Thursday 27 August 2015

Traversing fire and the vagaries of Blackpowder.

 Eagl eyed viewers will spot the Tardis in the grounds of the churchyard, unfortunately it didn't help Charles fight any better.

 Its a funny old game,...wargaming. One minute you're up there, the second its dragging you down, buts that's enough of cliches. Blackpowder as a set of rules certainly knows how to kick one in the cods, as witnessed in the refight of the Battle of Leuthen, yesterday. Again I will leave the account to Colin who organised the whole affair, and should take credit for a first class battle.
 I actually volunteered for command of the Austrian's, realising that their commanders did not perform very well on the day, especially the Commander in Chief, Charles of Lorraine, who really should have been shot after the real battle, but titles have their privileges.
 Anyway two things were thrown up during the refight using Blackpowder, both were very important to the battle from both sides point of view. One was traversing fire by artillery and the second was the ability of Prussian field guns being able to manhandle forward and fire in the same move. Neither are items mentioned in the rules as being no no's, however neither sat well the the Austrian commanders, probably because we were getting shot to pieces by the said guns. Personally I dont think you can do either, but I am biased. Still the game fought out well, albeit the Austrians and especially my commands collapsed like a deck of cards. I wait in anticipation for the decision by Sepp Blatter as to an official ruling on the Warlord website. In the meantime its fair to say that the Prussian army and Blackpowder are not flavour of the month. Now where are those Frostgrave plastic figures?

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Blucher re basing.

Before I returned to 28mm figures I built up a very large collection of 6mm armies. My main collection being the Napoleonic wars. In the 1990's I realised that 6mm was the only scale to refight the battles of the Napoleonic Wars. At that time after a couple of false starts John and I discovered the Volley and Bayonet rules, which offered brigade sized units and the chance to re fight all the big battles. I still think these rules are amongst the best for providing simple rules with a good historical feel to them.
 When I decided to start collecting 28mm figures again [ and I still haven't worked out why exactly] my 6mm collections have just sat in boxes. Some I have sold, but I just couldnt bring myself to get rid of my Napoleonics. Anyway the new Blucher rules have given me a reason to take my 6mm armies out of their boxes, and re base them.
These are a few rebased units that I have done for the Blucher rules. At the present time they are just samples because I want to add some visual appeal to the bases, ie, unit markers and of course a bit of colour to show which nationality etc they are. Still I do like them, for the simple reason they look like a brigade of troops for the Napoleonic Wars.
Re basing can be a chore, and I've already chopped a couple of fingers and ruined some figures by taking them off their old bases, but hopefully it will be worth it. One thing I had forgotten about, was just how many 6mm figures I have for the period. My goal, and one battle that I had never refought was the slug fest Liepzig.I had painted all the troops, but never completed the terrain for it, so perhaps this time.

 Napoleon looking a bit dazed after being brought back into the sunlight after some years.

Thursday 20 August 2015

Black Hussar.

 There is an awful lot of quality wargaming figures coming out of Germany at the moment. I suppose its not that surprising given the history of German miniature making over the years.
 Anyway I have just received some more metal from Black Hussar of Berlin. I hope to complete a few? Prussian units painted up as Saxons in the next few months, but I also obtained the new Black Hussar civilians in the order. One can never have enough little figure bases scattered over your battlefield.Anyway here are a couple of the figures based up. They are fine figures to paint and I would definitely recommend a purchase or two from Black Hussar, especially with the Euro not being too strong.

Sunday 16 August 2015

Black Powder and the Battle of Rossbach.

I know there are a lot of detractors for the Blackpowder wargames rules, and as I have said before, they are like Marmite, but after our very recent refight of the Battle of Rossbach at Colin's house, I'm convinced that they are more good points than bad ones.
 To read an account of the actual re fight I would refer any readers to Colin's Carry on up the Dale blogsite, but certainly during this game, the rules with some amendments taken from the supplement Last Argument of Kings worked really well, even though the French lost on the day.
 It is to the credit of the authors that the rules which on the face of it appear a very generic set, actually in my opinion gave a very good historic feel to the actual refight.
 Classifying the various French commanders as Timid, Insubordinate, Rash and just downright pants certainly added some extra friction to the game.

