An unexpected birthday present!

As part of the various purchases and trades that took place at Partizan betwixt myself, Essex Boy and Goat Major, I acquired all their surplus/leftover 10mm Pendraken League of Augsburg figures. This is a lovely range with some very nice sculpts and are amongst the ranges I’ve always fancied trying. Recent chat with EB about a possible project around these (with him and GM having dabbled already) led to the exchange of figures. I had a quick look in the box/bag on the day and only spotted the various primed/unpainted figures. After a few ‘hints” and comments from EB today it became clear I had not investigated his box (so to speak) adequately…

Further delving this evening revealed the only unit he had painted for his 10mm project! And it become clear why he said Happy Birthday on handing it over! As is usual for Mr Burt (EB) they are lovely figures, neatly based on steel and with his trademark lovely flags! I am most chuffed!

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There is no way I’m going to try and re-base these or even add to them so this will be the format for all my units. When I get round to them. Stop laughing at the back!

Cheers Iain! Made my day!

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A Partizan Birthday!

Today is my birthday. That gave me a little leverage in ensuring I could make it to Partizan this year! 🙂 What can I say… I’ve had an excellent day. This year Partizan moved to Newark Showground. I’ve always liked the old Kelham Hall venue despite the light issues in some areas and the maze of little rooms! It has character. But I can see the reason for moving and despite some trepidation about a move to another ‘hanger’ type venue (I really dislike the Donnington Worlds venue) this one is excellent. It’s not too huge and soulless, the light is excellent and the space seems just spot on for the number of traders and games. I really liked it.

And the games on show were excellent! A fine showcase for the hobby both in display and participation games. I could have taken hundreds of pictures but in the end spent too much time talking so I only have a few of the games I sought out.

First up was Graham Cumming’s C18th bash using his Crann Tara range. There are some lovely figures in this range and it was good to see a lot of them on the table:

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Lovely figures…

A stone’s throw from there I was finally able to say hello to Simon Miller (To the Strongest) who had a lovely game on show with beautiful figures again:

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We’ll be using these rules for our Newark Punic War bash at Foundry in November. Looking forward to this.

Bit of a break to the posting here as just been sat in friends garden down the street drinking copious amounts of gin! 🙂 Now where was I….

Battle of Short Hills AWI. By Steve Jones & the Newark Irregulars. 28mm. I do like a bit of AWI…

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Next up was Levied Troop and the League of anti Alchemists. Calvados and Chips – 1944 France. SS Paras vs Americans with Chain of Command. LT’s games are always nice to see. Lots of details, including, in this case, the bathroom sink!

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It was good to see so many C18th games on. This one from Grimsby wargames with a 28mm Marlburian game. How can you not take a picture of that many cavalry in a melee!

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And Grimsby wargames also presented a stunning Second Anglo Dutch naval game:

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More C18th, this time 15mm and good to see a lot of Minifigs on display from… and at this point I was hoping to find this info on the Partizan website! [EDIT: And thanks to Richard Tyndall I now know this was put on by the Forest Outlaws!]

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In many way this was the highlight game for me. Washing peg armies!

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Next up the Bunker had an excellent Winter ’79 game. Some lovely 20mm terrain and a good exampled of using stuff from various periods. This is a game I’d like to try but I feel it relies a lot on the terrain and I just don’t have any!

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There were a lot of excellent participation games. None if which I partook! 🙂 But some nice winter camo on display…

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There were a lot more excellent games on display and I’m sure pictures will appear on many sites but these were ones that caught my eye.

But what is a show report without a haul! I had a few things to pick up at the show and few presents opened the day before with the family but this was the haul!

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I’m slowly working my way through the Highland Park! And the chocolate…. But basically what you can see are..

  1. Odds and ends of 10mm Pendraken League of Augsburg courtesy if Goat Major and Essex Boy
  2. Foundry Norman command and Prussian Jaegers
  3. Vallejo paints
  4. The new Charles S Grant Refighting History book
  5. Some canoes for my C18th Indians
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  6. I finally joined the Society of 20th Century Wargamers and May (depending on the freebies they gave out) join the Pike and Shot Society!
  7. The latest Wargames Illustrated…

And finally, my big birthday treat, the recent 2 volume Great Northern War Compendium – which looks excellent!20160522_185959Overall, a bloody good day and a bloody good birthday! I’m well impressed with the venue and look forward to next year

It was a good social event as well, seeing Iain B, Simon T, Dave H, LT, Ronan, Henry, Simon Miller, Phil O, Ian Willey, Olli, Shaun, Paul and lots more! A really good event.

