Thursday, February 28, 2008

War of the Polish Succession...

...as per my last post, as I'd never, ever, heard of the War of the Polish Succession, and my interest (as usual!) was piqued, I decided to go off and have a research one lunchtime - thought you might be interested in what I found out. For those of you who know the war intimately, however, my apologies.... J

So what did I find out?? Well, the war lasted about five years from 1733 to 1738 and was started as a result of their being no clear successor to Augustus II, the then King of Poland (known as "the Strong" he was also Duke Elector of Saxony).

After he died the Polish governing body (known as the Sejm) elected Stanislaus I Leszczynski to be king (that's him, to the left), a minority however, elected Augustus III the son of the previous king. Stanislaus was interesting as this was the second time he was elected king of Poland - he'd also been king 30 years before as a result of political manoeuvring at the end of the Great Northern War

The war started out then, as a purely civil war but soon escalated (as is all too common at this period of time) into a European war of quite astonishing political complexity!

France came in on the side of Stanislaus, as firstly Louis XV was his son-in-law, but also because France was looking to balance Russian and Austrian power in Northern and Eastern Europe. Spain supported France (Philip V was Louis' uncle), as did the Kingdom of Sardinia.

Austria came in on the side of Augustus (that's him to the right) not because he was their first choice, apparently they found him "irritating"(!), but because he was the only credible alternative. They were supported by Russia, Prussia and Saxony (by dint of Augustus being Duke Elector).

Britain and the Netherlands, Bavaria (by dint of treaty with France), and Sweden remained neutral in this war.

I would recommend a read of the Wikipedia entry for a little more detail on the politics, which are complex in the extreme, but basically, the rapid expansion of the war was due to France (supported by her allies and supporters) using the succession issue to "have a go" at Austria (supported by etc etc etc.). Deep down in the bowels of this was their ultimate aim which was to wrest the Duchy of Lorraine away from the Austrians.


Spain was after territory in Italy - controlled by Austria at this time..

Not surprisingly given this spread of underlying aims, the war had four main theatres:

~ in the Polish theatre of war (and the picture is of the siege of Gdansk) the Russians quickly took Danzig (June 1734), effectively ending the war in this theatre. Stanislaus fled to France.

~ on the Rhine the French took Philipsburg (July 1734) and went on to occupy the Duchy of Lorraine and the Habsburg Netherlands. By the by, Philipsburg marked the first major engagement of the young Frederick the Great, and the last major engagement of Eugene..

~ in Northern Italy, a French-Sardinian army occupied Milan, fought an Austro-Prussian army at the battle of Parma (June 1734 - indecisive result - approx 50,000 per side) and again at Guastalla (September that year - approx 40,000 per side). This latter was a Franco-Sardinian victory, credited largely to the Sardinians.

~ in southern Italy, Spanish forces defeated the Austrians at Bitonto (May 1734) in the Kingdom of Naples, they then went on to occupy Naples and Sicily.

...all in all then, the war was a disaster for Austria, but the arrival of Russian troops on the Rhine resulted in the French party opening peace talks, which were agreed with the Treaty of Vienna in November 1738.

By it:

~ Augustus was confirmed as king of Poland, Stanisłaus being compensated with the Duchy of Lorraine (clever that - you may remember who his son-in-law was, and with no other children guess who Lorraine would pass to on his death!)

~ Spain was forced to give up Tuscany & Parma (which passed to Austria) but Charles was compensated by being confirmed as king of Naples and Sicily (& Tuscany and Parma were regained by the Spanish after the War of the Austrian Succession, anyway!)

~ Austria ceded a strip of western Milan (with the city of Novara) to Piedmont. The succession in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was promised to Francis, the ex-Duke of Lorraine - little bit like a roundabout at this point..!

So bottom line - not much changed... the French and Austrian power base shifted slightly; overall the war was regarded a French victory, but the settlement wasn't lasting. The War of Austrian Succession (which I have heard of!) was soon to follow, again seeing France and Austria opposed to each other.

Things to read - these two are probably the best:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Polish_Succession
http://www.zum.de/whkmla/military/18cen/polsucc.html

Monday, February 25, 2008

Régiment de Nivernais..


...it's been a while since my last update, but here's some proof that I've not been idle in my absence...


..these guys are the latest regiment to join the forces of Louis XIV as part of the ongoing War of the Spanish Succession project - in fact the entire month has been a bit of a War of the Spanish Succession moment in time! J

As per Nettancourt, this regiment is solely made up of Minifgs 15's - the flag is from the excellent Warflag site..


..I'm quite keen on making sure that my armies are not full of Guards regiments, Household troops, or elite formations, and I'm happy to say that these guys fulfil that criteria quite nicely.. not that they're to be sniffed at!


The regiment was created on September 17 1684 and took the name of the province of Nivernais - and apart from this there is precious little information about the regiment.

They were one of 30 (!!) new regiments that Louis XIV raised between September 1st and 30th for home defence as a result of his fears at the time of a new coalition being formed against him.

By raising one regiment a day, he avoided any problem of precedence among these new regiments; suffice to say that during the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 86th - not 'elite' then!

The regiment carries no battle honours during the War of the Spanish Succession, but were obviously present at the action on the Schellenberg (as that's my starting point for the regiments I'm currently painting), where they were brigaded with Regiment Bearn (who had two battalions present), under the command of Brigadier de Montandre.. they were in the second line though. I guess I'm going to have to take to the books and see what I can find there - I'm assuming they would have been present at some of the other major engagements as well.

The regiment went on to serve in Italy during the War of the Polish Succession (which was new war to me - and one worth of a separate post I think).

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially served in Flanders (1742) and the Lower Rhine (1743) before being sent back to Flanders (1744/1745) and finally Genoa where it was stationed in 1747 and 1748.

So there you have it - evidence if any were needed that not all regiments lead the assault, carried off the enemies flags, and featured prominently at the schwerpunkt - some were destined to serve failthfully in the line, largely un-noticed, but important none the less..

By the by - during the French Revolution, on March 4 1790, the region of Nivernais was renamed Nièvre named after the Nièvre River - it's now part of the current region of Bourgogne (which is well known for its white wine, Pouilly Fumé).

Monday, February 18, 2008

Infantry Regiment Goor

As promised here are some pictures of Infantry Regiment "Goor".

My reading on the excellent Dutch military history site would lead me to believe that this is Infanterie Regiment 671d a regiment founded in March 1671, by the splendidly named gentelman Moise Pain et Vin (Bread and Wine?) Up until that time he had been a Major in Infanterie Regiment 665d (Regiment van Wittgenstein), having taken that post in 1665.

As usual, in 1704 the regiment was known by the name of their colonel, who at the time was Johan Wijnand van Goor - he had taken command in February 1695, but for the previous fifteen years he was a major in Regiment Wallen (Infanterie Regiment 600a) having taken that post in February 1680 - promotion was not what you would call meteoric, but the excellent spanishsuccession site (click here) has a good potted history of his career during this time, and it's clear that he was not idle...


Goor was promoted to Generaal-Majoor in August 1701, and in April 1704 he was promoted Luitenant-Generaal en Meester-Generaal der Artillerie.


Unfortunately, as I mentioned in the history/background to Sturler's in a previous post, this promising career was cut short at the attack on the Schellenberg where he was a very early casualty leading the opening infantry assault...

The regiment however went on, and was present at the following engagements

1704 Schellenberg, Hochstadt
1706 Oostende, Meenen
1708 Wijnendael
1709 Malplaquet
1711 Bouchain

The regiment was in Beinheim's brigade for the attack on the Schellenberg, so will be brigaded with Beinheim's and Sturler's (which I've already painted) - just Rechteren (Dutch), Hirzel (Swiss/Dutch) and Heidebrecht (Ansbach) to go, to complete the brigade.


Figures are all 15mm Dixon's - with the exception of two Minifgs figures that I had to draft in to make up numbers. I'm still not too sure about the sculpting on the Dixon figures, they're a little dumpy compared to the more elegant Minfigs - in the picture above, the Minifigs are in the front rank at far right, either side of a Dixon.

I'm not sure their colonel would have carried a carbine, but just for once I wanted a little fun - and have represented him as a "Sharpe" like character, looking ready for anything the French can throw at him!

The flag is entirely unsound - there are no references to what flag they carried so I decided to give them one from one of the other Dutch infantry regiments (colonel's colour Waes Infantry Regiment)

Friday, February 15, 2008

...map editor....

..just a short post this time..

You've probably realised by now that I'm a great one for little pieces of software that help me in my wargaming - those of you who are of the same mind, and who also enjoy campaigning, may want to (should!) make their way to the Frivolous Fusileers (click here) blog where Andy Mitchell describes a handy little map editor program that he's created, and made available for free..


How would I use it?? Well as I commented on his blog, I'd use it at the strategic level:

1/. I would use it to create the campaign map, making full use of the very handy random function
2/. Then I'd use the country populator program (there's a link for in my "resources" table just over to the left) to add a little more detail on the towns/populations/economy of the country I just created..
3/. Then I'd load the map into "Berthier" (ditto the link information) where I could use it to map my troop movements...

...and lo and behold, I'm at least three quarters of the way to a workable campaign!

Andy says he's going to develop the "tactical" level benefits of the program next - but that's where I see GameMapper fitting, and as a contented user it's less of a benefit to me (though the random function may be!)

You can get the program here. You may need to be a member of the Old School Wargaming group to get at it - but my only response to that would be, "why aren't you already!?" J

More later on the following activities:

~ I've just completed another regiment for the Wars of the Spanish Succession; Dutch this time. I'll post pictures on one I've finished the basing...


~ I've also just taken delivery of some Minifigs 12mm WWII stuff, that I ordered from their excellent new website. More detail on these as I finish them, but just a "heads up" that I spotted they now accept payment via PayPal, which seems optimal - I can clear out my "rubbish" (not my description, but certainly that of the current Mrs. Steve the Wargamer) from the loft, on to EBay, and then pass the proceeds direct to Minifigs - how elegant and symbiotic is that, eh?.... J

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Régiment de Nettancourt...

Régiment de Nettancourt were formed in 1695, and were known by that name until 1704 (from 1704 to '08 they were then known as the Régiment de Mailly).

They were formed from the old regiment of Vaubécourt who were raised 1589 by Henri de Nettancourt, Count de Vaubécourt, in Lorraine. They were admitted into the service of France on April 24, 1610. (The graphic by the way is from the beyond excellent, and travelling towards the sublime, website "Praetiriti Fides" - click on it to go there.. a must for all WSS/WAS/SYW wargamers with French armies)


The most senior regiments in the French army were known as the Vieux Corps and comprised three regiments each raised in 1569; Picardie, Piémont, Champagne. After these were the "Petits Vieux"; lower in seniority, but still in the higher echelon of the army, and Nettancourt were one of these regiments, ranked 11th in seniority.


All "French" regiments of the army had royal, princely, or territorial titles, or took the name of their colonel. In the case of Infantry Regiment Nettancourt it was the latter, and they were named after their colonel (presumably an ancester of their founder). I've not managed to find out any information about why the regimental name changed, but one is forced to the assumption that given the change of Colonel was in 1704 then he may have perished at either the Schellenberg, or Blenheim??


The regiments of the Vieux Corps and the Petits Vieux remained on the establishment up to 1791, when the Army was reorganised by the Revolutionary government and all the existing regiments received numbers in place of their traditional names. Regiment Nettancourt becoming the 21st Regiment of the Line - they served in various guises until the regiment was disolved in 1963.

The figures are 15mm (of course), Minifigs in their entirety (lovely!), and unusually for me, feature a front rank in the firing position. I don't normally like this pose, as they look a bit strange marching across the table in firing mode, but I hate waste, and I had enough of them to create a firing line, so why not! The flag, as ever (and the guy deserves a knighthood) is by Warflag (link to the left)..

Friday, February 08, 2008

Berthier

...as I was cycling into work this morning, I was thinking about an old article I'd written for Lone Warrior about how you can use a wargaming program called Berthier (told you before about the rush of oxygen and the strange effect it can sometimes have!).. for your pleasure therefore, I include it here, one because it is an excellent program that over the years I have had an enormous amount of use from it in various campaigns, two, because the programmer, Tony De Lyall provides it free and is very supportive of changes/mods/fixes etc. and deserves the recognition, and three, this way I won't lose the article! I've included some pictures, if you hover the cursor over them it gives a description of what the picture is showing, clicking on any of them gives a bigger, better, view..

My solo wargame activity is driven not so much by isolation as by time, or rather the lack of it. As a husband, and the father of two whirling dervishes of 9 and 13, with a full time job that itself seems to be five times busier than it was just 5 years ago, there’s precious little spare time left!

When I get home from work, by the time the children are in bed the last thing I have energy for is to either set up a game for a fellow gamer, or go to travel for a game – much as I’d like to, the spirit is willing but it always seems much easier to collapse exhausted with a beer! As a result my gaming, and the kind of gaming I do, is driven by the time that I do have available to play – lunchtimes and brief slots of time as and when I can get them.

Since lunchtime in the office is notoriously short of eight foot by six foot wargame tables stacked to the gills with gorgeously painted ranks of miniatures, the time is ideal for the type of wargaming that isn’t time/resource dependant and for me that means campaigns - I’ve spent many happy lunchtimes writing up campaign diaries, tussling over the next critical move, and working out or adapting solo rules & techniques!

Some time ago I discovered on the web a piece of software called Berthier that has helped with my campaigning significantly. Berthier (named after Napoleon’s chief of staff) is a campaign aid written by an Australian guy called Tony de Lyall. What it does is help you to manage most, if Campaign map for Sullivan's Island - we've played this a number of times in Berthiernot all, aspects of a wargame campaign using your PC to do the hard work. It’s also freeware which means you can’t argue with the price!

If you have read Featherstone’s “Solo Wargames” you will probably remember that he had one chapter on what he called the ‘matchbox system’ - Berthier recreates this on a grand scale, allowing you to have a virtual matchbox chest consisting of hundreds of matchboxes – in fact at maximum size (99 rows by 99 columns) Berthier will give you almost ten thousand “matchboxes”, but in addition Berthier also allows you to define:

• Terrain types which can be applied to each “matchbox” or grid square, squares can also be defined as towns, depots, etc.
• Movement speeds and reconnaissance ranges for up 18 different units per side – these can either be the usual foot/horse/artillery or more irregular groupings eg. all arms formations.

In Berthier, movement is alternate with each side moving all its units in its movement phase by issuing orders to units. Units have the ability to ‘scout’ nearby squares and will advise when they have identified troops of the opposing side. When opposing units enter the same square Berthier indicates that contact has been made, and this can then be either gamed out on the wargames table or within Berthier as it has it own combat resolution function.

As a result of the “I go, you go” move sequence, play by email is easy – each side can password protect it’s "part" of the campaign, and at the end of your turn you simply mail the game files to your opponent so they can do their move..

There are a host of other Berthier features (supply/logistics, transport, messages and couriers, random events, etc.) which I won’t go into here, but the following outline some of the uses I’ve put the system to.

..and this is what the same campaign map looks like in Berthier termsFirst off the system can be used at either strategic or tactical level – there is no doubt that it is intended as primarily a strategic level campaign aid, and in the horse and foot period, and I have used it in this mode a number of times. One of these campaigns was fought with the Berthier author, Tony de Lyall, and is featured on the Berthier web site.

However, because of its flexibility, I have also used it as a solo assistant with conspicuous success. You can use the usual solo campaign tricks to define the opposing force, where it is, and what triggers it, but there is no doubt that on a large map, especially if it is relatively featureless, with a lot of units on each side, it is difficult to remember where you just moved the other side!

Another one of the features that is also a boon for soloing is that fact that Berthier determines the "best" route to the destination, rather than the gamer, based on terrain between the unit and where you’re telling it to go. What this means is that in a solo scenario you can set the enemy's destination(s), but you will have no clear idea which way they will get there – an excellent way of introducing fog of war into a solo campaign.

In addition I have found the following helps:
  • Define campaign units that contain various types of sub units – kampfgruppe, or army corps depending on your scale, and choose how they are made up by random..
  • Add in a number of dummy units
  • Assign all the campaign units randomly around the map, in towns and other strategic positions – the units are only revealed when scouted, and can only be activated once units are contacted/scouted – at which time the courier rules come into play!
While not my area of interest Berthier will also work well for naval campaigns – the campaign units can be defined as various types of ships; the terrain types mostly water, scouting would work far better than on land as water is relatively featureless so bigger recon ranges can be used..
  • There is a facility within Berthier to make a unit type invisible to scouting – ideal for submarines, and opens up vistas of North Atlantic convoy games..
  • Set the recon range for aircraft carriers to a bigger area, etc.
  • Scout aircraft can be catered for..
  • In the age of fighting sail you could set differing types of strength/speed for two and three deckers, speedy frigates, etc. but what Berthier can’t do is cater for wind direction – this should be easily surmountable though..

Alternatively, what about an air campaign? The mighty 8th Air Force and it’s bombers with their Mustang support trying to get to their target, and opposed by hunting packs of Fw 190’s would be ideal in Berthier – with limited use of radar, Berthier is excellent for simulating the fog of modern war. Terrain types could include cloud (to limit visibility?), bad weather (to limit movement), ground based radar (no movement but a large recon area) etc. If you set the targets as the destination for the bombers, they will make their own way to the target and it only requires the other side to hunt where they are and summon any other forces to your aid…

At the tactical level I think there are even more possibilities

  • One option I have thought about but not yet tried is a Dungeons and Dragons game – defining the tunnels in terms of passable grid squares, with random monsters controlled by the random events function available within Berthier. The player characters can be defined as campaign units, with their own strength, as could the “monsters” if required. Imagine creeping down Berthier defined tunnels, with the only visibility being two or three squares in front or behind you, and no idea when the next nasty is going to jump out – and once they’ve hit you, where they go once they get out of ‘sight’! Again – if you set the unit representing a monster to have a destination on the other side of the dungeon it would then use it’s own route through the dungeon providing a definite element of surprise!
  • The same kind of idea, but applied to a historical genre – specifically any situation where the terrain is closed in. For example, a ‘Stalingrad’ game where German and Russian assault groups creep through the bombed out buildings never knowing when they are going to brush up against the enemy. Alternatively a steamy jungle in the Far East – anyone want to hunt Charlie? French and Indian Wars – a lone column marching through the forest to relieve a fort, never knowing when the next ambush is about to be… endless possibilities…
  • I’ve also thought that one interesting application might be for night fighter scenario’s - lone Spitfire hunts the Heinkels etc.
This is the map that I used for an American War of Indepence campaign game, based on one of the southern tobacco raids..  I created this in GameMaprThe website had some other tasty idea’s – defining an entire western town for a gunfight, and also an idea that I will be attempting once I get some of that precious time, which is to grid the actual wargame tabletop so that all movement can be hidden. This would be brilliant for WWII games, can you imagine the effect of units popping into and out of view as and when they meet the criteria for your favourite spotting rules… excellent for tank hunting, and very reminiscent of something I heard in a book written by Richard Holmes which has always stayed with me – "that the modern battlefield is characterised by the what you can’t see, rather than what you can see"!

Hope this has given you a flavour of what you can do with this brilliant piece of software; it only leaves me to tell you where you can get hold of it - either from the resources links on the left. ..and this is the same map, ported to BethierAlternatively, type ‘Berthier campaign’ into Google and it will find it for you..

Finally, as I mentioned, the author is very supportive of the program and can be contacted through the web site in the event you have any questions, suggestions for improvement etc. There’s a very comprehensive help manual available within the program, and I should also state that I’ve made a number of suggestions in the past for changes to the program and these have been accommodated very quickly!

Monday, February 04, 2008

...blaze across the sands...

German air assets recce before the battle starts - they didn't play a part in the game, I just thought they looked quite good! Aircraft are by ACM available through Minifigs in the UK My regular wargame opponent, DG, contacted me last week to let me know that he was planning to be in town for a visit. Having previously agreed that the next game should be "Blitzkrieg Commander", I set the wargame table up to depict the hot desert sands of Libya and set up about putting together a scenario..

As this was only our second game I decided to keep it simple, so decided on an encounter game. Each of us had command of a small'ish WWII battle group, which I had generated previously from the excellent "Battlegroup" application available on the Blitzkrieg Commander website. This application is worth a few words in its own right as it is an absolutely excellent resource. Basically you select nationality/theatre/date, then the number of points per side, and it then gives you a menu driven web page that allows you to select units up to the points value your allowed. The units allowed, and quantities, are then driven by the theatre, nationality and date; so no 6 pdr's for the British in 1941, limited numbers of long barrelled PzIV's for the Germans early in the war ectetc.

Once you've finished, you can then generate your OOB to print out (which I'd show you, but the British Grant squadron with command vehicle behindoutput is copyright). So what's so good about it?? Not the points value calculation (though that's kind of handy when you just want to set up a quick, equally balanced, encounter game), but all the notes and combat values that are provided on the OOB - hit values, save throws, movement, how many hit dice are all documented - together with the quick reference sheet it's almost all you want. Very useful!

So - the British had 2 units of infantry (3 stands/platoons per "unit") with integral MG's and mortars. Each infantry unit also had a 2Pdr A/T gun - one towed, the other on Portee. Armour support was provided by a couple of troops of cruisers, one of Sherman’s (comprising 3 tanks), the other a weak troop of Grants (2) - complete with relevant command units and transport, this came to just over 1000 points in Blitzkrieg Commander terms...

The Germans (with their Italian allies) were heavier in infantry, lighter in armour - they comprised 3 units of infantry (same make up as the British) two of these being German, and one Italian. The German infantry had integral MG's, and 50mm Pak's for anti-tank defence, the Italians had a light tankette flamethrower. Armour was Pz. III's (3 tanks with the short barrel 50mm), and a troop of Italian M13/40's (another three tanks) - complete with relevant command units and transport, this also came to just over 1000 points.
British set up
British set-up was as per the picture on the left (and by the way, if you hold the cursor over the pictures it will give information on what the picture is showing. Click on it, or any of the other pictures, for a bigger view) German/Italian setup was as per the picture on the right.. German set up

As the German commander, DG's plan was for a bold thrust through the centre with the Pz. III's and one of the Infantry units straight. Meanwhile having loaded up the other German infantry unit and support weapons in his half tracks and lorries there would be a wide flanking move on his left (to occupy the village), this would be coupled with a shorter distanced flank attack with the Italians and their armour on the other, right hand, flank..

The British, being British (!), were happy to react to the German offensive deploying one of the Infantry units to face the Italians, with the other Infantry unit & the Sherman’s in the centre to counteract the attack by the Pz. III's. The Grants were placed between the centre and the infantry on the right to be used against either attack as needed. For the time being, while keeping a watching brief on the wide outflanking manoeuvre to his left, the British commander decided to ignore it....

There then ensued a game of great fun and entertainment - to be fair the first four or five moves involved a lot of book reading as we re-acquainted ourselves with the rules, but we soon picked it up and the turns began to pick up pace.

In summary:

German Flanking Force Anti Tank Gun and MG deployed~ the main German attack rolled forward with alarming rapidity in the centre, before coming to a halt just outside of gun range (ran out of command points) - the Italians were slow off the mark (a low command factor for the Italian CO made it difficult to get the necessary dice throws to activate them - BC Commander uses a method of allowing a command unit to issue multiple orders to a unit, but it gets harder each order you give). The wide outflanking manoeuvre went ahead as planned with the infantry occupying the buildings, and the integral anti-tank guns and MG's deploying on the hill overlooking the British centre (see picture).

~ the British (me) had watched the fast German advance in the centre with some trepidation, happily it had ground to a halt just out of gun range, but I was also having difficulty getting units moving - the Germans, being German, have a high command factor reflecting their ability to think on their feet tactically, the British are a little slower (but not as slow as the Italian infantrySherman’s turn to attack the flanking force - one of their number burns in the background who are charmingly defined as "reluctant" which I think is clever - "reluctant" means you can get them going eventually, and when they do, they give a good account of themselves!) The Grants failed two separate command roles, but I finally got the Sherman’s up on to the hill overlooking the Panzer advance, and started taking shots at them helped by the 2pdr Portee of the infantry.

~ I soon managed to dispatch one of the Pz.III's, but DG was also having significant success with his flanking anti-tank gun and forced at least two of the Sherman’s back, and then destroyed one, until in one successful move I finally managed to get the Grants going who made serious inroads into the Pz.III's as a result of a successful flank attack. The picture
PzIII's burn under the hot desert sun - this was the view from the British centre once the Grants had got their aimabove and to the right shows the (eventually) successful Sherman’s - with the destroyed one burning in the background (courtesy of a bit of fun by yours truly and Paint Shop Pro!) Italian M13/40s on the German right flank advance in the face of stubborn opposition~ Bringing his infantry up into the centre, and into the rough ground DG was met with a veritable barrage of metal - Grants, mortars, MG's, everything I could throw at them resulted in a massive destruction. With the Pz.III threat removed, this allowed me to focus the Sherman’s on the flanking anti-tank gun, and the infantry mortars on the other anti-tank gun. With these destroyed DG graciously conceded the game and decided to withdraw, even though the break point had not quite been met... a British win!

Post match analysis:
  • First off all figures are from the excellent Minifgs 12mm WWII range; I've checked a number of other manufacturers (Pendraken, Chariot to name a few) and never found any of them to match the quality - very nice figures, and I especially like the vehicles... I also like the scale - I'm a dyed in the wool miniatures gamer and have always found 6mm figures, no matter how well detailed, to be basically game counters... these look like miniatures, whilst still being small enough to accommodate the ground scale of a WWII game
  • Somewhat unusually for us I don't think we found any major beef's with the rules, despite the fact that this was our second run through - everything is driven by D6s, though we use a D10 to track the available number of commands left (we were sometimes forgetting in the heat of battle!) The mechanisms are clean and simple - next time though I want to add in some artillery (indirect) to see how that plays, and after that aircraft....
  • For those of you who I know this is important to, the tea of choice this game was Captain Scott's Strong Blend Tea (a blend of extra strong tea as supped by the legendary Captain Robert Falcon Scott during his expedition to the South Pole, which is being sold by Tesco's in the UK with a charitable donation from each box going to the preservation of Scott's hut at Cape Evans) a suitable beverage for brewing up in the desert, I thought... munchies in DG's case was provided by a slice of my smallest person's extra chocolaty birthday cake, I settled for a couple of Boasters! J

Friday, February 01, 2008

January totals..

...crikey, February already... so how was January for you?

On the blog front - I did quite well... it's always a source of amazement to me, that the load of old guff I write here is of interest to so many people, but hey ho, and "thanks!" whoever you are.. J

The painting points are looking quite good as well:

For anyone who's interested in the points program I'm using to tally up my painting points, please make your way to Mike Cannon's excellent blog (click here), where he not only tells you where you can get the program (and it is free), but also gives a little tutorial on how to set it up... for those of you who want to start playing before you've read the rules though, you can get it from here J