Saturday, January 27, 2018

13th Mississippi Infantry

Another unit if American Civil War figures completed and ready for battle.  This time we have the Confederate 13th Mississippi Infantry of Barksdale's Brigade.  These figures are metal miniatures from Sash and Saber.  I love the character of these figures and he does a great job on the accuracy of the various pieces of equipment.

I painted this unit in the Richmond Depot jacket in grey with blue cuffs and collars.  They have mixed head gear with most in slouch hats and a few wearing M1861 caps.  I tried to do these with the Confederate version of the light blue trouser.  Overall these have a very pleasing blue-grey look to them.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Black Powder ACW on a Sunday Afternoon

Last Sunday Tim and I got in a small ACW Black Powder game.  We had a few goals in mind for this game the main one being reacquainting ourselves with the rules.  It has been nearly a year since our last game.  We also wanted to try some more of the Glory, Hallelujah! modifications.  Finally we wanted to test the concept of getting in a fun game on a relatively small table. See Tim's write-up of the game on his blog for more cool pictures and a distorted Confederate view of the action.

We decided to keep this battle rather simple.  Each side had two brigades each of four standard size units and one gun.  We each had one division commander.  All units were basic stats straight from the Black Powder rule book with no special rules.  All units had rifled muskets and we used the modified ranges from the GH supplement.

The table was setup with a river and some roads that formed the main features.  We wanted to try the cornfield and orchard rules from GH so we had some of those as well.  We also had some light woods and wheat fields.  We did not have a specific scenario so this was basically a pitched battle.  I had selected the river crossings and the crossroads as my objectives.

The Union plan was to split the right brigade (brigade 1) in half with two regiments and the gun holding the center and two regiments and the brigadier pressing the Confederate left flank.  It all went well the Confederate left and center would be rolled up and quickly destroyed.

The Confederates were deployed in force in the center and had a numeric superiority on this part of the battlefield.  This fight would prove to be the heart of the fight.

Two Union regiments quickly cross the river and move to the edge of the fields and near the road.  So far the plan was moving well.

Things are about to get bloody...

On the Union left both sides quickly advanced to either side of the road and obscured by the fields.  A single Union regiment attempted to press across the road but was quickly pushed back.

Two Union regiments take up a defensive position in the woods near the crossroads.  The Confederates move three regiments up to the road.  The fire along this road would soon be hot and heavy.

The Union right flank force is bogged down in the fields and engaged in a heavy fire-fight with a single Confederate regiment.  The fresh Union regiment behind would repeatedly fail to pass through and continue the attack.

Back on the Union left the Confederates have three regiments on line as well as one gun and effectively face two Union regiments with one gun in very ineffective support.  The bridge is solidly in rebel hands.

In the center the rebels have broken on Union regiment and pushed the second out of the woods.  The position of the Union regiment has fouled the line of fire of the Union gun taking it out of the fight.  The division commanders has been pressed to rally the remaining Union regiment.

The battle by the bridge has stalled into a bloody slugging match.  Neither side has an edge and both sides are starting to show signs of stress.

Confederates moving in for the kill in the center.

The combination of fire to the front and enfilading fire from the left would be too much for the lone Union regiment to bear.  They would end up braking and that, in turn, would brake the brigade.

Flank attack stopped and the brigade was broken.  The Union attack is over.

The slaughter on the Union left was huge but all for nothing.
This game was a blast.  In all the battle took about 2 1/2 hours and had a definite resolution.  I think we managed 7-8 turns in that time.  We had movement and lots of shooting.  We both had several rallies as units went Shaken.  Neither of us had or attempted a charge.  The game worked just fine on this size table with these size forces.

As for the rules most everything went well.  We did make some mistakes with how Shaken units behave but nothing that would have changed the outcome of the battle.  We intended to use the GH restriction on units shooting after 2 ore more moves so we will try that out in the next game.  I think all the GH terrain rules worked well and we will likely keep using those.  I think the charge restrictions from GH are just to much.  I think we will use the requirement for a specific charge order to each regiment but will not use the -2 command modifier for charging the front.

