Charlie Foxtrot Models

Skirmish at Richneck Plantation

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Thursday brought another game of Sharp Practice to the Williamsburg Legati.  Based on a minor event that occurred not far from here on the morning of January 1st, 1781.  Infamous traitor Benedict Arnold had invaded Virginia and was working out his advance upon the new capital at Richmond.

At 2 in the morning, Militia activity was spotted from the James River.  Arnold ordered Captain Johann Ewald of the Anspacher Hessian Jaegers to land with a detail of the Queen’s rangers to investigate.  After a brief assault, the militia were pushed back to a plantation in Warwick county.  There the militia attempted to have the advance of the Germans.

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I ran the game as a meeting engagement, with the exception that I changed the victory conditions, only requiring the British to get across the table.  The original objectives would have actually been more historic but I was very concerned about the game balance.  I created the forces per the point system in the book, but looking at the forces on the table they certainly did not LOOK equal.   Furthermore, the Americans had the advantage of the plantation house in the corner and I imagined a long night of trying to expel militiamen from the house.   The Americans were defending with four groups of Militia in line and two militia skirmishers.  They were further supported by a musician, holy man, water cart and secondary deployment point.

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The Crown forces were two groups of Jaeger Skirmishers and 2 groups of Queen’s Ranger’s Skirmishers.  They also had a musician, spirits/ tinder box,  and a movable secondary deployment point.  The crown forces began with a force morale of 11 and the American’s a 10.

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The Jaegers began the fight by coming through the woods off the Primary deployment point,  on the perimeter of the farm, but most of their forces deployed off of the secondary DP on the American’s Right.

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The American’s responded by sending their second formation of militia to protect that flank.  Unfortunately for the Ameircans, they had placed their secondary deployment forward of the primary Dp, which now left them deploying rather far from that flank.

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Luckily for the Americans, the Crown Forces stopped their forward movement and elected to take positions and fire upon the militia.

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This gave plenty of time for the second formation of militia to get into position and shake out into line.  They fired their one controlled volley into the forward group of Queen’s Rangers, killing almost all of them including their officer, and sending them into a rout.

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The British Force Morale started to drop dramatically but was still pretty firm.  Apparently, here the Crown forces remembered their objectives, and the began a race for the table edge, making great use of the Leaders Staus III level.

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Seeing that they were unlikely to stop this charge, the American’s ordered their own skirmishers to capture the Crown’s primary Deployment Point, hoping to cause a collapse of the British Morale, it was however too late.

 

In the end, the British made it off the corner of the board giving them victory.

In the end, I still feel the fight was unbalanced, and I am suspicious of the pointing system.  even with all the special abilities of these skirmish troops and the superiority of the Crown forces, it did not offset the advantages of line troops firing in formation, therefore I think the skirmish units too expensive.  If I were to do this again, I think I would give Queen’s Rangers in line.

Cheers,

Ron

 

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Categories: American Revolution, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Sharp Practice, Too Fat Lardies, Williamsburg Legati | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

The British Advance

Due to the various demands of the Holiday season, and a housing emergency, Dave Wilson and I found ourselves as the only members of the Williamsburg Legati meeting a couple of weeks ago.  We took the opportunity to play a game of Chain of Command.

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I set up a table imagining that the battle was somewhere around the area of British Paratrooper activity at Normandy.  Mostly because I am preparing to run the Von Luck Pint Sized Campaign by Too Fat Lardies.  We rolled randomly for scenario and got Scenario Number Five: the Flank Attack.

Dave was attacking with the Paratroopers and I was holding the farm at the upper right corner.  This scenario give the attacker the ability to bring his patrol markers from two different sides at the same time.  Very disconcerting if you are the defender.  I tried to do too much with mine, trying to defend both fronts and soon found that I could hardly maneuver them.  I have often said that Chain of Command can be won or lost in the patrol pase.  In this game I lost that very way.  In fact Dave could have wrapped around me even, so badly had I played my patrols, but he elected that in light have having an enjoyable game he would not.  Thanks Dave.

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Dave’s Paras started advancing on the farmhouse just down the road from mine and was first to notice that the layout of the buildings left most of their windows facing away form the action.  Only the house in the middle of the board really had a useful vantage point, and it was right alongside of one of Dave’s jump off markers.  The Section shown above made little progress up the table.

