Thursday, 28 June 2012

More Portuguese & terrain work.

I have now completed three Portuguese units, two line battalions and a battalion of Cacadores. Made an error in giving the line battalions 2 flags each, but I'll sort that out once I get round to painting a couple more units later. For the Cacadores base I decided to go with half the battalion in close order and the rest in skirmish order, maybe I should have left off the mounted officer, he reminds me more of an ACW General!

As I was clearing the table ready to repaint the room, I took a couple of pics of both armies so far, I'm pleased with the progress in such a short space of time. I need to paint up another three French battalions to balance up the numbers, so I will knock them off before starting work on the planned 'square' bases.

Forward thinking.
Having reached this stage I'm planning for the future. A somewhat alarming idea went through my head the other day, I will share it with you. I think it was Simon who suggested some time back that the game would work well using actual battalion bases as individual 'blocks', that is to say instead of having '4' blocks marked on the bases I could use 4 actual bases on a much larger grid scheme for really big battles. With the anniversary of Waterloo just 3 years away, and with many gamers planning special projects, such a game could potentially be a great visual spectacle, and given the speed with which I can paint these bases it would not be an impossible goal by any means. There is even a 'Commands & Colors' scenario for the battle and all of the troop types are available from Baccus. For me, to have such a long term project to work towards would be a good focus. I am giving this some serious thought! What do you think?

I am waiting for some more scenics to arrive before I begin work on improving the overall look of my terrain board. I have made more hill hexes and a few more 'wood' bases. As I wanted to avoid thick edges on my terrain items I found a good way of making very thin hex sections by coating a plastic hex with clear flexible glue, sprinkling with my mix of fine grit and 'earth' foundation flock and then leaving to dry overnight before peeling it off next day (see pic). The result is a flexible hex that can be laid flat of the table with no discernible edge and can be landscaped to taste. I think they break up the bare mat nicely and I have more planned. I now have river sections cut from thin plastic and these should be finished in a few days time.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Commands & Colors battle - final move 9.

A British Victory.
The British gained 2 further Victory Banners during move 9, winning the game 6 to 3. The French lost 4 infantry battalions and a cavalry regiment routed, plus the loss of the strategic hill on their left. British losses were 1infantry battalion, 1 cavalry regiment and a battery of Horse artillery. I could have played on, but I think I have achieved what were my main aims here, to present a detailed Commands & Colors example game. Future battles will be presented in less detailed, more typical AAR format. 

I now feel I have a good knowledge of the rules, and the next 2 or 3 games should see me confident in most areas. Having written this up I can now concentrate on improving my tactical handling of the troops, working on putting in place some more accurate OOB's and generally enjoying myself with this wonderful set of rules.

Future plans.
I now need to get my wargame room re decorated, it's great to have a place to retreat to where I can relax and enjoy my hobby again. Every time I open the door and turn on the light it puts a big smile on my face seeing what I have finally achieved. I want to improve the table too, the 'subtle hex' mat works very well, I now plan to edge it in a nice pine frame and work on slightly improving the overall appearance of the surface without distracting too much from those hexes. I have a spare bit of mat and I'm going to experiment with pastels to begin with, trying various shades of browns, greens and yellows, although I may use different flocks etc in the final scheme. More trees, hills and river sections are also under construction!

I still have loads of Baccus figures here to paint, I want to do a few dedicated infantry squares with the mounted officer and colours etc in the centre. Although only for replacing a standard base when it forms square I think the work will be well worth the effort and fun to do. More Portuguese, British and French infantry & cavalry are also in the pipeline. Oh, and not to forget I need to produce small bases of infantry to replace a base occupying a village or town - I really can't live with them plonked on top of the buildings, like my C&C mentor 'Foy, I'm also one for 'Keeping things nice'.

Final battle pics.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Commands & Colors, game moves 7 & 8.

