Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lasalle- First Game

My sojourn int Napoleonics continues. I have finished my Polish infantry and have started on the French. I was in a bit of a qunadry over the figures to use but have decided on a mix of fusiliers and grenadiers (3 bases of fusiliers, one of grenadiers) with the voltigers being the skirmishers stands. No photos of these yet, just finished the first battalion last night.

Here is a photo of the Poles. Alas I have no Polish Grenadiers so intend to buy enough to do 5 bases worth (30 figs)

Kent and I managed our first game of Lasalle tonight. No doubt we did a few things wrong but it felt pretty intuitive, movement was straight forward and the last couple of turns when we got into combat the mechanics felt smooth so I think it will probably suit our purposes. That being said, I think we will continue to use Shako II for higher level games as we both like the feel of that too.

I took a Russian grenadier company supported by light cavalry while Kent defended with a French Veteran infantry brigade supported by some elite infantry. He was mortified to find my troops superior to most of his- ha no more UBER-French!

Deployment- Russians on the right, French on the left.

The Russians advance.

The French redeploy to face the Russian threat.

Why am I advancing into a wood? Surely there must be a cunning plan!

After about 11 turns the light Cavalry arrive.

Meanwhile we'd captured the two buildings n the centre. My artillery failed over about 6 turns to finish off a badly disordered French line battalion- Grrr.

French infantry defend the centre.

Finally on the left flank the Russian infantry close with the French.

From another angle.

On the other flank the cavalry advance to unhinge the line.

alas the attack is driven off with heavy losses (2 battalions eventually crack)

We got through 16 turns. In the end I had lost 3 battalions of infantry to Kent's one battery of guns -I shouldn't have sent my troops though a wood!

It played well and was fun- I liked the fact that infantry can't charge in march formation- none of our issues with Shako II. The game looked and felt right so we'll try a few more games before to much longer.

Friday, April 23, 2010

DBA & Napoleonics

I've been busy on more AB figures this week. I've completed my last Russian Infantry battalion and a unit of Uhlans of the Guard. I've ordered the figure to complete my artillery and also make both my Hussars and Uhlan"big" regiments(6 stands- 18 figures per regiment) so they should arrive sometime next week.

They still need the bases finished. I'm experimenting with a new system of highlighting. I'm trying to use much bolder contrasts. It doesn't look that good up close but gives a nice effect when looking at the figures from a reasonable "gaming" distance.

I painted a battalion of Poles last night and rebased another. Tonight I've abut 16 figures to finish off another battalion and two other battalions to rebase and they are about done (or at least all I have). I will need to get another battalion (or possibly 3 more for when I attack) and another regiment of Lancers and my Duchy of Warsaw force should be game ready.

I managed a game of DBA on Wednesday evening. I quickly finished off a few Spanish Scutari (Old Glory) to act as the warband and auxillia- I really do struggle to paint any 15mm ancients these days, they really don't appeal at all anymore. I really must complete my Carthaginians and get a Repubican Roman army done for 28mm.

Anyway, I had a game vs Tim- who is the leader on our club ladder. He took some sort of Egyptian army with 6x pikes, an elephant and some knights. The game started well enough with me running down a light horse (I was trying 2x light horse, only 1x elephant) with my Carthaginians, and also a psiloi. his second Psiloi refused to die in about 6 turns of combat and somehow survived and held up my flank. Eventually his knight general closed on my elephant- which charged him in the flank but due to piss poor die rolling I lost and recoiled, squashing two of my own spear elements!

We each lost another element and then he finished off a warband to snatch victory! Foiled again.


The Carthaginians move forward- I finished this board abut 20 minutes before heading to the club, the PVA and sand was still a bit wet :)

On the far right is the psiloi that refused to die!

Oh Oh- Dumbo has just recoiled off the enemy general and is about to be prodded back by the pike- oh if only I could roll above a 2! As you can see had the general recoiled it was good night nurse!

The result of the pikes hitting home- Dumbo has killed 2 of my own spear! The psiloi has finally died but the enemy elephant, even though being double overlapped and shaving had the door closed a couple fo times refused to lose a battle and then I lost a warband to lost the game- so close yet so far! at psiloi (Top of right) refuses to die and thus helps thwart my win.

