Monday, September 24, 2012


I've had a whole day off work but unfortunately it's been with some virus that's left me totally without energy.  I managed twenty minutes on a model that I can't name because it's a secret not to be revealed to the Warsaw Pact side in this year's big CWC game.  Then I collapsed in a sweating heap.

Here's a random picture instead of any significant update:

Irregular Miniatures wagons; nicely generic.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wagon Train Thrace

This month's Saturday Afternoon Wargame TM saw us assaying another of Charles Grant's Table Top Teasers from the long-dead magazine Battle for Wargamers.  This was the second time we've done this having previously tried Bridge Demolition with Principles of War but the first time we've tried using Basic Impetus in this way.

The scenario was set somewhere in northern Thrace in the late third century of the current era.  A Roman force was trying to fight its way to a fortified town through countryside overrun by wild Goths. Here's the Roman briefing

Somewhere in northern Thrace, late third century CE.The Roman garrison of the fortress at Annonia in northern Thrace has been cut off for several months without supplies after large numbers of Ostrogoth tribesmen swarmed over the Imperial borders from Dacia. 
General Nautius Maximus is leading a relief column aiming to push through to the fortress.  The relief party includes a long train of wagons loaded with supplies for the fortress. 
The garrison of Annonia, under Biggus Diccus, can be expected to sally out in you support as you draw near.

Gus (Romans) brings his wagons up the road while Jamie (some
of the Goths) awaits. 
One of the six wagon elements (Irregular Miniatures)
The entry of the Goths was randomised both in terms of location and time of arrival.  Both of the first two arrivals (on turns two and three) were on the left of the roads as the Romans looked at it.

Bucellarii (heavy cavalry) followed by skirmishers.
Both Irregular Miniatures (Normans and Norse standing in as Goths) 

As the Bucellarii approach, Roman medium cavalry deploy into line to
meet them.  Meanwhile, behind the Romans, more Goths forming of
a large warband, have arrived (rear right). 
My newly painted Equites Promoti Seniores (Roman light cavalry)
advance to protect the right flank of their heavier brethren.
(Baccus 6mm miniatures)
Just before the cavalry melee.  Sadly for the Goths, Jamie would roll a
six at the wrong moment and the Bucellarii routed from the field!
Meanwhile Rob had arrived, having been delayed by traffic.  He took over the Goths coming from the Roman's right flank.  This included another massive foot warband.  As luck would have it, the warbands were both coming from behind the wagon train and, being no faster than it, would need it slowing down if they were to rear it.  This job fell to the Gothic medium cavalry and skirmishers (two units of each).

Goth skirmishers threaten the head of the convoy.

Whilst Rob's warband threatens the rear.
At this point Gus thought the battle was lost!

I took on the role of Biggus Diccus to lead out the reinforcements....

Spotting the arriving wagon train, Governor Biggus Diccus sends out
his troops; the Equites Promoti Iuniores (left) and a Legio cohort.

The Roman light cavalry hits a unit of Goth mediums from the flank.
Despite the Goths being disordered (green die) I still managed have the
lights routed immediately!
The Goth warbands approach the rear of the wagon train
with only the Equites Promoti Seniores to oppose them.
Meanwhile there was a confused melee further forward.  The lead wagon
changed hands several times.
The final position.
The battle ended on game turn 21 when the Goths reached their break point.  In the end the Goths managed to make off with one wagon-load of supplies.  Another was captured but would be easily recovered by the Romans.  A pretty clear Roman victory then!

The game was fun, moved quickly, and seemed to be enjoyed by all concerned.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

George's Battlegroup

It's been a while since I posted.  Post-Berkeley malaise I guess.

I've now finished rebasing the 6mm scale British troops that George bought at Crisis Point.  They were based for Modern Spearhead but I've rebased them for Cold War Commander as that's what George is likely to be playing.  Clickable pics all.

The tanks - a Chieftain regiment reinforced by a squadron of Challengers.

Battlegroup HQ - left to right:
Spartan MCT, Forward Air Controller's Spartan, CO, Recce Scorpian,
and Tracked Rapier (rear).
The Drop Shorts - six Abbotts and the FAO.
Queen of the Battlefield - a Mechanised Infantry Battalion in FV432s.
This is what I wrote for George:

33 Brigade Battlegroup

Battlegroup HQ
1x CO, 1x FAC, 1x Recce Scorpion, 1x Spartan MCT, 1x TR-1 Tracked Rapier

17th/21st Lancers
2x HQ, 1x Recce Scimitar, 9x Chieftain Mk 9

C Sqn, 2nd Royal Tank Regt (attached)
3x Challenger I

1st Bn, The Green Howards
1x HQ, 3x Milan 1, 9x Regular Infantry (with Carl Gustav), 12x FV432 

47 Field Regt, Royal Artillery
1x FAO, 6x Abbott

This is the proposed organisation for Crisis Point 2 - Arctic Strike. In our story the Brigade was ordered into Denmark to oppose the Warsaw Pact landings there and was subsequently cut off.  A daring amphibious operation saw the British force rescued from Zealand and transferred to Oslo Fjord in Norway where they now find themselves opposing more Soviet forces.

You could also use this force for one-off games set during a fictional Warsaw Pact invasion of West German any time between the introduction of Spartan MCT in 1986 and the retirement of Chieftain in 1995.  Drop the Spartan MCT and you can go back to 1983.

If you remove the Challengers you can use this army for any game set from about 1975 onwards.  Finally if you remove the Milans, Scimitar and Scorpion you could use the army for battles set as far back as 1967 when Chieftains were first introduced (but you might want to add a couple of Ferret armoured cars for recce purposes).

