Saturday, June 1, 2024

Yet more Catholic League Reinforcements

Despite my 6mm Scanian War diversion, I continue to grind away on my 10mm Thirty Years War armies. As previously mentioned, my armies are based on those present at the battle of Fleurus so all of my Catholic infantry are in large tercio field squares. 

To allow my armies to fight other battles of the Bohemian campaigns, I needed some Catholic League infantry in smaller units. My plan was to add 5 regiments from for the Catholics and paint them up as Bavarians and other German cities. I opted for dark red and cornflower blue as dominant colors. With three of the five complete, I like the look this far. Once the Catholic League units are done, I will paint up some more cavalry, artillery and baggage and add one all-shot Protestant unit then call the project done! 

Here is a blue regiment with a flag indicating they are either from Bavaria or Cologne. I suspect Catholic League armies used blue sashes but for my armies all Catholics wear red and all Protestants wear blue. 

The next unit is in dark red and their front rank of shot are getting ready to deliver a volley of lead. The flag is a yellow cross on a dark red field. 


6mm Scanian War

A few years back, I was really tempted by Baccus' 6mm Sun King/Scanian War range. To satisfy that temptation I purchased a few starter armies and then they just sat in a box waiting until the came to forefront of my painting queue. 

Recently I've been playing Liber Militum Tercios for the Thirty Years War in 10mm and recently I played a game of Tercios with my buddy Alex using his 15mm By Fire and Sword figures for the period of The Deluge wars. The idea popped into my mind to paint up my 6mm Scanian War stuff for Tercios. This would allow me to put my units on big bases (which I love) and give me the opportunity to revisit 6mm (which I also love). 

The plan is to collect and paint small armies for the Danes and Swedes and also armies if Poland-Lithuania, Russia and Ottomans. These armies can cover anything from the Deluge to Scanian Wars. I managed to paint up my first three Swedish infantry units and here they are.

First up is a unit in red/white and with the karpus headwear. Using the excellent Lars Eric Hoglund book on Swedish army of the Scanian War as a reference, this unit was painted up to represent the Skane-Blekinge regiment. After I painted them up, I realized the Baccus flag sheet doesn't have their flag so I had to use another unit's colonel flag. I presume the Skane-Blekinge Colonel's flag was similar to this one. 

Next up is the Halsinge regiment in their grey and green scheme. At this point I should mention the unit bases are 65mm x 35mm which allows me to fit 6 strips of shot, 2 strips of pike and a command stand to the base. 

The final unit was supposed to be Vastmanlands but I realized that the Baccus flag sheet doesn't have this unit. Since the command strips in hat have two flag bearers, I couldn't just steal someone else's Colonel's flag so I referred to the Hoglund book and learned that the Dalregiment wore a similar blue/red uniform and hat previously so I used their flags instead. 

When I ordered the armies from Baccus, all of the figures had firelocks. I wish that I had ordered matchlocks instead. I prefer the slightly bulkier look of the figures and it would be more appropriate if I'm using them for the earlier Deluge conflict. I plan to visit the Baccus booth at Claymore so I will be purchasing quite a few more figures then...

UPDATE: I managed to finish the first Swedish cavalry unit. Not sure which unit they are. According to Hoglund, most didn't have uniforms other than a buff coat. I have decided to match the saddle blankets and and rolls to the colors of the standards and give them all buff coats. Anyway here they are:

I gave the impression of a blackened cuirass for these guys as you can see in this rear image. 

I'm reasonably happy with the results. Looking forward to painting more. 

Thursday, May 30, 2024

TMWWBK: Run for the Hills!

Tonight, Alex and I met up over at Huzzah Hobbies for our scheduled game. This time we would be playing some The Men Who Would Be Kings (TMWWBK) in 10mm. I chose Scenario E "Run for the Hills", where our 22 points British force was tasked with making it to the other side of the table. A 24 point Zulu forces would be coming from both sides to stop them. 

(The Leopard's Lair regiment...they would cover themselves in glory and blood this battle)

I was commanding the British and had "A", "B" and "C" companies of the 24th along with a contingent of Natal Native Horse (NNH) starting out on the right side of the table. Alex's Zulus had 3 regiments on each side (top and bottom) of the table. 

I began the game with the horse in the lead and the 3 infantry columns in March behind them (top to bottom: "A", "B" and "C"). Since the British have to roll leadership to move (shooting is their free action), there was some sputtering about. 

Alex inched his closest regiments forward as they (ineffectively) tried to skulk behind cover. Meanwhile, the Horse decided to run the gauntlet, make for the hills and leave their redcoat friends in the dust. This turned out to be a mistake. 

(The Sharp Points regiment looking for an opening to strike...they wouldn't find it)

The unmarried regiment "The Leopard's Lair" lurched forward and released a disorganized blast of muskets dropping some of the horsemen to include their commander Burt Lancaster Colonel Durnford. Leaderless and pinned, The Leopard's Lair closed in for the kill and wiped out the NNH to a man. 

