Showing posts with label wargaming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wargaming. Show all posts

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

The points system

Just thought I'd put out some words on the points system that I use as a basis for organising the battles that I am putting on the blog.

In the book Table Top Battles there is a points chart. This evaluates troop types of every era. For example;

Heavy Cavalry 4 points per stand, light cavalry 2 points per stand.

Assessing the size of an army to recreate we would at first look at the actual total say, 40,000. You can use this total in two ways.

1) 40,000 is converted to 40 points. This total is then divided by the individual points value of the stands making up the army

2) 40,000 can be converted to 40 points. This total can be doubled up to 80 points. This helps if you want to include more diverse troop types.
Each stand in this size of army would be representing roughly Brigade size units.

3) At another level, should you wish to recreate a small force of maybe 1000 men,
then start with 10 points and keep multiplying by 10 until you reach a level that recreates the force you want. This would consist of a number of platoons or companies.

Now, this works fine for an evening game playing a one off battle. The system also works for a pre-planned solo game but I had to change things around a bit when doing these historical battles. For example;

I want to recreate the battle of Waterloo in the near future ( we are painting the figures ). The cavalry of the French Army was 14,000. That's 14 points. I think there were 6000 Cuirassiers. Now, under the normal points system, a stand of heavy cavalry are 4 points so that would be one stand.

There has to be more than one stand of cuirassiers so how to get round the problem?
In the actual battle the cuirassiers, much as they were terrifying were not very effective so I downgraded them to 2 points each which gives me three stands.

Therefore I have the numbers, I still have the cavalry but ,as in real life they will not achieve a lot.

Another section of an army to take into account is the Artillery. This is always a bit difficult to assess. Very often the numbers of guns, their position and use in battle is blurred or completely ignored. This makes it hard to give a points value and to allocate models.

From my own perspective, if the total of guns is known I divide the actual number of guns by either 10, 20 or 50 depending on the size of the battle. The designation of Heavy or Light I assign depending on their function i.e. whether they were static or constantly moving.

The points total for the artillery are taken from the Infantry total. This is because;

Artillery personnel are lumped together with the infantry.
Infantry were sometimes assigned to the artillery to provide extra muscle to haul the guns about.

I have a generic sci-fi section which can be adapted for any era of mechanized warfare. Tanks have an attack and defense value which is added together to give a points value to the model.

Using the points system you can field a "Heavy " army against a "light" one. Within the Table Top Battle system neither side has an overwhelming advantage. Although die driven ( 12 sided) tactics and terrain do have some influence.

Above all, I am fitting this onto a 3 foot by 2 foot ( 90cm x 60cm ) board. The size of the playing area also has an influence on the size of the armies.

The battle of Manassas is a similar situation. Sigel,s Corp were all normal line infantry which would be three points.and would only be two or three stands.

However his Corps were deployed in a long line and despite hard fighting struggled at the railway embankment. So, I downgraded the stands to 2points each to give me enough stands to cover the position.

As you can see, the system is pretty flexible and adaptable to any situation. Having written that, I hope those battles I have presented and those I hope to do will give you ideas for your own interpretations of these events.

This photo is of Roman Heavy Cavalry. I made this group of four stands from Ceaser Miniatures Sarmatian horses and Hat horses. The figures are Hat with different heads. The lances are North Star Javelins ( 50mm ). As you can see the bases are four points each which means they are Heavy Cavalry. Each stand is used individually in a big battle, but could equally be a Regiment of cavalry in a smaller action.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Plastic n' Metal The Late Roman Era.

Well, I have an interest in the Late Roman Era.
I am not an expert painter of figures, and often I have been up against the clock.

Therefore my style is very basic. I use 20mm plastic, mainly Hat and some Miliart. I also mix in some metal Newline Designs as being 20mm these seem to fit  with the plastic figures.
I think a company called Tumbling Dice also make 20mm metal figures for this era.

To prep the plastic;

1) I wash them In warm soapy water scrubbing
them lightly with a nail brush.

2) I then assemble the figures with shields and spears, and attach any cavalry figures to their horses.

3) The figures are then glued to cardboard strips.

4) Next, I undercoat the figures with PVA glue. This can be watered down a bit. This stops the paint flaking off. I then leave the figures to dry.

5) Once dry, I completely coat the figure brown paint.

6) When the paint drys I go through the figures
putting on various colours.
Having wrote that, I use a minimum number of
colours and rotate them.

7) Once the paint is dry, I brush on some gloss acrylic varnish. Again I water it down a bit if needed.

8) I don't worry about flocking the base. I just paint a basic colour on.

