Tuesday 29 March 2022

Billhooks Two.

Well last weekend I took a drive south to Derby for the second Never Mind the Billhooks tournament. I had planned my small army, practiced a bit to understand how to best exploit the rules, sorry I meant learn them. [Yes that is me in shorts! It didnt help and sadly didnt put off the occupants I faced.] 
The whole point of the tournament is fun, winning isnt that important which is just as well as I piled defeat upon defeat. For something different I decided to have a lot of levy archers and bills with only a couple of decent units to use in a melee.How did it go? Well it was pretty disastrous to be honest.
Levy troops die very quickly. Their saving throw is a six which as readers should know is something I rarely see and throw. To kill they also need sixes, and in a morale throw if they throw a six they have to throw again. If one gets the balance right, levy troops can be handy but it is foolish to rely on them to win a battle for you. So yes I am a fool. But I have always liked the underdog and therefore it seemed logical to pick an underdog force.

Here is an image of one of my classic tactical moves. March my best troops around a swamp to fall upon the flank of the enemy, who meanwhile march forward and mince my remaining forces. Not one of my better ideas, especially as I knew it was daft even before I set off on the march.

Billhook weekends are more than a series of games however. On the Friday night it was great just to sit in a pub drinking a few pints and talking about toy soldiers.  James Morris turned up and it was interesting to hear him talk about his new rules for the Dark Ages. They are due for release very soon.

The Saturday was great for the banter, seeing how other wargamers play the rules and just playing with my toy soldiers.

I know readers think I exaggerate my inability to throw decent dice when in a battle, but actually its worse than that because in Billhooks there are opportunities in a dice roll off to win event cards. These cards can give you a small advantage and sometimes allow you to draw an even more important card from a separate pack. 

There are two opportunities per move. By the end of the day, I had managed two cards! This is a record for me. Three games of maybe 15/20 moves. You do the maths as its just too depressing to think of it.Basically I couldnt win an argument.

This is a classic example of my bad luck. These are my best units. One is a powerful unit of men at arms, the other, carrying the red standard are veteran bills. You will see they are in melee with each other. How did this happen you ask. The answer is a rarely drawn card called TREACHERY. So I had the unedifying sight of my two best units slugging it out. I lost that game easily.

Finally a block of levy, looking for a target as they march off the table after failing a morale for seeing other levy rout. Did I enjoy the weekend? Damn right I did. Was it frustrating throwing pants dice and watching your opponent mince your troops, well yes and no. It was a fun weekend and enjoyable as a social event, although I would just love to throw a handful of sixes, just once..... 
Would I do it again? Certainly. There is another tournament arranged for September, I would recommend trying it out, you might face me. 

Saturday 19 March 2022

A man with no plan.

Ive been a bit busy this last week but Im not certain with what. I suppose sometimes that's the way things go. Anyway I felt I needed? some extra Men at Arms for my Wars of the Roses army. So I painted up these chaps with another one already underway. 
I then got to thinking that I didnt really know just how big was my Yorkist army which to be honest had grown way in excess of what had originally been a small force that I wanted to use with Never Mind the Billhooks. So I did a review of the figures.
Im a bit wary of doing reviews because some people might take it as showing off and others might realise that Im one of those wargamers who paints until they get a new interest. 

 Basically someone without a plan. Im more of a wargamer who likes painting and if the period is something that captures my imagination then I just crack on. Im lucky I have time and can usually scrape some cash together to buy the toys.  [within reason]

As one can see its far too big for a normal 100 point Billhooks game which would be about six units. At the review I counted 34 units and that was without the skirmish troops and artillery.
But its colourful and I can use them all using other rule sets. Of course this is without the Burgundian's Ive been painting as well but I still have some way to go before I feel I have enough.


Tuesday 8 March 2022

New post.

   I have created a new post on my Wargaming the Borgia blog site for those who are interested.

Sunday 6 March 2022

Hammerhead 2022

 I attended Hammerhead yesterday and felt I should start the post with some gratuitous sexual innuendo.This beautiful model is a Mierce Miniatures and was part of their beautiful game.I know little about fantasy and frankly struggle with the whole concept but as models the companies are very very talented and have nothing but admiration for their work, and its not because of the modelers skill in creating beautiful assets.
Yesterday was my birthday and frankly Hammerhead made my day when usually Im thinking about mortality as I open my birthday cards. I arrived early and witnessed that the hobby is still there, active, full of talented wargamers and loads of great toys.
Hammerhead also staged a Tabletop Sale and whilst attempting not to sound to clever I felt that there would be lots of wargamers who would be desperate to sell on loads of stuff cheaply. I wasnt wrong for a change. I wont bore you readers with my bargain purchases, but will say I bought some lovely books very cheaply in fact at frankly embarrassingly cheap prices. I did pick up a load of unpainted Lamming hoplites and a unit of painted Lamming Republican Romans both at silly prices. In fact I just kept going back to the sale because I was worried I would somehow miss out on that special bargain.I probably did. 
So getting away from my embarrassing addiction how was the show one asks? Well I really enjoyed it. The place was humming with wargamers new and old, who looked just happy to be there.

And the games? Hammerhead is different from Partizan which is at the same venue later in the year and stages lots of small and not so small participation games. The standard of the games was high with some really beautiful figures and scenery. Yes a lot are staged by the traders but why not.

 Gripping Beast staged two games and both were reall eye candy. This one from the Hundred Years War was a lovely affair.

Like a Stonewall always put on a quality wargame , this time displaying their great 42mm home-cast Seven Years War armies. God I was itching to push a few of them around the table, well done Steve from the group.
Wargame shows are a brilliant opportunity to meet up with old wargamers that you havent seen for ages and in some cases over two years.Sadly there never seems to be enough time in the day to say everything you want to say.

I can only apologise now for not being able to attribute some of the games.I was very impressed by the cars and terrain in this fantasy race game, they were really well executed.

It was great to see some 28m Ancient games and these two wargames stood out for me.

This table had some wonderfully painted Republican Romans and Gallic cavalry. 

The Hornsea Contemptible staged a lovely Italian Wras game and it was great to work my way through all the old figures that he had converted, chopped and head swapped using mainly Hinchliffe, Connoisseur and Mini Figs. 
It was great for me but probably boring for others to reminisce and the older renaissance ranges on show, loved it.

James Morris and friends are a talented bunch and this time they produced some lovely Dark Age units. 

Like a moth to a flame I cant help looking at big model ships, these were lovely ships with some great buildings as well. 

Finally a big thank you to Andy Callan and Peter Harris for promoting Never Mind The Billhooks. Andy very kindly gave me some pages from his Deluxe Billhooks rules regarding the Swiss and Burgundians whilst Peter was religiously promoting Billhooks.
 I wont bore anyone with what I bought but it was more than I wanted and certainly needed but it was my birthday so I will use that as the excuse. I did pick up Army Painters new Speedpaint box and will be posting on them very soon. So as a wargames show it was a great success. As an advertisement for the hobby in general it was definitely a great success, so well done Hammerhead.

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