Friday, 30 October 2015

Battle of the Brax Valley 320BC.

Before the blog,a history lesson-the Suebii were a ferocious,fearless,barbarian tribe from the depths of Germany;everyone feared them,they scorned death,and the only thing that worried them" was if the sky were to fall on their heads".Well,that was before the Dreaded Brian the Terrible took command of them!!-read on.........................................

The scenario,and map-Brian(the Terrible!) was in command of the Germans(proud and fearless warriors) I commanded the Northern Tribes(Dacians) and Paul was the split personalities of Antipater and Lysimachus!!!!

The table before any movement-it looked spectacular,although the first barrier(note the word,FIRST!) to the Germans seems to be an enormous clipboard!

The Germans(commanded by Brian the Terrible) start to cross the stream on their out-flanking mission-Brian's orders/objective were to cross the stream and out-flank the Successors-a simple enough task for a fearless,Barbarian horde,surely(?)

In the face of light opposition,the brave and fearless German warriors stopped at the water's edge,and I could swear I heard one of them screech in alarm,in a "girly" voice "ooh,I'm not crossing that stream it's got nasty tadpoles swimming in it!!"-SECOND barrier!!!!

Meanwhile,on my left flank,my cavalry and Paul's clash into one another-this swung back and forth for most of the battle,with units of infantry being fed in to bolster when necessary!

Paul was feeling "Gung Ho"(a gorgeous little Chinese lady of easy virtue!!) and decided that he would abandon his ridge and cross the valley to attack my Tribesmen-he would be at a great advantage in the first round of melee with his Pike-armed Phalanx!!
My right flank was waiting for the Germans(fearlessly led by Brian the Terrible) to attack across the stream before they advanced-they were in for a long wait!!

The German warbands are queuing up to cross the stream in this shot,but a "girly" screech went up saying "ooh look a nasty frog!! we can't possibly cross the stream until goes away!!" and so the warbands looked on as I took on the whole of the known world!!!-THIRD barrier.

In the centre I am fighting for my life,as Paul's Phalanx is "chewing" me up,but on the far left I am making headway,and it looks like I could out-flank Paul,and win the game-if only he doesn't reinforce that flank(!!!!)

What's this? a German warband is across the stream!!(apparently they were chasing a Kingfisher bird to get its feathers for decorating their hair!!) However they have hit the FORTH barrier in the way of an Elephant!!-no need to worry though,after two rounds of melee,the Elephant went on a rampage,unfortunately,towards my lines-bloody hell!!!!-surely Brian the Terrible will reinforce the winning warband and start to amass his Germans on the Successor side of the stream and win the game(!?)

Oh hell,three tons of uncontrollable flesh coming at me at a rate of knots(sounds like my wedding night!!)-this of course upset my cavalry who had to flee out of the way,opening up my right flank-woe is me!

Paul's phalanx is pushing my tribesmen back into the woods,and all is lost in the centre!On the left Paul has reinforced the cavalry melee and is also driving me back-all depends on the ferocious and fearless Germans led by Brian the Terrible,no more barriers please!!

FIFTH barrier-sticklebacks!!!

SIXTH barrier-slimy mud!!
All is lost,time to change sides! Brian had the audacity to ask for a draw-I offered him "water wings" to get his troops across the stream!!
This was by any standards a great game,full of laughs,hard fighting and it looked good,apart from a win,what more could you want from a wargame?
Roll on Sunday,don't know what type of game yet.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Battle of Brundersberg 1757.

We get very "used" to putting on rather large and spectacular-looking games at our small club(it's just because I have the time to spend on the games!) but last night's game,involving Paul's Austrian army and my Prussians and Russians,combined with Brian's Hanoverians was up there with the best.

This game has literally been planned for months,but we haven't been able to get it sorted until last night! I changed one or two things about the terrain and troop dispositions,but the main theme was kept.Brian was Russian commander,Paul was Austrian commander,whilst Graham and I took combined command of the Prussians and Hanoverians.

A happy Paul is surveying his troops-he had to start the game in column of march,along with Brian's Russians .

Graham and Brian in deep discussion-Brian's "marooned" troops were a bit of a concern to him,especially as he had limited ammunition for his gun batteries(as it happened this didn't really matter,as he lost one battery early on in the game,and he had thrown a high dice to determine the number of shots he had with his other gun!!)

Graham had decided to march all of his Hanoverians and two units of Dragoons across the bridge to attack Brian's small,but beautifully formed, force-he was later to regret this move-talk about a sledgehammer to crack a nut!!!!

Graham's Dragoons have charged one of Brian's batteries,and,despite being cannistered and losing an officer,he bravely put his Brigadier in charge and completed the charge,destroying the battery-hurrah!!!
Brian has been behaving very strangely lately,I hope he doesn't start standing with his hand on his hip..................