Now, back to the Highland Park!

 

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A mini painting challenge…

With Ayton now out of the way and no real painting targets set it was time for a little planning. Ayton 2017 will be Lion Rampant based. I’ve completed the first twelve figures so no real need to re-visit that project until at least March next year! 🙂 And in November we have a To The Strongest game planned at the Foundry venue. This will use existing 15mm collections and although I may re-base some and paint the odd thing I don’t REALLY need to do anything.

So with the C18th firmly in my mind I was talking to Iain Burt (Essex Boy) and we decided that to spur on our efforts to expand/complete our C18th armies we would match each other unit for unit. Now, these are the new ‘smaller’ units so we are looking at 28-30 for a battalion (inc. command etc.) and 12 plus command for cavalry. And not to make it too much of a strain we would allow about two months a unit! That may seem a lot but life does tend to get in the way and it also leaves time to do other bits and pieces as well. We both have a unit that has been started so the schedule is:

30th June

31st August

31st October

31st December

One unit to be completed by each deadline. We can do more of so desired…

My first unit is the 2nd Altefritzenburgers. I did a tester for these ages ago:

20160509_154507and the first batch have been started and sat gathering dust for months:20160509_154528So today I cleaned up and prepared the rest of the batch:20160509_154535I’m sure Iain will post details of his plans on his blog (yes, he has one but has done sod all with it!) or he can send me pics and I will add them to my blog.

We shall see how things go…

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Ayton 2016 Day 2 – AAR

And so we come to day two. Having failed to score a resounding victory on Day 1 the Grenouissian allies were forced to retire and converge their forces outside the city of Lit de la Riviere. Having retired to the east my own forces and those of Whyeydia were pursued by Medetia and as a major battle loomed my Altefritzenburgers formed the left flank, again facing Medetia, while on my right the battered but brave Whyeydians now faced off against the massed forces of Lord Peeler’s Aytonia!20160501_102650

It is impossible to recount the events elsewhere on the table. Too much going on and too many troops to keep track of! I have created a gallery of ‘other’ pictures and left the comments open so if participants wish to comment on their own events they may. And the bulk of the pictures from Day 2 are in this gallery – Ayton Day 2 – Left Flank

Now, back to the left flank. Dave and myself made similar agreements to Day 1. Artillery would be halved and batteries not massed. And as we also had lots of cavalry (some newly raised) we decided the open ground to the left was the ideal place for a gentlemanly cavalry ding dong! I also had the small Grenouissian contingent on that flank and I was to be very grateful for them too!

These allies were to push up along the far left, then my own cavalry supported by the Grenouissian dragoons and guns occupied the main open ground. And in the centre, left to right, were Braunschweig, Savage Swans and Altefritzenburg infantry, screened by jaegers while the rest of my light troops (Grenzers and Natives) rushed to occupy the small wood in the centre of our right flank. Whyeydian jaegers were to do the same.20160501_102703

I shall deal with the action from left to right as that is roughly the sequence in which ‘action’ was concluded.

The Grenoussian chasseurs pushed into the woods on the far left and after a small skirmish pushed the Medetian skirmishers out and eventually inflicted such loss that the enemy retired. They outnumbered the enemy so I expected this outcome. The Grenoussian gun battery on the small hill was to play a very useful role in damaging the advancing Medetian cavalry, while the infantry were able to help cover any possible breakthroughs.20160501_113519

First into action were the Braunschweig Kuirassier. Slightly depleted from the losses in the previous battle, they charged headlong into the first Medetian cuirassiers. Sweeping away the first squadron they ploughed into the second but were by now spent and a catastrophic melee that lasted 3 turns finally saw them dispersed.

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Meanwhile, the newly raised 1st Altefriztenburg Kuirassier piled headlong into more Medetian cuirassiers. Again, they swept through the first squadron but hitting the second did not end well. As their second squadron joined the fray they were not to be so successful and a catastrophic dice roll saw them flee the field! The curse of the newly painted unit strikes again!

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My dragoons tried to move to the right to threaten the enemy infantry but artillery and volleys saw them off with great loss…

To plug the gap in the cavalry line the Legion lancers charged but despite getting a strike in first they were no match for the dragoons and forced to retire and reform further back.

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It was now the turn of the Grenouissian dragoons to charge. They punched right through the remaining Medetian cuirassiers, and though the dragoons to their rear but then, faced with light cavalry, and much depleted they too were forced from the field.

