Thursday, 30 June 2016

Another Fine Mess

No, I'm not referring to Brexit (at least Boris is no longer a PM contender).  It's just that Real Life gets in the way sometimes.  So much so that when I looked into my "This Week" folder today it was empty.

The paucity of wargaming activity is as a result of finding a large envelope among the stuff I had to hurriedly move when my kitchen was flooded.  It was a collection of old tapes that needed transferring to CD - and the deadline was Saturday 2nd July - EEK!!!!

Still here's what I did manage to do this week:

Monday 27th June 2016 - down at the club.

Al and I fought a DBM game of Viking Leidang v Carolingian Franks.   The wargame was tight with the Vikings loosing their central command at the last moment.  One of my commands was close to breaking as well.

 Only two of us playing as Chris and Andy were watching England get (deservedly) thrashed by Iceland.  How did Matt Baker describe them???

Two games of 'Square Bashing' were going on - Russians v Turks and French v Germans.   I'm still interested in this set of rules but nobody produces Boxers in 10mm at the moment.

Medieval FUBAR using the club's SAGA figures.  Seems that Saga itself has fallen out of favour whereas Fubar & Lion Rampant are in the ascendant!

Talked to Mike about 'Irregular Wars' again and showed him my recent acquisitions.  Like me he has a fair number of Aztecs (or similar) but wants to base the bulk of them up for Baroque Impetus.  The leftovers can be used for IW.

Figuring out what I need for the Conquistadors list is not quite as straightforward as it should be - there is the matter of classification.  More on that later - when I have the time.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Pastures New-ish

Monday 20th June 2016

No Wakefield & District Wargamers meeting today Swillington either.  So what did I do?  I went off to find the Wakefield Warriors at their new venue.  Now meeting at Westgate Common WMC on Park Grove Road (WF2 8TW) I found them welcoming (as I had two years ago at 'The Snooty Fox'). 

This bunch plays boardgames, FRP and wargames (at the fantasy end of the spectrum).  I was offered the chance to play "Kings of War" being tutored along the way.  Simple mechanisms involving the 'bucket of dice' approach.  Quite a few subtleties in game play which I have yet to commit to memory.  Still I managed to win with my Orcs versus his Goblins. I like the system and might even buy a copy.   Fun and beginners luck! 

Tuesday 21st June 2016

Finished a couple more DBA-RRR elements:

                                2 x English Colonial Generals

As it's another busy week for me - calling Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - it's unlikely that I will get any more painting done for a while.

At some time in the past I discussed with club member Mike the possibility of running a Renaissance colonial game in 15mm.  The problem was that both of us had large numbers of Aztec type figures but little in the way of European opposition.  With the acquisition of the Conquistadores on Saturday there may be a possible resolution.

Accordingly I dug out my copy of "Irregular Wars - Conflict at World's End" to look at the army lists.  Assuming the use of standard 40mm x 40 mm DBM/DBR bases the 'Conquistador' army requires:

Compulsory - 2 x Mtd Conquistadors (6 riders & 6 horses)
                       2 x Rodeleros sword & buckler men (6 foot)

Optional -   1 x Rodeleros sword & buckler men (3 foot)
                   1 x (Regular) Pike (8 foot)*
                   1 x Shot (3 foot)
                   1 x Crossbowmen (3 foot)

                  1 x Priest (1-3 foot)
                  1 x War-dogs (3-5 dogs)
                  1 x Field gun (1 gun plus 2-3 crew)
                  2-8 x Indian mercenaries - missiles (6-24 foot)
                  2-10 x Indian archers (6-30 foot)
                  1-6 x Indian porters (3-18 foot)

* I feel that such a close-order would be appropriate for the 'regular pikemen' but not for the 'half-pikes' who fought in a looser formation.
I can cover the Compulsory and the first four optional troops from my newbies.  Indian mercenaries, Priests and Porters I will have to search for.  The field gun and war dogs I could order from the new owner of Naismith & Roundway figures - 

The dedicated Naismith sword & buckler men are codes CQ14 - Standing; CQ15 - Attacking.  I could use a mixture of CQ01 - Conquistador Officer; CQ02 - Gentlemen Adventurer with Sword; CQ03 - Conquistador with Sword Charging & CQ04 - Conquistador with Sword At Ready.

Next is to look again at my Mesoamericans.  As I recall they are a mixture of sizes - Naismith (smallest) to Tin Soldier (largest).  Perhaps I'm allowed to be 'size-ist' on this occasion?

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Phalanx 2016 - Let the Train Take the Strain

Yes an extra posting - what next?

Saturday 18th June 2016 - Phalanx @ St.Helens

So off I went on my 2.5 hour jaunt over the Pennines.  It didn't start well - at 09.09 the train turned up at Fitzwilliam to get me to Leeds.  1 minute late - not bad - only it was supposed to be the 08.46.  This didn't bode well but apart from having to stand to Wakefield  I managed to make the first connection.  Surprisingly Manchester Piccadilly & Newton-le-Willows changes also worked out.

The show was easy to find - walking distance from the station.  The bugbear - nowhere to get any cash.  Why don't these Leisure Centres have cash points?  After a 15 minute walk each way to a shopping centre I had my cash and could go to the 'Bring & Buy' (which was excellent).  I didn't buy a lot in the main hall - very little in 15mm.  Some of the games were interesting but not as good as Partizan.  The hall was also rather hot and stuffy.

Here's my loot:

1 box of Airfix 'Robin Hood' (B & B) - £2 - destined for the 'general box' 

1 box of Imex Sioux Indians  (B & B) - £3 - for conversion into various 'natives'

1 cardboard box labelled "24 packs - Conquistador Army"  Inside were 25 packs (I complained bitterly - NOT) of Naismith Design figures for £10. The next time I hand over my 'spare change' to the Cat Protection League I will add £2.

Also - 4 packs of 60 x 60 MDF bases (for my East African project).

The journey home involved 3 changes - Manchester Victoria, Stalybridge & Leeds.  The Pennine Express was 5 minutes late into Leeds but as I had 12 minutes for the changeover it was no problem.  The only gripe I had was when a bunch of charming lads boarded the Manchester bound train - they were very loud-mouthed and foul-mouthed - F-ing and B-ing relentlessly.  From Stalybridge a quartet of older gentlemen also had a somewhat limited vocabulary.

So would I go to Phalanx again?  I think not.  Train advertising doesn't mention the crass passengers you meet or the bawling babies.  2.5 hours is too long to endure for a moderate show.

Here's some links for pictures:

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Bits 'N' Pieces

 (It's 02.32 GMT on Thursday 16th June)

Monday 13th June 2016 

DBM Western Sudanese v Early Welsh - held onto the left flank (just) while my C-in-C broke the enemy centre.  No bows to contend with but masses of Wb(F) plus some Cv(O).  Our expensive Cm(S) ended up fighting some lowly Ps(I).

Other tables - Square Bashing (Germans v French); Empires of the Middle Ages (boardgame).

Wednesday 15th June 2016 - still painting the WW1 East African figures - sigh! 

En passant I finished a few DBA-RRR elements:

Left to Right: Moldavian (Pi); Ottoman Turk Qullar (Cv); Spanish (Kn/Ln)
This completes the first two (revised) DBA-RRR armies.

Front Left - Spanish (early) command (Bd);  Front Right - Spanish (later) command (Bd)
Back Left - Portuguese Xbow (Bw);  Back Right - Transylvanian Musketeers (Sk)

The musketeers, plus one other element, can transform the Moldavian into a Transylvanian army.

Getting the Spanish, Portuguese and English armies into order is proving more difficult.  Still I do have 13 armies organised already with 13 elements each (including 2 generals).

Hopefully I will be going to Phalanx on Saturday - need some square MDF bases and might be persuaded to buy some more Vikings! As I'm taking the train I will not be taking my camera.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Khaki is the New Black

Monday 6th June 2016

DBM medieval game with King John versus King Richard (I think!).  I took the left flank while Chris attacked in the centre and on the right.  My knights (and 2 cavalry) were facing off against a large group of Lh(S).   Well it looked like a hiding to nothing but the dice gods were on my side for a change.  Movement was good and the two cavalrymen fought heroically (before they went down).  With one enemy command broken we pulled stumps.  A 7:3 win!!!

On the other tables:
      Impetus Medievals (English v Burgundians);
      Square Bashing (French v Germans) plus a
      WW1 High Seas boardgame from Strategy & Tactics.

Otherwise............................I have been far too busy with calling to do anything but snatch odd times to work on my WW1 East African troops.  Slapping on khaki (uniforms & hats) and brown (boots) felt more like undercoating.  A bit of flesh has also gone on (African, Indian & European).  It's the equipment that's going to take the time.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

It's The Second Mouse That Gets The Cheese

Friday 27th May 2016 - finished another book:

"The First Colonial Soldiers" - part 2b - the Southern Colonies and the West Indies.
Pub: Wienand Drenth & Jonathan Riley 2015   ISBN 978-90-818887-3-8

Another treasure trove for those interested in the early colonial era and for players of "Musket & Tomahawk".  Starting in Maryland and working its way south the book's coverage ends at the short lived Scottish colony of New Caledonia (approx Panama). 

Don't be put off by the long lists of officers - useful for scenario setters and local colour.  The footnotes are also copious reflecting the characters of the time. 

Altogether a very interesting read (like parts 1 & 2a).  As I recall it was £40 for all three volumes - and well worth it.

Monday 30th May 2016 - not available for wargaming today - guess I will find out what happened next Monday!

Found some more Partizan pics:          
 [Thursday, May 26, 2016]

Tuesday 31st May 2016 - finished another book:

"The American War 1812-14" by Philip R N Katcher Pub: Osprey  [for cover see a previous post]

Well it didn't take long to read the book.  No doubt it is out of date and better information is now available on-line!  For those who complain about modern Ospreys ("there's nothing to them", etc) then the old days (1974) were no better.  As a brief introduction to the war it's OK.  If I ever get around to taking up this period of American history (watch for flying pigs) I will do further research.

Thursday 2nd June 2016 

Going back through my posts I noticed a comment about the 1st June 2015 - only 9 degrees at 1700 hrs.  At 14.44 hrs today it is dull and overcast, 10 degrees with a light wind.  Annoyingly the weather reports keep telling me how good it is in the west of the country - 22-23 degrees and sunny.  Such is Life!

Footnote:  the title is a line from a poem by Les Barker "The Verb To Be." 

Postscript:  Just found a suitable scenario for my East Africa game - more later.