Friday 30 September 2022

Basing the Wars of the Roses

My simple six-step approach to basing for 6mm figures. I will be using this approach for my upcoming Wars of the Roses project. Now that I know how I am going to do it I have a shopping list of materials to buy so I don't run out of the right colour of paint or the right type of turf halfway through the project. 

Look out for the 'deliberate' mistake a few minutes into the video 🤣 I decided to keep it in rather than refilm the segment because it's not the first time (and probably won't be the last ) I've named it wrong. Silly boy! 

Sunday 25 September 2022

Are you a Hobby Hipster? or an Old Grognard?

Are you a Hobby Hipster? A painter and modeller that follows the latest trends and fashions, from contrast paints to 3D printing (and everything in between)? Or, like me, do you pick and choose those developments that suit your needs? 

Friday 23 September 2022

Unboxing the Wars of the Roses

I have been hinting for a while now that I was considering the Wars of the Roses as a new period. In particular, I was drawn to the range of 6mm miniatures produced by Baccus and their Matched Pair army deal. A reassuringly heavy box of figures arrived a few days ago so I decided it would be good to share a look at what you get.

Tuesday 20 September 2022

Tirailleurs: Finished at last!

Well, it's taken long enough, but I have finally finished two units of Tirailleurs for my French Colonial project. They have sat on my desk - half painted - for weeks. I started these before my recent holiday and didn't get them completed before I left. And that break in the workflow made getting back to them all the harder. Their completion marks the end of my French Colonial project (for the time being at least) as I've now painted everything I originally set out to do. On paper at least, I now have enough points worth of troops to run some very very large games, or give myself plenty of choices when selecting units for solo adventures in the Operations Room. Now all that is left to do is play some more games with them! 

The term Tirailleur was originally used in the Napoleonic era to describe a type of light infantry. However, by the middle of the 19th Century, it was used to describe the indigenous infantry recruited in the French colonial territories. In North West Africa these were recruited from the Arab and Berber communities and became known as the Tirailleurs Algerien. Until the first world war, these troops wore distinctive Zouave-style uniforms of light blue with yellow braiding, white turbans, red fezzes and red sashes. During WWI they had Khaki uniforms but the traditional kit returned for a while (it was considered an aid to recruitment) and, in later years, for ceremonial occasions. 

I wanted to have some Tirailleurs available because they played such an important role in the French conquest of Algeria and Morocco. It was these native troops that would often be left to garrison and maintain order in newly acquired territories, under the command of French officers of course. 

In The Men Who Would Be Kings, these are Irregular Troops. Unlike the native troops in other nations' colonial armies, the Tirailleurs were issued with modern rifles and drilled more or less as regular troops. It's unclear from what I have read how well they were trained, but one source suggested they did not receive the same quality of gunnery practice as regular units. To reflect these two traits I have made both units Well-Armed so they have modern weapons with a range of 24" but one of the units has the Poor Shot modifier and only hit on a 6 instead of a 5+. 

Now all that remains is to get these guys onto the game table and see how they perform. 

Sunday 18 September 2022

Victory Conditions: Essential or unnecessary?

Are Victory Conditions an essential element in tabletop wargames, or are they completely unnecessary? 

Wednesday 14 September 2022

Uppdate from the Operations Room 3

It's time for another Update from the Operations room, looking back at what I have been up to over the last month (in this case, mostly travelling)

Sunday 11 September 2022

How many historical periods do you have?

How many historical periods do you own? Do you play with them all or have some languished in storage for years? In essence, today's video is asking: Is there such as thing as too many historical periods for a wargamer? And does that number change over time? 

Friday 9 September 2022

A moment to pause and reflect

Dignity, respect, service, duty. These are words that often seem remote and old-fashioned in our modern and often turbulent world but were personified by the late monarch. I have been struggling to write something appropriate this morning but my words are inadequate for the solemnity of the occasion. Whatever your views on the institution of a constitutional monarchy I hope that most agree that Queen Elizabeth II embodied the best qualities of her age and was a much-loved icon of our times. She will be missed greatly. 

Tuesday 6 September 2022

Battle of Koschlitz 1757: A Seven Years War Batrep

A week and a half ago Stuart put on a Seven Years War game for me Steve. None of the others could make this game sadly, so this was just us two going head to head across a large table. The game produced some interesting results and a decisive outcome for one of us...but I'm jumping ahead of myself. Today's post is a little overdue as this game took place over a week and a half ago. The work-life balance has been a little off-centre, to say the least, and it's not likely to change for a few weeks.

