Tuesday 5 December 2023

New approach(photo's!)

 My IT department(SON!) has shown me how to download photo's,but,like all persons who know their way around computers,it was a super fast lesson,which I only hope I can remember!!

Battleground show was superb,as usual,and I managed(despite recovering from a serious bout of Sciatica) to get to the Bring and Buy tables,picking up a very nice MDF Roman Fort.

This shows the Fort in its entirety,plus a few figures to show the scale(28mm)

These two shots show the alternative towers(more permanent fort?) you can use!

Plus two tents!!-I will have to wait a few weeks until I can come up with some scenario,but no doubt I will!!

I have finished my 15mm Jacobites-Clans,cavalry and artillery-and I must admit it was a bit of a "chore" towards the end,but,again,I will have to think of some scenarios,when I feel fit enough to stand at my "solo" table

Now that I know(?) how to download my photographs,I will hopefully be able to "blog" weeekly from now on.

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Birthday Weekend

Previously for a couple of big number birthdays I’d painted a commemorative miniature. For my 40th I painted a Grey Knights captain (no you’re not expected to know what that is) and for my 50th I painted a Warhammer giant (pretty sure you can understand what that is), and Warlord Games’ sale had me coming around to the idea that 55 was another birthday worthy of a commemorative figure.

I embrace a broad swathe of our hobby. This is the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, the “feathered serpent”. It was reasonably priced in the sale…

Over half a kilo of resin! Blimey O’Reilly!

Limited time and the weather, in my opinion, not suiting spraying on the undercoat, has meant that this beast of a model hasn’t ended up as a birthday special. You will see it in all its technicolour glory eventually.

Happily my birthday tends to coincide with the Battleground show at Stockton. There was a good turn out of the Westerhope boys to put on a game of Naseby, 1645. There we are, resplendent in our sky blue!

It’s a great show, if you’ve never been. Very friendly, well organised, smashing venue, some great games and a good mix of traders. There’s even lectures! I understand I missed a grand talk on border reivers which would have suited me down to the ground. I was too busy trying to overturn history and secure a Royalist victory.

Okey’s dragoons crackle with flanking fire as Rupert’s cavalry trot by.

The Royalist centre and left flank cavalry. Figures all painted by the Westerhope manor governor John. Mostly figures from the sadly defunct Warrior Miniatures. I did spot at least one interloper of a Foundry Miniature.

The left flank Royalist cavalry isn’t the pushover it should be and the right flank cavalry steam through the opposition… and over hill and dale… the majority of us agreed that victorious Royalist cavalry needed to pursue. Much to the frustration of the Royalist infantry, they disappear out of view. The infantry tussle, sorry, push of pike had begun and the Royalists were giving as good as they got when it was already time to pack up! 

We’d had an entertaining day, as ever a pleasure to spend time with the Westerhope boys, and there’s always fellow enthusiasts and other friends there to exchange ideas with, generally catch up with and have a laugh. I think that Robbie (of Independent Wargamer fame) may have had more to say about the new Napoleon movie than Joaquin Phoenix has lines in it!

So what did I make of my birthday weekend?

First class!

Friday 24 November 2023

Late 17th Century Wargaming Part 7

 Way back in part 3 of this occasional series I covered a little of the history of the Battle of Killiecrankie, 1689 and showed off the Jacobite forces I have for the battle.  Now it’s the turn of the government army to enter the limelight.

The right flank contained the only English troops, Hastings’ regiment of foot along with Weem’s highland company. In Black Powder Pike & Shotte terms the former is a large unit whist the latter is a tiny unit (Pike & Shotte doesn’t actually include tiny units, but it’s simple enough to include them).

Being at the rear of the column of march, possibly charged with escorting the baggage, Hastings’ English infantry ended up holding what is usually the senior position in the line as the Jacobite army formed to the right of the line of march. A fine body of men! Front Rank miniatures painted by Steve Shann and waving Warfare Miniatures flags. All figures Front Rank painted by Steve unless I say otherwise. Saves me repeating myself!

I’ve seen one modern line drawing of a grenadier of Hastings’ regiment in a continental fur cap. I liked it so went with that look for the grenadiers.

I’ve painted Weem’s highland company and the baggage. The highlanders are Essex (unloved and unwanted in my 1745 collection!) and the baggage are Warlord and Front Rank.

 The highlanders were on the extreme right, due either to being told to keep out of the way or having formed a rearguard on the march. The baggage is important to represent in this battle as it distracts many a Jacobite from pursuing the broken government troops.

Next we find the commander in chief Mackay’s regiment. The government centre wasn’t positioned in close mutual support as I’ve photographed them above. Due to terrain and to cover the frontage of the Jacobite army above them, the government centre was stretched thin. A reminder of the dispersed dispositions:

Government army shown bottom in red. The guns were in glorious isolation (well they had the small mounted contingent behind them, which I can represent with figures drawn from other parts of my late 17thc collection) as were Kenmure’s regiment.

Mackay’s regiment. Part of the Scots Brigade in Dutch service.

Leven’s foot. Recently raised, but I’ve allowed that they’ve received redcoats and consequently look quite martial.

The light artillery and Kenmure’s foot. The government army was able to transport leather guns with them. I’ve used a suitable Warlord ECW set to represent the artillery. The piece is crewed by a converted Front Rank gunner, one of the Warlord matrosses and two Front Rank matrosses.

