Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Another Regiment of Austrian Grenadiers

Here they are:





I did some experimenting with this unit. I wanted to come up with a flag for them, and used one from a prussian model to do the job. I cut the tip of the musket of an austrian holding it up by his side, and glued the flag there, and it feels like a pretty natural pose for him.


I then tried printing a flag and glueing it over the plastic surface, but it didn't work. The wavering of the flag made it impossible for the print to properly fall in place and cover the entire area, so I figured I'd have to free hand that flag...  *shivers in despair*


In the end, it turned out looking better than I expected, and who knows, I might give those free hands on flags another go in the future, as having a flag on the ranks certainly improves the already handsome looks of those grenadiers. 


March Column:



Firing Line:








Friday, January 23, 2015

Para Bellum - Rules for unit activation

Work continues in my scifi ruleset, Para Bellum. Today I'd like to talk about the rules for unit activation. The goal behind these rules was to come up with a system of activation that is engaging and gives options to players, outside the narrow box of "move then shoot" that most rulesets fall into, which is so boring and outdated.
With these rules presented below, I have a system that integrates an unit's own initiative with suppression and command & control very easily. Also the number of options units have upon activating, due to the multiple types of actions and possible combinations among them makes for a system that is simple at one hand, but rich, deep in tactical possibilities in the other.
Here we go:

When it’s a player turn to activate a unit, he simply declares which unit he’s activating, and then rolls a D6 to determine the number of Action Points that unit has for the current activation.

Result of the D6

Nº of Action Points

The action points available for a unit are used to take actions. Once a unit is done taking actions, that activation is over, initiative passes to the opponent, and that unit will only be able to activate again on the next game turn.
Units take actions as a whole, and they apply to all models in it.
Actions are classified as either Short or Long, indicating they either require 1 or 2 action points to be taken, respectively.

Short Actions
·      Move!
·      Take Aim!
·      Fire!
·      Charge!

Long Actions
·      Run!
·      Fire!
·      Stand Ready!

·                                     Move! The unit is able to take a single move action, where each model is able to move up to its Movement Value, in inches.
·                                     Take Aim: The unit takes instance to fire, which makes its shoots more accurate.
·                                     Fire! The unit shoots with its available ranged weapons. If its taken as a Short Action, only non-heavy weapons may be fired. If its taken as a Long Action, all weapons may be fired, including heavy weapons;
·                                 Charge! The unit attempts to engage an enemy unit in close combat with a single move (just as in the Move! action).
·                                     Run! The unit is able to take a double move action, which means each model is able to move up to 2x its Movement Value, in inches.
·                            Stand Ready! The unit forfeits acting immediatelly to stand ready to react to enemy activity nearby.

Each action can be taken only once, but they can be combined with other actions, in any order, provided the unit has got sufficient action points to spend.
Thus, a unit with 3 action points may take a Run! Long Action folowed by a Fire! Short Action, or vice versa; or Move!, then Take Aim! and finally Fire! (as a Short Action), etc. A unit of 2 action points could instead Take Aim! and then Fire! (as a Short Action), or Move! and then Charge!, etc.
However, if a unit takes a Fire! action, it can only Charge! If all the weapons fired have the Assault Special Rule. If any other ranged weapon is fired, the unit cannot charge in the same activation.

Also, although not forbidden, it would make no sense to Take Aim! without a following Fire! action (either Short or Long), for the bonus to shooting provided by taking aim is lost if the unit doesn’t take a Fire! action on that same activation.


There are 2 modifiers that apply to this D6 roll for action points:
·         Stress Points
·         Order to Take Action!

Each point of Stress on a unit reduces the number of action points available to it by 1. Thus, a unit with a single point of Stress cannot get 3 action points, unless given an order. It can even get no action points at all, if it rolls a 1(!).
When a unit is ordered by a HQ to Take Action! (see next topic, Command & Control), it increases its number of action points available by 1. Thus, a unit given an order to Take Action! get at least 2 action points in total, and has better chances of getting 3, provided it doesn’t have Stress points, also.
 Regardless of orders, a unit can never have more than 3 action points. Note that an order is issued to the unit BEFORE  it rolls the D6 for action points, so its involves a risk of spending Command Points in vain (in case the roll of the D6 is a 6).
Both Stress and Take Action! modifiers are combined and then applied to the result of the D6 roll. It may result in the unit getting no action points at all, if the result of  “modifiers + action points of the D6” is equal to or less than 0, or getting 3 action points, if this result is equal to or greater than 3.

Ex 1:
A unit currently with 2 Stress points is activated. The player decides to have a HQ give it an order to Take Action!, and spends a Command Point to do so.
He then rolls a D6 to determine its number of action points for this activation, and gets a 3, which means the unit gets a 2 action points.
Now, the modifiers of Stress points (-2) and Take Action (+1) are applied, for a final total of a single action point.
Had the unit not been given an order, the 2 stress points on it would completely negate the action points rolled on the D6, and the unit would be unable to act at all in this activation.

