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Tuesday 24 June 2014

Magazines- Hmm Nice ....

It has been a while since I've mentioned magazines here. Mostly becasue I've been short of time to actually read any . What with boning up on the ECW- First Battle of Newbury  and reading a strange book called Grey Wolf about how Adolf and the lads  made it to Argentina along with a very very big sack of money each. There is a lot of strange stuff about how Bormann was siphoning off cash to Argentina as ealy as 1943 and how apparently Argentina gold reserves more than doubled during the war years Hmmm  Not sure if I'm convinced but its a fascinating idea- Mr A Hitler apparently snuffing it in 1962- well he'd had a hard life !!!

So not much time for mags but then I picked up MW 374- Not at first sight one of my favourite issues- the cover put me off. but you can't have everything so I pressed on  and yes Gentle Reader there was stuff in it !  Hidden in an article on Chotusitz- a Frederician battle- was a set of amendments for Black powder- now regular readers will know that I'm in 2 minds about this over produced set  but had thoght of a few ways I'd fiddle with the "system"  to give it more historical versimilliture. I'm not the only one- these amendments were very much along the lines I was thinking about- but they've gone further and seem to make better sense- Well done those Grimsby dudes !
 There was also a strange- well strange to me- article on Competition gaming - not my thing but worth reading as it exposed the mindset of at least some of the competition crowd- man, these chaps are obcessed 2 - 3 games in a day "learning the rules" ( never have never will )   nary a pint in sight  long rows of tables like a Bangladeshi   sweat shop for wargamers- albeit a friendly one. This lot are games players par excellence- not my thing but nevertheless an interesting if somewhat dry look into a part of wargaming I've avoided since the early 1980s
More on the Mongols- again interesting and the first of a two- parter on develping campaign rules- worth a closer look this when I get the time
 so another good issue- after all if there are 2 or 3 readable articles in any given issue then it can't be bad.
 Now no 375- the latest
 More on the Mongols- this time the Polish Campaign and part two of the Campaign rules article continued from 374 - both worth a read. An intrestin one off  well game really  on Ponsonby at Waterloo- a nice idea for  a simple one off post prandial game perhaps but to play it more than a couple of times  well not really  but it did hide what might be  with a bit of fiddling a nice set of Cavalry skirmishing rules for out posts and such... maybe.
The article on the use- or indeed missuse of Dragoons in late 17th century armies hit a chord. I've thought about the use of Dragoons in the ECW for some time  and given that this article is for around 30-40 years later it still has some relevance
 Ther was also a nice piece from an Austrian group about what I can only call  growing table wargaming- if you have the facilities this is excelelnt. I've done similar in the past but not to this extent and again its nice to see how chaps in other parts of the world do stuff. .
 Now next up I have to be a bit careful  since I was the perpetrator of the article- though the title in the mag was Henrys not mine likewise the Introductory paragraph . Together these change the thrust of the article just a smidgin For the record the origonal title was "Upon the Building of Wargames Armies" and  was not meant as merely an attack on Idiot books - though they deserve all the kickings they can get !
No major beef mind just thought I'd mention it .
  So all in all 2 more good 'uns in a row

Tuesday 17 June 2014

The Battle of Great Umbridge- Durham show game.

 Si morning dawns and Jim the painter turns up in his van to give us a lift with all the kit to the Durham show-  jouney a bit on the slow side stuck as we are behing a leaner drive who thinks 25mph is fast.  (If you want a van in a tearing hurry ask Jim its usually the only speed his does !) Not only was all the gear in the van but I your gentle Author and Andrew the Tekkie also availed ourselves of Jim's  kindness.
 Gear unloaded and we begin the set up when Floating Jeff arrives quicly followed by New Steve our laterst  member of the  T.W.A.T.S
 He catches us muching on the obligatory bacon buttie and surrounding a cup of cha.
 All's well ther then .
 So set up continues- interrpted by chaps who want to talk to me  as even though I'm not trading I do seem to be "on duty "as it were.
 One conversation concerns smaller shows of which more later- but all this takes time.
However on with the plot so  the game was set up and ready to go
 Here we see the orders of battle for the two sides .

The Battle of  Great Umbridge 1643.

A Scenario for Forlorn Hope.

 GOD SAVE THE KING!!   The Year of our Lord 1643 14st June.

 We have ye rebels where we want them . They must  defeat our army to make their way back to London.
From Ye Lt-Generall of the Horse 14 th June 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 onsisting of 3 Regiments. Wee could wishe for more shott and there are few corselets among Ye Pikes.”





No of Figs
 His Mat’ies Lifeguard of Horse.


The Earl of Carnavons Regt. Of Horse
24 in 3 TROOPS
OF 8

Sir Thos. Astons Regt. Of Horse.
8 in a single troop. Carnarvons Brigade

Northamptons Regt of Horse
24 in a 3 troops.
 Part of Gerards brigade

Sir Nicholas Crispe’s Regt of Horse

8in a single troop
 Gerards Brigade

Col Chas. Gerards Regt. Of Horse.
16 in 2 Troops

His Mat’ies Lifeguard of Foote

Lord N’thampton’s Regt. Of Foote
1 to 1

Sir Wm. Pennyman’s Regt. Of Foote
3 to 2

1  heavy gun   5 crew.

Prince Rupert of Ye Rhine Ld Generall  lv2.
Colonell Sir Chas Gerard.   Lv1
The Earl of Carnarvon. Lv1
 Sir Jacob  Astley Major- General of Foote LV1- Foote only

. And May God Have Mercy upon Ye for Ye UMPIRE shall nott.

The Royalist left early on in the day. Parlaimentry cavary have just descended from ther ridge.

For God and Parliament!! The Yr of our LORD 1643       June. 14st.

Ye malignants  bar our return   to London 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 break past them to re4sume your marche to London
Your forces consist of.




 No of Figs

The Lord Generals Regt of Foote

2 to 1

Coll. Dezil Holles Regt. Of Foote
 1 to 1

Commanded Musketeers from Lord Brookes regt. of Foote. Capt. John Lilleburn


The Lord Generals Lifeguard of Horse

Sir John Balfours troop
Curassiers Trotters
Trained Elite


 Col. Arthur Goodwins Regt. Of Horse.
   24-  3 Troops of 8 figs each

The Lord Generals Regt of Horse
trotters  Veteran

9 in a single troop

Col. James Wardlaw’s Regt of Dragoons
Dismounted Dragoons
 1 to 0 may use open order
30   3 companies of 10 figs each

  Trayne of Artilleie
Artillery Trained
2 medium  Gun 8 crew.

Ye Ld Generall  Earl of Essex   lv 2 (Hey For Robin!
Ye Major Generall of Ye Foote  Philip Skippon  lv1.
Ye Lt. Generall ofYe Horse lv1. William Balfour .

The opposite flank- Royalist dragoon behind the hedge-,

And May Ye Lord of Hosts have Mercy upon you for the Umpire shall not!!.

So the scene was set for a tense battle 

Floating Jeff was the commander for Parliament and Andrew the tekkie and New Steve shared the Royalists It was pretty obvious from the start that both sides were being very cautious. Each Commnder began to feel the other very slowly....... perhaps I could have put that better  ... nevertheless the first blood went to the Parliamentarians who using their dragoons and Commanded shot advanced down their left through the close country surround Great Umbridge. The Royalist had left the way guarded by their only company of Dragoons and their single artillery piece- out numbered 4 too one the Royalist fought manfully but to no avail  the dragoons heading for the  tall timber at speed and the gun being captured.

It was at this time that a young woman entered the hall and shouted- did anyone here order Crumpet!
 I was gentle reader greatly shocked- I didn't think it was that kind of show ......

More Parliamentarians- seeing off those Royalist dragoons.
So back to the plot  on the other flank things got off to a slow start with a... deliberate ..(thats slow really) Royalist cavalry advance by their first line. The Parliamentarin success on the opposite flank even cause the Royalist General of Horse to detach a troop to cover the now somewaht expose Royalist Foot in the centre - who likewise were slow to get off their duffs. Floating Jeff did his best to hurry them along by bombarding them with his artillery  -eventually causing  Lord Northamptons Foote to halt  in something of a daze. However they rallied and the deliberate purposeful advance continueed- one pace at a time .....
 One the Parliamentarian right the Royalist horse finally put in some charges- around move 6 this, after a little re-ordering. Lord Carnarvon Horse charged the 2 troops of Goodwin's and the single troop of the Lord General's who   being trotters countercharged albeit with less dash. The cavalry fighting went on for 3 turns swaying back and forth  neither side being quite good enough- or dice lucky enough to break the other before the Royalists  began to bring up their supports. There was some truly mediocre dice rolling on both sides here and 48 cavalry fighting for 3 turns caused a total of 3 casualties .. or was it two? Anyhow it was a singularly bloodless combat.
Biff Bang Bash!!- what lord Byron called "pushing for a pretty space"

 Worse was to follow....
 The Royalist Foote had finally approached the Parliamentarian centre- their 3 regiemnets facing the Lord genersals 96 figures.  The Roundheads let fly  over 70 figures so 7 10 sided dice with a 40% chance per dice of a hit  Not one single casualty caused .. My Lord of Essex was heard to mutter
 it must be the family motto Latin or some such perhaps ....
  The Royalist  grinning with malicious glee now replied- his factors were lower- he had fewer shot and the Roundheads were in cover but still  48 figures let fly .... the smoke cleared ....  and again not a single casulaty caused..........
 At this point the Umpire- almost splitting his sides with laughter was completely non  plussed- not to mention gasping for a pint and this being a small event the traders were packing up- it was around 3.30 so the lads decided to call it a day- the most bloodless game I've seen for many a year.

The Infantry of both sides - the Royalists closing for the kil....  sort of ...
Now as for the show - as always it was a pleasant day- nice things were said about  our display by various chaps- which was kind- though upon reflection I should perhaps have used a slightly smaller table- perhaps dropping 2 feet from the open  right flank .
But that is for another time - back to the show  I bought a couple of books- one on the ECW of course- any increase in my period knowledge is no bad thing but otherwise  I couldn't find a thing to spend any cash on about half the traders were fantasy dudes of one sort or another and of the rest only Irregular have  seen the colour of my brass in recent years- and will again doubtless once I get back intoone of my 40mm projects - I need some cows and sheep.
 With the drive to  depressing homogeneity going on within the industry I wonder where smaller shows can go. Its not worth my while to trade at such small events as factoring in all costs its still going to be around £250.00 just to do the show so I'd need to turn over double that to break even- yet I still want to support this particular show so for me doing a game is the best solution and after all it was FUN- yes chaps in capaitals .... .. 
 there were 3 other games 1 of which I didn't see as it was with the bring and buy which I never went to
 of the two I did see both were WW2 I think- one on a snowscape the other a beach landing with lots of sea and not much beach- nice terrain though and some lovely ships and landing craft- never saw much action on either thiough- perhaps I  missed it ... No- one  seemed to be playing at either table when I went around.
 Phots- most of the phots were taken by Andrew the Tekkie the other 2

Parliamentry Infantry giggling in the bushes at the "sound and Fury signifying nothing in the next field.
 by me
 We'll go to Durham again next year- assuming we are invited- no idea what game we'll do  but it will be pretty and fun.... I wonder how many 40mm Wars of the Roses I can finish by next June ....?? .