Search this blog

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Landsknecht Halberdiers

Here are some Landsknechts armed with halberds, which I (re-)painted some time ago.

Originally, they were intended to be used with my old Warhammer Fantasy Dogs of War army as the Paymaster's Bodyguard. Therefore, I painted them in an green/white/red-Italian colour scheme.

Later, I re-painted them and added some more colour, yellow and sky blue, so they looked more like the historical German Landsknechts they are. I intend to use them as Expert Foot Sergeants for Lion Rampant or as Landsknecht Halberdiers in Open Order for Swordpoint.

The models are mainly Landsknechts from Artizan, the captain and guy behind them are old Citadel/GW, the standard bearer is a Gamezone miniature and the drummer comes from an old Surprise Egg (Ü-Ei), representing a Swiss mercenary.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

I'm back and Report of past Gaming and Teaching Marathon

It has been quiet on this blog due to are very hard time during the past months finishing my master thesis about the German Peasants' Revolt, but it is done now.

As the title suggests, I did a lot of gaming in October last year and want to give a short report of it. Three games in four Days and all of them were introductory games, in which I explained 3 different rulesets for 3 different periods to 3 different opponents (being a teacher also seems to continue in my hobby time^^). Spoiler: Everything went fine and many nice pictures were taken.

First up was a game of "British Grenadier!" for the American War of Independence. I played a new gaming mate at his home and we fought the Battle of Hannah's Cowpens, using mainly his amazing collection. He was attacking with the British against my American force, deployed in a three-line-defense. This Battle was also a duel between two feared commanders: Daniel Morgan and Banastre Tarleton and served as the inspiration for the final battle in Mel Gibson's "The Patriot"!
The starting positions at Cowpens from the American table edge.
A view from the British table edge
Tarleton was despatched from the Cornwallis' Southern British Army to pursue the force of Daniel Morgan and destroy it (if possible). Therefore he assembled a clolumn of his personal British Cavalry and Light Infantry (here represented by the Queen's Rangers as stand-in), some combined Light Bobs, as well as the Regulars of the 7th Royal Fusiliers and 1/71st Fraser's Highlanders.
The British force: Queen's Rangers, British Legion cavalry, 3 pdr gun, Tarleton, 7th Royal Fusiliers and 1/71st Highlanders.
Morgan deployed his American force, consisting mainly of militia accompanied by two regiments of Continetal Veterans and some cavalry, in a three line deep-defence starting with the first line of skirmishers in the woods, followed by a second line of militia (again in the woods), with the third and final position on a range of hills held by the Continentals.
The British encounter the first line of defense
The amazing mass of Tarleton's British Legion cavalry
The first line of Militia retreats
Tarleton's British steadily worked their way through the first two lines of militia, who put up a good but not to persistend fight. Breaking the thrid line of elite Continentals, supported by two regiments of Cavalry, proved to be a much harder nut to crack, though.
The elite Continentals face the Light Bobs
While the Continentals held the line against atacks from the Light Bobs and Queen's Rangers, the huge amount of British Legion Cavalry was massing to attack the American right flank. Therefore the American 1st/3rd Dragoons, led by William Washington (cousin of the CiC) and Militia Cavalry decided to perform a preemtive counter-charge.
Cavalry charge on the right flank
Clash of Cavalry
Washington's 1st/3rd Continental Dragoons
Seeing a possibility to turn the tide and direction of the battle, the Virginia Continentals tried to charge the skirmishing Light Bobs, who evaded, but bumped into the following up batallion of the Queen's Rangers
Continental counter-attack bumps into the Queen's Rangers
As the American counterattack failed and losses were piling up heavily, we called it a night and a victory for Tarleton's British, who suffered less than in the historical battle.

