ImagiNation Update – Ayton 2011 Game Report

OK, so Ayton 2012 is only a couple of months away! However, I had hoped some of the content I’ve just published was going to appear in Battlegames magazine, but things did not work out so I’ve finally pulled together MY account of the weekend, as told by one of the participants, Private Rüdiger Lamm of von Donovan’s Legion, the Savage Swans! I’d also added the bulk of the photos I took over the weekend to two galleries. I’ve not been able to annotate them but if you’ve read the reports on here, WD3 and in Battlegames magazine they should provide some visual eye candy to accompany the texts.

As Henry points out in the introduction to Part 3 of the write-up in issue 28 of Battlegames, this weekend was about ‘the game’. The terrain may not have been display game quality. Some figure were on unpainted MDF bases. Everyone brought their own figures painted and based their own way. A lot of the figures were stunning. But it was the people and the game that made the weekend the success it was. I am really looking forward to this year’s game.

So, what do we have?

Altefritzenburg – I’ve added a little more backround and maps etc. are to follow soon.

Journal of Private Rüdiger Lamm – this I intend to continue as I chronicle events after the victory and prior to the next game. And introduce some new forces to the mix!

Ayton 2011 – a little background to the game lots of pics from both days. Day One and Day Two.

Hope you enjoy them all



Technical Rant: Thank you Google. I’ve spent quite a lot of time and effort on this blog and was really quite chuffed to find I had 175 Followers via Google Friends Connect. This month, Google decided to drop GFC for any non-Google Blogger blogs and it seems only a matter of time before they do so for blogger as well as they try and push people towards Google+.So the nice little Followers widget I had a bottom left is not blank. I am hoping that people will still pick up new posts and I suppose this will be the test. In the meantime I’ll be looking at linking more to Facebook with a page devoted to this blog, and other options as well.

So if you have come here via you Blogger followers and you are commenting please let me know the Blogger world still knows I exist!


WMMS 2012 – Show Report

Today I went to the West Midland Military Show in Aldersley. I think the last time I went to this show was at a different venue and probably in 1993! I don’t normally make shows in the Midlands or the West but I’d arranged to visit good friends in Birmingham on Saturday night and drove over to the show this morning. It’s put on by Alumwell Wargames and I have to admit I really enjoyed it. The leisure center took a little finding (good signage up until the crucial right turn which says Aldersley Stadium where all others refer to Aldersley Leisure Village!). The free parking was great, IF you could actually find a space. It seemed very busy and full. But the venue was good. A LARGE sports hall, well lit, with the whole show under one roof. Traders (of which there was a good selection) mostly round the outside, and games, traders, re-enactors and modelling displays in the middle.

I hadn’t really planned to take pictures as I was mainly going to pick stuff up from Michael at Angel Barracks and Pete at Baccus, but some of the games were so good I felt I had to! As ever, I’d have liked to see more info on who was doing what game as I didn’t really have the time to quiz everyone. If there’s a poster or info sheet I usually just snap that for later reference! Anyway, rather than a detailed breakdown I’ll just put up two galleries of my favourite games and then a general one for the show. And then I’ll waffle a bit…

These are a few of my favourite things!

Pics 1 and 2 are of a very well presented Ride with the Devil ACW game

Pics 3,4,5,6 are of the Fishguard 1797 game put on by Mark Davies and Martin Small. It was a pleasure chatting to Mark about the game and seeing the amount of work a conversions that went in to it. The militia dragoons apparently starting life as Perry Hussars!

Pics 7-15 were the highlight of the show for me. A pirate game put on by Shrewsbury Wargames Society. Now I will admit to bias here as this was the club I started gaming with in the late 70’s! Although I’ve bumped into club members at other shows this was the first time I’d seen a club demo game and it was a pleasure to chat with Chris and Keith (who I don’t think I’ve seen for over 25 years!) and also to bump into Tym who over the same period I think I’ve only chatted to on TMP once! The game was excellent and I hope the photos do it justice. Lovely paint jobs, ships and terrain. If there’s an award for best demo game this would get my vote!

The last pics are of a great looking Hougoumont game. This used teddy bear fur and this worked really well.

I took quite a few other pictures but don’t really have the details of the who and what.

The ACW on the hexes looked good. The FWC looked very red/pink! The Culloden was neat. And I missed others…

The nice thing about going to a ‘western’ show was seeing demo games from clubs that just don’t make it up north!

Now, to the serious stuff. What did I buy? Not a lot really. Diesel cost my near £70 for the round trip which was more than I planned. I had dice, paint and some nice SF critters to collect from Angel Barracks. Some 6mm Dark Age things from Baccus (of which more in a week or so) and I ended up with a few other 6mm packs as well. There was an excellent 6mm painting workshop there as well and I had a nice chat with the guy, Mike Salwey, currently sculpting the 6mm Ottoman range. These are VERY nice and for a first time sculptor are truly excellent. I look forward to seeing the  rest of the range. And buying some more!

