Monday, September 15, 2014

Introducing the 88th New York in 28mm

One of my objectives this year has been to double down on my half-finished and unpainted ACW figures, and I am promising myself a test-drive of the Sam Mustafa Longstreet rules if I can get some more guys on the table.   Here is one project ticked off the list, the 88th New York, a collection of 28mm Redoubt figures, infantry in shell jackets.  It’s only taken me two years to finish them.  The flags are bespoke 88th NY flags from GMB.  GMB has been my go-to place for flags got a long time, though I have to say, I like what I’ve seen from a US shop, The Flag Dude.  I am retrofitting my SYW Russian army with his kit.   The split-rail fencing was kindly made for me by my friend Mike Barratt, one of the Rabbitmen in the Basement crowd.

The officer was a bit of a challenge as I think the sculptor intended him to be a reb, since there was braid on his sleeves and on the top of his kepi that had to be filed off before painting.


Since I had an early war feel in mind for them, I gave some of them the red leather canteen straps that were issued early in the war, and then a few the white canvas straps that became common later on,  just to add a small note of variety.  Likewise, I gave most of them the standard brown army blanket (painted with Vallejo English Uniform) but a few got gray blankets, again, just for the variety.  


Madame Padre looked at them and said “They look like they’re wearing blue jeans”.  Maybe I overdid the light dry brushing a bit?   More on that in a later post on painting Union troops.   I am reasonable happy with the final look on the faces and with the suggestion of woodgrain on the rifles.



Now that they are mustered into service, they needed their standards blessed by the Brigade chaplain, Father Corby, while Col. Meagher and the Division commander look on (the mounted figures are also all Redoubt minis).  I suppose, since I am a priest, I could have blessed them, but that seemed not only inappropriate but potentially unfair to my gaming friends.  Besides, that’s what the Father Corby mini is for.  The men know him and like him.


The 69th, followed by the 88th, on a route march.  After I looked at that photo, I noticed how jarring it was that some of the bases were not edged in green paint, so I’ve fixed that and they should fight better because of it. Now that I have two regiments of the Irish Brigade done, I am starting to think of a third.     Does anyone have any suggestions as to what options I would have in this scale besides buying more Redoubt figures (not that I don’t like Redoubt, I just like some variety)?   I am thinking I should look at Sash and Sabre but I’m happy to take your suggestions.


These figures bring my 2014 totals to:

28mm Mounted: 13, 28mm Foot: 42, 28mm Artillery: 1

20mm Foot: 33, 20mm Artillery: 2, 20mm Vehicles: 2, 20mm Terrain Pieces: 2

15mm Vehicles: 5, 15mm Foot: 26, 15mm Terrain Pieces: 3

6mm Foot:  120, 6mm vehicles: 4, 6mm Terrain Pieces: 2

Kilometres Run: 861


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Diplomacy Game: Results for the Fall 1901 Turn and Latest Edition of the Daily Dissembler

Results for Fall, 1901 (Movement)

General Notices:
Order resolution completed on 14-Sep-2014 at 00:47:12 EDT

Order Results:

Austria: F alb -gre;  Austria: A gal Holds;  Austria: A tri Holds  A tri Dislodged from tyr (2 against 1).

England: A edi -hol Bounced with ruh (1 against 1). Convoy path taken: edi-nth-hol;  England: F nth Convoys A edi -hol;  England: F nwg -nwy

France: A bur - gas;  France: F pic -bel;   France: A pie - mar

Germany: F den Holds;  Germany: A ruh - hop Bounced with edi (1 against 1);  Germany: A sil - boh

Italy: F nap - tys;   Italy: A tyr -tri;  Italy: A ven Supports A tyr - tri

Russia: F bot -swe;  Russia: F sev -bla;  Russia: A ukr - rum;  Russia: A war - gal  Bounced with gal (1 against 1).

Turkey: F ank -arm; Turkey: A bul -ser; Turkey: A con -bul

Supply Center Ownership:

Austria: Budapest, Greece, Vienna (3 total).
England: Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Norway (4 total).
France: Belgium, Brest, Marseilles, Paris (4 total).
Germany: Berlin, Denmark, Kiel, Munich (4 total).
Italy: Naples, Rome, Trieste, Venice (4 total).
Russia: Moscow, Rumania, Sevastopol, St.
Petersburg, Sweden, Warsaw (6 total).
Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Serbia, Smyrna (5 total).

