Club Sunday Game Reports

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Club Sunday 16th June 2024

The distractions of Father's Day and the European Football Championship restricted numbers attending to fourteen. Nevertheless, there were still four games in play, accounts of which can be found below.

Bolt Action in the Pacific

I am grateful to Andy S for the following account: -

On this Sunday, Howard, John F, Kevin T (a member of the club a long time ago but has been away for some time), Stuart S , Andy S and Daniel did a Bolt Action/Chain of Command hybrid game - our first in the Pacific 

Somewhere in the Pacific 1942….We used the map and notes from the new Too Fat Lardies' pint sized campaign 'Driving Charge - Breaking the Jitra Line, 1941'. Stuart, Andy and Dan had an infantry platoon of the Imperial Japanese Army with supports including a Chi Ha tank. In the back field, defending a river and a single bridge, were Howard and his crew with two platoons of USMC and supports. The Japanese advanced fairly quickly sending the tank to try and rush the road and bridge to get a unit off the table. Shooting began fairly quickly with both sides dishing out losses. The tank nearly got to the bridge and Howard ordered the engineers, who were planting charges, to take the tank on - which they duly saw off. Then, some good shooting dice from the USMC reduced the Japanese effectiveness making them regroup and withdraw.

This was a great game and good to see Kevin back at the club.

Oathmark - Battle of the Wringit

This was a 10mm game played by Harry and Ewan. Harry has very kindly provided a detailed report of this little known engagement which I have placed on the After Action Reports section of the site, available here. Many thanks, Harry.

Through the Mud and the Blood - Eastern Front

a The Lardies' WWI rules made another appearance at the club after a bit of a dalliance with the Chain of Command modifications which we used in our previous Great War game. The scenario being played was 'Yashka' from the Lardies' supplement 'From Empire to Revolution'. Andy W and Charles S were in charge of an Austrian platoon located in a trench which stretched right across the table and was protected by barbed wire. Gordon and Neil W commanded a Russian platoon of mainly 'green' troops with orders to take the enemy position. The scale was 28mm.

Two games were played. The first was very short. The Russians failed to destroy any of the wire and omitted to utilise their free move with blinds. The result was that they got shot up pretty badly right from the start and made no progress with the attack. In the second game the Russians were more successful. This time their bombardment produced several gaps in the wire and they also used their blinds more effectively, enabling some of the assaulting squads to make good progress and actually occupy some of the enemy entrenchments. So, overall honours were even.

Xenos Rampant

My thanks to Pete for submitting the following report and accompanying photograph.

Had two games of 15mm Xenos Rampant with John H today. The first was reasonably straightforward clash of near-future forces. The only Sci-Fi elements being John's Battle Robots and my Drop Troopers. A win for me but being 15mm the photo I took doesn't do it justice.

The second game was bit more 'out there'. John had the same forces, but this time faced my massed Mechanoids. Martian Tripods and Ravening Scuttlers. Win for John this time.

Two good fun games, of the what used to be called 'Beer & Pretzels' type.

Club Sunday 2nd June 2024

This Sunday, the first 'all day' event of the year at Holt, attracted twenty players who were involved in five games.  It was good to see Charles S back at the club after a brief absence due to an accident. Reports on the battles can be found below: -

Kings of War

My thanks to Dave K for the following report

With Maurice, James & Russ on other duties, we had to postpone the campaign's  Battle of Hodenburg. Darren and I instead took a chance to test out our armies for a tournament in Banbury. His Empire of Dust squared off against my Halflings at a reduced 1800 points each and in a tight 50 minutes per side. We randomly chose the Salt the Earth scenario for a very cagey game. We know each other's strengths well and were loathe to give over the advantage. His units are bigger and tougher than mine, but I have more units. 

On my left he placed a horde of Chariots which forced me to commit some of my heavy hitters into woods which bogged them down. It was ironically my light cavalry that did the most damage by shooting at him (until he charged and blew them away). He also ran some flying Carrion down that flank which kept me spinning units around to face them. In the centre his Guardian Archer hordes still pose a question that I haven't found an answer to. On my right I tried to use superior numbers to outflank him and we danced around a wood (and then through it when I lost patience and probably charged too early). Darren was ahead in killing, but ran out of time, leaving me with more objectives. He was winning the battle while I was winning the scenario. A more cerebral game than usual, it will be fun to get the crew back together again for our more rough and ready campaign games. 

War of the Spanish Succession

This battle was a large scale scenario loosely based on the Battle of Oudenarde (July 1708) using 15mm figures from the vast collection of Keith. The rules in use were a 'quick play' version of those played at the Wargames Holiday Centre, once run by Peter Gilder and based in Yorkshire, which was attended by quite a few club members in the eighties and nineties. Commanding the French we had three 'wing' generals (Andy W, Stuart M and Neil W) and on the Allied side there were Gordon, Mike and Ross in charge. Keith and Nick acted as aides de camp for each side and rules arbiters when questions were raised by the participants. 

Even though the game lasted almost eight hours we were unable to reach a decisive result, mainly due to the sheer size of the scenario and unfamiliarity with the rules. Nevertheless, it was a really enjoyable game. The French had some success in their right centre, routing and driving off many Allied units until being  counter attacked by replacement brigades. The French were also exposed on their right flank and rushed over cavalry reserves as quickly as possible, only to be pretty badly beaten up by the enemy cavalry under the command of Gordon. In the centre and on the left wing the French advanced their troops to a stream and set about defending it resolutely. They came under enormous pressure from the British and Dutch troops but showed no signs of crumbling when night fell. A drawn result seemed a fair conclusion.

Many thanks to Keith for putting on a great game.

Chain of Command

Set in Normandy, June 1944, this 28mm scenario (I believe all the figures and terrain were Ian's) was an adaptation of the 'Corridor of Death' scenario that appears in the Too Fat Lardies' campaign booklet 'Kampfgruppe von Luck'. Pete and Charles S were the German officers ordered to attack the British paras (led by Andy R and Ian) who were defending the village of le Bas de Ranville. Regrettably, I am unable to inform you of the outcome of this engagement, although it is possible that one of the participants may issue dispatches.

Warhammer 40K

I would like to express my gratitude to Jonathan R for the report below and also for the photographs.

This game was a 1200pt Imperial Guard vs Space Wolves, game type annihilation and using alpha rules. It was also the first game with Carl T.


At the start it went well for the Wolves as they managed to take out the artillery piece on the first round with cyclone missiles. The Imperial Guard made a great counterattack and took out the an entire unit of long fangs and immobilised the predator annihilator, with fire from the leman russ and a demolisher. Later  in the game the wolves managed to destroy the chimera transport and immobilise and destroy the demolishers main gun. The Guard replied with a solid defensive line and with sustained fire from the heavy support teams and managed to remove several terminators and grey hunters.

The last phase of the game the Guard had more boots on the ground and managed to secure a good foothold across the centre of the board and thinned out the Wolves. Coming  to the end, the Wolves attempted to make a counter attack with the remaining units and hunter killer missiles from the rhino but did not manage to incur enough damage to make a dent in the positions of the Guard.  However, they managed to pull of a great counter attack and removed a good number of wolves.

The result was that Carl managed to take the win with an impressive amount of troops left on the board and the wolves got sent home with their tails between their legs.

Many thanks to Carl T and Ewan for setting up a few games. If anyone fancies a game of 4th Edition everyone is welcome and hopefully we will get some more games booked in the future

Operation Sealion

This highly impressive 1940 invasion scenario in 28mm was created by John F. Two players were kind enough to provide reports, the first from Howard (who also supplied the pictures) and the second from Andy S. Thanks chaps.

John put on an amazing Sealion style game today. He and Andy Scott were the Shabby Hun invaders, escorting a Luftwaffe bomber crew to a Kriegsmarine boat at the far end of the board to the Fallschirmjager gliders. Daniel Scott and myself played the Home Guard, a squad of land girls with shotguns and a lorried section of regular infantry as reinforcements who appeared after the Verger rang the church bells. A small squad of BUF helped the Germans, but were dispatched by the Guard like the traitors they are.


Well done and thanks John.

