Sunday, February 13, 2011

A First Time For Everything

 Being a guy who plays Grant's "The Wargame" mostly when using my 18th century collection, I never had an occasion in all these years to try out "Charge" by Young and Lawford. Since my figures are individually based it seemed a shame that I had not given the rules a try (something I suppose no self-respecting old school guy should simply won't do!), so last weekend I dismounted all my figures from their usual magnetic trays to have a real experience playing a large battle in the classic manner.

The battle was a simple set piece affair with a large town on one flank (an excuse to set out all my buildings...).

"Charge" is pretty quickly paced with long movement rates and decisive combat results, (after playing the more "stately" pace of The Wargame, firefights and artillery in this game cripple units at an alarming  (but fun) rate.

My larger 36 man units broke down fairly neatly into 2, 16 man companies called for in the rules...the two company structure allowed a bit more flexibility in deploying but coupled with the firing rules, the units are more brittle. (I've heard somewhere that these rules have a more Napoleonic flavor...but I'd have to play it more to be able to say...)

Attacking Bleiherzeners take heavy casualties from Grolsteiner artillery posted on the hill.

Being a solo player I usually balk at moving lots of individuals around but really it doesn't take all that much longer to get moves done.

A brigade of two regiments assaults the town.

I'll probably set this up again and gives the rules another go...and after that hopefully give Ross McFarland's "Hearts of Tin" a try since he has updated the rules since I last had a chance to play them a good while ago.

And finally, a few shots of my recently completed windmill (with Mk I blades simply drawn on to thin wood)...I'll probably upgrade these someday when I have the inclination.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Building a Windmill in Classic Style

Now that the Lead Gardens building program is in full swing, I thought I would tackle a long anticipated project to build a windmill to give the table a bit more "old world" period flavor. I want the windmill to serve both my 18th century battles as well as my English Civil War games in 40mm so I first dug up some references I had stashed away a year ago...thank goodness for the search feature on my computer!
 The Windmill will be one that is mounted on a heavy frame and presumably was intended to rotate to face the wind.

 I decided to go with basswood for this one, and began with a precut base I had on hand that became the base for a simple frame made of basswood. The base is 60mm square and the height of the frame is about 1" high. The references show a pretty tall structure and I want something that will give a decent sized diameter to the blades of the windmill so the dimensions felt right.

 The base frame goes together quickly with just a bit of trimming of the members...

 Then the sides are cut from a sheet of basswood, and, as in the last tutorial, cutting the gable ends using a simple "x" cut and saving the leftover triangles for later.

 the sides are glued up and set on a square of balsa that has a square hole in it cut at the size of the center post
 ...then all of that assembly is glued to the center post...
 ...So the basic windmill is formed.

 I add the leftover triangle pieces from the earlier side cutting step to "beef up" the gable ends

 a block of basswood is added to the structure to make a spot to attach the blades of the windmill..

 next step is to tackle the windmill blades...a tough problem...especially if we are trying to keep it in a simple old school style...

 ...first I made a cross of two small sections of basswood...each notched to make a cross shaped piece to work as a connector for the blades...which I have yet to figure out how to make...

ideally the blades of the windmill should be very simple to make in keeping with the "Old School" flavor of the project.

So now the big to construct the blades???

...I'll have to sleep on that problem...any ideas are most welcome!