Call to Arms 2016 and the religious relic carrying waggon

The local wargames convention – Call to Arms – was held on the weekend of 6 – 7 August 2016. The son & heir and von Peter himself added that touch of celebrity to the proceedings on the Saturday by participating in a Sharp Practice 2 Napoleonic game. Ray provided the scenario and the French with Dan and Michael rounding out the five players involved.

von Peter himself and The son & heir were the first to arrive from our happy band of gamers. It was a cold wintry day outside and initially not much better inside the hall so an empty demonstration table situated under some heating and by the refreshments seemed like a gift from the wargaming gods. As there were no other obvious demonstration tables about it was rapidly claimed. We later learned that it was not our designated table but some other swine had ‘stolen’ our official table so we stayed put. Subsequently we were to discover that the wargaming gods have quite the sense of humour. The temperature about our table rose … and rose … … and rose. We started shedding layers of clothing – but not passed the point of decency The dear reader can be assured! It was not just the battle that was heating up through that day.

The setting was 1814 France, specifically the town and surrounds of St Pierre wherever that is. The action was the culmination of a chase that had been ongoing in one form or another since the godless French looted the holy relics of St. Basil from a church in Holy Russian during the atrocities of 1812. Fortunately for the pursuing Russians the religious relic carrying waggon containing ‘the precious’ has lost a wheel and unfortunately for the French the local blacksmith has fled at the first mention of the word ‘cossack’. This has unsurprisingly added greatly to the difficulties of repairing the religious relic carrying waggon. And wouldn’t you know it the Russians have now appeared. Merde! Can the French repair and extract the waggon before the Russians recover their religious and pricey artefacts?

What follows is a sporadic photo summary of the game. Sporadic because when von Peter himself wasn’t playing the game he was socialising. In between these two activities he would occasionally think to take some photographs. And to add to the challenge those photographs were taken without the aid of a tripod so apologies for their quality.

But first some background for The dear readers …

  • the scenario called for more Russian light cavalry than was available. Fortunately Blücher was not adverse to lending some Prussian cavalry to his Russian allies. Anything to upset the French! Irrespective of how they looked all the Allied cavalry were played as Russian hussars. Those first rank Russian hussars with lances did not get to use them in the game.
  • the religious relic carrying waggon had its own card in the deck. Each time it appeared the French rolled 2 six sided dice and accumulated the score. Once they surpassed a score of 37(?) the religious relic carrying waggon would be adjudged to be repaired. After that the waggon would move as an infantryman on the turn of it’s card.
  • generally the Russians were men who had well learned their military trade through the wars whereas some of the French were recently called to the colours.
  • for the uninitiated a ‘Group’ is the base unit of infantry and cavalry in Sharp Practice. They have no real formation. Multiple Groups can join together to make a ‘Formation’. No surprisingly Formations have a formation, e.g. a line, column, square etc. Formations fight much better but being in set formations they are more difficult to manoeuvre around the battlefield. The terminology may be  a little confusing but it all seems to work just fine. 😃
  • whether it be a Group or a Formation nothing works terribly well without the fearless and occasionally knowledgeable and professional Leaders. Leaders of various rankings and effectiveness are crucial to the game.
  • the aim of the game is for the Russians to capture a hopefully repaired religious relic carrying wagon and retrieve it to their lines. The French are to repair and extract the wagon off their baseline and speed it on its way to Paris. Neither side were allowed to ‘damage’ the religious relic carrying wagon. The Russians in no way wish to damage the precious and priceless cargo and the French need an operational wagon if it’s contents are to avoid the Russians and reach Paris.

CTA 2016 1Above: an over view of most of the table early in the game from behind the Russian lines. Click the image to see a larger and clearer view which amy help to make sense of the following.

Starting in the bottom left corner we can see four of the six groups of Russian/Allied cavalry. Only the last of these are actual Russian hussars though the Leader to be seen here is also Russian. The lead Group out on their own are playing as a Group. The last three are clumped together in a Formation. Two other groups of actual Russian hussars were at the far end of the Russian line out of sight and they were destined to have quite a day. The Russian cavalry operated under Dan’s – or should that be Danski’s – command.

