Welcome to my wargaming blog,
I'm Dave and live in Morpeth, Northumberland in the UK.
This may or may not be a regular thing, we'll just have to see how it goes.

I am a painter/collector of figures first and a wargamer second. My thrill in this great hobby of ours is to place that final well researched & painted unit into the cabinet. The actual gaming with the figures is an important but secondary experience, we all like to win, but it isn't the be all and end all of it, being with good friends and having fun is.
Hope you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I will writing in it.
Just to remind the visitor to scroll down the various pages and click on 'older posts' to see more.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Was my Piedemont passage blocked? The final push!

Neal and I left off last week with the race to the red spot (my withdrawal point) about to reach a climax.
One section of Austrian line infantry led by their level three commander Oberstleutnant Von Strumpa had just about completed an out flanking manoeuvre wider than the Schlieffen plan of 1914 and were approaching my exit point at a fair lick of speed with the intention of capturing and holding the said point for one turn thereby forcing my French to completely re-trace their steps back to the church on the outskirts of the village of Barolo taking the saintly but somewhat bow legged Contessa de Knickerbocka with them. Not an easy task I can assure you particularly with a considerable number of Austrians in their way.

If you recall dear reader this was the situation at the close of play last week, who would get there first? It was all down to who's token was pulled out of the bag first.
Me, Me, two blue flags, out they came the little beauties. Two flags mean I can order any unit, well no choice there, it had to be the French section who had split of from the unit on the hill and had ran down towards the withdrawal point. One throw of three dice running, minus one dice for two points of fatigue, two dice to go four inches - you can just see it coming can't you.

That's it then just don't throw two ones says Neal, frick'n had to didn't he!
French Sergent boil on his arse ran forward a miserable two inches falling short by about an inch and a half, couldn't write it could you.
Fortunately the 'Tiffin' token came out straight after this signalling the end of this turn so there was still the minuscule glimmer of a chance, if Neal had occupied the point on the current turn then I had no-one near enough to take it back as the closest French section had been used this go and can't go again.

Next turn the Austrian number one token came out and Neal's Austrian section casually marched up and occupied the withdrawal point causing a moral test which lowered the force moral by two points, there hadn't been any reduction up to that point so it wasn't a completed disaster but I had to throw the Austrians off that withdrawal point this go.

Another token out for the Austrians, this time Neal decided to charge my French skirmishers behind the hedge, this adventurous decision resulted in one French dead but with two Austrians skewered and their fatigue on about six, they decided discretion was the better part of valour and retired to pick oranges from the orchard.

Crunch time, two more blue flags in a row and it had to be a straight charge in. Now the French in 95 were conscripts but were classed as aggressive, the Austrians on the other hand were line infantry (one class above), were led by a level three commander compared to my level one sergeant but had accumulated four fatigue points on their run around the table.
Neal still had an advantage in dice but it could have been worse. 6's a kill and fatigue point and 5's kills.
As can be seen the French got the win, four kills plus fatigue points on the Austrian group, two kills and a fatigue point on the French.

The Austrian section was forced to withdraw and the commander dropped from a level three to a level two, and the second Austrian section suffered fatigue points from being fired on by the French on the hill.
We called it a day after this as the Austrians were now in no condition to stop the Contessa and her many, many, many friends from getting her to a place of comfort and relaxation, presumably dumping her husband somewhere along the way! She will now be able to inform the Revolutionary Council of the size of all Austrians in the local area - the formation sizes of course!
A cracking game, loads of fun. I have to say that if I had known more about the rules I would have set it up so that the Austrians had a bit more of a chance, it was a bit easy to get  the French off the table, but hey, tough titty Neal!!!!
He will get his revenge at some point.
Hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as we did playing.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

The 1795 Olympics

It has to be said sometimes I'm a bit slow, my wife would argue with the 'sometimes' bit but in general the old thought processes ain't exactly speeding up. So when I looked at the Austrian infantry marching steadily down the road I thought, well trying an out flanking manoeuvre, fair go I will just occupy the hill on the right flank and shoot them to bits as they come up and wait for my rescue party to come along with the Countessa and lend a hand.

So imagine my chagrin  when we got to this point in the game. You see my line of communication/exit point is marked by a red token just underneath the tree in the bottom right of the picture. That is where I have to get the fair maiden and as many of her escort to, then off the table and this is where Neal the sneaky bugger was heading, no should I say running (suffering the relevant fatigue points on the Austrian infantry) in order to get there first. If he captures that point then all of my force has to take a morale test and the exit point is removed and I will have to retrace my steps back to the church!
Now I hear you say, just swing those infantry around and give em a few volleys to see off. Not so easy, as I found out.
The French force on the hill is only commanded by a sergeant who at best can order his group to fire and reload, or, wheel and fire. This then leaves them unloaded for next time. In the mean while Neal's Olympic athletes are galloping past them with a level three commander in charge. Bollocks!

