Saturday 29 May 2021

The Road to Corrunna Part 1

 I was very excited to get an invitation to my first wargame for nearly a year. Ken Reelly of Yarkshire Gamer blog fame invited me over this Sunday to Castle Riley, as a bonus we would be playing with his Spanish Civil War, a really fun and colourful period I had long wanted to game with Ken and the rest of the guys.

There were only4 of us for this game, Rob and Steve would be the Liberales whilst Ken and I would be the Nationalists. Rules, as usual with the Yarkshire gaming crew, were loosley based on a set with lots of changes to suit what they wanted, in this case the base rules that have been re-designed are Iron Ivan.

You can see more here with Kens blog and no doubt he will have a much better game report than mine on there in due course.

The table is 12 feet long by 6 wide (give or take) and today had a river through the middle seperating the table into two halves, with a ford at both sides of the table taking the dirt tracks across.

Kens latest painted unit, the Nationalist cavalry, were already on table ready to go. Lovely figures, ideally I needed to leave them on their pretty horses as long as possible for visual effect.

At the right hand side of the table we can just make out the metaled road from Madrid to Corrunna, cutting this road would be the main objective of the game, there is a dirt track running roughly along either long side of the table the one on the far side has three villages along it and this would be the extent of initial Liberal deployment. 
Ken and I would deploy the Nationalists on the extreme left of the table just off shot in the below picture. The troops facing us initialy on this side of the table would be Anarchists commanded by Steve.
Straight away I began to see how different these rules were, giving commanders much to think about. Activation is randomly generated by unit cards, ammunitions is diced for as the units enter table too with an average dice, every round of firing uses a point of ammo so if you are blazing away you can very quickly run out of ammo. Each side has ammo donkeys but these have to contact units to re-supply them. At the end of every go commanders dice for money which they can then spend on various things, including more ammo. All adds to the chaos and fun.

My first unit on were a company of ForeIgn Legionaires, they were hit pretty hard almost straight away by the first voley from Steves leading company of Anarchists taking them from 8 to 4 figures. I managed to inflict a casualty in return.
We are rolling a D10 to hit with firing, as I am at long range and the Anarchists are in hard cover I need a 1 to hit then a re-roll with a 50% chance of converting that to a casualty. 
As more cards come out I am able to get the rest of the Legion battalion on table and put some more fire into Steves first unit and he starts to take a steady toll in casualties.
My command call in artillery which is also quite interesting. As we roll two d6 for deviation you have to be pretty careful where you try to land your shells, each subsequent turn take 2 inches off of the deviation as you range in. Ken reandomly generates the direction of deivation with a nifty tool on his tablet. I miss by a country mile of course.
Meanwhile the first two troops of cavalry having skirted all the open ground are now on the flank of the first Anarchist unit and dismount in cover.
With the Legionaires established and putting some suppressing fire onto the Anarchists whilst they skirmish forward the next battalion of Nationalists starts to arrive in the form of the hard fighting Morrocans (Some of my favourite troops for this period). The Anarchists are running  out of ammo and starting to take casualties, things are looking a little grim for them, my final shot at them sees them loose their Seargent and they are getting very wobbly indeed.

I have been a bit free and easy with my Ammo so far, being so near the base edge and having a donkey with ammo to hand its been easy to re-supply so far. I suspect that may not be the case as we press on.

I get another shot in and the Anarchists break, we have our first success and occupy the building they have left. Steve however has not been idle and one of my dismounted cavalry units has been pinned by accurate fire.

I now start pushing the cavalry forward to skirmish with the next Anarchist units whilst the main forces push forward to support. The dismounted unit skirmish forward into woods next to the next village whilst the one unit still mounted pushes towards the far side of the same village. My HQ remains in position to cover them and call in ineffective artillery.

We also get an event card at this stage and get lucky, a roll of a D10 gets us 8 boxes of ammo dropped next to our advanced cavalry unit (they are the black counters) so now we have a store of ammo for the advancing troops to collect as they reach it, thats going to be pretty useful I feel.

I know I tend to concentrate on my own little bit of the game but over on the other side there has not been much for Rob to do with his Liberal troops other than dig in and get ready. Thats about to change.
A card for Liberal armour is drawn and a troop of two T26's hove into view. Queen of the battlefield at this stage in history, fortunaely for us they are about as far away as they can be at this moment in time.
Lovely models these and with their 37mm gun and coax machine gun a tough nut to crack for the Nationalists when they eventually reach us. Not for a while we hope.
Things are getting going on the Nationalist side as well, Kens Carlist battalion now starts to enter our side of the table and push along the road towards the ford and the Corrunna road.

