Saturday, April 30, 2011

Random Senseless Pic

Grenadiers of a Volunteer Regiment
One of my favorite paintings of all-time

In Search of Battles and Scenarios

Not totally sure but the more I think about wargaming and the more satisfying aspects of it, the more I come to the conclusion that I like designing scenarios.  Researching the battles, uniforms, unit strengths, leadership, and order or battle are probably some of the most fun parts, even before picking apart the rules, painting and basing the miniatures.  Not sure about playing considering I have not played an actual game in a long time.

Reading my google reader though I am longing to game battles again.  And not just small engagements for road junctions and street corners, but large battles!  My AWI project (The Battle of Hubbardton) will most likely NOT enable me to fulfill this desire, but with a little bit of patience eventually I'll be able to game a large BATTLE. 

CS Grant has excellent horse and musket scenarios in his books (I own 2 and they were NOT easy to come by).  I will most likely play one of those for a Seven Years War engagement (Lobositz eventually) and perhaps I will tailor the battles for an AWI and ACW encounter as well and discuss the abilities of the forces involved.

This gets me to thinking about the limitations of Volley and Bayonet as a rules set.  The Continental Army of 1777 was NOT the Prussian Army of 1757.  Are the "period adjustments" adequate?  Are morale levels enough to game staff limitations?  I argue that no, they are not.  Command radii must be adjusted to simulate the limitations or non-existence of a staff.  Non-availability or critical logistics functions must be modeled as well, especially in an Army like the Continental Army - if a large battle is to be gamed.

Then on the other hand you can argue that from a gaming perspective, at the onset of the battle, troops are fully supplied with all of the ammunition they will have for the battle but then - I wouldnt have anything to write about would I?

Fast forward to World War II - the Italian Theater has tremendous potential for great infantry engagements (this goes in line with my 1:72 conversion and lack of vehicles / heavy weapons at that scale).  For MicroArmor, many would argue that spearhead is an excellent choice for gaming the maneuver of large divisions, with combat decisions and engagements happening very rapidly and with the commander unable to alter the plan without relying on the support of his staff.  to this end I would argue that Blitzkrieg Commander is the better game.  Not only can I game a satisfying engagement with 2 companies (Kompanies?) on the board, but I can launch an attack, counterattack, and have significant manuever on the tabletop, limited only by the notional abilities of my command, staff, and luck's interventions.  Infantry takes its rightful place on the battlefield, as does Artillery and Armor, all working in concert. 

(how do you model combined arms?  a discussion for another post).

For the horse and musket era, more than likely, one of Charles Grant's meeting engagement scenarios or set-piece scenarios would be fun.  For World War II, a large infantry battle from the Italian campaign or Normandy would be equally entertaining.

(remember also that Grant's scenarios work well for Napoleonics and the prolific, real-life Brigadier has volumes devoted to the period.)

I will more than likely make my own scenarios and continue to make my own.  One of the most fun parts of gaming is trying other armies out on the same ground a-la Kriegspiel.  The biggest challenge is finding a rules set that does justice to the period.

I will post scenarios on this blog from time to time before and after games in light of sharing potential military adventures for you to experience as well.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Random, Senseless Pic

One of my all-time favorite pictures of World War II.  There is absolutely no reason for posting.  I like the mud on the grenadier's helmet.  I have to wonder if the pic was staged or if this team had seen some heavy combat that particular day. 

Hobby Priorities and Projects

While all of my hobby stuff is currently scattered over eastern Pennsylvania at numerous locations, I can still dream and conjure up what my projects and priorities will be for the coming "campaign season" which, in my opinion, is opening now.

20mm AWI Project Summer '11
This project I think is more to hone my painting skills and get some painting under my belt.  Make no mistake about it though, 20mm is making a huge come-back in my life as a seriously cost-effective method of gaming.  Imagine the huge potential for gaming on the cheap - suddenly Blitzkrieg Commander / Cold War Commander scenarios utilizing 1:72 scale model tanks, helos, trucks are now possible! 
Right now I am painting a large force of AWI Soldiers which are being based for Guns of Liberty (pics in previous posts).  The 24th Foot is under the lamplight now and will hopefully be finished up next week sometime.  Once complete, I'll either start right in on a combined Grenadier Battalion or I'll complete the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment.  For them, I'll need to purchase more paints as I have no colors in the GW line that can be used as teh sky blue.

