Saturday 27 February 2016

Fellowship of the Ring : Dragon Rampant

Behind on Blogs again ! must try harder. We thought we would try Dragon Rampant with our LOTR figures. After our previous test with DR I was not that impressed....this battle changed everything...... Our scenario had the full fellowship attempting to get across the battlefield to the entrance of Moria marked by a statue. Each of the  Heros had his own stats, (either as Elite or heavy Infantry with appropriate special rules, the only one we might tweek was Legolas who just seemed a bit slow on the day ?) with the Hobbits effectively as two tokens to be protected at all cost. They were up against a mass of Orcs and Uruk-hai coming on from all corners. (see also Hobby Horse Blog) having completed this the photos look a bit fuzzy, sorry I think I may have made a loading or uploading error somewhere.

The game was close and felt balanced despite the big difference in numbers, this is perhaps the biggest advantage with DR allowing us to have a fun battle which was close to the end, I did find myself quoting the film a lot during the battle. I have since tried some similar exploits and will blog them soon.......I am already thinking of other options such as a mines of Moria adventure....... just need some more Goblins I think.

The end in sight : VBCW

Have been finishing off more stuff this afternoon ready for Dumfries and I think I am there now on the figures. Any thing else will be 'eye candy'. But I do have some base board work to do ...hopefully tomorrow. Some of the figures were from York show, the gun crews I had to get separately as I couldn't find any at the show. My 25 pdrs are not quite to scale but as I have been playing with them for about 45 years and I'm not going to change them now.
Royal Cumberland Artillery Battery

Royalist recon unit

Motorcycle outrider/recon unit

Friday 26 February 2016

Prince Alberts Scottish Tank Corps : VBCW

Well the start of it anyway...... Have had a nasty head cold today so only been able to tinker and finish stuff off between sneezes etc.. But here we have an armoured unit to support our other scots. Two Matilda I's. The drivers are of course removable and I have kept the scheme fairly neutral. Their first outing will be as part of Prince Aberts Scottish Tank Corps. They have tracked down from the north avoiding Scottish Independent forces and Royalists' to support Prince Alberts' supporters in West Cumberland.
Scottish Tank Corps

Wednesday 24 February 2016

Albanich 2016 - Sheep : VBCW

Three weeks now to Albanich 2016. This will be my first demonstration game.....I am excited and slightly nervous preparations are pretty well advanced with a decreasing amount of stuff to finish off, although I can see myself fiddling right up to the deadline. As a morale boost I painted up the following.
Sheep and Lucy
Road signs....home made
The game we are planning will be part of our VBCW spring offensive and see the Royalists pushing west to Thurstonfield. Here the local militia will attempt to hold whilst Albertine reinforcements are brought up to the battle.

Monday 22 February 2016

In HIS Majesty's Name : FIW

Our French hero Francois Gaston de Levis is back in action having rescued the Acadian civilians in his last adventure he now has to escort them to safety across hostile territory. The English commander Braddock has sent a strong group of allied Mohawk and Seneca natives to ambush Francois and kill the civilians if they can. Francois has a small group of French regulars and scouts together with some local militia.

We decided as a change to play French Indian War with IHMN which obviously now becomes In His Majesty's Name. The conversion was really easy and with relatively poor quality muskets reducing the range and effectiveness of shooting it worked quite well. The native braves were obviously better in combat etc...I can provide more specific details if anybody wants them)

On to the story........... emerging from the woods on the outskirts of the village Francois and his men can see the safety of the French stockade. But the four surviving Acadian civilians are tired and hungry. Count Beauchamp and his wife together with Pierre Leaubutt and his beautiful daughhter Lilly. All they have to do is get across the small stream through the village and into the stockade.

Scene from the village Mohawks are already in the woods
The natives allied to the British start in the far two corners and immediately start to spread out through the woods, a second small group take cover by a stone wall, hoping for a lucky long range shot.
Francois enters in the far corner
Wary Francois sends out scouts who come under fire. He now has the difficult balance of keeping moving whilst fighting the is going to be a though challenge !

Francois stays close to Lilly to protect her  ?
As the french spread out it is clear they need to commit to one direction or another if they stay put they are done for as the Natives close in and if they spread out too far they will be picked off.
Coming under fire !
The decision is made and whilst Francois heads north towards the river the rest of the party moves east past the loggers cabin all the time keeping the Count, Pierre and the Lady's under close cover.
Musket start to fly but initially have little effect
All is still quiet around the Church. We also rolled for side plots to add some spice, as the natives I rolled for my War Chief locally known as Chief  Grey Wolf  'madness' this meant each turn when i wished to command him there was a 50% chance he would instead work for the french ! he did this almost 80% of the time so spent most of the battle stumbling around the graveyard mumbling incantations to himself it was obviously a bad day or he had eaten far to many mushrooms.

Chief  Grey Wolf behaving very oddly indeed !
Meanwhile on the other side of the river the real battle was hotting up.
Even the Count gets into combat
The Acadian civilians have come under attack and only the quick thinking of the french scouts manage to fight the natives off. The Count is attacked in person whilst Pierre, Lilly and Madame Beauchamp scamper through the trees towards the river.

Fierce hand to hand fighting
By the loggers cabin fierce hand to hand fighting has broken out, initially Sgt Gronad forces the Natives back with his two handed Pike but eventually there are too many and the Militia supporting Gronad are too weak.
The Count doffs his cap  as he is attacked ?
But what of our hero I hear you say........ to the west Francois is attempting to cross the river perhaps to find a quicker way to the stockade or to bring extra help. However, from nowhere he is attacked as he crosses the river and knocked to the ground, as a pool of blood spreads into the river it is not clear if he is dead or not. All we know is he played no further part in the battle !!! (with his excellent pluck it required a really rubbish roll to get him knocked out thanks Steve !)

mon dieu je suis mort !
Somehow the civilians have made it to the river intact and prepare to wade across....but there are natives watching and waiting to ambush from the other side.
Wonder how deep the river is here ? first my dear
Luckily I didn't get a shot of the next gruesome action as Madame Beauchamp whilst wading across the River was attacked and slaughtered by one of the Mohawk warriors.
Across the river at last 
Shocked by the brutal murder right in front of their eyes the final three make a dash for it, they have now outrun their protectors who are left to fend of the last of the natives. One final dash but Pierre is caught from behind losing his scalp in the process.
Safe at last the Count and Lilly make it to the stockade
But the blood letting isn't quite over as the remaining french scouts and regulars try to mop up the final Natives .....after all the only good Indian is a dead one as far as they are concerned.
the final confrontation but too late for Pierre Leaubutt
Technically it was a draw with 50% of the civilians escaping, it was a great game close to the end and the IHisMN rules worked really well with 1750's FIW.  Luckily when the french had mopped up the last Indians they were able to search the river bank for their dead and wounded comrades....lying in a pool of blood they find Francois a nasty gash to the head and with considerably blood loss but he is ALIVE. When he has recovered we will be playing again and looking for revenge against the redcoats !

Friday 19 February 2016

St Andrews League : VBCW

Pushing on with the preparations. We had always intended have Scottish factions in our campaign so I had picked some up off eBay a while ago. No way I was going to get these done in time so a good mate (Steve) offered to paint them up. This done all I needed to do was base them and spend a little bit of time making them look a bit more VBCW.

We have enough for three 9 man units each with a company lead figure, a Vickers MG and an officer Major Hamish Frazer. One unit has a Lewis gun as well so an excellent start to a Scottish faction. I have as usual kept them fairly generic so they can fight as a range of possible faction, Independent Scottish republicans, Royalists or as in this case St Andrews League who are allied to the Albertine forces in West Cumberland. The flag is removable.

Add caption

Thursday 18 February 2016

Reinforcements arrive : VBCW 'Spring Offensive'

A day off work whoopee ........and the post man has finally delivered the final reinforcements for the Dumfries show game. Broadly I feel on schedule but with a couple of free days (rain dependant) I am planning to crack on. So here we have gun crews for the Royalists.....not decided on a colour scheme yet, I 'll be looking to convert one to hold a banner, I will probably try and squeeze three crews and create some flexibility.

 Second up the eagerly awaited tank support for the Albertines. These were order to catch the warlord few deal and an extra tank to get the free postage.......did I just fall into an obvious marketing ploy oops. Anyway you really can't have too many early war tanks can you. So two Matilda I 's these will definitely be playing at Dumfries, an extra Vickers and a Matilda II not sure yet if these will make the frontline by Dumfries.

Tuesday 16 February 2016

Zanzibar Gold : IHMN

Following their previous adventures both Colonel Cavendish and the Earl of  Lonsdale had been spending some time recuperating as had a number of their respective companies. It was then something of a surprise when they separately received un-signed letters informing them that a certain foreign gentleman wished to meet them. It was at these clandestine meetings that they were both informed that the certain foreign gentleman, a Mr Barghash wished to recruit their company's to help him reclaim some of his lost wealth. It was only later they they were to discover that the gentleman was none other than the disgraced Sultan of Zanzibar Khalid bin Barghash.

By some strange turn of events the Sultans gold had been stolen by Russian pirates who had  made their way to the West Coast of England (I sense Smirnov's involvement). Here the trail had gone cold but it was believed the gold had been stashed in the small village of  Rockcliffe as the Pirates heading inland by boat had hurriedly unloaded their booty before the authorities had got wind of it.

After considerable investment Mr Barghash (the Sultan) had traced the gold but now needed it reclaiming on his behalf. What the others didn't know was the urgency was in part because the Sultan already knew the Secret Society of Thule had tracked down the gold and was already on their way. The Sultan was insistent that the gold be retrieved quickly to claim any share of the prize. one evening we find our unsuspecting companies approaching the village.

(a simple capture scenario with each of the three companies entering from a corner their objective to capture the gold in the centre of the board and get it back to base if they can) 

Earl of Lonsdale and his Reckless Fopps
Colonel Cavendish and the Border Regiment
The Colonel has brought Fergusson the Automated Steam Private on the mission. His force splits in two, some heading through the village with Colour Sargent Bourne and the rest through the schoolhouse.
The Society of Thule
Bullets start to whizz across the Graveyard
The 5th Earls' Company appear less than focused this evening
Thule make for the Treasure hidden in the barrel ?
Scuffles break out around the White School House
Colour Sargent Bourne is knocked down
One of the Earl's men has the Barrel but for how long
We encounter the Thule undead creatures for the first time..........but Captain Bromhead is made of sterner stuff than most.

Colonel Cavendish appears distracted
Colonel Cavendish appears distracted while his good friend Captain Bromhead fights with increasing numbers of Thule undead creatures. Sargent Maxwell who has already dispatched a number of enemy runs to rescue his Colonel from danger.

Maxwell must choose who to save Bromhead or Cavendish ?
The Treasure is almost forgotten at this stage...
Cavendish is knock out cold
By now the battle had broken down into small clusters of combatants, key amongst these was the battle between Cavendish and Lonsdale which in then end saw Cavendish and Sargeant Maxwell out of the game.......but it was too late having been distracted by their own petty rivalry the Society of Thule had captured the treasure.

(In the end the scenario proved too hard for any one Company however it provided an excellent battle. This is the first time we have had three companies on the table and it worked ok nearly everybody was knocked out of the game and the Society of Thule who started off pretty badly had more figures and the barrel when we called a halt)

I think it is only fair to tell readers that when the Society of Thule got back to their camp they discovered the barrel was in fact packed with Lead Shot. As they licked their wounds both the Earl and the Colonel were contemplating how they could gain revenge against the Sultan who had clearly double crossed them and how they could get their hands on some of his treasure......only time with tell if they are successful.