Thursday, 23 December 2021

Last Post of the year

 Well with only a couple of days to go before Christmas descends I would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a wish that 2022 brings us all better times.

Another quiet one is scheduled for us as the kids are either working or choosing to spend Christmas Day at home - the Covid onslaught still causing so much disruption to life.

Still our pooch I’m sure will enjoy the day and sends her Christmas greetings to.


I’m still feeling after effects of Covid with poor sleep and poor concentration but I’m guessing that’s just something that will improve with time! Usually I set out plans and projects but with the exception of desperately wanting to finish the Culloden project, which was the whole purpose of creating Crann Tara miniatures, then I’m finding it difficult to focus on the other things. Sitting in the wings is WAB 2, Epic Napoleonic and some FIW. Leigh has been painting my 15mm ACW and ECW both of which should be completed by summer so at the moment it’s just going with the flow.

Take care and see you all in 2022.

Sunday, 19 December 2021

Off the bench

 As Christmas looms closer I’ve been spending most of my hours repairing the damage the storm caused the other week, fence is replaced, groundworks tidied a list of what’s required in the Spring and most things back where they belong! 

It has meant little time for painting etc.although today I managed to clear some space on the workbench by finishing the basing on a number of figures, cleared two units of epic ACW in addition finished the basing on some PP ACW Lee had painted for me, as always he’s done a great job. Particularly on the Berdans which are now my favourite unit 😁





In addition I almost finished  painting some more of Warlord Games epic British cavalry my take on the Union Brigade for DBN. I have to say they are great little figures and quick to paint.


I do aim to get another post in before Christmas with a brief look back and forward projects, thoughts etc.and before closing I see the Warlords have cancelled Salute for 2022! I will maybe make further comment on this next time, so it will be interesting! To see what happens to the other ‘early’ shows next year.
Take care.


Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Coming off the bench!

 Thought I’d squeeze one more quick post in, on the recovery to health the last two weeks has also seen me trying to clear what’s on the bench. Although that will slow a little as the recent storm decided to take out 80’ of fencing so the next few days will see me otherwise engaged putting new fence up.

First up waiting for the grass and heather to grow and standards to be issued are a batch of Lowlanders there will be a muster soon to see what else is needed I have a feeling it’s 12 highlanders and the Jacobite artillery and crew 


Then I mentioned I had been lulled back into WAB, and Greeks were on the menu. I had hoped to finish these off but there’s still 15 to go to finish the first batch and from the photos I can see there’s some touching up to do mainly Lucid eye and Foundry.




Then of course I had to paint up some of the Warlord epic French cavalry I got with WI - quite enjoyed doing these.


Finally the club project epic ACW so these guys are assembled again waiting for the grass to grow. Still quite a bit on the bench to finish but we will press on against the odds.

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Heth renews the attack

 Some time ago I fought the McPherson Ridge scenario from the Summer Storm scenario book for the battle of Gettysburg.  I always think the early attacks of Archers and Davis’ brigades make for an entertaining game. The scenario was played using the Bonnie Blue flag rules and it pretty much followed the real battle The Union Cutlers brigade got pretty mangled but the Iron Brigade saw of Archer’s brigade and Davis’ brigade was too spent to put any pressure on the Union.

So today I thought I would refight the second scenario in the book this starts around 2.45pm and follows a lull in the battle allowing both sides to reorganise and bring up reinforcements.


The above two photos are from the Confederate right flank Pettigrews brigade of North Carolina regiments all green troops but some big regiments 6-800 men per regiment ( 1 base is roughly 100 men)

Moving along the Confederate line Brockenbrough’s brigade - all experienced Virginians but some small units these two brigades were facing off against Merediths brigade ( Iron Brigade) some of the units carrying casualties from the earlier engagement. He’s supported by Dana’s brigade 3 regiments of green Pennsylvanians.

Bringing up on the rear of the Union left flank is Biddles brigade.


