Thursday, 29 December 2016

Fort Panache 1754.

To relieve the boredom of the days between Xmas and New Year,and the disappointment of "Time Commanders" we decided to have a short,sharp and fun game last night.................

Top photo is the scenario and bottom photo is table lay-out before any movement.
We picked sides and Brian was in charge of the British,Graham was in charge of the Rangers,whilst I took command of the French and Irish,leaving Paul to command the Indians.

Brian opened the proceedings with a fantastic attack along the whole line-initially his firing was far better than mine,and I worried in case the scenario would fall apart after three moves!!!
Brian had a waggon full of gun powder at his disposal,which he could push up to the fort gates and blow them down,but he elected to postpone that delight until later on in the game.

Meanwhile,in the woods,the Rangers and Indians were getting stuck into it!!
What both sides didn't know was that there were two Bears hidden in the trees,who would attack any troops venturing too near them!!!-oh how we laughed when they did!!!(if you look carefully at the top right hand side of this photo you can see one of them running away after "biting" someone!!)

The local Indian barber decides to give this Ranger a short back and sides!!

Brian's attack is progressing nicely,and my Irish(who couldn't move until move number 3) are now taking over from the French,who have decided that they have had enough,and are legging it back to France!!!
Brian has deployed his "burning waggon! and although I managed to shoot down the friendly Indians pushing it,they have managed to get it onto the bridge-if it blows up, the fort gates will go with it,leaving the fort vulnerable to assault!!

Back in the woods,all hell is breaking loose!-the Rangers seemed to have laser sighted rifles,and were shooting the Indian chiefs down left,right and centre!!-this was not good for Indian morale(!!)-ie. most of them ran away!!

BOOM!!!-like a scene from the "Italian Job" the doors are off!! however fortunes have turned and I am winning the volley war,leaving Brian with no troops to assault the fort-hurrah!!
Always a tricky thing to do,but sometimes necessary, Brian put his commander in charge of one of his regiments,to stop them retiring(it's good being retired!) and got him shot,forcing his whole command to disappear!!!

With nobody to support,the Rangers gave it up as a bad job,and fell back to the woods,and the game was over!
A good bit of fun was had by all,and the next time we meet will be on the 8th January 2017.
A very happy new year to you all.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Time Commanders-3rd Programme review.

Last night was the last in the "series" of this show,and to be fair,I really can't give an un-biased review because I switched it off half way through!!-why did I switch it off?-well,I can't understand why the BBC would even dream of putting people on the show who didn't have any basic idea of history or basic military terms(eg, infantry,cavalry,flanks etc!!)-the switch off moment came when "Atilla" said he had "axe guys,and sword guys",and at one point he mentioned "mounted foot soldiers"- my wife thought I was having some kind of break-down,as I leapt from my seat,swore,and proceeded to man-handle the television!!!
Wouldn't it have been a million times better to show real wargaming enthusiasts plan the battle,position their forces and then using the correct tactics from the period,fight the battle?
I honestly hope the BBC don't produce another series!
We will be playing tonight-French/Indian wars-sanity returning(I hope!)

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Time Commanders,2nd programme review.

O.M.G!!!!-what the hell was that all about??-talk about a bloody shambles-like the rest of you I must have read a million accounts and books etc. on Waterloo,but I didn't have a clue what was going on last night-I didn't even recognise the terrain,let alone anything else!!
This was a missed opportunity by the BBC to highlight our fantastic hobby-won't be watching the next, and final, one-do I sound p----d off?-you bet I am!!
Any positive comments?

Monday, 19 December 2016

Christmas Game-Plataea 479BC

We had our final game of the year last night and clocked up a 100% turnout!!
As befits this most wonderful time of the year,there were Xmas jumpers and hats,crackers(not us!!) mince pies,hilarious banter and a great game.
Plataea saw a most desperate struggle between Greeks and Persians in history,and it was replicated last night on the wargames table.

This is how the table looked at the start of the game-I had cunningly concealed names in "crackers" and placed them randomly behind each command,so no-one knew what the would be in charge of,and as it turned out Paul,Graham and I were on the Greek side,whilst Dave and Brian were in command of the Persians.

As Graham turned his main contingent of Spartans around to go back and help his mates stuck on the ridge,and Paul moved his Corinthians etc. to assist my Athenians,Dave was putting in a furious attack against my troops!!

