Saturday 28 November 2020

Operation Sealion S-Day : The Movie

When I started the Operation Sealion campaign I had always planned for it to be fairly fluid and open ended. Less a campaign more and ongoing narrative to provide a background for collecting and gaming. Since the start we have had somewhere around 35 battles using a range of different rules and scenarios from large to very small. 

I have been looking at a way to summarise the first day of the campaign for a while. Thanks to Norm’s recent innovative video I have spent the last few days messing about in iMovie. The results are now uploaded on to tube.

If you have a spare 10 minutes and you enjoy my Sealion Campaign you may well enjoy๐Ÿ‘I should ask you to like/share or some such but really this was for mine and your pleasure. If I manage to bring a smile to a few faces during lockdown then all to the better.

Friday 27 November 2020

Arab Camel Riders : Al Andalus

These guys have been on the work bench for a while as I get distracted. It is a fairly big unit for me in fact in game terms probably two units unless one of our bigger games.

These are a combination of irregular miniature camels with gripping beast light cavalry riders they fit really well with no modification and i was too lazy to cut the stirrups off . I think i may have posted a picture of these as work in progress since then i decided the original shields i had used were simply too big so i removed them all and started again.
I wouldn’t call them particularly ‘historical’ but we know there were some camel forces who were more heavily armed, these are somewhere in the medium category. They have a feel of either an elite or perhaps mercenary unit ? Anyway they should scare some equine cavalry !
With all this lockdown and no gaming shows to go to i suspect many of us have been buying too many things. I came across this book in a random search for information on another planned invasion project. I can see my Sealion project expanding its geographical context quite soon, a diversionary and disruptive second invasion front to draw resources away from Kent seems very plausible.
The book (which i obviously haven’t read yet) includes some splendid photos of German invasion forces and i was drawn to this one.

That’s it for now hopefully another game this weekend, i have been making gabion baskets for a planned mini campaign. I know the situation in many places is quite difficult but i am absolutely buzzing with mojo at the moment and full of ideas, collecting and painting, and projects..........


Thursday 26 November 2020

Skirmishers : American war of Independence

 With the AWI collection seeing some battle time (at least in the virtual world) I need to expand the forces. As we are currently using Rebels & Patriots which places a good emphasis on skirmishers I wanted to give us a few more options. I decided to use the remaining ‘Hunting shirt’ figures from my perry boxes rather than order anymore at this stage, I might add a few more metal figures to give variety in the future.

They were painted to work as two small groups these from Delaware
And a non defined group
Then when they are all together. They are on coins to add stability as individual plastic figures, there are a couple of very small conversions eg the guy with the horn at the back, one with a sword etc..

As you can see it would be fairly easy to paint another 8 or so including a command for me to turn them out as a full unit on some movement trays which I might order up.

Next up some camels and then hopefully a game this weekend, and we are planning a small AWI campaign, no need to ever get bored. Take care all ๐Ÿ‘

Saturday 21 November 2020

28 mm Cornfields : ACW

As the title suggests I have been pondering cornfields, many battlefields during ACW have historical moments linked to cornfields and I am planning to play some Antietam scenarios where cornfields are key. Trouble is those commercially available are expensive, I have checked the internet and it isn’t very inspiring , nothing obviously easy and cheap and quick which is what we all want. So after searching a bit I have come up with a reasonable if not perfect solution.

These plastic hedge mats are available in a wide range of types, unfortunately none exactly like Pennsylvanian corn
The leaves are too big and they are very lush, one of the challenges is of course corn is very different at different times of the year, these are perhaps just before flowering  ? I pulled them off the backing which is easy then cut them all using a modelling knife just above the bottom leaves so there is an obvious stalk to allow then to be stuck into the base
Some simple bases with holes drilled about 20 per 11”
A bit of rough texture PVA glue and sand 
Then the slightly slow bit
These I left over night and then had a rethink as I do sometimes and decided to cut the top two leaves off and paint the stalk yellow, this gives a completely incorrect botanical structure for a corn plant but it’s a bit like a child’s drawing of what a corn plant looks like
Here is the medium field set up to show the effect which at the moment I would rate at 7 out of 10 pretty good given the cost and time spent
They look better strangely from different directions ?
And here we are with a unit marching through the field
All the accounts I have read say when moving through the corn fields the troops were invisible but you could see the flag so I have got the height right if nothing else
And here is all the sections I have made as one big field

So I am pretty happy, I did experiment with cutting the leaves to make them thinner but that was going to be a real fuss and very boring task. I have thought about spraying them to tone the lush colour down a bit ? They took in total about 3 hours or so, apart from glue, sand and paint which I consider utility items they cost less than £10 and I had enough for 8 strips so two medium or one large field.

