Stop Press … March 2016

Map Leipzig

These here blog postings are a bit like buses. You don’t see one for ages and then two turn up at once! ūüėÉ

Sometimes von Peter himself¬†comes upon some nugget of information as he stumbles around¬†the internet attempting¬†to skry the present, past and future of wargaming. (And yes he knows that he should be using this time more profitably sitting at his painting desk but let’s just move on shall we! ūüėé).

General D’Arm√©e

Recently¬†the Donald Featherstone Memorial Weekend gaming event was hosted at the Wargames Holiday Centre.¬†The game played was the southern battle(s) from that biggie the Battle of Nations, aka Leipzig 1813. Many days, many tables, many players and many many figures. But what was the¬†interesting bit was that the game was played using Dave Brown’s latest rules, “General D’Arm√©e”. The same Dave Brown of the¬†General de Brigade rules¬†renown.¬†These “General D’Arm√©e” rules are in development, are for large games and according to Henry Hyde – see below – may be published late this year or early 2017.

For some pictures from the game see Henry Hyde’s coverage on the Miniature Wargames¬†FaceBook page¬†starting on the 19th March.

WHC Leipzig

Above:¬†this Leipzig game image “borrowed” from the¬†the¬†Miniature Wargames¬†FaceBook page

Sharp Practice 2

The¬†TheTooFatLardies¬†have released a few more details on Sharp Practice 2 on their¬†Lard Island News. Rumour has it that the TooFatLardies are working to a St Georges Day – 23 April – release. Those who listen to podcasts – and have not heard it yet – may want to download “Maples &¬†Miniatures ‚Äď Episode 167 ‚Äď Royal Armouries And Sharp Practice 2”¬†as there is quite a bit of talk on the new rules. Get it from iTunes or here … or wherever!

While interested in the updated rules von Peter himself is a bit of a grumbling grognard and is a little concerned about some of the changes. e.g. hopefully “deployment points” don’t act too much like modern day or science fiction “drop zones” allowing the magical deployment of troops as desired to counter the enemies cunning plans. We shall see. But as the author Richard Clarke says in the podcast – if you don’t like something in the rules then don’t use it. You can’t say fairer than that really.

Sharp Practice 2

Above: a look at the layout of Sharp Practice 2 as provided by the TooFatLardies. The presentation of war-games rules have certainly moved on since the original Sharp Practice

And one more little snippet … those dedicated followers of Calpe Miniatures¬†may in the nearish future¬†be able to build a new Napoleonic unit type. Such a tease! ¬†ūüėé

Don’t forget to click on the images for a larger and clearer view.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

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We can rebuild him

A warning. Do not let all the do gooders out there lead you astray Dear readers. Natural, organic etc etc is not always the way to go. Sometimes man made, artificial etc is far superior to Mother Nature’s bounty. As evidence let’s examine¬†the hips of von Peter himself. The natural nature provided ones turned out to be absolute rubbish with mobility increasingly limited and pain persistent … not that von Peter himself is one to mind a little pain! ¬†ūüė≥ No really!! ¬†ūüėĪ

Last year the left hip was consigned to the dumpster and replaced. Just over a week ago the same fate befell the right hip. A bit more recuperation to go but already life is looking much improved. von Peter himself will soon be able to keep up with his wee men as they flee the battlefield as fast their little metal legs can carry them! ¬†ūüėÉ

 

Calpe Website updates

While idling away his time in hospital von Peter himself noticed that Calpe Miniatures have updated the figure listings in their website Shop.

The Saxons now show the codes S1 through S21 as well as the artillery pieces SA1 through SA5.

S18__Foot_officers_with_covered_shakos_white_uniforms

The French now list through to F53 and their artillery through to FA5. On closer inspection two new codes were revealed to von Peter himself

  • F48 – 3 Battalion standard spear points pre-1812 reforms.¬†3 Battalion standard spear points pre-1812 reforms. These were used almost exclusively until Napoleons abdication in 1814.
  • F49 – 3 Battalion standard spear points post-1812 reforms.¬†3 Battalion standard spear points post-1812 reforms. These were the spearpoints used on the battalion fanions at Waterloo.

F51__A_proper_tete_pack

As is usual the packs in the Shop show front and back photographs with the bonus that some are shown painted which acts as a great uniform¬†resource … and get appropriated into various blogs! ūüėé But there’s more …

A new section “A proper Tete” has been added to the Guides & Research area of the Calpe website to support the packs F51 through F53 for the French.

A-Proper-Tete

The three images above “borrowed” from the Calpe Miniatures¬†website. Figures painted by Peter Fitzgerald.

Front Rank

As¬†forecast¬†Front Rank Figurines¬†have added two more packs of Napoleonic civilians …

  • CNPK3:¬†Napoleonic Civilian pack, man leading packhorse plus pedlar and farm labourer. (figs sold only as a pack)
  • CNPK4:¬†Napoleonic Civilian pack, man working water pump, plus 2 women. (figs sold only as a pack).

Both packs are priced at £6.00.

Front Rank CNPK3+4

Above: CNPK3 and CNPK4 meet up in a town square somewhere during the Napoleonic Wars. Image unknowingly provided by Front Rank

This is not he big news from Front Rank however. From their newsletter …

Napoleonic Prussians 1808 – 1815.
For many years customers have been asking us to make Napoleonic Prussians.
The good news is that design work has already started on what we are planning to be a comprehensive range of Napoleonic Prussians for 1808 – 1815.
We hope to have the first releases available in April 2016 with more releases planned during 2016/17. Updates on progress will be in our newsletters.

