Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year, 2013!!!!!

Happy New Year everyone!!  2013 is only 3 hours away here on the west coast of the United States.

This has been a fun wargaming year for our little group.  While I didn't get a lot of painting done like I had hoped, I did get a campaign based on the Italian war of independence in 1859 started.  This was the first time I had ever started something this large and for this long.  The guys in the group seemed pleased so far with the campaign.
I am hoping that the campaign will wrap up in the next 2 or 3 months.  I will continue to post after action reports on the battles.  At the end of the campaign I will post a narrative of the campaign itself, to help fill in the blanks the battles aren't covering.  I haven't done it yet as I don't want the two commanders seeing the other person's moves etc...

For 2013 I have a few projects that I want to start and hopefully finish.

The first is my 10mm AWI armies based on the Battle of Monmouth.  I've already started collecting the troops for this.
I also have some 1/600 scale Ironclads to paint to run some Sail and Steam Navies rules.  I played these at Enfilade in 2012 and loved them.
Check your 6 Jet Age is also sitting in the wings, waiting to be used.  I picked up some planes to do Israel and Egypt.  I'm hoping I can get them painted before the year is over.
I also want to rebase my WWI 15mm collection so I can float between using Through the Mud and Blood and Piquet's Barrage.

Terrain wise I'm going to push to finish the 10 to 12 buildings I had bought at Enfilade.  They are 3/4's of the way done, just have to finish them.
The big thing I want to work is smaller terrain boards.  My first set was 6 boards that were 2'x4'.  I want to do 2'x2' boards now and correct some of the mistakes I made the first time.

I would also like to thank all of you who have visited my site and left comments and encouraged me with this hobby.  It means a lot.  Thank you!

So to wrap up 2012, from my family here in Portland, Oregon, we want to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Battle of Torre Beretti

The Battle of Torre Beretti in April 1859 (week 5) of our campaign played out on December 1st.

The Italian Commander Camerana after sitting for three weeks near the town of Torre Beretti facing his enemy Zobel decided to attack.  The exact reasons for Cameranas sluggish moves against his enemy are unknown but his timing proved exceptional as his entire army made the battlefield. It was then he launched his attack.  On the reverse Zobel's forces failed to rally to the Austrian flag and leaving most of his army strung out along the roads and villages coming to the battlefield.  

Italian Commander Camerana on the left.

The Austrian Commander Zobel.

The hilly terrain with its dense packs of trees worried both commanders.  The limited Austrian troops spread themselves out along the rolling hills and waited.

The Austrians commander on the right defied orders and moved out to probe the Italian left.  Witnessing the Austrian approach the Italian cavalry began moving to intercept them.  The Italian center moved forward.

Most of the Austrian activity floated around their right side of the battle.  Pushing forward but ultimately this would prove costly as the Italian guns gained the killing range and wiped out most of the advance force.  The Italian guns did their damage all along the Austrian line.

The Italians continued to push forward and the Austrians with almost no morale chips left, started to fall back.  Leaving only his cavalry to screen the retreating infantry the Austrian cavalry took the brunt of more withering Italian rifle fire.
At the end of the night the Austrians gave way and left the field to the Italians.  A crushing victory for the Italians and a another crushing defeat for the Austrians.

The last two battles have been very costly for the Austrians and it will be interesting to see how they recover.  The string of victories for the Italians have bolstered their morale and they continue to push on and around the Austrians.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Casting my own terrain

 Over the last six months or so I had decided that I would try and cast some of my own terrain for gaming.  My inspiration for this came from the idea of having more realistic looking terrain on my battlefields.  So I took a cue from model railroaders and decided to cast my own piece this time.  There is a local railroad shop that sold a latex mold and some resin casting material.  The resin material is made by this company Bragdon Enterprises.  They also produce latex molds.  I'm not sure if the one I bought was produce by Bragdon or if the shop owner had made his own.  So heres what I did to create my piece of rock.

The mold is made of Latex and it is quite detailed.  According to the instructions of the resin I poured some water into the mold to figure out the volume needed.  It was a little over a 1/2 cup.

Resin it self is fairly easy to use. Pour equal parts of A and B into a container and mix and then pour into the mold.  Prior to pouring the resin into the mold, I sprayed Ease Release 200 onto the mold. This spray will help release the resin but also prolong the life of the mold.

After letting the resin dry over night.  Actual drying time is only a couple of hours.  One problem I did encounter while pouring the resin, was the uneven nature of the mold.  Some of the resin spilled out.  Once the initial layer I had poured into the mold had started to solidify, I mixed some more resin and poured that in to help fill in where the first mixture had spilled.  
The removal of the hardened resin from the mold was very easy and the mold is ready for its next use.

Now the fun begins.  Painting it!  I decided to try Woodland Scenics idea on painting the rock from their Woodland Scenics Scenery Manual.  Using a series of washes starting with Raw Sienna and then another wash of Raw Umber and then a final wash of Black. I didn't like the final look of the rock.  It was too dark for my tastes.  So I went back and hit it with a dry brush of grey.

It help tie the rock a little more into my terrain mat etc.. I decided to add some flocking to one area.  This gave it a little more color and the representation of growth on a old rock.

My overall experience with this has been positive and I will try it again.  I am going to try Woodland Scenics Hydrocal instead of the resin.  This one attempt with using the resin used almost all of what I had bought.  The Hydrocal is less expensive and can provide a lot of uses.  I will post more about this once I've had a chance to try it again.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Battle of Pieve del Cairo, March 1859 (Week 4)

The early morning sun broke over the horizon and shone brightly on the town of Pieve del Cairo and the glittering steel of bayonets and canons.  The Italian Commander Mollard again faced the Austrian Commander Benedek.  Mollard followed up and closed with Benedek after a few days marching to engage the Austrian commander in battle.  Their last meeting went well for the Italians and Mollard had high hopes for another victory.

Both armies arranged themselves before battle.

The Austrian Commander Benedek (aka James) looks over his deployment and secretly wishes he had retreated farther.

The calculating Italian Commander Mollard (aka Garland) is never happy with his deployment but will the best he can.

The Austrians gain the initiative early and moved forward under their effective artillery fire.

The battle began on the Austrian left and the Austrian light troops took heavy casualties from very effective Italian rifle fire. 

The Italian Bersaglieri pushed forward in the center in attempt to engage the Austrian Cavalry. 

View from the Austrian center at the Italians.

The Austrians deploy in the town and wait for the Italians.

The Austrians crest the hill and take devastating fire from the Italians and their artillery. 

The view from the Italian right at the Austrians moving forward.

Looking down the Austrian line after the unit commander was killed and all of the units went out of command, halting the advance on the Austrian left.

The Italians follow up on the wavering Austrians and push forward.

The Bersaglieri in the center take heavy casualties.

The second in command for the Austrian left asserts command and halts the Italian advance.

A bloody melee ensues in the middle of the battle field.

The result being the Italians holding the tree line and destroying two Austrian units.  The Austrian morale chip count has shrunk dangerously low.

The Italians pour on the fire at the retreating Austrians after fail a tactical morale challenge.

The last Austrian hold out, the town on the Austrian right.  Accurate and deadly fire from the Italians routed the Austrians.

The crushing Italian victory filled the newspapers and taverns up and down the Italian countryside and the Italian ranks swelled with new volunteers.  

The after battle talk between myself and the two commanders, I had to ask the James why he attacked.  Since being on the defensive, one would think that an army would stay in place and wait for the enemy.  His response was he wanted to be bold and take the fight to the enemy.  He agreed that it was a mistake and his campaign has taken a hard hit because of it.