Tuesday, 6 August 2019

More Indian metal

Here are some pictures of a unit I actually managed to finish!
 Shock Horror!
 These models represent the 2nd Bengal Irregular Cavalry- Gardners Horse raised in 1809 by William Linnaeus Gardner. The models are from the Old Glory Sikh Wars range which is actually pretty large having some 40 or so different packs of models including all the major troop types plus a few others !  There are also useful models in the Indian Mutiny range.

 The first risalah there will be others to make the unit  up to about 24 cavalry 
though I auapect I shall only do one European officer. 
 These troops are very versatile. Not only can they turn out for full blown campaigns such as the Pindari War  and the Sikh Wars but also for the everyday small change  of recalcitrant Rajas and  Zemindars who don't want to pay their tax bills ! Plenty of scope for games of different types- but all with an historical background.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Kiss me Hardy ! (where's that) !

  Now it is not that often that the Tantobie Warfare and Tactical Society  go floating about on the Briny  but this month Theatrical Steve was in the chair and decided to run a Napoleonic Naval game.
 So with four members turning up to our usual watering hole in the relentless rain we grabbed our backstays and clewed up our fores'ls and set off
 Steves rather spiffing 1/1200 ships were on the table and the rules were a set called Trafalgar- which I had never seen before. This last not surprising since it had been a good few years since I had played Napoleonic Naval though it has always interested me off and on over he years- C.S. Forester and Dudley Pope's fault, devil a doubt, with a side order of Alexander Kent  and perhaps a soupcon of Gregory Peck and Virginia Mayo!
Early in the Action- The French Austerlitz places itself in the path of the Royal Navy. while the rest of the French try to tack


 However enough of the frivolity and on with the action
 The French Squadron facing the stalwart tars of the Royal Navy considered of thee 74s and  the Austerlitz- first rate manned as usual by a lubberly crew- Shaun and Andrew !!  Under my own hand were 2 74s a 64 and Victory - a first rate, I also had the Surprise- frigate 32 which was carrying important despatches and needed to be seen out of harm's way until it could show the French a clean pair of heels  and glory of glories I had the wind !
Discussion of who can do what to whom and from which angle.

 No it wasn't the beer. I had the weather gauge which  gave me a reasonable and unexpected  advantage in the upcoming contest. I had my four ships in line ahead with the 64 leading ad Victory at the rear shielding the Surprise from the French ships.. With the wind against them the French had something of a task, but of course the wind can change  and we did get a fog  bank which fortunately dissipated before any harm could be done. the opening rounds were fired bu Austerlitz and replied to by my little 64  in a vain attempt to slow Austerlitz down to try to slip Surprize through the gap and away.  This didn't happen - round one to the French .
Austerlitz in the centre of the picture getting a spanking .

 However despite losing a fore mast the gallant 64 bow raked the Austerlitz twice and since the French first rate also received a stern rake from Colossus 74  she  became a floating wreck - scuppers awash wi' blood. Yes Gentle Reader the odious cubes were actually running my way for a change! Shock Horror - how unusual, but rather nice.
yes there is a lump in the sea which is also a funny colour as I could not find my blue cloth

So I hear you ask what were there rest of the French doing all this time. Short answer- trying to turn round against the wind. Not easy indeed mostly impossible especially as the wind stayed steady. Yet despite this there was more for the Royal navy to do. A miscalculation on my part led to Surprise losing a fore mast and later its main to French fire though  it cost the French one of their 74s as Victory - slower than the others(was he bottom foul?) finally came to the rescue and escorted the limping , but still mobile, Surprise away from the action.

 I was pretty impressed with the rules- there were bits I didn't grasp which almost led to a fit of pique but Steve explained slowly using nice short words so I got it in the end ! I will happily have another go with these- even if I don't get the wind !

As usual thanks to Landlady Jean for superb Beef butties and chips and to Landlord Eric for Consett Brewery's White Hot - an excellent "session beer"  for convivial toping whilst playing a spendid and different  game.
 Ships were all from Steve's collection and are Langton miniatures. Lovely models.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

India/ Generic troop types for 18th - 19th century armies

 As regular reader may know I have log been interested in warfare in India. Especially from the 18th century onwards. I have been slowly building up forces for the Indian Mutiny of 1857 but having said that other campaigns have taken my fancy. . The NW Frontier is an obvious one but also ealier campaigns of the  18th century- but not only the usual ones of Clive and Dupleix but also those of the Marathas and Haider Ali and Tippo Sultan.

2 shots of Matchlock armed Infantry. Variously called barkanzyes of Najibs. Al Indian forces used them - even as late as the mutiny rebellious zamindars still had numbers of these.

 Si it struck me that-aside from specialist forces for these campaigns I would ned sme generic  forces to represent those troop types that were scattered all over  India and fought for almost everyone at one time or another from 1760 to 1860. Now that IS stretching a point but it seemed to me, reading the sources that assorted matchlock armed infantry  fought in Indian armies from the late 16th century to around the time of the mutiny with very little change in appearance.
 As for cavalry- that is a bit more complex but from the mid 18th century onwards  the bow mostly disappeared- though I will have some bow armed heavy cavalry when I finish them- and firearms Lances and swords take the lead.
2 shots of the irregular cavalry. These kind of horse were about from the mid 18th century to around the 1840s. The use of armour declined but I would be happy enough using large mobs of these up to and including the Sikh wars and smaller numbers thereafter. 


 So here are a few pics of the initial results of this line of thought. Some of the cavalry were painted by Dave Jarvis about a decade ago and have been given a reviver.
 All the models are Old Glory 25mm - or 28 if you prefer and come either from the Sikh Wars or Indian mutiny ranges. I shall also be using packs from the Renaissance Persian range and  from the later Ottoman Turkish
Wonder where this project will end up?

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Still shining away.

It has been a while since I actually finished any new models for any of my on going projects. I have had these on my desk for several weeks but actual real life keeps getting in the way.  However finally another whole 8 figures fr the Forces of Napoleon Shinyparte and a single cavalryman for the Duke of Wellyboote. The speed is positively breathtaking ! . Mind you this collection is now knocking on the door of 300 models with plenty more to do - including a bundle of limbers and teams which will take forever so there is plenty of life in it yet. I have also just bought some few Austrian and Russians which may end up doding duty as part of the tiny forces of some ficticious and fractious member of the Confederation of the Rhine. In the same lot were a bundle of Prussians  which only need a bit of touching up before they can take the field.
Stadden 30mm British Napoleonic Dragoon in watering cap. 

 So with things looking a bit bleak for General Shinyparte I thought I'd finish these voltigeurs and add a few figures to the Guard. As for the Brits well, amongst the various lots I have acquired over the last year or so was a small group of Stadden Hevy Dragoons in the uniform of 1810-11. Some regiments at least had abandoned the  clumsy bicorne and used instead a "watering cap"  or shako . That dress is what the cavalryman depicts. A bit unusual and very attractive so I painted one of the five I have as an Inniskilling Dragoon  just for a bit of difference.
Voltigeurs  skirmish around some aged Britains hedges(meant to keep you plastic sheep safe) supported by the Imperial guard. How the standard bearer manages that hevy solid metal flag is anyone's guess. 
Close up of the Guard. The reflection on the shiny varnish is a bit of a pain when taking close ups ! 

As for the Imperial Guard . I  now have a good bundle of them . both Stadden and Minot with an odd Willie or two (FYI that is a figure brand not an anatomical description)  so many more will turn up . The voltigeurs are all Staddens  Like most of this collection advertised as 30mm when they were made imn the late 1960s.
 Now a bit of a rest from shiny chaps. Next on the painting desk some more models for my growing "India" collection.  Once finished they will appear- and thiese are a matt varnisehd collecton. Not everything I do is shiny !

Monday, 10 June 2019

The Battle of Bad Schmelling June 8th 1709, Durham Wargames Group Show Game 2019

So, Gentle Reader, the morning of June 8th dawns and somewhat later that that awfully early time Jim the Builder and I load up the gear in the piddling rain  for our Demo game at the Durham Wargames Group's annual Open Day which as an  annual event has been running for something close to  40 years. As a past member of the group I recall organising  two or 3 of the events in the early 80s and I was by no means the first to do so. Equally I recall putting on Demos - as a member at that time. I recall the Battles of Nevilles Cross and the Battle of Ghinnis as well as a medieval Chevauchee and doubtless there were others that have slipped my mind. So although a small event it has a certain longevity though  it has fallen a little from its high point in the 1980s. Of that more later but for now back to Jim and I in the rain .

 Yes it is a wet and windy June morning as we meet up with Mechanical Shaun and Floating Jeff to unload- up comes Theatrical Steve and our team for today is complete. Liam - aka Garth is also supposed to be here but is stuck in Kendal with mechanical difficulties  awaiting the AA . So the five of us set up the game on its 10 feet by 6 feet table with around 800 15mm Marlburians- all Blue Moon 15mm and mostly painted and organised by Jim in the last year. I provide a few units as well as most of the terrain so this is a co-operative effort but with Jim definitely in the chair as Umpire .
Early in the action. The Allied guns find the French Infantry. 

As it happens the game was a little cracker- even though I came second -Floating Jeff's legendary dice throwing eventually proving my undoing. Jim based the scenario on the battle of Creveld from the Seven years war. Apparently this meant my outnumbered British - with Prussian and Danish  help had to cross a river in the face of a French army  while a Durch force appeared on the French Flank unbeknown to the French high command. We we almost got away with it . The French slightly outnumbered our whole force and Mechanical Shaun - as the Dutch commander  pressed them hard, forcing the French to divert troops  to protect their   flank and rear. Meanwhile I tried to cross the river in two placeS and despite routing two French battalions with some fearsome artillery fire it was never really on the cards until the last move when I finally got  Dumbarton's regiment across  and into the French- only to lose the melee  against Jeff 's usual  highly inappropriate dice rolling.. It was really nip and tuck and a fine time was had by all. Rules were a slightly modified version of Warfare in the Age of Reason. A set I have always liked and have used for many sub-periods within the 18th century. It can take modification without upset and is not so hyped up on its own cleverness of mechanism that it ever becomes less than sipmple to use or obscure in meaning.
The Dutch put pressure on the French flank and rear.
Dumbarons Regiment prepares for it assault

Now As to the show- well frankly  I have seen better. Usually for a small local event Durham gets pretty packed . The crowd was very sparse this year but then the weather was unseasonably awful. Having said that though there was a certain lack of games and a lot of empty space in the main hall. When I went in the only sound was that of my own footsteps ! . There were two scruffy looking games at the far end of the hall- cluttered and uninteresting. One was Cruel seas - looked hasty like a normal club night game put on half and hour before the players arrive. - Can't even recall what the other one was. . Over in the bowls pavilion there was a game of the Russian assault on Bhokara which was interesting and unusual. Typical of Conrad Cairns and his friends nice one Dudes. A static display of the so called "Battle" of Piercebridge in 1642 looked nice but in 2mm was barely visible to the naked eye despite the effort that had gone into the scenery. The actual encounter was a   skirmish involving the Hull roundheads trying to stop a much larger Royalist force  crossing the River Tees.  Since they only had a couple of infantry companies and a troop or two of horse they failed .  However the display looked very nice. It was obvious some effort had been expended.
"There are more of us than you "- chant the French as Prussian and Danish troops move up to cross the river. 

There simply were not enough games.  The main hall as I mentioned had 2 small games- both less than 6 feet by 4  both lacking in anything resembling effort at any kind of display . Both about as eye catching as a party political broadcast.. I have no idea who was running/hosting them and I don't care.
The French main battle lineas it shifts to counter the Dutch.

 Surely the local groups can do better for a local show with such a long history.. After all it is not as if the NE is short of wargamers. But perhaps that is not the right question. Perhaps the question should be "Can the NE supply a sufficiency of wargamers who are willing to put some effort into a demo or PP game at a small show such as Durham?" Has the local hobby become so utterly introverted that it can't be bothered to do anything other than play -in private-  on four foot square tables- I can't answer that and I am also aware that petty local bickering  has sometimes had its effect. I only  know our group does not follow THAT pattern, after all in the last few years we have managed to do a Demo at the Durham show is lots of different periods and scales of which our 15mm Marlburian game was only the latest. In the past we have done 28mm ECW, 40mm ACW, 20mm Modern, 15mm Modern, 1/600th Naval, 10mm Seven Years War, 28mm Seven Years War and 40mm Wars of the Roses. All this from a group with no more than 6 regular members plus the occasional guest. For next year we are looking at 28mm Indian Mutiny and before anyone sneers behind their hands  "well they have the resources of Old Glory UK behind them - only partly true- the models still have to be made and painted, scenarios  worked out,. EFFORT put in for what has for us always been an enjoyable day. A few cheaper soldiers does not a demo game make. The chaps still have to turn up, still have to have some enthusiasm for what they do .

 Not sure what the dozen or so traders made of it- I did not have my traders hat on  so didn't ask. Not that I would anyway.. I spent more on a roud of beers than I did on toys. A secondhand copy of C.S. Grants book Wargames Campaigns and a can of white spray primer- for buildings I brush prime figures- was my lot. Though I was tempted both by Hoka Hey wargaming's Elizabethans and by Reiver Castings French revolutionary Wars British I resisted- at least for now .....

 Now I and  the rest of our group did enjoy the day and will be ready to do another demo next year if we are invited. Yes the show needs a bit of a shot in the arm but no it should not merely wither away like so many others. It deserves better.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

The Battle of Schortenhausen May 4th 1708

One of the problems that arises in the running of any small business in almost any field is lack of time. The demands of Government bullshit override almost anything. They have the power - you don't . This is a universal constant. However add "somewhat busier than normal" and 2 shows in following weekend AND  the arrival of a 10 box shipment from the USA which had to be broken down and sorted  before Partizan and you might just see why I have been neglecting this blog a little of late. What follows was mostly written  the week before Carronade.  but only just this morning finished.


There were plenty of T.W.A.T.S.  in evidence at our rather rushed May meeting. A total of 6 members turned up for the dress rehearsal of our Durham demo game. Jim the Builder was in the chair and running a 15mm Marlburian game using modified "Warfare in the Age of Reason" rules. There were a total of 5 players plus Jim as officiating Umpire so that made half a dozen T,W,A,T,S, in the same place quite an achievement given some recent turnouts.
Early in the action the Anglo- Dutch begin the pressure on the Bavarian right. 

 This was the first outing for the 15mm Marlburians and between us Jim and I managed a total of 28 units- so 14 a side for this dry run. Jim has several other units on the go  so by the time of the demo in June the forces will be significantly larger.. As for my tiny contribution well- That would be 7 units in total plus some command bases,2  Bavarian Infantry Battalions 3 Bavarian Cavalry squadrons an a battery of 3 Bavarian guns. The single British Battalion I had joined the other side along with 2 commander bases. One British and one Dutch.
 So the terrain was set before us and with myself and floating Jeffon one side and Mechanical Shaun Liam and his brother Jake on the other, we were off to the early 18th century.
The beginning of the Franco- Bavarian response from the Anglo- Dutch viewpoint. Dumbartons regiment advance against the Bavarians 