The advanced cavalry are pinned by the Anarchists, I roll to unpin them and then fire into the house killing the Seargent. We then get a plane in the card deck and roll a 10 to get it on table, the bombs of course miss entirely but the MGs pour some very effective fire into the Anarchists in the lead house and they break, leaving me free to move the cavalry forward and occupy the first house.

The late biplanes of this period are lovely things. Robs son William is rolling movement dice in the background for a bull that has randomly turned up, I imagine this will play a caotic part as we get further into the game.
I have been saving my cash and now have enough to buy a tank, with the T26's trundling into the first Liberal held village I decide we better have one as well and spend pretty much all of our ready cash on a captured T26. A lovely paint job on this, lets hope it is as effective as it is nice. Typically for anything useful its card then refuses to come out for the next two turns and it sits on the table edge waiting for a chance to move!
My Legionaires and Morrocans push forward to support the cavalry and Ken gets his Carlists moving along the road towards the ford in the river, another really good roll from Ken gets us a stack of cash and we decide to spend it on some more armour In the shape of an armoured car. Fortunately the Nationalist armour card eventually comes out, the T26 pushes along to support the Carlists whilst the armoured car races up the table to support my troops.
It will be a couple more moves before I have enough troops to attemot to push the last of Steves Anarchists out of the village but it feels like the net is closing in.
Meanwhile Rob has the Liberal propaganda truck along with their own armoured car in place with cameras and political advisors ready to bolster his troops prior to the Nationalists trying for a river crossing. We know that the International brigades are marching up the Corruna road to support the Liberal front so its all building up to some serious action when we re-convene for part 2. 
A great first game back with only slightly more gabbing than gaming. Really looking forward to playing again next week.

Stay tuned for the second thrilling instalment.

Thursday 20 May 2021

More Sikh Wars Goodies

I have thoroughly enjoyed painting these Sikh Wars figures. Its such a diverse and colourful period with a bit of sub plot too with the addition of the Bahawalpur contingent.

These next guys are painetd as the 1st Bengal European Light Infantry, not an exact match for uniform but not far off, the shoulder wings the main difference. Using Foundry Opium War and Perry First Carlist War British infantry. The bell top shakoe's look great. The Foundry figures have shell jackets and the Perrys coatees but you cant tell on the bases so I am pretty comfortable mixing them. I have no doubt that Mike Snook will release properly uniformed versions of these in due course and I will kick myself but until then.......

I already have the next batch of these on the painting table so hopefully not too long before I can share them with you.
These two Officers are actually a commission, I dont normally do commissions but did these as a favour, quite liked them so including them here for you.
The irregulars are also carrying on in the back ground in this case a Foundry Afghan and a Perry Plastic swordsman with a Sikh head.
Lovely dynamic figures these, I dont get tired of painting them which is probably why I have so many.
This next lot are my green coated Sikh unit. The two Foundry command figures are accompanied by three Perry plastics with Sikh heads, I think they look spot on myself and mix in really well.
The red and green is a classic Indian combination, really enjoying these and as with the BELI I already have the next batch on the painting table, this is probably the next unit I will target for completion.
I also want to keep a little momentum with the Baluchi figures for my Bahawalpur contingent so two more here, using a buff and orange pallette but these will be very irregular as a unit so different palletes as I do more.
As with the other Baluchis and Pathans they will be useful for the Sikh side when I need them and a multitude of other colonial games too of course. 
Lastly another commander for the British, each Brigade will need an officer so eventually that will be 8 brigadiers plus the army commander so a few more to complete.

An Iron Duke officer on a British Offciers horse. nice figure, not sure I have entirely done the horse justice on this occasion.
Thats it for now, lots more already started so watch out for another update shortly, until then stay safe!

Sunday 16 May 2021

Flags of War 1745 Last Hurrah Kickstarter Review

Its funny how it creeps up on you, its seemed ages away when I put my Kickstarter order in back in November and now they are here, Huzzah!

I actually have quite a lot painted for this project but stored away in boxes waiting for the extra few castings to finish units off units so hopefully a little flurry of finished units to follow in due course.

The previous Kickstarters from Iain at Flags of War were really proffessionally handled and the figures just lovely so high hopes for this last one for the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Iain has not disapointed.

You will of course see the finished figures as they come off the painting table but for now I thought I might just give you a flavour of whats come with particular focus on the new figures.

First of all what greets you on opening the parcel always puts a smile on my face. A shipping list with a little personal thank you from Iain is a nice touch, as is the little pack of Haribo, sweets are always the way to my heart. Also on top of the figures and flags are a couple of free stickers. Iain loves his stickers and I was initially a bit stuck for what to use them for. However as there is a British Grenadiers mitre and a highland bonnet I think they would be best used to mark the storage boxes I will be keeping the figures in for quick reference.

