Friday, 29 May 2020

"Aces High" and free gift!

Whilst tidying the garage the other day,I came across my boxes of WW2 planes(which haven't seen the light of day for a long,long time!) and thought I might just blow the dust off them and have a go at a solo game with them.
Before having a game,I needed to give them a thorough overhaul,and re-learn the very simple rules I made up years ago!

Top photo shows the bases on which the planes are mounted,complete with the metal rods,which hold them-the rods are welding rods!!-The bottom photo shows how I fix(removable) the planes to the bases-these are the "female" parts of flat-pack screws,and just happen to fit the rods perfectly!!
The planes were bought from a company called Atlas Productions and were ridiculously cheap,costing,as I can remember, £1.99 for two!!(Corgi Models too)-I bought quite a few,as you will see.

Top shows the "rod holders" super-glued on to the planes,bottom shows how they look when mounted.

As part of the rules,I put a "smoke trail" onto the back of a plane to show it is damaged,and flying and firing at Half its original score-so bottom photo shows how it looks in action!
The "smoke trail" is simply a piece of wire bent at one end(to fix to wing or tail of damaged plane) with cotton wool stuck to it!
I can now hear you screaming at your screens-"what about the Free Gift!!" well here it is........

At no charge whatsoever, a copy of my rules!!-well,what did you expect,something of value!!!!
I will be explaining how they work(really very,very complicated) and playing a game on my next blog,probably tomorrow-I know how to build the tension up!!!

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Mons Graupius 83AD-refight.

I have been fighting the battle of Mons Graupius,83AD over the past few days,and it has been tremendous!-I have been wargaming for nearly 50 years now,and during that time I have had some great games-this ranks among them(even though it was played solo!)
I opted to be the Roman general Agricola,and issued orders to the troops under my command,as per the actual battle,ie. only the Auxiliary infantry and cavalry were to get involved,the cavalry had a specific role to play,and that was to nullify the opposition chariots and cavalry,then push into the flanks of the Caledonians-simple,and it worked!! The Caledonian orders were very simple-attack the Roman line!-chariots were to lead,supported by the clumps of cavalry,then the tribes would advance and finish what the others had started-oh yeah????(an out-flanking move would be made once the fight had begun in earnest!)

The chariots(said by Tacitus to be scythed!) begin their ill-fated move against the Roman line.

Top photo shows the chariots skirmishing with the auxiliaries-they all came off worse! bottom photo shows the Roman right flank cavalry moving to threaten the tribes as they advance-the Caledonian cavalry are no match for the Romans and are driven off!
In the background you can see the tribes moving towards the Roman line.

On the Roman left flank,the cavalry are inexplicably beaten by the Caledonian cavalry!!(could it be down to some horrible dice throwing by the Roman commander?oh that's me!!!) luckily the reserve cavalry are stationed here to save the day!

The Roman line has charged,the chariots have decided to give ground ie. evade the charge,and have "bumped" into the advancing tribes-chaos ensued!!! and the Roman commander had a chuckle-no Brian that's not a little hen!-the Roman cavalry are following orders and are pushing into the Caledonian flank.

CHAOS!!!-now it's time for a push against the tribes before they can restore order.

The Batavian and Tungrian auxiliary infantry are pushing the tribes back up the slopes,whilst the Legions just wait for an opportunity to get involved!

Top photo shows the right flank tussle(chariots are fleeing!) bottom shows the out-flanking move by the tribes being thwarted by the Roman cavalry and reserve cavalry!-8 of the 10 cohorts of auxiliaries are doing magnificently-however Black and Blue(aptly named!) aren't, and are being pushed back,breaking the Roman line-should the Legions get involved?

Top photo shows the tribes on the point of collapse-bottom shows the only success-Black and Blue being beaten and an ugly hole appearing in the line!

Oh the shame of it!-it's back to the melting pot for you my lads!!-however help was at hand and cohorts from the 2nd and 20th Legions lent a hand and stabilised the position-hurrah!

Top photo,legions advancing to save the day,bottom photo showing general retreat by the Caledonians.
I thoroughly enjoyed playing this game,although moving two large armies was a bit of a struggle at times(my board is 10x6!)-the orders,as per the day,worked well,as did the tactical ability and fighting qualities of the troops-highly recommended!!
I have been "re-visiting" my WW2 planes,so watch this space!

Saturday, 23 May 2020

"Doak and Clagger!" and Big Game.

The title should,of course,have read "Cloak and Dagger!" but Corona Lock Down madness has finally taken over!!
Whilst "rumbling" recently through my diminishing Rumble Box,I came across 6 Hinchliffe Ancient Greek figures-now,to my knowledge(and no doubt someone will put me right!) there are not many Greek figures featuring Cloaks,and I wanted to have these particular figures to have cloaks,and to be painted up as Spartan "sentinels"-so what to do???
Well,using the foil from the top of a wine bottle(of which there are many these days!) I have attempted to make the said cloaks............................

top shows wine bottle foil cut to cloak shapes,bottom show first fitting using good old super-glue.

I think the figures,if a little "old-fashioned",have a certain charm about them,and probably deserve a better paint job than I can give them.

Spears stuck on and glued to painting bases-the look I was looking for has been achieved,let's hope the finished product also meets my expectations.

Very basic paint job,back and front views.

In situ and looking good(??)

Now for the "Big Game" of the title-I am attempting to stage Mons Graupius 83AD,Scotland(Caledonia) using my newly painted Auxiliary legion,plus vexallations from the 9th and 2nd and 20th Legions,plus cavalry,against quite a few Caledonian tribes.

Top photo is the scenario,bottom two show the troop dispositions,before any movement.

This is my source of information-Osprey Campaign series-very detailed,and sometimes mis-leading!!-I intend playing the game(over 900 figures!) over a few days next week, however,because this bloody computer is constantly changing how to download photo's and access text etc.etc. the reporting of the game might take a while longer-I hate technology!

I might fall on this thing yet!!!

Friday, 22 May 2020

Old School Gloss

Myself and Paul have decided we prefer the gloss varnish finish on our Napoleonics so, as well as painting new stuff, I have been making a start on gloss varnishing my figures. First up though is my newly completed unit, which is the 25th Prussian regiment. These are Calpe miniatures and are very nice figures.
Next are a couple of command bases for my Neapolitans. Murat was painted many years ago for me by Graham but had become rather old and battered so I touched him up (steady Brian) and added a couple of Connoisseur figures as ADCs.

The other command base is again an original figure repainted and a Lancer escort added.

Lastly a couple of Guard  cavalry units which I painted a long time ago but which are now resplendently shiny. Guard Chasseurs by Elite and Guard Mamelukes by Bicorne.

Unfortunately (fortunately?) I have been informed that my furlough from work is over and I return on Tuesday, so my painting output will slow once again. However I have had a taste of what retirement is like and I envy John and Brian! I will see what i can complete over the weekend....

Monday, 18 May 2020

Isolation Painting

Here are a few photos of some of the stuff I have been painting during my furlough.
Top photo is a Prussian command stand with Calpe figures and a spare gun I found.
Middle photo are Elite miniatures French Chasseurs unusual sight on the wargames table.
Bottom picture is a French gun and crew by Perry, painted as Neapolitan regimentsl artillery for the 8th Line regiment.