Wednesday 31 July 2019

Sikh Wars Progress

I have managed a reasonable amount of painting in recent weeks, one of the beneficiaries being my Sikh Wars project.

By a happy coincidence this beauty turned up as I was taking photos of the latest batch. At first glance its looks great, some wonderful artwork and also interesting sketches I have not seen before along with many that I have.  Reading the first few pages it also seems very well written.
I also picked up this first hand account of the First Anglo Sikh War from a staff Seargent in the Bengal Horse Artillery, it gets a good review and the language was apparently Kipling's inspiration for Soldiers Three, should be interesting.

Looking at previous posts you might already be aware I have been converting Perry's Plastic British Light Dragoons to make a unit of Governor Generals Bodyguard, these are the last four, I even tried my hand at modelling moustaches on two which have come out better than expected. The troopers mounts are metal from Mutineer miniatures whilst the officers horse is from the Perry's Plastic pack with a tail added with green stuff. Hopefully the basing department will be back on form next month and I can present you with the based unit complete.

This officer is also a minor conversion that didnt go quite so well but is OK. Its actually a Wargames Foundry Heavy Dragoon officer from the Crimean range with a had swap and painted as a Light Dragoon.
These chaps are Perrys Carlist Wars British Legion figures painted up as British Line for the Indian Army, the Officer I just realised has yellow cuffs and belongs with the Sepoy's below. However added to those already painted this gives me one third of a battalion so progress.
The Sepoys are all Wargames Foundry with the flank company on the roof, wit the addition of the officer this is again a third of a battalion. If I can get another three of each of these done I will feel like I have made progress having got 50% over the line.
Two more Sikh Dragoons gives me six out of a unit of ten. Really happy with how thee figures have come out, the colour scheme just seems to work.
And here they all are together. If I can finish each of these unit I have a good basis for a game with the Honourable East India Company Troops having two brigades each of horse and foot to game with.
So I will do a few more of these but as we plan a big Great Northern War game for late August I am contemplating whether I need to get any more units completed for it. Ideally another unit of Polish Pancerni and maybe some Polish Dragoons. Then again I would love to have a few more Swedes and Saxons

I better get a shift on!

Saturday 20 July 2019

Grand Theft Livestock

Steve asked me to put ona  quick one nighter for the El Cid collection and I thought it might be fun to have soemthing more to play for than just beating up your enemy. A lot of the Dark Age Iberian conflicts were large raids and so I thought why not build this into a game

So our table has three small villages and several hers of various livestock scattered about it.

Small garrisons defend the beasts from roving Moors and are in various undesclosed (but pretty obvious) locations,
The Moors gain two points for every herd they get off table, 2 points for every Christian unit they destroy and 1 point for every building they burn.

To achieve this they have 2 main forces:

Chris Flowers with 2 level 8 commanders

One foot division consisting 3 units of Berber speamen and one unit of Berber archers.
One Horse Division with three units of Berber light cavalry and one unit of Horse archers

Steve Shann with 2 level 8 commanders

One foot division with 2 units of Berber foot and 2 units of Berber archers
One Horse division with one unit of Heavy Cavalry and 3 units of Berber light Cavalry

Reserve Mervision Level 9 commander

3 Units of mounted Knights
One Unit of Horse Archers
One unit of armoured foot
One unit of Crossbows

This last force had been hidden at the edge of Wood to ambush any Christian forces pursuing the raiders and would be activated by the Umpire at the appropriate time.

The Christians under Mark Stimpson had the following available:

On table 1 unit of light foot and 1 unit of archers in each of the 3 villages with a unit of light cavalry hidden in a wood on the left flank.

4 divisions were off table moving to drive off the raiders and would arrive on random moves and on random locations on the Christian table edge.

First Division of 2 units armoured Knights and one of light cavalry
Second division the same as first
Third division 4 units of armoured foot
Fourth division 4 units of mounted Knights

The christians scored two points for each herd recaptured and each Moorish unit destroyed.

If the Christians could co-ordinate forces and get them on early they could overwhelm the Moors with both superior numbers and troops quuality, the Moors on the other hand needed to hit and run with their lighter faster moving focres making sure they scored a few oints then left before the Christians could return the favour..
The Moors move first and things start well for them with their units belting forward three moves  and converging on the first cattle herds to start driving them off.
Chris finds himself immediatly in range of the first village and lets loose a well aimed volley, unfortunately its volley of ones! Little did we know but this was to be the shape of things to come later in the game.
Next move and Msrk opens up with his archers from the front two villages causing a casualty each on Steve and Chris. The Moors shrug this off and bounce onto the second hers of beasts whilst firing volleys back at each of the units of archers. Unfortunately in both cases a six is roilled forcing a break test both of which are woefully failed by Mark and his two units down already. I begin to tink I may have got this badly wrong and the Moors would be off table with herds of beasts and burning villages in their wake before the Christians can respond.

However both of the units herding cattle roll their commands and fail to move at all. It seems that the cattle had a stubborn streak and did not want to be herded anywhere. Mark also rolls for his reinforcements and the first two units will arrive next move followed by the next two units the move after and they will arrive two divisions each on the same squares giving him overwhelming lovcal superiority once they get on.

