Posts Tagged '15mm Napoleonics'

Another Napoleonics Game

Quick update here after not posting for a long while.  Five of us met last Saturday to play a Legacy of Glory 15mm Napoleonic game at my place.  it was the first game in a few months thanks to sickness, work schedules, family, etc.   The main positives were that we had two new players, Jeff and Mike, and that it was the first game played on my newly-expanded 14′ x 6′ game table.

Pardon the two-tone terrain.  My original terrain cloth was only ten feet long, which was fine for my 8-foot table.  Oh well, it’s on the list of things to acquire.

The nice thing, as you can see above, is that we managed to get two French Corps and 3-4 Allied Corps on the table at 1:60 with room to spare.  The units are all at proper deployment intervals and there are noticeable gaps between divisional formations.   A nice change from having people running ‘divisions; of 6-8 battalions just to save space.

My cohort David has a write-up of the event and a large picture gallery linked here.

Here’s a few more pictures I took of the game as well.

I’m having a bit of a dilemma about Napoleonics again, as I sometimes do.  The group met from around 3:30PM-11:00PM or so, and in that time we probably spent around 5-6 hours of it actually gaming.  We managed to get in around 5 hours of game time, so no real complaint there.  The issues I am having revolve around the following points:

  • We managed to get close to 1:1 times for combat, which is good, in reality we only played around 3.5 hours of real combat since several turns went fast as it took time for the initial orders for both sides to activate.  Realistic perhaps, but from a game enjoyment perspective irrelevant.
  • The time we spent gaming managed to get off two Austrian attacks and one Russian assault.   There was a full Russian division/corps and an Austrian division that never got into combat.  For the time invested it would’ve been nice to get those reserve units into the game .  We probably could have done so had we focused on the game a bit more, but frankly part of the enjoyment of the hobby is the chatting, eating and drinking with friends, and I don’t believe those things should have to be sacrificed to get a full game in, especially in a 7+ hour gaming session.
  • I’m wondering how the rules go over with new players.  I like the concepts behind Legacy of Glory, but the rules are 20+ years old and are beset with editing/layout issues.    There are too many phases in the turn sequence that are somewhat redundant, especially in the command phases.    Legacy of Glory is one of those games you need to play regularly to stay well-versed in the rules, and with our group playing (maybe) once a month and having several different options of game to play, I don’t know how many of our group will truly understand the rules.  I’m guessing two or three of us at most.
As I wrote earlier, I love the concepts behind LoG and think it makes for a good model of Napoleonic combat in many cases.  That said, it’s encased in a very old ‘simulationist’ style of rules framework that appeals to me on one level but turns me off on another one.  I have a very demanding job and there are many times that I feel like I shouldn’t have to work that damn hard to enjoy a game.  I doubt I’m alone in this.
I guess I like the ‘effect’ LoG models but don’t really care for the ‘process’ that is uses to do so.  This is why I have had high hopes for the new version of the rules.  The few teasers the authors have released look really good, but it’s not enough to play a game with, and I am losing hope that the new version will be released anytime soon.  The authors have the best intentions but also seem to have a lot of irons in the proverbial fire and LoG seems to be the first thing that gets pushed when time is short.
So, what to do beyond waiting for a new rules set that may never come?  A couple options:
  • David and I have talked about streamlining LoG1.  Could be done, but the game is still based around lots of charts, for good or for bad.  From my experience, the greater the number of charts, the fewer game participants you’ll have actually running said charts.
  • We’ve talked a bit about other rules sets.  Corps D’Armee, La Feu Sacre and others.  Some resistance here.
  • We could write our own rules set.  Here be dragons.
I have no solutions at this point.  Just a feeling that while LoG works, it’s not perfect.

Legacy of Glory Game 4/11

Had some folks over yesterday for another game of Legacy of Glory including a new prospective player, Dave B.    Sorry, no pics this time.

