Friday, 30 June 2017

Roman Cavalry Helmets Exhibition.

I have at last had the opportunity to visit the Great North Museum(Hancock's) which is hosting part of a major exhibition of Roman Cavalry Helmets.
The exhibition in the museum consists of two ornate helmets and a shield boss!!-I must admit I was expecting more!!-the exhibition is in the main "Roman Hall",and to be quite honest,if I wasn't looking for it,I could have easily missed it!!-The museum is a dark place(I presume so the light doesn't affect the exhibits) and was full of school kids making alot of noise,but I suppose it's good that they are getting the museum experience,and learning out of the classroom-however a bit more "Teacher-Guidance" would have improved my visit.

This is the leaflet advertising the events,which are taking place along the whole length of Hadrian's Wall.

Fantastic workmanship,back and front views-this helmet is in a private collection,and I have seen it in many books-world famous and now in Newcastle!!

Wonderful experience,to be able to gaze at a helmet that was worn by a Roman Cavalryman 2000 years ago-fantastic!!-Although these are "Parade Ground" helmets,the information seemed to hint that they could have been worn in battle to overawe/frighten any opposition!!

This is the shield boss-very ornate,and very well preserved.

The information!!!
The Roman Hall in the museum is really worth a visit(I have been many times and never get sick of it)-there is a model of the whole of the length of Hadrian's wall,as well as models of Mile Castles etc. plus two "Manequins" of  a Legionary,and Auxiliary,in full kit,as well as Funeral stones,everyday implements,and weapons-go on give it a try!

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Scenarios and Terrain Maps.

I spend a fair bit of my time planning and organising our battles,balancing the sides etc.etc. as well as drawing terrain maps(colouring-in as my wife calls it!!) and devising scenarios: but am I wasting my time with the scenarios and terrain maps??-a few years ago I was approached at a wargames show,by a chap who said his group regularly used my scenarios for their games,and "to keep up the good work". That was a few years ago,and I would be interested to find out if anyone takes note of the scenarios or finds the terrain maps helpful when following the text of the blog,or indeed uses both for their games.
I look forward to any comments: I would like to thank everyone,from all over the world that reads my blog,I find it quite amazing that you all take an interest in a small club like ours.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Battle of Liegnitz 1241. Solo Game.

Tuesday afternoon,it's raining,so it's time to get my Mongol army and Eastern European army onto the board to try new tactics,formations etc. in a solo game,re-fighting the battle of Liegnitz 1241.

Using the 4 main sources for the battle,I have set the table up as near as possible,to the historically correct positions of the troops and the terrain.
The top photo is the scenario and the bottom photo shows how I positioned the troops-the Mongol horse archers on the hills,would have been hidden,but this being a solo game,I put them on the table at the start.

This shows the table from the Mongol right flank,with the vanguard way out in front of the main army.

Move number 1,and the coalition front line advances,the vanguard stands still but shoots,and by an extremely lucky throw of dice,all the officers are killed!!-the rest of the coalition army has been ordered not to move until contact is made with the Mongols.

Move number 2,and the coalition knights charge forward but fail to make contact,the vanguard stand still and shoot,once again killing another set of officers!!!

Move number 3,both sides charge into each other,and the first of the Mongol "sneaky tricks" is employed-a smoke screen,caused by burning brush etc.This caused the coalition troops to stop in confusion!!

A close up of the melee,in which the vanguard were soundly beaten-this only worked in favour of the Mongols though.................

A "feigned" retreat by the vanguard lures the coalition knights past the second "sneaky trick" of the Mongols who unleash their hidden horse archers onto the flanks and rear of the hapless knights,who are wiped out to a man!!!

Both of these photo's are from move number 4,showing the destruction of the first line knights!

Move number 5,and the Mongol heavy cavalry advance,as the vanguard reforms,the horse archers are "showering" the second line troops with arrows,and both infantry(who are described as peasants and miners!) flanks decide to run away!!!

Move number 6,and the smoke dissipates as the Mongol heavy cavalry charge home,supported by the reformed vanguard.The coalition troops are being peppered with arrows,and gradually surrounded-in the ensuing melee,the second line broke and fled(although the Sword Bretheren did win their melee!!)

Move number 7,and it is all over for the coalition army,with the Mongols running rampant over them!
This was a very enjoyable game,and took a bit of planning,but worth it-let's see how the Mongols fare against troops who are cross-bow armed next,or maybe a siege,or a combination of both!!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Sunday for Tommy.40mm 7YW.

We had a 100% turnout for this annual game to remember our dear mate Tommy,and what a game it was!

Bottom photo shows the table before any movement-Brian and Graham were in charge(?) of the Anglo/Prussians,whilst Dave and Paul were in charge of the Franco/Austrians.

Brian's first move was to take his Prussians across the stream and try to out-flank Dave-no chance!!-Dave countered by marching his Austrians up the hill,whilst holding the river bank.
but this wasn't all that was happening,because Dave then sent most of his cavalry across the board to supplement Paul's cavalry on the left,thus out-numbering Graham's cavalry by two to one!!!!-great stuff!!

A grand sight as Dave marches his Austrians into position,guarding the centre and preventing Brian from out-flanking him.