Deciding to slow the Moors down whislt his reinforcements arrive he leaves the safety of the villages and blocks the path to the rest of his livestock whilst charging the nearest Moors with hsi light cavalry, whilst this doesnt go well and the light cavalry are destroyed it would turn out to be a pivotal point in the game.
The Moors roll again to move the cattle and again they refuse to move at all, In both cases they skirt around the foot coming out of the villages to try and pounce on the next herds before the reinforcements can reach them. At this stage the Moors have 6 points having destroyed 3 Christian Units and can also get 4 more if only the cattle will shift, the Christians have no points at all but with the arrival of the first of the Knights thats all about to change.

Mark now also has too much to move and asks me to take over command of his left flank where a horde of armoured Knights are about to launch into the Moors.
The first Knights advance along each flank and on the left Chris throws his first unit of Berbers at the first Knights to move forward, this does not go well with the Knights countercharging and sending the Berbers realing in dis-order. The Knights then charge the next unit of Berbers and destroy them following up wth a sweeping advance to destroy the already shaken unit behind. The Christian Light cavalry take on the third unit of Berbers and destroy them too, meanwhile the horse archers have taken over trying to herd the cattle which still absolutely refuse to move.

His foot have also stubbornly refused to move for two moves whilst on the other flank Steve has finally managed to get one herd of cattle moving and his foot who had bounded forward are now starting to pull back as the Christian reinforcements flood onto the table.

The rest of the Christians now enter the table with four more units of Knights riding on behind me and 4 units of armoured foot behind Mark.

The Mercenaries in reserve for the Moors are now released but dont really have anywhere to go in order to support the retreating Moors.

Steve launches a unit of Light cavalry at Marks advancing Knights checking them for one move before they are broken by the heavier armoured christians.

My knights now sweep around the re-captured cattle who have pretty much stood where they are much where they are munching grass all night and start to form up opposite Chris's infantry, his archers are forward of the line peppering my horsemen, a charge from the light cavalry drives these behind the sheilds of the Berber spearmen who are now in danger of being outflanked by superior numbers of Christian Knights.

The scores now stand at Moors 10 Christians 14 points. We have plenty of time left to play but at this stage the Moors are in no position to score more and accept defeat, retreating with the just the one herd of cattle.

A fun quick one night game that played out entirely differently to how I expected. Early doors it looked like a milk run for the Moors but within 4 moves it turned on its ehad and the Moors were simply unable to extract themselves with their loot quickly enough.

Fun alround, thanks gents for cheering me up after a frustrating day in the real world.

Thursday 18 July 2019

Antideluvian Kern and other Troops for Ireland

I saw these by Antediluvian Miniatures and had to get them.

Beautiful figures by the very talented Mr Hicks and georgous in their own right.

They are based on this contempory engraving of a group of Irish fighting in the Netherlands I believe during the Elizabethan era so bang on for what I needed. I have put off painting them for a while to be honest, I wasnt sure I would do them justice.
I am reasonably happy with the end result, they are simple to paint as most figures in this collection they dont have lots of lace etc and I really enjoyed painting them. Not 100% happy with the paint job but they are not too far off what I wanted to achieve.
This chap in the shaggy cloak is probably my favourite sculpt of the four. I decided to keep the colour pallette broadly similar to the original but used darker richer colours. I think this one in particlar is very evocotive.
This chaps helmet is unusual but I have seen it before so I am happy its accurate, the spear is a bit bendy on this figure but again a lovely sculpt.
This chap really does capture the Dour Gallowglass with the nice added touch of the bow. It cant of taken me more than 15 miniutes in total to paint this chap its such a simple paint job. Probably the one that came out best in terms of the paint job.
The last one is a simple Kern with glave, again really simple 15 minute paint job and pleased with the outcome. These will now join the que for the basing department.

Whilst I was at it I thought I might also try and reduce the lead pile for the English. Here are 2 Graven Images and one Foundry figure. I particularly like the standard bearer who looked a bit rubbish before the paint started going on to be honest. The first swordsman is from the Foundry Sea Dogs and Swashbucklers range, he fits in quite well and I added a buckler from the Perry's plastic Wars of the Roses set. The last figure again being a swordsman, this last is a dismounted Reiver, a spare figure to mix in with my forlorn hope of sword and buckler men. For those wanting a comparison this shows how well the Foundry and Graven Images figures mix (or not as you like)

The last three are also Foundry Sea Dogs, Pikemen of which I had quite a lot to finish until recently. I like how these came out, the middle figure is a head swap with the Hoka Hey demi lancer to add some variety to the figures. It looks OK I think.

That just leaves me with about a dozen figures left for this project although I do need to get them all together once they are based and see if there are any gaps.

Getting closer to a game for these now.

Sunday 14 July 2019

Great Northern War AAR Swedes and Danes

Steve invited Mark and I for a game at his place, he would design the game and asked us to bring our Great Northern War collections along with my earthworks.

