A Horch by Any Other Name…

February 6, 2017

One of those models that is most useful for any WW2 German Army is the Horch 108 as either the Type 1A or the Type 40.  The models used to be produced by Dragon and two in 1/72 scale could be had for about $20.  While not great, it was affordable.   Those, however, don’t seem to be in production anymore.  There is a MAC model (I think) but the price is at least $20 for just 1.  So, this weekend, I took it upon myself to make my own card model. Completely original work.  The following picks show only the template.  The details still need to be added to the model but the general shape is there.  The only thing missing really is the front bumper. I am thinking I need to widen the front fenders a little too.

 

An early prototype from Saturday. It was an exercise in understanding how the hood was supposed to angle and fold. Mostly pretty easy.

An early prototype from Saturday. It was an exercise in understanding how the hood was supposed to angle and fold. Mostly pretty easy.

A final build with all adjusted parts. The front fenders look a bit thin. I will either thin the wheels in the front or widen the fenders slightly. Front bumper still needs to be added.

A final build with all adjusted parts. The front fenders look a bit thin. I will either thin the wheels in the front or widen the fenders slightly. Front bumper still needs to be added.

My son said I needed to add the roof.  I was originally going to leave the roof off and add the folded ridge in the back.  He said he wanted it to look more like a truck.  Who is to argue with the little General, right?  Total build time of the final model was about 2 hours.  That could go more quickly with an assembly line.


Lord of the Rings Siege

October 10, 2016

My son and I have been having fun with a LotR siege game.  The game pits a small force of 12 elves and a hero against 2 bands of 12 Orcs as well as an Ogre and a small band of goblin archers.  If a band of Orcs are eliminated or routed, the  a new band comes to battle on the next turn.  The ogre and archers are removed from the game if they are killed.  The Orc force also has 4 ladders to scale the wall with.  The Elves must hold until turn 15, when another force of Elves arrives, ending the unlimited supply of Orcs.  At this point, the battle will be fought until turn 20 or until one side is completely routed.

Special rules.

  1. It takes a full turn to climb a ladder.
  2. The assaulting player may make an attack at the top if it survives a free shot by a defending character, assuming one is waiting for him at the top of the ladder
  3. If the assaulting character hits the defender (whether the defender saves or not) he may push his way onto the rampart.
  4. Ogres may attack the door and will batter it down on a ‘1’.
  5. Defenders may topple a ladder.  On a 3 the ladder is toppled.  This number is 1 less for each character on the ladder.
  6. If a ladder is toppled, the bottom character simply jumps down unhurt.  The top character must make a save or die.

Jack managed to eliminate my archers by turn 2.  They did, however, kill one of the elves with a lucky shot.  The Ogre managed to get to the door but was unable to bash it down before getting hit by a hail of arrows.  The ladders were placed on the wall and the Orcs managed to force their way up at one point on the front.  Then, the unthinkable happened.  It was bedtime.  Here are some pictures of the initial assault as well as the action at the end of turn 5.

Forces of evil approach the keep.

Forces of evil approach the keep.

A view from the Elven side.  One Orc has pushed his way onto the rampart.

A view from the Elven side. One Orc has pushed his way onto the rampart.

A view from the front.  The Orcs are scampering up the ladders.

A view from the front. The Orcs are scampering up the ladders.

A view from the side of the castle.  One of the ladder crews was frozen by Gandalf.  They come back next turn.

A view from the side of the castle. One of the ladder crews was frozen by Gandalf. They come back next turn.

The castle is by Toshach Miniatures.  It is a free 10mm paper model that was enlarged to 1/72 scale.  The images were high resolution so enlarging them did not lose any of the clarity.  Great little model.  The ladders came from Fat Dragon Games Siege Engines set.  The images here are seamless so I was able to simply add several lengths together and reduced them to 75%.  I then cut two notches so I could hang miniatures on the ladders to make them look like they were scaling the wall.  This set is a must have if you want some cheap siege engines including a siege tower and a covered battering ram.  I recommend printing them at 75% or maybe even a little less.


