A temporary ‘little low’

von Peter himself has suffered an inspired period of gaming productivity since his last post. Hmmm, not a good start as it is not really that true. If only it were. One should at least aim for a modicum of truthfulness if one has pretensions of being an international blogger. Bad bad von Peter!!  Let’s start over shall we?  8O)

Lights … camera … take 2 … ACTION …

The three weeks since the last post have not been that productive and in truth the wargaming juices have been at a somewhat low ebb for von Peter himself. If pressed for a reason he would probably shrug his shoulders and mutter indiscernible mutterings under his breath. Perhaps the thought of the incoming winter is to blame though its usual precursors have been very slow to make their appearance this year. As a related event New Zealand Daylight Saving Time came to an end which is always a little disruptive. Winter really is on its way even if we have got no where near to lighting the fire yet. There’s always the dog to blame as well!  8O)

ECW Covenanter infantry commander2

The time has not been a total waste though. A further two English Civil War Covenanter command bases have been welcomed into the rebased Covenanter Armee – one for the infantry (above) and the other for the cavalry (below). von Peter himself got a little excited when completing the basing on these and broke open his pack of yellow flowers. Such wild exuberance!

Unfortunately the lighting is not that great for the dismounted figure on the infantry command stand. In reality his facial complexion matches that of the mounted figure. Honest.

The understanding of von Peter himself is that most of his purchased ECW Covenanter army are Foundry Miniatures figures … but not all. The figures on the cavalry command stand do not look that Foundry’ish to von Peter himself.

ECW Covenanter cavalry commander1

Four Calpe Miniatures French voltigeurs are slowly plodding onward as well. Four doesn’t sound like many – mostly because it’s not – but they do constitute both a stand and a company for von Peter’s French. The guilty secret is that every now and then von Peter himself sneeks a company of French into the painting queue as a breath of fresh air. This is the third occasion and half a battalion of Route March French will have been completed on the sly when this stand is done.

This meagre output is positively stellar however when compared to The son & heir’s though <snigger snigger>. Of course he has been busy with schooling … and the XBox and Facebook <gag> … but it is nearly the end of term and some inducement/bribe may need to be forthcoming to get him to finish his Italianised version of Martin Kelly’s Befreiungskriege 1813-14 Limited Edition Figures over the school holiday.

And there was a game at Terry’s. A five player Black Powder game which was notable in that one side was completely manned by Austrians – a first for von Peter himself in a game this large. The son & heir concurrently savoured the highs and lows as the defender of a two section village. A Bavarian light battalion held out turn after turn despite growing odds whereas a Bavarian line battalion gave it away at the first opportunity. A double ‘1’ followed by another double ‘1’ will do that I guess. His big regret however was that he had kept the beloved Saxon battalions of von Peter himself in reserve and didn’t manage to get them mangled! There’s gratitude for you!!

Wargames Soldiers & Strategy spotted in New Zealand – the verdict

As a follow up to the last post von Peter himself is happy to report that he very much enjoyed reading the issue of Wargames Soldiers & Strategy (WS&S) that he spotted in a local purveyor of magazines. At this point in time – because in von Peter’s experience these things have a tendency to change over time – von Peter himself would rate this as his preferred read over Wargames Illustrated, the old/current Miniature Wargames and the old/current Battlegames.

‘Old/current’ is used above because Miniature Wargames is about to be revamped and merged with Battlegames to become ‘Miniature Wargames with Battlegames’ complete with a revamped look under the editorialship of Henry Hyde of Battlegames fame. Where this merged and revised entity will sit in the von Peter himself magazine hierarchy remains to be seen but the first issue is on order from Caliver Books.

For now von Peter himself has confirmed that WS&S is available as a regular release down here in NZ so he will be hunting it down on a regular basis.

Don’t forget to click on the images for larger and much improved versions of the image.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself 

ECW news … covering for some delayed Napoleonic news

Blogs wait for no man or their offspring … or their pet Napoleonic projects which should have been the focus of this post. An interval of around two weeks since the last post had left von Peter himself with a distinct feeling that he should be leaping into unaccustomed action to keep his blog alive. So here goes that leap.

