Category Archives: AAR

And there’s more!

Following the altercation at Eadric’s hut Brother Simon continued to make his way south towards the monestary where he spent so little time. As the stream wound round again he started to cross at the ford. Only to be confronted by three Normans, obviously not common soldiers.

Simon de Bouc Majeur had got word from the surviving sergeant of the recent bloodshed, and pushing ahead with his hornman and cousin David la Salle he too appeared along the path to cross the ford.

Sensing there were more soldiers in the area, Brother Simon, after the formal introductions with his namesake, said he had seen strange travellers, dark skinned, who, after brief words he had seen leave the path and head northwards.  David ordered the horn be sounded to summon their men!

And Simon, ordering the monk to be on his was, was a little bemused to see the large club the man of God had concealed behind his back! 

But sensing that even a monk might need to protect himself in these troubled times he let him go and awaited the arrival of his men. The hunt was on!


These are three Crusader Miniature Normans that Simon (Goat Major) sent me along with the monk figure. Although already nicely painted the style didn’t really fit with mine so in the Dettol they went and yesterday they were painted and today based.

Nice figure and easy to paint. Three more characters added to the story!

 

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Returning home… a first little game of Song of Blades and Heroes

I’ve been trying  to get round to trying SoBaH for a while but despite having the table set up it never seemed to happen. However, this evening I finally threw a few figures on the table and tried the basics out. I kept it simple. A Norman knight and four of his sergeants are patrolling the local woods and come across a Saxon hut and it’s lone occupant, Eadric. Eadric has served many times in the Fyrd for his lord and soon grabs his spear and shield to defend himself! I’d started everyone quite close together and gave the Normans the initiative. I used a system I found on a blog (which I can’t remember but will try and dig out!) where for the opposition in a solo game you have one dice marked 1-3 and roll that with three other dice which you can order (I chose red/white/blue). So for activation rolls if the yellow dice is a 1 you use the red dice, a 2 you use the red and white etc. The first rolls saw the Norman sergeants rush ahead, apart from the chap at the back managed to end the turn!

Across the bridge, Grimmwulf was returning from his long travels with his two companions, Abdul Khaliq el-Rahimi and Kameel al-Hameed. As Grimmwulf drew his two blades, he and Kameel headed to the bridge.

But Abdul, seemed a little hesitant and they paused, not knowing why.

This saw the first blows struck as Eadric fought with the first Norman!

Kameel rushed onto the bridge but Grimmwulf sped past him to confront their first enemy!

In a flurry of flashing blades the first man fell to Grimmwulf’s wrath!
And sensing the new threat the furthest Norman paused to consider his options!

Grimmwulf bellowed his war cry but seeing three potential enemies paused.

A sergeant rushed at him but was stunned, falling to his knees!

Meanwhile, the Norman knight rushed to face Kameel as he reached the end of the bridge and forced him back!And Grimmwulf, his opponent at his mercy, dispatched him bloodily and mercilessly!Seeing this two of the Normans fled back But their leader was made of sterner stuff and fell back in the face of three foes. Coming to blows with the savage warrior with the two swords he was pushed back and as his men made haste to escape he too fell back. He had encountered a fearsome warrior and lost two of his men! As his foes gathered along the path he bid them farewell and headed back to report his news.And Grimmwulf and Kaleem prepared to help the old warrior whose life they had clearly saved.And that was it! As it was a solo game I think  the three dice approach worked well. Generally, I rolled two for ‘my’ chaps except for Grimmwulf as I had given him the Hero trait so he always gets one successful activation. His two-blades trait proved quite nasty in combat but he did roll well. His final attack was two 6s which enabled the grusome kill that prpmpted the morale checks that led to the Norman fleeing!

The basic stats were:

Norman Knight: Q3/C4 and the Sergeants: Q4/C3
Eadric was a basic Fyrd warrior: Q4/C3
Kaleem and Abdul; Q3/C4
And Gimmwulf was Q3/C4 with Hero and Two Blades traits

I’d made up a measuring stick beforehand as well has marking out the D3 I used.I was playing the Advanced rules so used Reactions for both sides. I’m not sure this really worked solo but it was OK. I think I need to look at one of the other solo rules variants for a more formal way of handling the enemy. But the game was simple and quick. The hero did the killing, the bad guys ran away and the Norman knight now has an enemy who got the better of him and must now seek revenge!

More to come!

