Saturday, December 20, 2014

Terrain Project, Gaines Mill from Altar of Freedom

Good day to you all.

While I am slowly warping up the Army lists for 1877, painting the last elements of the Russian Line Division in 10mm that I have, and trying to advance the Warhammer1000 project to conclusion, here are some pictures of a work in progress.

It is the battlefield for the Battle of Gaines Mill, during the American Civil War in 1862. I have used the Altar of Freedom scenario map as the basis. I do not know how Altar Freedom plays, since I did not get a chance to run a scenario. My goal is to collect the forces for that scenario in 10mm. But one thing I can definitely say that Altar of Freedom has going for it, is its scenario structure. Very few games actually try to fit whole battles on 3x3,4x4 and 6x4 tables, but Altar of Freedom is one of those.

For someone with the space and travel issues I face this is godsend. For the first time I can actually try and enjoy the terrain modelling part of the hobby. Not only that but the battlefield is small enough that it is portable.  Bravo to the guys who wrote the scenarios.

I built the battlefield using 6 roughly 1 foot squares build from cardboard. Elevations were done with adding cardboard layers, and I cut streams, the lake and river into the cardboard. Here is the result for the time being, with my Russians presenting the full Union force for the battle.

The problem starts now. Many of the terrain material people take for granted in the US are really hard to find in Turkey. Spray paints, flock, model trees are all things that are hard to find. Which has led me to a concurdum of how to proceed. One idea was to use white glue to glue paper which then I can paint green on the field. Trees I will probably order from Pendraken or Bacchus. The other option is to paint everything with acrylics as is. But that will take time and not sure if the result will be worth it. Also expensive. We will see. I am going to Greece in december, and Hobby shops there are well stocked. Obviously I cannot bring spray paints back in my hand luggage. But flock can be mine. We will see and I will kep you posted.

With Respect

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Fight for the Two Hills.Black Powder: A review and game in 1854

The Fight for the Two Hills- Black Powder Battle Report and Review

Over this weekend I had a chance to play my second black powder battle, and first one with my own miniatures. We played a fictious Anglo-Russian action as part of a bigger battle in the Crimean War. The Russian army was a-historically presented by my 1877 Russians, while the British were represented by Napoleonic Wars British. Scale was 10mm. The Scenario was created by me and can be found by clicking on this text (Scenario PDF). It is pretty much a ripoff of the action at the Round Tops during the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, during the US civil war. Rules used were Black Powder, with the Crimean Army lists from the main rulebook.

I commanded the Russians and had at my disposal 3 Regiments of 3 Battalions of Regular Infantry each (Each regiment is a Black Powder Brigade), plus 6 units of artillery and a unit of cavalry. Thus 3 forces, plus the brigade commander (overall CnC). The command rate for Russians was 8.
The British forces commanded by Mehmet, were 4 battalions of infantry, 2 units of cavalry, 2 units of rifles, and a gun.  He created two forces plus the overall commander.

An introduction to the rules

Black Powder are a set of abstract war-gaming rules geared towards creating fun games using the military technology roughly from the late 17th century to the early 20th century. They are not built for simulation. Armies are made up of units, which can represent anything you want (from divisions of companies to brigades or divisions), making the rules scalable for battles at different levels of command. The “default” scale is the Battalion scale (in which a unit is a battalion). Units are grouped into brigades, which depending on what a unit represents can represent battalions, regiments, brigades, divisions, corps.

The main characteristics of a unit are its weapons, size, hand to hand capability, shooting capability, morale, and how many hits can they take before they become shaken. Units are made up of a number of miniatures or bases of miniatures depending on what the players decide for the game as the “average” unit. In our game we decided that the average unit is 20 miniatures strong, which made my large battalions 24 miniatures strong. The number of miniatures per unit is really up to your aesthetic views, space availability, and collection size. All you need to make sure is that a) units can be differentiated into tiny, small, average, large, extra large (which affects their characteristics) and that you can represent the formations the units can take (skirmish, line, column, march column, square, mixed formation). Since there is no figure removal for casualties you do not have to worry about that issue. Units also can have special rules, which is the way the designers try to account for the special characteristics of historical troops (for example Zouaves vs. Gardes Moblies from 1871).

