Friday, 17 July 2015

Gaming in the Garden - 2mm Napoleonic Battle Report

A quick 'pic update' today with some photos of our recent 2mm Napoleonic smash.  We were using my modified set of Give Them The Cold Steel, tweaked for early nineteenth-century combat.  A 4x4 board was used, this time with a gaming mat which was very convenient - watch this space for a review next week.

As usual, I'll let the pictures and captions do the talking rather than doing a full dissection.  I played as the French, and Mike as the valiant Brits using 2mm Irregular Miniatures figures.

The gaming mat was from Game Mat EU - my favourite thing about it is
that you can easily make hills by putting books underneath the mat.
This is what I love about 2mm, you can make landscapes which look genuinely real and alive.
Nice to game in the garden - but once the wind picked up it didn't seem like such a good idea.  Look out!
de Grouchy's column has just blown away!  One disadvantage of 2mm figures I will admit to.
Deployment on the first day.  I had my main force bottom left, with a cavalry force bottom right.  Mike was ready to defend the river crossing top left (next to the mug), and his cavalry set up in column top centre.
And they're off!  I rushed my cavalry across the river and managed to capture four guns (including with a brave charge into some canister fire), but then the British heavy brigade moved up and routed me.  On the left you can see the defensive line Mike put on one of the few bridging points.
A very thick red line!  With a screen of rifle-armed skirmishers to protect the crossing.
That unit he's touching there is just about to make an attack up the hill, where there is a battery of French guns and some cavalry.  The attack doesn't go well, I charge downhill before they can form square then break off as they retreat... but that was just one of four brigades on the way to the top of the hill!
The units congregated towards the bottom left are the same as above, just after the first brigade rallied.  You can see the remnants of my cavalry being finished off in the centre-right of the picture.
An overall shot, very busy:  On the left, my attack is going in on the bridge.  Closest to the camera you can see my reserves and defence of the crest of the hill.  In the middle of the picture you can see the British rallied and made a more determined attack on the village, forcing me to pull my guns and cavalry back.
A very bloody mess as my attack closes in on the bridge.
My defence line on the ridge. 
After one failed attack, the British finally capture the village at the top of the hill.
At this point we had to finish, but the next day we continued the battle (inside this time) as if night had fallen, and then the battle resumed the next day.  Mike was going to assault my ridge, having thwarted my attempts to get across the river...

My French made a determined stand on the left - after the attack failed they held the woods and exacted a fearful toll on the redcoats as they move their pincers towards the hill.  Ultimately, however, they were wiped out and half the division was captured!
I managed to scatter a few units but was totally wiped out in the bitter fighting which raged in the woods.
The other arm of the British attack takes some heavy fire from canister shot...
There my camera died, so there are no records of what happened.  I can tell you that with all obsticles clear Mike snapped shut the trap and made a simultaneous attack up the hill - taking murderous fire, they lost nearly 50% of their strength but in the end their superior numbers won through (since I had wasted my cavalry on the first day) and they bagged most of the rest of the French division.  Mon dieu!

An excellent game, really fun and very immersive.  You really feel part of the terrain, since the battlefield is so large.  Unlike larger scales where the action is very much confined by the edges of the board, here we had space to really manoeuvre.  And not simple flank charges - I mean real manoeuvre, withdrawing and going two miles down the road to find a better bridge for your guns then coming up behind the enemy position.  Something only possible in this scale.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed reading as much as we did playing!

Ed

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Mordheim Battle Report: Blood on the Streets

With some unexpected time off, I managed to get two games of Mordheim in with Mike today.  Smashing games they were too - both played with our Gaming Philosophy in mind - lots of terrain, lots of fluff, a few skirmishing models.

This is part of a series of on-off games we're playing as part of a casual campaign, using the Fourth Kingdomites - a shooty warband with lots of muskets and pistols.  Facing off against them were Prince Leopold's finest, a tough warband that has won just about every encounter so far. A daunting prospect!

We diced for the Street Fight scenario, where a single road running through the middle is bordered by a row of houses, the rest of the board being impassible.  The objective was to get off the other side of the table.