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Ayton 2018

And as the first May Bank Holiday passes we complete yet another excellent Ayton gaming weekend! This was our 8th gathering and this year, as we often do on alternate years, we returned to the C18th with our ImagiNation forces. The background and pre-game campaign was run by Henry Hyde and you can see related updates on this, the weekend itself and Henry’s excellent maps of his new ‘Indian’ subcontinent over on his Twitter account: https://twitter.com/battlegames

The crux of all the pre-game shenanigans was that myself and Purps (the armies of Altefritzenburg and Cress) had secured the pass at Currybad having spotted a large enemy force to the north. This force was commanded by Jeremy and Jamie – the Ayton Virgins! Jeremy in particular has made a huge effort painting up a large ‘British’ force just for the event!

The main area of conflict (used by permission)

Day One

We took up defensive positions behind the crest of the pass, hiding our strength and deployment from the approaching enemy light troops and cavalry.

As the enemy approached the crest our forces gradually became visible.

As the enemy approached Purps threw forward three regiments of hussars! 

And echoing Purps past reputation for valiant charges, they all died horribly!

Slowly as the advance continued our full forces came into view.

I had managed to place the heavy and medium guns of the Legion on a hill to the far right and there were able to pepper the enemy advance throughout the whole game.

It then transpired (for various campaign reasons) that the Two Js were joined by the Big G as Gary P joined our table and started marching on battalion after battalion of fresh troops…

The table was getting very full and the prospect of a successful defence was looking less promising… The upshot was that the weight of Gary’s massed troops and those of Jamie were just too much for me to bear and the elite Guards Brigade was to be the hammer that finally pushed me back and prompted a withdrawal back down the pass. 

Highlights (or not 🙂 ) of the game were my valiant Jaegers skirting the rough ground to take up post in the woods on a steep hill to threaten the advancing enemy. Only to be thoroughly dislodged by heavy cavalry who in one move advanced, changed from column of march to line, and charged uphill and into the woods! I may have felt a tad aggrieved! 🙂

A similar fate was to befall my native Indians. They executed a perfect ambush of a passing cavalry column but refused to charge home! They at least had the chance to run away!

And in the centre one of Gary’s Highland units hit two of mine and rather upset them!

So that was the end of Day One. Much fun had, even if if the odds were stacked against us! Having just about held on ’til nightfall we retired back down the pass to Fizzipop where we rejoined the main army and dug in to await the assault. There are a pile more pictures from Day One in the Gallery Ayton 2018 Day One.

The other game on Day One saw the invading forces marching and assailed on all sides by native troops. I was too busy to take many pics (the odd random one in the gallery!) but there are plenty in the links at the bottom of this post.

Day Two

Day Two is the BIG ONE! 35ft table and a LOT of figures! In the past we have often faced off across the table using our own forces of infantry, cavalry and artillery. This year Dave Hall came up with the suggestion of massing the cavalry on the one flank for a huge cavalry ding dong! The central area was the fortified city of Fizzipop (which myself and Simon (Goat Major) were defending, and the right flank had more massed infantry and light troops.

As you can see, a big table with  LOT of troops. I had the pleasure(?) of defending the old part of the city with its crumbling walls against the argumentative might of Peeler(Aytonia) and Essex Boy (The Gateway). My cavalry were deployed to the left as part of the cavalry wing but were actually facing Aytonian infantry and guns.

My infantry and guns were deployed on and behind the walls and towers and in the buildings in the town.

The general flow to the left (while Dave and Gary fought massive cavalry melees!) was that my cavalry advanced. It was either get peppered by guns of try and run them down while the rest of the force engaged what cavalry were there. The glorious Braunschweig Cuirassiers charged and were met by Peeler’s tripled barrelled organs of death and one volley saw them reduced by more than half!

I sent the flaming pigs forward to try and disrupt the enemy cavalry but they were intercepted by Peeler’s Savage Nuns!

The Legion cavalry (lancers and dragoons) charged to engage Aytonian heavy cavalry. Despite getting in first strike the dice were well against me and both units were heavily defeated!

The highlight of the defence were the Medetian rocket battery who managed to not blow up and despite some very random trajectories inflicted a good few casualties on the enemy!

The defence of the town was a grim affair as the might of the Gateway began to pummel the walls (destroying a tower and gateway) and advanced en masse. My light troops (Grenzers, Jaegers and ambushing Indians) bought valuable time for the defence with the Grenzers in particular dying to a man!

But then the assault began. The Gateway light troops advanced to the two breaches but both were driven back with volleys from the Altefritzenburgers and Legion infantry.

And as darkness started to fall the Gateway infantry made their attack. In the centre they were held.