While the rulebook contains some army lists for historical wars (and there have been special “war-books”), it is up to the player to sit down and do their research and build lists that do justice to the historical combatants they wish to emulate. While for some players this may be a chore, I found it a great and interesting part of the game, one that forced me to study the eras I wanted to collect. Obviously malicious people can game these special rules to create super units. While a points system is available as an option, my own view is that you must not play with such scum. Better to play solo I say! Alternatively the player with the most interest in history can do the research and create the army lists. This is defiantly a game to play with people who enjoy the game and camaraderie of a hobby, not people who want to win at all costs.

Once you have collected your armies, and agreed on army lists, and once you have created an order of battle with units and forces you are ready to play. Continuing on the theme of hobby not tournament the rulebook is slanted towards gaming scenarios, rather than the usual meeting engagement. Thus having built or adapted a good scenario is key to having fun, though one could just line everything up and blaze away. I have played many such games in my Warhammer 40k years, and they can be fun, though a scenario wets both the passion and the intellect.

The way you get things done is by issuing verbal commands and then rolling against the command rating of your army commander or force commanders to move units or forces according to your commands. The better you roll the more things your units and forces can do (from 1 to 3 moves). Bad rolls can lead your units to not moving at all, and indeed even doing stupid things. Such is the friction of war, and part of the challenge is to adapt to the changing dynamics of war. Having reserves is a very very smart idea in this game. Thus for example let us say you wish the 1st brigade to move close to the enemy and reform to line. You give that order “First Brigade! Advance to the enemy and then redeploy to line!” You roll your command dice and get three successes. This means your Brigade moves twice and then redeploys to line. If you only rolled one success, your brigade would only advance once and would not deploy into line this turn.

Once you have moved all your units you shoot at the foe. Shooting is straightforward roll x number of dice to meet y number, which can be adjusted for things like unit size, terrain etc.  Ranges are different for types of weapons, and this is how weapon techs are differentiated in the rules (though you can also use special rules for that). Every hit you score leads to a saving throw by the target, which again is roll x dice=hit to meet y number (adjustable again). Any unsaved hit brings a unit closer to becoming shaken. Also any 6s on the shooting roll Disrupt the unit (costing it a turn of commands). Any unit that is Shaken (number of hits suffered= Hits it can take , adjusted for unit size) is in danger of becoming Broken and being removed from the game. If a force loses too many of its units it too will break, and that is how armies are defeated.

Hand to hand is similar with the difference that both the attacker and defender roll dice and the side that inflicts the most hits wins the combat. Generally speaking Hand to Hand Combat is much more dangerous to the firefight for units. You enter hand to hand during the movement space by just moving a unit into contact with the enemy unit. There are rules for flanking etc, though Flanking is not as deadly a thing in this game as opposed to DBA for example. Units can also be enfiladed by shooting which is pretty bad for the target. Morale is rolled at the end of the Shooting or Hand to Hand phase as commanded.

Special rules make some units better or worse in some of these three main aspects of the game (Command, Shooting, Hand to Hand).

My view of the rules

Black Powder is a great abstract game. The rules are simple but can give interesting games. The command rules are an elegant way to create friction with little hassle, and while the firing and hth rules could be a bit simpler, they are adequate. Special rules as long as they are used with moderation can make the armies more distinct from each other, and even individualize units. The hard, but also rewarding part is building the army lists, but frankly if you are just playing some of the more popular wars the rulebook scenarios have a good collection of unit profiles (Napoleonic Wars, American War of Ind., Crimean War etc). 

