Battleground 2016

Today I hired a little car and took myself down to Stockton-on-Tees for Battleground 2016, organised by Pendraken Miniatures.  This is the last show of the year for me and always a nice little event. The venue is easy to get to, lots of parking, cafe nearby, and a good size hall with good lighting. It’s a well organised and well publicised event with a good selection of traders, a good few participation games and some nice demo games. There is the now common TableTop sale area which seems to work well, although you have to grab the bargains when you see them because if you nip for a coffee and then pop back there’s a chance the guy will have finished his slot and taken his stuff away! Missed a couple books that way today…

So, before we get to the purchases (which were few) here’s some pics of some of the games. A plus point for the show is that each table has a large clear sign saying who is playing what on each table. Other shows take note! 

First up were Stafford and District Wargamers with a 10mm take on part of the battle of Ramilles. Nicely put together.20161126_110209 20161126_110228 20161126_110244Then we had a long game of the Battle of Skalitz from the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. Some very nice figures on the table but I felt the cloth shade of green was a little too green, though I admit it was probably the easiest solution for what was a big area to cover. By Durham Wargames. 20161126_110319 20161126_110636 20161126_110648 20161126_110717And again my local club, Tyneside Wargamers, had their big take (with little figures) on Cannae. Lots and lots of 10mm. 20161126_110755 20161126_110807 20161126_110816The Border Reivers put on their usual excellent display with a WW2 ‘Cross of Iron’ game.20161126_111730 20161126_111745 20161126_111757 20161126_111806Along from them was some excellent WW1 terrain from Generals and Kings. Very nice…20161126_111822 20161126_111837 20161126_111856 20161126_111903There were a good few participation games which seemed to attract attention throughout the day.20161126_111929And I still have no idea what the cup cake game was about!20161126_111944Simon Miller’s To The Strongest rules put in an appearance via the Old Guard Wargames Group. Very nicely presented 28mm figures.20161126_112016 20161126_112031 20161126_112048This was one of the more interesting games. Iacta Alea Est presented Jutland using the old Avalon Hill game of the same name. Had a nice and well informed chat with one of the guys running it. Meant to pop back to see how it turned out but never got chance. 20161126_112106 20161126_112349Redcar Ironbeards presented a Rapid Fire East Front game, Capture the Port.20161126_112401 20161126_112416 20161126_112433Rather nice little 10mm Sudan game from Independent Wargames Group – Blood on the Nile. I really must make a start on my 10mm Sudan!20161126_112504 20161126_112517 20161126_112528 20161126_112537 20161126_112542Then we had a very good looking Black Powder ACW game again from the Independent Wargames chaps. Really nice figures. And in my current favoured period.20161126_112559 20161126_112623 20161126_112632 20161126_112647And finally the Brompton Bankers had their excellent Toy Town Wars. Really cute stuff!20161126_113002 20161126_113018 20161126_113035 20161126_113103

There were a number of other particpation games I didn’t manager to snap but the full details are on the show website here.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Met up with Simon T (Goat Major) who was looking slightly battered! And chatted with various people thoughout the day. Yet again the Pendraken chaps are to be congratulated on a well presented show. I trust the number and trade made it all worthwhile for all concerned.

I have to be honest and say I didn’t REALLY need to buy anything at the show. Have plenty of recent odds and ends to keep me busy! I did spot a couple of books on Ironclads in the Table Top Sale but missed them. So I grabbed a couple of packs of MDF round bases and was happy to call it a day. Then Graham at Crann Tara dug out the boxes of 6mm SF he wanted to sell. So I grabbed the painted chaps for a good price and am negotiating for the big pile of unpainted! It’s all Dark Realm stuff which fits with lots of what I already have. Needless to say it needs rebasing!

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This might encourage me to finally finish and USE my 6mm SF!

A good day…

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15mm Odds and Ends

I’ve spent the last week re-vamping the eBay cavalry I bought and finishing a couple of odds and ends following the Newark game. When I re-did the Carthaginian command stands I took the two generals off their Cav(O) stands and added some standing figures to mount them on round bases. This left four Carthaginian cavalry so luckily I had a couple of matching unpainted figures so have painted those up to give me two cavalry stands. I tried to match the style (my 90’s style!) but you can spot the new ones if you look carefully!

