Thursday, 31 May 2012

Table shots with hex grid completed.

The journey so far.
It was only just a few months that I decided to get into 6mm scale Napoleonics and I have no regrets whatsoever. Everything has slowly come together nicely and the final piece of the jigsaw for me has been discovering Command & Colours. In deciding to dedicate myself to this set of rules I have needed to make a few changes to my terrain pieces including accepting the fact that the set will play much more smoothly and faster with a hex grid. A simple idea (thanks to Simon), of painting in only the points of the hexes has meant that my board retains the overall look of a standard miniatures game  . I have also had to sacrifice my little landscaped village/town bases in order to represent BUA's within the hex grid, but oddly enough I find the freestanding buildings quite appealing now. I also had to break down the multiple tree bases so that individual trees could be stood in hexes to represent wooded areas. Finally I had to paint out the small black area on the corner rear of each figure base and repaint them for C&C (see pics). With all of this done I decided to set it all up on the board ready for my first game ..... at last!

I still have a couple of jobs to do:

  • I need to find a suitable method for making matching hill hexes. I have enough off-cut of the Citadel mat to make my hills. I tried polystyrene on a card hex base but I think the material is too thick to pin on the bottom. I'm going to next try thin wood, with the material stuck down on top only and the hexes then edged in flock/static grass, I think this may be better.
  • I need to finish off the set of Victory Banners.
  • I need to remake my river sections to fit the hexes, possibly re using my road sections with a new river texture added and new curved sections.
But at last I have everything I need for a game. With the long Queens Jubilee weekend coming up I hope to get started within the next few days.

I took a lot of pictures, it's funny how when you stand back slightly from the table the yellow dots seem to disappear, but looking directly down ( I was standing on a chair for the pics) the hex shapes are very clearly defined. Some pictures show the remarked bases, British Light infantry represent 5 'blocks' for example, Line infantry 4 blocks etc. 

I'll probably take a break from the blog for a few days now, but any game moves will be recorded and photographed. Hope you enjoy the pictures, apologies for the slightly poor lighting. The shot of the infantry base on top of two buildings illustrates the method of occupying village/town hexes, no way round that I'm afraid. I will place two buildings of equal height in each hex.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

A quick addendum.

After today's update I started to work on the hex grid. Just the points touched in yellow on a Citadel battlemat. 5 rows in so far and looking good! I'm seeing spots before my eyes but is worth it. I'll finish it off tomorrow. What do you think chaps, size about right for my 60 x 60mm bases?  I plan to trim off the extra width and use it to cover my hill hexes so it all blends in nicely. I'll go back over the 'spots' and tidy them all up once the grid is completed.

Getting ready for C&C.

Having spent a couple of days working through the mechanics of Command & Colours on the tabletop without the hex grid and reading as much as possible around the web by experienced players I have come to the conclusion that in order to remain as faithful as possible to what is after all a very well established game system I need to go with a hex grid. I can see that it would be possible to use the rules without a grid, but it does throw up some anomalies around terrain and correct movement as well as establishing contact zones for combat. I have looked at loads of images now of CCN games and clearly the use of hex 'points' only is a good compromise and this is what I plan to do. This is going to take time and patience to get right but I think it will be worth doing. Once that is done next step will be to create hex bases for my buildings, with the buildings being freestanding so they can be removed when a hex is occupied. That should be straightforward. Some hex hill systems will also be made up. I hope to get all of this done over the course of the next few days or so with a battle to follow next week...... finally!

'Bits and bobs'
Thanks to the generosity of 'MSFoy' I now have a fine set of wooden dice for CCN, and very handsome objects they are too. I am slightly odd myself about such things and the plastic dice as supplied with the box game did look rather cheap and nasty while of course perfectly functional. I have also produced a more suitably scaled set of command cards that are much more in scale with 6mm figure bases and small table. I think they are about half size.

Another thing I am working on is a set of 'Victory banners' which are printed flags from 'Warflag' based and suitably colour coded with red/blue poles. Yes, I know it is a very nerdy thing to do, but I really like this aspect of the rules and thought it would be fun to have miniature colours rather than card markers. I will do some Portuguese VB's once I have finished the British and French set. My aim now is to produce armies based on the number of counters provided in the game so that I can play any of the scenarios in due course.

