Saturday, September 14, 2019

Dispatches from the front II

I bloody hate cavalry...… I have been sitting looking at the same cavalry unit for the best part of three weeks, if I can't break the back of them tomorrow they might have to be bounced from the queue for a while.
I am not sure if it's the mass of horse flesh or the fact that I have glued the riders on first, something that I don't normally do in the painting process. Do we all have a touch of OCD when it comes to painting?

Meanwhile we had a crack at Osprey's latest card game, a two player game with a number of missions from D-Day to play through, you use your cards to grab the initiative and use your squads to grab objectives I must admit it was a real blast and felt very realistic, very much a band of brothers feel to it, the early missions contain only rifle squads, but later missions introduce MG's Mortars and snipers.

MG's are great at pinning troops, mortars are flaming nasty and you need to get a move on once the targeting round lands. Stick and move is the name of the game.
Send your scouts out to clear the ground in front of you before you send your rifle sections in to take the ground.

The game tiles have plenty of detail and I am sure I won't be the only one thinking about how I could convert this to a miniatures game. 
Each mission lasts about 45 minutes and makes for a great evenings game. 

I based up the QH Miniatures and have included a couple of comparison shots to the Trent Miniatures, they match up very well in size although the quality of sculpt needs some work when compared to others on the market these days. 

Trent Minatures have a slave pack available which landed this morning along with some casualties which will give me so more line infantry shock markers. 

Whilst finding anything to do other than paint the Haitian horse, I did finally get round to painting up the Warbases Pigeon loft and a couple of the test houses for the Red Phoenix project.

Switching between 28mm and 6mm is not great when you are trying to get you eye in once the cavalry are done I will look to get the rest of the Korean village finished so I can get a couple of Seven Days to the Rhine in.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Cotswold Wargaming Day - A cracking days gaming.

Last weekend saw a fine days gaming down in the Cotswold in the town of Northleach, now not only famous for the BBC's This Country but also a day of summer gaming before the autumn sets in. 

All credit to Keith Flint (of "Honours of War" fame) for organising there were 8 games on offer and over 30 gamers in attendance.

The day was a very relaxed affair with players encouraged to try the various games on offer and Stuart Asquith was on hand to award various prizes on the day.

I did not get to spend as much time as I would have liked around the other tables, but here's a selection of some of the great games on offer.

For our part we hosted a Haitian rescue, with the French army looking to free the civilians from the church to get them to the port, whilst the rebellious slaves and the free people look to kill or capture them.
Thanks to Nigel for taking part, by the end he was playing like a Sharp Practice veteran.

It was a close run affair with both sides thinking they had it in the bag at various times of the day, in the end the women and children just made the boat, despite a last gasp charge by the Haitian army to try grab the prize.

It was great to meet up with some old friends and new and the date of the 30th August 2020 is firmly in the dairy for next year.

We were lucky enough to win game of the day which was nice….

The Haitian Heroes and our host.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Cobbaton Combat Collection.

Sneaking away whilst the family did the usual beach and shops, I had a morning at the Cobbaton Combat Collection, well worth the visit if you happen to be in North Devon. First things first it is not a museum, more a collection that as the owner put it a “hobby that got out of hand”.
Perhaps a warning to us all.

To the untrained eye it can appear a little jumbled, dusty and unkept but if you know your history, military vehicles and weapons there is plenty to see. With a large collection of WW2 Allied vehicles and numerous cabinets of rifles and other memorabilia.

Here's some of the highlights..

Centuar Mk 1V with D Day Markings.

Tucked away in the corner a T34 although how they got this down the Devonshire country lanes is beyond me.

A Beaverette from 1941when you get close up it is very rough and ready, but it was afterall the stop gap after Dunkirk, you really would not fancy your chances against a Pz III. It got me thinking about dusting off my AVBCW collection.

A T55 perfect inspiration for the North Korean project, this one is from the Czech Republic, an icon of the Cold War.

An finally merely because I was taken by the size. A British Mark VIII torpedo. A reminder that the Cruel Seas starter set has not left the box yet.

A great couple of hours wandering about now back to Sandcastles and Cream Teas.....

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Drawing in the outposts - Pearl of the Antilles Campaign.

The summer months are always a testing time with campaigns as the lag between games can kill off peoples interests or the gap between games is extended the Pearl of Antilles campaign in Haiti is no different. There is also the risk that as the action hots up that the number of games makes the gap between moves to long to combat this the plan was to dice for some of the smaller games.

Within the Dawn and Departure campaign rules I adopted the simple dice mechanism with a couple of tweaks.

When attacked, an Outpost may elect to stand and fight, or may choose to retire.
If an Outpost elects to simply withdraw, it rolls 1D6.  
On a roll of 1 or 2, the troops from the Outpost will simply disperse and play no more part in the campaign. 
On a roll of 3 to 6, they may withdraw away from the enemy.
where they remain until give new orders if they are subsequently attacked they will automatically disperse unless reinforced with a larger detachment. (This should stop players constantly falling back.)

We have two such encounters in the north of the Island.

The forces of Gen Louverture continues to pursue the slave forces of George Biassou, Biassou has broken his forces up into small groups to try and slow the advance of Louverture as he advances towards the centre of the rebel controlled region.

Using a random dice generator.  - 4 The rebels slip away a mile or so having avoided Louverture's skirmish troops.

Meanwhile the Spanish were not so lucky. The Princess's forces on the back foot and falling back to Phaeton, looking to change the focus of the Spanish Commander an incursion across the border attacks the Spanish outpost.

With a random roll of a 2 - The Garrison are over run by the slave forces which number several groups and in excess of 60 attackers.

With one large encounter outstanding which see's the French under seige by the Slave forces of Dutty Boukman we should have this completed over the next fortnight which should allow us to get several rounds in over the autumn.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

V the Mini Series - Visitor Sky Fighter.

Whilst I wait expectantly for Crooked Dice to produce a Visitor Sky Fighter. ( More in hope and I guess depending on how well the Alien packs have sold.) The Reptiles need some air power to help them keep the humans in check.

The Sky Fighter was a very slick looking craft and very iconic in the mini-series, the fighter and the larger transport were very often seen parked up at road blocks or dropping down to allow the Shock Troopers to spill out. 
So my Shock Troopers needed one or at best a proxy for the games in Zikanga.

I picked up the following craft from the guys at Deamonscape who do a cracking range of 25/28mm resin vehicles, I have a couple of them for the Starship Troopers collection and this VTOL offering seemed perfect. With no guns and clean lines it felt very much of the Visitor style.

I thought about giving it a more lived in look but opted for the fresh out of the showroom feel. I did think about hand painting the symbol but in the end pinched one from the web as it stands out on the white background.

Based on the size and scale it should be perfect for a squad of around 6 troopers which is perfect for the games in the pipeline, mostly around capturing one or rescuing one.....

Right back to the serious stuff....

Friday, August 23, 2019

Cotswold Wargaming Day - 1st September

Next Sunday see's the Pearl of the Antilles taking a road trip down to Northleach, for the Cotswold gaming day. August is always a challenge on the gaming front with high days and holidays so this serves as a great kickstarter to the autumn and hopefully more hobby time than what I have been able to achieve over the summer.

I missed the event last year but Keith has done a great job pulling together a number of interesting games and with 30+ gamers booked in already it's sure to be a fun packed day.

The games cover a range of periods and rules sets so plenty for everyone.
  • 19th century action in Mexico
  • WW2 Battlegroup Panzergrenadier
  • SYW
  • Air Wargame, ‘Bombing Berlin'
  • Crimean War, Bloody Big Battles
  • ‘Liberdy’, a Wild West game
  • 'Sawmill Village'
Players get the opportunity to experience the different games on offer with players encouraged to invite people into play, which is a great way of being tempted into a new period or experience a new rule set.

A 'wargames exchange' to sell, swap or give away to other gamers is available. It's the perfect opportunity to pass on things to other gamers that you know will appreciate the models or reading matter, items to good for your regular jumble sale.... Do people still have jumble sales???

I shall be hosting a Sharp Practice game featuring our old friend Claude Canard of the French Sloop "Le Vendeen" as he attempts a rescue women and children from the slave rebellion in Haiti.

Claude's had a make over and find himself shipped from Egypt to Haiti so lets see if he has more lucky in another of France's outposts.
4 commands are available on the day so plenty of room for people to dip in and out.

The event is being held at:


The Westwoods Centre

Bassett Road


Gloucestershire GL54 3QJ

Sunday 1st September 2019, 10.00 - 17.00

Looking forward to seeing everyone and a day of gaming.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Dispatches from the front....

It's been a mad couple of weeks with very little time for gaming and painting all very frustrating.... 
I really need to put some focus on the hobby as the toys won't paint themselves.

With a new job there has been very little time for painting or is it that the I just hate painting cavalry and the Haitian Colonial Cavalry have been sitting on the paint table for a couple of weeks now, I need a spark to get them going.

Meanwhile the painting queue just got a little larger.

I picked up a couple of packs of Havana Volunteers which gives me a couple of light Infantry units for the Spanish. I saw these advertised a few months ago from QH Miniatures and thought they might be worth a couple of packs.
Thanks to Steve M for sending on my package. After a mix up the package from Spain went missing, but thankso Steve who tracked me down via a couple of club members and sent them on, so there are some benefits of gaming odd periods and blogging about it :-)

Meanwhile last weekend saw a quick trip over to the M5 Living History Show at Spetchley Hall, with a mix of periods covered Ancient Greeks, Romans, Medieval, Vikings, Napoleonic, American Civil War, WW1 and WW2 together with a number of traders it's always a good way to spend a Sunday morning.

Everyone looked to be enjoying themselves and it was nice to see some cavalry in action in the ACW engagement, the chaps representing the Brits in Khaki were very impressive and got me thinking about painting some up. I picked up the following in one of the book tents....

Some light reading for the holidays - could this be a new project?

Definitely a period not gamed but can you get the figures for the Brits in Tibet and is there a uniform guide for the Tibetans let alone figures.

I can feel a few late nights on the internet coming up.
Any suggestions chaps on who makes figures for Younghusband's Expedition?