Thursday 28 February 2019

Cavalier 2018 - Show Pictures at last!

Over the weekend I went to the Cavalier Wargames Show in Tonebridge in Kent. This is traditionally the first show of the year for the Rejects and usually marks the end of a long winter without any shows (SELWG is usually our last of the year). For me its been even longer as I missed SELWG last year due to car problems, so by the time Sunday came around I was very eager indeed! Its taken a couple of days to sort out the pictures, mainly because I have been working hard on my latest entries for the Painting Challenge. So here, at last, are my pictures of a great little show. 

Ray & Postie start early, buying some buildings before the show had even official opened

David Lanchester photobombs me taking a picture of his stand

Eagle Figures... I bought a load of MDF bases from them.

Debris of War - Tufts, Static Grass and Hedgerows filled my bag after visiting these guys

Hailsham Wargames Club - Da Vinci Wars - A slight fantastical version of the Italian Wars

Lots of very impressive Pike Blocks

More Pikes!

View from the other end of the table

Crawley Wargames participation game looked excellent. 

T34's and a Tiger duel at extreme close range! 

Friday Night Fight Club with a Zulu War battle

They uised a cut down version of Black Powder to make it easier to run as a Participation game

Deal Wargames Association with 'The Real Guns of Navarone'

Lots of landing craft

The guns in a custom build bit of terrain

The defenders are in strong positions

The Society of Ancients play Zama (again)

Nice models though

Gravesend Gamers Guild present Skirmish at Staplethorpe

Plenty of action taking place


Tonbridge Wargames Club - Boxer rebellion 1900 in 28mm

Boxer rebellion 1900 (28mm)

SEEMS run a Terminator game 

Milton Hundred Wargames Club: For God and King 1380 (28mm)

Milton Hundred Wargames Club: For God and King 1380 (28mm

Beautiful mini's make this lovely to look at

And this decorated interior is to die for! 

Fire When Ready present Star Wars: Legion

Star Wars Legion

The Bring and Buy was very busy all day. 

As was the mine trading hall. 
All in all a great day and I went home with a nice bag of goodies, feeling much better after my prolonged fast!

Friday 22 February 2019

Sturmgeschütz III

(Saturday DRAFT) From LeeH - Battle hardened Sturmgeschütz III (8pts)

The Sturmgeschutz series of Assult Guns was based on the proven chassis of the Panzer III and was probably one of the most effective weapons in Germany's armoured divisions. Initially designed as assault artillery its role developed as the war progressed. After encountering Soviet T24's and KV tanks the role of tank destroyer, with it's by now upgraded and powerful forward facing gun, became more important. 

Another factor in the success and utility of the StuG's was probably not something the Nazi regime would have liked to trumpet. They were relatively cheap to build and Germany was increasingly short on resources. 

By 1944 the StuG III had been upgunned with the 7.5 cm StuK 40 L/48 gun making it a much more deadly weapon. The final version of the series was the StuG II Aust G saw service right through the Normandy campaign and beyond. Its superstructure had been widened and it was slightly taller allowing more room in the fighting compartment for the crew, and for ammunition stowage. From May 1943, side hull spaced armour plates (Schürzen) were fitted, initially to protect against Russian anti-tank rifles, but they later also proved effective against hollow-charge ammunition. 

My StuG is battle hardened and covered in camouflage and mud, making it very hard to spot when placed in a good position. 

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Sherman DD Tank - Water Feature

For the Water Feature bonus round, I have gone for a Sherman DD (Duplex Drive) tank wading ashore on a Normandy beach.  IN the end, more work went into the base than the tank but this time I'm really pleased with the end result.

The DD's were a British invention (only us Brits are mad enough to attempt to make a tank float!) and were part of a series of specially adapted vehicles collectively known as Hobart's Funnies. The concept of the swimming tank actually dates back to 1918 when the first designs were being considered. Development continued in the inter-war period with initial designs using huge detachable floatation tanks. However, this made the tank very unwieldy and far too wide for any landing craft to carry them. The concept of the floatation screen - increasing the displacement of the tank until it floated -  was first considered in 1940 and was initially tested on the Tetrarch Light Tank and later on Valentines. By 1943 the first tests with Sherman were taking place.

