Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Lodestone Kickstarter - "modular magnetic tabletop buildings"

  I happened across this Kickstarter which I hadn't seen promoted, and I thought the concept was very clever. The idea is to use some standard box configurations as the skeleton to which fully pre-painted mdf  "skins are affixed, using strong earth magnets. This allows rapid assembly and disassembly, and reduced storage needs.   What's more,  the same basic boxes can potentially have a wide variety of different genre "skins" that can be used with them. They are curently looking at doing Sci-Fi, Western, and Gothic Fantasy, but imagine Mediterranean, Russian, and French skins fior the Napoleonic era, Middle eastern skins, Oriental skins, Modern skins, Medieval skins, ACW skins....  all re using the same basic boxes as a framework. A huge variety of buildings would be possible with greatly reduced storage needs. The buildings look to be geared to 35/28 mm figures, without having overly large footprints.

Check out their  Kickstarter (a very well done presentation) if you are so inclined! I have no connection to these guys in any fashion, nor any idea how likely they are to be able to deliver the product (due May 2019). It looks like they showed the prototypes at Salute this month, though.


In my opinion, it takes a Village....




Sunday, April 15, 2018

Caballeria de la Linea - Regimiento del Rey

The King's regiment of Heavy Cavalry was the oldest in the Kingdom, having been raised originally in Milan, then controlled by the Spanish, in 1536. It was part of the Spanish forces sent to Denmark in 1807 under the Marquis de la Romana. It was returned to the Peninsula, sons horses, by the Brityish in 1808, and, after securing remounts, it fought at the battles of Ucles, Medellin, Talavera, Ocana, and Sagunto.







For the duration of the Peninsular War, the regiment wore this uniform - dark blue coats with red collar, cuffs, lapels and turnbacks, brass buttons, buff breeches, and yellow edging to the bicorne and saddle blankets.


These are more excellent 28 mm Brigade Games figures, sculpted by Paul Hicks. Note the detail on the pockets on the back of the coats!


The unit should have 2 more figures, a trumpeter and a standard bearer (plus an officer, which I recycle as a General!). I have been waiting for Brigade Games to release the command set for these troops since July, but nothing yet. With the local version of the Talavera "Campaign in a Day" in 2 weeks, I just went ahead and painted the troopers without the command.


If need be, I can use the Dragoon command set, as there seems to be little difference in the cut of the uniform. We will see. Brigade games has been releasing quite a few Spanish/Peninsular War figures this month! The flag for this unit has the emblem of Milan on the reverse - a snake swallowing a man, a nod to it's origin in that city.


The regiment performed what was perhaps the most effective cavalry charge by the Spanish of the war at the battle of Talavera, where it scattered the infantry of the Confederation of the Rhine and captured a battery. 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Regimiento de Infanteria de Linea "Rey Immemorial"

For the sake of variety, I painted this regiment, the King's Own, in the earlier 1802 uniform. It is the oldest unit in the Spanish Army, originating before Spain was even a Kingdom. 


This uniform was a radical departure from the traditional white coats of Spanish infantry, and their individual facing colors. 


Instead all units were to wear an identical uniform featuring a dark sky blue coat with black collar, cuffs, and lapels. The shoulder straps and turnbacks were scarlet. 


The lapels and collars were piped scarlet; sources vary about the cuffs being piped scarlet as well, but Spanish sources seem to indicate they were left plain. 


All units had brass buttons and collar emblems.


The usual red plume and red cockade of Spanish troops were worn with this uniform as well. Many of the troops in the Romana Division sent to the Baltic for service with the French were still wearing this uniform in 1807, despite the regulation changing back to white with varied facings in 1805.


I also painted the last of the Front Rank Spanish Grenadiers that In bought way back in 2009. 


One company is in the same 1802 uniform, and the other is in the 1805 white uniform. If I remember correctly, the light blue facings are those of the Valencia regiment. 


Once again, those magnificent bearskins!


The flag is that of the Valencia regiment., once again by Adolfo Ramos.


The figure on the far right is a sapper, wearing a modified and shorter version of the Grenadier bearskin. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Spanish Napoleonic Artillery #4


A fourth and final battery of Spanish foot artillery  rumbles off the painting table. 


This time it is a heavy, 12 pounder battery. 


Brigade Games French 12 pounders  were used for the ordnance. 


