Sunday 29 October 2023

18thC India - Bagging the Baggage

Solo gaming has been noticeable by its absence here these past months and to be honest I can't remember when I last got a game in! But with the end of British Summer Time and SWMBO out for the evening, high time I thought to set up a simple game, mainly to re-acquaint myself with HoW and our on going 18thC India tweaks.

To keep things simple, both sides has the same number of troops, with the only difference being the better French artillery and any variance in the quality of the commanders. In the end the French ended up with a Dashing one, with everyone else being Dependable. The nominal fluff for the game was that some rhubarb was being transported along the road, with the French trying to capture it and the HEIC to rescue it. Simples.

An overview of the table, with the HEIC at the bottom and the French at the top. The board is 2' x 2'.

The end of Turn 1. Both sides advanced, except the French right flank that rolled Poor. The HEIC right flank got a double move, but the paddy fields slowed them down somewhat. Both sides artillery caused a few hits, nothing more.

The end of Turn 2. Both sides once again advanced and fire rippled out across the front, with the French getting the upper hand, forcing back one HEIC infantry unit to reform.

The HEIC Infantry have had to fall back to reform.

The HEIC struggling through the rice paddies and both sides begin to accrue hits.

The end of Turn 3. The HEIC left flank has fallen back to provide a better defensive line as the French push forward towards them. Both sides shooting is effective, with a unit of French Sepoys being Done For and a HEIC one having to fall back to reform, which is easier said than done with Inferior Morale.

The HEIC left flank in some trouble.

The HEIC Afghans have ahd to retreat to reform also.

The HEIC Light Cavalry hope they can move far enough to charge the elephant.

The French left flank in some trouble too.

The end of Turn 4. The French right flank once again rolled Poor to move and elsewhere there was little movement, other than the HEIC right flank pushing forward slightly. The French Artillery easily Routed the HEIC Sepoys who fell back through the HEIC Infantry, causing a hit on them.

The Sepoys rout back.

The HEIC right flank keeps putting the pressure on the French left.

A view of the French left flank.

The start of Turn 5. Once again the French right flank rolled Poor, whilst the HEIC attacked the French left flank in what was a bit of a confused melee.

This is all a bit 'Lionel Messi'.

The results of the melee, with the French elephant and HEIC Infantry Done For.

The end of Turn 5. Only the French right flank is still in good order.

The HEIC left flank try to form a cohesive line.

The HEIC right flank is not in good shape, but the French left flank is only marginally better.

The intact French right flank.

Early on in Turn 6. With limited movement, it was all down to the shooting. The French right flank lost a Line Infantry unit as well as their Brigadier, with the HEIC right flank losing their Sepoys.

The demise of the French Line Infantry and their Brigadier (red 6 die).

The Sepoys rout.

As do the HEIC Light Cavalry.

The end of Turn 6. The HEIC right flank is all but gone, with the French Light Cavalry having an open flank to exploit.

The HEIC Afghans trying to reform.

The only good defensive line left for the HEIC.

The open HEIC right flank as seen from the French left.

A view from the French side.

End of Game
With that the HEIC called it a day as they had no real prospect of holding on, given that their right flank was gone and the left flank was facing impenetrable jungle, leaving rambling Syd Rumpo and his carog of rhubarb in the hands of the French.

Post Game Thoughts
After so long away from the table, it was great to get a simple solo game in! A few quick thoughts on the game:
  • The tweaks we have made to the 18thC amendments seem to have worked well, but more on that in another post when I've had time to collate a few things. It certainly felt different to 'normal' SYW games though.
  • Having varying levels of quality for the Sepoys etc really does work a treat, with their Inferior morale making them much harder to keep in the fight, which feels right based upon what I have read.
  • The HEIC and French troops are to be used carefully, as although they are a lot tougher and more effective than the Sepoys, they can still be Done For quite easily if you are not careful.
  • The 2' x 2' was once gain perfect for this small game to test the rules. I probably had a bit too much terrain and could have reduced the number of units slightly, as it did feel a bit cramped at times, but minor issues and easily rectified.
  • Having re-read parts of the rulebook prior to the game, it is amazing what you pick up that you have simply missed before! An example being that a unit within 2cm (5cm in the normal rules) of the commanding General can rally off one hit. This helped keep the French Line Infantry on their right flank in the game, as it was enough to keep them from falling back to reform. Time for more -re-reads methinks!

