Thursday, 31 December 2015

Fortuitous recovery and a brief summary of 2015.

More than a month has passed since my last post so I thought I had better put fingers to keyboard. 
Firstly, a fortuitous update. A few months ago my tower pc decided that it didn't want to play any more and gave me the 'Blue Screen of Death'. This was quite unfortunate as you can well imagine. Never mind, thinks I, once I get another I can just reload everything from my Google drive. All well and good until I actually opened up my Google drive and found that all of my most recent stuff wasn't there. Not impressed. Thinking that I would have to shell out cartloads of cash for someone to try and recover the info I put the old hard drive to one side and soldiered on. Now included in this loss was a manuscript for a non-fiction campaign book that I was writing and until the crash had written more than 50,000 words. Gutted!
   Now skip forward until the day before yesterday when I was looking for a memory stick to put a file on for my mate to print as my printer is not working at the moment. Opened the files on the stick and lo and behold...a folder marked Books...with my book there in all its monochrome gloriousness with words and chapters and everything. As you can imagine, I was as happy as a pig in breakfast as they say in the Midlands. So now I'm writing again. I have concluded that the problem was that I had a Google drive icon on my desktop and everything came from and went back to there so it probably didn't actually get uploaded. Problem solved. I now upload after every session, have a copy on my main drive, another on my backup drive and yet another back on the stick. My MO recommends sending myself a copy as an e-mail attachment. Ma Subs and I didn't raise daft kids...luckily.
   This leads me nicely into a quick summary of 2015.
   Managed two games -both solo- and duly reported here; painted lots of 6mm -unfortunately my tracker was on the old drive- but from memory; Samurai, WW II Late War British, Goblins, Halflings, Centaurs, Ancient Macedonians, some Flemish and Sassanid Persians as well as some 10mm Mongols, more Song Chinese and Medieval Polish. Plus made lots of 6mm terrain for my WW II project -pictures below- and written various articles for MWBG all about the Mongols. Went to the obligatory two shows of Cavalier in February and Broadside in June.
   Unfortunately, the big Lottery win eluded me once again. Oh, well never mind, here's to an even more productive 2106. 

Happy New Year to all my avid readers.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

The latest on my latest project.

I know you lot out there have been on the edge of your seats since I announced pics of my new project, so now you can relax, the wait is finally over. Since my last post I have painted and based this lot. All are from H&R and are from the Sassaned (sic) Persian and the Greek ranges.

This was how they looked when I first found them.

The Sassanids 
All the Sassanids so far. At the rear is a unit of cataphracti (18 figures), immediately in front of them are two units of clibanari (2 x 15 figures), then another couple of units of LC (2 x 9 figures) and at the front is a unit of levy infantry (48 figures). Probably need at least one more cati and two or three more clib units before I can call it an army. Of course, the levy infantry are another matter...need to get at least three more of them. The beauty of the Sassy cavalry in this scale is that I could use a lot of them for Flemish Persians cutting down the amount needed. 

Close up of the LC. Need to get a few more of these but I have the option of mixing in the Flemish Persian LC I get as well.

The levy in all their glory, nuff said really.

The Macedonians 
On the left is a unit of Hypaspists (60 figures) and beyond them is a sarissa phalanx (currently 60 figures but see below). The plan -for what it's worth- is to get at least three Hypaspist units and at least another four phalanx. All my units are made up of three 40 x 20mm bases but the problem  is that to make it look like a proper phalanx it needs another base added so that there are two ranks of four sarissa giving each unit a creditable 80 figures. 

The allied Greeks/Greek mercenaries in Persian service. Two units of 60 hoplites each. (P.S. Just checked this pic and I've noticed the base at the bottom right is the wrong way round but at least you get an idea of what the back of the figures look like, he, he)

Two units of LI archers (21 figures in each); at the rear is a unit of Macedonians and the one at the front are the much vaunted Cretans. The latter have bronze shields while the other has hide shields.

Two units of Greek allied cavalry (2 x 15 figures). This is probably all I need for them.

