Great Northern War Saxons

 As this ridiculous obsession grows over the Great Northern War, I looked into the Lead Mountain and dragged out a pile of figures from the late 17th Century - Front Rank ones- that I had bought a while ago. I had plans for these guys, to do some late 17th Century conflict- the Boyne, or Grand Alliance..but never got around to it...so decided to paint them up as Saxons for the GNW!

Flags from Warfare Miniatures!

I took the photos in direct sunlight and I kinda like the effect.
I know that each Saxon Regiment should have three flags each. I have the flags but didn't have the figures to hold them except for one of the Regiments - Reuss'.

So I decided I would just have two flags for the others.
......I know I know, I can hear the cries......."weak"........"shame"......"poor form"......."lazy"......."let the side down"......"standards are slipping" ......"a wargame's disgrace"......"would never have happened under Wellington".....etc etc.....thanks boys.

Four Regiments: Konigin's (yellow and white flags), Lowenhaupt's (dark navy  and white flags), Heyne's (red and white flags) and Reuss' (dual pale blue and white flags). 


Boxer Rebellion- The Seymour Expedition - Part 3 ( Solo)

 ....the outlying troops have been drifting in slowly in accordance with Seymour's orders, but all is not going to plan. 

Despite Seymour's orders to wait until all the Allied forces have been concentrated, many local commanders attempt to take the matter in hand and deal with the Boxer and Imperial troops in their jurisdictions.  In one particularly troublesome area the local commander had a dilemma. An ancient abandoned earth fort had been reoccupied by Boxers and Imperial troops, who began to work on repairing the derelict fortifications by creating firing platforms, rebuilding the gates etc. 

At his disposal he had a unit each of US Marines, German Kriegsmarine, British Sailors and French Sailors.  The Americans also had a Colt Machine gun. 

The mud fort would not stand up to large calibre modern artillery but he only had an Austro-Hungarian 3pdr at his disposal. Believing the garrison to outnumber his meagre forces, (he was right) it was decided that the Allies would attack only one side of the fortification. The US Marines would attack the south-east corner, the British the main gate, The Germans, the length of wall to the north of the main gate and the French the north east corner. The 3pdr would target the gate only. Then provide any support fire if necessary.

The repaired firing platforms with Boxer artillery.



The Allied attack plan.


Renaissance Poles

I once had a 25mm Renaissance Polish army, a long time ago and sold them off to start my ACW stuff. But I had a yearning to rebuild one. So, after painting up some winged Hussars earlier in the year (see previous post) I decided that they looked rather lonely sitting on my shelf - right next to a couple of hundred Ottoman Turks. So they clearly needed some support!!

So over the last few weeks I painted up some Pancerni from the  "The Assault Group" to go with them and some Hungarian Haiduks for fire support!

So a small force....but growing....... 

( I know it's growing....I ordered some Tartars, Cossacks and artillery.)




Boxer Rebellion - The Seymour Expedition- Part 2 (Solo).

 

China, 1900- In the very early stages of Admiral Seymour's expedition,  outlying troops on his line of march, were ordered to move towards the train line to be collected by the advancing column.

A unit of Allied troops near a small village move towards the main train line to await the approaching allied troops. The local Boxers, prompted by the local Imperial commander, decide to deal with the foreigners.

The Austro-Hungarian sailors with their machine gun arrive first, to await the arrival of a unit of French sailors and another of Japanese sailors.....but the Boxers and Imperial troops have other ideas.


The table.

The Austro-Hungarian sailors and their MG arrive first.


Great Northern War- solo: Russians and....Turks!!

 

Using a similar sort of scenario from my last AWI solo effort- I had a column Russian Troops attempting to push thru a Turkish defensive position ...during the fighting of 1711....the Russians probing the Turkish lines.

A small force of Turks were holding a village at a crossroad. A unit of skirmishers, a Unit of Janissaries, some local militia, two guns and 3 units of Tartar cavalry ( 1 light and two sipahi types).

The Russians had three battalions of Foote- all trained and all armed with pike and musket. They also had four squadrons of trained Dragoons and a single gun.

I played the Russians. The Turkish infantry were driven by a card system, that gave them the 'stand' option being the most numerous  and with a  'counter attack' and 'retreat 1 turn' thrown in. Instead of cards you could just use a chart and roll a d6 or 2.

The sipahi cavalry were driven by cards that said  'stand' ( 1 card) 'move towards nearest enemy' ( 2 cards). the light cavalry unit was just a skirmish unit, so it would 'skirmish' or 'retreat'. 