With the evenings now getting dark much earlier, I hope to be able to resume my painting for these forces, as I have plenty sitting in front of me ready to go under the brush. I had hoped to get back to it ealrier but the unusually warm and sunny weather has continued here, with it not feeling like November is just around the corner!

Hopefully another game soon, most likely more 18thC India but maybe some BKCII, which rather shockingly I haven't played at all this year!

Oh and I must really get around to putting in a brighter light bulb in the dining room so these games don't look so dim.....


Saturday 28 October 2023

HEIC Factory

I've been meaning to take some photos of my finished Blotz mdf model that I picked up at a local wargames show in August. This featured in the recent game Dave and I ran at the CWD. Normally I go a scale down for my buildings, but at only £5.00, this was too good a bargain to pass up. I had planned to add more detail, but time was against me and I finished painting it the afternoon before the show! Still I don't think it looks too bad and am pretty pleased with the result.

The finished model with it's worn whitewash finish.

The fine surface polyfilla render applied to the walls has worked a treat.

I had planned on painting the door and entrance facade with Indian style decoration.

The rear of the factory compound.

Some 10mm figures to help give it a sense of scale.

Fortunately the width is just big enough for my 40mm wide bases.

Having a bigger courtyard than I would normally get with 6mm buildings, means I can populate it a bit, which is nice.

In terms of painting, this was the process I followed:
  • Everything was given a black undercoat, which helps seal the mdf, making it easier to paint the follow on colours.
  • The buildings and walls were given a good coat of beige, from a random DIY tin I had lying around.
  • These were then given a good coat of undiluted Devlin Mud wash, which was allowed to dry thoroughly.
  • The walls and buildings were then given a dry brush of GW Bleached Bone (or the current equivalent), making sure that the strokes went vertically on the walls, as anything else looks wrong. This helps to give the impression of rain staining the walls which naturally runs down them!
  • Finally a rough drybrush of white was applied, varying the amount in places to help give that weathered and worn look. 
  • The wooden beams were given a dot of dark brown to make them stand out against the white. I wasn't too precious about any white showing on them, as whitewash and plaster gets everywhere.
To be honest when I started painting, I thought that it was going to be a horrible mess, as I was in a bit of a rush. Fortunately the process worked well, as I'd used this technique before, but the pressure of the occasion made me doubt it!

As mentioned above, I had planned on adding some Indian decoration in places, but actually not having the time to do it means that this can be used for Siciliy or North Africa, for the odd game where it might be appropriate.

So I hope you like it and found how I went about it useful. For the first time in ages I've got a small solo game planned and set up, which is fun, before I sit down and watch the final of the Rugby World Cup. I hope it's a cracker but the weather might be iffy in Paris, whichs is a sahme, as watching the All Blacks in full flow is sublime, or the South African winger Cheslin Kolbe who is scarily fast.


Wednesday 18 October 2023

Welcome to the Jungle

On a bit of a post show wind down, I thought I'd take a few snaps of some of the stuff that was made and painted for the sure, both terrain and figures. So here you go:

Jungle bases with some figures to give an idea of scale.

A mix of aquarium plants bought from ebay. Time prevented me from painting them as I had planned, as they take acrylic paint really well.

Palm tree bases, again an ebay purchase.

A mixed bag of sizes, as I wasn't sure which would work best, so may order some more in the future, now that I know height wise what works best.

I managed a quick drybrush of these, but again had planned a proper paint job.

Some Magister Militum elephants with Afghan jezzails troops stuck inside.

Lovely sculpts bought years ago, that took some sticking together and filling the gaps, but the 12mm size made it easier to add in the 10mm figures.

Choosing the colours too some time, but am happy with the result.

Ottoman siege gun masquerading as Indian heavy artillery. I just love this model so chose it over the more appropriate heavy gun in the Pendraken range.

The gabions were some 15mm miscasts bought at Colours some years ago now.

Some of the Indian Sepoys.

In the end I went with simple flags due to time issues and that they sort of linked in with the Afghan light infantry ones.

My HEIC troops.

The flags are from David at Not By Appointment Blog fame. Sadly my printer was not playing ball, so had to hand overpaint these at the last minute. Fortunately they look fine on the table but don't do justice to David's excellent work. 

Some of my Indian command bases.

Despite all of my planning and starting the project early, or so I thought, real life issues meant that it was a tad rushed towards the end. The good thing with 10mm figures is that any problems on the paint front simply disappear once they are on the table or even at arms length.

Still, I have plenty more units to paint up, but can take my time now, but hope to finish the core force before Xmas. At least I have enough now to play some small games to carry on testing out our rules, but more on that in another post.