Archive for French

Blood and Plunder!

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on July 22, 2017 by Sean

With the arrival of Blood and Plunder to my FLGS, I’ve been shanghaied into painting up the French starter box for the game. I’ve actually gotten a demo game this week. I enjoyed it- very close to Muskets & Tomahawks, with fairly simple basic rules and few super units. The activation mechanic is very cool, allowing for some good strategy over the course of the game turn.

We played 3×3 players on the Breakthrough scenario, with the starter boxes. My side all used the French, while the opponents used Spanish, English, and Unaligned forces. The French line was holding fine on the flanks, beating back the Spanish and English (the right flank even pushing the English almost back to their deployment zone). The center was severely mauled, the Unaligned force nearly taking the French deployment zone. I had to leave before the end, but France seemed in a good position at the end.

The models are nicely done, with some good details and character, though some of the castings are a bit rough in places. The era of the 17th Century Spanish Main and colonial conflict in the Caribbean is a new historical era for me. Earlier I posted my French Canadians for Muskets & Tomahawks, which covers mid-to-late-18th Century conflicts, so I’m at least used to musketeers and their assorted details.

The first pic is the French Commander. This guy is very fancy, with a lacy shirt, bright blue coat, bows and ribbons all over, and of course the big curled wig. He definitely gives the force a national character, considering the rest of the minies are somewhat generic frontiersmen and sailors. I painted him to match the color scheme from the official art; very colorful and vibrant. He’s joined by a few of the Marins that I’ve finished.

The next pic is a group of Boucaniers, the hunters and woodsmen of the French army. They lack any sort of uniform and standard equipment, instead looking like rugged individuals. The bare legs and floppy hats give them a distinctive look.

Finally in this batch are the Militia, the Milice des Caraibes. In contrast to the Boucaniers, they wear uniform grey coats and blue sashes, along with standard issue muskets, cutlasses, plug bayonets, and pistols. Some have bayonets fixed, while the others are firing their guns. The boxed unit has duplicate members of the unit (8 in the full unit); hopefully I’ll be able to paint them with enough variation.

More to come. The box contains 8 Milice, 8 Flibustiers, 4 Boucaniers, and 4 Marins.

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French & Indian War tables

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , on August 14, 2016 by Sean

As long as I’m posting pics of the progress of my French and Canadian forces for Muskets & Tomahawks, I figured I’d post some pics of some of my group’s recent gaming tables. most of these tables were 4’x6′ (400 points), but the second is a 4’x4′ (200 points)

The buildings used here are laser cut wooden pieces from 4ground from Warlord Games, and the trees and shrubs are a mix of suppliers. The fences are scratch built and resin prepaints. Felt pieces mark out fields and orchard boundaries.

We tried to make ‘organic’ looking frontier settlements, with at least some resemblance to a real farmstead or trading post. The better to attempt to burn down, right? Gives the games a bit more flair than too scattered and random.

These are a few pics of units during some of the games. The Canadians and Marines are from my French force (previous posts) while the Highlanders are from a friend’s British army, though I painted those as well (shown in previous posts).

The big scrum between some French Marines and Highlanders was a decisive point in one battle, with both units crushed from the sprawling melee. After the sides broke off the fight there were only a pair of Highlanders and a single fleeing Marine left. The Marine got revenge though, managing to fight off a British Officer who cowardly charged him in the back, taking the oafish Brit out of action. The losses from the fight pushed the Brits into a Morale card situation, which eventually broke the force (good thing too, since my own force was teetering on the edge as well).

The fourth pic is a 2v1 game, with mine and a friend’s French forces versus a British force. At that point in the battle, units were depleted and scattered all over.

Pour la couronne et le pays!

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , on August 13, 2016 by Sean

France calls on reinforcements for its forces in Muskets & Tomahawks. Pour la couronne et le pays! (“For crown and country!”).

The Compagnies Franche de la Marines unit is complete for the 200-point skirmish force.   The core of the unit is their officer, a musician with a horn, and a ensign or two in proper uniforms. The rest of the unit wear variations on the uniform and more traditional marine outfits. They have enough variety in their uniforms to show off the looser training, as well as their acclimation with life in New France. Once I add French Regular infantry units they’ll really stand out.

This 9-man unit can be fielded as Regulars (gaining the Firing Line rule), thus a pic of them in line formation, or as Irregulars (gaining Scout), thus a pic in a skirmish screen.

Joining the French are a unit of allied Indians, in this case members of the Ottawa tribe. These miniatures were from Warlord Games Woodland Indians set. They got nice individual poses, as well as personal war paint.

Only a few more until the 200-point force is done.

Muskets & Tomahawks, eh?

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on July 8, 2016 by Sean

More work on the French force for Muskets & Tomahawks. The force is about halfway done, painted between other projects.

