Friday, 3 November 2017

Paper Soldiers

Not quite the same ring as Paper Roses by Donnie and Marie Osmond but more fun !

Some time ago on one of the forum's a discussion took place re our wargames bucket list - thos games, battles campaigns we would like to play before our time is up!

All the usuals Waterloo, Gettysburg, Belnheim, Gaugamela etc etc turned up and whilst I'm lucky enough to have ticked off quite a few on my list as you would expect there's still quite a few I would like to do.

One of these is the 1066 campaign - don't ask me why it's just one I would like to do, I've started the project twice -once in 28mm many years ago and after painting 400+ vikings with the thought of having to paint around 500 Saxon figures and the same again for the Normans I gave up and sold the Vikings.

Then about 6 years ago I had another stab this time in 10mm this time I painted the Saxons first but the same stone wall was hit and there were other projects I would rather paint.

So when Helion books started to releases their Battles in Britain books (and now Battles in America) I thought third time lucky. Now there is now way will these replace 'real' figures but Peter Dennis is a damn fine artist and I think he has made some wonderful images.

So in between painting etc the snip, snip, snip can be heard and lo and behold the Saxons for Fulford gate are just about done



Now as I also enjoy board games this sort of thing fits neatly between the two, in addition the rules by Andy Callan seem pretty good as well.

With advancing years and no desire to keep adding to the already substantial lead and plastic mountain I think this is a great halfway house.

For those who dont wish to cut out so close to the figures etc. I've been playing around reducing the figures and painting in the sky - will show some later they end up around 20mm although I did go down as low as 10!!

The books are available from Helion books and Amazon and are certainly worth a look, his AWI one is especially nice. To come is a Marlburian and early medieval.


Monday, 30 October 2017

Fiasco 2017

It's not very often that i get to visit a show these days as a fee paying 'punter' but Fiasco held at what used to be the Saville suite opposite the Royal Armouries is a show I try to go to just to catch up with people and see what's happening from the other side of the table.

So it was that Sunday morning, after that extra hour in bed, saw me driving the 70 miles to Leeds arriving just after 10.

The show itself I feel is not as good as it was in the glory days of the 90's but it has held it's own as a medium sized show with a good and varied selection of traders.

There were a few games that caught my eye but compared to the likes of Partizan it certainly lacks the 'show' of the real historical games as is my like.

Trader wise I spent most of my money with Martin at 'Warbases' on bases and some more of his superb 15mm Ancient Roman buildings. I have seen his company grow from it's inception and to be fair he is one of the nicest people in the business and produces fantastic product.

The other chunk of cash went to Trevor and Paula on Coritani Miniatures/Magnetic displays on all sorts of bits, paints, brushes etc.

In addition I bought some 6mm ACW buildings from Leven miniatures who do some wonderful stuff including a very nice Vauban fort.

1st corps almost tempted me with their new ancient Thracians and more Dark age of which I shall no doubt buy some of shortly but I cam away lead and plastic free. There are loads of nice figures out there but the days of impulse buying seem to have passed me by or is it that I'm just becoming a grumpy old man!

Nice to touch base with quite a few people as well. Down side of the venue is the extremely poor lighting and the catering, apart from buying some very nice cake off the charity cake stall I had my meal in the Armouries.

Now onto the games that caught my eye and apologies for some of the pictures as I said lighting was horrendous.

James Roach with his Seven Years War rendition of the Battle of Zorndorf was the best by far  and the only other game I took photos of was Leven Miniatures 6mm Siege of Gondor - not enough figures but the model of Gondor and of the figures was very nice.
 That doesn't mean the other games were poor they just didn't do anything for me. - more Grumpy Old man!! A show still worth a half day visit with a follow up to the Armouries.
















I did go over to the Armouries to see the Agincourt diorama again pictures are not too good due to the protective case over the model but it is worth seeing








My next blog installment will be a bit about gaming and Paper Soldiers!!!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Mounted Fusiliers De Morliere

These have been a long time coming. The riders are painted by Steve Allen I did the horses etc and on this occasion had to have a go at the guidon.

I gave up painting flags years ago but as none seems to do this one I had to have a go hence the delay.
It's passable!

Just got some horse holders to do now.


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

British on Parade

Whilst tidying the gaming cabin up I thought it was about time to deploy the British army that are currently painted.
With the exception of some dismounted dragoons and a couple of guns here they are!
For some reason half the images from the ipad wouldn't upload but hopefully you will get a taste





One more Guard battalion and five more line to go together with 6 or 7 squadrons of horse and then some militia

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Best of Times - Worst of Times

Just a short reflective post and I'm sorry if I ramble.
Following my divorce its enough to say that times were turbulant especially with my son who was 12 at the time and many years passed where his resentment, hurt etc all came to the fore. Enough to say that I often wondered if I could ever put things right.

18 months ago he asked if he could move in with us, he had been seeing a a girl from America and he wanted to emigrate and marry her, he was finding it hard to live at home with his mam. My wife despite reservations said he should live with us.

Despite some ups and downs we've put a lot of things right, father and son time has been spent doing all things we often talked about but never did - we haven't quite completed the list as whilst 18 months seems a long time it soon passes and Friday saw us have our last big wargame - a 30k Sci.fi game was his wish and it was most probably one of the most fun games we had but tinge with sadness that it was our last until whenever!

