Sunday 24 December 2023

Happy Hogswatch!

Compliments of the season to you all!  Thank you for stopping by, apologies for my absence of late and here's hoping you get some gaming goodness under the Christmas tree!

Monday 3 April 2023

Viniard Field at Chickamauga, 19 September 1863

I met up with some old friends on Saturday for a 15mm ACW game using Brigade Fire & Fury (the original) in an actual shed!  Here's the background from the player briefing:

The Union’s Tullahoma Campaign began on 24 June 1863 with William Rosecrans moving south-east from Murfreesboro, his Army of the Cumberland constantly outmanoeuvring Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee.  Within ten days, Bragg had been forced to withdraw through central Tennessee to Chattanooga close to the border with Georgia. The campaign ended on 3 July, in a week that saw the Union victory at Gettysburg and the Confederate surrender of Vicksburg.  

In mid-August, after resting and re-supplying his army, Rosecrans moved on Chattanooga.  Capturing the city would provide a vital rail hub, opening the way to Atlanta. Beginning on 21 August, and over the next two weeks, Union artillery sporadically bombarded the north-east of the city.  This kept Bragg's attention whilst the bulk of Rosecrans's army crossed the Tennessee River south-west of Chattanooga. When Bragg learned of this on 8 September, he abandoned Chattanooga and withdrew the Army of Tennessee into Georgia.   

Rosecrans pursued Bragg, but his Corps became scattered traversing the difficult rocky, wooded terrain.  Bragg, having now received reinforcements, planned to attack and overwhelm these isolated elements of the Union army. His plans were poorly executed, but alerted Rosecrans to the threat and he began to concentrate his corps.  Bragg resolved not to lose the initiative, forming up the Army of Tennessee near to the Chickamauga Creek by 18 September. He wants to strike the Union left before Rosecrans can fully concentrate his army, additionally cutting them off from Chattanooga.  Rosecrans foresees this, ordering forced marches to reinforce his left.  

Shortly after dawn on 19 September, Bragg launches the first in a series of assaults against the Union lines, opening up the Battle of Chickamauga. Some of the fiercest fighting in the entire battle taking place in and around Viniard Field. 

I took command of Heg's brigade who had stumbled across Gregg’s Confederate Brigade in an advance position in the woods. This meant I was in the thick of the action right from the beginning and was hard pressed as more and more Confederate units arrived in front and to the flank of my position.

Here are some photos from the game:

Despite my holding action in the woods I was forced to withdraw as I was overwhelmed and fell back towards our defences.  Unfortunately a traffic jam on the Lafayette road found our reinforcements stalled and as a result the game was a Confederate victory in the end.

Monday 20 March 2023

Spring Project Update

 It's a long time since I updated you all on my current and emerging projects.  As always this is something of an eclectic list!

First the Stage 3 Projects (see my Project Categorisation post):

German Revolution

First up is another of my forays into the interwar period.  This time it's the German Revolution, the unrest in Germany following the end of the Great War with the conflict between the far right and left leading to and following on from the transformation of the German Empire into the Weimar Republic.

I am planning to use the Freikorps und Spartacist rules by Stephen Danes which, as will be obvious from the title, are specifically for the period.  I have purchased a goodly amount of figures from the TSUBA Miniatures German Revolution range available from Empress to be supplemented by appropriate other armed and unarmed civilians from my existing collection.  The latter are all painted and the former are nearing completion.

Rif War

Next is another interwar project, this time focussed on the Rif War in Morocco against the Spanish and French colonialists. This allows me to utilise figures I already have from my Spanish Civil War collection and supplement them with French colonial troops, Berbers and locals.

I have yet to settle on a specific rule set although a variant of Nuts! from Two Hour Wargames and Beyond the Empire from Partizan Press are both being considered.

The Moroccans and Berbers are from Artizan Designs (from their March or Die and First World War ranges respectively) and the French troops are from the Woodbine Designs WW1 range by Gripping Beast and my existing Spanish are from Empress Miniatures.  The latter are already painted and the former are nearing completion.