Last of my 'bits and bobs' is my old wooden box which will house the cards, markers, dice and VB's etc, all the pieces required for the game. This box was given to me about 18 years ago on my birthday (I cant remember what was in it) and has a little inscribed plate which reads "Lee's HQ" with my birthday beneath it. It was a gift from my late Sister in Law who knew how keen I was on wargaming at that time and thought it would make a nice dice box. Sadly we lost her to cancer at the far too young age of 39 about 8 years ago so the box holds great sentimental value. I must confess on a lighter note that the box also saw service as a 'stash box' for a few years, and housed a connoisseurs small collection of fine hashish from around the world . Ah the memories that box holds! Anyway, I digress, older and wiser, it will now see service once again as a games box.

One more British line infantry base added so far this week. I placed a few 60th Rifles as the skirmishers for this one. They were going to be Portuguese but I decided to hold fire on those until I get some later British infantry in Belgic shako from Baccus as being more suitable. The rear of the bases only now need marking with a number representing the number of 'blocks' represented so again I'll have to re do these. The small coin markers shown previously will then be placed over this area as blocks are lost.

I think thats everything covered. Now to take a deep breath and a box of dressmaking pins and begin marking out those hex points. Only once I am satisfied all is correct and 'true' will I paint those points in as subtly as I can.

Monday, 28 May 2012

RHA battery, French howitzers & your comments - a response.

Firstly I'd like to thank all of you who posted comments on my last post "To hex or not to hex?". It has given me a lot to think about and many positive ideas and suggestions, plus links to other C&C related blogs which I will add to my list. I thought it better to reply to the comments in a new post (see below).

On the painting front I have added a RHA battery (2 model guns, 8crew - the '3' on the rear of the base indicates 3 blocks under C&C rules). Also a couple of French Howitzers, fine little castings, even the barrel handles and bands are visible. Baccus as usual. I want to do some Portuguese next, line battalions with skirmishers, but I think I may have to buy some of the Baccus Spanish figures with conical shako. I was planning to use British line but the officers are wearing bicornes. I need to order some more stuff from Baccus anyway next week.

More on the use of hexes.
One great suggestion made in the comments was the use of subtle 'point marking' rather than whole hexes, this is very clever I think. I want to stay as true to the C&C concept as I can and my one concern with non hex games is that hills/terrain would be difficult to conform. While I would lose the ability to create rolling landscaped terrain, from a gaming point of view it really does simplify things and I like that. But I have also been sent some great links showing very fine hex terrain, as good as anything non hex I have seen in my opinion. So I should not dismiss those hexes on aesthetic grounds, as clearly very pleasing results can be achieved with a bit of work.

The 'Hexon' system would appear to be the ultimate in hex terrain, and the pre flocked tiles look great. Bit expensive for me right now, but its something I would consider in the future. I am currently considering biting the bullet and marking out my Citadel battlemat in hex points or angles. I like the basic surface, but with subtle hexes and additional careful shading I think a good result could be achieved. My one concern is getting those angles dead right as past experience showed that hexes can tend to 'run off' if not  marked out very carefully. Any thoughts or suggestions on this please? The cloth does not stretch, its laid out and pinned down and I could mark the main outer grid as a guide of course first. MY hex template is actually 90mm across the flats (flat to flat), which takes a 60 x 60 base with just enough space to add a small leader base infront or at rear. I think the playing are would be around 3' x  5' or slightly less on the width. This is for the standard CCN 9 x 13 hex board.

I have a nice set of special CCN wooden dice coming thanks to 'Foy' of 'Prometheus in Aspic', who continues to assist me with all things CCN and who introduced me to the rules originally, a big thank you to you Tony.

Ross, thank you for those great links, I love your cats expression!

A couple of pics of the new artillery bases, again you see what I have to contend with now, while taking the pics 'Gibbo' decided to jump up and casually stroll right across them before pushing his face into mine !!

Thanks all.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

To hex or not to hex?

Recent comments here referring to the 'Dark Side' of wargaming have made me laugh, but also made me think deeply about the issue of grid based games versus conventional games. I recently posted a thread on TMP Napoleonic discussion forum asking for thoughts on grid based systems and was genuinely surprised at how clearly it divided opinion down the middle. One comment was "Why don't you just buy yourself a boardgame?" and made a flippant comment about "OCD rules". Clearly his guy was missing the point, that for me a game without hundreds of carefully painted figures, even if they are just 6mm tall would never be satisfying enough visually. However, I have always liked boardgame style rules, and that I think is my dilemma.

