Monday, 16 October 2017

Blacklobstertailpickelhaube

Well, I'm just recovering from a "jet lag" of an London festival weekend ... as it was my Birthday and me and my better half we just about heading off to the said event, as the doorbell rang and my beautiful neighbour delivered a very big package from an unknown source...

As it happen to be from my wonderful brother-in-law, who sent me a replica of an what appears to be an WW1 Curassier Officer‘s helmet - Yes, a Pickelhaube! The "Pickel" is removeable and the whole black metal was steeped in oil to prevent rust ... so I had to "polish" it off a bit... The black lobster back helmet seem to be also a favourite of the officer class in those days. I thought I‘d share some admittedly low lighted images for your considerate entertainment.

... and yes, my skull is too big to fit it entirely on, (or these officers had less head room, which is worrying but not entirely surprising).  :)








Thursday, 12 October 2017

The French get Prussian at Bois de Malleure around 1870

I conscripted Sandy to test with me some rules (Kevin Calders "Bonnie Blue Flag" warped into the Franco Prussian war just for 10mm - a private project of mine, as the BBF rules are so easily convincing ...) with the help of Jim who came along and was shanghaied to help Sandy with the French. The miniatures were mine (as for the Prussians) and the French were mostly Jack‘s who was so kind to let us use them, the other Frenchies were Sandy‘s ...

The scenario was from the late but great Captn Archibald Haddock, two similar sized armies meet at a road and try to kill each other. I explained the rules to the two guinea pigs and off we went into the century old Scharmützel. I introduced gun rounds (black dice) not to make the Prussian too powerful. Gave the French lesser Attrition points (AP) and commander AP‘s, and also the transfer of said points was more difficult for the French than the Boches.

Surprisingly the Frenchies (Jim actually) came up with a cunning plan: a flank attack and  the old oblique order, while the Prussians were to lazy and just  reacted. The Initiative were mainly with the French all through the game and they made good progress as well as bombarding my poor Prussian lines until they were finally hiding behind "the Hill". The Prussians gave the French artillery a good lick and  Sandy and Jim couldn't laugh that I annihilated the complete artillery of the French right flank!

But then as Jim launched his final attack, my brave Prussians brushed the black powder off their Pickelhauben and faced the music. Just three units went down in the whole battle. Then came my counter attack with my Krupp guns and I blasted Jim‘s Dragoons back to Reims. ...

We stopped then there, as time was running out, Sandy and Jim felt victorious, but to be honest I didn‘t felt quite defeated at all, I would have gave them some more Krupp metal, given more time, but regardless it was such a good fight, that I even forgot to take more pictures in the end.

The Rules need some more adjusting as the firing is  more than brutal even in the long distances, Maybe tweak in the ranges and the fire boni or in the Fire and melee a I go U go in each phase ...

we will see ...

P.S.
as per special request I shall mention the casualties:
Prussians: 2 Line Regiments and a Guard Regiment
French: 2 Mitrailleuse batteries and 3 Artillery Batteries and a Dragoon Regiment

The French left flank
The Prussian right flank on "the Hill"
The Prussian  left on "the other Hill"
The French defensive line
The Prussian centre on "the road" 
After the first French move/turn
Jim‘s attack on "the Hill"
My Prussian shambles behind the hill, more like Colognian Carnival

My gun battery "skirmishers" to the front!! 
My go at the ACW Kevin Kalders Bonnie Blue Flag ...

Saturday, 23 September 2017

The road to Brocul Harum 1920

My face was just turning ghostly, as Angus decided to set up a 28mm Back of Beyond - Setting the East Ablaze! game for this Thursday, (Actually it was when he tried to sing like Johnny Cash, that it turned to a whiter shade of pale).
Campbell, Tim and me were defending said road (and village) from Bokhara to Samarkand (as a Muslim League of Bokhari (Campbell), Ottomans (Tim) and some Basmachi (me) against Angus and Bill with a shit load of Bolsheviks (armoured cars, machine guns, armoured train and artillery even from a (surprise surprise!!) later flank attack).

