Monday, 30 November 2015

WAB El Cid Warm-Up

Top wargaming chum Scrivs arranged a WAB day to be played using the excellent El Cid supplement at the end of November. I jumped at the chance to take part, but the end of the month rolled around and I'd still not played a game. So Scrivs and I arranged a last minute match just a day or two before the event. The ongoing construction work here meant I faced a lst minute dash to try and locate soldiers and in the end I couldn't find the 2000 points required. Fortunately Scrivs is a man of many armies so he was able to lend me an arab army to play with.

We played on some empty rolling plains as we were a bit short of scenery, but it served the purpose to re-acquaint us with the rules.

Here follows the pictures.

Unsurprisingly I failed to win.
But it all looked splendid and by the end I had the kind of tenuous and flimsy grasp of the rules that has seen me through so many WAB events in the past.

All the models were collected and painted by Scrivs.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Lion Rampant, Sausages and Mustard

These are pictures from a coiuple of weeks ago when Steve and myself descended upon the Ilko Gaming Hut for a game of Lion Rampant with General Ballroom.
Steve had a motley collection of Claymore Castings Gallowglass, some old Bretonnians and some venerable Citadel Vikings to make up the numbers. He claimed this was a motley collection of Scotsmen, falling upon a border village in search of "easy Geordie lasses".
General B took command of my later English force (which to be fair is also a mix of Claymore Castngs and old plastic Bretonnians).

As this game took place a few weeks ago and I've had a sleep since then, there's not much of a report, just some eye candy

True to form Steve failed multiple activation rolls, much to mine and General B's amusement. Steve hates activation rolls as a mechanic, and as a result the dice gods seem to curse him.

In the end the English were able to defend their hamlet, and the fair Geordie Maidens' honour and the Scots went home empty handed

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Operation Squad - British versus Germans

Last night I braved the swirling aftermath of Hurricane Barney (presumably Typhoon Wilma, Whirlwind Betty and Stiff Breeze Fred will be along shortly) to journey to the badlands of Derbyshire and the Ilko Gaming Hut for a game of Operation Squad with General Ballroom.
This was to be an outing for my Yanks, but the ongoing disruption to Tom's Toy Soldiers Towers means I wasn't able to locate them. Fortunately the good General is well supplied with both plucky Tommies and Beastly Hun so we were all set.

I've never heard of played these rules before and nor indeed had Gen. B. Though he had at least read them. However he's been building a few 4Ground Normandy type houses, so a small skirmish (which is what these rules aim at) seemed like a good plan.

We each took 500 points and the objective was to occupy the three buildings in the centre of the little village of Tromnée-sur-Balle shortly after D-Day.
I ended up with Sergeant "Knocker" Norton, Corporal Reg Cunk, six rifelemen and a bren gun with loader. Opposing me were eight germans, including a sergeant and two (!) MG42s.

Sergeant Norton and three riflemen set up in woods to the south of the village. Whilst Private "Sterlo" Sterling waited with Bren gun in hand to cover the left flank. Corporal Cunk lead three further riflemen straight up the road toward the centre of the village

 "Knocker" gets the lads in position

 Pvt Sterling, shooting from the hip!

All stared quietly and Cunk's advance went smoothly

 The main street through Tromnée from the German side

Cunk's column

As the 7th East Yorkshiremen moved toward the building field grey shapes appeared on both flanks

 Forward lads

 The column hugs the wall

On the left "Sterlo" began to blaze away with the Bren and Panzergrenadiers started to hit the dirt behind the hedge. On the right germans emerged from behind a hill, but were met with Enfield fire from Cunk and his men.

 Covering fire!

Get down!

Corporal Cunk demonstreted his renowned leadership skills by legging it into the nearest building and hiding whilst his lads drove the Germans off. On the left hand side Pvt. Sterling was briefly forced to take cover, but with supporting rifle fire soon had the German infantrymen dead or fleeing.
Meanwhile Sergeant Norton and a rifleman were making their way behind Cunk's hideaway to head for the larger building.
At this point the German left flank threw in the towel and fled. The right flank, seeing the game was up similarly withdrew and Tromnée was in british hands!

