Monday, 28 September 2015

Battle of Karnak(again) 1200BC

There's something fascinating about the Ancient Egyptian era,our battles are fast and furious,with a dash of colour and unpredictability-well,last night's battle certainly was!
Graham and I were in charge of the Pa'Arasites(!) whilst Brian,helped for a short while, by Dave,took command of the Egyptians.

The scenario and table before any movement-Brian was in a"comfortable" position with his right on the village of Karnak,his centre on the ridge and his chariots and good infantry on the open plain to the left.
I gave Graham the "honour" of attacking the village and ridge,whilst I attacked the Egyptian chariots and infantry with my chariots and infantry-simple,but it worked out fine,eventually!!

The game started with the chariots of both sides rushing forward and delivering volley after volley of arrows at each other-superb stuff! I was out-numbered ,and combine that with Dave's great dice throwing, the situation was not looking good for my light chariots,however I still had my heavy chariots moving forward behind my infantry,so things could change.

Brian is anything but predictable,and true to form,he left his "comfortable" ridge and attacked Graham's infantry who were moving forward to attack the ridge!!

Whilst the attack on the ridge was going on,Graham also attacked the village,which was lightly defended,this flank was always going to be interesting,with the troops so evenly matched.

With the centre locked in mortal combat,and the chariots out of the way,both Dave and I charged into each other,so the whole of the line was fighting-spectacular!!!

Graham threw some wonderful dice ,to win most of the melees on his flank,and Brian was gradually being pushed back to his original position.The village was being "hotly" contested though,and my flank was "swings and roundabouts" winning some,losing some-tense and exciting stuff!

The village has been taken in this shot,and the flank won-in the background Brian looks to be worried(?)

Brian's centre has fled the field,leaving only the Pharaoh and his bodyguard to stem the tide of Graham's advance,and I am gradually pushing back the Egyptian left flank-is it all over,or will Brian put his Pharaoh into the fray????

In the words of Brian "it would be churlish not to!!" and so he did-and Graham threw a fantastic dice score-game over-hurrah!!!

Pharaoh himself,with new glasses stuck onto the top of his head,oh by the way Brian,could you "SHUT THAT DOOR?"
This was another good game,played in grand style,well done lads.
Roll on Thursday,no game planned as yet,but maybe horse and musket.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Tel-El_Karnak 1882,Egypt.

Last night Brian and I had a very interesting game involving Egyptians against British troops in Egypt.

This is the scenario,and "extra" bit about the Egyptian "allies" coming onto the board.
I was in charge of the Egyptians,so Brian picked bits of paper indicating what and where my tribal allies would come onto the board-as it happens(!!) at point "A" a unit of Baggara Cavalry came on move 4-nothing at point"B" and nothing at point"C"-bloody hell!!!

For the first few moves the British Redcoats moved relentlessly forward,a crimson tide of death!!(that sounds very dramatic and almost poetic!!) A combination of artillery,gatling and rifle fire inflicted damage to both sides,but the Egyptians,even though they were behind cover,were suffering badly.

These three photo's show the British coming forward and the Egyptians defending their positions,I needed the reinforcements badly at this point(little did I know that only my right flank would receive any!!)

Brian has decided to "curve" his line bringing as many rifles to bear on my troops as possible-it was at this point that my artillery crew,in the foreground, decided that they had better things to do,and ran away!!!

Hurrah!! the Baggara cavalry have arrived-and were promptly shot to hell!!-oh dear me.

This is the "reception committee" for the cavalry-it doesn't seem quite fair somehow!!-the Rifles and Marines are attacking the village,and,the only success of the night for the Egyptians,saw them driven back-a very small hurrah!!

On my left flank,to try and stop Brian's line from advancing,I have "threatened" his end company with my Lancers-however,they too were shot to hell,and then Brian had the audacity to send his lancers onto their flank-the resulting morale test saw them taking off at a rate of knots,into the desert shouting "we're off to polish our tarbushes"-I'm sure there's a dirty joke in there somewhere!!
Things were not looking good for the Egyptians at this point.

