Sunday 29 April 2018

Hammerhead 2018.

 Well today was a first for me as I took the trip south to Hammerhead at the Newark showground. Normally I would give this show a miss and wait for Partizan in a couple of weeks time, but family commitments meant I was missing Partizan. Needing a show wargames fix I opted to visit Hammerhead.
 Hammerhead is clearly a different beast from 'normal' wargames shows in that all the games are participation games, which means smaller games with fewer figures. However there was a lot of trade expected at the show and the added bonus of a table top sale so I bit the bullet and tested the waters of a  participation games show. I was very pleasantly surprised with the quantity of well produced and quality games spread over two halls.

 One of my personal favourites even though I know nothing about fantasy stuff. A beautifully crafted temple and cellars produced by Mierce Figures [ I think] called Darklands. I do know this company sculpt wonderful figures and this game showed them off really well.

 The recapture of Umbar by Sally 4th Wargamers. A Lord of the Rings scenario with top quality terrain and ships. The game used the GW rules and looked a great scenario.Really nice.

 I caught this game between participation's. The whole terrain was of the highest quality and I particularly liked the wall decorations. A brilliant piece of modelling.

           There were several western tables on show and two of them had steam trains.
        I do like a good steam train and both tables that exhibited them were of the highest quality.

 Dave Docherty exhibited a great looking western game with a very large number of cattle on show waiting to board a great looking train. The whole game was a terrific advert for the hobby in general.

 I enjoyed the fact that there was a high percentage of historically based games on show and I was very impressed by this Napoleonic one based in Spain and using the brilliant Eagle Miniatures range. Ian from Eagle Miniatures should be applauded for producing some top quality figures. A really lovely game. I think it was a Sharp Practice one, but I am usually wrong on these things.

                         A large Sudan game , again with well painted and exhibited terrain.

           Finally my personal favourite, The Dambuster Challenge, a simple idea which required skill from the public who had a go. I chickened out.The whole game was very well thought out and was not only fun but also very informative. I could see this being a great way to educate some children in a history project about just how brave and skilled our pilots were.
  The actual controls to be used by the participant in conjunction with a great model of the original Dam Buster bomb sight.It really added to the whole game.
                                               The bomber with great engine sound effects
 The target with removalable dam sections should you actually hit the damn [see what I did there] thing.
 So what was my verdict. Well I thoroughly enjoyed the day. It seemed to busy all the time I was there. There was a higher percentage of people under the age of 50 and also a large number of women who actually didnt look like they were glazing over with the boredom. Apart from the usual stalwarts from the wargaming trading fraternity there were several different traders which was nice to see. The food and parking are totally acceptable and of course the venue is easy to find.
 I can only apologise for not mentioning more games that were there. What I can say is that there wasnt a duff game on show in the two halls. Did I mention the fact there was two halls?
 One observation that I think Kallistra who organise the fine event should perhaps reconsider and amend was the tabletop sale.
 One could book before hand in order to guarantee a table to sell your stuff but I found that the people who had booked the first spots managed to remain in position for more than the one hour slots and were still selling two hours+ later. So really like a cut price trader. Apart from the fact that once you had checked what they were selling, there didn't seem much point in returning if the same people were still there two hours later. I also noticed that some were in fact traders in all but name. I dont think I would be very pleased if I was a trader who had booked as such and then found that a so called wargamer was selling the same products. So I would suggest cutting the time slots to a maximum of 45 minutes and a clause where the same person couldnt return for say two hours or so. Just a suggestion.

Sunday 22 April 2018

Minor progress in my ECW project.

 Progress on my ECW Hinchliffe project has been a little patchy but I have completed a couple of regiments of Parliamentarian horse and some new commanders. Not my best work, but hopefully with some practice I hope to get the best out of Gilder's wonderful range.

 When I was expanding my Seven Years War armies I took to buying old painted figures from E Bay and then touching them up. The ECW armies will be supplemented by the same method. I bought a unit of Parliamentarian heavy cavalry and gave them a touch of paint. Below is the before and after.

 No self respecting ECW wargamer should be without Arthur Haselrigge's  cuirassier regiment and I always loved the Hinchliffe figure so I had to have the unit.. Sir Arthur after Marston Moor was detailed to oversee the quelling of the North East and was billeted at the Bishop Durham's palace a short distance from where I live. From what I have read he didnt endear himself to the locals and managed to kill the last of the famous white deer herd that grazed in the palace grounds.Nice chap.

 Here are the two units brigaded together. A lot of iron to see off the cavaliers. So progress is being made albeit not as quickly as I would like.

A Pike and Shotte ECW game.

Its often difficult not to give the impression that I wargame infrequently, when in reality John and I attempt to have a battle once a week. If we are fighting at John's I normally dont take images of the battles, which is a shame given the quality of the battles.I feel however they are John's personal collections and I feel like a fraud if I report on the battles. It would look like I was claiming credit for them.
 Anyway, this week we staged a large Pike and Shotte ECW game to show how the rules worked for an old wargaming friend, Steve Taylor. So John kindly brought his lovely 15mm ECW armies to my home, to fight over an 8 foot battlefield.

Steve and I were the Royalists and were paired up against John. Now normally I manage to fail the odd command throw as is expected in the Pike and Shotte games.
 Steve, who was in command? of Rupert's cavalry, the best we had and Newcastle's infantry which were very decent as well managed to exceed my usual dismal throwing.
 Rupert has a very high command rating of 9 and it is basically a given that his brigades will move when required.Not this day. In the opening three moves Steve managed to fail Rupert's command rating. So between command failures and the odd Blunder any Royalist plan soon went out of the window, followed by my dice.
 Meanwhile I was left facing the bulk of the Parliamentarian army and Cromwell with his invulnerable Iron sides. From the images, any units with an S or a D are invariably mine. S stands for shaken and means they are shot to pieces, D stands for disordered. S and D together means they are in deep doo doo. One may notice I had a lot of S+D 's.

 At one stage the Royalists were doing so badly I used King Charles to make a 'follow me ' order and lead a weakened cavalry regiment against the  Brooke's raw foot regiment due to the centre of the Royalists being repulsed by heavy musket fire.
Surprisingly I didn't get the King killed which was a novelty. Unfortunately the wild charge didn't break the Parliamentarian centre either. That damned hedgehog rule. John never failed to pass the test to form a hedgehog while the Royalists couldn't form a queue never mind a hedgehog.
                  This unit? of raw peasant recruits was all that I had left facing Cromwell. The game was up.
Some of my causalities from the right wing.

 The battle was a salutary lesson for the Royalists. Rupert finally got his troops moving and they managed to sweep away a brigade of Parliamentarian cavalry before being wiped out by a second brigade when they lost control. Still a cracking game albeit a heavy loss.

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