Monday, October 26, 2015

A game of day at Leadhead PhD: BBB Second Pleven 1877, and DBA

A game of day at Leadhead PhD

Last Saturday Onur and me met at my house for a day of gaming. Our goal was to play the BBB scenario of Second Pleven, and also an introductory game of DBA (v.2.2 since I have not had the chance to buy 3.0 yet). 

The result of the battle both in history and in this game

This would be our first full BBB large battle. I had played one large battle in the past (Inkerman with Mehmet) and we have both played some of the smaller scenarios (Nikopol, Velestino, Langasesda). But this would be our first big one. It would also be the first test of my new terrain system. Unfortunately because I did not have the requisite 13 Russian guns, and I did not want to proxy for our first full game, I ended up having only 6 batteries of Russians, plus 1 US Union battery masquerading as a Cossack battery. This means that I made an already asymmetrical battle more asymmetrical. I knew that going in, but I believed in my plan!

The 2nd Battle of Pleven was forced on Baron Krudener by the Grand Duke cnc of the Russian forces operating in Bulgaria. Like most such battles it was a bad battle for the attacker, as the Russians simply did not have enough forces to overran the strong positions of Osman Pasha. As BBB focuses on historical scenarios that asymmetry is still evident (just like in Chess of Hefenltaf) , but Chris balances this with fairly simple objectives for the Russians. If they can take 1 of 7 objectives they get a draw, if they can take 2 they get a victory.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Made some changes to pages

Like Louis XIV and the Low Countries, I too must engage in rationalizing my domains. In this case I have reduced the number of pages for this blog, and combined the resources. Now everything is links to my google drive, and my hope is that this makes it easier for people to access my resources.  If their is any problem just leave a comment and I will look into it.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Some more terrain work and future projects

Not much gaming for the last 30 days. But I did finish a set of hills and other high places. These are all built by my cheap design. I cut several contours of hill from cardboard, glue them together, glue brown hued craft paper on them and glue some sand or static grass on several spaces. It does not produce the best looking terrain in the world but it is cheap and can produce quite a lot.

My intention is to share this with friends who do not have terrain at home, and with the club in Istanbul, which lacks terrain for 10mm and smaller forces. I will also keep some for Greece.

My next terrain project is fortifications and trenches for 10mm games (essentially BBB). I have rifle pits but I want to represent more complex or durable positions. I have decided to use a piece f modelling equipment with which I have little experience which is craft terracota. I hope I do not bungle things up. Any advice - ideas on using it are welcome.

Beyond that my projects for the immediate future are crystallizing. First on the 24th of October me and Onur will play 2nd Pleven from BBB. This will be our first full play of a major battle from BBB (previous games were 2 scenarios of Nikopolis 1877, and an aborted due to time start of 2nd Pleven. I have also soloes Langzelda, and played Velestino with Mortens from Denmark.)

I have ordered 10mm Ottomans for 1877/1897 from Pendraken. I got them so that I can host games for people who have no armies, and so that I can do exhibition games in Greece for the Russo-Ottoman War of 1877/8 or Greek-Ottoman War of 1897. Doing the Greeks is still an issue due to the total lack of Evzone miniatures in 10mm in the market. I tried commissioning a couple in Greece but the sculptors there are more familiar with 28-15mm. If you know a good sculptor who would not be too expensive please get them in contact with me.

On to other projects. Ever since painting my 6mm Napoleonic French I have a hankering for doing a project with them. I told my friend to bring me the rest of my army from Greece and also his Prussians which I will buy off. This would give me two forces for the 1813-1814 period. I think I would like to try doing Liepzig at the Grand Tactical level. Rules-wise a conversation at The Miniatures Pages seems to lead me to think that this is only doable either using Blucher, Grand Armee, Bloody Big Battles or Divisional level Black Powder. Whatever the decisions on the specific rules I am pretty sure this can only be done at my play in a day or two requirements at the division=maneuver unit level.

I have finally decided to get serious about meeting and satisfying my hankering for 17th century warfare. I decided to focus on building one battle of the Thirty Years War. I will make both armies and build the terrain etc. Rules used will be the Captain General's "The Warre Game 1632".

