Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oh Sandy!

Sandy has gone, (if she would have looked like this I’d be a lot more upset about the brief time we had together) the power is on, and the Internet connection is working!  Damage is limited to trees that were snapped off, a shingle here or there, and some flashing around one chimney. 

My office is closed, I’m not sure if it has water in it or not – the only thing between our building and the East River is the FDR and a helipad.  And since there is no mass transit running between CT and Manhattan I have some time on my hands.

I was actually feeling motivated to paint some Russian’s again and had planned on finishing up my Russian Guard Jagers, when disaster struck!  In my earlier rush to paint these I forgot that the Russian Guard Jagers had Orange facings, not Red like the ‘normal’ Jagers.  O.K., no problem, I can paint over the red… except I can’t find my orange paint.  Given the number of trees that are still down and stores that are closed I really don’t feel like making a run to the hobby store.

Maybe next weekend I’ll some photos of completed figures to post.

So much lead, so little time.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Still Painting

Well it has been a while since the last post.  I’m still slowly painting away.  However, my painting time is limited, I’m catching up on all of the things the Czarina allowed me to slide on earlier in the year while I was frantically working on finishing up the troops for Borodino. 

Completed work so far is minimal, with much in progress, including 2 battalions of Russian Guard Jagers.  Clearly, I need a hard deadline to force me to focus my efforts.  This is the the height of the 'crazy time' at work for me, so until the end of October I don't expect to get much completed.  

Sorry about the photo quality below.

Another Russian Commander, finally completed
Looks like the boot may need a little touch up 

These poor Landsknecht were finished about a year ago, and have been patiently waiting to be based while I was on the Napoleonic craze.  I’d like to think (hope) my painting style has improved since these were complete. 

Hopefully, I’ll get back to somewhat more consistent postings.

Take care,

So much lead, so little time.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

HISTORICON 2012 (Part 2 - Borodino)

The last two years of my painting a total of roughly 950 figures finally paid off at Historicon on Friday.  Starting at 10 in the morning Peter, Joe and I started setting up the Borodino battlefield even though the game wasn’t scheduled to start until 7:00.  The table was 30 feet long and 5 feet wide, with ‘wings’ on each end that were 7.5 feet wide.  It turns out starting set up early was a very good thing, since it took the 3 of us over 4 hours to set up the table.  This was the first time we had set up the whole table, and in our previous partial table playtest we had 5 Hofkriegsrats (Peter, Joe, Greg, Roger and myself).  All 5 of us contributed figures to the battle, and its really a shame that Greg and Roger were unable to make it to the convention to see the results of their painting efforts.   

The game started promptly at 7:00 PM, we ran through sequence decks around 12:30 AM and called the game with the advantage to the French.  I thought the game started out very well, although it bogged down a little around 10:00.  All in all I thought it played well given the size and the fact that we were never able to set up the entire table until we were at the convention.  I still don’t think we got the Borodino village sector quite right and probably should have made some more adjustments to Eugene’s Corps. 

If you want a more detailed review with a different set of photos check out Peter’s Blunders on the Danube blog.  But enough words, on to the pictures.

Borodino, looking down the Russian base line from the Russian right flank (Borodino Village  flank)

A wider view, Russians on the left, French on the Right.  That's part of Eugene's massive Corps on the lower right and Borodino village in the lower center, Utitza is at the far end of the table.

The Great Redoubt can just be seen in the lower left, the hill with the Fleches in the middle of the photo and in the upper right you can just make out the village of Utitza.

The Borodino village sector again.  The Russian Cavalry (bottom of photo) faces off against the hordes of Eugene's Corps.

This is the Utitza sector.  Russian Cossacks on the lower right, Opolchenie in the woods, and line infantry and Grenadiers in the right center.  To the left is Poniatowski's 5th Corps.  The lonely looking building is the village of Utitza.

Opolchenie in the woods at the top of the photo, Russian 3rd Division on the left, and 1st Grenadier Division on the center right.  You can't see it in this photo but Joe had painted up a stand of Russian Orthodox Priest, complete with Icon, to inspire the Opolchenie to greatness.

Another view of Poniatowski's 5th Corps.

Looking from the Fleches towards the deployed French.  The Russian position is looking a little lightly defended.

