Thursday 28 September 2023

Down but not out 🤕 : French Peninsular Army Parade

Sorry all for the recent radio silence I have been struck down with one of the worst chest infections I think I can remember, this laid me low for the last two weeks. Unable even to paint soldiers which is very unusual. However, the second set of medication seems to have calmed things down and I am starting to recover although I expect at least a couple of weeks yet.

The good news is I managed a couple of hours of painting last night which allowed me to finish the bases on my next French Napoleonic infantry unit.

A 36 man Warlord unit, with some different command figures added for variety. I went for the six man bases, splitting the command which means for larger battles the unit can be split down to two smaller battalions.

Having been poorly and very fed up I needed to cheer myself up so what better way than a French army parade. Also a chance to see what else I need to balance things out…..
So here they are at the moment, three solid infantry brigades, a light cavalry brigade and some supporting artillery. I have managed to keep pace with commanders. As mentioned above the larger infantry units can be split down bulking the force out and splitting out a small fourth brigade.

Happy with these so far and they are taking shape. Already purchased another five or so infantry Battalions to bulk out a fourth brigade and start a Guard Brigade. I also have more cavalry and artillery in the cupboard. Focus in the short term may be to get some more command stands completed and the British are falling slightly behind. I have spent a lot of time thinking about artillery limbers in the last couple of weeks ?

That’s it for now I do have a Sicily battle to blog from before my illness and I will try and catch up on other blogs during the day 🤓

Thanks Matt

Tuesday 12 September 2023

A new project ? : the English Civil War

After some consistent painting on Napoleonics my thoughts have been turning to a new project the English Civil War, I had picked up a few of  the Warlord Epic ECW figures either free from magazines or at shows for £1. I wanted these to try painting them up, firstly to see what they look like with my painting techniques and secondly to see how easy/quickly I could paint them. One of the challenges is of course is these epic units are 80 man units ! which if I can’t paint them quickly would be a non starter.

Anyway I tested a couple of the infantry units and here are the results.

Both units were fairly generic 
And not based on any specific colour scheme.

My approach was to paint the infantry on the sprue which worked pretty well. One of the key factors for painting was undercoating in brown meaning I didn’t need to paint the pikes, muskets etc. time wise I estimate each unit took a bit under 4 hours. I have placed them on slightly larger bases than provided with figures in the sets which I prefer and kept them simple for ease. Generally I am very impressed with the figures, the sculpts are very clean and easy to pick out the details, but small enough to not bother with too much. Having done the two units I took the plunge and ordered a starter army which I managed to pick up off eBay for a very low price given the amount of stuff you get.

This meant I now had some flags to complete the two units which certainly improves the look. Obviously at 13.5mm and with big units the plan is for massed battles similar to our SYW approach.
Despite the cheap price and free postage the starter army arrived extremely quickly
Excitingly opening the box packed full off stuff
The box states something like 1300 figures ! I plan to spend some time seeing how much variety I can create for units from the box ? I know many people don’t rate the cavalry so we’ll see how they look painted up, I might also expand the collection with some metals as others have done. So watch this space for progress.
Somewhere I also painted up these 76mm American anti tank guns which had been undercoated but unpainted for ages.
Also played a splendid battle with Jon remotely, I will leave the full report to him. A battle that was close until my Carthaginian army collapsed !
We haven’t had many landscape shots for a while, this weekend saw us visit the nearby Shap Abbey for a picnic a very nice spot including a swim in the river

Thanks as always for checking by, another battle to post soon 

Matt 😀

Sunday 10 September 2023

Assault on Hill 91: Normandy 1944

Whilst gaming and painting continue ‘a pace’ blogging has sadly slacked off. The weather has also been too nice and cycling to watch on the TV as well. Anyway we played this game a couple of weeks ago. It is based on a scenario from Kampfgruppe Normandy which I have now lent to Steve so I can’t remember the details. As our game is only loosely based on this is perhaps doesn’t really matter.

The Germans, mainly SS troops have taken up a defensive position and the Americans are going to throw everything they have to push them back. Really just an opportunity to get most of my 15mm collection on the battlefield.

