Ayton 2015 – at last!

While working on my review of the year I realised that I have posted NOTHING about Ayton 2015! I posted some images over on the LAW forum but that has been it. This is most remiss and I feel I should get some galleries up and some comments on what was a most excellent weekend!

After getting the tables set up on the Friday Buff ran a couple of quick pigsticking games. I’d painted up a 30mm Tradition 21st Lancer for the proceedings. I have several more of these that will be added to my C19th forces. The game was quick and fun!

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I did manage a few successful ‘sticks’ before getting unhorsed and gored to death!

The main event was a C19th colonial affair where our multiple factions were vying for control of a region of assorted diamond mines. There was treachery, nuns, restless natives and lots of marching in the wrong direction as despite Iain (Essex Boy)’s excellently put together campaign lots of us failed to spot the hidden messages and really had no clue who was on who’s side! Eventually things settled down and we managed a huge Day One game which although on the big table was really divided into three separate areas with distinct objectives. I held the one end of the town and the small harbour and buildings with my valiant (newly painted) Altefritzenburgers and yet again faced the evil and devious Medetians! I’ve got no chance of remembering a detailed narrative now but… my Indians hid (as always) in the rocky area and ambushed (rather unsuccessfully) the advancing Medetians before being driven back to the Customs House. This then became the centre point of the battle as my valiant chaps threw back all comers! Finally the sneaky Medetians launched a river assault (which seemed to come from nowhere!) but despite several assaults by their marines my chaps held fast and with support coming from the town we held our objectives and the Medetians withdrew…

I’ve no idea what happened on the rest of the table but there was a wide range of Colonial types on display! And the rules (written for the day by Paul Bright) worked well. You can see plenty of pictures in the gallery.

Ayton 2015 Day One Gallery

Overnight various campaign machinations took place and this time saw our side moving up river to assault prepared defences. It was an excellent game. Lots of figures. Good fun. Things were looking bad for our side until one player had to leave, his part of the table secure and under no threat. His command was taken by our erstwhile umpire, Essex Boy. Faced with a weakened enemy, from a solid position of huge strength and assured victory, he managed to oversee the collapse of the entire flank! Which handed victory to the forces of good! Lots more pics in the gallery!

Ayton 2015 Day Two Gallery

A truly excellent weekend, as all the Ayton weekends are, and coordinated by Messrs Burt and Bright with much capability. Said capability being sorely lacking in some players as we missed clue after clue! It all came together in the end and was great fun.

And finally, not everyone was partaking of C19th 28mm Colonial goodness. The Two Tims (Hall and Waughby) spent the weekend with their 54mm ACW collections. Lovely painting and a good fun to watch. In 2016 they will be rolling out more 54mm goodness.

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So there we have it. That was Ayton 2016. The usual. Excellent games. Excellent figures. Excellent company! Apologies for taking so long to post!


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The year in review…

And so another wargaming year draws to an end and we turn to the retrospective post bemoaning the lack of painting and gaming throughout the year soon to be followed by the ridiculously over optimistic post with plans for 2016! This time last year I was making the same plans: http://blog.belisarius.org.uk/2015/01/the-year-that-was-and-the-year-to-come.html. At some point in the year I obviously took down the ‘Master Plan’ so that doesn’t bode well!  So lets look at each section in turn…

You can see the new Master Plan to the right. It’s quite conservative. I want the unit painted for Ayton and maybe a few ‘characters’. The units needed for the Partizan game are only a few and are a good driver for getting more added to my ImagiNation forces. This bodes well for a hopeful return to the C18th for Ayton 2016! I’ve got plans for a new 10mm Sudan project and have done some sample figures. I hope this will keep going this year as 10mm and Sudan is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I’d like to finish the other couple of units of my 20mm WSS but until there is another game planned it’s not a priority. And I have NO INTENTION OF STARTING ANY NEW PROJECTS!!!!

There were a few successes there. I got what I wanted done for Ayton which was another unit of Spencer Smith FPW types. I was SURE I had posted pics of these and of the Ayton weekend but it appears not! I shall remedy that soon! As ever, it was a great weekend and I’m already looking forward to 2016! And 2017! Having already done the extra command stands for my C18th units to allow them to be fielded for the big AMG Partizan game in May I only needed to add one cavalry unit which I did achieve…

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The 10mm Sudan project stalled. I blame Essex Boy for confusing me over basing…. 🙂 But more on this one anon….

And the less said about “And I have NO INTENTION OF STARTING ANY NEW PROJECTS!!!!” the better…

Any other painting I do will be just to add to existing projects. That leaves plenty of scope! I want to try and finish some projects off, paint the last odd unit, dispose of surplus lead. Punic Wars, AWI, Modern Micro armour will all fall into this area. And I’m knocking a couple of projects on the head: 6mm Arab Israeli and 6mm WW2 North Africa. Both will be up for sale soon!

The big success from this bit was the selling of all the GHQ stuff. This all went in one batch and netted me a tidy sum…that all went on kids holidays etc…  I still have lead to dispose of and some progress has been made on the Modern Microarmour. The Punic War 15mm will see an outing this year and the 15mm AWI may well too….

Games – nothing major planned other than the usual excellent Ayton and the big game at Partizan, both of which I am really looking forward to. March will also hopefully see a mini gathering in Newark and Lincoln which should be most enjoyable. I’m also going to try and get a few games in at my club. Honest…

Ayton was great and the gathering at Partizan of the AMG Forum members was a day to remember! http://blog.belisarius.org.uk/2015/06/amg-at-partizan-2015.html

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March saw myself, Essex Boy, Word2Dave and Goat Major gather in Newark/Lincoln (at W2D and GMs homes) for two excellent days gaming. First off was a 6mm FPW game at W2Ds with excellent terrain and figures (as expected from Dave!): http://blog.belisarius.org.uk/2015/03/march-2015-gaming-weekend-part-1.html

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And then the next day we took up residence in GMs new games garage for an excellent C18th game of Sharp Practice.

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Both were excellent games and it was a pleasure playing on such beautiful tables!

More games at the Club? Nah… I managed to make the Christmas WW1 game two weeks ago and that was it. However, the beginning of the year saw the start of a new club in Whitley Bay, the Whitley Bay 3D Gamers.  This has been going from strength to strength and owes a lot to Neil Smith’s excellent organisational skills in promoting and help organise games each week via email and Facebook. This keeps everyone engaged and sees a good selection of games on each week where often you can just book a slot and turn up and play thanks to other members supplying the terrain, figures and often umpiring. Very well run. And I’ve made four games this year. It’s on a Tuesday evening which works better for me than a Saturday as weekends tend to be tied up with kids. I hope to make more sessions this year and even put on the odd game!

And finally, I want to re-vamp the blog a little. I want to start moving the static content over to a normal website so I can play round with the format a bit more. And hopefully spend some time sorting my collection and photographing more.

I’ve started this. Slowly… You can see the current status here. And I’ve not done anything for a while… The plan is still the same though… As we have a Punic War game coming up in 2016 I might dig them out and finish that section first… The tricky bit will be writing a gallery page that accesses the existing galleries on the WordPress blog and allow me to move those over en masse.

So, there we are. We shall see what transpires!

So that covers most of it. Overall it was a little poor on the painting front. Apart from the stuff for Ayton and Partizan that was pretty well it. I did manage a 6mm Dropship:

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And some more Belgians…


The highlight of the latter part of the year was the Lion Rampant weekend organised by Goat Major (Simon Tonkiss) at the Foundry venue near Newark in November. A day of Lion Rampant followed by an excellent game of Chain of Command at the Goat Residence. Well organised weekend. Great fun. Beer and curry. What more could you want!

