Monday 29 November 2021

Booster Day, hip hip hooray.

Last week was a strange one for me. I finally received my booster and then later the same day John and I fought a 240 point Never Mind the Billhooks battle. I was desperate to field my Irish light cavalry and the church I had bought at the bring at buy the week before painted by Gerry Miller. Yes Im a child, I admit it.
Normally I pad out my wards with levy archers which are cheap and give some firepower cheaply. Strangely this time I opted for better quality infantry, three pieces of artillery and my Irish gallowglass.
Of course, John being a difficult so and so opted for lots of levy archers and two units of light cavalry. So outnumbered, and threatened by flank turning cavalry I settled on the idea of  refusing one flank and piling in with my fleet footed Irish. Sounded good in my fevered mind, yes the booster was kicking in.
Sadly for the Irish it was one of those battles where the enemy archers were very effective, my artillery couldn't hit a barn door and my Gallowglass died gallantly.At one stage I felt I was actually winning the encounter as my Irish cavalry and Kern support routed a unit of Lancastrian cavalry. That feeling didnt last long unfortunately. My Kern died quickly and then John had the temerity to handgun my artillery which was a mean trick but very effective.

John's sacrificial light cavalry unit riding into oblivion. My Irish cavalry charged home and were supported by some Kern who appeared from the wood. I think it was my only victory and for a few minutes I was deluded enough to think I could win the encounter. 
Henry Tudor, as usual skulking behind loads of his men. There was no chance of getting at him.
Sorry about the image. Kildare pointing the way off the field of battle. It didnt save him or his gallowglass, they were slaughtered when the finally managed to charge into a Lancastrian men at arms unit. It was a comprehensive defeat for the Irish Yorkists. But a really enjoyable game and the church looked 'churchly.' If you know what I mean. After the battle I had to take to my bed literally. I found the booster knocked me for six.I was laid up for four days! Still Im grateful for having the vaccine. 


Monday 22 November 2021

Battleground 2021.


What a pleasure to finally be able to write this post about the Battleground show at Stockton on Tees. Of all the wargames shows I attend when able this has always been the one I've enjoyed the most. It was always the most laid back and friendliest show from its inception back in the 1980's when it was run by those wargaming enthusiasts, Tom Davidson and David Clemmet until the challenge was taken up by Leon of Pendragon Miniatures when the original show had to close. 
It was never the biggest, but being at the end of the campaigning season it was always the show that got me enthused the most, and I still dont know why.
I knew it was going to be a good day as the sunshine blazed as I drove towards Smoggyland. Sunshine can be an unusual event down in Mordor, hence its name. Leon had laid on refreshments even before one entered the hall and I was able to pile into a very large bacon roll as I stood outside admiring the sunshine. Only £3.00 for a big butty, followed by free entry and free parking. What's not to like. 

John and I used to put a game on every year but prior to Covid we realised it was time to let others do all the hard work. Yes I do miss not having a game on but to be honest the effort is very tiring. Because of Covid concerns, Leon had spread everything out to allay any fears for the punters. It was a pleasure to walk freely around the hall but still have a lot to look at and of course buy. 

I must apologise for the poor images I took. I dont know how this happened, but it did sadly.
It was good? to see the Westerhope posse back at the show resplendent in their new more masculine coloured shirts, although they were easier to detect when they wore their day glo pink shirts. Here we have poor Malcolm beiung badgered by one of the Westerhope miscreants, probably was asking for a handout. Its tough in Westerhope, North of the river.
The group have entered the 21st century now and displayed their thousands of Warlord plastic ACW units. If I was younger it would have been the way I would have gone although some of the add on units are very pricey. Brian [ the sensible one] looked very happy keeping an eye on the gobby one [John]annoying the life out of wargamers attempting to enjoy themselves.

And to show you what I mean here he is begging off some poor punter. The man has no shame.

But after god knows how many years he very very kindly 'gave' me two units of painted Garrison ECW figures. So all is forgiven, especially as they were nicely painted and will look great in my armies.To be honest, they are great set of gamers even if they do come from North of the river.

Battleground is more than staging a game and meeting up with old faces is a pleasure. Additionally Leon had managed to organise the bring and buy which I always like to attend.
Not having any thing I needed I came away with a beautiful English church and surrounding graveyard created by Gerry Miller for a modest price, and I mean modest. I insisted Gerry sign the piece simply because his work is always quality. I also picked up a large bag of Wars of the Roses sprues at a knock down price. Frankly for a man who didnt need anything its always amazing what you DO need. 
Later in the day a gentleman appeared at the bring and buy selling off the armies of a deceased waramer. The boxes were full of old school ancient armies using early Mini Figs, Garrison and Hinchliffe figures. Sadly this is becoming more common, but I suppose the figures will continue to be used                                                        
It was a desperate temptation not to buy up all the Garrison Persians but somehow I didnt sucumb, probably more to do with space than anything else.

One game that deserves a special mention is Joshua's Game which is being used to raise funding for a very good cause. All the figures are being donated to Joshua's father by wargamers from around the World, based and painted by them. The armies will then be auctioned to raise funds in Joshua's memory. There were some lovely looking units.  

3D printing is starting to become common and John and I bought some beautiful sculpts from a stall selling printed Reaper Miniature figures. I dont do fantasy, but I do admire great figures. I came away with several groups of humans. Not cheap but very good figures.

Did I tell you about the cheap refreshments? Well the tea is only a £1.00 a mug, so really anyone who attends could probably feed a family of four for a tenner, such is the generosity of Battleground. As this nightmare recedes put this show in your wargaming diary, its a great day out. So thank you Leon for all your hard work.

Friday 19 November 2021

Looking forward to Battleground 2021.

Another blog post, another group of units. These are an eclectic group. Some Irish light cavalry for my Wars of the Roses army. Nice figures provided by Antediluvian Miniatures that are very fine and fit with Perry figures nicely. They carry a Kildare banner and will add a small threat to his enemies I hope.  

Next, my final Covenanter regiment. I now have a brigade of four regiments which will do I think. I do intend to add some cavalry and a gun or so. I now need to get my finger out and set up Marston Moor.

One will notice a large dog amongst the troops. I like to shove the odd animal into the ranks to add a little story to them.

Whilst at Partizan earlier this year I had a look at Eagle Miniatures small ECW range. Their photographs dont do them justice and when I saw them in the flesh I knew I had to have some. I would describe them as a similar size to my Hinchliffe units, but with better detail. Really quality figures. Before any ECW buffs start researching which regiment this is, its mine. I made the flag up and opted for a simple white uniform. No doubt they will rout a lot due to poor dice rolls but they will look good whilst doing so.  The officer leading them is Empress Miniatures, Essex.
Tomorrow I will be attending the Battleground wargames show at Stockton. I am really looking forward to the day. Pendragon always do a good show AND its free to get in. Hopefully I will get some great photographs etc of the show.
As I type this I intend to put an additional post on my Renaissance blog, button at heading at top. This is regarding my new little project.


Wednesday 10 November 2021

The Battle of Bosworth using Test of Resolve Rules.

Last week John turned up with an interesting surprise. A new set of rules and two new armies to use with the new rules. I had heard of Test of Resolve and knew they were specifically for the Wars of the Roses, so it was a lovely surprise as John laid out the battlefield to refight the Battle of Bosworth using the scenario from ToR.
Bosorth has had a great deal of research done around the campaign and battle and the scenario is based upon the latest research, which doesnt make King Richard's job any easier.
Naturally I opted for Richard, loving the underdog etc. ToR are a very easy and interesting set of rules to use and are based around a set of incident cards that dictate who and what can move etc.Naturally there are various nasty surprises included in the card deck and the friction from these adds greatly to the game.The scenario has various devices to potentially activate the dastardly Stanley's who according to the latest research had come to an agreement with Henry Tudor prior to the battle.  
To add to the uncertainty Northumberland had allegedly also come to some sort of agreement with Henry but his support was dependent upon early Lancastrian successes. To add to the pain for the Yorkists, Henry was also able to rely on a large battle of French mercenaries who could appear anywhere on the right flank of the Yorkists. So no real problems then.
It all sounded very difficult for Richard to win but the game turned into a very tense and very exciting affair. John was able to activate the nasty French very early in the game and the snail munchers started to impose themselves upon my sluggish advance. I did have a morale lifting result when my artillery was able to hit the lead Lancastrian archers several times which forced them to break without firing a shot.
My luck seemed to hold as the Lancastrians were unable to move quickly towards the Yorkists and I was able to react to the French and pile into them before they could be joined by their allies.
I normally come off second best where pike are concerned but I threw some brilliant dice that shattered the French crossbowmen, followed by a flank assault on the slow moving pike.
The timing was critical as I needed to deal with the French before the Lancastrians had joined them.Somehow I was able to shatter the French and drive them from the field which made the chances of the Stanley's joining the battle a very remote possibility.
Due to my early successes Northumberland decided to help? Richard and appeared on the battlefield albeit in a very tardy way. Events began to turn and a unit of Lancastrian billmen attacked Richard who was attempting to seek out that coward Henry. ToR had a rule in the scenario that if Richard sought out Henry and killed him then the battle was won. It sounded easy, but Richard had only a very small unit of knights from his household, so was vulnerable. 
Norfolk who had done most of the heavy lifting was beginning to suffer causalities as the Lancastrians charged home.The stress was increasing as Northumberland seemed to have found ways not to help. 
Norfolk's command broke but Richard, helped by a unit of bill was able to break the Lancasterians and seek out Henry. To help I was able to hit Henry in the flank with my bills.

So with Northumberland finally attacking, my men at arms grappling with the last unit of men at arms and Henry outnumbered and suffering, all I had to do was apply the coup de grace and kill the damned traitor. Now in ToR you can decide which melee to fight first, and needing only to kill Henry or kill one more causality on the remaining Lancastrian infantry to win the game I decided on a historical choice and attacked with Richard first. 
Yes you have guessed correctly, the dice Gods once again had a good laugh as I not only lost the melee round but then threw a one to see Richard fall and die heroically. Game over!!!
 To say I was gutted is an understatement. I felt I had done everything right tactically to actually win the battle and had managed to throw some decent dice to gain success, but such is my wargaming life. But what a brilliant battle and what an excellent set of rules that are perfect for the Wars of the Roses. Like buses, quality wargames rules for the WOR come around in pairs. 

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