SYW at WB3D!

Last night I managed to arrange a game at the recently formed Whitley Bay 3D Gamers club in, unsurprisingly, Whitley Bay! The club has been running for a good few months now but being on a Tuesday night it’s hard for me to rearrange picking up of kids etc. But last night worked out so I managed to arrange to take part in a 15mm SYW. Figures and terrain supplied by Ian. Rules supplied by Neil. The rules, Battle Factor, are in development and last night was one of several recent playtests. We had 6 players, 3 a side, Austrians v. Prussians. I took the mixed cavalry and infantry division on the Austrian left, Ken (CinC) took the infantry center, and Ian the right flank. As usual, I’m crap with names but the Prussian opposition was Lawrence (facing me),  Karl(?) facing Ian and I think Darrel as Prussian CinC.

Command and control works from Army, then to Division, then Brigade commanders. As orders are issued, units can carry out several actions but the enemy can respond to each one (within restrictions) so you can get quite a lot of activity in a short space of time.

The table at start with my two cavalry brigades either side of the woods just before the Prussians deployed. Deployment can be as close as 30cm so action can start pretty quickly!

2015-06-23 19.34.57My left hand brigade went forward, charged and was counter charged. And just defeated… 2015-06-23 19.51.10Falling back through the rear regiment, these in turn charged. Breaking the already worn down enemy.2015-06-23 20.13.25

My two central cuirassier regiments then moved forward. Successfully engaging the first regiment, driving them off and following through to do the same to the second. Now blown (their Battle Factor was negative) they retired to allow the second regiment to advance.

2015-06-23 20.29.142015-06-23 19.35.11However, the threat from Prussian infantry produced a stand off.2015-06-23 20.37.422015-06-23 20.58.07My carabiniers returned to the fray after my dragoons had done serious damage on the left again.2015-06-23 20.29.022015-06-23 20.28.54Having finally driven off both regiments they fell back to re-group along with the dragoons.2015-06-23 21.52.49Although the result was a stand off with my cuirassiers, with time I planned to bring back the regiments and then roll up the flank.

Meanwhile, on the rest of the table, stuff happened! 🙂2015-06-23 21.53.12 2015-06-23 21.53.04 2015-06-23 20.58.18 2015-06-23 19.50.56 2015-06-23 19.50.47 I have to admit to being rather lucky with the dice.2015-06-23 20.26.23As casualties (reduced battle factors) were based on dice rolls divided by 6 rolls like this served me well! There was some discussion during the game about how the command rolls worked. All the action on my flank happened in two turns. Lots of orders and reactions. The idea of the flexible time scale and the to and fro is a nice idea. I look forward to trying them again.

It was good to get a game in, good to see Ian, Ken and Lawrence (and NDL later!) and good to try new rules. I should make it down the club again in August!


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AMG at Partizan 2015

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to get round to this. Partly due to work and partly due to being on a slight downer afterwards as it was such an excellent day and it was a shame it was over! So what was it? Well, the gentlemen at the A Military Gentlemen Forum (for people who own John Ray’s most excellent book of the same name) were putting on an C18th take on the battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras. With nearly 20 people involved and using figures from some of the finest C18th collections around it was always going to be an excellent event but it far exceeded people’s expectations and was a real showcase for the hobby.

Most of the planning and organisation was done by Graham Cummings (of Crann Tara Miniatures) who produced the excellent teddy bear fur terrain and also the leaflets available on the day. The scenarios were based on Charles S Grant’s Wolfenbuttel War book and Mr Grant himself was the main umpire as we were using The War Game rules. Here are the attendees:


  • Charles Grant
  • Adam Woolhead
  • Dave Jarvis
  • Mark Allen
  • Jim Purky
  • Paul Robinson
  • Colin Ashton
  • Dave Hall
  • Graham Cummings
  • John Ray
  • Andy McMaster
  • Gary Philips
  • Neil Cogswell
  • William Harley
  • Andrew Fielden
  • Guy Barlow
  • Phil Olley
  • Iain Burt
  • John Dougan

My part in the game was on the ‘French’ side at Quatre Bras, the smaller of the two games, allied with William and Adam and opposed by Andrew and my arch-nemesis Mr Burt! 🙂 Everyone else was on the Ligny table and I have to admit, the day was so engrossing and fun that I never really got time to investigate the other game fully so this post will really deal with my game.

Where to start…

As the morning mists cleared the French advance guard, sixteen squadrons of cavalry approached the Allied defenses.

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Time was of the essence and with the infantry advancing behind it was decided the cavalry would push forward across the stream and engage the enemy who were defending woods and buildings.

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The left hand squadrons began to deploy to the right rather than try and force their way up the narrow road, the remaining squadrons pushing on past the farm complex.

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And over the thunder of hooves the supporting infantry came marching onto into sight!

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As the cavalry advanced to cross the stream they came under effective artillery fire to their front and withering musketry from the occupants of the farm complex on their left.

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Eventually the left hand lancer squadrons took so many casualties they were forced to retire. But the others pushed on and across the stream. The squadrons to the right having better success as those in the center were subjected to canister, volleys and cavalry counter charges!

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Meanwhile, the infantry on the left began to drive back the troops from the woods and my own ‘Savage Swans’ began to assault began to assault the resolute defenders of the farm complex.

