Thursday, November 18, 2010
My apologies for a long delay posting on some of my recent painting. I've been fairly busy since October, it being hunting season and me being a guide. On the up side, I've seen a ton of deer this year, but the downside is that the wargaming takes a bit of a backseat.
This small article is going to talk about the 28mm Trent Miniatures French Revolution range, and specifically their Austrian artillerists. (pack number AHA01). I ordered my figures from Northstar Miniatures in England. While the shipping overseas is a tad pricey, their selection and service can not be beat. I've been very impressed with all of my dealings with Northstar.
Six figures come in the pack, in a variety of poses. No two figures are the same, and there is little to no flash. Upon first glance the figures are very well cast, but a bit "chunky". I actually like the sturdy figures, and they'll mix nicely with Front Rank figures. I wouldn't try to mix them with Eureka's WFR range, though. The Trent figures have nicely raised details, making them a cinch to paint. The facial expressions do tend to have a certain amount of "character". But all in all these are very pleasing figures. My one complaint would be that there seems to be a slight lack of quality control. Some figures will have three buttons on the cuffs, and some just one or none. Also, the swords look a bit more like halfling swords than artillery crew swords. But, these are really minor complaints. I like the figures, and am looking forward to painting more Trent miniatures in the future. At about one GBP each, the price is right, and they go very nicely with my Front Rank 3lb gun (pictured). I'd give these figures a solid 8/10 rating, and look forward to seeing future releases from this company.
I hope everyone is having a safe and happy fall. Take care until next time.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
This past Saturday (16 Oct 2010) the Maine Historical Wargamers Association had their October Game Day at the Winter Street Center in Bath Maine. I arrived slightly late, having worked the night before, and passed many happy gamers heading out to find a bite to eat for lunch. The game I ran was for the afternoon slot, and given my schedule, there was just no way I was gaming in the morning.
I did get to see a few of the morning games wrapping up, and there were some very nice games, indeed. The one that caught my particular interest was a marvelous looking 25mm King Phillip's War game, put on by Dave Soucy. The game was based on a historical battle here in Maine. Colonial New England houses, nestled in pines and being attacked by hostile Abenaki warriors always attract attention. The high quality of his models, and his knowledge of the period only adds to the attraction. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera, being chronically tired from the current work schedule, and I didn't get any photos of his game. The pictures I have here were taken by fellow MHWA member, and friend, Mike.
After the lunch break I ran a small scenario in 25mm using Too Fat Lardies' excellent Sharp Practice rules. The scenario was set in the Tyrol in 1809, using 25mm figures. A tiny force of Austrians had been detailed to hold a vital pass against a superior French/Italian force under the command of a very nasty Italian General, and the head of Prince Eugene's intelligence service. This despicable fellow had discovered the hideout locations of several Tyrolean rebel leaders. He has ordered the capture or execution of several key leaders, and is entering the Tyrol to supervise and finance the effort.
The handful of Grenz and Jaegers played by Eric H. fought hard to control the pass. They used every tool at their disposal, but just couldn't hold back the French tidal wave. The luck of the dice, Ed and Ed's (the Frog players) dice rolling, saves and tactics, and just simple numbers were a telling factor in the game. Attacking down the center of the valley, at one point, a group of Istrian Chasseurs came up with a nasty little tactic of their own. Their leader, a fellow named Captain Zlatke (A Balkan by birth), took hostage a young lass who was working on the family farm. He made her advance at the head of his chasseurs, in the face of Austrian rifle fire and canister from a light gun. The poor girl was shot down beside a chasseur that had her at bayonet point when a whiff of shot felled them both.
At the end of the game, as French columns were advancing through the pass, a small band from the 9th Jagers were defending an old cellar hole against waves of French attackers. This tiny force repelled attack after attack from Hussars and Istrian Chasseurs. Unfortunately, their efforts were in vain, as the Banal Grenz to their right were simply too few to hold back the French Legere Regiment that was forcing the pass.