Dislodged Units:

Austria: Army Trieste.  Must retreat to either vie, bud or alb.  
Deadline for end of Retreat Phase:  This Tuesday, midnight EDT.

The Daily Dissembler, Special European Gazette Issue, October 15, 1901
We make sense of a complicated, far-off world so you, dear reader, can enjoy the Gilded Age.

Battle of Amsterdam:  First Reports of a Major Battle

Our correspondent in Rotterdam, Mr. Erasmus Bork,  has given us our first reports of a major clash between German and British forces in Holland.   Two weeks ago His Majesty’s Imperial government announced that “England has sent a delegation to the Hague to discuss the agenda for a preliminary meeting on ways to reduce tensions on the continent.”   However, last week it seemed to the started citizens of Amsterdam as if the British delegation was wearing khaki.   On Sunday last, troops of the British Expeditionary Force, disembarked in the harbour and took positions just to the east of the city.   The startled Dutch police and government chose not to oppose the British.

 Soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force check their accoutrements and prepare to march out of Amsterdam.
The same day, the Germany First Army under General Fritz von Quack crossed the Dutch border marching on Amsterdam.  By Tuesday evening, residents of Amsterdam heard artillery fire on the outskirts of the city.

German forces moving into Holland advance on Amsterdam. 

A week of fierce fighting followed, with the city’s eastern suburbs changing hands several times at bayonet point.   Between the numerous guns of the German Army, which is lavishly equipped with siege artillery, and the supporting gunfire of the Royal Navy, damage to the city’s architecture has been severe and loss of life considerable.   Finally, the exhausted participants withdrew, and a truce was declared after tireless negotiations and trips between the lines by members of the Swiss and American legations in the city.   German troops have since withdrawn to their side of the border, and the British troops reembarked and returned to England.  Our correspondent, Mr. Bork, reports that the Dutch authorities are now back in control of the situation, and that some British and German wounded and stragglers have been interned.

Our artist’s impression of hand-to-hand fighting on the outskirts of Amsterdam, as described by those who were there. 
The Situation in Austria
Our correspondent in Vienna, Miss Amelia Roosevelt, intrepid girl reporter and niece of Vice-Presidential nominee Theodore Roosevelt, has cabled us with intelligence of grave import.   Reports from the Ministry of War have credited Austrian arms with a great success in checking the advance of a Russian army attempting to invade Galicia.  Reports of heavy fighting along the border indicate that while the Russian attacks were pressed gallantly in may places, they lacked the numbers to dislodge the Austrian defenders.  Other communiques from the Ministry trumpet the news that Austrian warships have landed marines in the city of Athens, and that Greece is being added to the Empire.  However, there are ominous reports of German troop columns marching unopposed into Bohemia, where, having reached the ancient town of Klodzko, they are expected at any moment to go on and occupy Prague.   Meanwhile there is significant unrest in Vienna as the first refugees arrive from Trieste, bearing news of an Italian advance on that port city.   Miss Roosevelt hopes to travel to Trieste shortly to report on the matter.   Unease only mounts at stories that Turkish infantry have marched into Belgrade, and have been asking locals for directions to Budapest and Vienna.   A run on banks has occurred in many Austrian cities, and many leading citizens have been applying for American visas.     For the last few weeks, there has been an ominous silence from the palace, and rumours that the Austro-Hungarian Emperor is ill or incapacitated.

Austro-Hungarian troops defending the Galician border, from a photo released by the Austrian War Ministry.
Readers can expect another special issue of the Gazette as soon as more cables and dispatches arrive from our London office.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday Paint Table

The American Civil War Union troops shown here last week are finished and based.   I’ll get to them in a later post.   Taking their place are these five minis.  The stout chap on the bottle top is a Bob Murch Pulp Figures mini, and the other four are GW Gondorians from their LOTR range that I’ve had for a long time:  2 copies of their Beregond figure and a Gondorian foot command pack.   The Bob Murch mini and one of the Beregonds are going out the door as prizes to a contest from back in April.   The Murch figure is going to Joakim Strom, aka the Miniatures Man, and one of the Beregonds goes to Baconfat.  I figured since I am painting Beregond, I might as well do a few more Gondorians while I’m at it.


