Round three!! Assyrians and Elamites!

 So the Round three was fought out just after Chrristmas. In our first game my Elamites had been victorious. In the rematch Ross' Assyrians had smashed my army very it was time for the DECIDER!!

Assyrian Left flank....Elamite light cavalry (left) up in the Assyrians' (right) faces skirmishing from turn 1.

The table- Elamites on the left, Assyrians on the right.

Valour and Fortitude: 28mm Napoleonics

 Chris has some of the most amazing 28mm Napoleonic figures I have ever seen. His collection is huge and the quality of his stuff is first class. With the advent of the Perry's Valour and Fortitude Rules,  he wanted to put some of his troops through their paces and get a handle on the rules, which are fast, very bloody and easy to play. He dropped in one Saturday afternoon last year - I had the table ready to go. I wrote up the post...and forgot to post it!

What was especially mind blowing was his model of Gemioncourt- the famous farmhouse that was fought over during the Battle of Quatre Bras in June 1815 just before Waterloo. And although he didn't have the full OOB for the battle, it didn't matter as we set up a close approximation of the battlefield and then had a combined Franco-Bavarian force assault a defending Anglo- Brunswicker force.

The amazing modelled farmhouse- Gemioncourt from the battle of Quatre Bras

Highlanders awaiting the French onslaught. 

The attackers!!

Battle of Stones River- ( Or Murfreesboro) December 31 1862- The battle.

 The big day was on and the table was ready ( obviously!!) when the Brothers arrived.  
For ease of identification I have underlined and italiscised the Confederate commanders

Ralph was Braxton Bragg and he then would 'step down' and actually play Hardee's Corps ( Cleburne's and McCown's Divisions) on the Confederate left. On the Confederate right Phil was Breckinridge holding Wayne's Hill. In the centre, Tom ( playing his first historical game ever- welcome to the BOWB!) was Leonidas' Polk and he played Wither's Division. Richard was his subordinate playing Cheatham's Division.

Paul was  Rosecrans and gave all his orders. He then 'stepped down' and played Crittenden controlling the Union Left Wing. In the Center, commanding George Thomas'  Corps with its two Divisions was Spyros. On the Union right Ross was McCook playing Davis' and Johnson's Division. Chris was his subordinated, playing Sheridan's Division. 

Ideally it would have been good to have had a total of 13 players- each commanding a Division ( 8 Union and 5 Confederate) but by juggling everyone around,  I made sure that everyone was into the action reasonably quickly and in the thick of it almost from the start.

I used the Fire and Fury Western Scenario booklet and transferred the Order of Battle to Rank and File which was a pretty simple process.

The table with the relative deployments - by Division.
Blue is of course Union, grey is the Confederates

The Confederate left hook- Hardee's Corps ( McCook's and Cleburne's Division)...deployment at start.

The Battle of Stones River, December 1862: The set up.

 An invite went out to all the Brothers to assemble in the understated elegance of my garage for the annual Christmas Big Bash- A large game with as many figures as possible on a 12' x 6'.

I settled on ACW, which has been a staple favourite for big games, as the period is reasonably popular with the lads and everyone has some understanding of it. We use a simplified form of Rank and File which are quick and easy to learn. 

The ironic thing about was that as I began to work on it- I realised that the setup takes almost as long as the game. 

A couple of days before the game I started preparations at 10am. When I took the final photo at the end of the post it was just before 6pm and I hadn't stopped for more than 15 or so minutes for lunch and to feed my pets. A very engrossing procedure! 

Austrian Guns and Dragoons

 On holidays and an empty house- just the dog and the cat for company- it takes some effort to turn off the TV, switch off the computer and focus on the important stuff- wargames figures!

I recently finished three units of Dragoons and two heavy guns for my WAS/SYW project. I just need to order and add the appropriate flags!

Dragoons - 3 regiments for Honours of War complete.

My cat watches the process.

Solo WSS- Louis' Army holds the line

 I put some of my WSS through their paces the other day, using the scenario 'Flank attack' . A Brigade of French Horse ( 4 Squadrons) a Brigade of Foot ( 4 Battalions) and a small Dragoon Brigade ( 2 Squadrons) were tasked with holding a small line of hills that controlled a major road. The Dutch were to drive the French from their position ..and they had the added advantage of a Foot Brigade of 3 Battalions of Foot that had moved into position on the exposed flank of the defending French.

On the painting bench....WSS.

 I recently went back to adding to my favourite collection- my Age of Louis XIV or Marlburian. I hadn't painted any figures for quite a while- so many others to do!!  A few years in fact so in November I ordered some figures from Front Rank. I decided on Imperial Troops ( Hapsburg Austrians) as I only have two battalions and decided to add two more.

I painted the Daun Regiment and then the Osnabruck Regiment.

I find myself just adding units- even if they didn't serve in any of the theatres that I am gaming.

Assyrians and it again!!

