Monday 31 March 2014

Battle of Keren

As I mentioned before I'll be helping out with the Battle of Keren game that James and Scrivs (under the guise of Newark Irregulars) are staging at Salute this year.
The other night seven of the eight of us that will be there assembled at James house for a pre-Salute curry (in honour of the Indian troops that did a lot of the fighting) and a briefing from James.
The curry was splendid and the briefing and and Pathé newsreels even better. The less said about my Curry Cookies the better.
As a little taster here's one of the Pathé newsreels of the advance on the steep mountainsides that characterised the battle


Click this to see the film footage

There are a few more newsreels on the Pathé site

You can read more about the battle on Wikepedia.

James and Scrivs have done loads of research and the game will have plenty of accompanying material. Plus me. Bluffing.
Do try and get along and see us and say hello if you can.

By way of a prequel James and Scrivs staged a game at Canon show in Retford yesterday. I couldn't go due to Mothering Sunday embargo.
There's a full report and loads of eye candy over on the Scrivsland blog

Monday 24 March 2014

Musketeer Miniatures Saxon Archers (4)

I finished these in time for the gaming day, but didn't get round to taking any pictures.

Here are eight of them on the movement tray they spent most of the games on

And here are a few singles

As I was painting these I had a moment of realisation as to where Musketeer Bill had drawn his inspiration

 Or possibly...

So we have Parfitt/St Hubbins the Archer

Rossi/Tufnel the Archer

And Lancaster/Smalls the Archer

Of course whilst painting these I watched the excelent Quo documentary on BBC4, and so had to paint one of them up as the elederly leader based on Alan Lancaster as he is now

And finally a group shot

Sunday 23 March 2014

Naps Dipped

So the Naps have had a coat of dip.

Basing and matt varnishing to finish them off.

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Age of Arthur WAB Day - Battle Three

Two games down, one narrow loss, one bloody stand off. I was clearly on an upward trajectory. Ahem.

Next up was Alex of Team Munky. I’m sure we’ve played one another before, but if we have I couldn’t find the report.
We were to play for possession of a Pictish erection that was standing proud, deep in a moist valley.
OK, I’ll stop now.
Set up was from the long ends of the board and whoever ended up nearest the stone effigy would be the winner. I checked the rules for contesting the stone, but as it turned out I needn't have bothered.
I placed some Geoguth on my right beyond the church then placed the bulk of my army further to the left. Alex put all his fighty foot units pointing at the standing stone with some horsemen on the right flank and some slingers and Pictish skirmishers in the woods on my left.

 Welsh shieldwall

Stout Saxons

My archers raced to take the hill, giving them a commanding view of the objective from whence they could rain death and destruction on the advancing Welshmen. Possibly. I pushed the Romans up toward the stone figuring they could make a push on the stone toward the end of the game and be hard to shift. The rest of my units began to swarm toward the right to face down the horsemen.

The yoof get stuck in

We claim this phallic artwork!

 Ooo are ya, ooo are ya?

 I think you'll find its our stone

Bring it boyos

Sadly my Geoguth proved no match for the Picts, but their joy was short-lived as they were run over by Duguth, who in turn suffered from machine gun like slings at close range. My other Geoguth saw off some javelin men before succumbing to concentrated javelin chucking by the Welsh.

 Nobody charge until I give the word

 I said nobody...oh.


And then inevitably my Gedrith failed a warband test and crashed into Alex’s hearthguard unit.
The battle see sawed for a turn or two, but the Welsh warlord proved too formidable for my Cyning and chopped him down, while Alex threw attacks at my standard bearer and cut him down too.
Over on my right the Duguth saw off the slingers, but the death of my general and ASB saw my centre collapse.
The Welsh Teulu continued their rampage through into the Romans and Alex once again brutally targeted the character in the unit, hacking the Tribune to the ground. With that the army finally fell apart and the field belonged to the Welsh.

Get away from our stone!

Let's be having you, Mr Tribune!

A proper drubbing for the Saxons, although with a little more luck – and maybe more thought I might have won the clash of the commitatus units and carried the day.
Alex was a charming and very fair opponent, and good fun to play despite administering a stern schooling in the art of WAB.

