Thursday, 26 May 2016

The Centurion arriveth!

UThurs 26th May.
The object of our desires.

                               Since I missed out on last weeks game due to approaching senility Colin Jack put on an 1956 Arab-Israeli game which was an opportunity for Colin to get a few more exotic toys out.Chief skulker Donald Adamson ventured out into the wilds to join us and to take the part of the Jordanians who had ganged up with Colin's Egyptians against my heavily picked on Israelis.This was to involve the three armies heading to take Jerusalem and protect it from the enemy.
Sorry left my camera in the house.
Donald the Glum Pasha.
Egypt's new recruits.
I already had a unit inside Jerusalem so my plan was to attack the Jordanian unit entrenched in the mosque but just when they were on their starting blocks Colin deemed they couldn't run from one building to another so they just shot them up.About ten minutes later after Colin had consulted the rules it was deemed you could.Talk about arab skullduggery.
Hunting in packs.
               I then decided to split my armour in order to face the oncoming armour rush whilst my infantry and support headed for Jerusalem.
Dying in packs

                                         My main armour headed towards Donald's armour while my two Priests would try and hinder Colin's armour as they struck me as being the lesser of two evils-how wrong I could be.Actually I thought it unusual to have Jewish Priests but I suppose if needs must.Maybe they should have changed the vehicles name to a Rabbi.Anyway enough of the frivolity.
Just twitch!
   Once again the red mist appeared in front of my eyes and I went into hand to hand with Donald's forces and I couldn't roll a decent dice for love nor money and my squad was wiped out.To add insult to injury Donald on the appearance of his next dice decided to take a pot shot at my mortar and lo and behold he wiped out the mortar.It looked like History was going to be changed.
        On my left flank my 3 Amx 10s were fighting a close battle with Donald's two M47s and it turned out to be a battle of armours as my lightly armoured tanks were turned to scrap metal and even an anti aircraft tank got in on the action and wasted one of my tanks as well as annihilating civilians in a local kibbutz.
Rock the casbah!
    Colin's Egyptians entered the game but although destroying one Priest didn't have to much luck as his forces were mostly inexperienced and therefore when they were pinned couldn't add much more to the proceedings.I brought on a Centurion to add to Colin's woes hoping to dispatch his forces before turning to face Donald's Jordanians as the left flank and the road to Jerusalem were open to him.I went for broke and assaulted the mosque succeeded but took a lot of casualties.I followed this squad into the building hoping to hang on till full time.
This is how you do it Dave!
        Donald's tank arrived at the mosque so in true Israeli fashion I decided to close assault him to no avail giving Colin's Egyptians an open door into the mosque where they remained until the end of the game.
Selling palm oil to the Arabs.
        My centurion was making piecemeal of Colon's forces destroying an Archer tank,a Russian assault gun and generally making life hard for the rest of his forces.
This is how you do it Dave-part 2!
   The evening was drawing to a close so I didn't have enough time to deal with the Jordanians before the final whistle went.
And this is how you do it Dave-part 3!
   Once again a great game drawn out of the hat at short notice by Colin.
         The evening's cabaret was proceeded by a sumptuous jambalaya washed down with a glass of Devil's cellar.

Jordanians-Donald Adamson 
Egyptians-Colin Jack 
Israelis-TIm Watson 

   All scenery and figures provided by Colin Jack.

   See you when I see you

Brazil vs Italy - 2nd leg

Tuesday 24th May
The motley crew sans Dave o'Brien who was taking the photo.

