Friday, April 13, 2018

The Men of the Duke

These are the first four of the line infantry for the Duchy of Schmalz. With their rifled muskets and steadfast spirit, these men represent the strong backbone of the Duke's army. While resplendent in their blue uniforms and golden-plumed helmets, they are also well-trained and well-led, which will be necessary when facing the Kasekopfers, who sacrifice their skill for uncontrolled aggression.

Once again, the figures are all Perry Plastics, with the bodies and arms from the ACW Union box and head gear from the AWI British box. All bases are again from Warbases. I plan on collecting about 40-50 of these line infantry in addition to two groups of line infantry skirmishers.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Duke's Own Jaegers

Here is the first of two groups of my Jaegers in service to the Duke of Schmalz. Drawn from the best marksmen and hunters in the line infantry, they are the elite soldiers of the Schmalzer military, with greater training, motivation, and moustaches. They are equipped with the same cut of uniform as the rest of the army, but their green and gray uniforms were specifically chosen to assist with blending into the scenery of the Black Forest, allowing them to act as excellent scouts and ambushers.

The figures are all Perry Plastics, with the bodies and arms from the ACW Union box and head gear from the AWI British box. Since both ranges use the same style of separate hats, it allows for some really easy conversions if you are looking to kit bash for some neat imagination projects. The bases are 1" fender washers, which fit perfectly into my Warbases 2p movement trays. I like to use washers because it lends weight to the bottom of the miniatures, which helps balance metal and plastic figures as well as lend some nice heft to what are otherwise feather-light plastics. I'm using 20mm mdf bases for the line infantry, but with magnets to keep them in the movement trays. Again, all from Warbases.

The grass mat, again, is the excellent dyed faux fur mat from Killing Fields Terrain, which is by far the best faux fur mat I've ever seen or used. Because they are dyed, you don't get that stiffness that you get with painted fur and the colors are even throughout the mat. After I recover from my upcoming move, I plan on picking up one of their soon to be release short hair mats and probably one to cut up for some terrain projects I have in mind. I feel like the fact that I'm willing to buy one just to butcher is about the best endorsement I can give for the reasonable prices that the mats go for as well. Watch this space for more on those projects in the next couple months.

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Duchy of Schmalz and the Principality of Saindoux-Kasekopfes

As of right now, these are the working force rosters for my Imaginations forces. They will both be minor German states near the border between France and Germany, but they could really be anywhere with European looking forces if I want. Maybe they are colonial forces in South America or Africa? Maybe living in a completely fantastical world? That could be pretty cool. Regardless, before I indulge on any flights of fancy, I need to iron out my force lists, which will help dictate the forces I need to collect.

The Duchy of Schmalz

The military of the Duchy of Schmalz, or Schmalzers as they are colloquially known, is formed from a core of well-drilled, well-equipped infantry with elite light infantry Jaegers. The cavalry arm is best compared to Union cavalry in the American Civil War, with breech loading carbines and a doctrine that encourages fighting on foot as skirmishers more than on horseback. There is definitely meant to be a Prussian influence to the force, hence the Stubborn and Sharp Practice traits

As of right now, the plan is to collect five groups of infantry in line, two groups of line skirmishers, two groups of Jaeger skirmishers, two groups of cavalry (mounted and dismounted), and one artillery piece.

The Principality of Saindoux-Kasekopfes

The Principality of Saindoux-Kasekopfes, with it's large minority of French inhabitants draws a little more of that aggressive spirit or elan. The soldiers of the Principality favor decisive action over well measured drill and it shows in the their traits, with Aggressive and even Rebel Yell for the Guard infantry. All forces are similarly equipped to their Schmalzer counterparts, except that the cavalry is only equipped with rifled carbines, partially to discourage cowardly skirmishing, but also to save money, as the Principality is not quite as well funded as their Schmalzer counterparts.

I plan on collecting five groups of infantry in line, two groups of line skirmishers, three groups of guard infantry, two groups of cavalry (mounted and dismounted), and one artillery piece.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Mr. Lincoln's Boys

Short post this time around. I'm in the process of moving from Northern Virginia to upstate New York, so things have been pretty busy. I haven't had too much time for painting, but I have had a little. So far, I've finished twelve skirmishers for my Union ACW force and I'm in the process of painting up two sergeants and a lieutenant, which will be Status I and II, respectively. Until the move at the end of the month, that will be the last of the Union boys.

