Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More ECW

After finishing the remainder of the FIW collection I have on-hand, I decided I wanted to switch modes for a bit. I decided to try painting up some of the Warlord Pike & Shotte plastic Pikemen and Command i have laying around.

I decided to paint them up as Lord Brooke's Regiment for 2 reasons. The main uniform colour is purple, and the standard happens to be on the Parliamentarian Flag sheet included with my Pike & Shotte Battalia Box.  I find that the heavy paper that Warlord Games prints their flag sheets on is too heavy for for the bending that i do with my standards. It does not bend smoothly and the surface can actually begin to crease and crack under the pressure. so I scanned the sheet at 600 DPI .  I chose 600DPI so that i can print it off much larger then the original without sacrificing  too much detail.

This regiment will be roughly 5 times the size it is now(40 Figures) when it is finished. there will be 8 more pike, as well as 24 muskets  after this one is done the next unit i intend to paint will be Lord Seye & Sele's  regiment.  I'm aiming to have 4 pike & shotte foot regiments, 2 cavalry regiments(12 figures each), 1 Dragoon regiment(12 foot & 12 Mounted), 2 firelock regiments(12 & 18 figures) and 1 artillery piece for my parliamentarian army..  If by the time i finish that, i don't have an opponent, I'll likely do a royalist contingent of roughly the same size.

I'm also looking for a good set of rules to use for ECW. I know Warlord is releasing an ECW supplement for Black Powder at some point, but no news on when yet. I've played 1644, and wasn't overly impressed, especially with the morale being completely divorced from casualties.  I am Curious to see what For God, King and Country by the Canadian Wargamers Group is like.  I've played Habitants & Highlanders as well as Rocket's Red Glare and enjoyed them.  If anyone has a copy of  For God, King and Country they would part with, Let me know.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

New FIW additions.

Thursday morning i received a package from eureka miniatures USA in the mail.  It contained 8 FIW provincial infantry firing, 8 loading, 1 officer, 1 NCO, 1 ensign, and 1 drummer. Eureka USA's service was pronominal. total turn around from placing the order to them arrivingat my doorstep, across an international border,was 7 days,

I had already bought George Washington and 10 of these figures off of Nic and Rob at the eureka booth 2 years ago at Historicon  I knew then that they weer fantastic figures, i only waited this long to expand them because i only started really building up my collection a the beginning of this year. Combined, they complete my Virginia Provincial infantry contingent of 24 infantry and 3 big men, a drummer and standard for Sharp Practice.

Anyways, Friday night at the Club was a bust for me. No one was around to play a game with, so i chatted for a bit and came home(i'm within walking distance of the club house).I cleaned and prepared my Virginians  Friday night, and then sat down and painted 8 British light infantry that have been kicking around for some time.  I painted them in the uniforms of Colonel Gage's light infantry, the 80th regiment of foot.  In future games, they will be commanded by Lt. Anthony Hayward.

Saturday evening, in about 5 hours, i painted the 20 remaining Virginians. They will be lead in games by Major Washington, and Lts Conway and Basset. Getting the regimental colours for the Virginia regiment was not easy. When i searched Thursday night, i could not find an existing flag image, but Kronoskaf.com had a description of the King's and regimental colours.  So I decided i would find a suitable set of colours from a different regiment and modify them. I decided on the 66th regiment of Foot's colours, since they had a V in the roman numeral, and the regimental colour was a solid colour field.  This was important since the Virginia colours don't have a roman numeral. they instead have "VA Regt" in the rose & thistle wreath, on a plain whit back ground.  I simply changed to background colour to white, then deleted the roman numerals, except for the V. I flipped the V and turned it into an A, and then filled in the additional space.   After doing so I contacted Richard Couture at Kronoskaf.com and sent him copies of the jpegs. I made.  That way, Richard has a set of pics for the flags, and anyone else that wants it can get it

The Virginia regiment colours I created i created

Friday, June 25, 2010

Rock Outcroppings Finally Finished!

Well  I finally managed to finish off the first 3 of my rock outcroppings. they tuend out pretty good i think, especially for a first try. 

