Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.
This includes you Tango01/Armand you no-mark content thief.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Tumbling Dice Napoleonic Naval (1)

Recently browsing Jim's blog I noticed that he was painting some of the lovely 1/2400 Iron Clads from Tumbling Dice which reminded me that in the 'pile of shame' were some 1/2400 Napoleonic Naval ships also from Tumbling Dice.

Back in the day I painted about 70 of these and played many a game before selling them on, but the lead mountain still contained at least a couple of dozen of these, plenty enough for a game so I decided that I'd like to get a few done - it seems to be any excuse not to paint 28mm these days!

Firstly a batch of three French ships a pair of 3rd rates each armed with 80 guns and a 5th rate frigate with 40 guns.

Not sure if it the lighting or my paint jobs but a lot of these photos are really washed out.

The paint job is very simple, don't assemble, undercoat, then paint the decks VMC Deck Tan, the sails VMC Pale Sand, the hulls and masts VMC Gold Brown and then strakes and spars in VMC black.

The bases are painted in VMC Royal Blue. I then assemble all the components with super-glue and when that is dry wash with AP Strong Tone.

After drying the sails are over painted again with VMC Pale Sand and the base is re-painted Royal Blue and then highlighted with a glaze of Royal Blue mixed with Light Blue, finally a bit of white is added along the sides of the ship and in the wake.

The next four ships are a Royal Navy contingent of a 98-gun 2nd rate, a 64-gun 3rd rate, a 50-gun 4th rate and a 40-gun 5th rate frigate.

A little extra painting on these as you have to at least make an attempts at doing some Nelson Checkers.

The rigging is done with the black nylon bristles cut from a brush that I picked up at a local DIY store stuck on with PVA glue. After the glue is dried the bristles are cut to size and any paintwork touched up as needed.

Ensigns are painted tiny and stuck on with PVA glue.

The last batch is a pack of four cutters, these things are tiny, that is a 40mm x 20mm base they are on. I left off the ensigns as they can be used for either side, and at this small anything is going to look massively oversized.

I tried to get some close ups so here is a Royal Navy 50-gun and a French 40-gun Frigate.

I've probably got enough done to play a small game, but there is plenty more in the pipeline to paint if I wanted.

Looking back on the blog, I last played the old Games Workshop Trafalgar rules back in 2012 when Ian blew me out of the water...

Monday, 20 May 2019

Maurice Campaign - kick-off and game one The Battle of Wevelgem

Wednesday saw myself and Drew kick off a War of the Spanish Succession campaign using the Maurice rules. We've had a few games with the rules now and the campaign system looks rather good, although is geared for more than two players.

I would play the allied and Drew would play the forces of Louis XIV.

The church at Wevelgem, the Dutch objective for the day
Drew picked a French force with some Bavarian infantry, based around a core of elite horse with the Cavaliers national advantage, my Allied force was much more of a mish-mash of Dutch, English, Scottish, Swiss, Danes and Hessians under a common banner, I took the 'Rally to the Colours' and 'Depot Battalions' national advantages.

Our first game would be the Battle of Wevelgem a village near the border of Picardie as the Allies attempted to drive the French back behind their forts.

The starting deployments, French nearest

The battle would be fought on rugged terrain and although neither side had any suitable scouts the Dutch easily won the scouting roll and elected to attack.

The Dutch placed three pieces of terrain choosing two low hills and a village while the French also chose two low hills and village and completed the layout with a ploughed field in the center of the table. The hills don't show up too well in the photos as they are under the cloth, so we decorated them with a few trees and in one case a windmill.

Conscripts of Regt. Greder await the Dutch attacks
The Dutch commander chose a unit of Wurtemburg cavalry for his mercenaries.

The French deployed their infantry out front supported by their guns and held their cavalry in a refused position to their centre left.  The Dutch had a solid center of infantry with horse on each flank, their guns were deployed to support the right of the infantry attack and the cavalry on that flank.

The Dutch began with a general advance throwing forwards their infantry and guns supported by the horse on their right, their horse on the left remained passive for now. The French took the opportunity to reinforce their hand and resulted to passing or bombardments for the initial few turns.

The French then committed their horse to their left to hopefully stem the Dutch advance, outclassed, the Dutch horse on that flank halted just out of range and their guns were deployed to try to disrupt the elite French horse, the Dutch infantry continued their relentless advance although the large field in the centre soon made that much harder to coordinate.

Dutch horse halt in the face of the French cavalry and prepare to bring up the guns to support them.
 Le Compte de Frou Frou continued with his bombardment of the Dutch advance and soon the first casualties of the day were taken when Dalrymples battalion of Scotsmen in Dutch service, already disrupted by their passage through the corn fields were broken by gunfire!

Death of a Hero played on the French soon saw the honours even though.

The prepared French positions, it does not show too well, but the guns are on a low rise behind the infantry they are supporting.
To try to break up the threat on my right I played a Confusion on the advancing French horse and although it held them up slightly Drew soon played a Coordinated to get them back into formation, my plans were foiled!

