Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Replacement terrace redux... bargain...

My regular reader may remember this post [clicky] back at the beginning of the year when I had just finished building the 4Ground terraced house that I bought at Warfare last year...

I had a good look on the stand again at this year show as I wanted another terrace at least, but they were only carrying 28mm scale when I was there (must have sold all the 15mm stuff the day before!  ) but purely by chance I was on their website yesterday and noticed they are doing a Black Friday sale offer [clicky]..  25% off with coupon code 19BF4G!!

Fill yer boots...  I have! 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Warfare 2019

First wargame show since since Salute back in April so I was looking forward to this one, as previously reported DG was down so it was a double bonus - always good to have a natter when you go to a show and invariably one of us spots something the other hasn't seen..  

I thought it was a bit of a quiet show this year, we went on the Sunday and from reading the posts from the other Blogerrati who attended on Saturday, a number of games they showed were not there the day we went - which is a shame..  the trader hall was full, but a number of the traders had bigger stands which I think (?) meant fewer overall traders there...  yet again no Peter Pig stand (and I had money ready)..

Purchases? Bargain spray tin of Army Painter anti shine varnish, and this [clicky] which I just could not resist.. day I think that might be a project of mine..  

Not so many games this year, this participation game was very effective though (by Boscombe Down and Amesbury Wargames Club)

...scratch built by club members, and the tower had rooms/interiors - I liked the way they had modelled the ruined wall sections to swap in when damage was being represented..

Given my dislike of all things hex, my game of the show was the following by Aylesbury Wargames Club who put on a 28mm Bolt Action game alled "Berezina Bridge" which was set on the Eastern Front in September 1944

Sealed Knot (the re-enactment group) put on this clever night battle game set during the Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685. The blank squares were to hide the battlefield so that as units advnced terrain was revealed that might or might not affect the advance..  very clever.. the terrain and buildings were also all painted monochrome which made for a very distinctive look.. top marks..

....and that was largely it....  some of the competition games were very good looking, I was quite taken by a Pegasus Bridge setup on one of them, but there were no figures on the table at the time. There was a massive 28mm game by Newbury and Reading Wargames Society called "Caractacus Strikes Back" set in Britain circa 45 AD  but to be honest other than a lot of figures that was largely it, terrain was club game night standard and it didn't make me go "wow"...

After years and years, the show moves venue next year - Ascot race course - it'll be interesting to see if they manage to also change the format/vibe at the same time.  The show is ace, but the venue has always been a bit hit and miss! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 19 - "Blow from the Rear" - Set Up and Game(s)

What can I say?

'Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa..etc", I am a bad blogger, bad boy, for it has been 5 weeks at least since my last update...  I have no excuse, just a general lack of time, a new office location (which is taking an extra hour a day out of my life more than the previous location due to it being further away), some much needed R&R (Cyprus.. just glorious...), and various other time wastage's ("life")..  I think that I will be making some serious changes come the new year - it's time I started culling those various wastes of time, that detract from the more constructive use of my time (you know who you are Farcebook)...

Anywho...  here we are/were..  it was 'Warfare weekend', and as friend DG was down from deepest darkest Wales to attend the show, it seemed downright churlish not to also grab the chance of a game..  period was a quick decision, it's been almost two years since the last game using these ACW figures, and that is more than long enough..  last time we played, we used the rules from One Hour Wargames that we had played around with and modified - they give a good game and have a particularly good mechanic for unit activation I like, so we decided to use the same again this time..

For a scenario I went back to the book to continue the delightful wend through the scenario's, and I am up to #19 which posits the idea of a surprise flank attack from the rear (and you'll get no more than that from me as you need to go buy the book [clicky] if you haven't already... only £3 on Kindle!)

Table was as follows:

The river marks the defensive line..

..the defender deploys this side of it, the attacker the other side..

We played fixed/identical forces of 6 units - three infantry (Regulars by God!), one zouave, one cavalry, one artillery..  DG chose Union and the defender role, I took Confederate and the attacker role..

....and so to the game (or  games, as we played twice..)

First game...  a resounding DG victory..

Early in the game (following) and on my right flank/bridge (following) I had deployed a blocking regiment who never quite managed to suck in as many of DG's troops as I had hoped..

On the left flank was the bold move...  I have sent my zouaves and a supporting infantry regiment across the bridge with the idea of forcing an early decision - unfortunately, it was 'decision making' but not quite the way I wanted it to be... by the time my reinforcements had arrived on the table (following) both the zouaves and the infantry had been destroyed..

