A Squarebashing summer

I have been playing quite a lot of Peter Pigs excellent WW1 Squarebashing rules this summer.

I took part in Lurkio’s Squarebashing day on 24 June – a great event with a friendly wargaming crowd.  Here is a good report:

http://rulesforcommonman.uk/smf/index.php?topic=685.0

This was followed up with a very well-researched game for Oppy wood organised by James Morris with myself and Tom Webster-Deakin taking part.  I also played James’ Fort Vaux Verdun scenario earlier in the year at the Burton wargaming club.  Tom’s report  for Oppy Wood can be found at:

http://tomstoysoldiers.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Square%20Bashing

I have now finished my very own first two Squarebashing armies – late German and British using the rather nice Kallistra 12 mm range – here are some photos of a very recent game with my son.  The buildings were simply made with cork tiles and filler, painted with cheap poster paints. The battlemat was also poster paint daubed over a cloth.  Roads kindly provided by that perfect gentleman Ray Boyles.  The Mk IV tanks are by Butlers Printed Models – these 3D prints can be made at any scale.  Hasty defences by Pendraken 10mm. Blasted woods from my hedge!!

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End of the year

OK – so one New Year’s resolution is going to have to be to write this Blog more frequently!

Since the last entry in June, the wargaming front has been a bit quiet – so another resolution must be to PLAY MORE GAMES!

Back in August, I helped run a DBA tournament at the BHGS Britcon event in Manchester.  I put the fact that I came bottom down to me organising, umpiring and playing – a bit of a stretch on the multi-tasking front.

britcon-startbritcon-team-photo

The nest event I attended was a battleday with the Peter Pig Square Bashing rules in Daventry and organised by Simon Clarke.  Although I bought the rules a few years ago, I had never played them apart from the participation game at York when I was seduced into buying them.  Anyway, I am glad I did as I thought this was a brilliant game.

More pictures can be found on the RFCM forum at:

http://rulesforcommonman.uk/smf/index.php?topic=390.0

I am already looking forward to the next day in June and I have also asked for (and got) some Christmas 12mm Kallistra Late war Brits and Germans to play the game with.

My old mate and gaming partner Sean has introduced me to Art de la Guerre and that is also a game I will be playing more of.

My son James has been home for Christmas and New Year and so we got some assorted games in.

Firstly, a game of Irregular Wars by Nic Wright.  These are focused on various small actions  in the period of discovery and conquest in the age of discovery in 16th and 17th centuries.  We played an action from the conquest of Siberia with Cossacks against Koryaks – NE Asian headhunters.  Great fun!

siberia-game-1siberia-game-2

More details about Irregular Wars – Conflict at the World’s end here:

http://irregularwars.blogspot.co.uk/p/irregular-wars-conflict-at-worlds-end.html

Next game up was a chance to get out my long-neglected 15mm Crimean war figures to try out the Neil Thomas Simplicity in Practice rules.  Although vert simple – and in the old school tradition – they gave an entertaining game.  We used a scenario from Neil’s 19th Century Wargaming book – one of my favourite wargaming books.

And finally, a game of Lion Rampant.  We played the fugitive scenario – as it seemed to be over quite quickly with me locating and finding the fugitive before James’ hunters were anywhere close, we continued the game as the Bloodbath Scenario.

On the painting bench right now are a couple of DBA armies – Late Swiss and French Ordonnance in preparation for the Mercian Tournament in February, with the Italian Wars as the theme.   After that i will be getting on with my Kallistra Late WW1 Brits and Germans.

Hopefully there will be less of a gap bef0re the next Blog entry than there was since the last one!

 

 

 

Bakewell DBA Tournament 18 June

As a relative newcomer to DBA, it was with no little trepidation that I offered to organise a tournament.

The theme was based on a dreadful pun (Bakewell TARTars and T’ARTillery) after the local delicacy.  This meant that armies had to have at least four Light Horse and/or Artillery elements.  In order to give LH room to roam around the flanks and give elements the chance to stay out of artillery range, the boards were large ones at 800mm square.

On the day, 14 gallant competitors cantered in on their light horse, some dragging their artillery with them – in some cases (well Arnaud to be precise!), dragging quite a lot of artillery.

The players:

group

Back row, left to right – Tom Whitehead, Paul Murgatroyd, Richard Pulley, Scott Russell, Pete Whyman, Neil Mason, Graham Fordham, Tristan Gale (observer), Phil Duncan, David Constable (obviously worried about being seen at a v3 event as he tries to edge out of picture!)

Front Row – me, Tamara Fordham,  Arnaud Marmier (the winner),  Martin Myers (edging forward and trying to look like the winner!), Pete Duckworth and Phil Johnson.

The prizes were kindly donated by John Roberts of Naismith and Roundway (http://naismithandroundway.co.uk/ ).  First prize was a 15mm Late German army IV/13d – hopefully to be seen at the next Mercian tournament when the theme will be the Italian Wars.

