The Flashman Project(part4) by Russell Briant

In the last episode I said I was looking for a miniature to represent Tommy Bryant, a toadying friend then cheated foe of the eventually to be Sir Harry. You will recall Tommy was noted for his sleight of hand and got his own back, and a punch to the nose, by palming incriminating playing cards into Flashy’s coat pocket.
I have since found a Reaper Miniatures figure called The Huxter in a local gaming store.

The Huxter

He’s probably a bit too tall and well-built for the description in the Flashman papers, and certainly not in the Hussar Garb I said I was looking for, but he is clearly playing cards so I purchased him. In my mind he, like our hero, has got himself to the New World to turn his skills into money (he was always skint, which was how Harry enticed him to assist with rigging the duel). It’s a dangerous occupation hence the need to carry very visibly one of Samuel Colt’s fine cap n’ ball revolvers.
To make him look a bit more the English gent, I gave him fashionable cavalry (or Sideburns now we are in the country and time of General Ambrose Burnside) whiskers and a top hat. Both use milliput. The base of the hat is a spare plastic hat from the Confederate infantry.
I keep thinking he looks like singer Nick Cave.
I initially painted him in evening dress, black coat, waistcoat and trousers, but he looked too much like an undertaker so I re-painted him in day-wear.
If I find a weedy looking British Hussar figure (so not a Front Rank giant then) on foot, I might paint another version.

Totally Honourable
Am about to start playing new samurai skirmish game, Test of Honour, by Warlord Games.
While I was waiting for my starter box to arrive I purchased some figures from Hasslefree Miniatures, Modern Martial Artists range. These are more whimsy, table-top colour than playing pieces.
On the left is Hanako, a tooled up Geisha, and on the right is sumo Tetsuhara.

  

I’m very please how both have painted up.

Lastly – Rooster joins the band.

When I painted up my Napoleonic French military band, I always had it in my head that I should include a rooster marching along with the Drum Major, but It’s taken a long time to find a suitable miniature.
This bird is out of the new Warlord Games Chickens and Geese set.

Job done.
Russell

Wagram 2017 – a practice game

Over the past few years the group has organised some BIG games like the Leipzig and Waterloo weekend games with 50+ gamers from around NZ at times joining in.

This year is a more modest event where 10-12 will be refighting the Battle of Wagram 1809. This particular part of the Napoleonic Wars is my personal favourite and one I have pondered for many a year.

Over the past 4 months we have been refighting various parts of the battlefield as we played around with the rules, the terrain, refined the sizes of the commands etc.

The game we played this time was based around Day 2 of the battle, 6th July 1809 and where Massena has completed his march across the Austrian front and is ready to face the corps of Kollowrat and Klenau. The time is roughly 1-2pm in the afternoon.

In the test games we have been recreating the battle as it occurred, however when we game the refight it will be different. I have always been fascinated by the idea of not punishing the Austrians by playing their commanders as they were but allowing, to a certain extent, to allow we as wargamers to be, well, US! And the ‘What if’ of Archduke John making the battlefield, and allowing the Austrians to draw upon Reuss’s 5th Corps and make it a fight to the death. So for this game I randomised one of Reuss’s divisions arriving late in the day.

The map below is from John H Gill 1809 Thunder on the Danube, Volume 3: Wagram and Zaim. The section we would game was from Sussen-brunn to just north of Aspern.

The Austrians were set up as below with Klenau(PaulG) at the far end and Ray(Kollowrat) the near end.

The French set up had Alan(Lasalle/Marulaz and Legrand) at the top, PaulW(Massena, Molitor, Saint Cyr and St Sulspice) in the centre and Keith with McDonald in the near end. PaulW had the 4 batteries from massed batteries.

Turn 1 and the French use a ‘Follow me’ order for to cavalry charge Austrian battery that PaulG had placed in advance of his line.

It seemed such a good idea, a second follow me was made!

However Lasalle was having an off day, the battery saved all 6 hits!