For our next game I would like to try out the army list functions from GH.  The idea of building a point matched force for use in more casual games is very appealing to me and will help get this game on the table much more often.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

5th New York Volunteer Infantry

Yet another unit for my American Civil War collection is ready for battle.  This time we have some Perry Miniatures plastic Zuoave figures.  These are painted up as the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry regiment.  This is probably the most famous Union Zouave unit though they really weren't much of an elite unit.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Bolt Action Churchill AVRE

Another lingering project is complete and off the paint table!  This is a 1/56th scale Churchill AVRE tank for Bolt Action.  This is the plastic Warlord kit.  This model belongs to my friend Tom and I built and painted it in trade for another model.  As usual it has taken me WAY too long to get this done.  I have had this in my possession for more than a year.

The kit is pretty good but a little complicated.  There are lots of different version of this tank in the kit and I think this is the Mk V.  I am not a big fan of the tracks.  They did not really fit right in my opinion.  The end result is a nice tank that should really kill those Germans dead.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

21st Mississippi Infantry

My second Confederate unit completed this year!  I have already reached 25% of my painting total for all of last year, wow!

OK, this time we have my take on the 21st Mississippi regiment.  I have no idea if this unit ever looked like this but the unit names are just place holders anyway.  For this unit I decided to go with Columbus shell jackets in Butternut with blue collars and cuffs.  This is a well documented jacket from this depot.  I also went with M1862 caps.  These have blue bands and crowns, also in Butternut.  This cap was not very common but did show up from time to time it seems.  The trousers are black British imports.

Again, I have no idea if this unit was ever equipped in this particular fashion, or in fact, if any unit was.  This is, however, a very plausible combination of equipment.  This unit was a blast to paint and I really like getting away from the stereo-typical gray of Confederate troops.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

28mm ACW Union Army Additions

A couple of years ago my friend Tom decided to liquidate his extensive 28mm ACW collection.  This worried me greatly as we used a large part of this collection anytime we put on an ACW Black Powder game.  Even more troubling was that I did not have any money at the time to buy even a portion of the collection.  The good news is that much of this collection went to local gamers so we have been able to keep using much of it for our games.

Today I purchased a large chunk of the Union from a friend who had bought it from Tom.  He had not been able to participate in games and the stuff had just been sitting so he decided to make it available.  I am very happy to add these figures to my collection as this nearly doubles my Union forces and means that I am just about done collecting Union ACW.

Union Corps Commander.  I believe the banner is for III Corps but I will use it for any senior commander required for a game.  I think these are Old Glory figures.
Union Division Commander.  This will be used for any senior commander needed for a game.  The banner is actually a Pennsylvania regimental banner but it looks cool.  The figures are Old Glory.

Union Brigade Commanders.  Each of these will command a brigade.  Old Glory figures.
Union Brigade Commanders on foot.  These will be used as needed for foot commanders.  A couple will likely be painted as artillery commanders.  These are Sash and Saber figures.

Three batteries of 12lb Napoleons.  These are Sash and Saber figures.

Three batteries of 3in rifles.  More Sash and Saber.

1st New Jersey. A larger 36 model unit.  All Sash and Saber figures with unit correct flags.

2nd New Hampshire. A standard size 24 figure unit of Sash and Saber figures.  The flags are correct for the unit.

3rd Maine.  Another standard size unit of 24 figures.  All Sash and Saber with correct flags.

57th Pennsylvania.  Another large, 36 figure, unit.  All Sash and Saber figures with correct flags.

63rd Pennsylvania.  Stand size unit like the others.  

68th Pennsylvania. Standard size unit of Sash and Saber.  This is actually the second unit in my collection flagged as the 68th Pennsylvania.  Looks like I need more flags to fix this.

This is a really nice collection.  I rarely purchase painted figures but for the size games we typically play it is unlikely I would ever have added this much with my own brush.  These, I think, were painted by Fernando Enterprises and work perfectly on a table full of troops.  You see, when there are 1000+ figures on the table no one is really looking at the paint on a specific figure.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

17th Mississippi

The first painted figures of 2018.  I am pretty stoked about getting off to a good start.

Here we have the 17th Mississippi regiment for Black Powder.  The figures are Perry plastic Confederates.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

January Work in Progress #1

So far this year I have been working frantically on painting Perry plastic Confederates.  I have one regiment nearly complete and another regiment mounted on tongue depressors ready for base coating.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Thoughts and Ideas for 2018

It is time once again to wipe the hobby slate clean and get ready for a new year of hobby goodness.  My Christmas holiday time off has really helped me clear my head and refocus on what I want from the hobby.  The theme for the coming year will be simplification.  I really need to simplify my hobby and refocus on those things I truly love and not get distracted by all the shiny new stuff that seems to be constantly popping up.  Nice idea but it may not be that simple...