 The Anglo- Dutch forces began by an advance in the centre of an infantry Brigade of 2 battalions which immediately came under serious artillery fire from both French and Bavarian batteries. On the Franco Bavarian right  we occupied the village with a battalion with  another ouside in support who were in turn supported by Bavarian Dragoons, Our center - composed of French and Bavarian cavalry  hung back - awaiting events on our left the French foot moved steadily into line.4 battalions up, 1 in reserve. We sat back awaiting events and continuing our bombardment of the somewhat isolated Anglo- Dutch centre. However on the Franco,Bavarian left  a series of savage attacks threatened to overrun the position forcing the Bavarian Dragoons into a somewhat precipitate charge and chasing a Bavarian infantry battalion into the village for shelter. Nevertheless  the village position did its job , soaking up enemy pressure and troops which would have been better used  in the centre.

Franco Bavarian counter attacks go in.

 In response the  French Cavalry and Bavarian Cuirassiers  moved forward. The cuirassiers charged into the infantry opposite them and a long fight ensued- bum dice on both sides- before the infantry finally broke. They had been weakened by artillery fire first or the charge would probably not have succeeded. French cavalry - led by Elector Max in person  then charged in support of his cuirassiers  pushing back and eventually breaking the Dutch cavalry opposite them. This charge gave the pressured Bavarian Dragoons to the right time to rally and- although much reduced  finally polish off thee weakened and battered allied foot facing them.

The right dice in the right order at the right time. Does not always happen this way.

 Meanwhile on the Franco- Bavarian left the French foot advanced in a slow and deliberate manner threatened as they were by significant enemy cavalry formations. When the charges came in  the situation looked dicey for a while but floating Jeff managed his usual ridiculous dice rolls at the appropriate time and despite the rout of a French battalion Jeff hung on and the Anglo- Dutch - in disarray with 5 units at least in rout and others looking distinctly shaky  conceded the day.
Soon after this the Anglo- Dutch concede. I was too busy with a celebratory pint to take any more photos.  A man must decide priorities !


Models were- as you might expect- all Blue Moon 15mm from the extensive Marlburian range. Beer was by Consett Brewery and Beef butties by Landlady Jean. Next months game will be the demo at the Durham show on June 8th. If you are  planning to go and want and order bringing then as usual email me on info@oldgloryuk.com and I will sort it out for you.

As always our thanks go to Landlady Jean for here hospitality. We will be back.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

A little bit here and there.

We have been very busy of late  so that not a great deal of painting has been done. Stuff that was on my table before Salute is still there. Now  I am not , and have never been, one of those wargamery types who can start at one end of an army and finish at the other without food or sleep or a pint or any normal comfort . Chaps like that make me nervous, obsessive aren't they? Sometimes  bit self- righteous perhaps ? Anyhow I ain't one of THOSE boredom would kicj in far too soon. No I apint what I want when I want and enjoy the process at least s much as the results


  So recently I have bitted about a little more than usual. Some 15mm Marlburian High command  for our groups game at the Durham show in June.  A40mm drummer for Regiment Champagne  for the very slowly growing 40mm TYW project . and finally these two little beauties. Command figures for the Indian Mutiny project. Both of these are from the Mutineer high command set and to be honest I am not sure who is who- though they do come with name labels on the figure and  another as yet unfinished is definitely  Lakshmi Bhai - The Rani of Jhansi as the figure is obviously female.
 Painting these two was a  treat in acrylics and inks over a white base coat to make the colours pop a little. They are added to the slowly growing force of Mutineers - or  Freedom fighters if you prefer.  To take on the forces of John Company



All of my Indian Mutiny forces are from the Old Glory  range and once hey are table ready I plan  to use a hybrid of Charge! and The Sword and the Flame which -at least in theory- should give the right mixture of order and sudden unpredictability. 

Another figure from the same pack I painted a while ago. 
Some of the British opposition - all Old Glory from the same pack CMB2A
And finally  some mutineers- selections from 3 packs. 


Well that's the plan .....