Bolt Action- Pacific Terrain- Stage 1

The Brothers have had this notion that they'd like to play a game of Bolt Action- A large one. They have also mentioned, in passing, that they'd love to play a Pacific war scenario. As the appointed 'minion' ( with Marines, Japanese, Amtracs, DUKWs  and loads of other stuff) I guessed it was up to me to put something together. Paul has Japanese army and sailors, Spyros has Aussies, Japanese and palm trees and I've had boxes of palm trees sitting ready to go and have used them for some games but  inspired by the series 'The Pacific' and other movies I splashed out on some XPS foam, 30 metres(!!) of doweling, glue, paint and other bits and pieces. The first phase was to cut the foam to shape, glue it to the MDF board after cutting some trenches into it. I originally bought 5cm thick foam. Next time, i'd probably go for thinner stuff- it was a pain to cut and my beaches ended up a little too steep.

A Japanese Patrol on the final product.

English vs Spanish

Paul recently made a very sensible, prudent, erudite and timely purchase, showing he has great taste, towering intellect and some spare cash  - he bought a lovely 28mm War of the Roses Lancastrian army- from me! And so he decided that he should use said army against me- where's customer loyalty these days?

Well, he of course was lacking any real experience in using such an army,   I confidently fielded my Trastamara Spanish with lots of pike, arquebus, some field fortifications, a couple of knights and the famed jinetes!

Deployment was a bit problematic for Paul as he had 9 units of Longbowmen, so he just put them in a long line on his left flank, and packed the rest of the army on his right.
Bad move. Really bad move.

The loooooong line of longbow. With stakes. ( thin 'red' line- or is that from another era??)

Anglo-Danes vs Normans

View from the Anglo-Saxon line .  All Fyrd! Select Fyrd in front, general "cannon fodder" in back.
I recently completed my Anglo-Danish army with lots of spearmen (Fyrd) and some axe wielding Huscarls and a few skirmishers. Ross took one look, thought 'Hastings!' , fielding his Normans and then proceeded to completely smash my army to a pulp. In the parlance of the Brothers it was a complete 'pants down'.
I was too embarrassed to write up the blog so I demanded another rematch. In our first game Ross had done his homework and sat back shooting with his crossbows and archers.
I sat on a hill. It hurt.
So in the second game I had to come off my hill, and the unedifying spectacle of my Fyrd and Huscarls chasing his cavalry was tragic. Oh the shame of defeat!
So for our third time, I tried something different- well I thought it was something different..I put my Fyrd in two lines on my left and my Huscarls in two lines on my right......but Ross predicted it again.  The big difference was there was enough gap to enable the front line to retreat or be pushed back without interfering with the second line...........

Romans vs Sassanids

Nick has two beautifully painted armies, late Roman Imperials and Sassanid Persians. They're both very large and he had the opportunity to put both on the table for a game.  He, Phil and I were the Romans and Ross, Roger and Richard were the Sassanids.
The Romans had their legions in the center(me) their heaviest cavalry on their left (Nick) and a lighter force with Equites, Sagittari and Auxilia holding their right ( Phil)
The Sassanids deployed with their heaviest forces ( elephants, clibanarii and Savaran on their left (Ross), infantry in the middle (Richard ) and more Savaran with Daylami light heavies on their right (Roger).

The Savaran: The Persian Cavalry

AWI- The Carolinas, Loyalist Regiment

I've got a nice unit that will be used for my Southern AWI games.
A nicely painted 'Volunteers of Ireland' that fought at Camden.

BAROQUE- Dutch vs French

Richard was keen to show me how the Baroque rules work, so along with Ralph, two(!) Richards, Ross, Phil and myself we threw some of my Louis XIV figures onto the table without worrying about terrain etc. The rules have some similar features to Impetus ( same writers of course) but some of the classifications and some mechanisms are a little different.

I fielded two forces, a Dutch force from 1700 ( with TR Horse, and P&M Foot with Bayonet and Musket. The French  ( war of the Grand Alliance forces) were TR Horse ( Chevaux Leger and 1 Unit of Gendarmerie) with P&M Foot with Pike and Musket. The French also had two units of Dragoons who are very expensive under the lists but are very manoeuvrable and have muskets.