Currently, on the painting desk there are 21 Greek staff slingers only waiting for the glue on the bases to dry so they can be pva/sanded and 15 undercoated Thessalian cavalry. I also have nearly 150 Greek and Thracian peltasts to paint but still trying to work out what to use for the Companions; might have to use Irregular for them. Additionally, I need to get at least one unit of prodromi on top of the phalangites and Hypaspists.  

   Beyond that there are 50 cavalry and nearly 100 archers for the Flemish Persians...and then there are nearly 50 bucellari, 160 scutatoi and 50 LI archers as the start of the Byzantines. I might even get a Late Roman army to take on the Sassys by way of a change.

Friday, 16 October 2015

New Project.

Once the conservatory was finished and the Battle of Garston compleated and packed away, I was scratching around for a new project. Unfortunately all my 6mm WW II campaign information was on the old drive which I am hoping soon to be be able to access but until then...

Rummaging around listlessly I came across an unopened jiffy bag which revealed some H&R 6mm Flemish Persians (Achemenid sounds Flemish anyway so over the decades the word has stuck). Further investigation in Narnia revealed another acquired bag full of  H&R 6mm Sassanid Persians and Alexandrian Macedonians (don't ask, I have no idea). So now I have the starts of three different armies.

I am going to base them on 40 x 20's coz they look quite nice on that size and you get 3 LC and 6 EHC on a base...I haven't got any further than that yet although by now the Magic Wash on the Sassy LC should be dry so a-varnishing I will go. Pics next time.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Battle of Garston.

Battle of Garston

The past few weeks Ma Subs and I have been involved in a project, completely unrelated to wargaming but necessary, and that was fixing the conservatory. This involved taking off all the roofing pieces of wriggly plastic bits –broken and otherwise- and replacing them with nice new see-through sheets, painting all of the supporting woodwork etc., etc. even with my mate and his missus helping it still took several days to get the lid back on so as all the little fiddly jobs could then get done. Luckily the weather held. So, while Ma Subs went back to Brum on a family visit, I was able to have a solo game set up in Narnia. It was still on-going when the roof was being done so I managed a couple of moves every so often.
This time, I thought I would play a 6mm WW II using my new scenery and try out the old WRG Armour and Infantry 1925-1950 Rules from June 1973 that we used to use. Now I have fond memories of these rules from playing with Airfix models and figures in a mate’s front room so there was quite a high nostalgia factor here.
So, onto the game. The wind was blowing from the south-east, so that's why all the smoke is angled across the board. Advanced apologies for the slight blurriness of some of the pictures but I don't have the space for a full tripod set up.
The Wargame Map
 Garston Aerodrome on the bottom left of the table. (The tower building is based on the one at West Malling in Kent and the two hangers are 'J' Type from all over the place).
 The town of Garston. (Buildings based loosely on some in Maidstone)
A uniquely British institution
            Aufklarungs Bataillon, Major Kroos
     Gruppe Kroos
1 x SdKfz 234 A/C (Puma) (d), 1 x SdKfz 222 A/C (d), 1 x SdKfz 251 Command ½ track, 3 x lorry borne infantry
                 Gruppe Muhler
1 x SdKfz 234 A/C (Puma) (d), 2 x SdKfz 222 A/C (both d), 1 x SdKfz 251, 3 x of armoured infantry
Panzer Bataillon, Major Mertesacker
               HQ Kompanie, Major Mertesacker
3 x PzKpfw IV (1), 1 x Ostwind AA
1. Kompanie, Hauptmann Schweinstiger
                       6 x PzKpfw IV (5)
                        2. Kompanie, Hauptmann Lamm
                                             6 x PzKpfw IV (3)
3. Kompanie, Hauptmann Zeigler
                        4 x PzKpfw IV (1)
Officer Commanding, Lieutenant-Colonel Moore
            A/T Battalion, Major Noble
                        6 x 6pdr A/T guns (3), 2 x 17pdr A/T guns
            Armoured Battalion, Major Hurst
                        ‘A’ Company, Captain Peters
                                    3 x M4 Shermans (1), 1 x Firefly
‘B’ Company, Captain Bond
            3 x M4 Shermans, 1 x Firefly
Infantry Battalion, Major McAvenney
HQ Company, major McAvenney
            1 x command, 1 x mg, 1 x 81mm mortar
            ‘A’ Company, Captain Cresswell
                        3 x infantry (1)
            ‘B’ Company, Captain Jarvis
                        3 x infantry (1)
‘C’ Company, Captain Brooking
            3 x infantry (1)
The German Right flank
The Centre
The German left flank
On the first move Kroos -on the right- and Muhler -on the left- advanced onto the board by the SE and SW roads respectively. Kroos immediately came under fire from a 6pdr AT next to the Queens Head pub which took out his lead 222. His advance halted, his infantry dismounted and began a stealthy advance along the tall roadside hedges towards the pub. The Puma used the destroyed 222 as cover while it's gun sought out the enemy.
On the other flank, Muhler also came under fire, a 6pdr AT hidden amongst the buildings of Theakstons Farm knocked out his lead 222  and his infantry in the lorries came under small arms fire from the nearest group of rocks. The infantry immediately dismounted and dove for cover along the hedge line.  
This went on for several moves. While Kroos managed to make some headway, Muhler was not so fortunate; eventually losing all his AFV's for very little gain. His only real success was to force the infantry out of the rocks and make them fall back the Pine Tree Wood. This happened just in time for the British as on Moves 7 and 8, Mertesacker's panzers began to advance towards the British positions. 

