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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Second Quarter 2021 Update: How's the Plan going?

"According to my notes, we are right on track."

Here is the plan I developed for 2021; let's see how it's going. 

1. The French and Indian War. His Most Catholic Majesty, King Louis XV has requested politely (something about it being a pain in my neck if I don't get going) that I finish the initial French force for the French and Indian War. I'm planing on using one of the suggested force listings from Rebels and Patriots:

a. Two units of Light Infantry at 6 points each (Compagnies Franches de la Marine). One is complete. I plan on doing the second unit of Compagnies Franches de la Marine during the 3rd Quarter.


b.  One unit of Skirmishers that are Sharpshooters at 6 points. Prepped and primed

See, I started them.

I plan on finishing them this quarter.

c. One Large unit of Aggressive Natives at 6 points. Complete!

2. The Great Game goes Hot! The Russian Empire vs. The British Empire in a fictional (and I mean fictional) war in Central Asia that impacts the British Raj. I'm planning on using both The Men Who Would be Kings and In Her Majesty's Name for all of the fun. It will take place between 1895 and 1920 so I can pick what figures I think look cool for the fight; in other words, be prepared for uniforms and troop types that don't go together historically (I said it would be fictional!). And what's not to like? It will have Wolseley Helmets (just like fezzes, Wolseley Helmets are cool), Russian spies, Political Officers, dashing semi-historical uniforms, Maxim Machine Guns, Pathans, Sikhs, Cossacks, Boris and Natasha, mustaches on stiff upper lips, etc. The conflict will start with a disputed succession of a princedom and a threat to the Khyber pass. The opening shots have been fired! 
Initial Russian Field Force: Complete! But . . . Force Creep! I'm going to add one more infantry unit plus some Regular cavalry and Cossacks. Gotta have cossacks!  

Well done General, we now have enough troops to deal with the Britishers and their lackeys.

The Izmaylovsky Lifeguards

The British Raj: The Initial Force complete - plus with an extra. As expected (see above) I'm expanding the British Indian Army with more Indian Forces. I completed a Princely State unit, Tribesman and will add two more Indian Infantry units and probably some Indian Cavalry (of course they will probably be Bengal lancers).

The 19th Punjabis

The 14th Sikhs

The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

Indian Army Maxim Machine gun

The Royal Regiment of Chaimbellistan

Tribal Infantry for both sides!

3. The adventures of the TFS (The Free Ship) Audacity. Rules will probably mostly be IHMN Edition 2 ( I also need to finish painting the Audacity). Painted and Complete!

TFS Audacity

Picture of Lady Helen Quartermain and some of her crew that was used in the Second Edition of In Her Majesty's Name.

 4. Paint some old GW Phoenix Guard for Honorable Son #5 (The Skirmisher). They will be used as some sort of elite infantry in Dragon RampantNot yet.
5. Try to finish the generic Scottish Infantry (two units) for my English Civil War project. If I really get on a roll, I'll add two units of Scottish horse and one Scottish Artillery Piece. The Scots are still waiting. I really need to get on this. The musketeers for the first unit are almost done but then I put them away. I think once the other items are done I will focus on the Scots.

This pike block has been finished for over 3 years. Time to get the unit finished and some more.
6. Keep my hobby self-funded primarily through the use of eBay Auctions. So far so good; even had a large commission this quarter to paint.

Ulysses Paxton, Llana of Gathol and a big green meanie as part of the Barsoomian commission.

7.Auctions to also help keep me funded:

Morgan's Riflemen

Agents of Justice!

Mysterious Masked Avengers!

Daughters of the Empire

8. Hey, I built something from Sarissa Precision:

9. And the famous Battle of Malana was fought, the first major engagement of the Anglo-Russian War.

10. The second engagement of the Anglo-Russian War was fought also; battle report to come in July.

Well, that's the plan so far through half of 2021. I hope you continue to have a great year of painting, collecting and gaming!

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Huzzah! British Colonial Field Force

Note: This is a repost from a couple of years back by request:

Huzzah!  A completed Field Force for The Men Who Would be Kings.  I have based my force on the British Army for the 2nd Afghan War, or really, just about any action along the Northwest Frontier from 1878 to 1900. Some of these units may find themselves in the Fictional Anglo-Russian War.

Somewhere along the Northwest Frontier.

The Field Force has 3 Regular Infantry units and 2 Crewed Weapons allowing me to use either an
Field gun or Machine Gun.  Eventually I will add a Regular Cavalry unit but first I want to finish my Afghan Field Force.

 The 14th Sikhs.  Figures are from Artizan Designs.

When I use the machine gun in the game I will add two of the crew figures from the field gun.  Machine gun from Copplestone Castings Back of Beyond range.

 Gordon Highlanders.  Officer, sergeant and piper from Perry Miniatures and other ranks from Artizan Designs.

 Piping Cock o' the North.

 67th (South Hampshire) Regiment of Foot.

 Officer from Artizan Designs and other ranks by Perry Miniatures.

Sikh Mountain Gun.

Figures by Artizan Designs.  Figure with rifle is a conversion with an Artizan head and a Copplestone Casting body.

I like adding "personalities" to my games.
Looking over the valley is Colonel Dugald Armstrong, VC, DSO and his daughter Coira Armstrong while Melton Prior sketches the scene.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Experimenting with Making Videos: Tin Tin

Tin Tin, Snowy, and Cora Armstrong boat down the mysterious river.

One of the things I like to do is spread news about our wonderful hobby and think of ways to do so. I have had my students (cadets) refight Shiloh using Fire and Fury, I have used AWI miniatures to recreate Cowpens for my Military History Class, I have taught course on wargaming to middle schoolers using One Hour Wargames. I have even used my figures to teach Sunday School and to talk to our church youth.

So here is another attempt that I have been using on Facebook and now I'm trying on this blog for the first time: A video (really a fancy slide show) of some of miniatures. First up is that adventurous and youthful journalist known as Tin Tin:

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Initial British Indian Field Force for The Men Who Would be Kings and In Her Majesty's Name

"Charlie look. The reinforcements have arrived."
"Yes Brigadier."
"It's a miracle."
"If it's a miracle, Brigadier, it's a short-chambered, Boxer-Henry .45 caliber miracle."
"I think we are in the wrong movie Charlie."

I have completed my initial Field Force for the British Indian Army for the fictional Anglo-Russian War using the ruleset The Men Who Would be Kings and some additional fun with In Her Majesty's Name. The initial force will be 24 points but will grow larger with the addition of the forces of the Princely State of Chaimbellistan and at least 1 cavalry unit (has to be lancers). If I reach 48 points anytime soon, I am definitely getting a mountain gun.

1. The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)Figures by Copplestone Castings.

2. 19th Punjabis Regiment
Figures by Copplestone Castings. Reporter (Mr. Kipling) is Artizan I believe.

3. 14th Sikhs. Miniatures by Pulp Figures.

4. Indian Army Maxim Machine Gun. Figures by Copplestone Castings.

 5. Honorable Mentions: The Royal Regiment of Chaimbellistan. Figures by Artizan and European advisor by Copplestone . . .

. . . and the local tribal infantry. Miniatures by Pulp Figures.

I can't wait for the next game!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Father's Day Musings

Once upon a time, there was a boy whose father gave him a copy of A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs and I was forever hooked. I traveled to Barsoom, and then Pellucidar and then the Hyberion Age with a certain famous barbarian who would be king.

It wasn't long after that I was in Lost Worlds, traveling with Lord Greystoke and fighting evil with The Shadow.  About the same time I discovered 1/72 scale Airfix plastic figures and a company called Avalon Hill. My father bought me my first board game, Stellar Conquest and I bought my second - Panzer Blitz.  Not bad for someone who was 11 . . . and the rest they say is history.

Fast forward to the age of 25 and I was an Infantry Captain in the US Army when I met my Beautiful Bride (The Chief of Staff and Minister of Finance). She thought my 15 mm Minifig 42nd Napoleonic Highlanders were "cute". I explained that they were accurate miniature representations of military soldiers from history . . . yeah, she bought that one.  Okay, they are toy soldiers.

 My Beautiful Bride (Chief of Staff and Minister of Finance), "Call it what you want, they are still toy soldiers and you are still playing with them."

Somewhere along the way my Beautiful Bride and I picked up 5 Honorable Sons: Honorable Son #1 (The Librarian), Honorable Son #2 (The Captain), Honorable Son #3 (The Engineer), Honorable Son #4 (The best 18th Century General that ever lived) and Honorable Son #5 (The Skirmisher). These were my geeks in training and over the years we fought many a battle through time and space.

 . . . and then Dad made a bone-headed move with his Tiger platoon and my T-34's smashed him.

Honorable Son #1 (The Librarian) got married to Daughter-in-Law #1 (The Doctor).

With Honorable Son #1 (The Librarian) I remember getting "for us" Games Workshop's earlier version of Space Marines (now called Epic 40K) for Christmas in 1994; he was 5 years old. He loved the plastic Titan that came with the kit and we spent many a night battling with Space Marines, Space Orks, Eldar tanks and giant robots with our own modified rules. I also remember about a year later when he accidentally knocked some Eldar scout stands on the floor and he stepped on two when he went to pick them up. He was upset that he had broken several of my figures. Not a problem I told him - with the broken figures removed, now the scouts look like they are spread out.
I also remember lining up my War of Spanish Succession troops with him and having a parade.

I remember a game with him when he was 8 or 9 when we were stationed in Germany. We were playing Fire and Fury (which I still think is the best war game rules for the American Civil War) and he was the Union and I was the Confederates. I had given him some basic lessons on linear warfare and the formations used for the game. To my surprise, he led with his artillery right out in front with his infantry trailing behind. I tried to unsuccessfully hint to him, that he might want to hold up and wait for his infantry to support his guns. I was unsuccessful in my suggestions on how his army should advance on the tabletop field of battle. I was determined to teach him a gentle lesson and seize his guns. As the soldiers of the South started to move into assault position and take the guns, I was dumb-founded as he calmly unlimbered his artillery batteries and decimated the gray and butternut hordes (Malvern Hill anyone?) that came within his range. My forces broken and his infantry advancing he remarked to me, "This is a fun game and I liked the way you painted the guys in the red hats (the 14th NY).

