Friday, May 29, 2009

Raid in Yorkshire : 100 Posts in the Lead Gardens!

To mark 100 posts here at the Lead Gardens, a few images from an ECW raid scenario to serve as a tie breaker in my ECW Campaingn for the month of May. I was able to play on Friday afternoon (an academic on summer break has not a few ill-gotten hours for gaming...the pics are from my cell phone so "blurry" is the password... ;) )

The Raid was based on the "Pillage and Plunder" Table Top Teaser published in the Battlegames TTT special issue.

Here a Parliamentary raiding force attempts to plunder a few farmhouses and make off with the loot before the Royalists can muster a response. Due to a tip from a loyal subject of the King, the local Royalist commander is tipped off to the approaching Roundheads. The affair quickly turns in to a rather sharp action with both sides feeding arriving troops in to an area of farmland hemmed in between a river and a smaller branching stream.

While Roundhead dragoons ruthlessly plunder and fire the first farmhouse they are caught at the second by the Cavalier horse who, driven hard by their commander aggressively plow in to the first covering body of Parliamentary horse standing in the fields just beyond the farm. Driving them off in a furious melee.

Much musketry ensues and while the Parliamentary foot is so engaged, the Cavaliers work their way around the Parliamentarians with more arriving troops of horse. Though the Parliamentary do good service in delaying at a critical ford, giving most of their foot a chance to escape, they ultimately did not have enough loot to win the day and were driven off with some loss, so the battle goes to the King!

The Royalist horse react quickly to the raid...

A Parliamentary regiment gets a full dose of musketry and is destroyed.

The first farm burns while Parliamentary raiders file on to the next farm.

dragoons defend a ford...

Parliamentary commanded shot in open order fire at long range...

A small unit of dragoon mount a rear guard and are overwhelmed but the main body of Roundhead shot makes their escape.

Royalist pursue...and win the day.

ECW Campaign score - May 1642- King 3, Parliament 2

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Frontier Fort

Some light-hearted fun with my little guy today as the Clothespin Guards defend the fort near the village of Abu Pasha in a country Far Far Away while a small cavalry patrol heads out to recon the countryside...actually a jungle full of plastic tigers and elephants.

(The cavalry figures are as yet unpainted and ultimately they are going to be a unit of 12)

As always, it's really refreshing to get down on the floor and get back to gaming basics with the little "erbprinz" rules just fun!

Another interesting note is the wooden domes you can see are from a HABA Russian Church Building Block Set (HA0471). These blocks are really well crafted and the set comes with an assortment of dome shapes, (onion and spherical as well as half domes) that are perfect for scratchbuilding 25mm buildings....and I have to admit.... I had to "appropriate" one of the onion domes to make a Eastern European style church for my 18th century stuff. It's still under construction but I'll post the result as soon as its done. Haba makes some other cool sets (Egyptian, Roman, etc. that would with a little imagination yield some parts and or whole structures for "serious" gaming.

(...and of course if you look closely you'll see our Pinecone Tree MkI doing yeoman service!)

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Scots Arrive!

The newest addition to the Lead Garden's ECW collection, the beginnings of a Scottish brigade of Horse and Foot using Sash and Saber figures with some Romanov heads and the addition of lances for the cavalry. The Sash and Saber figures have weapons cast on to the hands but it was easy to clip the pistols off, drill the hands and add a lance. I also added some extra gear on the horse figures with green stuff to simulate a squadron of hard riding Scots horse. For the horse I swapped in some S&S and Romanov heads with older style continental style helmets for the usual lobster pot helmets that normally come with the S&S horse to get the right look for the Scottish horse.

There has been some talk on the 40mm S&S miniatures Yahoo group of Chris (the sculptor) doing a Jacobite highlander figure that would be useful for a number of periods and certainly he would have my vote on that one, but introducing new figures to a line is I'm guessing not all that simple a proposition but hopefully someday, and I'm thinking that the 42mm Irregular minis will work nicely as well (based on the beautiful Irregular stuff over at "For Ye Kinge")...but the current exchange rate is keepiong me from jumping in that direction....( be truthful, my lovely wife has also requested a "slowdown" in metal purchases for a little while, so my sense of honor has to kick in at some point and respect her reasonable wishes! ;)... oh well...summer is a good time to catch up all those unpainted projects that are sitting here in their boxes.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tunisian Interlude

American recon platoon waits in an orchard in ambush positions...

the Germans advance in halftracks...

