Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mustering the Russians


That general needs work. 

With only a week to go to the Borodino game - I've been feverishly trying to make sure that I have all the bases covered with the Russian army.  Some kind friends will be bringing reinforcements and a Savage is helping me with new units labels for everything and some flags. 

Busy, busy, busy. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Surprise

I was apparently very surprised

I went for a walk with a very good friend of mine yesterday which was good fun.  We chatted and enjoyed each others company, but along the way he dropped a bit of a bombshell on me.

He was of the opinion that I will be using a lot of PDFs in my upcoming studies and that the best way to view these was a Kindle. Then he gave me one.

It was an act of such generosity that I was almost speechless. I have a deep affection for the printed page, but I have over time gathered together a considerable collection of PDF material.  These can be read on a screen, but having tried using the Kindle I am convinced that it is a far superior platform than a laptop for reading PDFs.

Of course, I betrayed every progressive and technological bone in my friends body as soon as I got home.  The first book I've started reading on it is "The Nameless Castle", a late 19th century adventure novel written by a man called the Hungarian Dumas. It was a book I had been meaning to read, but that I only had access to a digital copy.  I had made some attempts on my phone, but the Kindle is a far more pleasent experience.

I am still utterly flabbergasted by my friends generosity, which was as surprising as it was characteristic of the man.

In the meantime, I busy hunting around the intriguing possibilities this gift offers.




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Borodino Roll Call





"It's 106 miles to the Berezina, we got half a battalion of grenadiers, a dead horse and the woods are full of cossacks."

"Hit it."

I'm terribly sorry. I'm not entirely sure what came over me there. 




A detail from the Borodino panorama 


With the prospect of heading back to school coming ever closer, I have been applying my great mind to getting a proper game in before I dissappear into a death march of school work and work work. With that in mind, I've settled on Borodino as a suitably epic game to keep me occupied. It has meant that I've been frantically basing my Russian troops in order to have everything ready.  OldJohn has also very generous offered to bring some reinforcements if they are needed. 

As with all wargaming projects this starts with a list. There are two Overlord style scenarios on CCNapoleonics.net for the Russian campaign, both for Borodino.  Two Overlord scenarios is plenty for a days gaming. 





I compiled a spread sheet listing the troops required and there appear to be a few problems.  I will be able to cover the Russian light cavalry requirements by shifting the Hussars of Conflans into Russian service for the day, but I will need a unit of Russian Guard Heavy Cavalry. I have sufficient line infantry for the Russians, but I am short three units of light infantry and two units of Guard Light infantry. I am short one unit of Russian horse artillery, though truth be told I've simply been substituting a unit of foot artillery and adding a mounted figure as no one seems to make Russian horse artillery. 

Not entirely sure how I will square this particular circle, but we'll make it happen. 

RussianFrench
shevardinoutitzavillageraevskishevardinoutitzavillageraevski
Light Infantry549347527358
Line Infantry459651197166915
Grenadiers224213
Militia22
Guard Light Infantry2211
Young Guard
Guard Grenadiers11
Old Guard22
Light Cavalry235325134
Heavy Cavalry221111213
Cuirassiers111111
Cossacks12322
Guard Heavy Cavalry11
Foot Artillery213246123235
Horse Artillery1111
Guard Foot Artillery1111
Leaders23523533622

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Over egging the pudding


(image liberated from somewhere or other) 

Reading back on the opening comment of my last post - I have come to the conclusion that I am not very bright and the construction that was put on it by some readers was entirely natural. Sadly, Mrs. Kinch is not in the family way.  The news of which I wrote was that in what is likely to be a triumph of hope over experience I am going back to school to study law.


Sleeping Schoolboy by JB Greuze

This is going to be a big change as fitting 2-3 hours of lectures around 10 hour shifts at work is going to be challenge, but I'm looking forward to it.  I'll be studying for a legal diploma which will take two years part time. It will take rather a chunk out of my gaming time unfortunately and will make serious demands on both myself and Mrs. Kinch. I tend to vary between thinking that this is going to be a fun and challenging thing and thinking I've made a terrible mistake. 

This new interest is not a herald of any change of career or anything like it - I just like the idea of being better at what I'm doing now.  




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Basing & Flocking



There's some big news coming for the Kinchs, but I'm hoping to get at least one proper game in before it happens. With that in mind I'm scraping troops together to see if I can do the two Overlord style Borodino scenarios available on CCNapoleonics.net. 

With that in mind I've been basing a flocking like crazy, going through all my boxes and going through all the stragglers. I'm cautiously optimistic that I might be able to pull Borodino off. 

My basing method is pretty simple, a spot of Constables snow over a brown base, a few drops of PVA and then a dunking in some Army Painter static grass and Robert is your mothers brother. En avant! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

D-Day Landings: Sword & Juno Beach



I actually had to extend the table to get the map to fit.

Last night we got together and played some Memoir '44 D-Day landings. Now there are six very big maps in this particular pack and they can be played in a number of ways. We played Overthrough, a game type where you stick two of the maps together and play them as an Overlord game.  We put the Sword & Juno beach maps together which covered a goodly portion of the British & Canadian contingent on D-Day. 




