Monday, 31 August 2015

Ramilles 1706-rehearsal

Last night we had a surprise guest,in the form of Charlie Wesencraft,who arrived to see how we would be playing the big game we are putting on in October.Charlie was in tremendous dice throwing form,to the point where we thought that,apart from Paul, he was also in league with "Dark Forces"!!!!!!
The idea was that we would fight the main Infantry part of Ramilles,to see if any "nasty surprises" were thrown up-luckily there weren't!!-but we played the game through,showing Charlie the mechanics of our simple rules.
I only took a couple of photo's,not wanting to spoil the surprise of the whole game before the event,which will probably involve 12-13 players,each with a command of either infantry or cavalry or a combination of both,and ,hopefully, a C in C for both sides.

This is the hand-out that both sides will be given,showing initial troop positions,after that it will be up to the C in C of each side to decide on a battle plan,issue orders to their subordinates,and play the game to its conclusion.-The illustrations are taken from the superb book on Marlborough's armies by C.S.Grant,and the map is taken from a small book on Marlborough's campaigns called the "Discovering" series(of which I have many!)

The series was published in 1973-look at the price!!

I thought that the two following photo's might be of interest......

This is a 2lb cannon ball from the early 18th century,possibly from the 1745 Jacobite uprising,bought, complete with a plinth commemorating the opening of a hotel in Teeside!!

Can you imagine that coming at you at a rate of knots,smashing limbs and bodies?-horrendous!

This is a shot from the game last night-Charlie was in command of the Irish,defending Ramilles,he took on all the troops that Dave threw against him,and beat everything that was thrown against him!!-this looks like Dave had won the fight in the town,which he did-but only for one move!!-he was then ejected!!

This shows a grand attack coming in from both Paul and Dave,which Charlie and I managed to beat back,once again mainly due to Charlie's uncanny dice throwing!!

Another shot of Charlie's defence of Ramilles-excellent wargaming-on the day it will be spectacular to say the least!
Roll on Thursday,another rehearsal,but for Border Reiver this time!!-it's all go,never a dull moment.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Battling Tanks-the first game.

Last night I decided to test out the Battling Tanks,putting a bit of a competitive edge,onto just driving them around the table and shooting at each other.
Only Paul was available (Brian's gone fishing!) so whether he wanted to or not,he was coerced into playing,what turned out to be,a very amusing and tactically interesting set of games-6 in total!!

Yoo Hoo!!this is me in my Tiger Tank,waving at Paul,in his Abrahams Tank.......

Yoo Hoo,this is Paul in his Abrahams Tank,waving at me in my Tiger Tank-this is now getting silly!!

I set the table up,with ruined houses etc. and trees,each marked with a letter,A-G,we each had to verbally state which piece of terrain we were going for(within a 3 foot radius),then move to it.
There was no firing on the first moves,but after that we could either fire and then move,or move and then fire,trying to destroy the other's tank-simple,or was it?-how two grown and experienced men couldn't work out which was left and which was right,is beyond belief!!
The problem was,of course,that to turn right,you had to push the left track lever on the controls-this proved beyond our capabilities,resulting in  a swear-fest of unimaginable proportions!!-great fun,and a great way to unwind.

A study of total concentration,as Paul manages to hit one of the houses,and loses a track!!

The coast seems to be clear of enemy tanks!-Paul was great at "hiding" his tank so my infra-red beam couldn't  hit him-and it must be pointed out that,at one stage,he managed to fire his gun through a window of the ruins and hit me!!-the man's a genius(or,as we suspect anyway,in league with the devil!!)

This is Paul,doing "running repairs" to his tank,which seemed to lose it's tracks at an alarming rate,due to erratic turning!!
All in all,a good night,certainly something different-roll on Sunday,probably a Marlburian,which will include Dave-hurrah!!
By the way,I won the battle of the tanks!!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Quality vs Quantity-Wargames figures.

To help me get over "One Direction" splitting up,I decided to count my Wargames Figures!
I have been wargaming and collecting figures for 45 years now,and I decided very early on that I was really no good at painting to any high standard,but wanted to field big armies-not for me the 48 figure Roman Legion-oh no,mine would be 200 figures strong!! So I started to build up my armies of figures covering the whole spectrum of "popular" periods,working on the 3 foot rule-which clearly states that from 3 foot away,you can only see the main colour on a figure and the standard or flag it is carrying!!
So,what was the final count I hear you cry-25,000-yes 25 thousand of the little perishers!! What an investment in time and money they are,giving pleasure and pain in equal measure every time I game with them,and there's always a "project" waiting around the corner-will it never end? I hope not!!