 

Sharp Practice v2

Some more news of the incoming Sharp Practice version 2 is available over on Lard Island News – mouth piece/blog of TheTooFatLardies. von Peter himself fervently hopes that the “tidy up”, “streamlining” and “simplify” used in the article do not equate to the dumbing down of the rules. We likes our little bit of chrome and flavour in the rules we do.

 

And finally back to the hip replacement surgery. von Peter himself can now sit comfortably for a period of time … and easily get out of the chair when that period of time comes to an end. There is a smell of painting resumed in the air. Hurrah!

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Colonel Sir Henry Grabbe-Ghoulies has a bad day

von Peter himself finds himself a little perturbed again. The current employer of choice has informed him in no uncertain terms not to come back to work … at least not until after a Christmas & New Years break. Fortunately¬†the current employer of choice has relayed this very same message to most of their employees so perhaps the current employer of choice has not yet found out about von Peter himself after all! Surely it can be but a matter of time?! ¬†ūüė≥

The upside of all of this is that von Peter himself now has a couple of weeks away from paid employment. Hurrah! The seemingly much larger downside is that Fraulien von Peter herself may have many plans for unpaid employment over the same period. Sacré bleu! With this sad state of affairs in mind pleasant memories are desperately required. So let von Peter himself transport The dear reader back in time a couple of weeks to a small affair of arms in the Napoleonic Wars, the Peninsular War to be more precise.

Frenchmen for the day Ray and Michael had lured the British for the day von Peter himself and The son and heir to their lair for some historical investigations. Reality would be controlled by Sharp Practice from the the Too Fat Lardies with the scene set by The Compleat Fondler Рa scenario book for Sharp Practice which narrates the adventures of Richard Sharp Fondler.

Compleat Fondler

In keeping with¬†the Hollywood’ish daring do nature of Sharp Practice scenarios for the system tend to often include a ‘surprise’ or two so as to up the entertainment value. Unfortunately if von Peter himself were to relate all the ‘goings on’ that went on in the historic investigation of that day in 1812/1813 as hosted in Ray’s lair¬†then he would potentially be ruining the future fun of any of¬†The dear reader(s)¬†that felt the urge to follow Fondler’s experiences via The Complete Fondler. Such a cost¬†would weigh far too heavily on the conscience of von Peter himself¬†and so a detailed blow by blow report of the game is not possible. Of course this unfortunate decision has absolutely nothing to do with the legendary idleness of your correspondent¬†von Peter himself! Rather it is with a heavy heart that the richly deserved tellings of heroic – or otherwise – actions of the protagonists must necessarily be kept quiet.

This heroic or otherwise aspect was especially true as they relate to Colonel Sir Henry Grabbe-Ghoulies the upper class twit gentleman who has recently taken charge of Sharpe’s Fondler’s battalion. He speaks with a decided lisp, thinks that all sense of order has been lost to the army – but luckily he can fix that – and above all is determined to have the rifles off Sharpe’s Fondler’s men to be replaced with honest muskets. For some inexplicable reason von Peter himself was selected to play Sir Henry. The son & heir played as Richard Sharpe Fondler.

The unclassified elements of the scenario have the British needing to deliver a wagon of gold and powder to the Church of Madre de Deus for the notable guerrilla leader El Cascanueces while simultaneously rescuing the Marquesa de Una Paloma Blanca who is under the protection of the British agent¬†Father O’Stereotype.

Colonel Sir Henry Grabbe-Ghoulies submits the following few words on the mostly unclassified aspects of the battle. Do not forget to click on the images for a larger and clearer view.

Fondler's Colonel 1

Fondler's Colonel 2

Fondler's Colonel 3

Fondler's Colonel 4

Notable events included the lead British Group – the one carrying the battalion colours -suffering a man drunk and two men leaving the ranks for a spot of¬†looting. These were not scenario driven events but just the result of playing the rules. It seems that Colonel Sir Henry Grabbe-Ghoulies may have arrived just in time to reinstate some sort of order to the battalion! One of Sharpe’s Fondler’s green jackets also managed to drill a¬†French Lieutenant between the eyes which caused the French some inconvenience as they did not have a Big Man of enough stature in place to control a larger formation

Many thanks to the dastardly Frenchmen for a day Ray and Michael for hosting a most enjoyable game and providing a fine lunchtime repast. The figures and scenery were care of Rays fine Peninsular collection and are certainly of the quality required for this here up market quality only the best will do blog! ¬†ūüėÉ

Oh and as for the result of the game …¬†let us just say that Richard Sharpe Fondler has some revenge to to garner on behalf¬†of the British Army.

 

The Army of the Kingdom of Westphalia 1807-1813

The History Book Man¬†has been at it again releasing¬†their latest e-book ‚ÄúThe Army of the Kingdom of Westphalia 1807-1813″. Once again borrowed from the website …

This completely revised and updated volume was first published in 1979 and has been out of print since 1984. This new edition is illustrated with all new colour artwork and selected illustrations from authoritive artists.

The Kingdom of Westphalia was a totally new state created by Napoleon following the peace of Tilsit in 1807, and consisted of the previous states of Hanover, Brunswick and Hessen-Kassel. The throne was given to Napoleon’s favoured younger brother Jerome, who made his capital at Kassel. The formation of an army was one of the first actions of the new monarch, recruiting from the now unemployed soldiers of Kassel, Hanover and Brunswick. The army of Westphalia provided 25,000 troops to the Confederation of the Rhine who served in Napoleon’s campaigns in Spain, Russia and Germany. 283 pages.

