Thursday, January 23, 2020

First Purchases

I found a couple of items from Noble Knight and eBay. I picked up a Winter Soviet Company Box from Battle Front and a German Winter Platoon. This should give me a base Chain of Command force for the 3rd Battle of Kharkov. Looking forward to starting on these.

I also picked up some more British for my War of Jenkin's Ear project. I now should have 3 groups of 8 for my British Regulars. I will mark these for the painting table first. I want to finish this supplement soon. I still have some Spanish to paint up as well that were bought last year. Also managed to pick up more Indians as well to strengthen my Indian allies. This should give me enough for at least the British or Spanish to have Indian Allies. Not sure I have enough for both.

Also looking to try to get into Role Playing again after a long time. Looking at Adventures in Middle Earth. Now I just need to find a group.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Happy New Year - Plans and Preparations

At the start of the year, I am contemplating the hobby projects that I am planning for this year. I think I have settled on 4 main projects.

#1 - Chain of Command - Third Battle of Kharkov

This one is just starting out. I am just gathering sources for this one. The Third Battle of Kharkov features plenty of armor and much of it mid war stuff that should make it more popular. This one I don't expect to finish out until 4th Quarter of the Year, provided I can find good accounts of the action rather than the large overviews that I have round so far. The action takes place out in the country side as well as plenty of house to house fighting.

#2 - Chain of Command - 3rd Armored Division

This is being spawned by a book I am currently reading - Spearhead by Adam Makos. Among the battles covered by the book is the acquisition of the Pershing tank by the 3rd Armored Division and its employment in battle. It features a good account of the battle for Cologne where a Pershing took out a Panther tank in the town center. The battles are broken down into small enough encounters that make them ideal for Chain of Command.

One battle in particular captured my attention. This was the first combat deployment of the Pershing. I am trying to find a good account outside the Spearhead book. There is an armored assault across a field that is covered by dug in 88's. What struck me as interesting was the solution to the problem of the 88s. Given the size of the engagement, my thought was that this might be a great scenario to try with 6mm miniatures. (of course I have sold off all of my 6mm stuff.) The Americans would have a tough go with this scenario. I have no idea when or what shape this project will take.

#3 - War of Jenkin's Ear

I have the project nearly complete. I am play testing scenarios now. This one should see the light of day within a couple of months. I still have some miniatures to paint up. I am looking to get some Blue Moon Miniatures to fill out my Indians with a storming party. I have plenty of Peter Pig Minis to paint up to round out my Spanish Regulars and Grenadiers. I have some Khurasan British to paint up as the 42nd Regiment of Foot. Need a few more to finish them off. I'm a little disappointed that they only have marching poses.

The play test that I did on the last Games day revealed that I need to paint up more fort wall sections. I thought I already had done them. Turns out, I had not.

#4 - Infamy, Infamy

This project is a whole lot of fun. I need to do more play tests. But I have been shopping for STL files to round out my terrain. Speaking of STL files, for Christmas, I got a new 3d printer. Very excited about it. I have finished setting it up yesterday and will do a test print tonight. Once that is done, I will be printing up a whole bunch of stuff for all of the projects above.

For Infamy, I am getting closer to having all of the troops that I want. I have a full centuria of Auxilia and enough additional auxilia for two more centuries. For the oposing forces, I have enough Celts for a British force. I have the lead for the start of a German force. I had done more research on the German Limes and am anxious to get this on the table.

I just jumped in on the Kickstarter from 3d-Print-Terrain.de. I used it as an opportunity to grab his earlier Rome kickstarter. Two more days for this one to end. In his Rome kickstarter he has some awesome fort pieces that will let me build the forts that I want to build. In addition to the fort pieces, there are limes towers, palisades, legionary fieldcamps, a forum, temples and some city buildings.

Also on Thingiverse I found a temple of Hercules that I want to build. Plenty to use to make a nice Vicus for a fort. I just need to figure out a bath house.

Anyway, we will see how well I do with this plan. Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Post Comments

I have ended up getting a bunch of spam comments lately. I had to switch on comment moderation because of this. Sorry about that. I'll leave it on for a while.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Its getting to look like Christmas

The calendar keeps moving faster and faster. It seems only a few days ago it was just January. Now we are approaching Christmas and year's end. All in all, it has been a good year. Health-wise, it started rough but things are looking so much better. New meds and eating healthy has gone a LONG way.

