Friday, 25 November 2016

Troops of Horse and Photo software.

These Two troops of Roundhead cavalry have been on my desk for some time- Both will join existing troops to form larger regiments. So the Orange Cornet will join the Earl of Essex's regiment and the Red Cornet Sir William Balfour's  regiment. Both troops will join the "Modern ECW"  army rather than the shiny 1970s one. The Parliametarians in this collection are representative of the Earl of Essex's Army for the Edgehill campaign. The Royalists  more for the Summer of 1643.
 The shiny blokes are of course for 1978 !
 However  I do fancy doing  an "Edgehill-a-like" sort of refight at the Durham show this coming june(assuming of course that they are kind enough to invite us) where I use about 90% of the ECW stuff I own all on one table- the thick end of 1000 figures I think, though I have not actually counted 'em all.

Troop of Sir William Balfours Regiment of Horse. Possibly that of his Major and Son- William Balfour . 

 The models are all Old Glory though the horses- again Old Glory are- or some of them are- no longer in production. We changed our horses a good few years ago as some of the older ones were a bit thin. However I still have a few of the older horses left in my personal stock and for some units I prefer them.
Two troops together led by Sir William Balfour. Though at Edgehill he may have been in Cuirassier armour as the first Colonels troops of his regiment consisted of 802 cuirassiers plus officers.  So I might paint another ! 
Close up of the two troops. 

An 8 figure Troop represents a standard  troop of horse of roughly 70 men plus Officers so figure to man ratio is about 1-10 . However on the table they often act more like "divisions" of 2-3 troops which was the standard fighting  formation- we'd call it a squadron.
 Photo software can do your head in . I took these pics yesterday and the machine then hid them in the bowels of itself when I uploaded them to the computer. Apparently  the photo software  thinks it is Jan 1st 2005  despite haveing accurate clocks and calendars for other functions. Talk about left hand not knowing what the right is doing.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Rules rules games games.

Saturday the 19th Novemebr saw 5 TWATS   gather at our usual haunt for this months game - or rsather games
 Andrew the Tekkie was in the chair so it was 15mm Moderns using my British and Iraqi forces. However the idea this time was a bit different.
 Basically  Andrew and I wanted to test 3 rule sets to see how they compared. So Andrew set up a simple scenario which would be played out to each of the 3 sets
Team Yankee as it is the newest brightest ans shinyest came first . This would be its first outing
 Cold War Commander as we'd never actually played this and finally
 Combined Arms- is our usual set for these games and would therefore be the last of the 3 test games. In the event it didn't get played but as we knew what to expect from the system it did not change out ultimate findings.
 Andrew will post  accounts of the 2 battles on his blog Tantobie Internet Tattler in due course .
 I'm going to restrict myself to my opinion of the two rule sets.
The table laid out for both games- Iraqis nearest the camera. 

 I was deeply sceptical about Team Yankee. It is a glorified skirmish game where one tank represents one tank. Higher formations  than the company tend to be ignored for though you could play them if you had enough kit it would be a major exercise. Some things really jar- baled out tank crews for a start- not in a 1980s battlefield- well not for very long anyhow. My first reading of the rules was pretty cursory but they seemed rather simplistic and as always with that style of rule writing just a bit patronising. I was prepared to give them a proper spanking. Yet it has to be said I've played worse. The game was quick and frantic and quite dice driven yet it had its points. By the end of 5 turns there were dead tanks everywhere- mostly - but not entirely Iraqi and the British recon unit and 2 Challenger had ceased to exist. For the  1980s North German plain that is not actually bad- and since that is what the rules are designed for... The feel however was very gamesey, very shazam-kapow somehow quite teenage. Yet there was a bit of potential. The off- putting part is the price- not just of the basic rules but of all the add-ons- apparently £16.00 for the artillery  bombardment tool- some plastic thingy and of course around £12.00 for each of the add on books/army lists not to mention the vicious prices of some of the models. Of course this last does not bother us since we have bundle of modern stuff available.
 Despite all this I am, surprisingly, a long way from writing these off. I still prefer Combined Arms over Team Yankee - as it doesn't treat you like a 14 year old- and does not threaten to market the shite out of you at every opportunity. Also I prefer the higher command level of CA. Nevertheless TY was a good bit better than expected- 6/10
Team Yankee- move 2 and the Iraqis still survive ! 

Now we come to Cold War Commander. In theory it is set at the same command level as  CA- with one model representing a platoon but there the resemblance ends. simply because there is no higher organisation than a single model vehicle /Infantry stand - you are supposed to make it up. The whole system is slaved to the Army lists which in many cases cover a pretty wide time spectrum.Some of the possibilities are odd. with "higher" grouping of several platoons/units being called formations. There are  no companies/squadrons/battalions. Merely groups of pretty counters. So organisationally they don't score.
The mind numbing nothing ness of the desert and Cold War Commander.

 Now, on to the mechanisms- simplistic  but somehow not simple. Repetitive and tedious is the nearest I can get- this was DBR with tanks  with a bit of Black Powder for flavour and perspicacious reader will know my opinion of DBR. These possibly were not that good. The IGOUGO system made it slow even for a first game.. All 5 of us died of boredom by move 4 . If you are the sort of games player who thinks dice rolling is an intellectual activity then these are right up your street as EVERYTHING is dice controlled. Issue an order- roll dice, want to fire -roll dice work out hits- roll dice  Saving throws- roll more dice . . Morale- no not really  but roll a dice anyway. Gawd this was tedious. I had spots before my eyes.  Then do it all again next move as hits are not cumulative so unless you accrue enough hits on a unit in 1 turn to kill it outright . It comes back again later even if it has been forced back or temporarily suppressed. . This is yet another prime example of making the game for the sake of a game and ignoring the actuality.
 Total Cobblers 0/10

Nothing to do with the game but a pair of Old Glory AMX30 painted - and sand skirts/aerials added by Shaun Holdsworth.
 A regular TWAT. 
Still despite the above  as always a good day had by all.  As always mightily aided by  Beef Butties and the odd pint ! Next meeting in December will be the TWATS Tiny Tactica Tournament. - Watch this space !

Friday, 11 November 2016

At a bit of a loose end

 Been pretty busy lately  what with the new Blue Moon ECW range now being in stock - well the first 20 packs any how and catching up with back orders to various parts of Europe and beyond. It follows therefore that my own personal hobby has taken a bit of a back seat recently. Especially since unlike a goodly number of bloggers in the wargaming world I don't happen to be  some kind of retired fellow of leisure. Frankly I'm pretty happy about this as I'd  probably die of boredom within half a year.  I don't feel myself ready for the knackers yard yet by a long way unlike some of the dudes you see shambling about at shows. But that is by the by the point with working for a living is that sometimes you can't fit other stuff in . This is true of now. I've not finished any new figures for any project for some time.
 On the table I have a troop of ECW cavalry - 28mm Old Glory about half done- ready for either Balfour's or Esses's regiments circa spring 1643. Also some more "shinyloo" figures for that project which I've assembled. I'd hoped to run the first "shinyloo" game about now but that is not going to happen. It will be next year now.
 Part of the problem is me- after a week or so of 10-12 hour shifts  surrounded by the little lead gits you want a different vista- so painting is temporarily out of court. However the madness has calmed down to a mere dull roar so hopefully I'll get some more toys finished