Hobby Plans for 2021

  

Covid-19 disrupted just about everyone’s plans for 2020, and makes planning for 2021 a challenging matter as well! On the personal COVID front, I had my first dose of the Moderna mRNA vaccine 10 days ago (no side effects except some mild expected arm soreness), with dose #2 to follow in early February. 


Expenses:

I will keep the allowance to $2000,  and hope to come in well below that. If Historicon does not take place, I should end the year well under budget. 



Painting:

I doubt I will be able to match 2020’s production of over 3,700 points, but I’d like to paint at least 2000 points worth. 

1) Add to my French and Austrian Napoleonic armies (already my largest, mind you). I have lead on hand for a LOT of Austrians and quite a few French as well. No purchases needed here!


2) Some additional ECW reinforcements (Cavalry and Artillery – Old Glory, already ordered) 

3) Paint newly acquired/to be acquired Chariot era additions – Peleset, Libyans, a few Egyptians, etc. 

4) Add to my Mauryan Indian Army for To the Strongest! Lead already ordered. I still have some remaining lead for the Macedonian/Thracian forces. 

5) Paint the Murawski Polish Horse Artillery and Krakus. It looks like Murawski is now planning to do the Baden Hussars, which will be a Must Buy, even if they don’t get painted this year!
6) Maybe start on my Darkest Africa project- I have a fair amount of lead on hand for that now. 



Games:


Try to exceed 20 games run/assisted with/played in this year. 

Historicon is the big question mark. It looks at least an even chance that it WILL happen this July, although it is likely to be restricted (see the plans for Cold Wars) . That makes it very difficult to plan any games. There is certainly no way I could see doing a Campaign in a Day event there in 2021, but 2022 is a distinct possibility.  

For the same reason, I don’t think 2021 will be the year to run a Siege game using Vauban’s Wars at Historicon… but we’ll see. 2022 would be much more likely

One or two games with Field of Battle 3rd edition are likely to be on the roster (? Albuera 1811), as well as one or more games with To the Strongest/For King and Parliament. One posibility would be doing the Battle of Qadesh. 
A game with the 15mm Renaissance Galleys (Galleys and Galleons rules) on Sunday AM is a definite possibility. 

If Covid looks better by early Summer, it might be possible to consider doing a Campaign in a Day event in Connecticut in late September/early October. 



Blogging:

Maintain about the same number of Blog posts – circa 100 per year. 



Rules:


I still have a lot of sets that I want to try out! 

There at least 4 different Napoleonic rules sets in the sights – Blogger sets Eagles Cheaper than Brain Cells and 123! Napoleonics, plus General d’ Armee and a Napoleonic variant(s) for Bloody Big Battles (Jared has been using this last with his students)


Several Napoleonic Age of Sail rule sets to try as well – Grand Fleet Actions in the Age of Sail and Form Line of Battle.





Also for my large collection of Superior Starfleet Wars/Galactic Knights ships, play at least one game with those rules, as well as Starmada and Ascension of the Galaxy (from a Kickstarter). 


Blunders On The Danube

Shardana (Sherden) Warbands

 

Also among the figures acquired from Bill McHugh were a number of these.

In fact, there were sufficient figures to make 3 full units!


The Shardana were another of the “Sea Peoples” who invaded Egypt and Palestine before, during, and after the reign of Ramses II. 

Once again, these figures are definitely by Old Glory.

Here’s the second unit.

These are more or less as Bill painted them, with just minor touch ups and rebasing.
 

Once again, the models are familiar from my own Sherdens

In order to make the individual units distinctive, some minor paint conversion was done. 

For this 3rd unit, the shields were changed to green, as was the pattern on the tunics. 

The same was done with the first unit, using red instead. 

I am probably going to convert my existing 2 units of 16 Sherdens into 3 more units of 12, with the aid of a few Command figures acquired from Foundry last month. That way they can serve either with a Sea Peoples force or as mercenaries in the Egyptian army. 

Blunders On The Danube

Morschauser Horse and Musket Rules – sort of.

 These are the rules we used for our New Year’s Eve remote game, based upon the rules in Joseph Morschauser’s book, How to play Wargames in Miniature, including somr of the ideas he sets for in the later chapters of the book, and using a gridded tabletop (which he subsequently became a great advocate of). The grid speeds play and works especially well with a remote gaming set up. 

Following that is the same set updated a bit from the experience of playing the last game. 


Morschauser-style gridded Horse and Musket Rules, Mark 1


Unit Type

Move-inches

Move-boxes

Hits

Melee- Front

Melee- Other

Light Infantry

15”

5

4

2

1

Infantry

12”

4

5

3

1

Grenadiers

12”

4

6

4

1

Light Cavalry

18”

6

4

4

2

Heavy Cavalry

15”

5

6

5

2

Artillery

12”

4

3

1

1

Leaders

18”

6

2

1

1

For gridded game, costs 1.5 to move on the diagonal

Costs 3”/1 box for each turn of up to 90 degrees

Increase Move by 50% if the entire move is along a road. 


In melee roll as many dice as hits remaining to the unit, Each die scoring the melee value or less is a hit on the enemy.

Minus 1 to melee when attacking uphill, from stream, into woods, or units in buildings

Unit Type

Range-inches

Range-boxes

To Hit

Special

Light Infantry

18”

6

4, 5, 6

May enter Woods

Infantry

18”

6

5, 6

Grenadiers

18”

6

5, 6

Light Cavalry

12”

4

6

Heavy Cavalry

N/A

N/A

N/A

No shooting

Artillery-Shot

48”

16

4, 5 ,6

Artillery-Grape

12”

4

2, 3, 4 ,5, 6

Leaders

Must stay w/in 24”/8 boxes of his command; units farther away move ½ speed. May Rally once per turn 1,2 = fail, 3,4,5,8 = 1 hit,

Units may Fire at the beginning or end of their move, but not in between.

Each unit gets one shot, no matter how many hits it has taken, until eliminated.

Minus 1 to shooting into woods, behind walls, or in buildings.

Units in a stream or ford may not shoot.

If entering an enemy zone of control (within 3”/the 3 boxes to the front) must stop, and melee will result. Must face into the box of at least one enemy unit whose ZOC you enter.


———————————————————————————————————————————


Morschauser-style gridded Horse and Musket Rules, Mark 2

Organize the Army into commands, each with a Leader. Leaders only affect their Command.

Players alternate turns. Dice for who goes first at the beginning of the game. 

Unit Type

Move-inches

Move-boxes

Hits

Melee- Front

Melee- Other

Militia Infantry

6”

2

2

2

1

Light Infantry

9”

3

4

2

1

Infantry

6”

2

5

3

1

Grenadiers

6”

2

6

4

1

Light Cavalry

15”

5

4

4

2

Heavy Cavalry

12”

4

6

5

2

Artillery

6”

2

3

1

1

Leaders

18”

6

2

1

1

For gridded game, counts as 1.5 boxes to move or measure range on the diagonal

Costs  1.5”/1/2 box for each turn of 45 degrees

Increase Move by 50% if the entire move is along a road. 

Only Light Infantry may enter woods. Cavalry and Artillery may not enter buildings.

If entering an enemy zone of control (within 3”/the 3 boxes to the front) must stop, and melee will result. Must face into the box of at least one enemy unit whose ZOC you enter.

All defending units who are attacked, or have an enemy in their ZOC may fight in melee. 

Minus 1 to melee when attacking uphill, from stream, into woods, or units in buildings

Minus 1 to melee if their Command is Shaken. 

Units losing a melee Fall Back 6” (2 boxes), facing the enemy.

Unit Type

Range-inches

Range-boxes

To Hit

Special

Militia Infantry

12”

4

5, 6

Light Infantry

12”

4

4, 5, 6

May enter Woods

Infantry

12”

4

5, 6

Grenadiers

12”

4

5, 6

Light Cavalry

9”

3

6

Heavy Cavalry

N/A

N/A

N/A

No shooting

Artillery-Shot

48”

16

4, 5 ,6

Artillery-Grape

12”

4

2, 3, 4 ,5, 6

Leaders

Must stay w/in 18”/6 boxes of his command; units farther away move ½ speed. May Rally one unit once per turn 1,2 = fail, 3,4,5,6 = 1 hit regained

Each unit gets one shot, no matter how many hits it has taken, until eliminated.

Units may Fire at the beginning or end of their move, but not in between

Minus 1 to shooting into woods, behind walls, or in buildings.

Minus 1 to shooting if their Command is Shaken. 

Units in a stream or ford may not shoot.

Units suffering 2 or more hits due to fire in a single turn Fall Back 6’/2 boxes, facing the enemy. 

Morale 

Command Morale: When ½ of the units in a Command have been removed it becomes Shaken and must immediately retreat 12”/4 boxes. Units which are part of a Shaken Command move at half speed, except to the rear (retreating), and suffer an additional minus 1 penalty to shooting and melee. 

Army Morale: When all the Commands in an army are Shaken the General must concede. 

Extras

Guard troops 

are treated as their type, but get two additional hit boxes. Should be very limited!


Poorly motivated troops and less than enthusiastic allied troops could also be handled like the Militia.

Leader Quality 

Roll a D6 for each Leader at the start of the game:

1,2= Poor (minus 1 to Rally rolls)

3,4 = Average (no change)

5,6 = Superior (plus 1 to rally rolls; a modified “7” = 2 hits regained!

The quality roll itself could be modified -1 for armies with overall poor leadership, and +1 for armies with excellent overall leadership.