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So…all in all a most pleasant year if not a hugely productive one. The four games at the Whitley Bay club were excellent as was the WW1 Christmas game at the Tyneside club. I did manage a few shows (York, Partizan, Durham and Border Reiver) but missed the excellent Battleground show.

What will 2016 bring? What are my plans? We shall have to see. More in a couple of days…

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Christmas 2015 Haul

I trust everyone has had a most excellent Christmas and that Santa deposited a suitable selection of toys under your tree. I did pretty well. My wife is usually given a list of my ‘wants’ and she usually does pretty well! I’m also involved in a Secret Santa but my toys from that are still in the post so I hope Monday will see that arrive! Despite some forward planning Christmas Eve again saw us up until 3am wrapping presents so we started Christmas Day a little tired… However the below shows my happy collection of pressies.


The three bottles of malt have now increased to four (though at this moment I’m doing my best to empty one!) with the addition of a bottle of Old Pulteney. The Laphroaig Select proving rather nice. The usual addition of smelly stuff and choccies is always good but the wargame haul was:

  • To The Strongest ancient rules – we ‘may’ use these for a Punic War game in 2016
  • Conquest Games Medieval Archers – more additions to my Lion Rampant forces.
  • Blood on the Nile from Warlord Games – for when my 10mm Sudan project finally takes off….
  • Honours of War – interesting looking SYW rules (including a Fred the Great figure)
  • BORDER RAID: PILLAGE IN PROSCRASTOR. A MINI CAMPAIGN WITH A DIFFERENCE by Charles S Grant – I really like these books and look forward to perusing this one.

I was supposed to the get the latest Wargames Annual as well but it looks like I will be ordering that for myself! All in all rather pleased with that. Having taken delivery of some Newline Designs 20mm Prussian Napoleonics and with Dragon Rampant on the way it has been a good Christmas. I may be tempted by some fantasy bits for DR from Black Tree Design. I have 24 hours to decide on that with the current sale…

I shall be making some plans for 2016 over the next few days and maybe a review of the year. I may even try going Wargames Neutral next year again!

Enjoy the rest of the holidays!


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Christmas Zombies!

Shock! Horror! Yes, two games in four days! Tonight I made it down to the Whitley Bay 3D Gamers Christmas gathering where Karl and Andy put on an excellent little Zombie game. Good turn out with (I think) 16 players taking part and two umpires. Despite the numbers the game flowed pretty smoothly as the survivors tried to get two barrels, a scientist and fuel to a water filtration plant while fending off hordes of Zeds and  the occasional werewolf and vampire. I had a female character armed with shotgun and chainsaw. The latter was very effective at close range but not with my dice! I came close to death several times! Not sure on the rules used but they were nice and simple, card driven for activating Zeds and Survivors, and didn’t get in the way! Lots of ‘special’ zombies turned up, and we never really felt like we were totally overwhelmed. A good balance…

I took a few pics but the light seemed to was the colour from the photos. I tried GIMP’ing a few but it didn’t really work. The terrain was nice, especially the weathered tanker. Thanks again to the guys for organising the game and Merry Christmas chaps! Hope to get down more in 2016!

Start of the game before things got messy….

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One of the more interesting survivors….IMAG4963 IMAG4964

A fast moving zombie thankfully not heading for me!IMAG4965 IMAG4966 IMAG4967 IMAG4968

The arrival of the first werewolf. There ended up being over a dozen of these but thankfully we dealt with them…IMAG4969

The excellently weathered tanker.IMAG4970

Things were getting quite busy on the far side of the table.IMAG4971 IMAG4972 IMAG4973 IMAG4974

A helpful Valkyrie who healed a few characters but wouldn’t be healing mine as I shot at her!IMAG4975 IMAG4976

My chainsaw armed character (now out of fuel) battling three zombies!IMAG4977

Endgame as the objective was finally achieved.IMAG4978

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Tyneside Wargames Club Christmas Bash 2015

[NB I seem to be having some trouble getting images to open up in the ‘lightbox’ so if they don’t for you then hang fire while I work on a fix and pop back later!]

