Friday, 22 February 2013

Shako 2: The Rematch

 Same ground, same sides but much more kit.  An unexpected bonus has been that the red sand, when dry, is strong enough to lean on like a normal solid surface table. Previously we have had to put on a solution of 10% PVA to 90% water mixture before the surface was this strong and it caused problems in breaking up the terrain afterwards.
Colin isn't selling this...he's just demonstrating our fair approach to the deployment in this set of actions. Terrain, forces and orders are all rolled for so, no cheating and no whining....yet. So, once orders and deployments were rolled up play could commence.
 Extra infantry, more guns and more squadrons (or should that be portions?) of cavalry will make this a more crowded game and more Napoleonic in feel...we hope.
 Obviously the quality and size of the opposition was commensurate with the new orders.
 Always pleased to see my Union troopers on the field
 Lights, action...
 ... Cameronians.
 John France-eye heads off to 'Old Trousers''s a French thing.
 Guns and Dragoons hold the left flank. They come under fire from the bushes. Rifles holding the undergrowth.
 More rifles in the rough at the fork. More of a nuisance than a danger.
 At the first clash of cavalry the French lights come off worst against their British opponents. Three hits, retreat and blown (small horse marker).
 Tally ho! Second units see each other...
 ...and clash. This time the British take a kicking but both sides pull back blown.
'Zut alor! Mon Capitain! Zay fire ze protractuer!'
 Hilltop artillery (confirmed by, don't ask. I'll never live it down) goad the disciplined French Dragoons. The lights also cause casualties. So off go the voltigeurs to try and clear the scrub.
 A handy little scrap within a scrap ensues.
 Meanwhile the two divisional columns approach the thin red lines of British Infantry.
 A few casualties have been caused already but it's going to get much worse...
 Two differing styles of French columnar tactics are employed and the results should prove interesting.
The French HQ can only await the outcome of their formulations....

The games so far have thrown up some of the areas in which we are deficient. We are hoping that the rules system will allow us to fight Waterloo in a reasonable amount of time (about 8 hours). This may require certain tweaks.  We are short of our figure and sundries targets by substantial amounts but hope to make up the shortfall in the two years remaining to us (Deo Vollente). I'll keep up the running commentary (babbling) until we complete the usual.

More next time.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Basic Napoleonic Painting 2 - The agony and the extasy

 So, once primed with your own brand of primer to make sure the paint sticks to the plastic I usually undercoat in black (it covers a multitude of sins) and then just pick out the colours you wish...

Light company...
Grenadier company...
... and back light company...for mood.
 Casualty figures are the easiest job you'll ever take on because you can muck it up. Just cut up the figure...
'Ahh, much better.'
 ...and glue it back together again. KIDDING!...just got the pics the wrong way round.
 Once cut up, arrange on a base of putty (this is Milliput) and take your hot soldering iron...
 and gently heat bits that stick up so that they conform to the base. You can also weld bits together if you think the effect too brutal.
 The best cas. figs. are the supplied ones but you don't want them too similar.
 Cut and melt until you're happy (sated?) then paint in the usual way.
 Remember; never do one when you can do a dozen, and never do a dozen why you can do twenty, etc.
 It's quick because you only do one side of the figure.
 A generic is fine for each nation but you can do as you wish. Every unit can have its shadow if you've the time.
 It's a counter so not too much fuss needed...these are hardly for display.
 And..viola! some sand...
 ...some flock...
 ...and you're done...
...or rather, they are.

The French battalions are in 36's four bases of six, two light bases of three each and the same for the grenadier company. This means you can have two ranks deep or three, or you can hive off the lights and grenadiers into elite battalions (one light and one grenadier for every four 36 man battalions)

Next...more daring do.

Rearguard Reduced - Shako 2 Smooth

 The successful square isn't a second time...if you get lucky, run before some one finds out that it IS luck.

Columns repeat the formula and go Dutch; one each.
'They're too close! Fire the burger buns...every little helps.'
 Meanwhile Dragoons take leave of their senses, apparently, and charge the guns. The guns have been hammered a bit by counter battery fire first so it's not completely suicidal.
 Nassau's take the opportunity to change position (pins and needles probably)
 Columns execute a left turn, as per the drill manual, and prepare to attack the next position.
 French guns have run out of targets and shift position too.
 Lines advance to 'Old Trousers'...
 Guns pass the junction to enfilade the Allies...
'Is it me or can anyone else smell fried onions?'
 After repeated successful charges the blown Dragoons reorganise for another go. Guns and squares are falling like nine pins.
 Whipping the horses into a lather (or perhaps a pate)...the guns shift.
 Next charge on a weakened square...
 Lines come on in the same old way.
'Come on chaps, for burger king and country!'
 Robust Light Cavalry meet the Heavy Cuirassier's head on...
'Are we nearly there yet?'
 ..and get smashed aside...Artillery find a new spot
 ...the square breaks...
 Blown, the Cuirassier's regroup.
 Guns relay and engage enemy to the front
Light Lancers prepare to chase the remaining troops from the field.

A good training game. Learned a lot about the rules set. Flexible, quick, reasonably intuitive with a simplification to allow for bigger scenarios. Hopefully, we will find the straight forward approach of Shako 2 continuing and allowing us to reach a point where we will comfortably know how many units one can reasonably handle without becoming overworked. This will help in the planning of much larger historical games.

Next...torturing plastic as promised. Soldering irons and scalpels at the ready?