The bulk of the crew are Brigade games as well.


I use 4 crew figures per stand for heavy artillery (versus three for others); the extra figures came from  surplus officer and standard bearer figures from my Three Armies order. Flag once again is by Adolfo Ramos. 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

La Gendarmerie!


These wonderful Paul Hicks sculpts of an unusual subject were released by Brigade Games a number of years ago. I had my eye on them at Historicon for several years in a row before pulling the trigger to buy enough of them for a full unit about 2 years ago. 


They came onto the painting queue this month, as they are needed to act as a counter to the Guerrillas infesting the Spanish countryside in our upcoming Campaign-in-a-Day.


There is a wonderful plate in the Funken books illustrating the Gendarmes. Their uniform is a dark blue jacket with scarlet lapels, cuff, and turnbacks. Some sources show the collar to be scarlet, others dark blue; I went with the blue. 


The cuff flaps were dark blue, buttons pewter, and red epaulettes, silver for officers, silver mixed with red for sergeants. All ranks had chamois waistcoats and breeches. The black bicornes trimmed white were  especially indicative of the Gendarmes. 


Insurgents and refractionaires beware!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Season of Battle - play test campaign - Set Up

   Brent Oman sent me the semi final draft of his new, simple short, if somewhat abstract campaign rules, titled, "Season of Battle" for some final play testing. While intended for use with his own  Field of Battle rules, they should be fairly easy to adapt to use many other rules sets More about that as things go along.

    I have, of course, chosen to set mine in 1809, in the Spring "Landshut" phase of the Danube campaign. I chose to model my forces on those of Massena's Corps for the French, and Hohenzollern-Hechingen's Corps for the Austrians. I gave the Austrians a 10% advantage in troop points, to help compensate for their poorer commander quality. I actually set the forces up first, and then added up the points, and I was amazingly close just by Gestalt - only a unit or two needed to be changed to make it work out right!

The forces I set up were as follows:

French National Will  78
Marshal Massena  LD 12


1st Division, GD Legrand  LD 12
Unit Name
DD  
CD
Notes/Changes
Baden Jagers
D6
12
61
Baden IR #1
D6
10
61
Baden IR #2
D6
10
61
Baden  IR #3
D6
10
61
Baden  IR #4
D6
10
61
8# Foot Artillery
D6
12
64


2nd Division, GD Molitor  LD 12+1 ** Charismatic**
Unit Name
DD  
CD
Notes/Changes
10e Legere
D8
12
95
3e Ligne
D6
12
61
57e Ligne
D6
12
61
72e Ligne
D6
10
61
105e Ligne
D6
10
61
8# Foot Artillery
D6
12
64


3rd  Division, GD St. Cyr  LD 12
Unit Name
DD  
CD
Notes/Changes
13e Legere
D8
12+1
95
173e Ligne
D6
12
61
30e Ligne
D6
12
61
Hesse Liebgarde
D6
10
61
Hesse Lieb
D6
10
61
8# Foot Artillery
D6
10
64


Light Cavalry Division, GD Maraluz  LD 10 ** Heroic**
Unit Name
DD  
CD
Notes/Changes
2e Hussar
D8
10
95
6e Chasseurs
D6
10
68
Bavarian Dragoons
D6
12
71
6# Horse Artillery
D8
12+1
95


Corp Artillery Reserve,  GD Senarmont LD 12+1
Unit Name
DD  
CD
Notes/Changes
12# FA
D6
12
72
12# FA
D6
12
72


Heavy Cavalry Brigade, GB St Sulpice  LD 12
Unit Name
DD  
CD
Notes/Changes
1ier Carabiniers
D8
12
100
10e Cuirassiers
D8
12
100


26 units, Points: 1848


Austrian National Will:  84
FML Hohenzollern - Hechingen  LD 10


Advance Guard, Vukassovich  LD 8
Unit Name
DD  
CD
Notes/Changes
Jager Bn #1
D8
10
95
Grenz Rgt #9
D4
12
38
1st EzH Karl Legion
D4
10
38
1st Vienna Volunteers
D4
10
38
Hussar Rgt #1
D6
12
68
Hussar Rgt #4
D8
12+1
95
6# Cavalry Battery
D6
8
64


