‘Twas the night before Ayton…

And for once I am NOT painting and basing!!!

I had fairly modest plans for adding to the forces for this years C18th ImagiNation game that Henry Hyde is running for us (see Henry’s Wargaming Journal for the campaign build up) . Henry had placed some restrictions on the size of our forces to curb the Ayton Arms Race. This was also going to be a more traditional Horse and Musket game so less ‘exotic’ units – my Indians will be there but the Altefrtitzenburg Anti-Elephant Battery are in barracks breeding more pigs!

To make up a suitable force in terms of number of units I decided to field my ‘half’ regiments – splitting my 48 figures units and adding an extra command stand. This gave me a 5 stand unit under Henry’s Shot, Steel and Stone rules which is a little fragile. So I decided to add battalion guns to each unit to give something like:

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I also needed to do the second command stand for my ‘split’ Braunschweig regiment. The original flags were done for me by Tim Hall – seen here:

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But I wanted to do the new ones myself. I had the required Minden command figures (French I think) and spent some time with the GIMP and a template from Not By Appointment to come up with my plan for Braunschweig standards that fitted in with what Tim had already done. Each regiment carries a national flag with the central emblem with the national blue colour. The second standard, regimental, carries a I or II for the battalion (when split) on a background of the facing colour. Tim had reversed the colours of the cross which I think I wish I had done too – and may still do! Anyway, here they are:

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Way back last year as part of the excellent AMG game at Partizan I added a unit of Kuirassier to my Altefritzenburg forces. This was only 12 figures plus an officer. I had hoped to do a full 24 figures unit but time, work and family…

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For Ayton I really wanted to finish this unit. It’s only 12 cavalry I thought! Plus a couple of officers. And a two figure command stand! And cavalry take AGES to paint!!! Lots of little bits and when you think you are nearly done there is still the horse to paint! 🙂 But I got them done. The original squadron had red shoulder straps, hair bow and red cockade. I wanted to differentiate the other unit so again, if I split them and do another command stand, they will be a little different. So instead of red the new squadron is green. Quite enjoyed doing the flag as well! Big is good!

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Annoyingly I forgot to add the main officer figure (seen with the original unit above) in these pictures…

And finally, the first action of this year’s campaign was a brisk cavalry action  which Henry has written up on his blog – Ambush at Ubbynedre and fought as a real action with figures and all! As part of this Henry created a commander for my cavalry – Brigadier Weisswurst – who performed rather well. So as a last minute thing I decided I needed a figure for him. I wanted someone dashing so used the Fife and Drum Tarleton figure. And I may use the uniform for my next unit of cavalry!

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And now the troops sit in their mobile barracks as I await doing battle with sleet, rain and snow to get there tomorrow!

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It promises to be yet another excellent weekend and I’m really looking forward to it.

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Battalion Guns!

In preparation for Ayton I needed to paint up five battalion guns to add to my ‘smaller’ battalions. I already have one gun with the Savage Swans but needed another and two each for the Braunschweig and Alterfritzenburg battalions. My existing gun was based on 50x50mm to match the infantry bases which was fine when the gun was more of an attached gun rather than integral to the unit.

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Iain Burt (Essex Box), the Picasso of basing, suggested that a narrower base, matching the four figure command stand (33mm x 50mm) would make the integral gun more a part of the unit. Less space in the line. Seems to work.

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Having recently seen pics of John Ray’s battalion guns I wish I had done them with crew pushing them along as it looks very good (assuming I can find the right figures!) and I will probably do this with the next lot.

And the Workbench currently has four command figures in progress and 14 kuirassier. Not long ’til Ayon now! 🙂

 

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Wor Lard!

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I’ve played a few little games using various Lardie rules. Sharp Practice, Chain of Command and I Ain’t Been Shot Mum. There was a Lard based gathering in Durham last year which ‘real life’ prevented me attending. Luckily, this year, Jim Catchpole dropped me an email to see if I was interested in attending this years event and fortunately ‘real life’ allowed it! So this morning I set off for the Durham Wargames Group venue at the Vane Tempest Hall in Durham. It was a lot further from the train station than I thought and that last uphill stretch up Gilesgate was a little ‘warm’!

The Durham Grouphave an excellent venue. Several rooms, lots of storage for LOTS of terrain, kitchen, wargames library. Excellent space! And they laid on a fine range of munchies. None of which I could eat as I’m vegan and on a diet! 🙂

There were a number of games on in the morning. A Sharp Practice Beau Geste, a Danzig Sharp Practice, a naval game and a proper game of Kriegspiel with three tables. As I was so intent on my own game (the Beau Geste one) I only managed a few pics of the others so apologies for the lack of detail:

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In the other room there was at least one other game on with Richard Clarke (for the man himself was there!) running the Beau Geste game using the upcoming Sharp Practice 2. I failed entirely to even pop into the room which is credit to being absorbed in my own game! As I took pictures Rich commented on the prevalence of wargamers taking photos now (which he was doing as well) and of wargamers taking photos of wargamers taking photo of wargames!