The usual e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y difficult to beat value for money. von Peter himself will be adding this one to his reference materials.

WESTPHALIA COVER ART

 

Aurelian is now available

Aurelian is the latest from Sam Mustafa and his Honour series of games. From the website …

The Roman empire is fracturing. Plague stalks the land. The economy is collapsing. Emperors are assassinated with startling frequency. Barbarians have broken through the frontiers. The Persians have invaded in the east.

That Rome survived is largely due to one man.

Aurelian is a tabletop game about the Crisis of the Third Century. Players take the role of factions ‚Äď both civilized and barbarian ‚Äď contending for control of the fragmenting Roman Empire.

The game’s unit tiles and action cards are provided for free download.

For more information, sample chapters, and other supporting game materials, click here.

And for those of The dear readers who¬†like to have a hard / paper copy of their rules then you’ll need to print it yourself as the rules will only be available as a pdf. Actually it will only be available as two pdf’s – one a printer friendly version and the other an all singing and dancing high resolution version with links for tablets etc. You’ll receive both for the price of USD $29.00 irrespective of where you live in the world.

For the reasoning behind the pdf only decision and more insights on Aurelian there is a podcast available which will provide nearly seventeen and a half minutes of such information.

Aurelian-Cover

 

And of course because it’s ‘that’ time of year … a very Merry Christmas to all The dear readers.¬†

And because there must be at least¬†some¬†doubt that¬†von¬†Peter himself¬†will manage any further¬†output prior to the New Year ticking over let’s play it safe … and a Happy New Year to The dear readers as well.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

WWI exhibition, paints and more

A few weeks ago¬†Fraulien von Peter herself accompanied von Peter himself on a visit to The Great War Exhibition¬†in the old Dominion Museum Building, Wellington, New Zealand. From the Exhibition Guide …

“Designed by Sir Peter Jackson and his team at WingNut Films, assisted by Sir Richard Taylor and Weta Workshop, this exhibition also showcases variety of First World War artefacts from museum and heritage organisations in New Zealand and from Sir Peter Jackson’s private collection”

To the above list of celebrities we should also add Rhys Jones – sometimes to be found hovering over a war-games table – who assisted Peter Jackson et al by¬†being the exhibition’s Executive Director.

The exhibition will be continually developed as the one hundred years anniversary of the First World War rolls on.

greatwarexhibitionlogo

The good Fraulien von Peter herself and von Peter himself both went a little camera crazy – albeit with their phones! What follows is a few of the photos resultant of the electronic shutter madness.

Despite the maniacal photographic activity only the more photogenic exhibits got any attention. There were many other exhibits of uniforms, weapons, equipment and coloured photographs that are not represented here. von Peter himself has no qualms about blaming the good Fraulien for such oversights!

Many of the exhibits were behind glass with bright lights and other glassed in exhibits across sometimes¬†narrow walkways. As such reflections were often a problem, especially as photos sometimes had to be snapped rapidly in between other visitors – selfish gits! ūüėé – with little time to prepare. So some of the photos actually showcase two exhibits – the prime target of the photograph and a reflected unintentional secondary exhibit reflected in the glass. Such are the results of war time photography.

A village somewhere in Belgium immediately pre WWI

Near the beginning of the walk through of the exhibition one takes a stroll through a Belgian Village as it would have been immediately prior to the outbreak of the war. This view does not do the inhabitants any favours by failing to show the village’s charms. Some such villages looked markedly different by the end of the war. That Exit sign seems quite modern to the eyes of von Peter himself. Perhaps he needs to reappraise his views! ūüėÉ

Part of a diorama of a Belgian Belgian fort

A representative model of one of the forts to be found in Belgium and France. It would make for fantastic terrain to game through!

Big Bertha siege gun info

The French and Belgians may have had their forts but the Germans had some fort crackers. There was a 1/3 model of a Big Bertha siege gun being loaded with its next round but no satisfactory photo of it – one must have standards you know when one is running a high class blog! So here is the proof of the models existence.

There was a rather busy 1914 scene with a plane flying overhead, a limbered 18 pounder and a London bus. Several photos are presented covering the action.

Plane, limber and bus 1

The French built plane is a Farman M./F.11 otherwise known as a Shorthorn. It has Belgian markings … not that this photograph shows them! Also in sight is part of the 18 pounder limber.

Plane, limber and bus 2

The front of the militarised London bus … unfortunately in shadow. Apparently about 900 London double decker buses made it to the war. Their duties ranged from troop transport to ambulance to mobile pigeon lofts! Originally they served in their red civie colours but this was found to be somewhat unwise on the battlefield so ubiquitous khaki was applied.

Plane, limber and bus 3

The back of the bus showing off one of the civil street advertising hoardings albeit khaki’ed over.

Plane, limber and bus 4

The rear of the Shorthorn – the plane for those with feeble memories! – showing a. the Belgian markings and b. that it is a ‘pusher’. The exhibited plane is a replica but it has an original engine! The 18 pounder is just out of shot but the fodder attached to the limber is well in evidence. The strange bit bottom left is the edge of the bus.

Moving on to 1915 and a trench scene¬†…

1915 trench 1

Part of life in a rather clean trench. Is that a pet bird, a carrier pigeon … or dinner?!

