Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Well, I thought I better write something as I have been so slack in updating this blog!!!

I have accomplished a lot of wargaming projects ...

1. Finished the Make this Medieval Village (complements the Town I already finished).
2. Finished glueing counters from the Vae Victus game For God and For the King (Vendee) to blocks. This will make some great fog of war in the game (already in the design, but I like how blocks look).
3. Purchased 15mm Sci-Fi figures from Rebel Minis and broke my pledge not to do any new periods! Crazy, I know! The 15mm Sci-Fi ranges out there are just amazing. Great figures, characters, and weapons. I look forward to trying these out. Likely going to use Piquet (no surprise there), with each stand representing a squad, crewed weapon, or tank. My Junta! rules will cover this nicely, once I add in the wicked weapons. Hope to have four or five "companies" of different races to fight with.
4. Picked up Campaign Cartographer software which will allow me to make some AMAZING maps. I have been playing with it for the past couple days and the possibilities are endless!
5. Purchases some 15mm fantasy figures from Splintered Light Miniatures at 50% off. Couldn't resist. I have a very large 15m fantasy collection already and this will just add in a few neat bits to it.
6. Packed up some miniautres to sell at Siege of Augusta.

I'll try to blog about some of the more interesting items above with some photos.
Happy New Year

Friday, November 6, 2009

Battle of Fox River - Sans Arc vs. 7th Cavalry

The Sans Arc vs. 7th cavalry battle was absolutely amazing last night! This is the 5th battle in our Plains War campaign and it took place on turn 16. Each campaign turn is roughly 3 to 5 days. I was the commander of the Sans Arc (the campaign commander for the Sans Arc is Mike Huskey and he is a remote commander and doesn't live here in Charlotte). Brian was the 7th cavalry campaign commander. He was taking a big chance taking on the Indians, with meager forces, but his troopers were out for revenge after their debacle at the Battle of Johnson Pass, where they were routed, cut to pieces, and Colonel Doubleday (commander of the 7th) to an arrow in the buttocks.

For those of you following along, this battle took place in area 62 (lower left) of the campaign map: http://www.charlottegarrison.org/PlainsWarCampaign/PlainsWarCampaignMap3.JPG

Rules: Din of Battle 2nd Edition (currently being written and playtested)

Force Composition
Sans Arc: 5 warbands (1 veteran, 2 average, 2 green) & 5 tipis with villagers - 7 morale chips

Oglala: 7 warbands (didn't make it to the field in time as they were riding to the aid of the Sans Arc)

7th Cavalry: 3 cavalry companies A, B, and D (all 3 stands or less), 1 warband of Crow Allies (3 stands) - 12 morale chips

Photo: Initial deployment. All the dismounted Indians around the tipis represent villagers (as I haven't painted mine yet).

The good news for the Indians, is Black Elk was able to lead the ENTIRE Sans Arc village and pony herds off the board, towards the south and into the winter hunting grounds. This means the Sans Arc are safe from the blue coats for another year.

The bad news part 1, the Oglala warriors (seven warbands) were not able to get onto the battlefield in time to help their Sans Arc brothers.

The bad news part 2, your Sans Arc warriors fought heroically, but took a severe beating. Four of the five warbands were destroyed or routed from the field. Black Elk was nearly captured\killed, but was able to escape as darkness covered the battlefield. The only unscathed Sans Arc warband was #5 which were green warriors. Remember that post battle casualties will be light in a campaign, not that it matters here since the Sans Arc are done for the campaign.

The Indians rolled average for their quality, while the cavalry rolled up a two EXCELLENT units (determined), with the others being average. Most of the TAD cards for the Indians had little or no effect due to when the TAD cards were drawn. There no counting coup in this battle due to distance from the enemy.

Impetus: We used opposing D12 with the rule of 1/3. This works perfectly for smaller battles and is part of Din of Battle 2 rules.

Photo: Indians moving to flank and hitting cavalry with skirmish fire. Green markers indicate disorder, yellow out of command, and the tipped over horse holders means the Indians have pinned down the cavalry with skirmish fire

The battle was see-saw affair and the Sans Arc nearly rolled the entire cavalry line up with a flank charge by warband #2, but he was defeated in a second set of melees. The cavalry player nearly shit his pants as he had just had the Sans Arc on the ropes then they had him by the nut sack with the Sans Arc flank attack, which overran company A destroying them.

Photo: Indians taking casualties from cavalry skirmish fire: 1 routed, 1 pinned, and 2 disordered. Indian warband on the cavalry's flank...

Photo: Company A of the 7th being overrun by the Sans Arc warriors!