 After the last game, Ross went back to his army lists ...and decided to make some changes to his Assyrian army. He did away with the large number of the 'Line Infantry' and bumped up the number of archers. He took the maximum number of 'Archers of the Guard" and made sure that he had as much firepower as possible. Then he picked up the phone and hurled abuse down the line. Realising that  he had mistakenly called the local Chinese restaurant, he apologised and then called me. I then received the full brunt of his poor attitude and the challenge for a rematch.

Assyrians and Elamites!

 So my Elamites were finally ready- done in one year! Ross dusted off the Assyrians and an historical match was fought. I found using the Elamites an interesting experience as they really had no hard hitting combat troops, just lots of firepower. The Assyrians on the other hand did have some good solid combat troops, but not quite the firepower of the Elamites.

My Kallipani chariots- which are really just troop transports with firepower.
Lots of firepower but not great if charged.

The wagons must get through!

At the Club Meet, ( Company of Dice) this month, Spyros and I put on a Pony Wars game with 'Spuds' joining us. Using The Men Who Would be Kings rules, we played an umpire run scenario where each player ( Spyros had A and B Troop and Spuds had E and F Troop) had two troops of US Cavalry commanded by a Lieutenant and they had to escort a couple of wagons off the table- lengthways- through Indian territory. 
The players first priority was to get the wagons off the table. Each one had a value of five points- which could be reduced by enemy action ( this would prove crucial in the final result). Each surviving trooper was worth one point. The 'Hostiles' were randomly generated and controlled by the umpire. Their main course of action was to skirmish, although if they outnumbered the Troopers by two or more to one- they could charge in to count coup and take scalps!!

Spyros' two troops and their wagons on the left. One of Spuds' Troops on the right.

The peaceful Indian village - about to be disturbed by four troops of US Cavalry and some bloody great wagons.

The trouble with the Swedes...........

 A look over a couple of the historical games that we've played in the GNW, (Holocwzyn, Lesnaya) showed that the Swedes lost those games both game-wise and historically.  Yet in the rules we use, the Swedes have significant advantages for moving quickly, charging fiercely and other advantages over troops who do not have the same tactical doctrine- especially in the initial contact. The poorer firing capability means that they avoid firefights and get 'stuck in'. 

There were good reasons for those defeats. Usually factors such as delayed deployment or poor deployment.

In our games the Swedes tended to suffer too many casualties and by the time they got into hand to hand contact- which they invariably won- they couldn't exploit the success. Or the dice didn't allow them to get stuck in early enough.

After giving the Swedes all the advantages and extra dice and better modifiers doesn't mean that they will always win. Which is just as well- no one would want to play against them!

BUT in a small scenario, with the Swedes deployed and's a very different story!!!

The Swedish right flank. Four Squadrons of Cavalry..and one Regt. of Foot.

The Table.
The Scenario was for the Swedes to drive the Russians and Saxons from their defensive position. The key objective was the big hill to the right of the road at the center rear of the allied position. The Saxons held the middle. All drilled; good solid troops who can deliver deadly, steady volleys. All musket armed. The Russian brigade was split. Two were drilled and two were raw and all armed with musket and pike. One drilled and one raw were holding the far right flank, a section of the table that the Swedes ignored.The other two were smack bang in the middle of the table. The six drilled squadrons of Russian Dragoons were on the Allied left. Two guns out in front.


 One of my all time favourite movies- with Arnie. Predator is a classic....and is just crying out to be gamed. I saw online that someone had come up with the stats for Blood and Plunder for the movie 'Prey' which is American Indians against an earlier form of Predator...and while I was watching the movie Predator with my wife ...I looked online and found these beauties on Etsy!!

Poles and Muscovites- small scenario

Polish Pancerni

 I opened up a scenario booklet and was looking at one of the scenarios- a holding action. A small force stopping a larger force from pushing thru their line of defence. I looked up the required forces and put the Muscovites on the table as the defenders and the Poles as the attackers.

The Muscovite position. On the southern side of the road- a unit of Nobles ( Dvor) a units of Boyar cavalry a streltsi shot unit, big gun and just off screen at the bottom, some cossack light cavalry.
To the north another Boyar cavalry unit, two units of Streltsi, one with shot only, the other as 'German' infantry- pike and shot. Their mission was to stop the Poles pushing along the road.

My new Vikings take the field...and lose...but my old Romans win.

 A couple of games from the last couple of months......

Ross was aware that I had finished my Vikings. As he has Byzantines, Normans and Muslim forces that are all from the same period- I took my army off to his place and found an army waiting for them!

What did I find? A Hamdanid Arab force - awaiting my plundering and rampaging Vikings.

Both from the same time period - mid 10th Century....but very different in composition!

My Vikings. Anchoring my left flank on some low hills.


 I had an itch to make some terrain...but couldn't decide time frame or period...and then made the mistake of watching the old "The Mummy" movie  with Brendan Fraser...and couldn't resist......hmmm...Hamunaptra !!

Egyptian terrain it was!

Do I have any ancient Egyptians? No.

