Sunday, 6 May 2012

Legionary 2012 - Exeter Show

Hi all,
I thought I would post a few photos of the games run by members of the club at yesterdays Exeter Legionary show and some thoughts on some models I picked up yesterday.

Rules Cover

Club members ran two games at the show, with Nathan getting out out his lovely collection of 28mm Sudan figures and running the game using "A Good Dusting" rule set, and Gus and Jason running 15mm Canadians vs Germans in Normandy using IABSM3 rules.

I took the role as the plucky British CO randomly selecting two brigades to begin the game and then rolling to bring on my reserves with the Sudanese headed up by Jack the Mad Mahdi himself doing the same.

Things didn't go well for the Brits with their first two brigades being the Cavalry and Camels, which meant that the Camel Corps had to "go firm" in the dhobi surrounding it with boxes and mealy bags, whilst the cavalry stayed mobile attempting to charge in from the rear or flanks to hold things up. The British needed heavy infantry support and quick!!

The set up - British deployed to the left up to the wadi lower right
The "Fuzzis" mass in the wadi, preparing to assault
The fanatics lead the way in the front ranks
17th Lancers, Hussars and Bengal Lancers prepare to try and stem the attack
The threat to the British left
Needless to say Jack wasn't going to sit around waiting for the Imperial British infidels to get their act together and so started to move in for the assault en mass.

Here they come
When the British finally managed to get their reserves moving, things went from bad to worse.
First my infantry couldn't hit a thing and with limited ammo supplies I didn't have enough to waste.
Then the beach master down on the banks of the Nile got the disembarkation roster the wrong way round with the supply column, followed by the Egyptian brigade arriving on turns two and three!!

Where were the Guards and Highlanders when you needed them. The cavalry were mashed trying vainly to hold up the Fuzzys and the Camel Corps fought like demons to hold the stronghold with able support provided by two Naval brigade Gatling guns fired from the Nile flotilla to my rear.

However the Egyptians were never going to resist long enough in the open despite forming a firm square with guns in support and when they started to break the end was in site for this British punitive expedition.

I had been truly seen off. Thanks to Nathan, Jack and young Charlie for a very entertaining days gaming.

The Egyptian brigade is met by a furious assault
The Camel Corps and Indian brigade fight desperately to hold the stronghold
And there's more!!!

scary when they're up close and personal
The Egyptians up against it
The other game on show was a chance to see IABSM version 3 in action with Gus getting out his lovely Normandy collection and running an adapted FOW scenario from the Totalize mini campaign available on the Battlefront site.

There are several members of the club who love the uncertainty and "friction" that card play games generate and IABSM is a great example of the genre when playing WWII. I will be running a game next weekend to play the new set myself for the first time, so I kept an eye on Gus and Jason's game during the day. The Canadians got the worst of a well entrenched German defence, that had plenty of machine gun and AT support. The Canadian Infantry's ranks were thinned by very effective MG42 fire and the German infantry were hard to spot.

The rules require a certain number of markers to indicate suppressions, pins, shock and orders for armoured units and we are working out how best to indicate those events without cluttering the table and loosing the aesthetics of the game.

I will add more thoughts on these rules as I play them myself but first impressions are these rules give an exciting game with all the confusion and difficulty you read about actual WWII commanders experiencing. The test being who can best control and mitigate the effects of chaos and the plan falling apart on first contact with the enemy.

Rules cover

German Rear Guard
All round defence
The Canadians prepare to assault
Canadian Infantry follow their armour
In between playing games and chatting to visitors to the show, I had a chance to wander round the traders and pick up some useful stuff. Two particular purchases are worth mentioning.

The first is that I got a chance to meet with and chat to Mark Jenkins who owns MJ Figures. I spotted Mark's business on the net when I saw his 15mm range of Falklands figures highlighted. I have always thought about collecting a range to re fight this campaign and was keen to see his figures "in the flesh". The range has grown to include vehicles and rapier missile batteries and I was very tempted by them. The he pointed out his 20mm range and I have to say it was love at first site.

The detail and poses of the first sets of British look great and the detail of the weapons particularly that classic shape of the SLR rifles has been modelled beautifully on this range. Mark is planning to offer the full range of British and Argentine infantry supported by the vehicles that were used including the Argentinian amphibious landing vehicles and a farm tractor with trailer used by British troops to move supplies.

MJ Figures 20mm Falklands Range

Needless to say I am going to put a collection of these guys together, using the IABSM supplement for the Falklands War. I'll have to get working on reproducing the British DPM cammo pattern to try and do these figures justice, more anon.

The other purchase I made yesterday was from the Dreamhole Scenics stand who attracted my eye with a very nice range of 15mm WWII Normandy buildings. However it was part of their main 28mm Ancients scenics range that really caught my eye.

My project this year is to sort out my Napoleonic 18mm collection of figures into a better modelled collection. This involves a certain amount of repainting, re basing and model additions. I am focusing on the Peninsular first and then will add to my 1813-14 Prussians and Russians.

I am planning to do a scenario to cover all of Wellington's principle battles using scenarios that capture the main events of each of them. One main action requires boats, the Battle of Oporto where British troops launched a river assault crossing using wine barges to transport their infantry.

I have been scouring the web trying to find suitable figures and model boats to do this in 18mm. Imagine my pleasure when I saw these 28mm resin Viking fishing boats from Dream Holme, which with the minimal addition of a central mast and some AB seated infantry and naval boat crews should do just the job.
Viking fishing boat from Dreamholme Scenics
Oporto Port Barge
I love it when a plan comes together,

More on the blog next weekend with a report on the games played at the club


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