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.

Thursday 30 May 2024

The 3rd Dragoons

Six Roosian cavalry figures gifted me last year by 'Ashton Sahib' have now made it across the painting desk, survived my journeyman painting skills, and mustered into GHQ as the 3rd Dragoons, Grand Duke Michael Nicolaevich's regiment. The Great War Miniatures rank and file figures are cast with the horse and rider in one piece, with a separate right arm to attach to your taste. There are no plans in place at present to add another six figures, but you never know...

These Great War Miniatures are substantially stouter than my Wargames Foundry figures, as I'm sure you don't need me to underline, so with three figures on each 60x50mm base they look rather more cramped up, but it gives them the same frontage to the Wargames Foundry Dragoons and so doesn't really compromise the look of the game. The bases as ever are from Warbases, my go to MDF supplier. Sadly I don't have a cavalry standard to attach as yet, but no doubt I'll get around to getting that sorted in due course...

Next under the brush here are two Great War Miniatures British mounted generals/officers as it seemed to be a bit light on command bases when all of the collection was out on the tabletop battlefield recently.

Friday 24 May 2024

The 97th, the Earl of Ulster's Regiment

There has been a bit of a pause in gaming activity this past week or so here in GHQ with Phil being off in Cornwall for some R&R with his family. That has enabled me to press on with another British infantry regiment for my Crimean War project, this being the 97th, the Earl of Ulster's Regiment ~

The figures are of course from Great War Miniatures, the flags from North Star and the bases as ever from Warbases ~

There now remains one more regiment ready to pass across the painting desk and muster into GHQ as the 88th, the Connaught Rangers {together with six Roosian Dragoons gifted by chum Colin Ashton} and the original collection as I envisaged it is done! 

However, 'as any wargamer kno', no project is ever truly done and this one of mine is no exception. Still lurking in the Lead Pimple are the 42nd, the Black Watch, to round out my Highland Brigade, my recently acquired Eureka Miniatures Roosian Field Dressing/casualty vignettes, some Foundry Cossacks, a Perry Miniatures Cossack cart, some Eureka Miniatures Cossack scouts and five battalions of Great War Miniatures French infantry together with one battalion of Foundry Zouaves and two command vignettes. The latter French elements are scheduled to be my over winter project {DV} together with my Kickstarter pledge of Matt's Footsore Vikings. At least that's the current plan, and we all know what befalls plans...

Wednesday 22 May 2024

The Battle of Watson's Farm, 1863

On Thursday of last week Paul travelled up to GHQ for what has become our more or less regular monthly game. As he has a much better camera on his phone he has agreed/been coerced into becoming official photographer. Bar the first picture all images are Paul's work. Rather than giving a blow by blow, turn by turn account they convey we hope a sense of being down there in the action through this anotated photomontage ~