Moving left along the Russian battle line we have six Groups of Russian jagers under the Command of The son & heir. One Group is a little tardy and has yet to cross the bridge. An attached officer of the Garde Cossacks is chiding them along to join their comrades on the firing line. The rest of them have made it to the edge of the wood and have begun to take French in St Pierre under fire. The gunpowder smoke … errr … cotton wool shows that the far Formation of three groups have fired but not yet reloaded. The large rectangular stand behind the furthest jagers represents the Russians high commander who laboured was under The son & heirs control.

Further along the Russian line can be seen the beginnings of the six groups of Russian musketeers suffering under the well camouflaged military talents of von Peter himself.

The overall infantry plan was for the jagers to pin the French while the musketeers went for the far end of St Pierre or even a hook around behind it depending on that religious relic carrying wagon.

For the French we have light infantry in the fields on this side of St Pierre. They appear to have cheated and have brought along a single 6pdr cannon! Outrageous and against all the rules of the small wars. But what does one expect?!  😃

To their rear and partially obscured by the trees are four Groups of French dragoons. They were positioned centrally behind St Pierre but are reacting to the presence of the Russian cavalry on the Russian left.

St Pierre itself is garrisoned by perhaps five(?) Groups of French infantry in the various buildings facing the Russian threat. Two Groups occupy the buildings and courtyard on the nearest corner of St Pierre. A further two groups can be see lining the wall opposite the Russian Jagers and another Group lurks in the building to their rear.

In the middle of St Pierre The dear reader may be able to make out a white blob. This is a die sitting atop the religious relic carrying wagon representing the amount of repairs the French have affected.

Finally two Groups of French infantry have advanced out of St Pierre and lined the wall guarding the far flank of the town.

The father and son combination of Ray and Michael ran the French. It’s not really their fault. von Peter himself is fully aware that somebodies had to do it!!  😃

CTA 2016 2Above: The same early stage of the game from behind the French lines. The religious relic carrying wagon with its extra load of the repair counting die is much more visible here. For their first two religious relic carrying wagon repair rolls the French somehow managed to a roll ten … and then another ten! And these both under the close scrutiny of von Peter himself!! Highly suspect. You never know what shenanigans the French have pulled.  😃

CTA 2016 3Above: Oh dear but we appear to be still at the same point early on in the game. A closer up view of the almost complete Russian eager firing line. Still missing are the single Group of jagers on the other side of the bridge with the Garde Cossack officer – see the first picture. The large rectangular base just behind the jagers at the near end of the line is the Russian CinC under the control of The son & heir.

At the far end of the line is Father Disputin acting as one of the Russian commanders. Good luck keeping the fire breathing Father out of the battle. He’s come a long way to reclaim the relics and if their recovery requires the forwarding of assorted French souls to their maker then so be it.

CTA 2016 4Above: At last the game report moves on. Danski has moved the two Groups of Russian hussars on the Russian right down the flank and engaged in several melees. Prior to this image with the cunning use of four Command Cards Dan gained an extra move for his hussars and eradicated a Group of French infantry by pouncing on their flank. Almost as importantly the hussars also potted the French Leader – number two in the French military hierarchy. Huzzah!

The French managed to form a new line of infantry just in front of the lead Group of hussars in the image. Undaunted Dan drove a Group of his hussars onward and defeated these too. The remains of the French infantry can be seen further down the road cowering behind the religious relic carrying wagon. The hussars scored another French Leader by downing the top ranked French leader this time! And yes that is the religious relic carrying wagon just ahead of the hussars. HUZZAH!!

Sadly for the Russian heroes there was French infantry in the red tile roofed building just ahead and to the left. The vengeful French fire was to see the one – or was it two? – remaining hussars rushing to the rear to errr … reform their ranks! Huzzah.

CTA 2016 5Above: And some time passed. Despite ongoing alarms the French completed the repairs to the religious relic carrying wagon and started to move it away from the Russians and towards Paris. Seeing an opportunity and goading the attached Garde Cossack Leader with tales of daring do The son & heir managed to grab the religious relic carrying wagon with fast moving group of jager and their attached glory seeking Garde Cossack. The image shows the situation a little after the religious relic carrying wagon has changed hands. The Russians have turned the wagon around and desperately want it to move out of St Pierre. There are a lot of converging French around.

