Sunday, August 31, 2014

La Bricole Returns

Sometime last year I finally joined the informal Napoleonic Wargaming forum, "La Bricole". Not long afterwards they had a sudden and involuntary migration to a new host, resulting in loss of many of the members (but not the files). I finally reconnected with the forum myself a month or so ago, and it is starting to pick up steam again.

The name of the forum is a tongue in cheek reference to an obscure bit of Napoleonic trivia (a "bricole" is a hand rope used by black powder artillerymen to maneuver their guns). From that you might think the group is composed of a bunch of nit pickers and button counters. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. The members are Napoleonic wargaming enthusiasts who are helpful and supportive, and enjoy sharing their projects. Bad behavior is neither expected not tolerated! 

If you'd enjoy sharing your enthusiasm for the period with similarly minded gentlemen wargamers (ladies welcome as well of course), then consider joining (or rejoining) La Bricole. It is now hosted by Forumer, and can be found here: LINK.  Hope to see some of you there!

Modern reproduction of a bricole for use by re-enactors and the like

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

More French Napoleonic Artillery

My recent orders of Essex and Connoisseur figures needed for my Historicon games were rather small, so I added few extras to make the shipping charges seem more worthwhile. That resulted in some figures lingering on my painting desk, which I have no finished off. Here they are for your viewing pleasure!

This battery is made using the Connoisseur figures. State of the art in their day, they aren't quite up to modern standards, but still have a charm of their own. They are also the only artillery figures I have that are wearing covered shakos. 

So, uh, what's with the medium green pants, lapels, collars and cuffs, Peter? A moment of hitherto unrecognized red-green color blindness perhaps?

No, this unit is based upon an illustration in Fred and Liliane Funken's Arms and Uniforms of Soldiers of the First Empire. It depicts an artillerist of the Coastal Artillery in 1809. Presumably, these were the men that manned the guns of the many fortresses and batteries protecting French harbors from the scourge of the Royal Navy. I've found the wonderfully eccentric colors fascinating since I first acquired the books (French language versions) back circa 1970. I have no idea of the accuracy, and the illustration doesn't really show the turnbacks well, so I went with red (they look like they might just be white in the picture, which would be odd as well). The cuffs are also shown to be dark blue with medium green piping and cuff flaps, but I just went with solid green. In for a penny, in for a pound!  Anyway, I figure it is plausible some of these guys may have been pressed into service opposing the British invasion Walcheren in 1809, or in the later phases of the 1813 to 1814 campaigns. Unfortunately, the same plate shows another coastal artilleryman from 1812, wearing a dark blue uniform with red piping etc like pretty much every other French Napoleonic artillery uniform! In any even, with their unusual uniform, they will serve as conscript/militia artillery, as well as a unit to baffle wargaming grognards with!  :-)

These are some excellent Essex artillerymen purchased with the clear-out discount at Wargames, Inc. They were piggybacked onto an order of some additional New Kingdom Egyptians for Ramses' army.

They are the Artillerie a Pied de la Garde Imperiale. The Foot Artillery of the Guard was a relatively late addition, six companies being formed by a decree in April, 1808, and belonging to the Old Guard. Three companies of Young Guard Artillery (or Concrit Artillerie) were added in June 1809. By 1813, the Young Guard component had increased to 16 companies!

The shako was worn until the introduction of the better known bearskin headdress (Old Guard companies only) in 1810, so these troops are wearing the earlier uniform. Guard insignia include the brass eagle plates on the shakos and cartridge boxes. Both are nicely sculpted on these figures. The guns of both batteries are Sash and Saber 12 lbers. 

Canine Corps - Annie scores bonus points for height with her jump to get the "shark" in the pool.

Whilst Zoe score points for distance and accuracy! "You're going DOWN Sharkie!"
(Piper, 10 years old, looks on from a distance, seemingly unimpressed. She's OK with some swimming, but doesn't jump into the water, which was her late half sister, Cricket's,  obsession!)

"I got it first.... No, I got it first!"
They aren't called Golden Retrievers for nothing!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Six PDF Rules sets available from Piquet, Inc.