Oh my God,he's turned!!!! stop it Brian,stop it!!
The Russian Dragoons have counter-attacked and Graham is in trouble-a fire-fight has broken out on the far flank,and the Hanoverians are not doing well-still Graham's got enough troops over there to finish the Russians off-hasn't he?

Meanwhile on my flank and centre,both Paul and I have moved forward and a furious fire-fight is in progress.Paul has moved an Austrian battery onto my flank and is giving me hell!!

In this shot I am moving a brigade through the field to try and out-flank Paul's Austrians,however Paul is too good a wargamer to allow this to happen,and countered this move with a brigade of his own-the swine!!!

Paul "retired"(it's good being retired!) some cavalry in the centre of his line,which caused a gap to appear between his Austrian troops and Brian's Russian troops,and, sensing victory,I ordered my Cuirassiers forward into the gap,hoping to win the game in one fell swoop(fool!!)

A general shot of the table-movement and firing and melees going on along the length and breadth-great stuff!!

As my heavy cavalry crested the ridge,they were subjected to a flank fire from Brian's Russians who had been ordered forward to fill the gap left by Paul's retiring(it's good being retired) cavalry-this caused them to take morale,they failed,and back they came!!
On my left,my infantry are being shot to pieces-despite being given an extra one onto their initial dice throw for firing,and are being slowly driven back!-this is not looking good,but Graham,with all of his troops,will surely win his flank(?)

No!!! working on a narrow frontage,the Hanoverians couldn't get all of their fire power into play,and being matched one against one,with Brian throwing the better dice,they were getting beaten.
A mass cavalry brawl was taking place on the left of the river,and once again the Hanoverian cavalry were not doing terribly well!!(ie were getting "hammered!!)
With my flank in tatters and the centre looking like it would have to form a defensive line against the cavalry,and Graham's attempted attack across the river failing,we had to admit defeat,and hand the victor's laurels to Brian and Paul-well done lads,we all played well and enjoyed the spectacle.
Roll on Thursday-don't know what we'll be putting on yet.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Warrior Saxon Army-"modifications"

Having been "inspired" by a recent game at Charlie Wesencraft's house,I decided to build up a Saxon and Viking army. Being a P.O.P.(poor old pensioner) I wanted a large army at a very reasonable price,so naturally turned to Warrior Miniatures,who duly did me a good deal,and two days after ordering the first 100 figures,they turned up at my door!!
As I inspected the figures,it became apparent that,for ease of casting,all the figures had their shield arms extended,so that the shields were being held at an awkward and historically incorrect angle.My belief in life is that there are no such things as problems,only solutions!
The solution was very simple and very quick-cut off the shield arms,file the "stump" flat and having filed the back of the shield flat,re-attach it by using a tried and trusted method of "No Nails" and Supaglue!!

A Huscarl and Fyrd figure,as they come,shields held awkwardly.

After a quick "snip" and file and glue,hey presto!! shields held to the front.
I left about half of the figures in their original pose for variations sake,but added different shields and weapons from my "stash" of items gathered over the years.

Some different shields and weapons attached.

A few painted,I have gone to town with the shield designs-note all of these have their shield arm extended!!

These have all been "modified"-quite a difference!

A different shield has been added to this figure and the following one.........

One last photo of some "modified" Fyrd ready to undercoat.........

No such things as problems-only solutions!!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Last Throw of the Dice for Boudicca 62AD

By way of a change,and by popular demand,we decided to have a game this morning,instead of tonight.Allan,Graham,Brian and I had a right old "ding,donger" of an Ancients game......

Top photo is the scenario,bottom one is the table before any movement.Brian and I were the Roman commanders and Graham and Allan were the Britons-the objective was very clear-just beat each other!!!

Brian very carefully off-loads his Elephants,hoping to smash the opposition with their fearful trumpeting(and Brian knows all about fearful trumpeting!!) and awesome appearance!!

This shows my left flank,with Allan's troops moving very cautiously forward,meanwhile on the other flank,Graham and Brian are already engaged!!!

Brian's auxiliary infantry are meleeing with Grahams leading warbands,with the Elephants moving sedately forward-no rush Brian,you just take your time!!!

I do wish Graham wouldn't stand like that! but he's sending his second line of warbands against my cohorts-is he mad???

With Brian's flank in full swing,and Graham attacking my centre,aided and abetted by Allan,the Romans are going to have their work cut out-but we are Romans,and can't be beaten(can anyone see where this is going?)

Brian's flank is looking rather denuded of troops,but his Elephants are now fighting-hurrah!!they can't be beaten,not by a measly band of savages!!

Oh yes they can!!-with the Elephants losing the melee,they had to take a morale test,failed and ran amok off to the left!!-help!!!

Allan,choosing his moment carefully,unleashed his Infantry,cavalry and chariots against my line of cohorts,this gave Graham time to retire his warbands and prepare for another assault against my centre.