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The first assault was driven back but they went in again!

2015-05-31 14.27.032015-05-31 14.27.16And were again thrown back but enraged at the injustice they went in again!

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But to no avail. The farm complex remained in enemy hands!

In the center, the cavalry battles raged as squadrons were driven back and returned to the fray, those to the right finally engaging enemy infantry and driving them off.

2015-05-31 15.15.17 2015-05-31 15.27.41But more enemy troops were arriving in support and the task facing us now seemed insurmountable!

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Regardless, the infantry in the center pushed on and across the stream.

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But the first unit across, assailed by musketry and canister, was charged in the flank by skulking lancers!


At this point, we decided to call it a day. It was clear we could not get anywhere near our objectives. But we’d had great fun trying! William, on the right had had better luck forcing a crossing. Adam’s cavalry finally came into play and drove off one enemy infantry unit and his infantry on the left had driven the enemy from the woods. However, the stream was the killer. There was just no time to reform after crossing before being engaged by either firepower or enemy cavalry! It was great fun playing with William and Adam and the opposition (Andrew and Iain) were gents (well, Andrew was… 🙂 ) .

The Ligny games was stunning. A superb table crammed with superb troops. Others on the forum have posted better pics and hopefully there will be something in next month’s Wargames Illustrated but these were all the pics I got.

l001 l002 l003 l004

It was a most pleasurable day. My main regret was not getting to chat and meet everyone on the other table properly. Thanks have to go to everyone really for getting there and making it so special but especially to John Ray who’s book and forum brought us together in the first place, Graham Cummings who brought the whole event together on the day, and Charles Grant for the rules, umpiring and years of inspiration. I just wish the light had been better so I could get better pictures (a couple of used have been filched from Graham Cummings blog!). John also supplied the attendees with a lovely figure of a gentlemen about  to put on his coat with the help of a servant and it was also great to meet Jim Purky (Die Alte Fritz, Minden and Fife and Drum miniatures) who had made the long journey across from the States for the event! Although Ayton was the first game that got me into C18th ImagiNations, Jim was the man who sent me my first batch of RSM figures (the Savage Swans in the above pics) which helped decide my choice of figures for the entire project!

So, there we are, a great day and plans are already afoot for AMG 2016. I just hope I can secure a pass!


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Durham Wargames Show 2015

I feel a little bad posting an update for this when I haven’t even uploaded the photos from the Partizan game two weeks ago but I’ve struggled to get any decent photos off my phone and generally life and work have been busy. However, the thing of note that relates to this post is that I bought a pack of Conquest Games Norman Infantry! These are to be used for the Lion Rampant games planned for Ayton 2017 (yes, 2017!) and I intend using them for a Norman/First Crusade type force. Those who know me will be surprised as I have often been dismissive of plastics. Nothing to do with the quality of the sculpts, the look or anything. Plastics have been a great boon to the hobby. I just don’t like the ‘heft’ of them. I like to feel the weight of lead in my hand both when using them and when painting them! However, as this Lion Rampant project is small scale and probably a one off it made sense to use a pack of each (foot and knights) to form the core of my force. But I digress, the main reason for attending Durham being the need to purchase a pack of Norman Knights! Lawrence was nice enough to off me a lift and we got in nice and early at 9.45.

Durham is a small, local show organised by Durham Wargames Group. I’ve been going for years and really like it. There aren’t many games on, there aren’t many traders compared to the bigger local shows but there is a Bring and Buy and it is always a friendly show. And as I like to spend most of my shows nattering to people this is ideal. And I like to support the traders and clubs involved.

There were five demo games on, four in the main rooms and one next to the Bring and Buy. The latter was a nicely presented Zulu Civil War game and although I chatted with the guys there I failed to take note of the Club name! [EDIT: which was Grimsby Wargames Society. Thanks for Richard (Herkybird) for the info. He’ll be posting his report and lots more pics on his blog later]

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Over in the right hand room as you enter the show was a rather nice C18th game by Andy of Old Glory and others:

2015-06-13 11.32.35 2015-06-13 11.32.44 2015-06-13 11.32.56 2015-06-13 11.33.25 2015-06-13 11.33.36 2015-06-13 11.33.45The other room saw a large (literally!) Waterloo themed game from Durham Wargames Group with a 54mm Attack on La Haye Saint.

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Pendraken where there and also demo’ing their new Warband Fantasy Rules. The demo always seemed quite busy.

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And finally Redcar Iron Beards had some WW2 action:

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I managed to get the various bits I needed. One box of Norman Knights, and some Perry 1st Crusade crossbowmen, some armed pilgrims (which will do for my bidowers) and a Hospitaller Command pack which will sort me for my ‘leader’ and hopefully allow me to have an extra mounted unit. Quite pleased to get what I need for Lion Rampant. Now I need to paint them…

I also managed a nice chat with Dave Jarvis where we reminisced over the Partizan game and had a nice chat about painting techniques. Lawrence was leaving early so at that point I had to depart. But having got all I wanted and had a few nice chats it was a good little show for me. The Bring and Buy seemed quite busy (there were a lot of books as well) but I managed to resist!

Thanks again to the Durham Wargames Group for a well organised little show.


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