Friday, August 22, 2014

95th, Flintloques, and Muskets

Flintloque and Muskets a free supplement for 95th

It must be apparent to observant readers that my Napoleonic figures are a bit "off".


There is a very good reason for this.


Although I often use them as historical figures, my Napoleonics are actually "Napoleoniques" hailing from the fantasy world of Valon.


A world where all of the usual, as well as some rather less usual, fantasy races all seem to be trapped in episodes of "Sharpe's Rifles", with the orcs cast as British, and the elves as French.


And jolly good fun it is too!


Valon is the world of of Alternative Armies's Flintloque and Slaughterloo figure ranges, examples of which may be seen in practically all of the posts on my blog.

While I have written 95th, as well as Muskets and Shakos, as strictly historical games, I do like to use the figures for their intended purposes as well. Flintloque is a fine game, presented in a series of well written and entertaining books covering different theaters of war. I encourage those with an interest to check out the free version of the rules available here.

Getting back to the main subject of this post, in the past I had written a small supplement to allow players of THW games to use Flintloque figures with THW rules.

With the release of 95th, an updated version of that supplement Flintloques and Muskets, is now available on Craig Andrews' excellent web site, Orcs in the Webbe .

I thank Craig for hosting the supplement, as well as running a very entertaining website, and Gavin Syme of Alternative Armies for his tireless support of my madder ideas in this genre!

Hope you enjoy the game and don't forget to check out Flintloque when you have the time.

Thanks for stopping by!



Monday, August 18, 2014

Giglamps and El Labrador

His duel with Mac Rattry behind him, Giggers was told the reason for his summons.

It seems the Peer was in a bit of a pickle. His Spymaster, a shadowy figure known only as "El Labrador" was on the run! The timing of the thing was, as usual, abysmal.

The army was on the verge of an offensive, planned in no small part on information provided by El Labrador. Should El Labrador suffer capture, not only the coming offensive, but the Duke's entire spy network would be at risk.

And so it fell to young Giggers, to seek out and rescue El Labrador. Travelling fast and light was the order of the day. Giggers elected to take only his trusted coverman, Cooke, on the mission.


This is my first game with the published version of 95th. Regular readers will know of this game's development under its working title of "Baker Rifle".

Giggers is a Rep 5, a leader, and Fierce. Cooke is Rep 4 and a Brute. Both are mounted and armed with a sabre, pistol, and carbine. 

The game was written to allow play in a 3x3 foot area. Normally I play on a larger area but this time I  marked out the edges and grid with small stones. The Rescue mission requires one to three buildings in the center of the table and in this case the dice gave me three. To the right of the town was an impassable escarpment, to the left, a wood. Behind the town was a hill.

I elected to enter the table from the bottom right, planning to use the escarpment to protect my flank while searching for my target.


The game started with three Possible Enemy Forces (PEF''s). One was in the wood, one behind the wood, and the third behind the escarpment. Each building also potentially held enemy troops. Somewhere among all of theses possibilities lay El Labrador.

Giggers cautiously led the way to the escarpment. It was impossible to make the move without checking to see there were enemies in the nearest building. There were none, but test for enemy forces indicated the next PEF would be more likely to generate foes.

At this point Giggers' plan was to scout the church and the escarpment and then sweep left behind the town, dealing with any enemy forces as they were uncovered.


This is the situation at the end of turn 2. Even with the increased chance of finding enemy troops, the church also proved to be vacant. It is worth noting here that even if one doesn't get shot at when approaching a building, there is still a chance that enemy are lurking in wait. They may strike when your troops actually enter the building.


At this point the enemy stole a march one me! Now the enemy was closing in for the kill. One PEF beyond the escarpment, one behind the church, and one on the far side of the church.

Here Giggers proved the wisdom of approaching mounted. A quick change of direction and fast movement might unhinge the enemy's scheme.


As our Hero cantered now across the front of the village, he saw a figure pointing towards the church with a hushed motion. El Labrador!


Cantering on Giggers caught site of the reason for El Labrador's gestures. A blue clad figure with musket was taking aim by the church!


The musket roared but the Rep 4 line infantryman failed to hit his mark.


Detailing Cooke to see to El Labrador, Giggers put spurs to his mount and charged. The infantryman put up a surprisingly good fight, besting Giggers in the first round of melee and forcing the use of Giggers' hero dice.

A second round ended in a draw.

Finally after a third round, Giggers beat his foe down, out of the fight.


Meanwhile as Cooke sheparded El Labrador towards safety, the final PEF resolved into a Rep 5 French line officers, four Rep 5 infantrymen, and a single Rep 4 infantryman. Quite a formidable detail.

 El Labrador quickly ducked back behind the cover of a building but poor Cooke was not so fortunate. 


 Two shots range out. One hit Cooke's horse, only grazing the animal. The other hit Cooke, and the brave chap was dead before he hit the ground.


It was time to beat a hasty retreat!


As the French patrol surged through the town,


Giggers and El Labrador disappeared into the distance.

Notes:

That was a short sharp action.

Normally the way my luck runs, PEF's are often real enemy forces and always outnumber my boys considerably. In that respect this was something of a low intensity game. 

There was quite a bit of suspense throughout. In the early turns this came from not knowing where the enemy was and in what strength. In the end game it came from facing an overwhelming French force.

