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™‚

The Dreaded Re-basing

We all hate it, but most of us have to (well, choose to!) do it from time to time. This one was worth the effort as I wanted my irregular sepoys to be on single rather than multi- bases so that they work better for Sharp Practice. They can still go onto sabots for games where they need to form up in a battalion.

They’re RSM figures, a mix of their Ottoman figures with some minor conversions in the form of weapons added to hands. They’ve seen service in several games, as a battalion made up of 6 bases of 5. With a couple of spares kindly donated by Count Belisarius I will be able to make 4 groups of 8 or 3 of 10 (militia) for Sharp Practice.

Then: the ‘soak the mdf base in water’ method:

Now: on 20mm washers:

Much happier!

Big Buildings!

Back in January I made an effort to get through the MDF mountain (more of a hillock really), assembling a number of kits and painting most of them too. I was stalled with these 2 Timeline buildings as I needed something to tile the roofs with, so they sat unfinished while I searched the web (in vain) for what I wanted. In the end I decided to just get on and make my own, using the time-honoured card strip method. They’re not perfect, but they’ll do and are better than the standard flat MDF roofs.

I added some texture to the walls to cover up the construction slots and joins, and painted everything in shades to roughly match my existing 28mm buildings. I decided to ‘hinge’ the doors with insulation tape as I didn’t want them fixed in place, but wasn’t up to anything more complicated. The are no features inside as, for me, wargame building interiors are best kept simple and clear, as figure bases are oversized anyway.

I added the usual bit of texture around the bases and declared them finished. I like these kits a lot. They’re big buggers, but should look good on the table, especially for skirmish games.

 

 

 

The Battle of Mingen 1759

Last weekend four of us from the LAW forum, who all live reasonably close to Newark, got together for an eclectic 18th century bash. John (LT) very kindly offered to host us when our plans to play at Wargames Foundry fell through, and his custom-built gaming conservatory (with 12’x4′ table) was an excellent place to play a game. He kept us going with endless tea and coffee too!

As it was Purps’s idea in the first place, he did the planning. He collated a list of what units people could contribute and prepared an interesting scenario based on Minden, but suitably re-named. It was to be a first run out for all of us with the Honours of War rules from Osprey. They proved to be relatively simple to pick up and gave a good, fast-moving game that produced believable outcomes and events.

When the armies were placed on John’s teddy bear fur table covering, along with some suitable scenery, I think the overall effect was very good.

My troops, moving forward to take up defensive positions before the enemy got too close:

 

The overall table, defenders on the left:

Purps’ Prussians heading to defend the wall. They were to deliver a very un-Purps-like ‘none shall pass’ performance:

No detailed battle account, but in brief – Simon and John attacked with a variety of dodgy invading foreign-types, while Purps and I tried to hold on to the two villages. Somehow we managed this, although it was a very close run thing. We had cavalry charges (one of which was successful – unfortunately against me), heroic musketry, some BUA fighting, and some artillery barrages that did a bit of damage (well lots – to Purps).

Below, Purps’ Frei Korps looking good coming up the road, until all the enemy artillery targeted them and sent them packing on the first turn. Another new unit consigned back to the box before they’d got stuck in.

Something no commander ever wants to see. I underestimated how far Simon’s cavalry could move (damn those Dashing Generals, with their chance to roll those hoity toity double moves!) and was caught in column of march. Scratch one battalion:

At the same time Purps was about to be hit by this lot:

But he saw all the horsemen off in brave style, and was then hit by this lot who had benefited from a couple of double-moves to get round the flank:

Which he also, just about, held off to help us win the battle. ๐Ÿ™‚

Medetians and allies, standing their ground:

 

And dithering back and forth:

I was sending them to support Purps’s left flank, which failed to move for the first 5 turns (he rolled a 1 each time!). When he finally got going he flung his newly-painted hussars into range of 4 artillery batteries, and back in the box they went. Two months’ work followed by one blunder. Very funny, so I abandoned him and marched this battalion back to the ranks again.

The game, and the whole day, was great fun all-round, in excellent company.

We’ve got some other ideas for games we can play as an occasional local group, so hopefully there’ll be more to post soon.

Battalion Gun for the Militia

Happy New Year to all – I hope 2017 is good to you!

I’ll aim to do a 2017 plan soon, but in the meantime here’s a quick post on my latest bit of painting..

With this battalion gun my c18th Militia brigade is now complete. However I’ve realised I’ll have to re-paint the bases of the infantry, as they were based by someone else (very nicely) and I’m just not going to be able to match the recent additions to them. So, the full parade will have to wait.

In the meantime, here is the finished battalion gun. I matched the uniforms to one of the battalions, which were AWI originally, but are now generic militia for my imagi-nations armies.

Perry crew, RSM gun:

 

 

Warbases MDF Gun

Since painting the Warbases engineer cart I thought I’d move on to the the artillery piece kit next. The carriage is all MDF and the gun is metal. It represents a French piece of the Gribeauval system. I’m not expert on artillery models, but it does the job just fine for me. I’ve already painted the limber that comes with this kit, and overall I think it’s excellent value for an outlay of a few quid (ยฃ4.50).

I’ll use it as a generic piece for either side in my imagi-nations games, most likely in a colonial setting. If I need any more, I’ll be back to Warbases for sure.

 

A Militia Brigadier

I’m slowly working through some minor bits for my 18th century armies, the most recent being the brigadier for my militia brigade. The figures in the brigade’s 2 battalions are Perry AWI, as is their commander.

I painted him in slightly more muted colours than I normally would for a general, to fit better with his troops. The militia can take the field for either side (Medetia or Fleurie) as required, and I think this figure looks the part – a bit of an amateur trying to puzzle out his orders..

 

Next will be a battalion gun and crew, which will complete the small brigade. I’ll get them on parade for a pic or two when they’re finished.

AMG16 – A Wargaming Weekend

Two weekends ago saw about 20 members of the A Military Gentleman forum get together at a very nice spa hotel in Warwickshire for 2 days of gaming (and the inevitable 2 nights of drinking). What a superb way to spend a weekend. Lots of friendly banter, superb games generously put on and run by some of those attending, and a great time all-round.

I’d met quite a few of the forum members at last year’s Partizan show where we put on a couple of display games. This year we went ‘private’ and Graham Cummings demonstrated his flair for organising by putting together an excellent conference-like event where the facilities and arrangements were excellent and very smooth-running. Everyone got along very well and it was a pleasure to see familiar faces as well as meet new people. There had been some serious journeys to get there on the Friday (people coming from as far apart as Plymouth and Scotland), and the horrendous weather and traffic problems didn’t help anyone much. Still, the bar was there to help people de-stress!

So, all good, but what about the games? Well, these were a treat for anyone with an interest in 18th and 19th century wargaming.

There were four games going on simultaneously in the same room, and the effort that their organisers had gone into in getting everything there and set up, let alone the demands of running them at least twice over the weekend, cannot be overstated.

The Cold North

On the Saturday I played on the Swedish side in Paul’s lovely GNW game. It was a challenging scenario with both sides starting with only advanced guards on the table and receiving significant reinforcements shortly after. This created an excellent battle in which, somehow, Will and I achieved a close victory over Paul and Angus’ stoic Russians. The figures and terrain were excellent and the Grimsby Club rules provided a fast moving game, were easy to pick up and gave plenty of GNW feel. Paul’s knowledge of the period runs deep and made for a informative, educational and fun experience.

Some pics from the game:

 

 

 

Under pressure from the assaulting Russians:

The Swedes go all Ga Pa:

Final positions – the Swedes hold the key ground:





Into the Desert Heat

On Saturday afternoon I migrated a good distance south, and forward by about 180 years, to join the second running of Dave’s superb Sudan game. Dave has the full-on collection and terrain to play big games of the recently published Sands of the Sudan rules, and he’d prepared a fun scenario for AMG16. I took command of the beleaguered Sudanese garrison, charged with protecting the General’s daughter, while under siege and running low on ammo. Will, Angus, Chris and John were the plucky Brits, leading the relief column – or rather columns, as there was little in the way of co-ordination or co-operation going on!

With Dave running the devious Dervishes who turned up left, right and centre, we were under the cosh but steady fire kept most of the enemy at bay. At the garrison end of the table, though, it was happening too slowly and in the end I had to break out and send the damsel racing towards her rescuers, who happened to be John’s Black Watch who had snuck through the mayhem, avoiding the general nastiness, to arrive in the right place at the right time.

Great game, full of entertaining events and banter. Thanks Dave!

 

My view at the start:

The action hotting up, with the various British contingents dashing about and taking pot shots at anything that moved:

Frederick has an off-day

On Sunday I played in Steve and Mark’s very impressive Chotusitz game, using hundreds of hand-cast Prince August 40mm figures and a period-specific version of the Piquet rules. The rules were totally new to me, but I think I got the gist of the core concepts and appreciated most the subtleties by the end of the day.ย Very clever stuff that provided a real generalship challenge (unfortunately for me!)

I took command of the Prussian right flank cavalry, with Chris manning the centre and left. Graham, Angus and Leigh took the initiative and came on in style, pretty much wiping the floor with us from the start. My cavalry crumbled very early on, and only Chris’ tenacious defence of the village gave us a chance to turn things around.

When Frederick arrived with the (supposedly) excellent Prussian infantry, we managed to stop some of the Austrians in their tracks but it wasn’t enough. A lot of bad rolls, coupled with the effect of Angus’ piling in with the victorious cavalry on the flank, and it was over. Freddie fled the field in the traditional way and we shook hands and revelled in an excellent and enjoyable game. Mark and Steve really knew their stuff and made it a memorable experience all-round.

I only managed to take one picture but there are plenty of others online that do much better justice to this stunning game. Here’s Steve on the left, with the enemy commanders plotting another devastating round of combat..

The one game I didn’t get a chance to take part in was the Battle of Soor game presented by Robbie and Colin. I did wander over whenever I could and marvelled at the superb collection that was in action. The guys clearly presented an excellent experience for the players, and were using the Honours of War rules which seemed to give a very good game. Shame I missed this one!

The weekend was so good it even took the edge off the end of the England v Russia match, and I think I’ve sobered up now, which is a bonus.