Fourth Kingdomites
  • John Carew - leader
  • 'Naughty' Sally - champion
  • 'Deadeye' Rupert - champion (musketeer)
  • 'Strongarm' Roger - champion (musketeer)
  • 'Bish' (The Bishop of Ropeth & Mundy) - champion
  • The Three Musketeers - henchmen with muskets
Prince Leopold's Finest
  • Leopold, Prince of the People - leader, top floor
  • Gunther - champion, middle floor (L-R)
  • Maximilian - champion
  • Josef- champion
  • Alec - champion
  • Karl - champion
  • Marienburg Dandies Fencing Association - henchmen with swords
  • Marienburg Archery Society - henchmen with longbows
  • Tiny the Ogre
My worthy opponents!

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Size Isn't Everything - A Discussion on 2mm Wargaming

This blog started out as a firmly 28mm blog.  It was all about 40K at first, then moved into other historicals like WWII, with a wide variety of fantasy and non-fantasy games.  But they were all 28mm - until my recent American Civil War campaign, when I got into 2mm wargaming.  In this article I'm going to share some of the reasons for my love of 2mm gaming, and hopefully you'll share your own thoughts as well.

Cinematic, realistic, dramatic... 28mm wargaming all over.
How did you start collecting 2mm?

My main motivation for collecting and painting models is for the visual effect on the board.  I want my armies to look realistic - like a shot from a film, where possible.  Clearly, the biggest reason I started in 28mm was that it's the dominant scale for all wargaming, thanks to GW.  But they're also a good balance between detail and collectability, and every model I paint in 28mm improves my skill at that level and reinforces the preference.

I've always resisted wargames that aren't 1:1 scale - that is, games where one figure on the board doesn't represent one man in real life.  These games can still look great on the board, but for me there's just something not right about putting down ten models with a flag and calling it a 'regiment'.  It just chips away at my suspension of disbelief.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Battle Report: Meeting Engagement

As promised last week, I've got a quick batrep of our Battlefleet 1900 game from last weekend.  We were using the new Tumbling Dice 1:2400 ships, which were a real visual treat.

The engagement was between a Russian battleship, escorted by a cruiser, and a Japanese battleship supported by three destroyers.  Despite the clear firepower advantage the Russians had, destroyers have deadly torpedoes which can easily sink a larger ship.

As usual I'll stick with lightly-annotated pictures rather than a dissection.

The deployment.  The Russians (in blue, at the bottom) were
travelling left-to-right when the Japanese (top, in red) attacked.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Battlefleet 1900: New 1:2400 ships

Frequent visitors to the blog (from before my sabbatical) may recall the Battlefleet 1900 games we played, re-enacting some battles from the Russo-Japanese War.  Well, while at Partizan this year I saw some excellent 1:2400 ships on the Tumbling Dice stand.  Spying an opportunity to snatch up some excellent models at a bargain price, I bought the £40 starter pack.  This doesn't supplant the 1:3000 WTJ models I already have, but rather allows for some new modelling opportunities and will be used to enact smaller ship-to-ship engagements rather than the fleet actions of the smaller-scale ships.


Friday, 29 May 2015

Random Project - Baneblade

Those of you fortunate enough to have been following this blog from the start will know full well that I am not a fan of Apocalypse models or games.  But recently, a friend asked me to paint up his Baneblade and was generous (or foolish) enough to say "paint it however you like!"

This is the result.  Having spent a day and a half smashing this project solidly I can still say I'm not a fan of the baneblade, it's an utterly rediculous tank and a real pain to build.  I did, however, enjoy yhe brutally simple process of painting it:

  • OD spraypaint
  • Wash with a huge tin of black ink
  • Wait to dry then sponge metal onto the corners
  • Dot every rivet with watered-down rust powder (not as bad as it sounds)
  • Heavy dose of black weathering powder on the muzzles etc
  • Detailing like the markings and lights
Voila!  A quick and simple project, and a good chance to try out some basic tank weathering ideas.  Enjoy!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Mordheim Warband - The Fourth Kingdomites

Greetings - as promised, I'm back to posting once a week.  This is just a quick photo update to show off one of the projects I've been working on for the past few weeks.  Regular readers may remember my lovely Undead Warband from last year.  Tragically, they went missing in action and I haven't seen them for a while.

