Saturday, November 19, 2011

Project List: Short Term and Long Term

Here is a current list of projects I'm working on - still within the confines of the "American History Project" :

15mm AWI Hubbardton Project (yes, it's back.  Compelted the 11th Mass, 2nd NH, Grenadier Battalion, and am finishing up the 24th Foot (again).  Just hand-selected the troops that will fill the ranks of Seth Warner's "Green Mountain Boys" once I complete the 24th Infantry.  The Light Infantry are next.  After the success (of failure) of the Hubbardton project, it's time to start thinking BIGGER.  As in battle of Whitemarsh (edge hill) bigger!  Or Freeman's Farm.  One way or the other, I will start more AWI regiments for larger battles in 15mm.

15mm Crossfire Project.  After the Overwhelming success of my 15mm Soviet Rifle Company based for Crossfire, I decided to start an American Rifle Company this time from the 4th Infantry Division in the Normandy Campaign and afterwards.  Also going to finish a German Westfront unit and an SS platoon.  It's been fun so far.

Long Term:
No Limits: I also found an awesome FREE rules set that acts as a nice alternative to Warhammer 40k so it turns out that I will not get rid of my 40k figures afterall but will finish them and play NO LIMITS.  You can field any force imaginable and it's very easy to learn.  In fact as soon as I get some troops painted up, I'm going to play a game!! 

MicroArmour: Going to rebase my microarmour for WWII Battlefront.  Should be fun and will still work well for MicroArmour games including BKC and GHQ.  I have some great ideas for microarmour scenarios and am itching to play some North Africa battles.

Epic Armageddon (Future War Commander).  Cannot wait to dust off my Epic Forces and play some Future War Commander!  Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Check This Out

Maybe I CAN do a 15mm fantasy army afterall.  Who knows - might even have some great figs for Epic 40K as well...

Terrain On the Cheap

Times are tough - but that's no reason why you can't game in style.  Recently I had read a few blogs on terrain tips and thought I would post some of my own recently discovered gems.

Pet Supply Stores.  As we were there "socializing" our cunning Dachshund, Penny the Terrible, it dawned on me that these places are veritable GOLD MINES for wargamers.  Whether you play historical miniatures, Warhammer or it's 40,000 brother, there is literally something for everyone at Pet Supply stores, and you will literally pay a fraction of the cost of specialty wargame terrain.

with a PETCO or PET SMART card, this baby was almost an entire dollar off - costing me a whopping 5 dollars!    THis is amazing "jungle" terrain and is large and the plastic bases are sturdy as well.  What's better?  It's made to be cut up into smaller squares or rectangles.  You could make at least 6 decent and respectable looking "Jungle" terrain pieces for CROSSFIRE VIETNAM or Pacific Theater WWII 15mm.  I have attached another picture of both!
Here is a picture of a Vietnam Crossfire Fire team with a 15mm Battlefront (FoW) Sherman stalking the jungle looking for "charlie."  Okay should I have put my M48 in there?  Maybe but I wanted to show the versatility of this stuff.  For 5 bucks!! You would just have to put these on a base and flock it for respectable looking fauna.

 Brand is "Marineland" and the product is a "linden plant mat".  So check that out.  I have no doubt you could get it off Amazon or an internet company for maybe even cheaper.

Additionally, if you're into the GW role playing games, or even 40k, they have larger (about 30 dollars) pieces that would make terrific skirmish terrain.  As well as colorful pink and blue plants that you could put your Catachan Jungle platoon into for some serious skirmishing with the zenos scum.

And dont get me started about all of the skulls, bridges, acropolis models, etc!  Remember, PETCO, Pet Smart, or your European, South Pacific etc version of the same.

AC MOORE & Paints Lastly - good paints are hard to come by.  Far be it from me to try and dissuade you from using "Army Painter" or Vallejo, which I think are excellent, albeit expensive products.  I use alot of GW paints as I like their suitability to cover many periods of history (and reality), but for as long as I can remember, I use Folk Art acrylics to round out my collection as their selection of colors and prices simply cannot be beat.  See below:

This is almost 3 times as large as a pot of GW paint...  The color is "skin tone" and it's a perfect cross between Elf Flesh and Dwarf Flesh.  Folk Art also has many other skin tone colors for peoples across the earth (and galazxy? ahh if that's your thing)  best of all?  It cost me a whopping $1.39 (US).  With GW paint prices on the rise to about 4 dollars a pot, these Folk Art paints are becoming much more attractive, especially for generic projects. Personally if I lived in the UK, besides eating beans and rice everyday and not heating my home, I'd use this brand of paint to save more of my hard earned Sterling.

That being said, while Folk Art's "True Blue" makes an excellent 'Hessian Musketeer" blue, I would not recommend using them for the fabled "Ultramarines" unless you yourself don't care at all about the reforms in the Codex Astartes   In some cases you just have to use the original as it was intended.  I for one wouldn't want to piss one of those guys off... 


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Frozen Gamer AK: "The Safehouse" Short Action Scene

Ummm AMAZING! Great job kids. I will subscribe to your channel on youtube.

Frozen Gamer AK: "The Safehouse" Short Action Scene: A kid from the youth group I help out with is a freakin master at film making check this out.

Intelligence in the Continental Army

General George Washington advocates the gathering and analysis of tactical and operational intelligence.

