Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mid-Republican Roman Italian Allies

The Field of Glory army list calls these troops "Other lighter equipped Italian allied infantry". These troops make up the bulk of the Italian allies the mid-Republican Roman army is allowed to have. I chose to paint these, as I did with the Extraordinarii, primarilly in white/off white tunics although with the larger unit I did mix in some light brown and mustard colored tunics. Since I had a few armored figures left over from the previous unit, I chose to mix them in as veterans, officers, etc. There are only a few armored figures so I doubt there will be any confusion about the unit's equipment.

These figures are from Old Glory 15s pack RRBG10 which contains three different poses. Although I would have appreciated a fourth pose so that the three figure stands could have more variety, with the sprinkling of armored figures I think the unit looks irregular enough to be appropriate for medium infantry. The figures are nicely animated and with the exception of the somewhat clumsy-looking boots, quite nicely sculpted. The army list allows you to have units of 6-8 stands with a total of 12 stands in the army, so I painted up this unit as an 8-stand unit. If I paint another I'll only have to paint up another four stands to complete the army list's maximum number of stands. Next up on the painting table is a unit of Roman cavalry for this army, and a single stand of Selucid companion knights for my Selucid DBA army which I haven't ever corrected after the changes in the army list in DBA 1.1.

Two units in three days. For me that's high gear. The shame of it all is even when I'm on vacation I can't keep up with Scott MacPhee in either quantity or quality!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Italian Extraordinarii

The Extraordinarii were Rome's most heavilly armored Italian allies. They were equipped with a hoplite-like shield and a mix of Greek and Roman styled armor, helmets and grieves. The mid-Republican Roman army list in Field of Glory allows you to have one battlegroup of Extraordinarii comprised of four stands. They're rated as Superior, Drilled, Armored, Medium Foot, Light Spear and Swordsmam. This makes them an excellent all-purpose troop. Although they're possibly the best troops available for occupying terrain, they're able to hold their own in the open against most foot and even light cavalry. The small battle group size isn't too much of a problem for troops of superior quality, and the Roman army is woefully short on troops comfortable in terrain, so I knew I needed to paint up this unit for my army. I wish you were allowed to have more than four stands of these, as two units of six stands each would help out the Roman army a lot! No worries, you are allowed an additional unit of similar Italian allied infantry that is Average quality instead of superior and protected instead of armored. They'll be the next unit on the painting table as they are a required battle group for the mid-Republican Roman starter army.

These figures are Old Glory 15s.  I decided to base them three figures per stand, even though Old Glory provides them in packages that suggest they expect you to base them four per stand. I've decided to base all of my medium foot three per stand as this will help my opponends as well as myself distinguish them from heavy foot. Additionally three figures per stand is the much more common basing for auxilla in DBA/DBM which is the other rule set I'm likely to use these figures with.  The shield transfer artwork is from Little Big Men Studios.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It's quite likely with the upcoming holiday, and all the family visits that come with it, that I'll be unable to do any significant wargaming activities over the next week, so I'd just like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year!

I'll most likely be setting up another 1813 campaign game early in January, and I have a few other January activities that will be posted here on the blog, including another Carnage and Glory game I'll be hosting at our club's January game night.

To everyone, I hope your holidays are safe and enjoyable for you and your families. May all of your Christmas wishes come true and may you all have plenty of time to enjoy our hobby over the upcoming new year.


P.S. If you don't recognize it, the photo in this post is the most famous photo of the 1914 Christmas Truce during World War I. If only we could still celebrate that way now. I'm sure our servicemen and women in Afganistan, Iraq, Korea, Cuba and everywhere else would appreciate it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Anything Missing?

This is just a quick notice, that many of the images and links here on my blog connect back to my club's main website. We just moved the club website and when we did that broke MANY of the images and links here on my blog. I believe I've gone through the whole thing and repaired all of the broken items, but if you find any entries that seem to have missing photos, or have broken links, please let me know and I'll fix them up.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another Shameless Plug

During the holidays I hide my wife's Christmas presents in my wargaming closet with all of my terrain, figures, etc. It's not much of a secret, she's a good sport and agrees not to go snooping in my not-so-secret hiding spot. This week, while in the semi-walk-in closet, I took to re-arranging and taking inventory of some of the less-often used or ignored items in the closet.

What I found were a couple of painted WWII units that I had purchased used and painted which seemed like a good deal at the time, but which don't really match the basing or painting style of my existing WWII armies. I also inventoried my un-painted Napoleonic 15mm lead and found that I had several bags of Battle Honors and Old Glory figures that I have since re-purchased as painted lead, or that I've painted all the units that I need of.

So to make a long story short, I'm selling off some painted 15mm WWII figures and vehicles, and a bunch of unpainted 15mm Napoleonic figures. I think I've put very reasonable starting and 'Buy it Now' prices on everything. Take a quick look, and spread the word to your friends if you know anyone who might be interested. I'd rather not have to put all this back in the closet to collect more dust!

