Friday, June 28, 2019

Bilander Rigging

I am currently trying to convert a Schooner from War Artisan to a bilander. These ships had rounded sterns and a large rudder. The sail plan was different than a schooner. Instead of a square mainsail, it had a trapezoidal one on an angle. It also had a triangular jib sail. They were mostly merchant vessels and as such, I have not made them armed.

I have one that is mostly done. I am unhappy with the main sail. I have the jib sail glued on as well as all of the masts and spars. I may put a couple of cannons on it. Haven't fully decided yet. It is coming along.

Also started work on the War Artisan 18 gun ship sloop. I am tempted to put cannon on the quarter deck to use it as a 24 gun 6th Rate. I have the form done but that is as far as it goes.

I need to print off a copy of the 14-gun schooner I just bought. I am really enjoying these ships. Some of the small parts are a bit fiddly but with practice, it isn't bad. I have made some rigging from glued thread. That is the most tedious part of the whole process. But it does leave the ships looking really nice. I should have finished my casualty dials but this was more fun.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Tinkering with Ships

I have decided to jump into my next project. One of the best articles in the TooFatLardies specials was "All At Sea." Rich created a fictional campaign set in the Indian Ocean where the British and French were fighting over some islands that lay along the trade routes to India. The naval portion of the campaign used Kiss Me Hardy and the land portion used Sharp Practice.

I have wanted to do this or a similar campaign for a long time. I think I found the project that it will work for - The War of Jenkin's Ear. In 1742, the Spanish brought up a fleet from Havana and Florida to invade Georgia. It was to destroy the colonial forces in Georgia and then press on to Charleston and ferment a slave rebellion.

The Spanish had the upper hand on paper. Their invasion force was over 2000 men. They had a naval force of some 55 vessels (depending on the source it varies from 36 to 55). Among these vessels was the sixth rate French Frigate of 24 guns. In addition, they had a 14-gun packet boat (likely a schooner), two bilanders, a schooner, at least one galley, at least six galliots, and at least two quarter-galleys. These were joined by barges and piraguas as troop transports. Of these few were modern warships of the time. The galleys were being phased out of most navies by this time. Bilanders had largely been replaced by brigs. The galleys did carry some heavy cannon in their bows. It is unclear if they had any broadside cannon.

The Spanish had artillery and theoretically, plenty of supplies. While the colony of Georgia had a single regiment of regulars that had been recently raised and were largely green troops. They also had some militia that were veteran troops and some fortifications.

Georgia was led by General James Oglethorpe who fortified Cumberland, Jekyll and St Simons Islands. Each island had several forts and small towns. They were to be the initial barrier to protect Savannah, the capitol of the colony. These barrier islands would also be the first line of defense for all of the southern Colonies, especially South Carolina.

For the British, there were three factions when it came to the naval forces. First were those directly under Oglethorpe's command. These were some small transport sloops and a cutter and three more substantial vessels. These were the Success, a 20 gun vessel with 100 men; the Walker, a 14-gun schooner with 80 men (Oglethorpe's flagship); the Faulcon, a 14-gun schooner; and the St Philip, a 14-gun sloop with men. Several of the reports refer to the Walker and the Faulcon as a guard schooner rather than by name. At some point, one of the two sinks. But within a paragraph, the guard schooner is sailing for someplace making it difficult to follow the action.

The Royal Navy did not have a North American Squadron at this time. However, there were a number of ships that operated off the North American Coastline at this time. These include some ships that are familiar to you if you have purchased To Covet Glory. The main one is HMS Tamar. This is the same vessel that was present around Charleston during the American Revolution. The ship had been on stations since at least the late 1730s. Other vessels included the HMS Flamborough (20), HSM Rye (24),HMS Squirrel (20), HMS Tartar (22), HMS Hector (44), HMS Phoenix (20), Spence (6), Wolf (8), and Hawk (6). These were assigned to cover the whole off the North American coastline and Bermuda. Most of these vessels participated in the 1740 campaign against St Augustine. All of these vessels are tasked with protecting North American waters from Spanish Privateers. A job which the newspapers of Charleston seemed to think they did rather poorly. But by the attack on Georgia, the Royal Navy had the following vessels near Charleston that were gathered in a fleet on July 18th: HMS Rye, HMS Flamborough, HM Sloop Hawk and another sloop of 8 guns (likely the Wolf). These would set sail with the South Carolina ships on July 18th for St Simons Island. Upon reaching the islands, they pretty much turned around and went back to Charleston with the excuse that they needed to defend the colony. Fortunately for Oglethorpe, the Spanish were convinced they could not win and were withdrawing.

