Wednesday 28 February 2018

The madness and joy of wargaming πŸ˜€

I don’t normally do WIP posts A there would be too many and B it takes too long. But I walked home from work through the snow this evening and remembered I had spent the yesterday late evening spray undercoating some figures in the garage, so before I took off my winter clothes I brought them in and put them on the kitchen just seemed a nice (crazy) picture to share πŸ˜€

Camel archers, slingers and yes a Tiger Tank πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

Monday 26 February 2018

The Battle of Tanagra 457 BC : First Peloponnesian War

The Battle of Tanagra was fought in 457 BC between Sparta and Athens during the First Peloponnesian War. There isn’t a lot of information on the battle but from the various sources the following is a very brief summary.
When the Phocians made war on the cities of Doris the traditional homeland of Doric Greeks—Sparta sent a relief force under the command of Nicomedes with an army of 1,500 Spartan hoplites and 10,000 of their allies.
Athens, already contemptuous of Spartan treatment and now suspecting her of negotiating with factions within Athens to undermine their democracy, manoeuvred to cut off the Spartan army isolated in Boeotia.
Meeting the Spartans on the plains outside Tanagra in 457 BC Athens under the command of Myronides fielded most of her land army, supported by troops from Argos and by contingents from their other allies, making up altogether a force of 14,000 men. Although both sides sustained "great losses," the Spartans were victorious.
A great opportunity to get (nearly) all my greeks on the battlefield πŸ˜€
The initial setup, Athenians and Spartans would have taken the far right end of their respective lines, the place of honour, with less deserving allies towards the left. The Homoioi are the true spartan citizens. The Spartans true to history have very limited light troops although their alllies the Boeotians have some light cavalry. The Athenians are supported on the right by some Thessalian cavalry but in the historical battle they swopped sides so we created a special rule whereby a failed nerve test would see them change sides.

A closer look at the Athenian citizen Hoplites 
The spartan perioikoi looking to impress their commander Nicomedes
The two battlelines start to break up slightly as they advance
The Athenians have a small contingent of Athenian archers
As the battlelines close the skirmishers trade slingshot and arrows but apart from getting in the way they have little effect
The Spartans beat their shields and adavance to the sound of twin flutes
The Argive Hoplites tremble and wish they hadn’t allied with the Athenians !
The Athenians can’t wait to get to grips with the Boeotians but can’t get the skirmishers out the way to charge
The first big clash as the Spartan crash into the Argive phalanx
At the other end of the battlefield the lines have been broken
The skirmishers continue to jostle in the centre
A huge melee in the centre (the white dice marking casualties show that each phalanx is gradually being worn down and will enventually break) the battle will turn on who can hold the longest
After several turns of to and fro the Athenians get the advantage and are able to start to turn the spartan flank
The last Boeotian phalanx is also close to breaking
The Athenians can sense victory but are already very tired
Flipping history on it heads the Thessalian cavalry never fails a nerve test and holds true to their Athenian allies
The remaining Spartans unbroken gather around their commander before withdrawing from the field in good order
The final shot of the battlefield the exhausted Athenians have won, but don’t have the energy to chase down the Spartans
Well we tricked history with this one, the Spartans can always find more allies and they can march home claiming a draw but we know different.
A very fun battle, true greek battles can feel a little static as the push of hoplite on hoplite turns the fortune of each city state but this was fun. For those with a need to know such details the battlefield is 6x4, we played with Kings of War with some house modifications and some specific house stats for certain units. This is nearly all of my Hoplites, and there is only one in the lead pile awaiting production. I do need some more greek light cavalry though πŸ˜€

Sunday 25 February 2018

One more for Dumfries πŸ˜€

Not the only thing I have completed recently but thought I would share. My shopping buddy Picked up a couple ! of kubelwagons at Show last year And you can only use so many. So this one has been used for a wounded soldier vignette. I might arm the third one with a machine gun ? So it can be used in combat πŸ™‚

Saturday 24 February 2018

The Six Day’s War 1967 : Cold War Commander

Finally got enough of my Arab Israeli forces to the stage where we could reasonably get them on the table and we were keen to try out Cold War Commander for the first time. You will spot some of the Israeli armour didn’t get their bases covered in sand but I will remedy that soon.

Anyway as a test we didn’t set up anything complex or historically based two reasonably well matched forces clash somewhere in the Sinai.

The Egyptian forces IS3’s, some T55’s, some antiquated SU 100’s, T34’s and some lighter PT76’s
The Israelis have three strong tank formations Magach’s (M48’s), Centurions and some slightly obsolete Super Sherman’s. The Egyptians are going to find it tough as they are pretty much outgunned especially on range
The T55 cruise onto the battlefield whilst the lighter Infantry support PT’s immediately start taking casualties from long rage fire
The long range fire is coming from these ‘big boys’
To the south the Israeli CO has taken control of the high ground with the Magach’s but they come under fire from the wadi where the IS-3’s have halted. Big mistake here by the Egyptians who should have pushed their tanks into the wadi for cover and they will pay for this later
The ground is open for the T55’s to advance
The Infantry support has been al but wiped out but Egyptians reserves having been delayed are coming on in the centre
Two of the Magach’s are now burning
But despite their Very heavy armour two of the IS-3’s are also burning, they really should have moved into cover
The centurions have had to redeploy having been caught in the flank and losing two of their number
Trying to exploit this the Egyptians have sent the T55’s on a long flanking advance
They do eventually get into position and. Are able to take out another centurion but it is a little late in the day
A wider shot of the battlefield towards the end whilst the Egyptians still have the T55’s they have been held back in the centre and in the distance
Having eventually all but one of the IS-3’s the super Sherman’s are sent forward

At this point we called a halt to the battle. Probabaly a minor win for the Israeli’s but more importantly nice to get these forces on the table. The project was always meant to be a minor diversion into some more modern gaming in the desert. I do have a few more bits to paint which I will complete soon and then hopefully another battle sometime soon.πŸ˜€

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Is ebay a bad thing ?

I occasionally find myself in a discussion about the demise of eBay, somehow it feels that a few years ago is was really easy to pick up bargains for us wargamers. Items would come up regularly and if you knew how to ‘snipe’ bid you could get some great stuff. Then things seemed to dry up, prices often seem to go higher than I was prepared to pay, but then reflecting on this if that is what somebody is prepared to pay then so be it. There was a sense that more and more people were effectively trading through eBay.....which of course is fine. Anyway the question in the title is in fact another issue which is I just can’t stop myself looking for bargains πŸ˜€ and the lead Mountain range grows ever longer (it can’t get higher already being at the ceiling). This box arrived in the post this morning.

A lovely unit of Sassanid spearmen who I will use in persian or other ancient armies as well-armed heavy spearmen
A nice little unit of barbarian skirmishers, not certain but I think they are Eastern European with sheepskin coats
Two elephants, now they are quite small in comparison with my others but like people not all elephants are the same size you know, they have nice Sassanid crews
and a trio of random characters/commanders which are always useful to have.

All for the princely sum of £35 free postage. So why the question......well I hadn’t intended to buy any of these, my lead mountain range is already pretty long but I just can’t stop myself 😱😱😱😱😱😱 so now I am torn as to whether I love eBay or hate it ?πŸ˜€ I felt sharing my guilt might help.

Monday 19 February 2018

The Battle for Frogholt :Operation Sealion

As invasion day gradually draws to a close (I do need to move the campaign on somehow to day two !) where the Germans have broken through they are starting to move inland. Having captured much of Hythe they are looking to consolidate the bridgehead along the line of the A20. One of the key junctions is at Newington where there is a small settlement called Frogholt. Another opportunity to introduce a new payer to my Sealion campaign. A small force of Germans have been ordered to capture the junction and the settlement. The British will look to keep the road open to allow reinforcements to be brought in from the north. Both forces have managed to find some armour support the British provided by the Royal Tank Regiment. Frogholt itself is a small settlement set back slightly from the A20 behind which the ground rises up onto the South Downs.

British infantry supported by Bren Carrier work their way into Frogholt in the distance they can see the Germans at the junction with the A20
Tally ho ! Plenty of cover behind the buildings as th British advance
.....but germa infantry supported by a small unit of Fallschirmjager who landed earlier in the day have been ordered to take the village
More german infantry advance through one of the paddocks
A single Matilda II arrives from the RTR in Lyminge 
The german have already taken the A20 junctionwere they are unlimber great a Pak 36 under the watchful eye of the propaganda crew
The RTR has also managed to get a Vickers Tank into the area which is advancing rather bravely/foolishly towards the road junction
Germans are now rushing forward into the village supported by a single Stug
Germans in the paddock are now pinned down behind the hedge unable to advance 
After exchanging shots between the Matilda and the Panzer 35(t) the British tank scores a direct hit
The road is now open on the right flank for the British 
In the village the Stug has been fairly ineffective
As the camera rolls the Pak 36 has an easy target and knocks out the Vickers (hidden in this shot b the tree)
On the Germans left flank the only hope of holding back the advance is a lonely Panzer I it is no match for the Matilda but is able to pin down the infantry advance
As always we play with a random event generator.....this had little effect until the heavily pinned down german infantry in the paddock were ordered to assault the Bren Gun carrier, the german commander then rolled 3x6’s followed by another 6 ! And the carrier went up in flames
At this point the Pak 36 also scored its second direct hit on the Matilda more 6’s and the Matilda went up in smoke
The only remaining armoured vehicle the Stug now pushed forward to attempt to push the dwindling British infantry out of the village
.....but all not lost the Brits advanced in the centre and through the ploughed field
Despite being pinned down by fire from the Panzer I they are holding on..... (at this point at the end of six turns the British were marginally in front but the dice gods decreed we had to play a further turn !)
The superior Germans numbers were able to tell as they advance into the scoring zone.........
A final shot of the A20 road junction, its job done the Pak 36 team can re limber for the advance towards Canterbury.

Such a fun game close but wth so few troops left a British victory wouldn’t have been fair. The collection grows and it is nice to see the Russian farm buildings work quite well in rural Kent. I do plan to draw day one to a close fairly soon πŸ˜€