Saturday 22 October 2011

Painting Tray: Renaissance Mode

The painting tray is currently cluttered with the figures needed to complete my Renaissance Impetus army (although I hear that in the new Impetus IV supplement the "killer pike-block" armies are getting rule-restricted", so by the time I field my army it may have waned in its 'effectiveness' and scare factor, such is wargaming and I didn't paint it to win anyway, it's more of an interesting project to finish).

Going clockwise below, top right has a unit of crossbow men (Perry's miniatures), lined out and under-coated are some "DoppelSoldners" (again Perry Miniatures), top left is a "pile of lead" which needs to be transformed into some Burgundian Knights (Redoubt Enterprises) and finally at twelve o'clock some "horizontal" stabbing pikemen (Wargames Foundry). Eagle-eyed readers may also have spotted a recently reactivated Necron Warrior hiding in the shadows ;)   

A closer look at the"skirmish formation" crossbow men. These are a "cheap" army point option to put out in front of the advancing pike block to soak up the initial missile "hits", so the pike block can hopefully get in "fresh" and do the business. The Perry Miniatures painted up really quickly and I think are very nice (see below):

The Wargame Foundry pike men are a Renaissance classic. Here the "pikes lowered" is effective as most of the pike length is taken up in "dead ground" on the base. That means the "pikes" won't interfere with bases placed in front of the unit, something the Impetus basing has over the old DBM approach IMHO (see below). I also plan to put some Perry's Miniatures DoppelSoldners in the front of the base between the lowered pikes (as per historical deployment, but it is still a unit of "pike" nothing "funny in the rules" is being attempted here). 

The "pile of lead" from Redoubt Enterprises, the horses being the same as the Germanic Men-At-Arms mounts but the riders "true flowery knights". Very solid figures and I am looking forward to painting these (again), but I am wondering how "full-on" I have to go with the heraldry of the knights, watch this space for developments (see below):  

If I manage to shift this stuff off the table before the end of October I can get back to some WWII early war panzers as my November project.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Missing "Necron" Located

Necron unit NW-0012 (Necron Warrior #12) turned up unexpectedly during a "man cave" clear-out session. He (or rather it) appeared from behind a stack of shelving (yes in bits, two to be precise). Obviously NW-0012 had been blown there by the Space Marine high explosive that "killed it" ( .. we all know it was a five year old trooper/recruit that did it):

The unit was reactivated (boy does it look angry) and has successfully joined up with its parent unit:

The said Necron unit is hiding in a "secure and safe bunker" from the Ultra Marine menace (now a six and a half years old veteran model crusher. I lock my kit up when he comes round to play!)

Monday 17 October 2011

Renaissance Reinforcements (6): Germanic Men-At-Arms ready for battle

After a few shades of brown on the base, a dry-brush highlight in white, followed by a good flocking. I proudly present my "large" unit of Germanic Men-At-Arms Knights (I need not beg, steal or borrow ambiguous "cavalry" types to bulk out my Renaissance Impetus army now) :

Coming soon to an Impetus tabletop near Hartlepool and perhaps even SmoggyCon 2012, though a daunting step into the competition arena must at least mean should read the rules cover-to-cover (once):

Here they are caught in natural light on the windowsill and charging home with reckless abandon:

You just know you are going to throw a "one" when you need a "six":

One last job is to paint something Renaissance on that 'red' banner:

Then a coat of matt varnish for "protection" purposes :)

Thursday 13 October 2011

Renaissance Reinforcements (5): Germanic Men-At-Arms texture the base

Paint it brown (courtesy of Anita's Acrylics Earth Brown) and when dry cover base in PVA/wood-glue and add ubiquitous "gravel and sand". Then let set (see below):

The base is now "dusty and sandy" and almost impossible to paint on. A watered down wash of Anita's Acrylic Earth Brown, with a little bit of black added, is then soaked into the base to seal the "grit". A touch of left-over PVA can find its way into the mixture.

Note: The metals are heavy so when the cardboard base was sodden, care had to be taken with it when moving it about. Super-glue was used to stick the horses to the card-stock.

Getting there! Next stop: A bit of flocking.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Regimental Fire and Fury ACW (8): Gettysburg - Dixie sieze the High Ground

The journal of Colonel Chamberlain abruptly stopped at the end of turn four (I didn't make it across for the final night's gaming) so history is taken up from the pages of the Richmond Post chronicle as it recounted the historic end game. The Union centre was but paper thin and their left flank had been turned. Only on their right did the Union look strong (see below):

As a consequence of this the Confederates refused their left, pinning the Union reinforcements into a long range musketry duel which suited the Rebel strategy (see below):

Instead the Rebels attacked hard in the middle:

The South surged up the slopes of Little Round Top (see above) driving all before them, gaining the lower part of the hill. The "worn" and "extended" Union troops being absolutely no match for them:

If that was not bad enough news for the Union the Rebels convincingly won the day on the their right. The Union left was flank turned (not extending the line and covering the frontage with even a thin line was a lesson hard learned, as the Regimental Fire and Fury movements are 'just that bit more' than the Brigade level game equivalents and terrain much less of a movement hindrance):

With the flank turned the result was inevitable:    

The tearful sight of the Rebels storming the heights, emerging from the hidden canopy of the woods, springing a dreadful surprise on a "spent" Union regiment seeking shelter behind the newly placed Union battery of guns. The Brigade Commander Vincent joined the fray (see below):

But the Rebels won the day (see below) planting the Confederate flag atop Little Round Top. John Bell Hood's men had won the day: 

The Army of the Potomac was now compromised, General Meade organised a retreat and Lee had won the battle of Gettysburg on the second day. The road to Washington was open and the capitol was in panic, Lincoln was politically compromised and the "peace party" was plotting to compromise with the South.

Well played to the gentleman Southern "God and General" for a very enjoyable game and excellent collection of toys and terrain. Maybe I should paint some Union troops, they always seem to need more of them.

Monday 10 October 2011

Regimental Fire and Fury ACW (7): Gettysburg - Confederate pressure and Union Reinforcements

The Rebels poured forth across the river from Devil's Den (see below), taking casualties from Union defensive fire but in turn inflicting cruel casualties on the defenders of Little Round Top. Of the three Union regiments defending one was forced back to the heights of Little Round Top now a "spent" force. The remaining Union line was looking very thin indeed:

This Rebel attack also enfiladed the last remaining Union regiment in the lower part of the battlefield (see below) as it too faced a renewed Confederate surge. Its feet were still wet from retreating through the river from the previous turn. The Confederates were now baying for blood and sensing a disintegrating Union line:

After trading fire and movement the situation is shown below. The Union troops are nothing more than a few bare stands to the Rebel's "many". There was definitely an "open gate" to Little Round Top:

But hark, I hear "The Fife and Drum," the marching songs of the Union Army are clearly heard. Union reinforcements appear when most needed in the bottom of the battlefield, but is it a question of too little too late? They deploy and fire but have little effect. It does however cause consternation amongst the Rebel commanders as to what follows next.

Also atop of Little Round Top, three Union artillery pieces are finally deployed having spent the last four turns to date being painfully manhandled to "the only position they were allowed to fire from" on Little Round Top. It seemed to be a rather "unfriendly" artillery hill.  At least they would get a defensive shot at the Rebels yonder side of the river before they moved into dead ground below Little Round Top. Chamberlain's 20th Maine are torn as what to do. They need to cover a great deal of ground with a few men. Lacking a movement roll good enough to take on the Rebels making their way round the Union flank they decide to attack what Confederates they can see and reach:

Even with more "cold steel", the 20th Maine are bounced back into their defences. The rolls seem to be going the Confederate way (see below):

The Union flank is now definitely hanging "naked". The Union guns spoken of earlier can be seen atop of Little Round Top but sadly cannot depress to contribute to the immediate (soon to be desperate) local defence (top right see above)! On reflection the Union player (me!) missed a trick here as there is an option in Regimental Fire and Fry that allows a regiment to extend its line and double the space covered.

This is what I should have done. The down side of course being the Confederates would have been able to mass many more troops into the attack on one regiment, but the frontage would have been covered. As a final note ending Turn 4, the umpire announced that the Union had suffered "so many" causalities as to qualify for a minus one on future morale rolls. It just gets better ;) 

Saturday 8 October 2011

Regimental Fire and Fury ACW (6): Gettysburg - The Rebels Second Surge

With both sides drawing breath at Little Round Top the focus of attention shifted to the opposite end of the battlefield where the Rebels were assaulting the reformed (but "worn") Union line. Denied favourable terrain "the fence line" (hiss, boo to the Umpire) as more troops were fighting outside of the feature ("fair cop" in retrospect, see below) the combat was one the Union desperately needed to win. The Union defensive fire was poor and the Rebels got in with just a bit of disorder:       

The results of the combats was very telling (see below):

For a second time the Union line had been smashed, only one "worn" Union regiment was left on the opposite bank of the stream, or rather after second thoughts "in it" (see above). The flank of the Union position on Little Rond Top itself was now exposed. To make matters even worse two Union regiments failed to rally and actually routed another move away from the Rebels. The broken Union troops can be seen (bottom left, above) in a very sad state of affairs. Union troops were looking very thin on the ground.

Meanwhile blissfully oblivious to the "adverse roll of luck" to their comrades the 20th Maine trade insults and desultory musket fire with their southern cousins.

Prudence being the better part of valour the 20th Maine retire to their defensive works. This was a debatable move (in hindsight), as rather than press on with at best a 50:50 attack on the Confederate regiment Chamberlain (or rather me) sought to seek "safety" in preparing for a better odds combat later(?),  this however passed the initiative to Johnny Reb.