John F laid on his Dad's Army game which I first saw at Alumwell in 2020. I took on the Germans, who consisted of a shot down bomber crew which had removed the sights to take back to Germany. In support there was a detachment of Kreigsmarine in a speedy E-Boat and also a platoon of Fallschirmjager, dropped in to assist the crew in their get away. Howard and Daniel played the roles of Captain Mainwaring and Private Pike respectively. In addition to the Home Guard, the British defenders had some regulars who were using the nearby assault course.


A running shooting battle ensued with casualties on both sides. John took a turn for me whilst putting the kettle on and took out the cast of Dad's Army in one lot of shooting! Jeopardy ensued as the Germans got close to the extraction point when British reinforcements turned up. This resulted in a lot of shooting and a last minute melee.  A great game and yet again John laid on a cracking scenario using modified Rapid Fire rules.

Club Sunday 19th May 2024

The competing attraction of Partizan in Newark was the main reason that we only had four games and thirteen gamers for this Sunday at St Ambrose. My thanks to Bob and Stuart S for the photographs and please accept my apologies that some of the reports are a little shorter than usual.

Patrols in the Sudan

This 28mm game was played between Darren and Gordon, although I am unable to advise you of who commanded each side.  The mission was intended to be (in the words of  Daren) a "Get Carver" scenario, where the British player had tot link up with a couple of bases of friendly local tribesmen and Lt. Carver then  to escort them back to base. A there and back mission so that it makes an excuse to take the machine gun! Regretfully, I cannot confirm if the young subaltern was successful in his objective but I am sure he firmly upheld the finest traditions of the British Empire in executing his duties.

Lion Rampant

I am grateful to Andy S for the following report and to Stuart S for his photograph of this 28mm game.

After a touch of confusion we played Lion Rampant using the raid scenario from the Barons' War Death and Taxes book. Stuart S moderated with John F and Andy S as the forces of good and tax evasion (aka Robin Hood and chums).  Howard and Dan S played the evil sheriff's tax collector robbers. 


A raid was placed on the village of Wimentum, a small hamlet in Nottinghamshire with vast lead reserves. A scuffle ensued and the heroic blacksmith, who had fought in the Crusades, scarpered of the table pretty quickly never to be seen again. After much pillaging and fighting the forces of good lost their courage and conceded, as all good movies place the good guys in jeopardy before the final victory!


All in all a nice set of rules fairly easy to understand with a few nuances here and there. In my view Lions Rampant 2nd Edition is highly recommended and costs only £20.

Saga

Ian and Andy R were the protagonists in this 28mm fantasy scenario using Saga rules. This was the first time that the two players has used these rules for such a purpose and so the game was very much an exercise in working out the nuances in order to see if the game mechanism would produce satisfactory results. It would be nice to know if this objective was achieved. However, both players have maintained a strange silence.

To The Strongest

There were four players in this 15mm Ancients game - Andy W, Billy, Bob and Neil C. To my untrained eye, the battle looked to be a Carthaginians vs Seleucids encounter, using figures from Andy's collection (although, it is possible that I am entirely mistaken).  Again, information on the course of this engagement is shrouded in mystery so it is impossible for me to let you know of the events or outcome of the contest.

Club Sunday 5th May 2024

Five battles were fought by twenty gamers on another good day at Holt. My thanks to those who contributed to the accounts below.

Bolt Action

I am grateful to Andy S for his report on this very impressive looking 28mm game.

Howard and Daniel were beach defenders with a resistance nest each. There were 17 bunkers and tobruks for John and Stuart S (the US commanders) to take out. We were using a scenario straight from the D Day theatre Book Fox Green Beach.


As landing craft advanced, German big gun shooting was fairly ineffective. As the US hit the beach and could only advance over the beach and the bluffs they were exposed to effective MG fire which actually felt more effective than than the big guns (which is the known Bolt Action fact that a big gun gets one shot and at a 50/50 chance of a hit that can be quite a few misses, whilst MGs deliver lots of dice increasing the chance of success). Off shore naval gun fire blasted away and helped out the advancing beach assault teams. Time was called as the Germans lost their anti tank capability.


All in all a fun game using plenty of not normally used rules, like landing craft, bunkers and beach assaults. My Celotex gave the beach and surrounds a good feel. This raised the resistance nests up, making them look down on the beach.

Chain of Command Normandy

The first of two Chain of Command games played at the meeting, this one was a 28mm Normandy skirmish in which Dan assumed command of a British platoon and Dave B took charge of a similarly sized German force. Neil W acted as the umpire. The game was a 'patrol' scenario in which each side had a mobile reconnaissance team in support, the Brits fielding a Bren Carrier and the Germans a half-track. 

A striking feature of the game was the very large number of leader casualties suffered by both sides, many of them fatalities, which caused numerous command and control issues for both players. Dave also had an early set back when his half track was immobilised by a well placed PIAT though, fortunately for him, all the team within survived the attack. Dan's recon team in the Bren Carrier also had to abandon their vehicle and head for cover, even though the vehicle itself was undamaged. Both sides' force morale diminished as the fighting wore on but it was Dave who decided their was no point in continuing the fight as the number of command dice at his disposal was reduced to three. A well fought and close run game.

Chain of Command Operation Sealion

Andy J and Pete continued their 1940 'what if' campaign as a rag-tag group of plucky Brits faces the might of the Wehrmacht. I am grateful to Andy for the following description: -

AAR for Dads' Army / Germans #3

The only sensible option for the Nazis was to work down a hedged road to reach the far table edge. Progress was slow until a senior leader took things in hand and lead 2 squads forward. The Home Guard reduced the lead squad from 6 to 3 over a couple of rounds but then they got 3 hits and my 3 saves were 6, 6 and another 6. Dead squad! Oberleutnant Schmidt survived alone and summoned the next squad! 

The Germans then shot their way to victory. Amazingly, although most of the infantry on both sides became casualties no senior leaders were hit during the whole game.  Both sides will need a new platoon for game 4, the Germans have to advance through a fortified village.

Fire and Fury ACW

This was a 6mm scale game with all the figures coming from Nick's collection. He was also 6the umpire and the other participants were Keith, Ross, Stuart M and Andy W. The scenario on the table was based around the orders of battle of the Union and Confederate forces at the Battle of Gettysburg (fought in July 1863) but the miniature battle was fought on open terrain and over one day instead of three. Unfortunately, no report of the action has got through to your correspondent, I can only assume that all the telegraph wires were damaged beyond repair in the course of the fighting.

Kings of War

Thanks to Dave K for the following account of the ongoing Kings of War campaign. The other participants were Darren, James, Maurice and Russ.

Kings of War – 2500 points a side – The Battle for the Haven Crossings


We upped the points for another campaign battle and were rewarded with an epic, brutal game. James commanded the Rhordian left (the Panzer division – Knights and Steam Tanks) while Maurice led the Royal Guardsmen, Arquebusiers, Volley Guns and Pistoliers on their right. Darren’s Empire of Dust came to aid Russ’ Halflings and they intermingled their troops – Skeleton Spearmen, Guardian Archers and Mummies with Jugger Knights, Stalwart heavy infantry, Aeronauts and a Harvester.


The battle started well for the Halfling defenders. The Guardian Archers did a good job taking out the Volley Guns while the Knights manoeuvred for position and the Juggers got off the first charge that routed a regiment of Rhordian Knights. On the other flank the Stalwarts followed up their Winged Captain and crashed into the Pistoliers, but instead of routing them, threw the dreaded double 1!

In the Rhordian turn the Steamtanks combined against the Juggers and routed them. Despite their success, the Steamtanks were exposed and mobbed by Mummies, hard-hitting heroes and the Soulsnare but a simply wretched sequence of die rolls saw them shrug off the attacks and hit back hard along with their Knight regiments on the next turn. Other highlights at this time were the mercenary Aeronauts that routed the Halfling Harvester and Maurice’s Arquebusiers who so nearly lived up to their reputation of laughing off devastating charges. 


With consistently high Rout rolls the Rhordians broke the back of the Halfling army and captured a bridgehead across the River Haven. The path to the Halfling capital lies wide open. Next month we’ll have the culmination of the campaign, the Battle of Hodenburg.

