Sunday 31 July 2016

Saturday Night Game At 'A's.

I went across to 'A's house on Saturday for tea - man food ! (pizzas and brightly coloured salty snacks) and a  SYWish  game of 'Black Powder' using 'A's newly painted 'Old School' figures . Here we see 'A' in jaunty mood preparing for battle .

We each had an advance Brigade on the table to start off with - here's mine . I took control of the Palatinate force whilst he had the Franconian army.

My Grenz move swiftly forward through the wood and engage his light troops .

My cavalry routed his cavalry and for some reason I forgot to take a photo of this achievement , so here's a picture of 'Fergus' the family hound instead ! .

My Frei Korp moved forward and took control of the objective of the game ( a abandoned redoubt) and came under fire from his Garde unit .

However I manage to get my Horse Artillery onto his flank and shot them away - here we see a rather sadder 'A' removing the casualties . His brigade had to take a test for the loss of the cavalry and the Gardes and started to fall back .

Luckily for him his reinforcements came thundering down the road to threaten my left flank , but unfortunately for him my reinforcements also came on - an elite Cuirassier Regiment and smashed into his leading regiment and routed them ! .

Here we see the victories Cuirassier chasing the Franconian infantry , the box is ready to put them in as they leave the table .

I was fortunate enough to get my next Brigade on very promptly - but they rolled a double 6 - and 'Blundered' ! - however my luck held and they promptly charged forward onto his right flank (obviously inspired by the martial display from the rest of my army !).

At this point 'A' decided that he would concede the game giving me the victory ! 'Huzza !' . Note the rather sadder demeanour of my opponent now he has been crushed under my martial jackboot !. A great game ! and the rules as always worked well .

We even had time for a couple of games of 'Lost Patrol' the quick and fun boxed Sci Fi game from Games Workshop ! .

A very successful evenings gaming and it was nice to see 'A's new collection on the table , it has inspired me to give my 'Old School' 30mm collection another look and wonder about rebasing them . !!!!!????

Wednesday 27 July 2016

4th Light Dragoons .

The problem with the British cavalry in the Crimea is that there wasn't much of it ! , setting off for the Crimea the had to borrow horses from other regiments to bring them up to strength . Then they lost a lot of horses on the transport ships due to sickness and bad seas - so when they arrived at their destination the Light Brigade numbered under a thousand animals , this meant that each regiment numbered only about 200 men and horses . Translated onto the wargaming table this means that under 'Black Powder' the 4th Lt. Dragoons count as a 'small' unit .

Tuesday 26 July 2016

Winner !.

I never win anything ! - as my dear wife points out "you have to take part to win !"- which is true , I'm not in the least competitive , I can't be bothered - in fact the only thing I've won was the 'Golden Goal' completion at our local football club - £10 I think , but all I had to do was buy a ticket as we entered the ground (the club seems to give the task of selling these tickets to the most winsomest young lady - which helps with the sales from mainly male attendee's) .

So when I got an email from a model/gaming shop saying I had won the above boxed game I was somewhat nonplussed !? . Then I remembered 'liking' them on Facebook - you know the sort of promotional type thing - the first 50 people to 'like' our site gets put into a draw and we pull a winner out . Being the low hung fruit of competiveness involving only a 'click' with the mouse I'd taken part and promptly forgot about it ! . I must admit I've never heard of 'Deadzone' but a internet search reveals that it is a Sci-Fi / post apocalyptic type game with plastic minis and terrain - perhaps not the sort of thing I would have bought myself , but seeing its free I'll give it a try .

Monday 25 July 2016

Crimean High Command.

Think I've got enough troops done for my first game - just need some commanders for the brigades . Above is a Russian Brigadier for their infantry.

A British General who bears a resemblance to Harry Andrews , who played Lord Lucan in Tony Richardson's classic "Charge of the Light Brigade" .

Finally a commander for the British cavalry - General George Paget of the 4th Light Dragoons . I've two units of British cavalry done - 4th Light Dragoons and the 17th Lancers but I haven't got photos of these yet . Hopefully I will be able to get a game set up later this week to start playing with my toys ! .

Saturday 23 July 2016

Homage To Flashman.

" Yet there I was again , the reluctant Flashy, sabre on hip, bowels rumbling and whiskers bristling with pure terror, on the brink of the greatest cavalry carnage in the history of war !" quote Flashman at the Charge by George MacDonald Fraser.

Several posts ago  Springinsfield mentioned about doing a 'Flashman' figure , I've  been giving this some thought and trying to find a suitable miniature to portray  Harry Flashman . The horse was easy, the rather dramatic one from the Russian Hussar's set - the rider was harder to find .

After much deliberation I settled on a Heavy Dragoon casualty figure , I removed his carbine, water bottle and knapsack . I then added a bristling moustache and whiskers from 'green stuff' (this was rather fiddly and was accompanied by bad language) and painted him up as a 17th Lancer officer . I'm not sure what role he will play in my games but it had to be done ! . I'm in the process of finishing off some more General Officer figures  and am nearing the point when I can play a game .

