Friday, 14 November 2014

Peninsular War Skirmish: The Baguette Incident

The Peninsular War continues to rage across the countryside of Spain and Portugal. Following his defeat at the farm house Captain de Forest of the French Army has been recuperating and given light duties by his commanding officer. He is to escort a supply wagon bringing baguettes, cheese and wine (all vital supplies for the French) to a garrison occupying a village in the Spanish countryside. 

While many an officer of de Forest's rank would find an escort duty demeaning de Forest is not perturbed; Mainly because the pretty young cantiniere leading the wagon has caught the captain's eye. Well he is a Frenchman after all. 

British army Lieutenant George Bagshot, a Quartermaster of the 24th Regiment of Foot, is once more gathering supplies when the two riflemen assigned to his section spot de Forest's supply wagon. Bagshot, seeing his opportunity to return to base early laden with French supplies, quickly sets up an ambush. 

Bagshot sets up half his men hidden in a cork wood with a commanding view of the lane, while the other half, including the two chosen men from the 95th rifles, are concealed in another copse of trees near the ford. 

Deforest, concerned about the possibility of an attack from guerillas had his grenadiers marching in file either side of the wagon, with the rest of his men formed a rear guard. 

Bagshots opening volley kills one of the fusiliers, sending the French into a frenzy of activity. The fusiliers return fire, without much effect, and one of the grenadier groups form up between the wagon and Bagshot's redcoats, while the grenadier sergeant tries to escort the wagon to the ford, blissfully unaware that the Chosen Men are covering the ford. 

The French fire several volleys into the British, but the redcoats are well concealed in the cork wood, and escape serious harm. Then a volley from the redcoats catches Captain de Forest in the open, and the brave Frenchman is cut down in a hail of musketry- this time his wounds prove fatal!

The shocking news of the officers death sends waves of panic through the French, and their lines start to break. One of the grenadiers threw down his musket and fled, and the rest fell back in disarray. The French sergeant did what he could to stem the panic, but in the end he could only rally four men. 

Determined to push on to the garrison, and thinking they were leaving the British ambush behind, the French start to cross the ford. Just then two more redcoats emerge from the woods to block the path ahead, and the chosen men begin sniping at the grenadiers- their bold sergeant is killed, sending as second wave of panic. The Frenchmen and and the pretty young cantiniere flee, abandoning the wagon to the redcoats.

This mission was one from the rules (its in More Drums and Shakos) and played well. James was unlucky with some rolls, and Charlie was (as always) very lucky, and the result was closer that it would appear. All James had to do for success was to get off the board edge with at least three men and the wagon, and he came very close to succeeding, but the death of the sergeant scuppered any chance he had. All in all this was an interesting mission, and the first one we had used from the rules and I was rather happy with the way it went. 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Songs of Drums and Shakos: A Battle Report

The British form up in the orchard

Last week at the Earlswood Wargamers I ran a game of Drums and Shako for James and my son Charlie. James took charge of the French and Charlie took the British. 
The French officer,  Captain Anton de Forest was leading a patrol of Line Grenadiers with Sergeant Fabron, when they came across a small Portuguese farmhouse that was being used as a British foraging post. The British quartermaster, Lieutenant George Bagshot and his Sargent, Ezekiel Scumton had been scouring the area for supplies for the army and had a handful of red coats picking oranges from the orchard when the French grenadiers arrived. The British also had three chosen men from the 95th rifles who were picking up some supplies for their officer. 

Captain de Forest leads the Grenadiers towards the farmhouse

The French advanced in their tried and tested columns, with the daring Sargent Fabron at the front. Fabron's Column took heavy and effective fire from the British especially the marksmen of the 95th rifles, never the less the second column reached the ford in good order. 

Sergeant Fabron at the ford

The British open fire on the column crossing the  ford. 

The French crossed the ford under heavy fire, and succeeded in outflanking the British, firing a volley that killed a chosen man outright. Sargent Scumton saw the danger and lead ordered the red jackets to reload, then advance on towards the French Grenadiers who were frantically reloading. Scumton then signalled his men to commence firing by shooting one of the grenadiers in the head with his pistol. The resulting point blank volley killed or wounded half of the grenadiers. 

A VERY short range fire fight ensues 
 Meanwhile Sargent Fabron and the last of the Grenadiers from his column prepare to charge the rifleman on the steps of the farm house. The riflemen, seeing them coming, spat the bullet into his rifle, rammed it home and then shot the French sergeant as he reached the bottom of the steps. 

When one of the Chosen Men spots Captain de Forest trying to cross the ford he took aim and fired, dropping the Frenchman like a stone. The grenadiers, still recoiling from the devastating English Volley, and seeing their officer and NCO fall, begin to fall back in disarray. One of the Frenchmen paused long enough to scoop the half drowned and wounded de Forest from the river before hurrying back to their own lines. 