CTA 2016 6Above: A zoomed out view of the previous image showing the audaciousness of the Russian coup de main … and a tape measure. D’oh!

Several other points of interest for the dedicated follower of miniature military simulation. Moving along the top of the image left to right …

  • the two lance armed Russian hussars by the card deck aren’t really there. They are ex-hussars waiting to go back into their storage container as their day is done.
  • von Peter himself has managed to get his Russian musketeers sort of across the field, merged them into what he hopes is a scary looking Formation of four Groups and is looking to unleash them on some hopefully weakened Frenchmen somewhere. This is the blob coming in at an angle against St Pierre. If The dear reader is wondering whatever happened to the other two Groups of Russian musketeers they can just be made out at the far left of the image between the red tiled roof and the edge of the image. They are looking to open a second front against St. Pierre or make an opportunistic end run around St Pierre as circumstances present themselves.
  • a Formation of jagers has advanced out of the woods. This was occasioned by the French getting the wagon moving and a sense of “Holy Mother Russia!” descending on the Russian command. There was a palpable sense that the plan needed to kick up a gear. It was from this Formation that the brave Garde Cossack Leader and his jagers made their dash for the religious relic carrying wagon.
  • between the afore mentioned jagers Formation and St Pierre there can be seen a build up of smoke – alright some cotton wool! It represents the smoke resulting from “Firing Random Event”. Firing through this smoke was adjudicated with an additional minus one to hit.
  • to the right of the advancing jager Formation and behind the trees can be made out some rapidly removing themselves to the rear Russian jagers. They had been jumped by some Frenchmen on the outskirts of St Pierre who managed to sneak up and attack the jagers in the flank. To their credit the jagers have not abandoned the unconscious Father Disputin but are carrying him rapidly to the rear. One can but feel only pity for those jagers should Father Disputin rouse himself to consciousness.

CTA 2016 7Above: The scene about the religious relic carrying wagon shortly after the prior image. The religious relic carrying wagon has just been re-appropriated by the French. The Russian jagers are muttering mutterings that are best left untranslated but not so much because they have just lost the religious relic carrying wagon but because just out of shot to the right are some French dragoons aimed down the road at them.

CTA 2016 8Above: A zoomed out image of the prior scene. The blob of Russian musketeers has managed to clear the outskirts of St Pierre of Frenchmen in a most thorough and prejudiced manner. von Peter himself was dreaming of his undoubted promotion and military decoration at this point!

The French dragoons can just be made out in the top right corner.

CTA 2016 9Above: And so we have reached the end of game photos. It is at this stage that the martial vigour of French began to fail as they surveyed the scene around St Pierre. And Monsieur Ray had another pressing social engagement to attend. Sure! 😃

Although they once again possess the religious relic carrying wagon the French have yet to turn it around … and they know that this is a time intensive activity. von Peter’s large Formation of musketeers have lined up both the religious relic carrying wagon and the escorting skirmishing Frenchmen while his second smaller Formation of musketeers – bottom’ish right – is poised to attack the Frenchmen in the red tiled roofed building to keep them out of the main action. The surviving Russian jagers partially hidden by the trees to the left of the image are ready to support the musketeers. Danski’s Russian hussars survey the scene down the road at the right edge of the image.

CTA 2016 10Above: End of game 2. The Garde Cossack Leader and his hardy Russian jagers breathed a sigh of relief as their card turned before that of the French dragoons and have dived into the thatched and slate tiled buildings next to the red tile roofed building. They hope to cause the French a little pain from here and feel much safer with those French dragoons loitering on the road. And there’s still that tape measure to admire. Double d’oh!

CTA 2016 11Above: The end position of the cavalry ballet on the outskirts of St Pierre. The perplexing military conundrum here was that the stream though innocuous looking was actually a significant obstacle with steep slippery banks. To cross it would take a complete turn which in turn would leave any cavalry at a disadvantage should the enemy cavalry manage to attack them immediately they had crossed the stream. But to ignore the opposing cavalry and move elsewhere would be to invite that opposing cavalry to cross the stream unopposed. Lovely tape measure!  🚫

All in all a successful days gaming played in a stress free laid back manner. Many thanks to my fellow gamers … even the French ones! 😃 And we learned Sharp Practice 2 a little more which is a definite bonus. Several passers by had nice things to say about the game so a big thank you to them as well. It was great talking to you all.

