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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  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.

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.