ZOGO- African Flashpoint - NATO RAPID REACTION FORCE IN KELWAZI, Patanga Province ( Part 6)


For more pics see Spyros’ Blog ( No Duff gamer)

The serious deterioration of the situation in the southern provinces in Zogo is of grave concern to the UN Security Council. Despite his brutal subjugation of the rebellion, which is on its last legs, bloody violence has plagued the southern provinces as tribes hostile to M'shombe's ruling tribe, and his regime, have inflicted bloody retribution on the minority Baako tribe who have responded with violence of their own. Rebel groups, none associated with the PLF (Patanga Liberation Front) have sprung up and are causing mayhem.

KELWAZI: Looking from the north, the mine in the middle, hills to the west ( right) airfield at the far end. The NATO troops were airdropped to the west (the right).

ZOGO- Modern Africa. The Crisis deepens. (Part 5)


(See also No Duff Gamer Blog)

The ongoing violence in the south of the country has begun to destabilise the existing social structure and harmony of the region. Despite recent victories, the President of the troubled African nation has been unable to subdue rebel groups that have begun to break away from Meeko Momfasa’s Patangan Liberation Front (PLF).  In fact, several groups have now claimed that they are the legitimate Liberation movement after the death of Beeko Momfasa. In addition to this, Mshombou’s violent retribution against some of his own people is leading to a greater cycle of violence in the more remote section of the country in the south. The absence of his Zogo Africa Rifles and the consolidation of his Presidential Guard on campaign with the President, has meant that resource rich sections of the country have been without authority and civil order. Brutal violence is increasing.

Of concern to the West is the recent arrival of PLA (People’s Liberation Army) advisers from China. Besides these ‘advisers’, large amounts of military hardware are landing in the country and being deployed with the President’s dreaded Presidential Guard.

Recent reports from the diamond and uranium rich region of southern Patanga indicate that European mining specialists and their families are being rounded up by ruthless gun toting rebels in the town of Kelwazi. The lives of nearly 1500 French, US, British and Belgian nationals are now at stake.

US RANGERS in training ( From No Duff Gamer Blog) The expertise and combat experience that the Rangers have from service in Afghanistan and Iraq will be of enormous value in fighting the PLF insurgents. Commentators consider that the experienced forces of the Rapid Reaction Force will deal quickly and effectively with their opponents

Indian Mutiny- The Men Who Would Be Kings

The Osprey Rules The Men Who Would Be Kings seemed like a good way to get my old Indian Mutiny figures out to give them a try. In gaming terms some of these figures hadn't seen the light of day in 20 years, but being nicely painted and Wargames Foundry figures I had been loathe to part with them! So they've sat tight for a couple of decades and finally ALL saw the light of day!

The table. Just to the right, partly visible was the sepoy barracks. The main gates are visible at the upper center of
the photo, where the towers are.
A nice little scenario, which was clearly bigger than the rules were intended for, was devised. Her Majesty's Regiments were to assault the main gates of a city, with all the players being the British and EIC regiments. The Mutineers and other assorted trouble makers were randomly generated with the players actually losing points for taking casualties but achieving their objectives.

AWI- Patriot Militia

With a couple of British Regiments sitting on my shelf, painted and ready to go, I decided to start on the Rebels....or Patriots, depending on your point of view. So many of the battles of the AWI involved militia units, basically wearing their civilian clothes. Congress also authorised the distribution of linen hunting shirts when 'proper' uniforms weren't available.

 So I set about painting, collecting, borrowing, begging, buying etc a number of militia units that can be used in any scenario by just changing the flag (If they had one!). I've decided to go with the Southern Campaign and build forces for Camden, Cowpens and Guildford I need a quite a few units to represent North and South Carolina and Virginia Militia! Now I'd like to claim the credit for these- but I won't, they were all bought ( I know the Wargaming Gods will strike me down !!)


Nick has a very large Aztec force and wanted to give them a try against the Spanish. Now to be honest, if I wanted to make it historically accurate, we should flood the table with Aztecs, (which we did), give the Spanish lots of allies such as Tlaxcalans and the like ( which we did) and have about three elements of Spanish ( which we didn't). In fact I was a bit naughty and took an army more reminiscent of the army of Gonsalvo de Cordoba, who gave the French such a hard time in Italy.
So... my army had pikes and knights etc ....  not really reflective of Cortes' motley crew!
Now this didn't phase Nick- he just offered sacrifice to Huitzilopochtli  (try pronouncing that after a few beers) and sent a large colourful horde against the Spanish invaders.
The Sacrifices! ( How gory!!)