My general view of the battlefield {taken at the conclusion of Turn 1} on then to Paul's take on the game ~
The 'Good Ol Boys' from Tennessee stepping off smartly towards 'those people'.
Watson's battery gallops forward into action!
Pausing at the fence line to dress ranks the Tennessee Brigade is alongside the battery deployed to support their advance! 
Paddock's Brigade on the Union right makes slow progress initially, some confusion of orders I expect.
Beecher's Battery in an exposed forward position takes a hit from counter battery fire. Luckily their morale holds up and they return fire with determination!
On the Union left the small Regular Brigade takes post to counter the Rebel threat. These steady troops should prove more than enough to hold the flank securely...
...from the gathering storm of Rebs to their front.
As the Irish Brigade hurries into position in the Union centre the New York Light Artillery fires it's first rounds into the advancing dense gray masses!
The Richmond Battery takes aim at the 20th Massachusetts as they move forward into their position in the Union line.
Further units in the Irish Brigade are making slow progress in maintaining contact with their advanced colleagues. More Union artillery adds to the weight of iron pounding the advancing Rebs!
The Union left is consolidating it's position, the Pennsylvania Bucktails take centre stage here.
The Tar Heels of North Carolina advance on the US Regular Brigade, supported by artillery on their right flank.
US Sharp Shooters advance in support of the Union left, taking careful aim against gun crews and senior officers with mixed success.
Some Disorder is evident amongst the Regular Brigade but they take heart from the support of the Oirish rushing to reinforce their flank.
A mid battle conference of senior Rebel generals seem satisfied with the conduct of the battle, so far. 
Meanwhile the Union commander takes comfort from the strains of the Union anthem played by his HQ band.
Rebel officers observe the movement of troops on the Union left and are handily situated to report to the army command conference nearby.
At last the pressure exerted by the Union left brings results and the Rebel advance is first halted, then driven back.
In the centre, Rebel brigades continue to push forward in the face of an ever strengthening Union position.
The Boys make a fine sight as the attack goes in, but will it succeed?
Heavy fire from the Irish Brigade and supporting artillery take a heavy toll on the lead units of the Rebel assault!
Battle now rages right across the front with victory or defeat firmly in the balance still.
The first Rebs break in the centre, though things are still very far from clear to either commander.
More Disorder grips the Reb centre even as the attack is being pressed home.
Not everything is going the Union's way though. This New York brigade has reached its limits and flees broken to the rear despite the attempts of US Bykleigh to stem the tide!
Despite losses and hold ups the Rebs' position looks far from lost as more troops advance towards the action.
A battery of Union rifled artillery hurls it's weight of iron into the massed gray ranks despite itself being under fire. 
The tide of battle is ebbing away from the Rebs as Disorder spreads and morale weakens. The impetus of the assault is falling along the front.
It all began so promisingly for Paul's Rebs too, but as the battle developed fortune and opportunity slipped through his fingers at critical moments.
For the Union despite set backs early on morale held up well and my boys did what was necessary to seize their opportunity.

A grand battle fought in the best of spirits with Black Powder 2 delivering as ever. After Turn 7 Paul conceded with half his force broken by falling morale and mounting losses. Significantly his Reserves failed to arrive and might well have swung the outcome had they appeared! There'll be a bit of an hiatus for us now for our monthly games as summer plans and health issues intrude into GHQ. More on this as and when.

Sunday 19 May 2024

"The Jewel in the Crown"

By which phrase I refer of course to the UK's premiere Wargames Show, Partizan, and not the abomination that is...well, you must know which overpriced-underlit-overcrowded-Sci-Fant event in the East End. {NB: this is an opinion, no-one is obliged to agree with it.} Of course I'm not in company with Phil for the show, as he is off enjoying R&R in Cornwall with his family, but Sue has volunteered to stand in and share the driving with me! We stayed overnight in the Premier Inn, just down the way from the Newark Showground, meaning no early morning start for we geriatrics-in-waiting!

I had no list to speak of I'm almost afraid to confess: some MDF hexes from Warbases; some French Eagles and a Wars of the Roses gun & crew from Front Rank/Gripping Beast; and some terrain items from The Last Valley. Little shopping means more time for friends and taking in the multitude of splendid games on view. So, without more ado, the games or parts thereof which took my fancy. There were of course very many other splendid games on show to what looked possibly like a record attendance.

Starting with the marvellous game by the Boondock Saynts ~

Next up going from a large group's game to one man bands we have a marvellous small game ~

Followed by The Bunker's splendidly realized ~

While right out of my comfort zone we have ~

And then a really attractive fantasy battle showcasing the Midgard rules ~
Moving back to where I am more comfortable we had ~

Moving on to periods not so often seen we had ~
And ~

Back to more mainstream periods then ~
And a favourite of mine ~
A Mexican-American War game by the Curtey twins/First Corps ~
The Bodkins C3rd Romans v Sassanids ~
The perennial advert game for To The Strongest/For King & Parliament ~
An Aztec v Conquistador game ~
And finally from the Very British Civil Forum ~
It just remains to document my modest loot ~

It just remains for me to document that I had a marvellous day out, saw great games, chatted with good friends and bought new toys. Oh, and the sun shone on us all weekend! Finally, if I have miss-assigned any photos I meant no offence and blame Blogger which has taken to rearranging photos as you edit some and not others. Now, roll on The Other Partizan!