Bolt Action ACW Rules

Monday, 20 September 2021

The 2nd Italian Wars Campaign

 As autumn draws in it is time to pick up the wargaming baton again. I've played a few battles of the last month or so, including 2 epic 10mm 7 Years War battles against Matt. These have been the highlight of wargaming and exactly how I imagined wargaming to be. Massive armies with sweeping attacks and valiant defence.

The bug is back, although still not painting manically. I have decided to play another solo Italian Wars campaign. I made a few tweaks, extension to the wargaming table (you may spot it) gives me a 6 by 3 table, more points for the terrrain and therfore bigger armies. I have added a campaign set of rules on the blog pages (see top a page).

The new map. 4 of the 4 states can field 2 or 3 armies and Bologna can only field 1 so is vulnerable.
The campaign starts slowly with peace between all the nations and an alliance between Milan and Bologna. The the Pope dies and all hell breaks loose. There is war between Bologna and the states of Venice, Genoa and Florence. Milan sits it out as it currently has good relations with all states but the war will change that quickly.
Bologna needs to attack quickly and attacks it nearest neighbour Florence while Venice and Genoa start to probe the Bolognese borders. The 2 armies meet outside Florence. Bologna can only field 1 army but it is 1/3 bigger than Florence can field. A decisive victory here could knock Florence out of the war quickly.

The battle field. both flanks are cavalry heavy

The Bolognese centre has massed pike blocks

Whereas the Florentine centre is very weak with lots of cannons. Hopefully they can thin out the pike blocks sufficiently to make a difference. So the flanks will control the battle. if Florence can win then the blocks will be very vulnerable, but if Bologna wins the flanks then the battle is over

Both sides advance

On the Bolognese left knights clash

Epic dice rolls from the Florentines rout one unit  and waver another. This side looks doomed for the Bolognese

On the right Florence has done similar. I unit of Bolognese demi lancers is very battered and 1 unit of stradiots has been routed. This is going to be an epic victory for Florence
On the right the stradiots and demi lancers have seen off the knights, my nerve rolls were terrible all game and if you said boo to a unit I would rout then
As we left it on the left the Florentines were about to rout the Bolognese knights and they charged in, causing huge wounds. The Bolognese knights have 18 wounds and can only survive if they roll a double 1

Which they do, unbelievably. They smash back into the Florentine knghts rout and Bologna holds both flanks

The same knights then despatch a unit of wounded halberders

The pike blocks advance and the Florentine army decides enough is enough and leaves with undue haste

I do think the pike blocks look cool.

This was a decisive victory for Bologna and the Florentine army is chased back to it's capital. The Bolognese follow up, capture a town, giving them an extra army, and besiege Florence. Florence has another army but can it beat the larger Bolognese army and lift the seige. Can Bologna capture Florence and knock them out of the game before Genoa and Venice pounce.
This was a great little battle with massive ebbs and flows. This is going to be a good campaign and the outcome could all have swung on a double 1.

Saturday I recieved very sad news that Noel Williams had died suddenly. Noel was a professional poet and a participant in the Analogue Painting Challenge and will be remembered for his great flights of fancy, tremendous wit and enormous painting output. He will be sadly missed.

Sunday, 15 August 2021

WW2 US Armoured Infantry Platoon

 So Matt you were correct, I've finished my platoon. My US armoured infantry platoon, circa 1943/43 is kinda done.

The full force is 5 M3A1 Half tracks (Warlord) each armed with a .50 cal HMG, the gunners made from the bits box

Infantry section, 8 men, inc BAR and rifle grenade, and a bazooka.

Another 1. All the infantry are from the Parry's plastic box (except 2 I had knocking about). For North Africa there were bazookas but nobody had training so rifle grenades were used and 37mm AT gun. The 37mm AT gun was a permanent feature throughout the war even though it was obsolete vs tanks. Need to buy one. 

