Category Archives: ImagiNation

My ImagiNation – The Burgraviate of Altefritzenburg

Ayton 2017 – Other stuff…

Other stuff doesn’t really do it justice. This is just a collection of pics of other peoples armies and their games. I have no idea what was going on in most of them! There are also a few pics of Tims Hall and Waudby’s 54mm game! This was a joy to behold. Excellent painting of both figures and vehicles and a great looking table.

Full gallery here: Ayton 2017 Misc

There were also some excellent armies on display in other parts of the Lion Rampant games:

As with all Ayton games everyone had put in lots of effort getting armies ready, some from existing armies they had, others painting up full retinues from scratch. It also reflects well of the whole Ayton ethos that people put in a LOT of effort creating armies in scales and periods they may never have looked at before!

Thoughts on the Games

We played a ‘test’ Lion Rampant game last year and that was great fun. Finding a way to deal with activations in larger games has been a challenge. Gary put in a lot of work preparing the background to the games and mechanisms to run them. In the first games we controlled activation by drawing a card for each player. This did mean that sometimes players got two turns in a row but as is the nature of the game it didn’t always mean you got to do much if you failed to activate anything! But it kept the game moving.

The larger Day Two game had ten players. Running it with cards would mean people possibly waiting ages for their turn so it was decided that all one side would activate and then the other. This would keep as many people ‘active’ as possible. As we also had two retinues each it was decide you could only activate one retinue a turn. This seemed to work early on but once you got a retinue in the thick of the action you had to KEEP activating that retinue to Rally troops and keep the pressure up. I don’t know how the other side of the table worked out but myself and Dave pretty well spent the whole game fighting with our one large retinue. The other retinue was further back and there just wasn’t time to bring them up. Obviously activation rolls affect this. Richie’s two retinues to my left fared better as they were both close to the enemy so it was easy to bring the second retinue into the fray when needed.

We discussed various solutions to all this:

March Moves – units outside a certain distance from the enemy get a +1 to activation rolls. We also thought of allowing double moves.

Extra activation – ALL retinues get a re-roll (on top of any leader type ones). However, to use it you have to sacrifice your leader unit’s activation. This worked well and cut down on the frustration of moving NOTHING for several turns. I know this is part of the game but if the dice go really bad it gets very frustrating. If you had already activated your leader then you couldn’t use this option.

Two Leaders – allow both leaders to activate each turn. So one larger retinue and when you fail your first activation then the other leader takes over.

We discussed other options, some similar to the Cold War Commander/Blitzkreig Commander rules where all units get a chance to roll,  but felt this was moving way from the ‘core’ of the Rampant series and could possibly unbalance games, especially those with a lot of Expert Bow involved! Getting too many shots in with those could wipe out the opposition too quickly!

But overall, everything worked. Sometimes it was frustrating, sometimes the dice went well and it was great. We were all there to have fun and that we did! No one threw any strops. No one gloated at their good fortune (except maybe Iain on Day 1 but things go his way so infrequently he deserves to enjoy it while it lasts! 🙂 ) 

From my side, I now have a decent size Norman force, already have plans to add to it, and will be painting some Saxons/Dark Age types to oppose it! I’ve also enjoyed painting plastics! I’ve always been firmly in the heft school (no personal comments…) and avoided plastics. I didn’t like the faff of sticking them together and I didn’t like the ‘feel’ of them. Lead all the way for me! But that has changed. The Conquest Normans were easy to put together and painted up well. I’ll be working on some Gripping Beast Saxons next!

And to finish, here are the chaps. Just in case you see us at a show and want to avoid us!

 

 

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Ayton 2017 – Day 1

And so our 7th Ayton has come and gone. And a great weekend it was yet again. This year, as you will know if you have followed the last few posts, was to be Lion Rampant. Gary Phillips took on the onerous task of herding us all together to fight it out and produced an excellent set of games! It’s not easy setting up scenarios to fit in timescales (2 games on day 1 and 1 big game on day 2), as  I’m sure Henry will attest! And especially with the weird and wonderful troops our lot can come up with! But Gary did a fine job. 

The basic background to the games was:

Somewhere in the Med, sometime during the Crusades . . . .
Sir Geoffrey the Indolent is on to a nice little earner. He has established a little fiefdom right on the main sailing route to the Levant. Crusaders on the way out are charged extortionately for food and board, even more on the way back! As a result, Sir Geoffrey has built up a significant pile of treasure from the Crusades, whilst maintaining a reign of terror over the local populace. He has a number of minor nobles to enforce this rule of law.
The Western Crusaders have had enough. A number of nobles have decided to remove Sir Geoffrey and have launched a punitive expedition. They want him removed and they want to dismantle his little empire and recover their treasures.
The Eastern Hordes have seen the Crusaders take their treasures and set up an outpost which threatens their shores. They want the treasures back, so have launched a raid – the objective: loot, burn and kill indiscriminately. If they destroy enough, there will be nothing for the Crusaders to defend. A renegade band of Teutonic Knights see their cause as a way to get one over on the Westerners and have joined their cause, albeit they will arrive late . . . .
Meanwhile, all is not well in the House of Geoffrey. Whilst his nobles wish to preserve the island paradise, some are not keen on seeing Sir Geoffrey prosper. They are more interested in the locals and whist they don’t want it destroyed, they won’t mind if Sir Geoffrey falls to the invaders.
Others of course have had their pockets lined and will defend the current set-up to the last. They are also happy to perform a little pillaging of the local populace and treasures on their own account. Cue chaos . . . . .

