Monday, January 16, 2017

Sharp Practice 2 AWI Figures

I am just about finished with my Sharp Practice 2 collection of figures. The vast majority of them came from the Warlord Games Liberty or Death set. I purchased an extra box of Indians and one of American militia to round thing out, and I have a box of British infantry on the way and a British gun and crew to paint. Further down the line I may pick up another box of Hessians, but I am sure I have more than enough figures to play out just about any scenario I'd want to.

I have uploaded a couple of videos of the collection to YouTube:

The British:

The Americans:

It took me awhile to get the hang of how to assemble them. There are some very small parts that proved to be a challenge, but I eventually figured things out. I am pleased with the look of them and I enjoyed painting them. The basing is rather simple.  I used the plastic squares that were provided and just added some Woodland Scenics ballast. I primed them flat black and then dry brushed with a dark gray. I made movement trays for each group, using artists' board and match sticks; very inexpensive but very useful. For some of the officers I had some extra round discs I bought at Joann's. The fences in the picture were all included in the Liberty or Death set.

British General

British gun and crew

Full British regiment with three line companies, a grenadier company and a light company.

Hessian contingent including two line companies, a grenadier company and a unit of jagers.

A loyalist unit

One of two warmands

American gun including Molly Pitcher figure

Continental regiment

Five companies of American militia

American riflemen

1st Maryland

Virginia Regiment
I had some Perry AWI figures that I had painted up and I hoped I might be able to include them, but they are clearly smaller than the Warlord Games figures and don't mix well at all.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

It is a beautiful morning here in Southern California. A couple of winter storms have cleaned up the environment for a very good start to the year.

2016 was a good year for me wargaming wise. I was able to paint a lot of soldiers. My commissions for the year exceeded any year prior by a large amount. That allowed me to purchase some more figures for my own collections, particularly in 28mm.

I started the year with a commission of Old Glory ACW. There about 200 of these.

That was followed by a large commission of early Napoleonic Prussian, all from Front Rank.

I then had the pleasure of doing two commissions for a new patron. The first was of about 290 plastic Napoleonics. It was a big task as it included assembling and basing, but I was very pleased with the final result.

That was followed by a second commission of English Civil War figures. This was a new period for me, so I had some research to do, but it was quite an enjoyable experience.

For myself, I ventured into scratch building some 28mm Spanish buildings. For a very small investment for white glue and spackling plus a little paint, I put together a nice collection of structures.

Among my purchases were some 28mm plastics for my grandsons. The Perry ACW Battle in a Box was given this year and was a tremendous success. The rules are simple enough that my grandson and I were able to play a few games during my visit with him for Christmas.

I also purchased the La Haye Saint set and added some figures to beef it up a bit. That will be a gift for the future. There is a video of that on Youtube.

Finally, I bought the Warlord Games Liberty or Death set to paint up units for Sharp Practice 2. It was a great value and I am having fun putting this together. I like the Sharp Practice rules and look forward to doing games with my junior highers during my summer class this year.

For 2017 I hope to do more commission work. I want to finish up the AWI project and possibly explore doing Bolt Action in 15mm. I have a ton of figures based for Flames of War, but I haven't really enjoyed that system. I like the small action feel of Bolt Action and want to try it.

I also hope to sell off some of my collection. I have a large number of colonials that I love, but just don't see myself playing with much in the future. That is probably true of my ancients collection as well. I need to make some space for these newer project.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Liberty Or Death Project

It has been two months since my last post. The hiatus has been due to two reasons. First and foremost, the school year started again, and along with it high school football.  Both of those have been keeping me busy. But a second contributor was that I was waiting for my hobby/guest room to be completed. I went without a work space for several weeks. But football is over and the room is finished and I am back in action.

I used some of my commission money to purchase Warlord Games Liberty or Death boxed set.  It is crammed full with a lot of goodies and I have made some progress.  I am building units for Sharp Practice. I will have more than enough figures to build just about any unit I want. I have a little over 100 of the figures painted and based along with all of the terrain pieces it came with.

By way of commentary, I think the set is a great value.  If you are looking to get into the American Revolution, this is it. The terrain pieces are a nice plus.  I also picked up the 4Ground bridge when I ordered as the shipping was free and I figured I'd always need a bridge for a variety of scenarios.

My only complaint is that the figures are not the easiest to assemble. There are several minute parts that my stubby fingers had a very hard time getting together.  For some reason, they make the bicorned heads in two pieces. I confess that I uttered more than a few curse words under my breath trying to get them assembled. But overall, I am quite pleased with how things are turning out.

Here are some pictures of my progress so far:

The 4Ground blockhouse was fairly easy to assemble. The only modifications I have made have been to ink the roof and add some features to the base.

Here are the British. You get a glimpse of the bridge and some of the fencing. I am particularly pleased with how the fences turned. I just added a little ballast and some flocking to the bases after using a four color process on the fences.

Two light company groups square off on the bridge.

These are the militia. I started with them and regret that now. I hadn't figured out quite how to put these figures together, so not all of the arms made it to the right figures.  But you can only tell if you look really closely. 

