Saturday, 30 May 2015

The siege of Malta 2015.Armour and defensive works.

I thought I might post a few of my holiday photographs,that have an historical/military interest.
The whole of Malta is steeped in history,with the Phonecians,Carthaginians,Romans,Normans,
French,and of course we British invading the island over a long period of time-however they only seem to recognise two periods!!-the great siege of 1565 and the second world war!!-bizarre to say the least.

A view of  a fort from our hotel balcony-it has been turned into a restaurant-bloody hell!!

These are from the Palace Armoury Museum-there are hundreds of suits of armour!

Fantastic stuff-this is all from the 1565 period-although it was quite expensive to get into the museum,it was worth it.

Artillery pieces galore-the wife looks bored(pardon the pun!) in the top photo-there was so much to see,but only one cabinet with a few Napoleonic muskets-shame really!

Impressive fortifications at Victoria and Valetta,but you could hardly walk down a street or turn a corner without coming a cross a Tower,Fort or Bastion of some sort-awsome place!
However,a word of warning if you're considering going to Malta-take a hard hat and some safety boots-'cos the whole place is a massive building site-they have discovered EU grants!!

Well,I could hardly go all that way and not but a couple of flags-St John's Hospitallers on the left and National flag(c/w George Cross) on the right.
Roll on Sunday-we will be playing a 7YW game.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Seven Years War Painting up date

As John  is sunning himself on his hols I thought ....what to do?

Of course...  get out the painting box and crack on with the project !

9 battalions done..  3 more to do..for now

Here are the next in line..beautifully sculpted Front Rank figures..grenadier mixed battalion on its way

And finally  . Saw this and thought, now that's a real dice

Monday, 11 May 2015

Carronade 2015 Show and Falkirk

After a wonderful weekend with great friends and having met many more, I thought we should highlight some of the fantastic places in the Falkirk and Stirling area.

Not only is it steeped in fantastic history but has the most beautiful natural views as well as some engineering marvels.

A must for not only historian buffs but family entertainment too!

• Bannockburn Visitor Centre

The slayer of challengers himself, the Bruce!

Definately not afraid of spiders or big English armies!

This is the interactive battle simulator at the centre

it's a great way to teach history to young and old alike.....

(not that any of us come into the latter! Well maybe Michael)

Oh and of course the re-enactment resulted in a crushing defeat and death of Edward II

Did I mention that Dave was the ill fated English king!

He was hardly going to win the day after Scotland went 99.99% SNP ha ha!

Rough Castle and the Antonine Wall

 If you have the opportunity, do not fail to visit the this beautiful area.

A magnificent walk through leafy woods from the Falkirk Wheel (more later) leads you to a tranquil spot once graced by Roman Legionary and Auxilliary troops.

We think out engineering skills are good! 

The Roman defensive minefield still exists bar the sharpened stakes 

These are "lillia" a gentle name for a deadly idea 

 And the view west across the stream and earthen works of the fort's sinister gate.
Note the continued vallum and fortifications off towards Glasgow..
not sure if that was around though?

Falkirk Wheel

Finally !

The wheel elevates narrow boats from the lower Forth & Clyde Canal to the Union canal

and who else to frame the view but
•  an intrepid, nay victorious schiltron commander John (right)
• a pragmatic commander of Edward II's longbow men (Michael)
..... well he did decide to see how things went and used the knights as cover!

and finally

• Edward II (Dave) left and looking remarkably alive despite the rude attention of The Bruce's army... oh and a hidden booby trapped approach route

We all had a great time and hope we can repeat the fun next year!

Further Falkirk Photos.

Because I am going on holiday tomorrow,I thought I might share some more shots of the show.

3 shots of our game in action-Dave and I were on one side,and Michael and Paul on the other.

I have managed to capture Paul's reflection on the large trophy-arty-farty, or what!!!!

This looks "cosy"-I thought there was only one gay in the village!!

The "boozy boys" in action-Paul isn't really there-it's a cardboard cut-out!!!
Why is it that all the photo's taken by other people,are not in focus????
Hope to catch everyone as soon as I get back from Malta,cheers,JohnC.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Carronade Show Report 2015.

Paul,Dave,Michael and I attended the Carronade show at Falkirk,this week-end,and it was terrific!!
As usual we went up on Friday,and came back on Sunday,staying at the Bean Cross Travel Lodge.
The show had a very high standard of demo. games,plus traders,selling everything from books to terrain,we are led to believe that this year the attendance was over 700 souls through the door-a tribute to the organisers!
We were pleasantly surprised when,at the end of the day,we were presented with"Best Demonstration Game" trophy-we are delighted,to say the least!!
Our aim at the outset was to engage as many people as possible,and we achieved that goal-at times we couldn't keep up with enquiries and questions from all ages and "gamers","collectors","modellers" etc-it was great........................

This is how the hall looked when we set up our game on Friday afternoon-this was one of two halls for traders and Gamers,plus there was an upstairs room for the bring and buy,plus another for Sci-fi gamers,between the two halls was a corridor packed with even more traders!! and a cafe serving hot and cold food-what more could you want?

