Monday, 31 October 2011

Back from holiday...

...so that's why things have been quiet around here for the past week.  I try to avoid the interwebnet when I'm abroad as I know I'd be tempted to look at work-related stuff.
We stayed in a apartment near Estapona in southern Spain http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&tab=wl .  The scenery (away from the coast) was pretty spectacular and I'll post some photos from our days out later this week.
The view from our balcony.  The sun shone for much of the week!
Looking west from the balcony - the lump of rock which can just be seen in the distance is in fact Gibraltar.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Busaco (Reynier's Assault), 1810

This was our most recent Command & Colours - Napoleonics game, played on 12 October 2011 - close enough to the anniversary (27 September).  Martin commanded the French (who for once didn't have to cross a river and attack up a big hill) while John and Jerry led the Brits and Portuguese.
Terrain and 15mm toys from my own collection.  And I didn't paint any of them!
The initial setup.  This and all other photos taken from my vantage point on the French left/British right.
The dramatic French opening move - two units each of infantry and guns roll forward.
The card which caused the drama!
The French centre/right.  Taking the village was a great move.
The Brits soon swung into action to repel boarders.
Allied forced converge on the French salient.  The Portuguese infantry were represented by and assortment of Austrians and Russians - mostly wearing greatcoats.
The Allied advance continues.  They seemed to be taking things very seriously!
The action begins to fragment, with Portuguese moving up while British gunners get an excessively close view of the enemy.
The French get a taste of portuguese steel!
Ah - that's why!  Good card.
The Portuguese have recovered the village, but it's all still to play for.
The French begin their attempt to recapture the village...
...and do great damage to the Portuguese unit they hit in the flank.
Soult finally moves his cavalry.
The centre is now contested by a load of very understrength units.
The Portuguese grip on the village looks secure - or is it?
British heavy cavalry - led in person by MacKinnon - overrun the French right.  And win the game.  As usual it was pretty close.

The Volturno affair, October 1943 (and October 2011) - part 3

More 'action' pics from Volturno.  Actually these mainly show players lazing about - 'in combat' shots are understandably rare!
Martin in a typically dynamic pose.
Awaiting new orders.
More laying around during a lull.  Shortly afterwards we were sent on patrol - and ran straight into a much larger Allied force.
An American player skulking in the woods. 
After action photo of the German force.
After action photo of the Brits.
And finally - as a treat for Paul, another pic of 'Claude', a Simca Sumb before his recent repaint.
Photo by CiA member Old 'Un - Claude's owner.

The Volturno affair, October 1943 (and October 2011) - part 2

More photos now from Volturno, mostly showing the Germans moving into position.  One of the nicer things about the WW2 airsoft games I have attended is the amount of time spent on non-combat cocking about - approach marches, sorting out defensive lines, constructing positions, patrolling etc. 
Photo credits as per the previous post.
The Landsers recover after the initial trip aboard Claude.  I now understand why, in photos of real soldiers aboard lorries they are smiling.  Travel aboard Claude was an interesting experience - very cramped due to there being more then 20 tooled up guys in the back, but a surprisingly smooth ride.  Proper French suspension I suppose - like the old Peugeots and Citroen I've run.
More milling about sorting out kit.
A 'period' shot.
German briefing.
Part of the Heer section moves up into position.