Wishing to strike back, "C" company stopped moving and starting unloading hot lead into the Black Mamba regiment. After a few turns, the Black Mamba were no more. 

A company was attempting to follow suit against the Sharp Points (an unmarried regiment). "A" company didn't find quite the same success although they did drop some of their enemy . 

The other Zulu regiments closed in on the front of the British force and it was the Leopard's Lair who managed to shrug off the Martini-Henry rounds and crash into the thin red line of "B" company. The Leopard's Lair washed their blades in blood and drove back "B" company. C company attempted to come to their rescue and moved forward to cover "B" company's withdrawal. 

"C" company fought valiantly but were ultimately cut down to a man. The Zulu hordes would be cut down and pinned from rifle fire but would ultimately rally against the odds to surge forward. Soon "B" company was also wiped out, leaving just "A" company to continue the fight against the decimated Zulu regiments. 

Ultimately, :A" company managed to fend off the last desperate attacks of the Zulus and wipe them out to a man but they were left with just two bases of the original 12 from their company. As the remnants of "A" company marched off into the sunset, a tally of victory points showed the Zulus won 6 VPs to 1VP. 

(Remnants of  "A" company dispatching the last of the Zulus..or the other way around?)

The rules were incredibly simple and easy to play, especially with the various game aids (unit cards, QRS, etc). With units fighting to last man, it certainly felt cinematic. I think both Alex and I enjoyed the baskets of dice and the resulting carnage.

People passing by remarked that they liked how the 10mm made the tabletop feel like a real battle. I agree, the 10mm with TMWWBK really changed the look of the game and made it feel much more "grand". All in all, a fun time.


Sunday, May 26, 2024

Game preparation: TMWWBK

This coming Wednesday Thursday, my gaming buddy Alex and I will be playing a game of The Men Who Would Be Kings. The armies will my my 10mm Anglo-Zulu War stuff that I painted up several years ago for this very ruleset. This will be the first time playing the rules for both Alex or myself.  

To make things a bit smoother (hopefully), I watched a few YouTube videos on gameplay and I have printed up some game aids: quick reference sheets and unit profile cards. The cards are from the Shed Wars blog site, I ended up making one in the same style for the Natal Native Horse that will be on the table. I will probably make some game counters to reflect when units are pinned, close order, volley fire, or gone to ground. 

I have read some battle reports and reviews that mention native forces can really get bogged down when they are pinned. To help motivate this potential issue, I will add some terrain to break up the lines of sight for the Martini-Henry rifles and offer both cover and concealment for the Zulu forces. 

Here are some representative stands of the six Zulu regiments that will be on the tabletop (L-R): 

inDlondlo aka “Black Mamba” (Married)

InGobamakhosi aka “Bender of Kings” (Unmarried)

amaPhela aka “Cockroaches” (Married)

uThulwana aka “The Dust Raisers” (Married)

iNdluyengwe aka “The Leopard’s Lair” (Unmarried)

UmCijo aka “Sharp Points” (Unmarried)

The six Zulu regiments total up to a 24 point force. Our plucky British will field 3 companies from the 24th Regiment of Foot, the South Wales Borderers and a small unit of Natal Native Horse totalling up 22 points. The majority of the figures are Old Glory with a few Pendraken mixed in. All of the Native Horse with the exception of the English officer (Colonel Durnford perhaps?) are Pendraken. 

When I was initially planning this out, I thought I would paint up a small Zulu kraal and play out Scenario B: "Seek and Destroy" where my British would need to raze the native village to the ground. Real life intervened and that kraal was never built. Instead, I think either Scenario A: "Just Passing By" or Scenario E: "Run to the Hills"  might be a better option. In both of these, the British will have to be moving, so they will be less likely to deploy in close order firing lines. If it is the latter scenario, I will have to ditch the Native Horse to get down to the 18 points for the defender. 

Regardless of what scenario, I'm looking forward to getting some lead on the tabletop and rolling buckets of dice! 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

10mm Belgians 1914

Years ago, I embarked on a early WW1 project and painted up decent sized French and German armies for the opening weeks of the Great War. Nearly all of the figures were from the Magister Militum range (I had to use Kallistra dismounted cavalry and also opted for Pendraken artillery pieces). I always wanted to add some Belgians into the mix and found some on eBay some time ago. The unpainted figures languished in my collection and so I decided to finally tackle them. Here are the results. 

Here we have 4 battalions (each comprising of 4 infantry companies and a command base), a brigade MG company base and a regimental commander. I plan to add two more infantry battalions, perhaps a chasseur battalion and some other brigade assets. 

Close up of a battalion. Each base represents a company. The blue greatcoats are a bit darker in person. I have read they were a blue/black and attempted to recreate that with these guys (perhaps a bit more blue than actuality). 

