Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Late Roman Cataphracts

Decided to finish up this unit for my Impetus Late Roman army. Cataphracts(cataphractarii) of any kind are one of my favourite troop types of ancient armies so it comes as no surprise I enjoyed doing this unit. I based them up pretty tight with six to the base as I wanted to give a solid impression like an armoured steam roller.

I painted them up in violet colour as it accentuates their elite status and kept the armour low key as I didn't want it shiny bright, but still a little flashy with a mix of bronze and metal. The figures are done with ap and added highlights and shields are hand painted. The figures themselves are Foundry and still among some of the best cataphracts IMHO. More of this army to come.

If your thinking I've switched off AWI well I haven't as a unit is on my desk, but the problem is I have few other projects as well that I want to do too like these Late Romans for example! I usually prefer to do one unit at a time, but it seems I'm painting several at the moment! I'm just going with the flow and seeing where my paint brush takes me rather then over thinking it.:-)

Thanks for viewing!:-)
Miniature Company- Foundry Miniatures

Monday, October 13, 2014

2nd Maryland Regiment 1781

Just recently finished this regiment of American Continentals the 2nd Maryland Regiment 1781 formed soon before the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. The original 2nd Maryland had been amalgamated into the 1st Maryland sometime after Camden.  The performance of the reformed 2nd Maryland at Guilford Courthouse was pretty awful and exactly the opposite of the 1st Maryland who performed outstanding. However, to be fair the 1st Maryland was composed of hardened veterans and the 2nd Maryland at the time of the battle was raw troops. So, why did I do the 2nd Maryland 1781 and not an earlier version you may ask, well the answer is simple in I wanted to do a regiment in brown with red facing. Anyhow, I wouldn't get overly concerned about unit titles as my figures serve for various regiments as needed and I only give names to units as it sounds better then "more
Continentals".:-)   I don't get to concerned if I make mistakes as they often are not used as the regiment in question, but unit histories can help in creating credible uniforms instead of winging it.

The figures are another thing I'd like to talk about in that they are a mixture of Perry metal and the new plastic. I won't discuss the Perry metal as I have done this before so on to the plastic. The ones in coats are the new Perry plastic Continentals btw. Generally speaking I'm a "metal head" and will likely always be so for various reasons, but I am warming up to plastics especially as the quality continues to make leaps and bounds and of course the big savings one gets in the pocket book. I also like the fact that they are reducing the amount of components to make a standard figure as I hate the assembly process. However, for those wanting extra bits they have plenty to make individuals of your troops. The figures are a bit slender making painting a little trickier, but the casting is very smooth with little flash and in terms of clean up better then the metals.The detail is pretty impressive and the figures take the paint quite well. The posing is somewhat limited, but with enough variation to keep it interesting for marching troops and I really like the natural positioning they did use. If you want firing then you will need to get metal or try some of the new WGF AWI plastics which has firing poses. I suppose my only major complaint is it only has 4 of the 38 figures in the box with hunting shirts and that is way to few IMHO. First off hunting shirts are my favourite uniform of the war and second they were an extremely popular uniform of regulars and not just militia or riflemen. Even taking into account you can not please everybody I believe 16 of the 38 should have been in hunting shirts just because it was so common. This of course can be fixed by buying metals and WGF in hunting shirts, but it still would have been nice if this was already solved by including enough in the first place. With everything said I think the Perry plastic Continentals are well worth the buy and I really do recommend them for building up your forces.The lovely flag is GMB designs.

Usually by this time my butterfly habits kick in and I need to do something else, but in fact my enthusiasm still remains very high and so if you like AWI I think you will continue to enjoy the posts as I have a lot more planned to do.

Thanks for viewing!:-)
Miniature Company- Perry Miniatures

Sunday, October 5, 2014

British Royal Artillery Southern Dress 6 pounder

I'll go back to my summer vacation pictures soon, but for now it's a return to AWI miniatures. This is a British Royal Artillery crew in Southern campaign dress loading a 6 pounder cannon. I really like the British Southern campaign uniforms and so plan on doing some more in the future both artillery and infantry. The uniform wasn't to complex so the crew painted up fairly quickly, but the artillery piece itself took longer as all the bits just take time to do as I've found to be the case with all artillery.

After visiting Brandywine plus reading through the scenario's in the BP Rebellion supplement sure has motivated me to continue on with my AWI project so expect more of this period to follow....as a matter of fact I have an almost completed American regiment that will feature some of the new plastics where I give my opinion on it for those interested soon.

Thanks for viewing!:-)
Miniature Company- Perry Miniatures

Monday, September 22, 2014

Brandywine Battlefield

View near Battle hill I believe
Now starting my segments on the battlefields I visited this summer. Other then the heat and humidity which was high I had excellent weather for my entire vacation which I'm very grateful for since I spent a lot of time walking up and down the the battlefields which was a real treat.:-)

I won't describe the entire battle of the Brandywine which can be found here other then to say it was one of the largest battles of the American Revolution and a serious defeat for Washington's army losing them the capital which normally spells defeat for a nation, but to Washington's credit he kept the army together to fight another day.

I had a chance to visit the Brandywine battlefield museum, but I have no pictures as you not allowed to take any. I always thought it might be hot wearing hunting shirts, but in truth the linen is quite thin so probably no problem in the heat, but the wool coats would no doubt be pretty darn hot for those unfortunate enough to have to wear one. The muskets themselves are very large and by the look quite cumbersome to have use and carry.

The battlefield is very large and requires some time to traverse and gives you a real appreciation of the effort it took by the men involved to march around to both do an outflanking march and to counter it in full gear in the heat and then fight a battle.

The grounds are very lush and green albeit I've been advised the undergrowth wasn't near as heavy in the time of the battle which would have made traversing woods a bit easier then today. The creek isn't very deep, but they would need to use the forded areas to get across safely without having to swim which would be hard to do in gear.

 I had a lot of fun and highly recommend visiting the grounds if you get a chance.:-)
Stone marking Washington's Headquaters
Front of Washington's Headquarters

Rear of Washington's Headquarters
Lafayette's Headquarters
Front of Lafayette's Headquarters
Rear of Lafayette's Headquarters
Center of Battle Hill near Birmingham meeting house
Left of Battle Hill
Right of Battle Hill
One of the fords of Branywine creek
Brandywine Creek
Looking towards a ford of Brandywine creek

Friday, September 12, 2014

Back from battlefields and family

A very happy me in front of General Lee's Memorial at Gettysburg.
I just got back from vacation yesterday hence the lack of posts(not that I'm a prolific poster anyhow) and lack of comments on other blogs which I'll try and catch up on as soon as I can.

My vacation was fantastic! It consisted of two vacations the first in Pennsylvania/Maryland (battlefields) and the second in Minnesota(family). Other then seeing family which was of course a wonderful joyous occasion in itself  I also got a chance to visit the holy grail of ACW enthusiasts  that being the Gettysburg battlefield! If that wasn't enough I also visited Antietam(Sharpsburg) and Brandywine battlefields as well!! To say I was on cloud nine would be an understatement!

It's too many pictures and thoughts to put into one post so I'll be breaking them down into several posts until finished. I may do them close together or spread them out depending on energy levels.

It's great to be back and I'm super charged to get painting as one would imagine!:-)

A view from the Little Roundtop behind Gen. Warren's Statue again at Gettysburg.
My lovely wife and daughter on Burnside's bridge at Antietam.
Washington's HQ at Brandywine.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hubbardton 1777

The battlefield

With the new release of Black Powder's AWI supplement  Rebellion! I couldn't resist having a game.:-) The book is written by Stephen Jones who has a blog here. Let me just say the book is great and worth every cent! It's full of lovely pictures, nice little pocket histories and a very handy uniform guide for all nationalities involved from the start of the war to it's finish, however the real golden ticket is the scenario's included which is half the book totalling a truly impressive 19 of them!! Each scenario has it's own rules with the unit's given the appropriate special rules(if any) for that battle only which means they are not rubber stamped the same for every battle.  The AWI period did not in general feature really large armies and in fact at times often only featured hundreds instead of thousands which Stephen solved this by breaking down armies from brigades to battalions fighting as individual companies for those particular engagements, but does include many of the big battles too at the brigade level. So, standard units very in size from scenario to scenario which in effect allows you to fight what would normally be a skirmish only battle to a small engagement or conversely fight large battles without needing a huge table and a whole lot of figures. My hats off to Stephan and his team!

The battle of Hubberton was fought on 7 July 1777. The rebel commander Colonel Seth Warner(nominally) commanding a force of Continentals and some Militia  was ordered to fight a rearguard action until joining General St Clair and in the process gather up stragglers. They were pursued by General John Burgoyne's advance guard under Brigadier general Simon Frasar commanding a force of Light Infantry, Grenadiers, some regulars, Indians and loyalists who caught up with their prey near Hubberton. The rebel's managed to hold their own long enough to gather in the stragglers until the arrival of Hessian reinforcements where they were forced to basically make a run for it which they successfully did to Manchester and later joining back up with the main army at Bennington.

The scenario is a fighting withdrawal where the rebel forces need to hold on long enough for the stragglers to cross the table and escape and then afterwards extract themselves. The stragglers have a reduced movement, but the British are hampered by woods and of course the rebel rear guard which leads to an exciting race! The British are a slightly smaller force, but mostly composed of elites with special rules of "elite" and "ferocious charge" which makes rallying and then moving easier and deadly in close assault and the rebels are mostly standard troops without much in the way of special rules with exception of the stragglers being quite weak as expected. The British win a minor victory if they can capture/destroy two of three straggler units or break the rebel army and if they achieve both then a mighty victory is awarded.

On Friday my friend Sascha took command of the Crown forces and I of the Rebels and it was terrific game!  We used the house rules from Bill's blog here which work great btw! Thanks Bill! We also always use the 66% rule where all ranges and movement are reduced to 66% as we feel the ones in the rulebook are too big unless your playing on a epic size table. My table is 5ft, x 8ft., but we marked off the battle boundaries to 4ft. x 6ft. as per the scenario in the book. Also, the engagement was small in numbers so Stephen wrote it as a battalion engagement broken down into companies so two stands equalled one company which comes to 15 companies in 3 battalions for the crown and 17 companies in 3 battalions for the rebels.

The Crown forces got off to a slow start with some failed orders in the woods slowing them down, but then really picked up momentum. As expected the British came off equal at best in the fire fights where they had no advantages, but then really steam rolled the rebels in close assault crushing the forward rebel line in short order and then proceeded to advance on the main rebel battle line exchanging brief musketry fire before charging and slamming into rebel line collapsing it fairly quickly breaking two of three brigades in the end. The rebel stragglers failed to understand their orders multiple times which caused them to eventually be caught and run down! A mighty victory went to the British and a big congratulations to Sascha for fighting a great game. Well done! I'm already planning a re-match at some point!  >:-)

I'm pretty happy my collection was big enough to host a game, but I still need to do more as I eventually want to do all the scenario's!

Below are some pics of the game at my home. Still working on the lighting as my overheads while pretty bright still are not enough so I'll pick up some additional overhead lamps.

Thanks for viewing! :-)

Here they come boys!
Forward lines exchange fire
British LI roll over the Rebel forward line
And advance on the main line
Initial clash of main battle lines
Fighting is hot and the rebels are pushed back
British push into the American defensive perimeter.
Rebels falling apart and stragglers soon caught and destroyed.
Not even the rebel general can hurry the stragglers and soon after total collapse of rebel army.


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