Thursday, September 2, 2021

Plains Wars Sampler

 Although the vast majority of my collection is 1\72 plastic and\or 20mm metal figures, I do have some 25mm and 28mm collections.

The old 25mm figures are of particular interest to me for nostalgia reasons. One period I had always wanted to dabble in, but never did, was the Plains Wars (1860-1890). Over the summer I decided to scratch that itch and started to paint the figures I had obtained from eBay.

The vast majority are from the small Plains Wars line that RAFM (Canada) still produces. The exception to the RAFM figures are Minifigs from their defunct Plains Wars line. I managed to obtain about a dozen from an eBay vendor. They have a character of their own and I would like to find more.

I have quite a few RAFM figures from their old Flint and Feather line (French and Indian War). RAFM produces a "chunky" (sturdy) 25mm with good detail. They work well with my Dixon figures which are large 25mm (closer to 28mm) especially when I mount the RAFM on thicker bases (like those below). 

At times, I glue RAFM infantry figures to a penny and then to a thicker base to make up the height between RAFM figures and the Dixons.

The pics are labeled as to what they are.

At this point I am not sure they will ever see a game. I am not ever sure what rules I would use. 

I intend to supplement this collection from the Dixon line and\or from the Foundry. I am aware that Old Glory makes figures in the period but you always have to order a large set unless you can find smaller amounts on eBay.

For now, it has just been a joy to paint these excellent figures.






















Saturday, August 28, 2021

Provincials in the French and and Indian War


As usual, I got carried away when my friend suggested we do the French and Indian War with the Rebels and Patriots rules. We both had independently painted some miniatures in the past, he with the French and me with the English, so expanding what we had already done seemed logical.

This is one of the few periods where we are using old style 25mm metal figures-the scale which seems to have morphed into 28mm.

I decided to produce at least three different field forces at a minimum of 24 point each for the English\colonials. They would be interchangeable according to the scenario, but each could be fielded independently if I felt like it. They are as follows....

1. A field field force made up nearly exclusively as Highlanders. My original idea was to re-produce the Battle of Bushy Run. I'm still working on this field force, but when finished, it will have 5 units of Highlanders and one unit from the 60th Foot or Royal Americans since they contributed to the battle. The total exceeds 24 points since Highlanders almost always merit upgrades.

2. A field force of mostly British Regulars for the Braddock debacle or other battles that had more regulars than provincials. I currently have 4 units toward the goal and more than enough if I sub Highlanders for standard foot companies.

3. The third choice is featured below. The nucleus are the Jersey Blues, a provincial regiment organized on regular lines that included a light company and grenadier company. They are supplemented by various companies of provincials and frontier guards.

A fun set of rules!

Light Company Jersey Blues (RAFM figs)

Grenadier Company Jersey Blues (RAFM figs)

Frontier style militia in buckskins (RAFM and Minifigs)

Provincial Militia (Dixon and Irregular Miniatures)

Provincial Militia (Minifigs)

Dunn's Company of Frontier Guards

Rogers Rangers (Dixon)

The print I worked from for the Jersey Blues. Note the "buckskin" militia in the background.


Battalion Company Jersey Blues

The Jersey Blues for Rebels and Patriots






Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Lion Rampant HYW English

Along time ago I had an English HYW Army. It consisted primarily of Minifigs, Hinchcliffe and a few others manufacturers of 25mm figures. Sadly, I sold it off, but my friend kept his French. About seven years ago, this friend and I got back together and started to game again.

It created in me a desire to re-create my HYW English but this time in plastic and 1\72 scale.

As originally conceived it was to be a double based DBA type army and that's what I did. When I first painted the army up I really did not have a conversation with my friend apart from knowing we probably would not use the old rules we used 40 years ago.

In fact, he and I started to transition to the Osprey sets of rules that resembled more of a skirmish type game than the large battles we had back in the day.

Nevertheless, I painted up the army and it sat rather dormant until recently when he and I decided to use Lion Rampant for the period.

This meant a couple of things to me.

One was remounting the figures to be suitable to the Lion Rampant format. This I accomplished by carefully slicing the DBA type stands into figure bases of 3's, 2's and a few singles per unit.

I have other Lion Rampant that feature single bases for all and it's no big deal given how fast the games tend to go. On the other hand the 3,2,1 method works just as well especially if you think you have to remount figures.

The second thing I had to do was come up with army lists. My friend delegated the task to me and for the most part we use the lists in the Lion Rampant rule book.

The author states that the lists in the book are only guides to get a person started. He expects gamers to do their own research and come up with lists that reflect some kind of historical reality.

I took that at face value and combined the list in the rule book with Field of Glory lists that some other gamer put together for use in Lion Rampant. Smart fellow imo, and I'm sorry I don't remember his name.

In any event below is what I came up with based on what I have painted, The pictures after the list will tell the story.


