Renaissance Fleurian Garde in 6mm

I painted this unit when I’d temporarily run out of prep’d and undercoated 6mm SYW figures. This is the Fleurian Garde infantry regiment, to go with the cavalry Garde I painted a while back. Elite units get 6 bases instead of the usual 5, and double the normal number of flags of course!

Heroics & Ros as always, with wine bottle foil flags added:

 

 

One Hour Wargames – Now with Added Pikes

The other two games I played at the weekend saw a switch to the 17th century, with my Medetians and Fleurians fighting it out over a couple of scenarios. The pike and shot rules differ a bit from the horse and musket ones, with more melee and some changes to the troop types. Very interesting nonetheless.

Game 5 was scenario 18 – Counter Attack
Fleurie held the bridge against a major Medetian attack, while they hurried their own reinforcements forward. Inevitably a big scrap ensued when the Fleurians used the two flanking fords to get at their enemy’s flanks and eventually win the battle. This game was played on a slightly extended 2′ x 2.5′ board as I need to use specific terrain tiles to get the river to run across the middle of the battlefield.

 

 

 

Game 6 was from scenario 3 – Control the River

For this game I decided to up-scale a bit, going to a 3′ x 3′ board and increasing the unit sizes to 5″ wide. This meant much bigger regiments and (comparatively) lots of figures on the table. Infantry units had 80 figures and cavalry had 32. Naturally it played the same, it just looked more like a battle! ūüôā

Both armies approached the river with the aim being to control both the east and west river crossings. Although initially both kept a central reserve to see where it might be needed, inevitably you get two separate fights with this scenario. Fortunately the movement rates are sufficient to re-deploy quite quickly and in the end it was the Medetian army that managed to crush one enemy flank and move along both sides of the river to overcome the remaining Fleurians at the other crossing.

This was good fun to play and, like the other games, an interesting challenge in trying to get the best from the different unit types. Sticking to historically inspired tactics does seem to be the most effective approach, which speaks well for the rules.

Pics from this final game:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will definitely be returning to this type of gaming, probably for a mini-campaign of linked games.

One Hour Wargames – Some Solo Games

I picked up a copy of Neil Thomas’ book a little while ago and the scenarios in particular looked interesting and worth a try. We used one in the recent first game of Sharp Practice 2, which worked well, and I fancied trying a few more. The rules included in the book are, obviously, designed to give simple games in under an hour. However, the design principles make a lot of sense and there are some clever touches. I thought I’d give them a go at the weekend, so dusted off some terrain boards and picked a few of my freshly painted SYW 6mm figures to give them their first outing.

I basically played these solo games ‘straight’, making the decisions for each side in turn, as I thought best at the time. The mechanisms are easy to learn and remember after the first couple of turns, and the tactical challenges made even small, simple games like these a lot of fun.

Games 1 & 2 (scenario 4 – Take the High Ground) Prussians vs Austrians on a 2’x2′ board

In the first game the Austrians pushed the Prussians off the hill and consolidated a decent line that was able to deal with the counter-attack. The cavalry pretty much took each other out along the road, and the Austrians secured a solid victory.

 

 

 

In the re-match the outcome was much the same although the Prussians put up a stiffer fight, only to be cleared off the hill again!

 

Games 3 & 4 (scenario 5, Bridgehead) Prussians vs Austrians again.

A more interesting scenario this one. Both sides receive reinforcements in the early turns Рthe Prussians (top) were coming on randomly from 3 potential arrival points while the Austrians were having to cross at the bridge to join the action and hold the crossing. Both sides need to clear the enemy from the north bank of the river.

I decided to make the board look a little less plain, with some additional terrain features that were just for show and could be moved a little if they got in the way.

The Austrians put up a good fight but the Prussians, coming from both directions, kept them penned in near the bridge. Prussian artillery fire and cavalry charges caused some damage and the Austrian Grenzers couldn’t make sufficient use of the wood to disrupt the Prussians. In the end it was a victory to the Prussians as they closed the vice and cleared the Austrians from the north bank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game 4 also saw a Prussian victory, despite the sides being swapped round. The Austrian arrival point rolls (4 units coming on from the west behind the wood) allowed the Prussians to spread out to the east and gain room to operate. They managed to drive north and destroy the Austrians piecemeal. Again the Austrians had suffered from a bit of a traffic jam, and this prevented them from forming a more coherent line to maximise their firepower.

 

 

 

 

The green numbered markers next to units denote hits suffered (collect 15 and you’re dead). The one on the yellow background is my turn counter.

Even with just 6 units a side (some scenarios give one side fewer units than this) these scenarios still deliver a challenge and no two games are the same. I was keen to try out some of the other periods for which rules are provided, so in the next post there will some pics of a couple of further One Hour games, this time set in the era of Pike and Shot.

A Return to the Renaissance

.. Specifically the 17th Century wars between the Grand Duchy of Medetia and the Kingdom of Fleurie.

