Monday, 26 January 2015

Battle of Bindi 10AD India

One of the many good things about wargaming is that,within reason,you can "Elasticate" time,and put armies against each other,that,within an historical context,would never have fought each other.Last night's game was one such situation-Imperial Romans against Indians!

The usual scenario and table before any movement photo's are shown here.Paul commanded the cohorts,Brian commanded the auxiliaries(land and sea) and I commanded the whole of the Indian army.

My plan was simple-attack the cohorts with my line of elephants,disrupt them,then charge them with my line of cavalry-the infantry would play a minor mopping up role only-this worked very well indeed for the first few moves,my elephants crushed the front line cohorts-then,of course,a few of them decided to go "walk-about" and stopped my master plan of attacking the cohorts with my cavalry!!!

My troops in the fort "sallied forth" and were met by 2 cohorts and some Gallic cavalry,that Paul had moved onto their flank-this is not looking too good.However the centre is still going my way,and Brian's first attempt at capturing the Port is about to start-pressure or what??

The "walk-about" by my elephants is in full swing here,and Paul is taking advantage by massing troops on his left flank!!-Can you tell by Brian's expression that his first attempt at capturing Bindi has failed-hurrah!!!

To a mass cavalry melee,Brian is putting in another attack-although he has managed to get a unit into the port,but these will be easily ejected by my support unit in the foreground-another hurrah!!!

Paul's troops on his left flank are now moving against my infantry(remember them?-will be used to "mop up"!!!)-Meanwhile Brian is looking as though he means to capture the port and win the game-Oh Yeah??!!

"Yeah!!!"-he's all over me like a bad rash,and he still has uncommitted troops!-how did those horses get on top of that building?

Although my cavalry are winning on my left,Paul is pressing my right flank,and Brian is about to capture the port,so it looks as though the Romans are going to be victorious(happy and glorious!!)

Even my big-busted,buxom,Bindi broads can't stop Brian from capturing the port-all is lost!!

Well done to Paul and Brian,a very good game-bloody elephants!!

Roll on Sunday,by popular demand,an "El Cid" game.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Isandlwana 22nd January 1879

I am still "buzzing" after last night's game-a re-fight of the famous battle of Isandlwana,on the actual 136th Anniversary.
Everyone knows the facts of the battle,but for wargamers to try and re-fight it,poses a few problems:mainly,will our rules work? where do you start the battle? should we take into account he various factors that,apparently,led to the British defeat?
Well,I decided to start the battle just as the Zulus were about to crest the main ridge,having already disposed of the rocket battery,the left horn about to contact Durnford,and the right horn still moving into position.

I drew heavily from this magnificent book(top photo) and based the battle on the map,as you can see...........

This is how the table looked before any movement-Dave took command of the right horn of the Zulus,and part of the centre,I was in command of the left horn and the other part of the centre,Brian was in charge of the left of the camp,and Paul the right and Durnford's trooops.
The British and NNC were allocated limited ammunition,as were the guns-this was to prove a real factor in the game,and echoed the actual battle.
In the above photo,my left horn is advancing rapidly against Durnford's position,but the camp is,as yet,not too alarmed!!

Things are beginning to hot up in the centre,but,as you can see from the "dead" figures,the Zulus were being cut down in swathes-my left horn is being similarly devastated,but as yet Dave's right horn is being left alone to continue their move against Brian,and the mountain.

Paul is using his mounted troops well,by firing and retiring,but his ammo. is being used up at an alarming rate,and still the left horn advances-Brian is looking worried,and Dave is looking at his phone(????)-come on lad,concentrate!!!!

Dave has now got his right horn into position,and is pinning Brian to his front whilst moving around to the back of the camp-great stuff!!

The British are falling back,making their line smaller,and causing Dave and I some problems-we are taking too many casualties-our centre is almost wiped out,but our reserve troops are about to make an appearance,from behind the ridge-hurrah!!

Is that a worried look on Brian's face?it should be! Dave has managed to get around the back of the camp and is now in a position to attack-a last blast of "cannister" from the gun proved to be ineffective-is all lost?

Now he looks worried!the reserves are gaining ground,and with hardly any ammo. left things are looking grim,to say the least!!-in the background,Durnford has been caught and wiped out!

