Friday, 10 March 2017

Ram Shazzahr! 1897 somwhere in Afghanistan

I was kindly invited to a test skirmish game of 28mm Afghanistan 1884. Angus played the proud defender while I slipped into the role of the colonial invader. A valley castle next to a village had to be taken with a handful of Highlander Gurkhas and Sikhs and a gun. We used a Musket&Tomahak derivate (courtesy of Bill).

I had a choice: either to go directly for the fort, or clearing the village and then go for the Khan.  I thought a safe gun might be just that what I need, and to blow away the clay off that hill. The advance towards the village was swift and the crown entered the village, but then at the central market place, the hail of musket shots teared into the Colonials, fighting was quick eventful and bloody. After some salvoes and a Gurkhanese close combat the village was clear, and I decided to advance with my now halved force towards the mountain cittadelle. In Saxe-coburg romanticism of the day, I dubbed my last attack the Nibelungen assault, never expect it to make it.

But the sprint of the Highlanders and Gurkhas and the handy dynamite tubes proved me wrong, together with my gun they blew the gate wide open. then a murder and skirmish ensued. At last my gun fired a shrapnel shot at the top where the Khan was residing of the battlefield. His surviving few surrendered at last ... but the reign over those lands will come at a certain cost to all who want to conquer ...

Figures and terrain by Angus Konstam.

For a more emotional report at:

The gun in the grass

The British attack the village

Shocked the garrison of the castle can only watch 
Street fighting in Afghanistan 
Slaughter in the market place
The Colonials are leaving the village
The Highlander form a line just next to the gin bearer 
Another empire strikes back
British advance in dusty fileds
The dynamite is at the door! 
Kaboom - the doors are open
Melee - gemetzel in the courtyard ...
Some insurgents escape to live for another fight ...
We self-censored in grim anticipation the following images ...
But afterwards ... jolly good picture is taken of the victorious
And the lump of clay once again belongs to Victoria, jucheirassa!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Gravelotting around - 10mm style

On 25th of March Angus, Jack and me and some other connoisseurs of the Franco-Prussioan Wars in 10 mm style, will get together on a weekend and enjoy a Fire and Fury ruled bash at the very Gravellote Mars-La-Tour!!!

Well, I already have the 5th Cavalry Division of Rheinbaben with the death ride squadron curassiers (4th and 7th) and the infamous 17th Brunswick Skull Hussars. So I was just natural to opt for the III corps to built. all regiments will have their descriptive on the underside and the rim of the MDF plate will be painted in "green" black board paint, in case I want to play systems that require a lot of tokens (1870) ...

As we agreed to 9 stands a 5 minis per Prussian Infantry  that amounts to a whopping 400+ figures including the artillery chaps and the assorted Corps cavalry ... ouch!

So to set apart from the usual Prussian massed lead wave in blue and grey 400 figures monotony - I decided to go for my grenadier units and Leib- guard or grenadiers in parade uniform!!!

Ah, I can already hear the howling, but I‘m of the league that fields happily tricorne readoats at AWI, just because I like the look! And the French Guard Bearskins were dropped for kepis for example very early in the war, but still everybody fields them as they just look the part. Stupid not to do so.

And the 1st Brandenburg Leib-Grenadiers No. 8 are a perfect excuse to sent them in their parade uniform into the fray - let the "Bloodhounds" at least look good. That said it is a nightmare to get the right Prussian flags (In case of the no.8, I know it was just a white pole that day) or to know what colour the horse hair tuft would have had ... many sources probably all wrong ...

ah, at the end of the day - I might just go with horsehair white ... if that‘s a colour...

The complete III Corps v. Alvensleben, 5th division ready ...

the 4 regiments of the 5th Division from Generalleutnant v. Stülpnagel

Baron v. Buddenbrock has yet to wait on his 6th - but the bases are inscripted and ready 

The Leib Grenadier and the other Grenadier minis are sculpturally added with green stuff feathers

The guns of the attached artillery in the making

on test paint of the 1st Brandenburg Leib-Grenadier Regiment toy soldiers in parade uniform.

more tests

back side

old bearded chap ...

the horse hair hmmm ....

A clever plot in the middle of the Sudan 1884

Last Thursday we played a Sudan 28mm Black Powder game, a scenario that Bart had hatched out of his mysterious mind. A hapless British Telegraph building engineer unit escorted by a regiment of foot was to reach a tiny fortress garrisoned by Sudanese and Egypt colonial forces (and a British gun) - all played by me.

In case of danger it the builder team had to morse S.O.S. over the telegraph line to the British rescue brigade played by Angus. The Mad Mullahs lurking in the dark and elsewhere were played by Campbell and Bill. All the beautiful figures by everybody present, except me. As my understanding of the Sudan period is as cloudy as the Scottish weather can be, I restrain myself to technicolour pictures and let your imagination run wild. I guess I won the battle as I just hold out to the tiny fortress and the mahdis weren‘t able to take due to lack of rifles and guns ...

Needless to say it was wonderful battle and thrilling event (watch out for the high suspense oasis effortlessly calmly sitting in the middle of the desert) made possible by the beautiful painting work of the mentioned above and the MGM - Colonial Adventure director - Bart starring as umpire.

Enjoy! I know I did.

Lads - keep an eye out for the insurgents ,will ya?

The Mad Mullahs advancing out of the desert dawn

At the oasis -  idyllic one might write a poem ...

meanwhile at Fort El Crisp the alarm is raised and everyone is fighting for their lives

The bigger picture and some real spoiler alert

Suddenly out of the green the Madhi Cavalry attacks

More unsatisfied British Empire subjects arrive

the ambush from the oasis view

Fort El Crisp in the distant  ... as the sun rises ...

... it will become clear there are more unsatisfied supressed subjects arriving ...

a heated battle ensues the engineers have called the cavalry!!!

And the rescue team arrives ...

meanwhile Fort el Crisp is surrounded by black masses

and what do the British?

Yep first they form a square - standard default to all sorts of campaign situations

and square marching slowly towards the fortress

And then again another flurry of cavalry attacks the oasis again ...

The Mullah seems to have victory in his grasp

another cavalry out of the oasis

Shredding the only British Horse unit apart ...

Thursday, 16 February 2017

On May the 14th near Agnadello shortly after 1509

This time the league of Whisky was refighting the Venetian‘s Waterloo at Agnadello at 1509.

We played Pike& Shotte with some changes and upgrades. Me and Bart and Donald fought for the French King while Jack and Campbell and Michael (jumping in for Bill) for Serenissima, and of course Angus as the Lagoon CinC! It was a jolly good show and had the same outcome of the historical original.

I switched the overall command to Alviano and gave Pitigliano a miserable 7 as staff rating, to simulate his indecisiveness. Other than that  I gave them more Stradioti than were in the whole Balkan. Then the French advanced, Donald was the King and CinC and Bart had all the cavalry he could wish for! I led my Landsknechts into the middle and sunk them there as a hedgehog with some crossbows drawing all Venetian fire at me - but to no avail. Because if you want to break a block you have to have something to sweep it away, but the Italians thought they could defend the hills and that would be it. Far from it!

The Stradioti who could have hunted down our artillery "caracoled" my landsknechts more or less in vain. The Italian Pike was 90% of the game static on the hill, as and when they came down, their Horse were already run into the mud. The French just fought with their Heavy horse together with the shotte! Crossbow bolts from the Gascogne disrupted the Romagnol Pike block that sent the Venetian flank into the Adria, from then on it was almost historical!

(Our) Renaissance battles can unravel very quickly and if one leaves one combat arm standing around it will come back at you hauntingly. Its almost too difficult to work them together, but it pays off when they do!!!

But the best thing is when you are winning by doing nothing!

Minis painted and provided by me, Angus Jack and Donald (but moulded and sold by Perrys, Foundry and Old Glory), hills and terrain by me and the club, flags by Flags of War, Pete‘s Flags and myself, Pavises decorations by myself, courtesy of Jack and Angus finishing.

View from the Black bunch, mercenaries of the French King
And their Venetian opponents, Romagnols Pikers and the crossbows behind Pavises 
The Balkan Stradioti and Italian Militia Pikes
The Italian Horse moves, Pitigliano marches! 
The initial deployment, pretty much, with the golden Markus lion in the back
The wild Albanians attacking!
The Kings Landsknechts and the Gascoigne Crossbow form a Hedgehog 
Serenissimas allerlei is rumbling forward
While the Italian centre stays on the hill and fires on 
The Stradioti part the French right in the centre
The Albanians surround the Landsknechte
The Lanza Spezi are forming 
The Gendarmes d‘Ordonnance and the Archers are gaining momentum 
French and Italian Gendarmes for the King!
Meanwhile in the centre The Gascongnacs are shooting their bolts
And are disordering the Romagnol Pike block right in front of the Kings Archers 
The Gendarmes of both sides clash!
French Nobility against Venetians 
French Archers crashing merciless into and disordered pike block ... 
On the French left similar the Gendarmes sweeping up the Italian Horse
Mid-battle with all the clashes
The Romagnol Pike is destroyed, vade Serenissima!
Slowly the Venetians are pushed back ... 
The Stradioti disorder the landsknechts but leave them to be ... 
On the left flank the same, the stradioti pepper but they do not attack 
The Venetian right flank is falling!
The last fight with some French Archers 
The Centre does not move! And faces all shots ... 
Point of view from the Italian hills ... let the Pike march! 
Maybe with a little help of the Fugger ... 
the Light guns of Lorraine aim at the last Venetian positions 
Still the Stradioti ... in vain ...
At the end the King is still standing

The original deployment