Sunday 30 October 2022

Raven Two is down!

 Having seen and taken part in Ian Drury’s Raven 2 game at COW in July I was keen to run it myself.  It provided a ‘filler’ after the 18th Century game I ran a few weeks ago.  The game concerns the rescue of a US pilot (the eponymous ‘Raven Two’) shot down over North Vietnam.  A controller in a Skyraider (know at the time as a ‘Spad’) directs the search, strikes against enemy forces and the rescue helicopter. 

We ran the game through twice.  In game one it took an age to locate the pilot but then the recue was effected quickly and safely. In game two the pilot was located early on - but not only by the US players!  The NVA were in the neighbouring square when the chopper crew plucked him to safety.  Happily there was no repeat of the debacle which occurred in one of the COW games, where at one point there were ten(!) US aircraft in the area and rather more worryingly three downed pilots stumbling around the jungle.  Anyway, enough of this, lets see the toys.  The photos are in no particular order and show 1/72 scale aircraft and 1/32 scale figures.

F-4 on a strike run
Intruder on a bombing run while the controller's Spad directs the chopper
Found him!

HH-53 'Jolly Green Giant'
another Spad about to light up some NVA

Friday 7 October 2022

A year of living dangerously - Montrose’s Scottish Campaign of 1644-1645

I picked this up recently following an always dangerous recommendation from a friend (thanks Matthew!). It’s a campaign I’ve long been interested in, not least because a fair bit of the action is ‘local’ to where I grew up. 

It costs about £15 and the first (solo) play took just over an hour.

Lovely map and counters. 

Montrose nearly did it!
The game set up to play. 
Detail of the map. My part of the world!

I’ll no doubt have more to say when I’ve played it more.  In this first outing, Montrose came close to victory but basically ran out of troops. He did, however, manage the all-important sack of Dundee!  

Tuesday 4 October 2022

Forward to the past!

I have been tinkering on and off with some ideas for an 18th Century toy soldier game for some time.  Recently I decided that it was time to inflict the thing on other people.  Five players - John, Pete, Russell, Diego & Lloyd - assembled and I provided a couple of boxes of 54mm toys.  The 'rules' such as they are, borrow elements from both Funny Little Wars and Charles S Grant's The War Game.  Infantry and cavalry units are composed of 12 and 6 figures respectively.  For this test game the Earl's Army Red had 5 infantry, 1 cavalry and 1 gun.  The General's Army White had 6, 2 and 1.  

The toys are virtually all plastics, mostly BMC and A Call To Arms.

The General's troops soon surged forward into a hail of mostly ineffective musket fire.

Some brave souls ventured into (party popper) cannister range!

Eventually the Whites ran out of steam and shuffled off.  The game took 2 hours and kept all six of us us entertained.  And it looked pretty good.  More importantly, with a couple of tweaks the rules worked!  Expect more of this sort of thing.  Now, where did I put my tricorne hat?

My thanks to Russell, Pete and Diego for the use of their photos.