Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Niagara battlefields tour

A couple of weeks ago on a glorious autumn day, my good friend Bob drove up from the wilds of Ohio to partake of southern Ontario civilization and the glories of our military past. In one day of touring about the Niagara Peninsula, we visited Ridgeway battlefield (of Fenian Raids fame), Fort Niagara, Battle of Chippawa field, Queenston Heights, and Fort George. The next day was a rather lax touring day when we trekked into Toronto and visited  only one site, Fort York. I didn't take a lot of photos but I've added a few interesting ones here.

A lovely Napoleonic field forge in the Fort Erie Visitors' centre. 
I'd never seen one of these "in the flesh", so to speak.

Western approaches to Fort Erie. 

The view south from Fort Erie towards Snake Hill.

Interior Fort Erie blockhouses.

Brock Memorial on Queenston Heights.

Fort George interior blockhouses. 

A lovely shot of the officer's quarters in Fort George.

Master & Commander Bob expostulating on how he would have defended Fort George... or maybe just striking a heroic pose for the assembled media.

War of 1812: American artillery

A couple of weeks ago, various bits of paraphernalia were added to my US War of 1812 artillery. I've always liked the look of artillery limbers and caissons on the table (witness my ImagiNation collection) and in what better type of game to field them than a skirmish. Thus, as part of my American War of 1812 force for Sharp Practice 2, I decided to go ahead and add some horses for my one lone gun.

Old Glory artillerists and Front Rank French limber and caisson. 
Strictly speaking, both should have 6-horse teams but I do have my limits. There will eventually be limber riders added once I source some appropriate figures and discover some uniform information (neither a small task).

Q3 2016 Painting Point - update

Although this post is a bit late, I've totted up my Q3 2016 painting totals and I'm quite pleased with the progress so far this year (see Q2 post here). My goal is to get to 3000 points for the year. This is quite achievable, assuming no painting malaise rears its ugly head. Planned additions are some cavalry for the US War of 1812 force, more winter '44 Germans, a few winter '44 US additions (to allow me to field a standard GI platoon or an armoured infantry platoon), and possibly a return to the Boxer Rebellion project (no, really).

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

Q3 saw 530 points added to the yearly total, somewhat down from the previous two quarters but I'll blame that on summer and travelling. This year's output still soars above the previous two years.

Percentage of the totals of my personal output by year .

And my personal output continues to grow, up from 66% at the end of Q2 to 70% at the end of Q3.

And the total list of additions:

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 28 140
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 36 180
War of 1812 US mounted commanders mounted  3 30
War of 1812 US regulars foot 26 130
War of 1812 US artillery foot 6 30
War of 1812 US artillery artillery 1 10
War of 1812 US artillery horse 8 40
War of 1812 US artillery wagon 2 20
War of 1812 US militia rifles foot 13 65
World War II 1944 Wermacht foot 12 60

Monday, October 3, 2016

Action in Ohio

In August, I made the pleasant drive down to the Lehman Gaming Emporium in the wilds of Ohio to spend a couple of days of gastric over-indulgence and many laughs over the gaming table. Bob and Matt are great hosts and Bob is able to host games in his hobby-shop-like basement grotto. I'm not sure I've ever laughed so much gaming as I did that weekend.

First game up was one of L'Art de la Guerre featuring Mongols and Teutonic Knights. These rules (which I've subsequently ordered) are highly reminiscent of Armati, a set that provided me many hours of enjoyment in the distant past. The armies are beautifully painted, the Teutonics by Bob and the Mongols I believe were bought by Matt at Historicon(?). Some shots of the game:

The second game saw my ImagiNation armies wander about the table but of this I seem to have lost all photographic evidence. No matter... it was a great weekend and looking forward to the next.

Indiana Autumn: Tippecanoe Battlefield

I spent a few days near Indianapolis recently and besides the glorious September weather, I was able to amble northwestwards to see the Tippecanoe Battlefield. Rather than go on at length about the battle: link

From the potted history therein:

The Battle of Tippecanoe was fought on November 7, 1811, near present-day Lafayette, Indiana between American forces led by Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory and Native American warriors associated with the Shawnee leader Tecumseh. Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa (commonly known as "The Prophet") were leaders of a confederacy of Native Americans from various tribes that opposed US expansion into Native territory. As tensions and violence increased, Governor Harrison marched with an army of about 1,000 men to disperse the confederacy's headquarters at Prophetstown, near the confluence of the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers. Tecumseh, not yet ready to oppose the United States by force, was away recruiting allies when Harrison's army arrived. Tenskwatawa, a spiritual leader but not a military man, was in charge. Harrison camped near Prophetstown on November 6 and arranged to meet with Tenskwatawa the following day. Early the next morning, however, warriors from Prophetstown attacked Harrison's army. Although the outnumbered attackers took Harrison's army by surprise, Harrison and his men stood their ground for more than two hours. The Native Americans were ultimately repulsed when their ammunition ran low. After the battle, they abandoned Prophetstown and Harrison's men burned it to the ground, destroying the food supplies stored for the winter, and then returned home. Harrison, having accomplished his goal of destroying Prophetstown, proclaimed he had won a decisive victory.

The battlefield is only, in my conservative estimate, only three acres in size, and not really much to see (besides some magnificent oaks). But there was a rather nice little museum with a comprehensive bookshop (more of that anon). 

Recreation of the 4th US Infantry colours.

A curious assortment of figures in the museum diorama of the battle: Old Glory 28mm and some other figures that I can only estimate at 20-22mm size. 

Of course, as a serious wargamer (perhaps more accurately, seriously obsessed), my mind went immediately to the logistics of gaming this battle. Sharp Practice 2 would seem to be quite appropriate and I even have some of the American regulars already complete. But painting all those natives? 

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...