Monday, January 30, 2017

Latest Additions

I just finished up a couple more battalions of Portugese.  That gives me four line regiments along with a small battalion of light infantry.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Sharp Practice 2 AAR

I finally got round to clearing up my gaming table so I could get my new AWI figures on for a go. While tempted to go all out and put out as many units as possible, I controlled myself and settled on a rather small affair so I could get a better handle on the rules. This was a wise move on my part.

The objective of the engagement was for the American force to keep the British from crossing a bridge at their end of the table.  They had three different formations to accomplish this: one of three groups of Continentals and a medium gun, one of two groups of State Line troops, and the 3rd was a group of light infantry. The British force was identical, except it didn't have a gun. It did have an extra officer to help out with its regulars, though.

American main entry point

American secondary entry point

British entry point

Overview of the table
It took a bit for things to get rolling, but soon all six formations were on the table and things picked up quickly.  The British regulars were the first to arrive and wasted no time in marching toward the bridge. This proved to be very important as the Americans found themselves bottled up at the bridge with little room to maneuver.  The American light company picked its way through some woods to harass the British flank, but the regulars had already passed by the time they made their way to the forest's edge. They had to settle for taking some shots at the British auxiliaries.

Once the two sides were within range of each other, the British had the good fortune of having their chip come up first. Two groups of the regulars unleashed a first volley at the state troops to their front. 21 dice were rolled and only ones missed. Despite this fact, when the smoke cleared the British commander was dismayed to see only two casualties inflicted along with two point of shock on each group. The Americans leveled their muskets and also fired a controlled volley at the disciplined ranks before them. One dead, two points of shock on each of the two groups.

The Americans inflict some damage

Behind this action, the American light company fired at the provincial companies, but only managed to ring up one point of shock on each.

Firing at phantoms in the wood
As I wrapped things up for the day, one group of British regulars broke off with its NCO to work its way around the American flank. The British light company was trying to make up some time and was hurrying to join the battle. The American Continentals were having a very rough time getting into a position where they could make a difference.

The British lights survey the action from near the church

Confusion at the bridge.
It was good to see all of my hard work in painting these figures finally pay off.  They look really good on the table.  My scratch made movement trays worked out rather well. I left the table with some questions to look up in the rule book, but for the most part I think I had a pretty good handle on things. Initially, I was afraid that with so many dice being thrown in the early volleys that formations would be blown off the table.  But having to roll saving rolls proved to make inflicting damage much more difficult than it first appeared.  I will need to pay closer attention to the use of the flag tokens as well, as they can make a huge difference.

All in all, it was a fun little skirmish and I am eager to move on to the next one.

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.