Friday 28 November 2014

To Defy A King: English Civil War Firelock Armed Musketeers

I have previously stated that the English Civil War is not really my sort of thing...I don't know why, but as a wargaming period it just doesn't do it for me. However, at the Earslwood Wargaming Group ECW is very big, especially amongst the veteran gamers. Indeed one of the movers and shakers at the group has just published his own set of rules called "To Defy a King", which seem a lot of fun. Given that the prospect of playing more ECW games in the future is quite high, I thought I had better get some more troops together. I have previously painted some armed peasants (called 'clubmen' because they clubbed together to defend their homes, not because they were wielding clubs -although some certainly were) and when I spoke to Kieth about what I should paint next he suggested cannons, as there is a bit of a shortage of cannons in the group. Seeing a little niche I thought I could fill, I have decided to go into artillery. 

To start off my little ECW army I have painted up a regiment of firelock armed musketeers. The artillery officers at the time were said to have preferred firelocks for their guards because they were less prone to spark and make the gun powder wagons explode- which is probably a good thing.  They are supported by a minion, which is a sort of small cannon that can be manhandled across the battlefield (unlike the larger cannons which were emplaced before the battle and were effectively immobile).

My next plan is to add a small regiment of dismounted dragoons (also armed with firelocks) to protect the flank, a brace of field guns and a supply wagon laden with powder and shot. 

The musketeers are from Warlord Games and the cannon is from Perry Miniatures. 

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Jungle Ruins from a Pet Shop!

Here are a couple of goldfish ornaments I bought form my local petshop- Pets at Home. The Buddha head I bought a while ago, but the ruins I only picked up this week. I think these will be great for any games of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Pulp City, or IHMN set in the jungle. Cheep, preprinted scenery is always welcome!

Here you can see my KKBB villain Ezekiel Maxwell and some of his henchmen as they inspect the ruins, searching for the Green Diamond he needs to build his latest dooms day device. 

Sunday 23 November 2014

Gladiators Ready!

Those who are about to die...

I have finally finished the six Wargames Foundry gladiators I bought at Salute. I have eleven now, including the five Crusader Miniatures ones I painted for Lead Painters League earlier in the year. 

I love painting these guys. They are an absolute pleasure to paint- no fiddly Napoleonic uniforms and no tiny belt pouches.

The next step will be to buy Jugular and try out a few games with them. if it is any good I might try and introduce it to my wargaming club. 

Nubian Retarius, Gaul Hoplomach, Thracian

Nubian Hoplomachus, Spanish Laqucarius and  Samnite
And these are the five I painted for the LPL earlier in the year. They are from Crusader Miniatures.
Two Murmillio, Maxamus the Provocatores, Murmillio and a Crupellarius

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!