Way out on the Union right is Baxter’s brigade supported by the 6th Wisconsin a detached regiment from the Iron brigade coming towards them is Daniels brigade they are supported by 5 batteries of guns from Pegrams artillery which are firing from off board.

The Confederates didn’t waste any time with a full advance along the line although Daniels started to swing some of his regiments towards the centre. 

Early exchanges went the Union way with the Iron brigade still showing their worth however the Union whilst repelling some of the early attacks were unable to break those large green regiments. The Virginians in the centre were made of sterner stuff and advanced to engage elements of the Iron Brigade and Dana’s brigade




Biddle’s brigade began to move to the Union left to hold the flank against Pettigrew’s men.
As the Confederates pressed forward pressure began to mount on the Union line the 40th and 42nd Virginians attacked the 24th Michigan  who suddenly evaporated before the onslaught! At the same time Rebel units from Daniels brigade were starting to advance towards the flank of Dana’s brigade





At the same time Pettigrew’s brigade was putting pressure on Biddle’s   brigade on the left. The Union commanders were working overtime trying to replace lost attrition on their units whilst the rebel commanders had managed to keep fresh units in the line whilst rallying troops. Baxter’s brigade had managed to destroy the 53rd North Carolina and were swinging left to attack Dana’s brigade however Pettigrew’s artillery had been gradually causing casualties to the point where Baxter had used his attrition point in keeping his men moving. 

At this point the Union had lost 4 regiments to the Confedrate 1. The Union centre had buckled to the point where there was only the 7th Wisconsin holding the centre. Biddle’s men had managed to stall Pettigrew’s attack although it was more than likely another co-ordinated attack would force Biddle’s men back.

8 bounds had been played.





A thoroughly enjoyable game, a couple of things I need to check/ adapt, I can’t find any rules for taking the ground if victorious in melee, I’ve done away with the loss of a unit if you score less than 10% in the morale/ attrition test and changed it to scoring zero, likewise if a unit scores 99 I’m tempted to reinstate either an attrition point to the unit or to the Brigade commander. I have a number f sets of rules which I enjoy these to me give a straight forward game.






Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Surfacing from under the blanket

 On the 19th October after 28 years working as a civilian for Cleveland Police my wife took early retirement as over the last few years the management of the force has run its staff into the ground this isn’t the place to go on about poor leadership etc. But after doing the sums it was worth her while to leave and she has found another job less stress, better managed and almost same pay. Her parting gift was to test Positive for Covid on the 22nd. She had what seemed like a bad cold my tests PCR and lateral flow were negative but on the night of the 26th I felt like crap and sure enough tested positive.

Anything flu or cold like goes straight on my chest and up until today I’ve really been out of it, so don’t know how I’d have been without vaccine - most probably in hospital!

Today I still have bad cough and chest but starting to feel better and isolation finishes Friday.

I know I’m feeling better as I managed to finish the bases on these Sea People figures (Lucid Eye Miniatures) that I started before Covid Struck. They haven’t been Matt varnished yet as the weather and atmosphere didn’t feel conducive to getting good results.





The figures are excellent sculpts ( a little on the large side) but are a joy to paint. This is a dabble back to WAB 1.5 and is all down to Phil Olley and his associates. There’s also some Greek hoplites starting to make an appearance.

I also copied the Chariot rampant rules from WSS to allow an intermediate level of gaming at some point.
Hopefully next week if I’m feeling better I can return to some 18th century pieces.

Take care



 


Friday, 22 October 2021

Battle of Maida 1806 - a Wofun day.

 The Battle of Maida was fought on 4 July 1806 was a battle between the British expeditionary force and a French

force outside the town of Maida in Calabria,  Italy  John Stuart led 5,236 Anglo-Sicilian troops to victory over about 5,400 Franco-Italian-Polish troops under the command of French general Jean Reynier, inflicting significant losses while incurring relatively few casualties. 

A detailed account of the Battle can be read on Wikipedia and most probably the best book on the Battle is The Battle of Maida - 15 minutes of Glory by Richard Hopton. 