People have attacked Black Powder as a game targeted to players with huge 28mm collections and massive 9x5 foot tables. They are justified in saying this because the designers themselves give a picture that this is the case. This is not the substantive case. I cannot think of a more foolish presentation of a game than the one done by the creators. This is a great multi-scale game. You can play it with 2mm,3mm,6mm,10mm,15mm,20mm,25mm,28mm,32mm,40mm,54mm miniatures or what have you. All you need to do is decide how many miniatures an “average” unit will have, and decide if you are playing in inches or cms. My own 10mm games use all distances as is but with cms instead of inches. This makes the game interesting on a 4x4 foot table.  But to understand that you will have to ignore the chrome.

Speaking of prose the creators dropped the ball badly on this one, at least to my reading. The rules are fine, but everything around them is not. If you do not subscribe to their view of gender rolls in gaming, glorifying attitude towards British Imperialism, and outright dismissal of a huge part of military history because Warlord Games and Perry Miniatures do not produce miniatures for them, you will be cringing a bit. 

Without question a bit of this is irony, but it is hard to know where the irony and the “we really believe this” starts. The book is unquestionably a thing of beauty, and the small inserts with historical anecdotes good fun, but a lot of the text leaves a lot to be desired. Definitely not a rulebook you want to give to a girl, woman, or person who does not think British Imperialism was a fun adventure to get them interested in war-games.But again, the rules themselves are very good fun, and for me at least it washes the bitter taste from some of the non-rule passages.

Well how do they play?

The scenario was one in which a inferior British force must hold two hills so as to anchor the flank of an allied army. The Russians are trying to outflank it and must take the hills.

You can see the British deployment here. 

He deployed one battalion, the artillery and a unit of skirmishers on the small rocky hill, and two battalions in the large forested hill. In the area between the two hills he placed the second skirmisher unit, and a unit of cavalry. The other unit of cavalry was deployed behind the small hill.

As per scenario rules I divided my army into two wings. The left wing which would make an attempt to the small hill was made up of 2 regiments of three battalions each. The left wing began with 2 battalions on the table. Half my artillery would arrive at the end of turn 2, while the other half of the artillery, cavalry and final battalion of the right wing on turn 3.  The Russian payer only had 6 sure rounds for accomplishing the objective.

My plan was simple. Send each wing to a hill and see which one would fall. As per scenario rules the two wings started with some units already hit due to forced marches and clearing the approaches of the hills of enemy units. The second regiment of the left wing was especially hit this way.

Turn 1

I began the game with rolling  commands to have my first units enter the table. All of them did so and the Left Wing advanced towards the hill with both regiments deployed abreast in supported lines of 2 battalions forwards and one behind.

The British player moved one of the regiments on the big hill to the area between the hills and adjusted his line a bit forward.

Turn 2

I give a very ambitious command to first regiment of the Left Wing, ordering units to advance, and reform into mixed formations from the columns they were in. This failed miserably (I got a blunder) as the exhausted troops actually fell back in disarray. The second regiments of the Left Wing focused on rallying some of the badly mauled units. The Right wing advanced to the big hill. At the end of the turn my 3 artillery units arrived limbered.

The British Player opened fire with his skirmishers and artillery, but this was ineffectual.

Turn 3

With time ticking I decided to give simple order: Just get close to them and charge them for gods sake! Hurrraaahhh!!” Both the regiments of the Left Wing advanced towards the hills with bands playing. In the Right Wing my units failed there command roll and got bogged down as the regimental commander deiced to refuse orders and focus on bringing up the artillery t action. At the end of the turn my Calvary, other half of the guns and final battalion of the Right Wing arrived.

The British opened fire and scored some disruptions and hits.

Turn 4

I make a first assault on the small hill with one battalion that is repulsed. I also begin advancing the Right Wing on the big hill. My artillery opens fire with little effect.

The British units on the small hill pour fire into my advancing columns again getting some disruptions and hits in, and a British cavalry unit charges one of my disrupted units in the flank. It loses the fight and must retire. The British pull back their line to the top of the hill.

Turn 5

Another assault is tried on the small hill, but this too is beat back. 3 units concentrate fire on the British cavalry unit stranded between the two wings and destroy it with massed musketry. A battalion on the Right Wing reached the base of the big hill.