Brent Oman at Piquet, Inc is gradually making a number of titles available in PDF form. While I personally still prefer printed rules in most cases, the lower price of PDF's makes it easy and economical to explore rules you're uncertain about, there are no postage charges (especially good for overseas customers), and there is (nearly) instant gratification. Finally, they don't take up space on the bookshelf or in the basement, etc!  All can be purchased by sending Brent PayPal payment:  Brent will send off the pdf when payment has been received. I've dealt with Brent on multiple levels for many years now, and he is very reliable!  As of today, these include the following, in order of PDF release:

1) PKowboys (Western Gunfight Rules)

 PKowboys is available for $12. The rules include all the needed play and card sheets. Author: Jeff Grossman.

From the rules -
"Pkowboys is intended to represent skirmish combat between rival gangs (outlaws, lawmen, gunslingers, and townsfolk) in the American West between 1860 and 1900. Players represent the leaders of different gangs, or in large battles a player may act as the leader of multiple gangs."

Designer Notes

I suspect most miniatures rules sets start out the same way – the author is frustrated with the some aspect of his current rules and sets out to fix things. I’m an exception to this rule. I had a perfectly decent set of “gunslinger” rules that had served my gaming group well for many years. Instead of trying to “fix” this rules set, I decided to bring some of the concepts from the Piquet rules sets to the Wild West.

Almost immediately I was beset with the impossibility of using the Piquet initiative system with a fast and lethal combat system. If the opposing gangs were in combat range, one side could be completely destroyed in one single initiative run. One of the early solutions was a variable card value system where players would play cards until they had reached their points limit. Someone joked that if the limit was set at 21, we’d be playing Blackjack! From this moment, our series of confused gaming sessions quickly gelled into the set of rules you’re now holding.

Here are the principles behind the design of Pkowboys. If you find a gap in the rules, use your best judgment and follow these guidelines to resolve the dispute.

Western combat was quick and decisive. Gun battles lasted minutes or seconds.
Any shot has the chance of being lethal.
Many gunfighters lost their nerve and fled when under fire.
Leadership was as important with gangs of outlaws or lawmen as it was in large battles.
The Jesse James/Wild Bill Hickock Theory: being unlucky is a bad thing no matter how good you are.
Gunfight tactics in a nutshell: move into a good position and shoot like mad.

Peter's note: I own a copy, but haven't played them, as I'm not a big skirmish games fan; my tendencies run more towards megalomania! Here's a post from another blog from a few years back about the rules: LINK

2) Blunders on the Danube (1809 Scenarios)

Blunders on the Danube is available as a PDF for $15 This one ought to be familiar to most of you!  :-) 

This book contains more than 20 scenarios for use with Brent Oman’s excellent rules for Wargaming in Miniature, Field of Battle published by Piquet in 2006. The scenarios range from quite small (Klagenfurt) to enormous (Wagram). Many of these scenarios would be almost as useful for Les Grognards, 2nd edition, the Napoleonic module for the Piquet Master Rules for wargaming. With some effort, they shouldn't be hard to adapt for use with other rules systems as well. For more information including the list of scenarios, see the 1809 Scenarios tab on this blog.

Peter's note: I think this is one case where the PDF may even be better (as well as cheaper) than the printed book, as you can easily print off the just the scenario you want, when you want to use it, along with the associated OOB's/Rosters. I designed the book to make it easy to photocopy the necessary pages in that fashion, but printing them is even easier!

3) Theatre of War (Campaign System).

Theatre of War, the Piquet campaign system, is available in PDF format for $15. Author: Brent Oman.

Theatre of War was written to allow miniature-based campaigns that provide linked, tactical tabletop games with a larger meaning. In itself, this is not a unique goal for a campaign system. However, Theatre of War is designed to be used with miniature collections of existing, fixed sizes (no more collecting and painting forces for the next game just in order to meet the order of battle requirements!) and provide an entertaining background for a campaign with a definite result. Quite often, miniature campaigns end up as an exercise in map movement, followed by a couple of large games as all available forces concentrate in a clump at one map location. Inevitably, the resulting tabletop games turn out to be games with every figure each campaign participant owns, lined up on opposite sides and marching forward into a meeting engagement! A fatal
flaw in many campaign systems is the transition from the large campaign map to the smaller tabletop tactical map. Theatre of War provides a system of  determining the tactical scenario, based on decisions made by the campaign players.