Watch this space tomorrow for results from the Fall 1901 Diplomacy game running on this blog.   Very exciting!

Blessings to your brushes!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

News From The Diplomacy Front: The Daily Dissembler, Fall 1901

For those of you following the current Diplomacy game being hosted here, I have introduced a media presence in the game so players can agitate, foment, and tell outrageous lies to each other and to the world.  I of course will only comment within standards of the highest journalistic integrity.  Orders for the Fall 1901 Turn are due this Saturday at midnight EDT and results should be published sometime the following day.  If some of you are wondering about why the comments below don't seem to match this post, that's because I accidentally overwrote a previous post of the Dissembler but kept the old comments.   :(

The Daily Dissembler, Special European Gazette Issue, September 11, 1901
We make sense of a complicated, far-off world so you, dear reader, can enjoy the Gilded Age.

Since our readers have requested an easy-to-digest map of the European situation, which appears to grow more complex with each passing day, the Dissembler offers this map showing current troop and fleet movements:

Movements at the end of the Spring 1901 Turn.

Dateline:  Constantinople
 A view of the Haliç, the main Turkish navy base on the Golden Horn. At left some of the yard buildings; at right, the stately offices of the Ottoman Navy Ministry.  Incredibly, these buildings appeared closed and empty when our correspondent visited.  If the antique warship seen here is any indication of Turkish naval might, the Sultan will need a navy in a hurry.

After several weeks of seeking an interview, our correspondent in the Balkans, Thaddeus Scribbler, has received the following curt message.  “The Turkish Navy regrets that it is unable to provide a comment on the recent conflict in the Black Sea.  This is because many senior personnel are in discussion with a major naval power about a proposed transfer of shipbuilding technology."

When Mr. Scribbler visited the Naval Ministry buildings, the only staff member at the admiralty who offered a comment said "Sorry love, I'm just the cleaner..."

In the absence of any Turkish comment, we are forced to agree with Russia’s claim of a victory in the Black Sea, though we note that both navies have returned to their ports to lick their wounds.   Will a rematch occur soon?   Sources in America confirm that the naval architects of Keels and Deals Inc, of Bangor, Maine, have been actively lobbying the Turks for a large contract.  The company’s motto is “Getting sunk is a pain, Just ask Spain.  The choice is plain, Buy your navy from Maine."

Dateline:  Rome
From Our Correspondent Ernest Harrington

"In the pursuit of news This Reporter sometimes has to visit establishments that are alien to our home readership.  For, among the ruins and palatzios there is a veritable demi monde.

"Italy prides itself as being the heir to an ancient civilization; yet in truth it is a young country, barely thirty years old.  Its ministers and officials are cynical and, for the most part, corrupt; it's 'nobility' are jumped-up and eager to curry favour.  This is the country that has forced the Pope into self-imposed imprisonment in the Vatican. There is little honour in the Eternal City.,,

"How then should we ready last week's communique from the Foreign Ministry on the international situation?  Your correspondent will look behind the weasel words and report back on the unvarnished truth."

 Our correspondent, Mr. Harrington, getting all the inside news from his contacts in Rome.
Well, Bill, will that be clear enough for our stuffed-shirt proprietor and his teetotal, stay-at-home circle?  
Impress on him the necessity of me having an expenses account that is both generous AND pays out in good time!!  
These taverns and low-grade gambling dens are alright for meeting low-level clerks, but they KNOW NOTHING!  If you want scoops from Ministers and the Nobility we must (repeat MUST!) get some high-class whores and cardinals on the payroll.  They will NOT be cheap!
And send some more cases of Cuban cigars!

Dateline:  Columbus, OH.

At a recent campaign stop, President McKinley vowed that in the event of further hostilities on the Continent, his administration would not put American boots on the ground in Europe.  

“That’s simply not in the cards,” said the President.   “Neither are airstrikes, because we don’t really have that capability, though there are these local fellas, the Wright brothers, that we are watching with interest.  Maybe in twenty or thirty years they’ll actually invent a way to put a man in the air.  We’re hopeful, and this administration will continue to promote America’s future in technology, unlike my opponent."

