Monday, August 22, 2011

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming…

Now that I’ve gotten that last post out of my system (for now), it’s time to get back to some proper Napoleonic topics
Due to various commitments, I haven’t had a chance to paint much the last couple of weekends; however, I did manage to find time to complete a pack of Old Glory Russian Command figures and the Foundry Early Russian High Command stand. The Old Glory figures are mounted one to stand and will end up being Division Commanders. 

Now that I look at these again it appears the camera wasn't overly kind.  I'll need to do some touch up before these get on the table.

Part of the Foundry Early High Command Pack.

Next up on the painting table is the Czar (Emperor) Cuirassier Regiment.
Hopefully the next post will have a little more meat to it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

And now for something completely different...

In one of my first post I mentioned that I’m a (relatively new) fan of Victorian Science Fiction, in particular Frank Chadwick’s Space 1889 universe. I know, I know, it’s not “historical”. But it’s fun! It allows you to be an absolutely ruthless colonial power, and heartlessly exploit the less civilized cultures without offending anyone. And as an added bonus it let’s your imagination run wild, along the lines of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.

So here goes…

Syrtis Major, British Crown Colony, Mars -

The diminutive evil genius Dr. Minikin Loveless has been sited on Mars! The British Military liaison, Captain Locke N. Load, attached with the Danish expedition currently establishing an outpost at an undisclosed location today filed the following report.

An unnamed Lieutenant (whose name is being withheld until his family can be formerly notified) with the Danish expeditionary force along with 4 soldiers set out on a 3 day extended reconnaissance of the area surrounding the Danish outpost on Tuesday last. When the party failed to arrive Thursday evening, little concern was noted as the rugged terrain around the outpost can easily cause unexpected navigation delays. However, when the party failed to arrive by noon on Friday, several search parties were sent out to try and locate the reconnaissance party. At around 8:30 pm on Friday last the search party accompanied by Captain Locke N. Load, her Majesties representative on the Danish expedition, discovered the body of the Danish Lieutenant. Despite an exhaustive search no other members of the reconnaissance party were discovered.

The Lieutenant was barely clinging to life, but could be heard mumbling "lightning", "midget" and "Loveless". The Lieutenant was quickly taken to the Danish outpost where the post Doctor attempted his best to treat his injuries but was not successful. According to official reports the injuries were almost identical to those that result from individuals being struck by lightning. But as everyone one knows, there is no lightning on Mars. The Lieutenants revolver was empty, indicating that he had fought whatever his strange attacker was. Among his possessions was found one of the new experimental reduced size self contained cameras and a note book. Entries in the note book included:

• Tuesday, made camp around 9:45 p.m., nothing unusual sited.

• Wednesday, discovered traces of an old trail or possible road. Later sited what appeared to be ancient steps carved in a valley face. Made camp around 9:30 p.m. Up early tomorrow to head back to the outpost

• Thursday, broke camp and began heading back to the outpost at 4:50 a.m.

• Heard a strange noise down one of the valleys, almost like a locomotive, moving off to investigate, 6:15 am.

• It can't be, we have positively identified the evil Dr. Loveless! I have ordered the party to withdraw and make the best possible speed to the outpost.

• 2 of my men are dead. We were spotted by Dr. Loveless' infernal devices. I don't know what they are, but they aren't much taller than him. They appear to be iron; pistol and rifle bullets have no effect. I'm ordering the party to split up in the hopes one of us will reach the outpost and spread the alarm.

There were more detailed descriptions but the above is all the military would release at this time.

The plates within the camera were brought to New Sytris and developed and yielded the below image.

Dr. Loveless' latest creation sighted on Mars

For our readers unfamiliar with Dr. Loveless, he is an evil genius of the most heinous type. While standing only approximately three and a half feet tall, his intellect is gigantic. His last known whereabouts placed him in the United States where he was nearly successful on several attempts to take over the American Government. How he came to arrive on Mars, what the above infernal machines are, as well as what his plans are for Mars are questions that must be answered and answered soon.

The fact that he has now been confirmed as being on Mars can only mean interesting times are in store for Her Majesties forces here. One can not help but surmise the American Secret Service will breath a sigh of relief on learning that the Diabolical Dwarf who so vexed their two best agents in no longer in North America.

We are quite fortunate that our Danish Allies discovered his presence, and offer our condolences to the families of the Danish Soldiers who died to give us this advance warning.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Neverenufski – The aftermath

It’s hard to believe July is already gone. Historicon was a blast, without a doubt the Piquet players are the best group to hang out with. I especially want to thank the folks that participated in Neverenufski; you helped us identify a few changes we need to make to the Borodino scenario.

Peter has posted an excellent report on Neverenufski on his blog which can be found at which I highly recommend you check out if you haven’t already.

As mentioned, we’ve identified a few changes to make to the Borodino scenario, most notably, we need more room! We’ll be adding at least another 6 feet to the bottom of the table. The table will be U shaped, with the wings containing the action around Utitiza to the south and the village of Borodino as well as Uvarov’s Cavalry raid to the north.

Another needed change that Neverenufski made apparent is we will reduce the number of Infantry units per side. I’m still playing around with the ratios, but it looks like the final numbers will be reduced to around 90 to 95 Infantry units per side.

Last weekend I went over to Joe’s house to play out one of the battles our 1809 (Imagi-nation) campaign generated during the game we kicked around several Borodino related ideas. Joe had some good suggestions for me to maul over.

One of the concerns I have for the Russian side is the huge number of Cossacks and Militia units that could eat through the Russian Moral chips very quickly. But as Joe so accurately put it “when did the Russian’s ever care about dead or routing Cossacks?” Or Peasants for that matter?. So, look for a scenario specific rule regarding Cossack losses and morale chip losses.

The other thing we spent a fair amount of time discussing is how to handle Uvarov’s Cavalry raid. The raid so unnerved the French Army Eugene halted his attack on the Great Redoubt to redeploy to protect his flanks (this gave the Russians time to deploy their reserves). Napoleon even went so far as to deploy the Young Guard and Vistula Legion to strengthen the Northern flank in fear of this raid. Most gamers will know that while the raid represented a significant portion of the Russian Cavalry it had no Infantry support and virtually no artillery support. At the end, I think Joe had an excellent idea involving morale chips that will force the French to react to the raid, unless they are willing to allow the Russian’s to gain some extra morale chips. Stay tuned for more on this as we work out the details and see if it will work as well as it sounds.

The last Borodino related item for now is how to handle all of the Russian reserve artillery. I have some ideas on that that I think will work.

And now for the obligatory painting update. Since my return from Historicon I haven’t been very productive, only completing one Cuirassier Regiment.

Little Russia Cuirassier Regiment

Next up on the painting table are 6 Old Glory Russian Commanders.

I’ll try to post a little more regularly, with a few more thoughts on the whole planning aspect of the 2012 project. And as I’m approaching Napoleonic burn out, there may be a few non-Napoleonic (gasp) posts as well.