                Ventured a bit further this weekend to Newark for the Partizan wargames show at the Newark showground in sunny Nottinghamshire and we were not disappointed.A large open venue with everything in  one big room.The games were in the middle with the traders around the edges.There was also a half decent cafe.Anyone that sells Cornish pasties has my vote.
                 Colin Jack and Dave o'Brien had set off early on the Saturday morning by car and myself with Bill Gilchrist and Mr Ray(budding rock star) in tow heading down by train.We met up at the English Civil War centre in downtown Newark.This a very nice museum giving both insights into the war and also the actual siege of Newark.
The Conneticut yankee getting ready for the big tour.Seemingly Americans have the right to arm bears  or something.
                             There were many displays and also plenty of interactions for both young and old ranging from the donning of the uniforms and armour from the period to period battle surgery where you had the chance to remove musket balls from wounds.A bit like the antique version of the game Operation.A pleasant time was had before we headed for our accommodation for the evening where we met up with another two cronies Jack Glanville and Dave Imrie before heading for the local hostelry which is The dovecot pub.I love rural England pubs and on entering I spied  Sharp's Doom Bar  on offer so I knew it was making for a very pleasant evening.The evening passed by rather quickly as soon it was time to head for the sack in order to give us plenty rest for the day ahead.
              Sunday morning found us after a nice breakfast,at the show ground preparing for the day ahead and also giving us a chance to see what other clubs where putting on.From my point of view it gave me the chance to put some faces to names that I have come across in various forums and games-mainly the VBCW forum that I often frequent.
Let the sport begin.
           Our game was a rerun of our game that was put on at Caronnade earlier this month which was a Second World War encounter between Brazilian and Italian forces.This time I intended to learn from my previous mistakes and  make my way across the bridge.
Nicholas Cage is still around minus the mandolin'
After a few turns and stalemate setting in Colin as umpire stated that I could bring on a Priest self-propelled gun which turned out to be a game changer for the morning's play.
      Now the good thing about game shows is that the game is not played as seriously as normal games which gives us plenty of time for the perusal of other games which usually involves a lot of blethering and also what nice shiny toys are for sale.One of the tables next to us involved a game set in French Indo China which was very good and made me want to buy some French and start me off on a new period which in the long run will probably result in great expense.This game was another advert for tropical fish shops with the ubandance of jungle terrain.
French Indo-China game complete with Bearcat.
          Another game on an adjoining table was a VBCW game put on by lads who I have previously mentioned so it was great to get acquainted with them.Also in my opinion it was the best game(after ours) but I'm biased as it's my fav period.
My fav game.
                                           After a little shifty around the hall we continued our game and I decided to go for broke before lunch and managed to dislodge the Italians making them retreat back towards their end of the table.It looked like it was going to be a relaxing afternoon culminating in a crushing victory for the Brazilians.Hah!I keep forgetting about the tricks Colin Jack has up his sleeve.I foraged for some lunch and also picked up some figs and model armoured cars and had a wee blether with the VBCW lads on the next table.
And here are the boys.
                                            Our afternoon session kicked off with some reinforcements coming on for the Italians but these ones were speaking Italian with a German accent and just like in the last world cup decimated the Brazilians.
Der prowling Panzer.
This machine proceeded to take out my armoured cars one at a time until they were all smouldering wrecks.I had to call in an airstrike to solve the problem.
Das Ergebnis.
Die Rache!
I had a rest after this debacle giving Dave O'Brien a chance to prove his aggressive prowess which he did so that when I came back from another peruse of the hall I found that he had finally got some decent forces across the river .

Winter of discontent-basically VBCW with SLRs.

Brilliant Seven Year War game where the figs are all made from clothespegs.
Minion racing game for the kids.
                                            The afternoon crept on and our forces started to turn the screw but not fast enough so at full time we were staring at another draw.
Still gorgeous after all these years.
The afternoon's entertainment was supplemented by flyover by a Dakota and what a gorgeous beast she was.
The end!
                                                Once again another good game augmented by numerous trips around the hall to see how the other half lived.We packed up and then headed back north.Mr Ray,Bill and myself by train whilst Colin and Dave headed North by car with all the figs and scenery on board.
This could have been my club if circumstances had been different.
                                               As I said before I purchased a few figs and also some reading material for the train.One of them was entitled Nazi Moonbase which gives some ideas for a future game.
                                                  I'll see you when I see you.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Ennui and guano!

Sunday 15th May

                            Once again with Lady Watson  being entertained by her favourite man I decided that since the weather was unusually bright and warm for a Scottish spring day I decided to explore some of my favourite county, East Lothian.I ventured on to the well trodden path leading to firstly Tantallon Castle and then to North Berwick itself.
                                Tantallon castle was the one time home of the Douglas family.It consists of one major defensive wall with the other sides defended by the cliffs saving on the need for building strong defensive walls.Obviously when it was originally built nobody had seen the Guns of Navarone.It was laid siege to by James IV and his son James V before after putting the finger up to Oliver Cromwell getting a severe nose-bleed at the hands of his artillery in return.
                                 Nowadays the only people who run riot are children and this place is perfect for them giving them plenty open spaces to exhaust themselves or throw up in the process.Today was no exception as there were families in abundance running about and exploring all the nooks and crannies of this homage to Scottish hostility towards themselves.
The ramparts are accessible and when climbed give a great view from west to east,which today gave a great view of six tankers waiting to make their way up the River Forth.The only thing I could think of was that they were waiting on the price of oil to rise but I'm no speculator.
                                  Outside the walls is a doocot(dovecot).To quote Oor Wullie "On yonder hill their stood a Dookit,Its no there noo cause somebody tookit!"And that's without any Hobgoblin!
Winged rats.
                                    All in all on a good day it's a great place for tiring kids out with excellent views out to the Bass rock with all the thousands of gannets going about their everyday business and covering the rock with birds**t.Also easily visible today were the lighthouse and also the ruins of a prison from which four Jacobite escaped and held it for a few months before the authorities recaptured it from them.Obviously the authorities originally thought that if they wanted it they could have it.
S**thawks by the thousand.
Further out from the Bass Rock is the May Isle which in my youthful mischievous days whilst working in the Marine Hotel I would convince tourists (especially Americans) that it was Norway.
The battle of May Island occurred on Jan 31st 1918 and was one of the only battles not to involve enemy action.
Too the east of the castle is Saint Baldred's boat which is a rocky outcrop near the Seacliff beach.Waiting patiently in the water were some surfers obviously waiting for the ultimate wave.
I hope these tankers are well anchored.
                                     After leaving the castle I headed a few miles to North Berwick with the intention of visiting the local museum as I haven't been there since the eighties and if my memory served me right it contained some perfect exhibits for a fossil like me.Trying to find a parking space near the museum was nigh on impossible as the world and their granny had decided to visit North Berwick.
Bit different from the last time I was here.
             I finally found a space and headed for the museum only to find it had been given a facelift since the last time I was here(well it was thirty years ago).The exhibits seem to be confined to a couple of open plan rooms which I found seemed to be a bit off putting,more like a nursery classroom.
North Berwick railway station in better days.
Soap box time,I know it should be classed as a classroom for modern society but I think it takes away from the periods the exhibits and pictures portray.Off soap box now.
                                   I headed back along the High Street picking up some reading material from the local charity shops before heading for home and getting stuck in to my mountain of unpainted lead.And Michael Ball was still on the radio.That's the one bad thing about Skyplus.
                                     See you when I see you.