In the meantime the other part of my cunning plan was going to rats poop as well. These pictures show the rescue column just about to cross the stream covered by skirmishers behind the hedge, so far so good, a few fatigue points and one casualty from the Austrian infantry at long range but I will suffer that.

Next a crushing volley into my flank (double fatigue points) and crossing what I quickly realise is not a piddly stream but a major obstacle breaks up the formation and causes yet more fatigue points. I am still thinking in terms of large battalions which would only be slowed up by this obstacle, in this scale though this is a bloody great drainage ditch.

So with a rear guard left in place to cover the gap in the hedge what is left of my much vaunted relief column struggles up the hill. The Countessa and her escort moving at her half speed (her husband has a gammy leg) got over without issue.

I was left with no other option, the sergeant on the hill had to break up his force and run his men downhill towards the red line of communication/exit point.
Who will get there first? basically whichever token comes out of the bag. Heady and exciting stuff.
Same time, same place, same channel folks.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Someone has got that lady, Piedemont 1795 part II.

Another Tuesday night, Neal popped over so another couple of rounds of Sharp Practice II.
As you will recall those Frenchy Rev chaps had rescued their elusive spy Contessa de Knickerbocka from the clutches of the dastardly Austrian cads who were about to have their way with her (not that she would have minded) and were now making a dash for the other end of the table with the Contessa in tow.
The Austrians under Oberstleutnant Von Strumpa were now marching as fast as they could down the road to intercept with Sgt shit me pants (read previous post for reason) regaining some of his courage and chivying his men along behind the French.

Dam Austrian skirmishers lurking in the orchard.

Under orders from their intrepid leader Sous lieutenant Camembert, otherwise known as 'The big Cheese' (WARNING, references to Carry on Don't Lose Your Head will be ongoing) a volley crashed into the Austrian skirmishers which even given that the French required 6's to kill and 5's to cause 'shock' still toppled two of their opponents.

The brave but somewhat stiff upper necked Austrian infantry do a marvellous balancing act as they rapidly march down the road and over the bridge to out flank and cut off the French.
Elite figures are great but they all stare up into the air as if someone has just broken wind!

A volley from the French rearguard did some damage but Oberstleutnant Von Strumpa soon rallied most that off.

A view of the French escorting the Contessa through the woods heading towards safety. Very scenic look about this masterpiece of photography and quite ruined by Neal's Land of the Giants impression in the background.

We even drew tokens for the movement of the livestock, the sheep immediately headed off towards the edge of the table. Sheep never were very bright, that's coming from an ex farmer, whilst the pigs with due revolutionary fervour charged directly for Sgt shitty pants. How will he react? will it be bacon for supper or will the Austrians get the pork chop!
Same time, same place, same channel folks.
P.S. buildings by Empires at War people have been asking.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Everyone wants that lady. Piedemont 1795

I will state from the start that I was not a great fancier of skirmish wargames, but and of course there's always a but, Sharp Practice II Two Fat Lardies has convinced me otherwise.
Neal and I played a couple of games using his War of 1812 15mm figures Here and loved it, you do feel as if you are on the spot as it were. So next game at my place and as it was a while since my French /Austrian revolutionary war ( the European one that is) had been on the table we decided to give it a blast.
Scenario objectives, The Contessa de Knickerbocka, known to her friends as 'bury me in a Y shaped coffin Lill' had been abducted by some dastardly Austrian fiends for their own evil ends and was being held in a church near the village of Barolo in northern Piedemont along with her elderly husband, who hadn't got a clue why his bandy legged wife was so popular with the soldier boys!
During her, 'associations', with the Austrians the Countessa had obtained a great deal of information as to the positions of the Austrian armies prior the the commencement of the 1795 campaign in northern Italy. The Revolutionary Council had decreed that she was to be liberated from the Austrians at once and to that end a French force was sent post haste to rescue her.

The Contessa de Knickerbocka was being held inside the church by a group of eight regular Austrian line infantry led by Sgt 'shit me pants', we know he was called that because when the French arrived at the church, hammered on the door Neal's caricature reaction dice roll meant he shit his pants and legged it out the rear entrance along with his men!

There he goes.

The red marker shows one of the French deployment zones, the other was to the left of the photo. The French had to escort the Countessa off the table to win the game.

The Austrian deployment zone was just in those woods.

The French must get to the bottom of the table where a small relief force is marching onto the hill in the foreground.

The Austrian column is about to cross the bridge in order to intercept the retreating French.

The French escorting column (three squads) deploys into line before wheeling to their left to cover the withdrawal. The Austrians can be seen marching to intercept them.

A final view of the battlefield for this week, in the top right of the photo you can see the French relief column arriving but the bloody skirmishers escorting the Countessa wouldn't move - eyeing her up no doubt!

Neal will be back on Tuesday and we will see what happens then. Same time, same place, same channel folks.