Thursday, 31 October 2019

To Ur is Human

Received my copy of To Ur is Human yesterday. On first read through it is interesting.
I bought it to try out with the slightly later biblical armies, the Hittites, Assyrians, Egyptian's and the few Syrian/Hebrew chariots I have.
I like the idea of the fear factor. And the riding down of troops in the way of a charge by chariots. It sounds awfully like what nobles would do.
The use of 4 bases per unit isn't exactly my taste, as it wasn't with Neil Thomas' One hour Wargames and Ancient and Medieval Wargames.. I'll use paper records for unit casualties. After all, the armies are not large.
But that is on first reading.
Time will decide.

Friday, 6 September 2019

6 mm ECW wargame. Lords at war

As befits the leading men of the county, Lord Holland and Lord Battersby raised forces for Parliament and the King respectively.
Lord Holland raised 2 regiments of foot, 2 of horse and 2 of dragoons.
Lord Battersby raised a similar force for the king..
Having been bested in the race to secure the arms in Ashgrove, Lord Battersby set out with his small force to make his presence known in no uncertain terms.
Being aware of this, as it is no easy task to conceal a mustering of forces in the same county, Lord Holland gathered his force and went to confront the upstart on his march. Thereby saving his tenants and neighbours from unseemly ruffians upsetting their livelihoods and forcing them to into allegiance with the king.

Lord Holland had the following force:-

1 regiment of pistol, inferior. Colonel Dove (2 elements, green coats)
1 regiment of pistol, inferior. Colonel Houghton (2 elements, black coats)
1 regiment of foot, ordinary. Colonel Dierden (6 elements, red coats)
I regiment of foot, ordinary. Colonel Smith (6 elements, green coats)
I Regiment of Dragoons, ordinary. Colonel Potts (1 elements, purple coats)
I Regiment of Dragoons, ordinary. Colonel Booth (1 elements, orange coats)

Lord Battersby had the following force:-

1 regiment of pistol, ordinary, fast. Colonel Ainsworth (2 elements, yellow coats)
1 regiment of pistol, ordinary, fast. Colonel Walker (2 elements, blue coats)
1 regiment of foot, ordinary. Colonel Barlow (6 elements, red coats)
I regiment of foot, ordinary. Colonel Tyldesley (6 elements, blue coats)
I Regiment of Dragoons, ordinary. Colonel Jackson (1 elements, yellow coats)
I Regiment of Dragoons, ordinary. Colonel Clegg (1 elements, green coats)

Foot regiments are on  80 x 40 mm bases. I am counting them as double. It just looks better to me personally.
Lord Holland's force 110 points
Lord Battersby's 1118

On a bright August day they arrayed their forces on even ground near the town of Walkden. A few stands of trees was all that stopped it from being a bleak moor.
To the sound of drum beats and course shouting the armies advanced.

Lord Holland's infantry

Lord Holland set his infantry regiments in motion supported by the dragoons and pistols.
Col. Booth headed for the clump of trees hoping to gain some cover and advantage over any passing units.
Lord Battersby, feeling confident in his horse, sent them to chase the commoners horse away.
He had a little more difficulty persuading his foot to advance.

As the Royalist horse approached Colonel Dove gave the foot the order to fire. Colonels Walkers horse recoiled from the flying lead. Ainworth's horse, not wanting to be disadvantaged by the Parliamentary horse pulled back.

Lord Holland was satisfied with the early events of the battle. He was to be sorely tested later though. Strangely, he waited to see what the Royalist horse was going to do instead of pressing his advantage. Both commanders, in truth, were inexperienced in warfare. It was a learn as go war, hopefully a short one.
Col. Potts took position to shoot at the Royalist horse. He was somewhat exposed. War is a risky business and he was hoping for a little glory to brag about to his friends and impress the girls in town.
After sometime the Royalists manged to coerce their foot to advance. Col Clegg saw the opportunity to charge Potts but it was ineffectual. Potts, well aware of the risk had kept an eye out and defended well. He sent the Royalists back with their tails between their legs. But the foot were coming ever closer so he mounted and rejoined the Parliamentary lines. A hero in his eyes!
Col. Booth proceeded to the far edge of the trees to pepper the Royalists when they came within range.  When they did he found himself out shot, and retreated.
At last, a little success for the Royalists.
The Royalist cavalry had been stationary, not in range of the shot but wary of advancing because of it

Then the Parliamentary foot advanced once again. Some said Lord Holland was insistent the battle be over before before dinner, he was hungry. It may have been the clouds over the enemies lines that could let pour the rain it threatened, thereby dampening the powder. He wanted resolution this day!
The Royalist horse commanders happy to have the foot advancing in support charged again to mixed effect. With the foot in support Walker was decimated, Ainsworth persevered sending Dove packing.
The Royalist foot was closing slowly.