Ex 2:
A unit currently with no Stress points is activated. The player decides to have a HQ give it an order to Take Action!, and spends a Command Point to do so.
He then rolls a D6 to determine its number of action points for this activation, and gets a 6, which means the unit gets 3 action points.
Because no unit may have more than 3 action points in an activation, the order to Take Action! is of no effect.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Austrian Grenadiers

First of two regiments of Austrian Grenadiers I've recently painted. These are mostly Hat's models, and unfortunatelly, they all come with gaiters, so I can't paint them as Hungarians. But I figured a way of doing a regiment of hungarians. The Grenzers have a similar uniform, so I'll swap their heads for those of grenadiers, and they'll be accurate enough. An extensive work of converting, doing 30-40 heads swaps, but I believe the end result will be worht it, hungarian grenadiers are far too beautiful to be missing in my army.

An advantage of this new format of the blog is that now I can post bigger pictures! (and this blog is all about eye candy!).



I mentioned them to be "mostly" Hat's, but there is the occasional Italeri model here and there to fill the ranks. The thing is, the single box I had wasn't enough to come up with 2 full units of 32 models, but was excessively larger than a single unit, and I could not leave all those spare models without use, nor could I make up my mind whether to paint them with blue or yellow details. Both are very commonly portrayed and look great, so I made one unit of each.


I'm not sure if there was supposed to be something painted on the centre of the back of these bearskins. I couldn't find clear pictures of the back of austrian bearskins on google, so I just did the white piping I know they had.


Here is the regiment marching:



Firing Line:






Monday, January 19, 2015

Changes to the blog

This new year I'm going to implement some changes here that I've been considering for a while, now. Basically aesthetics. 

This blog began out of my passion for miniature spaceships, hence its name, but with time, others genres of the hobby have been growing on me and now I find myself more engaged on historicals and land scifi wargaming than space battles, so it's only proper that the visual of this site reflects that. 

Also, the name. I'll probably be changing it to My Ever-Growing Armies, as my collection of armies have been expanding at a far greater pace than my space armadas over the last couple years. Still, I'll be revisiting this genre on the near furture, but my feel is that at least for the next few years my interest will be mainly focused on historical battles.

Overall, it's nice to change things a bit, here. That old layout was beginning to show its age, and quite frankly, I was getting tired of it. 

So any of you guys that are used to pay a visit here, fear not, for this is still the same blog, with (unfortunately, perhaps?!) the same author, just new ideas and armies to paint!

The Author.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Part II of the Batrep - 770 points - Black Powder

And the battle commences!


The british started off by following the traditional Wellington's approach of cautious defensive maneuvering. The centre was kept standing by, while the flanks would advance at slow pace.

The french were all about attacking. The right flank was confident in being able to swiftly overcome the unreliable iberian brigade, while the centre was advancing in attack columns towards the british lines, despite the heavy fire from the english guns.

In the french left flank, the town in the middle of the field would prove a challenge for maneuvering units, and so the advance was to be severely obstructed there.



The river was of shallow waters, and we it treated as rough ground for rules purposes, forcing units to move at half pace. This was delaying the french advance more than expected, and so the brigade commander decided to send part of its forces to flank the enemy along the river banks, instead of crossing it.


Meanwhile, the french horse artillery from the first brigade was positioned to support the advance of the french centre, while the rest of the french left flank was trying to keep order and advance into the town, under heavy fire from british guns.


The firing on the british left flank intensifies as the french units on the opposite river bank position themselves to put their muskets to use. The Duke of Wellington himself tries to keep the spanish and portuguese in good order, and deploy them in  lines to face the approaching french columns, that by now have succeeded in crossing the river. 

The young portuguese general is left to command only a portuguese regiment sent to climb a rocky hill on the far left, and unleash skirmish fire on the french dragoons, in hopes of delaying their march.


In the town, Brunswick infantry manage to seize the church and make a defensive instance there, using every available door and window to fire at french columns nearby. The italian and french line regiments try to keep their pace forward, but the enemy artillery threatens their position. 

Here we have the first clash between the best cavalry units in both sides. The Scot Greys and the Carabiniers. They make contact for a moment, but immediatelly retire, both sides uwilling to commit to a wearing melee at this point. The french horse artillery is repositioned to pound over the church, in hopes of chasing off the german regiment garrisoned there.


In the centre, the british lines, supported by their artillery, unload their guns heavily onto the french, at this point already very close to the enemy, and deploying in lines to avoing presenting easy targets to british batteries. 

Napoleon himself leads the men in this close encounter, a very risky advance towards a well defended enemy position, where line infantry and cannons take cover behind fences and short stone walls.