You can see my Ebay auctions by following this link:

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 12/16 update: I've added some Avalon Hill board games and a bunch of 1/72 scale WWI aircraft models to my Ebay auctions. More things I don't think I'll ever use.

The Nothern Conspiracy's New Website

After running a straight html-based website for the better part of 15 years, the Northern Conspiracy has recently migrated to a web hosting service specifically designed to service clubs and organizations. After reviewing several companies that offered these services, we settled on Memberzine to do our hosting. One of the primary reasons to migrate to a hosting service geared towards clubs was to allow our officers, who aren't necessarily HTML programmers, the ability to manage the content of the website. Memberzine allows them to do this through the use of menu-driven content editing including a WYSIWYG editor for composing page content.

We're still in the process of getting all of our public content for the site finalized, and we'll be undergoing somewhat of a learning curve while we get up to speed, but so far the software seems to be working as advertised. Hop over to to check out our progress.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

15mm Trees - 43 of them!

This week my wargaming time was spent completely absorbed in campaign work. I calculated losses from the huge battle throughout the 22 corps involved, as well as adjudicated the pursuit, and generated sitreps for all six players. Although it was a lot of work and very interesting to myself and the players of the campaign, it doesn't make for a very interesting blog post. Instead of more information on the campaign, I'm posting some photos of some 15mm trees I made up for the Muttenz-Nyon campaign game.

A while ago I purchased a tree kit from Scenic Express, the model railroad scenery company. The kit I purchased was the Small Deciduous Easy Tree Kit. I was happy with the trees it made although the contents of the kit confused me a bit. I received 14 armatures, which you twist up and then apply the tree foliage to with Hob-e-Tac adhesive. The process worked great and produced 14 lovely trees. What confused me was the large amount of foliage that was included, which was many times over more than was required to cover the 14 armatures included in the kit. I can only assume that Scenic Express uses the same bag of foliage for all of their tree kits and they save more money by only having one size bag, than they lose by giving me extra product. Although confusing, I was thrilled to have the extra, which I saved for later.

This past summer, while I was at the Historicon convention, I purchased a bag of Woodland Scenics Medium Sized Tree Armatures for the express purpose of using up the left over foliage from the Scenic Express kit. I was familiar with the Woodland Scenics tree kits since I've used them for most of my 25mm trees. Their tree kits come with dense foliage clusters, which is a stark contrast to the foliage that comes with the Scenic Express kits, which is much more of a loose leaf like affair. While watching TV over the next couple months I twisted up the tree armatures and glued them to their bases, and then to a large metal washer as a base. They sat in a bin on my workbench for a couple of months, until I desperately needed them for the Muttenz-Nyon game. The week before the game I applied the glue and foliage, and then flocked the base of each tree. They got a final spray of flat lacquer as a fixative the morning of the game.

I think they have sort of a poplar or magnolia look to them. I'm fairly happy with the loose-leaf foliage. I think I will mix in a set or two of the Woodland scenics trees, to round out the collection, but for now these will do nicely. As is the case with a lot of my terrain, this was a 'just in time inventory' situation. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but in my workshop she's also the mother of motivation.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Muttenz-Nyon Battle Report

On Saturday we completed the epic Muttenz-Nyon battle in my ongoing Napoleonic 1813 campaign. Eight players and two game masters braved the first snow storm of the year to attend the game. The battle of Nyon was fought for two turns (two hours time in game terms) and then the fog of the morning lifted and the two battles became one giant battle. All totaled there were twenty-two (22) large corps of troops at the battle, eleven (11) on each side. The Nyon battlefield was situated north of Muttenz, as shown in the map in my previous blog update. The photo to the left shows how the troops were situated at the start of the battle with the Russians defending the city of Nyon in the foreground. Entering at the extreme north of the battlefield in the background was four corps of Mark Decouteau's wing of the French army. Mark was assisted by French ADC Andrew Simpson. Blocking him was the Russo-Swedish army commanded by Phil Hammond who was aided by allied ADC Mike Coppinger. Mike was spelled from his duties in the Prussian army by the return of the Prussian commander Ed Mueller, who missed the first battle as he was out of town at the time.  In addition to this staring photo, I also made a very large panoramic image of the entire battlefield.

During the opening turns of the Nyon battle, the French agressively advanced towards and threatened the Russian's western flank, and advanced a strong cavalry force to meet the Russian cavalry on the eastern flank. In the middle the French also advanced through the woods to prepare to assault the hinge point in the Russian line. In response to the French threat, Phil, the Russian commander raced forward with the Swedish cavalry and a reserve division of Swedish infantry to shut the door on the French flanking movement. Where the Russians had already prepared a stationary line, the French responded in like kind and settled in for a prolonged firefight, first with just battalion guns and artillery, but later they re-deployed their lines within musketry range of the Russians and slugged it out in a firefight that lasted several turns. In this photo you can see how the battle lines are shaking out as the French are deploying at artillery range.

