Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Yapton Beer Festival 2016

Oh happy day, for 'tis Yapton again, err again... another year has passed, Yapton worked it's usual magic and the sun shone, bullshit was quoth, and we all got burnt and enjoyed some outstanding ales... doesn't get any better...

As ever most beers were surprisingly cheap - I think we were paying £1.50/ £1.60/£1.70 a half, about the same as last year, but excellent value. Entry to the festival  was a fiver (which gets you an official glass, no official glass no beer), and that's the secret of this successful festival, and a lesson that a lot of Beer Festivals could do with learning...  people aren't going to come and pay a large entry fee to an event when they are then also being charged the same or more than their local pub... last years experiment of offering beer in a third of a pint at a cheaper rate again was also continued...

Long may this little festival continue!

Piccie courtesy Twitter...  this is the main bar - there's another one behind the person taking the piccie...
So without further ado here's the ales.....

Brewery Beer (click for more info) ABV Notes (from brewery website) What I can remember...
Thornbridge Wild Swan 3.5% "White Gold Pale Ale

Wild Swan is white gold in colour with aromas of light bitter lemon, a hint of herb and a subtle spiciness. A great refreshing beer!
Little underwhelming when compared to their better known "Jaipur" - I had hopes that this would match the bottled version but I don't think it did..
St Austell Proper Job 4.5% "A powerfully authentic IPA, Proper Job is brewed with a blend of imported American hops. ....
An award winning modern IPA, packed full of citrus pineapple, grapefruit resinous flavours with a fine crisp bitter finish."
One of my top 10 beers of all time - rarely seen on draught - this was always going to be a choice on the day. Interesting that the draught verison is a whole percent less than the bottled version, even so it was lovely..  very nice
Oakham JHB 3.8% "Hop: Challenger, Mount Hood
Colour: Light Gold"
Another one of the citrusy, grapefruity, super bitter, light coloured ales that are very popular at the moment..  I had two of these, but only 'cos one of the other guys got me the second one in error..
Ordered me the wrong beer and then goes to sleep... 
North Riding Citra4.5%"Citrus in a glass, the hop that keeps on delivering. Easy drinking premium pale ale with a grapefruit and lemon taste and aroma."This was the one I had hoped to have the half before..  well worth waiting for, as it didn't disappoint...
Vibrant Forest Flying Saucer 4.3% "A golden beer, with hoppy explosions of citrusy orange and grapefruit, leaving a lingering bitterness and a curious desire for more." Perfectly pleasant, but not outstanding... and no curious desire, good or otherwise...
Burning Sky Aurora 5.6% "Premium-strength pale ale with an expansive blend of US hops giving a resinous mouthfeel. Big citrus and tropical fruit flavours, yet well balanced." I'd first tried this on a Jolly Boys outing to Brighton where we had gone to a pub called the Prince Albert - one of the stand out beers for that trip, so today was a check to see if it was still as good as I remember it..  and it was, this was my "beer of the festival"...
Oakleaf Hole Hearted 4.7% "The use of Cascade hops gives this golden ale powerful floral and tropical fruit flavours, and a delicate bitterness." Bit of a cheat as this is one of my top 10 beers - I just fancied a half before I went home so I was strictly stay on on piste with this choice...

...and that was it - wended my way home for a snooze on the sofa and a watch of Eurovision...

Friday, May 06, 2016

Mapping loveliness....

Name me a wargamer who doesn't love a map...  for me I immediately start imagining the movement of troops, and before you know it a campaign is launched... 

This [clicky] therefore is very interesting - fill her boots...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

John Corrigan Memorial game 2016 - "Windtown Bridge" - The Game(s)

Much overdue but finally time to put up a post on the result of the John Corrigan Memorial game that I gave the set-up and scenario for just before Salute..  too many other events and happenings... honestly, you wait for a post here and then several come up at once.. 

So first off the table, and this:

© Rob Grace 2010
...becomes this:

White pins mark the deployment area's
...and this:


Hohenzollern DR 1 officer / 12 troopers4th Dragoons (Bases 37 and 38)
Max Josef IR 3 officers / 40 soldiersGreen Mountain Boys - 1st Battalion (1 and 2)
Green Mountain Boys - 2nd Battalion   (3 and 4)
Field Artillery 2 guns, 1 officer / 10 gunnersNew York Artillery - Light  (27)
TOTAL 69 figures (50% = 35 figures) TOTAL: 20 SP's

Advance Guard/British and Hessian

Birkenfeld CR 2 officers /16 troopers16th Light Dragoons (Bases 24 and 25)
Hoch und Deutschmeister IR 2 officers / 32 soldiersBrunswick Jaegers (3 and 4)
Brunswick Battalion von Barner (8 and 9)
Field Artillery 2 guns, 1 officer / 10 gunnersNew York Loyalist Artillery - Light (21)
TOTAL 65 figures (50% = 33 figures)TOTAL: 20 SP's

...becomes this:

Minifigs delicious'ness with Lofty C looking on..  Americans in the distance, British and Hessian closer..
With such small forces, we ended up playing the game twice, and DG won both, but I think it's safe to say the second game was closer as it went all the way to the wire... 

First game:

I am attacking from the left and have started aggressively... my infantry is attacking along the left bank of the river, while the Dragoons are advancing past the bridge on the right - this will be about move 2 or 3...  DG has made the tactically sound decision to deploy his artillery from move 1 and they are already firing... I'm wasting time bringing the gun forward for no good reason!

Damn sightsee-ers on the river again!
Sharp clash between opposing cavalry saw the 16th see off the Continentals nicely (they subsequantly routed from the field) but this was the high water mark for theme/the British...

End game - next - the British cavalry attempted a flank attack across the river on the American artillery, but failed and was sent packing (terminally), the British artillery did too little too late, and DG managed to see of my infantry by judicious use of artillery and musketry..  he has both ends of the bridge and I conceded shortly after this..

...time to crack open an enlivening snifter [clicky] and have another go!

Game 2:

A far more cautious affair..!

I am again attacking from the left, DG on the right.. he has opted to deploy artillery again from start and I have decided to do the same.. these are light pieces so the penalty modifiers over 12" are swingeing, but the opportunity to start firing from move one seems to be a game winner..

You'll note I've massed my infantry on the right..  I plan to use the hill for cover..   my cavalry are facing left - want to see if I can get them in to the cover of the farm with a view to holding that end of the bridge..

...tow or three moves later... slowly slowly catchee monkey..  DG has the end of the bridge this side.. his artillery have no targets, but my artillery is firing abysmally...

The Hophead is clearly slipping down nicely...
What a mistake-a-to-make-a [clicky] as from a position of safety behind the house the 16th LD make a daring flank attack on the Continental cavalry - who simply turn and deal with them!

Top notch view for the sightsee'ers - British shaken  (yellow dice) so no charge this turn, and they are in turn charged themselves....
British cavalry were subsequently sent packing (terminally) leaving that bank uncontested, and DG soon brought his artillery up, and sent his infantry over the bridge for the clash that was bound to happen...  and throughout all of this the Loyalist artillery continued to bash away without any effect!

Close up...
End Game..
Slowly moving my infantry up to the bridge using the hill for cover, but with turn 15 a desperate charge for the bridge was foiled by DG's artillery (now brought up) who successfully managed to cause a morale shake to the Brunswick'ers, and foil my attempt to throw the Green Mountain Boys off the bridge... should have gone for it a move or two earlier! 

Cheers, John - and here's to my getting my revenge next year! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

We wants it preciousssss....

Spotted this at Salute - definitely on my "get" list...  

At £31 though a mite expensive...  but from what I can tell this was basically his PhD thesis which is available as a free download here (currently) [clicky]??


Throughout the operations of the War of the Spanish Succession in the Low Countries and Germany, senior commanders such as John Churchill, duke of Marlborough, were aided, abetted and, on occasion, disrupted by a number of general and staff officers. These officers provided the mechanism by which supra-regimental command, military direction and management was effected. While these individuals possessed military dignity according to their rank and station, their real authority in the army was in no small part drawn from the powers and duties delegated to them by the commander-inchief, or assumed upon their own initiative; clear chains of command did not exist. Such officers functioned not only as vital elements in their own army, but within the broader context of the confederate warfare as a whole, in an army composed of English (later British), Dutch, Imperial, Danish and auxiliary German contingents. They came from diverse backgrounds and could possess constrasting (sic) political affiliations, aspirations and notions of duty. Their careers were governed as much by patronage and preference as any personal merit. A burgeoning sense of military duty was complicated by personal prejudice and the boundary between public and private endeavour was indistinct. Some officers gained wealth and financial security; others were ruined by the peculations of others".

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Salute 2016 - Part 2 - my top 5...

So...  drum roll... it's time for my top five..


So in fifth place this WWII winter war scenario by 'Loughton Strike Force' [clicky] - "Russo-Finnish War 1940". The plucky (but misguided?) Finns take on Uncle Joe's minions, with an attack over an iced lake was based around the Battle of Rate Road [clicky] during the Winter War between Russia and Finland in 1939... I swear the temperature dropped in this corner of Salute....!

Lots and lots of fine modelling and the snow effects were outstanding.... look at those tank tracks...

Superb quality for a participation game...

Ice road across the lake


...and I owe Ian an apology as I said elsewhere this wasn't really my cup of tea, as in my head I got this mixed up with the Victorix demo game we saw in the Part 1 post!

Click to embigen.

Lovely, lovely work...  you can almost smell the heat, and the dust and the oranges..  all the figures are 40mm...

Look at those lovely hussars..

Big battalions as well..



The Essex Warriors depiction of " Kunersdorf" in 28mm (Figures are mainly Front Rank I believe)

I love black powder warfare, tricorne's, linear warfare, and Front Rank figures..  this is almost ideal... what kept it off the top spot? Terrain I think.. it is very good, but not perhaps quite as good as #1 and #2... as you will see...

Lots and lots of gabions...!

Lots more pictures here [clicky] (warning - that link will take you to the 'bucket of frogs' that is The Miniatures Page TM etc - you have been warned... )


Oh my, oh my....  black powder, English Civil War, pikes, ships , terrain - this was always going to be one of my top three I knew it the moment I saw it...  scenario was "What if Essex had gone to Bristol" and it was a demo game by Neil Trew of the Crewe and Nantwich Wargames Club

Scenario description - very clever "what if"..


This takes the prize as my favourite picture of the entire day


..but just by the narrowest of margins - this was "The Battle of Wilhelmstadt, 1762 - Bill Gaskin and Friends"..  there were lots and lots and lots of little vignettes in this game individually modelled by Bill, but I think what shaded it by the most minute of degrees over the Bristol game was the degree of modelling of the town....


Horse grenadiers! Yes, please...

.. and here's the town I mentioned

..talking to the guys manning the stand they tell me that the whole thing started from that terrace at the bottom of the picture, which is a Faller model railway kit - this one I think [clicky]..

A worthy (Steve the Wargamer) winner I think!

...and if you like this - check this [clicky] out...!! 

So - that's it for another year....   roll on Colours [clicky]!