Blunders On The Danube

Peleset (Philistine) Warbands, Skirmishers, and Leaders

Along with the Hittites, there were quite a few other Chariot era figures I acquired from Bill’s collection. Those needing the least work were the Peleset warriors. 

These figures were very familiar to me, as I have them in my collection already – Old Glory!

They were well painted, and just needed reorganizing, rebasing, and minimal touchup. 

Note the black lining on the tunic pattern!

The second unit has a white “kilt” with an orange pattern…

and a blue head dress.

Very menacing looking!

These additions will double the size of my Peleset forces. The Pelset were one of the Sea Peoples, and are often equated with the Philistines of the Bible. 

Some surplus figures were used to make a unit of skirmishers…

and a couple of leaders/heroes.

Since the Old Glory figures come 30 to a pack, I did much the same thing with mine!


A little dry brushing altered the colors of the head dress feathers 

to Turquoise and Orange from the base blue and  dark red.

Blunders On The Danube

Last Game of 2020: Morschauser hosted on Skype!

   On New Year’s Eve (but well before cocktail hour!) Jon (Palouse Wargaming Journal) and I played a remote game by Skype. The rules were based upon those in Joe Morschauser’s book, How to play Wargames in Miniature.  It was my second attempt at hosting a remote game, and some things went well, and others… didn’t. The new webcam installed easily and worked fine… except in Black and White!* I had planned to use my i-phone and i- pad as additional cameras to give different views of the table, but it looks like each needs a unique email address and username for that to work. I’ll have to try setting that up for the next attempt. Anyway, Jon kindly observed that the B&W images added to the “Old School” feel of the game. We both felt that we should perhaps have worn jackets for the game! I observed that  it was a bit early in the day, even on the East Coast and on New Year’s Eve, for the proverbial glass of Port!

* I tried unsuccessfully to adjust the camera settings. An internet search after the game solved the issue- you can’t change the camera settings and have them take effect while Skype is running – you have to log out of Skype, then change the camera settings, then log back in to Skype. I did that, and it worked fine; I now have color with the webcam, just a day late! 

Test set up for fit on one of my brown paper battlefields with a 4″ grid; 16 boxes in each direction, a little over 5 feet. 

I went over the above grid with a thick black Sharpie (felt tipped pen) to make it heavier and more obvious for remote gaming. I chose a scenario from OHW; the river is everywhere fordable, but in order for the supply trains of the advancing armies to pass, control of both ends of both bridges is required. The ridges are from the items I acquired from Pastimes on the Square late in 2020. The fields are purely decorative. 

Your host tying to set up his i-phone as an auxiliary camera.

Each army was identical, 8 units of Line Infantry, 2 Light Infantry, 2 Grenadiers, 2 batteries, 1 Heavy Cavalry and 2 Light Cavalry. I took the Swedes (near) and Jon the Russians (far). Each army had three command groups with the main effect being the ability of the Command group leader to attempt to rally losses off of one of his units once per turn.  We alternated setting up one command group at a time

View from the Russian side after 2 moves, The combat is centering around the bridges, as expected. As soon as we started to shoot, it became apparent that the planned shooting rules would be far too bloody, and more like playing a WW1 game in the open!  The rules were promptly adjusted by mutual consent (I’ll present them with thoughts in a separate post). 

Mid game: The Russian Hussar had charged over the bridge, eliminating a unit of Swedish Jagers; on my move the Swedish Light Dragoons have countercharged!

At the other bridge, the battle of attrition favored the Swedes;t he Life Grenadiers have just charged across the bridge, eliminating one of Jon’s batteries. The dice in the background show that I got 3 hits (needing a 4 or less) rolling 6 dice, just enough to eliminate the artillery. 

Late game overview- the far bridge is about to fall into Swedish hands; there is but one very battered Russian defender left (each “rock” represents a hit on the unit). At the near bridge, the Swedes are battered and vulnerable; only the Andra Lifguard opposite the bridge are in any kind of shape!

Situation at game’s end; Jon concedes , being down to just a battered unit of Pavlov Grenadiers and a battery for the Russians vs 2 batteries, 1 Line infantry and 1 Jager for the Swedes.
    As expected, Jon was a gracious player and a lot of fun to game with.  The rules were bloody, as expected, and need a few clarifications, a bit more robust command and control function, and some basic morale added to them. Still, they fit on one side of a piece of paper, and gave a game that lasted about 2 hours. If I had never fought a wargame before, they would be easy to pick up, and we both had fun playing the game. Although the mechanics of fighting are completely different, the game reminded me a lot of those that we played at the home of Charlie Sweet in Bristol, CT, way back when I was ages 18-22 (!), and also some later Napoleonic games at the home of Joe Polsen in Stamford, CT, using his beautifully painted Napoleonic collection. 

Blunders On The Danube