Saturday 30 March 2013

Refighting Cheriton 1644 in 28mm - an ECW AAR

It’s a long weekend being Easter and that can only mean one thing – the C&G lads getting a pile of lead out and going at it across a wargames table.

As yesterday was the anniversary of the Battle of Cheriton (29th March 1644) we decided to do a refight using the closest approximation of troops we could muster from our respective armies using Warhammer ECW. A pleasant evening spent trawling through C.F. Wesencraft’s With Pike and Musket and Don Featherstone’s Battle Notes for Wargamers allowed me to put together the following lists.

1 x General
1 x Colonel General
1 x Veteran Infantry (40)
2 x Steady Infantry (40)
1 x Raw Clubmen (16)
1 x Veteran Gallopers (10)
1 x Steady Gallopers (10)
1 x Steady Dragoons (12)
1 x Saker
2 x Falconets

1 x General
1 x Colonel General
3 x Steady Infantry (40)
1 x Steady Firelocks (12)
2 x Steady Trotters (10)
1 x Steady Scots Lancers (10)
1 x Veteran Cuirassiers (10)
1 x Saker

View from the Royalist side

Royalist foot and supporting artillery

Cowardly Royalist rabble hiding in the hedges - they did nothing else!

The battlefield is a gently sloping valley, lined with hedges on both sides and a with light wood at the closed end. Both forces spent the night in encamped on their respective ridges and were lined up in battle array and ready for the off as the sun rose.

Parliamentarian foot advance with horse behind

Scots foot in the centre and lots more Parliament horse

Both sides marched towards the centre of the valley, trying to make room to deploy and allow them to bring their muskets and artillery to bear. The Royalists had spread their infantry across their front, interspersed with artillery and with cavalry in support. The Parliamentarians loaded their centre with horse and held their weaker foot back, looking for an opening to advance in support of any cavalry gains.

Parliament horse advance towards the waiting Royalist foot

Wait for it... Wait for it... FIRE!

Dragoons in Cheriton Wood

View up the valley from the Parliament left

Desultory fire from Royalist artillery killed the odd cavalryman but did little to discomfort the enemy; however it did force the Parliamentarian commanders into a decision to advance their horse to prevent further loss. It was a decision that was to prove very costly for the minute they came within range of the Royalist muskets a string of devastating volleys ripped through their ranks.

At this point the Parliamentarian foot was not sufficiently advanced to support the horse, meaning that the Royalists were able to advance slowly on the flanks while continuing to hold the centre.

Coming to grips right along the valley floor

Royalist foot with veteran horse in support

Gradually the Parliamentarians brought their foot and single gun into play in the centre, eventually forcing some retreats from the Royalist foot and killing some pikes. It was to prove too little too late however, especially when the lone Parliamentarian saker exploded killing all its crew.

On the Royalist left dismounted dragoons were driven back into the wood by pike and eventually retired without loss. On the Royalist right the foot turned towards the centre to allow a unit of veteran horse room to manoeuvre.

Bird's eye view of the field

Stalwart Parliamentarian cuirassiers

Immediately the Parliamentarian cuirassiers charged and a furious melee developed, leading to the eventual complete destruction of the Royalist horse but not before the cuirassiers had suffered significant losses. The supporting Royalist foot didn’t like the look of things are began to break but were saved by darkness and the end of the battle.

Royalist foot maneouvre to allow their horse room

The rapidly thinning Parliament centre

In the end victory went convincingly to the Royalists who lost a unit of horse and suffered minor casualties to each of their foot regiments. The Parliamentarians lost the majority of their four horse with only the cuirassiers recognisable as a unit. They also lost their saker and had their Scots foot badly mauled, losing about half their number.

Not much left for the Royalists to fight...

A great game for the Royalists whose lethal musket volleys decimated the enemy horse. Parliament’s cuirassiers distinguished themselves in melee but were unable to save the day on their own.


Imaginary 18thC pandours

I've just uploaded the 2nd Glish Foresters (of Blensk) to our imagi-nations blog. These are 28mm Front Rank Russian sculpts, based for Maurice. There are more pics and some back story on Die Kriege des Zobelshuts so feel free to head on over and check them out. Let's hope Ev likes em!

Friday 29 March 2013


Things have slowed down to something approaching normal pace now that the Challenge is well and truly over. That's not to say I've stopped working, just that projects and actual gaming are back on the radar.

Project-wise I'm back in the imaginary saddle and have just about finished the first unit of my good mate Evan's proto-Russians - pandours. These stout chaps will be making an appearance tomorrow when basing is complete so stay tuned. His guards are already undercoated and ready to rock as well.

Tomorrow promises to be Good Day. Being a long weekend we're got one of our (in)famous C&G gaming days on with a large Warhammer ECW game on the go. Given the date we're doing a "massaged" version of Cheriton using the troops available. If nothing else this has spurred me on to buy the additional horse I need so that's next to be added to the lead pile. I'll try and get some decent pics for the blog and possibly knock together an AAR as I'm aware that's one area I don't cover nearly enough.

Blog-wise I've gotten round to setting up Pinterest tags on the images. I've been looking at it for a while but my general apathy towards all things social have put me off until now. It seems to be less invasive though, more about letting people find you as opposed to jamming your own doings down the throats of others. Anyway, we'll see how it goes.

Q. If you pin the Pinterest logo will the internet collapse in upon itself?

Finally, welcome to our new friends who have joined us of late - Iannick, Mo, Steve, Alfons, Vinnie, Sunzi, badjaq and the world famous Ray Rousell. We've really hit the big time now! ;-)


Saturday 23 March 2013

Bolt Action AAR

Played on the weekend and had a major win, major loss and a draw.   All against Germans and my opponents were Rob, Neil and Jason in that order so you can check their lists.  Attached are photos from my first game and the table from the ill fated second game from the German side of the table. 

First game was on the yellow desert terrain with lots of building and I managed to go really well with my sniper, mortar and just general shooting.  Rob did not have any AT so my churchill went well killing his infantry gun early and then also killed his panzershreck team.  He advanced with his 3 infantry platoon on the left flank but I had troops on place to hold him and did some damage.  I won the sniper war killing his and ending up killing 5 of his units and got 4 of my units in his table half for a 17-4 win.

Next game was a top of the table clash against Neil and it was on the other desert table which had three hills on one side and not much cover on the rest.  I lost which side to deploy on and as a consequence everything I had was pretty much visible.  My mortar could not deploy out of sight, the palm trees in front of me provided only light cover and none of the buildings were in my deployment zone unlike all three of his hills.  I called in my bombardment at the end of the first turn and again it miscalculated.  I was running 3 miscalculations out of 4 games so far rather than 1 in 6 and it was redirected onto my forward centre section which had just got into a building and on my MMG and HQ.  All went up in a cloud of HE and so rather than landing on his unit in the open in his centre it blew apart mine.  That unit of Neil's went on to take the centre objective untouched.  My mortar was pinned by his mortar fire, my Churchill got off a couple of shots only for some pins on his StuH and then between the StuH and AT rifle I fluctuated between 1-2 pins but failed my morale tests 3 time so it was effectively out of the game.  I had a section in a position on my right and was attempting to storm out of a building but failed my morale with 2 pins in place and in the subsequent turn the StuH smashed the section with HE.

On my left I had advanced a section into the palm trees to position myself for a dash to the objective but I got pinned from fire from two of his squads, Sdkfz 222 and Pak 40 over the remaining turns and just spent the entire time collecting pins and casualties and not passining any morale tests so go wasted away.  It was a game where almost nothing went right and the only small highlights was I won the sniper war and my PIAT actually did something but dashing up to the 222 and rolled 2 successive 6s to kill it.  In the end I lost about 8 of my units for something like a 19-3 loss.  Not that balanced a table in my view and terrible luck.

