Thursday, 15 January 2015

No longer a wargamer!

I have decided to call it a day as a miniatures wargamer. Clearly I have been heading this way for some time, as project after project has failed to bring me any kind of pleasure from actually playing with it! The AWI in 6mm was a last fling I think ( I have over the years done AWI in all scales, starting with 28mm Redoubt figures many years ago). It struck me recently that I have lost that ability to get myself into that mindset where I'm down on the table with the figures, commanding them in battle, something is simply not working any longer for me.

Oddly enough I continue to enjoy playing Commands & Colors Napoleonics, I find the wooden blocks very appealing to game with. I only recently finished stickering my Austrian expansion and have played the first scenario - Wertingen - which I found a well balanced game, the Austrians actually winning 5 to 4 victory banners. Lack of French centre cards really hampered the development of the attack, and this may well have handed the Austrians victory. The 'Battalion Mass' rule works well for the Austrian line infantry, as it gives them the protection of a square against cavalry without costing a random card from the hand. The 5 block Austrian line units are quite formidable in a fight

Scenario from c&
I have now got all of my C&CN blocks sorted into plastic business card boxes for a much faster set up. I'm expecting the Prussian expansion any day now so that will keep me busy stickering again.

Clearly I can't just stop painting soldiers though, having been at it for about 40 years it's ingrained into me and I still get a buzz from completing a well painted unit. I'm still working on 20mm Napoleonic units from before Christmas and I will continue to feature pictures of such units here. I have cleared the decks and will not be buying any further figures for myself. This actually feels quite liberating and positive.

Home life continues to be busy and as Winter rattles by I'm looking forward to being able to get out in the garden again. Meantime the pets keep me on my toes, here's Gibby staking his claim to the ironing board while Poppy pretends not to look at him.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

6mm AWI test game #1.

This morning I put everything so far on the table for a test battle. The base boards are not yet fully textured and I'm still planning hills and woods but once set up the overall look is pretty close to what I had envisaged. One joy of 6mm gaming is that you can fight a reasonable size game on a 3' x 4' table, with depth for supports/reserves etc. An additional 2' centre section can allow for more flanking action if required. Currently there are a total of 23 infantry units, (of which 17 are 44 figure line battalions, the remainder being 24 figure light or rifle units), 8 guns and crews (I'm using 2 per 'battery'), the lone 17th Light Dragoons, (more cavalry in the pipeline for both sides) and 6 command bases.

This fight was loosely based upon the C&C 'Brandywine' scenario in that the British/Hessian force is attempting to drive in the American right flank whilst a second attack goes in directly across the river (halts movement that turn but fordable). I used the C&C 'AWI varient' rules replacing hexes with a standard distance unit (a measuring stick marked off in 70mm sections). The game flowed along just fine with no real problems and above all was great fun. Battalions advanced and fell back under fire, the Hessian Grenadiers leading the attack across the river were shot to pieces by Continental line infantry supported by artillery and were the first to rout! The British took heavy losses to volley fire all along the front (stationary fire and little cover on the open field). The American riflemen on the left made thier 3 DU range count, picking off Guardsmen and light infantry who fell back out of rifle range to await support. A charge by the 17th light dragoons upon a continental battalion was resloved by simply allowing normal combat procedure (ie no forming square). The battalion took casualties but rolled back the dragoons which seemed about right to me. Retreats were tricky, especially when blocked but I stuck to the rules as far as possible so that when - for example - a continental battalion had to fall back 2 DU's on a 'flag roll' and could only retreat 1.5 DU's I marked another block lost. Leaders are probably the most tricky part of a non grid game but I found no real issues. Command radius was 1DU to count support unless attached, command bases can only assist designated units in combat when attached, and normal leader casualty throws are made for block loss or unit routing with attached leader. A lot of fun as I said, and a 5 to 3 win for General Washington, thanks mainly to the advantage of stationary volley fire and artillery support.

I'll write further about the rules and how they handled this scenario once I have taken time to think things through, but for now some pictures of the fight at various stages.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

That guilty look!

I found one of my best and most reliable paintbrushes under the table chewed up this morning, had been using it almost daily for two years plus. Did not take long to uncover the guilty party, a quick identity parade of the dogs established Poppy as the chewer, she denied it of course, but her expression had "guilty" written all over it when confronted with the evidence.

It's nothing to do with me!
Added more AWI figures, a Hessian and Continental command base to make up three per side, more hunting shirt figures and completed the full Highland battalion.

Tonight I'm getting ready to texture the non grid side of my baseboards, it's will be a chore but once it's done it's done and I can play some wargames. Must say the very recent re appearence of those old 'Battleground' episodes has really given me a boost, almost like rediscovering the spirit of wargaming again, wonderful stuff.

A very happy and peaceful New Year to all.