As Ayton looms…

…I’m finally cracking on with the figures needed. To add to the crossbowmen I finished a few weeks ago I’ve added 12 more Foot Sergeants (though they may end up as Yeoman!) and 6 Foot Men at Arms. All are Conquest Normans. And as I’m retaining the Savage Swans theme the tough chaps get the usual colour scheme! I’ve got another 12 foot and 6 mounted half done. Hope to get them finished by Friday. Then may attempt some more!

Ayton always provides a good focus for painting. If only I could realise that a few weeks earlier….

The Lidl Grass Mat thing…

Willz, over on the A Military Gentleman forum and also on TWW, posted a link to the current offer at Lidl for 2mx1m artificial grass mats.

Although a little darker than I would like they are quite a good deal. I have a 6’x4′ Mat-o-War which is lighter but if I use this on the small 4’x4′ the extra length is hanging off the end, doesn’t lie flat and then adds a crease along the edge… So this mat seemed a possible alternative. As I only needed to cover the 4×4 one mat was enough and by trimming the extra there was enough to cover the lot.

The end result is OK. The joins aren’t too obvious and I think will bed in. The mats are just held in place by double sided tape.And the remaining off cut will be used for fields and the like on the other mat as it will provide a nice contrast.So all in all it will do the job for smaller games. I may use a bit of the offcut to try some light dry brushing just to lighten it a bit.

Now, I really must do some painting for Ayton!

 

Fire and Fury in the North!

And so the day arrived! A little later than planned as we’d been out the night before and I left everyone at a sensible time (albeit a little the worse for wear) and went to meet up with my wife at a friends party. I finally got to bed just after 4am. Vodka was involved. Had intended to get to the venue at 8.30, get the troops out and be ready for the guys arriving at 9. I woke up at 9.10!! Made it to the place at 9.30 though but the initial setup was a little unsteady… 🙂 

Some background. Various member of LAW and the Ayton games have been having the odd get together at other points in the year when one of use puts on a game (or two) in the area they live (or their home). So far we’ve played in Aberfeldy, Framlingham, Newark (Foundry) and few peoples homes (Simon, Paul, LT, Dave) with various people attending and putting games on. All have been great fun so I’d pondered a small gathering to play Fire and Fury up here in Newcastle so this weekend it finally happened and Iain (Essex Boy), Simon (Goat Major), Dave (World2Dave) and Ken (Marshall Ney) headed north (or west for Ken as he’s in Whitley Bay!) for a game. And food. And beer. The venue was the classroom at Stepney Bank Stables in the Ouseburn Valley which was ideal as the guys were staying at the Cumberland Arms just up the hill. It was good value, had lots of big tables, and the smell of the horses added a little ambience! The lighting could have been marginally better but was OK. If it had been sunny outside it would have been fine but towards the late PM it became a little dark.

If you’ve followed the blog over the last few months you’d see I’ve been trying to get my 15mm ACW forces sorted out and having the game as a target and focus has been a great help to getting units done, markers and scenery. I’d thought of just doing one of the scenarios from the books but none of them seemed to work in terms of forces required, table size, game length. So I visited the old Fire and Fury UK webpage and picked some of their Random Armies. These would hopefully give two ‘balanced’ forces for what would effectively be an encounter type action. I did roll on the Random events table and the Union got a caisson for artillery re-supply (no low-ammo within 12″) and an battery and brigade deployed in advane up to half way line.  Rebs got some captured guns and a flank march. Myself and Dave took the CSA with two decent corps. I sent the two brigades of Bright’s Div. on the flank march.

Here are the OoBs.  This was the table (about 8×5 using my 6×4 Mat-o-War with hills adding to the width and woods extending the flanks):In the centre is the town of Aytonsburg where a Union brigade has taken residence with an accompanying battery deployed behind the wall enclosure to their right. The river could be crossed using half your movement, the two fords only costing -3. The CSA objective was to take the town, the Union to halt the CSA advance and inflict as much damage as possible. 

The CSA deployed on the hills with the Corps Batteries on the heights. The plan being to push forward with elan and gain a foothold in the town before the main Union forces advanced. Which would have been fine but for the Union moving first! Tonkiss advanced Peeler’s Div. and his cavalry to occupy the town.McGarry advanced up the centre and took and took up strong positions with his guns and veteran troops behind the stone walls.Burt’s green troops could be seen in the far distance advancing through the woods.McMaster’s corps made a caustious advance against the town.And Hall’s veteran corps advanced up the centre and deployed to the flank to face the threat from the Union flank march.Peeler’s Div took up strong positions in and around the town and awaited the assault.Meanwhile, Hall’s troops lined up to face Burt’s flank attack.The attack up the centre had stalled when faced by several batteries and three well deployed brigades.McMaster’s assault on the town was struggling. Having driven the first brigade out from the outskirts three brigades lined up to assault the right side of the town held by only a single brigade.This was to be a crucial battle as the Union threw back attack after attack before finally being driven out! The time they gained was crucial.