Last game was on the Stalingrad table against Jason's Waffen SS.  Big squads of 10 with generally 3 SMGs, 5-6 Assault rifles and one squad had 3 panzerfausts.  Jason also fielded a half track and the mission was to get troops within 6" of the opponents table edge and you had half your force in reserve (after the 2nd turn you rolled morale dice to enter from the back and FUBAR rolls don't count sadly.  Jason had loaded his HQ, MMG, Medic and something else in his so 5 scoring units and Rolled a FUBAR -12 on 2 D6 - this was deemed not to count which is a shame as it was these that scooted to my table edge in turn 5! - even so they only just turned up on turn 4 because if they hadn't turned up then I would have got the won the victory points for them)  Jason advanced with his 3 squads down the left flank and had his Pak 40 on his right.  I had my mortar, sniper, Churchill, MMG and two section on and pretty much form the start I started to inflict pins and a few casualties on him.

However the SS are pretty tough and when they did get stalled they were only about 18" away from my table edge.  Loaded with SMGs and Assault rifles I wasn't going to try and mix it up with my basic rifle sections so I stayed in place and fired doing some good damage when combined with MMG, Mortar, Churchill and section fire.  Jason came to the edge of one building and I had advanced my Churchill within 12" so he launched an assault out of the building with his squad that had 3 panzerfausts - the AT weapons mean they didn't have to pass a tank fear test and Jason had an unerring ability to pass morale tests even with 3-4 pins on his units!  Tank assault was interesting and I shot at him with my 8 MMG weapons and managed to kill 4 of the 8 assaulting troops.  There appears however that there is no morale test at this stage although perhaps there should have been as I had inflicted 50% casualties but in the heat of battle you can miss these things.  He went into the assault and got a couple of pins on me and that that that.  Seeing as he was down to 4 men I launched an assault with section of 8 and inflicted 2 casualties on him but in return I lost 3.  Having lost the combat I was wiped out and his sodding squad was still in play albeit with 2 men left.  Following turn the Churchill killed them with MMG fire but it was a nasty fight for me.  Jason's other 3 squads came under fire and I eventually killed them with my combined fire which also included a good bombardment.

On my far left I had sent my PIAT team forward to see if they could steal into his deployment zone and the half track gave some quick fire killing my loader but then continued past.  I managed to get my PIAT into his deployment zone in the final turn and Jason then had his 4 Pak 40 crew move across to try and kill him but only inflicted a pin.  As he had left the gun I tried to drop my mortar on them and hit with a 6, got 6 hits and then killed all 4 so that was very nice.  My sniper did little other than pin his Pak 40 at various stages.  I had killed some 4 of his units and lost my MMG and a section of infantry and Jason had lost 3 squads and his Pak 40 but had 5 scoring units to my 1 in the deployment zone.   Something like a 11-9 down for me as a result which meant a draw.  I queried Jason on why he didn't bother with a mortar as they seem to be a must have in any army and he responding that he likes an army to keep moving.  Makes sense as you need a 6 to range in on moving units.

Tournament had some great tables and every army was painted nicely with some great pieces of kit. Good mix of armies too. There were some $700 worth of prizes!  Sponsorship was provided my Bolt Action and a couple of other and first prize, won my Neil, was an entire 100 point US army plus trophy.  14 players in all and umpire involvement was pretty minimal so the rules generally go well.  Interestingly the organiser, Paul, sent out a list of what everybody was taking, attached, so you had a good idea of potential opponents.  I hadn't seen that before but liked it.  Japanese player took out best painted army.  

