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, 23 October 2021

The 18th Georgia

 Another Reb infantry regiment musters into service in GHQ in the form of the 18th Georgia infantry, another regiment which also served at one point in Hood's famed Texas Brigade. 

The figures of course are by Dixon Miniatures, the flags from both GMB Designs and Flags of War, and the bases as ever from Warbases.

 I've just half a dozen or so ACW figures left in the Lead Pimple now. I'm adding some command figures to my deployed limbers bases to boost the look on the table, as I recently did for their Union counterparts, an a couple of dismounted cavalry troopers to pad out one of my cavalry regiments. With those the ACW will be rested while my attention turns to some SYW additions for my French army.

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

The Last...? Well, evidently not.

 As Phil's circumstances are sadly somewhat out of kilter these last few days we were unsure of our regular weekly games taking place. For that reason I left the F&IW game that Jon and I played last week out on the table, though I did reconfigure the French initial deployment to give a different game I hoped. I took a few pictures during the game to give a sense of the action for interested visitors, even the Trapist ones!

The Paddaquoi paddling their own canoe! Used as markers for starting points in the game.
Other of the Paddaquoi tribe started the game in their temporary village further up the river. (The village is worth 5 Victory Points)
The 38th Foot marking out of camp past Fort Desperation with colours flying. The fort is held by a company of Grenadiers of the 42nd Foot. (The fort is worth 5 Victory Points)
Regiment Roussillon marches boldly across the southern ford, its mission to burn the two homesteads. (Each one Victory Point) Note De Bykli leading from the rear!
The Paddaquoi war party leaves the village and promptly Blunders off up the high cliffs, right in range of the British Light Artillery! Merde! The Coureurs du Bois and the Woodsmen are very tardy in their movements.
Robinson's Rangers are moving to support the 38th's advance on the northern ford while the Colonial artillery does its best to disrupt the blundering Paddaquoi war party!
Lord Rawnsley finds the French are behind his flank and must reorganize his defences to stave off disaster. Meanwhile the Coureurs du Bois seize the northern ford. Still no sign of the large Paddaquoi war party though!
Well, the Paddaquoi war party finally arrives in support of the Coureurs du Bois holding the ford. The French woodsmen find cover in the woods to their front and harass the Light Company of the 38th. 
By Turn 8 things are looking really good for De Bykli's force. Appearances can be so deceptive though and the dice gods so cruel. Volley after volley crashes into the red lines only to see Saving Throws over ruling almost every one! Merde!
Under pressure from the Paddaquoi war party and Coureurs du Bois to their front and the Regiment Roussillon on their left flank the Redcoats and Rangers buckle and bend but do not break! Mon Dieu!
In a final heroic action the chief of the Paddaquoi, Running Scared, leads the remnants of his war party and rushes to set one homestead ablaze! (Follow Me of course!) Sadly the attempt fails in Turn 10 and takes Turn 11 to set the cabin ablaze! {As it cannot burn for three turns with the game ending in Turn 12 De Bykli cannot claim a victory point!}
The scene at the end of Turn 12, each side having 6 1/2 Victory Points the game is declared a draw. Next up in GHQ should be an ACW game in a couple of weeks, as Phil is away for a much needed break. Next up on the blog later in the week should be some Confederate infantry I've been working on steadily.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

The Last of the Paddaquoi?

 Earlier on in the month Jon was able to visit for a game here in GHQ. As he wasn't especially mobile {due to a leg problem} I didn't think a large battle was a good idea, instead opting for a French and Indian War game with a mixed French force raiding British territory. Points were awarded for objectives held or seized from the opponent's force. We used Black Powder 2 rules, with my 'in house' adjustments substituting companies and regiments for regiments and brigades. Some pictures from the action ~

The general layout for the game viewed from the British (Jon's) side of the table.
First action from the game when French and British regulars clash at the northern ford. French movement was sluggish and this enabled the British to deploy more effectively.
The mixed force of Native American allies and French woodsmen found the southern ford a serious obstacle, taking two turns to get any men across safely.
With the French regular infantry struggling to force a crossing at the northern ford, the British are able to extend their defensive line. The Rangers arrive on time to secure the British flank and harrass the already hesitant French.
Hawkeye and his band of Paddaquoi warriors arrive on the British left to shore up the morale of the nervous homesteaders.
The Rangers deploy in support of the light artillery position covering the norther ford across the river. 
De Bykli urges his regular infantry forward in a bold charge to dislodge the stubborn defenders!
Finally the right-hand French column forces the crossing at the southern ford and shakes itself out into a loose firing line to harass the British defensive position and threaten the homesteads.
The fighting at the northern ford intensifies but the French can make little headway despite British disorder!
On the British left the regulars have successfully halted the French enveloping move and even driven off one of the groups of woodsmen. 
One group of Native American allies succeed in driving off the homesteaders and setting the cabins alight! This swings the game advantage to the French, unlikely as it seemed from the overall situation.
However, with the French regular infantry put to flight at the northern ford the Rangers are unopposed and can set the Native American village aflame, winning the game for the British forces in Turn 10.
The figures, bar a Warlord Games Native American character figure and a Foundry mounted British officer, are all by Redoubt Enterprises. The wickups are from Grand Manner - when you could actually buy from them unpainted resin! Other buildings are MDF kits from Warbases, suitably kit bashed in most cases! Fences, trees and the new river are all from The Last Valley while the roads are the old Scenic Effects rubber sets (If anyone has any unwanted ones I'm in the market!) I'll probably replay this game with Phil next week while it's all out in GHQ. 


