Sunday, 18 June 2017

General d'Armee Playtest

A chance to give the new General d'Armee rules a playtest today at the local Woolston Wargames Club.  Chris Packer brought his Russians and I used a mixed Polish/French/Italian force. We played roughly 2K points each on a 6'x10' table.  (Also See my General d'Armee list creator here).

French (1995 points); Campaigner CnC
Infantry Brigade: 4 Veteran Polish Line, Veteran 8 pounder battery
Infantry Brigade: 2 Italian Line, 2 Marine Line, 2 Marie Louise Recruits, 6 pounder battery.
Cavalry Brigade: 2 Veteran Polish Battle Lancer

Russian (2075 points): Campaigner CnC
Infantry Brigade: 4 Jager
Infantry Brigade: 4 Line, Large 12 pounder battery
Infantry Brigade: 4 Line
Cavalry Brigade: 2 Veteran Cuirassier

A look at the table setup and deployment.

On my left I have the Veteran Polish Brigade.

2 ADC's to order them Forwards! (+3D6 inches to move).

They advance to the road.

My central mixed brigade.

Hesistant this turn. (Can't go any closer to the enemy). This large brigade spent rather a lot of time doing this, probably wisely...

Russian Cuirassiers begin their advance on my right flank.

The Russian infantry in assault column and the large 12 pounder battery. on the Russian left.

More Russian Line  in the centre, and Jager's to the top of the photo facing my Polish infantry.

End of turn 1.

Turn 2, my central brigade surges across the table on "Forward" orders (+3D6 inches, and rolling 16), so the columns advance 25 inches - and the skirmishers 28 inches. The skirmishers start firing on the Russian Artillery, trying to pick off the gunners.  

On the right the cavalry closes on each other.
Poles navigate their way through the town and skirmishers from their Brigade engage the enemy.

Turn 3 and the Cavalry charges on the right, with both Brigadiers personally leading the charge ("Glory!" orders). One Cuirassier regiment's nerve fails and it retreats and is chased off the field by my Lancers. First blood to the Poles! But the remaining Cuirassier regiment gives a better account of itself and forces back my other Polish Lancer formation, before itself withdrawing to reform.
(My Polish Uhlan regiments need a few more figures added to them for this 1/20 scale we are playing, Polish Krakus filling up numbers here).

Poles and Jager engage each other on my left.

My Poles charge a Jager battalion forcing it to retreat.

And another Polish battalion charges and forces back a Jager formation that was in skirmish order (mistake here, as my Brigade was on not on "Infantry Assault" orders this turn so only one unit could charge). 

Next turn the Poles deploy into line, and close range volleys are exchanged, though my Poles are taking alarmingly heavy casualties!  The Polish Artillery finally gets into action too.

On the right, my skirmishers have been harassing the enemy gunners effectively, though Russian 12 pounder fire is still bouncing through a couple of my formations each turn causing casualties. Our cavalry face each other warily, reforming for another charge.

 View from the centre.

Long lines of musketry as Poles and Jagers rake each other at close range on my left.

The Russians try to charge forward in the centre, but are beaten back.

The Russian Cuirassiers force one of my Lancer units to retreat, despite the Lancers charging with an enthusiastic "elan" result. The +2 dice Heavy Cavalry rolls is tough to beat, especially when your usual Lancer bonus doesn't count against the armour of Cuirassiers!

In the centre I wheel a a line to bring more fire on the lead Russian battalion. The Russian 12 pounders advance to cannister range, as does my own central artillery.

Then disaster on the my left, as two Veteran Polish battalions break and disperse, after some devastating volley fire from the Jagers!

Some Russian battalions have also been lost in the centre, though this is little comfort!

The Russians close in for the kill on my left, demoralising the Polish Veteran Brigade, which then fails it's command role and disperses! 

The centre is still engaged but my lead units are starting to look shaky.

And my right is not looking fabulous either, with fresh Russian Line supported by Cuirassiers advancing on my Marie Louise conscripts on the end of my line... and my cavalry struggling to reform.

We decide to call the game at this point due to time, but I'm not sure I could have held much longer to be honest.

View from the Russian centre.

 Where the Poles were. Only the Vistula regiment...

and artillery battery remaining.

Unfortunately for the French, this video pretty much sums up the situation...


I'm happy to recommend the General d'Armee rules. They clip along at a good pace, and have plenty of period flavour. Having played a first game, it would probably be helpful to have another read of the rulebook and check a few minor details.

In terms of force composition, only having up to 3 ADC's per turn vs the up to 4 ADC's per turn for the Russians was something of a disadvantage I think, so that's something to think about when planning a scenario/game. Given Chris had an 80 extra points, I guess could have upgraded my CnC to "Incomparable" status to get an extra ADC perhaps. Despite this the Russians were still thrown back up to until about halfway through the game, before everything started to go wrong for my Polish infantry! No doubt because I had a French rather than Polish Brigadier figure leading them, the Polish one still being on the painting tray. ;) (Edit - and as Chris points out below, they should have been using the superior volley table too!). On the other flank my Polish Lancers not only held off the Russian Cuirassiers, but destroyed a unit of them too, so that was glorious.

Good fun, and looking forward to the next encounter.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Tabletop Workshop Buildings

Some newly painted buildings. I bought these buildings a couple of years ago from Tabletop Workshop. They are plastic kitsets that assemble very quickly (floor, 4 walls, roof in two pieces). They are simple in design, lightweight but strong, and nicely textured.

Sadly Tabletop Workshop is now defunct for unknown reasons. I believe the rights for these now resides with Warlord Games. Warlord games is selling the old Tabletop Workshop Castle, but the these buildings are not currently available from them (despite some of them being listed as "in stock", they are not if you actually try to order them at the time of this post). EDIT: I believe these are now available again as helpful commenters have noted!

This building range was labelled as 'medieval', but they are very similar to the look of many Napoleonic period buildings too, for example in Saxony.  Here's some Duchy of Warsaw troops passing by.

There were six buildings available in the range, and I bought one of each and two each of the Cottage and Townhouse. The different buildings share many of the same components between kits. For example the Cottage Barn, and Stable are identical except for one of the walls being different for each kit.

Here's a look at the range.

Merchant House and Townhouse.



Chapel (actually already painted and shown on this blog previously, but repeated here for completeness), and the Cottage.

Back of them.

Barn and Stable.


The inside of the buildings is also textured and so can be painted up, keeping the roof removable. I haven't bothered painting the insides, but may at some future point.

The two storey buildings also have a second floor that slots into place.

Here it is in place.

Hopefully these buildings see a re-release soon. They are a great product in my opinion if you just want some simple but characterful buildings for medieval through horse and musket period and even fantasy games. The inside detail also makes them great for skirmish gaming for those so inclined.

As to painting I used a stupidly broad range of paints I had lying around to do these. Listed in order of coats:

  • Walls: (GW) Zandri dust, (CdA) bleached bone, (Vallejo) white.
  • Tiled Roof Red:(CdA) Brick Red, (Vallejo) Bloody Red
  • Tiled Roof Grey: (CdA) Dark Grey, (Army Painter) Uniform Grey.
  • Thatch: (Vallejo) Bestial Brown, (GW) XV88, Dark Sun, (CdA) Bleached bone.
  • Stone work: Two greys from hardware store....