Many thanks to Ray for sorting the scenario when the rest of us didn’t. It may have been based on someone else’s scenario in which case thank you to them as well.

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

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Listening while going native

Three … two … one … GO …

Podcast Corner

A couple more podcasts have been added to the listening roll of von Peter himself.

The History of Byzantium 

Not surprisingly this is …

A podcast telling the story of the Roman Empire from 476 AD to 1453.

Its creation was inspired by the “The History of Rome” podcast which is another fine podcast in case you missed von Peter’s earlier recommendation on the prior blog of von Peter himself.

The bad news is that von Peter himself is just a little late to the party on this one with the first episode published on 1 May 2012! On the plus side there are many episodes (114?) to listen to without having to wait for new episodes to ‘drop’. And new episodes are still dropping.

von Peter himself gets his episodes from iTunes or you can visit the The History of Byzantium site.

The history of Byzantine

 

Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy Podcast

The chaps from the Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy magazine have started a lively podcast described as …

An irregular podcast looking at wargaming.

von Peter himself is a little more up to date with this one as their first episode dropped on 13 June 2016.

Most of us at the WS&S offices spend at least some of our free time painting minis – and when we do, we like having something to listen to. There are already quite a few great wargaming podcasts out there, but that’s doesn’t mean there isn’t room for one more, so we’re happy to introduce the brand new Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy podcast. Each episode will be short (30 minutes) and thematic (like our magazines). Our pilot podcast is already available for download via iTunes. Please have a listen and let us know what you think. Since we’re just starting out, feedback is much appreciated. It will help us build the perfect show.

wss podcast

 

Paramount Chief  – for 5 minutes – von Peter himself

As presaged in the prior post von Peter himself and Fraulien von Peter herself took themselves off to Kerikeri way up at the top of New Zealand in the Bay of Islands for some richly deserved rest & relaxation. Fear not – there is no way that the leisure loving von Peter himself is going undo all that rest & relaxation by documenting this most recent of travels in excruciating detail for the entertainment of The dear readers. Suffice it to say that the time away from work – and The son & heir 😎 – was fully enjoyed and not long enough.

There was one event of note that must be telegraphed around the world however – the raising of Paramount Chief von Peter himself. Well Paramount Chief for at least 15 minutes anyway.

The site of this honour was the Waitangi Treaty Grounds …

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is New Zealand’s most important historic site where in 1840 New Zealand’s founding document was signed: the Treaty of Waitangi.

von Peter himself and Fraulien von Peter herself paid a visit to the Treaty Grounds and signed up for a Guided Tour and a Cultural Performance. The former was we’ll lead but it is the latter that is of concern to us here Dear reader. The Cultural performance was conducted as if the gathered audience were a Maori tribe  – the pre European occupiers of New Zealand – being hosted by the local Maori tribe. For this visit to occur a chief was required for the visiting tribe.

The astute eye of our hostess was cast over the assembled newly minted visiting tribe looking for a man of distinction, a man of fine carriage, of noble bearing and of general worthiness. In short she needed a chief. von Peter himself in false modesty may feign surprise but where else was her eye going to settle but on the modest von Peter himself?

And that is the story of how von Peter himself got to be a Chief – surely it must have been a Paramount Chief – for maybe 15 minutes. As such he took the Wero Challenge outside of the meeting house, remained rocklike as the Taiaha whirled around his head at times, gave a well received speech and performed a Hongi.

5 minute chief 1

5 minute chief 2

5 minute chief 3

5 minute chief 4

Eureka Maori additions

And surely it cannot be a coincidence that just after von Peter himself is raised to Paramount Chief Eureka Miniatures should choose now to start talking about extensions to their Maori range. It makes one think!  😎

Eureka Maori 1

Eureka Maori 2

Eureka Waka 1

Thanks to Eureka Miniatures for unknowingly providing the pictures above.

Standby for some figure photography in the soonish future.

 

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

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!  😳 No really!!  😱

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!  😃

 

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! 😎 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

It’s December … the month of Christmas

greatwarexhibitionlogo

Back to the WWI imagery from the The Great War Exhibition as started in the prior WWI exhibition, paints and more post.

