Books I have read and recommend.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

EUREKA Miniatures 28mm Dismounted Chasseur

Hi All
I just returned recently from EUREKA MINIATURES in Melbourne. I went there to purchase some Eureka Miniatures 1806 Saxons for my 1806 Campaign project and Nic showed me one of his latest additions to his 28mm Early French Napoleonics / French Revolutionary Wars Range. A dismounted Chasseur a Cheval at a watering fountain complete with washing maid and what looks like an "old hag".

A cracking good addition to any Early Napoleonic set.
The Chasseur is busy tapping his pipe on the heal of his boot as he leans against at watering fountain. Not to busy to notice the pretty washing maid however.
The "Old hag" seems to be keeping an eye on the Chasseur as she smokes a pipe of her own.
Three horses are having a drink, with one thinking about biting another who looks as if he has just push his way in,...
Fantastic miniatures full of character.
The figures are all "free standing", so can be arranged as you see fit.
I'm not sure who did the sculpting; but "well done" to whomever is responsible!
(UPDATE 24 DEC 09): ALAN MARSH is the sculptor

Anyway, here are some pictures:

BELOW: A close up of the Maid and "Hag".


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lasalle; A Battle report: Part 3

ABOVE: The 33rd Foot Fires a volly at the hard charging 5th Hussars. It wont be enough to halt them and the Englishmen will soon be ridden down! Meanwhile the British 7th Dragoons try to hold back the 1st Hussars and the Lancers


Following on after Turn 8 I’ll now run through quickly how the battle played out.

ABOVE: The 33rd's two HITS v the 5th Hussars 5 HITS! "Goodnight the 33rd"!

In the North the French 1st Hussars and Lancers charged into the Brit’s 7th Dragoons as the French 5th Hussars charged the 33rd Foot. The 33rd failed to form square and were ridden down.

In the centre the French launched an assault on the town with Engineer Support. The Spanish Militia rolled very badly and were bundled out of the town with heavy losses. Their efforts for the day were at an end.

BELOW: The Spanish Militia try to hold back the keen French conscripts, but it's all to no avail.

ABOVE: The 69th fires a volly then charges the French.

BELOW: The 69th and 44th Foot attack the French! The French Dragoons test to counter-charge and pass. The cry of "Vive Le France"! is screamed as the Dragoons sweep forward,..

The 69th Foot suffer two in-conclusive results and are driven back!

In the south the Veteran French battalions, supported by the Dragoons, launched a co-ordinated attack on the 69th and 44th Foot. The 69th Charged downhill at the French Battalion threatening them, only to be counter-charged by the Dragoons. They had an inconclusive result against the Dragoons, but were bested by the French Infantry and withdrew back to their start point, worse for wear. The 44th didn’t succeed either, and were driven back. To make matter worse, the 44th now had a Conscript Battalion threatening their right flank!

BELOW: The 44th Fire a Volley and then Charge the French Veterans!

BELOW: The RA Battery fires but roll only 1 "6"!

Back to the North sector, and the 7th Dragoons finally broke under the combined weight of the 1st Hussars and their Lancer comrades. The only good news was the success of the fresh and rested 2nd Dragoons charging and routing the French 5th Hussars, blown after destroying the 33rd Foot; and the 1st Foot Guards managed to drive back the Conscript Battalions. But now the Foot Guards had the Victorious French Battalion that had stormed the town pouring out behind them, and the French Chasseurs a Cheval were forming to charge the only British cavalry on the battlefield, the tired 2nd Dragoons.

BELOW: The 1st Foot Guards score 5 HITS to the French 3 Hits

The British commander conceded defeat and ordered a withdrawal.

BELOW: The 2nd Dragoons and The Foot Guards are successful, but "the jig is up"!


The rules are very easy to understand and they give what I consider a realistic result.
They are often described as "a clean set of rules", and by that I suspect people mean you don't get bogged down in piles of charts. I particularly like the way "Skirmishers" are tackled. You get the "eye candy" by using "Markers" to represent their presence, (that is if you want to use markers); but none of the hassle of having to "fiddle around" with companies of lights when all you want to do is drive your Bridage forward. They ARE there, and their effects are obvious, just none of the hassle game-wise.
Artillery is also well handled, with bounce through a consideration and Canister fire can be devastating!
The use of Engineers / Sappers to assist in clearing field works and other defences is also well simulated.

