Monday, 14 August 2017

Battle of the Kipchaqu camp 1240AD.

Last night saw our second attempt at staging a game involving my Mongol army,against a combined Russian and Kipchaqu army.

Top photo is scenario and background info. and bottom photo is the table before any movement.
Because Brian was still feeling not quite at full potential(!) and Graham is on Holiday in Norway,it would have been up to Dave and Paul and I to play the game,however we had a surprise visit from Charlie Wesencraft,who bravely accepted the Kipchaqu command,so Paul took the part of the Russian commander,whilst Dave and I were the Mongol khans!!

No comment!!!!

This shows the objective of the game-the Kipchaqu camp-Charlie is just about to launch an attack on Dave's advancing  troops,whilst moving his Polish knights into a position on the central hill.

As Charlie advances,Dave has ordered his force to sweep to the right,leaving the Kipchaqu archers with an exposed flank,which(,Charlie didn't know this),is where my force of heavy and light cavalry are coming onto the board!!)

Here they are!!-Charlie ,wisely, beat a hasty retreat,leaving Paul,who had just come onto the board at points A and C,in a bit of a quandry,as he now had very little fire-power support!

As Paul's Russians, from point A,move into position,Charlie launched a grand attack on one of my isolated Mongol heavy cavalry units on the central hill,whilst at the same time containing my other units with a Kipchaqu charge and archery-this was touch and go for a while,but superior morale and weapon capability(but not dice throwing!) eventually saw the Mongols triumph!!

Meanwhile,Paul and Dave were having the most tremendous struggle,as Paul's troops from point C made their prescence felt,even though he was "out-gunned"(ie archery!) he was giving Dave a hard time,and Dave was forced to put Jebe and his Guard into the fray!!

This shows the central hill,and the Russians from point A,melees galore and arrows whizzing everywhere!!-eventually the Mongols were victorious,and my light cavalry attacked the camp,which couldn't put any worth-while resistance,and the Mongols were declared the winners-hurrah!!

The camp about to be assaulted by the light cavalry,with just a token force of Kipchaqu cavalry opposing them!

After the game has finished,Paul and Dave are discussing tactics,fire-power,weapon capabilities,morale and movement,meanwhile............................

The "Chuckle Brothers" are discussing knees!!!!!
This was an interesting battle,and I was quite pleased with the way the armies are handling,however there may be a danger of no-one wanting to fight against the Mongols if we don't give the opposition a better chance of winning-although,historically,the Mongols almost always won!!-the next battle will be a set-piece one,so we'll see how it goes.
Roll on next Sunday,probably an Ancients game,or a Napoleonic game,followed shortly by a WW2 game-we are going to be busy!!

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Castle Roddis 1100AD.

After spending a traumatic day at the R.V.I. with my wife who had a successful,but not straightforward, cataract operation,I am now back on track to deliver this blog on our great game on Sunday!

The usual scenario and table before any movement.
Because Brian reported in as "sick" with a damaged knee(rumour has it that he dropped his wallet on it,causing major trauma!!) it fell to Graham and I to be the Normans and Dave and Paul to be the Crusaders.

Game on! as both sides manoeuvre their troops into position-this is the left of the Norman position-the village is held by enthusiastic,but not good fighting men,known as "Peasants".

As I was moving my light infantry into position on the right flank,Paul had the audacity to charge down from his defensive hill!!!-the ensuing melee went on for about 3 moves,neither of us wanting to give ground-marvelous stuff,great knife-edge wargaming.

This is an over-head shot of the "developing" left flank-someone has got to order a charge soon!!

They both did!!-this was spectacular,and again neither side was willing to give way,but Graham has sneaked a unit of knights into a position on Dave's flank-could this be the winning tactic??

Meanwhile, on the right,I have isolated and surrounded part of Paul's cavalry-hurrah!!,however my infantry are trying to beat Bolt and Farrah,back to the castle,as Paul threw a number of devastating dice ,to mince my lights and heavies!!!-come on Graham,it's up to you now.

A wonderful photo of my troops "fleeing" towards the castle-how's Graham doing?

Well,as the cavalry battle rages on(note flank attack!) his infantry,who,initially were doing great, are being forced back-so Graham decided to put his infantry commander into the fray-and got him killed!! resulting in another stampede towards the now crowded castle!!-things are not looking good for Robert de Roddis-there were shouts for him to throw himself off the battlements at one point!!!

The final straw-Graham's cavalry are beaten,and it was decided that the "Safe Passage Tax" was probably a bad idea,and that the Crusaders could get themselves off to the Holy Land asap!!!!!

One final shot of Castle Roddis-there should be a White Flag flying from the tower,shouldn't there??
Another great game,pity Brian couldn't make it-apparently he has pulled his hamstring-get well soon,mate!
Roll on next Sunday,we will be playing another Mongol game,but involving Kipchaq troops as well as Russians!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Battle for Sunday 6th August 2017.

In an unprecedented move away from my "normal" way of reporting our battles,I thought I would show some photo's before we fight this battle on Sunday.

Top photo is the scenario,and bottom is the initial lay-out of the troops,as the "boys" will see it on Sunday.

This is the "Crusader" right flank,facing........................

The Norman left flank!!!

The Normans debouching from the Castle-light troops to the right,heavies to the left!-the village is manned by peasants(very keen,but not very good!)

The "tail-end" of the Crusader column,formed and ready to fight!

A close-up of the Crusader right flank cavalry(they have a look of "El Cid" Spanish to me!)
I hope these photographs have whetted your appetite for Sunday's game.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

New Paint Source?

Feeling rather brave and adventurous The Wife and I donned our fur coats,loaded our shotguns,and made ready our harpoons,and went to Cramlington today!!
In the Manor Walks shopping centre,we visited a shop called The Yorkshire Trading Company,specifically to buy a new table cloth,but whilst "mooching about" I found,in the Paint Section, a range of paints-and as I needed some black paint,I took a gamble on one of the following pots..........................

It's 20ml,compared to 12ml for Citadel,and 17ml for Vallejo.

They stock a good range of colours too!

This is the best bit!-£1.99,compared to £2.55 for Citadel and £2.40 for Vallejo!!-it's a" no -brainer"as far as I'm concerned!!
In the background you can see some just-painted horses-good coverage and dries quickly,plus the usual wash your brushes in water-in fact everything that the "rival" paints do(but cheaper!)

Monday, 31 July 2017

Battle of Mohi 1241AD.

By way of an introduction to the Mongol invasion of Europe in the 13th Century,I put on this fascinating battle for the lads,last night.As well as the battle,I introduced some "authentic" Mongol tactics,and movement rates,to show how these people dominated the Eastern European countries at the time.

Top photo shows the battle,as per the historians,bottom is the table before any movement.
Dave was Khan Batu,I was Subutai,Paul was Rembald(Templars) Graham was Coloman(Croatian) and Brian was King Bela 4th(Hungarian)
I wanted to play the battle from the moment when the Hungarians realised that the whole Mongol army was crossing the bridge at Mohi,and not just a raiding party!!-consequently,Graham and Paul are advancing in column to assist the bridge defenders,and Brian has to decide whether or not to support them!!

As Paul and Graham advance,the bridge defenders are being hammered by catapults,throwing explosives(!!) and forced to retire,allowing the main Mongol force to cross at the bridge.

My force is now threatening Graham's flank,forcing him to turn and face me-the same is happening on Paul's flank-can the Hungarians form up in time?-and what has Brian decided??

He has decided to come out and help the allies!-with 5 units of heavy cavalry,he has a good force,and should tip the balance in favour of the Hungarians-as long as the Mongols are willing to engage,and not keep at a distance and shoot arrows at the slow moving knights(as if they would!!)

After a preliminary "bombardment" with arrows,the Mongols are slowly surrounding the hapless knights of Paul and Graham-where is King Bela 4th?

At last Brian has launched his knights against the Mongols,but Paul and Graham's forces are wiped out,and Dave is adding his victorious troops to mine,to complete the victory-it was only a matter of time now!!

As Brian is putting up a token resistance,Dave is moving his catapults into position,ready to bombard the camp,and has moved all of his troops to my assistance(what a lovely man!)

One final shot of the "de-nuded" camp,about to fall-all of the figures in the background are "casualties"
This was a rude awakening to the rest of the club,who,I hope, will now do a bit more reading on this fascinating period of history,because I do intend to keep putting the Mongol Hordes on the table-beware!!!

Graham has been busy painting Napoleonic figures,and is making a damned fine job of it too.....

Whilst Napoleonics is not my favourite period,I will put on a game if anybody asks me to(hint,hint!)

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Last Word on Norman Castle.

I have now stuck the "layout", as provided in the kit,onto a hardboard base,added a bit of flock,and the whole thing is now complete,and just needs a scenario to fit into!!

The pieces are still separate for ease of storage-I am,I must admit,quite pleased with the finished article.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Marlburian battle.

Last night we fought a battle without a name!!-I've had a bit of a hectic week,so just "threw" some figures onto the table added a bit of terrain,and hoped for the best-and it worked a treat!!!-we had the most exciting game we've had for a while,involving good tactics and lots of manoeuvering-wonderful stuff.

This is how the table looked before any moves-I was in charge of the Franco/Bavarians,in the foreground,whilst Brian and Paul commanded the English/Prussians/Austrian/Dutch army!

Off we go!-the marsh would halve movement and disorder any troops trying to cross it,so it was,I suppose, a "no-go" for both sides,but with just a hint of "maybe!"-in the centre my French are advancing onto the central ridge-my Bavarians had orders not to advance against Brian's Dutch until the main French troops had made contact with the Austrians,commanded by Paul in the centre.

Action in the centre!-I have moved my cavalry in a "feint" towards the Prussians,hoping to lure Paul out of position-no chance!!-however I am tying down a sizable force by "demonstrating" against the marsh!!-but now my Bavarians can attack Brian's position-hurrah!!

A quick volley,followed by a charge against the walled enclosure,should discomfort the Dutch,and win the flank!!!!

Well,the quick volley was okay,but the charge just "bounced"-and after a couple of rounds of frantic melee,the brave Bavarians were sent packing!!!-woe is me.

This shows the state of play at about move number 6-I am winning the fire-fight in the centre(although Paul is moving reinforcements to assist the Austrians) but my attack against the Dutch has stalled,and an impasse still exists on my left flank!-send in the cavalry????

My Provincial French infantry gaze across the marsh!!!-nothing to do,unlike the centre,which is now ablaze with action!!!

Paul has moved troops on to my flank,but my French are still holding on,and officers are dropping like flies-where are the cavalry?-someone must make a move soon!!!

We both did!-braving volley and cannister fire,my cavalry charged into Paul's-wonderful stuff!
The ensuing melee was a draw,but Paul's centre was in danger of collapse,Brian's flank was holding on,and the impasse on my left was always going to be there,so we decided,after 13 moves,that draw was a reasonable result!
Great game,played in a great spirit,using correct tactics-what more could you ask for from a wargame??(well a win would have been nice!)
Roll on next Sunday,we will be re-fighting the battle of Mohi 1241-Hungarians against Mongols-I have asked the lads to do a bit of research on the battle,so they know what to expect.