Monday, 13 May 2019

Carronade show 2019.

This is the seventh year we have attended this show and put on a demonstration game,and all the superlatives have been used,so what more can I say??-as usual the standard of games, the hospitality,the traders and "punters" were all superb-the "footfall" was up again this year,proving that the organisers had done a great job,and should be justly proud of their efforts.
We had decided to do Rorke's Drift this year,and would include a display of Zulu weapons,a genuine Martini Henry rifle,a bugle(I can still hear the thing now!!) pith(sun) helmets,books etc. etc.-and it was a tremendous success,so much so that..............................

We won the trophy for best Demonstration Game!!!-and we were chuffed to bits!!

From the "kick-off" we were swamped with people wanting to hold the rifle and spears,which is what we had expected-we always encourage youngsters to get involved,and to see them trying on the helmets and blowing the bugle(my god did they blow that bugle!!) was great.
At one point we had people actually queuing up to get at the display!!-absolutely marvelous.
But what of the game??

Top photo shows the Zulu getting into the Hospital compound(after we had stage-managed the initial attack),bottom photo shows the Hospital in flames(good old LED tee lights!)-apart from the display,the spectacle of the game caused some good comments,questions etc.too.

After more helmet trying,bugle playing and people wanting us to take their photo's(and we did a lot of photographing of them with the rifle and spears in their hands-as one man said,"well, when are you going to get another opportunity like this?")
On with the game.............................

Two photo's of the main attack developing-at this point in the game,we were answering questions from a few gamers who fought this period,and quite a lot of gamers who will probably take this period up-all the figures on the table were from Warrior Miniatures,who will probably get a few enquiries this week,about their Zulu ranges(15mm and 25mm).

Top photo shows the Redoubt being used to good effect,and the bottom photo shows the last Zulu attempt at surrounding the position!

A film crew from Channel 5(I presume Scotland?) was on hand-obviously heard we were putting a game on!!!!!

One final shot of Kenny,organiser and all-round good guy,wondering if he should buy that building for his pet Haggis to live in!!
We were asked,at the end of the show,if we would be attending next year-try and keep us away!!!
Well done to everyone,we met up with some old friends and made some new ones-surely that's what it's all about,roll on 2020, of course we will have to start saving now,as we all spent up on terrain,figures,vehicles etc. etc.!!
Any comments??


Monday, 6 May 2019

Message to Chris-heliograph conversion.

There's no point in "hanging around"-change of heads and colour change,and the Zulu wars now have a heliograph setup!!

Original heads chopped off and replaced with spare Warrior ones-nowhere near 100% but I'm quite pleased with them.

My hands(and eyes!) aren't what they used to be,so white lines a bit shaky!!

I've even changed the bases a bit!!
Once again thanks for the game last night.

Battle of Gondar 16th March 1896.

Last night,our old mate Chris came all the way from darkest Yorkshire,to put on this grand game involving Italians,Eritreans and Abyssinians-and what a good game it turned out to be,although a little one-sided!!!

Top photo (which is a masterpiece in its own rite!) shows the scenario-I could,of course produce this sort of thing,but prefer using my school crayons to colour in my pathetic drawings!!!!.
Bottom photo shows the table before any movement.
Chris chose sides ,and himself,Brian and I were the Abyssinians,whilst Paul and Graham were in charge of the Italians.

Top photo shows the main Italian/Eritrean column advancing towards their objective,which is the bottom photo, of Gondar( a magnificently painted structure from Monolith Designs,as is the also magnificent Fort).

My left flank forces begin the attack on the Fort-however the ubiquitous machine gun and volley fire from the brave defenders,quickly put a stop their initial advance!!-but we had a plan!.............................

Chris' cavalry would threaten the column,whilst Brian would attack the Zariba,and then Chris would unleash his main force against the Fort!!(hmm,attacking a fortified position with spear-armed natives is not a good idea in colonial wars,-Rorke's Drift springs to mind!)-however,a plan is a plan,and off we go-death or glory................................

This shows Brian beginning his attack on the Zariba,and he came closest to achieving his objective-well done matey!!!

Prior to unleashing his hordes,Chris gave the Fort a couple of rounds from his artillery,and then...........................

As I renewed my attack,Chris joined in with his troops,for an overwhelming(??) attack,this couldn't fail,could it??
But what of the Italians/Eritrean troops?

Well,having formed a defensive formation,they settled down to a game of Abyssinian "Duck Shoot"(if you don't know what that is,ask your parent/guardian!) and we were slaughtered by the thousands!!!

Brian,on his flank,is putting in a charge which made contact,and a grand old melee followed,however the super-human defenders fought ferociously and beat him back,undetered,another ,and another, attack went in,all with the same result!!-things are not looking good for the Abyssinians!

On my flank,I had been moving my cavalry around Paul's flank,and decided to charge him-unfortunately,he had moved his column to face them,and the resulting volley fire destroyed them!!

