First Ever ACW

A mate and I have been talking about a 15mm ACW project for quite a while and, like you do, we finally took the plunge when Peter Pig had a sale last year.

The intention, when we finally get round to playing any games, is to have a couple of small, flexible, forces that we can use with both Sharp Practice and Osprey’s Rebels and Patriots. This means a starting point of about 50 infantry, a dozen or so cavalry and a couple of guns, plus some leaders.

Although my opponent intends to do both sides for himself in the long run (which I won’t be), we have initially chosen to do one side each. Union for me, Confederate for him. We’ve admired the 3-2-1 basing pioneered on Dalauppror’s blog but hadn’t quite brought ourselves to use it for any projects up to now. As these forces will generally be deployed in units of 6, 8 or 12, it finally seemed appropriate to give it a go. Cue the hunt for appropriate sized washers!

ACW is one of those periods where you can spend a lot of time trying to find the right paint colours (mentioning no names Andy). I got bored after a few internet searches and poring over google images of paintings, painted figures, painting guides, etc. Therefore Vallejo’s Prussian Blue and Pastel Blue will do for me. I haven’t exactly made a big start, but here is my initial sample unit:

As with every other project I have, there’s more to come…

Legion de Fleurie Grenadiers

Since starting them a mere 6 years ago, I have finally finished my Grenadier battalion for the (fictitious) Legion de Fleurie. Back in 2014 I painted the first half dozen figures and the mounted officer, but then my focus strayed to other projects. One of my goals for this year’s Ayton weekend was to get this unit, the first battalion in this scale and period I’ve painted myself in 6 years, ready for battle. Even though the event isn’t happening now, I wanted to get the unit done.

The figures are RSM Austrian Grenadiers, plus a couple of Minden/Fife & Drum standard bearers. The standards themselves were painted to order by Mark Allen (there you go Robbie!) and it’s great to finally see them on the table.

Mark Allen’s wonderful brushwork:

Very Small Scots Greys

My 6mm mid-19th century forces get expanded from time to time and I’m intending to add a British division (mixed infantry and cavalry) for variety, and to add a bit of colour. I recently made a start with a first unit.

These are the Scots Greys, in an approximation of their Crimean uniform. They’re actually Heroics & Ros Napoleonic French Imperial Guard Horse Grenadiers. About half the infantry I have planned happen to be Scots regiments, so there’ll be a bit of an unintended theme there.

Medetian Re-Basing Programme

As mentioned the other day, I have some 18th century units to re-base. Most of these are in progress at various stages, and it’s been the usual messy, time-consuming slog. It’s a good reminder that re-basing should never be undertaken lightly!

The first unit I’ve finished is the one that required the least effort, naturally. This is the Vantua Regiment, a standard musketeer unit of 30 figures plus a battalion gun. The figures are now on 45mm squares instead of 50s, and the flags have had a bit of edging bling added to brighten them up.

Within a minute of taking this picture I managed to break a bayonet. FFS.

Now onto the next one!

Some Sci-fi Basics

Always in the background, or perhaps on the back-burner, my very slowly developing 15mm Sci-fi collection gets a bit of attention from time to time. Until discovering the simple joys of using Dragon Rampant for platoon-sized skirmishes this ‘project’ was just drifting. It’s still drifting, but now with more purpose!

I’ve been meaning to make some hard-standing bases for a while and finally got around to it at the weekend. Took about an hour altogether. Easily repeatable, I intend to make some more soon. ‘Soon’ being a timeframe that’s subject to drift of course. They are made from 4mm cork sheet, painted and dry-brushed to a lightish grey. I cut out a quick card stencil and applied a simple pattern with roughly applied yellow paint.

These bases represent man-made or pre-fab surfaces laid down in normal/rural terrain as support for buildings, machinery, vehicle parking, etc. Short of making entire terrain tiles of it (which I still could I suppose) this seems to provide a decent look for military or research facilities in the types of games I play. I’m not aiming for urban settings or major structures, just low-key scenery for small missions and skirmishes.

Hard-standing pieces placed under buildings and other features. A couple of scratchbuilt card cargo pallets on the right too.
About as simple as you can get with a piece of painted cork sheet.

Not Gone Anywhere (well who can at the moment?)

It’s been a good while since I’ve posted here, but now seems as good a time as any to get going again. As the current virus situation dominates most conversations and online activity I will happily aim to steer clear of it on this blog.

So, has there been any hobby stuff going on in Medetia? Yes, quite a bit! Not lots of gaming, although there’s been some, but I’m making some steady progress with a number of projects. One priority was preparation for this year’s Ayton weekend with the LAW group, now sadly postponed. Still, I am keen to finish off what I planned, and hopefully get a bit more done too. This year was to be another outing for the 28mm 18th century armies, in my case a combined force made up of my Medetians and Fleurians.

