Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2017, 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.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

American Civil War: Confederates (1)

Now having more than enough Union troops to field for our initial games of Sharp Practice it was time to make a start on the Confederates that I had prepared last week.

Good progress was made this week and an added impetus was given when the group I am a part of decided to have a painting evening instead of a gaming evening on Thursday evening so as well as working on these sixteen I was able to make a start on the base-coats for the next group to be painted.

As you can see, I've continued the 'on campaign' look that I have also used for the Union troops and the Confederates are even less uniform than them, I used a mix of three different shades of grey as well as quite a lot of butternut and threw some browns in too, I quite like the 'raggedy' look, it's a pity that the Perry Confederate Infantry box does not include any bare-foot.

As ever they are really easy to assemble and have plenty enough detail for a reasonable paint job.

Here are a few close-up shots of a few individuals.

Next week is not likely to be as productive as I'll be away on business for a few days, but hope to get at least another eight done before the next update.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

American Civil War: Union (5)

I've cracked a milestone today on the Sharp Practice project, the second box of Union Infantry is complete and I reckon I have enough stuff to make a decent sized Union force for the game.

The last sixteen figures are a bit of a mix, there are three leaders added to the mix as I think I was likely going to be a little short, two were painted with corporals stripes to add among the groups as file leaders. I also painted four of them as blacks and I am tempted to purchase another box of the Union Infantry and some of the Black Union heads for conversions so that I can do a few groups of black troops and play out some of the scenarios from Glory.

Everything is painted using the usual method that can be found here. A few individual pictures below.

That's if for the Union for now and you can view the 81 figure collection so far, that's two boxes of the Perry Union Infantry plus the Joshua Chamberlain that I picked up a Salute a few years ago.

Enough figures done now to have eight leaders, seven groups of infantry, two groups of skirmishers, a colour party and two musicians with a few figures to spare.

On to the Confederates next, a whole box of the Perry Miniatures Confederate Infantry was assembled on Friday, stuck on their bases and given a spray of primer over the weekend.

I've already started the base-coats on a bunch of them and hope to have the first lot ready for next weeks update.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Minor Characters (1)

While rummaging in the bits box I also found four figures that shall be useful as Minor Characters in our Sharp Practice games set in the American Civil War. Sometimes it's good to ferret at the bottom of the lead mountain!

The first chap can do service as a commercial traveller, doctor or spy. He's checking his pocket watch and carries a leather valet. This is the Wargames Foundry Doctor model.

Next up is an exploring officer in fringed jacket.  This is the Wargames Foundry Buffalo Bill Cody figure.

I like to think of this one as Peggy the Senators 'ahem' Niece. A nice easy figure to paint, although now in the image I see the terrible mould line down her right arm! Not sure what range this one is from, I've failed to locate her browsing the usual suspects.

Finally an agent of Pinkerton, giving great service to the Confederacy by running intelligence services for the Union. This one is a Wargames Foundry model.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Baggage (1)

Those of you following the blog will know that I've been busy painting painting troops so that we can re-fight some American Civil War games using Sharp Practice. As these are small scale skirmish games I think you can really enhance the effect with the other stuff that you put on the table, with that in mind, at the 'Derby Worlds' earlier this month I picked up a pair of Peasant Wagons and a couple of  draught horses from the Warbases stand.

The first wagon is their Peasant Cart 2 MDF model, a simple to put together kit. I know that some people like to leave them in the laser-cut mdf look that they come in, but I preferred to paint mine. The load of this cart is a pile of Noch Wildgrass Foliage heaped in the back.

The second wagon is their Peasant Cart 3, for this I used some of the great items in 'A fistful of baggage' from Great Escape Games. Again the wagon was painted, but in a darker shade than the first.

Finally a rummage around in my bits box revealed three donkeys/mules/asses to complete the set. Some of these are a bit suspect, one appears kitted out for dungeon adventures and another is loaded with arrows and crossbow bolts, but I doubt anybody shall care too much.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Man the barricades

Somewhere in my collection are a dozen sections of barricades from 'The Baggage Train' all painted up and ready to use. Note, I said somewhere, while preparing for last weeks game I could not find them anywhere, so, I dug another four our of the unpainted stuff pile and quickly splashed some paint on in preparation for the game at Rockcon.

These are a great deal at £2.70 for three sections, damned good job I over ordered in the first place :)

American Civil War: Union (4)

This weeks update on this project sees another dozen infantrymen join the Union forces. I've had a few early mornings this week so was able to get cracking on with them.

