Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Farming in Prussia

OK, I may have found something on Prussian farming. I found someone's geneology post about Prussian manor farms. This is fairly interesting stuff terrain wise. In his article, he is chasing down family members and where they lived. That is not so interesting. But he gives the typical layout of a Prussian manor farm which is interesting.

He claims that the manor farm layout was very similar across Western Prussia. This is obviously not Bohemia he is talking about but I need to start somewhere. The layout has the manor farm at one end of the village. A cross street that runs in front of the manor house and its associated barns. This connects to two parallel streets that house the villagers who fall into one of three groups: small farmers with hereditary tenure on the manorial land, farm servant laborers with an annual contract and day laborers. In addition to these would be inn keepers, breweres and other small industries that were created around the manor to support the local population and provide industry.

He gives a typical layout to look like this: (

Furthermore, he provides a specific example of such a manor based village, that of Dwor Zespole. The map provided is in Polish. Google translate and I are working our way through it. But this will give me the basis for my Prussian/Bohemian village that I will start to make - eventually. The actual example is a great find. It would cover a whole 6' x 4' table in 15mm with the various buildings. The manor house is not a huge complex. In fact it is a rather modest dwelling compared to some of the buildings in the village. I am thinking of making its base out of stone or so to set it apart from the other buildings.

The center area between the parallel roads is a common area for all the villagers to be able to use. The land behind the manor was its fields with its various crops and source of income for the estate. The worker houses had small gardens behind it and then fields further behind them for their own subsistence. The fields tended to be made out in long thin strips as the plows in use were heavy and hard to turn around. The small farmers tended to have a one to two room house with outbuildings. These are not defined but one can assume that there would be a privy of sorts, possibly a kitchen, some sort of smokehouse and a corn crib or the like. So not that different than their fellows in the AWI and ACW.

The manor house is called a "Gut". Many of those are unimpressive as they were houses the nobility built for the managers of one of many of their estates. The nobles would not live there but instead would have their hired managers living there to manage the estate and village.

Anyway, this gives me something to get started with.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Farming help needed

In reviewing my terrain needs for Sharp Practice, I thought about what buildings I really need.

I just accompanied my son's class to a historic farmstead from the 1820s. It provided the inspiration behind this train of thought. For both the American Revolution and the Civil War, I can reuse buildings. I have a couple of farmhouses. What I lack are the necessary outbuildings such as a corn crib, smokehouse, kitchen, chicken coop, barns and outhouses.

I found some of these on ebay in HO scale. It should provide for a nice add ones to the table. I also need gardens.

Next, I thought about my Napoleonic project. Here I am more at a loss for what a Spanish farmstead would have. Looking at what Rich has made, I am thinking of a windmill and an olive press. But beyond that I have no idea. Any suggestions?

Lastly, my Seven years war project. I have literally no clue where to begin. I was thinking of getting the Russian village from Terrains4games as a starting point. What I really want to model is a farm in Bohemia. I have tried google and failed. Any suggestions?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Rediscovering Projects

I am fully in the midst of a house move. While this is a painful and terrible ordeal, it has let me rediscover some things that I have been wanting to do.

First is a Seven Years War project for Sharp Practice. I found a painting tray that was loaded with everything I need for Freikorps von Mayr. It is the perfect sized force for SP2. The jaegers are already painted. I found some on ebay and snatched them up as I knew I would take forever in getting around to painting this army. The wonderful Kronoskaf website has all sorts of good information on the unit and where they operated. It seems that they attacked the town of Pilsen in Bohemia in 1757. This will be the basis of the campaign that I am planning.

The arrival of the hussars was not until after the actions in Pilsen, but I see that as no reason to hold me back from using them. After all, they are nice looking troops. One of the great items of the Kronoskaf sites is they have painting information for all of the units as well as color pictures for reference. This is really a bonus.

My opposing force will be the Anhalt Zerbst Infantry for no other reason than they are interesting. The unit has musketeers and grenadiers associated with it. They served the Austrian crown during the war. Anhalt Zerbst also raised a unit of Cuirassiers. The plan is to purchase painted troops from Gajo miniatures to speed up the process somewhat. I see the ANhalt Zerbst troops being more on a defensive footing. This should provide for some fun games.

What I completely lack for the imaginations project is terrain. I am planning on grabbing some of the Terrains4Games Prussian village sets to supplement this with one or two Gamecraft buildings to round things out. I will just need to figure out how to make thatched roofs. Then there is my Napoleonics efforts. First I have been buying some painted miniatures on eBay. I now have a full force of British and French to use. I am still awaiting the British cannon and both British and French limbers. What I lack for all of my SP2 forces are jump off points. They are something I really need to make. For my Napoleonics, I am working on a farm structure that has been on hold for a while until I move. It will be a walled compound with three buildings. I am looking to expand the terrain as I go and eventually have a town.

Lastly, I want to finish more WWII urban terrain. I have a great start from the Kharkov project but I have boxes of ruined buildings that are awaiting attention. Hopefully, once moved, I can get to work and start completing things instead of gathering them.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Campaign for Kharkov

I just want to say a big thank you to everyone that purchased a copy of the Campaign for Kharkov. Between Wargame Vault and the blog, I have sold just under 50 copies. Not too bad. I am calling it a success at this point. I have also sold a couple of hard copies on Amazon (more than the one I bought) so I am very happy with that. Kindle just does not seem to be a useful format for wargaming books, in my opinion. I think that a PDF or hard copy works better.