Mike and I planned a campaign, so I had to produce a warband in under 24 hours.  Argh!  I rushed to the National Civil War Centre in Newark (where they sell Warlord Games miniatures), and I bought some Montrose Irish.

The (brief) fluff for these chaps is that they are part of a mad breakaway religious sect - the Fourth Kingdomites.  Details to follow - I was occupied with the painting with these chaps!

'Naughty' Sally, and the sect leader John Carew

Friday, 15 May 2015

The Chattanooga Campaign

Greetings from the mists of time!  I'll get the feeble apologies out of the way first.  I've had a good year off the blog now, as I went on several work-related courses which took up all my free time.  Having fractured my ankle, however, I'm back where I started in my old job and I've found myself with a lot more free time on my hands.

So I decided to start the blog back up again.  I don't know if I'll ever get back to my once-a-week posting rate; I'll take it steady for the moment and we'll see how things pan out.  To get the ball rolling I'll relate a very exciting campaign I've recently finished.

The Chattanooga Campaign

The Second Day of the Battle of Chattanooga -
shortly after this the lines disintegrated and
both sides were compelled to withdraw.
My last post (way back in January) was a battle report of Give Them The Cold Steel.  After this, we decided to do a map campaign exploring an alternate history scenario, to whit, an early attempt by the Federals to seize Chattanooga before (and instead of) Corinth in March 1862.

This was done in real time (1 day = 1 day), with a set of map campaign rules umpired by Kieran, who's written a post about his own role as umpire/administrator.  Assuming historical alter-egos, I took command of the Union forces in Nashville, and my brother Ollie led the Confederates defending Chattanooga.  We sparred across the Tennessee countryside for three weeks and fought a series of battles, resulting in a complete Confederate victory.  Damnation!

Firstly, the Battle of Dry Fork Creek - a force of Federal cavalry surrounded Confederate troopers and forced five hundred of them to surrender.  A great victory for the North, but soured by the death of their division commander General P. H. Sheridan (who in real life lived to be a prominent leader in the East later in the war).

Sunday, 25 January 2015

2mm ACW Battle Report

Hello again, and welcome to another long-overdue update on Palladian Guard.  Despite my new hectic, blog-free lifestyle I've had chance to do some more wargaming recently so I thought I'd share.  You may remember the card-and-counter ACW game from December - well, I bought some 2mm Horse and Musket minis from Irregular Miniatures and we decided to take our gaming to the next level.  See below for a pictorialised version of an excellent game of Give Them The Cold Steel we had last night.

Deployment - the Union are attacking, so their brigades come on turn-by-turn.

Monday, 15 December 2014

First Bull Run - ACW Card-and-Counter Game

Evening all!  Think I'm overdue a quick update, so I thought I'd share a very enjoyable game we had the other day.  For a long time we've thought about the possibility of using counters to represent units when playing larger-scale games.  Saves on terrain, time, cost - just about everything.  Of course you loose the joy of painting and collecting, but if you want to replicate army-level encounters (as opposed to the platoon- or company-level battles of 28mm wargaming), collecting a whole army is impossible.

Having said that, given how cheap 2mm models are, I've recently ordered a pack from Irregular Miniatures' Horse and Musket range.  At that scale the effect will be pretty much the same as card counters.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Anyway, to Friday.  My brother came round to my new house and we christened it with a game of Give Them The Cold Steel, an excellent (and free) set of ACW rules.  I tweaked them to change the scale, making 1" the frontage of a regiment so we could play on a map of six sheets of A4 paper, with the Trench Raiders plastic sheets to prevent slippage.

Using the Wikipedia page for First Bull Run/Manassas Junction, I created a 1" x 3/4" square for each regiment, and we picked the action round Henry House as the snapshot for our battle.  That gave each player about five brigades (25 regiments) to handle.  To the uninitiated, the rather awful film Gods and Generals does have some excellent battle scenes in it which capture the feel of the battle.