after action reports


Royalists to the fore ......

I have always enjoyed the renaissance period, and have variously played it with the original WRG George Gush rules, then DBR and finally Armati. I enjoy both the latter rules sets, and last night was able to begin re-acquainting myself with DBR as Keith offered to pop around and coach me through a first game.I currently have a 15mm Royalist ECW army, and have most of the figures for an Ottoman army. I will be bringing that army forward on the painting schedule, so it may well appear on the painting table soon. The Royalists found themselves pitted against their old Parliamentarian foes. Just a fe photos to set the scene.. I didn't photograph the whole encounter as I was a little too focussed on getting my head around the rules again.

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Just a few cool games....

For the second week in a row I have been able to enjoy some 'gaming. Last week it was some DBA 3.0 with Keith. This week some HotT with Andy.  These are all interesting games that seem to suit the currently busy life style. Short games with enough depth to challenge to the degree that you fell suited, without requiring the investment of 3-4 hours for a single outcome.We managed four games in two hours (along with beer, coffee, sausage rolls, and plenty of good conversation). The first saw my 25mm French napoleonics fighting Andy's 28mm VSF army.Game 1French columns (behemoths), Cuirassier (knights), Old Guard (blade) and recruits (horde) with a hero general Germans.. a behemoth general no less!!!Shooters ..The raw recruits ..The French strongholdQuick game, Prussian hero general destroyed, and more points than I'd lost..Game 2 ...The result a reversal from the first game...  the evening was developing well, with honours evenly shared Game 3... weird world war 1 Germans vs BritishThe newest

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Celtiberians coming down from the hills

A few shots of a DBA 3 game from last Friday. Keith fielded his Polybians against my Celtiberians. I hung about on the difficult terrain for a while (my head still thinks of the Celtiberians as they were in DBA 2.0), before finally charging the fast blade down and into the waiting blade and spear. A few 6:1 die results gave two breaks in the Roman line, allowing the Celtiberians to win the day. 6:1s will do that to you.

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Action approaching Tula, 1941

Of Marshall Katukov, the record says: "On the onset of the war he took command of the 4th Tank Brigade. In the battle of Moscow in 1941, it was Katukov's Tank Brigade, then part of the 1st Guards Rifle Corps, that checked the advance of Guderian's Panzergruppe 2 near Tula. "And so the scene was set for last night's Spearhead game, my Germans attacking Keith's newly painted Soviet forces. I've taken a liberty there with the reference to Katukov, because Keith's force was taken from an infantry division organisation. It does however make the point that there were pockets of competence, and even brilliance, in those early days of Soviet defence.The Germans were executing a hasty attack against a Russian force of three infantry battalions and an armoured brigade.  Andy commanded the Soviet right, and Keith the left, while Jim commanded the German left and I took the right, with the deep armoured thrust. The forces were relatively thin on the ground after several weeks of hard campaigning, and division hd all

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Mortal Gods - First Playthrough

So my mate, Alan, has been waiting with fevered anticipation for this to arrive and so when the postie delivered Mortal Gods (originally by a company called "War Banner" but who have now had to change their name to "Dark Peak Games" and then to "Footsore Miniatures and Games" due to having received cease and desist letters from GW and Peak Games - see the announcement here) to him a couple of weeks ago he has been been busy as the proverbial painting up the core set figures. And Alan being Alan, had also got the Spartan and Athenian boxed sets as well as a number of "extra" models so he has gone pretty well all in on the game!So when I went up to his house last week he had a couple of warbands pretty well all painted and ready to goAll set up and ready for actionEach player creates a Warband with each individual warrior, group of warriors and hero costing a number of points with 300 points being suggested for a reasonable sized game. Each Warband (or "Lochos" to give it it's proper title) is led by a "Lo

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Warhammer Underworlds - The Waaaghrio Brothers Come Out to Play