Yesterday during my Psychotherapy session I spoke about my blog and how much pleasure I derive from painting model soldiers. The 'therapy' aspect of this blog remains a serious focus for me. Filling my head with comparisons of various rule mechanisms and the direction I wish to take is also very therapeutic oddly enough I find, I think possibly because it blocks out so much of the 'negative' stuff which overwhelmed me last year, and at last my brain is able once again to 'file' and to retain much of this stuff as it once used to. This is a very good thing for me.

So to the point of this post, having spent a couple of days experimenting with various hex sizes and having made up a very nice accurate template a rather heretical thought occurred to me and I'd like to throw it out there so to speak for some feedback. I am now committed to 'Commands and Colours' as I have said. That's decision 1 made. So far so good. But do I REALLY need my table to be marked out in hexes to use them? If we take a hex to be a standard measurement on a tabletop to which all of the game mechanisms conform then why could not the adoption of a standard 'Distance Unit' work the same? If one of my hexes is 80mm then why could not I use 80mm as a standard 'DU' to play C&C? Instead of advancing a unit say 2 hexes, why not 2 DU's representing the same scale/distance? Apply this to shooting ranges/ command radius/movement etc and what is the difference?  OK so there is the question of 'angles' or arcs of fire, but again could this not also be a simple template representing the arcs of fire as indicated by a hex? I have racking by brain (such as it is!), and I honestly can't see why this should not be workable. I have been back through the rule book yet again, this time thinking in terms of DU's and I still can't see why not. Of course the table would still need to conform to overall size and width by length ratio and also be divided into the 3 sections on left flank, right flank and centre. Terrain items would need to scaled correctly to represent an area that ties in with the DU measurement, but that's easily done. If we look at the examples shown below for instance why should they not work the same without the grid?

So is this proposal workable or is it doomed go failure? Is it utter madness? possibly, but to quote Harry Hill, "there's only one way to find out ..... fight!" I plan to set up a game and play through using the 80mm DU and see how it goes. if it all goes pear shaped then I will simply take my hex template and mark them out, nothing lost besides a little egg on my face.

The next post WILL feature the opening moves of this planned test game, hopefully early next week with a full write up. I hope to paint a couple of Portuguese infantry battalions before then as well as adding the additional artillery batteries I previously mentioned.

I will now put on my tin helmet and await your comments!

*Edit* Using miniatures instead of blocks in C&C is simply a matter of marking my battalion bases with the number of 'blocks' it represents, ie 4 blocks for a typical battalion, 3 for a battery. I can then place a small marker on the rear of a base to represent losses. Note: the base below is still marked up for Polemos.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Command & Colours Napoleonic - a Eureka moment!

I'm sure as wargamers you all know how it is - searching for the set of rules that reflects the way YOU want to play. It can take years sometimes to find that near perfect set, certainly I can remember working my way through many ACW sets before I found Johnny Reb II and Fire & Fury. IN the case of JR II I remember opening the box up and reading those rules and knowing straight away that they were just what I had been looking for and I never looked back.

So here I am 20 odd years later and loving painting 6mm Napoleonics while looking a round for a set of rules that will work with my chosen basing system and organisation. Having read through many sets of Napoleonic rules I had decided that Polemos and 'Paintingshed Napoleonics' were likely contenders as both were written specifically for 6mm games.

I DO like Polemos - General de Division but had read mixed reviews on the playability and above all reflection of the period. At battalion level I could not see a distinction between linear and massed formations, although they do offer a good way of handling the formation of squares when threatened by cavalry, and a realistic outcome should a battalion fail to get into square fast enough it seems to me. Actually I now think Polemos do read quite well so I should at least give them a try at some point. I had an issue with how to play the 'Tempo bidding' part solo. Basically a CinC rolls a D6 for tempo points and adds 1 for each subordinate commander. Both players then 'bid' a number of points with the highest bidder taking first move as 'Tempo player'. The judgement is in deciding how many TP's to bid whilst saving sufficient to issue orders. I like this system and I now have a way of using the tempo bidding process solo. The rules are not complex, being just 22 pages long plus 3 full pages of examples which are useful. What I'm not so keen on is the means of deciding the eventual winner.

