Thursday, May 31, 2012

May was a Big Month

Best Sportsman award Huzzah FOW Tournament Trophy.
This was a big month for Fencing Frog.  There were 20 posts(21 counting this one) this is the most in this blogs history.  We passed 5000 page views and we have had more than 11k looks at the blog in May. 

The Huzzah blogs gave me a big bump, I am not sure if my regular war gaming will attract that over 11K readers on a regular basis.

The blog also passed the 100 post mark a modest enough number but one worthy of note. 

Thanks to AJ, the FOW blog ring, and Godon's FOWNE and Black Powder NE yahoo groups for the referrals.

Thanks to the Adler Hobby 'club" the great weekly games and the Maine War Gamers club for putting on a great convention at Huzzah.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Saintonge Challeng Coin

A few years ago several members of Regiment Saintonge leadership were presented with Challenge Coins by members of the Military at a commemorative ceremony.  They were more than a little embarrassed not to be able to reciprocate in kind. The unit has now fixed this issue and I received mine after the Andover Memorial DayParade. You can see it below.

The Col. Colors (in white) and Regimental Colors with the coat of arms of the province of Saintonge

Royal French Coat of arms with flags this emblem has been the mast head of our unit news letter as long as I can remember.


I think the iconic tank of the Second World War is the Tiger I.  Its not the best tank, its probably not even the best German tank (discuss if you will) but when I think World War II thanks I think of the Tiger I. This big bastard scared the allies, so much so that its said that American soldiers "see every German tank as a Tiger."

Given this information its probably sounds odd to say that my German armies didn't have any Tiger I (I did have a Tiger II but its almost never used).  I have now fixed this hole in my German order of battle.

I painted these with a more mid war color scheme so I can use them in both middle and late. I am not sure the Tiger I is worth the points in mid war but I like having the option.

I used the salt and hit with white spray primer to give them a bit of a white washed look then dry brushed them with a brown.  The effect is not exactly the one I was going for, these look like the crew was lazy washing off their winter white wash rather than like some of it had worn off in normal use. Over all I am not displeased with the effect its better then over doing the white wash at any rate.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Black Scorpion responds

Black Scorpion responded the issue I wrote about here

"Sorry about the issue with the figures.

I'm not sure exactly what this is but my best guess is the release agent used on the models may have reacted with the paint causing this.
 I don't do this as I've painted many resin models and ever had a problem! But this is what I've heard described if it happens.
But as you say you washed them so this is very strange...

It could be a bad resin mix or batch, in truth I'm not sure!

I'l happily send some replacements to you if you like. Sorry if your paintjob has been ruined.

Hope this helps,"

This was a quick response (sent the same day I sent my email) and its refreshing to hear a company say they are stumped as well.

My guess at this point is the problem is with the releasing agent and that a more through cleaning is probably necessary on future projects.

On the chance that the issues is with the figures themselves I have taken Black Scorpion up on the offer of new figures.

I have some new projects I would love to post about but I am going to wait until I can up load the photos. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pinkertons in Distress...

So Thursday I made my way to Adler Hobby intending to play some fist full of lead with my new Pinkerton/gunfighter miniatures which you can see above.  I thought they looked pretty good but when I got to Adler and too them out of the box Gordon and I noticed some thing odd about two of them. After a little light handling the fellow the red shirt had some serious "pealing" in one spot of the back of his arm and appeared to be "sweating" on other point. The fellow in the top hat had a similar issues. (I will post pictures of this or at least of the after math) Needless to say I was not happy and decided it was not a good Idea to use these.

Now I am not sure what happened.  I did wash the figures before priming with the same P3 back primer I used on all my other figures. There was an issue with the initial coat of red (it dried with crack pasterns on it)  on the figure in the derby and if this issue was restricted to him I would say its just an old bottle of paint. The figures were gloss coat sealed given an ink wash and then dulcoat sealed.

Now they did spend the day in my car so maybe the heat effected the resin, maybe moister got trapped in the paint when I applied the seal.  Anyone else run into this sort or issue.  I have written to Black Scorpion miniatures concerning this issue and will post any response I get.

The miniatures are resin of a sort I have not worked with before so the cause could be some interaction of the materials, paint etc.

Any one seen anything like this? Gordon and the gang at Adler were stumped and that is a first.

I did play in a short FOW battle running a British tank list that got it self shot to pieces and broken in two turns... Shortest game I have had to date! (pictures latter)
Set up for Fist turn.

two turns latter almost every one is dead.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Projects for 2012 update.

