Thursday, November 25, 2010
I have decided to organize the troops for the First Silesian War (aka War of Austrian Sucession) for the Battle of Mollowitz.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Fields of Glory - 15mm Punic Wars
Forlorn Hope - 10mm Thirty Years War
Drums of War Along the Mohawk - 25mm French and Indian War
Rank and File - 25mm American Civil War
Broadsword - 15mm World War II - Pacific Island Campaigns
For Fields of Glory I am going to finish up my successor army or have either Tom or Jack paint me up a Republican Roman Army.
For Forlorn Hope I took the easy way out, I bought Tom's Swedish Army. The price wasn't bad, a Figure for a Figure since Tom wants to paint a French Army.
I will be finishing up the Figures I own for Drums of War along the Mohawk, which right now is two Brigades of French and two Brigades of British.
For the American Civil War I have two brigades of Union (1st Division 1st Union Corps) about half finished, needing some Artillery and Command plus 4 Battalions. I have purchased the figures from Old Glory and they should be here next week. Not sure if I am going to attempt to send them out to get painted or what with those.
There has been some interest in Regimental Fire and Fury, but I am not holding my breath.
For Broadsword, well I have several hundred painted Japs and Marines and I have decided to just bite the bullet and play Broadsword. Crossfire is a one player game and Flames of War is a "bad" game.
There are a couple of other interesting things that I am going to try, a double blind WWII Pacific Naval Game I am already planning out for January 15th Centurions Game.
Other activities for the year:
Seven Years War Convention, South Bend IN, March 25 and 26th. The Centurions will be running the Battle of Grocka (Austrian/Russian Turkish War 1739) using Koenig Kreig in 15mm. Will need to get a few more Austrian Battalions Painted, but can backfill with Imperials if need be.
25mm Horse Musket and Gun, big battle, tenativily set for July 16th. We will probably have a game or two over the winter.
Finally for Nov 19th, going to try and get a decent game of Rank and File accomplished. The idea is to get 10 players pushing a division worth of troops (two brigades) and see what happens. There is some interest but I will have to see where it goes.
Finally I am going to get a bunch of stuff either painted, sold, or traded. This stack of unfinished unpainted lead has got to go. Okay most likely I will be getting it painted, but what the hell.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Last night I received my latest order from Old Glory Miniatures, all the figures I need to complete a full strength French Brigade for Batailles de l'Ancien Régime.
The first Battalion to be completed will be the 2nd Battalion of the Guyenne Infantrie Regiment. For which I have 30 Figures already completed out of the 54. I spent the evening cleaning up the figures, getting them mounted on bases and prepping for priming.
The Second Battalion I am planning to work on will be a little strange. I had Fernando Enterprises paint up 24 figures for the 1st Battalion of the Royal Roussillion Infantrie Regiment however since I cannot match that painting style the figures I will be painting up will be for the 2nd Battalion of the Languedoc Infantrie Regiment.
My goal is to get Guyenne Infantrie regiment done over the next week. Lots of work, however this is my shortcuts of short cuts regiments the first time around so I will be matching that painting style mostly. The Figures will be primed white, the boots and belting Natural Leather, the muskets bestial Brown, the hats and a few high lights black, flesh, trim and shiny bits followed by a dip for completion.
The Priming will be done tonight, than I will start cleanup work and mounting the figures for Languedoc.
Wish me luck
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I hosted a Seven Year's War Game at my place in 15mm using Koenig Krieg (2nd Edition) on August 7, 2010. The game was played on three 4' x 5' tiles (from my Waterloo Collection) and one generic 4' x 6' tile shaped in sort of a T Shaped formation.
The Prussian order of battle consisted of 44 battalions of Infantry (8 of which were British), 1 Battalion of British Light infantry, 12 Regiments of Cuirassiers, Two Heavy batteries, Eight Light Batteries and 3 Regiments of Hussars.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Austrian III Corps, IV Corps, V Corps, IR Corps and IIR Reserve Corps, slightly more the 1000 figures representing approximate 90,000 Men squared off against Oudinot’s II Corps (partially commanded by Lannes), French III Corps, Two independent Divisions, the Bavarian Army (VII Corps) and the Württemberg Army (VIII Corps), slightly less than 1000 figures representing 90,000 Men. The Austrians had great number of Infantry, but fewer Cavalry, and was on equal footing for Artillery.