Doubles Game

We then had a double game of Early Imperial Romans v Carthaginians. I would like to tell of a glorious victory to the Carthaginians but we got crushed. My co-commander Impetus Lewis (one of our high school players) managed to lose his general about turn 2 and his flank melted away. I managed to break Tim's force opposite me (revenge) but did a charge too far the turn after breaking his force (I should have just let him melt off the board and face Stephen's force but no, I went for maximum damage) and lost a warband to also break and thus throw away the game (oops)

Thoughts on DBA Basing
I really don't like the look of DBA. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the games and the chess like way it plays but 3-4 figures on a single 15mm/20mm/30mm wide base just doesn't look right as representative of a battlegroup/warband to me. The game does look better in doubles as you start to get more of a mass effect but even so, visually it just lacks something to my mind, which may be why I've headed to Impetus and my own big basing for 28mm- the units just simply look better. My friend Ian has solved the problem with basing all his 15mm figures on double depth bases with 2 ranks-two of those side by side starts to get the right mass or feel for us.

I came away from the games the other night feeling a bit "meh" actually. We seemed to be focusing more on the geometry of the games, ZoCs etc than on tactics- I think I need a bit of a break and play something with a bit more tactical feel for a while so will probably get in a few games of Basic Impetus or even test out my 28mm version of Warmaster Ancients.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

18mm AB Russians

The army organised for Lasalle.

All figures are AB miniatures- the best available IMO.

Cavalry and Artillery- I still need 2x howitzers to finish the batteries off.

A close up of the guns.

Uhlan- another 3 stands needed.

Lancers? Can't quite recall.


This is pretty much my basic Lasalle Russian force- sans the horse artillery.

The infantry and attached skirmisher stands.

Now all I need is to try the rules!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Reorganising my Napoleonics

A busy night last night finishing off a Russian infantry battalion and rebasing all my Russian Cavalry. I had decided on a new basing system a few months ago (4 Cav figs on a 5cm wide base- 2 bases per regiment) but for Lasalle I thought I'd better go back to Kent and my original 4cm wide base- as a result I now need an extra to bring them back up to 12 figs.

So last night I managed to re-base:
  • 1x Polish Lancers
  • 1x Russian Uhlan
  • 1x Russian Cossacks (and painted final 2 figures)
  • 1x Russian Hussars
  • 1x Austrian Hussars
I also re-based my Russian artillery (8 guns) but have to finish painting those.

I've one more infantry battalion to finish and my core Russian infantry force will be done. Kent and I put 6 figs (2 ranks of 3) on each 4cm x 3cm base so we will have 24 figs per battalion.

This is the force I am aiming for:

Russian Infantry Division (Empire):
  • 6x infantry battalions (+ 6x skirmisher stands)
  • 1x light battery (4x med cannons, 1x howitzer)
  • 1x positional battery (4x heavy cannon, 1x howitzer)
Light Cavalry Brigade
  • 1x Hussar (Big- 6 stands= 18 figs)
  • 1x Uhlan (Big- 6 stands= 18 figures)
  • 1x Cossacks(4 stands- 12 figs)
  • 1x Horse battery (3 med cannon, 2x howitzers)
So it looks like I will need another 8 each of Uhlan and Hussars to make the Big Battalions. I also need a few more jagers to finish off my jager battalion which will probably be used as regular infantry when I need extra battalions when attack.

I do like the way it will be possible to simply increase the size of the force in manageable chunks by simply adding a brigade at a time (I've Grenadiers, Opolcheniye, Dragoons and Cuirassier which will eventually be increased to brigade size).

I also need a lot more artillery! This force has:
  • 7x medium cannons
  • 4x heavy cannons
  • 4x howitzers
I am a bit concerned about how easy it will be to deploy all those guns on a 6x 4 table!

Once the Russians are finished it will be time to finish my Grand Duchy of Warsaw force (unless I've moved onto another period by then!). I hope to get a few pictures done soon


Friday, April 16, 2010


Popped up to Christchurch yesterday and picked up a copy of Lasalle. I like the organisation of the army lists and the general lay out and hope to get a test game in the next few days to sort out how they play and hopefully in the next week or so Kent and I can get a game in. It looks like I'll need to complete the reorganisation of my Napoleonic and re-base my Austrians (again). I nearly have enough Russians done for a Russian list so will go with the Russians first.

I hope to field a Russian infantry Division supported by either a Dragoon or light Cavalry brigade v Kent's French. This will also probably encourage me to get my Polish force completed!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

18mm Napoleonics

Well for the first time in about 6 months Kent and I decided to have a game of Napoleonics using Shako II. We usually have 3 stands (18 figs) per battalion but decide to save space (my Russians still lack numbers) and only run 2 stands per battalion, the battalions look small but you get a few more on table. We decided to use a points based sysstem I found on the Shako yahoo groups website and had 200 pts each.