After the two battles synchronized and became one, Napoleon shifted the guard cavalry north and feigned a threat to the Russian cavalry's rear. In response to that Mike Coppinger, who was commanding the Russian cavalry, advanced further north charging the French cavalry there.  The French guard cavalry withdrew, but the feint worked, and committed the Russian cavalry into a prolonged slug fest which they eventually lost (see photo left). Unfortunately for the French, this was to be one of the few bright spots of the day for them.  As they were succeeding here, their attacks and the prolonged firefight against the Russian deployed defensive positions was causing severe casualties among the ranks of the Poles, Swiss and Bavarians.

Also at this time, Ed Mueller's Prussians back on the Muttenz portion of the battlefield continued to press their advantage. Ed's opponent Dave, had the unenviable task of holding off the Prussians as long as he could while the French tried to exploit the Russians on the northern end of the battle. Dave's self-proclaimed strategy to achieve this goal: create as much chaos as possible. As seen from this photo, he was successful in that goal, although eventually Ed was able to push him back while destroying a sizable portion of several divisions, including completely annihilating one division.

In the center both commanders maintained their lines. Both deployed massed batteries, which fired for a turn each, then were withdrawn and dispersed after each commander thought better of allowing his artillery to be destroyed in a prolonged firefight. Charlie Galemmo, who is Napoleon in the campaign, can be seen here executing one of the few charges that happened in the center of the battle. There were a few places on the center table where the placement of the table made it hard to reach the troops. Lucky for us, my primary table is robust enough to climb up on! In the background is my lovely wife Lori, who stopped down to watch the battle for a little while.

As things on the "Prussian Front" looked grim for the French, they were hoping for success up north to sway the battle in their favor. Unfortunately for them the gods of musketry, saber and cannonade (i.e. the dice) were not with them, and the attrition of the battle started to wither division after division of General Decouteau's wing. The Russians were winning through sheer effectiveness of fire. Here you can see that a reserve division of heavy cavalry has had to be pressed into service to plug the large hole in the French line where their assaulting force used to be. The final saving grace on this wing for the French was that the Russian guard was caught trying to press their advantage, and ended up having one brigade destroyed by a French cavalry counter charge.  Otherwise this flank was a very successful defense by Phil and his Russians and Swedes.

Where does that leave us? After the battle, the three French wings have withdrawn back down their lines of approach, each pursued by an allied wing. I haven't done the final casualty totals for the battle yet, but when I do, I expect that the allied casualties will be a few brigades damaged, and possibly a few cavalry brigades eliminated. The French will most definitely lose a couple divisions, and several brigades from other divisions will have to be consolidated. We'll see after the casualty numbers are finalized. After the battle Charlie, playing Napoleon, was heard saying, "I might just have to spend a year in Elba after this."

There's a lot more photos (almost 50) available to view over in the Northern Conspiracy Events gallery. I'd like to thank all of the players who stayed to fight the battle to completion as I'm sure we would have had a tough time scheduling another time to complete it before the holidays. It was GREAT fun hosting such a huge battle.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Battle of Tarentum II - Update

Just a quick update on the 2nd Battle of Tarentum. During our hiatus from the game, Hannibal has fled from the field of battle. Rome is victorious!  We'll be doing another campaign move (or several) to generate our next battles over the next few days. Look for another new battle later on this month hopefully. Three cheers for my victorious new Velites and Triarii. Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

Battle of Muttenz-Nyon Continued Saturday

Saturday we will continue the battle of Muttenz, which is a game in my ongoing 1813 Napoleonic campaign. During the battle of Muttenz, troops continued to maneuver elsewhere in the campaign while the battle raged on. Part of this maneuvering created another battle, the battle of Nyon which is actually adjacent to, and in fact on some of the same ground as Muttenz. Thanks to a little bit of creative furnature moving in my basement, and the setting up of two portable tables, I was able to set up the tabletop such that the two battles connect.

Players in the Nyon battle will play their early morning turns while fog obscures the area between the two battlefields. Once the battles are synchronized they'll become one huge battle.

For those who weren't able to follow the lay of the land in the photos from my previous post, this map shows the current approximate positions of the armies in the Muttenz battle, and the approximate deployment zones for the upcoming battle of Nyon (marked TBD). You can always click any image in my blog to see the full-sized image. The Russian army is defending Nyon, a stone-walled city, from an attack from a multi-corps French wing attacking from Locarno, at the top of the map.  I'm hoping this will be a great game and everyone will have fun. At the very least it will be the largest single game I've ever hosted in my basement!