Monday, 2 December 2013

WWI Project - Buildings Phase Two

Well the first three buildings are completely finished and painted now. The images below show them in a few combinations.

Another three buildings are nearing completion and the cardboard forms for another two are ready for texturing. I have another eight forms to make to complete the sixteen double faced buildings I need that will form the main street and the two parallel streets of the town.

I will then start work on the ten or so buildings that will form the outer edge of edge town. The rear of these will face the countryside and may as a result have back yards and the clutter you might
expect of buildings on the edge of town.

And then there are the ruins, maybe as many as ten structures.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

WWI Project

Several months ago I started a WWI project, collecting figures for small forces of French, Belgian, British and Germans for use in 1914. I completed a company each of French and Germans, together with heavy machine guns and a German 7.7cm field gun. I also began work on a company of Belgian infantry, and have completed all but one platoon of the infantry, one HMG and a singe Minerva Armour Car.

This project was put on hold while I finished the Russo-Japanese armies for the Tarawera weekend, but now that those armies are complete (for now), I am getting back into the WWI.

I have ordered the the remaining Belgian infantry, two French 75mm guns and crews, along with a platoon of French dragoons. Apart from the  Belgian cavalry and a machine gun dog team, this will complete those two forces. The remaining Germans and the British will be ordered in the New Year.

However, judging from the last delivery, I am not expecting these figures to arrive quickly. So to fill in the  time until they arrive I have begun to work on some buildings for the Belgian/Northerh France area. The series will be based on some work I did some twenty-five years ago when I designed all of the buildings for Military Miniatures. Within that body of work I did a series in 1:300 scale that consisted of 16 gabled row houses that could be stood side by side to make street rows. The front and back of these were different so that they could be arranged in a large variety of combinations. This series will largely repeat that, but in 25mm. 

The intention is to make perhaps 14 houses that will be used in street rows, with a further six that can be ends - that is textured on three sides and not two. I have made the first four cardboard forms up and begun texturing the faces of some. One also has it roof tiles in place. The pictires below show those first four structures in a couple of combinations. There will also be some buildings in ruins.



Most of the buildings will have a standard frontage of 60mm, although some will be 80mm, and all with have a standard depth of 70mm with the total measurement from the front to back edge of the pavement of 135mm. Height will vary between 100mm and 140mm.

The building below shows  gabled building with the front and back texturing complete. All that need to be done is add the roof crest, chimneys and complete the pavements, perhaps another hour's work.


I was hoping to get a bit further on with these - I wanted to get the first four completed before the miniatures  order arrives - but I have a business trip that will take me away from home for the next week. I will post more images as the project progresses.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

RJW Game - Part 2





How the Game Ran

Barishenkov chose to deploy on the left, throwing up a short angled line of trenches, that were to be occupied by the rifles regiment, directly behind a line of trees that would conceal them from one direction. To the right of the rifles on the small hill was a machine gun, dug in, with the two field batteries to the rear. To the right, in the low ground between the hill and the monastery ridge, was a second line of trenches to be occupied by the 23rd Siberian Regiment. The 32nd Siberian Regiment and the second machine gun occupied the monastery. Barishenkov also had a significant trench prepared running back along the monastery ridge which he could not occupy.



Map Showing Barishenkov's Trench Lines (in grey)

When Barishenkov and Gemmersheim met they agreed that one of Gemmersheim's regiments would occupy the vacant trench with a second regiment held to the rear, out of sight behind the ridge. Gemmersheim's second brigade would deploy across the stream with both machine guns. His artillery would deploy with one battalion off table and one on, behind the semall ridge on the extreme right.

The Japanes 2nd Division, having arrived first, made a reconnaissance, starting on the table edge behind the farm,  running directly forward towards the trench on Barishenkov's left, then running along the stream bed to the Japanese left, across the front of the monastery and the trench on monastery ridge and then back through the Hutong. The reconnaissance observed all of the entrenched areas, but failed to detarmine whether the trench where the rifles were deployed were occupied. It also failed to identify the machine gun position on the small hill. They were fired on by the 23rd Siberians, but could not identify the  strength there. They did successfully discover that the monastery was held in strength, at least one regiment and determined the monastery ridge trench was unoccupied. 

