Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mecklenburg Order of Battle

Alt-Zülow - 5 Companies
Jung-Zülow - 5 Companies
Rostock Garrison (Infantry Battalion Dömitz) 500 Men
Kavallerie - 1 Squadron

Alt-Zülow - 8 Companies
Jung-Zülow - 8 Companies

Alt-Zülow - 8 Companies
Jung-Zülow - 8 Companies
Both - 5 Companies
Rostock Garrison (Infantry Battalion Dömitz) 500 Men
Schwerin Garrion 500 Men
LiebGarde Kavallerie - (von Barsse) 4 Squadrons
Husarenschwadron - 1 Squadron (113 Men)

Both - 8 Companies

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A slight change in plans

After much discussion with the Self-Elector, umm I mean Fitz, I have changed my painting plans slightly and this will involve a slight change to the completed Württemberg units.

I will be getting six battalions on older Prussian figures from Fitz so the currently completed four battalions (using Old Glory 15's) will have their facings redone as red and become the Infantry from the two Mecklenburg Duchies.

The Six or Eight Battalions of Freikorps figures will be painted up as the Württemberg Army. These will match the Freikorps figures I am painting up as the Bavarians. I'll probably have to come up with a few more artillery pieces but with a Heritage Artillery Park for the Austrians I think I have that covered.

Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz

File this one under d'uh...

In searching for the Seven Years War uniforms of the two Mecklenburg duchies I was drawing a virtual blank. I mean not even Knotel.. That's because the two Duchies are not found under Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz that would be two darn easy, nope they are under Schwerin-Mecklenberg and Strelitz-Mecklenberg for the Seven Years War Period and Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz for the Napoleonic Period. Who thought that one up.

Uniform Details
Prussian Style Uniforms.
Blue Jackets - Red Turnbacks, Cuffs and Collars. White small clothes, belting, and hat lace. Black Gators.

Now to find the Regiments names.

Böhnens Fribataljon

While painting up the last four Don Cossacks I also painted up 12 figures of Böhnens Fribataljon for the Seven Years War. I really like the way this unit turned out. Each figure is wearing a different but similar uniform. Several Prussian uniforms symbolizing Prussian deserters which made up much of the battalion.
I also prepared the Second Battalion of Drottningens Livregemente for painting, well actually I primed them as I had cleaned all three battalions and mounted to Popsicle sticks last week. These should be a quick unit to paint with white facings, white paints, white gators, white small clothes, white hat lace, and white belting.
In addition I primed up both of the Swedish Heavy Batteries for painting, again this will be a damn quick unit to paint. Blue pants, blue small clothes, blue facings, natural leather belts and no hat lace.

Don Cossacks

Last night I completed the first block of 16 Don Cossacks that I am planning to paint up for the game on November 22nd. Other than the lance pennants (which the Don Cossacks didn't have) the unit looks pretty good, from a distant.

The paint job is not the greatest and I rushed a few things. These are defiantly the figures you look at from three feet away rather than up close and personal. I primed the figures brown and painted over the top. The uniform I used my standard Prussian Blue and than dabbed color on the bits and pieces. For the lance pennants I painted four blue, four green, for red, and four another shade of red. I figure I will use yellow, light blue and orange for the next twelve figures.

I prepared the next group of 12 plus my command stand which I plan on priming up tonight and getting ready for painting this week.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Glorious 26th of October

The Saracstic Alliance: The Self Elector (Notice how he is peaking at the Camera), The Left Hand Man, Count von Zoltov, Freddie the Adequate, and Prinz Henri von Kersed

The Austrians: Duke Jimbo of Whirlyberg, The Elector of Bavaria Noel the First and the Archduck Jack.

The Thirty Third and a Third Coalition of Lunacy: Duck Jimbo of Whirlyberg, The Elector of Bavaria Noel the First, the Archduck Jack, The great Pasha Beybey, and General "Biggie" Johnson

Freddie the Adequate and Duck Jimbo discuss the sharp lines of battle before the game game starts.

The growing Swedish Army moves into defensive position behind the Mississippi Creek.

A wider view of my Swedish forces.

Freddie the adequate surpressing a chuckle as he discuss battle plans with the Left Hand man.

The Austrian commanders laugh about the deployment of thier army. "How bad could this be?" Asked the Noel the First.

A view down the Coalition Line after the first turn.

A view down the Alliance Line after the first turn.

A view of the Prussian Position.

A view of the Hanoverian Position.

Prinz Henri von Kursed looks over the board in antipation as turn two is about to begin.

Right wing of the Austrian Line.

Prinz Henri von Kersed Cavalry command of two Hussar regiments chages home against a Austrian Cuirassier Regiment and an Austrian Dragoon Regiment.
If you look closely in the woods you will see a unit of Prussian Jagers engaged with an Austrian Grenzer unit.

The Second Hussar Regiment is replused.

A closeup of the battle line.

The Ottomans under The great Pasha Beybey cross the Mississippi Creek and begin advancing on the Hanoverian Army.

A view of the Austrian Line at the end of turn three.

After entense combat the Austrian Cuirassier regiment rambles back to regroup.

During the explotation phase the Prussian Hussars under Prinz Henri von Kersed move to flank the Austrian Line.

The Hanoverian line slowly retreats in attempt to intice the Ottomans to charge.

Two, four, six eight, who do we appreciate. Freddie the Adequate tries to determine how many dice he needs for his Artillery Battery.

We have seen this look before on the Austrian commanders. Something like reindeer just ran over grandma.

The freshily washed and bathed Ottomans begin the rumble forward.

What do mean we have been charged from the rear? The Austrian Dragoons and Cuirassier Regiments in a clear moment of dooooommmm.

Well, with the Elector of Bavaria, Noel the First, in charge we are assured of a Couple Cavalry Charges being replused by teh Bayonetts.

A view of the Prussians of the Left Hand Man moving forward in the center.

The valiant charge of the Hanoverian Guard Cavalry against the Ottomans cavalry.

A view of the Ottoman and Swedish positions on the left of the Austrian Line. The Swedes wait paitently at the Mississippi Creek for the an attack that never came.

A look down the Austrian Line as a regiment of Cuirassier have found themselves out of position.

The lone Ottoman Cavalry Regiment stand triumphantly as it has successfully replused the vaunted Hanoverian Guard Cavalry Regiment relentless assaut.

The Final Dispositions as cleanup is taking place.

The Actors:

  • The Self Elector: Jim (AKA Fitz) Fitzgerald
  • The Left hand Man von Zoltov: Joe Zottola
  • Freddie the Adequate: Tom Zwirn
  • Prinz Henri von Kersed: BJ Kersteter
  • Duke Jimbo of Whirlyberg: Jimbo (He who I will learn his last name someday)
  • The Elector of Bavaria, Noel the First: Noel
  • Archduck Jack: Jack Anderson
  • The great Pasha Beybey: Chris Combs
  • General "Biggie" Johnson: Jeff Johnson <- That's me by the way.

Gettysburg - Day Three

Starting to do a lot of reading on the American Civil War, which is interesting from a foreigners perspective.
I think everyone can agree that Picketts Charge didn't stand any reasonable chance of success.
But what should he have done instead?
Whats the verdict on the battle?

