Monday, 23 March 2020

Another Shed extension part 3

Hi Folks

I hope you are all keeping well?

Its at times like these we can be grateful that our hobby can provide a suitable distraction to world events. I have been ploughing on with the shed build and significant progress has been made. Mrs Shed keeps telling me to slow down as there are still weeks ahead of us to fill.

So when I left you last I had finished the outside and could progress onto the inside. If you didn't see part 2 you can find it HERE

The first job was to dismantle the old table and once sufficiently cleared a new coat of paint was applied to the walls and ceiling.



Eventually I will insulate the new extension and clad this in boarding but given I cannot get out to get the materials now it will have to wait until the end of the quarantine.



The new paint job certainly brightens up the space.


Once the paint was dry I assembled the new racking that will carry the terrain/figures in this room. This was ordered through ebay and arrived a couple of days later. 


With the racking up and painting done I could turn my attention to the table. Given the limited materials to hand I had to work out the optimum use of what I had. In the end I decided to assemble four tables each was about 2.5 feet by 5.5 feet in size.

These have all been built as simple frames and then mounted on six casters (again another order from ebay). The table height is the same as the old one. 



All four frames were assembled and then I could start out on the into shelving and table tops. 


Each table's insides is slightly different in terms of shelf configuration and these are open on all sides to allow easy access of stored items.

Once complete (a three day job) the plywood tops that used to grace the old table were cut to fit the new ones. These can be configured as it stands to either option 1 (10ft x 5.5ft) or option 2 (11ft x 5ft) 

Option 1

The photo below is deceptive as there is plenty of room (more than before) all around the new table


Option 2

I'll also be adding some inserts to make the tables longer and wider as and when required. I can also configure a dog leg or set up two smaller.


Next job is to paint these tables and finish them with much smarter top.

More soon

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Another Shed extension part 2

Good Morning All - I do hope that you are keeping well in these difficult times.

As promised an update on the latest shed extension or as it is now being referred to as Dad's Isolation Project.

For part 1 of this project head HERE

When I left you last the bulk of the outside work had been done. In the last few days the shed has been treated to a new coat of paint - actually four coats in total


First coat above...



Fourth coat plus roof all battened down and corner joints sorted.

With the exterior sorted I could turn my attention to the inside. As you can see from the picture below I left the old shed walls up during the build and once the windows were transferred to the new external walls I could begin to knock through.
'

Critically it was important to leave the centre post, which is holding up the original roof in place. Its going to need reinforcing with a new joist in the near future.. Finally the old walls came down and I could look out on the new room.



The dimensions of the new room are about 13ft by 15ft. Significantly more space.


Now was the time to start thinking about the table which meant emptying the new room completely. This was all transfered into the 'other wing' of the shed. I do have too much stuff !


With the shed cleared I could start dismantling the old table...



and begin planning the new...more soon


part 3 can be found http://shedwars.blogspot.com/2020/03/another-shed-extension-part-3.html



Friday, 13 March 2020

Time for another Shed extension - part 1

Good evening All

Apologies for the lack of posts recently but as always real life sometimes gets in the way. The good news is that I now have a bit of spare time on my hands and whilst trying to avoid catching the dreaded C virus I have been extremely busy on all thing wargames.

My WOTR project is coming on a pace with almost 200+ figures now painted and I'll post up some pictures very soon. However over the last couple of days I have taken advantage of the reasonable weather and started on the next shed extension.

Another extension I hear you cry !

Yup following the last build a couple of years back there was always one more build on the shed to be done.

Previous build here

This is in part motivated by the shift to big classic 28mm wargames in the shed...my table is just not big enough and the new extension I hope will rectify this.

Ultimately the shed will sport a much deeper 6ft table. The extension will also create more space for the gamers and create (hopefully) a better environment.

The picture below shows the current room I am extending and the outside of the shed before I started work...the room being extended is at the far right



The main games table seen below is five foot wide at the far - the objective is make this deeper



Onto the build over the last couple of days...

