Saturday, September 5, 2020

Napoleonic French: additions

My current Napoleonic collection has been created for playing Sharp Practice 2 and all my armies are far past the point of fielding reasonable SP2 forces with good selections of optional units. Vidal and I had a hankering to try Napoleonic games at a higher command level (not that we haven't done so before... but that was years ago with vastly larger collections and in a club setting). We decided to play a couple of games of Black Powder with the French and British (combining my collections with Vidal's) for some entertaining outings. But recently, Field of Battle 3 was published and having played my fair share of FoB2 back in the day with the old (i.e. not current) Napoleonic collection, we thought we would give the new version a spin. Our first outing was with Vidal's ECW collection and we were pleasantly surprised to find a good memory of the rules and, perhaps more importantly, the enjoyment of FoB. Thus, I believe we will continue on the FoB3 path for the foreseeable future (and SP2, of course).

My new approach, should I decide to build other SP2 forces, is to continue with single-based figures with sabots for the basic forces and associated supports. Once a decent variation in units is achieved, any additions will be multi-based for FoB3 games in order to minimize setup and pack-away time. Thus, some additions to my Napoleonic French...

Young Guard
(Wargames Foundry miniatures, GMB flags)
The SP2 portion is made up of two groups of  eight figures each and two groups of six skirmishers each. The rearmost unit is multi-based to match the dimensions of the single-based sabots (or at least roughly so). The eagle-eyed viewer will notice both formations are only 15 figures each. A miscalculation was made and more figures must be ordered... eventually.

(Warlord Games miniatures, GMB flags)
I originally built six groups of eight figures each for SP2 (+ two groups of skirmishers). I found a few extra sprues of the plastic Warlord figs and decided a fourth battalion would cleanly round out a FoB3 brigade (seen at front left above). 

These additions give the French force two brigades of infantry (with accompanying artillery) and two brigades of cavalry. Vidal's collection adds another brigade of infantry (+ artillery) ... so we have the makings of a small French corps for FoB3:

1er Brigade
Legere Infanterie
Legere Infanterie
Legere Infanterie
Legere Infanterie
Legere Infanterie (sk)
Artillerie a Pied

2e Brigade
Ligne Infanterie
Ligne Infanterie
Ligne Infanterie
Ligne Infanterie (sk)
Artillerie a Pied

3e Brigade (Jeune Garde)
Tirailleurs (sk)

4e Brigade
Chasseurs a Cheval
Chasseurs a Cheval
Artillerie a Cheval

5e Brigade
Grenadiers a Cheval
Dragons de l'Emperatrice

ImagiNations: KaiserReich additions

After a couple of months languishing on my desk, waiting for the final basing to complete, three KaiserReich regiments have marched from the capital to the join the field army. What I shouldn't have done is finish painting all three in rapid succession and leaving the basing for last. They've sat at the side of my painting area looking forlornly at me for far too long. Last week, I buckled down and slogged through the last steps.

Grenadiere der Kronprinzessin
Crusader Miniatures Russian grenadiers, standard from Flags of War.

Crusader Miniatures Prussian musketeers, standard from Flags of War.

IR 6. Musketiere Schöfferhofer
Crusader Miniatures Russian musketeers, standards from GMB.

The first two units form the main part of 1. Brigade under Freiherr Ulrich von Schlender and IR 6. Musketiere Schöfferhofer completes 2. Brigade under Reichsgraf Reinhard von Blumhardt. These are the last KaiserReich figures in the lead pile o' shame though by no means does this mean the KaiserReich army will not be increased at some point (but I need to add to Nordstrum & Brytannya before that happens). 

The KaiserReich army is now comprised of five brigades and a small reserve artillery park.

KronPrinz Friedrich Wilhelm

1. Brigade: Freiherr Ulrich von Schlender 
Grenadiere der Kronprinzessin
Kronprinzs östlichen Kavallerieband

2. Brigade: Reichsgraf  Reinhard von Blumhardt
IR2. Musketiere Krombacher
IR6. Musketiere Schöfferhofer
IR3. Musketiere Märzen
1. Feld Artillerie

3. Brigade: Markgraf Vidalius von Beyrösch-Nachbarschaften
IR4. Füsiliere Weißbier
IR 5. Füsiliere Schwarzbier
IR 1. Grenadiere Oettinger
2. Feld Artillerie

4. Brigade: Reichsritter  Hildebrandt Freytag
1/Grenadiere zu Pferde Warsteiner
2/Grenadiere zu Pferde Warsteiner
1/Pistoliere von Doppelbock
2/Pistoliere von Doppelbock

5. Brigade: Freiherr  Erik von Radeburger 
1/Ulanen Radeburger
2/Ulanen Radeburger
Freikorps der Jagers Radeburger

Artillery Park 
3.  Mörtelfeld Artillerie
4.  Mörtelfeld Artillerie
5.  Schweres Feld Artillerie

Monday, August 10, 2020

FIW: Phase II complete!