One last volley,and then" die like English soldiers do"-in the background the camp is under serious attack-save the colours?-not in our game-officers die with their men!!

The camp is lost!Dave's encirclement is complete,the British are out of ammunition,time to fight back-to-back,maybe the Zulus will offer terms!!!!!!

NO!! not even the wounded were spared!!
This was  a fantastic game by any standards,tense,exciting,colourful,but above all enjoyable-well done lads.
I hope that this refight gives a flavour of what it must have been like on that fateful day 136 years ago-it must have been horrific.
Roll on Sunday-don't know what we'll be playing yet.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

More Painting and Accessories.

During a visit to B&M Stores on Saturday,I came across these Bhuddas for £2.99 for the three!
As you can see they are perfect for 25mm figures,and will no doubt feature in the next Indian game we have.

I think they look pretty good-and inexpensive(notice I didn't say cheap!!)

Because of sub-zero temperatures,we are not playing tonight,but I have painted some of the figures I got from Warrior Miniatures (two days after ordering them!now that's customer service!!) and thought I'd show them,with a bit of a step by step account of my painting method.

The top photo shows the figs(which needed no cleaning up at all)fixed onto their horses by a "blob" of "No Nails" on the horse and a drop of super glue on the underside of the rider's saddle,I then coated the lance with nail varnish,to give them extra resilience to Paul!!!!(he has a knack of snapping off anything that can be snapped off!!!!!)
The second photo shows the figures undercoated in white emulsion(!!) I haven't ried undercoating in black yet,but you never know I might try it sometime.

The third photo shows the horses painted black-it saves me having to paint reins etc(lazy or what?) plus the shields and half of the pennons and the only visible tunic sleeve.
The fourth photo shows the white put onto the horses faces and chests and the simple "Cross" design on the shields.At this point I must say that when I get a figure,I look at it and decide how "few" colours I can get away with!!

Another shot of the knights,just before the armour is painted and the finishing touched applied.

All finished and ready for basing-I don't particularly enjoy painting,I class it as a necessary evil if I want to wargame,but I suppose when the unit is complete and on the board I do get a bit of satisfaction seeing them in all their glory.
If I can keep this pace up(one unit of twelve figures per two days) I should get all 50 on the table by next week!!
On Thursday it will be the 136th anniversary of the battle of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift,so we'll be re-fighting either one of them.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Battle of Roman Bridge-Dacians vs Romans

Last night,Brian was awarded letters after his name,in recognition of his contribution to this "cracking" game,he was granted the distinguished T.W.A.T.,which stands for-Tardiness Without Aggression Tactics-and we all thinks he deserves it,although Brian,modest as he is,will probably say he doesn't deserve it-read on................

This is the scenario and map,as you can see,the German task called for bold,aggressive movement,to stop the Romans(Paul) from interfering (ooh er!!) with me,as I attacked the Fort,well this is what happened!!!

My Dacians attacked from move one-Paul defended magnificently,with arrows and bolts flying all over the place-I even managed to set the bloody place on fire!! With my brave troops,infantry and cavalry,sacrificing themselves in the name of the King and their country,what were my brave and honest allies doing??

Advancing at a leisurely(some would say "tardy") pace,allowing the Romans to form up,unmolested by arrow,sling or javelin,into a position,where,if the Germans ever did attack them,they could outflank them!!-meanwhile,back at the fort...........

I have pushed the defenders back from the walls-hurrah!! but Paul still has unused troops,and on the left of the fort,my attacking units are being caught in the rear by a couple of cohorts,that Paul has managed to get across the river(it must be said, unhindered by any Germans!!)
I am fighting for my life-but what of the Germans?-from what can be gathered,they are inspecting the flora and fauna of the area,having a spot of "tiffin",combing their hair etc.etc.

A grim-faced Brian is contemplating whether or not to get his nice,clean,shiny spears dirtied with Roman blood!!-Best not to rush these things though-ho hum!!

Hurrah!! the Germans attack-look at them,there's bloody thousands of them!! actually the attack was fairly successful,but it is now move number 8,ad I have been "ejaculated" from the fort,and my cavalry have ceased to exist-I am in real trouble at the fort-come on Brian!!