Friday, 21 October 2011

The Volturno affair, October 1943 (and October 2011) - part 1

Last Saturday saw me attend another WW2 Airsoft event.  Set in Italy in 1943, this was actually held at Close Action Airsoft's Weekly Hall Wood site in Northamptonshire.  This made it an easy day trip for those of us in the Sheffield area.  The scenario involved US and British forces attempting to clear up German rearguard parties following the breaching of the Volturno Line.
The German forces (about a platoon) were split into a section each of FJR, SS and Heer.  The Heer (Army) section was theoretically Gebirgsjager (mountain troops), so I wore basically my Luftwaffe Field Division gear, topped (for posing around the car park purposes at least) with a Gebirgsjager field cap.  Martin had enhanced his look with a big rucksack and a rope of the type normally used for securing ocean liners.  Steve chose to debut in his Heer uniform.
Photo credits go to Comrades in Arms members Martin R, Cheeky Chappy, Sgt. Heide and Pride of England.
The US forces gathered for the initial briefing.  Scruffy lot.
The Brits seemed to be mostly Paras.
The Fuhrer's finest.
'Claude' - actually a Simca Sumb, late of the French Army, which served as the German transport.  Think of it as a sort of French Unimog - with air brakes and a V-8 engine!  What luxury!
As always, players had made great efforts to get the 'look' right.
The appearance of affordable airsoft Sten guns a couple of years ago has greatly increased the popularity of British airborne kit.
Steve T tries out his camouflage.
This chap was very handy with his rather nice K98.
Steve showing off his 'weathered' MP-44
Coming soon - 'in action' photos.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Meanwhile, back in the slave market...

Photo by Rob Young of Garrison Miniatures
The Rose Miniatures 30mm 'Roman Slave Market' figures I mentioned recently (Rude Romans) are now available once more!  See more at the Garrison Miniatures website  At £0.80 each I reckon these are quite a bargain!

Monday, 17 October 2011

RIP* Von Kluck

It is my sad duty to report the demise of my chicken, Von Kluck, after a short illness. 
Kluck has appeared several times on this blog and it is on account of her modest international following that I post this news here.  Kluck was always by far the fastest of our three chicks and moved with a grace unattainable to the others.  Indeed it was issues with her movement which first alerted us to her being in less than perfect health - to the point where she was falling over.
Kluck a few months ago on top form - hurtling across the garden at high speed!
Our concerns about her movement and the need to ensure her safety led us to bring Kluck into the house, and she lived for the last two weeks - apparently in good spirits - in a large cardboard box in Sara's office.  Sadly her ability to move continued to decline and latterly needed to have food held in front of her in order to eat.  We decided last night that the time had come and Sara took plucky Von K to be put to sleep by the vet this morning.  When I last saw Von Kluck she was tucking into her breakfast of scrambled egg and tomatoes.
Von Kluck in her command bunker.  Luckily I recently bought a new printer!
The other two chicks - Shelley and Fluff - initially seemed a bit lost without their chum, so we'll have to keep a close eye on them.  The plan is to look into getting more chicks in the spring - any new arrivals will be featured here.

The original chicken post can be viewed here: Link

* RIP = Roost in Peace.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Crocus Plain, 352 BC

This game was played a few weeks ago but with my customary inefficiency it has taken me some time to write it up.  The historical battle saw the Macedonian army under Phillip II defeat a Greek force under Onomarchus.  Would history be repeated?  Given that I took Phillip's role while Martin was the man in the Hoplite outfit it seemed unlikely...
My 6mm toys were given an outing for this game.  Most were picked up on ebay last year and are on 6cm wide bases.  Here we see Onomarchus with some of his top hoplites ('toplites'?).
An overview of the field.  This and all other pics (all original full-colour engravings) are as viewed from the artist's vantage point atop a convenient mountain...
Macedonian cavalry surge froward on the right - while my skirmishers run away.
Phil finds himself facing the Greek army alone!
Bloody pikes - I knew they'd never work.
It will be clear from the above - and my apologies for the relative lack of photos - that the battle did not go well for Phil II.  Due to drawing consistently shocking cards I was never able to mount a decent attack and my phalanx - first hoplites then pikemen were soon put to flight.  I expect Phil went home in a rage and killed his son or something. I forget his name - Alexander maybe?

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

HMS Repulsive - part 2

Repulsive is now complete and running trials on the modelling table.  She has been subjected to my usual 'rough drybrush over black' paintwork and is ready for a proper voyage and battle.  Which I really must get round to organising.