Royalist's at the top

Dove received the charge at the halt

Houghton, meanwhile, had manoeuvred his horse to the left wing to support Dove but had moved too late. He took position in line to charge the Royalist horse. But was a little to slow as the Royalists charged him!

The Royalist foot charged into contact and drove back one regiment but were pushed back with the other. Both successful regiments followed up, driving the advantage. Both opponents rallied and pushed back. It was hard fought until, suddenly, Tyldesley's regiment gave way and fled. Not long after followed by Barlow's. The Royalists had fled the field. The horse hearing the cheering broke off and followed the infantry from the field.

It was a bloody days work.

Lord Holland sent Houghton to follow the Royalists to make sure they didn't stop and return. He took his army back to celebrate his soon to be famous victory.
Lord Battersby cursed his regimental commanders and vowed to give the king victory in his county, come what may.

This battle was a curious affair.
Both armies showed reluctance to close with the enemy, low dice rolls for pips in reality. Lord Holland's decision not to advance was dice driven though.
I dice for initiative each round before dicing for pip points. The Parliamentary army won slightly more than their fair share. They also, usually, did better with command pips rolls also. And combat and shooting rolls! Only occasionally did the Royalists better them.
I was nonplussed when the dragoons on horse charged the dragoons on foot as to what to do! Contacting the yahoo group solved this problem. Thank you! But it seemed a curious rule that they fought on the same factor.

I may, at some point, try a different rule set. Though which one I don't know. Any suggestions will be taken on board.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

6 mm ECW mini-game

This bank holiday weekend, 24-26 August, I'd thought I'd try to get a game or two in with the ECW armies.
Rules used will be DBR
Initially, two small forces sent to secure some arms in a small town, Ashgrove. Neither force knows the other is coming and, by coincidence, have the same forces available:-
Two troops of horse and one of dragoons.(I had thought to include a regiment or two of foot but I wanted a small game).
Parliamentary horse are Pistols, inferior.
Royalists are Pistols, fast.
Both Dragoon troops are ordinary.

The tiles are Total System Scenics. Four, 1 foot square tiles bought many years ago for 15 mm skirmish gaming. You will see the two areas of rough ground, a few trees and the 'T' junction where the town is situated.
Two small farms with hedged fields complete the field of battle to come.

Thus, the two forces appear on the roads leading to Ashgrove.

Captain Hodgkiss with his Parliamentary horse and a troop of dragoons

Captain Sutcliffe of his Majesties Horse and a troop of dragoons

Both forces proceeded up the road until they spied each other.

Captain Hodgkiss ordered his dragoons forward into the filed, hoping to enfilade the Parliamentary horse. He stood at the halt waiting for them to advance.

But Captain Sutcliffe sent his dragoons through the wood. They gained the advantage and with their first salvo decimated the Royalist dragoons.

At this unfortunate turn of events Hodgkiss advanced to contact with the Parliamentary horse, hoping to settle the matter as between gentleman and commoners. Taking fire from the Parliamentary horse which impeded their impact on contact, the Royalist horse recoiled from the clash.

Hodgkiss decided that as the odds were against him, with the dragoons free on his right flank, to retire from the field.

I was sorely tempted to charge again but the dice decided the Royalists would retire in good order. Thus saving the troops for the war to come.

The Royalists didn't have a lot of luck in the dice rolls.
Perhaps they will do better next time

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Brtain's Toy Soldiers and What a Tanker!

I visited the auction house of W&H Peacock in Bedford last Friday (9th August). I hadn't been for a couple of years after it moved out of Bedford itself to a new build just off the A421. Living in Milton Keynes it just didn't seem to be worth it just to visit the auction house. I used to like walking round the centre afterwards and do a little shopping, before both the relocation and Bedford councils rapacious parking department took away most of the free parking areas.
Having a stroll round the auction house, as you do, I came across this display of Britain's in a display case.

Some nice pieces even though I don't collect them my self. I especially like the elephants and the Indian soldiers. Lovely.
Also, there was a display of antique firearms. These look just right for the north west frontier!

Whilst there I came across a box of tanks and other vehicles. New. Unopened. And my thoughts turned to 'What a Tanker'. But I'm not a WW2 sort of guy! But, boy, did I want them! After taking down the lot number the rush of blood to the head subsided. A little rationality sank back in. Better, if I was going to do WaT would be to do it in 6mm for which I have more buildings and scenery. I'm sure it's quite possible and very few tanks would be required so minimal cost. Few! A couple of hundred pounds saved. For now.