DF-Like updated to 1.5

July 11, 2015

I finally got around to updating my Featherstone-Like rules.  I’ve changed the way melee is resolved.  Charging units now retreat if they took 25% casualties on the approach.  There is a morale table to resolve melees now.  The loser rolls and applies the result.  There is also an option to recall cavalry that failed a morale check with no move near an enemy.  The latest rules can be found here.


Quatre Bras refight with the boys

June 28, 2015

I hosted my Don Featherstone Quatre Bras game with the guys from the game group.  There were four of us playing.  Matthew and Brian were the French while Chris and I were the Engl…er…British.  Matthew did not no much about the Napoleonic wars but did quite well considering he really didn’t know much about the tactics of the time.  Brian knew about the battle and did fine.  Chris also knew something of the period and despite his incredible (bad) luck with the dice, also managed to fight in true Dutch-Belgian style.   Stuff went right.  Stuff went wrong.  But he held up the French advance long enough for the reinforcements to arrive.  Some pictures that carry us through the “high water mark.”

A view of the battlefield.  The 2nd Division is in position around Gemioncourt and the Bosu Woods.

A view of the battlefield. The 2nd Division is in position around Gemioncourt and the Bosu Woods.

The French Advance.  Note:  Someone (me) forgot to move the 95th.

The French Advance. Note: Someone (me) forgot to move the 95th.

Bachlu sends 1 brigade to take Thyle.  The other brigade is sent in support of Foy's division.

Bachlu sends 1 brigade to take Thyle. The other brigade is sent in support of Foy’s division.

A whiff of grapeshot.  The Chasseurs attempt to overrun the Dutch battery.

A whiff of grapeshot. The Chasseurs attempt to overrun the Dutch battery.

3:00.  Jerome arrives on the field with his division.  The allies are barely holding on.

3:00. Jerome arrives on the field with his division. The allies are barely holding on.

No resistance.  Bachlus 2nd brigade advances from Thyle to rejoin the fight.

No resistance. Bachlus 2nd brigade advances from Thyle to rejoin the fight.

3:00 Wellington arrives along with the 5th division.  The regiment of Dutch Hussars near the woods would take massive casualties from artillery fire and quit the field.

3:00 Wellington arrives along with the 5th division. The regiment of Dutch Hussars near the woods would take massive casualties from artillery fire and quit the field.

Kellerman arrives with his division.  The French lines have rapidly advanced and now are deployed.

Kellerman arrives with his division. The French lines have rapidly advanced and now are deployed.

4:00.  The Brunswick legion enter the fray.  The light infantry help restore the deteriorating situation in the woods.

4:00. The Brunswick legion enter the fray. The light infantry help restore the deteriorating situation in the woods.

It was getting late and I must have gotten engrossed in the battle because I forgot to take any more pictures.  To sum up, the French threw in their heavy cavalry against the Hanoverian Landwehr and drive them back.  Unfortunately, the militia managed to retreat out of the cavalry range and the charge lost steam.  The Dragoons hit a British battery head on but could not manage to get that 4th hit to wipe them out.  To make matters worse, the dragoons were driven back.  I guess the Colonel leading the charge lost his nerve.  In the woods, the Dutch and Nassau regiments fought valiantly.  The Dutch regiment got pinned down and spent most of the game near its starting position taking casualties from just about everywhere.  It held on for a surprisingly long time and even inflicted a few casualties on the heavy battery that rolled into musket range.   The Belgian militia and the Jagers did well in the battle holding back the tide of the advancing French.  In short, the battle ebbed and flowed as it did in the real battle.

Brian thought the battle was a Pyrrhic French victory…not too different from history.  I felt the French still had a chance but I do admit that they did not inflict enough casualties to even the odds before reinforcements arrived.  It was a great day of fun and games.  There was plenty of game talk, anecdotes and other banter at the table and we still managed 8 turns in about 4 hours.   The game moved along at a good pace and I don’t think anyone was bored waiting for their turn.

The rules still have some minor issues.  Cavalry seem a bit too susceptible to shooting casualties.  A suggestion was to have infantry fire at long range when cavalry are charging.  Maybe artillery won’t fire double canister at charging cavalry as they may want to run before the cavalry get so close!  Also, I am not sure if the close to contact roll is warranted.  The “being charged” check works fine and dictates what the unit does.  however, really the “charging check” is a matter of they close to contact or they don’t.  In Don’s original rules, a charging unit gets stopped cold if it receives 25% or more casualties when charging.  Otherwise, it charges home.   It’s a nice off and on effect and is still dictated by the casualties received.  Two things worth testing.