9) Having done that, I base the figures.
It's basically (for me ) about getting the figures on the table.

Here are some illustrations;

These are a mix of Hat Goths and Miliart German Tribesmen.

Hat Industries Cataphracts. The Spears are from North Star Miniatures Javelins.

Hat Sassanids. The flags are scratchbuilt. North Star javelins.
The standard on the light cavalry archers is a dressmakers pin.
The round bases are 40mm mdf from Minibits.

These figures are Newline Designs Late Roman Infantry ( metal) painted in conventional fashion with North Star javelin.

These are Hat Industries Huns.

These are part of my Pict army. The cavalry are from the Hat Goth cavalry.
The chariot is from the Hat Celtic chariot box, using some twine for the reins.
The hooded crossbow are from Hats Enemies of Rome box.
The Pictish infantry are from Redbox and the archers are from Hat Saxons, part of the Enemies of Rome box.
Apparently it was not unusual to find Saxons amongst the Picts.

This was my attempt to recreate the Del Riata ( the people of the chariot). They had a thriving society on the West coast of Ireland and the East coast of Scotland.
The chariots are from Hat Celtic Chariots with converted occupants.
The infantry are from Hats Gothic Infantry. Over time the Del Riata merged with the Picts.

I found myself with too many Sassanids. This is because I had bought Hats Parthian cavalry before they released their Sassanid range! So the Palmyran army came into being!.
All from the Hat Sassanid and Parthian range. The standards are made from masking tape. 

This is Zenobia!. Made from the bottom half of a camel rider from a hat box of Arab camels and the top of a figure from a Hat Celtic Chariots.

Supply wagons and civilians. The middle waggon and mules are from Ceaser miniatures Roman Waggon train set ( I think there are 4 different ones).
The civilians come from the same sets as are the oxen. These look large but apparently this breed were large in real life. The spearmen are from Hats Gothic range. The wagon with the big wheels is scratch built. I used cardboard for the body.

The wheels are made from pre-cut sponges that you put on the bottom of chair legs.
They come in sets and sold in D-I-Y stores. Once I stuck them on, I painted them black
and painted on the rims and spokes. The Goths used waggon lagers and nobody make any. I'm hoping Hat will do some one day.

Sassanid War Elephants. These are from the Hat range. Hat were going to produce actual models but these went on the back burner. Those shown are from the Carthaginian set. The mahout is the body with a Sassanid head. The archer is Sassanid but I had to pack out the Howdah with a piece of eraser.
The heavy cavalry are Sassanids.

These were known as the Savaran. During sieges they fought dismounted.
In the field a Sassanid army was nearly all cavalry and elephants.

These are Newline Designs Goth Cavalry. The spears are North Star Javelins.
The standard is my own paint job on masking tape.

 Lastly, these are Hat Auxilliary Infantry. They could easily be used for later Goths or Saxons. As the Roman empire started to break apart foreign Auxiliaries struck out on
their own as they were not being paid.

That is the best part of this Era. You can mix and match western armies. In the 400,s and 500,s there were very few pitched battles. If there were more they went undocumented, so there is an opportunity for a few " what if " scenarios, especially
concerning the Arthurian legends.

Also, there is recent evidence to suggest that although the Federated troops broke away from the Roman Army some of the men had basic engineering or surveying skills. As people are finding out the Dark Ages were not so Dark after all.

Friday, 21 February 2020

2nd Bull Run ( Battle of Manassas) 29th & 30th August 1862.

Well, this battle was more involved than I thought. Not having an in- depth knowledge of the war, there were a couple of points I found confusing.

One item is that there were two formations designated as 3rd Corp. Anyway, I digress.

This battle came about because, Robert E. Lee managed to out-manoeuvre Pope. Lee also managed this because of the mental stamina of the men under his command.

The battle of Brawners Farm took place South of Stoney Ridge a few days before Manassas. Although a small action it was no less sanguine, with both sides standing toe-to-toe in close range fire. Even the Officers suffered.

Amongst the Confederates, Taliaferro was wounded three times and General Ewell had his leg shattered by a minie ball which led to amputation.

This was a foretaste of events to come. Jackson had found an excellent position on the wooded
hillside of Stony Ridge from which to fight a defensive battle.

Jackson was also aided in his defense by an unfinished railway embankment. Knowing that Longstreet was on his way in support Jackson  settled his men in position for the coming battle.

The Union General Pope finally found out where Jackson was, having found out about the battle of Brawners Farm. However, Popes army as well as his battle plan was in total chaos thanks to the speed and hard marching of the Confederate forces.