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Doing the Santa Clause Thing

 Image from the British Army website, here.
My blogging friend Chris Stoesen is to thank for getting me involved in the is year’s Santa Clause challenge.   You can read the full details about it here.  As I understand it, Chris as the organizer assigns participants a blogger, and then you go research that blog, figure out what the blogger likes to collect and find a figure, building, etc of no more than 5 pounds sterling (about $10 Canadian) in value, paint it, and send it to your assigned giftee by 20 December.  It’s not to be confused with the Secret Santa thing that is running elsewhere in the wargaming blogosphere.
I think this is a cracking idea and I’m part of it.   There’s still time for you to consider joining the fun.  Have a look at Chris’ website and contact him before September 15th.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Almost Ready To Muster In

No Paint Table Saturday post for me as Madame Padre and I escaped for the weekend and it was lovely.  

However, since getting home I’ve given a few hours to my Irish Brigade project.  The 88th New York are almost ready to muster in.   Hopefully they’ll be based tonight, and then Father Corby will bless their flags and they’ll be on the way to the seat of war.  Since this photo was taken they are off their nails and falling in.  An issue of Guinness may be in the works.


Blessings to your paint brushes!


Monday, September 1, 2014

More CCN Online: Kinch Kickings at Krasnoi

Young Kinch and I met again on Google Hangouts this morning, it being Labour Day on my side of the Atlantic and a day traditionally set aside for studiously avoiding labour.  We enjoyed our last outing so much that we decided to do it again, this time choosing the Krasnoi scenario from the CCN Russian expansion.   Krasnoi was an unpleasant day on the Retreat from Moscow when Napoleon had to employ his Guard to block the Russians and allow the battered troops of Davout’s Corps to escape.

Once again we used parallel setups.   Kinch had the battle set up with his splendid figures, and was able to christen a splendid looking snow mat, seeing as this was the Retreat from Moscow.  Until he finds the time to post it on Joy and Forgetfulness, and I suspect his spare time will be somewhat crimped in the near future, you’ll have to settle with my ugly blocks.

Here’s the initial setup from the French side.  The two block French Line unit on the bridge on the river, and then strung out along the Left/Centre boundary are the half strength units of Davout’s Corps.   The French get a Victory Banner for the first two two-block Line units they withdraw off the French board edge, and get a banner for every two-block Line unit they withdraw thereafter.   The Russian player starts the game with eight Command cards, and loses a card for each of Davout’s two block Line units that the French exit from the board.   The Russians get a banner for every two two-block French Line units they eliminate.  They also get a banner for every turn they hold the bridge, and get two banners if they hold the village of Uvarova, which is on the bed of the river on the French right flank.   In the picture below, I made an error and put a French light infantry unit in Uvarovoa.  Actually, the Russians begin holding the village.


Kinch opens the ball by grabbing the first of the low-hanging fruit.



While on my right, I get incredibly lucky and push the light infantry of the Young Guard into Uvarovoa, eliminating the Russian lights holding the village in one lucky roll.


  Kinch introduces me to his cossacks.  Cossacks in the CCN Russian expansion are incredibly annoying.  They are like mosquitoes, they bite and draw blood, and it doesn’t matter if you swat them, because they don’t count for Victory Banners when you eliminate them.

Having managed the pesky cossacks, I decide to try and block the road with the Old Guard to give Davout’s command time to escape.   I thought they would last longer than they did.


Kinch decides to put pressure on Uvarova, and shoots down half of the Young Guard when they are caught in the open during their smoke break.



The rest of the Guard died shortly thereafter, and while I did my best to bring up reinforcements to hold the village, Kinch sneakily sneaked these horse artillery into Uvarova and that was all she wrote.   

Since the whole match lasted about an hour, we switched sides and tried it again.  This time, we read the scenario notes more carefully and discovered that Davout’s half strength lines are only worth a half Victory Banner each, and not two as we thought in the first game, which of course explains why I lost… well, that and Kinch’s sneakiness.  

I don’t have pictures of the second game, but it was a splendid and drawn out affair that ended in a narrow Russian victory.   Kinch was able to extricate much of Davout’s troops, but I was able to grapple with the Guard and whittle them down.  There was also a fairly large fur ball around Uvarova, where the Russian heavy cavalry stomped all over the Young Guard, that was fun.

Blessings to your die rolls!