Monday, 31 October 2016

Vikings v Normans Yarn

Berserkers lead the Viking charge
A fictional encounter between Vikings and Normans using Sword & Spear rules, written by Mark Lewis and published by Great Escape Games.

I'm sure there were disagreements between Vikings and Normans that led to some engagements, but Ian and I played this one just for fun.
My Viking front line units were three units of Huscarls, one unit of Berserkers and one unit of Warriors opposite the central wood. The back row were mainly Warriors. My original idea was to refuse my right flank by blocking the area between the central wood and the area of rough ground, hold the central wood with Warriors and then attack on my left flank. I put some faith into the area of rough ground to protect my right flank and occupied it with just a unit of Light Foot Archers.
Norman line up – in addition to Spearmen, Ian put most of his Knights on his left flank. The Norman lines were wider than the Vikings, but with only one unit of Knights as reserve on each flank. His Crossbowmen units were a threat if the Vikings didn’t close the gap quickly.
Initial Deployment: Vikings on the left, Normans on the right
Vikings: 1 General, 4 Warriors, 5 Huscarls, 1 Camp, 1 Beserkers, 2 Archers (Light)
Normans: 1 General, 4 Knights, 4 Spearmen, 1 Camp, 2 Crossbowmen, 1 Archers (Medium), 1 Archers (Light)

The Norman Knights started a wide flanking manoeuvre. Quite early on Ian realised that the undrilled Knights were not going to be that easy to control, especially as the distance to the General increased beyond the command distance. Because the Norman Knights were so wide and so deep, I decided to throw my plan out of the window and attack the infantry on this flank quickly to not leave the Norman Knights enough time to get into position to attack my right flank.
Norman Knights attempt a flanking manoeuvre.
Off to the right of this picture is another unit of Norman Knights heading for the edge of the board.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

The Men Who Would Be Kings Background

I have recently purchased a copy of Osprey’s “The Men Who Would Be Kings”, the colonial wargames rules by Dan Mersey.  Although they share some of the mechanisms of Dan’s excellent Lion Rampant and Dragon Rampant rules, there are many differences and I think these will give quite a different game to LR/DR.

Although I have quite a number of figures for colonial skirmish gaming, I don’t really have large enough forces to play the rules, but I don’t want to wait until I’d bought and painted more units before trying the rules out. Fortunately Dan has put in the option of “Skirmish Kings”, playing the rules with half sized units. This means I only need 4 or 5 figures for cavalry units and 6 or 8 figures for most infantry ones. Looking at my varied collection of figures I needed to come up with a suitable setting to explain the wide variety of troops I’d be using (including pygmies, Masai, Chinese, colonial troops, askaris and assorted explorers/hunters etc).

My games are going to be set on a fictional large island off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean.

The native tribes inhabiting the island are the Stumppi pygmies, who live in the jungles of the southern highlands and the Longshankee who prefer the grass plain in the low-lying north. These two tribes have co-existed in happy animosity for centuries. However there are outside influences on the island.

Since the 17th century the natives have been plagued by Arab slavers, who established several fortified posts along the Western coastline. In recent years they have been joined by a band of Chinese pirates. Originally pillaging shipping in the East Indies, the pirates were forced out to sea when pursued by the British Royal Navy ship, then caught by a ferocious storm and blown off course, to find landfall on the island’s coast. After an initial period of hostility, the newcomers have allied themselves with the Arab slavers.

On the east coast of the island various European settlers have crossed from the African mainland.  The British have established a “missionary outpost” and the French a “trading post”. However the most numerous settlers are of German extraction, who have established several large plantation on the fertile coastal belt, and are regular customers of the western slavers who have been providing workers for the plantations.

However, relations on the island have recently worsened and the German farmers have requested government assistance. A force of colonial troops and askaris have been dispatched from German East Africa, with the official task of “stamping out the evil practice of slavery”. In practice this means cutting out the middle man and reducing the cost of the workforce for the plantations.

In response the Ottoman Sultan, who had previous shown little interest in the region, has also sent an expedition. As the island was originally “discovered” by Arabs, who were nominally subjects of the Empire, if anyone was going to place the foot on imperialism on the local’s necks, it would be the Ottomans!

The influx of foreign powers has had the effect of overcoming generations of hostility and forcing the Longshankee and the Stumppi into an alliance to rid their homeland of the hated outsiders.

In the meantime the British and French have fortified the “missionary” and “trading” posts and are keeping a close eye on the unfolding events whilst awaiting further instruction from their governments.

I'll be playing the first games next week, so batreps and pictures to follow.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

GamesFest in Tring - October 2016

Our Fishguard 1797 Demo Game at GamesFest, Tring
GamesFest is a small convention held in our home town of Tring. It's mainly aimed at Fantasy gamers and Role Play Gamers with plenty of tournament games being played. There were traders and Demonstration and Participation Games on show.

Henry and Ian represented Tring Wargames Club taking their Fishguard 1797 The Last Invasion Of Britain Demo Game. Rules used are Donnybrook and they have demo'd this game at several shows this year. Although this scenario is based on an actual historical event it was well received by visitors whose main interests were presumably Fantasy. I called in for a while to give support to the event and the guys on our demo game. I didn't win anything on the raffle.

The organiser has posted on Facebook to say it was a successful event and it is already booked for next year on Saturday 21st October 2017. Hopefully we'll be able to muscle in again with another historical Demo Game to represent the club and Historical gaming.

GamesFest website
GamesFest Facebook page

Monday, 10 October 2016

Games Day 8/10/2016 and Soldiers Of God Battle Report

Making our battle plans. Left to right:
Chris, Mark, Keiron, Ian, Bill, Henry, Graham and me taking the photo.

We had two large games at the Games Day in October.
One was a Crusades game using Soldiers Of God rules by Warwick Kinrade.
The other was a Black Powder Napoleonic game.

Soldiers Of God Game.

Mark and I played the Crusaders on the left in the photo below and we chose a Left Echelon Attack Battle Plan (Charge, March, Loose).
Graham and Henry chose a Right Echelon Attack for the Saracens (Loose, March, Charge).
So there was going to be a big melee at one end of the table and much pinging of arrows, bolts and javelins at the other.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Memorial Evening and Dragon Rampant Mash-Up

Memorial Evening – to celebrate the memory of members past

Our first Memorial Evening was on Friday 7/10/16, a year after the sad loss of Chris who was a very popular member of the club with a smile and a chat for everyone. He was a great painter of figures and in wargames he always liked to attack.
Chris had a particular fondness of Fantasy Wargames so it was an evening of Fantasy Wargaming including a large Dragon Rampant game with seven players and also a 40K game.
Below is a Battle Report of the Dragon Rampant game.

Keiron's Dragon Rampant Heavy Foot painted by Chris

Dragon Rampant Game

Seven players each had their own retinue and we were arrayed around an 8ft x 6ft table. There were no formal alliances and there was a common objective in the centre of the table so large scale conflict was inevitable. Chris would have loved it.

Clockwise around the table from bottom left : Ian, Jim, Graham, Henry, Keiron, Bill and me missing at this end.
40K in the background

Some informal alliances were made, well one at least. Bill and I started the game very close to each other and we agreed that if we just turned on each other we wouldn’t have any chance of gaining the objective and we would be attacked in the rear by the player on the other side. We made a slightly uneasy alliance to not attack each other, but even so we each had a unit of Wild Charging Bellicose Foot on our facing flank in case the other got too close. I think Graham and Henry had a similar agreement.