Kenmure’s regiment was even more recently raised than Leven’s. So I’ve shown them in hodden grey, pretty much every day, civilian clothing.

Then on the government left flank we have Balfour and  Ramsay’s regiments. These regiments together with Mackay’s formed the Scots Brigade.

On the extreme left, under the command of Lauder, was a composite unit formed from the grenadiers drawn from the three Scots Brigade regiments. Again these sport continental fur caps. A natural choice since these chaps are part of the Dutch army.

To finish with, a couple of shots of the Scots Brigade standing together. The Jacobite army was really no match for these regulars. Well, it shouldn’t have been…

The next instalment of late 17thc wargaming will be another after action report! So watch out for that.

Thanks for reading!



Monday 30 October 2023

Running Bear’s Sacred Tomahawk

Down in deepest, darkest Yorkshire, it was Rick’s turn to come up with a scenario for our occasional French Indian Wars games using Sharp Practice. He didn’t fail to deliver:

The French have captured the Mohican shaman, Moulting Wolf, who has revealed that deep in the forest, Running Bear’s Scared Tomahawk lies buried.  Anyone who holds the Tomahawk can count on the support of many local tribes, which may tip the balance in their favour.  The French have planned an expedition of a force of 75 points (no natives) to retrieve the Tomahawk.  The British have got wind of their plan and have likewise despatched a force of 75 points (no natives) to beat them to it.

The French start anywhere along the right-hand edge and the British on the left.

There are also three Indian bands who start in a random square (D6 xD4) at a random place in the square (D4 x D4).  When their card is drawn, they will be activated and move towards the nearest foreigners if they are within 16” or in a random direction (D8 points of the compass).  They will attempt to charge at the first opportunity.

The winner is the side that finds the scared tomahawk.






















 This is how it looked below incase that’s not clear above. Pretty sure that it isn’t. Oh and I loved the autocorrect to scared tomahawk 🤣

We used a direction die to determine the direction that the Indians moved in rather than a D8. The initial deployment of the Indians was very much in my favour. Rick’s British had 3 of the 4 groups of Indians close to his deployment point. Speaking of which Rick had purchased a moveable deployment point (with his rangers). Clever! That would get him 12” closer to the possible locations of the sacred tomahawk.

We both had the majority of our forces deployed quickly. Unfortunately for Rick, his rangers were the last to arrive. They have the ability to unlock the moveable deployment point for other units once they’ve used it. This represents the rangers guiding other units. 

Meanwhile I deployed a formation of regular infantry to face the Indians at my end of the table. My first volley seriously weakens them and their leader is ko’ed!

I then deploy 2 groups of my Franches de la Marine skirmishers who pour on the misery and the poor Indians run far, far away into the woods. They’re definitely no longer a threat. 

Those French skirmishers you just saw shooting up the natives then push on through the woods towards one of the possible objective locations. Rick has troops approaching 2 possible locations. His rangers are sniping at the Indians close by and have killed their leader! The Indians are having a bad day. 

One group of Indians moves randomly to the table edge and troubles nobody. Great idea to introduce random chaos, but of course random can go any way.

Speaking of which! Anyone who knows Sharp Practice will appreciate the randomness of this; 6 command cards dealt in a row, triggering 2 random events, followed by the Tiffin card! I can’t imagine I’ll ever see that again.

There follows a flurry of objective grabbing! Rick Rogers’ rangers are first to check out a location for that there sacred tomahawk. I get Franches de la Marine skirmishers to one and then another. The last objective marker has British “light bobs” closing in on it. But who has the objective marker with an X on its bottom…? Who has found the sacred tomahawk…?

The British rangers retreat quickly back to their table edge with the objective marker they’ve collected! Do they have the sacred tomahawk…?

The 4th group of Indians provide the targets for the target practice. Clearly the British grenadiers need it! Or they’re just not suited to fighting in woods. They only give the Indians a peppering rather than a pasting.

British line infantry move forward to engage with the French. Maybe they’re not best suited to fighting in woods either. They come under fire from skirmishers here, there, seems to be buddy everywhere!

Rick attacks one of my groups of Franches de la Marine sitting on an objective marker with his light infantry. And his rangers have abandoned the marker they took. That had been a ruse! All the objective markers have been checked now, and as Rick knows he hasn’t found the sacred tomahawk, he knows I have it!

His light infantry pile in… and lose! That’s the remains of the charging light infantry dragging their ko’ed officer away. 

I start withdrawing my Franches de la Marine skirmishers. They have the 2 objective markers I’ve collected. Rick is going to have his work cut out to catch them. 

His line infantry are the closest, but I’ve continued to target them, even whilst withdrawing and they're suffering…. A 1 and their officer has been sniped…another 1 and he’s dead! They won’t be able to follow up my withdrawal. 

I advance my line, a picket formed from my 2 regiments of regulars, and the British grenadiers, fresh as daisies and unscathed, are still executing Indians - unexpectedly the random presence of natives had resulted in a duck shoot!

I’m getting both the objective markers close to my deployment point (the trapper and mule). With his only real chance of catching me - the grenadiers - far away and preoccupied, Rick concedes. Clear French victory (the British were also down 6 points on their Force Morale. I can’t think of anything that went well for the British 🤔

Great game! Rick has already declared that he will have his revenge!

Cheers for reading


Westerhope Wargames Group in exile