Sunday 30 December 2012

More experiments with hexes!

Those who have been following this blog for some time will be aware of my quest for the perfect hexagonal grid playing surface. I said some time back that I wanted to produce a one dimensional 'portable' board along the lines of the actual C&C game board. I have been playing a round with various ideas ever since and having abandoned the idea of sticking printed graphics onto the hexes - it just did not look right aesthetically- I have tried a new approach. As I have a spare Citadel battlemat I decided to see how practical it would be to cut and stick this to individual 80mm hexes. It works really well, no edges lifting off so I'm now trying to find a method to create wood hexes and hills etc as well as town/village hexes, but all modeled in low relief so that figure bases sit on top without appearing too ridiculous! I don't think there is a perfect system, but if I can just get my head round the question of scale and think in terms of playability then I reckon this method should work. I have calculated that using the new 80mm hexes I can produce a single portable game board, framed up nicely with neat edging strips and very lightweight to a size of  just 25" x 41". The woods wont be perfect, but then the individual trees on my larger grid don't look much better really and I have to remove them when a base enters a wood hex anyway! Everything will be modeled down to this scale, probably more a 2mm scale. For hills I'm going to ask Tony at ERM if he is able to produce 80mm hexes in slightly thicker material.

Looking at the photos below I have to say I do like the look of it. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday 23 December 2012

Seasons Greetings.

I'd like to wish everybody out there in blog land a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This past year seems to have flown by and I have pretty much achieved all of my objectives on the figure painting / wargaming front. On the personal front I believe myself to be a changed man from just 12 months ago, having gradually emerged from the dark shadows of chronic depressive illness. I won't be going back there again anytime soon, at least not so long as I have any control over it. With luck the coming year will see further progress and I can finally begin to lead a normal life again, much to look forward to.

On to Moscow.
So, after much thought I have decided on my new project to follow my ECW's which is not far from completion. Actually I was torn between two options, the first being the Zulu war, something I have always wanted to do, and Russian Napoleonics. I have decided now that with the imminent release of the Command & Colours Russian Expansion  I'm going to do this one first. A bit of research on the C&C sites should give me the numbers I require for the Russians, indeed I believe that Conrad Kinch has already posted on the subject on his blog, so that will make a good starting point. All figures will of course be by Baccus as usual. This will also retain the Napoleonic focus of this blog, which is as I would prefer it.

I'll leave you with a tune by Mark Knopfler which has a nice sort of period flavour to it, and wish you all the very best for the year ahead.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

First Carthaginians.

I'll have to have a bit of a think about where to go with this blog after Christmas, as I begin to paint figures other than Napoleonics - mainly on commission, but also for my ECW blog -  I'd prefer to have just a single blog but with different periods.

Anyway, meantime here are my first efforts at matching the customers Carthaginian heavy infantry sample. He is clearly a superb painter himself, an enjoyable challenge to match the standard, but I'm happy and the customer is happy so all is well. I think there will be 12 or so of these units, they will look impressive on the table for sure! The sample is the rear unit, already based and finished. If you look at the centre unit you see the red is slightly darker, I gave the front unit, painted today, a slight touch of Foundry 'British Red Coat' on the red shields and they look much better, that's a handy shade. I'm going to do the same with the centre unit now.

And with my customers permission, here are also a few shots of the supplied sample units for future units (the units which are based, edge shade denotes unit type), beautiful aren't they?. All credit to Baccus too, the incredible standard of fine detail on these figures is quite amazing.

Hope you enjoy the pictures. The figures will be used for Commands and Colours Ancients.

Friday 14 December 2012

Battle postponed ...... more Romans anybody?

Surprise family event at the weekend meant I had to postpone the battle and pack it all away again for Monday, as I do my painting up in the same room, still was a nice weekend.

This week I have been painting the first Roman light infantry units and a couple of units of cavalry for the Rome/Carthage commission, and having dispatched more Wars of the Roses 6mm bowmen and artillery I'm now getting started on the first of three battalions of Napoleonic Spanish Militia. I like the diversity of painting different stuff like this, keeps enthusiasm high.

Anyway, for those who enjoy browsing pics of model soldiers of any period (as I do), here are the next 6 units of Romans. Need to finish off the cavalry bases and I think the light green base edges (denoting light infantry) are too bright, so I'll tone them down a touch. Monday will see the first of Carthaginian units, heavy infantry I think.

All figures are of course by Baccus and based using the Baccus basing kit.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Saturday 8 December 2012

Foz do Arouce - set up.