Tuesday 19 July 2016


Been having a break from plastic Crimean figures this week , so for a total change I've got these female gladiators painted . I think they are 'West Wind' figures and I've had them ages and not properly finished off so it was time they got done . They owe more to 'Hollywood' than history and are VERY shapely ! , but are rather nice figures.

The case for female gladiator or 'Gladiatrix' rests mainly on the above relief of two gladiatrices Amazon and Achillia found at Halicarnassus and a few literary references - perhaps, the wordiest and the most critical statement of female gladiators in the writings from ancient Roman world are found in "Satires" of Juvenal, in which he condems gladiatrices from the highest classes. But even his mockery is evidence that noble women performed on the arena :-

"Who has not seen the dummies of wood they slash at and batter
Whether with swords or with spears, going through all the maneuvers?
These are the girls who blast on the trumpets in honour of Flora.
Or, it may be they have deeper designs, and are really preparing
For the arena itself. How can a woman be decent
Sticking her head in a helmet, denying the sex she was born with?
Manly feats they adore, but they wouldn’t want to be men,
Poor weak things (they think), how little they really enjoy it!
What a great honour it is for a husband to see, at an auction
Where his wife’s effects are up for sale, belts, shin-guards,
Arm-protectors and plumes!
Hear her grunt and groan as she works at it, parrying, thrusting;
See her neck bent down under the weight of her helmet.
Look at the rolls of bandage and tape, so her legs look like tree-trunks,
Then have a laugh for yourself, after the practice is over,
Armour and weapons put down, and she squats as she used the vessel.
Ah, degenerate girls from the line of our praetors and consuls,
Tell us, whom have you seen got up in any such fashion,
Panting and sweating like this? No gladiator’s wench,
No tough strip-tease broad would ever so much as attempt it".

Saturday 16 July 2016

Wargaming Humour ?.

The sad moment halfway through the game that the author realises he needs a pee !.

Thursday 7 July 2016

British Command Figures.

Thought it was time to get a base of the British Command done , here we have General Sir George Brown (left) and General William Barnard (right) as portrayed by Strelets and Roger Fenton's photographs in the Crimea - not a bad likeness ! .

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Russian Hussars.

Have got some opposition for the Highlanders done in the shape of  the 12th Ingermanland Laandski Hussars. One of the regiments making up the 6th Light Cavalry Division

They are a bit too animated for my liking , but accurately portrayed in greatcoats and waterproof shako covers , with the officer and trumpeter in full dress . The blue facing cover is maybe a bit brighter than it should be .

There is even a horse leaping over a shell explosion ! . The Russian cavalry regiments were large (over a 1,000 men) and the above unit would be a squadron . So I will be painting up another unit in the same uniform to bring them up to strength  .  

Saturday 2 July 2016

Mr Kipling Under Fire.

It is a little known fact that the author and poet Rudyard Kipling was a war correspondent and  wrote dispatches for The Times Illustrated during 'The Great Patio War' . Unfortunately his book on the subject - 'Despatches from the Patio' was NOT well received by the establishment or the public as he was very critical at times of 'Army Red' with whom he was attached and is almost impossible to find a copy now , in fact he almost gave up being a writer and was going to join the family run cake manufacturing business. Recently I was lucky enough to come across several photos of Kipling with  a 'Red Army' gun and crew whilst I was visiting a local postcard fair. These were taken I think using a 'Box Brownie' camera and are remarkable as they show  the course of the action which followed . I consulted the diary of Lt. Mackison* . (which of course is a well know book on the artillery in the war) and he recounts " today whilst at gun drill a correspondent of the yellow press arrived to watch us at practise"  He then recounts how they came under fire from a masked 'Black Army' gun !.

He continues - " a shell burst just above our gun and wounded Gunner Wilson" The second photo shows this happening (I believer this photo to have been 'improved' in the printing process ie. the addition of the word 'BANG' by the explosion)

Lt. Mackison then recounts - " without any hesitation the correspondent took the position of the wounded No.2 and manned the gun with great bravery!" They returned fire and a direct hit knocked out the hidden 'Black Army' gun ! . The third photo shows Kipling manning the gun as a stretcher party carries the wounded gunner away . Again it seem that the photo has been altered , with KABOOM added during the printing . So what credence can be given to these photos ? without the evidence of the diary of Lt. Mackison I would have said they were fake - the identity of 'the correspondent' has always been a mystery but I think we can now link it with Rudyard Kipling . There remains the possibility that the photos were later 'staged' to portray the incident , but Lt Mackison makes no mention of this - so we are left with the possibility of a rare sequence of 'action' photographs , I believe the photos were destined for Kipling's book but were not included due to a limited print run . I have presented my findings to Prof. Dobson an authority on the conflict and of course in his usual blustering way he has poo poohed them ! (I think jealousy of my find may colour his judgement!) . I leave it for the reader to use his own mind up  ! .
* With The Guns To The Patio The Diary Of Lt. Mackison  published by Almark 1972