Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Silly formations?

 There is currently quite an interesting discussion on the Facebook 17th century wargaming group concerning ECW wargames rules. What is fascinating about it is how few of the posters actually mention the period when they are extolling the virtues of their favourite set. Mechanisms - often Simplicity  sometimes  but rarely if ever the actual period. You would thin it would appear once in a while. But that is the "dark heart" of today's wargaming - it is ALL about game and rarely if ever about the period being gamed.
Royalist foot- all formed 4 ranks deep both pike and shot. Equally 2 ranks deep for a smaller unit would be fine 

 Now perhaps some perspicacious chap can answer me this. Why in some rules do the "game designers" allow silly formations and mad organisations. Now I'm only talking about historical wargaming here . I don't care if your Dwarfs form up in the famous King Ankelbyter XIV's  pigs arse formation  or of the Fartenberg Fusiliers use the inverse square- with all the bayonets pointing inwards. No I'm talking about rules purporting to be historical and allowing patently non- historical formations . In this instance specifically English Civil War.
A better view of my prefered 4 ranks deep- but all forming the same depth- which is the real point. The additions to the base depths are simply to protect the charged pikes. This unit did several tours of duty in the OGUK display case

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 Since when Gentle reader do the shot form up only half as deep as the pikes in a fully formed battalion of foot. I see it quite often on games using this or that ruleset. Pike and Shotte does it. To Defy a King does it. It is possible to do it in 1644 or Warhammer ECW or Gush . It appears possible in newer sets such as The Kingdom is Ours- which I do not own. But none of these answer the question. Why? I've read Barriffe and Elton, Glanced at Hexham none of these contemporary sources show the foot drawn up like this. Contemporary battle maps such as Streeter or De Gomme don't show it. All show foot in usually 6 ranks- both Pike and shot- no difference between the two.  Now- being kind- if you squint a bit the 4 ranks of pikes with 2 ,2 rank sleeves of shot might just about look like a bad Swedish Brigade but since Swedish Brigade was only used (badly) at Edgehill by the Royalists that does not explain why it appears so often on ECW games today.. When you are daring enough to ask wwhy this is you either get blank stares or mumbling about how" it is  in da rules innit"  but never have I had any inkling of a period explanation. Surely the best thing to do would be to lose the 2 extra ranks of pikemen or- as I do- add the extra shot and make the whole unit 4 ranks deep- though I can see why plenty of chaps would not do this and would therefore unless you like big units prefer the former option. I am also aware of the "salvee" argument which allows foot to double their files in order to fire 3 ranks at once as a salvee. That does not mean that  moving in  doubled files was normal. Equally I know that on occaison  troops formed up 3 ranks deep to cover a wider frontage Now if there is a source that details pikes regularly forming up with twice the depth of the regiements shot I should love to see it.
Parliamentarian Cuirassiers 2 ranks deep to represent the 6 ranks they normally used early in the war.

 Equally when I began ECW gaming in about 1976 or so  I started with small units of 6 pikes 12 shot or 8 pikes 16 shot but all formed up 2 ranks deep. Rules were with Derek Sharamns or later Gush and I suspect that under Gush is where- for me at least the rot began. Under those rules Pikes received a rank bonus in melee but shot could fire only a maximum of 2 ranks deep- I played tournaments at the time so .... However I have grown up since then and would not choose to be so unhistorical now.
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 This kind of silliness happens far less with Horse. Though I tend to form up my Early Parliamentarin horse 2 ranks of models deep - to represent their 6 ranks - as against the Cavaliers single rank of models to represent 3 ranks deep.
A Royalist Brigade is"Swedish Brigade". 3 regiments of foot .

 Now I am aware of the abstraction argument - and as always some level of abstraction is unavoidable simply because we are using little metal men on a table and not big flesh and blood ones in a field, dice and not actual gunpowder and we are not, normally, attempting to maim and kill one another.(Though I have seen fits of picque at Tournaments)
The rather more complicated version as depicted by De Gomme no where are the shot depicted at  half the depth of the pikemen. 

 So my question Ladies and Gentlemen
 How  has this "incorrect convention" become almost normal and why - despite the historical evidence to the contrary and as I am sure has occurred more than  a few times. How many other bits of  non historical silliness that did not happen of a battlefield do we take for granted merely  because"they make a good game" .