A different angle of the same battalion. I will probably paint a battalion in black/green greatcoats and yellow shako pompoms to depict some chasseurs a pied. Unfortunately there aren't any Carabiniers in the Magister Militum range (although oddly they do have Carabinier machine gun crews). 

In an attempt to match the basing of the German and French armies, I went with a fine green turf flocking material. I prefer static grass these days but I wasn't displeased with the result. 

Closeup of the maxim machine gun. I use a homebrew, 2 page quick play ruleset I obtained from a friend over at the HAWKs wargaming group. 

Another angle of the machine gun base. I ordered a 3D print Minerva armored car that will provide some firepower that those plucky, outmanned and outgunned Belgians. 


Lastly, here is a picture of the regimental commander which is a French general from Magister Militum's Crimean War range. Unfortunately, there are quite a few gaps in the MM WW1 range (no senior command, no dismounted cavalry, no Russians, etc.) and I don't expect that to be rectified since the company has shut up shop. 

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Catholic League reinforcements...

After the recent (and incredibly fun) games of Liber Militum Tercios, I've been spurred on to add to my Thirty Years War collection. As previously mentioned, the armies were assembled based on those present at the battle of Fleurus. To game other early war actions, I need to paint some more units. First up are some classic infantry squadrons of the Catholic League. 


I resumed the Thirty Years War project while I was still painting up 10mm Ottoman infantry for the Crimean War project. I find often find myself painting a few different projects at once. 

It's been a few years since I've tackled figures for this project so I was curious if I would remember the process I previously used to painted them. Happily, I quickly got back into the rhythm of things. Here is the result, a relatively generic battalion from one of those Catholic German cities. The design painted on the cast-on flag was found from an online image search. 

Here is the rear of the unit. I went with a Bavarian blue and claret red color palette. To make them a bit less than uniform, I incorporated other colors: greys, browns and greens. I think it came out well. I should mention that this unit is comprised exclusively of Old Glory 10mm. Their 10mm English Civil War range is probably one of their nicest of their offerings in that scale. They are incredibly easy to paint up. 

As I prepare more Catholic League units for painting, I'm currently working on some 10mm WW1 Belgians that have been languishing on painting table for a few years. Hopefully I can snap some pictures of the aforementioned Ottomans and the Belgians and post them to the blog. Speaking of those Belgians, I really need to find a 10mm Minerva armored car somewhere...

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Nyenschantz 1656

Tonight my gaming buddy Alex and I got in another game of Tercios. Alex offered to design the scenario and bring the armies which sounded great to me as I just had to come and roll dice (and push lead).

Alex chose a battle from the Russo-Swedish War of 1656-1658, he took the "Defenders of the Realm" scenario and crafted it around the siege of Nyenschantz (1656). Historically, Pyotr Potemkin took his Russian army and laid siege to the Swedish-occupied city of Nyenschantz (present day St Petersburg). 

(Pyotr Potemkin)

For the scenario, as the Russian commander, I gained victory points for damaging the fortress. The Swedes needed to destroy Russian units and prevent the Russians from causing too much damage to the fortifications. 

The Russian army deployed. A streltsi unit on the left flank with two pike and shot units in the center with an artillery battery and cavalry on the right. Facing them are two Swedish pike and shot units and cavalry on the way to the rescue.

The Russian right flank comprised of two boyar units and a unit of dragoons (adorned in red).

The Russian right and center comprised of a unit of streltsi and two mercenary pike and shot units.

A Swedish defender of the realm. The Swedes start with two pike and shot units to defend their fort but could expect three units of cuirassiers to help push back the Russian horde.

A turn of cards during the opening rounds of the battle. My plan was to get the streltsi into an assault of the fort while the pike and shot pinned the Swedish foot. Alex decided the best defense is a good offense and moved his infantry forward.

A gap opened between the Swedish infantry units and my dragoons raced through towards the fort. My artillery moved forward and began to bombard the fort before getting wiped out by a Swedish infantry unit.

The pike and shot units on each sides lugged it out and the Swedish cavalry inflicted some wear points on the boyar cavalry. As the Russian commander, I was fine with this...the boyars needed to occupy the Swedish cavalry for as long as possible. To make this happen, the boyar cavalry executed several evades to stay alive and draw the Swedish cavalry away from relieving the siege.

As the Russian center held and the boyar cavalry played a delaying action, the streltsi and the dragoons assaulted the fort. At the end of five turns, the Russians had inflicted enough damage on the fort while keeping their army (barely) intact to achieve a victory.

The game was a blast, thanks to Alex's scenario design. It was a much smaller battle than Fleurus so it played smoother and quicker. I am a big fan of the rules, the cards create friction with the command and control. Units had orders but sometimes events on the battlefield made those orders less than ideal. I look forward to more games of Tercios in the future!