By Move 10 the panzers of Hauptmann Schweinstiger's Nr. 1. Kompanie had crossed the hill but immediately came under fire from 'A' Company's tanks concealed by the high hedges just outside Garston. Eventually Schweinstiger lost all but one of his Mk IV's and had to make an ignominious retreat.
In the centre, Hauptmann Lamm and his company of Mk IV's initially made some ground but the Shermans and Firefly of 'B' Company knocked out half his command.
Major Mertesacker with the HQ Kompanie and Zeigler's Nr. 3. Kompanie fared little better in the face of the 6 pdr AT guns hidden in the rocks and a 17pdr AT gun even further back on the bend of the road by the wood.

Eventually Mertesacker, with almost half his battalion lost, had no option but to order a retreat and request an artillery barrage before the next assault.

On the Orbat, losses are the numbers or the letter 'd' in brackets after each formation.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

What a marvellous present!

Some of you may be aware that I have more than a passing interest in the Mongols, especially the 1238-41 campaign in Europe. Now currently my daughter works as a lead trainer for a medical assessment company and is in Poland teaching the Polish the methods that she uses. She has a weekend off so instead of coming home she stayed for a wander about. This morning she phoned and was telling me about her walkabout. Now previous instructions to said daughter involved taking pictures of old buildings and looking out for anything from the Mongol period. Later this afternoon while watching the Japanese v South Africa rugby she phoned again and said that for my 60th birthday next January she is taking me to Krakow for a long weekend of looking around the place. I'll be brutally honest with you, I was a more than a tad emotional.
Now Krakow was the fist major city the Mongols came to and destroyed but Wawel Castle they avoided because it was too strong. As I said to her, that's one place off of my bucket list...hmmm, I wonder if she is up for a trip to Mongolia or Japan for my 65th? :D

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Another light bulb moment.

For some reason I seem to be one of those people who will always try something the hard way first and then about half way through realise that there is a much easier option.
   So far I have made 8 buildings -mostly terraced houses- for my 6mm campaign which involved a lot of windows all painted by hand. I was in town today when the light bulb flashed on; instead of painting them why not use a chisel-pointed permanent black marker pen. So I've bought one and will try it out...I have high hopes.
   I know, sometimes I even amaze myself.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The protagonists.