Games Workshop

I have been a 20+ year  GW customer, starting with the original Necromunda in the 90s and moving into Gorka-Morka, Mordhiem, Warhammer Fantasy Battles, Warhammer 40,000 and Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle game.  I have really had lots of great times with GW products but a few years back they seemed to be on a mission to destroy themselves.  They did such a good job that I basically stopped playing their games and collecting their models completely.  Several of my friends went a step further and sold off most of their GW stuff, never expecting to go back to it.

Well all that has changed and 2017 was the year that GW pulled me and several of my friends back in.  I really like many of their new products and releases and their models are better than ever.  The new versions of Warhammer 40K and Necromunda Underhive really were the hooks that reeled me back in.

How does this fit the theme?  Easy!  I still have 5 40K armies painted and ready to go.  Last year I bought the new rules and a couple of the army books.  I basically can play this game with no significant investment of time or money.  I am sure this year I will buy more codex books and I am sure some model releases will get my attention but basically I am ready to go.  I plan on this being a well played game this year.  Simple.

Necromunda Underhive will be slightly more complicated.  I have no immediate plans to play this game but I do plan to purchase all the releases this year and build and paint models as the inspiration strikes.  I actually think I will play more Shadow War Armageddon as this game has more interest from my friends and can be used as an entry game for getting 40K collections started.  For me the simplicity is in the fact that I have several bands ready to go and lots of models collected for additional bands.  This should see the table a lot.

I expect that 2018 will be a big year for my return to GW gaming and I am actually excited about that.

Horse and Musket Era

This is a game era that has been dominated by the Black Powder rules and the American Civil War and this will continue for 2018.  The main struggle I have had over the years with this is the need for huge armies and huge tables for the games we have been playing.  I already have one of these huge games scheduled for March so I am not planning to stop playing that type of game.  What I need to do, however, is find ways to play smaller games so I can get this on the table more than once this year.

In addition to the American Civil War I have a really strong need to play the Napoleonic era with these rules.  This is something I have had in the works for many years now but 2018 needs to be the year I make a serious push to get this going.

How does this fit the theme?  This is another game/era that I have extensive collections of models ready for paint as well as huge armies of painted miniatures.  There is really very little in the way of purchases needed to do more ACW or Nappy gaming.  Most of the work is around painting stuff I have already bought and that is pretty simple.  The recent Black Powder supplements for ACW and the Russian Napoleonic campaign are really helpful items and I will be looking at some wargaming scenario books to help with planning games but I really don't need to do much in the way of model purchases.  If I can get in 3-4 games this year I will be very happy but I think I can do better than that.

World War II Gaming

This is still my favorite gaming period.  The last couple years have been a struggle with all the rules changes with my favorite game as well as the loss of interest with some of my friends.  We did get Bolt Action (1st Edition) on the table several times last year.  Tom and I have been experimenting with the Battlegroup rules using our Flames of War 15mm collections.  These games have been lots of fun.  As you may know I am not a big fan of the Flames of War v4 rules.  I think I have come to the realization that I will not be moving to the new edition and I will continue to play v3 and use the old army books.  I have had a history of not staying with old versions of rules once a new edition has been released.  Most of the time this means playing the new game and all is well.  But in some instances this has meant that I stop playing the game completely.  I can't really explain why this has been the case but I think I have gotten over this.  I want to play games and I no longer want a game company to dictate to me how I play my games.  I like BA 1st edition and FoW v3 so that is what I will be playing for the most part.  Battlegroup will see more table time this year and I am looking forward to that.

How does this fit with the theme?  I own almost everything I need for WWII gaming so I don't need to buy much of anything.  I will be investing in the Battlegroup books and filling in the holes in my FoW book collections.  As for models I have several 15mm projects in process and PILES of additional models.  For 28mm I have companies of painted figures for several armies. I also have a 28mm US Marine force to finish painting. I can see some 28mm tank models in my future but I really don't need much.  This is another area that is ready to play. I just need to get off my butt and play.

