Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Gaming of the Year

The last week of 2011 has been a gaming bonanza! I played two games of War at Sea with my friend Andrew, his son Thomas and my son Andrew! It was great fun as we played two complete games of my 1942 Mediterranean Convoy Scenario. We learned quite a bit about the significance of air power in the WaS game system. The Allied convoy to Malta did not get through in either game we played, as swarms of Stukas and Ju-88's bombed the transports out of existence! I will change the air mix in the orders of battle and we will give the game another go as soon as possible.

I also had a chance to play in an interesting Crete scenario at our monthly club game night. The rules are a derivative of "Behind Enemy Lines" and the game plays pretty well. To be successful as the German player in the game you have to understand how the rules work and you need the luck of the dice. I didn't have either of those attributes as I tried to play the game and I was appropriately unsuccessful! It was overall a fun time.

Have a Happy New Year! Hope you have great gaming experiences in 2012!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

British Foreign Units

Here are some photos of the Swiss and Brunswick units that I have painted for my 28mm Volley and Bayonet Wing Scale project.

The first unit is the Brunswickers of the "Black Horde" in English Service. The figures, even though they are almost totally black in color, still have many interesting details such as the white gloves of the officers and NCO's and the red officer sashes. I based painted the figures black and then highlighted them with dry brushing a couple of lighter shades of dark gray and then gray. The other detail I like is the well known "Death's Head" shako plate. Let me know what you think.

The other unit is De Mueron's Regiment of Swiss troops in British Service. This unit served in North America during the War of 1812, but I am going to use them in our Peninsula Campaign games. The unit consists of three center company stands, a light company stand in front and a grenadier company stand behind the unit. To the far right is a single command figure which will represent a "unit commander" in the rules. I painted the two flank companies and the unit commander recently. I tried a technique to include eyes for the figures, and I think I will redo the faces at some point to get rid of the "pop-eyed" effect.

Here is a close-up of the unit command figure.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Game Stuff Done

Got the new War at Sea ships based and name tags put on today. Also, during the last game I played with my friend Dave, he recommended that I work out a system to mark my aircraft units more effectively. Dave had pointed out that it was difficult to identify units accurately during a game. So, I made up bases for each aircraft and marked them with the name of the aircraft and put them in the same national colors as my ship models. I am surprised how easy it makes the aircraft to identify. Now I should have that issue taken care of - thanks Dave! I will get photos up of these new bases as soon as I get a chance.

I also started finishing bases for my War of 1812 Brother Against Brother units. I got eight of my eleven units painted and ready for flocking. I have been reading the rules and I will be getting a test game together which I hope to play-test sometime in December.

I also got out a couple of War of 1812 terrain pieces together and prepped for painting.

Overall, a pretty good hobby day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

War at Sea Game

Friend and fellow Northern Conspirator Dave Bostwick came to the house today and we played a small War at Sea game to introduce Dave to the rules. Well Dave quickly figured out the rules and about turn 2 Dave's dice rolling came around. The results - I had my butt handed to me and Dave found a WWII Naval Game that he really liked!

We played a British vs. Italian game with each side at approximately 160 points. Each side had one Battleship, three cruisers and some destroyers. The Italians had one submarine. Each side also had a small mix of A/C to illustrate the rules for Dave.

I will not bore you with the turn by turn results of the game, but suffice it to say that the British suffered greatly at the big guns of the Roma! The British ended up losing all four of their destroyers (Witte de With, Javelin, Cossack, and Vasilissa Olga) and all three cruisers (Kent, Sydney, and de Ruyter). Only the Prince of Wales survived to fight another day.

Dave and I talked about starting a Mediterranean campaign. We have plenty of ships and with just a few additional units we should be ready to go! Dave has decided to look into War at Sea in more detail and said that he may want to get into the game system with some Pacific forces as I have the Atlantic and Med pretty well covered. Sounds good to me!

Here are some photos of the game for you to take a look at:

This photo shows shows the Italians in the right foreground with Roma, Gorizia, Giuseppe Garibaldi and Scipio Africanus. The British have de Ruyter and Prince of Wales on the left. The Kent and Sydney along with two other destroyers are out of the picture at the upper right hand corner.

I took this picture as I had finished off an Italian destroyer (ship with orange explosion). Little did I know that in just a few short minutes HMS Kent (and two British destroyers) would join the Italian at the bottom of the Med!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The De Meuron Regiment is Complete!

The De Meuron Regiment Light and Grenadier Companies as well as the Unit Commander are complete and mounted on bases. I still have to flock the bases, but as soon as they are done I will post pictures of them.