"Ejaculation" complete!!-the troops in the far right hand corner of the board are "dead" units-mainly mine-I am completely lost,and the fort remains in Roman hands,however,with a couple of almost miraculously good dice throws,Brian has got Paul's cohorts on the back foot,and is making headway against the main Roman line,but still has the threat of a flank attack against him on his left.

This photo shows the situation at the end of the game,which was,I suppose,a draw-I had lost the fort,although Brian did send me some reinforcements-cavalry(really useful against fort walls!!) but Brian was making a nuisance of himself on the left(he always makes a nuisance of himself!!) so a draw was fair enough-we had a good laugh,which,is surely,what it's all about,in this game,as well as employing good and solid tactics-roll on Sunday-"El Cid" game.-well done 

Thanks for your support,Brian, I will wear it with pride!!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Painting update-Norman Knights

I have just finished painting and "flocking" the Norman Knight figures my Sister got me for Christmas,and thought I would show them.
The figures are from Warrior Miniatures,and I must admit when I looked at them,I was a bit dis-appointed in their size(I wanted them to supplement my "El Cid" armies) but,like everything else in life,there are no such things as problems,only solutions!!-The solution to the size difference,is simply to put them on deeper bases-simples!!!
These figures suit my simplistic painting style-I am a wargamer who paints,and not a painter who wargames-very philosophic,but I'm sure you all know what I mean!!

The first two photo's show the shield designs(3!!) that I have used,and the two different horse poses.

These two shots show the figures from the front and then from the back.

Last two shots,showing them in line and ready to charge!!
I was so taken with the figures,that I phoned John Holt of Warrior Miniatures,and a more amiable man you couldn't wish to do business with-a real gent,always ready for a chat,and to do a deal,and ordered 50 more!!-some with swords and some with lances-this "El Cid " army is just growing and growing,and I've still got 24 cross bowmen to paint too!!-where will it all end?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The Siege of York 1642

Once again the terrific trio were at it tonight-Paul,Brian and I played a superb E.C.W. game,with Brian commanding the Royalists(but not his dice!!) and Paul and I commanding the Parliamentarians-me,the fort,Paul the relief columns.

This is the scenario and map and the table layout before any movement,Brian's troops are just moving out of the city,in their "grand sortie" against my fort,Paul can not move until move number 4.

Brian's cavalry sweep out of York,moving left and right hoping to drive away my Dragoons guarding the bridge,and my cavalry guarding the roads-this was a successful move!!-Brian's infantry,led by Newcastle and Percy's foot,looked intent on attacking the fort head on.

This shot shows that exactly what he did!-despite my volley fire and cannister (partridge) shot,couldn't stop him,and a melee developed,which,as usual,swung both ways-my troops eventually denying him access-hurrah!!

By move number 6 I was getting desperate-Paul is on his way,but is being held up by the river,taking two full moves to cross it,meanwhile Brian is sending more troops to attack the fort,and my flanks have been stripped of cavalry-woe is me!!

Hurrah!! Paul's leading elements are across the river,and help is on it's way-however Brian is massing his cavalry on the river side,ready to charge Paul-this is going to be tight!!

Brian's clever use of his guns,mounted on the city walls,is keeping Paul's cavalry out of the way-damn his eyes!! Paul's infantry is crossing the river,and approaching the fort walls-will he be able to get there in time??

Paul is looking "smug" because his cavalry are doing well,and his infantry are almost into the fort-however,Brian is now sending the Green-coated infantry forward to try and out-flank the fort!-hell's flames,this is tense stuff!!

Brian looks quite at ease with the world in this photo-but this was about to change,when all of his cavalry got beaten in their melees-hurrah!!(for us,not him!)
The battle for the fort is still going on,and on,and on........

The Royalist cavalry are being driven back-time to check their morale,I think!!

Oh dear!! Goring's cuirassiers have broken,and have been forced to retire,chased by Paul's horse-with cavalry in their rear,the infantry are forced into square,and Paul is poised to exploit the gap,and win the game-another hurrah!!-The fort still had not fallen,this was not totally my fantastic defence,it was mainly due to some terrible dice throwing by Brian!!

The aforementioned "gap" that appeared in Brian's line,causing him to lose the game,but not the war!!-well done lads,another great game.Roll on Thursday-Ancients,probably on the same terrain(but without York City!!)