Rick U - British Airborne – 9 Activations
  • HQ -103pts
  • Artillery FO - Free
  • Airborne Squad – 165pts
  • Airborne Squad – 165pts
  • Airborne Squad – 136pts
  • Light Mortar Team – 46pts
  • Light Howitzer – 60pts
  • Bren Carrier – 84pts
  • Cromwell – 234pts

Adam S - British Army – 11 Activations
  • HQ – 85pts
  • Artillery FO - Free
  • Infantry Squad – 110pts
  • Infantry Squad – 107pts
  • Infantry Squad – 94pts
  • Infantry Squad – 110pts
  • Vickers MMG – 50pts
  • Sniper Team – 65pts
  • Medium Mortar & Spotter – 60pts
  • PIAT Team – 52pts
  • Churchill – 265pts

Peter G - British Royal Marines – 9 Activations
  • HQ – 116pts
  • Artillery FO + 1 Man – Free/10pts
  • Marine Squad – 176pts
  • Marine Squad – 156pts
  • Marine Squad – 156pts
  • Sniper Team – 65pts
  • Vickers MMG – 65pts
  • Medium Mortar & Spotter – 60pts
  • Centaur CS – 195pts

Steve B - British Infantry – 11 Activations
  • HQ – 75pts
  • Artillery FO + 1 Man – Free/10pts
  • Forward AO – 103pts
  • Infantry Squad – 84pts
  • Infantry Squad – 88pts
  • Infantry Squad – 66pts
  • Infantry Squad – 73pts
  • PIAT Team – 40pts
  • Sniper Team – 65pts
  • 6pdr AT Gun – 90pts
  • Crocodile – 305pts

Sam Y - US Airborne – 11 Activations
  • HQ – 91pts
  • Forward AO – 90pts
  • Airborne Squad – 117pts
  • Airborne Squad – 117pts
  • Airborne Squad – 113pts
  • Airborne Squad – 113pts
  • .30 Cal MMG – 50pts
  • .30 Cal MMG – 50pts
  • Medium Mortar & Spotter – 60pts
  • Sniper Team – 65pts
  • 57mm AT Gun – 75pts

Sean P - US Rangers – 9 Activations
  • HQ – 103pts
  • Forward AO – 75pts
  • Ranger Squad – 168pts
  • Ranger Squad – 168pts
  • Engineer Squad – 108pts
  • Sniper Team – 69pts
  • Flame Thrower Team – 50pts
  • M3A1 Halftrack – 99pts
  • M24 Chaffe – 160pts

Chris K - US Army – 13 Activations
  • HQ – 95pts
  • Forward AO – 85pts
  • Infantry Squad – 111pts
  • Infantry Squad – 111pts
  • Infantry Squad – 75pts
  • .30 Cal MMG – 50pts
  • .30 Cal MMG – 50pts
  • .30 Cal MMG – 50pts
  • Medium Mortar & Spotter – 60pts
  • Sniper Team – 50pts
  • Bazooka Team – 60pts
  • Jeep – 21pts
  • M24 Chaffe – 180pts

Jake G - Soviet Army – 11 Activations
  • HQ – 95pts
  • Infantry Squad – Free
  • Infantry Squad - 142pts
  • Infantry Squad - 142pts
  • Infantry Squad – 142pts
  • Infantry Squad – 176pts
  • 2nd LT + 2Men – 70pts
  • MMG Team – 55pts
  • Medium Mortar Team & Spotter – 60pts
  • Sniper Team – 65pts
  • Flame Thrower Team – 50pts

Godfrey H - Finland Army – 8 Activations
  • HQ - 116pts
  • Forward AO – 103pts
  • Infantry Squad – 146pts
  • Infantry Squad – 126pts
  • MMG Team – 65pts
  • Medium Mortar Team & Spotter – 75pts
  • Sniper Team – 65pts
  • Stug III – 291pts

Paul Y - Imperial Japanese Army – 10 Activations
  • HQ – 91pts
  • Infantry Squad – 158pts
  • Infantry Squad – 158pts
  • Infantry Squad – 155pts
  • Infantry Squad – 131pts
  • Sniper Team – 65pts
  • MMG Team – 65pts
  • Medium Mortar Team & Spotter – 45pts
  • 70mm Howitzer – 40pts
  • HaGo Tank – 90pts

Jason C - Waffen SS (Normandy) – 10 Activations
  • HQ – 50pts
  • Medic – 30pts
  • SS Squad – 163pts
  • SS Squad – 175pts
  • SS Squad – 134pts
  • SS Squad – 139pts
  • MG42 Team – 50pts
  • MG42 Team – 50pts
  • Pak 40 AT Gun – 110pts
  • Hanomag – 89pts

