Thursday, December 30, 2010

Egyptian Chariots

I finally had some time today to sit down and work on a project which has been nagging me for a while: finishing the last two chariots for a 1000pt WAB Egyptian army.  I've had the army on the table already, but have had to borrow a couple of allied chariots from my son, the Great King of the Hittites.

I don't have all my basing materials with me, but I at least have them attached to the bases proper, and will do sand and grass tomorrow or Saturday.

This pair of chariots completes the original plan, and I therefore ordered a little reward, an Atlantic Pharaoh's Court set to gather a few civilians, and possibly to build a little vignette of a scribe counting a pile of hands, with which to taunt my opponent.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


We're back home after my son and his partner won their event in Salt Lake City.  Things have been made more exciting by the fact that he came home with some serious flu-like symptoms, but that seems to have cleared up this morning.  Now, back to planning Sunday's game ...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Junior Nationals Again

Wargames are on hold for a couple of days while my son competes at the US Junior Championships in ice dancing.  I almost brought a scenario book for review, since we're having an NQSYW game on the 26th, but figured that I'd be too distracted....and so it is.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Little More Dark Ages Progress

Time continues to be short lately, but I have had time to add some paint to Beowulf figures.  The fellow on the far left is currently awaiting a final spray varnish coat...Here's to hoping for some time at Christmas...

On a brighter note, Buck Surdu has been adding some Not Quite Seven Years War figures lately, as noted on his blog: .  Now I need to do the same.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Progress Picture

So, after not having painted much since Cold Wars, it was a pleasure to pick up some brushes and finish the painting (basing still to go) on a couple of figures this week.  These two are 28mm Dark Ages figures from the Eureka "Beowulf" set, with the misplace Arab on the left representing the protagonist of Michael Crichton's pseudo-Beowulf book, Eaters of the Dead.  I've got a small group of about 50 Dark Ages figures that have been languishing for many years.  Perhaps it's time to get them finished up and on the table...a little WHAB Dark Ages action would not be unwelcome.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dropping Off the Edge of the World

Well, some outside life events caused me to drop off the edge of the world.  I'm finally today cleaning my hobby desk back off so that I can actually work on something.

Ross and I are aiming for Historicon `11 for the NQSYW siege game, so copies of Christopher Duffy's Fire and Stone are being distributed to the key players.

I hope to have some progress pictures soon!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I note that it has been six weeks or more since the last time I managed to cobble together a post.  This is something of an embarrassment.  On the other hand, I must admit to being used to embarrassments of one sort or another, and I suspect that we all have such skeletons in our wargaming closets.  The figure above, for example, is an English demi-lancer in 40mm, converted (lightly) from a Meisterzinn tournament lancer using a spare head available in their musketeer mold.  It was not particularly difficult to do the metal work, nor was it difficult to paint.  However, there he sits, as he has for some five years now, awaiting a companion so as to form a base and get into action.  What is it that makes motivation so fickle?

I recently had a hot day with still air available, and took my melting pot outside for another crack at some of the molds we worked with back at the end of May.  I also cast a few of each of the five poses of old Herald Trojans (molds available from Castings, Inc.).  I've had that set of molds for many years, and managed to cast, convert and paint about ten figures some years ago, after which the project stalled entirely.  Under the influence of some recent reading in the role-playing game line (a tale for a different day), I dusted off the molds for another go.  Perhaps a game is in the near (?) future; something suitably modest in scale would be appropriate.  As least the conversion and metal work on this batch was a pleasant morning's task.

While not all of the distraction I've been having in the outside world has been equally entertaining, I might as well take this opportunity to post a shot from early June, of winning an ice dancing medal with my coach. It's quite a bit different from the gaming table. ...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Casting Call 2010

My older son at the mold clamping station

This is the third year that we have had a group casting day for expansion of the NQSYW project.  We met on Saturday, 29 May, at Duncan Adam's house.  We had a fairly short list of things wanted by other HAWKs this year, so we felt comfortable working at some length on some antique farm animal molds (with some success), to fill out the scenery and background a bit.  (I wish Prince August would release a mold of civilians ... )

Using powdered graphite for mold release

  We eventually cast about 40 cavalry figures, a couple of artillery pieces and their gunners, some figures to convert as engineers, two dozen farm animals and farmers, and a couple of dozen assorted infantry not amounting to a unit.  It looks like some ad hoc casting is in the cards.

