Club Sunday 11th December 2022
Attendance was lower than expected on our last meeting of the year, mainly due to bad weather and ill health. Nonetheless, thirteen players showed up and enjoyed four games. Here are brief descriptions: -
These Osprey rules, intended to reproduce skirmish warfare in the age of the Samurai, haven't been seen at the club for a while. Dan, Andy J, Pete and Jon P corrected that omission with this nice looking 28mm game. I am grateful to Andy J for the following report: -
This was a 4 player game just to remind everyone how to play as we plan more in January. A group of Samurai / Ashigaru and Peasants (?) with hired Ronin (Pete) were facing Ikko Ikki (Andy J) and Monks (Dan W). The samurai buntai adopted a cautious approach using their missile weapons to snipe at the Ikko Ikki as they and the monks moved forward. The peasants decided to delay a group of monks with a suicidal flank attack whilst the hired Ronin headed for the Ikko Ikki. A melee developed in the middle of the table which saw all of the Ikko Ikki eventually slain, but the death of all the peasants meant that there would be no-one to pay their Ronin who now deserted and headed for the edge of the table. This left the Monks and the Samurai buntai who appeared to have a stalemate in the centre of the table. The monks would easily massacre the buntai in close combat, but would they be cut down by missile fire before they could close? It was too late to find out!
The second set of Osprey rules appearing this Sunday, Dux Bellorum covers the Dark Age period and each base of figures represents up to fifty men. In this game of 28mm figures, Gordon was the commander of a band of Picts while Harry led a force of Late Romans and Allies. The usual blood-stained and action packed encounter followed, I believe it was the Picts that emerged triumphant at the end.
Team Yankee, Europe 1985
My thanks to Andy S for the account below. Andy supplied all the material for this 15mm game and acted as umpire: -
Team Yankee is a by product of Version 4 Flames of War set of Rules. They are IGOUGO rules which are fairly simple set of rules, but there lies the advantage you can lay out lots of gear and still get a game in, the only rub is the size of the table (the bigger the better).
Fire and Fury ACW
An American Civil War 6mm game in which all the resources were supplied by Nick (although he was not taking part in the game) saw Andy W take control of the Union army and Ross assume command of the Confederate force. It was an imaginary scenario, not a historical reconstruction, and the rules were Fire and Fury (the second edition I think for brigade sized actions) but also utilising some in-house "tweaks". In the battle, the Confederacy gradually gained ascendancy and ultimately the Union general surrendered.
Club Sunday 4th December 2022
There were fifteen players involved in five games on this very cold Sunday at Holt. Vlad and son and Peet and partner popped in to say hello and deliver some crucial supplies to Bryan, but did not take part in any games. The usual reports follow: -
Bolt Action 1 - The Eastern Front
In the first of two Bolt Action games played today (this one in 15mm scale) Stuart S and Daniel fought an attack/defend late war scenario on the Eastern Front, the German forces launching a counter offensive in the hope of halting the relentless Soviet advance. Instead of using the standard Bolt Action rules the guys were playing a Blucher-style "hidden dice" mechanism (devised by Stuart) which added more uncertainty into the gameplay. The battle itself was very closely fought, neither side being able to secure a decisive advantage.
Bolt Action 2 - More Eastern Front Action
Andy J provided the following report, for which, many thanks. Andy S provided all the resources for this impressive 28mm game: -
A German convoy was attempting to cross a river past Russian scouts and chased by more Russians. The trucks were outpacing the pursuers until they met the scouts who disabled the first truck which veered off the road. A Russian artillery strike killed some tardy Germans but again slowed the pursuers. Some Germans who were waiting for the convoy sallied out to relieve them and killed two snipers but were unable to stop the scouts from destroying the rest of the convoy - victory to Stalin ( Andy J and Mike). Andy S played the German and laid on the game - many thanks for a great afternoon!
AK47 Reloaded - In The Dark Continent
Darren was the organiser, umpire and supplier of all the material for this latest foray into the troubled interior of the Dark Continent. Bryan and Wyn were the co-leaders of the WASTE faction, chiefly made up of professionals and regulars but possessing no armour, who were up against Charles and Neil W, joint commanders of WUNKERS, a force of regulars and militia but with a few armoured cars to add spice to the proceedings. WASTE were nominally the attackers but the WUNKERS used their armour aggressively and inflicted serious losses on the enemy in the opening moves. However, the professionalism of WASTE began to tell and ultimately WUNKERS were beaten back and suffered a comprehensive defeat.
WWI Naval Action in the North Sea
My thanks to Stuart M for the following account of an imaginary encounter in 1918. Nick and Andy W were also involved, the rules were Stuart's own: -
Part of the Battlecruiser Force and the High Sea's Fleet Scouting Group met in a bruising equal sized encounter in the North Sea using the "Si Vis Pacem" rules. Significant damage was suffered on both sides, with thinly armoured but big gunned British ships taking on the lightly armed but well protected Germans. At the same time there was spirited actions between light forces with the light German vessels coming off worse, especially against the large V class destroyers. In the end, despite heavy damage to Renown, the British got the upper hand, with both Moltke and Seydlitz breaking off to avoid further damage and Von der Tann being left behind to be overwhelmed. Many thanks for the players, who seemed to enjoy themselves, despite having never seen the rules before and the appalling stereotypical accents.
The Battle of Oudenarde 1708 using "Eugene"
Andy GPT and Chris were the protagonists in this refight of the famous battle in the War of the Spanish Succession. Chris took the part of the Duke of Marlborough and Andy that of Prince Eugene using 15mm figures from their own collections. The rules are Andy's adaptations of Sam Mustafa's "Blucher" rules, specifically to cater for the period and the use of hex-based movement (you can find a copy of the modifications here). The result was a repeat of the historical outcome with Britain and her allies emerging triumphant.
Club Sunday 20th November 2022
This Sunday saw our biggest number of attendees (24) and games (7) in 2022. It was good to see Mike make his second visit to the club even though he wasn't involved in a game. Many members contributed to the reports below and if I have inadvertently left anybody uncredited, please accept my apologies: -
Contemptible Little Armies
My thanks to Stuart S for information about the game and the splendid accompanying photograph: -
This 28mm game was organised by John F who also supplied the figures and terrain that created a really impressive display. The other participants were Billy, Jon P and Stuart S. The scenario was a recreation of the Battle of Beersheba, fought on 31st October 1917 between British and Empire troops and the forces of the Ottoman Empire. The game was played using Contemptible Little Armies rules, which have been around for some time though I am not sure which edition was being utilised. In the game itself, the valiant Turks were unable to hold back the 4th Australian Light Horse and so the result was a repeat of the actual historical outcome. However, one of the Turkish commanders was heard muttering that it all could have been different had he been given "a few yards of wire".
In Her Majesty's Name Gothic
I am grateful to Tim for the following preposterous report. The game was run by Maurice and Ross also took part: -
Chain of Command Spanish Civil War
Stephen produced the following completely unbiased account of a game he played against Paul J, for which, many thanks: -
Sunday's SCW battle involved a heroic band of Anarchist militia bravely contesting a village against the evil Fascist forces of the Falange. A promising start for the forces of right and justice had their home made armoured car enter the village and the squad it carried knock out an enemy jump off point. Showing unwonted intelligence, however, the evil Fascists ignored the armoured vehicle and mounted a massed attack on the other side of the battlefield. Despite an appeal to their better nature, given via megaphone, the violence that followed showed that justice and right do not always prevail.
To The Strongest
Once again I must express my gratitude to Harry for the description that follows: -
This was a really excellent game of To The Strongest between my Persians and Dave K's Babylonians.
A "what if?" scenario set in the 1980s when the Cold War suddenly becomes hot. This was a large scale game involving Andy J, Andy W, Andy S, Bryan, Guy and Nick and played in 6mm scale. Thanks to Andy J for submitting the following report: -
Six of us played a game of “Modern Spearhead” with three Russian battle groups attacking three American groups. The Russians pushed a mechanised group forward through the centre and drew the Americans forward. This group was badly beaten up but more Russians advanced (slowly) up the flank and, Hay Presto, more Russian units appeared behind the American flank. I left at this point because it was tea time and all my Russians (in the lead group) were dead.
A contest that made use of one of Sam Mustafa's numerous rule sets, this scenario was a refight of a historical encounter in southern Italy during the Napoleonic War. My thanks to Pete for the account below: -
Gordon and I played the Battle of Maida (1806) using 15mms and Lasalle 2.
In a reversal of the historic result, the British were soundly beaten following a couple of mistakes by the British general (me).
An interesting game, one of a number of small historic battles we are planning to do.
Chain of Command Normandy
The second outing for the Chain of Command rules, this 28mm game saw Wyn and Dave B (the British commanders) take on Charles and Neil W, the German leaders. The objective of the attacking Brits was to capture a trailer, previously lost to the enemy and containing lots of sensitive information, located at the right rear of the German position.
