Friday, September 27, 2019

Arnhem Day 

It being the 75th Anniversary of the battle, and not being able to head up the road from Leopoldsburg this year I> did the next best thing and attended an event at the local games store/hub/thingy, Entoyment in Poole.

It took some finding as the Post Code given in the site is not that of the Business Park on which it is established.  When I got there several games were in full swing and there was no doubting the general enthusiasm of the attendees.

The shop itself carries a good range of paints and brushes plus a lot of board games. The current trend in boxed wargames is well represented and so are the usual suspects from the manufacturers.  Warlord, Perry, PSC, as well as Fireforge and a good few others including Battlefront.  Overall I am quite heartened by the fact that a short drive will get me a table and a top up on any necessary items.

So to the games and there were a goodly selection.

These were from a group called Pikeys Wargames who put on the Osterbeek map using the Rapid Fire rules . I was most impressed with the terrain but did feel that the forces were a little lost in it. But it was being played for the whole day and got much attention.

There was another game set near the Son Bridge put on by the local guys. Again it looked very spectacular and was being played using the Battlegroup rules. It was very intense and all were getting stuck in. The only complaint I overheard was when someone's Panther Zug was shot up whilst they were away getting a coffee.

I took part in a game using the RF rules with one or two tweaks that may or may not be coming in the forecast revised set. Not sure about the rules for multi basing with regards to casualties.  i.e. only full bases can be removed from a unit. Since command bases tend to have three figures ... 

Any way it was an enjoyable experience and I got to know a couple more of the local gamers.  The game was based upon the actions of the Poles at Driel.  It was very bloody and effectively ended in a draw - although I doubt if the poles couple have fought on much more. It had that feeling of last man standing.  Bullying the German armour for once was fun. They only had a half track and a Panzer II. Our troop of Shermans therefore got to do a lot of HE work in support of the infantry.

There were acouple of PBI games. For some reason I rather took to this tank in a game run I think by the Levellers

And Peter Pig reprised their Arnhem Bridge game.

IA view of the whole table; it all works on 6 inch squares

I thought the sunken barge particularly effectve

All in all a most enjoyable day!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

At last we have moved

It has taken all of the Summer; well almost all of it but we are now installed in our new house in picturesque Dorset.  There are still boxes to be unpacked but survival level has been reached. There are one or two items that still need to be addressed - like the water bill from the last house but we are getting there.

It is also rather nice to have wheels again. In Brussels a car would have been nice, but not essential and most of the time it would have been parked outside our house whilst we used the bus or the tram. I suspect that we will still use the train a lot. But, when one is servicing the loan on a car it seems silly not to use it.   On the other hand it does give us the chance to do a lot of country walks and stuff.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

2019 and All Change.

A quiet start to the year and a decision has been made. After several months of umming and ahhing I have decided to retire. This means closing down the house in Brussels at the end of the summer and for the moment at least, moving back to our house in South Dorset.  I have stopped putting any new projects on the painting table, but am concentrating upon finishing those things that I have started.

With one exception. I bought copy of the new Men of Bronze rules from Osprey. An interesting set in that the focus purely upon Greek Hoplite warfare and its interaction with the nations and civilisations that were on the periphery of the Greek world. Alas no naval action is included but that is probably easily managed.

So I went into the garage and dug out the greeks that i started nearly 20 years ago - even then these were Foundry figures bought to replace an earlier collection of a mixture of Minifig and Garrison figures that I had owned since the mid to late 70s.  For some reason, and I probaly blame Roger Lancyn Green for this, along with Mary Renault and other historical novelists, the ancient Greek world always seemed to me the epitome of ancient warfare. And accessible too with the rivalry of the city states, and the impact of the Persians and to an extent the celts. Rome seemed than so passé. :)

Any way the rules allow for about 60 to 80 figures to represent the Phalanx of a city state and its supporting arms. The writer uses 10 figures to represent a unit. for seem reason I think it more greek to use a base 8 organisation. Well for the moment. The rules do not need casualyt removal, They do need a way of indicating if the unit is in Open or Closed order ( phalanxes only) so I reckon to use a single base and a marker in the future. This will cut the painting time for sure, will allow a greater variety of armies from the xisting collection and deeper formations can be "sorted".  Macedonian phalanxes will be 16 figures and pike armed where needed, the Thebans 3 deep, or perhaps double depth. I have not got there yet. Whatever it should yield an easily transported game and one that is quick to set up and take down. Pictures when I have something more to show.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Warcon 2018

Very much enjoyed a run out to Merelbeke near Ghent for a small show to kick off the Warpgaming year. Went with the Forlorn Hope, our usual group of Brussels players and met up with many old friends for chats over the odd beer. After all we are in Belgium.

Schild and Vriend put up a good show with their Great Northern War collection. Along with the War of 1812 the GNW is one that I cannot get exercised about. It is just me. I cannot help but admire the excellent figures though.

There was also an excellent game of Agincourt put on by the Marie Louises de Flandres,


I did not catch the name of the the club but I rather liked the chariot race in 54mm

And was impressed by the Starwars Armada game below. I am still addicted to X-wing.

inspiration came in the shape of the Carlist war game below, again I could not work out the players.

 I also very much enjoyed the WW2 layout below. Simple scenery options that were very well put together.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

General D'Armee game of Sawmill Village

So I am much taken with these rules as a set for use with my Peninsular collection of 15 and 18mm Napoleonic figures. This collection is small, in that it was originally painted up for use with Principles of War rules. In 15mm terms this means that every unit is a brigade or regiment represented on the table by 9 infantry on three bases each of 3 figures, and cavalry are 6 figures strong.  The concept is to be able to fight Corps level battles on a 6 foot by 4 foot table. Over the years PoW have and do provide an excellent game but the rules can be slow and one is committed to a whole day or a long evening to complete a game.
I have often wanted to have some other rules for the figures, and while in Nigeria and India had used them with Black Powder very successfully.
Last week a friend stopped over to visit Waterloo and we managed to get in a game of Sharp Practice 2 and a game GDA. Bingo! The clog dropped.
This weekend my good lady has taken herself off to a Yoga Festival in Ghent. The mice played.
Using the scenario based on a the Sawmill Village fight I set up a table to test GDA for and encounter battle based on an approach march up the length of the table and a tussle for the centrally placed town. I had intended it to be a village but it turned out to have 5 Built Up Areas, not the one or 2 that I had intended.
The approach marches looked excellent, and cavalry, in the shape of French dragoons quickly came into action again st some British Dragoons.


There was a lot of bouncing off and retirement. The French occupied the town due to some dilatory ADCs who delayed things on the allied side and so the lights found themselves attacking a built up area full of Frenchmen. They had to hope their cavalry held up as Vistula Lancers rode boldly toward them. 2 French batteries came into action too. At this point we realised that under the rules there was no way the French could advance from the village. They would have to around it and that meant winning cavalry superiority. And since we were approaching time we ended the game. And proceeded to work out some what ifs for the future. Hugely enjoyed the game and the rules. Now to find a way to load the pictures.
PS. Cracked it. Cannot do it from the Ipad, but the PC works just fine.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Finally a game.

Managed after 6 months to play the first game at the new place.

It was not ideal as we had to lug the table top up from the garage and lay it over the dining table. However it did mean that we had a proper matrix into which to set the TSS tiles that I have on long term loan from Stefan.

So the first game saw my collection of 1940 Brits and Germans take the field. There were four of us to be entertained and we wanted to see if Bolt Action was easily learned and would make a good multiplayer game.

To keep it simple both sides were classed as regular, and consisted of a platoon of infantry with the organic support of light mortars and ATGs, plus one MG on a tripod. The germans fielded 9 figure sections and the brits 8s. The British also had one Morris CS9 Scout car, and an A9 tank. Germany fielded a mighty Panzer 2 and a 231 6Rad armoured car.

So the brits held the ridge line and the village and the Germans advanced up the road. First blood went to the A9 which immobilized the over bold 231. That recovered its composure and starters a regular pounding of its tormentor. The pins started racking up on the A9 and in the end the tank was reduced to inaction. With may pins it was impossible to rally successfully and it could not easily hit.

2 Sections of Heer advanced to the German right of the road, taking advantage of an area of woodland to cover their approach. It got a bit crowded int there. Some wag recalled the Monty Python Gasmen sketch.

The British player had put most of his units on overwatch. And then realised that he had hidden them too well behind the ridge. In particular his fixed team MMG was in danger of being outflanked.

The third Section broke cover and  charged the front of the house. They got the full benefit of the MMG and a second section but still managed to make contact and did damage. Especially as it was aided by the light mortar which dealt with the crew of the 2 pdr.

Back to the woodland a section charged the brits but fell short (6 inch move in rough ground) allowing the CS9 to support the MMG team that could not traverse in time. Half the section went down to the Bren and to the British section that advanced to the hill crest in front of them to see what the noise was about. The pins accumulated and 9 were duly reached. Combat efficiency ceased to be and off they went. The second section advanced and suffered a similar fait in what had become a killng ground.  Game over, the German platoon, or what remained withdrew, covered by the Panzer 2.

An interesting experience. The rules worked in a small group with clear and small commands. The fact that there was always something going on meant that there was great scope for banter, and ours is a very chatty group.

We were please that the rules were rather more subtle than we thought, it was necessary to keep to cover, fire and movement paid off, and some of the moves would have been better with the use of the light mortars to provide smoke. We will try out Chain of Command as a group activity on the next outing, but I think for an evenings amusement to wind down at the end of a hard week BA will do just fine.

I did take some pictures, but used my I-Pad and then got caught up in the umpiring and so lost my jouranlistic objective. So here they are. You will note the use of Saga dice to define who activated, and D6 for the order dice. Of course I found where I had safely placed the BA order dice as soon as I had packed it all away... Ah well.