Next up was me first game using Dan Mersey's excellent Lion Rampant rules. It was straight forward, played well and was very amusing. We played the "Sausages without Mustard"-Scenario (an terrific name, as I really like mustard^^) where one side had to inflame four haystacks in a village, while the defender tries to prevent this.
View of the Battelfield
I dragged together two rag-tag warbands from my finished late Medieval troops. This put the following units against each other:

Defenders: 2x Burgundian Knights, 1x Burgundian Crossbowmen with Paveses, 1x Landsknechts with halberds (Expert Foot Sergeants), 1x Burgundian Handgunners (Bidowers)

Attackers: 1x Italian Knights, , 1x Mounted Crossbowmen, 1x Italian Crossbowmen, 1x Italian Bowmen (Bidowers), 2x Swiss Pikemen (Foot Yeomen with Moveable Shiltron)
Burgundian knights and X-bowmen meet the Swiss/Italians in the village square
Italian Crowwbowmen (old GW Dogs of War)
The Italian Knights quickly set fire to one haystack, but were counter-chraged and beaten to a man by their Burgundian counterparts. Meanwhile on the right flank, the Burgundian crossbows decimated the Mounted X-bowmen completely. On the other flank a Swiss Pike unit positioned itself next to a barn, awaiting the second unit of Burungdian Knights.
Burgundian Knights bravely/stupidly charging a Swiss Pikeblock
Killing the Italian leader in the shine of a burning haystack
The Burgundian Knights definitely won the game for me, as they defended the haystack (less one) and killed the Italian leader, as well as defeating the Swiss Pikes! The Bidowers and Italian X-bows exchanged some shots, but were not decisive during this game. The Landsknechts were bogged down in a cliff and came too late to participate in the fight, sharing this fate with the second units of Swiss.
Therefore it was a clear victory for my Burgundians, as I still had enough hay in the barn...
Knights beat Pikes, who would have expected that!?!

Last, but not least, was an 100 points introductory game of Team Yankee at my club. I was trying out some newly bought terrain (recognise the ALDI store!) and Soviet list, which combined Afgantsy airborne infantry with a reserve T-72 Tankovy batallion. My learning opponent was lended the American force of a friend, consting of two small company teams, one M1 Abrams and one Mechanied Infantry plus support in form of 2 Cobras, 2 A-10 Warthogs, 3 M109 Artillery SPGs and 4 VADS AA.
View of a beautifully layed out 1985s Germany battlefield
We were playing the "Brigdehead"-mission, so the objective for the Americans was to eliminate the dug-in Afgantsy before their armoured reinforcements arrived. They tried to encircle the Soviet from both flanks, but with no success. The M1 Abrams were blown  up by the Hind Helicopters and arriving T-72s, while the Desantniki infantry stubbornly remained sitting in their trenches all game.
Hinds blow up 3 M1 Abrams tanks from behind
In retrospective, my opponent (who was still learning the game of course) made two decicive mistakes: 

1. He moved his artillery in turn one, instead of starting to bombard my Afgantsy right away, because dug-in infantry is really hard to get rid off in Team Yankee anyway and American Artillery is just the way to do this effectively.

2. He positioned his only AA, the 4 VADS on his left flank to shred my infantry with it. Not a bad idea, but that left his right flank open to my Hinds. Positioning them in the centre to take on the Hinds first might have changed the outcome of the game immensely.
Dug-in Afgantsy await the final (and hopeless) push of the Yankke Infantry
Even a final push of two American Infantry platoons could not bugger the Soviet Airborne soldiers very much. To conclude, it was an all out Soviet victory ba the end of turn three. So remember, Hinds plus dug-in Desantniki are dangerous as hell...

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Burgundian Men-at-Arms & Swiss Pikes

While preparing a larger post of three game reports, here is a little peak at some units for Lion Rampant, which I finished a while ago. First there are two units of 6 Burgundian Men-at-Arms.

This is the 1st Company of Ordnance Men-at-Arms, which is lead by Jacques I. Mouton, seigneur de Harchies (on the outer left). I tried to differentiate the Men-at-Arms by painting schemes, so for this one I emphasized the red-yellow striped pattern.

Seigneur Jacques I. Mouton and his herold.
The rest of 1st company
Next up is the 15th Company of Ordnance Men-at-Arms in Charles the Bold's army. They are lead by Louis de Berlaymont, portrayed here with a fierce warhammer. For this unit I went with the classic Burgundian colour scheme of blue and whit with vermillion red saltires. All of these models are Foundry's Gendarmes. They are full of character and painted up nicley.