The next staged scene was of a MK1 Tank – an answer to the trench conundrum – making its way over a German trench. You can tell that it is a German trench because there are various Germans occupants in said trench.

MK1 Tank

A complete replica MK1 Tank was present but it was difficult to get a good photograph of it. Fraulien von Peter herself has snuck into the photo and a glass panel provides distracting reflections. Sheesh!!

In a trench under a tank

The occupants of the trench as the MK1 goes over the top

MK1 with cutout

The other side of the tank had a cutout so you could observe the crew and the conditions they worked in. It also showed a whicker basket containing one or more pigeons! The darkness of the scene and covering glass defeated the reporters attempts to pictorially capture the internal scene

We now enter the year 1917 …

Bruno Railway Gun

A 1/3 scale model of a German ‘Bruno’ railway gun. Obsolete naval 12″ and 15″ guns were pressed into service as railway guns. A German aircraft wing hangs on the wall behind the railway gun. So dearest reader von Peter himself is pleased to present an image containing elements of naval, ground and air warfare WWI style.

Germans in gas masks

The exhibition contained many items of interest and mannequins. Here we have three Germans wearing gas masks toting an array of offensive weaponry including what distinctly looks like a flame thrower. As a bonus we also get the reflected image of some anti aircraft mounted weaponry … … … unless there is a skeet shooting competition!

There were many photos on display throughout the exhibition … and none of them were in black and white. The troops saw the war in colour and Peter Jackson had determined that visitors to the exhibition would likewise see the recorded images of war in colour. How they chose the colours remains a mystery to von Peter himself.

Stormtroopers in a shell hole

Like it says – German stormtroopers shelter in a shell hole.

And then it was 1918 …

New Zealanders with a prize

New Zealanders with a captured prize. von Peter himself wonders if he has seen this particular artillery piece in a park in New Zealand

However the colours were selected when colouring the old black and white photographs the two cameras … phones .. errr, phone-cameras in use on the day produce the following results …

Maori pioneers 1

Members of the Maori Pioneer Battalion as captured by von Peter’s work Samsung phone

Maori pioneers 2

The coloured Maori Pioneers photo again … but as presented by the iPhone 6 of Fraulien von Peter herself

There are many settings on both phone cameras but all von Peter himself can say is … how dare Fraulien von Peter herself show up von Peter himself like this!  😃

MEDIC!!!

Medic!

The cost

Enough said

Remembrance

A poignant scene of a grandfather and grandson at the grave of an unknown soldier. The completed sentence at the top of the photograph is “Join the Brave Throng that goes Marching Along” and is from a propaganda poster designed by the London Parliamentary Committee. Beneath it is “Gassed” by John Singer Sargent depicting the results of a mustard gas attack in 1918

Some reading

As recounted in the pages of this very blog von Peter himself enjoyed following the travails of Ballista and his familia in the six book  Warrior of Rome series by Harry Sidebottom. Mr Sidebottom has a new series – Throne of the Caesars – also set in the Rome of the third century A.D. From the website …

Here comes the first book in a new series set in third century Rome, a dramatic era of murder, coup, counter-rebellions and civil war.

In a single year six emperors will lay claim to the Throne of the Caesars…

SPRING AD235

Dawn on the Rhine. A surprise attack and the brutal murder of the Emperor Alexander and his mother ends the Severan dynasty and shatters four decades of Roman certainty.

Military hero Maximinus Thrax is the first Caesar risen from the barracks. A simple man of steel and violence, he will fight for Rome.

The Senators praise the new emperor with elaborate oratory, but will any of them accept a Caesar who was once a shepherd boy? And in the streets of the eternal city, others merely pray to escape imperial notice.

In the north, as the merciless war against the barbarians consumes men and treasure, rebellion and personal tragedy drive Maximinus to desperate extremes, bloody revenge and the borders of sanity.

Iron & Rust, the first book in a major new series, creates a world both sophisticated and brutal, yet firmly rooted in history; a world of intrigue, murder, passion and war, a world where men will kill to sit on the Throne of the Caesars.

