Monday 31 December 2012

Impetus Renaissance (5 of 5): "The Field of Glory (aka Massive Points)" - Player Exhaustion

The final wargaming half hour (pushing the players to the point of exhaustion):  

The Swiss are assailed from all sides, but stubbornly refuse to die, see below:

In fact others (WotR armoured foot) die first, see below:

The Italians push "as much forward as possible" losing their brave Halberdiers in the process to the WotR "cavalry reserve" (there was a downside to the "cunning plan" of the Italian General commanding the left wing), see below:

Nevertheless the Italian Pike Block push back the WotR armoured foot in disorder, see below:

Though this local success  brings about the unappetising situation of, the very same armoured horse who killed the valiant Italian Halberdiers, now sit on the Italian Pike Block unguarded flank (see below). In the far distance (top right of the picture) two more blocks of the WotR armoured cavalry reserve can be seen bearing down on the Swiss Pike Blocks.    

Time had to be called at this point (boo hiss). It was too biog a battle to run on a "club night" but as a demonstration of how nice Renaissance Impetus can look, it was an outstanding success.

Review of the "close of game" situation: 

The Italian/Swiss army had one untouched fresh Pike Block still ready to be called upon. The WotR though at breaking point in the middle still had two powerful wings of infantry slowly coiling round the Italian/Swiss flanks, to which the Italians had one "wing of horse" to counter with.

As we left it a draw - but looking very dicey for the Italian/Swiss in the longer run, consensus (myself included) being that the Italian left flank commander (me) had bottled the attack on the left. Looking at the Order of Battle the Italian left wing did not have sufficient "skirmish" troops, all I was needing was just two units of skirmishers as "arrow attractors". Even without them the knights still stood a fair chance of winning and would have at the very least pinned the WotR "cavalry reserve" in position. Ho hum, next time, next time, I vowed, I have got the hang on the infantry side of Impetus but I need to work on the more mobile cavalry side of things.   

A good New Years resolution to have for 2013

Sunday 30 December 2012

Impetus Renaissance (4 of 5): "The Field of Glory (aka Massive Points)" - Blood Flows

Clip clop, the horses are coming, but if truth be told the armoured knights ain't all that fast "to exploit space" and there is a classic infantry traffic/log jam to contend with ahead, see below:

The Italian Skirmishers have finally "disappeared" but their sacrifice has allowed the Trained Harquebusiers to get into position to shoot down the WotR Artillery Park before it sets its sights on the Italian Pike Block that is approaching, see below:

Trundle, trundle, hooves approach as the armoured knights continue on their journey (taking long range missile fire from the WotR archers in the process), see below (disorder yellow, casualty red): 

The WotR park disposed of the Italian Pike Block pushed through the Trained Harquebusiers (a neat trick of Impetus is that "Heavy Infantry" displaces lighter types, so the Harquebusiers siphon back, so you don't muddle around with Pythagorian movement puzzles). All-in-all this is looking quite tasty for the Italians, see below: 

The second Swiss Pike Block is now contesting the WotR battle line and is enveloped in a desperate slugging match with "many" other opponents. The second Italian Pike Block had rotated and is now moving in its support. The first Swiss Pike Block has ploughed on and is attacking the reserve body of WotR infantry defending the WotR camp, see below:  

The Italian/Swiss success in the center is all "just as well", as the Swiss right flank has fought itself to destruction, freeing the WotR left to come to the assistance of their beleaguers comrades in the center, see below: 

The Swiss in the center are "feeling the pain of battle", but are not spent. The Swiss are clinging onto their last remaining bound Impetus. For the WotR forces it is a desperate time as they are defending on their baseline with their last infantry reserve, see below:   

For all their success the Italian/Swiss force has not broken the WotR army yet and may have dangerously overreached themselves ... or are on the verge of a stunning victory. Who can tell?

Next: The WotR commit their cavalry reserve

Saturday 29 December 2012

Impetus Renaissance (3 of 5): "The Field of Glory (aka Massive Points)" - The Middle Game

The Italian Contribution: 

Meanwhile to the left of the fearless Swiss.. the Italians join the fray. The Italian Halberdiers contest the wood against WotR "lights", while Italian Skirmish types buzz the WotR infantry line and artillery park, see below:

The Italian Halberdiers are victorious and the Italian Skirmishes are still alive, the plan seems to be working, see below: 

The Italians push a "mass" of Trained Harquebusiers and the smaller of their two Pike blocks forwards, see below (Also note below the "turning" of the WotR infantry to face the "Swiss threat"):

Sensing the "locus of the battle" to be in the center of the battlefield and not convinced that charging the massed WotR archer formation makes that much sense, the Italian left flank Condottieri General develops a "cunning plan" of his own and heads his cumbersome formation to the center, see below:

But dear readers, was it the right "cunning plan"?

