Wednesday 29 April 2015

Plancenoit 1815 - part 2

And now....back to Belguim.  Hot on the heels of the appearance of the French Guard, above we see a unit of lancers trotting into action. Just hang on to my watch, will you?
In Plancenoit the blood just keeps on flowing.  The marker indicates that Blucher has invested one of his two 'Iron Will' counters in bolstering the morale of the light infantry.
The Prussian centre surges forward.  Landwehr against Guard.  What could go wrong?
There wasn't much wrong with the Guard's marksmanship - here they have mown down the crew of some Prussian artillery.  Scheisse!
The Guard firmly in control of the villages.
The lancers making life unpleasant for some Prussian infantry.
The French may be in the villages, but there are lots of Prussians advancing on them!
Sadly the lancers knocked off a final Prussian unit clinching a French victory.  Ah well, Waterloo was a rubbish name for a railway station anyway....

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Little Cold Wars game - 5 June


I have arranged a Little Cold Wars game at Knuston Hall in Northamptonshire - famed as the venue for Wargame Developments' Conference of Wargamers.  This will be a small and select affair - no more than 10 players in all.

The date - Friday 5 June 2015
The time - 1000 to 1700ish
The deal - £35 gets you a pleasant lawn game with an indoor option if there is inclement weather, lunch at lunchtime and tea/coffee throughout the day.
I'm thinking that afterwards we can adjourn to a local hostelry for a debrief and possible some food, setting off home after the worst of the traffic has dispersed.
Please let me know ASAP if you are interested and feel free to mention this to other discerning gamers!

Note that I need places booked and paid for in the next 2 weeks.  There will be no facility to simply roll up on the day!

Friday 24 April 2015

Plancenoit 1815 - part 1

"Give me Blucher or give me night" quoth the Duke.  This time round he again got Blucher.  This scenario came from the C&C website.  As far as I can recall this was the first outing for my Prussians in at least a decade!  John led the Prussians and Martin the French.  All the toys were from my accumulation - I hesitate to dignify it with the title of 'collection' - of 15mm.
Above is part of the Germanic horde.
The field of battle.  Prussians to the left.  Quite a lot of them.
The French left.  This game saw rare appearances from lancers and the Young and Old Guard!
A quick look from the other end of the table.  The clumps of troops in the centre of the table are Frenchies in and around Plancenoit.
Hostilities open - and the French rush forward to seize the other villages...
...but are soon engaged by an impressive block of Prussians.  Rarely have French gunners had such a target!
Prussian light infantry soon saw off the gunners but the French in Plancenoit managed to beat off the attack.
Soon the Young Guard arrived to see off the Prussian lights.  What could go wrong?
Well for one thing, the Prussians could seize the village.  Merde!
The area around Plancenoit was soon piled high with bodies.  You'll have to imagine them.

Place your bets now on the outcome!

Monday 20 April 2015

COW 2015 sessions - latest update

At the time of writing these were the sessions I had been offered.  If you think you have sent me your session details but they are not listed below – I DON’T HAVE THEM!
 Image result for cow
Tim Gow, John Armatys, Martin Rapier
DON’T LOOK NOW!    The 2015 Plenary Game:
Players represent the first line of defence against the WarPact hordes.  The appearance of this game may not be entirely unrelated to the Conference Organiser having recently acquired most of a 1980s-vintage Miltra British Army Recognition Kit Mk III.

WD Display Team North
Ensure Britain's survival by keeping its vital sea lanes open in a short participation game for up to six players about something which is long winded and where not much happens on most sorties…
WD Display Team (North)’s game for the 2015 season is sponsored by Tumbling Dice who kindly provided the 1:600 scale aircraft.

Tim Gow et al
An outdoor toy soldier game – much developed since COW2014.  Featuring toys in 54mm and at least two other scales, matchstick firing cannon and daft hats.

John Bassett
A crisis management game set in Singapore and looking at a forgotten episode of Imperial history.  Will you end up enjoying gin slings with the Governor's daughter or be remembered with scorn and contempt across the East?

