Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Battle for Middle Earth

For a change we got my Lord of the Rings collection out last Saturday for a battle. What is nice is each time I get it out I find a few more figures and get them painted up as seen in my last post. I do have a few more figures floating around ….the danger of course is the urge to pick up just a few more and I really don’t need any.

Our battle is not based on anything ‘specific’ in the literature although having seen a few eleven armies and conversions recently that would be a nice idea I’m hoping this urge will pass !

The forces of Good Rohan and Gondor take on the combined might of the Witch King and Saruman. Given the nature of the battle and the irregular forces I haven’t done a blow by blow account of the battle. We used Kings of War with some modified statistics, we didn’t get all these quite right as the trolls proved to be a bit too resilient and the Good Hero’s not tough enough ! I also have a slight imbalance with too many forces of evil. Despite all this the game provide a very enjoyable days gaming.
The initial set up roughly 8 x 5 somewhere in Middle Earth
The stoutly armoured men of Gondor 
Mordor has unleashed a mix of Wargs, Orcs and huge armoured trolls !
He doesn’t play often if ever so the evil force is led by the Witch-King himself , we gave him some special rules (which was a mistake !)
The clatter of hooves as the Riders of Rohan arrive
Soooooo many Urk hai coming out of the woods
Too many ! 
Tactics what tactics the evil doers are simple here to kill or enslave men and bring the whole of Middle Earth under darkness ! They rush across the field
Some early success sees the Gondorian Knights push back and eventually get the better of the Wargs
Gondorian Rangers are holding the small hill and successfully hold back the onslaught at least for a while.
More Knights push across the stream
At the small temple a fierce hand to hand fight, how long can the men survive?
A wave of death charges across the stream and the men of Gondor brace themselves
The witch king swoops in
You shall not pass, unfortunately Gandalf is not quite as tough as I had hoped he wounds the troll but isn’t quite able to kill it 
The first wave has been held back but then another troll charges the bridge !
Faramir takes on the Black knight one to one but he falls, perhaps only wounded ?
Sarumans Uruk Hai are now swarming around the temple hill
Eomer charges into the berserkers to stem the tide and another Hero falls 😢
The Rohirrim cavalry are using their bows to avoid hand to hand combat
Some fantastic saves by the Rangers who roll two consecutive double ones to stay in the fight
Fighting all along the battlefront 👍
The witch-king is still causing trouble
Boromir smashed into by a huge armoured troll, now in the films he would easily win ?
On the right the good guys are just holding
But just as the Gondorian cavalry threaten a breakthrough the witch king circle around to catch them in the rear 😠
By this stage after several hours (literally) the forces of good are being thinned down, and they don’t have an answer to the trolls
But they are still holding the stream
Did I mention the eagle which ? Seems ok at killing Orcs but couldn’t tackle the trolls
At this point keen for not all the hero’s to die , Boromir and Gandalf at this stage are both fighting separate trolls we call it a day and the good guys flee back to Minis Tirith and Helms Deep respectively. The orcs are too busy feeding on ‘man-flesh’ to chase them down.

Jolly fun game, I need to upgrade the hero’s and downgrade the trolls slightly otherwise the armies are quite well balanced. Who knows we might get these out again sometime soon as I have some other stuff which has virtually never been on the table.

On a different note I ordered up some anti tank guns at Christmas, unfortunately when I opened them the tracks of the carriers are all miss cast. I contacted PSC and they have been very good about some new  ones are on the way.

As always thanks for checking in …..Matt

Update the replacement carriers and guns have arrived in 2 days so excellent service we’ll done Plastic Soldier Company 👍

Monday, 23 January 2023

Monday morning painting progress

Just a quick update so I don’t get too far behind on posts. Whilst setting up for our big LOTR battle at the weekend I discovered a few Urk hai which hadn’t been painted so I rushed these through on Friday evening for the Saturday battle.

GW figures which I had picked up ages ago, when I post the battle you will see I have quite a lot of these one had lost his sword so is now armed with an axe which is probably fine.
To supplement the developing American force I have been looking for bargains on eBay and picked up these two at a reasonable price, especially since the general prices of figures have all gone up recently. A medium mortar team
and a Heavy .50 cal machine gun team. Needs an extra figure for CoC as they are manned by Five figures. I still need to purchase a few more GI’s but we are attending  VAPNARTAK in York on the 5th February so hope to pick up a few there.

That’s it for now I am working on some 15mm M3 Kangaroo conversions using the bits left over from the PSC box. And will post up the LOTR battle when I have sorted the photos.

Thanks for checking in 


Saturday, 21 January 2023

The Battle of Ridgefield 1777 : AWI

Our journey through the AWI resumes in April 1777 with the small battle of Ridgefield. Surprisingly for a fairly small engagement there is quite a bit of information on the internet about the series of skirmishes which took place in or close to Ridgefield in Connecticut on the 27th April. In part I think as the town appears to have a very active Historical Society. In short the British under General Tryon landed troops on the coast of Fairfield County. Having marched inland and torched part of the Town of  Danbury to destroy rebels supplies stored there. The Rebels under General Wooster and Benedict Arnold looked to ambush the British on their march back south. Several small indecisive skirmishes took place on the road back south. These culminated at Ridgefield where the Americans had blocked the road.

Map of the overall raid into Connecticut 
The Rebels prepare to defend Ridgefield
Some of the history of the battle has been preserved in the town and a museum still displays one of the British cannon balls fired during the fight in the wall of the building.
Given the size of the engagement a useful map of the situation. 
Obviously I had to scale this down to something we could run as a game. Above the main elements of Ridgefield, the British would be attacking from this end. The roadblock , waiting to be outflanked on Main Street.
I thought we would try a slightly different scenario to the usual frontal assault. So the British represented by three regiments the 23rd, 27th and 64th Foot and supported by artillery will try to capture the town. The Americans who must setup on the line of the barricade must attempt to escape the table. The British will gain points for each sector of the town captured, the Americans for each British unit killed or for each American unit off the table after 10 turns. The table is 5 x4 feet, points wise using Rebels and Patriots the British have 54 points the Americans 30. The 2 British cannons only have a range of 36” so will become ineffective at long range. So onto the action 🙂
The British at their start point
And the rebels manning the barricade 
The American forces are a mix of regulars and irregular with skirmishers, some have been placed right at the each of town to delay the British advance
The rest are massed along the line of the barricade
As soon as the broths start their advance the Americans open up
On the right the British immediately falter and the lead company is pushed back !
…but the Americans know they can’t hold the town so start to pull back
Forcing the rebels away from the barricade the way is open ?
British make better progress down the left , but still they are suffering poor morale (a number of early failed activation rolls !)
The attack moves towards the left
Finally the cannons start to have an impact and the rebels on the right pull back
Benedict Arnold supports his troops close to the church
by now the British have forced their way down the left knocking out several skirmish units
A view form above shows the position, but the Americans are still holding the church 
Much of the fighting is hand to hand where the British clear out buildings where the rebels are hiding
The fighting was intense but the British are struggling to capture the church
General Arnold chooses to escape the battlefield and fight another day rather than get captured
The American hero’s of the day ! Who held the church till the end
They are now surrounded but at the end of turn ten they are still holding on
A final shot, the rest of the rebels have escaped the town !

A very enjoyable battle, the British yet again hampered by some incredibly bad activation rolls early on things improved but it was too late to catch the Americans who gave some well directed fire then promptly moved off through the town and the British couldn’t catch them. Fun to play a different scenario we gave the victory to the Americans who did what they needed to do, the British had their chances but the Americans frustratingly passed their tests when they needed to. The British cannons also failed a number of activations ! Technically I think the Americans scored about 20 points the British 12 for the sectors captured. 

As always thanks for checking in….some more painting next and a massive LOTR battle