Friday, 9 November 2018

Continuing Mutiny and some Bavarians

Painting a bit slow since I - temporarily- did my back in but here are the latest additions to the 25/8mm Indian Mutiny collection. These should have their first table outing early in the new year when I have added a few more mutineers and based up some more British. However the first mutineer cavalry unit is  done . Also I have managed a few more figure for the stop start shiny 1809 forces This time some Bavarians. This is an army I have always fancied simply because it is ridiculously pretty so it seemed that "Shinyvaria" may yet appear.
"Shinyvarains?" Old Glory 28mm - well 25mm when we made them  but as tall as my Staddens 
Despite the caption I'm not going to have much of a moan about the stupidities of the 28mm thing . Brian Ansell invented it allegedly  so people would only buy his and the amount of immediate bandwagon jumping was indecent but there you go what do you expect really?

Now in a facetious turn of mind I thought about labelling the first pic 25mm Bavarians and this one 28mm to see if it fused anyone's brain - but that  begs a question .... 
There really is a lot about today's hobby that I find totally risible some GW nut telling me  his hobby isn't childish  because we all paint toy soldiers - Cold day in hell before I fart about with plastic space marines.

Mutineer Cavalry 25mm or 28mm Take your pick. All from the same Old Glory pack CMM4
Proper toy soldiers- or model soldiers if you prefer are still the thing  backed by some actual history books with actual words in - there may include some that do not have pictures and rules that bear something of a resemblence to the periods they purport to depict  and are not simply another dice rolling contest in a pretty box with a hefty price tag.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Got 'im by the Gauls ....

So on a somewhat snowy Saturday in County Durham a mere 3 T.W.A.T.S. gathered at our usual watering hole for a the October game. I had intended a first outing for my Indian Muting forces but they simply were not ready so I thought an Ancients bash was in order.  Now Mechanical Shaun is our resident Ancients man and he doesn't half have a lot of Gaul. So out came my small Marian Roman army  for a scenario based loosely on the Battle of the River Sambre- when Caesar was almost grabbed by the Gauls - which might have made his eyes water!.

The Roman forces in battle array. 15mm Blue Moon figures from my own collection

 Scale was 15mm and Shaun's Gallic collection isn't half pretty. Almost every make of Gallic tribesman you would care to name  all standing - or running- about in the same units no matter what their relative size 15mm 16mm 16.75mm 18mm take your pick . Blue Moon next to Essex next to Chariot next to Donnington  with a few Minifigs and others for flavour. All looking rather splendid and -once again- making something of a mockery of all the 3mm angst that seems to infect some of our little world.

Not relevant to the game- a couple of my flats - possibly awaiting some flat Gauls. 
The Gauls rush out from their village.

Anyway - to battle rules used for this game were "Tactica" one of my favourite sets for Ancient encounters. The set armies method is a bit of a pain but it is no big deal to get around that with a bit of thought. and while I know that is not too common in the modern "out of the box" brain free style of gaming  it still holds sway in our wargames  group.
One of Shaun's rather splendid Gallic Warbands. A right mix of assorted 15mm models.

The Roman force under Consul Insalubrious stood upon the hill in battle array watching the confederated Gallic tribes of the Tantobiii and the Commii rushing from the village and across the stream as if pursued by hornets(in actuality they has heard that the Romans watered heir wine and were anxious to stop such a vile occurrence!) It was plain from the start that the Gauls outnumbered the Romans. Most of their warbands were 48 figures strong compared to Roman Cohorts of half that strength other than the single "milliary" cohort of 36 figures. Echoing a thought which would not occur for another millenia or so, Insalubrious was heard to mutter "Zulus Farsands of 'em" as he saw the Gauls pour across the stream. Cavalry and Chariots to the fore. Yes I know chariots had gone out of fashion but the little models were s sweet I simply could not resist a little Umpires discretion. Anyway when is a stylish sports car ever wrong?. It soon became clear that the Gauls were under command of the extreme anti- Roman Shaundaspanna "the only good Roman is a dead Roman" so it was obvious from the start that no quarter would be asked or given. And so it proved.
Gaul on Gaul action! Shaun's tribesmen- upper unit in the photo- overwhelm the Roman Gallic auxillieries. 

 The first clash was between the opposing cavalries and here honours ended up even. The Gauls destroyed one Roman unit but he other Roman cavalry unit  took out the chariots with barely a flicker. However that little brawl was merely the overture and beginners to the main event in the centre as the Gals- after a bit of preliminary  skirmishing from the Roman archers came to grips with the Roman battle line. It was touch and go for a while especially when one Cohort broke but Roman pila and discipline  proved decisive . Volleys of pila pinning the hapless Gauls to their shields and each other so they could be finished off by the terrible gladius- some above average dice from Andrew the Tekkie here compare to some truly bum throws by Shaun. So when Insalubrious launched his reserve milliary cohort at the temporarily victorious Gallic warband  and broke them wit was all over bar the shouting - and a few beers.
The end of the Affiar- The Roman Milliary cohort about to slam into the stationary warband as the take a breather after routing a Roman Cohort .

 As always out thanks go to Landlady Jean for excellent hot beef sandwiches and sundry pints of Consett Brewery White Hot (though the Gallic warlord- in his chariot- seemed to be drinking some dark substance without alcohol Quelle Horreur!)as always a fine time was had by all.
 Roll on the November Game.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

15-18 -25 -28-30 -40 and all that Jazz

A recent post on one of the Facebook Napoleonic groups set me thinking. A chap opined that Old Glory figures were "a bit smaller" than some more modern figures. Personally I wondered  OG have- to me always been somewhat in the middle of the size range bigger than some smaller than others  but usually not much in it. Now I know some fellas really REALLY obsess about this stuff  "is maker A 25mm or 26.72mm and does it match with maker B's 27.37 mm and are they measured bootlace to nostril  or  kneecap to widows peak? " It is not as if in the great scheme of things it actually matters all that much- a bit yes- sometimes but not a whole lot. 3mm is stylistically and proportionately  more of a difference between 15mm and 18mm  that 25mm is to 28mm - especially when each individual sculptor has different ideas of what actually constitutes measurement.
 However stress not ! I don't- or not about this anyway! Personally I have always though it was more about presentation than mere millimetres . Though you do have to be careful and not all makes automatically look right with all other makes but with a little care you can even put Maker As figures on Maker B's horse- which I have done in both 28mm and 40mm with - speaking personally- some success. Doing that makes you models a little more individual and less like the perryherd which cannot be a bad thing in itself unless  you like your personal collection to be like everyone else's personal collection .....
A selection of 40mm ECW figures by various makers. Sash and Saber, Drabant and Romanoff. With bits mixed up from each to create individual models
Left to right-Romanoff  Sash and Saber--Sash and Saber on Drabant horse then 2 Romanoff with Sash and Saber Scottish heads. All 40mm
2 conversions Sash and Saber  rider on  Drabant horse - but with Romanoff pistol holsters and Drabant on a Sash and Saber Horse.

Some of this I have of course covered in previous posts but it bears repeating when many many figures look just like many many other figures and with plastic it is often worse. All this before I get onto same old same old painting styles, which is of course a bit more of a minefield. Figure painters these days are 10 a penny- though good ones come a lot more expensive and there are some VERY good painters out there but many are beyond those of us who do not have a hugely thick wallet.

28mm now. Perry- I think or perhaps Warlord. Old Glory Old Glory, Elite and last the short dude is a foundry.

Stadden 30mm and Old Glory French Legere. Some chaps seem to think OG are smaller than "modern makes. I think that this selection of shots should lay that one to rest. 
Same Old Glory French Legere next to a rather chunky Front Rank 
Cavalry as always left to right Hichliffe, Old Glory, Front Rank and lastlya Stadden 30mm on a Willie horse- only this last figure looks overly large here
  Esses figure on a Formost horse. Foremost figure on Old Glory horse- again comparing to the 30mm Stadden/Willie combination 
15mm  Blue Moon Napoleonic and Command Decision Moderns. Don't have any other 15mm makes to compare. 

Now as it happens I have used professional painters - and still do- though not nearly as much as I used to. I have to say thant I find some very samey in style - a sort of "3 layered received wisdom" which sometimes works and sometimes does not. This is often merely an apeing of the "magazine style" which in my view helps to create a very samey look when added to the samey look of many of today's perr-a-like figures. Personally I like different styles - both of figures and paintwork. Variety is the spice I have always thought.

What amuses me about the selection of "28mm" pictures is that withthe exception of the Stadden 30mm and the Perry/Warlord  all of these figures were advertised as 25mm if you go back to the 1980s and early 1990s makes a bit of a mockery of all this 3mm angst does it not ?

Monday, 8 October 2018

Arrivals and Departures

Over 20 new packs of figures  available.

So those 14 boxes/grates are now unpacked. A bit slower than I'd like as I did my back in lifting the bloody things. All well now though. I have had a serious re-supply of stock  though needless to say some other items have sold out since I ordered this lot in late August./Early September. Nevertheless  over 60 back orders have already gone out and there are still a few more to do. These will be done in the next day or so. Already my next re-supply order is taking shape and will go off to the factory later this month.

The Arab cavalry - CER201

New stuff abounds ! I have a bundle of the NEW Blue Moon 15/18mm Crusade range now in stock. -Should be up as available on the website as soon as the webmistress does the deed. But in case you can't wait  here are the codes I actually have in hand
CER 100 101 103  109  110 111 112 114 
which gives you all the troop types for the First Crusade as well as being a very fine collection of 11th and early 12th century European Feudal troops. I can already feel the Stephen and Matilda Civil war  in England coming on .... 
I think these little blokes would look fine in a later Norman style army.
Arabs and Turks 
CER200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210  211 213
 This lot are even more versatile if anything as you can get Fatimid, Syrian,Seljuk and Ayubid armies out of this lot and possibly some others I don't know enough  about .
 For both of these ranges there are more things to come but this little lot should
 keep chaps busy for a while. 

In addition I have a couple of new 28mm ACW packs from Sash and Saber- Cherokee mounted rifles . Packs CS18 and 18 . Lovely figures hung about with shotguns and the like. Theses two new packs in addition to the 4 new Union packs I received last time US34 35 36 37. I'm trying to coax some  photos of these new items from Sand S.
 Other items of news
 In the Blue Moon AWI range pack AMR42 Mortars had finally beed added. My fault this as I simply forgot.Also Raven Banner Flag finial pack will be added to the list of RBG products as I now have stock of these. 

That's all the news that is fit to print.  More when I have it
 Andy OGUK

PS-A few days later ..... Well all the back orders I can do have gone out and all the new stuff is now up on the site- well nearly all . A couple of Raven Banner items need to ne added.
 Andy OGUK 

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. (I do now own a copy - prper review later)  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 !