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The Grenouissian guns and infantry fired on the enemy cavalry when able and were to do great service in halting the collapse of the flank. The last remaining Medetian dragoons charged for the rear but were stopped by infantry and the reformed Legion lancers.

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At this point the remaining Medetian cavalry were blown. Two squadrons were at almost 50% loss and any further advance would be under the Grenouissian guns and their infantry who were now deploying to secure the flank. The cavalry action was over, the slightly stronger Medetians claimed the day but were unable to exploit their victory. The battle would be decided in the centre…

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I had two lines, three battalions wide advancing. Initially partially screened by jaegers. And facing three lines of Medetians except on the left where there was only one. But the Braunschweig troops attacking these would do so under the gaze of the Medetian heavy guns on the hill. Although the batteries on either side would cause some casualties on the advancing troops once the line of site was blocked they again would engage in counter battery fire, and again, my guns proved the more effective at this.

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As the rightmost two blocks met there were a series of volleys from both sides, some significantly more effective than others. The first Altefritzenburgers battalion suffered great loss and was unable to advance against the Medetians facing them and had to retire in disarray. The second battalion went forward and was eventually able to drive off the first line.

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The Swans had a similar fate. Trying to advance and fire they took heavy loss in the first round and never really recovered. However, the second line were most effective and the other Medetian front line battalion was driven off.

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It was now that the devious Medetians revealed there second line to be elite grenadiers! The first volleys wrought carnage with the first battalion of Swans thrown back. But the line held and a serious fire fight ensued!

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Meanwhile the Braunschwieg troops advanced. As expected the first battalion suffered from the guns and were finally driven back by disciplined volleys. And as the second battalion formed up they spotted Grenouissian infantry advancing on their left in support.

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On the far right our respective light troops rushed to occupy the small wood in the middle. The Medetians got there first but I advanced my feared native troops who charged into the woods whooping and hollering! Unfortunately, the Medetians having encountered them before were little afraid and the ensuing melee saw them get the edge on the natives. Realising that they could be exposed to great danger if forced from the woods into the open ground of a formal battlefield the natives decide to retire to safer ground and begin scouting avenues of retreat should they be needed. And leave the formal battle to the regular troops. And it was nothing to do with rolling double one for the reaction test!

20160501_111147 20160501_113534The enemy were eventually dislodged from the woods and my Grenzers and jaegers took up occupancy.

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As the volleys were exchanged in the centre with neither side really gaining the edge my troops looked to their right where the forces of Whyeydia were suffering greatly at the hands of Lord Peeler (not a pleasant experience!) and it was clear the field could not be won. After a gentlemanly discussion with the Medetian ADCs both sides decide to draw back as further loss would be pointless on both side. My troops had fought on longer than they should have but it was clear the Medetians had the edge. However, we both felt that no one could claim victory though the Medetians would soon claim the field. The remaining Medetian cavalry were blown and fragile and would suffer at the hands of the Grenouissian troops if they chose to advance. My infantry, though badly mauled in their attack could retire under the cover of their guns and the Medetian infantry, though still with fresh units would suffer from those same guns should they choose to press forward.

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And newly promoted and famous Brigadier Weisswurst was left to ponder the fate of his cavalry brigade!

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And things had not fared well along the whole line. The armies of Granprix had secured enough of a victory to force us from the field. Although not in disarray it was clear the invasion had failed and Grenouisse and her allies would retire across the border. Until the next time…


It was great game again and I was content with the result. The Medetians had the edge (in numbers and quality) in both the cavalry and infantry battles but were unable to exploit that. And my troops had attacked for longer than sensible for a campaign game – but where’s the fun in holding back! And as ever, Dave was a great opponent.

And what did I learn from this game? NEVER buy dice from Paul! On the Sunday morning I bought two small black D6 from his box of goodies! I wanted some distinctive dice to roll all the command and reaction tests. They were to be my doom! Twice they rolled double one (seeing off my natives and cuirassiers) and managed a few threes on other occasions which didn’t help! My guns performed well and in the volleys and melees we both had some killer results with Dave maybe having the edge on those. But the dice weren’t horribly skewed in anyone’s favour and it was a good old fashioned clashing of the lines where in the end numbers and quality told. But occasionally the dice gods chuckled…

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And so another Ayton is over. It was a pleasure seeing all the chaps again (even if my liver and kidneys are still protesting!) and also seeing the new troops people had acquired since the last C18th game. And thanks must also go to Henry for running the campaign and giving us something to fight over!