In July, one of the comedians on the LAW forum ( asked if anyone wanted to take part in a painting challenge over the month of  August; no prizes, just the opportunity to promise (?) to get some paint on something. I said that I would paint a 15mm Viking DBA sized army that had been lurking in my unpainted pile for a while. Then, just before the beginning of August I got stuck into the British which had been bought from a very nice from Yorkshire for my 6mm campaign. So of course, after undercoating the Vikings the rest of the painting them went out of the window.
   But I have not been idle, oh no. The fruits of my August painting and constructing are shown below in glorious technicolour, apart from nearly all of the Germans which had been painted about twenty years ago. All the rest has been done this month. Additionally, I have 3 blocks of buildings constructed but not painted, a set of Irregular vines painted but not based and 3 new lengths of lolly stick hedge with small trees on made but not based or painted.
Above is a picture of nearly all the terrain I have made. The only completed items missing are the two orchards that I have only just remembered making. The road is made as per my last post, just drybrused with a couple of shades of grey to take the shine off the wet and dry paper. The green hedges behind the road are clump foliage and static grass on lolly sticks (sold as gardening labels from Poundland) and two of these fit nicely alongside each piece of road.  
The picture above is my simplified version of three aircraft hangers, British 'J' Type to be exact and in front is a small civilian car I made from a piece of basswood.
 As noted above, the Germans haven't been part of this months paintathon apart from the five DFS 230 gliders at the rear of the shot. I bought these because I might have a para drop on one of the airfields -hence the aircraft hangers. From l-r: on the far left are three AA 88's plus prime movers, next to them are the two tank battalions, the first of Panthers, the second -and slightly larger- of Mk IVs. To the right of the Mk IVs is the attached Schwere Panzer Abteilung (heavy tank battalion) consisting of 5 Tigers, 2 Jagdtigers,  3 King Tigers and various others. Behind the Panthers and Mk IVs is the SP Artillery with the regular mix of Hummels and Wespes and to the right is the pioneer battalion with all kinds of wonderful pieces of equipment including 2 flammpanzer and a bergetiger recovery vehicle. At the front on the left is the divisional Aufklarungs (Reconnaissance) unit with its mix of Pumas, 222s and a couple of 251s for the infantry contingent. On the right at the front is the single motorised infantry battalion I have. I decided to only paint the one because in 6mm they tend to get lost in amongst all the action and any more would slow the game down too much. So, wherever infantry are involved, if it's less than a battalion I'm okay, more and I'm bu**ered. Finally, in column on the far right is the werfer batallion of five nebelwerfer and prime movers. From memory, everything is either Heroics & Ros or Irregular. 

 Above are two views of the British, all -bar 7 Shermans- painted this month. Again from l-r: 3 regiments of Shermans with attached Fireflys, then a regiment of Cromwells and Challengers. In the front is the Armoured Reconnaissance regiment with its mix of Staghounds, Dingos, Stuarts and half-tracks. There are four battalions of  artillery -three towed and one of Sexton SPs. The 6pdr AT with the Universal Carriers are on the left behind the Sextons, next to them are the 25pdrs plus Quads and the right hand unit is of 17pdr AT. Again, all the models are either Heroics & Ros or Irregular.

So now it's just all of the buildings to make and I can start my campaign!


Thursday, 6 August 2015

The campaign is evolving.

Well, I have definitely been bitten by the WW II campaign bug. The dearth of British has been resolved and I now have the equivalent of a British Armoured Division...apart from some infantry, but that will be sorted out soon.
  Currently I am painting the British and have three Sherman and Firefly tank regiments (14 models each), 1 x SP Artillery battalion (7 models), 1 x 6pdr AT Battalion (13 models), a 25pdr FA Battalion (9 models) and a Recce Regiment (20 models including Dingos, Daimler ACs, Staghounds, Stuart light tanks and a couple of M3 GMCs). As I already have the German Aufklarungs Abteilung I think before I go much further I will have a little solo set-to to work out any glitches in my solo opposition rules, (or even throwing them out and starting again).
  As a wargaming magpie -probably like most wargamers- I was lucky enough to keep a set of Modern Campaign Rules that I wrote about fifteen years ago. Unfortunately they were typed so I have been typing them up as a Word File and adapting them as I go for WWII.
  In line with the project I have made more scenery. I recently re-read Big Lee's blog entry about roads at

and decided to give it a go myself. So far, using the foam and wet and dry paper method, I have made about 25 feet of 30mm wide macadamised road which is perfect for rural Kent. I can definitely recommend the idea. I've also made about a dozen pieces of hedge line using the clump foliage glued to painted lolly stick system. Once it's all dry dot some PVA along base where there are gaps and sprinkle with static grass. (As I'm writing this at 11 o'clock at night I'll have to post some pictures next time.) I've also started on a lot more buildings using the local photo's I have taken over the last couple of years as inspiration. Again photo's at a later date.
  That's about all that's happened here, I will post more when there is more to post.