Buff and Morrisey’s divisions pushed out the cavalry and tried to push down the road into the face of the battery there. Luckily they silenced the battery and were able to drive it off.  While all this was going on Tonkiss’s flanking brigade encountered some old foes charging from the woods! Although they did no damage the native did hold up the brigade for several turns resulting in them still being in a good position when Bright’s flank march arrived!These swept the brigade away and then advanced rapidly across the rear of the town to engage McGarry’s zouave brigades that were deploying to bolster the flank. Unfortunately at this point the valiant defenders of the town rallied and charged one of the brigades in the rear, sending it fleeing to the rear. They then charged again into the rear of the other brigade and finally their luck ran out!The CSA now took possession of the town and tried to push forward further into the rear. Meanwhile, Hall faced the massed troops of Burt’s corps. Contesting the crossing of the river the battle ebbed to and fro as the weight of numbers began to tell but finally, with guns brought up in support, Hall threw the Union back across the river and the remnants (three brigades were down to one stand!). Meanwhile, the attack around the rear of the Union line was thrown back by McGarry’s crack troops. At this point, with the day drawing to a close, we decided to call it a day. Burt’s attack had been repulsed but he still had strong forces to being to bear and was preparing another assault. The town was firmly in CSA hands and Buff’s Division prepared its defence. Morrissey’s largely untouched Division deployed along the left of the town along the road as along with Hall’s battered troops the attack on the centre could resume as McGarry had re-deployed troops to hold the flank. With plenty of fresh troops still in play we called it a draw as even with another couple of hours play it could have gone either way. The table at the end.

It was a great game. The d10 extremes did play a part on occasion (the CSA only one combined ALL their batteries against one target…and rolled a 10!) and I think Dave felt he rolled more than his fair share of 1s… I had made up LOTS of markers and we hardly used any. Maybe half a dozen disordered markers each and the odd low ammo. I think we missed the odd low ammo effect amidst the joy of rolling a high number! I managed to capture one Division commander and had one of my own disabled. The close combats were generally worked out OK. We had a couple of queries when two brigades hit one and we were unsure if ALL effects were added e.g. if one unit was fresh and the other spent was that a net 0 (-2/+2)?. We played yes.

And some of use felt that with the CSA have smaller units, even if veteran of crack, they struggled against large green Union units as losing even one stand lost them their fresh status. 

But overall the rules played fine and we had a great time. Thanks to the guys for coming up and playing in such good spirit. And it has been good to get the armies into a playable state!

There’s a gallery with more of the pics in here: Fire and Fury Newcastle 2017

Now. What do I need to paint for Ayton? 🙂

The game approaches – nearly there!

Took yesterday and today as flexi days. With the big ACW game coming tomorrow I wanted a bit of a rest before and a nice leisurely preparation with no panic and stress. Yeah…as if…

First off, the walls and fences took a LOT longer to do than planned. But they are done and packed and ready:Then I sorted out the Order of Battle for both sides. I’ve got loads and loads of ACW. There was no problem there! Yeah… as if.. I was short 5 Union command stands, 2 CSA ones, a CSA corps commander, two CSA guns and a Union caisson! But with  full day yesterday, focus, and just sitting in the attic listening to music (KFL, Van Der Graaf Generator, Levellers, Sabres of Paradise, Rogers Waters) I got them all done!Corps command stand.Two more command stands.CSA guns.And for the Union: Three stands for the Irish BrigadeTwo others.And a caisson I need as ammo supply marker.Not bad for a days work!

I’ve also done labels for all the units which stick on the bottom and the coloured strip folds up at the back of the base.And this morning I laid out the table to get a feel for what it will look like: I will need more fences!!! I have another 3 meters of MDF to make up so that will help!

So tomorrow I will meet up with Iain, Dave, Simon and Ken to do battle! What could possibly go wrong!

Limbering up on the workbench!

Work continues towards next week’s ACW game. I’m pretty well on top of things but as ever I keep finding other things to do. First off I realised I needed some more limbers for the Union forces. Luckily I had three Minifigs (3rd rather then 2nd Gen) sat waiting so have just finished off those. I might need to do a couple of CSA ones but possibly not essential. 

I’m also still working in scenery. First off some resin walls. These are from Small Terrain Miniature Scenery. A few test pieces. They look a little shiny as I’d just slapped on a coat of varnish. Still need to add some static grass.Also have another batch of the MDF fences ready to go onto bases.

I may be short a few command stands so prepped a big batch of them. Don’t think I’ll need them all which is good!And although I have a couple of buildings to drop down I had one more (Timecast I think) in the box so have made a start on that. Basic coats and washes on. Just need to drybrush and detail. Undecided on whether to base them and pretty up the bases. May be too much work…Going to spend tomorrow night listing the last few things to do. I have THursday and FRiday off so hopefully can get anything done by then…

 

More fences!!!

