Monday, 29 February 2016

Painting update and Marlburian game.

Last night,before we began a most exciting Marlburian game,Dave produced the latest figures from his Italian WW2 collection,and some of the Assaye(Tipoo Sultan) figures which we will be featuring in May at Carronade,in Falkirk.

Italian tanks-Dave insists that "it's easy to paint like this"-oh no it isn't!!!-they look great,he uses washes and black undercoats,and dry brushing-all techniques which are beyond me,I can only look and admire!!

Italian infantry and field gun-same techniques and a real treat for my eyes-all figures and tanks are Perry's-terrific!!

One of 12(?) guns that Dave hopes to deploy at Falkirk-I like the bold,full colour style of painting,the bases are yet to be done,but you can get the feel of what they will look like.....

Deployed!!(c/w LED candle!)-these will look the part,that's for sure.

And a box full of cavalry,three "Native" regiments and a British one(in blue) all figures are Elite Miniatures,big chunky things,and full of movement and action-well done Dave,can't wait for the "dress rehearsal" of the game.
Now for last night's game,involving 6 players,all of whom played a major part in the battle.

Myself,Dave and Brian commanded the Franco/Bavarians,against Paul,Graham and Richard.

The battle commenced with a serious assault against my Irish and French troops,by Paul's Austrians-everything involved-wonderful wargaming!!

AS the battle hots up in the centre,Father and Son look satisfied with their efforts-let's see how they look later on though!!

A combination of Dave's Bavarians and Brian's French are attacking the Allies,Brian did particularly well with his gun battery and brought the whole of the British line(commanded by Richard) to a standstill-hurrah!!

Things are going quite well on my flank,but this was about to change,as Paul brought his infantry up to take on my French-I was out-numbered,but initially I did cavalry,on the right of the shot,actually drove Paul's back,then I ran into his reserves,and I was sent back-"cracking" stuff!!

My Irish troops are taking a bit of a pounding,but Dave,being the gentleman he is, is sending me help in the form of some Bavarians-hurrah!!-the whole line is ablaze!!

The Bavarian reserves are moving up to relieve the battered first line,as Brian is still holding the British line up with a combination of gun and musket fire-surely we can't go wrong now.(??)

Oh yes we can!!-with a slash of cavalry sabres and a flash of musketry,plus some incredible dice throwing from Paul,my troops are,everywhere,beaten!!-woe is me!My flank seems doomed!

Then,in the centre,the "un-thinkable" happened!! to encourage a Bavarian regiment into keeping their place in the line,Dave put his Brigadier at their head,and was promptly shot(in the head?) forcing the whole Brigade to test morale,which they spectacularly failed!! and they left the field!!!!-Brian,in total despair,was lost for words(very rare occurrence!) and almost burst with frustration!!

Paul's Austrians have now completed their out-flanking moves and my troops are running away(or retiring!)-with the Bavarians going home,and the Irish going home,it only left the French to hold onto what little dignity we had left-good old Brian!!!and so the Allies were declared the winners!

One final shot of the centre-oh dear me,well,there's always another day!!probably Thursday!
This was another good game,well done lads.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Thukela River 1881.

O.M.G!! what a game we had last night-Zulu vs British,Brian and I vs Paul(aka nervous shaking wreck!!)

Scenario and table layout-Brian had instructions that he must attack the "Forts" and get across the river before he could call on his reserve regiments,Paul had to defend the "Forts" and the river crossing,whilst attempting to stop the Zulu attacks from my right horn and centre-easy!!!!

What fate awaits you lot?

Oh dear,how sad,never mind!!

As Paul struggled to get his wagons into some sort of laager,my right horn began it's attack,only to be met with murderous rifle fire,and Artillery fire!!!

At the same time as my attack began,Brian attacked the nearest "fort" and met with stiff resistance-Paul is sending the NNC to help out with the defence-tense stuff!!

The NNC have changed the melee!! and the Zulu are being pushed back-come on Brian,get some more stuck in!!!-luckily he did have a few more regiments to spare(!!!) and he piled them into the fray,and eventually forced the NNC back-hurrah!!(note that the flag is still flying!)

My right horn is being battered!-where are the centre regiments?-well,due to a throw of the dice,they arrived on the table on move number 4-will they be too late?

Brian's focus is now on the other "fort",and despite the Gatling gun on the island doing terrible execution,he took this fort with a bit more easily.On the next move the Gatling jammed-oh dear,how sad,never mind!! and had to retire,allowing a river crossing-hurrah again!!

Here comes the Centre!!

There goes the Centre!!-concentrated volley fire destroyed the leading regiments and Paul(as usual!) killed the leading Indunas too!!-I'm going to melt his bloody dice down!!!!!
I am now relying on Brian to pull something out of the bag,to win this game.

Smoke on the thatched roof is always a good sign!!-what of the other one?

Just about to go,I think-well done Brian,now send the reserve across the river and destroy the "intruders".

Most of my regiments are "pinned down" by rifle fire,leaving Paul free to move companies to his right and concentrate on the reserve regiments......................

As my right and centre are leaving the field,Brian's leading regiments are being "bowled over" by the might of the Martini Henry rifle,and RHA-woe is us!!
This was a tremendous game and thoroughly enjoyable,we all like the Colonial period,possibly because of the colour and "dash" of the troops involved,and the un-predictability of the of the result.
Roll on Sunday,probably War of the Spanish Succession(Marlburian)-so,Richard,start reading up  about the period tactics and battles!!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Battle of the Septic Valley.50BC

The "famous five" turned out last night for another thrilling and nail-biting game,that went down to the last move again-great stuff!!