Its a bit early for a mid year review but looking at the list I thought it was a good idea to up date these and maybe set some new ones.

So without further adue here we are
Personal Goals:
1) attend a convention.  Believe it or not this is something I have never done.  I am planning to go to Huzzah in Portland ME.
This one is done! if you some how missed it take a look here: Huzzah!

2) Participate in a FOW tournament. this is linked to the goal above.
Yeah this too see the above link for the details. Still find it had to belive I was voted best sportsman. 

3) Run a Black Powder war game/tactical exercise  for Regiment Saintonge.  This is something Steven and I have talked about for a long time as a way to give people and idea of what they have to deal with as commanders in terms of tactics and derision making.
Not yet key players are on board but no date and time has been set.

Painting Goals:
1) Finish My Free French Tirailerurs Senegalese and Decourverte de combat force for FOW
2) Paint at least 3 more units of Napoleonic French before Huzzah.
3) Paint up my Gebirgsjagers for use as a German Infantry force in the late war league.
Not started (good thing I have a year because I also have gamer ADD) 

4) Paint more 7YW and WAS 15mm to reduce my "lead debt"
Not yet but several JR miniatures houses are nearing completion and will provide great terrain for these battles at some point 

New Projects:
1) US Armored Company 
2) Round out the Soviet infantry company Rob is painting for me with proper support troops. Any suggetions?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Red and Gray Counter attack

 Thursday my late war Falsherjagers faced there old foe Chris' Polish commandos.  The mission rolled was Counter attack one of those divide the table into 4 sections that games I was in the lower  left hand corner of the table as you can see above. I kept my Marders and StuGs off board as mobile reserves.  Chris started with every thing on the board.  I was expecting a right hook form Chris and protected my self accordingly. 

Chris chose instead to charge right at me along the left hand side of the table.  Despite the cover of night my artillery had an amazing target of two infantry platoons in close formation! I ranged in easily but with something like 12 stands under the template I got all of two hits! Naturally Chris saved both of those. 

Chris launched an assault with first one platoon and then the other and by the end of it I was effectively out one infantry platoon and a gun from my battery.  I was pretty frustrated and let it show (sorry Chris).  My other infantry, 88 and the remaining 10.5 CM guns did some damage to Chris' men and my Stugs wiped out his Sherman support units. 
Chris over ran both my 10.5 CM guns and my 8.8 though in doing it his two platoons of Commandos were down to 1 stand and a higher command team so I was feeling a bit better as my Maders reached the scene of the action and started to hurt his MG platoon (who had pinned me about every turn).

As it was closing in on turn six I move my other FJ platoon out of their fox holes and wiped out Chris' last Commando and brigadier "Yougski" his higher command team.

It was now a race to see if I could break Chris before he broke me.

 My Marders Killed two of Chris's three mortars just shy of what I needed to force a moral check.

On his turn Chris managed to kill one of my remaining FJs just shy of what he needed.  I thought I was safe but then Chris remembered his Sniper who had been shooting at me all game with no effect.  Finally the sniper got a hit, I failed the save Chris got his fire power and I had to test platoon moral.

I failed, used the commanders re-roll but failed... so my commander ran with them... so my company broke.  

Great game it went right down tho the wire and we bother could have won. 

That last shot made up for all the other missed ones!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Maurice Review

I have per-ordered Maurice because of a suggestion on the Blackpowder New England yahoo group and a quick read of the "lite" version available for free as a PDF.   I own but have not played Sam Mustafa's Might and Reason and would probably have embraced those rules if Blackpowder had not grab the imagination of the gaming community in my area.

The book is soft cover, with lots of great pictures, over all its well written though I think it was written with a someone who is familiar the 18th century in mind. The system is based on the period 1690 to 1790.
French troops not based to work for this game :(

The basic game is fairly straight forward though it is not compatible with Might and Reason as it based on units with troops on 4 bases (only two were needed for Might and Reason).  The good news is if you want to try this and you uses the standard set up for Blackpowder your in good shape at least were infantry is concerned.

Maurice is card driven, you draw cards to activate units, some cards can interrupt the sequence of play, inhibit your opponent or grant you some bonus.   Shooting is still done us the standard d6 and is very similar to Blackpowder.  There is a good illistation of playing a turn provided  The book also included three battles Kolin, Brandywine and Fontenoy these battles are well presented.
These guys are just fine... but the wrong period :(

The two stand out reasons to get Maurice are the Campaigne system and the "notables."

First the Notables, these are cards featuring fictional 18th century figures who can serve as you Chief of staff or as unit commanders.  Frequently they confer a bonus on the unit they are attached too but they have a social rank that can make them "disinclined to acquiesce to your request" (or orders if you prefer).  Having a Chief of staff of equal or higher rank will help counter this. Think of them as NPCs in your army, its a great way to add complexity to a battle with out making life too complex.

Naturally you can make your own notable drawn from history or your "imagination" as you wish.

The other gem in this production is the simple (and it is Gee I should have thought of that simple) mapless Campaign system.  Players are listed  as 1, 2 3 ect.. based on how many guys you happen to have the number is not a rank just an organizational too so you could go in Alphabetical order.

Lets assume our players are Adam, AJ, Chris, and Eric, just to take players from Adler hobby.

Adam (Player 1) declares war on Eric(player 4), we now have two sides! AJ (Player 2) gets to pick his side since both are Equal, he decides to come to Eric's aid. Chris (player 3) now has to join Adam's side so that both sides are even. Now that two alliances are set up we pick opponents and even though Adam declared war on Eric he could decide to battle AJ.  After a round of battles scores are compared (I will not get into that) and if certain conditions are met the war ends, we get to promote units, hire new notables and other stuff.

Then the who process happens again with AJ as player one and Adam dropping to player 4.

You an use real or fictional nations and people are encouraged to keep records of their troops exploits and accumulate "epic points" after a period of time the player with the most "epic points" is hailed as the outstanding general of the period and you can start over again. The system is rigged in such a way that new players get underdog points to help encourage new players.

The Campaign system could easily be adapted to Blackpowder or other systems.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Huzzah Carnage and Glory Lobositz

 Saturday night I participated in a battle from the Seven Years war using the system Carnage and Glory.  As a quick look at the pictures will tell you this was great table with some awesome figures on it. The rule set used is a computer aided set.  This game was very different from the others I played in for that reason and its my first experience with this system so I will share some thoughts on it.

I commanded the left of the Austrian line playing the roll of General Lacey (an Irish exile in Austrian service.) under my command were two units of Grenzer light Infantry, 1 unit of horse Grenadiers, 1 unit of regular infantry and 1 unit of Grenadiers.  Initially I got a lot of advice from my fellow players until they realized I new what I was doing.

Both side move aggressively on the left and center. The Center degenerated in to series of bloody cavalry charge that hut both sided significantly.  The Prussians probably had it slightly better in the center. on the left my Light troops hit the Prussians hard with well aimed fire (once the miss and fog clear up that is)

Our cavalry initially got in our own way on the left and we had some trouble maneuvering the regular infantry in to place.  My Grezers however used cover efficiently and got a lot of really good shots at the Prussians on the road from the vineyards and wooded hills over looking the road. They managed to route two Prussian infantry units over course of the game and hurt a number of others. Austrian infantry came up though the town and with the support of some cavalry they began to push at the Prussians on the road thought the Prussians got in a number of good hits themselves.

The Cavalry Battle in the center eventually petered out  with a slight edge to the Prussians but the Austrians had the advantage on the left and the Prussians were starting to move infantry from the center to the left opening options for the Austrians in the area as well.  After a long day of gaming it was agreed we should call the game around 11:30 PM.

The Computer ruled the battle was a minor Austrian Victory.

Thought on Carnage and Glory the game is played by players moving the figures and letting the computer handle the details. No dice are rolled and the computer can take in to account factors that would slow the game down in handled by humans.  I like the fact the the computer takes environment factors (like mist causing muskets to misfire) , fatigue, and so forth into account. This adds a level of realism but would slow game play in most systems. At the same time not rolling dice left me feeling a bit disconnected from the action and some times the results the computer provided didn't make sense, because I didn't know what factors would influence the results when making my decision.

I would like play this game system again as I think it has merit. It leans more toward being a simulation than a game which can be a good thing if you are trying to recreate a particular battle but I don't know if its what I want every game night. 

On a personal note we passed 100 posting here on Fencing Frog a small number of post compared to some but a milestone worthy of mention.

Friday, May 11, 2012

War Gaming Recon

My gaming friend and fellow Black Power enthusiast has designed a promo for his podcast/website. Jonathan has mentioned French Frog on a number of occasion so its time for me to return the favor.

Jonathan's pod cast covers gaming events and topics with a focus on events in Easter Massachusetts.