Monday, 27 May 2019

Battle of Gurarat 1884.

Last night we had the closest run Colonial game I can remember,for a long,long time!
The basis for the game was that Brian and Graham were sitting in my kitchen,with a map of the table(minus the village!) and being "fed" information from a Heliograph team,which was plotting a safe passage for the main square,whilst trying to locate the village!!-meanwhile the Dervish hordes,being controlled by myself,Paul and Dave,were moving  to surround the square and,hopefully, wipe it out!!

Top photo is the scenario,second is the list of messages,given to Brian and Graham,move by move,and last is the list of troops they had to form their square.

This is the map,of the table(remember that Brian and Graham had this map,minus the village!)
The heliograph team moved from hill "A" to the oasis,then onto hill "B"(and subsequently got wiped out!!!!)

Top photo is the table at the start of the game,bottom is the square's composition as decided by Brian and Graham(I think that if they'd operated the cavalry outside of the square,and maintained the rest of their troops in this formation,they would have won!)

The storm clouds gather!-top is Paul's command,bottom is Dave's-my troops were moving out of the village and onto hill"B"-the British were worried!!!,can you tell?????

Concentration! but the square is looking good-if it only maintains that formation,they should be okay(my troops are leaving the village in the foreground).

Oh no!!-the British have broken their square,for the sake of fire-power,and are putting the cavalry in the gap-fatal mistake-Brian's Naval Brigade look good though!

Dave has launched a superb attack on the rear face of the square,in the top photo you can see that he has also attacked the cavalry, making up the right face-he won the melee with the cavalry and drove them back into the middle,leaving a gaping hole!!!-hurrah!

These two photo's show both my attack on the corner of the square and Paul's attack on the left face-spectacular,or what???
The British were now panicking,moving troops around,facing first this way,then that way-no cohesion,flanks up in the air-all is lost-another hurrah!!

This overhead view captures the spirit of this game,but to give the British commanders their deserved due,they didn't give up too easily,and fought on!!

The end-the square is no more!! only one thing left to do...........................

Hang the war correspondents!!(on my scratch-built gallows!) starting with Melton Prior!!
This was a great game,and actually very closely fought-at one point the Dervish commanders thought that they were beaten!!
Well done to us all,and roll on next Sunday!

Monday, 13 May 2019

Carronade show 2019.

This is the seventh year we have attended this show and put on a demonstration game,and all the superlatives have been used,so what more can I say??-as usual the standard of games, the hospitality,the traders and "punters" were all superb-the "footfall" was up again this year,proving that the organisers had done a great job,and should be justly proud of their efforts.
We had decided to do Rorke's Drift this year,and would include a display of Zulu weapons,a genuine Martini Henry rifle,a bugle(I can still hear the thing now!!) pith(sun) helmets,books etc. etc.-and it was a tremendous success,so much so that..............................

We won the trophy for best Demonstration Game!!!-and we were chuffed to bits!!

From the "kick-off" we were swamped with people wanting to hold the rifle and spears,which is what we had expected-we always encourage youngsters to get involved,and to see them trying on the helmets and blowing the bugle(my god did they blow that bugle!!) was great.
At one point we had people actually queuing up to get at the display!!-absolutely marvelous.
But what of the game??

Top photo shows the Zulu getting into the Hospital compound(after we had stage-managed the initial attack),bottom photo shows the Hospital in flames(good old LED tee lights!)-apart from the display,the spectacle of the game caused some good comments,questions etc.too.

After more helmet trying,bugle playing and people wanting us to take their photo's(and we did a lot of photographing of them with the rifle and spears in their hands-as one man said,"well, when are you going to get another opportunity like this?")
On with the game.............................

Two photo's of the main attack developing-at this point in the game,we were answering questions from a few gamers who fought this period,and quite a lot of gamers who will probably take this period up-all the figures on the table were from Warrior Miniatures,who will probably get a few enquiries this week,about their Zulu ranges(15mm and 25mm).

Top photo shows the Redoubt being used to good effect,and the bottom photo shows the last Zulu attempt at surrounding the position!

A film crew from Channel 5(I presume Scotland?) was on hand-obviously heard we were putting a game on!!!!!

One final shot of Kenny,organiser and all-round good guy,wondering if he should buy that building for his pet Haggis to live in!!
We were asked,at the end of the show,if we would be attending next year-try and keep us away!!!
Well done to everyone,we met up with some old friends and made some new ones-surely that's what it's all about,roll on 2020, of course we will have to start saving now,as we all spent up on terrain,figures,vehicles etc. etc.!!
Any comments??


Monday, 6 May 2019

Message to Chris-heliograph conversion.

There's no point in "hanging around"-change of heads and colour change,and the Zulu wars now have a heliograph setup!!

Original heads chopped off and replaced with spare Warrior ones-nowhere near 100% but I'm quite pleased with them.

My hands(and eyes!) aren't what they used to be,so white lines a bit shaky!!

I've even changed the bases a bit!!
Once again thanks for the game last night.

Battle of Gondar 16th March 1896.

Last night,our old mate Chris came all the way from darkest Yorkshire,to put on this grand game involving Italians,Eritreans and Abyssinians-and what a good game it turned out to be,although a little one-sided!!!

Top photo (which is a masterpiece in its own rite!) shows the scenario-I could,of course produce this sort of thing,but prefer using my school crayons to colour in my pathetic drawings!!!!.
Bottom photo shows the table before any movement.
Chris chose sides ,and himself,Brian and I were the Abyssinians,whilst Paul and Graham were in charge of the Italians.

Top photo shows the main Italian/Eritrean column advancing towards their objective,which is the bottom photo, of Gondar( a magnificently painted structure from Monolith Designs,as is the also magnificent Fort).

My left flank forces begin the attack on the Fort-however the ubiquitous machine gun and volley fire from the brave defenders,quickly put a stop their initial advance!!-but we had a plan!.............................

Chris' cavalry would threaten the column,whilst Brian would attack the Zariba,and then Chris would unleash his main force against the Fort!!(hmm,attacking a fortified position with spear-armed natives is not a good idea in colonial wars,-Rorke's Drift springs to mind!)-however,a plan is a plan,and off we go-death or glory................................

This shows Brian beginning his attack on the Zariba,and he came closest to achieving his objective-well done matey!!!

Prior to unleashing his hordes,Chris gave the Fort a couple of rounds from his artillery,and then...........................

As I renewed my attack,Chris joined in with his troops,for an overwhelming(??) attack,this couldn't fail,could it??
But what of the Italians/Eritrean troops?

Well,having formed a defensive formation,they settled down to a game of Abyssinian "Duck Shoot"(if you don't know what that is,ask your parent/guardian!) and we were slaughtered by the thousands!!!

Brian,on his flank,is putting in a charge which made contact,and a grand old melee followed,however the super-human defenders fought ferociously and beat him back,undetered,another ,and another, attack went in,all with the same result!!-things are not looking good for the Abyssinians!

On my flank,I had been moving my cavalry around Paul's flank,and decided to charge him-unfortunately,he had moved his column to face them,and the resulting volley fire destroyed them!!

With Chris's and my troops "going home" and Brian's being eaten up by the Zariba boys, it was decided that the Italians had won,and that they could occupy the Holy City of Gondar!
This shows Chris in a pensive mood,reflecting on what might have been!!!
A big thank-you goes out to Chris for putting on this game,the effort he put into the game was great,the scenario,figures,terrain etc. certainly paid off.-When's the next time??

We won't be playing next week,as we are going to Carronade at Falkirk,putting on our Rorke's Drift game-we hope to see as many of you as possible.