The Wehrmacht infantry rushed forward to occupy terraced houses on their right, hoping to use these as a firm base to repel the advancing Tommys. However, in a brutal combat phase, the Germans were evicted despite having a 3:2 dice advantage. The Brits then set about exploiting their success and gradually got closer to the objective despite suffering significant losses. The final assault took place close to the trailer and the British were able to inflict sufficient casualties and shock to reduce their enemy's force morale down to zero (they only had three points left themselves by the end). A fine, close game which was enjoyed by all involved.
Club Sunday 6th November 2022
Thirteen gamers were involved in playing four games at Holt Heath. We had the pleasure of welcoming three first-time attendees - Mike, Henrik and Stuart M - and hope that they will be joining us for several games in the future. Read on for brief descriptions: -
Eagles of Empire 1864
I am deeply grateful to Stuart M (playing his first game at the club) for the following vivid account: -
Henrik ran a game of “Eagles of Empires” modified for the 1864 2nd Schleswig War (insert Palmerston quote here). It was a meeting engagement between Nick’s Prussians and Stuart M’s Danes, who also had a depleted screen, to capture 3 critical points in a very attractive (albeit ruined!) wintery village.
Patrols in the Sudan
Darren was the organiser of one of his favourite games, Patrols in the Sudan, and he provided all the 25mm figures and terrain features. Darren's opponent for this encounter was John, playing his second game on a club Sunday. The rules cover the period of the Mahdist War, fought in the last decades of the nineteenth century, one player taking the part of a British officer in charge of a patrol, the other the commander of a Dervish force bent on the destruction of the enemy.
Basic Impetus Medieval
Stuart S and Paul B were the protagonists in this impressive 28mm game set during the Wars of the Roses. All the figures came from Paul's collection and they looked very nice indeed. The rules in use were Basic Impetus 2, first published in November 2020 and designed to cover periods ranging from Ancients to Renaissance. It was Stuarts first experience of this particular rule set and, as he put it, he was "interested to see how it plays across the various time periods and whether it can scale up for my Hittites?" I was unable to verify the actual outcome but I trust the game lived up to Stuart's expectations.
Sharp Practice Napoleonic
In this 28mm game, a scenario set somewhere in Germany during 1813, the attacking side had to capture and hold a centrally positioned bridge. Charles and Mike (playing his first ever wargame) were the joint commanders of the Prussian force and Bryan and Wyn were in charge of the French. Neil W was the umpire and the figures came from the collections of Bryan and Neil.
The Prussians chose to attack, moving forward their light troops (Schützen) down the road to storm the bridge. However, the French had a deployment point close to the objective and swiftly introduced an artillery piece to deter an advance by the Prussians over the river. As more and more troops moved forward on both flanks, the contest developed into a long-range musketry duel, neither side being willing to leave cover and engage with close fire or indulge in fisticuffs. Chiefly due to the preponderance of light infantry skirmishers deployed by the French leaders, and the superior firepower they could bring to bear, the Prussian attackers suffered heavy losses and eventually were forced to retire.
Club Sunday 16th October 2022
There were fourteen gamers present at St Ambrose, happily engaged in six games. Please read on for more details: -
Fire and Fury American Civil War
Charles and Wyn were the protagonists in this fine looking 28mm game, utilising Wyn's splendid figures and sectional terrain pieces. The rules in play were Fire and Fury but I forgot to ask whether they were using the regimental or brigade versions. The battle was an imaginary scenario in which which Wyn, commanding the Union forces, was attacking a position held by Charles, the Confederate general. The troops of the North launched a furious assault against their Southern foes which resulted in the rebels losing all their artillery. Ultimately, however, the Union army was unable to take all its objectives, so from a tactical perspective, the outcome was a draw but because the Confederates had suffered such heavy losses, it was deemed that the North had achieved a strategic victory.
Clash of Spears
It was a pleasure to welcome Neil S and Steve, both veterans of the Stourbridge and District Wargames Club, to our venue where they played a 28mm game of Clash of Spears using Greek and Gallic armies. I do not think we have seen this set of rules played on a Sunday before at either Holt or St Ambrose but they are a fairly recent set of ancient rules that allow you to play skirmish games using around thirty figures per side. I hope that both gentlemen had an enjoyable time and that this was the first of many visits.
WW2 Spearhead in the Desert
This was an early Second World War 6mm game fought on a fairly large table (as befits a recreation of tank dominated desert warfare). Billy and Andy W were the joint commanders of the British forces while Ross and Nick were the leaders of the Axis opposition (Italian and German). The venerable Spearhead rules were in use (WW2 version, naturally) which are specifically designed for larger formations. In the game itself both sides sallied forward into contact, the British having early success against the Italian armoured force. However, Ross had prepared a cunning flank march which he executed with aplomb on turn four, hitting most of Billy's advanced armour in the rear. The Axis powers emerged triumphant after heavy casualties on both sides.
Chain of Command Normandy
A 28mm game, set in 1944 and once again using the Lardies' Chain of Command rules. Ian, using figures from his own collection and in charge of a US infantry platoon, was up against Neil W who commanded three squads of Fallschirmjaegers. The battle was an attack/defend scenario in which the Americans were assaulting the German position. One German squad was able to occupy a house and inflict serious damage against opposing infantry but, as Ian introduced additional squads and support in the shape of a 50 Cal MG team, the balance moved in favour of the Yanks. At the end, the Germans had suffered more losses but the Americans had weaker force morale, so a technical draw seemed a fair result.
Sword and Spear Medieval
I am indebted to Gareth for the following report of his 28mm game with Harry: -
This was a battle during the early days of October 1066 as the Normans harrowed the southern coastline and local commanders tried to fight off the invaders whilst waiting for the arrival of King Harold and the main army The canny Saxon general knew he needed to stop the Normans being able to use their cavalry to our range and out manoeuvre his largely infantry army. So he trapped them as they emerged from wooded hills on to a plain. Many Norman units were stuck in a bottle neck being unable to bring their forces to bear as his huscarls led the attack and trapped the bulk of the Norman army. A bold Norman commander led 2 units of Norman cavalry out on their left flank where their fast pace and thunderous charges bit deep into the Saxon ranks. On the right and centre the stalwart huscarls held firm for many weary hours of fighting against overwhelming odds. A few Norman units were able to break through and showed the damage they could wreak on open ground. Eventually though the isolated huscarls were destroyed and two valiant commanders died with their men. The Saxons ceded at this point and retreated to await King Harold and reinforcements.
Middle Earth Rampant
Tolkien's imaginary world was the setting for this 28mm game in which Tim was the leader of the forces of good (Elves and Humans) and Pete was in charge of the forces of evil (Orcs, Trolls and other assorted nasties). I am assured that there was no typecasting in the choice of sides. At this point I must admit to a bit of a brain fade as I can't remember if the players were using Lion Rampant or Dragon Rampant as a ruleset - Dragon seems more likely but I am willing to be corrected. The guys managed a couple of games in the afternoon. Tim was unfortunate to lose Aragorn, and the game, in the first encounter (Demise of the King?) but I think honour was restored in the second.
Club Sunday 9th October 2022
There were six games involving sixteen players on a busy Sunday at Holt. We had the pleasure of welcoming a couple of new gamers - Paul B and John - who we hope will be taking part in many more games in the future. Here are the after action reports: -
Bolt Action 1 - WWII Pacific
Thanks to Andy J for the after action report below. Stuart, who provided the pictures, was his opponent: -
So listen up . . . .
The US Marines (Andy J.) were seeking to occupy a village in No Man's Land whilst the Japanese forces (Stuart) probed from the opposite direction. Both sides probed slowly forwards, but when the lead USMC unit reached the village, they overestimated the forces in front of them and panicked (literally - they threw 2x6 on their order test!) and withdraw sharpish to their starting point. This allowed the Japanese to put pressure on the marine's right flank.
A Sherman tank then appeared and drove into the village and was met by 2 light tanks. The low calibre Japanese fire bounced of the American tank, but one of the Japanese tanks soon fell to accurate fire from a USMC 57mm A/T gun (strangely, it looked just like a German PAK 40 A/T gun). As night fell neither side had achieved a breakthrough but some of the units on both sides were looking a bit threadbare and fatigued. (Andy J)
Played using "Bolt Action" - an easy set of rules to learn (it was my first game) and quick to play, but with a few glitches - like most rules.
Bolt Action 2 - Early WWII
The pictures and report for this game were kindly produced by Andy S: -
Thank you Pete for the images and brief account of the action: -
More Lasalle 2 at the club today. A mixed Prussian and Swedish force held off a small French Corps. It ended with a wining draw to the Allies, who had lost more troops but were holding the objectives. Than to Dan and Gordon for playing.
The Battle of Koniecpol 1708
I am grateful to Nick for the following account and also for his apologies for not taking any photographs: -
Newcomer Paul B joined Andrew W and Nick to refight the battle of Koniecpol 1708. This battle happened during the Swedish invasion of Russia in the Great Northern War. It was actually a battle between two factions of Poles. Andrew commanded the Poles who were supporting Sweden and where at the time trying to advance into Russia to support the main Swedish army under King Charles XII. Paul took command of their opponents aiming to block this move of Polish supporters of the Russians.
Paul's army had a good defensive position and initially stood on the defnesive, it was also Paul's first time using the rules (Twilight of the Sun king). Andrew started with a general advance of his forces which was responded to by Paul pushing out his light horse on his right to meet the approaching forces. Andrew pressed the attack in the centre and Paul's left but didn't have much space to press the attack. These attacks soon bogged down and attrition started to tell on the attacking forces. Meanwhile on the right Paul was aiming to delay and harass the strongest group of attackers which he successfully did. Paul committed more troops to support the light troops already engaged and halted the pro Swedish advance here. With losses mounting in the centre and on Paul's left he switched to the attack here and broke that wing of the pro Swedish army ending the game.
Nick ran this game as a test of a scenario and it worked well & something like the real battle went.
Sepoys and Soldiers
Stephen provided the photos and text for this report, for which many thanks. The other players were Paul and John: -
This Sunday saw a 28mm battle between the forces of the Mughal Empire and the Maratha Confederacy set in 18th Century India.
Sword and Spear Italian Wars
Thanks to Harry for submitting the text and pictures for this game: -
A very fun debut for my Tudor Army against Andy GPT's French - nice to have something a bit different on the table I must say. The scale was 15mm, the rules were Sword & Spear, adapted for the Italian Wars. The scenario was designed by Andy whereby we each had to capture and hold a village on the opposing side of the board.
Club Sunday 18th September 2022
Six tables in place and fifteen members taking part in a busy day at St. Ambrose. Wyn was in attendance, though not playing and Harry dropped in at the end to administer the last rites to those tables still in play. Short summaries follow: -
Twilight of the Soldier Kings - Seven Years War
In what looks to be the final battle in season one of the Seven Years War campaign that has been in play for a couple of years now, the French Army met the Hanoverians at the town of Bielefeld. The scale was 15mm, the French commander D'Estrees was impersonated by Andy W while Darren wore the breeches of Zastrow, the Hanoverian general. The French had a significant advantage in numbers but the Hanoverian commander was rated superior to his counterpart, which slightly balanced things out. However, the result was a convincing victory for France and came after after a series of previous defeats. At this point I must express my thanks to Andy who was actually fighting this battle on my behalf and made a much better job of it than I ever could.
For a more detailed account of this action, written by the Hanoverian general, please take a look here.
Andy S and Daniel provided the material for this very impressive looking 28mm game, which consisted of excellently painted figures, a very large table and a number of sectional terrain boards. The venerable Hail Caesar! rules were in use for a battle in which a Roman force, jointly commanded by Charles S and Daniel was matched against a Barbarian army under the control of Billy and Andy. Although Billy had, as usual, brought his own dice, his legendary throwing skills deserted him and, on this occasion, the army of Rome proved victorious.
I am grateful to Gareth for the following after-action report: -
Steve, Tim and Gareth played a 3 way game of Lion Rampant set during the pacification of the north in 1070. Steves warband was led by Ulric the Unhinged a Viking who rather than supporting the insurrection against the new Norman overlords has decided to undertake a bit of pillage and plunder. Earl Englebert was Tim’s local Saxon Lord who, in need of some funds, wanted to marry a rich heiress who’d recently lost her father/protector. Gareth’s Norman general Bohemond du Lac was also intent on some plundering as part of the pacification. The lady was soon found taking sanctuary in the village church and a mighty fight broke out to seize her and carry her off. Ulric managed to take her off the Saxons but found his lines dangerously overextended and he was cut off and killed by Englebert and his warriors. Lord Bohemond was unable to prevent the Saxons making good their escape despite his cavalry thundering up the side of the village. Tim won by his rescuing the bride to be for Englebert, Steve burnt down parts of the village in rage and the Normans carried off the golden alter piece from the church for safekeeping
Twilight of the Emperor
My thanks to Nick for the following account: -
Nick and Ross refought the battle of Dennewitz 1813 with Ross taking the French and their allies and Nick having the Prussians. The battle is that rare thing an encounter battle and so the idea was to test the timings of it in the Twilight rules. The battle starts with a Prussian blocking force, a 'Division', on the table and a French Corps moving towards the block. Lots of other units join the battle over time.
The battle started with a raid advance by the French. The Prussians started in a wood and decided to stay there and defend that, rather than push forward and defend the village of Dennewitz and the stream there. In retrospect this was a Prussian mistake. This allowed the French to not only close quickly but also spread to their left, towards where the Prussian reinforcements were soon arriving. As the French massed to attack the initial Prussia force the newly arriving Prussians attempted to press the French force blocking them and thus add their comrades. The French never allowed the arriving Prussians to 'settle' and made short work of the Prussian blocking force.
Meanwhile as more force arrived, for both sides, a more general engagement developed. In these the French always had the advantage gained by their early moves and greater mobility while the Prussians were still trying to build a full battle line. The inevitable consequences of this were mounting Prussian losses in the face of aggressive French tactics. With the frontline Prussian 'divisions' failing their morale it was time for the Prussians to concede defeat.
It was a good game and a useful run through of this scenario. It ended with a deserved victory for the French.
Ian and Andy R got together to play another game of this popular fantasy ruleset. In this 28mm battle, Andy commanded an army of Orcs and Ian led a force of Roman legionaries who had been mysteriously transported to a parallel universe. The scenario was based on the novels of Harry Turtledove (I believe that they are part of the Videssos series of books) which apparently, and equally mysteriously, have sold gazillions of copies. In the contest itself I regret to report that the brutal power of the Orcs overcame the resistance of their human adversaries and Andy was the ultimate winner.
Chain of Command
This game was set in the Soviet Union in the Spring of 1944 and featured the Germans conducting a delaying action on advancing Soviet forces. Dan was in charge of the German platoon, Jon was the Soviet commander and Neil W umpired the game. The Russians had plenty of support options and Jon chose a BA64 armoured car and a T34/76 to bolster his infantry forces. The game itself was a closely fought and highly entertaining affair in which the Soviets made some early progress and inflicted heavy losses on their enemies but then suffered serious setbacks as German resolve stiffened. At the end, both sides had almost exhausted their force morale points and neither side was in a position to achieve a result, so a gentlemanly draw was agreed.
Club Sunday 4th September 2022
Fourteen gamers were in attendance this Sunday and four tables were occupied. Paul popped in to say hello but family duties prevented him from taking part in a game. Here are brief summaries of the action: -
This fine looking 15mm game (all the figures came from the collection of Pete) was a Napoleonic divisional scale battle, fought using Sam Mustafa's Lasalle rules. Knowing how up to date members of the club are, I think it very likely that the second edition of the rules was in use but I am not absolutely sure. Pete and Dave K were the joint commanders of a Russian/Prussian force and Gordon and Daniel M together led a combined French/Confederation of the Rhine army. The action was located in Germany, 1813 and is one of the featured scenarios in the rule book. All the participants were Lasalle 'virgins' so the game was very much an experimental one. However, I gather that the feedback from the players was generally positive.
The 'Age of Vikings' Saga supplement was in evidence for this 28mm game in which father (Andy S) and son (Daniel) played two games during the course of the afternoon. I like to think that honours were even at the end of play. However, this game was particularly notable for the fact that Andy, a past member of the club, was attending again after an absence of many years (I believe that he used to be accompanied by his own father when he first took part in a game) and Daniel for the first time ever. Hopefully, they both enjoyed the experience and will be repeating it many times from now on.
Twilight of the Sun King
I am grateful to Nick for the following information: -
The War of the League of Augsburg (1688 to 1697) was the setting for this 15mm game. Nick was umpiring. Andy W was the Austrian/Allied player and Ross/Neil C the French attacking him.
The French sent a strong cavalry force under Neil to attack the Austrian left wing. This pulled in all the Austrian reserve cavalry and the French cavalry were soon in trouble but put a great resistance and managed to tie down their opponents during the rest of the game. Meanwhile the rest of the French army under Ross moved to attack the rest of the Austrian line. After initial resistance the French punched a hole in the Austrian centre and turned the Austrian right flank. This soon led to command morale tests which quickly lead to 2 of the 4 Commands quitting the field and was followed by the Austrian army failing its army morale test. So the game ended in a decisive French victory but it could have been a lot different if the Austrians had managed to win on their left
Napoleonic Sharp Practice
A game in 28mm (figures from the collections of Bryan and Neil W) saw a detachment of Prussians, commanded by Stuart and Charles S facing a French force under the control of Bryan and Neil. The scenario was the 'rescue mission' described in the Lardies' Sharp Practice rule book and in this game it was the Prussians who were guarding the captive. The French were able to force the Prussian left back to the safety of heavy cover but could make no further progress. French light troops on the Prussian right managed to work their way to the flank to threaten the building holding the prisoner but were not able to secure a decisive advantage. At the end, neither side had achieved their objectives but the Prussians could claim a moral victory by virtue of their superior force morale.
Club Sunday 21st August 2022
It was encouraging to see eighteen members in attendance (our highest number since February) for our St Ambrose get-together. Five games were in play, brief accounts follow: -
Beneath the Lily Banners
My thanks to Stephen for the following report on this great looking 28mm game. He was the Jacobite general while Chas commanded the Swedes: -
The Swedes versus Irish Jacobite game ( the poorly documented Swedish invasion of Ballybunion) saw a fairly elite Swedish force attacking an Irish force that slightly outnumbered them and had the advantage of terrain, being the defenders.
