Thursday, July 19, 2018

There and Back Again; a Historicon Holiday!

This year I took off the Monday and Tuesday of the week of Historicon, in addition to my usual Weds - Friday. I figured this would take off some of the pressure during the last 2 weeks or so before the show. Unfortunately (?), the weather was spectacularly nice for the week before the show, which lead to me spending a lot more time outdoors and not enough working on my "Gamer's Tan". What is more, is that Dr. Tim flew overt from Scotland Monday night, and stayed with us until we departed for Historicon late Wednesday AM. I am afraid I wasn't the best host, what with getting everything ready for my games. Tim helped me do a test layout for my To the Strongest game ion Tuesday, which helped a lot. Finally, ready or not, we had to depart for Lancaster!

Along with Tim and myself, and our personal effects, we brought the figures for Tim's three Jacobite Wars games, and all the stuff you see stacked up here, which includes at least 1,000 28 mm figures.

View of the cargo from the other side. Not included: another 400+ Punic Wars troops that I had Barry bring down for me. Thanks, Barry! Anyway, the drive to Lancaster, a mere 4 hrs with moderate traffic , was a very welcome relief from the 6.5 to 7.5 hour drive to Fredericksburg in heavy traffic.

We arrived in Lancaster about 3:30, and were able to check into our room at the Host shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, it turned out to be about as far from the main part of the hotel as possible - a 700 yard walk! After making one trip from our room it became clear this was not going to go well, so we unloaded directly from my car at a nearer entrance. Still, it was actually MORE convenient to stay somewhere *else* in past years, and pull up to the loading dock behind the ballroom. 
The Host itself was in the process of major renovations... as expected. Our room was perfectly acceptable, aside from being distant. I understand some attendees got displaced to another hotel as there were fewer rooms available than expected. As many have commented, the food was a big step down from the best the Host has done in past years (I was last there in 2009), although in all honesty it was certainly edible and convenient. There were far fewer "dining" options there than in past years, in part due to space constraints from the ongoing  renovations. Of course, there is no shortage of eateries in the area.

Although Historicon will be in Lancaster once again next year, it will be at a new site in downtown Lancaster. I had hoped to visit it to scope it out for next year, but there was not enough time for me to do so. Regardless, the shorter drive will remain a huge plus for those of us coming from the Northeast!

I started setting up the 12 tables for my Snappy Nappy "Campaign in a Day event) Wednesday about 5 PM; with help from Russ, Dan, Tim, and later James, we got the terrain all laid out by about 8 PM. I also brought over all of the troops and other materials needed for the game Wednesday evening, but waited until early Thursday Am to set out the troops. Afterwards, we made use of the Host's bar area for dinner and shooting the breeze. Both Tim and I were quite tired and retired at a reasonable hour Thursday. That was when I discovered that my back was incredibly sore and stiff from carrying so much stuff such a long distance so many times. Fortunately, a hot bath and some Tylenol improve things enough to run the Campaign event from 10 - 4:30 on Thursday (report forthcoming separately).

It was at that point that we discovered that my large tackle box with well over 100 dice in it was no where to be found. Unless it got swept up into an as yet un-examined box during the game set up, it appears that it may have been absconded with by persons unknown. At least if that finally proves to be the case, it is the easiest of all such possible losses to replace, and probably the cheapest as well. Fortunately, Russ had a Dealer's Badge and was able to get into the dealer area Thursday AM before it opened officially, and procure a supply of 10 sided dice (used exclusively in Snappy Nappy). I later hit the dealer's area Thursday AM for some polyhedral dice sets (used in Field of Battle), as did Tim. 

Tim ran the first of his three Jacobite Revolt 1745 games Thursday night (more on that in a later post), while I used the time to take down the terrain and sort out all of the troops so that they would be ready for my Friday evening game. Once I finished, I watched Tim's game, which was a blast!

While in the dealer area for the dice, I picked up a few bottles of the excellent Valejo acrylic metalics that I was running low on - Bronze, Silver, and Brass. it for these, not so much, IMHO, for most other colors. 

Also at the dice vendor, I picked up this set of needle files for $6. 

On one of my few trips to the Fl;ea Market, I picked up these hedges. With the "buy 2, get one free" deal they had, I of course bought three!

The same vendor had these Vineyard pieces, same buy 2, get 1 free deal... same three sets acquired!

One set of hedgerows, posing with some Brigade Games Spanish infantry. Each section is about 6" long. These are made from the green plastic scrub pads. Yeah, sure, I could do it myself - but at $1.50 per section, why would I?

The Vineyard pieces were even nicer. It is hard to see, but there is some purple flock in with the bright green. I will probably glue these to bases and terrain them, probably in groups of three. That would make 10 sections!