Having acquired the correct DecoArt Burnt Umber I repainted the four corner pieces and finished them off. I’ve also made up another batch of fences to do… I’ve also realised that I may be a few limbers short of a full battery! So I’ve made up three Minifigs limbers (just using two horses) and started painting them. May need to do similar for CSA but may just give them less guns…

And I might have ordered a few resin stone walls…

I’m hoping next week to lay out the planned table and make sure I have all the bits, it looks OK and then photograph it for quick setup on the day!

A

10mm Sudan and more fences!

As mentioned a couple of times I have a long standing 10mm Sudan project that never really seems to get going. However, I was sent some spare Brits that Slugbalancer painted and no longer needed. They had a neat paintjob but I wanted apply a wash to bring out the detail a bit more. And I was missing some command figures, and when I finally decided on basing, I needed two extra figures. I thought I had managed to match the colours quite well but on closer inspection, even with the was, they are a little out. And having mixed the figures up to base and picked them at random I inevitably put the extra figures next to each other!

Anyway, here is the unit. I may paint a few more in the same style as they are quite quick to do.

And fences.

The 4Ground fences from the last post…Far too fiddly to use on the table although admittedly OK for making curves etc. but I’ve bevelled the bases and joined them up to make longer lengths. I’ve joined the very short pieces to make corner sections. However my DecoArt Burnt Umber I use for all my bases ran out so I had to use what I thought was the same stuff but just a different make. It was different colour! More reddy. And it took ages to dry. And was shiny!! So the need to wait until I get some of the proper stuff and re-do them. I have 2 packs of the 4Ground Snake Rail fencing to do but that seems quite fiddly and time consuming. I also have two more packs of the above  so I may just rattle through that!

Progress…

 

On the workbench

As I’m on a bit of a roll I thought I’d do a quick workbench post.

Fences continue. As per the last post the 4Ground fences I have need a little work to make them usable for me. They come in these sizes:They are easy to put together but the small sizes make them a bit fiddly on the table. So… I’ve joined two together, trimmed off the end post at the join, and chamfered the edges to hopefully make them less ‘edgy’…I will need to apply PVA and sand and am a little concerned they plasticard may warp. May do one to test…

I’ve also been tinkering with some 10mm Sudan. These I got from Slugbalancer in London. I applied a thinned down wash and tonight varnished them. Also painted a couple of officers and prepped the two figures I’m missing to make it up to 5 stands of 6. Onwards. Lots more to do!

 

Don’t fence me in!

As a change from all the Fire and Fury markers it was time to start on the fences! Lots needed to make the table look suitably ACW! I’ve got a some Irregular bits I used for my 15mm AWI and I’ve got some 4Ground fences to yet make up. But on eBay is a chap called Treefella who does snake rail fencing as finished pieces. I got 12ft of fencing and he was kind enough to not paint and flock the base so I could do that myself to match my own stuff. In return I got free shipping. Anyway, this is what they looked like on arrival.And it took a wee while to paint and flock them but I think they look OK.  Only slight issue is they are a little big for my ‘small’ 15mm figures. Better suited for 18mm/20mm maybe. But they will do!I’ve got some of the 4Ground fences that I did a test of last year.These are the very small lengths (30mm?) and the rest are 60mm. Problem is they are still short and quite light so a bit untidy on the table. So for these I’m sticking two to 120mmx15mm plasticard and shaving the edges off the sides to blend them in a little. And taking the end pole of one of them to make the ‘join’ neater. Bit more faffy but will get these done by the weekend I hope and then make up some of the 4Ground snake fencing.

Getting there…

Final Fire and Fury Markers – for now…

The game approaches! These are the last few markers before I start working on the scenery. First, a couple of Freikorps destroyed gun markers:And a couple of Friekorps casualty figures and some broken bits and pieces from the spare box that I was originally going to throw out:

This will do me now for markers. I have enough disruption and low ammo markers for the game. I ‘might’ paint the two cavalry casualties I have but they are not essential. Fences next…

Unless I get distracted with 10mm Sudan! I’ve applied a wash to the British that Slugbalancer gave me and just painted two officers to go with them. Basing… the eternal dilemma! I had thought of doing these to use with The Men Who Would Be Kings but I think that requires either single basing and sabots or using a single base with multiple figures to represent one TMWWBKs ‘figure’… or something…

Threw some unpainted into some random bases:

The 20mm deep ones are a little too shallow for two ranks. The 30x20mm (left) are maybe a little too wide with a four figure frontage. And three figures (centre) is too spaced. Using four figures to a base may work (maybe a little deeper) but possibly a little fiddly. So we come to this:

These are Fire and Fury bases and six figures sit nicely I think. But what of command? Annoyingly I have 28 rank and file figures (two poses) so would need to paint a couple more to make the bases even. Putting officers in the line still seems wrong to me. I like them separate! Maybe I’ll paint the other two and see…

 

Musings of an easily distracted wargamer