Sunday, 25 August 2019

Refurbing my ACW collection.

I taken a break from my classic  Napoleonics to do a spot of refurbing of my old ACW collection.

I have a reasonably sized 28mm ACW collection of some 700 - 800 figures which I collected over 20 years ago. I have not used them for a while now and decided to rebasing and touch up the chipped paint.

As  I no longer have a permanent wargame table I decided to reorganise the Infantry as 24 figure regiments on 6 30 by 40mm bases.  I have also kept the basing style fairly simple with no exotic flora as seems to be the fashion nowadays. My armies fight in fields and not a show garden at the RHS show.

Here a few of the units of I have completed so far.

The 4th Texas using 1st Corps figures.



Louisiana Tigers with 1st Corps figures with an odd figure which I think is Hinchcliffe.


A Confederate firing line again all 1st Corps figures.


The Iron Brigade - all 1st Corps figures.


And inevitably the 20th Maine using Old Glory figures with a 1st Corps standard bearer.


Thursday, 8 August 2019

Charge Rules - Napoleonic Amendments

I have put my thoughts on paper (well this blog at least) regarding my Napoleonic changes to the classic Charge rules. These are based on the Napoleonic Supplementary rules published in the Athena version of the Charge rules plus some of my own ideas thrown in.



UNIT ORGANISATION.

I use half scale units with Infantry having 24 figures. Cavalry with 12 figures, in 2 squadrons of 6, and Light Infantry with 12 in 2 companies of 6. Artillery is a gun and 4 crew.

Cavalry and Light Infantry can operate as 2 single 6 figure squadrons or companies as required but cannot then rejoin to form a consolidated unit.

MOVEMENT

All unit movement is reduced by 50%.

Infantry:

Move and Fire 3”
Battalion in Line 4 ½”
Battalion in square 4 ½”
Company in Line 6”*
Column of fours 7 ½”
File, single file 7 ½”

* A infantry company is 8 figures operating way from its battalion.

Light Infantry in open order:
Move and Fire 6”
Move without firing 12

Line Artillery:
Move and even chance to fire 3”
Move deployed without firing 6”
Move in column of route 7 ½”

Horse Artillery
Move and even chance if fire 6"
Move deployed without firing 9"
Move in column of route 12"

Cavalry:

Heavy Cavalry 12”
Light Cavalry 15”
Staff 15”

Train:

Waggons 6”
Mules 6”

Notes.

a) Infantry changing formation: no figure may move more than 6”
b) Infantry squares must be 2 ranks deep on each face, and may not move if engaged in firing or melee.
c) Light Infantry in open order must be a minimum of 1” apart. If in close order they move an fire as line.
d) Cavalry suffer no penalties for changing formation, and formation does not affect their speed of movement.
e) The Artillery’s “move deployed without firing” equates to move and unlimber , or limber up and move.

FIRING

All firing distances are reduced by 50%

INFANTRY MELEE

When using the Infantry Melee resolution for large numbers of figures, rather than the individual combats, use the following dice per figure.

Guards one D6 per 4 figures
Line one D6 per 5 figures
Militia one D6 per 6 figures.

The total is then halved to determine the number of figures lost.

For loss from firing and melee I round down for under half a figure, round up for other half and roll an extra dice requiring a 4,5 or 6 to round up a half casualty.

INDIVIDUAL FIGURE MELEES

When resolving individual melees, such as Cavalry vs Cavalry or Light Infantry vs Light Infantry I use the following  additional rules

I give a plus +1 to the dice score of the side that has the net advantage in the melee.  The net advantage, if any, is by determining by assessing the following factors.

Heavy vs Light Cavalry
Lancers in 1st round of melee.
Better morale class than opponent
Defending an obstacle
Cavalry and Infantryman vs Cavalry

So for instance an elite cavalry man fighting a heavy line cavalry man would be one advantage each so no net advantage where as if the light cavalry and heavy were both line the heavy cavalryman would be +1.

The maximum advantage can never be greater than +1 so an elite heavy against a line light will only be +1.

This rule allows better quality troops a slight advantage in melee.