Next year we will adopt our usual alternating of periods but rather than the C19th Gary Philips will be running a large Lion Rampant campaign for which the Swans and Altefritzenburgers will be making an appearance in yet another era!

Hope you’ve enjoyed the reports and pictures.

 

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Ayton 2016 – Day 1

What a great weekend! This was our 6th Ayton gathering and it is testament to the pleasure it brings and the friendships that have developed that we all keep coming back. Occasionally ‘Real LifeTM’ gets in someone’s way and they miss a year (this time it was Essex Boy’s turn) but we’ve had a core of regular attendees. EB was much missed (we told him that at least! :)) as were his fine Gateway Alliance troops. And last year our Ayton host Mr Peeler was carted off to hospital and so missed the weekend. Good to see him back this year.

The last couple of blog entries detail what I painted for this years game and this year the size of our forces was restricted and there were no sillies or exotic troops.

This year’s participants were:

The Grenouissian Alliance comprises:

  • Paul ‘Kung Fu Panda’ Bright, Lord Drumcharry, with the forces of Dal Riata
  • Ken ‘MarshalNey’ McGarry, Viscount Gascoigne of Gateshead, with the forces of Whyeydia
  • Andy ‘Count Belisarius’ McMaster, Oberstgeneral Seamus Gunter von Donovan, with the forces of Altefritzenburg
  • Gary Phillips, General von Slivovitz, with the forces of St Paulin  and in overall command.

The Army of Granprixian Revenge consists of:

  • Mark ‘Peeler’ Phillips, Lord Peeler, with the forces of Aytonia
  • Peter ‘Purps’ Mark-Smtih, Marèchal de Camp le Duc du Flappe, with the Margraviate of Cress
  • Dave ‘World2Dave’ Hall, General Amore, with the army of Medetia
  • Dave ‘Buff’ McClumpha, Otto von Weeze, with the expeditionary force from Borscht
  • And Simon ‘Goat Major’ Tonkiss, Generalmajor von Hauptzeige, with the Diplomatic Enforcement Corps from Prunkland(Prunkländischediplomatischedurchführungskorps)

And Messrs Hall and Waudby (The Two Tims) were doing their own 54mm loveliness. I would have loved to have taken more pictures as both their games looked lovely (especially the AWI game) but you can see a few here: Ayton 2016 Other Games.

This year we returned to the C18th and Henry Hyde ran a campaign following on from the previous games and placed within his Wars of the Faltanian Succession Imagination milieu. You can read about the build up and see they lay of the land over on Henry’s blog along with Henry’s very pretty map. Hopefully later this year/next year Henry is releasing a book on Wargames Campaigns which I look forward to.

Depending on the map moves for the campaign we usually have 2-3 games on the first day which gets us back into the flow of the rules and sets the scene for Day 2. My opening game saw myself (with the forces of Altefritzenburg), allied with Ken’s Whyeydian army assaulting the army of Dave Hall’s Medetia as they marched East along the hills while we marched West in the valley and then faced off when we spotted each other. We initially had slightly confusing orders from our CinC sending us West. Which to me seemed a good plan so I penned orders to that effect and was joined by Ken and his Army. Unfortunately our CinC meant East! But the die was cast and battle commenced! Simon (Goat Major) was to take command of some of the Medetian forces as he awaited his own troops arriving on the other table.

I’ve created a big gallery with lots of photo from all of Day 1 but this is how our game went.20160430_105051

The forces of Whyeydia deployed on the left. While my infantry took the centre with my cavalry on the right, supported by a small but very useful Grenouissian contingent. The Medetians chose not to deploy their cavalry on our right. Although fairly evenly matched they would have been isolated from their main force by the intervening wooded high ground. This however left them facing Whyeydia who only had one (admittedly very pretty) hussar regiment. I deployed the famed Savage Swans in the centre to assault the right side of the town while Whyeydian took the left, and the blue coated Braunschweig troops would cross the river and attack the Medetian troops on the hill.

20160430_105126First blood went to neither of us! As we had been scouting the area prior to the enemy arrival we had Jaegers in the right hand woods. Unfortunately they immediately fell foul to an annoyed bear! Losing two figures before acquiring a new rug for the officers’ quarters!20160430_113239My batteries were deployed along the line to support all attacks but as the Medetians had two batteries of heavy guns covering my infantry assault I engaged in some counter battery fire. This was to prove most effective as by game end I had driven off two of his three batteries with heavy loss!

