Friday, 29 January 2016

Battle of the River Jhat 326BC

Last night we took ourselves off to Ancient India,where a combined Indian force took on the might of the Macedonians led by Alexander the Great.

The usual format,top photo is scenario and bottom photo shows the troop layout before any moves.Paul was Alexander and I was Parmenio,commanding the left of the Macedonian army-I was facing Graham and Brian was facing Paul-bring it on!!!!

This shows our centre and right flank-because of the scenario,we lowered the morale and fighting points of the Phalanx,but kept the Companion cavalry high,hoping they would sweep the Indian cavalry aside and then descend on the Indian centre and win the game-Hurrah!!
What could possibly go wrong???

Brian sent his Elephants across the river,and Paul countered by sending the Phalanx forward to meet them-this was going to be tough!!-we had planned that one unit of Companion cavalry would "test" the Indian cavalry,whilst the other hung back awaiting the outcome of the first fight................

Paul did sterling work with his cavalry,forcing the Indians back,but Brian has a lot more in reserve,and he fed them in,forcing Paul to send another unit to help-nip and tuck!!!!

On my flank I have ordered my Peltasts forward against Graham's light  infantry,and a "ding-dong" of a fight took place!Meanwhile Graham was sending his light chariots and light cavalry against my "blocking force" of Hypaspists,and he ran rings around them!!peppering them with arrows,and forcing them to defend,instead of attacking-woe is me!!

Oh no!! Brian's elephants are winning the melees along the whole line-can Paul get his dice throwing back to "normal" and start winning against them?

YES,was the response-hurrah!! with his Elephants rampaging through his own troops,Brian is looking despondent,but he has a strong line of infantry to take on the Phalanx units,just ready to attack!!-In the foreground,my Peltasts are not doing great,and I am sending a couple of units of Hypaspists to help-things are not looking good for the Macedonians!

Brian's cavalry have chased one unit of Companions off the board,forced another back,and still has three units untouched and held in reserve-what has gone wrong? Meanwhile in the foreground the Indian infantry are winning the melees against the Phalanx-all is lost-can we ask for a draw?

With my flank in all kinds of trouble,and the centre at a stand still,it looks to be the end,but hang on a minute,Paul has started to throw good dice in the centre>>>>>>>>>

Too little,too late I think!-we had to admit defeat,and I'm sure I saw Brian having a sly "gloat" behind his clip board(I hope not-because he will suffer!)
This was such a colorful and exciting game,played in good spirit-well done lads.
Roll on Sunday,don't know what type of game yet.

The Macedonian army was all Warrior Miniatures figures,and the Indian army was made up of Mini-figs and Warrior Miniatures,the Elephants were a mix of Britains Baby elephants and Mini-figs metal elephants.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

"Winter Troops" and Conversions!

It's funny how the human mind works-I'll re-phrase that-It's funny how MY mind works!!
Just after Christmas,Tesco were selling bags of artificial snow,for 25p!! so I bought a bag with no purpose for it,but I knew it would come in useful(my wife says I've got a garage full of things that might come in useful!!).Well,last week I was looking through Lancashire Games catalogue,when I spotted that they do a range of WW2 "winter troops" and this started me thinking that I could paint a few of the one and a half million plastic soldiers left over from my last "solo" games project,to be winter types.Of course winter troops need,yes you've guessed it,SNOW!!
I got 36 of the plastic figures,gave them a couple of coats of white undercoat,then a final white paint job,black for guns and boots,a quick dab of flesh,and hey presto-winter troops!!

Some of the finished troops,just needing that final touch of snow on their bases..........

Hell,that's deep snow!!

Most of them are done,and looking,well,snowy!!

All 36 finished,and I still have enough "snow" left to start my own blizzard!!

See what I mean?? a slight flaw in my plan,and I hadn't noticed this until all the bases were flocked with the snow,there are green glittery bits among the white!!-however my wife tells me that snow actually has the power to refract and reflect light,and that the green glittery bits lend a certain authenticity to the process!!
After I had finished the winter troops,I got to thinking of some other figures that Lancashire Games do-Ski Troops!!now my imagination is far greater than my modelling skills,but I thought I would have a bash at making Ski Troops.........................

I selected 6 figures from my "Plastic Everest",all the same pose-the figure on the left is before conversion,it is holding some sort of tube,which I cut off with a Stanley knife(!!) trimmed the base,and the project was ready to go.

I heated some wire for the ski poles,and shoved them into the figures' hands,I then had to think what I could use for ski's-the solution,which I think is brilliant(?) was to use my wife's Diabetic Test Sticks,cut in two down the middle-perfect!!(I might add that these test sticks were used ones,in case anyone thinks that I am wasting NHS funds!!)

All six done,and ready for under-coating.

Under-coating them was a bit tricky,because I had nothing to hold the figures by! so I held them by their heads and then under-coated the heads separately-clever!!