The trees I used were a mixture of things. the tall darker  coniferous trees are Bachmann trees. I really like their pine and spruce trees. Best of all,  for 11 bucks you get 8x 3-4" trees, or 3x 5-6" trees. the other coniferous were whatever I could scrounge up. There are 3  cake ornament trees, and the rest of them are the cheap bottle brush variety you see at Christmas, with some flocking added.  The deciduous trees on the 2 smaller formations are some "dead tree" plastic armatures from an old Siege board game that my friend Derek Watson gave me.  Normally they are decidedly two dimensional, but I used my heat gun and bent them around a bit. The foliage is Heavy duty stripping pad, torn up and stuck to the armature with hot glue.  learning to use this stuff to make trees will come in very handy for doing bushes and hedges with the same stuff in the future.
Perry Miniatures AWI Indians pictured 
on the largest outcropping

I have the other 5 outcroppings  treed-up and ready to flock. I'm hopping to finish them off today.
Conquest Miniatures Compagnies Franches de la 
Marine on 2 smaller outcroppings

Also, Thursday morning a shipment of Eureka French & Indian war colonial infantry arrived, so expect to see them kicking around the blog some time this weekend.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rock Outcropings Revisited

Well it's been a week and a half since i last posted about the Rock outcroppings i was building out of Ceiling tiles.  initially this went quite well.  Unfortuantely, i did not have speciufic details on how to mix the carpenter's glue, water, and Durabond 90.

For starters, Durabond 90 does not mix properly with Carpenters glue(it does however with white glue). I had to mix it with the water before adding the glue.  after 2 coats of this mixture i found out that when you reach a certain amount of Durabond 90 in a carpenters glue-water mixture, it gels after about 10 minutes, and there is little way to slow the gelling process.

After that i switched to white glue, and all the problems ceased. you can mix in a ton of Durabond 90 without having to worry about it solidifying rapidly.  for the last 2 coats i mixed in a bit of gray paint. in between htese last 2 coats i left  the peices for about 24 hours in between coats.

The pics here show the outcroppings glued to MDF bases, partially painted, and with trees leaned up against them were I intend to glue them down.  I'm intending to glue some flock mix randomly around  outcroppings, and I have some clump foliage to spread around them too.  I'm planning to have these finished by Friday.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Figure Case

Earlier this month, i was finally converted to the ranks of using magnets for figure storage.  IT all started with my freind Dave Posting this article on his blog, HERE.  I had been looking for a viable storage option for my 28mm Eastern Renaissance Skirmish project.  2/3rds of  the Kobalt Storage case is perfect for my many  lance-armed cavalry. I won't go int any detail about the case, since Dave already did. 

This Weekend, i started to realize that the GW foam i have for my French & Indian War figures was damaging the figures. Slowly but surely, the pressure placed on the bayonets was starting to take its toll. So I decided I needed to magnetize the entire collection. I set out trying to find a case suitable to hold the entire collection as it's planned to be.  THe Kobalt Case I use for my eastern renaissance has a great deal of wasted space, since the bottom draw is 4" high.  99% of my figures fit in the 2"tray.

After a bit of searching the web, I found Kobalt made a similar case with 3x 2" deep trays at Lowes for $54.99.  I can fit my British, French, and Indians each into their own tray. The new case also has a  plastic body so despite being slightly larger, it's actually lighter. the drawback is the top section does not have a metal bottom. So I'll have to figure out some way of fixing a metal plate to it to hold the few miniatures I have that do not fit in the 3 metal trays.  But overall, it is a far more economical use of space.

So far I have magnetized all my current British, and all my artillery for both sides. I found some surprisingly strong and thin magnetic sheets at the local dollar store.i can magnetize 54 25mm round bases for a dollar!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Battle Report: Assault on a Native Village Part 2

Today saw the conclusion of our battle. the first turn back saw the tiffin cards come up in quick succession. Only a unit of Natives in the entrance way of the village got to move.

When we left off, Major washington was in a precarious position. his survival of his men survival(and his very own as well!) depended on beong the first to act.  This was not to happen.  Lt. Lafreniere's infantry got a shot off, getting another shock point. then Majeur Duperre charged into fisticuffs. After 3 rounds, the french were finally able to destroy the poor quality Virginia militia.  Washington himself was badly wounded and left for dead.  but the Virginian militia did their job.  they not only single-handedly held up more the 3 times their number for 3+ turns, they actually managed to kill nearly a third of the french infantry, and caused enough shock points to the french to keep them in disarray for the next 2-3 turns. For this alone they get the MVG(Most Valuable Group) award for this game.

In the middle, the 2 units of Native not on the gate platform Made for teh closed British artillery( Lt. Baxter and his cannon & mortar crews)  After 2 turns of moment, and 1 close range canister shot, the 1st group of Natives valiantly charged the cannon crew.  After a bloody battle, the artillery crew and Baxter himself were slaughtered, but in the process, The Native group's morale broke and they retreated to the village.  Major Halkett, who had been hiding in a nearby field waiting for the wall to be breached, realized what was happening and ordered his troops out of the fields and opened fire on the  2nd unit of Natives.  they were too late to save Baxter, but 2 turns of fire routed the 2nd group of Indians back into the village. Halkett ordered his lieutenant, George Williams, to take command of the mortar team.  Williams proved to be a natural artillery commander. under his direction, the mortar did twice as much damage as it had in the first half of the game.

On the right of the Native village beleaguered Companies Franches de la Marine withered more fire, losing a further 4 marines on but a single turn!  Rogers, upon hearing indians hooting and hollaring in hte distance to his left, realized hehad left teh cannons unprotected and ordered his troops to move out and cover them.  Finally, Capitaine Celeron and Lt Pecaudy manged to fall back and reorganized their remaining troops into a single command.  When Hazen's rangers managed to catch up, they encounted not the haphazard attacking they had seen earlier, but a determined enemy.  In the renewed firefight, teh rangers too 2 casualties.  Lt Chadwick and his light infantry were still bumbling around in hte woods, trying to find the renewed french.

In the end, the French reinforcement commander decided to fall back in the face of a determined and capable British force, and leave the Indians and the small marine raiding party to their own devices.

We discovered a problem. The cannon rules are not sufficient for destroying walls.  I think the rules for artillery are really supposed to represent the fact that they are firing canister.What we did was use the cannon rules as is, and give the wall sections 8 HP(rolled 2D6). this clearly did not work, as it made it very hard to breach the wall. In the entire length of the game, the 2 cannons mid a total of 5 HP between 2 wall sections. I think in the future when firing cannons at fortifications, when rolling for effect,  i will make the cannons cause a hot on a 4+.  I think also, we will classify fortifications as light( log cabins  etc), medium(  palisades, light earthworks), and heavy( full fortifications major earthworks).  Light will get 1D6+1 HP ,  Medium 2D6 HP,  and Heavy 3D6 HP per  section.

This was the first test of the mortar rules. They seem fairly useful, especially in an assault like this one. I think one sensible modification would be to increase the deviation when you are attempting to shoot something you cannot see. I'd suggest doubling all the deviation ranges. I deliberately avoided shooting at anything I could not see in this game to avoid the issue. The unofficial mortar rules can be found in the files section of the TooFatLardies yahoo group or if you want to i can email them too you. contact me at crucible_orc (AT) hotmail (DOT) com

Friday, June 18, 2010

Battle Report: Assault on a native Village Part 1

NFriday night at the club we began a  large Sharp Practice battle at the club.  In the scenario, the British and Colonial forces tracked a french raiding party back to their base camp, which happens to be a native village. the British leader decides the Indians need to be taught a lesson for harbouring  french raiders!

The forces are as follows:

French raiders/Native groups:
1 group of 6 bow-armed Natives (War party, poor quality, but aggressive in combat)
2 groups of 8 musket-armed natives (War party, poor quality, but aggressive in combat)
2 groups of Compagnies Franches de la Marine ( good quality)

Big Men:
Chief Seganam, initiative 3 
Dikanawida, initiative 2
Sunukkahkau, initiative 1
Capitaine Joseph Celeron, initiative 2
Lieutenant Jean-Claude Pècaudy, initiative 1

French Reinforcements(to enter on the 3rd blank card):
3 groups of 8 French line infantry (average quality)
1 light cannon & crew (average quality)

Big Men:
Captain Rene Duperrè, initiative 2
Languadoc Infantrie Standard Bearer
Lieutenant Zacharie Lafreniere, initiative 1
Lieutenant Stephane Rocheleau, initiative 1

British and Colonial Forces:
3 groups of 8 British line Infantry(average quality)
1 group of  8 British Grenadiers (good quality)
2 groups of 8 Colonial Rangers (good quality)
1 groups 8 British light infantry( average quality)
1 group of 10 Virginia Infantry(poor quality)
2 Light Cannons & 4 crew each (average quality)
1 light coehorn mortar and 2 crew (average quality)

