Thursday 22 August 2019

Black Seas.

I forgot to mention in my review of the Partizan show that I had a long talk to the staff at the Warlord  booth about their latest project, called Black Seas.
 I was able to examine samples of the sprues for the sailing ships that will be available in October this year.
 The models will be of generic sailing ships which are beautiful models. Included in the sets will be sails, rigging  and ratlines made of clear plastic. I was shown a completed model fully painted and rigged and was mightily impressed by the ship. Naturally there will be a rule book and various accessories to provide the wargamer with every thing they will need to play the game.
 Now I know absolutely nothing about naval warfare but having seen the models I was sorely tempted to splice the whatever.
 Who says one cant teach an old dog new tricks.

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Partizan, another show to remember.

Well John and I made the longish trip South to sample the delights of Partizan Wargames Show. I totally miscalculated the time it would take and we arrived far too early, ie 09.00. Still the morning was dry and as Van Morrison sang, 'the crack was good.'
 Unusually for John he was excited about buying some 28mm figures for our new small? project which now that it is out there is Warlord's SPQR.
 We both took advantage of the Warlord's offer in their latest boxed army release and to be honest I have been very impressed by the new 'resin' type models. As for the rules, well most appears very good and what isnt John will change a little.
 Anyway back to Parizan. This year I thought the queue was a lot smaller and only stretched about thirty or so yards but the organisers have now got the start off to a fine art, well apart from not letting punters in before the 10.00 official opening time.
 I still shake my head as they erected the large information boards offering people badges that tell others not to include them in any photographs? Clearly its a big worry for the organisers and those people who dont want to be seen in a wargames show. It must be terrible being tagged with these dastardly warmongers as I was called recently?
 As for the actual show. For me its probably the best in the UK simply for location, ease of movement inside the hall and actual trade and games which is really what wargamers are concerned with.
I had a fairly extensive shopping list for a change courtesy of SPQR and Caliver Books had a discount should punters buy three of the additional unit sets.It would have been rude to refuse.
For this project although I will have some Ceasarean troop types I have opted to build up an Ancient British war band, its the chariots and Boudecia or Boo di eica as she is known nowadays
Stu at Colonel Bills have a lovely series of semi naked female Britons that I had to have, these will end up as female druids etc. Anyway after the obligatory bacon sandwich and buying spree it was time to admire the games at the show.
Its fair to say that there wasnt a bad one and clearly the participation chaps had really gone for it. I suppose its easier to build a small amount of quality terrain but clearly if you want to attract some punters to play one needs some eye candy terrain. So well done to everyone who took the trouble to put a game on at the show.
As is probably obvious by now my favourite was a lovely War of Austrian Succession game in 28mm with some beautifully painted units and command bases.
There was a posse down from the Durham Wargames Group with a beautifully painted Pyrhus game. I even got Jim to crack a lovely smile surrounded by his associates from the club?
 The man himself painted by Dave Jarvis, sadly my camera doesnt really do the figure justice.

Simon Miller staged two games, one that really attracted my attention. The battle that saw the defeat of the Iceni which was a grand affair with hundreds of Britons piling into the Romans.

 The second Simon Miller game was a lovely 54mm English Civil War game, I was itching to play with the figures.

Barry Hilton staged a first class Northern Wars battle up to the exemplary standard we have come to expect from him.

                                                I loved this Russian peasant unit
 Most periods were catered for at the show and who doesnt want to see a well crafted 28mm Napoleonic wargame.

 The Spanish Napoleonic grenadier was one of my all time favourite uniforms and these were beautifully executed.

An Irish rebellion wargame using Trent Miniatures with lots of rebel pikemen and revolutionary French, again a well crafted wargame. 

I thought this terrain that had been made for a D Day landing participation game was top quality, who wouldnt want to have a command in this game.

  Another top quality participation game, this time a Pacific landing scenario, the 'sand' was actually sawdust but it worked perfectly.

Partizan wouldn't be Partizan without a beautiful rendition of the American War of Independence

                           I took this image because I want a cabbage patch like this one.

Ken Worley taking a break from selling books to stage a Kreigspeil game and being rude as he did so. Nothing changes.
Great examples of the participation games terrain that attracted hopefully new wargamers to the hobby.

So another Partizan is over and no doubt everything that could be said about the show has already been said. It is a very good show with the right mix of trade and games. Yes the actual hall is a giant shed but its perfect for wargaming, well apart from the heat but there is little one can do about the roof. So if there is one show wargamers need to attend its Partizan, a great advertisement for our hobby.

Monday 12 August 2019

The Battle of the Two Cornfields.

Last week John and I fought a bloody Civil War encounter. It was an opportunity to use my growing ECW armies and inject a bit of  painting enthusiasm that had been flagging for a couple of weeks. I personally blame the weather but I think its probably more to do with wanting to simply complete the armies.
Loving the underdog I naturally took the Royalists while John was in command of a slightly larger Parliamentarian army. I fielded Rupert's command of Elite cavalry with the great man himself leading them. So in an effort to balance things up the roundheads had two units of dragoons, some firelocks and two extra infantry regiments. I think I was being a bit too generous.