The LoG 2 beta rules didn’t arrive in time so we played a straight-up first edition game.  Another 1807 scenario with a large Russian division of 18 infantry battalions and a brigade of cavalry supported by another division of cavalry (really 1 Hussar/Dragoon brigade and a 4 regiments of cossacks) against a small French corps of two infantry divisions and the corps cavalry plus an attached brigade of dragoons.  The scenario was a town fight so we could experiment with the town fighting rules.  As it turned out our valiant Russian player, Rob, deployed in front of the town for the most part so there was little town fighting to be done.

Continue reading ‘Legacy of Glory Game 4/11′

Some AB Russians

I was messing around with our camera last night and got a few ‘passable’ photos of my latest work.    There are 6 new pictures on my Photobucket account.

The photos look shiny because I haven’t finished the bases so there’s only an undercoat of Krylon Crystal Clear gloss varnish.  The dullcoat comes at the end.  Also, keep in mind these are 18mm figures so the photos show the figures much larger than life size.

For the pedants out there, yes, I realized after the fact that the jager turnbacks should probably be green and the belting should be black instead of white.  I’ve got several hundred more figures to do and decided not to go back and fix it… these are wargame figures, not show pieces.

5th Jagers Command Stand

Pskov Musketeers Command Stand

Weekend Painting Blitz

My lovely bride is heading out of town this weekend with her girlfriends on a scrapbooking retreat so yours truly is left to his own devices.  This means taking care of the kids during the day, and three nights of straight painting.  I’m going to try and knock out two regiments of 1807 Russian Musketeers this weekend in preparation for a planned early April game. I’ve been thinking a lot about my painting style and trying to refine things such that I find a look that is pleasing to me while using the least amount of work to execute.  My current figures look nice but I’m doing a lot of shading & highlighting that really gets lost on the gaming table at three feet viewing distance and in sub-optimal lighting.   I enjoy having nicely-painted figures, but at the same time my speed is relatively low and I’d like to do something about it. I’m also embarking on a small side project working on some 20mm WWII BEF infantry.  A small skirmish game would be a change from Napoleonics both in terms of painting and game play while still being reasonably cheap and easy to do. I’ll post status updates on the painting blitz in my ‘painting table’ widget on the sidebar here.  I don’t know that I’ll get all 72 figures done this weekend but if I can get a good start on them I’ll be happy.

UPDATE:

I decided to cut back to one regiment of figures and see how far I can get.  On Saturday I managed to block in the coats, trousers, muskets, flesh and blanket rolls.  They’ll get a good dose of GW Devlan Mud this morning and then I’ll get back to them this evening.   I’m also going to try and base up some of the other figures I’ve already finished painting. I’ll update this post over time.

UPDATE 2:

All my detail brushed now have split tips.  Dammit!!!  My painting is done for this evening.  I gave all the brushes a good cleaning with the Master’s soap, rinsed them, formed the tips and wrapped them in paper towels.  Hopefully at least some of them will reform properly.  Otherwise I’m DOA for detail work until a new trip to Michael’s.

I did get 6 battalions and my skirmishers based up.  I’ll move on to terraining those bases and cleaning up my 20mm WWII BEF British.

A short WIP update

Not much new to report.  The taxman was not good to us this year so my hobby budget has been limited for a while.  That’s OK because I’ve got a good number of AB Russians still waiting to get painted.

Speaking of which my jagers and generic skirmishers are approaching completion.  I’m down to just the details (pompoms, cockades, buttons, etc) left and that will get done this week.  Then I get to start cleaning the next few regiments of musketeers… my wife is going out of town the last weekend in March so after the kids go to bed it will be a painting marathon for me as I try to crank out as many green coated infantry as I can.   I’d like to put out some new troops for our next Legacy of Glory game coming up soon.

The only other news of note I have is that I picked up a copy of Johnny Reb III cheap this week.  I’m reading a bit on the ACW and am thinking about what to do… my friend David has some decent-sized armies for Johnny Reb II and the ACW is a period I enjoy since it’s mostly infantry and artillery (I’m terrible with cavalry usually).  More on that later.