My Responses:

Short Answer: Lee made the right choice based upon what he knew.

I apologize for such a long reply but the OP is a difficult question to answer. I will try to be as brief as possible. Forgive me if I oversimplify a number of issues. We are gamers and don't necessarily put into prospective the problems of politics and logistics that concern those in command of Armies.

Long Answer:

Up to and including the "Gettysburg Campaign" the intelligence reports for the both the Union and Confederacy were extremely flawed. Due to how the intelligence was gathered and disseminated the Union greatly over-estimated the strength of the Confederate Army while the Confederacy greatly under-estimated the strength Union Army. It is hard for us to understand that fact now that we "know" the real troop strengths but both sides thought the Confederate Army was numerically superior. By the "Gettysburg Campaign" both side we in the final stages of realizing how far off their intelligence reports were.
Today Robert E. Lee is a universally adored and loved personality in the South, in spring 1863 out-side of the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia he was not well liked. In the Confederate Government he only had one ally, Jefferson Davis I guess he is the only one that matters; the rest of the executive branch of the Government, especially the cabinet, held him in disdain and were active in looking to replace Lee as the commander of the most important Confederate Army. In the spring of 1863 James Seddon, the Secretary of the War for the Confederacy, requested the Jefferson Davis replace Lee with Longstreet. Davis refused.
Prior to the Battle of Chancellorsville the Confederate Government was planning the campaigns of 1863. In the last eight months of 1862 there were fourteen major engagements in Virginia, if 1863 followed suit than the war was lost before the first snows. The "Battle on their own ground" strategy was problematic for the south; while it allowed their inferior numbers to cope with superior numbers of the Union (they didn't realize that was the case) it played havoc with the Confederate ability to grow crops. The Executive Branch drew up objectives that they felt needed to accomplish in 1863. After many meetings the Cabinet drew up a series of objectives.
The primary objective was to pull the Union Army out of Virginia for the summer and early fall months. This would allow the crops to grow and be harvested without threat of the Union Army destroying them in field. It is important to remember that Virginia was the "breadbasket of the Confederacy" and that at least 1/3 of agricultural crops were grown in such a small section of the country. They needed that year's crops to survive as a nation that winter.
The second objective was to force the Union Army to redeploy on a grand tactical scale. Remember that the Confederate Army was believed superior in numbers and that because of Confederate forces defending Mobile, Knoxville, Charleston, Little Rock and dozens of other minor outposts they were more spread out. This is a much longer topic but for this discussion I am just paraphrasing what takes whole books to discuss in any detail.
The third objective was to relieve the pressure along the Mississippi Corridor. The Armies of Mississippi, Missouri, Western Louisiana, as well as Gardner's and Ruggle's Commands (in Port Hudson and Corinth respectfully) were all threatened by Grant's position in Southern Arkansas.
Multiple plans were presented including two competing plans by Lee and Longstreet. Lee suggests what becomes the Gettysburg Campaign while Longstreet plan suggesting taking his Corps from the ANV and create an independent army to streak at what becomes Burnside Command in Lexington Kentucky than moving Southwest and pushing Rosencran's between himself and Bragg. Longstreet's is the plan approved by the Cabinet but over ruled by Davis and Lee's plan is approved.
Lee understands the pressure placed on his position. Of course Lee's plans fall apart on May 10, 1863 when General Jackson dies of his wounds. Lee is forced to rework his plans and organization. However he has little time to rethink and replan as he is forced to move by the first week in June.
While I will skip the tactical movements from June 3rd to July 3rd I will talk a little bit about supply. The ANV was used to moving light and had three days of supplies at all times. This includes both food and ammunition. Every day foraging parties would return with at least another days worth of supplies while on the move. The Union Army had large amounts of supplies available in depots but not necessarily enough on the actual man. As an example it took a week to issue three days worth of supplies in early June to allow the AOP to start the full pursuit. This difference was amplified by the actions of J.E.B. Stuart cavalry as it disrupted the Lines of Communication in southern Pennsylvania and Central Maryland. This slowed down the movement of the Union Army allowing the ANV to get a much larger head start and more space than anticipated.
Between June 26th and when Meade assumes command the AOP, Jun 28th, the AOP stole a march on ANV. This movement of an additional 20 miles may not seem like much in modern terms but it is all that it takes to take the initiative away from the ANV. On the 28th Meade doesn't realize how much the last 48 hours have changed the course of the campaign.
Somewhere between May 10th and June 28th a new tactical aim was added to Lee's laundry list. He had to wreck the Army of the Potomac. In this era of Napoleonic ideas wrecking the opposing Army meant a titanic Battle in the mold of Napoleon's victory at Marengo or Austerlitz. However a more appropriate battle to examine would be Hohenlinden (Dec 3, 1800) in which French General Moreau catches the Austrian Army of Archduke John and is able to surround and destroy the Austrian Army in a piecemeal fashion. Austria sues for piece shortly thereafter.
One the evening of the 28th Lee decides to assemble the Army near Cashtown PA, this movement moves all three corps from behind the Blue Ridge/South Mountain Ranges to the same side as Union Army thus removing his screen.
After Day 1 at Gettysburg, Ewell made a tactical mistake by note pushing the disordered Union defense at Culp's Hill. Any hope of regaining the initiative for the AVN is lost. Thus Lee must make a plan to attack on Day 2. Again it is important to remember Lee believe the Union to number to be at most equal to his own and maybe slightly less. If you ever play out the battle using Lee's estimates of Union Strength you understand why he had the grand attack on Day 2 and then the follow up on Day 3.
Another issue that is rarely brought up but is an important factor here, Lee was very solitary person and he rarely kept anyone fully in his confidence. On Day 2 Longstreet didn't know the exact plan for Ewell and vice versa. It can be argued that because he saw specters of failure and ultimately his replacement around every corner or if just didn't have the staff many of his orders were not recorded in the same fashion as that of the Union. We depend on the writings after the war by Generals like Longstreet to GUESS at what Lee was thinking. After the War Lee only wrote once on the conduct of the war and that was to defend Longstreet when southern writers were looking to blame someone militarily for the failure.
On Day 3 Lee had to make a choice. He was facing a force that he believed was his equal in numbers and had historically had short term supply issues. They were strung out over about 15 miles from Buford's command south of the Peach Orchard to Gregg's command five miles east of Gettysburg. His spies reported that the Union had reinforced the wings of the line. In the center he estimates the strength of not more than 5,000. 5,000 would have been the correct number had the AOP numbered only 75,000 not the 95,000 there really was.
All said if we had to make Lee's decision on the Third Day we probably would have made a similar choice because based on the information Lee had it is the best choice.
As a minor follow up:We don't know is exactly what Lee ordered Stuart to do when he issued his VERBAL orders on the morning of the 3rd. Stuart dies before the end of the War and there is no written record of the exact order. What we do know is that Stuart Cavalry which has had a running battle with the Gregg's Cavalry (Less Buford) since June 26th mounts up and moves against the extreme right of the Union. There are a number of books on the premise of what was supposed to happen, including "Lost Triumph" by Tom Carhart, the most recent that I am aware of. Whether it is by chance or fate or simply because the Confederate Cavalry hasn't slept more than a few minutes at a time in over a week, the attack doesn't achieve its objective. Whether it is supposed to be a break through or simply to force the Union to move reserves to the right flank or anything else that you can come up with; while we don't know exactly what the order was all we do know is it didn't work.
Thus as Sally Pickett tells us, Pickett's Division goes forward (along with two others) and the high-water mark of the confederacy is achieved.
Lee has a number of options on the fourth day of battle, one in which both sides stare down each other. Lee misses his last opportunity to regain the initiative as the AOP in the field has virtually no supplies. Many men were without ammunition, food was scarce and water was in short supply. Lee whose Army was still in good supply and was ready to take the fight to the Union again decided to withdraw. It takes the AOP two days to resupply and begin the pursuit.
When you move beyond the battle and beyond the Lee's retreat we are left to look at the objectives laid out by the Confederate Government.
1) Pull the Union Army out of Virginia. This was done with great success. It allowed the Confederate Crops in Virginia to harvest in the end of the summer stockpiling almost 16 months supply as estimated later in the year. It was a very prophetic answer since the Confederacy last only 16 more months in the east.2) Force the Union Army to redeploy. The union army was not forced to redeploy any units, not because the plan was wrong but because the intelligence used to generate the plan was faulty. By the end of 1863 both the Union and Confederacy remake their intelligence agency and reports and get more accurate numbers on their advisories.3) Relieve pressure in the Mississippi Corridor.The plan failed to remove any pressure from the Mississippi Corridor and Vicksburg surrenders on the same day that Lee decides to withdrawal from Gettysburg. This is of course is for a number of reasons, being too far east, too late and simply too little in terms of numbers.4) Wreck the Union Army. The AOP lost 25% of its strength hard not to call that wrecking, considering its noext major engagement is in May 1864 (The Wilderness).
However as the Army achieved the most important objective and Lee acknowledged his own mistake and accepted blame (as well as many of his contemporaries blamed Longstreet) Lee stays in command of the ANV until its surrender at Appomattox.
As Gamers' an interesting scenario would be to allow Lee to Attack on the Fourth Day (July the Fourth) and using some sort of supply rules to determine whether units in the AOP were supplied or not.