Brian ordered the charge,and the Crimson Tide(I like that phrase!!) surged up the hill like a tsunami of death(I'm really getting into this poetic business!!) but will the Egyptians put up a good fight and drive them back down the hill??

Er,no!! the aftermath of the charge can be plainly seen-two officers and a Gatling gun is all that remains of the Egyptian force!!-oh well,there's always another day!
This was an interesting game,and with hindsight I should have given the Egyptians a better fighting/morale chance by increasing their points,but Brian did brilliantly and his plan of attack was good-roll on Sunday,we have decided to keep the desert theme and field Brian's Ancient Egyptians against my Pa'Arasites.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Roman Forts in the Lake district.

For our 45th Wedding Anniversary,my wife and I decided to go to Ambleside in the Lake District,which just happened to have a Roman Fort beside the Lake(Windermere) and another a few miles away at Hard Knot Pass-My car couldn't manage to get up the very steep pass(1 in 3!!) even using 4 wheel drive!! so I had to settle for Ambleside Fort or "Galava" as the Romans called it,here are some photo's of the signs put up by the National Trust,who look after it.

These are the best signs I've seen at British Roman ruins/sites-very informative,and placed right next to where the actual ruins are.

Unfortunately it wasn't worth taking any photo's of the remaining stones,but you could see the outlines and trace the fort from the signs-it's a pity that some Government body can't give a grant to some organisation who could then rebuild, even part of the fort,so that we could see what it really was like-the Fort at Arbeila,in South Shields,has had the gate rebuilt and looks great,so why not at other sites?

Anyone interested in looking at the fort at Hard Knot,can Google it-I just wish I had seen it-it looks magnificent.
Well, only three months 'till Christmas Eve,get those pressie lists prepared!!
Roll on tonight,only Brian and I are playing-a Colonial game,pitting Egyptians against red-coated British.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Painting Up-date-Egyptian infantry,Colonial

I don't know if I've mentioned this before,but I am retired: being retired is absolutely great,and means that I don't have to fly down motorways at 100MPH,wearing a suit and stressing to get to meetings and appointments on time!!-does that sound familiar to anyone? No, being retired means that I can concentrate on wargamie-things,like painting,planning and research-proper things!!
So in record time I have finished my "Egyptians",and no doubt they will be on the board as soon as possible.

Here are two shots of the completed units-very simple to paint,but effective "en masse"

The Brigadier,"Mustapha Krap"-we'll see how he does next week,against either the British troops or the Mahdist troops-either way he'll probably lose his command and/or his life!!!

Last night an old friend of mine,Ian,phoned up asking if I had any info. on Roman legions and Auxiliary cohorts stationed in and around the Wall area,because he is doing research for an Open University Degree,and has been tasked with finding out about a "Funerary Stone" found beside the Wall,well,whilst looking for info. I came across this photo,tucked away inside a very old book-and I think it is of another good friend of mine,Paul Kirby,who,coincidentally,is going to take part in our planned game on the 10th October-Paul,I will bring this photo along for you to keep.

This was taken,about a thousand years ago,at an exhibition of Roman tactics at Corbridge.I know some interesting people,and,some interesting people know me!!!!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Ramilles 1706-Cavalry battle

Last night we tried out the terrain and number of squadrons we have for the cavalry side of Ramilles which we are staging on 10th October.We were joined by Graham,who we met up with at Gateshead Stadium,and who had some good input to the game,along with great feedback from both Paul and Brian.

This is how the table looked before any movement-in the foreground is the village of Taviers,defended by some Swiss troops,with Ramilles in the centre-for the game we only concentrated on the cavalry and Taviers.

This is the French cavalry,interspersed with infantry-there were 16 squadrons in this sector of our table,with another 4 Bavarian squadrons to the left,which could be called upon at any time.