It’s a great battle to play as both armies are about equal in size, the British have more artillery but the French have cavalry.

I decided to give my 18mm Wofun Peninsular War collection a run out, I haven’t textured the bases yet and I haven’t used their artillery pieces I find them hard to assemble - I’ve broken more than I’d made so resorted to using some Blue Moon pieces I had. 

Due to the size of the game I used a scale of 1 base to around 100 men and decided to try Andy Callan's rules for the period. 

I did make a few tweaks which I will make available once typed these centred around an element of variable movement, allowing troops to rally from failed panic tests, introducing panic tests for troops suffering a base or more loss to firing and removing the rule where 1st class troops don’t need to take panic tests but giving them a +1 when taking.

The orders of Battle 

British

C-in-C - Major Gen Sir John Stuart

Advance Guard - Col John Kempt 

BattalionsUnitStrength
1Combined Light Bn550
2 coysCorsican Rangers (dressed like Rifles - with Red facings)200
1 coy
Sicilian Volunteers

Additional detached lights
100

150


First Brigade - Col Lowry Cole

BattalionsUnitStrength
1Combined Grenadier Bn542
127th Regt - Inniskilling (Buff facings)723

Second Brigade - Col Acland

BattalionsUnitStrength
178th Highland Regt - Ross-shire Buffs (Buff facings - Kilted)574
181st Regt - (Buff facings)766

Third Brigade - Col Oswald

BattalionsUnitStrength
120th Regt - East Devonshire (Yellow facings) not part of brigade.550
158th Regt - Rutlandshire (Black facings)624
5 coysDe Watteville's Swiss (Black facings)312

Artillery 10 x4pdrs + 1 light howitzer

French

C-in-C - Gen de Division Jean Louis Reynier

GdB Compere's Brigade

BattalionsUnitStrength
21er Regt Inf Legere1500
142e Regt Inf Ligne750

GdB Digonnet's Brigade

BattalionsUnitStrength
223e Regt Inf Legere1500



GdB Peyri's Brigade

BattalionsUnitStrength
1

2
1er Regt Inf Suisse

Le Legion Polaroid-Italien
750

900

Cavalry

4 SqnsChasseurs a Cheval300

1 Bty Horse Artillery (4 guns - 112 men)

. . . . .

Both armies advanced onto the field of battle in echelon the British leading with the right flank and the French with the left as I was fighting this solo I intended to follow the same deployment and orders .

The stream is easily fordable the banks and ground to the South is broken ground 

The 20th Foot arrived some time later having marched to the sound of the guns I will shake for these to arrive as a random event.

Interesting thing with Andy’s rules is that shooting comes first in the bound and other than skirmishers if you shoot you can’t move. It certainly puts a different perspective on the orders you issue and I thought it worked well.

The early bounds saw Kempt move forward with the light battalion and sending the skirmishers to counter the French lights advancing down the flank. Likewise Acland and Cole advanced with Oswald arriving behind to move up in the centre.

From the French perspective Reynier moved forward with the two battalions of the 1st Leger, Compère attachĂŠ himself to the 42nd Ligne. 

The other Brigades arrived and deployed moving towards the advancing British.






Reynier decided to keep his left battalion in column and deployed the second into line his thinking being that the column could strike the British lights and the second battalion would offer fire support, the 42nd were racing for the ridge where they would then deploy into line, elsewhere troops continued to advance.

Kempt managed to get off an early volley causing casualties to the French column, the 78th Highlanders won the race to the ridge and fired a crippling volley onto the 42nd.







In one volley the 78th scored 5 hits from 6 dice! The following bound the had an almost equally devastating volley and Compère fell.
Reynier attacked with one column of the 1st but Kempt repulsed the attack and the supporting fire from the second battalion proved ineffective .