A number of people (both in this discussion and other works) have suggested that Lee move the ANP to the SW and attempt to get between the AOP and Washington.
The are at least two problems with that suggestion. There is no "north-south" movement. The road network is in a shape of an X and moves in a SW/NE or SE/NW pattern. Any movement by the ANV takes them further away from Washington and the AOP always will have a shorter route. Example: While it is about ten miles from Gettysburg to Emmitsburg and then another 10 miles to Tannytown it is only 8 miles from the Gettysburg to Tannytown. Unless you could steal a march (very tough to do in such close quarters) there is no way to out maneuver the AOP. The second problem is more problematic, after day one Buford's Cavalry is arrayed from the Emmetsburg road west cross country towards Fairfield. You'd have to fight your way and that blocks any chance of stealing a march.

Figures given to Tom to paint.

30 - Peasant Cossacks
24 - Tyrolian Jagers
24 - Pseudo Uniformed Troops
16 - Billman
36 - Armed Mob.

This should be a good start for the my forces to face The great Pasha Beybey.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Evil and Nefarious Plan

I admit to being a sucker for the slightly off beat projects that come up from time to time and of course I may have found one true to my tastes.

Chris Combs (The great Pasha Beybey) has a fully painted Ottoman Army that he uses in a number of games and periods. Considering the Ottoman costumes haven’t didn’t change from before the Seven Years War until after the Rebellions in the 1850s (A period of over a hundred years). I think this is a great plan and good reuse of figures. However Chris’ problem is that his Army is completely over matched against Non-historical opponents. IE he always is fighting Regulars in weird settings.

So I pulled out my collection of unpainted lead and went what the hell can I paint up that would be interesting to fight The great Pasha Beybey.

In searching I found I have the order of battle for the Austrian, I mean Hungarian, Army that fights the Turks from 1808 to 1812. And then I started looking at the list and going I bet this would be a great game if we can find the right rules.

The Core of Hungarian Army is Two Hungarian Infantry Regiments and a battalion of Hungarian Grenadiers. I assume there is some artillery in this group but none was listed.

The cavalry is a Dragoon Regiment (called the Hungarian Dragoons so I am doing some research on that one) and the other two Irregular hussar Regiments that were virtually taken on the regular roles.

Other units involved include several Border (Grenz) Regiments including four battalions of Grenzer Landwehr. There is also several Hungarian Insurrection units. And if Hungarian Insurrection wasn’t bad enough I also get Hungarian Militia which are untrained Insurrection troops. I am not sure who would have the worse army. The Ottomans or the Austrians?

To make matters worse I have made an agreement with Tom Zwirn to get the whole thing painted. What have I done…..

Wait this could be entertaining. The big challenge will be finding rules since neither side mustered very large forces.
You could also throw in Marmont, Russians and a few other items and you get trouble with a capital T.

Nylands Infantry Regiment

I have finished painting up the Nylands Indelta (Provincial Infantry) Regiment last night. This regiment has two battalions of 3 stands.

This gives my Indelta Brigade 4 Battalions with 1 2/3 to go. A battalion of Närke-Värmlands Indelta Infantry (three stands) and a detachment of Västgöta-Dals* Indelta Infantry (two stands) will also be painted up in the next day or so. I also want to paint up Böhnens Fribataljon and maybe a few jagers but those may have to wait.

I also spent some time looking at my next Brigade. I decided that I need some staying power in my painted army. So my next brigade will be Drottningens Livregemente or the Queens Own. This will have Two battalions of four stands and one Battalion of three from the same regiment.
* I may change my mind on these eight figures I may make them part of Böhnens Fribataljon and add in four Jagers figures to make the 12 figure battalion. I am kind of leaning that way today. If I do than I will need another 12 figures for the Västgöta-Dals Indelta Regiment

Monday, October 20, 2008

Next Shipment to Sri Lanka

All figures 15mm
American Civil War - Union Infantry (100 Figures)
Austrian Napoleonic - Stipsic Hussars (12 Figures)
Austrian Napoleonic -Archduke Ferdinand's Hussars (16 Figures)
French Napoleonic - 1st Chasseurs a' Chevel (16 Figures)
French Napoleonic - 4th Lancers a' Chevel (12 Figures)
French Napoleonic - 5th Lancers a' Chevel (12 Figures)
French Napoleonic - 6th Dragoons (16 Figures)
French Napoleonic - 10th Dragoons (14 Figures)
Swedish Seven Years War - Gul Hussars (16 Figures)

I will also be sending a few figures for Fitz to pay off my figure debt.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What a way to spend the day

I spent much of Sunday mounting and rebasing Austrian Napoleonic Figures.

