Tuesday 28 April 2015

Empress Miniatures - 28mm Panzer I - New Unit

Spanish Civil War Re-enforcements

Back in 2014 I bought these lovely 28mm Panzer I tanks from Empress Miniatures at the Triples show in Sheffield. Like a lot of models I seem to get them built and base painted in fairly quick time but then spend ages getting the things ready for the table. You can find the miniatures to buy HERE.

I got two of the models with the intention of having one with the standard turret and a second one with the 20mm Breda SCW conversion, I was lucky to get a spare standard turret when I spent a fortune at Empress so I have a few options. The models themselves are made from metal and have excellent detail and very little in the way of flash. They have separate tracks, turret, turret hatch and commander, easy to put together, all round good buy.

Three pics above of the standard tank painted in acrylics.

And three pictures of the Breda turret version, the last photo looks a bit like a Dalek.

Further re enforcements for the Nationalists came in the shape of this CR32 which is a 1/48 scale plastic model from a Czech company called SMER, a tinterwebnet purchase. A fairly basic model but then kit building has never been my strong point. This is also my first attempt at using my airbrush, I got the line between the camo and the under body colour a bit high but other than that I'm quite happy with the outcome. At least now we wont have to use the single Republican plane I have for all air attacks.

So what I hear you ask have I provided to the Republicans to fight off the scourge of Nationalism. Well not a lot really, 8 figs to complete my 4th International Brigade Unit, including a bloke with a flag, not a lot of use in an anti armour or anti air role for that matter. All the figures are Empress and specifically for the SCW.

We have our Gallipoli Game on the table at the moment which I will post as a Scenario Post soon. On the paint table we have some late comers for the Gallipoli game (some 28mm Woodbine stuff) with the inevitable distractions of 15mm SYW and WW1 GHQ Naval.

Wednesday 15 April 2015

15mm Hanoverian SYW Infantry - From Box to Table

A Whole Brigade at Once

This may look like my entry for "Most obscure blog post of the year"and it may well be a candidate to be the least popular, we are getting into the realms of a tutorial on a minority nationality in a minority period here. Hopefully it will be of use to some, it will certainly be of use to me when in 5 years time I suddenly decide I "need" some more Hanoverian Infantry but have forgotten how I painted them before.

The figures are Old Glory 15s bought years ago probably from Old Glory themselves when they still did 15mm figs.

This is the first Box to Table dealing with 15mm figures so a little introduction on figure preparation, after cleaning up, which with Old Glory always takes an age. I then use a tacky glue to stick them to a piece of square dowling. I usually put about 8 figures on each strip grouped in figure type, so for these guys I had a strip with 8 marching figures, one with the command figures on and a final smaller strip with 4 Grenadier figures. I then prime the figures with the trusty Halfords Matt Black Primer whilst they are stuck to the strips. I find the use of dowling speeds up the painting, it minimises handling of the figures, also allowing them to be held at an angle so that paint can be applied to all of the figures at exactly the same angle. As usual paints are Vallejo unless stated otherwise, all figures are shown front and back and described right to left in the top photo.

So the first set of two pics starts with the primed figure, then a coat of Citadel Foundation Mechrite Red as the base coat on the jacket followed by a highlight of Citadel Colour Blood Red as a highlight.

Next stage is 70912 Tan Yellow with which I have done the belts and the breeches. Stage two on these photos is a coat of 70990 Light Grey covering the gaiters.

Three stages on these photos, 1st is a highlight of 70951 White on the Gaiters, then I have used 70875 Beige Brown to cover the musket and the hands and face finally on this set I have added the facings which for this battalion was 70823 Luftwaffe Cam Green.

I have painted the bayonet with Citadel Colour Mithril Silver and then the sword hilt and musket fixtures in 70863 Gunmetal Grey, next up the lacing on the hat using 70915 Deep Yellow, I have then painted detail on the face and hands with 70804 Beige Red.

On the right I have added a highlight to the flesh with 70815 Basic Fleshtone and finished the figure off with a wash of Devlan Mud Citadel Wash on the musket, breeches, belts and chest area. A final slop of Ogryn Flesh on the face and hands and job done. You could start highlighting the facings and adding extra lace etc but these are wargames figures done to a good standard for my table. Pendants will notice a couple of the battalions have officers with red sashes rather than yellow, I'll get round to correcting it eventually.