Paintingshed Napoleonics.
I had been following this blog for a couple of years as the rules had developed. Again specific 6mm rules. They are intended for big games with the basic infantry formation being a brigade. Again very straightforward and I had fully intended to give them a go until I noticed one thing, I cannot see any provision for representing squares, and no mechanism for recreating the rush to get into square when infantry are threatened by cavalry. It may well be that this is assumed to be happening whilst the focus is on the bigger picture, at corps level where such details would probably be of little consequence. But I want to focus on my battalions, and so I need for them to be able to form square and to recreate the panic/ rush of such a moment, with lesser drilled troops being less likely to fully form up in time.

Commands & Colours - Napoleonics.
So, I had not seen these rules until only a few days ago. I had heard of them of course, I knew that 'Foy' used them with success on blog, but must confess to having been slightly put off by the use of hexes. A pdf copy of the rules has now convinced me that this is the way to go however, hexes and all! I have spent a few days reading and re reading them, playing a round with printed hex sizes, reading battle reports and rule reviews and generally filling my head with all things C&CN. They are just prefect for my 6mm bases too. Tony has also been kindly answering my questions and generally  assisting me with practical ideas and solutions.

They look just so damn playable, simple as that really, but they are not at all simple in concept, clearly a lot of development has gone into creating these rules. I absolutely love the card driven style, where a player might only get to move a few units per turn and may only be able to move troops in a certain sector of the field or maybe not at all! Games are approx 2 hours and I think that the rewarding of 'Victory Banners' (with graphics representing British and French colours) as means of deciding the outcome, is great fun. The object of the game is to be the first to capture a set number of these banners, depending on scenario. Banners are gained by eliminating enemy units or leaders, or capturing certain terrain areas. The first player to reach the required number of banners (usually 5 to 9) is awarded the victory.

Infantry squares are well catered for and cleverly thought through. Command cards are issued from a pack at the start of the game and new cards are drawn as cards are played allowing a general to build a good hand of cards which will allow him to command his army to the best tactical advantage. But this also reflects the element of luck, both good and bad. The control and movement of Generals is also a vital part of the game and must be well planned and thought through by the player.

The game board.
At a practical level a move to C&CN would require me to change to a hex board system of course. The game is played on a board 9 x 13 hexes (55mm I think with the board game version), I think with my basing style I could use possibly 80mm hexes, which would create a quite small table of slightly less than 3' x 5'. All terrain would also need to be hex based, which I would be prepared to do. I'd like to find a way of making the actual hexes as discreet as possible while still being able to see them. I think this could work well in 6mm, where hills etc would only need be fairly low.

I invite any comments on the CCN rules. Meantime for those who have not seen the game before I'll add a couple of links and a few examples of the command cards.

The rulebook, free download from the Command & Colours website. pdf.

Commands & Colours - Napoleonic

Quick reference charts.

Painted another base of French line yesterday and I'm now doing more artillery, RHA plus French Howitzers.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Preparation for rules test game.

Painting has stopped for a few days as I spend time reading various rule sets and preparing for the 'Paintingshed' rules test game. As you can see I have marked up all my bases with class of unit, skirmish value and combat strength, plus any Impetus bonus for cavalry. Generals have been marked up according to rules too with activation ratings etc. I have not yet identified individual unit designations, this will come later with a sticker added to the bottom of each base.

In order to keep track of things without bookkeeping I have made up plenty of 'hit' markers and am now making up some simple 'Command point' markers. These will just be old half-penny coins (from the trusty old coin bag again), textured to match the bases, which can be stacked to indicate the number of CP's a CinC has per turn and how he distributes them to his generals, in this case Brigade Commanders. I hope to get first turns in by Thursday possibly. I have included a somewhat blurry overhead shot of the table set up for the game. The 'stream' will be fordable along its length, taking 1 turn to cross. More to follow.

One of the major developments for me during the last few days has been an introduction thanks to 'Foy' to the 'Command & Colours, Napoleonics' game system. We have been chatting via email and the more I read and understand how they work, the more impressed I am by them. I have the rules pdf and while they are of course a boardgame set, they seem to offer a really well though out and accurate game. I am giving them some serious thought. They do require a hex board of course, but this is something I would be prepared to try. The rules are just packed with great ideas and have a very focused Napoleonic feel and could easily be workable with my basing. I will post a more detailed account of my thoughts on this set of rules shortly, but meantime would like to say thank you to Tony for introducing me to them. I must give 'paintingshed' a run first to see how they play, but I have a very strong feeling that CCN could well be the future ruleset for me.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Another weeks output, and now for a battle.

