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Tuesday 28 August 2012

More Moderns...

My current fascination with Modern Warfare and Wargaming continues more or less apace. I've posted pics on TMP -v as part of a notice about the coming weekends shows but here are some others.
Here is a pic of a Warrior IFV Technically its the W.R.A.P. variant - ie Warrior reactive Armour Package- but I didn't put all of the extra armour on this one as I wanted it for a few years prior to WRAP availability. I've stowed it up a bit with items from the CD stowage pack and put on the Turret armour which may not be quite the thing for accuaracy but to be honest I'm still learning about this stuff.
This picture shows the first of the compleated Iraqis. A pair of T-72 no less. I'll need a good few more of these I think . As it happens just after I painted these I found a pretty indepth article about Iraqi vehicle markings. Now once I work out the system I'll mark these up properly.
Currently I'm awaiting a shipment from the USA due to arrive today- so any new stuff it contains will be taken to the coming weekend shows. Hope to see you there gentle reader !

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Drabant does it again.

Following fairly hard on the heeels of those lovely Drabant 28mm Saxon thegns - shown in an earlier post come the first pic of some Saxon Fyrd. Again in 28mm. I'll let the pics speak for themselves except to say that I will be carrying these as soon as they become generally available. I'm told September so not too long a wait.
and now the separate weapons- little gems in themselves.
Personally I can't wait until I have stock.