First World War Spearhead
A large scale 6mm engagement on the Eastern Front, courtesy of Ross, this scenario was a recreation of the Battle of Komarov, fought at the beginning of August 1914. Billy and Jon were the generals commanding the Austro-Hungarian corps and Stuart and Andy W jointly led the Russians. Ross, as usual, acted as umpire. The rules were Great War Spearhead but I am unsure as to whether the original or revised version was in use on the day. At the time your correspondent left the result was still in the balance, however, reading Ross's commiserations to Stuart on his woeful dice throwing, I rather think that the Austro-Hungarians had the better of it.
Sword & Spear
A 15mm game in which Harry commanded a Seleucid army and Dan an Imperial Roman force. Thanks to Harry for the following account: -
A convincing Roman win against the Seleucids in our battle, with the Asiatic Cavalry on my left-wing beaten by the Roman Hastati, and my phalanx in the centre surrounded and ground down by a combination of Principes and cavalry.
Tiller & Whipstaff
Andy J provided the following description of the action, for which I am deeply grateful. I think Nick was also involved in the action. The models, by the way, were 1:1200 scale and looked very impressive: -
Pete, Tim and myself played a naval game featuring Danes (Tim), Swedes (Pete) and Dutch ( me) with Tiller and Whipstaff rules. The Swedes we’re trying to reach a port and although they outrun the Danes the Dutch came onto the table edge in front of them and prevented the Swedish flagship from reaching port (mainly due to a collision between 2 Swedish ships). This was less chaotic than previous games - the Dutch arrived a bit spread out owing to a storm, but this was good because they had some room in which to manoeuvre.
Many, many thanks to Gordon for organising and umpiring another great game.
Chain of Command
This was a 28mm Second World War game set in Normandy 1944. Dave B led a platoon of British infantry and Wyn was in charge of a similarly sized German force. Ian And Neil W were providing guidance on the rules and general assistance from the side lines. Both sides were able to select six points of (limited) support to aid their endeavours. The British sent a section forward to contest buildings held by their opponents but heavy fire prevented any significant progress. German machine gun fire (and awesome dice rolling by Wyn) dominated the rest of the battlefield and the Brits suffered heavy casualties and lost one complete section before Dave decided to throw in the towel.
Club Sunday 7th August 2022
A very warm afternoon at Holt saw thirteen gamers in attendance, playing a total of five games. Please read on: -
TWoSK Seven Years War Campaign Game
'O' Group in Normandy
Northern France 1944 was the setting for this 10mm scenario in which Bryan and Nick commanded an attacking British infantry battalion and Dave B and Neil W were in charge of the German defenders. The Brits were supported by a recce platoon of armoured cars, two platoons of tanks and one of M10 tank destroyers. The infantry forces of the Third Reich were bolstered by two platoons of Panzer IVs. After a successful opening bombardment by the Brits both sides deployed their armour early in the game with each force suffering serious losses. The attacking foot soldiers then pressed forward but were unable to make significant headway against the stubborn defenders. At the end of the game both sides had collected a FUBAR but the British had failed to take any of their objectives.
Sharp Practice in Haiti
This was a really nice looking 28mm game, set during a conflict that I do not think we have seen played at the club in the past. The scenario was located in Haiti during the revolt of 1791 and featured a band of rebellious slaves led by Dutty Boukman attacking the property of French plantation owners. The Haitian rebels were commanded by Dave K, Andy J was in control of the French troops and Stuart (who also provided the figures and terrain) acted as umpire. The rebel slaves fought with desperate savagery, inspired, no doubt by years of tyranny and oppression but they were unable to overcome the more disciplined French troops and were beaten off with heavy losses.
I was hoping to make a quip about 'rumblings in the interior' in this account but, as you can see from the photograph, this 15mm scenario involved a beach landing (and some very fine landing craft, a patrol boat and a submarine). Ross was the man in charge of the UVAVU faction while Maurice had the dubious honour of commanding the forces of SPLAT. The players were using the original version of the AK47 rules and once again a branch of McDonalds was the centre of the action. I'm not sure who the eventual victor was but I have no doubt that after slinking off into the jungle, the losers will return to renew the struggle in the near future.
Another run out for the popular Saga rules, this time using the 'Age of Crusades' supplement, saw Harry field a force of Crusaders against the Saracens of Andras. The scale was 28mm and each player provided figures from his own collection. Two games were played during the course of the afternoon and, much to Harry's dismay, Andras won both of them.
Club Sunday 17th July 2022
Our only meeting in July (the Holt event was cancelled because of the clash with Joy of Six in Sheffield) saw sixteen attendees playing five games. It was good to see Jon P return after a long absence and also a pleasure to welcome Guy (one of the original members of the club back in the seventies) to the club, if only on a temporary basis. Here are the games: -
This 15mm game featured Darren, commanding the forces of WUNKERS, in desperate battle against the fanatics of SWARF, led by Andy J. I am grateful to Andy for the following account: -
Statement released by SWARF high command, Dogoshite, Namibia.
The armed forces of SWARF have entered the lands granted to us by our lord God in order to remove the white colonist settlers who have tried to illegally farm there. Although our troops fought fiercely we were only able to liberate 3 of the farms built on our land, and the evil white men remained in possession of some high ground and a road junction at the edge of the battlefield. Several of the white men's artillery pieces were destroyed, but a suicide attack by some of their truck mounted infantry led to the loss of 2 SWARF armoured vehicles after repeated salvos of RPGs - Our friends in the People's Republic should perhaps send more tanks rather than more advisors. The struggle continues . . . . . (and we'll be better prepared next time)
Isaac Uminmassa, SWARF High Command.
Not to be be outdone, here is the response from the WUNKERS C-in-C: -
Sharp Practice in the Peninsular
A 28mm game set in the Peninsular War in which Vlad and Pete were in charge of a French force while Andy R and Peet were the co-commanders of a Spanish army. The ever popular Lardies rules were in evidence once more though I am not sure if the scenario played was from the rule-book or a player's invention. The Spanish generals were able (either by good luck or inspired manoeuvre) to outflank the French and, by the time your correspondent had left the scene, the forces of Napoleon were teetering on the brink of defeat with only two Force Morale points remaining.
Sword & Spear
This game, in 28mm scale, was one of three played today set in the ancient world. Sword & Spear seem to be growing in popularity as a set of rules, not forgetting Andy GPT's amendments to them for use in Renaissance battles. Stephen and Harry both fielded early Roman Imperial armies for this encounter and the two sets of figures looked very impressive on the table top. The battle itself was a fairly close affair but, in the end, Harry conceded defeat to Stephen.
Conquest of the Empire
This board game originally appeared in 1984 and each player takes the role of one of the many Roman generals vying for power in Imperial Rome, employing infantry, cavalry, and catapults to achieve domination of the Empire. Billy, Jon P and Neil W were the budding Caesars and were playing the 'classic' version of the game. Neil was the first to be eliminated as he carelessly exposed his Caesar figure to a cunning naval raid by Jon's galleys and legions. All Neil's resources then were passed to Jon who turned his attention to destroying Billy's armies. After a short period of glorious resistance against overwhelming odds, Billy was forced to concede and Jon became the ruler of the then known world.
Strength & Honour - Romans in Britannia
In yet another game in which Roman armies featured prominently, Dan moderated two games of Strength & Honour in the course of the afternoon. In both scenarios, Roman Imperial Legions fought a collection of British tribes. Nick and Dave B co-operated on one side and Andy W and Guy were joint commanders on the other. The scale was 2mm, although technically, there were no figures on the table as the stands were pre-printed PDFs. All the players involved seemed to be reasonably impressed by the rules though, as always, there questions, comments and suggestions for improvement.
Note to club members from the photographer: there is now an embargo on the use of shiny mats. It is beyond my technical competence to remove the glare from the pictures. Your co-operation in this matter would be appreciated.
Club Sunday 19th June 2022
Twelve gamers were present as four battles were fought at St Ambrose. Here are short accounts: -
Another game of AK47 appearing at the club, this one using the 'Reloaded', second edition rules. In this 15mm scenario, set somewhere in the African continent, a UN peacekeeping force commanded by Pete was attempting to gently persuade a force of insurgent rebels (led by Stuart) to return to their tribal enclave. Stuart's troops were equipped with a variety of Soviet-era vehicles while Pete's contingent were of Belgian origin (the product, as he told me, of a kick starter project that never really got started). I regret to report that the UN peacekeepers failed in their objective and the insurgents were triumphant.
Twilight of Divine Right - Battle of Slobodyshche
Nick and Andy W met to fight another another scenario from Nick's forthcoming accompaniment to his ToDR rules using 15mm figures. The Battle of Slobodyshche ( I asked the scenario designer how this was pronounced but he was not able to provide a coherent reply) was fought in October 1660 between Polish and Cossack forces and was indecisive. The purpose of the play test was to determine how well the rules would cope with chiefly mounted forces attacking and defending a strongly fortified encampment. I think that Nick was fairly satisfied with the result.
