Monday, September 18, 2017

Give-Aways, Working Days, and Blog Delays...

    Well, my freind Jon over at the Palouse Wargaming Journal is at it again... giving away free stuff, that is. That he's painting up a storm  of great looking troops is a given; when is Jon NOT doing that?

    To celebrate the 5th Anniversary of his blog, Jon is holding a drawing, giving away three $25 gift cards. The drawing ends September 22nd. To see the rules and enter the drawing, head on over to Jon's excellent blog. While you're there, poke a around a bit; there's plenty of good stuff in the 800+ posts there! Like Jon, one of the major benefits of my own blog has been discovering new friends around the world, and Jon himself has to be high on that list! Now, to paraphrase the contest rules from "Michael Feldman's Whadya Know?", "Readers who have won recently should sit on their hands and let someone else have a chance for a change." That would certainly apply to me, h$aving won two excellent books in previous give-aways of Jon's... To which I can only respond,
Fat chance, baby!"  I'm a cheap one, I am!  :-)

    It has been an uncharacteristically long time since my own last post. The main reason for that is simple; I have been working my rear end off, up to 15 hours a day, and often 7 days a week. Hopefully that will calm down soon!  I have not been completely idle on the hobby front, however. I will borrow a leaf from Jon's book by some WIP pictures.

This violet faced unit will be  the Reina (Queen's) regiment.

This red faced unit will probably be Cordoba.

This sky blue faced regiment will probably be Valencia. 

This green faced regiment will be Zaragoza.

I have already  primed the castings for 2 Militia regiments,. 2 Light Regiments, and 2 Grenadier battalions as well. The Spanish Festival is well under way here on The Danube!

"The Lonely Bull"
In addition to this great instrumental being the first hit for Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, it was also one of our stock numbers during my time  in the UConn Marching Band (1973 1976). I recall playing it in most of the shows and parades we did on Tour in Europe during the Spring of 1974, and it was always well  received. Frankly, I think our arrangement was even better than the original, but we did have the advatage of 160 musicians to play it!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Books and Plans for my Spanish Napoleonic Project

I took advantage of Osprey publishing's August sale (30% off most titles) to add some new titles to my collection, mostly focused on my Spanish Napoleonic project.

This was the key item I wanted.

I am planning on running a Peninsular War Snappy Nappy "Campaign in a Day" at Historicon 2018 in Lancaster, PA, and figured this would be an invaluable reference.

I am thinking of doing something set in 1809 or 1810. 

Late 1809 would involve rivalries among the Marshalate, independent Spanish army forces, Guerrillas, some Portuguese, and of course the British. 

Wellesley's landing in Portugal and the subsequent Talavera campaign of 1809 are a reasonable candidate; those plans yet to be finalized . 

Somewhat to my surprise, this book, which I have been trying to get for years, was in print and available, so I snapped it up, too. 

If you're going to do Spain, you have to have at least a few Guerillas!

I needed a 4th book for free shipping (and with the weight of that Atlas, free shipping was a must), so I picked up some inspiration for my 200+ unpainted Macedonian figures.

Another useful book I picked up many years ago, the story told more from the French perspective. 

One of the four plates in the book covering the Spanish.

These new, dark blue uniforms proved unpopular, and were probably never fully adopted. 

#3 out of 4 cpvering the Sopanish; the book includes may more plates covering the French, French Allies, British, and Portuguese troops.

Most of the information in my vintage 1969 French language Funken books holds up reasonably well, also (that in volume 2).

More Funken. 

I already had this book, and also volume 3, covering 1813 - 1814. I also will need to pick up at least 2 volumes of Sir Charles Oman's History of the Peninsular War as well. 

My present plans for my Spanish Napoleonic army (recalling that I call my units "regiments") are:

8 Line Infantry Regiments
One each of which will be Swiss and Irish. I have 4 units on the painting table right now, acquired from Miniaturas Dos de Mayo a few years back. IO have lead for two more from Brigade Games, purchased at Historicon in July. Eventually I will buy lead for the bother two, possible Brigade Games or Three Armies for those. 