Carefully extracting castings from an antique farm mold

The Arden game is still on the's rough when you can't find players for your solo game.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

An Interim Report

I dislike it when things get so tight in my schedule that I have no time for relaxation.  I have had the Arden game on the table for three weeks while I was occupied with business, both first and second jobs.   I finally got in the next three turns Sunday night, and took a few pictures with my new camera.  One more session should finish it, and I'll post the final report then.

I was pleased to find that I probably do have enough troops to make a reasonable two player game, and the Prince palatine of Wachovia will be home for the summer at the weekend, so opponents will be easier to come by.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of War

The table after turn 1; Duke Frederick's forces at the top, with Duke Senior's to the right. Infantry is all "in holding", waiting to be properly entered behind the cavalry but dropped on the table for convenience.  The mind's eye is blind to them where the camera is not.

I decided that I would take advantage of the possibilities of leisureliness implied by the solo format and left things set up after three turns this evening.  The basics of the scenario can be seen from the photo above.  A section of river and a bridge have been added to the previous battle's terrain.  Duke Frederick is attempting to get a significant portion of his force across the table to the bridge, and then on to the city of Arden.  Duke Senior is attempting to prevent this.  Unfortunately for him, he was lured out of position by a feint, but some lucky reconnaissance work by his light cavalry has given him a chance to recover.  Both forces are now racing for the bridge.

Rough Wooing includes enough randomness in movement and unit activation to make solo play pretty straightforward.  The first three turns have seen march delays as the two columns receive activations in less than optimal order, and the usurper's cavalry have been slow on the march despite being under the immediate watchful eye of their leader.

At the end of turn three Duke Senior has managed to deploy his gendarmes in a line facing the enemy, with some heavy lancers threatening Duke Frederick's as yet undeployed column, and the light cavalry has clashed indecisively.  His infantry are on the field, which puts him ahead of Frederick, who infantry remain off the table, their column delayed behind the dawdling horse. However, a group of Duke Frederick's heavy cavalry has headed hell-for-leather toward the bridge...
Duke Senior's lead horse prepares a charge on Duke Frederick's gendarmes, possibly nipping this rebellion in the bud.

I have not played an actual solo game since my sons became old enough to be recruited as opponents.  With the younger very busy and headed off to college soon, I'm pleased to find this evening that it is amusing, as it may be a more frequent occurrence in the future. 

Strange Oaths

Then a soldier, full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard, jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
seeking the bubble reputation even in the cannon's mouth.

So spake Jaques, exiled lord of Duke Senior's court, as recorded by the Great Historian in his account of the civil strife of Arden, As You Like It.

I am sorry that it has been over two weeks since my last post.  In that time I've been to Michigan and back for a reunion of my college music group (see for an eloquent account and a link to one of the pieces we performed), done my taxes, and turned in two freelance jobs.  I've been carrying around Stuart Asquith's book on solo wargaming without making much progress.  I've borrowed a couple of antique molds for 40mm semiflat farm animals for near future use, to enhance the NQSYW battlefields, but I'm about ready to give the 18th century a brief rest.

I've still got the terrain from Schlegel's Gasthaus on the table, but I have pulled out my 40mm Renaissance figures, cast from Nuernberger Meisterzinn molds. (See examples above, from a game with Ross prior to Cold Wars 2009). When I log off here tonight I intend to at least set up a solo scenario (my one at-home son being busy with homework tonight).

