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Showing posts from July, 2021

A Tangled Mass: Cannon Fire. . .

  Another Menzel engraving, this time featuring Prussian horse artillery in action. I n keeping with simplicity and ease, here are the rules for artillery that Young Master Paul and I use currently. Cannon Fire (D6 per gun.)  Close Range -- D6 = # of hits  Medium -- D6 –3 = # hits  Long -- D6 –4 = # hits Once again, very simple and easy to recall without straying into overly complex territory.  We do not differentiate between different sizes or calibers, and at close range cannon are assumed to be firing canister, case shot, or similar.   We use the usual saving throw table here too with each figure 'hit' allowed to roll a save.  Actual kills are recorded on the order-roster sheets that I print out before each game  Although my batteries typically feature two guns and about 13 crew, including a mounted officer, The Young Master and I usually just have one gun and crew each since most of our games have been modestly sized up to this point.  As I mentioned in the previous post,

A Tangled Mass: Skirmish Fire

Not a Menzel print, sadly, but these pandours from 1742 (by Knotel) do nicely. H ere are some very simple rules for skirmish fire between light infantry formations.  As with the previous rules for volley fire by line infantry regiments, The Young Master and I use saving throws for each hit scored.  You win some, you lose some as the saying goes.  Anyway, here is how we figure out individual aimed skirmish fire:   Skirmish Fire (D6 per figure firing) Close Range -- 4, 5, or 6 hit Long -- 5 or 6 hit   Saving Throws for Skirmish Fire (D6 per figure hit) Close Range -- 5 or 6 save Long  -- 4, 5, or 6 save   Probably not scientific, super realistic, or statistically sound but easy to remember, quick, and fun nevertheless.  As Charles S. Grant has advised in his rules and writing, Young Master Paul and I do not include much light infantry in our small games here in The Grand Duchy since these troops were relatively few in number during the mid-18th century.  Although I have more ligh

A Painting Update for July 27th. . .

  Here's where things stand by the evening of July 27th. A couple of pleasant painting sessions in the ol' chair yesterday.  One in the afternoon, and another during the mid-evening after The Young Master's bedtime and a walk around the neighborhood.  Still lots to do, of course, but the first 32 of the musketeer figures are coming together. A couple of painting points.  One, various sources differ on the color scheme of the hat pompoms and tassels of the Schaumburg-Lippe-B├╝ckeburg Infantry.  Some say these were plain white, others suggesting red and white.  I've opted for the former (actually white atop a light gray undercoat).   Likewise, when it comes to the jacket lapels, sources indicate either red, blue, or none at all.  After double-checking, I went back and repainted them dark blue, highlighted sparingly with a mid-blue to match the rest of the coats.  Neck stocks too seem open to question when it comes to color.  I went for red this time around as a change fr

A Tangled Mass: Volley Fire

  An old engraving by Adolph Menzel depicting Prussian infantry preparing to fire on (presumably) Austrian cavalry [Thank you for the confirmation!]. T he Young Master and Grand Duchess are out doing mother-son things this Saturday afternoon, so before returning to the painting table and those Schaumburg-Lippe infantry, I thought I would begin sharing a bit more about the emerging and ever evolving rules for the games that my son and I occasionally stage. In much the same way as approaches to painting our miniatures, the discussion of rules and the thought behind them is a fascinating part of the historical wargaming hobby in my humble view.  So, here goes. First, these rules -- currently given the working title A Tangled Mass -- are not revolutionary and clearly owe a lot to numerous predecessors, most notably Featherstone, Bath, Young & Lawford, a bit of the Grants, Asquith, Gilder, Protz, Purky, Hyde, Flint, and most recently Messrs. Whitehouse & Foley.  Given all of that, p

A Schaumburg-Lippe Painting Update. . .

  Coming along slowly, but surely.  Some highlights at this point help bring the far from finished second batch of figures to life.   F airly quiet here for the last few weeks on the toy soldiering front.  The Young Master, like so many other children in 2021, is over-scheduled and has a lot on his plate during his summer vacation, so we have yet to return to the table, or continued painting of his Prussian garrison regiment.  Sigh.  Mowing, yard work, and tending flower beds has also occupied a lot of Bad Dad's (Paul's nickname for yours truly) time since late June. But, the last few evenings have seen me return to the painting chair for some more work on the second batch of 16 Minden Prussians with Swedish cuffs, which are being painted at the Schaumburg-Lippe Infantry Regiment.  At this point, they look like an awful lot of Prussian, Hessian, and other northern German infantry of the period, but the flags, when I get to that stage, will set them off nicely. I recall reading

The Raid That Almost Happened. . .