Peter's note:  I think ToW is a brilliant concept. It will usually generate 3-5 battles per campaign, so that you really can play a campaign to a conclusion! It is designed for use with traditional Piquet supplements. It would be fairly easy top adapt to Field of battle/Pulse of Battle, and Hostile Realms. It would be harder but not at all impossible to adapt for use with non Piquet family systems. My friend Dave, out in LA, did a marvelous series on his blog detailing the adaptation and use of ToW for a campaign using (my) Hostile Realms rules. Well worth reading if you're at all interested in either! LINK (last to first, scroll down to start at the beginning.

4) Les Gronards, 2nd Edition (Classic Piquet - Napoleonic Supplement)

Les Grognards, 2nd Edition is available as a PDF for $15. Author: Brent Oman.

Les Grognards is a "classic Piquet" supplement, covering the Napoleonic wars. LG2 includes rules for 3 different game scales: Company scale (basic infantry unit is a company), Battalion scale (the infantry unit is a battalion), and Grand Tactical scale (infantry unit is a brigade/regiment). LG2 also includes Horizon Moveent rules for the Battalion and Grand Tactical scale games. Horizon Movement eliminates virtually all measuring for movement, with movement instead based on terrain and enemy unit positions. The rules include lists for 37 armies as well as rating recommendations. Ownership of the Master rules is required.

Peter's note: I helped play test and used LG2 extensively until Field of Battle came out, and I think it's still a great rules set for 1-2 players a side. I used it for Dennewitz, 1813 at Historicon 2005, and was handed a GM award by Pete Panzeri there for same. There are a lot of different options/variants in LG2, including the Horizon  Movement option, an idea originally championed by another wargames friend, Jim Getz. I used a Domino impetus variant proposed by Bob Jones for that game and it worked well. The "hand of cards" is another fun variant for LG2 and other "classic" Piquet games. The Piquet Master Rules (only $5 in print form) are definitely needed to play or understand LG2!

5) Field of Battle, WW1

For the 100th anniversary year of the start of WW1, Pat Wingfield's new rule set "Field of Battle WW1" was released in PDF format. It is available for $19.

The rules cover 1914-1918. More details from Pat:
These rules are written to allow the players to recreate Corps and higher level battles of WWI. They use battalions as the combat element, brigades or regiments as the maneuver element and divisions as the command level. While designed with 6mm figures in mind the rules will work well with any size of figure. The ground scale is 1” to 100yds.
This set of rules started life as an attempt to simply modify the Field of Battle WWII rules to reflect conditions some 25 years earlier. However, the troop density and the change in technology, military thought and tactics during WWI means these rules have many differences to the WWII set, while retaining the overall concept.
Innovations in these rules include the use of battalions as the combat element in open field operations but company level units within trenches. There are also simple but effective pre-offensive bombardment rules that may make all the difference to the success or failure of an assault.
Organization Tables, that are segregated by nationality and year of operation, are supplied for the main protagonists.
There are also a large number of examples and designers notes to help the players pick up the rule mechanics.
The rules are supplied as a pdf and the contents page and internal references are all hyperlinked allowing easy rule reference finding. While the rules have been produced so that they are convenient to use on a tablet computer they can also be printed as a hard copy.

Peter's note: While World War 1 isn't my thing ordinarily (see my famed "anti-khaki rule"), I enjoyed playing in Tim's Latema Nek game at Historicon (not sure if Tim used these relatively recently released rules, IIRC), and now Jared and I have a date to play a Russian Civil War game using his 15mm figures next month!

6) Grand Piquet

Grand Piquet 2nd Edition is available for $12 US as a PDF file.  Author: Jim Mauro

Grand Piquet is Jim Mauro's take on grand tactical Napoleonic gaming with the Piquet fog of war view of the battlefield. A fairly simple game that enables very large games to be played.

From the back cover:

Many changes were made for this new edition of Grand Piquet. The Army commander now plays a more pivotal role in the command and control of a Corps. These formations no longer move whenver or wherever they wish. A D12 is now the basis for all initiative rolls, which effectively eliminates the need for phases, as well as mitigates the wild swings in initiative. The Sequence decks have been radically altered. Now there are Action cards, by type of unit (e.g. Infantry Action card), whereby there is much greater flexibility in actions taken by units. Also, the basic Sequence deck is now made up of 20 cards, instead of 28. The combat system is based primarily on Target type, so there are fewer modifiers to calculate. The basic concept of "chipping" within the morale system is intact, yet there is no need to keep track of morale chips. Unit/sub unit designations are determined by numbers of men and not by regiment. Players determine the size and make up of a unit, thereby effectively tailoring each Command Group to a particular situation or task. These are but a few of the changes that have been made.