Big Men:
Major James Abercromby,  initiative 3
44th Regiment of Foot Standard Bearer
Captain Peter Halkett, initiative 2
Captain Robert Rogers, initiative 2
Major George Washington, initiative 2
Lieutenant  Cameron Baxter, initiative 2
Lieutenant Alexander Field, initiative 1
Lieutenant  George Williams, initiative 1
Lieutenant Robert Chadwick, initiative 1
Lieutenant Moses Hazen, initiative 1

The first turn and a half was uneventful. the British on their Blinds advanced on the Native village, and no one spotted anyone.  although near the end of the 2nd turn Lt. Pècaudy and his group of French marines managed to spot Lt Field setting up his cannon for a shot to at the right side of the clearing. Pècaudy was in turn spotted by Hazen and his rangers.Both Hazen and Rogers appeared off their blinds and let loose a volley ate Pècaudy. Causing some shock among his men.

the 3th turn saw the Natives starting to stir.  Apparently they heard some musket fire in the distance and moved to investigate. upon doing so,  they also managed to spot some British artillery (Lt. Field again) loading on the right side of the clearing.   The rangers and marines continued trading fire with Pècaudy's Marines, getting the better of the Frenchmen.  Lieutenant Chadwick group his light infantry up hte far light flank, swinging around onto hte flank of the beleaguered french Marines. they ran smack into Capitane Celeron and hist troops.  Meanwhile  to the left of the clearing,  Baxter was positioning his artillery on the hill.  THe remainder of the British force advanced across the path.  Unfortunately for the french reinforcements, The 2nd tiffin card appeared before the 3rd Blank card, and the turn ended before they could move on the table.

Fortunately,  the 1st card of the 4th turn was the blank card.  the french reinforcements marched on into what appearedto be the rear of the advancing British troops.  Suddenly to left of the path, Major Washington appeared and charged into the fray, killing a pair of french infantry and beating the rest away with musket butts. Capitaine Duperrè quickly reorganized his column and let loose a volley.  Lt Lafreniere   Somehow found himself falling behind  Rocheleau's artillery team ( the french players mixed up the order of his blinds by accident). Hearing the scuffle behind him, Major Abercromby took one group of infantry and his grenadiers to investigate. Upon reaching the path, he realized what was happening and sent a volley into Duperrè's infantry.

On the other flank, the Frenchmen were really taking a beating.  Pinned and outnumbered 2 to 1, Lt Pècaudy signaled for his men to retreat.  Seizing them moment, the 2 ranger officers moved in on Celeron's men and caught them in a 3-way crossfire. both British cannon teams had taken a shot at the wall, causing only minor damage. the Mortar overshot the sentries at the entrance, landing behind amidst Indians exiting the right most longhouse

When we ended the game at the end of the 6th turn, the french had gotten  the artillery up in front of Washington's Virginians,  With Duperrè and  Lafreniere had set up a crossfire on the Virginians from either side of the cannon. the Rangers had cut down half  the french marines on the other flank, and half the remaining ones were in retreat.  With  the beginning of a new turn, will he Virginian's take the initiative and charge the Cannon before it has time to load?

We'll be continuing this game on Sunday afternoon at Migs.

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Terrain project

Lately Ive been feeling my FIW terrain, seen Here in the background, was lacking something. The collection was too dependent on trees. Just trees. Oodles of trees. then 2 weeks ago, Dave Hoyt of Much Ado About Nothing fame posted some pics of his WW2 early war French Collection.. One such picture was of some rock outcroppings he bought for his collection a few years ago.  When I saw these I immediately knew these would spruce up my FIW terrain.  Problem is I'm on a tight budge right now, and the original maker no longer makes them

Licukily I happen to know the guy who made these, ModelMakerChris.   Chris makes some of the most beautiful terrain you have ever seen.  most of my desert village collection was built by Chris.

Anyway, I know that these were something stacked, I just didn't know what he used. So I emailed chris on the off chance that he would let loose the secret of these pieces. Lucky for me he did: ceiling tiles.  Then, this weekend, Dave lent me one of his rock outcroppings.  Dave and I frequently game together at MIGS, so he knows he'll get it back in decent time, and good condition.