Tuesday, 12 October 2021

The 3rd Arkansas, Hood's Texas Brigade

 The latest unit to pass across my Painting Desk from the Lead Pimple and find its place in GHQ is yet another addition to my largest collection, the ACW,  the 3rd Arkansas of Hood's famed Texas Brigade. The figures of course are from Dixon Miniatures, long my favourite manufacturer of ACW figures, though the mail order service remains stubbornly on the slow side in my opinion. I chose charging poses for this unit, hopefully giving the look and feeling of the 'Rebel Yell' to the unit! You can judge for yourselves if it has proved successful anyway ~

I've one further Rebel infantry unit left to paint, the 18th Georgia also of Hood's famed Texas Brigade, and then the extra figures just arrived to utilise in enhancing the look of the Rebs' deployed limbers, as I recently did similarly for the Union's limbers. 

As I manfully resisted the urge to buy any new figures at the recent The Other Partizan show my Lead Pimple remains relatively small, for now at least. Next up some SYW French Gendarmes I'd think, on the grounds that I've already painted their faces!

The Other Partizan ~ Afterword


Well, after a couple of days the dust has settled and it's possibly a good opportunity to look back now at the show last Sunday, the first it has been both possible and practical to attend since Hammerhead and WMMS 2019! Due to unfortunate circumstances beyond our control Phil and I did not arrive until just after midday. Happily that was well past the queuing time for entry, so £2 each handed over for our entry, the first for Phil as  an OAP  concession, though not of course for me! Cheap as chips, as they say, for what you get inside! 

In these uncertain times we both heeded the organisers' wishes, being fully vaccinated, masked up and using hand sanitizer frequently. In addition I think Phil had taken a lateral flow test the day before. My overall impression during the two hours we were there was that mask wearing while moving around the show was by a minority. Saying that, other pictures and videos I've seen show much more compliance, so perhaps earlier when it was very crowded folk were more compliant? It was certainly still busy while we were there, though less so than the first two hours.

On reflection, and being frank with you, I did enjoy my shortened visit but used the time mainly for catching up with Matt on the Bodkins' Medieval game and then with Kevin and my other Scottish chums who I'd not seen for over two years! I did look around the many splendid games of course, the highlight of any Partizan event but more so after the COVID-19 induced hiatus. You will have seen my and many others' pictures I'm sure and will fully appreciate the spectacle on display from so many talented folk. So many really that together with the crowds and the anticipation I found it all a mite overwhelming. 

I did do a little shopping, mainly collecting pre ordered bases from Warbases and several feet of river from The Last Valley, the latter financed by a Lotto win last month! Here are some of the sections laid out on the table in GHQ the next day ~

In addition I bought the Plastic Soldier Company's Battlegroup Northag rule set to give us a choice for our 2022 project in 15mm. I hope their B.A.O.R. plastic infantry will be out by then too. I also bought 7 ProArte 40 sable brushes for £10 from ABC Brushes. I've found these by far the best and hard-wearing brushes I've ever used and at a bargain price. Matt very kindly treated me to a restock of Gamers Grass tufts from Great Escape Games and that was it! I didn't buy a single figure! We even missed the free figure as they'd all gone long before our arrival!
Now there is a bit of an anxious wait to make sure I didn't bring anything unwanted home with me! It was good to get to a show in near normal circumstances, to meet friends, to see games and to spend some of the accumulated War Chest on the hobby! Will I risk another show before next Spring's WMMS or Hammerhead? No and certainly not Salute, far too risky given my age, the numbers attending and location/venue. I've had my hobby fix, I'm grateful for that, but I can wait now for next year... Thanks to the organizers, the traders, the game and society participants and Matt, Phil, Kevin and my myriad gaming chums I had a Grand Day Out! As I believe I've said, a Cracking Show!

Sunday, 10 October 2021

The Other Partizan in Pictures

The much anticipated Return for the Masked Wargamer! A smorgasbord of gaming goodness now in the form of pictures of games which impressed me after the last 19 months hiatus.
The Iron Brigade's wonderful Pacific Island assault game.

The Bodkins' Medieval game. Painting I could only dream of!
WWII with newsreel movies in the theatre!
Lots of elephants in a spectacular Ancient game!

Amazing C18th game by Friends of a Military Gentleman, so much going on I could have studied it for an hour on its own!

54mm Plastic Ancients game, with elephants and camels!
Close up of an elephant model from the same game.

French & Indian Wars game. Lots of super details on view.

WWII games were much in evidence I thought. An ever popular period amongst gamers.

I so enjoyed seeing the wonderful painting and modelling skills on display in all the games, but this by Shrewsbury Wargames Society was full of detail.
Medieval Spain! A riot of colour!

George's Last Stand I'd think.

War of the Triple Alliance by the Perry twins, Alan and Michael, showcasing their companies range of figures for the conflict.
A very busy show, so much so that I missed speaking to several chums. Sorry chaps! Very many folks not sporting masks, despite the organisers' pleas. Poor show by the hobby that. I found it very tiring and was very anxious at times I have to say. Good to do something near normal though! Overall? A Grand Day Out! Cracking Show Wallace!

Friday, 8 October 2021

Anticipation tinged with Trepidation

 Aptly sums up my state of emotional confusion in the run up to The Other Partizan on Sunday. The anticipation of course is driven by the 'need' to embrace some sort of hobby normality beyond face to face gaming with Phil and Jon in the shape of attending a wargames show again after so long an enforced hiatus. It embraces so many elements I guess we have all missed so much over the last 19 months since Hammerhead and WMMS in March 2019: the buzz of the hobby's premier historical wargaming show; the friends to chew the hobby fat with; the wonderful display and participation games; the trade fair and the lure of the new and shiny; a day out even, cocking a snook at the memory of seemingly endless lockdowns!

The trepidation of course lies in the slight risk of exposure to the bl**dy Coronavirus; despite being doubly vaccinated, drenched in hand gel and smothered in masks! I can't deny that all this has preyed on my mind since the show was confirmed as being on. Nevertheless I am English, so, despite all that, I plan to be there spending money, seeing my son, and his chums' Medieval game, catching up with Kevin and Peter at the Iron Brigade's game, nattering with a myriad chums, collecting my pre-orders from The Last Valley and Warbases, spending my hobby cash fund on impulse buys - new period please! - and generally having a Grand Day Out! I'll worry no doubt afterwards...

I hope to see many of you then on Sunday {DV}! In the meantime keep safe and well, all of you!

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

"Iberia Victus Est"

 Finally back in action here in GHQ, after a four week hiatus caused by a number of contributory factors, featuring an Ancient game between a Republican Roman army and a Celtiberian army, using our in house version of Neil Thomas' Ancient and Medieval Wargames rules. Phil and I have been discussing off and on how we might represent the Republican Roman army's style of warfare on the table top and I'd given it a good deal of thought, coming up with what I hoped would be a reasonable solution, more of which in due course.

The Celtiberian army drawn up for battle under the command of Forlornus Byka
The Republican Romans under the eye of Coronus Cunctator himself, or Phil as he's more readily known.
As the Romans advance steadily Forlornus sends his Spanish light cavalry out on the flank to see off the slingers and threaten the Roman left.
The rest of the Celtiberian army advances steadily to meet the Romans on the open plain. Big mistake perhaps?
Forlornus' eye view of the coming action. The Celtiberians are relying heavily on their three warbands and heavy cavalry to shatter the Romans.
The battle is joined as both sides' Skirmishers exchange volleys of javelins to little initial effect.
The Spanish Heavy Cavalry smash into the Roman Velites, who fail to evade in time, while more Celtiberian Heavies clash with their Roman counterparts on the left.
On the right the Spanish Light Cavalry drive off the slingers but fail to charge home on the Roman's exposed flank!
The Roman cavalry drive back the Celtiberians who have already lost one base in the melee while the Spanish Heavy Cavalry fail to destroy the Velites!
The Roman Levy who have rushed from their camp engage the Spanish Light Cavalry and soon get the upper hand!
The Celtiberians' Heavy Cavalry on their left are struggling to contain the Romans. New Dice Please!
The remnants of the Spanish Heavy Cavalry, having finally destroyed the Velites, crash into the Hastatii of the Legion's first line. The Celtiberian warbands are coming up fast to their support.
The Levy drive off the remnants of the Spanish Light Cavalry, securing the Romans' left flank and leaving the Legion to do it's bloody work in the centre.
The Heavy Cavalry are struggling against the Hastatii in the centre while on the left the Celtiberian Heavies are faring little better 
The Levy, fresh from their victory, are assailed by Spanish skirmishers but are little troubled by it!
The cavalry action on the left is now intense, with all available elements engaged in the bloody struggling masses.
In the Centre the Hastatii have destroyed the Spanish Heavy Cavalry only to find the first of the warbands closing into the fight before they can gather their breath.
On the left the Romans have destroyed one Celtiberian Heavy Cavalry unit so Forlornus turns his final warband to meet the threat.
At this point in the game it's now appropriate to return to my efforts to depict the Roman style of refreshed combat by the Legion's elements. The Hastatii, having lost a base in combat, can take a Morale Test. If passed then they can retire behind the supporting Principes who then face the Warband in a fresh combat. To facilitate this action the Legion must always have at least one base depth open between the lines of each element. If the Principes choose later to also retire then that may be either behind the Hastatii or both may retire behind the Triarii. 
As it happens though, the Roman Heavy Cavalry sweep forward and capture the Celtiberian camp ending the game in a resounding win for Coronus!