About This Blog

Xenophon's Ghost covers military history and wargaming from the ancient period to modern times.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bolt Action Coming Soon

I bought the Bolt Action rule book and Armies of the US supplement today.  Amazon had a great sale, and I am definitely interested in the possibilities of a smaller unit WW II game.  Now I will have the difficult task of deciding on a miniatures scale. With Blitzkrieg Commander as another interest, I have placed myself in a trap of sorts.

28mm - Bolt Action is designed for 28mm. The game looks awesome at this scale. I will have the chance to try my painting hand at a new scale, too.  Even though 28mm figures are much more expensive, the total number of figures needed is low.  I have already learned, though, that I will likely end up with more than the minimum.  Playing BKC II at 28mm is not really an option.  The cost and table size would be ridiculous.

15mm - I could reuse vehicles for both Bolt Action and BKC II.  Cost of entry will be much lower.  I can reuse my existing terrain in some cases.  This scale would also allow me to play Flames of War if I ever have that desire.

10mm - BKC II looks great in 10mm scale, and I am interested in this size following my paint test last summer. Bolt Action would not work.

6mm - I could split my effort, doing Bolt Action in 28mm and BKC II in 6mm. BKC in the micro-scale which would paint up quickly at low cost.

I won't rush into this, but it may be hard to keep trudging along with my Nap figures for Lasalle once the new rules arrive!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Amphibious Landing Disaster

Ryan and I got in a quick game of DBA tonight.  He played the Seleucids, and I played the Ptolemaic army.  It was quick because my amphibious landing turned into a bloodbath.

Starting as defender, the Ptolemaics have a mandatory Waterway.  Ryan's deployment roll resulted in the water being to his rear.  This should have been a prime opportunity for me.  Ryan moved first, advancing a Psiloi across the board to a hill and moving his cavalry out.
Seleucid Psiloi runs to the hills

 I reserved a Psiloi and two Blades for the amphib landing, intent on going after his Elephant which was off to one flank.
Ptolemaic Amphibious Landing near Seleucid Elephant

Having little experience playing Blades, I didn't know that Ryan's Knights, close by, could quick kill Blades.  Although the Psiloi succeeded in quick killing the Elephant and I tried to move my light horse up to support, the game quickly turned against me.  Ryan managed to engage my Light Horse with his Cavalry.  I won the first bout, as he advanced his Knights toward my Blades, who had nowhere to go.
I couldn't get my Light Horse free, and the Cavalry forced it to recoil on the next turn, right into the Psiloi.  The Light Horse was destroyed.  I tried to move my Pikes out of the way in order to advance my Knights to assist.

In just a few turns, Ryan killed off my Psiloi with his Cavalry and finished off the Blades.  In the final bout, my remaining blade faces his Knight General with overlaps on both sides.  It was mathematically just a matter of time, and my Knights couldn't arrive fast enough to help.

End Game
In any case, it was great to play a game, and I learned a few more rules the hard way.  I also finished painting a battalion of Napoleonic French Infantry.  I need to base this batch of Nap figures before moving on to my next project.  I will either tackle a long delayed effort to improve my terrain collection or work more on my Napoleonics.  I'm still contemplating purchasing the Bolt Action rules soon, too.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Progress and Planning

I am making more progress on my 15mm Napoleonics, focusing on completing enough French and Austrians to play DBN initially.  My final goal will be forces large enough to play Lasalle.  Considering that I don't have a large table here in Korea or wargaming friends interested in Napoleonics, completing the Lasalle armies will be a two-three year effort, intermingled with other projects.

I have finished and based three Confederation of the Rhine Cavalry stands.  I have some French Infantry on the paint table now.  When those figures are done, I'll finishing the basing work on the whole batch.

I had scratched out my basic plan and inventory on several paper sheets.  Inspired by graphs noted in a US Army historical series on WW II, I created the visual below to help me track my progress.

Napoleonic Army progress - 18 January 2013

As I purchase and paint, I will update the graph.  The graph also provides a great visual contrast of the differences between the two Armies.

The DBN army lists are based on a 12 point army, and you have quite a few options.  I have boxed in the DBN elements that cover all options.  The red lines notate an legal 12 point force.  As you can see, I am close to completing a French DBN force.  I will need to buy some more figures to get an Austrian DBN army fielded.  Completion of two Lasalle forces will take some time!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Wishy Washy Wargaming

Now that my holiday is over, I'm back to long hours and little hobby time.  However, I made some great progress over Christmas break on Napoleonic figures: Austrian and French.  Having studied the pros and cons of double row-based 10mm and 15mm to death, I had settled on single row-based 15mm figures for DBN and Lasalle.

Excited about making quick progress, I painted up enough figures to cover the following for DBN:

  • six French line infantry stands
  • three stands of Confederation of the Rhine cavalry
  • four French artillery stands (heavy and medium guns, planning ahead for Lasalle)
  • one Austrian Jaeger stand
  • two Austrian Grenzer stands, with extra figures for Lasalle skirmish markers
Indecision and Fear Strikes

The project was humming along nicely.  Once all of the painting was finished, I glued the figures to bases.  I then decided to de-base twelve Austrian infantry stands, painted last year, that are based in double rows.  That way, I could finish the ground cover for all of the stands at once.  When I began trying to scrape the ground cover off and pry figures loose, I realized that the risk of damaging the figures was very, very high...

Instead of destroying the Austrians, I took a test run of de-basing a single row-based French infantry stand, painted during my 10mm vs. 15mm test.   De-basing is not easy!  I couldn't imagine scraping 100  Austrian figures loose.  As I debated my plan, my son commented on how great the double rows looked...

So, throwing rational thought and my hobby budget out the window, I'm reverting to my original plan.  I'll be basing my Napoleonic armies in double rows.  I'm working on more French and Jaegers to round out the stands prepared already, so I will post photos soon.

WW II Rules....

I bought BKC II recently, and I an impressed with the rules.  I've been planning to tackle WW II as my next big project, using 10mm.  BUT, I have now stumbled across Bolt Action, a new ruleset co-produced my Warlord Games and Osprey.  Rick Priestley is the author.  Having read several reviews and game reports, Bolt Action's lower echelon game looks appealing.  It would be a very different experience than my big unit AWI and Napoleonic games.  If I went with 28mm, I could try my hand at painting this larger scale.  The only downside is the sense of scale on the table. Even on a 4x6 table, the tanks and infantry sure look to be close to each other.

I could go with 15mm, which would be much cheaper and allow me to recycle my terrain, if nothing else.  15mm would also let me play BKC II easily enough, although 10mm is more appealing for that scale of game.

I've got plenty of time to consider my options, and I may pick up the Bolt Action rules to learn more.

In the mean time, I have plenty of fun ahead in painting my Napoleonics and tackling a terrain project.  I should mention that Ryan is making progress on his DBA Thessalian Army, too.