Friday, 28 August 2015

Tutorial - Making Sabots

I was asked how I made the Sabot I was using, and thought if there is one person interested there will be others.

So here we go. This tutorial will be for the infantry sabots.

Craft Sticks, also known as Popsicle sticks
7mm Bass Wood Strips (coffee stir sticks will work but they are 6mm wide)
Bristol board A.K.A. Art board (card stock will work, but is more pricey)
Craft Knife the sharper the better
Clear Packing tape (Optional, but recommended)
Glue, I use both a Glue Stick and PVA A.K.A White glue
Sandpaper or emery boards
Template of the size base you are making the sabot for (I am using one 60 mm x 30mm)

Very Very Important! 

 Make sure your Popsicle and coffee stir sticks are both the same thickness. Mine are 2mm.

Cut your Bristol board in rectangles 75mm x 50mm. your size may vary

Make sure your Bristol board is the exact correct width, it makes construction much quicker and easier, depth does not need to be too exact.
 Glue a Popsicle stick to the front edge of the card. I use the glue stick for this and the next step.

Place your template snugly against the Popsicle stick you just glued in place.

Glue your second Popsicle stick into place, use your template to make sure your base will fit, be careful not to glue your template to the Bristol board, that is why the glue stick works best, apply it to the Popsicle stick and then affix it to the Bristol board.
The template is 6cm x 3cm the area taken by 6 infantry bases.
If your Bristol board is a too deep you can trim it flush the second Popsicle stick.
 This is my 7mm wide strip of bass wood, a 5 pack each strip 3' 9" long for $3

Take your 7mm wide strip and cut it to fit each side.
This shows how I measure the side pieces, I butt the strip against one Popsicle stick and sscore it at the other then snap it off.
Use the white glue so you can get a more solid join where the strip joins the Popsicle stick.

Flip the sabot over, using a metal ruler and the craft knife cut away the excess Popsicle stick, flush with Bristol board. I score the Popsicle stick 6-7 times and snap it off, then use the emery board to tidy up any rough edges.

 Bam! You're done.

After using them in a game, I found they need a little more reinforcement, so here is what I did to reinforce the construction,

I cut through the Bristol board where the base will go.

Using the white glue, attach another piece of Bristol board on the other side of the sabot,

 The final product
Ready for painting and flocking
I use removable labels sticking out the back of the sabot, that I attached with tape. I was removing them after a game, the tape I used starting tearing away the outside of the paper, so now I cover the bottom of the sabot with 2 " wide packing tape.
You don't have to use this expensive packing tape though, It is what I had to hand when making this tutorial

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Blucher Game AAR

Blucher Game AAR

This is the After Action Report that details the events in the previous post.

Last Sunday (August 23rd) I ran a game of Blucher for my local gaming group, The Historical Gaming Association of London (Ontario), in Canada.

I made two 334 point armies, one French the other, not French A.K.A Austrian.

The French army was 3 fairly homogeneous infantry corps plus 2 cavalry corps and an army reserve of 2 heavy artillery units and a unit of Cuirassiers. Army Morale of 8.

The Austrian force was five corps with a mixture of troop qualities and an army reserve consisting of a pair of foot artillery and 1 heavy artillery. Army Morale of  9.

I Initially had 6 players (the Austrian C-in-C had to leave around 1 PM). One of them had played a game I ran back in June, another had watched a portion of the game I did in June the rest were completely new to the rules.

The Austrian plan was to roll up the French left, pin the French right and attack the French centre.

The Austrian right, comprised of the advanced guard which had 2 mixed infantry units and the Austrian only horse artillery unit plus some other infantry units, advanced, whilst the rest of the army waited. Turn 2 french artillery opens fire and scores 2 hits on Austrian horse artillery, retiring it.

The next 2 turns saw the Austrians advance into skirmish range, the French getting some good shooting results, and a cavalry clash between French I corps' cavalry unit and Advanced Guards' unit of horsemen, with I corps coming off the worse, fortunately for the French, both cavalry Corps were over there and for the rest of the game they and I corps held off the Austrian Advanced guard and IV corps which came up to help. The Austrian IV corps held some of the best units in the Austrian army, 2 Grenadiers and a unit of Kuriassiers.
Austrian Advanced guard and IVth Corps fighting it out with Ist Infantry and Ist Cavalry corps, IInd Cavalry Corps is yet to reveal itself.

About turn 5 the Austrian left surged into motion, grabbing the village, and then pushing beyond it.

Turn 7 or 9 the Austrian centre began moving forward, enduring fire from the 2 French heavy artillery units there, then volleys from the french infantry there.

Just as the French centre got into volley range, about turn 11, the Momentum dice stopped favouring the Austrians (up to this point the French had been rolling about 13 MO a turn). The Austrian Advance Guard and IV corps were mixed up and wanted to keep their attacks going, so used up a lot of momentum, which meant the Centre got few if any and sat at volley range for several turns, usually coming off worse in the firefight. The Austrians by the village got no Momentum. Even this late in the game the French still had 3 units in reserve in the centre (1 cavalry and 2 more infantry units), the Austrians also 2 units in reserve, 2 their 3 remaining artillery units! which had been poorly sited and unable to get any momentum dice, since they were army reserve and too far apart from each other to get a group move.

We got to turn 16 or maybe 17 at which point the Austrians saw defeat coming for them (and with their C-in-C gone they were able to place blame firmly on his shoulders, which kept their martial prowess unsullied) and ended the battle. They had 6 units broken and at least 3 or 4 more with only 1 or 2 Elan left, just in the centre and the centre French units had taken at most only 1 or 2 damage.

Positions near the end of the game from the Austrian side of the battlefield. You can see a multitude of Austrian units sitting with 1 or 2 elan remaining. Their objective was the Intersection near the top of the picture.
With more rules familiarity the Austrian attack would have fared better. They also were lulled into thinking they could do pretty much everything the wanted to do, the duplicitous French kept rolling so many ridiculously high Momentum rolls early on. Some formations set up in bad spots which slowed their movement forward the Artillery was particularly badly sited.

The French side also had a clever command structure, one player played the C-in-C and nothing else, he let the other 2 players run all the units, and he ran them. The Austrians kept thinking "he has more units, he's just biding his time to bring them on".  To clarify I didn't use the multi-player rule, instead I just used the single player a side rules, the C-in-C would say "You activate a group", then "You, activate a group", and so on.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Blucher game pictures

Pictures of the game of Blucher I ran for my local gaming group.

AAR to follow in a seperate post.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Preparing for a Blucher game in 6mm

Next Sunday (23rd August) I am running a game of Blucher.

I needed to finish a few things in preparation.

I had 25 bases of French infantry that needed flocking.

Put C-in-C on round base and make it look more diorama like

 Make new trees, my styrofoam ball trees are really showing their age.
When the new trees are done, they should all look similar to this one.

 Work in progress!
Paint, base, flock, seal and flag 4 Austrian Landwehr units from Baacus


Make caulking roads
This is a test I did using landscaping cloth and brown latex caulking. I will apply a wash and some dry brushing to bring out the texture, hopefully
Work in progress