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.

Saturday 29 November 2014

Move along the bus!

I've been successful in a couple of eBay auctions in the last week! Rather unusual for me as I don't like over paying for things on the whole. Amongst my successful bids have been, not one, but two 1/48th Corgi horse drawn omnibuses! Given that some were priced from £79 on the site I was really chuffed to get mine for a total outlay of £39 including postage and packing! That works out at about £15 each for the models. See what you think anyway ~

That brings my vehicle collection for the game to five now: the two omnibuses mentioned here; two prepainted carriages drawn by two and four horses respectively, which I got at a local Toy Emporium a while back, and which are shown in the two pictures below; and the Warbases Hansom Cab which I'm working on occasionally.
The omnibus is photographed straight out of the box in front of a run of Terraced Houses by Oshira Models. While the prepainted folk are a tad larger than the wargames figures for the game, they will do for me. As its a game we'll play occasionally over a year I'll not waste time and effort repainting them, they will do! Though I may base them just to protect the more vulnerable small pieces like the brakes.

"Reach me the Bradshaw, Watson!"

Friday 21 November 2014

Raid on New Cheltenham

One of the joys which wargaming has bought into my life has been the many good friends I've made along the way. While regular readers will know that my most frequent opponents here in GHQ are Phil and Jon, there are many others who figure from time to time when they can make the trip here. One such part time regular, John Aston, joined Phil and I yesterday for a three handed F&IW game. John took command of the British and the citizens of New Cheltenham, Phil the French and yours truely the Indians, The table layout ~

At the outset of the game Fort Aston has a small garrison of British Regulars commanded by Major Joroas. ( As an aside, the blockhouse was a £14 buy on a Bring and Buy a few years back. Probably one of my best buys as it was ready painted) ~

Each of the settlement buildings then had a number of citizens who were prepared to do or die in defence of their homes. The folk from Paddock Hall, the 'big house' thereabouts ~

The Rawnsley family and the Rev Jeremiah Bykleigh ~

The poor folk from the pig farm ~

The British had the possibility of being reinforced as the game went on. As it happened, John's dice throwing seemed to become infected by my usual lack of success, although when they did arrive eventually they helped to turn the day in the British favour! In addition, the British have their own 'hero', Owleye and his faithful Indian follower ~

The French enter from the point where the road enters the far side of the table from New Cheltenham, while the Indians will enter randomly to simulate the cunning woodland ways! {For the look of things though, their riverside camp is represented on the far end of the French side of the table} ~

As the game developed the French Regulars rushed the bridge over the creek and were soon drawing the British out of Fort Aston to defend the Hall ~

The good folk of New Cheltenham gave a good account of themselves against the French woodsmen and their Indian allies in fierce fighting on the pig farm, although Chief Biccachook's "braves" did carry off two of their womenfolk into captivity ~

The failure of that part of the French force was more than compensated for when the other group of irregulars managed to set Paddock Hall ablaze ~

Sadly though, for Phil and I at least, the British gained the upper hand and the French found themselves penned in at the end of the main street being assailed on all sides by Regulars, Light Infantry and Rangers ~

At that point it became clear that the French could not win. The Indians had rather let the side down, taking more care to carry off the women than to get involved in the fight until it was too late! The Regulars for the french fought well, but were simply overwhelmed in the end and lacked the support of their irregular allies who were bogged down in a vicious fight with the folk of New Cheltenham. Never the less, we all enjoyed the game immensely and, for me at least, that is what matters most now a days!
For those of you who like to know these things the rules were our home version of Astounding Tales by Howard Whitehouse; the figures are all from Redoubt Enterprises; the Hall is from Architectural Heritage; the houses, barn, out buildings and closet were scratch built many moons since; the trees are from The Last Valley and the bridge is from Ian Weekley's old Battleground range; the wickups are from Grand Manner and the canoes from Redoubt.

Saturday 15 November 2014

Latest Recruits for the Revolutionary French

I bought some of the Trent Miniatures French Heavy Cavalry at Derby Worlds earlier in the year and they have rather quickly, for me at any rate, made it to the front of the painting queue! At present there are no Command figures for these, although Duncan thinks he may get them done next year. I had a few spare Foundry mounted officers [new sculpts] left over so I was able to fit them into each unit for now. The result is two bases for the 4th Cavalry and four bases for the 27th Cavalry. These will add to the 7th Cavalry and the Dragoons I've already completed to make a decent sized Heavy formation for our table size I feel. I've also been painting a few Elite Company Skirmishers as I had four figures left over from my 24 figure battalions and did n't want them to go to waste!

The 27th Cavalry, chosen merely because I fancied the orange facings! Cavalry Regiments in our games are eight figures on four bases. I used the figures whose poses I liked most for this full Regiment of Heavy Cavalry, adding two mounted officers from Foundry. For the 4th Cavalry I used those with what I thought was an unsatisfactory pose and added an officer from Foundry to make them up to four figures on two bases.

The 4th Cavalry: the mounted officer is from Foundry as I said, the four troopers from Trent Miniatures. Whoever sculpted these, the figures are not really up to the standard of the infantry Matt sculpted, as I've said before, but they are redeemed in my view by the decent horses, sculpted by Mark Copplestone I believe. Their main fault is the stiffness of the pose and the lack of more pronounced detail, especially on the clothing. The separate heads do help to mitigate the stiff poses though on the positive side. They are not so poor though that I would n't use them, so don't think I would n't want you to add them to your Revolutionary French!

The four spare Trent Miniatures Elite Company figures, two firing and two loading, which I've based separately to use as skirmish figures. I've enough Battalions for the french to enable me to group the Elite Companies together into a composite battalion to boost the French options in a game. Next up in the painting queue will be some Front Rank early British Dragoons, which I think I will paint up as the Life Guards. I hope to get to these later in November as I'm trying to finish some stuff for Rhanzlistan as Wargames Illustrated  are coming to GHQ at the end of the month to photograph our collections to accompany an article I've written for them about our project.

Friday 7 November 2014

Hoodlum Horror in Howardville!

Some shots from a recent '1920's Pulp Gangsters' game Phil and I played here in GHQ ~

We played the game using Astounding Tales, our rules of choice for these adventure style games. The figures are mostly from Pulp Figures, with a small number from Dixon Miniatures;the buildings from Old Glory in the USA, whose customer service I have to say was second to none in this case; the vehicles are a mixture, mostly Lledo and Matchbox Days Gone By ranges; while the drivers and passengers are from Sloppy Jalopy. I made the harbour scene using commercial resin castings as for the cemetery walls and tombs. Our two Dons and their loyal if somewhat inept followers fought out a Gang War in the streets of Howardville once more to see who would control the Lower East Side this time. As Jon was absent on other duties, the local  force of law and order was conspicuously absent from the mean streets!
The Baldinnis make their move onto the streets

The Biccliones make their move lead by The Don

The alley provides some cover in the gunfight!

Other Biccliones shelter behind a building!

Don Daldinni and his family are cornered on the roof top!

The minions are all down, now its personal!

Don Baldinni sees his son and daughter gunned down!

He guns down Don Bicclione in his anger!

But meets his own fate at the hands of Victor Bicclione!

We had great fun amongst the tabletop carnage and general mayhem! Astounding Tales really do live up to their name in my view! A few other shots of bits and pieces on the game just for interest to finish off ~
The harbour scene, with the fleet in port again!

The Captain keeps a sharp lookout!

Man the guns!

Down and out in Howardville!

Baldinnis take note!