Monday, 30 September 2013

The retreat continues... Another 1812 game report

As most of you know already a friend of mine and member of our THS wargaming club is working on a Napoleonic skirmish ruleset covering Napoleon's retreat from Russia in 1812. Besides the pleasure to add some research I have the honourable job of a guinea for his rules and scenarios. If you have missed it you might want to have a glimpse at the previous AAR here.

Anyway on Saturday we met with four players and Bernhard as gamemaster to play the scenario "Cabin in the woods" which was set on 19th Novemver 1812. It was our mission to reconnoitre a small, cosy hamlet in the woods and secure it as bivouac for the following Grande Armée. Sounds rather easy, doesn't it?

But after we took a look at the hamlet we got suspicious because of the French body lying around...
The hamlet... Looks rahter cosy apart from the unlucky Frenchmen here and there...
Anyway we had to proceed since tempreture was dropping below -15 °C and at nighfall any kind of shelter would be vital. So we discussed our tactics...
Some veterans of the Old Guard discussing the best way to advance. The drummer doesn't look too excited...
... and started our advance.
The Old Guard takes the lead. With their grumpy drummer still slightly sulking...
As expected we didn't reach the hamlet as unchallanged as the scenario introdution promised. Our gamemaster added some of Westfalia's sledge cannons (available here) to his collection and was keen on usung them. The Russians hiding in the northern forest dragged one with them. But they didn't anticipate our courage and speed. The two squads which guarded our right flank reconnoitred the cannon, ruhed forward and overwhelmed the surprised crew before they were able to fire the gun.
Outnumbered cossaks without any opportunity.
In the next turn we manned the gun, turned it against some Russian jägers which followed the gun and wiped them out with their own shrapnel shot. Quickly we reloaded the gun and took it with us. An unexpected but very pleasant beginning...
Our stragglers have a new toy...
Meanwhile some melee arose on our left flank. Fortunately this was the area which our veterans from the Old Guard overviewed. Quickly they chased the attacking cossacks away and cleared the way to the hamlet.
Three guardsmen finishing off the last cossack.
Our troops were strapped for ammunition so we headed directly towards the caisson in the middle of the village. Unfortunately it was empty and we had to search the surrounding sheds to find some ammo. Finally with success fortunately.
My group of veterans entering the hamlet and heading for the caisson.
Afterwards we noticed some figures creeping ddep in the forest around us. First we though that might be the wolves we cast out the village but we realized that there were more Russians approaching. Willy-nilly we had to prepare ourselves to defend the hamlet which should house our following comrades this night.
Finally we used the caisson as barricade. Undangerous since it was empty anyway...
Thankfully we had the captures sledge cannon and further three charges for it. Foresightedly we brought it into position at the Western end of the hamlet were most of the enemies were coming from.
Our brave guncrew...
But suddenly some more cossaks attacked the village from the rear. They set up another sledge cannon with surprising speed and fired a shot of the hut in which five or six of our soldiers were seeking some warmth. But incredibly they missed!

Afterwards things developed very quickly. Against the darkening sky we meant to spot the first succeeding troops. With our last efforts we made an excursion and attacked the gun crew who was trying to load the gun nervously. Especially the veterans of the Old Guard proved their priceless value. They drove into the enemy lines like a group of reapers and slaughtered the attackers on either flank.
The figures were glued to the base but the two Frenchmen had killed the crew as well as some attending Russians.
After an intensive round of shooting and melee more than a dozen of enemies lay slain. Only a few lucky cossacks stumpled away and vanished in the dark of the woods and the setting sun.

Finally we heard our comrades from the retreating Grande Armée arriving. Mercifully we already occupied some of the shed to house us this night because some of the poor fellows who arrived now had to spend the night crowded around campfires but exposed to the bitter cold outside...
"There... I see Egles advancing!"
Anyway after all it was a very entertaining game with an extremely nice group of people. Our gamemaster lead the game experencedly but we were able to surprise him here and there. Overall it was a splendid success for a beaten and tattered army...

Hopefully we'll find the time to play another game soon. If you're interested in the setting and the narrative set of rules then be a little patient. With some luck it might be published next year...

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Join Anne's Double Tripple (not secret any longer) Give Away !

Lovely Anne O'Leary is organizing a recent raffle:

Actually it's a joint project of hers and author Patrick Hatt who sponsered some of the prices. You can find Mr Hatt's Amazon Writers page at Please have a look at his Amazon-page or his very own homepage (here) where he's presenting his works. Most of them nicely illustrated children's books. Or have a look at his blog "It's Rhyme time" where Pat publishes his poems regularly.

However besides this precious information you can get plenty of excellent prices. So have a look at her annoncement here.

I whish you a lot of fun with Pat's work and good luck with Anne's raffle !

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Knights and Vikings - Back from the middle ages into the dark ages...

After an exciting and entertaining weekend I returned to work and workbench on monday. But besides worries monday ended with a nice session of volleyball. Finally after the long summer holiday the school gym where we play is available again.

But afterwards I turned my eye to the dark ages and started to build up some plastic vikings from Gripping Beast's excellent viking hirdmen box.They shall become the base for a SAGA warband and present the hearthguard and maybe some warriors. To make them stand out a bit I planned to make cloake for the hearthguard. Just a humble sculpting job but I'm rather satisfied.

Last week some of you asked me to present some pictures of the LARP event we visited last weekend. Actually I don't want to wander too much from wargaming but here are some impressions of the things I do besides painting miniatures:
A shot of my lovely wife and me last weekend.
Our daughter with dress, gugel and coat.

Please note that it's LARP what we do. So it's not seriuous reenactment.

That means for example that our coats of arms are rather fantastic than historically correct in any regard.

This time it was a really small convention with familiar atmosphere. We met the people we have used to play with for years and celebrated a bit. Two nice evenings with friends, wine, mead, good food and a interesting story about a knight who was replaced by a doppelgänger. Although LARP stepped to the background among my hobbies I love it to visit this special event with my dear wife each year. Meanwhile there some couples who bring their kids along so we took Viktoria with us this year and she had a lot of fun with her friend Birk.

But sometimes we are obliged to pitch a tent somewhere. In this case at a tournament we helt this spring:
Our camp... Fortunately a knightly brother of mine granted me shelter in his tent...
Although they have become rare meanwhile I had some wilder days in LARP. Some years before I visited rather action oriented events more or less regularly. By now I leave this to the younger players mostly and concentrate on events which I could share with my wife and daughter but sometime the old habits come up and we hit the road to save the world:
"Leave all that can be spared behind. We travel light. Let's hunt some Orc."
Well then... I hope you enjoyed this little trip. Besides wargaming and ice hockey LARP has been my favourite hobby for years. Actually it was the "summer hobby" while wargaming was the "winter hobby" which started to turn with our daughter's birth. Since then wargaming is the all-year hobby and LARP kind of special thing for special occasions.

Anyway for the next weeks wargaming will be in the focus again. Painting the vikings, preparing Crisis and waiting for Pegasus bridge will keep me rather busy. Perfect for autumnal evenings with tea and lead. And by the way finally the German ice hockey leage started the new season last week and the NHL will follow in october. I love the winter half year!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Pins and needles on the workbench

My week was rather quiet concerning wargaming. But a medieval LARP convention at the following weekend required some work.
Two dresses, two hoods, a surcoat, a jacket...
I don't want to bore you with this off-topic stuff but allow me a few words.
Yearly in autumn the group which my wife and me have been playing with for more than ten years gathers on Castle Blankenheim in the Eifel and spends some happy days together. Although we reduced our LARP efforts a lot we visit this event every year to meet old friends from near and far.

Anyway this day our lovely daughter will accompany us and thus some medievalish clothing had to be sewed:
- a plain blue dress
- a brocade dress for the banquette on Saturday evening
- a blue surcoat for fighting with her friend Birk
- a lined jacket
- a lined gugel (kind of medieval hood)
And another lined gugel for me since I had been intending to make one for the last two years.

Additionally maybe one or two coifs and a dress for Viktoria's favourite doll "Carla" if I'll have some time this afternoon and evening.

But after our trip into medieval times my workbench will be ready for wargaming next week. There are some more AWI figures to be painted and some plastic Vikings which need some greenstuff cloaks. And a secret item... Shhh!
Actually I wanted to present a short WIP-tutorial how to repair a broken sabre with piano wire. But unfortunately I lost the pictures somehow...

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Thanks to 152 followers !

Last week followers number 150 - 152 enlisted on Monty's Caravan. Another milestone after having reached 100 readers in November 2012.

Thanks for all 152 of you for your attention and your kind and encouraging comments !

I really appreciate it and I'm glad that you are interested in the happenings on my humble workbench. During the last weeks some things remained to be presented which I'll show you step by step during the next weeks.

And there are some other things on their way. For Crisis there are some more AWI things to prepare and for 2014 my first large project lines up:
Warlord Games announced this awesome set last week and I can't resist to build it soon. It just fits perfectly to my Red Devils...

So I hope you stay tuned as long as I do my very best to keep this diary about my workbench.