Welcome to my wargaming blog,
I'm Dave and live in Morpeth, Northumberland in the UK.
This may or may not be a regular thing, we'll just have to see how it goes.

I am a painter/collector of figures first and a wargamer second. My thrill in this great hobby of ours is to place that final well researched & painted unit into the cabinet. The actual gaming with the figures is an important but secondary experience, we all like to win, but it isn't the be all and end all of it, being with good friends and having fun is.
Hope you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I will writing in it.
Just to remind the visitor to scroll down the various pages and click on 'older posts' to see more.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Blucher rules, Waterloo - the game!

Well, I finally got stuck into my refight of the battle of Waterloo using Sam Mustafa's Blucher rules. Now those Brits of a certain age will know exactly what I mean when I quote Dick Emery - 'I fink I got it wrong again Dad'! of which more anon.
However for the moment I'll post just a few of the pictures, it ain't pretty as I was using the cards provided with the game but as I haven't got six million Brits, French and Prussians painted up in 10mm one just has to make do.

I will give a brief description of what went on in each photo but generally I wanted to stick with the timeline of the actual battle and replicate what happened when it did as close as possible thereby seeing how close the rules could get to what actually occurred.

2nd corp attack on Hougoumont.

Eventually taking it (history out of the window!)

After an initial artillery bombardment by the 'Grand Battery' D'Erlon's attack goes in.

After taking heavy casualties the attack is repulsed, even the Union Brigade had a charge.

The charge of the French cavalry, you can see that each British brigade has paid a point to have a 'prepared' (white) marker on it i.e. in square or refused flanks etc. all cavalry attacking must halve the number of dice.

Prussian 4th corp arrive and the French 6th corp have moved to cover their right flank. After I remembered the rule about reserve movement that is, Neal did give me some stick about that!

A general view of the field at about 16.30.

Prussian 2nd corps by passing Plancenoit and pressing the French.

The final Prussian corp (1st) arriving on Wellingtons left flank.

The Guard preparing to attack.

Partially successful forcing the British back off the ridge, they still had reserves though.

Now I'm going to stop there and discuss where I went wrong.

This photograph shows lichen marking the sunken road. I made it as a difficult obstacle taking one full move to get over, too much, for the scale of game we are looking at it made the French sit there for a full turn and get plastered by musketry before they had a chance to get in.

The ridge itself halved the number of dice which could be thrown by the firing grand battery which loses effectiveness as the turns progress, again I would do away with this rule. The allied brigades were hardly touched, I know some people will say that the reverse slope did protect the allied infantry but during the whole day Wellington had to replace units as they got worn down with those held in reserve, this didn't happen in the game and the infantry was hardly scratched.

The biggest cock up I made was to use too few movement dice for both sides, I gave each 4 dice, far too few with the French in particular simply not being able to do what they did on the day. I should have taken notice of one of the OOB's put up on the Blucher forum which gives the French 7 dice, the British 5 and additional dice added as the Prussians arrive. When I did this half way through the game it made a tremendous difference.

Hey it was a learning experience, I still like the way the rules play out, it's worth the effort once you get your head around the apparent lack of detail and the scale of what is going on. Your not manoeuvring individual battalions here and you must remember that and I do think that when I get the 10mm French and Russian brigades painted up it will make a huge difference to the look of the thing.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

28mm 15th Kings Hussars.

I painted the first six figures for the 15th about eight years ago and as with my ongoing policy of finishing things off I sent away to Front Rank for another six to make up a usable unit. Now it's a good job that the Duke didn't have to wait that long for his reinforcements to arrive, he may have had something to say about it!
The difficulty I faced is that my painting style has changed somewhat over the years and that the original figures had weathered a bit with the colours being slightly dulled, so both had to be matched with the new figures. You can tell the difference, but not by much.
Front Rank figures, like all manufacturers have their advantages and disadvantages. The detail is fantastic, everything is there that needs to be, they are fairly chunky, not terrible but the lads have not had their rations cut during the campaign but they are rather stiff not allot of movement if you know what I mean, I don't mind but I have a preference for a bit more swash buckle if you get my drift!
Because of the detail on the figure they were a joy to paint though as you will see from the pictures the red teeth? on the horse blanket aren't there when they should be. I know, lazy bugger but hey ho lots of things to do and the horses are generic light so this wasn't sculpted on, it's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

This is the original squadron:

While this is the reinforcement:

Along with the rest of my peninsular stuff they will be a great addition to some of the large 28mm Nap games at the club or here using Sharp Practise.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

28mm Late Roman cavalry 'To the Strongest'.

