Sunday 30 April 2023


Whilst my gaming and painting mojo has been severely lacking of late, at least I have still been enjoying the hobby by reading books, which I have always loved. With rather poor weather to put it mildly for the past two months, I have been racking up the pages read each day. Come the afternoon however,  I like to spend an hour or so watching tv as a bit of 'me time' before SWMBO returns from work. Nothing in particular and much depends upon what takes my fancy that day.

So a few days ago I was watching Youtube (hedonist I know!) and browsing through the Little Wars TV and alighted upon a few of their Napoleonic episodes, which piqued my interest. This coincided with a few fellow Bloggers putting up some Nappies posts, so I dug out a few books to browse and my interest in this period was re-kindled. Rather nice to have a bit of a 'spark' again after a rather fallow spell.

Now the only downside of Nappies from my perspective, aside from which rules to use, the column vs line debates, the uniform police etc, is really which Armies to go and which campaign? In contrast the Seven Years War is so easy in comparison. The LWTV chaps have a nice little piece on starting out which I found rather helpful as a guide, but it got me no further forward, but 'tis early days still. 

So whilst pondering whether to go for 1813-1815 Prussians (lots of interesting uniforms and troops types) or the Peninsula War (somewhat done to death this side of the pond but again lots of choice) I decided to actually get my butt in gear in play a game whilst this played out in my subconscious. I chose  a simple scenario that Norm Smith had put together to kick things off to get me back into the swing of things with Shadow of the Eagles, the excellent rules from my good friend Keith Flint. The game was set up last night and in a quiet moment this morning I actually got to roll some dice, which was great!

The Prussians are defending a small village with the French preparing to attack.

The Prussians line the edge of the village, which should prove to be a good defensive position.

Artillery cover the road and troops line the hedges.

The French come on in Column of Attack with a skirmish screen out in front.

The Skirmish Screen closes.

Firing erupts across the front.

Things are fairly equal on the right flank.

The same on the left flank.

Things quickly change and the French begin to suffer.

The French continue to suffer from Prussian firing, but dish out some punishment back.

A French unit routs and the commander is killed in the process.

The French right is on a parlous state, due to some excellent Prussian musketry.

It's all up for the French as...

...another unit Routs.

The Prussians pulled back from the hedge to help recover some hits and to avoid French fire.

Post Game Thoughts
It was great to get a quick little game in to get to grips with the rules and the period again after so long. All-in-all it probably took less than an hour to play. A few thoughts on the game:
  • This is a perfect little tester scenario that Norm has created, with not too many nor types of unit, which speeded things up.
  • I thing the new skirmish rules are a big improvement on what is in the book. I want to try a Light Battalion in the next game to see how they play compared to Skirmish Screens. The only thing I wasn't sure about was when shooting at the Skirmish Screen, whether those hits count towards the unit as a whole. I re-reading of the book will probably provide the answer I need.
  • The BUA proved to help the defenders due to the -1 to hit, which certainly helped. 
  • Both sides had above average shooting, with the Prussians edging it allowing them to get the upper hand. Even the Inferior Landwehr got the better of the French!
  • Both sides made good use of Morale Saves to reduce hits, with honours pretty even.

What next? Well a few more games to get the basics sorted is the plan, alongside adding in a few more unit types and maybe an all Cavalry action to try charges etc. Then of course there is the question of do I add to the lead mountain with two new forces or just carry on with my MDF figures? Certainly the latter for the moment given my other projects, but I can see some purchases in the future, once I can decide upon a campaign and force to fight the French.

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Blogger Issues

For some reason unkown to Man, Blogger has been doing some weird things of late. Specifically random replies to my posts appearing in my Spam folder, whether from myself or not, years after they have been 'posted'. Today was the best yet in a comment from myself counting as Spam and from 6 years ago! I kid you not.

So apologies to those of you have have been kind enough to reply in the past and maybe have been a tad miffed that I did not comment on your replies. I most certainly would have but Blogger in its infinite wisdom decided not to publish, until some random date and time way after the event.

Another issue that is new to me is that some of my comments on other Blogs are going straight to the Spam folder. I know I have this issue with a few regular Followers on my Blog, despite repeated efforts to say they are not Spam, but it's a first for me as far as I know. So given this is not isolated to myself and my Blog, maybe it is worth checking your Spam folder under the Comments section?

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Warning Order #62

The latest issue of the ever excellent Warning Order magazine is now available for downloading. I always enjoy perusing what Matt has to say and being of a similar age, sometimes it is quite a trip down memory lane. 

Last issue Matt asked for some feedback on playing BKCIV games and how others go about it. I contacted him and gave him my thoughts and how I approach things etc. Fortunately for me he found this interesting and useful and, as a result, published it in this edition!

Right, off to have more of a gander on what else is in this issue.

