Friday, 31 January 2014

Egyptians vs Persindians

Last night Brian ,Paul and I gave Brian's new Egyptian army a "run out".I knocked up a Persian/Indian force to face him,so we could work out how to operate the, new to us,troop types,and it worked out a treat!!

Brian's Egyptians,in all their glory,fast moving chariots shooting arrows by the thousand,backed up with archers and slingers,who,in turn, are backed up by good infantry!! This is going to be tough!!

The Persindians!!I tried to match the troop types as best as I could-well if nothing else it looked good!

After the chariots have clashed on Brian's right flank,the centres clash,my troops were light and I took a bit of a thrashing,but held on for three moves-hurrah!! On Brian's left, his chariots are fast approaching mine,but I have a cunning plan,and stand still until I can see an insecure flank.On my left,I have placed my best chariots,in the hope that I can attack his command figure,who is surrounded by "Sea People " Guards-good plan,will it work??

Having held Brian's lighter chariots,my "yellow" chariot unit begins its sneaky move to get the Pharoah!!

On my other flank,things are not going according to plan(do they ever?) and my chariots are being subjected to archery and javelin fire,and were eventually driven off the board!!

GOTCHA!!! however my yellow chariot was so weakened by Brian's chariots and skirmishers,that I "bounced" off the Sea People Guard unit,and was sent packing back to the safety and support of my other chariots-not hurrah!!

With Brian piling more troops into the central battle,and having out-flanked,me on my right,and driven my remaining left flank chariots away,he was declared the winner!!
This was an extremely exciting and interesting battle,and a damned good first try for the Egyptian army-Brian is now thinking that maybe he should increase the size of the army to accomodate some mercenary types!!-does he ever stop???

Good game and well done to Paul who volunteerd to referee and give advice and ideas to both of us-great input.
Well roll on the next game with this lovely army,and roll on Sunday-Sailing Ships!!-by way of a coincidence,Wargames Illustrated,this month,features a Sailing Ships game using HUGE ships,just like we are using on Sunday,and the rules they are using look very similar to mine.
Miniature Wargames is also worth a look this month too,it features a good interview with our good mate Charlie Wesencraft.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Napoleonic Hum-Dinger!!

Last night the "Jackson Five",Richard,Graham,Brian,Paul and I had a "cracking" Napoleonic game,involving a forward British position(Richard) being assaulted by Soult(Brian)with support being rushed to both sides by Wellington(Paul and Graham) and Grouchy(John).

Richard and Brian started the action from move one and continued to fight until the last move,when Richard was pushed off his position,and his cavalry support was beaten.
Meanwhile on the British right flank,Graham was soundly thrashed,until Paul sent him some heavy cavalry,who turned the tables,and it was me who got a good thrashing(I know people who would pay good money for that kind of treatment!!)
In the centre,Paul was controlling(??) the British game by taking pressure off both Richard and Graham,by deploying his infantry,cavalry and guns to good effect,however I eventually broke his centre,and with Richard's hill taken,and my left flank secured against the Farm,the French were declared the just winners-hurrah!!

photo's to follow...............

In the top photo,Richard and Brian discuss the finer tactical skills needed to win this hill,in the lower photo,Brian's attack begins.

In the top photo Brian has swept the British off the hill,and his vast array of cavalry are making progress in the background.In the lower photo,I have "hood-winked" Graham with my cavalry and am just about to deliver the "coup de grace" on his cavalry-note the British in line in the background_what was Graham thinking about?-did he think I wouldn't reform and charge this easy target?-He was wrong and the result was the loss of a Regiment!!-hurrah again.

The battle for the centre begins,will Graham's depleted column get there in time to stop my column charge against Paul's only gun?-

The top photo shows Graham's reinforced cavalry scattering mine,and my infantry moving to form a defensive line against the Farm.
The bottom photo shows the British centre in a certain state of dissaray!!-the figures in a mass in the background are British units taken off the board as casualties!!-hurrah again,again.
Brian and I were worthy winners,but the British team put up a damned good fight too,it must be pointed out at this time that Brian has invented a new tactic,called TATA-this stands for Throwing Away The Advantage-say no more John,say no more!!

This was a great game, and well played lads,roll on Thursday.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Brian's Newly Finished Egyptian Army

As promised,I have completed the photo-shoot(ooh er !!!) of Brian's Egyptians,and very nice they look too.
Brian is a prolific painter,and is at the moment completing a late Roman/British army,and also has plans for a Crusader army-but as he changes his mind quite often,who knows what he'll end up doing-still I think it's great that he always has something to think about and research etc.

Swing Low!!-chariots in full flight-a mention must be made of Brian's wife,Sally,who plaited the reins for Brian-now that's true love!!

A couple of views of the Infantry line complete with archers-formidable!!-nice scenery!!

The Pharaoh-what more can be said-beautifully painted and presented.Look at that lot in the background!!

The army,can't wait to see them in battle-I'm going to "knock" together a combination Persian and Indian force to put against them,so that Brian can get used to using them until Dave completes his Hittites(watch this space!!)
Well done matey,good job.