But on the right the famed Bolyn Regiment withstood a devastating volley and then charged home across the rubbled walls. Despite being outnumbered they pushed back the Legion! And gained a foothold inside the defences!

But darkness would save the day and defenders. With no success in the other side of town the assault was deemed to have failed and Fizzipop was held!

The cavalry battle to the left of the town was a bloodbath! Very few units left on the table! Jeremy was assaulting the toughened defences in the other half of town defended by Simon but wave after wave was repulsed! And on the right the massed infantry of Medetia and Cress (under Purps) stood their ground against the massed enemy commanded by Jamie.

It was a massive game. I think another couple of turns of daylight might have seen victory in the town as the assault from Peeler was about to commence (he never rushed really! 🙂 ) and I just didn’t have the forces to hold them back. All good fun (as Ayton always is) and some excellent feeding and drinking on the three nights though not to the excesses of earlier years (some of us take longer to recover now!).

The rest of my pics are in the Ayton 2018 Day Two gallery. You’ll get some idea of the scale of the cavalry battle and the sheer number of troops on the table

There are some excellent pics of both games (and the excellent modern Africa skirmish game) from Simon over on the LAW forum:

http://www.looseasswargamers.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=281

http://www.looseasswargamers.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=282

And a huge collection from Henry himself on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/battlegames/sets/72157666714688727/

As ever, thanks to all concerned (especially Henry and Peeler) and to my opponents on both days. It was a pleasure (even against Peeler and EB!).

Roll on next year.

 

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ShedCon 2018 – Grays

Despite a knackered foot and hobbling around I made the trip down to the home of Iain Burt (Essex Boy) in Grays for a 20mm WSS game to christen his shed! 

The shed is outstanding. Plenty of room for an 8’x5′ table and six of us around it. Lots of storage at one end and under table. The table is great, can be reduced in size to 6’x5′ if needed and was all built by Iain himself. The raised edge has hills and sky painted on to aid with taking nice pictures! I arrived Friday afternoon and although Iain has been planning an preparing this game for over six months I was roped into painting the bases in trees and later he was finishing basing figures! But the plan in the day was to get up early and at 8am go into the shed to lay out the table. That shouldn’t  take long should it? I knew he has some painted blankets so just throw those down and lay out the terrain on top? Not Iain… 

First a layer of 1″ polystyrene laid down followed by a double layer of compressed underfloor insulation sheets….

The river sections were then laid out and the course marked and the whole thing cut out of the insulation board to create a recess.

The blankets were then laid down, tucked under the boards and locked in by the edges and pressed into the recess to allow  the river to sit in that with matching blanket material to blend it in. A LOT of work but it really looked good.

Now the roads. These were made for the game and just needed laying out as planned as they only fitted one way. Half an hour late after looking at pictures and ‘trimming’ a few bits they finally all fitted! 🙂

A few buildings and fields and a LOT of trees added and we had the final table. Well worth the effort. The trees especially looked the part.

The scenario was a simple one. Myself and Dave Hall were defending the road junctions. Five wagons were placed at road entry points (mostly on the far side) and at end of game the other side (Simon, Gary and Tim) had to have clear roads to exit at least three of the wagons off their side of the table. As long as we had a unit that could charge the road along a route then it was blocked. We started with four infantry brigades deployed anywhere two feet away from the three ‘enemy’ sides of the table. They started with five brigades coming on at table edges. Other brigades (cavalry and infantry) were fed in to either side as Iain saw fit. Rules were based on Rank and File with a few mods from Iain.

I’ll post all the pics in a gallery but a few here to describe the key events of the game. I was defending the right against Simon with a Yomper brigade (it’s the name we give to the figure!) which included the Savage Swans and the Alterfritzenburg brigade was deployed centrally to cover against a central attack by Tim. 

Dave had the tougher job of defending the left village and centre against a determined Gary and Tim.

The battle around the village was savage with Gary having to battle through angry townsfolk and then unit after unit being thrown back before, after pushing and pushing, Dave was thrown back. Although, the road was almost open Dave was able to put up a final line of defence and with a unit of cuirassier in support still controlled the crucial junction.

In the centre Tim had a tough task. Both myself and Dave had brigades blocking his way and the impassable woods made it hard to make numbers tell as he tried to cross the river and bring his force to bear. Two gun batteries caused casualties even at distance and as both were often able to converge on one unit it made progress slow. However, as the flanks came under more pressure and unit had to be moved in support the defence in the centre weakened and with a little more time the defence would have collapsed. However, time was on the side of the defenders!