M4s easily deal with German armoured cars...

German recon infantry dismounts to close on the bridge...

a roof top bazooka team earns it's pay by knocking out a MkIV

recon team of the "Big Red 1"

Some pics today of a small 15mm WWII battle somewhere in Tunisia using Flames of War Rules. The scenario is based on a C. S. Grant Bridge Demolition scenario from his "Scenarios for All Ages" book with an American recon platoon supported by a GMC halftracked tank destroyer defending a party of engineers tasked with blowing a critical bridge. The German kampfgruppe has to take the bridge before that happens. The demolition charges take 6 turns to set and the Americans have another 6 turns after the charge is set to get their force safely across before the engineers are ordered to destroy the bridge. The Americans also have a platoon of 3 Shermans that arrive as reinforcements based on a D6 throw. (They arrived on turn 4 ).

German Mk IVs advance

damn those bazookas!

The American TD knocked out 2 Mk IVs before they destroyed it. Then another MkIv was knocked out by bazooka fire before the German tank platoon lost heart and withdrew. That left the armored cars and infantry to try for the bridge. The Sherman platoon arrived to stop the armored cars....and the Americans started to escape across the bridge. Despite the rapidly closing germans the Americans got everyone across before blowing the bridge on turn 10 to win the game.

BOOM!!!...up goes the bridge!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Link to the ECW campaign pdf.

The download the ECW campaign map mentioned in the previous post, (in pdf form) go here: link

Thursday, May 14, 2009

ECW Campaign: MkII

(warning: this map is still under construction and has lots of errors... : posted 5/16/09)

I'm posting today the revised map for my new ECW campaign. It's still being tweaked, but this version has major towns showing. I'm working out rules such that a side can control an entire county unless the major town is held by the opposing side in which case the county will only be counted for 1/2 victory points, (rounded down). So in time some seige battles will result. This map will be posted monthly to record the campaign in addition to battle reports. Based on curent results the Parliamentary forces have a 2-1 lead so far this month in three battles over the forces of the King,... (Pewsey Vale and a large battle for fortified positions), Though they scored an important early victory at Powick Bridge, the Royalists were defeated in two subsequent battles by overwhelming Parliamentary numbers.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

"The" ECW Campaign


After a good deal of searching and thinking about how to handle a solo ECW campaign, I'm thinking that a hybrid version of the campaign rules found in the Warhammer Historicals English Civil War Rules adapted to the limits of my 40mm collection might just make a reasonable campaign. I'm also ambitiously thinking that the campaign could play out in "real time" in that I could track the ECW games that occur each month on my game table and award points to each side on a "wins per month" basis. Thus control of hexes on the campaign map would be determined as per the Warhammer rules...i.e. a given number of map pins awarded for game wins. Battle dates would be recorded using the real date and just changing the year to 1642. That way the battles that I decide to play will have some sense of occuring in time. Even the historic refights such as the recent small Powick Bridge battle I played would be counted as part of the monthly campaign results (for May 1642). I was also thinking that it would be fun to use battle results from the other blog sites dedicated to ECW (For Ye King, Pudel and Peper, Project Aldearn 1645, etc) and use the results for my campaign whenever the other blog owners post a battle report. That way I can include a sense that there are other generals operating and battles happening in far away parts of England of which I only have partial news. And perhaps that might also provide everyone some measure of enjoyment knowing that their individual gaming might be having an effect on another campaign.

I'm also working out how to handle such niceties such as sieges even though I don't have much in the way of terrain for siege games in 40mm yet. I'm thinking that this campaign might carry over several years in "real time" just like the historical war. I think it might be interesting to include actual weather and such for the days that battles are fought. I would use "Victory Without Quarter" Rules to fight individual battles with some additional mods based on the Warhammer rules....particularly in regards to limited ammunition and events

NOTE the map has many errors!!...being corrected

The map shown here was based on information that I gleaned from various sources on the internet. The numerical values reflect a good guess as to the level of strategic value of each county in England and show the initial areas of control for the Royalists and Parliamentarians ( I can't recall the person who published this information but he has my thanks!). I still am adding fortified manors and towns to the map, and many of the towns had sympathies opposed to the surrounding county so I'm still working out the map...definitely still a work in progress. But I would be most happy for any input from you guys out there as my knowledge of England's geography is only gleaned from my reading.

The map translates counties to hexes and the hexes are used just to make it easy to visualize spatial relationships. Some of the hexes are double sized to preserve the historic "adjacencies". The Warhammer ECW campaign rules only track who owns what at the end of each "season" so no tracking of movement on the map except for adjacency. It's not an attractive map yet, and lacks period flavor, but I'm working on a MkII version..that will also include Scotland and Ireland.

I'm starting the campaign in May 1642 so all ECW battles that occur this month (my own and others that I hear news of), will be included in the first months results...and so guys get cracking for God and Kinge ...(and I'll be happily and gentlemanly engaged in "poaching" your battle results for this campaign)!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Powick Bridge: A Short Sharp Action

A short post to finish the Powick Bridge battle...itself a short sharp action with the Royalists duplicating their historic victory. The scenario is a tough one for the Roundheads due to the severe tactical deficit they are initially saddled with (the hedges and the bridge keep them from deploying their numbers). The "Victory Without Quarter" rules worked well except in this fight there was a need to adjust the card driven orders to allow the Parliamentarians to advance down a road in a column of several units, so I have written a "tertio advance" rule that essentially allows an entire brigade that has not taken or issued fire to move all on the brigadiers card. I also think a "passing fire" rule should be available to foot that is not "unloaded" to fire a volley at units passing across their fire zone. I found it was possible for the cavalry to march down the road without getting fire from the dragoons posted along the hedges depending on the card draw...which would be a bit too ahistorical. The battle took a scale hour and 15 minutes to complete I think about right for that size battle.

dragooons issue fire

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Scots!

I dived into a unit of 40mm Scottish ECW Horse, the beginnings of a small brigade of Scots that will double both as Covenant and as Montrose Scots depending on the needs of the game at hand. The figures are converted ECW horse from Sash and Saber. I clipped the pistols out of the hands and added lances as well as equipped them variously with an assortment of blankets water bottles and such. I bought separate heads with Scots bonnets and also dug in my spare heads box for the more older style helmets that the Scots tended to have so it should give the right impression when painted up. I've also primed a unit of foot for the brigade as well.. so two units of Scots to add flavor to the collection! I've got a fair pile of extra pikemen that I'm trying to figure out how to convert to ill equipped local "clubmen" but I haven't yet figured out how to make the weapons. But I'm just about convinced that with a little "green stuff" epoxy you can do anything!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Punic Wars Begin...Finally!

Nothing is quite so sweet in wargaming as really "finishing" an army. At long last I've finished a project that was begun a year and a half ago after I had bought a copy of Warmaster Ancients Rules. After some excitement over the rules I purchased a couple of 10mm Armies from Magister Militum. The exchange rate vs the dollar was really bad so I took a pretty hard hit to get the armies over here from England, but was impressed by the quality of the figures (and the great service from MM) enough to purchase three other armies soon after. So there I was sitting on five unpainted ancient armies...a formidable painting project if there ever was one.

I know, I know, "10mm is really easy to paint" and all that...and I believed every word, and to a large degree it's true, but...those little buggers seemed to take FOREVER! I think though in all fairness it was probably my discovery of 40mm figures, blogging, and soon after, 18th century gaming that diverted me from getting those tiny ancients done. But today I am happy to say that last week I found the momentum to complete what had to be completed, and now I can give those Warmaster rules a try! Though I'm not in to tournament play, I do enjoy the interesting matchups between dissimilar military systems that ancients offer.

So now to present the first two of an eventual five army (Romans, Carthaginians, Alexandrian Macedonians, Achaemenid Persians, and Indians) 10mm campaign collection....The Republican Romans and their intractable foes...The Carthaginians! To be followed hopefully soon by the remaining three (though not an entirely historical matchup of armies, I just find the differences in the five armies interesting and I think they will make a good hypothetical campaign a bit in the spirit of Tony Bath's classic Hyborean campaign).

the Romans

Scipio Africanus

Roman Heavy Infantry, the backbone...

Triarii, the old hands...

Roman Cavalry

The Carthaginians


Gallic allies with citizen spearmen in the second line

Hannibal and some sub-generals...check out the group on the left reading pre-battle omens in the entrails of an unfortunate sheep...

Carthaginian heavy cavalry...not shown are hordes of Numidian light cavalryto screen and harass...

Though these 10mm figures can be a bit of a challenge for older eyesight, they sure do make a cool mass spectacle. Now, on to Alexander's finely tuned army of Macedonians!