Dark Age Gaming

SAGA is king for this era.  I really love this game and I see much more of it in the future.  There is a new version coming out this year and I plan to buy it and try it out.  But in light of my new attitude towards new version of rules, if I don't like the new version I will just keep playing the first edition.  For big battle gaming I expect to play some Hail Caesar and Kings of War Historical.  My friend Joe has been on a model buying and model painting tear for months and really wants to do some big Dark Age battles similar to our big Black Powder games.  I am really looking forward to doing this and I have lots of stuff to add to the battle.

How does this fit with the theme?  I know I am starting to get a little repetitive, but I have lots of stuff for these games and this period so I don't really need to buy large numbers of models or books to play.  For SAGA I actually have several armies in process - Anglo-Saxon, Rus, Arab and I am collecting stuff for a dedicated Norman army.  This is an area where I can get lots of hobby activity by just working on projects I have.

Fantasy Gaming

I have been having a lot of fun with this in the last year.  Tim and I got in several games of Frostgrave and they were all a blast.  I managed to collect all the supplements and I collected and painted a lot of figures and terrain.  I also got in some Kings of War games earlier in 2017 and we actually had a campaign going for a while.  I would love to get some more of that going this year.

How does this fit with the theme?  As with so may items on this list it is all about using stuff I already have and I have lots of stuff for both Kings of War and Frostgrave.  This is an area that might be hard for me to not make things a little more complicated.  Going with my idea of more GW games I have really been thinking about Armies of Sigmar lately.  It is quite possible that Kings of War becomes my historical mass battle game but AoS becomes my go to fantasy mass battle game.  I am not really sure yet but I must say the GW models are irresistible.  In the end I think Frostgrave will be the real focus and I will continue to add models for that game.

Miscellaneous Stuff

This is an area where the distractions can get out of hand.  I expect that this year will continue to see games of Warhammer Quest and probably some Space Hulk but this is really just an extension of my GW gaming so no big deal.  I will play a few games of Blood Bowl this year but that is also GW stuff.

I will be putting some work into CAV: Strike Operations this year.  I have several models in painting process and I will get these finished soon.  This is a game that I have very little invested in and if I wanted more stuff it is cheap and easy to get.  This will never be a major focus for me but it is good stompy robot fun.

The new Fallout miniature game will be a major distraction that I will have to resist.  I LOVE Fallout and the idea of a miniature game set in this world is almost irresistible to me.  I will try.  The good news is it is not cheap so that will help to keep me away.

Another potential distraction is the Star Wars Legion game.  I love the Star Wars of the original movies and I have always wanted to play a miniature set in those movies.  Well it is coming and I really don't want to get into it.  I must be strong.

I am sure I will get in some games of TANKS this year.  It is a fun game and I have lots of stuff for it already.  I will be buying some of the desert stuff this year.

Stuff that is Going Away

OK this is stuff that I am just not going to play.  I might be selling off the stuff as well but that is not really the point.  First up is Infinity.  I really LOVE the models and the setting for this game.  I spent a lot of money a couple of years ago on this and I had grand ideas of this being my main skirmish game.  Sadly I have only played one small game and I have not painted anything.  I even tried to sell off my collection last year but no one was interested.  I am officially done with this game.  I will probably keep the stuff but it is off the list.

Wings of Glory is another game that I love the idea of but just don't have enough time or interest to make into a regular thing.  I think I played it once last year and not much more than that the year before.  I will likely keep it but I will not even think about playing or adding stuff for it.

X-Wing has jumped the shark.  I have not played in more than a year and maybe closer to 2 years.  I tried to sell off the collection last year but a collection of the first few generations of models is not in much demand.  Many of the models are in my display case because they look cool.  I would probably sell it if I could find a buyer but I am not looking.

Blogs and Social Media

The good news is this blog is not going anywhere.  I need to find a more efficient way to post updates but I have no idea if that is even possible.  I really wish it was as easy as Facebook or Twitter.  For the time being I will continue to use Twitter but if blogging was easier I would just move all that in progress stuff to the blog and just drop Twitter.  Facebook will likely be the main source of hobby related activity but I want to get back to using and reading the forums.  Forums are just a better way of communicating stuff like this and we, as hobbyists, control this by what we choose to use.


There you have it, proof that I think too much about stuff that is just not that important.  Oh well, I enjoy it.  I am actually feeling pretty good about my ideas for the new year and I am going to really work to keep this focus.  I will definitely have fun no matter what.