Wednesday, April 27, 2011

KGL Light Cavalry

As a break from painting infantry, I've been working on a KGL light cavalry brigade - the 1st KGL Hussars and the 1st KGL Light Dragoons. It's not in the Quatre Bras OOB, but I thought I could substitute them for the 3rd Cavalry Dutch-Belgian Brigade (6th Dutch Hussars and  5th Belgian Light Dragoons). The reason I didn't paint those was that the uniforms didn't match the castings I had.

I'll add them into the Black Duke's escape campaign somewhere along the line. I'm sure the KGL would like to help their cousins escape from the French. Two regiments of French Chasseurs are awaiting painting to match them.

Figures are Redline from Bend Sinister. Nice castings, very quick to paint - about 6 hours including basing for 50 mounted.
1st KGL Light Dragoons

1st KGL Hussars
I realised a bit late they had no standard bearers, so had to cut off the poles and paint silver to pretend they were swords

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Escape of the Black Duke - a mini campaign

I have been planning a series of linked scenarios as a mini-campaign following the Duke of Brunswick's escape to the coast in 1809. While not a full blown campaign with complete freedom of movement across a map with changing forces, this was a way to play a series of games that are linked with consequences.

I have five planned scenarios. Depending on the success of each, the Duke's forces will grow from scenario to scenario. Victory condition will be defined for each scenario with bonus depending on if it is a major or minor victory. Defeats may have consequences of a reduction in forces.

The Scenarios:

1. Capture the supplies
  • A French garrison is waiting for a relief column with supplies of rifles and ammunition
  • A small Brunswick force is looking to capture the supplies to outfit more battalions
  • A major win will get another battalion of Line and Light fro the Black Band

2. Blow the bridge
  • The French are after the Black Duke and his growing force
  • The Duke has to beat a small French garrison in the village to then cross the river and blow the bridge
  • A larger French brigade is in hot pursuit
  • A major win will see another battalion of Line and Light join up

3. Take the stables
  • In an effort to increase his calvary, the Duke has to capture three small villages and their stables
  • There is a French cavalry brigade in the area, as well as the local garrisons
  • A Brunswick major win will get a regiment of Hussars for the Black Band

4. Rescue the Duke's Uncle
  • The Duke's Uncle has been captured by the French who are not happy at the Duke's adventures in the area.
  • The Black Band must rescue the Uncle and his troops from a larger town under French control
  • A major win will see more artillery and additional 6 troops (120 men) join each of the three Line and Light battalions

5. Escape to the coast
  • The Duke and his men have arranged for the British Navy to take them off to England
  • They must get to the Port, past the French division sent to catch them
  • A small British brigade has secured the point and is sent out to assist the Duke's escape

I'm currently drawing up some maps and working out some OOB's for a reasonably balanced game. It will be slightly weighted in favor of the Brunswickers so it will flow through, but not a walk over. It also allows me to paint up the troops gradually for the later games.

I'll post the details of each scenario as I go.

Happy for any feedback or advice about making an enjoyable series of games.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Oh Captain, my Captain

One obvious thing missing from my armies is leaders. I currently have three different brands of leaders in the unpainted pile - GHQ, Redline and Old Glory. Each is quite different. I started with some generic French leaders from the Redline range. Again quick to paint, and look quite good.

I've based my Brigade commanders on a 15 x 15mm base and the Division commander on a 20 x 20mm base. The Brigadiers are based singly and the General of Division is based as a pair. I'll use these as generic leaders for the time being, until I make some small dioramas with the other leaders.

French Division Leader
French General de Brigade
British leaders surveying the battle

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Review of Bend Sinister's 10mm terrain

Si at Bend Sinister has a small range of 10mm resin Southern European buildings. They are reasonably priced between £2.50 and £6.00. I really like the idea of a windmill in my games. I ordered one of each to see how they turn out.

They were very clean castings with almost no flash. The only piece that had any was the windmill sails in the middle, which was easily removed. There were virtually no bubbles on the castings.

The bases were reasonably flat and just needed a quick sand to even them out.

Detail is very crisp on the moulds, with some nice touches especially  on the windmill which is nicely textured. The houses are very smooth and new looking. I needed to use a thickish paint to give a bit of texture. I supposed I could have roughed up their appearance before painting but wanted to see how they turned out as is. I think I will need to add some vegetation texturing to break up the very pristine lines of the building.

Sizing is not too bad for 10mm and can be used with larger man scale games (1:20 I use) without looking too big.

Chapel and Windmill

Town houses

Some bonus walls
I undercoated them with some black spray paint, then painted them with some acrylic house paints.  I use sample pots from the mis-tint pile at my local hardware. These are often the wrong shade and very cheap for an reasonable sized pot. The come in all kinds of colours that are suitable for buildings and terrain. Building up from dark to light in drybrushed layers can give some nice effects on textured surfaces. The smooth walls took a little more work, which I am not that happy with. I can always repaint.

The wood on the sails is a bit dark, I'll probably drybrush it light at some stage.

Overall I think they are excellent value and really well made. The windmill is a winner and adds a nice touch to the table. Si needs to be encouraged to expand his work to more ranges, especially the Western European.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hi Ho, Hi Ho - Sappers

For something different I painted up 3 companies of French Sappers. The figures come from the GHQ French Infantry command packs. Beautifully detailed, with even insignia on the arms. R2E has some great rules for Fighting In Built Up Areas (FIBUA).  Having a company of sappers adds modifiers to the attacking force.

They do look like a bunch of grumpy dwarves heading off to the mine.