The Confederate commander decided that Chamberlain's men were just too tough a nut to crack frontally and he formed his remaining fresh regiment up out of sight of the Union troops (visibility in woods is only six inches) and then skirted round the Union flank. A very astute move the Union player had to admit, as now the Rebels knew where the end of the Union line lay they could easily turn it through manoeuvre.  Their only drawback being effectively "of of command", however this was offset by their freshness and being in column. One good command and control roll should do it!

It is certainly not nice to have a hanging flank!

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Regimental Fire and Fury ACW (5): Gettysburg - The Little Round Top defences hold strong.

The Union line reforms along its length in some semblance of order (though distinctly worn in parts):

At Little Round Top, Chamberlain's charge with the 20th Maine at the worn Rebels is successful, but only marginally so. The Confederate regiment is disordered and pushed back, but no breakthrough. The 20th Maine are now outside of their protective defences:

So the initiative passes to the Confederates who send their "fresh" regiment at Chamberlain's 20th Maine:

In a 50:50 encounter the Union win the melee and the Rebs are bounced back into the woods, smarting with a casualty. The rest of the Confederates at Little Round Top prudently regroup and wait for their centre to advance:

The attention once again turns to the Rebel wave of men advancing on the centre of the battlefield as the Rebels push again at the reformed ragged line of blue.

Monday 3 October 2011

Regimental Fire and Fury ACW (4): Gettysburg - The Rebel Surge

Defied by stubborn Union defence the Rebels resorted to cunning but time consuming manoeuvre. The Rebel second line side-stepped, moving by companies to outflank the very Union troops that had previously outflanked them.

Meanwhile the fire-fight continued apace to the front with the Rebels being further whittled down under the impressive musketry of the 20th Maine and the gallant Colonel Chamberlain. However the Union sharpshooters were "dispersed" as the fresh Rebel regiment moved in, but they had done their duty well. The Union flank was again left hanging:  

The action moved to the central section of the board where the Rebel main force "hit", or rather sunk its teeth into the Union defensive salient (see below). Devil's Den was cleared of Union sharpshooters by some exceptional Confederate musketry at the cost of a Rebel regiment going "ammo low" for the rest of the game (a fair trade?). Sharpshooters are interesting, as they are hard to hit (especially when in extended line and in cover) but if hit they tend to disperse, being usually a detachment of only two stands. This adds a nice bit of regimental flavour to the game.

The patiently constructed wave of grey poured forth and although taking losses in the defensive fire closed to melee with devastating effect (see below). The Confederates had done a very professional job here softening up the front with an effective cannonade for the previous two turns:

The now "disordered" Union line upon the hill top disintegrated. The Union cannon long since silenced by its Confederate counterparts was swept away as a trophy. The only Union success was an exceptional result in the riverbed where a Federal unit of veterans saw off an attack by two Confederate regiments. It's success however exposed it to a potentially deadly enfilade from the hill. Meanwhile on Little Round Top Colonel Chamberlain seized the initiative:

"Ammo low" but "fresh", he ordered the 20th Maine to "fix bayonets" (declining an attacking fire option but instead taking a +1 melee bonus if they get in) and charge out of the Union defences at the "worn" Rebel unit. A good win and breakthrough could swing the battle in the Union favour, risky as a bad roll could open up the flank of Little Round Top!

What would the goddess of war decide?

Sunday 2 October 2011

Regimental Fire and Fury ACW (3): Gettysburg - ferocious musketry at Little Round Top

Just as the Rebels prepare another assault on the 20th Maine, the Union sprung a surprise. A detached company from the 20th Maine made an appearance (see below, middle right):

Just where the Rebels didn't want them to be, enfilading their side/rear. "Give them hell" (see below):

The combined musketry of the bulk of the (ammo low - half firepower) 20th Maine to the front, plus the detached company (doubled firepower) was savage (especially since another 10 was rolled).

Rebel stands fell and the front Confederate regiment went "worn". A psychological victory, though the "use them of lose them" revealing of the flank company would surely mean deadly attention is cast their way from the Rebel second line in the turns to come.

Regimental Fire and Fury ACW (2): Gettysburg - The Peach Orchard

The Rebel attack came upon a staunch Union defence of the Peach orchard (bottom right below), and also simultaneously attacking Devil's Den (top right below, a rough patch near the top of the river) which was infested with Union sharpshooters:

The Rebels pressed hard and broke through in resounding success in the Peach Orchard. Driving two veteran Union regiments back in total disorder:

A third Union regiment was pushed back also in disorder after the breakthrough combat. A resounding Rebel attack that had broken/buckled the Union defences:

These were not men but furious wolves! The shambles of the Union line is show below (left hand side against the river/stream and wooded hillock). Fortunately it was the Union go next :

The best the now "worn" Union forces could do was to try and improvise another line of defence to face the inevitable Rebel onslaught (trouble was the Rebels were still classed as "fresh" and "up for it" whereas the Union were "worn" and "sick of it"). Meanwhile both sides were taking stock on Little Round Top (see below):

The next round(s) of combat here would be interesting.