Category Archives: savage swans

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.
20160430_170021

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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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.

20160406_173827 20160406_173833 20160406_173856 20160406_173911 20160406_173921

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.

20160406_183213 20160406_183234

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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An update at last! A bit of everything…

Since the Ayton game in May I’ve been right off painting. Distinct lack of mojo. I think the regular annual stress of getting everything painted for the weekend was a little too much. Always worth it for the game but it can be hard to get back into the painting routine afterwards. And it has taken a while. But as ever, a deadline has provided the spur!

This coming weekend sees a gathering of some of the Ayton gamers and members of the Loose Association of Wargamers forum gather in Framlingham, Suffolk for a weekend of gaming, beer and good company. There are a number of games planned (which I’ll report on next week) but for once I didn’t need to paint anything. Which of course, meant I had to do SOMETHING! And as my plan for the Saturday was to take part in a 20mm WSS game being run by Iain Burt (Essex Boy) this seemed the obvious chance to do the Savage Swans in another scale and period! I had hoped to do a small brigade but, as you’ll see below, I was working on other stuff as well so in the end just did the main unit and an officer.

The figures are Les Higgins 20mm customised by Iain Burt and are done in the traditional buff and green of the Swans.

swans20mm01 swans20mm02 swans20mm03 swans20mm04 swans20mm05I have to admit I found the 20mm quite hard to paint. The techniques I use on my 15mm and smaller didn’t quite work, and the 28mm style seemed overkill. But they got there in the end.

Long terms plan is to do the dragoon contingent and a couple of units of Altefritzenburgers

So, having done those, what else?

Well, following the pummeling my troops took from the massed enemy guns at Ayton I decide the Swans needed their own artillery battery so to start that I present Die Große Eingelegte!

swansgun02 swansgun03 swansgun01The gun is a Fife and Drum 12lb Vallieres generously given to me by Jim Purky in my last order. It is a lovely big model! I have a two horse F&D limber to do at some point but for now the limber is an Irregular Miniature model. The figures are RSM. For my other guns I had done the marching figures fixed to the gun ‘base’ but have decided single figure basing is better. The curved base done especially for me by Martin at Warbases.

I have two ways of deploying the gun. Using a large textured base (idea stolen from World2Dave!) I can slot the figures in and have spare slots for markers, barrels, cannon balls etc.

swansgun08 swansgun07 swansgun06 swansgun05 swansgun04The alternative is to just use a loose gun and single based figures:

swansgun09 swansgun10 swansgun11The gun crew are Fife and Drum Continental gunners. I have all my gunners and engineer types with read waistcoats and trousers. The others have black leggings which tempers this a bit but these chaps are going for the whole red leg look! And it is great news that Fife and Drum and an increasing number of the Minden range are now available in the UK from Crann Tara Miniatures

I will add a second gun (smaller) and eventually use this limber for that and the big limber for the 12lb’er

And that is not all!

I’ve recently just finished reading two novels and two novellas by Marko Kloos which fired up my 6mm SF interest. And while searching for 6mm figures I came across Microworld Games and after contacting owner Steven Salotti ordered some sample packs of their Foundationist infantry. Steven kindly threw in some vehicle samples as well. They are lovely little figures. A little smaller than my existing ex-Adler Dark(est) Star but the right style I wanted.

I’ve only painted a couple of squads and some support but will be doing others and I have plans for a couple of dropships to go with them. Painting was simple. Mid-grey undercoat, black wash, lighter grey dry brush and weapons. I’ve painted each squad with a different colour shoulder pad to help ID on the table.

naccorp01 naccorp02 naccorp03 naccorp04 naccorp05My 6mm SF is based around powerful corporations and these represent the NACCorp – North American Commonwealth Corporation.

So I’m quite pleased with that lot and looking forward to this weekend where I hope I will take lots of pictures!

Cheers

Andy

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C19th Swans complete…

Well, after a bit of an effort over the last week I’ve finally finished the C19th incarnation of my Savage Swans. I’ve still got the mascot to do but that requires a little green stuff work so is still on the workbench:

IMAG3451 IMAG3452 IMAG3453 IMAG3454The standard is a single flag rather than the two I use in the C18th version and merges the two with the symbols of the Kindgom of K’ha’Ramel in the upper quadrant to honour their service in the great Byzarbian Campaign.

Currently working on the artillery crews…

IMAG3457Lots still to do….

 

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Savage Swans – A Hundred Years On

So much for my New Years Resolution of more regular blog updates. Fatjerm it has been six weeks since I last blogged and I have sinned… well, probably not, but I’ve been less than productive on the painting front! Despite the impending big game in Ayton and the shed load of stuff I need to paint I’ve done very little. However, over the last couple of weeks I finally made a start on some Spencer Smith Franco-Prussians which I am using for the C19th representation of Von Donovan’s Savage Swans. The C18th version were RSM miniatures, Austrian Musketeers:

IMAG0711

and I wanted to keep the vaguely Germanic theme and pointy helmets do the job!

IMAG3370 IMAG3371I’ve only painted twelve so far (three more stands to do) but it’s a start. I have Jaegers and artillery and uhlans to do next! And almost six weeks left to do it all!

No problems…

🙂

 

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