He had designed a slightly larger game that would test the rules we had developed from Black Powder fairly thoroughly.
The table was 9 by 6 and the Danish army occupied a hill with a fortified village at its base, the Swedish left flank was also covered by a wood giving only a small gap between the wood and the fortifications.
The Allies would be commanded by Mark and Steve, 18 battalions of foot, 12 Danish, 3 Norwegian and 3 Prussian supported by 3 guns and 7 regiments of horse. Divided in 4 brigades of 4 foot and two brigades of horse.

Most of the Allies were average quality but one of the foot was Veteran and two were poor.

One Brigade was thrown forward into the village with a supporting gun whilst the rest occupied the heights in a crescent formation.
The Swedes would initially be attacking with just 8 regiments of average foot (for Swedes) and 6 regiments of horse supported by 2 guns.

A guards brigade of foot would arrive on turn 4.
The Danes, Norwegians and Prussians are all Marks figures as are the guns. 4 of the horse are also Marks with the other three being my Saxons and Russians.

All of the Swedes were from my collection.

All of the Swedish commanders were good and all of the Allied commanders were Average.

Move one had the Swedes storm forward on the right flank charging the earthworks in the fortified village. The closing fire from the Prussians is good but not good enough and the Swede's win the ensuing melee pushing back the Prussians and occupying the inside of the works.
Things go less well on the left with the foot only moving once, luckily remaining just out of musketry range whilst the horse make heavy weather of closing with their allied counterparts.

Fire from the village and the hill dis-ordered 3 out of 4 of the right hand brigade and 2 of the left hand brigade too. Key to this then being that the second rank of battalion on the left could pass through but not charge the earthworks buying the village another turn with the Swedes not able to close.
On the left flank the horse from both sides now clashed, the Swedes had the better of the first engagement driving two units of Danes back and destroying another. However two Swedish units were shaken and the Swedes needed to regroup before taking on the rest of the Allied horse.
Wit the dis-orders off the Swedes charged the Prussian unit on the right that had been forced out of the earthworks and closed on the flank of the retreating gun. This time the Prussians luck does not hold and they break. However the swedes are unable to close with the gun this turn.
On the left the Swedes are finally able to charge, however as yet another unit is dis-ordered only one battalion is able to charge and is held by the Norwegian battalion to its front.
The Swedish cavalry sort themselves out and charge the next block of Allied horse and are again successful in pushing one back and breaking another, but again one of the Swedish horse is taken to shaken and unable to pursue combat
In the allied turn Mark then charges the shaken Swedish horse who are unable to counter charge and receive non of their bonuses. Fortunately his dice throwing deserts him at this point and the Swedes survive the initial onslaught.

Things are looking grim for the Swedes held up by 4 battalions in the village and 12 allied foot still entirely uncommitted, but at this point the Guards Brigade marches on table. If they can get there in time they may yet swing the battle in favour of the Swedes.
On the right the Swedes charge and destroy the gun and begin to march up the hill to take on the Danish main force, however the rear battalion is shot again and taken to both shaken and is-ordered, their luck runs out and poor dice sees them fail their break test miserably and leave the table.
The Swedish cavalry sort themselves out again and begin to push forward on the remaining Danes, another push on the village sees one battalion held but the other breaks into the defences and forces the Norwegians to retreat. One unit of horse scrambles over the earthworks and the Guard close in on the gap. The Allies swing their far right brigade around to give flanking fire into the exposed right hand Swedish brigade and things look grim indeed for the isolated three battalions facing 9 Danish battalions.
The Danish Cavalry take advantage of the shaken Swedes to charge again but are driven back, A lucky rally roll sees two Swedish cavalry units shrug off a casualty to put them back in action and the Swedes charge again. Two more units of Danish horse are lost forcing a break test and Marks dice a miserable on this occasion, the Allied horse have now left the building. Fortunately for the Danes Mark had foreseen this and deployed two battalions to refuse his flank 
The village is now largely untenable, there are two damaged battalions holding it but they are surrounded by 4 battalions of Swedes and two guns.  The Swedish Guard are about to storm over the now empty earthworks on the extreme left where the Norwegians have retreated and the Swedish Cavalry have no opposition and capable of putting 6 reasonably untouched units of horse into the flank of the Danish forces.
The badly damaged brigade on the Swedish right is in serious trouble with one unit gone another shaken and a third one casualty away from also being shaken, they are being fired on by 9 battalions and a gun and you have to wonder how much longer they can soak up the punishment.
But on the left it doesn't look good for the Allies at all, the joint effort of an untouched Guards Brigade and two brigades of cavalry seems set to give the Danes a real thrashing.

That said there is still loads to play for and we could carry on for another hour or two before getting a final result, however its after 10pm and the Allies don't think they can rescue the situation so we pack up for the night.
A bigger game tested the rule amends quite thoroughly and in particular we kept the better Swedish figures off table for most of the game and upgraded a couple of the Danish units to represent their veteran and guard units. It played really well, the fortified village in particular causing the Swedes some real headaches.

We are happy that the amends work and planning a much larger game in a couple of months as a final test of whether we have got it right or not.

For now though a fun nights game thank you Steve and Mark.