Friday 14 April 2023

Fall Rot - France 1940

Progress on my France 1940 campaign has come to a halt of late, due to focussing on the planned HEIC game for the CWD. Sadly I can't multi-task! However all is not lost on this front as I recently received a nice Amazon voucher as a 'thankyou' for the volunteer work I do and after som epondering of what to buy, remembered the following book:

I really enjoyed his 'Case White' book on the Polish campaign and after reading the contents and reviews of 'Case Red', was happy to see that it covered (naturally) the post Dunkirk phase of the campaign, but also other parts that are not often covered. I place the order and within a few days I received my copy and have been reading it ever since!

Some Thoughts
In short if you are interested in the French campaign, you really should buy this book! I've learnt an awful lot already and still have not finished. A few points that I think are interesting:
  • It covers the inter-war period of all sides involved in the campaign, which provides a really good background for what follows.
  • Whilst not in much detail, it does cover what happened in Holland and Belgium, with the latter getting more pages. It does highlight that the Belgium 'collapse' really did unhinge the French and British positions, maybe more so than the breakthrough at Sedan.
  • This is the only book I've read so far that does explain in great detail what happened to the French Airforce and why they had a limited effect upon the campaign.
  • Logistics for all sides are shown to have had a big impact on how the campaign was conducted, especially before Fall Rot kicked off. Again not something that gets the coverage it deserves.
  • The French are given more credit than they normally receive, but it does not shy away from highlighting their deficencies in C&C. Whilst they had good troops, tanks etc and on the face of it a good strategy, their ability to actually implement this was severely hampered by logistical issues. I certainly have a great appreciation of the French efforts now that before.
BKCII French Force
I've had a core French force based up for BKCII for more years than I care to remember! Now I want to resurrect this 'project' and need to dig out the box and see exactly what I have and what I might need to add to. The following GHQ models page has some really useful info that is easy to convert to OOB for BKCII. When I get round to this I've no idea given current commitments for the CWD and the start of the French campaign I've got planned. However I do know I will probably require at least a Company of infantry and some tanks, so hopefully something will appear off the painting table in due course.

Kos & Leros 1943
At the same time I bought the Osprey book on this little invasion as it's something I want to game in the next year or two, but like so many things, so many ideas, so little time!

So until next time, TTFN.

It Was Just My ImagiNations (Running Away With Me)

As mentioned previously, I have been tempted down the path of some forces for use in 18thC India, pitting the HEIC against the French and various local rulers etc. It certainly is a fascinating period to game, although many of the battles can hardly be called that until towards the end of the 1790's. Still plenty on offer for modest games, which suits me down to the ground.

CWD & India 18thC
With the above in mind, I popped a mail to Dave mooting the possibility of doing 'something' set in India for the Cotswold wargames Day and using Honours of War for the rules. Dave was on board from the off and since then we have been toying with ideas for forces, tweaks to the rules etc. It has certainly been lots of fun and has taken up most of my gaming time of late, so I thought I'd give a bit of an update of the state of play as it stands.

HEIC OOB c1750's
My force will nominally be based upon the HEIC and their local Allies, which currently equates to:

2 x British Line infantry (Superior)
2 x HEIC Troops (Standard)
4 x HEIC Sepoys (Standard)
4 x Irregular Light Infantry (Inferior)
4 x Irregular Light Cavalry (Inferior)
3 x Artillery (Standard)
2 x Allied Artillery (Inferior)
2 x Zumbarak (Inferior Artillery)

This is all very much a work in progress at present, with some playtesting required to make sure things work out as planned. So the below image is off most of the core force, bar some elephants, camels and heavy artillery. I want to make sure I have everything based and finished before I start painting. I still have a few more units to go, but at least I have everything to hand that I need, famous last words!

That's a lot of miniatures to paint, but will help focus my efforts.

ImagiNations in General
Over the past few years, I have really embraced the whole concept of ImagiNations for a multitude of reasons. I love the ability to create some background 'fluff' for your force, but anchored in a plausible historical context. Then of course there is the fun of getting together figures that you like to create your force, as well as naming them, uniforms colours and flags etc. It would be remiss of me not to admit the attraction of less units to buy, paint and store, with say a core 18thC force being able to fight in America, Europe and India.

So whilst working my way through the HEIC force, I thought that the figures I'm using for the Allies, which are Pendraken 16thC Ottomans, could very easily with a few additions make a nice little force for some games set in Europe. This is something for the future but has certainly make me ponder on what else I might need to flesh them out so to speak.

Russia in the ACW
When I have my evening meal I like to listen to the radio and certainly Radio 4 has some great programmes on from 4.00pm onwards. Whilst listening to one of those, they mentioned a Russian 'colony' in northern California, namely Fort Ross and they briefly said that what might have happened if it hadn't been sold before the 1849 gold rush? This immediately pricked my ears up and I thought what a great setting for some 'what if?' games leading up to and during the ACW. Naturally this led to possible British involvement from Canada and possible German intervention based upon say and independent colony like Fort Ross. 

From such small acorns do mighty oaks grow and all that, so I've parked this for the moment to come back to in the future, but I can see plenty of opportunities here. Such is the attraction of ImagiNations!