I've got 43 stands of troops, which is a little slight for a game using Ross's Rough Wooing rules, but I've tentatively divided them into two forces (leaving off 3 of the 4 guns) and have drawn up a rudimentary scenario.  The story background is that this is an incident in the events that caused Duke Frederick to replace Duke Senior at the court of Arden, but more on that after there's actually been a game...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Field Training Maneuvers at Schlegel's Gasthaus

Following the completion of the St. Michel raid, Pragmatic forces resumed a posture of alert defense, while reinforcements were summoned, and drafts of replacements were integrated into the battered regiments, particularly the Wachovians, and the Schoeffen-Buschhagen von Nordhafen and Adelmann regiments.  Gathered at the general's table one evening, conversation among the colonels kept returning to the question of integrating the replacements as quickly as possible.  Colonel von Nordhafen (on parole and still awaiting formal exchange after his capture during the Northern Alliance counterattack on St. Stephen) observed the similarity of the terrain around Schlegel's gasthaus (in which the dinner was being held) to that of the Battle of the Tollgate some years before, and noted that the arrival of a Wachovian battery to bolster the Wachovian contingent left that contingent very similar in size to the force that he himself had led to victory at the Tollgate.  Colonel Grabowski, commander of the Wachovian infantry regiment and senior officer among the Wachovians gathered, suggested that the battle could be used as the basis of a training exercise.  A brilliant young staff officer (Captain von Reiswitz) suggested that a team of Adjudicators could permit the exercise to proceed in free play, assessing casualties by use of their military judgment and some element of chance, perhaps the roll of dice.

The Adjudicator Team explains the Exercise to Colonels Grabowski and Adelmann

After dinner was cleared the officers continued to discuss the situation, and agreed that it would be, if nothing else, an interesting experiment.  General von Stewart opined that Colonel von Nordhafen would not be violating the terms of his parole to serve as an Adjudicator, but that he (and therefore his regiment) would not take an active role.  After a ride over the proposed battlefield, Colonel Adelmann volunteered to re-enact the role of the North Polenberg commander, with two of his own companies, the S-B battery and a squadron of the Prince's dragoon guards, while Colonel Grabowski would command the force re-enacting the Schoeffen-Buschhagen role, with the Wachovian "wilderin" (poacher) light infantry, two companies of Wachovian foot, a squadron of hussars, the "Black Widow" battery, and a company of Wiegenburg infantry.  Casualties assessed by the Adjudicators would be marched to the gasthaus, and the bill for their refreshment was to be settled by the losing colonel.

The morning of the exercise arrived, and the weather was fair.  The S-B troops drew up in the formation adopted in the actual battle by the North Polenberg forces, and the Wachovians marched to positions representing the original S-B deployment.  After a final briefing to the officers involved on the rules of the engagement, a bugle call and a roll of drums signaled the start of the exercise.

On the Wachovian right, the hussars advance rapidly across the field toward the S-B guns, with the Wiegenburgers  marching in line behind them.  Adelmann cannily ordered his dragoons, deployed on his right, to cross behind his advancing infantry to prepare to cover the guns.

As the cavalry engaged in some spirited fencing under the watchful eye of the Adjudicators, the infantry lines approached to within musket range.  After listening to the volleys and tossing a few dice, the Adjudicators ruled that casualties, though light, were due at a ratio of 2:1 in favor of the S-B troops.  There was a brief pause in the action while Colonel Grabowski spurred forward to calm the angry captain of the Wachovian company, though having done so he delivered a more measured protest.

Colonel Grabowski protests the first assessment of casualties

Once this was resolved, the cavalry melee on the Wachovian right was ruled a draw.

General advance 

Colonel Grabowski considered the historical plan of sending the light infantry through the woods on his left to be sound.  Unfortunately, they advanced somewhat slowly; perhaps the woods being more tangled than those on the actual field.  In any case, accompanied by Lt. Col. Wolf of the King Rupert Jaegers as an Adjudicator (who himself had been present at the battle as a captain), they played no significant part in the exercise.  Their captain complained afterward that he had been much distracted by Wolf's incessant rehashing of how much better his men had performed in the actual battle.

Wilderen advance through the woods; column of casualties heads for the Gasthaus

After a spirited exchange of close range fire in the center, the S-B infantry charged the Wachovians.  Unfortunately for them, the Adjudicators ruled that the leftmost Wachovian company had time to fire, and when the smoke was permitted to clear to assess the situation, it was determined that the Wachovians would have won the resulting melee. 

