Wednesday, April 22, 2020

OHW scenario #1 The field of battle.

Having given this some thought I have decided that the best way to present this game is as a general write up of the action rather than focusing too much on the details of the rules. For those interested DBN may be purchased from the authors HERE and you will need a set in order to use my playsheet.

This scenario is a straightforward encounter with both sides deployed on the table. Victory goes to the side that destroys the most enemy bases or captures the enemy baggage by being in base contact with it at the end of a turn. Both baggage bases begin the game on the high ground and cannot be moved so must be defended.

The commander of the British army is the notorious General Sir Richard Roe-Chester, known to his men as 'Lucky Dick' and owner of extensive lands in the County of Kent. The opposing commander of the Franco/Bavarian army is The Marquis Jaques d'Offe a Nobleman of proven courage in the field, and a lover of fine wines, good food and beautiful women, not necessarily in that order.

First step is to roll for attacker/defender, the defender then chooses his side of the table and deploys his troops. Obviously in this scenario there is no advantage to be had in the terrain, but this will change as I play through the scenarios from One Hour Wargames. Attacker then deploys and takes the first turn.

Photos show the table set up, you can see that I have dressed things up a little as the published scenario is just the two hills!  I have made a couple of new circular command bases and finishing off the casualty markers which just need a bit of static grass, other than these there is no battlefield clutter which is something I wanted to achieve.

The storage unit is gradually filling up with troops and terrain. Note the two painted dice, red and blue in keeping with the OHW theme, had to paint all those dots back in!

We are good to go.

Friday, April 17, 2020

OHW Scenario #1. Notes on rules and deployment.

The game will be played to my own variant of DBN rules which basically uses the original game but with a few revisions for troops types as used in the Marlburian period. In essence this means that a lot of the types typical of the Napoleonic era have been removed and basically stripped down to the following:

Heavy cavalry – the standard horse trooper of the early 18th century.

Cuirassiers – which are basically heavy cavalry with additional combat factor to reflect the back and breast plates worn

Dragoons – which can move as mounted cavalry, dismount and then fight on foot leaving a marker to show where the horses are held in case of a retreat. When forced to retreat (flee) they must move towards those horses, remount and complete the 600 paces towards own lines. Dismounted Dragoons are treated as light infantry in loose order and as such move faster and are less prone to casualties than densely formed line infantry.

Foot – the standard musket armed soldier trained to deliver volleys by whatever method they are schooled in.

Artillery - I have slightly reduced the battlefield range of field artillery from 1000 paces down to 900 paces, the former seeming extreme for this period when muskets have an effective range of 200 paces, this and the fact that my wooden knitting needle measuring stick - which is marked out in paces - is a bit short!

The revised printed playsheet is two sides of A4.

Everything needed for a game. Red and blue dice would be nice and the casualty markers will be based in small circular bases once they arrive from Tony at ERM.
For this game I am going to deploy all my troops in formations initially, with infantry being 3 to 4 elements and horse 2 to 3 elements. These represent large bodies of troops and have the advantage of being able to move using a single Command Action Point (CAP) so long as they remain in base to base contact. Formations always move at the speed of the slowest unit.

Formations may use the ‘Successive Tactical Move’ rule (7.7) so long as they are no closer than 600 paces of the enemy. This allows units in the early stages of a game to move faster at the cost of additional CAP’s.

Attacker v defender - will be decided by a dice roll before the game begins as per the rules. The defender then chooses which side of the battlefield he wishes to fight from and deploys first. The Attacker then deploys and takes the first bound.

Note that a game turn consists of two bounds, attacker goes first then defender, with both sides able to shoot and fight in both bounds.

Both sides will initially deploy their formations in march column with guns limbered and Dragoons mounted.

There is only a single die required for each side in this game, this is used to determine the number of CAP’s available, and for firing and close combat in conjunction with numerous tactical factors.

It is British, (as I only have British troops as yet), v Franco Bavarian. The game begins by rolling to see who is classed as the attacker. I will refer to the armies as Red & Blue in the spirit of the book and indeed base edges are painted in order to aid identification as in this scale and this colourful period it's easy to get units confused.

And as each side requires a 'baggage' base on the table I ordered two of the wonderful little General's coaches from Irregular Miniatures to represent it. Keeping in line with the OHW theme I decided to paint one blue and the other red, just a bit of fun really but I'm really pleased how they turned out. It's a shame that the IR 6mm's are slightly smaller and thinner than Baccus, but they are nice castings.

