Thursday 27 April 2017

28mm Pike and Shotte - The Portuguese take on the Japanese

Having used an earlier item to talk about the game we were going to play a gap in the calendar meant that we actually managed to play the game fairly quickly after I saw the table for the first time.

The object of the game was to take and hold a hill on the centre of the table.  We used centimetres rather than inches for movement, but retained the ranges in inches - made sense to us in terms of the game play.

So here is the AAR.  I took on the role of the Commander of the Japanese forces - the main Warlord and Bob commanded the Portuguese.  I diced for my command level which could have been 8 or 9, but I of course only managed to get an 8.  Bob also commanded on an 8. 

Despite these high command totals the game got of to the usual sluggish start with 'brigades' (loose expression for the 3 Japanese Warlords and the Portuguese groups) spending time just looking and discussing the meaning of life. Only my Asigaru; some unarmoured peasants; some even worse peasants; a unit of archers and some fanatical samurai on my left flank moving forward supported by my cavalry on the extreme left.

Bob's cavalry advanced and after 2 moves of doing nothing, so did his pikes and arquebusiers (very slowly).  Bob's cavalry then just stalled and sat watching my infantry advance.

After a bit of a chat we agreed that if they were going to just sit there and with a unit of fanatical Samurai as part of my force it was not unreasonable for these fanatics to charge the stationary cavalry.  So that's what I did!

The cavalry did better than expected but lost the combat, the Samurai having 4 units in support to the cavalry's none.  The resulting Break Test saw the cavalry roll bad dice, break, and leave the table.

In the centre, my brigade including Samurai archers, more ordinary archers from both the left and right flanks managed to scale the hill and take up position.  

Whilst all this had been going on Bob had been quietly unloading 2 of the ships guns and taking up position.

I fancied my chances with a charge by my Samurai Cavalry to get at these gunners.

 My charge failed and the cavalry suffered.  Not badly but were forced to retire.  They then took another hit in the next round and I pulled them back out of range and they played no further part in the game.  This left the guns free rein on my infantry who possessed no weapons to return fire .  Fortunately, their fire proved annoying but on the whole ineffective.  

At last Bob's advancing infantry came in range of my bows. 

The Samurai archers delivered a devastating volley on the first of the advancing pike units with 3 sixes! and further hits from the other supporting archers saw the pikes stopped in their tracks.

On the right Bob moved forward with a 'brigade' of heavy infantry with two handed cutting weapons.  We didn't have enough units, so we had to 'imagine' the other 2 supporting units. I wasn't worried as I had my Monks who were equally fierce-some!

These boys would ignore everything until they became Shaken! 

First round went to the Monks causing disorder but not breaking Bob's infantry. 

No problem I thought it is only a matter of time.  Oh yes, time was all it took.  Bob rolled 4 sixes!! added to the casualty they had suffered in the first round and the Monks were shattered and fled the field!  All in the space of 2 rounds!

Somehow, the peasants supporting the Monks managed to survive their Break Test and were left standing as 'the end of the line' and facing Bob's heavy infantry.  Disaster loomed!!

On the left in the meantime Bob had managed to deploy his arqubusiers and I was starting to take the odd hit on my Asigaru and peasants.

My archers on the hill came to the rescue inflicting the odd casualty here and there . However, I couldn't just stand and take hits so my infantry got to grips, the fanatical Samuari coming to the fore again.

I didn't have it all my own way and the melee's were close I only won them because of the numbers of supporting units.  One unit of Bob's unit finally broke, thanks to some earlier casualties caused by my archers.

But this seemed a side show to what was happening on the other flank.  With my Monks disappearing into the sun set, Bob had heavy infantry and pikes against my lowly peasants and archers.  Forward came the heavy infantry into a hail storm of arrows 3 hits and no saves.  I then managed a Blunder Test which sent my peasants forward fortunately just the one move and Bob did the same, this time charging forward into them.  

Heaven know how, but the dice were with me another kill on the heavy infantry and no killing blows on my peasants spelt doom for the heavy infantry.  They failed their Break test, as did the supporting unit and with one unit already broken and leaving the table the 'brigade' was beaten.  Leaving the Japanese masters of the field.

The archers on the hill made all the difference.  They managed to stop the advance of the Portuguese infantry who couldn't get to grips with them and whose slow start gave me the chance to get to the hill first. When the Monks fled I think we both thought it was over for the archers on the hill as they were ripe for the taking.  But from 4 sixes to wipe out the Monks to not a single telling blow on the peasants was just amazing (poor dice and good saving throws).  Victory from the jaws of defeat!  

Not sure I understood some of the Japanese weapons or knew how to pronounce them and Bob forgot to get his sailors of the ship which was an extra unit that could have been in the game, but it was good fun and a chance to use figures in a different scenario.

The bulk of the Samurai are Warrior 25mm figures, supplemented by Dixon, Westwind and Black Hat figures. The civilians are from Japanese and Vietnam ranges. The gate is from Grand Manor and the screens are paper downloads from Wargames Vault. The deck, ramps and dock are scratch built by Jack.

The Portuguese are Bob’s TYW army. The Portuguese standard Bearer and escort are Conquistadores from Outpost Wargames and the cavalry are assorted border reivers. The ship’s guns and the crew who never got off the ship are by Newline Design.

