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.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

First try of Chosen Men Well Disposed

Sundays game saw our first go with the Chosen Men Well Disposed rules from Polemos pitting my newly painted Dutch against a rather two dimensional French army.

I've only gotten a handful of French units painted so I took some top-down shots of some of my units and then took them to Office Depot and had them printed out and then cut them out to the required size. A purchase of $14.00 dollars saw one sheet of Warflags three laminated quick reference sheets and the whole French army ready for battle. It's not as spectacular as playing with figures but better than not playing at all.

I picked two roughly equal armies to oppose each other both of three Infantry Divisions and three Cavalry Divisions, for our first game all units would be classed as Trained and all Generals rated as Active, this would hopefully keep things simple for the first game. In retrospective, we probably had far too much stuff on the table for an initial foray into the rules and splitting just the painted stuff we had in half would probably have been better.

Drew and Sasha took the French while Bruce and myself commanded the United Provinces forces. Drew and Sasha kept the tempo early on while Bruce and myself marshalled our own tempo until we had a good spread and were able to commit forces cohesively.

On our left we had the advantage of an extra division of horse while on our right we were at the disadvantage, so we committed to holding out on the left whilst trying to batter through on the right with our infantry swiftly closing in the centre to take advantage of our superior close ranged fire effect, if we could pin the French infantry in place they would not be able to take advantage of their A'Prest bonuses.

It went very well on or right and with just our lead division we had crushed and broken the opposing French horse, hastily re-positioned French infantry tried to shore up the line. The loss of the French horse on that flank saw almost half the critical morale of the French gone.

On our left we soon had lost one of the brigades of horse, but we were clinging on, passing several brigade morale tests and keeping our troops in the fight while our reserve infantry division moved up to cover any French breakthrough.

The centre was a devastating fire fight, initially the Dutch loosed some crushing volleys, in some cases the initial shots causing the opposing French to give way completely, but the line eventually stabilised and the firefight ensued.

With time about to be called we did a quick count up, the Dutch had conceded none of their critical morale points while the French had lost five, also the advantage of units lost was swung in the favour of the Dutch, we wrapped up giving a minor victory to the United Provinces and we need to re-read the rules to see what we did wrong.

Some points we raised from the game, if you've got some experience with the rules we'd be glad to hear your thoughts:

  1. For the army generation, how do you decide how many batteries to allocate?
  2. I know that artillery was not very effective in the period, but with an arbitrary four batteries per side I would have expected some effect.
  3. How do you keep track of what brigade a unit has come from when you get into contact, in the cavalry melee on the flanks and the fire-fight in the centre we had units everywhere with no idea of their starting brigades.
  4. When your enemy recoils from melee and your horse follow up, do the supporting squadrons accompany them?
  5. Is there a good reason to big high for tempo early in the game, it seems best to amass lots on your units for a coherent committal rather than going in piecemeal.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

War of Spanish Succession French (1)

I have painted rather a lot of Dutch this year so it was about time that a few Frenchmen appeared to challenge them, so, this week I made a tentative start on them painting up three battalions from the Regiment Champagne. I painted this unit as I'd done them before in 28mm for a project that never got off the ground.

This time though, it's easy in 6mm and was not a lot of work to paint three battalions along with a couple of field pieces.

Colour guides for the French artillery of the War of the Spanish Succession are quite contradictory, but I went for grey coat lined blue with red trousers and stockings, I quite like how they turned out.

Finally, we have our first WSS game today so I wanted to add some suitable buildings, I purchased ten from the Action 6mm range by Monday Knight Productions. Noble Knight did a sterling turn around on the order and they were here in two days, the buildings are clean casts and nicely done but most are rather useless for my needs. They are really mid-late 20th Century Americana and not suitable for Northern Europe, I picked the four most suitable, mounted on some spare 80mm x 60mm bases and got them painted up. I'll likely pick up some of the lovely Total Battle Miniatures ones when next visiting the UK.

Some oddments for the Fall Blau collection

These have been in the painting backlog since the start of the 6mm War of the Spanish Succession project kicked off, sat on the shelf with some other WWII bits and bobs, base-coated and washed ready for the highlights while I concentrated on painting the Dutch.

I'm running out of bases for the WSS collection so dug these out to finish them off.

First of all a BMW with side-car, picked up in a trade, I think its an old Bolt Action Miniatures one, a very nice model with some lovely detail, the rider is a bit of a pain in the arse to make sit right though, I think I made the best of a bad job with positioning him.

A Soviet Rifleman, also one of the old BAM models, I forgot to paint him when I did the last batch!

I've also made a good start on a Panzer II and some tank commanders, but shall not be able to finish those until I pick up some decals for the tank. I'll be at Little Wars next weekend, so hopefully can get something there.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Poilu with VB launchers

When we last played a game of Chain of Command WWI chum James noted that I was short of VB launcher teams for the French, so great mate that he is posted me a pair of teams over at Christmas.

These are very nice figures from Brigade Games, so they have crossed and recrossed the Atlantic before getting painted. The only critique I would have is that there is quite a bit of excess metal on the figures from the casting process and I missed a couple of bits of flash and drill-vents in the initial clean up.

They do paint up rather nice though using my standard method for the Poilu in Horizon Blue and made a nice break from all the 6mm I've done so far this year!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

War of Spanish Succession Dutch (7)

This week I've added more units to the late 17th / early 18th Century Dutch force to battle the tyranny of Louis XIV.

I've completed the Dutch Cuirassiers that were pictured in last weeks post. As I know nothing of the unit the mid-blue standard is entirely speculative.

Another, troop of dragoons for the Van Schlippenberg regiment have been painted, both a mounted and a dismounted base for them.

The last unit painted is a battalion of infantry from the Orange-Friesland regiment, blue coats this time rather than the usual greys.

As the Dutch contingent is pretty much complete now I thought I would be a good excuse to lay it all out for a photo en mass. I think with 21 bases of foot, 20 bases of horse, 3 bases each of mounted and dismounted dragoons, 4 guns, plus commanders it's about ready to do battle.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

War of Spanish Succession Dutch (6)

I'm still continuing on the mission of painting the Dutch contingent for the War of Spanish Succession of late. Following a club painting session at mine last Sunday when Drew, Bruce and myself convened to crack on with the Baccus 6mm stuff it has continued pretty much the same all week

Looking at what I had painted so far I was looking a little light on horse so that has been my main focus this week, firstly I painted four units of Nassau-Friesland horse, the blue coats making a nice change from the earlier masses of grey/grey-white. I messed up a little on the basing and have probably stuck these a little to far forwards on the base for my liking, but I don't think it matters too much.

Not sure what happened there, I appear to have stuck some static grass to that horses arse, and only noticed in this photograph. I'll have to fix that up.

The next lot of horse are two units of Dutch Cuirassiers, these are painted based upon the illustration from the Osprey 'Marlboroughs Army 1702-11' but it's not said what unit it is. If you do know, please let me know as I only have the Ospreys and the Condray to work from.

This now brings me up to 18 bases of infantry and 18 bases of cavalry painted, with only two bases of Dragoons that is likely where I should focus next!

After buying and reading the Polemos rules Chosen Men, Well Disposed I decided that a few more bases of commanders were in order. The rules specify 30mm squares but I'm an independent minded chap and prefer my generals on round bases.

Firstly a Lieutenant-General and two aides.

For my infantry Major-Generals I hit upon the idea of using a command stand with a Colonels colour. I've got loads of spare ones and this seemed a good excuse to use them up.

Lastly I finished off painting the pack of casualty figures, plus the spare musketeers from the command bases that were not used with the Generals above, these can be the start of my Tempo markers, it looks like I shall need loads!