Newly arrived Wachovian "Black Widow" battery
The cavalry melee cleared to reveal the Wiegenburgers.  (Note the artillery officers protesting to the adjudicator to the left of the guns)

While all of this was going on, on the Wachovian left flank the cavalry melee went on for some time, and the Adjudicators finally cleared it just as the Wiegenburgers came within short musket range of the guns.  In accordance with the agreed procedures, they ruled that the guns would be unable to fire effectively, and that a charge by the Wiegenburgers would undoubtedly have carried the battery had this been an actual fight.  This time it was the turn of the S-B officers on the scene to protest the ruling.

However, General von Stewart, having watched from atop a ruined tower to the left of the S-B position, now remounted his horse and ordered the buglers to sound the call marking the end of the exercise.  With his guns "captured", his cavalry still rallying, and over half his infantry assessed as casualties and already drinking at the barrels set up outside the gasthaus, Colonel Adelmann agreed that he would be compelled to withdraw to save the remnants of his force.  As the General looked on, approving of his sportsmanship, if not his tactical sense, he rode forward to congratulate Colonel Grabowski on his victory, ruefully considering the cost of beer for a thirsty brigade's worth of soldiers.
Colonel Adelmann congratulates Colonel Grabowski on his victory

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Retreat from Rosmark: Cold Wars 2010 St Michel Scenario 5

Our final game of the St Michel campaign was scheduled for 6:00pm Saturday.  That gave us a brief opportunity to rest after we reset the table.  By that point in the convention, I must admit that I was glad not to have to redo the scenery.  We did a pretty good job of keeping things organized as we went along.  Nevertheless, the setup table we were using was looking a little unsightly as we launched into this last game. 

Once the defenders were laid out, we helped the players along by adopting a reasonable order of march for the retreating Pragmatic Army.  Had we had a continuous player presence throughout, we would have asked them to organize this after Scenario 3, without knowing whether the next scenario would involve, say, an attack on the rear guard of the main column.  As it was, we briefed the order to the Pragmatic players at the beginning of the fifth game, and they did not ask to rearrange anything.  We launched into the rules explanation for the fifth time, keeping it short in deference to my croaking voice. 

While the players may not look too excited here, I think that was a result of the general energy level at the end of the convention.  They certainly stood up and played with enthusiasm when they had the opportunity.
Ross has already laid out the structure of the battle on his blog (Battle Game of the Month), so I won’t repeat it in detail.  The Northern Alliance forces remaining on the field after scenario 4 had been regrouped and deployed behind the main road, and the game began as the head of the retreating column appeared on the table, led by the Stanzbach-Anwatsch Dragoons in gray.  They spurred forward immediately to engage the Fitzjames Horse, ready for another action following their destruction of the S-B and Wachovian hussars during the counterattack in the previous scenario. 

As the cavalry fight developed, the Northern Alliance pursuit force began to appear on the table, and squadron after squadron was drawn into a furball which lasted the remainder of the game. 

While expensive in terms of casualties, this action, the largest cavalry fight seen in the Not Quite Seven Years War to date, covered the flank of the retreating column for long enough to permit the leading infantry regiments to deploy opposing the Rosmark infantry.  With that covering force in place, and gradually pressing back the outnumbered Rosians, the rest of the column pressed on for the bridge and the sanctuary of S-B territory.

The remaining Schoeffen-Buschhagen infantry, who started the day occupying the much-disputed thatched cottage, supported by the converged Pragmatic grenadiers who advanced rapidly for their position near the head of the column, resisted a final Rosian attempt to seize the bridge approaches.  They then counterattacked, clearing the stone house of Rosians, and thereby firmly opening the path to the bridge.  Meanwhile, Wachovian and Stanzbach-Anwatsch light infantry occupied the orchard, and opened a galling fire on the Rosian defenders, which contributed to the successful assault on the stone house.

With the retreat route secured,  the game (and the raid) was pretty much over.  Despite the valor of the Pragmatic forces and a tally of tactical successes, the failure to force the defenses of St Michel in the third scenario meant that the raid was unsuccessful, and it was a much downcast army that returned to S-B territory to prepare for the next campaign.
From the gamemaster’s chair, though, I was very pleased with the series of games.  I’m grateful to all the players we had over the weekend for their willingness to play along with the campaign theme even when they didn’t have to live with the consequences of their actions, and I’d certainly be willing to undertake this sort of thing again.  It’s always nice to see all of the work that we put into the troops out on display in its proper environment, and I went off ready to do some more painting, reading and casting...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Away from Home

I'm on a business trip at the moment, and not one that would permit me to cary any paint or miniatures.  I did bring CS Grant's Wargames Campaigns, to see if I can do something a little more formal with respect to an NQSYW campaign.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Inspiration, or, News from Wachovia

I had a quick update from the Student Prince while I was composing the St Stephen report.  While I've been writing, he's been painting, and wanted to show me the preliminary results of his labors.  I hope to have some time to work on a few figures myself this weekend, since I'm still wanting to take advantage of the inspiration provided by the convention.

The Pragmatic Defense of St Stephen (Raid on St Michel, Scenario 4)

From a gamemaster's point of view, we finished a satisfactory game 3 on Friday night, did the paperwork necessary to record casualties, and then packed things into boxes to await our attention when we were, we hoped, better rested in the morning.  With the aid of Ross's handy camera and my laptop, we consulted photos from Thursday night to reset the border town of St Stephen as closely as possible to the previous game there.  While we tried to get things exactly like they were, the key was going to be to ensure that the terrain did not accidentally shift between scenarios 4 and 5.  This was made easy for us by the HAWKs room scheduler, who ensured that we had continuous use of the table on Saturday.  Scenario 4 was also a nice one for a Saturday morning, involving few enough troops that deploying them was not a significant time issue.  This allowed us to eat a leisurely breakfast, a significant factor by that point in the convention.

View of the town from the left

As usual, we had no idea how many players would actually show up for this, so the Student Prince was invited to lay out a defensive position without looking at the scenario book to see what the enemy's expect axis of advance might be. The Adelmann regiment was deployed to the left of the town, as viewed from the SB side of the river.  The von Nordhafens deployed on the right side, with the artillery, and the Wachovian and SB hussars (1st squadrons of their notionally extended regiments) deployed to the far right.

Von Nordhafen regiment defending the town

As it turned out, we had three players show up for this scenario, so the Student Prince volunteered to take a role to make a nice even four.  He was assigned to the defenders, thinking it fairest to compel him to live with the consequences of his defensive set-up.  After a quick council of war, he and the other Pragmatic player agree that they would leave things as they were, and that the Prince would command the left side of the town.  He is shy of commanding the von Nordhafen regiment, which has the reputation of having suffered more disasters than any other unit in the S-B army, several while under the authority of the Prince...

Enemy in Sight!

Events showed the Pragmatic commander to have been foresighted.  As the game opened in the late afternoon of the game day, a regiment of Rosish dragoons was sighted approaching the town.  The Wachovians missed few opportunities to engage during the campaign, and this was no exception.  The order was given to charge, to protect the lone gun on the Pragmatic side.  It was considered likely that reducing the strength of the oncoming Rosish infantry by artillery fire was the only hope the Pragmatic troops had of holding the town, and it was therefore vital to keep the gun from being overrun immediately.  A ferocious two turn melee resulted, which ended with the Hussars being eliminated as a fighting force, but taking the dragoons out of action for long enough that the action had moved to the streets of the town by the time they rallied, and they played no further part in the battle.

Hasty redeployment

As soon as it became clear that the enemy was concentrated on the right side of the town, the defenders  quickly redeployed the Adelmann regiment.

I should note as a gamemaster that Ross and I were a little uncertain when we started this scenario just how long it should be to provide the appropriate level of challenge to the Rosish player.  After consider the table size and the difference in movement rates between The War Game and Charge!, we finally agreed on a ten turn limit.