The Portuguese stats were taken from the Italian Wars lists, while the Samurai, Monks and others were all found in an army list on the Warlord Games’ Pike & Shotte forum.

Monday 24 April 2017

Poppies in Shoeburyness

Went down to visit my daughter and son in law and our new grandson on Sunday and took a stroll down to Barge Pier in Shoeburyness to see the Poppy Wave.

The pictures aren't great as I took them on my phone, but I hope they give the impression. The original Poppy display was at the Tower of London.  This much smaller display of Poppies but on a lovely spring day the display looked good and was still thought provoking. If you are in that past of Essex it's worth a look.  Parking is free and it is a nice easy stroll through the nature reserve to get to the pier. 

The pier was used to deliver munitions to the 'Garrison' depot which used to be at Shoeburyness and you can see the remains of rail tracks which were used to transport materials

Tuesday 18 April 2017

Our Next Game - 28mm Japanese v Portuguese Pike and Shotte

On a flying visit to Bob’s he showed me his preparations for our next game. It’s based on an old WRG scenario for use with the Renaissance rules. Portuguese troops have landed in Japan and must establish a base, whilst the local Japanese Lord must drive them off with his own forces.

The table is clear off terrain save a hill which both sides know is crucial to holding the area, so this is the main victory condition.

The WRG rules use different systems to the Pike & Shotte rules we play with and so Bob has modified the scenario, hopefully keeping the interest and style but adding some extra elements.  In the original the sea is just present but plays not part. Bob has changed this to a dock, with the Portuguese ship docked there.  This will allow me to have 2 guns which can be manhandled off the ship, and a unit of sailors if required. To counter these Bob has added a unit of Monks to his Japanese.  There was no cavalry in the original but both sides now have 1 unit each.

The Portuguese are taken from the P&S early Renaissance lists, whilst the Japanese can be found on the Warlord’s Pike & Shotte forums. This will be the first time we have tried these two protagonists and hope it’s going to be fun and successful. We’ll keep you informed.

Detailed lists of both forces to come when we work out how we are to deploy them.

The Portuguese

The Japanese


It will be interesting to see how the rules cope with this mix.  I'll take some pictures of the actual game in the follow-up AAR and give details of the various figures we used to make up the Portuguese.

Saturday 15 April 2017

S Range -sorry Hinton Hunt - Franco Prussian War dismounted French cavalry conversions

I was recently passed back a number of old Douglas Miniatures, some S range Napoleonic and Hinton Hunt fihures (update)  I had given my friends son many years ago.  Amongst them were a dozen or so dismounted French Napoleonic dragoons in marching and firing poses.  Over the years the standing firing figures have lost their bayonets.  I had a look on ebay and couldn't see much of a market for them so wondered if I could make use of them in my Franco Prussian War army.

The dragoons have the Napoleonic long tail coat and open waist coat, so I cut away the tails and used some green stuff to make the more baggy trousers reminiscent of the 1870 era dragoons and a 'skirt' of green stuff to extend the coat and a thin 'belt'.  I cut of the plume and smoothed the cut with some 'wet and dry' sandpaper.  Then it was a paint job.

I have also tried creating a dismounted French Chasseur a'Afrique.  Twisting the head off worked and I removed one of the belt straps. It sort of worked, overdid the green stuff on the back.

Update: Thanks to wellington Man and others for pointing out what I thought were early Minifgs are actually Hinton Hunts dragoons.  

Tuesday 4 April 2017

S Range FPW French Chasseur Bugler

I am currently converting a number of figures to make drummers for the Franco Prussian S range available from John Cunningham.

These are basically copies of figures I have shown elsewhere on this blog.  I take the basic line infantry figure, remove his rifle; drill holes through the hands for drumsticks, made from brass rod or a paperclip if supplies are running low; make a drum from some wooden dowel, drill a hole in it; attach a piece of brass rod; drill a hole in the figures leg; push the 'drum' with its brass rod into the hole; superglue it and then gently reposition the 'free arm' (if necessary) to move the drumstick into position. 

John sent me the figures and in amongst them was the French Chasseur.

Whilst I am making the drummer using the technique briefly set out above, I thought that in all honesty they probably relied more on trumpet calls - the same with the Silesian Rifles.  I have mulled over before how I could convert figures to produce buglers.  Followers of this blog will know that by means of a simple head swap I have done this to make a Turkish bugler and a Scots bugler in trews for the Crimean War range, based on the British Rifles and the Caucasian Rifles figures.  Both of these John is going to add to his range and make available.  However, when it comes to this figure and others in the FPW range it is no good as it requires far more work than I have skills.  The FPW French back pack in particular is a thing to behold and I just couldn't imagine how I could recreate it on the back of either the existing British or Caucasian bugler figures.

So I wondered if I could put the buglers arm on the FPW figure?  This would require the least work - in theory.  The first problem was the rifle.  It runs across the body and is held in both hands.  By using my pin dill I was able to drill a few holes and using my scalpel I was able to free the arm fixed to the body. I then cut through the arm itself just above the hand.

This then enabled me to move the arm holding the rifle to rest the stock against the figure's leg.  I 'shaved' the hand still on the rifle with my scalpel and rubbed it down with wet and dry sandpaper and I got left with what looked like a reasonable rifle.

I drilled both the Chasseur's arm and the arm I removed from the bugler, inserted a bit of brass rod pushed and superglued the two together.

Painted up it doesn't look too bad.  

Before and after