Tuesday 31 December 2013

I feel really old

Time for an unapologetic non-gaming blog post. Today is a major milestone because my little girl has turned 18! Late on New Years Eve 1995 my first daughter, Sarah, was born. I knew she would turn our life upside down - in a good way - the moment I saw her, and she hasn't disappointed! The years have rolled by and she has graduated from being my first Padawan into a fine Jedi with big ambitions and some well honed gaming 'skillz'. Now she becomes an adult... and by god I feel old!!

18 years ago...back when I had hair and none of it was grey!!!
We are having a big 18th Birthday party tonight lots of family and Sarah's friends around and then I guess it'll take us a week to clear up and get the house tidy again! I haven't picked up a paintbrush over the whole of the Christmas holidays and I have a huge backlog of Blogs to read (sorry folks) but I'm determined to get back on track by the end of the week. My Winter Painting Challenge entries won't paint themselves after all!

Saturday 28 December 2013

Victory to the Empire

Hello everyone, I hope you have had a good Christmas and for those of you in the UK I hope you have not been adversly effected by the bad weather we are experiencing at the moment. I haven't done any painting all week because we have been busy preparing for Christmas and then clearing up after it! Besides, I've been so stuffed with turkey and trimings I have hardly had the energy to move out of my chair until today. 

I recieved a nice haul of goodies from Santa this year, including the X-Wing Miniatures Game which I have been drooling over for some time. I've only got the basic set at the moment but I'm already planning some supplimentary purchases as I can see this being a fun favourite in the Hadley household. The reason for this is my youngest daughter - the Young Padawan no less - has been playing the Quick Play rules with me, and she's won two games out of two!  

Seriously, nothing is quite as humiliating as having your arse handed to you by an 8 year old!  

Right, time to break out the credit card and get an arms race going! 

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Happy Christmas Folks

The first week of the Analogue Hobbies Annual Winter Painting Challenge is over and so is the first of the seven Bonus Rounds. The first of these was Non-Combatants and for my entry I sent in this great 28mm model of Wayland the Smith. The figure was given away free by Wayland Games to anyone that made a purchase from their stand at Salute 2012. Although it never got painted at the time I knew it was just too nice a model to sit neglected in my Lead Mountain for long. The Challenge gave me the spur I needed to dig this model out and give it the colour it so richly deserved. 

The proportions and detail of this sculpt are really quite nice and the quality of the metal is very good (so no bendy sword blades!). I've painted the figure in nice bright festive colours.... but hang on a minute, is that a wooden sword he is working on? Maybe this isn't Wayland after all?  

If this is indeed Father Christmas making a toy sword for some lucky child it must represent him at the start of his career, before the endless mince pies affected his waistline!

Well thats all from me this side of the festivities so all that remains for me to do is to thank all my readers for following my sometimes haphazard posts here on BLMA and to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Monday 23 December 2013

Rogue Trooper

Another entry to the Winter Painting Challenge and again I have taken inspiration from the pages of the British Comic 2000AD. 

I bought this excellent figure of Rogue Trooper from Foundry a few weeks ago along with the Judge Dredd model I have already entered into the Challenge. As with Dredd it stands 32mm foot to eye and 36mm overall so its quite a large model. The casting was excellent with virtually no mould lines or flash needing to be removed and all the details were crisp and finely sculpted, all of which made it easier to paint. 

I have tried to stick to the colour scheme from the origional comics but as with most of these long runnning characters some of the colours changed over time and with different illustrators. I have gone with a slightly darker interpretation of the blue skined genetic warrior. 

This was a fun model to paint and will join Dredd in my modest (ie far too small) display cabinet. So all that remians is for Rogue to scour Nu-earth for the Traitor General and avenge the Quartz Zone Massacre! 

Thursday 19 December 2013

Taking The Challenge to Work

As Christmas draws closer the tension is building, and like many families across the globe, the panic is starting to set in! We have a lot of entertaining to do this holiday season, culminating in my Daughters 18th Birthday Party on New Year's Eve. Inexplicably the jobs left to do seem to be stacking up and up rather than being whittled down. So painting models for the Challenge while I'm home, is proving a little problematic - not to mention 'politically sensitive' with the wife - at the moment. The solution; do my painting at work.

