Ottoman Cavalry - Sipahis

Right the first batch of Ottoman Cavalry has been finished. As mentioned in a previous post these are the Zvezda Turkish Cavalry XVII century. As these are formed troops I have given them consistent uniforms by unit, luckily helped by some comments by George Gush that they may have been uniformed.

If I say so myself they are splendid and will cause a lot of problems for their opponents

I am always wary of putting too much effort into lances as they tend to bend and the paint flakes, but I couldn't resist at least doing it for the charging figures

Now for the commanders and some light cavalry.



Some progress ? ! ?

I had started on my corner "towers" before the Zvezda Turkish Cavalry figures arrived, so here is the progress to date, I plan to add a couple of different gatehouses/gateways to complete the set. I had originally intended the ramp to be within the tower, but the angle was to steep. Just as well I'm not planning to have bases.

Played the Rapid Fire Sid Bou Zid RF scenario by Mark Piper today, typically, I failed to take any photos of the action, just the basic American deployment

It was a total disaster, The American were devastated in the first move with 4 tanks KO'd or heavily damaged and then the morale check for the lead two companies was rout. This left me with 4 tanks plus support to cope with two complete panzer battalions attacking from each flank - great!

Yes, it was a total wipe out with the exception of the American infantry who dug in at the centre of the table, the armour, SPGs half tracks and guns were all destroyed. The old bright point was that the German Panzer Grenadiers left their positions too late to past their target line and achieve a total victory.

The game was played in 20mm game scale using vehicles and figures in 15mm from my mate Marcus (the Germans) and this was the first outing for his new US forces, sorry.



Another big game? - Napoleonic

So on the Sunday after Phalanx it was over to Steve's in Manchester for a traditional big game. This year a recreation of Borodino with nearly 4,000 15mm figures on the table, unfortunately there was insufficient time to fight it to a conclusion using Shako rules within the time of individuals needed to travel back down south.

The main point of French attack the fleches defended by Bagration.
A view of the entire battlefield with the Ravesky redoubt on the left hand hill

Of course as Russians, I was Kutusov, our objective was fulfilled, fighting the French to a standstill.
Here's another view taken by Phil of me "in action" with the Russians used on the SOA Blog Ancients on the move


Phalanx 2008

Another year has passed and phalanx (our biggest local show) has arrived again. As usual I was involved in a game supporting the Lance & Longbow Society, this time the Battle of Marignano 1515. An interesting scenario on the cusp on the medieval/renaissance period. We usually play a fast play DBx game with period related variations, but this time the rules meant that the Swiss never got into contact with the main French position as the mounted crossbow were too powerful when they attack the flanks of the Swiss pike blocks.

The early deployment (below) the write up on the real battle will be in the next journal of the L&L society

The first game that stuck me was the nearby North Hull game, set in Russia, early in the 1941 invasion involving a river crossing

The lighting was very poor and hence the yellow cats to the images

Of real interest to me was the Glasgow Wargamers theme for this year of Napoleon in Egypt, the figures are great, but the terrain just didn't quite set it off to its best advantage.

I would have enjoyed time to talk, but somehow the day slipped away from me

Any purchases, etc?

Well I succumbed to the new Hat British and Egyptian Camel Corps and Celtic Command. The Under the Bed had the excellent Frontline RR armoured cars, and after the big game I had to get these. Finally I pickup some bits like the WAB rulebook, Warfare in the french Revolution by Paddy Griffith and the Ottonfeld Picture book all cheap.


Zvezda Turkish Cavalry XVII Century

OK, I found the Turkish Cavalry yesterday why checking the online retailers and found them at Netmerchants, and they arrived this morning and they are excellent, so my painting priorities are now clear.

They scale out well against the Zvezda Janissaries and the HaT Mamelukes that are other components of my Ottoman forces. The five figures to the left are from one sprue (three of these in the box) and the three to the left are on the command sprue.

The shield on the charging Sipahi is excellent having the classic winged shape.

The Aga comes in three parts with a slung coat and separate right arm.

Now to work



On the Workbench - June 08

Well, I'm in a bit of a lull, I cleared the decks to get everything ready for the big game and now there is nothing in progress. I'm very tempted by the announced Zvezda Turkish Cavalry XVII century and they look like just what I need for my Turkish forces for the Renaissance through to the French in Egypt. I want to get on with them as soon as they are available so I don't want to start any other major project before then.

Therefore I've started on some more generic terrain for the Mediterranean/Middle East and particularly something I can use for the fortifications of Alexandria, Jaffa, etc.

It's standard foam core construction, the basic wall units will take a single two base unit, The corner towers will have a gate and ramp so that they can be used as artillery positions. This will also be my entry for The Guilds latest group build "Terrain Feature" I haven't decided whether or not to base the modules, probably not as it will limit the number of possible combinations possible.

This Saturday I'm off to Phalanx and that will probably fire up my enthusiasm again. Following this on Sunday is the Gentlemen Pensioners annual big game (but only 10 people compared to last weekend 25 plus) and I'll be playing Kutusov at Borodino



Big game - other pictures

Some photos covering the action on other fronts, not a lot as my focus was on Tobruk.

Bardia before the battle

Fort Capuzzo foreground, 7th Armoured deploying background

Fort Capuzzo foreground Sollum background

15 Panzer entering the table

Halfaya pass


The British assault on Fort Capuzzo

Looking across the kessel from the north (Sollum to Capuzzo)

And the reverse sometime later

Ariete and Trento passing Bardia on the way to Tobruk

British artillery deployed near Halfaya pass
Lots more pictures on the SoGG picture gallery of the event.

Big Game - action at Tobruk

This is my (biased?) account of Brescia division's assault on Tobruk as part of the big rapid fire game played last weekend near York.

A view of Tobruk town and El Gubbi airfield before the battle (this was a separate table from the ring of forts)

The initial Brescia positions to the SE of Tobruk (facing forts 1 & 2). 20th Regiment (2bns) is in the first two lines of trenches, the 19th is behind in more trenches, but not deployed. The Germans provided us with a small engineer battalion for extra support.

Tobruck Fort 2, which would become the focus of our attention. The initial bombardment of 18 rounds of 105mm's on the position caused 1 casualty, not a good start! (Just behind you can see two of the many artillery guns included in the defenses.

The western forts with elements of Ariete off to the far left (the main armoured force was moved round to the west to help support the German mobile forces). The Italian ice cream van can be seen passing in front of forts 2 & 3

A successful bombing run on fort 2 by a Ju88 escorted by an Me109, this was critical in opening up the defenses. A bofors opened up on the 88 on its first run driving it off, this was spotted by the Brescia OPs who saturated it with fire taking out the entire crew leaving the gun intact ( a problem that occurred time again during the game) The second run dropped the full bomb load resulting in substantial casualties to the defenders)

The first sortie by the Garrisons Marmon Harringtons, the squadron to the left later paraded in front of the Brescia positions and survived a couple of turns of fire with no losses, before gradually succumbing to the weight of fire.

The final stage of Brescia's attack on Fort 2, In the foreground is a blazing Marmon Harrington (once they were out the way we could continue the assault. Behind are a couple of blazing carriers that attempted to carry reinforcements to the defenders, but were spotted and eliminated by Brescia's gunners, a clicking on the image to see the bigger one will reveal how few defenders are left.

Once the assault on Fort 2 was succeeding the 2/20th regiment started its attack on Fort 1. This was the point at which the garrisons armoured assets came out, but Ariete had been released from reserve and was moving in on the eastern flank, followed by Trento, a vicious fight then ensued with the remaining British armour retreating into Tobruk.

The defenders of fort 1 had all been killed and the 2/20th were poised to move across the minefields and take it when time was called, shame. Elsewhere the "static" components of Ariete had taken the Northern fort 6 and the British had abandoned the outer ring of forts to concentrate their strength on the defense of Tobruk.

My only regret was not finding out a way of getting my Artillery OPs into a good position for chance spotting tests soon enough otherwise I could have written down some of the British assets earlier and therefore attacked earlier. Thanks to George for spotting the opportunity and to Terry and Chris my opponents for being true gentlemen gamers.

Lastly a building of Colin Rumford's in Tobruk, which I'll probably "copy"

What a great weekend
More pictures on the SoGG site



What a weekend

Just got back from the big game, what can I say, it was great!! and a special thanks to Terry and Chris my direct opponents, truely gentlemen wargamers. Hopefully pictures will be posted tomorrow. The organisers Colin, Simon and Steve put in a great effort and so did all the other participants. Wow!

Thanks again and hopefully again next year



Off to the big game

Well, I'm all set and about to set off to Yorkshire for the big game covering Operation Battleaxe in North Africa in 1941, played using Rapid Fire rules and umpired by Colin Rumford.

I'll be taking pictures and adding a commentary to this blog from my perspective, but a wider range of images and views will be found on the Society of Gentlemen Gamers site in the course of next week.

As I'm playing an Italian infantry division I don't expect to have an easy time, but it should give me the opportunity to see progress in the other sectors

Avanti Italia



Italian HQ

It took a while, but my HQ for the Brescia Division is now finished. The basic caravan is the body from the Matchbox Monty's caravan set, which was originally captured from the Italians and then mounted on a Leyland retriever chassis. I chose to build it as a standalone caravan, that could be towed.
The staff are a mixture of Britannia, Reiver and the radio figure came from the Airfix command post.

The flags are removable, but I think they add a nice touch. The white one is actually the city flag of Brescia.

I also finished off these AT rifles and an OP team (both Britannia)

So apart from a final check everything is ready for the big game this weekend.



Italian Skoda 100mm

I've now completed the last artillery battery for Brescia, it should strictly be armed with 75mm guns but I decided to add a bit more variety and use the Obice de 100/17 instead.
This gun is actually a Skoda produced during the first world war and large numbers of them were provided to the Italians as war reparations and were used in WW2.


More Italian Transport

Well I found a few gaps in the Italian transport for the big game, so here are my latest additions

A couple of staff cars using the Attack Tatra T57 Kubelwagen which are fairly generic military staff cars and similar to those used by the Italians. I still need some crew. It's not the easiest of kits to make up with quite a bit of flash and the parts didn't always fit without some adjustment.

An Attack Phantomen Granit 25H Ambulance, I needed a radio vehicle for my Artillery Regiment and I couldn't find anything more suitable. Rather than used the glazed windows I just added plasticard behind the windows.

Finally two more Camionetta Desertica artillery tractors, again crew needed, but not essential for the game.

I'm still missing one truck, but I'll use a capture Bedford 15cwt to make up the numbers

I'm now a bit behind as I took a last minute holiday in Austria, but there was nothing of military interest this time, just some nice ideas for my C18 buildings.