John Bassett
A game on the battle for the intellectual high ground of the 1970s Cold War: the World Chess Championship.  Features defectors, quiet Americans, parapsychologists and hard-faced chain-smokers from the Soviet trade delegation.  I can feel an angel sliding up to me...

Bob Cordery
Professor Phil Sabin’s ‘Campaign in Two Hours’ kriegsspiel of the opening moves of the 1914 campaign on the Western Front has been played at Windsor Castle and King’s College, London. Now you will have the opportunity to try out this deceptively simple-looking wargame. The session will take 1.5 to 2 hours, and will need three teams: An Allied Team of two/three players, a German Team of two/three players, and an Umpire Team of three (two liaison Umpires and the Master Map Umpire).

John Curry
Paddy Griffith, his Rise and Fall
A frank 1 hour lecture on one of the most important wargamers of his generation.

Colin Maby
Gangsters, or its only business really
A card driven game set in probation era America which sees the players each taking the role of an up an coming gangster who’s aim is to end up having more money than anyone else, which also usually means controlling most of the crime in the notional city. Along the way this is likely to lead to brushes with other gangs and the law and possibly some difficult choices of who they annoy. The game uses areas with representative buildings for different parts of the city and 28mm miniatures to represent characters but is not a traditional skirmish game.

Ian Drury
A map-based multi-player strategic game of the 1777 campaign in North America, arguably the last chance the British had to regain control of the American colonies. Roles include louche aristocrat Lord Howe, ‘Gentleman Johnny’ Burgoyne, the notorious Benedict Arnold and, of course, George Washington.

John Curry
The Return of the Bear
A game based on a large map and giant counters. The system is the type of game that some countries might play to explore a hypothetical Russia threat to some Eastern European Country.  Feedback will be actively sought on the game model.

John Armatys and Martin Rapier
A derivative of a WW2 naval derivative (found on the AWM Yahoo Group) of Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargame. A simple and fun game for up to four players with dramatically scaled down fleets…

Jim Roche
The now traditional Saturday night singalong session!

Jim Roche
Osprey Trench Poker
To mark the continuing anniversary of the Great War, may I introduce Trench Poker, an unoriginal game based on the colour plates from old Osprey books. "I have a full house of three German officers and a pair of Highland pipers...I think he's bluffing; a Straight Flush of five different French ranks indeed!"
For up to four players at five minutes per hand (coins only for bets)

Tom Mouat
Daughter of the Skies
The date is 1947 – Jean Batten, famous female aviator and holder of the record for the London to Auckland solo flight is trying to beat her own record. She has, however, gone missing in a storm over the Pacific! Her wealthy fiancée is desperate to find her! This is a single-session role playing game with up to 8 players using modified “Footfall” rules featuring a Consolidated PBY Catalina, a rich heir, his bodyguard, a society photographer, the aviator’s closest friends and a rather dodgy Flying Company…

Tom Mouat
Kazhdyy Gorod
Welcome to the city of Kazhdyy Gorod in early July 2015, with a population of about 250,000, in the former Soviet Republic of Belaria. In Kazhdyy Gorod there are protests in the street in some of the poorer parts of the city and journalists have been giving them much publicity. The Mayor has been debating whether to get the Police to crack down hard to prevent things getting out of control and the Militia Commander has been quietly reviewing security at the base in the light of rumours that there are armed rebel troops in the forest to the East of town… This is a Matrix Game for up to 6 players representing the key players in this troubled city…

Tom Mouat
The Battle for the Slim River
The Imperial Japanese forces have invaded Malaya! They have advanced relentlessly driving all before them until this moment where they are facing stiff British resistance at the Slim River. You are part of the Japanese attacking force consisting of about 17 Type 97 medium tanks and 3 Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tanks, under the command of Major Toyosaku Shimada preparing for a daring assault down a single road! Banzai! This game actually features toy soldiers and the longest terrain map in the history of wargaming. Roles for up to 10 players.

Ian Lowell
Trump It!
A workshop session on using unusual playing cards for wargaming.  Following some of thoughts on the German Peasants’ War 1524—26 sessions at COW 2014.  An introduction to the earliest packs of cards and gaming with them, especially the following :
Karnöffel, The Visconti-Sforza Tarot and the Mantegna ‘Tarot’.