I do wish the index was more detailed, but this is a minor point because the rules a written in a way that make referencing a breeze,…

Getting use to the idea that in your turn you are the DEFENDER takes a bit of getting use to, but once accepted the game flows very easily.

This is a game that rewards a combined arms approach and the maintenance of a reserve.
I'm very impressed!
I played the game over 3 days, (because I was in the process of moving my apartment to my house, had a ton of "end of year" functions to attend, and have a very demanding 14mth old).
It would have gone for about 4.5 to 5 hours I think.
Now that I'm across the rules, about 3 hours would have done it.

What I meant by (to para-phrase) "..the rules reward a player who maintains a reserve" is just that. If you (the player) can maintain troops in reserve and be the last player to commit them you'll probably be victorious. In my game the Brits had thrown everything in, and the French still had the Chasseurs a Cheval and about 2 fresh, uncommited Battalions to throw in. Even though the 2nd Dragoons and 1st Foot Guards were doing well, they would soon be countered by Fresh units, or Infantry in their rear, (thanks to the failures of the Spanish militia to hold the town and the final collapse of the 7th Dragoons). The Highlanders would have been better off as a central reserve, (behind the town), and the 33rd should have formed square earlier, (probably on the reverse slope of Northen Hill).

Thoughts on bases for 28mm:

I'll probably go with 40mm square bases with 4 figs (2 x 2).
45mm x 40mm with a frontage of 3 figs in 2 ranks would also look good.

Trailape OUT!

P.S. You can find a detailed review of "Lasalle" at the RULES DIRECTORY. (Highly Recommended)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

LASALLE; A Battle Report: Part 2

The Opposing Plans

To make things simple I gave all Sub-Commanders a Vigour of 0, but I did add an advance play option of Engineer support to the French, (to be used in the inevitable assault on the town of Pyranesia).

The French plan called for a direct assault on both flanks to pin those British troops there down, and hopefully to draw any reserves away from the center (Town). Once this was done a Battalion or two supported by engineers and the Divisional Battery would storm the town and rupture the British center.

The Veteran Brigade under General De Brigade Champine on the right would be tasked with seizing South Ridge. The Division’s Dragoons would be in support.

The Conscript Brigade would be under the direct command of the General de Division Faint. Their task would be to keep the British on Northern Hill distracted whilst also capturing the town. They would have the Divisional Battery in direct support as well as having a Company of engineers tasked to help take the town.

The Light Brigade of Hussars, (5th and 1st), Lancers and Chasseurs would sweep around the left flank. General de Brigade Grochy would command. The Horse artillery would assist as required.

The British plan was simple. Hold both Northern Hill and Southern Ridge. The Local Spanish militia would defend the town. The Dragoons, (less their organic RHA Battery) would assist the 1st Foot Guards and the 33rd foot in holding Northern Ridge. The Infantry Brigade Commander was Major General Taff.

The two Dragoon Regiments (2nd and 7th) were under command of Colonel Cusbert-Smyth.

The Divisional Commander, Lt General Cambridge would command the 44th, 69th, 42nd and the Minden Battery on the British left flank.

The Militia were also under his command, (apparently).


The French advance along the entire front.

Turn 2:

The Minden Battery, Royal Artillery (RA), opens a Long Range bombardment from the ridge towards the Combined Swiss -Croatian Battalion. No hits, (not surprising given the long range, difference in height and intervening woods). The 42nd moves to the Southern Ridge sector and the Dragoon Brigade moves to the Northern Hill sector. The Militia move into the town.

Turn 3:

The French Horse artillery dash forward and deploy their guns near North Farm.

The Divisional Artillery deploy opposite the town. The Infantry of both Brigades march forward. Some of the Infantry of both Brigades start to pick their way through the woods. The Light Brigade splits with the Chasseurs and Lancers heading to the north of North farm and both Hussar regiments advancing between the farm and Darks Forrest.

Turn 4:

The British Battery fires again and score a hit, but this doesn’t cause any disruption, (Dist). The British Dragoons advance in March column toward the northern end of the hill.

