Thursday, 7 December 2017

A Finnish Winter's Tale

            Wednesday 6th December.
"There's a moose ,loose ,aboot this hoose!"

                                     Being near christmas and snow,we are led to believe, is just round the corner Colin Jack's latest escapade was a winter encounter between Soviet and Finnish forces at the start of World War Two.Bill Gilchrist and myself headed out for the rather windy climes of Garvald and on arriving found a rather nice table set up for our evening's entertainment snowy effect and all.
Artic setting

Not a gritter to be seen.

A couple of Shug,s creations.
                                       I found myself in charge of the gallant Finnish defenders attempting to stem the tide of the barbarous Soviet hordes intending to ravage the placid countryside.Bill with Colin's assistance took charge of the Soviets complete with  some natty tanks.
Frostbite about to kick in.

Russian churchgoers looking for an armchair view of the battle.

Brrr!It looks cold

Sneaky hiding place for one of my tanks.

Posing for the camera.
                                    My army although small was made up of some good lads with some attributes that would go a long way to stemming the evil tide.My armour composition consisted of two small tanks which in reality made up about 17% of Finland's tanks at the time.
One of my tanks with the Finnish Hakaristi suitably rubbed out for our German readers.
                                      My plan was for my regulars with tank support to hold off the bad guys whilst my super duper lads all equipped with skis would make their way into the rear of the enemy.Great plan on paper but in reality sucked as I had nothing really to deal with the Soviet tanks that were hurtling down the road towards me with evil intentions on their mind.
Some of my gallant lads.

And their ystavat(Finnish for friends)
                                               Bill's initial plans came to a halt as a special rule of frostbite was in place and a few of his units succumbed to this rule with units losing figures and tanks coming to a grinding halt.Alas not for long.
The Soviet hordes

bringing their evil dominance 

to the Finnish people.
                                                 I had put a few of my units in ambush but senility kicked in and I forgot to move them giving the bad guys time to get up close and personal.Skirmishes around a wood initially resulted in me getting a slight upperhand but weight of numbers began to tell and one of my squads disappeared into into the falling snow.Revenge would eventually come but to late to save these lads.
Bill's forces emerge from their dastardly hiding area.

                                             On the other flank some of my other lads opened up but couldn't do any real damage to the Soviets and I was keeping my hidden units for a rainy day or in this case snowy day.I brought one of my dinky Vickers E tanks to help stem the onslaught but its shooting was deplorable and eventually after being ganged up on by overwhelming numbers it finally blew up.
"That's a big one(In Russian)"


 Revenge was finally acheived when one of my elite squads skis and all entered the table right into the middle of a Soviet unit dispatching them to the Arctic winds.No sooner was this achieved when two of Bill's squads began to exert their revenge on my arriving unit but they dug in and held firm from both infantry and tank fire.

Revenge from another angle.
                                                     Bill and Colin's advance in true committee style were slowly making their way to their objectives which were just a few buildings containing the last of my two tanks waiting for its chance to reduce the Soviet tank numbers.
Peppering my lads.

The Soviet steamroller moves on.
                                                        Bill decided to bring down some artillery to maybe help with his advance.His artillery was delayed probably due to some frozen barrels but he did succeed with his second salvo although not causing too many casualties.
My lads appear ready to dish out some revenge.

Which they do in style.
                                                          My other squad finally made its way on to the table just in time to be ambushed by Colin's skulking infantry.I can't blame Donald for that for a change.After crossing gunfire with them my lads rushed them and sent them packing back to Moscow.Now I had a chance for some glory but this was curtailed by a unit of Colin's infantry materialising behind my lines dispatching my machine gun on the way.
My sniper team looking for a target of opportunity.

The magically appearing Soviets.
                                    The final whistle was about to blow as I took a last shot with my remaining tank knocking the turret right of Bill's forward tank.A little bit compensation for my beleaguered
forces of right.
And Santa appeared to see who would be on the naughty list.
                                        A great game played in good festive spirit.
                    Colin Jack supplied all the Finns with Colin and Bill Gilchrist supplying the Russian infantry and armour.I'd painted up some winter Germans only to find there were no Germans involved in the scenario which was also supplied by Colin as was the scenery complete with Russian Orthodox church.
                                              Hoping to have one last game before Xmas so I'm hoping to put on some Xmas type game probably involving some armed elves.
                                                        See you when I see you.


Thursday, 30 November 2017

They Died With Their Plastic Boots On!

Wednesday 29th November.
The fake battlefield
The real battlefield.

                                            Headed out west this evening to the Little Big Horn river which just for this evening was situated in the village of Bellesquarry near Livingstone,home of that great big chief Bill Gilchrist where five of us gathered to re-enact that fateful day in June 1876 where George Armstrong Custer's vanity got the better of him.The only difference this evening was that the participants were all in the form of Playmobil figures all neatly harvested by Bill's wheelings and dealings.
Perusing the battlefield.Notice that quick turn of hand by the chief skulker.

An American looking at a better picture of his homeland.
                                             The forces were all divvied out and lo and behold I ended up with the man himself stuck on top of a hill with nowhere to go.Facing me were the forces of Colin Jack who ended up with the braves of Crazy Horse  putting  a smile on his face.Donald Adamson was in his glory as being in charge of the other Indians meant he could skulk around all evening without a bad word being said about him.Mr Ray ended up with Major Benteen's command who's intentions were to ride to Custer's rescue,change history and be a witness at Custer's court martial.
The man himself-George Armstrong Custer.

And with his wee brother.
Hail to the Redskins.

The forlorn hope.

Donald's renegades.

Mr Ray's contingent.
                                              The table was set up just like the actual battle area albeit a wee bit abstract.Rivers ,indian villages and even roaming buffalo were all set up giving us plenty of scenery for our game.
Not for use.

Buffalo on the hoof.

Caught under a buffalo stampede.

Back home on the reservation.
                                       The game got under way true to history with Colin aka Crazy Horse charging towards my beleaguered command situated on their hill carbines at the ready.For this evening's game we were using Warhammer's Legend of The Old West rules and the first part of each turn involves the use of an initiative dice roll which this turn let me move first.I duly took advantage of this by hitting Colin's injuns with a rifle volley stopping his charge in its tracks,causing one casualty and forcing the majority of his lads back.This basically just p'd Crazy Horse off as after that initiative dice roll he could do no wrong.
Chief Crazy Horse.

Charge(in Red Indian).

Lock and load!

Initial success-not for long.
                                         I wasn't bothered as I knew that Mr Ray was going to come to my rescue-Hah!All his horses seemed to be either trotting or cantering as I don't even think the word charge was in their vocabulary.Donald's indian's commanded by  some lad named Chief Lame White Man-must have been one of Donald's esteemed ancestors-headed straight for Mr Ray's cavalry in order to prevent them linking up with my lot.He also sent some lads on foot towards the flank of my perilous position-skulking to the fore.
"What I say goes"

Donald's skulkers.
                                                     Colin then proceeded to begin throwing his long line of successful initiative dice rolls giving him the opportunity to charge in with the full force of his mounted indians and this was to be the norm for the rest of the evening.Although my lads would have some success pushing the mounted indians back force of numbers meant my force were slowly being picked off.To add insult to injury Donald's skulkers were sniping away at my gallant defenders.
"Here they come"

The corned beef on the hoof wins.

Weight of hoofs.

                                                    Mr Ray's command eventually came into contact with Donald's mounted indians and proceeded to whitle down the opposition but not quick enough to offer any help to my beleaguered forces who were succumbing to Colin's overwhelming numbers as he was dastardly ganging up on my guys usually two to one sometimes even four to one.
At last Mr Ray comes to grip.

And starts to do some damage.
Mr Ray gives them a helping hand.

                                                      Eventually I was left with Custer,his brother Tom and a single trooper.The trooper went quickly leaving the Custer boys on their own to fend off the bad guys.
Meanwhile back at the ranch

Last man standing

He died with his plastic boots on.
                                       On the other side of the battlefield Mr Ray was getting the upper hand only to see my lads disappear one by one.With the last of Colin's streak of good dice rolls I finally managed to get the advantage of moving first.The only trouble was there was nothing they could do but delay the inevitable.After seeing his brother fall to the onrushing indians Custer senior decided to charge into Crazy Horse in order to inflict some revenge for his lost command and initially this was succesful pushing Crazy horse back and even inflicting a wound but he too succumbed to the inevitable and history repeated itself.
Mr Ray and Donald have a pow-wow.
                                             A great game but I think the result was inevitable-just like history.
                                        All figures and scenery provided from Bill Gilchrist's ever growing Playmobil collection
                                            And many thanks to his wife Helena for providing an excellent meal to start the proceedings obviously thinking again that we all needed fed up.
                                                  See You All When I See You.