15th company in full array

All of these splendid models are Foundry's Gendarmes. They are full of character and painted up nicley. They will either fight as two 6-men units in Lion Rampant or may be fleshed up by some lighter Coustoulliers for larger battles with rulesets like Swordpoint in the future.

Finally, the Burgundians need opponents, so I present to you: the SWISS!
A block of 24 Pikemen, painted up in the colour scheme of the city of Berne, which was the main adversary of Charles the Bold during the Burgundian Wars. The models are Perry's amazing plastic 15th century mercenaries, which are not only nice miniatures, but also a lot of worth for little money.

The full Swiss pike block
I painted them years ago for my Warhammer Dogs of War army and recently touched them up as Bernese Pikemen with little to no armour, ignoring some of the sculpted leather jupons. In Lion Rampant they will  fight as two 12-men units of foot yeomen either as moving shiltron or experts, combined with the optional pike rule, giving them 3+ defense vs. cavalry. In larger games, I will use them as one big pike block.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Soviet Reinforcements for Team Yankee

This time just a short post about my recent additions to my Team Yankee Red Army.

First we have a platoon of Spandrel Anti-Tank Vehicles.

They are based on the BRDM-2 chassis and fitted with 5 launchers for the AT-5 Spandrel ATGM. Although they are lightly armoured, with 3 shots of AT 21 FP 3+ these will provide some heavy punch versus the M1s and Leo 2s out there. For only 3 points that's a no-brainer.

Second I added 4 of the delightful SA-9 Gaskin AA vehicles.

Again a BRDM-2 variant, but fitted with SAM-missiles on a rotating turret including onboard radar. With 2 shots and a firepower of only 5+ they are not they most fearsome AA asset, but they are cheap and a welcome partner for my Shilkas.

These Battlefront resin models are pretty neat and were easy to assemble.Just glue on the metal wheels and weaponry, finished. But the real-life costs are quite expensive, a plastic kit might have been better and will hopefully be produced by PSC soon.

Further Soviets will be coming soon, including VDV infantry, more BMPs, Storms, Geckos and 4 more Hinds.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

My Non-British Army of the Rhine

Starting my second Army for Team Yankee, as my Soviets need a NATO opponent, I chose the British Army (again, as with other periods, my anglo-philia breaks through). I first opted for the West Germans, but as I know three other Bundeswehr players already and the Americans are just not competitive at the moment, the Brits it should be.

But having a faible for the non-English parts of the British Isles, especially Ireland, it will be a Non-British Army of the Rhine based around the Irish Guards. And would could resist flying Scotsmen in Lynx Helicopters?

First up are the FV 432s, which will carry the 1st Platoon of the Irish Guards into battle. I really like how the green/black grey camouflage scheme helps the vehicles to blend in with the terrain at a distance. Should work even better when placed in wooded areas of the table.

The models are Battlefront's amazing plastic kit. Although assembly is a bit fiddly, the outcome is pretty nice. You also have the options build Swingfire ATGMs and Mortar Carriers with this kit, so I am sure, that I will have to build at least two more packs of them. But beware, the British decals are not the best quality and tend to tear very easily. 

I placed a tank commander on top of every vehicle, as it is important to me to emphasize, that it is real people, who are fighting, not just metal machines.

I also added a command vehicle with extra radios and stowage made by Armies Army. The model is full resin/metal and has slightly bigger dimensions than its BF cousins, but as it will be fielded as a transport for the company commander, this is alright.

Now, let's turn to the big guns. Although I will mainly focus on infantry with this force, I could not resist to buy some Chieftain MBTs. The BF plastic tanks look awesome and are quite an useful asset in the game. With two AT 22 shots (one when moving) and Front Armour 16 (17 with Stillbrew package) at 6/7 points, they are rather cheap MBTs and a must-have.

