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.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

The Battle of Bickelburg

Jon and I managed to fit in a Black Powder SYW game recently. As usual it pitted Lord Walton's British force against the French under De Bykli, the Comte du Merde. Like many Black Powder games it veered first one way, then the other, finally seeing the French concede the field with half their army Broken. I was so involved with the game that I forgot to take many pictures, but the few I have might suffice to give the general  overview of how the game turned out `
The French army, commanded by De Bykli,the Comte du Merde.

An early,and sadly not to be repeated, success for the Cuirasier du Roi!

Lord Walton's right wing have pinned back the French left although in the
centre Du Merde's infantry have pressed forward.

The Grenadiers Royale have been forced to retire, while the Gendarmes de
France have been routed!

The French centre crumbles! Sacre Bleu! Poor powder I think...

The French cavalry on Du Merde's right flank were a great disappointment,
despite their early success.
So, a triumph once more for Lord Walton's command.There will be a bit of a gap now in games here in GHQ as Phil and I are away for a while and I'm not due to host Jon until next month.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Pompus Maximus did not perish!

Phil and I decided to revisit our adaptation of Neil Thomas's Ancient and Medieval rules for this Monday's  game here in GHQ. Readers with a good memory might recall that Pompus perished apparently in our last outing earlier this year. Thinking over possible directions we might take the story I decided that rumour had been responsible for the reports of his death; he was rather carried from the field wounded. Reports have finally reached the usurper Baldinus indicating that Pompus has been recuperating in a remote villa estate. Speedily Baldinus musters his forces and marches toward the location. Warned of Baldinus's approach, Pompus musters what forces he has available in the area. He will win if he prevents Baldinus from routing his smaller force, while Baldinus must destroy Pompus's army utterly. A draw is simply a victory for Pompus and strengthens his weakened grip on the Imperial throne...
The army of Pompus Maximus drawn up for battle.

Artillery readies its destructive load!

Hun cavalry surges forward into the attack for Baldinus.

Baldinus's infantry are strangely slow to move into battle.

Baldinus's cavalry move forward to support the sluggish infantry.

Heavy and Light Archer units support the thin center of Pompus's army.

Pompus's army steadies itself for the final assault!

On the right of his battle line, Pompus's cavalry prepare to drive of the enemy.

In a desperate throw, the infantry commander joins the melee...

...he fails to add much value and is captured for his troubles!

The battle is nearing its climax. Baldinus's forces have failed to break Pompus's
hold on the Imperial throne.

The remnants of Baldinus's infantry sell their lives dearly, but to no effect!
So, Pompus Maximus retains his hold on the Imperial throne, despite the usurper Baldinus's efforts. No doubt we shall revisit the ongoing saga at some point towards the end of the year. But in the meantime I have to concentrate on other areas here in GHQ.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Eureka Renaissance Civilians

For the last couple of years Colin Ashton and I have made a joint order to Eureka Miniatures for collection from Salute, thus avoiding the unpleasant postal charges and other related impositions, not to mention receiving a fine discount. While I was browsing their site prior to finalising my part of the order I came across these non combatant figures for the Italian Renaissance. I seem to recall there are three or four packs in the range, but I only ordered the one comprising six casually standing figures, three male and three female. I’m pretty sure they are inspired by Romeo and Juliet looking at them. The females seem to be a young girl, her nurse and her mother while the males are a young man and two stern looking mature types. Here they are anyway, so see what you think ~

They made a pleasant diversion while the decorating was in full flow and I was still in Renaissance mode after completing the two bases of Light Cavalry for the project (see earlier post if you missed those). Now it’s back to the War of 1812 with a further US Regular Infantry unit in 1812 uniform, from Foundry of course. Will I paint them? “I will try!”

Friday, 6 September 2019

Italian Wars Light Cavalry

I picked up these Casting Room Miniatures from the Foundry stand at this year's Partizan for £5 a pack. I think they must have been clearing out stock. I wanted a couple of bases of Light Cavalry to supplement the Gendarmes and Elmetti in my Papal army of Alexander VI which you may have seen featured, along with Phil's Florentines, in an issue of Wargames Illustrated earlier in the summer. While the figures may not be to  everyone's taste they do paint up nicely I've found so they will do for me at any rate.
I had to fit in painting them around major redecoration of the room I've been using as a painting base since GHQ relocated a couple of years ago or so. This meant that it took me longer than I'd hoped to complete them. Real life, gets in the way sometimes! Now they are finished you can see what you think of them. As usual bases by Warbases and flags by Pete's Flags ~

I’ve also started on six Eureka Miniatures Renaissance civilian figures to populate my tabletop setting in future games. If it wasn’t for the disruption of decorating, allied to a trip with Phil to Colours on Saturday, I’d have hoped to have completed them over the weekend. As it is, it will take a while longer...

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Disruption on the Home Front!

The room where I set up my painting desk when GHQ was relocated has arrived at the head of the queue for redecoration, new carpet and blinds/curtains. It will double up as a bedroom for any of our grandchildren who come to stay when it’s finished by the addition of a Trundle bed. The job will take our decorator about a week, so painting figures is likely to be restricted to evenings for a week or so. Then there is the matter of a new carpet, etc.The desk has been relocated temporarily in our upstairs sitting room, off the master bedroom. If I spill any paint I am a dead man!
I hope to be able to finish my two bases worth of Italian Wars Light Cavalry though. In the meantime, here are a couple of Command bases I’ve completed recently: a Mounted British officer to lead the British Light Dragoons in the War of 1812 and a second Line Infantry Brigade Command base for the French SYW Army. The former is a Perry Miniatures figure with a conversion paint job, while the latter features figures from my Redoubt Enterprises/Grubby Tanks F&IW collection which were surplus to requirements there. Anyway, you can see for yourselves here ~

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Kentucky Mounted Militia

These are the very first Knuckleduster Miniatures I have owned or painted. Most of my War of 1812 collection is from Foundry, mainly the range sculpted by my chum Aly Morrison supplemented by some Perry sculpted Peninsular War era British infantry sporting the Stovepipe shako. I would have preferred to stay in house so as to speak but to acquire 6 of these by Foundry would have meant buying six packs of Militia at £72! Clearly the pack structure has more to do with moulds than with a knowledge of US troops and uniforms for the period!
I can't say I much liked the figures when I first cleaned them up, and undercoating did little to change my view. However, I started on them eventually and I have been pleasantly surprised at how they have turned out. The sculpting style is more Old Glory/Elite than Foundry, but I believe they will do. You can see for yourself anyway ~

On the back of my experience with these examples I made a second order to Caliver for Canadian Militia in round hats. Sadly only one pack has arrived so far, the remaining packs having to be ordered in from the USA. If I'd have seen they were not in stock I might not have bothered!
Anyway, at The Other Partizan earlier in August I bought four packs of British infantry in round hats and overalls from Perry Miniatures' Egypt range. They will also do duty as Canadian Militia when their moment comes. If I like the Knuckleduster Canadians then I will risk a further Caliver order for a couple of units of their US militia in round hats, perhaps one in hunting coats and one with turn back coats. More as and when.
After finishing the Mounted Militia I've also completed a Perry Miniatures mounted Colonel, to lead my one unit of 1812 British Light Dragoons. Now he is done a change of era and manufacturer to some Casting Room Miniatures Early Italian Wars Light Cavalry, as Phil has started his own version.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

As night fell...

...only the moans of the wounded and the dying disturbed the silence across the plains of Peenedeforde. Or rather it was the final turn in a SYW battle fought here in GHQ with Lord Rawnsley (Phil) and the Comte du Merde (moi) failing to force a victory over 12 Turns. As is usual now, I'll let the pictures and captions give some feel for the action ~
The French right is held by the Gardes Francais & Swisse,
supported by the Cavalry of the Maison du Roi.
The cavalry of the Maison du Roi advances boldly to attack
the British Household Cavalry brigade.
The Comte du Merde watches as the Infantry in the centre
March forward slowly. The ground must have been softened
by heavy rain.
The British infantry are finding the going very slow in the
early stages of the battle. In the foreground the Horse Guards
sweep boldly forward to the attack.
The British infantry find firmer ground and begin their
advance, aiming to occupy the farm before the French can
reach it.

The solid ranks of French infantry move steadily forward. The
Wild Geese in the foreground supporting the French line

The French are attacking in echelon hoping to turn the British
out of the occupied farm and isolate the British right wing. The
French cavalry, out of shot, wait impatiently for their moment!

On the French right disaster strikes! The Cuirassier du Roi are
driven back and the Gendarmes are Routed! Mon Dieu!

The French reserves arrive in the centre and are immediately
dispatched by Du Merde to shore up the Guards on theFrench
right flank.In the centre the British have finally cleared the soft
ground and close with the stalled French infantry.

The last of the Maison du Roi cavalry flee in rout! The Garde
Swisse are attacked by the Dragoon Guards, but drive them off
with a devastation volley and the bayonet! Huzzah!

The British Household Brigade is Broken, despite its heroic
performance. The Garde savour the moment and prepare to
advance once again!

All along the front the Battle rages.Although the Cuirasier Du
Roi have rallied, the Brigade is Broken and so they cannot
exploit their opportunity! Merde!!!

The far is still in British hands! Meanwhile, the French left
wing of cavalry of the Line and the Hussards de Bykli await
the order to Charge!

As night falls {Turn 12 ends the game!} the French have failed
to press home their attacks. Both sides have fought valiantly,
but to no avail, and will withdraw to lick their wounds, bury
their dead and carouse the night away!
A hard fought battle and no mistake with both sides bloodied but unbowed as night fell (Turn 12 ended of course.) For both sides Command Rolls were unusually poor restricting movement in the earlier phases of the battle. The ground must have been soft and wet I thought! French powder was also damp it seemed resulting in exchanges of fire which favoured the British without ever delivering a knockout blow. Both the Household cavalry Brigade and that of the Maison du Roi were Broken, while on the opposite wing the Brigades of Line Cavalry cancelled each other out. The British could not be driven from the farm they had occupied early in the battle, restricting the advance of the French centre. Despite it all though a grand and exciting tussle! Time for supper ~