1915 trench 2

More trench life

BL Six-Inch Gun

BL (Breech Loading) Six-inch Gun. Apparently at the wars beginning there was a shortage of heavy artillery so six-inch naval guns were successfully pressed into land service.. And for a confession – this image is stolen from the Exhibition Guide as none of the photos taken on the day really showed the gun in its full majesty

We’re now in 1916 …

French fortress pre bombardment

A French Fort pre bombardment. While looking at this pleasant scene a technique called “Pepper’s Ghost” mutated the scene into that below …

French fortress post bombardment

The same French fort post bombardment. Modern conservationists would be apoplectic!

1916 - Western Front Diorama

Another exhibit crying out to be gamed over … although all the surrounding glass would need to go!

1916 - Western Front Diorama close up

A close up of the 1916 – Western Front Diorama. Rat-ta-tat-ta-tat.

The stalemate of the trenches inspired the British to invent the tank. And that Dear reader is a clue as to what the next set of photographs will be focussed upon. Their unveiling will need to wait a little longer as von Peter himself is strongly of the opinion that we have had more than enough WWI imagery for one session. But before we leave …

The Great War Exhibition is not the only First World War game on in Wellington. New Zealand’s National Museum – Te Papa – has also got in on the act with their Gallipoli The Scale of our War exhibition. Once again Weta Workshop are involved and this time many of the exhibits are much larger than life. This offering has yet to be annointed by an official visit from¬†von Peter himself. But it will be.

gallipolithescaleofourwarlogo

 

Paints  Рthe final frontier

Many are the advantages offered up to those lucky enough to call New Zealand home but easy access to decent hobby paint ranges is not to be counted as one of them. Getting back into more regular painting von Peter himself discovered that a not insignificant influx of replacement paints was required. And of course The son & heir has been tottering on the edge of paint oblivion for a while. Time to purchase some more pigmentation liquids. But which ones?

Games Workshop / Citadel paints are not as common as they once were but they are still around for the getting … however … the company insists on continually changing their colour ranges; the paints bottles have a distressing tendency not too keep their contents in a liquid state; and the accountants &/or marketers have lost the plot with their pricing. They have for many years been the mainstay of the paint stocks of von Peter himself but those days look to be¬†coming to an end. Verdict – time to find an alternative.

Vallejo are also easy enough to purchase locally and there are certainly plenty of adherence to their products but their dropper bottle packaging really does not sit well with the painting habits of von Peter himself. Verdict – possibility but hopefully can do better.

Coat d’arms paints. These are apparently the old (first?) range of Citadel paints now expanded in several directions. There is a fantasy range, a military range and a WWII range. There are metallics, ink washes and super washes. They can be bought singly or as Triads – think the Foundry’s base, shade and highlight matched colours – as well as in paint sets – e.g. Ancient Set or Horse Tone set – which provide 10 bottles at a discount. They also have an Army Painter equivalent with their Super Shader range and Brushscape which are textured paints. They generally come in a larger 18mm bottle for ¬£2 that seal well albeit that experience has taught that one must be careful not to break the little tab off the tops else the opening process becomes somewhat more of a challenge. The Super Shaders come in a larger – 60cc? – screw top bottle for ¬£5.¬†von Peter himself has been happy with the few that he has used in the past. By repute some of the colours¬†may be a little thinner but apparently you shouldn’t slop on thick paints anyway … though von Peter himself will sometimes do so as an expedient! They are distributed by Black Hat Miniatures out of the UK but are also available from other vendors. Verdict – to cut a long and getting longer story short 31 paints were ordered form Black Hat Miniatures and have arrived at¬†Neu Schloss von Peter in good time. They have yet to be used. [sigh]

black hat banner

Napoleonic civilians from Front Rank

As von Peter himself forecast¬†a couple of posts back¬†Front Rank Figurines¬†have¬†released some Napoleonic civilians – 2 packs of Napoleonic civilians to be precise …

  • CNPK1¬†Napoleonic Civilian pack, 4 gentlemen figures and a dog. (figs sold only as a pack)
  • CNPK2¬†Napoleonic Civilian pack, mounted gentleman figure and horse + 2 ladies (figs sold only as a pack).

To the eye of von Peter himself these are reasonable well off Napoleonic civilians and not necessarily the riff-raff of society.¬†In more ways than one¬†The dear reader can rest assured that they will be getting quality should they purchase them. So convinced of this was von Peter himself that he has acquired the two packs through the kind offices of Garage gaming Terry¬†who was conveniently sending an order off to Front Rank. It is strongly suspected that the figures in their ones or twos will inveigle¬†their way into the painting schedule fairly quickly. Someone needs to cheer von Peter himself on as he seeks a modicum of military glory. ¬†ūüėÄ

Front Rank Napoleonic civilians

An amalgam of the two Napoleonic civilian packs provided somewhat unknowingly by Front Rank Figurines via their website

Of course should¬†The dear reader¬†require some of the lower classes to enliven their terrain or provide fodder for their scenarios then¬†Front Rank Figurines do provide several packs of civilians in their¬†18th Century & General Purpose Speciality Packs range …

  • GP1¬†Civilian wagon drivers x 4 figures (1 walking, 1 standing, 1 seated, 1 mounted pose) suit EH2 horse
  • GP2¬†Civilians x 4 figures (1 in smock with shovel, 1 walking with pick, 1 carrying sack, 1 walking)
  • GP3¬†Aristocrats x 4 figures (1 gentleman of quality, 1 lady of quality, 1 dandy, 1 portly gentleman)
  • GP4¬†Civilians x 4 figures (1 soldier on crutch, 1 maid with basket, 1 old hag, 1 clergyman preaching)

There are a fair few tricornes in these packs but von Peter himself can happily live with this.