Club Sunday 21st April 2024

There were seventeen players involved in seven games on this club Sunday. We were also visited by two previous members of the club - Dewi and Tony - who popped in to say hello and have a look round. We hope that their interest has been rekindled.

Chain of Command 1940

My thanks to Andy J for the following account of the second game in the Chain of Command 'Operation Sealion' campaign that he and Pete are playing. The scale was 28mm.

Pete and I played game 2 of the German / home guard campaign - most of the Germans from the first game vs the battered remains of the 1st dads army platoon. 


I set off over the open fields to attack the village on the table edge but it didn’t go well. The WI (Women's Institute!) threw lots of command 6’s and got 3 rounds of fire against  my squad - the remains quickly fell back into cover! After that the German meat grinder wore the Brits down and eventually forced them to retire.


The next game looks even harder for the Wehrmacht . . . .

Fantastic Infamy

This game was the first outing for Ian's modifications of the well known 'Infamy! Infamy!' rules Andy R was Ian's opponent and guinea pig and I am grateful to Ian for the description that follows.

This was a 'playtest' game for my adaptation of the Infamy Rules for Fantasy games, Fantastic Infamy. It saw an Ogre force up against one of Dwarfs. The scenario was a straightforward pitched battle.


Under my own guidance, I thought I would use the superior Ogre speed and aggression to swiftly overwhelm the Dwarfs (commanded by Andy R) before they could get themselves organised and shoot me to pieces with their deadly Crossbows. It spectacularly failed as the elite Dwarf Huscarls cut down my piecemeal attacks with their Great axes. With their big Chief dead, the Ogres were forced to make a hasty retreat back to their caves without hardly a scratch being suffered by their foe.


Most importantly, the rules as far as they are developed seemed to be working well enough, and a good game was had.

Fire and Fury ACW

This was a spectacular game in 28mm that featured figures and terrain from Keith's extensive collection.  Fire and Fury is a well used set of rules at the club and seems to be the 'go to' gaming system for those interested in fighting American Civil War battles. Andy W and Neil C were the other participants in the battle but, regrettably, I can provide no information on the course and outcome of the game. 


Oathmark - the Battle of Bad Pot Pass

This game was played between Ewan and Harry who were using 10mm figures from their own collections. The battle was a little known episode from the Orclish Civil War. Ewan has very kindly written a very full report on what transpired and you can read it here. Thanks Ewan

Saga Ancients

Howard and Daniel S continued their dalliance with Saga with an excursion into the Ancient period. This good looking 28mm game featured a Carthaginian force up against an army of Republican Romans. Unfortunately, I have forgotteh who commanded each side but I do recall that Daniel told me that Howard's force had been victorious.

Team Yankee

Thanks to Andy S for the following AAR.

Andy S took John Lavender on for a game of Team Yankee playing the 'Escape from Shellerten' scenario. The GSFG-Warpac forces had a tank company of 13 T72s and 9 BMP2s with artillery, AA and artillery in support. John had an British BAOR infantry platoon with an under strength Chieftain tank squadron, 

again with other supports but half of the defenders were in immediate reserve. This was a smaller game than usual for us as John had been out of Team Yankee for a while.


 In the game itself, the Warpac steam roller advanced, shooting as it went. It was countered by the British and there was a steady trade in casualties  A pair of SU25 Frogfoots then came on to the table and took out two tanks in one turn. The BMP2s dismounted their infantry to take the objective. John advanced onto the objective to deny me victory and John took the battle very close but it was great fun and a good learning experience. We’ll done John!

Twilight of the Sun King - Poltava

Nick was the umpire (and figure provider) for this 15mm refight of the crucial battle of the Great Northern War, originally fought in July 1709. Gordon and Neil W were jointly in charge of the Russian forces and Ross took the part of the commander of the much smaller Swedish army. In order to replicate the circumstances of the engagement (which involved a night march of the Swedish army in order to attack the Russian camp while avoiding defensive redoubts), Nick had devised an ingenious but complicated scenario which involved the possibility of Swedish units getting lost, Russians failing to wake up and much fumbling in the dark. 

In the early stages of the game, Ross was able to achieve a good deal of surprise, catching many Russian cavalry units unprepared and routing a good number of them. However, as the dawn arrived, more and more Russian units were rousing themselves and cavalry reserves were appearing to the front of the Swedes. By the time the game ended the result was still in the balance but the Russians, with most of their forces now mobilised, now enjoyed a considerable numerical advantage.

Club Sunday 7th April 2024

Seven games were enjoyed by a total of twenty-one members at Holt and we also had time for short general meeting to discuss club business and finances. Please read on for more information about the games.

Barons' War

Thanks to Andy S for his summary of an 'introductory' battle for several participants in the game. The scale was 28mm and the table looked great.

Match report The Barons' War first game Sunday 7th April Holt Heath.


Stuart S and Pete took on Wyn and Bryan with a 500 point force for each commander. As a first game, both sides drew their lines and advanced on each other. Stuart took out Bryan's only missile troops in two phases of shooting. A Melee ensued with some odd results - what looked like a defeat for Wyn and Bryan was turned into a victory after they killed Pete's commander and then rounded on Stuart who had such a good start who was like the Robin Hood of Worcestershire.


Notes for first game in the future: -


Rosters - for Barons' War, make sure they are all to hand, printed or written out. Looking in the book sent me mad.

Scenery - make sure all is discussed before kick off what is cover and what s not.

Rules - make sure you have a good grasp on them before you unleash on others.


Here are a few musings from Pete: -

My downtrodden Thegns and Peasants dared to take the field against their betters today. After a good start that saw the mounted Sergants driven off, the mounted Knights rode around the church and caught them between foot and Knights. The rebels were crushed. Great game of Baron's War though 

Saga Medieval

Yet another appearance of the Saga rules which are gradually becoming the most popular in use at the club. This contest saw Daniel S and Howard using their collections of 28mm medieval figures to fight two games in the course of the afternoon. The second game had a distinctly more wintry feel to it than the first one, though whether this resulted in a significant change in the game play, or was purely an artistic touch, I am unable to say. 

Find, Fix and Strike WWII Naval

This was a game played with 1:3000 models in which Nick was the commander of a Royal Naval force and Neil W was in charge of the ships of the Kriegsmarine. The scenario was that the Tirpitz, with substantial support, was at loose in the North Atlantic and the British Admiral and his task force had orders to sink the German battleship at all costs. Sea conditions were moderate but visibility was limited and the ships were initially represented on the table by dummy markers which were only revealed as targets became visible to either enemy vessels or spotter planes.

The British capital ships (Hood and Queen Elizabeth) lost no time in engaging their German counterparts (Tirpitz was accompanied by Scharnhorst), while cruisers and destroyers tried to move into position to fire torpedoes. Several smaller ships suffered serious damage and one British destroyer was sunk, however no torpedoes struck the big units. In the gunnery duel, the Queen Elizabeth was badly hit but with the British battleships concentrating on the Tirpitz, it was the German flagship which suffered the heaviest damage. The Tirpitz resolutely remained afloat until the end of the game but the Royal Navy achieved the moral victory.

Infamy! Infamy! 

I would like to thank Ian for the following account of this 28mm game.

Somewhere near the German Borderland.


Centurion Dipsus was tasked with destroying one of the Settlements in the land of the great Warlord Sucher. Using the Infamy rules the Roman Column (under the direction of Gordon and Daniel M) ventured into "Barbarian" territory towards their goal. The Germans (under the control of Andy R and Paul B) laid out some potential ambush points along the line of the Roman advance. Abreast of the target farm the main body of German warriors deployed and waited for the Romans while building themselves up with fervour (pep talking by their Leader).


Meanwhile the the main Roman column of Legionaries steadily made its way directly towards towards the objective. Preliminary skirmishing by the cavalry and skirmishers of both sides to the column flank produced little effect other than them occupying each other. The Roman scorpion was quickly nullified by some accurate slinger missilry, and after a brief fisticuffs, the cavalry of both sides pulled back to lick their wounds. They would play little part in the rest of the battle. It was time for the heavier troops to take the initiative. Roman auxiliary emerging from the woods saw off the last of the German cavalry, prompting the German "oathsworn" to appear ahead of them. Combat between them ensued but no breakthrough could be achieved by either side. A battle of attrition followed. In the meantime, the main German Clan warriors had come off their hill, advancing towards the Roman legionaries, crashing into them, all hyped up with maximum fervour. However, the Romans were ready to 'receive' them, braced in dense close-order formation. An initial partial breakthrough by the Germans was contained, and the combat devolved into another slog of attrition.


