Sunday, June 11, 2017

Japanese mini-campaign kind of fizzed.......

Well, that idea didn't work out so well.

A combination of the Loyalist forces taking too log to arrive (enabling the rebels to "dig in" just a little too powerfully) and more overtime hours required at work than I bargained for saw the campaign/battle fizz out and die. On the plus side, I did finish painting SOME of the samurai artillery figures I have (Rebel Artillery pictured above) - they made it onto the field but didn't get to see any action.

Still persisting with the basic idea though. For June I'm trying a Horse and Musket period campaign battle, on a bigger table than usual.

That moment when your armies find a 6'x4' table isn't big enough for them, and you decided to try 12'x4'. (If I make it wider than 4', I have trouble reaching troops in the middle of it).

My Revolutionary French and Seven Years' War Prussians were my two most successful Horse and Musket era armies last year, so they will face off, with the others helping out as "allies" of the main protagonists. Who sides with who will be decided by dice throw, so historical alliances count for nothing, and we may very well see one-side with many more forces than the other.

With the field itself, I can actually see three possible separate "mini-battles" breaking out on this field. One in the area above the river at the top of the picture, one in the area below the town (in the bottom third of the table), and also in the open area in the middle. Who can win in each sector, and how quickly (allowing them to re-enforce their friends next door) should be key.

With the weekend of June 16-18 being the 201th anniversary of the Waterloo campaign, I'm planning to do a bunch of the fighting then. Just hoping work doesn't spoil that plan once again!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Samurai Civil War - May Project (Week 1)

I'm a little behind schedule already - I had planned to start this during "Golden Week" in Japan (last week) but have only now managed to get it started. It's designed as an "extended battle" (mini-campaign) that will run throughout May. I'll be doing a few moves each day, and hopefully a weekly update.

I'm basically experimenting with some ideas that will allow me to play through a small campaign, rather than just a lone battle. Selected to test the concept are my Japanese Civil War ("sengoku jidai" era) samurai.

The back story.......

Last year, the daimyo (warlord) for this particular region died and the Emperor appointed his son, Lord Nobouki, as his successor. The more conservative samurai in the area objected to this, and rallied behind their own leader, Lord Hideyoshi - initially as just an opposition faction, but still loyal to the Emperor.

Shortly after, Lord Hideyoshi became seriously ill. His family allege that Lord Nobouki's allies attempted an assassination. No proof has yet been produced, but tensions continued to grow over the winter months, with the rebels assembling their own army. Now, as the nation prepares to celebrate the annual setsubon Festival, the rebels have begun to gather in a village near the border of Lord Hideyoshi's territory, awaiting the arrival of allies before they embark on a full campaign.

The battlefield.....

The village can be seen at the bottom of the above picture - the southern part of the battlefield. It has strategic importance as it is near a river with two crossing points (bridges), and enemy (or allied) forces can approach across either. Typical of rural Japan, the countryside is littered with hills and forest, leaving little room for a full blown battle in the area. However, possibilities for smaller skirmishers that build to deciding the overall campaign exist.

The arrival point and timing of the various forces will largely be decided by dice (so that even I will be surprised). The Loyalist forces (led by my White Faction) will arrive from the north, on the opposite side of the river to the village. But undecided factions will enter from the various side roads.

Some surprises......

I have a group of "wandering peasants" trotting around the battlefield, with their movement controlled by dice throw, making them a totally random feature. Whether they help or hinder the various troop movements will remain to be seen.

The loyalty of my four other factions (Blue, Green, Teal and Yellow) is unknown and will not be determined until they arrive on the battlefield (if they do).

The Loyalist forces do not know that Lord Hideyoshi's youngest brother, Yoshiake, has attracted an allied force of some "beasties" (troops from my Giant Nations" army - orcs, goblins, trolls etc). Just to add a fantasy element to the mix. The rebels will also have some artillery arriving (as soon as I finish painting it) and perhaps so will the allies - again, depending on how my painting progresses.

The campaign so far....

Little has happened so far beyond the initial arrival of the peasants (north-west of the village and so far they seem intent on moving away from it, so appear more likely to come into contact with Loyalist forces than the rebels) and the initial deployment of the rebels.

With Lord Hideyoshi indisposed due to his illness, his middle brother, Masakage has taken command of the faction's army, and has set himself up in the village, surrounded by his personal guard of samurai. Yoshiake will arrive with the "beasties".

The initial rebel positions can be seen above, with foot soldiers on either side of the village and mounted samurai on the left flank, preparing to advance toward the western bridge and report on the situation there. The "messenger corps" of the Rebels are gathered in the center, sheltered in the confines of the village.

To come.....

Over the coming week, I expect the Loyalist forces and "beastie" allies of the rebels to arrive. Perhaps also some of the neutral faction troops.

Plus, the rebels will be deploying to secure their position.

More maneuvering than fighting, perhaps? At this stage anyway.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Brunswickers - better late than never!

This was supposed to be my project for January, but it went on a little longer than anticipated. Hopefully worth the wait - a full regiment of Duchy of Brunswick hussars from the latter period of the Napoleonic Wars.

