Sunday, 21 February 2010

Uncharted Seas ships

And here are the pictures of my latest paint jobs.

_The Empress' Cynical Smile_, the human flagship joining her [friends](

Human flagship

And their slightly more scruffy adversaries:

Orc fleet

More pics of the orc ships in their own [set on Flickr]( As you can see, these were again painted with speed in mind rather than beauty. Oddly fitting, for orcs :).

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Category archives working again

For those who have been missing them, the various [archive pages](/snv/ttm/archives.html) are working again. They were a victim of my recent rebuild of the templates of this here site when I switched the blog software behind it to a new version, which lost backwards compatibility with my (admittedly ancient) templates.

So, month and category archives work again. Rejoice!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Painting log: Uncharted Seas orc fleet & human flagship

And another bunch of tubs is ready to set to sea. This time some ships for [The Uncharted Seas](

* An Orc fleet pack consisting of:
* 1 battleship
* 3 cruisers
* 6 frigates
* An Orc battlecruiser
* An Orc assault ship
* A human flagship, the _Empress' Cynical Smile_

According to some ridicilously arbitrary formula I made up (2 points for the 6 frigates, 1.5 points each for the remaining Orc ships and 2 points for the flagship - many sails to paint) I'm giving myself 13 points for these, for a total of 32 so far this month. Next up on the painting table are some Swedish GNW cavalry by Reiver Miniatures.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Dal Regiment, all pretty like

And here they are with finished bases, the 1st battalion of the Dal Regiment:

Dal Regiment, 1st Battalion

I've tried something new on the base with the cannon ball 'in transit' on the righthand (lefthand for the unit itself) base. Not sure about the effect yet.

For those of you wondering, I'm basing these to fit in with 'Beneath the Lily Banners'. For the Swedes, that's three bases, of which I'm using the bigger 60x60cm size. I fit 19 figures on the three bases, which in a 1:20 figure to men ratio gives 380 - 400 men to the battalion, which is more or less (more on the less side thereof :) ) correct for the battalion sizes at Poltava (except for a few regiments which were given the remainders of the batallions retreating from Lesnaya earlier).

On to the cavalry now!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Painting log: Dal Regiment, 1st Battalion

And that's the final of Roos' battalions done, the 1st Battalion of the Dal regiment. Here's a quick badly lit pic I took of them on my painting station awaiting basing:

1st Battalion Dal Regiment

Again all Musketeer figures. I did a very minor conversion on the officer and NCO (central and right hand stand respectively), swapping their heads around to keep some variation going, as there is just the one figure for these essential positions. The flags are printed copies from the Höglund book.

Painting this, the classic Swedish blue / yellow combo, and going over my notes for the remaining battalions, it suddenly struck me that the non traditionally coloured regiments (Närke-Värmlands and Jönkopings with red facings and Västerböttens with white) were all with Roos at the redoubts, while the more traditionally coloured ones were in the main infantry battle (with the exception of the second battalion of the Närke-Värmlands). Funny, that.

That makes 19 points. Next up in the queue is an Orcish fleet and a human flagship for Uncharted Seas.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

The Pilsen Prerogative: a Trafalgar scenario

Last night, a bunch of us played a game of [Trafalgar]( The game is the first in a narrative campaign called _The Enbevian Endeavour_. For those of you unfamiliar with our use of the term 'narrative campaign', allow me to explain a bit.

Over the years, like many wargame groups, we have played a few full blown campaigns, some successful but most, as usual, foundering after a few moves. As with most game groups, we find that the high level of commitment needed for playing in and especially running a full featured campaign is often difficult to achieve. However, campaigns do give a large added value to wargames, so to still capture some of that we have been doing these things we call 'narrative campaigns'.

A narrative campaign is essentially a series of linked scenarios, often involving the same two (or more) antagonists in every scenario, but only linked in a general overarcing story line, not through any campaign system or rules. We find that a narrative campaign gives the added value of a rich context to the individual games, without the attending overhead of an actual campaign. For those familiar with the recent publications by C.S. Grant and Phil Olley, _The Raid on St. Michel_ and _The Annexation of Chiraz_ (get them from [Caliver Books]( ), the scenarios in those books can be played as simple linked scenarios and are thus very similar to our narrative campaigns. We stand in the shadow of giants!

Anyway, I've currently got a narrative campaign underway for SF space (and land) games (_The Beryllium Wars_), and have yesterday started one for Napoleonic age games. This one features the nations of Enbevia and Posch-Enhausen, going to war over a seemingly innocent proclamation involving beer. The first game in this campaign, _The Pilsen Prerogative_ (I'm big on alliteration :) ) is a naval game using Trafalgar rules. You can download it here (warning: big 6.3M file):

The Pilsen Prerogative

A full battle report will follow, but as a teaser I can tell that the Posch-Enhausian navy managed to score a hard fought victory. Many ships were left ablaze and/or sunk.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Napoleonic unit formations with 9 4-figure stands

So I decided to move from 24 figure to 36 figure battalions for my Bavarians (and French in being). There's a number of reasons for this:

* Visual Appeal (which we know Is Everything) - 36 figures look much more like a block of Napoleonic age troops to me than 24 do. It's still quite a distance away from _real_ old school battalions (which sniff at anything below 48 figures), but in this day and age, 36 men is enough to be considered old school anyway. There's a reason old school attracts increasing interest these days - big battalions work (although I do not care for other aspects of the old school movements: flat painting, flat bases and flat terrain)
* Figure to men ratio - when using a figure to men ratio of 1:20, most standard battalion sizes of the Bavarian army are much closer to 36 than 24. Many rules and attending literature wrg unit organisation and such use a 1:20 man figure ratio.
* Unit formations - in an extension to the first point above, unit formations with 36man battalions, based in 4, look pretty good. The rest of this post will show some examples of this.

I'm still deciding on which ruleset to use for Napoleonic games (and will probably try a lot of them) but the current frontrunner is Republic to Empire (R2E -- others are Lasalle and Black Powder). As R2E probably has the most varied unit formations in the game, if I can represent those in a decent fashion, I guess the rest of the rules are automatically covered. Here they are, with the exception of line, which is just the stands put next to each other.

###Column of march

This is the stands placed one behind the other. This makes for a _long_ column, leading the player to have to think about its use and effect on the battle plan, which is probably historically correct.

Column of march

The unit showing off the various formations in this and the next photographs is the recently painted [I/1IR](, augmented with three stands from its [sister battalion](

###Column of companies

This formation, which is not often represented seperately in wargame rules, is more or less the 'default' formation, the easiest from which it is to deploy to other formations.

Column of companies

###Column of attack

The famous, and probably most overrated and misunderstood, attack column of the French and their close friends. In R2E (and historical reality), this is supposed to be wider than deep, but I find a 2 line formation with 5 stands in the first row and 4 in the second to not look very satisfactory. So I'm applying wargamers license here and use a 3x3 formation:

Column of attack


For the equally famous square formation, I use a formation with 2 stands on each side and the command stand in the middle - something that is not possible with only 6 stands.


Now, there only remains the issue of painting seventeen thousand other figures :)