And so another year is over and I finally make it down to the Tyneside Club for my first game of the year there! Saturdays are just not good for me. Too much going on with the kids etc. I have made three games at the Whitley Bay club and should make their Christmas game next Tuesday. Tuesdays just seem to work better as I can go straight from work. I shall try and get down on a Saturday more often though as it is always good fun. But today was the Christmas game. Alcohol would be drunk. munchies eaten and good fun has by all. It was a pretty good turnout with six games running (pictures below) but I was slated to take part in a large Great War Spearhead game put on by Ian Logan. It was a large game played over the terrain sheet used for a recent Waterloo game but this saw the French holding the ridge line and the villages and being attacked by rather a lot of Germans! Myself, Rod and Dave lead the attack and against a cowardly French defence by Phil, Ian and Andy. Dave was our CinC and here was his masterful attack plan…


I was to take command of the 20th Division on  the right. Three advance regiments and a reserve, all with attached artillery, and half a regiment of hussars. My orders were to advance to the front and attack the main ridge, using one regiment to screen the villages and prevent interference. It kind of went to plan. Sort of… in a lots of dead Germans kind of way…

My chaps are just on the right, the main German assault took up most of the table, and the German cavalry reserve can be seen bottom left.


My chaps begin to advance on the villagesIMAG4928

The attack develops in the centreIMAG4929

Pushing ahead…IMAG4930

The main German attack.IMAG4931

It took me a little time to adjust to the rules. I was keeping battalions in nice unit lines. Then the French artillery landed. My CinC said, ‘checkerboard!’ so I made a nice neat corner to corner chess board type setup. Which still drew the artillery! Eventually I spaced them out a bit more. The French artillery was to prove deadly and I lost quite a few stands that way, but not as many as in the centre of the table….IMAG4932

View from the other flankIMAG4944 IMAG4945

My first regiment foolishly forging ahead and about to lose six stands as the French line opens fire!IMAG4946

Although they eventually charged in there were not many left. They did however pass both their 50% and 66% morale checks so stayed to the bitter end!IMAG4948

My few cavalry swung round the flank to attack the French in the far right town but were then a little perturbed to find a whole French cavalry division bearing down on them!IMAG4949 IMAG4950

My only real successes were taking two of the towns. Unfortunately one had to be abandoned as the regiment failed their 66% moral check!IMAG4951 IMAG4952

As the cavalry swarmed round the flank I tried to being my infantry guns to bear on them…IMAG4954

Another regiment assaulted the French line but took many casualtiesIMAG4955

Having taken this town my troops surged out to kill the few stands in the area and prepare to continue the advance!IMAG4957

However, by now I had lost two more regiments and although the reserve cavalry were on the move it was clear that I had nothing much left to contest my flank….IMAG4958 IMAG4959

At which point a strategic French victory was declared.

Lessons? Don’t bunch up or the artillery kills you. Don’t assault the lines alone as the whole French lines gets to shoot you! Get your own artillery in play earlier to soften up the lines!

I really enjoyed  the game. I did find it a bit ‘messy’ in that trying to move lots of stands, keep them spaced out and remember what belonged to who was hard! It was probably more me needing to get used to the mechanisms! I’ve only played a couple of games of Modern Spearhead but the rules seem to flow quite well and once you have the hang of them the games move pretty quick.

Thanks to the chaps for a fun game and to Ian for organising.

Of the other five games, here are few pics:

Richard and Lawrence getting all Samurai!

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Pete et al with LOTS of figures getting all Late Roman!IMAG4935 IMAG4936 IMAG4937

I Ain’t Been Shot Mum!IMAG4938

Might and Reason (I think!) in 6mm.IMAG4939 IMAG4940 IMAG4941

15mm EmpireIMAG4942 IMAG4943

The Christmas game is always fun and I really wish I could get down more often! Maybe in 2016…

Merry Christmas chaps!

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