And with that the day came to an end. I had to leave before final results were announced (another jet-set jaunt to Swindon), so was spared the ignominy of having a pile of coins more diminutive than the contents of Max Clifford’s trousers.

All in all a splendid way to spend the day. Looks like an El Cid version may be on the agenda for six months’ time (although I’d quite like to give Shieldwall a try at some point).
Many thanks to Scrivs for organising, all my opponents for great games and all the other WAB fans who made for a great day’s gaming.

More Naps in Swindon

Bit more daubing by pee-poor hotel room illumination.
Got a few bits to do when I get home and then a sound dipping!

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Age of Arthur WAB Day - Battle Two

After a break for lunch (in a triumph of hope over experience Scrivs attempted to feed wargamers with large quantities of salad – he will shortly be the proud owner of the fattest rabbits in all of Nottinghamshire) it was on to the second game.

I was to play Craig, who I have played enjoyable gamesagainst before, in a quest to stop his marauding Welshmen making off with my sheep (you are invited to make up your own borderline racist jokes at this point). The sheep would wander randomly about the board unless corralled and herded by skirmishers. Whoever ended up with the sheep at the end would be the winner (some of the sheep were actually pigs, but pork or lamb chops are not so very different to a hungry Dark Age warrior).

 The Saxon Sheep Protection Force enter the valleys

 Lambs for the lads!

These sheeps've been shaved

I decided to let my fierce Geoguth go sheep herding, placed the Romans on my right flank, anchored on the woods and filled the centre of the board with hairy Saxons.
Shortly the Welsh hove into view and with much deep voiced singing they began to lurch toward the wildstock.

 It's for your own good, sheep

 Moustachioed marauders

 So good I photographed them twice

 Where'd the pigs go?

I advanced cautiously and the sheep duly scattered across the board. Craig pushed some cavalry around my right flank. The Welsh slingers were able to round up the pigs in fairly short order and, deprived of a better target I sent the Geoguth to face down the Welsh horsemen. 

 You're fighting for the wrong side, boys!

 Fighty, stabby!

My leftmost Duguth unit charged into some mercenary Saxons and saw them off, but were unable to catch them and instead crashed into the Welsh spearmen. My rightmost Geoguth unit forgot about the sheep they were chasing and hurled themselves at the Welsh skirmishers, seeing them off, but then running wildly after them, only to be steamrollered by the Welsh Teulu. Curse you, Fierceness!
On the other flank some good arrers by the Geoguth (and unexpected discipline) meant the Welsh horsemen turned tail and ran away for a bit.

 Come on then. No you come on. No, you...etc.

 The Romans watch their hirelings do the dirty work

 This isn't going our way

With neither of us prepared to commit our hearthguard units we settled down to play “who fails warband first” and sure enough it was me. My Duguth ploughed home and were well and truly creamed by the Welsh. Their inevitable flight caused my general to soil his fighting trousers and run away. Fortunately he was later able to steady the ranks, but the damage had been done and the Teulu rampaged through the centre of my line.
Desperately the Tribune ordered his men forward. The Welsh, sensing easy pickings hurled themselves at the Romans. However discipline and big shields carried the day and the Welshmen fled. With a final plaintiff bleat the sheep ambled up alongside the victorious Romano British and with that the battle drew to a close.

 Flee, for your lives!

 If you want something doing. Do it yourself.

The final fight, and fortuitous sheep move, had enabled me to snag a draw. On balance this was probably slightly harsh on Craig, but the fight had see-sawed a few times.
Craig was a pleasure to play against as always and the sheep move phase added immeasurably to the game.

Naps in Swindon

A complete change of pace.
I'm in Swindon again for a couple of days, so decided to bring some Perry Napoleonics alog for the ride.
Basecoat here, then dip back home

Just a few of each - I'm never going to manage whole units. o maybe some games of Drums and Shakos...

