Monday, September 18, 2023

Basing the Crown Forces


  I will start off with the Crown Forces.   I am looking for larger regiments with a more solid looking structure.  These are professional and will look it.  For the American colonists I will have a couple different  organizations to reflect the we are learning our job look.  Also I plan on having a few under strength regiments;  just because.

 As mentioned before I was using large bases of eight figures mounted four up front by four behind.   Four of these stands  equals a battalion for British line battalions.  

Since Guards, Grenadier and Highland regiments were larger so they get an extra stand.  

Hessian battalions are based similar to the British line.

  Light infantry battalions used a looser formation so I place less figures per stand.  It gives a more open order look.  Again four or five stands equal a battalion.

 Loyalist battalion were usually under strength.  So I am using stands with three figures up front and three figures behind.  Five stands are a battalion, but I will have one under strength battalion of three stands of eight figures.  



Saturday, September 16, 2023

Basing Washington's Army 1776

   Nothing brings you out of a funk then a project.  So its troubles behind me and back to re basing my American Rev War collection.  The difficult and very messy part of soaking the old stands in water and popping if futures off is now done.  The new bases and extra static grass has arrived and its time to start gluing figures to bases.

  I am using a mixture of bases for how I mount my American army.  Early accounts of the war talk about problems with formations and maneuver and different drill manuals.  All of which caused confusion.  so I too will mix it up and use a couple different methods if bases and also unit strengths.  All, I hope will give a unique flavor and look to my army.

  After reviewing American troop returns for 1776 I noticed most regiments had around 200 to 300 rank and file.  So that is were I am going with unit sizes based on a 10:1 figure to man ratio.  My smallest units had 200 men so 20 figures will do it.  I am going to cheat by having a extra stand so if I want I can field them at 24 figures.  These will be four figure stands, of two figures up and two back. Five or six  stands per battalion.

 I will have a few 24 figure regiments.  I am looking at three eight figures stands for these.

Most of the regiments will have 30 figures.  These are six figures per stand with five stands.  All these systems let me have the colors displayed in the center of each regiment.  Looks are important.

  My light units right now are Rifle armed.  Because these seldom fought in line I am facing them two figures on a round base.  In addition I may paint up a few extra skirmishes type figures and give each line Regiment one or two stands to represent men sent out as skirmishers.  This could give players something fun to have in a game.

  Militia regiments are to be organized by eight figure stands.  Because they are all in civilian clothing I can field a battalion with three or four stands.  Great flexibility.  I am also doing a bunch of two figure skirmishers stands because militia do like to do that thing.

Cavalry will have two figures per stand and artillery are staying the same.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

I am officaly retired


 Ok, not hobby related at all but a rant about life.  Please do not feel like you should read this unless of course you want a reason to have a drink....

  I have mentioned my accident at work back in March 2022.   While I am doing better I still have a number of issues such as hand eye coordination and not being able to drive (everything is too fast and I cannot process what is going on around me quickly enough).  Crowds cause confusion and load noises add to my daily headaches.   But I can get out and start doing things again.  The medical issue in my head with the tumor appears to be not growing and stable so that is very good.  

  Thus it was with great surprise I received a certified letter from my employer JetBlue on Thursday.   It said because of my injuries and my not being able to perform my job for a year the company was terminating my employment for admission reasons.  All benefits are forfeited.  Effective Friday September 1, 2023.   And thank you for your years of dedicated service.  After recovering from my shock I looked into it legally and yes a company can do this.  My email was shout down  and no calls returned.  I have no retirement benefits like flights.  

  So, I guess technically I am unemployed but being retired sounds so much better.  

I will now end this rant and move on with life.  Thank you for listening, I feel better.  And if you tonight rise a glass of adult beverage please do so and with this toast;  "Here's to the pencil pushers.  May they all get lead poisoning."

Thank you for listening.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Seminole Test Game: Battle of Lake Okeechobee


 In October Dave will be putting on a very large Seminole war game for the club.  A forgotten period in the 1830's the Seminole wars are a fascinating period that is too often forgotten or ignored.  Dave is extremely knowledgeable about it and over the years I have learned a lot about it from him.

the great man himself!

  Dave has also been trying to find a set of rules which are playable and capture the sense of the period.  Not much to ask I know.  After rejecting a number of rules during the play tests he has settled on "Our Mochicins Trickled Blood."  I know, its a very odd name! The rules are very playable and capture a sense of the scale between skirmish and company level.  And they move fast which is what you want in a game.  I will  explain some concepts as the game moves on. 

  The  Battle of Lake Okeechobee centered around American General Taylor attacking across a swamp with a mixed force of Regulars and  militia/volunteers who's goal is to capture the village and its people which will force the warriors to surrender.   Although they are outnumbered two to one the crafty Osceola has prepared a deadly welcome.  Historicaly after struggling through five foot tall sawgrass and swamp they find the ground has been cleared judt in front of the woods where the Seminole have taken position.   The goal is to delay the Americans long enough to allow the women and children to escape across the river.  

Warren at top of page measures to move his US regulars.

  Our play test starts with about half the American forces on the table struggling to get through the saw grass and cross the swamp. Two companies of US Regulars on the right and four companies militia on the left.   Osceola and his warriors are positioned in the woods. Four warrior bands on the right and the left.  In the rules its a IGUG turn sequence.  In addition each command rolls for his many operations it can do a turn.  A operation can be move, change formation, fire, or reload. You get the idea.  Depending on unit type and dice roll you can get 1, 2 or 3 operations.

