Sunday 13 December 2015

Wargamers collect stuff!

Normally looking back on the previous year, is a posting task for the New one, if you know what I mean.
 However I was trawling through one of my journals [read jotter] and saw the original list that I drew up for a Seven Years War French army. The date for starting the army was November 2007!
 So eight years on, well actually nearly nine, I still haven't finished the project, and I am still painting French regiments. To be fair to myself, I completed the original list a while ago, and carried on by collecting regiments from both the Austrian, Hessian and Hanoverian armies, and I have started painting Saxon units. Not forgetting my false start by straying into a Russian SYW army, which I duly sold on.
 So what is the point of this premature post. Well as one can see, Father Time is looking over my shoulder, and where once mortality was never a consideration in my wargaming world, it is something that I now feel I should factor into my planning.
 I should point out that from November 2007, I managed to paint up an Italian World war two army, and build big renaissance period armies, so I don't think I have been that tardy.
 I don't want to appear morose and depressed, but focus in wargaming has to be an important consideration, coupled to cost and usefulness as one gets older.
 So one of the things that I must do is organise my wargaming and consolidate my wargaming collections.
 Over the next few months, I am going to look to get rid of items and armies that I no longer use. This would probably be nothing startlingly new to most wargamers, but to me, it is a big deal.
 I collect like a magpie, books, magazines, figures, and armies and other ephemera. [ I love that word]
I remember many years ago, the great Donald Featherstone advertising that he was selling everything that he had collected over his wargaming life, including his research notes, and other probably not that important jottings. At the time I thought that was really sad, and it felt like he had given up on his hobby. Obviously he didnt, but I now realise why he did such a thing, and I also understand the reasoning behind it.     Wargamers collect stuff.
Stuff takes up space, and also allows wargamers to lose sight of what they are trying to achieve. Stuff, is bad as one gets older. Its also a terrible legacy to leave after one has slipped into wargaming Valhalla.
 I feel I would like to complete one more large wargaming project before I join the immortals, so things are going to have to go, this should allow me the cash and focus to complete one last big period. Anyway It all sounds momentous, but really what I am saying is that I intend to sell, give away, whatever I feel no longer has a use.  


Friday 11 December 2015

Honours of War, attempt two, The Refight of Lobositz.

 Colin, John and I tried out Honours of War again refighting the Battle of Lobositz, for a second time.
 Our purpose was to test the rules, and compare the result to our first attempt at the new rules.
 As stated before, Colin will no doubt do a detailed write up on his blog, Carry on up the Dale, so I won't provide a detailed account of the battle.
 We adopted two small amendments to see if they worked. One was to shorten the range of canister, making it the same as musket range, and the second was to lessen the use of battalion guns, by shortening the range, again to musket range, but leaving the minus one factor in place. Both seemed to work well without causing any imbalances.
 The battle was a very tense affair, with the Austrians holding their own on the Lobosch hill, and in front of the town, until late in the game.I found my Grenzer played a blinder, charging twice against two batteries of guns. One of the very few times, that lights can actually charge anything.
 A key feature of the rules is the ability to rally causalities off your units, by either being out of range of the enemy, usually by rallying back, or if you are lucky enough to have a 'Dashing' Commander in Chief, who can quickly re order your troops, but at great personal risk to themselves.
 Unfortunately things began to go pear shape for the Austrians, when their reinforcements, led by Colin, suffered repeated poor command throws, and when I lost two great chances to snatch the command initiative away from the Prussians, only to fail. [All I had to do was beat a one by simply throwing a two or higher!] I failed this twice in quick succession and John was able to gain the advantage and charge into my weakened flank.

 The final move, saw my Austrians, hopelessly outflanked, and ready to be routed, with their reinforcements sitting watching, too far away to influence the outcome.
 Again a great battle.
So would I recommend these rules for all Seven Years War fans? Definitely. Will we be using these again? Most certainly. Will they replace Blackpowder? Well although I enjoy Blackpowder rules, I feel Honours of War capture the period much better, so probably yes.

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Muster on the Parade Ground 2016.

  There has been a bit in the wargaming press, and on the internet about wargames shows, not drawing the interest needed for some traders to make a living.
 Additionally Neil Shuck in his page in the Miniature Wargames, expressly makes mention of our American colleagues thinking that our shows are boring. [This is Britain by the way]
 Now on the face of it, I hear the cry, Bollocks, but perhaps the American observer has a point, and everyone is entitled to an opinion [ unless your Tyson Fury of course ]
 I've banged on about this in the past, regarding how our shows tend to follow a tried and tested format, copying the original shows from the late 1960's and early 1970's.
 Anyway, David Clemmet and Tom Davidson intend to do something about this, and have bravely decided to re enter the wargaming show business.
 David and Tom, organised the Stockton on Tees Show for many years, and I for one always attended and loved them. We also tried to put a game on every year at their shows, and only missed one of their shows, due to work.
  Anyway, the pair hope to stage a show, using only participation wargames, with prizes to encourage people to play in the games and generally get new people involved.
 A pipe dream? maybe, but its worth a punt, and the pair are brave enough to try to make it work.

   The venue is a good one, the road access is also very good, and hopefully they will be able to draw some traders that will encourage more wargamers to attend, and of course this is the rub, popular traders that wargamers want to buy from.
 I think wargamers want to think very carefully about what it would be like to have fewer and fewer shows. I know in an earlier post I have advocated less shows, but that idea, was to have less shows, but a bigger trade aspect, ie bigger regional shows.
  The concern is fewer shows with even fewer trade attendance. I know its easier to buy off the internet figures etc that you want, and using the model of the high street, less people can be arsed to go into the town to physically buy goods, but wargaming shows should be different.
 They should be a place to meet other wargamers, a place to pick up new ideas, and also a place to physically see what is on offer.
 So on that slight rant, I wish the gents the best of luck, and more importantly a lot of support.
 I hope we will be there once I have figured out what we can do.

Saturday 5 December 2015

Honours of War, Lobositz refought.

Yesterday, John, Colin, Paul and I used the Honours of War Seven Years War rules for the first time. As a test game, we refought Lobositz, in order to get some sort of comparison with the Blackpowder refight that we had already completed.
 Honours of War, by Keith Flint, is the latest Osprey foray into the world of wargaming rules. It follows others in the series, in that they are published in an Osprey format, at a decent price, mine cost £11.00, with various illustrations taken from Osprey books etc.
 I like this format, and I also like the concept that Osprey are offering.
 I expect Colin will post a full account of the battle on his blog, so I wont steal his thunder too much.
  What I will say is that I really like these rules. Keith Flint has clearly put a lot of effort into writing these rules for the Seven Years War, and I thought they captured the period well.
One will have to put a lot of thought into deployment prior to the battle, because faulty deployment will be punished.
 Certainly this happened in our game, where the retreat of the first Prussian attack on Lobositz, resulted in additional causalities for the supporting units.
 The cavalry melees are very bloody affairs, and I would suggest that you never allow Austrian inferior class hussars to be caught by superior Prussian cuirassiers. It wasn't a pretty sight.
 I was particularly impressed by the way the command was handled, with generals ranging from dithering, to aggressive.
 I found the rules easy to understand, and pick up. I only had two little gripes, and that concerned the use/ non use of battalion guns, and the range of canister. We will probably reduce the range of canister, and introduce a rule regarding the range of battalions with attached artillery.
 Apart from that I thought the rules were excellent, and are definitely worth using for the Seven Years War period.This of course may change when I use my French army, which is plagued by poor command, and not so well trained troops.
 A good days wargaming, matched by a decent set of wargames rules.

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