Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vauban's Wars - Hallmark Siege and Fortress Guns


When I first started my Siege project I was at a loss for what miniature company's guns I was going to use for both Siege and Fortress (bastion) guns during my games. Needless to say, you need a lot of cannons for a siege, and most of my guns were 12# cannons or smaller.

I finally decided on Hallmark's 15mm equipment as their miniatures were designed for the late 1600s and early 1700s. The sculpts are crisp with almost zero flash or mold lines. I ordered my guns and figures from Scale Creep Minaiturs (Mark has been great to deal with).[info@scalecreep.com]. Some of my older Hallmark figures (pioneers, wagons) I picked up from the Last Square while I was at Historicon several years ago.

In this post I'll show you three different packs of figures\guns. Note: I haven't finished painting any of these as I want to make sure I mount and paint them the correct way, plus I'm waiting for a couple more packs to arrive. I tend to like to have all the lead collected before I paint. Note that Hallmark figures and weapons are true 15mm scale and Old Glory 15mm figures tend to dwarf them, but it doesn't matter provided you don't mix those two together on the same base.

1. Pack AE13 (Garrison Gun on Vauban Carriage )which comes with two Vauban Fortress guns. I truly think these are magnificent pieces. I want to base these guns on wooden firing platforms and you can see from the photos my first stab at them. To make the platforms I cut out a 1" x 3/4" card board base, then glued matchsticks to them and then cut the matchsticks to size. I think they turned out well, and I plan to either glue crew figures to the sides of the platform just off the platform or figure out a basing scheme that would work.

2. Pack AE20 (24-32 pdr Siege Gun x 1) and SS13 (Marlburian Gunners x8). Wow! I love these gunners! The gun master with the big wig and hat off will make a wonderful addition to a gun platform or a command stand. The gun itself is BIG and nasty,and should look spectacular when it is painted. The height of the gun is nearly as tall as the gunners. The base will be 2"x2" gun platform which were used in Siege warfare. I will likely go with 3 or 4 figures per base. I don't like the trail hook figure for an artillery base, but you could cut out a piece of card and glue it to the stick and make him an instant laborer with a shovel! Can't have too many pioneers\laborers in a siege!

In my next post I will show off more of the Hallmark line: pioneers, generals, mortars, 3 barrelled gun, etc.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Plains War Campaign - Why this project?

Well, how in the world did I fall into this type of wargaming project. I had ZERO figures, zero terrain, and zero accessories (buildings, tipis, etc) for the period.

How many new wargame projects start with the sentence:

"I was walking through the flea market at Historicon and ..."

and I saw a fellow with a completely painted 15mm Apache Indian and US Cavalry collection. His price was reasonable and I caved and bought the collection!

Now, since I really didn't have any good literature on the period, I then had to amass some new books (I'll talk about them later)!!! Of course, I had started working on Din of Battle 2nd Edition (so I could justify this as a "business" need). ;-)

Next I found other companies that made figures, as I need real Plains Indians, rather than Apaches. Minifig answered my call and I also found that Hovel made some unusual Indian villagers and smoke signal sets so I picked them up too. I really like the Minifig Indians as they are great sculpts and have a great variety of figures, both mounted and dismounted. I also found THE best 15mm tipis around which are hand made by Gettysburg Soliders.


My Indian Village

15mm Minifig Dismounted Cavalry I painted

15mm Minifig Dismounted Plains Indians I painted.

Chat later,

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Plains War Campaign - the final turns

I've finally restarted the Plains War Campaign that we began back in October of 2008. So far the Indians have given the cavalry some black-eyes and led them by the noses around the map.

The cavalry has reached the Sacred Grounds only to find the Indians gone and moving towards their winter hunting grounds.

Will the cavalry be able to pick off one or two of the villages before they completely disperse? Turn 16 & 17 should be a key to that effort.

You can look at some of the details of the campaign on my Charlotte Garrison website, see the link over on the left.

The campaign is being fought by 8 players, across the United States, with the battles being fought here in Charlotte. The campaign rules are something I made up and the battles are being fought with Din of Battle 2 Piquet supplement rules (which are still in development). I use 15mm figures for the battles.

Below is a photo from the Battle of Johnson pass where the 7th cavalry was mauled by the Hunkpapa and Sans Arc warriors.

Crow Scouts Lead four companies of the 7th Cavalry through Johnson Pass

Indians swarm over the last of the 7th attempting to hide in the thickets

I'll discuss this project in more details in a future blog.

Vauban's Wars Playtest Photos

Couple photos from my last Vauban's Wars playtest.

Austrian Heavy Guns. Love the Sappers in the background.

Getting close to the assault. You can see rock piles where 5 or more hits have occurred against the fortress.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Why Vauban's Wars Project?

Back in dark ages, 2000, Jeff Grossman and I started thinking and working on siege rules for the War of the Spanish Succession. This went through fits and starts with Jeff doing most of the work as I had no WSS armies or fortresses at the time, but did have plenty of SYW figures.

Around 2003 this fell off the radar and then picked up again when Cartouche 2 (Piquet supplement) was being written in 205 - 2006 time frame. VW was cut from C2 as we just didn't have enough room in the rules and playtesting had been limited.

Then I started working on my Russo-Turkish War (1787-1792) project in 2009 and found out that for every field battle there was at least one siege during that war. With some of the sieges being dramatic and pivotal to the campaigns. Damn! I now need some proper siege rules!!

Hence, in the summer of 2009 I started collection fortress terrain for my gaming periods. I bought some old Architectural Heritage fortifications from my friend in Florida, I picked up some other fortresses (Bastions, Walls, etc) at Historicon, found that Hallmark makes great Siege equipment for the 18th century and picked up packs of those figures. I proceeded to make parallel trench systems, fascine bunches from Musket Miniatures, misc gear, boxes, crates, barrels, then made a mine entrance, then made some bridging pieces to cross the fort's ditch. Painted some sappers and then started playtesting.

I'm now on revision 7 of the rules and they are playing very well. I'll detail some of my terrain ideas in a later post. I hope to make the rules available via PDF (thourgh Piquet Inc in the beginning of 2010)

Strange how projects morph over time!
Eric Burgess

Wargaming Projects

I have a lot of wargaming projects I work on at the same time. Never seem to be able to finish any of them (go figure!), but I keep plugging away at them in hopes of one day completing them. Usually, I have to be inspired to work on a project and that usually happens while reading a book, wanting to write a new ruleset, seeing somebody's figure collection, or some obscure History channel show!

Current projects on the front burner are:

• Coehorn’s War (18th Century Siege Warfare ruleset and playtesting)
• Plains War Campaign (Part of my Din of Battle 2nd Edition playtest)
• Russo-Turkish War 1787 – 1792 (Nearly 400 pages of data collected so far)
• Junta! (Writing rules for small unit actions in an backwater Banana Republic)

I have a million other projects that I will work on over the year, but the four above are my current priorities.

Outside of those miniaiture projects, we like to play board games, especially from GMT. I'll blog about those when the time comes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Making the Plunge...

into blogging! I've been maintaining a website for years,

(Charlotte Garrison)

but thought blogging would be a much better outlet for me. I hope this will be a much more interesting way to share what we are doing here in Charlotte, NC with regards to wargaming.

Since it is midnight, I'm going to head to bed, but look forward to this experience.