This is the hall when we arrived to start the game at about 9.30am-it was "buzzing"

Paul and Dave showing one of the "characters" of wargaming from Durham,Conrad Cairns,our set-up-he was interested because he too was putting on a 54mm game-PLANCENOIT 1815.Conrad's game was one of 3 Napoleonic games,but of course there were other games spanning the whole spectrum ie ACW,7YW,Modern,Medieval,and a magnificent Ancients game of the battle of the Hydaspes(Alexander vs Porus) played on a SAND TABLE!!

Here's Mike telling some old bloke,who knew nothing of wargaming, about tactics etc.!!
Of course it's C.S.Grant,who very kindly signed a couple of books that Michael had bought-he's a real gent,and stayed to talk about our game for a while.

The "boys" in their fetching "Geranium Red" shirts!!-we got as many comments about the shirts as we did about the game-people were queuing up to get their photo taken beside us!!

Here's just two of the many!!-these two guys were brilliant,chatted to us for ages,showing real interest-good to meet you two,keep in touch!

A general view of the hall,with games and traders in full swing-can you spot the "geranium Red" shirt of Paul coming towards the camera-well you could hardly miss him!!!

Who is that strange gentleman with the professional looking camera and video camera?
Is it the Lone Ranger?of course not,it's Wayne Bollands from Wargames Illustrated-hurrah!!
We are now world famous and can command an exorbitant fee for any future shows that we attend(NOT!)-Wayne showed a lot of interest in our game,and we might just appear in a future issue-another hurrah!!

I promised these two young gentlemen,Brandon and Zack,that I would put them in this blog,after they joined in our game,and with tremendous(lucky?) dice throws,saved Dave and I from defeat at the hands of Paul and Michael,well done lads,see you next year?

Back at the hotel with the trophies!!-we don't really know what we are supposed to do with the large one,which needs to be engraved,but no doubt someone from Carronade will inform us!!
A huge thank-you to everyone who came over and introduced themselves to us,and who came over for a chat etc,and of course to the organisers and everyone who made us feel welcome-roll on next year!!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Inexpensive(Cheap!!) Terrain Items

I bought these Topiary Balls @ B and M stores the other day,to replace or supplement my collection of trees-very cheap at £1.99 each-two balls gave me the following.......

This is how they come,"hinged" in the middle,which makes them very easy to split....

TAA-DAA!!!!-they are very easily cut with scissors,and of course you can cut them to any size you want........

In situ, you can just throw them anywhere on the table for an instant "wood" or hedge!

Roll on Falkirk!!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

A Tantalising Taste of Falkirk.

We are running through the game we are putting on at Falkirk,this Sunday,so I thought I would give a little "glimpse" of what we have in store for our friends North of the Border-all figures are 54mm plastic.

Roll on Falkirk!!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Battle of Katraluw 1816-the game.

For some incomprehensible reason,Paul has bet me £10 that I can't get through this blog without mentioning the word Onion!!-is the man mad?
Napoleonic games should be full of Dash,Sweeping movement,Colour and Knife- edge tension,well last night's game contained all of these...........

Dave commanded the left and centre of the Russians,Paul took the right,whilst I commanded the Austrians and Prussians,all was set for a great game.

Dave opened the proceedings with a massive attack,by his Grenadier Brigade,against the Farm and hedges,bravely defended by the Austrians-he was also manoeuvering around my right flank,with Infantry,horse artillery and cavalry-he meant business!!

To counter Dave's flank moves,I sent my Austrian cavalry and a regiment of infantry to block the road-this resulted in a cavalry melee,and forced my infantry into square.
It must be said that my cavalry did not cover themselves in "glory"(this is wargame speak,for getting Hammered!!)

Dave's attack on the Farm continues and,despite heavy losses,his perseverence eventually paid off-to the right of the photo,my gun battery was proving to be a real thorn in the side to the attackers,and Dave sent a regiment to capture it-which they did in grand style-woe is me!!!
To the far left,you can see Paul's troops preparing to advance,however I sent all of my cavalry to stop this move,which worked-hurrah!!

"Inactivity" is not in Paul's nature,and he sent his cavalry to counter mine,resulting in a grand melee,which swung both ways for a long time,however it did stall his infantry advance-another hurrah!!(Dave looks too relaxed!!)

Pressure is mounting in the centre,as Dave piles more and more troops into the assault on the Farm-he is also attacking my,now denuded- of- cavalry,flank with some success!!

Dave unselfishly sent his Cossaks to help Paul,and they swung the melee in the Russian's favour,driving my cavalry back-however my infantry line is standing firm,and Paul couldn't take full advantage of the win-a sort of minor hurrah!

This is the straw that broke the camel's back-Dave's magnificent out-flanking move,sealing the fate of the Austrians!!The Prussians could just about beat a retreat with the infantry,but with the Farm taken and the crossroads under severe threat,I was well and truly beaten-well done lads,a great game.

Bloody Hell!! look at the size of that Onion-oh bugger,I've just lost the bet!!!!!
Roll on Sunday,we'll be going through the game we are putting on at Falkirk on the 9th.