Thursday 26 March 2015

Just Because

I'm having one of them days when all I want to do is flatten something with a tank (or in this case an APV).

I shot this little sequence at War and Peace last year. Wanton destruction, but great fun to watch over and over again... I must stop fantasising about doing this to the neighbours cars!

Wednesday 25 March 2015

Somewhere in Libya - 6mm North African Town

Last week I bought a load more 6mm buildings from Leven Miniatures for my 6mm North Africa project. These will be added to my existing collection of buildings and combined I now have enough to make a small town or administrative centre. I haven't done anything fancy with the painting, although I have added some colour to the market tents and awnings. 

All were base coated in Iraqi Sand (819) and then I painted in the windows and doors. Next I dry-brushed with Ivory (918) and washed with Soft Tone Quick-shade with a final very light dry-brush again in Ivory. I may well add more buildings at a later date but for now I have enough for my immediate needs. 

Thursday 19 March 2015

Waiting for the Postman

Childishly excited this morning. I've just placed a new order for some more Leven Miniatures 6mm buildings. I've bought myself a town, albeit a scrappy looking pile of bricks and adobe somewhere in North Africa. These resin buildings are always a pleasure to handle with good detail and zero blemishes to the resin surfaces they paint up nicely...and they are very reasonably priced! Here's some I painted before...

This time I have bought a load more dwellings and market traders buildings. Put with my existing collection I'll have a reasonable sized town, or enough models to represent a couple of villages. Needless to say I'll post pictures once I have them in my eager hands and I have painted them (which won't take long). 

Sunday 15 March 2015

A quick Skirmish

Sunday morning I crossed the river to Sidcup and the Skirmish Toy Soldier show. This is a small event with a handful of display tables and traders, but its always a good place for a quick chat with friends. The show started off very quiet this year, maybe because if was Mothers Day, but it picked up by the time I left around midday. As well as meeting up with a couple of the Rejects I also bumped into Bob Cordery and John Lambshead which was nice as I haven't seen them for a while. As usual I took my camera and shot a few pictures so here's a taster of what was at the show.

A very blurred photo of the Bring and Buy

Gravesend Gamers Guild


Medway Wargames Society

Privateers of London - Battle of Lilybaeum

Rainham Wargames Club - Muskets and Tomahawks
Old Guard - using the Lion Rampant rules

Bexley Reapers Wargames Club

Skirmish Wargames

The Crush the Kaiser guys use their unofficial WWII rules Crush Der Fuhrer!


Rejects on Tour. Postie and Mark at Skirmish. Ray wasn't allowed out to play.

Postie spending his money with Colonel Bills.

The trader hall at Skirmish. I see you Postie!
A great little show as always and it was great to meet with a few friends and exchange greetings. The best thing was that I managed to find several books that I wanted.

My book haul from the show. I think there is a theme don't you?
Not bad for a small show and a great way to keep out of the wife's hair for a couple of hours! 

Tuesday 10 March 2015

The Battle of Kadikiai 1855

On Sunday the Rejects got together for a 15mm Crimean War battle that pitted the skill of an Anglo French army against the Russian bear. This game we invited a guest, Mike Sayce of The Words of Subedai probably best known for his regular contributions to Wargames Illustrated. I ended up faced off against his troops and while he didn't have it all his own way (photographic evidence to follow!) he certainly gave my Russians a rough time.

The French and Sardinian Armies have been quickly overrun at the battle of Tchernaya and the Russian Bear is rapidly advancing to exploit the victory. Heading towards the town of Kadikioi the Russians hope to drive a wedge between many of the forces in the area, cutting off all hope of escape for them. French reserves supported by some British are preparing a hasty defence knowing the situation is dire. If Kadikioi falls then Balaclava only a few miles further south could soon follow. Balaclava is a vital supply port through which re-enforcements and supplies arrive to support the British Army.
Posties sketch map of the battlefield and initial deployment of troops.

Order of Battle
C/O Pelissier HQ Guard (6 Figures) Elite
Combined Infantry Division - c/o Herbillion
  1st Battalion - Guard Grenadiers, Guard Zouaves, Heavy Gun
  2nd Battalion - 47th Line, 14th Chasseurs a Pal, Medium Gun
Combined Cavalry Division - c/o D'Allonville
  1st Battalion - 1st Hussars (Elite), 4th Hussars (Elite)
  2nd Battalion - 6th Dragoons (Elite), 7th Dragoons (Elite)

Light Division C/O Codmington
1st Battalion - 7th, 23rd, 33rd Line, 1st Rifle Brigade, Medium Gun
1st Heavy Cavalry Battalion - 1st Dragoons, 2nd Dragoons, 5th Dragoons, 6th Dragoons Elite, Horse Artillery Light Gun, Siege Gun

c/o Prince Gorchakov, 3rd Corp
7th Division c/o Ushakov
  1st Battalion - 13th and 14th Line
  2nd Battalion - 13th and 14th Jagers
12th Division c/o Martineau
  2nd Battalion - 23rd and 24th Jagers, 4th Schutzen (Elite)
6th Cavalry Division c/o Khaletzksi
  1st Battalion - 11th and 12th Hussars, 37th Don Cossacks, Horse Artillery Light Gun
Artillery (Arriving Turn 2) - 2x Heavy Guns, 2x Light Guns

The Action
Initial Deployment... French hold the small town and crossroads with British re-enforcements heading down the road. The massed ranks of the Russians stretch along the hills across the valley, and in between...the killing field. 