A recently-received Front Rank order brought some bits & pieces for the French & Indian War project. Amongst some reinforcements for Michael's ImagiNation contingent, I slipped in a few FIW command figures and vignette pieces. This officially completes Phase II of the project. Phase I included basic SP2 forces and support options and Phase II completes the Deployment Points and some various command figures. Phase III is awaiting the fulfillment of the Brigade Games FIW kickstarter.

Primary Deployment Point for the French: mounted French general officer and Jesuit priest. 
(Front Rank)

British officer from the 60th Foot (Royal Americans). This figure will act as the British force commander (usually Level III). I have some British regulars on order from the Brigade Games kickstarter that will be painted up as the 60th.
(Front Rank)

Civilian vignette. 
I ordered a pack that included these and the priest above but it was only the latter I really wanted but decided not to waste these lovely sculpts.
(Front Rank)

British Primary Deployment Point:
Artillery officer scouting the terrain accompanied by an infantry officer (James Wolfe figure, I believe)
(Front Rank)

Ranger leader to command the Provincial Rangers.
(Front Rank)

Thursday, July 16, 2020

FIW: French reinforcements

One of the advantages of having a completed project is the ease with which a new unit can be added. Now, when I say completed, of course I'm not naive enough to think that this is the end of the project (I'd certainly hope that 45+ years in the hobby has provided at least a modicum of wisdom... but I've been mistaken before). In an earlier post, I mentioned that I had completed Phase I of the project and in this case, that was not an attempt to obfuscate. Over the last few months, I've been able to complete a playable Sharp Practice 2 force for both the British and the French (and terrain pieces to go with them). In fact, both sides have a few options beyond the basic forces recommended in SP2. And after the announcement of the Brigade Games FIW kickstarter and its expected delivery date of September 2020, I judged the first part of the project complete and that the kickstarter figures would constitute Phase II . (edit: the kickstarter figures will be Phase III... I had forgotten that I have some Front Rank reinforcements on the way....primarily command figures and others for deployment points...these will be Phase II).

Thus, in a recent order to Northstar I slipped in a single pack of Compagnie Franches de la Marine. I already have one group of these but had eventually planned to augment this with another (so these are part of Phase III??). Adding them into the painting queue alleviated some burnout from working on the ImagiNations project (more of this anon).

Northstar figures painted primarily with GW contrast paints.

Both groups with Leader.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

ImagiNations: Hussards Poitou

I decided on the weekend that there has been too much attention the last couple of years on building armies for Nordstrum (for Michael) and Gaelia (for Mel), so back to the better army, Le Grand-Duché de Gourmandie. I delved into the box o' shame and found some Crusader Miniature hussars that were part of a large order I made from Old Glory before their distribution agreement with Crusader was ended (maybe five... six years ago?). At the time, I realized I'd never get such a deal again (40% discount with the OG Army card) and I put in a huge order ($700-800ish, after the discount). My foresight has, I suppose, come to fruition. The only problem was the horses. While I had enough left over for this unit, they had been through a failed priming episode sometime in the last few years (the less said the better). Thus, they were subjected to a Simple Green bath and vigorous brushing. This removed 90% of the paint but left a filmy coating on the figures. A lengthy bath in vinegar and scrubbing with detergent afterward seemed to do the trick. All this extra work had these figures toppling on the edge of my patience and they just barely made it on to the positive side of the cost-benefit  analysis.

Les Hussards Poitou (Crusader Miniatures)
Raised and paid for personally by Arch-Bishop Ambroise de Chabichou du Poitou.

Arch-Bishop Ambroise de Chabichou du Poitou.
His Eminence has a special rule in Black Powder: Clergy - May attempt to rally one unit per turn within 12" (and outside 12" from the enemy); OR re-roll one Break Test if unit within 12"

Monday, June 15, 2020

FIW: first game

A few weeks ago, Michael and I were able to throw the new French & Indian War collection on the table for a game. This was as much an opportunity to throw dice and get a feel for the period with Sharp Practice 2 as anything else; thus, no game narrative and only pictures. 

A good view of all the new (and refurbished) trees. I think they provide a good woodland mix.

Skirmishers deploy into the woods.

French regulars arrive!

British regulars and rangers deploy to attack the fort.

Milice Canadienne man the ramparts.

Rangers blast the head of the French column.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

ImagiNations: Infanteri Brokkebjerg

Marching out from the Nordstrum depots, a new regiment: Infanteri Brokkebjerg.

Infanteri Brokkebjerg is the start of a second brigade for the Nordstrum army. The first brigade (see here) sported red facings and these new units will have yellow. As with the first brigade, these are all Front Rank figures from the Spanish Napoleonic range.

While writing this post I recalled that I had completed some heavy artillery for the second Nordstrum brigade last month but had neglected to post. Again, these are Front Rank Figures. The heavy artillery in the Nordstrum army (allocated at one battery per brigade) is a separate administrative organization from the infantry and thus do not share the brigade facing colours. Instead they sport blue uniforms with red facings, regardless of their brigade assignments.