Turn 5:

The French Horse gunners fire at the British 2nd Dragoons and score two hits= 1 Dist! The remainder of the French host continue to advance. The woods and forests hamper some of the battalions.

Turn 6:

The RA Fire again. Their gunners are having a bad day; no hits again. The 33d Foot change to "Attack Column" formation and advance to cover the 1st Foot Guards right flank. The 7th Dragoon change formation to “Abreast” in an effort to cover the 2nd Dragoons . The 2nd try to recover but can’t get rid of their one Dist.


The French Horse Artillery fires at the 7th Dragoons. No Hits! The 1st Hussars charge the 7th Dragoons! The French infantry close in on the British,..


The British RA Battery fires at the combined Swiss – Croatian Battalion as it emerges from the woods and scores two hits = 1 DIST! The 7th Dragoons clash with the 1st Hussars. The Dragoons have the combat advantage of being in “Abreast” formation against the Hussars that are coming on in “Waves”. The Dragoons also have a 2 Dice advantage in being “SHOCK” cavalry. That’s 12 v 8 dice. Both need “5” on each dice to hit.


The dice roll! (the Dragoons did roll 12, though only 10 are shown here. the missing two score 1 and 3).

The Hussars pull of a win, but it's an "inconclusive" result. The Dragoons a driven back and suffer 1 DIST. The 1st Hussars also take 1 DIST, but advance after the 7th Dragoons.


Friday, December 11, 2009

LASALLE: A Battle Report: Part 1

Hi All

I thought I’d post an AAR and Review of Sam A Mustafa’s latest offering “LASALLE”. So what is “Lasalle”?

Well from the HONOUR web page (Lasalle is a rule set within the HONOUR series)

The game is small-scale and tactical in nature, focusing on the movement of individual battalions and regiments of cavalry. The player will manage a small force of roughly a dozen units as he tries to complete some specific mission assigned to him, such as “Hold the village and our bridgehead at all costs!” or: “Drive the French from Plancenoit!”

Lasalle is ideal for a small gaming table, and it plays in real-time with most battles lasting 2-3 hours. It is perfect for pick-up games or tournament play. It therefore includes sample army lists enabling players to collect and paint typical small forces from a large number of possible nationalities.

Right then; let’s see for ourselves!

I’ll admit right from the start I am slightly bias towards Sam Mustafa’s work, (Shock, Horror)!!!.

I have played his MIGHT AND REASON rules for the 7 Years War and really like his FAST PLAY GRAND ARMEE (FPGA) rules. I have high expectations that these rules will be well written in an easy to understand and logical manner that will give a realistic game, (as realistic as any game can be).

You’ll find heaps of reviews of the rules on the web and in various magazines, so I’ll stick to the basics and devote more effort to an actual After Action Report, (“Play Test” so to speak):


The rules are presented in a hard bound book with lots of illustrations and pictures of miniatures in scales from 6mm right up to 40mm. A sturdy book that can take the beatings one normally subjects their rules to; (and NO, I don’t mean actually BEATING your opponent with the book, no matter how tempted to do so).

There are plenty of examples inserted at the appropriate places within the book, with diagrams to ensure that nothing is left in doubt. There are Army lists for the major combatants and most Minor States. Oddly enough there is no list for the USA(!?)

There is a Quick Reference sheet (QRS) of sorts in the book. I say “of sorts” because it’s not a card like QRS, but rather pages. That said, you can download a QRS (exactly the same as that within the book) for free together with an Errata and “Tips and suggestions” and there is already a free Army List for the OTTOMAN EMPIRE. In fact, all future army lists will be available for free! It states in the “ARMY BUILDER section of the book:

“You will never have to buy and Supplements to play Lasalle”

Obviously Sam is no businessman in the mold of the teams at Games Workshop or Battlefront!

First Impressions

The rules are very well written.

Rather than writing the rules to mirror the sequence of play they are written in a logical order by way of introduction to the Sub-systems, thus enabling the reader to better understand each subsystem as they are introduced.

There are Advanced rules, Historical Scenarios, a FAQ section and as mentioned before, a QRS, an Army Builder and Army List section. Another useful “bit” is the “Learning The Game Concepts" section, dealing with Unit Sizes and Formations, Depicting Skirmishers, Fronts and Flanks, Terrain and lots more.