...and worse, DG's reinforcements we sallying forth from their encampment (following).. these rules, you move or you fire, and it encourages static positions in the presence of any enemy so that you can fire...  suffice to say DG managed this better than I and with my reinforcements melting away I conceded...   time for beer and starch based comestibles...

Second game...  a resounding StW victory..!

Having started on the beers we decided to play again, same sides/forces, as I think I saw what I had done wrong and wanted to see if I could force a win..

For this game I deployed the infantry and zouaves on the other bridge (my right flank) but with artillery support from the start...  basically I then blew DG's forces away from the bridge, crossed in force (following), and DG conceded when it was clear he wouldn't be able to force my units away from the bridge..

...apologies, no other pictures as I was enjoying the game too much! 

Post match analysis:

  • we continue to really like the dice allocated activation, and when the ECW forces arrive on the table I will use the same mechanism in the rules I write for them
  • we cocked up mightily on cavalry charging (or rather not charging) and only realised we had about half way through the second game - won't make that mistake again! Basically they can charge anything, not nothing.. 
  • some kind of unit marker to show full/two thirds/third strength would speed up play considerably
  • beer on the evening was the delightful "Summer Lightning" [clicky], an absolutely classic bottle conditioned golden ale

Sunday, October 06, 2019

I have been to.. Wilmington Priory

Not strictly a battlefield or military site, but stupidly impressive none the less and I thought worth sharing and besides it's not every day you get to stay at a place that has its own Wikipedia entry!

My sister in law is in her 60th birthday year and has decided rather than just focus on a birthday she'd celebrate the whole year.. and invited her sisters (and their leeches - of which I am one!) for a weekend stay at this place...

There are a couple of links at the bottom with more detail -which I don't propose to precis/repeat here - but this place is a right archaeological jigsaw puzzle..
Copyright Landmark Trust, natch'...
Wilmington was an "alien" priory..  a new term to me..  and basically meant it was a satellite of a much larger monastery (in this case in Normandy) put in place to manage any lands that the mother monastery might have in the area...  the oldest bits date from the early 13th Century...

Also copyright Landmark Trust, natch'...  turn this one on it's side to match the orientation of the first map..
Sis in laws room (following)..   this is above the the porch in the map and would have originally been a high status room, accessed from the first floor of the great chamber ..

This was our room (following) which was first floor South East wing, and originally the chapel.....  rafters and above are Tudor..

...below the rafters, Georgian..

Floor below our room was the sitting room.....  pure Georgian, but originally 1225.....

..remains of the Old Hall -  the drum tower in the first map would be about where that house is..

South wall of what was the Old Hall...   that older bit is the outside of what they call the Porch in the map above, so the wall is mid 14th Century (1330)

East end of the Old Hall - there was a mahoosive'ly deep well behind that half wall

Great Chamber, or rather the remains (following)..  15th Century...  this is the view from what would have been inside (looking south)..

You can still see the spiral stairs in the upper parts of those towers, though no access to them now unfortunately..

...and from the other side.. so looking west along the front of the house..  there was (probably) a portcullis on the outside of this wall above that window next to the bench at some point in time..  14th C..  the window is the outer side of the porch..

Speaking of the porch..  not quite how you or I would use the word I suspect, this was probably my favourite part of the building..  so the window in the picture above, is on the left..  the arch on the right was the original entrance to the Old Hall

© Copyright Peter Barr and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Detail (following) of one of the faces on the bottom of each of the vaulted arches in the porch..  stunning..  he has a half beard and moustache..

Kitchen...comparatively new..  "only" 17th C.

Room above the kitchen (following)..  this leads to the bedroom my Sis in Law was using..  pretty much untouched so as to reserve the archaeology

Yee olde 15th C ping pong table...  was I the only one in the house who thought "what an amazing place for a game"? Probably... 

Entrance to the under croft/crypt

Amazing...  and a home to bats (as was the porch)

...and this was the view from the south kitchen window..  the Long Man

...brilliant weekend...  love to go there again.

More history here: Wilmington Priory short history [clicky]
The Wikipedia entry: Here [clicky]

Friday, October 04, 2019


Shtandart [clicky]
Much overdue, but I've been busy..  

At a recent visit to the Southampton Boat Show I was much taken with this beauty.. 

The frigate ‘Shtandart’ is a full-size replica of the flagship of the first Russian Baltic fleet built in 1999. There were no plans so they used naval historian, Victor Krainyukov, who had been commissioned in 1987 by the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg to find out everything possible about the ship.

After extensive research in the archives and records for multiple nations, and with the discovery of an 18th Century which showed the Shtandart in action, they had enough to go on to rebuild the ship. She's made in larch and is stunning..  the web site [clicky] has some shots of her under full sail that are superb..