Friday, September 30, 2016

War of 1812: Americans for Sharp Practice 2

So, a second kick at the can as it were... 

A number of years ago, I sold off my substantially large 28mm Napoleonic collection, which included a lovely War of 1812 contingent. They were primarily Old Glory figures and organized for Field of Battle. We played the shyte out of that collection and I was very happy with it. But as with many of collections over the years, it had served its purpose and provided many hours of fun and it took a walk to greener pastures.

Hop, skip and jump to this year and the release of Sharp Practice 2 from Too Fat Lardies. Vidal promptly set about building British and French armies for skirmishes in the Peninsula (and a lovely job he's done). Meanwhile, I was using my ImagiNation and Carlist Wars collections for some entertaining SP2 games. Now, one of the greatest things about these rules is the promise of being able to build armies on a relatively small budget. Most force lists require less than 100 figures (and that includes a variety of supports). I started looking around for some new SP2 projects and was digging through the lead pile and found a surprising number of unpainted Old Glory War of 1812 figures for an American force (from whence they came I have absolutely no idea). This would dovetail quite nicely with Vidal's Peninsula Brits, I thought. And thus, over the last few months, I've been putting together an American force for 1812. 

While some aren't too keen on Old Glory sculpts, I quite like them and their War of 1812 range is one of the best in the catalogue. After assessing the figures I had, I realized they were primarily militia sprinkled with a few regulars in the early war uniforms. I decided to concentrate on 1812 (and maybe 1813) and build a force made up mainly of militia, with a few regulars for support. Although my original intent was to not buy any new figures (there were, after all, over 200 figs in the pile), I did go ahead and add some US cavalry and mounted commanders from Knuckleduster Miniatures. The cavalry have not yet seen the painting table but all the rest have been completed. And a spiffing little force they make!

The entire force, missing only the one group of cavalry.

New York militia rifles - two skirmish groups and one Big Man.
(Old Glory miniatures)

US regulars - three groups and two Big Men.
(Old Glory miniatures)

New York militia - four groups, two big men, standard bearer, and drummer.
(Old Glory miniatures)
[note: I decided to build my militia groups of eight figures each as opposed to 10-figure militia groups as presented in SP2. I've yet to hear a satisfying explanation as to why regulars are eight figures and militia 10 figures in the rules.]

US regular artillery - medium gun group with one Big Man.
(Old Glory miniatures)
[note: On the painting table currently is a 4-horse limber and a 4-horse ammunition wagon for this gun... yes, all that for one gun!]

Mounted commanders.
(L-R: Knuckleduster/Old Glory/Knuckleduster)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Gathering of the Clan (4): WWII goodness

A gathering of gentlemen and various bottles of vino last evening in the Oromocto Gaming Emporium saw the break out of all of our urban terrain to produce a massive town with bisecting canal. I've included below a host of eye candy...

Gathering of the Clan (3): gimme shelter (trees abound)

Throughout the week of gaming in the wilds of New Brunswick, eldest offspring Michael has been slaving away at producing new trees for the group. We had prepared before leaving the centre of the universe (Ontario) by purchasing various bags of Woodland Scenics tree armatures and clump foliage. The plan was (and is) to create new trees to be split between all of us (Michael, Daniel, Phil and me). Phil had also purchased a number of armatures to add to the pile. Unfortunately, Michael was stuck with most of the work and a lot of work he's done!

Armatures glued to their bases (and this isn't even all of them). 
What you don't see here is the work Michael went through beforehand: 1) dipping the armatures in boiling water to spread out the branches; 2) cutting out all the bases from mdf; 3) bevelling all the base edges with an orbital sander. 

The result of the sanding :)

Trees and bases primed dark brown.

Armatures dry-brushed (another mindless and long process) and the flocking has begun. This involves much super glue and boundless patience. In the background can be seen various trees with flocking completed. Of course, once this is complete for all the armatures, the bases need to be terrained and flocked. This is a massive operation and many kudos to the eldest spawn but these are gonna look awesome and seriously upgrade our tables.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Gathering of the Clan (2): a bit of tanking

Not a gaming post per se, but couldn't resist posting some pics from a little excursion onto CFB Gagetown, organized graciously by Captain James Brown. James took us for a little tour of his garage. Most people have boring little cars in their garage... not so Captain Brown. In his massive garage sit various models of Leopard 2 tanks that are part of his training squadron (he has one of the coolest jobs in the military). Michael and I spent an entertaining sojourn clambering over (and in) the tanks. 

Yours truly on the left with eldest Royal Canadian Air Force son Michael on the right... oh, and a massive Leopard 2A6M lurking behind (not sure if that's the correct designation...I'm not a tread-head).

Michael on then left and James to the right in front of a LAVIII (?).

