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.

Thursday 28 May 2015

Some Pulp Scenery Additions

A couple of weeks ago I was at one of the local retail parks, buying some 'Really Useful Boxes' for figure storage here in GHQ2, and on a spur of the moment type of decision I went into a Pet Superstore {Pets At Home} in order to browse the Aquarium section for possible scenic additions. Result! Not only did they have suitable items, but they had a 'Buy Three, Get One Free' offer on! Here are the two pieces I kept for myself ~
Ruined Jungle Temple

Rope Bridge

Close up to show the finish

I've also been making another Pulp Scenic accessory, mainly to enable our odd games to make wider use of figures from our collections. So, a Star Gate, Time Portal thingy ~
The Mummy Returns?

Professor Peabody takes a shot!

Not the greatest piece you'll see this year, but it cost 'nothing', as the plastic ring was in a package I salvaged. It will serve as a Portal into space and time, an objective in games, a museum exhibit, the focus of an archaeological dig, or even a Hell Gate. So it will do for me! 28mm figures for scale on all the photos by the way! Now, the bridge will need to be on a scenic piece so it spans a 'gorge' over our river ~ queue the hard foam scenic hill I got at Carronade earlier in the month! Two small pieces of MDF. some filler, paint, rocks and grass and we are off! The Jungle ruined temple I'll just base up and texture, with a little spare vegetation perhaps and a few clumps of grass/flowers, we'll have to see! Hope you approve!
Finally, for those who follow our doings regularly, Jon and I refought the ACW game today. We used Black Powder rules and fought it out for ten turns, resulting in a draw! So I've played three games in GHQ2 and all have been draws. Clearly we have to adjust to the wider table, but time will tell!

Friday 22 May 2015

Cheer, Boys, Cheer! - An ACW Game to mark the Official Opening of GHQ2

Phil, Jon, John and myself should have played our first ACW game in GHQ2 to celebrate its official opening this week, but at the last minute Jon had to cry off. We decided to carry on with the planned scenario, with John commanding the Confederate forces and Phil the Union, leaving me free to umpire and try to take some better photos for the Blog! The scenario is not historical, mainly due to the already mentioned shortage of terrain boards. The figures are all from my collection and are overwhelmingly Dixon Miniatures. The buildings were scratch built by Phil and myself 'back in the day' while the trees and such are from the Last Valley. The fences we entirely scratch built with the exception of the posts from First Corps. The rules used were Bull Run to Gettysburg, my own work published by Wargames Foundry. The players in-game personas were, for the Union, "Fightin' Phil Robinson" and, for the Confederacy, Old Stonewall Aston! We played the game over the day, with a leisurely break for lunch! Must get one's priorities right you know! The Union's high command decides on their strategy ~

The Union right and centre advances towards the cross roads intent on denying them to the Rebs!

The Regulars on the Union left are hoping to deny the Rebs the chance to cross the river by the covered bridge ~

The Rebs order a general advance to seize the cross roads ~

The 'Boys' step off lively ~

The cornfield proves a bit of an obstacle to the Union advance ~

A formidable sight as two regiments of US Regulars halt at the fence line ~

The Rebs are stepping forward boldly on the left and in the centre, while their right flank's Brigade moves on the bridge ~

The regulars, supported by the New York Light Artillery, engage the leading Reb elements ~

While the Brigade's lead regiment takes losses and retires, the remainder of the Brigade crosses the river successfully ~

The Union right and centre steadies itself for the Reb onslaught ~

The view from the Rebs' lines is daunting to say the least ~

Time for the cold steel I think !

As the main Reb attack goes in the flanking Brigade thunders into the Union's centre ~

The fighting is desperate and a Union Regiment breaks under the strain of combat ~

More Rebs pour into the gap and a second Union Regiment flees the field ~

An overview of the action shows the Rebs pushing through the Union's centre. Why did those Regulars not intervene?

The Union's centre is broken and the right flanks is retiring. The Rebs are victorious!

An experimental overhead shot of the deciding attack. Worth using the technique in future reports do you think?

The game played out over thirteen turns in a little over four hours playing time. Both Phil and John claimed to have enjoyed the game, though Phil feels he is still to come to terms with the larger table size. I enjoyed umpiring the game and refreshing my knowledge of the rules as we went along. Jon has said that he will come over next Thursday so I have left the game set up in the opening positions and he and I will play it out again then. It will be interesting to see how it develops a second time around!

Friday 15 May 2015

The Battle of Wolvenstadt

Earlier in the week, Jon and I got together in GHQ for a SYW game, which we entitled 'The Battle of Wolvenstadt'. The sharp eyed, and/or the awake, amongst you will notice that the table layout is pretty much the same as last week's Wars of the French Revolution game Phil and I played. Well, as I said in an earlier Blog post, I need more terrain tiles now I have a bigger playing surface. That will be attended to later in the summer, real life issues are more pressing for us all at the moment and I feel lucky if we can fit a game in each week at present. I'm still learning to adapt to my new room and one aspect I need to pay more attention to is taking photos during the game. I'm afraid having looked over the pictures I took I can only give a very vague outline of how the game went, rather than a full blown after action report. Never mind, here goes anyway! The French occupy the village of Wolvenstadt, situated near a strategic crossroads which the British need to control. The calm before the storm breaks, as some Frenchmen fraternise with the local women ~

The French position on the right flank is anchored in the village of Wolvenstadt itself, taking advantage of the many buildings, hedges and fields to make a formidable position. Infantry and artillery will surely be too strong for the enemy ~

The British have marched on and deployed into line for the attack, each regiment supporting its neighbour with withering volleys as the advance grinds slowly forward against the French defenders of Wolvenstadt ~

The view from the British lines ~

The French commander, the Compte de Merde, orders his cavalry into the attack on his left flank. The heavy cavalry of the line surges forward, its flank shielded by the Hussards de Bykli, while the household regiments await the order to move forward ~

The Horse clash in a magnificent but bloody action ~

The French charge heroically but are beaten back by the cold steel of their British foe ~

The French Gendarmes and the Mestre de Campe regiments are broken, but the British loose men too, the Horse Guards being also routed ~

The situation stabilised on his left flank, the Compte de Merde orders his reserves forward to flank the British attack on Wolvenstadt which has slowly gained the upper hand. The Grenadiers de France lead the way, followed by the Garde Francais and the Garde Swisse ~

The British advance remorselessly on Wolvenstadt having driven off two regiments of French from the outskirts ~

Finally, while holding the advantage on his left, the Compte de Merde is forced to concede that the British will occupy Wolvenstadt, his men finally having given way after a stubborn and gallant defence {and being Disordered in almost every turn!}

The game ended in a draw, but with the British poised to occupy Wolvenstadt and thus dominate the strategic crossroads, the objective of the game after all, so we awarded them a winning draw. The buildings are all by Conflix and the trees and the like from The Last Valley. The figures are all Foundry from my collection and the rules we used were Black Powder with the modifications from The Last Argument of Kings.
That's two games now in the new GHQ and two draws. Next week should see a four hander, with John and Jon joining Phil and I for a day ACW game. I hope to get all, or most, of my Dixon Miniatures collection out on the table for this game, so with that in mind I spent a happy hour clearing everything off the table top this afternoon so I can see how to lay out the game to best achieve that objective.

Sunday 10 May 2015

Carronade Wargames Show, Falkirk 9 May 2015

I have been up to Scotland for a few days with Sue, Phil and Di, staying in South Queensferry and taking in the sights of the area, including spending the day at the Falkirk club's annual wargames show, Carronade. I've been a number of times before, but this was Phil's first visit. I took a few pictures of games which caught my fancy, you will quickly realise that there were many other fine games on show, they just were n't my cup of tea or I could n't get a decent shot of them. First up, the Iron Brigade's Sudan War game ~

Next, two shots of the 1st Battle of St Albans, a Wars of the Roses game. I took the pictures mainly because I liked the mix of buildings from several sources: somehow they looked more convincing to my eye.

Next,a Vietnam War game in 28mm. I saw it at Derby Worlds last year, but it still impressed me again when I saw it at this event.

Next, an Indian Mutiny game, featuring splendid walls and figures, but I have to say I did n't like the hex terrain at all.

Next, a selection of games from mixed genres and periods, firstly the ACW ~

WWII in the Western Desert, Action at Wadi El Khazi ~

A Samurai game with the rather nice 4Ground buildings I believe ~

A detail from a WWI participation game  ~

A participation game set in Jurassic Park ~

The Loot of course:
MDF bases and movement trays from Warbases; brushes from Coritani; Hussars from Colonel Bill's; British infantry of the FRW from Reiver; a Norman lord and his standard bearer from Colonel Bill's again; Bishops. priests and monks from Perry Miniatures via Dave Thomas; three hard foam features from the Flea Market, cost me £7.00 in all; and finally, a Bomb Disposal van for my WWII/Blandings/VBCW scenarios, £2.00 from the Flea Market ~

An Egyptian Temple ruin ~

The Bomb Disposal unit ~

All in all a good haul I think. I'm particularly fond of their Table Top Sale/Flea Market, as I've had several finds there over the years. The rocky hill will be cut in half and used to anchor the rope bridge as it spans the gorge {Did I mention I got a great rope bridge, and jungle temple ruin, at Pets at Home last week?}. The ruined temple and the extension piece will be repainted brown and sand for our occasional Pulp games I hope. If you've never been to Carronade and have the chance to go I highly recommend it. Great show, great bargains and great folk! Can't ask for more really.