Friday, November 30, 2012

Sneak preview

First of the Wachovian cuirassier regiment!

Now, to paint eight more of them...

(Well, seven plus an officer.)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Orc time is over

...back to painting humans. Yes, my several-month sojourn among the green-skinned fellows has come to an end, as I have painted what may be my last orc. Here are a few shots of the latest additions to the horde:
Orcish Hero, with faithful warg companion and personal standard-bearer.

Yes, that's a severed head he's carrying--borrowed from Boudicca.

A couple more warbands.

A second stand of riders, on surplus Mongol ponies.

The whole army.

All together!

Next up on my painting table are some 40mm Wachovian cuirassiers, but once I'm done with those it should be back to plastic for a while. At the moment, I'm leaning towards the 17th century (those winged hussars I did back at the beginning of the year are looking lonely) but we'll see. And the holiday season may throw a wrench into my plans one way or another...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Black Friday for Wachovia

This year it so happened that one of the HAWKs' biweekly meetings fell on the day after Thanksgiving, and since I was home for the Holiday, Dad and William and I decided to take the NQSYW troops up to the club for a game. As it was, we had plenty of players, so I ended up helping Dad run the game. This left my poor Wachovians at the mercies of other commanders, in whose hands they proceeded to do what they do best: get killed in great numbers.

The scenario was "A Threat to the Flank," from one of Dad's scenario books, apparently loosely based on the Battle of the Boyne. The attacking force, in this case the Schoeffen-Buschhagen/Wachovian/Wiegenburg alliance, is attempting to push across a shallow river, and has sent a small force downstream to outflank the enemy. The Western League, this time consisting of Schluesselbrett, Hesse-Hattemstadt, and Stanzbach-Anwatsch, is on the defense, holding a couple of hamlets in a hilly area on the other side of the river.

As it happened, the allied general decided not to commit much to the flanking force--just the Wachovian hussars, who put up a decent showing in what is probably the worst-case scenario for light cavalry in Charge!--fighting heavy cavalry in a confined space. Meanwhile, the main force attacked on a wide frontage across the river, trusting in their numerical advantage. Though losses were heavy, particularly among the Wachovians, they broke first one Hesse-Hattemstadt regiment and then the other. This left only the red-coated Schluesselbrett infantry holding the hill, until some well-timed artillery fire forced the Western League to retreat. 

Dad goes over the rules.

Western League commanders write orders.

Wachovian hussars cross the bridge, new flag in tow.

The attackers approach the river.

A few turns later. Note the fellows in blue coats and yellow facings up on the center hill: a new contingent painted up by Tank Nickle.

Much emptier! The von Nordhafen regiment clears the hill.

Last stand of the Schluesselbrett regiment in the face of the oncoming Wiegenburgers.

All in all, it ended up being a pretty fast-paced game, but it's always good to get the troops on the table. Hopefully my hussars will have a chance to demonstrate their mettle under more favorable circumstances next time, and in the meantime maybe I'll see what I can do about getting some heavy cavalry for Wachovia...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Siege of Zerfberg

I believe I mentioned in a recent post that Dad and I had been thinking about hauling out the fortress (last seen at Historicon 2011) and running a NQSYW siege game, and this afternoon we got our chance to do so. My brother William also came up for the game, as did Marc, one of my college cronies with some Charge! experience. As Marc had played on the attacking side in one of the Historicon games, he elected to defend the fortress this time, which was promptly dubbed 'Zerfberg' after its commander. And so, William and I set to digging our trenches...

(As far as troops go, Wachovia and Schoeffen-Buschhagen supplied the attackers, while the fortress defenders consisted of the Hesse-Hattemstadt and Schlusselbrett regiments, dubbed the "Western League." This may puzzle anyone who has looked at the NQSYW map, as neither of the latter two countries lie in a particularly westerly direction from Schoeffen-Buschhagen--the answer is that the third member of the League is the enigmatic land of Saxe-Weilenz, whose animosity towards Schoeffen-Buschhagen seems to be matched only by their reluctance to do any of their own fighting...)

The first turn or two saw a number of saps zigzag towards the fortress without meeting much by way of resistance. In fact, we ended up pushing forward too quickly, beyond the support of our main trenchline--as we found when our attempt to dig a new parallel section provoked a sortie from the defenders. I tried to respond by bringing more troops forward, but the fortress defenders had returned to their positions by the time my intended reinforcements were ready.

Wachovian troops in their initial positions.

Placement of the first saps.

We abandon the diggings and fall back.

Grendiers move forward to support, but not quickly enough.

William deals with the sortie on his end of the line.

After that debacle, we took a more cautious approach the next few turns, digging some support trenches a bit further up, while our guns engaged in some counterbattery fire. This proved more successful than usual, as we dismounted several of the defending guns with some lucky shooting, which put Marc in a bit of a tight spot, as we had the advantage in numbers to begin with.

New parallels and battery emplacements being dug.

New trenches within long musket range of the covered way.

Digging another parallel section, this time with proper support.

The defenders' position only got worse, as William managed to take out their mortar with a well-placed shot from his own. And when Marc moved his last cannon over to try to take out one of our siege guns that had moved up to within range of the walls, a concentrated barrage from my batteries destroyed that one as well. From there it was only a matter of time--the next turn, I built a breaching battery right up on the lip of the covered way, and we determined that the guns would be able to open a sufficient gap in the wall before the time limit was reached.

Breaching battery (on the left)

All in all, I thought it went pretty well--there were definitely some moments early on when I thought we were in trouble, especially when I saw three whole companies come pouring out to attack my diggers--but some lucky shooting managed to turn things around. And it was good to get the fortress on the table again, too--the siege has a different flavor to it than a regular Charge! game, so it's nice to switch things up every so often. That being said, my next goal is to get my shiny new cavalry squadron on the table--hussars aren't much use in the trenches, after all...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Setting some standards

I mentioned at the end of my last post that I had one more little NQSYW project in the works, and here it is. It had long been my intention to give the Wachovian infantry regiment a national flag to go along with its regimental flag, but efforts to follow through on this intention have gotten sidetracked on multiple occasions. However, after recently completing flags for a couple of our other NQSYW countries, Hesse-Hattemstadt and Schlusselbrett (not yet pictured, apparently) I decided that it was about time to do one for my own country.

And so, here is the Wachovian national flag, unfurled for the first time:

There's a heraldic pun in here that I think only my brother is currently aware of...

But that's not all! On a recent visit home, I picked up a couple of additional figures for the Prince's Own Hussars, I which I have also completed:

The colonel of the regiment. I've been doing some reading, which suggests that our armies have rather low moustache quotients for the 18th century, so I've been attempting to compensate.

A regimental standard!

And here's a shot of the two of them with the new company:

At this point, I'm not sure whether I'll get any more Wachovians painted before spring, as I prefer to do a good part of my prep-work outside, and it seems to have gotten a bit chilly sometime in the past week or so. Fortunately, I have plenty of plastic to keep me busy in the meantime--and hopefully the new troops should see some action before then...