Monday, October 23, 2017

"Fall-In!" Game Convention and Bolt Action Game




For those of you on, or traveling to the east coast, HMGS's Fall In! is next weekend.

If you go, be sure to check out--or better yet--sign up for the "Bolt Action for Indochina" game my friend Tim will be hosting.

Here's the synopsis, with pictures from one of Tim's play test games:

Going Upriver:
Relief of Outpost PK42



Outpost PK17 on the Black River is in trouble.  We have received transmissions that they are threatened by a substantial force of Vietminh.  Elements of the 1re Flottille Amphibie has been ordered to transport a quick reaction force of French and Vietnamese paratroopers to Outpost PK42 to relieve them and then engage and destroy any enemy forces encountered.    



This outpost is critical as it is a well-used ferry and if it falls into enemy hands they will greatly strengthen their ability to supply Vietminh and local forces operating in the region.




Platoons from 1st BEP and 5th BPVN have been tasked with the operation.  Strength and location of enemy forces in the region are not known, but assumed to be Vietminh regulars.

   

Make haste!   The garrison is counting on you.
Players 16 and up or younger, if supervised by an appropriate Commissar.

Well?  You read the initial briefing.  

What are you waiting for?  Sign up for Fall-In! and for Going Up River.  

The garrison is counting on you!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

One Day Fly-By to GeekGirlCon 2017



A few weeks ago, I managed to zip up to Seattle on my one day off and attend the first afternoon of this year's GeekGirlCon.

This two-day event was held at the Washington State Convention Center.

I arrived at noon, even though I wanted to be there when the front doors opened at 9 AM.  So I managed to take about a dozen photos of roaming cosplayers, and about 65 usable pictures of the Cosplay Contest.

These will be the subjects of upcoming posts.  In the meantime, here are some of the crowd scenes I snapped:

(The Gaming Room)

(The Do-It-Yourself Science Zone)

(The Ticket Line)

(The Photo Booth)


(The Merchandise Sales Desk)

I attended one panel discussion listed on the Saturday Schedule:  Creating a Webcomic from the Ground Up.



This was hosted by the creators of The Unadoptables.


Talk about "herding cats."

As I was making my way down to the Cosplay Contest, I snapped a picture of the Let's Play Overwatch, featuring Lucie Pohl.


Since I don't play Overwatch, or any other video/computer game for that matter, I pressed on to the Cosplay Contest.

So "stay tuned!"

Sunday, October 15, 2017

WAB Corner Collection Correction

(Image: Bavarian Infantry at Borodino by Alexandr Yezhov, found on Pintrest)
Okay, I know the title is a tongue-twister.

But alliterations aside, I received enough feedback from my previous post, that I needed to redeem myself among my fellow gamers thought a correction was in order.

Among my newfound collection of Napoleonic miniatures, I assumed the handful of miscellaneous troops were Austrian.

Some of them are, like the figures in the middle (maybe)...


...but not all of them.

For instance in the picture above, the figures in the yellow coats are from the Canton of Neuchatel, while the white coated figures on the opposite end are from the Kingdom of Italy.

[Update, 0930 hours, 15 October] Correction II:

The troops on the right end are, in-fact Austrian while the figures in the middle are their Hungarian comrades-in-arms.

As for this picture...


...I'm not sure who the mixed unit on the right belongs to, but several people reminded me the troops on the left are part of the Bavarian Army.

All of these are from Wargames Foundry Miniatures.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

WAB Corner Collection #4: Napoleonic War Figures

(Image:  28th Regiment at Quatre Bras by Elizabeth Thompson)

Nothing evokes the image of WAR IS GLORIOUS like the Napoleonic Wars:  Soldiers in splendid uniforms marching to the beat of the drums, dashing cavalry troopers riding noble steeds, and regimental banners fluttering in the breeze.

Of course, such impressions are safely viewed from more than 202 years, after the last blast of canister mowed down the defiant Imperial Guardsmen hunkered down in their square formation during the final moments of the Battle of Waterloo.

"Merde!" indeed.

Heroic fantasies aside, the Napoleonic Wars have been, and still are, my favorite era.