1st  Division, FML Lusignan  LD 8
Unit Name
DD  
CD
Notes/Changes
I.R. # 10
D6
10
61
I.R. # 15
D6
10
61
I.R. # 21
D6
8
61
I.R. # 59
D6
8
61
6# FA
D6
8
64


2nd  Division, FML St. Julien  LD 10 ** Aggressive**
Unit Name
DD  
CD
Notes/Changes
I.R. # 31
D6
12
61
I.R. # 34
D6
10
61
I.R. # 48
D6
10
61
I.R. # 53
D6
8
61
6# FA
D6
10
64


3rd  Division, GM Bieber  LD 8
Unit Name
DD  
CD
Notes/Changes
I.R. # 18
D6
10
61
I.R. # 24
D6
10
61
I.R. # 38
D6
10
61
I.R. # 42
D6
8
61
6# FA
D6
10
64


Corps Artillery, Oberst Smola LD 8
Unit Name
DD  
CD
Notes/Changes
12# FA
D6
12+1
72
12# FA
D6
121+1
72


Reserve Division,   GM Mayer LD 10 **Poltroon**
Unit Name
DD  
CD
Notes/Changes
Grenadier #2
D10
12+1
123
Grenadier #4
D10
12
123
Cuirassier #5
D10
12
127
Cuirassier #8
D10
12
127
6# FA
D6
10
64


29 units, Points: 2038





National Will are essentially campaign level morale points, and are set to be roughly equal to three battle's worth for each side. If a side runs out of National Will points after a battle, they lose. The other way to lose is to lose a battle in your home zone.

   The zones are abstract, but can be superimposed upon a map for more flavor. I named the zones for period flavor, as Brent suggests; Zones 1 - 5 would work as well, but is awfully bland. The first battle of the campaign always takes place in the "Neutral Zone" (middle sector, here named Landshut.



Strasbourg
Abensburg
Landshut
Ebelsberg
Aspern-Essling



I also set up a simple graphic to track National Will points. 
NATIONAL               WILL
FRANCE
AUSTRIA
78
84


The National Will Points were the sum of three rolls on the table included in SoB; the highest roll on the table gives National Will equal to the number of units. hus if one wanted a longer or shorter campaign, one could use 2 rolls, or 4 instead.


French: 26 + 26 + 26 = 78 Austrian: 26 + 29 + 29 = 84


From a deck of 54 Battlefield Map cards, 10 each are dealt to each campaign zone, and the numbers thereupon in each Zone are noted for future reference. The remaining 4 cvards are placed to the side. Here's what it looked like when I set it up:




The 10 cards for the Abensburg Zone turned face up, and the numbers recorded. 


I did the same for each zone, swept the cards into a pile, and wrote the numbers on index cards for each zone. 


A D4 roll has determined that card # 1 (of the 4 "leftover" cards) will be the site of the opening battle of the campaign, which will take place in the Landshut zone (indicated here by the presence of a 54mm Napoleon striding across the "map"!). 


Although not a part of the SoB rules, we had fun with giving our Generals some special characteristics in our LANNES campaign, so I used a variation on that idea here as well:


D20 roll
Special Effects
1
Poltroon: DOWN 1 for all Rally rolls
2
Epileptic: LD roll of 2 also = no move. May re-roll failed leader survival tests
3
Fabian: DOWN 1 die type for MOVE rolls (Can go down to a D6!),
BUT may *always*  expend 1 segment to change facing or formation.
4 - 17
No special effects
18
Aggressive:  UP 1 die type for MOVE rolls.
19
Charismatic: UP 1 for all Rally rolls
20
Heroic: all units in his Command Group get UP 1 in Melee while he is in charge,
but roll for Leader  loss on D8 instead of D12!




Roll for each General lost in action at the end of every battle
D12 Die Roll
Result
1, 2
“He’s Dead, Jean!”Roll a replacement
3, 4
“I’m not Dead Yet” - Serious Wound
5 - 7
“It’s just a Flesh Wound!”
8
Impregnated by Elephant:Concussion
9, 10
Unhorsed
11
Bullet stopped by portrait of Mistress
12
Bullet stopped by brandy flask


Serious wounds in 2 battles of a campaign will also result in loss of the leader for the duration of the campaign, as will 3 light ("flesh") wounds, or a serious wound and 2 light wounds. Oudinot, anyone?
Concussion: LOSE Special Characteristic if present, or Roll for a new chance of acquiring one if the general has has none!