Sunday, February 26, 2012

28mm Elizabethan Swashbucklers & Sea Dogs

Reading the Pike Shot & Zombie Rules led me to dust off a couple of Blister packs of Foundry Elizabethan's. The rules are set in the Thirty Years War, but I guess 50 years earlier won't make much difference....
At our local club we have often talked about figures that satisfy a need for certain types of games, for example Colonial Skirmishes mostly covered by our Zulu War Collection, this tends to involve a limited number of well armed europeans facing off against a poorly armed foe..... How much different is that from Zombie games where figures are constantly ambushed by the walking dead and the constant worry about being overwelmed...?

Another one of the areas of gaming interest was swashbucklers..... Whether it was the flashing blade on a saturday morning or the 3 Musketeers films in the 1970's... While having considered the excellent Brigade Miniatures, Musketeer range  I was also put off by the level of detail likely to be required in getting the lace effect right.

Foundry's Elizabethan range seem's to satisfy that need for a few figures aside dancing the dual of death taking no more than a couple of hours... A perfect club game?


English Lords ready to defend the Queen's honour.


Spanish Invaders looking to turn England Catholic

Of course 2 Blisters is never enough and plans are now a foot to expand this project from half a dozen figures fighting the hordes of undead to Historical. The Anglo–Spanish War (1585–1604) seems to be largely ignored by Wargamers in general which seems perfect for my reputation of doing periods less well known.

The wars were an intermittent conflict between the kingdoms of Spain and England that was never formally declared. With the potential for games in the Netherlands or potential landings of Spanish forces on English Soil.

As luck would have it I caught the Sea Hawk (1940) on TV this afternoon on one of the more obscure channels - Errol Flynn as Captain Geoffry Thrope who "Singes the Kings Beard" all on his own...
Now I have ideas around the Indies and other such places....

The gods of Wargaming are against me...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Chain Reaction 3 - AAR Operation Palliser Sierra Leone 2000

With Ed at Two Hour Wargames releasing Chain Reaction 3 for Free, I thought it was high time my Modern Brits got an airing.
Operation Palliser May 2000 Sierra Leone
This little known deployment of British forces is perhaps best known for Operation Barras and the rescue of British Military hostages by the SAS from the Westside Boys, a rebel gang within Sierra Leone.
Royal Marines were deployed in Sierra Leone to evacuate foreign nationals and establish order, once they had stabilized the situation. Brigadier David Richards, expanded the original mandate to supprt the UN forces and protect the Sierra Leone Government from rebal forces under the Revolutionary United Front and it's commander Foday Sankoh.
The RUF was a brutal force made up of boy soldiers very often high on drink and drugs, with the slogans, "No More Slaves, No More Masters. Power and Wealth to the People." It planned to overthrow the government of Sierra Leone and had committed numerous atrocities in any territory it captured.

The scenario represents a small British Patrol that is sent into the Occra Hills to seek out and destroy elements of the RUF who have been terrorising the local population and stopping aid agencies getting in to the area to assist the locals.

Mid day after a days route march into the Occra Hills and the Marines had reached the main camp of the RUF, the main British force under Major Jefferson had been pinned down by rebel fire from the entrance to the village, cloud cover having stopped the British bringing their air support to bear, unable to push forward and unwilling to break contact they are in a perilous position with the prospect of the RUF flooding the area very soon.

Sergeant Strickland and a section of 6 Marines notice a section of the village is undefended leaving a gate unguarded as many of the defenders have moved to join the attack on the main British force. If Strickland can enter the village undetected he should be able to outflank the RUF and drive them from the village entrance.

Strickland is Rep 5 whilst his fellow marines are Rep 4, facing them are an unknown number of RUF fighters, but given that they have spent much of the morning smoking and drinking none of them will be better than Rep 3.

Lock and load Chaps we must save Major Jefferson and the rest of their fellow Marines.


View from the tree line and Sergeant Strickland, I inserted 3 PEF chits for the RUF, represented by 4 fighters on the table.


Strickland and his team prepare to move out.


Members of the RUF line the wall and poor fire in to Major Jefferson and the main British force off table.


More RUF move to close in on Jefferson.


Winning the initiative Strickland break for the unguarded gate and break into the village. Some great rolls by the RUF and they pass 2 Dice moving 16" directly towards Strickland and his team. Coming in to Sight the British roll on the Resolution chart and find them selves facing not one but two groups each one as large as their own.


Insight Test abound with RUF fighters appearing in the alley to the front of the British just as they break into the right hand house.


RUF Fighters line the roof tops.


Poor rolls by both sides drive a number of the Brits and RUF to duck back, the Brits burst into the right hand house as the RUF fire a couple of RPG rounds in Strickland's direction. Out gunned Strickland and his team dive for cover.


On the left flank, the RUF on the roof tops poor fire in to the second British Squad knocking one to the ground and taking another trooper Out of the Fight, things were not going well for Strickland.


Meanwhile the Brits holed up in the house faced RUF Fighters to their front, a second PEF comes into sight at the rear of the builidng fortunately the contact roll is poor and only two RUF fighters are generated they pass their insight rolls and through the back windows killing Private Whitaker, who was rushing to reload.


Strickland makes a break for it rushing out of the back of the house under a hail of fire from the swarming RUF.


The British reach the checkpoint, whilst they failed to clear the checkpoint of RUF fighters Strickland's actions have drawn the RUF from Jeffersons position. A good initiative roll for the Brits and they get the drop on the RUF on the roof top.


RUF Fighter prepare to fire on Strickland. The RUF fighters are a mixture of Gripping Beast MoFo range and the TAG Somalian range together with a few Foundry, Copplestone and some Bobby Jackson Thugz for good measure.


The Marines win the iniative and after a swift fire fight the bulk of the RUF fighters are either Ducking back or are OOF, A second initaive win and Strickland Fast Moves for the tree line.

An encounter hardly worth a mention in dispatches but a good reason to follow up with game two as the fate of the out of the fight Marines is still to be decided. As Strickland was forced to leave men behind.

Chain Reaction 3 has a slick feel to them and changes from Version 2 to 3 has cut trimmed down on the number of dice rolled in the area of movement and spotting.
The reaction rolls still give that Hollywood feel, with figures ducking for cover espically if they have run out of Ammo.

The PEF movement and makes for a tense game as they can be upon your units very quickly should they pass enough dice but could turn out to be nothing or a serious number of enemy troops, the good news is very often you can dive for cover espically when one of the opposing fighters raises his RPG to fire...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Terrible Sharp Sword - ACW Confederate Forces

Sunday see's the Evesham Wargames Club Big Game I 2012, Over the last few months numerous club members have being amassing forces for the forthcoming ACW engagement.

We shall be using the Sharp Practice from the Two Fat Lardies.

To make the game a little more personable we have selected a regiment each, I have selected troops mustered from Milam County.
Sandwiched between Austin & Dallas.

I found a great web site, which detailed the units raised in the area and the names of the officers.
The link can be found below.

Two units will gather on the field of Battle on Sunday.
'E' Coy Milam County Guards - 4th Texas Cavalry commanded by Lt Buckholt



The dismounted Guards line up against the picket fence, seeking cover where they can


"At the canter, Lt Buckholt leading from the front."

Next up Company G "Milam County Grays", 5th Texas Infantry under the joint command of Captain John W Story & Capt J.C. Rogers


"Capt Rogers urges on his loyal men of Texas."



Having done the research on the units, I feel a real affinity towards these guy's. So much so I might just have to let one of the other Rebel Commanders lead the assault.... :-)

Details of some of the Yanks can be found here.

Full AAR detailing the rebel victory (I hope) to follow.

If your close by drop in the kettle is always on.

Friday, February 17, 2012

ACW Picket Fences

With Sunday's Big game fast aproaching I thought it I could russle up some extra fences, I made a test batch a few months ago and still had plenty of raw materials left over so in the spirit of getting stuff done, finished these off tonight.

I am tend not to have enough time to create my own terrain, it's hard enough finding enough time to paint figures, but having looked around the web could not really find a manufacturer that I was happy with for a price that covered my budget so I thought I would give it a go.

Tesco were selling some large BBQ scewers which retail for £1.99 for 50 more than enough for my requirements, I took some 2mm MDF and covered it with sharp sand before spraying it black to seal it.

The council were resurfacing the local road which gave me a ready supply of boulders for the base.
Finally may taxes were being put to good use :-).


Using a glue gun, I put a line of glue across the centre of the board and pushed the first line of stones in at the same time I inserted the scewers and left to dry.
It's a little bit fiddly and the glue can be hot so watch your fingers...
Once hardend I cut away the excess glue and gave a liberal Matt Black Spray, before painting and dry brushing.