Romans vs Greeks(!)

Yesterday was a two game day,but we played the same game in the morning as well as at night,however I commanded the Greeks in the morning against Alan and Brian,whilst at night Paul commanded the Greeks against Brian and I.
Both games were very exciting,pitting the Roman pila against the Greek long spear certainly made for a good game,neither side having any distinct advantage(unless of course you count Brian's extraordinary dice throwing-four consecutive "5's" at one point,wiping out my officer corps!!)

This shows the basic set up for both games,the Spartan contingent is firmly set up on a hill to my front in this shot.After the initial pila throw,and a couple of unusually good dice throws from me,the Spartans recoiled!!,and I actually won this flank-hurrah!!-Paul looks like some kind of evil Gnome in this photo!!

Stirring stuff!!-The clash of shields,the cries of agony as Romans take on the left flank of the Greeks-Brian almost "bounced" off the wonderful Greek line,but he persevered,supported the central cohort,and eventually pushed Paul's troops back-another hurrah!!

HOWEVER-the cavalry battle did not go Brian's way!! and the flank was lost,in a welter of blood and bad language!!-but still very tense and exciting.

The final shot,the Spartans have had enough and are "retiring" in front of the victorious Romans,we all agreed that the Romans had done enough to warrant a win,and we all went home to a well deserved hot drink,and cudddle from the wife(!!!!!!!)

Brian brought along his completed Egyptian army,and I will clear the figures away from last night's game,and set up a photo-shoot(god, does that sound pretencious or what??)

I have been working hard on my Sailing Ships Rules-to be called "'Twas on the Good Ship Venus" and will roll them out for the boys to read on Sunday,for a proper game on the following Sunday.
I am beginning to realise what an uphill job I have given myself by trying to get my "El Cid" armies ready for the "call to Muster" show on the 22nd of March-I've still got 16 units to paint in just 7 weeks-better get going then!!-but one of the benefits of being retired(I don't know if I've mentioned that I'm retired!) is that you've got alot of time on your hands-yet another hurrah!!! so no doubt I'll get them all done.

Roll on Sunday-probably Napoleonic.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Charlie's Birthday visit.

On Saturday,my old mate Charlie Wesencraft paid me a visit,to see how my poorly toe was getting on,and to show me some 18th Century Sailing ship rules he was using-as it was his 86th birthday on the Friday,it was also a good excuse to have a good chat,and catch up with what he,and his club,were doing.
Charlie has been invited down to Basingstoke to take part in a memorial weekend for the late and much missed Don Featherstone.The "memorial" will take the form of a wargame(Gettysburg) and a dinner in Don's honour,at the Wargames Holiday Centre-a very fitting tribute to a great man,writer and wargamer.

Which one's 86??-he certainly doesn't look it-I maybe do!!
In this photo Charlie is showing me the finer points of "Fighting Sail" the SPI game,on one of his carpet tile terrain pieces-these are marked into squares,which determine where you can move,dependent on your ship type etc.-although I understood the basics of the rules,and can see what SPI are getting at,I still don't see the need for marking the tiles-the sea hasn't got squares marked on it after all!!-I prefer the good old fashioned method of measuring with our sticks,and using a protractor for turning etc. so I will attempt a rule set of my own,based on historical knowledge and past experience-in other words,I'm too thick to understand the SPI game!!!!!-so I'll simplify it so I can understand!
We used to play the sailing ship game,using HUGE model ships(fully rigged,and bought at various car-boots,secondhand shops etc.) and I'll dig them out of my loft and have a go.

I came across this photo of Dave and Brian,the so called "dream team", having a totally over the top GLOAT!!-I had forgotten all about this-so beware boys,Big Brother is watching and waiting-you never know,the first Sailing Ship game we have,you might just be the Captain and Mate of the Sailing Ship Titanic!!

By the way Dave,your new "nickname" is Rain Man!!

Roll on Thursday.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Antioch 101AD

The fearsome threesome played an unusual game last night,that turned out to be exciting and tactically taxing,based on a sortie and raid by a Syrian force attacking a catapult battery,held by a Roman force.
Brian was the Roman commander, and Paul and I were the sortie troops and raid troops respectively.

This is the scenario,Brian was in the kitchen for the first two moves,being asked for instructions and orders for his troops,he didn't issue any orders for the first move,which allowed Paul's sortie troops to get quite close to his defences,however as my raid troops erupted from the palm grove he was spurred into action and sent a couple of cohorts to my flank-in retrospect he should maybe have sent the cohorts out to steady his hard-pressed troops at the barricades-but it's always easy to see these things in retrospect!!

Move one,and Paul's attack on the catapult battery is just starting,with only one archer unit guarding it and no support coming,the catapults looked in real trouble!!-as yet I have not "erupted" from the palm grove.

The battle for the battery is in full swing,Brian is sending his camp cohorts(camp??) to all parts of the defences,but will he get there in time??

The battery has been captured!!hurrah,but can Paul hold onto it?My raid force is moving onto the large hill and is about to take on the might of Rome,in the form of two cohorts and some auxilliaries-help!!

