Thursday, 28 June 2018

Shiny new Dice Bag πŸ˜€

My old blue dice bag had gradually started to fall to pieces....too much gaming perhaps or too many Bolt Action Dice ? Anyway I decided to treat myself and after a conversation with Deborah at Saddlegoosedesigns, who were at the Phalanx show I came up with my own bespoke design, and here it is in the flesh. She was very helpful and the service excellent.
Now I should be able to get 48 bolt action Dice in this baby πŸ™‚

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Phalanx and Phoenix : two shows in seven days

The benefit of having a show close to home was I got back in time for tea last night even after helping Colonel Bill pack up his display. As previously posted I was putting on a small What a Tanker participation game. In previous years I have done LOTR and a Bolt Action Sealion Game. No question about it I was busier than ever yesterday and apart form taking short breaks to chat with fellow bloggers Norm and Phil I played games from the doors opening to the 4 o’clock close down. I really did lose count but think I played through about ten games ! Most of these being single but also a very enjoyable three tank battle at the end introducing the Dumfries gamers to the rules.
Here is the table at the start of the day. Feedback was extremely positive and there were only a few brief periods where things quietened down, I didn’t get to really see much else of what was going on, and at this third running of the show I am not sure how the trading community did ? Talking to Chris the organiser the numbers though the door were up but I know if people don’t buy then traders won’t come and venue costs can’t be covered. I am very grateful to everybody who came to say hello and have a chat several who have seen or follow this dungeon blog. Assumingly in a strange twist of fate Richard from ToofatLardies dropped into the show on his way apparently to a holiday in Cumbria (and why not) I missed the photo opportunity but he was very appreciative of the game.

I felt obliged to purchase a few bits, a couple of packs from Col Bills who happened to be right next to me. Norm was very kind to buy me the wounded ACW figures as a gift, for which I am very grateful indeed. A couple of other little bits from the bring and buy, an Arab commander which Steve found for me πŸ˜€ and a handful of Arthurian shield designs.
All in all then a very fun day, close to come. I will most likely be running the game again later in the year at Battleground.

Now with all this business I hadn’t really posted from my trip last week in the rain to Phalanx Show in St Helens here are just a couple of the games that caught my eye. A week has gone by and I can’t remember much about them.......πŸ€ͺ

 I am not sure why we like to share and see what everybody is buying, of course it goes a small way to assuaging our guilty about buying stuff. Anyway on the basis that this will help you πŸ™‚ I did by some stuff at Phalanx, despite it being possibly the worst organised Bring and Buy ever, such a shame as I think more stuff would sell if better organised?
You can never have too much terrain and these all cam from the bring and buy in total for about £20 all ready to go straight to the table which is nice.
I really wanted more Norman’s and I got some slightly reduced πŸ˜€
Ok and something I shouldn’t have bought but it was Father’s Day. Some gripping beast Russian medieval cavalry 12 for £10, if I keep them as they are they might play as mercernaries, or I might convert with head swops to have them as elite heavy arab cavalry. Least likely option is to start a whole new Eastern European army and buy some of those really nice fireforge figures, and then I could buy ................I think converting them to Arabs might be best.

Plenty of hobby fun to be had πŸ˜€

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Saxons and Moors update

With the preparation for today’s Phoenix Wargame show completed I have been trundling on with my Dark Age/Crusades project. In one of the previous posts I shared the Saxons and Norman’s. So here is a photo of the Islamic Forces as they are 😒, a lot of work to be done although I can probably squeeze in a unit of African tribes men and my camel archers. I have quite few units already bought just need to crack on. I will be filling in those few gaps and I have enough figures for probabaly two more infantry units and a cavalry unit.
I have enough for a reasonable skirmish force
I have also completed these Saxon warriors. They are Wargames Factory figures which had been built and prepared but had been languishing in a box. They are definately not the best figures and I wouldn’t buy any more far to wooden, however I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of them and painted up they provide another solid foot unit bringing the Saxons upto 6 blocks.
...and  here is what I was working on last night another infantry unit of Normans, the spare two crusaders are to fill in some gaps in another unit

Better get off to the show nice that it is only 5 minutes away πŸ˜€

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Gettysburg Day One : McPherson’s Ridge

Ever ambitious I introduced another gamer to American Civil War gaming and rather than start too small I wanted to give them the spectacle of ACW. I found a copy of Wargames Soldiers and Strategy  Issue 66. Whilst I don’t get it every month I do pick up occasional copies when there is something that interests me. Issue 66 has a number of ACW scenarios from Day one at Gettysburg. The great thing is my collection has reached the stage where a number of these are now within my grasp.

Roll up McPherson’s Ridge, I have taken the scenario map directly from the magazine rather than seek permission I simply recommend the magazine to you πŸ™‚
The scenario map which is pretty clear, the objective for the Rebels is to push the Union Forces off the high ground, to do this they need to dislodge the Iron Brigade from Herbst Woods before Col Chapman Biddle can bring his New York and Pennsylvania troops into play. As per the scenario the troops vary in quality from the veterans of the Iron Brigade and Pettigrew’s North Carolina 
Troops through to the poor Virginians under Brockenbridge.
With some fiddling about I was able to create a half decent representation of the Battlefield, it doesn’t show so much in this shot but there is a reasonable gradient up onto McPherson Ridge
The Iron Brigade have already fought I think during the day but have fallen back to this defensive position in the woods, they are slightly isolated
The Virginian troops advance towards Willoughby Run
The Veteran North Carolina Troops are already deployed in line as they reach the stream
Time is limited so the Rebels push ahead hard and they have the opportunity to outflank the woods at the McPherson Farm if they move quickly.
Close quarter firing in the centre of the line as the 26th NC cross the stream and open up on the 2nd WI
To the right of the rebel line the 47 NC are also trying to outflank the Iron Brigade but in the distance Union reserves are being pushed forward
The initial surge appears to be going well
.....but you can see both the 26NC and the 40 VA have been pushed back hopefully they will rally ?
Having come under heavy fire from Reynolds Artillery on the ridge the 47th NC veterans are also forced back (this was particularly unlucky in my view as I rolled a disastrous double 6! Causing them to flee and they didn’t rally for some time)
Suddenly the ridge is looking very strong indeed with Biddle’s Brigade now fully deployed
Things are slightly better around the farm where rebels are pouring fire in on the flank of the 7th WI who must be close to breaking
At this stage it is not going well for the confederates but all is not lost......
Rebels including the much reduced 26 NC are reforming for a second attack
Just what we needed a glimmer of hope the 24th MI wobble and are forced back
On the right the 52nd NC have made it all the way to the fence line forcing the 121nd PA back, possibly a decisive break through on the ridge, only for the 19th IN and 80th NY to turn their flank sending them back down the hill
Not giving up quite yet the rebels at the farm are still trying to muscle their way into the woods
Reynold’s Battery which has been firing down the ridge throughout the battle
Things really are starting to look bad and whilst some of the Rebels are reforming others are being forced back across the stream 
There are now really only two Rebel Regiments still in the battle
....the North Carolina Troops are spent
And from their high point the 52nd NC are falling back past an angry General Pettigrew 
Ultimately the task was too much and despite taking a hammering the Iron Brigade are able to hold onto the woods
 Hooorah Boys !

So another very enjoyable evening gaming, the scenario played well although it was always going to be tough for the Rebels who needed some luck early on, they didn’t get it with a couple of very poor morale rolls which collapsed the centre of their line. There are some more scenarios so I am sure we we back on day one some time soonish..πŸ˜€

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Breakout at Libau : Barbarossa June 1941

With the half term holiday I am somewhat behind on blogs, this battle being fought about 4 weeks ago ! But we took a break from the ACW action and played another game in our gradually (very slowly) developing Barbarossa campaign. Sticking with Army group north the German 18th Army has pushed rapidly up the coast where a pocket of Russian resistance held out at Libau.

I managed (and this is part of the fun for me) to find the following detailed map of the engagement. The Russian forces consisting of the 67th Rifle Division have been cut off by the rapid German advance, this took place on the 25th June 1941. The Russian forces then attempted to break out in two directions. Our battle will deal with the northern thrust along the coast against the 506 Infantry Regiment under a Colonel Gurran.
Always nice to find a period shot as well, here the Germans are advancing into the town from the NE
I feel I need to add the following note as whilst researching the battle I discovered, and hadn’t known before that Libau was the scene of significant atrocities, the sad and depressing reality that humans being will inflict such harm on other humans beings. I suspect few ever remember such events but perhaps through the study and playing of our wonderful hobby we can keep the memory alive.

On to the action πŸ˜€ 
One of the reasons for playing this scenario was to avoid the usual temptation to ‘armour up’ so both sides have very limited armour support the 506 IR have managed to drag some anti-tank guns into support the assault or defend against the break out ? Here they have built a barricade across the coastal road
Col Gurran manages the deployment of a heavy machine gun and additional ‘big guns’ in the Wood around the railway line
‘Ivan’ has massed his Infantry for the break out, but they have limited time to escape before reinforcements lock down the gaps
More German Infantry in the woods, but they are spread pretty thin
From somewhere the Russians have found the last KV1, this might just help the break through on the coast road, infantry can be seen running forward
The only German armour a Stug the rest of the Panzers have been sent further inland to support the advance
German heavy mortar team using the open space where the railway runs through the wood
Needless to say the Gun PAK 40 opens up against the KV
And after several attempts manages to damage the front tread, the KV won’t be escaping at least but it can still fire and provide support, the infantry make a dash for freedom
...and the only Russian armoured car attempts to escape down the railway line (we had some debate about whether this counted as a road but decided not)
The Germans have laid down heavy fire all along the front but are being overwhelmed more german infantry is thrown into the defence
The KV is stranded so the infantry must abandon it to get away
The leading Russian infantry is able to assault the anti-tank gun
Despite many attempts the Stug is largely ineffective against the advancing Russian infantry
And all the machine guns can do is reduce the number who escape .......
Finally in a Pyrrhic victory the Germans manage to take out the KV Hoorah !!! 
But it is too late and the Russians have escaped winning a well deserved victory. Here is a shot of the overall battlefield, coast road in the foreground, railway and woods in the distance.

A very fun way to spend the evening, we had about 12 units per side and played six turns. The outcome reflected history in that much of the infantry did escape but in doing so they had to abandon their vehicles.