Christmas at Tyneside Wargames Club…

I had really intended to get more gaming this last year but managed to get two games of Cold War Commander in the first quarter, then the big Ayton ImagiNation weekend and… that’s been it. Not a good total really but definitely quality over quantity, especially with the Ayton game! So, over the last few weeks I’d been trying to arrange a game with Stephen Davison. Nothing had really happened but I decided to push to get down to the last meeting before Christmas of the Tyneside Wargames Club– always a good fun session. Stephen had said he and a few others were doing Waterloo with Grand Armee and I was welcome to pop in and help with the British. I had a bit Christmas shopping to do and a haircut to get but eventually made it down to find the game in full swing with about 10 players involved and the first Prussians appearing early on the French flank. The first French attack had been repulsed with heavy loss and the second, along with the Guard was moving forward as the French right moved to combat the Prussian threat.

 

I took control of a couple of brigades of British cavalry and some horse artillery on the British left.

They had moderate success seeing of French cavalry and breaking squares.

The Prussians slowly advanced on the French right, driving off Cuirassiers, but not being able to make rapid progress.

As the Guard advanced the British center was under threat.

 

The Guard did break through but were held and repulsed!

And as the recovered French corps moved to the attack again it looked like the center would hold.

The Prussians continued to push onwards but were desperate for their other Korps to arrive!

As time ran out it was agreed on a marginal Allied victory. The center had held, barely.

I haven’t played Grande Armee for…ages. And really enjoyed it again. The game was great fun and played with great spirit by all concerned. And this was certainly helped by the excellent supply train!

Some fine cognac, German brandy, cherry brandy, port, wine, vodka… 🙂

Phil, Lawrence, Ian and Richard were doing a 28mm Dark Age game:

 

The regular large Great Captains game, part of an ongoing campaign:

With serious numbers of 15mm figures present!

There was a large naval game, French vs. Japanese I think but no idea on what rules!

 

All in all, a very pleasurable way to spend the afternoon. And luckily I didn’t have to drive anywhere tonight as I’d be way over the limit!

So a big thanks to the guys for games and victuals and hopefully I can make it down more in 2012.

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December Update – Syrians and watching Zulu…

I had great plans for trying to get a game today, even if only solo. Wife was supposed to be out for the day with the kids. But my expected full day to myself ended up as a few hours (by the time I’d done my assigned chores!) so I did something I’ve been planning to do for most of this year – watch Zulu! It’s one of my favourite films and back in January when we finally bought a big TV and Blu-ray player it was one of the first films I bought (along with Black Hawk Down, Gladiator and Watchmen).

If you read the comments on Amazon about the Blu-Ray transfer there are a few people who complain it is ‘too clean’ and that the original ‘quality’ of the film has been erased by the digital processing. All I can see is a bloody stunning film! The colours are vibrant and it was a joy to watch. It was great to have the time to sit and watch it on my own and it still remains a great film. I know the history ain’t quite right but in this case I don’t care. For me it is one of THE films of my childhood and I can watch it again and again!

And after the film I had a little time to finish off some basing. I had done a unit of T62As for my Syrians. Models are GHQ and rather nice. HQ stand completed as well.

 
 

And just so I might have enough for a small game, I did a recce unit and the CO stand.

 
 
 

The GHQ T55 is an absolutely lovely model. Oozing crisp detail and and example of GHQ at their best.

And yesterday I spent a little time dipping the latest batch of trees from Timecast in PVA ready for basing up.

 

With what I’ve done so far this will hopefully give me enough to get going, though I think I really need about the same amount again! As with the others I did I’ll be putting them 3,4,5 to a base and then putting those on defined areas of cloth etc. to mark the extent of woods.

One day I’ll use them in a game… 🙂

Someone on TMP had suggested using Veltrim (usually used for car interiors) as a material for game cloths. I managed to get a sample of the ‘SAND’ colour.

Although it matched quite well with that I’ve painted my tiles I’m not yet sure I’d right for general desert use. Just not quite yellow enough. It would cost £21 plus shipping for a piece 9ft by 6ft. The jury is still out on this one!

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Going off the rails… well, on them actually!

After a chance conversation with Jason from the North Shields club about railways for 1/300th games he said he had picked up a pack of the Hornby Track Planning Symbols for use in a planned game. I’ve not really had chance to talk to him properly since so I don’t know how far he has progressed but I liked the idea and grabbed a pack on eBay. They are 1/4 OO/HO scale so as close to 1/300th as you are likely to get! You get a reasonable selection of straights (enough for 3-4ft) but you also get LOTS of curves and points. And as this is for model railway planning, you  get curves for doing twin tracks and fancy crossovers.

On a visit to Timecast I was talking to Mark and Barry about any plans for doing track rather than using actual model railway track which is a tad too big. The issue is always how much you do. You need straights, points and curves. But if you do curves, what radius? And do you allow for double track? And curved points? So this Hornby stuff seemed a good idea. They also said they had looked at this as well for some models but had found it really difficult to glue…to anything. Something about the type of plastic being glue resistant!

Now I bought the pack months ago and as with many projects it has sat on the side waiting. However, at SMOGGYCON last weekend Martin at Warbases has a little bargain box so I picked up a pack of 132mm lengths of MDF which I thought would be ideal for the track. And today I found a little time to make a section up.

I just lathered on UHU glue and let it dry fully, trimmed the ends, and then used Vallejo White Pumice to texture the rest of the base. Sprayed with mid brown an then painted and dry brushed the lot.

You can get an idea of what the basic track looks like below. The only slight issue is that some/most pieces have a code number on them. I may try and trim some of these off but on the test piece I left them on and then painted that bit black. I also used one of the very short track sections in the middle and that makes it look a little uneven.

Overall, assuming the glue thing doesn’t kick in, I’m quite happy with it. Future one’s I’ll texture to make the raised track bed more prominent. And I want to move to some double track, maybe mostly curved. Martin at Warbases has said he can cut curved bases to size so if I can work up some templates that should be good to go. The lots of interesting points etc. will allow some nice rail yards to be made up, I hope.

Still, as with all projects, lots more to do!

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