Saturday, 11 February 2017

S Range Turkish Standing Firing Unit complete

A few weeks ago I published some pictures of a Turkish Infantryman standing firing which I had made with a head swap of an ACW infantryman.

Well with Jack's help with mould making I am finally able to field the regiment.  

To add a little something in addition to their drummer I gave them a bugler.  Again a simple head swap.  I used the Russian Caucasian bugler as his coat is nearer to the Turkish one. Minifigs did originally list a Turkish Bugler as part of the range but it isn't available so I made my own.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

1680 English v Arabs Pike and Shotte Game

Went over to Bob's for a game this week. He diced for the position of the troops before I arrived  and amazingly all the brigades ignored the centre of the table, except for the English Guards.

I was commanding the English force made up of 4 regiments of British Infantry on the right flank, a Guards Regiment in the village, 1 Brigade of 3 regiments of foot on the left, a regiment of Dragoons and 3 regiments of horse.

Opposing them was an Arab force consisting of a lot of foot and archers, 'the Black Guard' and 2 units of heavy cavalry and 3 units of light cavalry.

Bob won the initiative and failed to move any units for the first two turns.  This gave me the opportunity to move forward and dismount my dragoons to support the Guards.

The heavy cavalry surged forward crashing into Bob's light cavalry


The first Arab unit collapsed and fled under the weight of the English heavy horse.  A sweeping advance brought them into contact with the second Arab unit which in turn suffered, past a break test but retired having lost the melee. We decided that the edge of the table oblivion was getting too much and retired the losing units to the edge, rather than off of it!

My supporting infantry in grey with black facing representing the undress uniform at Tangiers advanced to support the Guards and the dragoons.

My right hand brigade also advanced, moving from column to line to support the Guards.

After 2 moves of inactivity, the Arabs finally got moving in style.

 The Dragoons were forced to mount up and withdraw to avoid a fight.

With the advance of the Arab heavy cavalry, I had to decide whether to fire and take the benefit of 'first fire' and only roll 4 melee dice, or go for the Plug Bayonet give up first fire and roll 6 melee dice instead.  Bob and I discussed this for a while and also why they wouldn't have 'formed square' during this period - or a 'hedgehog'.  I decided to fire on the chance of stopping the cavalry.

It didn't work and the cavalry hit my infantry causing mayhem  Bob graciously agreed to rerun it with my infantry using plug bayonet instead just so we could learn for the future.  The cavalry caused the same damage!  Still not sure what is the best option.

Fortunately me for me, Bob's best infantry got slowed down moving through the palm trees 

The rest of the Arab infantry moved forward charging into the infantry on the right and the Guards in the centre. I decided for the purposes of these engagements to 'fix bayonets'!

This worked well and the irregular Arab infantry bounced off my infantry regiments, suffering casualties and failing their break test.

The Guards beat off their opponents and followed up their victory they inflicting sufficient casualties to break the their Arab opponents stamina.  The Break Test which they in turn failed resulting in them fleeing, but not before they caused the Guards some serious casualties.

Having dealt with the threat to my centre, I was able to reverse my right flank which brought my infantry with a pike unit to face the threat of the Arab heavy cavalry. 

On the left, the reorganised heavy horse charged forward into the remains of the Arab light horse, driving them from the field.

The next move the Horse hit the archers and at the same time the rest of my infantry on the left with 'plug bayonets fixed' charged into the ill equipped archers driving them from the table as the broke and fled.

The game was effectively pivoting with Bob's right flank (my left) collapsed and my right falling back.  Given that it would take time for me to reorganise my left flank cavalry and infantry to get them back into the game and that I would have to keep falling back to keep avoiding the threat of  Bob's heavy cavalry and 'Black Guard' we decided to call it a draw.

 We had a chat about the best tactics for the Arab infantry and archers and the ranges for bows which to me having been an archer for a few years seem short compared to the English muskets of the time.  It was nice to see Bob's 1680 English army take the field and the rules seemed to work for the mix of troop and weapon types.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Bob's Charity Shop Purchase

When Bob came over for a wargame he brought with him 2 new wooden 'toy' buildings that he had found in a local Charity shop.  

The buildings cost £1 each.  They slot together and don't look much until you give them a coat of paint.  They look good with my 25mm S range figures.