I've also got the next four of the Duchy of Whositorwhatsit (Name still undecided) Jaegers almost finished on the paint table, just highlights to do now. I've also put the Jaeger NCO (Status I) together, along with the first four of the line infantry. I hope to have all of these guys finished before the move so that I have something to show for the last month.

Anyway, on to the pics!

Friday, March 30, 2018

And Now for Something Totally Different

Now, before anyone starts yelling. Hear me out. I've been thinking that it would be really fun to do a Sharp Practice 2 force for a 19th century imagination force. I was looking at the Perry plastic ACW and AWI frames and say that the caps all had the same attachment system, where you just pop the cap on the head of the mini. I though it could be interesting to put the Saratoga cap on some Union infantrymen and making up a force, Ruritania style. The current idea is for a couple of rival German duchies with long-standing dislike for each other. This would allow me to play around some with historical plastics, play more SP2, and flex some of my creative muscles. I'm in the process of moving across the country, so most projects are being packed away, and this includes my Dark Age stuff, but I'm able to keep some plastics and my paint out to play with.

Without any further adieu, here are the first two Jaegers for the unnamed duchy of such-and-such.

And here are some cinematic shots with some Union skirmishers.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Clodwig the Red's big day out

I played a game of Dux Brit over the weekend while at Cold Wars and got to try out the forces for my Domain of Soissons campaign supplement. This battle, which was the first for both me and my opponent Caleb, pitted the Franks of Clodwig the Red (played by yours truly) and the Gallo-Romans of Honorius Sextimanius (played by Caleb) in the Raid on a Village scenario.

Clodwig and his men were only able to get one turns movement at the start of the game and Honorius and nearly all of his men managed to show up right in front of the village. This is an ill omen, the Romans must have known we were coming!

However, the Romans must have gotten tired racing the Franks to the village, because they were slow to react in the first turn. Three groups of Warriors in mass formation, led by Clodwig race up the right flank, hoping to pin the Romans so that his Levy may move into the village to plunder unopposed.

The Romans, while tired from their race to defend the village, were determined to prevent the Franks from stealing the initiative and began to wheel their formation to block the Frankish advance. As a result, Clodwig decided to simply decimate the Romans, rather than try to sneak around them. Full Advance!

As the two forces started to close, the Roman left flank attempted to make a attack on Clodwig's formation of Warriors. While bold, this move pitted one group of milites and one group of levy against three groups of warriors, Clodwig, and his champion Penda. Despite their ferocity (read great dice rolls versus terrible rolls for the Franks), the Franks dealt them a serious blow, wounding the noble and killing half of the warriors an levy troops. As they fell back in disarray, the Franks followed up and were immediately forced into the zone of control of the rest of the Roman line. However, an opportunity had presented itself, the Roman right flank was exposed to the rest of the Frankish force!

The Frankish elites, emboldened by this opening, raced toward the village and began smashing the place up, looking for drink and loot. While they did not find valuables, they did seem to find drink. At least that would explain their abysmal performance when Honorius and his comanipulares bashed down the doors and slaughtered them to a man and captured the noble with them. A dark day indeed.

It was at this point that Clodwig realized that he needed to do something drastic to turn this battle around. The Romans had formed a powerful shieldwall and his most experienced units had taken quite the beating. He grabbed the nearest group of warriors and cut down the Romans before him, along with the fleeing warriors and the noble with them. While he shattered the Roman left flank, he found himself isolated behind the lines with only three warriors and his champion. If he could act before Honorius and his comanipulares, he may be able to continue chasing down the fleeing levy and get out of range of the Romans wrath. That was not to be and he was set upon by Honorius' and his retainers, who cut down his men and gave him a grievous wound, which allowed him to be captured. The gods seem to have abandoned the Franks at this point.

If this were a campaign game, I would have pulled out now, having lost my Lord, Champion, my Status II noble, my elites, and about two groups of warriors. My force has been defanged, with only my three groups of levies and about eight warriors led by a Status I warrior. However, since this was just a pick up game, I charged the Roman line. Remarkably, it worked. The sheer numbers of my forces were able to overwhelm the remaining Romans still in the shield wall, which only amounted to two groups of levy and a group of warriors. These groups were cut down to a man, including the Roman noble, leading to the collapse of the Roman's force morale and a victory for the Franks!

It was a bloody battle, and one I would have been hard pressed to call a victory in a campaign setting, considering my Lord was captured, but that final charge had allowed me to snatch a +3 victory from the jaws of a serious defeat. Multiple mistakes were made by both players, both in regards to the rules and tactics, but we had a fantastic time learning the rules and playing the game.

For those who are interested in the terrain, the buildings and trees are all for Caleb's SP2 Boshin War game earlier in the day, which explains why it kind of looks like the Romans and Franks were transported to Japan. The roads and plowed field are flexible terrain made by Battlefield Terrain Concepts, which I am already a fan of. The fur mat is from Killing Fields Terrain, who make the absolute best faux fur mats I've ever seen. Since they use a dying process rather than paint, they are able to fully color the fur as well as keep it soft and flowing, making it better to both look at and play on. They are pretty reasonably priced at around 75 USD, which is not that far off of how much it would cost to make your own, even before you accounted for the time spent doing so. I can't recommend them enough.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Additions to the Fate Deck

Each faction in the Last of the Romans campaign supplement has unique cards in the Fate Deck that the player may use to best utilize their forces in a manner fitting to each force's unique style of fighting. The Romans remain unchanged from the base game or the Raiders supplement because they remain largely unchanged as a fighting force, but the Franks and the Visigoths each have their own way of warfare that is reflected both in the force organizations and the following Fate Deck changes. The Franks have a greater number of Strong Arm cards to reflect their use of their Francisca throwing axes. They also have the Form Shieldwall! card, allowing them to form shieldwall, albeit at a reduced ability compared to their Roman counterparts. The Visigoths have several cards that were exclusively in the Raiders supplement, all to guide the use of the force as a fast and aggressive faction. They also have the Thundering Hooves card in their deck, which allows savvy players to utilize fear to their advantage and break a potentially unbreakable formation when used correctly.

Frankish Cards

The Franks begin the game with one Aggressive Charge card and one Strong Arm card. The balance of their hands are dealt at random from the Fate Deck which is made up as follows:

Carpe Diem x 3
Strong Arm x 2
Aggressive Charge x 1
Form Shieldwall! x 2
Goad x 2

Form Shieldwall! - The Frankish player may play this card on a group or formation that has not activated this turn and they may form a shieldwall formation. This shieldwall functions as the standard Romano-British shieldwall, but a shieldwall with Elite or Warrior troops in the front rank may only move or wheel 1d6 inches and a shieldwall with Levy in the front rank may not move or wheel at all. This reflects the fact the while the Franks can and do form shieldwall, they are not as well organized as their Roman counterparts. The Frankish player may not use a shieldwall formation without playing this card as it represents the reduced discipline of the Frankish forces when compared to the Romans. This is a Retreat Card in Post-Game Phase. (Use unused Saxon or Raider cards to Represent this card, or make your own!)

The Franks may also utilize the Shieldwall Braced card, but only when in shieldwall formation.

Photo Property of Footsore Miniatures

Visigoth Cards

The Franks begin the game with one Bounding Move card and one Darting Blow card. The balance of their hands are dealt at random from the Fate Deck which is made up as follows:

Carpe Diem x 3
Bounding Move x 2
Darting Blow x 2
Thundering Hooves x 2
Goad x 1

Thundering Hooves - A Group or Formation of Cavalry moving into close combat may play this card to instill fear upon their target as they see their dreaded enemies charge. Roll 1D6 for each attacking figure before the charge, counting one point of Shock on the front rank of their target for each 5 or 6 rolled. All morale effects will take place before the charge continues, meaning that the target unit may fall back or flee before receiving the charge. The charge will then proceed as normal. This is a Pursuit Card in Post-Game Phase. (Use unused Saxon or Raider cards to Represent this card, or make your own!)