As you can see from the picture below my concrete base extends out about a metre from the original build. By building onto this I can extend the shed building outwards. The starting point was to get the floor joists down.


Onto this the floor boards were added...a few jumps ensured it was all secure



With the floor down my attention turned to the walls...just a simple frame build


Which after much measuring and cutting started to take shape...my gaming friend Mark (who is still playing catchup on his Roman Army painting) recently installed a new conservatory. Rather fortuitously he game me a few windows. The first of which has gone into the end wall.


I then recycled the windows from the wall that is being demolished into the new frame. This was and absolute pain getting them out but worthwhile in the end.

You can also see that the roof has gone on although its not fixed in place.



And then it was onto the cladding...this took a long time but fortunately all my initial calculations were spot on and I literally had just enough wood.



Finally clad...



Starting this weekend, I need to give the exterior a coat of paint and fix down the roof. Then I shall break through and share with you the internal progress.

More soon & stay safe in these troubling times

Eric the Shed

part two can be found HERE

Friday, 7 February 2020

10mm Napoleonics - Time for a clear out

Over the last few days I have been taking stock of what is in the shed and ultimately what do I actually need. A couple of years back I built my 28mm Napoleonic Armies and I am very happy with them. However I also painted hundreds of 10mm Napoleonics about 10 years ago and to be frank they have only ever seen the table about a half dozen times in that period so I have decided to sell them.

It seems appropriate that I alert followers to the blog of their sale and where you can find them on ebay. Links to follow.

However to help promote the sale I thought it might be useful to post some pictures of them in action from posts gone by...












I have broken the forces into five lots - two British Armies and three French Armies. Each force is roughly the same size in terms of unit numbers etc..

The opening bids of £209 might seem a bit steep but what you are getting is over 100 bases of individually painted figures - that works out at about £2 a base for either 6 infantry, 3 cavalry or one cannon and crew. I think that that is a fair price. Of course I am throwing in free UK postage.

So if you are interested in buying these make me an offer or put in a bid. At least you now the provenance of these items

THESE FIGURES HAVE NOW BEEN WITHDRAWN FROM EBAY.




cheers


Friday, 31 January 2020

2020 - The New Project - War of the Roses part 1



A couple of weeks ago I hosted a rather large EC game based on the battle of Newbury and whilst closing up we were talking about what we might do next. Alastair suggested we should put together a project where each player could contribute to the 'big game'. It was also noted that there was an appetite to run a campaign of sorts and perhaps this might culminate in our 'big game in January next year.

Thinking caps were quickly donned and a suggestion was put forward for a War of the Roses campaign loosely based on the old Kingmaker Game.


I am sure that this game needs to further introduction. How this campaign might work is yet to be determined but we did agree the following.

Each player would attempt to put together a retinue for this campaign using 28mm figures. At the moment we are not definite on the gaming rules but it is likely we will use either Lion Rampant, Hail Caesar or To the Strongest. It is possible we will use a combination of all three in our games.

Retinues will be based on the army lists from the old Medieval Warmaster rulebook.


These give the minimum and maximum number of units for a typical Yorkist and Lancastrian Army.

Each player will need to foield around 6-7 units of which a minimum will be 2 Longbow and 1 bill and one man at arms unit (this can be either mounted or dismounted). Additional units are of course welcome including Irish and Welsh foot, Burgundian mercenaries, handgunners, Artillery,Pikes etc.

It will be for each player to determine what they purchase and the retinue they will field. Of course they will need to decide on which Lord will be their champion. For my sins I shall put together the retinue of the Nevilles, the Earl of Warwick, aka the Kingmaker.

Of course this has got the enthusiasm going and a few parcels have turned up in the last few days

Apologies for quality of picture

So another project kicks off...