Marching to the left
And away
And towards
And in a big line

So there we have it 80 figs done, my usual basing method with MDF, plaster, basetex and paint, see other Box to Table posts for the method. The flags are from Old Glory and have been lying around in a box for years, not as good as the stuff you can buy at the moment for for the early 90s they were the dogs. Thanks again for watching From Box to Table join us again next time.

Saturday 11 April 2015

Battle of Newark 1644 Game Report / AAR

A 28mm ECW Action

Parliamentary Cannon in the Spittal firing on the advancing Royalists
Welcome back Roundheads and Cavaliers, most readers will be aware that this is a second write up of two, here I will cover our attempt at the scenario I detailed HERE. If you have randomly landed here whilst looking for a holiday cottage in the Newark area, I'd navigate away you will be very confused.

We played the game over a Thursday evening and a Sunday day, which with our usual relaxed approach wasn't bad, especially when you factor in the traditional Sunday Fish and Chips. The Royalist figs are all mine and are a mix of Perry, Renegade and Bicorne. The other lot belong to a lad who was a regular attender at our meets, hes got other stuff going on at the moment so hasn't been for a while, hopefully that will change soon. They rebels are a mix of Warlord Plastics and Perrys.

The battle broke down into two distinct phases, before and after the re enforcements arrived.

Phase 1
 As usual with ECW two small black holes opened up, one on each side of the table, opposite the Spittal, Loughboroughs Horse clashed with Rossiters whilst on the Newark flank Rupert clashed with Thornhaughs, The Royalist Foot advanced on the Spittal with the Shrewsbury Brigade on the right.

Royalist Foot advance against the Spittal trying to keep their distance from the Fort
Ruperts Horse in the distance clash with Thornhaughs Cavalry
The Cavalry on the other flank ride out to meet each other.
Cavalry in action
Ruperts Cavalry didn't fair as well as expected, by far the best Cavalry on the table they led with their weakest unit, lacking numbers it bogged down into an indecisive battle drawing in all the units on that flank. Ruperts Lifeguard were wiped out and Thornhaughs Roundhead Cavalry severely mauled, both sides withdrew after three rounds of combat to rally and recover on their base lines, the Royalists the worst for wear.

On the other flank things went better for the followers of the King, their Cavalry was quite poor but had bigger numbers and after a prolonged action the Royalists were victorious. One unit of Royalist Cavalry galloped off the table to loot the baggage but 3 viable units remained on that flank.

The infantry in the centre were slugging it out old stylee, the higher quality Royalist Units being matched by the lower quality Parliamentary Units who had the advantage of firing stationary from behind some decent cover. One Royalist gun entered the zone of undecidability marching up and down looking for a shot but didn't find one until near the end of the game.

The Garrison Sally Forth (Eventually)
The re enforcement rolls both went the same way on turn 7, both sides rolled under 7 and both got their re-enforcements at the same time. The Royalists committed their Cavalry to the Newark Flank and followed it up with the remnants of Ruperts Cavalry, the Infantry went straight down the centre to put more pressure on the Spittal. The Parliament Commander sent his new cavalry out to meet the new Royalist Cavalry, the infantry was thrown into the Spittal with one of the brigades down to below 50% strength following the hard fighting there.
Phase 2
Once again the battle on the Newark flank led to a massive cavalry clash, the Royalist Commander however had drifted to close to the gun in the Fort and was taking casualties on its approach, which would eventually lead to the Raw unit failing to charge into the big developing melee.

Cavalry Action on the Newark Flank
The Garrison took its time getting moving and waited another 3 turns after the re enforcements came on before getting into gear, it took a couple of cannon shots but didn't really get involved. The big cavalry bash again petered out into a draw, even with Rupert committed to the fight on the third round of melee there was no clear winner, the cavalry once again returning to its own lines to reform.

Melee dice no prizes for guessing which were mine !
The Royalist Cavalry faired a bit better on the other flank, with the Spittal crowded one of the Raw Foote units drifted into charge range of a Royalist Cavalry Unit, it charged and the Foot unit rolled poorly and ended up standing disorganised with its flank exposed. As you can see above my melee reaction dice were "interesting" to say the least, I had unsurprisingly won the melee but then ended up 7 down on the reaction dice ! Thankfully the God of none random factors was on my side and with a Galloper flank charge on a disorganised Raw unit with no casualties on me won the day. The unit routed and my cavalry in true Royalist fashion charged off table after them.