Lion Rampant HYW English and French


Lion Rampant Sample: LATER ENGLISH (EDWARD III ONWARDS) 

• 1 Foot Men-at-Arms* @ 6 points 

• 2 Expert Archers @ 12 points 

• 1 Expert Foot Serjeants @ 6 points


Field of Glory List HYW

  • English dismounted Men-at-Arms (Foot Men-at-Arms* @6  (1 unit)

or Expert Foot Sergeants @6) 

  • Welsh or English Longbowmen (Archers @4 or Expert @6)  (2 units)

=18 points if expert

For 24, 30, 36 point add 6, 12, 18 points from the below

A 48 point army requires one additional English MAA and one additional English Longbow (expert)


Gascon Men-at-Arms (Mounted Men-at-Arms* @6)
or English Men-at-Arms (Drilled Mounted Men-at-Arms* @7 

Note: Can be fielded dismounted as Foot Men-at-Arms @6 

Hobilars (Mounted Yeomen + Javelin @3or Foot Yeomen @3)

Gascon dismounted Men-at-Arms (Foot Men-at-Arms @6 

or Expert Foot Sergeants @6) 

Gascon crossbowmen (Crossbows @4)
Gascon bidets or Irish kerns as (Bidowers @2)
Gascon brigans (Foot Yeomen @3)
Welsh spearmen (Foot Yeomen @3)
German spearmen (Foot Serjeants + Mobile Schiltron @5) 


At present my army lacks the variety listed. I basically have the Lion Rampant basic list times two for a total of 48 points. My plan is to paint up some of other choices for variety sake and to tap down a bit of the eliteness. Enjoy the pictures below.


This is one of my dismounted men-at-arms. I believe the figures are all Zvezda from the English HYW infantry set that you cannot find anymore.

If memory serves me the archers came in the same Zvezda box that the dismounted knights and sergeants did. I remember purchasing at least 2 boxes to get the mix I needed.

This unit of  Zvezda infantry will function as "expert" sergeants. Drop the expert designation and pick up 2 points for something else!

This particular long bow unit features miniatures from the Henry V set by Strelets (8 of the figures including the one who looks a bit like Robin Hood). The other three figures are let over from the Zvezda set. One of neat things about Strelets figures is the variety in poses.

This is my second unit of dismounted men-at-arms although two are mounted. Obviously, one of the mounted figures is the big man himself. He is accompanied by his body guard! The infantry figures are Zvezda while the two mounted figures are Italeri.

My second unit of "expert"sergeants. I recognize that most are knights but I'm fine with that. They are all Zvezda figures.

This is my third set of long bows. They are a mixed bag of Italeri, Revell and even some old Airfix Sheriff of Nottingham!

This is my fourth set of longbows. They are mixed bag as well. I would have liked 12 of the Airfix Sheriff of Nottingham archers but I only had 8 and so divided them between two units.

This was a fun army to paint. I did it about 5 years ago. I hope to use it in a game of Lion Rampant soon.



Sunday, May 16, 2021

Solo ACW-Battle of Allegheny Mountain, Dec. 13th, 1861

 I had a little extra time so I brought out my home grown ACW rules that I call "Brigadier." The inspiration for the rules was from two sets of rules titled Rally Around the Flag. The first set came out in the 1970s or so while the second came out 30 years later. I took the ideas from both sets that I found useful in order to produce a solo game, although, they would work just fine with two players.

My game board is small at 4' by 4' and the figure scale is 20-24mm. Games on my board usually have 2 brigades per side at the most, with each brigade having between 3-6 units included.

I use a command point activation system (CPs) that limit how many actions units within a brigade can perform in a turn. Brigade commanders dice each turn to see if their base CP allowance is modified. Wild cards allow for interesting twists in the game.

Regiment sizes range from 4 bases to 8 bases with 6 being average. Some special units have only two bases.

This is the second time I'm play testing my rules. I selected a scenario from the Potomac Wargame Club , Across a Deadly Field, titled The Battle of Allegheny Mountain, an early war battle. 

I use a dark green "blanket" from the fabric store to cover hills. This battle was fought basically on a mountain so I added rocky out crops for effect. It is my view that most ACW battles were fought over terrain with gave limited visibility. A situation like Pickett's charge was probably a rarity.

I think my game table captured the effect I was looking for. 

Historically, the battle was a bust for the Union and so was the game! I played as the Union player while the Rebs were the AI.

Although, the game is solo, my AI is not truly fully automated. I always play the weaker side and tend to stack the deck with the AI, but when it comes to making AI decisions, I make the most likely and when in doubt dice for the decision. It works well. I have a good "feel" for the period and I've had interesting and fun results.

Combat is resolved on the basis of total base removal, a step down system that works for me.

The Union's orders were to clear the heights and take the camp\fort-a tall, not very realistic order, but that's the way it was!