However, despite my love for this period in history and fiction, I've never amassed a collection of Napoleonic miniatures.  Painting such ornate uniforms requires talent and patience--both of which I lack.

Instead, I settled for buying GDW's System 7 Napoleonics.  While I'm happy to have assembled the entire collection, I've always yearned to own some actual painted miniatures.

Thanks to my gaming buddy, Dean, author of the popular WAB Corner blog, my tabletop heart's desire has finally been fulfilled.  Last year, he offered to sell me his collection of Napoleonic figures, all based on the rules Black Powder.

(Image by Warlord Games)
As with all his previous offers, I jumped at the chance to buy them, and I'm happy I did so.

Now without further ado, here's the latest batch of figures from my WAB Corner Collection...

The Forces of France:

The vast bulk of Napoleon's Grande Armee consisted of line infantry, which were organized into regiments consisting of several battalions.

The Black Powder rules simply refer to a group of figures as a "unit," which, for the French I'll call a battalion based on the units' flags and the typical composition of 4 x fusilier companies, 1 x grenadier company and 1 x voltigeur company.

I can now muster three battalions, the first from the 19e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.


In the above picture, the grenadier company is next to the 1st company with the battalion standard, while the voltigeur company is to the right of the grenadiers, and the remaining fusilier companies are formed-up next to the voltigeurs.

My second battalion is--well--the second battalion of the 2e Regiment d'Infanterie d'Ligne.


For this picture, I used the same arrangement as I did with the 19th.

Now this last battalion surprised me. 

Here we have the 4th battalion of the 9e Regiment d'Infanterie d'Ligne--in red uniforms.  Meaning they're actually Swiss troops.


I didn't know Swiss troops wore red uniforms--until now.  I thought they were outfitted similar, if not identical to their French counterparts.

I guess the British didn't have a monopoly on red dye during the wars.

Unlike the masses of infantry, cavalry units were much smaller, and based on the regiment.  For the French I can field two regiments, the first being chasseur a cheval...



...and the second being the famous Dutch Lancers.


Based on scrolling back through our message traffic on Facebook, the French infantry came from Old Glory Miniatures, while the cavalry were made by Front Rank Figurines.

The Forces of Austria:

One of the leading antagonists against France was the Austrian Empire.

As a bonus to the French, and British figures (which follows this short section), Dean gave me his smattering of troops from the Imperial/Royal Army.

Here are a few similarly attired line infantry units with a mix of headgear.  The shako replaced the helmet in 1806, but many units still sported the helmet.  (Personally, I think the helmet look cooler).


Next, from left-to-right, is a stand of line infantry next to what looks like a stand of grenadiers.  The figures in blue could be jaegers (light infantry).


Finally, here are two small cavalry forces.  The one on the left is a small unit of cuirassiers, and the one on the right is a detachment of Hungarian hussars.



The Forces of Britain:

I have to admit when it comes to the Napoleonic Wars, I'm an Anglophile.  Reading all of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe novels only reinforced my appreciation for the Perfidious Albion's army.

Dean mustered some of the best of what Britain had to offer.

British infantry regiments were organized quite differently from their French counterparts.  I regiment usually consisted of only two battalions, which often didn't serve in the same theater.  Some regiments were only one-battalion strong. 

This battalion-sized regiment was divided into 8 line companies, with a company of grenadiers and a company of light infantry.  While these companies were smaller than their French counterparts, the British battalion/regiment had almost as many soldiers as a French battalion.

So I'll refer to my British infantry units as "regiments," starting with the first:

 The Coldstream Guards, now Britain's oldest regiment.


Then there's the 71st (Highland) Regiment of Foot


To back up these two regiments, is a detachment of about three companies from the Royal Welch Fusiliers.


Here's a closer look at the Welshmen.  I wonder if they're singing Men of Halrech?


And finally, no British collection would be complete without a representative from the noblest cavalry in Europe (and the worst led):  In this case, the Household Cavalry.



Once again trying to piece together our year-old message traffic on Facebook, I believe the following figures came from these manufacturers:

The Household Cavalry, Royal Welch Fusiliers and the Coldstream Guards were made by Perry Miniatures, while the 71st Highlanders were from Old Glory Miniatures.


Conclusion

Well folks this wraps up my WAB Corner Collection--unless Dean sells me any more of his fine figures.