Adelmann Regiment meets the first attack

Once the opening cavalry action was concluded, the remainder of the battle consisted of the attack of the Rosish infantry.  From the Pragmatic point of view, the Adelmann regiment was engaged in a series of desperate melees on the right flank around the approaches to the bridge, and the von Nordhafen regiment was engaged in a firefight on the left.  On the right, successive Rosish charges brought about most of the few massed infantry melees we resolved in accordance with Charge! rules all weekend, and the constricted area kept the attackers numerical superiority from weighing too heavily on the defenders in any one melee, though the defenders were worn down as the attacks went on.  

Rosish colonel exhorting his men to try one more time

On the left on the position, superior numbers and the eventual deployment of a battery of artillery made the situation very hot for the von Nordhafen regiment.  The S-B gun attempted to get off one shot too many and was overrun.
Chargers reach the gun position

However, fire from the infantry ensconced in a covered position behind the hedgerow proved to be too much for the already battered Rosish regiment, and they withdrew, unfortunately not without the gun.  As a second line was coming up behind them, the situation remained grim, and the defenders began to doubt that the sun would set on a Pragmatically-held village.

A final push by the attackers

As the sun set (or turn 10 ended, depending on your point of view), the von Nordhafen regiment was reduced below strength and compelled to retire.  Their standard was taken, and they fell back from their position in the stone house and the white house.  Troops of the Adelmann regiment were gamely rallying after the series of assaults, and they continued to hold the thatched house and the adjacent orchard, which would feature significantly in the next action...

Elevated view around turn 8

The game was judged a draw, with the Northern Alliance in control of the majority of the town, but not in control of the bridge.  Interestingly, this is the "book" situation when scenario 5 is to be played as a stand-alone situation.  As a gamemaster, I found this to be a tense and exciting scenario, with a number of incidents which could have altered the end situation considerably. (The slightly late timing of the withdrawal of the SB gun, for example...) This was a reminder that the satisfaction produced by a game is not necessarily in proportion to the number of troops involved.  This game could have been played on my 5x6 home table, so I really ought to work on a few limited scenarios to keep me interested until the next major gathering.

Recruits and Barracks

The Prince Palatine of Wachovia (aka the Student Prince) was home briefly today for a visit to his chirurgeon.  Discussing the current state of affairs within the Pragmatic Alliance inspired him to recruit a new artillery section.  We dug around the available stockpile of castings and he hastily filed and primed them so that he could take them back to school to work on as time permits:

I had time over the weekend to work on storage expansion for the NQSYW armies, so I was able to transfer the entirety of the Schoeffen-Buschhagen cavalry force into a new magnet lined box today, deep enough for all standards and swords:

The next squadron will necessitate a second box, however, or will go back into mixed storage with the foot.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On the Origins of the NQSYW

The Battle of the Tollgate

During Ross's recent visit we went digging through a selection of hardcopy photographs of games from days gone by, and I was particularly pleased to be able to put my hands on this picture, taken by Chris (GASLIGHT) Palmer during a game at his house, to try the mettle (or perhaps metal) of our new joint project.  While this is not the best lit shot of a wargames table I've seen, it is what we have.  The brown paper, hastily cut for the layout, running down the length of the table was  representing the dry river bed of the former border; the building was the tollgate that formed the casus belli.   While I am not certain of the exact date for the game, I wrote an account of it on Monday, 26th August 1996. We often played on Thursdays at the time.

A page from one of my hobby notebooks; I apologize for the hasty and less than neat printing. 
Click to enlarge.

As I mentioned in my earlier blog entry on the background of the NQSYW, we hadn't agreed on the name of Chris's country yet, so he got tagged in the write-up as "Saxe-Weilenz", my still future opposing force.  (I'm getting close to painting the first S-W unit, though...I'm becoming eager to see what they are going to look like...and it's only been 14 years...)