The British Battalion now holding the center area between the two hills fires a devastating volley and breaks a shaken Russian unit. On other fronts the British fire is not enough to push back the Russians.

Turn 6

Three Battalions with a ringing HURRRRAAAHHH charge up the small hill crashing into the thin red line. The lone battalion to reach the big hill on the Right Wing also charges forward. My shooting is ineffectual, but my hand to hand glorious. Of the three battalions in the small hill, one is beat back by canister fire, but the other two storm the hill and force the British regiment to vacate it. Alas the attack on the Rocky hill fails.

The British player has a bad turn command wise and is unable to move units to take back the small hill. His fire is also unable to break another Russian unit. He roll a 5 on the d6 for the end of the game, which means the game ends on turn 6.

Final Tally: 1 British Cavalry unit broken, 1 Russian Broken. 1 hill in British hands, 1 hill in Russian hands.
British victory points 5, Russian 7. Minor Russian Victory.

Thoughts: the game was fun and lasted about 2 hours, which was not tiring at all. Friction played havoc with both of us and it was close. Some better shooting by the British or an extra turn, and they may had gotten a draw or victory. There was some need to go back into the rulebook and on some points we made house rule decisions (for example is the retire move of units affected by terrain? Finding the Blunder table).  A better QRS would do away with this need. My take away point is that artillery units should be brigaded in batteries with their own commanders. I do think that the Neil Thomas rules are a bit easier to grasp, but the game was fun and that is what counts.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Battle Report and Rules Review : Neil Thomas Wargaming 19th Century Europe

Rules: Neal Thomas War-gaming 19th Century Europe 1815-1878, Kindle Edition

Scenario: Battle of Oeversee, 1864 from Neil Thomas rules.

Type: Minigame

Ahistorical elements: Terrain was in spring colors, while historical battle was in winter. Armies used are my 10mm Pendraken 1877 Russians instead of Danes and Austrians. Historically half the Danish force retreated early in the battle


I decided to give my painted Russians a small run. Having bought several months ago Neil Thomas War-gaming rules, and having created some terrain I decided to try one of his minigames. Specifically the Battle of Oeversee fought during the 2nd Schleswig-Holstein war. This was delaying action by the Danish 7th Brigade during the retreat of the Danish Army from the Danverike towards Dybbol. The Austrians attacked and drove the Danes away but the Danes put an energetic fight under the command of Obrest Max Mueller.

The Rules
Neil Thomas “Wargaming 19TH Century Europe” is part a short treatise on how war was conducted in the 1815-1878 period, part a gaming philosophy book , and partly a rulebook with army lists and scenarios. Neil has a very specific philosophy when it comes to wargaming, one that stress abstraction over detail as  the key to a good war-gaming experience.  Any special rules are better included in scenario design rather than rule design.

We thus have a simple set of rules that promise to provide a fun and quick game. Units are divided into infantry (itself divided in early 19th century close order infantry, and later 19th century loose order infantry) , skirmishers (representing units that skirmished more than the infantry), cavalry, dragoons and artillery. Infantry, dragoon and cavalry units are four bases, while skirmishers two, and artillery one.

  There are really only two formations in the game. For infantry these are a static line representing a unit engaged in long range fire fights and having deployed its troops into line or extended line formations, and a column representing troops deployed in depth in order to feed a close range attack.

Rather than have assault or  march columns, he simply treats all columns as assault, but gives troops in column formation extended movement  if they are moving along a road and stay away from the enemy. Thus he can represent two things with one formation, and nice and simply differentiated march columns from attack columns by the restriction of moving too close to the enemy. This is a good example of his design philosophy which is more with less.

Artillery can be limbered or unlimbered. All other units are in one formation, with cavalry in column, and skirmishers in line.

