Monday, 30 May 2016

Yet more 1/32 napoleonics...

Back in January, Will (he of this splendid blog) mentioned he'd found some random 1/32 figures. These found their way to me with the help of an intermediary (thanks Mark) and I've now managed to  carry out the required repairs and rebasing on the chaps I'm keeping, after passing a few on.
These three figures are the - from left - a French line infantryman made from the old Airfix kit, the Emperor himself who is an Historex kit, and Prince Poniatowski, a Polish gentleman who became a Marshal of France. No doubt this had the other Marshals grumbling about immigrants from Eastern Europe taking their jobs..
All three figures have had a few loose bits reattached, been based on my customary bits of mdf and topped off with a good coat of gloss varnish. They'll be nice additions to my French forces in the game planned for September. There's also a British Rifleman - again an Airfix kit.
Thanks again Will!

Friday, 27 May 2016

Troy, Troy and Troy again. Again

We return to Troy now just in time for a clash of the big stupid chariots.  The Greek one soon expired.
The Trojan right surges forward... does the Greek left - led by Odysseus.
This sees off the Trojan cavalry so clearly this new-fangled business of riding about on horses has no future in warfare.
As the Trojan right comes under pressure their general  - having had two units shot out from under him moves on to command a third.  I bet they were pleased to see him!

Things were soon looking sticky for the Trojans.
The climax of the battle came when Achilles faced Paris in heroic combat.  No problems with the heel this time and the Greeks went off to write more epic poems and cancel the order for a big wooden horse...

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Troy, Troy and Troy again

For last week's game I found an interesting - though perhaps not 100% historical - Troy 1184BC scenario on the Command & Colours website.  The photo above shows Troy at the top (another appearance for my Hittite city walls) with the Acheans (Greeks) nearest the camera.
Figures were assembled from my collection of veteran 25mm toys.  Above is the Trojan right.
The Greeks were easier to assemble...
...and the chariots pulled by 'fairground ride' horses are always popular!
The cast.  On the left, Tim C as Hector, son of King Priam, John as Paris of Troy (not to be confused with Troy from Paris).
On the right, Martin as Agamemnon, King of Mycenae and Jerry limping along as Achilles.
Furthest from the camera is Graham as Helen of Troy, the face which ate a thousand chips.  Sorry Graham - couldn't resist!
Most photos are taken from the Greek left/Trojan right.  Here the Greek left advances menacingly.

A certain amount of bow twanging and stick hurling caused casualties on both sides.
Hector leads his elite spearmen out of the city.
Agamemnon (in the red cloak next to the big stupid chariot) has a go at Paris.  The special rule of this scenario is that leaders actually fight one another in 'heroic' combat.

Stay tuned for the concluding episode!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Same gun, different gunners

You've seen this Armies in Plastic gun already in this earlier post, but here it is again with a different crew.  These chaps are Barzso figures and very nice they are too.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Sahagun 1808

This was the first game played with the new Command & Colours expansion.  This includes a new deck of command cards and an additional deck of 'Tactician' cards which add more flavour to the game.  An unusual battle, Sahagun is purely a cavalry engagement so my boxes of toys were duly plundered to find sufficient British horsemen.  The photo above shows the Brits at the top.  A nasty surprise for the French was the presence of a small British force (bottom right in the photo) behind their lines!
The view from the other side.
The Frenchies had to basically escape.  Here they are trotting towards Sahagun village.
They were soon beset by British forces and a bloody swirling melee ensued.

Casualties mounted (pun intended) on both sides and for a while it looked as if the Brits would run away with the game...
...but the end came with some aggressive French play as they rolled over one last British unit and carried away a general.

The veteran players agreed that the new cards and rules added to the C&C experience and it will be interesting to play a more conventional scenario in a few weeks.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Discount Deetail delight

I attended the Plastic Warrior show in Twickenham on Saturday - and well done again to the organisers for all their hard work.  Having been last year as a punter, this year I was sharing a trade stand with Bertrand and show organiser Brian Carrick.  The three of us were just selling off some of our own surplus bits and pieces.  In the event I did quite well and emerged having sold some stuff and bought rather less.
One of my star purchases of the day was a bag of Britains Deetail ACW figures, all of which had been repainted.  Also included were seven rather nice flags.  That some repair work was required could be easily forgiven as the 51 figures set me back a mere £10.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

COW 2016 Sessions

Updated 18/05/16
Behold the current list showing a healthy 31 sessions.  My thanks to all those of you who have offered sessions.
 If you have an additional session or if you think you've sent me a session which isn't on the list, please get in touch ASAP as I need to crack on with assembling the timetable.


Sue Laflin and WD Display Team North
Holy Relics!                   The Plenary Game   
Based on the idea that the Anglo-Saxon and medieval religious centres competed for income from pilgrims and collected relics to increase their popularity.  Of course, all of our relics will be completely genuine….

WD Display Team North
Cursus Honorum II
A slimmed-down version of the original game of careers in the Roman Republic.  WDDTN’s participation game for shows in the 2016 season.

John Bassett
De Valera's War
A matrix game on Irish neutrality in WW2, featuring Abwehr agents, intransigent Orangemen, bombers, gunmen and quiet Americans.

John Bassett
A workshop looking at how to game what is probably the worst refugee crisis in history: the expulsion of fourteen million Germans from eastern Europe in 1945.  Participants should note that this may be a black session.

John Curry
Future UK Army Concept
A simple military training game to practise future force development, in particular the reduction in manpower in infantry companies: 3 platoons to 2 per company. Using large homemade counters and 1/300 stylized terrain it will emphasize the importance of ammunition conservation, concentration of fire, coordination of all arms, covered approaches and suppression. Games are played against active opponents who are doing their best to win.

Alan Paull
Airfix Battles
An introduction to Modiphius Entertainment’s Airfix Battles Introductory Set, and /or the Collector’s Edition (WW2 land combat).  An opportunity to use those old Airfix figures and models that you have tucked away at the bottom of a cupboard of miscellaneous stuff you collected when you were young and naïve! A chance to play (and to talk about ‘hollywood wargame’ design too). [This *should* be using the released game itself, subject to the vagaries of publishing, plus any expansion materials to hand.]
Alan Paull
Mission Command - Somewhere in Normandy, Summer 1944
Mission Command is a set of World War Two wargaming rules for use with miniatures. It's an umpired game, and prior knowledge of the mechanics is not required. This session will be an attempt at an interesting and stimulating miniatures game for one team versus an umpired enemy, with associated discussion about simulating tactical / operational engagements in WW2, focused on Normandy on and after D-Day.  It will use Mission Command (the alpha or beta?) version of SSG Wargames’ draft WW2 miniatures rules) and some toy soldiers.

Graham Evans
It’s getting a bit Chile....
Between 1879 and 1884 Chile, Peru & Bolivia fought a brutal and bloody war on both sea and land ostensibly over guano mining rights. The outcome shaped the power structure of modern South America and still has ramifications today. From the maritime warmth of the coastal areas, to the harsh, dry Atacama desert and the brutal altitude of the Altiplano they armies fought each other anywhere they could, showing no mercy on either side. Fought with (mostly) modern weapons comparable with their European contemporaries, using a variety of tactics from the Napoleonic to the most up to date.
A most obscure war...except for a couple of really good wargaming based sources and a really neat range of 15mm figures from Outpost. For this year we’ll go with  a table top 15mm late 19th century wargame is under development to educate and excite CoW goers, under the gaze of European military observers. So, put on your sandals, wrap yourself in your poncho and put some coca leaves in your cheek, it’s nasty up there.

Tim Gow
Being a gentlemanly method of resolving conflict on the high seas.  Conceived during the Great Herring War of 1909 (reduced from 2016), this session will feature 1/1200 toy ships and matchstick firing cannon.  It's as if Fred T Jane bumped into H G Wells in the pub.

Ian Drury
1866 And All That: The Battle of Lissa
2016 is the 150th anniversary of Lissa (20 July 1866), the only major fleet action of the ironclad era, and the most over-analysed hour of fighting between Trafalgar and Jutland. The Italian fleet has all the advantages: bigger ships with far better guns, and more of them, and includes the Affandatore ram ship with two unfeasibly huge Armstrong rifled muzzle-loaders. What can possibly go wrong? A game for 4-8 players keen to shout ‘ramming speed’ (in German).

John Armatys
Cursus Honorum III - The Card Game
Another game of political advancement in the Roman Republic - based on Rummy, it has had a few test games with three players but needs some serious testing, preferably with different numbers of players.

Russell King
The land that decency forgot
Up to five expert support service information technology giants bid for and execute contracts for cyber-security from amongst the world's most massive, successful and sought-after companies, across a wide-range of activity from banking, pharmaceuticals, and entertainment to construction. In the dark hours of the morning, when not working with their clients, and under the influence of performance-enhancing drugs, their employees are also engaged in activity disrupting the very corporate sector they slavishly serve, striving to achieve social justice and modify the behaviour of these increasingly self-serving corporate nightmares.

Russell King
Islamic Terrorist Bingo
Eyes down! Get a line for a big surprise!

Jim Wallman
The Great Crossing
A short, slightly dark, game about an international response to migration across a small sea.

Jim Wallman
Wargame 2020
A tactical wargame based on some recent professional work I've been doing.  The game is about battlegroup and brigade operations in the near future based around the projected capabilities of professional armies in the 2020-2025 period.  This is map based and a pretty simple and accessible system that wargamers should be able to pick up in a few minutes.  The game is designed to draw out insights and discussion about force mixes and the application of capabilities in a variety of settings.

Colin Maby
Developed since last year, a card driven game for four players whose object is to end the game with the most money by the control of crime and the running of illegal operations (and of  course to prevent the other players from doing the same).

Ian Russell Lowell
An illustrated talk on the 1274BC battle.