20mm World War II Project Summer '11
I have begun (once again) amassing quite a nice collection of WWII troops in 20mm soft and hard plastic.  My original intent was to play skirmish rules with them and I am looking for a good rules set (anyone have any suggestions for 20mm skirmish?  Otherwise I'll use Blitzkrieg Commander)  I really want to game Eastern Front / Late War, D-Day operations, Italian theater, and North Africa.  still will need to purchase North Africa and Afrika Corps troops but I have my hands full with my SS, Panzer Grenadiers, officers, and US Troops (painted as 4th Infantry Division...for sentimental reasons.  Steadfast & Loyal!)

6mm ACW Project Fall '11
I could have embarked upon an AWI Project in 6mm however it seemed not only redundant but silly to have 3 AWI Armies.  So I've shelved the 6mm AWI and will continue to build my large 6mm force and will most likely continue playing Volley & Bayonet in 6mm.  One day I will have, at a regimental level, all of the day 1 troops from the battle of Gettysburg on 1 table.

20mm Warmaster Project Fall '11
Man what ever happened to my 20mm WM guys?  I have about 4 Orc regiments, 4 empire regiments, a knight squadron, a battle troll and a ton of boxed artillery, siege engines,etc.  Would very much like to complete this project and finally game Warmaster, in all its glory.  For sigmar...

6mm SYW Project Winter '11 / '12
I literally cannot think of a better time than the dead of winter to complete a Seven Years War project.  REALLY need to finally finish this project.  I have enough troops for quite a large engagement and would like to game the Battle of Lobositz on my dining room table (I have the troops and the room for it).  Right now I need 2 x bases of painted troops for 1 V&B base.  I have about 60-70% of the troops finished and based although the bases aren't complete just yet.

EPIC Sci Fi Forces Revamp Winter '11
I have a huge collection of EPIC Space Marine forces.  Space Marines (Salamanders Chapter), Imperial Guard, Orks, Chaos to name a few.  One of my dreams of a huge battle involves a planetary uprising against the imperium where a small ubiquitous planet, that happens to manufacture heavy, advanced weapon systems for the Imperium rises up and overthrows the Imperium's ministerial rule.  Great idea, until the Guard with a handful of space marines is sent in to crush the uprising.  Plenty of possibilities for unique, kit-bashed weapon systems and R&D systems that give the pathetic rabble rebels a slim but fighting chance againt the might of the imperial guard.  I will either use Epic Armageddon, Epic Space Marine, OR....finally use my Future War Commander rules for some truly epic and outstanding tank battles.  Could be fun.  Naturally the tanks from this rebellious planet will be painted in German Ambush camoflauge a la WWII... certainly more to follow.

20mm Napoleonics Gaming the Napoleonic Wars in Portugal and Spain
Planning on purchasing alot of 20mm hard and soft plastic Napoleonic Troops to game some of my most favorite battles fought in Portugal and Spain.  This project equals my Christmas list for Christmas, 2011.  Procurement!!!  I may already have a box of Odemar's Portuguese infantry on the way in.

Retiring / RIF'ting Forces
In these days of Penny-Pinching defense budgets, corporate layoffs, and belt tightening, I'm thinking what kind of fat can I chew away from the force without feeling any impact of hobbies

15mm Napoleonics - Axe
I seem to remember an ebay binge back in 2008 where I lost my mind and bought up a ton of 15mm British and 15mm French all painted to game the Peninsula War in Portugal and Spain.  Well with the decision to game Nappys in 20mm plastics, I'm going to be getting rid of all of my 15mm Napoleonic lead/pewter.  If there are any takers, I'm all ears.  If you're interested, post a comment and I'll get back to you.