A great time seemed to be had by all. The flea market and ticket auctions appeared to do pretty well. A case of Foundry 25mm World War I figures somehow managed to hitch a ride home with me, along with an agreement to likely pick up the rest of Chris' collection in the future. I enjoyed the camaraderie of the event, and look forward to the next game day in February.
The Maine Historical Wargamer's Association holds two Game Days a year in addition to our annual convention, Huzzah!, which is held in May.
The following link will take you to our Huzzah! site. www.huzzahcon.com/
I have been doing a bit of painting lately, so look forward to a couple of reviews in the very near future.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Hi Folks. I apologize for not posting anything for a while. Things have been a bit hectic over the last month. I have managed to do a small bit of painting. I don't want to tell you too much just yet. I've almost completed a few units for upcoming projects, and thought I might post a sampling today.
This unit is a unit of Voltigeurs from the 2nd Legere Regiment. For Fuentes De Onoro I need three battalions from the 2nd Legere. My thoughts were that I could paint some individual skirmishers from that unit to detach to a brigade skirmish screen. I'm still tossing around a number of options for rules in my head. I've painted six voltigeurs, and one officer here. This will allow me to use them as either a group for Sharp Practice, a Company for General de Brigade or Napoleon, or a brigade screen from all three battalions for a set of 1:50/1:60 rules yet to be determined.
The voltigeurs had their first taste of battle yesterday at the Game Loft in Belfast, Maine. They acted as the vanguard for a French force in a Sharp Practice game, in which six boys ages 10-15 were introduced to the rules. A fun time was had by all. The voltigeurs managed pretty well, inflicting several casualties on a group of 95th Rifles. Ah, well, that may be a tale for another day, but it was fun.
For figures I used Victrix figures. "Well, they don't make Legere in greatcoats!", you say? Well, Victrix has a few tips for building these units on their website. I used the bodies and arms from VX009-Napoleon's Old Guard Grenadiers and heads from VX005-French Napoleonic Infantry 1807-1812. I really like the effect, and am happy with the figures. Victrix has simplified the construction of the figure to some degree with several bodies with arms already attached, and sword scabbards and bayonet scabbards molded on. I think this works well, and saves time, while still maintaining a nice mix of figures. I hope that Victrix doesn't get too distracted with their upcoming range of Greek Hoplites. They have really hit a home run with their Napoleonic figures, and a little bird told me that Austrians could be in the works. We can all dream!
Soon I will post a few more new units. So, stay tuned! I hope everyone is well, and is having a great summer season.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Captain Richard Morris, Royal Navy, stood at the stern of the launch contemplating the Rifleman in the pre-dawn light. The man was tall and lean, scarred from some previous encounter. Many people thought he had risen from the ranks, given his lack of gentlemanly qualities. Few would have suspected that the man was from one of the more wealthy families of Liverpool. Richard Keen, his superior officer, was that man. In his Lordship, the Duke's wisdom, he had placed this ogre in command of the expedition. Morris felt that he was the much more qualified officer. And, in many ways, he was. As the Spanish coast appeared off the bow of the boats, he wondered what the day might bring...
The raiding force had been sent to rescue the Condesa de Corona, the beautiful widow of the former Spanish General, the Count de Corona. After his death, and subsequent arrival of the 3rd Hussars at her villa, she had been forced to seek protection from their Regimental Commander, Colonel Ruffin. The Colonel had been more than willing to enjoy the fruits of the relationship, and shared freely with her the details of his daily activities. This position placed the Condesa in a perfect position to pass information to Lord Wellesly, the Duke of Wellington, through his intelligence network. The system worked for a while, until she was betrayed by the Priest during a confession. A scheme was concocted by the priest to falsify the Count's will, and place her in a convent, thus allowing the church to gain the former Count's lands and wealth. She was abducted and brought to the convent at St. Cristobal. The priest had not counted upon the vengefull force of Colonel Ruffin. Ruffin learned of the betrayal and the plot, and vowed to capture and torture the Condesa in the name of the Emperor, and his honour. Colonel Ruffin has launched a force to track down and capture the Condesa at St. Cristobal. His hussars ride at the head of a column from the 9th Legere under Colonel Jean Paul Renault. Together, they will push aside any pesky guirillas, and capture Wellington's spy.