With the reconnaissance completed the Japanese division commandrs made their plan of battle. TheJapanese  chose to try to envelop both flanks, with the 2nd Division on the right and the Guards on the left, and then exploit the centre with 12th Division, although 12th Division did toy with the idea of extendending even fiurther right for a short time.

During the night Popolov arrived on the field with his scratch force and occupied the monastery ridge trench with the infantry and machine guns. The deployment of Popolov in the trench was a surprise to both Barishenkov and Gemmersheim and the latter was compelled to redeploy further to the right. Popolov's four field batteries were deployed off table.

The Battle Begins

The Japanese attack began with the 2nd Division artillery attempting to swamp the Siberians in their trenches, but with little success. Meanwhile the Guards marched onto fhe table and were immediately struck by Russian gunfire and forced to halt their advance until their own guns could deploy.

The 2nd division quickly pressed one brigade forward to the edge of the farm and was struck by machingun and artillery fire from Barishenkov's position. The Japanese halted and brought forward their own machineguns to reply. Meanwhile the second brigade moved around the rear of the large hill to their right. 

On the left the first brigade of the Guard learned the hard way not to expose themselves to the Russian artillery fire and suffered heavy losses. They quickly sought cover behind the Hutong while their guns and their second brigade deployed.

The Japanese Stabilise Their Positions

By turn three the Japanese were beginning to form something of a battle line. The 2nd Division pressed beyond the road and discovered the position of Barishenkov's rifles regiment, but could make no impact on the entrenched Russians. Their flanking brigade was making slow progress around the large hill. The Guards, meanwhile, were doing better. Their artillery had come into action and caused some damage to Gemmersheim's second brigade that was digging in along the edge of the fields beyond the stream. The Guards soon had a good line formed along the road. The 12th Division had begun to arrive on the field and formed behind the woods on the ridge between 2nd and Guards Divisions.

It soon became apparent to Barishenkov that he was going to take the brunt of the Japanese assault and called on Gemmersheim for support. The latter responded by releasing his reserve regiment just as the Japanese 2nd Division closed in. Failing to gain effcet with his artillery by indirect fire, Barishenkov brought his guns forward onto this small hill. Exposed on the hill the batteries were immediately hit by the the fire of 12th Division's six batteries and quickly destroyed. The Japanese guns pounded the machine gun on the hill, damaging, but not destroying the piece. The Russians in the trenches began to suffer some damage, while the 2nd division closed in on the Rifles regiment.



The Rifles Regiment Defending Against the 2nd Division

Seeing that they were about to be overwhelmed the Rifles left their trench and charged forward in the hope of driving back the advance elements of the 2nd Division to gain some time for Gemmersheim's troops to arrive to help in the defence. It was a desperate attempt, but as a spoiling attack it had a chance of success. The Japanese were surprised and driven back, but were not driven off.

At the opposite end of the field Gemmerheim's right hand brigade was feeling the pressure from the Guards and was beginning to crumble. The artillery came forward and engaged the Japanese over open sights, but could only delay their advance. When two Japanese regiments moved to attack the Russians frontally, the Russian line failed and broke.



The Guards Attack the Russian Right

The End of the Russian Defence



The 12th Division forms for the attack

With the failure of the Rifles to drive off the advance of the 2nd Division the writing was on the wall for the Russian left and four regiments converged against one. In the centre the 12th Division was taking aim at the monastery, with the whole division preparing to attack the one Siberian regiment holding the place. The Japanese guns struggled to silence the Russians but sheet weight of numbers soon began to tell. The monastery fell to a determined assault.



The Final Assault on the Monastery

With the monastery in japanese hands the Japanese artillery was free to engage Gemmersheim's troops. Most of these troops were in the open and were soon cut to pieces the the gunfire. When 2nd Division finally drove off the Rifles and moved around the Russian left flank, Barishenkov was complelled to withdraw. Gemmersheim, unable to fight the battle alone was also compelled to retire and the battle ended.