This shows,for want of a better word,the British cavalry(actually Dutch and Danish)-again 16 squadrons with another 8 in reserve and on the left flank,supporting the attack on the village of Taviers.

After a hard night's fighting,this is how the table looked,with the cavalry,in the background,locked in combat and the village under attack-very spectacular!
We did encounter a few logistical problems,and came up with various solutions,but in the end we decided to keep with our tried and tested methods,which are both simple and easily understood(we are very aware that all the players will not have played our "rules" before and will be relying on us to keep them right)

One final shot of the action-with this many squadrons and an accompanying 25 regiments of infantry per side,we hope the whole game will be a spectacle and enjoyed by everyone concerned.Roll on the 10th October!!
I mentioned in a previous blog that I am painting some Turks, as Egyptians,for my Colonial Sudan set up,and am indebted to Brian for "lending" me some brushes to finish these figures-I will get my own this week sometime!!

These two shots are of the first completed unit-all I have to do is to "flock" their bases.

Second unit (with "fez" painted) well on the way-probably get it finished today,and the third possibly tomorrow-it's great being retired you know!!
Roll on Thursday,possibly only three of us again,and probably a Carthaginian vs Roman game,at Paul's request.

Friday, 11 September 2015

San Francessca Convent 1090-Spain

I'm not usually reduced to tears whilst playing a game,but last night,the "Devil's Duo" or the "Satanic Twins" ie Brian and Paul succeeded in reducing me to a tearful wreck!!-During our games we have a mechanism that allows you to "kill" an officer by throwing a combination of a "5" on an average dice,then throwing a "kill" on a kill/miss dice-now this probably happens about 3 or 4 times during the average game-not last night it didn't!! 13,yes THIRTEEN times it happened to me,leaving my Moorish army a leaderless rabble,and sent it to inevitable defeat at the hands of "El Cid" and his Spanish army-woe is me!!!

Top photo is the scenario,bottom photo is the table before any movement-Paul commanded the left of the Spanish(mostly cavalry),Brian commanded the mainly Infantry on the right-I was in command of the Moors.

My plan was to extend my line of cavalry on my right,to out-flank Paul's heavier types-but Paul was having none of it!! and he also extended his line,using his super-duper Normans-the swine!!

On my left,I have raced two cavalry units into the gap between the hill and the table edge,hoping to get a 2:1 advantage over Brian-I didn't quite manage it but did ok in the ensuing melee,meanwhile my infantry and Brian's move slowly towards each other.

On the Cavalry flank,we both charged into each other,and this is where the Officer slaying began-one after the other they fell off their horses,to cries of delight from both Paul and Brian! and just crying from me!!

On the other flank,my initial success has been marred by Brian reinforcing the melee with a unit of the dreaded Normans,and a mass brawl has erupted,which I am losing.This put me in a most perilous position,because if he kept winning he would eventually get into my rear(no jokes please,this is serious wargaming!!)

On my right flank,my cavalry line is being fragmented,and without an officer in sight,my morale is bound to suffer sooner or later(I think it may be sooner!!)

Hurrah!! my infantry has charged into Brian's static formation,and the melee is going my way,if only I can keep my officers away from the Demonic Dice throwing of Brian.Well,no I couldn't and they fell like "nine-pins" putting a dent in my morale -once again,woe is me!!

Now my infantry line is being fragmented!!I am moving the "Black Guard" onto Brian's flank,but methinks a"tad" too late-all is lost!!

This shows the disarray on my right flank,Paul's cavalry are all over me like a "Friday Night Rash"-time to call a halt to this humiliation-would they accept a draw?-does that two finger gesture mean two draws??
This was good game,loads of excitement,colour and bloody lucky dice throws!!
Roll on Sunday,we will be trying out the cavalry part of Ramilles,to see how it works out before our planned re-fight on the 10th October.