Although the Iron Maiden army book portays the chieftains as the 17th/21st Lancers, my guys are from the Royal Irish Hussars, who were part of the same division, and therefore sticking to the non-English theme.
I intend to use them either as integral and divisional support for the Irish Guards or as a small Armoured Company formation on its own, depanding on the scenario.

That's it for now, but there is some more stuff coming up, as I flesh up my Soviets and have also been working on some terrain and my Lion Rampant forces for the Burgundian Wars. So get excited!

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Wargamer's Holiday in Poland

So, after a two month break due to summer holidays and a lot of trouble at the new job, I am back with the blog. Before I return to the usual manner of documenting my painting and gaming progress, now for something completely different...

End of July we made a trip around our beautiful neighbour country, Poland. Here are some impressions, which might be interessing from a wargamer's perspective with a little bit of illustrating commentary. Our first stop was the capital of Warsaw:
The old city walls of Warsaw with bastion. An example of the so-called Brick-Gothic.
The monument in memory of the Warsaw Uprising during WW2 in front of the (at the moment highly debated) Polish Supreme Court. From 1. August to 3. October 1944 the partizan forces of the Polish Home Army rose up against the Nazi occupation forces. Although the Red Army was already waiting(!) on the other bank of the Vistula, the Polish fighters were beaten back and massacred by SS and German security forces.
The monument depicts the retreat of the partizans into the sewers of Warsaw

After two days in the Masurian Lake District and East Prussia, where I saw, why Poland was such excellent cavalry country (lots of flat hills and wide plains, only broken up by some dense woods), we arrived at THE WW2 TOURIST MAGNET in Poland: The Wolfsschanze. This was the HQ of Adolf Hitler and High Command of the German Wehrmacht during the campaigns against Soviet Russia.
WARNING: Visitors beware! The Wolfsschanze l lies deep in a swamp areal with A LOT of HUGE aggressive insects! But we were told, that these are very democratic insects, they sting everyone (except Japanese, who are too fast)!
Some American Reenactors with an old BTR
Flak bunker at the entrance of the Wolfsschanze
Former Officers' mess
Memory plaque of the failed assasination attempt on Hitler by Col. Count Stauffenberg on the 20th of July 1944.
A look inside the destroyed bunkers
The personal bunker of the Führer himself
A cut through the thick bunker walls of steel and concrete. Ironically built by the firm, my father used to work for.

Now the highlight of our trip, a visit of the Marienburg or Malbork. This was the HQ of the Ordensstaat of the Teutonic Order and the biggest fortress made of bricks worldwide. This is the incarnation of the so-called brick-gothic style, because there were not enough rocks in the region, the Teutonic Order built its fortress out of clay bricks.

Here are some thirteenth century reliefs in the main hall of Malbork depicting medieval battle scenes.

Some preserved medieval cannon balls made of stone.
A medieval helmet and shield in the quarters of the Hochmeister
The horses of some Teutonic Order reenactors
The Author on the chair of the Hochmeister of the Teutonic Order 

The final stop of our trip was the free city of Danzig/Gdansk. After some sights of the nightmares of every German Literature teacher (Günther Grass, Buddenbroks, Martin Opitz), we eplored the city for ourselves. Sadly it was raining cats and dogs, so the boat tour to the Westerplatte, the first battle of WW2, could not be made. But we saw the other place, where the first shots of WW2 were fired:
Memorial for the defenders of the Danzig Postal Office
Me posing with a giant rifle
Front view of the Danzig Postal Office
The battle of the Danzig Postal Office of some 50 Polish Militia, lead by Lt. Konrad Guderski, versus elements of the SA and SS Danzig-Heimwehr might be a scenario for me to stage on the tabletop with my Bolt Action Polish Army. The scenario is included in Warlord's "Germany Strikes!" campaign supplement.
The Danzig Museum of World War 2 is indeed a sellout!
The Author in a childrens' T-34 Tank!
After returning from Poland, I sat down at the painting table and had the inspriration to finally finish the last units of my Bolt Action Polish forces, which were waiting for one-and-a-half years. 12 Polish Cavalry Lancers of the 3rd Silesian Uhlans Regiment and a P11c Fighter.