Thursday, 30 March 2017

Up the River without a paddle.

Wed 29th March
"Left a poor job in the city"

               Feeling as though it was a long time since my last game I was glad of the chance to head out for Bill's mansion to indulge in an American Civil War clash involving amongst other things paddleboats.
                        Four of us trooped out to indulge in our toy soldier pastime and after being well fed by our delightful hostess Helena who once again must have thought that we all needed a right good feeding ,waddled off towards the game room and prepared for the evening's scrap.
Thee green,green grass of home!

                   The scenario was planned by Bill himself using the fictional setting of the Northumberland River somewhere in Tennessee and involved a Union attack on a Confederate fort and this attack was to be supported by Union naval units in the form of a paddlesteamer and an Ironclad.
The object of the Union's desire.
"With a rebel yell,she cried more,more,more!
                      On the face of it Donald our supreme commander and myself thought we were in for a short evening but what we didn't know that although Dave and Colin had a lot more figures than us they weren't of very good qualiy.
The Yanks are coming.
                                  Colin and Dave's forces came at us en masse but due to the vagaries of the rules they came to a grinding halt after a promising opening move and to complement this happening Bill couldn't have moved the boats any faster if he had got out and pushed.
No Mr Ray to defend the flag
                                    My own forces were encamped behind some earthworks so I was quite content to bide my time before rushing Dave's forces contending myself with taking pot shots at him to reduce his numbers before I went for the throat.
Come and get me!
                                     Colin decide to charge up the middle and actually moved further in his first move than he had done in our previous encounter four weeks previous.After I had informed him of this point he came to a thundering halt short of Donald's fort.Colin is not one for dirty looks but the look after that comment and its outcome would have sunk a thousand ships.
                                           Bill still plodded up the river albeit due to being disordered which came about after a few hits from Donald's siege guns ensconsed in his fort.His garrison were all gathered in the inside of the fort only coming up occasionally coming up to take the occasional pot shot much to Dave's displeasure.
                          Meanwhile in front of my positions Dave had advanced up far enough for my rifles to join my cannon in peppering one of his units making them head for the hills after a few hits.Maybe it was our night after all for a change.
Union reinforcements?
                           Colin brought on some units on Donald's flank making Donald manoeuvre his infantry all over the place like some mad Tennessee waltz eventually forming some misshaped rectangle as opposed to a square but covering all sides.
Donald's square dance
It's either the three Union Commanders or Curly,Larry and Moe
                           Obviously the Union plan was to get near the fort under cover of their artillery and then go for broke.Dave's middle units were the first to go for broke but after charging,climbing fences and other obstacles found themselves repulsed by Donald's marines who were encamped in the fort and forced them to head back the way they came licking their wounds on the way.Colin tried to attack similarly but found his units were not up to the task.
Rebel without a clue.
                                Although Bill's boats weren't making much headway movement wise some of his cannon fire his paddlesteamer began to find their targets temporarily putting one of Donald's siege guns out of use but this I think was the highlight of Bill's gaming evening as it took practically all evening to move the paddlesteamer far enough up river to get the  Ironclad on the table but when it did it made a marvellous sight seeing both boats on the table.
Take that Johnny Reb.
Hey is that Ambrose Burnside
  As time was ticking on and I was whittling down Dave's flanking forces I decided to bring two of my units around my positions and hit Dave in the flank but then realised it was nearly full time and I found I had left it a tad late.Wouldn't be like me.
My cinc facing the wrong way-obviously ready for the off.
Preparing to repel boarders
                             In the middle both Colin and Dave went for broke but Donald's fort held firm like a breakwater and threw back all unwanted suitors.Colin's flanking forces had marched up the road did a detour towards the river but still couldn't make any headway against Donald's infantry.
                               A score draw was decided on albeit with a wee bit frustration on my part for not committing my forces earlier.
Obviously not using smoke less coal.
                                   Another great evening and it was a pleasure to take part in this game especially with the bots on view.Bill also had both Union and Confederate marines on display which he has had for years but never a chance to play them.I must admit they look very tempting but I have been unlucky trying to find them which is maybe a good thing.
Before the off

                       Figures were supplied by Bill,Dave,Donald and even Mr Ray even although he wasn't there as he was continuing his rock comeback in the good old US of A.
                        Hopefully we'll see you soon.Putting a WW2 Aegean game on at Carronade nd  East Fortune WW2 re-enactment day in early May.
                         See you when I see you.
                                                 More pics and info can be found on Bill Gilchrist's Blenheim to Berlin blog.