The mystery is why the door which you can see in the art work and on the model is upside down! 

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Crimean War Black Powder Game

Bob, Jack and I met for our first game of 2017, a Crimean War Black Powder game based around the Battle of Alma scenario in the rule book.

The rules suggest a 9'x5' table.  I have 8'x4' and the unit numbers we used were smaller so with a bit of messing about it sort of worked from an initial dispositions point of view.  We also reduced movement and ranges to 50%.  

All the figures are Minifigs S Range originals or recasts together with some of my own conversions.

The British initial dispositions

Scots Brigade
  1st Light Brigade
Guards Brigade
 The Russian positions

Russian small redoubt 

Large redoubt

Russian Centre

 Jack and I were going to command the British and Bob the Russians.  However I was quickly substituted by 'the Duke' (half of Kitten Force - or Brute Force as they are going to be renamed given their size now!)

Jack gave him charge of the Scots and Guards Brigades.  The Duke them went on a recon mission including trying to intimidate the Russian's C-in-C.

Having had a further look and passed on his finding, the Duke retired and the game started in earnest.

Basically, the Russians are fighting a defensive action and there wasn't much for Bob to do except decide when and where to bring on this 2 brigades of cavalry who were off table..  

So I took the initiative and advanced my Brigades.  The Guards got off to a slow start.

Bob moved one of his 2 Cavalry Brigades consisting of 2 regiments of Cossacks and 2 regiments of Light Dragoons onto the table to the right of the large redoubt.  As a safety measure I moved both of my regiments into squares.  We debated in fact whether given the British were armed with Minnie rifles they would have bothered and whether they would have just shot the Russians away.

I moved forward the Heavy Brigade and with 3 command moves they raced across the table towards Bob's cavalry. 

The Light Brigade brilliantly rolled a double 6 and took a 'Blunder Test'.  Fortunately,  it resulted on one move to the left, not so desperate!

Bob's guns started to take their toll with hits on the Rifle Battalion who were in a square and on the advancing British Guards

The Heavy Brigade took the initiative charging into the Russian cavalry. The Scots Greys ripped into the opposing Cossack unit causing them to break whilst the Dragoons could only pull off a draw.

The damage had been done with the Cossacks breaking and the supporting unit also having to fall back. The Scots continued their sweeping advance hitting the light dragoons, pushing them back and off the table into oblivion!

On the left Bob's other brigade appeared........

.......threatening the Guards.

Despite this, things looked to be going quite well, my artillery were starting to counter battery the Russian guns in the small redoubt, managing to inflict casualties and disorder on of the guns.

But Bob took the initiative and brought forward his Russian columns to inflict punishment on the Scots Brigade. He managed to flank them ....

they held despite overwhelming odds but eventually one battalion broke and fled the field.

In the meantime the Light Brigade managed to save the day by sweeping across the table and crashing into the rear of the flanking Russians and the rear of another regiment. These 2 Russian regiments performed heroically managing to survive the first Break Tests

The Heavy Brigade took some heavy punishment from the infantry regiment in the large redoubt with the Scots Grey's being wiped out. But my infantry charged forward and thanks to some very pour closing fire swept into the redoubt.  The Russian Infantry were distracted by the heavy cavalry who rallied and charged. The Russian infantry failed to stop them and combined with the infantry assault suffered horribly as a result.

At this stage, with one gun in the small redoubt still firing and his other cavalry brigade in tact we call it a partial victory for the British.  For my part whilst I had some good results, I felt that the table edge end of the world was a real problem for the Russians.  There also wasn't a lot for Bob to do except roll dice which, to be fair, didn't go well for him and probably contributed to my partial victory.  

The scenario/game gave high command thresholds to the British which meant I was able to move and command my troops better than the generals of the time.  The problem with a low command threshold, which might have reflected the quality of generals at the time - certainly the British - would probably have meant long periods of inactivity as we tried to get scores below 5!

Anyway, it was nice to get the figures out. The redoubts were homemade with air dry clay, coffee stirrers and Perry plastic gabions.  For the eagle eyed, the Priest in blue blessing the Russians is a not so good conversion I made from a Russian Guard Infantry Officer. I am going to remake this and am determined to do better!