This is the scenario,and initial troop positions-Graham had decided to "sit this one out" so it fell for Richard and I to take on the role of Caesar,and Paul and Brian were Pompey.

This is how the table looked on move number one-Paul has just started a "feint" move to his right,trying to get me to move our reserves in a similar direction,he would then switch this move to his left and attack Richard's troops-however we are too experienced to fall for that,and stayed put!!

This is the first of three steps to Richard losing his flank troops.Attacked by Paul's Gauls(hey,that rhymes!!) he was caught off guard and lost all melees as well as the only skirmish troops on the board(a unit of slingers!)-oh dear!!

Step two,Paul has "lured" Richard's cavalry forward,and into a charge by Elephants!!(could you not see them Richard?-they're big and grey,and have tusks!!!)

Step three,and a suppressed gloat is still a gloat,Brian!!-as the whole of Richard's flank collapses,I am forced to send a couple of cohorts to his rescue-will I be in time?

Although he has formed a beautiful line with his cohorts,Richard's flank is a bout to be assailed by a combination of Gauls,cavalry and Elephants-we need to form a right angled line to prevent this!!

Phew!! just in time,now we'll give them hell(??)-the central cohorts are about to charge each other-this will be bloody.But what of the other flank,where Brian's Africans are facing my Spanish?

My Spanish charged over the stream and took on the Spear-armed Africans,these spears put me at a dis-advantage in the first round of melee,but I held my own(now,now!!) and eventually pushed the Africans back-hurrah!!-But what's that I hear from my right?-Richard is "punching the air" and,dare I say it,Gloating-why????

Because his Elephant has run amok,destroying one of Paul's cohorts in the process-hurrah!

AS the central battle continues,I am marching two of the reserve cohorts,in combination with two of Richard's to secure the left flank-the right is still in jeopardy,as Paul is pressing harder and harder,using all of his reserves.

As the battle for the left flank continues,both side are weakened by round after round of melee-again this will be tight,but my cavalry are now free to intervene,and this would prove to be decisive!!

Elephants and cohorts clash on the flank! but in the centre,a forlorn cry has gone up,from Brian,who was persuaded by Paul,to put his command figure into a cohort to bolster their fighting and morale points-and guess what??,Richards managed to throw the right combination of dice,and killed him!! forcing all of his command to take a morale test,which they all failed!!and a mass desertion followed-hurrah!!-who's gloating now????

However!!on the right flank,Paul is winning everywhere,and morale is going to take the whole flank out,and we've nothing left in reserve-look at the fresh cohorts massing to do just that-woe is us!!

Although we have secured the left flank,and centre,Paul is in such a good position,with fresh troops,that he could sweep forward and take out Richard's troops,so a well deserved draw was declared!!
This was a hard fought and exciting battle,hopefully next time Richard and I will learn from our early mistakes.
Roll on Thursday-no idea yet of a game,watch this space!!

Friday, 19 February 2016

Battle of Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellen Bogen By the Sea.1760

The name of last night's battle is taken from the title of a popular song from 1954,which only "veteran" and long-in-the-tooth wargamers will recognise!! but it did not detract from an absolutely cracking game.

Paul and Brian were jointly in charge of the Prussians,and I was sole commander of the Russians.Objectives were set,the Prussians had to hold onto the village(I refuse to type out that mouthful again!) as well as capture the Windmill Hill and the Manor House Hill-my objectives were to prevent them!

An opening salvo from the Prussian guns meant that they were going to attack my whole front(it also allowed me to use my new L.E.D. candle "smoke"!!)

My Austrians attacked the village with gusto,and a sharp fire-fight followed,of which the Austrians got the better,aided by some well aimed Howitzer shells,which set a house on fire-hurrah!!

With a "fiery" crackle and much cursing from the Hanoverians,all troops within Half a Measuring Stick,had to get away from the burning house!!-the village was mine for the taking.

But now my whole line was subjected to a determined attack from both Brian and Paul-this shot is taken from Brian's flank-at this stage I wasn't too worried because I had a good position and had reserves,but the "vagaries" of the dice would see my confidence ebb!!

Meanwhile,back at the village,the fire has gone out and Paul is massing his Hanoverians for a counter attack-this will be tight!!

With Brian looking Grim(!!) my whole line is under pressure,however a Grenadier Regiment of Paul's,in the centre,is looking weak,and my Dragoons look to be in a good position to send them on their way home!!

And so they did!!a gap has appeared in the Prussian line-can I exploit it??-In the background Brian has spotted my move and is sending his Dragoons to help Paul-what a nice chap!

At the same time both Brian and I decided that our Heavy cavalry should now get involved,and charged each other.This was good for my cavalry initially,but then Brian threw some great dice and put me on the back foot,forcing me to reinforce the melee,just hold my position!

This shot shows my Dragoons being supported by my reserve Dragoons,trying to exploit the gap left by the retreating Prussian Grenadiers-this move also has prevented Paul's attack on Windmill Hill to get any further forward,and I am now winning the fire-fight.However things are not going too well in the village!! and I am being forced out-woe is me!

My Dragoons are in a beautiful position to sweep all before me to oblivion(who am I kidding?) and with the Hills both still in Russian hands,despite the Village being in Prussian hands and the cavalry battle still not resolved either way,I declared myself the winner,although there was a slight(!!!!!!!!) protest from the Prussians.
This game was played in a great spirit of give and take,correct tactics were employed and was exciting to say the least-well done to Paul and Brian,and roll on Sunday,probably an Ancients game.