Orders of Battle
First off, my Austrians:
1st Battalion - 55th D'Arberg(2), 48th Luzan(1), Grenadiers(1), Medium Gun
2nd Battalion - 27th Boden-Durloch(2), 51 Gyulay(2), Light Gun
3rd Battalion - 4th Bretlach Curassiers(1), 12 Modena Currassiers(1)
4th Battalion - 6th Traultmansdorff Curassiers (1)
5th Battalion - 6th Balthuany Dragoons(1), 7th Leverstein Dragoons(1)
6th Battalion - Palatinal Hussars(1)
7th Battalion - Karlstadter Likaner (Croat)(1)
Supply Waggon

Facing these across the field stood Steves Prussians:
1st Battalion - 45th Fusiliers(2), 41st Fusiliers, Medium Gun
2nd Battalion - 7th Musketeer(2), 1oth Musketeer(1), Grenadier(1), Medium Gun
3rd Battalion - 2nd Curassiers(1), 11th Currassiers(1)
4th Battalion - 1st Dragoons(1), 3rd Dragoons(1)
5th Battalion - 4th Dragoons(1)
6th Battalion - 2nd Hussars(1)
7th Battalion - Jagers
Supply Waggon

The Action 

The setup stage saw each side roll for initiative and place Brigades one at a time. Steve and I more or less matched each other move for move. We also rolled for commander quality and in this my dice were better making two of my three leaders exceptional (+2 instead of +1 in morale and melee checks)

The cavalry moves in. Steve was more cautious with his movement...or maybe he just wanted to make me stretch across the table. 

Every unit went in perfectly with charge and counter charge all along the line. This was going to be messy. 

Hang on...I won a cavalry melee...what going on?? This never happens. Steve moves his unit back but have they retreated far enough to avoid being hit in the rear by the pursuing Cavalry?

Cor Blimey!!! With one exception, I send Steve's cavalry packing all along the line, hitting two in the rear and destroying them outright. It's going to take a few turns to recover and reorganise but there is now a real possibility that I can move behind Steve's infantry on the right of the table. 

Meanwhile, his infantry advance and take advantage of their better drill to move and oblique to threaten the flanks of my impeccable line. However, this is slowing down his advance and I can wait to respond to his manoeuvring for a few more turns. 

In the centre my Hussars and a unit of Cuirassiers clash with Steve's Hussars...

Predictably my Currasiers win easily, pursuing and destroying the Hussars facing them. However, they are now fatigued and I will have to stand them for a while turn to recover before I can move them again. Meanwhile Steve wins the melee between his and my Hussars, but I am able to retreat enough that he cannot pursue. My Hussars live to fight another day. 

In the centre the Prussian infantry are continuing to move to my flanks...but this is creating a big gap in the centre of their line which I may be able to exploit. (btw the little white markers behind the units denote that they have not used their First Fire bonus yet)

At last, the infantry are in musketry range. When a unit is hit it must make a Moral test to see in the men stand or retreat half a move. Steve's dice let him down again. 

Both sides take casualties in the shooting phase, but my men stand their ground and the Prussians partially fall back. 

The same happens on the other flank. Some of my unengaged units in the centre are now in a position to change facing to bring fire to bare on the flanks of the Prussian Brigades. 

This picture doesn't show it but two of my Currasier units, have now recovered their fatigue and are beginning to move around the rear of the Prussian lines. It will take a couple of turns of movement for them to become a threat, but the fact is the Prussians can't win now. 

Steve reluctantly, but wisely, concedes defeat and withdraws his army from the field. 

Well, what can I say, the dice gods were with me this day. I did feel sorry for Steve because his dice were utterly appalling and no amount of generalship could make up for that. That being said, we both enjoyed the game and had a very pleasant afternoon rolling dice and pushing little metal men around the table, so all in all a very good day. 

Sunday 4 September 2022

The end the Friendly Local Game Store?

Are our Friendly Local Game Stores coming to an end? Many already have over the last few decades, from takeovers by Games Workshop to the advent of internet shopping. But it is possible that for many small, often family-run stores a new existential threat could be the final straw.

Saturday 3 September 2022

Battle of Tikit Oasis: A TMWWBK Battle Report

A Battle Report of a solo game of The Men Who Would be Kings. This is a fictional encounter between the Foreign Legion and Berbers somewhere in Algeria c 1900-1905 using the 'Take the High Road' scenario. The Legion has sent out a company of men to deal with a small oasis which they suspect is being used as a base by Berber raiders. Whether that is true or not will only be discovered after the shooting stops. 

I took a few pictures while playing the game and thought I would share them below.


The Berber positions are all being treated as soft cover (you'll have to watch the video to find out why) but nonetheless they look well dug in and prepared for the attack.

Closeup of the Oasis

Captain Renoir is a hardy veteran and leads his men from the front

Pushing up to the wall of the buildings in the oasis

If you haven't seen the video yet...look away now. 

The French Foreign Legion storm the walls of the oasis buildings and force their way inside.