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.

Friday 29 June 2012

Taking to the waters...

I don't seem to have been as productive this month here in GHQ as I might have been. I'm not really sure why, but its just the way I've been I think. I'll put it down to age, or the weather, or whatever... I've painted 59 figures this month, for a number of my ongoing projects. They include three cavalry and six Forlorn Hope figures for my ECW project, all Perry Miniatures this time. I've also managed: three Union generals, and a table, for the ACW project ~ Dixon figures of course! ~ three Boers from Empress for my AZW/1stBW project; and, the Partizan freebie of Princess Elizabeth. My main effort has continued to be completion for the F&IW project, so we can get some game practice in with Sharp Practice. The latest addition is a war canoe for the Paddoquoi.

These come from Redoubt's fine range of F&IW figures. The set features four paddling natives and two 'character' poses for the bow and stern of the canoe. I ditched one of the paddling figures for a kneeling firing pose from the firing line pack.

Partly this was for the better 'look' of the piece and partly as I had three paddling out left and one only right! Not a major issue, as I had the figures to hand, but I have subsequently found the same configuration in my second large war canoe set! I have again ditched the extra paddler for another kneeling firing pose.

One of the two paddling natives poses in the set ~ I have two of these spare, for now...

The other paddling native pose!

I like the Redoubt F&IW range more each time I paint a few of the figures. Undoubtedly, judging by a few of the castings I have,some of the moulds must be a tad worn, but if they corrected that fault I'd think they would compete with any range. I've had no trouble getting by with them anyway and am working on the second canoe set now, alongside the last of the Forlorn Hope figures.
Games wise, I feel I ought to gloss over the month! P 6 W 1 D 1 L 4 ~ more relegation form than champions league! The sole success was in a BP ACW game at Jon's (See previous post), my most recent defeat a RF2 game yesterday when my hotchpotch of Germans failed to stop the British airborne under Jon taking the high ground and shelling my HQ!!! My sole purchase to have arrived in time to be logged for this month was some tufts, from the New Modellers Shop in Peterborough ~ ordered after 4.00 pm on Wednesday, here at 9.30 am on the next day! Can't have better service than that! Now, just have to glue two or three tufts to each of the bases of my rebased Sudan War collection!!!!!

Friday 22 June 2012

Let us cross over to the other side...

A few phone camera shots from this morning's Black Powder ACW game played over at Jon's, utilizing his marvellous figures and terrain boards. I wish the photos were better really, they don't do it justice. Anyway, Jubal E Bykleigh's Good Ol' Boys had eight turns to drive Those People back across the river.
Jon's figures are a mixture of Renegade and Redoubt, with some head swaps here and there and sport the fine GMB flags. The church is a Mick Sewell scratchbuilt model. Now, the action...

Jubal E Bykleigh leads his men forward!

The Irish Brigade boldly advances into the storm of Reb fire...

Major General Thaddeus J Whyte dabbles his toes in the waters. Seven turns later, he and his Brigade were still trying to cross over!

The gallant boys of the South Carolina brigade march to glory! Are you sensing a result yet?

The Union centre disolves in the face of a determinded charge!

Overview of the table at the conclusion of turn 7, and of the game. Union troops in rout unable to stem the tide of the Confederate advance! Time for a Rebel Yell I think...

Thursday 21 June 2012

War of 1812...in 2012

My Foundry War of 1812 collection holds a special place in my affections, as it was the first project I undertook when I retired ten years ago. Most of the figures I got in very large bargain blisters in the sale when the company relocated to St Mark's Street in Nottingham , adding the missing figures when you could still buy them singly ~ oh, those were the days! As Stuart Asquith says, its Napoleonics with Indians! Well, actually of course its more complex, but what it does offer is few cavalry for those of us who find horse painting a chore rather than a pleasure.
Anyway, today to celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the war, and the tenth birthday of my collection, Jon and I played out a game here in GHQ. Jon commanded the US forces, having eight turns to drive off my British-Canadian defenders, using Black Powder rules with standard movement rates along the length of my table. The Battle of Robinson's Farm...

The British-Canadian line of battle.

American Regular Brigade advances, screened by the 1st US Rifles, and covered by a battery of 8lb guns.

17th US Infantry advance into a hail of fire from the Royal Artillery's 9lb battery and skirmishers from the Glengarry Light Infantry.

On the British right the 104th New Brunswick Regiment prepares to fire on the 9th US Infantry.

Two moves later the British right is in some disarray: the 17th Light Dragoons driven off and the right flank turned.

The end of turn eight and of the game. A draw, with the gallant British-Canadians holding on in part and the shattered US troops unable to press their advantage to victory, as I think the Shaken and Disordered counters show.

The game lasted an hour and fifty-two minutes and was very close. The Americans were awarded a winning draw by agreement, though I felt the British-Canadian forces of mostly Militia and Fencibles had done well to hold on.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

A Princess and some Generals...

I've been meaning to paint these Union Generals since I can't remember when. They figures are by Dixon Miniatures, of course; the table from a bits box in Spirit Games; and the maps, etc from the net.

I've also painted up the recent Partizan free figure of Princess Elizabeth, designed as ever by my son Matt, for use in our 1940 Operation Sealion/Pig Who-o-o-o-ey! games.

I'm working on a Redoubt F&IW war canoe and Native American crew at the moment and have put some paint on some Foundry AWI gunners and Perry ECW Forlorn Hope. I hope to finish these before the end of the month with a fair wind behind my brush...

Tuesday 19 June 2012

The Last of the Paddoquoi

What with all the time I've spent on writing and testing ideas for my new ECW rules, painting has become a little bit of a peripheral activity here in GHQ of late. While I have completed a base of Boers for my ongoing  AZW/Boer War project and a base of Horse for my ECW collection, my main effort has been on adding some British and French Regulars to my F&IW collection.
The British prepare to fire...

The French make ready...

These are Redoubt Enterprises figures. Not perhaps the best, but nicely posed and very paint friendly I've found. Of course, the range is quite extensive, so you can be sure of getting most things you'll need for your games. On the down side, one or two of the figures show signs of mould wear and leave a fair bit of cleaning up. But, on balance, recommended!
Some British Infantry in Light Kit for woodland fighting.

Robinson's Rangers, a mean bunch of frontiersmen.

French Irregular Coureurs du Bois.

Paddoquoi warriors.

Chief of the Paddoquoi

I intend to play these games to learn the Sharp Practice ruleset from TFLs' stable, until I can find time to write my own of course. I have two war canoes and their warrior crews to finish and it will all be ready; until I buy some more figures that is...

Friday 8 June 2012

By the Dice Divided?

I've been beavering away at the first draft of my new rule set for the English Civil War, taking on board several suggestions from my play testers, as you do. Jon and I have also tried out several games of varying sizes to see how things were developing. Yesterday was the latest of our trial runs, playing for about two and a half hours and getting in a dozen game turns. The game was very close, with my Parliamentary Horse, supported by the Dragoons, sweeping the Royalist Horse from my right wing, while Jon's Royalist Horse smashed my left wing and drove all the horse off the table.

Parliamentary Blue Dragoons line a hedgerow.
It must have been very thick and high,
as we hardly scored a hit til the end of the game!

Royalist Horse smashing their way through
my left wing.

In the centre the Foote slugged it out in a protracted firefight. Although the Royalist field artillery was neutralised early in the game, my firing dice deserted me with a vengeance as Jon's Royalist foote ponderously bore down on my centre.
The Oxford Foote proved a particular thorn in my side, easily passing Fighting Effectiveness checks when their casualties mounted!

The game ended, as so often they do, when the left of my centre saw two regiments of foote fail their tests and flee from the enemy. Hardly surprising really as Jon's returning Royalist Horse smashed into their unprotected flanks on the way to loot the baggage!
All in all a promising run through for the embrionic rules, despite the rather disappointing result for yours truly! Back to the rules now I think...