But such is the Emperor's confidence in his capacity to quickly sweep through the enemy positions that he sends aid to both flank brigades. To the left, the bavarian light cavalry is dispatched to neutralise the british horse artillery, thus allowing the italian and french lines to advance. To the right, a french line regiment maneuvers to enfilade the spanish line with volley after volley of drilled musket fire.


The exchange of musquet fire is intense in the centre. Dreadful screams of the dying echo amongst  cries from officers urging their men to stay resolute. White clouds of smoke from gunfire surround all things, and further increase the mess and confusion in the area.

The british lines stand their ground, bravely facing the fearsome old guards. The british 95ºers try to maneuver past the firing lines to a suitable position where they can deploy in skirmish formation and punish the french ranks from behind.


The iberian brigade starts to falter. A portuguese regiment breaks under intense artillery fire, and the spaniards are also at risk of routing. They are disordered, unable to move, and sustain musquet fire from accross the river bank, while whatching the french columns advancing mercylessly towards them. There is no hope of saving that flank now. Still, the portuguese general performs better than expected. If not inspired, at least he wasn't compromising the maneuvering of his units either.


The british centre was also at the brink of falling. The Old Guard reformed into attack column again and charged home a british line, who fled in despair when the white smoke dissipated a bit and they found themselves in the path of advancing french bayonets. 

The second line regiment pivoted to bring its musquets to bear at the french grenadiers, but were charged in sequence by the Old Guard, who kept marching towards the enemy under the personal guidance of Emperor Bonaparte. Despite losses, nothing seemed able to stop that column of Imperial Guards, and they broke the second british line with equal ease. 

This caused the english centre brigade to break, and the disordered artillery and the skirmishing rifles were all that was left to face the Guard and prevent it from marching to support the french left flank in the town nearby.

The british did succeed, however, at defeating a Line Regiment that was supporting the Guard, leaving the grenadiers to advance alone. The canister shots from the british cannons proved too much for the fusiliers, who lacked the value of their brother in arms, the Grenaiders of the guard.


Speaking of the town, the bavarians Napoleon sent to support the flank were quick to break the british horse artillery, but then, instead of retiring to a safe position, the general leading them chose to chase further glory by sticking around and prey upon any suitable targets, would they present themselves. Perhaps not a very bright idea, with the British Scot Greys standing so close.


The Old Guard in the centre scored its third kill by taking the enemy guns, by then a disordered and tired lot of artillerymen and burning-hot cannon barrels. The rifles kept firing at the french column all the way, but could barely make a dent on the enemy disposition to fight on.


Below, we see the british left flank completely scattered. Only poor generalship prevented the french ranks from advancing and occupying the field. 

To further complicate a victory that could have been easier, the french centre brigade became broken  due to accumulated losses when the last Line Regiment (in the left of the pic below) broke under the skirmish fire of the portuguese caçadores. Napoleon was right is assessing that he could afford to spare some units to the flanks and still take the centre, but he wasn't expecting those units to be unable to return in due time to reset his brigade to full order. This ended up costing the french a clear victory in the field.


The french Line Regiment, exausted and about to break to the fire of the portuguese caçadores.

The Scot Greys, now recovered from the clash with the Carabiniers early in the battle, are dispatched to hold the italian and french columns advancing to the far right. They manage to engage the italians to the flank and sweep through the enemy with relative ease. The french regiment close behind, however, manage to reform into square and hold the british horses' momentum.


British Left flank in complete disarray, with french columns heading to cross the bridge and help finish off the enemy in the town:

The Old Guards seize the centre of the battlefiled completely, after destroying the enemy artillery in close quarters and shooting the 95º Rifles out of their sight.


The Scot Greys keep harassing the french square, but are still unable to prevail. On its rear, the bavarians charge home at a regiment of british light infantry, but being a small unit of light horses, prove unable to defeat the enemy and retire to a safe distance.



Up to this point, the French Dragoons where still unengaged. Their 3º brigade had already taken the flank, the british centre was devastated, and therefore they could only be of use in the opposite side of the table, in the town, but their commander was having trouble maneuvering his units among the remnants of the british units still skirmishing around, so it was unlikely they could traverse the entire battefield in time to be of any help.


The french square finnaly breaks to the british cavalry, and the french marshall of the 1º brigade was forced to commit the Carabiniers once again to a close fight with the Scot Greys. This round, however, proved decisive. The Carabiniers defeated the Greys and seized the field. 

With its third brigade now broken, the british were spent. However, the french brigade in the town was also in poor condition, and the french victory was not as ample as it might have appeared.

What a beautiful scene to behold! The light-grey british horses against the all-black french carabiniers. 

Napoleon stands at the centre of the field, acclaimed by the victorious Old Guards. Two french brigades severely compromised, but a (close) victory was achieved, nevertheless.

*End of Transmission*