Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Well, in their usual excellent fashion, TheWarStore.com got me the miniatures I ordered in short order. The acquisition of the miniatures that I need has been divided into three phases. Phase 1 is the British foot, Phase 2 is the British cavalry, and Phase 3 is the Brunswickers.

I've received the Phase 1 miniatures Saturday afternoon--only about a week for the time that I ordered them! Needless to say, I was excited to see them sitting on my porch when I returned home from getting some lunch. A quick check of the weather report showed that I had until about 3pm on Sunday before the rain was due. Since I like to primer with Floquil applied with a soft brush, time was critical if I wanted to paint this week.

The photos were taken at about 2am Sunday when I finally got all the figures cleaned and glued (with rubber cement) to the bottle caps. Sunday morning I got up early and got the two Highland battalions (48 figures), the figures needed to fill out the Guards battalion (17 figures), the artillerists (8 figures) and whatever Brunswickers I had laying around (12 figures) before the clouds thickened and rain was obviously imminent. That leaves 4 battalions (80 figures) left to prime when the weather clears later this week.

I've pulled the base colors from the paint box and probably begin this evening with doing the flesh tones. The next installment will be an account of how I painted the troops that are already done including a list of the paints used.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

And so it begins...

The first order is in! I've ordered all the British foot need for my part of the game. It's a big order that will complete 6 line, 2 highlander, and 1 Guards battalions. In addition, the guns and a foot artillerists are in the order.

I have begun the rebasing of the LPE troops I painted for Millennium 9 (the British foot and all the cavalry is what you see in the picture of my workbench). The Brunswickers are off the 3" stands and have been cleaned up. I ran out of Litko bases, but I have a ton of them on order.

The British figures are all Foundry and have been ordered through Neal at the TheWarStore.com. It looks as though it might be two or three weeks before they arrive. That gives me some time to get ahead on the rebasing and painting of the figures "left over" from the LPE project.

In case you're wondering about how easy rebasing can be... The figures were glued onto the bases 3" bases for LPE. The bases were Litko and white glue was used on almost all of the figures (there were a couple that refused to stand up without the aid of super-glue). The figures were pretty easy to snap of the bases. I worked a common steak knife under the edge of the figure's base to loosen it and then just pulled it off. Only a couple of figures suffered any damage and that was limited to a couple of flakes of paint around the ankles. Since the flocking was also glued on with with white glue, I stood all the figures in a glass baking dish ankle deep in water. It only took a few hours to soften the glue. the glue was scraped off with a wooden toothpick (to avoid scratching the paint). The figure's base was then lightly scrubbed with a stiff brush to get any glue and flock out of any crevices.

Well, I've got plenty to paint while I wait for the Foundry order to arrive. Leader figures are high on the list. I need to paint the the remaining figures out of the Foundry Wellington set (I only needed two for the LPE game). There are five on foot and I 'm thinking of a making diorama for them.

And so it begins...

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

First Game

Click on the picture to see a larger, more legible version

The highlighted units entered on the turn indicated. The closest British battalion charged up the hill at the French battalion. The British were in line and the French were in column. The French countercharged and the results (for the British) were ugly.

The other British unit tried to advance into range of the building but were chewed up turn after turn by the French artillery on the heights. About halfway there, the British were charged by the French cavalry that you see next to the artillery. The British formed a hasty square and repulsed the cavalry which fled past the town.

On turn 5 the British cavalry entered on the far side and charged the French guns to silence them. The other British foot battalion entered behind the cavalry and started to make their way up the hill.

The French artillery decided to run away from the cavalry in hopes of returning. It didn't work that way. The guns and artillerists were overrun and the British cavalry broke through. The cavalry shot forward and collided with the French cavalry that were in retreat from the square above the town. The French broke quickly but the British horses were blown.

Here is the email we sent to Buck Surdu after the game, with Buck's reply added in red:

Hi Buck,

It’s Ray & Ed here in San Antonio. We hope the holidays were good to you.

We had our first chance to have a go with Wellington rules a couple of days ago. Ed set up a scenario and we played it through. We didn’t do it to play as much as get a grasp of the WR mechanics.

Having had played The Sword and Flame years ago, I had a pretty good idea what I was in for with the variable movement and stragglers. However placing those mechanics in the context of musket ranges and effectiveness was a hurdle I had to cross.

The first melee demonstrated the foolishness of getting caught in line by a battalion in column as my British two line infantry disintegrated when Ed charged with a larger three line French battalion.

However, when my British light dragoons overran his battery and then continued on to smack into his cavalry, there wasn’t much left of either. The British LD’s horses were blown in the process but were still able to do significant damage.

In the end, we had a good time and we think that we understand most of the rules as you have written them. However, there were some points about which we are unclear.

The first is whether firing arcs are measured from the center of each casting or the center of the unit (reference section 9, paragraph 2 compared to paragraph 5 and figure 5). My impression is the fire is conducted by unit, but arcs and ranges are by individual castings. The reference to the arc of a unit in the second paragraph and in the figure is really describing the beaten ground.

Buck's Answer: Firing arcs are measured by figure, so it is possible for some of the figures to be able to fire at a target but not all of them.

This ties into another question. We had an instance wherein only a portion of a firing unit’s casting were eligible to fire on a target. However the remaining castings another target within their range and arc. Can the unit, in this case, split fire? The 5th paragraph in section 9 would seem to indicate not, but that reference might be assuming that there are no other eligible targets available to casting within a firing unit.

Buck's Answer: A unit may only fire at multiple targets if the unit has been issued more than one order during the order phase. This can create a challenge for a player who thinks he is about to be charged by multiple columns. You either have to dilute your fire by breaking the firing unit into multiple firing "platoons" hoping to force all the columns to fail their rolls to close, or really smack one hoping to remove that units weight from the subsequent melee.

The cavalry action described above prompted another question. Can blown horses be recovered at any point during the game? We could find nothing in the rules that tells us explicitly that once blown they stay that way for the duration of the game. In the absence of any instruction on how to rest cavalry, we assumed that they stay that way.

Buck's Answer: Blown horses remain blown for the remainder of the game.

Well, that’s about it for now. I have to say that the rules seem pretty clear and crisp. If you can give us clear guidance on the questions above, we would be most appreciative. If you would like to monitor the progress of our project to get this Wellington Rules mega-game on the table at Millennium 10, visit our blog at http://huzzahm10.blogspot.com/ from time to time.

Ray & Ed