David Bickley's Wargames Blog

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



Sunday, 22 May 2022

Partizan 2022

 Phil and I went over to Partizan earlier today, a much anticipated event in our gaming calendar. We were not disappointed I'm happy to report! 

We arrived about 40 minutes after opening to find no queue and no free figure on entry. All gone already they said. No surprise as the show was literally rammed full of happy gamers relieving themselves of the contents of their war chests, or joining in with games, or just admiring the quality of the multitude of top notch display games! Here are a few shots from games which struck me particularly as epitomising the very best of our glorious hobby ~

Two pictures of an ACW game, not in 28mm scale! I particularly liked the burning town and the river gunboats.
An Elizabethan set to? I forgot to ask, oops!
Waterloo! A staple amongst Napoleonic Wargamers', featuring a splendid model of the chateau of Hougoumont.
Perhaps B Troop ain't coming back after all?
Dark Ages set to! Some splendid chaps on view there.
Two shots of the Perry Miniatures' Battle of Dorking game. Perhaps subtitled 'what to do when the French are late?'
Two shots of the Claymore Castings/Dave Imrie game. Lots of figures sculpted by Matt there!
Culloden. A smashing looking table!
The Iron Brigade' s ACW game by Kevin & Peter! My personal favourite amongst the games, not that I'm biased you understand...😉
A 1st Carlist War game, almost as good as Phil's table last Tuesday, almost...
Some details from the Boondock Saints' Indian Mutiny game. I might have spent hours looking at all the little details here.
Cold enough for you? A splendid winter table here, one of the best I've ever seen. Quite made me shiver!
Shaun's memorial game for his friend Ian Smith, a super 40mm game. Loads of bespoke stuff on show, soon to be sold on I'm told.

As I mentioned happy wargamers' disposal of the contents of their war chests in the opening of this post I should show the efforts I made myself in that direction ~

From The Last Valley, bespoke terrain for the discerning wargamer!
Trent Miniatures' FRW figures and Empress Miniatures' Prince Imperial, Rebel command and female leader on horseback.
Perry Miniatures AWI camp set. I've always wanted this, from stalwarts Dave Thomas and Phil.
The second installment of Rapid Fire Reloaded, the new version of a hobby favourite. A kind gift from Colin Rumford.
From Great Escape Games, paint for my 144 15mm Russian infantry and more tufts!
From Foundry, a paint triad, Ochre.
From Warbases, who else, a base for the second half of my 15mm German factory and the 40x50mm bases for my F&IW expansion project! 
Amongst all the joy of attending what is now our 'local' show, a mere 2 hours away, I particularly enjoyed putting the hobby to rights with chums Aly Morrison, Colin Ashton, George Anderson, Kevin & Peter, Colin Jack, Dave O'Brien and many others! I even met Jon! {Obviously not too busy today?} My next show? The Other Partizan in October. It seems thebastardcovid is playing havoc with our hobby still.

Friday, 20 May 2022

Grenadiers of the 28th Foot


 The latest body of men to march across the painting desk and deploy into GHQ to await varnishing are some Redoubt Enterprises British Grenadiers in during line. {They are three standing and three kneeling figures to match the hatmen's poses.} As the figures come in sets of six, two short for two bases of four, I've opted to base my Grenadiers six figures on a single 80x50mm MDF base. As I plan to utilize them in separate combined units this will do for me. The 28th Foot's Grenadiers based and ready to go ~

If I had a quibble with whoever sculpted these it would mostly concern the decoration on the mitre. The choice seems to be between a blank surface, leaving you to paint in/suggest the pattern, or a generic design, such as on the Foundry British SYW Grenadiers. The sculptor chose the latter route, but then a rather idiosyncratic pattern rather than the more common royal cypher. 

Following on from that minor issue, there has been muttering in the past on the internet about the quality of castings they send out but these were crisp and required very little in the way of preparation. However, irritatingly, the kneeling figures have no cuff sculpted onto their left arm. Back in the day I reviewed many of these figures for Wargames Illustrated and bought the then owners' attention to the missing cuffs. Sad that years later it's not been rectified. Anyway, I painted the cuffs on mine, on the table noone will even notice, so no great issue for me. Others, well I'm not so sure... The Grenadiers of the 15th Foot are well underway now, all in standing pose to match their hatmen colleagues. All crisply cast and missing no parts, so that's all good. Hopefully they should all be finished next week. Meanwhile I'm looking forward to attending Partizan🤞If you see me there say Hello if you can!

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

The Missionary Position

 Just a brief addition to the F& IW expansion project in the shape of a base of three French Jesuit missionaries ~ Father Philippe, Father Jean, and Father Paul. Figures are from Redoubt Enterprises and the base from Warbases, as ever. They will serve as an objective marker or a non player element in games as required ~

Black is far from the easiest of colours to work with, especially on large areas of clothing such as their clerical black attire! I've used the Foundry Triad of Equipment Black for what I hope is subtle highlighting. What the picture does confirm though is that I'm really nothing more than a journeyman painter! I find though that the highlighting will show rather more clearly after an application of varnish, which is awaiting a spell of rather less humid/wet weather than at present!! Next up for the project are a base of six British Grenadiers, an altogether more complex painting exercise than these three! Three Grenadiers completed so far, the other three under starter's orders!

Monday, 16 May 2022

If you go down to the woods today...

 ...you might meet some French-Canadian Woodsmen! These two bases, each of three figures, are the last of this stage of my expansion for the F&IW collection, to facilitate games using Black Powder 2 as the rules set {in preference to the 'figure fiddling' sets we've flirted with previously}! It took me a while to work out how I had tackled the existing six figures, but in the end I got there! Memory certainly isn't my number one attribute lately when it comes to colour schemes at least! Anyway, no more on that! The figures are from Redoubt Enterprises again and will allow me to make up a Regular unit of four bases or two Small units of two bases depending on the scenario we are playing out. Here they are now for your assessment ~

While I was working on these figures I'd also got two First Nations warriors firing muskets underway. Once again these figures were from Redoubt Enterprises and had come as an unexpected freebie with my first order, so I finished those off as well. Here they are for your inspection ~

Although I said that this is the final stage of integration of new figures with old to make up units that's not entirely true. I have purchased Grenadiers for my two French Regular Infantry Regiments together with Grenadiers and Light Company figures for my two Regular British Infantry Regiments. While they will need to match their parent units I plan to use them as independent elements in the game. To that end the Grenadiers will be based on 80x50mm MDF bases of 6 figures to match the one I've already got in the collection, while the Light Company figures will be 3 figures to a standard 40x50mm MDF base, but with two bases per Regiment. That will give me again one Regular unit of four bases of two Small units each of two bases. The British Grenadiers are all cleaned up and spray undercoated white ready to start, once I finish the 3 Jesuit missionaries who have somehow worked their way onto the painting desk!

While all this is going on I have 144 15mm plaaaastic Cold War Gone Hot Russians to process! Then I have Lynx helicopters and Hind gunships to think about... Nothing new for '22 eh Phil?

Thursday, 12 May 2022

The Languedoc Infantry Regiment's Second Battalion in New France

 The second of the French Regular Infantry Regiments, created using spare painted figures already in the collection together with new figures from Redoubt Enterprises, represents the second Battalion of the Languedoc Regiment. The flags are from the web resource Not By Appointment and in my opinion are fully the equal of commercially available versions. The bases are from Warbases, who else? Tufts from Great Escape Games and static grass from Jarvis via Phil. See what you think anyway ~

I hope the effort expended on this second attempt to merge the new with the old painting style meets with some degree of approval! I'm working on 6 French-Canadian Woodsmen now, using figures from Redoubt Enterprises again to match the 6 I've already got in the collection. They will completed the 'new merged with old' phase of the expansion. Beyond them lie entirely fresh figures and units to be added, including: Grenadiers for the two French Battalions and Grenadier and Light Companies for the two British Battalions; Compagnes Franches de la Marine; a large War Party of Stockbridge natives; and,  lastly, a base of French Jesuit missionaries! For a scenario objective if you are interested!

Of course this expansion of the French & Indian War collection in all probability won't stop there, I'm a wargamer after all! I like the look of the Galloping Major figures I've bought for the Stockbridge natives, so further acquisitions from that source of French-Canadian Militias and Provincials for the British are likely I'd say when funds allow, post Partizan expenditure on preordered terrain additions from The Last Valley! (Wooded stream sections and vineyard pieces for anyone interested.) In the meantime though, on with the French-Canadian Woodsmen! À Bientot Mes Amis!

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Rewind and Press Play

 For this week's game with Phil here in GHQ a rerun of the Wars of the French Revolution game from last month, pitting Austro-Hanoverians against the uppity French! I took command of the former force, Phil taking the latter. As is my custom with these AAR things, a photomontage conveying some sense of the unfolding action. Rules were Black Powder 2 and the game length set at 12 Turns, with a break for lunch, as is our custom here in GHQ ~

The Hanoverians advance, their left covered by the Damas Legion infantry and a unit of Austrian Grenz. The rest, you ask? Still off table!🎲🎲🎲🎲🎲🎲
A battery of 12lb guns seize the ridge, supported by some National Guard. The Demi-Brigades show no such enthusiasm. The battle is off to an oh so slow start!
Turns out I spoke too soon. The leading Demi-Brigade of infantry occupy more of the ridge line. The Austrian Heavy artillery deploy while their infantry are just not moving as yet!
The Hanoverians are making hard work of things on the left! At least the Austrian infantry is finally shuffling forward, just!
The French have taken up a strong position in the centre. It will be hot work shifting them I fear!
Out numbered, but not outclassed, the Austrian Heavy and Light Cavalry brigades begin to manoeuvre forward...
...while the French Heavy Cavalry and Dragoons are very reluctant to move anywhere!
Herr Morrisahn urges his Austrian infantry forward, joining the Hanoverians in pouring fire into the French lines.
The Austrian composite Battalion of Grenadiers gallantly charges the French Grand Battery! Surely this can only end in tears?
The Heavy Cavalry clash on the French left flank. The clash of steel on steel, the shrieks of the wounded, the sound of the trumpets fill the air! 
Back in the Centre the composite Grenadier Battalion sweeps the French Grand Battery aside at the point of the bayonet! Confusion reigns along the ridge and the French cannot plug the gap! The Hanoverians surge forward to drive off the confused French Horse Artillery.
A desperate struggle is unfolding on the French left flank as their cavalry begins to give way to the Austrians!
The French are driven back Disordered and Shaken leaving the infantry in their centre exposed to attack from that flank.
The Austrian cavalry meanwhile is regrouping ready to charge again. Their dander is definitely up!
Driving unopposed through the French centre the Grenadiers seize the farm complex and begin to fortify it, meanwhile firing at targets of opportunity in their sights.
Making no headway on the French right flank, driven off in the centre and routed on their left the French army folds and quits the field in Turn 7. All over before lunch!