Wednesday 26 January 2022

What do Sikh Infantry and a French Napoleonic Colonel have in common ?

Nothing that I can think of but I have painted them both this week 🙂

Sikh infantry to fight with the British in our developing Great Game setting. These are technically Turks but as Martin has so many Turks there isn’t much point me collecting them, so instead I will focus on British, Russians and Tribal forces. Woodbine figures, very nicely posed. Perhaps the British have captured some Turkish uniforms and passed them on ?
Next up with infantry units completed for the French they need a commanding officer, here he is from the army box. A metal Warlord figure, clearly the horse is a little small so a sculpting error ? but he will be fine when I have enough figures for a battle.
Finally I think most of us like a good map, I certainly do, and I found this one for a ‘modest’ price on eBay, taken from a book but it is a good size about 2 feet across, showing the perfect area for our ‘Great Game’ Campaign. The map is around 1910 as far as I know identifying if you look carefully the split in Persia between Russian and British influence,  the Turkish Empire running all the way down the Persian Gulf. I find it quite fun looking at these maps even if it doesn’t really form too much detail in the campaign.

Hopefully two games this weekend and more painting on the way 👍

Monday 24 January 2022

Von Bickle is down : Operation Sealion

As the Germans consolidate their gains from Day one and begin to push inland Gruppenfuhrer Von Bickle has been sent on a reconnaissance mission over the front line. Whether mechanical failure or a stray bullet, it isn’t known, but his Fieseler Storch has been forced to crash land in no mans land just to the south west of Brabourne near a small farm. Unfortunately Von Bickle was carrying with him a copy of the current operational orders. So despite this being a distraction from the main German advance a small force has been sent to rescue him. The British having seen the  plane go down have also sent a force to capture him hoping that a high value target may be useful in the future.

Setup for the scenario. Germans arriving from this side. 50% of each force must be deployed upto 8” on the table and are the only units which can activate on turn one. At the start of turn two the location of Von Bickle will be revealed at one of the 4 markers, neither side know his location at the start. Von Bickle must be captured and held till the end of turn six or a possible turn seven. The stream is only crossable on foot not by vehicle.

So onto the battle, not too many photos as I was trying to keep the Germans at bay !
The Brabourne Home Guard have been deployed as part of the British force
A Panzer I advances from the centre of the German line, but the cows seem uninterested
The British have an Armadillo truck armed with a Hodgkiss auto cannon to support their infantry
A squad of British infantry advance across the field, not sure yet where Von Bickle is hiding
Uninterested the cows continue to watch as the Germans advance towards the Storch
Turn 2 and Von Bickle shouts for help, turns out his was hiding near the blue delivery truck. The British rush on with two Bren Gun carriers
But now knowing the location of the Guppenfuhrer the Germans bring on their Pz II and more infantry
A British track mounted  oerlikon gun (we played this as an antitank rifle, but with more crew)
The carriers deploy need the Storch
British infantry move towards the farm, and one unit smashes their way into the farm building. But once in they draw a massive amount of German firepower pinning them down.
The Germans rush forward to rescue the gruppenfuhrer 
With time running out both forces concentrate on the area around the farm
The Germans rush to Von Bickle’s aid but then come under intense fire and he is abandoned again
Time is running out, but the British are struggling to make any headway out of the farm
Turn 6 and the only active German unit able to rescue Von Bickle is the commanding officer, they rush forward at the last moment, the British only have one chance, to activate the Brits in the farm building but they are heavily pinned down and fail to move. Lucky for the Germans there is no turn seven and Von Bickle is rescued. Another turn and they were outnumbered and would have struggled to hold. It has cost them dear but the Gruppenfuhrer is safe.

A good win for the Germans a scenario closely fought which went down to the last roll of the dice and would have been different (probably) if we had rolled for an extra turn. Jolly good fun and nice to get the Storch and the Oerlikon on the table for the first time 😀

Thanks for taking the time to look…more to come 


Friday 21 January 2022

Napoleonic French and Back of Beyond British

Seems to be lots of stuff going at the moment, jumping between games and projects but I have been working away in the background on the next french unit for the Peninsular project.

I think I am getting my head around painting Napoleonic French, they are not the best by a long way but I’m happy with the result. These have the flag of the 33rd but the plumes aren’t correct. Think I will push on to a third unit then take a group Brigade shot.
These British infantry had been started ages ago but with our Back of Beyond battle last weekend I pushed them right to the front of the painting queue. These are Woodbine figures a couple of units plus command figures. I already have suitable armoured cars and at least one artillery piece.
They also have a machine gun as support., annoyingly when I based them I put them on separate bases, seemed like a good idea at the time ? I have another unit of British, some converted Turks as Sikhs and a few other units which will be converted Turks into misc mercenaries. I also have some tribesmen I would like to get into the queue.

Well that’s it for now, more painting hopefully this weekend 

Keep on painting 👍


Tuesday 18 January 2022

Back of Beyond : ‘the Great Game’

We have been talking about doing some ‘Back of Beyond’ gaming in a similar style to some of my other ‘campaigns’ where it is loosely  based on some historical basis but is closer to an imagination campaign. Our chosen period is around 1910-1920 giving us the opportunity to utilise our RCW figures, together with British, Turks and multiple Tribal elements many of who can fight as mercenaries etc. This allows us to develop existing collections and effective fight single battles but within a larger narrative campaign. The Great Game refers to the conflicts between the British and Russian empires over Afghanistan in and around this period. With a spare Saturday I invited Martin over to kick this off. Martin has previously painted up a Dunsterforce of British so we pitched these against his Turks supported by a collection of renegade Armenian units who have deserted for better pay.

This was a slightly adhoc battle as we planned it in short time. The set up has a small Armenian force of renegades holding an important railway junction. Specifically of importance is a significant artillery gun which has been located. The British Dunsterforce (these did exist just google for some excellent fun background) have been sent to capture the gun but the Armenians have called on support from the Turks who are advancing on the junction in force.

At the start the Armenians are holding the gun, and the railway station, expecting an attack from the East they are holding a defensive line along the road which cuts across the railway.
The Turks arrive in force arriving from the roach mountain area, they only gradually arrive adding more activation dice to the bag each turn
The Armenians holding the area close to the rail crossing
The Dunsterforce arrive from the East with two armoured cars, infantry and artillery
The armoured cars head down the road to clear a path
British cavalry arrives as well
The armoured cars immediately concentrate their fire at the artillery piece which has been set up by the Armenians knocking it out
But suddenly a shell knocks out the Rolls Royce ! Where did that come from ? The Turks are firing heavy artillery from long range in the rocky hills to the North
The broths are supported by a biplane which swoops across the battle field forcing the Armenians and Turks to keep their heads down
The Armenian General has pulled back to inspect the gun
The Turks are making slow progress through the hills
But the British are making quick progress with more and more infantry arriving of the battlefield
An overview of the battlefield from the East
Finally the Turks are close enough to a support
Whilst the Rolls Royce burns the British start to move to the right, looking to engage with the advancing Turks
British machine gun exchanges fire across the railway
The Turks have no answer to the biplane which cause many units to take cover
The Turks are now managing to get numbers of infantry forward 
Some of whom have made it into the salt marsh and rough round giving them cover from the advancing British 
Turkish infantry digging for defence in the salt marsh
The British cavalry have moved around the right flank and charged one of the two Turkish artillery pieces.
But the Turks have a good hold on the objective
The Turkish commander caught out in the open is also charged down by the remaining British cavalry a big feather in their caps causing the Turks army morale to drop so their is a greater risk they will now fail to activate
Still that biplane !!!
In the distance the Dunsterforce makes its final assault across the road
But there is a lot of open ground to cover and the Turks are dug in. The assault peters out 
Lionel Dunsterville the British commander rash with his own safety is out in the open, with practically the last shot of the battle a stray artillery shell lands I direct hit on Lionel, only his boots remain 
Close but not close enough with the second armoured car now burning and seeing their commander evaporate under the stray shell the Dunsterforce call off the assault and pull back.

A fine game to get stuck into another ‘genre’. The majority of figures on show today were Martin’s terrain, planes and Armenians are mine. This project gives lots of options to develop smaller forces and interesting units which can support and combine as necessary. Splendid stuff !

I also managed to get to a bring and buy sale over the weekend called ardhammer in Gateshead. Only small but I picked up come reinforcements. Some cheap paints at £1 a pot some cheap spare sprues of Napoleonics, some arab cavalry as if I didn’t have enough, a couple of Late Roman cataphracts and some Norman infantry. 

Thanks as always taking the time to look, I am off to paint french Napoleonics and some British for the ‘Great Game’😀