    B ut didn't.   Everything was all laid out yesterday by midday for a small raid scenario, but fate intervened.  The Young Master, as 11-year old boys are wont to do, made some very questionable choices elsewhere here in The Grand Duchy, which forced the planned game to be postponed while the three of us sorted through things, discussing choices, expected behavior, and who can change his behavior in the process.  Sigh.   As you can see, everything was ready to go, including two small raiding parties made up of various light troops, a small unassuming village, and even some of my supply wagons painted back in 2013, plus the ol' balsa windmill, now affixed to an irregularly shaped 3mm ply Litko base that badly needs some landscaping.   In addition, I managed finally to whittle my rules down to one side of a single reference sheet (reduced from five pages), with room for a couple of Adolf Menzel period specific line drawings of battle scenes AND finally came up with a neat titl

Der Schlacht Der Blasthofheide: A Post-Game Report. . .

Young General Paul von Stollen drafts orders for his units before the start of the game.   Turn One: Let the game begin!  Our initial dispositions astride the dried up River Blast.  It has been a dry summer in this small corner of Europe. About two turns in, von Stollen contemplates his next move as the respective advance guards approach Blasthof Bridge and nearby farm. Von Stollen rolls to see if he can hit anything with his lone cannon.  And a miss.  Ha!  Lucky for ol' General Phillipe de Latte, the D6 came up short. About Turn Five, the game got interesting.  Here, the two commands close in on the bridge and farm beyond.  De Latte's squadron of Batthyanyi Dragoons manage to charge home after enduring a volley from part of von Stollen's Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja's Own) Grenadiers.  Thanks to saving throws, the musket volley inflicted no casualties. The situation heats up as a firefight breaks out between von Stollen's company of jaegers and elements of de Latte

Coming Soon: The Blasthof Bridge Post-game Report. . .

  Young Master Paul makes his opening move in our Blasthof Bridge refight yesterday afternoon.   A busy Monday ahead as somewhat more normal life cranks and clanks back into gear following a long July 4th holiday weekend here in the U.S.  As soon as I have the chance, I'll share a few after-action ramblings, but the two of us had a blast (ahem) playing another game of toy soldiers, which lasted about 2.5 hours.  That seems just about right.   I won the game on a technicality, but The Young Master meted out considerable punishment and rolled well when it came to morale tests.  And, most important, he enjoyed the experience of pushing lead around the table.  We're planning another game shortly, possibly a raid of some sort.  He likes these.  Our game also got me thinking later of ways to continue refining (otherwise known as trimming the fat) from my developing rules, so that they can indeed be committed to memory instead of of (right now) five pages of small print (Groan!).  Bu

Der Schlacht Der Blasthofheide. . .

  Krankenstadt, Grand Duchy of Stollen, 4. July 1760 P rincess Antonia III of The Electorate of Zichenau has once again declared war on The Grand Duchy of Stollen, ruled by the Hapless Irwin-Amadeus II.  The hotheaded princess, for reasons lost to history, was heard to declare recently, "That insolent buffoon must be punished!  Send an army to seize The Mark of Schleiz at once!"  Her paramour, that most dastardly French mercenary-adventurer General Phillipe de Latte, was subsequently charged with wresting the long-contested province from Stollenian control.  Meeting him on The Field of Mars is the young but tactically gifted (though some say he simply rolls good dice) Young Paul von Stollen.   The two have since stumbled into each other at Blasthofheide along the River Blast a small tributary of the larger Zwischen River.   As dusk falls, their small advance guards take up positions on opposite sides of the field while de Latte and von Stollen finalize plans for the following

Revisiting a Favorite Regiment. . .

  This was the very first unit in my collection to get laser cut 3mm ply Litko bases.  Well worth it in my view.  Subsequently, I rebased (Groan!) everything else in the collection to impart a consistent look overall.  Old school bright green bases, but I like the look, and even the late, great Peter Gilder used a similar basing scheme for some of his early Napoleonic collection. And a 'craneshot' for you cinema buffs out there.  Delusions of Orson Wells, you know.  This one gives an even better idea of the footprint of an 80-figure unit of line infantry once deployed in line.  The eight-figure bases measure 60mm x 40mm.  Most of my base dimensions are based on those stipulated by Mr. Gilder for his In The Grand Manner rules. His  troop densities always looked just right to me in all of those great old Miniature Wargames and Wargames Illustrated photographs, which still inspire and serve as my hobby touchstone.   A couple of shots of my version of the Ernestine-Sachsen Regimen