Friday, March 31, 2023

Austrian Napoleonic Dragoons in 6mm from Henry Turner

 Good day friends and welcome to the weekend.  I had fully intended to post this yesterday as one of this blog’s semi-habitual Napoleonic Thursday post, but my computer had some issues and no matter, here they are today.

While I have some Austrian cuirassiers in my collection, I didn’t have any Austrian dragoons (though in 6mm it’s hard to tell the difference between the two) so I easily rectified that by printing myself a mass of 6mm figures thanks to Henry Turner’s Europe Asunder Napoleonic Kickstarter that I’d backed last year.

The figures are based as per my usual standard for 6mm Napoleonics, giving me either a division’s worth for a grand scale game like Blucher, or a full regiment of four stands (1 command stand and three rank and file bases) for Sam Mustafa’s LaSalle 2.  I have a separate post planned for basing units for LaSalle, coming soon.

The flags were purchased from Stone Mountain Miniatures.  To their credit, they have a good selection of 6mm flags, though it took me a very long time to receive them.   I always want to cut self-employed hobby business owners a lot of slack.  Who knows what’s going on in their personal lives? 

A quick word on Henry Turner’s figures.   I printed these on an Elegoo Mars 2 resin printer.   The results were quite satisfactory, the figures have a decent amount of detail, though some have told me the horses don’t look convincing.    I wouldn’t print his figures at any scale larger than 10mm, but for 6 they satisfy and mix nicely with my Baccus collection.  I’m a fan.

I have a lot of 6mm Napoleonic stuff currently on the painting desk - a substantial mass of Austrian grenadiers and some Polish Uhlans, and after that lot is done it’s back to the big scales for a while.

Cheers and thanks for looking.  Blessings to your brushes!


Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Wednesday Boardgame: C&C Napoleonics Battle of Gunzburg

I decided to give my Command and Colours Napoleonics some love, as a fast way of getting acquainted with some of the more obscure battles of the period.  I chose the second scenario from the Austrian expansion, Gunzburg.  This was one of the actions of the Ulm campaign, when General Mack ordered General D'Aspre to find a way across the Danube so that Mack might extricate his forces from Ulm.  At the same time, Ney had ordered his Third Division under Malher to seize the bridges. The battle is brilliantly described by Jeff Berry on his Obscure Battles blog here.

It’s an interesting battle because the two forces were evenly matched, about 7500 per side, and faced each other across a stretch of the Danube with four bridges, two of them leading on and off a small island in the centre.    There is also a ford near the left most bridge, though I just noticed that when I set up the board I mispositioned the ford tile closer to the centre, which may have disadvantaged the French.

Here’s the board set up.  As you can see, the ford should have been two hexes to the left, screened by the woods.  As it was, it was covered by Austrian troops on the hills, and the one attempt of the French to cross there was badly shot up.

It’s an interesting tactical problem for both sides.  The scenario gives the Austrians a temporary victory banner for holding three of the four towns, but both sides get temporary banners for holding bridges and for pushing troops across the Danube (not counting the island).  Either side can win the game if they choose to attack, though the more tempting approach is to let the other side try to cross and then punch them hard when they reach a bridge or ford.ave 

In the game I played solo, the French tried to advance, but a big (5 block!) Austrian line infantry unit smashed into the French light infantry on the right most bridge and threw them back.  That was pretty much how it went from then on as the battle became attritional.

The game ended with a 7-3 Austrian win and the French bled white after chasing an illusory success on the left wing.   In retrospect I should have tried to mass troops at several crossing points before committing to an assault.

Sharp-eyed CCN players will have noticed that I was using the Tacticians cards from Expansion 5, Generals, Marshals, and Tacticians.    I like extra opportunities that these cards provide, though I suppose some purists might complain that they make the game a little too “gamey”, like the cards in Sam Mustafa’s Longstreet.  Throwing down the “Break the Square” card when you charge with your cavalry might be gamey, but it is very satisfying.

Death of Colonel Gérard Lacuée at the battle of Günzburg, on October 9, 1805. Oil painting by Georges Moreau de Tours.

“They rolled two sabres for Leader Kill!  Damn them!”

I knew nothing about this battle before playing the game, so I learned something, and would consider lifting the victory conditions from this scenario to apply to a 6mm miniatures version, since my collection is mostly French/Austrian, though I would need to improvise to get enough river sections.  It would be a fun project.  Visiting Gunzburg and seeing the Legoland there would also be a fun project.

Thanks for reading and blessings to your die rolls! MP+


Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Terrain Tuesday: Never Enough Trees!

 A wise man (it may have been my friend James, but don’t tell him I called him wise) once said to me, “A wargamer can never have enough trees”.    I agree, though I would make an exception for gams set in the Western Desert.   For years I’ve tried making (and repairing) Woodlands Scenics model railroad tree armatures, until I met a company called Model Builders Supply (MBS) and decided that enough was enough.