 The game is IGO-UGO though defenders get to use defending fire when charged, and close combat is simultaneous.  Neil does spend time defending his choices, which makes it easier to accept them.
Fighting is based on rolling an x amount of dice based on the units weapons, and the type of its enemy. When certain scores are met, a hit is made. Depending on some conditions units might get a saving thrown to negate a hit. Four hits will cost a unit a base, and when all bases of a unit are lost it is eliminated. Units might be forced to take morale tests, which are rolling a d6 against a range of numbers based on their morale (fanatics , levy, rabble etc). If you fail it you lose a base.

The rules are simple enough and can be accommodated in a one double paged QRS. There is no command and control, since Neil believes players themselves will provide the friction that C&C rules try to replicate. Your army never really leaves your control, but as losses accumulate it will be less able to fight. He thus condenses the reality of combat to a simple situation where units are either fighting or are eliminated. Thus this game is one for the higher level of command, in which many times you would not be fully aware of what the state of a unit is until that unit is destroyed. 
He does offer optional C&C rules, but they did not entice me.

Neil’s hope is that this condensed model of warfare will provide a fast and fun game. His games are geared toward the wargamers who do not own massive tables and massive collections ergo why most of his scenarios are for 120cm x 90cm or 60cm x 60 cm tables (the minigames). His promise is that minigames will last about an hour.

Does ti work out?

The minigame of this scenario gives the Danes 5 units (there is an option for reinforcements that I did not use). Four infantry (each unit representing a battalion) and one weak artillery unit. Al Danish units start on the table from turn 1. The Austrians get 9 units: 1 Cavalry Unit, 2 Artillery Units, 1 Skirmish Unit, and 4 infantry units. The catch is that the majority of the Austrian units arrive in turns 1,2 and 3 rather than start on the table.  The Danish units have lower morale than the Austrian ones, though through a special scenario rule the Danish player can upgrade each turn and only for a turn the morale of one infantry unit by two grades, by attaching Obrest Max Mueller to it. 
Obrest Max Mueller, Danish Commander

The game lasts 10 turns, and the Austrians must clear all Danish units from the main road that runs north south on the table by turn 10 or lose. Below you can see the initial dispositions of the battle on my home terrain, which follows my rule of cheap is good (felt pieces for fields, 2d hand painted woods, lake, roads, river, bridge built using kebab skewers, houses are 3mm paper terrain from the Altar of Freedom guys, hills are layers of cardboard glued together under the felt green cloth) . 


The Danes start with their battalions set up on the Oeversee road, flanked by Lake Sankelmark and a forest and a hill with the artillery behind them. The Austrians start with a cavalry regiment before the bridge crossing the Trenen stream with the town of Oeversee to its left. 

Austrian Turn 1

Turn 1.
The Austrians guns fire trying to silence the Danish ones. They fail and on their turn the Danish guns score hits on the Austrian Hussars. I decide not to sacrifice them  on  death charge and keep to the rear. The arrival of the Jager Battlions (1 infantry unit and 1 skirmisher unit) leads to my decision to try a frontal assault, as I fear an attempt to outflank them through the woods would cost too much time. For the Danes I attach Mueller to one of the more exposed Danish battalions, while I begin moving the two battalions that were in the second line in column, forward so they can deploy in line.

After Danish Turn 1

Turn 2-3
Further Austrian reinforcements arrive and begin marching towards the first line. The Austrians guns try to silence the Danish ones once more, and this time succeed. They also bombard one of the Danish forward battalions. 

Turn 4-5
 The Jagers after the skirmishers try to soften up the targets assault the center of the Danish position while the other Austrian units move forward to deploy for attack. Danish defensive fire takes its toll from the brave Jagers. The Austrian artillery bombards the Danish line.  The Jager attack breaks the Danish Battalion despite Muellers energetic leadership. But they themselves suffer heavy casualties. 

Turn 6
The Austrian artillery continues bombarding the Danes, while another Austrian battalion joins the Jaegers in their frontal charge. The Danes force the Jaegers to retreat and then break them by shooting, but see their left flank broken by the Austrian attack. 

The flank is pierced! 