The final advance of the 2nd division around the flank

The Japanese had won a decisive victory, but the Russians had fought hard and Gemmersheim at least kept his command - and certainly did not discrace the service. 

For the statistics, just under 1,000 figures, eighteen machine guns and twelve gun models were on the table. All of the infantry figures were by Tsuba Miniatures and all of the remainder by Redoubt. The game started about 9:00 in the morning and lasted until around 4:00 pm, with a reasonable break for lunch of course.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

RJW Game Part 1

For the last 29 years a group of friends have travelled to Lake Tarawera, south of Auckland, for a weekend of wargaming. When we started out we would drive down on a Friday night, game Saturday and part of Sunday then drive home. The “Tarawera Weekend” slowly stretched to a longer weekend, gong down on the Thursday instead of Friday, to the point has now extended to nearer to a full week this year, where we went down on the Tuesday, played games on Wednesday through Sunday, driving home on the Sunday afternoon.


My contribution this year was the Wednesday game - a Russo-Japanese War game. My apologies for the distortion of historical fact here, but here is the basis of the scenario. Set after the fall of the Motien Pass and before Liaoyang, the scenario sees the Japanese First Army trying to position itself for the advance on Liaoyang.

 

Background


Facing the Japanese advance is the 5th Siberian Division under General Barishenkov. Now Barishenkov had taken over command of the Division after it had been defeated at the Yalu. The Division was badly demoralised and had lost most of its artillery and machine guns. Barishenkov had done wonders to restore morale. He scrounged together a couple of batteries and some machine guns, but as the situation worsened to the south west one of his brigades was stripped away and he was left pretty much on his own to face the threat from the Japanese First Army.

 

When Motien Pass fell the Russian CinC, General Kuropatkin, recognized the threat to this left flank and moved to strengthen it. He had little faith in the Siberian troops and ordered General Gemmersheim’s newly arrived European Ninth Infantry Division to Barishenkov’s support, reminding Gemmersheim that a defeat here could have serious ramifications in European Russia, where the war was unpopular. Kuropatkin closing remarks to Gemmersheim were “Do not disgrace the Service.”

 

The dispatch of Gemmersheim to Barishenkov’s support set up a potential for conflict. First, Barishenkov had little respect for the European commanders who he seemed to have little understanding of the way this war was developing. Second, Gemmersheim and the European generals had little respect for the Siberians, whose record in the war was not good. Third, Kuropatkin sent his chief of staff, General Popolov, (with four batteries of artillery) to liaise between the two officers, both of whom were mistrusting of his intentions.

 

The Japanese side was far more ordered. The First Army was ordered to clear the mountains of Russians and prepare to advance on Liaoyang. The CinC, General Kuroki, advanced promptly and soon came up on Barishenkov’s position at Chaiotou and prepared to attack. However, before he could make his formal plans, he was called to an urgent conference at Dalny. Not wishing to miss the opportunity to drive off Barishenkov, Kuroki ordered his three divisional commanders to coordinate an attack.

 

The Terrain

 

I wanted a terrain that was both challenging to play on, but visually impressive. The area is mountainous with deep valleys. I read in several accounts in this area that described the terraced hillsides and fields of Kaoliang that stood six to ten feet tall. So I envisioned one end of the table as the end of a narrow valley that opens out into an area of broad cultivated ridges along the rest of the table.

 

I built two terraced hills that would sit on one end then a long narrow ridge that extended through the centre of the table. There would be three built up areas; a large walled housing structure - a hutong - in some parts of China - and a walled monastery that would make excellent strong points, and one small farm. Most of the area will be heavily cultivated (including some Kaoliang – for which I would simply use my existing wheat fields) and the fields surrounded with stone walls (based on a wartime photograph). Although the area is heavily wooded, I chose to have only a few areas of woods purely to break up lines of sight. A stream would run diagonally through the table.


The map of the table




The actual table layout


Deployment

 

Since Barishenkov was in position he got to deploy first. His two regiments, two batteries and two machine gun stands were augmented by a Rifles regiment He was allowedpo  deploy up to the half way point in the table and within 1 meter of the ends. He could prepare up to 1.2 meters of trenches. Once the deployment was decided, any troops or trenches that could not be seen from a given location on the opposite table edge were to be removed.

