Monday, February 01, 2016

On the Workbench

I have begun to find myself completely distracted from doing anything on the workbench thanks to Fall Out 4.  Rather than spending an hour at the paint table I have been spending several hours on the Xbox with time slipping past unnoticed (except by my wife "are you STILL playing that game?").

So I resolved this weekend to get on and do something.  Especially with deadlines pending for some figures for the Great Northern War.  
Nine more grenadiers have now had the flesh completed.  They are seen below acting as props for four flags for the Swedish command/pike stands behind them.  Flags from the League of Augsberg webstore and very nice they are too.
I also mounted the musketeers I finished last weekend onto their stands.
This now means I have to paint a further forty figures and complete sixteen stands to finish the Swedish foot.  I also need to learn to count because I thought I had finished eleven stands of pikes but can only find ten.  Ten is good.

On a side note there has been a lot of talk on other blogs and forums about the lack of activity in creating posts whilst at the same time noting the rise in the number of Facebook posts.
It is easier and quicker to post a photograph as an update on facebook then to write a blog post.  It is also quicker and easier to "like" a Facebook post then to post a comment on a blog page.  Facebook also gives you a complete summary of all new posts to those pages that you follow.  This means that you don't have to search all of the blogs for updates either.
Changes to the Facebook settings have also resulted in a drop in followers to blogs as well.  Something that has been quite noticeable on a number of blogs.
Is Facebook going to be the death knell of the blog?  But it is one more example of the trend to have everything simpler, easier, quicker and more available everywhere.
Just take a look around the airport lounge next time you go.  How many people reading books do you see?  How many people do you see wired into their phone by comparison?
Me?  Reading a book.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Savoy Enters the War

No sooner have the Bavarians under the command of club member Ashley joined the fray, then another member  - Andy - returns with another new force.
His Army of Savoy is also a welcome addition to the growing number of figures we have now within the club for the War of the Spanish Succession.  Andy had previously provided figures and now returns with a new project.
His figures are a mix of Wargames Factory, Front Rank & Old Glory
Last night they were joined by the Prussians from the collection of Chris to take the field against an Anglo-Dutch force commanded by mark.
Andy was soon into the fray with his Savoyard's and found it difficult to make any headway against the English.    Initially trading volleys and losing battalion for battalion the disruption to the lines was more uncomfortable for Andy than Mark.
as a consequence the English foot made good progress across the table.
Unfortunately the same could not be said for my flank.  Spearheaded by two battalions of grenadiers the Prussians marched across the table brushing aside the English lines I had in place.  One battalion of grenadiers was reduced to a level to cause some concern but then the Prussian officer boldly led them forward and the destruction continued.
By the end of the day both sides were worn down sufficiently to be unable to claim a victory.  The Savoyards were gaining ground against my flank but were left with a body of enemy horse somewhere to their rear.  On the other flank the English foot were in the ascendency but not in sufficient numbers to hold the ground.

A thousand figures on the tabletop in a game lasting a little over two and a half hours.  Good fun all round with no dissent or rules interrogation.  rules used were our own "Corporal John & the Sun King".

Scenery and boards from the collection of the Grimsby Wargames Society.   My thanks to Andy, Chris and Mark for a good nights gaming.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Menage a trois

Sorry if the title of this post doesn't meet your expectations (just google if you want something more risque).
No historical manufacturer currently makes a version of the triple barreled cannon used by the French at Ramillies but one non-historical maker is about to.
I'll be buying some and other than adding some heavier wheels and shortening the axle it'll do just fine I think in my WSS French collection.

I won't be buying the crew though from Alternative Armies.

The photograph below is of the example at "Firepower" the museum of the Royal Artillery.  The barrels come from the battle of Ramillies but the carriage is a somewhat later addition and entirely wrong.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The Year Ahead

The foundations for this years gaming life have been laid and, to me at least, appear to offer the prospects of a busy and exciting year.

Most of this years painting effort will be put towards some big games planned for the Great Northern War and the War of the Spanish Succession.

The first of those big games is planned for the first Partizan show at Newark in May.

The Grimsby Wargames Society will be hosting a large 28mm War of the Spanish Succession game featuring figures from the collections of several club members being played over the terrain boards and scenery used by the club every week.  Using our own rules the aim is to show that large games can be played with a simple set of rules without difficulty.
If you'd like a seat at the table please drop me a line.

Next will be a Great Northern War game which I'll be hosting at the "A Military Gentleman" convention.
This is a group of individuals brought together as owners of the superb book of the same name by John Ray.  We all share an enthusiasm for the military aspects and conflicts of the eighteenth century and, this is an opportunity for us to get together following the success that was the game staged at Newark last year.
My current painting and basing is all geared towards achieving a reasonable sized game for this event.

Then I have in mind to stage a refight of the Battle of Ramillies 1706 in August.
This will be at the Grimsby Wargames Society premises and will be along the lines of the enjoyable refight of Blenheim previously held at the club.  This will be the largest game of the year and probably the biggest I've ever done in terms of numbers of troops and table area available.
Again if you are interested (and yes Robbie I have your name down already) let me know.