Dave Jarvis, painter extraordinaire, looking pensive at the start of the game. I put Dave in charge of the French/Imperialist cavalry. Not a good place to be.
                                      The French army strung out along the table.
                         French heavy cavalry attempting to come to the aid of their allies. Their commander was a Timid chap, and managed to lead them ineffectually all the game, before being shot from his horse during a desperate charge against Prussian Grenadiers. The charge failed.I was pretty desperate by then.
  The French Imperialists struggling to cross the battlefield and form a decent battle line.
                                 The Prussian juggernaut pops up at the edge of the table.
  Von Seylditz leading his charge into the Imperial cavalry caught in march formations. Not a recommended position to start the game, but not as decisive as it could have been.
  The Austrian hussars, quite rightly didnt fancy hanging around and attempted to get out of the way.
 Unfortunately it didn't work, and more Prussian Cuirassiers caught up with them, surprisingly the melee didnt prove decisive for the Prussians.
   The Wild Geese, masquerading as Swiss managed to gain the main hill, before being comprehensively beaten in melee by the Prussians, thus ending the game with the loss of four French brigades.

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Family Commitments 2.

 As I stated in my last post, I have been very busy with my family which caused me to halt anything wargame related. Anyway my house is now quiet again, so hopefully I can catch up on things.A while ago I was given some unpainted Willie Horses by a AMG member called John Duggan. It was a very kind gesture, but I knew that one would need a very large figure to fit them. Anyway, Front Rank supply a large French Garde Gendarme which I have now finished. The figures still needed a bit of work to actually fit, but I do like the overall effect. No doubt when they are seen in the flesh, someone will point out that the Garde rode dark chestnut horses. However I have found that the Willie horses paint up well as greys.

 In what little time I have had, I have been experimenting with the artists acrylic, Davys Gray, as recommended by master painter Tony Runkee. The effect is very good for a shade of white, but I think Im going to have to experiment more to achieve what I am trying for.Still I've made a start. From little acorns etc. Anyway its good to be back.


Family Commitments 1.

Due to a very busy couple of weeks I haven't been able to keep up with my blog, and also reply to any comments, well apart from deleting some tossers spam, but there is always some dick out there.
 Anyway now for some catching up.
 Firstly Colin and I made the trek North of the border to Claymore to see how things were going.
 I have been a little wary of travelling back into Scotland after a bit chew at a party in Glasgow a few years ago.[ nothing wargame related, more to do with some people turning into Braveheart and not being able to hold their drink.]
  Anyway, Claymore was always a very friendly show and this years was no exception.
 The venue does take some finding, and is a good ten minutes from the city centre. On top of that it was held on the only summer's day that Scotland has experienced this year, and the venue was very hot.
 Years ago when Claymore was held at Adam House in the city centre I was always very keen to attend the show, which always seemed a very busy and large show. Now I would say about 500 or so people attended the show, and it is now a medium sized event.
 The standout game was Barry Hilton's winter Great Northern War game. It was nice to see Barry's stuff on show, with some really well painted units and terrain. I loved the bomb ketch.

Several members of the Durham group had brought a game North, led by Conrad Cairns, who staged a 54mm Placenoit game. There were some very nice units on the table, and I particularly loved the French Line lancers
Below are some old Helmet, French Line Lancers. The crests are actually velvet, which was a feature of the figures originally.

                                             A well painted French unit in greatcoats.
I was impressed with the terrain effect on this Wars of the Roses game which was nicely produced.
 Overall the remainder of the games, were of a club standard, which is okay for a night game, but doesn't do much at a show. Claymore has always held a great Bring and Buy, and this years was no exception, especially if you played board games or Warhammer. The stalls were busy all day.
 I was able to meet up with fellow members of the AMG site, which was extremely pleasant, especially when you are able to pick up tips from some very decent painters.
 Mr Jarvis had some magnificent British on show, which he'd painted a beautiful scarlet, which I will have to plagiarize.I also met Angus Konstam for the first time, which was interesting. His SYW Russian army is a beautiful thing to behold.
Because of our train times, Colin and I stayed at the show, until late, and it struck me why wargamers drift away from the shows early. I'd done my shopping, Id checked out the games and picked up a few new ideas from them, and I'd spoken to a few people I knew, but what is to hold a attendee after that?  Short of buying some extra stuff, that I will never need, I had a long lull in the days event. Now I dont expect to be entertained every second of a show day, but Claymore typically like many many other shows could only offer a limited amount of entertainment.
 This is not a criticism of just Claymore, because the gents who stage the event are really first rate hosts and very helpful. But it comes down to that old chestnut again, what is a wargames show trying to achieve? and what is its aim. Maybe I was suffering from heat exhaustion, and had too much time on my hands.
  Still as a very friendly wargames show, Claymore was a success, and not a Braveheart in sight thankfully. Oh and thanks to the kind and honest soul who found my lost jacket and handed it in to the organisers.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating