Monday, 13 February 2017

Warrior Miniatures.

I've come to the conclusion that John Holt of Warrior Miniatures(Glasgow) is a complete Swine!-WHY??? is it because the 200 piece Mongol army that I only ordered on Friday,came this morning?-NO!!! it's because he included in the order some samples of his new range,called Sons of the Sands,and I now want them too!!!-the Swine!!!

The complete list-awsome!

The samples-cleanly cast,good animation,and a good range.

Close-ups of the samples-John will usually do a good deal on his figures,if you give him a ring,good luck to him and this range,but I'll paint my Mongols first!!

Battle of Minden 1759.

We fought the Battle of Minden last night,using my 40mm figures,and what a game it turned out to be!

Top photo is the scenario,bottom is the table before any movement-Paul and Graham were the French commanders,whilst Dave and I were the Allied commanders,and Brian sat this one out and acted as referee.

Graham opened proceedings by attacking the village on my left flank,with cavalry(!!) and infantry-my troops, and a couple of blasts of cannister,put an end to the first attack-hurrah!!
On the other flank,Paul was more subtle,and poured artillery fire into the village held by the British,under Dave,before venturing in to volley fire and melee-great stuff!

Seeing Graham's infantry "wavering",I launched my German cavalry,to be met by the French cavalry-this was to prove a crucial encounter!

Dave has ordered his cavalry to engage the French cavalry,and forward they go!!-however,Paul had ordered his cavalry to abandon their central position and move off to his left,consequently,Dave had to follow!!!

Paul's attack on the village was furious and unrelenting,putting Dave under all kinds of pressure,but he was a match for anything that the French could put up against him!!

The British cavalry look to be in a bit of disarray in this shot,but Dave assured me he knew what he was doing!!-with attacks on gun batteries and volley fire,combined with cavalry melees,this was wonderful wargaming,and knife-edge stuff!!

An uneven cavalry melee is taking place behind my left flank village,which I lost,but was able to reinforce and eventually drive Graham's cavalry back-another hurrah!!

Over to the right of this shot,Dave is advancing his British infantry,so I advanced my Germans,to form a beautiful line-only for Graham to destroy one of my regiments with gun fire,leaving a nasty hole in the beautiful line!!!-could we recover??

Of course we could!!-this flank was now stable,and it was up to Dave to drive the French out of his village and defeat Paul's cavalry-simple task!!

This is a general view of the battle field at about move number 12!-the referee looks too relaxed for my liking!

Paul's dream of victory turned into a nightmare,as he put his brigadier into the village to increase the morale of the French troops,and got him killed!!! his whole brigade then took off back to Paris,leaving the village and flank firmly in British hands,and an Allied victory assured!
This was good game,colourful and exciting to say the least-well done lads.
Roll on next Sunday-Paul is organising the game,probably another 7YW battle,but using our 25mm figures.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Sailing Ships rules.

"As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean" so the Rhyme of The Ancient Mariner goes,and in an idle moment(there's lots of those when you're retired!) I decided to re-visit some ancient old ships I acquired about a million years ago,and try to write some easy and fast rules for them.
I already have two sets of rules for Napoleonic ships,but they are not "user-friendly" and,to me, are far too complicated for a relaxing and fun night's wargaming.

This is one of my ships,made of metal with a few bits of thread added,and a quick paint job.
As most of you will know I am a complete "skinflint" with an eye for a bargain,and when I tell you that it is a "pencil sharpener" you shouldn't be surprised!!

Just to prove it,there's the hole for the pencil!!-I bought these about twenty years ago from a guy in Durham market,who couldn't believe why I wanted twelve of them and for what purpose!!

Ah,domestic bliss-the wife's doing some housework,and I'm "fannying about" with toys.
This a photo of all the ships I have,which cost me under a pound each-well,I'm not made of money!!-I saw, at Vapnartak, on Sunday a beautifully painted and boxed sailing ship for £12 at roughly the same scale!!

The rules in "early" stages-the ship profiles are covered with a plastic envelope,and can be written upon with a felt tip pen(not "permanent" marker!) and therefore wiped off for casualties etc.-a record of the number of Guns,Crew,Masts are written on the sheets,and any other information needed can be written on the sides-simple and effective,what could possibly go wrong?-Turning into the wind,that's what!!!

Who on earth can wrap their minds around this??-Actually,once you've cracked it,it's quite simple!(Hmm,right!!) a protractor and a careful eye as to where the side of the table is,is all that is required.

Two shots of the "fleets" being put through their paces-my early thoughts about shooting at the masts of the enemy,proved too effective,so it's back to the drawing board for that bit of my rules,but,I am assured that play-testing and play-testing and play-testing again is the secret,so I'll persevere until it feels right!

One of my two Spanish ships,coupled with 4 French,and against them 6 British ships.
Any comments?

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Painting up-date,Anglo-Saxon Church.

As I mentioned in the last blog(Vapnartak) I bought an Anglo-Saxon church at the bring and buy sale-when I first saw, and handled the Church,I thought it was resin,although a bit heavy!
However it turned out to be a glazed pottery item,which,because of the glaze, turned out to be a bit of a bugger to undercoat!!!

This is how it looked after I had cleaned off the paint,with soapy water-very shiny,and a sort of dirty brown colour.

Under-coated at last!-two coats wouldn't cover it,so I turned to the old favourite-PVA glue and water-worked a treat!!

Initial dark grey colour on the main building,the roof was always going to be a problem,as the tiles on the facing side weren't very well defined,but in my world,there are no such things as problems-only solutions!!

I plumbed for a light grey roof,with the intention of dry-brushing it white and brown and finishing with a black wash(neither of these two skills are very high on my CV!!!)

