Monday, 24 August 2015

Raid on Happy Valley

Thurs 20th August

                           After last night's game of getting my feet wet in the bogs of Ireland,tonight's game was a rollicking romp through the woods of 18th century North America courtesy of Angus Konstam.A Muskets and Tomahawks game was on the agenda with a French attack on a British colonial village defended by militia with support from British regulars and loyal natives.
                           My copain was Campbell Hardie and our mission was to burn the 4 village buildings with a couple of side missions thrown in.Campbell's side mission was to kidnap one of the local women-not as easy as it sounded especially with the outcome.
                            We started the game by skulking round the woods(as the French usually do)beside the village hoping to attack on a wide front with our indian allies attacking on the flanks and our regulars and  irregulars heading for the centre of the village.
                                Two buildings on the outskirts were soon ablaze and we headed towards the other two buildings.On the way Campbell's officer as part of his side plot decided to go hand to hand with a woman who was carrying a baby and true to form the French officer was killed but due to the vagaries of the rules the officer was replaced on the casualty list by another member of the squad(obviously somebody jumped in the way of the woman swinging the baby as a club).
                                  This obviously spurred the local militia to head for the sanctuary of the local church and barricade the doors.
                                    My forces meanwhile slowly advanced only for my indians to be met with accurate fire coming from the woods losing a whole section in the process but the remainder of the indians pressed home and inflicted casualties on the attackers. 

                                     My irregulars slowly made their way through the woods looking for another building to burn.They emerged from the woods just in time to see their regular comrades getting wasted by some British regulars who had appeared as reinforcements.
                                  These regulars proceeded to whittle away my regulars who were doing their damndest to set alight to the third building before disappearing back into the woods as French do.
                                     Campbell at this time had moved his forces slowly up the road into the town attracting musket fire as he went.
Meanwhile his indian allies had made their way round the British flank doing a lot of damage to a group of British rangers but drawing fire themselves from some Highland reinforcements that had just turned up.He finally accomplished his side plot by kidnapping a local female(probably about ninety and having wooden arms and legs).
                                      My own forces reinforced by a group of my irregulars finally set the third building ablaze.One of them probably nipped down to the local 7/11 and bought a new lighter.They then proceeded to withdraw into the woods being closely followed by accurate musket fire from the British regulars losing all my regulars in the process.
                                        Our forces although heavily depleted finally reached the outskirts of the woods and disappeared into the trees.
                                         Once again a very good game played on a small table so that the belligerents would be straight into action.I like Musket and Tomahawk rules as it gives me the feeling of colonial American warfare without the need for large armies.

                                           Belligerents(my word of the day)-

                                           French and indian allies-Campbell Hardie
                                                                              Tim Watson

                                           British,civilians,indian allies and screaming children-
                                              Angus Konstam
                                              Michael Schneider

                                          Figures and scenery-Angus and some club scenery

                                          Pictures courtesy of Angus,Michael and a few thrown in by myself.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Bog off Norman

Wed 19th August

                         Turned up at Hugh's tonight expecting a bog standard game and I was not disappointed.We played a Dark age/medieval scenario involving Normans,Vikings and Irish tribes.

                          The idea of the game looked like it was going to be Normans with some paid help from the Vikings ganging up on the poor Irish.It looked like the Irish were going to be the whipping boys for the evening-no such luck.

                           Dave o'Brien our illustrious game planner came up with a few tricks on behalf of his ancestors.This came in the form of the Irish being able to place random bogs on the map usually appearing right in front of enemy units or at certain choke points on the board.Also as another hindrance,as the layout consisted of two parts of land joined by a narrow isthmus,Dave created a tidal rule meaning the tide could come in to cut off the mainland from the Norman fort.

                            Donald Adamson was Robert Fitzstephen,all round dastardly Welsh Norman ably assisted by his favourite Polish Norman general Bart.Myself and our host Hugh Wilson were the Vikings who were trying to be bribed by the dastardly Normans to help them out but we had plans of our own which meant keeping everything for ourselves.Colin Jack and Mr Ray Neal were the not so gullible Irish just waiting for everybody else to walk into their bog infested land.

                              The game started off with the Normans streaming out of their castle heading for the Irish's great hall,whilst our Vikings landed and attacked and pillaged a nearby village in their usual Viking manner.So far so good but when Hugh's forces headed for his choice of village a mysterious bog appeared in front of his eyes stopping them in their tracks and with it came the sight of Irish forces encamped behind it making typical rude Irish gestures.The effect of this bog was to hinder and denying the Vikings the ability to charge into battle in their usual direct manner.This was going to be the pattern for the evening.Hugh eventually flanked the bog and after some fisticuffs managed to take the village but became embroiled in a stand up fight with Colin's Irish.
  The Norman's continued their relentless ride towards the great hall only to be hindered by another giant bog
materializing in front of them forcing them into changing direction to avoid it.Then to add insult to injury,as well as Donald's forces blundering their way forward,an Irish landed on the beach behind them forcing Donald's cavalry to stop and turn to face this new threat.Bart meanwhile continued round the flank of the Irish finding more mysterious bogs appearing in front of him.
Meanwhile my own Vikings after raiding the village turned and headed for the great hall only to blunder and head for more mysterious bogs.Their only attempt at battle ended up with them being shot at by Irish archers and losing a Viking.Hugh's forces were engaged with Colin's Irish and couldn't move far in the timescale of the game.

                                   Meanwhile Donald's Normans were involved with Ray's Irish,trying to drive them back into the sea but not succeeding losing first a unit of crossbow men who were following up the Norman cavalry,who in turn lost some of their own cavalry to the Irish forces.

                                    Once again time and mysterious bog appearances got in the way of a Norman/Viking victory.The overall individual winner was Mr Ray Neal due to him eliminating one of Donald's cavalry units.The prize was a copy of The Vikings on dvd-not the new one but the Tony Curtis version.


                             Game and mysterious bog creator-Dave o'Brien

                                             Robert Fitzstephen-Donald Adamson
                                             Henry Clare-Earl of Pembroke- Bart Zyndoz

                                            Ingmar the flatulent-Tim Watson

                                            Raglin the offal-Hugh Wilson

                           Diarmit-King of Leinster-Colin Jack
                           Fergal Vi Fearghty-Mr Ray Neal

                          Figures and bogs provided by Dave o'Brien
                          Figures and scenery Hugh Wilson
                          Norman figs provided by Bart(he has been waiting for ages to get these babies on the field and after all that waiting got stuck in a bog and only fired one salvo of arrows).
                           and yet another eloquent banquet provided by the fair Lady Suzanne.

                           Just to say that this scenery has done well,being used as Lundy Island,Inchcolm,an occupied WW2 Japanese island and now the Emerald Isle.I'm still looking to make it the last bastion of a megalomaniac scoundrel.


Sunday, 9 August 2015

Island in the stream.

Sun 9th August

                     Last Wednesday we ventured back into early WW2 which involved an attack on the island of Inchcolm in the river Forth just off Edinburgh.
 What made it even more different was that the island was defended by Polish units.
Much poetic license was used in this game as there was no way you could land paratroopers on Inchcolm especially early war German paras and I don't think German seaborne units would get that far up the river.
                        Bart and myself took control of the defenders whilst the Germans were manhandled by Donald Adamson,mr Ray Neal and his younger son Isaac.Mr Ray was in charge but I think it was battle by committee.We used Bolt Action rules with the added bonus of night fighting rules added.
                       The Germans paras landed without any problems(Aye right)and immediately attacked a bunkhouse and done away with the sleeping Poles inside-very unsporting.
                         Landed infantry units(again without any problems)charged up the beach and headed for their objectives-gun emplacements and the radio shack.
                          I lost a squad of Poles due to some bad planning and not helped by the night rules meaning my mortar was useless.
                             Daylight duly arrived and the Poles were still hanging on waiting for reinforcements.A Hurricane arrived and wiped out the German observer team which meant no support for the Germans but they weren't needed.
                                           The Germans started to take their objectives and consolidated their positions anticipating a counter attack by allied reinforcements which arrived by air and sea.British paratroopers were dropped haphazardly with two units being dropped into the sea and the others landing straight into a firefight.Marines were landed on the north shore and started to make headway and caused some German casualties.
                                          All German objectives were taken and they started to head to their evacuation points before time was called.
                                        A good game once again even although I think poetic license was used but a good use of the figs and models available.Next week Inchcolm is being violated by Normans.Should be interesting.

                      Polish garrison-Bart Zynda
                                            Tim Watson

                      Allied reinforcements-Bill Gilchrist.

                     German paratroopers-Donald Adamson-who had to leave early to pick the dog up and walk the wife-or maybe it was the other way round?Hugh Wilson took over as his 2nd in command.
                     German infantry-Mr Ray Neal & Isaac Neal-a father and son double act.

                      Figures and scenario-Colin Jack

                      Scenery-Hugh Wilson
                      Photos-Bart Zynda

                       And of course a mention for Lady Suzanne who once again surpassed herself with her haute cuisine.

                      See you when I see you.


Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Claymore 2015(and not a sword in sight)

Sorry for delay between blogs as I have been in a game void due to work and family commitments.
                Last Saturday I attended our local games club's annual show at Telford college,Edinburgh where  was given the enviable task of judging the games,both demonstration and public participation.All games were good but some more than others appealed to my way of thinking.
                I like easy to play,novel games which have that something different and there were a few of them.Jurassic World and Skull Island to name a few.
                The setting of Telford College was good except for a few hiccups brought on us by the college. Namely blocking off the corridor between both of the exhibition halls which meant an outside walk between them and remember that Scotland's weather is four seasons in one hour.Luckily the heavens only opened for about five minutes in the afternoon.The main problem was that the bring and buy had to be moved to a small location in one of the halls which caused chaos and also saw some sale things go missing.
                         In all we had about 800 turning up which we were thrilled about.
                            The winners for the demonstration game of  the day were the RAF Leuchars club for their Gallipoli game which had extra added interest by naming all their individual soldiers with the names of some of ours and other clubs members.I left my character charging up to the front of the attack when the game finished(Aye right-Scottish double positive).These are the games that I find very interesting especially with the Leuchar's lads taking the time to find the individual member's names.Seemingly the next battle they are covering is The Somme.Don't think I'll be coming back from that one.

     The winner of the best participation game was a Very British Civil War game put on by Sally4th which was my personal favourite.The scenery and figures were excellent and this was complimented by the enthusiasm of the folks putting  the game on.
                    The Jurassic World and Skull Island games were great for introducing younger members of the crowd to gaming which I'm all for.
                      Every displayer made a great effort to sell their games and were also very complimentary about their rivals.
                         After the judging I spent time being a doorman between the two halls at one tjme kept company by a beautiful boxer(and I don't mean the pugilistic kind).Some people thought I had got her at the bring and buy.I should be so lucky.
                           All in all it was a good day.I bought plenty of toys and also after the place was tidied up some of us headed to a nice restaurant in Leith for an excellent apres-ski.
                              Speak to you soon as this week's game involves Germans attacking the island of Inchcolm in the river Forth.Sounds good.
                              See you when I see you.

                              Pictures by Bill Gilchrist.Once I figure out how to get my photos from my iphone I shall publish them(ie when my daughter shows me-they're good for some things)