Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Battle of Lake Erie - More Thoughts

A few additional ramblings about the Lake Erie project....

Found a cheap copy of Wooden Ships & Iron Men on ebay today, so I will be set with the rules.  I am hoping there is enough explanation of ships ratings that will allow me to extrapolate rigging, crew, and hull numbers, plus I needed a copy of the rules and charts anyway.  I've always liked WS&IM, but for smaller ships it loses something, so changing the gun weight factor from 100 to 25 will give the smaller vessels at Lake Erie some representation.

Years ago I picked up a vinyl Chessex Megamat with 1" hexes for a low price.  I've never used it, but now it will serve as a perfect gaming space.  The Warbases tokens I have ordered for use as bases are 40mm in length, which will be ideal for the 1" hexes (two being 50mm), without cramming the ships together when they are at close quarters.

After years I am FINALLY getting this project moving forward!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Battle of Lake Erie - Scale, Bases, and Rules

Having purchased ships for the Battle of Lake Erie in two scales within the last few years, I have decided to go with the Figurehead (aka Hallmark) 1/2400 ships as opposed to the Valiant 1/2000 Fighting Sails range.  The main reason is assembly.  The Figurehead ships are one piece castings, except for the 20 gun sloops, which have a separate main mast and separate sails for the rear mast.  Beyond that, it is simply mounting then onto stands and painting!  Or is it....

Warbases make custom acrylic tokens that one can have etched names added.  They did some great work for me on for a Balkan Wars naval project, so today I placed a custom order for clear bases with names for each ship at Lake Erie.  This means I will have to paint the ships before mounting them to the stands, a change for me.

Rules - Having recently played a game of Wooden Ships & Iron Men, I may tinker with them to increase the values of guns, hull, and rigging so as to represent all the vessels present.  WS&IM does have a Lake Erie scenario in the rules, but it only encompasses the five larger ships, and hence the Americans really lose on their broadside weight advantage.  Some discussion on the Battle of Lake Erie Yahoo group has lead to converting the broadside gun weights as follows:


As always, more on this once the bases arrive!

Monday, October 8, 2018

El Pueblo de los Condenados

The following is a true story, or not....

The village had been in existence for centuries, but it wasn't until the hated Spanish came and enforced their brand of enlightenment that the village took a turn for the worse.  Situated along a stream that flowed into the Frio River, the village had experienced droughts, famine, raids by local Indian tribes, debasement of the women, and forced conscription of the young men into first the Spanish and later the Mexican armies.  It is not a place that offers the prospect of a bright future, until 1835.

After the defeats at the Alamo and Goliad, the New Orleans Greys were not much of a fighting force, except for a small band of survivors that time has forgotten.  A little known account, written by the alcalde of the village, surfaced recently, providing evidence that some Greys escaped the Alamo and headed west and then southeast to join Fannin's forces.  Along the way they heard about the Goliad Massacre, in which additional surviving New Orleans Greys escaped to the west.  They met near the village, where the locals looked upon them as saviors...and then the Mexican Army came.

There was more than one Mexican force in Texas.  While Santa Ana's command was completely routed at San Jacinto, the another had crushed the Texicans under Fannin, and was still searching for other rebels.

A bit about the project....

The village consists of 15mm prepainted buildings from Empires at War, along with a fountain from Novus Design Studio.  I wanted a walled structure to serve as a sort of mini-Alamo, which is represented by the villa complex. 

The forces are comprised of New Orleans Greys and Mexicans from Blue Moon.  I was going to use the Fantassin (Capitan or WarModelling or Battle Models or Stonewall - pick a company!) Spanish-American War Cubans as locals, and while they blend decently well in terms of height and heft, the sculpting style doesn't lend itself to be used with Blue Moon.

For rules I may use Force on Force or another simple skirmish set.

Empires at War - Taverna

Okay, I have to say straight off that I am super disappointed with this one, to the point that instead of completing the build in one sitting, I had to walk away and finish it the next day.  The instructions are written in such an order that early assembly steps keep one from adding pieces later, because one cannot add doors and shutters to the areas now blocked off by the balcony roof that one is told to put on before the doors and shutters are added!  Yep, that's right.  You assemble the balcony roof, then are told to add shutters and doors, but there are windows and a door now behind the arches and below the balcony roof, making it nearly impossible to add the door frame and shutters to those now nearly inaccessible openings.  And, the upper door does not have a door that fits nor a door frame in the right size, as all three provided doors are one size and the smaller of the three door frames is still too tall for the doorway it is supposed to go around.  Hmmm, and the doors are also too large for the door in the archway area.  Arrrgh!  Let's try the back door...nope, too damn large!

The balcony is also frail to the point where it snapped while I was carefully removing the rail openings.  This is not a huge deal as I was still able to make this work, but be careful!  The balcony is also too small to place figures on, another let down.

The arch roof is not only too long, but the opening to allow a fit around the balcony floor is too large, leaving a noticeable gap.

While I would rate the first two buildings I assembled as four stars out of five (would be five, but they are really a tad too small for 15mm figures), the taverna receives two stars (because it still will serve a bit of a purpose, and is a nice looking building once completed).
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