Ian Russell Lowell
The Reformation: Rebellion & Reaction.  Further thoughts on the German Peasants’ Revolt, 1524-1526.  A talk with gaming.
David Bradbury
Unredeemed Neptunes
English and Flemish Pirates of the Barbary Coast in the Jacobean Age.  There will be no references to rum, but sodomy and the lash might be touched upon in passing, possibly with some Shakespeare quotations thrown in for good measure.

Tim Gow et al
Suitcase Sagger
Back in the good old days of the Cold War, an elite team trains with the very latest in anti-tank technology.  This session may involve laying on grass.  And possibly getting up again.
A lawn game from the team that brought you PVO Strany and Spock’s Shameful Secret.  So you’ve been warned.

Wayne Thomas et al
Pickett's Charge
Up to seven players are needed to replay the famous action using 10mm figures and the new "Hail of Lead" rules.

Mike Elliott
Fail Not Tomorrow - The Battle of Nibley Green, 1470
A game based on the last battle fought between “private” armies in England. 

Mike Elliott
A Terrible Beauty
A game / discussion on the Easter Rising, Dublin 1916 to mark the centenary of this historic event in Irish history.

Mike Elliott
A Dark Night in Whitechapel
September 1888. A dark night in Whitechapel. An ADG based on (you guessed it!) the arch-criminal who was never caught ...

John Curry
The Heart of Darkness- Gaming terrorism
For several months I have been working with some organisations on developing new gaming models around the dark subject of terrorism. Playing a red team has been used in serious games for many years, but the difference is these new games are designed to be run from perspective of the terrorists. The aim of the research is to explore the value of such games in developing a deeper understanding of these complex issues. The session will consist of a short 20 minute introduction, then will give people the chance to try one of the game prototypes. WD is the only group with some track record in gaming this area and so feedback will actively be encouraged.
Jim Roche
Men Against Fussing
A reworking of Paddy Griffith's 'Men Against Fire' game in the light of Leo Murray's 'Brains and Bullets'.  With toy soldiers and the risk of being hit on the back-of-the-head with a rolled-up copy of the Daily Telegraph.

Jim Roche
Off to Dublin in the Green
A singalong based on the events of 1916, from Gallipoli and Kut-al-Amara to the Somme and the Easter Rising; plus the Battle of Jutland and the Sopwith Camel, with a nod towards Verdun and Winston Churchill's command of a battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers. If you want the old battalion, We know where they are...

Tom Mouat
Sandhurst Kriegsspiel
This is a wargame used at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as part of junior officer training. So simple I could teach someone how to run the game in 30 minutes – so no experience a positive advantage. There will be two scenarios – a Platoon Attack and a Counter-IED patrol (scenario created by Capt Ed Farren).

Tom Mouat 
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Asteroid…
This is a “Footfall” type game with completely revised rules and mechanisms, this time set in the Far Future (and looking a lot like the classic game “Traveller”). The crew are adventurers in the Laver Asteroid Belt, looking for Pirates and Salvage! The rules are simple enough for anyone, so no experience necessary.

Tom Mouat
Pequena Esperanza
This is a game used by the Defence Academy for language training. It is a simple Matrix Game set in the jungles of South America and featuring the Army, The Police, the Village Elder and the notorious Drug Baron! And probably a couple of other people!

Bob Cordery
A (hopefully) fun/not too serious session of late ironclad/pre-dreadnought naval battles using home-made toy-style model ships, Hexon II hexed terrain, and simple rules based on the Portable Naval Wargame and Memoir of Battle at Sea rules. So if you fancy yourself to be a reincarnated Jackie Fisher or Charlie Beresford - or even a Percy Scott - then come along and try your hand.

John Bassett

A presentation and discussion on winning and losing the narrative in contemporary conflict.

Monday, 16 May 2016

The Knuston Pals

In advance of our planned Somme game I have been making lethargic progress with some toys and terrain.  These chaps  - there are 20 of them but not all made it into the photos - form that famous unit 1st Battalion, South Midland Regiment, better known as 'The Knuston Pals'.
These are Armies in Plastic figures painted to my usual 'toy soldier' style.  I have a second battalion still to paint.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Wokka Wokka Wokka* - UH-1 part 3

The Hueys are now finished, so I took the opportunity offered by a brief burst of summer to photograph them in the Vietnamese jungle which passes for my lawn.
I went for an early sixties look in overall drab with white lettering and a gloss finish.  The glazing was painted in pale blue.  They certainly match my image of Hueys of that era.

* or as some would have us believe "chukka chukka chukka"   But that's just wrong.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Berliet Comms Truck

This Solido models of a Berliet fire tender was part of a small batch of dodgy die-casts I picked up at Triples in March.  Having need for only a limited number of fire engines I mulled over other roles for some of the toys.  The Berliet will now serve on as a radio truck in a Brigade-level HQ - a purpose for which it looks the part.
The original paintwork.
Red is always a bugger to paint over, but from 3 feet away on a dull day and without my glasses I can hardly see all the bits I missed...