Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Elizabethan Wars - A Spanish Raid

Is it the same with all Wargamers you just can't get the stuff painted and on the table quick enough before the next idea jumps the queue?
I have been itching to try out the Pike Shot and Zombie Rules for several weeks but needed to complete a number of other items on lead mountain first. Any how the first batch of Wargames Foundry Elizabethan figures are complete and and with my new PMC Buildings unused who could resist a quick Tuesday evenings gaming.

I shall be running a participation game at the Evesham Wargames Club on Sunday and wanted to be sure I had the mechanics sorted, There is nothing more frustrating than watching an umpire wade through 3 trees of rule books to find one minor rule, I would rather roll a D6 and get on with it.

Having just finished Harry Turtledoves Ruled Britannia the perfect Scenario presented it's self.
Have a dozen figures a side should allow us to test the Hand to Hand and Shooting Rules

Daniel Fanshaw peir into the dawn mist, anchored in the bay were 3 Spanish galley's. He turned to Henry Milton "light the beacon" the spanish are here.
The invasion rumours had been circulating for several months about a Catholic invasion, it appears it was true.

Daniel and his men headed for the main road he needed to get a message to the local garrison the train bands would need to be turned out. He had gone but 3 leagues when his mount had thrown a shoe and his party was forced to stop in the Hamlet of Much Henning to seek the aid of the local farrier.


As our heroes are waiting for the Blacksmith to complete his work, they are surrounded by an advance party of Spanish, They must protect their horses and drive off the Spanish invaders, before continuing on their journey.

Fanshaw and Milton discuss their options.

The Advance party of Spanish advance up the main track into Much Henning, armed with Caliver and Sword they are  come into sight of the blacksmiths, Fanshaw and Milton hug the wall of the farm house waiting for the right time to strike, mean while William Cornish exchanges fire with a one of the invaders.

 A sceond party of Spanish emerge from the fields, the English are now out numbered 1-2-1, it's going to be a long morning.

The English strike, Cornish fires and misses and the Spanish Officer engages him in hand to hand contact, whilst Fanshaw and Milton cross blades with the nearest Spaniard.

As cool as you like Cornish sets back from the melee and first point blank into the Spanish Officers chest, his brest plate was not enough to save him, Elsewhere Fanshaw hacks down the second Spaniard but not before he takes a wound reducing his life points to 3...... The English turn to face the newest threat, the 2nd Group of Invaders has reached the village.

Spanish Calivers continue to harsh the combatants, but to no effect.

The English Calviers poor fire into the Spanish and a 3rd Invader is brought down.

With their number down to 50% the Spanish flee the table. Allowing Fanshaw to shoe is horse and continue on his journey to riase the alarm.

Our Band of Heroes, Fanshaw, Milton, Miller and Cornish

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What to do when technology fails...

So no PC and no time to paint, I thought I would use the time to catch up on the growing pile of books on the Wargames Shelf. 

One of the books which reached the top of the pile was Ruled Britannia by Harry Turtledove, I have read a lot of his stuff over the years with novels set in an alternative future based around historical events, ACW, WW2
This one is no different but transports the reader back to Elizabethan England.

The year is 1597. For nine years Britain has been under the rule of King Philip of Spain after his Armada had successfully landed in Britian and deposed Queen Elizabeth.
Philip rules with a rod of Iron and the English live in fear of the Inquisition.
After nearly a decade of foreign rule the English are looking to launch a rebellion against Spanish rule and free Queen Elizabeth from the Tower. 
They look to use the playwright William Shakespeare to fan the flames of rebellion.

The story is told from the view point of William Shakespeare and from the Spanish standpoint a character called Lope de Vega.
In Turtledoves usual style he inserts a number of historical characters into the text, such as Lord Burghley and the actor Richard Burbage. The novel is written in the Elizabethan style which adds some character to the novel and gives a real feel for the period.

I can see a number of scenario's spring from this text and started me off with ideas for a whole new period..... This hobby can be so frustrating at times.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Chronicles of Kaptain Putin – Part 1

Sunday saw the first of a number of linked scenarios’s using the excellent scenario generator Platoon Forward by the Two Fat Lardies. Over at the Evesham Wargames Club we have seen a recent surge of Napoleonic activity and I thought with would give me an opportunity of giving the Ottoman’s an outing and Dane a chance to put his Russian’s on the table.
What follows is a series of engagements set with the back drop of the Russo–Turkish War of 1787–1792 a futile attempt by the Ottoman Empire to regain lands lost to Russia. The engagements follow a young Kaptain in the Imperial Russian Army. Kaptain Victor Putin.

The Chronicles of Kaptain Putin – Part 1
Kaptain Putin stopped to wipe his brow the army had been marching south for over 50 leagues, the land before them had become more arid and the climate hotter than what Putin had been used to in his home in the North of Russia
Dispatches came from High Command arrived in the form of a fresh faced Lieutenant Bagration, Putin was to lead his company towards the village of El Hamid, where the Turks had set up an observation post in the minaret in the village. In order to access the possible strength of the Turks he was to grab a prisoner and break off with minimal casualties. (Scenario G Raid – Your platoon had been tasked with a raid into enemy territory. The objective rolled was Observation post. You must spend 4 turns engaged in combat and cause several enemy casualties with sustaining significant casualties for a major victory.)

Selecting 80 men and being reinforced by a section of Cavalry he approached the village on a wide front, in previous encounters he had bested the Turks with ease, but they had been reinforcing in recent weeks... (well painting more Infantry anyway.)
In the village Khafra Bey waited he had amassed several units of Turkish Militia (12 Blinds) hidden deep in the village out of sight of the approaching Russian’s he would make them pay in blood for previous losses, the problem Bey faced was that he had little knowledge of the quality of troops under his command or if they turned to dust the minute they came in to sight of the advancing Russians. (The Turkish forces contained 12 Blinds which would be diced for once observed, roll high and Trained Regulars or Mamluk Cavalry would appear, roll low and it’s merely a wild goat or a lone scout.)

Putin advanced across the open plain, spread out in front of him was the village of El Hamid with its narrow streets and enclosed courtyards, the village was flanked by wheat fields on the right and high ground to the left. Putin’s big men spent several actions peering through their telescopes looking for signs of Turkish activity but none could be seen. The Turk was well hidden on this occasion.
Kaptain Putin order his men forward, positioning himself on the left wing with two sections under his immediate command, as the crested the high group they came upon a group of spear armed natives. The natives surged forward from the dead ground at the foot of the hill and whilst brave were too few in number to trouble the Russians and were soon running back to the village.


On the Right wing a number of Blinds had been uncovered in the wheat fields, they were not the troops Kharfra Bey had wanted. Many of the blinds contained nothing but the occasional scout and those that did appear were lowly militia with spears, they turned and ran for the safety of the village where they could put the spears to good use, should the Russians dare enter.


The Russian’s pushed on, Turks appeared on the roof tops and began sniping at the Russian’s in the open, but the Russian volleys were applying large amounts of shock to make the Turk firing ineffective. Entering the wheat field the Russian cavalry flushed another spear armed unit from its hiding place and a swift round of combat drove the Turks from the open ground to the inner sanctum of the village.



Turn 4 came and went Putin achieved his orders and gave the order to retire they had prisoners from the first round of combat and had lost less than 6 men so far.
Khafra Bey sensed the Russian withdrawal and urged his remaining troops from hiding, whilst some on being observed melted away some good dice rolling generated some of his best troops, the famous Mamluk Cavalry, the Cavalry swept left and flooded towards Putin who was somewhat isolated on the high group, he fired a number of volley’s killing several of the charging cavalry but they were able to close, once again Kaptain Putin was forced to enter hand to hand combat in order to drive off the Turkish Cavalry.




The Turks were too few in number to follow up and had to sit watch as the Russian Infantry marched from the field with their prisoners in tow.
Back at camp Kaptain Putin, relayed his findings to Colonel Goransty. Putin had lost 8 men but had learned much about the strength of the cunning Turk. He had received follow up orders to take a patrol out tomorrow morning to scout the land to the west of El Hamid, perhaps more concerning was the fact that the padre Borganski had gone missing and with him the ancient relic of St Peter, Putin would have to find it and the Priest if he was to keep in the Colonels good books.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Ottoman Reinforcements - Bashi Bazouks

This evening sees the first real outing of my Ottoman Turk Army vs that of the Russian Empire.
The plan is to use a scenario generated from the excellent Platoon Forward suppliment from the Too Fat Lardies, designed with a WW2 in mind, a couple of tweaks are required to make it suitable for the Napoleonic period.

