Friday, 22 January 2010

A game at last !

After several attempts at a game, all of which were cancelled due to the weather, I played my first game of 2010, this week. It was a medieval battle using the 'Bloody Barons' rules. Now these rules are not for you if winning is your main objective. You may initially secure an advantage, I managed to secure the role of attacker, which meant that at least I knew that all my troops would turn up (oh foolish youth). After allocating his troops to right flank, left flank and centre my opponent had to dice to see if his troops were delayed, 40% were which meant his plans were stymied from the start. He also got to place the terrain, but I could move it to my advantage.

However the pendulum then started to swing back, one of my generals decided that he would turn a deaf ear to orders and skulked on the baseline; only a personal visit from the C in C would motivate him, and the C in C had decided that today he would use the slowest nag in his stable. My other sub general decided that this was the right moment for him to re-discover the art of rolling ones and twos, meaning that he was unable to motivate his troops to advance. One of my units had also managed to get lost on the way to the battlefield (see false hopes above).

Struggling against the odds my forces advanced, secure in the knowledge that at least they had the advantage of numbers, only to see the enemy stragglers start to arrive. After several exchanges of archery and some prolonged hand to hand fighting over possession of a low hill, darkness intervened. The result: a overwhelming victory for the defence; they held all the terrain pieces, my advance struggled to get half way across the table and one of my better units was in rout. Nevertheless it was a very enjoyable evening, the gaming experience was probably more realistic than in many games that take place. No one could control a medieval battle, they would just hope that things went their way.

Sunday, 17 January 2010


Or lack of it. Another week gone and not a figure painted. I don't know where the time goes. Hopefullythe weather will improve and with the days getting longer I may be able to squeeze in some brush time. Glancing around the various websites and blogs on wargaming, it is interesting to see how themes for 2010 are beginning to develop. Will this be the year that plastic 25/28mm overcomes the established order of metal figures and becomes the figure of choice for the majority of wargamers? Will Napoleonic interest shift to the Peninsular now that the 200th anniversary of the 1809 Danube campaign has passed and there is a lull before the 1812 anniversary comes around. On this point wouldn't it be a boost to have a proper film made of the Russian campaign, War and Peace was ok, but miltary interest was intermittent. It would be nice to think that someone, somewhere, would be willing to bankroll a film of the campaign on the same lines as that produced for Gettysburg. That is, of course assuming, that they could avoid distorting history in pursuit of'the 'storyline'. Surely the events and characters involved are enough, without the need to embellish them?
Other thoughts for 2010; will the current wargames magazines continue to be published, faced with electronic options. Also will the hobby continue to flourish, surely the treadmill of figure production will eventually become self-defeating as increasing numbers of ranges chase a static or decreasing amount of wargamer pounds. We all (or nearly all) have boxes of figures waiting to be painted, some of us (I include myself here), probably (?) already have more figures than we can ever paint. Is the demand still there?

Here are a battalion of Austrian Landwehr holding a redoubt during a recent game based on the action at Tarvis in Eugene's campaign against archduke John during 1809. The Austrian position was in reality hopeless, they were outnumbered, outflanked and unsupported. As you may expect the refight went very much as history, except for the exploits of the Austrian light cavalry. They held the right flank (path of retreat) against the French light infantry, overunning two battalions. They then defeated twice their number of French light cavalry, before falling back in good order.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Work in Progress

Like many wargamers I have several painting projects on the go at the same time. Regardless of my best intentions the next unit always gets prepared and undercoated before the current one is based and ready for action. Some 15mm Austrian napoleonics are supposed to be the priority; I need some Grenz units for the advanced guard, but some War of Spanish Succession Austrian cuirassier looked interesting and so they are also sitting there looking at me. The Austrians form the minority component of the Coalition against the French at the moment, totalling about 15 battalions. There is a small brigade of grenadiers, a couple of landwehr battalions, but few light troops. That is why I decided to recruit a few battalions of Grenz. I liked the look of the Fantassin figures, they seemed to have a 'presence' and they are fairly easy to paint.
In addition my frugal nature means that I like to use the same figures for several armies. All that is required is one extra command base with an alternative flag. This way units can be used for the Thirty Years war and the English Civil War. The unit below is part of my TYW Imperial army, but with a change of flag it becomes Gerards in the ECW Royalist army.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Editorial ??

January 6th 2010

I have been following a few wargames blogs over the last few months and I find them inspiring and daunting in equal measure. In the end I decided to take the plunge and try out blogging for myself. It is not that I think I will add anything new to what is already available, or, perish the thought, that anyone would actually be interested in what I have to say; but it is mainly an exercise in mind over matter. Can I sustain my own interest in the project, find the time to update the blog and create material for it? Only time will tell.