Sharp Practice

Also a few weekends back Ray, Craig and Michael were hosted by¬†The son & heir and von Peter himself at Neu Schloss von Peter¬†for a little ¬†Sharp Practice – the …

War-games rules for large skirmishes in the Black Powder era

from the Too Fat Lardies. None of us had played for a while except for Craig. He had never played! In the end we got through two games of large Napoleonic skirmish gaming and were so encouraged as to schedule another day of Sharp Practice gaming at the end of the month. Those new Front Rank civilians could be very useful for future Sharp Practice gaming. Oh, and sorry … no photographic evidence of the gaming was taken.

And it looks like a Sharp Practice version 2 is in the works. See …

… for evidence.

That’s it. There is no more until the next time.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

A bit of this and a dash of that

Oi! Time for another post. Jump to it!

Sharp Practice game May 2014

The Sharp Practice game pitting the rashness and enthusiasm of youth against the battle scarred and much honoured aged and embittered has been played sporadically over the last few weeks. The benefits of having The Bastion Рthe military simulation room Рwhere the table is left up and not required for other purposes.

To recap the scenario is the brain child of The son & heir and is¬†inspired by the events in Bernard Cornwell’s book Sharp’s Havoc. The action has moved from the Spanish Peninsular to Central Europe. Things have not gone well for the French and their allies so an escape route needs to be forced. The French have entrusted this dangerous exercise to von Peter himself and mostly Confederation of the Rhine troops – Saxons and Bavarians – with a single French battalion in attendance. The task: force a crossing via the bridge over river #1, through a barricade, cross the board to force a second river/bridge/barricade combination.

Prussian Landwehr guard the two crossings but are blissfully unaware of the excitement coming their way.¬†Hauptmann von Scharf¬†and his Silesian Volunteer Jagers are rushing to assist the defenders from one flank while the bulk of the Prussian reinforcements would arrive on the other. Hauptmann von Scharf’s¬†mortal enemy the Frenchman Captain Henry has taken command of the Bavarian Light Infantry and if they can he and von Scharf¬†will do their best to put the other ‘in the ground’.

A few images from the game to date. von Peter himself would <right-click> on the images and open them in a new tab or window to see a larger version of them … but that’s just him.

Sharp Practice 2014 1

Above: early in the game the first bridge and barricade have been claimed for the French. The sentries could have done better and they could have done worse but they’ve now done a runner.

A landwehr battalion had tumbled out of the buildings at the alert of the sentries and decided that the crack Bavarian lights and increasing numbers of French Germans swarming over the barricades were all too much and decided to retire down the road between the buildings. The Bavarian cavalry currently on that same road between the  buildings gave them little hurry up which is why the landwehr battalion can now be seen heading towards and crossing the bridge in the distance.

The son & heir is currently painting the two mounted figure command pack PC6 from Calpe Miniatures. The mounted officer on the bare Litko plywood base with the just mentioned retiring landwehr at the bridge is one of these mounted figures. His painting is complete. In the background just on this side of the second river is the second figure from the pack. We decided not to remove him for the bottle top on which he is being painted.

The Bavarian Light Troops Рin green and wearing helmets Рare holed up in the buildings just over the bridge. This was not the result of a cunning plan by von Peter himself but rather the vagaries of the game that dictated that three of the twelve light infantryman decided to do a spot of looting in the buildings. Captain Henry has taken the rest of the unit into the buildings to reclaim the three miscreants and add them back into the unit. Captain Henry can be seen taking a quick drink from his brandy flask to calm his nerves having taken a minor wound earlier from those pesky Silesian Volunteer Jagers.

Half of a Saxon battalion has foolishly bravely been sent to face off against the Prussian reinforcements coming in from the left of the photograph. They performed admirably … until the Prussians decided to swat them out of the game.

Hauptmann von Scharf and his Silesian Volunteer Jagers can be seen scuttling around in the shrubbery at the right of the picture as more French allied troops cross the first bridge in the foreground.

… and then some time passed by …

Sharp Practice 2014 2

Above: Prussian reinforcements are pouring in from the left. The skirmishing Prussian fusiliers have persuading the Saxon half battalion in the prior photograph to be elsewhere … in rather a hurry.

The Bavarian cavalry on this side of the river have just been persuaded to cease their retrograde movement and merged their two companies into a complete squadron. They have had quite a day with one company beating back some landwehr but then being too tired and disorganised to capture the opposing commander in chief who fought like a man possessed after an audacious attack. The second company managed to catch Hauptmann von Scharf and his Silesian Volunteer Jagers as they retreated to the second bridge and though they managed to cut down a jager and win the melee they were left so disorganised and weary that an immediate move to the rear was required.

The Bavarian light infantry are on the road to the second bridge leading on a French and a Saxon battalion. The red marker behind the light infantry denotes the fouling of some of the Bavarians barrels. Stoopid random effect tables!  8O)

Two units of landwehr supported by Hauptmann von Scharf and his Silesian Volunteer Jagers line the barricade across the far end of the bridge. Gulp!