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The Germans had the same problem however so most of my deployments were into the cover of the hedges.  My jump off markers were also all cramped together, all three being in the area of this one photo!  Also visible in this shot just under the tree is my poorly chosen support option.  The PAK 38 is aimed at the only useful house on the board, which was the center of much of the Para Activity.   I chose the PAK 38 because I like the model and don’t usually even remember to bring it, but in this case I knew I wasn’t going to be opposed by any armor.  If I knew the German equipment better I would have brought the ie IG 38 infantry gun.  This model doesn’t get used much either, costs less support points and would have been far more useful in taking out troops concealed in stone houses.

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Surprisingly, I took few pics of the British forces.  Dave started to bring forces on to my right, trying to flank me so I ordered a section to secure the stone barn across the street from my position.  This was a good idea, but I did it too late.   Further more, when they started to receive fire from the enemy I pulled them back.  This was a fatal error.  I did have to go into the open to get around to the entrance of the barn, and do so under fire.  I don’t doubt that I would have received some fire, but had I laid down covering fire with the MG42 and taken the risk I suspect I would have survived most of it.  Instead I got shot down in the street.  Punished for my indecision and lack of aggressiveness.

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Meanwhile my first section and ATG were taking so0me serious cross fire, and doing very little damage in return.  I eventually had to pull the ATG back while the crew recovered their bottle.

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Part of why I had to withdraw the PAK 38 were the two snipers the Para had deployed.  We haven’t used snipers much, due to some disappointment with them early on, but the PARA platoon fields two normally.  In this occasion they were very useful.

In the end we had to call the game because it had got quite late.  My force was still in pretty good shape but I had squandered so many opportunities early on and by not being more aggressive when I should have I allowed myself to get boxed into my corner.  I hope I have learned my lesson.

 

Until next time, cheers,

Ron

 

 

 

Categories: Chain of Command, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Too Fat Lardies, Wargaming, Williamsburg Legati, World War II | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Washington Slept Here

Some time ago I posted a review here, of some of the fine building kits I had purchased from Charlie Foxtrot Models.  For those of you unfamiliar with Charlie Foxtrot, they are a British company that produces several ranges of some very nice MDF kits.  Shortly after posting it, imagine my surprise to receive an email from Colin, owner of the company.

He asked me what games and genres I played, and if I had any ideas for further ranged or buildings he could provide.  I think that is some pretty impressive customer service, to reach out in such fashion to known loyal customers.

The truth is however, I didn’t know how I could help him.  The only thing that seemed obvious to me was American Colonial.  My job gives me a certain advantage there.  Charlie Foxtrot, however, is a British company as I mentioned.  I didn’t think there would be much interest in the American War for Independence over there. As to American interest, well there is certainly some here, but MDF can be pricey to ship.  I was afraid to suggest that Colin invest in hopes of American customers.  I have no idea how many of us purchase from him.  (I still don’t by the bye).  There, I let the matter drop.

 

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Me at Work…

 

Several months later came the new edition of Sharp Practice from Too Fat Lardies.  Like many others, I was swept up into the excitement.  Sharp Practice 2 makes it very clear that it is not intended just for the Napoleonic period, but rather for the Age of Muskets in general. I found myself drawn to the American revolution, a period I have most avoided as a gamer.  I also noticed a surprising interest in the period of the Too Fat Lardies list.  Maybe interest was greater in Britain than I thought.

I also noticed a dearth of good buildings for the period.  There are a handful of Very nice (and pricey) Grand Manner buildings, but most offerings far too modern, more suited to the American Civil War, or they are log cabins!  I know you Brits think we were completely rustic, but by the time of the war, most of the seaboard was pretty settled.  Log cabins are great for Guildford Courthouse or Kings Mountain, not so great for Yorktown or Boston. Maybe the interest would be there.

Enough of all that.  This is supposed to be a review of the first of Charlie Foxtrot’s New World range, not me bragging about my involvement which was really very minute.  All I did was send photos of buildings I thought would be good choices.  Two of those were the Richard Charleton House and the Grissel Hay house.

Both of these are original 18th-century houses still sitting on their original foundations and footprints.  Colin took these to inspire his “Tidewater Home”.

One of the first things you notice about this kit is it is large.  Far more pieces than most CFM I have (Only my Georgian House is larger).  Lots and lots of pieces.  Many of these are designed to combat the biggest failing of MDF which is it’s inherent flatness.  Colin has used many clever tricks to bring out the 3-dimensional nature of the prototype.  the columns and the portico, the window sills, and may favorite, the dentil work under the eave and the pediment.  This might very well have been neglected by a different manufacturer.

