Saturday 16 October 2021

Our version of the Battle of Soggy Bottom.

For this weeks game John suggested we stage The Battle of Soggy Bottom which is free scenario written by Andrew Brentnail and sees a Parliamentarian force of the Eastern South Western? Association against local royalists backed up by some elements of the Royalist army. 
The Parliamentarins are holding a small town which the Royalists are determined to capture.
The Royalists have better quality cavalry, well those led by Prince Rupert are and some decent infantry. They also have a smattering of poor quality and trained foot regiments.
The Parliamentarians have more poorly trained cavalry, trotters in the main backed up by two regiments of Cromwell's ironsides led by Cromwell. We always use the English Civil War supplement of Pike and Shotte which means the Parliamentarians have an extra dice when firing and Royalists have an extra dice when fighting. The Royalist cavalry naturally fights better but is basically a one off weapon which will leave the field if they are sucessful. 
It made for a really good game and a lot of tactical problems for both sides. I opted for the Parliamentarians for a change. To add a bit of extra spice I dealt John and I three ECW chance cards from packs I was kindly sent several years ago. They were an excellent set of cards, professionally produced but Im ashamed to say who from. I can only blame my stupidity.
My three cards were all useful in that they all caused issues to enemy units charging my troops.

 A lot of the Parliamentarian cavalry was poorly trained trotters, that is they couldnt dash about the table and were more intent on shooting their pistol before trotting into a melee. On my left wing I did have Hasellriggs cuirassiers, a tough unit to crack but still slow to move.True to form I failed four consecutive orders for the brigade although I did manage to form them into a strong defensive position..
Cromwell in command of the right flank had two veteran units and two average units of cavalry, one would have thought sufficient to see off the Royalist cavalry who although more aggressive were of various quality. Of course true to form Cromwell threw a blunder which saw him and my best regiment retire two moves from the action. Luckily the Royalists were having issues with their commands as well, and when I was able to deploy my one regiment of dragoons they were able to continually disorder the cavalry long enough for Cromwell to sort himself out.

Unfortunately for John, King Charles managed to blunder twice in the battle which caused all sorts of issues to the Royalist plans.
Rupert meanwhile showed a lot of indecision and trying to co ordinate a joint arm attack lost the initiative and threw in his cavalry in penny packets.

The Kings mounted Life Guard, possibly my favourite unit didnt do much during the battle and when they finally were ready to do something they offered little. [Painted by Dave Jarvis, a man of great talent]
Essex's foot regiment although under intense pressure through most of the game was able to hang on and cause Rupert all sorts of problems.

As the game progressed I felt increasingly confident, so much so I ordered a badly trained unit out of the town to add firepower to the defence. They performed well, and continued to disorder the Kings Lifeguard.
Cromwell, free of the blunder issue which was transferred to the King [ thats the pile of ordure next to the Kings figure] was finally able to charge home on a disordered poorly trained royalist regiment. The king was officially killed in the melee, which drops his command level by one, so added to the 'pile of ordure' his command was a poor six.
John finally conceded as his commands began to rack up shaken status. It was great to have my ECW armies back in use. Sometimes you forget just how fun Pike and Shotte are, yes they have some non historical events but they provide a feel for the period, especially when you want a decent sized battle. It was great to see my 'old school' Hinchliffe and Minifigs figures on show.  

Monday 11 October 2021

Partizan 2021

So finally I was able to go to a wargames show with real people, no daft Zoom images and to be honest it was extremely enjoyable. I can only apolgise to anyone who for whatever reason couldnt or wouldnt take the risk to meet people in a large hall. I had hoped to arrive in plenty of time as I was expecting a long queue. I was right about the queue but was a little late by my normal standards.Luckily it was a beautiful morning and a great day to take a long drive, well by UK standards. The organisers to take account of that Covid thing had opened all the fire doors etc which I hope they will continue with in the future because the place normally gets unbearably hot and smelly. Yesterday was a pleasure to walk around. I understand that punters were supposed to wear masks, but I wasnt aware of the request and I dont think the majority were aware either. To be honest I only wear a mask if Im going to see my doctor or if Im shopping in my local shop the rest of the time Ive wanted to feel as normal as possible, but I will apologise if I frightened anyone yesterday with my unmasked mug. Its never a pretty sight.

So the show itself? Well for me it was just great to be able to look at stuff, talk to wargamers I hadnt seen for a longtime and admire the games. And its fair to say the games deserved admiring for so many reasons. I must apologise that unless I personally knew the exhibitors I didnt get any details of the talented people who made a great effort to brighten up my day.
 Normally ie in the past I would have a standout favourite but at Partizan yesterday there were too many very good wargames in all scales and periods. If I was pressed my choice would be between the wonderful 60mm Ancient participation game using To the Strongest rules and...     
All the 60mm figures are Expeditionary Force from Singapore which arent cheap but in the flesh are quality. I actually looked at these several years ago but balked at the price. I really wish Id bitten the bullet they are beautiful when painted.

The elephants were Schleich toys which are very good models in their own right, repainted they look great.

Some Britains using the proper terrain for such figures, and yes there were proper shell firing guns.

Potentially my other best game and inevitably it was that annoying painting genius and all round really decent bloke, David Imrie. David and his collegus from Claymore Castings staged the Battle of Crecy.David is one of those really decent people who also is talented beyond what is fair.

                                          God how I wanted to examine each figure at a time. 

And my other best of show game, a 40mm Seven Years War game using self casts, chopped around figures and sheer hard work.
All the buildings were 3d printed in 40mm scale. They were absolutely top quality and is an example of the future as prices etc come down. Of course being a quality painter helps. Each building was in removable floors with proper interiors.

The two ships for the game apparantly were from a secondhand shop and then adapted.

                     The star fort again was a 3d printed piece that took days to download.

I was beginning to run out of superlatives and this Carthaginian/Roman ancient game was a beautiful game in its own right.   

I love elephants on a wargame. I always feel sorry for them knowing how kind they are in the main. These African elephants were perfect.

Of course the Perry Twins popped in with a game. Naturally they had hundreds of South American goodies.It is a colourful period and the figures were up to their normal brilliant standard.

The Grimsby club staged an eye-catching WW2 game, loved the ruined cinema with screen still playing.

Im not a big lover of hex battlefields but appreciate their uses. This Napoleonic game was very neat and had some quality figures on show.

                                                     Loved these Polish Lancers.

A game from the Sikh wars again with some quality painted figures, wargamers are extremely talented people.

                                                     Indian Wars done really well.

The gents from the Durham Wargames Club staged a WAB dark ages battle.I was itching to throw some dice in this game.

                             The Libyan campaign done in 1/72, some really decent tanks on show.

A very large scratch built scene from the Russian campaign in Germany, 1944/45. 
Scattered throughout the battlefield were little diorama's and odd figures telling a story.Really well executed. 

A really well staged medieval siege game in 28mm again with some lovely little vignettes.

I really enjoyed seeing several Seven Years War games on show with well painted figures and quality terrain.

                            An El Cid battle with boats and Herbert Lom dressed in black.

                                      The only Winter battle which was really well executed.

So there you have it. I can only apologise for the excessively large number of photographs but felt the games deserved being published. Oh and I did manage to spend only a small amount of money on figures and brushes so I was better disciplined than usual.

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