For those keeping track at home, the Austrian Organization made one tiny-tiny mistake, we doubled up V Corps. So the Austrians had III, V, V, IR and IIR as an organization Louis (4) activation was going to sort of haunt the Austrians throughout the game. However for clarity purposes I will be call command of Austrian command of Joe IV Corps, which it was supposed to be.
The battle was played on three tables. The two outer tables were 18’ x 30” wide and the central table was 18’ x 6’ giving a total playing space of dang near 200 square feet. The outer tables which were separated physically from the inner table by 3’ were considered directly connected for game purposes.
The game started on the morning of April 19th with Austrian III Corps moving into position near Hausen. Davout’s III Corps was in position, a defensive position, near Teugen. For game purposes each of the Corps rolled a D10 to determine when they marched on. A Score of equal or below the turn number allowed you to march on. While Oudinot’s II Corp marched on on turn one, most of the rest of the forces were closer to turn 8.
April 19th was a boring day as Troops marched into position across the board. It was interesting given free will (and for the most part not a lot of knowledge on the specific campaign) how the players tended to follow the historic precedent. Had we actually had a bigger tabletop (something at some point I would love to try) I think we would have ended up with actual historic battles, not approximations.
We did movement during the night, turns represented 2 hours, all command radius were cut in half and activation numbers reduced by 1 and units could move no closer than 12”.
The Austrian players discovered a small whole in their plan. It took so long to move Austrian III Corps into place, two turns at night, that moving V Corps from their planned river crossing was out of the question mathematically. The problem with the low activation numbers and the decision to focus on the Austrian Center was tactically sound but a strategic mistake. In retrospect as the Austrian player the biggest single error I made.
April 20th, using the weather rules opened with down pouring rain. V Corps attempted to take the river crossing south and west of Hausen. We knew at 9PM turn that it was a bad idea, and yes it was. The Cavalry attempted to open a hole in the French Line was repulsed and what little bridgehead we had was gone. The decision was made to leave a brigade plus the shattered Advance Guard Division to hold the far side of the bridgehead and move the rest of the V Corps east to another bridge head.
The Austrian II Reserve Corps sat waiting for the time to move against the French Reserve Division holding the second bridge head. They waited most of the day trading fire but never able to disorder the French Legere brigade that held the bridge. Late in the day the First Grenadier Battalion went forward in an ALL-OUT attack and was defeated, the second Grenadier Battalion took the bridge later in the same turn.
On the other wing the Austrian IV Corps battled with the Bavarian Army. An early charge of the Bavarian Light Cavalry Brigade seemed to open a hole in the Austrian Line, but in their exuberance the Bavarian Light Cavalry ended up a mile away from the battle (failed control roll with no target to their front).
Later the Austrian Light Cavalry Charged the center of the Bavarian Army, breaking two brigades and opening a good sized whole before swinging around and taking two Bavarian 12# batteries from the rear. By the end of the Day the Bavarians were strung out and the Austrian IV Corps was attempting to reorient itself to attack the flank of Davout’s III Corps.
In the Center Oudinot’s stripped down II Corps and Davout’s III Corps made a slow plodding move against the Austrians. In a well coordinated attack the Cavalry from Oudinot’s II Corps charged home, forcing the Austrians to square before bouncing home. The French Attack in the next turn caught three Austrian Brigades in Square. Across the line the French Attack was successful, four Austrian Brigades Routed as well as their light Cavalry Brigade in the center. The Center Collapsed.
Charles attempted reorganize the line but it was too late. The Austrians were forced to retreat, the initiative Charles had in the campaign gone.
We called the game a minor French Victory, while they were able to defeat the Austrian Forces, the Austrians retreated in good order with realitivily minor losses (two to three thousand) most of which would be reconstituted in the coming days.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
In addition I finished up a company of 10 figures as Rangers for the French and Indian War. The figures didn't turn out to bad.
Just to let everyone know I wasn't slacking completely, I also painted up a unit of Virginia Continentals for Fitz. Not exactly the greatest paint job as it was getting late on Saturday when I did these 12 figures. I used the 7th Virginia Re-enactors as a guide to paint the figures, so they don’t um match the descriptions in a couple of Ospreys, the one thing I didn’t do, and if Fitz wants to he can, is put hat tape on them, since neither the contemporary painting and descriptions list hat tape.