The Narvski Regt deploys facing the Turks.



Local militia hold the village with artillery support.



Swedes on Parade- Great Northern War

 I'm kinda proud of this lot; I'm still working on them- some officer figures needed, Charles XII himself needs to be painted up and a couple of battalions of infantry to go.

I've got two light guns and two field guns- 7 battalions of Foot and 19 Squadrons of Horse at this point. When I finished off the most recent battalion, I put them all out on parade and am happy with the results so far!! GA PA!

The Horse



American War of Independence - Solo effort

 

Lockdown again...solo effort..again.
Somewhere in the Carolinas.........

This was a simple game played on a small table in over a couple of hours. A British column, advancing thru an abandoned plantation was ambushed by a Rebel force.

The Redcoats had two regular battalions, a detachment of Light Troops and a detachment of Tarleton's Legion on foot. One Artillery piece filled out the redcoat force. The Rebels had two militia battalions, three unit of riflemen and two guns.

A simple job for the Patriots- inflict casualties on the British column and force them to retreat. The British, who had been chasing the rebels now have an opportunity to smash the troublesome Americans!










ECW- Battle of Tippermuir 1st September 1644.

 Montrose's battles are a source of fascination for me. Any one of them is small enough to represent on the table with the limited units I have.  Today I looked them over : Tippermuir, Aberdeen, Fyvie, Inverlochy, Auldearn, Alford, Kilsyth and Philiphuagh.

What the hell- start at the beginning.

Tippermuir it is! I dug into my scenario books and allocated my units and refought the battle over a couple of hours- another solo effort in lockdown.

I had to incorporate some special rules in the scenario.
Under our rules, infantry charging cavalry lose their charge bonuses. Nor can Foote countercharge. In this battle the Highlanders and Irish were particularly aggressive- so they were allowed to. And when charging cavalry the Highlanders kept their secondary charge bonus ( ferocious charge).

Additionally, during the battle, Montrose's troops captured the Covenanter guns and turned them on their former owners. So for this scenario, if/when a gun fell it was available to be fired the following turn by its captors. As Montrose had no guns or Horse, these rules were designed to allow Montrose's troops to perform as they did historically!

One of the Irish Regiments of Foote.
(Being used as Lt Gen Alexander McDonnell's Regt- but carrying Col. James MacDonnell's flag)

Thirty Years War and English Civil War- The Horse..my kingdom for the Horse

      The Horse..my kingdom for the Horse...or something like that..
Following on from my musings about my basing for my infantry (see last post), I was struck by the basing conventions of many rules as being rather random. Sure, some tried to be proportioned and approximated some ground scale.  Some rules insist that each figure is based on 25mm frontage, or 20mm , or 15mm. Other rules- those with a "big base= one unit" approach tend to have a standard frontage for the infantry and perhaps the same for the cavalry (or Horse!) (Baroque) . Some have the Horse on smaller bases  (Tercios). 
SO many rules, so many variations, so little time...... I am so confused.....and a little disheartened.
(Not withstanding phone calls and emails from so called friends calling me after the last post - inquiring as to the state of my mental health!)

I got my classifications from all rules that I have: Pike and Shotte, Polemos, Field of Glory (Renaissance), 1644, Warhammer ECW, Baroque, DBR,  George Gush's WRG rules, For King and Parliament, Liber Militum Tercios and Twilight of Divine Right.  I think there is a small fortune in every wargamer's library that consists of rules never used- or intended to be used but 'never got around to it'.
Anyway with the categories, I just unashamedly copied them: Sipahis, Cuirassiers, Trotters, Gallopers, Arqubusiers, Light Cavalry and Mounted Dragoons.
Some people say this is too many categories.
Other say not enough.
I say "Go away". 


THIRTY YEARS WAR AND ENGLISH CIVIL WAR. - Problems with Pike and Shot.

 I'd always wanted to give the Thirty Years War a go- or even the English Civil War and have bits and pieces packed in boxes....Lockdown is a good opportunity to sort the mess out! 

Like most wargamers I've got rule sets galore on my shelves: Warlord Games Pike and Shotte, Polemos, The Warre Game, 1644, Warhammer ECW,  Baroque,  DBR, the old WRG rules,  For King and Parliament (TtS) and Liber Militum Tercios and too many others to remember.



Everyone has their own favourite set. However I find myself getting caught up in some of the details. The big issue for me started to become pike to shot ratio and how to depict this on the table. For some rules it is easy. With Warhammer, individual figures are used so just build up the unit with the figures in the ratio you want. A shot heavy unit with pike to shot 1:2 with thirty figures? No problem- 10 pike in two ranks in the middle with 20 shot, 10 each side of the pikes. It is a period that lends itself to BIG units, but I just wanted to stick to the figures I've got and make a little go a long way!

Greek War of Independence- What? Another new project??? WIP.

 Being 200 years since the beginning of the Greek War of Independence (GWI) I looked around for some suitable figures for a skirmish game. Ross said he was interested- in being the Greeks. So I naturally had to be the Turks - I think I have a few figures lying around somewhere, but clearly I need more!! Not a period many people would select, or even be familiar with but we thought it would interesting - considering both our families came from the region!

    We got online and bought a combination of Steve Barber models (SBM- they have a very large selection!).  Some Wargames Foundry (Crimean War) (WF) and some assorted Warfare Miniatures (WM- it's that bad man Barry Hilton again- my favourite Dealer of Product!). The orders were sent out.

All arrived forthwith. I have to admit, the service and turnaround of all three companies delivering from the UK to Aus is very good! ( and the postal services are great too!) And being in lockdown means we can paint pretty quick. Below are some of our starting units. Still a fair few to go!

Turkish Irregulars.


7th Cavalry: A Troop in trouble- F Troop relieved. A Plains Wars Solo Game

 Being in Lockdown, I dragged out some figures that I've had for years and haven't used! Some very nicely painted Plains Wars in 28mm. 

A Troop did get in Trouble....F Troop was relieved..not as in 'hold until relieved' but relieved in the sense that they didn't have to fight!

Now the following incident is not really about F Troop ( A Troop really gets it) but how could I play a Plains Wars game without a reference to the show? Anyway,  most of the humour is from the show- so I won't take any credit! So with apologies to the writers and cast of the old show...........

A TYPICAL DAY AT FORT COURAGE:

A wagon train was to be escorted by the brave boys of F Troop. 

Inside Fort Courage, the Boys in Blue were told: 

'An easy job, boys,' says Captain Parmenter , ' You'll be back before sundown!'

A TROOP - on the march because F Troop was lost.


The men grumbled under their breath. The Captain might think he's the man who keeps the peace....but all the men know that the local Indians - the Hekawi tribe- call him 'The Great White Pigeon'.

Great Northern War Russians

 So the Swedes need someone to pick on and these boys are the ones. I intend to get a few Saxon battalions- a change of flags from my War of the Spanish Succession redcoats and there will be even more for the Swedes to beat up. 

This is a nice little force with 18 squadrons of dragoons and 12 Infantry Regiments- all pike and musket armed. Plenty of artillery rounds out the review....now just to get them all on the table and fight the Swedes!


Russian guns!



Romans and Carthaginians

 A few weeks ago, lockdown in NSW was called....so we had a few hours to get a game in before it all began at 11:59pm.....I drove to the East- we set up and played between 7:45 and 11:22. 

Then I raced home!

My early Carthaginians vs Ross' Romans. I always like the early Carthaginians as they don't have the same reputation as Hannibal's mob- and I am reminded of Phil Barker's comments in the old WRG DBM  army lists-  "The tactics of early Carthaginian armies were uninspired. Without Hannibal's genius to make optimum use of different capabilities of their varied mercenary troops, the heterogeneity of their forces was a liability rather than an asset. .... no doubt wargames generals, however,  will supply the necessary genius to lift this army out of its tactical rut"

So- naturally I chose to field an early Carthaginian force- extra elephants, a number of Numidians, a splash of Spanish, a grab bag of Gauls, a smattering of spearmen  (see what i did there with the alliteration?) and a handful of hoplites- Greek Mercenaries. 

Paul (unimpressed with my literary skills- he thinks I can't speak English) commanded my right wing - I held the centre and the left.

Ross chose a Roman force. Of course he chose loads of f*cking legionaries, some Thracian allies, the regular useless Roman cavalry and a few other bits and pieces.


My elephants- looking to stomp Romans!

The main action took place on the flanks where Paul and I tried to overcome the assorted rubbish that Ross had assembled to protect his legionaries. 

More painting- 105 figures!

 A couple of boxes have arrived recently with 5 regiments of Great Northern War Swedes- from Warfare Miniatures and a packet of gun crew. These are the last of my GNW figures to finish off the Swedes. 

And yes I still blame Barry Hilton- it's not enough that he sells me the figures but the relevant books as well. The man just keeps feeding my addiction. ( Thanks Barry!) 