Graham's second assault saw off two of my cohorts leaving an ugly hole in the line,into which he poured his warbands!!
With Allan pressing my left flank hard,and Brian's flank collapsing at a rate of knots,we did the only thing we could and asked for a draw!!-no chance was the reply-oh well,what do we want Britannia for anyway,it's cold,wet and the natives aren't friendly,let's go back to Rome and get crucified-it's better than staying here!!!
This was a good game,played in grand style.Well done to Allan and Graham(and well played Brian!)-roll on Sunday,probably a 7YW game.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Celebrity Gossip Response.

I hope that the "papps" keep away from my door-this same photo was published a few years ago in the Evening Chronicle too-must be a slow news day!!
The event was a very early Wargames show,organised by Derek Sharman at Durham Castle,and featured my 7YW 40mm armies re-fighting the battle of Blenheim-good old days,and I still have those figures(about 1200 of them!) for sale!!!
On the strength of my new found fame and fortune,I have bought a new car..........Does anyone recognise the make??

Celebrity Gossip

You know how life seems to be so glamorous for the chosen few?

Have you that feeling that fame and fortune has passed on by, just inches away and kept on going ....  well I can understand fully.

Whilst we enviously look on at the chosen few there are those who's footsteps are not only steeped in fame and possibly notoriety, but somehow they manage to have the occasional renaissance.

Who can this waffle be about?....  which stellar or should that be (stella) personality would warrant a mention on our humble pages? 

I will explain .... particularly as I understand that breath can only be held for a limited period given the advanced age and health of our readers!   

I was passed a copy of a supplement from a local Sunday rag which may be renowned for lurid and sensational exposes.

A compromising photograph was there for all to see.... not quite akin to Keeler, Perfumo etc however, I'll let you be the judge.

There for all to see is our very own John William Coutts, sandwiched between Tommy Cooper and Boy George (he's on top!)

The article is to celebrate events in 1983 in the North east. 

John was showing his beautiful little soldier ....... now then missus oooohh

Seven Years Was semi flats that occasionally descend from the loft.
Brilliant stuff, well done John. 

Monday, 19 October 2015

Battle of "The Sconce" 1644.

Last night,Brian,Graham and I had an English Civil War game which turned out to be one of the best E.C.W. games we've had in a long time.
Brian and Graham commanded the Parliamentarians,whilst I took sole command of the Royalists.

This is the scenario and map which we worked off,all troops were in positions as shown at the start of the game.

This shows the table before any movement,Graham's red-coated brigade is still in column moving on the right of the hills.The ship had a gun on board but only had two shots.

Brian was given the objective of capturing "the Sconce",and Graham was tasked with capturing the Port,so no conferring was necessary,and away they went!This shows their initial moves,both attacking with alarming speed!!

I had decided that my "high water mark" would be the road,so moved my White Coats cautiously forward,supported by my cavalry,out of shot but to my left-Brian is coming on in grand style,but his infantry "appear" to be moving to my right,and avoiding "the Sconce".I was wondering if I should move troops to counter Brian's move,but decided against it,which proved  a good decision!

The "swine!!",Brian has swung his attack against "the Sconce" whilst Graham's troops have opened fire on Portsby,they are both putting me under pressure.I have moved my cavalry close to the hedges,to counter Graham's cavalry,who are moving in the centre of this photo.

Graham is too close for comfort now!!-he has driven my Dragoons away from the hedges,and his superior fire power is beginning to tell in Portsby itself!!

Brian is attacking "The Sconce",and a fire-fight is taking place on my far left.Just out of shot,Graham has moved his cavalry to face mine-this is posing a threat,but I am confident that he won't charge,and his move is a "bluff".

WRONG!!-Graham did charge,catching me "on the hop"-my troops at the hedges had to go into defensive formation,which subjected them to musket fire from Graham's infantry on the other side of the hedge-woe is me!!
Brian is attacking "the sconce" in great numbers now,I had better watch what I am about!!

The position in Portsby is untenable,my morale is suffering,and eventually Graham swept into the town,driving my defenders back,he is also doing well in the cavalry melee,and has broken through the hedges-what else could go wrong??

Well,back at "the sconce"Brian is just about to break in after a fierce fire-fight,which so weakened my troops,that a morale test forced them back.On the far left,in desperation,I am sending my elite cavalry forward against Brian's,in the hope that I can stem his forward momentum!!

I did!!-hurrah,but all along the line my troops are retiring,"the sconce" has been captured and the town is in Parliamentarian hands........

One last photo,showing the state of the Royalists,with nothing left to fight for,the Parliamentarians were declared the winners!-well done to Brian and Graham.
This was a good game and far from easy for the Parliamentarian army-I was in a good defensive position,and in hindsight,I should have reinforced the town early on in the game,but hey ho!! there's always another time.
Roll on Thursday,we'll probably be playing in the morning because Graham has asked for a game through the day,as he has got some time off work this week,and you never know,we might have another game at night as well-it's great being retired you know!!