Grand Piquet has never received the attention that it has deserved - give it a try; I think you'll be rewarded with a unique and fun game experience.

Peter's note: Jim ran a great game based upon Aspern-Essling using the first edition of these rules and his 6mm figures back in ? 2001. IIRC I played one command of the outnumbered French, and not very successfully. That damned bridge kept getting smashed by the flotsam and jetsam floating down from Vienna courtesy of the Kaiserlicks! I used GPK2 (with Jim's help) for a huge Dresden battle at Historicon 2003. GPK is quite unlike any other Piquet family game, and the unique mechanics really make you feel like you're fighting a battle, personally! It is a game best used for fighting the major battles of the Napoleonic wars, with 15mm or smaller figures, and at least 3 players a side - the more players, the greater the chaos of war! A player commands a Corps. I have pdf files of full color cards for these that I made for the Dresden game for anyone who's interested. The new  pdf version  is an ideal way to check out this unique rules set. There is a handful of erata and optional rules/suggestions from Jim in the files section of the Piquet Yahoo group which should also be downloaded (you have to join the group, even if you quit right after you download them): 
LINK. Scroll all the way to the bottom for the Grand Piquet Word document (rules updates - clarifications). Also there  in a folder called Grand Piquet are a set of card files with detailed descriptions of the possible actions for each card - not as pretty as the ones I designed for my own use, but perhaps more functional!

** Disclaimer: Note that with the obvious exception of Blunders, I have no financial stake in any of these, and regardless, anyone who thinks that 98% of miniature wargames rules (etc) authors make any meaningful profit from their efforts has never written or published a set themselves! Regardless, I consider all of these gentlemen to be friends of mine.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A tale of Cantieres and Grenadiers

As some readers might recall, included in some odds and ends on my pre-Historicon painting table were a Cantiniere and her loaded pack donkey by Connoisseur miniatures, and the Molly Pitcher figure give-away figure from ? Perry miniaturizes a few years back. I had some breathing space in the painting queue, and this polished them off shortly before leaving for Fredericksburg.

Here's the Trio; I think Molly is still pretty usable as an early 19th century European woman, probably from a rural area where keeping up with the latest fashions in Paris, etc is not feasible! In any case, women are severely under represented in my collection... just as they are among wargamers!  :-)

Remember that Essex  Chasseur a Pied "casualty" figure "playing the air guitar" as James so memorably put it? I figured he could just as well look like he was accosting the Cantiniere for her wares... or her favors! 

On the other hand, our Guardsman might be mortally wounded after all; from the chapter on Montmirail in Lachouque's wonderful The Anatomy of Glory: Napoleon and his Guard, comes this poignant tale.
On this day a drummer of the Guard was among the killed. He was the legal spouse of the vivandiere Marie Tete-du-bois, famous in the battalion for her tart tongue and her bravery and kindness. They had been married in Verona. During the Marengo campaign she had borne him a son, who was now drumming in the pupilles. She had nothing left in the world except him. Perhaps the Emperor would make him a sergeant - if God permitted..."

In memory of this story, Marie, her donkey and her fallen Guardsman appeared as "extras" on the table in both of the Historicon Montmirail games. If you look carefully, you can see them in several of the shots from the 2nd game, alongside the road from the French table edge to Le Tremblay. Marie grieves for her fallen husband and hopes to approach the Emperor to ask for an imperial boon for the son of one of his beloved "grognards", fallen in his service that day. 