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At Newark I picked up a few Minifigs ACW standard bearers that Iain (Essex Boy) and skillfully replaced the poles on. These were to add another command stand to my ‘Iron Brigade’ type figures. Flags are by GMB.

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Last week I took delivery of some nice Minifigs Union Cavalry. Tidy ‘wargames standard’ paint job and a good price for 40 cavalry. 

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So, off the bases they came after a good soak. Odd chips were touched up and the peaks on the kepis painted black (the originals had obviously had a heavy blue dry brush!). And as they were lacking command I tried to paint a couple of command stands to add to them and match as close as I could. And based in my usual style.

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I’ve also recently bought some snake fencing off eBay and the guy was happy to not paint and flock the bases so I could paint and flock to match my own bases. So sample one done:

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They are sold as for 15mm but I think are more suited to the ‘new’ 15mm/18mm rather than my old little Minifigs! They’ll do though…

The final eBay unit was I assume meant to be Rush’s Lancers. So these have been re-based and pennons added.

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The figures ‘seems’ to be the same as the unit above with the carbines replaced by lances. It’s a really nice figure but I’m not sure on the original Minifigs code. Would be nice to get a few more…

Here’s some close ups of the new command stands:

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And this is the final little brigade!

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Quite pleased with them really. I now have some dismounted versions to do as to be honest they will likely see more use on table!

And Saturday is the Battleground Wargames Show which I am rather looking forward to. Nothing desperate to buy but looking forwards to a good natter!

 

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eBay Union Cavalry

I’ve been planning on doing more cavalry for my Union forces for a while and have some more 2nd Gen Minifigs lined up. However, I spotted this lot on eBay the other day and thought they were worth a punt. 2nd Gen Minifigs and reasonable paintjob. Admittedly yet another blue but I can live with that. Honest…

Forty figures. Two lots of 12 and a 16. One lot being Rush’s Lancers (6th Pa.) which have had the original lances replaced and two more units. Paintjob is quite tidy. Obviously I need to rebase…. :). They are on thin plywood so I’m hoping a looooong soak will make removal easy… and I will need to paint a command stand or two so yet again the joy of matching a blue…

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Quite pleased with them really. I think the lancers need a red pennant adding.

 

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10th Anniversary!

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In all the frenzy of getting ready for the To The Strongest game in Newark I totally missed that 10th November was the 10th Anniversary of my entry into the blogging world! Back then my blog (ASL Stuff and Nonsense) was devoted to ASL (Advanced Squad Leader) – still my favourite boardgame system even if I don’t get chance to play anymore. I chronicled a few games on VASL and tournaments I attended and storage systems etc. Unfortunately, the arrival of small children curtailed my game time, as did work. After a bit of a lull I moved back into figure gaming and in September 2008 started a new blog (AWI Stuff and Nonsense) to record my 15mm AWI project. This went quite well and hosted on Blogger I gradually accumulated over 200 followers which was rather nice. 

This kept me going quite well until Feb 2012. I’d been blogging about various projects (Cold War, Punic War, scenery, Ayton, all sorts) but at the start of 2012 I decide to move away from Blogger and host my own WordPress site – which is what you see now. I spent quite a bit of time consolidating both blogs and importing the content from them into one place. Some of the ASL images never made it as they were hosted remotely on my old ISP provider and I lost them when I changed but I got everything across and Another Slight Diversion was born.

Google decided to drop the Google Connect functionality for non-Blogger blogs so I lost all my followers so I then set up the Facebook Another Slight Diversion page to provide another way of promoting the blog and allowing people to ‘follow’ it. Is it really important for a personal blog? I like the feedback. I like to see what people think of my different projects. And nowadays most of my wargaming interaction is either via the LAW forum or Facebook. I don’t post as often as I used to (I don’t have the time…) and most of my gaming seems now to be weekends away (always good fun) and the odd solo game. I try to get to my local clubs but family life tends to restrict that.

Will there be another ten years? I bloody hope so! 🙂 I have lots of ongoing projects (don’t we all!) and no shortage of lead, and a great group of gaming friends scattered round the country. I’m also (slowly) trying to FINISH projects so I have enough to put on games – both sides and scenery. If we don’t play with the stuff occasionally then what is the point? And I’m trying to develop a more traditional website to catalogue my projects where the blog will just provide a front end to that. It’s started but I want a lot more content on before I go proper public with it. Hopefully before the next ten years are up!