I have painted the Gravestones light grey,and the whole area around the Church with a light green-it's now beginning to take shape.

I have "flocked" the grassy areas,to give it a bit of depth,so now onto the hard bit(as far as I am concerned-dry-brushing and washing!!)

I dry-brushed the church with a light brown first,followed by white,and finally touched up where necessary with the original grey...............................

The finished article!-although not 25mm scale,I'm sure it will do for the Vikings,Saxons and Normans to fight over!!

Consecrated by a Bishop-can't be bad!!!
I'm quite pleased with my attempts,but I won't go looking for more buildings to paint in the near future!!!

Monday, 6 February 2017

vapnartak show report.2017

An early start from Newcastle,saw Dave,Paul and I arrive at the York Racecourse about 20 minutes before the doors opened.Standing in the queue we were greeted by some stewards who issued free tickets to the over 60's and took payment for the "young'uns"-a very efficient system,that proved its worth when it was time to go in-I had the company of Charles S Grant whilst waiting in the cold,and a lively chat about all things wargaming ensued-we'll see him at Falkirk!

The queue!-once inside it was apparent to me that the "foot-fall" was considerably less than last year,but it picked up during the day.
There was a good spectrum of traders,who all seemed to be doing a fast and furious trade,combined with the Cafe,which was always busy.
The demo games were,I feel, a little disappointing-two games in particular were very much the same type of theme as last year.I approached one table(you know the one,with lots of buildings,a ship and harbour,and a few figures,and asked the guy standing there which battle it was-he turned his bloody back to me,and muttered something that sounded like "Inverlochy"(?)-some things never change!

This photo was taken about fifteen minutes after the doors opened,and shows the space,and lack of people-this was to change in about half and hour or so!
All the traders I talked to were helpful and enthusiastic,although the general consensus seemed to be that 75 to 80 % of their trade was now done on the internet,and that shows were mainly a chance to meet their customers and chat about new products.

Things are starting to liven up a bit in this shot-I did want to take a photo of the "Bring and Buy" section,but it was chaotic!!-to say the least-perhaps the organisers could look at this aspect of the show,and give it more space-you had to queue to get in,shuffle around with a million other people,and shuffle out again-not good!

Dave and Paul buying a WW2 desert trench system.

This is our mate,Chris,who is coming up to Falkirk with us in May-he lives in Leeds,and his club were playing a Demo game of SAGA using bronze Age figures-this was on the second floor,where most of the smaller games were-I promised not to mention the fact that Chris thought Falkirk was on the West coast of Scotland,so I won't!

Dave and Paul,buying me a cup of coffee,just before we left-you can see that the crowds have "thinned" and seats were available in the cafe.
All in all,I thoroughly enjoyed the day,spoke to some old friends and new faces,and spent a bit of money too!
My favourite purchase was actually in the Bring and Buy,and was an item I have been looking for-an Anglo-Saxon Church.The church was dirty and dusty,and not very well painted,so I put it in  dish of warm,soapy water when I got home,and all the paint "fell" off leaving a glazed pottery item,which I think is great,and will look forward to painting.

Roll on next year,but in-between then and May we have Falkirk to plan,busy,busy,busy!!
Next game will be Minden on Sunday.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Battle of Krinkel WW2

As you all know,WW2 is not my period,but last night I watched as the rest of the "crew" fought an exciting and well planned WW2 game involving Germans attacking the British in defensive positions,in and around, the town of Krinkel.
Dave devised the rules and the scenario,and a damned fine job he made of it too-well done!

Top photo is scenario,and bottom is the table as the Germans,represented by Paul and Graham,saw it for the first time.Brian and Dave were in charge of the British,and devised some hidden positions etc. for the Germans to contend with!!

The game started tentatively by Paul sending a "recce" up the road to see if anything was in the emplacement-which had surprisingly appeared when the German high command was out of the room,planning their attack!!-do you think the British would be so sneaky as to put troops in the position??

You bet your life they would!!-a Piat did this,cleverly blocking the road,now what would the Germans do?

A classic "pincer" move on each flank,through the woods,was launched,with support from masses of tanks,that's what!!-would the British have any more surprises up their sleeves?

Tut,Tut!-as one of Paul's tanks rolled around the burning Puma,and onto the bridge,Brian threw the requisite dice and the bridge blew up!!!
In the background,Graham is slowly(and I mean slowly) advancing against the wooded hill-surely the British won't have any more surprises??!!

Graham has spent an awful lot of time concentrating fire upon that small bunker position,before attempting a crossing of the stream-however,as it turned out,the bunker was empty!!!-sneaky!!

Paul is advancing in this shot,but he is being pounded by mortar fire,small-arms fire,and a Cromwell tank-heavy pounding gentlemen!!-Brian(the most photographed person in the world) looks relaxed and in command-the Germans were asking themselves "where are all the British tanks??"-you'll soon find out!!

There's one!!-it soon became clear that the Germans were going to take the British positions one by one,and that their tanks were more powerful than the British ones,however the British were not beaten yet,and produced their secret weapon,just as Graham's tank turned it's flank to the wooded hill...........................

Graham's face says it all!!!-look at that for a shot,come on British,let's go out with a bang(no pun intended!)

PHUT!!!-the bloody shell just bounced off!!-oh dear,how sad,never mind!!
At this point the British decided that they had no chance and continued their retreat!
this was a good game,well done to Dave,and Brian and Graham and Paul.All the figures,except two tanks painted by Paul,were from Brian's collection.This type of game should "spur" the rest of the lads to get their painting brushes out,and I'm sure it will.
We won't be playing next Sunday,because we'll be down at York show(Vapnartak)-I'll write a report on the show next Monday.