Monday, 27 January 2020

28mm Woodland Indians - something to paint

Since I finished painting my Roman Legion I have been mulling over my next project but whilst I am deciding what this might be I needed to satisfy my painting craving. Its been almost two months since I lifted a paint brush.

With Muskets & Tomahawks second edition just round the corner I thought it would be useful to add to my French Indian War collection, and why not add to my 80 plus Indians already painted.

With cost in mind I decided to buy into Warlord Games Plastic Woodland Indians - not just one box but three boxes.


These were sourced from Ebay at a relatively good price of about £16 per box.

The intention is to paint them all in one go and then sell around half to cover the original outlay. Hopefully;-)

As figures go they are nothing special - but they are quite fiddly to put together.

So on Saturday afternoon I assembled the full 72 figures in one massive session. I used 25mm round bases rather than the squares bases they came with.

Once the figures were dry I spent an hour dabbing on the flesh colour.

The bases have been treated with sand and grit. On top has been given an emulsion brown paint job



With a bit of luck these will all be finished later in the week at which point in time I'll post up the ebay link

cheers



I'll post up the

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

First Battle of Newbury - The Battle Report - Part 4

Welcome readers and followers to the final post in this series of articles about our re-fight of the first battle of Newbury. If you have been following this from the beginning well done - if you want to start from the beginning of this journey please head here. A link at the end of each previous post will bring you back here.

As mentioned earlier it was my intention to re-fight this pivotal ECW battle using every regiment listed on a table that best reflected the terrain of the day. Given the cold temperatures outside it was impractical to fight this in the shed so with the blessing of Mrs Shed I was able to transport the engagement into our kitchen/dining room. Mrs Shed and daughter were packed off for the weekend and so on Saturday morning I could start setting up.

Using a variety of tables a base board of 12ft by 6ft took position in the new gaming room. The boards are the ones we use for BLAM each year and these get stored in the shed when not in use. On top of the table I fixed down the preformed polystyrene hills. This was fixed down using masking tape to avoid slippage.


It soon became apparent that the cold outside and insulating properties of the hills were of interest to our rather inquisitive cat.


Having completed all my chores, including the purchase of provisions for the Sunday game I began to set up the table. As you can see below my two Dunelm green throws (stitched together) perfectly cover the table. On top of these I began to lay out the terrain. First down went the roads.


The northern side of the battlefield was characterised by enclosed fields. Newbury was to be found in the bottom left (North East side of the table).

Fortunately I have been busy building more hedges and a further 40ft of hedging was available if required. Given the battle was fought in August it seemed appropriate to give some of these field some additional cover in the form of wheatfields. This is simple teddy bear fur but very effective.



My plans to set up the entire field were then put on hold by the return of the cat !!. Realising I was going to lose this battle I decided that the remainder of the set up should take place in the morning. With a curry ordered and a good bottle of plonk on the go I retired to the lounge for the rest of the evening.


Sunday morning - not particularly bright outside (it was 7.00 am) saw the rest of the table set up. The outskirts of Newbury can be seen to the left of the picture.


Here is a shot from the other end of the table - the big open area is Wash common, and the two buildings are Wash Farm in the centre and Biggs Farm (bottom right). Apparently the Earl of Essex spent the night before the battle in this farm house, which makes sense given the distance from the Royalist forces in Newbury.


View from the Eastern side (Royalist forces will start here)


A final birds eye view


It was at this point I started to layout the Parliamentarian forces and it began to dawn on me that my plan to field every regiment on the table might be problematic. The planned footprint of the units would prevent them all from taking the field. Specifically, we were planning that a large infantry unit would consist of approx 30 figures and a small unit 16 figures. Had we stuck with this plan there was no way all the units could occupy the ground.

A compromise had to be found fast. Fortunately both my troops and Mark's are based individually and then placed in movement trays. It then became a race to to find the best unit size to fit the table. In the end we plumped for the following.