La Grenadière
In honor them and all of the Grenadiers, the above is "The Grenadier's Piece" (as opposed to "The Female Grenadier"), one of the better known French Napoleonic marches.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Prussian Landwehr, 1813 - 1815

The Prussian Landwehr, which saw extensive service from 1813 - 1815, was first established in East Prussia, which was occupied by General Yorck's former Prussian Auxiliary Corps and declared to be at war with France, on February 7, 1813. King Frederick Wilhelm II decreed the establishment of a militia or Landwehr throughout Prussia barely a month later, on March 17, 1813. Theoretically, the Landwehr were organized into Brigades (regiments) of 4 battalions each, each of four companies. The theoretical establishment of a Landwehr company was 150 - 200 men, including a Captain, 4 Lieutenants, 1 Sergeant Major and 2 drummers. Needless to say, few units achieved these theoretical goals, and there was severe wastage of men from disease, straggling, and enemy action over the course of the long 1813 Befreiungskreig. By the end of that year, though, the Landwehr that remained were considered virtually equal to the Line units.

The Landwehr uniform was to consist of a long, dark blue or black Litewka coat. the collar (and sometimes the cuffs or cuff piping) of which was in the Provincial color (see table below). The color metal of the buttons varied by province as well, and the jacket could be either single or double breasted. Many units had colored shoulder straps by battalion (see below) Pants were officially to be dark blue or white, but grey or brown were not uncommon either. .

A Schirmuetze cap was worn in dark blue or clack, with a band of the provincial color. Later (May 1814), piping around the top of the crown and chevrons on the sides (Stegen) were added to the regulations for the cap. The front of the cap was decorated with a white Landwehr Cross, bearing the inscription "mit Gott für König und Vaterland 1813"

The initial uniforms issued were very poor, and variations were widespread including Litewkas in brown or grey, grey or brown pants, and use of British and /or captured French equipment.

ADD 8/21/14:  Dr Stephen Summerfeld (who is the author of what iare now perhaps the definitive works on the subject, "Prussian Napoleonic Landwehr Infantry and Cavalry 1813-15: Landsturm, Volunteer Cavalry and Streifkorps" available through Partizan Press) kindly pointed out that the 1814 regulation for the Landwher called for a single breasted Kollet jacket to replace the Litweka. Doubtkless that transition was incomplete even by Waterloo, but likely many units would have made t\he transition by that time.

Prussian Landwehr Distinctions, 1813 - 1815
Regts Raised
East Prussia
Orange Red
West Prussia
Black #
Brick Red
Light Blue
Crab Red
* Additional Provinces added 1814 - 1815
# The black facings didn't show well on the dark blue coats,. so it seems some units may have used the crimson facing color of the West Prussian Line units instead.
The exact shade for the East Prussians is unclear, probably somewhat redder than that shown above. 

Shoulder Strap Seniority Colors
Battalion #
Shoulder Straps
Light Blue

As I was painting other troops this winter, I discovered that I had enough leftovers to make a new Prussian Landwehr unit. It languished partially completed until after Historicon. I finished it off last week while on vacation. It is painted as the Erstes Westpreussisches Landwehr Regiment.  Flag is a free download from Warflag for the Landwehr of the Saganer Kreis (district). Technically that was a Silesian outfit, so purists will have to cringe a bit, but I wanted another, different design for the flag of this unit!

I find it a bit odd that the authorities chose Black as a facing color with dark blue uniforms; the Crimson used by the West Prussian Line regiments would have been both more logical and shown up much better. Maybe there was a shortage of red cloth?

To make the black facings more evident, I highlighted the outer edges of the collars with Hippo (dark) Grey, as well as the inner sleeve edge of the cuffs. I think that worked. The NCO (pointing in front rank) has Prussian rank indicator of white/black piping on the collar and cuff edges. 

The Drittes Ostpreussisches Landwehr Regiment (3rd East Prussian). I've used a fairly bright only faintly orange shade of red for the provincial color. the flag is more proper as a speculative variant for that carried by a Brandenburg unit (Kurmark and Neumark were both parts of the territory of the original Margravate of Brandenburg).

Aside from the Schirmuetze cap, the uniform of the officers of the Landwwehr was officially the same as that for Line officers, including the silver-mixed-with-black sash.  This outfit has dark blue pants. 

The cloth haversacks were characteristic of the Landwehr. For some reason these OG sculpts have short jackets more proper to the early Reserve regiments than the long, tail less Litewka usually worn  by the Landwehr. Eh, was kann man trun? Thankfully, Landwehr uniforms seldom conformed to the regs, and often varied even in the same battalion!

This is the Viertes Schlesisches Landwehr Regiment (4th Silesian). The Silesian Landwehr regiments in particular seem to have usually worn white pants.