As sunset fell on the battlefield a draw was declared, the Royalists had the advantage on the Spittal flank, they still had a bit of work to do to get in the Spittal but with no Cavalry on that side the Infantry weren't coming out in a hurry. A stalemate on the Newark flank, when the Garrison got its finger out it should have got into the guns and put pressure on that side. The Cavalry had shown itself to be equal twice and were no doubt getting a little tired of charging around all day. The Parliament would have been able to safely withdraw undercover of darkness over the bridge of boats.

Royalist support arrives
Earl Rivers Foote with heavy casualties from the days fighting (11 from 20)
Owens Regt of Foote
A really enjoyable game, it must have been 3 or 4 years since I played ECW and had forgotten how much I really enjoyed it, my personal Royalist views gives it that little something extra. The enthusiasm is up and as mentioned in the last post I am looking at Cropredy Bridge for our next ECW game. I have rustled up a good orbat and some ideas for a scenario so watch this space. Ongoing at the moment is a play test of of "new" home brew Ancient Rules based on the ECW rules used in this game. I will mostly likely blog about these rules as they develop. Next "big" game will be our Gallipoli centennial game close to the anniversary of the landings and then it will be our annual Naval Campaign set this time in the Med.

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Battle of Newark 1644 Scenario

 A 28mm English Civil War Game

Last weekend saw the dust blown off another one of our groups collections, English Civil War. As a strong Royalist this one is personal, it helps having a couple of the other lot in our group to keep things balanced. However its my blog ! They used to say it was the victor who wrote History, now its the blog owner. We have access to three large collections so there is plenty of choice battle wise, in fact this game got me interested again in the period and I'm putting together a Cropedy Bridge Scenario for later in the year.

The scenario is based on the one contained in English Civil War Gaming Scenarios Vol 2 by Robert Giglio published by Partizan Press, well worth buying its available from Caliver Books 

Historical Context

Prince Rupert, Boy and a spurious banner
At the start of 1644 His Royal Highness King Charles had received reinforcements from Ireland and had directed Rupert to restore Royalist fortunes in the North of England. The parliamentarian rebels in the Midlands had at the same time committed forces to besiege the Royalist town of Newark, held with a strong garrison and good defences it held out after an initial assault in early March so in the tradition of the time the process of a formal siege began.

On the 12th of March the King directed Rupert who was in Chester at the time to break the siege, setting off he went via Shrewsbury collecting forces en route. Rupert arrived on the field with his Cavalry, the Infantry just behind to find Roundhead Cavalry on the field along with Infantry and Artillery set up in the ruins of an old Hospice (The Spittal) and some Earthen Works.

The garrison of Newark, wall not to scale !

Game Set Up 12 x 6 ft
The game for the Royalists begins with Rupert and Loughboroughs Cavalry Brigades on the table, with the Shrewsbury and Loughboroughs Brigades of Foot marching on table in turn 1. Also set up is the Newark Garrison safe behind the substantial walls of Newark (much more substantial than the 15mm walls in the photos, note to self buy 28mm walls).

Royalist Artillery fire at The Spittal
Waiting for them are Rossiters and Thornhaughs Brigades of Horse. Defending the Spittal is Norfolks Foot, whilst Kings Brigade hold the Earthen Fort (1 gun and 1 battalion) and area around it. Also set up are one heavy gun and 1 Medium Gun facing Newark, these are not used initially as they are considered to be conducting the day to day work of reducing the city walls. They only become active if a) the garrison Sally forth or b) the guns are directly threatened by Royalist Troops.

After turn 2 each sides rolls 2d6 if they roll under the current game turn their re enforcements arrive, the Royalists where the Foot entered on Turn 1 and the parliament troops over the bridge of boats. When Royalist re enforcements arrive this is also the signal for the Garrison to sally forth, it is for the Royalist Commander to decide when or if they do.