I wanted to do a mid-size battle and one at 6mm figures, as this is a one shot project. However there is a dearth, a dearth I say, of scenarios for the Thirty Years War. Lots of stuff on the English Civil War, but almost nothing but some of the bigger battles for the Thirty Years War. Also the historiography of the war and our image of it is radically changing as English-speaking military historians are starting to read the works done in German, Swedish, Czech etc. This has challenged old pre-conception about how the various sides fought in the war. I thus was also looking for a set of rules that respected the new historiography. This was The Warre Game 1632.

Scenario wise after some searching on the internet that proved unsatisfying, a good chap at The Miniatures Page suggested I take a look at the Playbooks for the GMT Musket and Pike Battle Series. What a genius idea. Not only do the four -five published sets of the series cover about 15-20 battles of the TYW the playbooks with their OOBs are available for free! Even for the out of stock titles. You can get them here. I went through each one of the games set in the TYW and decided to build up the Battle of Fleurus 1622. This battle sees two of the key protestant commanders of the early TYW , the ever opportunistic Mansfeld and the fanatical Duke Christian of Brunswick, defeated by a smaller Spanish Army under Gonsalo Fernande de Cordoba. So it looks like a good quality vs. quantity battle with some interesting characters in the mix. Also the battlefield is not too complex and there is no use of entrenchments.

Beyond these i think I will not expand to any more miniature buying until I am done with these projects. The next big phase will be collecting and doing BBB Konnigratz, which is also when I will do the 1864 Danes. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Old Project resurrected: 6mm Napoleonics

Years ago, and we are talking years ago I made a stab at 6mm Napoleonics from Baccus. Me and a friend bought a Polemos starter set with Prussians and French. The expectation as that I would paint the French and he the Prussians. It did not pan out. He could not find the time or energy for the Prussians, and while I painted most of the French and some of his Prussians, I lost interest as well (no possible opponent). What is more the Polemos rules simply did not work for me. The one test game we did felt flat, and the forces that came with the purchase were simply not big enough to give me the Grand Tactical games I wanted with Polemos. So the project went to the back burner. I did bring the left over french with me to the US, but never really got down to paint them. Until now.

All the Grand Tactical action going on in my gaming life, and the games produced by people playing Sam Mustafa's Blucher got me into a painting mood. Not only that but I am in gap in my 10mm painting right now. All the stuff I had is done and I have yet to order the new stuff. So I sat down and started painting those French. I had with me command, the cuirassiers, and 4 artillery crews. Over this week I finished the first two sets. As with all my post-2013 projects (exception DBA) I use my universal 20 CM square basing. Painting is minimal wargaming standard. I will use these guys with Bloody Big Battles (that can be expanded to the 1813-1815 campaigns without much difficulty), Black Powder,and with Blucher (which I want to give a for). 

Next point is to find the French army (I left it with the friend) buy off the Prussians, and paint the rest of. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

19th Century What Ifs? The Franco-US War of 1866-1868 Part IV: OOB for Franco-Mexican-Texan Forces

OOBs France and Allies 1866

Army of the Republic of Texas
CnC Lieutenant General Jubal Early
1st Brigade-Major General Jo Shelby
Spaight’s Texas Volunteer Regiment-500 men
1st Texas Regular Infantry Regiment-600 men
Shelby’s Volunteer Regiment-800 men
A battery, 1st Texas Artillery

2nd Brigade-Brigadier General P.O.Hebert
2ND Texas Regular Infantry Regiment-600 men
3rd Texas Regular Infantry Regiment-500 men
4th Texas Regular Infantry Regiment-500 men
B Battery, 1st Texas Artillery

Texas Cavalry Detachment-Brigadier General J.E.Slaughter
Sweet’s Cavalry Battalion-150 men
Bradford’s Cavalry Battalion-250 men
1st Texas Cavalry Regiment-400 men
Redeemers Volunteer Cavalry Regiment-135 men
A and B Battery , 1st Texas Light Artillery

Total Army of Republic of Texas: about 3500 Infantry, 1000 cavalry, 16 guns

Many of the units are made up veterans of the CSA. Rather mobile force, lacking in equipment.