The son & heir kindly arranged for a library sourced version of this first book – Iron and Rust – to be delivered to von Peter himself for his consumption. It must be admitted that von Peter himself found this book more difficult to ‘get into’ than the first book of the Warrior of Rome series. Possibly this was because the Warrior of Rome series focused on our hero Ballista whereas the Throne of the Caesars has no such single focus and zips around the various theatres in which the book is set – the city of Rome, the northern frontier, the east and Africa. But a connection was finally made and in the end the book was devoured … albeit after a slow start which resulted in an overdue book fine requiring paying!!! Oops. What sort of example was that to set?!  😳  Of course monetary reimbursements were required and have been paid in full with a little interest!  👀

iron and rust

And further on the author Harry Sidebottom – Issue 80 of the Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy magazine has an article by the man himself which reveals that he is a lapsed and now recovered wargamer. He can’t be all bad!

More Civilans on the horizon

From a Front Rank Figurines  newsletter …

Following the success of our first two Civilian packs CNPK1 and CNPK2, we are now planning the next releases in the series ~ details to follow!

More walking talking terrain pieces, onlookers or Sharp Practice scenario fodder can never be a bad thing.

Front Rank

Plastic Later French artillery

Victrix Ltd have released their French Napoleonic Artillery 1812 to 1815 …

The set contains 3 guns based on the XI system with options for 6 pounder or howitzer barrels. The set contains 15 crew with multiple arm options including shoulder straps and fringed epaulettes (These are to represent master gunners). There are also many head options with uncovered and covered shakos.

all for the princely sum of £24.95.

Victrix later French artillery

 

More recce …

From the Perry Miniatures Facebook page …

Upcoming new ACW releases!
Alan’s working on 13 codes for ACW range which include a couple of iconic troop types from the war, Berdan’s Sharpshooters and the Iron Brigade. These hopefully, should be out for Christmas, if not just after. They are 28mm and metal.

Perry logo

Most interestingly of all there are strong rumours of some new Calpe Miniatures releases in the wind. And wouldn’t you know it but it is nearly Christmas time. Self confessed Calpe zealot von Peter himself feels an order coming on … even if it has to be made after Christmas. What a pleasant way to close.  😎

Calpe logo1

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! 😎 – 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! 😃

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  – the 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.  😀

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

More landwehr and real estate

More Landwehr casualties

Landwehr casualties

Having given himself quite a scare by completing a battalion von Peter himself set himself a new rather timid goal to paint some landwehr casualty figures to match. By way of ensuring that at least some casualty figures are available for use during gaming the executive decision was taken a while back to create at least one casualty figure / base for each battalion** completed. So at least one casualty stand was required to seal the inclusion of the 3/4 East Prussian Landwehr battalion into von Peter’s Prussian force. In the end a rush of blood to the head of von Peter himself resulted in three [shock horror] casualty stands comprising four figures [good grief!] arriving at the front.

Three landwehr casualty figures from from Calpe Miniatures with the medic sourced from Westfalia Miniatures. von Peter himself is not 100% sure on the medics shoulder straps but he figures that a little latitude with a landwehr battalion’s medic’s shoulder straps is acceptable. The medic sports the yellow shoulder straps to match those of his battalion – yellow being the colour defining the third battalion of the regiment.

Sadly these three stands will no doubt be getting quite a bit of use in the future. Also sadly the white trousers in the photo have been far too much for the photographer’s skills … the git! The white trousers are not so bright in the real world. Honest.

** Artillery and especially cavalry are a bit more tricky as there are not many casualty figures available for them. As a result these unit types have their casualty status marked in battle via the use of infantry casualty stands. You would expect the cavalry in particular to complain about such tasteless shenanigans but to date not a murmur of dissent has reached high command!  😃

 

Please sir … can I have some more terrain sir …

Father’s Day comes but once a year … which is a dashed poor return for the year’s worth of toil and abuse that comes with the territory! But von Peter himself digresses … albeit justifiably.  😃

Anyways Father’s Day in New Zealand (and Australia) is celebrated on the first Sunday in September which made it 6 September in 2015. Besides providing The son & heir the chance to sleep through the breakfast provisioning time [mutter mutter] it also provides the opportunity to increase the stocks of hobby related goods. This year von Peter himself scratched the itch caused by some of the buildings rom the Big Battalions 28mm Black Powder Europe range from  Total Battle Miniatures.

