Monday, November 16, 2015

Zombies in Africa!!

Now many of you 'serious' gamers who play 'proper' games may be horrified at the title...but I gotta confess, the sheer laugh aspect in this game was the motivating factor!
After the game in Mali with the Legion, ( see last post) as we were packing up someone suggested that in future, would anyone like to play a game,  'Walking Dead" style.
I thought 'Why not?'. It was still early afternoon, so we had time. I told the boys to pick any figure from all the ranges I've got.
Dumb order.
With 3 minutes I had a Games Workshop giant, a Polish Winged Hussar, a horned demon, two ogres, a dog and a US special forces figure on the table.
I clarified my instruction....'Any HUMAN figure ON FOOT!'.
Well there were some complaints, a death threat or two and a punch thrown, but 5 minutes later there was a Japanese Samurai (Evan),  a Spartan from '300'(George), a little old lady with a stick (Chris), a 'Clint Eastwood' style character with small repeating crossbow (Connor), a US special forces figure on foot (Spyros' choice never changed), and a strange man in a long grey coat (Nick) with a funny moustache who screamed a lot...please don't'll see.

Zombies in the shanty town!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Force on Force: The French in Mali

With my Foreign Legion figures sitting in the cupboard, it was time to put them through their paces! I had been reading that the French government had deployed troops to Mali and, after a chat with Spyros who has more Legion,  Malian government troops and some good insurgent-looking figures, we decided to put on a game with the the end my Legion didn't get a look in..we used Spyros'.

Insurgents in the rough terrain north of the town.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hannibal's anniversary- But Cannae do it again?? Sorry for the bad pun.

The 2nd of August 2015 was the anniversary of one of Rome's greatest defeats- and an opportunity for Nick to put his Carthaginians on the table and for Paul to put his Republican Romans on the table. The important thing was that- as every one agreed- there was no chance of MY Romans going anywhere near the table given my previous results ( see last blog!). They did make the mistake of allowing me to command Romans...and using some of my cavalry to make up the numbers!

Ross, Paul and I were Varro et al and Nick and Geoff did the Hannibal bit. Refighting such a well known battle always has the potential to just follow the course of history, especially if the original deployment is followed.
Nevertheless, following the historical layout, the game was on!

View from the Roman third line.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

How many defeats can a wargamer bear????? My Roman Shame....AGAIN.

This game was played late last year after many  humiliating defeats at the hands of Ross' Macedonians. I demanded a rematch to restore the honour of the Roman army and stop the shame and humiliation that had been attached to my family name for generations to come. The table was set up, the rules produced, the armies deployed...and the Romans are persistent if nothing else.

I had high hopes when I deployed my troops. I was wiser after my multiple defeats and was determined not to let Ross and Paul have a victory again !!!
Well rather than bore you all with a long report that basically tries to make excuses for my catastrophic defeat...just look at the photos. Suffice to say I led with my left- held back my right and got kicked in the balls. I give up. The Romans are going into a cupboard and staying there for a while.

My Romans

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Samurai vs Samurai.

In a previous blog I wrote about Nick's purchase of a beautifully painted Samurai army.  I also have a Samurai army, but as Nick pointed out it was not big enough. So I told him exactly what I thought of that: lend me part of his.  He thought about this for a brief period and then agreed.  Not too many of us can put as many figures on the table as Nick can as he likes to play games 'in a grand manner' with maximum points, maximum space and enough lead to buckle the table.  He had over 1500 points, I had under 600.  So he lent me enough to even out the points,  he had less cavalry than I did ( I took all the upgrade options) but he had more Samurai and Archer Retainers. I had more monks and light infantry.  The armies were from the Kamakura period and many of the Samurai also carrying bow. This was going to be a tough game with  lots of tough infantry and loads of archery!

My cavalry on my left flank- Ross commanded these guys and he did a good job in taking out the opposing cavalry commanded by Roger- but my centre failed to hold out long enough to take advantage of this!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bolt Action - Modern Action in Afghanistan

Spyros has built up a nice force of modern Diggers (Australian soldiers!) with Bush Masters and LAVs for our country's recent combat in Afghanistan. He originally touted the idea of using them for Force on Force......but as he had well over 60 figures it may not have been feasible....well not for my feeble mind! I would lose track of all the actions and reactions! So he suggested Bolt Action. Initially I was sceptical..but he found some amendments on the net (check some of the links on his blog - No Duff gamer). So we set about organising 'equal' forces ( a far cry from Force on Force !!). The Diggers were all classed as regular and we made majority of the Taliban forces as 'inexperienced' but the heavy weapons, commanders and technicals were all regular.  We tried not to fiddle too much with the rules, and although the game worked well and we had a great time, the casualty rate amongst the Spyros' forces would have been considered a major political disaster.
Aside from that, the lens of my camera had fingerprints on the pictures didn't come out too clearly! No more eating greasy chips and taking photos!!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

French Paras - Indochina.

