Wednesday 29 August 2018

Early Renaissance battle.

 Well today's battle with John was a very tense affair between the French and the Spanish somewhere in deepest Sicily. We were using the Blackpowder Pike and Shot rules which allow a fun? game. John had expressed a wish to lead the French so I thought I would give my Spanish colunellas an outing. Well two of them anyway. The Colunellas consist of three units. Sword and buckler men, arquebusiers and quality pike. I opted for a lot of Italian light cavalry backed up by some Italian and Spanish heavy horse. I also chose a large sub command of mercenary landsnects       [ more of them later]

 The French in the early Italian Wars are very good, so in an effort to balance things I 'only' allowed John two Swiss pike blocks with sub units of crossbowmen. I attempted to make it more interesting by saddling him with three blocks of French pike and their supports. Naturally the French had their dreaded gendarmes and mounted archers with stradiots to do their dirty work.

 The French won the right to move first which was a blow as John had stacked his Swiss and cavalry on one wing facing just my Italian light cavalry and some heavy but indifferent Italian counterparts. Luckily whilst his cavalry advanced the Swiss failed to move which allowed me to move my Colunellas towards the main threat.

 The pesky Swiss, with bears attached were slow to move but were to make up for their indifference as the game progressed....
 Things began to unravel after several moves of the Spanish being able to manouvre into what I thought seemed like a good position facing the Swiss. There is no such thing as a good position when facing Swiss pike.
The French pike and crossbowmen that in theory should have been pretty useless. Somehow John was able to march them from his left flank where they had faced my best cavalry and the mercenary landsnects and into the centre to 'help' the Swiss. My best cavalry simply watched whilst the mercenary pike had a picnic.

A David and Goliath struggle, Spanish 'heavy cavalry' charging French gendarmes. Not the best idea although they did cause sufficient causalities before they disappeared off the table.
                                Of course the French can always call on more of the same.
 When in doubt, charge. My Spanish knights led by their commander attempted to halt the advance of the French centre by charging their pike. They nearly succeed against all the odds, but somehow the French pike held on. I think it was the double dice against cavalry that just might have swayed it. At least the Spanish commander survived.                                                                                                                                         

And then the Swiss charged.......
 Using Pike and Shot rules the Swiss quite rightly have an ability called 'ferocious charge' which allows any missed hits to be re rolled. My colunellas were shredded in two moves whilst the Swiss simply dusted themselves off..

 My only victory. I managed to get a unit of Italian mercenary mounted arqubusiers to shoot up a French heavy gun.
                                The Spanish camp followers decided to leave the field.
 For some odd reason the mercenaries were very reluctant to move during the battle and allowed the French infantry to march away. When they finally decided to take part the battle was already lost. So they simply marched away untouched!
 Did I lose? Obviously. Was it enjoyable? Absolutely. To be honest there was times when the French were under pressure, but when they have the best infantry in Europe they can always expect to at least grab a draw, or in my case a great victory.

Thursday 23 August 2018

Partizan August 2018..

 The image says it all really. Military modelling at its best. Beautifully painted figures, beautifully made and painted terrain that has to be an inspiration to anyone who has an interest in military history, wargaming and anything related to model soldiers. Partizan Wargames Show at its best.

 Im a bit late with my review of last Sunday's show at Newark, but I have been away for the last few days so couldnt write a review. So before I talk about the show lets have a look at the eye candy.
 The Louisiana Tigers from Ian Smith and Friends 40mm extravaganza. Ian reckoned he painted this unit and who am I to disagree although Shaun Bryant reckoned he painted them. Anyway whoever did paint them made a wonderful job on the castings.

Tony Runkee is the expert for painting Confederate butternut uniforms for me. He has tried to show me how he does it, but I can never get anywhere near his quality.

The Chuckle Brothers reincarnated. Ian barely listening to Shaun as he tells him who did what at their fantastic display.

 There were some excellent and inspiring display games at Partizan, as is to be expected at this show. I thought the Winceby, English Civil War game was an inspiration for any ECW wargamer.

Barry Hilton, who must be one of the hardest working wargaming combo's per se, was displaying his GNW figures showcasing his new rules and also his new Turkish range.

 Dave Docherty and friends exhibited their wonderful Sudan game. The game just keeps getting bigger every time I see it. Top quality painting yet again.

 Graham Cummings and leigh were not only running their SYW game they were also looking after the Crann Tara stall, so they were a tad busy. Graham was on hand to show me his latest project, the Saxon quick firing 6pdr gun. No wargamer should ever complain about the hobby because we are truly in a golden age when every conceivable thing is available.

Wargaming has come a long way since I used ground rice on my terrain boards to make them look like they were covered in snow.I thought this World War Two game showed off winter battlefields perfectly. The correct shade of white and some brilliantly painted buildings to complement the look.

 As is now the tradition, there were a large number of participation games and to be honest they all were of a very high standard but the following two games caught my eye. Lego type soldiers with great looking model tanks and very simple rules. I thought this game would be perfect for schools and apparently relatively cheap to create.

Again a great participation game with some brilliant Play Mobil type figures.

 Im no tankie, but do like to see a well painted machine on a wargames table.There were some great examples on show at Partizan.
 Being of a certain age its great to see a 1/32 scale game, and the Panther was a real pleasure to admire.

 As I have said I know little about tanks, but I thought the camouflage on this one was brilliant and a really tidy looking game.

My attention was drawn to the wonderful town. The centre piece was really well painted and they were lucky I didnt walk away with it. 

 A Lord of the Rings battle using [I think ] To the Strongest rules. I may be wrong, but it looked very good.
 And finally Simon Millar's display which was a static one showing off his Macedonian phalanx and wonderful war elephants. Over the top? Yes. Inspiring? Definitely.

 Sp what was the show like? I thought there were some very good games to stand and drool over. Was I inspired? Definitely.
Wargames shows need to inspire to be classed as a success for me and I thought there were enough games that created that inspiration for me. It seemed quieter than previous ones, but then it is in the height of summer, but it was still pretty busy. Although I didnt have specific buying wants I still managed to make a large dent in my wallet buying figures I dont need, so all in all a great show.
 It was good to mix with wargamers I rarely see and nice to put faces to the blogs I follow.

I think Ian Smith should have the final word as he usually does anyway, except he seemed otherwise engaged trying to negotiate a crisp......

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