Sunday, June 19, 2022

Battle at La Purísima bridge

I was hoping Saturday would be the first lawn game of 2022. But the lawn was still a little to wet from the previous day's rain and the clouds looked threatening. So, since there were only 3 of us, we moved the game inside.


We played a Mexican - American War scenario using the Rebels and Patriots rules. The scenario was loosely based on the Battle of Monterrey with the Americans attacking a fortified position to try to take a canal bridge to get into the city. Historically, the Americans attacked a little further to the east and also had a outflanking maneuver to the west that forced the Mexicans to abandon their positions on the edge of the city and move into the city.


I played the Mexicans against two American commands. Here is an overview of the initial positions of the attack, where you can see the bridge.

Overview of the battlefield with the Americans on the right.

I had an infantry unit and light artillery in the redoubt, with a few more infantry units and a light cavalry coming up as reinforcements (all the Mexican units were rated as poor shooters, which showed in the game). The Americans had six infantry units, one light artillery, and a unit of dragoons.

Troops in the redoubt
Mexican reinforcements
The American right side, with 3 infantry and dragoons
The American left with 3 infantry and light artillery

The first few turns the Americans advanced and fire went back and forth without any major damage to either side. Then American commander on the left ordered his infantry into Close Order formations and began using volley fire, which began to take a toll on the Mexicans in the redoubt.

American left pouring fire into the redoubt

The Mexican reinforcements were moving slowly (several failed activations, including a double 1 followed by another 1 forcing the unit to shoot at a friendly unit). The Mexican light cavalry put in an appearance, but was quickly destroyed (I made a poor tactical deployment). One of the reinforcement infantry units did make it to the bridge.

The Mexican light cavalry puts in an appearance
And are quickly shot to pieces
The colonel leads one infantry unit across the bridge
The other Mexicans mill about smartly near the cantina

After that, the Mexican dice went a little cold.


On the other side, the American dragoons went on the attack and finished off the Mexican cavalry. Then the charged the infantry that had crossed the bridge and destroyed that unit.

Dragoons finish off the cavalry
Then charge the recently disordered infantry

The troops in the redoubt rout, leaving on the artillery
The dragoons followed that up by charging across the bridge and pushing back the other Mexican reinforcements

The brave dragoons win the day

By this time the troops in the redoubt had been shot up or routed. This made it a complete American victory with light loses and a very bad day for the Mexicans.


It was a fun game (even with the bad die rolls). We are expecting to get in some more Mexican - American War games in the future.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

IJN Cruiser Agano

In my last post I ran a tease about me getting back to painting some ships. I'm working with my friend Kevin on some 1/1200 scale ships for some small night battles. As part of my contribution I ordered some 3D printed ships from XP Forge. I started off with a small order of resin printed ships, picking the American cruiser Salt Lake City, the IJN cruiser Agano, and some American destroyers. The main reason I chose the cruisers is that they aren't available in 1/1200 scale from Superior (through Alnavco), but they seem like useful ships for Pacific battles. Kevin would like to do the Battle of Komandorski Islands, which features Salt Lake City, and I would like to do the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, which features Agano (yes, I know that is probably too large for 1/1200 scale, but it could be broken down into parts). 

The 3D printed ships arrived without any issues and are completely useful for games as is. But the masts for most of the ships are a little bulky compared to the rest of the ship details. I considered making some adjustments to the ships (replacing most masts and cranes). But before I did that I decided to paint up one ship to see if I could use paint to add more details. I decided to go with Agano, since it seemed to have the least mast problems. Here is how she appeared before I started painting.

Agano out of the box
I grabbed my box of Lifecolor Imperial Japan Navy WWII paints (a good box to have on hand) and pulled out Kure Grey and Linoleum Deck. I used those as my main colors, with a few other colors (scale black, canvas, etc.) to round out the model. As I mentioned, I was trying to see what I could do with just paints to make it look good. 
Lifecolor IJN paint set 1

The basic painting went pretty smoothly. Then I began looking at how to add some details. I did some work on the floatplane deck and catapult. Then I added some canvas on the main guns and some windows for the bridge. Overall, I think it turned out pretty well and is certainly good enough for gaming. I could have done a little more weathering or added some more details, but I'm not sure how much it wold have added. Here are some photos from different angles, starting with the port side, so you can compare it to the unpainted photo above. 

Agano - port side view

port forward-quarter view

port rear-quarter view

starboard side view

starboard forward-quarter view

Even with this result, I feel like I need to make some modifications to the other ships. The more I look at the masts, the more out-sized they look. My plan is to clip them off and add change them to thinner wire. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Saga Normans

In my previous post I mentioned that I had picked up a Norman army for Saga. I spent the better part of the month working on the troops and I finished basing up the foot units this weekend. The mounted units are still a WIP, but I wanted to put up a post to show that I am making progress.

I had purchased a Gripping Beast boxed 4 point and added a group of warriors. The army box comes with two mounted Hearthguard units (each with four figures), one warrior unit armed with crossbows (with eight figures), a 12 figure levy unit with bows, and a mounted leader. Here is a group photo of the foot units.

Norman foot units with crossbows (left), warriors (right), and levy archers (center forward)

Here are a few closer photos of the units. First up the levy archers. The Norman army looks to be a shooting and mounted charge type of army, so the archers will play a big role in a game.

Archers ready to use that Volley Fire action
The crossbowmen are included in the army and fit with the shooting style. But the rule that crossbows can't shoot without taking another action may limit their usefulness. Some of the stuff I've read online suggests that crossbows may not be the best choice in a low point game.
Crossbows ready to shoot, hoping the +1 shooting bonus is worth it
Finally, here is my warrior unit. This is not part of the 4 point army box, but most of the people in the area that play go with 5 or 6 point armies, so I thought I would add them in. They also gave me a chance to practice putting shield transfers on kite shields.
Warriors ready to mix it up
The shield transfers are from Little Big Men Studios and are designed to fit on the Gripping Beast shields. The transfers look suitably battle-worn. I was really pleased with how they turned out.

I've still got some work to do to finish up the mounted figures, but they are close. I'll get photos of them up when they are done. Eventually I'll round out the army by adding a unit of mounted javelins and bannerman to go with the leader. But that will be a later project, since I have a couple other projects on deck. One is finishing up my Mexican troops for our group Mexican - American War project and the other is some 1/1200 ships. My friend Kevin recently came into possession of a plethora of Superior 1/1200 ships. So we are looking at doing some small night action battles in the scale. We'll see how that goes, but it did get me to order some 3D printed ships to go with the project. But more on that later.

Back to the shipyard!