Friday, April 2, 2010
I changed how I was painting faces about half way through the project, I may go back and attempt to update the first 12 figures or so but I am not sure I will have time before the May games with another 120 figures left to paint. I'll post pictures later today, but I like the way the later figures turned out.
This weekend I will be working on a battalion (30 Figures) of Colonial Militia in Hunting Shirts, they shouldn't take long, Air Brush a Dark Brown, a Quick Dry Brush of a lighter brown, leather work, face and Weapons. In addition I have a few more 15mm 1809 Austrians to mount up, but that's another posting. I am hopeful that beyond them I can get to my two units of British Independent Companies or more Indians, I guess we will see.
The first game on Friday was the Prussian Assault on Leuthen Church. Yours truly had Rot Wurzburg and the Church, my orders hold the church. Special rules the walls are considered 8 feet high and only one battalion in the walled courtyard at a time. In addition to Rot Wurzburg, I had a battalion of Hungarian Infantry (YARK), two battalions of Austrian German infantry and two pieces of artillery, a 12# and a 6#. On my right flank was Rolf Running and his four battalions of infantry and two 6# guns, Paul (whose last name I didn't catch) had another four battalions of Austrians, including our Grenadier Battalion, on my left. On the right Flank Brent Olsen had a contingent of Austrian Cavalry and I forget who controlled the Austrian light Cavalry on the left.
Facing us was three brigades of Prussian Infantry (each of four Battalions and two pieces of Artillery) and Prussian Cavalry on both flanks.
The game opened with Cavalry actions on both flanks. I moved my battery up to a position I was told was going to be supported and deployed them out. Paul on my left became extremely aggressive and moved out of the Leuthen Village and started forward against the Prussian, to achieve balance in the whole thing Rolf dug in behind the village leaving my artillery high and dry.
I cannot give details of the Cavalry Battles, as both flanks worth of cavalry on BOTH sides ground each other into oblivion. On the Left flank in Turn 5 there was a grand total of 6 Austrian Light Cavalry figures left out of nearly a 100 figures on EACH side. On my right flank while the destruction wasn't quite as complete neither side was going to have a usable force left.
I am not sure why Paul launched his attack, the problem is because I was anchored in the Leuthen Church he had his right flanked exposed and took fire from Chris Combs Prussians who was straight across from me as well as the brigade directly in front of him. My poor unsupported Artillery Battery took 20 some potential casualties of fire and evaporated.
I realized on turn two when I started waving at Chris and Fitz we were doomed. The Prussian plan involved removing our cavalry than focusing on the two flank infantry brigades before converging on the my Brigade. Paul moving his brigade forward unsupported on my left allowed his brigade to get wrecked sooner than Rolf's on my right. After five or six turns the artillery started to fall on Leuthen Church and Rot Wurzburg was done for, Rolf began retiring from his position and the first wave of the assault finally came, a Fresh Battalion of Prussian Line led the charge. After the Referees changed the height of the wall, the first wave was defeated.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door, I sent Ensign Parker to see who it was, and more Prussians poured forward, my Second Line was engage in a fire fight to the rear of the Church and against Prussian Infantry deployed in the village of Leuthen on my right. Ensign Parker informed me the Prussian Garde Grenadiers wished to make a donation to my funeral arrangements all I need to do was open the door. I said no, poor Ensign Parker had to go tell them the news.
The next wave came and that damn knocking on the door continued. I held strong and still refused to let the Garde Grenadiers make a donation, they actually offered to double it.
In the end Rot Wurburg was compelled to withdraw, however we held, the reality of the situation was they were going to be ejected at some point allowing a Prussian Victory, my goal of delaying to night fall was almost achieved. In the end it was a costly piece of real estate for the Prussian resulting in a Swedish Victory.
Pictures by Jeff Knudsen and can be found on his site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/war_artisan/collections/72157623604512741/
Jim Purky comments and description of the action can be found on his site: http://altefritz.blogspot.com/2010/03/syw-assn-convention-update.html
Monday, March 29, 2010
Over the past weekend I attended my first SYW Convention, in the Tourist Capital of the World, Sunny South Bend Indiana, and I am fairly impressed with the whole thing. My wife accompanied me and I meet up with other members of the Minnesota Crowd, Fitz, the other Jeff, Brent Olson, Rolf Running, and Chris Combs and I think I speak for all of us a good time was had by all.
