Tuesday, 31 March 2015

15mm Battle of Talana Boer War Game

Last Sunday's Boer war game, using 'Battles for Empire' Rules. Below is Dave's write up which definitely reflects the fun and comic frustrations of this early clash between the disciplined Brits and doughty Boers!

"Morning dawned and the Boer artillery on Talana and Lennox Hills opened fire on the confused Brits in their encampment and town of Dundee. the Boers commanded by Chris, karl, and Paul solidly held the hills and hit back, the Brits Barry, Gary, and Matt attacked and after a heroic resistance by karl, Barry swept on to the hill having suffered horrendous casualties from Boer marksmen and artillery (and Karl throwing huge number of 6’s). but by that time Paul led another force of Boers on to a flank and fought their way into the town. All agreed the Brits had lost although would have got most of their surviving forces away south to Ladysmith.
All said they thoroughly enjoyed the game and that it was well balanced with both sides attacking and defending on different parts of the field.

I greatly enjoyed setting up the game and seeing the stresses and strains as the game progressed with curses in Afrikaans and plenty of ‘I say’s’ .

Key points in the game. 
 Barrys heroic attack and capture of Talana hill.

Karls heroic defence of Talana Hill
 Pauls aggressive attack into Dundee 
 Garys charge with the 18th Hussars onto the slag heap. 
 Karls dice rolling.
 Karl moving a pom pom artillery piece which had been set up in a good dominating position on to the hill so it could be blown to bits by the massed British artillery leaving a hole in the defensive line, a masterstroke!! (He said he had listened to Chris advice on this, eh!!!)"

Sunday, 22 March 2015

28mm Napoleonic - Republic to Empire

British Cavalry Approach the Field

Today at the local club we put on a game of 28mm Nepoleonics using the Republic to Empire rules. R2E are our most used ruleset along with General De Brigade. I particularly like them because they're fast moving, and give a realistic element of uncertainty to each turn. Those familiar with them will know that it works on points allocation from rolling a number of average dice, with the number and quality of troops and commanders determining the outcome. 

The forces arrayed today were French against British and Prussians. The Prussian units were defending a ridge on their left, whilst the British were rushing up the centre and right in order to prevent the French from outflanking or destroying the position. Myself and Simon using the French pushed our artillery forwards and then moved the infantry up in columns of attack (with a view to using the limited space without having to rearrange our formations). This started well, especially when a heavy thunderstorm intruded on the scene and the infantry couldn't use their muskets for two turns - cue several mad charges by the French using cold steel to drive the Prussians from the ridge! It also opened up enough gaps in our middle to throw our deadly Polish Lancers at the newly arrived British. So...the moment arrives and as the Lancers bash into them, and I roll probably the worst dice of the day. What should have been fleeing British redcoats instead resulted in my Lancers losing half their number in nasty hand-to-hand and legging it. Luckily we had a couple of units of infantry that were up for the job, and despite the stormy weather clearing, gunpowder drying out and the British redcoats taking out TWO Brigade commanders with lucky fire it was a case of taking our revenge. It was about this time that morale tests started taking their toll on the allied forces. The Prussians had thrown in the towel and the Brits started to worry about the French Tricolours flowing over the hill where they'd once stood.

In conclusion it was a fun game, with lots of tense moments. The one thing I did notice today most of all, was that setting up the larger 28mm games takes huge effort. Transporting this amount of figures to the Club isn't something I would like to do every week.

The Gruffalo sees All

Sunday, 8 March 2015

6mm Baccus Britsh Napoleonic Infantry

These are my first attempts at painting 6mm. I jumped in at the deep-end by purchasing a Baccus Napoleonic Wars Boxed set at the Hammerhead Show last week. For those unfamiliar with their Army Boxes you get a huge amount of stuff for the £95 cost. Two complete armies (I chose the French and British) totalling almost 800 figures in all, several 6mm resin buildings, two flag sets, bases and the Polemos Rules. When you work it out you get roughly the ruleset and some other bits for free.

There's a few of my friends who recoil from 6mm, feeling that they're just "painting blobs of metal", but the detail on these Baccus casts are really phenomenal for their size. Also, having painted a lot of 10mm stuff it's not such a big deal.

Other than the obvious money saving (800 28mm figures would be?...a fortune I imagine), I like the way they give the perception of 'mass' on the tabletop. I'm likewise looking forward to putting on a few games where I can cover a good section of the battlefield.

Despite the continuing aesthetic appeal of 28mm, I'm glad I picked these little chaps up and I'm sure I'll be collecting more of them in the future.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Hammerhead Show, Newark 2015

On Saturday 28th February, our local Wargames Club (The Sons of Simon De Montfort) organised two participation games at the Hammerhead Show in Newark. We decided on the 'Skirmish at Northleach 1265' scenario using Lion Rampant rules. Whilst other guys from the club put on a WW1 Aerial Combat game.

Folks trying out our Lion Rampant Game

It was an early start, and we arrived at the Newark Showground just after 8am to set up. The weather looked a bit grey and wet so I was hoping this wouldn't dampen the spirits of anyone wishing to attend. After getting the table sorted, arranging the terrain and putting the figures out the next step was to down a few teas to keep me alive for the next few hours.

Thankfully once the doors opened the place became quite busy and we had our first punters enquiring about a run-through of the game. It was a guy and his girlfriend, the former of which had just started his first foray into historical wargaming. His partner made me laugh, as she kept closing her eyes before throwing the dice (as if expecting the worst!).

After this, myself and club member Rich got our items ready for the tabletop sale. This was going to be my annual clear-out so I'd taken a large boxful of painted units along with some unused plastic sets. I was quite surprised at the reaction - people were pulling the stuff out of my hands before I'd even set it down on the stall! As it turned out I'd sold out almost completely after 10-15 minutes, so a good result there.

I got back to our participation game and there was a fair crowd around it seemingly having plenty of fun. This was a relief because looking at some of the other games on offer I began to worry that we may seem a bit overshadowed. For instance the 'Oldhammer' game was just stunning in its size and detail. It was cool that people were seemingly happy to try a bit of everything though (including the smaller games like ours).

An Undead Elephant in the 'Oldhammer' Game

Mad Max

A bit later I decide it was time to go shopping. The result of this was a Baccus Napoleonic Wars Boxed Set (French and British) plus some additional buildings and artillery. Also, I picked up the new Blucher Rules by Sam Mustafa and the 'Hundred Days' Campaign card set.

Overall I thought the day was pretty successful. Agreed there wasn't too many traders there, but the emphasis was placed on game play and checking out new rules or periods. The tabletop sale seemed to be a big draw. I remember looking over to where it was situated and seeing the area still heaving with people. The venue was very airy and well-lit, whilst the cafe section was more than adequate. I'll definitely go again next year.