I ran my big Talavera game Friday night (covered in a future post), and Tim ran another, different smashing Jacobite game Friday AM. Saturday, Tim ran his third Jacobite scenario in the morning, which was once again superb, and I ran my To the Strongest! Punic Wars game with 12 players Saturday evening (once again, to be covered separately). In between them, we were able to have a leisurely meal with Gabriel and Michelle Saturday afternoon - they are such a delight to talk to, as was young Fritzi... who certainly can talk up a storm herself, LOL! We hope to see Gabriel run a Wars of the Roses game at Historicon in 2019!

Sunday morning, Tim and I hit the flea market. I picked up a few classic titles  at excellent prices, such as the above. 

and this one.

For 25 cents, a bit of pulp, too!

With Tim's flight not due to depart until Sunday evening, we had spare time to go to the dealer's hall Sunday AM, which neither of us had really explored much until then. I took advantage of the usual Sash and Saber convention deal to get 6 sets of their excellent Artillery pieces for the price of five.

Up on the balcony, we discovered a dealer selling Crusader figures - 30% off for cash pay! 
With that deal, I got enough for 2 more units of Roman (Republican) cavalry, and a pack each of Roman and Spanish (Celtiberian) commanders [one foot and one mounted figure per General pack].

We then shot the breeze for far too long with Freddy, Jeff G, Tim B, Adam H and a few others, before heading out. Although the condition of the Host was far less than perfect, both Tim and I had a great convention - one of our best ever, actually. As noted above, there will be quite a few more posts to come covering the games themselves! 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

2nd Nassau Infantry Regiment

Then twin duchies of Nassau-Usingen and Nassau-Weilburg joined the Confederation of the Rhine on July 12, 1806 as the united Duchy of Nassau. They were ultimately required to supply 2 Infantry regiments, each of 2 battalions, and a small cavalry unit of  2 squadrons of Jagers zu Pferde.

In 1807, the Nassau contingent served at the siege of Colberg, and also participated in the assault on Stralsund. 

The 2nd Nassau regiment and the mounted Jagers were both sent to serve in Spain in 1808, while the 1st Regiment participated in the Danube campaign in 1809, and then later joined their colleagues in Spain. The 2nd regiment participated in the Battle of Talavera. Nassau went over the the Allies in November 1813; the 1st regiment defected to the British and the 2nd regiment was disarmed  in Spain at that time.

During the hundred Days campaign in 1815, the 2nd Nassau regiment was famously present from the beginning of the fighting at Quatre Bras on June 16, and Nassau troops were involved in the fighting at Hougoumont, Papelotte, and La Haye Sainte at Waterloo on the 18th. 

These excellent Front Rank sculpts wear the uniform of the 100 Days campaign. The only significant change from the uniforms worn from 1808 were the introduction of the Colpack headdress for the Grenadiers by 1810 (some say fur should be more brown in color), and the change from epaulets (red for Grenadiers, bright green for Voltigeurs) to shoulder rolls or Achselwuelste (red for Grenadiers, yellow for voltigeurs). For details of this uniform one can hardly do better than the Cent Jours site

The pom-poms on the shakos of the four Fusilier companies were:  1st yellow, 2nd white, 3rd light blue, 4th black. Uniquely, all of the leather work foer the Nassau regiments was buff. 

    As for the Mounted Jagers, they wore an all dark green uniform of Hussar style (no pelisse) with silver lace, and a black helmet resembling that of the Bavarian dragoons with a green side plume and a black "sausage roll". Belts were silver, later black. They later (post 1810) adopted a dark green pelisse with silver lace and  brown fur, and a brown colpack with a green bag, and white tassle (silver for officers). 

    I had long planned on adding a unit of versatile Nassauers to my collection, but realizing they fought during the Talavera campaign and battle, and needing to place an order to Front Rank for some additional Generals made me pull the trigger on these fellows. They are now ready to march on Lancaster (and Talavera) in just a few more days!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Napoleonic Spanish Army completed!

With less than a week to go before Historicon, the very last of the figures for my Spanish Napoleonic army are done. A final parade review will have to wait until after the convention, though!

The bulk of these bases are Front Rank Spanish Generals that I ordered a few months ago, with a few other odd figures thrown in here and there

This base has a Spanish Lieutenant General on hiorse, with a Brigadier General on foot, and a left over Eagle Figures light infantrymen (painted as a member of a different regiment with crimson facings, as opposed to the yellow of the unity I did last month). 

Two Front Rank figures - a Sopanish Brigadier (silver lace and trim), and a major General (gold lace and trim).

The plumes on the hats of Spanish generals are generally red, but I gave the Major general a white one for variety. 

The fine black ink pen was used to pick out some detail on the saddle blankets and epaulets.

I used different shades of red on the saddle blanket, the pants, and the sash for some contrast.

A Staff Officer/Light Cavalry general, and a Brigadier on foot. 

