Monday, 17 July 2017

War and Pigs - Volume 2

The letter was still clutched in my hand.

Maximus was in trouble and I needed to come to his aid. I had gathered the southern legion and set sail from Bryndisium 2 weeks ago. It was almost the full moon and I could see the Walls of Phaselis in the distance.
We beached the fleet under the shadow of the walls and quickly deployed. Darianus would be waiting, we could not sneak up on the city, there was no time, and it was not my way. I would face him square on and show him the might of Rome.

We lined up outside the city walls. My small agile infantry units in the centre, cavalry on the right and my allied infantry on the left across the stream. We had brought lunch with us in the form of 2 herds of pigs, hopefully it would be a seige.

No luck, Darianus massed his spearmen to face us. He had elephants, this would not be good. We might not get to have a picnic

The walls of Phaselis were imposing

Somewhere hidden on the battlefield was Maximus. We needed to find him

I gave the order for a massed advance. The oasis in the centre would provide a pivot for the battle. 

Darianus advanced to cross the stream

I charged may massed horse into a horde of lightly armed javelin men and light horse

My forces prepare to face the elephants (there were 3). I'd sent a runner back to the ships and he'd returned with some tar. We coated the pigs and lined them up

The 2 forces faced each other across the stream

The elephant to the left of the oasis charged the brave legionaries

To the right of the oasis the pigs are lit up and the other elephant is charged. Hopefully causing the elephant to panic. It didn't

Instead it charged my infantry

The elephant to the left has destroyed a unit and is still charging forward.

It is the same on the right. My cavalry is still charging the javelinman horde

Elephants are massive

I've inflicted significant damage on one of the elephants but it has run amok into the rear line. My left has taken a massive beating

On the other side the elephant is losing and the pigs are still active

but the other elephant is wrecking my inantry

Maximus has been found by the oasis but a unit of Darianus' archers have snapped him up

On the right the javelinmen have finally been destroyed and I launch a massed attack

Which completely buggers up his flank. However everywhere else it is a losing picture. I must retreat and regroup. In the distance I see Maximus kneeling before Darianus.. I try to charge but Gluteus and Colonus my generals hold me back and we retire to the ships. Off the coast is the Roman trading colonus of Myltene. We will regroup there and practice our elephant tactics.

This was a great battle, play using Kings of War (which is a bit mental). I fielded mainly troops of infantry but decided to call them all spearmen and not warriors with pilum. It was a mistake. Having them all as heavy warriors with a single shot pilum worked much better the day after. They were regiments when the fought the old guard on Sunday but I still think troops is the way to go.
As always Matt was a great host, I fully recommend the homemade sweet potato soup. Off to buy more Romans. As for the pigs, well they make better lunch

Sunday, 16 July 2017

War and Pigs - Volume 1

It's been a big weekend, massive game with Matt yesterday, his report can be found here. I shall post mine tomorrow but here's a teaser. Another brilliant game

Today was the old guard, low numbers today - it's summer don't you know. Played 2 Kings of War games against Stuart. Great laugh - post later.
However 1st of all I ordered another lucky bag from Northstar which I picked up from my lovely neighbours when I got home. This was a special one as they were all Dark sword miniatures at about £7.50 each but the lucky bag was £25 for 20 - approx £130 off. (note the bag is now £45.

They are excellent figures - very much Hasslefree quality but at full price not worth it. I'll make them up and post them again.
That will do for now but more to come. Oh and I've been thinking what to buy next. I now know I need more ancients. So expect more Republican Romans

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Sometimes My Hobby is a Bit Like Work

The Old Guard are a bloody nightmare. They keep giving me ideas. Pete has started painting 28mm Naps (very nice). Dave has millions of 28mm French Naps (very nice). John is keen to do the Peninsular War in 28mm. I've never done Naps, they just seem impossible to paint well and you need thousands and thousands.
It gets worse, I bought some in the flea market a few months ago. Just over 4 boxes of Victrix for £40. So I have an army, I have friends who want to to play. I had planned for this years Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge I had planned to paint fewer figures to a higher standard. A perfect storm. Bugger.
So here we are. I have added to the collection with a box of Perry Light Dragoons, a regiment of Warlord Portuguese infantry and some bits to make up full regiments of Cavalry from Foundry on my visit on Tuesday. I've spend a couple of days making up figures

3 regiments of foot. A mix of metals from a Northstar lucky bag and Victrix Peninsular and Waterloo centre and flank companies. Obviously the Waterloo figs have the wrong hats but using oilskin covered shakos and bare heads I've made 3 full 24 man regiments. I really really hate making up plastics with 2 separate arms that connect to a single gum. It's the chore. Manged to do most with marching arms - much easier

Portuguese regiment (all marching - doddle and nice figs), Highlander Regiment (Camerons) with a couple of metal figs from a different Northstar lucky bag. The general is Perry Miniatures

Perry Light Dragoons. These should have been Hussars but I bought the wrong box. There are enough men to make over 2 regiments but only 14 horses. Luckily I had some spare horses so I made saddles, sheepskins and bedrolls out of Milliput - really pleased with it. These are 1812 onwards pattern uniforms but they will be fine. Officer is from Perry Brtish Nap Command.

Finally the other 1/2 of the Dragoons box, in Peninsular war uniform and 3 command figures from Foundry.
I have enough figures left for a couple of regiments with later uniforms suitable for Waterloo and 3 foot artillery pieces that I will need to make up.
I done the boring and annoying bit. Now the really hard bit, will keep me out of trouble. Also ona really happy note I've been promoted at work to senior management. I'm in charge of post graduate studies in my new larger school. Yeah me.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Holidays are here

I'm on holiday for the next 2 weeks. I left Newcastle on Friday night in the pouring rain and traveled south to see friends for the weekend. The weather was glorious and we did loads of stuff
Saturday we visited the Shuttleworth aircraft collection near Bedford. Really good considering I don't like aircraft much

WW1 - obviously

A terrifying collection of WW1 aircraft sparkplugs


Biplanes between the wars

Little Nellie - the original

Lysander - very menacing
Also saw a Hurricane land, obviously no photo

On Sunday we visited Bletchley Park - home of the WW2 code breakers. Very Very Interesting, complicated and not very photogenic

Collection of valves, almost a terrifying as the sparkplugs

Yesterday me and Dave went to Warwick Castle, Emma was overcome with history and ran off to work. A great and intact castle. It has the worlds largest working Trebuchet, 18m high, weighing 30 tonnes.

The sun was in exactly the wrong spot to take a decent photo so this is the rear view. It chucked a 20kg stone 250m at 150mph (excuse the mixing of metric and imperial). Very very awesome. The falconry display was really great with a pair of Stellar's Sea Eagles, a Lammergeier and the smallest bird was a bald eagle.

All were great, quite expensive but value for money.
I drove back today and stopped of at Wargames Foundry in East Stoke. Really quirky place to find. It was being decorated but they did give me a proper cup of tea, very apt for July 4th. They have their whole range on display at show prices so I bought some stuff

Normans - I accidently got sent some by Foundry and they didn't want them back so today I bought some more. Now have a nice Saga force. just need some cavalry

Ligh Dragoon command - with my Perry Plastics box and some random metals I have enough for 2 regiments.

Zanzibaris - nice for Africa and NW Frontier

Dooly set for colonial types - I'm building up my battlefield vignettes

Great weekend. i arrived home this afernoon and it was still raining in Newcastle

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Writing the Definition of Alliance - The Battle of Scruton

Alliance -  a formal agreement or treaty between two or more nations to cooperate for specific purposes. a merging of efforts or interests by persons, families, states, or organizations: an alliance between church and state.

New Definition

Alliance - a formal agreement or treaty between two or more nations to cooperate for specific purposes until the 1st opportunity arises to shoot them in the back.

Today the Old Guard fought the Battle of Scruton in the Very British Civil War. It was a  large scale battle with 7 (seven) sides fighting for control of the pub which was having it's 1st delivery of beer in 4 months. Everybody was thirsty. The victor would be the side that controlled the inside of the pub at the end of the day.
The pub is the white building in the middle with 3 Royalist / Fascist types at this end and 3 Communist types at the other end. The 7th force would not arrive until lunchtime. My main thought was that the 3 this end would form an alliance as would the 3 at the other end. Much fighting would occur until the alliances failed.  It that happen, did it boot.

Matt Crump joined us for the day with the Penrith Expeditionary Force, like all the others, commander, 3 sections of infantry, machine gun, something that goes boom and a vehicle - not a tank

The Fascist end

Lord Coore's forces - John

The Anglican League - Dave

Workers end - Angus' Northallerton Workers Council

Sporting Association - Pete. 
We had a 2nd newbie - Roger who controlled the Scruton Workers but no photo of his starting position.
We started with 5 minutes of passing notes to each other to plan alliances

Anglican league advance through the long grass

Sporting Association and Northallerton Boys advance to the pub, the building on the left is where we play

Rogers forces advance, they have to, Angus has opened fire on him and is butchering the postmen

Angus' truck is taken out but the crew save the 37mm cannon and set it up by the tree

General advance from the Fascists

Pete's WAGs have captured the pub

But others are closing and it's not even lunchtime yet

John has positioned an ATR in the building to cover Matt's advance. As soon as Matt advances John shoots it in the arse. John is also slaughtering Dave's WI

After lunch Stig arrives with the LDV and starts to attach Angus from behind

Roger attacks Dave with a Flamethrower and kills nothing. He attacks with the 37mm and kills nothing. Dave attacks with the Monks and kills them both. Roger is not having a good day but his infantry is in prime position to take the pub

Stig arrives with more of the LDV at the other end and starts to kill John's troops. A random event roll sets off 2 mines under Stig's AC and it is pinned

Matt's mortar has got the range of pub. His shoot goes through the roof and through the upstairs floor to explode in the bar. The bar is empty and the WAGs in the upstairs floors can't believe their luck

Forces are gathering and the WAGs dart out and wipe out Roger's infantry section. The WAGs retreat into the pub and another mortar shot from Steve destroys them.

The last shot. Pete has a unit of footballers - Port Vale no less - in the ground floor and Roger is poised with this the only unit that can kick them out. But they fail the activation. Pete wins.

I had a great day, everybody was utterly ruthless and generally it was very funny.