From previous shipments to and from Fernando Enterprises:
  • Kaiser Franz Infantry Regiment
  • Erzherzog Carl Infantry Regiment
  • Deutschmeister Infantry Regiment
  • Freiherr von Schroder Infantry Regiment
  • Erzherzog Ludwig Infantry Regiment
  • Furst zu Liechtenstein Infantry Regiment
  • Freiherr Reisky Infantry Regiment
  • Freiherr von Klebeck Infantry Regiment
  • Freiherr von Zach Infantry Regiment
  • Graf d’Aspre Infantry Regiment
  • TBD Infantry Regiment
  • TBD Infantry Regiment
  • TBD Infantry Regiment
  • TBD Infantry Regiment

The reason I have four TBD Infantry Regiments is that I made a mistake in painting. I painted up Freiherr von Hiller (IR2) as an German Infantry Regiment rather than a Hungarian and repeated said issue with three other Regiments. I have to figure out what I can do with the units if I can use them as other reigments (that I haven't already got painted).

Figures that I rebased:

  • 10 Austrian Heavy Artillery Stands
  • 15 Austrian Light Artillery Stands
  • Kiaser Franz Hussar Regiment (12 Figures)
  • Stipsic Hussar Regiment (16 Figures)
  • Dragoon Regiment #4 (8 Figures)
  • Dragoon Regiment #6 (8 Figures)

I was shocked at how time consuming this project is. I suppose takening the time to make sure each base is properly labeled and organized correctly isn't helping the process.

I have four more regiments of Infantry to base up, which were painted by Fernando, and about 200 figures of Grenadiers that need to find a base.

In addition I got about 300 Figures from an Empire Corps that need to get rebased. This is going to take some more time.

Things to do for the November 22nd Game.

  • 60 Cavalry React Markers
  • 120 Disorder Markers
  • 120 Rout Markers
  • An undetermined number of Casualty Markers
  • Table Rental
  • Setting Up Terrian
  • Mount Austrian Figures

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Napoleon in Spain - 1812

As the warm morning sun rose across the Spanish field that clear October morning in 1812 Napoleon stared at the distance and daydreamed about cold and snow.
“My Lord” an unnamed Aide de camp broke the silence. “General’s Reille and Junot are here for their orders.”
“Will be a hot day today, have my horse saddled and ready. The British are making a mistake, while it is bad form to interrupt them I prefer not to leave them long enough to realize it.” Napoleon turned and smile that smile he always did, he was after all Mr. Happy. “Send in the Generals”
The Emperor spoke “General Reille you will command the leftwing moving against the British under Lord Hill. While Genral Junot you will take my right wing and move against those washed and freshly bathed Ottomans. I’ll never understand what they are doing here, it Spain for goodness sakes.” He looked at the two Generals and continued “We have no heavy cavalry so we must use Artillery to force the enemy to do our will.”
After a pause General Reille spoke up. “I’ll send the Light Cavalry Corps against the Extreme left, Lord Hill has massed his cavalry between his command and the Center. My two infantry Divisions will form the center with the Light Cavalry Division on my right towards the center.”
Napoleon switched has gaze from Reille to Junot he spoke up “I plan on using a similar plan against the Ottomans. My Light Cavalry Corps will be on the Right, Two division of Infantry in my center and light Cavalry division on my left towards your position in the center.”
“My boys that is a good plan. We will drive the enemy from our Spanish Soil.”

To be completed later

The cast in order of appearance
· The Emperor Napoleon – Jeff Johnson
· General Reille – Joe Knight
· General Junot – Jack Anderson
· The Duke of Wellington – Noel
· Lord Hill – Jimbo (Whose last name I will learn someday)
· The great Pasha Beybey – Chris Combs
· The Final Arbitrator – Jim Fitzgerald

It was unfortunate that the two most experienced players were on the French Side. Noel and Jimbo were overmatched and unable to handle the moves and countermoves that Joe Knight and I did.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Package on it's way from Fernando

I received an e-mail this morning from Sanath at Fernando Enterprises in Sri Lanka that my next parcel shipped yesterday. In addition I have a $16 credit to my next order. Whoot. Considering I shipped too many figure that will help.

Comming back are the following:
25mm Napoleonic Austrian Grenadiers
Grass Green Facings - 8 Figures
Apple Green Facings - 8 Figures
Parrot Green Facings - 8 Figures
Dark Brown Facings - 8 Figures
Light Blue Facings - 16 Figures
Poppy Red Facings - 8 Figures
Pink Facings - 8 Figures
Napoleonic Austrian Hungarian Grenadiers
Light Blue Facings - 12 Figures
Emperor Yellow Facings - 8 Figures

Napoleonic Austrian Mounted Generals
ArchDuke Charles and staff - 4 Figures
Bellegarde and Staff - 3 Figures
Liechtenstein and Staff - 3 Figures
Hiller and Staff - 3 Figures
Generic Offices and Staff - 4 Figures
Austrian Mounted Infantry Officers (1809) - 3 Figures

Napoleonic French Mounted Infantry Officeres - 5 Figures

Of course this gives me way too many Austrian Greandiers (chuckle) I'll have about 50 stands with six being command stands only 140 figures or another 35 stands.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Koenig Krieg Game at the Source on Sunday October 26th.

I have reserved the Sandtable for a Koenig Krieg game on Sunday October 26th. I have sent out a Call-to-Arms in the usual method (Email) to all commanders to assemble on that well bloodied ground of the village Falcon Heights which will be fought over at least one more time.

Answering the call "Freddie the Adequate" (and his Prussian Command) and the dual personalities of the "Self-Elector"/"Archduck Fitzgerald" have both (or is it all three) informed me that they will be in attendance.

Hopefully that Sunday also works for the "Archduck Elliot", "Archduck Jack", "MyLord the Earl of Garfield" and we can get a good sized game going. I also hope "Duck Jimbo" and "Elector Noel the First" will also be present.

Roll-Call of the known members of the Sarcastic Alliance:
* Freddie the Adequate - Will be Present
* The Self-Elector - Will be Present
* MyLord the Earl of Garfield - will not be present
* Freddie's Lefthand Man count von Zoltov - Will be Present
* Lt Gen Beej von Kursed - Will be Present

Roll-Call of the Thirty Third and a Third Coalition of Lunacy
* Archduck Jack - Will be Present
* Archduck Elliot - Will be Present
* General "Biggie" Johnson - Will be present
* Duck Jimbo (He whose last name someday I will learn) - Will be Present
* Elector Noel the First - Will be Present

And Finally those showered and well bathed Ottomans
* The great Pasha Beybey - Will be Present
* The trivial Visar Ahkray of Robbinsdale
"Freddie the Adequate" has informed me that those dust clouds on the horizon are more figures marching to battle. Something about "Boys in Blue" will be well represnted.... Stay Tuned

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Württemberg Artillery

While not much of an accomplishment I completed painting the two Württemberg Artillery stands that I need. Four Artillerists and two guns. There are a couple of minor fixes that I need to do. I gave the officer Red Turnbacks for some odd reason, I must have been tired, so i need to change those back to black.
Tomorrow I will be focusing on the Brigade Commander (one Roeder by name) and working on the first two battalions. I need to pickup more flesh paint and a rose color paint.

Litko Order

I received the first package of my large Litko order.
  • 200 - 3/4" x 1 1/8" bases
  • 200 - 1" x 1 1/8" bases
  • 200 - 1 1/2" square bases
  • 100 - 1" x 1 1/2" bases
  • 100 - 25mm round bases
  • 50 - 30mm round bases
  • 25 - 40mm round bases

I was hoping to receive 220 3/4" x 1" bases as well but those did not come.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Swedish Grenadier Battalion

Tonight I completed my second Swedish Grenadier Battalion for the Swedish Pomerania Campaigns.

