Monday, 14 May 2018

Carronade Show Report 2018.

All superlatives have been used on previous year's reports on Carronade,so I can only say that this year's show was,once again,superb in all aspects.
The hospitality shown by the organisers,punters and traders was excellent.
We arrived on the Friday afternoon and set up the game we were playing(Battle of Bairen 1097-El Cid vs Moors) so that we could arrive fresh faced and rested on the Saturday morning-this also gave us time to look around before the punters came in!!
I didn't ask,but there seemed to be more traders this year,selling everything that any wargamer could want,the car-parking was free,and the cafe was doing a roaring trade from the word "go"
I won't bore you with too much text,I will let the photo's do the talking!!......................

Friday afternoon,traders are arriving,and we are "itching" to get our table sorted,so we can get to the pub!!

Table sorted-in double quick time-good organisation and planning!!!

At the pub-Graham joined us this year,but Brian and Michael couldn't make it-a real pity,because we had such a good time-why doesn't anybody offer to take my photo? a selfie will have to do!!!!!!!


The doors have opened and the flood of "gamers" all eager to spend,are milling about-our table attracted alot of old and new friends,all asking about our rules,club,figures etc.-as usual we did more talking than playing,but this year we said we would try and play the game to a conclusion!!

A shot of our game in full swing-but still we are talking to anyone who showed any interest-and that is what it's all about!
There were some fantastic games on show,too many to photograph,but covering every historical period,as well as fantasy and futuristic-marvellous stuff!
There were the usual characters as well,old and young,we even saw Captain America!!!!!!

See,I told you!!-what was missing(thank God) this year,was those lovely chaps often referred to as "the smellies"-perhaps they have found a new hobby(please!!)

It's mid-afternoon,and the hall is thinning out,but we are still playing and drawing some attention-Paul and I were the Moors whilst Dave and Graham were El Cid and Pedro,the Spanish.

The end!! and a resounding victory to the Moors(history turned on its head again!)
We packed up in double quick time and headed back to the Pub!!

Sitting in the sun-shine in our GERANIUM RED shirts,prior to our evening meal and a couple of beers(a couple????) and then it's back to England on Sunday morning.

One last shot as we are leaving the Travlelodge at Bean Cross!
Our sincere thanks to all the guys at Falkirk for such a good event-as "Arnie" says-we'll be back!!!

Monday, 7 May 2018

Battle of Bamburgh 1090AD

Last night we had a full turn-out for this fascinating game of two halves!!

This is the scenario and initial troop dispositions-Graham and Dave were the Saxon and Viking commanders whilst Brian and Paul were the Normans-all was set for a classic attack/defence game.

Top photo shows Graham's attack,by the Fyrd, against Paul's troops in the village,bottom shows Dave's attack on Brian's troops coming out of the castle-colourful stuff!

The Fyrd are in the village,but the Normans are fighting back!-in the background you can see Paul's reserves taking up their positions,awaiting the Huscarls advance-this was tense wargaming,at its best.

On the other flank,there was a tremendous tussle going on,first Dave was winning,then Brian was winning,each side reinforcing where necessary-what a game!!

Back at he village-it was "Hokey Cokey" wargaming(in,out,in,out,shake it all about!!!)
The Saxon Huscarls and Norman reserves are about to slug it out-Paul's magnificent defence was matched by Graham's tenacity.

This shot,taken from behind the village,shows the state of play towards the end of the game-although heavily out-numbered,the Normans are holding on-just!!!

Even with the intervention of the Cavalry,Brian's line is being broken up by successive Viking attacks,and is about to collapse-this could spell the end for Norman occupation in Northern Britain!!

Yes,despite Paul's defensive posture,it was all over-the village was in Saxon hands,and the castle was about to be entered by Viking hordes-a "cracking" game full of "nip and tuck" wargaming,good banter,very bad language and lots of wind!!(in the Viking sails of course!)
On Friday we start our annual invasion of Scottish hospitality,by putting on a game at Carronade(Falkirk)-we are all of an age when we don't really get excited about anything,but this three day trip gives us a chance to let our hair down(what hair??) have a good wargame in congenial company,meet new and existing friends,and encourage the general public to participate in our wonderful hobby-a full report will follow next Monday.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Club update/game preview.

As I've had a hectic day-well,getting a haircut and voting in the local elections!! I thought I would update one of the previous blogs,and give a quick game preview for Sunday.
I started a project of extending a castle which I bought at a car boot sale,from THE BASTARD,and can now report that the castle extension is complete...................

These are the new sections that I cut from hardboard and "wallpapered" with photo-copied  prints from the original walls.There are three straight sections,one new Gate section and 4 corner sections.

Rear view showing blocks of wood stuck to the walls to enable them to stand up!!

A view of the pieces from the front,and standing!!!!

Pieces from the back,with added wallpaper-all I have to do now is paint the blocks of wood and add some "flock" to the fronts and I'm done!

