Saturday 15 February 2020

Event Cards in Pike and Shotte.

 I know it appears like Ive been quiet on the wargames front but that isn't the case, well not really. John and I have played several games, all of which have been defeats for me albeit very close calls. A case of only if. But then if can be a very big word. Anyway I have been painting various figures and renovating old units. I had read a lovely article in an old Wargamers Digest about the history of the Cherokee Braves and decided I wanted the unit in my rebel army.  Company D figures produce the mounted and dismounted versions so I treated myself to them. This little company have excellent mail order and also added a couple of freebies, so whats not to like.
I understand the braves were one of the last units to surrender and had been an effective combatant unit and not just the usual irregular marauders.They even captured some Union artillery at the Battle of Shiloh. 
 So these are my version of the dismounted unit, they are armed with a right old mix of weapons but I like them.
 I was also able to locate an old painted ECW unit containing a number of Garrison figures, so naturally I had to have them and basically given them a bit of a touch up. They're not brilliantly painted but I like them.They are now carrying the Queens Lifeguard standards and will hopefully add to the glory of the regiment.

I used them in my latest battle of the civil war, except they were rated as raw for the game.We scatter the odd preacher amongst the units so I gave them a Catholic preacher to lend them some steel.Sadly he wasn't needed as they failed to act with any real enthusiasm. 
 I also utilized the event cards that Eric the Shed had created and tested them to see how they added to the game.Eric very kindly sent me a download so I was able to get a set printed up on card by a local print shop.They are lovely things with a nice image of the wars contained on them
 Each side had a large pack of various event cards and we dealt each side five.
 These could be played during the game to add a bit spice. Or so we thought.....
John and I used the Pike and Shotte rules which give a decent game with little need to task ones brain too much.Naturally I commanded the Royalists while John acting as Essex led the nasty rebels.
 Because the Royalists are pike heavy it pays not to hang around too much as the royalist shooting isnt very good. So I naturally decided to take the battle to the rebels who were tardy in their initial movements. Things seemed to be progressing well, my dragoons had succeeded in their task of seizing a field where they could annoy the rebel cavalry. My infantry in the centre were doing okay and on the left wing my infantry were causing John's larger cavalry brigade some discomfort with the musketry.

 And then as I ordered Rupert to lead the cavalry reserve across the river to tip the balance on my right everything suddenly imploded.The reserve consisted of the best cavalry on the field led by the best commander with a 9 rating. Simples really....
 First Rupert blundered. Then the subsequent throw caused the reserve to retire two moves causing chaos as the reserve split into smaller units leaving a couple of troops in the middle of the rive! The 'pile of ordure' says it all. This causes a minus one on the command throws until the next sucker rolls a blunder.
 The same move I rolled a double one for my main artillery battery which caused it to blow up.
 And as my timings went awry. John encouraged by the lack of firepower somehow managed to charge into the flank of my Kings Lifeguard led by Charles! and things were slowly unwinding to put it mildly.
Because Rupert had scattered his command, my right wing cavaly were in deep trouble. Well actually the whole lot collapsed in a welter of shaken markers as the rebel cavalry ploughed through them.

 Somehow my Lifeguard refused to collapse but was forced to retire led by a battered King who was stuck in the middle of the confused unit. It didnt matter because the remainder of the command became shook following a desperate charge by the Duke of Yorks regiment that succeeded in the melee but tipped them into a shaken status.

 And the cards. Well John used a 'sniper' card that failed to shoot my cavalry commander. My double volley card failed to hit anyone! John's similar card also hit no one! I did manage to use one card to disorder the charge of the Lobster's but my infantry didnt need that help and basically repulsed them easily.
 But I did enjoy using them and I can see them becoming a regular feature of Pike and Shotte games.
 So another close defeat but it really didnt matter because it was a really fun? game and sometimes losing is as good as a win.
 Just to prove it wasnt just me that blunders.A Parliamentarian commander ends up in the poo.

Monday 3 February 2020

Vapnartak 2020

Well yesterday was the start of this years wargaming campaign season marked by a visit to Vapnartak staged at York Race course.
 Because I wanted to offload some of my wargaming ephemera we arrived early expecting to queue prior to a mad rush to book a bring and buy table. I was very pleasantly surprised that the organisers from York Wargames club had recognised the issue of the last few years and completely changed the set up for their table top sale.
 We were allowed in straightaway, that is 09.30 and sent via one of the lifts to the new location for the sale. The club have designated a whole floor to the tabletop sale, and after paying a £1.00 for half an hour I was allowed to set up ready for the 10.00 opening.
 The tables had plenty of room and there was ample space for punters, result.
 I found I sold a lot of stuff prior to the show actually being open, so even though I paid a princely £2.00 for an hour I stopped selling ten minutes before my allotted time.
 So well done York Wargames club for making their bring and buy a very pleasurable experience. Only one gripe and that was a box of lovely painted buildings I had sold prior to the opening were up for sale again with another wargamer at very, very inflated prices. Clearly I was too naive/ generous in selling them to someone I thought wanted to wargame with the buildings. My own daft fault I suppose.
 So how was the rest of the show?
 Busy, very busy, but strangely pleasant to walk around.
This is the first time I have never examined the demonstration games at a show, hence the paucity of photographs. Between doing some buying and a lot of time gabbing and setting the World to rights I didnt get to check out what the games were like.
I was impressed by the small participation games on the top floor which were very well set out and looked interesting. I didnt really circulate on the ground floor where I could see four large games which looked okay as I was too busy doing a deal with Tree Fellas for some hills and fields.
 I examined a few new traders selling their 3d wares which is going to become very common and hopefully cheap, they are very good in the main.
 Overall impressions were that the games were an afterthought which is a bit sad but to be honest I can see them disappearing in the next couple of years to make way for even more trade, because between the excellent tabletop sale set up, the popularity of competition and participation games and the large number of trade stands something will have to give.
 I can state I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Its probably because of the fact I found offloading my spare stuff very stress free, or it may have simply been the buzz around the show as wargamers emerged from their Winter hibernation.It was great to get the gossip from various wargamers I talked to although I wish the organisers would stop letting the Westerhope hoi-poloi into the show. Talk about lowering standards.
 On the retail front I picked up two lovely ACW painted regiments at a decent and fair price in the tabletop sale and somehow managed to buy even more brushes and paint.
 So thanks to York Wargames Society for making the start of the wargaming season a very pleasant experience.
 Only complaint, just the usual lack of soap use by some members of the fraternity.

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