15mm World War II - Axe
I have a ton of World War II lead.  No kidding.  Way too much that it takes up 2 x 32 gallon totes when I have it all neatly packaged.  That's just the think - these poor guys have spent way too much time in boxes and almost no time fighitng.  My ultimate goal is to have a plastic force on 1 x 1/4 inch bases that can be used almost interchangeably with any WWII system up to and including Spearhead WWII or GHQ MicroArmour rules if I wanted to. 

Warhammer 40k - Axe
I have all of these stupid Warhammer 40K troops that I will never, ever use.  I'm getting rid of them.  They're cool too.  Cadians, Catechans, Orcs.  Heavy weapons.  Any takers they're yours for a very fair price.

Of all of my favorite and beloved periods, the AWI comes in first.  I cannot in all honesty, just get rid of them after all of the work I've put into the lads.  So I'll shelve them and await a day when I can re-organize, repaint, and rebase all of them.

MicroArmour SHELVE
MicroArmour is near and dear to my heart.  It's what has started it all and has occupied more of my time spent actually GAMING than any other genre.  Unfortunately I have more than I'll ever even be able to lay my eyes on at a single time.  The project, covering years 1942 to 2004, will require lots of painting, basing, and hopefulyl gaming.  Just not any time soon!  The microarmour will be dealt with accordingly when I have alot of other hobby accomplishments complete and have gamed some good SYW battles in 6mm, some Napoleonic Battles in 20mm, etc. 


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Reporting for Duty

"Tell his excellency that the 11th Massachusetts has arrived at Fort Ticonderoga for whatever instructions General St Clair has in preparation for them."  Colonel Ebenezer Francis. 

Okay, he most likely didn't say that but it sounded good, didnt it?

Here are my IMEX/Accurate  AWI Brits 1:72 painted up as the 11th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment ca 1777 from the Saratoga Campaign, and based however loosely, for Guns of Liberty.  (typically I prefer my stands to take 2 x hits instead of removing a stand for every hit.  I think it's a cleaner looking battlefield so I base 4 to 5 to a stand.

Anyways, on to the pictures.  One sidenote however - the bases warped a little after applying the PVA glue.  Will have to have them mounted on new bases prior to doing groundwork (paint, flock, etc).  Hence the uneven stances.

That being said, I wanted to get this Regiment to camp in preparation for the summer campaign season!  Next on the block?  British 24th Foot.  Huzzah!

11th Mass Infantry Regiment ca Saratoga Campaign 1777

11th Mass Infantry Regiment Front

2 Officers of the 11th Massachusetts Infantry conducting officerly duties on the firing line

Nice angle
Rear view of the Regiment / Officers

Thursday, April 14, 2011

AWI Painting

Since it's always been one of my favorite periods to read about and game, I thought it very appropriate that my first wargaming project since returning to the blogosphere should be AWI focused.

Thanks to Dave F, the troops are now being based for Guns of Liberty.  My original intent was to base them purely for Volley & Bayonet but after talking to Dave, I'm basing them now for Guns of Liberty which will look alot better on the tabletop and frankly it uses more of my plastic 1:72 troops up.

The lead vrs plastic debate still rages on in my mind after years of debate but the truth is the IMEX/Accurate troops are just too nice looking to simply get rid of and frankly, they are easy to paint, and easy to modify (kit bash).

The Troops are being based up for the Battle of Hubbardton in this project.  These troops are from the 11th Massachusetts Regiment.  I am working on stand 2 and stand 3 which will equate to 6 Guns of Liberty stands.  Huzzah!

Stand 1 of my 11th MASS Troops.  Figs are IMEX.
Front view

Saturday, April 2, 2011

He's Back

Hello Blogosphere!  Yes, the threats were real!  After a long hiatus, I'm back.  My last blogs were so infected with spam I just went and deleted all of them in the hopes of starting over and posting updates to my hobbies.  Soon I will be seeking out all of the old blogs I used to follow.  It's good to be back.  The reader will forgive any rants, raves, blasphemy, food critiques, or other comments.  Reading my blog in the first place consents to receipt of my opinion - as lame as it may be.