Sunday, December 14, 2014

Battle of Kolin Game Pix

Kolin game initial setup, March 2005

While I continue to convalesce from surgery on my right wrist, I thought that I would post a few favorite pictures from the past with minimal commentary. This first sentence alone took me 5 minutes to
type. These pix were taken at the SYW Association convention in March 2005. This was my first try at terrain boards. 6ft by 24ft table as I recall with one back table for the Kaiserstrasse and all RSM figures.

KOLIN game in progress, March 2005

Friday, December 12, 2014

From The Hospital Ward

I have an appointment on Monday to get the cast taken off and the stitches removed. I've noticed some slight improvement in my right hand flexibility: I can now tie my own shoes for example.

I watched The Guns of Naverone yesterday as part of my recovery film festival. Today will be either Barry Lyndon or The Blue Max.

I have also been reading my way through a stack of books and annuals written by Charles S. Grant, which is an enjoyable way to pass a lot of time.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Waterloo, The Movie

This evening I watch the classic Waterloo movie featuring Rod Stieger and Christopher Plummer as I continue my convalescence from wrist surgery. My copy was distributed by Castaway Collections and it was produced (pirated?) in China. The color in this DVD is much better than my old VHS COPY.

This version seemed to have a few more minutes of footage that I had never seen before so perhaps this is the "British Version" rather than the shorter "American Version ". I think that I bought my copy from Belle and Blade at Historicon .

My left hand gets tired so these posts will be short by necessity. My right paw is totally useless right now as I can't grip anything without getting a stab of pain. I tried to hold a paint brush just for grins, but it was no go. I can't use my computer because I can't use the mouse. The iPad works because I can touch type with the left hand but my finger tips start to hurt after about a minute.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wounded In Action - Going On Medical Leave

General Forbes is wounded near Fort Duquesne. Diorama at Fort Ligonier.

I will be undergoing surgery tomorrow to fix my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my right wrist. I am sure that there will be a certain amount of post operation discomfort for a few days and I don't know how soon I will be allowed to type, paint or pack figures. Hopefully, I won't be out of action for more than a week.

This will be a good thing in the long run as CTS can be very painful and discomforting and the surgery has a high success rate. We shall see.

Blogger won't seem to let me edit the picture or add captions. So the top picture depicts General Forbes being carried in a litter after being wounded near Fort Duquesne. The bottom picture depicts the officers mess at Fort Ligonier. Both pictures were taken at Fort Ligonier in 2013.

Officers' Mess Hall at Fort Ligonier

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Annual SYW Light Infantry Game

The Gilderhaven Terrain Table (click to enlarge the view)

Every December our gaming group gathers together in Brown Deer, Wisconsin to play the annual SYW Light Troop Game. Gone are the heavy cannon, the iron cuirassiers and the Guards and Grenadiers from our rosters, leaving only the light troops. It serves as a nice change of pace.

This years game reduced everyone's command down to about two units of infantry and/or cavalry and changed the scale from 1 to 10 to 1 to 1. Each player had their own mission/agenda to accomplish and none of us knew who the other forces were that were on the table. Were they friends or foes?

Each player was also given one dollar in change, each penny representing one Mark. You could use your money to bribe other players or pay toll fees and harbor fees etc. One way to win the game was to collect the money.

It was perhaps the oddest game that I have ever played because there was hardly any combat on the table top, except towards the end of the game. Each player seemed to be focused on his mission and did not want to be the one to fire the first shot as this might unleash all kinds of fire and fury on the tabletop.

As usual, I controlled the forces of Lady De Winter and her Black Legion (45 infantry and 13 Bosniak Lancers). My wingman, Earl, commanded most of the Black Legion light cavalry consisting of 36 Black Hussars and 24 Blue (Zieten) Hussars.

Our mission was to escort Lady De Winter to the harbor of Gilderhaven and secure passage for her on a boat so that she could escape. This was easily accomplished; however, the mission kept my eyes from looking around the table and seeing that little ditzy Lady Pettygree and her couterie of Valley Girls riding right across the front of my cavalry! The chase was on, but Pettygree and her escort were too far away for either of Earl's hussar units to reach in time. In a last desperate act, I offered a bribe to the leader of the Cossacks, Mikhail, and he turned his band of riders away from the town and off in pursuit of Lady Diana Pettygree. The bribe also accomplished the removal of the Cossacks from the town without any of my men having to raise a weapon. Killed two birds with one stone, so to speak.

The harbormaster deploys his forces at the port of Gilderhaven.
Without further ado, here are some pictures from the game. Be sure to click on each picture to enlarge the view.

Lady Pettygree and her escort of French (Gallian) hussars and lancers ride past the Inn at the far left end of the table.

The border guard house at the far right end of the table. Pettygree and her little band of strumpets had to pass through here and cross the bridge into Gallia and safety.

The Gallian light cavalry,  with Lady Pettygree hidden in the center of the horsemen, ride right past Lady De Winter's Blue Hussars. Look at that inviting open flank, just asking to be charged. Doh!

An aeriel view from one of the Montgolphier brothers hot air balloons shows Pettygree's band as it rides past the front of the unknowing Blue Hussars. They were more focused on getting Lady De Winter into the port safely.

Lady De Winter's black coach arrives at the harbor quay. The coach is a red herring as Milady is actually riding her horse next to the Black Duke.
The Cossacks being closer to the Pettygree band than the Blue Hussars, they accept the bribe to join the Black Legion and they dutifully attack Lady Pettygree's rear guard of Bercheny Hussars. The hussars are wiped out to the man by the Cossacks.

Arrgh! Pettygree escapes again right under the noses of the Germanian border guards who ushered her party through.. You can see Pettygree's rear guard getting ready to engage the pursuing Cossacks.
I think that everyone had a good time playing the game, even though there was very little in the way of combat on the table. It never occured to me that Lady Pettygree would be somewhere on the table. To think that I watched her ride across my front without stirring up any suspicion. It was only after she had moved on down the road that I even noticed her. By then, it was too late.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Leuthen Day, Fashionably Late

A recreation of Frederick's Parchwitz Address on the night before the Battle of Leuthen

Yesterday I knew that December 5th was the anniversary of the Battle of Leuthen in 1757. I meant to post something about the occasion, but time was working against me and I just couldn't get to the task.

So here are some photos of the Battle of Leuthen that we played back in 2009 at Chez Protz, in Brown Deer, Wisconsin. If I recall correctly, the Prussians won the game by a mere whisker as the Austrian cavalry general Nadasdy did a superb job of slowing down the Prussian flank attack on the Austrian left. This provided enough time for the rest of the Austrian army to set up a new battle line in the town of Leuthen. 

Here are a few pictures of the wargame, fought using troops at a 1 to 10 ratio of figures to men, and using the Batailles dans l'Ancien Regime ("BAR") rules. Click on all pictures to enlarge the view.

Austrians deploy one of their brigades adjacent to the Leuthen church.
A view of the Austrian left flank anchored by Leuthen on the right and Sagchutz on the left.

A view of the initial Austrian deployment on their right flank.

The Prussian attack on the Austrian left flank is deployed and ready to move forward.

The unfortunate Bavarians and Wurttemburgers have to bear the brunt of the Prussian attack.
Austrian dragoons stop the first wave of Prussian cuirassiers on the attack.

Colonel Muller deploys his heavy Prussian Brummers on the Judenberg and prepares to enfilade the Austrian position with cannon ball and canister.

The Austrian right flank was not allowed to react for several turns, so they remain stationary as the battle begins.

Austrian de Ligne Dragoons and a regiment of infantry march through Leuthen to shore up the left flank.

More Austrians on the move.

The Austrians attempt to form a new battle line on their left flank, but are now receiving fire from front and flank.

The famous Windmill Hill, where the Austrians set up their final line of defense.

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Little Bit of Housekeeping

Christmas lights sparkle at the Hesse Seewald train station this evening.

I will be traveling north to Brown Deer, Wi (don't you just love that name?) next Saturday December 6th to play in our group's annual Light Troops SYW game using the Batailles de l'Ancien Regime ( or "BAR" rules). We do this every December so that we can put the heavy cavalry away and test our tabletop skills with nothing but light troops. It always results in a fun game, with that traitor Lady Pettygree just narrowly escaping capture by the Black Legion of Lady de Winter.

The game has given me something to look forward to as I have had to pack a lot of boxes of the new Minden Austrian artillery for the recently funded Kickstarter campaign. Add to that the fact that Mrs. Fritz has booked me for a number of parties and fetes as well as the need to deck the halls with boughs of holly and, well, you can see that I've been too busy to get anything done on the painting table for awhile.

We had terrific Winter weather over the weekend, with temperatures in the 50s Fahrenheit so everyone on the block was out stringing up Christmas lights while the weather was nice. I managed to frame the front doorway with a garland of evergreens running up the side and across the connecting thingie (the lintel?) and back down the otherside to the ground. The top portion is about 9 or 10 feet high and I had to accomplish this with only a 6 foot ladder and a hope and a prayer that I wouldn't take a fall from the ladder. I also had the presence of mind to string lights through the garland before hanging it on the doorway ( as Michael Caine might have said, "I did manage to think of that").

So with all of that done by Sunday evening, I managed to find a little bit of time with the brushes churning out some Eliteminiatures 1805 Russians that I owe to one of the participants at the Light Troops game this weekend. I had sold him all of my 28mm Napoleonics about 5 or 6 years ago and figured that I would never see them again. Then I had the bright idea of doing a barter deal with the gentleman to have him solder some pin swords for me and to cut some wooden movement trays.

And what did I have to do in return? You guessed it, I had to finish painting the regiment of half painted Russians that I started back in 1990. Talk about eating the sins of the Sin Eater! A year or two later, I still hadn't painted the figures and so I decided that it was time to remove this obligation from my back and get them done. So far I've painted 72 Russians with 24 more to go.