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.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Norman Castle Project.

Apart from after-shave,shirts and rum,my wife also bought me this little beauty for my birthday.

I think the primary target for this company must be schools,but as a very cost-effective way to get wargames scenery/terrain they are on the right track,and at £7.99 it's great value.

The instructions- basically it's cut,fold and stick!! and for someone like me with "sausage fingers" it was straight forward and not at all difficult(although one piece did tax my patience a bit!)

The Keep went together easily, this photo shows the keep with two of the four towers in situ,and the other two ready to fold.

These are the tools I used-the craft set contained a small scalpel with a chisel edge,which was ideal for cutting out the battlements(you have an option of cutting them out or leaving them black-and as there are 250 of them,I would think alot of people would choose to leave them black!!)
I changed the glue I used to UHU after a series of "non-sticks" and it worked great.

The completed Keep-the design and printing is superb,now for the walls and battlements.

One section of wall,plus a square tower,and suddenly the castle is coming to life!

This is a "D-Shaped" tower,the only tricky bit was getting the roof folded,but only took minutes.

This shows the tool used to cut out the battlements-the battlements are stuck to the top of the wall,and are really quite effective....................

Wall and battlements,ready to be stuck-note line at top of wall,indicating where to stick the battlements-even a fool like me can follow these type of instructions!

Now for the Gatehouse,which I quickly re-named the "shit-house!" because it was the only bit that got me "rattled"-it was very intricate and required a bit of skill and patience(neither of which I possess in any great quantity!)

Hurrah!! finished and not looking too bad!

The six-sided tower took alot of folding,but was simple to complete-everything is done now,so lets see what the finished article looks like...............................

Fit for a King!! although the castle is 1/72 scale it looks ok with 25mm figures,and I am impressed with the time it took to complete and the size and look of  it-it is worthwhile looking at the Usborne web site-they do some good-looking stuff.

You get a base-board layout with the kit,but I am leaving mine in separate pieces,and will probably mount them onto cardboard or hardboard for rigidity-piled up like this the whole lot looks like it will take up no space at all in the garage(club house)-what next????

Monday, 17 July 2017

Raid on St. Cuthbert's island 917AD

Last night's game was a variation on a theme,ie a beach landing,like last week,but using Vikings and Saxons.

Top photo is the scenario,bottom two are the table before any movement.In a reversal of last week,Paul and I were the attackers(Vikings) whilst Brian and Graham were the defending Saxons.

As  Paul and I struggled ashore,both Brian and Graham mounted attacks on us!!-On Graham's flank,all went well(for a while!) but Brian's troops "bounced" off Paul's contingent of Vikings,and he was driven back towards the town-hurrah!!

The second wave(no pun intended!) of Vikings wade ashore,and the Saxon resistance looks as if it is about to crumble!!

Graham and I are locked in a mass brawl,but my dice throwing is rather good(for a change) tonight and I am slowly getting the edge on the Saxons.But what of Brian????????

His troops are streaming back to the town,closely followed by Paul's "lusty" Vikings,intent on a bit of pillage and plunder!!

Paul's Vikings are in the town,and the game is won on that flank!!

On Graham's flank,most of his troops have fled,leaving my victorious Vikings to despoil the remains of St. Cuthbert!!
This was probably the shortest game we've had all year,but enjoyable despite that-well done lads.
Roll on next Sunday-a Marlburian game,I think.
I have had a birthday this week,and my wife bought me,as usual, a rather different present,which has turned into a nice little project-I will blog more later on  this week...........!