Monday, September 30, 2013

The Wave 3 X-Wing ships arrive!

Hey all!

Well, my Wave 3 X-wing reinforcements have arrived!

Now, they were a little tougher to get than normal... I had a HUGE number of Barnes and Noble gift cards sitting around, and had planned to get them there.  But then it seemed that B&N didn't plan to carry the ships!  Arrrgghhh!  So I ended up selling a few of the cards online to sponsor these purchases, as I cannot really spend money on fun stuff if I can avoid it:(

So... two TIE Bombers, a Lambda Shuttle, two B-Wings, and, yes... even a HWK.  I hadn't planned on buying that ship, but figured I had the money and it was cheap. 

I would, however, like to repaint it... I think I'll paint it to match the other rebel ships, in a cream color... but does anyone have any recommendations for another scheme that might work?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Three more "Longstreet" armies done!

Hey all!

Well, three more "Longstreet" campaign armies done!

I am planning to take part in a campaign with a local gaming group.  I have SO many 15mm ACW figures that I figured I'd take this excuse to revamp them a bit.  I painted them all when I was about 10 or so, so they need some TLC.  All I did was split bases in half, add a variety of ground cover, and dip them!  Voila!

Anyway... I already posted my own army... so here are three more I prepared that I'll give out to players, so they can always have them with them and can have games on their own.

Above is two union armies that I have finished.

Here is the right-most army... three units of ten, including one of zouaves.

And here is the left-most army, which includes a unit of zouaves AND the Irish Brigade.

Here are the assorted reinforcements for the left army... one unit of eight stands of Colored troops, and then 12 assorted federal stands, including two command stands.

The right-hand army has the same!  I am short artillery and a single unit of cav... I have to look around and see if I can find some to fill out the armies, but if I can't someone else can likely lend them.

Here is army number three; another Confederate army.

On the left you can see the three starting regiments of infantry.

And on the right, the cavalry for the army, two of the three guns, and then assorted reinforcements... as of now 15 stands, including two command stands.

So!  Overall I am SO happy with how the figures turned out... it is amazing what just a little work can do for SUCH old figures... I'd be happy to game with them now!

There is still a little work to do... namely the hero markers and sharpshooter markers.... but I'll post those later:)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My ACW Army Command is done!


Hi all!

Well, please welcome Brigadier General Christian K. Hurley, the commander of the Army of the Carolinas!

So, this is going to be the command for my "Longstreet" campaign Reb army!  While there is no need for command stands or anything like that in "Longstreet", I do feel like it is just too good of a toy soldiering opportunity to pass up!

Hurley is a tough man from North Carolina, having been in the United States army and having served in Congress before succession.  Here he can be seen getting a report from a cavalry scout while reviewing his maps with his second-in-command, Shane Hill. 

Now, while he might be a soldier now, Hurley also has excellent connections in Richmond, thanks to his time as a politician.  In fact, he is often able to procure exactly what his force needs in terms of supplies and reinforcements thanks to those connections.  Here you can see three fine men from both Richmond and Raleigh coming to see the General.

So!  Now the Army of the Carolinas is truly read to fight!  Next up... another Reb army under A.P. Hill!

Guess who made "Wargames Illustrated"?

So, flipping through the newest "Wargames Illustrated" and saw there was an article about "Longstreet."  Thought I would give it a read, flipped a few pages... and voila!  Guess whose Rebs are at the top of the page, marching down a country lane looking for some Federals to kill?!

Very cool; it is always wild to see your own toys someplace bigger than your house, you know?:)  Fun!

And only 12,344 pictures to go to catch Dave Taylor.  I can't help but feel he has an unfair advantage...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Army of the Carolinas is ready!

Hello all!

Well, my first "Longstreet" army is ready for our campaign!

I am calling this force The Army of the Carolinas.  Three regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and a battery of artillery.

Here is my first regiment of infantry; ten stands of eager recruits from the 11th South Carolina, under the command of Colonel Michael Laettner.  I've painted up a hero marker and a sharpshooter marker for them, if they ever need them... I just wish I had a kneeling figure with a kepi for all these units.

In the background you can see my regiment of cavalry, the North Carolina Irregulars, a motley crew of cavaliers and gentlemen who will be counted on guarding the flanks of the army and getting guns where I need them quickly.

Here is my second regiment of infantry, the 31st North Carolina.  Their commander, Colonel Grant Williams, leads ten stands of eager recruits into combat.  Again, I painted up a sharpshooter and hero marker for the regiment to use in case I need them.

In the background you can see my first battery, the 1st North Carolina Artillery.  Three guns; two 6lb guns and a howitzer.

Here is my final regiment, also from North Carolina, the 33rd North Carolina under Colonel Jason Hill.  Again, as the war is just starting, this regiment is made up of ten stands of eager recruits, and has a sharpshooter and hero marker ready and waiting!

Here is a group shot of the flags of the three regiments of infantry; two "Stars and Bars" and one state flag from North Carolina.

I am missing my commanders right now... I don't have the figures yet for the command stand, but I'll get them done soon enough.

So, that is my Longstreet campaign force!  Made up of figures I painted when I was ten (except for the markers), touched up so they can pass muster... now it is time to watch them get slaughtered.

I have a bunch of other finished Longstreet figures, including a Federal army, about finished up... I'll post them shortly.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mountain Man conversions, and a peek at the work...

Hi all!

Well, a bit more work done on the Mountain Man scene, and I'll have more done soon as the LEDs have arrived, so I can work on finishing it up.

I did end up with the plan being I'd have two men in the scene but no donkey.  The donkey was just a bit big and awkward.  I also did some converting on the men.  I took one and cut him in half, and then sculpted some blankets around him.  He'll be sitting near the fire.  The other I had to gun a pistol away from and replace it with a rifle. 

Overall I think the work is going well... as long as I can figure out the light fixture in the top this should end up rather nice!

Monday, September 9, 2013

First "Longstreet" force done... and my campaign plans!

Hi all!

Well, I got my starter Longstreet army all finished up... well, my FIRST starter Longstreet army!  These are all figures I painted when I was ten, and I added a little to the bases and dipped them.  Voila!  Perfectly acceptable for wargaming!

It is three units of 10 infantry stands each.  Also eight stands of cav, and some guns!  No commander yet, but I'll paint him up fresh for the army.  Yeah yeah, I know I don't need a commander, but you can't have an army without a commander!

But here is the thing... I am not going to use this army.

Because here is my plan:  I am actually going to use a bunch of units I painted when I was ten, and when I was that old most of my Reb units ended up in very nice, neat, uniform uniforms:)  So, I am actually going to make sure my army is ALL men in proper, matching uniforms! 

Then, as the army progresses through the years, I'll actually touch them up a bit and replace some figures and make them look a bit more ragged as each year goes on.  Different colored pants, jackets... hats will change... the guys will look more and more ragged, so that by the end of the campaign the units will be just worn to tatters.  I'll also be adding casualties to bases, one per unit to represent each stand lost in combat.  On top of that I plan to make the flags more and more ragged, and add battle honors as well.

So, I think it should look pretty cool as the army progresses over time!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

"Reclaming" some old ACW figures

Hi all!

Well, as I mentioned in my last post, there has been discussion in the local gaming group of doing a "Longstreet" Grand Campaign!  What fun!

Now, I don't have any 25mm ACW (well, not many at least)...

... and honestly my current 15mm ACW collection is just not large enough to do a campaign.  That collection is nicely painted and all, but just not big enough.

So, I decided to take a look at my OLD 15mm ACW collection, to see what I could do with those!

Now, they are not great figures.  They are painted cleanly enough, I suppose, but you can tell that I painted them when I was ten:)  Also the bases are just huge; 1 inch x 2 inches, which is just awkward.

So I decided that I would try to reclaim them to use for the "Longstreet" campaign!

First, I would cut each base in half.  That leaves them a nice 1 x 1, which is just a more pleasing base size.  The downside is that there will only be two figures per stand!  That is pretty stunning, but you know, I think I can live with it.  Yes, the units will be small, figure-count-wise, but the game will play well, so I think I can live with it.

But regardless of how many figures there are, they are VERY simple to look at!  Here are four stands of my figures as is.

So I decided to do a touch of work on them.  I blacked out the edges a little better, dipped the figures, and did a bit of work on the basing.  Then some matte varnish, and voila!

Here they are, after being worked on.  For two minutes of work, I think they look MUCH better.  Sure, they are not beautiful, but I think they will work.  There is a LITTLE bit of dip-drip under their feet on some of them, but I think it isn't that noticeable... it almost looks like a shadow. I have something like four hundred stands of Rebs and Yanks, so more than enough for a big 15mm game.

So... that's that!  Now I've got some work ahead of me:)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A game of "Longstreet!"

Hi all!

Well, I got to play a game of "Longstreet" (1863) today with the local northern NJ game club that lets me come by some times... good stuff!

This is a club that rules author Sam Mustafa is a part of, so that is always good... if you need a rules clarification, there isn't anyone as good to ask as the person who wrote them!

It was a classy affair, as you can tell by the food... thanks again, John!

Here is my force!  This was just a pickup game, sort of, so no real battalion numbers or names.  The front row was a large battalion; the 5th Louisiana, made up of nine stands of eager recruits.  Behind that are three smaller battalions of seven stands of seasoned veterans.  I also had a hero and two Napoleons.  I was betting on a lot of infantry to carry me through!

Here is the 23rd South Carolina...

The 15th Louisiana...

And the 2nd Texas!

Here are some of Jim's troops, who was deployed beside me.

Here is that deployment!  I was on the near left, and planned to attack up the flank into the Union guns, using those woods as the extreme right of my attack.

Jim was going to retrograde off of the hill and, using the hills to cover him from the INSANE Union grand battery in the center of their line, come rolling in behind me.

Rob, the CiC who was on the far flank, was going to try to pin Barry's federals in place.

 Speaking of that grand battery, here it is, the center of the Union line.  We knew we were in trouble, especially given that we were handily outnumbered and had pretty awkward ground to walk through.  Hopefully our flank attack would avoid the worst of it!  That said, we didn't like our chances from the start... the Union force was just massive, with lots of well-chosen guns (howitzers are great in a short range setting!) and well placed troops.

