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.

Wednesday 27 October 2021

A bit of whimsy...

 ...to add to the look and feel of the occasional VBCW games here in GHQ in the shape of two pieces of cricketing ephemera, namely a sight screen and a small scoreboard ~

They come from the Sarissa Precision MDF Pavilion set from their Gaslight range. As such they are firmly aimed at the skirmish end of the hobby, with the building itself being far too large for my tastes in battles on my table here in GHQ. The sight screen and scoreboard though are more acceptable pieces and allied with the small white finished cabin I made last year will be more than enough to suggest a village cricket clubs facilities, very reminiscent for me of Aldridge Cricket Club in the 1960's {where I played my formative games before moving on to another club after College and marriage.}

I find myself in a bit of a trough when it comes to painting, having processed all my stock of ACW figures. Until the next order arrives I'm trying to progress some of the SYW French figures I bought from Foundry earlier this year, but so far my mojo is very weak to be frank. I hope it's just the time of year, I really dislike the short days and long, dark evenings. I've a bit of SAD I think if I'm honest. Can't think that all this Covid malarky has helped either, though I did have my booster vaccination last Saturday, so ought to feel encouraged. Whatever, we'll see where things go anyway I'm sure...

Sunday 24 October 2021

Confederate Limbers...

 ...enhanced by the addition of a handful of figures, hopefully to create a more interesting look on the tabletop battlefield. 

The additional figures are from Dixon Miniatures of course and the flag is a spare GMB Designs one. The original Limbers were done so far back in the midst of time that I can only assume they are also from Dixon Miniatures! The other figure is from 1st Corps I'm sure. The bases are from Warbases, as ever.

I'd three ACW figures left in the Lead Pimple so I've painted them up to represent a Command element for some Dismounted Union Cavalry. If you don't look too closely they will pass muster I think.

For the first time in many, many months I have no more ACW figures lurking in the Lead Pimple! Is this the End of Days I wonder...?

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!