Contrary to the plan not too much Napoleonic this time but for the record the current status of those projects Napoleonic closest to fruition report in as …

  • the standards for the Russian 1/Bourtirki Infantry Regiment have been despatched by GMB Designs but have not as yet arrived at Schloss von Peter. von Peter himself is resolute that he will not under any circumstance be raising these standards until they arrive! So no more pictures of this particular incomplete battalion as yet.
  • the basing of another Russian battalion – the 3/Oufa Infantry Regiment – continues at a somewhat lack lustre pace. The standards for this unit are on hand so cannot be blamed in any way for the non appearance of pictures of this battalion as a complete unit on this blog. Let’s move on quickly shall we.

Note that not good enough for the blog does not equate to not good enough to game with in the privacy of one’s own schloss. Both units have taken their place in the line of battle as vicious internecine warfare threatens between The son & heir and von Peter himself. The rules this time around will be (classic) Piquet using Piquet Inc’s Les Grognards Napoleonic supplement.

  • The son & heir’s Italianisation of Martin Kelly’s Befreiungskriege 1813-14 Limited Edition Figures inches forward with minor updates to the last figure of the group – the newly naturalised Italian drummer. The son & heir blames a return to school for his poor performance and to be fair he has been putting in a startling number of hours on the school work front. It’s enough to make von Peter himself wonder just what has happened to the real The son & heir!

When not progressing his Napoleonic projects von Peter himself has the background task of rebasing his Scottish Covenanters. The Covenanter Commander in Chief stand was presented in the The A & E of Civil Wars post last December. But he will be needing assistance keeping all those burly pikemen, musketeers, cavalry and other less well ordered types in line and pointed in the right direction. This is where the two pictures above come in.

The picture at the top is a likeness of the the first of two cavalry commanders destined to lead the mounted element of the Covenanters. At the present he doesn’t actually have any rebased Covenanter cavalry to lead but the bloke with him is pretty handy with his sword so that’s a start!

The second picture represents the first of the Covenanter infantry commanders. At least he has some rebased infantry to lead so he’s feeling pretty pleased with himself. Life could be worse. He could be a cavalry commander with no cavalry to command!!  8O)

The son & heir has inflicted yet more crimes against good taste by insisting that a not quite right reproduction of the Royal Standard of Scotland – also known as the Lion Rampant of Scotland or the Banner of the King of Scots – be installed on the hallowed walls of The Bastion at Schloss von Peter. Not quite right because the full description of the banner runs to something like …

Red (Gules) lion rampant with blue (Azure) claws and tongue, within a red double border having a motif of alternating heraldic lilies, on a yellow (Or) field

So the tongue and claws should be blue and von Peter himself suspects that there should be more alternating heraldic lilies. But the overall effect is there.

Stuck between a Scottish heraldic flag and the Southern Rebel Dixie the young Napoleon in the picture would probably have a fit … or perhaps not. However if he knew that there are plans afoot to eventually add a Prussian Seven Years War or Napoleonic regimental flag to the mix he would be positively apoplectic!

And as always don’t forget to click the pictures to see larger clearer versions. You’d be mad not to!

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself 

The A & E of Civil Wars

With the counting down to Christmas the life of von Peter himself has gotten more hectic and unbelievably his idleness more pronounced. Hard to credit but there you go!

A few weeks ago the thought went bouncing around the skull of von Peter himself that he would pull a wonderful trick on himself. von Peter would announce to the world that he would complete his latest Saxon battalion by Christmas. By this cunning ruse von Peter himself would be forced to get off his idle butt, pull out the stops, complete said long suffering battalion and all would be happy … especially von Peter himself. Of course with only a few days left until Christmas the battalion is no closer to completion so thank all that is/are merciful that von Peter did not blab his self set challenge to the world … or at least the little part of the world that would have been listening!  8O)