The drive down was uneventful, we dropped our "two" children off with Melanie's parents on the way down and made the 525 mile trip in three legs (To Melanie's Parents 200 Miles, To Chicago 200 Miles and Finally South Bend 125 Miles). I have to say the drive from Chicago to South Bend seemed a lot longer than 125 miles at that point. Fitz gave me directions for the trip home, 10 to 15 miles further (30 actually) and you skip driving through Chicago. Whether or not the drive was longer, that route seemed MUCH MUCH longer as there was absolutely nothing to see but flatland in IL, on the plus side virtually No tolls on the way home.
Of course the tourist capital of the world didn't really leave much for my wife to do while I was playing with little toy soldiers. She visited the College Football Hall of Fame, The Studebaker Museum, (A bear in his Natural Habitat), the Oliver House, and about six trips to the Fiddler's Hearth (one of four Bars in South Bend). However as a guy who grew up in a small town, it seemed eerie to walk around South Bend because there was never anyone on the streets. I do have to recommend Tom's Café for breakfast, $11 for both Melanie's and my breakfast was well worth the price since neither of us could finish our meal there was too much food.
I participated in both of Jim Purky and Bill Protz BAR games (the assault on Leuthen Church and Mollowitz) and kibitzed a number of other games. Many games had a great look to them, but I will be honest there is little chance I would be pushing figures in their games, and to be more honest I have to wonder if the scenario designer flunked scenario design 101 as I spent several long minutes scratching my head. Example, a 12 x 6 table, a game for 12 players, game played on a corner of the table using maybe 16 sq feet (8' x 4' triangle) because the center of the table had a 24 square feet of impassible terrain (dense wood). When I asked the scenario designer… "well um we didn't play test it specifically but we thought player might want to use the rest of the board."
Jeff Knudsen's game of "Paper Ships and Portly Men" was spectacular, except the players were Portly, funny thing at a gaming convention. The Swedes/Ottomans vs. Russian game by Panzeri was intriguing, the 10mm game had an okay look, A cow Too Far (skirmish Game) looked like a hoot.
On the down side my camera and I had a disagreement on it function at the convention. Most of my pictures are unusable as they somehow got over exposed (the shutter speed slowed down because the room was not the bright place on the planet and what I was focusing on was too far away for the flash, so it tried to be helpful.
We already are discussing plans for next year convention (Mar 25, 26, 2011) hopefully at the same location. We have already had some discussion about running the battle of Krefeld, Ottomans vs. Russians game AS WELL AS a potential Battle in the Wars of the Jumbled Alliances all using Koenig Krieg (2nd Edition). Additional the plans for BAR locally have been pushed and discussed. Fitz and I will be flipping a coin to see which one of us (the Prussian Players) is going to be Freddie, Brent has some figures already, Chris is painting the Swabian Circle, and Tom is painting Austrians.
I'll be posting a detailed battle report for the two BAR games later this week (hopefully with some pictures).
Monday, March 15, 2010
After years of debating what to do with all those 25mm American Civil War I picked up for better or worse I have finalized a plan.
I have decided to mount 3 figures on a 1 ½ inch square base with five bases to a typical battalion/regiment, thus one stand represents about 100 men. Putting 4 or 5 of these battalions together with a mounted colonel and a stand of artillery will than represent a brigade.
Due to the fact I have so many figures I gave Jim a bag of the Union's Irish Brigade (II Corps, 1st Division, 2nd Brigade), Keith a bag of VI Union Corps, and Joe Knight a bag with figures from the XI Corps. They will need to add a second bag to complete their brigades, but it should be fairly cheap ($30 to get everything they need). I then handed Tom Zwirn a pack of like 100 Confederate Figures and told him to paint up whatever he want and hand me back the rest of the figures, which is semi organized for Early's Division of Second Corps.
I personally have painted up the First Division (Both the Iron Brigade and Cutler's 2nd Brigade) from 1st Corps and a couple of Brigades of Heth's Division (Pettigrew and Brockenbrough) as my commands. Or rather I had them painted up.
The plan is to use Crusader Games "Rank and File" with their upcoming ACW Supplement. The decision to start out with "Rank and File" is more about getting nice easy simple rules (Beer and Pretzels) that minimizes the need of multiple people buying the rules and HOPEFULLY minimizes the need arguing over the intent of the rules vs. what they actually say. Of course with so many rules I wanted to avoid (cough Johnny Reb III cough) this was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated when I bought the figures. The fact that Crusaders rules aren't going to cost me big dollars and have a decent print quality to them didn't hurt either. I should add I don't think these rules are perfect, rather I think these rules will allow us to get started and really debate what we want to do as a group.
