Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year

Monday 28th December - DBM - Patrician Romans v Late Romans

I was given the left 'forlorn hope' command comprising of 8 Cv(O), 8 Ax(S), 2 Kn(F) & 2 Lh(F).  I was facing off against 1 'pip sink' command of 4 Lh(S) plus another 'real' command of Kn(F), Lh(S) and a few Kn(X).  I was reminded of Corporal Jones.

My C-in-C was trying to battle his way through opposition Wb, Bw & Camels.  At the end of the day it was a draw (5:5).

On the only other table:   Square Bashing with Churmy's French versus Ian's Austro-Hungarians.  All went well for the French at the start but in the last two bounds the AH gas barrage had a devastating effect.  The fact that the AH figures were 12mm and the French 10mm had nothing to do with it!


Tuesday 29th December - actually got some painting done (for the second day running). 

As usual it's a mixed bag of a certain DBA variant (that I have been asked not to mention in polite company); 15mm camp elements; plus some War of the Roses horse.  The last includes 2 elements of Currours that I am re-painting as Welsh uchelwyr.

No....I am not going to build a Welsh army but am considering a Welsh ally.  Wars of the Roses armies are usually quite small because of the number of expensive troops involved - Reg Bw(S), Reg Bd(O) and....worst of all...compulsory Reg Kn(I).

As I already have around 13 elements of Irr Bw(O) I have the core of an allied contingent. Hopefully by Vapnartak I would have worked out what else I might require!

Thursday 31st December - the end of a rough year 'health-wise' and 'weather-wise'. 

Since my decision to blog every Thursday I have only missed one posting (in spite of the date often showing Wednesday).  Hopefully I will keep this up.  Any comments are gratefully received.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

All Noisy on the Russian Front

Saturday 19th December 2015 - Setting the East Ablaze (Russian Civil War) with 10 of us playing and Bob umpiring. 

We were all given objectives when we arrived on table. The 'early birds' had to seek out the International Spy "Bill Bailey" whilst the latecomers (White Russians) had physical objectives to take. 

A fun session with "Bill Bailey" the clear winner after he visited all three embassies and then legged-it off table. 

A fun session with a set of rules that are not designed to be taken too seriously.


Otherwise......no Monday meeting.....nothing until the 28th. 

As It's now Xmas Eve (01.00 hrs in the UK) - I will wish you all a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!


Thursday, 17 December 2015


Monday 14th December 2015 - DBM - Welsh v Western Sudanese.

As I have stated in the past I play DBM for the fun of it and I don't care if I win or loose.  Chris challenged me to play with an army that I said was pretty poor - list 3.19 Welsh.  The version we came up with had two commands of massed bow (backed up by Viking mercenaries); one of Cv(O) and supporting Bw(O); and one of mixed foot. As the game played out the enemy Camels stalled for a few rounds but our lamentable movement dice (eg a total score of 6 for 4 dice) meant that we couldn't take advantage.  Once the Cm(S) got going our Cv(O) didn't stand a chance.

In the end only one of our commands was demolished with light casualties elsewhere.  Given better terrain (most of our choices ended up in the enemies' territory) we might have done better.  I, for one, will not be rushing out to buy a Welsh army.

On the other tables were:                      Game of Thrones boardgame
                                                              One Hour Wargames (WW2)
                                                              Ace of Aces (WW1 dogfight)


This Week - otherwise pretty quiet on the wargaming front but far too busy on the Folk Dancing side of things with calling on Sunday and Wednesday (also preparations for Friday and next Tuesday).

This Tuesday I was at the dress rehersal of Sherburn U3A's  'Jack and the Beanstalk'........."Oh No I Wasn't!"



Thursday, 10 December 2015

Yes...It's Thursday!


Saturday 5th December - Recon 2015 - Awful weather - wind & rain.  Train fine going, delays coming back.  Numbers down, nothing much to buy.

What I did buy, however, were two additions to my growing stock of (unpainted) fantasy figures:

 
Caesar - Fantasy 103 - Undead

 Caesar - Fantasy 106 - Orc Warriors

For more details see:     http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/ShowFeature.aspx?id=39

The next question is - which HotT armies can I make?  One of the WDW squad (Jim) has an Undead army which loses on a regular basis and the club stock can provide another.  First impressions are that the Caesar boxes don't provide enough variety - its mainly the PBI..

So I can make:     1 x shooters @ 2 ap = 2
                             3 x hordes @ 1 ap = 3
                             2 x blades @ 2 ap = 4
                             1 x magician general @ 4 ap
                             2 x sneakers @ 2 ap = 4
                           ---                               ----
                            9                                 17

A shortage of 7 ap then - seems like a visit to some of the cheapo shops in Pontefract is called for!

                   2 x shooters @ 2 ap = 4
                   3 x blades @ 2 ap = 6
                   1 x magician general @ 4 ap = 4
                   4 x warband @ 2 ap = 12
                  ---                                    ----
                   11                                   24

A full army with a few 'spares' - plus I can draft in some goblins as horde.  Well.....after a few acquisitions I will think about painting these new recruits.


Monday 7th December - DBM - Muslim Indian v Feudal English.  I was on the left with a tiny light horse command.  In the middle was a mixed (joint) command of 20 x Irr Bw(I), 2 x Art(S), 5 x Lh(S) & 3 x El(O).  Luckily for me my opponent was set up in a refused position with half irregular troops.  The dice gods were also unkind as their movement was sluggish.  By the end of the game I was about to be swamped by enemy Sp(O) & Bw(O).

Our C-in-C (Andy) faced off against the dastardly Knights(O) plus supporting Bw(O).  He had Lh(S), Mtd Bd(F) and 4 x Kn(F).  Ably assisted by my 4 elephants the enemy left flank was broken.  Not long after that the enemy centre fell.  A hard game and one where I had to keep my nerve.

On the other tables:  Mars Attacks (2 games played)
                                 Square Bashing - Austro-Hungarians v French (again)
                                 Hordes of the Things - scratch armies from club stock

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Online Activity

Yes an extra entry.......because I forgot to add my recent online (wargaming) activities:


Sunday 29th November - "Galleys, Guns and Glory" rules by Thomas Foss.  Published by Skull and Crown Stratagem Inc.

 http://www.skullncrown.com/store/

I had seen these rules mentioned on the Edinburgh wargames club site and have followed the journals ever since.

Renaissance Galley page:

http://www.edinburghwargames.com/Renaissance%20Galleys.htm

 'Journal' references at the bottom of the page.

All I need now are some of those splendid wooden ships.


Wednesday - 2nd December - D3H2 - a 'Hordes of the Things update by Thomas J Thomas (to be compatible with DBA v3.0).

Thomas kindly sent me two files - D3H2 plus  "Ice and Fire" a DBA-like set of rules set in the Game of Thrones world.

Here's a  D3H2 test game by timurilank (plus the thread on Fanaticus Forum):

http://fanaticus.org/discussion/showthread.php?t=17926


After printing out 26 pages of GGG and 23 of D3H2 my black ink ran out - such is life!.


Thursday, 3 December 2015

Normal Service

Well almost.......still trying to throw off the last of this virus.


Monday 30th November - DBM - Samurai v Sung Chinese - a hard battle where my leftmost command managed to hold on (with the general resembling Houdini) whilst Chris broke two enemy (Samurai) commands. 

I learnt that although Bw(X) may look tough they can soon go down to determined opposition. This situation left me with only one small command intact. An amazing number of sixes being thrown by myself and Al to little result.

On the other tables:
    'Square Bashing' Austro-Hungarians v Russians
        100 Years War fight using Osprey rules
        Star Wars dogfight
        HotT practice game

Incidentally I gave up trying to read 'Field of Glory' Renaissance - too prescriptive and unwieldy for my liking.


Wednesday 2nd December - in between catching up on all my Folk Dance duties I took another look at the basing options in 'Victorian Steel'.  p4 - "So long as the frontages for all......are the same any size can be incorporated.  For anyone starting from scratch we use 3" square bases.....with the depth reduced or increased as necessary for skirmishers, cavalry and equipment."

A sample of the photos shows the following:

        p4       Colonial African Askari            6 figs                              square
        p5       Boxers ('mobs')                         4 figs                              2:3 ratio
                                                                                                      (front to depth)
        p6        Egyptian brigade (foot)           6 figs                              square
        p6               "           "       (horse)         3 figs                              square
        p6               "           "       (artillery)     4 figs + 1 gun                 square
        p7       Bengal light horse                    3 figs                              square
        p7       Bengal horse artillery              6h, limber + gun             long (approx 2:5 ratio)

 Looks to me like any 'regular' troops, horse and unlimbered guns get square bases but irregular 'mobs' have greater depth.  As my Zulus are on (largely) unpainted cardboard bases altering them to 3" x 4.5" shouldn't be too difficult.  Not so for the imperials as they have 60 mm frontages.  Obviously a need for some sabot bases - more work!

Did I really offer to put on a game this month????
              

Thursday, 26 November 2015

A Short Note

Yes I know I missed a Thursday....and this week it's just a brief note.  Still firmly in the grips of this virus - coughing, sneezing, raging sore throat and headache.  Local knowledge says it takes at least a month to recover!

Next Monday I hope to be well enough to get to the club for some wargaming.  Meanwhile I am trying to read through the 'Field of Glory Renaissance' rules. 

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible...............

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Books, Books, Books

Saturday 7th November - woke up with a head ache, runny nose and burning throat.  The first of the winter colds had struck.  I didn't feel like putting paint to figures or doing any serious wargaming so I took to the books.


Now Dr Who books are a bit of a mixed bunch as far as I'm concerned.  They are written by a multitude of different authors so variable quality and style is only to be expected.  Plot - aliens con guillible humans into playing a computer game which turns out to be for real.  Now where have I heard that before?  It features my favourite Doctor (of the modern era) plus a  believable companion.  Even so I can only give it 5 out of 10.


Monday 9th November - should have been wargaming but the dreaded lergy had a tight hold on me - now running a temperature and ridiculously high blood pressure.  Obviously some sort of virus to last this long.


Wednesday 11th November - after only 3 days I finished another book:

 Number 41 in the Disc World series - and the last.  It's a fitting end to the series with the coming of the iron railway.  Industrialization is threatening the disc so something has to give.  Primarily it is the Elves that have to come to terms with a new reality. I can't help feeling though that the author was seeing the end of his days - the end to the vaguely medieval rural landscape that the books are set it.  It left me feeling sad.


Thursday 12th November - in my search for the Aquitanians I discovered an Osprey among my pile of reference books:

It shouldn't take too long to read as it is only 40 pages of text.  One curiosity was in the middle of the book - plate C:

Described as "2: Western Slav tribesmen" it's one of those pictures where you can't help seeing two images.  Is it some sort of ulfhednar with a carrot type nose and bulbous orange eyes?  In reality the head is turned to the left with nose, beard and ear being the primary points.  Interesting!


Thursday, 5 November 2015

Illegal & Defeated

Monday 2nd November - DBM - Huns versus Late Roman - once again the Hun army was declared 'illegal' so a 'friendly' game ensued. 

The dice gods did not favour our side with Andy throwing below average combat dice whereas mine were abysmal (plenty of ones).  I threw high against shooting but even my general was a pacifist at heart.  On the other side Al's dice were amazing (plenty of sixes).

The result was one broken command on our side - so a loss but not as bad as it had threatened to be.




Thursday 5th November - DBM - preparing an army for next Monday.  Settled on Carolingian in Charlemagne's reign - list 3.28.  Breaking down the army list was ok until I hit the last section entitled "Only if Aquitanian C-in-C before 779 AD or from 830 AD to 838 AD or commanded by Aquitanian ally- or sub-general." 

In the blurb at the bottom of the page are two clauses - (1) "Charlemagne cannot use more than 1 Aquitanian general..." & (2) "Frankish allies cannot be used by an Aquitanian C-in-C, and only by any other C-in-C". 

There is also a comment - "Aquitaine was not brought decisively under central control until the defeat of Hunald II in 769; it was then only briefly independent in rebellion from 830 to 838."

For the time being I will set aside this section (which has some desperately needed Lh(O) in it) as I don't know what constitutes an 'Aquitanian'.  Some research will have to be carried out!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Victorian Steel

Sunday 25th October - Fiasco @ Leeds - helping out with a participation game (Napoleonic).  Bought some MDF bases and a new set of rules:

These (left) seem straight-forward and fun....and at only £5 it wasn't a big investment.  Hopefully I will get a chance to try them out!!!

Fiasco was lively at the start but soon trailed off after lunch.  Too many empty tables where demo or traders had failed to turn up.  Perhaps the nightmare of finding somewhere to park put them off!  I spent 20-25 mins touring around and eventually parked 2/3 of a mile away.  Of course I could have used the Armouries car park at Rip Off prices.


Monday 26th October - DBM - Arabo-Aramaean versus Maccabaean Jewish.  Another close run thing with few casualties.  Al's centre command was within 2 elements of defeat but the other command was untouched.  Jim (guest general) lost one element right at the end (as did I).  The only consolation was that Al was getting most of the lousy movement dice and not me.

On the other tables - "Hammer of the Scots" boardgame with Andrew & Ian - WW2 scrap between Germans and Russians with 6 playing.


Tuesday 27th October - after being shaken out of bed by hammering and drilling coming from next door I found myself shut in my bedroom with the radio on and a paintbrush in hand.  My new DBA-RRR army is taking shape - only 2 naked horses left - everything else has some degree of covering.  Hopefully the first of them can be photographed soon (today would have been impossible anyway - thick fog in the morning only thinning a bit after 1400 hrs).

Thursday 29th October - 2 bases/elements of my new DBA-RRR army ready to be photographed.  As miserable grey weather prevails the camera stays snug and warm in its case.

Have managed to find my De Bello book "Le Guerre Colonali Italiiane 1885/1900" so 'Victorian Steel' may get an outing soon.  It's now just a question of finding those colonial soldiers........................

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Dunbar or Bust!

Saturday 17th October - FoG Renaissance - I turned up around midday to see Chris and Al still playing the battle of Dunbar.  I took over the English (hiss!  boo!) and developed the cavalry attack on the Scots.  I had to make whatever headway I could as soon as possible.  If I didn't the Scots foot (twice the number I had) would fall upon my pbi.  As it happened we drew stumps at 16:00 when I had just attacked a foot unit in the flank.  There had been much consulting of the rules and head scratching.  Looks like we all need to become a lot more familiar with this particular rule set!

Wednesday 21st October - finished another book:


This volume is all about the slowly developing American colonies - English, Dutch, French, Swedish & Danish.  The period is characterised by religious intolerance (yet again) and empire building.  For those who play "Muskets & Tomahawks" there is a mass of information about real and projected conflicts.  The natives fought for and against various colonial powers sometimes as allies and occassionally as the dominant partner.

It becomes clear that political in-fighting meant that 'paper' strengths did not translate into boots on the ground.  Even if these theoretical numbers were achieved some garrisons were still tiny (and the guns in poor condition).  No surprise then as to how many times forts, outposts and minor colonies changed hands or were destroyed.

This volume does suffer from some rather poor english but does not become unreadable.


I shall take a break from factual books and go back to Star Trek or Star Wars -  just to give my brain a rest.

Sunday 25th October I will be Fiasco (Leeds) as I have voluntered to help out at a demonstration game - more of that next week.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

An Ignominious Defeat

Monday 12th - DBM - Lydian versus Early Aechemenid Persian

The terrain fell not  entirely to my benefit but I could live with it.  The Persians threw reasonable dice and pressed forward.  My starting dice were 1 - 1 - 1 - 2 (luckily the 2 was for my allied command).  The (movement) dice gods were not in our favour as I threw 1 - 1 - 3 - 4 on my next go.  

Fighting dice were pretty even so no complaints there but on the last round of the night I had one broken command and looking at a 6:4 defeat.  I only had to hold onto one last Lh not to loose half my army - guess what happened! 

Well my deployment wasn't the best and my heart wasn't in the game from the start but did I deserve such a drubbing?

One minor niggle was Andy's exocet guided missiles.  There seems to be something fundamentally wrong with Expendables under DBM.  I have always thought of them as a 'point and go' weapon not a formation dance troop.  Being able to manouvre them into the best possible position just feels at odds with reality!  Maybe I should look at the DBMM rules to see if there have been any improvements.


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Another Close Run Thing

Monday - DBM - Jurchen Chin v Early Crusader.

The JC presented a solid centre of Bw, Reg Bd(F) and Art(S).  The flanks were mostly Lh(S) with some supporting Kn(F) on the right.  I managed to keep my Lh under control and (just) out of trouble.  The centre pivoted but didn't do much else.  Chris had the main scrap opposite Andy with both commands taking hits.

The EC central command  sat on, and behind, a steep hill.  Everything else was formed up on their left flank.   AL tried to get his Bw over the hill to support his Kn(F) but it was a slow business.

So while the 'plodders' messed about in the centre a fierce fight ensued between Chris and Andy.  At close of play our C-in-C's command was one off breaking and so was Andy's.  Had we continued it would have been a 6:4 win to the opposition.  As it was the score was yet another 5:5 draw (like round one).

Next Monday I have to choose the army so I'm going to take a force that will either win spectacularly or blow away with the first puff of wind.  I care not which way it goes - I'm fed up with 5:5 / 6:4 / 5:5 results.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Dutch & Moldavians


 First off ...... it's actually Thursday here in the UK (00.10 hrs to be precise).

Monday - no car so no action....well not for me anyway.  A DBM game did take place between Wars of the Roses (Andy/Al) and Medieval Spanish (Chris). It could not be a 'championship' game as the WoR army list used was declared to be 'illegal'.  Looks like a re-match will be on for the next meeting!


Wednesday - Dutch & Moldavians

At last I have finished 6 bases....and in the process 2 x  DBA-RRR armies.


First: Dutch Rebellion - 1 x General (Pi) and 1 x Kn (Huguenots).  The Huguenots carry 3 different guidons.  The general's flag is the 9-stripe version (you can have 3,7,9 & 11 stripes if you like).  Waterloo 1815 Cromwell's Cavalry being used yet again.  I will replace the general himself when a better figure turns up.


Second:  Moldavian (or Wallachian) - 1 x General (Kn), 1 x Kn, 1 x Lh and 1 x Lh (Szekely). The Kn are Zvezda Russians (the Persians in this period were the great armour makers who exported all over Eastern Europe (and others copied thier style). More Orion cossacks being put to use as Lh (I already have one painted element).  The Szekely are Lucky Toys Huns but I think that they look the part!  Finally the general was lifted from a Hussite war wagon set.  The standard is the Wallachian "army and naval war ensign before 1830".  The cossacks are there until something more suitable is manufactured.

If I want to turn out a Transylvanian army I need to remove the 2 x Wb and substitute 1 x Sh plus 1 x Sk (peasants with arquebus).  I already have an extra painted Sh element so only the skirmishers (and maybe another general) need to be built.

This leaves me wondering where I am going next with my DBA-RRR armies?  Perhaps I will take a break as Tony Aguilar is in the process of updating the rules to reflect version 3.0 of DBA. He may well decide to tweak the army lists as well!

Postscript:  turns out my use of Huns wasn't too far fetched - "The Sz├ękely historically claim descent from Attila’s Huns..." [http://greentransylvania.com/about-transylvania/szekely-history/]  I also found a few pictures of a Great Kurultaj (cultural event come horse meet) - http://www.digplanet.com/wiki/Great_Kurult%C3%A1j
Truth is often stranger than fiction.......

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Yes I'ts Thursday

It seemed like a good idea at the time - blog every Thursday.  Trouble is you get weeks that just crowd wargaming out.

My other hobby (country dancing) meant me calling Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon.  I also danced on Friday and Monday.

On top of that my loft cover came crashing down yesterday - it's a good job that no person or animal was anywhere near!  So now I have a gaping hole into my loft and a cold wind blowing into my bedroom.  Such is life.......

Oh yes,,,,Saturday's wargaming:  I took some of my DBA-RRR armies along.  The other table was happily playing Age of Eagles (Neapolitans v French) and I waited for my opponents.  At 15.00 hrs we alll packed up.

On the plus side my solo game meant that I could set up and try out a 'house rule' for DBA-RRR. 


HAMLETS

The last time we played with a BUA getting established troops out was impossible.  The 'standard' rules give +3 to the defenders.  Now this is probably ok for a town with brick walls and substantial buildings but what about the lesser fry?

 I was thinking about this as I drove through Cold Hiendly - a hamlet near where I live - it has approximatley 8 houses (brick built), one winding road through, hedges and two small barns.  So this would, maybe, count as a large hamlet and defenders could be given a +2.

Old 18th century maps show only 4 buildings, a track and some small sheds or barns.  None of the current buildings pre-date the 19th century so Cold Hiendly, at that time, would have been little more than a blip on the landscape.  Perhaps it should only rate a +1 for defenders.

I therefore propose that scenario setters could be more flexible in how they rate BUAs.  Hamlets could be from, say, 1 to 2, Villages 3 to 4, and larger areas as appropriate (even being split up into differntly rated sectors).

First trial:

 Setup was as per a scenario in 'One Hour Wargame' with a village at the centre of the board, a hill in one corner and a wood in the opposite diagonal corner.  I designated the BUA as value +2.  Half the DBA-RRR armies (Swedes v Danes) would march up the road towards the BUA.  One force was 5x foot + 1 Lh.  The other was 5x mounted + 1 dragoons.  Mounted would receive no bonus within the village.  After 5 turns the other halves would turn up (over the hill or out of the wood).  

In the battle the Danes rushed their mounted into the village.  The enemy foot plodded forward.  One unit of dragoons was not enough to hold out against 4x muskets.  But just as the Swedes were celebrating the other forces arrived.  This time, after 15 moves, the Swedes could not be shifted.  

Maybe when I play it again with 'real people' I will have to put terrain in all four corners (wargamers are always suspiscious of terrain).  That way each player could decide where the 'second half' emerges from.  It would add more uncertainty.

If anybody tries this out please add a comment.




Thursday, 17 September 2015

An Undeserved Win

 Monday - DBM - Fatimid Egyptian v Dynastic Berber.  In fact there were Berbers on both sides!   A tense game that 'went down to the wire'.  On our right flank Andy attacked the enemy Lh with Lh, Bw & Cv.  The result was inevitable.  In the centre my Frankish ally was loosing Knights' at a rate of knots' but hung on to the bitter end.  On my left flank nothing much happened.

Altogether an undeserved 6:4 win for our side (Fatimids).  With a little more dice luck Chris would have smashed the Franks.

On the other tables - a 5-handed Saga game, WW2 in 6mm and Wings of War (or whatever it is called now).  Plenty of variety this time around.

Thursday - DBA-RRR - trying to put together an up-to-date set of rules using DBA v2.2+ and DBA-RRR v1.21.  A time-consuming exercise which I have finished today (but it needs proof reading).  Now working on a QRS.  

Haven't managed to finish either of my new armies - Dutch Rebellion & Wallachian.  Such is the pressure of trying to balance wargaming, folk dance calling and domesticity.  It's a good job that I'm not still working.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Monday - DBM - opening game of new round - Late Macedonians v Late Carthaginians.  Sneaky use of Elephant expendables - had they got into the pike blocks it could have been disasterous.  Lack of time prevented this battle from being anything but a draw..

On the other tables - Square Bashing again - Turks v French;  Sci-Fi again - rules still not right though (Andrew & Tim still experimenting).


Wednesday - finished reading Volume One - so here's a review:

"The first Colonial Soldiers - a survey of British overseas territories and their garrisons, 1650-1714"
Volume 1: the British Isles, Europe, Asia and Africa.
by Wienand Drenth & Jonathon Riley
Published by Drenth Publishing
ISBN 978-90-818887-2-1
http://www.drenthpublishing.nl

Well first of  it is a survey so there are plenty of lists of officers, garrisons and artillery numbers.  For the most part I only skimmed through these preferring the notes and secondary text.

1)  Around Britain - the Channel Isles, Isle of Man, Dunkirk & Mardyck, Tangier, Gibraltar & Minorca.  The major theme here is religious intolerance - Catholics v Protestants.  Erratic 're-balancing' of the garrisons to match the flavour of the month or latest political manouvreing did not enhance esprit de corps.

There was even an 'albatros' for Charles II:

"Article III ceded the city and castle of Tangier to the Crown of England - not the nation or its parliament - thus saddling Charles's privy purse with costs that were to  prove near-ruinous over the next twenty years."  [p103 para 1]

2)  West Africa and East Asia

What stood out here was just  how ephemeral some of these footholds were.  The most common threats to their existence being - other European colonial powers (notably Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish), native opposition, local climate and commercial rivalry.

"Goree is a small island before the coast of present-day Dakar, Senegal." [p205 para 1]

1444 - discovered by Portuguese
1617 to  approximately 1664 - seized by the Dutch
"by a later date" to 1664 - captured and occupied by the English
1664 to 1667 - Dutch rule restored
1677 to 1678 - occupied by the French
1678 - ceded to France by the Treaty of Nijmegan
1693 - brief British occupation
1693 - back into Frnch hands.

The local population must have been in some confusion - "who do we belong to this week?".

3)  Conclusions

There are no uniform plates or details - this book is about how these colonies came into existence and  their trials and tribulations.   However as a source for potential wargaming scenarios it is a treasure trove.  Well worth a read  

I have just started on volume 2.1 New England & the Middle Colonies.........so watch this space.


Thursday, 3 September 2015

Not Painting Those Wagons

Monday - DBM - Comnenan Byzantine v Hussites

Andy's right wing advanced four WWg forward and a bunch of Bd(O).  My Lh(S) skirmished against the WWg whilst Chris attacked his Bd(O).  Eventually the Blades took enough casualties to break.

At the other end of the table Andy was pummeling a flank attack and only the dice gods saved Chris from a rout.  A 6-4 win to the Byzantines.

Andrew was running a Sci-Fi / Future game using some new rules.  Seemed to be spending quite a lot of time with their heads buried in the booklets.

The 'usual suspects' were 'Square Bashing' - a set of rules for the inter-war period.  These are becoming quite popular and more time is being spent actually playing.  This week it was Turks v Anglo-Australian forces in Mesopotamia.


Otherwise.......

On the personal front I'm now another year older.

More heavy rain on Tuesday but not on the 'biblical' scale of last week.

Reading and painting progressing at the 'snail olympics'.


Thursday, 27 August 2015

On a Hiding to Nothing


Saturday (22nd) - Cloudburst - large puddle in the kitchen and the water started to over-top the front door sill.  I was lucky as one of my near neighbours had raw sewage flowing through his garden.


Monday (24th) - DBM scrap between Al's Later Crusaders and my Later Muslim Indians.

My able SG (Chris) did reasonably well in the centre and right flank.  The Reg Bd(F) lost a few bases but caused quite a bit of damage in the process.

On the left flank yours truly had the C-in-C's command of  Reg Cv(S) supported by Irr Bw(I)  and a couple of  Lh(O).  My opposition didn't look too bad but then up popped some Reg Kn(S).   I fared badly and blamed the match-up.  I also thought that my Bw(I) might have done better.

Working out the tables, and allowing for 'superior' and 'inferior' status (plus 'quick kills') the results were not as I expected.

Bw(I) v Kn(S) = 58.33% Bw deaths / 27.78% Kn / 13.89% draws
Cv(S) v Kn(S) = 27.78% Cv deaths /  27.78% Kn / 44.44% draws

So, in theory, I had an equal chance!  That's not accounting for the dice gods of course.  Oh well - it's only a game!

Tuesday (25th) -  taking cat to the vets - 6 teeth removed - £220 - eeeeeeek!

Wednesday (26th)  - calling at Barnsley U3A  Kitchen carpet finally drying out.


The trials and tribulations of a wargamer huh!







Thursday, 20 August 2015

Something to Show For It.....


 For the first time of regular posting I have some pictures (scroll down).

Saturday - club meeting with a World War 2 game going on.  Not my 'cup of tea' so I turned up around midday to do some stocktaking.  Ended up doing precious little of that but did carry out a thorough tidy-up. 

There was also a 'book-swap' going on in the church.   I managed to pick up a Christian Jacq title that I didn't have in my collection - "Ramses: The Lady of Abu Simbel".

Monday - no club meet.  I had planned to make my annual visit to the Wakefield Games club but my car had other ideas.  The steering wheel was shaking when I applied the brakes.  Booked in on Wednesday at the garage.

Wednesday - started reading this book:

I get the feeling that it's going to take a while - will review it properly in the fullness of time.


Thursday - photographed some figures that I finished the previous day


These are all for my DBA-RRR "Transylvanian, Moldavian & Wallachian" army - 2 x Kn, 3 x Shot, 1 x 5Wb & 1 x Lh.  This still leaves 3 elements to be finished - 2 x Lh & 1 x Kn.

On the left - two elements for my "Dutch Rebellion" army.  It now needs only the 1 x Kn (Huguenots) for completion.
On the right - one more shot block for my European colonials.  They will pass for Spanish, Portuguese, English or Dutch forces for my Irregular Wars scraps.

Just the way I paint with odd figures sitting around.  The result in this case is a Wars of the Roses organ gun - Art(I) in DBM terms.  I had to add a block of balsa wood underneath in order to give the model some rigidity. 






Thursday, 13 August 2015

Another Week Gone By

 ...and this time it really is Thursday (afternoon).

Monday - Irregular Wars - the first time played against a live opponent.  Chris won convincingly with his Mesoamericans (versus my Conquistadores).

My crossbow & shot proved to be very weak in melee (1) and the artillery even worse (-1).  The knights, on the other hand, were unkillable.  'Natives' out of command range were skittish and prone to run away.  Suit-wearers & cuachic were made of a much harder material.

Setting up went more smoothly than expected although I pre-set the terrain but offered the choice of starting side to my opponent.  Cards were drawn (but were largely forgotten about).  Dicing for army composition gave the 'natives' plenty of troops and the Spanish precious few.

We soon fell into the rhythm of Initiative - Shooting - Movement - Melee.   I'm sure we missed a lot of things in our 2 hours of play but there you go!  Finding references in the rules section was far from easy (not happy with the layout/format).  Didn't find the QRs very helpful either.

Looks like I am going to have to revise the rules layout. So far I have split them into sections - set up, main, campaigns, chance cards and QRs. Now I need to simplify and clarify.

An unforseen difficulty was that my opponent could not remember which figures represented what (he also had trouble with the facing of same).  I will have to come up with some way of marking and/or numbering each base.  Initial thoughts are for a 'rock' at the back of each base with a number painted on.  Needs some thought.

All in all it was a useful exercise and thanks to Chris for indulging me.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Weakly Posting

One of my readers suggested that  I post every week. I decided upon Thursdays.  Well it's 0049 Friday but that's close enough:

Monday - DBM - Chris put up Fanatic Berber versus Andy's Western Sudanese.  A slow business with both sides playing cagey.  Chris was waiting for his Spanish flank march to arrive (he's still waiting).  The game ended in a draw with the Berbers being close to a broken command.

Tuesday - turned out my Renaissance boxes to see what forces I could field for" Irregular Wars - Conflict at the World's End".  Looks like I have enough for an 'Aztec' type army or a Mayan one.  The Europeans can be fielded as Conquistadores, Colonial Spanish or Colonial Portuguese.  A few more bases of general-purpose 'natives' would be useful so I based up & flocked some slingers & warriors.

Wednesday - woken up at an ungodly hour so decided to get my computers sorted out.   A whole day to install Win7.  Reminded me of  a poem called "Reinstalling Windows" by Les Barker.

Thursday - so I got on with my painting didn't I?   Had a surprise visit from a friend with accompanying mutt.  Spent the day walking around the local reservoir and socialising.    The best laid plans............


Saturday, 25 July 2015

I Have Been To....

OK I pinched the title from another blogger....

No painting this week as I  have been dog-sitting for a week "in foreign parts".  This does not, however, mean that I have been idle on the wargaming front.


Saturday 18th July - Halifax shop where I purchased:

Caesar 105 - Goblins

The 'strap-line' is "You could resist Goblins no longer!" I cannot deny it.  Will be added to my growing Fantasy collection.

Strelets 0024 - French Light Infantry (Crimean War)

The box art shows zoaves & other light troops in equal numbers.  Inside were 9 of the former and 35 of the latter - this will teach me to check the PSR site before buying.  The lights will, no doubt, be given to Ian.

Caesar 011 - Assyrian Chariot

Another contribution to my growing Assyrian army.


Wednesday 22nd July - Burnley Wargames Club:

Not that easy to find but worth the effort.  A friendly group where I got roped into playing a Napoleonic scenario using a modified version of "Fire & Fury" rules.  Thanks for the warm welcome lads and hope to see you at Recon.


Thursday 23rd July - Pennine Raiders (Halifax):

Seems that the wargames club had been taken in by the Raiders after they lost their former premises.  The Working Mens Club soon filled up with a variety of games including Fog Renaissance, Warhammer Ancient Battles & 40k.


Saturday 25th July - "The First Colonial Soldiers"

My neighbour had taken in three weighty volume by authors Weiner Drenth & Jonathon Riley.  Haven't had time for more than a quick flip through - bit disappointed that there are no colour plates but you can't have everything I suppose. 

Subtitled "A survey of British overseas territories and their garrisons, 1650-1714" they should provide plenty of information about the Renaissance period. 

Volume 1: the British Isles, Europe, Asia and Africa covers - the Channel Isles, Isle of Man, Dunkirk, Tangier, Gibraltar, Minorca, West Africa, East India and the Spice Islands.

Volume 2: the Americas and the Caribbean part 1: New England and the Middle Colonies.

Volume 2: the Americas and the Caribbean part 2: the Southern Colonies and the West Indies.

I have another book to read first before I can get down to a serious look-see but in due course dear reader..........









Thursday, 16 July 2015

Mae Cymraeg yw dod

The Welsh Are Coming!

Some additions to my Medieval forces - Welsh archers & spearmen plus a couple of crosbowmen.  The Welsh archers on the left are painted in a livery suitable for 'continental adventures'.  Welsh spearmen and right side archers are for 'home' use.  The xbow are more general-purpose as they are not French (and therefore not usuable for the Wars of the Roses).


Renaissance progress

On the left - mercenary pikes
On the right -  Wallachian or Moldavian warband

Whilst sorting out a box of items I came across some 3/4 painted DBA-RRR figures.  Unfortunately the explanatory note was missing - so an hour was wasted working out what these figures were.  Seems that I had planned 'Dutch Rebellion' and 'Transylvanian, Moldavian & Wallachian' armies.  Missing units are - 1 x Cv (Dutch) plus 2 x Lh (TMW).  Luckily I can make them up from my supply box.

Hopefully, when time permits, I will finish the painting and start on the missing units.

7 Years War

No DBM this week as we were on our second 7YW period scrap using 'Age of Reason' rules.  This time it was American War of Independence.  The battle turned on a charge by American dragoons on a line of Legion skirmishers - said skirmishers fled along with their supporting dragoons.  From that point on the British side collapsed.  As a re-fight of Camden it was not historical.

The previous week my right-wing cavalry were destroyed by the enemy horse with the infantry on both sides doing little.

Chris & Al seem to like these rules and for infantry they are fine giving a reasonable result.  For cavalry it's another story - very lengthy procedures plus a dominence of the battlefield.  I don't know enough about the general period to say if this is historical or not but certainly in the American theatre cavalry were not usually very effective.

On the other table was an interesting board/miniature game - Spartacus.  Four players took the part of Lanistra (gladiator school proprieters).  Everybody seemed to enjoy it, even the spectators.






Sunday, 28 June 2015

More Purchases

I have been to Halifax again - always a pleasure to burrow through the boxes of 1/72 plastic figures.  These are my purchases:


Caesar 007 - Assyrian Army
http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=842

Caesar 010 - Assyrian Cavalry
http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=943

Caesar 011 - Assyrian Chariot
http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=949


The Assyrians add to my limited army that started after the demise of the Wakefield shop.  Strange title "Assyrian Army" as it is entirely of infantry!

Also of note are the ridiculously thin chariot wheels - I cannot believe they are up to the task of carrying four crew without breaking.  Two of the model wheels were badly warped and will require pressing (if you look carefully at the PSV photo you can see the problem).

Along with my other 'chariot' armies (New Kingdom Egyptian, Sea Peoples, Medes & Trojans) they will languish for a while until I find a suitable set of rules.

My initial plan to convert the Egyptians and Trojans from Armati to Impetus have taken a jolt.  Looking at the rules for handling chariots under Impetus resulted in a headache.  Even one of the Impetus mags I read said that handling chariots was difficult under these rules.

I have played 'Pharoh Goes to War' and liked the way it handled chariots.  Problem is they were designed to use the author's Assyrians & Egyptians and have never been developed since.

Somewhere in 'Slingshot' was a short series on the usage of chariots in warfare outlining their various roles according to type and period.  Sadly I cannot find them - can anybody point me in the right direction?


Waterloo 1815 AP 035 - Roger's Rangers
http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=2047

Roger's Rangers will add to my small collection of French-Indian skirmish figures.  The fourth figure on row 3 is shooting from a semi-prone position - which to me is completely useless.  A dead figure could have been used as a marker - these 4 will go into the spares box.

Maybe - some day - I will get my hands on the BUM Roger's Rangers figures.  I live in hope!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

More Kerns

These were finished just after my last post but I have had to wait for the sun.  Monday at 1700 hrs it was only 9 degrees (on the 1st June) and raining. 

Irish Kerns - Irr Ps(S) - manufacturer unknown


In the DBM match Early Imperial Roman faced off against Nabataen (or maybe Hatrene) Arabs.  It was a long and close fight with few casualties by end of play.  Next Monday promises Samurai versus Chinese.

I still have a group of WW1 East Africans waiting to be finished off - but don't hold your breath.


Monday, 25 May 2015

More Re-paints

At last the 'Normans' are finished:

3 x 3 Norman Kn(F) - some Essex, some unknown
3 x 4 Norman Sp(O) - again a mixed bunch

2 x 4 Varangian Bd(O)
2 x 3 Norman Bw(O)
2 x 4 Sp(O) - some 'Carolingians', some 'Normans'


Soon to come 'off the blocks' are the last of the Irish Kerns - Irr Ps(S) - watch this space.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Go West.....

(now who didn't think of the Village People?)



Just been west in fact - well as far as Halifax anyway.  My haul from the model shop consisted of:

Caesar - Fantasy 102 - Elves 
HaT - 8289 - Bengal Lancers
RedBox - 72067 - 17C Turkish Artillery
Imex - 535 - American Infantry
Strelets - 111 - Turkish Artillery

You can find pictures of all of these on PSR.


(1) Elves - look in the 'Features' section of PSR for Fantasy figures.  Having come across this page:

 http://combatzonechronicles.net/cozoxc/1889.htm

I was determined to find a few boxes of these warriors. 

(2)  Bengal Lancers - my first box has ended up being painted for the Tai Pin rebellion - these will be fighting the, later, Boxers.

(3)  17C Turkish Artillery - an alternative element for my Ottoman DBA-RRR army.  The other gun will probably end up in the hands of the Transylvanians.

(4)  American infantry for the Mexican-American war.  The floppy hats are peculiar to this period so I bought a box.  I passed on the Mexican infantry as I can easily convert some of my hillock of Napoleonics.  Incidentally the Mexican cavalry make good AWI horse.

(5)  Turkish artillery for the Russian Turkish War of 1877.  Re-painting these will add to my colonial Egyptian army.  Unfortunately there were no Turkish cavalry available - which is what I really wanted.

Altogether not a bad haul - when I will get around to painting them is another matter though!





      

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

More Rats & Lizards

Just collected two more boxes of figures - ratmen & lizardmen.  Unfortunately that means an even bigger pile of unpainted figures for me to get around to - life is cruel!

On the DBM front the fight yesterday was between Romanian Franks and Later Crusaders.  Chris was throwing plenty of sixes and Al ones.  The dice gods handed out a crushing 10-0 defeat to the Crusaders.  I couldn't cheer too much as I was a 'crusader' sub-general. 

Pitting Kn(S) against Kn(S) is either going to be a slogging match or a slaughter.  Perhaps this is historical?

On our next Monday I will be supporting on an Impetus game - maybe that will be more interesting?  

Thursday, 2 April 2015

The Normans

More figures to be repainted - Normans


3 of 9 very mixed cavalrymen - 3 more like the first (but with complete spears)

9 spearmen, 1 cornicer, 1 flagman plus 1 spearman with shield on back.
6 mailed archers so likely they should be 3 to a base and not Ps

Have done a bit of research on kite shields and looked at the TMP forum for its discussion on uniformity.  Think I will give each base of spearmen the same shield design - don't know about the horsemen though.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

More Figures

In the process of re-painting some figures (see last post) I also finished others:


On the left 5 x Chinese Wb(F) - Essex I believe.

On the left - "Irish Kerns" 

Don't know the manufacturer of the latter - they have oblong bases so not Essex.  According to my references Irish kerns did not have boots but went bare-legged. Some of the lesser kerns may have had bucklers but precious few.  The better off kerns had, mainly, oval shields.  So this leaves a bit of a mystery - perhaps they could be classified as Bidets but the boots are still wrong!  Any suggestions anybody?

More Irish kerns - from two different suppliers - the ones on the left are noticeably bigger.  As they are shieldless they must be intended as Ps(I).

Incidentally, there are a few Ps(S) still on the painting board.

This week I played Saga using Scots and did ok (I survived that is).  There was a DBM game going on - Wars of the Roses versus Hussites (Andy's Hussites won).  

Two weeks ago the scrap was between Early Samurai (book 3) v Tupi (book 4) with the Tupi just scraping a marginal win.  I did ask if this was a 'fantasy game' considering the geographical and temporal differences.  The reply was unprintable!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Re-paints

Finished the re-paints so here are a few pics:


First up - the Parthian 'bronze' option

Secondly - the Parthian 'iron' option (including general)

Lastly - the Palmyran Lh & Reg Bw

Unfortunately DBA v3 only allows a maximum of 5 x Kn(X) but the general is usable for Palmyran or even Sassanid armies.  The Lh(F) is pretty universal (I left out stripes and/or edging); the bow less so.  Still the club 'Ancients' box had no Kn(X) before this.