So I might continue to look for better solutions, the reassuring thing being that I could very easily convert these to  shorter bean plant or some such for variety. At the moment though they will work for me as Cornfields.

I Have also been thinking about how to model hops ? Easy if you want to take a long time but very hard to do quick and easy !

Hope all are well ๐Ÿ˜€

Tuesday 17 November 2020

Battle for Widow Creek Bridge : American War of Independence

Back in lockdown so more virtual gaming this week. Having previously broken the proverbial transatlantic ice with Jonathan, we arranged another AWI scenario using Rebels and Patriots. Subtle enough to give a good representative game but not too complex for virtual gaming. Despite this I did manage to confuse myself with the rules but we cleared it up as we went along. 

After the previous game the British were obviously retreating and having abandoned their artillery are looking to hold back the Rebels/Patriots at Widow Creek, the scenario is straight from the rule book although our forces were I think one unit or so larger than in the book the Patriots being 32 points rather than 24.

I won’t describe in detail the scenario as it is in the book suffice to say. The river is only crossable at the bridge, the British have created two defensive breastworks which they can position two units at from the start. A major victory for the Patriots to take the bridge, if they take the breastworks it will depend on the casualties inflicted.

So onto the action....

The British breastworks have been hurriedly constructed and manned by the British Guards they will be a tough nut to crack if the Patriots want to get to the bridge. They are supported by a unit of native skirmishers
The sizeable American force coming on down the road from the South a mixture of line units, Virginian sharpshooters and Militia , oh and a 6lb cannon and limber
The Loyalist relief force running through the town of Widow Creek itself, the river is only crossable at the bridge.
The guards stand to and form a close firing line, their discipline means they will hold their first explosive volley till the last moment
At the double...........British line and Light infantry
If they want the bridge the breastworks must be taken and that is going to require a head on assault, the leading Patriot unit is cut down but inevitably the Defenders are being weakened, partly due to effective artillery fire from the road, (an excellent weapon for breaking the defensive position)
Some of the British light infantry swing towards the river to fire into the advancing Rebels this sends at least some of the militia scurrying away
The fast moving lights make the bridge but in the distance the remnants of the British guards are being forced back under the pressure of the assault
Long range fire from across the river is annoying but apart from the militia it isn’t very effective
The guards are final forced away, leaving a tiny force of the Native Trackers holding the breastworks
Eventually they are wiped out to a man and the breastworks are taken, but the British are at the bridge in force and forming up for a battle
They start to pour heavy fire across the river......
And when the light infantry push onto the bridge the Americans, knowing that darkness is about to fall (the end of the game was determined by a dice roll but was getting closer and closer) pull back to the breastworks content to hold the ground that was so hard won.
According to the scenario this gave a minor victory to the British, as they had inflicted higher casualties on the Americans and had held the bridge.

A splendid game, the scenario worked well and despite my confusion we are feeling more confident with the rules or at least the gaps in the rules. I do think they work well at this scale as they give skirmish units a real purpose. We have pondered how the Americans may have been more aggressive but that is for another day. It has certainly given me the impetus to get more figures painted and shows the real opportunity provided by internet gaming.

To underline this point I also played a remote game hosted by Martin using his 15mm figures where my Pontic army (mainly my heavy pike phalanx) ran a complete mock ๐Ÿ˜€ again an enjoyable hour of gaming and it is easier to have a beer when you don’t have to move the figures about.

Keep busy, keep painting and will be back soon Matt

Friday 13 November 2020

Continental Artillery Part 2 : American War independence

 I managed to finish off the last (for now) artillery piece. Not certain of the guns origin and I am assuming it is a 24 lb siege gun. The crew are definitely Front Rank figures, I have magnetised them so at some point the gun can swop sides if needed for a scenario etc. or just be used as an objective. Perhaps it might appear in the FIW as well ?