My goal is to get a couple of games run in 25mm later this summer and decide upon the level of interest and how much effort people want to put into the period. For me, since I already own the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in 15mm at 1 stand = 100 men I really um undecided upon how much effort I want to put into it. I am thinking about re-organizing the ANV as 1:150 per base for Fire and Fury and selling off the extras, IE Basic Fire and Fury using the proceeds to finish off the Union which I currently have about 1/3 of the Army of the Potomac. Since I am short Artillery for the ANV it actually might workout okay.
Monday, March 1, 2010
The game, 15mm Koenig Krieg will feature the Thirty Third and a Third Coalition of Lunacy vs. the Sarcastic Alliance. Hopefully we can get some pesky Prussians to show up to preseve the Jumbled Alliances. My plan is to use the Waterloo Terrain boards, but I haven’t inspected them in over a year, so, be warned.
Game Start 11AM (That’s 10AM in Fitz Time).
I have heard from a couple of people already So I know there will be an Austrians, Bavarians and Swedish presence to take on whatever Fitz has in the box; like I said hopefully a Prussian player or two can make it, the Swedes burned Berlin for the fifth time last week and I would hate to think what happens if they have to switch sides.
I will throw something in the Crockpot (thinking BBQ Beef Sandwiches) for lunch and have a few Adult Beverages in the cooler, along with a few cokes and maybe even diet OR bottle of Wine if there is a request for it.
If you would like coffee, I have a coffee pot but no actual coffee so if you want coffee you need to bring some ground coffee and I can put in the pot.
Parking shouldn’t be as big of premium as it has been in the past.
The last battalion was tough to paint as Painting Prussian Freikorps figures (as well as Austrian Freikorps figures) is incredible boring monotonous work.
Two sleeves plus three dots of blue, four red turnbacks, cuff and collars in facing colors, brown muskets (and two hairs), light brown hair and satchel (plus one hair), dark brown for the remaining hair, white shirts, belts and paints and of course hat tape, bolt gun metal for barrels, chainmail for bayonets, flesh, and then any touchup work. I can do a battalion in 45 minutes, if I don’t spend 90 minutes daydreaming while doing it.
Fitz, hopefully tonight, will be handing me four battalions worth of Prussians to be Garde du Fuss and IR Spiznass, I already have three battalions of Prussian Grenadiers on popsicle sticks and primed so the Württemberg Army should be done in short order. The funny thing is the player we were going to hand the figures to has basically left our group, so I am not sure what will become of this Army.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
It was another quiet weekend in the Johnson household as I watched my five year-old grow up before my eyes, my wife work on her latest sewing project (the Pink Musketeer Outfit) and Bryn (our new 16 week cocker spaniel) see what she could eat. Okay we have had Bryn for a month so she isn't quite new, but she still in the house breaking stage.
On Friday I worked some more on 30 Rangers for the French and Indian War in 25mm. I guess only so much green, or greenish tinted colors in the world and after painting the figure, once dipped you cannot tell that I had 21 greens in my collection. I have decided to go back add some "royal blue" and "leather" gaiters to provide some variation in the colors. The figures were quick to paint and since I may need another 30 or so in May, however I will take a long look at painting some of the other colored uniforms, blue, orange, black, and red.
I spent some time preparing my two British independent companies of 10 figures each for the game. I decided to use AWI British figures for the units rather than SYW figures as the described uniforms were more tailored for wear than the SYW. The only problem is the cross belts as opposed to the waist belts. Oh well only Fitz and anyone else reading this blog will know. For the Royal Americans I will also be using AWI British, but they had cross belts so that problem is solved, at least for them. I also considered using Continentals in Hunting Shirts for some rangers, I might you never know.