So, thanks for following, for commenting and for making it all worthwhile. 

Andy

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To The Strongest – Newark 12/11/2016

Had a most excellent day gaming with Simon Tonkiss, Iain Burt and Dave Hall at the Wargames Foundry venue just outside Newark. We have been discussing and planning this for a while as we all have suitable forces for 15mm Punic Wars – some more than others… and Simon and Dave have done a good job over the last couple of months pulling all the info together and organising the game. We wanted something that we could play in a day and that could handle the large numbers of figures we hoped to use. If we were going to all the trouble of getting together we wanted a BIG game! Consensus seemed to be that Simon Miller’s To The Strongest were ideal as a couple of us already owned them and although we had not tried them in anger they seemed to fit the bill.

Myself and Iain arrived on the Friday and stayed at what is becoming the B&B of choice in Newark – Compton House. Nice rooms, nice welcome and a good breakfast and walking distance of the pubs of which we tried a few on the Friday night. We met up with Dave and Simon at the venue on the Saturday morning. The original plan was to have a couple of short games to start so that we were all familiar with the rules and then set up the big game. However, as we sorted out the troop based on the lists Dave had drawn up it was clear time was at a premium so we just set the whole game up and went for it!

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Myself and Simon had brought along our 6’x4′ Mat-o-Wars, Dave some nice buildings and trees, myself some roads and TSS hills. With the grid marked out (150mm) we laid out the table and prepared for battle!

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Myself and Simon took the Roman side on the left. We each had two ‘legions’ supported by large Gallic contingents and assorted Spanish and Numidian hangers on. Dave and Iain had the traditional Punic enemy. Dave had the main Carthaginian force supported by Numidians and Spanish, and Iain (facing  me) had mostly Spanish with some allied hoplites and lots of light troops. They both had a few elephants as well.

We were using the original Polybian list where the legions use small units. This did make them rather fragile as I lost a couple to skirmishers! And we forgot about the rear units being able to reinforce and attack. 

Anyway, the great Roman Republic went first and we launched ahead on all fronts with great gusto. I was a little wary of the cavalry superiority on my flank but bolstered by Gallic cavalry I felt I could hold my own until the legions did their job. 

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My Gauls forged ahead to face Iain’s hoplites:

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The cards were not good for either of us here and my chaps never seemed to get in and when Iain repeatedly counterattacked he never got the hits he needed. They were to stay in basically the same squares for the whole game!

My legions got a little uncoordinated and after our respective skirmishers had exhausted themselves I clashed with Iain’s scutarii.

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Despite losing a couple of hastati I finally managed to punch a hole through and bring up the reserves. Iain was unlucky with the activations and unable to reinforce any successes and fully plug the potential gap.

Most of our action took place on the right where cavalry and elephants clashed. 

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The honours I think were fairly even with neither of us able to exploit any advantages.

The action on the left between Simon and Dave was a lot more bloody with Simon having some rather unfortunate turns of the cards. I’m sure they will both post something on their own blogs as I can’t really provide a narrative.

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After about five hours playing time we needed to pack up (which took a while!) and we all felt it was too close to call. Another hour would have decided it…

So how did it go? The rules work. They provide a quick flowing game and I think if we were all more familiar we would have reached a conclusion. We did miss a few things but nothing game destroying. Elephants were fun when the died! We used cards but then placed tokens next to the units. We felt this looked better for us. As a first card/grid game we occasionally became confused and talked of hexes and ‘roll another card’! 

It was good to get so many figures on the table and we all felt that no other rules would have enabled us to get so far with so many figures in such a short time, so thumbs up there to Mr Miller!

And it was inevitably played in great good spirit (despite Iain cheating… ;)) and was a great laugh. Iain valiantly contributed a few hoplites he had painted back in the 1980s(?) which he kindly donated at the end and they are now in the possession of Dave. Lucky chap.

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Great day gaming in great company and rounded off by us all gathering in Newark for curry and beer as Simon and Dave chose to stop over at the Compton as well. Discussions were had re possible future games and 2017 looks to have a couple of possibilities. 

And there are lots more pictures in the gallery here: Newark 2016 To The Strongest

 

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