Unfortunately for the Romans, this left the German foederati, newly emerged from the woods on the Roman flank, to swing into the rear area of the Roman advance. A surprise ambush by some fanatics hidden amongst the foederati, destroyed the already weakened blocking Roman cavalry and sealed the Roman escape route (back to their own table edge).

The game ended here without a definitive result, but the Romans were far short of their objective, had a crashing force morale, and were surrounded. I think at that point, most of the Romans would rather be somewhere else!


It was fun to MC, I hope the guys enjoyed it and maybe got a better appreciation for the potential of Infamy, Infamy!

Patrols in the Sudan

Darren provided all the resources and acted as umpire for this game in which Bob played the role of the British commander and Keith controlled the Dervish infantry. Fortunately, Darren was able to procure a copy of the Dark Continent Times (Victorian era) which gives a full account of this bloody encounter and which you can read here. Thanks Darren.

Sword and Spear

This was the first time this year that these Ancient rules have been in used in a game. This one was between Andy GPT and Harry and I suspect that some of Andy's well known modifications were also in play. Unfortunately, I cannot provide information on the outcome of the contest but I will happily correct this omission if one of the protagonists shares the details.

To The Strongest

My grateful thanks to Stuart M for the for the report below. Stuart's opponent for the two battles was Andy W.

A report of the two battles Andy W and I fought yesterday. Two battles were fought between Nikephorian Byzantines and Italo-Normans using the To the Strongest! rules.

 

In the first battle, the Normans set up with two strong Knight commands (supported by Sicilian mercenary spearmen) either side of some spearmen. The Byzantines had two cavalry/light horse commands either side of their Skoutatoi, Varangian guards and light infantry javelinmen. The Byzantines came forward cautiously and were then charged by the Norman knights. In the initial charge the Byzantines stood their ground and actually destroyed one unit of knights. The Byzantine bow-armed cavalry then refused to engage where possible and used their bows against the knights, defeating more. The Italian spearmen had not advanced and this gave the opportunity for some Skoutatoi to start flanking the Norman right and this started to roll up this side. On the other flank the Varangian guard moved forward against the Sicilian mercenaries. However, despite being “deep, veteran, extra 2HCW” etc, they were quickly defeated and destroyed. However, their advance permitted the javelinmen to flank some Norman knights and somehow single- handedly destroy them (they then went onto to do the same to the Sicilians who defeated the Varangians). This let the Nikephorian cavalry to now charge the flank of more Knights and this led to the collapse of the Norman army.

 

In the second battle the Byzantines set up with the infantry on one flank and the cavalry in the centre and the left. The Italo-Normans set up the infantry in the centre and the knights concentrated very deep on their right. The Byzantines came on very quickly to compress the Norman knights and stop them spreading out whilst the infantry slowly started a flanking manoeuvre. The Norman knights charged the advancing Nikephorian cavalry and were luckier this time creating some gaps. However, the Nikephorian tactic of standing back and shooting was having a telling effect on the Normans. Also, the recurring theme of using elite troops with extra advantages has the same result as in the first game as a Norman knight and general were destroyed charging some second line Byzantine cavalry. This led to one Norman command being demoralised. However, the gap that did appear in the Byzantine line did enable one Italo-Norman knight unit, led by their general to get through a gap, push some light cavalry out of the way and let some spearmen flank attack some veteran Skoutatoi who had a general with them. The Skouatoi survived but the general did not. Also, the gap in front of the Norman knights was directly in front of the undefended camp and thinking of booty (and victory points) they went off down the board towards the camp. The Byzantines couldn’t intercept the rampaging knights and despite some desperate Byzantine attacks which almost broke the Normans, the loss of their camp was enough to demoralise the whole Byzantine army.

 

Any lessons? Sending in elite crack units with every possible advantage against less capable troops is a guaranteed means of losing them!

Club Sunday 24th March 2024

Another Sunday in which seven games were played and sixteen gamers took part in the action. Wyn and Dewi dropped in to say hello and and observe what was going on. My thanks to all who contributed to the reports below.

Chain of Command - Eastern Front

This 28mm game saw a welcome return to the club by Andy Sh who, with the help of Bryan, took command of a Russian platoon whose task was to assault a German defensive position and drive the enemy from the field.  Graham was in charge of the German troops and Neil W was his assistant. Andy chose an extra squad, a BA24 armoured car and a T34/76 as his support options, Graham also picked an additional squad (green troops) together with some minefields and barbed wire defences. 

The Russians made their main effort on the right flank, deploying two squads with support from the armoured car and the tank. Graham suffered from a succession of poor dice rolls (we've all been there), resulting in heavy losses among officers and other ranks, which rapidly reduced his force morale to a dangerously low level. He made strenuous efforts to reposition his resources to meet the threats but ran out of time before this could be accomplished. So the Russians achieved a comprehensive victory.

Impetus

I am grateful to both Harry and Neil C for their views on this 15mm game in which Harry led the Athenians and Neil the Persians: 

From Harry: - First time playing for Neil,  first time in two or three years for me and it's a quite an intricate ruleset, so really a practice game (and indeed we did make a couple of large errors in rules interpretation). The game involved a prolonged shooting phase before the lines got to grips, and surprisingly the Greeks probably had the better of it, with their scruffy little light horse units routing my Parthian horse archers on one wing and my feared Persian cavalry on the other (which included my commander). My immortals in the centre wasted the day loosing off arrows against a solitary unit of Cretan bow skirmishers - eventually routing them but it took all day.


When the slow moving Hoplites did manage to get into contact they routed my right wing (the same one that had lost its commander). On my left they only just managed to get into contact by the end of the day, having taken heavy losses thanks to our over generous interpretation of the rules for shooting at chargers. In the centre there was too much terrain for the Hoplites to make any progress and I duly spent the day skulking behind it and using Neil's skirmishers for target practice.


We were both impressed by the rules and hope to play some more games in the near future.


From Neil: - Super rules - some real depth to them and a very balanced and nuanced game. I think once we have got to grips with the “overwatch” concepts and counter charges and defensive fire they will bed down as a good solid set.  Damage can vary which adds risk. The delta between their circumstances/“critical number” and a cohesion role can produce different results so it’s not boring attrition but contact but a bit more exciting.  Skirmishers and lights are modelled well. They do just disperse when contacted by heavies. Different weapons are modelled well - having longer ranges but the effectiveness drops off considerably - point blank javelins or slingshot can be withering. 


Command and control is quite balanced - there is not the whole wing bogs down on an an unlucky card effect of To the Strongest - rather initiative is important and the order that wings get to move but everyone moves. You can double move etc and do more but at the risk of disruption to a unit rather than non-movement if other units in the same command so it is a good puzzle but less “gamey” and more simulation.


I am quite taken with them and we had a good 4 hours which shot past - very engaging. Thanks to Harry and thanks to Nick for the figure lend to allow us to play a grand battle.

Irregular Wars - Conquistadors

An encore for the game that was played at Holt Heath earlier in the month, Ross once again supplied the figures and scenery for a New World encounter between the Spanish and the Incas using the 'Conflict at the World's End' rules. This time his opponent was Billy. I think they managed to get two games played during the afternoon and that honours were even at the end but I am unable to confirm or deny this assertion.

Chain of Command - Home Front

Thanks to Pete and Andy J for their contributions below. 

From Pete: - Today, Andy and I played the first scenario from the Chain of Command 'Home Front' mini campaign, in which the LDV (Local Defence Volunteers) tried to stop the Wehrmacht advance.

The the local cricket team made up almost half of the platoon, supported by farm workers and their wives. Just stopping an advance might seem a simple task, but it proved well beyond the LDV who, despite inflicting some casualties including the mortar team, and petrol bombing the armoured car, took significant casualties themselves.

Whether they will be capable of regrouping enough to play any further part in the campaign remains to be seen.