They didn't totally turn out how I wanted them, but oh well life goes on.

Prussian Militia Battalions

I have been given the answers that I need for my Prussian Militia Battalions.

Uniforms are Gray with Red Turnbacks and various Cuff Colors and no Lapels.

For Koenig Krieg they are twelve Figure battalions. Morale of 4, but no move and shoot.

Now to get them painted up.

Old Glory 15's

In a shared order with Fitz I picked up two bags of Union Infantry for the American Civil War and another Bag of French Light Cavalry.
I think all three are useful, so I guess I am being useful.

Roeder's Brigade and count d'Air

For reasons that will be apparent at a later date I have decided to paint up Roeder's Württemberg Brigade and count d'Air Bavarian Command on the Far Left Flank of the Battle of Luethan.

Roeder's Brigade
* Fusilier Regiment Truchsess (2 bns)
* Roeder (2 bns)
* Prinz Louis (2 bns)
* Garde zu Fuss (2 bns)

d'Air Command
* Kurprinz (1 bn)
* Preysing (1 bn)
* Herzog Clemenz (2 bns)
* Leib-Regiment (2 bns)

I plan on having two stands of two artillerists with each command.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Village Games 5th Aniversary

I just wanted to invite everybody down to the shop on Saturday,November 1, to join in our 5th Anniversary Celebration. We have over 30games scheduled throught the day, special guests from Fantasy FlightGames and Odzial Osmy/PicoArmor coming to town, and much more.Everyone is welcome - you can find out more information here:


Koenig Krieg Mailing list

Somehow I seem to have dropped my subscription to the Koenig Krieg yahoo mailing list so I resubscribed.

My first question deals with Prussian Militia. We will see how that goes.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Jeff's Thought on Campaigns

A topic that has been discussed a little bit over the last couple of days is campaigns or more specifically why aren’t we (ie the Centurions or SPI) running one currently.

Why run a campaign?
The first part in any discussion on running a campaign is “what is the benefit for the players going to be?” this is a small topic that is overlooked a number of times.
1) Encourage players to paint for a new period
2) Use figures already existing to run games.
3) Interconnect battles

The next consensus a group needs to agree on is on rules.
1) Grand tactical movement
2) Logistics
3) Battle Rules
4) Recovering battle losses
5) Replacements
6) Siege
7) What happens if a player doesn’t turn in a orders for a turn?
8) What happens if players can’t fight a battle
9) What battles need to be fought?

The next step is agreement on schedule
1) When does the Campaign begin?
2) How often do players need to make turns
3) When are battles fought

The Final question is how does someone win a campaign?

If we wanted to run a campaign
In our case we have all three choices available to us when it comes to determining what the benefit for the players is.
1) For the Seven Years War period we could use this to encourage people to paint up figures for a relatively new period for us. While some figures have been around for a while most of us are painting up figures for the first time.
2) For the Napoleonic period a number of us already have large collections and be nice to get these figures on the table.
3) Sometimes called a tree campaign it would be easy to interconnect a few battles and get people started in thinking about campaigning without getting into logistics or other requirements.

Rules are always the tough one, but the real key is identifying potential problems early and getting them nailed down.

A key in any successful campaign is the schedule, again something often overlooked in the initial planning. If it takes too long to get the campaign started players’ interest wanes and any momentum created before hand is lost very quickly.

I love campaigns and I think they are a good way to achieve many objectives most importantly getting figures on the table.

Prussians in Pomerania

Below is a list of Prussian Forces in the Greater Pomerania region at the start of hostilities with Sweden.

10 Prussian Militia Battalions - Pomerania 5000 Men
2 Prussian Militia Battalions - Halberstadt 1000 Men
2 Prussian Militia Battalions - Magdeburg 1000 Men
10 Prussian Militia Battalions - Brandenburg 5000 Men
Land Regiment Stockhausen 1500 Men
Bevern Infantry Regiment 1200 Men
Prinz Moritz Infantry 1200 Men
Köller's converged grenadiers of the Saxon regiment 54 and 56 600 Men

ACW Figures

Just what I need more 25mm ACW figures.

Last night while visiting the Source Comics and Games I ran into one of the Partners, Bob Bryndilson, and after chatting on a couple of subjects we talked about certain lines of figures on the wall including the Old Glory 25mm ACW figures which depending on the story from Joel and Russ are being phased out or only made available via special order. Anyways as Bob and I talked I made an offer to buy all the remaining bags at his usual discounted price, and he agreed.

So in the next few days Bob or his staff will be taking them down, bagging them up and shooting me a final price.

After that they will go into the box (or maybe I need another box) of other unpainted 25mm ACW figures until I work out a plan.

So I guess I now really have to by some artillerists and mounted command figures....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Gula Husarenregiment and Böhnens Fribataljon

I did exactly what I said I wasn't going to do so that make me a hypcrit I know. I picked up two bags of figures, "Prussian Hussars in Fur Cap" and a pack of "Prussian Horse Artillery and Jagers". These figures will become the Gula Husarenregiment (Yellow Hussrs) and Böhnens Fribataljon (Free Battalion).

Oh well I am a bad man.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Painted Figures the followup

I was asked yesterday about my two ranting posts concerning painted figures and were they directed at anyone in particular.

The answer to that question is no. Not just no but HELL NO.

So I would like to take a moment and explain how those rantings came into being in the first place.

On Sunday evening I posted my first version of the what becomes the “Seventy-Third Battle of Falcon Heights”. All done in pure fun. Monday I made a few corrections and lengthened the story a bit plus changed some formatting around in an effort to make it more readable. I laugh at myself for the use of the Cell-Phone Camera and the effort I spent to get pictures of players as opposed to just the figures.

Around noon I traded some email with another individual who made what I thought were some interesting remarks about the period and the hobby. We traded some more emails about my thoughts on the game which becomes the Thoughts on Koenig Krieg Game - October 5. Of course this leads to another email exchange. Somehow my comments on my attempt to paint up some figures becomes a discussion on Painted Figures. The individual I was corresponding with of course found the right button to push.
It's well known that I am believer in big games and when I enter a project I expect to paint a large number of figures. Sometimes this is my downfall as a project for me is like 2,000 figures leaving some casual players to wonder why they are painting figures.
However my biggest complaint is that I often hear people tell me excuses rather than shall I say the truth. I don't hold it against people that they aren't interested in painting, just come out and say that rather than tell me you purchased A THOUSAND RSM 25mm SYW figures that you are going to paint someday. While I might believe one hundred, A THOUSAND is tough to swallow.
Every game needs two sides and I am more than happy to provide figures for both sides on two or three projects, BUT NOT EVERY PROJECT.

In a way two individuals in Sunday game became an example, not because they personally did anything wrong rather they are symbolic to the issues that IMHO are hurting the hobby. I have tried my best to make sure those individuals are kept as anonymous as possible because as faceless symbols they are okay to use but as named individuals it is not to call someone out when they don’ have the ability to defend themselves.