 

The commander of the Japanese 2nd Division is the first Japanese unit to arrive on the field and would then be allowed to make a reconnaissance. To make this recon he will have a pieces of string 6 meters long. Fastening one end to the starting point on the table edge he would trace the route of the recon party back to finish point on the same table edge. The string could pass through any part of the table and it may be possible for the recon party to observe any trenches or troops that fell within their line of sight (a die roll 3,4,5,6 if in the open, 5,6 if covered or 6 of well covered to see.) If the recon party string passed within 150mm of an enemy position the recon party would roll a die and if a 1 was scored, the recon party would survive, report the position and move on, if a 2,3 they would be repulsed without gaining any useful information and could move on, a 4,5 the party would identify the position, but be repulsed with enough losses that they could not continue. A 6 the recon party is lost and does not return and the recon has failed to gather any information.

 

Once the Japanese recon is complete the three Japanese players will make their plan on the understanding that:

The 2nd Division will be on the table on turn 1 at position A

- The Guards Division will begin arriving on turn 2 (last units on turn 4) at position B

- The 12th Division will follow the Guards, but may take a different route to begin arriving at point C on the map on turn 3. But the arrival on turn 3 will not be certain. On turn 3 the player will be told he needs to roll 1xD6 and will require a 4,5 or 6 to arrive. Then on turn 4 he will require a 3,4,5 or 6 and so forth until on turn 6 arrival is guaranteed.

- The Japanese will have problems with their artillery. Each division has two battalions each of three batteries. Because I have models for only six batteries of the 18 that are available for the Japanese, only six can be on the table, the remainder having to be positioned off table. Both the Guard or 12th Divisions will march their forces with one infantry brigade leading, followed by an artillery battalion, then an infantry brigade and then an artillery battalion, so that artillery will be delayed coming into action.

 

Russian planning is less coordinated. After Japanese planning is completed, Barishenkov’s troops will be laid out again and he may change the position of one unit.

 

All other Russian units arrive on the table as follows:

 

Popolov personally arrives on the table and is informed at this point that during the night a mixed force that had been escorting a machinegun company has stumbled across his camp and he has ordered them to join him. This force consists of two machine gun stands and seven infantry stands. This force can be deployed anywhere on the table up to 1 meter from the friendly edge. His artillery is to be deployed off the table.

 

Gemmersheim:

 

- 1st Infantry Brigade: Arrives at Position E on turn 1

- 1st Artillery Battalion: If Popalov decides to keep his batteries off table this battalon may arrive at E on turn 2

- 2nd Infantry Brigade: Arrives at Point E on turn 3

- 2nd Artillery Battalion: Is available off table on turn 3



Saturday, 28 September 2013

Back into it...

I haven't posted much recently because we have been on holiday in Europe - two weeks in Italy and one in France.

As any good wargamer knows, any holiday should include some wargames highlights and for me there were four wargames highlights:

First was a visit to the museum inside the Vittoro Emanuel memorial in Rome and the examples of the Bersaglerie uniforms from 1866 contained therein.

Second was the Naval Museum in Venice. This was four floors of displays of model ships, uniforms and equipment. 

Third was the Musée de l'Armée in Paris - surely a must for any wargamer who visits that city.

Fourth was finding a model soldier shop in Paris, a mere 150 meters away from the hotel. These were real model soldiers - 54mm and 30mm flats. I bought a couple of 54mms, but was really tempted by the flats.

My time away was tinged with a little sadness when I read that Donald Featherstone had died. While I wasn't a fan of most of his writing, his "Wargames Campaigns" is among my favourites.

On our return there were three little parcels of RJW figures waiting to be sorted for painting.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Ligny Refought

On Sunday our regular group played a Napoleonic game based on Ligny. There were four players per side and one umpire. It was the fourth game we have played in the Waterloo series this year.


Vandamme attacked first against a weakly held Prussian right at St Armand, but despite some initial success struggled to make headway and after a while shifted right, across the stream in an effort to join Gerard's attack on Ligny.