Brian is putting up a magnificent defence and Paul is now sending his second wave of troops out of the city to support his first wave-meanwhile my raiding force is being given a damned good thrashing!!

Paul is trying to form a line,but is being harassed by Brian's light cavalry,Brian's defences are holding,but increased pressure from the second wave of Syrians is going to tell soon!!

Paul's troops have set fire to the siege tower on my flank,and is trying to help my desperate situation,the central battery position is being contested hotly by Brian,but his right is very weak,and the catapults have been destroyed,so basically-game over!!

One final photo showing my troops in total disarray,however it was my intention to divert enough troops from the centre to allow Paul to win the day-well that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!

A brilliant game,well enjoyed by all three of us,
Probably won't be playing on Sunday,but roll on next week.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Persians vs Indians 500BC

With Dave nowhere in sight and Graham sending in a late sick note,it was left to the "fab four" to play last night.
Brian and I adopted the mantle of Persian commanders,and Paul and Richard were the Indian commanders.

Here is the usual scenario and table before any movement,to show troop dispositions,Brian was facing Richard in the foreground,whilst Paul and I faced each other on the far flank and centre.

Richard and Brian got off to a "mayhemic"(new word for the Oxford dictionary!!) start with something that resembled a riot in a circus-Elephants,chariots and cavalry milling about all over the place-drawing gasps of admiration from Paul and I!!

This is how it should be done,boys-tactical precision at its best! My Immortals advancing against Paul's out-flanking force,whilst in the centre.......................

Beautifully lined up troops moving majestically towards each other,then "Crunch!"-both Paul and I had a very similar battle plan,so we each had ,basically,the same troops fighting each other,although he had sent his out-flanking elephants over the stream and into a central position-these were to make a significant difference later on in the game!!

The battle for supremacy of the far flank rages on,and on, and on,and on-neither side gaining a real advantage,this was going to be the draw of all draws!!

I have held my left flank,and have gained some success in the centre,but so has Paul-sending the cream of my heavy infantry back to their starting positions,so in the centre a draw was the only fair result,however,on the far flank,the battle was going on and on and on and on...with no positive result-Brian asked for one of his "famous" draws and Richard,who needed to lie down in a darkened room,by now,agreed-all is fair in love and war(??)

One last shot of the tussle that Richard and Brian were having-can't see any Elephants though!!

A very interesting game,probably too well matched for any great tactical moves,but we all went home happy,and that's the main thing!
Roll on Thursday,I've got another Ancients planned,which should prove tricky to say the least!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Crixus vs Rome 73BC

Thursday was a funny old day,which saw me go from Pain in the morning to Pleasure at night!!
In the morning the NHS decided that 4 months of suffering with an in-grown toenail was enough and decided to get rid of it-painful but necessary,and at night I had the pleasure of watching probably the best and most exciting Ancients game we've had all year!!

Oh my toe!!

The scenario,initial troop positions were set in stone,but tactics and movement was left to Paul and Brian to do as they wished-Paul was Roman commander,and Brian was Crixus.It must be pointed out at this stage that we didn't have the luxury of the correct Roman figures,but this didn't detract from the game.

Here are the initial troop positions,Romans on the left and Crixus defending his camp and ridge.
Paul made an attack on the camp and ridge,and continued his wide out-flanking march with his Auxilliaries,on the far left,Brian elected to defend the camp,and move some of his troops from his second line behind the ridge,to support the camp-this turned out to be a wise move!!

Paul's first attack on the camp can be seen here(using my "treasured" Warrior Miniature Testudos)-this was repulsed by Brian's light troops stationed inside,but Paul is nothing if not determined,so he regrouped and came in again,and again-this was nail biting stuff,and each melee was on the knife edge!!

Brian's magnificent cavalry charge is being met by Paul's cavalry-he had to hold Brian's cavalry to prevent them threatening his entire line attacking the ridge-what a tussle this was too,the melee result going both ways,Paul eventually had to resort to sending a cohort of infantry to support his hard-pressed cavalry!!

Meanwhile,on the ridge,Paul has charged up the slope,discharged his pila,and is taking on the gallant Gauls and Germans!! Again this was knife edge stuff,with neither side gaining and advantage,officers falling like "nine-pins" and nerves frayed to breaking points-I'm sure that if we didn't break for a coffee one of us(yes even me as "observer") would have had a nervous break down!!

The camp is till holding,but Paul is sending more cohorts off to the left,to support the Auxilliaries,and Brian is going to have to send his troops some support soon-this would weaken his defences-what to do?? decisions,decisions!!

This shot shows Brian's valiant attempt to stem Paul's advance onto the rear of the camp position,with the cohorts of Paul's legion making their prescence felt!!-this flank eventually fell,and Paul did manage to get into the camp,and the ridge was about to be taken!!Brian was about to ask for his usual "Draw" but saw that all was lost,and capitulated-well done that man!!

The final shot of this brilliant,thrilling game-well done lads,the game was played with great "bon homie" laughs coming thick and fast,great spirit-just the way it should be.
Roll on Sunday.