On the hobby front, I didn't accomplish as much as I thought I would. I was aiming for 1000 points in the Vis Lardica painting challenge. I did break the 700 point realm, which was nice.

In terms of publishing, I did release the Second Kharkov Campaign. I was able to create the PayHip store which simplified direct sales. And I am looking into doing print on demand with Wargame Vault. (If I figure it out). I spent a while working on my scenarios for the War of Jenkin's Ear. I would say, that is at the 90% point. I am looking at expanding the North Carolina Campaign that I have the framework of in the back. I really want to run that campaign soon and see how well it works. The scenarios will get played out next year and should be able to publish by Quarter 2.

To celebrate another completed year, I am running a sale on my Payhip site till December 31st. Use coupon code OZG57E324Q for 35% off of everything. The address is: https://payhip.com/ChrisStoesen

Santa Clause

Lastly, it is getting a bit too later to run the Santa Clause event again. I really miss doing that. It was a great event. I would really like to know if anyone was interested in reviving that. As a reminder, Santa Clause was an event where folks would put their name in and be assigned a secret Santa and you would paint about $10 to $15 in miniatures for your target. It could be miniatures or terrain related. Then you would mail the the item to your target in time for Christmas morning. Being that it is December 11th, that is not practical. I miss this as it was my one chance to end up with hobby items as asking for them from family gets mixed results.

I'd like to pick this up again. It was fun and over the years, it resulted in some really cool gifts that were exchanged. I enjoyed following folks progress on what they were painting and seeing people post on the what they received.

I'd like to know if there is still enough interest to make it viable again. So, lets try something. If you are interested in seeing this come back to life and have a "Christmas in March - Santa Clause" event, please reply to this post and send me a mail through the contact form on the side of the blog. If I can get 15 names by Christmas, I'll start it back up with the first one due in March and in September 2020 will relaunch Santa Clause proper. I have some older posts on this. See http://cstoesen.blogspot.com/2017/09/2017-santa-clause.html for an overview of what we did back in 2017.

Anyway, Merry Christmas everyone.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Games Day - 12-07-2019

We did another Historical's Games Day at Gigabytes in Marietta. I ran a game of Sharp Practice based on the War of Jenkin's Ear scenarios that I had written. This particular battle was the Spanish Attack on Fort William in July 1742. The Spanish were in retreat having been driven off of St Simons Island they engaged in a campaign of burning on Jekyll Island and Cumberland Island. They found Fort St Andrews abandoned on Cumberland Island but Fort William was occupied.

Sharp Practice - War of Jenkin's Ear

In a last ditch effort to gain some glory from their failed campaign, they assaulted the fortifications of Fort William. Historically, this battle was a win for the British as the Spanish failed again to take the fort by force. The Spanish left the island and returned to St Augustine, Florida.

Fort William was constructed with a ditch and a wooden palisade surrounding a block house and other buildings. The Spanish assaulted several sides of the structure. This scenario simulates part of that force attacking a corner of the fort. The actual scenario calls for the British force to be made up of Oglethorpe's 42nd Regiment of Foot. I didn't have time to finish painting my Khurasan miniatures for the 42nd, so I had the brave Scots of Darien be the defenders of the fort. These are AWI militia figures led by a Scotsman wielding a large sword.

The layout of the table had the corner of the fort dominating the bottom of the table. If I were to run this again, I will paint up more palisade sections and create a ditch that will go in front of the fort. Without the ditch, it was too easy for the Spanish to scale the walls.

The buildings represented the small town that existed outside of the fort. The scenario called for the Indians to pass a looting test if they ended a phase within 4" of any of the buildings, else they spent time looting said building until brought back under control. When the incident would first be applicable in the game, I forgot about the rule and the Indians ran merrily along to some small woods and proceeded to shoot the defenders on the wall. That was a mistake.