Small Cavalry regiments would consist of four figures, Standard size six and large regiments 8 figures. Infantry regiments (using the combined Pike & Shotte rules) would follow the following sizes, Small units six figures, standard would have eight and large 12.

Ransacking movement trays from my Zulu Was collection we were soon able to position the correct troops. Every unit represented at Newbury took the field.

As a final adjustment every player was given an additional commander named after them selves. These commanders would be able to take to the field as a battalia commander by taking units from an existing battalia.

The teams were agreed in advance. I would fight on the Parliamentarian side (left wing), Gary (better known as Hu Rhu on the LAF) would lead the Parliamentarian Right Wing. With overall control of the Government forces was Alastair (a Wargaming Gallimaufray blogger).

The Royalists were lead by Mark (it was his army) in the centre. Steve would play Prince Rupert and John would fight from the Royalist left wing. Mark was particularly concerned that were he to give John the command of the Royalist cavalry they might have all disappeared by lunchtime. John appears to have earned a reputation of being slightly rash when it comes to cavalry engagements - I would have thought that would have made him perfect for the role of Rupert !

The Parliamentarians take to the field


As the players arrived we held a short briefing session supported with bacon rolls and cups of tea. With the last of the troops deployed the game kicked off in earnest at the prescribed time of 10.00 am.

We had agreed in advance to play continuously through to 4.00 pm. At which point in time the game would end. However if either side hit their break point before hand the game would be halted. The Royalists could afford to lose 21 units (either broken or shaken) and The Parliamentarian 19 units.


The moment before battle commenced. Every unit and commander has their designated card sitting below. At this point I'd like to apologise for some of the photos you are going to see, these are action shots taken from the game and as such their is significant amounts of clutter on the table. Not only will you see the unit cards but also casualty markers (tiddly wink counters), table measures, coffee cups etc.

The game started with the Parliamentarian being given a free move, after which the game would start proper. The royalists won this and initiated the first proper moves of the battle.


As per the real battle the dominating terrain feature was Round Hill (top Centre right in picture above) and fortunately for the Government forces they were able to get their battery of medium guns up onto the hill under the command of Merrick in the first couple of turns. These were supported by the battalia troops of Skippon.

My troops (bottom picture) under Middleton were to force their way up through the enclosures to take the fight to the Royalist right.




These Royalist forces (see below, under Vavasour amongst others) pushed up out of Newbury to the first line of hedges


It became evident that the big cavalry engagement to the south on the common would determine how the initial part of the battle might play out.  The Roundhead cavalry, commanded by Stapleton, would almost certainly see the heaviest fighting and depending on how they held out (they were outnumbered 3/2) would probably shape the rest of the battle.

With the Rebel forces holding the hill with artillery the Kings forces sat outside gunnery range.


As mentioned within two turns the guns reached the top of Roundhill and were ready to deploy. The rebel cavalry can be seen advancing in the top of the above picture.


As mentioned in my previous post each side had access to a number of chance cards. A total of five could be held in hand with one new fresh cards drawn each turn. The General could secure another with a successful command roll.

With the Roundhead Cavalry deploying a solitary Royalist sniper (chance card) took aim on General Stapleton. A dice was rolled - a six. Stapleton toppled from his horse quite dead.

Fortunately Lord Hu Rhu was on hand to take command of the division and in the circumstances did rather well.



By now the Roundhead left flank had started its advance through the dense terrain.


This was very heavy going with each hedgerow sapping commands and causing the forces to inch their way forward.


Elsewhere Lord Hu Rhu's infantry battalia had occupied Wash Farm and our defensive line was forming up waiting on the King to make his move.


Despite the loss of their commander, the horse of the Government formed up on the wash readying themselves for what was going to be a serious cavalry battle. Indeed this was virtually fought all day to a very bloody end.


The Royalist Horse began to mass (below) lead by the talented and impetuous Prince Rupert.