2 Light Infantry Regiments
All lead on hand from Brigade Games purchase at Historicon (Tarletons). 

2 Militia Infantry Regiments
All lead on hand from Brigade Games purchase at Historicon. 

1 Grenadier Unit 
24 figures on hand from Front Rank purchase in 2009, enough for one company from each of the 8 Line outfits. That way I can field 2 smaller, 12 figure units if needed. They of course wear the spectacular bearskins!

1 Unit of Guerrillas
This may well be done as 2 small "units" of 12 figures each. 

2 Units of Dragoons
6 figures on hand from Brigade Games purchase, needs command (release pending) and 2nd unit

2 Units of Line Cavalry
6 figures on hand from Brigade Games purchase, needs command (release pending) and 2nd unit

2 - 3 Units of Light Cavalry
Possibilities include Garochistas Lancers, Hussars, and Cazadores a Caballo. No lead on hand.

3 - 4 Artillery Batteries
Lead on Hand from Brigade Games for 2 batteries minus guns. One will presumably be a 12 lber Foot battery

Command for the above
Have 2 figures from brigade games; extra cavalry officers will likely become Generals and/or ADC's (I use 8 figure regiments and Brigade Games cavalry figures come 3 per pack). 

TOTAL: roughly 264 infantry, 56 Cavalry, 26 crew, 8 Guns, 10 - 16 staff. I plan to have them all done by July for Historicon, and will doubtless run a tactical Peninsular War battle there in 2018, too. I have plenty of British and Portuguese painted already, not to mention French and French allies.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Battle of Napata - Confronting "The Alliance of Baal"

    Things were just not going well for Pharaoh Meh-hotep II. Having barely secured his succession to the throne, the life giving Spring flooding of the Nile had failed to materialize threatening famine by the end of the year. The priests of Amun were being faint in their praise of his divinity, looking for a bigger cut of the annual collection of taxes and tithes. The Kingdom of Judea was being a pest as always; it seems they actually believed in their so called one true God and objected to his attempts to pressure them into allowing the erection of  temples to some of the chief deities of Egypt - Amun, Ra, Set, and Ptah, on their lands. They would have to be dealt with later, as more immediate threats had developed. A rebellion by many of the always restive client sates of Egypt had sprung up. It was a motley collection including several tribes of the so-called Sea Peoples (the Peleset and Sardana), Nubians, Hittites and even Libyans, calling itself the "Alliance of Baal".

    Enemies to the East, West and South, unrest in Memphis and defiance from Karnak...what's a Pharaoh to do? Well, at least a nice war offered the prospect of uniting the various factions of the Kingdom! After authorizing  his scribes to release some of the royal grain reserves to the populace, and participating in the usual rituals at the temples, Mehotep mustered his armies and resolved to  met the Alliance head on, threatening their staging area at the walled city of Napata.

The battle of Napata - Egyptians foreground, the Alliance of Baal in the distance.

Another view of the battlefield just before the armies clashed; Pharaoh Mehotep II can be seen to the right near ground, leading the best of his chariotry. His scouts had determined that the enemy outnumbered his army, but that he had the advantage of more chariots than his opponents, and on this flank at least, better trained men and horses. Nearby was DIvision Amun (red), followed by Divisions Seti (blue), Ra (yellow), and Ptah (green), and then finally the other chariot wing of the Egyptian host. Mehotep was ready for battle, kopesh in hand.  

For their part, the Alliance of Baal, their leader's name having  been lost to history, deployed with their outnumbered chariots evenly divided between the flanks, and with one Division each of Nubians and Sardana, Libyans and Hitties, Tehenu and Peleset, and Canaanites.  

Ra himself looks down upon the field as his golden chariot traverses the sky. ( I opened the hatch to basement to help it dry out from some minor wetness.) Also seen is John, a new player to us from the next town immediately to our South. He commanded the left half of the Baalites, while Barry had the right half. I played Mehotep II with the left half of the Egyptians, while Jared drove his chariot from Tarrytown, NY to command the right half of the Egyptians. Neither John nor Jared had played To the Strongest! before. Barry had played once or twice before and watched a number of games at Historicon. As seen above, the Egyptians "won the toss" and advanced, Jared's troops in particular making a swift advance using Group Moves the first 2 turns. 