I have also been missing my regular gaming shows during the late summer and autumn and have found myself buying too many things. They will all no doubt appear on the blog when they are painted up ๐Ÿ™‚

First up though a book, there are of course some very good sources of info on the internet for the SYW but books are nice too.....

Hope you are all keeping well ๐Ÿ‘

Thursday 12 November 2020

Continental Artillery : American War Independence

 When I picked up a job lot of AWI figures way back at the gaming show in York in February it came with a bag of Continental artillery. In a rash moment I decided to paint them all up.

Think these are all Foundry figures. Technically they should probably have 4 man crews but they only came with 3 and don’t look too bad. I do have a fifth much larger siege gun which is nearly finished and a single limber. This is definitely enough Rebel/Continental artillery, so next will be some more infantry.

Hope you are all keeping well ๐Ÿ‘

Tuesday 10 November 2020

Early morning S-Day +1 : Operation Sealion

 With the Sealion forces on the table we played another virtual game. After the ‘longest’ day the Germans are looking to expand out from their bridgehead. It is not clear exactly where the main thrust will come but a drive north towards Canterbury to cut of a significant area of Kent before moving on the capital is an obvious direction. The hurriedly constructed British defence line is thin as more troops are rushed to contain the Germans. The main road north through Densole from Folkestone is constricted between the difficult escarpment of the North Downs and Reiden Wood. A makeshift roadblock  has been put in place over night and the local troops hope to hold the advance just long enough  for reinforcements.

This was to be another virtual game so I shared the battlefield overview with Phil in advance. The plucky British would be allowed to deploy two units anywhere on the table, the Germans would come on in 2 waves. Whilst the British could advance as required, the objective was for the Germans to open up the road block for the armoured column following up from the south. The British just need to hold as long as they can.

A closer shot of the road block a Vickers gun has been placed with a good field of fire down the road.
The Germans advance at the run, the first wave made up mainly of Fallschrimjager, elite troops, armed to the teeth 
They will be up against....shopkeepers ! Will somebody get that cow out the way !
Luckily there are some regular British troops , one unit makes it into the rear garden of the pub giving good cover.
More infantry and a light anti-tank gun which should hold any lightly armed recon vehicles back
Oh dear the seconds wave of Germans advance with a Panzer 38t outclassed by more modern paneers but still pretty robust
A single vickers tank from the Royal Tank Regiment rolls down the road and opens fire but the shells bounce off the panzer !
The 38t misses with its shell but gets lucky hitting the dug in machine gun, enabling the paratroopers to rush closer to the road junction
The second wave German infantry is also advancing ....strength in numbers knowing the brits don’t have enough firepower to hold back everything
The paratroopers have made the road.
With covering fire from an MG34
The two tanks are exchanging fire but having little success, perhaps the gunners are tired or simply over excited in the early morning dawn the Vickers tank crew is temporarily stunned 
but then against the odds the panzer take a direct hit and is brewed up !
Things were looking good then go from bad to worse, just when a leadership test is required the German officer collapses apparently due to large quantities of schnapps consumed the night before. The elite paratroopers advance is stalled !
Luckily (for the Germans) things look better behind the pub, although one unit has shamelessly fled back into the trees the second wave have assaulted into and captured the pub garden and important tactical location. From here they can easily outflank the roadblock
Not wanting to be outdone the paratroopers are back on the move laying down submachine gun fire as they vault the hedges
Outflanked the British Mortar crew are over run (we play the Bombard Rocket launcher as a medium Mortar Otherwise it would never get used!)
The last line of defence....... the shopkeepers/Home guard as the last British regular infantry are assaulted and knocked out by the advancing paratroopers.
At this point the last turn the battle is pretty much over, the Germans having outflanked the pub now knock out the anti-tank gun leaving only the isolated Vickers tank, this decides to withdraw having held back the advance for a long as possible and perhaps they can already hear the rumble of more powerful tanks in the distance ?
The Germans have made it to capture the cross roads, but like so often it has cost them dearly

Splendid fun, think the Germans had the better of the dice rolling which helped, and the British perhaps missed a trick by not occupying the pub as a strong defensive position from the start. Perhaps they didn’t want to get trapped ?

Only one scenery shot taken out on my bike on Saturday , lockdown is good for cyclists !

Keep well all ๐Ÿ‘