AWI - Playing British Grenadier

Ross, Phil and I decided to give the AWI another go to try and get a better handle on the British Grenadier Rules.

The scenario was for a small British column to make its way across the table to link up with a Brigade of Hessians who were waiting for them.
The Patriots' objective was to stop them.
A fictional scenario using various troops from different theatres but kinda influenced by the battle of Princeton.
The British started by marching from one table edge in column as the Patriots entered the table to their right.
Brunswick Regiment Prinz Friedrich  watches the Americans  arrive. Hessian Jagers to the right.

SENSATION AT THE UN : Assassination attempt of President T’Mbolo M’Shombou MODERN AFRICA PART 4

See Spyros' Blog - No Duff Gamer for more Photos.

A sensational report was tabled in the United Nations this afternoon.  Members of private military company Bilgewater Inc were involved in an attempted coup in Zogo in the last 24 hours with an unprecedented attack on President for Life T’Mbolo M’Shombou. Reports from Zogo state media allege that hundreds of white mercenaries were killed and that the President’s armoured Mercedes Benz suffered a paint scratch for which the President has vowed revenge to cover the insurance costs.

The Table; City to the top left, airport to the right behind the trees.


Ross wanted to give his French a run so my Spanish emerged to teach those nuisances from the north a lesson in respect.
With a combination of light cavalry, heavy knights, loads of arquebus and pike, I was against Ross' French who had just as many pike, more knights, less light cavalry and more archers!!!
I weighted my right flank with the bulk of my army- but Ross had guessed where the bulk of my army would there was not going to be any fancy business. This was gonna be a bloodbath!

The armies at deployment

My Spanish Pike ( I know there are some Swiss Flags in there - i was short!)

British Grenadier- American War of Independence.

Ross, Nick, Phil and I gave the British Grenadier rules a run last Friday. These rules are the AWI version for General de Brigade. They're very detailed and involved, but are good to play when you get the hang of them.
The scenario was simple: two small British brigades were faced by two larger Patriot brigades.
The British had 4 regular regiments : 9th, 21st , 53rd and 1/71st Regiments. A unit of Hessian Jaegers, a small unit of British Legion Horse and a Combined light infantry battalion.
 The Americans had 5 units of militia, 2 small units of Virginia Rifle skirmishers, a 4pdr artillery piece and 3 Continental Regiments ( 1st and 2nd Maryland and the 3rd New York.)

Hessian Jagers move in close- against Morgan's Virginia Riflemen

Romans and Macedonians- Ancients

( A report from about two years ago- that I wrote up- and never posted!) Some of the Brothers were summoned to a game of monumental importance. Well, it wasn't all that important, but someone must have thought it was important because there was an almost full house with 9 assembled in the understated elegance of my overdone car park spaces. Ross, Paul, Geoff, Richard, Roger, Lochlainn, Nick, Phil and I piled in on a cold winter's night to watch two large armies, Romans and Macedonians vie for the right to be proclaimed victor for the night- a rather dubious honour! It was good to have a big gathering again for an ancient game- coffee was on the boil, chocolate biscuits were on the table and the game was on. Geoff, Nick, Paul, Roger and Lochlainn were the Romans and Richard, Phil, Ross and I were the Macedonian.
Given my record with my Roman armies of late- no one was willing to let me side with the Legions!

ACW 28mm The Battle of Groveton ( Brawner's Farm) 28th August 1862

This was the opening round of Second Manassas and using Nick's (formerly Phil's) figures I had the table ready at the moment when Stonewall Jackson turned to his Brigade Commanders behind the railway embankment and said 'Bring out your men, gentlemen'. His artillery then fired on Gibbon's Brigade!

Zouaves march past Dogan's farm on the way to Groveton.

Crusaders vs Mamluks

Unable to take the humiliation of the last defeat for Nick's Ayyubids, the gauntlet was thrown down by my Mamluks ( well my Ottomans pretending to be Mamluks) to avenge the shame of the last blog.

