Saturday, 23 July 2016

Winter of '79 - Battle of Rockbeare

Stung into action by the Brexit result, Chas put on a "Winter of '79" game, covering the last opportunity this country has had for "proper" revolution.

The scenario was set on the Rockbeare straight, where the Rockbeare militia had set up a roadblock to earn some beer money from spurious tolls and a local politician had turned up to inspect the operation and take his cut. Not to be out done, the Whipton militia from the Revolutionary Socialist Republic of Exeter (RSRE), had set up their own barricade further down the road. Knowing that a rebel army unit would be travelling down the A 30 trying to seek refuge in Exeter, RSRE forces lurked in the fields off the Rockbeare straight, hoping to force a passage through the loyalist blockade.

Rebel army units approach the loyalist militia barricade
The action opened with the DSRE militia and trained fighters commencing an unprovoked attack on the loyal people of Rockbeare, causing the loyalists to fire back in self defence. Both sides suffered casualties and the survivors sought the best available cover. PC JJ ran to the last working phone box in east Devon and, braving the stench of wee, called up reinforcements. At this point the rebel army column came into view down the main road. "Hellfire" said Ted the gamekeeper "they've got a ****ing tank". Not only that, but a Saracen APC and a Ferret armoured car were soon in view and the barricade was under machine gun fire. The loyalist militia were hard pressed and their fire slackened, with only a few rifles from the buildings and the local politicians bodyguard able to return fire.

Wolfie Smith pictured catching the train down to Devon
Wolfie Smith leads the Rockbeare Militia on a bit of house clearing - "Power to the People!!"
A loyalist militia sniper forced the "Pig" APC to button up just long enough for a loyalist TA APC to arrive from Broadclyst and debus an infantry section at the junction of the A30 & Broadclyst road. Fire rippled up and down the line and a Rockbeare militia man blocked the main road with his land rover and ran for cover.

Who would of guessed what the ultimate tank trap would look like - a Land Rover?"
Seeing the Land Rover, "Red Chas" ordered the Centurion to "crush the capitalist swine's symbol of oppression". Now ordinarily a Landrover would not be much of an obstacle for a 50 tonne tank, but the wreck managed to cause the tank to throw a track, immobilising it and a petrol bomb from the barricade set it on fire. In a flash Ted was pointing his twelve bore into the commander's hatch, prompting the crew's surrender. Well, he looked cool for all of 30 seconds, until a burst of fire from the Whipton boys cut him down.

An army Pig heralds the collapse of the DSRE militia as it charges through the barricade, only to succumb to a ATGM
As the Pig crashed a wire fence and swerved round the barricade, the swoosh of rotors heralded the arrival of a Wessex helicopter. Despite two RPG rounds passing close by, the helicopter disgorged regular troops and they were soon giving fire to the rear of the rebel army column. An anti-tank guided weapon (ATGM) ruined the Ferret's day and small arms fire reminded the DSRE militia they had an important appointment elsewhere.

The rebel "Pig" looked sure to get away, but an ATGM from the TA unit cooked his bacon. No one being more surprised than the unit that fired it !

I am sure the rebels would have given a different slant to the action, but, to borrow from Brennus at the capture of Rome, "Vae victis".

A fun game to "Winter of '79" rules, all played out in 28mm under the watchful eye and light touch of umpire Chas.

Many thanks to Si for riding to the rescue and to Chas and Steve H for playing the opposition.


Sunday, 17 July 2016

Normans vs Saxons - Crusader Rules

Normans V’s Saxons played using the Crusader Rules. The armies were just over 6000 points each

Before the report just a note on one major idiosyncrasy that I observed, a unit will conduct ALL of its
actions before the next unit is activated. If your unit routs then no other of your units can be activated
in that turn. Choose very carefully which units to activate first otherwise you may be up the creek
without a paddle.

The Cast.
Normans: General Junker (Nathan), General Tusk (Steve L).
The Saxons: Lord Nigel of Farage (Nick), Lord Boris of Johnson (Ian) and Lord Michael of Gove (Steve M).

View from behind the Norman right flank
The very friendly Normans have crossed the channel in the hope of civilising the very uncouth Saxons but as usual the Saxons get uppity. The Normans, under the command of their very famous generals have advanced towards some low hills with a small farmstead in the low ground leading to it. On the Normans right there is the house itself. In the middle is a small wooded area and on the left is a walled field.

View from behind the Norman left flank
The Normans and Saxons then deployed units alternately until they were arrayed in all there splendour.

The Normans had the cunning plan of holding their right flank with their not so very good infantry and then smash the Saxon infantry on the left with their poor to very good cavalry and hence roll up the Saxons from the right all the way through.

The Saxons deployed with Ian (The Dice Master) on their right, Steve M in the middle and Nick on the left. This is where the Normans plans unravelled.

On the Saxon left Nick moved forward to occupy the farmhouse. This was countered by Norman
infantry and skirmishers. In the middle Steve M pushed his bowmen forward this was countered again by the not so good Norman infantry.

On the right Ian waited soiling his underwear as the Norman cavalry advanced. The Normans flung their worst cavalry at the waiting Saxons. Up goes the Shield Wall, long pointy stick and all. The dice are thrown by both sides. What are the Normans thinking? The Dice Master is there. Cracking dice from Ian, not so good from Nathan and the cavalry rebounds with minimal losses. OK now the Normans know. Huscarl in all their armour and with all the training known to man are not to be trifled with using poor cavalry. Undaunted the Normans try again using slightly better cavalry and against another unit. Surely it can’t be as good. They are not, Thegns in medium armour this time, the results are worse, the cavalry routs.