My commander, Jedediah Hakeswill, gives out a war whoop...

... and my men begin their advance!

Jim decided at this point that the flank attack was not a good idea, and instead began a general advance across the fields towards the Union batteries.  Unfortunately the huge piece of rough ground in the center made that tough, as he had to discard a lot of cards to operate in such nasty terrain, representing the stain on the control of so many men in such bad terrain.

Opposite him, Barry's troops begin to dig in...

Here you can see the table... my attack moving up the near flank, Jim charging in the center, and Rob cautiously advancing, as Barry's Federals move up towards him.


My boys begin to get closer...

But with a minute left before the Rebels plunge in several units of Federal cavalry dash into the center of the field, aiming to split the Rebel forces and maybe even make a run at the Reb artillery on the hill facing them!

Jim's men begin to extend their line as they advance, while the front most battalion begins to get flayed by heavy musket fire and an ungodly amount of artillery fire... those Yankee boys could shoot the whiskers off a cat!

But one unit of Federal cavalry gets through and threatens to overrun the Reb artillery on the bluff!

Meanwhile, on the far flank, Rob's troops smash headlong into the advancing Union soldiers, many of whom are untested recruits... but the recruits give as good as they get, and both sides begin to take losses.  The Federals, however, have a lot more losses to give.

Meanwhile, back on the  near flank, my force is deployed and begins pounding away at the Federals, but the Union regiments are fresh and are largely able to absorb the fire... so far.

And Jim continues his advance.  His men miraculously stay together and push forward under hellish fire, the officers keeping the men moving and ready.


Meanwhile my large unit of recruits turns to face the cavalry in the rear, and the cavalry, maybe because of how far they are from command, get confused and end up too close to the infantry, who are able to unhorse a few with their fire.

On the far flank the fight continues, but the Federal numbers begin to take their toll on the Rebs, who are pushed back a bit.

My command gives one huge (although ineffective) volley and... CHARGE BAYONETS!... plunges in!  My leftmost unit, lead by Commander Hakeswill himself, actually forces the Federals into a hurried retreat, but my other two units are repulsed, thankfully not taking too many casualties.

Meanwhile Jim's attack in the center is ground down by sheer firepower, as the Federal line swings up onto his flank like a door and begin to pour in enfilading fire.  Eventually a few stands make it to the Federal grand battery, but they are blasted back and, in their exhaustion, are beaten.

At this point we actually called the game.  The Confederates had taken about 25 stands lost, while the Federals had lost mayyyybe four or five at most... and it was clear that on the next turn Jim's command would evaporate, as Rob and I didn't have enough left to win.  So, tough terrain and tough army choices and maybe some mistakes made this one wrap up a bit quickly.

I did, even though this wasn't a  campaign game, I still went through the usual post-game campaign stuff.  First, my commander was actually promoted... the massive charge didn't hurt!  

Initial losses were simple... each of my veteran units lost one stand, so voila; that is how many they lost, as you lose one-third of your losses permanently.

Once back in camp, each of my veteran units lost a stand to sickness and wounds, with the recruit unit losing TWO stands... recruits don't know how to stay healthy and clean!  

Then I picked my campaign cards.  I picked up a new battery of artillery consisting of one howitzer and one 6lb gun.  My recruit unit was still too unblooded to have Seen the Elephant, so I used that card for reinforcements for the 5th Louisiana, which was small enough to be able to take them.  I also did the same with the promotion card, but for the .  In a great stroke of luck I picked up a nice regiment of Rebel Cavaliers, represented by a unit of 8 stands of eager veterans... nice!  Finally I picked up a sabotage card... not useful now, but it would be in a campaign game!

Finally, I sent to the war department and back home for reinforcements.  Since my army was fairly badly worn (thirty stands total!) I was sent a huge regiment of raw recruits to flesh out the ranks... so the 22nd North Carolina arrived!  Since the unit had a max size of 10, it took me to the required 40 stands.

So, my force now was...

Commander Hakeswill, rank Two Eagles
5th Louisiana - seven stands of eager recruits
22nd North Carolina - ten stands of eager recruits
23rd South Carolina - seven stands of seasoned veterans
2nd Texas - seven stands of seasoned veterans
15th Louisiana - five stands of seasoned veterans
Roger's Artillery - two Napoleons
Megood's Artillery - one howitzer, one 6lb gun

There also was a 15mm "Longstreet" game going on at the club, which was only a 1 on 1 affair and FAR more generous with land for maneuvering... we could have used more space, to be honest, in our game!

Here the Rebs and Federals get stuck in!

And walking around and helping where it was needed was the Grand Poobah himself.  Look at that proud papa!

So, all in all, despite getting CRUSHED on the battlefield, it was a lot of fun with good eye candy.  Afterwards talk turned to a campaign, and we decided that, as a group, we'd actually do a "Longstreet" grand campaign!  I'll post more info when I have it:)

Thanks to everyone for the game, and I hope everyone enjoys the photos!