To the Strongest
In this 28mm game (all of the 28mm figures and terrain supplied by Harry), Billy was in charge of a Roman legionary army, Dave K commanded a force of German warbands, Harry was the umpire and Wynn played the role of interested spectator. The rules are designed to reproduce battles on the grand scale and use playing cards to activate various units. As is usual when Billy is playing in a game like this, he drew all the best cards and scored all the highest scores and was able to achieve a comprehensive victory. This was Dave's first exposure to the rules and his reaction was : - "I was curious to see how it played and it certainly matched the expectations I had for it. That's a great game for large, multiplayer battles. And the fact it caters for any scale of figures with any basing system helps, too. I certainly hope to play it more".
'O' Group in Normandy
Considering the popularity of this game in 2021 it's odd that this encounter was only the second time this year that the rules have seen an outing at the club. A British force, commanded by Dan and Maurice faced German defenders led by James, with occasional assistance from Neil W. The scale was 10mm. The terrain was based on the area surrounding the villages of Troteval and Granville, east of Caen, as it was in 1944. The Brits concentrated their efforts on the first phase objective (Troteval), inflicting heavy losses on the defenders but it seemed that James had managed to blunt their assault. However, as reserves were thrown in and the Allied armour made its presence felt the Axis troops wavered. Despite knocking out two tank sections the Germans were unable to prevent the attackers from inflicting the three FUBARs needed for victory.
Club Sunday 12th June 2022
The usual get together at Holt on the first Sunday of the month was postponed for seven days due to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Twelve players met to play four games, details of which follow: -
AK47 in Darkest Africa
I am grateful to Andy J for the following report. The other participants were Ross, Pete and Andy W: -
The brave forces of SWARF have stopped a column of UVAVU armoured vehicles from taking the airstrip at Umami. This vital airstrip is a key facility in the provision of food and educational aid and was threatened with rape and destruction if the mad dog UVAVU forces had reached it.
American War of Independence with Sharp Practice
Ian provided all the figures and scenery for this impressive looking Sharp Practice game in 28mm and set during the Revolutionary War. Tim and Andy R were in joint command of the rebellious colonists while Nick, with some assistance from Ian was the British general. The action was finely balanced for the first half of the game and the result could have gone either way but, as your correspondent was leaving it looked as though Nick's Redcoats were gaining the upper hand. The final outcome, however, remains a mystery
Maurice with Modifications - Nine Years War
This game featured a Grand Alliance army commanded by Andy GPT facing a French force led by Neil W, Andy kindly supplying all the beautifully painted 15mm figures and terrain. The scenario was based on a much later battle (Saalfeld 1806). The basic rules used were the very well known Maurice set by Sam Mustafa but Andy had devised some interesting modifications which allowed for the introduction of pikes and dragoons and also added pace and flexibility into the gameplay. The French made a promising start on their left but were unable to gain a significant advantage and, after failing to take a key objective in the centre, were ground down by the superior musketry and manoeuvre of their adversaries. The result was a decisive victory for Andy.
The rule modifications used in this game can be found here.
Patrols in the Sudan
Club Sunday 15th May 2022
Six games and 15 members present at this meeting. Billy was not playing today but brought his very large collection of 54mm Mahdist War figures and models to display, pictures of which can be viewed in the Gallery. It was also the first time at the club for new member Dave K who sat in on Dan and Andy's game. Welcome Dave, we hope to see much more of you at future events.
Wynn and Charles met in battle once again with a fine set of 28mm miniatures depicting troops from the early Middle Ages. Charles played the role of the Duke of Silesia while Wynn took the part of 'some Polish geezer' (his words, not mine). The participants decided to persevere with the Tactica rules they have been using at the club for the last six months but with some innovative modifications. A set of 'Fire and Fury' fire tables was pressed into service although how rules designed for American Civil War battles were adapted to a game without gunpowder weapons is beyond my meagre powers of comprehension. However, it seemed that both players were happy with the outcome, Wynn especially, as he was able to force the Duke of Silesia to make a tactical withdrawal.
Seven Year's War Campaign Game
This was the next battle in the Seven Years War campaign run by Nick and involving several club members. The game featured Darren (the Hanoverian/British commander) against Neil W (the French general) and Nick's 'Twilight of the Soldier Kings' rules were used (and also many of his 15mm figures). The battle took place between the towns of Frankfurt and Kassel with the French, in a defensive position and enjoying greater forces, facing an Hanoverian army with better quality troops and a superior C-in-C. The Hanoverians concentrated their efforts on the left even though manoeuvre was hampered by a stream and a wood. Nonetheless, the pressure on the French right forced three infantry units off the table and induced several failed morale tests. On the French left their cavalry met stubborn resistance and the foot soldiers were able only to rout an artillery unit. The French general decided that discretion was the better part of valour and conceded the field to the enemy.
Strength and Honour
A set of rules making their first appearance at the club, the recently published 'Strength and Honour' is designed to recreate large scale battles in the period roughly covering 100 BCE to 200 AD using 2mm scale and a grid system for movement. Dan was commanding a Roman army and Andy J was in charge of the German tribes in opposition. Both players had created their own 'figure' stands and the great appeal of this system is that mass armies can be very quickly assembled at relatively little cost (although Andy did complain that he had used up an entire printer cartridge to print the PDFs that represented his troops). The battle was fairly close until the Roman general was killed and the Germans claimed victory. Dan and Andy agreed that that the rules gave an enjoyable game and although there were some questions about support and failed movement, I am pretty sure we will see many more games using these rules at future club meetings.
Franco-Prussian War using Fire & Fury
A very nice looking game in 6mm (all the figures from Ross's collection) this was a large scale encounter between Prussian and Bavarian forces (led, respectively by Andy W and Maurice) against the French army, commanded by Ross. The rules used were actually the 'Mit Blut und Eisen' variant of 'Fire and Fury', developed by members of the club many years ago. The battle initially went well for the invading forces but the French mounted a resolute defence and, by the time I left the building, the result was still unresolved.
The Battle of Dirschau, August 1627
Another set of Nick's rules making an appearance at the club this Sunday was 'Twilight of Divine Right', covering the period 1618 to 1660. The game (in 15mm scale) was a play test of a battle that will feature in the next instalment of scenarios that accompany the rules. The Battle of Dirschau was an engagement that took place during the Polish-Swedish War of 1626 to 1629 in which the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus was wounded and the final outcome was inconclusive. Dave B was Nick's opponent in the game and the intention was to get both days of the battle played in the afternoon, although this proved not to be possible. Even so, Nick pronounced that some valuable lessons had been learned during the course of the battle which would be incorporated in the published scenario.
Dux Bellorum Romans vs Picts
One of Osprey's many sets of wargame rules, it has been some considerable time since a game of 'Dux Bellorum' has been played at the club. The system is designed to replicate warfare in Britain during the Arthurian period and in this 28mm game Harry led a force of Late Romans and Gordon was the leader of the Picts. Gordon was the eventual victor.
Club Sunday 1st May 2022
Holt Heath was the venue for four games which occupied the attention of ten gamers. My thanks to all who contributed text and images.
Tiller and Whipstaff
My thanks to Andy J for providing the following photograph and brief description of the action: -
Gordon and Charles played Swedish, and Andy J. and Nick played the Dutch. As is normal in these games there was a fair amount of chaos.
Stephen B provided the following comprehensive account and Gareth also chipped in with some pictures. Thanks to both gentlemen.
The Lion Rampant game featured Seljuks under the command of Stephen B facing a generic European army (actually a repurposed Warhammer Bretonnian army) led by Gareth. This was an outing for the Lion Rampant Crusades supplement, we decided that the action took place during one of the later Crusades.
To the Strongest
I am indebted to Andras for the images and the report below: -
In this 28mm game, Harry was the commander of a Saxon force while Andras was the Roman general.
The brave Saxons descended upon a Roman garrison force (bolstered by foederati troops) to plunder and pillage. The Saxon wave had initial successes and managed to pillage one of the Roman camps, but in the end the Romans succeeded in reforming their lines and pushing back the invaders.
The game featured a spectacular Roman cavalry charge right across the front of the Saxon line.
Club Sunday 24th April 2022
Five games took place at Holt with thirteen players involved. Accounts of four of them follow; unfortunately an information embargo on the fifth (In Her Majesty's Name) has resulted in its omission.
Twilight of the Emperor
I am grateful to Nick for the following account of the game: -
The game was a refight of the Battle of Pultusk in 1806 using the draft Twilight of the Emperor rules - French under Gordon and Russians under me.
The heavily French had to assault a strong Russian position but the Russian army is badly deployed and has bad commanders. The French army aimed to hit the Russian right before the Russians could react. This they largely did and made serious in roads to the Russian right. On the Russian left the French cavalry were trying to defeat the more numerous Russian cavalry and also pin down as many Russian infantry as they could. Here they had initial successes but slowly the Russians turned the tide.
There was much discussion about the rules and what was good/bad and so we did not have time to finish. At the finish, Gordon's French had the advantage and Gordon had provided many useful comments on the rules. A very useful game.