An overview of the battlefield, the Americans will advance from the right, the three objectives are marked in red. The Hill, the cross roads and the farm in the distance.The Germans have a number of units already on the table, dug in but they will only be revealed at the discretion of the German commander when they move or fire. Hedges which are no cage will block line of sight unless you are on higher ground or adjacent to it. Both sides have a mix of Armoured infantry, heavy support and quite a bit of armour.
Some units like these Panzer IV’s have already been spotted in the village.
German markers on the hill designating troops as yet un revealed
The Americans bring on two tank troops to start and the Germans move to protect the village
It is obvious the Americans are targeting the Hill so the Germans quickly reveal themselves, they have managed to dig an 88 in in the woods this immediately becomes the focus of the American tanks who are nervous to advance until it is knocked out
More PzIV’s move into one of the orchards and open fire but have little effect
German artillery support a rocket launcher platoon, as we are using bolt action rules these are immediately terrifying and they roll a six first turn 😀
Pnazergrenadiers arrive in the German second wave
Cautious advance by Americans on their left
Not sure how you would spell the noise Nebelwerfers made but i did make an appropriate whooshing sound each time they fired !
On the American left one of the Sherman’s is now on fire
But they have more arriving all the time !
To counter these German Panzer come out from behind the hill
After masses of fire the 88 is finally knocked out
German infantry deploys in the village
Yeah German heavy armour arrives down the road ……
Just in time though as the Panzers are taking a beating
The bulk of the American infantry is pushed enmass down the right , but the Germans have a heavy machine gun platoon behind the hedge which is going to slow them down !
On the German right the Tanks face off in the woods and corn field
The tiger engages the Sherman’s in the centre but is presumably blinded by the smoke as it can’t hit a thing !
The grenadier transport comes under fire from the American right so the troops quickly dismount
German mortars (newly painted like the Nebelwerfers deploy)
German antitank gun strengthen the German right, but already one of the panzers is in flames
Slow but steady the American infantry advances towards the road
The Germans only have a single Panzer and a Stug to defend the left and support the machine gun platoon
Eventually the Americans get the upper hand, the German shooting is terrible, the tiger can now be seen burning on the road out of the village,
The hill however is still proofing impregnable 
The lone Pz on the left is also knocked out and the Americans have called down hell on the heads of the machine gun platoon who are now combat ineffective
The German infantry is spread too thin to cover all the objectives. At this point we called it a day, a very enjoyable and hard fought battle, although the Americans hadn’t quite reached the village or the farm it was obvious they had done enough to claim a victory and would have pushed through in another turn or two. The hill however was just too tough a nut to crack so the Germans have held that at least. Another couple of hours of daylight might have been a different story as the American Sherman’s were looking-ominously like outflanking the position in the near future. On the back of this battle I have ordered a couple more buildings from the same range as we fancy a smaller town type battle at some point.

The following day we had a trip out to Border Reivers wargame show. We had a good time although I would suggest the games on display were perhaps a little disappointing ? Perhaps I should put on a game next year ? We’ll, did get a chance to catch up with several people though which was nice, and with a birthday in the next few days I visited the bring and buy !
The only game that really caught my eye was this splendid SYW using home cast figures.
Lots of loot all of it from the bring and buy. I’ll let you zoom in, but the bargain of the day was the Empress miniatures U-boat complete with crew. I’ve fancied one of these for ages for Sealion Scenarios and I hope to use this in the not too distance future.
I was also gifted these GI’s from Steve who had won them at a raffle in Edinburgh, I quickly changed the bases to match my own Americans and tweaked the painting (things like changing the colour of the helmets) so not much really and they are good to go, in fact they have seen action already !
Somewhere in here I also had a game down at George’s giving his SYW collection a run out.
Colourful and very enjoyable although the British took a beating 🙁
The British became strung out and failed several command rolls, then foolishly tried to charge the enemy in the far woods which was a disaster.

Phew that’s it for now, lots more painting going on and another battle to blog when I get a chance, I can also reveal my next project which has been tentatively started 🤔