After making peace with Austria and Prussia, prior to invading Russia, Napoleon consolidated many of the independent German states into the Confederation of the Rhine, with the Duchy of Brunswick losing its status altogether. The Duke led a group of his loyal followers on a march to the sea - north, to a British-controlled Hanoverian port, and fled to Britain. The army regrouped there, and fought as part of the British in the Iberian Peninsular, and then subsequently in the Waterloo campaign, with the Duke himself killed at Quatre Bras, in the lead up to the Battle of Waterloo.

A Brunswick hussar regiment comprised four squadrons, with one armed as uhlan (lancers). Each squadron had a paper strength of 120 men - six figures on a scale of one figure represents 20 men. Thus, we have.......

(Note that the squadron of uhlan would probably move to the front if a charge was going to be attempted. As light cavalry though, the regiment would more often be used for scouting and screening, so the uhlan can be kept safely at the back while the squadrons armed with carbines take the lead. All have swords as backup once the initial charge has been made and the fighting becomes up close and personal.)

When I first started painting Brunswickers (the infantry, a couple of years ago now) I thought the Black and grey coloring might be a bit boring to look at. But the light blue facings and trim really stand out and make them quite visually appealing on the battlefield.

All up, a nice little force. Too weak for offensive action (unless supported by allies) but more than useful as a garrison protecting a defensive position. If I can find an appropriate gun battery, the force will be complete.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Starting the New Year off right - Hittites Vs Indians

This is the third time I have attempted to match these two up against each other and the first time it has come off. Work, or something, has always seemed to interfered in the past and forced a cancellation.

The battle was contested on basically a flat plain, beside a river, with a small town on the opposite side of the river. Hittite forces were supported by Amazons (Anatolian "tribal" allies) and a squadron of Mitanni chariots.

Although they had planned to fight a defensive action, the Indians found themselves deployed and ready for battle first, and moved to secure access to the bridge that provided access across the river to the town. (Indians on the left in the picture above).

Although their advance began on the bridge side of the battlefield, the first conflict of the battle took place on the opposite flank, where Indian cavalry found themselves up against some of the Hittite chariots. A quick but bloody encounter followed, with both sides driven back.

Down the center, the advancing Indian elephants were causing problems, as the Hittites realized their chariot horses were not going to stand against the beats, and tried to get them out of the way. (See photo above). All but one chariot succeeded in evading the elephants - he put up a brave showing before going down, just as the Amazon allies of the Hittites arrived to try and save him.

Unfortunately for the Indians, while they were enjoying success in the center, their right flank was being destroyed by the light chariots of the Mitanni. (Photo above shows the scene from behind Hittite lines, with the Mitanni chariots in the top left of the picture).

The elephants then moved on, driving the Amazons before them (see photo above), and pursuing them off the field.

This left a bind for the Indians as their remaining forces - low grade infantry, now faced the full might of the Hittites main forces; chariots and well-drilled infantry. The Indian commander thought it was an opportune moment to call off hostilities, and pulled the remnants of his army from the field.

The Hittites finished the day in possession of the field, but it was a real Pyrrhic victory due to their heavy losses. Indeed, in totaling up Victory Points, it was found that a 10-10 draw had resulted.

The Hittites too face political problems as a result of the battle, with the Amazons upset that they were left to fight the elephants pretty much on their own. It appears unlikely that they will turn out to help the Hittites next time out, and in fact, may even turn against them!!!

Watch this space.....

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Final Fantasy Post for 2016 - Rat Folk

I'm finishing 2016 with one final fantasy project - Rat Folk (pictured above sneaking through the back streets of a town late at night).

Originally members of the Draconic Races (like the Lizard Folk pictured below), they became the primary food source for other Draconic races when times got tough. Not surprisingly, the Rat Folk soon got sick of this and moved to new lodgings, on the edges of human communities and in their cities and towns, scavenging and surviving as best they could.

As such, I figure I can use them either in a Draconic army, or perhaps as some kind of "neutrals" or even mercenaries, possibly even fighting against their Draconic cousins.

Pictured above, Rat Folk Archers cover the advancing horde.

Pictured above, a Rat Folk Warband prepares to fight.

Back to historical figures, and some battles, in the New Year!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Frost Giant Army On The Move

My Frost Giant and his War Troll thugs have joined up with my Orcs, on their way to the lands of the humans to deal their own brand of chaos and destruction.

The Trolls look especially scary next to the (human-sized) Orcs. The Orcs (and humans) barely come up to waist-height against the Trolls, who my rules will be treating pretty much the same as War Elephants. (The Trolls are less likely to panic than the elephants, which should make them very difficult to stop).

Up close with one of the "big nasties". Remembering that you are the same size as the guys standing behind him, would you really want to go one-on-one against this guy?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Things Looking a Little Bit Nastier in the Northern Provinces......

......following the sighting of a Frost Giant (center) and some War Trolls. Presumably my orcs and goblins aren't too far behind them.

Will my Vikings and Rus be able to fight them off?

I'm still working on the War Trolls (eight in all) so I won't post close-ups yet. But this (above) is my Frost Giant. I'm seriously thinking about doing a series of battles from Norse mythology with these guys - Odin and his (Viking) followers etc fighting off the giants (and their minions).