A quick touch of black for weapons and boots,followed by a splash of flesh on the faces,and the job's a good'un!!

Two final shots of the finished articles-although primarily for my solo games,I might just "roll" them out to the rest of the "Boys" in a TEWT(tactical exercise without troops) type game,but actually use troops!(in fact a tactical exercise with troops!!)
Any comments(good or bad!) would be welcome.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Battle of Fekov,1812 Russia.

Last night we had a large and spectacular Napoleonic game,but it all fell rather flat in the playing of it!!
Richard and I were the French,with Paul and Graham commanding the Russians.I hadn't done my usual scenario and map,so maybe that's why the game lacked direction-who knows?

Richard was in charge of the left flank,and the Guard,facing Paul-the Russian batteries were three guns big,and they played a most devastating  role in the game-we might have to look at their effectiveness!!-Richard did his best but Napoleonics is not his "forte",however he managed to hold the flank until almost the last move-well done to him.

This is my flank(French right) facing the town of Fekov-I had ordered my cavalry to avoid an early melee,but Graham instigated a charge,to which I had to counter!-I always feel that early cavalry engagements are messy affairs,and at 50:50 the chances are that you could lose the game in the first couple of moves and expose the flank-which is what happened!!

A view of the whole table,neither side wishing to take any chances,although my plan was to attack the town on move number 2-Brian ,who was sitting this game out,looks comfortable!

The cavalry battle is not going the Russian's way-time for me to launch my infantry!!

Here they come!!-although suffering casualties from the battery placed in front of the town,I managed to capture it and wipe it out-hurrah!In the background Richard has advanced his Guard to the river bank-I don't know why,but he did!!-this exposed his flank to gun fire from Paul's supporting battery and did massive damage.

This shows the tactical error! however,Richard managed to hold the flank until the last move.

My infantry are attacking Fekov town,but the Russian tactic of sitting back and letting the artillery do the work,has worked(although it made for a "dull" game) and my casualties are growing,and the ensuing melee is a one-sided affair,to say the least!!

My ill-fated attack is shown here-I am soon to be forced into square by the dragoons appearing on the left -woe is me!!-however a well aimed shot from my artillery saw the dragoons off in grand style-hurrah!!

Now here's a tactic you don't see very often-Richard is advancing his cavalry,in column,against infantry squares,with a gun battery in his rear,and another to his front(out of camera shot)-this will forever be known as "Richard's Ride of Death!!"-looks like the end,but at least we tried!!

"La Guarde" is being overwhelmed,and out-flanked-looks like the end alright-but what of my brave troops??

Well,they have been "dubbed" the "Fekov Harriers" and are fleeing for their lives-the end!!
Roll on Thursday!!
The Russians army was 100% old Mini-figs,the French army was a mix of mainly Irregular Miniatures,with a smattering of Greenwood and Ball,Hinchcliffe and a regiment of Perry plastic Guard figures.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Battle of Axilium-Dacia 102AD

Due to me not feeling too well for a couple of days,we didn't play on Thursday night.
I've been put on a course of steroids for a few days,and have a "scan" booked on Tuesday,next week,so hopefully everything will be okay,and normal play will be resumed by next Thursday.
Brian is painting and basing his WW2 stuff,and is enjoying getting back to his old ways.Dave is "badgering" away at the Assaye stuff,and Paul assures me he is going to "get the paints out" and start to either finish his 7YW Austrians, or his WW2 Desert stuff-lots going on,I'm the only one with nothing to paint(at the moment!!!!)
I've been reading some back-copies of the Wargames magazines,and am quite amazed at the number of "new" rule-sets that are coming out every month(or is that day/week?)-do we need them? surely clubs and groups,and individuals can adopt and adapt the myriad of commercial rules on the market already, to suit their needs,because,as has been proved in the past,no one set will ever satisfy everybody! Abraham Lincoln's speech about "pleasing everybody" springs to mind,still,I suppose the Dinosaurs didn't progress,and look what happened to them!!
Roll on Thursday(I hope!)

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Lancashire Games-Super Service.

As a great fan of "clutter" on the wargames table,I ordered some Roman "casualty" figs and some Roman Generals,very late on Monday evening(about 4.30pm.) and the packs arrived today(Wednesday) at 12.30pm!! fantastic service and many thanks to Allan at Lancashire Games.
This shows the Infantry figures,as they come out of the packs-there was a fair bit of cleaning up to do,and the swords were very brittle,and a few snapped when I tried to bend them back into shape.

These are the Generals,and horses-great figures,and really pleased with them.
All in all,I'm pleased with all the figures,and now all that remains is to paint them!!

Monday, 18 January 2016

3rd Battle of Plum Tree Farm 1644.

How can I describe the game we had last night?-easy,FANTASTIC!!!
It was without doubt one of the most exciting and tense games we've had for a while-it could be because I didn't actually take an active part in it!!!