Thursday, 12 May 2016

Carronade 2016-No Teddy Bears were harmed in the playing of this game!

Saturday 7th May
The badge of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force(Army)

                    Carronade rolled around once again and this show had us putting on a display involving a second world war scenario most obscure.Brazilians against Italians in 1944 Italy.I know it sounds more like a football match but they did come into contact during the conflict.
                    Brazil had declared war on the axis forces and sent about 25,000 of their armed forces to support the allies.Although they originally appeared in their home made uniforms they were eventually all knitted out in American uniform and equipment.Their original uniform albeit looked like its American counterpart came in a colour that could only described as Feld Grau(field gray) which wouldn't have gone down very well with their allies.
Various books on hand to enlighten the unbelievers.
             Colin Jack had come back from a holiday in Brazil with an idea to introduce them into our struggles.So armed with Osprey book in hand proceeded to paint up some Brazilian forces supported by some armoured cars and even air support from a P47 Thunderbolt.
              These forces were pitched into battle against some of Campbell's Italians that turned up in true Campbell fashion(at the last minute)to the show.The scenario involved the Brazilians fighting their way across a bridge to engage the Italians on the opposite bank.
                                 The scene was set for an unusual battle fought on which I found out later was actual teddy bear fur which when spray painted in patches looked amazing.
                                    Being in charge of the Brazilians I headed lock stock and barrel for the bridge armoured cars to the fore.Bill being in charge of the Italians fired back with his well dug in Italians causing my advance to come to a grinding halt on our side of the river.
Sneaky Italians!
                                      In true Mediterranean style we stopped for lunch which in true non-Italian style consisted off Scottish sausage rolls and fancy Norwegian water.This gave me a chance to look at the other games on offer and also see what the money burning a hole in my pocket could buy.
Gotham city or Falkirk on any Saturday night.

"We don't need another hero!"
  The games on offer as usual varied from obscure to standard fare.Normandy was being invaded again,Mad Max type game,Batman game(looked good),a humongous Jutland game,various WW2 & WW3 games,various sci-fi
Love this for Necromunda.
,a Tv7 game,aTshushima game(preferred it to the Jutland game as the ships were bigger)and a wild west game.There were other games but these ones to me were the better ones.
World War 2
The What-if replay.
"Your not fighting English fishing boats now!
I played one game which was a card driven game which involved me having a pack of ravenous dogs kept in tether by a lad named Sebastian who could have been the same Sebastian from Blade Runner.
Devil dogs against some of my ex-girlfriends!Poor dogs!
                                              After we reconvened after lunch I went hell for leather to get over this bridge using everything at my disposal including air support which for the first time in a long while hit the target.Must have been Pele's ancestor flying the plane.
                                                As time was ticking on we finally made it across the bridge,having to push some wrecked armoured cars out of the way to get there.Bill was picking of my vehicles willy nilly with his artillery and to add insult to injury brought up an armoured car to inflict more carnage on my dilapidated  forces
Nicholas Cage without his mandolin
.To try and regain some honour I close assaulted one of his buildings only to have them torn apart
Definitely not carnival time!
.A lucky victory for the Italians(not usually words used in the same sentence) but I'm sure revenge will be on the cards when we go for the second leg at Partizan on the 22nd of May in Newark.
Looking forward to Partizan and hopefully the chance to try some of the local ale.To sign of a poster to advertise another memorial pirate game for our Shug and everybody is welcome to come along.We want to see as many of you there as possible and if anybody else wants to put on a game,first come first served.