This was a good fun little game. The rules were pretty easy to grasp the basics of - though I think we need to get a bit clearer on the whole activation order thing. Also it turns out we played cover a bit wrong, but I really enjoyed it.
To be fair to General B I was very lucky with my dice rolls and he was very unlucky.

It had a quite claustrophobic feel for me and it's quite unforgiving (General B never really recovered from his poor deployment) which is probably as things should be at this scale in this period. I described it as being a bit like those bits in Band of Brothers when single bullets are whistling by and cracking into buildings - rather than the bigger epic battle scenes of some movies.
It certainly felt more "authentic" than Bolt Action. But then again it's doing a different thing and aimed at a smaller scale than BA, so that's not an entirely fair comparison.
It did feel a bit "fussy" at first, with quite a few tokens and makers needed, but some of that may be down to  learning the rules. Certainly the core mechanics were very quick to work out and the combat was soon rattling along.

You can download the Operation Squad Rules from Wargames Vault

Now, if only I could actually get some paints out I could finish off my Yanks for a Chain of Command game...

Thursday, 12 November 2015

All Quiet on the Hobby Front

Hello loyal readers. Things have been a bit quiet over here of late. This has been partly due to being quite busy at work (we relaunched our website this week) but mainly is a result of home improvements.  Tom’s Toy Soldiers Towers is having an extension to the North Wing. This will result in a small den for the fruit of my loins to enjoy, a downstairs toilet and a greatly expanded kitchen area. Sadly the games room of my dreams will have to wait for ten or so years until the offspring vacate the premises and I can claim the den as my own.

The current stage of developments means we have no kitchen and the new kitchen is occupying the dining room and the contents of the old kitchen are taking up the sitting room. So I have nowhere to hobby. And with nowhere to hobby I have nothing much to blog about. I did enjoy a fun game of Lion Rampant last week, but as the computer with the image editing software languishes behind and beneath the new kitchen I cannot, alas, share the pictures with you.

This is all a bit frustrating and the work is likely to carry on for the best part of a month (finishing before Christmas, Mrs Tom’s Toy Soldiers insists, otherwise we’re going round to the builders for our turkey apparently).
So I’ve been musing about what to do when hobby space and time are once more available. In no particular order:

Darkest Africa

Finish a couple more explorers and some jungle terrain and then play some Adventures in Jimland games and run a game or two of T&T for the chaps at the Ilko Gaming Hut.

10mm Dux Bellorum

This stalled but I’m sort of itching to finish off some late Romans and play some games of this

Lion Rampant

After last week’s game I’d like to paint up a French force to oppose my English. The Chevauchee lists from WSS 78 look like fun and I’d love to get my hands on some of the Claymore Castings crossbowmen.


Son and heir is playing in the schools league in the new year, so I’d like to sort out a decent 600 point force of Orks and give him a decent game or two as warm-up practice


I found these while packing up for the kitchen dismantling and am vaguely interested in finishing them off and playing some games, but then I’d also need to do some Japanese to take them on, so it seems unlikely


I want to play more games of this, but the boys have lost interest and I never finished painting my warband.  Should probably try and get down to the club where I believe a few folk are playing it.


Gen Ballroom and myself are keen to play and I really only need to dip about four riflemen to get a game in. Maybe one to shoot for over the Christmas hols.

Of Gods and Mortals

I enjoyed playing this but would like to add a few more soldiers to give slightly bigger games.

Men Who Would Be Kings

I’m excited about this set of Dan Mersey rules for next year and would like to get some models done before they’re released. OG Pathans are apparently cheap but nice and for the British there’s quite a few nice ranges.

Song of Drums and Shakos

General Ballrooom is back in the painting saddle once more so I’d like to revive our abandoned (because he selfishly had a stroke) Waterloo Scots Greys idea.

Musketeer Late Romans

I really must finish these off, but the lack of a medium sized battle ruleset to replace WFB is putting me off. Maybe if Andy Hawes finishes his lists for W&C I’ll get the urge to tackle these.

What’s noticeably missing from this list is any Warhammer. For the first time in the 18 or so years since I came back to the hobby I’ve no desire to paint any soldiers for WFB.
So well done on that one GW.