Monday, 30 April 2018


John wanted to try out Brown Bess in an eighteenth century context, so put together this scenario covering Dettingen during the War of the Austrian Succession.

Tim C and I took the Allies (British, Hanoverians and Austrians) while Jerry took the wicked French.

The battlefield from the French side. The Allies are hemmed in by the impassable River Main on the right and forested hills on the left while the French have a nice stream to defend. To add to the misery, the Allies are cut off and trying to break through to restore their supply lines. Not a happy situation!

The French deploy. They clearly didn't get the memo about defending the stream, and (as in real life) are all set to attack the Allies with their outstanding cavalry massed on the right.

The Allies are more conventional. Infantry in the centre, cavalry on the flanks. The columns are the Austrians deployed in reserve. I had the right flank (mainly Hanoverians plus a couple of Austrian units including a brigade of Cuirassiers).

The French cavalry dash forth, led by the Maison du Roi. Our chaps move up to meet them. Very unfairly, the French have a gun on the far side of the Main where we can't get to it.

Over on the right, my chaps take advantage of a lack of enemy cavalry to ride along the front of our line. Well it seemed like a good idea at the time and will look great in the film.

A bloody melee ensues on the left. Sadly for us, the French are all cuirassiers. Luckily our gun managed to get off a volley of cannister before the French closed, which emptied a few saddles.

My chaps join in the fray, as a French cavalry unit peels off to meet them. Again, our centre battery manages to knock a couple of hits off the French before they close, which really helps.

The line will advance! The infantry on both sides start to advance to support the cavaly action. The French refuse their left flank, covered by a square, pinned by my reserve dragoon brigade.

To everyones amazement, we finally push the French cavalry back and plug the line with infantry. The allies success was soley due to that inital cannon shot which slightly weakened the French before contact. Both sides horsemen regroup as they are all a bit ragged now. Sadly George of Hanover died in the melee, so no George II.

The infantry lines close and fusillades of musketry ring out. In the centre my Austrian cuirassiers are still slugging it out with the French. It turns out the Allies musketry is rather better than the French.

Outgunned, the Swiss launch a desperate infantry assault, but are shot down by with withering platoon fire. It was very glorious though.

The tide has turned in the Allies favour and the French realise they can't win the infantry fight, so begin to fall back. We called it a day at that point. A very close run thing.

This was really good fun and the rules worked well. There were a couple of oddities around interpenetration and the duration of cavalry melees which we came up with some amendments for, but overall it felt right and produce the historical result. It also looked really nice. Good stuff.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Zvezda Ferdinands

I have played quite a few Kursk games but for some reason I've never managed to deploy any Ferdinands despite having a 20mm one and half a dozen (!) 6mm ones. As I have been building up my 15mm WW2 Eastern Front stuff, I didn't really have an excuse to resist the beautiful Zvezda 1/100th scale Ferdinands.

I bought two of them because anything less would just be silly wouldn't it? This pair were a real bargain at £2.50 each. 

They are on the simpler end of Zvezda kits, with only a few parts to clip or stick together. The tracks are very crude but actually look fine when painted up. As ever you need to be a bit careful clipping the parts off the sprues. 

Some of the detail is a bit light but  most of it is deep enough for a wash to work well (the hatches, engine grills etc). I just left these models plain rather than adding extra stowage etc. as I don't think they will be coming out to play much. 

The are finished in dunkelgelb and the endlessly reproduced mid green cris-cross camo scheme that almost every model Ferdinand seems to sport. I just gave them a couple of Balkan crosses and didn't bother with the turret numbers. 

For weathering I did my now usual technique of painting the entire tracks and running gear mud colour. The whole thing then got a dark brown wash, and a final highlight of pale sand to pick out he sharp edges etc. Then is was just detailing (e.g. metal highlights on the track plates), basing and they were good to go. Which in this case was straight into my 'box of silly big German tanks which rarely come out to play', but I do have a specific scenario in mind for these. Just need to get the rules written...

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Bunker Hill

Tim was keen to try out a new Command & Colours variant he'd bought which covered the AiW. He revamped a load of 2mm stuff to replicate the mix of blocks in the game. In general there were four strips per unit, colour coded by quality and nationality. 

I got to play His Majesty's forces, while Jerry and Tim C got the wicked rebels, and we all rolled up at some place called 'Bunker Hill' outside Boston.

View from the British side. That big fortifed hill doesn't look very promising!

I guess this is the sprawling metropolis of Boston awash with damp tea.

Johnny Reb dug in on Bunker Hill.

Somewhat unfairly, I decided that the right flank looked more promising, and the redcoats rolled forwards supported by artillery.

The rebels were pushed back from the stone walls by withering musketry.

Which allowed the Briitsh centre to close en masse. Scary!

The rebels were soon routed by the British Grenadiers and the entrenchments taken.

We set off in pursuit whilst masking Bunker Hill.

And soon put the withdrawing rebels to panic stricken flight.

At which point Bunker Hull was pinned from the front and thoroughly outflanked so the surviving rebels slunk away to fight another day. Hurrah!

The game system worked pretty well and some interesting innovations to the standard CnC mechanisms.  It was all fairly unbloody, with morale failures being a more common combat result so units flowed back and forth across the battlefield in a pleasing manner. I can't recall what the variant was called, but Tim picked it up via Kickstarter.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Robots Sir, fahsands of them.

Graham volunteered to bring a game along this week, which featured big stompy robots. Not our usual sort of fare, but when offered a chance to stomp people with big stompy robots, Tim and I thought it would be the gentlemanly thing to do.

Jerry and Tim C ran the opposition, while Graham oversaw events.

My big robot thing. Our mission was to protect a fairly immobile piece of alien technology on the escarpment in the top right. We had a  couple of really big robots, a couple of smaller ones, and a swarm of light recce craft. The alien thing is the big red blob in the top centre.

Tim had a sinister panzer grey robot. This model mounted a couple of long range missile launchers as well as laser guns etc.

The enemy had literally hordes of stuff. Tanks, flyers, IFVs, soldiers in power armour etc. They seemed quite interested in the alien artefact too.

The missile launcher proved quite useful in thinning their ranks.

Our protective recce screen, backed by by the big robots firepower mowed the enemy down, so only a few stragglers made it to the escarpment.

Oh dear, what is this? The dead enemy units came piling back on again, as an inexaustible horde. At this point we started counting ammo and casualties. Tim C observed that it bore interesting parallels to the 1st day of the Somme.

The enemy waves got a bit closer this time, and some local fauna turned up looking rather aggressive too. We worked out that we'd run out of ammo and screening forces in another hour or so and then the chips would be up, so we called a halt at the point. Jerry then revealed that it was a disguised scenario of..... Rorkes Drift.

Graham was keen to put this on as a show game, so we discussed various ways to speed things up whilst retaining the flavour of the action, so it was an interesting design session.