As the column came into St. Cristobal, they were shocked to see British troops had arrived at the town ahead of them. When the lead troop of Hussars, under Lieutenant St. Cyr rode into town, they were immediately fired upon by a group of Riflemen from the 5/60th, hiding behind a stone wall. The first volley killed two horses, and shocked the hussars to some degree.
Lt. St. Cyr was not to be stopped by a few pesky riflemen. He ordered the Hussars to increase their speed and charge at the "grasshoppers" behind the wall. The charge hit the wall, when the hussars under St. Cyr realized that this was a very bad decision. The riflemen would have better than 4:1 odds against them, given the nature of the cover in front of them. The Hussars became very disordered and retreated back into the advancing column.
At about this time, Renault's 9th Legere began to deploy to engage the forces in the town. His Voltigeurs and Caribiniers moved to clear an orchard on his right, while he formed the Chasseurs to the left of the main road, hopefully leaving room for his one gun to deploy, once the hussars get done milling around, after running scared from the few riflemen behind the wall.
As the chasseurs unmasked from the protective terrain of the orchard, they realized in shock that two light guns were set up to rake their line as they advanced toward the town. The cunning British commander had what appeared to be a light naval gun crewed by a few sailors and another light gun on a field carriage crewed by a few artillerymen. The army field gun fired immediately, and killed two men right off, causing some discomfort in the group, which had yet to form with the other chasseurs on the left of the line.
As the Caribiniers advanced on the extreme right they heard British soldiers on the hill above them. Though Sgt. Laroux, the section's leader couldn't understand Les Anglais, he thought that they were arguing with the nuns at the convent. The perceptive Sgt. Laroux immediately led his men to face the hill, and to advance toward the convent. As soon as he had done this, a squad of British Light Infantrymen appeared at the top of the slope. It was all about who would get to fire first. Grasping the initiative, as fast as he could, he ordered his men to present their fusils. The bearskin wearing caribiniers fired a tearing volley that created much confusion in the small detachment of light infantry, immediately killing a soldier, and shocking the rest. The British soldiers shook it off, quickly. Apparently, the officer in charge of the detachment (Lt. Smythe, raised from the ranks - not a gentleman), had ordered the men to "Stand Fast". The British Light Infantry then responded with a crushing volley, killing three of Sgt. Laroux's men immediately, and slightly shocking his soldiers. But, something was wrong with the British. As the men reached for their next cartridge, they could be heard saying something about a "damp squib". In the action that followed on the right of the line, Laroux continued his advance against the British, as he could see in the distance a squad of British Grenadiers leading a lady away from the convent. A large bearded man with an axe, and a sergeant with a pike were leading her away, carrying her over walls and around obstacles. This must be the spy!
Renault's advance on the left was stalled by the accurate fire of the light guns and the riflemen. His voltigeurs were taking refuge behind a stone wall in front of the orchard, and were beginning to pick off the pesky grasshoppers a bit at a time. The Chasseurs had finally formed into a line, and were volley firing into the stone wall, where the riflemen were hiding. He noticed a rifle officer behind the wall was hit by a well aimed shot from one of his chasseurs. "Mien Gott!", yelled the rifles officer, as he fell, badly wounded. He noticed that a few of the riflemen used the opportunity to slink off into a nearby building to begin looting. This would be the decisive moment to advance! Renault ordered the drummer to beat the advance, but something was wrong. His men were marching into a freshly plowed field. they struggled to advance in the muddy soil. Another cannon ball ripped through his formation, killing more men. While contemplating his options he felt an enormous pain in his shoulder. Blood was streaming down his shirt. Badly wounded, Colonel Renault handed over command to his executive officer, Major Francoise Gallant.