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Dentil Moulding on the upper floor

Of course, the footprint of the building is impressive as well.  Colin told me he saw the house as a focal point of a table and it certainly could be on the 6X4 I am used to.

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I apologize for my Napoleonic miniatures, my Queen’s Rangers aren’t ready yet!

The house is 25 x 14cms or almost 10 x 6 inches and stands about 6 1/2 inches tall to the peak of the roof.  As is typical of any CFM structure, the building comes apart into its separate floors so figures can be placed inside.

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Construction of the kit is easy, with only a few parts being fiddly.  Even the porch steps went together easily which hasn’t been my experience with most mdf kits!  The parts that appeared fiddly were the little pieces to build the tops and bottoms of the inner columns.  The instructions even mentioned to be careful cutting them out and my kit had extras.  Actually however they came out rather easy.

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The porch takes a bit of fiddling to get it all right, in fact, I see in this picture that the top of one of the columns needs work.  Care needs to be taken to keep those little squares, well squared, and to keep the columns at the right height (they can sink into the porch foundation).  The shutters are all separate pieces so they can be attached open or closed or perhaps in poor repair, and one set of the doors is seperated so they can be modeled ajar.

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This is a very useful kit.  While the prototype buildings are urban, there is nothing to distinguish it from several country houses all through the Colonial American South, or for that matter even into the mid-Atlantic.  Suitable for more developed areas in the FIW and obviously for the AWI, but also the ACW. These two witnessed both the Revolution and the Civil War. (or I suppose anything more modern in the Eastern United States as well).  It is probably also worth mentioning that the Hay house served for a time as a boarding house and the Charleton as a Tavern, so they can serve as more commercial establishments as well.  The second in the line which has already been released is a kitchen, and several other out buildings are planned which can really bring this house to life and turn it into a believable home.  A beautiful model, I am sure I will by another one or two to add to my village.

I also feel I should mention, even more so since I referenced the high price of shipping in the beginning of this article, that Charlie Foxtrot now offers service with a new courier.  This courier works with the United Postal Service for a delivery that is easy, convenient, and less expensive that it can be.  Good show!

Now to finish painting the house and shutters!

more later!

Ron

Categories: American Revolution, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Review, Sharp Practice, Terrain, Too Fat Lardies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Christmas Loot!

Well, another Christmas has come and gone and we have done very well here at Cry Havoc!

I will begin with the required post.  For the last few years,l I have participated in the Secret Santa program organized by Catherine and Ian over at THE BLOG WITH NO NAME.  this is a lot of fun.  The way it works is a number of us wargaming bloggers share are information and post ideas of things we would like for about 15 GBP.  Catherine assigns us people in some unknown magical fashion and we secretly send our little packages to our assigned target.

My gift just arrived today, a little late.  I only mention this because one, my odd sense of humor finds it intriguing that these little guys were cast in England, sent off to Germany and then finally here to the United States!  They have yet to see battle but they are already well traveled.

Secondly, I have been informed that they were sent late due to a family illness at Christmas.  I wanted to share my hopes and wishes for the best of all health to you, whoever are.  I know some of the blogging community have been greatly challenged with illness this Christmas Season, and whether serious or slight I hope that you and yours are doing as well as you might.

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Two packs of fine Perry Brothers miniatures.  One Queen’s Rangers Command and one Queen’s Rangers Light Infantry.  these are destined to be the start of my new project, focussing on Benedict Arnold’ invasion of Virginia in 1781.  the Queen’s Rangers will my  Main Force for this Sharp Practice campaign using Dawns and Departures.  Thank for sending me these and thanks to Cath and Ian for continuing this Yule tradition!

I also received a number of things from Charlie Foxtrot Models.  The huge Georgian mansion, a porch house, the stone barn I have so long wanted and his pig sty.  I also received the driveway, pond and entrance gate to match the Georgian house.  More on these will appear here later.  These are mostly to be used for Chain of Command but I am sure some of them will find themselves serving double duty.

From Sally 4th, for my 7TV THE BEAT game, I have some new photorealistic row houses a Pub and Corner Store.  These are really nice and I am slowly seeing the Greendock take shape.

I am still awaiting my Blood and Plunder Kickstarter, which should arrive any day.  I know they are being fulfilled and look forward to getting mine with great anticipation.  Lastly, I have some more stuff from Colin at Charlie Foxtrot on its way, most notably his new Tidewater House that I linked to in my last post.  That is a project that I have been involved with and am very chuffed to see it come to fruition.  More on that here later as well.