So this evening i went down to the MIGS clubhouse in Hamilton, Ontario.  MMIGS has 16 4x6 tables that are the perfect hieght for miniature gaming. They are also the perfect height for working on terrain while standing. Also, during the week nothing happens at MIGS, so it's the perfect place  to work on large-ish terrain projects that can be completed and cleaned up after in a week.
Before: ceiling tiles(

During construction( figures shown for scale
purposes are 3 of my 28mm Front rank 
Bavarians, converted to Baden,  on a 60mm 
round base)

After. One of Dave Hoyt's ModelMakerChris' Finished 
products used as a template for finishing

And as usual, with any project, I went a little overboard.  I decided I want at least one huge rocky outcropping for my FIW.  this one is 18 inches long, 8 inches at its widest, and 3.5 inches high.  it has 2 ways to climb it, at either end,  an alcove with an overhang, and a perfect position for ambushing fire. I'm going to build at least 1 more outcropping of similar size.

I've only used up about Half my materials, so there will be a lot of these floating around the club.

If anyone is ever in the Hamilton area and would like to come down for a game, or a terrain workshop, post a comment and let me know. I'm finding myself with a lot of spare time lately(obviously), and I'm always up for gaming etc. with new people.

Friday, June 11, 2010

French & Indian war Photo Shoot

*Warning, Picture-Heavy Post*

This week I received more Old Glory Figures for my Sharp Practice FIW project.  I got 2 cannon teams for both armies, 1 bag of command for both armies, as well as a bag of limbers and a bag of coehorn mortars.  I was quite surprised with the quality. Most of the command figures and gun crews were very much above what I have come to expect from non-2nd edition OG figures.  I though the line infantry were on the good side for OG! One looker-on at the club thought some of the command were Front Rank for a moment.

Anyway. I got these on Tuesday. Since then I have painted 3 commanders(or big Men, as sharp Practice calls them) for each side, a standard bearer, a Drummer and 1 gun team each. and to top it off, I painted My Indian village on Wednesday and made 8 more blinds on Thursday..  A pretty good week all in all.

So tonight, while I was at MIGS(gaming club in Hamilton Ontario) I took the opportunity to take a few pics of my collection.

So far my British army  has 3 groups of line Infantry and 1 group of grenadiers(all of the 44th Foot) 1 group of light Infantry,  1 group of Virginia militia, 2 groups of Colonial rangers, and 1  cannon & crew.  It also includes 8 Big men, among which is George Washington and his dogs.

Virginia Militia with George Washington & dogs 
By Eureka Miniatures

Front Rank Grenadiers

Old Glory Gun team & line infantry

My french Army Consists of  3 units of line & 1 unit of grenadiers(all of the Languedoc Infanterie), 2 unit of  Companies Franches de la Marine, & 1 cannon & crew. I also have 20 Indians to accompany them. I have  6 French big men and 2 Indian big men to lead them.

Old Glory French Cannon, crew, and line infantry

Conquest Compagnies franche de la marine 

Old Glory Infantry & command. 
The big man right of the Standard is from the 
Blue Moon Duelists set.
Perry Miniatures Indians  in the Village
Indian Close up.

In Sharp Practice, you usually start with 'Blinds' on the table instead of units. it is a simple and great way to generation the fog of war. here's a picture of the blinds  i have for my British army. I have another 10 for the french as well.

I have another cannon  team for each army, a pair of coehorn mortars,  and another unit of light infantry for the British. I plan on buying 5 packs of Conquest Indians and 3 packs of Companies franches de la marine for my French/Indians, and 2 more groups of 8 Virginia militia plus some  militia command.

Eventually I'm looking at doubling my line infantry contingent for both armies, and adding some Courier de bois.Canadian militia as well.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Settlement complete

Since it was cool and rainy today, I decided it would be a good day to finish off the village wall and base.  I started out today base coated in  in Krylon Camp system Brown. I started around 1pm and finished grassing the base around 7:30.  I tend to break up my hobby time a bit. so I take occasional breaks

Front entrance with Conquest Miniatures Magua

I Went through 6 test schemes for the wall before settling on a dreary looking  brown-grey.  I decided i wanted it to look a little more authentic.  Sometimes you see beautifully painted wargaming  terrain like log cabins and palisades and such that are so bright and cheery.  Real life logs just aren't that vibrant, especially after exposure to weather.   I also think the final paint scheme looks a little more in line with the long houses.

I still have another drying rack or 2 to build, and I'm going to build a pair of pots over a fire pit.   I only built 1 lookout platform for now, since I could not find any good information on them. If i do get some info, I'll probably build 3 that can move around inside.

I also got a package with my French and Indian war command and artillery in the mail yesterday. I plan to have it all done by Friday.