Monday, 20 November 2017

An introduction to SAGA

I am also catching on on blogs a bit. I have been introducing a new wargamer to a range of different games over the last few months, playing something different and expanding his knowledge and hopefully enthusiasm. So far so good we have played a range of games and our latest game saw him being introduced to Saga. I am keen to get him to a point where we can play with my Crescent and Cross collection but the earlier boards are considerably easier to play so we played a Viking Vs Saxon game. After a brief intro we set to...nothing to serious but a fun game involving rolling dice and a glass or two of wine. I didn’t take masses of photos.
The overall set up, six points each side....
The Saxons prepare to defend their village against the invaders
The Vikings advance down the left avoiding the Saxon archers
In the end though the Saxons win through..
I haven’t put him off yet πŸ˜€

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Battleground Wargame show 2017

I’ll try again sorry I might have caused some confusion, I tried to post the show plan but for some reason it wouldn’t work, so I went back and deleted the post .....but apparently some people can still see it in their in boxes. Anyway I am putting on another participation game this year at Battleground. It will be similar to the game I ran at Penrith earlier in the year. If you happen to be in Stockton on Tees  on Saturday come and say hello. The details of the show can be found here

Battleground Wargames Show

I will post a test setup hopefully in a couple of days 😬 but I am behind on blogging at the moment.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

The Small things that make me very happy πŸ˜€

It is definitely the small things which make me smile, well fairly small. I was doing some searching on eBay looking for some more cheap buses to convert as VBCW and Sealion transport. This led me to looking at bus catalogues to understand what were age appropriate. I then found myself checking out corgi catalogues online and discovered they had produced a pair of commemorative buses in the East Kent logo where my Sealion campaign takes place. A bit more patience and after a few weeks I got what I wanted £15 for the pair and I am very happy you ‘ll be seeing more of these in the future πŸ˜€ if I understand it correctly this is the correct period colour scheme which is lovely.
 This is an OB Bedford
An AEC Regal with half cab very period but phased out when they went to flat fronted buses and put the engine in the floor. Both are 1:50 scale so fractionally large but most of my other vehicles are similar. 
This has led me to the thought that I need a bus stop...so another job on the list. These ones are going to stay just as they are but I picked up some cheaper ones which will be converted to army transport.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The rescue of the Reverend Stanwix : VBCW

As the boundaries of control of the main factions become more established across Cumberland and the Borders all sides are turning to the use of informants and undercover operatives. Nobody can be trusted and everybody is under suspicion. Having suffered a number of unexplained setbacks the Royalist forces in and around Carlisle believe the Albertine forces on the west coast have an agent working for them disguised as a member of the cloth and operating under the name of Reverend Stanwix. They have traced him to the small village of Gatesgill. A force has been sent under the command of Captain George Maguire of the Borderers to apprehend the man and bring him back. What Maguire and his force doesn’t realise is their plan has already been leaked to the enemy and at the same time an Albertine rescue force has been dispatched under the command of Major Stanley Baxter. As speed is of the essence both forces are lightly armed, they must extract the Reverend and get him to safety or for questioning.

The village of Gategill looking north, Royalist forces entering from the right. Two Albertine armoured cars can be seen entering from the left. The Reverend Stanwix is hiding in the public house at the cross roads, by some chance exactly in the middle of the village !
The Borderers have brought with them a light weight antitank weapon but when they struggle to set it up it is clear they are unlikely to hit anything with it. The regular troops of the King are supported by Sir William Vane and his guests who were visiting Hutton Hall for a shooting week and west watch of the Carlisle fire brigade.
Albert’s forces are rushing two armoured cars to the cross roads in a bid to hold the Royalists back
Major Baxter seen here on his charger leads a mixed force of mainly irregular troops, although he does have one unit of the newly formed West Cumberland Rifles recruited mainly from disaffected Royalist troops with relatives on the west coast.
His irregular troops include two units of the Brayton Miners from near Aspatria, a unit of cavalry known locally as the the Allonby Coastal Watch as they are mainly employed to patrol the coast to watch for seaborne threats. Baxter also has a unit of the newly formed WCM (West Cumberland Milkmaids)  a unit formed form the women who work at the dairy in Aspatria.
Regular troops and the Firebrigade lads advance into the village
The Borderers have also brought two fast moving but lightly armoured Lanchesters, whilst the armoured cars can’t knock each other out of the battle they can significantly impact on any infantry if they can manoeuvre into position 
B company of the Cumberland Borderers move into the back gardens supported by a mobile Vickers gun
The WCM have been directed to the left flank to ensure the rest of the army is not outflanked
Prince Alberts’ forces move towards the back of the pub.....to rescue the Reverend but they come under fire from across the road
The firemen have been pushed forward but are reluctant to break cover
Just as suspected the Royalists have sent a unit of infantry down the flank, they start to exchange fire with the WCM ladies no doubt scarring the sheep !
You can’t see it here but the Royalist forces have broken into the front of the pub and grabbed the Reverend, Baxter always close to the action orders the Brayton Miners to charge forward....
After a brief scuffle they emerge dragging Reverend Stanwix with them, whilst shaken he is unhurt 
But they must get away quick before the Royalists seek to recapture........
Royalist regular forces and the remaining Firemen in the Main Street preparing to attack, they come under fire from the armoured car but are able to immoblise it with a grenade
Fearce hand to hand fighting takes place behind the pub. Sir Stanley is now quite desperate and is shouting for the Wigtown Volunteers who have finally recaptured the Reverend to get him to safety in the rear
To do this they must run the gauntlet of enemy fire.....
Stalemate at the sheep field ........
Watch out the remaining Borderers have run through the village to appear on the right flank where the Reverend exhausted by his ordeal is rest by the phone box. Just as he starts his escape they charge in to capture him again !
Sir Stanley orders his regular forces the West Cumberland Rifles forward but they hesitate (fail their command role) so he must heroically charge in himself !
Whilst he knocks one down in the charge the remaining fellow manages to unhorse him........
But as he turns to grab the Reverend machine gun fire from the armour car saves the day......πŸ˜€
But what is this there is one final dice in the bag, with no infantry left and no way of capturing the Reverend the Royalist mortar team decide to take one final shot as he turns to run. With the final roll of the game and the unlikely event of a 6 being rolled......you guessed it a direct hit. His spying days against the Royalists are over but the vital information and his contacts will go with him to the grave !

We played a standard BA scenario and what seemed like a very simple scenario gave lots of fun. The final shot was just silly ! But clearly a draw....

Monday, 13 November 2017

A tale of two towers

Had some time this weekend and did a couple of terrain projects which have been on the list for ages. First up a Martello tower. This is for Operation Sealion as several exist in and around SE Kent specifically I am running a participation game at Battleground in a couple of weeks, where this will be needed for a Fallschirmjager attack on the East Cliff Battery.
There are lots of different variations and I am not quite happy with the colour but it will probabaly do
Second tower of the weekend a fairly spurious temple tower for our ancient games it is designed to fit in with my other desert terrain the top can hold a range of different features....and I am sure we will see it on the battlefield soon

Saturday, 4 November 2017

A Dark Age Terror !

Who thought zombies were a modern invention ! Looking for a quick set up game Paul was keen to get is developing undead/zombie force on the battlefield. What better than to put them against a small Norman force. The obvious back story for the game involves the Norman invasion, the catastrophic defeat of the Saxons at the battle of Hastings. The Saxon mystics and necromancers have called back from the dead Some of Harold’s troops to punish the Normans.

In this particular scenario the undead Saxon horde is looking to defile a religious cross as soon as they reach the cross the game will end. The Normans must defend at all costs. We used Dragon Rampant rules.
A small force of Normans hold the cross the rest must enter from their baseline
A shambling horde of Zombies.....raised from the bog 
The evil horde...including a necromancer !
Initially thing don’t go well for the Normans, and the troops holding the cross are dangerous isolated, reinforcements unable to get close
Choosing attack the knights ‘wild charge’ into the trees
This leaves the cross only defended by a single spearmen unit they quickly form into a solid shield wall to but are out numbered and the cross is undefended
....and then the knights charge back out from the trees....alle’
Charging into the rear of the elite undead they ride them down (an unlucky double one roll) sees them crumble at a crucial moment
Eventually the giant butcher is left on his own and the relics remains untainted.
It was a fairly quick game so we did reset on another scenario, where I didn’t take many photos.....the Normans came out on to again. Our conclusion that undead forces don’t really work that well in Dragon Rampant rules and require a bit of tweaking. But a couple of fun games πŸ˜€ I might be tempted to create a small dark age undead force....I have quite a lot of spare dark age bits so would only need the dead bits....πŸ€”

Sunday, 29 October 2017

The Battle of Seleukeia : Blood in the Sand

In the previous instalment of Blood in the Sand King Bamdada and his Pamphylian army had narrowly been able to force their way across the River Calycadnus. Heading down the valley his army now reinforced with wild mountain tribesmen hired as mercenaries has the reached the lower valley above the city of Seleukeia itself. Here amidst the rocky foothills and meandering streams the Tyrant Shabaan El Shabazz has drawn up the might of the Cilician army.
Map showing the advance of the two armies
The Great King Bamdada on his war chariot the temple of Seleukeia in the distance
El-shabazz has placed much of his Cilician cavalry on high ground to his left
An overview of the battlefield, Pamphylians on the right, the temple of Seleukeia in the foreground. 
The golden statue of Tarku in the middle, the bridge in the distance is the third objective for both armies. The rivers are crossable by everything except Chariots but they hinder charges and slow movement. There are three quite rocky hills which break the battlefield up.
The Cilician centre stretching into the distance rank upon rank of infantry, some with bows some with Pikes !
The Pamphylian right flank is held by mercenaries, wild tribes from the mountains, but the king has placed his Royal Cavalry on the right as well in case the mercenaries flee ?
The Pamphylian left flank 
The battle immediately starts to break up into three sections here the two armies close to contest the temple
Pamphylian heavy scythed Chariots, the skirmishers seem in some disarray let’s hope they sort themselves out !
The Cilician right flank is dominated by a large contingent of Chariots which sweep off the hill.......
and crash into the massed infantry.
Luckily the infantry have support behind them
A shot looking down the whole battlefield, in the centre things are quiet but the fight on the left is drawing troops away leaving the centre dangerously weak for the Pamphylians.
Reserves from the centre being dragged towards the left including the king himself.
On the far side of the battlefield the fanatics and other tribesmen have rushed across the river without adequate support and they are immediately crushed by cavalry charging down the hill.
The charge of the Cilician cavalry...
Whilst the Heavy cavalry gradually moves into position they let the mercenaries take the brunt of the action, after all the less that sepurvive the less the king will have to pay, 
A shot from behind the Heavy cavalry, they can see even more Cilician Cavalry up on the hill they hold their position as the tribesmen hack their way across the river
In the centre, it is mainly a battle of long range missile troops the King pushes forward two units of Javelin men but they are gradually picked off by arrow fire.,,,,but he has a plan to keep the centre busy whilst his other troops push around on the flanks, of course this plan will only work if they are actually able to take the flanks and things are not longing promising !
The King pulls forward his most powerful reserves......
The mountain tribesmen used to fighting in the hills manage to break through and attack all the way up the hill,  but it is an obvious mistake and despite pushing the cavalry back they are blown and eventually the remnants flee back off the hill
The centre of main Cilician line is only now starting to move, content to fire its arrows at long range, El-shabazz seen here on the right has realised that the enemy attacks in the centre are in fact feints and the pressure on both flanks is mounting....is the move too late ?
Pamphylian Infantry is still streaming forward 
The clash by the temple last almost all day Chariots crashing into Chariots and infantry repulsing numerous charges
Content to hold his ground King Bamdada continues to feed troops to the flank, the enemy can be seen starting to cross the river en mass
In the furious battle around the temple horse archers and light cavalry exchange missiles
Finally seeing the mercenary tribesmen break the Heavy cavalry charge catching the Cilician cavalry off guard and at the bottom of the hill or in the river bed, the contest is short and the ‘heavies’ reform to move up the hill.
The charge of the heavy cavalry !
King Bamdada looks on worriedly at his left flank undecided whether to commit his remaining infantry as he will have nothing left in the centre
As the remnants of the mercenaries stream away, they are unlikely to get paid now, the two units of heavy cavalry have regrouped and charge up the hill supported by the horse archers who have reformed and also crossed the river........sudden the left flank of the Cilician is looking vulnerable and 
El-shabazz’s look of confidence has changed to one of concern !
The heavy cavalry steam up the hill pushing the remaining light cavalry away and suddenly the whole of the Cilician left flank is exposed to them
The massed Cilician Infantry continue to advance unaware at this stage of their danger....
The king now back on the hill can see in the distance the opportunity is close if he can just hold the centre long enough 
The cavalry reform on the hill, they have started to get tired (pick up wounds) but the infantry at the bottom of the hill look terrified at the prospect of being charged down hill 
On the left flank the Pamphylians start to push forward their remaining light cavalry it is all or nothing and they must distract the enemy long enough for the heavy cavalry to close the trap
A cry goes up on the Cilician left ‘we are undone the enemy are behind us’ no longer sure where they should go more infantry moves across the river trying to escape the cavalry thundering down for the hill the whole of the Cilician army is being squeezed into a smaller and smaller pocket on the Dong side of the river.
The cavalry have charged down the hill and are easily able to cut down one then another infantry unit caught out unsupported as their support streams away across the river
The trap begins to close and skirmish troops start to whittle the Cilician down from a distance
Almost the end of the battle the heavy cavalry has reached the bottom of the hill and the whole of the flank has been turned suddenly El-shabazz realises the danger ...............
As darkness falls he can be seen issuing the final orders to his commander to pull the remaining units back across the river, they are only just in time as both flanks are now turned and there is a danger the whole army will be wiped out.
With the withdrawal under darkness of the enemy the Pamphylians camp on the field of battle, they are too tired to pursue and will need several days to prepare to advance.....but as a final desecration the King order the statue of Tarku to be pulled down his troops can be seen clearing in the background. It will make a nice centre piece back in his palace in Pelegi. 

What can we say....about that. At lunchtime the battle was over for the Pamphylians as they were unable to turn either flank and they were massively outnumbered in the centre. Then the dice gods changed and they managed to win through against the odds. An absolutely tremendous day of gaming...thank you Martin.......a battlefield covered in figures and plenty of twists and turns. It has of course set up the next battle nicely.......πŸ˜€
A final shot of El-shabazz surveying his forces, this is around lunchtime when the Cilician still looked very much in control of the battle πŸ˜€