Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Predictions for 2011

We've had the highlights, what about the new year then?

Well here's my thumb in the air guesswork for the new year...


Prices of Metal and Plastic in the UK are going to rise, and with a VAT increase on top I expect the price of a typical metal historical miniature to rise to around £1.25 and the price of plastic figures to hover around the 50-60 pence mark, dependent on manufacturer. I will not be alone in finding I have less free cash to spend on my gaming, and this will have knock on effects in the hobby in the short term.

Such times of economy will put some people out of the hobby as too expensive, but others will be more creative. I such times I predict a resurgence of 20mm plastic and skirmish gaming; always popular options in hard pressed times.


The plastic miniatures market is now approaching saturation, with most periods at least touched upon by one or more manufacturer, obviously there are still huge gaps but anyone waiting for plastic Burmese infantry, or Ottoman Turks or models for the Maori Wars are likely to live in disappointment indefinitely.

I predict though that whilst new companies may well enter the fray, at least one plastics manufacturer will fall by the wayside this year. In such event it is likely the moulds will soon reappear of course.

In terms of output, Napoleonics and Ancients will continue to dominate, and I also think we may see more than just WW2 covered in 15mm if the economy permits it.

A specific word should be added on Mantic Games; but for it see below.

Rule Systems

Hail Caesar, the new rules from Warlord, will do for ancient wargames, what Black Powder has done for the age of Muskets; reinvigorate and divide, but all in the most positive of fashions. Warhamer Ancients 2.0 went off with a whimper rather than a bang, and for those who don't want the mathematical approach of rules like Fields of Glory or DBMM, it will fulfill a purpose.

Kings of War will become a genuine contender in respect of fantasy mass battle games. GW will not show signs of nerves, but hopefully they will feel the effect of having developing competition in their own back yard, and maybe, just maybe, react in a positive fashion. One can hope!

Blogging, Pledging and so forth

As for myself, Well it's been a busy old year on the blog, and I don't predict I'll be more prolific in 2011, but then I'd be a fool to do so! My wider aims are for a 500 words a week on another project, whilst using the blog for the usual activity. I predict if anything gets going on the other project, you will hear about it here.

With the pledge, the 2010 objective looks like being a success, but in 2011, I am going to change it again to make for specific outcomes:

  • With an aim to improve my individual character painting I will produce at least one single piece per month to a competition standard. This will include, but not be exclusively limited to, my new Anima Tactics models.
  • To develop my hitherto limited sculpting skills, I will start a new Warhammer Fantasy army, with an aim to convert or scratchbuild large numbers of the models. The rate of production for this project expected to be limited however.
  • To ensure games of Black Powder can continue at the club, I will begin a Peninsular War French army in earnest, aiming to produce one unit per month for the first six months of the year.
  • I will clear a huge model backlog, by painting one pre-bought unit or force for every other unit I complete.
  • The net aim will be to produce at least 30 models per month.

Let's see if any of that turns out to be right...

Santa plays a blinder

I'm back from the Xmas travails, and for the first time in many a year, Santa appears to have got my list, as opposed to one for a pensioner in need of rubbish socks and toiletries.

70 or so fantasy figures plus a couple of Osprey books on the Peninsular War. Pretty good going I'd say. This year making a list paid off; though I should perhaps have checked it twice, on popping the books on the shelf I found I already had a copy of the Salamanca book; I don't even remember buying it!

Ho ho ho!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Xmas comes Early for AKI

I'd been sniffing around for something new, to give me more of a skirmish game, and to provide me with a more detailed painting project - one on which I could endeavour to improve my painting skills. A trip to the FLGS* put this system before me and one impulse buy later, I was the proud owner of Anima Tactics:

So what and why? Well Anima Tactics is a game I probably should have heard more about and shown more interest in a long time ago. It's set in a world that is quite clearly influenced by, and best described as 'Anime/Manga-esque'. Its a sort of quasi scifi, fantasy setting mixing western and eastern mythology with heavy religious and fantasy overtones in a way that the Japanese are masterful at. Though the game itself is a largely American creation.

