Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Confederate dismounted cavalry : ACW

Just a quick update of some recently completed ACW Confederate dismounted cavalry. All are Perry figures (metal) I have split the horses so I can use them as two smaller units if necessary.
I won’t feel so bad using the cavalry in games going forward. I have a similar number of Union Cavalry dismounts to match.πŸ˜€

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

More Castles and more Romans in Wales

Back from holiday now and catching. So here are the remaining highlights from Wales.
Caerphilly Castle has to be one of the most impressive castles in the area
Many features with multiple gatehouses
The main entrance is quite spectacular with I think I counted slots for 7 or 8 portcullises 
Lots of nice features in one section they have built wooden hoardings along the battlements with suitably clad defenders
They also have a good selection of full scale siege engines, apparently some days they fire these but sadly not when we were there
Overall well worth a visit if you haven’t been
Another specific reason on going to the Area was to visit Caerwent, I won’t give a long history here but it is (for Roman Britain) a really well preserved walled town. 
The walled around the town in places remains quite hig and gives a very good feel to what Hadrian’s wall would have been like in its day.

In Roman times the town was called Venta Silurum and inside the walls have the remains of several key buildings. Many others apparently exist but aren’t currently exposed. The building above is the forum-basilica
A well defined temple
Shops and dwellings on the Main Street
At the posh end of town houses with courtyards, overall a lovely location, free, easy to navigate and a good way to spend a couple of hours
We also went to Chapstow Castle, started as a classic Norman keep
A great location perched on steep cliffs
And then expanded over the centuries including like so many an active role in the ECW.

That wrapped up our short week in SE Wales. Definately worth a visit πŸ˜€

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Castles and Romans in Wales

Our history trip/holiday has seen us travel south to Wales. Our first significant stop was at Chirk Castle, just south of Wrexham. Despite its heavy modification this Edward 1st Castle is still impressive. It holds a magnificent location on elevated ground and would no doubt have given the dastardly welsh second thoughts before trying to invade England.
The view looking up from the welsh side ! According to the details inside the Castle a secondary ring wall was also conceived but not constructed ?
Must have taken some Labour to put those windows through the extremely thick walls ! Despite being a national trust Castle details on the Castle itself were slightly lacking, the focus more on the more recent inhabitants.
The Castle does have an excellent and atmospheric dungeon and lots of opportunity to dress up πŸ™‚
We have now headed further south to Caerleon near Newport to visit some of the excellent Roman remains. These were actually the inspiration for the trip when I saw them on U tube but realised I had never visited them. The small town is well worth a visit with the well preserved amphitheatre
One can definately imagine the gladiators fighting it out here

There is a small but  interesting museum 
Some well preserved baths used by the troops 
And a significant barracks complex all of these within easy walking distance and all free to visit πŸ˜€ if you get the chance there is also a lovely and esoteric cafe in the Main Street.

The Battle of Sark : 1448

It is that time of year when I have some time off with my daughter. A whole week off work πŸ˜€ we are heading down to Wales with a list of historical stuff to visit. But first up between shopping trips I managed to visit a new battlefield (for me) not too far from home. The battle of Sark took place just to the SW of Gretna in Dumfries. 23 October 1448.

The English under Henry Percy were camped close to the Lochmaben stones, which are located on the edge of the cornfield in the distance. looking at the lie of the land you can see why as you can see the location is slightly elevated. The area is bounded on two sides by the River Sark and the small Kirtle water effectively a defensive stream. Behind them is the solway. It is easy to see this as a good defensive position ! 
I wouldn’t have found the stones with the helpful advice of the local farmer πŸ™‚
The land drops away in this shot towards the west.
Unfortunately for the English the Scots under Hugh Douglas Earl of Ormonde (supported by the Welsh) made an attack in three blocks. Weathering the English arrows the Scottish stuck it to them in hand to hand. Pushing the English back who routed, according to history many were then drowned in the Solway
The Solway looking west here at low tide.
It is worth a visit if you are in the location but don’t expect a visitor Centre ! 

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Looks like Meat is back on the menu boys : Dragon Rampant

Catching up on blogs now πŸ˜€ a couple of weeks ago we played a quick game of Dragon Rampant, mainly so Paul could get some of his newly painted dwarves on the table. It seemed a good idea to bring out the evil Orcs and Warg riders. We decided on a simple scenario where each force had to get off the battle field from the opposite. I didn’t take too many photos, so just a couple to give a feel.
The Evil force
Dwarves seek refuge on the small hill but it proves their doom !
One unit of Uruk Hai raiders manage to slip by the defenders........
Whilst the troll made a real mess of the little bearded folk.

Sad to say I think nearly all the dwarves were eaten by the end, but it is always fun to come back to Middle Earth πŸ™‚

Saturday, 4 August 2018

I may not be blogging but .......πŸ˜€

I have at least been painting. I am planning to catch up on blogging in the next few days so I beg your indulgence. First up whilst the weather has been hot I have gradually been painting my way through two units.
First up some gripping beast Norman knights as I gradually build up my Dark Age Forces, the bases are obviously not finished but I have bought some more of these movement trays to expand the collection. The figures came from a bring a buy a while ago, there is most of another unit as well and were less than 50p a figure πŸ™‚
Secondly I have managed to complete another persian infantry unit, these had been bothering me as I bought them ages ago from Black Tree there are 32 so as you can see I don’t have a tray big enough for them, I’ll probabaly make a split base for flexibility. I did have to ‘bend’ a few of the arms as they had a slightly annoying angle
A final indulgence as I was putting away the last Sealion game I took the opportunity to reorganise a few boxes and when I had packed this box I just couldn’t help taking a photo to share.

More to come as I have a few games to catch up on. But this evening we are playing another ACW game πŸ˜€

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Celebrating 500 : Why did I start Wargaming ?

It almost slipped by but in line with several other birthday celebrations I felt I needed to mark this occasion in some small way. This by some amazing feat is my 500 th post. A few of you have been with me from start others along the way and I guess if you have made it this far I hope you have found something that interests you amongst everything else. Like many I started the blog mainly to record what I was enjoying about my hobby, I was taking photos but really had nowhere to store them. From there it has grown into a small community. Quite a few of you I have now met in the real world and would consider friends so that has been a tremendous bonus. Thanks to you all of course for following and commenting when you get a chance.

I am not one for big retrospectives, which is of course odd for somebody so interested in history ? So what I thought I would share was a small glimpse into why I think I am interested in military history and wargaming. Two books which have in hindsight had a huge impact on my life and started it all for me.......

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Firstly there is Glorious Battles of English History
This is now wonderfully dated written before the grim reality of the First World War, a time of only slightly faded Empire and true boys own stuff.
The book covers many of the famous battles from English history with just enough detail for me as a child and then of course it includes for each battle the most fabulous illustration by Harry Payne, yes this was a time of black and white TV, no magazines etc....so these illustrations were an absolute inspiration for me sparking my childish imagination πŸ™‚
Secondly of course is the ‘Bible’ and I know many of you will have been introduced, influenced and inspired by Donald Featerstone’s War Games
I cannot even imagine the number of times I read this book as a child and even now when I open it up the illustrations are like familiar friends from my childhood. So simple compared to modern standards but for me these were what wargaming was about.
The battle of Trimsos
ACW Plattville Valley
WW2 action on the St James Road

I am of course not unique, and this is perhaps one of the most interesting revelations of the internet and blogging world. There are in fact lots and lots of people who have very similar experiences and interests. If you are one of them I hope you enjoy the next 500 posts πŸ˜€