My battle was to be a grinding affair on the right to seize control of the road. After Simon’s initial attack stalled he withdrew to control the road. As his cavalry came on some went up into the woods to battle with some stubborn local militia. As his force consolidated its defence it became clear I would need to advance and contest the road as if we did lose the other flank then we could not afford to give an easy ‘point’ away here. So my first brigade advanced and the ensuing firefights did not go well for me. Supporting dragoons and cuirassiers came up and the dragoons charged into the face of multiple battalions and guns and did not fair well! The supporting cavalry did push back Simon’s line but they too were eventually thrown back. The Savage Swans were the only unit of the brigade to survive and as supporting units of Altefritzenburgers, battered from their own battles, came up in support it was clear that here too the defenders still contested the road. 

So, as the day drew to a close it was decide the defenders had done their duty and held the roads! It was a great game. The rules worked well. Each unit rolled for quality as they took their first test. I ended up with quite a few green troops! We used low ammunition rolls which restricted the power of guns a little. And the various markers and flags that Iain produced made the game flow really well. Equally the good company and their approach to the game did likewise. A pleasure to play with the chaps again! Here we all are: Iain Burt, Simon Tonkiss, Andy McMaster, Dave Hall, Gary Phillips and Tim Hall.

It was a pleasure to play with Iain and Gary’s collections and to christen the new shed in such fine a manner. Many thanks to Iain for all the work put in.

And as a final note, I spent the Sunday helping Iain buy a new PC and then setting it all up for him. I was rather shocked when I saw the PC it was replacing! I don’t think I’ve seen a monitor that small for nearly ten years!

Thanks for looking. All the images from the day are at: ShedCon 2018 Gallery

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Fire and Fury in Whitley Bay!

And a second game in one month! This week the Whitley Bay 3D Gamers club were meeting on Wednesday rather than Tuesday. Tuesdays are currently slightly problematic due to my wife’s hectic Pilates schedule! 🙂 but finishing work slightly early and having access to the car makes the odd Wednesday possible. There were four games being played last night:

A large Bolt Action game:A 15mm AWI rules playtest:And a WW2 boardgame:

And a large’ish 15mm ACW Fire and Fury game laid on again by Andy Oliver. Three players aside it was basically a meeting engagement with three divisions aside and the various hills being the objectives for victory points. I took a Union division of three decent size brigades and a battery and set up next to the wooded enclosure with the two hill to my front being the targets. Over the far right the troops were in action straightaway with Andy’s division again assailed by two divisions!My troops prepare to advance.Although my first brigade faltered and forced the supporting brigade to pass through!To my left, Rod started a rather cautious advance alongside the road…The Rebels (Lawrence) advanced to the central hill but seemed hesitant.And on the left their large brigade prepare for the onslaught of Rod’s division!While Lawrence’s other brigade and guns set to hold the hill!
With a possible threat to my right I held back my brigade and battery and finally advanced on the far hill. Meanwhile on the far right Andy was having a few problems…And the other hill the Union had secured prepared to defend it.With the threat to my right gone as those brigades shifted their target my brigade began a long round of combats with the Rebels facing them.Finally my central attack drove home as both brigades went in with great enthusiasm!Sweeping the brigade from the field and crashing into the guns behind!While my other brigade was pushed back again!

Having driven the guns back as well my brigades took the hill but the supporting brigade became a little confused, refused to re-deploy and after some enfilade fire was hit in the flank by a rapidly moving brigade.And to my left Rod’s division, having ‘secured’ a hill and only fired a few shots from the battery sat and observed… As my enfiladed brigade was swept away and my forward brigade faced rebels to front and rear!And that was it really. I had gained a hill and lost it! On the right, Rebels, despite suffering badly still managed to hold ‘their’ hill and in the centre drove the Union off another. It was looking a poor show for the Union… at least where they fought! 🙂

A nice, quickly set up and played game that was good fun. A couple of players hadn’t played before but in most circumstances the rules are pretty straightforward. Thanks again to Andy for organising it.

And in other news… at the weekend I managed another short game of X-Wing with Zach. This time his sister (Hannah) wanted to play (she’s 11). For a change he too two X-Wings with decent pilots and I took a TIE and Interceptor and Hannah two TIEs. The game didn’t last long. We got lucky and managed Hannah’s TIEs hitting on X-Wing and stripping the shields. As I tried to get shots on my target I ended up getting a long range shot at the already damaged ship. Two hits. One a critical causing two damage! Scratch one X-Wing! Luckily tea was ready as Zach was none too pleased! Good to be playing stuff anyway!

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