Next stop....the Normans.

Friday, 13 March 2015

A Bag of Goodies

Wakefield & District Wargamers have a number of club armies. They came into being by various methods including commissioning (Saga), direct purchases (Ebay et al) and donations. 

A small open box on one of the shelves sometimes receives contributions - leftovers from an army build.  Once in a while there is a more substantial contribution.  On Monday I discovered a bag of 15mm figures - all 'ancients'. 

 21 of these - looks like two issues of the same Parthian (or Palmyran) figures

The outside 2 are close enough to be painted in the same style as the 'Parthians'.  The 'general' is anybody's guess. 

4 of these - 'Parthian' archers

Just 2 of these.

This gives 8 elements: 6 x Kn(X), 1 x Bw & 1 x Lh(F).  
Not enough for a DBA army but a good start.  

Can anyone identify the manufacturer?

Here's a link to an interesting article on the Parthians:
 
http://www.iranchamber.com/history/parthians/parthian_army.php

I guess that I will end up painting this group.  

More on the Normans and the other figures later.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Ratmen & Lizards

I finally got around to photographing the fantasy figures (apologies for the poor lighting - I seem to have done something to my camera settings):

 
Swordsrats(4), swordsrats(4), clubrats(4) & daggerrats(4)


Slingers(4), spearrats(4), bowrats(4) & bowrats(4)


Bladesrats(3), daggerrats(3) & 'the boss rat'(1)

sprues(3)

39 figures altogether.


Clublizards (3 of each)

Swordslizards(3), Daggerlizards(3), Bowlizards(3) & Bowlizards(3)

Spearlizards(3), spearlizards(3), blowpipes(3) & 'the boss lizard'(1)

sprues(2) of each

34 figures altogether.

There are no mounted troops or artillery so some conversions will be necessary.  I have ordered another box of each.  All I have to do now is work out a HotT army list and....oh yes...paint them!!!



Thursday, 5 March 2015

Drifting Into Fantasy

I collected two boxes of Fantasy figures yesterday:


Caesar / Miniknight Lizardmen

Ratmen

They are currently going through 'chemical processing' so a proper review will have to wait.  Incidentally PSR do show some 1/72nd Plastic Fantasy figures on their site but you have to search for them.  They don't review in the same way as for the historical figures.

Both are destined for HotT armies with the Lizardmen perhaps being useable in my 40k adaptation.

I considered painting the Ratmen like those in the Arx Fatalis computer game - what do you think?



Thursday, 26 February 2015

A Little Light Painting

Last weekend I finally managed to get to my painting desk without freezing my toes, fingers and other delicate bits off.  On my board was an eclectic mix of:

15 - Chinese warband (one has presumably gone astray).
50 - Renaissance figures (some Transylvanians)
10 - Sci-Fi goblin types (in need of repair)
38 - Daleks (in various stages)

The warband only needs some dry-brushing and basing. The goblins shouldn't take much longer either.  Hopefully that means photos will be forthcoming - weather permitting of course.

Two more projects are sitting in my living room - Romans & Egyptians.

You know how it is - you research the army list, check your own stock and make a list of shortfall items. With good intentions you go to shows and pick up the figures you need - then you loose your notes.

In this case it was a 15mm Early Imperial Roman army (DBM) that I was collecting.  Realising that one of my fellow players already had an EIR army I decided to alter it to Middle Imperial Roman.  In the meantime DBMM lists came out  At this stage the project was shelved until I, literally, fell over it.

The bare metal only gives a vague indication of the units that I was trying to build.  So it's back to the drawing board.  This time I will keep a hard copy of my proposed army.

The 20mm New Kingdom Egyptians are already painted and based for Armati.  My intention was to re-base for Impetus.  Simples!  Not so as Impetus army lists are hard to come by.  I checked the lists for the 'Extra Impetus' magazines (why am I thinking RIP OFF?) without success.  The only available list seems to be in the 'Basic Impetus' section.  Reluctantly I will have to spend time on the Forums!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Vapnartak Booty

The weather held off for my trip to York (it didn't snow until I was almost home).  Traffic on the outward journey was OK but coming back I soon got off the A64 - two lanes trying to carry far too heavy a load.

The show itself was very crowded; £2 levy on the cash machines; £2 for a simple cup of coffee and parking on mud.  Still I didn't have to pay for entry (being an old codger).

My 'shopping list' included 15mm Thracians, Chinese, Colonial Portuguese & Middle Imperial Roman.  What I actually purchased was:

12 - Thracian Noble Cavalry
12 - Thracian peltasts
8 - Legio Lanciarii  [upon getting home I realised that I needed 24 figures, not 8]

In addition:

1 box - HaT 8059 - Persian Heavy Infantry
1 box - HaT 8076 - Persian Medium Cavalry
1 box - Hat 8057 - Persian Light Infantry
1 box - Call to Arms 1/32 Royalist Musketeers (S3)
1 box - Call to Arms - 1/32 Pikemen (S2)
1 box - Call to Arms - 1/32 Royalists v Parliament (S1)

The first 3 boxes will go towards my Mede army for Impetus.
The last 3 were a whim - but at 50p per box I could not resist.

Quite a number of the WDW crowd were there and I met up with a few old friends.  Sadly one of them informed me that his wife had been diagnosed with early onset alzheimers.  This placed my minor niggles about the show into perspective.






Sunday, 4 January 2015

Experimenting with New Rules

My new year's resolution was to get more painting done.  Unfortunately the weather has not been co-operative.  My painting room is much too cold and it's impractical to relocate. 

So what have I been doing?  Well I have now read through 'Irregular Wars' for the second time and made copious notes.  I even prepared for a trial game by cutting out 30mm x 30mm squares and marking them appropriately. 

I decided to strip down the game to it's bare mechanics - so discarded random army and terrain selection - along with the chance cards. 

On the kitchen table I made a few, preliminary, moves until some of my fingers turned white.  Back in my living room (the only warm one) I cut out some 40mm x 40mm squares.  All I need now is relief from sub-zero temperatures!

Progress on the wargaming front is obviously going to be very slow for a while.