Next: Blood, death and mayhem

Friday 28 December 2012

Impetus Renaissance (2 of 5): "The Field of Glory (aka Massive Points)" - Opening Moves, The Swiss Get "Stuck In"

The Swiss on the right,although outnumbered "fly off the tether" and fearlessly get stuck in, see below (impressive by their courage and lack of fear of death):

The Swiss in the middle are equally as fearless and go "off to the races" putting the wind up the WotR players "big style", see below:

The Italians are more sedate, getting themselves in a traffic jam behind some "big bloody houses" somebody (at the last minute) decided to put in the middle of the battlefield (Note: as a better use at least one should have been stacked up behind the Swiss adding depth to the punch), see below:

Italian shame, the powerful Italian/Swiss left just stared at the mass of arrows and foot and did not know what to do (yes, I was the Italian General), see below:

The Swiss in a perfunctory manner dismiss the WotR skirmish screen and then get stuck into the WotR infantry mass, see below:

The Swiss attack grinds on, see below:

And on,spewing forth death and disorder but not losing its momentum, see below:

Finally busting the WotR armoured infantry as the "main course" and eying up the softer archers for deserts, see below:

"Yum, yum", says it all, see below:

Just when the WotR players breathed a 'sigh of relief', thinking they had "weathered the storm" and seen the worst of it, the second Swiss pike moved up into position to continue the Swiss momentum. Luckily for the WotR players it did not contact anything, see below: 

Next: The Italian contribution and WotR riposte

Thursday 27 December 2012

Impetus Renaissance (1of 5): "The Field of Glory (aka Massive Points)" - The Muster

The boys and girls (well boys) at my local wargames club (at bonny Hartlepool) have always wondered what Impetus would look like scaled up from 300 points a side to a "what we could field on the table" scale. With no better excuse or historical pretense, it was "bring what you can Renaissance-wise and we will put it on the table" (see below). The result was a mainly WotR (Wars of the Roses) army faced a Italian Renaissance and Swiss army complemented with many an armoured knight and Men-At-Arms. WotR on the left Italian/Swiss Landsknechts on the right (see below):   

The Italian/Swiss Army:

A hoard of armoured knights (4 units), an artillery park (1) and some light horse mounted crossbowmen (1) on the Italian/Swiss left, see below:

Left middle Italian/Swiss: Landsknecht Pike (2), one pike block attaching a unit of Skirmish DoppelSoldners (1), Skirmish Crossbow (1), Skirmish Harquebusier, Trained Harquebusier (1) and some blood thirsty Halberdiers (1), see below:

Middle right Italian/Swiss: Swiss Pikes (2), Trained Harquebusier (1), more blood thirsty Halberdiers (1), an Artillery Park (1) and some Skirmish Crossbowmen (4) [one of which is occupying the built in area in the advanced middle of the table]:

The Italian/Swiss left: A rather bedraggled affair of some light horse mounted crossbowmen (1) and some armoured knights (2), see below: 

The War of the Roses Army (WotR):

WotR Right: Armoured foot (3) with back rank(s) of supporting archers (3), armoured knights in reserve (3) and Skrmish Crossbowmen (4), see below: 

WotR Center: (Viewing left to right in the picture) An artillery park (1), massed ranks of archers (6), supported by armoured foot (5), another artillery park (1),plus in reserve defending their camp more amoured foot (2), see below:

The WotR left: Another artillery part (1 [the first being part of the WotR center command]), more archers (4), supported by armoured footmen(2) who in turn are backed by a reserve of armoured knights (1), see below:

After set-up the toy cupboards of the four players were deemed as empty (technically I did have a painted "Lady G figure" but she was deemed to be of no fighting value and I declined to demean her By fielding her as mere "camp booty")

Next: The moving and the firing begins

Tuesday 25 December 2012

Merry Xmas 2012

Merry Xmas

Looking forward to 2013 and reading the 'festive' game reports on many a blog ;)
I hope 2013 is a good one

Sunday 23 December 2012

Westland Whirlwind a "mini" Mosquito or another Strategic Fighter misfire?

As you know I seem to have been in a "plane mode" or at  least "looking to the skies" with my modelling as of late. At the time of the "X-Wing incident (see previous post) I also was checking out the clearance section of a certain high street Hobby retailer (Hobbycraft) and spotted a peculiar kit that I had never got my mittens on before, the Westland Whirlwind Mk I in a starter pack (see below for current state of the painting tray, Mosquito and Whirlwind together):

I put a little bit of TLC into painting the pilot (see below), but I am not sure it comes out from my BlackBerry photograph:

After I had sorted out the painting inside the cockpit area it was a pretty quick build (see below):

The Whirlwind was a curious little beast with a short (and in the end very specialised combat role) in 1942/43 before being replaced by the Typhoon. The concept was drawn up in 1938 and it could have been a war winner like the Spitfire. A two engined singe seat fighter that could out perform ant single seat equivalent, packing a hell of a punch with four x 20mm cannon in its nose (remember the RAF Spitfires and Hurricanes didn't get cannons until 1941/42). Originally 400 were ordered but the Pegasus engines let it down. She was brilliant at low altitudes (even out performing the Spitfire) but in the middle to high altitude "battle zones". The usual tonic (aka the Mustang and Manchester-to-Lancaster) of converting to Merlin engines couldn't be done on its airframe. Hence the Whirlwind equipped two squadrons that protected the Channel Convoys and had noted success against the German Me-109 at low altitudes. 

I always thought it looked like an emaciated Mosquito, they even stuck a few light bombs and rockets on it to attack shipping (see below) or is it my over-active imagination at play? Anyway I have acquired a kit that escaped me as a child and given its status in the "clearance section" it may well disappear from the shops in 2013 (or am I just scare mongering)?

One notable victim of the low-level Whirlwinds (and Typhoons) was the German blockade runner "Munsterland". Those low-level "dock strafing" over a heavy defended port (Cherbourg) would be my least favourite mission of all time.

The kit itself was easy to make and trouble free (although alas my propellers are too stiff to turn), the "free" starter pack paints offered good coverage and I was please to say that there was no danger of the paint 'running out' (something I had previously "feared" would be the case in these 'starter packs'). I am debating to myself if I like the Airfix/Humbrol #30 Green or whether I need to mix of a bit of my Tamiya Dark Green/Olive Drab in with it. Likewise I may follow the Mosquito with its "satin grey" as there is insufficient differentiation in the camouflage scheme for my liking.

As per usual I am dragging my heels with the decals ;) 

PS: Please note the interesting newspaper used as a backdrop for the last two photographs.

"Use the Force" or alternatively "Just Press the Big Red Fire Button"

Well there you are, innocently doing some Xmas shopping and then you see 'something' that is 'just so you, as you are just a great big kid' ... and you know you just cannot resist ... hmm, Revell .. Star Wars .. X-Wing Rebel Fighter .. and I am just somewhere else. "This is Red Two, I am entering the trench now, targeting computers locked on" .. and in the middle of a busy shop, packed with Xmas punters you find yourself making corny sound effects .. move quickly to the checkout with purchase and exit (see below)!

Red Two

You Tube Link to the "Death Star Trench Attack"

The only thing is .. warning entering "Nerd mode" .. that I don't think one is enough (two would be a good fighter pairing, after all you need a good wing-man) and Revell also do a lovely Republic "Clone Trooper" Drop-Ship, but I think you need four of those for a decent formation!

Saturday 22 December 2012

Returning after a "successful sortie" ... but with a little damage

The propellers have been shot away, the radio aerial is down (but with the rear landing wheel is still intact which really surprised me), one 20mm wing cannon missing, the pilot canopy has been detached and the little thing from under one wing "which I never knew what it did" is now long gone .. the Spitfire VB (1/48 scale) makes a 'crash landing' back at its home aerodrome (see below) ... but any landing you can walk away from is classed as a good landing in my book. All the above is reparable from the 'spares box', so Year 3/4 (combined) gave this Airfix Spitfire a true "combat test". Twenty four seven to eight year old boys and girls have had a good "look and touch" at the iconic Spitfire.Mission accomplished :)

The Luftwaffe Dornier Do.17E/F suffered more, being the bigger plane in a smaller scale (1/72) means it has a certain fragility. The "Spitfire" can register a "confirmed kill" as the Dornier's front perspex canopies.were all detached and the propellers shredded (although the blame for this lies with my youngest son not Year 3/4, he is just under three and "threw it from one side of the room to another").I think this one didn't make it back home to a French airfield.  

Post repair I am thinking of dangling said planes ("out of the reach of the three year old") from my sons bedroom ceilings, a job for the Xmas holidays. 

Little Planes, Little Planes ..."Look to the Skies"

Well I have a 'bundle' (and am always on the lookout for more) of these 1/144 scale WW2 fighter aircraft from Revell. I have started gluing them together, see my first Spitfire MkI below:

Thankfully they are a "quick build" (see below):
  • Hawher Hurricane MkI
  • Supermarine Spitfire MkI
  • Hawker Tempest MkV x 3

The plan is build up the Allied fighters into (multiple) sections of three and the German Fighters into multiple Schwarms of four. Bombers will just have to "come as they please" in dribs and drabs, as building up formations of those is quite painful money, time and effort.  

Tuesday 18 December 2012

SmoggyCon 2012 Haul (Part III) : Something "Wickedly Plastic and 40K" This Way Cometh

SmoggyCon 2012 wrap up ...

Time was not my ally on the convention circuit, as I had but a few hours in the morning to take everything in, a "shopping list" of things I needed and there were a few "Hellos" to say to some old friends to boot, so it was going to be a fast paced affair. I also had a small chap on his first ever "wargames convention" with me, my eldest son who was on his best behavior (as in he didn't break anything). He has a keen eye for things he likes ("lad a bit like dad"perhaps) and he noticed and remembered the 'exact location' of the trader selling made-up (but unpainted) Games Workshop Sci-Fi stuff. I let him take a look the first time and he spied something of interest (see below). So I said we should see the rest of the show first (I had my shopping list still clenched in the sweaty palm of my hand) and if he still liked it "best" we could come back later (Note: I thought it was a bit pricey for what it was ... there should be a resounding "ha" to me on that, "pot calling kettle, pot calling kettle"). 

We duly did a round trip of the convention and he was still keen on the "Eldar Space Vyper Jet Bike" (its identify was confirmed much later after a Google Images search) and seeing how patient he had been when I had deliberated so long over my "Irregular pile of lead" I forked out the "tenner" (gulp) and he was as 'Happy as Larry'. The woman behind the counter smiled knowingly at my son and wrapped it up very neatly for him, so off we went home to report to mum and the rest of the family (who by now would be driving her to distraction).

Post-convention I discovered that my little chap had actually got the "buy of the day" as the kit was only 60% of RRP in the shops (unmade). There you go Dad it was not a silly Sci-Fi thing after all, it does look quite 'cool' and to date he has looked after it very well. Still not painted and don't mention the possibility of putting some "decals" on it too (decals seem to be my bugbear as I never get round to doing them)!


Monday 17 December 2012

The Smoggycon 2012 Haul (Part II): "The Pile of Lead"

There are always odds and ends to pick up at "Irregular Miniatures".


For some time I have been needing to get some "Camp" bases, other than my current 'brown pieces of card', for my Impetus Renaissance armies. The assorted jumble below (coming to a tidy £18, gulp) is enough I reckon to make three 25/28mm camps (and also an excuse to base the Wargames Illustrated Lady G in a diorama for respectability). Cows, pigs, peasants, an old style Knights tent, an 'innocent' man in the stocks, a roasting pig, a boiling cauldron and several rickety wooden fences, all good stuff and what you would expect from Irregular (see below): 

In addition I was milling around their 15mm ancients and decided to expand my Alexandrian Macedonian/Successor DBA army (I like to style a DBA grouping under one manufacturer if possible) and managed to pick out sixteen figures for two extra Pike Blocks (see below, costing £4.80). I know they are 'roughly hewn' but they still have a fighting character. Somebody had already beaten me to the Early Hoplites (my favorites from Irregular) as there was only three left in the box, never mind I still have a good block of them to paint.   

Then there is the "one that got away" (as in I forgot to get), I meant to acquire some 6mm "Roman/Greek Racing Chariots" like the pair I already possess (see below). These are fourteen year old (plus) markers (in the normal "Ben Hurr" racing state and the inevitable "crashed wreckage") for the infamous FoG (Friends of Grouchy Wargames Club) Avalon Hill "Circus Maximus" Xmas drunken Game from my 'London era'. Originally I was going to donate them back to the club buy nobody came forth to claim them (was it the paint job or the "dodgy past" of poor race results that put people off, methinks it was the jinx of the latter as I don't know of true wargamer who refuses a 'free' figure because of the paint job)

Seeing as I recently purchased  an electronic version of Circus Maximus I now need to expand my racing chariot stables. A 'doable' project now for next year in 2013 even within a paupers school boy budget (ah, nostalgia)!