 Turn 7-8
With artillery and skirmisher support  two Austrian battalions lunch new frontal attacks against the Danes. Slowly but surely the are forced back and units eliminated, despite brave counter attacks led by Max Mueller. 

Turn 9

The final battered Danish battalion is forced of the map by the Austrians who claim victory with only 1 turn left. The Austrians lost one Elite Unit but eliminated five Danish ones. 


The game lasted exactly 1 hour (8:35 in the morning to 9:37). Despite the number of units on the table I had a ton of fun. The game lends itself easy to solo playing. The lack of C&C did not annoy me, since it is not a major issue in a 1 hour battle.

The result was historical. Historically the Austrian artillery  drove the Danish artillery off the field and then blasted the second Danish line forcing it to retreat. The Austrians then attacked using both frontal assaults and flanking maneuvers forcing the Danes back. Max Mueller's leadership did provide the Danes with a fighting chance though.  

Neil Thomas rules fills an important gap in my 19th century wargaming. For detail and long battles I have Black Powder. For abstraction and large battles I will be using Alter of Freedom and Big Bloody Battles. These roles permit me to play short battles in reasonable space and time. Nothing stops you from grafting Command and Control rules on them, indeed even variable turns. But as they are I would call the Minigame iteration the DBA of 19th century war-gaming, but with a more relaxed attitude and simpler rules.

This rules set (10 $ in Kindle form, 30$ for hardcover) , together with two Pendraken Army Packages (90 dollars for both)  would make an excellent present to somebody interested in entering historical wargaming.

I  recommend it to those who are looking for a simple, well defended system of rules, for small to medium tables, and short amounts of time.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Understanding Scale

One of the biggest issue for wargamers is grasping the idea of scale. Especially in any abstraction beyond the 1 to 1 of skirmish gaming, it is easy to forget that you miniatures represent a much bigger number of men. It is also easy to underestimate distance, but that is another issue (one easily curable when you go visit and try to walk the battle-lines in one of the big American Civil War national parks.)

Here I am going to talk a bit about figure scale. I.E how many real humans your figures represent.

Let us start with the real thing. Using my 10mm Russians here is what a closely packed company of 168 men would look like , and a battery of 6 guns (sorry for the bad photo)

Our real strength company of 10mm men is longer than 12 inches (30 cm) four deep. If it was one deep it would be longer than 72 inches (120 cm). If we say a full adult occupies 60cm (24 inches) of space that means 4 deep our company is 1800 cm long (18 meters). One deep it would be (72 meters)

Now usually a 19th century regiment would be made up of 3-6 battlios, each battalion of 4 to 10 companies.

As you can probably comprehend a 1 to 1 representation of a battalion, let alone regiment is beyond the financial and space capabilities of gamers.

Let me put it this way. Suppose you want to represent in 10mm at 1 to 1 ratio a full Russian regiment of 1877. You would need 5 companies per battalion, three battalions per company. That amounts to about 840 figurines per battalion, and 2520 per regiment.

Each battalion if we put companies in line, each company four deep would be 200cm or 2 meters. If we put all the battalions of the regiment side by side, it would be 6 meters long, only 60 cemter short of my height.

Not many have a room or place big enough to accomodate that many miniatures let alone play a game with them.

So we abstract. We scale up. Let us say we use a scale were 1 figure= 40 men, and 1 gun=6 guns.

Our company now looks like this, and our battery of 6 guns can be represented by one figure.

A Russian regiment of three battalions and a divisional artillery brigade looks like this then. Still substantial, but now manageable. But we can go up the scale more.

If we use Bruce Weigel's Grand Tactical Scale, two bases of infantry represent a battalion (1 to 100 scale), and one base or artillery now represents two batteries or 12 guns. Thus three double bases of infantry are a regiment, two regiments a brigade, two brigades a division.

This gives us 2 divisions and thus a corps, permitting us to play medium sized to big historical battles. 