The OB for the game was:

CSA

Colonel Edward Johnson (who would be nicknamed "Allegheny Johnson" for his victory) +1 competence

12th GA, Veteran, RM, 6 bases

Reger's Va. Bn., Average, RM, 4 bases

9th VA Bn., Average, SB, 4 bases

31st VA., Average, SB, 6 bases

52nd VA., Ross's Bn., SB, 3 bases

Lee's VA., Battery, 6lb SB, 2 gun models, Green (in camp\fort)

Dabney's Cavalry, Green, BLC, 2 bases

USA

Brigadier Robert Milroy, average competence in this battle, later pounded by Stonewall Jackson in the Valley Campaign)

13th IN, Average, RM, 4 bases

25th OH, Green, RM, 6 bases

32nd OH, Green, RM, 6 bases

Bracken's Cavalry, Green, BLC, 2 bases

Colonel Gideon Moody's Command, average competence

9th IN, Green, RM, 6 bases

2nd W. VA., Green, 4 bases

One of the advantages of a solo game is you can take detailed notes of the the action. I played the game over two days, taking the time to document the major actions. Although the game only lasted four turns the card sequence and variables made for a lot going on in those four turns!

Game summary, more detail with picture captions (cards determine sequence)

Turn 1: Moody's 9th IN and 2nd W. VA advanced on Union left; Dabney's cavalry reacts, moves and fires on 2nd W. VA getting a lucky hit. 2nd VA survives morale toss. Dabney's cavalry gets to move again to cover this time and fires, but misses. 9th VA Btn advances. Milroy confused, orders 25th and 32nd Ohio to advance on Union right. 25th Ohio gets to advance again into cover, but target is obscure and misses.  Reger's VA Bn. moves into cover opposite 25th OH but also misses. Johnson was confident this turn. Action on both flanks with the Union getting slightly the worst of it.

Turn 2: Moody confident, 2nd W.VA advances into cover, 9th IN wheels to fire at Dabney's cavalry but no effect. Dabney's cavalry fires and moves (to cover) getting a hit on the 9th IN. 9th IN survives morale toss. Johnson confident, 31st VA wheels and fires at 2nd W.VA but NE, Reger's VA. Bn fires on 25th Ohio,gets hit and 25th OH skedaddles. Milroy "bumbling about" but moves to rally 25th OH and succeeds. Reger's Va Bn moves and fires on 25th OH again and the 25th skedaddles again. Moody's command "gets their dander up" and charges ahead firing at 31st VA but NE. 2nd W.VA ends up in a bad position, Union right badly pushed back by Reger.

Turn 3: 2nd W. VA withdraws back into cover, fires at 31st VA but NE. 12th GA (rated vet) advances out of fortification to support Reger sensing victory on CSA left. Johnson confused but enough CP to fire the 31st VA at 2nd W. VA scoring a hit. 2nd W. VA survives morale but is at 1\2 strength. Milroy's dander is up, rallies 25th OH again, 32nd OH charges and fires at 31st VA scoring a hit, 31st VA skedaddles. 13th IN advances. Moody indecisive orders 2nd W.VA out of harms way. 12th GA advances to threaten Union center.  CSA general advance sensing victory but 31st VA sets the advance back a bit.

Turn 4: Moody confident, 2nd W.Va. continues to move out of harms way, 9th IN fires at Dabney's cavalry to NE. Milroy stable, 32nd OH wheels, flanks and fires at 9th Va Bn and hits, 9th Va Bn, passes morale. 25th OH fires at Reger's Bn, NE. Bracken's cavalry moves to support faltering Union center. 12th GA fires at 13th IN and hits, 13th IN passes morale toss, 13th IN fires at 12th GA NE., 12th GA charges 13th IN inflicts one hit, 13th IN misses, melee continues for three sequences before 13th IN skedaddles. Milroy moves to rally 13 IN and rallies the badly battered unit. Johnson rallies the 31st VA, 12th GA poised to smash remnants of Union center while Reger presses on Union left. Confederate right is stable and could advance on Union left. The Federal forces cannot possibly obtain the victory conditions at this point and withdraw. Union loses 8 bases to the Confederate 2 bases.

Nice view of the Confederate initial deployment

Union initial deployment. The skylight is messing with my lighting! 

The 25th and 32nd Ohio. The 25th will advance to the cover directly ahead. Reger's Va Bn is opposite of them headed in the same direction.

The Union left and left center. The unit in the lead on the far right of the picture is the hapless 2nd W. VA. 

Most of the Confederate units patiently wait.

The nasty fight in the cover between Reger's VA Bn and the 25th OH. The OH boys skedaddle 2x from the intense fire from  Reger's VA Bn.

Dabney's CSA cavalry are content to skirmish with the 9th IN.

Reger's VA Bn cracks opens the Union right.

The 2nd W. VA is in a tough spot as the 31st VA bears down on them!

Dabney's CSA cavalry lets the 9th IN have the position (wisely).

The 13th IN routs the 31st VA in the only bright spot on the Union side.

The 9th IN is content to hold their position while the rest of the Union army is n trouble.

The 13th IN cannot follow up the rout of the 31st VA.

Reger's VA Bn really got things going for the South!

This picture captures the rolling terrain of the mountain. Most of the fire fights were at very close range due to sighting restrictions.

The veteran 12th GA delivers the final blow and is poised to roll up the Union center.

A rallied 31st VA and 9th VA Btn are ready to deal with the 13th IN who are very much alone!