Sunday, April 28, 2019


AJ's splendid AWI figures marching across the table.

Well, dear readers, I am happy to finally be able to post a game report. Last Friday, my friend AJ (of AJ's Wargaming Blog) hosted a playtest of his upcoming Huzzah! convention game: The Battle of Freeman's Farm  (American War of Independence).  He has also posted a report on the game on his blog. First, a few words about the cutting edge system AJ has created, something he calls eBrigadier.  This utilizes connected tablet computers to input moves, track unit morale, losses, exhaustion, and resolve combat and track army attrition.  And it's dead simple to use (for users). 
(Above) Players recording the moves and actions of their counterparts across the table.  

Briefly stated, each player has a tablet that is pre-loaded with unit information. During the turn, the moving player simply dictates the actions of his units to his counterpart, who enters them into the system. The turn then gets resolved and the tablets then go to the other side of the table.  For a more complete explanation, you might want to check out AJ's Youtube Channel or by following this link to the topic on his blog.  Unfortunately, with the demise of Google Plus, his dedicated eBrigadier page has gone "poof" so the above will have to do for now.  Enough with the details.   On to the report. As usual, you may clix pix for Big Pix.
Pre-game festivities.  I was on the American side, and my fellow patriots were Bob (red jacket at left) and Ralph (seated at right).  Also pictured are our convivial host,  AJ (red t shirt), and Rob. 
The British: Rob (British right), AJ (British center), and (Von) George (Commanding the Hessians on the British left). 
Lola: Patriot and my faithful adjutant for the evening, seen here providing both inspiration and sound advice.  
The three American commands at the bottom of the picture. Bob was on the left in a command that included Morgan's Rifles and the Dearborn Light Infantry.  Ralph was on the right with the New Hampshire Continentals and some militia, and I was in the center with the 2nd and 4th New York Continentals, a unit of Vermont Militia, and the 2nd Massachusetts Continentals plus a section of 6lb guns (the latter two transferred from the left wing).  The British were in three columns (their right hand column is out of frame). The fields in the upper right/center of the picture represent Freeman's Farm. This would be the focus of much action.
(Left) Ralph pushes his Granite Staters (that's New Hampshire) into the field on the right while my New Yorkers take up positions in the right/center.  (Right) On our left, Bob takes up the line to face the Rob's advancing British right.  On this wing, there would be some far flung action as the British pushed their Native Americans around the end of the American line and Bob pushed Dearborn's Light Infantry around the edge of the British line. 
In the center, I spotted our only guns and brilliantly advanced the Vermont Militia to slow down the British, intending to attrit them with cannon and musket fire. Neither happened. The Vermonters took to their heels and the guns lasted but one turn longer before they were overrun...
...a long shot showing the early British Advance--you can see the Vermont militia getting engaged in the top center of the picture: AJ aggressively pushed the 21st Foot out in advance to engage the Vermonters (and then take the guns, which they much for the American science of war!).
On the right, Ralph shakes out some infantry into open order and covers the woods while his New Hampshire Continentals brace for the arrival of the Hessians.
An illustration of the eBrigadier system at work: Hessian commander Von George (left) moving and communicating instructions for his units to Ralph, his American counterpart, who is entering them into the tablet. 
The British, with a slight numerical and qualitative advantage, aggressively pushed ahead engaging the entire American line, each side standing and trading volleys...will the Americans hold?
In the center the 2nd Massachusetts took up the decisive spot after the guns had been overrun and the Vermont Militia had run (the Vermonters can be seen in the above rallying behind the 2nd MA).  The British 21st Foot had dispatched the guns and the Vermonters and was now going toe to toe with the 2nd MA.  To add to their achievements, the 21st Foot would pick-off Gen Gates, too. 
Meanwhile on the right, Von George's Hessians press Ralph's New Hampshire Continentals, each side standing and trading volleys. 