Photo: Company B hit on the flank, defeat the indians on the first round of melee, turn and fight again and rout the Indians! Such courage and determination!

This caused the cavalry great troubles and the constant Indian sniping slowed down his approach which allowed the village to get away. Company B of the 7th cavalry will be receiving campaign battle honors as they defeated that flank attack, shot another warband to pieces as the Indians crossed the Fox River to try to flank the cavalry line again, then they crossed the river on foot, mounted up and delivered a hellacious charge which drove off the veteran warband (Kit Fox Society) leaving nothing between them and the village. The cavalry won the impetus after that, but failed to turn a cavalry move in open card before the village slipped away under the cover of darkness.

7th Cavalry gains 4 VP (routed and enemy units destroyed)
Sans Arc gains 1VP (1 for destroying company A) They will also get VPs for having over 50% of their village make it to the winter hunting grounds.

Photo: Cavalry moves to the Fox River, Colonel Doubleday attaches to B company (right) leading from the front. The Kit Fox Society warriors screen the village.

Photo: Companies B & D mount and charge the Kit Fox Society warriors protecting the remaining tipis (some have already escaped). Crow allies (black hats) keep an eye on the young Sans Arc braves at the bottom left.

Photo: Company B routs the Kit Fox Society warriors, who were the last warriors screening the village. Black Elk, Sans Arc chief, can be seen behind the Kit Fox warband, but wasn't attached. He was nearly killed, but was able to escape with the rest of village as darkness engulfed the plains.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Plains War Terrain


I had someone ask me about how I make my Plains War terrain. After reviewing several books and looking at online photos of the plains battlefields you see a lot of open ground, some clumps of trees, buttes, and gullies.

Terrain is very important to me when I'm gaming, so I went to work on making some hills\buttes\gullies, etc.

To make the larger hills I carved them out of 3" thick pink insulation foam I bought at Home Depot (4'x8' sections). The board is pre-scored so that you can break them into 2'x4' pieces for easier transport. I use the Foam Factory foam cutters to make my hills.

I made the slopes of the hills fairly steep, but smooth enough to place figures on them without them falling over.

Some hills are flush with the sides of the table so they are flat on one edge. Others go into a corner and have two flat edges, while others can go anywhere on the table.

I made smaller 1" hills (gentle, rolling hills) by cutting the 3" in half along the length of the foam like cutting a bagel in half.

This allows me to make very large layouts with larger hills, and smoother hills.

After I layout the hills to my liking, I then cover them with my 6"x16" flet cloth. I use pins to hold the cloth down to the hills. I like to set it up a day or two before the game to let the felt relax onto the hills and gives a smoother look.

The cloth is just covered in static grass, flocking, and balast of different shades and coarseness. I eventually want to glue this turf down so I get a more consistant and permanent look, but haven't gotten around to that large project.

Here is the battlefield for our next Campaign Battle (Battle of Fox River) which will be played out on Wednesday.

Village with small pony herd near the Fox River:

Close-up of the village, but I don't have any villagers painted yet so warriors will be used in place of them for the game:

I think the outcome looks really great for Plains warfare, and I can still use the felt for any other game period. Hills also work for other periods without many issues.

If you have any questions please ask.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Make This Medieval Town by Usborne - Card Stock Buildings

I've finally finished my Usborne Medieval Town cut-out town the other day.

I'm using these buildings for my European armies. The buildings will work from about 800AD to 1900s. The buildings are easy to make and have a ton of character to them.

Some quick shots of the overall town:

Shops on the main street:

Small stable behind the Inn:

Here is a picture of the front cover.

I bought all the Usborne cut-out model books a long time ago so that I could have a ready supply of buildings. I actually bought 2 of the Town sections so that I could have about 30 buildings just from that period. Not sure how available these cut-outs are now, as Amazon seems to have some of them, but not all. I have about 10 different cut-out model books in total.

The town section works with the Village, Cathedral, and Castles sections. Here is a photo of them all together.

Here are some shots of the buildings on the paper mat along with some SYW French infantry (15mm) marching through the center of town.

I will use the buildings for many of my upcoming Siege battles where there is a town inside the fortress. Thought you might get a kick out of them. I'm working on the Village section next which has a Mill, Blacksmith, Manor House, and small church, along with some thatched houses. I hope to eventually mount these buildings on diorama style bases, with flocked basing, etc.

I'm going to try spraying the buildings with a dull coat finish to "tone" the shine off of them. Buildings take anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour to make depending on size and difficulty. I usuallly make them while watching\listening to sporting events on the weekend.

Enjoy and good gaming!

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.