'O' Group - the U.S. Breakout from Normandy
My thanks to Andy R for the detailed report below: -
O Group has been very popular set of rules in the club over the last year and a bit and Ian kindly designed, organised and provided the materials for this game set in Normandy 1944 using his own collection of 1/200 scale. Previous games within our club have focused on the standard set-up of Infantry Battalion v Infantry Battalion with assorted supports options and tanks. In this game, Ian flipped the norm on its head and Andy J and Andy R took control of an American armoured battalion supported by heavy weapons and a company of marines in an attempt to breakout from Normandy. James opposed the breakout with a battalion of panzers with heavy support and a company of panzer grenadiers.
Dan provided the following account for this contest in which he commanded the Romans and Andy GPT led the Gauls. Many thanks Dan: -
The armies of Vercengetorix and Julius Caesar are opposed in Gaul and Caesar is pushing forward trying to finally defeat the Gallic Army. He sends out a small party of Roman legionaries and Spanish allies to scout the terrain ahead. Their mission is to scout 4 pieces of terrain and capture an ambush or deployment point from the enemy.
Thanks to Harry for the photos and report: -
Club Sunday 3rd April 2022
Ten gamers played four games at Holt this Sunday. Henrick from the Wyvern Wargames Club made his debut - welcome Henrick - and Sue was on hand to make sure Tom behaved himself. Read on for brief summaries of the action: -
Pete and Gareth indulged themselves with Osprey's fantasy version of the well-known Lion Rampant rules. The appeal of the system is that it allows players to mix mythical and fictional characters from different fantasy genres. In this 28mm game, Gareth's army was made up of creatures from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, chiefly Uruk-Hai and their associated wargs and trolls. Pete's force was led by a fearsome looking six breasted Glorantha troll clutching a screaming infant by the hair (she can be seen in the bottom of the picture). The whole thing looked very colourful, if not a little menacing. As you will know from my previous postings, I do not have the literary skills of J.R.R. Tolkien, so I will refrain from attempting a detailed account of the action.
Combat HQ - Barbarossa
This Second World War game featured a set of rules not seen at the club very often. Combat HQ by Jim Bambra first appeared in 2016 and a revised edition was issued in 2020. I am not entirely sure which version Tom and Andy R were using but I rather think it was the latter version as Tom had some considerable influence on the modifications. The scenario was a large scale German attack on a Soviet force in the early part of the invasion of Russia. The scale used was 6mm, Tom was the German commander and Andy the stout Soviet defender. Unfortunately for the Russians, the German blitzkrieg was impossible to resist and Tom ran out the winner.
A very nice looking game in 28mm (all figures and terrain supplied by Stuart) in which Andy GPT led a Hittite army and Henrick and Stuart were commanding an Egyptian force. This battle must have taken place in the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II (13th century BCE) as Stuart mentioned on the club Facebook page that Sherden guards were involved. This was Andy's first experience with the Infamy! Infamy! rules and, as often is the case, the novice won his first battle. Andy commented after the game "Lots to like about the rules and anything that keeps me thinking long after the game ends must be good". He also had a few suggestions for improvements which can also be found on the FB page.
AK47 in sub-Saharan Africa
Yet another game of AK47 played today, again set in Africa and this time featuring the best bits from the original and reloaded versions. Andy W was commanding the WASTE faction, mainly made up of militia and Nick and Neil W were in joint charge of the SPLAT popular front, consisting of regulars and militia. The scale was 15mm and two games were played in the course of the afternoon. In the first, Andy was defending but was unable to resist a spirited attack by the SPLAT forces as they made short work of his enthusiastic but unreliable militia. In the second game the tables were turned as Andy had the chance to attack and achieve a well-earned revenge, which he did with panache.
Club Sunday 20th March 2022
There were six games on show this Sunday, occupying the attention of seventeen club members. Tom and Sue paid us a visit but did not participate in any of the games. We also held a brief AGM! A busy day - here are brief descriptions of the action: -
AK47 Version 1
The first of two AK47 games to be played this afternoon was a three-way affair featuring Ross, Andy J and Nick, using the original set of rules from 1997. The game was in 15mm, set somewhere in Africa and a McDonald's restaurant once again was a prominent feature. Nick was in command of the SPLAT faction (an apt acronym as it did indeed get splatted), Andy J was in charge of SWARF, a religious movement of dubious provenance, and Ross led UVAVU, a front dedicated to the memory of Reeves and Mortimer's 'Shooting Stars' from the Nineties. Nick's force, stuck in the middle, was totally obliterated but no decisive result was obtained between Ross and Andy.
AK47 Version 2
The second 15mm AK47 game used the 'Reloaded' version of the rules dating from 2009. Again set on the Dark Continent in the years following the Second World War, battle was fought between the WONKA faction (making their second appearance this month and once again commanded by Darren) and WASTE led by Andy W. I am convinced that one of the chief attractions of these rules is that they allow you to invent ever more absurd names for your army. The terrain was more arid and sparse than in the other AK47 game, which gave the forces involved few places to hide - as Andy found to his cost when his dice rolling arm failed to perform adequately.
In Her Majesty's Name
The ever popular Osprey rules made their second appearance at the club this year. In this 28mm scale contest, Matthew commanded Lord Cur's company, a band of 'plucky Brits' and Harry was the leader of a Prussian secret society whose members had the unfortunate ability to turn into Zombies upon receiving fatal wounds. To enliven proceedings even further, both sides had the task of chasing a vulture with a secret message strapped to its leg. There were other twists and turns in the plot which, to do them justice, would test my meagre literary abilities to the limit. All I can tell you is that the Brits won.
Dan brought his very nice looking Peter Dennis 'flats' to the table once again, this time to play the Too Fat Lardies' ancient skirmish rules. His opponent was Vlad, playing his first game of Infamy! Infamy!, with some assistance from Peet. Dan was the leader of the Gaulish tribes and Vlad was in charge of the Romans. As this was an 'instructional' game, the result was of no real consequence. Vlad liked some aspects of the rules, whether he will invest in a set himself remains to be seen.
Sharp Practice in the American War of Independence
Ian provided all the materials for this 28mm scale encounter and acted as umpire for the second Lardies' game of the afternoon. He chose the 'Rescue a Prisoner' scenario from the rule book, with British Redcoats (Dave B and Neil W in charge) acting as the guards and upstart Colonialists (led by Andy R and Tim) trying to release the captive. Largely thanks to Dave's skirmishers, who routed a group of riflemen in a wood and then wiped out the crew of a Yankee artillery piece, the British secured a decisive advantage. A final attempt by the colonials to storm the building where the prisoner was held failed and the Brits were the convincing winners.
Sword and Spear Renaissance
This was another great looking Renaissance battle in 15mm using Sword and Spear rules with modifications by Andy GPT. Andy was the general of a French army and his opponent (Pete) was the commander of an Italian force. Each side had a village to capture and both of them achieved this objective. As usual, Andy's Gendarmes were proving to be particularly effective but I rather think that Pete was able to hang on for an honourable draw (gentlemen, please correct me if I am wrong).
Club Sunday 6th March 2022
A slightly disappointing turnout as only ten players were able to make it (Stephen popped in to say hello but did not participate in a game). Five battle were fought and brief accounts can be found below: -
Regional disturbances in southern Africa were once more replicated on the table top in the latest instalment of the AK47 'modern' rules in 15mm. Darren was in command of the WONKA faction (I have no idea what the acronym stands for) and Charles was the leader of an unnamed band of insurgents. Both sides were equipped with the usual eclectic mixture of vehicles and weapons. As you can see from the photograph, the forces of western capitalism came under vicious attack (or perhaps the lads just fancied a Big Mac). The forces under the control of Charles were doing well when Darren managed to strike back with some cunningly placed artillery. At the time your correspondent had to leave the result was still in doubt.
Chain of Command
This was an impromptu game in the sense that Nick and Neil, the participants, had lost their scheduled opponents (neither of them could make it to the club) so Neil went home to fetch the material for this game. Each side fielded a regular platoon with no support, Nick was in command of the British and Neil the Germans. The scale was 28mm and the scenario was an encounter between two patrols. Things did not go well for the forces of the Third Reich, the Brits destroying one squad and a senior leader after a close assault and inflicting heavy losses on a second enemy squad. The Germans managed to pin a rifle team but this was their only success and, as their force morale plummeted, they decided to effect a speedy retreat.
Of Gods and Mortals
Paul and Harry got together to play another Osprey game that combines history with mythology, 'Of Gods and Mortals'. I think this is the first time it has been played at the club (certainly it was the first time Paul used the rules), at least I can't remember if it has made a previous showing. Both players fielded figures from their own 28mm collections, Harry bringing a Celtic force to the table and Paul a band of ancient Greeks. The game features a mixture of gods, mythological creatures, heroes an ordinary human beings. Paul's force was led by the mighty Zeus who proved to be more powerful than the puny Celtic deities and it was the Greeks who carried the day.
