Back from the Dolomites

I've spent the last two weeks tramping over the Brenta Dolomites, but because this area was behind the Austrian lines in WW1 there wasn't much to see. I did find a very overgrown fall back position during a valley walk, but not worth a picture. However in Pinzolo there was the lovely medieval old church of St Vigilio with its dance macabre fresco

Just in front was the war memorial with an Austrian Skoda 10cm howitzer

I'm now puzzled as I painted my Austrian guns in a rust colour

I assume that for mountain use they dispensed with the gun shield.

About halfway up the Val Genova there is an information centre and part of the exhibition is some posters of the WW1 in the Alps, both Austrian and Italian, well worth a visit if you are doing the cascades walk. there is also a small WW1 museum in Spiazzo, but apparently not worth the effort of getting there and back with the infrequent buses.

The local tourist office organised a free trip to castle Thun, which I'll cover in anther post, and also Castello di Stenico, which I missed.

Once location I would have liked to have stopped at during the transfer was Castel Beseno, one of he many fortifications up the Adige valley


Gallic/Ancient British army - rebasing challenge

In my plans for the year I included "Five Ancient German Warbands (18 strong) (cf 2015)" but really it meant that I should add more troops to my existing Gallc/Ancient Briton army so it could be used as Germans.

Trouble is the basing I now use for Hail Caesar is different from my old WRG basing in the depths being used. My plan is to base the warbands with nine figures on a 60mm square So along with the extra figures I'll have to rebase my old ones and it looks quite intimidating.


Deutsch-OstAfrika - Schützenkompagnien

As well as the regular Feldkompagnien the German settlers were organised into Schützenkompagnien. They weren't as well equiped as the regulars so I have made their uniforms more varied

AS the war continued the troops of the Feld and Shutzen comanies became more mixed, so depending on the exact scanrio I may use either to make up the numbers.


Deutsch-OstAfrika - porters & Ruga-Ruga

An important component of the German forces in East Afrika were the porters, who kept the forces supplied, and the local irregulars or Ruga-Ruga. Both are usefully contained in the Hat set and they will both see more action than just in East Afrika.


Deutsch-Ostafrika - Feldkompagnien

Off to a good start with my Schutztruppe. I have created two Feldkompagnien using the Hat Askaris and the MGs from the Schutztruppe box.

I decided to keep the uniforms reasonably consistent as they might have appeared at the start of WW1

They will replace my old but rebased figures (link)


Gauntlet - Gettysburg day 3 and other games

A dry day after the torrential rain returning home yesterday. Rather than continuing the Korsun game, we switched to ACW after I was tempted by Steve's 10mm Gordon and Hague figures. he had a lot and looking through the new Black Powder "Glory Hallelujah" I picked the Gettysburg day 3 scenario as something suited to an all day game. Typically we had to make compromises with the number of figures per regiment to fit in with Steve's army, but we had enough figures, just! I took the roll of umpire, trying to remember all the well reasoned differences in the rules. in hindsight there were a number I missed, so perhaps we should have tried a smaller scenario first. However all six players had a great game. Despite the small scale we used 66% scaling for the game so the action moved quite quickly.

General Hancock (Jamie) surveys the neat Union line as Pickets Division heads for the Union left (note the authentic beard, but the hair length might be more suitable for JEB Stuart...)

After a couple of turns the Confederates surge onwards, but not as quick as they would have liked.

Gary S (playing Trimbles Division) ponders changing his command dice.

While Gary H (Union left flank) contemplates the advancing Rebels

The Union right comes under pressure

At long last Trimble (Confederate Gary) troop get into action and begin to roll up the Union right flank.

Unfortunately by this time the Confederate right under Pettigrew had been defeated and as people had to depart It was declared a very historical draw. Generally the ACW amendments worked well (when I remembered them) but the were a number of flaws in the scenario such as failing to define the objective and "point Z", which highlight poor proof reading of the book. I'll try and write a review once I have fully read it and played at least one other scenario. Thanks to Jamie, Richard, Gary x2, Andy and especially Steve (who provided the terrain and figures) for their participation.

Some other games at Gauntlet

Craig Cartmell demo'ing "Daisho"

and his other new game "Blood Eagle"

A big fantasy game Kings of War?

Dark ages game by Steve Oates (The Baggage Train)

One of the Flames of War competition boards for the desert

and for winter! Independently Pete D, picked the same trees as me

A big Team Yankee game on day 2

of course there were boardgames and other games such as X-wing, Frostgrave, etc. and the traditional WRG 6th edition contest. It seems everyone had a great weekend of relaxed gaming in ta friendly environment. Roll on Gauntlet 2017.


Gauntlet Day 1 - Korsun pocket 1944

Had a great days gaming at Gauntlet as three German platoons battled their way up the table to safety. The terrain is all mine and the figures are from various participants.

Table at the start, viewed from the east, the Germans have to cross from the closest edge (NE) to the far end (SW) across both tables and more to escape

German jumping off points are on the bottom (NE) edge marked by entrenchments

The SW table end. Theoretically there was another 12 foot to cross before the river!

And we are off, a boat is discovered in the wood (middle left side), but we need a vehicle to shift it! Luckily I discover a horse drawn wagon in the village

I successfully collect the boat and head off after the other platoons. (I don't want to be left behind)

Russians mass to block our path, Gary (Russian) got in the way of my lucky four phase move and suffered enormously, but it cleared our way out, Phew!.

Simon (German)on the left cautiously advances using the thickets for cover

Gary's Russians rout, but are replaced by another Platoon, supported by a T26. But Andy's (German right) Panzerschreck deals with it on the second attempt.

While I attempt to deal with Russian Ski Troops that arrived in our rear, Simon (German) deals with John's (Russian) troops that are blocking the way.

Overall TFL Chain of Command worked very well for the scenario, and doing the right thing, such as creating a crossfire zone pays off, just a pity for Gary that my die rolling was working well at that time as well. We decided that rather than continue the game on day two we would try something different tomorrow.

More pictures and commentary have been posted on Andy's blog (link)

yet more pictures and commentary on Richard P's blog (link)


On the workbench - July 2016

Gauntlet tomorrow and Sunday, then a big tidy up ready for starting the second half of the year as I've been debating various painting and modelling options since I returned from a week off visiting family and there was still mess from all the terrain modelling to sort out.

On the painting desk it's quite a simple month, it's back to German East Africa in WW1 to paint some new Feld-Kompanies, Schutztruppe, Ruga-Ruga and Porters all from Hat. There were quite a few memorable game with my old figures back in St Albans about 30 years ago, so I'm looking forward to refighting some of those actions again.