carnage Events Listing PDF.

My game for Centuries of Conflict will be my first 25mm ACW game hosted at a convention using the Brother against Brother skirmish rules. It's going to be a skirmish level game loosely based on the fighting that happened in the Rose Woods and the Wheatfield during the second day of Gettysburg during which Colonel Cross of the 5th NH Volunteers (the 'fighting' 5th) was mortally wounded. Although the numbers of men at the actual battle are not appropriate for a skirmish game, I'm going to stylize the historical event and create my skirmish game using the same terrain. I'm hoping it will be a fun game.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lazun's Legion Hussars

These figures that were painted by my uncle are the showpiece of the my French AWI figures - he really did a wonderful job on these. The hussars of Lazun's legion performed scouting and reconnaissance functions for the French forces on the march as well as seeing action at Gloucester Point during the Yorktown campaign (along side the marines I showed in my August 29th entry), mixing it up with Tarleton's legion (poorly mimiced as Tarringgon's cavalry if you watched Mel Gibson's The Patriot).

All of my cavalry are based on 3"x3" stands to accommodate the large figures. I use two figures on stands for skirmish formation cavalry and three figures for cavalry in formed order (line). Since the Lazun Legion Hussars routed Tarleton's cavalry in the action at Gloucester point, I based these figures using formed order, as skirmishers in Volley and Bayonet wouldn't be able to impose their will on other cavalry. I have some British dragoons that can pose as Tarleton's force in a pinch, but I hope to paint up a proper unit to represent his force in the future. Once I paint up a proper Tarleton force, I can put on the hypothetical alternative history Yorktown battle I've been thinking about.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Royal Deux-Ponts Infantry Regiment

This is another of the French Infantry units that I acquired, indirectly from my Uncle's collection. I believe this unit represents German soldiers in French service of the Royal Deux-Ponts Infantry regiment, which was French line regiment number 92, actually comprised of German soldiers raised by the duc de Deux-Ponts. These stands are comprised of only fusilier figures and would represent either the entire regiment, or just the four fusilier battalions of the regiment, depending on the scale of the battle they're used in.

According to Mollo's Uniforms of the American Revolution in Color, this regiment accounted for itself quite well at the battle of Yorktown, leading the storming party into the British fortifications.

This unit features a beautiful hand-painted flag and a very animated officer, which was painted with a very 'German' look to him, mustache and all! OK, I guess he looks very 'French' too.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Regiment de Viennois

This is the first of two French Line Infantry units that were painted by my Uncle. As I didn't paint these figures, most of what I know about them is purely a guess on my part. From what I can determine this unit can represent the Regiment de Viennois which was comprised at least partially of Chasseurs for which the uniform and facing colors seem to match nicely.

The flag is hand painted on lead foil, and closely resembles the flag of the Soissonois Infantry regiment, although the colors are slightly reversed. The Soissonois regiment also wore uniforms faced in red, although to the best of my knowledge they retained their bearskin caps throughout most of, if not all of their time in North America. Still in a pinch I wouldn't hesitate to press this unit into service as the Soissonois regiment.

I'm very impressed at these figures, which were painted about a decade ago by my uncle as they exceed anything I have painted myself. The amazing thing about this is my Uncle's technique and skill has continued to advance well past that shown on these figures while my own painting techniques have seemed to 'peaked'. I'm quite happy to have been able to get these units into my collection.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Enter the French

This is the first of hopefully four or five posts showing the French in my AWI figure collection. All of the French figures were painted by my uncle Ralph, who in addition to being a fantastic painter has also been a mentor to me in wargaming since he got me started the hobby. Ralph painted these figures over a decade ago and at some point decided he wasn't going to finish the army and he sold/traded/gave them to a mutual friend of ours. I obtained them from that friend in a trade for a large collection of 20mm ACW figures as I was switching scales to 15mm. Since I didn't buy or paint these figures, I'm unsure of their manufacturer.

This is a mounted French general, and a single stand of French Marines. The marines are based, as all my French infantry are, on linear bases, but with a more dense figure population than stands from all other countries. I did this to represent the fact that the French didn't adopt the loose 2-rank formations that the British, German and Americans did. I should have put them on deeper massed bases but this didn't look right. I'll still allow them all of the V&B factors for infantry Brigades, I just didn't like the look of the deeper bases.

The French marines fought in several skirmishes along side Lazun's Legion at Gloucester Point during the Yorktown campaign. Although they fought in smaller formations than this stand represents in some scales of V&B, I can use this stand at lower (Wing scale and lower) scales or I can use it at the higher scales to represent a unit of converged marines for 'what if' games. I actually have a good idea for an alternate Yorktown game that I'm planning on using them for in this role.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mare Nostrum

Mare Nostrum was a one-day ancients campaign game run at our wargaming club this past weekend by our current president, Mike Coppinger. The rules were something he's modified from another similar game he and other club members have played in the past. The campaign was centered around the Mediterranean sea during the Punic Wars. We fought five rounds of tabletop games generated by the campaign rules using DBA to fight the battles.

The major factions were Rome, Carthage and the independent countries of Greece, Numidia, etc. I played using Helenistic Greek army. Although I began the campaign as an independent, I was enrolled as a Carthaginian ally to even up the number of players in each faction. Considering my performance, I think Carthage would have been better served with me as an enemy than an ally!

This was a great day of gaming with good friends. The day was definitely won by Rome, as all of the Roman players did very well, including the winner, Jason Bostwick who did a masterful job of pulling off his first win of the day against me, 4-3, sealing the coup-de-grace with a mutual destruction attack on one of my units using the proverbial 'buttocks of death' move which destroyed his and my units at the same time!

Mike Coppinger has provided some excellent photos of the games, players and scores on his Picasa site, including a good photo of the souvenir DBA ruler designed and sponsered by Michael Bailey (thanks Michael!). I'd like to thank Mike and everyone who participated for a great day of gaming!

For those who noticed I took some time off from my Wargaming blog, I apologize. I've been re-energized by a recent trip to Historicon and should have plenty to post in the upcoming months.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Volley & Bayonet: Road To Glory

Frank Chadwick has published Volley & Bayonet: Road to Glory, i.e. version two of his Volley & Bayonet rule set. I use V&B for all of my AWI games and like it very much. V&B Road to Glory looks like it will be a EXCELLENT revision of an already great rule set. The booklet is well illustrated and contains plenty of photos, diagrams, the well-indexed rule set and plenty of scenarios with orders of battles and maps.

Volley & Bayonet: Road to Glory can be ordered directly from the author at his website: Test of Battle Games I'll be sure to write up a short review of the new version of the rules after I get a chance to run a few AWI games using them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Where have I been?

I'm sorry for not posting in a while. I've been wargaming, but my blog has been neglected. I'll return to posting photos of my AWI figures as soon as possible. Next up to show are some great French figures in my collection painted by my Uncle that have found their way into my collection through a mutual friend of ours.

Until then, here's a video of another one of my projects. A flying 1/48 scale P47d Thunderbolt. Weighs 4.5 grams (about the same as two paper clips):

More photos are available on my R/C page here: