St. Valentio Skewered by El Kebab!

I’ve been making steady progress with my plans for playing colonial imagi-nation games. These will be set in Medetia’s exotic 19th century colonies, using the Sharp Practice 2 rules.

Although I haven’t finished my jungle bases, or added any buildings yet, I felt that with lots of figures now painted a game could still be possible. So, I decided that the soon-t0-be rebellious sepoys and natives would start out with an away match – and become the fierce corsairs of the notorious El Kebab, terror of the southern sea. The sleepy, and lightly garrisoned, Medetian island outpost of St. Valentio was their target, with its trade goods and wealthy merchants. General vandalism would also be on the cards of course. My good mate Jase was up some corsairing, and duly loaded his vessels with a horde of ne’er do wells and set sail..

El Kebab’s small fleet, led by his own ship, the Scimitar, approached the main harbour out of the dawn shadows and made straight for the jetties. The alarm was sounded by the lookout in the fort, and the Medetians were roused from their slumbers. A party of sailors in the harbour were the first to see action, as the approaching corsairs let loose with grape from their guns.

The damage inflicted on the sailors was returned with interest by artillery and rifle fire from the shore, which swept away the Scimitar’s gun crew. El Kebab, may his name be forever showered with glory, may have cowered in the stern a bit when this happened.

Acting the part of El Kebab in full, Jase had decided to drive his two larger ships right into the harbour to offload their landing parties, while the (somewhat slower and more inconsistent) rowed boats followed behind.

With their mighty leader heroically directing things from aboard his ship, his trusty sub-commander, Munjit Dhal and ex-Sepoy Sergeant Badbhaji, led their men ashore to start the mayhem.

The Medetian garrison, though somewhat scattered and having to rally from various points of the compass, were reacting however. Their commander, Major Nebbiolo, wasn’t on top form – perhaps due to too much vino rosso the night before! His officers and NCOs were showing clearer heads though, and Sergeant Rigato of the Bersaglieri and Brevet-Lieutenant Lambrusco were taking the fight to the raiders. The main square was the scene of some running firefights and vicious melees, and casualties mounted on both sides as the advantage swung to and fro.

After seeing off one enemy group, young Lambrusco, hero of several previous games, somehow survived his own unit being wiped out by a second horde of corsairs. His bravery must surely see his promotion to Lieutenant now.

By now, despite Major Nebbiolo coming down from the fort to take charge, the raiders were getting stuck into the looting and burning. The church turned out to be more stiffly defended than was expected, but the frenzied clergy and their gamekeeper were sent packing with a howling charge.

Finally, El Kebab himself made his presence felt as he ushered ashore his most feared mob – the savage Big Choppers of Kamul ‘the Blade’.

Outside the harbour, the wily Imlik Bling and his sharpshooters kept a returning patrol of Bersaglieri at arm’s length as both sides traded shots from their boats.

Finally, enough was enough for the defenders who were forced to pull back to the fort and leave the corsairs free to ransack several houses, capture some residents for ransom, and retire at their leisure from a successful raid.

After this vicious assault, the Medetians would be keen to exact their revenge against El Kebab, and would be sure to leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of him and his band of cutthroats…

It was a great game, played in an excellent spirit, and it provided a lot of laughs throughout. The rules, as always, generated a lot of challenges for us, and delivered a believable and entertaining narrative. More soon hopefully!

September Scratchbuild Challenge

The Loose Association of Wargamers forum is running a challenge this month to use up some of the stuff that wargamers collect and hoard in the hope they’ll be useful someday. I am definitely one of those people who can’t help holding onto a decent sheet of polystyrene, cardboard tube or piece of balsa, so I decided to have a go.

Good timing then – as a new curtain pole came packed in some L-shaped card lengths, and I detected a potential use straight away!

I have been intending to buy some 28mm earthworks as defences to use in various games, particularly Sharp Practice skirmishes in the Medetian colonies. Nothing in 28mm resin is super-cheap, so I thought I might economise a bit with my new cardboard bits ๐Ÿ™‚

This isn’t intended as a detailed step-by-step account of how I produced the final piece, but basically I cut a 30cm length and removed a section for a gun emplacement. Then I plugged the ends, and based the entire piece, with card. The remaining features were the adding of a firing step with a rear extension for the gun and crew (10mm styrofoam sandwiched between more card and decked with thin strips), a ‘planked’ shield for the gun and finally some sharpened dowel spikes to deter attackers.

I used some filler on the gaps and on the main earthwork, and covered it with sand.

Everything received a Sandtex black undercoat and a heavy brush of Sandtex bitter chocolate. The wood received a light grey drybrush before everything was finished with a sand-coloured final brush. I painted the front edge green to match my terrain boards, and that’s it done!

I just need to make a few more bits now and then get them on the table for some interesting pirate stronghold scenarios!

 

A Big Battle in the Midlands

A few weekends ago a group of 8 members of the Loose Association of Wargamers got together near Grantham for an 18th century wargame. We all contributed some troops, both historical and imagi-nation, and used the Honours of War rules. It was nice to meet Jeremy and his family for the first time, and we didn’t seem to put him off coming to future LAW events!

Purps made the arrangements at a village hall, and also made half the terrain with some very impressive sculpted boards. The other half was LT’s excellent teddy bear fur. Once some buildings, hedges, trees and other scenery was in place, we had a very nice looking long battlefield of about 30′ by 5′.

Empty and full pics of the table:

The various collections were combined to create 2 large armies, with 4 players a side. There was a background scenario which led nicely to a big set-to, with me part of the attacking side. I took control of the left centre and had to capture the bridge. I deployed 2 columns of battalions, with artillery and cavalry in support.

Action in the centre, where the forces of Medetia fought for the bridge:

Action on the flanks:

The game was played in great spirit and we had a very enjoyable day. By the end we had been victorious pretty much all along the line, although the enemy had fought hard and we were up against it in a number of places. General E. Pickled led another utter collapse of what seemed to be a strong flank – it’s his special gift!

Purps: “well, that’s the left flank gone!”Pickled: “there were more troops here a minute ago”

Naturally, an evening of good food a drink followed. Some of the guys played a second game the on the Sunday, which I couldn’t stay for unfortunately.

Big thanks to everyone for their great company and friendly participation as always, and in particular to Purps for doing so much prep which made a big difference to how smoothly everything ran.

A 4-Part Hill

I have finally managed to finish these terrain boards, having started making them earlier this year. They’ve now had the sand and paint treatment and are ready for action.

I wanted the option for a larger hill, or 2 halves (on table edges), or even 4 quarters (in the table corners), and the only way to do this on 12 inch terrain tiles is to make it out of a number of pieces.

I made a side template from card to apply the same slope edge to each board so they’d all match up. The ‘filling’ was done with pieces of polystyrene, styrofoam, card and plaster. The overall height is only 30mm but it gives a good enough impression of a hill, especially with 6mm figures.

I may make aย couple of middle pieces at some point, using the same edge template, to go between 2 corners and allow for long ridges or a 3×2 foot single hill.

 

Welcome to the New Version of the Blog

After the recent photobucalypse I’ve taken the opportunity to change hosting and other arrangements for my blog. This wouldn’t have happened without Andy’s help and generosity – so a big thanks to Count Belisarius for everything, you’re a star!

Hopefully the re-direct is working from the old Blogger-based blog.

Apologies to those people who were very kindly following the blog, but it’s not been possible to migrate you across to here. I hope you will continue to follow now we’re set up here on WordPress. Everything else has been expertly migrated by Andy, although if any pictures fail (they should be working at the moment) that’ll be my fault for not getting them all re-linked yet.

While I’ve tried to take advantage of the good things available in WordPress, I’ve also been conscious of not hacking about too much with the basic format. It’s still a blog about my hobby efforts, and I don’t have big ambitions to turn this into a full-on website. I may add some new bits as we go though, once I’m more familiar with how things work.

I’ve got a bit of catching up to do so there will be some posts to follow shortly.

So, thanks for visiting, and if you’ve stumbled in here by accident, I’m sure you’ll find an escape route!

A Few More Colonials

I wanted to finish off the rest of the figures I’d prepared before and since Ayton, and here they are. These will be seeing some action (hopefully soon) in my 1830s Medetian colonial setting, using the Sharp Practice rules.

First, some RSMs kindly donated from Andy’s cavernous spares box. Two will naturally be Big Men (ie. leaders) for Sharp Practice.

 

The last of the Gripping Beast Arabs:

Artillery crew converted from Gripping Beast Arabs:

 

Finally, an officer for my Fleurian artillery (Victrix plastic):

 

Junk!

Granted, not an original post name.

At the AMG weekend a few people brought along things to sell/dispose of and I picked this up from Paul for a few quid. It’ll fit in nicely with my non-specific colonial setting, either as an operational vessel for the locals or just as a nice piece of scenery. I gave it a dust, added the masts, and repainted the black bits. And that’s it, ready to go. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

AMG17 – A Fantastic Weekend

Last weekend I attended the AMG forum gaming weekend near Kenilworth. There were about 20 of us, including forum members, forum ex-members, and at least one person who was neither!

Just like last year, it was an excellent crowd and we had a lot of fun both during the gaming sessions, and during the bar sessions. Apart from our group there were 300+ other guests in the hotel, all there for a Dancing with the Stars weekend. We didn’t mix much ๐Ÿ™‚ ย – although a couple of gents did pop by to have a look.

Stuart organised an excellent and smooth-running event. Big thanks to him.

The games were all top notch; Graham with Falkirk, Colin with Leuthen, Martin with the Sudan and Paul with Ramillies. I wanted to play all 4 but only managed Leuthen and Ramilies. Both were excellent, and very well run by friendly and helpful hosts.

Ramilies:

The Sudan (obviously), done in grand style by Martin, with lovely figures, using Sands of the Sudan:

 

Unfortunately my pic of Graham’s excellent and very popular Falkirk game didn’t come out, so this is the best I’ve got from that. Lovely British cavalry.

Day 1 – I played as one of the Austrian commanders in Colin’s superb Leuthen 1757 game, using the Honours of War rules.

Robbie and Gary were on the flanks and we faced Chris, Jim and Tony as the Prussians. Fittingly, Jim (Der Alte Fritz) played as Frederick.

 

More Austrians rushing to help hold the line:

Soon to be ex-grenadiers!

The Prussian grenadiers charge the church wall. They got in once, but I managed to push them back out with my reserves.

Repeating the Prussian’s dramatic success on the tabletop isn’t as simple as Frederick made it look. It was close in the end, but was declared a win for the Austrians.

Day 2 – I joined Paul’s tremendous refight of the southern half of Ramillies 1706 (ie. the cavalry action and the village on the French extreme right flank). We used Paul’s own rules from the Grimsby club, which are straightforward but give lots of period flavour. I took the right-hand French, with dismounted dragoons in the village, infantry alongside, and some of the Garde squadrons on my left.

We had a lot of cavalry clashes early on, and then the infantry came forward to carry on the fight. It was slightly unique as an 18th century wargame in that there were no artillery on the table (other than a couple of attached light guns). It made a nice change.

Below – waiting for the dreaded Dutch guard to arrive and commence their deadly platoon fire. Fortunately I was able to get some flank supports in place to help see off the first battalion! After that it was a matter of holding on.

 

Aly and Leigh battled it out at the other end of the table, with Steve commanding the French centre and Ken fighting us with Dutch and Danish. We got a solid result on the left flank, with Aly’s battalions mostly sent packing, and in the end the French were declared the victors. ๐Ÿ™‚

A few general scenes. There was always a lot of banter and laughter in the room, making for an excellent atmosphere (which was needed as it was bloody warm with the aircon only partially working)!

 

 

The hotel wasn’t a bad place to have a few post-game beers, and the weather was amazing too!

Aly brought along a couple of sets of the Perry’s new Travel Battle game, which looked nice painted up, and Mark brought a 6mm version of The Wargame which was very impressive. Chris showed off some of his lovely period-art too, so there was something to see in every corner of the room.

Great stuff all-round then, and very motivational from a hobby perspective.
Hopefully we’ll be doing it again next year (albeit under a new name I suspect).

More Colonial Irregulars

I’m planning to get as much use as I can out of the Gripping Beast plastic Arabs I painted for Ayton, which means using them for colonial games too. Yes, there are a few too many bows in evidence, but I’m not really bothered. That said, I’m adding some musket-armed figures to bring them a bit more up to date!

These are from First Corps’ SYW in India range. They’re a bit shiny despite 2 coasts of varnish but hey. I’ve used the same colour scheme as the medieval types and they should fit together OK.
I’ve painted, but yet to base, a further 6 plastic guys with spears, which takes me to 44 figures. I think I need another half pack from First Corps to get me to 48 (and increase the musket count), which will make a healthy total of 4 Sharp Practice groups of Wallahs.
Additionally there are 4 plastic figures I’ve done as artillery crew, which I just need to base too.
When done, I’ll get the whole lot together, with the leaders and cavalry, for a photo shoot. Then I just need to finish some scenery and we’re off to the conquer some jungle-clad islands in the name of Medetia! ย ๐Ÿ™‚