Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Dark Age Army - Part 1

I am back !!

You may recall that back in April I bought rather a lot of plastic at Salute for my Dark Ages project. The ambitious plan was to create two armies of the 11th century - one Norman and one Saxon.

This would be built using plastic figures with about 500 figures per side...over the last few weeks I have made a sizeable dent in the project and am proud to share my first photos...

Please note that the bases are not finished ..these will be done once everything is complete

Unarmoured Saxons and Slingers

Norman Cavalry

Armoured Saxon Infantry

Norman Armoured Infantry

I have also asembled all the other figures...that a lot of plastic figures to paint

Another 100 Saxons almost complete

2 more trays of Normans awaiting paint

More Saxons & Archers

What isn't shown here are the ninety other Norman Horse - these are all painted and just need a varnish. In my next post I'll show off the full Cavalry wing of William the Conqueror

more soon....

Friday, 21 September 2018

Colours 18 & the Chase

Hi Folks

Once again apologies for the delay in posts but real life continues to get in the way of the hobby. The good news is that rather than being tied up with work the last three weeks have been spent holidaying  on a boat in the med followed by some R&R in Portugal.

Sadly these adventures all came to an end last week and I had to go back to work. But just before the morning commute beckoned I was able to squeeze in a show.

Colours at Newbury was a great visit and all credit to the organisers for putting on a superb show. In fact I think the demo games on display were some of the best seen in recent years. A few pictures follow.

Whilst at the show I was able to introduce myself to Guy Bower Of WSS fame. Guy has taken on board responsibility for looking after the umpires for the Great Game (the Waterloo refight in Glasgow next year) - as I mentioned in my last post I was successful enough to be asked to be an umpire. Very excited.

More here if interested

If there are any of my followers here on the blog also involved I'd love to know

Shopping of course is a must at these shows and I managed to part ways with a few quid on more plastic dark age figures for my Hastings project. At the moment the plan is to field around 1000 28mm troops and I think I am nearly there in purchasing. As far as the painting is concerned plenty has been going on behind the scenes and this will form part of my next posting.

Gaming has been a little light on the ground as well so before the winter nights creep in and the shed becomes out of bounds we are going to have to redress that. More soon.

As a final little bonus 12 months ago I was invited to take part in the Chase (a early evening TV game show) - a couple of weeks ago the programme was broadcast and if you want to see me make a fool of myself (complete with hideous shirt) you can catch up on my final round here

And now onto the pictures from Colours

Think I have seen embankments like this before....

The usual scrum at the Bring & Buy

Come back soon....

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Latest Update from the Shed

Well that's August gone and done for another year and I can only say sorry for the lack of posts last month. Work has been hectic and not a lot other than a couple of games has been squeezed in.

On the positive front I have started my Dark Ages project more of which will follow when I get back from my holiday in a couple of weeks time.

I have also been selected as an umpire for the Great Game replayed - this is is a recreation of the battle of Waterloo in 28mm using Black Powder. Its all happening up in Glasgow next year and you can read more about it here 

Here are a few pictures from our last VBCW game and I will see you all in a couple of weeks time

more soon...

Monday, 6 August 2018

Sharpe's Kidnap - A Fist Full of Lead Scenario

A short scenario for Fist Full Of Lead

Stop Press: I wrote this before I checked the photos and sadly they all got deleted when I lent my camera to Mrs Shed...Arggh

Oh well here is the scenario and some I had taken and saved

Hi Folks – it another Monday night action report and this time the Shed saw the return of Fist Full Of Lead – Horse and Musket. The theme of Monday’s night game was a return to our continuing adventures of Sharpe in the Peninsular.

I decided that the table would a relatively simple affair featuring a few buildings I have constructed for this period. Set in the middle is the complex described as the Convent with the attendant church next door. This was the first time we used my moss green fleece throw. It’s a completely different green to the one we have been using before and the colour just seems perfect for a Mediterranean feel. Throws are becoming more normal in the shed these days as they allow hills and high ground to be seamlessly fitted into the landscape. Furthermore the pile of the cloths help the roads and rivers ‘blend’ into the ground. I have two these throws (each 2.4metres long) which is sufficient to cover most of the big table.

Rather fortuitously I had some time on the train travelling home from work that allowed me to develop the scenario. We have found through trial and error that these types of games have to have a scenario set. This forces the players to make decisions, it creates a narrative and delivers a verdict when it is all complete. The more background you can add to the scenario the better. One of the advantages of playing Sharpe and his chosen men is that the backstory has already been created and folks have a notion of how the characters should play.

Sharpe’s Kidnap


Lieutenant Sharpe- following the last fracas in El Dudno I assume that you are now quite recovered from your exertions. The fact that you were unable to secure Marshal Messina’s plans is no matter – we beat them soundly at Talavera.

It has come to our attention that the partisan known as El Trumpo has gone rogue and is believed to trading information and fake news with the French. Your mission is quite simple apprehend El Trumpo and bring him to justice. It is very important that you capture him alive and bring him back for trial.

We know that El Trumpo is holed up either in or near the Convent of Her Blessed Virgin near the village of Saint Joseph. The area is behind French lines so beware of French patrols.