Another view of the Fleches, this time from the French side.  The Russian side is looking rather sparsely defended.  When do those reserves get here?

French line from the center of the battlefield looking towards the Borodino Village sector.

View of the Great Redoubt.

Center of the Russian line, with the Fleches and their lone supporting Division.

Action at the Fleches.  The French turned a couple of move cards very quickly and managed to get multiple move segments on most of them.  Here the French have reached the base of the hill the Fleches are on, and the French Cavalry is making a bee line to the exposed flank of the Russian 3rd Division just visible at the lower right.

More French units surge towards the Fleches.  

Eugene's massive Corps moves forward and contacts the Russian Guard Jagers defending the village of Borodino.  They would rather quickly expel the outnumbered Jagers.

Poniatowski's Poles have taken Utitiza while one Division rapidly advances to engage the understrength 3rd Division.  In the upper left you can see the French Cavalry angling in on the exposed Russians who couldn't seem to move the entire game.

More French units contact the hill the Fleches are on while part of the French Cavalry Corps peels off from their advance on the Russian 3rd Division to exploit the thinly held Russian center.  Where are those #$%# Russian Reserves??

The Great Redoubt in the bottom and the Fleches at the top.  The French forces just keep coming.

French forces have stormed the hill and are in the trench in front of the Great Redoubt.  

Back to the Utitiza flank.  French Cavalry has contacted the sole Russian Battery and the Polish Infantry is mixing it up with the Russian Infantry.  The Russian Infantry Crops very quickly ran out of morale points on this flank.

The Great Redoubt action heats up.

Borodino village, looking from the Russian side towards the never ending masses of Eugene's Corps. At this point, the Russian Guard Jagers still hold the two town sectors on their side of the river, but that will be changing soon.  At the bottom you can just make out units of the Russian 4th Corps ready to deny to defend the bridge.

Another view of the action at Borodino village from the French side.

Action at the Fleches.  French Cavalry mixes it up with the Russian 27th Division next to the hill. The Russian 2nd Army of the West Reserver artillery has deployed between the woods and the Fleches hill, and has a lot of French hose flesh to its front.  While at the top of the photo the French are contesting the Fleches.

A view of the Great Redoubt.  The French 3rd Corps continues to put pressure on the Southern portion of the redoubt.  While the Russian artillery has blasted apart the French tasked with assaulting the Northern portion of the redoubt. 

Action at the Fleches.  The Russians have been pushed back from some of their defensive works, but the French have not yet been able to occupy them while the Russian's are marching fresh units up to occupy the empty defenses.

Looking down the length of the battlefield from the Utitiza (Southern) flank. 

The Fleches again.  There appears to be more French than Russian's on the hill at this point.  

The Great Redoubt again.  The French are still swarming all over the Southern half of the redoubt hill.

Back at the Northern (Borodino village) sector.  The French have taken Borodino village, but Russian reinforcements can be seen crossing the bridge.  Russian cavalry has crossed the stream and is threatening the gap created by the effective Russian artillery fire.  Unknown to the Russians though on the next move card the Vistula Legion will deploy directly in front of them.

It was shortly after this that we called the game a French advantage.  The French still had a considerable number of reserve units that hadn't yet been deployed and as I recall all of the Russian reserve units had been deployed.  Hopefully I got most of the above correct, by the time the game ended I was really dragging.  By the time we had everything packed up and loaded it was about 2 in the morning.

I hope all of the players had good time.  I enjoyed the game and as mentioned earlier I was overall happy with how it played.  I want to extend my personal thanks to Peter, Joe, Roger, and Greg without them this game never would have happened, and a special thanks to Peter's voice, because mine never would have been heard over the noise in the room.

Now, what to do for 2013?

HISTORICON 2012 (part 1)

Whew!  Historicon has been over for a week and still I haven’t recovered.

The drive down to Fredericksburg Wednesday morning went well, although I did get stuck in some truck traffic that slowed things down.  I arrived at the Best Western and tried to check in at 2:00 only to be told I had to wait until 3:00.  I arrived back at 3:00 and they still weren’t ready – apparently they hadn’t received their linen back yet so I headed out to find some place to eat (what I really wanted to do was take a nap).  Sometime after 4:00 the laundry finally arrived.  The room was o.k., given what it was.  Heck, as cheap as the room cost was (before all the damn taxes and fees that is) I was a little afraid they had quoted me the hourly rate and not the daily rate.  Later on I went and picked up my registration badge, and then went out to dinner to Peter, Joe, and Dr. Tim.