The first pic is a Canadian militia unit. They have a nice look, with their buckskin clothes and mix of colors to make them all individuals. They’ll get expanded later with more members and a second unit for larger games.

The Compagnies Franches de la Marines members are the second pic. I painted them with a majority of white coats and blue trousers, as well as the ubiquitous sock cap. I wanted their more professional demeanor to be obvious, in contrast to the militia. However, being stationed in the wilds of the north they have adapted, so show a little bit of variation in the unit (a couple members wear buckskin coats instead of the white Marine uniform). The member with the tricorner hat is the unit’s leader. The pair facing left show off the back detail, with their various bags and powder satchels. It’s funny how relatively simple minies can get complicated with 3 bags and their straps on every guy.

Next up the rest of the Marines unit, as well as the Canadian Officer and the Natives.

 

O Canada!

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on June 26, 2016 by Sean

 

I’ve dipped my toe into Muskets & Tomahawks. Previously I painted up an English army of Highlanders for a client. Having played a few games, I’ve enjoyed it enough to give it a try. The small size of the forces involved certainly helped, since the 200-point force I’m working on has only 21 models.

I decided to go with a French colonial force from Montreal or Quebec during the French Indian War (1754-63). The band includes a Canadian Officer, 8 Compagnie Franches de la Marine, 6 Canadian Militia, and 6 Natives (probably Huron or Odawa). I can expand with another Militia unit and some additional members if I want to get to 300 points.

These pics are the Canadian Militia I’ve finished so far. The models are from Wargames Factory’s Black Powder Colonial Militia Men box. They have a lot of nice detail, with fringed buckskin coats and leggings and all sorts of bags. They wear stocking caps associated with the French costume (the leader of the unit wears a round brimmed hat). I kept most colors neutral to reflect the wilderness lifestyle, though a few dashes of color help avoid monotony.

I’ll add a note on their bases. I wanted them to look like they were in the wilderness rather than open ground. With that in mind I used 3 different flocks to create a mix of colors and textures, all on top of patches of rocky ground and scattered rocks. A few models will have craggy bits of cork, resembling tree stumps, while others have broken toothpicks that scale down to fallen trees.

Next up are the Compagnie Franches de la Marine, who will be very visually distinct from the militia’s fur traders and trappers.

Honneur et patrie

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on January 18, 2016 by Sean

My French army for Bolt Action grows, slowly. I’ve finished more infantrymen, completing a pair of 7-man Sections. Despite being metal, they have a lot of variety in posing and details.

The army gets some armored support in the form of a Renault R35, a light little tank. For early war, the Renault was well-armored and relatively well-armed, but was already feeling outdated versus anything rolling out of Germany. As I plan on playing the army versus early-war forces (like my own German force) that won’t be too much of a problem. The lack of variety from Warlord means the Renault will stand in for other tanks as well, including the R39, R40 and Char D-1.

The Renault got a nice tricolor camouflage pattern, based off photo sources. The base color was Vallejo German Dark Green, with a black wash and Dark Green/Cruiser Tank Green highlight. The brown splotches were Vallejo Flat Brown, with a highlight of Flat Brown/German Camo Brown. The yellow splotches were GW Balor Brown, with Vallejo Dark Sand highlights. I added transfers of a red club to designate the tank as from 3rd Company, 1st Platoon. An additional roundel of the French colors finishes the tank off.

The tank commander has popped himself out of the turret. I like the uniform, which makes him almost look like a cavalryman or pilot.

More to come- Avant!

Esprit de Corps

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , on September 23, 2015 by Sean

More riflemen for my Bolt Action French Army!

First is an Infantry Section, with a Sergent and 4 Soldater. This is the basic unit of the next Section of the army, minus its light machine gun team.

Second is the Sniper and his Spotter. Since Warlord’s French miniatures line is very limited, I just used a basic rifleman in a proper crouching pose. His Spotter is another basic infantryman. They’re sitting on the same team base that I use for the German Sniper team.

Below them is the Forward Artillery Observer for the army. I placed him on the larger infantry base to give him room for his radio satchel.

So far the painted army is 2 Infantry Sections, the Artillery Observer, Sniper and Spotter, and Lieutenant and Attendant. The current planned army list (1000 points):

2nd Lieutenant w/ Attendant

Veteran Infantry Section (8 men, SMG, LMG, VB launcher, AT grenades)

Regular Infantry Section (9 men, LMG, VB launcher)

Senegalese Tirailleurs Infantry Section (9 men, SMG)

Veteran Cavalry Section (6 men)

Sniper w/ Spotter

Forward Artillery Observer

Medic

MMG team

Medium Howitzer w/ Spotter

Renault R40

Lorraine 38 Carrier