Monday, 16 October 2017

Battle of Hastings 1066.

14th October-that date is written indelibly on every Englishman's heart-why?
1) 951st anniversary of the Battle of Hastings:
2) Cliff Richard's 77th anniversary!!
Now,which one will we be celebrating?-you've guessed it,HASTINGS!!!
Everyone knows the battle and the outcome,but could we change history?well,last night we tried,and had an exhilarating game to boot!!

This is the map we worked off last night-the "English" out-post troops,are mentioned in only one source,that of Gardiner's School atlas of English History(1904) and I thought I would include them to see how it played.




Very interesting!!!
The game started with Brian and I being the Normans whilst Graham and Paul were the Anglo/Saxons.

I opened proceedings by putting in a half-hearted attack  with my light infantry,and then "feigning" a retreat,hoping to lure Graham down the hill-and it worked(eventually!) Paul was a bit disappointed that the shield wall was broken,but shored up the hole from troops in his second line.

As the heavy infantry advanced,William's cavalry stood,just waiting their chance!!

Meanwhile,on Brian's flank,his light troops are advancing(albeit tardily!) trying to lure the Fyrd down the hill,but Paul was having none of it!!

The heavy infantry have made contact,and although the Saxon shield wall had taken casualties from my archers earlier on,they stood their ground and the Normans were repulsed!!

As the heavy infantry stream back down the hill,the cavalry are moving forward into charge range-this is going to be brutal!!!

As the charge goes in,you can see that the Saxons have had to compress their shield wall to compensate for the loss of the Fyrd on both flanks-great stuff!!

Look at that!!-magnificent and stirring wargaming-even with shit,shot and shell coming over the shield wall from the rear troops,the cavalry are winning the melee-will history repeat itself?

YES!!-it's all over,and a hard won victory for the Normans-well done to Brian,Paul and Graham.
Roll on next Sunday-Mongols vs Russians.















































Thursday, 12 October 2017

"Fannying about" and game preview.

As soon as the "soaps" start,I sit my wife down in front of the telly with her box of snuff and a bottle of Gin,and I disappear into the garage(club house!) for a couple of hours.
Invariably,when I re-enter the time capsule that I call home,she asks me(in-between sneezing and slurring!!) what I have been doing-and I invariably reply "oh,just fannying about!"
This begs the question,what exactly do I mean by "fannying about"?
Well,"fannying about" covers a multitude of wargaming sins,such as repairing broken terrain pieces,sticking back on shields,spears,muskets,flags etc,moving things about to create more space,thinking of scenarios,trying out new rules,making things(see previous blogs!) and very occasionally tidying and cleaning the garage!!-all of these things take up an awful lot of my time each night-and I love it!!!
Last night,for example, I tried to perfect(ha!) my simple set of rules for my "mini-tanks" in preparation for any participation game we might do in the future............................



Of course,this turned into a full-blown,and very enjoyable,solo game involving 20 tanks-great fun!!



This lasted about an hour,and was sheer pleasure,and I perfected my "no book-keeping" rules..

I stuck pieces of clear plastic to the bottom of the bases,wrote on the points values with a marker(not permanent!) and when the tanks sustain damage,I just wipe the value off and replace it with the new value-simples!!!-just "fannying about"

As I said in my previous blog,we a re fighting the battle of Hastings on Sunday,so as a bit of a preview..........................


The scenario/map and initial dispositions for both armies,we'll pick sides on the night.

A view from behind the formidable "shield wall" of the Saxons-roll on Sunday,and doesn't the new "battle mat" look good????





































Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Club update,update!!

Having had a bit of a success with my attempt at making a battle mat,I turned my attention,last night,to another cloth which I have had for many years-this one is about 15ft. by 8ft. and a dark green colour.
Using the same method and the same colours(Halfords profits must be soaring now!) I have achieved the following.........................

The cloth in its original colour.

The cloth after the "applejack green" has been sprayed onto it(older readers will recognise the name Applejacks as a group from the 60's!!)

The cloth with "russet brown sprayed onto it-and complete!!


Cloth with bits of "terrain"-it's those bloody tanks again!!

This shows the original cloth with my other recent "projects" ie. explosion,long-length river sections and ruined houses-how I find the time to do "ordinary" things,I just don't know!!!
Both cloths have their own merits,but I think I favour the original light green one-we'll see over the next few weeks,when we will be playing on both.
Roll on Sunday when we will be re-fighting the Battle of Hastings(because its the anniversary on the 14th!)


























Monday, 9 October 2017

Club up-date.

Last night,apart from having a cracking game,Dave also brought up his latest project,a Napoleonic artillery limber and caisson.........................



The figures are from Elite Miniatures,and really suit Dave's painting style-I  particularly like the bases and the attention to detail.



Two more views, from behind-very nice,beautiful models,and well executed(do I sound envious?)