As a long time fan of Anime and a reader of Manga since the early 90's this game should have been on my hit list for the art work alone; the models are quite something:

As to the game, well, I won't give a full review until I've had a chance to play, but it seems to be an activation system, with characters having varying numbers of activation points to use per turn. There seems to be the ability to interrupt an opponents action, and a selection of specific rules to each model.

Long time readers will know this is something I've had reservations with in the past. But on the plus side, the lavish rulebook does include the full rules for all the core models (some 70+) so you can at least check your opponent isn't spinning you a line.

We shall see; but as a painting project at least I'm really looking forward to giving these a go.

Merry Xmas one and all!

*Friendly Local Gaming Store

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Orcs Rampage in Lustria

Actually one of two games with my Orc and Goblin army I had in December, but the other is lost in the mists of time now, and although I have photo's I can only be hazy on the events of this one.

I faced a fairly new army to me, the only time I've played Lizardmen before they whupped my Dwarves. Orcs and Goblins are notoriously unpredictable in Warhammer, having some of the very best units, but also most of the very worst too; along with special rules which make them as able to destroy themselves as any enemy.

I went for a fairly typical list for me at 200 points, some of it cookie cutter in it's predictability (Black Orc Warboss in unit of Big un's carrying Morks Banner for upto +3 dispell dice, seems a no brainer to me; as does at least one fanatic in every Night Goblin unit). Other bits, less so; Wolf riders as medium cavalry with spears and shields in two ranks, for example.

My opponent used lots of Saurus' Skink skirmishers, a Stegadon and a Slann. Fairly standard stuff. I got first turn and advanced more or less across the board, there was a an exchange of magic, which did little, and then some excellent guided missile fire from my Doom Diver knocked out the Salamander unit he had.

On his turn,Ambushing Skinks ran at my Doom Diver and tried to destroy it, but just failed. His magic was effectively shut down by my huge base of dispel dice, bolstered by my three to two advantage in spell casters.

My advance activated all my fanatics (three), and they smashed his Skink scouts, leaving my bow armed Goblins free to bicker. On his second turn the Slann mage blew himself up summoning a comet, leaving him with a serious lack of magic. He began to send skink hero on a Terradon around my flank, hoping his other skirmishers could out shoot my wolf riders, whilst his Saurus led the attack.

As a plan it proved flawed, mostly by bad luck; I declared a big Waaaagh and rushed most of the army forward. Which allowed the goblin spear unit to charge; destroying their target in a frankly surprising victory.

His Stegadon had to charge at this point, and it made a fair fist of defeating the Savage Orcs, though it was almost killed in the process. His bad luck continued when his Skink failed to destroy the doom diver's lone defender in combat. And then the comet struck.

Goblins proved immune to it, and the Orc Big Uns took sustainable losses. The Army charged almost en masse, and made a real mess of the Lizzies centre. A flank charge by the Goblins destroyed a unit of Saurus! They outran the goblins and would rally, but by this point their rearguard of skinks was finished by the wolf riders and victory was looking comprehensive.

And so it proved, the Big Un's got ito the othe Saurus unit and my Warboss slaughtered his Old Blood Lord. The unit around him was killed and ran.

We called it there, as it was clear there was no coming back; everything seemed to go wrong for the Lizardmen, everything right for me. A solid plan, allowed the Orcs and Goblins to work as well as possible as a group, despite their inevitable randomness.

It seems a tradition that I win the last game of the year; or perhaps it's the case I elect to quit whilst I'm ahead?...

Mantic release New Kings of War Army

Well I get back from a pre-Christmas snowboarding trip, and what do I find?

A new army is officially unleashed for KOW just in time for xmas:

A nice little bonus, not an army I'd particularly play, but it expands on the game options and is a good sign.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Highlights of 2010

This is one of those articles where I pontificate somewhat. It's been a busy year on the blog and in gaming in general, so I thought it worthwhile looking back at the best bits of the year.


Of course 2010 has been largely about the continued rise of the hard plastic miniatures, and my personal pick of the crop from this year would probably be a three way tie; between sets from Gripping Beast, Mantic and Perry Miniatures.