Neil T - German Army – 10 Activations
  • HQ – 78pts
  • Heer Squad – 123pts
  • Heer Squad – 123pts
  • Pioneer Squad – 110pts
  • Medium Mortar & Spotter – 75pts
  • AT Rifle Team – 30pts
  • Sniper Team – 65pts
  • Pak 40 AT Gun – 110pts
  • Sd.Kfz 222 – 95pts
  • STUH 42 – 190pts

Rob Y - German Army – 10 Activations
  • HQ – 116prs
  • Heer Squad – 157pts
  • Heer Squad – 140pts
  • Heer Squad – 139pts
  • Heer Squad – 119pts
  • MG42 Team – 65pts
  • Medium Mortar & Spotter – 45pts
  • Sniper Team – 65pts
  • Panzerschreck Team – 104pts
  • Light Artillery – 50pts

Iian M - Fallschirmjager (Late War) – 10 Activations
  • HQ – 113pts
  • Medic 30pts
  • Fallschirmjager Squad – 101pts
  • Fallschirmjager Squad – 112pts
  • Fallschirmjager Squad – 109pts
  • Fallschirmjager Squad – 111pts
  • Medium Mortar Team & Spotter – 75pts
  • Sniper Team – 65pts
  • LG40/1 Gun – 84pts
  • Sd.Kfz 222 – 114pts
  • Kettenkrad – 31pts
  • Truck – 47pts


Full-Color Uniforms of the PRUSSIAN ARMY: 72 Plates from the Year 1830

My mum and dad very kindly picked me up a copy of Full-Color Uniforms of the PRUSSIAN ARMY: 72 Plates from the Year 1830 from a garage sale recently (yard sale to our northern allies).

I've never come across it before but it's a rather nice tome, softcover and about 12" x 10". There are 72 coloured lithographic plates in total and they are lovely. I suspect it might be part of a series but haven't come across anything that might indicate other related works.

If anybody knows more about it (i.e. if it formed part of a series) I'd very much like to know.


Free Fast-play Rules for Age of Reason / Baroque Period

Here's another addition to our free stuff for gamers page. Nate from NDC Wargames kindly allowed us to take his very neat and tidy Ne Plus Ultra rules and give them a re-work. We wanted something to handle larger games where Maurice doesn't work so well. Our version is called "Ne Plus Ultra +" so you can see the heritage in the name.

Download them here: Ne Plus Ultra + fast-play wargames rules (202Kb pdf).

These have not been play-tested as yet and we encourage you to give them a go and provide feedback please! We'll happily take that on board and provide a revised version where appropriate.


Wednesday 20 March 2013

3rd Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge finale

The 3rd Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge over on Curt's wonderful blog has just finished up. Now that all my final entries have been published it means I can load them up here as well.

Overall I finished 13th on the points table out of 47. Not bad at all but that's not really what it was all about for me. I was just keen to be involved, share some great work and push myself to get some stuff completed. Here's the outstand miniatures that haven't appeared on the blog so far:

First up is 13 x Eureka Miniatures Prussians in 28mm from their Franco-Prussian War range. I’ve had these undercoated for so long I can’t put a date on when I bought them or why, which is both laughable and a sad indictment of the depths of my addiction.

Next up are three random 28mm miniatures from the lead pile which have been orphaned from their projects. I always seem to end up with a couple of these where painter’s block kicks in and they get put aside to await inspiration. The two clerics are Gripping Beast dark ages figs and the other chap is I think an Essex high medieval fig.

Following on we have some 10mm War of the Spanish Succession French cavalry. These are all Pendraken miniatures, painted up to represent the first and second cavalry lines of the Marquis du Bourg's Corps at Blenheim. All up there are 60 miniatures grouped into units of 12 and based in threes so they are riding nice and tight, boot to boot.