On Saturday I played in Tom Zwirn's SYW Koenig Krieg game. Following directions I left my figures at home so Tom's figures could start to be properly blooded. I unfortunately have been condemned, I mean nic-named as a Prussian, Prince Hank, I am upset it stuck. That's okay we had a long discussion about Roman Hedges (Boscage in French, because it is a literal translation of the Roman Word) and were introduced to "Conan The Bavarian". I am sorry there is no response to that one other than it is going to stick. Anyways my Swedes are still undefeated; my command of the Prussian Armies, including the Earl of Garfield, the Ice Cream Boys took it to the French, Russian, and Bavarians like there was no tomorrow after 3pm. Since we had to not only be done but cleaned up and out the door by four I made it the world's fastest 16 turn game. Yes 16 turns in three and ½ hours. No potty breaks for you. I screwed up one rule, but oh well. Life goes on.
I went home and pulled out some figures to see how close a number of collections towards playability. Wars of the First Triumvirate, Gauls and Greeks in 25mm since there is again interest in 25mm Punic Wars, sorry Fitz, not my fault. Anyways I need 9 stands of Warbands and 10 stands of Cavalry for my Gauls, Caesar needs 15 stands of Cavalry, and finish up the Legions for Pompey. (That of course is for the 400 point starter armies). If there is interest in the Punic Wars I will finish up the Gauls for my contribution. I actually don't need that many additional figures painted to get to say 800 point, beyond the warbands since I have the Gesati done and some other figures already painted (not that 32 naked guys was tough to paint) and slingers and other allies done.
Additionally I get into a new project X. Okay an old project X has resurfaced and I have already made arrangements. I am not at liberty to discuss until I have a couple hundred figures ready to go. But it should be soon.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Friday afternoon I received a response from a rules author for which I had a question concerning their French and Indian Wars rules. In an attempt to protect the innocent, I’ll skip the rules and authors names… “Your answer has absolutely frelling nothing to do with the question I asked. As a matter of fact my question was on the interaction of movement ranges and firing their answer was on unit morale and survivability.” So in other words neither the authors or the play test groups never asked why a infantry unit can basically charge half-way across the table and not take a single round of fire while closing. I’ll just say I didn’t know whether to be amazed or just accept it as fact that the Authors let reality come in the way of a bad rule set.
Friday evening it was all about research and banging my head against the wall. Sometimes the obvious questions are the one that go unanswered in peoples “painting guides”. Where the uniforms of British Drummers of the Line Battalions in the French and Indian Wars reversed. The obvious answer is yes, but I don’t have a single source that actually sells that. And since the only source I have access to that says directly is Kronoskaf, and it indicates that some are and some aren’t. In the end I finally agreed with Jim, even it is wrong it just makes more sense to reverse the colors.
Saturday afternoon was all about the Carnage and Glory Napoleonic Game at the Levee Café. Okay I need to preface this, I have suffered through six games of C and G before Saturday game and had some idea on how the rules worked, but this the first time I played v2 so I was slightly surprised. Now honestly I am not going to buy the rules or run games using C and G 2, but I will not not play. So I can’t say I dislike the game but I am not enamored with them either. Too many things happen that make you go, um okay, I guess if the rules allow it.
I was on the Prussian side and a piece of bad intelligence before we set a single figure on the table probably did more to stop us from crushing the French than anything else. We were told the French were approximately 32” (one mile in game terms) away from our starting line, when in reality the French set up within 12”. Do you take three turns to reorganize yourself for an attack you were planning for turn three/four or do you push forward. Half the Army charged the other half attempted to reorganize neither worked.
I had to leave early to make it home and let my new puppy out before she had a bad accident in her kennel, So I missed the Prussian attack completely stalling.
Sunday was all about painting figures. 25mm British Line for the French and Indian War. I am tentatively planning on playing BaR for the period, singly mounting figures against my better judgment cause there isn’t anything else out there right now I want to play. I bought the figures years ago for another project, now I am trying to make something out of it cause I own the figures.
Well anyways I completed the first division of the 48th Infantry Regiment, just 45 figures to go and that regiment will be all painted. On the plus side I have completed all the difficult figures to paint and just have musketeers left to paint, so they will take like six to nine hours to finish the other 45 figures. However I wonder where I put all those painted 25mm Hessen figures for the AWI. I probably have a 25mm Prussian Army already painted.
Friday, January 8, 2010
So the other day I was surprised to find I had a package in the mail, wasn't expecting anything. So I was little shocked to find a copy of "Republic to Empire", a new Napoleonic set of rules from the "League of Augsburg." I had preordered the rules a long while back, so long ago I had almost forgotten that I had done so.
After reading the rules I can say the book is nice, about 150 pages with roughly 100 high quality photo images. The problem is the game contained in the book is completely unplayable as written.
