Jul 28, 2015

Maurice in the 17th century

I was keen to try Maurice in a different era, and set up this small battle, probably an ECW one with Scots on one side. There is no historical background here, just a bit of smashing heads in.
The attacker has a force morale of 10, with six units of infantry and four cavalry. Two regimental guns are brigaded with the infantry force, and there are two separate heavy guns. This side has the 'Professional Train' national advantage and a Notable who has a Bombard activation for the guns.
The defender has a morale of 9 with one less infantry unit (5), the same amount of cavalry, four heavy guns and a notable with a Charge activation and bonus to cavalry melee.
Still somewhat limited in the number of my figures, and not wishing to reduce unit sizes, I went with 12 infantry / 4 cavalry. The cavalry units had two figures for a crew, so with any disruption caused I could just remove one, and remove the hole unit on the second DISR.

I decided not to change the game rules too much, so did not add a 'caracole' effect, allowing cavalry to shoot, and just calculate that in their charge. The infantry, however, could form up as to not have any flanks, but reduce their shooting dice. Otherwise, the four dice per unit rule remained unchanged; I borrowed this solution from Victory Without Quarter, where the two stands of shot could still pour out a lot of fire. Of course the illustrations on the cards looked a bit odd, but this did not interfere with gameplay.

You can see the initial setup above, a plain battlefield with thick woods in the center, a hill on both flanks and a small manor, surrounded by stone walls and hedgerows, as the attacker's objective. As the force morale was low for both sides thanks to the few units, I suspected the battle will be over sooner than the attackers could capture the building.

Jul 24, 2015


A pair of British Fireflies from Forged in Battle. The hulls are cast together with the base from resin, the turret and accessories are metal. 
As you can see, I've put a lot of scrap on the models to get that 'used' look. 
Painting was standard block-shade-highlight, I mixed the olive colors. They're actually much brighter, it's the bad setup that makes them look this dark.

Jul 21, 2015

Renaissance stuff

I do not rush things this summer, looking for a job, staying home. Weather reaching some hellish degrees. Anyway, a little batch of figures I completed - first, five Turks from the Zvezda set - these were painted long ago, I just added a wash and highlights to better fit my newer works.

Jul 17, 2015

The battle of Győr/Raab - Blücher AAR

The historical background and outcome of the battle is widely available on the web, so a short note: the battle was hard fought between forces equal in numbers. The French had more cavalry and guns. Four of fourteen units in the Austrian OOB are rated as Conscript, which is close enough to the historical 30%. Some of this is Landwehr, some Hungarian insurrection. 
Based on maps and a virtual walk with StreetView at the current location, Szabadhegy hill is by no means steep or tall, just a very gentle slope. I'm pretty sure the Pándzsa riverbed has been moved since the time of the battle (I imagine if I really wanted to dig deep a city historian or geography geek could answer this), but it runs W-NW to SE, where it joins the Rába/Raab. There is a train station at Szabadhegy, a Tesco around the French advance and Kismegyer has also grown, just like the city to the north. You can see my terrain setup on the photos, it is pretty straightforward. Part of the riverbed was overgrown with woods, but is very well kept nowadays. 

The built areas had little relevance as the battle was decided on the flanks. The capture of Kismegyer and Szabadhegy manor could count as a minor objective for the French player. The Austrians play a strictly defensive role here, and the main French goal is to turn a flank. This is reflected in the relatively weak French centre force as well.

Jul 15, 2015

Back from the weekend

Just checking in before jumping on to the next project. I've been away and my laptop did not get fixed so I'll send it in for a repair. No Facebook and other stuff for four days. 
I have brought a bunch of figures with me and played a 4-player game of Flashing Steel. Based on this experience, FS is probably the best variant of the Song of... series by Ganesha Games. It has a neat point-buy system, something I usually oppose, but it lets you build a very customised force compared to SDS or SBH. 
The four participants in the game were: Turkish janissaries, Hungarian haidus, Polish cavalry and Swedish mercenaries. Each had five to six figures roughly worth 300 points. It started as a free-for-all, but then turned out to be a very exciting one: once the players (none of them played before) got the basics, there was a lot of combat, alliances were made and then broken multiple times, so lots of fighting and betrayal.
The Turks had a chest of gold and a Hungarian maiden the Haidus should have taken. I have created an arbitrary victory score system considering losses and acquired goals at the end of the game.
The Swedes won the first place, capturing the gold and losing only one man, an unfortunate reiter.
The Poles and Turks had shared the second place, the Turks losing only one warrior but also the girl and the loot and the Poles capturing the girl, losing three men but creating enough mischief among the contestants to get off the table with two winged hussars and a turkey (the bird, not the country). Both failed their objectives but held up well, and the winged hussar lieutenant won a Hungarian bride.
On the third place, the Haidus lost three men and failed to take the girl back, however, their Cossack pathfinder managed to tame a goat then a bear, and the rest killed a lot of Poles from a perilous position, so there's that.

