Monday, 30 October 2017

Battle of Joshua's Well 1117 AD.

Last night saw the "baptism"(excuse the pun!!) of my newly painted Warrior Crusader army.
Paul and Graham were the Saracen/Moors commanders,whilst Brian and I were in charge of the Crusaders.

Top photo is the scenario,bottom one is the table before any movement.

As Paul and Brian gaze lovingly at each other over the table,Graham and I are racing towards the oasis-as Graham was lighter types,he had the advantage in speed, I had to try and get him into a melee situation-could I do it???

YEAH!!-hook,line and sinker!!!-bit of a problem though-he had the advantage of numbers-I had better watch out,he may try to out-flank me!

Spurred into action,both Paul and Brian advance,Paul using his superior fire-power to great advantage,is attacking Brian's left flank,whilst Graham is pinning him in the centre-good tactics!!

While both flanks are ablaze with action,Graham has sent his infantry crashing into mine-the melee swung both ways for a while,neither side gaining any real advantage-great stuff!!-I only hope Brian is watching my open flank(to the left) because" wily" Paul is massing his cavalry on the hill,just waiting for an opportunity to break through our lines!!

On my right,I am steadily pushing Graham's cavalry back,and the Hospitallers have now joined in,having declared for the Crusaders-hurrah!!

This gives a good idea of what is going on all over the table-however Brian is getting a bit of a hammering from Paul,and came up with an ingenious plan...........................

A gas attack!!!!-Graham is looking calm because it hasn't hit him yet!!!!-apart from that you can see that my Teutonic knights,and infantry are doing well and driving Graham's cavalry and infantry back-however,Brian is still in trouble on his flank(as well as in the trouser department!!)

Graham has given up the ghost,and has withdrawn all of his troops-hurrah!!-but what of Brian?

Well,his whole force disintegrated,leaving what was left of my knights to hold a line and stop the Saracens from getting to the oasis-consequently a draw was declared-and a fair result,I think.
Another good game,using Warrior figures,for both armies-very colourful!
Roll on next Sunday,hopefully we will have a full complement to fight with,and probably a Marlburian game.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Practical Ideas that work!

Every now and then(though not too often!) I surprise myself by coming up with ideas that actually work-this week I've come up with two!!!
Number one) I have had,for a few months now,10 old and battered horses-some with no tails and most with bent and broken legs,and 10 "Norman" knights,without shields:so I decided to utilise them,and make up a whole unit for my Crusader army.
I "hid" the legs of the horses with wine label foil,and it looked ok,but that is not the practical idea-no,the practical idea involves making shields for the knights!
I came up with the idea of photo-copying a sheet of shields I have from the Osprey Hospitallers book,reducing them on my printer,to a suitable size,adding a "blob" of superglue,and "hey presto!" cracking looking shields!!

This is the page,showing the banners and shields of the Grand Masters,taken from the Osprey Hospitallers(1)-a really good book!-I reduced it by 50%,then stuck it to a sheet of thin card(more of this card later!).When the glue was dry,I cut the shields out using a pair on nail scissors,and............................................

Very convincing!!-I did try to tell the lads that I had hand painted the shields,but they didn't believe me!!!!!-what do you think???

Number two) This must rank as one of my better ideas.
I have a couple of castles for the medieval period,but they have square towers,and some of the illustrations I have of castles from the crusades show castle s with round towers,so I decided to make some round towers!!-Now,being a POP(poor old pensioner) and a MOB(mean old bugger) I don't waste much,and try to utilise what I can from house-hold waste..................

I commandeered two empty pots of Gravy powder and an empty tin,and with my handy tools plus a sheet of thin card,started on the process of making round towers.

I carefully measured the height and circumference of the tin,marked a 10mm line at the top,for the battlements,and then........................

Using scissors to cut the vertical lines and my handy tool to cut the horizontal lines,I achieved the battlements!

I then rolled the thin card to get the required shape,prior to wrapping it around the pots and tins.A liberal application of PVA followed,and ...........................................

The towers are taking shape-I then let the glue dry thoroughly.

Awaiting an undercoat(actually two!) but you can see what the finished product is going to look like.

Under-coated(twice) and ready for a couple of coats of matt white paint.

Two coats of white paint to see what they look like with my existing walls.

Looks ok to me! any comments?

One final shot with two 25mm figures to show the scale.
If you were really adventurous,you could substitute doll's house stonework wallpaper for the thin card!!!!

Monday, 23 October 2017

Battle of Mongol Camp 1242AD

I am quickly running out of superlatives for our recent games!-last night was absolutely great,I can say no more!!

Top photo is the scenario,and bottom is the table before any movement.Because Graham is "giving it large" in Ibiza,and Dave is working himself into an early grave(!!!) it fell to Paul and Brian to be Mongol commanders,and I was in total charge of the Russians(bit like Putin,but with less "connections!)

This is the Mongol opening position,overlooking the Russian advance towards the Camp-Paul commanded the right,and Brian the left-my attack on the camp is just about to get underway!

The top photo shows my column "trundling" forward,and the bottom shows my initial attack on the camp,which was quite successful-hurrah(short-lived,but hurrah nevertheless!!)

Because my left and centre are being threatened,I am moving my Sword Bretheren Knights over to the left to help out,and my waggons are being put into a defensive semi-circle formation.
As Brian moved against the waggons,my cross-bowmen opened up with a devastating volley,which shocked the Mongols and made them re-consider their attack!!(but only for a short while!)

Whilst all hell was breaking loose on the camp,over to my left.I sent my Polish Knights forward to take on the Mongols-in hindsight,not a good plan!!!

At the camp,Paul is slowly,but surely surrounding my Vanguard,and I am in real trouble,however even trying to get my troops out of this situation,I am being "bowed" in the rear!!(ooh er!!)-great stuff,and hilarious,if you're not Russian!

My Polish knights have clashed with Brian's Mongols,and were,initially, successful,however more Mongols are on their way!!

With the remnants of my vanguard fleeing back to seek safety with the main body,I am being subjected to archery from both Brian and Paul,and my centre is looking "shaky" to say the least-a man can only take so much-so a charge against the Mongol centre is being considered(!!)A wise sage once said "don't poke a sleeping lion with a stick"-what does he know?????

An "un-wise" me said "oh cacky!!)-look at how many they are-woe is me!

I am, everywhere, beaten and being driven back,and as the Mongols complete their encirclement of my troops,all looks lost!!

Brian is on the point of destroying my Poles and even my rearguard troops (which didn't appear on the board until move number 4!) and it is all over!!
This was a very enjoyable and colouful game,played in great spirit-well done lads.
Roll on next Sunday,probably a Crusader game,but not set in stone yet!!

Friday, 20 October 2017

Battle Mats "R" us!!!

I seem to have gone completely Battle Mats mad!!-Over the past week I must have depleted the whole of Halford's stock of spray paints!! and have completed 5 battle mats projects!
The last two mats to be done are my "Desert" cloth,and most significantly,my "artificial grass" table covering-bringing new life to a rather worn,but utilitarian, table covering.......................

These two photo's are of the "desert" cloth,which was a light brown/beige colour to start with,but I sprayed it with two different shades of brown,and a most pleasant (although not too apparent in these shots!) terrain effect was achieved.

This is our "usual" artificial grass table cover,which I randomly sprayed with Russet Brown,bringing the thing back to life again!-why didn't I think of doing it before now?
All of the "mats"(cloths!) look 100% better when figures are put on them,here's a small "taster" for Sunday's game(Russians vs Mongols)

Looks ok to me,I wonder what the rest of the "squad" will think????

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.