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 26 April 2019

Officers of the 45th Foot

The spare mounted General from the Foundry British AWI High Command pack and another spare Officer figure from one of their British Command packs meant I could muster in an other Command stand for the British force in our games. I’ve painted them both in the colours of the 45th Foot, later the Nottinghamshire Regiment - after all, that’s where the figures are from in reality - and also because earlier they were Robinson’s Foot during the SYW!

For the very sharp eyed who will have noticed, I don’t yet have the 45th in my British AWI collection, but they are in the painting queue! After the next Loyalist regiment there is a further Continental regiment to paint before I get to them, but I hope they will muster in sometime in late May at my current rate of progress. We’ll have to see how it goes...

Tuesday 23 April 2019

A British High Command base for the AWI

Following on from completing the 2nd Maryland for my AWI expansion project I've completed a High Command base for my British army. It comprises two mounted Generals and two foot figures from a command set, all from Wargames Foundry. The MDF base is, as ever, from Warbases. I'm  pleased with how it turned out myself, but I'm sure you will have an opinion too ~

The remaining mounted general I've paired with another spare figure from a command set and they together will make a Brigade Command set. That will leave me with another Loyalist unit next in the painting queue, the King's Orange Rangers. We'll see how we go after that!

Friday 19 April 2019

The 2nd Maryland musters in!

I've completed the next unit in my planned AWI expansion project, an American unit to depict the 2nd Maryland. They are comprised  mostly of Perry Miniatures with a leavening of older Foundry figures, also sculpted of course by the Perry twins.
I chose a mixture of firing and loading figures in uniforms and in hunting shirts to give the unit a slightly ragged look. The figures in uniform coats I painted in Foundry Conker Brown Shade, highlighted with the same colour's Light, with red facings after a Don Trioani print. While for the hunting shirts I painted them in Foundry Drab, highlighted with British Uniform Light. The flag is from the earlier free downloads now sold by Warfare Miniatures. They were made originally by Clarence Harrison. As usual now, a picture of the unit here drawn up in a firing line ~
Followed again by a couple of closer photographs to disabuse any passing visitor of the notion my painting is anything other than average ~

I'm off to Matt's for the Easter weekend - it's also Reuben's 4th birthday on Saturday and our 46th wedding anniversary on Easter Sunday, so plenty to celebrate there. On our return the painting table will first be occupied by figures for a British High Command base featuring more  Foundry miniatures, followed by a Brigade Command base with figures from the same manufacturers. Happy Easter!

Wednesday 17 April 2019

The Battle of Coven Heath

The latest installment in our efforts to master Pike & Shotte as a rule set saw Phil and I returning to the ECW here in GHQ. As ever Phil commanded the Royalist army, as Sir Marmaduke Gaylord Robinson, while I commanded the Parliamentary army as Obadiah Bykleigh, gentleman. For those interested, Coven Heath is a little north of where I live and seemed an apt name to give our fictitious encounter battle. The objective for both sides is simply to defeat the enemy! As ever, a photomontage to give a sense of the unfolding tussle between tyranny and righteousness ~
The start of the action on the heath. Seen from the rear of the
Parliamentary right flank.
The Parliamentary army advances on the attack in Turn 1.

The Royalist army advances cautiously on the approaching foe!

In Turn 2 the Parliamentarians continue their determined

Alas, the same cannot be said for the Royalists!

On the Parliamentary left the Foote reach the field boundary.
Not so the supporting Dragoons who 'Blundered' and retired!

Not only the Dragoons proved hesitant: the Folorn Hope who
were tasked with taking the farm proved equally reluctant!

Meanwhile, for the Royalists things were starting to come
together. The foot Cavalry occupied the farm; the Dragoons
lined the hedge; and the Foote secured the field boundary!

In the first cavalry melee in Turn 4 both sides' Heavies were
'Shaken', but the Royalists lost and 'Retired' as a result of their
Morale check!

The Royalist cavalry came on again in Turn 5 but failed to
reach their opponents, giving them a chance to 'Rally' and
reduce a casualty!

Inspired by the steadiness of their Heavies, the Parliamentary
Horse charged the supporting Royalist Cavalry. Not to be
outdone they saw off the enemy in quick time!
On their right flank things are looking solid for the cause of
Righteousness! The Heavies rout their enemy in a bloody
It was n't all going their way though as Lord Walton's Foote
waver under fire and finally Rout!

The Horse are finally bested too by a new wave of Royalist
Heavy Cavalry, though their progress is stemmed by a
second regiment of Horse.

It proves but a momentary respite though, the second regiment
soon joins the first in Rout!

Despite the setback, the Heavies dominate their Royalist foe
and secure the right flank.
The centre is consolidated and the exchange of musketry
continues unabated!

Yet another blunder sends Fairfax's Foote to the rear just as
Parliament goes over to the attack in the centre!

However, it proves of little import as by Turn 10 the Royalist
cause is lost, the army is broken and flees the field!
We feel we are getting their with working out the Pike and Shotte rules, though as Phil remarked over the post game coffee and cake, there is probably still an element or two of Black Powder creeping in unnoticed! No game here in GHQ now until mid May due to the flurry of Bank Holiday Mondays hoving into view and a trip to 'Jockshire' to take in Carronade.

Tuesday 16 April 2019

A Journey to the Dark Side?

As many of you will know for the duration of 2019 Wargames Illustrated is giving away a free plastic sprue of figures with each month's issue. Most recently this consisted of a sprue from Warlord Games for the Anglo-Zulu War. Thanks to the generosity of friends in the hobby I acquired several sprues for free. As my views on plastic figures are well known to readers that alone probably constitutes a profound shock! That I have assembled them for painting as elements of the Natal Native Contingent probably heralds the end of times in the opinion of many folk ~

Now, being honest with you all, I've no idea when I shall find time to paint them. Probably not until near the year's close, but it represents my first tentative foray into the wicked world of plastic!

Sunday 14 April 2019

Mounted Command figures for the AWI

Still in the flow with my expansion to my AWI armies I've completed three mounted Command figures to make two Command bases, one British and one for the Continental army. The figures are once again from  the Perry Miniatures range for the AWI.
There are two figures in cut down coats and round hats which I've painted and fixed to one base for the British. They seem to me to be in urgent conversation so it seemed appropriate to base them together in this way ~
The third figure, depicted in full dress on a rearing horse I've painted as a Continental General Officer. His pose is suitably aggressive it seems to me for someone in rebellion against his lawful government ~

While I was finishing him off I've made a start on a Continental infantry unit in a mix of regulation uniforms and hunting shirts. They depict a firing line of course. The figures are from a mix of Perry Miniatures and older Foundry Miniatures, but all sculpted by the Perrys of course. When these are completed they will get a post of there own, so if you are interested then keep an eye out.

Thursday 11 April 2019

Volunteers of Ireland for the AWI

As I mentioned previously I’ve been working on another infantry unit for my AWI expansion project, in this case the Volunteers of Ireland. The figures are by Perry Miniatures and the flags are by Flags of War. For painting ease they are fixed with PVA to 60mm hexagonal bases from Warbases. I had to do a partial repaint after I’d finished two bases worth of the figures when I realised I’d painted the shirts and neck stock red in error! Age and eyesight issues I’m afraid.
The unit is four bases strong, making it a Regular sized unit in our Black Powder games. This is a historical accident on my part, with the original forces being built up from the Front Rank Army Starter boxes. Our forces have Regular sized units of three or four bases, Large sized with five or six, and Small sized with two. For the interested a gun battery is represented by one model gun and three or four crew, usually. Anyway, enough wittering on, here they are for your perusal ~

Next up in the expansion project are two mounted British command figures in cut down coats. After those are added to the done pile it’s a mounted American officerofollowed by a unit in a mix of hunting shirts and uniform coats. These are a mix of  Perry Miniatures and older Wargames Foundry figures, also sculpted by the Perry's.

Sunday 7 April 2019

First additions to the AWI collections

After painting several new units for my SYW armies I turned next to the AWI elements nestling in the Lead Pimple. For the first additions choice was all to easy, some figures Phil had bought for me as a gift from the B&B at WMMS last month. When we came to sort them out we found the Officer figure from Warlord Games’ Black Powder2 launch and figures from Perry Miniatures depicting infantry from Lee’s L├ęgion. They are now duly painted, based and ready for action in due course. Firstly, here's the Officer ~
I decided to paint him as a Brigadier General just for something a bit different to Mounted Command figures. He’s on a 40mm round MDF base to help his status stand out on the table. Let’s hope his enthusiastic pose will translate into equally enthusiastic outcomes in action!
The figures for Lee’s Legion I based on a Don Trioani print in his book Soldiers of the American Revolution. I’ve read that there was some debate as to the uniform colours. Were they really a mauve Shade or rather faded blue? I’ve gone with the mauve option. The officer figure is depicted in a different style of coat from the NCO and Private Soldiers so I’ve opted to paint him in the later green faced black coat. For the bearskin crest of all the helmets I’ve painted them black and drybrushed with Foundry Musket Stock Brown shade. Here they are anyway ~

After painting all those SYW figures I found these really small and fiddly! I’m pleased though with the final outcome, though no doubt you will all have your own opinion. I’ve started on a second unit, the Volunteers of Ireland, also by Perry Miniatures. To aid holding the figures I’ve had to change from my time honoured Bluetack on a Humbrol tin lid to instead fixing the figures with PVA to MDF hexagonal bases which are easier for my hands to grip and subsequently don’t get dropped so often. I need to tackle the brushes next, perhaps adding rubber bands to give a thicker grip? The joys of aging, eh?

Thursday 4 April 2019

“This week I have mostly...”

”...been playing SYW games.” After expending so much painting  effort on expanding the SYW British and French armies in the past few weeks it seemed only right to get them on the table and into action. The first week of each month usually sees two games, sometimes both in GHQ: Monday against Phil and Wednesday evening against Jon. So this month, two SYW games using Black Powder 2 for the price of one and, rather than two AARs, a series of pictures capturing scenes from the two Battles of Nieman Heide ~
The French advance to battle.
"Sound the Charge!"
Lord Rawnsley struggles to get him army into action.
The French coming on in the same old way!
A couple of shots illustrating the much talked about 'new unit syndrome'. Orleans cavalry routed in their very first melee and infantry regiment Royal Ecossais routed in their first fire fight! It is the law!

Bar the Front Rank French Light Infantry, all the figures in my SYW collection are from the small Foundry/Casting Room Miniatures ranges of British and French figures with flags by GMB Designs. Monday’s game ended in a win for the French under De Byklie, the Comte du Merde. Lord Rawnsley conceded the field when half his Brigades were rated Broken at the end of Turn 7.
Wednesday evening saw Jon take up the mantle of commanding the British from Phil. In a game which swung both ways the outcome in the end proved too close to call, with Lord Walton securing the better of a draw against the bruised but unbroken French. Again, a few pictures from the action ~
Cavalry clash early in the second game.
British Infantry in the centre prepare for the attack.

  The French press forward as the Wild Geese fly!
Deep in thought?
The end is nigh!
Two splendid games with good friends, what more could a chap ask for in truth? Next up in GHQ in mid April will be an ECW game using Pike & Shotte, as we attempt to get our heads around the rules! In the meantime,its back to painting the Volunteers of Ireland for my AWI collection.