The plan is for the Russian Commander to generate a scenario and the select his forces available from a core set of units. Typically 5 regular sections and 1 Elite/Veteran section, together with 5 Bigmen.

Perry Miniatures Bashi Bazouk based on a Warbase Stand.


Bigmen Commanders Kirmizi Atesh & Musad Chuma


Perry Miniatures plastic Ansars.

The Ottoman's last took to the field prior to Christmas, where they lacked both numbers and firepower, these time around I have bolstered their number with extra foot troops and a new unit of Bashi - Bazouk Infantry. Available from Perry Miniatures but they seem to fit in well with the general Ottoman feel.

I have also painted up a couple of recent purchases from Architects of War, the Desert Well and Donkey Mill are full of character and add some life to my Middle Eastern Village.
These are not cheap but they do paint up rather well....




Random events in the Sharp Practice rules call for livestock, Damn and Blast! Scared by the firing some local livestock have escaped, moving 2D6” away from the group each turn in a random direction.


Never first on my list of purchases, these goats from Empress Miniatures will be useful across several periods.

I have created the Big Men for my Ottoman Army and being rather lazy stumbled across the attached link, which creates Turkish names, perfect when insiration is lacking.

Full AAR to follow.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Battle of Gailey's Crossroads - Confederate AAR

My very good friend Paul very recently wrote a battle report for the recent ACW outing over at Evesham Wargames Club with the line "history belongs to the side which ends up writing the history". Well the war is not over my friend this is the offical battle report  from the Southern Republic regarding the Battle of Gailey's Crossroads.

The Scenario was a simple one advance up the table and clear out any federal forces blocking our path. We knew that behind the Town of Bishampton the Union forces were starting to stack up so a fast advance was the order of the day.

The  view from the Southern Front.

Carl's Division took the lead, valliant souls from the heart of Alabama, the advance was swift coming into sight of  Gailey's Crossroads after a couple of turns.

Union Cavalary were seen deploying behind the picket fences and stone walls, their repeating rifles would be deadly if we entered into a protracted fire fight.
General Carl urged his men forward supported by artillery fire from Evesham Hill.
What the Union Cavalry add in fire power they lack in numbers they were hindered by some of the most unluckly dice rolling ever to be seen on a wargames table, Cavalry units were running low on ammunition, others throwing up thick smoke which screened the avancing Confederate forces.
The Union forces deployed an artillery battery to stem the Confederate tide, but this to suffered from a lack of ammo.... ( who was the quartermaster????)


General Carl ordered his men forward with minimal casaulties and shock he charged his bayonets and rushed straight for the Union Cavalry, going against the doctine of previous games of exchanging volley fire first !!!

The Confederate forces numbers told and the union were cavalry feel back in some disorder, it would be several turns before they were able to reform and recover.
Bouyed by their success Carl's Division pushed on but they were starting to suffer a number of casualties and shock, Big Men and Officers were spread across the front and they were desperate to reorder their forces.

Mean while General Stuart's Texas Division entered the table, delayed due to the Generals late lunch.


Carl's Division was slowed by elements of the 76th New York and Union Zouaves who were coming off blinds and were deploying to the front, the men from Alabama knew no fear and pressed on, out stripping the supprting Texas units.

They were now out numbered 3:1 including the returning Union Cavalry under Lt Bacon.

Several volley's were fired by the Union line forcing the Confederate forces to seek shelter in the wheat field, elements of Carl's divsion began to slink away unable to respond to the Union fire and with two few Officers available to reorder the line.

As dusk began to fall, the men from Texas arrived to see their brothers from Alabama retiring from the line with Bacon's cavalry shadowing their withdrawal....
We had secured the cross roads and it would be a bloody task for the Union to take it back.
Mission accomplished....... :-)