The colony of South Carolina had a navy of their own. A shipyard had been set up at Port Royal and the colony had built two half-galleys for their defense: the Beaufort and the Charles Town. In addition, there was the brig Carolina of 10 guns, a captured Spanish snow (brig) St Juan Baptista of 10 guns, the schooner Ranger of 12 guns, a 10-gun sloop and a 6-gun schooner.

This provides a large variety of vessels to build for the campaign. The tough part will be the the older style Spanish ships. Then there are the shore batteries and shore fortifications that need to be addressed.

I am attempting to build some Bilanders now for the campaign. I also have a vessel to use for the various sixth rates involved. These will be the biggest ships that I will have tried with To Covet Glory. I am looking forward to getting some of these built and on the table.

Friday, June 21, 2019

The Second Kharkov Campaign is Released!

The Second Kharkov Campaign is a pair of Pint Sized campaigns for the TooFatLardies rule set Chain of Command. The first campaign covers the initial Soviet attack on German lines in May 12th of 1942. It follows the advance of the Soviet 38th Tank Brigade and the 226th Rifle Division in their attack on the German 294th Infantry Division which was blocking the main roads leading to the city of Kharkov. The campaign has seven scenarios and involves British Lend-Lease tanks. The entire campaign spans a single day of this battle where the Soviets made significant gains and in many cases broke the German lines.

The second campaign covers the German counterattack on May 13th of 1942. Having released the armored divisions that were being held in reserves, the German 3rd Panzer Division pushed up from Kharkov and cut through a number of Soviet units. This campaign has six separate scenarios and covers the time from the 13th to the 16th of May 1942. This campaign has scenarios that may be played out with the What A Tanker rule set as well due to their armor heavy nature.

The third campaign in this book is a What A Tanker Campaign. This allows the player to create a map based campaign to move their forces in a kreigspiel type manner until their forces make contact, then play out the scenario using the What A Tanker rules.

Lastly, the book provides some sketches of other units and actions that can be used to create your own campaigns with. The maps are based on period maps from German and Soviet armies. Each scenario has a game map and a picture of the table that I used to game these out.

The PDF comes out to 105 pages and includes a short history of the campaigns to provide the player with a background on the action that they are fighting.

You can buy the supplement from here: or on Wargames Vault It is also now availible as a paperback on Amazon.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Painting Progress and Updates on Second Kharkov

Believe it or not, I only have one scenario left to photograph to complete the Second Kharkov Compaign. I will be wrapping it up this week. I am very excited to be pulling close to completing this project. Here is the cover so far. I may change it up.

In completing this, I painted up the bridge that came with the JR Miniatures river crossing piece. The original didn't have side rails to the bridge. I added some using toothpick. Here is a picture of it.

I have enjoyed working on it and getting this project done. I am looking forward to getting the last picture done.

Friday, June 14, 2019

To Covet Glory - Now in Hard Copy

I have just received my preview copies from Amazon. IT looks really nice.

I picked up three copies for myself. Unfortunately, Amazon has decided that proof copies should have a big "NOT FOR RESALE" tape across the front of them. It used to be a nice way for an author to get copies of his own book and only pay printing costs. Its a shame but nothing I can do about it.

I made the choice not to release it as a Kindle version as I don't think the kindle version is as friendly to the wargamer. You can't really print from it and charts don't always translate well. So I am sticking with PDFs for electronic versions. This is more likely to be a vanity project for me as it probably will not sell well. But it is nice to have.

Anyway, if you are interested, head on over to Amazon and check it out.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Project Review

I am looking at the projects that I want to work on for the rest of the year. Second Kharkov is nearly complete. A few more pictures and it can be unleashed on the world.

I have a couple of ideas that I am working on.

Greene's Campaign

This is a Sharp Practice campaign covering from the Battle of Cowpens to the Battle for Guilford Courthouse. It would wrap up my campaign in the South series. There are plenty of small skirmishes to work with and I have some ideas on handling the larger battles as well. I have started the research on this one but not mapped the scenarios out yet. I am thinking it will be around 12 to 15 scenarios.

The Peninsula Campaign.

This one will be a Sharp Practice campaign that takes place in 1861 and lasts through mid 1862. It focuses on Magruder's Brigade/Division and the slow build up of Union forces on the Peninsula leading up and through MacClellan's campaign there in April of 1862. I plan on having a couple Dawns and Departures type of campaigns as well as individual scenarios for the book.

What is capturing my imagination with this is the possibility of a naval campaign to go along with it. I don't have any rules for ACW naval actions. I am shopping for rules now in hopes to figure out what I want to do. The naval forces in 1861 seemed to be a pretty shabby lot and could be great fun to play. Next is a question of scale and the like. But that is for later.

