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 SzĂ©kely historically claim descent from Attila’s Huns..." []  I also found a few pictures of a Great Kurultaj (cultural event come horse meet) -
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. 


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

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 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.


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'.