Below is the Spanish and Indian force. The Yamassee Indians had an initial group of 2 groups of 6 and a reserve group of 2 groups of 6. Each force had a scaling ladder with them. The Spanish had two separate forces. The first was the command of Spanish Regulars from Havana. This consisted of three groups of 8 men. They were accompanied by a force of Spanish Militia from St Augustine, Florida. The two Spanish forces detested one another and ideally should not support one another due to the animosity between the sides. This is tough to model in a game where players want to win.

The Spanish and Indians were ably commanded by Kris and Sebastian. Each took a Spanish force and one of the Indian forces. Each had a reserve element that they could bring in after 2 turns of the blank card. The blank card came up very quickly in the game, allowing the Spanish to get their full force on the table much quicker than anticipated.

I spent some time making markers for the game. I only managed Unloaded Markers (polyfilla on tongue depressors), Present markers and Uncontrolled markers. To show what unit had activated, I was placing pennies behind the units. I also had a number of shock dials from both Warbases and Charlie Foxtrot.

I had anticipated more players but it was an early game and many of the potential players had yet to show up. So I ended up running the British forces. I had a swivel gun with three crew and a leader, two groups of Darien Scots (8 men each) with leader and a single group of 6 skirmishers with a leader. This proved to be just too few troops to hold the day.

The whole day started a bit rough as I realized that I left my ground cloth at home which was over an hour away from the venue. Fortunately, Mark lent me his from his Maylay game. The game began with the swivel gun deployed on the fort walls. I have both a large fort corner and a blockhouse that I could add to expand the British space up considerably in the future.

The Yamassee and the Florida Militia deployed from the left hand side of the table. Here is where I forgot to make the Indians pass a looting test. That would have greatly helped me out if they had taken the test.

The Spanish Regulars deployed from the right in column formation. They advanced quickly but became a great target for the swivel gun and took some shock from the first blast.

After this, I was able to deploy my other troops to the walls in the hopes of driving off the Spanish. This never happened. While the Spanish Regulars took losses, they didn't accumulate much shock. They were able to deploy in line and lay fire against the swivel gun and Darien Scots. With both the Militia and Regulars in formation, they were able to move their attack forward without loosing too many men or getting loaded with crippling shock. I treated the palisade as light cover and as the Spanish and Indians advanced, they were able to kill a number of the British defenders off of the walls. Surprisingly, they took almost no shock.

Soon enough, the Spanish reached the walls. They were in good shape over all and able to press home the attack.

With both the skirmishers and the swivel gun team killed to a man, the fort was doomed. The leader of the skirmishers was wounded and knocked off the wall. He would then end up with a random event that saw him with a sprained ankle. The leader of the swivel gun was wounded and knocked out. When the Spanish poured over the walls, the knocked out skirmisher was captured. The Scots attempted to fight off the troops scaling the wall. They did win a round of fisticuffs before being shot to bits by the next group to scale the fort.

In the end, the fort fell. *Sigh* It was still a good game and with some tweaks will be a really good game. This is the second version of the layout for the game and I enjoyed it much more than the initial version. I just need to get to painting more terrain to round it out.

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Chain of Command - Normandy Game

William ran a Normandy game in the afternoon. It was a six player game with William as umpire. I played a reduced American paratrooper platoon. I was joined by Sebastian as the Armor commander and Rick as the second infantry commander. The Germans were played by John, Rodger and Stephen.

It was a great but slow moving game. The American's were the defenders and we were tasked with holding the town square. I held the right side of the table while Rick held the left. I actually didn't do terribly but managed to loose my only anti-armor asset (a bazooka team) early on. With two Panzer IVs parked near me and nothing to counter them, a squad was forced to break off and fall back off the table. I attempted to drive off one tank with MMG fire but to no avail. Part of the issue was terrible dice rolling. I took little shock and few casualties (lost the bazooka team). My force morale was in good shape (8) but just had no where to maneuver that made sense without it being a suicidal charge. In the end, the Germans gained a tactical victory as the US armor suffered 3 lost tanks out of 5. I don't think the Germans lost any armor. They did take some infantry casualties from Rick.

It was a great day all around. I was supposed to run an Infamy, Infamy game but by the time the Chain of Command game ended, it was too late.

Monday, November 25, 2019

All Along The Wall - A New Campaign.

