Sunday, October 15, 2017

War Rocket Ajax


With a club outing this evening I wanted to try and see how a larger Crusier type would fair.
From the first play test, fighters were mighty fast so how would a larger craft be handled under the rules?



Another casting from the chaps at Hydra and their War Rocket range and perfect to represent War Rocket Ajax from the Flash Gordon movie of the 80's.


It is a beast 4x the size of the other ships with 3 turrets and 2 front facing lasers. Full AAR to follow.



Friday, October 13, 2017

Star Eagles Latest News



This Kickstarter is a little on the late side but I was heartened to received the following update for Star Eagles.
 

Sorry for the slow rate of updates.  I know it has been frustrating for you all waiting for some news on the project.   Not wanting to make excuses, but my day job decided I was not working hard enough and has been sending me all over Asia for the past few months to deal with manufacturing problems. Things have final returned to normal and I can get back to focusing on finishing this project.  Normaly I am very responsive on my KS projects and I am sorry for the lack of more frequent updates. 
Production of the minis will begin this month, I have finalized the scaling of most of the ships and will be sending them off for production later this week. Based on where I am now, I expect the revised timeline is to have the KS shipping in later part of December.   
I am also working with Litko to have the move templates and counters made of Acrylic rather than cardboard. This will be a perk for the delay in the project.  Hopefully can show off some of these in a few weeks. 
In regards to the rules, I have received a lot of playtest comments and it seems the inititaive aspect of the game is causing a lot of confusion.   I have been rework the initiative mechanics to enhance the flow of the game and make it easier to understand.   I estimate I need about another two weeks to finish the rules and then I’ll be ready to release the most current version for all to see.  I will then wait for another round of feedback before passing it off to Andrea for formatting.   I think the revisions improve the game a lot and make it evn better than before. The feeling of a dogfight will be even more intense.

This does give me the opportunity to paint up a couple of items hanging around the paint table, I would much prefer to have a refined product than rushed out with holes in the rules and poor finishing to the production.

Carrying on the Alex Raymond - Flash Gordon theme, I thought I would paint up these War Rocket Mini's as Vultan's Fighters, Hawkmen on their own are not enough to protect Sky City from Ming's War Rocket's, although how they they got into the cockpit with their wings is one for me to think about...



I opted for a couple of shades of gold with white strips for effect, they blend with the mini's I painted several years ago which have been in storage for several years and looking at some of the older pic's could do wth a make a make over as my painting style then was rather flat.
Perhaps one day they will get a repaint but for now the new fighters will be gracing the table on Sunday.
Image result for 28mm flash gordon hawkmen

Friday, October 06, 2017

The Pearl of the Antilles - Haitian Revolution AAR #2 Life's a Beach

Somewhat behind on posts due to work commitments but finally the Haitians make an appearance in their new formation, this time defending a full blown British landing.

The Brits had come looking for trouble with a naval landing party under the command of Captain Horatio Lawnmower, Lt Stanley and a detachment of Royal Marines. A Company of Regulars together with Lt Richard Blunt of the 95th Rifles oh and don't forget a flaming cannon.

Opposing them was...... Honestly loads.....

The mission was a simple one for the British seize the church and defeat any local forces.

The table from the British end, add a couple of palm trees to your Spanish terrain and suddenly you are in Haiti.

The Brits are first out of the bag and get a fair number of troops on the table securing the beach.

As the first turn ends a couple of Haitian skirmish units appear on table but out of range of the British now advancing across the sand.


The Regulars and 95th fire a volley at long range wounding Captain Gabbon, the Haitain force morale drops to 8 it was going to be a long day in the field.

A view from the British corner with all troops deployed.

Troubled by the red coats now seizing the tree line and how quickly the Haitian skirmishers and fallen back. Time to bring out the "big choppers" and two groups of freed slaves looking to defend their rights and freedoms.

The Slave units advance across the dunes as the British look to bring additional troops to bear.

The Sailors and Marines pour fire into the advancing slaves but are unable to stop them reaching the beach on the edge of the table. The voodoo sorcerer is called into play taking shock off the leading unit just as tiffin brings the turn to a close.

Clash of Clans - Jack Tars and Slaves fight it out on the beach. Waving a ruddy big green snake must have had an impact on the jolly sailors.

