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Carnage 2011

I recently attended Carnage on the Lake in Eastern Vermont.  It’s the only real convention in my home state and the only one that under three hours of driving.  There seems to be some sort of family emergency or sickness (once ended up with a 2 year old in the hospital the day before) that always seems to foil my plans for this con.  This year I made it for a full day, quite an accomplishment.  I even managed to make ONE game I was interested in, even better.

My Three Games

Lobositz with Carnage and Glory rules

I was most excited by this game as I’m a huge SYW fan and I have created this game in 6mm, so what’s not to like.  It was in 28mm at the con.  Now, I never understood why folks would use 28mm for large battles, I always felt the smaller scale offered more of a big battle feeling and 28’s would leave me wanting.  Boy, was I wrong.  The 28mm figures were beautiful and I instantly fell in love with the figures and game setup.  I still like my 6mm armies for SYW, but now I’m going to be painting 28mm Austrians and Prussians for some Sharp Practice at the next opportunity.

This game offered my favorite opponents, Prussians vs. Austrians, in my favorite period.  The new thing for me was playing Carnage and Glory, a computer controlled diceless system.  It was OK at best, I didn’t mind it, but the lack of dice left me wanting.  I was destroyed on my side of the table (I controlled all the Pussian cavalry) and only won two of the many melees fought, not very Prussian.  If I could have seen my bad rolls all game, that would have let me feel a little more involved in my losses, perhaps I would have felt more responsible for the performance of my troops.

My second shock (the first time I learned of this) in the game was that all of the figures were purchased painted from China.  The guy who ran the game bought them all.  He was a top shelf bloke, but I was surprised.  To me, painting is a major part of the the whole.  This seemed to be somewhat of a norm as I found out.

Civil War with Volley and Bayonet

This was some sort of Civil War defend the hill scenario, I was on the hill with Union troops trying to keep the rebs at bay.  I only played in this game as it came the closest to my interests, ie, they were using muskets.  Otherwise I find the civil war TERRIBLY BORING in every way imaginable.  Just not my cupa.

Volley and Bayonet seemed OK, not much flavor but got the job done.  I’m not really a fan of one stand units, but they were pretty and it was a game at a con, so I imagine on a larger scale, you could get quite a good game going.  No command tension in this one, the troops do what they are told and it’s a game of maneuver.

Some other Civil War game with Fire and Fury

My AWI game was cancelled, but I found some of the guys I had been playing with throughout the day running another Civil War game.  Again, take the hill with your bland, faceless Civil War troops.  Nothing against the guys running it, they did a great job, I’m just not really sure how you spruce up a Civil War game.

Fire and Fury has some command tension, which was OK, but I found moving up to 16-20 tiny stands of troops when you move a unit to be VERY FIDDLY.  Enough to put me off the system.

There were lots of 10mm troops in this one and very nicely painted.  Again, all purchased painted by the owners.

Finishing Thoughts

  • I found out that I really don’t like gaming the Civil War.  I always knew it held little interest, but now I know I don’t even enjoy moving them around the table.
  • I was surprised that so many people buy their troops painted.  The looked great, but I can’t imagine much satisfaction in owning/using them.  But that’s just me.
  • I don’t like games with large numbers of stands in a base.  It seems that you can do it in a much better way and I think many modern rule sets are doing that.
  • Only one game had any type of introductions between the players.  I believe that if I hadn’t introduced myself to some of the players, we could have spent 4 hours at a table and not know each others names.
  • Gamer funk seems to be prevalent in the Sci-Fi area of the hall and less so in the Historical areas.

He are some pictures of varying quality of the wonderfully painted and presented SYW figures in my Lobositz game.  I commanded the Cavalry of the Prussian right flank and was trounced.  The computer allowed me to win about 2 of maybe 15 encounters.  After the first few losses, it was 2:1 against me for the rest of the battle, since my guys were constantly rallying and returning.


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British Forces for Freeman’s Farm

Finally some new pictures.  While I havn’t been posting as I needed some time to assess the amount of time I was spending taking pictures and blogging versus the feedback, I have been painting like a madman.  Well, like a madman for me, I’m a very slow painter.

I finished all of the forces that will be on the table for the British side in my Freeman’s Farm scenario.  This is 932 infantry, four command stands, and seven gun stands.  Quite a tidy little group if I don’t say so myself.

These are not my best photos as I’m still trying to work out the best way to take effective pictures of large groups of miniatures.  I have it down pat for small groups, but still a lot to learn.

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Hubbartdon’s British Troops

I have already posted the Patriot troops, so it’s about time the bad guys got their due.  The following units represent the British OOB for the Hubbarton conflict. I’ll describe the units in the first picture below.

Out front is the commander Brigadier Frasier.  Next is the 24th Regiment, behind them the grenadiers, light infantry, and Natives/Canadiens.

Bringing up the rear is von Riedesel followed by his Brunswick troops.  First the grenadiers and then the light infantry.

Hubbardton’s Brits

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Brunswick Grenadiers

While I’m showing grenadiers, here’s the Brunswick contingent.

This unit was created from the grenadier companies of the four Brunswick regiments.  Two of the regiments had formerly been one unit, so they wore the same uniform still.  This lead to only three uniform variations in the converged unit.  I enjoy painting a unit more if there is some variation.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with them.  I wish I would have darkened up the yellow on the mitres a little, as you can’t see the white piping very well.  Unfortunately it’s a mistake it doesn’t matter if you learn from, as I can’t imagine I’ll be painting yellow mitres with white piping again.

Brunswick Grenadiers

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Slap on the Paint

I forgot to mention another great thing about the American War of Independence. It’s almost completely an infantry war. I hate tanks and have never painted a horse and enjoyed it. I have three forces painted for WW2 and nary a tank in them. I think there is less of the rock, paper, scissors dynamic with the mostly infantry forces involved. That should leave battles to be decided by maneuver instead of hardware.

I eased myself into the new period by painting some figures from my old period. I had enough Prussians sitting around for a unit of Brunswickers from the Saratoga campaign. They are the same figures in the Baccus catalog. They had already been undercoated, so I started to do some research on the proper colors. This was not as easy as I thought it was going to be. The AWI suffers from a lack of definitive information on unit uniforms and many other specifics. I did manage to find ONE site that had a few very low resolution images of Brunswick uniforms. I got the proper colors and slapped up the first unit.

I used the figures for three of my old units to make the first AWI unit, the Brunswick Musketeer Regiment Von Riedsel. A basic blue coat, white pants uniform that I have painted hundreds of times. This unit had yellow turnbacks, which I dislike because they don’t show up well against the flesh color. In 6mm you want some contrast. I am hoping these guys will do double duty as Hessians when I leave the Saratoga campaign. Let’s see if I ever finish it before I get carried away!

Then it was on to ordering some new troops and references for myself. I dropped by the site, which I must add is very utilitarian and in need of modernizing. It seems to be optimized for 800×600 pixel screens despite the “best viewed on 1024×769” disclaimer at the bottom. I just want to say that I can’t say enough good things about Baccus and Pete is a GREAT guy and his products are AMAZING despite the antiquated site. It did receive a much needed shopping cart recently, which any serious web company needs, if things are difficult for people to use, they will go elsewhere. People are lazy, pure and simple.

Back to the ordering. FIrst up, some Patriot forces. I ordered a militia unit and a continental line unit to get the ball rolling. I plan to order three patriot units and when those are finished, then three evil empire units. I have found that if I have a great deal of lead around, I get bored and stop painting for months at a time. So small, manageable units is the way to go for me.