Gripping Beast's Vikings are quite simply beautiful, not perfect (some of the separate arms need work and poses can be repetitive) but so well detailed that it is hard not to love them.

The Mantic Skeletons are as recent posts will have shown lovely little models, great value and at least as interesting as the latest generation of GW undead (and much better than their older models). Their well thought out and crisp models that show what can be done in the fantasy genre.

But the overall winner for me are the Perry Napoleonic Cavalry sets, notably the Hussars. Absolutely beautiful models, and suitable for no end of uses. Every aspect of them is as good as or superior to metal models for a fraction of the price. Delightful.

Honourable mentions must go to the Victrix British Artillery, Immortal Greeks and Plastic Soldier WW2 Russians. But the Perries really have it.


Well that's a simple one, Black Powder, all the way! The best set of rules I've played in years, and has made it possible for me to do the sorts of games I always wanted, without the rules getting in the way. I know they are not everyones cup of tea, but they suit my mindset and have brought many players to the periods they cover.

Runners up would be Battlefield Evolution - World at War and of course Kings of War, two sets of rules which revitalised armies I'd not used in many a year.


Hmm, well in the latter months it's been the chance to replay some actual battles; Maida and Barrosa. I know there are many gamers for whom this is their bread and butter, but for me it is a rare treat to take on the mantle of an actual general and try to emulate or change history. These aside, putting my 15mm Zulus and British on the table for the first time ever sticks in my mind. Most recently, doing a display game again - my first since about 2000 - was a satisfying experience.

The Blog goes from Strength to Strength

At the start of the year, I'd had close to 40,000 hits and about 30 followers; I mused that by the end of the year I may arrive at 60,000 hits. Well I've doubled that and found many more people inclined to read my jibberish. Thanks all and I hope to entertain you further. There are so many blogs out there now that I fail dismally to keep up with more than a selection; my own blog list is so in need of expanding to add the ones I also now enjoy. Let's all keep writing!

And the Flipside

Finally giving up on Warhammer 40k represents the gaming nadir of the year. I find that Sci-fi gaming in general holds only sparse interest for me now; Years ago I drew and arbitrary gaming line at 1999 and vowed not to go beyond it; and now I don't find little in 'future' wars to entertain me. I still have my Epic models and a half finished Space Marine army, but even they may go eventually. Selling models is tough, but inevitable at times.

Also, I must add, my main Napoloenics adversary moving down south is a bit of a blow!

So there we go, the year in a nutshell.

What of next year? Well that will follow in another post...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Swiftly, they Rise...

Well you might remember the photo's of these in bare plastic from around a week ago. But thanks to a simple and fast colour scheme, they are now finished and ready for the table!

For the Skeletons the main initial work was making sure there were enough spears; as some of the Mantic models are built as swordsmen it was necessary to a bit of converting. Spare spears from other sets came in handy to make up the short fall. Then a simple basecoat and drybrush combo served for the bone and metals, with cloth, shield, weapon and belts finished in more detail. If it wasn't drybrushed it was just a flat coat of paint.

This allowed a black tinted glaze to do all the hard work of the shading, and it was the same for the Zombies too:

These were obviously an even easier job to deal with, having as they did relatively little to them, little clothing, few weapons, etc. I used four different shades of rotting greenish grey flesh; though shaded it's really not that apparent.

One of the models in the Mantic Zombie sprue lunges forward with both arms, however I found it easy to remove the right arm and swap it around with the other models (who already had separate right arms). Adding weapons and using a handful of the leg sets from the Ghoul set improved the variety.

For these undead, I've gone for a new basing finish, more contemporary when compared to the lurid green of my other troops. I will eventually upgrade the whole force.
So that was seventy figures done in a matter of hours. About 300 points for my Kings of War forces. It also puts me well up on the pledge. Now, onto the next job!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Maida: Order of Battle

OOB's for the Maida game were derived from Richard Hopton's book; as follows (Based on Black Powder rules):

French under Reynier (8)

Digonnet - (8)
1/23rd Leger - sharpshooters
2/23 Leger
9th Chasseurs - Heavy +1 cavalry
4lb'r battery

Peyri - (8)
1/1st Swiss
2/1st Swiss
1/1st Polish - unreliable
2/1st Polish - unreliable

Compere - Aggresive (8)
1/42nd Ligne
2/42nd Ligne
1/1st Leger - Sharpshooters
Detached Voltiguers - Skirmish, Marauders, Sharpshooters

All French and Swiss (not Polish) infantry in formed bodies gain +1 command and Tough fighters rule.