Thursday morning I played in a Hostile Realm game run by Dave M. of  ‘The Southern Coven of the California Piquet Kult’.   Dave and Gabriel commanded the Orcs while Michelle (Gabriel’s better half) and I commanded some wimpy Elf’s.  Our brilliant plan of allowing the Orcs to close into optimal bow range should have worked, should have.  As it was my shooting was pathetic (at least until I lured the Orcs into point blank range, but by then it was too little to late).  The high light of the game was Gabriel’s Orcs steam rolling over Michelle’s Sorceress and Unicorn, punctuated by Gabriel’s shout of “Unicorn Burgers tonight!”  Fortunately it was at about this point, with all of the Elf leaders dead and half of my command routing that I was thankfully called away to help set up the table for Peter’s First Poltosk  game. 

A view of Dave's Hostile Realms game.  Those are Dave's Orcs in the center right vs. the hapless Elves of my command on the left.  At the top of the photo you can see Michelle's Cavalry command.  If I recall correctly the figures were provided by Eric B.

Here's a shot from the other flank a little later in the battle with a better view of Michelle's command.  You can just make out the white Unicorn next to the lead unit of Cavalry.  In the distance you can see that Dave has closed to melee range and it's about to be crunch time for the pointy eared Elf defenders.  It was shortly after this that I had to leave the game and go help set up Peter's game.

Speaking of Peter's First Poltosk game, here's a shot of the game set up.  The hordes of French reservers are out of frame to the left behind the stream.

Not the best photo I've taken, but it gives you a little different perspective of the battle, looking from the Russian side towards the French masses.

Another view of the battle field looking towards the monastery.

The Russian right flank moves out to meet the invader

The action heats up around the monastery

More fighting around the monastery and center

This is from the French left flank.  On the right you can see that Hugh has gotten his Cossacks on the flank of his son Zach's French.  I always enjoy seeing a father/son combination at conventions, and find it interesting that they almost always choose to be on opposite sides.  This battle was to be a long night for Zach, but he more that got even the following night at Borodino. 

The French right flank (top of the picture) has pushed the Russian left back while the action in the center heats up

Ultimately the French players ran out of Morale points, resulting in a Russian victory.  For a much more detailed report surf on over to Peter's Blunders on Danube  site.

Next up, Part 2 with a little action called Borodino.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Almost There...

Historicon is almost here!  And more importantly, I think I've finished painting everything I need for the con.  And if it isn't painted by now, I guess I'll need to tweak the OOB's to accommodate what we have.  Speaking of the OOB, Peter was kind enough to post the Borodino scenario over on his 'Blunders' site a couple of days ago, if you haven't already done so, check it out.

I had hoped to have everything finished last weekend, but the Czarina had other plans for me, so once again, it was down to the last minute (I hate that).  That combined with me foolishly deciding to go back to (on-line) school a couple of weeks ago has made painting time a very valuable commodity of late.

Enough words, below are photos of  my meager painting production since the last post.

This is the Corp command stand for Rayeveski's VII Corps.  I really don't know why Peter seems to think I don't like the French?  I have to admit, this is my new favorite command stand.  I think it captures the spirit of Rayeveski rather well.

I know you've already seen this one, but hey, I like it.

Another Russian Command stand.  I haven't decided who this will be yet. 

Another Russian Command stand.  Looks like it needs a little touch up on the buttons.

The last 3 Battalions of the Duchy of Warsaw troops.

Another view of the Duchy of Warsaw Battalions.

A Medium Battery.  As I think I've mentioned before, I'm building my artillery batteries as 3 stand units to reflect the considerably larger Russian Batteries vs. other nations, however, for the convention we will be using standard Piquet 2 stand units.

A Russian Heavy Battery.  I know, I just said I'm building my Russian Batteries as 3 stand units and this is only 2.  I sort of 'misjudged' the figures I needed, so I only had enough to do a 2 stand unit.  Clearly and excellent example of the superior Russian high command planning abilities.

I hope to see several of you at Fredericksburg in a couple of days.

So much lead, so little time.