Saturday, 16 July 2022

Eye Candy : July 16th

 Today's Watchword : 'Run Like Hell!'

These unwary Iroquois have been flushed-out of the bush.

Monday, 11 July 2022

The Battle of the Pyramids, 1798

At our club's last game night we did a rare refight of the Battle of the Pyramids, using a slightly modified version of the popular Blucher ruleset. Participants included Doug (Ibrahim Bey) and Daniel (Moodrad Bey) as the Mameluk leaders, with Will (Berthier) and his young son Arthur (Napoleon) as the French! 

The game was played in mighty 2mm; mighty, because this scale really lets you go-to-town on mostly scratch-built terrain -- which is great fun.

Looking downstream along the Nile with a 2mm Cairo glistening in the distance. The famous Hanging Church is in the middle distance.

The actual battle was a walkover for the French, due mostly to their use of pretty much impervious divisional squares and the medieval stupidity of the Mameluks. 

Our Mameluk leaders, however, had learnt a thing or two about operations and tactics. Using all of the tools in their toolkit, they turned both French flanks and wore them down. For their part, the French deviated from their use of squares and advanced in Ordre Mixte, exposing themselves to massed Mameluk attacks (although those units which stayed in divisional square throughout didn't take a single loss!). The result: a smashing Mamluk victory. Loses, though, were about even.

'See the pyramids along the Nile.' On the bottom left is Cairo's citadel. Above that is the Coptic Hanging Church on the shoreline, with Giza on the west bank and the Giza plateau in the distance. A tiny Sphinx lies languidly next to the pyramids. 

A Sergei Bondarchuk style view from 16,000 feet. Armies are deploying on the left.

The action opens with the gunboats hammering away at each other and the French advancing in column on the left.

The French flotilla continues to blast away, making short work of the Mameluk shipping. Ibrahim Bey's lads usefully shout encouragement. 

The action well underway. Reynier is sticking to divional square. "By the Sacred Blue and Death of a Life, citizen General," he says to Berthier. "That's a lot of Mamluks!"

Lowly slaves are pressed into action, waiting to be ferried across the Nile. Their role in battle was to follow up the horse; cutting throats and robbing the wounded.

Thanks to Doug, Daniel, Will, and Arthur (who looked quite the young Buonaparte!) for being adventurous and taking part.

Saturday, 26 March 2022

WWII 1:2400 Naval

I've had these 1:2400 Micronauts (mostly) lying around for awhile and thought that it was about time they should be painted up (oh, that mountain of lead!).

These are:

Left, top to bottom:
BB Alabama
BB South Dakota
BB Pennsylvania
BB California
BB Tennessee
BB Nevada
BB Texas
CL Atlanta
BB Warspite
CA De Ruyter x2

Right, top to bottom:
BC H39
BC Bismarck
CA Prinz Eugen
CL Leipzig
BC Kongo
BC Kirishima
BB Hyuga
BB Yamashiro
BB Hiei
CA Myoko
CA Chikuma
CL Agano
CL Yahagi
CL Kitikami

Japanese Fleet

US Fleet

Monday, 15 February 2021

Ancient Greek Collection in 6mm

I've been really lazy with my gaming during COVID, but I finally got it together enough to finish augmenting my Ancient Greek 6mm collection, which is something I've been meaning to do for some time.

The below show about 1200 figs arrayed on some 60 stands, deployed for the Battle of Delium, 424 BC. Stands are on 40mm fronts. The entire battle is on about a 48 inch front. The reason the bases look a little different from each other is because they were done in different batches, years apart (oh, well).

Athenians are on the right, facing the Theban led Boeotians on the high ground to the left. Thebans themselves are stacked-up in eight ranks on the Boeotian right.

There are many rules to choose from, but I will probably go with Big Battle DBA, with a few important modifications.

Next step is to build appropriately scaled buildings, walls, and triremes from Roman Seas (which I've already downloaded). Then the whole Peloponnesian War is a go!


Monday, 3 August 2020

What Red-blooded Canadian Boy?

A while back I encountered this plastic model kit at the local hobby store, and it took me right back to the fifth grade. What red-blooded Canadian boy didn't own an Aurora model Guillotine at one time or another (along with Frankenstein, Wolf Man, Godzilla, etc.)?

So, working under the logic that if you haven't grown up by the time you're 50 then you don't have to, it had to come home with me.

It sat in the closet for a couple of years, but what with COVID and all I thought it was time to give it a build.

Step 1: the victim sees his fate
Step 1: the victim sees his fate.

Step 2: line him up...

Step 3: in position ...

Step 4: hey, presto!

I could have smeared the blade, basket, etc., with blood like I did when I was a kid, but that would be tasteless.


Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Jhamjar Rising: Revenge of the Branchidae

Having read through Will B's background on his Jhamjar Rising alternate history campaign I've been running through my own limited 28mm collection to see what would fit. It was a stretch to see what could conceivably work, but I think I hit on something that would add colour to the campaign.

The Roman historian Quintus Curtius Rufus relates that during Alexander the Great's campaign in Afghanistan he came across a Greek people named the Branchidae, who were the descendants of some Greek mercenaries that had fought for the Persians. They welcomed Alexander and their fellow Greeks with open arms, but Alexander considered them the sons of traitors and massacred them out of hand.

I've got six dozen ancient Gauls who could pass for the long lost descendants of the survivors of the above massacre. They found refuge deep in the hidden valleys of the Hindu Kush where they lived for generations, retaining their ancient ways. They eschew firearms, of course. Led forth by a contemporary adventurer, they seek to redress ancient wrongs.