So How Does It All Play Out?

Well, like I said, I could rattle on about the actual rules and how well they are written and what nice quality the paper is and "are the lists truly representational of the Armies they represent",. BLAH BLAH BLAH but let’s face it, your here for the AAR and the pictures; sooooo......

The Battle of Pyranesia, 1810

The French ORBAT

A Infantry Division from the Peninsular List:

2 x Veteran Infantry (plus 1 extra, see note) = 3 Vet Btns

3 x Conscript Infantry (Plus 1 extra, see note) = 4 Con btns

1 x Dragoon Regt

1 x Divisional battery

NOTE: Because the French are attacking in this game they get 1 extra Veteran Infantry and 1 extra Conscript Infantry battalion.

I also added an “Organic” Brigade of Light cavalry:

2 x Hussars (1st and 5th)

2 x Chasseurs (but I changed one of these to lancers ‘cause i wanted to see what effect lancers had).

The British ORBAT

An Infantry Division from the Peninsular List:

4 x Infantry (33rd, 44th, 69th and 42nd)

1 x Large Elite Infantry (these are not Guards, but for this game I’ve made them the 1st Foot Guards)

1 Royal Artillery Battery (Minden Battery RA)

2 x Skirmisher Bases (95th Rifles?)

I also added a “Reserve” Dragoon Brigade *:

2 x Heavy Dragoons (the 2nd and 7th). These should be + Large units, but I've kept ALL cav in this game as small 4 base units.

*(this Bde should also have a Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) battery, but I don’t have one. Instead I’ve added a Spanish Militia Battalion, (just for shits’ n’ giggles).

PART 2: The Game! to be post soon!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

EUREKA! Guns for my Minden Miniatures Gunners

ABOVE: The competitors go muzzel to muzzel!
(Old Glory on the left, and Eureka Miniatures on the right. MINDEN Miniatures French gunner check them out)
Hi All
The question was asked recently "who's Guns will you use to equipe your MINDEN MINIATURES gunners"?
I considered my options.
A) I could put my OLD GLORY ARMY CARD to good use and purchase the guns from OLD GLORY at a very reasonable price, (a 40% discount, and the Aussie Dollar is VERY strong at the moment); OR,
B) Go with the "LOCAL" option and purchase the magnificent EUREKA MINIATURES guns.
The Eureka guns are expensive in comparison to the OG guns, (but then every other manufacturer's gun is expensive in comparison I guess); but they (Eureka) are a better quality product I think.
BELOW: OG (silver) and EUREKA (undercoated black) guns side-by-side. MINDEN MINIATURES French gunners survey the contenders. "Well Fronk, what do you think? Silver is sooooo 70's no"?

ABOVE: They French gunner's chose their "weapon of choice"! "Ohhhh LA LA! Qui qui, (poo poo). Look, zay even throw in zee equipmont. Manifeequ!"
Well, I've chosen to use EUREKA MINIATURES fantastic Artillery Pieces from their Age Of Reason range.

I went with the EUREKA guns for the following reasons:
1. Better quality, (being a GUNNER myself I knew I had to get the best guns for my Gunners);
2. EUREKA are a "Local" product. (I like to support Nic and his team at EUREKA as he's an Aussie, provides great customer service, and is a nice guy);
3. Even though the EUREKA guns are more expensive, I was only buying a few; so the price difference in the end wasn't such a big consideration, and;
4. The OG guns came with gunners, (that I didn't need).

I eventually purchased three packs of the OG Guns (and gunners) anyway to add to my AWI army.
You can never have to much Artillery!
The OG guns (and Gunners) represent EXCELLENT value for money, and with the extra 40% off with the ARMY CARD are an absolute BARGAIN!!! Add in the excellent customer service from the team from OLD GLORY and you're on a winner,...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Minden Miniatures: Regt Bulkeley Infanterie (28mm)

Hi All
I've just finished paining my second unit of MINDEN MINIATURES 28mm Figures. These guys are from the French range.
This time I painted them as the "Wild Geese" Regiment Bulkeley, the heros of Fontenoy.
I've include in these photos the first MINDEN MINIATURES unit I painted; the white coated Royal La Marine Regt.
The flags are from GMB Flags.
I didn't make the same mistake I did when I painted Royal La Marine,.... this time I put my glasses on and put the flags on the staffs the right way up!
These Flags are truely little works of art.