  • 8x regular battalions
  • 3x jager
  • 3x grenadiers
  • 2x militia
  • 2x cuirassiers
  • 2x hussars
  • 2x foot and 1x heavy battery
French (approx)
  • 11 battalions of regular infantry
  • 2-3 battalions of curissars
  • 3x hussars
Tony and I divided the Russians into 4 commands: 2x infantry- one regular one with the elites- (8 battalions each), while the French went for a big division of infantry and the same of cavalry (not subtlety there). The French attacked so got an extra 25 pts of troops which they put into even more cavalry.

On my flank I lost a regiment of Hussars on the first turn when it was charged by 2 units of French Cav, this left my flank looking precarious but my other hussar unit managed to pick off a couple of units of enemy light Cav and slowly delay the advance. My ally, Tony, was ordered to send his heavy Cav to reinforce the flank and by the end of the battle we were still holding the flank and stopping a breakthrough.

Most of the action happened on the other flank where the French infantry attacked enmasse. Tony's regular infantry held steady though and stopped a number of charges. His infantry were slowly worn down but although the situation was critical for a couple of turns he held long enough for my own infantry to move forward and support his. By the end of the game (Kent had to get his son home) things were very, very close. The large French infantry division was at half strength, Tony's infantry had lost about 1/3 strength but seemed to be holding and the fRench Cav was also hat half strength. Another turn or two and we would have had a decisive outcome. The Russian second rate infantry played a decisive part in the battle, and had managed to hold off a couple of attacks to save the day for the Russians.

With the size of the table and a club game time was of the essence so the number of battalions (approx 18 per side) was ideal. Not really a fan of the smaller (12 fig) battalions, but for the table size probably made sense as it meant we were able to get more battalions on table and still have room to manouvre. So I think we might end up using this battalion size in the meantime, putting 2 of them together will mean that we can double them up to make 24 fig battalions for games like Lasalle. However we were talking on increasing to a 24 fig standard- which had been my original plan so we'll wait and see. Either way I definitely need to get my Russian army completed!

My issue with our Shako games still comes down to basing, still not 100% happy with the system we are using (6 figs in 2 ranks of 3 on a 40mm x 30mm base) but is probably the best way to go). We are probably going to give Lasalle a crack before too much longer and use 24 fig battalions.

A few pictures

The Russian line

The French line

The french advance on our right flank.

The first cavalry engagement- disaster for the Russians.

The lines close. The two Russian battalions behind the hedge stopped the French attack cold for about 3 turns through their volleyfire.

And again.

Just beyond the fields the French try to press home the attack.

The Cav engagement on our left flank. By sending in one Cavalry regiment at a time we managed to slow the advance while also wearing down the French Cav- we had never used so much Cavalry before!

Things are coming to a head in the centre.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Natcon was held in Wellington last weekend and had 3x Flames of War periods: Early, Mid and late war. I much prefer mid to late war so entered that. There were 16 players and as a number of us were from the south Island the draw was arranged in two groups to ensure that everybody played players that they did not usually play- which I thought was a good way to do things, even if it meant the odd one sided game.

My Rota Razvedki did very well, coming out second equal but pipped Bede on a count back to our very close game in which I burgled an improbable victory after a very intense game (being fearless saved my butt in that one as I was down to 4 infantry stands, 1x SU 122, 4x BA 64s and 2x T70s! I just got the needed last patoon to force a break test before Bede hunted down the remnants of my force!) I, like everyone else, was steam rolled in a blue vs blue game vs a Soviet tankovy with 21x valentine IIs, 10x matildas and 2x sU 152s. I could simply not stop the juggernaut and the mission we got (free for all) made for my worst nightmare- I did however contest and objective in a last ditch effort to grab (a very unlikely) victory but alas his valentines refused to die and held me at bay while the rest of his army rolled over my other units- a tough game for my force to win but I gave it my best shot.

Steve Hill's grenadier list was voted the best painted (over all 3 comps) and well deserved. We played one of the most enjoyable games I've played in a long, long time and I just failed to grab a major victory (4-3 loss) in my only other loss of the comp as I could not quite finish off his last platoon to automatically break his company in the final turn of a Fighting Withdrawl- my last Armoured Transporter platoon failing to unpin ensured that my final assaults were not as effective as I intended and Steve sensibly retreated from the assault and was just above half strength. Great game though!

The Valentine/Matilda combo rolls over another army- it was played by a very, very competent player who maximised its effectiveness in all games and only dropped 2 points in the 8 games!

My own Rota Razvedki on the attack.