Where to start?
I'll start with the pictures, yes there are 100 beautiful photos of figures, a grand total of three are useful (in any shape or form) to explaining the rules, and that might be a slight exaggeration, the photo on page 58 shows front, flank and rear, the other two photos almost represent what is being talked about, and the other 97 have virtually nothing to do with the game itself. To me that turns 60 pages of rules in 150 and when and if you have to use the rules during a game it's going to take a while to find what you are looking for.
The next problem is the verboseness of the rules. Yes I am a very verbose and longwinded guy, however some the rules explanations are over the top by MY standards. So you 60 pages of rules which is really maybe only 30 pages at most. What am I talking about, while not only does the author give the rule, but an explanation of the rule and in some cases the history behind the rule and why he didn't implement 8 different variations of the rules.
Because of the Pictures, Explanations, and other inserted crap into the rules I have to say the rules are poorly organized. There should be a section on the rules, a photo section, and finally a "this is why I did this" explanation kind of section instead of the cluster that currently exists.
The narrated battle report was interesting, but I hate to say this, makes the game sound even more complicated than it is. Well actually a lot of the explanations make the rules sound a lot more difficult than they really are, maybe that's because I am a simple man.
As an individual who has/is suffering through writing a set of rules I have learned a lot about the process. One of the things I learned is how rules morphing and changes work their way into the rules; kind of looking at C and knowing that it was B at one time and A beforehand. I see a lot of that in these rules, you see the finished or published concept and know what was the working model as the rules were developed. For instance it is easy to see the rules were developed for individual mounted figures but were modified along the way to handle multiple basing and finally that multiple basing becomes well the norm. Now I understand why multiple basing is the norm, the problem is the rules don't always follow along.
The basing in the game, for infantry anyways, is a 15mm square per figure, how you mount is your personal choice and most of the pictures show 20 to 25mm frontages for the figures. Well anyways If we consider a paper strength French Battalion of 720 men, that's a decent sized unit of 36 figures. So mounting figures two deep that 18 figures or 360mm wide frontage, which makes a French Battalion in line 11 inches, but wait a second the pictures show stand deep line cutting frontages down to 6 inches and …. Well I could go on, but it highlights a pet peeve of mine, if your unit basing doesn't match your unit's spacing than it's broken. The spacing described in the game and throughout the rules doesn't match the spacing; to me it looks like the individual mounted figures might make sense (three deep lines and two deep lines) but the multiple figures per base kills it.
Because of the basing to me it looks like a concept that probably works at 1:30 is being stretched to 1:20 or requires singly mounted figures. Now as everyone knows I am not a big fan of 1:20, it's an in between ratio that really has no reason to exist now-a-days in games. You want the big battalions go 1:10, you wants something a little smaller go 1:30. Don't get me started. At 1:20 you are almost to a part where you need to show divisions (two company units) rather than battalions but not quite.
The next downer for me was the concept of what a game looks like. The Author (in several locations on the Web) indicates that a typical French Division could be set up on a six foot wide table top. Okay assuming 2 brigades of four battalions in a historical formation (arrow head or trapezoidal) and the ground scale in the rules where 2.25 mm = 100 yards (don't get me started on mixing metric and imperial measurements) you would need roughly 100 to 125 inches, yet the rules author has you doing it in 72 inches. I honestly understand when the rules have to fudge and percentage point or ten because of how the rules work, but honest 40%, that's just too much. So historical layout of troops linearly is way out of line. Okay next they indicate that a typical French Division should have 350 figures… What a second – assuming you give yourself 1 foot of depth, that means 60% of you deployment space will be covered in figures and you have two feet between the forces. What a second Musket Range is 27 inches so you start in Musket range. I could go on and on, it just doesn't work out.
I found the fact the Command and Control rules a hodgepodge of ideas stuck together extremely annoying. I believe someone referred to them as each part designed by committee, I am reminded of the movie Apollo 13 and the CO2 cartridge. I realize they are independent of one another at the different level but there is no meshing of the rules concepts, you are just left wondering why they are so different.
I could go into shooting, 11 dice divided by 2 since you moved, halved because in effective range… Since may people currently believe fire fights the norm and cold steel the well un ordinary, I just don't see how fire can be effective enough in this game. You do any moving and firing at any range at all and block of figures are rolling nothing for dice.