Sword and Spear Renaissance
Andy GPT's hex-based amendments to the Sword and Spear rules made their second appearance at the club following their debut last month. This time his opponent was Andy J, the setting was the Italian Wars and the scale was 15mm. Andy GPT was in control of a French army, Andy J an Imperialist force and the two sets of figures provided a very colourful spectacle. The changes that have been made to the rules greatly simplify movement and remove confusion regarding contact and melee. The French once again got the upper hand over their adversaries and it was the Imperialist forces that were forced to retire from the field.
Seven Year's War Campaign Game
This was another campaign game in the Seven Years War saga (see below for an account of the Battle of Dejvicke, 16th January) in which Nick's Twilight of the Soldier Kings rules were in use. Andy W, standing in for the Austrian commander, locked horns with Gordon leading the Prussian forces and the battle was fought with 15mm figures. The Austrian army greatly outnumbered the Prussians and the absent Austrian commander (Bryan) had ordered Andy to 'make the Prussians bleed'. Well, the battle was certainly a bloody affair with heavy casualties on both sides and many senior officers killed. I assume that, given the numerical superiority, the Austrians were the victors but, because I left before the climax of the battle, I cannot be absolutely sure.
Club Sunday 20th February 2022
Twenty-one players congregated at St Ambrose for another busy day of wargaming despite the stormy weather. Here are brief reports on the seven games that were played: -
Chain of Command - the Battle for Stalingrad
Peet's superb Stalingrad terrain and buildings in 15mm finally made an appearance at the club and it was well worth the wait. The table contained a fantastic collection of ruined buildings, railway sidings, roads and rubble which Peet has assembled with care and detail over the last twelve months. In the game, Peet was scenario designer and umpire, Vlad and Dan were the German attackers and Dave B and Neil the Russian defenders. The Germans concentrated their efforts on the Russian left, where Dave's platoon came under intense pressure and suffered heavy losses from both Vlad and Dan's forces. Neil's troops, deploying from a jump-off point on the right, were unable to influence events very much despite throwing a large number of sixes for double phases. At the end of the game, Dave was down to only two force morale points, Neil's men had been relatively unharmed and the German commanders were in a strong position. However, as the attackers had not taken both their objectives and the Soviets still had both units on the table, Peet declared the result a draw.
American Civil War using Fire and Fury
Fire and Fury is a set of rules that was played a lot at the club back in the day and if you look in the Archive section of this website you can check out some variants that members produced several years ago. However, in recent times we haven't seen much of it at our meetings. Thanks to Wynn and his finely painted 28mm American Civil War armies and terrain boards, the situation has now been rectified. Charles joined Wynn on the Union side and Gordon was the Confederate commander. The game was played at brigade level, so I assume the rules used were the 2010 second edition.
Blucher - French vs Austrians and Russians
This game featured Billy and Pete in command of a 6mm French army and Andy J the general of a combined Austrian-Russian force, the figures coming from the collections of Pete and Andy. The battle was not a historical reconstruction although the scenario devised by Andy was set in the 1813 campaign. Sam Mustafa's Blucher rules were in use once again although in this game the cards which are intended to be used as 'blinds' at the beginning of the game were not utilised. The game itself was a pretty close thing as both sides had lost six units and the first army to lose another two would suffer ignominious defeat. This fate befell the combined force of Austrians and Prussians ( I think I've got that right, I'm sure I will be corrected if not).
A game with some very nicely painted 28mm figures and models on display, courtesy of Thom with his 'Undead' army and Gareth with his force of humans and dwarves. Gareth was also ably assisted by Tim on the side of the living. There were actually two games played in the course of the afternoon. The first, which Thom described as a 'little skirmish', involved both sides searching for a magical artefact (I have no information on what powers it possessed). Both Necromancers in the Undead army were destroyed, so Gareth and Tim came out on top in this one. The second game was a much grander affair in which the task of both sides was to occupy some ruins strategically placed on the table. I am afraid I cannot pass comment as to whether the undead had better fortunes in this encounter.
Renaissance Warfare with Sword and Spear
This game, I think I am right in saying, was the first time that Andy GPT's amendments to the Sword and Spear rules to cover Renaissance era warfare have been played at the club (members can gain access to the revised tables and army lists by going to the group email files section). One of the alterations Andy has made is hex-based movement and all the hexes on the mat used for this battle were drawn by him - as he said, lockdown does have its advantages (for those gamers who can't live with hexes, he has also produced a non-hex version). The figures were 15mm, the setting was the Italian Wars, Andy was the leader of the French army and Paul, his opponent, commanded an 'Italian' force. As this was, in effect a first-time try out, it is hardly fair to divulge who won; I will only say that Paul experienced serious discomfort from the activities of two units of Gendarmes.
To the Strongest
Harry and Chas met to fight a second century BCE battle using the 'To the Strongest' rules which made their first appearance in 2014. As you can see from the photograph, a grid system is used to facilitate movement and increase speed of play. The scale was 15mm, Harry commanded a Seleucid army from the eastern part of that empire and Chas led a force of Republican Romans. I fear that the contest was a quick and brutal affair with decisive victory going to the Seleucids. Chas attributed this unfortunate (for him) outcome to a distressing condition known as 'crap dice syndrome', a complaint from which every wargamer has suffered at one time or another.
The Battle of Talavera with Twilight of the Emperor
In what could be the final play test before the rules are written up, Nick umpired a refight of the Battle of Talavera, July 1809. Ross, impersonating Arthur Wellesley was in command of the Anglo-Spanish army and Andy W was wearing the breeches of Joseph Bonaparte and was in charge of the French. As you will see from the picture, once again the figures in use were slightly anachronistic. I did not make a note of the final result but I got the distinct impression that things did not go swimmingly for the army of the First Empire. I base this impression on the constant stream of expletives being emitted from the mouth of the French general - a sure sign, by the way, that the rules have now reached perfection.
Club Sunday 6th February 2022
No less than seven games played at Holt with seventeen members taking part. I wasn't able to be there myself so I would like to express my gratitude to the people who provided the following reports and photographs.
Saga Age of Invasions
I am grateful to Andras for the following account and also to Harry for photos: -
We played 2 games of Saga Age of Invasions. Harry led a force of Saxons against my Romans. The first scenario we played was The Retreat from the new Age of Invasions book. This was a 6 points game where the Saxon defenders had to retreat off the table (played from one short table edge to another) while the Romans tried to chase them down. The Roman general presented early proof of his tactical naivety by choosing to deploy an artillery piece in an engagement where the goal was to give chase. The Saxons conducted a shrewd fighting retreat, but the Romans managed to kill most of the warband, including the Saxon general who fell to Roman archers.
'O' Group in the Desert
This game, using 10 mm figures, involved Pete, Wynn, Andy J and Charles S in a Western Desert battle featuring the Afrika Korps against the Eighth Army. Pete provided the pictures and here is a brief word from him on the outcome of the contest (thanks Pete): -
At the end we concluded a hard fought draw. Both sides had 1 FUBAR and although the Brits were holding two of the three objectives, and had the benefit of a really effective artillery strike, their right flank had been badly chewed up and holding on to the railway station was by no means guaranteed.
My thanks to Andy R for the following report and accompanying photos: -
This was intended to be the finale of a 3 game campaign (the Farseer Tower mini- campaign) between the horrific undead horde of Necromancer Tom Pugh and a Dwarven Army and their unruly mercenaries led by Andy R.
The previous two games had both gone the way of the Necromancer, as Andy R tried in vain to find a tactic to stop the relentless march of the undead. A march that led all the way to a final showdown to take procession of the mysterious Farseer Tower. In order to do justice to the final showdown, the players agreed to up the armies to whopping 3,000 points each, the most ambitious attempted at the club to date.
The objective to was to be the side with the most battle units camped out by the Tower at the end of Turn 8. Tom had certain positional advantages as a result of winning the first two games. Unfortunately, time restrictions kicked in at the end of 5 very entertaining turns, leaving the game very much in the balance. On the one hand, Andy R had the most qualifying battle units left on the table and was well positioned to claim the tower. On the other hand Tom still had a number of unvanquished horrors at large, each with the wherewithal to terrorise and perhaps eliminate the remaining Dwarven ranks.
This didn’t feel like anyway to settle a campaign, so both players agreed to re-group and re-fight the match at the next Holt meeting.
Pony Wars - a Sharp Practice variant
This game was played in 6mm scale between Stuart and Paul. Stuart provided the materials required for the game and Paul provided both the images and the account below (thanks Prof): -
The 7th cavalry charge straight down the valley towards the village. What could possibly go wrong? Meanwhile, peaceful locals hide in the village
Suddenly the cavalry are ambushed from both sides. Left and right columns dismount to clear resistance from the woods, whilst the central column smashes in to the village riding down the weak resistance…
Meanwhile a fourth column rides to round up the ponies only to be ambushed. Dismounting, it fights off a charge in a desperate hand to hand fight, finally seeing off the rest of the warriors. Excellent figures from Baccus amongst others, painted by Stuart. Rules an adapted version of Sharpe Practice, which worked really well.
Patrols in the Sudan
This was a 25mm game played between Maurice and Charles M with Darren acting as umpire. Darren has very kindly produced another issue of the 'Dark Continent Times' (Victorian edition) in which you may read a full description of this encounter. This sensational piece of red-top journalism is available here (thanks Darren).