With Chris's and my troops "going home" and Brian's being eaten up by the Zariba boys, it was decided that the Italians had won,and that they could occupy the Holy City of Gondar!
This shows Chris in a pensive mood,reflecting on what might have been!!!
A big thank-you goes out to Chris for putting on this game,the effort he put into the game was great,the scenario,figures,terrain etc. certainly paid off.-When's the next time??

We won't be playing next week,as we are going to Carronade at Falkirk,putting on our Rorke's Drift game-we hope to see as many of you as possible.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Battle of Tel-El-Kabish 1882.Sudan.

Last night we had the most amazing game of tactical blunders,and it was FANTASTIC!!!

Top photo is scenario,bottom photo is the table before any movement.
Paul was in charge of the square,I was in charge of the Naval Brigade,Graham was in charge of the "native troops" and Brian and Dave were in charge of the Egyptians.A plan was decided on by both sides,orders written,and then the tactical blunders commenced!!!!!
Because I had written the scenario,and knew where the Native troops were(outside the fort) as well as three units of Egyptians(hidden in the terrain to the right of the square,I couldn't advise Paul as to what direction his square should be taking!-he decided to advance towards the terrain where there were quite a few Native cavalry as well as the Egyptians-oh dear!!

Paul's Bengal cavalry have been attacked by Graham's native horse,and he is sending his other cavalry on an out-flanking move-oh double dear!!!

Whilst the cavalry melee was developing,Paul decided to break his square,form line and attack the terrain(whose Egyptian occupiers hadn't shown themselves yet)

Now it was my turn to blunder!-just because I drink a lot of rum doesn't mean I'm a sailor,consequently I got my Port and Starboard mixed up,and ordered two units of the Naval Brigade to land on the wrong side of the Nile-putting them out of the game effectively!!!!-oh bugger!!!!

Boo!! Brian's hidden troops now commenced firing on the advancing British,and he gave them hell!!-however,it was later revealed that the plan was for them to give a volley,and then retire(it's good being retired!) back to the town-he obviously lost his head in the heat of battle,forgot about retiring(it's......) and started a fire-fight against the cream of the British army!!-he wouldn't stand a chance,would he????-oh yes he would,and did!! giving the British a good old fashioned "bashing!"-things are not going according to plan!

Part of my remit was that,if I could get up a good head of steam,I could "ram" the bridge over the Nile-this I did!-I was expecting Graham to have moved his Fort troops out of the fort by now,but true to this tactical blunder game,he didn't-the bridge was destroyed(along with the Steamer) and all of his troops were now couped up inside the fort and out of the game!!!!-what else could go wrong????

Lots of "natives" inside the fort-oh dear,how sad,never mind!!

These two photo's show Paul's attempt at retrieving the situation,by marching and counter-marching his remaining British into a formation ready to advance on the town and Dave's position outside of the town...............................HOWEVER.......................

Dave,against orders,and amidst some terrible language from Brian,left his defensive position,and advanced against the British,even though he was out-numbered,out-gunned and out cavalried(is there such a word?) -the result was never in doubt!!!
Brian,now red-faced and almost hysterical,had to also abandon his town position to support  Dave's reckless move-this is all going "swimmingly well"

A general(god knows we need a one!) view of the table-the terrain where the hidden troops were has now been "vacated",and the British lines are moving forward to take on Dave's Heroes.

Surely this was the biggest blunder of the game-Dave put his meagre unit of Egyptian lancers against the Dragoon Guards -result in doubt????-YES,he bloody well won the ensuing melee!!
However Paul was giving the infantry a good old hiding,and with me supplying my remaining unit of the Naval Brigade into the line,the Egyptians were in real bother.

In this shot,Paul is moving his lancers onto Dave's flank,and all is lost for the Egyptians!
Brian took the defeat like a gentleman,and blamed Dave and Graham!!
This was an hilarious game,full of rude banter,and good gamesmanship-well done to us all.
Roll on next week,our mate Chris is bringing his Ethiopians and Italians up for another Colonial bash.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Preview of game for Sunday 28th April 2019.

I have planned a colonial game around Brian's newly painted Egyptians and Naval Brigade,so thought I would give a game preview,just to get us in the mood.

Top photo is the scenario,bottom is the table as the "boys" will see it when they arrive on Sunday night-I will pick sides before they arrive!!

The British square-consisting of Infantry,cavalry and guns,with Bengal cavalry on the outside!

The "scratch-built" gun boat-I know,I know,you would swear blind it was a bought model!!
It had to be called "Venus" didn't it??-this will be pulling three nuggars(flat bottomed boats) containing the Naval Brigade.

Two photo's of the "Venus" reception committee!!

The Egyptian-held town of Tel-El Kabish.

Well placed Egyptians outside the town.

Hmmm, an interesting piece of terrain-surely there won't be any hidden troops there!!
Roll on next Sunday!
Nothing to do with wargaming,but I took this photo on Monday night.....................

Two questions need to be answered,Why is the Moon red? and how did I get it to balance on the telephone wire??