A half battalion of Saxons cross the first bridge and are about to face off against the Prussian reinforcements coming from the left. Another Gulp! That’s it for the French reinforcements but there are plenty more vengeful Prussians yet to come.

¬†… and then some more time passed by …

Sharp Practice 2014 3

Above: in the distance the French battalion is on the bridge and fervently hoping that they get to move before the landwehr gets to fire again. The supporting Saxon battalion that was on the Frenchmen’s right flank and firing at the barricade’s defenders have taken a pasting in return and are now about to cross the bridge in the foreground of the photograph!!! though the CinC should be able to arrest their retrograde movement.

The Bavarian Light Infantry are trying to keep Prussians off the flank and rear of the French battalion while the Bavarian cavalry are moving up to the front.

Prussian Fusiliers move through the town on their way to the vicinity of the far bridge while in the foreground the landwehr prepare to bayonet the Saxons to their front. And another battalion of Prussians arrive on the battlefield on the right.

It’s all down to the French battalion and its charge over the bridge. A chance for them to be real heroes.

von Peter himself has been guilty of keeping his best general in the rear areas recovering units rather than having him at the front bolstering the attack. To some degree this resulted from his late appearance Рthe arrival of all units including commander types was randomised Рbut the fleeing battalion of Saxons in the last photograph will look accusingly at him as they wonder where he was when they were getting shot up at the front with no help from the brass.

A turn or so left in the game. May the best French side win!!  8O)

More Calpe Prussians

Continuing the unveiling of The son & heir’s¬†resculpted Calpe Miniatures advancing Prussians. See Old News if this is all a bit of a mystery. Two more packs this time around.

The figures are presented as they arrived excepting the removal of the occasional ‘runner’ and the splashing on of a home made black wash in an attempt to accentuate the figure details. The usefulness of the wash varies markedly from figure to figure.

P5 Advancing command pack

Comprising a standard bearer, a drummer and an NCO so as to hold aloft the battalion standard, provide the cadence to keep the battalion in step and generally keep the men in hand should they get a little excited.

P5 Advancing command pack front

P5 Advancing command pack back

P7 Falling casualties

Who doesn’t like casualty figures and these falling casualties are just the thing to bring your battalions to life! ¬†Ha ha ha.

The cavity at the bottom of the middle figure’s right arm is not the result of¬†overly enthusiastic sculpting of a cannonball strike. A separate hand holding a musket is provided which is inserted and glued in place. von Peter himself suspects that the reason for this is to do with the difficulties of casting the figure if it were one piece but it has the added benefit of allowing the hand and musket to be glued in a variety of angles for that extra bit of variety.

P7 Falling casualties front

 

P7 Falling casualties back

For the record this three figure casualty pack helped to create a fourth casualty. To ‘wash’ the figures von Peter himself glued them to old paint pots using PVA/wood glue. Usually the bond created by the PVA glue is easily broken but this time around the figures seemed to like their bottles and didn’t want to be separated. So out came the trusty modelling knife to assist in the process. The first figure was removed after a little cursing and muttering. The second was then popped off by sliding the knife between the bottom of the figure’s base and the bottle top and deeply into the left hand index finger von Peter himself. Queue an immediate increase in the volume and rate of cursing and muttering. What a damnably stupid thing to do. Normally von Peter himself prides himself on¬†doing the safe and sensible thing around sharp implements … but there are exceptons¬†it seems.

Blood started to flow in impressive quantities and von Peter himself realised the true horror of the situation. It was late at night, von Peter himself was the only one awake and if help was required then Fraulien von Peter herself would need to be awakened. And the good Fraulien was having her pre birthday sleep!! Perhaps it would be better to bleed for a while and see how events panned out! And there was still a third figure to prise off a third bottle top so that the photographs could be taken! Oh the horror!!  8O)

The good news is that von Peter himself survived. At least to date. The finger is tightly bound and bandaged and is not yet as good as new. The photographs were taken and you are reading this dubious prose. Medals for gallantry are anticipated!

Work provides access to a military museum

Back in March von Peter himself was involved in a conference that was convened at the NZ Army’s Waiouru Military Camp in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand. Not¬† surprisingly Waiouru Military Camp is VERY close to the township of Waiouru and on the edge of Waiouru is the National Army Museum. It has been a few years since the National Army Museum hosted a state visit by¬†von Peter himself so when the opportunity presented itself for a quick visit that opportunity was snapped up.

There is quite a selection of displays to view covering the various wars that Kiwis have fought in and is well worth a visit. On the occasion of this state visit von Peter himself had his trusty iPod Touch to hand and used it to snap a few of the displays. Apologies for the quality of the photography. The venue has dimmed lighting which does not bode well for a strictly amateur photographer and his iPod Touch!

National Army Museum - horses

There is currently … or at least was …¬†a display on New Zealand’s war horses. Apparently over 20,000 left New Zealand for the Anglo-Boer War and World War I and only 5 made it back! If the memory serves correctly the above photo is of a display replicating the results of rear area shelling in France during WWI.

National Army Museum loading landing craft

The above photograph would appear to be a scene out of World War II with the troops clambering down the side of their transport into a landing craft. Good luck on the beach lads! It can be viewed from a walkway looking down or from ground level looking up as per this view.