Of course this was complicated by the fact that someone who read the blog decided to forward it to everyone who played. So my faceless symbols suddenly were faced for about eight people. And I apologize for that.
My frustration and “anger” at this issue is often misread as a personal attack, I understand that sometimes certain periods, figure scales, rules, and what not are not in everyone’s cards or plans for painting. I certainly don’t ask people to paint figures for every period. But some games and periods drive me up a wall when I listen to the “excuses” people use for not painting. If you are not interested in painting something just fess up and admit it, no one will think less of you, however if you use excuse like “it is too expensive”, “too time consuming”,” too difficult”, “too whatever” we will think much less of you as we know that is as Sheldon Cooper says “Balderdash”.

I use Koenig Krieg as an example because it is the perfect period for you to paint a few figures I could say the same thing about American Civil War or hyphenated wars.

There are several parts of the story yesterday which are not included in the discussion and I for reasons that aren't always obvious want to keep them out of the discussion.


Monday, October 6, 2008

2nd Battalion - Swedish Converged Grenadiers

I would like to thank fitz for the donation of an addition 12 Prussian Grenadier Figures to my collection of SYW figures. The figures will be painted as my second Converged Greandier Battalion for the Pomerania forces.

I spent the evening cleaning them up and mounting them to popcicle sticks. Tomorrow I plan on priming them up for a little painting on Wednesday.

Additional Thoughts on Painted Figures

Yes of course somebody wound me up this afternoon. So forgive my crankyness. I realize I am speaking of a perfect world that no longer exists in gaming, hell I am not sure the utopia which some people speak of ever existed. But someone dropped a quarter in me and now it is time to for me to rant.

The Seven Years War (Or the four wars that make up the SYW Period) is a great period for miniature gamers almost a wargamers wet dream so to speak. With ten major powers (Austria, France, Great Britian, Hanover*, Portugal, Prussia, Russian, Saxony*, Spain* and Sweden*) and more minor powers than you can shake a stick at it is almost a perfect period to game. (I say the same thing about the Thirty Years War by the way)
*I’m not the one who labels these as major powers by the way.

The game of Koenig Krieg really moves full well into the ease of entry for players. First your average brigade is four battalions of troops, an artillery stand and a mounted commander. This is typical organization covers a good 75% of all forces engaged. The reason this organization plays so easily into gaming is that a bag of Old Glory 15’s for the period includes four battalions of troops and a mounted commander. Your cost of entry into the period this period is $15 and with a little help on the Artillery you are done if you want to be.

I suggest that players who consider themselves to be minor participants in this project, or any project, to paint Minor Allies, lesser Major Powers or even sub-groups of the major powers (France’s Swiss Contingent for example). This puts very little pressure on you a minor participant and makes the group as a whole less dependent on you.

I have listened to the cost argument for years and I do appreciate the fact that not everyone is going to paint figures for every project but there are certain projects where the cost and time is so little I just can’t take listening to the argument. We are not demanding that you spend $500 on a Warhammer Army, just a couple of bucks.

I have listened to the time argument on painting figures for years. Again it falls of deaf ears. I still paint over half my figures in two and three hour increments twice a week. Budget yourself a couple hours and you’ll be surprised how fast it goes.
If time is that much of an issue you can always commission to get your project done, Tom Zwirn, Jack L, or other members of SPI will paint figures for a nominal price or you can use a painting service like “Fernando Enterprises” in Sri Lanka.

My other favorite argument is “how poorly I paint”. I have horrid painting skills, I am a god awful painter, I think every one of my paint jobs is complete crap… Accept I seem to win a few awards along the way for painted figures. Considering how poorly I paint I am always shocked when I win. 15mm figures are easy to paint. My Swede’s take almost an hour per battalion to prepare and than two hours top to paint. The paint job is nothing special and under the magnifying glass looks crappy, but at 3 feet you couldn’t tell my figures from one taking five or six hours longer to paint to do highlights shading and all the rest.

And finally the last argument I need more figures than I can paint. This reason I really like to heckle as complete baloney. There is no reason other than visions of grandeur to need to push multiple brigades. Yes it nice to have something else to push but one brigade or two in Koenig Krieg and your are an active participant unlike other games. Yes in several periods I am a horrid person pushing the limits of reason in what I paint, but that is only in periods that I don’t expect people to paint figures. I like the AWI in 25mm so I don’t expect you to paint figures and because I have been collecting and painting figures for 20 years there is no reason for you to paint figures unless you want to. Yet in other periods like the SYW in 15mm, ACW in 15mm, or even Napoleonics there is no reason for you not to provide a few painted figures other than I am providing figures for another period.

Beyond the Seven Years War we have a number of periods and games where one “mover and shaker” moved away, left the hobby or became a ghost that now I have one side or an unplayable force. The scary part is we are talking about some big periods like the American Civil War. Another period where your cost of entry is like $20 so there is no reason that should ever happen.

Painted Figures

Our Koenig Krieg game on Sunday highlights what I think is one of the most annoying problems in the wargaming hobby today, the fact that not everyone paints their troops, well that didn’t come out like I wanted it to. My complaint is that not everyone provides troops for the games I really don't care if you painted them or commissioned someone else to paint them.

It is not that I think you should provide troops for every game, but the regular games we play that require so few figures you should make an attempt to have your own command. In the game we played on Sunday we had eight players with six players providing figures. We had a number of onlookers and had any of them wished to play we are shit out of luck. You can’t grow the hobby that way.

In one players defense from Sunday he has a large number of figures for other periods and wasn’t ready to invest in another period yet. But that doesn’t seem to be the case for other player.

I have listened to the arguments of cost for years and in the case of Koenig Krieg that is almost completely baloney. I know that if you buy Tom Zwirn a pack of figures he will paint you up an equal number of figures. So for $27 plus tax you can have a playable command for Koenig Krieg. I am pretty sure we can come up with one stand of Artillery.

Now in other periods and other systems I do understand cost, just not with Koenig Krieg. As we look at Fields of Honor or Fire and Fury for the ACW period or other minor projects I just can't see not asking people to paint figures.

I suppose growing up in the hobby and always having to paint my own command biased me in my current jaded ways, but as I look at ways to grow the hobby I doubt my opinions are too strong.

Thoughts on Koenig Krieg Game - October 5

The game itself seemed to drag and drag and drag on. As though it was taking hours to play on the other hand in reality we were completing a turn every 15 minutes or so, which isn't bad. It just creates such a negative perception of the game so Jim and I talked about this perception and what can we do to improve it.

The Coalition side lacked a coherent plan, we had to defend and we had a good defensible position between Falcon Heights and villa of Rose but the Ottomans were left out to dry on the left flank. Jim and I talked about it and the optional troop list really hurt Chris, had he been using the standard list he would have been in a better position. Jack and Jimbo (whose real name I will learn someday) couldn't decide whether to be on the defensive or the offensive (the best defense is a good offense). They stayed on the defense too long and any opportunity they would have had offensively was lost when them surged forward about two turns too late. I can't really comment on the Alliance but I am not sure if they had a plan either.

The Swedes really could have used another couple of battalions of Infantry, even the Indelta battalions, would have really swung the scenario more in our favor.

Everyone had either too many canons or not enough, something we will address in the next scenario.

