Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New books for the library.

Recently, I picked up some new books.  Two of a historical nature and one on mixing paint.  I thought the one on mixing paint would be of interest to some of you.

The First book is called "Color Mixing Recipes".  I picked this up at the local JoAnn's Craft store and it was on sale at 50% off.  I am color blind to certain colors and usually I have to be very precise in choosing the color paint I need for my figures.  So I tend to ask a lot of questions and go with a generally recommended color and then mix a shade and highlight from that.  What I like about this book is the process for mixing what you need.

The process is pretty easy.  You decide what color you need and then you read the number of "parts" of paint you need to make that color.

There's roughly 450 mixing choices and one of them is Khaki. :-)  They also have Gun Metal, Terracotta, Prussian Blue and a few other handy military colors.

In this photo you can see this color is made with 1 part White and 1 part phthalo blue.

This one is 1 speck of alizarin crimson and 3 parts phthalo yellow-green.

What does all this mean?  Well at the end of the book is this Mixing Grid. Each little box is 1 part of color.  A speck is defined as "small as a pin head".  The grid goes up to 20 parts.  I know this book will get lots of use by me.

The next book I picked up and started reading right away is "Blood on the Snow".  I've been looking for more and more books about WWI on the Eastern Front and this one was recently published.  I'm about half way through this one.  I am a little disappointed in how the books information has been presented.  The author has lumped tons of information together about the units in action and what section of the front they are on and it has gotten very confusing to follow.  Also his standard phrase, which appears about every third sentence is "the troops suffered severely from the lack of food, cold and poor winter gear."  Got it.  Lets move on and stop repeating it.

I'm looking forward to reading this one.  I'm planning on running some 15mm Fist Full of Tow 3 games at a 1:1 scale.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Battle for Sicily 1266

About two weeks ago I put together a Piquet: Band of Brothers game pitting the Angevin army and the Sicilian army in 1266.
The armies, when I drew them up, couldn't be more different.  The Angevin army came out on top with very powerful Knights and some really great infantry units.  Their CnC was average and the two other commanders were poor and skilled.  What really hurt them was getting only 20 morale chips.  The Sicilian army ended up with sub-par troops with 3 vacillating units (you have to roll them up upon first contact to know what they are).  Their commanders all ended up being average but they scored big with 36 morale chips.

The battle field was simple and well picked by both commanders.  The Sicilian's lined up on the right side of the battle field.  The Angevin's lined up on the left.  The hill at the far end provided the only obstacle in the entire battle.
Some of the Sicilian Knights prepared for battle.

More of the Sicilian army arrayed for battle.

The Angevin army pushed the infantry forward.  This would be a fatal mistake at first.

That hill at the far end with Angevin troops.

Saracen Archers setup to fire at the enemy.

The bold Sicilian Knights charge across the field of battle and slam home in the infantry.  Destroying them to the man.

The Sicilian Knights shift and stabilize their line.
The Angevin Knights meet the challenge and take on two of the Sicilian units and hold their own.  The Angevin training helped out in holding the line.

A routed Sicilian Knight unit.

A little confusion in the Sicilian rear.  A Angevin Knight unit charged into the flank of Sicilian knights routing them and were poised to flank another unit.

An Angevin reversal.  Their knight unit gets disrupted and falls back but the Sicilians don't follow up.

More routed Sicilian Knights.  The Sicilian commander was looking rather glum at this point.  Most of his knight units were routed or disrupted.  The teeth of the army was hurting at this point.

The far side of the battle field finally sees some movement.

A long look at the routed Sicilian units.

You will also notice that there is a lack of Angevin Infantry units left.

It what could only be described as a miracle the routed knights of the Sicilians passed their morale tests and swung around ready to fight.  The beating the Angevin infantry took was enough to wipe out their available morale chips.  The Angevin commander fled the field with his army following behind.

This is one of the reasons I love playing Piquet.  The games never play out the way you think they will go.  There are always some sort of reversal in the game that sends it in a direction you didn't think it would go.
We had a great time with this little battle and will probably journey here again.