Thursday, 25 May 2017

Look out you Mongols!!

I ordered (!) Russian/Polish/Lithuanian etc. cavalry from Warrior Miniatures last week,and they arrived in "super-duper" time,as usual,and,as usual, I am over the moon with them,in fact I phoned John Holt and told him I couldn't have been happier if I'd fallen into a vat of Rum!!

100 all bagged and ready to paint!!-the knights have different helms,ie.winged,barrel kettle etc. so I decided to mix them up for historical effect-apart from the "typical" Russian pointed helm,western european influences had taken effect on the Russians,so a mix is acceptable.

Three shots of the first unit,painted and based,awaiting flock-you can see the mix of helms and horses.

Flocked and in situ!-I will keep the Polish winged helm figures separate,because they are distinctly Polish,but will paint the rest in a variety of colours,and shield patterns.
The Russian Princes not only fought against the invading Mongols,but against the Catholic Teutonic knights,who were "crusading" against them and their allies,who included pagan Swedes,Norwegians,Estonians-in fact everyone who wasn't under the control of the Pope in Rome!!!-this is a fascinating period,and a revelation to me,as I thought the only "crusades" were in the "Holy Land"-you live and learn!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Battle of Holt's Farm 1645.

It was back to "normal" for our group last night-having fully recovered from our Falkirk trip,and a very entertaining and exciting game we had too.
Talking of Falkirk,we were featured in the Falkirk Herald....................................

Or was that the Police Gazette,among the most wanted section????

This is the scenario,Graham and Paul were the Royalists,Brian and I were the Parliamentarians.

It could be said that the game got off to a "brisk" start,with cavalry battles on both flanks,and a most magnificent attack,by Brian,on Graham's position in and around the Farm-which,at the end of the game resembled a combination of the Alamo and Rorke's Drift!!!!

Not to be out-done,Paul and I contested the central field-the whole table was now ablaze with action!

This photo was taken towards the end of the game-Brian has been into the Farm area twice!! and has been ejected twice!! but is still contesting the position-Graham is down to his last bullet,but still fighting on-great stuff!!
My cavalry in the centre has beaten Paul's,the central field is still being fought over,however my cavalry on the left is well and truly beaten,but Brian's cavalry on the right is winning-this is going to be a draw(????) I think.

One last shot of the game showing my left flank-Infantry are doing ok but cavalry are lost!!
But what of the lads?

Top photo is Paul,middle is Brian and bottom is Graham-but let's save the best 'til last.........

What a handsome fellow!(well in a darkened room with the light behind him!!)
Well done lads.We won't be playing next Sunday,as we've been invited to a HUGE Marlburian game at Charlie Wesencraft's club-only Paul and I are attending,but we'll represent the rest to the best of our ability!!

Monday, 15 May 2017

Carronade show report 2017.

Friday morning saw the "fab four" of Dave,Brian,Paul and I setting off on our annual "pilgrimage" to Falkirk for the Carronade show,this year we met Mike and Chris at the hotel,booked in, and then proceeded to the venue to set up our 40mm Seven Years War game.
On saturday we again made our way to the venue,and arrived refreshed and ready for a great day.
The show seemed bigger and better this year,with more traders,catering for every aspect of wargaming you can imagine,and a myriad of games representing the diverse nature of our great hobby(way of life?).
The organisation was,as usual, spot on! every one knew where they had to be(traders and gamers) the bring and buy was "bustling" from the word "GO!",as was the catering side!
a huge thanks must go out to the Falkirk District Wargames Club for such a wonderful effort.
The general public was queuing long before the opening time of 10.00am,but because it started to rain,the doors opened early,and the "eager throng" piled in!-the "foot-fall" this year was the highest it had ever been,around the 800 mark-well done.

Early Saturday morning and we are all ready to go-which was more than can be said for some games,and indeed traders-poor show from those!!

Just before the "public" was allowed in,the gamers and traders are bracing themselves,and doing last minute  adjustments to stalls and tables.

It was the same in the other hall,as well as the corridor between the two,then......
WHoosh!! the spending frenzy begins!!!

The cry was heard,"buy,buy,buy" and so they did!!!

This is the "bring and buy" hall,which was busy all day(one hour slots allocated)

Because of the nature of our game and the size of the figures,our table was like a magnet,attracting old and young like-minded gamers.We pride ourselves on talking to everyone who ventures beside our games,telling them about the figures,rules and club-in fact promoting the hobby as much as possible!-we talked all day,and we all had sore throats at the end!

This is the first year that Chris has joined us for Carronade(he lives in Yorkshire now) and he had this Tee-shirt specially made!!-he's as mad as us!!!!-however,his trip with us was worthwhile,because he won the "single figure" painting competition-good on you Chris!!

Chris and trophy!!-the guy behind Chris(on 'phone) actually fell asleep during the afternoon,and slumped onto the table he was playing at!!!!

This shows our game in full swing-we had countless comments about the figures,which was nice,we also had some negative comments,such as "well,it's ok but it's not proper wargaming" and one person criticised the flags as not being correct"-we can also take criticism,so it wasn't a problem!

"Colonel Bill" thought our game had "charm" and "nostalgia" in equal measure!-Paul,you really ought to get out of the habit of standing like that!!!!