Total Battle - Row of Houses and Store Lift Off Roof

The “Row of Houses and Store Lift Off Roof” was ordered on the 28 August 215. As was half expected given that it was the British summer holiday season Total Battle Miniatures were on holiday at the time but a pleasant email was received on the 5 September 2015 explaining all. Even better the postie delivered that actual model to Neu Schloss von Peter on Saturday 26 September.

TBM row of houses front

“Row of Houses and Store Lift Off Roof” front with some washed out looking Calpe Miniatures Saxons hiding in the shadows for size reference

The model arrived snuggly packed in a box in the expected  two pieces – the ground floor and the over hanging two upper stories – with some bubble wrap. The model is reasonably large which may make it better suited to Sharp Practice games than brigade/division level games. Even so von Peter himself is thinking that the two halves will be permanently glued together as he is not a fan of hiding figures in buildings.

The more eagle eyed of The dear readers will have noticed that the ground floor is cast in a pale yellow resin whereas the upper two floors are cast in a grey resin. Total Battle Miniatures replied to a querying email with the following …

“No the resins are basically the same and from the same manufacturer we just decided to start dying the castings grey for a bit more definition and the light yellow is its raw state and was bulk cast earlier in the year.” 

TBM row of houses back

“Row of Houses and Store Lift Off Roof” back

The building is not the cheapest but then you only live once! All things considered von Peter himself is happy to pronounce himself happy with his “Row of Houses and Store Lift Off Roof”. There is a strong possibility that the …

Total Battle - Timber House Lift Off Roof

… and the …Total Battle - Barn:Stables Lift Off Roof

…and maybe even the …
Total Battle Church lift off roof

… will some day join the local collection so as to form a weeney village for heroic 28mm men to squabble over. One can never have enough villages to squabble over.

Who doesn’t need Napoleonic civilians

Via their News page Front Rank Figurines have divulged that they have in their 28mm Napoleonic pipeline …

NAPOLEONIC CIVILIANS “gentry” figures due out October 2015.

At last the better class of local citizenry will be able to observe and cheer the martial brilliance ‘escapades’ of von Peter himself while simultaneously booing the deplorable and altogether vulgar opposition!  😃

The Army of the Kingdom of Sweden 1802-1814

Another e-book from The History Book Man and it’s not what von Peter himself expected. Rather than the anticipated “Armies of the Confederation of the Rhine: The Army of the Kingdom Of Westphalia 1807-1813” we get “The Army of the Kingdom of Sweden 1802-1814”.

If he were to be uncharacteristically honest von Peter himself would prefer the former and is not that interested in the latter. But then … von Peter’s Prussian and Russian troops are mostly part of Bernadotte’s Army of the North in 1813 which just happens to also contain the Swedes. But then … does anyone make decent Swedish 28mm miniatures that will fit with the highly favoured Calpe and Front Rank figures?

From the official blurb …

“THE ARMY OF THE KINGDOM OF SWEDEN 1802-1814 was originally published in 1978 and was substantially revised and updated with a wealth of new material when the new e-book edition was released. In particular a lot of new information was added into the chapters concerning the army and regimental organisation which added considerably to the usefulness of the volume. The artwork for the original e-book edition was almost a direct reprint of the 1984 edition and the book was illustrated with mostly black and white line drawings from that edition. This new 3rd Edition corrects some minor inaccuracies in the text and includes the colour artwork which was not used in earlier versions and adds some 100 new illustrations created for this edition, in particular the chapters on regimental flags have been updated and enlarged with over forty new colour illustrations.”

An email tells of 107 pages but the website says 130 pages. Hmmm!

THE ARMY OF SWEDEN - cover

SYWA 33rd Annual Convention

A few posts ago von Peter himself reminisced about the happy days when he would receive Seven Years War Association (SYWA) Journals via good old fashioned snail mail … aka the postman. Just to prove that the SYWA is still alive and kicking von Peter himself presents the flier for the next SYWA Convention. They have that Dr. Christopher Duffy person as the featured guest. von Peter himself would love to attend but not this year … or the next  … and probably not the year after either …sob!!

SYWA 33rd con

 

The standby warning for some of The son & heir’s pigmentation progress is still in effect. Standby!