Quatre Bras French Order of Battle

April 13, 2015

It is getting pretty close to the 16th of June.  I should probably get my order of battles down in writing.  I’ll start here with the French.

5th Division Foy 2 Line brigades each of 24 figures 1 light regiment of 12 figures

6th Division Jerome 2 line brigades each of 24 figures 3 light regiments each of 12 figures

9th Division Bachleu 2 line brigades each of 24 figures

Cavalry Division Pire 1 lancer brigade 1 chasseurs brigade

1 heavy battery 1 field battery 1 horse battery

Cavalry Division Kellerman 1 currasier brigade 1 dragoon brigade

CinC Marshal Ney  2nd in command Marshal Reille

The units are not strict 1 for 1 matches with the actual battle in terms of numbers.  Line units, for instance, represent about 2000 men though some will represent slightly more or less.  The artillery was a bit tricky for the French as each stand represents 2 actual batteries.  Since they had 3 field batteries, 1 heavy battery and  1 horse battery it was somewhat difficult to assign numbers to each unit but we must consider that the French had some of the best gunners in the world at the time.  So giving them 1 battery of each, if nothing else, the number of guns represented (48) are close in number  that actually fought in the battle (46).

I’ve had no time to setup and take photos of my troops.  As for progress, I am finishing up the last unit of Brunswickers.  I only have 2 units of British guards to paint for the infantry.  Then it is 5 stands of Allied artillery, a few allied generals and 2 French generals.


Sometimes it’s good to be a pack rat!

April 6, 2015

I’m moving along quite well with my Quatre Bras project.  I’ve made some adjustments to the Brunswick AAR.  The final tally for them should be 1 Line Brigade, 2 Light Regiments, 1 Light Cavalry Brigade and 1 artillery battery.  This cuts down on my painting a bit and I don’t have to paint any drummers!  The command figure is a Hussar waving his saber complete with shako and tall plume…the uniform of the Duke of Brunswick.

Speaking of commanders, I was stumped as to what figure I would use for the Prince of Orange.  It seems that “Slender Billy” had a hybrid uniform.  He wore a Dutch Hussars uniform with a dolman and a bicorne common to most generals and marshals of the time – a head swap I suppose would do.  While rummaging through my bag of Old Glory French command looking for a couple of suitable figures for Reille and Foy (generic generals really), I came across a figure with a bicorne and a dolman slunk across his shoulder.  He even has stripes sculpted on the side of his pants.  Billy!  I’ve found you!


DF-Like Rules posted

April 1, 2015

As the title says!  You can find them in the “Old School” section of this blog.

Enjoy!

 


Mini Quatre Bras

April 1, 2015

Our second attempt at my Don Fetaherstone-Like rules was using a scenario from One Hour Wargames based on Quatre Bras.  The red side gets a full compliment of troops randomly determined.  They choose two to start the game with.  The other troops arrive in pairs on turn 3 and turn 5.   The blue side also gets a full compliment of troops.  They move on the board via the North-South road on turn 1.  As we were simulating Qautre Bras, we decided the French should have to remove a unit bringing their initial total to 5.

The order of battle is as follows:

Red had 3 line infantry, 1 light infantry, 1 heavy cavalry and 1 light cavalry.

Blue had 3 line infantry, 2 light infantry and 1 artillery.  I played the blue side and elected to eliminate 1 of the light infantry units.

The battle started with my troops entering the board in march column I had enough room to enter the artillery, 1 line unit and my light infantry.  red had setup with a light unit in the woods and a line unit partially garrisoning the town at the cross roads.  With the exception of the artillery firing and some skirmishing in the woods, not much happened until about turn 5.

The situation at the beginning of turn 5.  Skirmishing in the woods with turn 3 reinforcements (Red) just moving into position.

The situation at the beginning of turn 5. Skirmishing in the woods with turn 3 reinforcements (Red) just moving into position.

The battle opened well enough for Blue.  I elected to use the French plan.  I sent 1 brigade around the pond while the rest of my forces advanced up the center.  The light infantry attacked through the woods.  Firing opened up all along the line.  I scored some lucky hits on the Red cavalry and drove them back.  the following turn I would deliver another lucky volley and the cavalry would be reduced to just 4 figures.   The battle in the woods and in the center swayed back and forth.  As the turn 5 reinforcements arrived and the Red infantry took up position between the town and the woods, I managed to score many its on the Red light infantry.  It was below 50% strength while I was still above 50%.  Things couldn’t look better right?  The next picture tells all.

Blue infantry in the center only barely manage to rally and only with the help from the officer nearby.  The flanking infantry broke from a charge from the light cavalry.

Blue infantry in the center only barely manage to rally and only with the help from the officer nearby. The flanking infantry broke from a charge from the light cavalry.

My light infantry failed a subsequent morale check and fled the woods.  The following turn, it failed again and left the game.  Red’s light infantry made the morale check, despite taking heavy casualties and held the woods.  The two relatively fresh Red infantry units pressed the attack and delivered many casualties while my volleys did little.  the artillery scored hits throughout the game, only missing twice.  However, with only 10 rounds of ammo, by game’s end, it only had 1 or two shots left.

The game played out like the actual battle.  For those not paying attention, notice that the random setup gave Red cavalry and Blue none.  Blue had artillery while Red had none.  The units reacted like units under fire.  Any unit that takes casualties during the previous turn must make a morale check before moving.  At one point, I had the opportunity to flank a Red infantry unit but my own infantry barely passed morale and were not allowed to move.

We ironed out most if not all of the wrinkles in the rules.  The one last problem/omission is what happens if a unit that is due to make a morale check is charged before it has a chance to move.  The solution is to throw the morale check immediately.  If it passes then apply the die result to the charge reaction table and see how the unit behaves.

The rules are now uploaded and can be found in the “Old School” section of this site.


Napoleonic Serendipity

March 17, 2015

While reviewing my collection I found that my Chasseurs a Cheval did not have a standard bearer.  They did have a musician and an officer.  I guess he had gone AWoL sometime over the past 35 years or so.  Quite a bummer as nobody seems to sell single figures in 15mm.

At cold wars a couple of weekends ago, I came across a gent selling some 15mm Napoleonic figures including some Brunswick hussars.  I snapped a few stands up as they are on the menu of items to paint as well as 24 Brunswick light infantry.  I was going to order 24 more but now there is no need.  As I went to rebase them, I discovered I had a couple of extra command figures including 1 standard bearer!  These are Minifigs which are very close to the Chasseurs I have so after a quick paint job, I shall have a standard bearer for that unit.   The extra officer will now be the Duke of Brunswick.  Lucky me!

Now for the tricky part.  I needed two replacements.  I happened to have a few extra Chasseurs.  The only think they needed are tall plumes.  A little green stuff and even my meager sculpting skills have made some decent replacement figures.  I used some very thin florist wire for the skeleton, essentially a straight stick.  I rolled the putty around the stick and cut it to the right size.  I drilled a hole in the hat about where the plume will go and added a tiny amount of putty to be used as cement.  Finally, I pressed down the narrow end to the hole and the wire stick went right in, pressing the putty together.

In all, this segment has been a successful operation.  I will show off the Brunswick legion soon with a few pictures.  Please don’t point out that I purchased the easiest to paint Napoleonic  troops rather than painting them myself.  I am trying to bask in my glory.


A First Outing with the Rules.

February 18, 2015

My old friend Ian and I got together to give my Featherstone-like rules a spin.  The scenario was the first scenario from One Hour Wargames.  The forces consisted of 3 line infantry units, 1 heavy cavalry unit, 1 field battery and 1 light infantry unit.  The cavalry and light infantry consisted of 12 figures each,  the line units had 24 figures each and the artillery was just 4 figures and a gun.  The board was a 4X3 board with a hill at the center of each sides base line.  We diced to see who would setup first.  I was the high roller so I set out my troops first followed by Ian.