From floor to ceiling,boxes and boxes of 'em-every single cupboard is filled with them!
I thought I might just let you see what the rest of the Garage/wargames room looks like...

Very cosy when it's cold and we have two heaters on,it is a bit untidy at the moment but I will get it cleaned out this week.
I have a "project" under way at the moment,involving the "Battling Tanks"-more of that later on.

We now have 51 "followers" and have had over 70 thousand hits since we started the blog-many,many thanks to you all for looking at us and our games-we have had hits from all over the world,even the Ukraine!!-we really appreciate comments from you,so keep them coming!

Battle of Mount Olympus 480BC.

Sometimes I get a little lost and confused when trying to decide what kind of game I will put on for the "boys",and I always ask what we should play for the next gaming night.On Thursday I asked Brian what he would like to play,and he said Ancients with lots of Elephants-so I set out a North American Indians and Rangers game!!-however I slept on it overnight and decided that it didn't look right,so on Saturday I set up an Ancients game involving Greeks and Romans,and a Volcano!!(not an Elephant in sight!!!)

The scenario,I try to give both sides a logistical and tactical problem every game-this certainly had its share of both!

The table before any movement-the astute reader will have noticed that the table covering is not our usual "green grass" cover-this is because I am "airing" our old cover in preparation for our big game on the 10th October in a local Church Hall.
The Persians are on the left and Greeks on the right,Brian drew the short straw and ended up commanding the Greeks,Paul commanded the Persian left,and I the Persian right.(out-flanking troops)

In a fit of un-characteristic rashness,Paul hurled his Cardaces infantry across the river against the Spartans(has the man gone mad?)-Brian,of course responded and an almighty clash took place in the middle of the river!!

Ah,this is more like the Paul we know and love-a steady approach,using his skirmishers to soften up the opposition before sending in his "heavies"-however,Brian seems to have other ideas and is advancing rapidly!!

What was happening on my flank?-well, not a lot!! I was subject to the vagaries of the river flow,so had to throw a random movement dice for each boat!!-some went fast,some went slow,some didn't want to go anywhere at all-woe is me!-This gave Brian some breathing space and allowed him to concentrate on beating Paul.

Brian is taking the fight to the Persians,and has successfully crossed the river,only to be met by Paul's mercenary Greeks,supported by the Immortals-this is going to be tough!-In the background the Cardaces/Spartan tussle goes on,both side gaining then losing melees-thrilling stuff!

Hurrah!! most of my troops are across the lake and in position,ready to smash the Corinthians stationed there-well,that was the theory!-in practice my Axemen "bounced" off the Greeks(as you would expect) but I had inflicted some damage which would tell later on when my Infantry proper got engaged!!

Brian has secured his Spartan flank,but is in a spot of bother in his centre,with Paul's Immortals pushing his Athenians back across the river-now, if only I can gain some success,Brian will be in real trouble!!

Brian is in real trouble!!-no good holding your head matie!!-I am all over him like a nasty rash!

The final photo! Paul is pushing on over the river and I have won my flank,even with support from two units of Spartans,Brian is beaten-hurrah!!
What a game this turned out to be,15 moves (at least!-I lost count!!) and a good result at the end of it(well,for the Persians at least!!)
Roll on Thursday-something a little different I think-oh by the way it's only 4 months 'til Xmas Eve,so get those orders in to Santa for wargaming "things" now!!

Friday, 21 August 2015

Romans vs Britons

Last night Brian and I had an Ancients game involving Romans,commanded by Brian,and Britons commanded by me-however after the game disaster struck!! I was "fannying about" with my camera(editing the photo's) and managed to delete most of the photographs I took!!
So, here are the ones I didn't delete!!

This is a rough map of the terrain we played over-Brian was to capture the settlement,in the left hand corner of the map,and beat the British tribes ranged against him-what he didn't know was that I had a hidden force situated between the two right hand mountains!!

This shot was taken about move number two,and shows both sides moving forward to engage!
I was moving slowly,hoping to get the Romans to show their flank to my hidden troops-sneaky!

After a number of unsuccessful attempts to get into the settlement,Brian did get in and proceeded to burn this very "Des. Res."

As the Romans advanced on my left flank,I attacked them and won a couple of melees,thus creating a gap,which I am just about to exploit with my chariots-this was successful,and I won the flank(but not the settlement!)