I think everyone had fun, except maybe the great Pasha Beybey, who spent more time wondering how to redeploy tactically to the rear. I always feel bad when one player by really no choice of their own is so totally screwed in a scenario. Okay Chris choose to use the neat troop list that totally screwed himself, but WE should have looked closer at it since we knew Chris had a Ottoman Army.

In the end I think the scenario would have been a minor victory for the Sarcastic Alliance as we would have been driven off the board, but in a campaign setting that would have been a very costly victory for such a small prize.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Swedish Pomerania

A Listing of the Swedish Army and what was sent to the Pomerania during the Seven Years War.


Guard Cavalry

Livregiment Ryttare

Adelsfanor Ryttare4420
Livregiment Dragooner81040
Nylands Dragooner
Bohuslands Dragonner 1758 4300
Karelska Dragooner
Bla Hussars101250
Gul Hussars 17616750
Guard Infantry
Kungl Livegardet 3 Battalions102000
Kungl Livregiment 121530
Varvade "Line" Infantry
Swedish Indelta
Skaraborgs 17586966
Kronoberg 17586894
Jonkobergs 17586894
Alvsborg 17586966
Vastgota Dals6966
Vastmanlands 6966
Kalmar 17584644
Narke Varmlands4644
Finnish Indelta
Bjornborgs 17604560
Tavastehus 17604560
Savalox Nyslotts
Elimas Company
Böhnens Fribataljon 17594600
Kohler's Company 17611112
Schwartzen's Company 17611112
Artillery Park
12 Pounders212
6 Pounders412
16 Pound Howitzer13
6 Pound Howitzer39
3 Pound312

My painting plan:


Finnish Indelta Brigade

Abolands Regiment

Nylands Regiment224
Osterbottens Regiment224
Reserve Brigade
Converged Grenadiers224
Varvade BrigadeSpen's Regiment224
Posse's Regiment224
Artillery Park
Heavy Field26
Heavy Howitzer14
Light Artillery416
Light Howitzer24

Cavalry is to be determined.

Why Swedes?

A question asked several times today was why did I choose to paints Swedes so I would like to provide an answer.

First I haven't painted any Swedes yet, Finns yes, Swedes no. I will be painting some Swedes in the near future but for now I have only Painted Finns.

Second because I have choosen to be a "minor" player in the period I have decided to paint a minor power. So in looking at what was (or will be painted) I decided that the Swedes were the best choice.

The Swedes are considered a Major power so the armies Stats aren't to bad, the forces is large enough that after a dozen stands I am not starting my next minor power, and the figures can be used for four Wars with Russia, Two Wars with Denmark, and a several minor skirmishes with other powers.

Seventy-Third Battle of Falcon Heights

In the great titanic struggle between the Sarcastic Alliance and Thirty Third and a Third Coalition of Lunacy saw the forces of good and evil slam into one another at the Seventy-Third battle for the village Falcon Heights. The problem no one was sure who was good and who was evil or if they were intermixed or something else.

The Thirty Third and a Third Coalition of Lunacy under the Austrian banner of the Archduck Jack and Archduck Jimbo had the great Pasha Beybey and his Ottoman Forces and the lead elements of the Nordic Vanguard under General "Biggie" Johnson defending the village of Falcon Heights against the attack of the Sarcastic Alliance. The Sarcastic Alliance Lead by Freddie the Adequate and his left hand man Count von Zoltov commanded the Prussian Army found themselves in the field with their boastful allies with Mylord the Earl of Garfield commander of the British Army and the Self-Electorate of Hanover personally leading Hanoverian forces forward.

The Austrian forces formed the semi-rigid backbone of the Thirty-Third and a Third Coalition of Lunacy. The Archduck Jack commanded an Infantry Brigade and Heavy Cavalry Brigade while the Junior Archduck Jimbo lead a Infantry Brigade and Independent Light Cavalry Regiment. The great Pasha Beybey commanded an Infantry Brigade of six battalions of Infantry (at least that what he told the Austrians when he took thier money) and Cavalry Brigade. The lead elements of the first brigade of the Independent Swedish Army were lead by none other than General “Biggie” Johnson.

The Archducks Jack (Far) and Jimbo (Near) attempt to Focus on their Deployments. See what happens when you forget to charge batteries of your camera and are forced to use Cell-Phone Camera for pictures. Neither Side seems to focus to well.

The Prussian Army under command of the Freddie the Adequate included two Infantry Brigades and Cavalry Brigade while the Count von Zoltov commanded an Infantry Brigade, a Grenadier Brigade and Cavalry Brigade. The Self-Electorate commanded the Hanoverian Lifeguard Brigade, a Brigade of Infantry, and a Heavy Cavalry Brigade. Mylord the Earl of Garfield commanded a British Infantry Brigade, a Hessen Infantry Brigade, some Brunswickers, and a Heavy Cavalry Brigade.

Freddie the Adequate (Near), the Count von Zoltov (Middle) and the Self-Electorate (Far)

The village of Lauderdale is in the forefront, the village of Falconheights is in the Center while the villa of Rose is at the Far End of the table.

The battle started quietly enough as the Austrians Infantry under the Archduck Jack moved forward and took control of the strategic strongpoint Villa of Rose. The British on the Left flank of the Army slowed to a crawl as they attempted to evict Austrians and take control of the Villa.

The Hanoverian Self-Electorate marched his proud brigades forward into the face of a twenty gun battery of Artillery defending the Austrian Center under the Archduck Jimbo.

Ray Knapp looks on as the Hanoverian (Middle) forces surge ahead of the Sluggish Prussians (near).

The Prussian forces on the right flank marched against the washed and freshly showered masses under the great Pasha Beybey.

The Finns found themselves ignored and all alone in the village of Falcon Heights, with no other reason to they began fortifying themselves with Hasty field works; however the call of wine cellar of For the Love of Mary Catholic Church calling their names and the field works were forgotten.

The Prussian forces surge forward against the masses of the great Pasha Beybey.

Suddenly MyLord the Earl of Garfield roused himself and began the grueling task of expelling the Austrians from the villa of Rose.

MyLord the Earl of Garfield has joined the Satirical Alliance.

The Hanoverians decided to move more to the left of the Austrian Battery after losing two Regiments of the Lifeguard.

The Prussians spent the entire battle wondering why the Austrians and Russians have such a difficult time fight the Ottomans as Pasha Beybey wasn’t looking so great. Something about the British selling them Muzzle-loading blunderbusses and forgetting the powder could be heard as the Ottomans strategically redeployed themselves further to the rear.

The great Pasha Beybey (near) contemplates moving even more forward on Istanbul. George Horde and an unkown extra in the background.
The Finns being left alone went back to work on the wine cellar, it seemed like a defensible position was in the report back to the King.

In an effort to envelop the Austrians what remained of the Hanoverian Lifeguard (Hanover a country of 750,000 people and eight regiments of Life Guard. I think someone has visions of Grandeur) assaulted the outer defenses of the Second Åboläns battalion. As the Finns retreated cries of “Hubadah Yark” (Translation: Your mother married a Hungarian) could be heard. So engaged was the Lifeguard that they failed to notice that the rules state they unit must be picked up and gone were the Hanoverian Lifeguard.