Years ago I read a great book by Bernard B Fall called 'Hell in a very small place" about the siege of Dien Bien Phu. Well, I had always thought that I would love to game the French in Indochina against the Viet Minh.  You know how it is- in the dark recesses of our minds we're always dreaming up some new project that will be the biggest and best we've ever done with superlative terrain, beautiful figures...and the best rules ever written.
Well that's probably not going to happen but I can only dream!
When Red Star released their Indochina range I was certain that sooner or later I was going to spend some cash to add to the mountains of unpainted lead piling up in boxes under the stairs. Before I could do that, however,  I came across these little beauties on ebay....and I grabbed them!
Now I've got to build some terrain....and get some Viet Minh.
The photos don't really do the figures justice.  The first 11 are under fluoro lights..the others are in direct sunlight. I think taking the photos in bright sunlight may not highlight them to best effects. Maybe I need to get a better camera!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Thanks Warlord Games!

I got a call from Spyros late last night to tell me that the Brothers' Blog was now famous.
The reason? In the latest emailed newsletter from Warlord Games, there was an article on The Royal Marine Commandos. And in the article there was a picture from one of our previous Bolt Action games in April of this year. At first I thought he was pulling my leg. But sure enough when I had a look- there was the picture from our game with due acknowledgement that they were Spyros' figures from our blog. Thank you Warlord Games!
To view the article on the Warlord Games Website- please: CLICK HERE

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mongols and Samurai

At the end of last year Nick procured himself a beautifully painted Samurai army.
So, not unusually, Ross was eager to kill them.
In early January we assembled at Ross' place as Nick's new Samurai took the field against Ross' hordes of Ghengis Khan. With every unit equipped with some sort of bow, the bowfire was intense and blocked out the sun- and to quote an ancient Spartan- the battle was 'fought in the shade'.
I sided with Nick while Ralph and Richard joined the horde.
The armies- Mongols to the left, Samurai to the right.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

¡No pasarán! More Spanish Civil War.

The Spanish Civil War is a popular gaming period for the Brothers as it enables us to give vent to our wide range of political views. I hold the correct ones...the others are just fascist bastards. 
Anyway there is a huge variety of units, colourful characters and some fascinating history. Paul has always had a keen interest as he is a bit of an Anarchist himself, but it's Phil's outstanding collection (with a small addition of some of my crap) that brings this period to life. For Phil, no unit is complete without a proper flag! So he arrived with box after box of lovely painted figures..and mine were duly relegated to the cupboard as his are much nicer!!

Situation Report:
A town in southern Spain is being held by the Nationalist forces. It is being besieged by a substantial Republican force who have been notified that a relieving force from the Army of Africa is on its way to lift the siege.

The Table: In the foreground the citadel of the besieged town with the outer buildings etc just beyond the walls. The rear of the photo is the Republican position and some trenches facing the town.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Ottomans and Burgundians

Richard's Burgundians have a reputation for being unbeatable (according to our Icon) - so I decided to see if I could add to the long list of smashed opponents with my Ottomans.  I had a small force of Akinjis, a couple of units of Sipahis and Janissaries. In the centre I deployed a bombard.

Richard's Burgundians had 3 mounted Men at Arms and his pike/longbow blocks. These things were some of the most fierce-some combinations that I have ever come across on the wargames table. I couldn't charge them with my cavalry ( because of the pike) and my infantry couldn't outshoot them because of the longbow! They needed to be treated with respect!

My Janissaries- facing the enemy in the distance. They were the right centre of my line.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Royal Marine Commandos hit the Beaches- Bolt Action.

Spyros has a solid force of Royal Marines for his Bolt Action games and he decided to test their mettle against some solid German defenders ( George and I).

Situation report:
Six Sections of Royal Marines  - 45 Commando-  with armour support ( A Churchill and a Centaur) and supporting weapons were to establish themselves on a hostile coast.
The German defenders were well entrenched and supplied with two Pak 40s, three MMGs.
For more pics check out Spyros' blog:

The German Position

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Capture the hill line, and the village, and the bridges etc etc

My Armies of the Spanish Succession have been gathering dust; so recently the call went out to anyone who could be bothered to show up. Attendance was underwhelming ( where were you lads?) with Phil and Nick (Thanks boys- I knew you wouldn't let me down) being the only two available. 
A simple scenario was determined whereby roughly equal forces of Dutch on one side, and Louis XIV's boys on the other had to capture a number of key features in a valley with a river running down one side. The two bridges, a village,  a hill line, and the road running south were all key objectives. 
I was the French,  the other two lads were the Dutch.

