Thursday, 31 August 2017

The Moors : Islamic Crossbowmen

I don't want anybody to think I paint a unit every evening, I tend to have several units on the go at once but every now and then several get completed around the same time. Such is the case with these crossbowmen. Pretty happy with these and with only 8 their costumes are slightly more decorated.
 There are only eight of them ideal for saga but can be used at a stretch for Lion Rampant and other small scale skirmish games.
I then thought it would be a good time to take a photo of the developing Moorish/Islamic Army to date...a mixture of colourful swords men, intimidating spearmen and missile troops. I do have a couple more spearmen units to complete but they aren't prep yet. I'll take votes on whether to do more dark colours or colourful units ? I have some Turcopole mercenary archers a small unit of camels but at some point some nice gripping beast cavalry will be needed. Nice to see them developing into a force which could see action on the table soonish πŸ˜€

The thunder of hooves : Scythian Horse Archers

Working away during the evenings between ACW stuff I have managed to finish these Scythian Horse archers, these will form form part of my slowly developing Persian army and probably appear as mercenaries. Wouldn't it be nice to have a much larger force of Scythians but these will have to do for now.
They are Essex riders but with some, fairly random horses I picked up at a show flea market. They will most likely play as two troops in our Kings of War games. Don't look too hard at the painting but they look ok at a distance πŸ˜€ Their finishing almost coincides with the up and coming British Museum exhibition which is no my list of things to attend  in the next few months.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Operation Sealion : The Battle for the Western Heights

The Western Heights is a militarised area on the outskirts of Dover, fortified during the napoleonic period there are a mixture of gun emplacements, batteries and redoubts. As the Germans close in on the Harbour they must force their way through or risk having a pocket of resistance in their rear. The main target is the Harbour but this secondary objective must be taken first. (For this scenario I have considerably reduced the defensive capacity of the Western Heights but I think this is fair on the basis that the Germans would have bombed it to hell prior to the invasion)

The area is well defended by the Royal West Kent Regiment, but they are being attacked from all sides reports are coming in that Germans are pushing east towards Dover from the Warren area but also direct assaults are coming into the Harbour. Captain Mercer has been ordered to the Heights to stabilise the position. The two units on duty have already dug in along the forward trenches but Mercer has only been able to pull together a rag tag force as a relief. Particularly lacking in artillery he is hoping the Germans aren't heavily armed. He has called in additional support but a second Bren Gun carrier has been delayed and won't arrive until turn three.

The Germans consist of the veteran 143rd Mountain troops, pioneer squads including a flamethrower to clear out any stubborn defence......the Germans can't mess about the area must be cleared to allow the Harbour to be captured. 

The battlefield is quite contained a few military buildings and a series of trenches and dug outs which should make good defensive positions.

The Royal West Kent Regiment have deployed an infantry unit in both trench sections
The german infantry advance on mass, machine guns and mortars laying down covering fire while the veteran gerbesjager and pioneers break through the wire
Captain Mercer arrives from Dover in the nick of time pushing his infantry forward supported by the Bren Gun carrier, the smith gun is slowly rolled into position by the fence it is debatable whether this will be of much help ?
 In the other trench the forward unit has been spooked (random special event allowing the german commander to send them incorrect orders) the Brits have also pulled forward a spigot mortar !
More of Mercers infantry rush forward whilst a Vickers sets up close to an air raid shelter 
In the enclosed southern trench section it is getting nasty.
The smith gun is now in place but nobody is sure how to fire it
Close quarters firing in the trench whilst Captain Mercer orders another unit forward
German pioneers are breaking through the barbed wire and other infantry have made it into the northern trench
In the southern trench the Dover lads have seen off the first wave of attack but veteran gerbesjager are just about to rush the trench
More Germans have made the Northern trench...it is brutal fighting up close.......but oh no the flamethrower is being brought up to clear out the defenders
Finally the second Bren Gun carrier has made it through from Dover army camp, but with the Germans now gaining the protection of the trench the additional fire support may not be enough
Sorry this was a shot just to show how lovely the trench looks.......
More work for the British, charged in the trench it is man on man, brutal the Brits have no chance........
But from nowhere (lucky dice rolling) british cold steel wins out and the gerbesjager unit is driven off.......exhausted the remaining Brits brew up.......
Both gun carriers are now in play firing into the trench but other than keeping the Germans heads down they do little real damage
The defenders are now getting thin on the ground, another unit of pioneers has made the trench
Then to the German commanders horror a stray bullet hits the fuel tank of the flamethrower it explodes in a terrifying cloud of gas and flames
Thinking the moment has come Mercer charges the german officer, leaping into the trench they fight one on one, both men are killed in the ensuing combat.

All hope has now gone for the defenders the Germans have too many troops in the trench, leaderless the British start to pull back into Dover preparing for a last stand around the Harbour and Castle.

A very enjoyable game, the trench system isn't mine but Steve had recently completed it so we wanted to get it into play. The scenario was perfect for this πŸ˜€

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Artillery through the ages

Have been busy with work, holidays and other stuff so slow but gradual progress. When in York I had visited one of the few remaining model shops where I had picked up a model for Operation Sealion, l have also been working on my ACW Rebels ..........
German Kfz 69 artillery transport vehicle and a Pak 36 antitank gun, both are 1:48 scale so slightly large but not so much that you would notice, the gun crew were a gift and an odd Warlord figure I had left over. I do have some sitting down crew to finish off but I want to make them removable
Second group of artillery completed were these Rebel guns ready to roar
Finally a shot as I put the guns into the rebel box I realised it was now full a nice feeling onto the next box 😬

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Castles, painting and beer !

We are just back from a very pleasant week in Yorkshire. Weather was great and it was nice to have some downtime in a very quiet location near the village of Hovingham. With most family holidays I plan on doing some painting in between trips and shopping and meals. This was no exception and I did pretty well. Also managed a couple of castles and picked up a couple of excellent second hand books and a German Kfz 69...... but I haven't painted this yet πŸ™‚
Helmsley castle well worth a visit the village is nice too
Clifford Tower...bit of a rip off but the views were great
Can never have too many books and I had been painting more Moors
This is an outstanding book even on my brief skim......very rare to find something quite so specific and relevant in a charity shop ! 
Also excellent...very detailed covering a significant amount of the use of elephants during the ancient period
And the painting.........

British reinforcements for Operation Sealion
German pioneer squad....mainly crusader but with a couple of slightly modified Warlord
Blacktree Arabs/Moors
Moorish archers
Not actually painted on holiday but I finished off the bases when we got back...my first unit of confederate cavalry
and the beer..........πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Pottering down in London

I have been down in London for a couple of days, there is always so much to see and do here are a few highlights from a military / gaming perspective πŸ˜€
Imperial War Museum πŸ˜€
The original Sealion map on display πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€
A Smith gun....and I only just made one the other day πŸ˜€πŸ˜€
Flak 88 πŸ˜€
Campaign map drawn by Romel for the desert campaign
Two of the Rorke's drift VC's Chard on the left
Mr Awdry πŸ˜€ at the portrait gallery
Excellent Russian Revolution exhibition at the British Library πŸ˜€