The French were attacking along the line now, the French were losing the firefights but a glimmer of hope surfaced Peyri’s brigade performed beyond all expectations the Swiss battalion caught Oswalds guns before they deployed and the two battalions of Poles charged the 81st Foot, one battalion of Poles having already taken casualties were repulsed and failed their panic test, however the second battalion threw exceptional dice forcing the 81st back a 1 was thrown and the 81st broke! However the victorious Polish troops had taken heavy casualties and were almost at 50% strength.

The French Chasseurs had charged the 27th forcing them into square and although repulsed the French horse artillery succeeded in causing casualties on the 27th before they could reform into line.









Pressure on both sides mounted, the 23rd Legere broke Cole’s combined grenadier battalion, the second Polish battalion broke under musket fire, the British 20th foot arrived on the British left forcing the Chasseurs to withdraw and then disaster struck the French army, with the 42nd ligne broken the Highlanders began to wheel in order to bring extra fire to bear on the 1st Legere, the supporting guns opened fire with canister and the French Commander Reynier fell, with Kempt’s battalion starting to take heavy casualties from the 1st Legere the supporting fire from the Highlanders brought a much needed respite. Elsewhere the Swiss broke under musket fire from Oswalds brigade. This brought the French to their break point and game over. 

Throughout the whole battle the voltigeurs and Allied lights had been exchanging fire whilst the Allies had gained an early upper hand the exchange settled into a lot of shooting but few casualties.

A great game and a battle worthy of a rematch now I have a feel for the rules and my minor tweaks they seemed to work well and provided an enjoyable game.




In closing I know the Wofun pieces aren’t perhaps as good as having 3d minis on the table but as I’ve said before for gaming in a period I haven’t the time to paint armies for they’re an excellent alternative.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Steel Fist 15mm ECW for sale

I’ve decide to sell most of my Steel First miniatures Kickstarter as I managed to pick up a large collection painted ECW from Lee who is continuing to add regiments for me so these are now surplus to requirements.

Packs of Cavalry contain 12 figures - 10 troopers, musician and cornet.
Infantry 30 figures 22 privates ,2 Officers, 2 Musicians, 2 ensigns and 2 Sergeants.
Cavalry packs are £12 
Infantry packs £14  or the whole lot (10 packs infantry and 5 packs cavalry ) £180 excl postage which is at cost.
Cav packs 
H2  Horse trotting with pistol
H4 Horse Harquebusiers
H5 lifeguard charging with Sword
H6 Lifeguard standing
H7  Mounted Dragoons
Infantry packs
F1 Pike shouldered pike x1
F2 Pike charge your pike x2
F3 musket shouldered musket x3
F4 musket giving fire and reloading.
For photos of the figures check the Steel miniatures website





Just shout if interested, Friday I’m going to refight the battle of Maida with my Wofun minis - battle report will follow.
 

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Partizan part 2 ‘Loot and a few more thoughts’

 I shall try and keep this fairly brief and give some more thoughts not so much about the quality of the show but of attending it etc under the current climate.

But first the purchases were modest 



The ancient rules were both show special £5 each and were bought due to their focus on slightly different game mechanics and periods covered -Spartan to Successors is dice less and uses playing cards and grid movement, different coloured cards allowing different classes of units to perform different actions etc. Limited command and armies designed to be around 12 units. Not fully read or digested.

To Ur is Human! Not read yet but as well as Classical Greek the Bronze Age is my next favourite ancient period. 

Rapid Fire Reloaded also £5 is a quick play version of the Rapid Fire rules and appear to be very popular. I loved Rapid Fire and whilst I sold all my 20mm collection when Lee died I still have a few 15’s and a colleague who has a large collection of 15mm stuff I just need to convert him now.


Now a few more thoughts on the show this isn’t about the quality ( which was excellent ) but more about attending in general. When I saw the photos of the Falkirk show it was clear that the majority of people who attended wore masks when moving around and perhaps I naively thought this would be the same. 

Laurence and Richard the principal organisers and thoroughly decent sensible chaps had advertised for some time that they asked people to be sensible, wear masks when moving around, don’t attend if you feel unwell and use the sanitisers etc around the hall. They didn’t wish to enforce the restrictions and relied on people’s common sense.

