Monday, 17 February 2020

Battle of Magfar 1882.

Last night we donned our pith helmets and polished our sandals and marched into Egypt,fighting red-coated British against an entrenched Egyptian army.

Top photo is the scenario,bottom is the table before any movement.Paul commanded the left and centre of the British line,whilst I commanded the right.Brian was in charge of the troops in the town,and Graham commanded the troops in the isolated fort next to the canal.

I was in charge(?) of the rocket troop-this is how it was supposed to look when being fired:Next photo is what happened when I ordered it to fire on the Town..............................

Bloody thing exploded on takeoff!!! killing all the crew.................................

Whoops! sorry lads it was an accident!!

Top photo shows my attack against the Town,bottom shows Paul's attack against the isolated fort,both Brian and Graham were looking worried!

Every club has one-ours is called Paul!-you know,, the guy who always throws high dice,lucky dice,always hits his target,kills opposing officers etc. etc.!!!-well last night the "King" of dice-throwing was reduced to a quivering wreck by throwing low dice all night!!!-and managed to get two out of three companies of the Naval Brigade slaughtered-his attack was not going well.

My cavalry are moving onto Brian's flank,whilst my infantry are moving forward,but taking casualties from the Egyptian guns.As he was outnumbered,Brian moved two companies from his right flank onto the centre of his position,in readiness to support the town if needed,leaving Graham with no hope of reinforcements!!

Paul's remaining Naval company supported by the Black Watch and Marines are storming forward,hoping to take the Fort and defensive wall-come on Paul,redeem yourself!!

My troops are fighting hand-to hand at the Town walls,and winning!!-I am just about to attack Brian's defensive wall......................

I did and the melee went my way,after a tremendous struggle-Graham's troops decided to retire(it's good being retired!) which left Paul free to dismantle the Dam and claim a victory,and with the Town in my hands the game was over-Brian had the audacity to ask for a draw!!!!
I enjoy Colonial games,they are fast and furious affairs,this was no exception-well done lads.
Roll on next week-possibly an Ancients,but who knows?

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

American Civil War - Chance encounter

Sunday's game was at Dave's house. Only myself and Dave reported for duty so we diced for the sides. Dave was to command the Union force with me having the Rebs.

The encounter game starts with both sides commanding four brigades per side.
We both had reserves of a brigade per flank which we threw average dice to determine the move they arrived from the road.
Board view from Union left flank
Both armies were marching columns towards the large hill on the other flank.

The initial moves saw both of us march a brigade towards the church atop the flank hill, eventually a place of a fierce tussle.
On the other flank the Union troops occupied the enclosures next to the road while advancing a brigade over the stream (half movement to cross) towards the open flank. My second (Texas) brigade came off the road to confront them!
The center of the battlefield had both commanders satisfied to remain uncommitted until a clearer position of the enemies intent emerged.
Face off
Unusually for me I had thrown a low die for my right flank reserves so they entered on move 2.
This was the signal for my leading brigade (Virginians) on the hill  to attack the 1st Iron Brigade in the enclosure across the stream.                                                  
The Union advance across the stream and battery position in support.
These guns eventually caused massive casualties during my assaults.
Firing as they advanced the Rebs crossed the stream and charged onto the Union troops defending the enclosure. Artillery flank fire didn't deter these hero's who fought hand to hand to gain for the position.
The assault on the enclosure is on ... 

Meanwhile the struggle for the flank is evenly poised... Pennsylvania vs Texas
will my early arriving reserves be able to turn the tide on this flank?
Meanwhile on "church hill" two opposing brigades were heading for an almighty clash. I arrived  there first due to the Union troops having to cross the stream first.
However, canny Dave had positioned his artillery to support this assault and they eventually weakened a regiment prior to the musket exchanges.

Both deploying into line.

Blaze away! Who can pound hardest? (Oops wrong period!)
While these struggles on the flanks were ongoing the Union reserves arrived and Dave decided to throw everything at the church hill position. My Virginians were suffering.
I think he's intend on gaining the hill! Two brigades and both flank batteries in support.
 Finally on move 5 my right flank reserves arrive.

With both flanks "busy" it was time to launch an all out attack upon Dave's central right position. Marching up the road and into the enclosure my two brigades attacked in depth hoping to break the line.

Furious fire fights and an eventual bayonet attack seriously weakens the Union defenders.
Hold on! Furious defense of the fenceline
Time to put your brigadier in to bolster those men!

Of course it has been alluded that I occasionally manage a lucky throw ... and so it was the case .. "can't hit an elephant from that....." ha ha down he went!
Brigade morale left a single regiment holding the picket fence.  Dave was having to redeploy his reserve from the left flank to cover the hole.