And 3rd Corps waits….. 

McDonald advances, the Austrian Uhlans spent the entire game doing…nothing…they would not charge!   

Klenau’s grenze formed square as French cavalry were hanging around…so the French columns came in.

Below Klenau has infantry blundering forward as the French close in.

Below Kollowrat had blundered off table, marched back on and advanced, only to suffer extreme casualties and only 1 of 4 units remained!

Kollowrat’s remaining Korps forces attack to assist Klenau’s flank.


The French grand battery maintains a no move area for the Austrians.

Not a happy sight, Austrian Hussars attacking a French line unit, and then getting Cuirassiers up their rear.

To the north the Austrian Uhlans are still refusing to move, and there is no one else left!

And that was game called as the Austrians, that remained would have been retiring and the Reuss division that should have arrived Goldie kept failing to get ordered onto the table! Both PaulG and Ray had blunders which removed units from the table, and failed orders to get units to move or charge where as the French were much agreeable to their orders. It was a major influence on the result coupled with the Austrian reserves failing to arrive.

The Battle for the Wheatfield, Gettysburg Day 2

Following on from the Battle for the Peach Orchard, we gamed the neighbouring wheatfield as well. This game was played in the Garage.

A map of the set up is below.

The Union players were Alan and PaulG while Russ and Terry would be Rebs.

The battle is an engagement where the Union has 3 small brigades on table, 2 Reb brigades attack onto the table and then reinforcements for both sides arrive at differing times.

Paul had the brigade of Swietzer(3 regts), Alan had Tilton (Command rating 7 cautious with 2 regts) and de Trobriand(3 regts and a battery at north edge of wheatfield) at the set up stage. On turn one Paul gets Cross and 3 regts, on turn 2 Alan gets Kelly and the Irish with 2 regts, Paul gets Zook and 3 regts. On turn 3 Alan gets Brooke and 3 regts. All arrive on northern edge of wheatfield.

Russ had Anderson(Command rating 9 , 4 large regts) arriving on the southern edge and Terry with Kershaw(CR9, 3 large regts , Elite) arriving on western edge on turn 1.On turn 2 on southern edge Russ gets Semmes with 4 regts, elite. Then on turn 5 Terry gets Wofford(Aggressive) with 5 elite Georgian regts following in nbehind Kershaw.

Below is the initial set up with Sweitzer/Tilton brigades in the woods. Tilton is in the salient. Poor sods.

Kershaw’s brigade advances on. Large units get an extra shooting dice,2 extra combat dice plus 1 extra stamina.

Anderson advances on.

This is what Kershaws attack would have looked like to Sweitzers men as the Rebs moved through the open ground towards them.

And here are Kerhaws men giving it to Tilton. I decided better to gang up on the facing regt rather than move into the crossfire beyond. Paul responded by moving one of Sweitzers regts to fill the gap between Tilton and de Trobriand.

Semmes brigade arrives on southern edge. This was Russ’s second brigade and the link to Anderson so we could begin to roll back the Union until turn 5 when Wofford will roll in from the west.

The Union reinforcements looked like this as they queue up to enter the wheatfield.

Anderson holding the line as the blue coats flood the wheatfield!

Zook has some friends!! Thankfully the Union brigades did not quite follow their orders and some rushed up….meaning could not fire before Anderson got a shot at them……so bit disjointed an attack. And Anderson has 4 large regts so thats 16 shooting dice a turn against stamina 3 Union regts so a few good southern volleys and the blue bellies will be in trouble.

Semmes advances towards Tilton/de Trobiand

Over in the west Union shooting has halted Kershaw’s disordered regts. In standard Black Powder, Elite units roll on a 4+ at the start of their turn to recover from disorder. In ACW supplement, that is a 6+ and I just wasn’t throwing any of those. But being large units I was dishing out some firepower and Tilton now had 1 whupped unit. If you fail a break test from shooting you are deemed whupped so u must withdraw and stay 12 inches away from the enemy and are permanently shaken.