    Rupert's Command, three regiments of 'Rupert's Charge' sculpted by the great man himself.                 Eventually there will be four such units.
We opted to use Pike and Shotte as our rules which are perfect for the ECW. In the command dice off I managed to make the King a mere 7 which is as much good as a chocolate fireguard, naturally Cromwell 'jinked' a 9 command throw! So nothing new there. Luckily my sub commanders were of a decent quality and of course I had 'Rupert who imbibed his men with a extra fighting abilities.
I setup a river to dissect the battlefield which gave a full move penalty should any units cross anywhere but by the two bridges.

 The Parliamentarian heavy cavalry including the 'lobsters' who all suffer the inability to counter charge but pack a punch if they charge first.

My left wing cavalry of lesser gentlemen who didn't show much appetite for the conflict sadly.
  My best Royalist infantry led by Rupert's regiment of foote and including the Duke of York's own regiment.

              The King, looking confused and hesitant, his pensioners not helping his indecision.
The right wing of the battlefield was poor ground for cavalry so I opted to place Rupert's command in the centre to react to any Parliamentarian threat. I anchored my army on the right wing, fully intending to use my better quality cavalry to turn John's right flank whilst also attacking in the centre to keep his infantry engaged.
The one thing about using Pike and Shotte is that events can change very quickly and one needs to be on their guard or the battle can quickly slip away from them.Sound familiar?
 John threw his own left wing against my infantry who were facing annoying skirmish fire from the dragoons who had quickly deployed off their nags.

 Due to a steady attritional fire from the dragoons, the king was sent? to help steady things and rally some of the causalities. To be honest it initially worked,
 Unfortunately the King couldnt rally every one of the units and after a charge which did drive away the dragoons, the right wing command began to unravel due to incessant firepower.

 In the centre my advance after initially doing well began to stall. I did manage to capture the windmill which proved handy for my forlorn hope who caused a steady amount of causalities before they became shaken and were driven off.

The left wing pushed forwards simply because the Parliamentarian cavalry refused to advance to support Haselrige's Lobsters who were routed. Unfortunately the royalist victors piled after them and were simply destroyed, a product of their impetuosity.
Historically the Royalist infantry were always 'light' as regards firepower and tended to rely on push of pike. Pike and Shotte caters for this by giving the Parliamentarians an extra dice when firing but allowing the Royalists extra melee dice. Strangely I found it didnt affect the battle and my musketeers were effective and the pikes less so.

My best infantry brigade pressed the Parliamentarians who clung to any terrain they could find.Their blue regiment was able to stay in the cornfield even though it was eventually to be shaken and disordered. One will also notice that my artillery piece has been left behind. I managed to do my usual and throw a 'blunder' which caused the piece to retire. It took an age to re deploy.

Hard pressed, John brought every musket he had to bear upon my attack, which did halt my anticipated infantry charge.
It did however open up a great opportunity for Rupert who had taken his brigade across to help the left wing. I couldnt resist the target and ordered a 'follow me' to take the enemy in its flank. Brilliant.. One would think, especially once the cavalry had routed the infantry regiment they could press on and drive into the remaining units. So wrong... 
The perceived target simply ran without being contacted forcing my cavalry to be left in no mans land and very vulnerable to enemy fire. One move later the lifeguard was a spent force and Rupert was too far away to rally causalities from the remaining regiments of his brigade by leading the charge across the river!

Things did seem to be going better for my infantry as the Duke's regiment routed Essex's regiment [orange] and then hit the flank of those damned blue coats who also routed after a real struggle.
Not stopping there I did another 'follow me' which allowed the Duke's regiment to hit the flank of Brooke's regiment [purple] who refused to rout and managed to 'shake' the gallant red coats.
In a final desperate throw of the dice I sent in my last decent regiment to drive another persistent Parliamentarian regiment from another cornfield. Shaken but defiant they held on! and managed to shake my gallant troops in turn. 
The Parliamentarian left wing cavalry had finally moved into action and began to turn my flank whilst my right wing had simply disappeared as it retreated off the table
   The Royalist collapse came suddenly as four of my five brigade's all became shaken in what was the penultimate move. Somehow Parliament had hung on and outlasted the Royalists who had fought to exhaustion.What a game, so close to a bloody victory. Maybe next time. 
 As a game it had been hugely enjoyable with potential victory snatched away by some persistent and immovable Parliamentarian infantry who simply wouldn't run away.My dice had been decent for a change and I had managed to save a lot of the hits inflicted on my troops. Luck  however is a flighty beast and it eventually ran out.

       I managed to complete a couple of extra units, these a troop of Royalist cavalry using the new Games Workshop Contrast inks.

And these, a dismounted regiment of Parliamentarian dragoons. Waller's London regiment. Mini figs to a man.

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