It may not sound like much, three big games, but I'm looking forward to another year of gaming and that's what matters.  Enjoy the hobby.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Grimsby Wargames Society Christmas Game 2015 - Soignes 1707

 As has become the habit over recent years we hosted a large 28mm War of the Spanish Succession game at the Society in the Christmas break.

It's May 1707 and the French, under the command of General Vendomme are on the move.  They have advance from their winter quarters and are heading for Brussels.  Their last reported position was around Sombreffe.

As a consequence of this activity the Allies have collected their forces together and marched to Soignes, west of the last reported position of the French.  However, at the last moment the Dutch States General has refused to allow any Dutch troops to be involved in the attack on the French.  Forced into a defensive posture Marlborough rides to talk to the Dutch command leaving the Allies under the command of Dutch General Overkirk.

Once Marlborough realises he is under attack he begins his return with reinforcements for Overkirk.

Our game begins with the French lines advancing to the attack.
 Overview of the table at the start of the game.  On the left of the photograph the Allies have massed most of their horse alongside the village of Ecaussines.  Five battalions of Dutch including the Dutch guard are next to them.  Around the stream are three battalions of Imperial foot and then to the far end of the table we have four English foot battalions and the woods swarming with English dragoons.
The French have massed all their horse opposite the village.  Fourteen battalions of French foot and six battalions of Bavarian foot form for the attack.  To prevent any flanking from those pesky dragoons are twelve squadrons of Bavarian Kuirassiers.
 The Dutch may look out numbered but were going to be more than a match for the French.
 The Swiss Guard were to lead the attack.  However as they advanced the allies moved an Imperial battalion into a flanking position.  Whilst the Swiss managed to reduce the Dutch Guard facing them to under two third strength the additional flanking fire was too much and the Swiss left the field.
As the infantry lines closed the French horse went into action.  Individually the French horse regiments were out numbered but having more squadrons allowed the French to overwhelm the Allied horse.  
 Overview of the table just before the Allied reserves arrived.  The Horse in the foreground have fought the first round of melees and are now regrouping for the next series of engagements.  The French are within musketry range of the Allied lines, whilst the Bavarians are holding themselves for the final push.
 The French line comes into action.
 Bavarian foot in action.  They proved quite resilient against the superior firepower of the English lines.
 A confused situation.  The first line of the French has disintegrated as some of the battalions are forced to retire leaving others exposed to flanking movements and being reduced to below half strength.  Meanwhile the second and third lines are having to reorganise as the first line falls back through them.
 The French despite outnumbering the dutch by almost three to one had struggled to bring enough musketry to bear for most of the game.  This situation was remedied by some of the French horse riding down a dutch battalion from the rear as the Allied horse were pushed from the field.  this precipitated the collapse of the Dutch foot and whilst the army morale held the Allies were forced to the conclusion that the field was lost and must now retire.

A terrific game that was more difficult for the French than it first looked.  The additional benefits of the platoon firing system and the deeper French formations were effective at holding back superior numbers.  Equally the presence of two large battalions of guards in the allied lines were stumbling blocks that the French had problems with.

Figures were from the collections of Andy (Imperial), Mark (English) (who was unfortunately unable to attend the game but kindly lent his figures for the day), me (French and some of the Dutch) and Ashley (Bavarian).
 Theses Bavarians were out for the first time and they did look very splendid.
 Ashley has done a great job with them and provides some welcome reinforcements for the French.
His horse are a fearsome sight too.

Scenery all from the collection of the Grimsby wargames Society.

Rules used were our own "Corporal John & the Sun King".

Not a bad way to end the wargaming year.  And a French victory to boot.

Monday, December 28, 2015

So That Was Christmas

To paraphrase a song line.
Overall I think it went better than we had hoped.  The issues we were expecting to have didn't happen (all family related) quite like we thought and Christmas Day for my wife wasn't the best.  But we got through it and had some fun on the way.
We did learn (thanks to a boardgame version of "Never Mind the Buzzcocks") that I can't sing, hold a tune or remember any intros to songs I've known all my life, but I do know the story behind them.  And that I have no idea about popular music released after 1990.  My wife on the other hand.....

As usual the Christmas haul is particularly light on wargaming related items.  Just the one this year from my son.  The dust jacket credits it as a clear perspective on the war and expands it into the spheres of influence under Sweden, Russia and the Ottoman Empire.  Which is a good thing since the wars in eastern Europe did have an impact on who were involved in the western theatre.

I don't mind the lack of wargaming "stuff" as my wife would could call it.  the family make up for it in other ways and this year I'll settle down to read the above book with a bottle of vintage bourbon.  A delightful surprise gift from my wife.

Almost another year over.

I hope you all enjoyed the break and the festivities.

If you are in the Grimsby area on Wednesday 30th and fancy pushing some lead around a table please call in at the Grimsby Wargames Society where I'll be marshalling the troops for a War of the Spanish Succession game centered around events in May 1707.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

So good reader another festive season is upon us.

I hope that you're on the nice list, but if you have been naughty that it was worth it.

I'll raise a glass to you all and wish you a Very Merry Christmas.