However the time has not been totally wasted …

American Civil War Leaders

ACW Federal leader 2

To be honest these have been completed for several months but one has never been flaunted on the web – that would be the image above – and the other only once on a portion of the web no longer accessible – that would be the image below. All the figures are from Perry Miniatures. To be precise the two mounted figures are from the pack ACW3 – Union Generals mounted and the running away and lying down chaps are from the pack ACW23 – Casualties. The lying down chap was painted a bit cheekily – because he isn’t a real zouave figure – with red leggings as the plan is to have this leader stand associated with some zouave units in the fullness of time. Given the current output this ranks as extremely long term planning. von Peter himself is very proud of his planning!!  8O)

As is usual the close up photos have shown the horses to be incompletely created beings. Darn and confound it all. Perhaps they’ll get eyes and darkened nostrils if they perform particularly heroic feats on the tabletop of battle.

ACW Federal leader 1

English Civil War

The reorganising and rebasing of the English Civil War Covenanters continues at a non too stressful rate. Life was not so hectic all those centuries ago so it would be unseemly and out of character to rush things along too precipitously now.

ECW Covenanter CinC

First to be presented – because he is the first in the army – is the Commander of the Covenanters. As all the leader stands will be he has been placed on the same sized Litko stands as the rank and file but with rounded edges … as is only to be expected of the more refined better bred type of gentleman likely to be found in charge of the less well bred masses.

The hand painted standard looks a little rough in close up but von Peter himself can assure the readership that it looks perfectly wonderful on the tabletop when leading the army in battle. One of the goals of the rebasing exercise is to retain the original standards with the army. They have been proudly flown in many battles past and hopefully will be present in many more in the future.

ECW 2nd Covenanter Pike & Shotte

Above can be seen the second Covenanter Pike & Shotte unit to complete the transition to the new fangled basing regime. Many other units are partly there. It is not easily seen but the standard used particularly takes von Peter’s fancy. One of the diagonal crosses is white while the other is yellow. Very pleasing to the eye.

This unit is the second to have flowers added to it’s basing regime. This latest horticultural  innovation was first used on the Covenanter commander above but does not show up that well in the photograph because of where they grew on the base. As if rebasing these Scots has not been enough rework it would seem that a revisitation of many of the Napoleonic units is in order. A few flowers and a selection of some of the latest tufts is just what some of those veterans need to cheer them up.  8O)

A Christmas tale

2012 Christmas tree procurement

Wilding pines have their uses when it’s Christmas time and a Christmas Tree is required. The good Fraulien von Peter herself captured the above image near the end of the annual hunt for the in this case 2012 Christmas Tree. Bits of von Peter himself can be seen manfully slaving away at the base of the falling tree – brown tee shirt and dark blue shorts are the clue. The invaluable aid provided by The son & heir who has climbed the neighbouring tree is also on display. Comments could be made at this juncture regarding faeries up Christmas Trees but von Peter himself would not stoop so low. And while regarding the photograph it strikes von Peter himself that perhaps he has chopped down the wrong tree!  8O)

And just in case anyone is overawed by the size of the Christmas Tree please be assured that the whole tree was not hauled inside and decorated. Just the top of it. And just in case anyone else thinks that our Christmas Tree procurement methods are terribly wasteful please be informed that the remainder will be left to dry out before being chopped up and moved into the woodshed for utilisation during the colder winter months.

Until we meet again … and a Merry Christmas to one and all

Salute
von Peter himself

A brace of new gaming experiences

von Peter himself has had his horizons of the wargaming world expanded yet further by playing  games in two periods that he does not have much personal history in.

Modern Skirmish

The day before von Peter himself and The son & heir travelled up to Auckland to see Cold Play in concert – which by the way was excellent – there was an evening of modern skirmish gaming. This was a first for von Peter himself as the most modern period that von Peter himself played up to that evening was WWII. And the results of the two games played showed that von Peter has much to learn if his modern skirmish gaming is going to take him anywhere other than the morgue!

The terrain fought over was constructed by Craig and was the same as that seen by the Perry twins at the local Call to Arms convention. Sadly – because we don’t want certain terrain constructors getting ahead of themselves! 8O) – when questioned later the twins gave the terrain glowing reviews. Truthfully though the heading photo does not do the layout justice. Don’t forget to <click> on it to see a larger view.