That adventurer is Colonel Butlin Utterly-Barking (6th Rajputs, ret.), of the Utterly-Barkings of Little Rollright, Oxon.

Upon retirement from the Indian Army the Colonel decided to pursue his hobby: the anthropology and ethnography of the Himalayas. He came upon above Branchidae and lived with them for many months, thus establishing an affinity with those peoples. It was while there that he heard of the traitorous outrages committed by the current Djelli of Jhamjar.

Unable to constrain himself, Utterly-Barking has led the Branchidae out of their mountainous fastnesses against the Djelli. In this he is aided by the Greek translator and mystic Costa Logikí, and by an assortment of fellow-travelers: for example, the ex-patriot American freebooters, the 'Friends of Blanco Posnet' (who are probably just in it for the cash).

Below are some pictures of their march southwards. These were captured by a wary photojournalist (who is something of an free-booting adventurer in his own right!). They are the only evidence we have to date of the Colonel's activities.

The Branchidae on the march. Left to right: Friends of Blanco Posnet, the Branchidae, a mountain gun section.

The Greek translator and mystic Costa Logoki. Like the other leaders of this undertaking, his sanity is in question.

 This blurry image is the only recent one we have of Utterly-Barking. He appears to sense that something is up, which lead to our photographer abandoning his efforts.

 An Indian Army mountain gun, manned by devoted followers of the Colonel.

Utterly-Barking at the head of his Host.

Friday, 20 March 2020

'Shall Not the Roundhead Soon be Confounded?'

The Battle of Edgehill, 1642

View from behind the left of the Parliamentarian line, with the village of Radway in the distance.

Will brought in his Jacobite Rebellion paper army to our local club in February, and along with them the rules for 'Rebels & Patriots' (of the 'Lion Rampant' school of thought).

This motivated me to modify the rules for fighting a big battle with my own 2mm nano-scale English Civil War collection. This I did, and hosted the same at the Trumpeter's Gaming Society in March.

Below is an account of the resulting the Battle of Edgehill (1642) re-fight, with myself as umpire and with Ian, Chris and Gary kind enough to give it a try.

A big shout-out to Will for lending me his camera!

The armies deployed, as seen from the Royalist right. Radway village sits in the middle of Royalist position, while the village of Edgehill sits on the heights to the left.  

In brief:

The Parliamentarians won a protracted cavalry battle on their right and followed up with their infantry in the centre. The Royalist Brigades of Foot eventually gave way after a long fight, thus leaving Rupert's Cavalry wing isolated.

The cavalry on the Parliamentarian left were strangely inactive throughout the battle, but Rupert's Royalist Horse could not come to gripes with them (lots of bad activation dice rolling by poor Rupert!). And while Parliament's left were pushed back as far as the town of Kineton, the Royalist could do nothing to exploit this by battle's end.

The centre of the Royalist position as seem from the village of Edgehill on the heights behind it.

Wilmot commands the Royalist left.

Prince Rupert can make no headway on the Royalist right. The visually devastating die makes a good status marker at this scale. The white clot on Rupert's command stand is his 2mm devil-dog, 'Boye'.

Meanwhile Parliament's right regroups...

Parliament's left stands firm. Ballard's regiments of foot have gone into 'hedgehog'.

The Royalist right and centre collapse.

A strange episode from the battle: With his left threatened, King Charles led his last reserve -- the Gentlemen Pensioners -- in an attack on some Parliamentarian Horse. He routed Fielding's Regiment from the field... and then pursued them off to the far left, thus abandoning his army! Did he think, in the smoke-filled swirl of battle, that he was charging into the heart of the enemy position? Or did he think that his army was done for and decided to do a runner? Or did he simply loose his tiny 2mm mind?

Last moves: Ian seals off the what's left of the Royalists, and with them their fate. With their left gone, along with four of their five infantry brigades (and Charles himself!), Rupert throws in the towel.

Game was a chess-like and interesting one that kept everyone engaged. Once again, these rules proved impressive for their flexibility and simplicity.  Thanks to Ian (Essex), Chris (King Charles/Rupert), and Gary (Ramsay) for taking part.

So,was the Roundhead confounded? Not this time! Below is the Royalist recruiting song that the title of this blog posting was taken from:

What, though the zealots pull down the prelates,
Push at the pulpit, and kick at the crown;
Shall we not never once more endeavour,
And strive to purchase our ancient renown?
Shall not the Roundhead soon be confounded?
Sa- sa- sa- say, boys; ha- ha- ha- hey, boys,
Then we'll return with triumph and joy!
Then we’ll be merry, drink claret and sherry;
Then we will sing, boys, ‘God Bless the King!’ boys,
Cast up our caps, and cry, ‘VIVE LE ROY!’

What, though that ‘wise-ache’ Alderman Isaac
Puts us in prison and steals our estates;
Though we be forcèd to be un-horsèd,
And walk on foot as it pleaseth the fates;
In the King's army no man shall harm ye!
Then come along, boys, valiant and strong, boys,
Fight for your goods, which the Roundheads enjoy!
And when you venture London to enter,
And when you come, boys, with pike and drum, boys,
Isaac himself shall cry, ‘VIVE LE ROY!’

If you should choose Charles (do not refuse Charles,
Since ‘honest Parliament' ever were thieves!),
Charles will not further have rogues dripped in murder,
Neither by pardons, long life, or reprieves;
Such propositions and conditions
Will not be granted. Then be not daunted!
We will our honest old customs enjoy!
St. Paul's, now rejected, shall be respected,
And in the choir, voices sing higher,
Thanks be to heaven, and cry, ‘VIVE LE ROY!’