BELOW: A close up of the Grenadiers of Regt Bulkeley!

Below: The Drummer urgers the Regt forward!

BELOW: A close up photo of the magnificent GMB Flags!

BELOW: Two more pictures of the Colours!

Below: The Wild Geese maintain excellent dressing ("By The Right"!), as they advance!

I've come to the conclusion that Minden Miniature are probably the most anotomicaly correct miniature I've ever painted. Fantastic miniature that deserve better than my feeble attempts at painting them,...
Feel free to leave a comment!
Cheers For Now!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Roman Work Party! 28mm Ancients.

Hi All
Here is a few pictures of some Early Imperial Romans I painted about three years ago. The Roman Officer with the big nose is from OLD GLORY. The Legionaries at work are 1st Corp (I think). The officer with the parchment is a figure I purcased via the DBA FANATICUS page.

Feel free to leave a comment or two!

"So Centurion, what are the men up to"?
"Urm, digging Sir"!
"Ow wheeeeeellllly"!
"Urm, Yes Sir, really"!
"Oh! Well, do cawwy on"!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

VICTRIX Peninsular British: 32nd Foot

(ABOVE) "Blimey Sir; steady on! The Frog's ain't goin no where,.." !
The Colour Party of the 32nd Regiment Of Foot. The Colours (flags) came with the PERRY Plastic British Box Set! Unfortunatly the Flags are for the 33RD FOOT!!! oooops. Oh well, I'll do the 33rd soon, so I'll just swap out the Ensigns.
Hi all!
Here is the second unit of VICTRIX 28mm plastics I've assembled and painted. This time it's the British 32nd Regiment of Foot. I tried a different method of painting this time, and am happier with the results. (See this entry on the 44th Foot I painted earlier).
DISCLAIMER! I freely admit I'm not a brilliant painter, so these are pretty much painted to what I consider a "Wargames standard". I don't do faces very well, so I don't bother trying.
As usual, I did use some parts from the PERRY Plastic box set, ( including Flags).
(Below: A close up of our "Enthusiatic Tommy". One of the advantages of plastic "kit" figs is the ease of "conversions" such as "Tommy" here).

(Above: The Brave 32nd advance on the equaly Brave Frenchmen)
I also used a differnt basing method. Again, better results I think.

Painting: I still undercoated the figures with a Matt Black spray, (available from any harware shop). I painted the coats with a base coat of Games Workshop Mechrite Red, then did a highlight of Vallejo AV Red and then a 2nd highlight using Vallejo AV Scarlet.
I also painted the soldier's pants as various shades of off white, pale greys' and the occassional browns.
Shakos and Packs I painted in a flat black, and then highlighted with a mix of flat black and "Flesh", (Dwarf Flesh by GW). You need to experiment a bit to get the right mix, but it does produce a very good "black highlight"
(Below: The Light Company)
BASING: This time I simply used some fine "gritty" sand I found in the gutter at work. Cost? Just some personal pride as i must haved looked like some lunatic derro as a gathered it up into an old plastic bag! Other than that; it was FREE!
I glued the figures to the VICTRIX bases using common PVA (woodwork) glue, and left to dry. A few hours later I covered the bases with the same PVA Glue and then dipped the entire base in the "gritty" sand. Again, I left to dry (overnight).
Next day I covered the base with a diluted dark brown ink wash, and (again) left to dry. I then Dry Brushed "Fawn / Light Brown" hobby Paint on the base, and then added dabs here and there of PVA Glue. I then sprinkled on the flocking grass and I was done!
Rather good result I think!
(Below: One last look at the 32nd Foot).
I based each member of the Regimental Colour party individualy on 20mm x 20mm bases. I also based the Flank Company soldiers (the Grenadiers and Lights) singularly.
As I intend to use the figures mainly for playing "SHARP PRACTICE", so I figured I'd need some single based figures.
The rest are all based 4 to a base, (40mm sqare).
Feel free to leave a comment!