Great Northern War- How many periods can a figure junkie be collecting??

It had to happen: I've got books, I read other people's blogs and have cut out all the relevant articles in wargames magazines.....Barry Hilton and the League of Augsburg blog- I blame you......And now that I'm sitting on my butt in isolation.......

It's fascinated me for years, so I've started putting together a Great Northern War collection.
I don't intend to let this get too big- perhaps a 8-10 or so battalions a side with 12-15 squadrons plus some guns- I've got Danes from my WSS and Prussians ( for the later stages) as well as Ottomans to fight the Russians and my red coated British troops could double up, with a suitable flag change,  as Saxons.....

I think I'm nuts.
The Brothers think I'm nuts.
My wife knows I'm nuts.
More figures.
More space taken up on the my shelves.
Less cash in my wallet.
Oh well alea iacta est!

The Swedes.- I know the infantry need flags and I will need a lot more if i'm going to take on all those others!

Army in Review : Vignettes, Officers and stuff

After my Army on Review of Louis XIV, I realised that I had a lot of small vignettes that I had never photoed - so here they are.
The officer vignettes are mostly Front Rank with some Foundry and Dixon.
All the vignettes are from Eureka Miniatures!

Army in Review- Louis XIV

I took to cleaning out my cupboard and putting the whole Louis XIV force on display. I didn't realise how big! Most of the units come from the War of the Spanish Succession, but quite a few are from the 1670s, 80s and 90s. So there is a mix of uniforms and many have pikes too.

Force on Force: War on Drugs- Special forces strike on Cartel base

Evan, Nick, Connor and James wanted a game of Force and Force as they sat in the garage, waxing lyrical about the games from long ago.  So Spyros said- I've got the armed civilians and the special forces team, a couple of planes and other bits- do you have any terrain?
I rummaged around and found some bits and pieces and behold we were ready to go.
Sicario on the edge of the airfield

One side of the table- one plantation.
 SITUATION: The US President, after solving the Middle East, the problems in Africa, the coronavirus problem and the Pepsi vs Coke war decided to deal with the major social issue confronting the nation- The War on Drugs.

Boxer Rebellion - 1900! New project ...yes another one.

Well we've all seen '55 Days in Peking' with Charlton Heston and David Niven. There have been some great games replicating the siege of the Allied Legations and I still have the Wargames Illustrated and Miniatures Wargames editions that both had the participation game by the Staines Wargamers. I think those articles are amongst my all time favourites. Well I sold my Indian Mutiny to Chris about a year ago and put it into some Boxers...and some imperial Chinese troops....soon there were Russian infantry, Italian, Austrian and French sailors, US Marines...etc etc....

British Sailors

Battle of Atlanta July 22nd 1864- ACW

Some of the brothers assembled for an ACW stoush- the battle of Atlanta July 1864- using the scenario in the old Fire and Fury Western scenario booklet.  We even had Noel join us all the way from South Africa.
In this battle John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee was trying to break the tightening ring of the Union army approaching Atlanta. He sent Hardee's corp to outflank the Union Army of  The Tennessee of General James B McPherson. Cheatham's corp was to hit the Union line at the same time. Well, that was the plan, but Hardee was held up by the terrain- and some very tough fighting Union soldiers ( under Ross' command) .
Nick played Hardee with Noel, Chris and Paul as his subordinates. Cheatham's command was also ( when it finally arrived) played by Paul and Chris.  Ross was McPherson, Richard and Phil commanded Dodge's and Logan's Corps.

The game went very much as per the historical battle. Hardee's corp hit the Union flank hard, but didn't completely get around behind - so two of the encircling Confederate divisions hit the Union entrenchments and had great difficulty in dislodging the Union defenders. Two others got behind but were held up by several union brigades redeployed from the main line. In the end the Reb losses were very heavy and Hood called it a day!

View from the Confederate flank attack- Hardee's corp move didn't quite get around the entrenchments. 

Thracians vs Hellenistic Greeks- A fight and rematch.

Ross was impressed with his new Thracian army. So months ago he invited me over to admire the paint job- and get my butt kicked by his new army.
Thracians? Ptooi. ( That's a spitting sound to the uninitiated.)
Now I do know my ancient literature. Herodotus had claimed that the Thracians were amongst the fiercest warriors in the world and could have conquered everyone- but they were too busy fighting each other.
Okay- so what? - this was 2019. And besides Ross is a sh*tty general. My Greeks were going to teach these northern barbarians a lesson.