MBS is a Canadian company, based in Aurora, north of Toronto, and does a wide range of products, from scenic items for architects’ models to dollhouse supplies, and recently discovered wargaming when they started exhibiting at Hot Lead.    

This year at Hot Lead I picked up a two dozen of their 28mm trees, some snow-covered spruce trees for my (sadly backburnered) Rockies Ablaze project, plus some trees in summer and some in autumn for various seasons.   The trees are sturdy and look realistic enough for my tastes.  I also picked up some of their plastic wooden shingle roof sheets for MDF models and some brick/stone sheets to model streets for a 15mm Italian village for WW2 gaming. 

Here are last year’s tree purchases, set onto LITKO irregularly shaped MDF bases.  My friend Joe Saunders likes to say that irregular shapes for basing look best for natural items like trees and such. 


Cheers and blessing to your modelling!


Monday, March 27, 2023

A Quick Video Tour of Hot Lead 2023

I had a great time as a punter at this year's Hot Lead, just wrapped up this last weekend in Stratford, Ontario.  Once again the organizers put on a showcase event for the Canadian miniatures wargames hobby, with possibly a record attendance.   Besides a full range of participation games, there were busy tournaments for Bolt Action, ancients (ADLG and DBA), as well as some wonderful looking all ages games, including one with pirate teddy bears!

I suspect that James and I will convene a panel for the second Canadian Wargamer Podcast Hot Lead After Action Report, hopefully soon.    Enjoy this short 15 minute, very amateurish video tour.  MP+


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

A Kindness From a Friend I've Yet to Meet

A small parcel arrived in the post late last week, sent entirely out of kindness by one of those beloved wargamer friends that we haven’t yet met.  

In this case, the friend is Dai, one of the regular readers of this blog,  Dai is a fellow blogger, who does interesting and lovely projects in WW2, among other stuff.   We’ve exchanged emails and messages for years and encouraged one another in our lives’ ups and downs, but I’ve never met him, and I earnestly hope to do so if I can make it to California some day.

Dai knows that I am fond of Tolkien and have quite a few of the GW figures for my LOTR gaming, with an especial fondness for the Rohirrim, so he sent me these figures from his stash, thinking I could make better use of them then he can

Well, I hope he’s right.  These are lovely figures, and while I can break the GW horses off their bases just by looking at them the wrong way, they have great potential for painting and I can’t wait to get at them.

Thank you Dai!   You are too kind, and a fine example of what young Conrad Kinch likes to call “The Freemasonry of the Hobby”.

Speaking of Rohirim, recently I got one of those “You may like these …” from Kickstarte, and my eye was caught by a project called Riders of the Plains,  a set of STL files for figures that looked suspiciously like these, only slightly different.   I suppose a lawyer might have said they were just generic Gothic dark ages cavalry, but what appears to have killed the project was that the creators called themselves The Hobbit Hole.  That was too much for Warner Bros, which now apparently owns the Tolkien IP universe, and they killed the project faster than a Nazgul can screech something fell in it’s fell voice.    Had the project called itself something else, like “Small Cute Things Living Below Ground”,  they might have gotten away with it.  Anyway, my backing evaporated along with the project, but at least I have these fellows (and, to be honest, many more like them) to paint.

Cheers and blessings to your brushes,


Saturday, March 18, 2023

The Canadian Wargamer Podcast Ep 22 Is Live: Featuring Marc Rodrigue, Designer of GMT's Bayonets and Tomahawks


In this episode, we detour from miniatures to chat to Marc Rodrigue, Montreal-based designer of the award-winning French and Indian Wars boardgame, Bayonets and Tomahawks, published by GMT Games. We talk about Marc's abiding interest in the French and Indian War, and the design process that led to his game. Marc's also a FIW reenactor, and has some interesting insights to the period from portraying a soldier of the Franche de la marine. Marc's current projects include an interesting looking WW2 armour game, reflecting his love of tanks, and some other fascinating projects. 

 After we said au revoir to Marc, James and I chatted about the ups and downs (and legalities) of 3D printing, getting ready for Hot Lead in less than two week's time, playing Napoleon in a tactical game, James' initial thoughts on Osprey's new SF rules, Xenos Rampant, and an early look at Sam Mustafa's Nimitz, along with some opinions as to why destroyers are cool. 

 Links to things we discussed: 

Our Guest Marc:

Bayonets and Tomahawks: 

B&T on BGG: 

Academy Games: 1754 FIW game: 

FIW reenactors in Montreal: 

Other Stuff: 

Nimitz by Sam Mustafa: 

Xenos Rampant by Osprey Publishing: 

Marc's Book Contributions to the CWP Virtual Library: 

 Peter McLeod, Backs to the Wall: the Battle of Sainte-Foy and the Conquest of Canada, 

Peter MacLeod: Northern Armageddon: the Battle of the Plains of Abraham and the Making of the American Revolution , 

Fred Anderson: Crucible of War: The Seven Years and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766, 

David Preston: Braddock's Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution, 

La petite guerre et la chute de la Nouvelle-France" by Laurent Nerich, a French military analyst. It blows away the myth of the French “forest Rambos” and describes very well the capabilities and limitations of “Canadien" light troops. 