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Call to Arms 2015 part the second … and some sadness

If von Peter himself were to be honest [shock horror] he might admit that the Call to Arms 2015 report was never meant to be a multi part undertaking. Rather late one night after working up the report a little further von Peter himself decided to preview that work to-date to check it for presentation, stupid errors etc. and save it for further work. Somewhere along the line of switching between the preview and the blog contents von Peter himself inadvertently published the update to the whole world! An “oh bother” – not the actual words used at the time 😀 – moment. An out of character rapid command decision was made. The post would stand. More unaccustomed rapid activity to remove some unwanted text and add the “To be continued” epitaph and the deed was complete.

Such is the sad background of gross incompetence to this continuation and conclusion of the Quatre Bras game …

Quatre Bras 4 von Peter's 2 brigades

Above: the two brigades of von Peter’s command for the game. Up front we have Pack’s four British battalions – two lining the hedge adjacent and a little in front of Quatre Bras and the two Highland battalions who have just leapt the hedge to get at the French as old gumboot (Wellington) wanted to apply some pressure on the French in this sector. Behind them are the Hanoverian militia battalions of Best’s brigade. Three battalions can be seen here as Picton has already removed the fourth to the flank where they would remain for the rest of the game.

Once the potential outflanking of the Allied line by the French had been thwarted (see here for the details) the worst of the battle was over for the allies stationed on the left though they did not yet know it. Monsieur Rhys tried heroically to puncture the line but it was not to be. Then again he may just have been foxing to keep allied troops away from the centre and allied right. Damned dastardly cunning those Frenchmen can be! By the game’s end the Allied left was advancing across the field trying to break the French brigades as much as taking ground. As the historical records recount their efforts were in vain as Monsieur Rhys proved to be a dab hand at surviving Break Tests and though his brigades may have been sorely tested none broke [mutter mutter].

A rare visit by von Peter himself to the Allied right delivered quite the surprise. There didn’t seem to be an Allied right flank. Whatever had gone on over there it was not good for the Allies. There was precious little standing between the French and Quatre Bras.

Thankfully the scenario timed out before the French could storm Quatre Bras. A moral victory for the Allies but a summing up of the scenarios victory points gave the game comfortably to the French. Time to fall back to that ridge we spotted near Mont St Jean. With any luck the Prussians will join in to add that victorious touch to the Allied efforts!! 😀

Quatre Bras 5 von Peter's 2 brigades up close

Above: a close up of the prior scene

During the battle the left flank of the Allied Army had no cavalry support and but a single battery. True there was a battalion of British Rifles which the (British!) writers have decided were supermen with plenty of special rules. Not that the special rules stopped them from blundering and running to the rear. 😀 They didn’t unduly affected the battle. And the much famed and feared British first fire turned out to be nothing more than a grave disappointment.

The true heroes on the left were Best’s Hanoverian militia who fought like lions all day. And their brave commander von Peter himself is totally unbiased in this. They invariably rolled high when required and low when required. Whether it was going toe to toe with the French in a firefight or surviving a flank charge by French Cuirassiers they managed it all with the aplomb of veterans. It must be their red caps … or the inspired leadership. 😀

All in all a good time was had. The same seemed to be true of the convention as a whole – at least on the Saturday that von Peter himself was in attendance. There were several other demonstration games and the hall was full of competition gaming in several gaming systems. There were even some visiting public who wandered in with varying levels of understanding of what we were doing. They were all ready and happy to talk.

von Peter himself appears to have ceased taking photographs after the couple above. But never fear – for a bunch more photos of the game garage gaming Terry has posted about a gazillion of them at …

Call to Arms 2015 – Part 1 and

Call to Arms 2015 – Part 2.

Meanwhile at home several painting sessions have moved forward the 3/4th East Prussian Landwehr Regiment as modelled as a shot up firing line – Calpe Miniatures figures of course. Perhaps a progress report photo next time around.

Good bye dear friend

Sadly – such an inadequate word – we had to put Laelaps “to sleep” today. This came totally out of the blue.

Thank you Laelaps for being such a fantastic and integral part of The Family. You were a gentle dog who invariably did your best to please … though it must be said that there was the occasional mischievous moment! You are and will be missed. It was The Family‘s great pleasure and honour to run as part of your pack.

Laelaps

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself