Friday, 19 December 2014

Three musketeeers conducting a small orchestra ???


A Bunch of Old Willies .....

No, now wait a minute -  Titter ye Not! . The above is not another bash at the OFW crowd- far from it  In fact both of the titles refer to  the nearest I have to a regiment of Suren ECW figures. By the standards of todays knowledge they are a bit odd. Over armoured pikemen and musketeers in the costume of the 1620s, or earlier- taken straight out of De Geyn and frankly a bit too posh for the soldiery of the 1640s. More like the well of  chaps who were members of the various "Military Gardens" or Artillery Societies of the pre- Civil war dats  than the rank and file of the Oxford army or  Essex's Parliamentarians..
 Nevertheless they are pretty enough and worth the painting- so I did. partly to illustrate the diiferences in  knowledge  between "back in the day"- these are at least 40 years old if not considerably more- and now.

 Title picture? These 3 musketeeers are holding little batons in their right hands- presumably supoosed to be ramrods.... just out of the picture is the orchestra they are conducting ...
A single Willie on a horse !- the only "ECW"  mounted Suren  I currently have. He would fit well into Early TYW armies but is decidedly old fashioned by 1642
 Currently the unit- based upon Lord Stamford in Essex's army have 14 pikemen and a mere 9 musketeers. I have a couple more pikemen about but only 1 more musketeer somwhere.
The rest of the unit- all of which are Old Willies!.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Battle of Borcka- Northern Turkey 1992

 So- a somewaht late desptch this as I've been somewhat busy with Crimbo and the like. Nevertheless several regualr TWATS gathered at our local pub for a game on the 22nd November.
 Andrew the Tekkie in the chair- so it meant I actually got to play.with my own toys as -predictably it was a modern scenario .
 We'd decided to move away from "Harraq" as the T-72s were sick of getting a total kicking. therefore wemoved north under the ovecast skys of Northern Turkey - near the border with the Republic of Georgia- check it out on Google maps -
 So the basic scenario

Battle of Borcka  November 1992

General Situation .
 A pro- Russian coup in the new Republic of Georgia has brought General Vladimir Illyich Donchaferkov into power. A Georgian by birth and Russian army trained this man is a Cold Warrior of skill and courage.
 In order to “free”  ethnic Georgians across the border in Turkey he has ordered his – largely Russian -  “Josef Stalin” armoured Battle group to cross the border and secure the town of Borcka . Currently undefended. Indeed the Generals forces have been joined by small numbers of  Rebels  of T’urdish ethnicity with a few clapped out T-55 – supplied by Guess Who? 
 These rebel leaders   of the Total Union of Revolutionary Democrats are also Moscow trained
 In iorder to show Nato solidarity the 69RM cdo Battlegroup- which was on exercise In Turkey has moved up to the town of Borcka but may not get there before the lead elements of the rebels and Russian forces arrive. The Battlegroup has been joined by A sqn North-West Durham Yeomanry ( Commercial Volunteer Light Dragoons) with their Scimitars as an additional recon element but is otherwise as previos  orbats for 69Cdo Battlegroup.
 Weather overcast  with rain and high winds .

The Game

 There were 4 players plus Andrew as Umpire  I -for a change commanding the Russians so I could see what it felt like to die gloriously...  with Shaun as  Infantry commander. Tom taking his usual role as British commander.. Jeff decisded to command the Ireregular forces of the T.U.R.D. on the principle that as he was likely to get a kicking anyway then he would be able to blame his forces -" being Irregular crap" rather than sany mistakes he might make .....
Rules as usual were Command Decision - Combined Arms- with a few tweaks . Photographs were all taken by Andrew as I was too busy  trying to salvage something from what was sure to be an unholy wreak ...
Scimitars of the North West Durhan Yeomanyry(Commercial Volunteer Light Draggons) advance towards Borcka.

 I wasn't wrong ... but not quite in the way I'd thought.
 The game began with a nasty surprise for the Russian forces- the British battlegroup had already reached Borcha!
 "Buggerski "  thought I and immediately planned for an assualt.
Buggerski!! - the British already in Borcka.

Zulu Company 69RM throw back the first Russian assualt
To the east of the town the Irregulars were fumbling about in the hills pushing their tanks forward to be engaged by the Light Dragoon scimitars. Early fire was exchanged and a Scimitar destroyed  (Yipee!!)
 On the opposite flank masses of  T-72s were gathering  to attempt to pus back the British Challengers on the outskirts of Borcha- supported by BMP2 and BDRM with AT launchers forming an advanced Gun line.
 Indeed it was the BDRM that scored first blood on this flank taking out a Challenger- but the BDRMs died in the doing of that brave deed- a sole survivor fleeing- smoke pouring from all orifices !
 Meanwhile in the centre Shaun had launched an Infantry assualt on  the hill covering the town . However Zulu Company of 69RM was waiting and gave his assualting companies such a kicking that they lost all interest in the proceeding for  several turns - being pinned at the base of the hill then scuttling back to their vehicles.
Got one !!  A Challenger falls to ATGW. The BRDMs were wiped out next turn.

The Russian advance. T-72  Charge!

 Now the T-72 assualt went in . Once again we found that we had to be sucidially close to the challengers to get them  but we got 2 as we lost 5 tanks  or was it 6 - at least 1 tank going dowen to Milan fire from the Infantry in the town . By the standards of the time this was a reasonable exchange- especially since we also killed a WEMIK and a Viking. However the storm of fire was too much and 2 of 3 companies broke and  had to rally and re-organise  - leaving ony Regt HQ and a single company to act as rearguard . It was short, vicious and confusing just the way you might imagine a modern armoured engagement would go .
The time imperative had beaten us- the rest of our  Infantry moveing at foot pace were only now arriving on the table despit comandeering local  cars. The Ireegulars were stuck on thier hill  to the east  and had not even opend up with their Chinese built MLRs as it was stuck in the  low ground behind the hill.
Close up of the Russian assualt.

   It had been a close game. The British had suffered more losses than in any previous modern game.  Air power wasn't used this time and now I'm convinced that the Apache has been a battle winner every trime it has turned out. Had I had only a few more T-72  we could have been contenders !
 Once again Jeans Beef Butties were magnificent and sundry Beers were drunk  in the niormal mannerand a convivila time had by all  - which after you get past the dice rolling is surely what is all about.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The death of the Middle-sized show ???

 Now Battleground on the 29th was only half an hour or sop down the road for me and the crew - but was it worth it- well honestly no it wasn't.
 Bearing in mind my earlier questions regarding the new venue for what was really a re-vamped local show
the venue and its surroundings looked somewhat like a recently redecoated  city block in East Berlin in 1972- Housink for ze Prolitariat  , though probably actually  student halls of Res- same difference perhaps !
 The access was horrible- lots of doors you couldn't get you van near so everyone and his brother is unloading into one door - with very little road access. Design by committee perhaps !!
 Next - because the other doors were inaccessable the trollying distance was equivelent to a half marathon - and I wasn't the worst by any means .
 None of this was the organisers fault- other than perhaps the choice of venue in the first place- but then there is often little choice in these areas wherever you live.
 Plus points the venue was light enough and - despite being a sports hall didn't smell of jockstraps and wee wee.
 Catering- well none the Caff was across the car park and provided cardboardy tea and adequate - if flaccid bacon butties. I've had worse.... much worse, usually at Partizan 
Games- after you had seen the ones you'd already seen before -so Border Reivers Vietnam  A nice Operaltional level WW1 a 54mm Waterloo A. N. Other western Gunfight then you were left with one game- Robbie Roddis  Renaissence  one- nice- actually that would apply to all of those I've already mentioned as well  as for the Rest there was a 20mm WW2 which I never saw anyone playing or even at the Table and  the rest were dross, 4 foot table  dross crewed by people who simply wanted to fiddle with dwarfs or wizards or cards- some of these put on by companies trading at the show so having an axe to grind but all simply looking like a bad club night.. Of the 15 or so games the majority- say 2/3rds ish  were like this. Godawful . No wonder most of the punters had legged it by 1.30. Once again not directly the fault of the organisers.
 Part of the problem is the current popularity of what my mate Ken Natt calls- rather appositely- "Boutique games"   4 foot table a dozen figures a side or less  or simply open the box and play- not  the stuff you expect to see as show demos or even P P but they are starting to infect the show circuit- saw evidence of it at Donnington but because there were plenty of other games then it wasn't so obvious. Here such crap was in the majority. Now they may PLAY well but they look like s*** at an event that is supposed to showcase the hobby  4 dweebs sitting around a 4 foot tablel mumbling to each other and ignoring the public reall REALLY helps .... NOT!!
 Such stuff is very well and good at club night but not at a show ... 
 It seems that "Wargaming" as most of us understand itmay be  on the decline at middle sized smaller catchement area shows such as this those run or even partly organised by "Gaming clubs"  which is usually a euphanism for "crap fantasy and unpainted GW played here". There was also evidence of this sort of stuff at this years War Torn, Now I've often thought that to be done well Fantasy and Sci-Fi are actually harder than historicals as they often don't have such a strong crutch as history to lean on - though they may have a six foot thick Fantasy or Sci-fi book series of endless turgidity  instead  but the number of decent lookng fantasy/sci-fi games at shows seems to be on the decrease. The Warlords "Thunder- Run" being a fine recent exception. Many of the others - especially when run by Commercial Companies rather than clubs fall into the "Boutique Games" trap. Now I can rememebr quite a ferw Fantasy games over the years which- while I may not have wanted to splash the cash did pique my interest. - A latemedieval/ Renaissence game with plenty of Leanardo's War machines springs to mind as does a game which seemed to consist of floating islands- beutifully modelled and a wonderful 1970s pastiche called Diamond Geezers. All well able to stand alongside any Waterloo or Mons or whatever other historical  display you care to mention.
Where in this welter of "plug and play" boutique games has all the imagination gone !!
 That the organsiers had done a respectable job is not in doubt  Weather such shows can survive in the commercial hurly- burly  with out more support from the gaming public is another matter entirely

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Surrounded by a load of Shine!

 Its been a good while since I did a post about my "Shinyloo" project. Its been a while since I painted any . However I thought I'd see exactly what I had so  since I needed to do a photo shoot anyhow here are some shots of the current finished collection. Not large by any means but still growing a tiny bit at a time when I fancy painting a Stadden or a Minot - or even the odd Peter Gilder Foremost figure of which I've added a few to the unpainted pile..
 So here are some pictures of the shiny dudes.
Scots Greys set about the French!!

British Infantry and Rifles

The Duke of Shinyboot (in the Bluefrock) orders the lads about

Chasseurs of the Guard come to the aid of the hard pressed French Line.
  There are now about 70 or so figures painted with plenty more to do in between more"work- related" projects such as actually trying to undertand the jargon in a recntly aquired copy of Pike and Shotte- which looks very very pretty but I actually haven't found any rules yet but then I've only had the book for an hour.
 More shinyloo soon- I've some Polish Lancers on the  painting table. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Is it me or ......

Parliamentarian Dragoons- Colonel James Wardlaws regiment- fought at Egdehill .
 There are lots of things about this hobby that leave me completely  cold. Competition playing being only the most obvious- though it was not always thus. The actual mechanics of  gaming being another, I know that some of you get an adrenalin rush from the actual game play - but I for one now very rarely approach the actual dice rolling with anything more than mild interest. Yet there are chaps out there who view the dice rolling as a life or death experience- Oooh- ing and Arrgh- ing over every 6 or 1  by gum its  positively childish - come on chaps you aren't ALL  6 years old. all of the time
 Mind you the whole of life is starting to look like that- witness the "we're gonna make 'em squeal" from some recently elected Republican Bimbo gracing our TV screens as we in the UK suffered the US mid-terms. Is that kind of triumphalist nonsense the right way for a "serious" politician to behave? Not that she was unusual- just a tad extreme- you get the same here - just a bit more muted thank God. Yet the overplaying of emotion is now the norm in many places, it is as if we are supposed to behave like  spoiled brats    therefore many do.
  That - as far as "popular" culture is concerned  over emotionalised over hyped  light-minded fluff  is now expected to take the place of actual thinking has been the case for some years. The idea that fads and fashions are more important than actual progress in any direction is now something we live with in most walks of life-
 Witness Professor Brian Cox  highlighting the change in the broadcasting of science programmes on TV  in the 1970 and 80 with such giants as Prof Bronowski (The Ascent of Man- I still have his fine book)  and James Burke or Carl Sagan  with thier 13 episode series  and the 3 or 4 episodes more likely in a series of today.(Not to mention that shazam-kapow  special effects often take the place of  the actual points being made)  The public attention span- even of those actually interested is shorter it seems or it is perhaps the attention span of the programme commissioners- who want to do another X-factor for the ratings war(Gawd 'elp us).
 Parliamentarian Siege guns. Formerly in the Peter Gilder collection . Part of the load I bought from DC. They have recieved a little TLC-mostly dust removal and a few repirs.

 In our world-  Witness the number of "games" that are now out there. We are no longer it seems supposed to call them "wargames rules" or rules for a given period  - they are "games" even when they are not "wargaming lite"  . This of course means that when you catch 'em out with some piece of poor research or  crappy army lists they can whine "Well its only a game" as their ultimate- and perhaps only defence. However I do not altogether blame the "Games Corporate Dudes" for this. As so  often we do this to ourselves. or is it " the public wants what the public gets " -  I'm never sure . but it does seem that many are  more secure about their hobby the more lightweight and brain free it is.
 This I really don't get at all .
WANTING to be thought of as  thick and or childish ????
 Give me a break !!
It is as if I'd be better off reading the ladybird book of Cavaliers and Roundheads rather than say Reid or Young  or Woolrych or- perish the thought- actual sources from the actual period . Has the mainstream become so lightweight that this is now the norm- or as I suspect is there no real mainstream anymore. As the hobby becomes more diverse the public face- and yes this is about public face is no longer the "best" but merely the loudest or most currently fashionable that is seen  to be the "in thing"  hence the popularity of WW2 currently - around a third of the games at Donnington from  6 years of Military History- most of that third actually form 2 years.- albeit a rather crowded 2 years !Or the number of assorted GW- a Like "games" you see at  shows- all looking very very similar except perhaps for the logo of the "Not GW at all" outfit running the game. the accent being on game- therefore in theory more "accessable" - read more sales potential . An incident at Donnington brought this into focus- Daddy had brought young Tarquin to the show  they were observing the rather fine Vietnam game put on by my mates of the Border Reivers club . Daddy in hs wisdom opined that the "Good guys"  had to catch and kill the "terrorists" . and that was wht it was all about- lets go and see the Space Orcs ... . Now Daddy hadn't been around when Vietnam was  going on and had obviouly been asleep when as a young lady once of my aquaintance puut it "We did that in History"   so like any good father he  spread the BS but it did make me wonder. People just seem to take less notice of the world than they used to and have less desire to know . One is forced to wonder why this is. .
However back to the plot- if there is one ....
Close up of the battery- the gabions are mine from vaious sources. The cavalry behind the guns are Hichliffe- from the Gilder collection . These were a bit battered and needed a couple of hours work  but you'd be a bit battered at 40 !. The Old Glory Dragoons are only a bit bigger and I can live with the size differential as both ranges have movement and style.  Unlike so much of todays stuff.

 Lets face it GW  has everything the  teenage boy of any age could want- especially if he is 47 and  still lives in his mothers attic and has no real life to go to . It has blood and torture and nastiness and more blood- even a bit of cannibalism ...all very juvenile Check out - if you can be bothered- I was "relatived" into this- the painting tutorials- now the chap is a very  good painter no argument  but what a smug  self satisfied git he looks ... "Don't forget to shake the paint !" - with hand motions yet ! . At this point my laughter was unrestrained ! - I assume you don't need a picture !
 It would be sad if it wasn't all so bloody samey-  like the recent survey in WSS- Robbie Roddiss has commented more fully on this  but is less cynical than I- after all we are now supposed to call the Renaissance "Pike and Shotte"  after the overpriced warlord set so the thickies will know what it is- "Old West" is now a proper period but the Dark Ages has disappeared - subsumed perhaps into medieval  to boost the popularity of that period-  so now Henry V and  Jean Le Bel are the same period as Ragnar Hairy -Breeks- a mere 400 years and an awful lot of culture  separateing them  from each other. whilst such murderous thugs as William Bonney and Harvey Logan (Billy the Kid and Kid Curry)  get a period of their own and are sanitised   and made  the heroes they were not. . This is doubtless the influence of movies - and perhaps "historical Novels" which is highlighted in the survey and which to be honest I found  less than wonderful .
 Can't think of a single movie that has made me want to game a period- and yes I'm a bit of a movie buff . The nearest would be the 2 verions of Henry V- but then I was already a medievalist who loves Shakespear so how much did that obtain,? Likewise historical novels- I have a few of the classics- Mist over Pendle springs to mind and of course Rosemary Sutcliffe but much of the modern stuff just leave me cold Cornwell gets samey after a dozen Sharpes and Scarrow is simply Sharpes Romans- I droppes out after 3 . They are just so wearisome and samey. The Matthew Hervey novels are significantly better- the language  is more precise and period for a start and Matthew Herey is no superhero but even they are getting a bit repetitive.
 No  apparently we must simplify to make it easier for the proles to understand. This is at  best patronising at worst downright insulting- but again we do this to ourselves. You keep buying the mags . Enough of you subscribe - and do it loudly - to the army list and points value crap.  Its your fault.  you ask to be spoon fed. .
Yet having said that the survey did point out that a good proportion of the readership  did still like to research their chosen period  so it's by no means all bad news. There are still blokes out there who subscribe to the "Compleatt Wargamer" idea(apologies to Isac Walton)  I was pretty pleased by this .
This is GOOD NEWS.
Perhaps we'll see the results of some of this research in the pages of the glossies instead of more droning on about how to roll a dice  or tedious scenarios for rules I've never heard of ......

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Next up from Drabant.

 I have recently recieved this picture from Nick at Drabant of the new Norman Crossbowmen set . Well up to the standard you expect from Drabant

Not really anything else to say here  except that I'll be getting stock in as soon as I can along with re-supply of otrher Drabant models in both 40mm and 28mm

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Older than many wargamers ....

 There is a lot of twaddle talked about the ageing of the hobby - as if we are all shambling into our dotage - usually by blokes who have already decided that they are  dotards with their bloody flasks, meat paste sandwiched and sodding cardigans !! !  Cobblers !  Not dead yet by a long chalk - still to much to do .
 So with the new website building going on apace - and these things always take longer than you think they will I thought I'd show a couple of pics  of a unit that is older than many in this hobby and differences
  in historical information notwithstanding still looks just as tasty as it did since it first saw the light
 of day  sometime in the mid seventies. The unit was certainly present when "Battleground" was filmed in 1977and appears in the Osprey Wargames "Naseby"  book of 1979 . so its pushing 40  and looks none the worse.
The Kings Lifeguard of Foote - 1643 or 1977  whichever you prefer.
 Its interesting how knowledge and perceptions change over the years .
 Close up of the same unit - nice and shiny .
The more modern unit ???
My "Other" Kings lifeguard look very different based upon the knowledge I had when I had them painted in the late 1990s- see the picture on the opening page of this blog . The more "modern" unit wears no armour- there are no known  records of armour being issued to the Kings Infantry - and most of the men wear montero caps - which were issued and  mostobviously there is hardly a buffcoat in sight- nor a musket rest .
 So which is "right" ?
 Quick answere both by the standards of the time they were made.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Scattered fragements of different Eras ...Cries of "We're DOOMED !!!"

40mm ECW  troops on round bases placed in trays 8 to a tray . Its a small company of 24 figures
 So Barry Hiltons short piece on the future of the hobby makes a few waves. Surely that was its point. But as I consider the Scottish referendun like fallout I wonder if we are not rather putting the cart before the horse. Times change , ttastes change,  the hiobby is not what is was even 10 years ago.  While for some this is a "Golden Age " for others it is merely the onset of Doddering Old Age..
One of the things that we HAVE to get used to is that this is not one homogenous hobby. We go on and on about Broad Church and all inclusivity but how true is that?  There are a few common elements perhaps but how close is some chap who plays a single specific game - be it Flames of War or DBM  or Void or Warhammer Fantasy or WH40k  to a "period player" who studies his chosen era and builds his armies to fit them as he sees it then chooses his rules to fit his vision ..
 At one extreme the dyed in the head FOW player will ONLY  buy the overpriced and not always accuate Battlefront gear in the same way a Workshop junkie won't look at any other kind of Sci- Fant models- better and cheaper though they may be. Now as always there are shadings so for example I sell lots of WW2 stuff to chaps who use FOW  but don't like Battlefront at the other end of the spectrum are those who only  buy or even have made the figures that fit their particlar favourite period and style and the  choose rules that fit in with their idea of how the 3rd Slobovian War was actually fought.
 My point here is that these innumerable shadings are more like a random collection of potsherds in an arhaelogists trench than a single homogenous hobby . The different sherds come from subtly different pots- some pretty similar but others not and some not fitting this pattern at all- but perhaps THAT one over there in a different trench..
 That some games outfits want to make us all dig the same trench and olny use the pots they "allow"  is simply part of the normal commercial hurly - burly  and organising a "single voice" would only aid that wish - even assuming such a monumental imposition was even possible let alone desirable.
 Lets be honest here and pull no punches most chaps just want to do what they do they way the do when they do without interference from anyone- and indeed most do.
 Bad shows should wither on the vine- nobody forces you through the door with a cattle prod. I've told you my personal solution. I'm down from a high of 26 shows a year in the mid 1990s  to a mere 10 now and a couple of those may be in jepordy. Since the 90s costs have rocketed- Trade Stand Fees  Van Hire Hotels  Food Beer. the cost of doing even a small local show  would be around £300-400 ,  .A Weekender further afield and I've kissed a grand plus goodbye before a soldier has gone over the counter, so I pick my shows carefully  and if they don't cut the mustard they are gone.
 However Chaps want shows to be local  - witness the number of small local club shows in the small ads  or even simply on the net I can think of loads of shows I no longer do- either because they were poor  or because they are no longer being run  but that doesn't stop new ones in the same mould sprining up  all over. I've been to some God-Awful shows in my time both as trader and displayer. Some where the traders outnumbered the punters and where the little old Ladies wanderedin looking for the White Elephant stall !
 I can remember a show where the organisers offered free entry and still no-one turned up. At another one- one of the bad mannered organiser shows.. another trader- no longer trading made a hlf - hearted attempt to run over one of my team in his poxy knackered old van - possibly because Jim had commented on his well ...stink...  he was one of the most unwashed fellows ever !
 so shows are much better now in many respects  especially if you choose wisely.
 Now on to diversity- todays PC buzz- word!
 In our small and unrepresentative group none of us do exactly the same periods in the same scale Jim and I do AWI- me in 28 he in 15mm  Jiom also does SYW in 10mm I no longer do Andrew and I both do moderns- different bits in different scales Jeff is mainly Naval - though does 15mm WW2 , Napoleonic and some 15mm Ancients and has other armies but usually only 1 side- a hangover from his competiton days .
 I have 25mm ECW. I'm the only one in the group who does except perhaps new chap "Theatre" Dave- to distinuish him from Farmer Dave( lots of stuff see his Northumbrian Wargamer blog)- who has some as well as a bundle of 28mm Ancients. As far as I'm aware no-one games fantasy- thoug both Jim and I may paint the odd fantasy figure as a painting excerise.
 I'm the only one who has a sci-fi collection - and that pretty modest.
 So even  in  our tiny group  the diversity is considerable- none are now competiton players and all  are to a grater or lesser extent "period players" rather than points and armylist types.. By comparison to some g larger clubs I suppose we are pretty homogenous !!!
 So are we doomed - no I don't think so  changing certainly evolving perhaps- though when you see some of the 1970s unwashed brigade ...  but I'm not  joining the nay- sayers and  Prophets of Dooms (or should that be profits of doom??) 
 As always if you can't take a joke you shouldn't have joined

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Not holding back ....

 My copy of MW378 dropped on the mat this morning  and to be honest  I wasn't keen. This is not a criticism of the magazine but merely an observation that- in this issue there wasn't much in it for my personal interests.
 I don't do Ancient - well not much nor boardgames nor Normandy nor teeny tiny Napoleonics nor really Medieval Skirmishing - which happens to be a pet hate despite the fact that I like and study Medieval Warfare  , I have plenty of trees so non of the articles grabbed my attention - though Hery's photography article  pointed up a couple of things I'd forgotten- not having read my "Manual of Photography" for a while.

The foregoing merely shows you how deceptive first impressions can be ....