Not a bad weeks painting output, 2 cavalry bases (36), an infantry base (31) plus 6 command figures. That's what I'm enjoying about this scale, it's so quick to build up forces and yet I get every bit as much satisfaction as I do from painting 28mm. Of course I took pics of the Light Dragoon unit, my second regiment, and the latest British battalion. The command bases are 2 figure General de Brigade and Brigadier General bases. I now have enough figures to field 2 balanced forces as follows:

8 battalions of infantry
3 Regiments of Cavalry
2 batteries of artillery
+numerous command bases.

This will be sufficient for my first battle I think so this week I will focus on a basic scenario and the first run through of the 'paintingshed' rules. I hope to start playing it on Thursday if all goes to plan. The table remains set up in the 'Wargame room' (as even my wife is now referring to it!), although I still need to decorate it, which will be done shortly now I'm finally ready to use it.

I have been giving the scenario some thought. I'm thinking that I would like to give my units some identity of course, but as they dont currently fit any particular historical Brigade/Division structure I plan to give the various generals and brigadiers fictitious names, as per old school style! This will help me to identify with my commanders I think. I have a few suitable French and British names in mind. I apologise to any purists of course, but for me this has to about having fun whilst at the same time trying to achieve a reasonable historical recreation of Napoleonic battle. The scenario should follow by mid week. I need to relabel some units in the style of the British battlion below. The unit is 'veteran', has a combat strength of '4' and a skrimish value of 'S1'.

Few more images then, you can see the conditions under which I now have to work, I was taking pics of the command bases this morning when 'Gibbo' decided to jump up and start pawing them about! I also have to endure painting with 'Kitty' perched upon my shoulder Parrot style as she likes to do, whilst 'kenco' grapples with my foot! A steady hand is required.

Incidentally, while I was researching my Light Dragoons I came across this incredible site featuring the 1/6th scale figures of Tony Barton. You may well already know of it, but I was totally staggered by these amazing figures. Scroll down for the Dragoon, but every single image is just stunning. All of the uniforms are hand made, the horses scratch built and are true works of art. I just had to share this link, I'd love to know what you think?  LINK>

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Lancers, markers and measuring stick!

Not again!
Another example of my poor research! I had read that the Vistula lancers had been re-designated as 7th Chevauleger-lanciers Regiment and 8th Chevauleger-lanciers Regiment of the French line and served in Spain, but failed to realise that they continued to wear the chapzka, blast! Oh well, my lancers look pretty I think and I'm sure this will eventually evolve into 1813 in the long run as the temptation to paint other Nations increases, so I'll have to live with it for a while. I really like the look of the pennons in this small scale.

First game plans.
Finally, a decision. My first game will now be using the 'Paintingshed Napoleonic rules'. These were written for 6mm games using the same base sizes that I do. I hope to play it next week and will post a full report. Meantime I'm making up markers for the game and also changing the info on the rear of the bases. As you can see on the lancer base the 'T' represents the class of the unit ie Trained. The 'I+' indicates that this unit receives an 'impetus bonus' in combat (normally cuirassiers but also lancers), and the '3' is the 'strength' of the unit ,3 is average for cavalry.

Infantry bases will now be marked up the same with 'class' 'skirmish value' 0 to 3, and 'strength' usually 4 but may be adjusted up or down as required. This represents the maximum number of 'hits' that a unit can carry at any one time. The one other requirement is to mark units as either 'massed' or 'linear' but this is represented by the formation of the figures on the base in my case. So just to recap, there are 5 main distinctions under these rules as follows:

  • Quality of unit: Raw, Trained, Veteran, Elite or Guard.
  • Skirmish value: 0 to 3.
  • Combat strength: infantry normally 4, cavalry 3 and artillery 2.
  • Cavalry, light or heavy, with 'Impetus bonus' for some heavies plus lancers.
  • Infantry: designated as either Linear or Massed.

All of the above can be represented on the small space at rear of my bases.