Now onto the game preview for Sunday.I have planned a Saxon/Viking/Norman set to!
We should have a full house,and everyone will have a roll to play....

This is how I set the scenario and table out before any figures..........................

The terrain set out-I take great pains to ensure,by measuring and planning,that neither side gets an advantage from the terrain-this,I think,is where a scenario-builder's skill lies,plus,of course,the players must get a "feel" for the period they are about to fight.

The Vikings have landed!just as the Castle garrison are marching to help the "Village people!"

The Saxons deployed to attack the village.

The relief columns in full march.

One final shot of the whole board and all the troops in position-should be good!!!
Roll on Sunday!

Monday, 30 April 2018

Macedonians vs Indians.

After waiting two weeks for this game,we had both good and bad last night-good,in that we had a fantastic game,bad,because of one of the worst cases of "gloating" ever witnessed!!!-read on.

Top photo is scenario,bottom is the table before any movement.I was Alexander,on the Macedonian left,Brian was Cleitus,on the Macedonian right,Paul was in charge of the Indian centre and left,whilst Graham(or Gloaty Macgloat Face,as we call him now!) was on the Indian right!

The game got off to a cracking start,with my Companion cavalry charging into Graham's Indian cavalry-knife through butter??????-well, to start with,yes..........................

I combined my cavalry charge with an assault on Graham's hill,and drove the defenders away-hurrah!!-at the same time,Brian and Paul's Elephant line had "locked horns"(well,tusks really!)

Brian's phalanx(first line) is giving the Elephants a hard time,but is taking too many casualties in the process!!

Then the unthinkable happened!-one of Graham's cavalry units beat one of my cavalry squadrons!! and drove them back-this wasn't in the script!!

Meanwhile,on the far right,Brian's peltasts are attacking the Indian held hill,but not doing too well!!-oh dear.(by the way,I know that the Buddha statues are incorrect for the period,but it adds atmosphere!)

My cavalry have regained their composure,and are now pushing the Indians back-hurrah?

An impasse in the centre,allowing the second line phalanx to advance and take on the elephants soon(??)
Then disaster!! to bolster my cavalry attack on Graham's far right,I put Alexander into the fight(stupid me!) and got him killed!!!!!-not only did a massive amount of gloating follow,but the whole of the Companion cavalry decided to take off-woe is bloody me!!

This is a photo of the open field where the Companion cavalry was supposed to be!!-at this point Brian was doing so badly that he said if he threw one more "2" he would eat the dice-of course he threw another 2,but amid peals of laughter and more gloating,he refused!!
Basically this was the end of the game,I had lost my flank,Brian was getting nowhere,and the Indian cavalry was threatening the whole Macedonian army!

After losing his first line of elephants,Paul has thrown his reserve elephant against the phalanx,and drove a section of it back!Brian's peltasts are getting shot to bits,in the middle of the river,so we surrendered!!
This was a great game,well done to us all(except me for getting Alexander killed!)
Roll on next Sunday.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Caveat Emptor.

For those of you not "au fait" with Mercantile Law or Latin,the phrase Caveat Emptor means let the buyer beware!
I was at a car boot sale on Sunday(at Hexham) and bought an Early Learning Centre wooden castle from a man who will for ever be called THE BASTARD!!-however in his defence I didn't ask if all the pieces were in the battered old box(hence,let the buyer beware!) and he didn't have to tell me if any bits were missing!! Imagine my amusement when,on opening the battered old box,just the main bits were missing!!!-silly old me! however having paid THE BASTARD most of my weekly pension(he actually only charged me £3!) I was determined to get something out of the deal-and,yes,you've guessed it, another project was born!
I made up the pieces I had,which were three of the sides,and a Gateway,and tried to solve how I could make a complete fort-remember in my world there are no such things as problems-only solutions!!

THE BASTARD must have a warped sense of humour-he even included the instructions on how to build the parts that were missing-ha bloody ha!!

This is the three walls built,and the gateway.................................

Nice piece,the whole(that's a bloody laugh!) fort is made out of wood and is coloured !

Part of the back wall is collapsible,to simulate damage-very clever and very well made.

The whole of the back wall-impressive.
My problem was what could I do to make the front wall look good and incorporate the gateway-the solution was simple-I would photo-copy one of the side walls a few times,stick the copies onto a length of pre-measured cardboard,and that should do the trick!!

No sooner said than done,all I had to do now was stick the gateway onto the cardboard........

Done,now to carefully cut the doorway out-this took no time at all,and the result was............

Complete,and ready to be fixed between the existing walls.

Two views of the "new" fort-who's laughing now,THE BASTARD or me????
However whence "fannying about" with the completed fort,I wondered what it would look like if I extended the left hand wall using the new front wall,and......................

OMG!-if I made a couple of corner sections and some more straight sections,I could have a fort/town as big as I needed,the sky's the limit-ah well,it's off to B&Q tomorrow to buy some hardboard!!
Any comments??