Monday 30 November 2015

Back Of Beyond Game .

I've had these rules for ages and have never really got to grips with them . The are simple enough -using D6's for movement and shooting , units are activated by the turn of cards and the game is meant to be more fun than simulation.

Hugo tries to get in on the act .

The 'White' leader Count Yermony and his religious adviser .

The 'Red' Commander Colonel Smiroff and his commissar .

I decided to do a simple encounter battle to try the rules out .

White reinforcements move onto the table through rough terrain.

The Red force moves forward .

The Whites take the high ground first . I'll report back on how the battle goes and how the rules play. The figures are mostly 28mm Copplestone 

Monday 23 November 2015

42mm Uhlans For The SYW .

Been feeling a bit under the weather of late (Man Flu or Consumption) which has slowed the painting down a bit , but I have managed to get the rest of my Prince August Uhlans done.

They are based on the Saxon Uhlan regiment Graf Renard but as the figure is not quite right and I might want to use them for both sides  I have only done an approximation of the uniform.

To make them more irregular I've given them a selection of different coloured horses . This is quite a complicated figure to cast and I was surprised how well the came out of the mould with hardly any mis-casts . The next figures on my painting table to do are 10mm AWI which will be a total change .

Wednesday 18 November 2015

The Oldest Of The Old. Reading Part 2

When I posted the photos on my blog yesterday I forgot some that were on my phone and on 'A's which he has sent me . Here we see damming evidence of gluttony - my good self in the act of buying a Cornish pasty , on various motorway service stations you find these caravans selling 'Authentic Cornish Pasties' - BUT - I have yet to see one actually open for trading and so when I found this one on our journey down to Reading I felt honour bound to buy one .

Exhibit A !

Those dammed donuts ! , we thought it a jolly jape to buy these, but towards to the end of the box we were a little jaded by their sweet goodness .

'A' with the air of a Early Christian Martyr devouring one of the last donuts.

The highlight of the show for me was a display by John Curry of the original Tony Bath's flats used to illustrate the Ancient battle in Donald Featherstone's  book on wargaming.

These were pirated home casts from some flats that Tony Bath got hold of from friends returning from doing National Service in Germany (there being no way then of buying them commercially from abroad)

They had placed then on a proper 'Old School' type table with slab hills and old fashioned plastic trees.

The famous elephants which caused such destruction in 'The Battle of the Trimos River' in Featherstone's book.

The figures are a fine mix of armies ranging from Ancient Egyptians through to Romans and of course being set in fictional  Hyboria this didn't matter !.

The Roman Onanger stone thrower . The figures were about 30mm and painted in a very plain style with no shading (I suspect using Humbrol or Airfix paints) and mounted on cardboard from boxes.

Around the back of the display were some of the flats from the collection of Deryck Guyler who as well of being a comedy actor from the 1960/70's was a keen wargamer and collector .

Deryck  Guyler , Actor - for our younger viewers.

These had a more detailed paint job and sophisticated basing . Deryck was a founding member of The Society of Ancients , it's first president and an authority on the Roman army. It must be part of my mid-life wargaming crisis that I thought these figures and their display to far out rival any modern offerings at the show.

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Warfare 2015.

A decent into madness ! , the above photo sums a lot of the weekend up - we didn't eat all 12 donuts ourselves - only 10 of them ! . We had a better journey down to Reading this year arriving at just gone 9 o'clock - not the 7 hours it took last year ! and once settled into our room we set up our gaming board up on the table ( 2' x 4' ) on which to play our games over the weekend.

One of the first games was a 6mm Flames of War game provided by 'A' it worked well and I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with my attacking American force versus the Afrika Korps in Tunisia . I'm afraid I can't warm to 6mm miniatures , they have their place but not for me .

The following day we went round to the show which was only a few hundred yards from our hotel . I'm afraid I didn't want much this year and found the show rather mediocre , but there were several games of note in the competition hall that were of interest. 

This was a large ECW game with some stunning terrain made from 'teddy bear' fur .

It had as well some very nicely painted figures , not sure how they got the 'teddy bear' fur to look like that - a beard trimmer ? .

The Skirmish Association once again put on a stunning display using 54mm plastic figures , this time it was a Plains wars game - the battle of Beecher Island I think .

With hordes of Red Indians !!! 

On the Saturday afternoon we set up a 10mm AWI game using 'Black Powder' rules , we then adjourned for a excellent curry and a few drinks.

I took on the role of the American commander and did well initially , staling several of 'A's attacks even though badly outnumbered .

The view from the British lines - counters are for the command initiatives of the Generals.

The stalwart American militia , who were very poor but did rather better than expected . 'A' won the game after some very confused fighting and the Americans were driven off but had fought well. 