I, along with Dave Hall and Richie, formed the Western Crusader contingent as we all had broadly late C11th forces. My first game saw myself and Richie converging on a wagon train guarded by Ken and Gary. Each wagon had a unit attached to it that could defend but not abandon them to go fight. Rolling for my leader (Prior Donovan) he was ‘vulnerable’ so this looked like it may be his last campaign leading the Brotherhood of the Swan into battle! 

The wagons were rather well defended!
The Brotherhood prepare to attack
Richie’s troops were engaged quite quickly
My troops seemed a little wary of advancing too quickly…
…and the wagons rolled on with little intervention from me! However, Richie was fighting hard on the other side of the table but not doing that well…
Finally Ken’s mounted sergeants swung round to block my finally advancing troops
Ken’s VERY pretty yeomen!
I managed to form schiltron and drove off his chaps three times.
I finally got some movement as my crossbows started hitting the wagons
As Richie started to suffer losses the wagons moved on but my troops finally started to close in.
Unfortunately, The Brotherhood were clearly feeling a little vulnerable so still refused to move…
There then followed a series of melees as my sergeants held firm to drive off Ken’s. However, they still remained a threat and stop my advance in that area.
Meanwhile I finally managed to make some attacks on the wagons but failed to destroy the opposition and capture them…
And as there was no point in just sitting there my sergeants attacked Ken’s and drove them off!
Although my unit of sergeants looked set for another attempt on the wagons they ended up failing a Courage test and fleeing the table!
This left space for my Men at Arms to try as well and despite repeated battles with several units and getting shot to bits the failed to grab a wagon!

And finally failed a Rally and fled!
And in the final turn Richie’s remaining mounted troops captured the lead wagon!

And that was it. With Richie’s losses and my last two units dying we were deemed to have failed and were forced from the field allowing the wagons through. I’d misheard the Glory Points instructions and thought we HAD to pick three. And I failed all mine, scored no other victory points and so ended the game on -3. Much to the amusement of everyone there…

After a pleasant light lunch we resumed for Game 2. This time the Western Crusaders, myself, Dave Hall and Richie were assaulting a town with the intent of capturing a couple of guns that would then not be available to the defenders in the big game. The opposition was Gary and Ken on the flanks, and defending the town was the resolute Essex Boy (Iain Burt)! Dave looked at the cannon pointing down the road and the bows and crossbows massed in the buildings either side and decided to set up on the right flank! I decided that charging up the road with glorious abandon would be fun so lined up to face Iain which Richie deployed on the left (where another cannon was placed) and faced Gary.

My troops arrayed for battle…
The first sergeants and crossbows advanced while my men at arms moved to the right.
First blood as Iain’s archers opened up…
The men at arms tried to assault the building
But were driven off… as were the sergeants.
And both failed Courage tests badly and fled the field!
The remaining sergeants charged towards the gun. They had already taken casualties from this as Iain took an early shot before limbering and attempting to run…
I managed to catch them and drive them back but as not battered they took the gun with them…
And my guys got caught in the flank…
And driven back they failed their Rally and fled!
Meanwhile Dave has been battling Ken on the right but with horrendous activation rolls was making little progress and this allowed Ken to move in support of the centre.
It was now time for the cavalry! Taking casualties on the way in they battled valiantly.
The Brotherhood charged in support but their God was not with them…
And driven back they faced more arrows!
Finally Brother Donovan, grasping the sacred Banner of the Swan, died under a hail of arrows…
…and finally only the crossbows remained.
Although they tried to harry the retreat it was to no avail. The cannon escaped and the battle was lost…

Dave had rotten dice the whole game and could only get half his force into action. Richie, over on my left, got badly pummelled by Gary’s mounted troops and although he fought back well he too could not get his remaining troops into the fray…

I had rather poor dice. But it was a strong position to assail and Iain sat there and revelled in shooting hell out of me on the way in. It’s quite hard to coordinate an attack as you can get everything forward and ready and then have some bad rolls that leaves them vulnerable… especially to Expert Bow! But Iain did not revel in his good fortune and only sniggered and danced a jig on most rather than all good rolls… 🙂

Although I managed to score some Glory Points (2) I had again taken and failed three boasts…. so my total for the day saw me on -4! But everyone was sympathetic to my misfortune and were supportive and hardly ever mentioned it… especially Peeler…. Gits! 