The sailors are beaten and run for the row boats, the British commander looks a little pale and is no longer mocking my rag tag stick waving troops... They have forced the Brits on to the defensive but have lost their leader in the fight and the force morale takes another knock.


The slaves fall back to the cover of the dunes looking to recover their shock and elect a new leader.

The action moves to the centre of the table as Sergeant Hope(less) moves towards the Church.


The big reveal as Hope draws closer, the main Haitian firing line apears on the walls of the church, they let fly a ragged volley which despite looking impressive inflicts minimal damage on Hope who falls back down the slope out of close range.

Sensing victory the Haitian regulars make an appearance on the right of the Church and march boldly forwards only to be greated by a shower of canister they quickly march backwards, Force morale clicks down again. I am so glad I spent late nights getting these chaps ready... :-(


The British are frustrated lacking sufficent man power to force the insurgents from the walls they resort to cannon and long range rifle fire to which the Haitains have no answer. The Marines attempt to push up through the dunes but skirmishers in the bush keep them pinned back. The clock ticks down.

Rather like a test match between England and the West Indies both sides have spent all day in the field only to agree on a draw, the charge of the unarmed masses really knocked the British on their heels but the loss of both Haitian units and their leaders pushed the Haitian force morale down to less than 4 which made activations more difficult. The cannon kept the native forces at bay and was begining to wear down the defenders which given more time would see them being forced to leave the field.

A fine days gaming with us both thinking about different tactics on the next outing as the British push in land.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Haitian Napoleonic Flags 1791- 1805

The final figures leave the paint table before setting off on their first major outing with the full force.

Another batch of Freemen from Trent Miniatures, the separate heads do make for plenty of variants within the unit. The standard bearer and drummer is always useful within Sharp Practice to give your force a couple of options.


Ideally I would like to have purchased readymade flags but being one of those off the beaten track projects I could not find them commercially available anywhere so I had to improvise.

Given the mixed history of the war it not unsurpising that the flag varied as well.
As the revolution spread to the colonies so the revolutionary flag was adopted by the freemen of the island so any troops fighting against the monarchy would have been seen carrying the following.
French Republic, 1794

In 1798 Toussaint L'Ouverture wrote the Haitian constitution adopted the French tricolour as his flag when he was nominally governor of the colony. After his kidnap and transportantion to France  Jean-Jacques Dessalines led the fight for independence against the returning French. In 1803  Dessalines tore up the French flag, threw away the white stripe as a symbol of the whites and had the remaining stripes sewn together by Catherine Flon, the goddaughter of Jean-Jacques Dessalines as the first Haitian flag. 

Revolutionary Haiti, 1803

The inscription "Liberté ou la Mort" (Freedom or death) was added and this was used as a military flag for a number of the fighting units.
Military Flag of Haiti, 1803

In 1804 the flag was modified: this time the blue and red bands were placed horizontally: this was the first flag of the independent republic of Haiti.

Republic of Haiti, 1804
 
On 8 October 1804 Dessalines was proclaimed Emperor of Haiti under the name of Jacques I and the blue band was placed vertically again.
Jacques changed the flag to black on 20 May 1805; this can be interpreted as symbolising the people of the country or the colours could symbolise the motto "Freedom (red) or Death (black)". 

 Empire of Haiti, 1805

I have opted for the 1804 variant, which will allow me to eventually fight the later war with the Polish Legion, but I have my eye on a couple of Congo type figures which will make perfect standard bearers for the insurgent force so you are likely to see a couple of the 1803 types on the table in the weeks ahead.





Saturday, September 30, 2017

Burning the candle at both ends - Haitians complete.

It's amazing what the motivation of a big game can do for your painting efforts.
A couple of late nights and a few early mornings and the Haitian Slave Army is complete six groups, 4 bigmen and a priest.....


The extra units of Hand to Hand troops should come in very handy, equiped with "Big Choppers" they fight as clan in the first round before reverting to Wallahs.


The extra musket troops provide me with three distinct sections good for one decent round of fire if I can keep them under control.


A few extra's to keep my wargaming friend on his toes (more on that tomorrow) and we should eb good to go.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Haitian Insurgent Leaders.

Posts are coming think and fast at the moment.
With the release of Northstar's Congregation, The Bokor, the Mambo, and the Houngan make for great Haitian Insurgent Leaders. Wonderful figures and a pleasure to paint.