Back in the center, the 2nd New York begins to show signs of wear...
 ...and and AJ sends the 9th Foot to close with the New Yorkers.
The 2nd NY holds, but the 4th NY wilts under the volleys from the Hessian Grenadiers and the 62nd Foot, leaving only the 2nd the line. To its left, the 2nd MA is heavily engaged with the 21st Foot.  The American center is in crisis....
 ...(Above Left) but the 2nd MA holds its ground.  The Vermont Militia (who are in this story after all) having finished their ice cream, wheel to the edge of the field and volley into the advancing 9th Foot. (Above Right) Meanwhile, the 4th New York (amazingly) rallies and is in position to firm up the center...
...after a hard pounding, the units of the British center and left finally begin to crack, leaving the field to the exhausted Americans.  (Above) Rob, commander of the British right, takes the loss philosophically, befitting of a Professional English officer and gentleman of the era. 

Apologies to Bob (commander of the US left); I did not get many pictures of the action there, but the fighting was equally touch and go.  It was a near run thing--given a few different decisions by General Dice it could have been the Americans who were leaving the table.  Well played all around, and a fine way to end the week: playing with toy soldiers on a rainy Friday night! 

Thanks to AJ for hosting!

Saturday, April 20, 2019


Well, dear readers, I am happy to report that my recent four-in-one project is done. These  units are for mid-century Austrian or Hungarian armies (depending on whether you're talking 1848/49 or not).  For a detailed recap of source material, figures, and inspiration, I would refer you to the April 7th post.   This posting will mainly consist of eye candy and a few notes. As usual, you may clix pix for BIG PIX...

 Hungarian/Austrian Freiwilliger (Volunteer) Jagers
I wound up doing a minor conversion on these figures. 
  These began life as Steve Barber Honved Infantry in Porge Cap (above).  Once I got started, I decided to add the feather to the headgear (using lead foil reinforced by J&B Liquid Weld).   
I was pleasantly surprised by the impact of the white feather: it really transformed the look of the unit. The officer is a more significant conversion: he involved a head swap in addition to the headgear modification (see previous post for details).  The soldiers' black braiding on blue doesn't "pop" but it does render a unique impression.  The officers in these volunteer units, however, had higher contrast details--thus, I made the most of him. These fellows could be fielded with either the Austrians or the Hungarians, so represent a flexible gaming asset (pretty and practical). 

Hungarian Freiwilliger (Volunteer) Hussars
No conversions here, but the figures were repurposed. These are  Foundry Austrian Red Hussars from the Maximillian Adventure Line. 
The black on green isn't something that "pops" (again), so I did the buttons in white (as depicted in the sources) which does stand out nicely.  The officer is appropriately flamboyant and flashy for a volunteer hussar outfit.  Like their dismounted counterparts, these fellows could be fielded in a variety of contexts.  

 Imperial Uniformed Hungarian Infantry in Hungarian Service
These represent one of the Hungarian units that fought in their Imperial uniforms on the Hungarian side during the 1848/49 revolt.  The distinguishing features of Hungarian service are the Hungarian tricolor pompoms and the black strapping. The black on white is a novel combination that gives these units their distinctive look.  
Of course, the distinctive knots and braiding are always a part of the "Hungarian look."  These are Steve Barber Szekely Infantry figures (and officer). 

Honved Infantry in Brown Attila
Brown-coated Hungarian/Honved infantry. These are Steve Barber Honved Infantry Advancing
The Honved officer in shako figure is a new addition to the line (and was the source of the torso for my volunteer jager head swap). This unit will be a handy addition to my base Honved infantry force (in shako with "plain" brown jackets--"plain" being a relative term when it comes to a Hungarian army; sort of like Ancient Persians).

Volunteers and Revolting Hungarians: Ready for Service


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Freiwilliger Hussars, Jagers, und Hungarian Infantry: Oh My! (Work In Progress)

One Work In Progress--Four Works In Progress?

