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The Welcome Mat

After a successful return to action, the club are ready to open our doors to visitors and prospective new members again. Rather than just turning up unannounced, we’re asking anyone planning to visit to contact us first so that we can ensure that we have space in a game. We will also be asking for an NHS Covid pass, either electronic or paper proof of vaccination, or a current lateral flow test. You can phone club secretary Brian Simons on (0780) 3009504, or contact him via e-mail. Alternatively, we can be contacted on our Facebook page.

Please note, although it is no longer a requirement to wear a face covering in a village hall, it is still recommended that they are worn at Society meetings.  Please, also maintain sensible social distancing wherever possible and respect the personal space and sensibilities of other members.

AS A CONDITION OF OUR HIRE anyone who is feeling even slightly unwell should not attend a meeting.

The full rules for attendance can be found here.

Work In Progress Wednesday

A tad late today, sorry folks, but here’s the latest update on member’s painting.

First off, Stephen is painting up some sample packs to test the waters on a couple of projects he’s been umming and ahhing about for the last year or so.

Above you can see some 15mm ECW Scots from Peter Pig.

He’s also trying to find his WW2 mojo, he’s undecided on figure size, but wants to focus on infantry actions rather than tanks.

First off we have some Warlord Games 28mm Late war British infantry, a recent free sprue from one of the wargames magazines.

WW2 British

And changing size, some Russians based up for Crossfire, also from Peter Pig.

WW2 Russians, for Crossfire

Eric continues to work on some Games Workshop figures, a chaos marauder and cultist:

Chaos Marauder & Cultist.
Chaos Marauder & Cultist

Mark has been working on his 6mm Saxon 1809 army, Ist Corp division Generallieutenant Polentz, brigade Generalmajor Lecog, Prinze Celement, von Low and von Cerrini regiments. Basic uniform colour and regimental facings done, flesh, weapon, knapsack and bases to do, you can see the rest of the division in the background including some cuirassiers

Saxon 1st Corp, division Generallieutenant Polentz

That’s all folks, we’ll be back next week.

Bingo Master’s Breakout #2

As expected, progress has accelerated in the hobby bingo challenge in the past two months. At the end of February, five club members had claimed a total of 14 squares on their respective boards; we’re now up to 40 squares in total with two new participants.

Stephen has held onto top spot, having now claimed 12 of the 20 squares on the board already, including being the first to complete a line (in fact he has two), giving him 160 points. Jeremy has stalled, claiming just one square in the past few weeks, although it did help him become the only other person with a full line. Tony F has slipped past him into second place, although a scattergun approach means that while he claimed five squares, he has yet to finish a line. Andy and Mark K both got onto the table with their first points, and Eric and Marcus both added at least one square to their existing totals (Eric’s Chaos horsemen shown above gained him square B3).

Square A1 (play at least four different games) is the most popular and was claimed by almost everyone as we got through more club meetings. Next most common are D4, B3 and C3 which have all been claimed four times. There are still two completely unclaimed squares – D4 (write a book report) and C5 (paint any unit).

Hobby Bingo Leaderboard 2022

NameSquares (10 pts)Lines (20 pts)Total
Stephen122160
Tony F8-80
Jeremey5170
Eric6-60
Andy4-40
Mark H3-30
Marcus2-20

You can see the full grid plus everyone’s individual progress in the Bingo Hall page at any time – this gets updated weekly, usually after WIP Wednesday.

Work in Progress Wednesday

After a short break for Star Wars day we are back with another work in progress Wednesday.

We start this week with some 15mm Wars of the Roses artilery from Stephen. Stephen has also been modifying the bases on the rest of his WOTR army to add a hit/strength dice frame.

Next up Marcus has started on some Brigade and Dark Star 15mm models  for 5 Parsecs From Home solo gaming.

Tony has been working across genres with some 6mm sci-fi terrain to start with.

Followed by some Gondor Citadel Guard archers.

That’s it for this week, see you again next Wednesday.

April 9th, 1940

Alan K reports on his anniversary refight of the ‘battle’ of Hokkerup, Denmark, on April 9th, 1940.

Some time in March I suddenly realised that our first club meeting would be on the 9th of April, the anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Denmark in 1940. Having “invested” in a platoon of 28mm Danes from Great Escape Games I really didn’t want to miss the opportunity and so I put on a game based around a skirmish that took place near Hokkerup on the Jutland peninsula.

The encounter we were commemorating, the ambush of a leading German reconnaissance unit, was captured in a 1946 painting by Anna Maria Mehrn which was, in part, the inspiration for choosing this particular scenario along with a scene (likely inspired by this engagement) from the Danish movie 9. april. We’re not sure about the copyright of the painting so we’re not including it, but here’s a link to it.