I am reasonably happy with the results.
They feel more robust than your average picket fence and cost perhaps as little as 50p per fence in terms of raw materials.


15 down 20 more to go....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pike Shot & Zombies Arrival Points (2)

Back in January I completed the first couple of Arrival points for Pike Shot & Zombies, this week I had the opportunity of finishing the last of them to make teh 6 needed for the game.
I still had plenty of Renedra Graveyard head stone's left but did not want to replicate what I had done before, so adding in a couple of undug graves from Magister Militum, I set about finishing the last four.


Again based on old Cd's covered with a liberal covering of PVA glue and Sharp Sand.
I am pleased with the results each one feels slightly different, lets just hope our band of adventurers get close enough to put them on the table.....


Probably my favourite, less is definately more.


The grave diggers left this one unfinished, before they were overcome.

Next up more ACW Fences for the all dayer and hopefully the first of the Elizabethans.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

War Rocket - Hydra Miniatures

Several years ago I painted up a number of 28mm Flash Gordon Figures, but what I really wanted to do was Space Combat like the sci-fi Cliff Hangers from Saturday morning telly as a kid. When I saw Hydra Games Produce War Rocket how could I resist.
The models have sat unpainted in a box for several months but with the Evesham Wargames Club AGM this Sunday I was looking for a quick 1 hour game that did not involve Zulu's.


I quick read through the rules and we are ready to go, The rules follow a number of simple phases Orders, Delayed Action, Movement, Attack, Damage Phase & Recovery Phase. It seems to follow rather nicely with the slowest models always move first, and the fastest models always moving last.

The Delayed Action Phase allows you to move and fight before anyone else. Sneaky.
Each ship Firepower and Defense stats which should keep book keeping to a minimum. The rule book provides for 4 warring factions, but I have plan for the various Nations on Mongo, Each Space Fleet has 4 classes of ship I, II, III and IV. Depending on the size of the ship, Class I being single seater fighters and the like.

I have painted up a couple of the starter sets to enable me to play some quick scenario's I also brought some ships from Hangar 18 several years ago for a flash Gordon game, they are cast in resin so can be a little brittle but seem to compliment the excellent Hydra Castings.
Full AAR to follow but in the mean time the gathering forces.....

Ming's Fighter Squadrons.


Class II War Rockets


Flash Gordon and Fighters from Frigia


Arborian Fighters
Until next time viewers.... 

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Wargamers are so difficult to buy for?

Can I be the only one who gets that question leveled at them?

I don't see what the problem is....... so it's not available in the high street, can I help that?
As a gamer with varied interests in numerous periods I have a great list of things on the wargamers want list.

I hit the big 4 0 recently and finally convienced those around me that Wargaming goodies are the best presents...
I was really impressed and thanks to all.


On the reading front, I probably have enough to keep be going into the summer, a selection of Osprey books on Elizabethan Warfare, I blame Christmas Holiday TV for that request, I caught the Sea Hawk on one of the more obscure cable channels and that set me off on a new project (more on that soon..)

Anyway the following will prove to be useful inspiration to the half a dozen blisters from Foundry and their Elizabethan range, which are making there way up lead mountain.
279 The Border Reivers
256 The Irish Wars 1485-1603
Elite – Elizabethan Sea Dogs 1560 – 1605

As usual Angus McBride’s illustrations are top notice with plenty of detail and character.

The Egyptian Project has stalled in recent weeks, what with Gloucester Minicon and various real life issues  but I am hoping that the following reads will spark some life back into the project.
Napoleon in Egypt by Paul Strathern
Napoleon’s Egypt – Juan Cole

Both give some great accounts of the French in Egypt and the challenges they faced in a strange land and a fearless foe.

As a light read, I also received a copy of The Last Days of Thunder Child by C.A. Powell, I have been a big fan of H.G. Wells, War of Worlds for several years and have a 15mm British Home Front Army and Martian Tripods which need an outing.
The climax of the original book tells how the HMS Thunder Child takes on 3 Tripods to save the Steamer, this short novel gives the perspective from  the crew of the Thunder Child.
On the gaming front a number of items have found their way on to the need to paint pile.
Anisty Castings
Barricades (1503)
Trade Goods (3304)

I thought the Barricades would come in handy for ACW makeshift defences and for any other period that require a below par defensive position, perhaps even a barricade to keep out zombies if I can push ahead with the Pike, Shot & Zombie Stuff.
The Trade goods compliment my African and Middle Eastern Village and whilst never a first on a wargamers wants list, they come in so handy for all kinds of scenarios.

Architects of War
Desert Well
Donkey Mill

I have been a fan of the Architects of war stuff for quite a while but always felt it was a little on the expensive side, One of my rules of terrain buying is that it must be able to be used across several periods and genre’s. Having started on my Napoleon in Egypt project and already having a pile of stuff for Mexico, the above two items fit really well.

The resin elements come in a sand coloured finish that will make applying the initial undercoat, the pieces are really detailed furnished with additional pots and sacks, although the donkey looks a little small, it must be all that hard work....

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Carey's Blunder - A Zulu War Participation Game.

Sunday saw the first outing of the Evesham Wargames Club Zulu War Participation game at Gloucester Minicon, the inaugural event in Gloucester.

We were keen to put on a game that would give players a feel for Sharp Practice but not tie them up for several hours.

The scenario was simple - Rescue the Prince.....



We made a number of tweaks to the rule set to provide a swift action.
All British players were classed as Bigmen, with the Officers and NCO's able to activate the Troopers.
The chain of command could only go downwards so for example the only person able to activate the prince was the prince himself.
We used the Physique of the Bigmen to record wounds, Captain Carey and Prince Imperial had a Physique of 5, whilst troopers only held a 4.
Alll Zulu's moved on the Zulu Blind Card on 2 Dice plus 3, which made them pretty fast if their card came up.

Before players could mount they had to amass a numerical value of 10.


The gallant band of defenders.

Game 1 - 3 Players.
When you umpire you hope games go a certain way, not this time all plans went out of the window, players hot footed it for the donga, with scant regard for the Prince leaving him their horses and the Zulu scout behind.
Fortunately a group of troopers paused at the entrance to the Kraal and became the target for the Zulu's their combined fre was able to suppress and drive off two small groups of Zulu, driving them into the long grass.
Corporal Grubb and Prince had a narrow escape breaking through the Kraal fence and skirting the outside of the board before reaching the safety of the Donga.
Mean while the scout attempted to hide out behind the Tiffin Tent only to be spotted and swamped by the zulu.
Victory to the British Player.


Game 2 - 4 Players

More of a challenge for the Imperial Players as the Zulu Cards came out early in the deck and a good dice roll brought the Zulu's very close to the Kraal entrance blocking the most direct escape route to the Donga.

Troopers Abel and Le Coq struggled to mount their horses as the Zulu broken in via the back wall of the Kraal, while the Prince was grabbed by a second group of Zulu who narrowly missed dragging him from his horse.


Trooper Rogers was caught trying to flee the camp and was brought down.


Captain Carey attempted to hold the Zulu at bay with the aid of Crp Grubb and Trooper Cochrane but were unable to save Rogers.


Trooper le Coq made it to the lip of the Donga before he secumbed to the stabbing Assegi.
On the right Trooper Rogers attempted to make a break for the Donga but was attacked after steeping to close to the Zulu and becoming the target of a swift Zulu move.

The Prince once again was able to mount and ride for safety.
Victory to the British Player.

Game 3 - 5 Player
Last game of the day and a bunch of chaps from the Cheltenham club stepped up to the plate, what a difference experience makes, Captain Carey calmly stood in the centre of the deserted village and ordered the patrol to mount, the patrol fitted their saddles and rode for the gate, but something was wrong, in the confusion Carey was left behind without a mount and the Zulu's were closing in fast.


Carey maintained his decorum and fought off the Zulu each time they advanced, he was like a man possessed, his herioc actions forced a number of the players to come to his aid, in the attempted rescue Crp Grubb was seriously wounded, Carey stood over him and beat back the Zulu again.
Srgt Willis Rode back into the melee creating a path for Carey to flee through.


Carey and Willis leap frogged each other firing into the Zulu hordes, it was not long before Willis had his horse shot from under him, but he continued in his rear guard action inflicting shock on the Zulu hordes closing in.
Last turn of the game saw Carey and Willis reach the Donga, the Zulu morale was broken and the shock points forced them to ground.

Elsewhere the Prince had headed for the Donga and was half way to Natal before Carey had driven off the Zulu.

Victory to the British Players and VC's for Carey and Willis...