Saturday 31 October 2020

Do we need more Saxons ?

 Following one of our previous games we were plotting something for when lockdown finishes. With the ever increasing number of Norman’s available between myself and Martin including a reasonable number of Norman cavalry it seemed that we should have a go at Hastings as a game. We have quite few Saxons which can be bolstered with ‘skulking’ vikings in the back ranks. Bit is felt we were going to need more unarmoured Saxons after all the history is clear not all the Saxons were heavily armoured. I pondered getting some more gripping beast plastics (which I still might do) but then rummaged about in the piles of lead in the dungeon and found I had these guys presumably picked up at a show. Mainly unarmoured, they make a reasonable extra bulk unit of generic Saxons.

They are a mix of figures some GB and Crusader I think, shields done quick and simple 🙂 they aren’t all strictly Saxon figures but I could argue they have picked up armour from their recent victory at Stamford Bridge !

Monday 26 October 2020

Battle for Blue House Pike : AWI

 Not a historical setting but a chance to get the AWI figures on the battlefield. Another virtual game using Zoom. So we kept it fairly small using Rebels and Patriots. The forces were of equal size 24 points each but were suitably different. The Patriots (or Rebels depending on your point of view) have three regular infantry units, a unit of Virginia sharpshooters and two units of green poorly disciplined Militia. The British as to be expected are a smaller force of light infantry and veterans, no doubt over confident, they also have a small Artillery piece and a unit of native Skirmishers. The objective in this simple scenario was for both sides to take and hold the main road known locally as Blue House Pike. The winner would be the force holding the pike when one side was forced to retreat. I didn’t take too many photos but hopefully enough to represent the battle as it unfolded.

American regular units advancing towards the road. Already formed up into close order to maximise their fire power. Their commanding officer is attached to the closest unit. The Pike runs away into the distance beyond the Blue House.
Closer to the Blue House more infantry supported here by Militia who were initially reluctant to advance
The Redcoats advance to the sound of regular drum beats, the corn fields class as difficult terrain so it is slow going and they are still in open order, in the distance the British light infantry are able to make quicker progress across the ploughed field
Native ‘skirmishers’ are sent towards the left to hold the church yard
It’s going to be tough to dislodge the redcoats now as they start to form up, the Colonel waves his hat and one of the units advances a little too far towards the Rebels !
Despite their lack of training and lower discipline the Rebels know how to shoot (the nearest unit had been upgraded to veteran status through the good fortune of a double 6 activation roll !) The Virginian sharpshooters having initially advanced to the road have now pulled back into line and join the rolling barrage of musket fire
The Natives who had clearly not been adequately paid, had been reluctant to move up from the start finally move through the church yard let off a single volley and then flee !!
The Rebel line is well formed and although the British fire back they are getting the worse of it
The light infantry are in a great position opposite the blue house but can’t seem to make an impact
Finally though a lucky shot and the American commanding officer is shot dead and falls from the
This immediately causes a ripple of anxiety along the Rebel line and the unit on the road turn tail, ha surely the redcoats have it now other nearby units will have to test their morale
But no the Rebel line is holding in the centre and they have forced the British light infantry back from the fence. They suddenly begin to realise the Rebels are tougher than they thought and much to their disgrace they retreat.
The British Regular infantry have taken everything  that has been thrown at them and sadly died to a man, we can only assume it is poor generalship keeping them to the front when they should pull back. The native mercenaries have returned but I suspect this is to watch their pay masters get defeated and to changed sides !
With only one very weakened infantry unit in play the colonel finally removes his hat again and orders the unit to retire in order. They will be back to teach these rebels a lesson
........ across the road a cheer goes up hoorah the American Revolution has started for real.

A splendid run out of the AWI figures, you’ll note I didn’t manage to get a picture of the British artillery which spent much of the battle at the rear and out of range. We seemed to roll an enormous number of double 1’ and double 6’s. This was Jonathan’s first try with a virtual game and with the rules so well done to him. The fun bit as we chatted after the game was to reflect that this might just be one of the few benefits of the pandemic situation. Who would have thought we would have been virtual gaming linked up live across roughly 4500 miles. The IT seemed to work fine and it was great to catch up with another enthusiast. We will definitely be arranging another battle soon. Perhaps even a modest campaign....which would encourage me to crack on with the painting , if nothing else I need another Rebel officer ! 😀

Sunday 25 October 2020

Battle of Sagrajas Part 3 : Al Andalus

We managed to play the third and probably for now final scenario in the Sagrajas trilogy. With 2 two strong victories for the Christians under Alfonso things have not been going well for Yusuf ibn Tashfin. The background to the battle can be found here on the first post.

For this third scenario the Christians have already captured and over run the Muslim camp. As the Almoravids regroup Alfonso is overwhelmed and forced to retreat when his is outflanked by Arab cavalry. To represent this using Lion Rampant (and this was a virtual game which makes things slightly more complex) the Christian forces are set up in the Arab camp they must make it across the board to safety. Yusuf’s forces will come on either behind them through the camp or from either flank for his cavalry units. The Christian knights will be hard to control as they are ‘drunk’ on their victory to date and likely to charge at anything (wild charge!)