Monday, 13 July 2015

Day trip out.

I know that this is going to look like a non-wargaming, touristy type of post but bear with me, there is an ulterior motive.
  Back in August last year I mentioned that I was thinking about a WW II Solo alternate history campaign in which D-Day went pear shaped and the Germans invaded Kent later in the year. This thought has been bubbling away ever since then. Yesterday, Ma Subs, our friends and myself went out for the day to Canterbury, Whitstable, Herne Bay and Reculver -a round trip of nearly 85 miles. All over Canterbury there are loads of old buildings nestling comfortably alongside architecture of a more modern nature. Wattle and daub next to cladding, brickwork and concrete. All grist to building making mill for the above-mentioned campaign. So, during the whole trip I took about 150 pictures of various building types for inspiration.
Still got to get the Brits for the campaign though. Had a really good day and the weather remained quite pleasant with the old current bun showing its tardy face later in the day..

Friday, 10 July 2015

Takeda Samurai Army from the Sengoku Period.

Last month I painted all the Irregular 6mm Samurai I had and decided to do some of the clans that made up the army of Takeda Shingen. Later I will do the army of his enemy Uesugai Kenshin -in fact I found another 4 ashigaru blocks so they will be the first of the new force.
 Takeda Shingen's own troops.

 Troops of Shingen's younger brother, Takeda Nobushige

The troops of the Ichijo clan under the command of Ichijo Nobutatsu.

 Naito clan under  Naito Masatoya.

 The Obata clan commanded by Obata Masamori.

Oba clan under Oba Toramasa. He was another general  who outfitted his troops in all red armour. It was known as the 'red regiment' or the the 'red fire unit'.

Not pictured are some ashigaru belonging to the Baba clan (Baba Nobuharu) and of the Tsuchiya clan (Tsuchiya Masatsugu).

Now I know that some of the mon are different ie the Takeda family -Takeda Nobushige for example- and some close retainers are also shown as having the same diamond Takeda mon as Shingen only on different coloured backgrounds but I went for a bit of variety. In fact Nobushige's design on my figures has been taken from his uma-jirishi -larger, personal standard- rather than a white diamond on a black background. Naito Masatoya could also have the Takeda mon only in red with a white background. (And anyway, single lines across a 6mm sashimono are sooo much easier to paint than diamonds, trust me in this!

Some chaps I forgot about.

Additionally, I have painted all the Germans I have for my ongoing 6mm FPW project. As you can see, I need more...many, many more. (Fades to the sound of a maniacal laugh.)

All the figures are from Irregular Miniatures.

 All the infantry so far.

 Wurttembuger Regiment

 Bavarian Regiment.
 Kuirassiers and Dragoons.

The far.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Pictures as promised.

Been relatively quiet here on the wargaming front due to the weather which has been absolutely delightful and far too pleasant to spend hours in Narnia painting tinies, at one stage the thermometer in our conservatory registered a whopping 38 degrees. Notwithstanding that, I have painted another four battalions (16 blocks) of my FPW Germans, finished 20 of the 35 blocks of Goblins which will be e-bayed when finished, aaaand also took some pictures of the samurai due the ongoing elusiveness of the earlier shots. Hope you like them.

 British World War II Western Desert (all Irregular Miniatures)

Samurai from the Takeda Clan, again all by Irregular Miniatures. The sashimono are accurate renditions of the real ones -or as accurate as I could get in 6mm!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Recent Happenings

Since my last post back in March I have decided to go on a painting spree to attempt to lower the height of the 6mm lead mountain, and in that I have been relatively successful. I now have all of the Prussians plus allies for the FPW finished –although I am very deficient in Prussian infantry, 8 battalions to take on over 20 French; all the remaining WW II bits and pieces including a battery of German nebewerfers, a battery of Russian 76.2 field artillery guns all with towing vehicles; a Samurai army of 60 odd ashigaru blocks, 18 foot samurai and 28 cavalry plus commanders; all 36 infantry blocks for my WW II Western Desert British; 17 Fantasy Centaurs (since sold on fleabay) and  a reasonable sized 6mm Halfling army which are actually 4mm tall.

I have also been writing again and two articles on making your own 6mm terrain have been sent to Henry Hyde at MWBG. The first one covers hills and trees while the second is about buildings, roads, rivers etc. Hopefully people will enjoy reading it and give them some ideas about making their own scenery.

 6mm Centaurs (Irregular Miniatures)

6mm Halflings (Irregular Miniatures)

I did take some pics of the Samurai and WW II British but can't seem to locate them at the mo. I'll remember for the next post.

Broadside 2015

I do like this show. It’s in Sittingbourne –normally about 35 minutes by bus but 1hour 20minutes by train with one change since the swines changed the times of the bus service. Notwithstanding that I had a really good day apart from the fact that I had inadvertently changed the setting for the number of pixies painting in my camera and all the pictures were excrement of the highest order without a single usable photo amongst them. Fortunately others who were there are better at photography than I am  Ray (blog at and Lee (blog at both of Postie’s Rejects to name but a couple There were some really tasty looking games on show this year as can be seen by their photos.

Had a great chat with Andy Badger of Pilum Painting and his lady wife and was given a copy of The Reality of War by Leonce Patry about the FPW, which was a very nice surprise. Also spoke at some length to two of the people from the Pendraken Forum, Bernie and a gentleman who uses the soubriquet of Wurrakatte from the wilds of Harlow as well as catching up with some people from Postie’s Rejects, SEEMS and Southend Wargames Club.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Game with Postie's Rejects.

While at Broadside in Sittingbourne last year I got chatting to the group known as Postie's Rejects and was asked if I would like a game someday. Well, that day was yesterday. We had a Crimean War 15mm game to Postie's own rules where the British and French were defending a small town not far from the main supply port on the peninsula (the name escapes me at the moment) against the Russian Bear. I was given the left flank with the British, one Rifle Brigade and three others plus a battery of medium guns. Immediately opposite was Big Lee with eight Russian infantry battalions and a battery of guns. John was our CNC in the centre with Ray on the right. Opposite them were Ian, John and Smiffy.
   The game started well as my infantry fairly barrelled along the road to protect the left of the village, while our centre and right prepared to fight off another Russian Brigade.
    The long and the short of it was that the right centre was eventually overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers although my flank was holding it's own after reducing the spearhead of the Lee's Russian attack down from eight battalions to three through various morale checks under fire etc., it was decided that the Allies would have to withdraw and leave the field to the Russians.
   Postie's Shed o' War -which has the space for a 14' x 6' table with all the trimmings- was like a wargamer's Aladdin's Cave. I thought I had some lead but this bloke had got all of the main periods covered and then some in huge numbers -Postie said he has 30,000 15mm Napoleonic figures alone! I saw some of his other armies so I can well believe it.
   I had a brilliant time and it was a perfect example of what wargaming should be like, good conversation, lots of good natured banter with a lot of like minded people all enjoying their hobby. Plus, I couldn't knock the in-house catering as supplied by Postie -doorstep sarnies of cheese and pickle with fruit cake to follow. Food of the Gods! Thanks again all for a great day. They even made me and Honoury Member of Postie's Rejects and I have a little 7YW Frech figure on a plinth as a trophy. I'll post a picture of him next time as the camera is upstairs.

Here are some pics of the day.

 My initial command 

 The Opposition!

 Our Centre and Right

 The Russian Bear ambles forward towards the village.

 My Rifles and artillery slow down the battalion on the flank. That's one distracted, only the other seven to deal with now.

 Our Centre looks a bit hairy with all that lot bearing down on them.
 The Opposition l-r Lee, Ian, John and Smiffy. At this point in the game the Russians were not holding out much hope of success. How fortunes change.

The Russians ride roughshod over the French in the centre. The Russian cavalry -who up until that point had been described as cr*p- suddenly found their battle mojo and made short work of the French cavalry on the far flank, two battalions of Imperial Guard were forced back as was the line unit just to the right of the building. With no stable right flank -and not much of a centre either- the French CNC had no option but to call for a withdrawal.

In case you were wondering, the small pieces of white craft pipe-cleaners are first fire markers.