From Andy: - The Germans had it easy today but I think there’s trouble ahead. The next game looks far harder for the Wehrmacht.

Saga

This game was a fine looking medieval clash in 28mm featuring the figures of Andy GPT and Andy P, who was making his first appearance at the club (welcome Andy, we hope there will be many more). I am afraid that the information I have on this game is very scanty although I remember that Andy P ruefully admitted to me that things had not gone as well as he hoped. Further information would be deeply appreciated.

Strength and Honour

My thanks to Dan for the following report. Dan was playing Andy W using his collection of 28mm 'flats'.

We managed to get two games in of Strength and Honour on Sunday. The battle was Vercellae part of the Cimbrian war 101BC (aka Raudine Plain)


The king of the Cimbri, Boioix, has invaded northern Italy and Marius has come to help his consular colleague Catalus who had been withdrawing from the Cimbrians. The two armies met of a dusty plain  Due to this dust the Roman army, normally well disciplined with their movement, aren't allowed to move at the speed they want and move the full distance rolled on the dice, so their battle line can be broken. This is how the Cimbrian warbands operate normally.


The first battle saw me (the Cimbri) take on Andrew (the Romans). I placed my elite and veteran warbands on my right wing and my cavalry on my left wing with my regular warbands in the centre. The Romans had their cavalry facing mine but their better legions in the centre and raw legions on either flank. On my left my cavalry became stuck in combat with the Roman cavalry who had the better of the fighting, pushing my cavalry back. But it was my infantry being able to break the Roman raw legions causing enough morale cards to force them over their break break point to win the first game.


For the second battle we swapped sides. This time I placed my Roman cavalry on my left flank next to my better Legions, my raw legions on my right flank and I was going to try and avoid combat with them. The Cimbri matched me with their better warbands on their right flank facing my better legions. These better troops would remain in battle for the majority of the game and it wasn't until my raw legions rode their luck and were able to rout some normal warbands that the Romans could claim victory as the Cimbri morale cards accumulated.


So it was one victory each for the Cimbri and Romans, showing that the battle could certainly go either way.

Warhammer 40K v. IV

I am much obliged to Ewan for his description of the action. His opponent was Jon and the scale was 28mm.

The Eldar and Space Wolves met again for a bitterly contested struggle in a 'countryside' setting including some iconic jungle terrain and ruined church from the early 2000s.  Although significant differences in both army lists since last time, the results were similar.  The Space Wolves lost most of a Grey Hunter squad and all three of their bikes, in exchange for nearly all of the Eldar disappearing!  

There was, however, a nail-biting climax as the Striking Scorpions holding the church objective decided their best option was an aggressive defence.  The six Scorpions charged the fifteen strong Bloodclaw pack and killed all but three of them until finally the Exarch succumbed under a rain of blows!  For the rest of our lives among the 40K-IV die-hards, the big question remains: was it worth it for the Exarch to strike last with a powerfist? 

Club Sunday 3rd March 2024

We had twenty-two players indulging in seven games at Holt on another very active Sunday afternoon. Please read on for more details.

Kings of War

My thanks to Dave K for his description of the second KoW campaign battle in 28mm.

Kings of War - Battle of the Southern Plains


Maurice, Darren, Russ, and I met at Holt for our biggest game yet at 2300 points in the second battle of Maurice’s campaign. Russ fielded (and I advised) an all-Halfling army that added an Iron Beast and hordes of Spearspikes and Juggers to the usual crew of Poachers, aerial troops and heroes. Maurice left his artillery behind in favour of his Steam Tank (that used the stats from the Dwarven Golloch’s Fury) while Darren fielded flying Carrion and the Soul Snare for the first time in his allied contingent (obviously to replace the losses the Rhordians had suffered in our previous game). 


Highlights of the battle were the murderous shooting of the Poachers on the Halfling left and the devastating charges of the Jugger Knights on their right. From the other side of the table, there were cheers for the incredible durability of the Mummies, Skeleton troops and Arquebusiers in the face of heavy attacks, the frightening magic of the Soul Snare and the grand exploits of the Steam Tank that shot bits off several Halfling units before crushing a regiment of Spearspikes with nary a scrape to its armour. 

It was an absorbing, brutal, hard-fought game that ended in a winning draw for the Halfling defenders. They have blunted the initial Rhordian thrusts from the north, and now the south, towards their capital. We will now take a break from the campaign for a couple of months before the story continues. 

Infamy! Infamy!

I am deeply grateful to Daniel M for the following account of this 28mm battle: -

Romans and Celts bumbling through the glade...Harry and I had an entertaining exploration of Infamy! Infamy!

Three war bands of Celts deployed early onto the table. Their hapless leader failed to generate any fervour and they sat out the entire game on the side lines. Opposing them a small but potent force of Romans. Having missed their target entirely with their first volley the Roman archers managed to kill five of the six Celtic slingers with their second shot. The supporting Auxiliaries got swiftly drawn out of the game chasing some marauding mounted skirmishes to their left flank and took no farther part in the battle.

On their right a squad of Romans got over excited and charged into the hills in an attempt to reach the slovenly Celtic warbands. This left their flank exposed to an ambush by two elite units of Celts who promptly routed them and the force C-in-C. Finding themselves exposed in the middle of the Roman ranks, the Celtic Nobles then ploughed into a second unit of Romans before they could reorganise. The Romans were subsequently pushed back with heavy casualties. Finally without any fervour the slovenly Celtic warbands began to amble forward threatening the last stranded group of legionnaires. Deciding the game was up the Romans  called it a day leaving the Celts to feast on  warm beer and roast boar in peace.

A good game with some extreme positive and negative dice roles on both sides that could have taken the game either way and which demonstrated that two complete novices can play a swift game of Infamy! Infamy!

WWII Bomber Command 

John F produced the following after action report of this intriguing little game, for which many thanks.

I used a set of rules first published in Miniature Wargames back in 1997 which utilises a card-driven system for individual aircraft on bombing missions over various parts of Western Europe. The idea of Sunday's game was to scale-up the system to take squadrons of Lancasters on similar missions.


Nick took one squadron (16 aircraft) and John a second squadron (19 aircraft). They fly across 6 'zones' towards their target. These include North Sea, Enemy Coast, Holland, North Germany, etc.  They need to negotiate various potential hazards such as flak, enemy fighters, mid-air collisions and navigational errors. On the return flight they face similar problems, together with possibly running short of fuel and having to ditch.


After our first 'op' we had lost 8 aircraft out of 36. There were similar losses on the second 'op'. Crews were expected to fly 2 lots of 30 missions each, before they were stood down. No wonder only 10% of aircrews completed their tours.

Graham's WWII Rules

This was the second appearance of Graham's prototype WWII battalion sized rules, the first was at the end of last year. Graham supplied all the 10mm figures and vehicles and acted as referee while Bryan took control of the attacking British force and Neil W was in charge of the defending Germans. The scenario took place in the Western Desert with Axis troops well dug in and protected by a minefield but the British had a 2:1 advantage in material and men. 

The Brits concentrated their efforts on the German left flank, using combined arms and fire support to blast through the German defences. The defending commander rapidly switched resources form the German right to repel the assault but sheer weight of numbers, combined with some accurate anti-tank fire, proved too much and the British were able to force their opponents to withdraw. 

The rules Graham has designed are loosely based on 'Spearhead' and make full  use of blinds, spotting, active and dummy minefields and a simple command and control mechanism. A single D20 is all that is required and both participants soon got the hang of the rules and agreed that they gave an enjoyable game. I think that there are one or two small tweaks that Graham would like to make but I am hoping that he will be placing his rules on this site in the very near future.

Irregular Wars Conquistadors

My thanks to Bob for submitting the photograph that accompanies this report.

Ross provided all the resources for this sixteenth century action situated in the New World. The other players involved were Bob, Neil C and Pete. The setting was the Spanish conquest of the Inca nation and the rules in use were Irregular Wars 'Conflict at the World's End' which is intended as a fast play set for small actions, and is driven by chance cards. Ross was hopeful that more than one battle could be fought in the course of the afternoon but as this was the first try-out of the rules I am not sure if this objective was achieved. However, the reports I received on the day indicated that the superior technology and organisation of the Conquistadors had been too much for the indigenous population to withstand. 