The teeny tiny men- actually a fine article on the refighting of the Battle of Vittoria on a dining table was the star piece. Some consdiderable though had  gone into this  "top down" refight of the battle. these lads knew their stuff and kept to the plan - the idea of Dinign Table Napoleonics is not one I'd choose but that didn't stopthe piece being of interest.
 the 2 pre-gunpowder articles whilst on the surface very different were actually quite similar - both  being fior skirmish games  of a very limited nature- the medival being  based around the famous "Combat of the Thirty" during the Hundred Years War- actually during one of the Truces - and the other  being Horatius at the Bridge- anyone who had to suffer Thomas Babbling Macualeys "Lays of Ancient Rome" might well shy off at this point  victorian doggerel not being to all tastes . Whilst both game might be fun to play once or twice and might suffice as entry level  the lasting appeal wwas pretty much nil.. One might comment upon the current  fashion for  light "post prandial " games . Like Western Gunfights or Gangster Brawls  none have any deep  or lasting interest
 Conrad Kinch "send three and Fourpence" column hightlight those chaps who just HAVE to win and will go to any leangths- you know- cheats ! Bad cess to 'em . This is something that simply doesn't happen in our group- the Umpire would not allow it and the rest of the lads wouldn't tolerate it and at bottom franlky its simply too childish - if your life is so pathetic  that you have to cheat  then go and be pathetic somewhere else . Nuff said
 then we get to Barry Hilton piece on the future of the hobby "Staying Alive"- Apaarently he's "not holding back- the Editors word not his .... .
 Well now  I can't actually disagree with this  but its all been siad before- not least on this Blog and Robbie Roddis' . I might take issue with the idea that the hobby needs a single "voice" and I've been to enough US and Eurpean shows to know that they are not that different to British ones- except perhaps that some of the European ones are more over run with GW crap that ours are so far. That some shows are poor is obvious but so is the solution- don't go to 'em . I've dropped out of shows that I didn't like for whatever reason - not always simply for  commercial reasons  . I can think of one show where the decider - the straw if you like was the smell of Jockstraps and wee wee and another where the ill- manners of the organsiers was the final clincher,
 Mr Hilton comments upon the commercial scene and product duplication are interesting to say the least - especially as he is in the biz himself and has contributed to the product duplication to an extent as in a way has anyone who has produced a range for a period that is already covered by somone else. Now currently we have more different product in more sizes from more makers than ever before so I'm not sure what his point is here- that some companies are seeking to dominate the market Workshop like with a limited number of products is - again obvious especially as those companies are run by ex-Workshop staffers who were handed the welly  BUT and its a big but there are plenty of other outfits- mine included - who do not follow that path. One wonders if Mr Hilton should broaden his out look just a tad.
 Likewise his views on the ageing of the hobby . Now for the record I don't own either Cardigan or Tartan Flask- or any of their aged derivitives. Despise meat paste sandwiches. God knows what kind of "Care Home Wargames Soeciety" Mr Hilton belongs to  but  ours isn't like that. I see more youngsters at shows that in former years- though by youngsters I don't just  mean children but rather twentysomthings and thirtysomething- most often  ex GW drones who have "woken up " . Even in our small and unrepresentative group  we have memebers under 40 So  we are not shambling to our dotage or  ready for the knackers yet by a long way
 That some shows need to sharpen their act is unarguable- but then so do plenty of wargamers- I'm in total agreement with Mr Hilton over the nay -sayers and the socially challenged - and especially the hygenically challenged- again see earlier posts on the blog - "In Vogue"  for instance..
I can go on about the hobby's public image  and indeed have -  on this blog and have said many thimes that we do this to ourselves. By propagating the nerd image Mr Hilton does not help (though I doubt propagation was huis intent ) I'm not sure the constant obcessi0n with the kiddy market is to the point either -  aim later Kids are too  young for much of this.  BUT no more friggin' meat paste sandwiches or flasks  burn your bllody Cardigans. Equally get rid of the awful T-shirts which might have been cool in 1975 but not now Oh and some of you- have a wash once in a weekend and when you - stand closer to the soap

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Victorian Steel -A review.

By Gum -Another review! Will Wonders never cease.!!
 Now as it happens I've had an interest in Colonila warfare almost since the beginning of my wargaming- indeed the first set of rules I EVER  wrote for myself were for the Indian Mutiny- that would be around 1972 when all the troops were Airfix conversions and nearly everything else was made from Cornflake packets.  Well thanks Goodness we have moved on .
 Now my library of books on various British Colonial Campaigns is pretty exstensive and contains a goodly number of comtemporay sources but I've always had a bit of a problem with Colonial games- somehow they never quite "feel" right.
Blue Moon Fuzzy- Wuzzies- Hadendowdah Tribesmen

So Gentle Reader when a copy of "Victorian Steel- Wargames Rules for the Colonial Era" arrived in the post I was somewhat intriguged.
 First the introductions, these rulesc are by Dave Tuck of the Grimsby club- and he knows his stuff. If you need proof see his articles in MW on the Boxer Risings in China.
These rules ostensibly cover the whole Victorian  Colonial era   but the accent seems to be on sizable encounters so I'm not sure if these rules would quite fit say the various Cape Frontier Wars in Southern Africa or the Maori Wars in New Zealand which were rather dominated by smaller individual actions
 However  they will fit admirably into the Sikh Wars  Indian Mutiny, The Sudan Campaigns  The Zulu War various NW Frontier Campaigns ,French Conquest of Algeria  The Boxer Risings  and even Spanish American War without too much bother.Oh and of course I have binloads of tasty troops in both 28 mm and 15mm for  many of these campaigns ...
The mechanics are simple- but not simplistic  even the mathematically challenged shouldn't have a problem here  Representation is basically 1 stand = 1 Company / Troop . for regulars or a similar sized body of around 100 men for the Tribal forces A single stand  can have as many or as few figures as you like and basing is not to the point of the game as long as both sides use a commonly agreed and understood system. The Rules say a 3 inch square base "if Starting from scratch" (and using 25/28mm) but make it clear that this is not mandatory.
 I'm tempted to use these for the Sudan in 15mm
 My only negative here is a personal and historical one and a quibble with the organisational nomenclature not with the rules .
 Apparently 4 or 8 or 12 "companies" make up a "Brigade "- So what happened to "Battalion " or indeed "Regiment" for the regular forces . Is accurate period language too difficult or complicated for today's Wargamers?
Old Glory 25/8mm British Command group. I'd use these to command a Battalion of  several companies.

 For much of the period a British Battalion would have 8 companies so 4 companies is technically a "wing"  and yes such a formation could and did fight  independently- though usually as part of a larger formation  for a distinct operation
 A cavalry regiment would usually have 2-3 squadrons each with  2-3 troops  and again Squadrons could be and were used singly. In a sense the rules have missed out the intermediate command level  but unless you knew this and actually care   then it won;t affect the "mere gaming" and its no big deal to build it into your scenarios  in the way you organise the troops for the game.
 So in conclusion a fine effort and definitely recommended for those chaps who fancy a bash at the Colonial ere

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Culinary Delights.

There are other things in life besides Wargaming and selling soldiers to chaps across the globe- this last week for instance its been Spain Canada, Finland and the Russian Federation  ,Oh and Italy  but there are times when Carole and I get sick of the little lead gits and hie ourselves off to  somewhere else. Usually our favourite Watering hole.
 The Causey Arch Inn.
 This is a fine hostelry- not as pretentious as some I've frequented-  those that  call themselves "Gatropubs"  and while the food may I say only may be OK the   air of "Pretentious? Moi?"  of the staff and some Clientele is not .

 So to the Causey Arch Inn-  Splendid place  with a strong farming based set of regulars. Indeed the place is owned by a farming family so all the produce is farm assured- even the game. On those occasions when Venison is available I can tell you within 3 or 4 blokes who shot it and where it came from.
 Now don't get me wrong here the Causey Arch is  not simply a farmers  pub- the Food is cracking too but the Chef- Michael  has managed an unpretentious "Bistro style "of cooking and presentation that Carole and I love. . This is more than "pub-grub"  but avoids the baggage of the "Gastropub" . Equally if you want simple food the standard menu- Steaks , Burgers Chicken and a veggie option amongst others  are all there ,freshly prepared. But Keep and eye on the Specials board- changed weekly -for here often lies treasure. In the recent past Carole and I have had a most superb Risotto, some excellent Salmon and a Lamb stew of pure quality. To say nothing of  sundry Steaks and Bangers and Mash(sauages from the Farm of course) and a cracking lasagna that have passed my lips. Real ale is also there for those of us with a palate- Usually 3 different local brews all of exceeding quaffability
 Check out the website

I've never so- far sampled the live music  but chaps who have love it . Me I go there for the Beer the Food and the laughs
 Highly reccomended.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Phew!!! That's that lot done ... Now for ....

 So  with the exception of Salute thats the hardest wekend of the year done- not the miost lucrative but the hardest graft- setting up and pulling down twice in a weekend with  several hours sitting in a van- not to mention getting up  at dfist sparrow -fart- AFTER  you've done one show.- Well you just notice you've done it is all.
 So to the shows themselves- Border Reiver-  footfall definitely down on last year but then there were some communication issues which  I (the sponsor) will have to take up with the organisers.- Around half a dozen phone calls on the Saturday morning- after I'd left obviously - asking where  the show was ! - Including one that got my wife out of the shower! . There were  Border Reiver website issues also  again something I'll have to take up with the organisers .
 Quality of games- mixed to say the least with most of the players intent on playing and nothing that really piqued my interest- though the 54mm medieval thingy did stand ouit a bit  above the rest and the "operational" WW1  which was a bit clever but neither really my thing .
 the show could have done with another 3 or so games- there was plenty of room  but I suspect that finding chaps willing to do it is getting tough. as for example I saw neither Durham nor the IWG there . Yet Falkirk  had made it ... Odd that ....  Indeed only 7 games were listed- by club not by game .
So Sunday and Partixan a very different ball game- but still with issues. Once again the organisers had been royally shafted by the venue owners- who so obviously simply don't give a toss- and it shows..Due to the previous night "Indian Wedding"  several dozen square meteres of staging remind in the main hall  . this meant that  most of that space was unusable and the traders and games had to be crowded into the remaining space. Claustrophobia became an issue. Arses bending ove tables became an issue. Simply  moving about between tables was sometimes an issue.
 The normally smooth catering at this event was a complete joke. Lunch- forgert it - assuming you could get there  there were no sandwiches! Even the obligatory morning bacon buttie was decidely undefilled and flaccid(and overpriced) especially when compared to the splendid creations of the Buttie van at Gatehead!.(or indeed Luch at Gateshead  from the venue cafeteria- well above the norm for a Wargame show  possibly the best this yesr)
 However on the up side- the games were as always splendid looking with chaps wanting to talk to you about them- not that I had much time as I and the team were well busy ! knocking out gear to the chaps. So despite the crowding and other issues a fine time had by all .

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Pretty 15mm Moderns .

 I Have this morning received a package from Jez at Shakespear studios-  a fine painting service this  containing  painted examples of the latest 3 packs of my Firfore15mm range
  t So we have the 2 packs of Falklands war special forces- British and Argentinian and a command group for the Rhodesian Troopies.
The Falklands Brits will of course do for 1980s cold war scenarios too - which may be on the cards since I've just acquired a copy of Cold War Commander- nice looking ruleset- first impressions are that it may be a tad "gamey"("organisations "are based around the points system rather than the actuality or instance  )  for my taste but it does contain some neat little ideas. and may flow better in larger games than say  tank wreak or even Combined Arms- watch this space.
 However back to the plot  here without further comment are the pics of the new figures- all available from the OGUK website.
I'm talking to Him over there !

British  Special forces Falklands War

Argentinian "Buzo Tactico- or cdo 601 or 602

Command for the two packs of Rhodesian troopies already released.
I'll have packs of all of these plus the rest of the fireforce range at  Border Reiver this Saturday and Partizan on Sunday.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Hawker Hunter

 Well I managed it at last.  I finally got my 1/100th scale Hawker Hunter in production and available.
 So I'm just a bit chuffed.
As a mainstay of the RAF during the late 1950- early 60s the Hunter  became an iconic machine. Under RAF auspices Hunters served in Aden in a ground attack role.
 However it was as an export model that the Hunter served in numerous  airforeces worlwide and saw considerable combat scoring Victories against such diverse aircraft as F-86 Sabre  MirageIII and A4 Skyhawk. Fighting in the Jordanian, Iraqi  Rhodesian and Indian Air forces amongst many others.

 These tow pictures show my first Hunter in Rhodesian Air fore colours. No1 Sqn used Hunters throughtout the bush War of the 70s. Usually in the ground attack role though they were  also used for "overwatch" missions on externals in case  Tanzanian or Mozambique Migs  wanted to play- but they never did.
 I hope to add more jets to this range  all to 1/100th scale - to match the ground troops. Next up should be a Pucara for the Falklands war (not strictly a jet) then hopefully A-4  Mig 17  and F-86 and just maybe a Vampire  but we'll see what occours .....

Thursday, 28 August 2014

IZAL fails to completely wipe

The 23rd of August dawn bright and clear- and, within an hour its honking it down- must be a Bank Holiday weekend ...
 A comparitively  huge number of T.W.A.T.S, gather at our regular pub - well huge for us almost double the normal turnout a tatal of 8   fellas turned out for a modern game
 All the Usual suspects I-man  Tom ,Farmer  Dave ,Andrew the Tekkie, Floating Jeff and your gentle Author  but not only this stalwart band but 3 more- Steve - who had been with us for the Durham game. Darren- a friend of Tom's and Shaun - new to us but not new to the Hobby.
 The scene was set of an exercise in Asymetric Warfare in other words a modern game with a few twists and turns.To get us away from the old samey-gamey stuff , There would be 5 players and 2 Umpires for this one as the set up was a tad unusual to say the least.
 As always for our modern 15mm games  the basic rules were "Combined Arms " wwith additions from CPQ and a few local amendments to suit some of the more "irregular" elements of the forces engaged. .
Briefings for the 5 players follow.

Colonel Haidar iffa Khan
 3rd Armoured Infantry Bn
 Harraqui Defense Force .
 Govenor of Akharsi Province.

The Zealots are upon us.! This is a problem as they will certainly shoot you if they catch you. Not only that they will make Barry Manilow and Karl Largerfeldt illegal. This is not to be tolerated  by a man of style and breeding such as yourself!!!
 Fortunately you have the help of some British Royal Marines who may be rough trade but are very competent!
You must hold the town of Akharsibad and if possible  gain the Border crossing to stop IZAL forces joining the Tribesmen in the Marches – who  will cause trouble if they can . Their Mortars shell the town periodically .
 They seem to be based around the Old Turkish Fort   on the banks of the great Sewah river.
 Your troops

Mechanised Infantry Battalion.
 Battalion HQ with
I Command Stand
1BMP toc
 1 Shilka SPAA
2 infantry Companies each with
1 Command Infantry Stand
1 Weapons Stand
1 Infantry stand
3 BMP2
Attached Tank Company from 6th Tank Battalion
3 T-72

You have been told to expect reinforcement in the shape of the rest of the 6th Tank Battalion Ciommanded by your distant cousin Gurdana Khan  who as is well known works for the CIA and wants your job. If he should fall in the coming battle...... but you take the credit ..... 

Colonel Gurdana Khan
 OC 6th Tank Battalion
 Harraqui Defense Force.

As a distant cousin of that effete fool Haidar you know you will make a better job of ruler   of Akharsi Province than he does.  He puts it about that you work for the CIA. This is rubbish just because you know a man at the Embassy in  Al – Kahol who gets you Hershey bars and Tommy Hilfiger shirts ...and just because you are friendly with him and talk to him ....
IZAL are coming  they are not to be trusted- unless you can cut a deal- your distant cousin Farrouq Kemal is Govenor of Firket he has contacts with them  but can you trust him ?
 Your troops
 Tank Battalion with
 Trained Morale 7
Battalion HQ company
1 Command T-72
1 T-72

2 Tank Companies each with
1Command T-72
2 T-72
 The 3rd company of the battalion is at present under command of Haidar Khan – once you arrive at Akharsibad you can take back control of this unit.
You would like Haidars Job- if he were to fall in the coming battle  with IZAL then all will be well  but if IZAL look like winning .....

-The American spelling of defence is of course deliberate .... 
Earkly in the game- British WMIKS with Apache overwatch move North through "friendly" Harraqui  T-72s
Colonel Farruq Kemal
Commander Firket District and Border Crossing.

Currently you are making a fortune taking Bribes  from sundry fellows wha want to have no trouble with customs at the Border.
You wish this happy state of affairs to continue.
 However there is a problem
 Your distant cousin Mustapha Narsul is just over the border with a force of IZAL fighters who would love to wipe you up. You have therefore “promised” that you will take your forces over to “The cause of God”  once IZAL nears the town .

 Your command consists of
Infantry Battalion 19th Reserve Infantry Division
 Trained Morale 7.
Bttn HQ with
1 infantry Command Stand
Weapons Company with
1 81mm Mortar stand.
1 weapons stand.
2 infantry Companies each with
2 infantry stands.
These troops may occupy any of the trenches and bunkers on the table outside the town of Al-Kahol.

Firket  Garrison
Trained Morale 7
 1 command Stand
 1 Radio Car.
AA platoon with
Garrison Infantry company with
2 Infantry stands
Garrison Weapons company with
1 weapons stand
1 HMG  stand
ATGW company with

Your primary concern- indeed ONLY concern is to keep your job  as you have 2 wives and a Swiss Bank account to worry about. You don’t care who rules Harraq as long as you are making a shekel or 6 .
 You win if you are still in control of Firket and the Bridge and border crossing. 

IXAL forces backe by "rebel" Harraqui boder troops these are the positions they would hold more or less throughout the game.

Mustapha Narsul
 Commander 72 Virgins Martyrs Brigade
 IZAl Forces.

God is Great . The Time has come!
 You have received sufficient Reinforcements to attack the Infidels and destroy them . You already have small forces in the area of Akharsibad- which will be your new Capital and the garrison Commander of Firket one Farruq Kemal a distant cousin has promised to bring his forces over to you . You have managed- without his knowledge to infiltrate a small force into Firket but you will need Kemals troops  for the next Stage- this does not mean that you need Kemal. Though his troops seems to be Loyal to him so care may be needed.
 You must secure the Bridge over the Little Sewah river so that your invasion can succeed it is likely to be guarded by the troops of Colonel Kemal.
 Your Troops.
 With you on the Northern Border.
Command  element
 1 Command Infantry Stand
1 car.
Motor cycle Recon group with
 3 Recon  Motor Cycle stands
1 Recon  motor cycle weapons stand
 Veteran Morale 8
 All self – ordering
Fist of Islam Tank company
Trained Morale 7
 1 command T-55
3x T-55
 Hammer of God Artillery Company
 Trained Morale 7
1command stand
 1 107mm RCL
1 107mm MLR
1 Light truck with SNEB rocket pod.
 1 truck
 1 HMG stand
1 HAAMG  stand.
 Islam’s  Scorpions
Mechanised assault  Group
 1 Command HMG truck
1 HMG truck
1 HAAMG truck
Foriegn Jihadis
 Green Morale 9 (daft sods)
1 Inf Command Stands
5 Infantry stands
 Note 2 fig stands 2nd hit destroys

In Firket.
Veteran Morale 8
 2 recon Infantry Stands  (SO)

In the Marshes  on the banks of the Great  Sewah River
Tribal Militia
 Green Morale 7
 1 command Infantry Stand
2 weapons stands
 2 Infantry Stands
4 81 mm Mortar stands

 The more territory you hold by game end the Greater your Victory. The more of the enemies troops to come over to you the greater your Victory.  
 All units increase Morale by 1 point when you are attached to that unit (in case you shoot them)

 Rules note- SO = self ordering . These small units are quck to react to new events BUT have little staying power.
Harraqui Troops in the town of FIRKET on the border with Rh'agheidistan. These troops simply stayed where they were s town Garriosn .

United Nations Force for Active Response to Terrorism.
 Lt- Col  Myles Overlaap DSO
69 Cdo  Royal Marines .

 It seems likely that IZAl (Islamist Zealots Alliance) will attempt a coup in Harraq. Your task is to bolster the Loyal Harraqui forces and see that they do not crumble against what has so far proven to be a vicious and cunning enemy force.
 You should secure the town of Akharsibad and  co-operate  with the commander of  3rd Harraqui  Armoured Infantry Battalion, Col. Haidar Ifa Khan who has so far proven Loyal to the New Regieme.
 On the way to Akharsibad  are the rest of the 6th Tank Battalion  under Colonel Gurdana Khan- who may or may not be working for the CIA .
Own Troops.
Elite Morale 10
HQ 69 Cdo Royal Marines Battle Group
1Command stand
1 BV10 Viking TOC .
Support coy with
1Command Infantry stand
2 Recon sniper stands (SO)
2 81mm Mortar stands
2 Milan Stands.
1 GPMG stand
1Quad Bike and Trailer
1 Pinzgauer truck
1 landrover
2 companies each with
 1 command Infantry stand
2 infantry stands.
Any stand from the Support company
may be attached to either of the infantry companies
Manovre Support group.
1 command WMIK

You should mount a recon to the Firket Bridge and town of Firket as the Garrison there seems to be in a shaky condition  with the threat of Invasion from IZAL forces from the T’Urdistan province of Rh’agheidistan but you  MAY NOT commence Combat operations unless fired upon .
 U.N.F.A.R.T.  Rules of Engagement do not allow for the commencement of Hostilities by UN forces but of course troop may defend themselves.
More troop in the shape of 1 armoured Infantry company – 2QM and HQ and 1 sabre Sqn 1PROHH are en route but may not arrive in time .
Force build up - Akharsibad at the top of the picture. Despite the British presence the Harraqui defense force were unwilling to actually figt IZAL.

It is most important that any territory lost to IZAL should be recovered by Harraqi forces rather than the UN.Your primary task is Intelligence and Support.
 You also have on call
1 AH64 Apache
And a Chinook
The Chinook can carry up to 3 stands of troops
 but care must be used IZAL have a lot of light AA/ HMG  and possibly Stinger Missiles. If a helicopter is shot down- you lose-  Career over Bowler hat ..... no mention in the Birthday Honours ...

The UN(British force) are in normal gaming terms hamstrung by thier Rules of Engagement. They simply may not fire first.Despite that they are by far the strongest single force
 As you can see from the Briefings it was quite possible for players from different sides to both win at once ..... 
 As Umpires Andrew and I cecided to introduce a "Negotiation phase"  between moves where no actual combat had taken place .No negotiations could take place without the presence of an Umpire.  With  better communications and  Intelligence assets  the British would recieve a distilled version of any negotiations where they themselves were not present from the Umpires - some of this may even be the truth .
 Very quickly the game developed into a cross between a game of   Diplomacy and Carry on up the Khyber
 Farruq- Tom retired to his hardernd communications bunker and stayed there once the Initial negotiations with Mustapha- Jeff had taken place- Money Changed Hands- Farrouq's Swiss accounts swelled.

 IZAL  advsance their forces to the  hill line across the centre of the table on its east -West axis  accompanies by Tom's  BDRM AT company and some other heavy weapons. And there they stayed.
 However fighting was opened by  Jeff Tribal Militia in the  Green Zone - running  most of the Eastern leangth of the table  . A flurry of ill- aimed 81 mm Mortar bombs landed amognst the British forces.
 Cries of "FOOK ME"
 were heard from the lads but no serious damage was done thanks to osprey  body armour (  in game terms first hits on any stand  so equipped are ignored for casualty purposes )
Next turn the Militia mortarmen bwegan to bug out but CYMBELINE morat radar caught them and return fire destroyed 2 of their 4 tubes .(wa it significant that Darren was ex- Royal Artillery and knew how to work CYMBELINE???)
 Izal also tried to rocket the road  ad Haidar moved out of Akharsi but to no avail- it was spweculative indirect fire  so needed 1 on a D10 to cause a hit  and it didn't even with a 12 tube launcher.
 Then it all went quiet .
 Rogues began a- plotting .
The British force called in an Apache on overwatch . For reasons best known to themselves Farruq Kemamal's BDRM SA-9  hten opened fire on it   and missed. Permission was sought to return fire and a single Hellfire was launched - Exit 1 BDRM in a pall of oily smoke
 Then it went quiet again ....
 More plotting
 It was soon apparent that the 3 out of 4 Arab players were up for having a go at the British but frankly didn't have the bottle- nor did they trust each other enough to start a war in the certainty of getting the rest to join in
 Gurdana Khan(Shaun)  was a bit more circumspect  as his tanks advanced  towards the hill line he came under fire from the T-55's and BDRM AT  to which he replied Range was longish . Neither side scored any hits.
Meanwhile Haidar Khan (Dave) was trying to get the British to open fire on the IZAL but since IZAL had not fired at them it wasn't going to happen.
 Yet more plotting - the "Confernce of Arab Brotherhood " !!
  It did seem that there was a considered opinion  amongst the Arab players that the British should be given a kicking- though each of the "Brotherhood" thought someone else should actually start the ball rolling !
 Nevertheless Tom and Jeff thought they'd have a little bash  so they  decided to Rocket the town of Akharsibad and launch ATGW  at the slowly moving British Challengers- who had just arrived on the table .
 As British Infantry moved to occupy the govenors palce in Akharsibad  107mm rockets exploded about them . Ospey however proved it worth again causing no more than minor wounds and cries of FOOK!
 Equally ATGW streaked from the treeline to scratch the paint of a couple of Challengers-  exit another BRDM in a pall of slightly less oily smoke as a 120mm tank round found it mark .
 Meanwhile the Tribal Militia had been active and a sudden burst of AK and RPG fire erupted from the Tree line near the British transport park  British 50 cals on WMIKS replied  and later blood trails were seem  but no bodies recoverd .
 No-one at this time was anxious to investigate the Green Zone.

Nevertheless as night closed in  IZAL had not been dislodged from their positions and so really were the victors on the day- though only marginally . Akharsibad would need a new Govenor and the British were deeply perplexed at the inability of the Arabs to sort out their own problems. Just another day in Harraq methinks .....

As always the Hot Beef Butties and the Ale were excellent and a fine time was had by all-  Next months game may be Naval with Floating Jeff in the chair ... possibly ...