New 15mm Figures from Blue Moon (aka Old Glory)

Big advertisement on TMP this week from Blue Moon Manufacturing announcing the start of a 15mm Historicals line.    OK… this wasn’t a huge announcement on TMP, but it’s interesting to me for the following reasons:

  • While I’m unsure about the actual ownership it appears that Blue Moon is owned & operated by the same folks that do Old Glory25′s out of  Central Minnesota.
  • There was the big split a few years ago where Merrimack/Old Glory 25′s received the 25mm and 10mm Old Glory lines while the 15mm Old Glory lines were sold to 19th Century Miniatures, who continue to sell both Old Glory and Battle Honors figures among others.
  • It appears that Old Glory 25′s is making some moves to get back into the 15mm game.  They can’t use the name ‘Old Glory’ for their 15mm figures due to 19th Century Miniatures’ still using that name for their 15mm figure ranges.  I’m sure there’s some contractual deal with that but I have no knowledge of anything.   It appears to me that Old Glory 25′s is using the Blue Moon name to launch their new 15mm lines instead.
  • The new figures appear to represent a new pricing point.  Before Old Glory traded on the value play of getting big bags of figures on the cheap.  When their 15mm Napoleonics first came out they were $10 for a bag of 100.  Now they’re up to $17 for a bag of 50 (though you can find them cheaper than that online) or around 34 cents per figure.   The new Blue Moon figures look to be nicer sculpts than a lot of the Old Glory 15mm lines and are priced accordingly at around 50 cents per figure.  This is still cheaper than AB at 65 cents per, but they appear to be moving more towards quality sales pitch versus mass quantities.
  • The TMP announcement includes a teaser at the end indicating that they’re going to expand this range to a number of other periods including Marlburians and Great Northern War (yay!) along with plains wars and the French & Indian War some time this summer.  They also mention long-range plans for new ACW & Napoleonics ranges.  This is good news to me.  The Old Glory 15mm ACW range is getting long in the tooth and a number of their figures have molding issues that ruin otherwise decent figures.   Some new competition is always a good thing.

Overall I’m excited by this announcement.  New figures is always a good thing and I’ll be curious to see how Joel & Teresa manage this line going forward.

Legacy of Glory Playtest Game Report

We met for another game of Legacy of Glory yesterday afternoon at my place.  This is the third such game I’ve hosted and the first one since last fall due to work and family commitments.

For this new game we tried out the Legacy of Glory: Thunder of Destiny order sequencing charts and turn sequence and bolted it on to the LoG1 combat system.  The results were a little odd in places but we really wanted to try the new order sequencing to see how it worked.   Overall we were impressed.  It was cleaner, faster and added a random element that wasn’t there before so that attacks were harder to time.  We had one case where a French infantry division on engage orders marched up to engagement range and then took the better part of three turns to activate and assault order, which meant that it sat about 1200 yards away from the Russian line eating a steady diet of cannonballs that hurt them when the attack finally went in.

Our scenario was a rear-guard action in late 1806. A small Russian force of two infantry brigades and two cavalry brigades was tasked with the job of delaying their French pursuers for at least 4 hours in order to allow the column supply and artillery trains to withdraw along the one decent road in the area and then act as a rear guard while sustaining as few casualties as possible. They were being pursued by a small French advance guard consisting of an infantry division, the corps cavalry brigade and an attached brigade of dragoons. They would be reinforced with a second infantry division and more artillery. The French task was to try and fix the Russians in position to bring about a larger engagement before they could slip away again.

The French gave the Russians a bloody nose but the game ended with the Russians having achieved their victory conditions of holding the French off from the objective for four turns.  Both sides’ cavalry was mostly blown and while the infantry was in decent shape apart from the Russian jager brigade there would be no pursuit.   Approximate casualties were around 1200 per side, mostly infantrymen.  No guns were damaged and the cavalry while exhausted suffered lightly compared to the infantry.