Chapter 1 - Seeds of War

The Druid stirred the entrails in the bowl. "Yes," he cried out to the heavens. "It is time to begin."

He dipped his hand in the blood and moved to the chief who sat warily watching the proceedings.

The Madness in the Druid's eyes had the chief flinch back before he smeared the blood across his cheeks.

"Lugus has blessed you. The auguries have decreed your success. You will drive the invaders from the isle and lead a host, the likes of which have never been seen before. You must get the fork of Lugus. The invaders have placed it in a shrine to one of their pathetic gods. Hercu...something. You must sieze the treasure and the tribes will gather to you."

Frang Allanach looked the mad druid in the eye. He was bolstered by the promises. He knew others had been so tempted in the past. His father had told him the tales, but this felt different. His tribe was small. But if he could accomplish something great, the other tribes would flock to his banner. He could be king north of the wall and eventually unite the country again. It was so tempting.

"Ancient father, where should we start?" Frang asked.

"Take your tribe and attack their trade. The villages nearest the wall trade with the invaders. Give them spine by showing them how to attack. Free them from dependence on Rome's excesses and they will join you."

"Will you join me?"

"Not yet. There is much to do and prepare. Raid their commerce. Then meet with me again."

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Centurion Lucius Tiburs readied his men. The Exploratores had brought back rumors of unrest to the north. Instead of the typical escort he decided to lead this one himself with most of his century. The merchants seemed dismissive of his caution but a little caution could go a long way.

His Auxilia were originally raised in Gaul but was largely Britons now. Replacements were taken from the local population. Near the fort was a numerous of sagitarii (archers). He managed to get a tent party assigned to the escort. He wanted cavalry, but that was a bit much to expect. Once the caravan was together, they marched out. There was a tent party in the lead acting as a skirmish screen. Two followed behind them in column. Then came the two carts of the merchants. The archers were deployed between the two carts. In the rear was the last two tent parties in column. With a shout, the skirmishers started out.

Lucius counted silently before issuing the orders to move out.

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The Campaign

I am starting a test campaign of Infamy, Infamy. This is the set up for the campaign that I am running. The Romans are escorting a group of merchants to a village north of the wall. The Britons are trying to ambush them. The introduction above was my reason for the encounter. A tribal chief is tempted to greatness. The Romans have a different back story that will ultimately involve an entire cohort of Auxilia before this is all said and done.

The Infamy, Infamy play test rules have been a treat to work with. They have been great fun so far and I have gotten a couple of games in to try it out already. Hopefully, the next post will be the after action report of the battle.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The War of Jenkin's Ear

Well the supplement is functionally complete. I am planning on running a scenario from this on the December 7th Games Day at Gigabytes. I'm happy with the supplement but it is not likely to get much in the way of attention being that it is a minor conflict and few manufacturers make dedicated figures for it. It needs editing and some pictures of games in play.

I am looking at my terrain supply and attempting to figure out what would be the best "modular" terrain to build up for this. I have a bunch of trees. Most of them are individually based or some groups on bases. But nothing that really represents thick and heavy woods. To correct that and in preparation for Infamy, Infamy, I decided that it is necessary to make some more.

The plan is to create a 12" by 12" stand of woods using a canopy method. I tried this once before and it was a miserable failure. Attempt number two will use self stick tile as the base and the previously created canopy as the top. I have a wooden dowel that I will cut into sections as the tree trunks to support the canopy. If this test works, I need to create 6 more of them.

Infamy, Infamy uses a really nice terrain generation system that gives you a set number of terrain pieces that are needed (hills, marshes, woods). These are diced for and you place them on the table. My thought is that this system would provide a nice variety of terrain items to allow me to set up most tables that I need. If my canopy method works, then having them with the individual trees should give me enough coverage to do most of the table layouts for the WOJE scenario book.

The thought is to have some smaller canopies and some oddly shaped ones so they won't all be 12" circles. This will allow for different configurations. Make some 6" diameter sections as well. The biggest cost with this should be the flock for the canopies. I know I can make flock but I just don't have that kind of hobby time to spend on it.