These are given an 'activation rating' according to quality, between 2 and 6. They may also be given a 'Valour bonus' which allows them to add 1 to the combat result of any unit he is base to base contact with, but also places him at risk. Finally, each is given a 'Personality rating' of 'Agressive' or 'Cautious' if required. Again I can represent these on the rear of my bases.

Once again I delved into my handy old bag of coins for suitable small markers. I found around 40 old Dutch coins, the smallest in the bag and half the size of a UK 1p coin, which seem good for 6mm markers and will fit on the rear of my bases. I knocked up a couple of testers as you can see. I will now make them all up into numbered 'hit' markers and 'demoralised' markers. A little bit of basing material makes them a good match. So no book keeping will be required.

Measuring stick.
Finally, as the rules use a standard 'distance unit' (DU) for movement, ranges etc, (in this case 60mm), I made up a rather fetching red and white stick marked off in 60mm sections. I love old school wargames 'gadgets' and I'm sure I will also be employing it as a pointer during my games!

I may outline a few more key points of the rules before the game. I may also test other sets depending on how this goes. The link to the rules is HERE.

Currently painting more British infantry. I'll leave you with more pics of the above, and a lovely shot of the '3Terrors' cuddled up together and getting bigger by the day!

Big thanks to Steve of the 'Paintingshed blog' for so much inspiration, his 6mm Waterloo project bases are still the best painted 6mm figures I have seen. Look HERE, it's hard to believe these are 6mm figures is it not?

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Thoughts on a 'gridded' board system for 6mm games.

Over the last week or so I have been doing an awful lot of thinking about rules. I find myself increasingly interested in the concept of using a system of grids, be they hexes or squares. I think this may have been kick started some time ago when my Mother in Law gave me an old boxed game 'Campaign' that she discovered in a Charity shop. This 1971 game seems to be a fairly simple 'boardgame' using rather ugly plastic counters. But the board itself fascinated me. I was already aware of Tony's use of a hexed board system on his blog, and also the 'Old Trousers' rules which actually used a square grid. Browsing the Baccus 6mm site introduced me to the 'Leipzig Lite' project, which uses a square grid, but very cleverly done. I thought it might be a good idea to jot down some of the ideas and concepts that I may like to incorporate into a set of game rules for myself. I may well develop these ideas further, but basically it sets out the kind of game I'd like to play, with the emphasis being very much on the 'game' aspect. It wont please Napoleonic purists, but then this project is about what I want from this hobby. Over the last couple of years I have reached this stage three times, painted up the armies, become disillusioned and given up. I am determined that it won't happen this time, I am committed to 6mm figures, I love painting them and I now need to find a simple set of rules to enable me to push them around the table and have some fun.

I have a much clearer head than on those previous occasions, my psychodynamic psychotherapy is underway finally and as I begin to clear all the jumble, clutter and junk from my brain I'm able to think more clearly once again (phew!). The diagnosis of Dysthymia from the consultant psychiatrist goes some way I feel to explaining why I was frustratingly unable to progress my hobby beyond a certain point on those occasions too, and as I move forward I am determined to enjoy my hobby as I once used to. So, without further ramblings here are some of the ideas/thoughts that I would like to include in my future 6mm Napoleonic games, as much by means of a record for myself as anything else!

Thoughts on using grids for 6mm games.
A grid system of 180mm x 180mm will allow me to deploy 'brigades' represented by 3 bases of infantry and 2 of cavalry. The 3 bases (60 x 60) would have to represent varying numbers of battalions, but could be given a 'strength' value factor.

Movement could be 1 square for brigades, no diagonal movement. A brigade could be allowed to change face once per move, for example to change from facing front to left face and move 1 square to right or left. This would leave them with an exposed flank until the next move when they could face front and advance 1 sq. Cavalry could move 2 sq's and change face or 1sq and change face twice.

All movement could be randomised by dice throws or drawing chips. Once activated a simple D6 throw could determine how well a brigade responds to activation/orders with veteran/elite units not requiring a roll, Trained units requiring throwing say higher than 2 and Raw units having to beat maybe a 3 or even 4 to respond. Modifiers could be quality of individual commanders.

Combat occurs when units move onto opposing squares, and is decided in the manner of Leipzig Lite rules possibly, with all outcome moves being made immediately.