The report below was found by archaeologists digging in central Greece, just last week in fact. It was the despatch of an Achaean League general, Crapistos, a well known general, who went missing shortly after this engagement.  Strangely enough, it seems to follow the course of the battle that I fought with Ross.

Trouble on the Frontier again

Nick, Evan and James were fascinated by the Indigenous Warriors I had sitting on my shelf.
They demanded a game! So, being a congenial and willing host- the table was set up, the scenario was explained- and we had a good little game!

The warriors arrive- it's been a log summer, food is scarce- but the whitemen seem to have some to spare.

Romans and Seleucids

A post I started writing a year ago but never finished until now!
The Romans came out of hiding- (as readers of the blog would know, my record with my Republican Romans has been pretty appalling) to fight my Macedonians, parading as a Early Seleucid army.
Romans: Lochlainn and myself.
Seleucids: Richard, Phil and Paul. ( Ross was advisor in chief)
Two well matched armies with elephants, good infantry but the Romans were completely outnumbered in cavalry.

The Romans in line: Looking good lads!

Sydney- The Frontier Wars.

Inspired by 'A Grab Bag of Games' Blog  and 'Mac's Little Friends'  (see down the right hand side) I couldn't resist a game that represented historically what happened in my own back yard- So I bought some figures, made the terrain- bought some trees and hey presto- a nice little game!!

My solo effort was meant to give the rules a dry run- a group of warriors ( Just over 30) were hunting- and found a shearing shed and group on their traditional lands- a dozen or so Redcoats were in the area- they had to be - it wouldn't be much of a game if they weren't!

AWI- SPRINGFIELD 23rd June 1780

While the main focus of the war shifted south, the commander of the British Army in New York was under pressure to do something rather than watch the Continentals across the river in the Jerseys.

Our game represents the result of that pressure when Knyphausen crossed the Rahway River near the town of Springfield in June of 1780.

The British side of the table- the Rahway river - the crossings held by two continental units- the river was fordable along it's length but slow going and disordering for the formed troops. The buildings in the middle represent the small town of Springfield.

Batlle of Binh Ba- Vietnam - Modern Bolt Action.

The table from the Australian end- the APCs and Centurions advance.
This battle was one of the major actions undertaken by the Australian Task force during the Vietnam War. On the 6th June 1969, D Company 5 RAR commanded by Major Murray Blake, was called out with a troop of Centurions and APCs as part of 1ATF Ready Reaction Force in response to enemy activity in the village of Binh Ba to the north of the Australian base at Nui Dat. Binh Ba had been occupied by Vietnamese forces ( 33NVA Regiment and D440 Battalion) and had to be removed.
For more pictures see 'No Duff Gamer' Blog down the right hand side.

The Town

ECW- Montrose, the Irish and the Covenanters.

I was taking stock of my Highlanders the other day- thinking about the fact that this year was the 300th Anniversary of the battle of Glenshiel- the Rebellion of the '19 and preparing to do the battle again!!
(Click on "Jacobite Rebellion of the '19" down the right side! )

Now all these Highlanders could also be put to use from just about any period from the 1600's to 1746, so I started ticking off in my mind what I could use them for- and had an idea after reading Trevor Royle's book: Civil War, The Wars of the Three Kingdoms  and decided on one word- Montrose!!

Freeman's Farm - 19th Sept 1777

After the success of Guildford Courthouse (see previous blog) I decided to give Freeman’s farm a go. This saw the Americans under Benedict Arnold on the attack in an attempt to beat ‘Gentleman’ Johnny Burgoyne. The British had one Brigade in the middle of the table ( Hamilton’s- Richard), one brigade in the earth works on the left flank ( Fraser’s- Ralph ) and one brigade ( Reidesel’s Hessians- Richard II ) to arrive with a randomised dice throw.
The Americans also had three brigades and two ( Morgans  -Phil and Poor's -Chris ) were on the table. The third ( Learned’s- Liam ) would arrive very quickly to help destroy Hamilton’s brigade and secure the victory. Well, that was the plan….

Guildford Courthouse 1781

Having wanted to refight this famous action for quite some time I wanted to use a set of rules that all the Brothers could use quickly and easily.
My ‘go to’ rules for the American War of Independence has always been British Grenadier! But for a game with possibly 7 players for a Saturday afternoon I took a chance on using a fast play set from the net- Fife and Drum from the ‘der Alter Fritz’ blog: Now these are truly  a ‘1 page set’ and we decided to play them as they stood, to see how they worked. The really amazing thing that won me over was that by turn two of the game, everyone had a good understanding of the basic rule mechanisms and I could enjoy the game without continually referencing the rules.

