Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Fort Laurens Project

For years I have tinkered with doing some sort of Revolutionary War scenario set in the west, west being at the time anything beyond the mountains of the eastern United States.  There are some options that folks do not realize, like Crawford's Defeat, George Rogers Clark's taking of Fort Sackville, the Battle of Peckuwe (Piqua), the Battle of Blue Licks, and other small actions in Kentucky.  Recently I visited Fort Laurens (well, the site of Fort Laurens as there is no fort to visit) and it has me interested in doing some sort of project based on the Fort Laurens "campaign" of 1778-79.

I have a slew of Blue Moon 15/18mm AWI figures already, many that I believe would be suited for the 8th Pennsylvania (officers in regimental coats, soldiers in mostly rifle frocks) and the 13th Virginia (blue regimental coats faced yellow).  I will have to see what I have for British officers and natives.

As for the fort itself, that becomes a bit more problematic.  Blue Moon produces some very nice frontier fort pieces, but many of their offerings aren't quite right for Fort Laurens, a couple of differences being the angled bastions and the single story barracks at the fort.  Yes, I could try to build my own fort, but I do not have the space to work on such a project, and really do not have the skills to pull off something respectable .  I could settle for what I can create with the Blue Moon pieces, but as mentioned the bastions and blockhouse would have to be somewhat different.  Doable I guess!

As always, more on this as I push forward with this and about a million other projects!

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Second Barbary Coast War

Time to get this project moving forward!  I have the terrain for North Africa, so just need to paint the figures and the Martello Tower from Thoroughbred and I can start hosting events.  So this weekend I spent getting the American Marines and their adversaries mounted onto 15mm round Litko bases in preparation for priming.  I am going to try a different method of painting these figures, taken from Legio Wargames, using a white primer (I usually go with black or dark gray) and the "secret ingredient" trick of washing the figure after priming and before base coating.  I typically prime, paint all areas, then wash.  I do not do outlining nor block painting, so attempting a new method is a bit daunting, but it will perhaps lead to a nicer looking figure.  Of course I will get a few pics posted on this painting process once I get to that point.

The American marines will look prim and proper in their navy blue jackets trimmed with red collar and cuffs and highlights of yellow braid, along with white pants, with reversed jacket colors for the drummers.  The Barbary pirates will be a mix of primary colors and I cannot wait to start painting them to see what I craziness I can create.

For rules I am still planning to do some sort of modification of Force on Force, but I am also willing to entertain suggestions.  Rules should cover morale, give different weapon ranges, use individually mounted figures, can handle large fortress guns (and eventually small ship bombardment), as well as house to house fighting (which is why I think Force on Force should work decently well).

Some resource links:

Monday, June 13, 2016

Basing the Legion - Part I

As you can tell by the lack of specific focus on this blog, I do have a bit of a problem staying on task when it comes to the hobby.  There are so many cool periods and so many fine manufacturers of these cool periods it is difficult not to stop and go "oh, shiny."  I am guessing that many of you have this same syndrome.

Back to the Legion of the United States...I simply must get something rolling with this period as the uniforms scream "oh, shiny" and there are great possibilities for skirmish, quasi-skirmish, and battle gaming, against pretty darn good native forces, that it just begs to be gamed!  Plus, I live near many of the sites and can visit them to wax my interests when needed.  Road trip, anyone?

I have settled on using Gettysburg Soldiers for the rules, at least at the moment.  I even came up with mods for GS to game the Legion that can be found on the GS forum.  Rules?  Check!

To mount the Legion and their Indian enemies, I will need to consider the GS rules guidelines for mounting and see if they will work with the Frying Pan & Blanket figures I am going to use.  What are those guidelines?  As follows (from the GS forum):

The Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery bases in our personal collection all have one (1) inch wide frontage.  The depth of the bases depends on types of figures.  Infantry can be 1" x 1", Cavalry can be 1" x 1.25" to accommodate the horses, Artillery Limber with Horse Team might need 1" x 2.5".

Okay, that is simple enough, and very much like Fire and Fury, a set I use for the Civil War, but....I had proposed the following mounting for my 1794 modifications as I think two ranks of figures simply look better:

93. Infantry are mounted on a ¾” wide by 1” deep stand, with four figures (two in first rank and two in rear rank). Cavalry are mounted on a 1” wide by 1” deep stand, with two figures. No need for dismounted cavalry figures. Scales have not changed…one stand is still 50 men and one inch is still 25 yards.

I will have to pull out the figures to see what will fit on a stand and what does wind up looking better (leaning towards the two ranks of figures, but might have to go to a one inch square stand to make the figures fit).  

For the Natives, there are a ton of options.  I could go with a scattering of figures on a one inch square stand, or mount the Indians individually and use horde type movement trays, but then that would most likely cause a frontage issue.  For the Wabash and Fallen Timbers battles, the Indians used (or tried to use for the latter battle) a crescent formation...basically one long angled line.  I believe that best be suited by two figures on a stand, in a single, slightly non-straight, rank.

Stay tuned as I tinker with the figures this week and settle on a mounting system!  Regardless of size, I will be using Litko bases, most likely in the 1.5mm thick plywood they offer.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Plum Point Bend - Part I: The Union

A multi-part series for my first foray into 1/1200 Civil War naval gaming....

I have settled on the Battle of Plum Point Bend as the basis for for my Civil War naval gaming.  

While the new range of Thoroughbred 1/1200 scale American Civil War vessels is currently a scattered mix of brown water and coastal offerings at the moment, I do want to start focusing my efforts on the first project I will work on using these ships and Smoke on the Water rules.  I have already purchased seven Cairo class ironclad gunboats from Thoroughbred, and using these as the basis for scenarios, will start a Plum Point Bend project.  Plum Point Bend sees six Cairos in action (Mound City, Carondelet, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Cairo, and the St. Louis). Of course I am going to need a lot of other ships for this battle, and there are other companies offering some proxies for the various Confederate gunboats and the USS Benton, but I would hate buying other ships to only replace them in the future with further release from Thoroughbred.  I do have a few of the Titan resin ships, and they are rather inexpensive if I need to purchase more to fill in any holes until Thoroughbred releases the appropriate castings.  I would need to pick up their Benton, and that would complete the Union vessels needed for Plum Point Bend.
Titan's USS Benton
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