Hyacinthe was a leader in the Western Province and carried a talisman made of horse hair into battle so I guess a snake is not so far away. The female casting makes for a great representation of the young slave leader, I have given her a republic sash to show her revolutionary tendances.


When insurgent leaders were killed, ceremonies were held in their honour. One insurgent leader was buried by the troops that defeated him. But later "the negroes took him up and buried him again with great pomp"

Let's just they last a little longer on the table than in real life.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Sharp Practice - Haitian Slave Army 1791- 1793

After the first outing a few weeks ago and after reading a number of additional sources on the Haitian Revolution, I have had a re-think about the various forces I plan on building and there make up within Sharp Practice. 
 
The first up is an insurgent force made up of escaped or freed slaves or perhaps a band of Maroons who lived out in the hills outside of the main plantations. These type of forces fought for the French Monarch, the Republic, the Spanish, the British and their own nationhood very often changing sides depending on who offered the best terms. So plenty of scope for gaming purposes.

Steve over at Arcane Scenery was very helpful and added a couple of specific figures from the Trent range which will enable me to complete the core force and the guys over at Warbases created some 10 man movement trays for the groups.
At this stage I wanted to fill out the ranks but need to get a wriggle on, on the painting front with the first full out less than a week away.


Many of the slaves were from the Kongo tribe in Africa and were lead by religous leaders, one French soldier reported how insurgent troops advanced to the sound of Afrian music or the "Incantations of their sorcerers" so the Big Men need to be a mix of Officer types and Religous Shamen will be needed, which makes for an interesting time seeking out figures which could fit the bill.


Fortunately North Stars latest releases for Dracula's America - The Congregation Arcanists make for perfect Voodoo religous leaders. More on those in future posts.


So on to the force composition, I wanted to give them a suitable mass as very often the forces would heavily out number the local garrison and plantation owners but also some flexibility in terms of skirmish and hand to hand troops.

One contemporary wrote of the insurgent forces. "instead of exposing themselves as a group like fanatics they fought spreadout and dispersed and positioned themselves in places that made ready to envelop and crush their enemies. If they encounter resistance they don't waste their energy but if they see hesitation in the defence they become extremely audacious"

With this in mind I went for the following.


Slave Army, Night of Fire 1791-1793
Leader, Status II
Three Groups of 10 Slave Rabble, Muskets
Leader, Status I
One Group of 12 Wallahs, Big Choppers
Leader, Status I
One Group of 12 Wallahs, Big Choppers
Leader, Status I
One Group of Irregular Skirmishers, Muskets
Points Value: 39

Force Specific Characteristics

Big Choppers: These troops have no ranged fire capability but are very aggressive and well versed in close combat. In the first round of Fisticuffs they fight as Clan rather than Wallahs.


Maroons
Type
Conscripts and Volunteers
Points Value
4
Weapon
Musket
Size
8
Formation
First
Fire
Controlled Volley
Crashing Volley
Step
Out
Drill
Characteristics
No Shock
Yes
First Only
3
3
3
Hearth and Home, Poor Shot.
Hearth & Home – May improve Step out rating by 1 when at home, become Weedy Coves when fighting away from home.

Freed Slaves
Type
Wallahs
Points Value
3
Weapon
Musket
Size
12
Formation
First
Fire
Controlled Volley
Crashing Volley
Step
Out
Drill
Characteristics
Never
No
No
No
3
3
Big Choppers
Big Choppers: These troops have no ranged fire capability but are very aggressive and well versed in close combat. In the first round of Fisticuffs they fight as Clan rather than Wallahs.         
             
Skirmishers
Type
Irregular Skirmishers
Points Value
6
Weapon
Musket
Size
6
Formation
First
Fire
Controlled Volley
Crashing Volley
Step
Out
Drill
Characteristics
No
Yes
No
-
3
-
Tactical, Moveable DP, No Bayonets.
Moveable DP – May be selected as a support option.    
Tactical – Can perform Ambuscade when two cards are available.
No Bayonets – These troops are at a disadvantage in Fisticuffs.                                                                       
With a relatively low force value of 39 points and some very cheap groups it gives plenty of options to add additional units to the force depending on the scenario.

The low quality officers should create a challange reducing shock so they will need to get to grips quickly if they are to make an impact. 

Right back to the brushes those Insurgents won't paint themsleves.