Great Syrian Revolt

The next project has the benefit of being able to share some figures with the previous one particularly the Berbers (who will be standing in for the Druze) and the French.  I always like it when you can get figures to cover more than one project!

The choice of rules is likely to be determined similarly to that for Rif War I suspect although I do want to make sure the games are distinct (which may lean in to Beyond the Empire).

Perhaps unsurprisingly progress is in step with the Rif War project.

Operation Sealion (28mm)

I am still beavering away at my Operation Sealion project (a what-if based on the planned  Nazi invasion of the UK).  With most of the pillboxes, obstacles and the like finished; two invasion barges almost complete and various other craft in progress.  I do need to paint up a beaverette and finish off some Home Guard improvised weapons but otherwise nearly there (it has been a long time coming!)

The plan is to run three scenarios: (1) a beach landing on the Kent coast; (2) an assault on a defended bridge over the Royal Military Canal and (3) a Fallschirmjäger assault on an RAF airfield.


Having added an embarrassingly large number of Pulp miniatures to my collection (variously from Pulp Figures, Pulp Alley and Crooked Dice) I really need to progress the various sub-projects within the genre.

I have a number of MDF buildings to assemble (and some to paint) along with some figures to paint in order to do the China Station campaign.  I also have plans for a Nazi-Gothic horror campaign as well.

I am also planning to use the Pulp Alley rules for some other genres but I think that's a little bit further into the future!

And now my Stage 2 Projects:

By Fire & Sword

I have picked up a few of the skirmish sets for these rules and am in the process of doing the necessary research in order to get them painted.  I have also picked up a couple of books to help me with creating some historical scenarios rather than just a tournament free for all.

It's a fascinating period with lots of interesting character and colour so I can't wait to get this to the table to see how the rules stand up (especially as they are just in the process of creating the second edition!). 

Hungarian War of Independence 1848/9

I can't recall exactly what piqued my interest in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 but it didn't take long for me decided to make it a future project.

I am currently looking at some sample 15mm figures from Irregular Miniatures to see if this is the scale I will go with.  The Bloody Big Battles! rules have a supplement specifically for the period and, as per usual, I have picked up a few books for background research (and painting guidance!)

This one may well be a little while away before it hits the table.

American Civil War (2mm)

I was discussing doing the American Civil War at a larger scale but using a small scale of figures, probably as a result of having got interested in the Altar of Freedom rules; this led on to the usual "how low can you go?" conversation regarding figure size.  As a result I have got some sample 2mm figure (blocks?) from Irregular Miniatures to experiment with.  I am interested to see how they will turn out given the size and my limited painting abilities.

If this makes it past the experimental stage it will allow me to explore bigger battles than my usual go-to ACW rules Fire & Fury.

WW2 Naval

Finally (unless, of course, I have forgotten something!) comes the new WW2 naval rules from Sam Mustafa, Nimitz.  I like Sam's rules but haven't been much of a naval gamer in the past with Sails of Glory and ACW ironclads being my only forays into the genre.  These look interesting and I have already started a conversation with my 3D printing guru regarding ships!

Thursday 16 March 2023

The Battle of Montebello, 20 May 1859

The club meeting last weekend saw me playing a game put on by someone else for a change.  In this case a 6mm game on the Battle of Montebello in the Second Italian War of Independence in 1859 using the Bloody Big Battles rules.

Since the scenario has only a relatively small number of units we managed to get two plays of the scenario in, swapping sides between them.

I began with the Austrians but really struggled to untangle my traffic jam of units arriving over the bridges at the table edge caused by an early French cavalry attack.  I then failed to break through the French unit screening my closest objective all through the game and only managed to secure the objective further up the table. I didn't get anywhere near the other two!  So that game ended in a French victory.

In the second game I took command of the French which was a bit of a change as whilst they have less units they were mostly veterans with skirmishers and command stands (something the Austrians lacked!).  I decided to try the same approach as in the first game and charged my cavalry into the front of the Austrian column.  This proved somewhat less successful for me and entirely failed to slow the Austrians down.