Roo, in true wargamer style, has been jumping from project to project recently. Having started painting up some 28mm Fins for Bolt Action, he then started chopping up Space Marines (although not to play 40K - I'm not sure what rules system he had in mind for that). Then he started swapping out the bendy axe from a pre-painted D & D Gnoll and replaced it with a much more sturdy weapon and latterly he decided to finish painting up the figures for his Orc/ Orruk Warband for Warhammer Underworlds. For some reason he decided to paint them up using the colours of the Marios Bros so Gurzag, seen above, is in blue and red in homage to Mario himself.Bonekutta is in the colours of LuigiHakka wearing yellow as does WarioAnd Basha in the colors of Waluigi.Of course, having such a fancy colour scheme is all very well but until they had been proved in battle, the Waaaghrio Bros may as well stay in the box.So it was that they took to the table to play their first game of Warhammer Underworlds, taking on the servant of K

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"Red Alert - Space Fleet Warfare" - Rules Review and First Playthrough

I do like Space Ships.And I have always liked games involving Space Ships.Being more of a Trekkie than a Star Wars fan I cut my gaming teeth on the likes of Star Fleet Battles and Federation and Empire and also Star Trek: Starship Tactical Combat SimulatorI had Battlefleet Gothic and for miniatures I played Full Thrust and Space Dreadnought 3000 and despite what I said at the end of my blog post here I did end up investing quite heavily in X-Wing (unlike the Dungeons and Dragons Attack Wing which is what I had thought I would end up doing).I am also a fan of the Commands & Colors series of games with Ancients and Napoleonics sitting on the shelves and the app versions of The Great War  and Battlelore for my iPad and Memoir '44 on my laptop.So when PSC Games (the board game side of The Plastic Soldier Company Ltd) announced last year that they were to do a Kickstarter to pr

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A masterclass in mobility - Action with Spearhead on the Belgian Plain 1940

White eyes, round as saucers, staring unblinking from smoke blackened faces. White eyes, deep set above sallow cheeks, trying to block out the yelling and the screaming, the smells of emptying bowels, and blood, the piteous cries of men calling for their mothers. White eyes, fighting the terror, staring unmoving into a past that would not be forgotten, a past that showed no respect for pips or stripes, for age or youth.The men of the Dorsetshires had not crossed the channel for this. The men of the Dorsetshires had come expecting to boldly go forward and stop the Bosche in his tracks as their forebears had done in 1914. This was not the war they had expected. This was not the war they had trained for. This was a war that had found them wanting.  And they had paid the price, unable to cope with the roar of engines, the shriek of shells, the speed with which their foe had come upon them."They woz all over us" a voice comes from the middle of the group."Like a bloody rash" another mutters. A corpsman, walki

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"BEF blunts and bloodies Bosche beak"

"This is the BBC World Service. News today of a British victory in France, as forces from the BEF blunt the advance of German Panzers in Northern France. Troops from 7th Panzer Division believed to be under the command of German General Irwin Rommel were stopped in their tracks by a determined BEF defence. Field Marshall John Vereker The Right Honorable The Viscount Gort spoke glowingly of the grit and determination of the British troops under his command as he met with Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the War Cabinet today in Whitehall. "We gave Jerry a bloody nose today" he said."Field Marshal The Right HonourableThe Viscount GortVC, GCB, CBE, DSO & Two Bars, MVO, MCDark rings surrounded eyes, lines carrying days of grime streaked from the corners of mouths, as if hope had fled in the face of despair. The Brigadier scanned those same faces, seeking out signs of hope."I know this regiment has suffered losses. I am only too well aware of the fate of my predecessor. But I am not him. Retreat is a conta

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"Packed in like bloody sardines, we was...."