The 90th Regiment of Foot

The 90th Regiment of Foot, also called the Perthshire Volunteers, was a British unit in the Napoleonic Wars. The Battalion was a trained as a "Light" unit and so for our Wing Scale games they are mounted on elite company stands, not the regular center company stands. Here is how they are going to be mounted in various ways during our Wing Scale games. Other "Light" units such as selected French Legere, Austrian Jagers, etc. will be mounted in a similar manner. Notice that the unit can be mounted so they are "formed" similar to center company stands, "formed" by company stands and in "Skirmish" or Open order.

The 90th Light in Battalion Line Formation

A close-up of the 90th Light Company Stands

The 90th Light with two Skirmish stands screening in Front

The Stands

The top stand allows two individual company stands to become a "wing" or center company stand. The bottom stand is used as a sabot to convert a formed elite company into a "Skirmisher" or "Open" order stand.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Wing Scale Napoleonic Game System

Here is a photo showing the deployment of two opposing forces which will be part of our Wing Scale Napoleonic Campaign.

At the top right of the photo there is a three battalion French Regiment de Ligne deployed in "l'Ordre Mixte". My US infantry is standing in for the French. The two battalions on the flanks of the formation are in attack column while the battalion in the center is in line formation. Light companies are deployed in front of their battalions and grenadier companies are deployed in the rear of each formation. A battery of two sections is to the right of the regimental formation. Each of the French battalions is two center company stands, a light company elite stand and a grenadier elite stand.

At the bottom of the photo is a British infantry brigade of three battalions supported by two artillery sections all in a line formation. The battalion on the far left of the line is made up of three center company stands instead of the more prevalent two center company stands.

A couple of things we learned during the recent play-test include:

1. Don't try to attack a line like this without prepping it with artillery before sending the infantry into a melee against it. Artillery fired into a line like this will not be that effective at Long Range. It will be much more effective if it is brought into short range so the hit numbers go up from "6" to "4,5,or 6".
2. Players will need to be reminded that the Wing Scale is played at the battalion level and combat is resolved by stand. Just like the Regimental Scale V&B, other stands can add more dice into a combat resolution, however, the combat is one stand against another and the results apply to a single stand.
3. Units attacking any formed enemy units will need at least a 2-1 or 3-1 local superiority to be pretty well assured of success.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

War at Sea - French Navy

I really like the models of the French Naval units and aircraft in the War at Sea range. I have several of the ships and planes so I can do some historical as well as fictitious scenarios for the Mediterranean. Here are some of my French ships including the Carrier Bearn, Battleship Dunkerque, Cruisers Algerie and Lamotte-Picquet and a couple of destroyers.

Here is a close-up of the Dunkerque which is one of my favorite pieces. I really think the French playing pieces stand out with the khaki nametags.

War at Sea - The Royal Navy

Here are a couple of photos of my War at Sea British Navy collection. I have included the Aircraft Carrier Victorious and Battleship Prince of Wales and Cruiser Leander along with three destroyers and supporting aircraft. Note that even though these are all part of my Royal Navy collection I have identified allied ships with their national naval ensigns such as the Australian Leander, Canadian Haida, and Dutch Witte de With.

Here is a close-up of the Victorious with her aircraft the Dive Bomber Barracuda and Fighter Martlet Mk II.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Italian Navy

Here are a couple of pictures of the War at Sea Italian Naval Forces that I have collected. I like the boats to be on stands instead of just using the ships themselves on the table. By having the stands I can put the name of the ship and a national flag on the stand which I think really adds to the look of the playing pieces.

The ships I am showing are: Aircraft Carrier Aquila, Battleship Roma, Cruiser Gorizia, two destroyers and a stand of MTB's. Note that I identify the type of aircraft and which carrier they come from by their own stand.

Here is a close-up of the Roma

War at Sea

I have a pretty sizable collection of ships now for War at Sea scenarios. I enjoy the game quite a bit. It is really the only playable set of rules for WWII Naval gaming that I have ever come across. The rules are simply, yet I think they pretty accurately simulate the conflict. I am going to post some photos of the set up I use for my War at Sea collection.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Books Added to the Library

I have three new Osprey Men-at-Arms series books added to the Library. I got Wellington's Light Cavalry, Wellington's Heavy Cavalry and British Forces in N. America 1793-1815. All three titles are very interesting and they add facets of British Uniforms during the Napoleonic/War of 1812 period that I did not previously have in my collection. I think that each one of these books will be a great reference for me as I continue to build my British/Canadian collection for the War of 1812 and as I build my British forces for our Volley & Bayonet Wing Scale Peninsula Campaign.

Figures Have Arrived!