Whilst my Austrian reinforcements entered across the same bridges as the core force, in the second game I was facing reinforcements entering from a completely different edge!  Whilst I managed to hold these off my attempt to secure a third objective and thus secure victory failed. So the game ended in a draw.

Not a great performance from me but lots of fun.

Monday 27 February 2023

The Outskirts of Carentan, D Day + 6

On Saturday I managed to get up to the Maidstone club and put on a couple of games of Chain of Command.  Given one of these games was a learning game for a new member I kept it simple and went for a scenario with limited support options.

The scenario was adapted from one in one of the Lardies' pint sized Campaigns with a platoon of US Airborne approaching the outskirts of Carentan and encountering a platoon of Fallschirmjäger.

During the first game the US player got the most amazing number of rolls of 6 and consequently not only triggered a random event (heavy rain - limiting the visibility) but, in one case, four phases in a row!

The second game was a little less extreme!  Here are a couple of photos:

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Battle of Brunanburh, 937

On Saturday I ventured up to the Herts Volunteers for a Hail Caesar game of the Battle of Brunanburh.  There was an impressive range of 28mm Dark Ages figures arrayed on the table of which I made a small contribution (along with some suitable buildings).

I took command of two units of Anglo-Saxons on the left wing facing off against a horde of Strathclyde Welsh, Scots and Irish.  I was feeling pretty outnumbered and the wily Scot's horse moved around to threaten my flank which didn't help make my position feel any more secure.

In the end the Welsh were terribly reluctant to get into the fight but the Scot's were up for it and I ended up with a desperate fight outnumbered 2:1.  Fortunately a blunder by the Irish commander to my right meant his troops withdrew and freed up the Saxons next to me to come to my rescue.  I managed to hold on despite being pushed back to the table edge and having lost my stronger unit.  But the Viking assault across on our right wing collapsed and the battle was won there by Athelstan.  A most historic result.

Here are a couple of photos I took on the day:

Looking up the table - Saxons to the right

And from the other end

The wily Scots horse moving around my flank

Battle is joined!

Wednesday 1 February 2023

Lifting the Siege of Lille - 4th September 1708

I managed to get up to the club again last weekend and put on a War of the Spanish Succession game using the Gå På rules.  Here's the brief:

On 13 August 1708 the allied army of Marlborough and Eugene began to besiege Lille. Eugene conducted the siege while Marlborough commanded a covering force. The French King Louis XIV ordered his armies under Vendôme, Burgundy and Berwick to link up and break the siege. Can Marlborough hold-off the French assault until Prince Eugene arrives with reinforcements or will the French lift the siege?

Here are a couple of photos from the game:

As it has been a while since I played and neither of the other two players had played before we got off to a bit of a slow start (not helped by some appalling dice rolls by the French).  In hindsight, given the lack of previous experience, I should probably have started with the forces deploying a little closer.  But everyone had a fun game even if we didn't fight the battle to a final conclusion.

Monday 30 January 2023

Fistful of Lead: Reloaded


For our first club meeting of the year I put on a couple of games of Fistful of Lead: Reloaded. 

The scenario was an adaptation of one from the core rulebook with some changes to suit my figures and terrain.  The brief went something like this:

The last stage deposited the railroad construction payroll with the Sheriff for the US Cavalry to escort it the rest of the way. There’s one problem, the cavalry hasn't arrived. This leaves it to the Sheriff and his Deputies to guard it until they do arrive. Unfortunately news of the payroll’s arrival seems to have become widely known. So to make things difficult for anyone with nefarious intent the Sheriff has hidden the gold and its single cavalry trooper guard in one of the buildings in the town.

I then gave each of the factions victory conditions which conflicted with at least two of the others and let the mayhem commence.  Unfortunately, there was so much going on I forgot to take many pictures.  Here are the couple I did remember to take showing a Town called Malice:

Friday 6 January 2023

Boardgames Played in 2022

 If you follow me on Twitter you will already know I also play lots of boardgames alongside my miniature wargames but I haven't posted much content at all on those here.  I thought I would share some of the games from my collection that I have played with some of my miniature wargaming friends to see if there is any interest in me expanding the scope of the blog.  So if anything here piques your interest let me know in the comments.