The Dutch infantry were now in musket range of the French and I prevented the initial French volley by playing 'Firefight' to prevent it.

Le Compte De Frou Frou, should his troops be worried that he looks to his rear instead of at the advancing Dutch
 With the French cavalry advancing on my right it was time to start softening up with my guns and I'd been holding on to a 'Well Laid Guns', so duly tore into them and missed with both barrels - bah humbug!

Drew countered with a Confusion of his own drawing my Nassau Saarsbrucken horse out into a trap. I really needed to Rally my foot for the onslaught in the center was going my way but I should make use of my 'Rally to the Colours' to force the advantage.


In the eventuality the Nassau Saarsbrucken horse did not do so badly and were able to regroup and rally from the outnumbering thunderous charge of the French horse.

The infantry slog had evened out somewhat and the lines were thinning alarmingly, although the French were only at Army Morale 3 and I was still at Army Morale 5.

The Allied foot punish their opposite numbers

The French horse charged in again destroying my Nassau Saarsbrucken horse, but 'The Death of a Hero' combined with wiping out his elite Regt. Crussol foot saw the French morale break and the Dutch gain a Marginal Victory.

Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in our pursuit and only earned two Epic Points for the battle while the French gained one.

There may soon be a whiff of grape!

Having lost six units in the game my 'Depot Battalions' really paid off as three of them, including the valiant Nassau Saarsbrucken were rebuilt at Trained status rather than dropping to Conscripts. Also Hays Dragoons were promoted to Trained status. The Nassau Usingen and Dalrymple foot were reformed at Conscript status.

The Dutch alliance now comprises five Trained horse, one Elite foot, three Trained foot and five Conscript foot supported by two artillery.

Although I had only earned two Epic Points, Michael von Pfanenstein joined my forces.

Infantry on the French right, however the Dutch horse is rather sluggish

Having been destroyed the French elite Regt. Normandie were replaced by Conscripts, although the fates were good to the French with both the I/Champagne and Bourbonaisse foot being promoted to Elite status.

This leaves the French three Elite horse, two Elite foot, two Trained foot and six Conscript foot, supported by three artillery.

Their latest rosters can be found here for the French and here for the Dutch.
Early phase of the action
The French deployments around the church at Wevelgem

This Dutch attack was repulsed, although the Regt. Normadie and all the guns were doomed.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

War of the Spanish Succession Dutch(10)

I only started painting a few of the War of the Spanish Succession troops in the lead mountain as I was taking a break from the Hundred Years War project while I ordered more troops, well I've been solidly painting them now for a few weeks and am really enjoying doing them.

Firstly another building from Leven Miniatures, their Medieval Manor House a great building with some great details.

As usual I based the building both for protection and to help delineate the built up area that it represents.

The Dutch contingent got a boost in this update too, firstly a unit of 72 figures representing the Nassau Usingen regiment with grey coats and carmine red cuffs, trousers, waistcoats and lace.

Quite a while ago (checks, June 2017) I painted a stand of infantry as Murray's regiment of Scots in Dutch service. Since then I've been making all my units of foot up to 72 figures and these were the last to get done with another 48 painted over the weekend.

I've not been so happy with the photos of the 6mm stuff they always seem to come out rather dark, but this morning while taking the photos above I had a go at some 'extreme close up' shots to give an idea of the detail that goes into the sculpting of these Baccus War of the Spanish Succession figures making them a doddle to paint.

We are playing Maurice again tomorrow night, hope to be able to use some of the terrain and buildings that I have painted of late.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

War of the Spanish Succession Bavarian and French(3)

Another few hours cracking on with the Baccus 6mm War of the Spanish Succession collection and some Leven Miniatures buildings has yeilded enough stuff for another blog post.

First a town section using buildings from Leven Miniatures and piles of crates, barrels and sacks from Perfect Six Scenics.

The large building with the steps at the front and archway is their Large Town House

The building with the conical roof is the Stone Granary House although I have painted it as brick, must admit I thought it was!

The final stone building with wooden out house is their Farm Outbuilding although I think it looks good as a town workshop or similar.

Now onto the figures. This time it's the French and Bavarians getting some attention. I've now painted 24 squadrons of 'bog standard' grey coated horsemen it was time for some elites so I did a couple of squadrons of the Royal-Piedmont.

Some elites in blue coats shall make a nice change from the waves of greys.

The Bavarian contingent is now joined by two troops of Monesteral  dragoons in both mounted and dismounted formations.

The mounted dragoon figures are some of the weaker ones in the Baccus range with many miscast heads, tails and some very thin legs that break easily. Not my favourite to paint but they seem to have come out OK.

Finishing off today's post with a pair of dismounted troops including horse holders.

Drew and I hope to be kicking of a War of the Spanish Succession campaign in a few weeks, hopefully these all shall see some use.

Friday, 10 May 2019

The Battle of Hawkes Farm at Little Wars 2019

A couple of weeks ago I ran a Sharp Practice game for six players at Little Wars using the American Civil War collection.

The scenario was that the Confederates had been using Hawkes Farm as a supply depot, but an outflanking manouver by Union troops had forced an hasty abandonment. Both sides now realised that the farm should be recaptured so set out to claim it.