Most of the effort has focused on re-basing infantry battalions, going from 36s with 2 command stands, to 30s with a single command stand. The 6-figure bases are being reduced from 50mm squares to 45mm squares. A small difference, but an improvement I wanted to make.

I am also taking the opportunity to add a bit of flexibility that might be useful in the future. 2 Battalions per side are going be made up of single figures mounted on magnetic group sabots/trays. This will allow them to be used as normal big-battle battalions alongside the rest of the collections, and also for skirmish games – Sharp Practice in particular. This will give me 48 musketeers per side, enough for most games. Leaders and characters can be added later, and my artillery crews, light infantry and light cavalry are all on single/sabots already.

Here’s the test base, in between the old size on the left and the new on the right:

Getting ready to dash about in a skirmish game:

Not a perfect solution but I think it’s going to be a reasonable compromise between aesthetics and practicality.

6mm 19th Century Battles

Having recently placed all my 6mm 1859 and 1870 units on sabot bases to make them easier to handle, last weekend was the first opportunity to give the armies a run out.

Jase and I chose Prussians and French respectively, with a few allies for added flavour. Although I am still happy to play specific 1859 Italy and Franco-Prussian War scenarios, I am also interested in playing games in a general mid-19th century European setting without being concerned with the differences between Chassepots, Needle guns, Krupps and the need to replicate campaign-specific orders of battle. More of a general horse, foot and guns experience really.

That’s what I call an occupied hill!

We played a couple of Corps-sized games over the weekend, both encounter battles. They were very enjoyable, and very tactically challenging, with lots of manoeuvre, cavalry charges, artillery duels and storming of villages.

French and Prussians go toe to toe

We considered some possible additions to the command and control rules but in the end felt that the core set (Wars of Empire by Realtime Wargames) provided plenty of scope for friction and blunders!

The main clash in one of the games, before exhausted units started to melt away
Chasseurs lead the assault
New Austrians getting their first game, and actually not doing too badly
Before the storm

I have plenty more figures to paint, and will continue to chip away at them. It might be nice to try a bigger battle next time.

Recent Games 4 – Multi-player Swashbuckling

Another recent game that provided a lot of fun was a 4 player game set in the Three Musketeers era. A fictional island saw each player’s force come ashore to plunder a stricken ship and steal the King’s pay chest.

Everyone took potshots at each other, and various locals waded in too on occasion. Each player was allowed to hide a few figures beforehand as an advanced party, which could make a sudden appearance to add to the mayhem.

Ali Bitchin (named after a real Barbary Corsair of legend) is besieged in the chapel, after discovering that the chests he’d fought so hard to possess were empty:

Meanwhile, the sneaky Medetians, with Essex Boy in command, conduct a fighting withdrawal having gotten their hands on the real loot that had been hidden in the tavern:

It was nice to give this collection another run out, and as always the GW Lord of the Rings/Legends of the High Seas rules gave a quick and exciting game.

Recent Games 3 – DBN

A couple of weeks ago I played in a very enjoyable 4 player game of DBN. The figures were 10mm, mostly using Goat Major’s lovely 1809 collection, but with a Corps of Prussians from Andy and a very small contribution from me (Austrians and Bavarians).

It would have been a bigger contribution but I have to admit that I struggled with painting these figures, especially at first. These Pendraken figures are too detailed to get away with a rough ‘6mm style’ of painting, but small enough that everything is fairly tricky. After a few elements’ worth I started to get the hang of them, but I didn’t get as many done as I’d intended.

My Bavarian General:

The beauty of DBN is that although we clustered round a very small (3 foot by 2 foot) board, we played a proper Napoleonic battle with the equivalent of 2 Corps per side. The rules work very well and the figures and scenery looked good. Goat Major and I just about held on in a fairly bloody affair.

Some of Andy’s splendid Prussians:

I have continued (slowly) painting some more figures for this and will aim to finish my intended Austrian and Bavarian Corps for future games. Despite over 30 years in the hobby these are the first proper Napoleonics I’ve collected, which probably puts me in a tiny minority of gamers. I do, however, already understand the collecting megalomania that can follow, along with the desire to play in bigger and bigger games!

 

 

Recent Games 2 – Rangers of Shadow Deep

This continues to be an entertaining and challenging game. A recent 2-player session, with a ranger and small posse each, saw us rattle through 5 of the scenarios from the main rulebook. Casualties were relatively light, but brushes with death commonplace!

Next time round we’ll start on the Convent Mission.

The bridge guard game, Orcs substituted for Gnolls:

 

The stairway down, fly holes and difficult ground to negotiate: