Thursday, April 26, 2007

SYW Russia Vs. SYW Austrian

It's not a bad thing when you have too many players wanting to play Make Ready! locally. Keith was busy running a couple of games at his place and I was sent to the book store, J&B's in Trenton, to educate Josh in the ways of the Russian army.

So here is how things ended up deployed:
Russia won the aggression roll and opted to place an unfordable river. Josh got a BUA and a couple of woods
in his central sector with a very handy woods up front. I screened this wood with my Con Msk(O) troops while he filled it with his lights troops and I went heavy on both sides of the woods with my Irr Msk(O) to the left and both of my commands with horse on the flanks. Josh's strong horse command was on the left but he had basically 2 commands behined, in and to the right of the woods and this initially worried me as this was my weaker side.

Bound 1:

At the end of bound one the game was shaping up. Josh was going to go at the Russians with his horse. My PIPs were great so I easily got my CR(I) and LH(S) into position on the right side and flanked his left side with my horse as he was going straight up at the Irr Msk(O) which I strung out into a single line to meet him.

Here is the fight on the Left starting to take shape and getting to the point of no return for Josh:

Josh opted to bring in his heavy horse in dribs and drabs which just got the @$%& shot out of it and what did make it into contact was out matched. Unfortunatly for Josh this is not an uncommon reaction for anyone when facing the Russian army for the first time ... it's the deer in the head lights syndrome. Russian's are every where! What do you do? He is worried about my flanking horse and grens advancing up. PIPs could have been better for him and rather then putting in a mass charge he's on the defensive which is breaking up his strong horse.

Back over on the right:

Josh got his LH on the gun and Grens but his other LH is in some serious horse trouble. Again too little of a commitment if the plan is to fight Russia frontally. You can't win in attrition against Russia, the army is big with higher shake and break points. Once again the dice were not kind to Josh. Except for the lone LH. double over laps and he wins the fight sending me off running from him! It took me 3 attempts at swarming this horse before it died!

The end is near on the left:

With the initial horse attack crushed Josh's left side is now shaken, out gunned and flanked. The Russian horse now go in after threatening for so long to mop it up.

Back on the right:

Josh finally pushes on the right side with his grens but he is still hesitant with his Muskets since they are (I) so he hangs back a bit looking to get my Cr(O) in front of my lines. I'm not sure if his lights should be leaving the woods because with his left side broken they are some easy pickings out of the woods. Josh did manage to silence my gun on this side. Those grens are on the wrong target ... get one on that gun! Where are the PIPs when you need them.

End of game:

Looking from the left you can see the Russian horse eating up the broken command here. I've limbered up my howitzers to move them to the right but it's not required as I've destroyed enough troops from the other 2 commands to break his army. The losses for the Russian's today ... 3 stands. PIP's were great for Russia today and the combat dice were fair as well.

Josh could have used a bit more luck ... especially with his PIP dice. Otherwise for his 5th game or so he is catching on fast. The game was quicked paced which makes it a lot of fun and once he figures out the strengths and weaknesses of the troop types he will be a force to be dealt with!

So I hope you enjoyed this recap of our game. I expect my next encounter with Josh to be a bit tougher and I look forward to it.

Cheers, Gary

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Snow to go?

Static grass, flock, tea leaves and your wife's 7 herbs and spices ... people put everything on a base.
For my Russians I like a little snow. How do you get a nice snow effect easy ... raid the kitchen again for some baking soda or powder and you are all set.

I've added a new download of a great article I found a couple of years back on the method of snow that I use:

The only thing that I don't use in this magic formula is the texture medium ... you get lots of texture ... trust me. I make it fairly liquid as it can be hard to work with if it's too pasty. and really watch the amount of blue you add or the effect seems fake. With a little practise you get some of the best snow you will ever see.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Games on April 19th

Wow! My house was really active last night as we had three Make Ready! games going on simultaneously. On table one, Gary Gilesovsky with his SYW Russians gave Joe Maynard's ACW Union army its initiation.

On table two I took my ACW Union troops against Mark's (seemingly) unstoppable SYW Prussians. My army is not completely painted yet, so if you see blank bases on the table, they were stand-ins for guys who are still on my painting table. I also haven't flocked the stands up or made them look nice. Future posts should be prettier and then I'll have the confidence to do some close-ups, too!

The game started with the Union deploying across the table and then asking the question: "Where are the Prussians?". Mark opted to keep his options open and deployed only one division on table. as shown below:

The felt in the bottom left is a town with an open field beside it. The field has a stone wall, behind which the Prussians are coweri- - uh, deploying.

Not knowing where the Prussian might be marching off table, I decided on a blitz to crush the one division that I could see. Troops raced across the board, bringing their guns with them. Mark's jager companies tried to organize a fighting retreat, but were eventually overwhelmed by the Union light infantry and cut down. As my heavy infantry on the far flank moved toward the town, the Prussians trained their guns on them at which point the Union light infantry (placed center table) raced in and started firing on the guns' flanks as shown below:

Fritz's mounted division came on on his own table edge, center table and the Union light infantry (having left all the heavies back on the starting block) became a bit concerned. Thankfully, they had hauled their guns up with them and soon, the light infantry had faded back out of harms way and five batteries were trained on Frederick's horse! Ouch....

Meanwhile, another Prussian infantry division arrived on the Union's left flank. Thankfully, I had deployed some mounted infantry on the left flank, who fanned out and covered most of the flank. Also, the dice were exceedingly good to me and a brigade of mounted troopers hiding in the woods on my left were able to race out and fill in the gaps, dismount and completely seal off the area. I thought the best chance of victory was to smash this flank march before it could take root, so the heavy infantry who had been advancing on the town left faced and went to lend their support. They left Berdan's sharpshooters to delay the Prussian advance, who were overwhelmed by musket fire and fled, blocking the redeployment. Meanwhile, heavy fire from the light infantry in the center had forced the Prussian infantry back from their guns which were then shot up quite nicely, stormed and captured, all shown below:

The loss of their rifle companies, both their gun batteries and accumulated infantry losses from cannon fire was enough to break the will of the Prussian center command. And with their mounted charge on the Prussian left in tatters and countless horsemen dead, the whole army decided it was time to withdraw from the field. Union losses were minimal, 3 elements destroyed. 9-0 Union victory.

Meanwhile, on table three Josh's Austrians (left) and Emen's Allied army (right) fought a back and forth struggle that centered mostly on a hill on the Allied left flank.

Apparently, the Austrian heavy cavalry charged uphill against some Dutch infantry with a jager company on its far flank. Even up hill, a mounted vs jager fight usually turns out pretty badly for the jagers, but these guys proved the old adage: "It's better to be lucky than good" and consistently threw back one charge after another.
The Austrians did manage to break through the Dutch heavy infantry eventually, so this wing was in imminent danger of collapse at end game (as was the Austrian's center!) A nail biter with an indecisive ending....
Thanks to everyone for participating!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Peninsular British (Part 2)

Here of some more of the figures from my Peninsular British army. They are Old Glory 15mm with flag supplied by


A closer look at the SYW Russian army...

Of all the armies available to the Make Ready! player my weapon of choice is the Seven Year War Russians.

Now don't tell Keith this but I think the Russians are a power house in the system. (every time I beat him he re-writes the rules so the Russians get weaker ... so mums the word, right?)

So what makes a good army in Make Ready! ? A few things do ... manuverability, solid troop types and healthy command sizes. So just where do the Russians fit in here?

Okay ... so they aren't maneuverable ... at least on the surface with 3 Irregular non-dice sharing generals. They can't move around like those blasted Prussians can. If you are going to play a Russian list you have to compensate for maneuverability with a good starting deployment.

What about solid troop types and command sizes? Here again it's give and take. The common foot soldier - Irr Msk(O) - is not a maneuverable troop BUT he is one tough Russian. He is also very cheap at 6AP, so you get a lot of them. Place them on the board so they don't have to do anything more then move straight forward at the enemy and I promise you that you will break what ever command is facing it. Watch those flanks ... they don't turn to face very well since it cost an extra PIP to do anything except go straight ahead their full movement. Mind you bad things do happen. Fear the horse ... those Irregular troops are quick-killed across the line so a little strategy is required when facing horse. I typically deploy 2 or even 3 ranks deep which gives you a lot of punch when faced with troops but when horse appear make sure you save a PIP to split the front rank from the 2nd rank to get out of the death zone. This also makes for a nice catchers mitt if and when any horse break through.

Let have a look at a successful Russian deployment Vs. the SYW Allied army:

Here we are in the flooded Dutch land ... a water way on the right with a small town and a number of marshes. The dutch are defending and have deployed back in line. They have regular troop types so the army is smaller and they have two dice sharing generals and one non-dice sharing general so they should be a bit better equipped to push an attack between the two dice sharing generals. The big problem with the Allies deployment is the central swamp. They have deployed a large number of troops behind it. Heavy troops cannot move through a swamp in any other formation then a column and at reduced speeds. Everything behind the swamp is basically out of the action and as he tries to get it into the action it will congest onto the other commands ... a big PIP issue to sort out.

The Russians have set-up with 2 commands with allot of horse on the left of the swamp. These commands are facing basically only 1 of the allied commands. This is a huge advantage being able to bring to bear the combined fire power of 2 onto 1 command. On the right of the swamp is my big Irr Msk(O) block and howitzers with a couple of light troops in the swamp. The Allied command to it's front is much smaller but it got allot of tough (S) troop types in it on the flank. A bit of howitzer fun should soften these tough guys out before they hit.

So lets see what happened:

As you can see the Russians took advantage of the far left flank with a mass horse charge.
The last horse at the bottom of the photo had just destroyed a Jagger stand and the question arose ... "where does the horse go"? Horse once they win a combat in Make Ready! are impetuous. They will move forward only 1 base depth if they are in a position to supply support but if they are not they have to charge through their full movement distance towards enemy if it is immediately to it's front. That Jagger is not to it's immediate front so it charges forward and stops at the swamp.
So the Allied flank command is doomed to be rolled up. Even if the horse charge went bad for Russia they have enough foot elements in the command to lose all the horse without breaking the command.

Back on the right:

Those pesky Allied Reg Msk(S) troops on the flank really started to worry me as the Allied general used those shared dice to push them hard up the flank. The Russian PIPs were good so I was able to spend allot of PIPs to get my muskets fanned out to stop his flanking maneuver and turn my howitzers to say hi. Gradings don't count for cannon fire and once he pushed into canister range this command crumbled when the big musket block hit his troops.

Once again minimal losses for the Russians 6 to 8 stands between 3 command. It's warm potatoes and Vodka for the boys tonight!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Four more practice games today!

The first was Mark Beaudon playing SYW Prussian (left) vs Josh Garrett playing SYW Austrians (right):
Several steep hills cut the landscape, covered with rock and brush. A single gentle hill was placed center-left for the Prussians who quickly scooped it up and set up a massed battery on top of it. Josh attacked across the line, starting on the Prussian left (view flipped):

Josh hasn't finished painting all his Croats yet, so I substituted some of my Iroquois from my French and Indian War stash (Well, they ARE both Irregular skirmishing tribal infantry....)
This attack faltered and a second (ultimately unsuccessful) assault was tried against the Prussian right:
The game finally ended when the Austrians in a last effort charged uphill in the center into the massed Prussian guns supported by two brigades of infantry. I've deleted that picture. It wasn't pretty. Prussians 9; Austrians 0.
On the other table, Gary Giles took his SYW Russians against Emen Curtis's SYW Allies while Erik Hildebrandt looked on (obviously enraptured):

Emen tried to zip a brigade of elite troops led by the Hanoverian guards, around the the Russian right flank:

But the Russians managed to seal off the area and the Allies ended up having to take them on frontally. Meanwhile, a brigade of Russian cavalry pounced on the Allied right flank when it left the cover of a marsh:
Russians 9; Allies 0
After those two games were done, a third was played with Mark taking his Prussians against Emen's allies. The Prussians deployed entirely to one side of a huge marsh:
Emen tried to scurry his troops on the right into the fight, making a beeline through the marsh, but they didn't get into the fight before Mark moved in hard on Emen's left, including troops that had marched off table onto the
Allies extreme left (Most of the troops to the left of the little marsh in this picture are Prussians!) Time ran out on this game with the Prussians having routed only the division on the Allied left. Prussians 3; Allies 0.
Josh and I played a SYW Austrian vs Peninsular British match, but most of the troops were stand ins (like my Iroqouis) so I haven't included any pictures of that game.
Overall, quite a fun day!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Peninsular British

Here's a picture of a few of my Peninsular British figures. They are all Essex 15mm models. Two battalions of British light infantry are supported by a battalion of Cacciatores. A rifle company leads the way and a regiment of Portuguese dragoons follows up.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Battle reports (with pictures!)


We had two practice games Thursday night for the upcoming Keith Con. On table#1, Joe Maynard led the French troops of Marshall Maurice de Saxe (1740) against Frederick the Great's Prussians (1758). The French managed to catch the Prussians off guard, so to speak, and won the aggression roll. They marched on the Prussians near a little town with a stone wall extending out along the edge of a fallow field. This the French planned to use as the anchor for their left flank. On their right were a pond and a series of marshy areas, giving that side excellent cover as well.
The French set up with one division holding the town on the left flank and extending out into the open territory past the stone wall. The right end of the line consisted of a grand battery of thirty-six 6pdr guns (i.e. three stands). On the right flank, a deep phalanx of recently raised battalions was placed with a howitzer battery in support and some second rate cavalry regiments in reserve. The centre was dominated by that flower de l’armee fraincaise - a massive brigade of nine regiments of mostly elite French cavalry supported by two brigades of infantry and a 12 pdr battery.
On the Prussian side, two divisions were placed lined up between the edge of the lake (which was on the French side) and a medium wood against their back edge. A couple of regiments of hussars held the far left flank in case the French tried to march around the lake onto the Prussian’s flank. The third Prussian division was nowhere to be seen. Seeing as the worst possible place for it to arrive would be on the French left flank, those of us on that side of the table assumed that’s where it was. Gulp.
Joe got there late, so I started for him and he took over when he arrived. My philosophy was to attack the Prussian position with everything we had as fast as possible, before the rest of his army could show up. Mark obliged by failing to roll for the arrival of his other division for about six bounds. My mistake was thinking I could get my cavalry onto the seam between Mark’s two commands before he could fill in the weaknesses in his position. WRONG! In retrospect, I should have attacked with the infantry all along the line, keeping the cavalry back as a reserve. Instead, as the picture to the side shows, by the time Joe showed up, I had gotten the cavalry far ahead of its supporting infantry and it was starting to get hit by Prussian medium range artillery fire.

Under fire anyway, Joe & I decided to trust in numbers and we hurled the cavalry into the Prussian ranks attempting a breakthrough. In the time it had taken for the cavalry to cross the field, though, the Prussians had of course solidified their position and that plus a series of bad rolls resulted in our grand and glorious charge turning into so much burning horse flesh. Ouch. Center command broken.

The picture to the right shows the remnants of French cavalry in front of the Prussian line with the infantry desperately scrambling up behind them.

Joe did a great job of bolstering the centre with troops from the right flank and even managed to do some considerable execution with his howitzer battery on the Prussian left.

Meanwhile, a brigade of Prussian musketeers that had moved toward the town on the French left was met by a brigade of Suisse, who held their own throughout the rest of game though outnumbered almost 2:1.
Right about the time the center broke, Mark’s third division arrived exactly where we feared it would.He rapidly sped across the table. Joe had redeployed to meet him and for a time it seemed that Joe might turn the tide here. One regiment of Prussian horse was destroyed, then another. Effective French artillery fire resulted in the Prussian flank march’s 6 pdr battery becoming abandoned and musket fire kept it that way.
Alas, as much as Joe poured fire into the Prussian artillery with his own, he couldn’t destroy it. This would have broken the Prussian flank march, but instead, several French “ones” later the Prussian gun was up and firing and the remaining Prussian horse were careening for the baggage and overwhelming the few regiments of cavalry that the French had sent back to delay them. The Prussians now moved forward all across the line. The French grand battery had previously been broken up, with a third of the guns being sent back to deal with the Prussian flank march and the others wheeling left to face the brigade of Prussians threatening the town. Joe went into a period of extreme PIP starvation and the rest of the Prussians pushing forward now charged into the exposed flanks of these guns (see picture of the "coup de grace" to right). Those losses plus the losses from the conflict with the flank march, brought the French to rout with all Prussian commands intact (but not unbloodied!).
9-0 Prussian victory.
On table#2, Gary took his SYW Russians against Dave May's SYW Austrians. I didn't catch much of that game, but it seemed to me to be a contest between whether Gary's Russians would turn the Austrian's right flank which was anchored on a town:

or whether Dave's Austrian's would turn the Russian's right flank, anchored on a hill:
More reports to come....

Monday, April 9, 2007

Links, Links, and more Links ....

Be sure to visit our friends on the web through our links section!

Finding interesting sites and great resources on the web can be a daunting task so hopefully our listing of links will make that a bit easier for you.

We would also love to be linked through your web space! If you do just drop us a line so we can return the favour.


Look what Keith has typed up! .... "Cheat Sheets"!!!%20Cheat%20Sheet.doc

(Right Click to down load)

See the links section to get yours!