The Vehicle gets its unique name not from the floatation screen but from the drive system that allowed propellers to be fitted to the tank, thereby allowing it to 'drive' through the water like a motorboat. The Sherman could drop its screen very quickly once on land and be ready to fight immediately (importantly, with the first waves of infantry) and must have been a real shock to the German defenders on D-Day. 

I employed a product I have not used before, Vellejo Textured Water Effects. In the pot it looks like PVA glue, although it's consistency is more like jelly and can be applied with a brush or a spatula. However, when it dries it is perfectly clear, making it ideal for modelling drips of water, ripples and even waves. A tiny dab of colour paint can make the 'water' turn opaque, such as on the crests of the waves and the frothy edge of the water on the beach. I also used the texture water to add drips and rivulets of water running off the tank that has just emerged from the sea. For the larger drips, I cut and attached tiny strips of clear plastic to the model then applied the water effect over the top. Using this product requires a lot of patience as the effects are best built up in thin layers.

Incidentally, the seaweed along the shore and tangled on the beach obstacle is made from a cotton thread that I died the correct colour (the wife had every colour in her sewing box, except green!). Cut into little sections and frayed up a little I think it looks pretty good as seaweed. I had wanted to add some casualties and weapons to the beach but in the end, I decided that was a little too dark. Besides I couldn't find anything suitable so a few items of discarded stowage finished off the scene. 

Thursday 14 February 2019

Battle of Flint Hill - AD61

Over the weekend Postie put on a classic encounter between a disciplined Roman army and a bunch of very angry Britons lead by queen Boudica herself. My youngest daughter, the Padawan herself, had asked for this game specifically. She's effectively a fully fledged member of the Rejects now, having been to several games over the last few years. It's getting increasingly hard to tear her away from her tech, but on Sunday she exited the digital realm to get 'old skool' with her Pa. Her only stipulation, she had to be Boudica...and given the determined look on her face, I couldn't argue with her! 

The Setting  
We played a fictional battle but one that could have been easily replicated during this period. The Romans are vastly outnumbered but have a strong position on top of a hill, with plenty of bolt throwers and archers to weaken the advancing British. 

Order of Battle
British - Queen Boudica (The Padawan) in Chariot
  1 Chieftain Leader in Chariot
  1 Chieftain Leader on Horse
  1 Standard in a Chariot
  3 Nobel Chariot Units
  8 Warbands (24 figure units)
  1 Fanatic Warband with Druid on foot
  2 Slinger Units
  2 Javelin Units
  2 Light Cavalry
  (Total 300 Figures)

Romans - Legate Lercio Lee (on horseback with Guard Cavalry)  
  1 Tribune on Horseback
  1 Standard on Horseback
  1 Legionary Cohort with Standard (Eagle) (24 Infantry)
  3 Legionary Cohorts (16 figure Units)
  2 Auxilia
  2 Auxiliary Archer Units
  Auxilia Cavalry
  4 Bolt Throwers
  (Total 132 Figures)

The Action
The setup - The Romans have a strong position on a hill, with plenty of missile weapons to weaken the approaching British. 

The British are strong in number and confident in their leader, Queen Boudica herself. 

A huge forest on the Roman right could be hiding anything, but surely the British aren't that subtle. 

Legate Lercio Lee, with his attached Guard Cavalry

The Roman position looks formidable. 

The Brits look numerous! 

The Young Padawan looks confident! 

The Game begins. I move my Archers forward to give them a little extra range. They can fall back in good order as the British get closer. Meanwhile, Boudica sends her Light Cavalry to threaten my flank. 

I keep my commander and the Guard Cavalry as a mobile reserve, to plug any gaps if the British break through. 

First Blood. My Bolt Throwers have a long range and I start to target some of the unarmoured skirmish type units Boudica has thrown out front. 