Northern France, May 1940:" 'ere Corp, wot's 'is Lordship up to? 'e's got us crammed in 'ere like bloomin' sardines, 'e 'as.""It's called concentration, me old china.""Well this bleedin' concentration's gonna 'ang us out to bloomin' dry, I tells yer. Bloody Jerry's sniffin' 'round already wiv 'is bloody aircraft, 'an I reckon we've got hole in the line you could drive a whole bloomin' fleet o' London buses through.""Nah, we'll be right me ol' mate. Sarge was talking to his mate over in D Company, in 3 Battalion...""That bloody bastard Bateman? The Sergeant they call the Bus fare Bateman - dishes out charges like they was bus tickets?""Yeah, that's the one. Anyway Sarge was sayin' that he told him that the whole battalion is primed to counterattack as Jerry sweeps past. Meantime we've gotta keep these bloody bridges from falling into Jerry's hands.""An' who the 'ell is gonna pay for that? We is, we's the muggins wot's gonna do the dirty work, we's the muggins wot's gonna be stuka'd to 'ell, we's the muggins wo

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Weird World War 1 .. all very weird indeed..

Two further games of HotT for the evening, this time Weird World War 1, and both 24 points,, Andy's host hasn't quite reached 48 points yet.For the first game I field an aerial hero general, and a magician, two riders, and a mix of shooters and blade. Andy fielded shooters, hordes, blade and a hero general (the captured Mk IV)Deployment, from behind the British linesGhostly German hordes, shooters and the hero generalThe British aerial hero buzzing around behind the British linesRiders take the British left wingAdvance ...The British magician (artillery observer/counter battery team) ensorcels the British hero on one of those 1vs6 die rollsThe British stronghold.. a mystical deathly chateauBut Andy manages a 6, and brings the ensorcelled hero back to attack the British strongholdBritish bayonets (blade) advance against the GermansAction....The hero is repulsed but goes in againAnd destroys the British stronghold... So, time for another game, for which we each change the composition of our forces, just be

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That magician Napoleon... mon dieu!!

Finally some post Christmas HotT, and what better to start with than 48 points of napoleonic Hordes of the Things.My French are currently a pretty ordinary bunch, some French columns as behemoths, a hero (one of those flashy hussar types) and a magician general to represent Napoleon himself.Andy's British were again pretty standard, but featuring the amazing riders that Andy has crafted.. very fantasy-like. We played across a 4'x3' playing area.Deployment view from behind the French line, the battlefield shortened with the inclusion of a river deployed by Andy as the defender.The British left - shooters backed up with more shooters, a hero, and those brilliant ridersThe British right anchored on the river - that's a hero general with the flag. Eddie Izzard's voice rang out with the cry 'Have you got a flag?'The French right, behemoths supported by shooters, Napoleon himself with a couple of bases of knights (Grenadier a cheval of the Guard)The man himself - napoleon, a man some saw as having magical powersThe

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More Spearhead, notionally in France 1940

Our experiments in playing Spearhead with 20mm figures and models continues. In Spearhead everything should be based on bases 1.25" square. This creates more accurate combat frontages, and troop densities.  The issue is the size of vehicles. Vehicles in 1/72 obviously don't fit on bases 1.25" square. This means that individual models, representing troops of 3-5, vehicles occupy a disproportionately large area on the table surface.In our last game we played with a scale multiplier of 1.5X. This meant that vehicles were closer to the right densities, although correspondingly infantry on the standard 1.25" bases occupied too small an area. Even though we played on a larger table area, it wasn't 1.5x the standard 6'x4' area that we usually use. Therefore troops moved further, action was joined much sooner, weapon ranges were longer and so more of the table area could be dominated by fire, and the opportunity to develop the game more fully with manoeuvre disappeared as you were on your enemy far too soon

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More Northern France 1940 action

Northern France, 1940, and the BEF continues its attempts to resist the Wehrmacht's assaults. This was the second WW2 Spearhead game Andy had played, and this time he opted to command the BEF forces.Using Keith McNelly's Scenario Generation System, I'd created a British Armoured Division Defend list, and a German Panzer Division Attack list. There were errors in my lists, as I realised a little too late, in particular, I'd taken two British Armoured Regiments at half strength when the system normally allows reduced strength units that have had no more than a third of their fighting stands removed. However I guess as we are the authors of our own scenarios, this was OK.In this game I layered in artillery, with both sides having access to divisional artillery, and both having corp level guns available for limited counter-battery work.The battlefield, with BEF defending from the left, the German forces attacking from the right Andy deployed one battalion forward holding the most advanced objective, with a s

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