All I need now are two catchy names for the Generals, British and French..... any ideas?

Monday, April 13, 2020

Quick update on progress.

That's another two weeks flown by since I last updated this blog! Enthusiasm remains high for this project and I think that I have at last found a spot in the house where I can deploy a small board to start some games. With B&Q etc closed except for essentials I'm searching for a sheet of board that can be cut down to 3' x 3' the standard size for the One Hour Wargames scenarios. This will be covered using a section of the green S&A Scenics mat, and a 4' x 3 section will be put aside for a slightly larger table in due course. The 3' square board will also work with my 18mm DBA project which is also ongoing, I foresee a Summer of small scale wargaming which will be enough to keep me happy until life returns to normal.

I'm now reading through a Marlburian DBA derivative set of rules. Reason being that I feel they will be more practical with single base 6mm units as there is no recording gradual losses but a loss of just two hits before the entire base is removed as routed. As I'm keen to avoid battlefield markers and clutter I have painted a load of Baccus casualty figures, they are pretty small so I have some 15mm circular bases being cut by Tony at East Riding Miniatures which will aid picking them up and moving them.

Latest additions to the armies include a second British Dragoon unit - mounted, foot and dismounted marker - plus another unit of Bavarian Cuirassiers. I have also finished painting four lovely Dutch town houses by Battlescale, I might get a few more of these to represent larger BUA's and distinguish them from the smaller villages and farms. Fine sculpts with tons of character.

As DBA rules require a baggage base for each army I looked at Irregular Miniatures who do make some very useful wagons and carts and I have on order a couple of the lovely 'Generals Carriage' models complete with horse teams along with some other bits that I think will make nice little bases. Have to say the order was posted with confirmation within 24 hours, which under the circumstances is excellent service, I'm really looking forward to painting them.

Pictures from the Irregular Miniatures Website 18th Century Range. 

My Baccus order remains in the queue, just over 3 weeks now but very grateful they are still working in shifts with just the single casting machine in production to ensure staff safety. This from Peter:

With regards to our staff, there will be no redundancies and we are continuing to give full support and needed income to the freelancers who do so such regular and important work for us.   They, more than ever need support through this period.
The important thing is that we are all safe and healthy and it is important that we and all of you remain like that until better times.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Phase 1 parade.

As I prepare for my first game with these figures I thought I would lay out both armies for a few (!) photos. I'm just waiting for the opportunity to get a couple of hours on the kitchen table when it's quiet as we have our youngest daughter and her boyfriend here living with us, still self isolating since showing flu symptoms about three weeks ago now. Luckily we all get on very well considering we are all cooped up together, but quiet time is a bit hard to come by. I'm sure once day we will all look back and laugh about this!

Still not sure what to do about the red/blue edges to bases yet.

I'm about out of Baccus figures now but with another order in hand, so meantime I'll be back focusing more 40mm Napoleonics, they seem like giants after painting these little guys.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Rounding things off for battle.

I have delayed the opening battle until this coming weekend as another Baccus order arrived containing limbers and flags so I decided to add these to add a little extra touch of colour to the units. The current number of completed bases per side is as follows:

6 regiments of foot.
3 regiments of horse.
1 regiment of dragoons
1 battery of artillery
1 command base.

I kind of consider this to be the end of phase1 but in time the armies will double in size to give that mass effect that I think only 6mm scale can.

The limbers have been an absolute bug*er to assemble, requiring much patience, and did result in a bit of unsavoury language as I struggled to get the incredibly tiny wheels to stick on. My fingers became covered in super glue, which seemed determined to set hard on me whilst the wheels continued to fall off time after time. At the end of the frustrating session I had to use a pan scourer to remove the stuff from my fingers but I did end up with 4 assembled pieces. The horses and limbers were undercoated and painted on the bases and I added a few additional figures to each base to dress them up a bit. They are currently just awaiting the addition of static grass and highlighting before they ready for battle, overall though it's been worth the effort I'd say.

As the cuirassier pack had also arrived I painted up a base of them (included in above total), again to add that little bit of variation. And with the first game in mind I have also created a rather smart wooden measuring stick, thanks to the donation of one of my wife's knitting needles, but more of this in the next post.

The tiny flags from Baccus were easier to add than I had expected after the limber debacle, only problem being that I really had no idea which flag was designed for which regiment other than the 1st foot guards, but I'm not too worried in this scale, the flags just add a touch of extra colour, although purists might shout at me!

Will you look at the size of those wheels!