Sword and Spear
Twilight of Divine Right - Poles vs Russians
Nick kindly provided the details below, for which many thanks: -
Andrew W and I did 2 games. The first was the 1st battle of Lubar 1660 between the Poles and a Cossack and Russian alliance.
The Cossacks commanded by Andrew were marching to join their Russian allies unaware that the Polish army is moving to ambush them.
Unknown to the Cossacks the Poles had other forces. Some hidden in the small wood and others following the Cossack army. As the main Polish army attacked the front of the column the supporting forces attacked the flank and rear
Initially the Polish attack went well considering the Cossacks outnumbered the Poles and the Cossack forces outside of the wagon laager were defeated but the Poles also lost the smaller groups of their ambushing forces. The Poles then reorganised to attempt to storm the war wagons when the Cossacks allies arrived. A group of Russian cavalry came from the bottom of the photos. Some of the Poles turned to confront these while others continued their assault on the wagons. The game ended when the Polish commander was killed and his elite unit were destroyed fighting the Russians and the Poles fled.
Club Sunday 16th January 2022
There were 23 attendees at St Ambrose and it was good to see so many old and new faces. Dewi popped in to say hello but did not take part in any of the six games that were in play.
Chain of Command 1 - the Western Front
The first of the Chain of Command games to take place this afternoon featured a 'hypothetical' encounter between early war German paratroopers and US Marines. Pete was the commander of the Reich forces, Andy J led the Marines, both players supplying their own 28mm figures, Pete providing the terrain. This was the first time that Andy had commanded a unit in a CoC game and was a little concerned that his men would be outgunned by the awesome firepower carried by the enemy (two LMGs per squad and no support vehicles on the table). However, the Marines were able to give a good account of themselves and at the close of play both sides had an approximately equal force morale total and no sign of a decisive result was in sight.
Chain of Command 2 - the Eastern Front
The second CoC game of the day was a much grander affair. The game was set during the opening months of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Ian, performing his usual triple role of scenario designer, equipment provider and impartial umpire, put together a really good looking 6' x 6' table with plenty of buildings and a rather nice church from Andy R. The game was a modification of one of Ian's campaign scenarios with each side consisting of two infantry platoons and one armoured platoon. Andy R, James and Craig were in charge of the German troops, Dan, Tim and Dave B were the Soviet commanders. Craig and Tim were making their first appearance at the club. Welcome guys, we hope it will be the first of many. In the game itself the two teams fought each other to a standstill, neither side gaining a significant advantage, and ending up (as in the other CoC game) with a very similar force morale score. A (dis)honourable draw.
In Her Majesty's Name - Gothic Version
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, led by Ross and Tim took on the evil horde of Prince Vlad Tepes, commanded by Maurice and Billy in this 28mm encounter, using the Gothic supplement of the Osprey IHMN rules. Both sides had the task of making their way to the graveyard while avoiding the attention of a pack of werewolf-like creatures. There was the usual cast of colourful characters - in the photograph that accompanies this report, the figure in black in the centre, the players assured me, was none other than Father Jack Hackett (special skill - shouting Feck! and Drink!) but it's possible that they were gently pulling my leg. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen emerged as the winners of this bizarre contest.
Lion Rampant in the Desert
Another set of Osprey rules were in play for this game in which Harry was the captain of a small Crusader force and Stephen led a contingent of Assassins. Both players supplied their own 28mm figures. In the first game Harry's hopes were raised when a die roll revealed his commander to be 'exceptional', only to have him murdered by one of Stephen's Assassins before he had set foot on the table. Harry had his revenge when Stephen's general was killed in action but this did not prevent the Assassins from securing a victory. A second game was then played and I hope that Harry was able to even up the score in view of the ungentlemanly behaviour of his opponents previously, but I am unable to confirm if this was the case.
Charles and Wynn continued their exploration of the Tactica medieval rules that they first tried out in November last year. This time Charles supplied all the 28mm figures (two generic Hundred Years War armies) and most of the terrain, though Wynn brought a few bits and pieces as well. After this further examination of the rules, both players confessed themselves not entirely happy with certain of the game mechanisms and the confusing way in which they were set out. However, I think they are going to persevere with them, although a few modifications or 'house rules' my be in the offing.
Twilight of the Soldier Kings - the Battle of Dejvicke
This was the third battle in a Seven Years War campaign game that a few members of the club have been playing (on and off) for the last two or three years. It involved a Prussian army, with Gordon and Darren in charge, against Austrian opponents commanded by Andy W, Chas and Neil. Nick was the umpire and provided some of the 15mm figures and terrain, Gordon the rest. The Prussians, attacking, chose to fight a manoeuvre battle in oblique order and concentrated their focus on the Austrian right flank, occupied by the Austrian cavalry wing. The Prussians executed their assault with panache, driving the enemy horse back and threatening to roll up the entire Austrian right. However, in the centre, Austrian infantry had inflicted heavy losses on their Prussian counterparts, forcing them to take a wing morale test which they failed. Night fell before either side could press home any advantages they had secured. It was agreed that the Prussians had achieved a technical victory but the Austrians would not be demoralised by this reverse.
Club Sunday Games, 2nd January 2022
Our first meeting of the new year saw thirteen players gathered at Holt to play six games. There should have been more but many who intended to come had to cry off for one reason or another. Here are brief accounts of the action: -
Twilight of the Emperor - a Napoleonic battle
Another try-out of the latest set of rules in Nick's Twilight series, this battle in 6mm featured a French army commanded by Ross in action against an Austrian force led by Nick. The engagement did not go well for the Austrians as the French were able to rout their I Corps at an early stage. Nick attempted to plug the gap with his reserve corps but it also failed a morale test. That meant that an army morale test was required, which the Austrians also failed! (Nick's dice rolling was, apparently, of a consistently low standard). So, the 'battered remnants' of the remaining two Austrian corps quit the field and victory went to Marechal Ross.
Nick assures me that the Emperor rules are nearing their final version, he just needs to sort out some troublesome national characteristics for the Russians and British.
Furioso -Warfare in the Renaissance
Andy J and Charles S got together to play a Renaissance game in which two small but very nice looking 10mm Imperial armies met in battle. As this was a game in which both players were learning the rules, it took place on an open battlefield and the end result was not important.
Both players had reservations about the Furioso system. Charles found it 'clunky and hard work' although, admittedly, he was still on the learning curve. Andy liked the initiative rules but found the method of resolving melees involved too many dice throws and produced some very odd morale results. As he put it 'Charles was massacring one of my pike blocks but failed to get 5's or 6's in the morale test. I threw 1 dice, scored a 5 and effectively won the melee in spite of a huge death toll - I was already pushed back and disordered!' He also observed that there are places in the rules where the text is so poor that its hard to work out what you are meant to do, e.g. overlaps.
I suspect that there will be more games of Furioso played at the club but a few modifications or house rules might be required.
Another game of the very popular Oathmark rules from Osprey but this was the first time (I think) that Gareth had played against Tom. Gareth was the commander of a combined force of elves and humans and Tom was fielding a Necromancer army. The 28mm figures were supplied from each player's own resources and together with the terrain made a fine spectacle.
Tom ran out the eventual winner. Hardly surprising, I thought, because if his army is already dead, how can they lose? I must ask him one day.
Blucher - Austrians vs French
The second Napoleonic battle of the day was a 6mm tussle using Sam Mustafa's Blucher rules. The engagement was set in the campaign of 1809 and featured Daniel as commander of the French army up against first-time attendee Stuart (welcome Stuart) as the general in charge of the Austrian army. As this was the first time that either player had used the Blucher rules, Neil acted as umpire and explained the mechanics as the game progressed.
The battle was a tense and closely fought affair. Although the French were technically the defenders, Daniel decided to take the fight to the foe, moving to attack the Austrian left and centre while Stuart attempted to make progress on his right with his cavalry corps. At one point it looked as though the French would enjoy a comfortable victory but, through a series of manoeuvres and melees, the Austrians fought back until the number of broken units was equal and the next side to lose a unit would lose the battle. This turned out to be the Austrians and the French secured a narrow victory.
Saga in the Ancient World
Saga is a game which has a steady following at the club but I think this encounter was the first where we have seen the 'Age of Hannibal' supplement in play. Andras was the Hellenic commander while Harry led a force of Gauls. The figures were 28mm and from each player's personal collections. Harry commented that the game worked really well, possibly more enjoyable than the Dark Ages version as the difference between the armies is less subtle. Also, 'the battle boards were really fun'
The table looked great though, unfortunately, I cannot say who won the contest as I forgot to ask.
This was a family contest between father and son (Maurice and James respectively). They were playing a fantasy game that, I must admit, I had never heard of before. Warmachine, first released in 2003, is set in the Iron Kingdoms in which Warcasters (powerful generals and spellcasters) have learned to control Warjacks (techno-steam powered constructs designed for waging war). There is a large cast of supporting characters such as infantry, battle engines and colossals. I'm not sure which is which in the photograph to the left but they all looked marvellous.
Three games were played in the course of the afternoon. In the interests of family harmony, I will not divulge the final result.