Phil and I were the Mamluks and Ross and Paul were the 'men of God'- and if I hear Ross scream 'God Wills It!!' one more time I'm gonna throw a brick at him.

The Mamluks were almost all cavalry except for a few paltry skirmishers.
The stinky ones were a combination of Heavy Knights and solid infantry core with spear and crossbow- a deadly combination.

Mamluks and Turcopoles
On the Mamluk left I had plenty of room to dance around and gave Paul a hard time in trying to pin me down. On the right Ross managed to squash Phil and I between the table edge and his heavy infantry line-- but we had a substantial reserve that was commanded by Phil- who just at the right moment unleashed his cavalry into Ross' and Paul's infantry line......

Crusaders vs Ayyubids - 28mm

A 28mm stoush between Ayyubids and Crusaders one evening provided some very cheap laughs at the loser's expense! It would be nice to say it was a tough battle, drawn out and close fought, but that would be lying on all three counts! Nick and I were the Ayyubid forces and Paul and Ross played the mighty Crusaders.
It was a resounding victory for the 'Men of God' as Ross calls them, the heavy Crusader nights tore thru their opponents, it was not pretty!!

The right of the Muslim force- Cavalry!

SEVEN YEARS WAR- Prussians vs Prussians

Nick brought his beautifully painted Prussians to increase the value of my garage substantially. (doubled the value in fact!) So we also took the opportunity to play a game. A nice simple scenario, two identical forces are marching towards each other and have to capture the hills to pave the way for the main body. (the vanguard of their respective Prussian armies- yes it was Prussians vs Prussian, although Nick says the Russians are a work in progress!) 
Two Hussar Regiments, 6 Infantry battalions, 1 Cuirassier each, 1 Dragoon and two guns was the total OOB for both sides. Equal forces- it always happened historically didn't it?

The Prussian Light Cavalry leading the column. Which one? Both of course!

D-Day Bolt Action

Spyros has one of the best terrain boards for D-Day. Built by Joe, its an amazing piece of wargames terrain and I've been hanging to give it a go!
Phil and I went to Spyros' for a game...and I forgot my camera...damn!!
So apologies to Spyros, I pinched some the pictures from his blog. Go to No Duff Gamer Blog for a full write up and lots more pics!
It was the first wave of Omaha with the German defenders giving the Americans a hard time. Full write up on Spyros' blog!

Spanish vs Swiss

Nick recently bought Ralph's large Swiss army. This naturally meant that challenges were issued to all and sundry.  Some of the lads assembled in amongst the detritus of my garage to see the pike armed fanatics from central Europe take on the Catholic fanatics of south western Europe- my Spanish.

We played quite a large game and Nick fielded over 20 pike units. The Swiss were in their traditional 3 block formation with the Duke of Lorraine providing some much needed cavalry support. Nick and Ralph were the Swiss.

My Spanish, the army of Gonsalvo de Cordoba, went with his usual formation- fortifications in the field!! I also had a preponderance of cavalry and lots of very shooty types with arquebus, and some poor quality pikes. Phil and Ross joined me to command the Spanish.
The Spanish Left Flank. Jinetes, Knights and arquebus

Army of Louis XIV vs The Grand Alliance

Four brothers assembled to fight an early 18th Century clash that had nearly all of my Louis XIV and Marlborough's army on the table. Nearly 30 Battalions per side and over 30 squadrons on each side battled it out over the course of a long hot bloody day.

The Battlefield: in the foreground to the left, the Redcoats commanded by Chris, The Prussians arriving to support. And to the right the French regiments commanded by yours truly.
The game was loosely modelled on Ramilles, one of Marlborough's great victories. On the allied side the majority of the infantry were on the right and the cavalry were in the left, representing the deployment of the armies of the day. The terrain on the allied right was very hilly with a number of woods. On the extreme left a small town with the area in between a large open area of rolling fields.

Honours of War

Nick has been amassing a large Prussian army, superbly painted and ready for action. As his Seven Years War Russian army is not yet ready we decided to give a dry run of the Honours of War rules , with his Prussians engaged in 'Kriegspiel'.

2 Brigades of infantry (4 battalions each) and Brigade of cavalry and a gun battery each made for a pleasant evening as Chris and I played Paul and Nick and Ross umpired and called out the rules!
Nick was happy as his troops were on the table, and no matter what- the Prussians would win!