These are the last, the final ones, there will be no more - famous last words!
The Romans basically needed a couple of bases to complete their 'cavalry' option, i.e. if I wanted to shove a mainly mobile Roman army onto the table then these lads had to be done and done they are. Never say never but that's it for the Romans, I have one 30 odd figure Romano British (or Gallic if you prefer) to paint up from scratch but it'll be a good while before I can motivate myself to get that done.
So here are a few pics of the cavalry, don't take any reference from the shield devices, I had them lying around so used them as they look slightly Roman-ish.

Getting on with 10mm French next.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Blucher rules - Waterloo 1815

Having got the 1815 campaign cards for 'Blucher' as a xmas gift from my son I thought I'd give them a try. Neal and I have played Blucher before and are starting to get to grips with it - a good set of rules allowing you to re fight large battles which we wargamers with more modest collections cannot normally do.
So I got out my hex mats, went over the white marking with green felt tip pen (which I'd been meaning to do for quite a while) and set out the terrain. Even without the troops on the table and the 'real' Hougoumont I must say that it looked ok, quite pleased.

I then got out all of the unit cards checked where they should be placed and laid them out:

British/allied left flank, La Hay & Papelotte.

British/allied centre and La Hay Sainte .

British/allied right, Hougoumont.

Hougoumont from the French left, P.S. The red token represents the garrison of the building which can't leave and is low strength but can on a die roll be reinforced.

French centre.

French right with Plancenoit bottom right.

A view from the French side of the table.

Now don't get me wrong here, there is no way I will ever be able to re fight Waterloo on this or any other scale with Gen d'Armee or it's ilk, but this set of rules will do the job very well for this and other battles, but man the cards look crap!
I am in the process of painting up 10mm armies of French and Russians for the mid to late Napoleonic period, if and when Neal manages to paint up his 10mm British then we could re fight battles having one base represent a division but not (as above) with each base representing a brigade.
So it's cards or nowt. Some people don't mind the cards, as you can ascertain I'm not a fan but they are a necessary evil, it's this or nothing.
I will take my time with it and follow the scenario shown Here don't know the author but I hope he doesn't mind ( his 6mm figures and terrain are stunning).
I'll keep posting the games progress.

Monday, 1 January 2018

10mm French artillery batteries.

Firstly a very happy new year to anyone daft enough to want to look at the ramblings of this crotchety old git from a fairly remote bit of northern England, this internet business never ceases to amaze me!

Two 10mm French 'batteries' though in the Blucher rules they are primarily based for they are a concentration of 3-4 batteries. These are Pendraken figures, one 8pdr and one 12pdr:

Getting there with all of these little guys, speaking of which what did I get done and what do I fancy doing this year?
2017 saw all of my 28mm ancients re based, no small task in itself but this does mean they will be used a lot more, 10mm Cesarean are just about complete and a campaign is still ongoing (I will get back to that I promise!) and the above 10mm Napoleonics advanced. A few other bits and bobs but not worth mentioning.
2018, well no schedule and no promises but, definitely finish the 10mm naps so that I have two armies for Blucher.
I'd like to progress with 10mm WSS lots of figures there but to be honest I'm contemplating re-basing them, I know, I know but the driver would be adapting General d'Armee for this period so we'll see.
28mm French Revolution could do with a certain amount of re basing, mainly the French infantry into eights so that they can be used for Sharp Practice as well as General d'Armee, make all of the 1794 flags replaceable with 1791 and/or 1805 ones. I would loosen the existing flags so that they could be replaced with the new ones depending on the period being played. I might sell the Elite Austrian hussars as at 30mm they are just too big, you can get away with the infantry but not cavalry. New French light infantry would be needed for 1791, but I have a cunning plan, I'll let you know!
Temptation is to also get back into 15mm Franco Prussian war, I've plenty of painted figures but again would like a General d'Armee adaptation.
What I want and what I'll get done are two very different things, we'll see.
Anyway as I said, all the best folks.