Crusaders and Fatimid Egyptians? No

Napoleonic French and Mamluks? No


Well I do have a set of rules and some figures for an Osprey set call Gods and Egyptian myths I guess. Close enough!
I didn't really have to 'make' anything. all of this was either 3D printing or aquarium supplies or columns for wedding cakes from Spotlight! Some glue, some paint, some sand and some MDF bases with a few other bits and pieces.

All the Egyptian style pieces sitting completed on my work mat.

Muscovites and Poles vs the Ottomans

 Well, there's lots of them- and I threw them all onto the table earlier this year.

A combined Polish and Muscovite force took on my full Ottoman army...and it was a blood bath.

Paul commanded the Muscovites, Ross the Poles and I of course commanded the mighty forces of the Sultan!!

Elamites, Vikings and Austrians.......what?

 The Elamites have been arriving, and having had some time on my hands recently, I finished my Vikings. I am powering through the aforementioned Elamites and and about 60% of the way through the infantry for my WAS/SYW Austrians.

I feel I have achieved something!   I even had time to work on some 18mm Crimean War figures.

Viking Berserkers

Viking Command Stands

Another project? Seriously??

 Yes, I know I'm painting SYW Austrians..and yes..I am still working on my Muscovites....and adding a few bits and pieces to my Poles...oh and yes there are still some 18mm Crimean War figures on the painting blocks......and I do have a few more Vikings to go.......but the conversations went something like this......

Me: "Hey Ross what army are you going to use?"
Ross: "Assyrians."
Me: "Do you have any opponents for them?"
Ross: "No"
Me: "So your army is Assyrian- 8th and 7th Centuries BC  ...right?"
Ross: "Yep"
Me: "Any particular ruler?"
Ross: "Yep."
Me : "You're a man of many words. Which one?"
Ross: "Ashurbanipal"
Me: "Ruled from 669BC until 631BC? Considered the last Great Assyrian King?"
Ross: "Yep"

Hmmmmm.... I did a bit of reading.

My kids:"Hey dad, What do you want for your birthday?"
Me : "Elamites"
My kids: "What?"
Me, rolling my eyes : "Elamites. Actually Neo-Elamites. In 28mm. A people who fought the Assyrians. Eureka Miniatures make some."
My kids..rolling their eyes. "Okay".
(NOTE- They KNEW who Eureka Miniatures were!!)

My kids: "Hey dad, What do you want for father's day?"
Me : " Elamites"
My kids..rolling their eyes again: "Okay".

My wife: "John, what would you like for Father's day?"
Me: " Elamites"
My wife- looking across at the kids who just nodded. "Er...ok...."

Me: " I'm gonna do a Neo-Elamite army from the 7th Century BC."
Ross: "Why?"
Me: "They were opponents of your Assyrians. Ashurbanipal destroyed the Elamite kingdom in 653BC or so. There is a relief in the British Museum that depicts the crushing of the Elamite army. It's called the Battle of Ulai Relief. "
Ross: "Good choice." ( very talkative- TWO words!!)

A game of 40k

I hope readers of this blog won't object to a 'sci-fi' post!
My son and his friends are very big GW 40K fans and they get together to play games as often as life permits! All in their 20s, it is kinda nice to hear all the yelling and screaming coming from my garage as they dish out pain with 'fleshborers', 'plasma guns' , 'powerfists' or any other such weaponry.
He recently had 5 of them over playing a mini-tournament in the garage over a full Saturday. It may not be my historical stuff, but it's gaming nevertheless and my terrain is getting used. I put a couple of pictures at the bottom. 

Before the day that he held the friendly tournament, my son ran me through the new 40K (10th Edition!!??) rules. I hadn't played in years and my old Tyranids were brought out to swarm, natter, twitch, screech and devour.

The mission was to recover the remains of some imperial communications beacons. ( Objectives)
In my case, as the Tyranids, we have no use for them- but we had to get them to stop him using them for calling reinforcements. He needed to plug into them to call in more of his Chaos Legion...whatever that is!

Our game. I was Tyranids and he was some sort of smelly putrid miasma producing, disease carrying mutated space marines......I think I heard the word 'Nurgle'.....but he could have just been clearing his throat.

My deployment and plan. The beacons and comms equipment was spaced across the middle of the table.

War of the Austrian Succession and The Seven Years War

 Hmm.....another post..... another project. Early this year Ross and I were pondering the possibilities of New Year resolutions- what to paint.  In the end, after long deliberations we settled on the Seven Years War. We had played games in the past using Honours of War and liked the very fast nature of them. So we sent a bulk order away to Crusader miniatures- Austrians for me and French for him. Now why no Prussians ? I hear you ask....well we just preferred these two armies- and they were opponents in the War of the Polish Succession and the War of the Austrian Succession. In the Austrian Succession the uniforms are similar to the SYW.  Below are our painting efforts so far and we will have to order the cuirassiers, dragoons, officers, artillery etc etc...but for now it's fun painting these guys.

Hungarian Infantry from the army of Maria Therese in front. German infantry behind.