An overall view of the table,showing the Prussian's attempt to out-flank the Austrians,and the Austrians response-on the far side of the table,Graham is just about to send his cavalry forward against Paul,who is awaiting reinforcements from Dave-great co-ordination,and a wonderful battle plan.

Once Graham had committed his cavalry there was no turning back,even though he could see what was going to happen when Dave's cavalry made their presence felt!!!

The French and British infantry are now involved,as Graham desperately tries to hold the flank!-His appeal to Brian to send over his cavalry fell on "deaf ears" and much swearing followed,with Brian muttering "you've lost your cavalry but you're not going to lose mine!!"
Oh happy days!!

Things are now hotting up on Dave's flank and in the centre-in this shot Brian has crossed the stream,forcing Dave back-wonderful wargaming-spectacular stuff!!

Graham is in real trouble now-his cavalry are being beaten and so are his British infantry-it looks as though the whole flank is about to collapse!!

Intense concentration from Dave,Paul and Graham-Brian's cavalry is making a move towards the British lines but it looks as though it will be too late!!

The table is ablaze with action in this shot-however the Prussian vs Austrian tussle for the flank,saw both Dave and Brian having to prevent their troops from running away,by putting their respective Brigadiers into the front line-and guess what?-yes,they both got killed!! resulting in both sides having to take morale,and both decided to "run away"-isn't wargaming fun????
So with that flank in tatters,and the Prussian centre in tatters,and the British flank in tatters,a well deserved win was awarded to the Franco/Austrians!!-well done lads,Tommy would have said his favourite phrase "we've never had a bad game with these figures"
Paul and Dave have just returned from their trip to Belgium,visiting various battle fields,including a one called Waterloo(or something!) they very kindly brought us all back these cups(chalices?) and we toasted the memory of Tommy with a good old bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale!!

Roll on next Sunday,probably a Mongol vs Russians game!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Romans vs Pa'arasites.

As there was only going to be three of us playing last night,I opted for a quick "kick and rush" type of Ancients game,putting my made-up Pa'arasites against the might of Rome!

Top photo is scenario,bottom is the table before any movement.I allocated points to the villages,so at the end of the game there could be no doubt as to who had won,lost or drawn!!

Brian started the Roman attack,by sending his auxiliaries against my left hand village,his archers doing exceedingly well,and taking casualties off the defenders,which would tell later on in the game!

Whilst the attack on the left was going on,Graham launched an attack on the centre and right!! I had a fight on my hands now!!!-however,I ordered an attack of my own on Graham and Brian's troops in the centre,which threw them a bit,especially as I won all of the early melees-hurrah!

In this shot I am sending my Guard into the fray,hoping to punch a hole in the Roman lines,this move coincided with the Romans winning every melee,and pushing me back-woe is me!!

On my right,my luck has run out and Graham,using his infantry and cavalry in unison,is gradually pushing me back,and threatening the right hand village.

This shows the sorry state of the left hand village as the rampant Romans destroy my troops,Brian claiming the 5 points allocated!!

This is the central village,Brian is trying his hardest to move forward,but a combination of Heavy chariots and light chariots are holding him up,meanwhile,the melee in the centre has once again gone my way,and the Roman centre looks on the point of collapse-hurrah,hurrah!!

This shot shows the point at which Graham is beating the defenders of the right hand village,and claiming the 10 points allocated to it-so with Brian claiming 5 points and Graham claiming 10 15 points,a draw was declared because I still held the central village which was worth 15 points!!!-good result and good game.
Roll on next Sunday,when we will be playing a game dedicated to our old mate,Tommy who died 4 years ago-I promised his daughter that we would play a game as near to his death date as possible,to remember a great guy.

Friday, 16 June 2017

The "Lazarus" project!

A few weeks ago I bought some "wounded Teutonic Knights" from Irregular Miniatures,and they were so horrible that I decided to "dump" them in my Odds and Sods box;well,being a POP(poor old pensioner) and a MOB(mean old bugger) yesterday I decided to raise them from the "dead" and do something with them.
I am a fan of ephemera on the battle field,and thought I might make them into a sort of Teutonic Viewing Platform for a Mongol khan or a Russian Prince! so I covered a base in "No More Nails",added a splash of Super Glue,and shoved the horrid figures into it-this was crowned with a figure that my old mate Chris gave me(he looks fairly Mongolish-the figure not Chris!!) painted the whole thing today,and I think it looks ok!!......................

I have added a Crusader-type standard for effect!!

View from above(bloody crosses!)

Detail of knight with arrow in neck!!(these figures have been heavily converted!)

Detail of Khan/Prince figure-I don't know the make!
Roll on Sunday,an Ancients game.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Russian Heavy Cavalry.Painting update.

After weeks of dedicated painting(and a few "rain dances") I have eventually finished all of my Russian Heavy Cavalry units(including some Hungarian,Polish,Estonian etc.etc.units) and I think they look pretty formidable opponents for the Mongols.......................

Sixteen units of 8 figures each-certainly colourful!!

This will probably be the only view the Mongols see of this lot-running away!!!!

Or just calmly trotting into an ambush or trap!!!!
Only 2 units of Lithuanian light cavalry to do and the whole project will be finished-hurrah!!!