Now that I think of it, I do need some artillery to support all my troops...

Friday, September 15, 2017

WAB Corner Collection #3: French and Indian War Figures

(Image from the National Park Service lesson plan:  Who were the people involved?)

I grew up in Upstate New York, and part of our K-12 education was learning state history.  But it wasn't all boring book learning. One memorable family trip was to Lake George, which of course included tours of Fort Ticonderoga and Fort William Henry.

I must admit though, I've never read the original work The Last of the Mohicans.  Instead, I settled for it in the form of a Classics Illustrated comic.  And I absolutely love the 1992 film.  In fact, the movie's soundtrack got me hooked on collecting soundtracks to other movies I like.

Anyway, despite my lack of literary cred, I've always been interested in the French and Indian War (F&IW).  I wouldn't consider this my favorite era in military history.  However, it's intriguing to me how this conflict took place in the region where I grew up, and that other nations--both European and Indian--were vying for control of what was once the western wilderness.

Five years ago, I was lucky enough to attend Fright Night Gaming at Ft. Steilacoom and play a game of Muskets & Tomahawks.

(Image from:  Boardgame Geek)

I liked the rules so much, I bought them shortly after Fright Night 2012.

Now fast forward to 2016.

My gaming buddy Dean, painter extraordinaire and author of the popular WAB Corner gaming blog, offered to sell me his F&IW miniatures collection.

To say that I jumped at this chance would be an understatement.

So here it is folks, Issue #3 of my WAB Corner Collection.

The French:

Since you can't have a French and Indian War without the French, I'll start off with the soldiers of France.  Most, if not all these figures are from Redoubt Enterprises.


First, here's a squad of irregulars known as Coureur des Bois ("Runners of the Woods"):



Next, are a squad from the Compagnies Franches de la Marine (French Marines):



Now to the more standard units.

Here are some grenadiers along with their pike-wielding sergeant and a drummer from La Sarre Infantrie Regiment...


...followed by a squad of run-of-the-mill musketeers:


Finally, here's another squad of grenadiers, this time from La Reine Infantrie Regiment...



...and their accompanying musketeers:



Indians

I know I said you can't have a French and Indian War game without French, and the same goes double for Indians.  Unfortunately, I don't have any--yet.

So on to...

The British:


This squad of Rogers' Rangers came from Front Rank Figurines.



While these grenadiers from the 78th Highlander Regiment, sometimes referred to as Fraser's Highlanders are from Redoubt Enterprises.


I liked the way I posed these guys so much I did a series of close-ups:



Next are some non-Highland grenadiers from Wargames Foundry Seven Years War Collection.  This squad is ready to lob their grenades:



Grenadiers were often detached from their parent regiments, and formed into ad-hoc assault units.  Dean divided his grenadiers into two groups.  The first is possibly from the 35th Regiment of Foot (Royal Sussex)...



...while this second squad with green facings could be from the 45th Regiment of Foot (the Sherwood Foresters):


In both pictures, I used the same drummer and officer from Foundry's Grenadier Command Set.

Speaking of commanders, I used the rest of the Grenadier Command Set to act as bodyguards for Major General James Wolfe who's figure is the leading personality in Front Rank's Wolfe Army Collection.



I wonder if any of them are "...the johnny who knelt beside Wolfe at Quebec..."?

Well, there you have it, my French and Indian War collection--minus the Indians.

Now I just need to buy lots of some Woodland Indians, and some appropriate buildings, oh, and some more trees...

Note:  Attributing figures to their correct manufacturer was something of a challenge.  I had to scroll through my Facebook message traffic with Dean to figure out what companies made what figures.  So I hope I got it right.


For further reading--including Last of the Mohicans--here's a Top Ten List of F&IW books:

(Image from History of MA:  Best Books About the F&IW)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Honoring 9-11-01

(Image by Tom Stiglich)
Part of my inspiration for making wargame-related webcomics comes from reading the daily funnies.  Since I moved to the Pacific Northwest, my "default site" for the funnies has been the Seattle Times.

I was touched to find a couple comic strips that paid tribute to 9/11.

My favorite was from Dick Tracy by Joe Staton and Mike Curtis: