Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Challenge Update

Time for another update

Northstar Steam punk Sailors

Unfeasibly Miniatures French Foreign Legion

Foundry Lonesome Charlie Reynolds

Senegalese Triaileurs - Dixon and converted Perry ACW Zouaves

Staff car

Reiver Casting Chinese Nationalists

LMG sections

Command Section

Dixons Dahomey warrior

Persian Napoleonic Militia

Generally a random and productive couple of weeks. Also I was 50 on Sunday, which I spent in bed hungover, like the last 34 birthdays

Sunday, 12 February 2017

3rd battle of El Teb

Today I went down to have another games day with the Old Guard Wargames Club. We refought the battle of El Teb on a huge table with Dave Docherty's massive collection. It was also our first group battle using Black Powder rules.

The table. The Brits at the bottom have to capture the village at the top in 8 turns. I'm in command of the 3rd Brigade - 3 inf battalions and a field gun. Few Mahdists visible at moment but there are more.

The Brits advance, we had shocking command rolls. I even managed to get the Rifle Regiment to wander left through the 2nd Brigade causing a traffic jam. By turn 2 we aren't going to make it in time.

Luckily the Mahdists are impatient and start to advance. I will face this Cavalry brigade

We start to get our act together

The Mahdists spring a trap on our left

My 1st Brigade get in line away from the action

Just in time as the cavalry charge

This is a cool photo. The camels in front are skirmishers and can't charge me

Over on the left the 11th Hussars charge the Fuzzies and rout the 1st unit

A volley fromthe Rifles and the Royal Irish stop the camels and cause a traffic jam

I complete my line and the Beja charge into combat hitting me and the the Naval Gardiner gunners of the 2nd Brigade who rout

Our centre is very weak and the Marines are surrounded and butchered

However on the Right I have wrecked the cavalry brigade and cause then whole brigade to bugger off. On the right the British cavalry and the Black watch destroy the attack from the brush and the whole Mahdist army is rendered ineffective.

We have won but the Naval Detachment has been ruined. A great battle, played in the right spirit
There was just time for a quick battle of Impetus. I've never played before and me and Dave fought as the Rep Romans against Pete and John as Carthaginians. Dave went hell for leather and smashed the Numidians. Me and Pete had a heavy infantry clash and I some how won. Nice to win but no Photos
Can't wait for the next game. Will take my VBCW figs and play Bolt Action

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Mission to Tashkent

My library has increased with the purchase of "Mission to Tashkent". The adventures of Colonel Bailey in Bolshevik Central Asia in 1919. I purchased it from Edwin King at Diplomatist Books, a painting challenger and source of the best random books on all the things we love.

Any book that has an introduction called An Absolutely First Class Man and an appendix on the species of butterflies he spotted whilst in disguise amongst the Bolsheviks is going to be a cracker. Just the thing for Back of Beyond.
Right, of to pick up a paint brush for the 1st time since Saturday. Could be another meagre entry this weekend as I'm also gaming all day Sunday with the Old Guard in Northallerton. Huge Sudan battle with all of Dave Docherty's toys - about 1500 figs and 7 generals. Could be messy 

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

The Persian Figures what I made

Dear reader, you will recall that I cast my Persian Napoleonic infantry, see here. Well I painted them up for the painting challenge.

I also finished the camel artillery

I'm going to cast some more soon for artillery men and maybe even another unit of infantry

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Back of Beyond - The Great Game

In my previous post, about 1 hour ago I mentioned that Matt and I are thinking about fighting a Back of Beyond campaign. As I was reading the Great Game on the train back from York, nearly finished it, I found what I think is an ideal campaign.
In 1935 the very top of the Northwest Frontier is Pamir. It is the last part of central Asia that does not have defined borders and sits between British controlled India, Russia and China. Control of this area will give any of these three Powers a dominate position in the region. The British are the most stable Power, although rumblings at home may be ominous. The Bolsheviks have control of Russia and they have expansionist dreams. The Chinese are fighting a civil war and the Japanese but the opportunity to control the region would secure their rear.

Pamir is an extremely mountainous region with steep valleys and mountain passes. Trade caravans that pass through the region are frequently raided by the local tribesmen under the orders of the local Emir Safdar Ali, in reality a glorified Bandit Chief. This has enraged the British and they have launched a punitive invasion of the region to secure the territory and protect their borders.