My War of 1812 figures painted by Fernando Enterprises have arrived. They are very well painted and with more than 100 figures, this really takes my collection forward. I am going to use figures in a skirmish level game using a modified version of Brother Against Brother. There were a couple of battles during the Wo1812 which were too small even for Volley & Bayonet Wing Scale. This Brother Against Brother should be a good level of game to recreate these smaller battles. I will be unpacking the figures over the next couple of days and I will try to get some photos up.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Work on the Brits Continues

Good Day! I am really working hard on my British force for our Wing Scale Campaign. I am going to finish the two Brunswick Oels Sharpshooters and all of the British stands are ready to be flocked. I also did some reorganization of my artillery and realized that I have figures and guns on hand for two stands of horse artillery! This will give me 4 foot field guns, 1 foot howitzer, 1 horse rocket, and 2 horse light/field guns. A great support group for my infantry. I also got 4 Light Dragoons in Tarleton helmets together so I have a couple of squadrons of cavalry all painted and ready to go. Overall a pretty good time for the day!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Painting Table Active Again!

Today I got back into figure painting as part of my recovery "therapy". I am working on my British Army for Volley & Bayonet Wing Scale games that we are working on in our club. I finished a unit commander for the British 1st Foot Regiment and started painting a couple of Brunswick Oels Jager figures for Brigade supports. Good to be painting again!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wargame Happenings Today

Today I received notice that my 1812 skirmish figures are painted and on their way back to me. I have over 120 28mm figures on their way, which is going to mean I will have the ability to put on some nice sized games. The figures include some US and British Regulars as well as lights and rifles for both sides. I also have some "specials" such as Royal Marines and West Indies Regiment to add some variety. I am really looking forward to getting the figures back and will get photos on the blog as soon as they arrive.

I also placed my order for the ships and planes that I have been waiting for from the new War at Sea set, Surface Action. I ordered several units including the Shore Battery, Strasbourg (French Battleship), Eagle (British Carrier), Andria Doria (Italian Battleship), Hawkins (British Cruiser), LST (Allied Landing Ships), Fw-190 (German Fighter), and Vosper MTB (British Torpedo Boat). There were some other smaller units that I will detail later. This should give me a very good mix of combat units that I need to complete both the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean scenarios that I want to do.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Why Continue to Wargame?

I am sure that given my last post many would ask why I would ever continue to have Wargaming as my hobby. Well, first of all it was something that Marc Paul and I enjoyed doing together. We traveled to HISTORICON together when he was younger and we had a great time manning the German defenses on Sword Beach and turning back the invading British forces with some absolute lights out die rolling by Marc! It was great fun and we did it together as father and son.

When Marc came home in December of 2009 before his deployment to Afghanistan we played my 15mm Volley & Bayonet game - Quatre Bras. Marc did an outstanding job attacking as the French player and I barely escaped with a victory for the Allies. We enjoyed drinking Cokes, eating chips and rolling dice just the two of us. It was our special time together and I will always cherish that evening.

Wargaming does not represent the blood and gore and loss of war. It is a study of history and in a way a celebration of those who have answered the call of their country throughout the ages. As a person who has experienced the loss of war in a very personal way, I am not glorifying war itself, but I want to honor the soldier who has done his duty for his country and learn more about how military things have happened throughout history.

So, there you have it. The reasons I still wargame are to remember my relationship with my son and to honor all who have gone before us in duty to their country and to learn about history. Agree or not, those are my reasons.

I am back!

I am back here on my blog. The last posts I made were in January, 2010. On January 29, 2010 we lost our son, Marc Paul, during his deployment to Afghanistan. Marc was killed along with a US Special Forces Captain who commanded the unit Marc was attached to. Marc was a great person and an outstanding soldier. Our family has been devastated by Marc's death, but we know that God has a plan for everything that happens.
Hundreds came to his funeral service at Plymouth Regional High School. During that service all of those people the message of Christian Salvation, some perhaps for the first time. If even one person made a decision to follow Christ because of that service, we will rejoice with Marc Paul when we all meet together in Heaven someday.
Through this tough time we have also seen the love of our family, friends and community manifested in so many ways. Donations were made in Marc's honor to benefit his HS Lacrosse Program. So much was donated that a new set of bleachers at the Soccer/Lacrosse Field were built along with a coaches filming booth. Also, we have been able to donate to other local charities. The Town of WV and the Waterville Valley Foundation made donations and purchased the very first flag pole for the WV Elementary School which was dedicated to Marc Paul. It is really something to see that flag flying so proudly over our community everyday, knowing that our son has joined the long list of those in a United States uniform who have given their lives to defend that flag and our nation.