Saturday, 11 March 2017

The Second Last Samurai

Saturday 11th March
Tokugawa's emblem

                            Today was the first game show on my 2017 calender so off I trotted(or drove) out to Straiton to meet up with Colin Jack first picking up Mr Ray and Bill Miller along the way and after a quick trip into Macdonald's for a not so healthy brekkie we all climbed into Colin's mean machine and headed for the not so sunnier climes of Dumfries.We've driven the road to Dumfries many a time passing through Moffat on the way and still Mr Ray hasn't seen the Devil's Beeftub which is a valley north of Moffat where Reiver's used to hide their ill gotten rustler gains as it was a tad misty.
                       We arrived into Dumfries and headed for the Cairndale Hotel where the gameshow was held and set up our show table in record time giving us some time to peruse the rest of the show,stopping off for coffee and a bacon roll on the way.
Before the off!
                          Our game today was based on the Boshin Wars which were fought in Japan between the Tokugawa clan which was the clan of the ruling shogun at the time and followers of three other clans who wanted power to return to the emperor but more than likely wanted power for themselves which is the norm for politicians.Many battles were fought with the Imperial troops coming out on top mainly as they were armed with modern weapons.
The bearskin made yet another appearance.
                             We were using Osprey's Men who would be King rules and proceeded with our first game as the rules are meant for short games.Bill and Mr Ray started the proceedings supervised by myself and Colin but even with our supervision we still found ourselves scouring the rules.It is amazing how much you can forget after 10 days.Must be this over 60 lark.
A couple of pics of Colin's Japanese village.
                             The game lasted for about an hour but even then we had realised that we had overlooked some of the rules and gameplay.
An ageing rock star contemplating his comeback.
                                   One of the fun things about this game is giving the leadership values and traits to each individual squad leader which range from Hero of the Empire right down to Hapless where the leader couldn't motivate his men for love nor money and these traits follow them right through the game.Some of the other traits include Shirker,Cad,Yellow Bellied and Bald as a coot.Not a very serious game.
Satsumas on the move.

These guys are good in hand to hand.
                              After the first game we headed off to see what other games were on offer and what toys were there to buy.This would be the first of a few forages.
Our neighbours who won first prize with A "Seelowe "game

This was a game based on the film "The Warriors" from 1979 which was said to be an outrage at the time but regarded as tame nowadays.

I really fancy a castle.

This wasn't a picture of a game but a very nice looking pint.

These figs took me back to my childhood in the 60's

Some of these figs were for sale and I forgot to go and buy them

Looks like a place to visit this summer.
My apologies about the photos as I had thought that I had left my camera at home only to find it just as we were clearing up so all photos were taken on my phone.

Yet again a very good gameshow albeit very quiet.I bought a few figs mainly WW2 Greeks for our next game at the Gothenburg pub on April 29th.
See you when I see you!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Last Satsuma

Mon 27th Feb

                    Nipped up to Colin's for a dry run of the game we are putting on at Albanich on March 11th in sunny Dumfries.
                                    We are putting on a game using Osprey's rules "The Men who would be Kings"based on the War of the Yang Earth Dragon or as most people know it as the Boshin War.This skirmish took place between 1868 and 1869 with the Tokugawa shogunate and the people would wanted to restore power to the Imperial Court.This war was to be the start of a few rumblings that would end with the Satsuma rebellion and the eventual defeat of samurai power.
 Our plan was to play a couple of games and have suitable knowledge to put on our game at Albanich.The rules we used are very simple and will suffice for a participation game as the actual games last for about an hour at the most.I found that when Colin explained them I understood them a lot better than if I had read them myself.
                              The games played were just straight in your face games so that we could  practise shooting and hand to hand.
Hail Ming

Monday night's alright for fighting.

Well dug in

Not so these chappies

Colin's lads front and centre.

A drone view of my lads

Another of Colin's lot edging forward

And about to be skewered

Fist fight at the end.
A nice evening's toy soldiering and  getting us ready for it's premier gamee on the 11th March.
See you there  or be an equal sided rectangle.
Albanich 2017.