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Gathering of the Clan: a gaming week in the wilds of New Brunswick

This past weekend, Michael and I made the 12 hour drive to the town of Oromocto and adjacent CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick for a week of relaxation and gaming with Captain Dan (of Red Over Blue) and various other adopted military sons (Phil and James particularly). Sunday started with a playtest of Michael's soon-to-be released naval warfare rules using my WWI collection. Sadly, no photos of that game (and to be honest, photos of WWI naval games aren't particularly engrossing). Sunday evening saw a Sharp Practice game with the ImagiNations collection. Again, no photos...sigh. Both events were quite satisfying.

Last evening, after a delicious dinner provided graciously by Mrs Captain Dan, we adjourned to Captain Dan's new gaming bunker (with swanky new 8' x 6' table) for a gentlemanly contest of wills using Black Powder. Arrayed upon the table was the entire ImagiNation collection for the first time since... ????

Nothing particularly inventive in the game set up (as I was repeatedly reminded), this was an opportunity to push around some brightly-coloured toys, partake of some Domaine Lafaivre (Phil's home-made wine... and quite lovely it is too), and indulge in pleasant and scintillating conversation (OK, that last one is a bit of an exaggeration).

On to some photos.... (blurry as they are from various phone cameras)

Gourmandie deployed on the left (commanded by Captain Dan) with their allies, the forces of Libagioni (under Phil's watchful eye) in the fortified town on the left flank; the might of KaiserReich on the right of the photo (commanded jointly by Michael and James).

The left flank of the KaiserReich army; Freikorps Radeburger anchoring the flank. The lancers of this Freikrops would do some serious damage to the Gourmandie right flank.

Initial set up of the Gourmandie right flank with the heavy cavalry of the Grenadiers a Cheval Boursin to the fore. These troopers performed as expected and quit the field before even once crossing swords with the enemy (note: this is one of, if not the most, powerful units in the entire collection and they have a distressing habit of blundering or otherwise performing ingloriously... methinks they deserve a demotion).

Frontal view of the KaiserReich deployment; infantry to the fore and heavy cavalry supporting.

Another view of the initial deployments. To the bottom left can be seen the Grand Duke and his accompanying musical sextet. And why not?

KaiserReich regular infantry on the advance. Libagioni cavalry are seen at the top left charging towards the infantry line. Foolhardy? Perhaps but these cavalry have Terrifying Charge and Bloodthirsty.

Gourmandie infantry advance from their defensive positions (with Libagioni help to the left flank).

Although outnumbered by at least 1.5 to 1 and faced with attacking a force that was partially ensconced in a fortified town, Michael and James were able to eke out a draw with their KaiserReich army. In fact, at the beginning of the game, they declared that destroying the Gourmanide grenadiers and the heavy cavalry would be used as a personal benchmark of their success. As it turned out, they were wholly successful in those goals (although routing the heavy cavalry had more to do with Daniel's abysmal die rolls than with actually destroying  them).

Tonight will see Michael's new naval rules used with Captain Dan's new Falklands War collection.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Q2 2016 Points Total

Following on from a previous post this year, I have totted up my points total for Q1 & Q2 of 2016 (according to the points assessments on Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge). I'm quite pleased with my progress so far this year, as I've exceeded both of the individual point totals from the last two years in the first of half of 2016 alone! In fact, my personal output (as opposed to commission work added to the collections) exceeds the total personal additions for the last two years combined. Thus, my nerd pleasure at seeing the stats and graphs increasing steadily.

Total Points by year: red line represents total points additions and blue my personal output.

Percentage of the totals of my personal output by year .

2016 additions to the collections:

collection unit type # figs total points
ImagiNations Musketiere Marzen foot 28 140
ImagiNations Fulisiere Wiesbier foot 28 140
ImagiNations KaiserReich command mounted 7 70
ImagiNations Hussars Grand Duc mounted 8 80
English Civil War foot regiment foot 28 140
World War II US infantry foot 62 310
World War II US infantry artillery 1 10
Carlist Wars Aragon infantry foot 12 60
World War II 1944 Wermacht foot 11 55
World War II 1944 Wermacht artillery 1 10
ImagiNations KaiserReich civilians foot 4 20
ImagiNations KaiserReich commanders mounted 2 20
ImagiNations KR carriage mounted n/a 55
World War II German MMG & FOO foot 6 30
World War II US 3" AT gun foot 4 30
World War II US vehicles vehicle 4 80
World War II panther vehicle 1 20
World War II PzIV, Stug III, hetzer vehicle 3 60
Carlist Wars Tortosa infantry foot 15 75
ImagiNations Fusiliere Schwarzbier foot 24 120
ImagiNations Dragons Grande-Duchesse mounted 8 80
Carlist Wars Isabellino artillery foot 12 60
Carlist Wars Isabellino artillery artillery 3 30
War of 1812 US militia foot 11 55

Le Monde: 5 Juillet, 1746