In other news, Battlegames 28 arrived on Saturday morning. I’ve yet to read the bulk of it but therein lies the final part of the report on last years Ayton game and I’m quite pleased to see that the Uhlans of my Savage Swans made the front cover!

As they charged across the bridge to do battle with the massed Guard cuirassiers, I’m sure someone from the game will happily point out that they bounced off and minutes later were seen heading in the opposite direction!

I even got recognised from my photo in the mag and was stopped for a chat by Ubique

So all in all a good weekend…





First game of the year!….sort of…

Today I had my first game of the year, though it wasn’t quite what I had planned! My lad Zach has been pestering me for a while about how I play MY games and will I show him. So, as per the last post I acquired some plastic Germans and Soviets and we set up a game. So without further ado…

Eastern Front, February 1945

The Russian Offensive was rolling on relentlessly as the hard pushed Wehrmacht fought tenacious defensive actions again and again. But not everywhere… In one corner of a muddy foreign field, Oberstleutnant Zachmann led two squads and an attached Tiger tank in a counterattack to drive the evil Russian troops from their defensive position and drive a wedge, threatening their offensive and hopefully providing a small respite for his hard pressed comrades.

As the German troops advanced in the early morning light the Russian troops formed up behind a walled enclosure, a muddy field to their front, and a contingent hastened to the woods on their left intent on threatening the flank of the advancing Germans.

The Germans began their advance, opening fire as they walked and their superior marksmanship starting to tell even at long range

The withering fire from the Germans prevented the rush to the woods and sensing victory Zachmann pushed forward relentlessly!

As they approached the muddy field, knowing that entering it would slow their advance, the German fire stepped up a level as the Tiger began to blast the Russian defenders behind the wall.

And soon the Russian defenders crumbled as more and more fell…

…to superior German fire!

Sensing victory and oblivious to the few casualties his men had suffered, Zachmann pushed on to victory!

The few remaining Russians made a last stand in one corner of the enclosure.

Before finally succumbing as the last defender died and the Germans slowed their advance in the mud, but now with little concern as there was no enemy fire to bother them.

Zachmann’s offensive had paid off with a total victory and annihilation of the Russian defenders! Surely that Iron Cross was now his!


Basically, I got diced! I had given the Germans the Tiger to try and balance the Russian cover but was concerned that advancing over open ground would prove costly for the Germans. In the end Zach just rolled a LOT of sizes! I tried to keep it simple. Alternate move and fire. Roll 5,6 to hit in open, 6 in cover. The Tiger rolled four dice per shot, 4,5,6 to hit, 5,6 in cover. I think I managed five hits all game! Zach just pummeled me! With all but two of the kills coming from the infantry, the Tiger never really finding its mark.

Good fun though. He enjoyed it. After the game he spent ten minutes driving the Tiger over the bodies of the Russians…


Plastics are obviously not for me!

Now, I just can’t be doing with all tis new plastic stuff. I picked up a few a while back and just could not be faffed with sticking the bloody things together. And I am a big supporter of the whole ‘heft’ argument. They just don’t feel right to me. And that’s the crux of it really. I, me. My opinion. Some of them are lovely sculpts. I’ve seen them with lovely paint jobs and they fully hold their own against their leaden brethren. But pick them up and the illusion is shattered. For me… 🙂

So today, my little lad (four in June) was pestering me to show him how I play me games. Now I’m far too much of a coward  to use my own painted kit so I promised him we’d go to town and buy some ‘soldiers’. So in to Model Zone we went and after a lot of ‘discussion’ and dragging him away from the expensive Action Man type models, we came away with a pack of Revell WW2 Germans and Revell Soviets. I’ve got a couple of Corgi tanks I thought we could use as well. So this evening I unpacked them and tried to set up a little table for a game tomorrow. And then I noticed (and this is the reason for the mini rant) that the Soviets were bigger than the Germans. Then I spotted I’d got a pack of 1/72nd and a pack of 1/76th! Now, not a big deal for playing with a three year old, but I’d casually though we could paint them at some point and use them for ‘proper’ skirmish’ games. Damned annoying!

The Germans are quite nice. The Soviets less so. Less defined detail and half of them need sticking to bloody bases! I was really hoping no glue would be involved! Still, I suppose they will do the job and let him try and paint some as well.

Game report to follow if we don’t fall out when I destroy his troops with my superior tactics!


On the workbench… Feb 2012

As work has been busy recently I’ve not made as much progress on various projects recently but have been slowly pushing on with stuff for the Ayton game. I have a unit of 36 RSM Ottomans on the go but decided to finish two to completion to see if I was happy with the colour scheme. These are they…

First RSM Turks for Ayton game

I’m quite happy with them and will be cracking on with the rest ASAP

More to follow!



Musings of an easily distracted wargamer