Landing craft steaming towards the beaches

I didn't take enough photographs to be honest as I was too busy enjoying the game, but it was excellent.  Our main was two pronged, the 6th Airborne on the left were to hit the German artillery positions, while everybody else dashed up the beach as quickly as was humanly possible.  It wasn't a particularly inspired plan, but it seemed to cover the basics. 




General Kerrigan-Smythe-Williams examines some of the German heavy artillery

There were some additional wrinkles in this particular scenario, the number of victory points required was very high, twenty nine in total. However, there were a large number available for different objectives. Each cleared section of beach was worth two as were the German heavy artillery positions. There were also points available for bridges and control of the urban areas.  What was interesting about those from a game play point of view was that because the points were awarded to one side or the other, small moves on a big map could have big effects. This meant that the scores felt sort of "swingy". A small move suddenly take four medals off one side and give them to the other. 





General Du Gourmand studying his cards

I took command of the Allied Forces, wearing a beret plastered with every cap badge I could find, while Du Gourmand took up the cudgels as the vile and evil Hun. 




The Germans commanders study the situation

The Germans had a hard time of it as they were mainly reacting to our moves. The game stalled about half way through, the 6th on the left could not shift the German artillery on the left, while the right was starved of cards.  We were pushing well in the centre though, but it probably wasn't going to be enough. 



Consider

This meant that General Von Fatzington was able to get some of his armour reserves into the fight and stoutly contest our advances on the right. Herr General Deegan on the other hand was faced with a more solid advance commanded with commendable aggression by St.John-Boomington. A run of centre cards and a lucky airstriek certainly helped. 




And come to a decision.

One aspect of the game was that a little unusual was a sort of odd Yachtzee style mini game. Each player rolled some dice and was allowed move (but not battle with) a unit for each flag that he rolled. He then had to match the symbols rolled against chart, which granted him a steady trickle of reinforcements. This meant that not only were there new troops coming into play, but that clearing the beaches became a top priority as reinforcements normally deployed in the landing craft, but could also be placed on an uncontested beach. 



Hungarian commander TK studies where he is going to place his panzers

By half way through the game, despite being hammered by Du Gourmand and his pals, we managed to get the assault on the right moving, while St.John-Boomington cemented his gains in the centre. The paratroopers led by Sydney finally knocked out the German guns covering sword beach, but TK had managed to roll up some panzer reinforcements and delivered a brutal counter attack to the scattered paras. 



Du Gourmand delivers a pep talk 

We had been trailing the Germans for the entire game so far, but at this point we began to overhaul them. The centre of gravity of the engagement was beginning to shift - the Germans were beginning to focus on taking objectives from us rather than vice versa. 


Von Fatzington seems somewhat skeptical

Von Fatzington's counter attack on the right was cut off and wiped out by some decisive team work between Kerrigan-Smythe and St.John-Boomington. 



General TK seems unconvinced

TK was doing great execution on the German left as his panzers chased Sydney's paratroopers around the countryside.  They were mostly hunkered down in cover waiting for relief and trying to put some fire on the unstoppable German death tanks. 



General Sydney gets his paratroopers moving, while General St.John-Boomington pours reinforcements into the centre

But while TK was murdering paratroopers, Sydney co-ordinated with St.John Boomington who moved reinforcements in from the centre to allow Sydney to grab several objectives. This meant that they were able to put together a co-ordinated push on the beach. 



The final German bunker on Sword beach falls

The final score was 29-24.  Du Gourmand and Von Fatzington have been playing the maps as two player games and both said that the Overthrough game felt much more balanced as the larger board gave much more scope for the German artillery. We were lagging behind on victory points and only managed to overhaul the Germans by about two thirds of the way through the game. Not including physically setting up the board and a brief planning session (during which I may have described our plan as Operation "Get up the ****ing beach), the whole game took two hours and twenty minutes. 

A taut and challenging game, my thanks to Sydney, St. John Boomington and Kerrigan Smythe for keeping the faith and sticking to the plan and to TK, Von Deegan and Von Fatzington for a stout defence.  Du Gourmand remains, of course, my best of enemies. 

Having played two of the six maps available - I'm definitely interested in trying to whole shebang, though we will need bigger tables. And lots of them. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Honved Hussars


One of the problems of having talented friends is that - well - they are just so damn talented that it's hard to hate and envy them as much as one should.  Our man in Budapest, Krisztian Takacs, has been sculpting a range of 15mm figures for the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.  They are, I think you'll agree, very fine looking fellows - one could almost forgive them for being in 15mm. 


These examples were painted by TK himself and represent Hungarian hussars in the new hussar uniform introduced in 1848. A disturbing lack of shakos I know, but there are some pelisses which is something.  I keep meaning to sit down and draft some scenarios for 1848, but I've been decoyed into the Crimea. 


This picture is probably more useful to those of us familiar with Hungarian currency, but it does give some idea of the size and heft of the figures. You can see some more of TKs pictures here

And for those who do play in 15mm and fancy giving a new period a bash, you can find these for sale at the Hagen Miniatures Store.