Safdar Ali has been seeking  aid from the Chinese and Chinese military advisors are in the region to help to train the tribesmen. Can the British advance through the mountainous terrain and secure the province or will Chinese influence prevail? What will the Russians do when they see their borders threatened?
In reality the British invaded in 1891 with a force of 1000 Gurkhas and Kashmiris. They fought 2 major battles and recieved 3 V.C.s. before wining.
Hopefully this will get Matt's little grey cells working

York Show 2017

Today was the York Wargames Show (Vapnatak). It's a big show with over 50 traders. There were 3 gaming competitions and a few display and demonstration games. Didn't take any photos though, it's quite a dark venue and I kept forgetting. I met loads of people an I guy I've known for years who I didn't know gamed - possibilities for more gaming there.
It's my birthday soon (the big 50) so I bought quite a lot of stuff. The bring any buy is fairly legendary here but I didn't get anything, it's all about timing, whereas Matt bought the biggest bargain I've seen for years. You will have to go to Wargames in the Dungeon to see that though.
Swag time

Perry Russian Napoleonics for the Russian - Persian war. Wanted Foundry but they didn't bring their Naps - typical

Staff Car for VBCW

Irregular Miniatures Camels - I have 6 Midianite Camel archers with 2 warriors. These 6 camels will give me 12 Camel archers. - £1.50 each

2 Lancia APCs for VBCW

Warbases French 6lb and limber and some Empress Wheels. I have loads of gun barrel from Perry but not enough carriages and no limbers so I'm going to make my own

Dozen Irregular Minatures horses for limbers

Empress Afghan maxim gun section

Reiver Castings 1930's Chinese nationalists. Me and Matt have a plan for back of beyond gaming using bolt action - VBCW gone global. He has lots of Brits, well now he does, and these Chinese plus my Afghans will make an interesting battle. I have the makings of a campaign - things to do on the train back from York

Light deck guns - 4 LMG, 2MMG and 2 37mm cannon. Plan to build an armoured column for VBCW

British Gun Crews (see above)

I'm halfway through the Challenge and my lead mountain is bigger than when I started. Speaking of which this is last weeks lot

That was it, pitiful, Needs some Otis

Sunday, 29 January 2017

The Battle of Horn Street - Operation sealion

Yesterday I nipped over to Penrith to to play a Bolt Action game in the dungeon. The Germans (me) were advancing on invasion day to take a key crossroads on the A20. Go here for the build up and more info on Matt's brilliant campaign.
It was a large engagement with over 20 units per side and the better for it.

The initial German deployment. I have a strong mixed force of infantry, paras, tanks and artillery. My spotters in the church tower can call in a Stuka to give one ground attack. The artillery and my panzerjaeger will take up position on the hill to the top and provide fire support for the battle. The aim is to cross the railway line and take the crossroads

The Brits, with a strong AT force advance down a narrow road towards the crossroads 

The crossroads and town, currently unoccupied, although the home guard have just arrived and taken up position in the houses facing the railway line The British have a tank force that will enter from turn 2 along the road at the bottom of this picture.  

As the town was effectively unoccupied, only some useless home guard my plan was to charge down the main road with paras and tanks and then advance down the flanks 

I decided to try and cause chaos early and called up my airstrike on the lead Bren gun carrier of the AT column. A direct hit takes out the Bren and blocks the road. This would mean the AT wold take ages to set up.

The advance begins with a unit of Paras leading the charge

The Brits still fannying about with the AT

I'm over the bridge and charging to the house with some smoke as cover, mortars are good at this. The PzII will be hit next turn and effectively block the bridge for a short while isolating the lead units

Cool shot down the road

The Brits have reached the town

My Paras have reached the edge of town and are preparing the kick the home guard out of the nearest building. The PzII has been shoved out of the way by the PzIV. 

Infantry are advancing towards the town at the top to dislodge the home guard. Supporting fire from my artillery and machine guns can't dislodge the home guard from the furthest building and withering fire from them has halted this flank advance. Somewhere in the sky is a Gloucester biplane trailing a line of smoke as it limps home

The British tanks advance as to the Germans. In the centre the paras have take the house and withstand 2 assaults before being kicked out. But by now more support has arrived and the Germans take back the house and hold it. Both front tank forces are now flanked and should be being wiped out by each other. In addition the Brits are under fire from the Pzjgr and the Germans  from the British AT line. All the shots from both sides were rubbish and only 2 tanks were destroyed during the whole battle, the smoke at the bottom hides a burning Vickers tank.

The Germans try and advance again. A chance event has caused the home guard to retreat but I can't get past the 2 Bren carriers

I now hold the house at the crossroads with all the Brit infantry dead or on their way home. The PzIV has moved out of shot of the AT line but with its back to the A9 and the Matilda. It's track is blown off but it can still fire. I have an AT section in the pillbox. I own the crossroads

The British AT line, utterly ineffective.
The Brits are not destroyed but with only tans and AT guns left are going to struggle to take back the crossroads. A victory and the conquest of Britain continues.
This was a great game with over 20 units per side. After 8 hours of gaming the victory was mine. I don't normally play the attacker and it was a good change. The stand out units were the paras who entered the town and held off several attacks before being destroyed, Iron crosses to be awarded postumously and the home guard who held a flank on their own despite intense artillery bombardment and being outnumbered 3 to 1. They deserve a pint.
Matt's report can be found here