Mehotep takes advantage of the superior number and quality of his chariots to threaten the Baalite right flank. Both sides loose 2 chariots, but that makes the imbalance worse, the Egytians then outnumbering the enemy chariots four to two. 

Over on the Egyptian right, with less maneuvering room, the Baalite flanks stayed secure. 

Division Amun, under strength and feeling threatened! Both armies had were 225 points strong.

The other opposing infantry commands advanced upon one another as well. 

Baa-rry deploys some light infantry slingers to guard his flanks... just in case!

John plays it close to the vest with his outnumbered chariots, but seizes control of the Oasis. 

A while later, Mehotep has picked off a third Baalite chariot - four to one are odd much to the liking of the mediocre leader, and the fairly open space on this flank also increases the odds of his divine personage surviving the battle!

Slingers still protecting the right flank and rear of the Alliance's army. 

Jared's Divisions Ptah and Rah engage John's Hittites, Tehenu, and Peleset infantry.

My Division Amun (red) is melting away under the hot African sun... down to a single unit. and that disordered (scarab marker). Incredibly, this lone unit of the Division, with its Heroic General, would survive the battle. My Division Seti (blue) unleashes a hail of arrows at the enemy for several turns in a row, doing no discernible damage bat all!  Two units of Hittites, fearsome in melee but less stalwart under missile fire (no shields due to wielding 2 handed axes) threaten some weak archer units. If they can destroy the bowmen, the entire sector of the battle this side of the waddi will be devoid of Egyptian infantry, leaving Mehotep very isolated!

Ra's eye view of the battle. 

Fighting in the center. 

Mehotep maneuvers his chariot to threaten the rear of the sole remaining enemy on this flank, and its general. "We'll enjoy this!"

A tough slug fest in the center!

Flanks, flanks.. that's a lot of exposed flanks!

Having ridden down the last Baalite chariot on his flank, capturing their General in the process, Mehotep's chariots make themselves a thorough going nuisance, forcing almost an entire enemy Division to face to the right to protect themselves. 

Confused and desperate fighting continues in the center.

Baa-rry's slingers manage to pick off one of Mehotep's chariots after many shots. The furious Pharaoh   responds by charging them and crushing them beneath the wheels of his chariot... at least that's what the hieroglyphics on the stele will read! Continuing on, he reaches the gates of Napata itself. 

Their resolve shattered, the enemy breaks of and retreats (they were out of Victory Medals after losing 2 for the Chariot general and three for the camp). Mehotep II commissions an new bas relief at Thebes commemorating his victory, suitably exaggerating his personal prowess at every opportunity. Nothing less is expected of a God, after all!

We had fun with this game, which allowed my new Tehenu and Peleset troops to take the field. Jared and I hope to run  couple of games with To the Strongest with his middle school game club later this fall, and John is thinking of dusting off some Arthurian Roman-British and Pictish figures he has for use with the rules as well;  what more can one ask as follow up from a game, but inspiring more games?

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Tehenu Libyan and Philistine Lights and Leaders

The last (at least for now) of the Libyan and Philistine troops, followed by some group shots.

Tehenu Libyan Skirmish Archers

Once again, I drew some simple ink pen decorations on their "towels" 

Gotta make optimum use of those 30 figure bags of Old Glory troops, right?

These guys are clearly followers of "Sheik Yerbuty"!

Philistine  Skirmish Javelinemen

I used yellow feathers on the headpieces for these guys for variety. 

In"To the Strongest", Javelinmen can move forward and shoot as a single activation, which is handy when you're advancing. 

I added some detailing on the torso armor using a brown ink pen.

A Libyan General and a Hero. 

The general is placed upon a larger base, and the hero has flowers on the base to help distinguish them. 

Some red ink pen work on the Hero's robe...

and purple on the robe of the General. 

Philistine (Peleset) Hero and General. 

Same basing conventions as for the Libyans. 

Variations in their head dress and shields as well.

Varied torso armor, too. 

Group shot!

2 units each MI Bowmen and Javelin men.

one unit each Light Infantry Bowmen and Javelinmen.

plus 2 Generals and 2 Heroes; 60 figures in all. 

Tremble at our advance,  you soft men of Egypt!