The rules used were the yet to be published Skirmish Sangin – Skirmish Wargames Rules for Modern Afghanistan. And a luscious set of rules they will be once published … but von Peter himself digresses. The Perry twins had apparently been impressed with the rules as well as the terrain and had enquired about a WWII version. No doubt thoughts of 28mm desert WWII gaming were weighing heavy on their minds at the time.

The game was run by author Colin and the enemy were under the fanatically efficient command of co author Craig. The first game was to see von Peter’s brave Brit’s being picked apart by a gifted sniper or advancing with alacrity to the rear due to poor morale. First man down was the British leader von Peter himself <mutter mutter>. Obviously a MAJOR loss to any force. Sadly the sniper never was spotted and there were other Afghan terrorist types running around causing havoc and hurling looted grenades around in a most unsafe way. The end of the game came in a most unsatisfactory manner. The last operational Brit was just about to drop a grenade through the roof hatch/door of a building into the lap of the sneeking Afghan inside to hopefully get one back for the good guys when a burst of gunfire broke his nerve and sent him scurrying away. Damnation!!!

Ok. That was over quickly. Let’s swap sides and play again.

Game two started much more favourably as von Peter himself tasted his first – and only -success of the evening by capturing one of the invading infidel … errr … ummm, British. There then followed some inept and ill judged moves by the Afghan freedom fighters which included running around rooftops, falling wounded through canvass awnings and the total misuse of the sniper. For some reason the sniper held his fire, though perfectly good shots presented themselves, and then tried to ascend through a roof hatch/door that didn’t exist!! Gross negligence all round. To rub salt in the wounds the hosts magnanimously allowed the move to the roof top to go ahead which just made it all the worse as the sniper was promptly spotted and became the target of quite a bit of decadent western military projectiles! We shall speak no more of this.

An enjoyable evenings gaming with only a few figures per side. Even von Peter himself had picked up the basics of the rules by the end. Next for von Peter’s modern skirmish gaming education will be an expansion of forces and/or the addition of vehicles. Jolly good old chap.

In case of interest Colin has a Skirmish Wargaming facebook page which he keeps quite active with various postings on figures and some information on the comings and goings with the rules.

An English Civil War game 

von Peter himself has not been the only one rebasing ECW figures. Raymond has been as well and Craig had gone so far as to have developed some as yet untested in battle figures. But what rules to use? There were several possibilities but no decision on which one to go with. So for our first game we went down the path of least resistance which was Clarence Harrison’s Victory Without Quarter rules. And as a freely downloadable set of rules they were damnably fine value for money.

Craig and Raymond sucked up to the King while Michael and von Peter himself took the path of righteousness and fought for Parliament. Victory Without Quarter is a card based game. In the main units get to act when their card is pulled and leaders get to do leadery type things when their card is revealed.

Musketry seemed to replicate the gradual wearing down of units but melees could go on for quite a number of turns as happened in some of our cavalry melees. We never got to the push of pike as morale failings intervened but a pike based unit did comfortably crunch some dismounted dragoons in melee. Units morale seemed quite volatile. To be honest I’m not sure if this is right for the ECW, or if we could rate units differently – I’m sure we could – or if we played it correctly!  8O)

I think that everyone enjoyed the game and the company was as good as ever. A reread of the rules will no doubt point out where the Royalists took advantage of the incomplete knowledge of the rules! Beneficially there is a rules forum on the League of Augsburg site where the author – Clarence Harrison – is an active participant.

And yet another post goes by with out any Napoleonics. How long can this continue? How sustainable will it be? Stay tuned for answers to these and other questions!

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself 

Scots Covenanters rebase commences

Several decades ago* a deal was struck between Paul Stairs and von Peter himself. Money went one way and a Scots Covenanter army from the English Civil War (ECW) period went the other. At the time the plan was that the Covenanters would be used to fight Pauls remaining ECW armies using the soon to be published Anchor of Faith – Piquet’s Pike & Shot (1600 – 1690) supplement. Time moved on, lives changed, Paul sold his remaining ECW armies … and then Anchor of Faith was eventually published! To be honest the order of these occurrences could have been a little better!

