Saturday 20 July 2019

Various experiments in 6mm... Terrain and Tokens

As my all my 6mm Napoleonic armies have progressed well up towards my target of 400 points I've started to look towards developing them for a display game.

The first stage was to investigate into a possible historical battle to refight. Maloyaroslavets is lookin good as it ticks the boxes as being French vs Russian in 1812 with manageable sized forces and a good back story. I'm open to other suggestions though if anyone has any and I'll be researching more myself as well.

Next I want to make it look good. The cards in Blücher always seem to detract from the look of the battle, so if I can find a way to do without them all the better. Hidden movement doesn't seem very important in the Maloyaroslavets battle, so that leaves tracking damage and artillery ammo, as well  as prepared markers. I've started some experiments with the first two.

For damage markers I've decided the way to go is with casualty markers.  The normal maximum Elan is around 6, with a few at 7. So I can assume 5 damage markers per infantry base is plenty. I've decided to group these so that there are large damage markers worth 3 points and smalls worth 1. The large ones will therefore have three "dead" models on them and the small ones just a single model. These models can be taken from miscast and spare models I have.

For the large tokens I've taken 20mm diameter MDF bases and cut them in half. These can then be put up next to the units they are assigned to. Having them like this should mean it is difficult to confuse which unit they are for. For the smaller single tokens I'll do the same with 15mm diameter MDF bases. Unfortunately these have not arrived yet.

For ammunition markers for the artillery I considered many options: dice, tokens, etc... Because of the way artillery ammo reduces in an non-linear way in Blücher things are made more complex. In the end I've decided to make some limber bases with dials built in. The dials are attached with rare-earth magnets and glued in holes in the bases that come from Warbases. I have hand-painted the numbers needed on them. I put a layer of Sellotape over the numbers to stop them rubbing off. Doing this also means I'll have limber bases ready for other systems that may need them.

I also have been thinking about the boards and terrain. I want to build something special for the game with fixed terrain that can be detailed. I found mention of using pasting tables as a basis for this and had some in the garage I could use. However they were a bit flimsy with the boards themselves only made from 3mm hardboard. Looking around I found some nicer ones from Screwfix made from 5mm MDF and also a bit longer. These look like they'll work well as they have 30mm high sides and so can take 25mm thick polystyrene nicely. I have moved the hinges around and fitted the polystyrene.  Once I have finalised the battle I want to do I can start cutting the terrain shapes.

Sunday 14 July 2019

6mm Napoleonic Armies on Parade

I've been quiet as regards photos of my new minis recently. I've been too busy painting!

Anyway I decided that it was time to rectify that and also time to get out all my 6mm Napoleonics and see what I've got.

Since December 2018 I've built up sizeable French, British and Russian forces for use with Blücher.

From front to back: French, Russian, British.

The most recent additions are the Italian Infantry for use with the French at Maroyaroslavets. These should also be usable in quite a few other battles. There are 2 line infantry regiments, 1 legere and 1 guard.

French, showing Italians in the foreground

Before that I have been adding to my Russians: Militia, Grenadiers, Cossacks, Hussars and lots of artillery.

Finally a close-up of my British, though I've not worked on those for a while. I really need to increase the numbers of Portuguese.

All these troops are of course from Heroics and Ros.

I have a lot more to paint yet and a whole Prussian army on order. :)

Thursday 11 July 2019

Maloyaroslavets - Blücher- First Attempt

Last night we had our first attempt at fighting a historical battle using Blücher.

We chose the battle of Maloyaroslavets, 24th October 1812. As Napoleon begins his retreat from Moscow, Dokhturov blocks his crossing of the river Lutza and forces Napoleon to take the same road back as he had advanced in on.

I have most of the troops needed for this and had to proxy in just the Italians and Saxon troops. I have the Italian infantry on the painting table right now and hope to have those done for the next time we try it out.

The game worked well with a victory to the Russians. I'm not sure what tweaks to make yet, but have another fight of this scenario booked for Sunday.

Tuesday 9 July 2019

Blücher Frequently Forgotten or Misunderstood Rules

After quite a few plays of Blücher I've made quite a few mistakes with the rules. When I have identified one of these I've written it down. I have now got quite a list and thought I'd share that list.

  1. -1 in melee if attacking up-hill
  2. Infantry shooting artillery or cavalry does not receive the firepower or skirmish trait bonuses.
  3. More than one hit on an artillery unit in shooting causes it to retire, not break
  4. A unit whose path of retreat would take it even partially off the enemy’s table edge, is broken. If its path of retreat takes it off a friendly or neutral table edge, it retires.
  5. The retreat path must be the shortest legal path to reach the closest legal place where it can end. You may not artificially extend the length of a retreat move to your advantage.
  6. Always roll at least one dice in combat.
  7. Must charge "greatest threat"
  8. Difficult Move. Pivot only once, but either at beginning or end of move. However the actual move is done in any direction! So it's almost like pivoting twice!
  9. Charges are limited to a 45 degrees pivot at the start of the move. This has more effect on limiting what you can charge than you'd think. Check it!
  10. Simple move can pivot to any direction at the start of the move, not just 45 degrees. 
  11. Scharnhost - first day 3 movement points
  12. Can move and charge through friends not in contact with enemy. Remember though that charging units do have to have line of sight to the enemy they are charging.
  13. Can sit on friend until end of activation of force
  14. In Melee defender takes damage first and if destroyed attacker only takes 1 damage even if they lost the combat. This means no need to roll any dice if you attack a unit on 1 elan. They just are destroyed and the attacker takes 1 damage independent of the dice rolled. Note this is quite different if the defender is artillery.
  15. Shooting hits are resolved after all shooting is completed. Hence concealed targets are only revealed at the end of shooting and destroyed units remain on table until shooting is finished, still potentially blocking line of sight.
  16. (Extra) There's no initial pivot when retreating. The retreating unit slides in a straight line away from the enemy unit(s). Then, if passive, turns 180 degrees about it's centre point. Then: 
    • if Passive it rotates around its centre to face directly away from where it retreated from; 
    • if Active it rotates around its centre to face directly towards where it retreated from.
See here for some more Blücher mistakes...