Russians are ready. Ottomans are ready.

Now I just have to finish off the Swedes. 5 Infantry Regiments to go: the first unit is undercoated and ready to go!

Undercoated- first regiment to get started on.




SPANISH CIVIL WAR - encounter battle.

 

A period the Brothers come back to every so often- The Spanish Civil war gives us the opportunity to display the full spectrum of political views within our group.....and as i have said- I hold the correct ones- the others are just fascist bastards.

In this encounter battle, the Nationalists and the Republicans were advancing towards a town to capture the three bridges and halt the advance of the opposing force. What turned into a bloody stalemate was an enjoyable game as neither side managed to capture more than one bridge each. Time ran out- so neither side could declare victory!


The Table





A change of pace- 40K

 Well I don't normally post games that are Sci-Fi, but my son and his "Band of Wargame Brothers" often play 40k. I decided to join in...but got lost is a flurry of 'Sons of Nurgle' , 'Forge World', 'Power Armour', 'Saving throws', 'Invulnerable saves' and loads of dice throwing. Using a table that had been left out and slightly modified from a previous day's Spanish Civil War game. 

I hadn't played in a long time, but it was an interesting experience!!  I did get a tad confused but lots of things got killed- and we rolled a lot of dice!!

I learnt a few new tricks...I am wondering if I can include a 'Drop Ship' in my next American Civil War game?? The Texas Brigade 'dropping in' behind Union lines??

Or some 'Terminators' against the Army of Louis XIV???....I know.!!!...."Khorne Beserkers" to help out my poor performing Republican Romans!!!





Great Northern War- Solo Effort. Swedes vs Russians.

 

Taking my Great Northern War Russians and Swedes out I decided to give them a solo run on the table on the  back deck one afternoon.

The Swedes had to cross the shallow slow flowing river and push the Russians off their defensive position.  The Russian position was held with only Infantry and Artillery , but was well sited, facing the river. The Russian flank was a little in the air, but the expected arrival of a Brigade of Russian Dragoons was supposed to fix that.....it nearly worked.

A fun little game that saw my some of GNW stuff on the table for the first time.


The Plan of attack for the Swedes- white arrows.
The arriving Russian cavalry indicated by the red arrow.
The Blue square indicates the Dal Regiment which was ordered to just hold that bank....but they did a lot more than that....

The Army of Louis XIV vs the Grand Alliance



A game from a long while ago ( a year or two??) that was played one evening.  I took the photos, wrote up the report and then forgot to post!
     
    The Army of Louis XIV was ordered to hold a small hill line anchored on each flank and in the center on three villages: Oberglau, Mittelglau and Unterglau.  The French were told that the villages were the key to victory.  The Allies ( MiLord Duke of Marlborough) were ordered to defeat the French and Bavarian forces by ignoring the villages and capturing the hills between each village.

Reminiscent of the Battle of Blenheim,  without the Nebel stream, this was quite a big fight with over 40 battalions on the table and nearly 50 squadrons. 

On the left, the Bavarians with French Dragoons, held their own very effectively against the Prussians and Dutch. 

The French center came under enormous pressure but held without buckling. On the allied left, the pressure was mounting, but time, rather than troops ran out after a long game. A French victory! Louis XIV would be proud!






Ottomans and Byzantines

I was sitting in front of the Idiot Box early one Saturday morning when my phone rang. 

Ross hurled insults down the phone. 

I caught the words, 'lazy', 'evil' , 'useless' ' poor dice' , 'lousy generalship' and ' stinking Turk'. 

At first I thought he was describing his new Facebook profile but then I realised he was challenging my Ottomans to a game- I can be a bit slow at times- or his English is so poor that he couldn't make himself understood.

So packing the forces of Osman into my car I headed to the far east to teach him some respect. 

Ross fielded his Nikephorian Byzantines and I was using my early 15th Century Ottomans. Now this anachronistic match up is not to everyone's taste- most gamers like to be 'in period' but occasionally it can be fun. Especially when I have to teach Ross a lesson.

What ensued was a very tough fight against two quite well matched armies.

Ross' left flank (Norman mercenaries and his clibanophoroi) swept away my light cavalry and the two supporting sipahi units. 

In the center, my voynuks and sipahis fought a hard brawl with his skutatoi and kataphractoi, which he eventually won.

On my left flank however , my combination of Janissaries and Sipahis made his flank crumble, but I couldn't get my guys to swing inwards fast enough. A close fought game, but Battle Honours to Ross.

Well done mate...until next time ....when I will kick your a**e.