Command platoon with officer and sniper

Macine gun section with 2 .30 cal

Mortar section. Only 8 figs in this section so 37mm AT will join these

Couple more shots

Really liked painting these. Will need more troops to make our usual sized battle, 20-24 units (currently 17) and have found some Shermans to add to mix. Next stop North Africa, or Italy

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

US APCs - or how I decided never to do decals again

 I had a thought. For my next project I would do a US Infantry armoured infantry platoon. US forces are not often on our battle fields and I've always thought they looked cool, too much time watching the Bridge at Remagen and Kelly's Heroes.

So a platoon is 56 figures in 5 M3A1 half tracks. I bought the halftracks from Dice and Decks - limited range but very cheap, they are the Warlord ones, and I bought a US infantry box and 60mm mortar from Perrys. Whole force will have cost £90 plus the tanks I'll get. I want Grants (or Lees - can never remember which was US and which was Brit and can't be bothered to look it up), however they only fought in North Africa and I want to use them for all the war. I'll probably end up with Grants and Shermans!

On to the pictures

The models were OK to build, provided you don't follow the instructions too closely. There are extensive decals and i added some of these, however the hood star was too big for me to apply without wrecking and therefore I used the last intact one as a template and handpainted them. Liberal dry brush hid the fact the stars were not that star like.

All have .50 cal HMGs and I made the gunners from the spares box. In theory each APC could have 3 additional .30 cals but that seemed a bit mad and so I gave the APC carrying the 30. cal section 2 extra ones to represent these guns.

Overall pretty pleased

Not content with WW2 APCs I had 1 more Vietnam vehicle to paint, a Gage Commander. This is from Empress and is a nice model
There are loads of pictures of these nad only found ensignia and marking on MP vehicles so let them off

It did get a name though, Lil' Abner. The crew were extra from Empress

Overall it's a nice model but as it's resign the flanks are too smoother to dry brush

Right off to paint US infantry

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Battle of Leuthen 5th December 1757

 Yesterday I travelled over to Matt's to play our 1st 7 Years War battle. We both have significant Austrian and Prussian forces, and this would be our 1st major battle. We would also be using Honours of War rules, my 1st time and Matt's biggest battle wth them.

As usual we went big and Matt had planned out the Battle of Leuthen in winter 1757. Weather was nice so we played in his garden "pavillion" on a 12 ft by 6ft table. However the sunshine made photography shady

The whole battle field, told you it was big and in the shade. Prussians on right (sunny side) and Austrians to the left (in the shade)

The Austrians hold a very strong position on a long ridge. They knew the Prussians were opposite but their position is strong and why would the Prussians attack in winter. THe Austrians has so many men that we had to use markers for 2.5 brigades until sufficient Austrians had died that the figures could be recycled. Shouldn't take long for that to happen

Austrian centre, very powerful. THe Austrians were confident and had sent their grenadiers back to the regiments and left most of their artillery elsewhere!

THe Austrian flank around the village of Sagschutz is held by inferior Bavarian and Wutternburg troops. Frederick, in a masterstroke (you can imagine him telling his audience this) has moved his army round to the flank and was about the launch an smash into the Austrians. THe Prussians had more guns, better troops and during activation generally got the 1st go. Each brigade is activated in turn and on a 6 get a double move. For the Austrians this double move also applied but on the roll of 1 the brigade remained stationary.

THe Austrians rush to change direction and face the Prussians around the village of Leuthen

Austrian heavy cavalry advance over the hill

Prussian heavy cavalry advance towards Sagschutz

Prussian infantry and cavalry advance on Sagschutz.

4 cavalry brigades face each other in the centre while light brigades skirmish

THe Prussians kick the Austrians out of Sagschutz

THe cavalry clash.