ADDITIONAL RULES

1. RIFLEMEN
Two factors are recognised for the rifle- accuracy of fire and relatively slow rate. It is assumed rifles will only be used in company strength, attached to infantry brigades.
Move and fire as Light Infantry, but riflemen fire only on alternate moves:
0-3” 3 4 5 6 Kills 1 man
3-6” 4 5 6 Kills 1 man
6-9” 5 6 Kills 1 man

2. HOWITZERS
Generally speaking, howitzers made up 1/6th of the artillery arm of an army, so this proportion should be maintained. Howitzers may be foot or horse artillery and all are assumed to be of the same calibre.  Crew of 4.
Ranges: 30” maximum 12” minimum
Range Dice for hit as usual

Dice for effect
12-18” 2 3 4 5 6 In all cases the dice score stands
18-24” 4 5 6
24-30” 6
Effect dice are subject to the usual halving for cavalry, gunners etc. Casualties are taken from the centre of the target.
Overhead fire: a howitzer may engage any target provided it is not within 3” of the lee side of a building, hill, wood, etc. and that the trajectory of the shell does not pass within 1” of friendly troops.

3. GUARD ARTILLERY
a) Crew of 4.
b) Effect dice +1.
c) Move as foot artillery



Friday, 5 July 2019

Jacklex - Classic ACW

When I first starting wargaming I had ACW Airfix armies supplemented with a few Minifig 20mm and Hinton Hunt figures. Later I collected 28mm ACW  armies which I still have.

I have numerous books on the ACW and have visited many of the battlefields in the Eastern theatre some more than once and Gettysburg three times.

So with this background it was almost inevitable that I would at some point get drawn into 20mm Classic ACW wargaming.

I have been thinking of getting some 20mm ACW figures for sometime and it was on a recent visit to Spencer Smith website that I read that the Jacklex range was now going to be produced by Mark Lodge who is a fellow Hinton Hunt collector.

After a call to Mark he sent me a few figures and they arrived today.




The figures are rather nice and I think will paint up a easily, particularly after doing my classic 20mm Napoleonics.

Mark tells me he intends to add some new figures produced to match the Jacklex style and will include Zoauves and extra command figures.

It is possible to collect a classic figures that are still available today.  For more info on this classic range there is a good article here  http://www.vintagewargamingfigures.info/rblack/jachist.htm

I understand that Mark will also be producing the other Jacklex periods including Colonial wars ,Russo Japanese War and 1917 US-Mexican War all in 20mm


Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Action - the conclusion

We left the action with the French having the upper hand.  The British had lost their Cavalry, one battalion of infantry and the rifles. No French unit had been reduced in strength enough to put it out if action.

Charge has very simple morale rules. Once an Infantry unit is reduced to below 50% it is no longer effective and retires 2 moves and may make no offensive action and fights with severely reduced capabilities. A light or cavalry unit must be reduced to less than a 1/3.

Anyway back to the action. Wellington turns to Mack and mutters "Give me Blucher or get me a fast horse".

He rolls a D6 needing a 2 or less for Blucher to arrive. After a few minutes of muffling disparaging comments about Prussian time keeping he rolls the dice -  a glorious 2.

Blucher leads the Prussian 9th RIR into the field.


And next turn the Lutzow Uhlans and Austro-Portuguese Legion arrive.


With the arrival of the Prussians Picton leads forward the 23rd Foot. Overrunning a French Artillery battery before driving off the already weakened 10th Legere.  The Polish battalion and 23rd exchange close range fire with sees both units reduced to 50% and effectively out of the game.


With the centre lost the French decide to push their attack with the 2 battalions on their right.


With flags flying the French advance towards the hill where all they can see is a RHA battery which looses of a few rounds before retiring.

As the French crest the hill they are hit by a close range volley from a fresh battalion of Nassuers concealed on the reverse slope.


A quiver of shock goes through the French ranks however with exhortations of Vive L' Empereur the French close with the Nassuaers who are able to get off another close range volley which lays low even more French. The melee is short and sweet. The French lose the melee and with both battalions below 50% they are forced to retire.