Ian Lowell
Rein-Bow Warriors Redux
A talk on the latest research into Late Bronze Age warfare, especially focusing on chariots.
  Followed by a chance to experiment with and try out the latest Rein-Bow Warrior rules.

Phil Steele
The Battle of Bouvines 1214
A delayed 800th anniversary wargame . Historical introduction plus toy soldier wargame in 15mm using adapted Basic Impetus.  A decisive battle on the Magna Carta timeline ...

Phil Steele
Sink The Bismark
Simple wargame using the 1:1200 Airfix models and the combat/damage system from last year's 'pop-up' game.

Phil Steele
Yarmuk 636
The decisive battle of the Arab Conquests ... Historical introduction plus a toy soldier wargame using classic 30mm flats and state of the art DBA V3.  A Society of Ancients 50th anniversary wargame.

Mike Elliott
Naval wargames have always annoyed me.  Detailed rules for ship to ship actions but far too complex for actual fleet actions.  In the 210th anniversary year, I present a wargame of the Battle of Trafalgar, with EVERY ship individually represented and ruthlessly simple rules to (hopefully!) allow play to a conclusion in about 90 mins to 2 hours.

Mike Elliott
Waking Shark or Cyber Warfare - The Six Stage Kill Chain
A lecture and discussion about cyber warfare and how we might simulate it in the context of a wargame.

Mike Elliott
Late Arrivals at the Duchess of Richmond's Ball
A Dinner Table Game.
It is 15th June 1815. Time travelling military(?) figures from all periods of history arrive for the Duchess of Richmond's Ball on the eve of Waterloo ... Inevitably, with time travel being what it is they arrive  late ...
An across-the-dinner-table entertainment on Saturday evening in the style of the Late Arrivals game from "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue". Laughter and mirth will ensue (I hope!!)
The best submissions may even find their way into the Nugget (Shock! Horror!).

Sue Laflin-Barker
It’s the latest version of the usual game, smugglers trying to deliver their goods and the revenue trying to intercept them.

Michael Young
Kestrel's Hover
This is a wargame developed for and played with 16th Air Assault Brigade. They wanted it to compare helicopter and parachute landings.
It uses a 200m hex grid and the units are platoons or sections, with 15 minute time steps.  The scenario is the capture of an airbase against light, but cunning opposition.
16th Air Assault liked the game so much they took a copy of it back to Colchester with them.
This will be a double session:  The first one will be a Helicopter Assault, the second one a Parachute Assault.  Feel free to attend either or both sessions.

Jaap Boender
Five minutes of political courage
This game takes players into the byzantine complexity of Belgian politics. After the elections, Flemish and Walloon politicians are negotiating the formation of a government - complicated by the situation of the Brussels electoral district, declared unconstitutional by the courts. The parties will have to overcome their linguistic, ideological, personal and electoral differences to negotiate a state reform, as well as a coalition accord. Failure is not an option!

Ian Drury
Brave Admiral Benbow
Fleet action in the first years of the 18th century, when the English Navy was a long way from establishing the dominance enjoyed a hundred years later by the RN. Even the steering wheel was regarded as a dubious innovation. . .Game features Tumbling Dice's range of 1/2400 toy ships on a hex cloth

Graham Evans
Taiping Era 2
At its first appearance a couple of years ago this 15mm figure game of warfare in 19th century China was criticised for not featuring any Taiping rebels and having a dodgy mathematical model.
The game is now back with hordes of long haired Taiping rebels and a revamped set of rules.  The core system still features the EDNA mechanism because I like it.

Graham Evans
Hurried Hydaspes
After the success of the Rapid Raphia card driven ancients game last year it is back slightly expanded and reworked to cover Alexander last battle. For those of you who missed it first time round the game uses a pack of cards per player to even the luck out and a simple system that keeps the players involved simultaneously throughout the game.

Start 'em young!