Terrain is for an entire sq. All sq's are assigned a value by scenario, with points for sq's held/captured at the end of the game. a village objective would have a high value, maybe an important road junction or river crossing a value, and any sq's taken in the enemy territory a value, the deeper into the opponents deployment area the higher the value. The result of the game is decided by a combination of ground held/ taken and unit losses, commanders killed/wounded etc on a points system.

I do like artillery to be able to 'bombard' at range, so maybe 3 or 4 sq's with modifiers for range. I'd also like to be able to include infantry 'volley' fire possibly before close combat, and also to allow varying skirmish values to be included in combat calculations as a modifier.

Casualties could be recorded as actual losses maybe combined with a gradual reduction of a pre determined effectiveness level as in F&F for example, possibly using disorder markers, and shaken/retreat type markers.

Morale throws could be simple and quick D6 throws, using a modified BMP (basic morale point) system, that I found so effective in Johnny Reb.

The above are just some of the ideas I am toying with. I'll stop there for now! You can see that what I want is a very simple type of 'game' that centres upon command and control, randomised for solo play, with lots of maneuvering and very quick resolution of melees. I'd like to be able to play a game in a bout 2 hours.

I will add some links here to the sites I mentioned at top, the Leipzig Lite project is well worth a read as it describes the clever disguising of a grid terrain system as well as links to the rules used. I'd love to hear any feedback you might have on my proposals.

Leipzig Lite - from the baccus site.

Our Journey to Boridino - Also from the Baccus site, not grids but amazing pictures!

Painting progress.
It seems a bit pointless posting pics of each and every unit I complete, as lets face it, one infantry base looks very much like another in this scale! However, I have completed 2 more French units this week and have a unit of 18 French line lancers undercoated and ready. The lancers are quite amazing little casting, with crisply detailed lances and pennons cast on. I can't wait to see them painted and based.

Just a quick pic of the last Leger base painted this week, blue trousers for campaign (I might try those nifty little boots with the fancy tops next time!). And a close up of the amazing detail on the Baccus lancer figures pre painting.

So far the total sands at:

French - 8 infantry bases, 2 cavalry bases and 2 artillery bases completed
British - 7 infantry bases, 2 cavalry bases and 2 artillery bases.

Plus numerous command bases.

I have a 3 base Portugese brigade planned after the French lancers and Brit battalion number 8.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Flexi-stream sections.

Having knocked off another french line battalion (number 7) I took a break before painting number8 to make up some quick stream/river sections. I used the same flexible black plastic that I used for the road sections (here). I marked them out in 25mm widths and simply cut with scissors to get a bendy river effect. I then used a dark blue acrylic and added dashes of white (primer) before going back and blending them in. The photos show the stages. Once dry I added a thin bead of PVA along each edge and sprinkled with my usual foundation 'dirt'/fine grit mix. Next stage was to highlight using Citadel Vermin Brown, then once dry add random patched of PVA and drop static grass (I used to use Citadel, but now I find Gale Force Scenics static grass just as good and cheaper). The bare areas were then highlighted with Citadel Foundation Iyunden Darksun (stupid names but good paints! basically a sort of earthy yellow). Finally a coat of thick old gloss varnish along the 'water'. Done.

They really were very quick to make, certainly being able to cut with scissors helps. I made about 7 feet or so, but could easily add more if required for a certain scenario, as is the case with my road sections.

Of course I had to take photos, I enjoy making terrain and from the start I wanted this to blend together along edges etc, which I think/hope it does? Hills are next up, then I need to go into mass production with my tree construction. A few shots of the French so far with the seven battalions of infantry together. I have another battalion undercoated, which will be more Legere, then it will be the eight British battalion. Once these are done I'll play the first test game before getting back to painting again.

Citadel paint range - changes to names etc.
I was a bit dismayed to read that Citadel had changed and renamed their paint range. However, having tried a few of the new versions its clear to me that they are improved in that all of the base colours are very thick and pigmented like the Foundation paints. Coverage is excellent, and strong vivid colours are essential in 6mm painting. The new 'whites' really work well and allow fine lines on belts etc that stand out strongly with just a fine stroke of the brush. I'd recommend any 6mm painter to try a few of these. Just for the record, heres the comparison chart between old and new shades/names. Thought I would place it here for quick reference.

New Citadel Colour Guide.

Photos show the river sections at various stages plus on the table top. Also a shot of Marcie the Golden Retriever under siege by the '3 Terrors'! ......"Help' I'm stuck on my bed."