Intelligence analysis and estimates
On May 29, 1776, the Continental Congress received the first of many intelligence estimates prepared in response to questions it posed to military commanders. The report estimated the size of the enemy force to be encountered in an attack on New York, the number of Continental troops needed to meet it, and the kind of force needed to defend the other New England colonies.
An example of George Washington's interest in intelligence analysis and estimates can be found in instructions he wrote to General Putnam in August 1777:
"Deserters and people of that class always speak of number. . . indeed, scarce any person can form a judgement unless he sees the troops paraded and can count the divisions. But, if you can by any means obtain a list of the regiments left upon the island, we can compute the number of men within a few hundreds, over or under." On another occasion, in thanking James Lovell for a piece of intelligence, Washington wrote: "it is by comparing a variety of information, we are frequently enabled to investigate facts, which were so intricate or hidden, that no single clue could have led to the knowledge of them. . . intelligence becomes interesting which but from its connection and collateral circumstances, would not be important."
Colonel David Henley, Washington's intelligence chief for a short period in 1778, received these instructions when he wrote to Washington for guidance: "Besides communicating your information as it arises. . . you might make out a table or something in the way of columns, under which you might range, their magazines of forage, grain and the like, the different corps and regiments, the Works, where thrown up, their connexion, kind and extent, the officers commanding, with the numbers of guns &ca. &ca. This table should comprehend in one view all that can be learned from deserters, spies and persons who may come out from the enemy's boundaries." (It was common practice to interrogate travelers from such British strongholds as New York, Boston and Philadelphia.)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Rattenkrieg's Demise: The Warmaster AAR

Heavily laden, the men marched out into the early morning gloom on the moor.  The dampness seeped into their bones, the mud sucked at their boots and made their load feel that much worse.  They were finally across the battlefield from their quarry - a large force of black orcs from the eastern forests of the Reik had been pillaging villages, killing locals, and destroying almost everything in their path.  The closest garrison - the fortress at Rattenkrieg was called out to meet these raiders and defeat them.  Lord Rattenkrieg, riding at the head of a thousand men, had assembled a force of crack troops from his infantry regiments.  The Regiments, one of sword, of halberd, of crossbow, handgun, and another of sword, marched out in pursuit of the orcs, only to meet them in the upper dachs.  It was there they were massacred almost to the man.  Lord Rattenkrieg had given his journal to the man Heinrich and it was there we learned of Rattenkrieg's demise.  A lesson in tactics that the empire can scarcely afford to relearn....

Doubtless by now you've looked at the pictures of Rattenkrieg's disaster and are wondering "where are the Orcs now?" By last account, wandering around the eastern forests foraging.  By Sigmar, this is only the begining!  The Orc flushed with victory becomes drugged by his power and seeks only the pleasures of battle.  They will come again with greater force and fury than before. 

This was my first game of Warmster.  Believe it or not, I've played a few games of Blitzkrieg Commander and Cold War Commander and those games had given me some bad habits but the lessons  I learned watching Rattenkrieg's lines being torn apart resonate.

Warmaster is a fun but unforgiving game and with all of the dice flying around, you'll find that fortunes in battle can change quickly.  Take for instance an unforseen Empire victory during the last Orc charge.  The Melee was won but the pursuit was a disaster as the Orcs rallied and won the second round, virtually eliminating the Empire Swordsmen.  That coupled with a massive Orc breakthrough against the Crossbowmen equaled a disaster for the Empire.  Rattenkrieg, it was rumored, drove his horse into a pack of marauding Orc to buy the few wounded time to escape.  It was in vain.  The last thing Rattenkrieg saw was his troops being eaten by dreadful 4 legged beasts, before they burned out his eyes and decapitated him.

Key Lessons Learned:

Protect Missile Troops: Crossbowmen have no armor and very poor fighting ability - especially against black orcs.  They should always be behind a line of Halberds or Swordsmen (I give Swordsmen and Halberdiers the same values as I have alot of Swordsmen figures!) Crossbowmen and Archers to the rear!

Always Always Always have Supported Infantry if you expect contact!: If there is significant melee combat expected, it is wise to double up your ranks as best you can.  The +1 in melee certainly helps and can tip the balance!

Advance on a broad front:  Advancing conservatively with infantry on a broad front enables mutual support from your missile troops as well as flank formations.  My fine halberdiers (the nicest painted troops on the table!) were gobbled up by the Orcs in 2 rounds of combat because of a command blunder that caused them to charge.  Had we advanced a little more cautiously, they would never have made the charge as they would have been too far away.

The next battle will find Empire reinforcements from the various states of the Reik.  It will also find more Orc regiments, Goblins, Goblin Lizard Riders, rock lobbers, and artillery!  Depending on who wins that fight, there may be an epic battle fought for control Festung Rattenkrieg.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Small Warmaster Game

Played my first game of "Warmaster on the Cheap" today with my 20mm Caesar, Zvezda, and Orion troops today.  An incursion of Black Orcs into Empire territory sees the Garrison under Lord Rattenkrieg sent out from "Dachsland" to defeat the Orc horde...

Lord Rattenkrieg's Troops advance to meet the greenskin menace

The mighty Orc host advances!

Empire Handgunners

Orcs move out!

Empire command blunder...Charging right into an Orc mob.  Note the plethora of hits against the Halberdiers 

The handgunners cooly load under a barrage of Orc arrows

The final Orc charge

axes, swords, clubs, and halberds fly as the melee ensues!

Brutal Combat!

brave deeds

The orcs gain the upper hand
Final dispositions - 2 Empire Regiments evaporate as the Orcs break through on the Empire right!  Lord Rattenkrieg reportedly died on the field - the men of the Dachsland garrison were slaughtered en masse!  Rumors of an impending Orc invasion turned out to be true.  This small engagement would pale in comparison to what lie ahead..