Long standing Sheffield Wargames Society members Emma and Ian Godley visited the club last week for the first time in a while.  The frankly rather feeble excuse for their absence was the birth last November of their son Will.
As Emma has let me know in advance they were coming I arranged on behalf of the club to present Will with his first toy soldiers.  Above is the little chap with his box of little chaps, below the ensemble with proud mum Emma.

My apologies for the quality of the photos - iPhone + poor light + incompetent photographer.

And finally - because I know someone will ask - the toys are Armies in Plastic set 5617 - British Infantry at Waterloo.  1/32 scale in bright red plastic.

Thursday 16 April 2015

Surprisingly slick sudden siege saga - the er, 'plan'

Further to my last post - which generated quite a bit of interest - you will no doubt be giddy with excitement to hear that I have found the scrap of paper on which my successful plan of campaign was scrawled.  Good, innit?

Monday 13 April 2015

Surprisingly slick sudden siege saga

enemy dragoons infest a wood. 
Following a day of client meetings in London a few weeks ago I proceeded to a secret location where I was inveigled by a pair of shady characters into partaking of a war-game.  The game was set in the early 1700s and was to feature a siege.  Given that my patchy historical knowledge has a largely empty bit from 1650 to 1800* I felt we were off to a bad start.  And a siege?  How was that ever going to work?
Well work it did and to my considerable surprise I enjoyed the game far more than I had expected to.  Set on a floor area of about 10 by 15 feet the terrain included redoubts, trenches, Vaubanesque walls and a big castle.  So things are looking up already.  The toys were (of course!) 54mm and I can confirm that this period is aesthetically well suited to the scale.
There is a fuller report on the Vauban & Shandy blog - from whence came the photos which I use here with the author's permission.
enemy gunners hiding in a redoubt - the rotters!
Despite the size of the area, forces were sensibly modest.  My attacking army consisted of 3 infantry regiments (16-20 figures each), 3 dragoon regiments (8-12), 2 grenadier companies (5-7) and a siege train of big hairy guns and mortars.
One of my infantry battalions advances - led by it's bold/stupid officer....
Safe behind several layers of walls, an enemy battalion minces about.
An overview of my gun line as saps are dug forward
"Guns ready..."
"Fire!"  Sadly my gunnery was - even by my own lamentable standards - pretty poor.
My brave lads occupy a forward trench
Foreign Johnnies coming to spoil things.
The final dramatic assault!
An heroic grenadier captures the position.  We'll overlook that pile of corpses behind him, shall we?
In the fine tradition of the time, after so much of their mens' blood had been shed, both generals and the umpire repaired to the kitchen for a jolly dinner!

* Though I do recognise 1689, 1715 and 1745 as significant dates.  But that's another story.

Sunday 12 April 2015

Not dead yet!

My apologies for the dearth of posts of late but I have been rather busy with other matters.  The end of the tax year (5 April) here in the UK can produce a 'spike' of business - in my case never more so than this year.
As a result time for wargaming has been very limited, though I have managed a few games and even a little bit of painting.
More about these chaps in a forthcoming post....

Thursday 2 April 2015

Waterloo on the cheap?

Recent discussion with Funny Little Wars creator Mr PW led to a hare-brained idea for a 200th anniversary Waterloo game.  Using - of course - 54mm toy soldiers.  This wasn't something I wanted to devour a huge proportion of the defence budget so I was pleased to remember the 'Supreme' range of pre-painted figures. A visit was swiftly arranged to the premises of Tiger Hobbies * where owner Gary sorted me out with a box of figures.
 Some sorting out later it turned out that I had enough infantry for five 16-figure French battalions and the same for Brits.  The cavalry numbers ran to four 10-figure regiments a side plus plenty of spares for command units.
 The figures all have basic paintwork - which I may improve upon if time and inclination allows.  As they were packed tightly in bags a degree of warping had occurred but the hot water/cold water treatment soon sorted that out.
 So far I have sorted the figures for four battalions.  They have been based on my usual mdf 30x40mm bases - stuck down with PVA.

* But please don't try his patience by dropping in - it's basically a trade warehouse!