Unlike that giant of Challenges past - and all round lovable sandbagger - Ray, I can't spend the whole day painting at my desk, but I can squeeze in some short sharp bursts of activity in my lunch breaks. And to prove it, here's my set-up from today. I normally remove myself to the tea room next door but one of my colleges was working in there so I stayed at my desk and got some painting done here instead. 

I tend to bring the bare minimum of equipment with me which helps focus my mind on what needs to be done next. Much of the 'essential' stuff I would normally have on my painting desk hasn't been used since I started painting at work and it just shows that all you really need is a few brushes and paints, a mixing tray and some water. 

Oh and here's a quick sneak peak at my current projects for the Challenge. I haven't quite finished painting Rogue Trooper just jet, I still have a few small items to finish and then I can varnish him and take some proper pictures for submission to Curt. Tom Bombadil meanwhile is still at the 'finkin' bout it stage, waiting for me to decide where to start. 

Judge Dredd opens my Challenge

Well the Winter Painting Challenge has been chugging along for the best part of a week now and while I have been working on lots of models, most are still unfinished. In most cases all that remains is for me to do is apply varnish and add grass or other groundwork, and this is a stage that just can't be rushed. Once - a long time ago - I tried applying static grass to the base of a model whose varnish hadn't fully dried and I ended up with a furry green knight... I won't make that same mistake again, no matter how much pressure there is to rush submissions to the Challenge.

So, for now, here is my opening entry: Judge Dredd by Wargames Foundry. 

I bought this model a few weeks ago when I visited the Foundry factory/shop during Blog-Con. As a kid I was always more into British Comics like 2000AD rather than the DC or Marvel variety and so I am much more familiar with characters like Dredd or Rouge Trooper than I am with Spiderman or the Avengers. So when I saw this model I just had to buy it for inclusion in the Challenge. 

The figure is quite large, standing 32mm from foot to eye and 36mm overall. This larger scale combined with the fact that it is made from white metal give this model a nice hefty feel when you pick it up. Frankly casting Dredd cast in plastic or resin would just be wrong.

I went for strong highlights and bright colours rather than the subdued hues that are seen in some illustrations. While I loved the new Dredd film that came out last year, you just can't beat the original look of the uniform from the comic, complete with gold plated body armour.

Because the figure is significantly larger than 28mm Curt classed this as a 40mm figure and awarded me 7 points for it. 

Monday 16 December 2013

The Battle of Pas des Colines

About a week ago fellow Reject Richard contacted Ray and I about taking part in a play-by-email type wargame set in 18th Century France. We would issue orders to our troops and Richard would then play the game following our instructions until the situation had changed enough to warrant new or revised orders from the commanders. What followed was a fascinating insight into the fog of war, the difficulties of reading a tactical situation and formulating a plan that tries to anticipate the mind of the opposing general. Normally we play games where the deployment of forces is more or less set and we micro-manage the individual battalions. In this game we were issuing orders to whole Brigades and had lots of room for manoeuvre and deployment. 

Extract from Richards opening notes to us explaining the situation:

In 1755 the nobility of France have finally had enough of their depraved king and the influence that Madame de Pompadour has over him, and have revolted in order to exert their rights and save the kingdom from the ‘she-devil’. The nobles have laid siege to the royal stronghold of Verdun. However, the king has sent a force to relieve the fortress. The nobles having got wind of this have set out to stop the reinforcements at the Pas des Colines and deliver a firm message of defiance to Louis XV and his scheming mistress.

It is 10am and the king’s forces are in march column arriving from the south-west. Meanwhile, detachments from the nobles’ army have appeared to the north-east and south-east. The king’s army consists of two brigades. Each one has 4 line battalions and medium artillery, all in march column. The front (1st) brigade also has a unit of skirmishers. The general in charge is very experienced and has successfully acquitted himself in the Austrian War of Succession.