Objective is simple, break the siege. Orders of Battle are for our set of rules which is loosely based around Forlorn Hope, the definitions should be easily transferable to other sets of rules.

parliament Orbat

Foote of Parhams Brigade defending The Spittal late in the game
Army Commander Sir John Meldrum LV 2

Commander of Foot Sir Michael Hobart LV 1

The Nofolk Brigade (The Spittal) Sir John Palgrave LV 1
Hobarts Norfolk Regt of Foote, 24 Figs, 2 Musket to 1 Pike, Raw
Palgraves Norfolk Regt of Foote 24 Figs, 2:1, Raw
1 Medium Gun, 4 Crew, Trained

Kings Brigade (The Earthen Fort) Col Edward King LV1
Kings Lincolnshire Regt of Foote, 24 Figs, 2:1, Raw
Meldrums Regt of Foote, 20 Figs, 2:1, Veteran
Nottingham Trained Band, 24 Figs, 2:1, Trained
1 Medium Gun, 4 Crew, Trained

Commander of Horse Sir Edward Hartrop LV1

Thornhaughs Brigade Sir Francis Thornhaugh LV2
Thornhaughs Regt of Horse, 9 Figures, Trained Gallopers
Lord Greys Regt of Horse, 9 Figures, Trained Trotters
Yorkshire Horse, 6 Figures, Trained Gallopers

Rossiters Brigade Col Edward Rossiter
Rossiters Regt of Horse, 9 Figures, Trained Gallopers
Bingleys Regt of Horse, 6 Figures, Raw Trotters
Lord Willoughbys Regt of Horse, 9 Figures, Trained Gallopers

Independent Artillery (in earth works facing Newark)
1 x Heavy Gun, 5 Crew, Trained
1 x Medium Gun, 4 Crew Trained

Roundhead Artillery fire round a Coke Bottle onto Newark

Parnhams Brigade of Foote Lord Willoughby of Parnham LV 1
Parnhams Regt of Foote, 24 Figs, 2:1 Trained
Greys Regt of Foote, 20 Figs, 2:1, Raw
Derbyshire Trained Band, 24 Figs, 2:1, Raw

Hartrops Brigade of Horse Sir Edward Hartrop Jnr LV1
Derbyshire Horse, 12 Figs, Trained Trotters
Leicestershire Horse, 9 Figs, Raw Trotters
Capt Buffs Dragoons, 6 Figs, Trained

Royalist Orbat

Army Commander, Commander of Horse Prince Rupert LV3

Ruperts Brigade of Horse, led by the man himself
Prince Ruperts Lifeguard, 6 Figures, Veteran / Elite / Gallopers
Prince Ruperts Regt of Horse, 12 Figs, Veteran / Elite / Gallopers
Sir Charles Gerrards Regt of Horse, 6 Figs, Veteran Gallopers

Loughboroughs Brigade of Horse, Lord Loughborough LV2
Loughboroughs Regt of Horse, 12 Figures Trained Gallopers
Dallisons Regt of Horse, 12 Figures, Trained Gallopers
Bagots Regt of Horse, 9 Figures, Raw Gallopers
Campdens Regt of Horse, 9 Figures, Raw Gallopers

Commander of Foot Maj-Gen Henry Tillier LV 2

The Shrewsbury Brigade Col Robert Broughton LV1
Broughtons Regt of Foot, 20 Figs, 2:1 Veteran
Tilliers Regt of Foot, 20 Figs, 2:1 Veteran
Hunckes Regt of Foot, 16 Figs, 2:1, Veteran
1 x Medium Gun, 4 Crew, Trained

Lord Loughboroughs Brigade Lt-Col Arthur Gorges LV1
Loughboroughs Regt of Foote, 20 Figs, 2:1 Trained
Lucas' Regt of Foote, 20 Figs, 2:1, Raw
Campdens Regt of Foote, 16 Figs, Raw
1 x Medium Gun, 4 Crew Trained

Tilliers Foot
Re Enforcements

Porters Brigade of Foote Col George Porter LV1
Freschville's Regt of Foote, 16 Figs, 2:1, Raw
Millwards Regt of Foote, 20 Figs, 2:1, Raw

Porters Brigade of Horse Sir John Harpur LV1
Porters Regt of Horse, 6 Figs, Trained / Elite / Gallopers
Harpurs Regt of Horse, 9 Figures, Raw Gallopers
Eyres Regt of Horse, 9 Figures, Raw Gallopers
Freschvilles Regt of Horse, 9 Figures, Raw Gallopers

Newark Garrison Sir Richard Byron LV1
Digbys Regt of Foote, 24 Figs, 2:1, Trained
1st Newark Trained Band, 24 Figs, 2:1,Raw
2nd Newark Trained Band, 24 Figs, 2:1 Raw

Norfolks Foote defending The Spittal
I have given all the Royalist Foote Pike, it is known that the Shrewsbury Foote left Chester with no pike however we had a three ECW newbies in our game so having all the same Foot the same ratio made life a lot easier for all. I'll conclude this piece shortly with a separate AAR.