The Rifleman takes aim on de Forest while Lt Bagshot hides behind the tool-shed
 All in all a very satisfying game. In fairness to James it was a points balanced game and he was attacking a foe in a easily defended position- perhaps it would have been kinder to have given him a couple more men to balance it out better. James did well, playing the French as the might have done in history, advancing bravely in two columns until very close. Charlie's surprise point-blank range volley was very effective. 

The game is fast and furious, and very easy to pick up. Both lads enjoyed the way the battle ebbs and flows in such an unpredictable way. Charlie had said that he though historical would be dull in comparison to fantasy, but had to concede it was a lot of fun.  Killing the officers- and conversely protecting them behind the tool shed- is the the way to go. Both Sergeant Fabron and Scumton performed bravely contributed to the battle. 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Last Four Zomtober Napocalypse Survivors

Although I didn't get round to finishing the French Napocalypse survivors for my Regardez! Zombie! game during zomtober I did finally finish them off in the first week in November- so that nearly counts.

Again these are all Perry Miniatures 'Retreat From Moscow' range. Very nice to paint, and nice that there were all from different regiments so I could paint each one in a different uniform- I like that.

All that I have to do now is play the game. Maybe I can finally persuade Pulp Citizen to play Napoleonics?

First up, one of Napoleons Old Guard. Even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse he has kept his uniform smart. He has lost his boots, but the rest of his koit is in good order.  

Napoleon's Old Guard
 Next up a sapper in his forage cap wrapped in some hessian sacking. This chap looks like he has seen too much and is about to snap. 

Next up a Chasseur a Cherval (minus his horse). He has lost his carbine but is ready for action. 

Chasseur a Cherval

And finally a proud Polish Lancer who has lost his horse and 'acquired' a carbine. He doesn't look like he thinks that is a fare exchange.

Polish Lancer

And here is my motley crew of Frenchmen (and one Pole). They look ready for anything. What is that lurking in the shadows? 

  "Regardez! Zombie!"

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Dead Man's Hand: Work In Progress

Just a quick mid week post to show you a work in progress pictures of a couple of dead cavalry men for Dead Man's Hand. 

Having dead bodies for you team is not really essential in Dead Man's Hand, but it is a lot of fun. Unfortunately Great Escape Games have only brought out dead bodies for a few of their gangs- and none at all for their second wave of gangs- including my favourite the Seventh Cavalry. 

So Instead I bought one of their packs and just converted them- mostly quite minor green stuff work and a bit of shaving with a scalpel, but they both needed head swaps- one is a Mordhiem warhammer head, and the other is a Mantic zombie head with a hat from a Warlord Games ECW musketeer.  I am quite please with the results, but I have to say it is only when you have a go at green stuffing you realise how talented the likes of Kev White, the Perry Twins and Paul Hicks are to be able to make something that looks like a human being out of Green Stuff!

Friday, 31 October 2014

It's Halloween again and Pulp Citizen and I were not about to let it pass unnoticed, so we held another of our annual Halloween Madness games of Pulp City- using the second edition set of the rules which will be out VERY soon. 

The figures are Pulp Citizen's own, except the ninja minions (I did those). I also made the jungle and the Idol of the Ape God too. Thanks to Pulp Citizen for editing my photos with his usual style. 

We transferred the supernatural action to the steamy jungles of South America, and pitted the indomitable forces of nature verses the relentless minions of Science, in a story we called...

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Some game pictures from Earlswood Wargamers Club

Here are a few more pictures from last weeks wargaming night at the Earlswood Wargames Club. As I have already reported I played an exciting game of Dead Man's Hand, but there were two other games on- I took a few photos just for fun. The first game is a War of Spanish Succession game- not a period I know anything about, but lots of nice figures in fancy hats. 

Next up was English Civil War. Keith Johnson from the Earlswood Wargames Club has just published his own set of rules with the nifty title "To Defy a King". I have yet to play it but I have had a good look through the rules and they look gorgeous- serious eye candy for any fans of the English Civil War. And with large print for those of us who are not perhaps as you as we were. 

If you want to know more about "To Defy A King" here is a link

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Zomtober Week 4: Napoleonic Zombie Survivors and Undead Cowboys!

First up- for Regardez! Zombie! I have three more Napocalypse (do you see what I did there?) survivors- These three are cavalry men who have lost their horses- may be their mounts ran off at the smell of the undead, or else perished it the bitter winter. What ever happened these poor donkey-wallopers are now reduced to tramping through the snow like everyone else.

First up a Dragoon, sporting a musket as well as his cavalry sabre and pistol- A dragoon might do better that his other cavalry colleagues because at least he has been trained to fight on foot.

Next up, a very dashing Carabinier sporting a rakish brace of pistols- I love this one- very dynamic pose for a Perry Twins model. He certainly has a dash of the élan you would expect from a French cavalryman.

Here is my last cavalryman, for now. A hussar with a pistol and a sabre.  Hussars have a reputation for being dashing rakes with the skills to live off the land behind enemy lines- useful skills when surrounded by Les Morts Ambulants!

And on the Cowboys vs Zombies front I have finally finished all the ones I intended to do- these pair are from West Winds Victorian Zombies set. 