British under Stuart - (9)

Cole - (8)
Combined Grenadiers - Elite 5+, Reliable
27th Foot - Reliable
6lb'r Battery

Acland - (8)
81st Foot - Freshly Raised
78th Highland - Freshly Raised
6lb'r Battery

Kempt - (8)
Combined Light Battalion
Flankers - Skirmishers, Marauders
6lb'r Battery

Oswald - Hesitant (9)
Wattevilles Swiss
58th Foot

Ross (in Reserve) - (8)
20th Foot

All British troops (not Swiss or Flankers) gain First Fire rule. formed infantry on both sides had the Form Square rule.

In essence each unit on the table represented a single battalion, and to give proper balance I took it as read that each French regiment was formed of two battalions. Battalions were of 24 figures; the French cavalry of two squadrons becoming 16 models.

Each battery was represented as a single gun on table. The skirmish forces are recorded as of around 2-300 troops and so adequate to be represented as a force of 12 figures each.

Reserves arrived by roll of a die; on the controlling players turn if less than the current turn number was rolled, the reserves would arrive in the middle of the Left side of the table (as seen from the British position). A 5 or 6 always counts as a fail.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Maida 1806 - A Black Powder refight.

In the snowy depths of November (eh? new Ice Age on its' way perhaps). We arranged a refight of another small battle of the Napoleonics Wars; a classic British victory on Italian soil Maida:

The account of the battle was drawn from Richard Hoptons' book, which covers the battle in plenty of detail, including the relative merits of both sides commanders, troops and deployments. The map below serving as out plan for the day.
As is our preference, we used that as a launching point for the refight, with no more than a hope, for myself and Martin, to emulate the British victory. Both sides were on the day of more or less equal size, the British having a marked superiority in artillery, whilst the French had a couple of squadrons of Dragoons. High ground presented itself for both commanders but it was of less historical advantage to the French.

Battle began with the French moving their best troops and cavalry around the British left, whilst their own left made limited progress along the shallow riverbank. Their centre failed to move.

The British by contrast formed a square on their left to resist any charge by the French. Skirmishing between specially trained 'flankers' (precursor to true Light Company troops) and French Voltiguers opened on the right bank of the river. Meanwhile the French sensing a threat here deployed a battalion of Leger to cross the River.

The British responded by advancing in line and enfilading the Leger with brutal fire, pinning them down to the river bank. At the same time British artillery opened upon the French regimental columns.

At the start of the British 2nd turn a roll of '1' (in other words lower than the current turn number) heralded the arrival of the 20th Battalion, from their duties guarding the shore. Their appearance behind the French cavalry caused Neil not inconsiderable consternation.

The French tried to get the cavalry to evade, but instead led them right into the path of the 27th foot. Who would smash them with fire. In the centre they also sent forward one Polish battalion alone in a piecemeal attack, that seemed as laughable as it was tragically suicidal for the Poles. The 20th, not needed in the destruction of the Dragoons, instead concentrated on another French Leger battalion.

At this stage the French plan was going spectacularly badly, and it was hard to see the battle taking more than the original 'fifteen minutes of glory' to become a historic British victory.

The French threw their Commander in Chief into the Fray in the hope of making the attack press home and give time for his fighting lines to reform. And at this stage the French had to form line to fill huge gaps in their ranks.

On the far side of the river the engagement had become entrenched, but it seemed the Battalion of Leger would not be needed; however they themselves remained pinned down by Artillery.

A French emulation of British orders and a blundered command were the beginning of the undoing for the British plan. The Light troops on the British right succumbed to concentrated French fire; but reserves filled the line in timely fashion.