20160430_15363420160430_122419 20160430_153654In the woods our assorted light troops were to spend the entire game skirmishing to no real advantage to either side. As my cavalry had no real opposition I began to manoeuvre them towards the centre to try and support and exploit the infantry assaults. However, on turn 5 a contingent of local Borgenmark troops arrived (along with my remaining light troops and lancers) and they were forced to re-deploy to face this threat. Although my lancer squadron launched a charge against the superior enemy they were driven off. But the flank was secured and both forces faced off to no clear conclusion.20160430_140759

20160430_142436The real action was to take place in the centre and left. Emerging from the town in the centre the Braunschweig brigade advanced across the river screened by their Jaegers. They took some casualties from the enemy guns but these in turn were silenced by their own guns who were to inflict much punishment on the waiting Medetian infantry.

20160430_105227The Jaegers swarmed across the bridge to harass the enemy and cover the battalions crossing the river. As a unit of hussars appeared they were forced to evade and the hussars crashed into the first battalion and suffered heavily as a result. This delayed the river crossing and by game end the Braunschweig troops has just started exchanging close range volleys. Medetia still held the high ground.20160430_12154520160430_12153820160430_14550820160430_151652Once the infantry had advanced the famed Braunschweig Kuirassiers advanced into the centre, taking some casualties from enemy guns, but once these had been driven off by their own guns they advanced rapidly to assault the newly exposed infantry to the right of the town. Unfortunately, the losses suffered advancing, charging uphill, and a volley as they went in left them a little weary and a fine defence by the enemy infantry saw them thrown back in disarray! Sorry Tim! 20160430_12223720160430_161818My main force advanced in four lines, the Swans leading the way. They took casualties from heavy guns in the way in and a fine first volley from the defenders saw the first battalion retire. The second exchanged volleys at close range but the wall was to be the decider and they too retired to redress the ranks.20160430_11272120160430_143329_00120160430_150425It was now the turn of the Altefritzenburgers but they were to fare little better. Often taking fire from two enemy battalions the first battalion was to retire as well and at game end the final full strength battalion was ready for its turn, with the Swans now reformed to its rear.20160430_15170020160430_165144

However by now events on the left meant the day was not to end well.

The massed infantry of Whyeydia advanced valiantly but artillery and heavy volleys were to drive them back from the assault on the town.

20160430_105432Meanwhile on their left the massed Medetian heavy cavalry descended on the them and although they fought valiantly they were gradually driven back on the far left.

20160430_14582520160430_105140The hussars attempted to rescue the flank but were no match for cuirassiers!20160430_151718With their left flank driven back this expose their centre to cavalry charges and as they day close it was clear the assault had failed…20160430_154551The Medetians had put up a solid defence.
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Their guns had taken a battering but they held the high ground and their massed cavalry, with room to deploy and no cavalry to oppose them were to decide the affair on the left. And if I learnt one thing about assaulting infantry behind walls it is this: NEVER let Ken roll any of your saving throws!!! 🙂

At that point we declared. Battle still raged on the other table and again did not go too well for our troops. We were eventually driven back and our combined forces were to meet on the open plains north Lit de la Rivière. But that tale will be told later…

We were using Henry’s Shot Steel and Stone rules (as we have always done for C18th games) but this year both myself and Dave were using smaller battalions. Mine being five stands with an added battalion gun to bring them up to six. Six is the minimum for a Normal size unit as I needed to avoid any Small unit reaction test penalties. What we found in the first couple of turns were that a two gun heavy or medium battery firing at advancing infantry were hitting on a 5,6 with 10 and 8 D6 respectively. And the target needed a 6 to Save. Once the heavy guns got to medium range they only needed 4,5,6. Despite a new rule giving a -1 if you have just changed target in covered arc with an additional -1 if outside this often saw a unit taking 5-6 casualties in a shot! One casualty per base triggers a reaction test with potentially a -6 for casualties that turn at least! This saw my first unit recoil quite swiftly! Myself, Dave and Ken decided to halve the dice for guns. Work them out as normal and then halve and round up. We found this made the guns still quite effective but not a killer for our smaller units. It also meant I had a chance to get across the open ground before I lost a stand and became a Small unit. This worked so well that we adopted for our second game (of which more anon) and on Day 2 Henry adopted it generally for all players. It made a BIG difference to our games. We also agreed not to mass guns against a single unit.

So that was Day 1. A most excellent a fun game and played in great spirit. I can’t really comment much on the other game other than that it looked good, had massed cavalry and flank attacks!

The evening, as tradition demands, was spent feasting in the Forge pub and then trying to stay there all night! They eventually kicked us out at 2am….

More soon…

 

 

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