The Union Army gradually assembled from all points of the  compass in front of Jackson's position as Pope sent forward any formations
within marching distance.

The battle was fought over two days. On the first day (the 29th ), Jackson was against the Union Generals; Siegel, Heinztelman and Reno
plus a Division led by John F. Reynolds.

Longstreet, with Lee, turned up later on the first day. As much as Lee wanted Longstreet to attack to take the pressure off Jackson, Longstreet demurred wanting to know what was in front of him.

Jackson's men held on, at one point throwing rocks at the advancing Union forces due to a shortage of ammunition.

On the 2nd day, ( the 30th ) Longstreet attacked!!;

Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.
Left Wing ( 29th August)
24,000 = 24 points.

Major General Stonewall Jackson @ 2 points.
General Ambrose P. Hill @ 2 points.

3 stands of 1st class Line Infantry @ 3 points = 9 points.
3 stands of 2nd class Line infantry @ 2 points = 6 points.

1 stand (A ) James E.B Stuart,s cavalry;
dismounted @ 1 point = 1 point.

1 stand ( B ) Fitzhugh,s cavalry;
dismounted @ 1 point = 1 point

3 stands of Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 3 points.

Union Army of Virginia;
Formations present on the 29th  August
48,000 = 48 points.

1st Corp ;

Franz Siegel ; @ 1 point.
6 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 12 points.
2 stands of Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.

3rd Corp ( from the Army of Potomac )

Samuel Heinztelman @ 1 point.
4 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2points = 8 points.
2 stands of Heavy Artillery' @ 2 points = 4 points.

9th Corp;

Jesse L. Reno @ 1 point.
4 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 8 points.
2 stands of Heavy Artillery @ 2 points = 4 points.

John F. Reynolds @ 1 point. Reserve Division;
1 stand of 1st class Line Infantry @ 3 points = 3 points.
1 stand of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 2 points.
1 stand of  Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 1 point.


● This 1st battle will last for 8 turns.

●The Confederate Army get the Initiative Point on every turn even when they move 2nd.

● The Confederate Army moves 1st on the
first game turn. All other Game-Turns are
diced for as usual.

● The line of trees count as a wooded area.

● The railway embankment counts as a Trench
or low earthworks.

The Battlemap;

The Battle. The first day;

The second day, 30th August 1862;

Confederate Army of Northern Virginia
Right Wing; 26,000 = 26 points.

Major General James Longstreet @ 2 points.
Nathan " Shanks" Evans @ 2 points.

4 stands of 1st class Infantry @ 3 points = 12 points.
4 stands of 2nd class Infantry @ 2 points = 8 points.
2 stands of Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.

Union Army of Virginia = 22,000.

5th Corps;

Fitz-John Porter @ 1 point.
5 stands of 2nd class infantry @ 2 points = 10 points.
1 stand of Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 1 point.

3rd Corp;
Irvin McDowell @ 1 point.
4 stands of 2nd class Infantry @ 2 points = 8 points.
1 stand of Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 1 point.

As you can see on the map, those Stands that are positioned on the table for the 2nd  battle are marked in red.

This second picture shows the stands that show up on the 2nd day.

Robert E. Lee turned up late on the first day with Longstreet.
The Union General John Pope finally arrived on the second day.
Although both Generals were present, they did not directly influence the battle so they have no points.

The Confederate Cavalry are worth 1point.  When dismounted, the cavalrymen  have zero points and a basic die is rolled for their firing and close combat.

The two Confederate stands positioned on the
flank of Chinn ridge can be bought on during
the 2nd battle. The Confederate  player throws
a die 6 at the start of their chosen Game Turn.
A six must be thrown for these two stands to
be moved onto the table.

The first and second day of the battle are played as two games each of 8 Game Turns. At the end of the first game, the Confederate player may reorganise any Stands still positioned on or around Stoney Ridge.

Bull Run can only be crossed at the bridges.

Well, this is my interpretation of the battle.
All done on a 3 foot x 2 foot table with 15mm

The figures shown in the pictures are Peter Pig and Miniature Figurines with a few Essex Miniatures.
The flags are by Peter Pig. The square bases are cardboard and the round bases are 40mm MDF From Minibits ( Pendraken ).

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Battle of Klissow : Poland-Lithuania July 9th 1702.

This is another battle of  the Great Northern War where an outnumbered Swedish army took on a larger force. However a few incidents happened which favoured the Swedes in winning this battle and I have tried to reflect this in the reconstruction.

The Swedish Army;

Infantry ; 8000 = 8 points x 3 = 24 points.