The drummers (officially) had red (rather than provincially colored) wings with white lace ornamenting their jackets. Drums were more often wooden than brass, and usually had red rims with or without white triangle decorations. 

This time a correct (speculative) flag is in use appropriate to a Silesian regiment!

The Viertes Westpreussisches Landwher Regiment. Their district has substituted Crimson for the official regulation Black facings seen on the 1st Regiment.

I gave some of the officers and men grey hair, as the State was scraping the bottom of the barrel for troops and especially, officers!

The regiment carries what was probably one of the most common variants of the (officially prohibited) Landwehr flags, patterned on the Landwehr Cross. 

The Drittes Pommersches Landwehr Regiment (3rd Pomeranian).  The Pomeranians in particular often seemed to have dark grey or black coats, as seen here. I used Payne's Grey as the base paint color for their coats. 

Te white facings look good with the dark coats, and the combination also echoes the white/black colors of Prussia itself. 

They carry a "Landwehr Cross" inspired flag as well, but with the colors reversed from the earlier example.

All five Landwehr Regiments together.

Group shot!

Nash, David, The Prussian Army, 1808-1815 Almark publications, London, 1972.
(my copy is literally falling apart after heavy use for the past 40 years, but I wouldn't give it up for anything!)
HOfshroer, Peter, Prussian Reserve, Militia, & Irregular Troops 1806-1815. Osprey Publishing, london, 1987.
The Prussian section of the Uniform Evolution Site (an amazing online reference): LINK.

Our one year old Golden Retriever, Zoe, out for a boat ride on Bantam Lake this weekend. The yellow facing color on her life preserver suggests she is serving in a Silesian regiment.  :-)

Annie, my younger daughter's 8 month old "English Cream" Golden, was not intimidated by the boat or the lake at all. She jumped off the boat to swim along with us when we we did!

Zoe, Annie, the Empress and myself - group photo!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Index Page for Napoleonic Uniform Information Posts added

One of my several objectives in starting this blog originally was to not only share pictures of my own figures, both old and new, but to combine that with a pretty comprehensive guide to organization, uniforms and flags of the various armies that fought in the Napoleonic Wars, at least at the level that most of us Wargamers would need to paint our armies. After three  and a half years, the number of posts covering uniform information has become quite extensive (over 80 posts covering 13 different nations), and it can be hard, even for me, to find a given guide despite the use of multiple tags. Thus, I have added a new page that will serve as a linked index to all of the posts covering Napoleonic uniforms, organization, and flags.

Just click on the "Napoleonic Uniform Guides" tab on the blog header to access it, or use this Link!

Arms of France during the 1st Empire

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Historicon Loot

I'll conclude my post Historicon series with a short "show and tell" of my purchases, which this year included no troops whatsoever! I started to sit down at the booth to order some Perry metals (Napoleonic) but was pressed for time and didn't have my list on me, so after a brief perusal of the catalog I gave up and decided to do it all mail order! Thus, no budget busting purchases this year. The Empress approved of that!  :-)

It rapidly became apparent that I needed a lot more D10's for my Galactic Knights games; Will of Monday Knight Productions ran out and got the first bag for me, which I later purchased from him, and then I went back and got some more dice (seen in the second bag) in the Dealer Hall before I headed out Sunday morning. By the way, MKP also just came out with some nice decals for use with the Galactic Knights ships, one set for each fleet, and available in white, black, blue, green, and red!

I only made it to two of the Flea Market sessions, but I found a number of  useful second hand Ospreys at good prices on Sunday AM. This one should be useful for some additional inspiration for an actual Egyptian vs. Canaanites game next year.

With Waterloo in the plans for next year, the utility of this volume is obvious!

While I have other Napoleonic flag references, the chance to pick up all three of these volumes at a very attractive price was not to be passed over!

I picked up these two volumes for "In Her Majesty's Name" from Lon at the Brigade Games booth, as several of the Hartford area guys are planning some action using these rules (see Joe's Landshark faction, for example). Just need some pulp inspiration to go with the everyday Portuguese Colonials that would form the backbone minions of the Company!