This is the initial set up for Commands and Colours (compare with image below). The French position once the table is laid out actually looks very strong, with the town heavily occupied and Ney himself commanding the centre. The Allies are strong on the right flank - commanded by Picton - but on the left are the battalions of light infantry and rifles from the Light Division under Erskine. I think this has the potential for a cracking little game and I'll be following the actual plans of battle as far as possible. The Light Division caught the French by surprise, appearing close to the town. Only Ney's aggressive tactics allowed the French to extricate themselves and retreat across the river.

All battle notes previously posted here below, Victory conditions are 6 banners for a win, 5 command cards each side, British to move first.

Set up photos, report will follow.

Thursday 6 December 2012

Another quick Roman interlude!

With apologies to my Napoleonic friends again I just had to post a few pics of these Romans who are ready to be collected tomorrow by their owner. These are the first 14 units of infantry (minus missing yellow shield medium infantry who are still on the painting table tonight but will be ready by tomorrow!) all painted and based by myself for Commands & Colours Ancients. The customer denotes different types on the table by the coloured edge strip, in this case red for heavies and blue for mediums. Again, beautiful little castings by Baccus. Pre cut metal bases were supplied and you can see how they represent a typical C&C 4 'block' unit, casualties being removed via the 3 single rank rear bases leaving the 2 front ranks in tact and still looking like they represent the remains of a unit ....... I really like the idea.

Auxiliaries and cavalry to follow, then onto the masses of the Carthaginian heavy infantry .... I'm very much enjoying this commission, especially as I now feel I do my best work in 6mm.

Pics with permission of the customer, lighting still not great, but you can see the mass effect.

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Next battle - Foz do Arouce - C&C scenario.

There are of course many unofficial C&C Napoleonic scenarios available to play. This one caught my eye as its a rearguard action and the forces involved are quite small. Wellington himself is represented on the table, as is Marshal Ney, who in typically aggressive fashion went against Massena's orders and deployed for a fight rather than crossing the Ceira river and blowing the bridge. The British are deployed to strike on both flanks, with the Light Division on the left flank. Victory conditions etc are outlined below. The table will be set up Friday afternoon for a weekend battle with a report to follow. 

Foz do Arouce – 15 March 1811

Historical Background
The Combat at Foz do Arouce on March 15th, 1811, was the forth rearguard action fought during Massena’s retreat from Portugal. Once again, Marshal Ney commanded the rear guard. Disobeying Massena’s orders to cross the Ceira River and destroy the bridge near Foz do Arouce, Ney deployed around the town with Marchand’s Division, half of Mermet’s Division, and Lamotte’s light cavalry. It was a good yet dangerous position with the Ceira River at flood stage and the narrow bridge across it already somewhat damaged.
As at Redinha three days earlier, the 3rd Division attacked the French left while the Light Division attacked the French right. The Light Division caught the French unprepared and was making good progress towards the town as was the 3rd late in the day. Only an infantry charge ordered by Ney allowed the French to cross over to the far side of the river. By nightfall the withdrawal was complete.
Foz de Arouce was similar to the Combat of the River Coa fought on July 24th 1810. On that occasion, it was Ney who pursued the Light Division over the Coa. Now the Light Division played a key role in forcing Ney over the Ceira River.
Ney’s acrimonious relationship with Massena would continue to deteriorate. Within a month, he would be dismissed for insubordination. 
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?

Set-Up Order


Battle Notes

British Army
Commander: Wellington
5 Command Cards
Move First

Line InfantryLight InfantryRifle InfantryFoot ArtilleryHorse ArtilleryGeneralLine InfantryLight Infantry
French Army
Commander: Ney
5 Command Cards

Line InfantryLight InfantryLight CavalryFoot ArtilleryGeneral

6 Banners
Special Rules
Any ordered French infantry or artillery unit (regardless of strength and with the exception noted below) that exits the battlefield from the French exit hex will count as a Victory Banner for the French army. Exited leaders and cavalry units do not count for French Victory Banners.
The French foot artillery unit on the far side of the Ceira River must remain on that side. If ordered off the battlefield, it does not earn a Victory Banner for the French.
French units cannot exit from the French exit hex when forced to retreat due to ranged or melee combat. Units must halt or remain on the exit hex and lose one block for each retreat hex that cannot be taken. If the unit is eliminated, the British player receives one Victory Banner.
The bridge over the Ceira River is a Victory Banner objective hex for the British player. If a British unit occupies the bridge at the start of the British player’s turn, the British army gains a Victory Banner. As long as the unit remains on the bridge hex it will count as a British Victory Banner (the French line of retreat has been blocked). If it moves off or is eliminated, it no longer counts.
The Ceira River is impassable except at the bridge.