So that was Day 1. Not exactly a resounding success for my troops but a good laugh which is the important thing. Not the points. No one cares about the points… Or mentions them…again…and again…and again…

Day 2 to follow!

More pics in the galleries:

Game 1

Game 2

 

 

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T’was the night before Ayton. Again!

Tomorrow I’ll heading down to Ayton for what will be our 7th year! This year we are playing a large Lion Rampant game so I have mostly been painting Normans! And mostly over the last month as inevitably I left it all late! 🙂 The last few days have seen me rattling off 12 archers, 12 yeoman and 12 mounted chaps!

So we have 6 Conquest plastic Normans: 12 Conquest plastics done as yeoman and with round shields as a sort of local force: And 12 Conquest plastic archers: And finally, the Brotherhood of the Swan! Three Perry Hospitaler command and three Conquest plastics. I intend to pick up three more Perry’s to make these a full unit. And Brother Donovan carrying the sacred banner!

Not bad for a week’s work! I’d hoped to get the force to the 42 points we need for Day Two but it was just too much. The remaining figures from the boxes will go to make some bidowers and once I have the Perrys, another mounted unit. So the force for Ayton is: Needless to say there will be a full report after the weekend! Really looking forward to it!

 

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Framlingham 2016 – Day Two

Day Two (Sunday) saw Tims H and W, Peeler and EB dabbling with 54mm SF which looked most enjoyable:

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The rest of us took part in a brilliant early C19th Colonial ImagiNation game put on by Paul Bright. The table looked excellent and Paul must be commended for such a pretty game. His own excellent collection was supplemented by the equally lovely figures of Tim H, Simon and Dave. You could not have wished for a better looking game!

20161016_104756The rules used were Shout Boys Shout which are Paul’s own. They are card activated and nice and simple to use and kept the game ticking along nicely. Although the six of us were broadly organised three a side, each contingent had its own secret little agenda! I’m sure the others will pop in to tell their own stories but mine was to be yet another tale of Woes and Ones! My three units of ‘native’ troops were supplemented by some regular light infantry.

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Moving round and through the difficult terrain made it difficult to coordinate the attacks against Simon’s regulars and the first unit did not do well.

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With their charge to contact stalled due to the cards and the regulars getting a couple of activations on the trot, things did not end well!

The next units again struggled to get forward without being picked off at distance but did at least make contact before dying!

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I was finally able to get two more units engaged but the dice did not go well and despite a longer than expected battle, they too died!

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My light troops took a little longer to get in to action but finally got to attack troops in one of the huts.

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Despite finally help wipe out the occupants they were then unable to get into the hut before Simon’s troops re-occupied it and were finally beaten back and forced to rout… Having lost my native units already this left me with no troops on the table! I did roll a LOT of ones though…

Meanwhile, Alex suffered greatly from Gary’s natives who kept popping up out of the jungle and wreaking havoc! He was eventually to join me with no troops left on the table!

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Dave had plenty to contend with with Paul’s chaps attacking. Even though wiping out the cavalry he spent many turns battling with the natives.

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He also had to deal with the backstabbing from Simon as he tried to escort a prisoner which Simon was tasked with freeing. This resulted in the escort being attacked and surrounded by three units. They fought valiantly for a good number of turns before finally surrendering.

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With the perimeter secured, the prisoner taken and very little enemy left Simon was just left to escort his chap off table to secure victory!

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Gary was also to claim a victory by having wiped out ALL the redcoats! The less said about  the result for me, Alex and Dave the better…

The whole game was great fun and looked bloody brilliant!

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Thanks again to Paul. A great game. Lots more pics in the Fram 2016 Day 2 gallery.

And a great weekend. Tim H did us proud again. The usual good LAW gathering!

I MAY have picked up some assorted ACW related lead but more on that in another post!

 

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An unsuccessful challenge…

A couple of months ago I mentioned that I had entered into a little challenge with Iain Burt (aka Essex Boy) to try and drive the painting of our C18th ImagiNation forces. The first units were due to be finished today. In true Ayton style I decided to leave my unit until quite late on in the time allowed. Partly as I was away on holiday at the start and partly because I’m stupid. Needless to say, REAL LIFE suddenly reared its ugly head and scuppered all of my plans. So the end result was I only finished the 12 figures I had already started…

20160630_211627 20160630_211601 20160630_211548And primed the rest…

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Now Iain (Essex Boy) managed to finish his unit off entirely! The Erbprinz Regiment done in his usual Gateway style using Spencer Smith WAS figures. And what style! Trademark EB consistency in style and the usual outstanding flags! Happy to concede Round 1 to these!

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I fully intend to finish my unit and line up something else for the next challenge which finishes end of August. Of course, Real Life is still getting in the way and I’ll likely be away for a couple of weeks but I’m sure I’ll get something done…

The workbench is starting to look a little messy:

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And my plans to clear my game table have stalled:

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But I’ll get there eventually!

Congrats again to Iain on a fine unit!

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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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‘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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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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