The nobles’ army has two infantry brigades each of 4 battalions, but only the 1st has medium artillery. These all start in march column. There are also two cavalry brigades, the 1st cuirassier and the 2nd being dragoons. Both brigades have already deployed into line. The general in charge is relatively inexperienced but seems to show some promise.

All the hills represent very difficult going for all except light infantry in skirmish formation. All the hills represent very difficult going for all except light infantry in skirmish formation. Entry into woods should be avoided unless skirmishers.

The following pictures/maps are the 'orders' I issued and how I read the situation as the game progressed. After the second phase I was beginning to feel that I had made a terrible error in my deployment, but having committed my forces I had to carry through and hope. 

Phase One - The picture shows the opening deployment of the game with the Kings forces marching in column towards their objective (point X at the top of the map). My plan was to divide the enemies forces by attacking from both north and south. I moved my 2nd Cavalry Brigade (Dragoons) north to ensure I had numerical superiority there while moving my 2nd Infantry Brigade to threaten the rear elements of the Kings army. However I underestimated the movement of the enemy and most of the Kings forces moved north before I could contact with them.

Phase Two - The kings forces have moved much further north than I anticipated and I am now worried that my 2nd Infantry Brigade (at the south of the picture) are going to be left behind. Meanwhile in the north it looks like the kings forces are going to try and outflank my infantry. I decide that I will close the net and bottle the enemy into the valley between the Hills A, C & D and the woods marked B. 

Phase Three - The enemy in the south have finally turned to face the threat from my 2nd Infantry Brigade. I outnumber them but they have artillery support. My Dragoons (2nd Med Cavalry) pull back and hold position to threaten any advance by the Kings men up the eastern side of the small (one tree) hill. This apparently confused Ray and he held back from breaking out of the valley while our artillery took post shots at each other. Meanwhile in the north after a failed charge on infantry squares my Heavy Cavalry reform while my 1st Infantry Brigade move forward and exchange musket fire. 

Phase Four - Ouch! My 2nd Infantry Brigade in the south has taken a pounding with two battalions fleeing the field. However they have managed to keep Ray's attention here and the rest of his 2nd Infantry Brigade do not head north. In the north my infantry have taken heavy casualties but have also weakened the enemy so I order them to pull back and allow the Heavy Cavalry to thunder into the enemy lines again. This time they fail to see the threat and do not form square. Meanwhile my Dragoons prepare to move forward again and probe the centre of the enemy. 

End Phase - My Heavy Cavalry in the north thunder into the unprepared infantry of the kings army and ride them down! Meanwhile the Dragoons have also charged into the Kings infantry in the centre, albeit at some cost to themselves. In the south however my 2nd Infantry have been repulsed and have most definitely lost the battle there. But... the Kings forces are now unable to achieve their objective and cannot hope to reinforce Verdun. The Nobles have gained themselves a bloody victory and both side withdraw from the field with honour. 

I won! I have to say though it feels very much like a pyrrhic victory, but I'm not complaining. The fog of war was very thick throughout this game and trying to second guess Rays movement was extremely difficult. Towards the end I think the Kings forces definitely had the upper hand, but I threw in my cavalry and with a large helping of luck I somehow pulled victory from the jaws of defeat. 

This was a really fun game to play and a real challenge to the old brain cells. Thanks to Richard to running the game and to Ray for giving me a good run for my money. 

Friday 13 December 2013

Drowning in Emails

OK, time for a little seasonal rant about one of my pet hates, Marketing Spam. 

My email address is pretty important to me, I use it all the time and consequently I rely on it. Its my link to friends, family, fellow wargamers and yes a handful of selected wargames companies. On the whole I guard the distribution of my email address as much as I can. Whenever I order online, or am required to enter an email address to register with a website I always make sure that I deselect myself from receiving marketing emails. These things have a way of snowballing out of control and before you know it an email address can become unusable from the sheer volume of marketing spam being sent to it (I've lost two email accounts that way), and that's just the legitimate stuff and doesn't including when your address gets passed on to 'third parties' beyond your control. But some big high street retailers clearly don't value your personal space as much as you do. 