Sunday 16 March 2014

Age of Arthur WAB Day - Battle One

And so, once more to Mansfield for another day of playing WAB hosted by the effervescent Scrivs and with many a familiar face in attendance.
Each time I sign up for one of these I promise myself I won’t just roll up with the venerable Saxon army that I’ve used so frequently in the past. No, this time I tell myself I’ll finally finish those Late Romans and use them. And every time I fail and end up using the Saxons again. And do you know what? I used the Saxons again. However at least I had a unit of newly painted archers to see this time, and the one unit of Romano Brits I’ve actually finished were pressed into service too. Next time. Definitely.
In my head, although it’s a Saxon force with Romano British allies, the power behind the throne is the Tribune who has signed up the hairy barbarians to do the fighting for him and has turned up with his unit just to check his money’s been well spent.

On arrival we helped Scrivs decorate a few tables and ten got down to the business of gaming. I was to play the River Glein scenario with my regular gaming chum and his Welshmen as allies against a fiendish alliance of Franks and Romano British led by Steve and Neil. I’ve played (and lost to) Neil several times in the past, and his RBs are one of the reasons I started collecting my own, so I was quite relieved to end up facing the Franks. Though this relief was perhaps a little premature.
As is the way of WAB double games it largely turned into two parallel one-on-one games with me contesting the bridge and the Welsh fighting for the ford.

 Th Saxon hordes greet the dawn.

 Franks. Coming over here, pillaging our villages.

 Brave Welshmen, banners aloft

Big shields, armour, shieldwall. Going nowhere.

The Franks largely surged toward the bridge with some powerful looking units, whilst a large unit of allied geoguth skirmished their way toward my left flank. I pushed my own unit of skirmishing youths forward to meet this threat, with little hope of matching the superior numbers. I parked the Romano Brits at the end of the bridge, confident they’d take some shifting whilst the rest of my line advanced.
The enemy geoguth forged across the river and a failed warband landed my fellas in a field in front of them, ripe for the reaping, meanwhile the other geoguth also failed their test and with a whoop of youthful enthusiasm splashed across the river.

 A ruck breaks out in the ploughed field

Filthy Franks block the bridge

The Saxons head down to the riverbank

On my left the inevitable clash occurred, but some astonishingly good dice (me) and some equally poor dice (Steve) saw the Frankish allies chased off and run down by my marauding geoguth. Who then rather spoiled it for themselves by failing another test and charging a big formed unit with inevitable consequences. My delight was interrupted as my allies’ cavalry suddenly appeared and thundered up to the river before plunging across the stream into a horse based fight with the Franks.

Taunting breaks out across the stream

And soon leads to bloodshed

Meanwhile a stand up fight was in progress across the ford with Welsh and Roman blood mingling with the foaming waters of the Glein. My Cyning and his hearthguard, not wanting to miss out, splashed across the stream and, before I could stop them a unit of duguth launched themselves into the cavalry melee.

Brave geoguth lead the way

Join in fellas

The gedrith get in on the action

Eventually a Frankish unit failed a warband test and launched itself at my Roman Bridge guards, but neither unit was able to much damage the other, and even a musical interlude couldn’t separate them. My Gedrith and Warlord saw off a unit of Franks, but then rather overstepped themselves and crashed into the Frankish King and his bodyguard.
At the ford the combat ground on. Briefly enlivened by one Welsh unit turning tail and being run down Sadly for our opponents panic neglected to take hold amidst our forces.
After several grinding rounds of fighting the Frank cavalry was finally broken and run down.
However, with time against us, the Frankish general issued a challenge and my Cyning, mindful of the watchful Scop beside him stepped up to the plate. And was summarily dispatched without even scratching the mighty Frank. Oh.

The gerdith smack some Franks about

 The cavalry fight grinds on

With that the Gedrith decided to flee too and despite the stout Tribune and his men holding the end of the bridge the battle drew to a close.
Looking at the rules, both crossings were contested, meaning it should have been a bloody stand-off, but seeing as my general had been cut down in his prime it was clear the field belonged to our opponents.

A thoroughly enjoyable game of WAB that could have gone either way. The Welsh and Romans fought themselves to a standstill at the ford and with a little more luck my Gedrith and general should at least have held their own against the Franks.