The weekend has been hard helping him pack and sort things out and identifying what else I need to post out.

Tomorrow will be harder as we go to Newcastle airport and he flies off to pastures new in Georgia.

It comes to all families I know and as we get older Life becomes a series of good byes and just reinforces that we shouldn't squander our time.

So my son will start his new life and with luck I will be out there next year for his wedding.

Missing him already ( think he's hoping for a part on Vikings series 6 :) )


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Battle is given

Following on from my last post and thank you gentlemen for your comments a most excellent weekend was had by all.
As you're aware these actions usually find their way into one of Charles' publications so far be it for me to give a detailed account of the game.
However I will make some comments and observations - as you will know the battle started in the early hours of the morning in the dark with both armies reacting to what was around them as dawn broke.
Prior to the game Charles had sent us both briefing sheets and a very small map with a request that we wrote our orders and submitted them prior to the day.
Short of putting a curtain down the middle of the room then this process worked extremely well, we used reduced move and firing distances to reflect moving at night and were obliged to follow our orders until the enemy were spotted or troops arrived at their designated positions.
What quickly became apparent is that both John and I had completely misjudged the distances between key points on the board but had also completely got it wrong on our assumptions of where the enemy would be and what there plans were.
To add even more frustrations other than our CinC's we also only had one ADC with which to change orders, its fair to say that by the end of the day my General and his Aide had been run ragged.
Charles' amendments worked well to reflect the mayhem and chaos that often follows a night time engagement.
A close fought bloody  battle.
Just a few pics of the game which I don't think give anything away.









Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The March to Kloster camp.

This weekend I shall be attending Charles Grant's wonderful home for a game against my erstwhile opponent John Dougan.
We shall be refighting Kloster Camp and hopefully it should provide enough entertainment and interest to be included in Charles' next book in the Refighting History series.
I'm taking a few of my pieces along but we found we were British Grenadiers short, as I base mine as part of the battalion then it was necessary to paint some more. Charles had 16, so I esent him a further 16 and set about painting my 16 plus a couple of officers.


British Grenadiers i think one of the hardest figures to paint for the period, anyway these are my attempts.

Hopefully will provide another update on the 1744 campaign before the weekend -

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Invasion 1744

First apologies for the absence, the business has been taking up quite a lot of time, the new sculptor has been extremely productive as has my paint bench,

However in between all of that I have eventually started umpiring the 1744 campaign. You may recall this was based upon the proposed invasion of England by Marshall Saxe and around 12,000 men in an attempt to place the Young Pretender on the throne.

The reality was that storms damaged around 12 of the invasion fleet transports and the French lost heart ( if it was ever in it).

The detailed account (now going to be in two parts) will appear in the Wargames Annual.

However for those that would like a heads up and an insight - here we go

The British troops are under the command of Ligonier
deployed in London are 3 battalion of Guard infantry in and around the southern counties are a further 6 battalions of infantry, 2 regiments of dragoons and 3 regiments of horse. In Scotland is General Cope with 4 Battalions of foot and 2 regiments of dragoons.

The British have already sent for the support of 5000 Hessians who could take around 2 -3 weeks to arrive.

The British have effectively sent dragoons to the southern coast and South east with the foot moving to positions around London. In reality the French chose Maldon to land. In this campaign the French player has chosen Sittingbourne in Kent.

The early days saw the French player choose to send the young Prince with two battalions of Infantry and some cavalry to Scotland to raise the clans ( not a move I expected) the remainder of the army boarded ships - not before delays set in due to the failure to load the artillery ammunition and bad weather.
The French started landing at Sittingbourne on the evening of the 10th June the first to land were two squadrons of Dragoons and a German brigade.

On the morning of the 11th the two squadrons moved out one on the road to Maidstone and one towards Ashford it wasn't long before the squadron moving towards Ashford was met by their British opposite number and received a rough handling but not before they observed British infantry deployed on a low ridge.

Marshall Saxe knew the rest of the army wouldn't be unloaded until late on the 11th so he ordered the Gemans and the Fusiliers de Morliere to move out and probe the British lines.

The action that followed saw 3 Battalions of German infantry, 2 squadrons of cavalry and the Fusiliers de Morliere attack the British force of 2 battalion of infantry, 4 squadrons of cavalry and a 6 pounder.

Major Semillon launched an aggressive attack on the British line who's infantry under Major Dundee were reluctant to move off the ridge and who's musketry was decidedly mediocre.






The Fusiliers de Morliere supported the French horse on their right and on the left the Regiment Saxe was ordered to attack the farm whilst La Marck and Lowendhal attacked the British center

On the French right their horse engaged with the British but both sides fought themselves to a standstill, on the French left Saxe drove off a squadron of dragoons but were repulsed by the dismounted dragoons holding the farm,

the attack in the center closed rapidly with only light casualties due to ineffective British firing but just as the attack was about to go in the British found their form and decimated La Marck causing them to retreat.

The British infantry at last started to move but the Fusiliers de Morliere caused some galling fire on the British infantry making them reluctant to pursue as the French withdrew from the field.





La Marck took the heaviest casualties and not many men will return to the colours that night!
Because my son was helping me we used Honours of War with my own house 'tweaks'