With a high profile project coming to a head at work this week, I thought I'd blog a bit now while I have the mental space and physical time to do so.  This is a work in progress post, but it is work such as I have never done before: four different units concurrently. Not only are there four unique uniforms and figure sets, but there is a mounted unit mixed in with infantry.  Normally, I would stick to one figure type or style at a time, and certainly would never do infantry and cavalry together. But for some reason--perhaps its spring fever--I am feeling impatient with the normal pace of painting, etc.  A rational part of me knows that doing these together is no shortcut(x number of figures to paint = x amount of time and effort, regardless), but this way I at least avoid the mental setback of starting over x4.  There is only one start point and all are progressing together.  I'm also eager to get this whole batch off the assembly line since these will be useful for both my Hungarians and Austrians--and there are some unique units here, too.  I definitely want to shift to gaming more vs painting as the year goes on. This batch will be a boost towards getting there. As usual, you may clix pix for Big Pix in this report. Here's what's in the pipeline:

Hungarian/Austrian Freiwilliger Hussars
This cavalry unit was inspired by the above images (left from the Knotel  site and the above right from the NY Public Library Vikhuijsen Collection).  Love the jaunty headgear.  I picked the color scheme of the dark green with red trousers.  These fellows will be able to serve with either my Hungarians or with my Austrians:
I'm using Foundry Maximillian Adventure Austrian Red Hussars for them. This unit was actually a unit of Austrian Freiwilliger Hussars (so the uniform is essentially appropriate).
These are spiffing sculpts, but I did have to cut off the left half of the blanket roll to make room for the hanging pelisse in order to seat the figures (for the troopers: the officer, since he has no pelisse, sits just fine). I probably could have rummaged about my spares box and come up with three horses, but I liked the mounts that came with these and wanted to give them a go. I think they'll be just fine. 

Hungarian (etc) Freiwilliger Jager/Freikorps
Inspired by these jaunty fellows above (again images from the NYPL collection), I decided to include a unit of Freikorps infantry--these could be fielded with either my Hungarians or Austrians.
The headgear's the thing for these units, and the Steve Barber Honved Infantry in Porge Kalap fits the bill.  There were various units and variations on this uniform, but I am aiming for the mid blue with black distinctions as seen in the prints. You'd never guess by the photo that these figures have two shades of blue (Humbrol Azure blue base with Humbrol World War I blue dry brushed over).  But the effect, nevertheless, renders a good result (so far).  
Of course, there is a conversion involved!  You knew there had to be.  To get a Freiwilliger officer (above left), I did a head swap (above right) using the torso of a Steve Barber Honved/Hungarian Officer and the head of one of the infantry in porge kalap.  So far, so good. 

Imperial Regular Infantry In Hungarian/Honved Service
During the Hungarian Revolt, many of the Hungarian Infantry units of the Regular Imperial Army fought on the Hungarian side.  They continued to wear their Imperial uniforms (except for black strapping and Hungarian cockade). So, I thought it would be good to have some white coated fellows among my Hungarians. It's taken some effort to keep all the black strapping from looking like a solid "cuirass" across the chest.  The single white strap of the bread bag looping over from the right shoulder to left hip has proven to be a saving grace in breaking up the black. I'll continue to pay particular attention to this area as these figures progress.  These are Steve Barber Szekely Infantry Advancing; they will serve equally well as Imperial infantry in Hungarian service.  
Honved Infantry in Standard Brown Attila
Although it would be quite appropriate for the Hungarian/Honved infantry to be quite varied and colorful, I thought it still would be good to have another "standard" brown-coated infantry in shako in my core Hungarian/Honved infantry contingent.  The new twist is the officer in shako (that is a new release: all my previous have been in slant caps).   

Still lots of painting and then plenty of touching up to go before these are presentable. I expect that I'll be spending a quiet hour or so per night on these for this week.  I hope to have this project (four projects?) wrapped up in time for my next post (or the one after that, if not).
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