While thinking about this, is it worth the effort to take the pictures for a supplement that is not likely to be a commercial success? I feel I will be lucky to sell 20 of them. I may just throw them up on the Payhip store after editing.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Roman's for Dux - since 2014

I just went back and looked at how long I have been tinkering with Imperial Roman's and figuring out how to use Dux Britanarium with them. My first posts about it came out I 2014. Figures have languished for a while. Now they are getting attention again.

I've been on a buying spree and am waiting on the postman to deliver some new things.

So, what's new? Well, I have abandoned my mods for Dux B as Rich will be issuing a Sharp Practice Variant. Instead i am focusing on a campaign for the new rules. Based of course on my favorite Roman Fort at Saalburg. The campaign will put the Cohort against a German confederation. The Tribune of the fort has to manage his forces and assign them to the fort's outposts and deal with the ordinary tasks as well as defend against German raids. The German player must plot out raids and keep his confederation together.

This will give "century" sized games until the sides meet in battle. Reinforcements can be called on and allies can be raised. I have a good start on it but need Rich's rules before I can do much more. I spent some time thinking about formations and how troops would move through evolutions between them and the advantages each would convey. It has been a fun excersize.

Painting wise I now have 3 fully painted tent parties of 8 auxiliaries each. I have two more on the paint table and six skirmishers. In addition, I painted 2 optios, a centurion, two signifiers and two cornicens. And I painted a mounted Tribune. I had given away my previous command elements and am starting over. I need to buy another CB command pack that had the Tribune and servants.

Here are the most recent painting efforts. The Tribune needs more work. I don't like how the horse came out. Maybe once I spend time on the mane, I'll like it better. I wanted to try a white horse and I don't think it will work. The shields came out OK. Honestly, they are way better than I thought they would be since my hands can tend to shake.

The two based minis are ones I did back in 2014.

Another item I am working on is the support elements. Specifically, the civilians that accompanied the century into battle. Stretcher bearers, medics, water bearers and miles. This provides several support items that can be brought into combat for bonuses or help.

Next, i have the start to a Roman fort. I am planning on building a numerus fort (klienkastle) and the Saalburg wall and gate. I bought the Roman Seas fortification set and printed it out resized for 15mm. This will become a template for me to cut out some foam core and build it.

I bought the War and Empire Roman bath house. When it arrived, I was rather disappointed. I think it would be more suitable for 10mm models than 15s. Thinking of scratch building one of those as well.

Enough of a ramble.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Annual Birthday Sale

Since we are getting close to October, I think I is about time to do my annual scenario book birthday sale. Everything on my PayHip site will be 50% off from now until October 12th, 2019. That is when the coupon expires. The coupon code is NR77VBTTE0.

The PayHip site address is https://payhip.com/ChrisStoesen

This applies to every scenario book on the site.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

War of Jenkins' Ear Scenario Book

I have been working on a scenario book for the War of Jenkins' Ear in my spare time. It covers operations in Georgia from June to July 1742. There are scenarios for both Kiss Me Hardy (with To Covet Glory changes) and Sharp Practice (V2). There are four Sharp Practice scenarios of which three are historical and one is fictional. The KMH scenarios include six historical scenarios. These are tied together so they can be played as a campaign in and of themselves or separately as stand alone games.

One of the scenarios is an ambush scenario covering the Battle of Bloody Marsh. In this, the Spanish are surrounded and must fight their way free from the ambush.

I also have created a free ranging campaign for both rule sets based on Rich's All At Sea article from one of the TFL specials. With it, the players assume control of either the Georgian (Oglethorpe) forces, South Carolina Navy, Royal Navy, Spanish forces or Spanish Privateers. They conduct a map campaign until the forces meet and then engage in battle at land or sea. Separate maps are created for the land campaign for the players to use.

The campaign idea is interesting as while the Spanish have complete superiority in numbers, they can't use up these forces as they are needed for the larger campaign which is to press past Georgia and into South Carolina. If the Spanish loose too many men, they are not able to move on to their primary objective and loose the campaign even if they conquer Georgia.

I have been trying to build up my naval components for this campaign as some of the naval battles are quite large. The attack on Fort St Simmons has a huge Spanish Fleet of over thirty ships.

I will be working on a playtest of the campaign soon. Please let me know if you are interested.