My new project is an Austrian and French army for the battle of Raab, I missed the anniversary by a month but my interest in Napoleonics is revived; there is a lot of French and Austrian generals then an Imperial Guard unit for Lasalle on the painting tray. The Blücher armies will be based on 45x35mm plasticard bases and the unit bodies will be made of match sticks. With hard work and research I've converted the OOBs to be used with Blücher so that one brigade roughly equals one unit; there are fourteen units for both sides.

Jul 7, 2015

War in the Adriatic

I have completed six-six battleships for the KuK Kriegsmarine and the Regia Marina. They are all scratchbuilt from wooden sticks, broom bristles and plasticard.
There is no strict scale: all of them are approx. 6cm long and 1.5cm wide. Comparing the scale to the Habsburg-class, it is about 1/1900 or 1/2000. 

Jul 4, 2015

The pre-dread madness continues

Right now I'm building a fleet of Austro-Hungarian pre-dreadnoughts, roughly 1/2000 scale. They'll soon have Italian enemies to fight. I've got to say, the Italian ship designs look very interesting. 
As July is the Spare Your Wargaming Pocket Month, everything is scratchbuilt, and like before, I enjoy it very much.
Some less complex (meaning less layers of plasticard for the hulls) Veudeni Imagi-Nation designs were made a little while ago, but their paintjobs were delayed by the KuK Kriegsmarine.
The rules I'm going to use will be a heavily modified version of the Too Fat Lardies Age of Sail rules (Kiss Me Hardy). I'll be visiting some friends the next week and hope to bring the fleets along for some variation on boozing and watching TV. OK, that's not really fair, we played Risk one time, but Risk is not fun, even after 10 beers.

In the meantime, have this totally-not-photoshopped image inspired by the opening shots of the Spaceballs movie.

Jun 30, 2015


Had a quick read through the Blücher rule set by Sam Mustafa. As most of my readers know I like Maurice very much, and although at the core it is a very different set, Blücher seems just as good. 
But the most important thing about it is that while it was written for larger scale Napoeonic engagements, the underlying mechanisms make it equally good to play pitched battles in the 17th century. Instead of larger formations, one unit or card would represent one regiment or smaller brigade. The characteristics aid in building armies that reflect their historical counterparts.
Below is a Swedish regiment of foot, fancied after the cards shown in the book - I'm cloning a bunch of other units as well. This makes it easy to carry whole armies in a very small space. I'm going to print them on some thicker matte paper, with national colours on the back and put them into card sleeves and I'm good to go.

A 'corps' and unit ID can be written on top along with an indicator that the unit is prepared (although, I imagine, a fancy marker would improve the looks).
For some change, a Swedish foot unit for example has artillery attached while a Spanish old tercio is more agile and can shoot and move in the same turn. In fact, the simple and elegant system allows for basically any period to be played where pitched battles took place.

And I believe I can just halve Lasalle units (those I painted and those I will) to create Napoleonic units for Blücher. 

Jun 27, 2015

Proxy Armies

This is a Thirty Years War Spanish army made of wooden sticks. Four large infantry formations, eight groups of cavalry, two commanders and four cannon. It can be expanded later, and also used as a mercenary force in any theatre. 
The 'figures' are closest to 6mm. Infantry units have 75 sticks on five stands while cavalry 20 on two. The 'shot' stands have 12 sticks on them, the large pike blocks 24 pikemen plus command, including the regimental standard. Doing the maths, this means 300 infantry and 160 cavalry.