My "hidden" troops have exposed themselves (dirty devils!) much to Brian's "chagrin"-with these troops I won this flank too-however Brian won in the centre,and with the settlement in flames,we concluded that a draw was the fairest result!
Too bad I couldn't show all of the action(and there was a good amount of it!) but it will teach me not to mess with technology!!
I have spent a good deal of time this week organising and planning two important games-
The first is the game we are putting on at Border Reiver Show-a Zulu War game,and the second is an all day affair involving Charlie Wesencraft's group and ourselves,and hopefully Robbie Roddis' group,re-fighting the battle of Ramillies 1706,on the 10th October in a local Church Hall-I hope all goes to plan!!
Roll on Sunday,Paul will be with us after his trip down south.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Marlburian Battle-Hudson's Return!

Last night the "Fab Four" were involved in an exciting Marlburian battle,with no scenario,other than to beat the enemy!-Dave and Paul were on one side and Brian and I on the other.Both teams wrote their battle plans-once again very similar to each other's-both flanks were to be contested whilst in the centre we would advance cautiously and await events on the flanks,both sides also opted to contest the village!!

Dave and Paul controlled the British and Austro/Prussians in the foreground,Brian commanded the Irish and part of the Bavarian lines-I commanded the rest!-The terrain layout proved quite tricky as avenues of approach to the major obstacles,ie the farm and village were restricted,to say the least!

This shows Brian's Irish flank-he was opposed by Austrians and Prussians,and,despite Paul throwing the whole of the known world at him,he managed to hang on until the last move of the game,when the "demon dice-thrower" overcame him,and out-flanked him with cavalry!

Paul and Dave commanded the central troops combined,so Paul marched the front liners(Prussians) to the left flank to support his Austrians who were about to assault the village-Brian would now be out-numbered 2:1 but "Mr Tenacity" didn't care one jot!!!

My attack on the farm begins-it must be noted that Dave and I are the worst dice throwers in the wargaming world,but on this occasion  Dave actually threw worse than me,and after a couple of shots the defenders fled the relative safety of the farm-hurrah!!

Whilst the centre was starting to come alive,Brian was being subjected to "shit,shot and shell" at the village,as Paul piled on the pressure to capture the wall-in the background you can just see the Austrians moving forward to out-flank the Irish position!!!

An all-out attack on the British flank is taking place in this photo,and a cavalry battle is developing on my far left-I eventually won the melee,but followed Dave's retiring cavalry through his ranks and was shot to bits by a well-placed infantry regiment!!

Dave and I are having a jolly old fire-fight here,but he re-occupied the farm with a regiment of Grenadiers,threatening my flank,so I had to retire.

In the centre,a combination of "uncannily" accurate artillery fire and musketry is keeping my line in check,Brian is in danger of being swamped by sheer weight of numbers,and my left is retiring-is it the end?

Brian's right flank cavalry have disappeared,leaving the Austrian cavalry free to rampage at will,he has been driven back from the village walls,and a couple of "untouched" Austrian regiments is approaching fast-oh dear me!!

The final photo(c/w "dead" figures) showing the positions of the armies-basically at their original starting points! but I couldn't make any headway against Dave's British in a very strong position on their hill,the centre was done for and Brian was fighting for his life!!
The "allies" were declared the winners,but it was in reality a very close fought game-well done to us all.
Roll on Thursday-maybe English Civil War-only Brian and I though,Paul is going to Nottingham for a couple of days.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Painting update-Zulu War

We are putting on a demo. game at Border Reiver show,5th September,and because it is going to be a Zulu War game,I thought I'd better look at the figures we are going to use,just to make sure I have enough!!-well,as it turned out I needed another 6 figures to supplement the 6 I already have,of the dis-mounted element of my Mounted Infantry.
So,being a great fan of Warrior Miniatures in Glasgow,I duly ordered the 6 figures plus an officer figure on Saturday,from their Zulu War range-they duly arrived on Tuesday morning!!-now that's good going,and great customer service.

There was no "flash" at all on any of the figures,the only thing I had to do was prise the right arm away from the body and attach the rifle-the officer figure is a real "gem"-full of character.

After sticking the figures to their painting bases,I under-coated them in white(I can't get away with black under-coating somehow!) and started the painting process,main colours first.

I think that there's always a point when painting figures that they come to "life",and this is the point when I really started to enjoy these ones.

Coming along nicely-I hate painting cross-belts on figures,basically because I haven't got the skill,or steady hand,but I managed to get these ones on ok.

A rear view-they don't stand close inspection,but I'm quite happy with them-all I've got to do now is get them onto the bases with the other figures!!

There they are,on their new bases-the prone figures are old(and I mean "old") Mini-Figs.
The finished articles look good(to me!) so roll on Border Reiver.

Final shot of the completed base,from above.All the paints I use are from Games Workshop,and the brush is a very expensive Winsor and Newton,series 7 @ £9!!!