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.

Sunday 30 April 2023

Brunswick infantry regiment von Behr

 Away from the hobby scene this last week has seen domestic upheaval as the family bathroom was ripped out and the refurbishment begun. At the end of week one everything seems to be on course as expected ­čĄ×although it doesn't look much like a bathroom quite yet and one major item is still outstanding. Enough of that, this is my hobby blog after all. 

I've been painting as and when I could fit it in and have completed the first of my planned Brunswick infantry regiments, von Behr, using Crusader Miniatures' SYW Prussian figures ~

I've left the Grenadier company aside for now as I plan a converged regiment when the second regiment is completed and I need to buy two extra packs of figures for that.

The flags I made using the SYW site's suggested design which I copied and pasted on Word and printed out on my laser printer. I like my flags oversized so I just go for it! The finials are from Front Rank via Gripping Beast and the bases from Warbases as ever. 

The basing texture is a mix of Woodlands Scenics buff railway ballast in three grades washed with Country Maple from Crafters' Acrylics and the static grass and tufts are from various sources including Jarvis and Gamer's Grass!

Returning to the idea of a converged Grenadier regiment I had intended to use Eagle Miniatures for these but as I have 8 Crusader Miniatures Grenadiers already I shall order up a second pack to give me the four company bases that would have been present. I like command figures in my units and so I'll stand the extra four figures and hope folk will cut me some slack! (As if I care!) I've started on the second Brunswick infantry regiment, 4 figures for the von Zastrow regiment so I'll see how far I get amidst the disruption! Wish me luck!

Sunday 23 April 2023

Disruption Expected

As I think I mentioned earlier we are expecting some disruption to domestic tranquility these coming two weeks while our family bathroom is gutted and the new one installed. This disruption will sadly overspill into hobby areas too. Games will be over at Phil's for two weeks at least while GHQ doubles as a storage area for bathroom bits. Painting is bound to be curtailed too as we plan to get out and about to avoid the noise, mess and general disruption. Mind, judging by the sad lack of interest in the blog of late I doubt many will notice...

In the meantime, here are some further Normans which I've rebased. Firstly there are three units/bases: Foot Knights; Medium Archers; and Light Infantry with Crossbows ~

Secondly there are four bases/units of Skirmishers, two bases with bows and two bases with crossbows ~

As an extra I discovered I'd missed out on two Saxon Archers, so I made a further skirmish base for Harald's force ~

While I'm on the subject of Saxon skirmishers I've ordered some Footsore Miniatures  Saxon Slingers from Arcane to make up two further Skirmisher bases. I tried to place an order with Foundry too but the Checkout kept freezing, so no go. Perhaps I'll pop over in person during the next couple of weeks as part of the general escape plan!

Finally, just a gentle nudge by way of a reminder to those folk who visit the blog and can’t spare a few moments even to leave a comment. Everyone likes a bit of encouragement from time to time, even those as long in the tooth as I am.

Thursday 20 April 2023

The Normans are underway.

I've had a bit of a break from rebasing after finishing off the Saxons. I've been painting my first Crusader Miniatures SYW infantry, Prussian figures for the Brunswick-Wolfenb├╝ttel regiment von Behr. Suitably recharged I've set about rebasing the Normans now for my 1066 & All That project. I started with the mounted knights and three Command stands as Phil has just completed painting the extra figures I'd recently bought. So far I have six units/bases of mounted knights finished along with the three Command stands so I thought I'd give them an airing here ~

The six units/bases of mounted Norman knights will make up the backbone of the three divisions.
'William the B*stard' shows his face to his men!
Odo, William's half-brother, Bishop of Bayeux and later Earl of Kent with his trusty club!
Phillip de Rawnslie, Count de Dyc├ę, with his Swift banner leads the Breton contingent in William's force.

With the exception of one Gripping Beast figure, which I bought back in the day on a visit to their Evesham HQ, all the figures are from Wargames Foundry and were sculpted, like my Saxons, by Matt. The bases are from Warbases as ever. Next up for rebasing should be some dismounted knights, archers and crossbowmen. I'm girding my loins slowly for this phase...

