Sunday, 21 May 2017

An Unexpected Journey .

'A' rang me on Saturday night and said "do you fancy going to the Partizan wargaming show" tomorrow ?

A bit short notice , but as my wife was off with friends dog walking and I was left to clean out the hens and cut the back hedge - 7.30 am  saw us on the road to Newark . Not a bad journey down and our first visit to the new venue - to be met by a queue of games waiting to enter - VERY busy indeed - the traders were impressed by the crowds of punters and their spending power ! .

Its a very spacious and airy location on the Newark Showground a much better venue to the old cramped Kedelston Hall of the past .

One of the main draws of Partizan is the excellent games put on , here is the Perrys Egyptian Napoleonic game.

Impressive ! with lots of their figures but quite simple terrain .

Like the little fort manned by sailors .

It was nice to see the game actually being played using 'Black Powder' rules.

There were lots of 'proffessional' photos being taken , so look out for them appearing in the various gaming magazines in the near future.

A nice SYW game using Clan Tarra miniatures on some 'teddy bear' fur terrain .

I like the idea of the fur - very cleverly dyed and painted.

A 'Darkest Africa' demonstration game.

A Colonial Sudanese game on a very effective plastic mat .

An unusual game between the Japanese and Chindits in the Burma jungle.

You had to peer to see the combatants ! .

The highlight of the show was a Old School game using figures made out of cloths pegs !

It was a French- Indian War game  using some home-made rules.

The figures are made from wooden cloths pegs with muskets made from cocktail sticks and paper hats added to the heads .

They were given a simple paint job using marker pens to colour the figures in and then a coat of gloss varnish.

A demonstration how the figures were made , the horses are cut out of MDF .

A very clever idea indeed ! . I didn't purchase to much (a couple of packs of Samurai and some bases) but there were a good selection of traders who seemed to be busy . The catering was basic and a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of hungry wargamers , a good day out and we have plans to go again next year .

Monday, 15 May 2017

Peter Laing Figures .

A little 'filler' whilst I'm on my hols .

I have a box of old waste figures given to me by my various wargaming ' colleagues' to be melted down to produce home cast figures . Amongst them I found these three 15mm figures and knowing their parentage I saved them and they adorn my painting table .

They are of course Peter Laing Miniatures , Egyptian spearmen I think and probably about forty years old . Though somewhat battered in my opinion  they have a style and presence that many modern 15mm figures don't have.  I wonder what (failed?) project these were destined for ? , can the donor remember  ( Wargaming Colleagues 'A' or 'R' ???)

Friday, 5 May 2017

A Battle From The Past.

Have been sorting out some files on my computer and came across this battle , think it's from my old defunct blog so I thought I had better publish it here to save it from oblivion .

'A' had expressed a wish to try out O.S. ACW  I decided to dig out some Spencer Smith ACW figures to play a game .

The layout of the table and objective - Thoroughfare Gap . The game will last 8 moves .

My opponent 'A' scrutinises the rules for loopholes !

The Union forces march onto the table - been playing around with Picassa for period effect !

The Confederate general sights the artillery personally.

The Union forces deploy .

The Union take the Gap under heavy artillery fire ! . The rules seem to be giving a fast paced game - maybe artillery fire needs toning down a bit but will see how the game progresses . 

The Union Zouaves close in and engage the Rebels .

The Confederates charge and engage in a bloody melee .

The Confederates are defeated and flee , with the last move done and night falling it was time to work out who had won !.

As the situation was mixed for both sides I did a head count of casualties and the Confederates had suffered half as many again - so I judged that they had lost and would have to retire . The above photo is the finishing positions of the troops . On the left the Union hold the ridge and have succeeded in causing casualties on the Rebel gun preventing it firing each move . The Confederates hold the road in the centre , on the right the Confederates hold the ridge but are isolated as the survivor's of their flanking regiment stream to the rear and they face off the 2 Union regiments . A close call but the Rebel heavy casualties and the loss of the firepower of their gun just turned it into a victory for the Union forces ! . The rules gave a very fast game , my initial worries about the artillery firepower seemed to even out as the game went on. I would allow both ranks to fire not just the front one as my figures are based and Donald Featherstone's were not and they would take up to much room in a single line  . I don't want to mess to much with the rules and so will give them another game or two to try them out .

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Have Battle Will Travel.

So I have succumbed to the latest offering from the Perry's as have about half the wargaming community . Here we see 'A' hiding behind the box .

The battlefield laid out with opposing armies. I drybrushed the boards and painted in the roads , fields and buildings .

I painted the figures whilst they were still on the sprue , just blocking in the main colours giving them a wash of brown ink and then picked out the faces, crossbelts and the more prominent features . I did not take to long or put much effort into them as being only 8mm figures a lot of the detail is lost.

Here 'A' ponders his next move . The rules are simple but have hidden depths and nuances which only become apparent when you start playing.

My forces (Red Army) await the attack of 'A's Blue Army - finger added for scale.

We played two games (I lost both) and quickly picked up the rules , which have similarities to DBA in their opposed dice rolls . Movement is one square for infantry/artillery , cavalry two  and plus one square on roads.

Here is a 'Brigade' of my army, bases have to be adjacent to each other and the General to move. Built up areas aid defence and infantry can go into 'square' to defend against cavalry . Troop types are Guard infantry, infantry, artillery, heavy cavalry and light cavalry .

The basic scenario is simply defeat the opposing army , but in our second battle we devised a scenario to hold a number of central squares over six moves and I think you could play 'Table Top Teasers' using this box . Overall I'm impressed with the game - it does what it says on the box and is ideal for the casual 'pick up' game and I will be definitely taking it on holiday with me .

Friday, 28 April 2017

A Book Of Character and a Unexpected Delivery.

The other week I was in Carlisle and visited the very good second-hand bookshop near the museum . Whilst perusing the military section I came across the above book , 'The Thirty Years War' by C. V. Wedgewood . Now I had tried to read 'Europe's Tragedy' a recent book on the Thirty Years War and it had defeated me - so full of information and a bit long winded , so I wondered if this book would be any better ? .

It was a first edition , published in 1938 and it was priced at £10 - so I bought it . The author Cicely Veronica Wedgewood was quite a character and used her initials when publishing books to disguise the fact she was a woman in a then male dominated field of history,  the book gets good reviews ( I think it's still in print) So I'm going to start reading it whilst on holiday .

This morning the postman dropped off a parcel - which was a surprise as I didn't have anything on order . It turned out to be a box of Mars 1/72nd TYW artillery which I had placed on a back order months ago and they had obviously just become available .

A sight to gladden the heart or furrow the brow - depending upon your opinions of plastic figures . The figures didn't have much flash but the gun wheels were a swine to clean up . The are sold as ' 'Swedish Leather Guns ' but can be made up using either a double barrel light gun or a larger 'Culvern' type barrel .

I decided to make three of the guns as the lighter version and one as the larger and here we see them ready for spraying a black undercoat . Hopefully I will get started painting them next week .

Monday, 24 April 2017

Conflict At The Shrine.

The Samurai Tokugawa was planning to visit the shrine of Izumo to pray before composing a Haiku to the local Cherry Blossom and was angered to find another Samurai and his retainers approaching - it was Konishi Yukinaga a rival Samurai , harsh words were exchanged and honour could only be saved by the spilling of blood ! . So I have got enough figures done for the introductory scenario in Test Of Honour .

Tokugawa's force of two bowmen and a group of spearmen .

Konishi's band is the same for this scenario . The winner is the one which cuts down the opposing Samurai.

The force cards for Konishi 's force . The figures/groups stats are on each card with the number of dice which are thrown to pass a test/attack.

My customised bag from which tokens are drawn to activate figures , Samurai can be activated three times - others only once . The dice which are used - you need three or more 'swords' on the dice to pass a test 'X' are bad news , better troops get to roll more dice .

The game started with some ineffective bow shooting then Tokugawa had a run of tokens - and good dice throws - driving the enemy spearmen back twice and slaying two of them .

Then Konishi drew a token and charged in - his opponent having used all his tokens was at a disadvantage and was promptly 'cut down' and so the game ended . A quick little game to try out the rules .

Konishi Yukinaga won the game and was able to draw a fate card which will help him in his next battle . The rules are simple but clever and use a similar mechanism to 'Bolt Action' to activate figures but also add three 'fate' chits which when they are all drawn ends the turn , so you may not be able to activate all your figures per turn . Samurai are very dynamic but are vulnerable if they become isolated from the rest of their force . I'm enjoying painting these figures and making the terrain and more importantly playing the games.