Friday 17 May 2024

Recent Nimitz Game - US Navy v IJN

It was nice to get a few of my recently painted WWII ships out for a game of Nimitz. I took the US Navy and Dale the Imperial Japanese Navy, with an allowance of 250 points each. We have played three previous games at 200 points per side and I wanted to see what difference the additional 50 points would make:

I deployed with a destroyer screen, a line of cruisers and four battleships:

Whereas Dale organised his fleet into three battlegroups, with a battleship, cruisers and destroyers in each line:

The side who gains the initiative gets much more scope in terms of where and the direction in which they can deploy on the table. I lost the initiative role and so deployed first. The first two moves were spent closing in to gun and torpedo range:

Large guns have a range of 24", small guns 16", while most torpedoes including those carried by the USN have a range of 12". The Japanese long lance torpedoes however have a long range of 24" and hit on the roll of a 6 on a D6, and they carry a lot of them. 

Torpedo attacks are resolved after all shooting has been done, so I blazed away with as much as I could enjoying the better USN odds due to superior radar and fire directors, and managed to inflict a fair bit of damage on the Yamato leading the closest battlegroup. I then held my breath as Dale fired his first dozen torpedo salvos, the Missouri suffering two nasty hits but managing to remain afloat.

Shooting is by formation on an IGOUGO basis, with the side winning the initiative for that turn choosing a formation to fire first. This is therefore an incentive to keep as many ships in formation or base-to-base contact as possible.

Turn 3 saw me finish of the Yamato which which exploded in a fireball, although it had already suffered significant damage, while the Japanese accounted for the Missouri and a couple of cruisers. Some of my destroyers managed to cross the Japanese line for a close-range torpedo run:

Turn four saw the demise of the Yamato's sister ship Musashi, while the Japanese sank the South Carolina which can be seen peeling off from the line, having lost buoyancy and been reduced to a quarter of its speed:

That left me with two battleships, the Massachusetts and North Carolina, with a gun turret missing on each, versus Dale's older Ise battleship. He however still had an advantage in the number of cruisers left and also outnumbered me in destroyers:

We both basically surprised each other at this point and simultaneously conceded that the other had most likely won, so decided to call it a draw.

This was a lot more of a slug-fest than the previous three games and I'm not sure whether the additional 50 points was the cause, but the other games felt a lot more tactical. In Nimitz you can retain half points value for any damaged ship which exits via its deployment zone, but the temptation is to keep them in the fray and pound away. In the absence of a campaign's in-built incentives to preserve forces I'm thinking that if two-thirds or three quarter points were retained for exiting ships then there might be more of an incentive to disengage earlier. 

I'm keen to include aircraft for our next game as this will add a whole new dimension, but we are about to delve into General d'Armee 2 which looks like it could be a decent set of rules for a few Napoleonic games.

Sunday 28 April 2024

AWI 33rd and 38th Foot Completed

The latest two regiments to be completed, the 33rd Yorkshire West Riding and 38th Staffordshire, represent the last of the plastic Perry British AWI figures:

Both regiments have four figures based on slightly larger skirmish bases, with basing for the British Grenadier rules which I am hoping will also work equally well for Sharp Practice:

The command element is comprised of figures from the Perry metal range:

As are the two sergeants:

I decided to pose the 38th using the at trail option, to provide a bit of variety and also because they are easier to pick up than those in the advancing pose:

The flags are as usual from GMB:

With the by now two obligatory casualty figures mounted on casualty/disorder counters from Warbases:

That is five regiments now finished, so a decent start on this project even though I am finding the figures quite time-consuming to complete:

I also completed the last of the Renedra rail fences for the project:

Seen here with a couple of skirmishers for scale:

I'll get a few more AWI regiments under my belt before returning to complete the ECW 15mm cavalry, which should definitely help get my figure count up again and help make me feel more productive.

Thursday 28 March 2024

Two More AWI British Battalions Completed

It is now official; I am starting to appreciate and enjoy painting Perry plastic figures. There is a certain sharpness of detail which is more apparent with these figures and only a small amount of cleanup required, although having to glue on arms and hats still annoys me. 

That said, I am finding the AWI British uniforms very fiddly. Consequently the stellar start to what I thought might be a record year has now slowed to a snail's pace. Complaining aside, I have managed to complete two more AWI British battalions over the last couple of weeks:

First up, the second battalion of the 24th Foot Warwickshire Regiment:

These are all in the advancing pose which can be quite difficult to pick up when based, and the to-scale bayonets can bend. Consequently I thought I'd mix in an 'at trail' figure to see whether I like them posed that way:

Not my favourite pose, but at least it will make moving the troops around the table much easier. 