"Montcalm, général américain” by Québécois historian Dave Noël. Like Preston’s book “Braddocks Defeat” book does for the British general, it gives a more proper portrayal of how that French general was adapted to the North American theater. 

Closing Music: Aupres de ma blonde, sung by Olivia Chaney,

Monday, March 13, 2023

With Boney In Spain: A Sharp Practice Playtest


Last week I had the chance to visit my friend Joe Saunders to playtest his Sharp Practice game for HotLead in two week’s time.   Joe of course is the proprietor of the Miniature Landscape Hobbies YouTube channel, and a friend of the Canadian Wargamer Podcast.   Here is the always friendly Joe beside one of his epic scratch built terrain boards, in this case depicting a village somewhere in Spain.    

The scenario was built around Napoleon’s one visit to Spain in 1808.  The Emperor is travelling cross country by coach wit a small elite escort but the details of his trip are leaked and Spanish partisans are lying in ambush.  French and British troops are hastening to the site.   The Emperor wins by getting from one side of the table to the other.

Close up of Napoleon (front rank on the right) with his elite escort Chasseurs of the Guard.  All figures painted by Joe.  The Napoleon casting is I believe a Warlord sculpt, and Joe’s tutorial on painting him is here.  Napoleon is rated as a Level 4 commander, the best in there can be in the rules, so he has a ton of clout on the battlefield.  The downside is that from turn on, he is in long range of Spanish guerrillas, so he needs to be careful.

When I learned that I got to play Napoleon in a tactical game,  I absolutely HAD to play the French!

The game unfolded with a full run of cards allowing all units from both sides to deploy.  The British had a light and a heavy cavalry unit on their side of the table, directly facing Napoleon.   It was only a matter of time before they decided to charge, and while I did my best to block them with a unit of dragoons, I had deployed my other unit of cavalry, cuirassiers, on the far side of the table where they weren’t able to protect L’Empereur, which proved to be a fatal mistake.

In retrospect, Joe and I decided that both sides should only have light cavalry, as heavy impact cavalry in Sharp Practice is murderous.  Otherwise, the British player will do their best to ride down Napoleon as quickly as possible and end the game.

As an example of what impact cavalry can do, here are my cuirassiers charging into a hapless formation of Highlanders.  The cards allowed me to hit them while the Jocks had their muskets unloaded, so they got bundled off the table with heavy losses. It was one of those rare moments in Sharp Practice where you get perfect card draws: I  moved into charge range with the last card of one turn, and got to charge with the first card of the next turn.  Fun when it happens, especially given how rare such moments are.

It’s always fun to help a friend think through the balance and structure of a war-game scenario.   I wish I’d taken some more photos of Joe’s lovely terrain and of his wonderful collection of 28mm Naps.   Hopefully I’ll get some more for you at Hot Lead in two weeks time.

Cheers and blessings to your die rolls,


Thursday, March 9, 2023

Victorian British and Canadian Brigade on Parade

After my last post here, I thought it would be fun to take all my completed Victorian  British and Canadian troops and put them on the table for a group shot.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Perry figures in the foreground, British regulars and behind them a regiment of Canadian militia.

Perry Canadian militia cavalry in the centre.

Perry command figures in the centre.

Two Perry Armstrong Whitworth cannon and crew.

Most recently completed Warlord regiment, British regulars, in the foreground, and a second regiment of Canadian militia behind them.

Flags by Adolfo Ramos.

I found this an encouraging exercise to see the fruits of two years’ work on the table.   Now to dig out my US American Civil War figures and put them to the test.

Cheers and thanks for looking, MP+

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Warlord Victorian British Infantry

I recently finished this unit of 28mm Victorian British infantry for my alt-ACW project.  These are metal Warlord sculpts, I think by Paul Hicks, for their Crimean War range.   I am fairly sure that these figures are which are OOP as I couldn’t find them on the Warlord website.  I bough them practically for a song from a very generous friend at last year’s Hot Lead convention.

The figures are painted using Foundry paints and the flag is from Adolfo Ramos.    There was only one banner bearer in the unit, so I opted for the regimental flag rather than the national flag, just because I liked the look.

These figures, added to my existing Perry British Infantry Force figures, give me a small brigade, which I’ll try to get some pics of the next time we have some sunlight.  Hopefully they’ll see some action in defence of Upper Canada soon.

Cheers and thanks for looking.   Blessings to your brushes!


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