As always don’t forget that you can <click> on any image for a larger and clearer view.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

New (Napoleonic) Saxons and a little more Sharp Practice

sharpe practice 14-01-12 3

A Sharp Practice end game position. More photos and an explanation further down.
If one looks closely one can see some Prussian Silesian volunteer jager skulking in the woods near the back wall of the church. This was the first outing for The son & heir’s latest creation and they will be spotlighted in the next post – assuming that their basing is completed in time!
Slow and steady was their motto for this game. They struggled to get to the front and were never at any stage in any sort of danger. They neither issued or received any shot. von Peter himself is not even sure that they ever saw an enemy figure! Canny fighters indeed!!  8O)
<Click> for a larger and clearer picture.

Calpe’s newish Napoleonic (as opposed to the thuggish dark age variety) Saxons

Another of those quick photo reviews. This time it’s the newish advancing Saxons in their later 1810 onwards uniforms from Calpe Miniatures. Three packs of musketeers in advancing poses. All of these packs contain four distinct figures.

As at the time of¬†writing¬†typing¬†writing these figures do not display in the Calpe Miniatures Shop on their website. An email, phone call or whatever – check the¬†Calpe Conact details¬†– should see a suitable¬†selection of the new figures winging their way to new ‘barracks’ of your choosing should that be your desire.

As usual the figures are photographed in the condition in which they arrived except that any runners have been removed and a black wash applied to help show the details of the figures. And it is here that once again¬†von Peter himself¬†must heap curses upon Games Workshop for their most recent paint range upheaval. This has resulted in their Badab Black wash being replaced with a renamed … and worse … glossy black wash. Glossy does not sound that useful for use either as a wash on figures where von Peter himself prefers a matt look or for quickly splashing over¬†nude¬†unpainted figures¬†figures to prepare them for photographing. Fortunately for von Peter himself¬†he doesn’t use washes a lot when he actually paints but sadly he used to use them when photographing nude unpainted figures. The last of Schloss von Peter’s¬†stocks of Badab Black were eked out to wash these figures but the result was weak sauce and of no use when the figures were photographed. With many silent – and some not so silent – curses the figures were rewashed with watered down black paint ¬†to get the results below. The wash effect is not consistent across the figures so von Peter himself offers profuse apologies and fires off yet more curses in Games Workshop’s direction.

The front on pictures do not show the muskets that well but hopefully the reader will be perceptive enough to get a general indication of the muskets attitude. That they are not all at the same angle will add to a sense of movement in the unit. At least that is the considered thought of von Peter himself!

The packs are pictured front and back. Again von Peter himself has spared no expense in the production of the photographs. He has rearranged the figures between taking the front and back photographs so that the same figure is shown in the same position left to right in the two matched photographs. Such over engineered service.  8O)

S1 – Saxon musketeers in advancing poses with levelled muskets (parallel to the ground). With covered shakos

S1 - front Saxon musketeers in advancing poses with levelled muskets (parallel to the ground)

S1 - back Saxon musketeers in advancing poses with levelled muskets (parallel to the ground)

S2 – Saxon musketeers in advancing poses with levelled muskets (parallel to the ground). With hairy shako covers

S2 - front Saxon musketeers in advancing poses with levelled muskets (parallel to the ground). With hairy shako covers.

S2 - back Saxon musketeers in advancing poses with levelled muskets (parallel to the ground). With hairy shako covers.

S3 – Saxon musketeers in advancing poses with levelled muskets (parallel to the ground). With uncovered shakos

S3 - front Saxon musketeers in advancing poses with levelled muskets (parallel to the ground). With uncovered shakos.

S3 - back Saxon musketeers in advancing poses with levelled muskets (parallel to the ground). With uncovered shakos.

The package conveying these new Saxons from Calpe Miniatures also contained a gaggle / dollop / swarm of French artillery guns. More on these later. <tease mode off>

We played Sharp Practice again

Bavarians with some French infantry were matched yet again against Prussian military might controlled by The son & heir. We used more of the rules this time … at least we did when we remembered!

A few photographs from the end of the game. Meaning that the tabletop has been cleaned out of quite a few of the original inhabitants. In general …

  • cotton wool denotes an unloaded unit
  • casualty figures and clear counters denote casualties. Once these equalled a base then the base was removed
  • green counters denoted shock points. These can be rallied off but if a unit has more shock points than figures remaining then uncontrolled retrograde movement commences.
sharpe practice 14-01-12 1

Overview of the end of battle from behind the Prussian lines

The Prussians won the church side of the battle. Here after the first turn it looked like the French infantry unit was going to stroll into the church to play the anchor role for the left of the Bavarian flank. Ah, ze plan – it eez coming togezer nicely! But then confusion seemingly set in and they stalled and watched in despair as some Prussian landwehr snuck in to the church under their noses. So stunned were the French that they stayed where they were just outside the church in column for several turns acting as a magnet for much of the Prussian fire until it all got too much and they rushed back to Paris via the back edge of the table. Life then got difficult for the supporting Bavarian infantry.

In the centre the skirmishing Prussian fusiliers took a battering from infantry and artillery fire and one of their three groups even had to fight off a bungled opportunistic cavalry charge. In the end one of their groups was heading to the rear but the others were gamely hanging on. The fusiliers will be getting a citation in despatches.