So, back to my game. I will (as ever) apologise in advance for being crap with names. Even of I was told them at the time they’ve gone now! But my Taureg side consisted of myself, Barry and Jim versus Jay(?) and ? 🙂 The game was run by Nigel and most entertaining it was too. The scenario saw myself (the Emir Mustafaleek! Credit to Nigel for having an excellent range of silly names for the Big Men! Fakir Orf anyone!) with my Fakir, supported by two Shariffs each with their own Fakirs. We each has 3 mounted units and 3-4 foot. Out bonus was a field gun. But with only three rounds! The aim was primarily to secure the oasis but with options on the town, the fort and the archaeological dig. A French columns was heading for the Fort and the action opened with an ambush on said column. This was not quite the devastating attic we hoped but did force the French to split their force. A Thirst card was successful in slowing the columns’ advance on the fort but their own cavalry, some legionaires and support from the Fort was to see the ambushing force gradually reduced and ineffective.

Meanwhile, the sentries in the town spotted the massed tribesmen rushing towards them and Barry was to spend much time forcing his way into the town, taking quite a few casualties, before finally breaking down the doors of the buildings to allow a final assault on the few French troops on the roof.

Despite taking damage on his ambushing force, Jim was able to bring up his gun, secure the oasis and with two good shots blow open the gates to the fort! As he rushed men forward a unit of French cavalry sauntered out and were promptly sent back in after losing half their number in melee! Despite persistent and damaging firepower from the three groups manning the walls this was to allow Jim to push his men forward and finally gain a foothold inside the Fort!

My Emir pushed down the right. My foot taking damage from the walls before finally joining the rush towards the open gate. My main man and his camel mounted troops headed straight down the flank to finally catch the archaeologists and guards in the open as they failed to move rapidly across the open ground. Many were cut down before retiring back to their camp.

It was at this point that Nigel called time and with troops closing in on the defenders in the town, the Fort breached, the stranded supply train about to be charged by fresh camelry and the archaologists trapped in their camp, it was declared a resounding victory! Here a good few pics from the game. Hopefully you can follow what is going on!

Afternoon game was Chain of Command. Some rather nice 15mm Brits (me) advancing to secure the church/town to their front. I had three sections, recce car, two Churchills, mortar and piat. Facing… Germans! I’ve only played CoC one before and to be honest it showed. I was able to get a good patrol phase and get a section on a hill to the left with overwatch on the town and approaches. Another section went up the right and foolishly got themselves targeted by enemy in the building. They took a lot of casualties and were eventually thrown back (two men left!) to play no further part in the game. To their rear I placed the mortar with the sergeant. This was to spend the game dropping quite persistent and accurate smoke along the entrance to the town.

Meanwhile the armoured car shot up the road, narrowly missed getting torch by a ‘schreck and parked up for the remained of the game! I slowly moved up the section in the centre eventually getting to the building and eventually these were to rush forward into the smoke on the road into the town. They felt quite safe in the smoke but were a little isolated and I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with them next. Both Churchills advanced, with the one narrowly avoiding the ‘schreck three times! Before finally going up in smoke! The other finally got into the smoke in support of the centre section but again, what to do next.

My excellently positioned section on the left eventually came under fire with the big man getting hit and them slowly taking shock before dropping behind the hill and not really having may options. My opponent (name?) had played before and clearly knew what he was doing and I think I got off quite lightly really. But by this point, despite reaching the edge of the town, my centre force was quite isolated and unsupported and the enemy (still with a section off table!) were in a good position to hammer them when the smoke eventually went. My force morale was also not looking good so it seemed clear the British assault had failed. To be honest I wasn’t really clear on the best way to use the tanks. Should maybe have kept them right back on overwatch. And there was talk of the best way of handling an advance and moving jump off points forward. None of which I really knew was possible. Live and learn.

It was good fun anyway and cheers to my opponent and the young chap who ran the game. I really should be better with names! Some pics: 

It was an excellent day and thanks to Jim and the Durham guys for organising.

After the C18th Sharp Practice game last year with Simon, Dave and Iain I do really want to try the rules again and once Ayton is out of the way I will continue the move to convert my C19th ImagiNation forces to the rules.

 

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