Sadly their order made it unclear where to check their advance, and seeing the Polish destroyed after a long fight they rushed to pursue. leaving themselves wide open to enfilading fire that devastated their ranks.

On the left though the British redcoats had broken one French brigade and were turning on the next. And yet the plan was under strain, as the British reserve tried to fill its' gaps.

More confused orders saw the untried 78th Highlanders withdraw whilst the 20th tried to move around the small copse on their left. The French line and its supporting column saw their chance and began to advance, finding another opportunity to fire down the serried ranks of redcoats.

It was more than the British could bear and at the same time as 2nd Polish battalion exacted revenge from the 81st, the French destroyed 58th too.

At this stage myself and Martin were left scratching our heads wondering where it had all gone wrong. Our chances of pulling a victory were slipping away, the British Brigades being too small to sustain repeated losses.

The last straw was the Voltiguers clearing the Flankers away, leaving them free to cross the river behind our lines. And the Leger rallying from the river bank outflanked the final reserve, resulting in yet more smashed British troops.

The British were left outnumbered two to one on the field by unbroken French troops. Somehow Neil had turned a terrible start around and transformed history. Whilst for us Brits it had all gone horribly wrong, after all in the first three turns we couldn't put a foot wrong.

This was the last game with Neil for the foreseeable future with Neil, as he has now headed down south (away from the dark satanic mills, for the money!). Hopefully the refights can continue when I assemble a few more French troops of my own. And a chance for the British to exact revenge shall arise...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Wickram: 1479 - an 'A Coat of Steel' game

Mark introduced me to a game with several unique features the other week, but notably the most exhaustive set of counters since 2nd edition 40k!

A Coat of Steel, from the Perfect Captain website not unreasonably calls itself a set unlike any other, certainly though it has some things in common with sets from people like Peter Pig, in that it contains an extensive prematch campaign game (meta game if you will).

Retinues are led by lords of varying competence and will. One of the most intriguing aspects of the rules being that they actually force you to pick your general tactics for the entire battle before it begins, by a system of stratagems which you must pick based on your commander. For a first game I think I blundered through this to fortunate effect. With practice one could plan the entire battle with care before sight of one's foe; the downside is you are committed to a plan to a greater degree than most systems thereafter. This feels very representative of the period, but will not appeal to the godlike gamer, used to doing more or less what he wants with his troops.

Once you pick your stratagems you get an associated selection of orders you can use each turn; move orders can carry on for several turns but other orders, shooting, charging to combat, feinting etc last only one turn. Run out of orders by being a fussy or careless commander and your troops will fall into disarray, and act slowly.

Shooting and combat are carried out by drawing special cards that indicate the effect on the target units morale and troop numbers. Additionally, in melee, you can select combat tactics which will prevail better against some enemy formations than others, these result in unpredictable but realistic combat.

In terms of our game, I selected stratagems more or less on the basis of what seemed best going to my most able commanders, I then applied them to an advance by my weaker left which I hoped Mark's forces would respond to. As I had a wider frontage than he, I aimed to turn his flanks, whilst my centre and right gave him trouble with flights of arrows.

This turned out generally to be very effective, and late in the game I was able to clinch victory by laying in two heavy assaults on his lines.

A good and stimulating game, but the sheer volume of counters can make it seem overwhelming; don't be phased though. These are as good a representation of the period as you are likely to find.

Elsewhere in the club that night, Ross was getting all scenic for a 40k game; one can only assume from the neat, believable order of the table that this must be a Tau empire planet.

Apparently his (Sisters of Battle playing) opponent hated it. The non-airdropped terrain left too many fire lanes...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Close ups of Recon models...

The new ones anyway. For the display game I got away with producing very little (in my opinion - Neil did the hard work with the rules). I did paint three new cavalry, who will in time go on to form part of a full unit. But for now here is the sum total of the Garde Chasseurs au Cheval:

Front Rank miniatures, a lovely bright uniform in colours that should clash but actually complement each other in their richness.

Secondly the wagon, A Foundry model that probably should belong to a generation or two before the Napoleonics wars, but the cart driver here is just pleased to have a decent set of clothes. Clearly he is a civilian...

Monday, December 06, 2010

Sylvanian Village (November Pledge)

We'll kick off this evening with a commission job for one of my regular opponents. He wanted a Warhammer village for an upcoming 10,000(!) point game he's having. I was happy to oblige, though I didn't realise how much of the months (as it turned out, limited) free time it would absorb.

The request was for one Manor house and five huts, but as you can see he ended up with an extra building, after all what is a village without a pub? Or in this case a 'Gasthoff'. Most of the construction is foamboard, but the roofs are layers of card. The addition of a handful of plastic parts from the GW buildings sets finished the models off.

Painting was simple, building up exaggerated layers of drybrush, applied with a half inch brush no less!. Final detailing was done with regular brushes. According to the army book fluff Sylvanian villages protect their homes by daubing protective hexes on and around the doors, in pigs blood. Quite how putting blood on your house is supposed to keep Ghouls, Zombies and Vampires away is beyond me. Still I added such detail.

A Napoleonic soldier gives a sense of scale.

And so if those were the main effort of the month, I must be about to inform you of the pledge progress. It was a month of mainly terrain painting, with only a handful of actual figures being completed. The specifics:

  • Improved trenches: 20
  • Improved Russian/Finnish village: 10
  • 6 Centaurs: 12
  • 2 Dogs of War Commanders: 2
  • Napoleonic wagon: 5
  • 3 Guarde Chasseurs Aux Cheval: 6
  • Gothic Village (above): 40

So that's 91 points to add to the running total to break the thousand mark, just. 1002 points. But I am aware that it is actually less than a dozen models, not so good. I assure you that I will make amens for that in December somehow.

A first drive towards that being the assembly of most of my Kings of War undead. Here we see the Zombies, great though not perfect models, the ball joints allow for a lot of posing but are ill fitting to say the least, putty would be of great value to those bothered by gaps.

The three leg poses can be swapped with those of the ghouls however to add variety, and I found it was an easy job to hack arms off to swap amongst models for more variation. Hence most of the lunging torsos were changed.

As a unit with only a few rags for clothes and a handful of weapons these should take no time to paint. I also assembled a horde of 40 Skeletons; as a spear armed Phalanx:

Note the undead dogs to the front looking for bones to gnaw on, yum. Time will tell how long these take to do.

Lastly, I'm changing the pledge again for 2011; this year, especially in the last few months I've been buying too much stuff and need to clear some of it out. But also I want to do some quality rather than quantity work, in some new theatres to boot. More details in coming posts...

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Pudsey Recon - Aftermath

Snow very nearly killed of the show, but at least some of the traders and most of the display games made it to what was a very quiet show.

With 4 inches or more of snow still on the parking lot I arrived and awaited Neil; only to get cold and bored after five minutes and decide to start setting up without him. Of course he was already inside! Excitable lad! his terse text reply not making it apparent he'd been there sometime already.

Anyway, confusion over, we set up our game, and what a mighty display it was too; gaze upon it in wonder:

Neil's moment of Glory

The terrain was my collection of Fat Spider and Hovels Peninsular War houses, Scratchbuilt ruins, Model railway trees - upgraded by Neil,a massive hill - made by the club for gamesday and fixed up by me, some Birdcage sand for the road and my terrain cloth over a board to finish the whole affair. Models were a mix of Perry plastics and metal, Victrix plastics, Front Rank and Foundry. For rules it was Song of Drums and Shakos.

But before talking in depth about ourselves what else was there. Well as mentioned any trader with a long or arduous journey to the show seemed to have thought wiser of it, but as most of the display games were from nearer locations I think the bulk of these still made it.

Not photographed were Malifaux, Warmachine/Hordes (same as last year), Flames of War, Something involving snowmen, The Hordes of the Things competition and board gaming. Other than that the following caught my eye:

A new range of 15mm Sci-fi was promoting itself heavily, the models were pricey, but tolerable and very nice. The terrain is also available and the Arctic finish of the display game was attractive. Could I tell you what the game was? No, sorry, sci-fi gaming just doesn't raise my interest that much nowadays. Looked nice though.

Next up, Fields of Glory in 15mm; I cannot remember what period it was, possibly crusades era Eastern Europe. Feel free to correct me.

The other Leeds club, put on their Air War game, set in Vietnam, again. I think the rules are the modern variant of Check your six, but I'm not winning brownie points for specifics on the games here. Next time I should take notes! The best bit about the game I could see was the the playsheet, which was produced for them at a printers and uses a blown up google maps image of actual Vietnamese terrain.

A game called "Every One's a Tiger" was next to ours, and certainly wins the prize for most scenery, and big German tanks too. There were at least a dozen Tiger and Kingtigers on the board, which seemed centred on players trying to drive their allied tanks from one end of the board to the other intact. Some challenge!

Narrowly winning game of the show for me was this one:

A Post-Roman Britain game, it featured generally great terrain (though let down by the felt being used for woodland templates. Fine in a club, not good enough for a show - it should have at least been over sprayed or drybrushed or some such!).

However the models win this game the plaudits; really nicely finished models:

Plus they were playing the game. Which I think is the point.

So how, did me and Neil do?

Well, I think we ended up as the "Dad's and their Lads" game (or more cruelly, the Creche) for the day. With an assured playing time of only forty minutes, it was easy enough to attract people to try our game; helped by the fact we were happy to let anyone have a go.

The consequence of this being that sometimes the forces found themselves with additional troops to contend with; one game featured unfamiliar troop I can only assume were by the colour of their uniforms some new French allies:

Still the aim of the game, aside from introducing the Napoleonics as a skirmish period to interested parties, was for the French commander, Acy, to slip out of Spain after the Battle of Salamanca. With him were a dozen of his trusted allies and a cartload of Gold.

Lieutenant Blunt of the 60th Rifles returned to try and stop the Plan succeeding. With each player having only 20 minutes to carry out their actions the game was set.

On the day it was 3-2 to the French in terms of victories; Aggressive French tactics usually prevailed, but if the Spanish Guerrillas concentrated on stopping the Cart moving, the French soon ran out of time.

By half two things were winding down, but despite the weather it was a good day. I chatted to loads of people, had a good mooch around the stalls that were there, bought very little (other than overpriced tea), but most of all had fun.

What to do next year I wonder?...

Friday, December 03, 2010

Pudsey Recon - beforehand

Nothing in Britain is certain if the weather can have anything to do with it. That said, with a bit of luck I'll be at Pudsey Recon tomorrow putting on my own little game!

If you can brave the elements and live nearby why not come along to the region's friendliest little show:

Pudsey Recon

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Pusan Perimeter: 1950

Having got most of my figure collection back in my own hands again, I had the opportunity to try something a bit different with the Battlefield Evolution rules. The Korean War.

In part this was an opportunity to field the Russian army list against the American one without it feeling apocryphal. To be fair, that was one of the first things that drew me to the period as a kid, that and (at the time, new) episodes of M*A*S*H, which did a fair job of making the Back lot of Hollywood look like the rugged terrain of Korea.

I set up a last stand scenario from the rule books selection of non-standard games. Giving the US infantry 1200 points of troops including a platoon of infantry, some supporting artillery and an M24 Chaffee tank. To aid their cause the Americans occupied trenches on the heights above an open plain dotted with a few trees and an area of rice fields.

By contrast the North Korean Peoples Army had 2000 points, comprised of two well supported but lightly armed infantry platoons and a troop of T34-85 tanks.

Unfortunately game balance spoiled this one, the Koreans were able to out shoot the Americans at distance, denuding the trenches of defenders with ease. On reflection I should have added some block houses to the defense, but these are simply too powerful in my opinion.

Hey ho. The Koreans were attacked in the flank by an American engineer platoon but it hardly slowed them down, as things got desperate (and my artillery strikes singularly failed to wipe out his machine gun sections - bloody dice!) I had to resort to sending my tank out in a last ditch effort to stem the tide.

All this served to do was get my brave little tank destroyed, and with that the Americans melted away.

Although we had stopped one flank attack early on (hence no photo's of that side of the battlefield) the other force was more than able to deal with us on its own.

Next time I think we'll stick to a regular battle.