Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy

Saturday, December 31, 2016

"Reload the Cannon!"

     Well, that was certainly a wild ride! 2016 is almost gone – imagine that. I have to admit, I certainly had some amazing battles, painted up some glorious miniatures, and read through quite a few rulebooks. Remember all those?!
One of many Blucher games I played.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Saxons on Parade!

Finally finished off my first regiment of Saxon infantry on a 1:5-8 figure to men scale. Quite big units I must say. Like the Russians, the infantry companies are mounted on the bigger 4cm frontage bases; four companies to the battalion. Keep in mind I have not included a fifth grenadier company for either battalion in the regiment - at least not at the moment. This is mainly due to the fact I just don't have any proper figure to represent them. Unfortunately, the Old Glory "Allied" elite infantry pack does not include the shako with tall plume! Of course, the grenadiers have such a tall plume. So, it looks like I have to buy another pack of elites, this time with a proper shako.

The Saxons so far. Note the battery of Saxon med. field guns deployed to flank.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Blucher Movement Trays

As I mentioned in my previous post I was considering making some movement trays specifically for the Blucher rules. So taken was I to the use of the cards during play, I thought trays were an excellent idea. Thus, here I am making a little prototype tray.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Blucher Action and Some Terrain

After a little diversion in to WW II last week, I opted for a game of Blucher to finish off my weekend. What a great battle it was too. I wont say who won or go in to too much detail regarding the fight, suffice to say I changed it up a little and had a blast.

This weeks battle was a blast. Frst time I actually used the cards with my miniatures. I liked it a lot

Friday, June 3, 2016

Some Blucher Action, and Napoleon Arrives!

Had my first game of Blucher after a long while. This game however was played out on Google+ Hangouts - basically Skype, except made public. I did not actually "play" in the battle - I was the host. Five friends made up the opposing commanders for the French and the Russians. Was a blast as well as a good experience in multi-player gaming using the Blucher rules. Needless to say, I will be looking more in depth at using these rules in multi-player games online. A three part video of the battle, check out part one at the bottom of this post. Note we made use of the Scharnhorst campaign rules to set-up the fight. If you like, check out the rest of the battle on A Dash of Élan YouTube channel.

I have done a large number of these Live Plays on Hangouts already. In fact, I love it so much I will be upgrading my webcam shortly in order to improve video quality. Stay tuned for that if you enjoy these videos.

In other news I have just completed the command stands for Napoleon and Kutuzov! I must say, I am quite pleased with how they came out. I even added a figure for Napoleon's Mameluke body guard, Roustam Raza.

Napoleon's command base.

Roustam Raza

Kutuzov's command base.
Next up on the painting desk I have another battalion of Russian musketeers to get done. One good thing is I already have the command models already painted up - product of my re-basing a few weeks back. In addition, I also just put out an order for Pavlov grenadiers which will soon be making themselves known. In addition, some much needed French infantry and horse artillery units - for both sides in this case, are also on the way. Ahhh... the fun of collecting new models :)

As for gaming, I am actually looking forward to having a go with another round of Black Powder. Yes, I do so love GdB, but it will definitely be a while before my collection has some more variety and size before I can put on some bigger battles. Same could be true of BP, but I do get an extra unit or two on the table with these rules. BP is a fun quick game. We shall see.

Anyway, that's about it for this update. Not much really. School is keeping me occupied to be sure, save for the odd game session here and there. So enjoy the video and please leave comments. Until next time my friends...


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Some Changes and Pics :)

Been very busy with school as of late. I did manage to get some things done including getting a start of my Kutuzov command base :) I'll share pics of him when I get it done by the next post.

Been messing around with the background colors as well to the blog. I figured a little color change was in order.

Ayway, henre are some pics of my latest efforts so far on painting and re-basing the boys. Enjoy :)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Re-basing Project: BIG Units! :()

After playing some really awesome battles with General de Brigade - GdB, I have really taken a strong liking to these rules. I am not sure if it is the scale of play - tactical/divisional, or just the flavor is has for the Napoleonic wars. All I know is it really is both entertaining and educational! When I say "educational" I should probably say that it is more of a boon to the learning experience rather than something that "educates", although it does do that for me in many respects. This is a huge plus for me as I love to learn about the period. It has inspired me to want to learn more about this fascinating period of military history. But anyway, before I bore you about my passion for these rules, I should move on to something else.

The French brigade advances!

Yes, you heard me. I have recently begun re-basing my infantry! Oh the dread! Ahhh... it's not too bad actually. All I am really doing is adding a third rank to my infantry bases to allow a more realistic and eye-catching look to them. This has always been something of a bugger with me: not representing all the ranks in our little battalions. Two is fine really, but still! So, here I am, re-basing my troops. Frontages remain the same, although since I am such a great fan of the GdB system, I am putting my Russian infantry on slightly wider bases - 40mm wide as opposed to the 30mm wide for all my other troops. Russian companies were a bit larger than the French, so wider frontage it is. I like the look too! I will say however, with all this re-basing, my number of units has decreased big time! Before I could field a battalion with about 45-60 10mm figures. With the new basing, I am representing these same units with 85 - 90! Wow! However, have a look at some of the pictures. Just amazing if you ask me. What do you think? Is it worth the effort?

A French brigade deployed. The three battalions are at a 1:5-8 model to man ratio, in three rank companies.

The battalion on the far left in column has all six companies present. The other two have both detached their
light companies; one also has no grenadier company.

Two battalions of the St. Petersburg regiment. I still have to re-paint some of the pom-poms to the appropriate
company colors. These are company sized bases. Note that the Grenadier base is actually only a platoon
in strength. The lights are also not present yet - which are also only a platoon in strength.

Another look at the Russians.

All my other troops - artillery and cavalry have no need of re-basing. So they will remain as they are for the time being.

A French battery of 8lb guns - no howitzer section. A full unit as I will use them in GdB.

Another look at the battery deployed.

As for being able to use these newly based troops with other rules, I can say that it is no big deal. In fact, with other tactical games such as Black Powder, it has no effect at all really. Rules such as Blucher, Lasalle, etc., that call for a universal base size are really no issue either. In fact, I think the bases width differences between the Russian and French infantry only adds to the realism, in my opinion. I am sure some may disagree. No matter. I could always use trays if need be.

Anyway, that is my post for the week. Till next time...


Sunday, April 3, 2016

GdB and the Napoleonic Experience: UPDATE!

Been playing quite a bit of General de Brigade. I must admit I am quite taken by these rules. They have a lot of elements I really enjoy about Napoleonic wargaming. They really take you on to the battlefield with their rich flavor and detail without bogging you down with useless rules which add little to the overall feel. With that said, I can safely say that GdB will be my rules of choice for Napoleonic wargaming. That being said however, I do plan to continue with Blucher as my rules of choice for playing larger actions on a grand scale. There are also some other rules I am not remiss to playing again for a change of pace - March Attack stands out. But all in all, I really do enjoy the level of game play that GdB represents. Truly a fun and informative set of rules to experience. So, with all that said, expect to see more content here on the Shako & Bayonet for GdB :)

In other news, I had a wonderful time hosting sessions 1-3 of the Tabletop Commanders MEGA 24-hour Paint & Chat over the weekend. What an experience that was! Although I was exhausted after the first 20 hours, I did have a blast and managed to get a bunch of things done. For one, I got a start on my encampment, basing and painting up five plastic tents which are actually HO scale! This works out for me even though I collect mainly 10mm for my Napoleonics. If you do a little research you will find many different styles and sizes of tents used by the various armies of the 18-19th c. Have a look at the pics here and see what you think.

Russians and French go at it over some Stone walls and tents!!!

A company of French line marches about camp. HO scale plastic tents - originally made by Atlantic.
Mounted on thin card and flocked.

Also completed were some stone walls I found in my attic I made way back in the 80s! I remember that all I did to make these was to crush - in a vice - some large stones from my driveway. I used superglue to put them together back then so they are like concrete! All I did was re-base them and give them a little dry-brushing. Turned out pretty good actually. I remember I scaled them for 15mm but I could tell right away I could still use them with my 10mm. So I am happy with them. Besides, I also want to stary collecting 15mm as well, so useful no matter how you look at it.

Stone wall sections. I mounted them on thin balsa wood bases, decorated with flock.

Well, that's about it for this post. Not a big update, but progress. I hope to get some more games of GdB and Blucher in soon and hope to post more AARs as well. Oh, and of course, work on my encampment will continue - going to be scratch-building the remaining tents!

Stay tuned my friends...


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

GdB, and Some Painting Progress

Haven't played a game in a while now - not since my Blucher BatRep I did over on YouTube. However, I have been reading up on the General de Brigade (GdB) rules. Although I am not new to the system I have never really sat and read through the rules. SO far I am very impressed. Although somewhat complex in certain areas, it has a very Napoleonic feel to it - nothing generic about these rules! As to be expected really. Coupled with the fact the rules are of a tactical nature, they could quite easily become my "go to" set of rules for Napoleonics! GDB is now on my list of games to play next - working on setting up a BatRep as I speak in fact.

I also finally finished off another unit of Cossacks, not to mention the four French limbers. I tried texturing the bases of the Cossacks a little different this time around. Instead of hiding the models bases with spackle/joint compound I tried using a mix of PVA white glue with some sand/grit mixed in. not a new method in the hobby, but a method I myself never really tried. I made a relatively thick paste from this. When thick enough I covered the bases with a good layer of it, hiding the bases of the models and adding some natural looking texture to the wood bases they sat on. Not too bas in the end - it dried very quickly and didn't lose shape. A few hours later I was able to finish the bases off completely with various flocks. I liked the results overall and I didn't have to wait too long to finish off the bases entirely. I will be using this method in the future whenever I don't have my trusted spackle.

Fresh Anti-shine came in to finish off my Cossacks. I also picked up some
blue/white dice for my French :)

A look at the limbers and Cossacks after giving them a wash/dip.

The completed French limbers along with some guns and extra crew. The limbers turned out really well and I plan on making lots more for both sides in the 1812-14 campaigns.
The Cossacks also turned out well. The PVA/sand mix worked out really well for texturing the bases. The four closes in the picture are the newest additions

Next up on the work table, I will be putting together some ideas for the camp I am planning - see my earlier post. I already have the (very) thin card I will be using for the various tents. But I also want some other bits as well, such as musket stacks, camp-fires, wagons, etc. So I may have to look around a bit more.
For painting, I will definitely be working on some more Russian cavalry. At the moment I have another unit of heavy cavalry and perhaps some more hussar. The French will be getting some units of Swiss as well! I am really looking forward to adding some red-coated infantry to the otherwise sea of blue & white.

Until net time my friends...

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Some New Units Started, Camps, and Basing in GdB

Well, winding down now after a pretty active week of wargaming. Had a great time playing some Blucher set in 1812 Russia. A French force - including Lannes, who died in 1809 actually - vs. a Russian army led by Kutuzov himself. Great battle. I won't spoil the outcome as I did make a video of the BatRep which you can find here at this link. In addition, I also managed to get in some Paint & Chats this week with some of the other Tabletop Commanders.

French advance on a Russian held village.
One thing I have been debating is how I will go about basing my Russians for use in General de Brigade. As some of you may know, Russians are mounted on wider bases with more figs than the French. I included some pics below. Currently all of my Russian infantry are mounted just like my French. Being a purist of sorts leads me to ponder how I will handle this. I really do love the idea of the Russians on wider bases (and fewer bases in all compared to the French battalion - sounds old school because, well... it is old school :) Still not sure where to go with this. But I am quite keen on mounting on the bigger bases. GdB is a really wonderful set of rules and I am pretty sure I will be playing a lot of games using them. However, if I do so, I then need to figure out what to so with the Russian infantry I already have based. So, I will ponder more. Any ideas, feel free to let me know what you think.

Miniatures I am currently working on in the PAINT & CHATS. Mostly all
Russians except for the French limbers.

The basing for French infantry in GdB is exactly how I base my miniatures now - although I use more figures.

Russian base sizes for GdB. My current basing uses smaller bases - same as my French.

Another project I am planning on starting soon is that involving making a camp - tents and what not - for my armies. Been looking up all kinds of pics on the net for these. I will be making these by hand of course, so any information I can find would be great. More on this project later. Needless to say, I am very excited to add a camp. All those fun little tents, flags show staff tents, perhaps some camp follower wagons, etc., will just be  a nice add to any battle.

The Russians advance to a crest line where some well hidden French lie in wait.

The French prepare to bombard the village prior to an assault.

Again, if you are interested in watching the video of the Blucher BatRep I did this week, just click this link here and it will take you to the video over on YouTube. I also made a lot more videos for Blucher and other rules, so check out my channel too :)

Till next time...