Limbered up and on the move.

The British army so far.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Enough bases now for the first scenario.

Like many of us I guess I have been spending much of my time this last week painting soldiers. I have completed both British and French Dragoons, 16 mounted, 16 foot and a horse holder marker base each. I would have gone for the standard 60 x 30 base for the marker bases but as the packs work out I have enough figures for a further two units left.

I'm pleased to say that Baccus have now posted my follow up order, it contains all the flag sheets I require plus more figures. It also contains two packs of the limbers/horse teams to pull my guns. These will each be based on the 60 x 30 bases and I'll paint up a few marching infantry and a mounted officer to dress them up a bit. With the Baccus cart re opened this morning I placed another order to keep things ticking over but won't expect to see that anytime soon as they are down to running a single casting machine due to the current crisis. I have plenty to keep me going for several weeks.

So, with 20 bases now finished it's time to get a game on the table, which I plan to do over the weekend. It will be scenario 1 - Pitched Battle from One Hour Wargames, a simple straight encounter with the objective being to eliminate as many enemy units as possible in 15 turns. At this stage I'm not going to reveal the rules that I plan to trial, but if I feel that the game plays out as I hope it will then I'll do a full write up, let's just say for now that I have a cunning plan. I won't use the random force selection, but rather deploy all of my armies on the table. The overall concept of this blog is to gradually play through all 30 scenarios from OHW in order as a kind of extended campaign.

Below: still knocking them out! French dragoons, British mounted dragoons, British foot and a second Bavarian foot regiment nearing completion. I also have a few of the lovely Battlescale Dutch style houses to paint.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Gradually coming together.

My Baccus order has now arrived. I have another in the queue, about two weeks old so maybe another week or so to wait for that one which includes limbers for the artillery and the flag sheets. This one consists of more infantry packs, a pack of Bavarian cuirassiers and mounted and dismounted dragoon packs for the British and French, in different headgear. There is also a pack of pikemen but I'm not sure how or if I will use these yet. Another order is planned once the cart re opens.

Meantime I have downloaded the Baccus Bavarian uniform guide (click) and painted the first Bavarian battalion and a command base. Went with sky blue to give them some 'pop' with yellow facings, officers in reverse colours of yellow with blue facings, more are planned. I must admit that I went into this project knowing very little about the WSS, simply wanting to do a 'tricorne' project, but as it begins to open up to me I can see it's going to be a fascinating field of study with many colourful uniforms. I think this will occupy me for quite some time to come.

Wasted no time in sorting out the British dragoon unit, it will consist of 16 mounted dragoons, 16 dismounted and a horse holder marker base. I'll follow this with a French unit.

Terrain -I also now have one of the S&A Scenics green cloths which will enable me to quickly get a game on the table. To be honest a 6 x 4 cloth cost only a couple of pounds more than a 3 x 4 sheet of MDF which would need to be painted and textured. I'm still on the lookout for a board and having seen the converted pasting table on 'Yith's blog' (link at right) I'm pretty sure that's the way I will go eventually, using the cloth to line it with some additional colouring. For the time being I can at least lay the cloth over the dining table to play a game. The green shade of the S&A mat has improved since I last had one several years ago and matches well with the other products they supply, laid it out for a photo below. I'm still lacking stream/river sections, I think these come from Timecast, being the flexible rubber sections as reviewed recently over on Norm's blog (see right).

Photos show everything so far laid out with and without the figures. Note: I experimented by painting the base edges red and blue to aid identification at arms length, but it detracts from the overall look so will be repainted black.


Franco Bavarian troops.

Start of a British Dragoon unit.

Rules - are still under consideration. IN addition to the One Hour Wargame set I decided that it's about time I sat down and learned a new set of period specific rules, something I have not done in years, so I now have a download of CHOSEN MEN, WELL DISPOSED (click for description) published by Baccus and written by Chris Grice. This is the first time that I have chosen to purchase a digital set of rules and so far it seems very easy to use on my old IPad in IBooks mode, and finding relevant pages from the index is quick and efficient. I'm currently reading through them and will write further once I have become familiar with them, but suffice to say for now that they use the tried and trusted command and control order system common to (I think) all of the Polemos rules.

I have made one error so far, the unit of horse riding greys (Lord Hay's -see previous post) should be dragoons not line cavalry! But they look so nice I am reluctant to have to remove them from the base to repaint the horses, maybe in 6mm scale I can get away with it? Possibly I could ink over most of the horses then re varnish if it really bothers me.