Tuesday, 15 January 2019

NEW YEAR. Resolutions or Revolution?

OKay so here were are on January 1st 2019- well it was when I started writing this . A New Year. Will it make any difference?  Well prices will go up and the country to the dogs but that is simply normal . It has been - apparently happening since the Dutch sailed up the Medway !

So in the merry  hope of fiddling while Rome burns I am for the while going to ignore all of that shit and concentrate on important stuff such as what I am going to do with my figure collections and in toy soldier world in the coming year.

 Well in a nutshell it is going to be a case of expansion and contraction at the same time.
 Physically impossible I hear you cry ! Well no not really as I am going to expand some armies and  dispose of others that are no longer used or of interest.
 Indian Mutiny and indeed India generally- I am even starting to think about an early Sikh force for the very late 18th century, Rohillas too- should be fun sourcing those bits I can't get from various Old Glory ranges. Even Moghuls are a possibility.

Most recent addition to the Indian Mutiny forces. Old Glory 28mm but from the Crusades range and the Indian Muting range- mix in rather well/ 

Shinyloo and its offshoots will continue. Indeed a few more have been finished with more on the painting table.

More "Shinyloo" Scots Greys. Stadden 30mm of considerable age.
Old Glory 28mm Napoleonic Bavarians. Another shiny project slowly taking shape..

 ECW in its various forms is of course a constant and yes I want to do more games and continue to expand my armies both the Retro and Modern styles. I have about 50 or so ECW Scots foot to base  I I will also expand the 40mm though this tends to veer more toward the TYW  well sort of. Nevertheless a good few are later ECW for the 1648 campaign or even 1650-51. I do like 40mm for  small scale actions, the petit guerre as it were. Still need to settle on a set of rules. I have Featherstone which with a bit of fiddling might well fit the bill. Even if it is crap it will be better than the dross that is Pikemans Lament.
These 28mm Old Glory ECW cavalry are definitely staying 
and these.
and these 40mm Thirty Years War- Due for expansion I think.
40mm Scots too. My own Romanoff figures with Sash and Saber heads 

However the 40mm ECW is more of a modeling project than strictly a wargaming one. I make them because I like them. The same goes for the 40mm Wars of the Roses. there will be more of these as I want to do at least one and possibly more games in the coming year- Battle of Hexham perhaps or even Nibley Green.

In the smaller scales I still have a bundle of 15mm Ancient Germans to base up and the new Blue Moon Crusades range is really calling to me .
 I also fancy expending the 15mm Moderns but to be honest that is not a priority at the moment but maybe later in the year I will get a moderns kick on. You never can tell.

As for stuff that has done its time and needs to move on. Well 40mm Dark Ages and 40mm ACW  are top of the list and I am seriously thinking of thinning out my 28mm SYW collection. I also have a bundle of 28mm Moderns that have not seen a firefight for several years. Not since I went to 15mm for that period. None of this is pressing as I need to actually count the Dark Ages- roughly 50 Vikings/ Saxons and maybe 40 Normans  including 15 mounted knights ish !

These 40mm  lads- and their infantry as well as the Viking/ Saxon opposition could be finding a new home.

However we shall see.  After all it is only Mid- January

Monday, 24 December 2018

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas- HUMBUG! (or maybe not)

Well Dudes and Dudettes it is that bloody time of year again. The Crimbo madness is upon us. Not that I actually mind this of itself but when the adverts and shops start in bloody October it can get more than a bit much. So by the time I actually get to participate well, honestly I don't really feel like it. I need a rest thanks .
 However having said that and despite being over a week late posting due to work the T.W.A.T.S.  did get a meeting in last weekend- the 15th.  There were only 3 of us present myself Andrew the Tekkie and Mechanical Shaun and to be honest not a great deal of fighting took place in our refight of the Battle of Krimisos. An encounter between Syracusan Greeks and Carthaginians. There were several reasons for this of which more anon.
 However we started off with the best of intentions Shaun providing all of the troops and the initial idea for the game. I was umpire- although I started off as the Greek commander but Shaun - not knowing the Tactica system as well as I, was a bit unsure so I thought I'd Umpire in his stead. No worries.

The Greeks- all from Shauns splendid 15mm collection. 

 So we got going and the opening moves went well. The game was developing into a nice time and motion study. Could the Carthaginians get across the river and deployed before the outnumbered Greeks fell upon them and destroyed them  in detail?
Ehe Carthaginians- covered by thier chariots  try to form a battle line.

The Carthaginian Noble chariots (this was a pre-Hannibal army)  sorted out the Greek cavalry in short order giving Andrew time to deploy his Sacred Band and some other heavy foot in a battle line of sorts. The victorious chariots then unwisely charged some hoplites and came a bad second being destroyed in an untidy brawl which was not proper for such nobles- or so the social calender avowed!
The Greeks advace trying to close down the amount of space available for the Carthaginians to form up . The arrival of lucnh slowed everything down... 

At this point Lunch arrived. Now Landlady Jean had offered to prove we T,WA,T,S, with a suitable Christmas repast and since it would have been churlish to refuse we sat down and prepared to do said spread JUSTICE. A full 3 course dinner later- over the Coffee and Mince pies we decided that further physical movement was unwise in the extreme, at least for a while so play was suspended  whilst digestion took place.
At this point the weather intervened as an ice storm stuck NE England- a rare occurrence indeed and damned unpleasant as freezing rain struck already freezing surfaces and coated them in ice. Driving conditions were awful . So with some regret we decided to pack up and go home. Even packing up was tricky- ever tried carrying 300 hoplites over an uphill  ice rink. Not the easiest of tasks.
 Despite this turn of events we WILL retirn to Krimisos in the future . The battle has all the makings of a very refightable encounter .
 As always thanks go to Landlady Jean for here excelent catering and to Landlord Eric for the Consett Brewery's fine White Hot.
And Finally a bit of politically incorrect miniature seasonal cheers. Two 30mm Les Higgins Ladies - OOP since about 1973.

Right now I'm off to do a bit of Crimbo-ing - last day ans all that but what the Hell.  In the words of the great Noddy Holder 


Saturday, 8 December 2018

Christmas posting and Christmas Holidays

As we usually do at this time of year we have to calculate how much time we dare to have off over Christmas. This is almost always governed by the Royal Mail .

Big Andy fighting manfully to get the post out in time !- Actually 40mm Wars of the Roses from my personal collection 

 This year is no exception the last posting day for first class mail within the UK is

 Thursday December 21st

 so that will also be our last posting day for 2018 .
We will begin posting out again on

January 3rd 2019 

The website will still be open for business and we will take phone calls during business hours when we are in but no orders will be posted as they can't go anywhere and frankly I'd rather they stay here then be  sat in a post office depot for several days,

Our first show of 2019 will of course be Vapnartak in York-  on Sunday February 3rd  a fine event  worth going to .
The walk to the Post Office can have almost as many hazards ... 15mm Moderns from my collection 

We will be taking all of our usual show stock and as always the "6for5" deal will be in operation.
 See you at the Knavesmire .

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Arrivals before Crimbo

The season of Good Cheer is upon us so they tell me. Believe it when I see it myself!  Mostly it is a load of striped minty sweets!
However there is some good stuff about. This coming Monday UPS will be delivery a HUGE 20 box/crate Resupply to me from the USA. This should mean that loads of chaps waiting for stuff will have their patience rewarded. It had taken a while. I ordered  the bulk of this lot in mid October the added to it in Early November. In the meantime the USA had Fall-in- the show then the bloody mid-terms then thanksgiving all of which held the job up somewhat. Frustrating thinks I!!
 However all now appear well so on Monday begins the mammoth task of unpacking, sorting and despatching all the toys chaps are waiting for . Nit to mention putting together the next order which will go off just before Crimbo to arrive in time- hopefully- for the York show at the beginning of February
 Will I manage a few days off over Crimbo .Dammed right I will  though doubtless our Gloriuos Government will want its say about that bloody paperwork- and now they want to make it all digital- so it takes longer and they have more control over your every breath.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Just plain Cruel

One of the blogs I follow  written by  fellow T.W.A.T.S.   member Andrew the Tekkie raises a few interesting points about the hobby in general anf Naval gaming in particular I have a small collection of ships in both 1/1200 for WW2 and 1/600 for the Russo-Japanese war and a long unused collection of1/600th mostly Thoroughbred ACW ships that I am thinking of selling. Also in the past I have had WW1 and WW2 coastal forces in the latter case Italians and British in the Med but have never really considered myself a Naval Wargamer . Naval is for me a sideline period.
One of my Japanese ships- The Mikasa

 Interesting but not so much as say ECW or Napoleonic. Having said that I still prefer to try to aim for some kind of historical verisimilitude rather than just A.N.Other  piece of samey -gamey re-tread tediousness with added dice. So it was with interest that I read this

post on Andrew's blog. Now he has far more Naval knowledge than I so I value his opinion on this .
 My conclusion
 Shan't bother

Sunday, 25 November 2018

The Battle of Tinyhampton 1461

So once again the 3 stalwart T.W.A.T.S.   gathered at our watering hole for the November game.. Various work and family pressures seem to have kept our numbers down for a couple of months but nevertheless we remainers soldier on !
 Once again I was in the Umpires chair and  decided to run a 40mm Wars of the Roses game .The scenario was based vaguely on the battle of Northampton mainly because I have not run a game based on an assault of a fortified position for simply ages but did have some rather tasty earthworks I made almost 30 years ago but also because Northampton is one WOTR battle I have never before attempted.
 Now this was not to be a full refight. I simply don't have enough 40mm models finished yet- a mere 130 figures would take the field here. I simply lifted the basic scenario from Paul Haighs book "The Military Campaigns of the Wars of the Roses " and organised the "armies" to suit what I actually had to hand.
 As for rules- Once again Lion Rampant was briefly considered and rejected- too structured, but with silly set  unit sizes , too points system orientated- with much of the game actually slaved to the points system and very very un medieval in feel so no. I really really can't see why people like this and they don't seem to be capable of telling me.
 I was - once again going to use Clipsom's set Foray as I like them but in the end for a change I went for Tactica Medieval- but the siege rules as this was an attack on a fortification.
 In the end - despite a few bumps in the road it was the right choice. for this game.
Early in the action as the Yorkists start their advance.

So to the action. Andrew the tekkie took the Lancastrian defenders with all of the artillery but only  a third of the actual figures and Shaun took the assaulting Yorkists with the rest.. I allowed Shaun a free deployment but he elected- after a quick squint at Haigh to follow the Yorkist plan of a column assault on  one flank of the Lancastrian Works.
View of the Lancastrian  camp and defences - from the Yorkist perspective. 

  There was to be no tactical finesse here  this was to be mere brutality and force of arms. However to begin with Shauns shift to his left  did unsight two of the three Lancastrian guns causing no little consternation and running about in the defending camp. The death of a couple of unfortunate gunners caused a little more swearing and gunners from the unsighted guns rushed to re-crew the still  serviceable bombard.
Low sun slanting through the windows of the pub gives this shot a bit of atmosphere.

Arrows flew thick and fast and casualties occurred on both sides, the Lancastrian earthworks not always being the protection they hoped- some jammy dice from Shaun and dark muttering from Andrew! The Bombard continued to pop away at irregular intervals but the crewmen were less that  happy about coming under arrow shot. Meanwhile the Lancastrian archers had halted one of the Yorkist assaulting units and the advance for a time looked in danger- bum dice Shaun. The final shot of the Lancastrian bombard turning more than 1 Yorkist man at arms into tinned offal! However Girding up his loins, Shaun took the bit between his teeth and put in his first wave of assaulting troops. The melee was long and brutal - bodies falling on both sides. Percy's banner was taken and the Lancastrians looked very woeful but a body of Oxford's men at arms  rushed in to stem the Yorkist tide and pinch out their lodgement in the Lancastrian position.

Some of the fierce fighting across the works. Percy's banner- red and black would fall here and only Oxfords men- under the Orange banner would protect the valuble supplies of Consett Brewery's White Hot .

 Nothing loth Shaun re-ordered his men to try again. The Lancastrian archers fired again and faild dismally 13 men finding only 1 kill whilst Shaun remaining archers- with only 2 dice because of target type and the earthworks scored 2 hits. Lancastrian wrath and bad language was the correct and predictable result!

more of the desperate and bloody fighting across the Lancastrian works as the Yorkist strive to enter.

 The Lancastrian defenders were looking decidedly thin on the ground as Shaun's next assault came in  This time despite previous muttering to the contrary what ever luck was left fell on Andrew's side. The final Yorkist throw failed dismally  and the last assault was broken. However the Lancastrian could do little but guzzle thankfully on their beer and get their breath back. A Lancastrian victory certainly but a costly one  they having lost almost half of their men.

Technical points. The figures were all 40mm from my own collection. Mostly  from my own Romanoff Miniatures range
http://www.oldgloryuk.com/wars-of-the-roses-and-late-medieval/43/178/443/455  but with some conversiions.
 The few cavalry are from Irregular- and mix in well and the waggon was by Doug Miller.
 Beer and Beef Butties with excellent chips by The Commercial Inn Tantobie and as always out thanks go the Landlady Jean for her hospitality.
 The game took about four hours- including set up and pull down and, importantly including a break for lunch and the odd few minutes here and there to get the beers in. Not for us the sweaty browed  hurried panic of come gamers. We play at a leisurely pace that suits us.

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.