Team Yankee

Thanks to Andy S for the report below and also to Stuart S for the photographs. The scale was 15mm.

I laid on a game of Team Yankee taking first contact encounter straight from the novel.


Stu as American was holding a wooded hill with an open plain with a small farm and village to his front. A cavalry formation of M3 Bradleys were retreating through Stu’s lines when the recon vanguard came through. Stu killed the recon vanguard off in quick order. Then the motor rifle battalion turned up and the Bradleys were no more !!


Stu kept his armour in ambush. Then, as Daniel S and Mike's GSFG tanks advanced, he opened fire with fairly devastating effect. Daniel's SU25 Frogfoots turned up and killed two Abrams tanks with good shooting (and dice). Then his artillery put a barrage on three Abrams tanks.  A poor defence roll vs the top armour killed off two more Abrams tanks. 

Daniel pushed some of the armour into the village which really hamstrung the armour for lack of targets and rear armour wasn’t good and resulted in more casualties. Then Stu moved his armour of the hill to sweep before him with mixed results. The artillery in the woods took some effective fire on the rear of Stu’s T72s.  At that, the GSFG forces called time as they were spent. Captain Surridge was facing court martial but, like Uncle Albert,  there was a war on 


A fun Game with a few notes to take -


Artillery on top armour with a chance of success of defeating it.

Tanks entering built up areas and floundering.

Warsaw Pact using artillery on table which in some formations was doctrine typically used to defeat ATGM teams.


What I definitely don’t like in Team Yankee is the command distances from each other which needs scaling up - it ends up in car park wars and the scale which I can live with. After playing Challenger (by Tabletop Games) back in the 80s it’s all a balance of rules over playability. I must admit there’s plenty of other rules out there to try out - I will one day.

Sharp Practice

This was a very nice looking game in 28mm scale and featured a small action in the French and Indian war of the mid seventeenth century. The participants were Paul B, mark and Henrik and the well-known Lardies' rules were in play once again. I believe that all the figures were supplied by Henrik from his own collection and they looked superb. Regrettably, I am unable to provide details of the course of the game itself or who the winners were.

Club Sunday 18th February 2024

There were twenty-three gamers involved in seven games on this day at St Ambrose. Wyn and Dave B dropped in to say hello but did not take part in any of the battles. We also welcomed Bob and Jon to the club for the first time and hope to see more of them on future club days.

Warhammer 40K 4th Edition

It's been a long time but, at last, this famous set of rules has made an appearance at the club. Ewan and Jon (making his first visit to the club) laid on a very impressive looking scenario set in a mixture of  ruined concrete structures and jungle. Ewan has very kindly produced a detailed account of the action which deserves its own page on the site, so please enjoy it here

CoCking Up the Mud and the Blood

More 28mm First World War action with a set of Lardies' rules but this time it was the modifications to the standard Chain of Command WW2 set, detailed in the "Play the Game" supplement to the Mud and the Blood rules, that were in play. Gordon (who kindly supplied all the kit) and Charles commanded an attacking Russian platoon with generous support (including an armoured car) against an Austrian force, led by Bryan and Neil W, who were occupying a trench.

In the opening moves a Russian squad was broken by intense fire from the trench but the armoured car, firing machine guns from two turrets, started to inflict heavy casualties on the Austrians. Then, in a bold stroke, a Russian squad assaulted enemy troops in trees to the right of the trench and scored a remarkable success in the ensuing close combat. More Russian squads then deployed in the same location and began to rake the trench with fire. When the Russian commanders introduced another MMG to the centre of the table, the Austrian leaders decided they could no longer hold the position and their troops made a swift exit.

Pike and Shotte

An excellent display of 28mm English Civil War figures was the outstanding feature of this seventeenth century encounter, all from the fair hand of Keith. The Pike and Shotte rules are on offshoot of the well known Black Powder set developed by Warlord games but, to the best of my knowledge, have not appeared at the club for several years. Including Keith, the participants in the game were Billy, Jon P and Nick. Unfortunately, I have no information on the course of the battle.

Saga Medieval

Daniel and Howard played a couple of games using these popular medieval skirmish rules during the course of the afternoon with a fine collection of 28mm figures and terrain on the table. I would like to think that after the two contests honours were even but this assumption has not been verified.

To the Strongest (1)

Thanks to Harry for the report that follows: -

Myself, Dave K and Darren W fought a game of TtS Wars of the Roses, in 28mm. This was a practice run for the participation game we will be running at Hammerhead, recreating the battle of Tewkesbury. Being a practice run it was fought on an open board, free of terrain and was mainly an opportunity to familiarise ourselves with the rules, the unit types and to throw some ideas around.


Anyway the Yorkists were soundly beaten, despite some minor successes early on from their artillery, in which the Lancastrians were entirely lacking. Once the lines started to close the heavy armour of the Yorkist men at arms was slowly but surely picked apart by the Lancastrian longbows and billmen (bills causing a minus factor on saving throws). The Yorkists also suffered a series of failed activation rolls, in contrast to the historical battle where it was certain Lancastrian commanders who were slow to get moving!


The one element we did include from the historical battle was the arrival of the Yorkist cavalry ambush, timed to arrive 1.5 hours into the game. However, by that point the Yorkists were too far gone for it to make any difference.

To the Strongest (2)

The second game of To the Strongest was fought between Andy W and Neil C. This 15mm tussle featured Carthaginian and Seleucid armies from Andy's own collection fighting on a suitably parched and barren Middle-Eastern type surface. The battle was the usual closely fought affair but Neil seemed to be resigned to defeat when I spoke to him near close of play. It is, of course, perfectly possible that a late master stroke reversed his fortunes but I am unable to comment on the likelihood of this occurence.

A Very British Civil War

I am grateful to Stuart S for the photograph and the description of the battle. Also taking part were John F, Pete, Andy J, Andy S and Bob. The scale was 28mm and the rules were a combination of Bolt Action and Chain of Command.

The battle for Portefields Farm and a return to  1938 Worcester with a Very British Civil War. The Severn Riverside Wharf Labours Federation SRWLF attempt to stop a BUF flying column from entering the city down the Tolladine Road. The good people of the Tolladine Militia came out from their newly built council homes to help throw back the men in black. 

Nice to get the collection back in the table Peter James supplied the BUF black shorts with a fine array of armour…

I forgot the SRWLF appeared in the source book so nice to get them back on the table.

Club Sunday 4th February 2024

Another busy Sunday at Holt with seven games occupying the attentions of twenty-one gamers. It was good to see Russ play his first game at the club and we hope it will be followed by many more.

Bolt Action - Operation Compass

This 28mm contest was a "dry run" of the display game the club will be exhibiting at the West Midlands Military Show (Alumwell) in March. Andy S, Keith, Howard, Daniel and Stuart S took part in a 28mm recreation of Operation Compass, the successful British assault on Italian forces defending Libya and Cyrenaica which took place in late 1940, early 1941. The rules are basically Bolt Action but with a twist of Chain of Command thrown in. The game looked great and I'm sure the lads are going to do us proud at Aldersley Leisure Village next month.

Kings of War

My thanks to Dave K for his usual colourful account of the action.

Kings of War -  The Battle of Ferchester


This Sunday we kicked off the first battle of Maurice's campaign, a meeting engagement on the north eastern border of the Shire between the forces of Hetronburg under Duke Maximilian Weiss and the Shire troops of Aeron Cadwallader. We fielded slightly larger armies at 1750 points. The Kingdoms of Men army commanded by Maurice and Darren was a fair spread of Knights on their right, Pistoleers and Halberdiers to the left, Royal Guard heavy infantry, Arquebusiers and artillery in the centre. Russ provided the Halflings this time with his superbly painted army that had several types of units that have never been seen at the club. In addition to Braves, a Harvester, Aeronauts and an Engineer in our centre, we also had Poacher light archers, Forest Troll Gunners and Jugger knights on our right in wooded terrain while the new mounted Rifles and gastromantic Spearspikes formation, backed up by some Ej Grenadiers and winged Captain holding a hill to our left opposite the main force of Knights.

The Halflings dashed forward trying to pick off the enemy artillery but with little success. Likewise, the Pistoleers cantered through the woods & loosed off a desultory volley at the Juggers at extreme range. The Knights held back so the Rifles started taking pot shots at them. Finally, the cannon showed everyone how to shoot properly and the Pistoleers spotted the Poachers' open flank and charged in. Fortunately for the Halflings, the Poachers just held on and the next turn the Pistoleers were smashed by Trolls, Juggers and a Halfling Captain. In the centre, the Harvester destroyed a unit of Guardsmen with a flank charge and the Aeronauts slammed into the flank of some Knights, but only wavered them.

 On our left, the Captain and Ej Grenadiers skipped over the advancing Knights while the Rifles foolhardily charged both them and the Arquebusiers. Predictably the Rifles failed to waver their opponents and they paid for it against the knights but managed to hold against the Arquebusiers. The Duke's artillery lit up the skies and absolutely shredded the Aeronauts. Fortunately the Harvester survived a tough test to keep the Halfling centre hanging by a thread while both flanks were getting decidedly interesting. 

At this point Maurice had to leave, but we had had a fine game. It was a pleasure having Russ join us with his fine new army and I look forward to next month when we up the points to 2300 a side. 

Skirmish at Semiah - Patrols in the Sudan

Darren provided all the figures and equipment for this scenario which represented a little-known incident in the Mahdist War at the end of the nineteenth century. Tom D was his opponent. Darren has produced a nineteenth century version of that well known organ of repute, the Dark Continent Times, in which a full account of this short but brutal engagement is given and you can read it here. 

Twilight of the Sun King -  Great Northern War

Nick produced the following report for which many thanks.

This time Andy W (Russians) and Stuart M (Swedes) fought the 'what if' battle of Horki in 1708. While this battle never happened in reality it could very easily have been fought. The Swedes had invaded Russia and driven them back. The Russians then took up a 'last stand' defensive position ay Horki to defend the approaches to Moscow. The Swedes were close by but were running short of supplies, they were expecting a supply train to arrive. So in reality they waited for these to arrive and then moved south when they did not come. But at the time it was argued that a victory at Horki could bring access to Moscow and maybe even win the war. So the battle used the actual Russian army and positions at the time being attacked by the nearby Swedish army at that time.


The very outnumbered Swedes formed in 3 isolated groups. Infantry in the centre and two strong cavalry forces attacking each of the Russian flanks. The Russians had a similar set up but were a continuous line in defensive position and there were lots of them. On the Swedish left the cavalry attack there went well. Their units were individually better than the Russians and while the Russians had more units they couldn't use them because of the terrain. Here the Swedes made steady progress and would secure victory. On the other flank the Swedes were also enjoying some success but it was flawed. Using a gap in the line the Russian light horse broke through and caused havoc. The light horse and the intervention of some of the Russian infantry meant the Swedes progress was limited and the issue was still in doubt. Meanwhile the Swedish infantry in the centre advanced cautiously and then the Russian light horse from their right intervened. This brought confusion as the Swedish foot tried to counter the light horse. Then the waiting Russian infantry abandoned their defensive position and moved to the attack. Under heavy artillery fire and attacked from all sides by Russian light horse and infantry the Swedish infantry was doomed.


We had to finish before a final result but the game was close and could have gone either way. I think we will do it again sometime to see if what could happen. 

Through the Mud and the Blood

This was a second run of the WWI Lardies' rules that made their debut at the club last month. Once again Gordon provided all the resources for this 28mm scenario and also commanded the Austrian forces. Neil W and Charles were jointly in charge of the Russian troops. At the start of the game the Russians were in occupation of a trench and their task was to leave the protective cover and get to the opposite table edge. The Austrians, originally deployed in a line of trees were expected to repel the anticipated attack and then take possession of the vacated trench. 

The Russians immediately deployed two squads in the trench and began to exchange fire with enemy troops appearing through the trees. 'Blinds' were then moved forward by the Russian commanders but were soon spotted and the units were forced to deploy in the open, resulting in heavy losses, and driving them back into the trench. From there the Russians began to pour fire onto the Austrians in the trees who were also very wary of moving forward into the assault. The superior Russian numbers began to tell and the Austrian squads suffered heavy shock and casualties. The Austrian commander indicated that he would withdraw, but as neither side had achieved their objectives, the result was indecisive.

Saga/To the Strongest

I must express my gratitude to Harry for submitting his description of the two games played during the afternoon.

Late Romans: Andras

Saxons: Harry


Myself and Andras played an innovative mini - campaign consisting of a game of SAGA followed by To the Strongest, with the winner of the first game allowed to draw a random strategy card for the second.


The SAGA game consisted of a quicksilver Saxon raid on a Roman supply depot.  Roman defensive drill was no match for the ferocity of the Saxon battleboard and the guard detail was quickly swept off its objective, having taken heavy losses. However, it turns out that this raid was merely a diversionary tactic by the wily Saxon commander, who had used the confusion to insert an assassin into the Roman camp (the strategy card I drew enabled me to attempt to assassinate the Roman governor)


For the main battle the by now thoroughly intimidated Romans were bottled up by the Saxons in a grim rough, rocky, and marshy terrain.  However their confidence grew as the onrushing Saxon hordes started tumbling before volleys of arrows loosed by Roman rear rank archers, and were badly battered by the time they reached the Roman lines. The Saxons were also entirely deficient in cavalry, leaving them defenceless against a flanking manoeuvre.  Luckily for them, however, the Roman cavalry had witnessed the earlier destruction of the guard detail and were understandably slow to move from their starting position.

No conclusion had therefore been reached by the time darkness fell, and both sides withdrew.


The Roman governor survived to enjoy his dinner, having raced around the battlefield too much for the assassin to get close to him, although minus the vintage wine he usually took with it.


Thanks to Andras for a great pair of games.

Barons' War

Andy J is the author of the following account and I thank him for his efforts.

Pete and I played again but with 750 points instead of 500.  Norman the Norman brought some axe men to the table with some reorganised foot and Harold Hairy Breeks brought 2 extra units of cheap Bondi Archers, each with a junior leader.  Once again the mounted Milites lured the berserkers forward and fought an unopposed round of melee, but now they had learnt to "regroup" after the melee, moving back out of the berserkers charge range. This was bad news for the berserkers but the Vikings used their extra command options to shoot 2 rounds of archery rather than the normal 1 and the Normans suffered considerable attrition and finally folded due to the losses inflicted. At this point Harold once again led his forces off the rear of the table rather than chasing the few remaining Normans, having thrown another 2 for morale followed by a 1 when he stopped to think again.  There must be a really good beerhall behind my table edge!

The game was again slowed by deliberations over the rules but we're getting there. Pete seemed to throw better morale dice than me but my shooting dice were better than his. This meant that the Norman units survived 1or 2 rounds of shooting but eventually suffered too much attrition. There wasn't much hand to hand combat this time so it was a very different game.  I need to recheck my maths as I'm wondering if my force had more leadership than allowed - I don't know if I can actually come up with a legal 1000 point Viking force, 750 might be about as big as vikings get given the constraints on "abilities" and "command groups" 

Club Sunday 21st January 2024

Thirteen gamers took part in four games at our first Sunday of the year at St Ambrose. Please read on for accounts of the action: -

Operation Mercury - Crete 1944

Andy produced the following battle report and Stuart S the picture. Thanks chaps.

John F laid on another classic - the Axis airborne invasion of Crete. Billy and Andy S took charge of the defenders, a mix of British Greek and civilian defenders of mixed numbers and quality. Stu S and Dan S led the invaders who were very lightly armed and whose dotted deployment gave them a tactical complication. John was the umpire. The scenario being played was that the airfield was crawling with Germans and the allies had to effectively evict them as a matter of urgency and take the airfield back  and to deny yet more German reinforcements arriving.


The engagement kicked off with small unit firefights all over the place. The allies eventually were being out reinforced by the Germans and by the game end the writing was on the wall for the defenders.


As usual' John produced an amazing table with well painted  miniatures and model DFS 230 gliders as well. Rapid fire rules were in use and these are ideal for big table battles. So, all in all, well done to John.