On the Norman right Steve L, after exchanging arrows with Nick, launches a couple of charges. One unit of skirmishers is routed from the field but the other unit holds on. This has the effect of stalling the Saxon left.

In the middle Steve M has now become the Dice Masters apprentice and proceeds to push back all
attempts to get at him and then pushes forward himself.

On the Norman left Nathan puts in his third unit of cavalry. You can’t beat the Dice Master Nathan. OK change of tactics. The Normans have two units of very good cavalry left. They are withdrawn and pushed against the centre where Steve M awaits. Nathan is confident. Surely there can’t be anymore Huscarl or Thegns. You are right there. Instead they are Viking Mercenary with medium armour. Still heavy horse should do the job, except Steve M is now the Dice Master’s apprentice and Nathan is out thrown again. The Norman Cavalry is pushed back.

All the Saxons are now pushing forward and are relatively unscathed having had no routs at all.
The game is decided as the Normans call it a day. One in the eye for the French then?

Junker and Tusk are unhappy and accuse everybody of everything and Brexit is still 950 years, god
knows how many wars and a referendum away. Meanwhile in France the King, Tony Blair the first, has been accused of getting his intelligence chiefs to “Sex Up” the intelligence to enable him to launch an illegal war against those poor Saxons.

No political opinions intended, much.

On the whole I think everyone enjoyed the rules if not the outcome. Nathan and Steve L were well and truly out thrown. Personally (Steve L) I am not sure that I like the “unit does everything before moving” bit. The game seemed to stutter a little bit. As an alternative to Hail Caeser it has somethings going for it and I will certainly play then again. It was, after all, only the first time that four of the five had played them. Three or four more goes and I will give you a definitive opinion.

Game Report by Mr Steve L.
Pictures by JJ.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Ottoman Generals and Artillery

So the next two packs I have opened up are :

Ottoman Generals SY012

12 Generals

Close up : 7 different Poses
 Ottoman Artillery SY011
6 Cannon : 3 x 2 types

Close up of each type and each Gunner

 The artillery is quite an interesting set but it isn't quite perfect for my needs . Its nice to get something I can use for the bigger old type guns (Sahi ,Balyemez) although I am currently at a loss to work out the version with two barrel positions. The smallest barrel in the pack looks a little too big to be used as an Abus gun but will probably do at a pinch and I would really have liked to have seen a large version mortar (Humbaraci) included.
The Hanoverian and French artillery sets both include mortars so I will probably use which ever one is the biggest but they are both a little small to represent siege versions..

If anyone knows of a large mortar in 15mm that would be suitable please let me know.

(Further research suggests Vexillia VXN032 might do the job)

The final two packs of Ottomans I  have to look at are some ordinary Siphai cavalry which I will show you with some others I bought from 'By Fire and Sword' , a very brief look suggests I might have a problem using both makes together as the horses seem different sizes. I will be doing do a comparrison picture anyway.

Last is a bag of Tartar Cavalry , I had planned to decide between the 7YW Tarters and their Renaissance ones to see which one was more suitable but as they only had the 7YW versions then that was an easy decision.When I eventually put up the pictures you can always have a look at Old Glorys Renaissance Tarters yourself as they do have pictures of these available on their site.     


Saturday, 9 July 2016

Wellington's War

This month, with one game down on our normal three offerings I took the opportunity to play test a new board game I picked up last month, very much with a view to using it as a potential campaign tool for miniature games.

Tom took on the role of French commander whilst I took on the mantle of the Allied opposition. The game was very much of a test as we were learning the rules as we went along and so it would be unfair to give a detailed report of how it went, as I am sure and I know we made some mistakes while playing.

However we both found the game sequence really straight forward and really enjoyed the mechanisms that really helped capture the feel of the Peninsula conflict, with some hard fought battles to capture Portugal and Catalonia in the first months of 1808/09, the raising of the first Guerrilla bands roaming the mountains of Navarre and Aragon and the French busy laying siege to determined Spanish city garrisons.

I was planning to review the game in a bit more detail on my personal blog with links for those interested in knowing more and so have provided a link below to that post.

Needless to say I am really keen to get this game out again to see what it can offer, but first impressions are very good.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

More Old Glory 7YW era Ottoman Pictures

As promised here are more pictures showing Old Glory's range of Ottoman figures for the 7YW era . This post covers the rest of the Infantry that I plan to use.

For Feudal Infantry which appeared in great numbers but were of little actual practical military use and who were seen more as human mules, I plan to use ' ROT: Irregular Poorly Armed Infantry' . These are from the Renaissance range and there are pictures of them already on the OG site .

Poorly Armed Infantry : 8 poses , no command

For their command I was planning to use the Renaissance Janissary pack as I want the cooking pot crew out of it however I dont think they will look right so instead I will buy ROT7 Irregular Infantry command 
Close up of the different Poses
 Next are Ottoman Janissaries SY01 . Not much to say on these figures , you get two poses , one with musket advancing and the other with a slung musket waving a sword.

Janissaries :2 poses and Command

Close up of Poses

Finally for today I have Bazi Bazooks SY04 , For my requirements I would have liked a few more swordsman instead of some of the muskets so I might swap the bows out of this pack and bring in some of the Poorly armed figures and also draft some of the muskets into an Azzar brigade to save on having to buy an extra pack.   

Bazi Bazooks: 4 poses and command
Close up of Poses

Thats it for now, I have also just got my hands on some new packs , Artillery, Generals and Cavalry so I will add them in later .