This is the scenario and troop dispositions-Brian and Paul were the Parliamentarians whilst Richard and Graham were the Royalists.Both side wrote out their battle plans and away we went.

This is the table before any movement.Paul and Brian had decided to "mask" the right of the Royalists and make a massive attack on their left,moving all of the cavalry to that flank-this was to prove an error of judgement,leaving poor old Brian with no cavalry support,and,of course,Graham took full advantage of this!!

Brian,without cavalry support,moves forward to engage the "Bluecoats" in the field,whilst in the background Graham is moving his cavalry to fill the gap,and if possible,attack Brian's infantry in the flank,if he ventures too far forward.

Meanwhile,Paul is moving sedately forward against the field held by Richard-this looks good,not too cluttered(yet!!)

A general view of the table,showing the Parliamentarian right flank getting more and more crowded,and Graham's cavalry just about to assault Brian's exposed Infantry!-The Royalist pair look quite pleased with themselves so far.

Clash,and there goes one of Brian's infantry regiments!!!-the other has formed "Square",which Graham rode up to and fired his pistols at them-good tactics,because the Musketeers couldn't fire back at him-Brian is now in big trouble!!

Paul is piling more infantry and cavalry into an already over-crowded flank,and what is worse,his magical dice throwing seem to have left him-he's losing fire-fights and melees,as if he was a mere mortal like the rest of us!!!

Brian has managed to get his troops into line,and the whole flank is ablaze with musket fire,but earlier casualties have resulted in his regiments being weak,whilst Graham's were protected by the field wall,and are gaining the upper hand.

Despite a valiant stand,Brian's infantry are a spent force,and Graham is now turning the attention of his cavalry on to Paul's line.

Paul's ragged line is going to prove no match for the Royalist cavalry,gun and infantry about to assail him-time to call it a day?

YES!!-Brian's flank is retiring to lick their wounds,and the game is over,after 16 moves taking just over 3 hours-great stuff,and well done to everyone.Dave and I,who were "observers" both enjoyed the spectacle and spirit in which the game was played-the only down side,for me,was Richard asking at the end of the game,which side he had been on,Royalist or Parliamentarian!!
Oh well!!!!!!
Roll on Thursday,probably Ancients.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Blogger Statistics!

After I post my blogs I go to the "overview" and "stats" columns to see how we are doing as far as "hits" are going,and I am always blown away by the number of people "hitting" our blog,and where they live-today is no exception,and I thought I would share the current stats. with you all.......................

I find it fantastic that people in all these countries should be interested in what we do in Westerhope,and am so grateful for their support-a million thanks to you all.In total we have had 80,350 hits since we started the blog-long may it continue,thanks again.

2nd Battle of Plum Tree Farm-2015.

By way of a change,and following the club's recent" upsurge" of interest in WW2 and all things "Tanky",I thought I would involve Brian and Paul in my take on modern wargaming and introduce them to my "solo" rules,to see what improvements they need to make when they eventually come to knocking up a set of WW2 rules,together with Dave,Graham and Richard.
I originally fought this game back in December 2014,so had the scenario and terrain already written out.

This is how the table looked before any troops were put on it-as the defender,all my troops were hidden,and cards showing "infantry","tank" or "anti-tank gun" were placed in all the obvious places for defence(ie woods,fields,farm house etc.) but face down so that even I didn't know what was where!!-Brian and Paul were then given an intelligence report ,and from that report they had to make a plan of attack-the objective was to capture the Farm.

Paul is putting in a heavy attack on the Eastern field,where I had a tank-as you can see it burns nicely!!!-I also have an infantry squad in the field itself.

My tank behind the barn has "exposed" itself(now,now!!) because the "seeing" distance was deemed to be 2 of our measuring sticks(about 300mm)-you can see a card in the farmhouse,which hasn't been spotted yet.
Brian is engaging the troops around the Western field and woods.

As Paul is pushing my Eastern troops backwards,I turned over the cards in the woods,and one of them was an Anti-tank gun-hurrah!!(scratch built and crap,but it did the job!) which stopped his leading tank,with just a little bit of help from the bazooka attached to the infantry also in the woods.

This is a general view of the table showing the various actions,and Brian and Paul's battle plan "unraveling" at an alarming rate!!-should have sent the infantry in before the tanks!

The shot of the day!!Brian managed to destroy one of my tanks with this lucky shot-the swine!

My Western infantry,now devoid of tank support,is being attacked by Brian's infantry,who he is supporting with another squad-time for me to retire(oh,I already am!!) and admit defeat.

One final photo,showing the state of both armies-technically I have won because the farm is still in my hands,but realistically,I have only the infantry in the farm left!!!
This was an enjoyable game,giving Paul and Brian something to think about,as far rules go.
Roll on Sunday,we will be fighting the 3rd Battle of Plum Tree Farm,but using English Civil War figures!!-It must be pointed out that all the figures used in the above game were bought from the "pound shop" and cost £5 for 10 tanks and 100 infantry!!