Cavalry ;  4000 = 4 points x 3 = 12 points.

Artillery ; This was available but was left trailing in order to get the army into battle formation as soon as possible.

1) General Carl Gustav Rehnskiold= 1 point.
2) General Knut Goransson Posse   = 1 point.
3) General Frederick 4th Duke
of Holstein-Gottorp = 2 points.

4 stands of Line Cavalry @ 3 points = 12 points.
7 stands of Line Muskets @ 2 points = 14 points.
2 stands of Pikemen @ 3points = 6 points.

Saxony Army.

Infantry ; 7000 = 7 points x 3 = 21 points.

Cavalry ; 9000 = 9 points x 3 = 27 points.

46 guns ( ÷10 ) = 4 guns.

A) General Adam Heinrich von Steinau = 1point.
B) Johann von Der Schulenburg = 1 point.
C) Jacob Heinrich von Fleming = 1 point.


Cavalry; 5000 = 5 points x 3 = 15 points.

Winged Hussars 1,250 = 1.250 points x 3 = 4 points.

Polish Infantry 660 = 0.660 points x 3 = 2 points.

D) General Hieronim Augustyn Lubomirski = 1 point.

7 stands of Saxon Line Cavalry @ 3 points = 21 points.
2 stands of Saxon Light Dragoons @ 2 points = 4 points.
10 stands of Saxon Line Infantry @ 2 points = 20 points.
4 stands of heavy guns @ 2 points = 8 points.

The Polish Wing.

4 stands of Line Cavalry @ 3points = 12 points.
1 stand of Line Dragoons @ 2 points = 2 points.
1 stand of Winged Hussars @ 4 points = 4 points.
1 stand of Line Infantry @ 2 points= 2 points.

Special notes;

This is another battle that needs a few special rules in order to obtain a reasonable outcome. The Swedes did win despite being outnumbered!! but the Saxons and Poles did put up a bit of a fight and I wanted to give
both sides a chance of victory.

● If cavalry attack enemy infantry within the marshy area they do not get the 3 points for attacking Infantry on flat open ground.

● Any stands moving into the marshy ground on each side of the stream plus the stream itself can only move one square each Game Turn.

●  The Saxon artillery cannot move.

● The artillery has only two squares range.

● Stands cannot be moved through the trees.

● The Nida river cannot be crossed.

●The Swedish army gets the Initiative point every Game-Turn and also moves  first every Game Turn.

● The Swedish player can move all their stands
on the movement phase. The Saxon player however has to throw a 12 sided die, the result showing the number of stands that can be, prior to the to the Saxon movement phase.

The above hopefully reflects the conditions of
the actual battle. Despite the Saxons having the
preponderance of artillery it didn't seem to affect the Swedish manoeuvres.
The Saxons attacked twice along with the Polish wing. After being beaten back twice the Swedes advanced. For some reason both Generals Fleming and Lubomirski
decided to withdraw their commands!!

The entire Polish wing plus the Saxon right wing cavalry and Dragoons left the field, leaving General Steinau's Cavalry and General Schulenbergs infantry ( which up to this point seemed to be doing little ) to fight a rearguard action!.

As the Swedes overan the Saxon artillery the guns were turned on their former owners.

● Ok, to reflect this, if a Swedish infantry stand moves into an adjacent square to a Saxon artillery stand and, the Swedes are not in combat the gun becomes Swedish!.

A couple of important points;

● Duke Frederick was mortally wounded at one point in the battle so the Swedish King himself took command of the Swedish left wing ( 2 points ).

● At the start of GAME TURN 6, All the Polish stands plus the Saxon right wing cavalry along with general's Fleming and Lubomirski are taken Off The Board! The Swedish player then moves their stands.

Winning the game.

Having played this game three times  I have found that numbers do count and, without the above restrictions the Swedes cannot win.
So, at the end of Game Turn 8, the Swedish player must have a minimum of Three Stands on the South Side of the stream within the marshy ground in order to win the game. The small red lines on each side of the map delianate how far forward the stands must be..

The Saxons win if they can prevent this.

One last historical note. This appears to be the
last battle in which the famous Polish Winged
Hussars took the field ( so it was nice to have a
historical reason to include a stand of these
famous troops on the table!!)

As before , I used a 3 foot x 2 foot ( 90 cm x 60 cm )
table with a 2 inch ( 50mm ) square grid.

Here is the map;

This is the board showing the set up;

All the figures are 15mm from either Essex Miniatures or Minifigs.

Finally, here's a glimpse of those famous horsemen from the Essex Miniatures range;