He always liked robots, Gundam, and Japanese anime. It was no surprise that during High School he decided to build Tau forces for GW's Warhammer 40K. GW pioneered the hobby with multi-part hard plastic figures which allow more figure variety and easier figure conversions. He wanted a unique figure for one of his squad leaders and I'll never forget how proud he was when he converted his first figure by cutting and repositioning an arm to hold a helmet - instant unique figure for his leader. But I won't mention how many times his Tau decimated my proud Imperial Guard (The Guard's motto: "If we don't take at least 85% casualties, we aren't trying hard enough!). 

When I was 7, Dad introduced me to Fire and Fury and I was the Union.  He told me I really shouldn't lead with my artillery . . . have I ever told you how Dad kept muttering it's Malvern Hill all over again?

Honorable Son #2 (The Captain) got married to Daughter-in-Law #2 (The Lawyer).  For him, the more figures on the dining room table, the better.  Whether it was the sands of North Africa (where in one game my Afrika Korps pulled defeat out of the jaws of victory against his Australians) to 5th Century Europe and into the ECW - this guy likes figures on the table.

Honorable Son #2 (The Captain) deploying his Aussies.  You play better with a hat.

 Honorable Son #2's girlfriend (now wife) asks: "Okay, explain to me again how a high school freshman beat a retired infantry officer and an Army cadet?"

Nothing fancy for us at all.  Just line 'em up and point them in the right direction - we are professional warriors after all!

Honorable Son #2 (The Captain) drinking his secret weapon - hot coffee.

During a Late Roman Civil War Honorable Son #2 (The Captain) crushed me.

Honorable Son #3 (The Engineer) married Daughter-in-Law #3 (The Social Warrior). He likes tanks. Lots of tanks. The more tanks the better. Did I mention he likes tanks. Gee, I wonder who built a World War II Soviet Tank Army? After Honorable Son #3 (The Engineer) got married, he and his beautiful bride (The Social Warrior) reintroduced me to board games and now I have a whole new genre of games that I lose at!

 Honorable Son #3 (The Engineer) showing me his new Mark III Ogre that he is about to crush my command post with this last Christmas.

 Leading the Soviet 42nd Guards Tank Battalion is Comrade Colonel Colinovskii. Colonovskii has seen victory slip from his grasp several times during the long war; would today be different? (you always play better with a hat!)

Honorable Son #4 (The best 18th Century General that ever lived) went to (insert Bama joke) Cow College. I have never beaten him in a game that had a musket in it. Really. The War of Spanish Succession, The American Revolution, Napoleonic, the American Civil War . . . I'm batting .000. I can't wait to try the French and Indian War against him once I am finished painting the French.

 Honorable Son # 4 (The Best 18th Century General who has ever lived) as the Imperial commander redeploying his infantry in response to my advance toward his left flank

On the right flank is my brilliant advance through the woods. Since all of the stands were touching I used one disordered marker to show that the entire division on the right is disordered because woods disorder close order infantry. One regiment of the Infantry division on the left and slightly behind the first division is also disordered. Please notice that Honorable Son # 4, the Imperial Commander, is patiently waiting for the slowly advancing French to emerge from the woods so he can blast me with his stationary line.

Sure I can beat him in WWII, but give him a musket and I am toast.

Honorable Son #5 (The Skirmisher) is still in college, is now the closes of the 5, and is forced, umm, I mean asked to play the most games now. He is also the famous Witch Kind of Sokar and we are rapidly working on updating our characters for IHMN2.
  "Yep, looks like line of sight to me," states Honorable Son #5 (The Skirmisher)

He's my Lord of the Rings player and GW's Lord of the Rings game plus Warmaster got him going with gaming.  Of all the boys, he really likes games where figures represent one figure but does enjoy the occasional massed battle - especially if there are elves, orcs and dwarves. Also you have to deal with his devastating wit during a game. I still convinced it was his wit that destroyed the Russian Forces at the recent Battle of Malana during the Anglo-Russian War.

 Our first skirmish game using Playmobile figures.

 You always play better with a hat on.

 Just when victory was in my grasp, Bolg (the army general) and the Goblin Guard were reduced to one stand.  Knowing that I would lose the game if Bolg was killed, I moved him and and the guard back behind a line of goblins.

Unfortunately there was a small gap and Gandalf the wizard cast a fire ball spell that caused 3 shooting hits - just enough to eliminate the last stand and Bolg with it!

Honorable Son #5 (The Skirmisher) advances his Uruk-Hai crossbows.

These are my boys and now I have daughters. God has truly blessed me. Happy Father's Day.