Third Battle of Kharkov

This is one I will do at some point. It will be back in urban terrain again and require some heavy terrain work. I have a bunch of unbuilt stuff so far that I need to complete. The idea would be to have terrain in 3 states. Largely Undamaged, Shaky and Destroyed. The reason for this is the Stuka rules in the May 1940 supplement. But the idea is sound for general urban combat. If you start out with a mostly whole structure, then start shooting at it with infantry guns or the like, the building is in danger of collapse. Then after it does collapse you are left with ruins. I want to model this in a campaign. The ruins don't seem that bad and the whole building is doable. It is the building in unstable condition that I am working through how to pull off. This has not left the drawing board yet.

More Scenarios for To Covet Glory

I want to do some more scenarios featuring smaller craft. I have two books on my shelves Roosevelt's Naval history of the War of 1812 and a book on Edward Preble. I think they would be great sources. I also have several books on the Quasi-War with France and the Tripoli War. I think those would be great source material.

Seven Years War Project

This is a project that has been on the back burner. I bought my Freikorps Von Mayer troops already. I know what I want for my Austrians. I also plan on an Ottoman force too. I have some of the history mapped out and want to do this but am not sure when.

Roman Dux

This is a project that I have dabbled with on and off for years now. It will will feature Romans and Germans. I have no German Miniatures but bought a bunch of Britons and Gauls a while back that would be good standins. I have to figure out basing still and paint the Romans I have.

That is good enough for now. Would like to hear if any of these interests you.

Monday, June 10, 2019

To Covet Glory Is Released

I have decided to go ahead and release To Covet Glory. This is a set of modifications for the TooFatLardies game Kiss Me Hardy to allow ships under the rate to battle it out on your tabletops. Below is some information about it from my PayHip store.

To Covet Glory is a 94 page book that features rules modifications for the TooFatLardies game Kiss Me Hardy. It is necessary to own KMH in order to use these modifications. KMH is designed for single ship or large fleet actions with ships that are of the rate (6th rate vessel or larger). Small ships of less than twenty guns tend to play the same from a one gun rowboat to a 18-gun Brig of War. These modifications provide some uniqueness for the smaller ships and allow them to be battled out on the tabletop.

Like the original KMH rules, they are not scale dependent. However, the changes were designed with 1/300 or 6mm ships in mind. These can be obtained from sites such as Sea Dog Studios, Langton Miniatures and War Artisan. The later is an exceptional value as you are buying a paper kit that you print yourself and make as many as you would like.

Included in the book is a guide for creating your own ships or creating stats for historical vessels. Fifteen historical scenarios covering the American Revolution, The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, The Triopolitan Wars and the Quasi-War with France.

A section is included for creating campaigns with these small vessels.

If this interests you, please stop by my web store and check it out here.

Important Update: To Covet Glory is now availible as a paperback through Amazon. Click here to check it out.

Also as several of you have found out already, it is up on Wargames Vault too.

If you have bought the book, read it and like it, please post a review on where you purchased it. It would be a great help to me. Reviews sell books.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Kharkov Progress

Things are going well. I have the pictures complete for the first campaign of the three in the book (2 for Chain of Command and one for What a Tanker). It has urged me to get some painting done. I am still lacking somethings to compete them out the way I want to. Specifically dirt roads and trees. For some reason, you can never have enough trees. I have two scenarios that call for some dense trees. I have enough to do it but not the way I would like to.

What I have completed was a graveyard. I purchased the tombstones from Blotz. I made a nice little plot and still have five additional tombstones to do something with.

I lost the overhead picture of the graveyard and only found this one.

Next up was a barn. I needed a big barn for scenario 5 of the campaign. I looked through the terrain that I had and I didn't have one that would fit in the Ukraine. That was disappointing. A quick Google search found this Ukrainian barn.

I liked the look of this and went through some old terrain that I had but didn't finish yet. What stood out was the Impudent Mortal village pack in 15mm. This is a great set of generic buildings that are completely unfinished. You had to provide the look you want. There was a large building that worked perfectly. I added embossed brick paper for the base. Card stock strips for the door and top portion and some cut up washcloth for the thatched roof. I like how it came out.

Next, I had some Red Vector's ruins that I needed to work on. I did the pig sty earlier. Here is both the complete and ruined versions. I finished a ruined shed this time.

Lastly, I finished a ruined building with a chimney that I received from Things From the Basement. I have another six of these waiting paint and another seven chimneys waiting on work. These are fantastic pieces that I really need to get completed.

That is it for this time. I am closing in on finishing the campaign book. I fully expect to release before the end of the month. (Famous last words)