The climax of our game was this massive cavalry battle-spectacular or what????
We were asked at the end of the day if we would be attending next year-our reply was "try and stop us!!"
This was a great week-end,full of wargaming,good banter and loads of laughs-what more could you ask for?

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Cross-Eyed! Painting update.

I have eventually finished all of the Warrior Miniature Teutonic Knights-the last two units I have painted as Hospitallars(black with white crosses) known as the order of St John,and a red with white crosses unit, now known as the Grand Order of St Robbie!!-I will not be painting any more figures with crosses on them for a long,long time!!
The figures I bought from Irregular Miniatures are also shown,but it must be pointed out that I only painted 8 of the 16,having "dumped" the "wounded" figures!!

I must admit to being quite pleased with these two units-employing the "three foot rule" they look good,but don't bear close inspection,and look,they have been photographed beside that castle!!

Detail of the Knights of St John-home made banners(wine foil!)

Detail of the Knights of St Robbie(Robbie Roddis suggested I painted some red and white ones!) again the banners are home made from wine bottle foil(hic!)

Very nice figures,good pose and easy to paint!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Battle of Kalistra 320BC>

For a small club we certainly cover a multitude of periods,actually 32!!! but last night saw my favourite period being played,that of Ancients.We pitted Alexander the Great's Macedonians against the might of Persia and King Darius,and what a game it was.............................

Top photo shows the scenario(which wasn't read properly by some!!) and bottom photo shows the table before any moves-Paul and Graham in deep contemplation,and surveying their battle lines!
Paul and Brian were in charge of the Macedonians,whilst Graham and I were in charge of the Persians.

It was action all the way,with the Macedonian cavalry attempting to win both flanks-in a moment of madness(?) Brian changed his advantageous "wedge formation" into line,and met my cavalry head-on,and lost!!-hurrah!

With the cavalry fighting it out,the Phalanx moves forward-however,the Persians had a trick up their sleeve-a line of low quality Axemen,whose only job was to absorb the archery from the Macedonians,and,if possible,hit the phalanx and inflict a few casualties-this worked to a degree,although the Axemen were wiped out in the process!!!

Graham,with all the best troops,ie Immortals and Cataphracts,had mis-understood the scenario,and was attempting to move these troops to attack the Macedonian left flank,when Paul's out-flanking troops appeared!!!-this caused a certain amount of panic,swearing and changing of plans!!!

As my "fuzzy" cavalry give Alexander's Royal Squadron a right old bashing,Paul and Graham are locked in a fierce fight in the background-wonderful,entertaining stuff!!

As the cavalry battles rage on,the main infantry lines have clashed,the phalanxes,in our rules are given an advantage in the first round of melee,because of their long pikes(sarrisas) but our Axemen had just taken enough casualties off the Phalanxes to cause an upset later on in the game!!

It looked like Graham's "best" troops were gaining an advantage,but Paul kept piling more and more troops into the fray,and eventually drove him back-woe is us!!

The phalanxes are being fragmented! and to the left the Royal squadron(plus Alexander) is being chased off the board-is this a Persian victory??

Well, it would have been,if not for Paul's out-flanking troops!!-they are driving the Immortals and Cataphracts back,thus exposing the whole Persian line-oh well,there's always next time!!

One final shot of the table at the end of the game-the Persians look stronger,but that flank proved too much for the "best",so a draw was called for and given-well done lads,good game.
We finalised arrangements for our trip to Carronade(Falkirk) for next Friday,Saturday and Sunday(we make a good week-end out of it!) and of course a full report will follow.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Enough is Enough!!

Enough, is enough,is enough!!-I can't face up to painting any more black crosses onto white barded horses,white shields or white cloaks!!!,so having finished 4 units of Teutonic Knights,I am switching to other Templar knights-mainly red with white crosses and black with white crosses-see my future blogs!!

Whilst they may look terrifying and nice(at the same time?) they will not be repeated!!

This is the next unit,ready to go-they will have red barding,shields and cloaks,with white crosses-see background home-made banners,and the last will be black barding shields and cloaks with white crosses.
I am a great fan of battlefield "ephemera",and find that Irregular Miniatures do a good range of this sort of thing,so I sent for some dis-mounted knights and "wounded" Teutonic knights,to scatter around the board when my Mongols eventually face the Teutonics and Russians.Well,they arrived this morning,and quite frankly I was hugely dis-appointed with the "wounded" figures,although the others were quite superb!!

The "wounded" figures are at the top-at first glance you would say they had Napoleonic shakos on!!-but the designer has tilted the helm backwards on the head,giving the figure a most peculiar look!

See what I mean?-the arrow sticking out of his neck is a nice touch,but the face is indistinct,and the axe he is holding is badly molded-ho hum!-It's a pity really because the other dis-mounted figures are lovely...............

Enough "whingeing" from me,next blog will be on Monday,after our Macedonian and Persian game planned for Sunday,then it will be packing figures,terrain etc etc for Falkirk show on the 13th.
I had my old mate Charlie Wesencraft up to see me for a discussion of all things wargaming on Wednesday,and I showed him the latest Wargames Illustrated magazine,with the Perry's Travel Wargame in it-imagine my,and Charlie's, surprise when he announced that he'd been working on a similar project for years!!!-you've got to be quick off the mark these days!!!
Roll on Sunday.