A close up of the gun,showing the fantastic detail,and painting.


Also,a box of WW2 vehicles,which I couldn't possibly begin to remember the names of,SDZ thingies or something like that!!-all for towing heavy guns,I believe-can't wait to see them painted.

Now,from my previous blog,why have I got my nose and mouth covered???????

Well,I have been reading Robbie Roddis' blog and he has just bought a "Battle Mat",so I thought I would have a go at making my own.
I already had a light green sheet which cost about £10,and I bought a couple of tins of spray paint from Halfords,costing £6.99 each,and,following the instructions on the cans,I covered my mouth and nose,and started spraying!!!!

Tins of paint,from the Rover range(only the best!)

After spraying the green,in a sweeping motion,over the cloth,I then did the same with the brown,and the effect was achieved-the ripples are caused by the wind(no Brian wasn't there helping!) blowing through the garage door,which had to be left open in case I gassed myself!

A couple of bits of scenery added for total effect,and "voila! a battle mat,at a fraction of the cost of a commercial one.

Same bits of scenery,from a different angle!

Those tanks get themselves around don't they??
Any comments???













































Battle of Turdenberg 1762.

Last night Dave,Graham,Brian and I had a tremendous game using my 40mm 7YW figures.(this was the last time I could call these wonderful figures my own,because Dave is now the proud owner!)


The top photo is the scenario,and bottom is the table before any movement-Dave was Austrian,I was French,Graham was British and Brian was Prussian.
After a 5 minute "conflab" both sides came up with a battle plan,and away we go!!!

From the very start of the game,the town was contested using light infantry,as the lancers and hussars get stuck in to each other-very colourful and exciting.

This shows the start of my out-flanking move against Graham's flank-this was to prove decisive,but not before Graham inflicted tremendous casualties on my French troops.

As Dave manoeuvres his infantry to protect my left flank,I am engaging Graham's British with my French-great wargaming!!

On the far left flank,Dave and Brian pitched their cavalry into a grand melee,which lasted the whole game-each side reinforcing when and where needed!
Brian had decided that he would stand his ground with his infantry,denying them the added movement and firing bonus,which played into Dave's hands,as he waited until the cavalry were all engaged then moved forward with his infantry,to deliver a devastating volley-hurrah!!

This photo shows Dave's troops moving majestically across the board,whilst Graham and I "slug" it out in the centre!-once again,it happens almost every game(!!!)  a Colonel figure was put into the midst of a regiment to stop it retiring,and was killed,resulting in all the regiments in the brigade to take off at a rate of knots!!-this time the culprit was Graham!!!!!-his first line of British vanished,giving me time to replace my shattered troops with fresh ones from the second line-another hurrah!!

With my French outnumbering Graham's troops,and the Austrians now making a real impact against the Prussians,it was just a matter of time before the Anglo/Prussian alliance collapsed.

This shows the state of play at move number 10-our lines are looking good,the Anglo/Prussians not so good!!

This is move number 12,and the British flank has collapsed!!-even with the cavalry still fighting  on,it was a lost cause for Brian and Graham,and they capitulated!!
Well done to us all,an engrossing game,full of highs and lows for each side.
The next time we see these figures will be on Dave's new table,soon to be finished,can't wait for that!

Why have I covered my mouth and nose?-am I about to rob a bank?-NO!
You'll have to read the next blog to find out-intrigued????
























































Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Tips and Techniques-Explosions!

Before anyone thinks I am copying Ron Ringrose' article in this months Wargames Illustrated, I have been working on this article for a couple of weeks now,in fact after our last WW2 game!
Explosions always look spectacular on a wargames table,and lend a certain something to the game move...............................


I am a collector of all things that "just might" come in handy,and one of those things is the red plastic piece of junk you can see in this photo!-it is in fact the top from a glucose tablet bottle,but it forms the basis of my Explosion! Also in the picture are the other elements to be used,ie. wire,kapok(animal stuffing) pliers and glue.


The wire has been cut to size,and you can see the ideal shape of the tablet top.................


Health and Safety alert!!!! holding the wire in the pliers,heat it up just enough to be able to pierce the plastic top,as shown,and push 6 pieces into the top,at crazy angles!!


All pieces of wire in place,but just to make sure,I super-glued them too-can't be too careful with explosions!


A "healthy" splodge of glue was put around the base and then kapok was wrapped around it,as shown.


Glue was then added to the wires,and kapok wrapped around them too.


A central "plume" was added,and the kapok on the wires twisted into spirals.


The secret ingredient!!-hair gel to stop the spirals from unwinding-clever or what????



A few dabs of black paint to represent the debris and dust,and a few dabs of yellow and red to represent the explosion itself,and the explosion is complete.Now to show it in situ......................


Bloody Hell!!-that was close!!!!!


So was that!-I will now have to work on about another 5 for the next WW2 game.
Any comments?