The Union brigades march across the wheatfield. In the foreground is a whupped unit retiring.

Just testing some new toys below. LED smoke lights that flicker.

AWESOME.

Paul has moved a regt from Sweitzer to assist Tilton in the salient. As Wofford was due on it should make my race for the wheatfield easier. With Semmes moving up to link with Anderson we should be able to roll back the smaller, weakened Union brigades.

It wasn’t all going to plan, Semmes Blunders and retires!

Anderson holding the road/wall line and the 2 regts of crazy Irish can be seen in centre left heading for the woods to support Sweitzer. The blunder by Semmes leaves Anderson a bit exposed longer than anticipated but these are hardy southern boys! But Anderson is doing enough shooting damage.

Wofford moved up to support an advance regt of Kershaw’s while Kershaw is rallying the unit behind.

Pauls east most brigade would just not follow orders and advance on Anderson’s open flank!

Semmes has recovered and here he comes! The firefight in the Salient was continuing but the Union were in poor shape.

And Semmes gets charge in on a flank, they won the combat but the staunch blue bellies stood. Next Reb turn another unit went in. That did it. The shaken/whupped Union units are pulling back in the woods.

In the west Wofford/Kershaw have shot up the Union and only the newly arrived Irish brigade was not in retreat. The Irish are armed with smoothbores(shorter range) so the super intelligent rebs are sitting out of range and just…shooting!

The mess that are the Union brigades as Kershaw/Wofford and Semmes roll them back.

And the end game….Semmes has moved up and linked with Anderson, Wofford can be seen on Semmes flank and the Union are on the run.

Anderson watches the retreating Union brigades.

 

The SOUTH shall RISE AGAIN!!

 

Keeping Busy Part 1

Part of the hobby is of course working on things and starting new periods so we can add to the mountain of lead and plastic.

So here’s a brief update from me.

A couple of years ago I signed up for a Kickstarter from THMiniatures Terrain who I gather for Kickstarters are pretty damn good at delivering on time and on promise. The white resin pieces arrived pretty much on time and have languished since in the garage. As moving to preparing my Ancient and Dark Age Armies for future combat decided to paint up the ruins with columns etc that suited somewhere around Rome/Greece/Byzantium regions.

First up I cleaned up any rough bits then soaked the pieces in soapy warm water for roughly ten minutes then rinsed them off and left to dry. I then brush on vallejo 70.921, English Uniform and when dry a liberal coat of GW Agrax Earthhade is applied. When that has dried I lighty brush/drybrush on a thin later of Vallejo 70.819 Iraqui Sand. Then on the walls and columns I then applied a light covering of Vallejo 837 Sand Light.

Once dry then they were flocked with mix of Warlord Games Summer Grass and Spring Alpine Grass. A variety of  tufts were then added. Lastly a very light drybrush of Iraqui Sand was applied to the grass to dull down the greeness a bit. The picture shows some of the pieces completed, with some Romans wandering through them.

One of the Ancient Armies I am collecting is that of Pyrrhus of Epirus. With my EIR army basically complete and now rebased from WAB to Hail Caesar rule set I can give this army some long missing love. Fellow Garage Gamer Alan has been brow beaten into collecting a period army and he has chosen Carthaginians. When he purchased the rule set from Warlord Games they came with a free box so he took the Celts as an option. However, after painting then up and then receiving his Victrix reinforcement Samnites and Carthaginian troops, he chose to sell the Celts on Trade Me(local ebay) and reinvest in Victrix Celts. Being a good mate I helped push price up, and got left buying them so I have another unit of Galatians to add to my army. A good win as got at a steal.

The next unexpected project to crash into me is SAGA. This is a skirmish game set in the  Dark Ages and there is a tournament next month(that’s May). Goldie talked me into playing, wasn’t hard, Russ is playing also but apart from that I only had the rules which had never read. I do have a Gripping Beast Byzantine army to make and also the basics of a Moorish army so decided would order in bits would need for a SAGA army for both.

You basically need a Warlord…some units of 4 mounted figures, 8 foot warrior figures and 12 man peasants. So I ordered from Caliver Books some Gripping Beast plastic Arab cavalry, a Warlord and some dice. They have arrived and are below beside some painted Artizan Moors I have so these will move to single bases. Only had quick glance at the plastics but look quite nice. From Gripping Beast I ordered a straight Byzantine Warband as don’t want to break up troops destined for the Hail Caesar army. I do have an unpainted Crusader unit of spears/bows so will use those with the mounted figures from the Warband set.

Have had 1 SAGA game other night with Goldie. He had some variation on Crusaders versus my Byzantines and being both newbies we fumbled our way through the game and it got quite exciting. Can see how it is going to be a good game over a few beers or a whiskey! The fun part is your turn where u roll some dice with symbols on them that when rolled are how you select what mix of your special abilities you can activate. Each differing army has differing abilities so I think I am going to enjoy this skirmish game. Will do reports as we play some games.

That’s all for now.

Terry

 

The Flashman Project(part 1) by Russell Briant

Episode 1

In recent years I have started to apply some of my wargaming painting time to what I call whimsy projects. Decoration for the wargaming table.

The Flashman project started life as another one of these with the Flash Harry figure from Wargames Illustrated – Giants in Miniature range. Someone to turn up as a bit of colour during Glory Hallelujah – American Civil War – Black Powder games.

Many of you will remember that Flashman is the bully who gets expelled for drunkenness in Tom Brown’s School Days, the book by Doctor Thomas Arnold.

George McDonald Fraser picks him up in the 1960’s, gives him a first (and second) name and sets Harry Paget Flashman off, immediately following his expulsion from Rugby school, as the anti-hero is a dozen novels collectively called the Flashman Papers. Flashman, is a self-confessed bully, coward, toady and rake who appears in many of the pivotal historic moments of Victorian history, escaping from one scrape to the next while picking up ill-deserved laurels and fame as a celebrated hero.

McDonald Fraser references Flashman being present in the American Civil War, on both sides of the argument, but takes special delight in never writing an American Civil War novel – a boring little side show to the great events of the age (or some such) – much to the frustration of his American audience.

As such he gives Flashman some considerable scope to be woven into ACW Black Powder games, as an observer or the British Army, without the constraint of a fully told story.

The poser Flashman vignette below, really took shape with the purchase of the Victorian or Edwardian Photographer set cast by Depot Battalion and purchased from Colonel Bill’s Miniatures.

The Flashman adventure involve plenty of women folk so I added two for his photograph. Flash is accompanied by the tall Caroline Thadington – made by Reaper Miniatures and Mademoiselle Bonaseiur from the Warbases’ Mousquetaires range (I added a ACW Perry plastic kepi to bring her forward a century). Both excel at counting cards in Poker and drinking fellow players under the table.

The trio have caught the eye of Ed and Vic, makers of the finest Carte-de-viste and Daguerreotypes North or South of the Potomac.

Flash1

I plan to soon change Harry’s hair from the fair colour worn by Malcolm McDowell in the 1975 film Royal Flash (based on book two of the Flashman Papers), to the dark tresses of McDonald Fraser’s books that, combined with his swarthy colouring and talent for languages allows him to pass as a Pashtun in Afghanistan.

 

Gettysburg : Peach Orchard 2 July 1863

Recently Russ, Alan, Goldie and I ventured out to the Hutt Club to have an ACW game. Goldie picked the scenario so it was a refight of Gettysburg Day 2 where the Rebels were attacking from Seminary Ridge towards Cemetary Ridge. The rules of choice as ever are ‘Black Powder’ with the addition of the ‘Glory, Hallelujah’ supplement.

On the Confederate side Russ would have the brigades of Barksdale, Wilcox and Wofford. Alan would have the brigades of Posey, Wright and Lang. They also have reserve batteries under Porter. Barksdales Mississippians had the following special rules: Morale 3, Stamina 4, Rebel Yell(reroll 1 miss in H to H on turn charge, Uppity(ignore reluctance to charge and add +1 to charge, and may use initiative to charge). They are elite so roll to remove disorder on  6 at start of turn. Command ratings were Barksdale and Porter 9, Posey 7 and the rest 8.

On the Union side Goldie(Handcock) would have the brigades of Harrow, Hall and Smyth with Webb off table. Terry(me) had the privilege of not only being Sickles, but having the brigades of Graham, Brewster and Carr. Additionally I had 3 batteries under McGilvery which I could attempt to order onto the battlefield and another brigade under Willard which was freshly raised. Command ratings were Handcock and McGilvery 9, Sickles, Carr, Brewster and Graham 7, the rest 8.

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Starting set up as above. Top centre are Sickles 3 brigades of  Graham/Brewster and Carr lined up 2 deep on fence line of Emmitsburg Rd. Graham is the top brigade in the Peach Orchard. Opposite them in the woods are Barksdale/Wilcox with Wofford off table behind Barksdale. On the centre right is Langs brigade around Spangler Farm. The .Union force in the centre is Harrow with Hall and Smyth back on the ridge. Bottom right are part of Posey’s brigade. Wright is off table.

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View from Rebel side with Wilcox on left and Barksdale on the right. Our batteries are normally 2 gun batteries but we are short on guns(didn’t help I left box of them on Garage Table) so made them 1 gun batteries but tried to leave space as if were 2 bases. Opposite them are my 3 brigades from left to right of Carr/Brewster/Graham.

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Shot down table a a turn on……Rebs are advancing on fence line. Alan had some trouble getting his brigades going but got there.

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At this point I have to admit to throwing an amazing number of 5’s and 6’s in my first few turns of shooting. Barksdale brigade are like facing French Imperial Guard…they just keep coming….. having superior  morale and stamina makes them hard to hurt…and the Elite reroll on a 6 rather than 4+ was a blessing! We rated the fence as a -1 to hit from small arms fire.

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Being super troops Russ sent several in….you will note my lovely Zouaves have 6 casualty counters, but with the aid of 3 supports and double 6’s on the morale test from the combat , I survived. Am almost embarrassed to admit it, but I beat them in the next round of combat and they popped. You will see 3 casualties on the unit beside them……Russ all day was doing lots of damage with his guns where as mine were not so good.

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In centre Alan has a unit up on Rogers Farm. More coming into shot.

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A look down table from Alans position. Pauls(Goldie) reinforcement brigade of Webb can be seen moving up from behind the ridge. I am reaching across and moving my reserve brigade of Willard. McGilvray had managed to bring 1 reserve battery on. On the far top of screen is my unit of Berdans sharpshooters who had moved from behind Brewsters brigade to the open flank of Grahams brigade. I took this as a suicide mission with aim of drawing the fire of the 2 batteries out there from shooting at my line. Graham and Brewsters brigades have backed away from the fence line and with Barksdales brigade a bit worse for wear my aim of getting them out of medium/close artillery range and hopefully rally some morle back on some of the units.

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Here are the sharpshooters….much to my glee Russ sent a unit of Barksdales brigade hunting them as well…woohoo!!

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Russ has a shaken unit up against fenceline…..I have backed off my centre(1 whupped unit) with aim of rallying damaged units in second line. With commanders all 7’s needed keep them outside 12 inches enemy to not reduce them to 6’s. I was rolling 8’s….consistently. Wilcox can be seen advancing on road.

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Here is Alans troops lined up for the race to Cemetery Ridge.

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In centre Lang’s small brigade is in trouble. Paul has a unit heading into flank.

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A shot down lines…..far to many casualty counters and darn hard to rally any off. I decided to sacrifice my guns as speed bumps hold up Russ troops while tried to rally brigades. In background is McGilvrey frantically trying to bring those reserve guns on.

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Alan was taking the pictures so we have more shots of Russ v me. The top Reb unit against the fence is straight off my painting table…38th Virginia!

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I got all carried away and sent some units to try get Wilcox in the flank….these chaps then decided to be unsporting and interfere.

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Carr’s Union brigade still in place with the reinforcements of Willard rushing into the gap…..aim….scare Russ and shoot up the guns and also provide block to rally units behind from Brewster and Grahams brigades. Silly sods forgot to load their guns.

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Paul makes an impressive line against Alan’s Rebs. Alan does have a few guns at close range which is bound to hurt.

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Russ charges in again. Unusual site of a unit in attack column. Formed this way to make it through the gap.

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Shot down table……Alan still not over fenceline, Paul holding centre in advanced position, I have pushed more of Carr’s brigade across road and rest holding on. Far top the unit of Russ’s that was chasing my sharpshooters has beaten them and now turned back to main combat. Thankfully one of the reserve batteries had marched on ready to hold them off. By a miracle had rallied 2 of the shaken units to reduce risk of Graham/Brewster breaking.

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The end game. Rebels had reached high water mark and been held or pushed back. We called it time as hall was wanting to close but the day belonged to the Union(I am not biased…honest!).

Alan downloaded the photos for me and he left the picture below.

The start of his Carthaginian Army.

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An Update!

A small update.

Since the Aspern game we have had several games  where we are working through the new Black Powder ACW supplement ‘Glory,Hallelujah’. I have run 2 games based on scenarios from the book with some pictures from the ‘Bartletts Farm 1863’ scenario below. The rules have worked rather well and the games have the feel of an ACW period game. There have however been some discussions post last game around some issues which we are working through. These for us are number of guns represented on the table,we have used 1 gun per battery until now but are moving to 2 guns and 3 guns for the Union 6 guns batteries. There are also concerns around the difficulty in getting units to charge into battle but the more you read the more you understand battles were mainly firefights rather than mass hand to hand combats.

ACW1 a

 

ACW2 a

ACW3a

 

ACW4a

You may have noticed we try to have appropriate terrain in our games so ACW requires lots of trees and fences of varying types. The other night Paul G and Keith came round and we started a production line of fences. First offering in early stage picture is below. I have a Foundry ACW rulebook called ‘From Bull Run to Gettysburg’ which is just awesome with step by step instructions on how to make all types of  fences and even has tent templates.

Fences

2 types ACW fences under construction.The MDF is cut to 10cm long and 2.5cm wide. Plan is to undercoat brown,do some dry brushing,add flock,tufts etc.

 

And finally there are some pictures from an ancient game Brian Trott and I played last week using the ‘Hail Caesar’rules. Brian fielded his EIR v my Macedonians. My EIR are being rebased from WAB to ‘Hail Caesar’ so it is the unfinished and damaged from to many house moves Macedonians that were used. We fielded small armies to get a feel for the game. Standard sizes battles are fought between somewhere around 400 point armies.Brian fielded 270 points,I had 180. And yes I lost as Brian cleared both flanks of my Phalanx. Was fun and look forward more games. After loss consulted army list and identified what need to add to Macedonians to get to 400 points and also allow some variation in the army. So took advantage of Warlord Games buy 3 pay for 2 deal and ordered 3 boxes Companion cavalry. I have also assembled and undercoated a Warlord Games box 32 Macedonian Phalanx to give me a 3rd block. From Victrix I have I have added a unit of Hypastists and a box 56 skirmishers.These were ordered from Caliver as cheaper and no postage paid. Direct from Victrix I have ordered the decals.

Ancients 2a

Part of Brian’s EIR army. Back in early 2000’s we got similar forces,Craig painted and based them for PK for us. I am rebasing mine to similar sized bases.

 

Ancients 4a

Phalanx grinds on against legionnaires. Phalanx destroyed one unit but the Romans eliminated the flank supports.

 

Next week I have a game against friend Craig who is building a Greek army. It won’t be battle ready but we will use my troops and get handle of the rules.

Til next time.

Terry