Dave's Thebans have made contact with my Athenians-same types fighting is always tense,and this was no exception,the melee swaying back and forth-great stuff.
Meanwhile,in the background you can see that Paul has formed a magnificent line behind me to give full support-I will need it!!

O the other flank,Brian has moved his whole line forward,and,having more troops than Graham,is trying to out-flank him-this is going to be a most heroic struggle.In the gap(mind the gap!) Paul and Dave are battling it out,neither side gaining a real advantage-wonderful wargaming,and nail-biting stuff too!!

Brian's out-flanking move is being held up by slingers,but not for long!-he supported the infantry with light cavalry,putting Graham's Spartans under pressure,and eventually forcing one unit to retire,thus exposing the rest of his line!!!

This shows the struggle between the Spartans and the right-flank Persians-at this critical point in the game,Graham elected to put his commander into the fight,and got him killed!!!-however Spartan pride,and training held up and they stood their ground!!-hurrah!

With light cavalry and infantry behind his lines,it looked as if all was lost on Graham's flank-HOWEVER- good old Graham was up to the challenge,and sent his reserve units over to support his pinned troops,and the flank was stabilised!!-at this point we had to stop for a cup of coffee and a mince pie,because it was so knife-edge!!!

The game resumed,and the Spartans must have really enjoyed the mince pies,because suddenly they started pushing the whole Persian line back-what a reversal of fortunes.-another hurrah!!

With Paul's Corinthians, and their allies pushing Dave's Persians back in the central gap,and my Athenians driving the Thebans back,and Graham winning his flank,it looks all over for the Persians!!

And so it was!Dave and Brian conceded and the Greeks were declared the winners!
By any standards this was a great game,and well played by Paul,Dave,Brian and Graham(and myself?)
It just remains for me to wish you all,on behalf of the Westerhope Wargames Group, a very merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

"Time Commanders" review and report.

Well,that was number one of the series,and I would like to know what you all thought.
I enjoyed the Weapons and Tactics part of the show,and the way the contestants reacted with each other,and of course the Graphics-fantastic!
I didn't enjoy the forced enthusiasm and loud voice of the "Host",Greg Wallace!!-I also had great difficulty following the sequence of the battle-but maybe that's just my age!!! I also think that "Lynette" must have the same fashion adviser as Theresa May,but that really isn't relevant to the programme,but the smug comments of Mike Loades,I thought, were a bit too much.
Overall number one was okay,and I'll watch the rest of the series to see how it goes,but will probably turn the volume down when Greg is talking(sorry,shouting!!)
Comments please.......................

Monday, 12 December 2016

Battle of "The Gates" 218BC

Because Dave must still be suffering from "jet-lag" and Brian and Graham were feeling a bit "dicky", it was left to Paul and I to have a cracking head-to-head last night.

This is the scenario,Paul had come along on Tuesday to see the Roman dispositions,and to draw a map of the table.He then came along last night with his dispositions and a battle plan.

This is an actual photo of our Battle Site-I was on holiday here a few years ago,and the bridge in the centre of the photo is where Hannibal(and Scipio) crossed the Ebro in ancient times-I also crossed it but probably won't be remembered for it!!!!

This shows the siege part of the battle-as soon as the game started,it was deemed that the defenders left the walls,and the Romans could then concentrate on the main Carthaginian army.

For the first 3 or 4 moves both side were manoeuvering and "jockying" for position-this was great stuff,and tested the generalship of us both!!-The "crowd"(ie Graham and Brian) were in awe of the fast and efficient way we conducted this part of the game(I think???)

The armies are now in position,but apart from some minor skirmishing on the far left,nothing has taken place-but it will!!-on the right you can see a Catapult unit-this was manned by "Blind Pew and his motley crew",and managed to hit absolutely nothing in the whole game!!!

Paul is now attacking the Roman positions with gusto(and Elephants and Celts and Spanish and Numidians!)-this was always going to be bloody!

A furious assault by the Celts is under way against the Roman-held hill-but much worse is the line of Elephants awaiting their turn-help!!!-Don't the "crowd" look pleased?

With superior weapons and training,the Celts have been driven away-However,superior weapons and training are no match for a line of 3 ton Elephants!!! who trumpeted and stamped their way through the Roman lines!!!!!

Paul now threw his cavalry into the fray,only to be "bounced" by mine-however this victory was short lived,and his second unit of "heavies" smashed into my line,sowing death and destruction everywhere-woe is me!!

This is my left flank!-where are the Romans I hear you ask-bloody good question!!-a combination of Celts,Numidians and Elephants has driven them off the board,and now I am in real trouble,but my far right flank Legion hasn't be called upon to fight yet-the "crowd" still look pleased!!(there is more than a passing resemblance to the two old guys in the Muppets,I think!!)

Oh dear,how sad,never mind!!! It's all over bar the shouting,as they say-bloody Elephants I say!-with the Carthaginians moving towards my doomed right flank,I gave in and Paul was declared the winner-hurrah!!
This was a good game with lots of moves and "dash" and colour,long may it continue.
Next week we will be playing our Christmas game of Plataea,kitted out in Xmas jumpers and hats-well,'tis the season to be jolly after all!!

Don't forget to watch Time Commanders on BBC 4 tonight at 9pm!!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Time Commanders,and club update.

For those of you who haven't heard yet,"Time Commanders" is coming back to our television screens,starting on Monday 12th December,on BBC4 @9.00pm.
This series is being hosted by the well-known chef ,Greg Wallace,who,I assume, has some interest/knowledge of military history.The pre-view I have seen on You-Tube and on BBC4 looks a million miles better than the last series,and is going to use the latest in CGI,so should be good-there is another surprise in store for us all,but I'll not let the "cat out of the bag".

We will be playing our Christmas game on the 18th of December,and I have chosen the Battle of Plataea 479BC,pitting Greeks against Persians-a very colouful affair is looked forward to!

The top photo is the "blurb" I gave to the lads last week,so that they could do some research into the battle-we won't know until the night who will be commanding what!!
The bottom photo is of 4 recently painted Hoplite units that will take part in the battle.
From the "stats" on our blog,I see that the Russians are at it again!!-we had 1172 "hits" in one day last week!!!-very strange.
Roll on next Sunday-definitely Carthaginians vs Romans.

Monday, 5 December 2016

7Yw battle-40mm.

Last night Paul,Brian and I had a most memorable 7YW battle using the 40mm figures we are taking up to Falkirk in May 2017,and we also tested a couple of new rules we are introducing to get the flavour of this colourful and exciting period.

I commanded the Austrians,whilst Brian commanded the right of the Prussians,and Paul took control of the centre and left of the Prussians-the objective for both armies was to beat the enemy!! for this game we introduced light cavalry and light infantry to see how they would and did work,and as it turned out,they worked very well!

This shot shows my left flank of "Hungarians"-although there is no action going on,I thought I would include the photo because I think they look "nice"

After an initial,and quite ineffective, artillery bombardment,the Prussians and Austrian first lines have advanced and are firing volleys at each other,whilst on the far right flank...............

The Dragoons and Cuirassiers are getting ready to charge each other-this was spectacular to say the least!!!

On the other flank I have sent my Lancers and Hussars splashing across the river to contest the hill,thus driving away Brian's horse artillery and light infantry-hurrah!!-however Brian has also sent his light cavalry against me!!(it must be noted,at this point, that the horse artillery didn't fire one shot the whole game!!)

Whilst the light cavalry were "hacking and stabbing" at each other,I was giving the Prussian infantry a right old "drubbing",forcing one regiment to break-could I now use my advantage in numbers to win the flank?-it would all depend on the light cavalry melee.

The Austrian front line has been pulled back,as has the Prussian front line,and now the Bavarians and British are shooting each other to hell!!-however a worrying development has taken place-in the foreground you can see that Brian's Hussars are driving my Lancers and Hussars back,thus threatening my whole line!!!

My infantry are doing okay,but on the hill,Brian is giving my Hussars a hard time-all looks lost on this flank if he wins this vital melee.

On my right flank,I have won the opening melees,and now both sides are reforming,ready for the final push-this is going to be tight!!

This is what "tight" looks like!!-for a couple of rounds we were equal,then my morale broke,and that was the end-woe is me!

In this shot,you can see the whole table is ablaze with action,but my troops are suffering more than the Prussians-Brian has driven all of my light cavalry from the board,thus threatening to sweep my infantry way as well,so with both flanks broken,and the centre just about holding on,we decided that the victory must go to the Prussians!!

One final photo showing the table at the end of this "cracking" game-well done to Paul and Brian,and roll on next Sunday,probably a Roman vs Carthaginian,but who knows??