The Dutch to the right. The French to the left.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Not the damned Romans again!

No- not my useless lot who have registered 20 losses and 1 very close draw. These were Ross' Marian Romans who dared to challenge the might of Parthia!
I can talk like that because I know the result!!
Ross configured his army to maximise his cavalry and missile firepower. I did what the Parthians always did. I fielded Cataphracts- armoured men on armoured horses - light cavalry (who created the famous Parthian shot) and a few assorted skirmish types. 
The terrain was broken up by some rough ground and woods and a few hills. Now I would prefer flat open terrain- but you can't have everything.
Ross commanded his own left flank which was made up entirely of Armenian allies- their own Cataphracts and light horse to counter mine! He faced Nick who commanded my right. The Roman centre was the formidable legions, commanded by Chris. Paul led the Roman right. 

My Cataphracts chase Paul's light cavalry.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Normans don't like Normans.

     Over the years, when you have known some of the Brothers as long as we have known each other, some of us find ourselves thinking along the same lines. As they say, great minds think alike, and morons never differ. take your pick! Anyway I said to Ross the other day in a very excited state that I  had finished my Norman army. 
His response was precise and to the point. 'Who cares? I finished mine weeks ago.'  Clearly at some stage in the last year or so we had decided to build the same army. To be honest, he did start before me, I got inspired, hence the conversation above. 
Now in my mind that sort of answer is a sign of disrespect and lack of enthusiasm  which deserves to be thrashed out on the table. So it was Norman vs Norman.

First clash of the Cavalry: the Normans won this round!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Capture the Bridges. Sicily 1943.

I had to add the date and place to the title or else everyone will think I'm redoing Arnhem or Pegasus Bridge again! 
No, in fact, this scenario called for the capture of two bridges, one, Primasole Bridge by the British Airborne, and the second, the Malati Bridge just to the south near the town of Lentini by the Royal Marines. I like this scenario because there is the added complication of airborne German Fallschirmjager!!  In an attempt to reinforce the beleaguered Italian and German defenders, the German High command decided to drop Fallschirmjager around Primasole Bridge. At the same time, without each side being aware, British airborne were being dropped to capture the bridge. They were tasked with taking it and holding until relieved (where have I hear that before?!)

The above picture shows the table. In the far left is the village of Lentini with the Malati bridge which was the objective of the Royal Marine Commandos. In our game and historically they achieved their objective. Just off picture to the left is the Primasole Bridge which historically the British Paras did manage to capture...they weren't so lucky in our game!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Battle of Harran 1104

It's nice occasionally to research an historical scenario and try to represent it on the table. So some of the Brothers made the trek out to my place one day with Seljuks and Crusaders in tow. 
The battle chosen was the Battle of Harran fought in 1104 shortly after the establishment of the crusader kingdoms.
In 1104 Baldwin II of Edessa had attacked and besieged the city of Harran. For his further support Baldwin sought help from Bohemond I of Antioch and Tancred, Prince of Galilee. Bohemond and Tancred marched north from Antioch to Edessa to join with Baldwin and Joscelin of Courtenay, accompanied by Bernard of Valence the Patriarch of AntiochDaimbert of Pisa the Patriarch of Jerusalem, and Benedict the Archbishop of Edessa.
The Seljuks, under Jikirmish ( sounds like something Borat would say), governor of Mosul, and Sokman, the Artuqid lord of Mardin, gathered in the area of the Khabur, and in May 1104 they attacked Edessa, perhaps to distract the crusaders from Harran, perhaps to take the city while the crusaders were elsewhere engaged.

The Crusader left and center

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

World War I action- 1918.

Something we haven't done in a while,  but some of the Brothers expressed the sentiment that given it was the 100 year anniversary of the Great War, we should put some metal on the table and roll some dice- so out came my figures (the Commonwealth troops) and Phil's (the Germans), the table was prepared for a scenario- a late war one- and the game was on.

The Mission: German Stormtroopers have broken through along a wide front in late March 1918. A small village, held by a mixture of Australian and British troops must stop them continuing their advance and from taking the major railway bridgehead- just off table.

The Allied position looking from the German advance. A small dugout to the right of the village. To the left a more comprehensive slit trench.