So when I started receiving marketing emails from GAME in mid October I was initially surprised because I know I had deselected myself from their newsletter and other marketing material when I placed an order with them online. Fortunately most companies now include an Unsubscribe link in their emails and I quickly did just that and thought the matter over and done with. Then I received another marketing email from GAME, and another and another. 

As Christmas has approached the amount of Marketing spam being spewed out by GAME has increased to fever pitch and I am now receiving daily mailings (sometimes twice daily) for products I am not interested in and do not intend on buying. Every single time I have hit the unsubscribe button and read the same pointless message "Are you sure you want your email address to be removed from all future GAME marketing emails?" [my emphasis]...well duh, yes I @&*$#!% do!

According to a report that came out before last years Christmas rush Marketing emails accounted for 70% of all spam complaints! Seventy percent! And the vast majority of this is being vomited out by legitimate High Street companies, not by criminal gangs operating out of Russia or some other jurisdictional black hole. In October this year the consumer magazine Which? said that in a recent survey it found the the average person is receiving more than 100 marketing emails per month. Even someone who guards their email address obsessively like myself receives in excess of 60-70 per month, so what can you do to mitigate this inrush of utterly pointless rubbish? 
  • First and foremost try not to give your email address out of you can. If you have no choice, when registering with a site for instance, make sure you opt-out of email newsletters and third party promotional emails or you will be flooded by spam. Once it starts its hard to stop. 
  • Sign up to the Email Preference Service which is run by the Direct Marketing Association - The irony of having to visit the website of the organisation set up to promote email spam to get it stopped isn't lost on me, but its worth a try. It won't stop a lot of the so called permission based spam (where you have to enter an email address to use a site and aren't given a choice to opt out of emails) but it may filter out some of the mail from 3rd parties. 
  • Most - but sadly not all - marketing emails have an unsubscribe link. I religiously unsubscribe from 'legitimate' marketing spam and sometimes it is acted upon promptly by the company involved...GAME have a lot to learn about this! However it's important to add you should avoid responding to spam emails if you have any doubts about who has sent them.
  • Here's a crafty trick...set up a junk email address only to be used when you suspect you'll receive shit loads of spam. The marketeers can spam to their black hearts content and you won't have to read any of it. 
  • If you have a spam filter on your email account, activate it and Block Addresses for mail you don't want to get. 
Of course the only sure fire way to avoid Spam altogether is to delete your account, throw out the computer and revert to a simpler way of life where we communicated using drums or smoke signals or something. However I have adopted an even more radical approach, Spam the bastards back! I've started my own campaign and have started to send as many complaints as I can to GAME's Customer services team. If they are going to abuse my email address then I might as well take full advantage of the two way link...I know its a moskito biting an elephant but it gets some of the anger and bile off my chest!

Thursday 12 December 2013

The Lost BatRep

Today was supposed to be the day I finally umpired a wargame for the Rejects, a task I set for myself as a New Years Resolution back in January. I've been working towards this all year, and in the last few months I have been painting and scheming like a man possessed to get a large scale FOW scenario ready, using my 6mm North Africa figures. But getting the fellas together for a game seems to be more difficult than I thought and the game scheduled for today has had to be postponed because that renegade budgie smuggler Ray let me down! To be fair it wasn't his fault and I totally understand, but it has sorta kiboshed achieving my resolution. 

On the plus side though I still decided to take the day as a holiday (I needed to use it up) and have had a very pleasant day prepping figures for the Challenge and going to see my youngest daughter's school Nativity play. I'm now feeling very prepared for the challenge and very Christmassy. So while I don't have a BatRep to post this evening I don't mind too much because I've had such a nice relaxing day. OK that's it, toodle pip! 

Monday 9 December 2013

Challenge Prep & Christmas Mayhem

Its been another very busy weekend of Christmas related mayhem and exhaustion. I'm actually glad to be back at work for the rest! Needless to say very little is happening on the hobby front, at least not while I'm at home. In fact I doubt if I'll get much done while I'm at home from here until after the New Year...the wife has me fully booked for household chores! I guess that's what we get for inviting lots of family round for Christmas Day and Boxing Day and hosting a joint New Years Eve slash 18th Birthday Party. We don't do stuff by halves in this house.

Despite the near frantic preparations I have managed to put together my 'challenge box' consisting of all the stuff I want to paint during the Analogue Hobbies Winter Painting Challenge. Like many other participants I'm currently busy trying to prep figures, build multi-part vehicles and prime models during my lunch breaks at work so that I have stuff ready to paint from day one of the Challenge. 

A couple of weeks ago I listed my initial to-do list for the Challenge but now that I have started gathering together the figures my list has changed a little. This is partly in response to models I have 'rediscovered' along the way and partly strategy (i.e. my attempt to accommodate the Bonus Rounds).
  • 6mm Italian Bersaglieri Light Infantry Company - This consists of three platoons of Rifle/MG teams accompanied by HMGs and Anti Tank guns. I'm also adding a support platoon of Mortars and some P40 heavy tanks. I'm still waiting for some models to arrive but I should have everything by Mid January which gives me plenty of time to get them painted during the Challenge. 
  • I have also dug out a project that never got beyond the primer stage last year. I put together a 15mm Panzergrenadier Platoon and got as far as undercoating the models just as I started putting together my 6mm stuff. In the end I put the Panzergrenadiers in a box and tucked them away untouched, but its high time I got these out and painted them. As already mentioned they are based and primed (my preferred method for working on 15mm stuff) but have not seen a lick of colour yet, so they are ideal candidates for completion during the Challenge. 
  • I was planing on painting up a platoon of 15mm British Cromwell Tanks but as they are not part of a new company it seemed a bit of a waste of effort. However when I opened the box I found I had four Cromwell's and a Firefly inside and this game me a new idea. I'm going to paint several individual tanks for display only and I have a range of iconic vehicles just waiting in the wings including a Churchill Tank, a Tiger and a Sherman. I wouldn't normally base these for gaming with but as these are for display rather than gaming I'll make up some suitable bases for them. 
  • As previously mentioned when I was at Blog-Con I was so inspired by the Blazing Dice game that I picked up a couple of blister packs (12 figures) of Wild West gunmen. These are 28mm foundry figures from their Wild West range and should make an interesting diversion from my normal fare.
  • I also bought a couple of 2000AD character figures (Judge Dredd and Rouge Trooper) just to paint for fun. This was my Comic of choice as a kid and so I'm more familiar with these characters than I am the superheros of DC or marvel and as such they have a special place in my memory. 
  • Working through my Lead Mountain I found several special models that I have bought on a whim and really ought to try and get painted at some point. These include a wonderful figure of Tom Bombadil from the Games Workshop and Bromhead by Black Scorpion
I've no idea if this is enough to reach the 600pt target I have set myself but hopefully I can pick up a few bonus points as we go along to bolster my tally. 

Thursday 5 December 2013

Regiment de La Sarre Infantrie for BFC

I have finished painting my contribution to the Bloggers for Charity game. I received the models last month and was eager to get them done and returned in good time. The group are recreating the Battle of La Belle-Famille which took place on July 24, 1759, during the French and Indian War (the North American theatre of the Seven Years' War). My figures are 28mm Regiment de La Sarre kindly donated by AW Miniatures.

Its been a long while since I have painted anything larger than 6mm but I soon got into the swing of this project and have made swift progress (well, swift by my standards!). I painted these almost exclusively during my lunch breaks in work, doing a little less than an hour or so every day for the last four weeks. I was strict with myself, not starting a particular area unless I had time to finish it during the hour available. This broke the project down into a long series of relatively simple steps and made progress quite easy despite my initial trepidation.

As you can see I haven't based these figures they will now be sent back to BFC HQ (in the shape of fellow blogger Loki) where they will be based to a common 'formula' along with all the other submissions from other contributors. This well help bring the wide range of styles together and make this feel like an army, rather than a set of different regiments thrown together. I'm really looking forward to seeing how these look when completely finished.

One of the positives of painting in work has been the generally positive reaction I have had from my colleges. Some have seen me painting before, but over the last three weeks the whole team have passed through the office at one time or another and most have stopped for a quick look at my progress and a chat. The most common reaction has been surprise at my "patience" and the level of detail that has gone into these figures. I doubt if I have converted anyone to our cause, but maybe they all understand 'Wargamers' just a little bit better now.

 With these now complete I can concentrate on finishing my preparations for the Analogue Challenge.

Monday 2 December 2013

The Battle of Turners Farm - 7th June 1643

The Rejects gathered on Saturday for a game of By God or By Might We Will Prevail Posties very own English Civil War rule set. This is the first time I have played this game and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a very 'bloody' set of rules making Melee and close quarter shooting viciously effective. By the end of this game half a dozen units had ceased to exist and a similar number leaders had been captured or killed. 

Setting the Scene

Prince Rupert's Army has been trying to bring the Earl of Essex to battle, thus forcing Essex to retire from the Midlands and giving the Royalist forces in the area some breathing space to fortify and re-supply various garrisons cut off by the Parliamentarian forces. A win over the Parliamentarians would give Rupert more fame and glory if he were to beat Essex. Essex as you can imagine will want to hang onto his stranglehold of the Midlands and its Royalist Garrisons, which are near to collapse. Both sides have come to the conclusion that it is now inevitable that a pitched battle is going to take place and both sides have built up their forces, confident of victory. They have now arrived at Turners Farm near the village of Stow ready to do battle. 

Order of Battle
Royalists c/o Prince Rupert
  Prince Ruperts Lifeguard (Elite)
Foot c/o Sir Jacob Astley
    1st Brigade c/o Sir Gilbert Gerrard
      Sir Edward Strastling - Foot (Trained)
      Sir Charles Vavosour - Foot (Trained)
      Sir Lewis Dyke - Foot (Raw)
    2nd Brigade c/o John Belasyse
      Sir Allan Apsley - Foot (Trained)
      Sir Charles Gerrard - Foot (Veteran)
Horse c/o Lord Henry Wilmot
   1st Brigade c/o Sir JohnByron
     Prince Rupert - Horse (Veteran)
     Prince of Wales - Horse (Veteran)
     Queens - Horse (Veteran)
   2nd Brigade c/o Lord Digby
     Sir Arthur Aston - Horse (Veteran)
     Nicolas Crisp - Horse (Trained)
     Sir Thomas Tyldesley - Horse (Trained)
   3rd Brigade c/o Robert Dormer, Earl of Carnarvern
     Colonel Thomas Howard - Horse (Trained)
     Lord Brougham - Horse (Raw)

Parliamentarian c/o Earl of Essex
  Earl of Essex Lifeguard (Elite)
Foot c/o Sir John Merrick
  1st Brigade c/o James Holborne
     Lord Roboules - Foot (Trained)
     Lord Sayeand Sele - Foot (Trained)
     Sir William Sprongale - Foot (Raw)
  2nd Brigade c/o Harry Birclay LTB
    Southward Auxilliary London Trained Band - Foot (Trained)
    Blue Auxilliary London Trained Band - Foot (Trained)
    Red Auxilliary London Trained Band - Foot (Trained)
Horse c/o Sir Philip Stapleton
  1st Brigade c/o Sir James Ramsey
    Earl of Essex - Horse (Veteran)
    James Mavlerners - Horse (Trained)
    Sir William Constable - Horse (Trained)
  2nd Brigade c/o Sir Arthur Haselrigg
    Sir Arthur Haselrigge (Lobsters) - Horse (Veterans)
    Colonel Richard Norton - Horse (Raw)
    Sir John Maldrum - Horse (Trained)
  John Lilburne - Dragoons (Raw)

The Action
Initial Setup - Parliamentarians on the left with the Royalists on the right. Both wings consisted of large formations of cavalry with infantry and guns in the centre.
The view from the Parliamentarian side. 
The obligatory shot of Postie, our lord, master and in this instance author of the rules
Looking down the Parliamentarian lines. The windmill looked good but it didn't really play any part in the game other than to mark the edge of the battlefield. 
Raw troops and militia exit the town. However they were of such poor quality that they spent most of the game within the town or on the bridge. 
The opening move of the battle. Royalist and Roundhead cavalry square up and charge each other. 
Farmer Turner realises him and his sheep are standing between two belligerent armies. Turner wisely decides to get the flock out of there (sorry, had to be done)
With a mighty crash and thunder of hooves the first cavalry melee commences on the Royalist right wing.  Unfortunately for Prince Rupert's cavalry things go badly and soon the royalist cavalry are streaming back in disorder (one unit is destroyed, and another is Routed)
Meanwhile at the other end of the battlefield the opposing cavalry position themselves for their own clash.  
Parliamentarian cavalry capitalise on their earlier success and pursue the fleeing Royalists. However in so doing they are weakened and a later counter attack by the royalists stabilises the flank, but the cost to both sides is high. 
Parliamentarian Dragoons move slowly onto the battlefield. They finally got to fire in the very last turn of the game, scoring crucial casualties on Prince Rupert's Lifeguards.
The aforementioned lifeguards looked spectacular but never had a chance to play a crucial role in the battle. They moved to 'counter' the positioning of the parliamentarian Dragoons and then shifted to the flank to support my cavalry. 
The Royalist 2nd Brigade of Horse face off against the Royalist 1st brigade. The results were bloody for both sides. 
Royalist and Parliamentarian Cavalry clash and the carnage begins
The Earl of Essex looks on and provides crucial support...from the safety of a position with a clear line of escape!
Prince Rupert meanwhile remained with his Foot troops in the centre of the battlefield
Fran gloats after capturing one of my leaders. Most unsportsmanlike I thought! 
The Dragoons dismount and 'interfere' with Farmer turners sheep!
With both cavalry battles indecisive the infantry now push forward to do battle....although the parliamentarians move forward with more reluctance than the Royalists.
Royalist Artillery thunders away at the Parliamentarian forces. The artillery in this game had very little effect on the outturn of the game.
Royalist infantry advances with élan!
The Veterans of the Royalist 1st Brigade, held in reserve, now launch a charge against the damaged and weakened Parliamentarian cavalry. 
A view across the battlefield near the end of the game. The Foot had a couple of turns exchanging musketry fire.
Almost the last dice roll of the game. The Royalist Veteran Cavalry of Sir Arthur Aston crashing into two Roundhead units, sending one fleeing and destroying another. Up yours dice gods, I have my mojo back!

This was definitely one of the Bloodiest battles I have played with the Rejects. The casualty count of destroyed or removed units included seven regiments of Horse, and even amongst those that remained on the table casualty rates of 25-50% were not uncommon. I actually liked this feature of the rules because it actually feels like something is happening. With some rule sets we have played (like Fire and Fury) mauled units seem to go on and on and on. Cavalry vs Cavalry Melee was especially bloody with lots of dice and lots of casualties and no saving throws! 

The way the game played seemed to fit my basic understanding of how battles of this period went, with cavalry on the wings having all the 'fun' and the infantry not moving much. In the end both sides agreed to move their infantry forwards to give their players 'a bit of a game'. It has to be said that at that stage neither side had had a cavalry breakthrough so the infantry probably advanced at the right time to bring the battle to a conclusion. 

The big story of the game (for me at least) is that for a change I didn't roll to badly. I lost two Cavalry melee but only by the narrowest of margins and in the third melee I managed to hit on seven dice out of a hand of 14 (hitting on a 5 or six). My unit survived the melee - much to my surprise - and wiped out the opposing unit and its commander. This last flourish gained the Royalists the points needed to claim a draw and I think all sides were satisfied with that. It was a very hard fought battle, with highs and lows for both sides, and ultimately neither side could claim to have the upper hand. 

Full marks must go to Postie on running and excellent game with a great set of rules and as always some stunning miniatures. I look forward to playing this period and these rules again in the future.