It was a good game.  We kept the forces small to try and cycle through as many turns as possible so that we could run through order sequencing and wave assessments as many times as we could.   I think we’ve got the orders and combat systems down pretty well now.  The next step is to get a better handle on morale at both the unit and formation level.  The question is how hard we push learning LoG1 when it sounds like beta rules for LoG2 are coming this spring.  We’ll see…

This day also saw the debut of my new terrain cloth.  Right now it’s a plain piece of olive canvas but when the weather gets better outside I plan on hitting it with several colors of  brown, tan and green spray paint to give it a more mottled look and maybe spray patches of flock down as well.  I’ve got two 10 x 5 sheets of canvas so I can cover a lot of table space if need be.   I haven’t ordered any bases for my new AB 1807 Russians yet so my old Napoleon’s Battles 1812 ones filled in.

We took the game at a leisurely pace and spent plenty of time BS-ing and eating a wonderful dinner prepared by my lovely wife.  It was  good day.

More pictures are here.

An Update: Legacy of Glory, 20mm WWII and Empire

Life has been busy which means the blog has been quiet.  Work has been very busy and while the pace has slackened a little bit, it’s still giving me plenty to do on nights and weekends which conflicts with both family time and gaming time.

Other than buying a slew of wargame rules recently the only other purchases I’ve made have been about 20 feet of olive canvas for the start of a terrain mat and recently I’ve bought some 20mm WWII figures for France 1940.    I’ve been painting in spurts and recently started working in earnest on the AB Russians again.   I’ve gone back to a cleaner version of my original style since the blocking-in look, while nice was very time consuming.    Between the Napoleonics and 20mm stuff I’ll be plenty busy over the next few months as time allows.

Gaming-wise it’s been a slow time.   Haven’t done any since the fall.  I have my Legacy of Glory gaming group coming over Saturday to spend an afternoon pushing troops around to get more familiar with the rules.  This will be our third meeting and things are slowly coming together.  We would’ve been further along had my schedule not been so messed up over the winter; our plan is to meet at least once every two months if not monthly.  We’ll see how that goes.   I hope to get a copy of the beta rules for LoG: Thunder of Destiny sometime this spring.  The rules authors are starting to distribute early releases of the rules in snippets and so far things look good.  I’m hopeful that playtesting will reap benefits for both game play and rules layout.  The first edition of the rules suffered from formatting issues that kept a good set of rules from gaining wider acceptance.

In other news, Scott Bowden is re-releasing Empire in several versions (the original Empire, Empire II and EMPIRE (aka Empire V)) in electronic form via The War Event.  If anyone’s interested in getting a set, it’s a way to keep interest alive in the rules.  I haven’t played Empire in almost two decades but I had fun with the rules when we played and would not turn down a chance to play them again with the right group of people.  Another game with a complex learning curve like Legacy of Glory.

Another Legacy of Glory Playtest and Some Painting Notes

We’ve finally managed to get our act together and are running another game of Legacy of Glory (1st edition) tomorrow.  There will be somewhere between four and six gentlemen descending on the house to push some lead around.  I’ll do my best to post some pics and an AAR next week.  The basement is very dungeon-like right now, so there are no guarantees about picture quality, and the terrain will be rudimentary right now.    I’m new to the whole ‘host a game at your place’ thing so I still need to work on assembling a good terrain collection.   My new 1806/7 Russian army is still in the early stages of being painted up, so my old 1812 Russians based for NB will be used.

Speaking of painting, I’ve managed to get the first regiment done for my new army.  The Pskov Musketeers are painted and clear-coated… just have to get them based up and get flags ready.  I have yet to place an order with Litko for bases, so they won’t be fully ready to go until sometime in mid/late October.   Such is life…. I’m just happy to be making progress at this point.