French hold the walled farm with two guns and elite troops. This will be a tough nut to crack for the Russians.

British re-enforcements start near the table edge and have a long way to march if they are to reach the French before the Russians do.   

The massed columns of Russian infantry prepare to advance into a storm of shot and blood.

Hussars guard the Russian left flank.

The Russians march as fast as they can across the wide expanse of the valley. It'll take at least four turns to reach the French and British lines. 

Postie shows off some of the French Cavalry reserves to Mike

Ray seems happy to have some Cavalry reserves on the the way, that T Shirt tells you all you need to know about Ray.

Ray 'photobombing' my pictures...nearly breaking the camera lens in the process! Meanwhile the Russian juggernaut grinds forward.

The Russian guns finally arrive in the second turn. They will have to move for a further two or three turns to get into effective range of the French and British lines.

More French Cavalry appears on the table! Ray, Richard and Mike discuss the best place to deploy them.

The French and British players look a lot happier now their reserves have arrived. The Russian players meanwhile are beginning to doubt the sanity of their plans. 

A gap begins to develop in the Russian lines as separate divisions diverge to their own target points. My Division of eight regiments is closest in this picture with Ian, Johns further down the table and Marks reserves starting to be deployed on the Russian left.

Another shot of the whole shed-o-war. From left to right, Lee, Ray, Richard, Postie (in foreground) and Mike.

The Russian juggernaut rolls even closer to the French & British lines. The Russian infantry are now starting to come under sustained Gun and Musketry fire and the casualties are quickly mounting.

My command of eight regiments are heading for the British troops, but their number is starting to dwindle. One regiment has already been forced to deploy in Line to fend off British Skirmishers.

Meanwhile more Russian infantry advance in column towards the the French. they face elite Guard units and the only hope for the Russian players is that weight of numbers may carry the day.

Russian Hussars smash into French Hussars on the left flank of the Russian line. The result is mixed with the Russians winning one melee and the French another. On the whole it is a rare Russian victory as the French are forced to pull back. A French victory here would have undermined the rest of the Russian line and their plan of a massed infantry assault in the centre. Whether this is crucial or not all depends on the results of the infantry melee about to take place.

Meanwhile on the Russian right Mike sends in his 1st Dragoon Guards against one of my Line regiments. I'm initially alarmed by his confidence and unsure how my poor line infantry will fare against such elite cavalry...but the dice gods are with me and as the Dragoons charge in my infantry unleash a devastating volley that wipes out the cavalry.

Mike doesn't look very happy with how that encounter turned out but his charge has halted that infantry regiment for one turn and now my eight columns have been reduced down to just four remaining for the charge against the British line.

Meanwhile in the Centre the battered Russian columns have managed to reach the French Guard regiments. Despite incoming fire as they charged the French are unable to halt any of the Russian regiments. Now it is just a question of whether weight of numbers can beat superior quality troops.

And the answer is Yes! The French Guard units are forced to fall back.

The French and British reluctantly decide enough is enough. Another eight (fresh) regiments of Russians are rushing towards the centre and the French position is becoming precarious. The Commander decides to pull back his army on Balaclava in the hope of wining another day.

The victorious Russian team.

Mike Sayce is presented with a commemorative figure to remember his day, joining that illustrious band of Honorary Rejects.

This was a test of nerves for the Russians. Our plan (if you can call it that) was to hit the French and British line as fast as possible with as much as possible. No subtlety, no finesse, just brute force and weight of numbers. But crossing the battlefield to reach the enemy was always going to be a brutal battle of attrition and if the Russian players were to stand any chance they had to hold their nerve and stick to the plan. It was a close run thing and in the end it came down a test of nerve and a few crucial dice rolls.

Final victory points were Russians 16 and French/British 9

Sunday 1 March 2015

Progress with the Bersaglieri

I have been making slow progress with my Bersaglieri, but at least it is progress. I have been getting a little done each evening and over the course of the last week I have cleaned and based 157 infantry, nine 47/32 anti tank guns, nine HMG's and nine 3-Ton Trucks. I've also based a truck mounted AA unit (20/65 Guns on 3-ton truck's) a Motociclisti platoon. Yesterday I finished adding my special blend of sand to the bases and the next step is to spray prime all the models. If the wind drops I'll nip out in the garden to do this later.

Doing the whole company and support platoons like this does make it a big job but it has also given me a chance to visualise the completed formation and make some adjustments. The other advantage is that when I finish this I will be pretty much ready to play my first Desert Raiders game. The only remaining job to do is make a runway for the airfield (a slightly important oversight on my part!) and then I'll be ready to rock.