On the opposite flank Gerard was cautious, expecting (quite correctly as it turned out) a Prussian force to advance against his right. The Prussians took advantage of Gerard's caution and pressed forward.


Meanwhile the Prussian cavalry arrived and filled the space between the two Prussian wings. But no sooner had the Prussian troopers begun to form up than the French Guard cavalry arrived. The two cavalry forces were soon locked in combat in which the Prussians were bested and driven from the field.


Gerard managed to drive off the Prussians he had been fearing on his right, but his left collapsed to s strong Prussian assault. The Guard infantry then intervened and after a very close fight managed to drive back the Prussians.

The French now were free to march against Ligny and the battle ended. 

Saturday, 17 August 2013

The RJW Armies Expand

Well the great annual weekend of wargaming at the lake was postponed - it was actually to be more of a week than a weekend this year - equally due to a leak in the roof of the lake house and to illness of one of the party. So instead of ending tomorrow, we don't go down until November.

There is a silver lining to this dark cloud, however, and that is the expansion of the RJW armies for use in my scenario for that weekend. My intention was to expand the Japanese by four regiments and the Russians by two. I placed the order on Tsuba Miniatures. True to form Markus' service was up to the usual standard and eight days later they were on the doorstep - literally half the world away. 

But I stuffed up the order and ordered too many Japanese rank and file - 42 too many figures to be precise. So there has been a change of plan and instead of four regiments, with the addition of some more command packs I will have expanded he army by eight regiments. So by the time that the game is played in November there will be three divisions - the whole 1st Army. The Russian expansion will go ahead as planned.

I have also been working on some more pieces of scenery for the game. I have finished a small temple plus two stone and thatch buildings and started work on some unique hill pieces.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Reminiscing

Maybe it is an odd thing to admit to, but I can't remember a time in my life that didn't feature model soldiers. The first "little men" in my service came from my aunt who sent me some Britains 54mm guardsmen in 1966 either for my birthday or Christmas and from that moment on I was hooked. The next defining moment in my magnificent obsession came in 1968 when I saw the film "Custer of the West". The Civil War scenes at the beginning of the film started my life long interest in the American Civil War - although when I bought a DVD copy of the film a few years ago I was bitterly disappointed that it didn't live up to my childhood memory! 

What kicked off this line of thought was reading this article on the BBC news site a while ago about H.G. wells and his book "Little Wars" http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22777029. I suppose all of us who have suffer from this obsession have a trigger point that moves us from playing with toy solders to gaming with model soldiers and for many it was H.G. Wells' book. But for me that moment came in 1972 when my parents gave me the book "Charge!: Or How to Play Wargames" by Peter Young and J.P. Lawford. I still think this is the best wargames book ever written - and my copy is still in near mint condition. At least once a year I break it out and read part of it again. .


What makes this book so great for me is the stories told in the examples. There are the two players, Smith and Jones, who have a banter between them. "Oh bad luck, old chap"' says Smith with a wry smile as Jones removed the five casualty figures... In many ways that same, or similar,  banter is present in the groups of people I have gamed with all my life, so there is ring of truth in it and I love it.

Other books have had an influence on my obsession with model soldiers such as, Terry Wise's "Introduction to Battlegaming", Charles Grant's "The Wargame" and Donald Featherstone's "Wargames Campaigns", but "Charge!" still holds the prime position.

Not only was "Charge!" my first wargames book, but it also inspired me to write my first set of rules. This was by necessity because while Charge was written for Seven Years War battles, I wanted to play American Civil War games, so there was a need to customise. Since that time I have rarely used a commercial set of rules, and when I did they were heavily customised.

Oh well, enough reminiscing...back to the painting. I have decided to expand the Russo-Japanese armies by adding another six Japanese infantry regiments and two more Russians, plus eight Japanese and two Russian machine guns.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

First Bull Run Refought

Today, the 152nd anniversary of the battle,  we refought the First Battle of  Bull Run, or Manassas. 