I have partiallyused the kickstarter to pick up a bunch of figures already released but for the purposes of this post I will concentrate on the new castings yet to be released. Each pack of figures arrives in a little plastic bag typically with four foot figures and the card "Flags of War" backing.

The first pack I opened was the dismounted British Dragoons, these will be my skirmishers and fought dismounted as well as mounted, at Clifton Moor in fairly large numbers too. 4 packs of these allows me to create either 2 units of 6 skirmishers or 2 units of 8 line depending on how I choose to use them. I will base them in pairs I think to allow me to use them in either role.
This very dynamic Seargent is a free figure for hitting one of the funding goals and will be based individually as a leader character. Particularly like this.
One unit I was particularly looking forward to was Baggots Hussars, these guys are depicted with carbines fulfilling their scouting and skirmishing role, I have 3 packs so a unit of 8 ideal for Sharp Practice with one spare figure.
Here is a closer pciture of the riders.
As part of the Kickstarter I also get a free Flag with each batch of packs giving me 4 free flag sheets, the first one I picked up was the Argyl militia, I am likely to do these troops without uniforms when I get around to them, but with uniformed officers seconded from the regulars.
Two lots of Highland flags essentially giving me enough for 3 clans McPherson, Appin and Bannerman.
For the lowlanders we have the Duke of Perths regiment.
These in particular I was looking forward to, a pack of loading Royal Eccossais to add to the firing troops, two packs of these will complete a 24 man formation of 3 groups of 8. Its likely these will be the first figures I tackle from this release it will be nice to see finished units rolling off the workbench and to the basing department.
These were released in a previous Kickstarter but they are the first of the Government Highlanders I have picked up, bloody lovely and the standard bearers I plan to use as Seargents with halberds.
I also picked up 3 mounted officers, the first one is a generic British Officer which I particularly like and has the added advantage of a slightly different horse to the cavalry packs.
Then the General Hawley Character in great coat with Pistol on a rearing horse, pistol at the ready.
Lastly the Bagotts Hussar Officer, this is straight out of the penequick drawings and I love the rakish hat. He looks suitable Hussary and ready to plunder. Looking forward to painting this character.
Over and above these I have a bunch of British regulars and mounted dragoons from the last Kickstarter to flesh out the earlier units and a few more packs of Jacobites too. There is room for a few more additions, lowland militia for both sides in particular, but that is the bulk of the figures bought, now I just have to paint them!

Of course there were more releases in the Kickstarter that I didnt partake of this time, characters, casualties and British regulars defending, all are lvoely just not what I needed for now. I am sure they will be on Iains site in due course.

Thanks for reading, until next time stay safe.

Wednesday 12 May 2021

Based Sikh Wars

 So I am still waiting for a bunch of basing back from the basing department, but in the interim I decided to base a few up myself. 

These two Sikh generals I am really pleased with, both Foundry miniatures the chap on the right is riding a riders of rohan horse which I think works well for India.

I ave purposely gone for a diverse and particularly bright pallete with these two and I am pretty pleased with the outcome.
To support the larger units I am doing a number of small skirmish screens, this one will be the second Hill Tribes irregular skirmish screen.
The Hill Tribes will be really useful for multiple different periods but can also operate on both sides in the second Sikh War in particular where many Muslim Hill Tribes threw in their lot with the local British policital aganets againts the Sikh Khalsa.
This base of Sikh light cavalry finishes off another part complete unit, I particularly like the colour pallette on these two.

This next one is the completed unit of Sikh regulars with the Patka topknot turban. I think the mix of colours works really well. 
As mentioned in previous posts there is a school of thought that the flags here are incorrect and the Sikhs carried red and gold Rajas colour which was the same for all units, howeverin te absence of any commerically available versions of this and not having seen the evidence for it myself  I will use the ones I have for now. 
Thd majority of these figures I picked up from chum Colin and were part of the original Studio Miniature Kickstarter.

The Bugler is one of the few figures that are more recent additions since the range was upsated, the sculpting is lovely but the figure is noticably larger than the originals and therefore much larger than the other figures I am using. You will see the drummer and standard bearer are actually Wargames Foundry 25mm figures.
A rear shot of the unit to give us a final feel for the overall look of them. Again happy with these.
I dont really enjoy the basing so hoping that the basing department can get back into things with the relaxing of lockdown restrictions and I can share some more completed units in due course.

Until then Stay Safe!