With the day drawing to a close there is a final act. The Prussian infantry is forced into square by the presence of the French Carabiniers and Hussars. Blucher is forced to shelter the 9th RIR square.

He gives orders to his ADC 'I am a proud soldier and I don't win battles by hiding in squares. .Tell Lutzow to drive off those French cavalry'


The 2 squadrons of the Lutzow Lancers charge the French Carabinier and Hussars. After the first round of melee they lose 2 figures and inflict no casualties on there opponents.

Lutzow rolls D6, needing a 4 or more, to see if the melee ends or if there is a second round. A 6 is throw.


With gritted teeth Lutzow brings up his second squadron and extends the line. He drives his men forward and joins the fray.


 The melee goes better for the Prussians and with Lutzow fighting the last melee he needs to win to draw the melee overall. In Charge Cavalry melees are resolved by figure to figure comvats resolved by opposed dice rolls.

The French Hussar rolls a 4. Lutzow rolls a 6 laying the unfortunate Hussar low. The 2nd round ends with a total score of 3 loses each over the 2 rounds. Each side must retire 2 moves to recover. 

With the cavalry melee decided the French concede defeat.  Ney will have a hard time explaining this to the Emperor.

Overall the Charge rules worked well. The game moved at a cracking pace and I rather liked not having to worry about complex morale rules and testing for umpteen different reasons to see if a unit had good morale. Indeed the good old 50% worked well and was quit liberating.

I will write more in my next post on my Charge Napoleonic rule amendments.

Out of interest does anyone have copy of the this Athena version of the Charge rules. I understand that they included extra Napoleonic rules.


If you do and a willing to copy the Napoleonics please drop me an email.



Monday, 17 June 2019

Action

As it was Fathers day yesterday I managed to get some time to set a small 4 by 4ft board on my painting table for a game.

The game featured my classic Napoleonics in their first game. I am using the Charge rules using smaller units and half scaled distances with a few modifications.


The game pits Ney vs Wellington. The French are attacking and need to drive the British back and capture the road leading of the rear edge of the table.


The table is much smaller than my old 10 by 6 table located in the cellar of my old house.


The French attack with their left lead by Davout and a Polish battalion supported by the 10th Light Infantry.

The British right is defended by 2 battalions of the Fusilier brigade.


Picton encourages the fusiliers as the French artillery starts to find it range.


The French right holds fast as the Guards heavy artillery open fire on the Nassau and Brunswickers on the British left.



Murat leads forward the French cavalry trying to out flank the Fusiliers.


The British Cavalry cover the French Cavalry advance supported by Mercers RHA.


Wellington turns to Mack.  Stop looking at that map Mack. 


To be continued.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

A brace of Marshals

Last year I picked up a couple of Hinton Hunt French Marshals on Ebay.  As a break from painting some Brunswick Cavalry I painted up Marshals Davout and Ney.


These are both original figures and both had the same Hinton Hunt code stamped on the bases. Davout Horse however has a head facing right and the horses tail is noticeably different.  A slight mystery.



Hinton Hunts Ney is clearly based on the famous Meissonier picture. I tried to paint my Ney to match the picture.



Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Removing Paint from old figures - before and after

Many old classic Napoleonic figures that I have collected often came heavily layered with old paint and varnish. I have tried various paint stripping methods but have settled on using cheap full strength bleach from my local supermarket.

When using Bleach please make sure you wear protective gloves. I use a glass with good lid.  I allow between 8 and 12 hours depending on how much paint needs stripping and during the bleaching period I shake the jar and check how the stripping is going.

To remove the paint I use a good old stiff tooth brush, washing up liquid and plenty of water. Once the figure is dry I remove any stubborn paint with a fine file.

So how effective is it and is it worth it. I will leave you to judge.

The pictures below show the before and after dipping on this original Hinton Hunt Brunswick Hussar which  is covered in old chipped paint. If a figure is not to bad I would consider a paint rennovation. In this case this figure is beyond paint rennovation.


Having left the figure in bleach and after clean up the figure detail emerges in all its original glory. The detail is impressive and will be delight to paint.