The game was played as a standard battle scenario, but each commander was given a major and a minor objective of their own that they were not to share with any of the other players.

In many of our Sharp Practice games we forget some of the role-playing aspects of the game and just get on with the battle, so these minor and major objectives allowed us to re-engage with that side of the game.

Each player had a play sheet denoting their troops and special rules along with their own objectives.


Red 1: Captain James Turnbull (Leader, Status III) leading three groups of eight infantry with rifled muskets. You are accompanied by a Preacher.
Red 2: Sergeant Jake Woodward (Leader, Status I) leading a group of six skirmishers with rifled muskets

Major Objective: Lieutenant Carter is a cad and a bounder, without making it too obvious he should not survive this battle.
Minor Objective: You and Lieutenant Carter vie for the affections of Molly Golightly, if you were to suffer a minor wound, she would be sure to favour you.

This command was played by Kevin.

Red 3: First Lieutenant Daniel Carter (Leader, Status II) leading three groups of eight infantry with rifled muskets
Red 4: Sergeant Elijah Barnes (Leader, Status I) leading a group of six skirmishers with rifled muskets, one of them is a ‘Cracker’
Your force is deployed from a fixed secondary deployment point.

Major Objective: The cracker must enter the farmhouse at Hawkes Farm and pick the lock on the desk drawer and retrieve the cash (Task value 16)
Minor Objective: The cracker must survive the game.

This command was played by Allan.

Red 5: First Lieutenant Nathaniel Eppendorf (Leader, Status II) leading two groups of eight cavalry with mixed weapons
Red 6: Second Lieutenant Jonah Fish (Leader, Status I) leading a group of six skirmishers with rifled muskets.

Major Objective: Beat an enemy group or formation by at least ‘Defeated by 2’ with a mounted charge
Minor Objective: Escort the cannon and limber off the southern road.

I initially played this command as we had a player Pat, who was completing an earlier game then he took over.

Blue 1: Captain Horatio Jones (Leader, Status III) leading three groups of eight infantry with rifled muskets. You are accompanied by a Musician.
Blue 2: Sergeant Jebediah Hawkins (Leader, Status I) leading a group of six skirmishers with rifled muskets.

Major Objective: The colonel does not hold you in the esteem that you believe you should be, you need to burn the farm house and barn to the ground. Your men are equipped with tinder boxes and supplies to do this.
Minor Objective: If you are going to lose the game it would look better for you if you were incapacitated, if you lose the game and have been wounded this is a minor objective, not if you win.

Played by Chris.

Blue 3: First Lieutenant Francis Kennedy (Leader, Status II) leading three groups of eight infantry with rifled muskets
Blue 4: Second Lieutenant Pearson Blake (Leader, Status II) leading a group of six skirmishers with rifled muskets

Major Objective: Chicken dinner tonight, secure three bases of chickens from Hawkes Farm and the surroundings
Minor Objective: Any chicken shall do, get at least one base of chickens from Hawkes Farm and the surroundings

Played by Liam.

Blue 5: First Lieutenant Gary Keller (Leader, Status II) leading two groups of eight cavalry with breech loading carbines.
Blue 6: Second Lieutenant Jonah Fish (Leader, Status I) assisting.
Your force is deployed from a fixed secondary deployment point.

Major Objective: Cause any group or formation of Confederate horse to break and run either by fire or steel.

Minor Objective: Escort any civilians to safety

Played by Drew.

The game played out well, initially the players were getting their troops into place and starting the first firefights, it was lucky that I started off playing the Confederate horse as the players soon twigged that I was running the cannon off the table and started to get into achieving their own objectives.

After that it was a free-for-all while players both concentrated on winning the battle, but also achieving their goals. Allan soon had a team in the farmhouse ransacking the safe while Chris was firing the barn. Liams men went hunting down chickens and Drew was escorting civilians to safety all the while the battle raged.

I felt quite sorry for Kevin and shall have to revise Turnbulls objectives as they are rather out of his hands.

Much of the action occurred around a small outbuilding where two Confederate soldiers had gone to present their cards after an 'event', two of Liams Union troops where rounding up chickens and the Union horse were trying to convince the farmer and his daughter to leave all the while Kevins troops were firing volleys into it.

A sharp firefight was taking place on the southern edge of the farm and the Union troops under Chris initially had the upper hand but as his commander was elsewhere the Confederates of Allan were better able to manage their shock.

The firefights, and the battle, were resolved by a Confederate cavalry charge into the Union foot causing the foot to break and the Union morale to collapse.

On the Union side, as the farm was on fire and he had been wounded Chris was our star player having achieved both his objectives first. Liam had captured two bases of chickens. Drew had escorted one civilian to safety.

For the Confederates, Kevin had not achieved any objectives, but that is more my fault than his, Allan had both cracked the safe and made it away with his cracker alive and Pat/myself had scooted away the cannon and performed a victorious cavalry charge.

Many thanks to chum Drew who took most of the photos, I found that I'd only taken a handful during the game.