And then there were no photos.
So the cavalry have clashed in the middle and it was pretty much a draw with the Prussian heavy cavalry brigade getting a mauling.  Both sides attacked again but one of the Austrian brigades failed to activate and their counter charge went in unsupported. The result 2 broken brigades, 1 each, but the remaining Austrian brigade in a very bad way. THis would have been OK but the supporting infanry also failed to activate.
In the next turn the remaining Austrian cavalry brigade failed to activate and sniping from the nearby village routed a regiment and the brigade folded. The Austrian advance had been halted.
Back over at Sagschultz the Bavarian and Wuttenburgers had fled and the Austrians launched a cavalry charge, supported by infantry against the advancing Prussians but both brigades were lost. The Prussians held the village but there were still 2 lines of Austrians facing them so they would get no further.
More Prussians had flanked the village and advanced directly on Leuthen and the Austrians unleashed hell on hte front Prussian brigade. Now in HoW 3 wounds makes regiment less effective, 4 makes them retreat out of range and 5 routs the unit. More than 50% loss of a brigade routs the brigade. The Austrians routed 1 regiment and forced the other 4 to retreat, the brigade held. Unbelievable!
At that point the day ended and we totalled up the roster. THe Austrians had lost 6 brigades to the Prussians 1. Whilst the Prussians had to take the villages on hte ridge and got nowhere near as the Austrians still had almost as many troops left at he end as the Prussians had at the start, but the butcher's bill made it an obvious Prussian victory.
It was a great game and I really like the rules, as always with rules we got a couple of things wrong but nothing important I don't think. Where did I lose? Detail in the brigade actions was my downfall, especially in the counter charge. Need to pay more attention here.The failed activations didn't help, but that is war and didn't impact the final result, just the size of the loss.
There are a couple of things that I didn't like. Cavalry don't charge infantry to the front very successfully and I would remove the charge bonus here. In 7YW the cavalry fought the cavalry and then the victors flanked the infantry. The other point is that Austrian Hussars were really great (they are Hungarians after all) but the rules made them inferior troops. I would have made them normal ability (they are light cavalry after all). This was not important in hte battle but did bug me.
Overall great. 
P.S. I had played the 7YW battle the day before on my way back from holiday against Dave but eff'd up my deployment and got killed, so we shall gloss over that. 

Monday, 10 May 2021

Mad Painting Week

 I've had a busy teaching week and the weather has be weird. Bright sunshine punctuated by very heavy hail showers and far too cold for May. So I unpacked my painting head and knuckled down

My WW1 Dunsterforce is nearing assembly. These are the last of the Turkish Infantry. Gripping Beast via Colonel Bill.

Then some Anzacs, not really relevant to Battle of Baku, but useful for greater Mesopotamia battles

Next up more figures for the Italian Wars. I noticed that during the last seige the defenders had 2 regiments of mounted knights. These not a great amount of use, so I picked up some dismounted knights from Pendraken. These are 2 troops

THe rest I made into a regiment of foot knights.

Now for Swiss Halberders, 2 regiments and useful standard infantry types for messing up, or protecting, the flanks of pike blocks

And finally all 10mm Italian wars army needs a steam punk adventurer with 2 tame komodo dragons, from Gringos40

All in all a very productive week.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Rebuilding and Instantly Mining the Lead Mountain

 By the end of the Challenge I'd levelled my lead mountain. So I've been shopping and bought stuff to start to stock it up.

Obviously I immediately started to paint them

1st up another map. This one is for Vietnam, although most of it could double for North America and Europe. There are 5 Vietnamese villages, 2 fire bases , a US HQ, tarmac'd road and some girder bridges. I really love making these maps and have get another 200 hex bases to make more of everything and desert version

As it's a map it needed counters. These are from Magister and there are 6 Hueys, 8 Skyhawks, couple of boats, M113, couple of downed helos and bases for USMC, US LRRP, NVA, VC and civilians

I've been looking to complete my Turkish WW1 force and these 30 Kurdish irregulars will almost do it. The rest are on order. These are actually Northstar SCW Morrocans but the differences are minor. 

I've given each section different coloured flowers for ID

I can now field a massive Turkish army for WW1 and RCW. I know you say "complete - Ha" but it's now almost too big for a bolt action battle and the drawer is full

Finally I had a delivery from Pendraken and it included this windmill which arrived pre-painted. it's a lovely model but big for 10mm, esp as I've been using 6mm buildings. Th.e figures with it are 15mm

Right I got some more 10mm Italian Wars figures to paint to complete that collection, that drawer is overly full, God knows what I'll paint for the next challenge. I'm overly concerned it may be something ridiculous, OK more ridiculous