Unfortunately that failed big style, posters on the entry points reinforced the requests together with asking people to use the NHS checking in scan. Whilst a lot of people wore masks as they entered within an hour or so the vast majority of people weren’t. I met a couple of people I know who attended and who were full of cold and no masks why? Where was there consideration for others, I’ve also seen comments by some that they were unaware of the requests, pretty hard to miss if you came in the main entrance.

I can’t quite fathom out the difference between to the two shows in that respect. I’ve also seen some kick back now that the Salute organisers have announced that the Excel require people entering the facility to show they’ve had both jabs, are exempt or had a recent negative test with some people saying they won’t go as they will not be dictated to?

If by next year we are still in a similar position then I hope there is a rethink regarding entry to the event.

I briefly mentioned the York show in February next year, I know they are not having a bring and buy and have moved the downstairs games to the vacant spaces upstairs however if they decide to just ask people to be sensible rather than insist on mask wearing I won’t be going, the show is always busy, crowded and uncomfortable.

It’s a difficult decision as the hobby has supported me over the last 45 years through some difficult times and the shows have been an essential part in that, providing inspiration and an excellent way to meet with friends socially. 

Once again there is no criticism of the organisers who did everything right except putting their faith in the attendees and bearing in mind the age profile of the majority of attendees it’s a bit like Turkeys voting for Christmas!

Monday, 11 October 2021

Partizan 2021

 Well after what seems an eternity the time has come to venture out and attend a Wargames show. Partizan has always been my favourite show and attending this year as a punter with no time pressure was going to be different. I treat myself to an overnight stay in the Premier Inn about a mile and half away from the venue. 

The evening meal in the adjoining beefeater was novel in that you were presented with a list of food not available due to food shortages and supply problems! So if quorn sausages, truffle burgers, lasagne and fillet steaks are your thing then you better stock up. But the staff were friendly and I got fed and watered, later in the evening I met Stuart Insch and Graham Hilditch for a couple of drinks, they’d set up Graham’s 40mm SYW game which as you will see later was most impressive.

Refreshed and relaxed I arrived at the show ground about 9.45am and a pretty long queue was already formed. The weather was nice and a fresh breeze made the queuing ok and the Partizan organisers had asked people to wear masks whilst moving around and to be fair on going in most people put their masks on but by lunch time it was apparent most people had chosen not to wear them. I found that a little unsettling and so I left at 1.30 and did a small detour by Marston Moor.

Before posting the photos I have to say it was good to meet up with people I haven’t seen for two years and catch up, of course Duncan was missing and at noon a number of others gathered to offer up a toast to him drinking the Port ‘Tricks’ had bought for Duncan’s birthday but which he never had chance to deliver.

The show itself was busy and the guys had opened the two large doors at the end of the Hall to allow air to circulate and it was greatly appreciated.

The quality of the games did not disappoint and in my humble opinion if you want top quality demo and participation games this show can not be beaten. As always I didn’t get photos of every game and just because I didn’t take a,photo doesn’t mean it didn’t warrant it so for example I owe David Imrie an apology for not taking photos of his game for some reason!

A 60mm To the Strongest participation game with Simon Millar and friend a most impressive looking game








Durham Wargames with their Dark Age Battle



Graham Hilditch with his absolutely stunning 40mm Seven Years game 

















The Perry Twins attended and of course put a display on of their Paraguayan range



A 28mm conversion of Command and Colours Borodino





Shrewsbury Wargames put on a 28mm Seven Years war battle









And a cornucopia f images of just some of the other games that caught my eye



















So a return to proper Wargaming with a bang and if I only attended one show a year this would be it.
The lack of mask wearing most probably means I won’t attend the York show in February unless the situation improves dramatically as I always find that show to be very overcrowded and uncomfortable
I will do a short part 2 re purchases other thoughts etc shortly