Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Winning streak ends

It was a beautiful day yesterday until the rain started around 1500 hrs, but I was looking forward to my WAC bash at the club so even that did not dampen my spirits. It was another outing for the Thunderbolts but at a lowly 2,000 points, this army does not perform at its best at that level, I would think 3,000 is optimum but 2,500 is a fair number, so it was more like what I had to leave behind rather than what I would bring to the field.

I was up against Ryan's Seleucid's again and I found out how tough those big 32 man phalanx's were last time so I wanted an edge, I wanted veteran cohorts with heavy armour but had to settle for three normal cohorts with only one having heavy armour, still excellent fighters but numbers were against me if the combats turned into slogs. I backed them up with light cavalry, Lanciarii, Contarii and archers, I had points left so took a bolt shooter. Yes it looks like a siege engine to those of you with sharp eyes, but I bought the wrong ones and was not throwing them in the bin, besides they frighten people

My plan was to break the enemy flanks before taking on the pikemen, but I knew I might not get the time as Ryan would not be so cautious this time around. I won most of the initiative rolls in the first half of the game and as there was a nice hill to the front of Cohors I with the heavy armour I ran and took it, I then sent the auxiliaries and light cavalry forward to sort out the enemy left while holding my left and centre back.

 I had mixed results on my right, the cavalry fled but came back later, while the Lanciarii destroyed the slingers, but instead of then menacing the pike block they had to come back and help the horse archers with the javelinmen. On the right my bolt shooter was making life more than difficult for some Seleucid horse, and although they tried to ride the artillery down they failed and paid the price as my archers joined in to wipe them out. Time was running out and I noticed the two pike blocks make some slight adjustments to their lines, I had an idea Ryan was going try and flank Cohors I but it was a dodgy move if so, so I moved up Cohors II and charged Cohors I downhill. I didn't do well in the melee, although I won every time I could not do enough damage to cause a rout and Ryan kept making his morale throws and I was losing the numbers game. Cohors II was charged and although they bravely held for a few turns they were beat and fled. 

Over on the left it was time to throw in my Contarii, again they did well but couldn't break the enemy, and the loss of several men to archery beforehand meant they too would lose out in numbers. I began to regret not giving them bucklers. When the Contarii had been dispersed the bolt shooter and archers took over and destroyed the remaining victorious Seleucid horse. As we finished the last turn I had the Lanciarii poised to flank the troublesome pikes while Ryan's successful pike unit was too far away to intercede for a couple of moves at least, my horse archers had come good at last and routed the javelinmen. We called it a draw as neither of us had accomplished our objectives and the battle still had a long way to go.

A disgruntled Twelfth marched home. It had taken me too long to destroy the enemy flanks and I needed to put flank pressure on the pike blocks, they are also very tough for a normal cohort to break, not impossible but you need some luck. My heavy armour was a boon as I managed to save most of the hits on me however my boys were pathetic at converting hits to kills, even with hitting the pike block in the flank it would have been a close run thing to defeat it before the other came to the rescue. Our other two units glared at each other over a small marsh, Ryan couldn't get to me and I wasn't going to him. My bolt shooter was man of the match, I think it failed to hit only once and it was instrumental in the demise of the enemy cavalry. A good game and I look forward to the next one.

Elsewhere in the club, the monthly big D&D bash, Muskets and Tomahawks and a boardgame.

Grand Designs 2

Couldn't rest yesterday until I had finished this. I scrounged the civvies and the cart from my now defunct Dux B stuff, I also now realise that is another project in waiting, to rebase them all, cows, chickens, pigs, serfs etc. to fit my WAC base colours. So below is the finished villa, now I just have to find somewhere to put it.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Grand Designs

To all intents and purposes that's the need to keep going with the Patricians over, I can now field a very decent 2500 point force with choices to push it towards 3,000. I have however got some more on the go, Legio Quinta Macedonica which I may use as Limitani if I need some cheap troops, but in all fairness many of the Limitani units were up to scratch and at times conscripted into the field armies as Psuedocomitatensis on a par with what we think of as regulars. I also have a mounted Equites unit in the drawer, I probably will not have to bring these guys to the field very often but they are cheaper, if not as fearsome, as the Huns and besides, I wanted the shield patterns. One more unit is on the wish list but it can wait.

I started on my Warbases villa not so long ago as you know, well I have gotten a bit further, I have now based the buildings on an MDF sheet, suitably painted with wallpaper paste so that it does not warp, will it work, who knows. I thought adding a spare tree would be a nice touch, I have some civilians I painted up for a previous game so I might pop a couple of them on as well in due course along with a Roman plough. At the moment I want to concentrate on the base.