I didn't see anything else worth bidding on that day

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

6 mm ECW

My painting of the Heroics & Ros English Civil Wars figures got off to a good start. It continued with some moments (days!) of respite.
I now have:-
10 elements of foot, only 6 shown here, with flags to be added. I say element but each is equal to 4 normal 40 x 20 mm elements.
As you can see, I have based each battalia on one base of 80 x 40 mm. I like the look of it.
Originally, as I had done previously with my first ECW army, I was going to have different sized units. But practicality took over and I am pleased with the overall look of the units,

9 elements of dragoons on foot

12 elements of dragoons on horse

14 elements of horse

I have about 4 more units of foot to add but only after purchasing some more shot figures to make up the units. With a few more foot regiments I will have two small ECW armies. I have another batch of figures which will give me another regiment of horse (2 elements).
I seem to have an abundance of dragoons. Much too many I think, with more to paint. I will base the additional dragoons as commanded shot
Even so, it is a force larger than either of the other two renaissance armies I currently have.

I am pleased it went so well.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Journals, Towers and Painting

Things have been going slowly on the wargames front recently. I thought I'd share a couple of things with you though.
Firstly, I bought the Wargamers' Journal Summer Special 2014. These journals, available from Caliver Books (caliverbooks), are great reading. It usually has more things of interest for me than most of the magazines on sale monthly. I have almost the complete set of these journals. I buy them to replace the monthly magazines when they have insufficient to interest me in to buying them.

The second is the Desert Guard Tower from SteepledHat Studio on eBay
Such a great model.

I used to work with an artist, Paul Robinson of Leighton Buzzard, who gave me this fantastic painting he did for a book cover.  Book unknown unfortunately. He didn't keep adequate records.

A truly great gift.

Hopefully, I'll be back finishing off the ECW,6 mm figures and get onto the French & Indian Wars figures before the end of August.

Thank you for dropping by.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Portsmouth, New Hampshire 2

In Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a game store, Diversions, puzzles and Games.
As you can see from the pictures it has boxed games a plenty and tables to play, or test, games on. Not shown, unfortunately, is the main shop area where games can be bought. But if you look at the 2nd and 3rd pictures, at the far end you will see the steps to the main shop area.
There were some Dr Who figures amongst others but, sadly, not the type of wargame figures which I was looking for. I was also hoping to find something to use as scenery in any of my games. Not quite what I had hoped but if you are in the area it may be a stop worth checking out.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Romans vs Ancient British 6mm AAR/Battle report

A short battle report with our current favourites Romans, led by Legatus Lucius Valerius Flaccus
The Romans are well known for getting their revenge. After the attack on the convoy a retaliatory response was necessary. You can't let the natives get too boisterous.

The force was assembled:-
2 x Cohorts of Legionaries (each cohort of 2 elements)
2 x Auxiliary cohorts (each of 2 elements)
1 x Equites Alares (2 elements)
1 x Psiloi (2 elements)

Its aim:-
To drive the tribe from the hill fort and destroy as many enemy as it encounters.

The tribe was not in a state of readiness.
The chieftain, Brennus
It boasted:-
12 x Foot warriors
3 x Naked fanatics
3 x Psiloi

These were split between the town on the hill protected by earthworks. (Actually, ECW earthworks as a stand in!)
Two small villages.
And a force sent for from another town.

Who was successful?

As usual, dice were used to determine some outcomes for placement of troops and whether/where they appeared.

The Romans

The Ancient British in the hill fort

The Roans advanced towards the town, wary of the woods on either side.

The British muster in the town.
The plan is to defend it using the earthworks to fend off the attack.

The Romans advance then split to attack the nearest village.

The warriors in the town go impetuous and stream out of the town!

First blows are struck

Implacable Romans advance.

British split as the ardour of some warriors for battle subsides.

The Romans come to blows with the villagers. A gallant but foolish stand by some fanatics. The psiloi seeing more sense flee.

The Romans address their lines as one part of the British is still impetuous. 

The psiloi make a mark on the warriors but they keep coming. The warriors attack and the psiloi flee.

The Legionaries advance and show the warriors their skill with the blade.

Short sharp shock for the British.

The ardour for battle is gone from the remaining warriors.

An easier victory for Rome than imagined

Initially, I had another 5 cohorts down to attack the town. The five would be in reserve to help if required. Points wise, this would put the Romans at double the British total so not a fair fight.
Fanatics, warriors and psiloi from the village behind the hill didn't materialise. Neither did the 2 elements of foot warriors form 'another town' close by. Were they paid off by the Romans?  Treachery? The dice will decide if a feud is starting between these tribes.

But today Roman control is restored and treasure and slaves captured.
It's a night on the oppidum with vinum et mulieres et canticum

Revenge is sweet so they say.

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