Saturday, 19 December 2020

Last post of the year - this years project.

A short video featuring most of my 18mm Napoleonics on the C&C table 6' x 4'. From the beginning I had in mind the ability to use 40 figure infantry units for visual appeal and here it finally is. River is only there because I just finished making it, so counts as fordable! I'm pleased with the hills but maybe need a more matching shade on the sides. Sheldon the cat makes a guest appearance at the end, commanding the French.

Everything you see has been produced since March this year, and what a year it has been. There is only one thing missing and that is an opponent to play against, but fingers crossed for next year.

Here's to you all having a good festive period and thanks to those who have followed and commented upon my blog, hopefully the future will bring more wargaming to us all.

Thursday, 17 December 2020

DBN back on the card table!

 With my wife out shopping I set up a game of DBN on the trusty card table today. What I enjoy abut this game in it's basic 12 point per side format is the ability to do a quick set up and tidy away afterwards, with a game being played out in a couple of hours (playing solo of course or would be faster). I'm still slightly rusty on a couple of points of the rules but overall now I'd say a good grasp. Basic factors for firing and close combat are now mostly committed to memory for most troop types. I do still find the game a bit 'fiddly' due to the ground scale, but again I'm getting used to this now. I am actually using a slightly increased ground scale of 1.5" = 100 paces (due to larger table size of 2.5 ' x 2.5' feet), and this in turn opens up the game just a little more to my liking, so muskets firing at 200 paces for example have a range of 3". The measuring stick makes everything easy which is something I like about DBN.

I'm getting the hang of using formations better, although its still challenging when attempting to form a march column into line for example as this must be done by forming on the leading base, and with a move of 200 paces it takes a couple of CAP's to get a 4 base column into line. Smaller formations would be easier to handle, but then if you roll low on the activation throw it can be frustrating, especially in the early stages when you want to troops forward and into position. A D6 means activations (CAP's) can swing wildly but it's part of the challenge of the game, a French roll of 6 followed by a British roll of 1 had a big impact on the development of the game early on as the French rushed to cross the stream (fordable to all but artillery but ends movement for that turn).

French Chasseurs were the first loss to the French, hit by Portuguese artillery fire and rifle fire from the Cacadores in the woods, an oversight on my part as the cavalry were shaken and I intended to pull them back but only left myself a single CAP and shaken units require two to activate so they were left at the mercy of the cacadores. Playing solo still means sticking to the rules!

Photos of early stages, all figures here are AB's apart from the two baggage bases.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

A lovely present, Spanish DBN army (so far) and more terrain.

Since my last blog post the figure painting has dropped right off, probably due to being temporarily moved to the dining table in order to make way for the Christmas tree! It's just not as familiar and comfortable as I have been painting at my little desk for many years and the set up is perfect for me as I have everything I need in one spot and the desk has eight very deep drawers containing figures, extra paints, glues, stones and static grasses etc. So, the last couple of weeks has seen me finish off just 12 Spanish WSS figures for John and 12 French light infantry for myself, where I would normally paint 12 x 18mm figures in a day, these took me four days! I think I'll take a break now until after New Year when I'll be back in my familiar space again.

The above said I have been able to do some more work on terrain items for both DBN & the larger sized C&C set up. Firstly, I have knocked up over 8' of river sections, 125mm sections for the hex grid with some longer 250mm sections, and I'm really pleased with how these have turned out. I also have made around 12' of road sections with more to follow, again based on the 125mm grid but they also work very well for conventional non grid games. Tony Barr (ERM) has also cut me some junction sections for the roads. Once all roads are up to the basic standard you see below I will consider giving them a bit of texture, cart ruts etc. All are based on 40mm wide MDF.

In addition I have re jigged my Spanish buildings onto bases that can be used individually or conjoined to create larger areas both on or off grid, again simply done so that they allow road sections to run up to them or through them. I'm much happier with these than before and of course the melon sized oranges feature. I much prefer my buildings to be based up like this rather than free standing. And in keeping with the Spanish theme I have made some MKII broken ground/bad going markers from stones. 

This week a large heavy box arrived in the post containing the beautiful book you see below. It is a present from Old John for the work on his figures and a very fine and useful reference source it is too. While the text is in Spanish there are 125 pages of full colour illustrations featuring Spanish uniforms between 1789 and 1815, A4 sized and printed on heavy quality paper. Thank you John, it's a much valued addition to my collection.

My DBN Spanish army has now reached 12 points +, with more in the pipeline next year. I need to add a 'baggage' piece and have a couple of ideas for this. The Spanish are all AB figures. 

A pre Christmas bash is planned probably DBN and the Spanish might get a run out for a 12 point game on a 5 x 3 table, bigger than required but I do like the more convention shaped wargame table.

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Building the new bigger battlefield.

Somehow here in Kent we went into lockdown at Tier 1 and emerged into Tier 3 the highest level of restrictions so I'm not entirely how sure how effective the latest lockdown has been? But it is what it is and we now see light at the end of the tunnel at least. Meantime I have plenty to keep me busy.

My wife decided to put the Christmas tree up early this year, as it seems are many people around here. Result is that my painting desk has been moved out to the porch to accommodate it so I have a temporary station on the dining table. Trouble is that I like to paint with the TV and the fire on, especially during these cold months, so it's knocked output for a while. However, I do have a small mountain of MDF newly arrived from ERM to keep me busy, including loads of specially cut road and river sections that will require texturing/painting and varnishing. In addition I have another four hills cut from foamboard slices with MDF top and bases that will bring my total hills to fourteen. I think the printed tops work well this time round and the overall look is much better than the smaller 75mm hills. So far so good, I have three pieces of 4' x 2' thin ply to lay over the table which is then covered with a green felt cloth then the printed mat. I can now fit 3 or 4 small buildings into a town hex and still get the larger units in there. 

I have however made one significant 'U' turn since in that I decided that the sabot bases with the rear labels did not work for me, (after two weeks spent working on them!). So I removed all of the bases leaving the sabots mostly undamaged, which makes everything far more flexible. My plan now is to place a printed label on the underside of every base for C&C but they can still be used for smaller DBN games too. Talk about a waste of time but you don't know until you try these things.


Monday, 23 November 2020

Napoleonic review - April to November 2020.

2020 is certainly going to be a memorable year, for all the wrong reasons, but if I have achieved one thing this year it has been assembling a goodly number of painted 18mm figures. I have not done a full count but I think close to 700, now all on their new bases for Commands & Colors Napoleonics. 

The new hex mat has arrived and the first nine 125mm hills are about finished (just need to glue on the last few printed tops). Road and river sections should arrive later this week so I will be able to start working on them next week, but in the meantime I hope to get a small game on the table sometime this week.

It's been a joy painting these figures, although I must confess that I have recently run out of steam a bit. I'm now focusing on John's 20mm's by means of a break!

18mm Peninsular War (mostly) Napoleonics by Blue Moon and AB.