The command stand for this battalion is topped by the usual GMB flag:

Next up, 9th Norfolk:

Yellow is my bete noire, and I must have gone over the facings of these figures at least four times. I am however reasonably happy with the result:

I also managed to complete two casualty markers, to accompany their respective regiments:

That's it for the latest couple of AWI regiments:

I have also recently tried my hand at some North American AWI fencing:

I was going for the weathered look, and hopefully got somewhere close to that.

Anyway, that's it for now. Happy Easter to all who have managed to read this far.

Monday 4 March 2024

AWI British 4th Foot

Having just recently finished the last of a batch of 216 English Civil War horses I needed a break before I start work on their riders. The next project I have in mind after completing the three ECW aremies is the American War of Independence which will encompass thirty or so British and Hessian units, and around half that number on the Continental side. I have purchased and actually read a copy of British Grenadier which seems like a decent enough ruleset for larger battles, but my immediate aim is to get enough figures and units done for a few games of Sharp Practice. 

The first unit I have tried my hand at is the 4th Foot, Kings Own Royal Regiment:

The figures are all Perry plastics. I have managed to avoid plastics up until this point but as the 'core' AWI troops in the Perry range are plastic I decided to take the plunge. I much prefer the weight of metal figures plus have an aversion to having to glue bits together, but after trying and discarding two types of plastic glues finally settled on Citadel thanks to a tip from Mark of 1866 and All That. This did the trick beautifully and, although it was still fiddly gluing the arms and muskets in the correct position, I found it to be less of a chore than I was expecting:

The flags are from GMB which are a bit too large for the flagpole as supplied. Unfortunately the pole is cast on to the arm of the flagbearers, but it was a relatively simple task to cut and drill out their hands and replace it with a longer one:


The basing is in fours to suit British Grenadier, apart from two singles and a double to accommodate casualty removal in Sharp Practice:

I also purchased a few dials from Warbases on to which I will place casualties, which should come in handy for keeping track of disorder or morale status:

That's it for the first unit at least:

I'll probably try to knock out another two or three British units and a couple of American over the next month or so before returning to my ECW project for the final push there.

Thursday 8 February 2024

18mm English Civil War Artillery

With sixteen pieces in all, I decided to tackle the English Civil War artillery for the Royalist, Parliamentarian and Scottish Covenanter armies in one large batch. I generally do not enjoy painting the artillery pieces themselves; the crew are fine, but I find gun carriages and wheels a bit fiddly and uninteresting. However, the Eureka models are quite nice which took away much of the boredom:

I gave the Royalists and Parliamentarians six pieces each, comprised of two cannons, two culverins and two sakers:

And allocated two culverins and two sakers to the Scots

I did half the pieces in plain wood, but gave the Parliamentarians and Royalists two red carriages and the Royalists two in blue, just to brighten things up a little. I put in a bit of extra effort to paint streaks on the carriages and wheels to give the effect of wood grain. The models themselves had a wood effect, but not enough that it rendered itself easily to dry-brushing.

Speaking of bright, the blue looks very bright here but thankfully is a little duller to the naked eye:

I also completed a few petard stands, one for each army. I'm not quite sure when these will be used, and received one from Eureka as a free gift anyway, but they might come in handy as an objective or for a siege game at some point:

That is it for the artillery and I now just have sixteen regiments of cavalry and three of dragoons across the three armies to go. I have decided to paint the bulk of the horses first but, once that is done, hope to be able to roll them off the production line reasonably quickly.

Sunday 14 January 2024

18mm ECW Scottish Covenanter Regiments Completed

I spent most of December and the Christmas/New Year break working on six regiments of Scottish Covenanter foote, and completed the last of the basing over the weekend:

The six regiments are comprised of Ker's regiment:

The Duke of Hamilton's regiment of foote:

Sir John Haldane of Gleneagles's regiment:

Barclay's regiment:

Home's regiment:

and Lovat's regiment of foot:

Of course this meant using a lot of grey, although I did mix in a few different coat colours to provide some variation:

The pikemen offered a little more variety, and I also mixed in a sprinkling of armoured figures:

I equipped two of the regiments with pikemen in the 'pike forward' position. Not my favourite pose as they are not easy to pick up and become quite easily entangled with the rank directly in front, but at least they look as though they mean business:

The flags are again from Wargames Designs. I am very pleased with them and the size fits these larger 18mm figures well:

Including 6 spare musketeer figures which will find their way on to some forthcoming command bases, that is 294 figures completed in total:

Next up, the artillery. I have sixteen pieces to be painted, with the Scots to receive four and the Royalist and Parliamentarians six each. I have made a start on them and hope to have them all completed by the end of January, so I can then get stuck into the cavalry in February.