Cheers, and Happy New Year!

Ron

 

Categories: Chain of Command, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Crooked dice, Secret Santa, Sharp Practice, Terrain, The Beat, Too Fat Lardies, Wargaming | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Few Terrain Reviews

Due to a number of matters outside of our control, my usual group of gamers has been very inactive recently, and this has been reflected here on these pages.  I though as a change I might post a few little reviews of some terrain I have in most cases recently received. Even more so because I enjoy sharing excellent products and traders with others!

At this year’s Guns of August I decided that I was no longer satisfied with my scenery.  A few years ago I purchased a couple of yards of a green felt that I had intended to paint up as a ground cloth for Wings of War.  I never actually completed that painting, and instead, the cloth became destined for other purposes.  While it is no inexpensive craft store felt and a far better color than most felts it is still a large expanse of green with little variation.  With a lot of terrain feature placed upon it this is not such a problem, but at Guns I had a table mostly free of such things, and I was very disappointed with the result.

So, the first thing I looked at to improve matters was that cloth.  I could have broken the featureless expanse by airbrushing varies colors but I didn’t trust my artistic abilities.  Instead, I looked to two commercial sources.  These were Cigar Box Battle Store and Game Matz.

The club uses some of both of these fine products.  The Cigar  Box mats are beautifully painted cloth whereas the Game Matz are printed on heavyweight vinyl and many are photo realistic.  For various reasons I decided to purchase the Game Matz  Grassy Battlefield mat, though I do intend to purchase some Cigar Box Mats in the future.

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These mats are beautiful.  Some of you may have seen the Dark Forest mat by the same producer in many of my Pulp Alley posts.  Chris also owns a sea mat.  All of these are excellent quality, durable and waterproof.  They are too stiff to drape over terrain, so any hills or mountains have to be fully flocked and placed on top.

I have been relying on roads by Ricks Scenics and am very pleased with them, but recently need double the amount I had available.  This became a challenge because the company is no more.  Flying Pig Terrain took over production but they now are on hiatus!

I needed a lot of roads, wanted them to look good but didn’t want to spend a lot of money since I have already a good deal of rather expensive Ric Scenic Cobblestones!  Fleabay and War World Scenics to the rescue.

These roads were a very good price even with shipping from England.  They are not all a perfect match to each other color wise but they are far closer looking in person than the above pictures would suggest.  The appear to be a material very similar to roofing tiles but much thinner (at least thinner to those in the United States) with nicely flocked edges.  I bought two sets, one was simply straights and the other a bunch of useful pieces (smaller straights, turns, intersections, etc.).  These are very flexible, nice looking and will play the part of any metalled or asphalt roads I need, leaving my Ric Scenics for cobblestone and dirt roads.  I will be buying some more of these as I need a slip the other direction and I would like to cut some of the turns and straights to give me more choices.

While looking for these roads I stumbled on some beautiful hedges.  I wasn’t in the market for these, but hedges are always useful.

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These also were on Fleabay, sold by Treefella1.  For about $4o USD I received over 200 inches of hedges! I have no idea what material is giving these their bulk, but they are flocked and based upon cardstock.  The gates are very nice.

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Very pleased with these.  They did take a while to get here, and I am concerned about how durable they might be (the box it filled with flocking that has already come off) but I am far from disappointed.  These were far less money than equal quality products I have seen elsewhere, well worth the wait and I can reflock them if they ever need it!  i don’t see how I will ever need any more hedges!

The next items are NOT new, but I decided to add them as I am so very pleased with them

First, Hotz Mats fields.

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These are made in two different scale sizes, mine are the 20mm to 30mm set.  They are just felt with flocking in rows but make some of the sweetest plowed fields I have ever seen.  His sets in this scale come with four in various sizes and they are available in two different “seasons”.  His delivery times can sometimes be slow, but the product is inexpensive and worth the wait. $13 USD for a set at the time of posting.

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They do only come in squares and rectangles but one could easily purchase an extra set to cut up to form triangular pieces to make the squares fit into odd shaped areas.  These are completely flexible and lay flat.

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Just a few shots with some vehicles and a Charlie Foxtrot house to show all of these elements together.

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Cheers untill next time,

Ron

 

 

Categories: Charlie Foxtrot Models, Game Matz, Hotz Mats, Review, Terrain, Uncategorized, War World Scenics, Wargaming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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