The Muslim camp in flames, in the middle of the battlefield Alfonso’s knights are galloping away to the left, in the foreground the first Arab horsemen attack from the flank
Almoravid infantry also swarm in from behind the camp intent of revenge
One unit of Christian cavalry has been distracted and is being surrounded
Christian crossbowmen who have been devastating in previous battles are caught raiding the camp and pinned against the tents
Arab light hose in the distance attempt to delay the escape whilst Alfonso sensing the danger starts his retreat
The crossbowmen are trapped and pinned !
Things are going well for Yusuf although he has been weakened by the fighting
The Arab cavalry is spreading out and chasing the enemy across the battlefield
Another unit of knights are forced to turn and charge back into combat rather than escape
Alfonso leading his infantry
....but suddenly the Muslim cavalry is starting to lose its advantage as the remained of the Christian forces put up a stout defence and then start to attack 
Only caring for his own skin Alfonso gallops away !
The tables are turned and suddenly with the rest of the Arab cavalry having fled the Christian knights turn on the light Almoravid infantry and that doesn’t go well for the Muslims
The final nail is when Yusuf ibn Tashfin fails a morale check and as he flees the Muslim army collapses

So we have played all three of the scenarios from the original article and all have been fun, interesting and challenging, history has not been repeated as Alfonso escaped without being wounded. All the games were played virtually and worked at a fairly small skirmish scale using lion Rampant. I think perhaps next we might see the Vikings back in Al Andalus ? 

I have also managed some painting this week, in preparation for finally getting the AWI figures into a small skirmish I needed some commanders and to liven things up an artillery piece. 
These are Perry figures and were partly painting when I got them so just needed finishing and basing
Two Wargames Foundry officers, I have painted them in fairly generic uniforms and are on Brigade commander sized bases. They are lovely figures and having order two packs I have enough for other command bases as well.

That’s all for now hope you are all ok 😀

Monday 19 October 2020

Virginia Line Regiment : AWI

 I am certainly finding the AWI figures slightly slower than ACW , so I am mixing them with other figures. But hot off the painting desk a Virginia Line Regiment.

Perry plastic range and I have included a couple of hunting shirts to break the uniformity.
We also managed to get out for a walk/hike this weekend not too far from home in the Fells around Ullswater the autumnal colours are amazing at the moment, cloud base was fairly low
This was the second small summit, the shot shows the atmospheric low cloud which was swirling around all morning
Finally I treated myself to a parade shot of the Continentals so far, happy with the progress although they do feel rather rag-tag at the moment so I might do a more formal unit next. Both forces also need some artillery?

Saturday 17 October 2020

Battle for Penrithski Junction : RCW

In the gradual tightening grip of lockdown so it looks like virtual gaming will be back on the menu. Sadly not the massive games I love so much but entertaining, and way better than nothing. This time Phil from NEWS FROM THE FRONT was up for a game so I rolled out my RCW figures. 

A small game using Bolt Action which works for virtual games lasting at most a couple of hours. Somewhere in the Northern Ukraine a train has been stopped before it could reach the intended Tsarist forces. The prize for both sides is a recently imported Mk IV Tank but food is also running low and troops are getting hungry not far from the abandoned train is a local pig farm !

Penrithski junction where the train has been stopped, both forces are rushing to claim the tank 
The Whites from the north, fan out and position their Howitzer in the long grass
The Reds a more mixed force of elite sailors and irregular troops, but they do have a captured armoured car and a machine gun. But the machine gun only last one turn with a fluke direct hit from the howitzer second turn !
But the Reds are not holding back and already have numbers of troops looking to defend the tank
The Whites also advance towards the Pig Farm realising this is equally important to capture
Urged on by the commissar and motivated by hunger an irregular unit also races for the Pork !
A fire fight kicks off across the pig pens
and initially the Reds get the better of it, able to direct more fire in this direction
The white commander looks on with disgust as a unit of Cossacks mis-understand their orders and retreat away from their objective ( this was Phil’s first experience of my random events and he got the better of them !)
Finally the Cossacks rally back towards the objectives but they are caught in the centre and it’s not clear where they should go ?
The Reds are still in a commanding position, a full unit over looked by Natasha the Red Commander
A second white unit has replaced the first at the pig farm and continues to exchange fire their morale supported by the standard bearer
On the far side the ‘white’ unit has been exchanging fire with the Red sailors who have been whittled down to the last few, the Whites then see their chance and charge towards the tank across the road. 
At this rate there will be nobody left to eat the pigs !
After an initial exchange of fire the Reds make a determined assault, leaping across the tank to force the enemy away. This is classic grim hand to hand combat lasting several rounds. 
but wielding his grandfathers saber Captain Philipski somehow manages to single handedly  fight off the White assault 👍
No wonder the White commander is looking glum there will be no bacon for him this evening as the commissar and the irregulars take control of the Pig farm in the last turn

The reward for Captain Philipski is a warm embrace from Natasha whilst the sailors admire their captured prize, but his mind is already thinking of a bacon sandwich !

A fun game played in good spirits. Nice to get the RCW on the table, I do have a couple more units to paint up when I get around to them 🙂