The Reds were coming out of the woods to get the town (village) - that was their objective, as we were out classed, if not even outnumbered (at least with the tokens in the bag) and tactically out-manoeuvered. How despicable, if that has to come within a game set-up and is not properly "earned" through owned initiative and forward thinking in tactical movement ... but my German side is getting away with me ... so true to my nature, I came up with a plan. Campbell commanded at the beginning: "What ever you do, don't charge the machine guns!!!" and well, if our 3rd class cavalry had to die, anyway (quote Tim: "They are shit!") at least they could save us time. So I proposed to let our horses meet the Infantry onslaught, get killed in the process, while our rest of army took position in the houses and defend the city.

It worked. In several brutal actions swords, scimitars and shabbraques flying high in the blodied desert sand, but we stopped the quick access of the Red army - we delayed them, no single house was in their hands at the end of the game!! And even the armoured train or the all of a sudden Thekka and artillery flank attack could not break our grip of the city. What a victory!
What a shame that even unfair set-up condition could not bring victory to a far better equipped and tactically positioned army!! References to possible future conditions are an unveiled attempt to change the victory conditions in retrospect and earn my utmost disrespect. Pfui!

Do not listen to Bolshevik propaganda under:
http://www.edinburghwargames.com/the-road-to-bokhara-1920/

Watch out for the truth in the following holy pictures:

The Golden Horde ...

My brothers in arms (or comic books)
The Red army approaches!

The Red hordes 
The last image of my brave Riders intact

The flank of the city

The centre

The Thekka flank attack ... surprisingly uneffectful ...

My cavalry beaten but not destroyed!

My other riders unit came from the flank and crossed the railway under machine gun fire!

had to stop infront of the soldiers of the reds

to the shock of my Commander in Chief (off image)

But then it won every single melee -  massacred the Infidels

... just to be wiped out on spot by some cowardly machine gun fire from some communist sailors

even the turn dice were against us (all red moves) the purple one was mine

The iron monster seemed unstoppable

even the turks couldn‘t change that

the situation at the end of the night ...

Thursday, 14 September 2017

1870 Das Ge-Metzel at Stagnantville (battle of Fiesingen)

Me and Angus dived again into the Franco-Prussian War with our 10mm contingent of troops (minis by me and Jack, as we still lack French) by trying out Kevin Calder‘s "Bonnie Blue Flag" set of rules. We just made simple adjustments and kept skirmish simple and reduced the amount of cavalry in this game.

I set up with my 3rd corps v. Alvesleben 12" into the northern edge of the table with the hamlet of "Fiesingen", were as Angus defended the road around Metz and "Stagnantville" with his French corps. To be fair, I outnumbered him to begin with. Progress was slow as we changed inches into centimeter. But my Krupp guns opened up and were hacking breaches in his little maginot line right from the start...

The Krupps out ranged the Frenchies just by 4, which is a bit of a joke, but then the chassepot and needlegun distance wasn't so far away either. We didn't play the large unit rule and didn't invent something for "pinned down" ... so it was all about getting the basic rules into our heads and the flow going.

As half Prussian, I did what was expected, I shot him off the table, as Angus as usual refused to move or attack. Hence he lost first his artillery and then the mitrailleuses. Then the time out (10pm club ends) prevented further massacre on the French side. It was an easy win.

Resumee: I especially liked the idea that the command can flow/replace "hitpoints" to units struck hard by attrition. For the FPW it certainly needs a bit tweaks, but its simple and fast, I can only recommend. The Krupps need just a little bit more range the chassepots a bit more to the needle guns, the Prussians need some extra officers and the artillery needs maybe ammo supply carts. In short – If both players would be able to either temporarily or locally off set their initial handicaps (i.e. the French command was shit, but if the French player could concentrate his dice one one flank for example...) this could be a great game .... five out of five.

For Angus‘ extensive report on the French demise follow the link:
http://www.edinburghwargames.com/the-battle-of-faulquemont-1870/

Following some impressions de la guerre,  see below...