  The first couple turns saw the Regulars and Militia struggle through the terrain.  Once across the swamp and into the open ground that changed.  The Seminoles rolled high and got three operations.  so we got to fire, reload and fire again.  I smashed the militia skirmish line in front of me and George shot up one company of regulars.

US Regulars


 Next turn we rolled poorly and got 1 operation while they got 2.  So the Americans dashed forward while all we could do was reload.  

 As the US regulars and militia closed for fighting we were luck and again got 3 operations.  So we could fire twice at them before combat.

 Unfortunately for them I rolled really well and decimated the militia.  They had enough for the day and turned around and skedaddled home!e George had a harder fight since one company got through.  But in the fight they also failed morale and fell back.

  At this point we paused the game as the second wave of Americans prepared to enter the fight.  We felt the rules worked well and we all had now got the feeling for them.  We decided to break and get together again next week to try the entire scenario from the start.  

So stay tuned for the next round!


Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Moving along with basing


  Making great progress with the re basing project.   I have most of my Crown Forces infantry off the old bases and onto the new ones.  Time consuming but messy.  Soak old bases over night in water and off they come.  Clean up the mess then onto to gluing figures onto new bases.

  I mentioned I was using large bases of eight figures mounted four  up front by four behind.   Four of these stands  equals a battalion for line.  Guards, Grenadier and Highland regiments were larger so they get an extra stand.  

 Here is a British line battalion (17th) on the new stands.  to make sure the colors are in the center (a personal bugaboo of mine, too many years carrying the colors in my reenactment unit) I cut one stand in half to fit on either end of the line.  This also will  help in casualty removal.   For light troops which can flight in line and also open order I will use regular stands but a few less figures.  This represents them in a more open formations.  To go into skirmish order just leave a gap between stands.

 Next its onto painting and adding static grass to the stands. Then its onto the cavalry and then Washington's army.  Easier said then done.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Action in the North Sea



  For our last Monday morning game we decided to do a WW1 naval game.  While John has a large collection of ships (I think he owns all of the British and German fleets!) we were unfamiliar with any set if rules.  So to the rescue came Peter who managed the game and kept everything running smoothly.  Not sure of the scale, I think 1/2400 but the rules used were General Quarters Fleet Action Immanent.

  The game was based on a historical raid by the Germans in 1915.  A small group of battle cruisers appeared off the shore of Great Britain, bombarded a defenseless town and then ran for home.   Warren and I commanded German.  To avenge this atrocities the British Battle Cruiser fleet (Phil and John) has sallied out and will try and intercept the Germans.  Now let the game begin!

  Sad to say there was a learning curve here.  Not so much for the rules as Peter did a magnificent job running them.  No it was handling the ships.   Phil mixed up his formation and for a number of turns his flag ship masked the fire of his other ships.  It took us a couple turns to realize ships are not like horse artillery galloping about.  There us a very good reason ships follow formations like line ahead.  Also, don't put your oldest and slowest ship in the middle of your column!   That effected the Germans for the entire game!

Racing home, or trying too!

Everyone fire at the first ship!

  So, the game starts with the Germans in line ahead (I think it's called) racing to get off the board on the other side.  The British are racing to cut them off.  Once we all got out of the way we started shooting.  Long range was not very damaging due to all sorts of factors like range wind and more.  Because the British flag ship had turned and marked the other ships all the Germans fired at him.  This threw off our aim as there were too many splash marks  to correct aim!

 Once John and Phil opened up their line we found out another things.  British ships had bigger guns.  And its not a good idea for the Germans to close with them.  Better to stay a distance.  We found that our as our damage mounted.

 Last turn, looked like both fleets would get one more round of shooting before we disappeared off the table.  I got a hit on HMS Lion, which turned out to be a critical hit.  In rolling for damage it was a magazine hit and the ship exploded!

 All in all it was a fun but very different game.  Peter dud an amazing jib keeping everything running smoothly and explaining how the rules worked.   I hope that we can play again.


Saturday, August 26, 2023

Basing the Rev War Collection

   I have decided to dive in and rebase my Rev War figures. I don't care for the thickness of the present bases and I am after all these years looking for a new look to them.  I envision bigger more solid looking British and Hessian units.  Americans will have more units but smaller in size.

    So the tedious work of soaking bases in water to dissolve the glue begins. Also digging through the box of left overs to find odd left over figures since some of my regiments will be slightly larger. And of course waiting to see when the new bases arrive. 

  Both armies are based around historical orders of battle for the 1776 New York campaign about September/October.   I find it fascinating.  The Americans are very colorful with some excellent regiments  (think Delaware and Smallwood's regiments) and a few talented officers.  The British are at their professional best.   Hessians have arrived and play a very important role.  Scale is 10:1 but I am very elastic as tiny units disappear fast and gigantic units are a pain.  Overly large units usually fought as two's

  Crown forces will mostly be eight figures per base and four bases per battalion. Bases are 80mm x 40mm.  This gives me 32 figures per battalion with Hessian and Elite British units (Guards, Grenadiers, Highlanders and Light Infantry) slightly larger.  No historical reason for the basing except I like how Jim Purky's forces look.  If I was looking for a reason I could say I was basing them by divisions (i.e. two company's is a division) but that is beside the point.  It just looks good to me.

  Still deciding on the light troops. Regulars may be based like the others except a couple less figures per base to account for more open formations but they can still fight in line. Those  troops who always skirmish mounted 2 per base on round bases. 

  Americans are another matter.  Probably will going with regiments of  20, 24 or 30 figures based on historical returns.  I am using General Charles Lee's division of  Glover's, McDougall's and Nixon's brigades each of four battalions.  Plus a militia Brigade of four battalions.