I am not sitting idle. I have picked up an old work in progress and am running with it. It is a Napoleonic Naval supplement for Kiss Me Hardy by the TooFatLardies. This will focus on small ship actions of vessels below the rate. The current rules are great but they do not provide enough differentiation between a 20 gun sloop of war and a 4 gun schooner. The rule modifications are done. It started as another AWI supplement focused on the South Carolina Navy but has grown to encompass more of the Age of Sail.

I would really like some help from any of you that have an interest in this to playtest. The concepts work in my head and what I have done on my table top but that does not mean that I have communicated them clearly. Any volunteers? Reach out to me on the contact box. I would appreciate it.

Lastly, Rich has my AWI SP2 supplement. It is in his hands and I anxiously await the verdict.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Campaign for Kharkov - Now in Print on Amazon.

I just received my copy from Amazon this morning. I am very pleasantly surprised. The pictures came out very clearly. The cover is in full color and the inside is in black and white. I am very happy with how it turned out.

Click here for the Print version on Amazon.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Kickstarter - Sea Dog Miniatures

I just jumped in on the Sea Dog Game Studios kickstarter. They are modifying their neat looking game to work with 6mm miniatures. I have long wanted some of their 15mm models but the investment commitment was too much. But the 6mm one seems that I could. I got the $40 pack with a pair of ships and the rules. It should finish out in July. I am looking forward to this.

Check it out here:

The Campaign for Kharkov now in Print

I managed to get the settings right and now the Campaign for Kharkov can be purchased on Amazon both as a kindle book and as a hardcopy. The link to the hard copy is here.

The link to the kindle version is here.

You will notice that this is MUCH cheaper than my print version of In the Name of Roma. This is because I am using a beta feature on Amazon where they do direct print that is much cheaper than Createspace. I have not ordered a sample yet but will before the day is up.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Campaign For Kharkov Pint Sized Campaigns are Complete

I have finished the work on the pint sized campaigns. There are two campaigns designed for the Chain of Command rules from TooFatLardies. But these can be applied to any skirmish level rule system. One covers the advance of the German 57th Infantry Division and the other the German 101st Light Division. The attack came in October of 1941. This city would be the site of three major battles for the city. The interesting aspect of the October 1941 battle is in the nature of the troops involved. The Soviets had superiority in armor. The Germans advanced with only a single STUG battalion in support of the 57th ID. The Soviets fielded the T34 as well as several improvised armored vehicles such as the KhTZ-16. While not a success on the battlefield, it demonstrated the Soviet inventiveness under the extreme pressure of the blitzkrieg.

There are twelve total scenarios in the campaign. Full force lists are availible for both German Divisions and the Soviet troops present. Maps are based on aerial reconnaissance photographs taken by German troops in September 1941.

I will be adding this to Wargames Vault later today. But it is availible here for only $6.00 US. Simply PayPal the money to my account - and I will email you the PDF.

I would appreciate any reviews that I can get either here on the blog or on Wargames Vault. Thanks.

Note that a Kindle and a hard copy will be available on Amazon within the next couple of days. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Lesson's Learned - Terrain Building

In attempting to spackle the 15mm buildings, in the future, I will not mount the buildings to their base first. Getting the spackle where it needs to go around the base is a real pain. I am having great difficulty with the roof line and around the windows. So far, two and a half sides done on one of the two buildings on the base.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Progress on La Hacienda Bonita & new miniatures.

OK, I gave the Spanish farm a name. I have started the process of spackling the evil thing. 15mm is small when it comes to trying to spackle the wooden model. I did not have this much trouble with the stand along model that I did for an East Front building. That same building mounted with walls and base is just a pain to work on. I have completed 2 sides of the two story building. I am leaning heavily on Rich's tutorial that he has posted on the TFL blog and on the Charlie Foxtrot instructions. They are both great. Not sure how exposed brickwork will work in 15mm.

The plastering portion of this exercise is not pretty. So no pictures on that. But I did receive my eBay purchases yesterday. I was really worried when I got the box.

As you can see, the postman must have sat on the box. But the miniatures inside were well packaged. I only had one issue. The mounted General came off his horse and the horse suffered some paint chipping. Fortunately, I did not buy that bunch for the mounted officer. I just wanted the infantry from that pack.

I now have two good groups of voltigeurs for my Napoleonics. Some need to have their pants repainted.

Here is the second batch from the same box that were unscathed.

I am not to sure about the officer in the second picture. Why is wearing a different hat than the others? I know the Brit officers had that kind of hat. I wonder if they used a different hats. The officers from AB all wore the same hats at their troops. Anyway, very excited to get these in. I should be able to get them based in short order. I will now have a full company of Chasseurs, a group and a half of Carabiniers (Plus an officer, an NCO and two drummers) and two groups of Voltigeurs. Not too bad. I also have cavalry and artillery support for the French. Once I have some terrain, I am ready for a campaign.