A look at Charge! shows the forces as theoretically balanced.  I had two line companies, a squadron of heavy cavalry, a gun, and a light company (plus that half company of the Adelmann regiment in yellow facings in the lower left corner of the picture), with Chris having a second gun instead of a light company.  The Brigadier estimated the value of each at 70 points.  I don't recall how we handled the morale of the half company; our early encounters generally used the company as the morale unit, so I would imagine in retrospect that this scenario should have been dominated by the guns.  I don't think it went over six turns, so it fit into a short evening.  I'd encourage anyone considering Charge! to give it a try, even with limited forces, though I'd limit artillery to a single gun for any scenario of less than 4-6 infantry companies per side.

I hope to have something on St. Michel, scenario 4 "The Pragmatic Defense of St. Stephen" tomorrow, now that the Scenario 3 report is up on Battle Game of the Month.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

More on St. Michel

I took the opportunity to raid my son's archives for a few of his shots from the St. Michel games.  Here we step back from the imaginary world for a moment, and find co-gamemaster Ross refreshing his memory on some aspect of the Charge! rules (here the 1986 Athena reprint that I carry to conventions) prior to the start of Scenario 3, the Battle of St. Michel.

Scenario 3, for reasons that are not clear to me, since I thought that we started at a sensible time (6pm on Friday), was massively undersubscribed.  We press-ganged my sons, my older son's college roommate, and a spare Hawk, also of college age,  to actually play the scenario.  This was the one scenario where Ross and I dropped our mask of impartiality and commanded some of our own troops, though we chose to face each other on the quiet flank of the action, leaving the meat of the fight to the younger generation.

Ross will cover this "in role", but my player-level observation on Charge! is that a major infantry assault will not reach the target without losing a screen of some sort, and if you're not prepared for that, it would be better not to make the assault in the first place. The advancing Pragmatic infantry in the center of the table suffered severely under Alliance artillery fire, so much so that we never actually were able to assault the town.  Had we started with a major cavalry advance, the infantry might have been able to advance within musket range of the objective in a fit condition for the assault.  As it was, the Alliance delivered the bold cavalry charge at just the right moment, not us, and a regiment of Freedonian infantry crumpled under a charge by the Yellow Hussars, undoubtedly itching for revenge after their rough handling at the hands of the S-B dragoons some days previously.  It only took six or seven turns to realize that we would have to withdraw or risk having the entire army cut to pieces in the follow-on scenarios.
Here the S-B Prince's Dragoon Guards, deployed at full regimental strength for the first time for this raid,  have nothing to do but stand around looking pretty, trapped as they are behind all the infantry to their front in the center of the table.

On St. Michel

I'll let Ross tell the story as proper battle reports on his Battle Game of the Month blog; I'm lucky that he has a way with words in that respect, although it does mean that I am going to lose the propaganda war every time...

My son had the camera, so the only pictures I got were from my cell phone.  The lead shot here is the Pragmatic Army drawn up for the attack on St. Michel (scenario three), showing the rather wide variety of uniforms.  It's a good thing there are no rules for friendly fire incidents in this game, as the Pragmatics must have had quite a time with IFF issues.

The second shot is actually from the Sawyer's Farm/Sawmill Village pre-convention game, showing my sole S-B general, plus his newly completed personal standard and an aide-de-camp with a rolled order galloping off...I was glad of the opportunity to paint a few figures as the convention loomed, and have been working on preparing a few things for painting this week.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


After Ross's visit and Cold Wars, I'm inspired, and I wanted to make some use of that inspiration before it dissipates.  I wanted to work on my next pair of Egyptian chariots tonight, but with an eye to clearing my bench a bit, I also finished up one stray Schoeffen-Buschhagen dragoon (who'll need a little foliage clump when basing to hide the casting flaw on the left hind hoof) and an Airfix billman for the Medieval Mayhem project.  Both of the latter had been hovering in a mostly completed state for months, so it felt good to actually get them varnished and be ready to move on to the next thing.  However, that is stuff from three different projects.

Lack of focus has not been the main reason for lack of progress this past year, but it certainly hasn't helped, and I'm hoping to increase my discipline with respect to having too many things on the work bench at once in the near term.