The Union Army
Hunter's Division: Porter's and Burnside's Brigades, with two batteries
Heintzleman's Division: Franklin's, Willcox's and Howard's Brigades with two batteries
Tyler's Division: Sherman's, Keyes' and Schenk's brigade with one battery

The Confederate Army
Army of the Potomac: Bonham's, Cocke's, Evans', Early's Briagdes, along with three batteries and the Hampton Leigon
The Army of the Shennandoah: Jackson's, Bee's, Bartow's and Smith Briagdes, along with three batteries.

The Game

The game assumed that McDowell executed his turning movement as planned and started with Burnside facing off against Evans on Matthews' Hill. Bee and Bartow's brigades are marching to Evans' aid. Porter's Brigade is crossing Bull Run in support of Burnside.

Burnside attempted to flank Evans but struggled to get going. Not until Porter was able to come up on Burnside's left, could Evans be forced back, by which time Bartow and Bee  had formed a solid line behind him. Jackson had by this time arrived and formed on Henry House Hill. Cocke's Brigade came up on Jackson's right.

Burnside faces Evans, with Bartow and Bee forming to the rear. Porter follows Burnside across Bull Run.

The Confederate line stabilised in the low ground between Matthews' and Henry House Hills, while Heinztleman's Division came up and formed to the right of Burnside.

Heintzelman forms on Burnside's right

With a sudden rush Porter attacked and dispersed Bartow's brigade while Sherman's Brigade, with Keyes in support, moved to flank the the Confederate line in the low ground. Evans swung back to face Sherman, while Jackson and Cocke came forward. Sherman was forced to face Jackson. 

Meanwhile Kirby-Smith's and then Early's Brigades extended the Confederate left, overlapping Heintzleman. The Union advance stalled. Burnside's Brigade was caught in a vicious crossfire and began to retreat. Franklin's Brigade was similarly engaged, but managed to hold its position for a turn.

On the Federal left Schenks' Brigade finally arrived at the stone bridge and  prepared to cross, covered by Carlisle's battery. Things were beginning to go badly for Sherman and when Jackson opened a heavy fire, Sherman's brigade melted away. 

Flanked by Jackson, Sherman takes heavy fire

Porter, in an attempt to ease the pressure on the Union left charged forwad and drove back Evans, but when he attempted to drive off Jackson, he was halted and then driven back.

Keyes' Brigade, assisted by Schenck attempted to cover Sherman's collapse, but they were caught by the arrival of Bonham's Brigade and were driven back by a concerted attack by Cocke and Bonham. 

Bonham and Cocke roll up Schenk and Keyes

On the Union right Willcox's brigade charged Early and despite an initial success failed to drive him off. At the same time Howard's brigade was caught in a fire between Bee, Smith and three Confederate batteries, and gave ground.

The whole Union army was in retreat and the game ended, much the same way as the original battle ended.















Sunday, 7 July 2013

RJW Game and More

Today we played another RJW game. Once again this was a shake down for our main event in August. Lots of things learned and good fun had by all. In the end the Japanese failed to make any real headway and their attack was repulsed with a heavy loss.

Here are a series of images from the game. 

A Russian infantry regiment and their machine guns in their central redoubt, with their batteries on the ridge behind.

The advance of the Japanese centre on the redoubt

The Russian infantry on the right of the redoubt

The advance of the Japanese Kobi Brigade

All infantry figures are Tsuba Miniatures, artillery and MGs are by Redoubt.

And the new project...

Early War WWI

The first batch of 1914 WWI figures figures are completed. This includes:

- 13 stands of French infantry
- 3 stands of French HMGs
- 13 stands of German infantry
- 4 stands of German HMGs
- 6 stands of Belgian infantry
- 1 stand of Belgian HMGs
- 1 Belgian Minerva Armoured Car

Below are a couple of images of the Minerva AC from 1st Corps







Friday, 31 May 2013

RJW Project - Phase One Complete

The final artillery batteries (both Russian and Japanese) arrived from Redoubt a couple of weeks ago. They are now painted based and waiting for their first game.

Their completion finishes phase one of the RJW project. That phase sees one division formed for each side. Phase two will be the replacement of the artillery and machine guns with product made by Tsuba - the Redoubt figures just lack the flair of the Tsuba product - and some cavalry. Of course megalomania may yet get the better of me and I may be forced to do another division of Japanese and another brigade of Russians.

I still have a number of buildings to complete. One is finished, as below, but there is another 'Hutong' type of building, a farm, which is nearing completion, and a small monastery. These need to be completed by August when we have our annual wargames weekend. This is a good winter project.


In the meantime I have been attracted to a new project: Early World War 1 - 1914. I have placed my first orders and next week I should have the better part of a battalion each of French, German and Belgian infantry ready for painting.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Russo-Japanese War Scenario

Today I ran my first Russo-Japanese War game. This was really a practice for the main event - a game at our annual wargames weekend away.



The scenario was set in mid-summer 1904. Desperate to be seen as doing something after a series of setbacks, the Russian commander ordered an advance south with the object of trying to find some way to raise the siege of Port Arthur. 

Major General Gerschelmann's 10th Infantry Division marched south from Liaoyang as far as Haicheng, but there they struck a major problem. Unable to make use of the railway the infantry quickly out distanced their supply services and Gerschelmann was compelled to halt the advance to allow his supply column to catch up. He occupied Haicheng, while pressing troops forward to secure a crossing of the Huzhuang River.

Fearing that the Russians might force their way still further south, the 2nd Division, from First Army, was dispatched to intercept and turn back the Russian advance. 

THE TABLE
The table measured 4.8 meters x 2 meters. The Huzhuang River divided the table in half and was able to be crossed either at the bridge or forded at a shallow point within 400mm of the eastern table edge.  All hills are gentle, except for the double contour hill which is rough going. Around the two farms are a number of fields, some bordered with stone walls, and near the rivers are some areas of scrub the rest of the  terrain is open.



RUSSIAN BRIEFING

Order of Battle
10th Infantry Division: Maj. General Gerschelmann
1st Brigade: Major General Rjabinkin 
33rd Infantry Regiment (12 stands) 
34th Infantry Regiment (12 stands) 
2nd Brigade: Major General Martson 
35th Infantry Regiment (12 stands) 
36th Infantry Regiment (12 stands) 
9th Artillery Brigade: Colonel Schuchinski 
4 Field Artillery Batteries (1 stand each)  
2 Machine gun sections
Attached to Division:
7th Rifle Regiment (6 stands)
2 Field Batteries (1 stand each)

Deployment
The Russians may deploy:

One regiment and any number of machine guns or artillery batteries south of the river, but no further than 150mm south of the farm.

One regiment and any number of machine guns or artillery north of the river, may be deployed between the river and Haicheng.

Two regiments and any number of machine guns or artillery may be deployed within 500mm of Haicheng.

Any or all Russian artillery may be off table, to the north of Haicheng.

1,500mm of trenches anywhere on the table in sections of no more than  600mm in a single section and no one section may be within 500mm on another section.

600mm of wire entanglements anywhere on the table in strips of no more than 300mm with a least 300mm between strips.

All or any batteries may be deployed dug in.

JAPANESE BRIEFING

Order of Battle
2nd Infantry Division Lieutenant General Nishi
3rd Infantry Brigade Major General Matsunaga
4th Infantry Regiment (9 stands)
29th Infantry Regiment (9 Stands)
15th Brigade: Major General Okazaki
16th Infantry Regiment (9 stands)
30th Infantry Regiment (9 stands)
2nd Kobi Brigade 
14th Kobi Infantry Regiment (6 Stands)
17th Kobi Infantry Regiment (6 Stands)
Attached to Division:
2nd Artillery Regiment (two battalions each of three batteries = total 6 stands)
2nd Machine gun Company (4 stands)

Deployment
The Japanese may advance on the table at any point on the southern edge and in any formation they wish on turn 1.

Any or all Japanese artillery may be off table, to the south of the table edge.

VICTORY CONDITIONS

If one side's army morale collapses, the opposing side wins the game.

The Japanese player wins if two regiments are established on the notthern bank of the river and are not engaged in a close attack at the end of the game.

Any other result is a Russian victory.

HOW THE GAME PLAYED OUT

The Russians deploy one regiment in trenches south of the farm south of the river. The machine guns company was deployed in a small redoubt on the double contour hill. Another regiment was deployed entrenched north of the river at the ford. The artillery was deployed on the hieghts south east of the town with the two remaining line regiments and the rifles regiment near the town.


