Tuesday 6 March 2012

Colomby, August 1870

The battle of Colomby, fought using my 'Rifle and Kepi' rules, hexes are around a kilometre, stands are regiments and formations are divisions. The view is from the French side. I played the French and Tim Gow the wicked Prussians.

Historical Situation.

Following the defeat at Spicheren, the Army of the Rhine fell back before two German armies to Metz. Marshal Bazaine planned to pass his five Corps over the Moselle before he could be encircled. The German cavalry detected the French withdrawal and the leading elements of the pursuing VIIth and 1st Corps launched an immediate spoiling attack against the French rearguard.

Historically night fell before the Germans had time to seriously develop their attack and that was the case here. The scenario OBs, maps etc were largely taken from the Bruce Wiegles excellent '1870'.

French position facing east. Imperial Guard are in reserve under control of the Emperor. Dense vineyards clutter the landscape.

The initial Prussian assault wavers attacking the front right of the French position.

The Prussians flee in disorder despite the supporting bombardment.

Prussians attack again, this time from two different directions. French cavalry move up in support.

Prussian artillery hammers the hill as fighting rages.

The French defenders disintegrate leaving the hill empty.

Prussians move on to the next position behind an artillery barrage as the French cavalry counterattack.

The next French divison collpases and the cavalry are blown, but night falls as the Prussians bludeon their way to a phyrric victory.

Tuesday 14 February 2012


As readers of Tim Gows blog will no doubt be aware, a vaguely wargaming related hobby I've been involved for five years now is Airsoft. This is somewhat similar to paintball, but using airsoft weapons firing little plastic 0.2g balls rather than great big painful plastic balls full paint. It is primarily an excuse to dress up in military uniforms and run around the woods playing with toy guns, something I use to enjoy doing when I was a kid. As a 'sport' it is surprisingly popular, there are dozens of Airsoft sites all around the country and thousands of players. Perhaps it meets the modern need for experience based leisure activities, or something.

I have mainly been drawn towards equipment and uniforms from the Cold War, perhaps because it loomed so large in my childhood and early adult years. I've got various sets uniforms and webbing (or loadouts in Airsloft parlance) including a number of different British Army ones, both modern temperate and desert as well as 1970s/80s era, along with West and East German (Bundeswehr and National Volksarmee). In the eighteen months I've taken an increasing interest in WW2 Airsoft, which is something of a crossover activity between re-enactment and conventional airsoft and I have WW2 British, Soviet and German uniforms. Taking part in this hobby is in no way to condone particular political systems or ideologies, for me it is more like collecting Action Man outfits in 1:1 scale.

1970s/80s British. DPM, 58 pattern webbing and SLR.

1980s Bundeswehr. Flecktarn and G3

Cold War National Volksarmee. Strichtarn and AK47s, also looking a bit like Dads Army in this one....

WW2 German, in this case Luftwaffe Field Division uniform plus MP40 on a rather snowy day in Nottinghamshire in a classic 'Airfix figure' pose.
British Tommy. Battle Dress and Lee Enfield No. 4 with a distinctly un-lethal rubber bayonet.
Along with wargaming posts I'll be posting airsoft stuff too as it seems to absorbed a lot more of my time and energy recently than tabletop wargaming.

Sunday 12 February 2012

Disaster in the snow

Tragic news from Vulgaria. As our forces returned from counter-terrorist operations in Forbodia, unseasonally heavy snowfalls seriously hampered the march. Logistics have always been a weak spot for the Vulgarians, and in the frozen wasteland the horses were unable to graze and supplies of fodder soon ran out, leaving the horses to starve in the snow.

Vulgarian officers on foot led the retreat through the frozen wastes.

Gunners manhandled the lighter pieces.

Limbers and heavy pieces were abandoned in the snow.

Jagers covered the withdrawal from positions in the snow.

Horses lay frozen in the snow.

Small groups of survivors stuggled on behind their standards.

It is to be hoped our forces make a safe and speedy return. At least the snow will impede Forbodian terrorists from crossing the border.