The mounted officer is Front Rank once again. 

I am not entirely sure as to manufacturer the Brigadier on foot. 

Another Front Rank Lieutenant General (3 bands of gold braid on the cuffs).

I mounted the last of the spare Eagle infantrymen firing on a base for possible use as a marker. 

Once again, some detailing was done on the gold braid etc with the ink pen. 
Viva España!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Scenario for the Battle of Talavera at Historicon

A week ago, Jared, John, Mike and I did a play test of my scenario for the Battle of Talavera, using Field of Battle 2nd edition rules by Brent Oman. 

We got about halfway through the game in 2 hours, but learned what I needed to know to improve the scenario for Convention play. In the foreground are the village of Talavera de la Reina, and the Tagus river. 

Overview of the table at the end of the play test.

View from the French lines.

View from the French Right; the British are deployed on the other side of the Portina stream. 

French Dragoons, Chasseurs, and Hussars attempting to turn the British left flank... thus far without success. 

The French exchanging volleys with the British... and not getting the best of it!

French light cavalry successfully charge the Pejar de Begara redoubt.

French attacks on Talavera itself have gone nowhere thus far! The Spanish deployed their best infantry units forward; if they can be broken, the rest of the infantry are all weak D4 defense die types, albeit in good defensive positions!

The repulsed French columns of the first attacks upon Talavera. 

The Spanish defenders of Talavera. 

The largely indifferent Spanish cavalry in reserve. 

British infantry in the center.

The British left flank with supporting Cavalry; the French horse battery has been successful at taking pot shots at the English troopers!

The Battle of Talavera, July 28, 1809

1 infantry unit = 1200  men, 1 cavalry unit = 800 men, 1 artillery unit = 12 guns

Marshal Jourdan and King Joseph: Average  LD 10

Average Sequence Deck
47 Units

Madrid Garrison:  GD Desoilles  LD 10
1 Legere  DD8, CD12
2 Ligne    D6, CD10
1 King Joseph's Guard  DD8, CD12
1 6# Foot Artillery  DD6, CD12

1st Light cavalry Division: GD Merlin  LD 10
2 Chassuers a Cheval  DD6, CD10
1 Hussar  DD8, CD10

1st Dragoon Division:  GD Latour - Mauborg  LD 12
3 Dragoons  DD6, CD12
1 6# Horse Artillery  DD8, CD12+1

2nd Dragoon Division:  GD Milhaud  LD 12
3 Dragoons  DD6, CD12

1st Corps, Marechal Victor  LD 12

Light Cavalry Brigade: GD  Beaumont  LD 10
1 Chasseur a Cheval  DD6, CD10

1st Infantry Division:  GD Ruffin  LD 10
1 Legere  DD8, CD12
4 Ligne  DD6, CD 10
1 6# Foot Artillery  DD6, CD12

2nd Infantry Division: GD Lapisse  LD 10
1 Legere  DD8, CD12
4 Ligne    DD6, CD 10
1 6# Foot Artillery  DD6, CD12

3rd Infantry Division: Vilatte  LD 10
1 Legere  DD8, CD12
4 Ligne    DD6, CD 10
1 6# Foot Artillery  DD6, CD12

4th Corps, GD Sebastiani  LD 10

1st Infantry Division:  GD Liger - Belair  LD 10
1 Legere  DD8, CD12
4 Ligne    DD6, CD 10
1 6# Foot Artillery  DD6, CD12

2nd Infantry Division:  GD Leval  LD 10
2 Baden  Infantry  DD6, CD10
1 Nassau Infantry  DD6, CD8
1 Hesse-Darmstadt Infantry  DD6, CD12
2 Polish Infantry  DD8, CD12
1 6# Foot Artillery  DD6, CD12

Allied Army:  Sir Arthur Wellesley  LD 12
Skilled Sequence Deck (to account for joint command with Cuesta)
48 Units

1st Division:  Sherbrooke  LD 12
1 Guard Infantry  DD10, CD 12
2 Elite Infantry (Fusiliers/Highlanders)  DD8, CD 12
1 Line Infantry  DD6, CD10

2nd Division:    Roland Hill  LD 12
3 Line Infantry  DD 6, CD10
1 6# Foot Artillery  DD8, CD12

3rd Division:  MacKenzie  LD 10
2 Line Infantry  DD6, CD10
1 Rifle (60th)  DD8, CD 12 (Rifles)
1 6# Foot Artillery DD8, CD 12

4th Division: Campbell  LD 12
3 Line Infantry  DD6, CD10
1 6# Foot Artillery  DD8, CD 12

Cavalry Division:  Payne  LD 10
1 Dragoon Guard  DD8, CD12
1 Dragoon  DD6, CD12
1 Light Dragoon  DD6, CD10
1 Hussar  DD8, CD10