Saturday, 8 September 2018

A little bit here and there.

What with one thing and another I have not had much time recently for painting . Been rather busy of late getting orders out and sorting gear out in all directions. However I did manage to finish a few "shinyloo" models from a job lot I bought and had a little time to sort though. The British heavy dragoons are Minifigs 30mm I think - though the horses are Stadden. The Napoleon is a small 1 piece casting by Holger Ericsson and is a little beuty- too small for my 30mm as he is sort of "true" 25mm  Now once the undercoat on those Indian Muting cavalry  has dried I can get to them... unless I decide to do more 40mm ECW

Another Napoleon I now have 5 including one on a camel 

British Heavy Dragoons- in this case the Royal Dragoons,

Sunday, 2 September 2018

A perfectly constructed sentence ?

Now it has been a week since our groups last game and frankly I have simply not had time to write it up. However Andrew the Tekkie- our resident Moderns Man  has done so. Since he was umpire it seems only right that he should take up the story

All the info you need is there.
 However a word about the intresting title of his post .
 Many years ago when my Dad worked for Sunderland Forge and Engineering I was on a courtesy tour of the works with him. Now there were were in a "fettling shed" or similar when I heard the fearsome cclang of metal on metal and a cry of rage and anguish

 "The F"""""g f"""r's f"""""g F"""ED!!!

Now at the time I was new to the North- East and had had frequent trouble understanding what was said to me what with the plethora of "Hinnies" and "Marras" and Hadaway and Shyteman- which still may indeed be a firm of Geordie solicitors !  Yes this perfectly constructed sentence I understood immediately - and it shone out as a beacon in the then firmament of language.(It was 1974)
 So Bravo to the unnamed fettler whose trouble game me such clear understanding !

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Busy Busy

Having a seriously busy time at the moment so this is just a short one ! Have not had time for much painting or photography recently what with unpacking those 12 crates and fitting in Partizan. Not to mention othet stuff going on at the same time.
 Managed to paint 3 15mm Shermans for a possible 1944 project but other than that nada nix nowt not a sausage. Of course there are things on the painting table- more "Shinyloo" and more Indian Mutiny but of completed models not a single one.

As it happens the Shermans are 15mm Old Glory built straight from the pack with crew and stowage added from CDBC1 and CDSP1and 2 . I have weathered and filthed them up a bit for the fighting around Caen  in 1944 . How much further this will go remains to be seen.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Partizan 2 - My last show this year

So here we go again  Partizan 2 at the Newark showground this coming Sunday. Always a fine event. This show has improved immensely since the dingy dark days of Kelham Hall. From being a bit of a chore it is now one of the best.
28mm Ottoman Turks- we will have all those we have with us. Including the later period. 

 So we are set for a very enjoyable day for Old Glory UK's last show of 2018.
 Wow I hear you say only August and he is packing it in for the year. Yes, True enough as there simply are no more worthwhile shows within our strike range.  The   embarrassing foul up and subsequent demise of the Derby Worlds means that my show season has been shortend  beyond my control this year. The two remaining local shows are I'm afraid not worth my while to hire the van for- though they both were a few years back. and SELWG and Warfayre are just too far away in the internet age with all the attendant expenses of hotels and the like.
Every pack of Blue Moon 15mm that we have in stock - all ranges  all periods

 So  Partizan 2 is the last  show for this year and it will be a good one.
 As always we will be taking a HUGE number of soldiers in the van and the neverending "6 for 5" deal will be in operation.
 The photos show a tiny fraction of the ranges we will have on board- other can be seen on my recent Facebook posts .
See you at the show ground on Sunday

Sash and Saber ACW- we will have the full range

Command Decision 15mm Moderns 

Old Glory 28mm Italian Wars

Old Glory 28mm Wars of Religion 

Old Glory 2nd edition AWI regiment packs- 38 miniatures for £35.00 - in metal 

Wednesday, 1 August 2018


My re-supply shipment is now on its way across the pond. I should get it next week- Monday or Tuesday. Depending upon UPS. Now this of coursewill be too late for Claymore this coming weekend which is a bit of a blow but as usual in these cases anything that we don't have at the show , that is paid for at the show ,will be sent to you post free as soon as we do have it in hand. This order should enable me to clear up back orders up until those ordered after mid- July.and, depending upon what was actually ordered many of the more recnt orders as well. Other items that went out of stock since that time will be ordered with my next re-supply which will go off to the USA in late August after Parizan 2

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Shinyloo Two- Bigger Longer Shinier !!

Saturday 21st July saw the Tantobie Warfare and Tactical Society gather for it's July meeting. 5 members  attended and I was in the chair as Umpire  so I thought I'd run a second "Shinyloo" game using my retro Napoleonic collection. Especially as I had added a good few figure to both sides . We would use the aged but still very usuable rules as outlined in Young and Lawford's wonderful book "Charge" or How to Play War Games" first published in 1967  of which we had 3 copies available.
 Forces were as follows
The Field of Battle- even the scenery is deliberately "retro" .

The British deployment. 

  Four and a half Companies of Line Infantry
 2 - slightly under strength companies of Rifles
 1 Battery of Artillery
1 unit of Dragoons- The Scots Greys.
Or about 110 infantry 14 Cavalry and 2 guns with crew plus a few staff.

 The French
The French deploying. 

4 Companies of Infantry.
 2 Under strength companies of Light Infantry
 1 Battery of Artillery
 1 Heavy Cavalry
 1 Light Cavalry.
Or about 110 infantry24 cavalry and 2 guns and crews plus Napoleon Shinyparte and staff.
The forces were much more even that in the first encounter in February as well as being a little larger in Infantry
The French Cavalry advance
The French Cavalry -after the Rifles had popped away at them 

So fortifying himself with his pint  your Gentle Umpire  began. Although I had toyed with a few rules amaendments I decided to play this game as per the book . This being because as it was only our second attempt I though it a little early to amend at this point. Next time probably , but not today.
 Sides were. Mechanical Shaun and Floating Jeff as the French
 Andrew the Tekkie and Theatrical Steve as the Brits.
 The stage was set the Beer had been drawn so off we go.
Cavalry fmelee- The Greys see off the French Heavies 

It was obvious from the outset that the French would have to take the initiative as the British were heard to mutter remarks to the effect that "we are nailing ourselves to this ridge"- in true Wellingtonian style.  So the first moves were French. On their right they advanced their cavalry to try a right Hook against the British line. . Fire from a Rifles company emptied several saddles and the Greys then steamed in . The resulting melee saw off the French heavies but the lights - avoiding the initial clash sought to outflank the Greys and catch them whilst they reformed - which they did. However the actual melee did not go quite to plan (some Bum French dice) and whilst both sides had to retire-the wrong way- both sides cavalry were now effectively spent and would take no more part in the fight.
More Cavalry fighting- The Greys hang on like grim death  to get a draw against the Chasseurs 

On their left the French went for another hook. Sending a mass of light infantry forward against the Rifle company. A fire fight broke out which eventually forced the Rifles back into the wood but the French supports were late and despite trying hard the left hook never mad contact with the British line. This was mainly because said British line shifted towards it's left to compensate for the loss of the Greys and to cover a possible advance by the Imperial Guard who were beginning to look a tad threatening.
The French left Hook slowly gets going. 

 In the centre the fight had become an artillery dual with the honours first swinging towards the French . Indeed at one point the 44th foot looked decidedly shaky losing almost 50% to the French guns and in response the RHA at first could not find the range (Bum dice from Steve!). Only the British re- alignment saving them . However as the Guard began its advance  the guns got the range and caused havoc in 2 turns of firing the Guard were smashed to under strength and at this point the French conceded.
The Umpire's pint surveys the carnage. 

 So in the "Shinyloo stakes" honours are now even at one victory each.   So something must be working right. As Umpire it was deeply amusing to watch each side mumbling amongst them selves whilst considering next moves orders. Much and many secretive gesticulations were in evidence from both sides- staff conferences can be murder or so it seems.

Yes there will be other games in this series and also with other "retro" rule sets.
 Once again our Thanks to Landlady Jean for  excellent Beef Butties ans pints of White Hot- our most popular tipple. Next- end of August - some one else should be in the chair.