Come on Tim

or a great day out with Tim Gow!

Popped cross the Pennines to meet up with Tim Gow (Megablitz and more blog)  Tim was interested in some of my trades and suggested a get-together.  Had a great day out playing games and discussing wargaming design and people and events we had in common.

In the morning Tim ran me through the concept of Megablitz, but obviously on a 1-1 basis it wasn't possible to experience the full effect as it is a game designed for multi-player and its the interfaces between the players within the command structures.  Still it gave a good feel for me on how to apply it as a game, if I can get enough players together to give it a try.

Then there was Nato Brigade Commander, as applied to the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, played on hexes with manoeuvre units being battalions (or exceptionally companies).  I took the Pakistanis with a Mission to break through the Indian defensive line.  With two locations to take I went for the bluff of a strike down the main road (L->R) while manoeuvring on right and left to outflank the Indian positions
With my poorer quality morale my fist attempt on my right failed in disorder as was driven off, this was reinforced by some excellent shooting by the Indian Centurions (needing 1 to it on a d10- result two 1s)
Later my left flank sweep also became unstuck as my Armour/Infantry failed to deal with the Indian Shermans and then in a devastating second round were wiped out, although the Shermans were virtually eliminated.
However this left me with almost no infantry, so there was no  way I could achieve my objectives of taking the two villages, which were firmly held by Indian Infantry.  At this point I conceded that I couldn't achieve my objectives, but it turned out that Tim hadn't achieved his either , which was to eliminate half the Pakistan armour.

A great game with lots to think about, and thanks to Tim for running the games and providing copious amounts of tea.

We also traded a some bits and pieces, so hopefully both our stashes are slightly more organised

Thanks again Tim

Only one week to Gauntlet


Dervish skirmishers

Although there are a number of odd riflemen scattered through my Dervish warbands the majority have been grouped into four skirmishing units. The figures used are a mix of HaT, Esci and Waterloo 1815, which gives a good variety to the units. To aid recognition I have given each unit a uniform patterns of patches, which fits in with the comments from some sources that they were manufactured to common patterns.

I might have gone a bit over the top on basing when they are in the open as they seem to be transporting their own shrubbery, but given they will normally be deployed in broken ground it'll probably work out OK.

For Uwe, the groundwork is my basic mix of sand/crushed kitty-litter painted coffee and dry-brushed a pale yellow with a bit of autumn grass static grass for contrast.  For these I added chopped up door mat for the long grass and broken cork for larger rocks.


DAK miscellany

Rather a mixture of vehicles this time, the Panzer IIs, III and kubels are all rework having been purchased in panzer grey.  The Sdkfz 7 and PanzerJaeger I are new builds.
All 1/76 and a mixture of Airfix, Matchbox and Fujimi.


Yet more Grants

The last ones (maybe) given the green disruptive camouflage to distinguish them from the others.  Basic vehicle is Airfix with a S&S turret to replace the under scale one provided in the kit.
In addition is a Hot-Wheels die-cast woodie that I will use for my 51st Highland Division HQ for the Alamein big game later this year.


The beginnings of my Dervish Army

Only a few Beja, just 70 added to another 30 I had already painted for my Mameluke forces. I've organised them into five units made up of 4 bases. I could have followed the Peter Gilder approach and varied the number of figures on each base but I decided to keep to five on each.

Figures are a mix of Waterloo 1815, Hat and a few Esci.

I used the same technique for flesh as before with a base coat of sand and then a wash of brown ink. Unfortunately as I had almost run out of the GW ink I had to make to with Windsor and Newton ink mixed in, which did not give as deep a colour.

Here's the originals I had painted back in 2007, now rebased.

For those who don't like Lightbox, please use a right mouse click on the pictures and "Open link in new tab"


DAK Flak

Seems to be taking me ages to finish things at the moment as I keep getting distracted. However after a long period on the workbench is a Horsch(?) mounting a 20mm flak. It was quite a crude resin kit picked up at Crewe last year with a Zvezda 20mm flak added. The crewman are just the Zvezda figures with head swaps.

Behind is a Caesar Sdkfz 10 with a 20mm flak, a really fiddly kit to assemble. I thought it would be easy because it had assembled track units to replace the link and length version. The crewmen provided are very generic figures and not really usable as crew for the gun/vehicle, which was quite disappointing.

Also completed were a Stower 40 staff car from Cromwell (another Crewe purchase) and an Airfix kubelwagen.

WARNING - the assembly of the flak 30 on the Caesar kit is wrong. - check pictures of the real gun before attempting to assemble it.


Germantown 1777

After Phalanx, Sunday was spent in Manchester for a Gentlemen Pensioners reunion. The game selected was Germantown 1777 and it was a first outing for Steve's 28mm AWI figures (he had solely used 15mm up until recently) and we used my old AWI rules.

A "partial" report can be found on my AWI blog


Phalanx show - part 2

Luckily this time I had time to browse the trade stands and the Bring & Buy, but just in case I pre-ordered from Grubby Tanks and Under the Bed.  I didn't sell much on the B&B, but at least my copy of Kampfgruppe Normandy sold which helped my cash flow.

  •  I was sorely tempted by the French equipment on offer on the Early War Miniatures stand, but I resisted as I'm trying to concentrate on the desert at the moment only buying an AT rifleman in shorts and pullover. 
  • From Warbases I bought a few counters for the Vietnam game and a laser-cut balcony to add to one of my buildings.  They had some sheets of laser cut roof tiles/slates at only £2, which could come in very useful when I next work on some buildings.
  • I trawled around the various stands looking for some static grass to replace the Javis Autumn grass that I had been using until they changed over to a much browner mix.  I eventually bought a couple of bags of a lighter and darker green from Minibits, which hopefully I can mix into the Javis bag I bought to give a close match to the original.
  • Then there was my first 28mm purchase for a while, a box off the B&B containing 36 painted Warlord musketeers/dragoons and a saker.  I had been debating getting the saker for a while, but it was very expensive when bought on its own rather than as part of one of their deals.
  • From Andy Grubb I picked up the 6pdr portees and US Airborne Jeeps and these should both get onto the painting table shortly
  • Similarly from Under the Bed I picked up Reiver Pak38 50mm AT guns and crews, plus Frontline sdkfz 10s for tows.  I also bought a couple of radio trucks for my 51st Highland Division HQ and the Artillery regiment HQ.  In addition some Reiver Italian heads, I'll use these to alter the Waterloo 1815 47mm AT gunners from paratroops into ordinary troops.
  • I bought some white, black and dark grey Coat d'arms paints as my local Modelzone has stopped stocking Humbrol acrylics for some reason, si in future I'll have to make sure I keep sufficient stock in hand.
Overall a great day out, but no wow factor from any of the games, so I had better slog on with my desert stuff!

Phalanx show part 1

Had a great weekend, the Phalanx show in St Helens on Saturday and then a Gentlemen Pensioners game in Manchester on Sunday.

Most of my time was spent re-fighting Ravenna 1512 on the Lance & Longbow stand, this was the same game that we put on at York in February, but given it's the five hundredth anniversary of the battle this year it seems only fair.  This time around I played the Spanish commander Ramón de Cardona hoping that I could prevent the historical French victory.

The view from the incomplete Spanish camp with the French massing

A massed assault all along the line

After a couple of failed attempts the French break into the camp, by now all the Spanish guns had been abandoned.

Shortly afterwards I conceded defeat

I haven't taken any other pictures of the show and only a few of the game because the light at the show makes everything too yellow even with flash.  John from my club took quite a number  for his show report so have a look on his blog 28mm Heaven.  He also included a picture of me explaining that personally I couldn't lose as my performance could be no worse than the Spanish achieved on the day


Off to Phalanx

Off to the Phalanx show early tomorrow.  I'll be on the Lance & Longbow stand for most of the day refighting Ravenna 1512 but hopefully I'll get away for some of the time to buy some much need bits and pieces.

Please stop by and say Hello as it's nice to meet those who read my blog.


WSS Logistics

 Needed some more limbers for my War of Spanish Succession forces I acquired a couple of extra packs of the excellent Zvezda GNW Swedish Artillery.  This provided me with the couple of extra limbers I needed for my Bavarians and a pair of extra caissons, one for my Hessians and the other as a generic type.

I also had a number of light galloper style guns, so I took advantage of the extra limber horses to create some towing elements seen at the back.


DAK half tracks

Not quite the trio I had planned, the command version of the Sdkfz 251/3 is on hold, as I'm now planning to look at a command/OP kit available from SHQ who will be at Phalanx next weekend.   So the extra addition is a Sdkfz 250 with a squeeze bore 28mm, I had been planning to use this 250 for another project, but when I found I needed one for one of the Monty's battles scenarios I had to include it.
The 250 is an old Milicast model (again picked up at Crewe) plus the old Airfix Afrika Korps gun, which is close to the 28mm.  The other pair are both Matchbox with the 250/7pioneer variant using a bridge from an Esci 250/7. 

Grants for sale/trade

A couple of Hasegawa Grants I picked up at Penarth, but unfortunately not compatible with the Airfix ones I'm already using.

£5.00 each or £8.00 the pair plus P&P or pick up at Phalanx

Now Sold


My TYW Armies - a review

To play the last game of Pike & Shotte (P&S) I had to combine my Thirty Years war units to get rough equivalents of the units used in the rules. After the game I had to pack quickly, so when I came to tidy them up I decided to lay them all out so I could consider more carefully how I might reorganise them for P&S.

The are nineteen regiments of foot most made up of two pike and two musket bases, and five have double the number of musket bases. For the game I used four bases for pike units and two bases for musket units. This gave a higher proportion of pike than the norm. I'm pondering whether to expand all the units to four musket bases each and rebase the pike on 45mm wide x 60mm deep and adding an additional rank. So my regiments will then have 18 pike and 24 muskets each

The twenty eight cavalry regiments all consisting of four bases. Each base has three figures squashed in, which has always seemed crowded, so I might rebase them two to a base with six bases to a regiment normally deployed in two ranks.

For those wondering why I have so much cavalry, I increased the numbers to reflect the higher proportion of cavalry in the later TYW battles such as Jankow 1645.


Pike & Shotte rules - a quick review

Played my second game of P&S on Thursday night and again it went quite well, with less glitches than the first time.  The first game was a small ECW game with only two pike, five musket and three cavalry a side.  The second a much larger TYW game.  Less mistakes in the second game so here are my initial thoughts:

  • Plays very much in the same style as Black Powder (BP), it's picking the appropriate special characteristics that give the period feel. 
  • Musketeer units are far less powerful than BP only two dice for shooting and three for hand to hand, so very vulnerable to cavalry.
  • Forming "hedgehog" is a charge response where the muskets can fall back under the shelter of the pikes if close enough, but only if they pass a command roll, and if they fail the cavalry have fun.
  • Pike have six hand to hand dice and they're doubled if charged by cavalry so the latter will normally take the option of pulling up 6" short unless the pike is disorganised when they don't receive the benefit. 
  • Initiative distance is halved, which feels better than BP
  • Support distance is also halved and disorganised/shaken units cannot give support, again feels better than BP.
  • The break test table is similar to BP and I feel that the more graded version used in Hail Caesar is better, especially for Pike v's Pike.
  • The caracole characteristic seems a bit too ineffective, maybe it should cause disorder if a hit is scored, not just if a six is rolled.
  • Artillery is weaker than BP, but it's ability to disorder is unaffected and can muck up your carefully organised movement of mutually supporting pike and shot and of course supports.
Generally my impression is very favourable, but what I don't like is the move sequence and giving the advantage in firing to the player who moves into range before the stationary player.  I had the same problem with BP and used a revised sequence (link).  It's particularly a nuisance with hedgehog.  The cavalry can't attack until the hedgehog is disorganised, but if the cavalry get lucky and causes disorder with its single shot then the hedgehog can reform before the cavalry get chance to charge.

Definitely a fun game and will certainly be playing it a lot more