Saturday, March 31, 2007

The good, the bad, and the Neapolitans

If you have made it this far into our blog, you know that Im not much of a painter. But I am painting a portion of this army. I wanted units that were relatively interesting, but that no one cared how they look, or how they perform. That way, if they fail, no one is surprised!

So Im painting my Neapolitan contingent. For the game, the player commanding the Neapolitan units will be given a choice: field the unit at full strength, but subject to the rules on “Untested Units” which tend to result in poor performance, or to use them at greatly reduced strength but known and (slightly) improved quality. The latter choice represents the units’ state in the later campaigns, when they had shed most of the questionable elements and consisted of the remaining, battle-hardened veterans. See Charles Oman’s History of the Peninsular War, Volume 5 for more information on them. The actual page is available as part of the Amazon preview!

Here come the cuirassiers!

Front Rank Figurines painted by Dragon Painting Service, Hong Kong.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

What's Left for the French

My French army is nearing completion. Here are the statistics:

Infantry has 20 of 25 battalions

  • 2 have not been ordered yet
  • 3 are primed but not yet painted by me

Cavalry has 22 of 30 squadrons

  • 4 are on order (woo hoo! Front Rank 13th Cuirassiers…Big figures!)
  • 4 are on hand but not primed for painting by me

Artillery has 4 of 5 batteries

  • 1 is not yet ordered

However, I do have some other resources. I have 2 Baden battalions, a Baden battery, and a French dragoon regiment that were not part of the original plan, so I can now put the right number of units on the board, just not the ones planned!

There is one drawback, though. The sudden surge of reinforcements outstripped the basing service--which is me! I decided that basing all the figures myself would help them tie them together visually. I have used up all of my first purchases of Litko bases, and am awaiting delivery on the rest. Then I have to actually terrain and flock the bases.

Flags are another matter. I am using GMB Flags. I have most of those required on hand, but still need to put then on the figures. In some cases I have good flagpoles, but I don't have enough. Any recommendations?

Sadly, I am having camera and photography skill meltdown, so no pictures tonight!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

French and Allied reinforcements

As mentioned before, I am raising the French forces for our convention game. "Raising" in this context is a particularly apt description, since I'm buying them, not painting them myself with one minor exception.

My method was to purchase a bunch of lead and farm it out to several painting services. I did this for two reasons:

1. I did not think one service could handle it all in a timely manner; and

2. I wanted to try some different services, with an eye to sending more figures to those I liked.

Reason number one has succeeded marvelously. In the last two months I have received:

9 French, 8 German, and 2 Italian battalions

2 French, 2 German, and 1 Italian cavalry regiments

3 French and 3 German artillery batteries.

That's about 550 figures! Together with the small forces that arrived before Christmas, I have therefore accumulated the bulk of my army. Over the next few days I will post a few pictures and describe what remains to be done.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Latest Wellington Rules test

Has it really been over two months since we updated? That "real life" I keep hearing about must have got in the way...

Ray was out over the President's Day weekend. We played another test game, this time using newly arrived French reinforcements to give them a 2:1 advantage over the British brigade. But we put the British on a ridge to give them an advantage.

We set up fairly close, with three British battalions in line on the ridge, with their skirmish companies out and a screen of Rifles, too. The Light Dragoons had the right flank, and a battery was in the center.

The French had 3 battalions on the left, a foot battery in the left center, 3 more battalions in the right center, and a brigade of two light cavalry regiments and a horse battery on the right. So the opposing cavalry were at opposite ends of the board. The infantry had orders to “Take the ridge” and the cavalry “Attack the British left flank unit.”

As the game started, the Light Dragoons charged a French column which failed to form square.

On the other side, the French cavalry had a poor order roll, and the Hussar regiment rolled “like peer unit” so both regiments charged a British battalion, which successfully formed square, bounced the cavalry, and made the French spend three turns rallying and bringing them back.

Meanwhile in the center, several French battalions charged through the British skirmishers to try to reach the French line.

During the ensuing melee in the center, one French battalion was broken, and the brigadier killed. So, this broken unit (and it's whole brigade) had to get a Random Order the next turn.

In this case, it got “same as peer unit” but the nearest peer unit was charging. We ruled the Broken Unit got no order. But remember those British Light Dragoons? By now they had finally destroyed the French battalion they had charged, and the Light Dragoons moved into the rear of the French center. There, they met this broken French battalion running away from the British line and destroyed it as well. That's two for the Light Dragoons!

Another French battalion charged the British battery, and the artillerists took the Fire and Retire option. The next turn, the French battalion was occupying the guns, and the just-returned light cavalry brigade had finished destroying the British flank battalion, which had been blasted by the horse battery and failed to form square.

We finally called the game at this point, after 6 turns. The British definitely prevailed on their right, but the French were successful on the other end. Things were looking grim for a couple damaged French battalions in the center that had Light Dragoons behind them, but the French right flank was turning toward the center and had two intact cavalry regiments, both batteries, and two fresh battalions left.

The visuals of the game were good, even though we used whatever terrain the local store had on hand, and most of the castings were on unfinished bases. It definitely gave us some more motivation for painting more troops and playing more games, leading up to our planned game at MillenniumCon this fall.

Sadly, we forgot to bring a camera.

Tomorrow I'll go into the hordes of French reinforcements...and maybe have a picture!!