Twilight of the Emperor Napoleonic - the Battle of Talavera

There is not much I can tell you about this game, unfortunately, as no photographs were taken and no after-action report written (the illustration is from an 1812 Napoleonic game played at the end of 2023). What I can say is that the game was another try-out of Nick's latest set of Twilight rules, Gordon, Bryan, Charles and Nick were the participants and the scenario was a recreation of the hard-fought Peninsular War battle of Talavera in July 1809. If further information becomes available, I will share it with you.

To The Strongest

I must express my gratitude to Harry for providing both the text and the accompanying photograph. The figure scale was 15mm.

This game featured Gauls, led by Harry versus Polybian Romans, commanded by Chas.

On the flanks Harry's barbarian light chariots barely rose to the level of a nuisance against Chas' Roman and Italian cavalry, while in the centre the infantry didn't really get to grips, both having to manoeuvre around a tricky marsh. However, the Gauls had the best of what clashes did take place.

The game didn't really reach a conclusion.

Barons' War

My thanks to Andy J for the words and to Pete for the photographs.

Pete (Norman the Norman) and I (Harold Hairybreeks) played our first game of "Baron's War" rules. We used 500 points so the Normans had 3 units of foot and unit of horse and a mobile C in C. The Vikings had a unit of Berserkers, a unit of "Hirdmen" (Huscarls) with the C in C and Raven banner, and a unit of bow. The table was fairly cluttered - it is a skirmish game - but most of the action took place around an enclosure in the centre of the table.


The Berserkers are obliged to move towards the nearest enemy so Pete cunningly lured them forward and charged his mounted milites at them. The milites fought a round of unopposed combat but only killed 1 Viking - the next turn saw the berserkers rout the milites as although they only won the melee 3 casualties to 2, that's 60% on the knights but only 25% on the Vikings. In the centre the Hirdmen beat off some foot Milites who routed, mainly due to poor dice throw.  In the next round the Berserkers charged and routed Norman the Norman and the Hirdmen and the archers combined to leave the second foot milite unit very unhappy. So this looks like a walk over for the Vikings but after 2 rounds of melee the Hirdmen took a morale test and threw a 2 on a D10 - even with the C in C present that's a fail, so the Vikings stopped to regroup and the Normans skulked away to recover, rather than being persued off the table.

What did I think of the rules?  With 500 points the Vikings seemed very constrained by the army list but chatting after the game I had some ideas to work around that, and we're playing 750 points next time. The Berserkers are incredibly lethal and immune to morale tests but a wily opponent could probably learn to deal with them. Although losing your leader or the Raven banner would be bad news, the rules didn't really explain how that might happen and there were a few other moot points during the game. All in all a fun, if short game. We're playing a Holt next time, but I think a "come and play" session at an event would be useful to clarify the rules. Thanks as ever to Pete. 

Club Sunday 7th January 2024

A sound start to the club gaming year at Holt Heath with five games occupying the attention of nineteen members who made it to the hall despite local flooding. Potential new member Russ dropped to have a look around and we hope to see him throwing dice with us in the near future.

Dead Man's Hand

I am grateful to Andy S for the report that follows and to Stuart S for the accompanying photographs. The figure scale was 28mm.

Stuart S and Andy S teamed up and combined Stuart's non-famous Cinderella Gang of cowboys and Andy’s law men led by Walker, Texas Ranger (great great great granddad of Andy S).


In the mostly peaceful town of Sweet Grass, Ugly Billy Bob had a date with the gallows. Pete and Daniel had two mobs of desperados who wanted to free their gang member so proceeded to shoot their way into the town. Daniel got off some cracking dead-eye shots, getting a perfect 20 a few times. Then the good guys got going and then eventually drove Daniel's gang off the table after an extensive shoot out. This left Pete isolated and he was ganged up on quite quickly and so Pete performed. a retreat with his survivors. The gang member was then hanged and had his date with the gallows. 


Dead Man’s Hand, from Great Escape Games, is a nice evocative set of rules driven by the initiative system of using playing cards. Other cards are also used to chrome up or play down the opposition . A gang is made up of roughly six to eight figures, so our whole game had about thirty figures in total on the table.


This was a great game enjoyed by all.

To The Strongest

Andy W and Stuart M got together to fight a 15mm battle (the figures were from Andy's collection) using the 'To The Strongest' rules which are now the most popular set of  Ancient rules in use at the club. The scenario in play was a Carthaginian force against an army from the Seleucid Empire, each consisting of 130 - 160 points according to the army lists. Two battles were fought during the afternoon. Stuart won the first but I am unable to shed light on the outcome of the second battle as they were still fighting it when I departed.

Dave Chubb's Vietnam Game

This game was played in memory of Dave Chubb who passed away in October 2023 and who used to run these games frequently several years ago (for an account of what they were like, please see Dave's tribute page here). The baton has now passed to Ross, who provided all the resources for the game and also acted as umpire. Nick, Neil C and Phil were joined by Chris (aka Fred), an old friend of Dave's who had previously played this game, and they were the US commanders. The rules in use were 'Bodycount' in which the umpire controls all the Vietnamese forces. The game included the usual plethora of recorded messages, sound effects and music from the 1960's and all the players thoroughly entered into the spirit of the game - I spotted Neil C sporting a steel helmet at one point. Unfortunately I am unable to confirm who the winners were but, on reflection, it hardly matters.

Kings of War

Thanks to Dave K for his comprehensive account of the action in this 28mm game: -

Darren brought 1500 points of his Empire of Dust army to the club today so I joined him (makes a change from constantly fighting him) against Maurice & James with their 'shooty' Rhordians - two Volley Guns, a regiment and two troops of Arquebusiers, two regiments of Foot Guard and three regiments of Knights. We had two regiments of Skeleton Spearmen, two troops of Archers, two regiments of Mummies, a regiment of Chariots led by a Pharaoh and High Priest and supported by a Monolith and the Idol of Shobik. The Rhordians deployed in a long gunline bolstered by guardsmen with the knights making up a right flank hammer. We deployed with spears and bows on either flank, the mummies and the monolith in the centre, the chariots in reserve and Shobik on the left, facing the knights.


The Rhordian gun line stayed put while the knights swept down on us. Our archers engaged the volley guns with mixed results before the left flank troop was obliterated by knights. He was avenged by chariots & mummies being surged into those knights. The Rhordian's shooting dice were decidedly sub-par, which hurt them a lot because that was their main chance to make headway against the tough mummies and the generally high nerve and fearless EoD units. The one time it came good was knocking seven wounds off the chariots, but they still got a charge in against a second unit of knights who were held up by the spearmen. Those knights did finish off the mauled chariots, but once again had mummies surging into their flank to break them. On the other flank the EoD infantry weathered the missile fire and started getting stuck into the guardsmen and arquebusiers. With that flank crumbling, on the other Shobik got the better of his knightly opponents and the Rhordians decided the leave the deserts and go back to thumping Halflings. Or bring a Steam Tank next time.


It was an interesting game, seeing the effect of the Surge spell that allowed charges that normally wouldn't succeed as well as Shobik and the Monolith in action. It would be fun to see some other new armies in action. Get painting, chaps._._,_._

Through the Mud and the Blood

One of the few Lardies' games that has not (to the best of my knowledge) yet been played at the club is "Thorough the Mud and the Blood", a simulation of platoon-sized actions in the Great War. This omission was corrected today. Gordon provided all the figures and terrain in this 28mm battle and also acted as umpire. Bryan played the role of the Austrian commander whose troops were defending a trench line while Charles S and Neil W were jointly in charge of a force of attacking Russians. The rules use the familiar Lardie mechanism of drawing cards to initiate actions or events. 

In the game, Charles and Neil deployed their first platoon directly onto the table, advancing through a of line of trees into largely open ground in front of the Austrian positions. The Russian infantry bravely moved forward, inflicting some losses on the well dug in enemy, but as more Austrians arrived in the trench and also brought forward a heavy machine gun, Russian casualties mounted and some sections were forced back. The Russians introduced their support platoon, which included a Maxim MG but when this was lost the Russian commanders threw in the towel.

The umpire chided the Tsarist officers for attacking en masse and failing to use tactical movement and supporting fire. Their reply was that was what they thought Russians did and were only following standard practice.