A nice shot of my Continentals along the fence.
Next up will be the Hessian contingent of two musketeer groups, one of grenadiers and six jagers.
I will also have three officers, but to fill out the other groups I'll have to try to convert a few of my British into musketeers.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Breaking the Silence

It has been awhile since I have posted.  I finished up a couple of large commissions and a personal project.  I am in the process of upgrading my hobby area, so I have been trying to get ready for the final phase.  However, that has meant no painting for the next month or so.  Candidly, the break will probably be a good one for me.  It will be good to recharge a bit and then start up again in a brand new environment.

Additionally, school has started back up again, along with my involvement with the local high school football team, so I am keeping busy doing some other productive things.  No complaints here.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

2nd Game of Sharp Practice II

As with any set of wargaming rules, there is a learning curve.  After my first game I realized I had done a couple of things wrong, so I had another go at it.  This time I made deployment points and used them.  The French had some extra points to supplement their force with, so they chose a scout which gave them a second deployment point to use.

British deployment point

French deployment point
The other thing I did was use the point system to make sure that each force was equal.  There were a total of 104 points on each side.  I added an artillery piece to the British side to give me some experience with how to handle guns.

Artillery tearing up a French formation.
In the picture above, I had hoped to charge the unsupported gun with the French formation on the hill, but the number of shock points they had accumulated meant that they needed to roll an 8 or higher to close.  I didn't have any command chips handy, so I chose not to risk it.  I fired a volley instead and took out a gunner and inflicted three shock points.

Another thing I am learning is that skirmishers and light infantry are quite vulnerable.  Initially, I was pleased that they could pop away and be a nuisance, but then the formation they were shooting at got to return fire and literally blew them apart.  I gave them the cover bonus for being skirmishers, but even so, they don't hold up well.  A light company was forced to retire.  I rolled a die and the British morale was lowered one point.  A French skirmish group had the same trouble against three groups of British infantry.

A group of the 95th
Rifles suffers 3 losses and several shock points as a result of a volley from a French formation of two groups.

The French dragoons cantered down the road into range of a group of 95th Rifles.  The Rifles got to take a shot and killed on trooper and inflicted some shock.  This was enough to cause the French horsemen to retire and await an opportunity to make an impact. On their left, a large formation of German infantry advanced to attack the village and its Spanish garrison.
Germans making their way toward to the village
On the British left, the artillery forced back a formation of two French groups while three groups of the 28th Foot pushed into a wood and drove back a group of skirmishers.
French infantry retires behind a hill to escape another blast of canister from the British gun.

The 28th Foot clears the wood of a pesky group of French skirmishers.
As play ended for the day the Anglo/Spanish force still had a firm hold of the town, but its light infantry contingent had been whittled down considerably.  Additionally, two formations of French and German infantry were drawing closer to contact.

I did a better job this game of remembering to roll to see if leaders were hit when casualties were inflicted on groups they were attached to.  I also had a better feel for how to use the command chips, though it will take some time to become proficient with them.

Here's a link to a Youtube video I put together:
Youtube link

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

1st Game of Sharp Practice II

Most of my hobby time has been devoted to doing commission work, but I have that finished now, so I had a chance to finally try my hand at Sharp Practice II.  I have made movement stands for my figures that include tags that give all the information for the individual group.  When I purchased the rules I also purchased the tokens, so I used those today.  It's a bit different than using cards, but I liked it..

In this encounter, I had seven leaders for each side as well as three command cards.  I tried to keep things simple so I could just get through as many turns as possible.  The French had the objective of taking a town from a combined force of British and Spanish.

This is the village.  It was also the deployment point for the British/Spanish forces.
The deployment point for the French was at the opposite end of the table.  As luck would have it, the British tokens came up much more frequently than the French.  But by using command tokens, the French were able to keep pace with the enemy.

The first conflict came between a British light company that occupied a small farm on a hill and an opposing German company of skirmishers.  Over the course of three turns the Germans came out a little bit ahead.

The Brits have lost a figure and received three shock points; the Germans have suffered only one shock point.
Along the road is where most of the action took place.  A voltiguer company boldly advanced and inflicted a casualty and some shock on three groups of Spanish in a line.  But on the next turn, the Spanish token was pulled first and the controlled first volley literally blew the French skirmishers away.  I need to look at the rules more closely to see if I missed some modifiers for shooting at skirmishers in the open.  My initial examination didn't find anything.

The next turn I used two command tokens to charge a troop of dragoons at the now unloaded Spanish companies.  The dragoons won the melee and drove back the Spaniards 9 inches.  But later in the turn, Captain Sharp's company of rifles was able to pour in a volley and take out another figure from the dragoons and add some more shock.

The victorious dragoons take additional casualties from Sharp's company of rifles.
 On the last turn of the game, two companies of the 28th Regiment of Foot fired a volley at long range against the oncoming 63rd Ligne.  22 dice ended up being rolled and 17 hits were inflicted.  When the smoke cleared, six of the French were out of the fight and three points of shock were added to the two French groups.

The 63rd receives a hot greeting from the British 28th Foot.
That's were I ended the game for the day.  The French clearly took a beating in these early turns, but the Spaniards were certainly shaken up by the French cavalry.  I will continue the battle tomorrow to see if the French can use their superior numbers to turn things around.  Stay tuned.