So we left the game in the following position as someone actually has a job! No not me...

• A weakened Union left held together by that damned battery with my Rebs bloody but re-organising for a final push
Morale markers show the severity of the fight
• The Union centre holding on and the left successfully driving off the Rebs from the church hill and about to maneouver both brigades and two batteries onto my flank!

Brilliant scenario and a great game, phew. Thanks Dave !

Monday, 10 February 2020

At a loose end!

Having been a bit poorly for a few days(heavy cold,chest infection,anti-biotics etc) I have struggled to find inspiration or energy to do anything,let alone concentrate on wargaming stuff!
However I have been "messing about" with my Asian buildings,trying to find a good combination/location on my "Village/Town" ready made board,and may have come up with the ideal setting for them(always subject to change!!)............................

Two views from left and right.

Front view and "birds-eye" view,now for a couple of "set-up" shots to show how I hope the Town will look once I get back to feeling okay.

Can't wait!!
Finally,can anyone tell me why,after twenty or so years,my holly bush has suddenly developed berries on it?????

Very strange!
Roll on next Sunday,hopefully I will be okay,and we will be back into the swing of things.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

It's good being retired,part two.

I'm still retired,and if anything it's getting better!! This is part two of my "projects" from last week,and involves some compounds/buildings I bought at Carronade show last May.

I bought,at the bring and buy, three separate compounds/buildings,which I intended to use in any desert setting I could think of-Alexander through to WW2,and most certainly Colonial!
The buildings are fine,but too small to house many figures,so I decided to combine two of them to form a sort of Fort/Village........................

This is just one of the compounds,to show what I had to work with.I needed to cut off a strip of the base,and knock down(ie remove) a section of wall,to achieve what I wanted from each of the two I was working with.

Using a Stanley knife,and remarkable skill(with hardly any cuts or major transfusion needed) I have managed to "slice" the strips off the bases and remove the wall sections,resulting in the two,soon to be joined, compounds looking like the above!

These two photo's show the finished product-I had thought about joining the two permanently but it would present storage problems,so I have left them separate,but easily "pushed" together for gaming purposes.

By adding the third,complete,compound,I can have a small village or larger Fort.

If you put a building on a wargames table,some fool will occupy it!!-in this case colonial Egyptians,just to show how it can look.

Now on to Vapnartak(York show)-what can I say?-Bring and buy was moved to a much better place,with loads of space-well done to the lads! Footfall seemed very low compared to last year,catering was,as usual,up to a high standard,games tended to be an awful lot of WW2,traders seemed to be doing well,but I have decided not to attend again-up and down those bloody stairs does my knees in!!-but we had a good laugh,met some old friends(and Robbie!) and a good day out...........................

Top photo shows the long,long queue to get in!-bottom photo shows Graham,Dave and Paul,plus a bloke from "Peaky Blinders"(Chris!!) who met up with us to finalise arrangements for Falkirk!(they look cold because it was!!)

Top is general view of the downstairs section,bottom is the very busy cafe.
Roll on next Sunday-probably down at Dave's doing a WW2 game.

Friday, 31 January 2020

It's good being retired!(part one)

I don't know if I've mentioned this before,but I'm retired(9 years and still loving it!) and being retired means that you have a lot of spare time on your hands to tackle important "projects"
I've been working on two particular projects this week,and keeping a pictorial record,so here goes for the first one..............
I decided that I needed(?) a gateway to add to my existing Asian-type buildings,and this is the project..................

Top photo indicates the old adage of "fail to plan,and you plan to fail!"-bottom is the wooden former (wood recycled from next doors skip!) I used.

Top shows the packet of air-drying clay that I used for the gateway(no instructions provided-more of that later!) and bottom shows the carefully measured "lump" of clay that was to form the gateway.

Top shows the highly professional tools needed for the masterpiece,and bottom shows what I achieved in just a few minutes of finger moulding!

Looking a bit better,just needs leaving overnight in a warm room to dry out.

Aaarg!!-disaster-what a set of instructions would have told me is that the clay shrinks by about 10%-this caused me to have to reconstruct the wooden former,by sawing off 1/2 inch,and then I discovered that it had also "bellied",as shown in the bottom photo!!!-where's the filler?

Having found the filler,and filled the gap,I have painted the whole lot black,and waited for it to thoroughly dry,before dry-brushing it silver to match the existing buildings.

Silver applied,and it looks okay to me,now to try it beside the other buildings................

I am aware of my lack of modelling skills,but I'm quite pleased with the result,one final shot to show 25mm figures next to the completed gateway..............

We won't be playing this Sunday,as we are going down to Vapnartak show in York.
I will post part two of my on-going projects next week.