The French are now falling back with heavy losses in the centre and on the left. On the right they are gaining control of the hill, where a single British battalion remains in square and under repeated attack. The British are advancing in the centre where the leading battalion of Guards has penetrated as far as the two hapless 'Militia' battalions who stand quivering as the splendid Guards advance on them. The British also control the hill on their right flank, where they need only to advance one more unit onto it to gain the decisive final Victory Banner.

Move 7 - French to move.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Commands & Colors - test game moves 5 & 6.

Two further moves played. French now have 3 Victory Banners & the British 2. Most of this action has focused on the centre. The French position in the centre is now poor having lost the elite grenadier battalion and with other line battalions falling back or routed. Two raw battalions held in reserve have been ordered forward. The British Guards, 2 strong battalions have attacked with some style and pushed through the French line. A spirited charge by French lancers overran a battery of horse artillery, and broke through threatening the British rear but they were counterattacked by Light Dragoons who restored the situation driving them back again. Picton almost came a cropper, but survived a leader casualty roll as did brave french General Loison, who was leading a battalion that routed, but he was able to escape to safety, retreating a whole 3 hexes where he remains to steady the two dodgy battalions reluctantly moving forwards!

So far the game has a great feel to it, the rules are flowing nicely. The French position on both flanks remains strong.

Once finished I will place these posts in order via a series of links to avoid having to read it 'backwards' so to speak!

*Edit* 'Attack Centre' card is 3 orders, not 2... Apologies for typo!

Friday, 22 June 2012

A quick Portuguese interlude!

I hope to play a few moves of the battle this evening, but in the meantime this first battalion of Portuguese infantry will be rushed onto the table having arrived slightly late. Very enjoyable unit to paint and I'm pleased with the overall result. I looked at a few flag sources but these from the 'Warflag' site looked especially vibrant and crisp, ideal for 6mm units. The next Portuguese battalion is already undercoated and will be followed by a base of Cacadores. I'd preferred to have seen the officers in shakos and did consider a head swap (the size of a pin head!!), I may yet have a go.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Commands & Colors - test battle #2 - moves 3 and 4.

Writing this up in short stages is easier for me to keep track of and hopefully presents the game in a format that is also easy to follow.

It's British to complete move 3.

I just now need to decide if the retreat path of the French Chasseurs is correct or if they should instead have lost 2 further blocks ( this is the board game term of course, the number on the rear of the bases represents the number of 'blocks' and is reduced by placing a counter on the base). I will check this and edit here later.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Commands & Colors - 2nd test battle in stages.

Some spare time this afternoon means I got to play through a few moves of my second test battle under the C&C rules. I will present these sessions as a series of simply annotated images, move by move. There may be a delay between posts as I will fit this in as and when I can. This is the OOB, please note, it is not intended to be a recreation of any battle at this stage, just a learning process.

Commands & Colors -

French are divided into 3 commands:
Left Flank : Marchand - 2 x LC, 2 x LI 1 x FA.
Centre: Loison - 4 x LI, 1x Grenadiers, 1 x Lancers and 1 x FA.
Right Flank - Mermet - 1 x Lancers, 1 x Cuirassiers, 2 x Legere & 1 x FA.

British - 3 commands.
Left Flank: Pack - 1 x LI, 1x Light infantry (LTI) & 1 x Horse artillery.
Centre: Picton - 3 x LI, 1x Rifles, 2 x Foot Guards, 1 x HC, 1 x LC & 1 x FA.
Right Flank: Cole - 1 x Light I, 1x LI, 1x HC & 1 FA.

French to move first, 5 victory banners for a win. If a hill is occupied by 3 friendly units with no enemy unit present a VB is awarded. If enemy units regain the hill the VB must be returned.
5 Command Cards per side.

Moves 1 to 3 in pictures. If I miss anything I'm sure my dedicated online C&C tutor 'Foy' will assist me by correcting me, I generally only need to be reminded of something once so his input so far has been extremely useful - thank you Sir :-)

*Edit* - Lancers have no ability to ignore 'flag' rolls under the rules, but can re roll a 'flag' die roll when in melee combat throw except against cuirassiers. This makes sense, it gives an edge to lancers in melee combat as one would expect.