While painting the 18′s I also tried my hand with a single 28mm Sash & Saber Russian to see how my painting techniques transferred to the larger scale.  Short answer: not well.   I tried to do a simple version of the Foundry/Dallimore 3-shade painting style and it will take some work.  The dark colors worked fine, but trying to build up the white trousers was a disaster.   I prefer to build up white cloth from a brown base versus black/grey, and I had major issues with things.   Getting white to look right is hard! I’ve ordered the Andrea Miniatures white paint set and hope to have that in my arsenal soon.  I’m hoping that will help things.   Getting the transitions looking good and smooth coverage will take some work.  It’s not as big a deal with the 18mm figures since you usually don’t have large blocks of single colors to work with.  Not so with the big boys.  I have some work to do on my technique.

I also decided that I don’t care for the Vallejo flesh tones.  They look too yellowy to me on larger figures.  My poor 28mm dude looks like he has jaundice.   I’ll look at ordering the Foundry or maybe Coat d’arms flesh tones instead.  Or maybe I’ll just fall back on GW/Citadel, since that’s what a number of very good painters seem to use.

Weekend Update

My AB order arrived on Friday, and this weekend I managed to get my first unit, the Pskov Muskteers, cleaned, mounted on painting bases and primed.    I’m going to work on a different technique this time around, something similar to what Shane Devries does with his figures.  It gives them a much more defined and ‘clean’ look at a distance which is what I’m aiming for.     Shane uses enamel paints, so his basecoating process is different than what I’m looking to accomplish.

Instead of using thinned enamel paint for the basecoat, I hit the figures with a light coat of grey sprayed primer.  I was aiming for a thin coat over most of the figure rather than complete coverage, so some of the undercuts didn’t get hit.   Next, I painted the enire figure with a thin coat of Tamiya XF1 (Flat Black).  Finally a use for a black paint that does not cover metal figures very well.   The black went completely opaque in the creases of the figure while leaving a thinner, somewhat translucent coat over the top.  Then I sprayed matt varnish on the figure to lock in the dark colors and (per Shane’s idea) avoid some of the washout problems that can happen when applying bright colors over the matte black base.

The end result was a figure that was overall a very dark grey with pure black in the creases… somewhat ghostly looking.   I am hoping this will give the felt shako a more natural look than just pure black, and it will not be quite so harsh on the final product as the deep black.  I may try this with a white undercoat as well and see what it looks like.  Experimentation is fun.  I’ll post some pictures of the finished product in due time.

Other than that, I picked up a mint copy of Scott Bowden’s old “Stars & Bars” ACW rules off of TMP.  I had a copy of these but either lost or sold them some time back during one of my “I am no longer a gamer” phases back in the late 1990s.   No idea if I will ever play a game of them or not, but it’s nice to have some of those older sets for nostalgia if nothing else.

I also read this morning on the Empire Yahoo group that Mr. Bowden is in negotiations to set up a website that will allow electronic delivery of new wargame rules and other such products worldwide.  This is excellent news even if you don’t play Empire.  Detailed Napoleonic simulations are a niche product in what is already a niche market, so I understand why few people are willing to outlay the needed cash to print even a small run of wargame rules.  With electronic delivery, the work can be put into the formatting the pages without having to worry as much about printing costs, especially if multiple formats (i.e. a ‘rich’ format and a ‘stripped-down’ one for printing) are considered.  This is what Too Fat Lardies do for at least some of their products.  Hopefully this will become a new marketing model that more hobbyists are willing to adopt.

Speaking of Empire, I enjoyed playing the game way back when, but the design is a little long in the tooth now.  I’m very interested to see what changes and refinements Mr. Bowden and his compatriots have come up with in the last 20+ years.  With all of the research he has done for his recent books, I’m sure there will be some new ideas about skirmishing and unformed combat at the minimum.    I look forward to seeing what he will come up with.


On the Painting Table

28mm Perry French Dragoons
13
40% Done

28mm Perry Confederate Zouaves (Coppens')
24
50% Done

28mm Sash and Saber Russian Napoleonic Infantry
24
5% Done

Warhammer 40K Kroot
19
DONE

Warhammer 40K Tau Pathfinders
9
10% Done

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