The results:

Bakewell DBA results

A few photos from the event:  (Pictures of the armies to follow)

general pic
The games get under way – partially obscured by Arnaud’s big hair
paul m
Paul looks in horror as his first throw is a 1 and that plough mysteriously turns to mud!
arnaud and richard
Richard tries to guess which of Arnaud’s three artillery pieces will blast him first.
david and martin
Martin looks on, amazed as he witnesses David, former v2 infantryman, enjoying a v3 cavalry game!
graham and neil
Neil and Graham take a brief respite from the game to discuss beard trimming techniques
neil and arnaud
Arnaud and Neil practice levitation – or is that an ouija board?
pete and richard
Pete squints to avoid snow blindness while trying to stop his sleeves catch the table edge
phil and tom
Tom uses his magic wand on his d6 to make sure it continues to throw high while Phil J reaches for the brandy.
scott and tamara
Tamara helps Scott understand what a base width is.
scott and graham
Scott gets ready with his canister of sevoflurane in the hope it will knock Graham out at the critical moment.
pete d and Phil D
Phil D looks on aghast as more Lithuanian LH reincarnate as 3Bw

Long time – no posts!

I can’t believe it is seven months since my last post!  perhaps things have been a bit too busy on the wargaming front (and other things!) to stop and write about it.

I guess the main bits of wargames news are:

  • Two excellent DBA tournaments – the Mercian organised by Pete Duckworth and Alton arranged by Martin Smith.  My North Welsh didn’t come top, but they didn’t come bottom either!
  • My old chum Hugh Harvey from Minneapolis visited us for a heavy wargaming weekend, introducing me to Art De La Guerre (liked) and Aurelian by Sam Mustafa – really, really liked!
  • I have bought a couple of nice Oriental DBA armies – Khmer from Outpost and Malay from East Riding Miniatures/Grumpy.  Also on the painting bench are some Perry 28mm plastic Arabs for Saga and a long unpainted 15mm DBA Dynastic Bedouin army.
  • This coming weekend (18 June) I am organising my first DBA tournamenr in Bakewell – currently 16 players are signed up for it.  Full report to follow soon – i promise!  The theme is armies with at least four Light Horse or Artillery.
  • I am also helping to run the first DBA tournament at Britcon in Manchetser on 13 August.

More news – and perhaps a few photos to follow soon.

DBA v3

So far, gaming in November has been very much about playing DBA v3!

Firstly, there was a good game of Big Battle DBA with Sean, my long suffering regular wargaming mate!

The game was set around the battle of Nicopolis in 1396 between the Ottomans and a combined Hungarian/Western Crusader army.

The orders of battle were based on the scenario by Ian F White with a few minor changes to cater for my miniatures collection.

The orders of battle were as follows:

Hungarian Right (12 elements): 1x3Kn (General – King Sigismund), 2x3Kn, 1x6Kn, 4x2LH, 2x4Cb, 1x4Sp, 1x2Ps. Appear 2nd bound

French Centre (12 elements): 1x3Kn (General – John of Nevers), 7x3Kn, 2x3Cv, 2x4Cb.  (50% demoralisation, must have highest pip score + move towards enemy directly)

Wallachian Left (12 elements): 1x3Cv (General – Prince Mircea), 4x2LH, 2x3Bw, 1x5Hd, 4x2Ps. Appear 2nd bound

Ottoman Right (9 elements): 1x3Cv (General – Tinnurtash), 5x3Cv, 3x2LH

Ottoman Centre (15 elements): 1x3Cv (General – Sultan Bayuzid), 3x3Cv, 3x2LH, 4x4Bw, 4x2Ps.

Serbian Left (12 elements): 1 x3Kn (General – Stephen Lazarevitch), 5x3Kn, 1x3Ax, 5x2Ps  Appear on third bound.

The overall result went as it did in history with an Ottoman victory.   The French got bogged down in the dry river bed against the Ottoman centre and the Hungarians fell victim to the Serbs coming in from the Ottoman left.  The Wallachians did well on the Hungarian left, demoralising and then routing  the Ottoman left, but then suffered a series of abysmal PIP rolls that stopped them from contributing further.

We really thought that the BBDBA game added an extra dimension to the game with the demoralisation to the different commands.

In hindsight, the terrain was probably too challenging for the Hungarians as the dry river bed was treated like bad going and as soon as they eventually got out of it, the Hungarians and their French/Burgundian allies were under punishing bowfire from the Janissaries!

Here are some pictures – figures are 12mm Kallistra.

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Above – Sean considers his options as the French/Burgundians rush heroically towards the enemy!
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Above, the Serbs attack on the left

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Above, the Household Sipahi wait to pounce!

On Sunday, 15 November, Patrick Dale organised a  DBA tournament at Great Bowden near Market Harborough- this was my first and great fun it was too.  16 participants, 5 games and a theme of feudal English and their enemies.  I took a North Welsh army with South Welsh allies.  I really liked the fast moves and +3 modifier for the 3Pk – a real incentive not to hang around and get stuck in!

I look forward to my next tournament!

 

…and so into Autumn

Another good show at Partizan.  Simon Miller put on yet more epic sized games for his To the Strongest (TtS) rules – this time around Late Roman/Arthurian themes.  It was great fun to play in such large games.  I eagerly await the photos that will hopefully be put on the TtS forum soon.

Over on the Society of Ancients, Phil Steele led and coached participants through a well-researched Big Battle DBA of the battle of Bouvines in 1214 – sometimes described as the most important battle that people haven’t heard about!  A really interesting scenario.

Back on the subject of TtS,  I realise that I will never win the biggest battle competition, so I thought I might have a go at the prize for smallest.  Here are some photos of a “sort of” Poitiers game using 12mm Kallistra figures on a 24 x 16 inch board with 2 inch boxes.

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I think this shows how flexible the system really is.

Anyway – that’s all for now.  I hope to be at the Derby show in early October.

Long time no write!

Cripes – just realised that my last entry was the end of May just after the last Newark Irregulars Partizan show at Newark! Where did the summer go?

Fortunately the absence of blog entries does not mean that there has been nothing happening on the wargames front.

I have been playing more games of To the Strongest, now firmly there as my favourite Ancient/medieval set with its simple but elegant mechanisms giving realistic, fast paced and fun games.  One memorable game was Alexander v Porus as a refight of the battle of Hydaspes.   I used Philip Sabin’s Lost battles to create the OOBs – happily, using 2/3 of his lists for his scenarios, produced a couple of 140 points or so armies and it was simple to map the troop types across.  I intend to use his book for planning other scenarios.

The game did not start auspiciously for my opponent.  he played an ace when attempting to activate his right wing under Alexander and his companions – any other card would have done!  Normally this would not be a problem as a general gives a replay of the card for activation attempts in the same box as the general – but he went on to play another ace!

The game was a close one – Alexander’s right wing routed the opposing Indian cavalry and chariots and in the centre there was a brutal but even fight between the phalanx and the elephants.  Alexander’s left wing did less well and in the end it was a raw Indian bow unit, surviving against all the odds that took the final victory medal from the great Alexander.

The next game was a Romans v Ancient Britons.   Here the Britons could not avoid being ground down by the Romans and were well and truly trounced.  This was probably not helped by me forgetting to use the special move forward and fire activation for my light chariots.  But … another fun and engaging game.

There have also been a couple of good games of the 18th century rue set Maurice by Sam Mustafa.  I really enjoy this game but have yet to get my head round the right strategy – I keep getting distracted into fighting in the wrong part of the battlefield and losing the initiative!  The game is driven by cards and, if you haven’t played it, well worth investigating.

As far as the painting bench is concerned, my focus is building a few 15mm DBA armies for the 11th century – Early Muslim North African and Sicilian, Norman, Pecheneg, Communal and Papal Italian, Byzantine and Seljuqs – to fight campaigns for that part of the world.

I hope to get to the next Newark Partizan show on 6 September – Simon Miller will be putting on a huge Arthurian To the Strongest game and I would hate to miss that!

Partizan wargames show Kelham Hall Newark Sunday 31 May

Another good show put on by the Newark Irregulars.  I spent most of my visit there having a great time playing in the participation game using the To the Strongest rules by Simon Miller – and Simon was there in person to lead those who joined in through the rules.  The game was a Roman v Ancient Britons game with a large number of superb looking 28 mm figures, complete with a fortified camp for the Romans and a baggage camp for the Britons.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera and had to rely on my not very good phone but here is a photo of Simon explaining the rules to a young gamer who was actually on holiday from New Zealand with his family.  Brett, his father, played on the opposing British side with me – we lost gloriously!

partizan

I am sure that there will be lots of much better photos of this game – particularly as photographers from Wargames Soldiers & Strategy and Miniature Wargames magazines dropped by and showed keen interest – as did many other visitors to the show.  Historian and author Dr Harry Sidebottom took part in the afternoon game, so there was quite a lot of ancient warfare knowledge round the table!

For those new to To the Strongest, it is a grid based game (although the grid is very discreet) and uses playing cards to activate the units and quickly resolve melees, shooting and saves – so you can leave your dice and rulers in the cupboard.  The game that I participated in the morning moved at a fast, fun and furious pace and reached a credible historical conclusion in 90 minutes even with new players and the rules being explained and the large number of figures as shown in the photo above.  Another thing I really like about the rules is that the game can accommodate any basing convention and so you could equally play with, for example, 40mm DBx units on a 12 x 8 grid 24 inches by 16 inches.

There is more information, including free army lists, on Simon’s website at http://bigredbatshop.co.uk/ and there is also a forum at http://tothestrongest.yuku.com/ with the author being very helpful and willing to answer questions.

I will be playing more with these rules!

I ran out of time at the show and one game I regret missing was the SOA one.  Phil Steele was putting on a very good looking DBA 3 Byzantine v Arab game using 30mm flats.   I do hope that one is put on again at another show.