And here they are all together. In the further I might add a few more to this collection, may be some of the Warlord Games Zombie Indians, or a few of the Wargames Foundry zombie cowboys. On the whole I think the Red Box Games undead go quite well with the West Wind Games Victorian Zombies. 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Dead Man's Hand: A Deadly Shoot Out

Last Sunday I joined the Earlswood Wargamers for an evening of gaming- my planned game- Drums and Shakos, was called off when my opponent was unable to make it, but instead I ended up playing Dead Man's Hand with Dave and his nephew James on Dave's new Dead Man's Hand Board. Regular Readers may recall that I posted some pictures of Dave's last Dead Mans Hand board earlier in the year- here is a link. Well Dave's new board it at least as cool as his last one,and he had out done himself with scatter terrain that help make the board feel 'lived in'.
For the record Dave is using Dead Man's Hand figures and his terrain is mostly from 4Ground- although he has added many of his own embellishments.  

For the game we each took just three men from each gang- I was the desperadoes, James the Mexican Banditoes and Dave was the Law. Basically the plot was that there was some bad blood between the Mexicans and the desperadoes over a deal that had gone sour, and both sides were going to settle the score, while the Law just kept the peace and killed the bad guys- a classic three way battle.  

The encounter kicked off early, when one of my thugs wielding a shotgun decided to take the initiative. Howling a curse at the slimy double crossing Mexican, he leapt up onto the wagon and tried to blast the Bandito who was carrying a shotgun, hoping to take him out of the fight early. Things did not go well, when the Mexican snap fired with both barrels, blowing my desperado away, and only reviving a light wound in return! Even in Dead Man's Hand people do tend to live a bit longer than that!

He ain't all there is he?
Not such a smart move after all!

With one man down I decided to play smarter. My boss clambered onto the roof of the gun shop, where he had good cover and could snap shots off at the Mexicans in the street bellow, while my sneaky injun half-breed skulked in an ally-way beside the gallows, hoping to outflank the banditoes. 

Sneaky lightfoot halfbreed injun!

Alerted from the gun shots the Marshal and his deputies appeared from the jail and saw the Mexicans standing over the body of my desperado, smoking guns in hand, and drew some quick conclusions, before shooting. Reasoning that it might be better to let them get on with it my boss hid on the roof, popping up to let of the odd shot, including shooting the Mexican's boss in the back and wounding a deputy. This last action singled him out for some 'attention' from the marshal, who had my boss in his sights- but to my good fortune, the marshals gun jammed, and my boss made it across the rooftops onto the balcony of the undertakers, out of sight of the vengeful marshal. 

In this town I AM THE LAW!

Meanwhile my half breed got into a close range gun fight with one of the Mexicans- which end up with a tense moment when the both realised their guns were empty. The Mexican  licked his dry tips nervously as they eyed each other up, but the half-breed got the drop on him and dashed drew his hunting knife, gutting and then scalping the Mexican. 

The halfbreed scalps his victim

The last of the Mexicans, with revenge in mind, sprinted into the undertakers, intending to sneak up on my boss and shoot him in the back. He never got a chance, as my boss spotted him: Crashing through the window from the balcony into the first floor of the undertakers, the boss ran to the top of the stairs and shoots the last Mexican dead as he began to climb the stairs!

The desperado boss leaps across the alleyway to avoid the marshal's vengeance!
The Marshal spots my half-breed scalping his victim and opens up with his six shooter, narrowly missing the injun. The half-breed dived for cover in a half-built building and returned fire. The last deputy tries to out flank the half-breed, but comes under fire from my boss, who charges out of the undertakers, guns blazing. 

The Deputy has a chance to end it, but misses the desperado boss. Fatal mistake. 
It was then everything changed- the half breed opens fire, and in a lucky moment hits the marshal, killing him outright. The last deputy opens fire on my boss, but his nerves get the better of him, and he misses. Outnumbered and out guns he makes a dash for the undertakers, but is cornered by my desperadoes. More bullets fly, but in the end the deputy was gunned down.

I shot the sheriff. And I did shoot his deputy too. 
 All in all an excellent game- and a privilege to play with Dave's lovely figures and scenery. I thought I was a goner when my shot gun wielding thug bought the farm on the first round, but by being a sneaky backstabbing lucky scum-bag I pulled the game back- Nine men started- only two left standing- both mine. 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Zomtober 2014: Week Three

Unfortunately real life has, as usual, got in the way of my plans...having spent most of the week in hospital with my son, my painting scheduled had gone up the swaney. Never the less I did manage to get two more survivors completed for Regardez! Zombie!

Here they are- a couple on daring infantrymen, exhausted from trudging through the bitter Russian winter, and having to grimly muster what strength they can to face a foe no one in Napoleons army had ever dreamed they would have to face...Les Morts Ambulants!

Hopefully next week I will get more done now Charlie is out of hospital - I intend to finish the Cowboys vs Zombies undead, and get at least three more Regardez! Zombie! survivors finished too. A tall order perhaps, but its good to set goals.