The Japanese moved first, with tow full brigades against the Russian position infron of the farm, with the Kobi brigade on the left and the artillery south of the briad ridge, firing indirectly. They advanced swifly across the open ground, but were suddenly struck by Russian gunfire and cut to pieces. 

Here the game was suspended. Clearly the rules needed some tweaking so we paused for lunch andstarted again.

The Japanese changed their tactics, masking the Russian trenches with te Kobi brigade and advancing directly on the steep hill with the remainder ofhe division. To suppress the Russian machine guns they saturated the steep hill with fire from six batteries.


The Russians brought  the Rifles regiment and one of the line regiments acrss the river, but as the latter crossed the bridge they were caught by Japanese gunfire and suffered severely. Meanwhile the Kobi brigade were repelled on the Japanese left, but soon rallied and managed to work thier way around the right of the Russians in the trenches. With the support of the two machine gun sections asingle   Kobi Regiment stormed the trench, drivng the Russians back to the river bank.


Simultaneously the Japanese destroyed the Russian machine guns and occupied the steep hill, pouring fire into the Russian regiment that had crossed the river, completely dispersing it. The Russians then pulled bach what remained of the rifles regiment,while the line regiment that had held the forward trenches attempted to extract themselves.


Here the game ended. Although the Japanese had not fullfilled the victory conditions, the Russians were in a bad way, having lost one full line regiment, another one badly cut up, the rifles regimen down below half strength, two field batteres and two machne guns destroyed. Conversly the Japanese had lost one Kobi regiment, and the other damaged, but all their artillery, machine guns and all four line infantry regiments in tact. It was only a matter of time before they brought pressue on the remaining Russians. 


The result, a winning draw to the Japanese.

Lots of things were learned and a few adjustments for the rules.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Update on the RJW Project and A French and Indian War Game

Life in the real world has been busy of late so I haven't had time to post much. This is not to say that I haven't been busy on my RJW project. Since the last post I have completed two Russian and four Japanese machine guns and two field guns a side. I have also received, and painted, two regiments of Russian infantry. Finally I have placed orders for the last of the Japanese infantry and the last of the artillery for my initial armies. The armies will get their first test in action when we play our first game in early May.

Today we fought a French and Indian War game. The scenario had a French force charged with attacking a fort while a secondary force held off a relieving force.

We French launched a quick assault on the fort and were lucky enough to carry it at the first attempt. But the British were able to quickly rally and when the relieving force came up we were soon forced to burn the for and retreat, but not before we had done significant damage to the British.










Friday, 29 March 2013

Russo-Japanese War Machine Guns and Artillery

Yesterday I received a parcel from Redoubt containing six Japanese machine guns, two Russian machine guns and two guns each for Russians and Japanese artillery.

I have completed a machine gun for each side, and they look OK when based up, but I have to admin that the figures are not a patch on the Tsuba Miniatures. However, I need guns and machine guns before I can play a game. I will replace them later when Tsuba produce theirs.

If the weather holds over the long weekend, I might be able to get a few photos posted on Monday.

Monday, 25 March 2013

English Civil War

Yesterday we fought an English Civil War game based loosely on the First Battle of Newbury, fought in September 1643.

On the Parliament side the were eight pike units and six regiments of horse, with an artillery force of three guns.

The Royalists had six units of pike, nine regiments of horse, one unit of dismount dragoons and three guns.

The were three players on each side, plus a game organiser/ umpire.

The battle began with a cavalry action on the flanks. Two regiments of Royalist horse were driven off, but the remaining four succeeded in passing around the right of the Parliament infantry. When the Royalist infantry failed to stir, the Parliament foot were able to drive off the Royalist horse, assisted by the artillery.

On the opposite flank the a Royalists drove off two units of the Parliament foot and one of the regiments of horse, but could not drive off the remaining units.

When the Royalist infantry finally managed to get going on the left-centre it was too late and the Royalists were compelled to retire to Newbury.

It was a great game in which generally followed the historical outcome.