David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Friday, 12 October 2018

The Trouncing of Bhykli Pasha...

For our regular Monday game earlier this week with Phil I tweaked the desert table laid out for last Wednesday’s Sudan War game between Jon and yours truly. I replaced the Mahdist forces with my motley crew of Egyptian Regulars and irregulars, bolstered by some Baggara Horse roped in for the game. The British, under Lord Rawnsley, must drive through the Egyptian lines of defence if they are to win the game, the Egyptians just have to hold their ground if they are to win. As ever, an annotated photomontage to bring you the nub of events~
The Egyptian right rested on a small walled farm, fronting on
to the opening of the wadi to their front. The far right was held
by three units of irregular Arab horse, supported by one of
regular Gendarmes.

As Fanatics the Irregulars must try to charge the enemy in
sight. Sadly their Command Rolls did not reflect their ardour!

The Hussars and Dragoons holding the British left moved
forward cautiously, supporting the infantry who must storm
the Egyptian lines to win the battle!

The first cavalry clash of the battle was brutal...

One group of Arab Irregular horse is Routed unceremoniously!
A Sweeping Advance by the victors smashes into the
supporting Irregulars...

Who are beaten soundly and Retire 'Shaken and Disordered'!
Still, with two uncommitted Cavalry units still in place the
British victors sensibly Rally Back.

As the British close on the wadi in their remorsely assault on
the Egyptian lines the second Egyptian Cavalry Brigade is put
to flight.

With their right flank now open, the Egyptian regular infantry
reposition themselves awaiting the inevitable assault.

'Some corner of a foreign field...' as the British Cavalry
commander is killed in a fruitless charge on the Irregular
Infantry in the wadi! It will be up to the Royal Surreys now.

As the British Infantry lines close on the Egyptians, their
Cavalry move to threaten the rear of the Egyptian position.

The remaining Gendarmes are Routed by the Hussars and the
Egyptian army is broken before the infantry can close with

As is generally the case we used the 'old' Black Powder rules, for the last time today as, just before hostilities commenced, the two copies of the Second Edition I’d ordered for us from Caliver Books were delivered to our door. I hope the new version will get as much use as the old over the coming years here in GHQ. I really can’t be bothered now to try to recall the nuances of different sets of rules, even those I’ve written myself, so I think you will get to see ever more Black Powder 2 games on the table here.

I ought finally to say a little about the Tiny Wargames Desert Mat before I close. It was made as 7’ x 6’6” to allow it to lie easily over hills and that it managed quite well. However, the material it’s made from, a synthetic cloth it seems, is quite slippery when figure bases are placed in hill sides, in fact they heavy bases slide every time. The colour is also interesting, looking very green from some angles under my LED lighting and noticeably changing hue when viewed from different angles, something you see readily in the photos I think. But, and it’s a very big but, it is so much better than my old felt cloth that I have to say I’m more than pleased by it.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Palazzo Progress Report #4

Sue has gone away with her sister Ann for a very well deserved break on the Jurassic Coast, leaving me free to potter on with my Palazzo project for our Italian Wars project. The first stage after the base coat of Crafters Acrylic 'Golden Brown' is to dry brush the whole building with Crafters Acrylic ‘Fawn’, which when it’s thoroughly dry can then in turn be dry brushed more sparingly with ‘Antique White’. I’ve taken pictures of those three stages for you to see how it progresses ~
Base coat of Glden Brown for the walls & Madder Red for
the roof tiles.

A heavy dry brush of Crafters Acrylic Fawn is the second coat.
The third stage is a lighter dry brush of Antique White. 

I want the plinth of the classical bronze statue to pop a bit, so I omitted the bases brown colour used on the buildings and painted the first coat Fawn. It was then painted with Foundry Paints ‘Boneyard Light’ and the statue painted with the same company’s Bronze Triad.
The next stage of the project will be to wash all the walls with Games Workshop ‘Seraphim Brown’ before a final drybrush of the walls with Crown Emulsion ‘Limewashed Wall’. When all that is done, the pantile roofs can be tackled next! After that the ornate windows of the tower and the doors, windows and shutters. When all that is done the component buildings can be fixed to the 3mm MDF base and the texture can be added for groundwork. Bit of a way to go yet...

Sunday, 7 October 2018

The 4th Virginia Continentals muster in.

Pressing on while I can I’ve been working on a unit of 21 Foundry figures which will represent the 4th Virginia Continental Infantry in our AWI games. I chose to paint them in their blue faced blue uniforms, if I’m honest because I thought I’d struggle with other colour combinations given the amount of equipment on most of the individual figures! I’m actually quite pleased by the final results, given my ongoing issues. The flags I downloaded back in the day free from Clarence Harrison’s website, but I believe they are now sold through Warfare Miniatures. Fortuitously I downloaded the whole range of American flags so I hope to reflag the American army before our next AWI game here in GHQ. Well, enough said, time to let the boys step out smartly ~
The next unit to step up smartly to the Painting Desk are more Foundry Miniatures, this time to be designated as the 8th Virginia Continental Infantry, similarly with blue facings to their blue uniforms. I've just discovered that I have three bases worth of British Light Infantry, Foundry figures of course, so there may be future additions to the British and Loyalist forces next year.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

The Sands of the Desert are Red with Blood...

Earlier this week I received a custom sized Tiny Wargames Desert Mat via Dan at Wargames Illustrated. I’ve had in mind to acquire one of these for a while now, having been impressed with the overall look of the mats I saw in August at The Other Partizan. As Jon was due on Wednesday evening for our regular monthly game I set up a Sudan War game, which collection has not seen over much Table Top time of late. I decided we’d use Black Powder as the rule set, so it was necessary to look into the Blood on the Nile supplement for ideas of how to rate the units.
The scenario sees three Imperial columns advancing on the Mosque at El Pend-Ha, where the leader of the revolt in the area, the Barmy Bhykli, is rumoured to be quartered. Of course, he is far from alone, being escorted by numerous Beja and Nile Arab units. Lord Walton took command of the Imperial columns, personally accompanying the most easterly column and communicating with his subordinates by heliograph - on a Dx6 throw of anything but a 1 that is! The game ebbed and flowed as BP games usually do without either side gaining a decisive edge. As usual, a few pictures to tell the unfolding story of the battle ~
"Oh, My Beloveds, do not fear the bullets of the infidel!"
The Nile Arabs and Beja Camelry sweep forward to attack
Lord Walton's column.

Baggara cavalry sweep across the dunes to confront the 
Imperial Cavalry column on Lord Walton's right flank!
Red with the blood of the square that broke!
The Naval contingent flanks their Gardener gun, which was to
repeatedly jam throughout the game, a great bonus to the Beja
in its line of fire!

With the Imperial cavalry column stalled in the dunes, more
Beja tribesmen surge forward to bolster their fellows.

Lord Walton's Column, or rather its remains, are bolstered by
the arrival of a Highland battalion from the Centre column.
Meanwhile, the Nile Arabs surge forward and the Beja Camelry
move to flank his line.

We called it a draw after eight turns as it was clear the Imperial Force could not win, especially as their western column of cavalry was Broken and most of the eastern column had routed, leaving the main centre column to bear the brunt of the Mahdist attacks. Turning to the Mahdists though, their Baggara Horse were blown and the Beja camelry stalled, so any further fighting would depend on the depleted ranks of Nile Arab spearmen and on the Fuzzy Wuzzy! Needless to say, their chances were not good against steady Imperial infantry so they wisely held their ground!
Lord Walton takes stock of his deteriorating situation.

Arabs surge forward while the Imperial infantry wait full of

"Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar!" The Imperial Cavalry Brigade
is Broken and the Mahdist left is secured.

A stand-off in the center, Beja riflemen hold the wadi, with 
Camelry securing their right flank and keeping the South
Staffordshires at bay!

Monday should see a second Desert cloth themed game, this time pitting the British against Egyptians in the theatre of the Anglo-Egyptian War. Can Lord Rawnsley do any better than Lord Walton? We shall have to see, as Bhykli Pasha prepares the Egyptian plan of battle...

A wonderful gift incoming!

I received this as a gift from Jon before our recent Sudan game! A Foundry Miniatures (very) limited edition mounted knight in Maximilian armour. Isn’t he just splendid? He will make a fine subgeneral for my Italian Wars project ~
Of course, he probably has more value, left as he is in the original packaging, to some collector but I have no interest in that side of figure collecting, so he will be painted up later in the Autumn and join the ranks of the Papal States army.