For this batch I wanted to add a little variety to the force so have painted about half of them in the wrong trousers, mixing in a few 'early-war' dark blues and some also in greys. 

I used my usual method of basecoat, was and highlights, the palette is covered in more detail here.

There are just sixteen more Union infantry on the painting table and all have paint on them and are at one step or another of my production line, hopefully next weeks post shall see the Union completed and a group shot done, then I can move onto painting some Rebels for them to stick it to!

Here are a few close-ups of some of the individual figures.

At the 'Derby Worlds' earlier this month I picked up a couple of dials from the nice chaps at Warbases so that I can track the Force Morale in our Sharp Practice games that I plan to use this collection for. The disk at the top is steel so that I can mount a suitable figure on as shown in the second image.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Chain of Command: Espana at Rockcon 2017

Saturday I travelled down to northern Illinois to 'Spread the Lard' at the Rockcon event. Originally a few of us had booked a table for the day so that we could play a large WWII Ostfront game, but our numbers dwindled so much that by Friday there was only myself left in the team!

So, as I only have a small amount of WWII Eastern Front stuff, I let the organisers know that I'd still be running Chain of Command, but would be coming on my own with the Spanish Civil War collection instead.

Arriving just after eight I soon had the table set up and the forces laid out ready, I had four sign-ups, but in the end only two players Mike and Scott showed up, but then another chap Doug asked if he could join in too so I was soon up to four players with myself. Doug and Scott played the Nationalists while Mike and I the Republicans.

I kept the forces pretty simple, each player had a Regular rated platoon comprising a Tenente (Snr Ldr), Sergento Pimero (Snr Ldr), then two sections each of Sergento (Jnr Ldr) one LMG team of 5 men and two rifle teams of six men. Everybody started on Force Morale 9.

The mission was a simple patrol action and we played out the Patrol Phase to give the players an idea of what happens. We were soon in action and on our right Mike with International Brigade was taking on Scott with La Legion while myself with another platoon of International Brigade was taking on Doug with the Regulares.

The main action between Scott and Mike came down to a brisk firefight with La Legion deployed along a wood edge, supported by a 70mm mountain gun pitted against the Internationales in the walled garden of the taberna. Despite the hard cover and a T-26 being rushed up into support the fire of the Foreign Legion was telling and soon both the Internationales Tenente and Sergento were down and the shock was piling up.

On my flank the Nationalists supported their attack with a Bilbao armoured car and several rounds from my own 75mm gun ricocheted off it with little effect, either our ammunition was sabotaged, or that Bilbao was more armoured than they could have imagined!

Eventually, after some desultory shooting, the Regulares and Internationales came to blows in a brisk bayonet fight in the orchard on our left flank, both sides were sorely beaten up, but the Nationalists carried the day.

I sorted out the table for the next game and grabbed a quick beer and a burger ready for the afternoons game.

This time I had seven sign-ups - for only six spaces - with drop-outs and replacements I'd got six players, this was good as it meant that I did not have to play and could concentrate on running the game.

Following the mornings game I reorganised the forces a little, now each force would comprise a Tenente (Snr Ldr) and three sections each of a Sergento (Jnr Ldr) and two teams of five or six riflemen, one rifle team in the platoon would be armed with an LMG.

My nationalist players would be Terry with the Regulares, Rick with the Falange and Ron with La Legion while Tim, Mike and Joe were my Republicans each fielding a platoon of International Brigade. Although this time I had preset  two jump-off points per player I did have my players roll for Force Morale and we had a spread of between eight and ten. For for support each side was allocated one armoured car, one heavy machine-gun and one eight inch section of heavy cover barricades allocated on a roll of a die.

None of my players had played Chain of Command before, but after a few initial turns of coaching were soon picking up some of the nuances of the game and we were able to get a good three hours of play out of the game. As seems to be usual the casualties among the Republican leaders seemed to be key to the game and their Force Morale was taking quite a hit!.

In one memorable event, a section of International Brigade who were moving to outflank the Nationalist machine-gun were caught in the open by some crushing fire from the Regulares, with a load of shock on them and leaderless they were struggling to extricate themselves. This was compounded when a section of Regulares launched a bayonet charge against them. The result was devastating, with about twenty dice the Regulares had not thrown a single five or six and were repulsed with heavy casualties by the stunned Brigadiers - that was certainly against all the odds!

This was a small victory for the Republicans though and eventually their Force Morale collapsed and the field was left to the Nationalists for the second time that day.