The centre also saw the demise of the Bavarian cavalry who attempted the ultimately unsuccessful charge on the Prussian fusiliers and then sacrificed themselves over several turns as a distraction to the greater good on the Bavarian right where …

… on the Bavarian right the honours were with the Bavarians who were steadily dismembering some Prussian reservists and the Prussian cavalry for no loss to themselves. This is where one should be posted if one were a Bavarian!

sharpe practice 14-01-12 2

The Bavarian right … from behind the Prussian lines. Look at all those green shock points on the few remaining Prussian cavalry. They’ll soon be passing over the back edge of the table on their way to a refit.
The Prussian reserve infantry are not much enjoying their day either. Their formation has broken into its constituent three groups one of which is making an involuntary tactical move to the rear – to be seen just in front of the artillery – while the other two are on separate sides of the building.

Another satisfactory game. The son & heir is threatening an actual scenario for the next game. He’s even set up the table.

Enough for now. Don’t forget to <click> on the photographs / pictures / images for an enlarged and clearer photograph / picture / image.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

It’s 2014 – battles and a painting competition

Sharp Practice 14-01-01

Action on the Franco-Bavarian right flank. A bleary eyed – he’ll blame hay fever – Hauptmann The son & heir over looks his Prussian troops as they battle Bavarians in the second practice Sharp Practice game.
The Bavarian light troops Рspot the green plumes which are admittedly hard to spot Рon the road are exchanging fire with some Prussian volunteer jager further down the road. On the right hand side of the road just before the jagers are some lost Italians. See the A little bribery seals the deal post for more information on these figures.
The mounted Bavarian officer in the foreground represents Feldmarschall von Peter himself. He has been so busy activating his troops and moving them forward into danger that there has been no chance for him to personally advance to the front lines … and all that danger. Honest!!
Don’t forget to <click> on the picture for a larger and clearer view.

New Years Day 2014 ended up as a great way to start the year. Some of the wee men Р28mm figures that is in case of any confusion Рcame out to play Too Fat Lardies Napoleonic / black powder era skirmish game Sharp Practice. Rhys and von Peter himself have long talked of playing Sharp Practice and New Years Day was the day to finally get it done. The wise heads of Rhys (French) and von Peter himself (Bavarian) were tasked with saving Europe from the tyranny of the brash younger generation РDaniel (Waterloo allies) and The son & heir (Prussian).

For von Peter himself there is some hope that the figures he uses for his larger battle games can be utilised in a different game setting with the Sharp Practice rules. Not only does Sharp Practice operate at the lower level / skirmish¬†battle but it also allows for a degree of role playing with the ‘Big Men’ – officers and NCOs. If needs be von Peter himself is happy to paint a few single figure ‘Big Men’ for Sharp Practice games.

Two learner games were played over the course of the day with many rules forgotten and others not quite correctly used in the game. But on the plus side some rules were correctly implemented(!) and at least with The son & heir and von Peter himself there is a determination to carry on with the rules. von Peter himself is yet to have a full debrief with Rhys & Daniel but they seemed happy immediately after the gaming activities as they sped away later than their schedule called for. Ooops!  8O)

Sharp Practice

A FAQ has been discovered for Sharp Practice, the rules reviewed and a third game has been set up on the gaming table. The Bavarian РPrussian shoving match is to continue and will feature some Silesian volunteer jager freshly painted by an inspired The son & heir. More on these later.

Sharp Practice 14-01-01 2

Action on the Franco-Bavarian left flank in game 2. The French line infantry in the centre distance between the barn and the wood have managed to advance in that speedy French advance sort of way and have managed to put pile of hurt on an out of sight opposing artillery piece. Vive le emperor! Sadly they have since been stuck unable to move while some wotten wiflemen shoot point blank fire into their flank. Where has that damned Big Man card gone? I bet those cursed English have bought it with their thrice cursed subsidies and removed it from the game deck!!
The green counters denote the shock points on the Frenchmen … and that many is not a healthy sight if you are of the French persuasion.
The Chasseurs a Cheval await their chance to pounce on the flank of the pesky wotten wiflemen. Surely those British have not snaffled their leaders card as well? Their commander is not sure that they can pounce through a light wood … but it is only a light wood.
Click on the picture for a larger and clearer view.

The Christmas book arrives

As per a prior Potential Christmas Presents ‚Äď the first¬†post von Peter himself duly – if a little late¬†– ordered the book ¬†Cr√∂bern 1813 The Battle of the Nations in Miniature. Though it is possible to source the book from Caliver Books von Peter himself decided that getting the book from source was the way to go because …

  • It seemed that the producers of the book would earn more from the sale and
  • it was cheaper!

The book duly landed on the last day of 2013 and has been an easy and eye raising read to date. The creators of the diorama certainly put in a great deal of effort even having to organise a home for it and other dioramas.

Cröbern 1813 The Battle of the Nations in Miniature

La Bricole painting challenge

That friendly Napoleonic focussed¬†La Bricole forum is having another of it’s painting challenges. Officially it is titled

Deploy Skirmishers – La Bricole Winter Painting Challenge, 2014

which just goes to show how confused some people are.¬†von Peter himself could have sworn that it was summer … at least in the Southern Hemisphere!! ¬†8O)

Prizes are offered and they are tres magnifique! The unremitting glory and undying accolades of your peers. In truth the idea of the La Bricole painting challenge is to generate and spur on painting amongst the forums members.

This time around the theme is light troops, be they cavalry or infantry. For further details check the rules and regulations. So get your paint brushes out or at the very least check out the la Bricole forum.

Deploy Skirmishers

2014

And as it is now 2014 it gives von Peter himself great pleasure to wish everyone a Happy New Year. May it be pleasurable, prosperous and prolific on the hobby front.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself