Friday, 15 October 2021

Partizan.. an actual show.. in real life! (El Cid battle of Bairen 1097)

On Sunday I had the great pleasure of joining James and the chums (Scrivs and Tom), to 'help' in putting on a beautiful El Cid demonstration game at the Partizan show.

I've been going to Partizan for many years (Grove sports centre .. so 1980-something!) and it's always been my favourite, so it was great that this was the first 'proper' wargames show in England for a very long time.

My contribution was small.. I performed my usual function of Tshirt designer (quite like this one) and I've been 3D printing some rulers for the 'Midgard' rules, which we used on the day.. but really when you look at that gorgeous table and the spectacular armies.. small potatoes!

Anyway, as well as enjoying playing the game (James rules work very well even on this epic scale), it was great to meet gamers old and new again and we're all very grateful to Laurence and the team for arranging the show and taking care to make sure we felt safe

Many more pictures and information on the rest of the crew's blogs:

James Morris (mogsymakes)


Tom's Toy Soldiers

The team sporting the El Cid T shirts; James, Tom, me, Scrivs. (we 'masked up' soon after this photo, and stayed that way for the day)

setting up

And some pictures from around the hall. Typically, I miss half the games at the show and spend the next week viewing blogs and Youtube declaring "I didn't see that!", so not a very representative collection!

Simon Miller and pals 'To the Strongest' scaled up!

the participation game zone always has some oddball treats!

HUGE Zama battle

A couple of gentlemen looked to be playing Rapid Fire with 54mm figs

The Perrys gorgeous South American game

I really like this idea of raising the table.. in model railway circles there is often debate over the height of a layout, but wargames tables tend to all be pretty standard

I didn't really get any good photos of this neat 1870 game from the Stonewall group

I'm still not sure of the value of the Blog.. whether anyone reads it, but I had to share ;-) Off to Tom's tomorrow to play Chain of Command and make a start on our 'Fighting Withdrawal' campaign.

Sunday, 29 August 2021

Frostgrave.. the rivalry begins

Not managing to arrange a 'proper' game for various reasons, I had finished off a few more scenery bits recently and thought I'd have another solo bash at Frostgrave. Rather than play one of the solo scenarios, I rolled up two warbands - Zaleus the Summoner and Brankus the Enchanter and thought I'd just play a 'standard' game.. I may try a little series, taking these two warbands in head to head 'campaign'.. we'll see.

It was a fairly close fought affair, with Zaleus coming out on top with 3 of the 5 treasures. Although his apprentice was struck down by Renauld's crossbow (a natural 20), she survived. Both warbands escaped any 'serious' losses in fact.. Brankus lost one thug, but they don't count!

During the game I realise that I had picked a few of the same spells for the two opposing wizards, so that could have been better planned, but we'll see. Brankus has gained 1 level and learned a new spell from a Grimoire they found, whilst Zaleus jumped up 2 levels, improving a couple of existing spells. 

Stan and Cnut investigate an alleyway

Brankus in sullen mood

Zaleus commands a zombie to join Astrogoth fighting the skeleton

Izith about to catch a crossbow bolt badly 

Stan and Cnut encounter two wild dogs

Aggie, Brankus' apprentice, looks over the scrapping bands

Having dealt with the dogs, Stand and Cnut are jumped by thugs

A snow troll wanders into the street, must have heard the fighting

Lucius and a construct are outnumbered by Zaleus' men

New britches for Ulf!

Thursday, 19 August 2021

A Napoleonic bash - General D'Armee

Last Saturday Scrivs hosted a pretty spectacular 100 days game of General D'Armee.. all of the 28mm figures and terrain were from his collection and he acted as GM/host for the day, taking Tom and I through the game as neither of us had played before.

I took charge of the British, facing Tom's French.

You can see a good account of the game on Scrivs blog .

My movement was limited to pushing out skirmishers and swinging out the right wing of my infantry (both forces held their cavalry in reserve off table).

Tom advanced his French in columns, bring up a battery on to a central hill. Lucky for me, some crucial failures to retain command caused Toms left Brigade to halt and delay their advance to contact, giving me a chance to fire and eventually drive off that battery.

In the centre, Tom spotted a weak spot and pushed hard against the Hanoverians who held on grimly, seeing off repeated assaults and replenishing their line with fresh troops. Meanwhile, my guns kept up a steady barrage on the advancing columns.

On my left the French made steady progress, whilst Toms most rearward battery failed to score any real hits (apart from on themselves!)

Sensing a chance to break through as a couple of British units on the right softened up, Tom's cavalry arrived. I anticipated that and brought my own dragoons on to see if they could counter that threat.

By this point, our time was up.. both Tom and I having to take our leave, so we called it a 'winning draw' for the French (although of course, like any good gamer, I could argue that it could have gone either way!)

All in all, good fun and spectacular game. The rules emphasise command friction and choices, and although there were a few more lookups / modifiers than we're used to these days, it didn't feel like one of those old rulesets from the gold old card cover days :-)

Do I regret selling my Prussian army? maybe.

The armies deployed

British right wing advance

British centre and left wing

The French advance

French columns close on the British left

British guns did sharp work all day

Infantry close and exchange fire on the British right

View from the French left

View of the French right

A view across the table as the forces closed

The British centre under some pressure

The Hanoverians give a good account

Clash on the left

Across the table the smoke thickens

British dragoons arrive to counter the arrival of French cavalry

As we left the day, French bruised but still pushing

Saturday, 7 August 2021

A Greek Tale

Today I took myself out of self-imposed isolation and joined the chums for a cracking game round at Tom's.

James had devised a scenario, one of a series that will depict the saga of Basil and the Argianauts. No doubt, more of this will appear at James' own blog soon. We were using his Midgard rules. It's a been a little while since I played and most of the rules I remembered had changed! (they are in play test).

I won't provide a blow-by-blow. Scrivs and I took charge of the good king Minossos and his allies, a tad peeved by a raiding bunch of Greeks who had stolen our stuff and were now trying to scarper. They were led by James and his son, whilst Tom gamely looked on, taking pictures and offering tactical advice*. We held two passes through some otherwise impassable terrain. Our small force looked terrifying as the mighty bronze Talos looked over the field and clouds of screeching harpies flew toward the approaching Greeks.

It was nip and tuck stuff. The mighty bronze Talos fell at the first combat, brought down by no less than Hercules himself, but the Greeks suffered losses too as they pressed into the Cyclops and Cretans. Eventually the last Cretan hero fell and the greeks made off back to their ships, and on to the next theft/adventure!

Good fun and a great looking game.. the figures belonged mostly to James and me, with a few supporting characters from Tom's collection. (It was great to get my hoplites out on the table again, a right old mix of Foundry, Lancashire games, Victrix and a few unknown)

*Mostly, but not always, 'Charge them in the face'

Talos looking imposing as the Greeks approach the northern pass

Hercules, Herakles..

Hot Harpy action

Cyclops hurl rocks

Hercules about to get deleted by Minossos for rudely killing Talos

Harpies descend

The cyclops start to lose ground..

Basil surprises the Harpies from the rear

Greeks pressing in on both passes 

Nekkid spartiates

The final attempts to hold back the Greeks