Sunday 19 August 2012

The Second Battle of Theakstons Folly

Saturady the 18th August- temporarily 1643 saw a smaller than normal number of TWATS gather at the pub for this months game Farmer Dave and Lawywr Tom had cried off so present were Floating Jeff Andrew the Tekkie Scribbling Steve and your gentle Author- who as Umpire might well be forced by brute circumstance to be anything but gentle. For the first time this Year I decided to run an ECW game. Rules used woud be forlorn Hope as I simply have not yet found a better commercial set- and to be honest I like these so much that a little tinkering aside, I couldn't write a better. I've heard good word about Pike and Shotte - but as it comes from the Black Powder stable the 30 quid price tag for a 10 quid set of rules is a bit off putting. I might try FOGR but not for ECW. So to battle. The scenario was based loosly on the 1st Newbury campaign but the available forces and briefings were as follows. First the Royalists.
The 2nd Battle of Theakstons folly 1643. A Scenario for Forlorn Hope. GOD SAVE THE KING!! The Year of our Lord 1643 18th September The Rebells have relieved the Town of Ambridge and are seeking to make their way back to London. This we must prevent From Ye Lt-Generall of the Horse 20 th May 1643. “Ye Horse are in 2 Brigades Not including His Mat’ies Lifeguard who are fit for service. As for ye others there are somme who will doe goode sevice and yt some who are but new Troops howsoever being mostly little gentlemen and their servants think themselves fine fellows of souldiers but yt they have seen noe service.” From Ye Major-Generall of Ye Foote. 19th May 1643. “Ye foote are mostly fit for small service consiting of 3 Regiments. Wee could wishe for more shott and there are few corselets among Ye Pikes.” His Mat’ies Lifeguard of Horse.GALLOPERS TRAINED/ELITE 12 figs The Earl of Carnavons Regt. of Horse GALLOPERS TRAINED 24 in 3 TROOPS OF 8 Sir Thos. Astons Regt. of Horse.GALLOPERS RAW/ELITE8 in a single troop. Lord Northamptons Regt of Horse GALLOPERS TRAINED 24 in 3 troops. A Company of Dragoons Trained 10figs Col Chas. Gerards Regt. of Horse.GALLOPERS RAW/ELITE 16 in 2Troops His Mat’ies Lifeguard of Foote TRAINED/ELITE 2to1 48 figs Lord N’thampton’s Regt. of Foote RAW 1 to 1 44 Sir Wm. Pennyman’s Regt. of Foote TRAINED 3 to 2 52 A Saker ARTILLERY TRAINED ------ 1 medium gun & 4crew. LEADERS. Prince Rupert of Ye Rhine Ld Generall lv2. Ld George Goring Lt. Generall of Ye Horse. Lv2 dropping to lv 1 after lunch ’ cos he’ll have had drinke.” Colonell Sir Chas Gerard. Lv1 The Earl of Nor5thampton. Lv1 And May God Have Mercy upon Ye for Ye UMPIRE shall nott. and the Parliamentarians For God and Parliament!! The Yr of our LORD 1643 September 18st. The Malignants bar our way to Lomdon If yt please ye Almighty wee shalle prevaile. They are mightier in horse than wee but oure Foote are better menne . As Lord General of the Forces of ye Rutshire Association yt is your task to engage ye malignants and continue your marche to London.. Youre forces consist of. The Lord Generals Regt of Foote VETERAN 2 to 1 96 figs Coll. Dezil Holles Regt. of Foote TRAINED 1 to 1 88 figs e Lord Generals Lifeguard of Horse CURASSIERS TROTTERS TRAINED/ELITE 10 figs Col. Arthur Goodwins Regt. Of Horse.TROTTERS TRAINED 24- 3 Troops of 8 figs each Col Robert Balfours Troop of Cuirassiers. Cuirassiers Trotters Veteran 8 figs in a single troop. May brigade with Ld Gens Col. James Wardlaw’s Regt of Dragoons Dismounted Dragoons TRAINED may use open order 30 3 companies of 10 figs each Commanded shot Foot Trained 15figs 3 guns Artillery RAW ----- 3guns and 9 crew. LEADERS. Ye Ld Generall lv 2 Ye Major Generall of Ye Foote lv1. Ye Lt. Generall ofYe Horse lv1. And May Ye Lord of Hosts have Mercy upon you for the Umpire shall not!!.
I'd deliberately built in a problem for both sides. The Royalists had a force geared to the Offensive - yet their brief argued a strategic defensive. For the Parliament the precise opposite was the case. Right from move 1 the Parliamentarians hugged their baseline- I'd structured the game aling the long axis of the table as I wanted to see if the Roundheads dare advence -even with moderately secure flanks against the masses of Cavalier Horse- not so after lining a hedge with Dragoons and Commanded shot and sticking their guns out on a limb- of which more later- they stayed put leaving the Royalists to advance along the table
this pic shows the mass of Royalish Horse that seemed to mesmerise the Roundheads.
The first picture sgows the Parliamentarian position. They would hardly move from here for the whole game.
The Royalist horse began a long advance- outdistancing their foot and gun by some way. Nevertheless the foot toiled manfully to cover the distance. Thefirst action was on the Parliamentarian left where they had placed their 3 guns . These raw gunners looked askance at the total lack of support they had been givenand were not amused. On the Royalist side Lord Northampton crid "God and King" and led his troopers in a charge for the guns... Finding himself alone(Floating Jeff threw a 1 needing anything but to charge) His Lordship went back to his muttering troopers to try again. Charge ..." nope sorry don't fancy it Guv..." - Jeff unbelievably threw another 1 in the following turn as well. In the meantime the gunners had opened fire removing 2 troopers from the regiment and finally stinging them to action. The poor gunners- having done their part departed -standing not upon the order of their going. Lord Northampton had captured all 3 parliamentarian guns. this was to have consequences.
Lord Northampton finally takes the parliamentarian gun line.
In the centre the dragoons of both sides bickered over the hedgeline but the destruction of the roundhead artllery caused 1 company of Warlaw'sdragoons to retire and a second to halt disordered. The Royalist drsagoons- supported by Horse were able to insert themselves into the gap thus created and enfilade the roundhead line. The Floodgates now opened,as the Royalist Foot came up and engaged the Roundheads in the hedge the rest of the Cavalier horse flooded through the gap. The 2 troops of Rounhead Cuirassiers put in a charge but despite manful resitance it was clear it wasn't enough. By hugging their baseline the roundheads had sacrified space and couldn't manovre. Even if they beat the off the first attacks of the royalist horse there were plenty more- at this point Andrew the Tekkie conceded.
The final picture shows the position when the roundheads conceded. My own view here is simple the roundheads should have advanced.- their Foot were far supieor to the Royalist and they could have filled the table from edge to edge- supporting thier outnumbered horse with shot and Dragoons. This would have forced the Royalists to react. Insted they adopted a snail mentality curling up insdie their shell and aloowing the Royalists to do as they pleased.

Thursday 16 August 2012

Why be a wargamer ..

A good few years ago Just after the OGUK website was started up I wrote this article Which you might find a bit of a laugh to read... Now some of the facts and figures are out of date - 3000 items on the website its now nearer 5000 and still growing- but all in all the opinions have stayed the same. Mainly because I've seen no evidence to cause me to change my mind. Indeed rather the opposite if anything. That article is almost 8 years old or thereabouts. However I would add a codicil to those opinions and not in my own words but rasther those of one Dave Nilsen as they appeared in Issue6 of Command Post Quarterly -published around 1993-4. In context Dave is replying to a letter from a US army Colonel who congratulates him on his work on the Organisations and Data for Command Decision for the Gulf War of 1991 part of Dave's reply reads "It is my firm belief that if all we do in this hobby is play games without respecting the reality beneath the miniaturesstands we are merely killing time until we die.. These units relect real flesh and blood people who gave up their comfort ,safety and sometimes their lives for reasons which bear at least examination and respectt if not always admiration.If these games are not tributes in some fashion to their humanity and call us to think about them and the meaning of what they did then this is a vain enterprise indeed." Now Dave signs himself "Romantic Wacko " which IMHO does himself a disservice as while he may perhaps be coming on a tad strong I can't think of a better way to explain why I do my hobby the way I do. When I add those excelent words to my own poor article it just about explains the whole nine yards. Whilst Dave's word pertain to more modern warfare I'd say that they are equally relevant further back in history.. Its possibly one of the major reasons why I tend to concentrate on campaigns where the source material is in English- while I can blunder about in Frenchand just about mange menus in other Western European Languages most other tongues completly elude me. So in order to understans and therefore respect I need to read their wordsas they wrote them. This feeling if anything become more the point as I get older the games themselves are merely the tiny tip of a huge iceberg. Frankly if pushing a few(or many) toy soldiers about was all there is to our hobby I'd have knocked it on the head years ago.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Sometimes it IS how big it is that counts.....

For many years I've had an on - off relationship whith what you might call modern Warfare wargames. Its all Mike Hoare and Black Jack Schrammes fault really -though they wouldn't know it. Mike Hoares Congo Mercenary is a very readable bookand Peter Mocklers The Mosdern Mercanry likewise- though both dated now they were de rigeur when I first became interested in Post WW2 Bushfire Wars . I first did forces for the period in 20mm - strictly speaking for a little later- more the Angolan war of the 70s. FAPLA, mostly Airfix Cubans- from Hotspur some Airfix T34 85 some nondescript resin trucks and a hotch-potch of assorted figures for the mercenaries. Games were played with this motley collection until at least the mid 90s. Then I sort of lost interestand sold the stuff on. Since then I've 'ummed and 'awed and not taken any decision - but have still bought bookson various post WW2 conflicts with the exception of the Arab-Isreali debacle somehow that just didn't appeal. Nevertheless recently these assorted Bushfire wars have have given me a little kick again. Hence the production of the whole CDMOD range,the Fireforce range the Lil'Flyin' Choppers range and for the large scale the aquisition of the Brooks Minis 28mm Mordern range. All of which will recieve additions in the course of time. Regular readers of this will have seen the 15mm Rhodesians and their Helis which should be very suitable for small engagments. However I wanted something a bit meatier something with a bit more wellie... so...
Here we see a group of 15mm - 1/100th British Challenger1 tanks built "straight from the bag " - no fiddleing about other than adding the single crew figure- a cut down chap from my WMIK crew set. The next group of these I do- and yes I wanr more than 3 - will have various twiddly bits added to dress them up a bit. I found painting these great fun. a nice sand base coat- unusually for me I sprayed it on as I happened to have a Tamiya can handy. After that it was simply a matter of various sandy /buff colurs to get me where I wanted to be. The tracks were washed a dark grey and the undersides painted black. I wondered about basing but decided to base mainlyas a protective measure as these will appear at shows in the display case. These are 2not Flames of War at all" bases as allegedly the chap I bought 'em from - Warbases- nice outfit - had recieved an antipodean telling off for calling them FOW bases. There is surely a difference between protecting your product and bullying and - assuming this happened I leave it to sensible blokes to work out which it was. They are fine bases anyhow so I'll be using more whatever they are called. The Challenger is a big brute being almost 75mm in hull length so dwarfing many of my WW2 tanks as you'd expect. Now all I have to do is paint up about nine Zillion T-55 and T-72 for the lads to shoot at.
Another useful item I found when painting these was Gasp a Games Workshop product- one of their washes- awfully useful for the lining and shading- not as fierce as an ink would be. The only problem is of course walking into the shop..Ah well If you can't take a Joke... Ohter finishes Items include a Bulldog and some snatch and WMIK landrovers- which have appeared earlier. With several other vehicles on the stocks- including a Viking I'm comotted to carry on with Modern stuff not only for me but for other chaps too.
The third pic shows more of the finished stuff- rebased and touched up even if its appeared on this blog previously. As for the infantry- for this collection I'm anxious to avoid single bases- so any ruleset that advocates these is out. I'm currently thinking Command Decision -a -like but Force on Force is a possibility however I seem to remember that the figures are singles am I wrong.?

Tuesday 7 August 2012

A slight breather... maybe

Now Claymore is done and dusted for this year- A good evemnt best for a couple of years- I can start to think about other stuff for a bit. I want to get moving with my 15mm Bushfire Wars project indeed all the 15mm post WW2/Modern stuff needs a good sorting out from the bits and pices of display stuff. The whole period needs a good organising. I have a respectable "Fireforce" 4 Aloette Helicopters a Lynx ground attack aircraft and a dozen troopies but so far haven't paionted a single fig for the opposition. I really am going to have to ressurrect the Peoples Democratic Republic of Zingola circa 1978 but to be honest its hard to find the time. I fit in the odd hour here or there between running my business and being an unpaid government bookeeper and Tax collector or as its put these days "running your own business". I once worked out that for every hour I spend selling soldiers I spend another 30 minutes farting about with paperwork so Dave and His Rich Mates - or as it was the Tone and HIS rich mates could slip all the profits into their already overlarge wallets. We are repeatedly told "we are all in this together!" which is a best a downright lie and at worst the most utterly patronising piece of self serving arse gravy I've encountered for some time. We all know how to tell if a politician is lying- his lips are moving and noise comes forth but the complete and utter lack of connection to the electorate of the average arrogant slimy career political apparatchik still amazes me. Ah well I you can't take a joke... I've also got to do more 40mm ECW. The 28mm got a few new units recently and thesde will get an outing at the next TWATS meeting later this month. Not sure what the scenario will be... not that I'd say as you wouldn't want the players to know beforehand now would you?

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Momentous Missive from Moscow !

Regular readers of this will know that I'm a big fan of the 40mm figures from Drabant Miniatures of Moscow. So much so that when they first appeared I wasted no time in Contacting their supremo Nick and buying some bth for myself and as a trader. Since then time and distance permitting I've tried to stock all they do to a greater or lesser extent - depending upon loval market popularity. Nowe as you expect I'm always a bit behid- there are about half a dozen figure I don't have yet- that soon to be fixed. Now in my view these fine figures deserve to be more popular than they are but- and its an aficionardo here 40mm is never going to be as popular a scale as so called "28mm" . That's just a fact of life . Nevertheless hold on to you hats for Drabant are doing a 28mm rangeand here are some pictures of the first few.
The first release in this new 25mm range will be Dark ages Saxons- eventually covering the whole gamut from Sutton Hoo to Hastings. Normans and Vikings are to follow. Now I'll be carrying these as they appear. and UK prices will be about the same as say Gripping beast at about £5.50-£6.00 per pack of 4 , Not bad IMHO for imported stuff. Now despite the fact that my own Dark Ages stuff is in 40mm I'll be having some of these- probably for King Alfreds campaigns.. or maybe Athelstan. Here are a couple of pics of the painte Saxon thegns just to whet your appetites
Now these are pretty impressive- not my painting I hasteb to add but Nickolay Bokarev. I'll be taking orders for these closer to the time of release but having a cruel streak I just want to set your glands going.