Friday 29 April 2016

Kursk : The Battle for Prokhorovka : Blitzkrieg Commander

For our next venture onto the Eastern Front we wanted something which got lots of tanks onto the battlefield. What better than the largest tank battle during World War II. The battle for Prokhorovka is well documented, but for those who don't know the Germans in the summer of 1943 had planned a major offensive Operation Citadel. Hitler wanted a major offensive action whilst many of his experienced generals including Guderian wanted to let the Russian take the offensive and then use German mobility to counter attack. With a gradually reducing capacity to put sufficient armoured divisions into the field for a widespread offensive across the whole front, the Germans in the end focused on the Kursk salient.


The Battle for Prokhorovka took place just south east of Oboyan on the map above.


The recognised high point reached on the 12th July saw the largest single Tank battle of the WW2 take place around the small town of Prokhorovka. I have several books on the battle but have used the excellent Osprey Kursk 1943 Campaign by Mark Healy. The following graphic of the battle for Prokhorovka is from that book.

We have split the battle into three separate scenarios and actions.

1. The initial onslaught by 1SS Panzergrenadier Division 'Leibstandarte Adolf Hilter' , repulsed by the Russian 9th Guards.
2. The Counter attack by the 5th Guards on 'Totenkopf' Division.
3. The 'Das Reich' frontal assaults against the Russian 2nd Guards.

Roll on the armour.....

Super Books and a half built church!

Has been a really busy week this and family stuff not helped by my wife hurting her back. However as well as managing to progress a couple of projects....mainly the 28 mm church I bought at salute. I have also aquired two new books.

Church undergoing modifications

As usual my blogging can't keep up with the rest of my exploits. As I have two more games to blog 🙁 But I am trying not to let it bug me I'll try and get them loaded this weekend😀

Sunday 24 April 2016

The Adventures of Captain Lockhart : FIW Muskets and Tomahaks

We played a game a few weeks ago using Muskets and Tomahawks and those that follow my blog will know I have been moving from laptop to iPad. As part of the transition I have been looking for a way to do the comic style as easily as possible.....after a few suggestions I have a new app. So as a test and first experiment I can reveal the Adventures of Captain Lockhart.........

I see captain Lockhart being my heroic British character to balance with Gaston in our previous battles. So he will have more adventures in the future. I have learnt loads knocking this up.......

1. It takes ages but gets quicker😢
2. I need to take more close up photos....but don't want this to spoil the game.😠
3. I can do it all fairly easily with the right apps on the iPad.😀
4. Writing comics is fun 😀

Thursday 21 April 2016

The Battle for Little Orton : VBCW

These pictures have been on my iPad for a while and I just hadn't got round to sharing before the main battle at Albanich. It was a good battle so I thought I ought to share just for the record. The battle for Little Orton took place slightly to the north of Great Orton around the main village. My memory is a little hazy so I will let the pictures tell the story. The scenario we played was a 'breakthrough' battle where the Royalists had to push through the Albertine forces.

The spring offensive....

One of the St Andrews league units move into the village to take up defensive positions in the Butchers.

A strong Royalist force of regulars backed up by the Carlisle Constabulary approach the village from the SE.

Albertine forces dig in to the North with two Matilda l Tanks looking to force the right flank.

Air support for the Albertines.

Rolayist Vickers tanks probes down the Main Street forcing Scottish machine in crew to keep their heads down.

Fierce battle across the street with control swapping sides several times.

Albertne Militia charge down the Main Street.

Royalist forces out flank the Albertines but are then caught themselves and gunned down by a unit on the road.

End of the battle, the Royalists had managed to break through with a single unit and took the battle....but both sides had taken a lot of casualties.

Sunday 17 April 2016

Salute 2016 : and now the swag

Fair to say there weren't many bargains to be had at Salute least not that I could find. But I did have a list  and did pretty well.

The Haul....
Really there was only one thing I bought which wasn't on the list, that being a new Church. This is to replace the home made version I have used in the past. I will probably do  little tweaking as well.

The rest as usual covers the wide range of my interests, some Ancients to bulk out some half units I have in the todo box. Some Sarissa railway trucks for VBCW. Some more French Indian War figures including some Indian civilians. A copy of Blood Eagle and some shield Maidens to fight some epic saga's. Flags for FIW Grenadiers. A couple of VBCW figures including some woodbine poachers which I had pre ordered from Griping beast. Finally the Persians as I just wanted a box before they become completely unattainable...this I think might have been the only box at the show !

Ok I spent too much but in the scheme of things I am happy and it is cheaper than drugs or alcohol.

Salute 2016 : The day and the games

Well back at home after a great day down at Salute. It is a long way and needs an early start from up here in Cumbria, but savings on hotels can be spent on lead (MDF) instead. As there were two of us travelling down. I thought it would be good to get into the spirit of the day on the train.

I have a small game called Pocket Battles....the version I have gives battles between Macedonians and Persians, Alexander vs Darius. It is card based but gives quite a fun game and once you have mastered the rules the game plays in about 30 to 40 minutes.

We managed two games on the journey, one in which the Persian elephants were dominant and the second where the elephants were neutralised and the Macedonians victorious. You do need a flat surface but perfect for the train.

Salute was massive as usual.....almost overwhelming. I did some shopping and I'll post a picture of my haul later. I also played a demo game of Blood Eagle with the Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare and it was great to meet and talk to Craig. I met up with several people to catch up with and of course there were plenty of games to enjoy. I have only snapped the few I enjoyed most.....but not all the great games on show I sadly can't remember all the names of the clubs whose games I have shown..sorry.

The Blood Eagle participation game I played, based around the series The Vikings, it was fun and nicely setup....I really just wanted to check how Blood Eagle played before I went to buy a copy which I duly did and got Craig and Charles to sign it. So we will be playing some battles of this in the Dungeon soon.

We spent some time talking to these guys about there American/Martian game....this was something we have considered doing as a way to utilise my FoW Americans. If I hadn't spent all my money I would start looking for the Martians.

A lovely American Civil War battle, this is exactly what I am looking for when I get started into the project, unfortunately I keep being sidetracked by new shiny stuff.

This was a great game 3mm modern comabat between Israel and Syrians I think. Really like this and am going to explore this further as a possible option for Cold War gone hot, type theatres.

This was Michaels (Dalauppror Blog) Medeival Viking battle. Fantastic beach landing, everything was great.

Ok I took a photo of this one ! The collection was absolutely stunning the guy had an incredible collection of fantasy, GW type figures beautifully painted.....but for me I would prefer to see real war games in action. Everyone to their own.

I am always drawn to 6mm as it is a scale I really like to tanks, this was the only one I found, again Cold War type battle on a big scale but really nicely done. 

Can't say much about the next one....if they didn't win a prize then there is something wrong ! The battle was great figures beautiful etc......but the town !!!!!!!!!!!!

The Town !!!!!!!!!!in 28mm respect to these guys 

Final one from me a lovely English Civil War battle ...again a VERY high standard and some thing to aspire to !

Of course I have missed out loads of games which were great, in the heat and excitement I forgot to take to the haul.

Thursday 14 April 2016

Battle of Oenoe 461 BC : Peloponnesian Wars

It has been a while since we have played a Greek battle but we managed to get them onto the table a couple of evenings ago. We wanted something which I could manage within my current collection and a battle where we could use my Spartans.

The Battle of Oenoe 461 BC is slightly disputed by the sources according to the accounts I have read. But that never stopped us. The Spartan Army marched north into Argive Territory, the Argives having recently allied with the hated Athenians. Although they had hoped to take the Argives by surprise this didn't work and the road was blocked by a sizeable force near the border town of Oenoe on the Charadrus River. Out numbered it seems the two battle lines would have been matched in length but the Spartans were heavily outnumbered so would by necessity have formed a much shallower line. They were also outnumbered in light troops and cavalry.

The Spartans preference would have been to roll the Argives up from the (Argive) left flank but the River prevented this and the Argive light troops prevented a move to the (Spartan) left this gave two choices a frontal assault or retreat, and the Spartans didn't like retreating.

The initial setup up for the Battle, Spartan Army to the right, with the better Spartiate troops closer to the river in the distance. Their left is dominated by Perioeci (less well trained spearmen and peltasts). To the left the Athenian and Argives. A deeper battle line and with more light troops and cavalry. To counter this numerical advantage we gave the Spartans better stats and superior morale.

Wider shot of the battle field

View from the Athenian lines as the Spartans begin to march slowly across the ground, no doubt accompanied by their flute music.

Whilst the Spartan right are keen to get into battle their less effective left wing is more reluctant, they hold back and begin to exchange long range attacks.

Light troops from the Argive Left flank move forward to try and weaken the advancing Spartans but they are charged by the disciplined Phalanx of Spartiates easily pushing them aside.

Finally the two main forces clash man to man I the front ranks of the Phalanx. 

The battle on the far side now becomes a battle of attrition as the best troops from both sides seek to get the advantage. Whilst lighter Athenian troops attempt to turn the Spartan left flank.

Eventually the Athenian right flank is too strong and starts to push the Spartan left flank back.

Wounds are being taken on both sides so it is only a matter of time before the main troops start to fall back, it was still not clear at this stage who might win.

In the end though, with the risk of being outflanked the Spartans began to waiver first. Not quite a rout but defiantly a victory for the Athenians.

We were using a modified version of the Kings of War rules and they worked really well, so well that the game was over slightly quickly. In about 2 hours. I think the perfect solution is to modify up these rules just enough to give a slightly longer and more tactical battle. It was great for historical accuracy in fact this appears to be exactly what happen back in 461BC. The Spartans feeling themselves being outflanked took the decision to withdraw in order.

Tuesday 12 April 2016

48th Foot : French Indian War

Almost another unit completed for my French Indian War collection. These are the 48th Foot. I have painted the two standard bearers but don't have flags yet which I am hoping to get at Salute.

The 48th Foot
As part of a 'special deal' Steve base painted these figures for me, I then took over to complete the bases and finish off with highlighting. Really happy with the result as they match in well with my other British. They are Redoubt figures.

Sunday 10 April 2016

The Sultan's Egg : IHMN

The following article appeared in the Carlisle Gazette last Monday after Easter


It is with great regret that the Editor must inform his loyal readers that despite significant additional security at the Carlisle museum around Easter an attempt was made to steal the famous Sultan's Egg. As this very paper had been instrumental in publicising the arrival of the Sultan's treasures in Carlisle and had hoped to bring its readers a little Eastern and Exotic culture it is to our own shame that an attempt was made over the Easter Weekend to steal not only the famous Egg but also the other treasures.

Luckily the paper can now inform worried readers that Chief Inspector Rose was able to assure the Public that the plot had been foiled and the Egg was safe. He did inform us that one part of the Sultans' treasure was missing but that his Constables were on the case and at this very moment scouring the back streets of Carlisle in search of the villains who had perpetrated the crime. 

Apparently the Criminals had attempted to access the secure storage vaults under the Museum through a network of old tunnels and sewers which run under that part of the City. Despite the diligent work of the Constabulary it was through these tunnels the gang made its escape.

When the Chief was asked about security in other parts of the City, he assured readers that he believed this to have been an outside job and the criminals were probably many miles away by now.

So our Readers can rest safe in their beds ........

Chief Inspector Rose and the Carlisle Constabulary

Colonel Cavendish and the Border Regiment
The Earl of Lonsdale and his Reckless Fops
Justice Blackborough and the Botchergate Ruffians
THE SET UP ........ we played IHMN with four factions each starting from a corner of the 'above ground' portion of the table. They could then access the 'sewers and tunnels' through manholes and drain covers. A few special rules....the underground areas were dark with only a 12" visibility. The Egg and the other treasures were worth victory points as were victims from other factions. No running on ladders, all doors were locked (except the Police station for the Constabulary of course) and there were a few minor surprise creatures in the dungeon hidden in crates. The objective for all factions was to capture the Egg, secondly the treasure and thirdly kill off the opposition.

The Above Ground set up...

The Below Ground sewers and tunnels....I haven't got the orientation quite right

THE GAME .........

With each faction starting in a different corner there were lots of options ......... run for the sewers or attack above ground hoping to weaken the others before going for the Egg. (with so much going on I didn't get that many photos)

Chief Inspector heads for the police Station
 But there is no love lost between the Earl of Lonsdale and the Constabulary and the Earl immediately chooses to go on the offensive rather than head for the sewers.

The earl and the Fops start exchanging gunfire
But long range shooting and running gives a low chance of hitting and shooting at this early stage was pretty ineffective.

On the other edge of town Justice Blackborough has ordered the Ruffians below ground hoping to make the most of the skirmish between the Earl and the Chief Inspector.
Gunshots also ring out underground
 After a couple of turns all four factions started to enter the Tunnels in search of the treasure.
Drawn by the gunshots the boys in blue investigate
Several of the crates hold nasty surprises these being activated when  figure moves to within 3" some how these had been left in positions where it was impossible to avoid activating them !
Arrrghhhhh I hate spiders!
 One of the Ruffians wrestles with a giant spider.....a lucky shot to the head kills it before it bites.

A constable secures the Egg only to be attack from behind by a giant sewer rat

and Bats as well.......................

the Egg secured but they are surrounded by gangs looking to steal it
 By now most factions were underground although everybody had left at least one person above ground to either guard entrances or cut off anybody escaping with the Egg.
The main street now empty a Fop heads for a manhole ...
 Below ground the fights which were spread out were hotting up, Justice Blackborough had already lost several Ruffians so decided to go on the offensive against the Border Regiment.

The Borderers have captured a golden statue
The disciplined Border Regiment had accessed the sewers fairly quickly and were now making the most of it, capturing the first golden statue.

Blackborough fights with Cavendish and Sgt Maxwell
The Game in progress....
Mrs Cranston and the Earl looking to sneak up on the Constabulary
 The fighting in the closed environment of the sewers was up close and Blackborough and Cavendish were still at it. But Colour Sgt Bourne has located a second golden statue and his making his way towards the nearest exit. Fergusson the steam Private has also found his way into the sewer, who knows what will happen if he explodes down here in a confined space !
The fighting in the fighting in the sewers is rough and bloody !
 Meanwhile.......the Constabulary having fought of several creatures is starting to carry the Egg to safety, they have also secured a statue.

Very heavy ! Egg
 By now we were running out of time, the Border regiment managed to carry one of their two captured statues above ground, the only faction to achieve this. Unfortunately Lady Violet was waiting above ground promptly shot the private and picked up the statue.
Ooo look what I have found ! this point the battle ended. Every faction had managed to at least claim a statue, the Constabulary had managed to secure the Egg but hadn't really made it safe. The Earl and the Fops had done most of the killing. On balance we gave the adventure to the Earl and the Fops. But clearly there are a number of statues now hidden around Carlisle and several grudges to be settled.

A fun game...everything worked pretty well I was just a little ambitious on the timings and we really needed another hour and it was tea time !