Seeing the predicament that they were in, Gallant ordered a general advance, and finally got his gun into action to support the movement. Still, the men fought through the field slowly. At least the gun to their right gave them hope. The riflemen, with the loss of their officer, and starting to take losses began to fall back from the wall, firing their rifles like muskets, "tap loading" as they went.
Lieutenant St. Cyr, of the 3rd Hussars, saw this as an opportunity to regain his honour. Seeing that the riflemen had abandoned thgeir cover, he started his men toward the wall. Another rifles officer (Major Keen), had arrived on the scene to salvage the situation, but he appeared to be stalled in decision. The hussars must seize the initiative now. St. Cyr brought his men to a trot and a gallop, and still the riflemen only fired ragged volleys and fell back. The new officer seemed overwhelmed with the situation. Charge!!!
The hussars hopped the wall easily, crossing a small open area, where the riflemen stood, unloaded to receive the charge with their sword bayonets. St. Cyr's men exacted a terrible revenge upon the riflemen, cutting the riflemen down.
As St. Cyr surveyed the scene, he saw a couple of navy launches rowing out to sea toward a frigate in the distance. A well dressed lady stared from the stern of one of the boats. A navy Captain and an Army major stood offering their swords to him, with a few riflemen, sailors and light infantry arround them. Major Gallant, a deeply devout man, advanced to accept the surrender. The wounded rifle officer, a Captain Schultz, from Westphalia, was brought to the regimental surgeon, as was Colonel Renault. The battle ended with the British having successfully rescuing their spy, the Condesa de Corona. Colonel Ruffin was furious.
This was a wonderful Sharp Practice game, played on Saturday, 26 June 2010, at my house in Jefferson, Maine, with my friends Tom F. of Rapid City, South Dakota and Dean E. of Coopers Mills, Maine. It was a wonderful game! We had a few issues with some events of the game, it still being a rather new set of rules to us. But, we had much enjoyment. Unfortunately, Dean had to leave slightly early, and was not present for the final charge of the 3rd Hussars, but it was his grenadiers, under Sgt Kelly, who had extracted the Condesa from the convent, and escorted her back to the launch.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
To fill the gap while I work on Victrix French 28mm Grenadiers for the next post in the Fuentes De Onoro project, here I'll review one of my favorite figure ranges. This range is the 40mm American Revolution line from Trident Designs. Doug Carrocio of Miniature Service Center has teamed up with an amazing sculptor to produce what proves to be one of the most intriguing figure ranges on the market.
You can view this range at; http://www.miniatureservicecenter.com/
Doug is a great guy to work with and he is very helpful if you aren't quite sure if you are buying the right figure for a unit. A few times I have chatted with Doug about a uniform question, and he has picked a book out of his collection to find me an answer. This is what customer service used to be before we all became too busy to be personable. It has been a while since I've talked to Doug and placed an order. Truthfully, I'm feeling guilty about it. With his new Hessian Jaegers out, maybe I'll need to give him a call.
Anyway, these figures are nicely detailed metal figures. Features such as separate heads on many, removable hands, weapons packs, and equipment packs make these figures very easy to configure to your own specific needs. The team has also come up with many unique figures, not found in other manufacturers' ranges. One of the most unique poses in my own collection is a beautiful Continental Grenadier in a mitre cap. Yep, you bet. And you thought you only saw those in Don Troiani's books!
So far I have added Riflemen, British Line, Continental Line Grenadiers, Militia, Butlers' Rangers, British Grenadiers, British Light Infantry and a few Indians to my collection. I am looking forward to adding a unit or two of French and Spanish to the mix. I will definitely be adding a number of Hessian units to my collection to build the Brunswick force for Burgoyne's campaign of 1777.
In my opinion, these are the perfect figures to use for Too Fat Lardies' Sharp Practice rules if you want to play this game during the American War of Independence. These are figures that are intended for a skirmish level game. For rules like British Grenadier I would still use 15mm or 28mm figures.
Trident figures are a great value for the level of sculpting in these 40mm soldiers, and they are highly recommended!