In the morning 'A' set up a 'Lion Rampant' game using 15mm Italian Wars figures with some stats he had been working on .

I did rather well in this game whittling down his forces and gaining victory - it worked very well as a period and had a different 'feel' to it from our usual medieval games.

As time was ticking on (we had to be out of the room by 12 noon) we had a quick game of 'Songs of Blades and Hero's' , both sides trying to capture the magical statue in the centre of the table . Now getting 'A' to play any sort of Fantasy game is an achievement in itself (very conservative in his gaming) - but he actually won and even enjoyed himself ! - wonders will never cease ! . We visited the show again then headed North again , once more a good journey and so ended a successful weekend .

Friday 13 November 2015

Off To Reading !!!!

It's that time of year again when myself and 'A' make our annual trip to the Warfare show in Reading . A weekend of late nights , bad food and wargaming . We are each taking a couple of games to play in our Premier Inn over the weekend so I hope to be a bit more successful in recording the events this year after my camera packing in on the Saturday last year .

A quick photo of the Uhlans I'm in the progress of painting . The uniforms are a bit 'semi-historical' as I want them to be able to be used by both sides and are based on Saxon Uhlans . To make them a bit more irregular I've painted their horses different colours , I hopefully will get them finished next week .

Saturday 7 November 2015

Painting Semi-Flat Figures (Parte Two)

Having got all the base colours on the figure (see the first part of this article) , I then highlight the white straps and gaiters.

The cuffs and turn-backs I touch up with a brighter red and then the blue coat trying only to touch the tops of the arms and shoulders to accentuate the depth .

I then carefully paint on the drum ropes , the drum hoops are painted a lighter blue .

The lace is then painted onto the cuffs, coat breast and sleeves . These  figures will be drummers for French Regiment Le Mark (German Regiment) and unfortunately I can't find any info on the colour scheme for them , but many French Regiments used the Royal livery for their drummers so I'm using this . The lace in reality is far more complicated than how I've painted it but it will do for me ! .

I then shade the faces , as there is hardly any detail on them I out line the features using a light brown and high-light the nose , cheeks and chin with a paler flesh colour.

I then paint the sword hilts and scabbard tip with gold , touch up the black on the hats etc and paint the bases .

Next day and the finished figures await their varnishing .

The figures finally done with a high gloss coat of varnish which seems to 'pull' the figure together , brightens them and covers up any mistakes ! I usually paint figures in batches of 2 cavalry and 3 or 4 infantry and once you 'know' the figure and where to put the paint you can you can get through them quite well . Off to paint up some SYW Uhlans next .

Thursday 5 November 2015

Larry Brom R.I.P.

I've just noticed on the TMP site that Larry Brom has passed away , Larry was the author of the Colonial wargaming rules 'The Sword And The Flame'- a set of rules that must rate as one of my favourites . In my eyes he was one of the greats of the wargaming scene and as a small tribute to him I would like to post a game that I played using' TSATF ' .

The Sword and the Flame in North Africa.

Its several years since I visited the Sahara - in miniature of course ! so I got out my copy of TSATF  and set up a game for something a bit different.
It is a dawn raid on a Arab village by a French column comprising of 3 companies of Senegalese Tirailleurs and a Mountain Gun -facing them 2 Arab foot units and 3 mounted units (generated by a dice throw).
The French force advances in the early dawn .
They are ready for the attack !.
Help is on the way !
The Tirailleurs come under fire from the village .
The Mountain Gun moves up in support .
The French open fire !.
An event card is drawn - the fight hots up ! 

The Arab cavalry charge the French right flank unit - and die in vast numbers !
The Tirailleurs drive the Arabs from the village - their officer is wounded at the moment of  triumph .
The French set up their artillery .
The Arab cavalry is driven off .
The artillery range in on the Arab flanking force !
To compound their misery the Arabs draw a chance card and halt having thrown a '4' .
The Arab infantry rally after being driven out of the village and charge to retake it .
After a fierce melee they rout !
Another unit charges into the village and is mown down by disciplined volley's - the French at this point in the game threw exceptionally well !
With most of the Arab forces in retreat one of the cavalry units lost its leader and went berserk ! charging the French battery .
The lone surviving Arab managed to wipe out the Artillery crew and wound the CinC  (throwing +2 on dice) .
This hero then charged at a infantry unit and was cut down by their volley . A interesting game - the poor Arabs had some bad luck - their reinforcements did not arrive , the had little ammo and the French could not roll a dice wrong !. This has inspired me to get back into wargaming the Foreign Legion again , I must  point people to the following website- brilliant !-