Seeing how much effort the Hanoverians were going through the Count von Zoltov ordered two regiments of Grenadiers to assault the church. A Hanoverian Battalion charged the flank of an exposed Austrian Battalion which the Archduck Jimbo ordered to go too far forward.
As the Archduck Jimbo learned sometimes there needs to be a sacrificial lamb to save the bacon. The Austrians were sacrificed so that the Finns could live.

The Archduck Jimbo understanding that one of his Battalions must be sacraficed to ensure the overll victory. I am reminded of something that Great Southern General Robert E. Lee will say in about 100 years. "As soldiers we love the Army. As Generals we must sacrifice the thing we love. "

In the End the Finns held two thirds of Falcon Heights to which General “Biggie” Johnson proclaimed a Swedish victory or something like that (It all sounded like “Hoobdah Hoobdah Hoobdah” to everyone else) and then "Biggie" spent the evening wondering what those big Prussian canons were for.

Ray Knapp looking on trying hard not to be convinced that he needs to paint something for the period. Something about more Ottomans was heard.

We learned much in the Game:

  1. We need about six more battalions of Swedes/Finns
  2. The battlefield which was roughly five linear feet was about one foot to short. An additional foot to the East of Falcon heights would have changed the battle for both the Sarcastic Alliance and the Thirty-Third and a third Coalition of Lunacy.
  3. We will need some sort of marker system to mark which Brigades have been active during a turn. Fitz think we mark a brigade after it has moved I am the opposite you put a marker on when the turn starts and pull it off when you make that brigade active.
  4. Make sure the batteries in the camera are charged so we don't have to take unfocused pictures with a Cell-Phone
  5. The Ottoman optional army org is completely worthless.

The Cast in order of appearance:

  • Archduck Jack - Jack Anderson
  • Archduck Jimbo - Jimbo
  • Freddie the Adequate - Tom Zwirn
  • Count von Zoltov - Joe Zottola
  • The Self-Electorate - Jim Fitzgerald
  • MyLord Earl of Garfield - Jeff Knudsen
  • The great Pasha Beybey - Chris Combs
  • Himself - George Horde
  • Himself - Ray Knapp
  • Himself - Unknown Extra
  • Unpictured - General "Biggie" Johnson - Jeff Johnson

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Åboläns Infantry - 1st Battalion

I finished flocking up and giving the unit its standard.
The over exposure of the flash highlights a couple minor spots that need touch other than that not a bad two hour paint job.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Basing Figures

I spent the evening basing up figures that I had gotten back from Fernando Enterprises in Sri Lanka.

- British 1st Battalion 28th Line Regiment

- Hanoverian Grubenhagen Jagers

- Hanoverian Laurenberg Feld Battalion

- Austrian Grenzer Regiments

It would have been a lot easier had I not miss based the 28th in the first place.

Hobbytown is Moving

My local Hobby store, Hobbytown USA, is moving about two miles from Valley Creek Mall to Bergen Plaza in Oakdale.

I can't say I am happy about the move no longer will it be a walk or a bike ride for Gunny and I this of course will make it more difficult and more likely for me just to shop at the Source Comics and Games in Falcon Heights.

Shako II - Further Commentary

After attempting to read the rules and play a solo game I have decided to throw the rules in the pile of 150 some rules that I own that are unplayable as written.

I will start out with a little side commentary; I have played Spearhead, Armati and several games by Arty for years. I enjoy those systems and will continue to play Spearhead as my game of choice for the “Modern Period”. But Shako II I will not be playing.

If you want to publish rules in the same price stratosphere as Game Workshop than you had best produce a book of the same quality. IE $42 is not the same as $60 but it is a heck of a lot more than the $25 others are going for. While the rule book is better than many a spiral bound rule sets that were so popular four or five years ago, the actual internals were not. IE I don’t think the binding was worth 10 to 15 bucks, considering the other rule set of note at the same time “Field of Glory” is $35 and a better quality of printing….

A number of sections are unreadable in the rule book, at first I thought I had a funked up copy, but the other three copies I have looked at have the same problem. The printing on top of the images is unreadable. There is another section where the black type face is blurry.

There are a number of drawings/diagrams that are completely unneeded in the Rules. All I could think about is what is with all the filler. Did they have to fill a certain number of pages to get a price break or what?

While the rules indicate that you can play with “any” basing scheme and “any” figure to men ratio (within reason) it is very clear that the rules are written with a very and I do very specific basing and ratio scheme in mind. I personally don’t mind that rules are written for one way and then say in an appendix they give examples how to use other basing and ratios, Houserules Napoleonic II is a good example of that method. By attempting to be specifically vague at points has complicated a few sections of the rules creating what several of us call wholesale holes in the rules. Just go with one basing and lets us modify the rules to fit our needs. It is sooo much simpler.

There are a large number of over written rules, or if you will over complicated rules, is it the specifically vague issue, is it because a playtest group found an exploit. Adding wordage to a rule doesn’t make it easier to read and understand, generally it is the other extreme involved.

Unfortunately if you vary from the examples of unit sizes and ratios the game changes dramatically, not because changes the rules but it changes how you can deploy.

The Napoleonic period is an interesting period because the battles are defined by the ability of one side to out maneuver the other and the attempts at the other side to do their best to limit maneuver. In simpler terms, the French win when they can maneuver and the French lose when there opposing side limits their ability to maneuver. In game terms this is shown in a two facets. First the French do have an advantage in changing orders but the problem is you don’t have the movement to take advantage of it. At several battles Napoleon was able to move his reserve 3 to 5 miles and strike at the enemies’ point of failure. You just don’t have the movement to do that in Shako II and more importantly it is to easily identified and countered the opposing player.

The lack of movement and the “command arrow” system forces players to use the shortest arrow length possible. This leads to more brutal frontal assaults from both sides. No longer is the period about movement but about the morale of your troops.

The Morale system dictates that you lead with your best troops. Historically speaking the Generals of the period held their best troops in reserve*, the Old Guard, Austrian Reserve Corps, Russian Converged Grenadiers Corps and so on and so forth. Please don’t tell me that in this battle or that battle this isn’t true because there are always exceptions to the rule, the problem is when the exceptions become the rule. These troops were committed when either the enemy showed signs of breaking or your own line showed signs of breaking. In Shako II if your lines are breaking it is far too late to commit the reserve as you have already lost too many units so these reserve units become front line units and you least reliable troops become your reserve.

Additionally players will now focus even more on the elite formations when painting up their armies. Even though at least 90% of your forces should be Rank and File or worse. There will be fewer Cossack Regiments, Landwehr Brigades, Militia, Confederation of the Rhine Allies, other minor Allies and so on and so forth.

In Shako two you basic unit is a battalion, cavalry regiments and so forth, however your basic organization of units is a division, skipping Infantry Regiments, Brigades, and other echelons of command. Yes it can be argued that the use of the term Division is a generic sense of the word and your division could be a Brigade. Let us be honest here that is not how people are going to play. The problem with this division organization players can do whatever they want with their units within the command radius. While players from the historical background in other rules will play with brigades in mind others will not, the more you stretch the rules the better outcome will be for your side. These organizations existed for a reason and should be in the rules. Yes you can play the game by “adding in” this level of complexity, but at what cost? You make it more difficult for the French to use their advantage of maneuver because of their smaller and more numerous brigade structure.