Romans go home.

The lads at the club have pulled off a bit of a coup, there are several Sharp Practice 2 players with lovely armies and they had planned to go to a tournament organised by Wargames Illustrated, but said magazine has cancelled at the last moment. Unfazed the lads decided to hold their own in Grange-over-Sands and invited author Richard Clarke to come along, and fair play to the man he is venturing to the wilds of Cumbria at the weekend. I was asked to go along but it is not my cup of java however I am at a loose end so we will see.

A lot of small map projects completed this week and off to authors for their comments, on the horizon is a Napoleonic project and at some point back to the New World with something naval, until then I will be getting on with maps for a biography of Hugh Gough, 1st Viscount Gough.

Another beautiful day which will be topped off by a Roman vs Seleucid game at the club tonight, great stuff.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

View From The Window

Beautiful sunny day although it is still sharply cold at this time, Mothers Day of course and I have already given my mother a thought or two and shortly will be preparing breakfast in bed for the mother of my warriors just to keep in the good books. Both cars are getting a wash and brush up today seeing as the weather is nice so I will have to venture outside and the missus wants to 'get in the garden' which means I shall find something to do elsewhere which will involve sitting down. I am going to be home alone for three weeks from next week so by the end of it the words bear and sorehead will likely be appropriate. A suicide in the village last week, a local man threw himself off the Crag which dominates the village, a sad thing indeed.

A desperate week with another 'not in the name of Islam' Islamic attack on innocents in London and the usual hand wringing and hindsight comments from every man and his dog. What we must not do is turn our land into a hideous fortress in an attempt to stop every nut from harming anyone, sadly our security forces cannot possibly stop the odd nutter with a car or knife hurting someone so the only thing we can do is not give in and begin to treat them like the enemy they are. Did you notice the self seeking lawyer who came up with the idea of suing ISIS, good luck with that one mate, but you got some free publicity.

Did you notice the fine upstanding words from the House that we were never going to give in to terrorism, did you like me then think it strange that those same people were eulogising a murdering terrorist as a man of peace a few days before? I keep reading that McGuinness only turned to peace when he saw that we were winning, well we have yet to see one IRA bullet, all their murdering zealots were given a get out of jail free card, while our troops can be legally hunted until they die of old age. Large numbers of men known to have a hand in some of the worst atrocities are walking free, I could go on and on, suffice to say I knew this outpouring of disgusting praise was coming but, like the great majority of Britons outside the Establishment, I am standing squarely with Norman Tebbitt.

McGuinness' real legacy.

While the murderer was getting all the praise poor Chuck Berry got a few footnotes as he passed away, a man in my mind who was a musical genius rather than a pop sensation like George Michael or a weirdo like David Bowie. Rock 'n Roll Chuck and thanks for the music.

I see that belatedly the media are now turning their sights on the bombings in Mosul, and shock, horror our bombs have been killing civilians as well, now how can we get out of this one, Russians bomb, war criminals, we bomb err................

What about something up beat I hear you say, well Oxford University now has a full time Diversity Officer, just in case someone wants to say something someone else will or might take offence at and to destroy the perpetrators future life.

I got a visit from a Tobacco Rep the other day, she just wanted to make sure that if I was selling cigs I knew all about the new unbranded packs being foisted on the cig companies. However the law does not carry over to tins or containers, so the cig people are now busily beavering away making tins which will carry a packet of fags with, yes, their brand on it. There has also been a big boom in the sale of the old fashioned cigarette holder since the governments 'war on tobacco'.

Now you know I am not a lover of having my meal presented to me on a slate, slab of wood or in a little wire prison, well this takes the entree, a restaurant in Plymouth has gone one better, you eat your food off the back of your hand in there. Now they don't even have to look around for cheap eastern European dish washers, the fools eat off their hands!

I have seen and heard quite a bit from Gina Miller recently, why? Quickly overtaking her in the must have a quote stakes or here's what I think sound bites is the husband of poor Jo Cox, Brendan, why would I want to listen to this touchy feely, love everyone, let them all in, hate Brexit, we're all doomed, nobody?

There is nothing so rewarding as seeing one of the 'up their own backsides' falling on it, Phillip Schofield, a revered TV presenter tweeted, big mistake Phil, that he was crossing Westminster Bridge in defiance of ISIS and in solidarity with the injured and dead. Yes his colleagues duly praised him while the rest of us ridiculed him mercilessly at every turn.

 That other national treasure Eamon Holmes and his wife did the same, it's a pity the sincerity went out the window as they took along a camera crew and photographer, just in case they were not recognised.