The Middle of the table- viewed from the British lines,

War of the Roses Clash

About eight weeks ago, late one cold and stormy Friday night, Paul's Lancastrians made the long march to my garage to challenge my freshly painted Yorkists. Now my Spanish had suffered a savaging at the hands of these Lancastrians and their damned English longbow! That was last year. It's taken me the best part of a year to get the Yorkists ready. So the challenge was on- and uniquely both armies had exactly the same composition. Why? Well why not? Totals: 9 units of longbow, three dismounted Men At Arms, three bill-men, one artillery piece and four units of knights.  I'm very sure that it is very rare that two wargames armies are not only exact in points but in composition as well!! Predictability in wargames??? No way!

My Knights- Heavy Metal!

Army of Louis XIV vs the Allies!

I hadn't had my early 18th Century stuff on the table for a while, so I opened up the cupboards and pulled figures off the shelves so that i had a solid French force with Dutch, Prussian and Imperial opponents.

Nick and Ross were the French and Phil, Richard and I were the Allies. The scenario was a little convoluted. Prince Eugene had given one of his subordinates the task of proceeding down a valley and take a small village at the far end. The subordinate mistakenly  stopped and the first village where a brigade of Irish troops was installed and began to deploy his troops to besiege the village- the wrong village. Eugene arrives and orders the village to bypassed and get through the valley. The local French commander had managed to put a force of dragoons and second rate infantry together to block the advance- this was the starting point of the game.

ZOGO: The Crisis depends and expands. ( PART 7).

More news from the central African nation of Zogo.
See 'No Duff Gamer' Blog down the right hand side for a lot more photos.
Recent developments:
The small African nation has over recent months descended into chaos, violence and bloodshed. The arrival of French and US troops on Zogon soil has set off a series of chain reactions that were totally unforeseen by the relevant parties. In response to the arrival of these forces into the province of Kelwazi (see part 6) the President for Life, T’Mbolo M’Shombou, dispatched the bulk of his dreaded Presidential Guard and the key components of his Zogon African Rifles (ZAR) to contain the French and US forces. These forces, still in place due to strenuous requests from multinational mining companies to protect their staff and assets showed a vote of no confidence in the President by the international (read – western) community.
The western orchard in the President's compound- and his luxury SUVs.

The President and his Special Operations Force Bodyguards, arriving in his mountain compound.

WORLD WAR 1- The Battle of Villers- Bretonneux April 24th 1918

Nowadays the fighting at Villers-Bretonneux is becoming as famous as the Gallipoli campaign for Australians. This small town in France saw heavy fighting during the opening weeks of the German's Spring Offensive in 1918 as part of the Kaiserschlacht. The village was held by Allied forces and the Australian 9th Brigade held the Germans off during the first battle. The second battle saw the Australian 13th and 15th Brigades AIF (Australian Imperial Force) taking the village back on the evening of the 24th and into the 25th of April in 1918. It was also the first time in History that just to the south of Villers-Bretonneux near the small village of Cachy that the first Tank vs tank battle ever took place.

I kind of liked the idea of refighting the action by the 13th and 15th brigades 1st AIF - and by condensing the time frame being also able to fit in the tank fight. So our game represented the German tank attack with the British tanks fighting to stop them as the Australian brigades began their fast attack to secure the town from the Germans.
The view from the south east- the German tanks - one A7V and a captured MkIV.

FORCE on FORCE- Foreign Legion in Afganistan

My son decided he wanted a small game as he and I hadn't played a game in a very long time-
"What do you want to do?" I asked.
"Surprise me!"
So I took out my handful of modern Foreign Legion, took out a couple of handfuls of Taliban, set up a small 3'x4' and gave him a scenario. The Legion were all regulars ( of course) and for this game so were their opponents. The mission was for the legion to capture or eliminate a HVT ( high value target); a local Taliban leader who the Allied forces had been after for a while. He had his small body guard with him. There were no further reinforcements- the 10 Legionnaires were up against 24 regular fighters- but they had the element of surprise- and much better ability; D10 vs D6s.
That said Nick and I didn't anticipate the sheer number of failed rolls - '1's -and the use of Fog of War!! This would have more of an impact on the game than all our decision making processes! 
The Taliban had one technical and two requisitioned Humvees- the Legion were all on foot.

Nick's sentries overseeing the safety of their commander.