Monday, 30 May 2016

Leeds Armouries

I rose to a beautiful day today and if I did not do something the missus had plans for the garden, I helped out yesterday and did not fancy it again, despite the promise of doing so. So off we went with the roof down to Leeds and the Royal Armouries. About half an hour from Leeds we started to freeze, the weather in Yorkshire was not as fine as Lancashire, so we pulled in and put the roof up, I have a dread of being caught in a rain shower with the roof down. Anyway we arrived and we, or rather I, stood out like a sore thumb, shorts, summer top and white socks while everyone else had wind cheaters, jeans, jumpers and scarves. I never learn, what would it have taken to throw a jacket in the boot.

Anyway the area around the Armouries has seen a shed full of redevelopment over the years however it still gives an impression of being empty, despite the new flats and attempts at shops, the scaffolding that was there a year ago doesn't help.

My main reason for going today was to see the Agincourt diorama and the Siborne Waterloo model and of course to get out of the garden.

Hall of Steel.
Nice statue of a jousting knight.

Charge of the British heavy cavalry at Waterloo, Siborne.
Attack on La Haye Sainte.

As a wargamer I was intrigued by this book the subject of which I knew nothing about. Captain William Siborne took leave from the army to research his project and the thousands of figures were put together piece by piece as they had separate arms and legs to make them unique. Siborne was promised that the government would pay and of course they reneged as governments do. He also, according to Hofschroer, upset Wellington by showing the Prussians on the battlefield as it reached its climax and was told to remove them. Siborne's research into the battle was epic in scale but may have given a different impression than that Wellington had fostered. The presence of the Prussians was diplomatically scaled down for the final model.

Battle of Pavia.

 The Perry's battle of Agincourt is fantastic, a tour de force, I could sit for hours with a bottle of wine and stare at it. I particularly like the English deployment, none of those implausible multiple herces sticking out from the lines but a very commonsense take on their array. There are a couple of points I am unsure of but it would be churlish of me to moan about such a wonderful exhibit. How could you possibly fight such a battle with skirmish rules and forty figures after seeing this.

And just to round off my exciting day I wandered into the museum shop and saw this!

Thanks to modern technology a couple of texts reached their targets and Mum bought Dad a Hanomag and M3 for her sons to give as Fathers Day gifts. Result! Thanks boys.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Bolt Action Latest

 Before I went on my weekend I had completed the latest arrivals for my Bolt Action forces, these included the PAK 40 shown in the previous battle report if only a glimpse, a 6 pounder anti-tank gun and a medic for each side, I also took delivery of some camo netting and applied this to the 6 pounder and my Cromwell.

The camo netting is made by Pegasus games and is great stuff and easy to use, simply brushing watered down PVA glue over it and sticking it where you want it. I went a bit daft and added some to the anti-tank gun as well.

PAK 40.
6 PDR anti-tank gun.

Just for fun.
Cromwell tarted up.

Come back!
I also got another couple of buildings from Charlie Foxtrot and they are next in the queue. At the moment I have seventeen infantry both German and British on the tray which will almost complete my armies, I think I still have half a dozen Germans and a Bren team on the way from Artizan. I put all my British forces into EasyArmy this morning and I find I have 1,271 points, the Germans will be similar, so two decent forces to start a little campaign or simply fight a scenario or two. I will probably call a halt there for the time being, still on my wish list for later are some vehicles, command, ambulance perhaps and an armoured transport for each side and probably two more tanks down the road aways, a Firefly and a Stug or Panther, not sure yet. My nest egg has reached a nice level and I am loathe to dip into it, besides I've done pretty good to build up my terrain and troops so far, it will have to stop. Wait, Father's day must be coming up?

View From The Window

Well it is a beautiful day, the sun is shining and there are a swallows diving and zooming about outside the window, I've always liked Swallows, that forked tail is so cool, they have been nesting in one of the roofs nearby for years but it looks like their relatives are visiting today there are so many. I think I can safely say it will be warm, the distance is shimmering with heat and it looks muggy, there is of course that little piece of wind which will probably make it a perfect day. This is just as well as this is day two of Live Ale, the beer fest in the field at the other end of the village, put on by our very own local micro brewery.

I didn't go yesterday as real ale is not my thing and I had my self imposed ration for the month last weekend, John Smith's smooth and I enjoyed it, I also refuse to grow a beard with a pony tail, dress in shorts and wear sandals which seems to be de rigueur for real ale drinkers, the serious ones at least.

There was a resident killed on his motorcycle a few weeks back and their is great consternation because no one seems to know who he is, I am being asked at least once a day at the moment as if being the Subpostmaster I am the font of all knowledge, for a village shopkeeper I mainly keep to myself to be honest, I know most of the people in the village, even the four fifths who never darken my door but I am well down the chain when it comes to local chit chat.

Washington House is still empty and the owner's brother has decided to do some internal work in the hope that will help, there has also been an influx of Americans visiting this week, all having their photographs standing outside George's house, only of course it is not Geordie's house he is as American as apple pie, but no need to let the truth get in the way of a good story. They don't all think that but there are the odd few as no doubt some of our locals do. Word got around I had special stamps of the Queen as it was her 90th birthday and they came and cleaned me out, what on earth will I do with the £1.32p profit?

I am not a royalist unless we are talking about someone who can raise an army and lead it on a campaign creating mayhem at home or abroad, I have no time for the kind that you are not even allowed to watch eating or hear them say something which is not written down. Someone said to me wasn't it amazing that the Queen was 90, no, not really, she does nothing to wear out, Charlie boy is in for a long, long wait. I know he is a bit of a nut but at least you know he does have opinions even if they are suspect.

Here is something that would shave a few years off Liz, we changed our electricity supply about a year ago to Opus who were oodles cheaper than Scottish Power, then we started to get letters from Opus saying that Scottish Power was informing them we wanted to switch back and we had to let them know to change the contract. We informed Opus this was not the case, and also told Scottish Power in no uncertain terms we didn't want to come back. Then, after a month or so we started getting the letters again, we went through the same routine and were told by Scottish Power it was not them it was some third party on our behalf. We tracked the third party down and gave them what for, along once again with Opus and SP. The letters now arrive at least once a week and for the sake of our sanity and phone bill they now go into the bin. We had this before and were sent bills for a house down the road which wasn't ours but they had put our name on it, then they would not let the real owner pay the bill as it was in our name! I wonder who pays Liz's bill, oh yes, me.

I see some committee in Pakistan has been defending women's rights and instead of beating your wife half to death, or even death you are now allowed to administer a 'slight beating' and here is the amazing part, she, in certain circumstances, can do the same to you. You cannot stop the march of progress.

I was chatting with one of my favoured customers during the week, I do have a few, and we were shaking our heads at the Orwellian Disclosure and Barring checks which people working in any way with children have to subject themselves to, and pay for, before they can work with or go within 60 yards of a child. She had to do a test for Cumbria Council on Prevention and Channelling, which put the onus on her to spot anyone being radicalised and morphing into a terrorist, when some wag mentioned they do not have that problem in Cumbria for reasons which are obvious if you come from Cumbria, they were immediately castigated and made to do it twice, no just joking. This is how ludicrous the whole thing is, if she spots a Moslem girl who suddenly starts wearing a burka and spouting verses from the Quran she is not to report her but simply assume she is being a good Moslem. Oh and getting back to the original point if you work with say three organisations which involve children you have to pay for three DBS checks! This is why many youngsters (under 18) are no longer involved in certain activities because it is simpler for the organisation/club to ban them. As I said, progress eh?

Well that's it, almost time to make breakfast, the missus is back and she normally gets breakfast in bed of a Sunday, so a nice fry up awaits, I see the car wrecks are making their way down main street, so Live Ale and car wreck racing, a big day for Wartonians and it is still nice.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Sharpe Practice

Club night again and I was taking a back seat, nothing to load into the boot and only my trusty 'manbag' of dice, tape measure, laser and 45 deg angle thingy, just in case. I had watched two games of Sharpe Practice being played in the last couple of weeks and the games looked very nice because the soldiers looked nice and attractive, so I asked to be included in this weeks game.

The Lardies have brought over their innovative deployment method from WWII and welded it on to SP, right away it looked like we would be crammed into a corner of the table with the rest being controlled by the Frenchies, we were playing French and Indian Wars. This did not sit well and a good twenty minutes were spent checking the deployment rules, the upshot of which was a more equitable sharing of the table. You have a deployment marker which you put down and then you have a mobile deployment marker which you can move around in certain circumstances, your troops then deploy within certain distances of those markers.

Perhaps I should have got these guys into the trees, but I was stuck with the deployment marker.

We were the British and naturally I had the Scots, we thought we would hold and probe with the Indians on our right then see how the game progressed. Each unit has a counter and they are all put in a bag, also in the bag are flag counters, you can do extra things with the flag counters and the more you have the better your options. There is also that other Lardy trademark, the card or counter which ends the turn immediately it is drawn. Once all the counters were out we had two lines facing each other at long range, both blasting away, this went on for the entire game.

Lovely troops painted by Stuart.

I tried to move my Indians forward to engage some irregulars on the French left, but as I thought would happen they got shot at, took shock and then were pretty much useless, taking shock off at the rate it was being accumulated was impossible, the Frenchies actually lost a unit to this as their shock climbed to double the amount of men they had left, my Indians were getting that way by the end. I lost my small bunch of Scottish skirmishers near the end as well, but I think they mainly went down to kills. 
This was the starting and end positions.
We also tried to get Rogers' Rangers to move against the French right but apart from that little else happened, which from my experience with TFL games, apart from Dux Britanniarum, is what usually happens. I can hear the howls of protest as I type.

We also play the French and Indian Wars with Muskets and Tomahawks at the club and yes it has its odd moments but it is a far more interesting and enjoyable game in my eyes and not nearly as complex as Sharpe Practice which has oodles of rules pertaining to everything imaginable, if you like to micromanage a game and don't have a memory like mine then good luck.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The Joy of Wargaming and a Date For The Diary

After such an enjoyable weekend devoted to wargaming with like minded people it takes a bit of time to get it out of your system, I think we would all turn up again this weekend if asked even if it involved a forced march.

For many years I played one vs one games with WRG rules and after organising my game for the next Saturday I would peruse lists and dream up tactics every day until I met my opponent across the table, there was always an excitement and a slight tenseness in the stomach as I watched his army come out of the box and set up, wondering if I had chosen the right counters or put the terrain down to my advantage. I do play multiplayer games and this is normal for my ACW games or at the club, I also enjoy them, but with one on one you have no crutch to lean on and it is all down to you and how good a wargamer you are to get that elusive victory.

There are many reasons I enjoy the WAC gaming weekends, I get two days off to myself, no cares, no worries, I meet up with other players and I meet new people and old friends, I also get a chance to fight new armies all in a glorious full on two day bash, and above all I get a laugh and good comradeship while doing it.

The battles are always full of high drama, I have been ground into the dust by superior tactics and at times lost out to lucky or unlucky dice, or sent my opponents troops fleeing for the rear because they made a mistake or it was my turn to feel the love of the dice gods. Each game begins and ends with a handshake and is discussed with others, as they float by in between a quite period or later at the bar.

The next Gaming Weekend is already recruiting and the details are below, you can also find out about the group here.

War & Conquest Wargaming Weekend

Saturday and Sunday 12th – 13th November 2016

Coddington Village Hall
Main Street
Notts NG24 2PN

The themes of the weekend are the armies of the Dark Ages in the West, The Age of Warlords, The Armies and Enemies of Rome and the World of the Greeks  

·         2500 point armies from any Dark Age army that fought in Western Europe

·         2500 point armies from any Age of Warlords army

·         2500 point armies from any of the Republican, Caesarian or Early Imperial Roman armies or any of their enemies.

·         2500 point armies from the Greek City States, Spartans, Armies of Philip and Alexander or any of their enemies.

As long as 6 people want to play a particular campaign, we can run it. If you’ve got an idea for a different period, please let us know.

If you fancy a weekend of gaming and good company or just come along for the day, please get in contact with us via email at or telephone 07794908204.

Lunch is provided on both days.

The cost is £12.50p for the day or £25 for 2 days, payable in advance via Paypal to  

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

War and Conquest Gaming Weekend, Part 2

The Saturday evening get together at the bar was even more robust, everything is robust these days, than the previous night as we lamented, laughed and joked about the performance of the players and armies, needless to say the dice gods came in for more than their share of stick. Because of the poor standard of food on the Friday I got the main and sweet, and surprisingly the Belgian waffle with salted caramel ice cream was the perfect treat to round off a great day.

Sunday dawned a beautiful sunny day and a few of us got to the hall early and enjoyed sitting in the sunshine waiting for Phil the Key. My first game of the day was against my son's Carolingians, it is a work in progress and he had to borrow some of my Dark Age troops to make up the numbers, I was hoping they would not put up too much of an effort against their boss. Like the Romano British this army had some really good cavalry and some excellent infantry compared to my Saxons, this was another reason I had mounted those Gedriht, to get at least one lot of decent cavalry.

Both sides glower at each other in true Dark Age fashion.

Although Stewart has suffered some defeats recently he has one unit which always manages to perform well and march off the battlefield with its head held high and taunting my victorious troops, this was my chance for revenge, I was looking across the sacred ground for their banner. I had to take the centre of the table and once deployed I saw it was going to be a struggle, it also looked like my flanks could be in a bit of bother, especially my right where not only was there Carolingian cavalry but they were supported by a large battle formation of foot. As the centre of both armies advanced the first actions began on the wings, on my left I managed to get rid of the skirmishers to my front which left our two cavalry units glaring at each other for the rest of the battle, I was not going to attack uphill and Stewart was not coming any nearer to my supporting skirmishers. On the other flank Stewart sent his cavalry into skirmish and advanced, this was a mistake, as my cavalry also had javelins and my slingers in the wood outflanked him, the bold cavalry were quickly withdrawn leaving bodies at the foot of the hill. The main event in the middle had my guys in shieldwall while the Carolingian centre left crashed in, it looked like it was going Stewart's way, one unit lost its shieldwall defence while the other broke and ran, my spirits began to sink, now his favourite elites flung themselves at mine, would this be the end. No, it wasn't, my routers outdistanced his pursuit and did so twice more taking the enemy to the table edge and away from the centre, a frustrating outcome for Stewart. My other unit despite all the odds held on, turned things around and won the melee taking out their opponents, this left only the grudge match in the centre. I killed ten of that infamous unit and it still stood, talk about hard, however it was only a matter of time as they were whittled down by my bodyguard, they broke and ran and received no quarter, they would never forget this dreadful day. I now held the centre and Stewart had no one within reach to contend it, it was a Saxon triumph and a score of 39/7.
The Saxon army prepares as the baggage handlers have some refreshments.
The grudge match is well under way and the Saxon king adds his support.
After lunch I faced new player Mike Nursey who had brought along his Dacians, despite not playing WAC before Mike is a seasoned wargamer and his army had given me nightmares at the thought of fighting it. Mike formed up with a nice line of infantry and his heavy cavalry, with bolt shooters, skirmishers and horse archers on his right, his left was guarded by one lone unit of horse archers. Mike had to deploy first which was a change from me doing it, I had had to deploy first in one of the games on Saturday and in many others previously. I put my archer unit on my right as I was confident the horse archers would not stand up to massed fire, then it was a solid line of legionaries with the Auxiliaries in their usual flank position. My right was also heavily supported in order to counter Mike's, I had my heavy cavalry, horse archers and my excellent Lanciarii, if you don't kill these guys early on they can be very dangerous as they are armed to the teeth for light troops. I again had to take the centre, I chose this over raid and paid a Strategy point for it, the Romans are not a raiding type army and I like a good fight. Mike was being cautious and I could have moved straight for the objective and then advanced forward of it and even if Mike had attacked he wouldn't have been able to get near it in one move, but I decided to hit that right flank of his first.

Dacians on the left, the Twelfth Legion on the right.

As the Dacian skirmishers advanced on my left I took some casualties, the Lanciarii especially but nevertheless they charged into the wood and routed a larger unit of javelins, I threw a long range charge into the horse archers and this drove them off as well, I now brought my cavalry forward but kept the cataphracts back to menace their Dacian counterparts who were now moving forward. On the right flank I drove off the cavalry as planned and moved on Mike's flank as he crept slowly forward. Now the Lanciarii again charged and dispersed the javelins and went straight up the hill into the bolt shooters and speared their crews, they then became a menace to the rear of the Dacian line, great stuff. My cavalry also had great success and destroyed their counterparts, the Legionaries did the same to Mike's brave infantry, I could do nothing wrong, the Gods had been listening. It was a very one sided game as my dice throwing was pretty amazing and Mike's was the opposite, I even caught myself feeling sorry for him, man up Anderson you are fighting for the glory of Rome! Mike was left with no option and threw the towel in, this meant I could not claim the objective and it ended 25/7.

Mike's Dacians.
The Thunderbolts ready to strike.
Two very good wins for me and my overall score took me to fifth place, winning and losing is not important during this weekend and the scores are only to add a bit of spice to the games, if anyone does take it serious they are missing the point. Adam Poole (Romans) was the top scorer with Jenny (Celts/Vikings) second, Gary Stark won best painted army with his lovely Republican Romans and young Tom got a prize for putting up with a bunch of adults and his enthusiasm for the game. I got the booby prize, not for my generalship but for leaving all my gear behind on the first day, as I said, it's not serious.

The back slapping part is coming up so you can look away now. Thanks to Phil and Jenny for organising the day, thanks to Dave, Tom, Stewart and Mike for the great games, and thanks to everyone else for turning up and making it a great weekend. Roll on November.

Monday, 23 May 2016

War and Conquest Gaming Weekend, Part 1

Doesn't time fly when you are enjoying yourself, it seems like only a minute ago I was fretting over whether to move this unit or that and would the dice favour me or not. Yet again another great weekend fighting battles, renewing friendships and nothing to distract us from what matters, wargaming.

Stewart was already in the bar when I arrived and we must have been giving out nerd vibes as newcomer Mike Nursey spotted us and introduced himself, a newcomer to WAC I may add, not wargaming in general as Mike like the rest of us will not see 21 again. As the evening progressed several other stalwarts arrived, Phil, Jenny and Gary who was also new to the WAC weekend but not to some of the other players. The Saturday morning was a disaster for me, I knocked on Room 51 to get my son up for breakfast only to find out he was in Room 50, oops, sharp exit, then we used his car and I left my trusty manbag of dice, tape measure, markers and camera in the back of mine. Dave Howes and Stewart saved my bacon on that score, but it wasn't the same.

We arrived at our new premises of Coddington Village Hall and set up with five eight by four foot tables, we had upped the points value of the armies to 2,750 points and the larger tables worked much better than six by fours, it also gave the cavalry more room for manoeuvre. We choose the Newark area as it is fairly central for most people in the country, most of us only having a three hour journey at most. A quick cup of tea, a bit of an intro by Phil and we were off.

My first game was with my Saxon Heptarchy army against Dave Howes' Romano-British, my army has a dearth of armour but it can go into shieldwall which helps somewhat, but I do have two ferocious bodyguard units of Gedright who are stone cold killers, for some reason I mounted one of these and will forever kick myself for doing so. Dave had much better infantry but as usual he had them in small units and I quickly thought 'easy meat', but he also brought a huge unit of 36 archers, Dave is a serious wargamer and travels all over to competitions of all kinds. The game kicked off and Dave advanced his left flank which contained his cavalry and Welsh Allies, I tried to position my cavalry on a hill to foil this, the first clash came when his Welsh foot and one of my right flank infantry units clashed, I won the fight easily and swept the Welsh away, I also managed to get rid of a skirmish unit at the same time. Things were looking really good as my main shieldwall slowly advanced on the British, my left was held by a large unit of Ceorls and some skirmishers, the only thing opposing them was a small but capable unit of RB infantry, I outnumbered them by 2/1. OK, the Ceorls are the lowest of the low in a Saxon army, but they had long spears and would get far more men fighting than Dave's, I was quietly confident. Then, as usual things went out the window, I needed the initiative in the next round to regroup my right as I had chased some light cavalry off with my elites, I threw in an extra Strategy die, it may even have been two it was that crucial to me, but sadly I did not win. Even so as Dave's cavalry charged uphill my guys had only to hold to steady the flank, but no, off they went, the enemy then crashed into the flank of my elites and within minutes my whole right flank had gone. Back in the centre that huge archer unit shot one of my infantry blocks to the point it was useless while on the left my Ceorls could not kill anyone despite throwing a bucket of dice. One minute it looked like I was going to pull off a Saxon pincer movement and the next I was hanging on for dear life in the centre, my foot Gedriht did their duty and cut down many of the enemy but then were caught in the flank and died around their leader. It was the end for my boys and a blow for me, it had all started so well.

First game, my army (right) just before it fell apart.
I had to hand it to Dave, he knows how to get the best out of those small units, I think he was disappointed a bit with his Welsh but I was far more disappointed in my cavalry and Ceorls, Phil was also using a Heptarchy army and wasn't convinced about them, but I talked them up and now looked like I had a foot in my mouth as Phil's also went down to the Carolingians. The score was 10/55 in Dave's favour.

My game in the afternoon was against young Tom Poole's Dacians with the Twelfth Legion, I was a bit apprehensive about facing this army with their organisation and depth of troop types which I knew had a good chance of outnumbering me in core infantry. I had my usual three cohorts and one Auxiliary cohort, my support units were cataphracts, contarii, horse archers, a small unit of lanciarii and a block of archers, not as large as Dave's but big enough. I decided to make my main effort on the right flank, test the left and slowly move forward with the cohorts. Once again I had a lot of success initially, I stove in both Tom's flanks but he recovered his right and held it with two exceptionally accurate bold shooters backed by horse archers and a large group of archers, sending cavalry anywhere near that lot was suicide. He still managed to slowly grind me down with those damn bolt shooters though, mine had never been that successful. My cataphracts clashed with Toms and won the first round, I expected to be pursuing them in the next, but no, he made his morale rolls (this was to be a continuing thread in my games) and over the next several turns kept killing one of mine, meanwhile I could not kill one of his, and despite still winning the fight due to pushbacks, he kept passing his morale, so in the end I ran! Despite this as the end of the game approached there were only a couple of  Dacian battle formation on the table, apart form the supports, my legionaries had been devastating. In this particular game once we arrived at turn six a die was rolled and the game would end the next turn if a 4,5, or 6, was rolled, or something like that, I wanted at least another two moves to put an end to Tom's army and slaughter those ballistae crews. I did not get it and in the last move I lost two units dispersed to those bolt shooters and that remaining Dacian cavalry unit I could not kill, while Tom rallied two fleeing units. When the points were counted to my surprise we had a draw 26/26, as I looked over the battlefield I cursed the Gods, one more turn!

Second game, the Thunderbolts on the left. Now that's professionals.

A great game and the Thunderbolts had come through although the Auxiliaries still had to prove themselves, overall I was happy with the way I had conducted the battle, a loss and a draw, about normal for my first day at a WAC event, I always seemed to have a better second day. On the morrow I faced the Carolingians in the morning and Dacians again in the afternoon, I expected two tough battles.

The Dacians about to test the Twelfth.

Elsewhere during the day Adam Poole's Romans were making a name for themselves while Gary's Republican's were having a hard time, despite this Rome was not to be trifled with.
Carolingians vs Vikings.

Republican Romans vs Celts

Adam Poole's Romans
I let the side down not having my camera on the Saturday, you will find another report with many more pictures on the Scarab Miniatures site in the next few days.

Friday, 20 May 2016

The Quiet Before The Storm

Where does time go, I was meant to do my army lists for tomorrow yesterday afternoon but didn't make it due to some priority map work, I was caught out by the Spam folder grabbing an important email and leaving me in the dark. Why would it take that one and not the others from the same source? Anyway the upshot was I was drawing until ten last night in order to get this project out of the way so I can relax over the weekend killing toy soldiers.

First up is the Saxons who will be fighting to Romano-British armies, both are shieldwall armies and very similar, I have the choice of two excellent bodyguard units and was tempted to have them both on foot to use as shock troops however the Brits can take a nice shock cavalry unit which is or could be King Arthur's knights so I have chickened out and split the bodyguard, one on foot and one mounted. I have noticed I do not get a lot of skirmishers with this list, which from a wargaming point of view sucks, but it accords with my thoughts on Dark Age skirmishers, so I can't really moan about it can I. So the army is typical, it has a couple of units of high class warriors supported by a core of average warriors and then some lesser mortals, young men (Geoguth) out to prove themselves and Ceorls (who would rather be elsewhere).

Now for the lads, the Thunderbolts, the fighting Twelfth. The Roman list like all the others for War and Conquest has been updated/modified and revamped recently, I had only briefly looked over it as Rob had included the Contarii unit I have been banging on about so I did not expect any huge changes. How wrong can you be. My cohorts now have to pay for a Centurion for each one rather than have him as a choice, so my expensive units are now more expensive so in competition games Veterans and Praetorians are further from my grasp. I will have to rely on the 'old reliables'. I also find that the slingers have disappeared from the lists, now these in War and Conquest terms are super troops or are most of the time as they get two shots to everyone else's one, so I have seen them grind down battle formations to almost half strength, we only use one shot in friendly games. So the Romans have a core of three cohorts and an Auxiliary one, the support troops are some decent cavalry, cataphracts and contarii along with some horse archers, javelins and archers. I am up against two Dacian armies and having seen the lists for the Dacians there is no doubt in my mind the Twelfth are up against it. Phil fought some practice battles during the week and he agrees with me.

I know people either love or hate army lists, I like them or I do when they are used properly to ensure the army on the field bears some resemblance to its historical counterpart and to me that generally means maximums and minimums for certain troop types with allowance for that odd wargamer these days who actually researches his army for a specific niche period. WAC army lists to me seem to be heavily weighted towards the better troop types, the lesser troops are there but you don't have to take them, hence you hardly ever see them on the tabletop, there are minimums with some troop types for instance I can only have one cataphract and one contarii unit or one bodyguard unit for the Saxons per 1,000 points, this I like. These are just my own thoughts on the matter and do not represent the thoughts of any person living or dead or comatose.

I will be off in a couple of hours and am looking forward to the good natured banter across a table groaning with alcohol and opinions, I have been dry for about three weeks now so will probably partake of a couple of pints myself.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Last Victory

With our second summer of four days over I drove off to the club in the rain, it was fairly busy last night, we had a Bloodbowl game, Sharp Practice II demo and two boardgames along with our Bolt Action table.

I need more terrain.
 We had an awkward three player thing again so on the hoof we came up with the last days of the war with the British and Soviets planning to meet at a nearby crossroads for some frozen vodka and warm beer, however they run into some strong lager in the shape of some hard bitten remnants of a Kampfgruppe not willing to give up the thousand year Reich, albeit consisted of three houses. The Germans were dug in supported by a Panzer IV and a PAK 40, the British contingent was the smallest with three squads, a Cromwell and a Humber armoured car, the mighty Red Army fielded their mighty KV1 which Simon was chuffed with as it looked huge and he got it in a deal from Japan!

The diehards.

The unlucky PAK and transport, a beautiful little model.
 As the game kicked off on rumbled the Soviet juggernaut heading for a small barn which it intended to grind to dust along with the infantry inside it, whoooosh, a panzerfaust opened up and bang went the Russian tank throwing tank riders all over the place. Simon frantically scanned the rule book to stop his tank burning but failed, Andy had a smug smile on his face, I couldn't care less, bloody commies, they were going to be trouble after the war, I could sense it.

The ill-fated KV.

I had the usual trouble, my advance was basically over open ground, but as the PAK 40 was facing away from me I took the chance and ran my armour up the field, within a short time the anti tank gun crew were dead and the weapon neutralised. I didn't realise till later Andy had moved a Panzerschrek team into the nearby house and it quickly took out my armoured car, the Panzer IV and the Cromwell were exchanging shots but neither could get a kill. I thought stuff this and put a nice blob of smoke down between them. Now I moved my infantry up to hopefully assault the house with the help of the Cromwell, bang, the 'schrek team got their second kill.

By this time the Russians had rallied and took their revenge on the Germans in the outbuilding by overwhelming them and turning a flamethrower on them at close range, flushed with victory they began to manoeuvre for a final assault on the crossroads. Once again just as the action was coming to a head we had to pack up, we took stock of the game, the Allies had lost all their armour but the German position in the hamlet looked precarious, especially from the Russians as most of their forces were facing the British. We magnanimously decided to give Andy the win despite both sides losing three units each, I am unsure whether the victory goes on dice removed or points, but we'll get to that later, we lost our most prized assets so well done Andy.

The Russians assault the charnel house.

The game, well Andy's small anti-tank teams just couldn't miss while has Panzer IV seemed to have rubber shells, we learned a lot more of the rules this time, what we need to do is get faster and I think that is coming, we lost a good hour sorting the game out and setting up. I will have things better organised once I get my other PC back and get a small campaign running which is my eventual aim.