Thursday, September 6, 2012

That 20 Questions Meme

Everyone seems to be doing it so I thought I’d have a go...

1.       Favourite Wargaming period and why?
The Second World War was my first real interest; I was born within 20 years of its end and remember watching All Our Yesterdays on TV as a child.  However, for some reason I’ve always had a soft spot for the Cold War - sort of 1980s-ish.  I think the interactions of weapons technology are so interesting during that period.

2.      Next period, money no object?
28mm pulp - 1930s archaeologists, cops, thugs, Nazis, mysterious cultists, maybe a dockside with run down warehouses and a salt-caked tramp steamer moored alongside.  

3.       Favourite 5 films?
In no particular order: Land and Freedom, Grosse Pointe Blank, Local Hero, 51st State, and (guilty pleasure) Notting Hill.  Interestingly that’s two films with assassins as heroes and two films with scousers as heroes.  Maybe I should review my planned answer to the “favourite fantasy job” question?

4.      Favourite 5 TV series?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Skins, University Challenge, Coupling (the nearest I get to quivering fanboy is where Steven Moffatt is concerned), The Big Bang Theory.

5.      Favourite book and author?
Just one book?  I love Julian May’s Galactic Milieu books but I can’t pick just one of those so it’ll have to be Pride and Prejudice.

6.      Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!
General Studies - my favourite subject at school.

7.      Favourite Wargames rules?
Probably Arc of Fire (though Hordes of the Things is my most played set of rules; probably ten times as many games as any other rules).  

8.      Favourite Sport and team?
Rugby League and Sheffield Eagles (though I was brought up in football-mad Merseyside supporting Liverpool FC and they’ll always have a place in my heart).

9.      If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?
Can I come back?  If not, I’ll pass.  If I can, then I’ll go to Istanbul, one night in May 2005.

10.     Last meal on Death Row?
Huevos rancheros.

11.     Fantasy relationship and why?
I’d love to have known Christopher Hitchens.  I can think of no-one more entertaining to sit next to at dinner.

12.     If your life were a movie, who would play you?

I’d like to think John Cusack but I’m afraid I’d probably get Mackenzie Crook.

13.     Favourite Comic  Superhero?

Perry the Platypus.  Britain doesn’t have as strong a superhero comic tradition as the USA so I’m going for the character from Phineus and Ferb, which my daughter watches on TV.

14.    Favourite Military quote?
Nous sommes dans un pot de chambre et nous y serons émmerdés.” - General Ducrot at Sedan.

15.    Historical destination to visit?
When a man is tired of London he is tired of crowded streets and an oppressive sense of being surrounded by urban sprawl for further than he can walk in every direction.  On the other hand it is full of history and OK to visit for a day.  Where I’d really like to go, though, is the French national tank museum at Saumur. 

16.    Biggest Wargaming regret?
That I spent so much time early in my wargaming career collecting Airfix figures and converting them into various ancient and Napoleonic types without any proper focus and without any real, strong interest in either period at the time.  I just thought they were “what you do if you’re a wargamer”.

17.    Favourite Fantasy job?
Gentleman of leisure.  Prepared to consider professional assassin, though.  Do you get dental with that?

18.   Favourite Song Top 5?
Panic Beach - Maria McKee, Crazy in Alabama - Kate Campbell, Fall At Your Feet - Crowded House, Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen, Family Tree - Gerry Rafferty

19.    Favourite Wargaming Moment?
I love it when a plan comes together.  The only time I ever played Shock of Impact I set up a lovely defensive position with a single light infantry unit in the battle line.  The enemy took the bait, quickly routed the lights and began a disordered pursuit only to be taken in flank by my elite Royal Guard heavy cavalry who’d been deployed on a hill for exactly this opportunity. 

20.   The miserable Git question, what upsets you?

The cussedness of inanimate objects.  Particularly dice.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Berkeley 2012 Pictures - Day 2

Some pictures of Day 2.  Click to enlarge.

Another day another McGlynn - Alan this time.
Alan's army - Vietnam War Americans plus some big blue bloke (apparently
from the Watchmen comics.

Against Pete Duckworth I decided a ridge would make an interesting
feature.  It did but of course I ended up with the Bad Going to cross.

Pete is one of the nicest blokes by whom you could
be utterly thrashed at HOTT.  I know; it's happened
to me frequently. 
My Northern Union, an army based on Rugby League teams.

Thrashing in progress (though I did get one outside chance of a
kill on William the Bastard).
Dwarves on stilts.

Dwarves vs Jack-o-Bears.  That's a Dwarf Shooter element on the right.

An innovative orientation for my Chaos army's Stronghold.

An appalling run of PIP die rolling meant that my army spent most of
the game in this position.  Game drawn.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Berkeley 2012 Pictures - Day 1

Here are my pictures from Saturday at the 2012 Berkeley Hordes of the Things tournament.  Click to embiggen.

Saunders V Colonists vs Cannibal Horde (Gordon Malcolm)


The grav tanks arrive but too late to save the colonists from the cannibals!

This is Amy.  Amy's lovely.  This did not stop my Morokanth
destroying her Persians utterly.  They're like that, Morokanths.
Morokanth vs Persians.  Note the words of advice on the back of the
Morokanth Stronghold.
Morokanth destroying Persians utterly.

Battle of the Jameses - Ewins left, Crawley right.

L to R: Gordon Malcolm, James Ewins, Steve Harris, Jamie Crawley

Strangers in Pavis: Morokanth vs Mike Shepherd's rather splendid Chinese.
Morokanth vs Weeping Angels!
Two of the McGlynn boys - fearsome opponents!
I've just noticed how much McGlynn junior resembles
Sebastian Vettel in this picture.
Sunday Pictures later!