I picked up a few minor items at Sgt Major Miniatures; I pretty much ran out of Vallejo Bronze between the Egyptians and the Entomalian ships, and I want to try to Vallejo red and Yellow to see if they have better coverage  than my normal craft paints when applied over dark colors, especially dark blue. I've had a hard time getting decent red sable brushes lately, hence the above purchase of some Army Painter brushes (which can also be ordered from Sgt Major above).The brushes have "names" - the white brushes with triangular handles seen here are from their 'Wargamer' range and are called (from larger to smaller) Character, Detail, and Psycho, LOL, instead of using the normal brush sizes, which is mildly annoying. They will be put to the test soon!

I liked these many wagon variants so much that I bought 4 different ones!  Just what I need to run my Klagenfurt 1809 scenario in the future...

All of these are from the quite extensive 28mm "Wagons Ho!" range by Blue Moon/Old Glory. Check them out!  The OG Army card discount applies to these, too!

Another picture of me at Tim's Latema Nek WW1 game. I think I'm smiling because I haven't yet figured out that Tim will be drafting me to command those darned Khaki clad Rhodesians!  :-)   Now Jared's going to have me play in a Russian Civil War game (with FoB2), and in 15mm no less. You stretch the rules once, and before you know it , whoops, there goes the neighborhood, LOL!

The above picture came from Gabriel's Historicon 2014  blog post, which has many more excellent photos. He is a MUCH better photographer than I will ever be! 

See some of you next year at Historicon 2015!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Galactic Knights at Historicon #4: Defending the Phoenix

This was the last of the four scenarios I ran using the Galactic Knights rules, and was played out on Saturday night. It featured the Entomalians ATTACKing a Terran held planet, defended by a Space Station and supporting ships.

Entomalian Ships - played by 

Squadron 1: Dreadnought, Attack Carrier, Battle Cruiser
Squadron 2: Battle Cruiser, 2 Cruisers
Squadron 3:  Destroyer Leader, 2 Destroyers
Squadron 4: Destroyer Leader, 2 Destroyers

Terran Ships - played by Trond

Squadron 1: Dreadnought, 2 Cruisers
Squadron 2:Attack Carrier, 2 Destroyers
Squadron 3: Destroyer Leader, 2 Destroyers
Space Station Phoenix


The Terrans have a mining colony on resource rich epsilon-Fermi, near the border of Entomalian space. The Entomalians plan to seize the outpost for their own use, and as a stepping stone to a broader invasion of Terran space. 

Set Up

I used a playing area 5 feet wide by 6 feet deep. The Phoenix starts 12" (6 hexes) onto the table on the middle of the North side. The remaining Terran ships also start up to 12"/6 hexes onto the table at locations of the owning player's choosing, with an initial Drift of up to 1/4 of the Thrust of the slowest ship. The Space Station cannot move but can rotate its facing as much as desired during the Move phase of the turn. 
Carnivoran Squadron 1 starts up to 12" (6 hexes) onto the table anywhere along the Northern edge, with an initial drift pf up to 1/4 the thrust of the ship with the lowest thrust in the fleet. 

The Entomalians enter anywhere along the Southern table edge, up to 12' (6 hexes) on, with an initial drift up to 1/2 of the thrust of the slowest ship in the fleet. 

Victory Conditions

The Entomalians must destroy the Phoenix. (the Phoenix is roughly equivalent to a Dreadnought in armament, with some additional weaponry, etc as it does not need either engines or Jump drive. 

The Entomalians closed on the Phoenix as quickly as possible, in order to bring their Grav guns to bear. These shorter range weapons ignore the Terran shields. The Entomalian ships lack shields of any kind, but are heavily armored, and take more critical hist than average to destroy, so they are very tough in combat!. 

"Scramble all fighters!"

The Terran warships have maneuvered their way to the rear of several of the Entomalians; their armor is weaker and no weapons bear directly to the rear.

This achieved some success, but the weight of the Entomalian firepower, especially once their Grav weapons came in range, proved to be too much for the Phoenix which was destroyed, although at a heavy cost to the bugs. 

Here is the control sheet for the Phoenix as of the next to last turn before its destruction. I used the template in the Files section of the Galactic Knights Yahoo group. Rotating the station would have given it a bit more life by presenting a fresh armor zone to the majority of the attackers! If I were ti run the scenario again, I'd probably make it even a bit stronger, basing the design upon that of a Galactic Dreadnought, or perhaps even a Super Galactic Dreadnought (in the later case with some decreased escort forces)!