Fortunately Giggers only need to escape with El Labrador and so he did. Wogan will be pleased.

D*mn*d shame about Cooke though.

Hope you enjoyed the report.
All figures are from Alternative Armies.
Buildings from Miniature Building Authority.
Other terrain of varied manufacture.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Another Troopship from Scotland


Two my longstanding military history interests are The Thirty Years War, and The English Civil War. Until now I have only explored each through books and boardgames.

Decided it was high time to add miniatures to that list.


Normally I prefer 28mm figures. However with storage space a concern, I was pushed over the edge by the Altuos 15mm Range available from my good freinds at 15mm.co.uk


Leaving the details of painting up to "my" painter at Alternative Armies/15mm.co.uk, I selected a variety of figures, specified basing and sat back and waited.

I could not be more pleased.


Based on four stand units, the armies have sixteen figure infantry and eight figure cavalry units.


All together there are six units of pike, ten of musketeers, and some twenty units of cavalry and dragoons, as well as six guns. Two units of musketeers and two of horse are individually mounted to allow for their use in skirmish games.


As final tough there are four separate sets of command stands. One each for Imperialists, Swedes, Parliamentarians, and Royalists. Each set consists of a three man Army commander vignette, and three each of two man subcommander vignettes, equally split between horse and foot.

Now to find some hedges and buildings to scale...

In any event I STRONGLY recommend 15mm.co.uk to any readers wtih an interst in 15mm gaming.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Halflings on the Margins: My WFB 3rd Empire Army

Just finished the last of my GW halflings from the 80's-90's. They sat in their blisters for quite a few years before finally being painted and taking their place in the ranks of my Empire Army, but more on that later.

For now, here are the last seven. If any readers are interested in the first 23, here is a link to all of the Gorgon Halfling posts, which will also fill you in on their place on the Black Powder Fantasy battlefield. LINK


As in the past I tried to give each batch of halflings a theme. These chaps ended up being hard bitten halflings making do on the edges of civilization. These are the hollow halflings, the stuffed halflings, for whom a pint of Old Burleby's Bitter and a Mince Pie has lost all appeal.

Confronted with the savagery of life on the frontier, these chaps have either snapped, losing all touch with reality, or hardened themselves, doing unto goblins and other raiders what those raiders have done to them. 


Below is the completed unit, thirty strong, with two missile weapons between them, three if you count the pie thrower!


In the center you can see the great hero, holding aloft his gory trophy, the head of a gorgon, that he either slew, or came upon already dead, depending on whose story you choose to believe.


He is flanked by the remains of the Weemangian Guard.


In succeeding ranks may be seen the witch hunters, Larry and his brothers Daryl, the Major, and all the other notables of the Moot.



When Warhammer Armies (for 3rd edition. It was/is a wonderful hardbound set of army lists) was first released, Games Workshop had a fantastic sale. Really. They did that back then.

I was able to pick up two or three armies at a very reasonable price.  Picked up an Empire and Skaven army. Maybe one other. Not really sure at this remove.

Now, some 25+ years laters, some of the figures still await paint!


However pictured here are some that do not.


I painted most of these in the 80's-90's although I still like to pick out the odd figure or unit to add to the force now and then. 

In fact the crossbowmen are of a slightly more recent vintage being the first figures to come with separate plastic crossbows.


These knights are actually Old Glory figures that fit right in. I do have GW knights to add but while I have found their primed mounts, the riders remain in hiding.


Can't say I really play WFB anymore but 2nd and 3rd edition remain solid games and good fun. These days I am more likely to play games set in the Warhammer World using rules of my own design.


That having been said the important thing is how wonderful are the figures themselves. Full of character, each one looks like it could tell you a few stories.

BTW many of these figures are now available once again through Wargames Foundry!

Notes: All figures by Citadel Miniatures except for the mounted lay Knights. All figures shown painted by the author.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Gamgee Din



You may talk o' ginger beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But in Victory or Defeat,
You’ll do better with a sweet,
An' you'll lick the ‘airy feet of 'im that's got it.


Now in Afri's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Is Majesty the Kyng,
Of all them ‘alfling crew
The finest bloke I knew
Was our regimental Bestie, Gamgee Din.



It has been said, and truly, that an army marches on its stomach.

Captain Giglamps of the Halflingland Rifles will tell anyone who will listen that a Halfling army fights on its stomach.

Similar to the Bhisti of India, the Bestie of Halfligland are both a tribe and an occupation. 

In the distant past when the halfings received the Word from the Author, the Bestie also received the gift of candy floss. The creation of this great confection is a closely guarded secret among the members of this endogamous community.

The word "Bestie" itself derived from the Common Tongue "best friend":, a reference to the common ancestor of the Bestie, known only as "the Old Gaffer", who brought candy floss to the wounded Bandobras Took and fought off the goblins sure to have killed that worthy, in a time before the great halfling diaspora.

Today the Bestie accompany any military expedition mounted by the Halflings of Halflingland, in order to sustain the troops in their time of need.

As a result of Albion military expeditions in Halflingland, both candy floss and the Besties who serve have become a topic of ballads in the Salons of Londinium.

Gamgee Din is one such Bestie of whom we shall see more in upcoming episodes.