Monday, 30 January 2023

A battlefield, a battle, a bus and more ………

In fact a mixed bag of stuff hobby related ๐Ÿ˜€ . So at the back end of last week I was up in Edinburgh visiting my Dad and took the opportunity to head across to the Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre. I had been to the battlefield a long time ago but don’t ever remember going round the visitor centre.

Is was a suitably cold and cloudy day
From the high ground around the main battlefield monument you get good views and there are several displays boards etc…
Robert the Bruce monument meant to mark the site of the Scottish camp 
The visitor centre has a pretty informative and enjoyable organised ‘tour’ and it gave an excellent overview of the battle
It includes a few modern computer generated displays including this one which attempts to put you into the heart of the battle ?
There is a nice wall display of what the chaos of battle probably did look like before the British broke and fled back across the Bannock Burn.

This weekend we had our first remote Hex based game of the year. Another trip to the Reconquista, deviate quite a bit of hunting on the internet it is remarkable how little is known about most of these battles. That of course is helpful in some ways giving me freedom to balance the forces. Here we have the Battle of Consuegra in Toledo. The Almoravids had been besieging the town itself when AlfonsoVI arrived to break the siege. The battle which took place outside the town is perhaps most notable as El Cid had not been able to come in support of Alfonso, instead he sent some of his best knights under the leadership of his son Diego Rodriguez who managed to get himself killed in the battle. Historically the Christians outnumbered the Almoravids but managed to over stretch themselves losing the battle, although Alfonso got away with his life ! With only limited historical details the setup is one with some balance, the Christian’s have slightly more troops but a generally weaker.
The Almoravids initially advance on their left.
But Diego counter charges and gets the better of the encounter.
In the centre the two infantry lines draw closer together neither quite ready to charge in where they may lose the advantage
With the Christian cavalry pushing through on the right the Arabs advance on the opposite wing
Here the better Arab infantry led by their commander Muhammad ibn Al-Hajj are close to breaking the Christian left flank.
Suddenly the battle started to become very closely contested and winning initiative became critical. 
Both sides have their break point/morale slowly broken and having trailed behind for most of the battle the Almoravids claw things back to level
Both armies are now shattered and badly mauled, the Christian’s have broken through on their right the Almoravids on the other flank, and both are close to capturing the enemy camp which will cause the win.
Some of the Christian right finds itself with little to do but watch !
In the end having started at 22 & 21 break points each we ended up at 2 & 1 left each, so literally the next combat would decide the battle. The Almoravid cavalry did have a slightly dodgy way into the Christian camp to claim victory but this felt slightly underhand after such a close battle so they chose to charge the peasant folk guarding the camp who somehow managed to save the day for Alfonso
As the very next activation was for Diego and his knights to capture the Almoravid camp. Technically then a Christian win but really a draw with both armies exhausted. A splendid battle which once again went right down to the wire both sides looking to capture that last final point for victory ๐Ÿ‘

Next up the Bus , picked up for a charity shop in town a nice little model and pretty much 1/56 scale it has a slightly more worn appearance and I see this as some terrain for up and coming Mediterranean WW2 battles ? It probably needs a coat of paint but I will leave it for now.
Next up in discussions last weekend over the possible use of the M3 spare parts it came to life that the British often cut the top of these when damaged and used the chassis as tracked command or transport vehicles. A quick search on the internet and I found these two pictures to support the idea. Above a command vehicle 
Here used as transport
So with a lot of fiddling as you don’t get all the bits in the kit to make these from the leftovers I made this command vehicle
And three transports….I had some spare stowage so put as much of this on as possible, don’t look closely as there are some key bits of the tanks actually missing, but at 15mm they will do. The 0.50 cal machine guns were spare from the Sherman’s in the Tobruk starter set.

Sorry it has been a bit of a ramble but thanks for checking in

Matt ‘KBO’ ๐Ÿ‘



23 comments:

  1. The new additions look great Matt and the command vehicle made out of spares is brilliantly done. Bannockburn does look like a mess of a battle in the wall display. No neatly based units among that lot.

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  2. Must pay a visit to Bannockburn some time . A good find on the bus and cool creations from the bits box

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    1. Thanks Dave worth a trip if you are passing that way ⚔️

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  3. Cracking post full of cool stuff. Love the broken down tanks

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  4. The tanks will certainly do, as will the bus, a good find there. As ever an entertaining and pretty battle too.

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  5. All round goodness there Matt, always get tempted when your Reconquista stuff gets on the table. Well done on making use of the M3 left overs they look really good, I wonder if they used them like that in Sicily ๐Ÿค”

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    1. Thanks Phil, a tempting period with lots of colour, very happy with the transports. I had found pictures in the desert but not Sicily or Italy.

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  6. Great looking battle and a subject I'm not all that knowledgeable about.

    Very nice find on the bus - could even work in a zompocalypse setting too.

    The M3's as transports look spot on. I knew M5's were used in that capacity, but not their earlier variant.

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    1. Thanks Dai….zombi-apocalypse there’s an idea ๐Ÿค”

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  7. You’re firing on all cylinders, Matt! Great battlefield tour, great transport vehicle, and a fabulous game that came down to the wire once again. Cool bus too!

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    1. Thanks Jon, a very enjoyable battle Consuegra…we look for some more ๐Ÿ‘

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  8. Great variety there Matt...last time I visited Bannockburn (probably thirty years ago) I don't think it HAD a visitor centre...it did have the rather impressive statue of The Bruce, though! BTW, on a technical point, it wasn't the British Bruce defeated at Bannickburn, it was the English! I know we contrary Scots have been complaining since 1707 if anyone refers to the whole country as England, refers to Charles as the King of England, or, God forbid, call us personally English....but when it comes to the one and only major military victory in five hundred years if trying, we are happy to refer to King Edwards army as The English! ๐Ÿ˜„

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    1. Thanks Keith you are absolutely right a slip of the proverbial pen, English would have been better. Although according to the history books Edwards army had many foreign mercenaries including of course I suspect some Scottish loyal to the English King.

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  9. Oh. Thank you for photos. Have to visit with family someday!

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    1. Thanks Michal , worth a trip if you are holiday in Scotland ๐Ÿ‘

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  10. A good mix of stuff there Matt. If I'd known the centre was there, I might have tried a brief visit whilst in Edingburgh collection our daughter, but never had the time (nor energy!). A fine game too and love those converted tanks:).

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  11. Good to see the 'EL Cid' collection on the gaming table

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    1. Thanks Neil hopefully some more soon ๐Ÿ‘

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  12. Nice job on the command vehicle. Quite the range of subjects here. You are well travelled. ๐Ÿ˜€

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  13. Its been quite a while since I've been to Bannockburn... there was no visitor center as I recall...
    As always you have kept yourself busy...
    The M3 convertions look great...As does the 'El Cid' game.

    All the best Aly

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