Spanish Army:  Cuesta  LD 10
(uses Allied LD roll and  sequence deck, but as Cuesta would have a "Poor", sequence deck himself,  Marked cards in the deck may not be used by Spanish troops (1 each Leadership, Move 1 Command Group, and Maneuver; counts like a Lull, except no loss  of initiative)

Vanguard and 1st Division:  Zayas  LD 10
1 Grenadier DD8, CD10
1 Light Infantry  DD6, CD10
2 Line Infantry  DD4, CD10
2 Militia Infantry  DD4, CD8
1 6# Foot Artillery  DD6, CD8

2nd and 3rd Divisions:  Iglesias  LD 8
1 Light Infantry DD6, CD10
4 Line Infantry  DD4, CD10
1 Militia Infantry  DD4, CD8
1 6# Foot Artillery DD6, CD8

4th and 5th Divisions:  Manglano  LD 8
1 Grenadier  DD8, CD10
1 Light Infantry  DD6, CD10
4 Line Infantry  DD4, CD10
1 Militia Infantry  DD4, CD8
1 6# Foot Artillery  DD6, CD8

1st Cavalry Division: Henestrosa  LD 8
1 Line Cavalry  DD6, CD12
1 Dragoon  DD4, CD10
1 Hussar  DD4, CD8

2nd Cavalry Division:  Duque de Alberquerque  LD 10
1 Line Cavalry  DD6, CD12
1 Dragoon  DD4, CD10
1 Garrochista  DD4, CD8

The Madrid Garrison arrives on the first French MOVE card, anywhere between the two roads X and Y inclusive. They may enter in March column and/or deployed

Class IV (impassable) -  Mountain and Rio Tagus
Class III - Church at Talavera, Woods
Class II -  rest of Talavera, Vineyards,  Hills, Redoubt  Walled Gardens
Orchards are Class II for movement only, block LOS. No effect on combat otherwise.
Portina Stream Class is II, except the marshy banked northern portion is class III

The French are awarded a one time 4 bonus MP if they take the Talavera Church (the most southeasterly building), and 2 MP each for the other three buildings of Talavera. Similarly, they are a warded a 1 MP bonus each for taking the redoubt and each of the walled gardens. It does not mater if they subsequently lose control of these points.

If the French exit a unit from the table via road exits  A or B at any time, the Allies must pay a one time loss of  3 Morale Points (for each road so exited. not per unit exited) to the French immediately.  This can only be claimed once per game for road A and once for road B.

Game ends when one army fails Army Morale. If the other side has 0 - 6 Morale Points remaining it is a marginal victory, 7 - 12 MP's is a minor victory, 13 - 23 MP is a major victory, and 24+ MP's is a Decisive victory.


Talavera OOB:

The scenario in Volley and Bayonet - Road to Glory was the main inspiration for my own version. I have significantly adapted the OOB to fit my own collection, particularly with regard to the Spanish, including giving the Spanish a limited amount of decent troops.

Rafa's Talavera scenario for Napoleon's Battles:

JJ's Talavera scenario for Carnage and Glory:

Friday, June 29, 2018

92nd (Gordon) Highlanders

 Eventually, every Napoleonic Wargamer must confront the specter of painting... Highlanders! 
Now, I actually had painted a unit of Highlanders some 45 years ago - the famous Airfix set. That experience didn't make me any more eager to do another unit, LOL!

 Although I had finished most of my substantial British army a couple of years ago, I didn't even order any Highlanders as part of that project.

In the waning days of my Old Glory Army Card membership this winter, I finally placed the order for my Highland contingent. I had debated using Perry figures, because then I would only have enough for a single unit, whereas I could make up to 4 units from the Old Glory packs I needed. In the end, thrift and megalomania won out, and I went with Old Glory...

They are actually quite nice figures, but *80* is so darned many to paint!  :-) I decided to do the Gordons for my Talavera campaign and games, and do any other regiment(s) after Historicon. 

As usual, the over-sized but beautiful GMB flag is a bit large for the Old Glory standard bearer.

I used a red ink pen to do the dicing on the socks and the band at the base of the bonnets. Fortunately, these figures are sculpted wearing marching gaiters over most of the stockings. I use d a green ink pen for the squares at the intersections of the dicing on the bonnets. 

I have exchanged the ranks to better show the tartan patterns on the kilts. I used ta truncated version of the method outlined here by John O'Brien. I used a black ink pen to outline the green stripes. I was going to do the yellow over-stripe that differentiated the Gordon's kilts, but decided that I wouldn't be able to paint fine enough lines, and that it would thus likely spoil the reasonably satisfactory look of the kilts as seen here.  

 The second unit, the 42nd (Black Watch) is about half done now; they will wait until after Historicon for completion. (anyone want to pick up about 40 unpainted  Old Glory Highland figures cheap?!)

Scotland forever!
(Of course you do!)