* von Peter himself does not (totally) exaggerate here. Some of you readers would not have existed at the time of the cash for soldiers transaction. The son & heir would be an excellent example as the Covenanters came into the life of von Peter himself several years before The son & heir was to intrude.

Sadly the Covenanters were destined for years of quiet existence in their boxes barracks under the gaming table. There was to be only an occasional glimpse of light as they were either shown to nosey individuals or paraded on the gaming table to be shot … with a camera. Ha ha ha.

The army itself is composed mostly of Foundry figures – at least that is the understanding of von Peter himself – and has been through the hands of several gamers prior to its current overlordship. Rumour has it that one of those sets of hands were those attached to Tony Ashcroft who as NZWM was to master – and for a while manufacture – mostly WWII vehicles.

Paul had lovingly touched up the figures and based them for the second edition WRG Renaissance rules. Locally these were commonly referred to as the Gush rules because they were authored by a George Gush. Pikemen were each on a 15mm frontage, musketeers and heavy cavalry on 20mm and so on. Additionally the figures were based in various denominations – mostly as ones or twos – so that individual figures could be removed as they were shot, stabbed or slashed.

Some of the Covenanters as transferred from Paul to von Peter himself.
That basing is all going to change … eventually <gulp!>

Ever since coming under the loving overlordship of von Peter himself the army has faced the dreaded prospect of being rebased. von Peter himself is much more into scenic element basing and the skimpy one or two figures per base was never going to do. After much on again / off again discussion over literally years a decision was finally – and surprisingly – reached on how us gallant few would base our ECW armies. Many were the issues to consider …

  • how closely packed did we want the figures bearing in mind that figures come in all sizes even if they are meant to be the same size
  • how big did we want the units to be. Big units look great but would we ever get a reasonable number of units together if they were on the larger side individually?
  • overhangs of figures past the edge of the base were to be a no no. Pikes were to be the exception here as some pre existing armies <cough cough> already had pikes at an angle

The final consensus was for bases of 60*60mm – the same as for our ancients. How many figures go on the base is up to the bases creator. We have plumped for smaller units than some but we will be able to play bigger battles if we so desire. And if we really want to we can amalgamate units together to create meatier versions.

And so the first infantry unit has been created as a proof of concept. For some reason the only red coated infantry unit was chosen as opposed to all the blue and grey ones. No touching up of the figures has yet been actioned which speaks volumes for the army that marched into the service of von Peter himself all those years ago.

Now von Peter himself really must get back to some of those Napoleonics that have been sitting mostly complete on the painting table – or that portion of the painting left available after the squatting of The son & heir. <mutter mutter>

Don’t forget to click on the pictures for a closer view

Fire and brimstone … and the slaughter of the opposition in a multitude of messy ways … are the preachings of the day from the regimental pastor

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Pike & Shotte

There is a man in the Netherlands named Aart and he has a blog entitled Art of Warre ~ tabletop wargaming in 10mm. And on this blog Aart has placed a review of Warlord Game’s Black Powder derivative rules Pike & Shotte meant for the wargaming of 16th and 17th century warfare.

Warlord Games Pik & Shotte rules

von Peter himself found this to be an interesting read. Buried under von Peter’s gaming table in a state of hibernation is an English Civil War Scots Covenanter army. This army does not labour under the creative efforts of von Peter himself but was obtained as is from Paul Stairs many moons ago. In case of interest and until the end of June 2012 you can see more of this army on the soon to expire website.

Some of von Peter's English Civil War Scots Covenanters

A sampling of von Peter’s English Civil War Scots Covenanters

And before we leave Aarts blog make sure to check his Digital resources for wargamers. von Peter himself strongly suspects that there are some real gems to be found there.

Waste not, want not. A frugal Scot ensures that there s no wastage … apart from human life of course!

As always please click on the images to see larger versions of them.

Until we meet again …

Salute

von Peter himself