The first line consists of the regiments de Royal (4 squadrons), de La Ferronnaye (2 squadrons), de Levy (2 squadrons), de Prince Charles de Lorraine (2 squadrons) and de Choiseul (2 squadrons). The second line consists of the regiments d'Anlezy (2 squadrons), de Livry (2 squadrons), de Heudincourt (2 squadrons) and de Dauphin Etranger (2 squadrons). Every different unit has a flag even though most a just two squadrons. I figure they would all need rallying points and it looks great to what the hell.

Next there are a pile of 15mm Russian artillery from Flames of War - 79 crew and command plus 12 guns to be precise. These are all Battlefront miniatures. I was looking for something quick to bump me over the 1,000 point mark and I’ve managed to churn them out in roughly 12 hours for the lot. That works out to roughly one gun base plus one command base an hour. There is a bit of detail work to do like adding a map but that can wait til after the comp. I seem to have ended up with extra command but that’s fine – far better than being short which is what often happens with these guys.

And finally, this is my entry fee for the challenge, Ronin #7. I wanted to do some storytelling and also go a bit beyond my usual boundaries (it’s a challenge after all). I won't retype the whole longwinded enrty, just provde a link to the original blog post. There are plenty more pics over on Curt's blog along with the background, etc. I think it's some of the best work I've ever produced but you be the judge.

So that's it. I'm pretty burnt out but have had a total blast. Curt has worked his proverbials off posting close to 400 separate entries at 20 minutes each - do that math, that's an awesome committment by any standard and he deserves bucket loads of praise and thanks.


Sunday 10 March 2013

Bolt Action German vs. British AAR

Played first game of BA tonight and had a really good game. Very simple to pick up and the game flowed nicely. I had got my list slightly wrong and Neil's list was very strong but I blew away his centre with an outstanding artillery bombardment (I killed his AT rifle team, blew up his 222 and killed 5 of his 6 pioneers) and some excellent mortar fire. MMGs don't seem that effective and having veteran troops is very much a good thing. Snipers are really deadly and I did not enjoy getting one of my sections behind a hedge getting cut to pieces by him. Neil had small squads of 6 but they were veterans with 3 assault guns with them and a LMG which was a good and tough combination. Very much better than my Regular class sections of 8 & 9 with one SMG and LMG.

Our centres got wasted and Neil's right flank was far too strong for me to attack with a section of infantry, mortar, sniper and Pak 40 defending it. I managed to kill Neil's left flank infantry on the right and my Churchill managed to kill his Stug only after losing 2 squads of infantry and a PIAT team on my right flank into the bargain. At the end of the bloodbath I had a winning draw. If my bombardment hadn't have killed the 222 I might have been in trouble and the PIATs 12" range leaves you wanting a bazooka or two!

Overall an excellent and very cost effective game that I highly recommend. Thought something was missing and realised it was some hills. Still looked pretty good though and I got to use all my new terrain.

Neil had:
  • Lieutenant and 1 man
  • 1 x StuH 42
  • 1 x Pioneer Vet Platoon with 3 Assault Rifles and Flamethrower
  • 2 x Vet Infantry Platoonwith 3 Assault Rifles and LMG
  • 1 x Reg Sdkfz 222
  • 1 x Vet Pak 40 4 crew
  • 1 x Vet Sniper Team
  • 1 x Vet 81mm Mortar with Observer
I had:
  • Capt and 2 men
  • 3 x Reg Platoon with 8 men SMG & LMG
  • 1 x Reg Platoon with 9 men SMG & LMG
  • 1 x Reg MMG
  • 1 x Reg 3" mortar
  • 1 x Reg Churchill
  • 1 x Vet Medic with extra man
  • 1 x Reg PIAT Team
  • 1 x Reg Artillery Observer

I should have taken a 2nd Leut as my HQ as the Capt apparently is additional. Changes I will make will be dropping HQ to 2nd Leut and 1 extra man and making my troops veterans although having fewer of them. I found the medic not that useful but it is hard to say based on one game.

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