The British light Cavalry enters some woods on my left flank so I keep my Auxillary Cavalry ready to deal with them if they come out in the open. 

Using her light troops as a skirmish screen means her warbands advance unhindered. 

The British have now reached the hill and I am able to open up with all my missile weapons, including Pilum on a Chariot unit that comes a little too close. 

My Archers fall back into the line, the range is no longer an issue. 

Two Nobel Chariot units hit my front lines. They are only light chariots so this may be a mistake, against my tough Legionaries. 

The Legions stand their ground. They are disciplined troops and have a superior commander nearby so pass moral automatically. 

The resulting melee is bloody and both Chariot units retreat in disorder and rout. 

Boudica is not pleased. Her presence close to the front line gives her units a morale bonus, but this time it hadn't worked. 

Legate Lercio Lee is confident his army has a strong position but he readies his guard cavalry in case any part of his line fails. 

Another view of the Chariot Melee. Behind them, there are warbands closing in. However, Boudica has sent a significant portion of her force in a wide swing skirting the edge of the woods on my right. It looks like she's got them a little bogged down and they won't arrive at my line for a couple more turns. 

She still looks confident....what is she up to?

Oh bugger. I had to make a roll before the game started and it turns out it was to see if I detected British units hiding in the forest to my right. I didn't and now they have reached the edge of the woods. 

She's far too happy...what is in that box!?!

Ah, three fresh and very fearsome looking Warbands. And worse, they are on my flank. 

They swarm up out of the forest. Unlike my units, they can move through the woods without penalty. 

Meanwhile, one of Boudica's Warbands has reached my front line and overwhelmed one of my Legionary Cohorts. As well as destroying the Cohort they also sweep away two of my Bolt Throwers! Fortunately, I saw this coming and had positioned my reserve Guard Cavalry to protect the weak spot.

In the background, you can just make out my Auxillary Cavalry that has charged a Warband that got a little too close. The Warband is mauled but my cavalry is destroyed, despite 'winning' the Melee!

However, on my right flank, my position is looking terrible. Warbands are swarming through the first and I am forced to start pulling back units. The crafty child wasn't getting her flank bogged down, she was deliberately slowing them down so they arrived at the same time as her hidden reserves!! 

Not good!

My Legate and the Guard Cavalry destroy the Warband that had breached my lines. I have a straight line on Queen Boudica and I ask Postie if I can continue my charge into her (winning like this would normally allow an immediate full charge move to the victor). If I can take Boudica out of the frame I might just win this game.....but the Umpire won't let me!! My best chance has been denied. 

Over on the left flank, another Warband has now hit my Auxilia

My right flank is crumbling. Overwhelmed by massive Warband units my Auxiliaries don't stand a chance. First, my archer unit is destroyed and then the Auxillia are defeated in melee. They fall back but it doesn't look like they will escape fast enough. 

On my Left flank, my other Auxiliary unit is also unceremoniously destroyed. 

The surviving Auxiliaries on my right are now charged in the rear by the pursuing Warband and wiped out. 

I think this is game over. I now only have three infantry units remaining, albeit largely unharmed, plus the remnants of my Guard Cavalry. 

The main Cohort (carrying the Eagle) has pulled back to change position but the reality is they are going to be overwhelmed by up to five warbands in the next couple of turns. 

Legate Lercio Lee decides to pull back the remnants of his army and make an ordered retreat rather than lose all his men, and more importantly, the Eagle. Victory goes to Boudica!

A very happy Padawan. She played very well and made sure
her overwhelming numbers counted at the right time.

Well, that's two games I have lost this year, out of two played. Not a great start! The Padawan played a good game, moving most of her force so that my missile weapons could only pluck away at her skirmish troops rather than the Warbands. Her move around my flank along the forest edge looked like a mistake, but it was actually a ploy to ensure they arrived at the same time as her reserves. The resulting hammer blow that hit my right flank was impossible to resist.

I think its about time she was upgraded from Padawan to full Jedi Knight (or more likely a Sith Lord).