Starting Point

Sharpe and his chosen men are approaching the convent from the south west (the building on the banks of the stream) – its dawn and a mist lies across the valley. At present the mist reduces all visibility to 8” but with the sun rising it is expected to burn off quite quickly. Each turn roll a d6 and add this sum to the number of inches of visibility – when the sum gets to 24 the mist has burned off.

The Mist has however caused some of the chosen men to get lost. Each Chosen (not Sharpe or Harper) man rolls a d6 on a 5 or 6 the man has become separated from the party. Roll a further d6

1 – the chosen man has become totally lost and will not play a part in the battle
2- The chosen man is just behind Sharpe & Harper and will enter the table from the SW a turn later
3 - - The chosen man is just behind Sharpe & Harper and will enter the table from the SW two turns later
4 – The chosen man may enter anywhere along the southern edge
5- 6- He has become hopelessly lost – roll randomly where he might be on the table (if in a building- he is placed outside)

The Guerillas

El Trumpo can be placed anywhere in the Convent or the Church (player decides) his remaining men are placed off table but are in the following locations. El Trumpo is not allowed to leave the environs of the chapel/convent.

-          One is in the tower as a sentry
-          2 are in the church
-          1 is the convent

The French Patrols

Unbeknownst to Sharpe the French Spy Ducos is in the area intent of catching up with El Trumpo to get the latest intelligence – Ducos is riding with five French Dragoons – they are all mounted. The French enter on the road from the North. They have stuck to the road and are less likely to get lost because of the mist – if they roll a six then dice as above.

Winning the Game

Sharpe wins if he is able to capture El Trumpo (beat in a HTH combat to subdue) and remove him from the table (Southern or Western Edge)

The French/Guerillas win if they successfully drive off the British and ensure El Trumpo stays alive.

The game

Sadly no full report as no photos but safe to say the Frenchies and Guerillas got stuffed - Sharpe once again died but Harper was able to fulfil the mission. Was it balanced - jusdt about the French dice throws were awful

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Battle of Adwalton

Last Tuesday night Mark and I got together to play another scenario from the excellent Pike & Shotte supplement  - to Defy a King. If you are into this period I can wholeheartedly recommend this book – it has a number of excellent scenarios, rules on sieges and many more army lists to cover the period.

This time we elected to fight a rather one sided affair called the Battle of Adwalton Moor…

The Forces arranged for Battle

In terms of background the real battle was fought on the 30th June 1643

Things kicked off when c10,000 Royalist troops marched on the Parliamentarian stronghold of Bradford. In defence of the town, Lord Fairfax advanced with 3,500 men and the two armies met on Adwalton Moor. The two to one advantage was to prove decisive.

William Cavendish Earl of Newcastle commanded the Royalist Army of the North.  His deputy was General James King (later Lord Eythin).  General George Goring the lieutenant-general of the Horse was absent from the battle having been captured by Sir Thomas Fairfax at the Battle of Wakefield on 24th May 1643.

Ferdinando Lord Fairfax commanded the Parliamentary Army with his son Sir Thomas Fairfax and Sergeant-Major-General John Gifford as his subordinate commanders.

According to British  The Royalist army comprised some 6,000 Foot and 3,000 Horse and Dragoons. The Royalist army brought to the battle a powerful train of artillery including two demi-cannon nick-named ‘Gog and Magog’.

The Parliamentary army comprised some 4,000 Foot and 1,500 Horse and Dragoons.  In addition the Parliamentary army was accompanied by a large crowd of local countrymen, termed ‘clubmen’ and armed largely with agricultural implements.

The Royalist Foot was short on firearms with a large proportion of pikemen.

The Parliamentary Foot comprised mainly musketeers.

The overwhelming number of Royalist pikemen eventually forced the Parliamentarians back and when their lines broke, the Royalist cavalry completed the victory.

The victory ensured Royalist control over most of northern England for the rest of that year.

As far as the terrain was concerned we took the map from the book – the distinguishing feature were the rows of hedgelines that the Parliamentarians defended.

Again in terms of forces these were taken straight from the book with the same dispostions

The Royalist Army mustered with 10 Regiments of Horse
Six units of Pike
Six units of Musketeers
And two medium pieces of artillery

Facing them were

3 units of horse
6 units of musketeers
3 small field guns
And two units of clubmen

The Parliamentarian Forces watch the enemy approach

Clearly the stronger the side the Royalist march forward - their cavalry wings spurring forward

The Right Wing edges forward

Whilst the Left tries to sweep round

The Left Cavalry wing swiftly engages with the rebels on their rear right flank

Its timer for the plodders to do their work...

Desultory fire from the Rebel ranks has no impact on the advancing pikes

The Royalist right wing cavalry ride up to the hedgeline and exchange fire

The Governments forces are now taking a beating across the line

Breakthrough - the first pike block forces a line break - the cavalry swift to sieze the iniative

The local clubmen are no match for trained troops

The Royalist cavalry finally win in the rear

The Parliamentarian left wing crumbles - infantry guns and horse all charged down

A Kings Pike forces their way up the road

The Parliamentarians are now in full rout

A complete victory for the King

A great little game - there was always going to be one winner but fun all the less...

More soon