A quick note : positioned to the far right o Essex lines were two lone dragoon regiments. These fought the entire battle dismounted but used their musketry fire to disrupt and shake twice their number of Royalist cavalry regiments. This thorn in Rupert's side became more than itch and actually developed into an obsession. It wasn't until the end of the afternoon that the Royalist finally managed to eliminate their threat but they paid a heavy price.


With cavalry massing for a big attack the Roundhead gunners could only star down the barrels of their guns waiting for the Cavaliers to advance.


To the North of Roundhill the Parliamentarians started to advance believing that their weight of numbers in infantry could be a deciding factor in the battle.

A lone Cavalier regiment charged the end battery in the flank using a follow me order and subsequently routed the unit. Retiring unhurt caused caution to develop in Essex's plans.  (see below)




The big cavalry battle started and both sides enjoyed success and disaster in equal measure. Lord Hu Rhu's forces held out on the initial charge and it soon became a battle of attrition as new units were thrown into the fray. Units would retire, rally and then throw themselves back in. 


By the end of the day the Parliamentarian Cavalry was shattered but they had done their job, inflicting comparable casualties and avoiding a Royalist break through.

The next few pictures illustrate the early stages of this fight





Meanwhilst the Roundhead forces in the North were advancing towards the enemy and within a few turns a fire fight had erupted across the line of battle. Secure behind their hedge lines the Royalist musketry was finding and advantage.


The battery on the hill still had no targets and when forces did close in they could make no real impression.


With the Cavalry raging on in the South events in the North were now starting to get heated. With no way through the enclosures the Rebels moved up their large units of trained bands to take on the Kings Forces. 


AS the Governments forces pressed home their advantage great news was spread across the line. Prince Rupert, the dashing cavalier had fallen in battle.


With renewed vigor the roundheads in the far north outside Newbury mustered forward for one last push. 


A crescendo of muskets uttered from the defenders, driving this force back with significant casualties. The far left flank of the Parliamentarian force was spent.



The battle was now raging across the table - casualties were at this point comparable on both sides.


Fearing a break through by Rupert's cavalry Lord Essex (Alastair) had moved the remainder of his infantry reserves to bolster the right flank. Taking up position outside Wash Farm they were able to offer support to the weary cavalry.


It was then that the King fearing collapse in his centre right,  moved his troops forward towards Wash Farm.



Fierce battles and the push of pike through the lanes...The Kings Lifeguard of infantry was battered into submission and things started to look up for Essex.


Royalist Cavalry push up to hold the line - only to be driven back by concerted fire


The Parliamentarians surge forward - keen to get the break through




With the Royalist forces (their centre right) in imminent danger of collapse) the clock towards the end of the day was ticking


Outside Wash Farm a furious firefight had erupted between the Kings advancing troops and the defending Roundheads. The Royalists were pushing forward hard.


All around Wash Farm scattered units were in turmoil, melee and disorder. This was a chaotic battlefield. Each turn more units were routed from the field.


By now the far left Parliamentarian flank were in full retreat, in sight of their friends counter attacking up onto the wash.



The retreat on Essex's left was the signal for the Cavalier advance out of Newbury.


Across the line each side pushed forward where troops were available.
#


For the last hour we began to add up the lost and shaken units - in our penultimate turn the Royalist were one unit from Army Break, the Parliamentarian side 3 units. This was going to be tight.

The last turn saw  caution prevail over the field with many units rallying to the colours and avoiding a shaken status in the final count. Ultimately virtually every unit on the table had been committed and had suffered casualties - both sides had battered each other into submission and neither side could truly claim victory. The royalists were three units from break, the Parliamentarians 2 units. It was that close !



What a fantastic day, great company, a great game that could have gone either way

It took a couple of hours to break down and tidy up before Mrs Shed got back home - so I thought I deserved a beer (or two)




I am going to a follow up post for those that are interested on what worked and what didn't work. Otherwise our big foray into this ECW battle is now finished.

Now got to decide on the next big game....

Thank you for reading and I hope that this was of interest.