It’s been a while (over 3 years as it turns out) since I last deployed these 6mm armies and played a game. The terrain was still on the table from the recently-played Franco-Prussian War battles so I decided to recycle things and change the setting from Alsace to Northern Italy. I set things up pretty randomly, aiming for a nice looking table with a few interesting features.

The key feature and focus of the scenario was the small Medetian fortification of San Michele, a watchtower positioned in the bend of the river, and currently under siege by the Fleurian army. Makeshift defences have been thrown up by the defending garrison, and they are about to receive an attack from two directions at once. Overlooking everything is the hilltop town of Belletri, surrounded by its vineyards and orchards.

With a perfect sense of timing, the main Medetian army has arrived on the scene and what was just an attempt to capture a small outpost is about to expand into a major battle. It should certainly be colourful.

No lengthy battle report, but plenty of pics (click to expand as always) and the odd caption to go with..

The battlefield and initial Fleurian deployment as they prepare their assault:

 

 

 

 

Massed Fleurian and allied cavalry:

 

The Medetians arrive with masses of their own:

 

And then there was a lot of fighting, some intense action, and gallant moments:

 

Naturally the first Medetian casualty was an important General…

Push of pike (diagonal for some reason):

 

 

Fleurian mercenary pike come up to support the cavalry:

Dragoons dismount among the vines to harry the enemy:

Reinforcements arrive, Hungarian types for Fleury:

Cossacks for Medetia:

Exiled Scots for Fleury:

The battle rages in the centre:

 

Heartened by their army’s success, the Medetian locals tool up and get stuck in, managing to bring down the newly-arrived hussar commander!

 

Finally, as the afternoon wears on, the Fleurians are exhausted and concede the field:

Leaving the fortress in the hands of its tenacious defenders:

I enjoyed this game a lot, and it wasn’t clear until the very end who was going to come out on top. The figures are now back in their storage trays, and I won’t leave it so long until next time.

Finally finished – a few more 6mm buildings

Following on from a recent post about clearing up part-finished projects…

I put together a few more 6mm buildings over a year ago (June 2013 it turns out) to go with my existing scratchbuilt scenery for the Medetian Wars of the 17th century. They’ve needed finishing off and painting since then and following on from the other 6mm scenery I did earlier this month, I’ve finally got them done.

The buildings are fairly generic and I tend to just use a small cluster to represent a village or town. As my armies had grown, I’d decided to increase the number of buildings I had so that a bigger battlefield with several settlements could be represented.

They’re simple card constructions, with card doors and shuttered windows (for ease of painting, and because if war’s coming to town I think most people would close up their property!) Applying sand on the bases (and some patches of wall) and painting didn’t take all that long in the end, and I added a poplar tree to the church and the farmhouse.

Here they are from last year, in production and next to some older finished ones.

 

And here they are finished. I’ve now got about 15 so I’m good for 3-4 villages or small towns. There’s also a windmill (Irregular Miniatures, not my own work) and the watchtower I finished recently too. I think they’d work for the 1859 war in Italy too, if I ever decide to do some Austrians!

 

 

Further 6mm arrivals

A few more regiments of Fleurians have arrived to swell the growing army of Medetia’s 17th century enemy.
Two units of infantry with pike and shot, and the Chevalier Garde Regiment of cavalry, on their grey horses. A sub-general completes this small contingent. This is already the best effort I’ve put in on my 6mm collections since 2011, so I’m determined to try to finish a few more units before my eyes plead for mercy and I have to revert to bigger figures! I have a further 2 cavalry and 4 infantry units plus a couple more generals I’d like to get done, which will bring the Fleurians up to par with the Medetians at 30 units each. Then for a nice big game ūüôā

Figures are Heroics & Ros.

Pics:

 

 

 

Some small scale scenery

While I’m taking some time off from bigger painting projects I’ve been enjoying the opportunity to dabble a bit here and there, and finish off some things I’ve been meaning to do for ages. Most recently this has involved painting (or in some cases just basing) some 6mm scenery items that I’ve had for a while but not gotten around to.

First up are some poplar trees I bought from Timecast a while back. I’ve used a few on the bases of buildings but I decided to use up the remaining ones by adding a few more strips of trees to the collection – useful for lining roads in sunny Medetia. I cut some strips of platicard and stuck strips of card on top to drill holes into for the wire trunks. As these come as twisted wire I decided to add a little plaster to them to hide the pattern when painted. The bases got a layer of plaster, with sand on top.

When finished they look OK – here they are with a new wheat field.

The field is made from some scourer material torn from a sponge, based on card and surrounded by some Timecast fences. The shack is just 4 bits of thin card which I hacked about to give a dilapidated look.

Next were some fields and hedges which I must have made about 10 years ago, but which got a black spray for an intended re-paint before being put away unfinished (common theme emerging!). They’re simple pan scourer hedges with the odd bit of extra lichen-type stuff, on plasticard strips or field bases. I have some already to add these to, and I think they give a decent effect, especially on a brown board like this one.

 

Finally in this batch there’s a small watchtower, scratchbuilt in card and based on a piece of slate from the garden. I had mostly completed the model a few months ago but put it away unpainted at some point. I decided it needed finishing off so now it’s done. All it needs is a couple of flags (one Medetian and one Fleurian) to fly from the top of the tower to denote who’s occupying it during games.The piece is about 60mm tall and is basically intended as table dressing to go on a hill and look pretty.

 

Everything together from this small batch of bits and pieces..

The Medetian-Fleurian borderlands are a pleasant and picturesque place, no wonder they fight each other so hard to possess them!

I have more items to get through, and am enjoying completing these little unfinished projects. When I checked back through some records of old orders to traders I found a few shocks. The Timecast stuff here was ordered in July.. wait for it… 2002! Twelve years to get round to using and painting it. I have 6mm figures to paint that I bought before that, and I’m sure I really ‘needed’ them at the time! So my new mission is to get through as much old stuff as possible, while I’m in the mood to potter. It’s not the wasted money, it’s the principle. Also, unpainted items and random modelling materials take up at least as much storage space as the finished product, so I might as well get the maximum benefit from them. After that I may decide to depress myself with a review of the lead mountain, and the age of some of it..

Slow progress but a few recent additions

What with a busy social schedule and a general lack of effort, I’ve not achieved much in July. Not feeling particularly big project-motivated, I’ve dabbled with a few bits and pieces instead. I’ve prepared a few items of scenery and some random figures for painting at some point in the future, and tried to press on with finishing the GW Fortified Manor, which has presented a bit of a painting desk blockage while it remains part-done.

I have managed to complete a few small items though. One 6mm cavalry unit for my 17th century Fleurians (Heroics & Ros figures as always) and a couple of 28mm figures for the same period but in skirmish size. These are a replacement for the regularly-skewered Lieutenant St Denis, one Capitan Sancerre, a Redoubt figure brandishing a sword. I’ve also painted a Warlord Games armed priest which might be useful for general use across a number of periods.

Hopefully August will be more productive!

Pics:

 

 

 

 

 

Army of the Month – Tiny Pike and Shot

Although we’re now into March, this is my slightly late February Army of the Month. There’ll be another one along before the end of the month!

This is the army where my involvement with the Grand Duchy of Medetia began.

To try to cut a long story short it all stemmed from the innovative Realtime Wargames rules produced by the guys at Realistic Modelling. Although the rules were for 19th century battles in 6mm or 10mm they appealed because they used both a gridded board and NICE (number indicates combat effectiveness) unit representation. Based on these principles my friend and I saw further possibilities with them. We settled on the idea of building up armies of our own ficitious Renaissance countries, which would sit loosely between the mid-16th century and the mid-17th century and would allow us to field regiments of pike and shot as well as more exotic troop types that took our fancy. The scale would be 6mm.

So,¬†back in 2002,¬†was born the Grand Duchy of Medetia and their sworn enemies from Schwartzberg, one with an Italian feel, the other German. To give us a chance to start playing games relatively quickly we built our armies in ‘forces’ of 5 units each, plus a general. Infantry, cavalry and artillery were the building blocks and we put some mild restrictions on composition to ensure a level of balance. One of my inspirations for this was Donald Featherstone’s book,¬†Wargame Campaigns, which is a classic I return to regularly for inspiration or just plain enjoyment. In it he describes a club ECW campaign where players contributed 3 units each, made up of their choice of a¬†combination of horse, foot and guns. I liked this approach and borrowed a modified version of¬†it for this new project. We also defined these forces (or contingents, as was typical of the period) as either regular or irregular, and applied some simple rules for their relative effectiveness and for how¬†larger armies would be commanded and led.

To the army of Medetia (and it’s irregular allies) then. All figures are from Heroics & Ros which, for me, balance the basing flexibility of being single sculpts, with the appeal of being more anatomically accurate than those of other companies. Over the years (and this army is still growing) I’ve plundered the ECW, Renaissance, Wars of the Roses, Napoleonic and ACW (a round hat is a round hat at this scale!) ranges and thoroughly enjoyed the freedom to be creative that this type of wargame project offers. I’ve also begun adding a¬†second army of my own, the French-inspired Kingdom of Fleurie, to allow me to play solo games when the Schwartzbergers can’t make it.

I regularly enjoy returning to this army to play games, paint a little more, scratchbuild something or just look at the little guys. Basically, it’s one of my favourites. Enough background, here are some pics..

The army deploying for battle. It was sunny when I took these pictures and I struggled a bit with getting the lighting balanced.

Massed Cavalry

Field guns and labourers

Fortified camp

Eastern allies – Cossacks and Poles

 

 

 

Two regiments combine as a Tercio

Some battle shots from the last few years