We rolled for initiative each turn.  I won the roll on the first turn but deferred the first move to Ian.  He advanced off the hill with most of his troops.  I did likewise but was brash with my cavalry and road them forward of my position.  His artillery missed as did his skirmishers.  Mine scored a single hit on his left line infantry and the artillery a further 5, a direct hit! On turn two, Ian rolled a1 for the morale check and the unit routed.  he took a few more casualties.  “This will be easy!” I thought.  It was not to be.  His artillery hit my right most unit in column and caused 6 casualties.  I missed most of my saves.  The shot was canister.   He charged his cavalry into mine.  Each unit caused a few casualties to the other.  I won the melee by a small amount so he withdrew.

On turn three, Ian changed his tactics.  He fell back to the hill with his other two good infantry units while the light infantry continued to hold the center and cause harassing fire.  I matched up with them and charged my infantry column up the hill and into his highlanders.  The highlanders, in turn rolled fairly mediocre so would not get the first shot off.  The melee ensued and the highlanders won by a small margin, throwing back the French infantry column.  His cavalry charged into my left infantry brigade.  I felt I should form a square with the center brigade in case my right brigade broke.  As it turned out, they did form square but could not shoot.  The cavalry charged home, broke into the square but ended up getting repulsed anyway.  During the same move, I swung my cavalry around to attack his right most infantry.  I got a little close.  A couple of lucky hits caused the cavalry to break and run.

The situation during turn 3.

The situation during turn 3.  My lancers slipped in behind his dragoons.

Turn 4 saw Ian’s cavalry fail a morale check and head for the board edge.  His left infantry, now reformed advanced up the hill in reserve.  An exchange of long ranged musket fire caused little damage to both sides.  My artillery missed.  Ian’s did as well…and he firing canister!

The situation on or about Turn 5.

The situation on or about Turn 5.

On turn 5 both sides jockeyed for position.  His cavalry now rallied advanced slowly.  Ian was rather content to sit still with his units Long ranged fire killed a couple of men on both sides.  The real damage occurred on his skirmishers.  He caused no casualties while I caused 3 to him.

Turn 6 was our last turn.  Ian won the initiative and decided to play cut throat and move off the hill.  I stupidly obliged him and closed the distance.  His artillery finally hit as did his right infantry causing many casualties.  My left infantry broke and ran.  My skirmishers slid to engage his highlanders.  As he did not move, he got the first shot and killed them nearly to the man.  I was going to finish his skirmishers with my center infantry unit.  Truly I was.  I fired at close range and managed just 1 hit….which he saved.  The game ended with my 1 brigade and 1 artillery battery to his entire army still on the field.

Lucky swung back and forth.  Ian moved first every turn of the game.  He won or tied the initiative roll every time.  However, his artillery missed at point blank range 4 times in a row!  That was key.  This battle could have been extremely one sided had he hit with even three!  My flury of luck occurred on Turn 1 and then on turn 4 when he formed square.  I managed to score 5 hits on his square but he saved 2.

This was the very first test of the rules.  Much of it is similar to Don Featherstone’s Horse and Musket rules.  Melee and shooting are slightly less deadly than the original rules.  I also took out as much math as possible.  Instead of rolling a die and subtracting a number, you roll less than or equal to a number based on range and situation, counting the spots shown.  If it is greater than the number, then the shot misses.  I have a 3 column morale table.  Column 1 is for general morale and is taken before the unit moves.  If the unit fails, it must use the result for its move.  The second column is used if a unit is charged and the third for charging.  Morale is always resolved with the throw of 1D6.  The game turn is IGO-UGO within each phase.  Movement is broken into 2 phases, charge and maneuver.  Units that do not move get to fire first followed by units that do move.  This way you don’t have to worry about defensive fire.  Units that don’t move may also fire in support of a unit being charged.

Different classes of cavalry were hashed out but not tested yet.  I am leaning towards making the differences relative.  Light cavalry and heavy cavalry are the two broad classes.  Light cavalry melee with a 4 or less when fighting heavy cavalry.  Lancers do get the first shot when fighting non lance armed troops.  Heavy cavalry get double dice when meleeing infantry not in square.  Light cavalry only manage normal dice.  When fighting infantry in square, the dice totals are halved.

After a few more plays, I’ll post the rules on-line.