Let us go up the grand tactical level. Let us say we want to play multi-corps battles. One in which we command an army. Using the Altar of Freedom basing convention, now each three bases of infantry represent a brigade of about 4000 to 6000 men (1 to 400 ratio).

This gives us 16 brigades. Each division has two brigades, thus we now have 8 divisions of infantry, and 1 of cavalry, or 4 corps. Historically this is substantial 19th century force, and in the case of some  states, their whole army. Obviously at this level you lose some of the benefits of using miniatures, but gain the ability to fight huge battles in a reasonable time frame for working adults.

Here is my army based for Neil Thomas 19th century rules. 12 units of infatnry, 3 of cavalry and 6 artillery.

Using scaling you can thus play multiple types of games, from small battalion actions to massive battles. But never forget that your little figures, actually represent tens, hundreds or even thousands of men. 

1877 Russians, and some other stuff

A good old update from me. Lots of stuff, starting with Kiis me Hardy and ending with Russians for 1877-8

The second revision of the 1877-8 Russo-Ottoman War army lists for Black Powder is stalled a bit due to research demands. The lists are done, and so is one of the scenarios, but I still need to write up the other four.

I got in a game of Kiss Me Hardy with Doruk at the Karagh Club in Istanbul. I ran a simple 2 vs 2 scenario. Two British 74 guns (1 elite, 1 average) vs. a French 80 gun and a French 74 gun (both average). The scenario was that the Brits were part of blockading squadron and that the French were trying to break it. The British would get 3 VP for each captured French, 1 VP for each sunk (the prize! the prize!). The French would get 3 for each ship that escaped, 1 for each british ship that has sunk or struck the colors. I played the French,

Initial set up. The French must escape from the corner in the back of the british.

The French give the British broadsides.

One of the French ships crosses the British T. Alas the dice were not in favor of the Republic

The French making a dash for it

One of the French ships is boarded by the British and taken. The other unwisely decides to stay around and fight rather than run (I rolled a dice).

We ended the game with one French ship taken, One British ship malued, the other British shape in bad shape, and the last Frenchmen ok. Since the two last ships found themselves with the wind straight ahead we called it a day. British Minor Victory.

End Situation

FRN Formidable: Taken, 38/80 hull points left 
FRN Heros: Foremast Destroyed, 56/74 Hull points left
HMS Minotaur : Officer Casualties, Foremast Destroyed, 20/74 Hull Points Left
HMS Defence: 53/74 Hull points left.

Beyond that I finished a test paint of 1/72 Union troops for the American Civil War. Onur gave me this miniatures. I will paint them and probably give them back, as they do not really catch my fancy.

The most important update is that I finished roughly 3/5th of my Russian Division for 1877/1878

I know have the full divisional allotment of artillery (6 batteries),

a Hussar regiment for support,

two full line regiments of three battalions each, which make up one of the two brigades of a Line Infantry Division,

a Elite Battalion (painted as Guards)

Which in Black Powder gives 7 Infantry Units, 6 artillery units, and 1 or 2 cavalry units. I am missing command stands, but that should be taken care of in the near future. My goal is to be done with it before 2015.

Here is the Brigade deployed for battle, trying to take a hill. One regiment is moving towards a set of fields in Attack columns for a flanking maneuver. The other one is going down the hill through the valley, and up the other one in mixed formations of attack columns and skirmishers. The Elite battalion is deployed in line and softening up the enemy. Half the artillery supports the flank maneuver of the first regiment, while the other half the frontal attack. The Hussars guard the artillery. 

The brigade leaves the safety of its hill.

One regiment works the flanks, while the other deploys forward under fire.

The Elite battalion leads, with its Berdan's doing good work in the fire-fight

An aerial view of the whole fromation

The first regiment in a supported line of attack columns (the command stands are for the eyes, as opposed to integral for the game)

Artillery in support.


The second regiment in mixed formations and proceeded by a battalion in line.

I cannot wait to use this guys in battle. The Pendraken miniatures are perfect, having a balance if detail to abstraction that I like. Some of the units could be used with command swaps for Latin American wars.