Tuesday 18 April 2023

"The Boys was whipped, and no mistake!"

This week's game between Phil and me was in GHQ as it will be out of commission for two weeks {acting as a temporary store while our family bathroom is gutted and replaced.} Phil chose 'anything Blackpowder', so it's the ACW and the latest installment from our 'Robinson in the Valley' campaign. The scenario sees the Rebs mounting a surprise attack on the Federals who are spread out thinly in camp with several units off table until Turn 4. As usual a photomontage to hopefully give you a sense of the unfolding catastrophe ~

Supported by the New York Light Artillery the 5th New York advance to block the lone Reb infantry advancing along the road. Phil's command roll dice were at their usual level in Turn 1.
As you see, the North Carolina Brigade and the Georgia brigade have made little headway so far. Encouraged by their tardiness, US Bykleigh is confident his New Yorkers will hold the ridge against a few Virginians and Louisiana boys!
First blood to the 5th New York, a smart volley rips into the Rebs Disordering them.
As more of the North Carolina Brigade move up the 5th look nervously over their shoulder for support. It is coming, but slowly, as the Pennsylvania regiments make slow progress.
The Rebs are trying to turn the Federal right flank so ol' US orders his regulars forward. Somehow in the confusion the orders fail to arrive and the initiative goes over to PJ's boys!
In the centre the 146th New York come under intense fire from advancing Rebs. Casualties mount rapidly and they break and flee to the rear! The gap is filled by the 94th New York rushing forward to block the 18th & 19th Georgia. 
The 5th New York can endure the heat of battle no longer. Their morale collapses and they break! Just in time two Pennsylvanian regiments appear down the road, the first of the expected reinforcements perhaps?
The Federal centre collapsed and the New Yorkers fall back Whipped? The Regulars are putting up fierce resistance and holding off the 3rd Louisiana infantry and the Louisiana Tigers, but their position is untenable with the centre gone. Where are those reinforcements?
Despite the gallant advance of the Pennsylvania regiments and the stirling efforts of the artillery the Rebs are surging forward everywhere. With no sign of the reinforcing regiments the Federal cause is lost.
Everywhere you look men in butternut and gray are surging forward over the fleeing Federals.
Even the Regulars break under sustained losses and with them the army collapses. Victory for the Rebs, and for PJ some consolation in the ongoing campaign. I fear ol' Useless S Bykleigh may be sent out West to fight the Indians!
A splendid game played using Black Powder and some elements from Glory Hallelujah. Over before lunch in just seven turns. The failure of the Federal reserve's to appear allied with a sudden surge of dice joy for Phil took the game decisively to a Reb victory! 

Saturday 15 April 2023

Saxons for 1066

The Saxon force for my 1066 & All That project are all completed and rebased according to our new plan. All of the figures we sculpted by my son Matthew, the right Division's general base of three figures for Footsore, the rest for Wargames Foundry.  I had to add two new foot units/bases, of Warriors with spears and of Thegns, together with three new bases of skirmishers and two more mounted Warriors to make up a base. For now that allows the Saxons three divisions of four units with skirmishers and generals ~

The whole Saxon force drawn up into three Divisions.
On the left, Thegns supported by mounted Warriors and Medium Archers, with bow armed skirmishers to their front.
In the centre, Harald Bikersson's Hearth Guard supported by Warriors with spears.
On the left, Ceorls supported by Medium Archers, with javelin armed skirmishers to their front.

Next I have to set to and begin rebasing the Norman force in similar style. Phil has got more knights underway for me so I'll probably start with the mounted elements of the Normans. He also has some armoured archers ready to paint and I've infantry in mail still to clean up and spray undercoat. I think it's fair to say it will be a few weeks until the Normans match the Saxons on the tabletop battlefield. I'll keep you posted on our progress.

Friday 14 April 2023


Sue and I were looking after William and Emma yesterday. William has been a keen visitor to GHQ since he was little and I've tried to encourage his interest without being pushy. He has a heap of plastic Airfix figures I found in our loft and yesterday he bought the ACW figures with him and asked if we could have a game. As it happens I'd cleared away the Italian Wars game, so the table had only terrain items on which William swiftly rearranged for a game which, with hindsight, I'd label Routed on the Roundtops! Ever since he first wanted to play we've used the same approach, a nod to free kreigspiel, aimed at him having fun and usually winning. Mind, if I could bottle his dice luck I'd be well set up!

The Union army of Major General Useless S Bykleigh takes up position.
Brigadier General W.D.Watkiss and his Good Ol' Boys ready their attack.
Federal skirmishers push forward but come under heavy fire from Rebs on Bigger Round Top.
The Federal skirmishers are driven off in rout and the troops on Littler Flat Top steady themselves for the coming assault.
The Rebs are victorious! If I threw dice like William does I'd be jolly happy in most games! The main thing I want you to draw from this is that enjoyment is central to any game experience for a beginner. So, if your club is lucky enough to recruit new members making sure it's an enjoyable experience is central to encouraging folk into our wonderful hobby. Will William grow into a Wargamer? That's down to him really, but I'm doing my bit to encourage him. Who knows, I may beat him in a game, some day...

Tuesday 11 April 2023

Toy Soldiers 1 Real Life 0

You may recall that a couple of weeks ago our Italian Wars game using the new Hail Caesar rules was cut short by a health emergency in Phil's family. We determined we would replay the battle in this week's Tuesday game slot here in GHQ. Our joint collection is more than sufficient to set up both the Papal and Florentine armies with four Divisions of four or five units plus their commanders. We have moved largely to basing our Ancient and Early Medieval armies on large unit bases. We feel this gives an aesthetic which is pleasing to the eye in games and which eases storage and figure protection issues. You are of course free to disagree in the nature of things in our hobby. Here now the usual photomontage to convey a sense of the unfolding drama of the battle as Cesare Borgia's army took the field against Philippe Baldinni's Florentines ~

The Florentine's opening dispositions stretching away from the camp towards the walled farm on their right flank 
Cesare's Papal army deployed to face them. All of his Condietteri are on his right with the mercenary pike grouped into one block in his centre.
The mercenary pike are formed into one block. Cesare's plan is for them to dominate the centre leaving the Condietteri to destroy the Florentine left division and roll up the army from their flank.
The mercenary pike shielded by halbadiers and handgunners advance in a steady manner.
The battle plan unravels in Turn 3! Cesare's left and right divisions move slowly or not at all, while the Mercenary pike block Blunders forward for three moves! Fortunately the Florentines after early successful command dice fail to take advantage!
Casualties begin to mount on the Mercenary pike. The frame gun is forced to retire and the halberdiers' ranks are thinning.
Both flanks of the Mercenary pike are open to attack but the Florentines seem reluctant to close with them.

The Florentines have the advantage in handgunners and crossbowmen but are finding it difficult to coordinate their firepower, orders are just not getting through or are being misunderstood in the heat of battle.

Back in the Florentine camp, Baldinni poses for his portrait. Perhaps this explains the Florentines' reluctance to engage the enemy?
Finally one element of the Mercenary pike block is engaged by the Florentine pike. They prove unequal to the task and are defeated roundly.
At last Cesare is able to bring his massed Condietteri into battle and they drive off the inferior numbers of Florentine Condietteri facing them. Baldinni's left division is in disarray.
Despite the reluctance of his left division to advance briskly Cesare's line of battle is consolidating as the Florentine left breaks and centre falls back.
It is looking bleak for Baldinni with his left division Broken and his centre, pressed by the victorious Mercenary pike, falling back to prevent being flanked by the rampant Condietteri of the Papal army.
Viewed from the Papal army's right the Florentines of Baldinni's army are being pushed back and his camp is being looted already.
Some disorder is evident in the Florentine ranks as casualties start to tell and morale starts to unravel. Baldinni quits the field as his army are beaten.
A final shot of the defeated Florentines as Baldinni imitates the fictional Duke of Plasatorro!
A splendid run through for our collection with the new Hail Caesar rule set and it's Medieval additions which we felt worked well. I suspect we will return to them in due course, but time for some other periods now I think both in GHQ and over at Olaf'sHQ too.