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.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Muse Ho?

Not a great deal wargames related has been going on here in GHQ for several days, as we are hosting our eldest grandson, Arthur, on a visit while mom and dad redecorate his new room. There has been some painting, both by yours truly and by Arthur, but more of that in due course.
As some of you will know I have been retired for several years now from teaching as I developed a sudden and profound hearing loss. While I think I cope reasonably well, most of the time anyway, the reality is that I miss so much that goes on around me. An example: last month I was chatting to Phil during a break in our game over at his OHQ base. I remarked on the fact that he had started painting his next WWI 1914 Germans for our joint project. Actually, he told me he was still finishing his third battalion of infantry, but that went right by me! As I result I broke out my fourth British infantry unit and set to! These are Great War Miniatures by the way, like all the others in my growing force. Now, no criticism is intended of the sculptor, but they are very poorly cast in my experience with myriads of vent runs and mold flash and so forth. They are also very uninspiring little chaps on the whole. No fault of the sculptor really, as I said, for they accurately depict the men like two of my great uncles, Sergeant Rostance of the South Staffs and Private Boot of the Coldstream Guards, who went off in August 1914 to fight for King and Country. But the fact is they are really uninteresting figures to paint! They are brown and drab and have no variation in equipment, being depicted in full kit! Not a patch on the late war Brits for interest and variety! So, progress this month has been glacial, even more so since Phil finally put me right on where his painting was! I am beginning to think my life would benefit from subtitles! Well, despite this, I have completed 24 of a 30 figure battalion and have 3 more underway, so hope to finish next week when all is restored to the norm here at home.
In the meantime, I went to Phil's on Monday for a Great War game using his collection and scenery, which I think is second to none myself. You can judge for yourself in January's Wargames Illustrated when it will feature accompanying an article or two in the 1916 theme, as his Back of Beyond collection and scenery did in this month's issue! He has written and illustrated an account on his Blog, "News from the Front" {see link in the side bar} but I'll add a few phone pictures I took from the German perspective ~

My Storm-troopers set off to attack the weaker flank of the British position, immediately coming under heavy mortar and sniper fire. The flamethrower group move to the front as a distraction for the German's main problem in attacking the British line, the machine gun post ~

While the Storm-troopers attacked the right flank and the flamethrower group distracted the British machine gun post and supporting infantry, the German support infantry began to arrive and engage the British trench line ~

While the machine gun made inroads into the flamethrower group, I need n't have worried too much about it. In three turns my lone sniper killed all three of the crew, the last man even when he was 'Down'!

We were using 'Bolt Action' rules with several amendments for the game and had set the length at six turns plus a dice throw. Phil's dice throw added no turns, so I was just short of turfing the remaining British infantry out of their trenches when the game ended. A bitter pill really, as his reinforcements arrived at a crucial moment to attack my Storm-troopers just as they were ready to sweep into the trench line! His 14 dice produced three kills, while my remaining 8 produced four, giving me a surprise boost!

At the end of the game the Germans were poised to attack the last British infantry in play on two fronts, so must have carried the day. The Toffee Apple mortar was destroyed and the other reinforcements Phil hoped for lost in the morning mist! As you can see, confident of the outcome, von Bikkel dispatches his report via runner to the HQ from the cover of a ruined house! No need to even bother about the British sniper, for whom a barn door would have proved a difficult shot!!!

Despite only coming away with a winning draw I thoroughly enjoyed the game and recommend you try some of Phil's scenarios. For me this was a first run out as a German! I think I got my tactics right although I'm honest enough to say that Phil's dice throwing might have helped me along the way a tad. Next up will be a First Carlist War game at Phil's next week, after we have taken Arthur back to Dad and Mom that is!


  1. Great report, just as well as most of mine disappeared into the ether, thank you Blogger I HATE you too. Mighty fine pictures too Mr. B

    1. Steady that man! I'm sure your pictures will tell the story. Glad you liked my contribution though!

  2. AWSOME report, and lovely terrain.
    New to you blog, but love what I see.
    I've added you to my list. Look forward to seeing more.

    1. Welcome to GHQ! Gla d you liked what you found.

  3. A fine AAR and a really nice looking game! I really like those blast columns.


  4. Phil's stuff is great isn't it Christopher? More blast markers on the blocks I believe.