The Danish army went on full alert at 13:30 on the 8th of April and were held back ready to take up positions in the event of a German invasion. A thorough reconnaissance had been made regarding defensive positions but the Danish government had given strict instructions that units were not to be deployed near the border nor was digging or other fortification to be undertaken in order to avoid provoking the Germans. Despite this the Germans crossed the border at around twenty past four on the morning of the 9th.

Our intrepid 3rd bicycle platoon of the 2nd Company, 4th Cyclist Battalion supported by the autocannon and light machine gun sections of the 2nd platoon Afværgekompagniet (Anti-tank Company) , 2nd Battalion, Fodfolkspionerkommandoet set off from their barracks at just after four thirty and took up positions just after 5am. They hastily erected a roadblock before sighting the armoured cars leading the German column at half past five.

Lieutenant H.J. Højerslev had overall command with Second Lieutenant A. Olsen commanding the anti-tank sections. The team manning the 20mm auto cannon was led by F Jensen, accompanied by Gunner Nørholt and Loader Eliasen as immortalised in the painting.

The opposition is less well documented so I had them facing two SdKfz 222 armoured cars, a motorcycle section and two more sections mounted in SdKfz 251 half-tracks supported by a Panzer II.

I used the Nuts! second edition rules from Two Hour Wargames for the game.

The encounter saw the Danish auto cannon taking out both of the armoured cars and the advancing German infantry taking heavy fire. In the end the Danes were forced to withdraw but they had delayed the Germans significantly.

In the end the game lasted almost as long as the entire Danish resistance as, despite the valiant defence put up by the Danish armed forces against overwhelming odds, the Government surrendered at just after half past eight in the morning.

Are These The Droids You’re Looking For?

Over the last 12 months or so Phil and I have been assembling a variety of figures and vehicles – mostly repurposed toys – aimed at playing Star Wars games in 15mm (many of them have turned up in WIP Wednesday posts).

The Christmas meeting seemed like the ideal time to give them their debut, so I put together a simple scenario. I’d been unsure about what rules to use – I had a copy of the classic West End Games Star Wars miniatures rules as one option and another idea was to modify Games Workshop’s Middle Earth rules since they deal with heroes very effectively (using the magic rules to represent The Force). But I had an idea when I lined up some figures during painting – all of the figures were in squads of ten, which happens to be the same size as a crew in Stargrave. We’ve played a number of games since those were released, including during lockdowns when the club was unable to meet, so everyone was familiar with them which made them the ideal choice.

Figures
All of the figures in this game were from Highlander Studios in the US. For the five players we had two squads of Rebel troopers, two of Imperial stormtroopers and one of Jawas. There were also a few figures from the hero packs, including the droids and a couple of smugglers. The Jawas’ Ronto beast was a Galoob action fleet toy.

Buildings and Scenery
All of the buildings were put together by Phil from the Brigade Models 15mm Desert and Advanced Buildings ranges. The various walls and clutter around the buildings were also by Brigade. Some of the scatter terrain came from Debris of War. The desert mat came from Tiny Wargames.

Vehicles
The vehicles are sourced from a variety of toys and model kits. The Imperial stormtroopers flew in on a Galoob shuttle while the Rebels used a Revell U-Wing. The droids’ escape pod was also from Galoob, along with the skiff. The Falcon was another toy, it’s actually the wrong version (it’s from Solo and has the square radar) but I wasn’t too fussed about that, after all it looks like what it’s supposed to be, besides being much cheaper than any alternative I could find ! Luke’s landspeeder was a diecast model sourced from eBay, unfortunately I can’t remember the brand name. All of them came pre-painted, so were just given a wash of thinned black-brown acrylic mixed with Johnson’s floor polish, followed by a coat of Army Painter spray varnish – it’s amazing how this simple technique turns a toy into a scale model.

Scenario

Click for a larger version

The game is set at the start of the original Star Wars:A New Hope movie. R2-D2 and C-3PO have been ejected in an escape pod over Tatooine to keep them out of Imperial clutches, but here the story changes slightly. The Tantive IV has somehow evaded capture and has now despatched a shuttle full of Rebel troopers in a desperate bid to recover them. The Imperial Star Destroyer also spotted the pod, and sent down their own landing party to investigate. Both craft came down a short distance apart on the outskirts of Mos Eisley.

The game was intended for five players – two Rebels, two Imperials and myself playing the Jawas while also acting as a vaguely impartial umpire.

The players needed to search the buildings to find the droids – but there were other things in the buildings besides Artoo and Threepio. Each building had a random set of inhabitants, including Rebel sympathisers, Imperial loyalists and a pair of smugglers – plus the droids of course. Although I randomly rolled each time one of the buildings was searched, things were ‘fixed’ so that the droids would be in the last building to be searched.

The Rebels came out of the traps much more quickly than the stormtroopers – their lightly armoured figures moved slightly faster – and began searching the first buildings straightaway. They uncovered a pair of Imperial loyalists in the first building but made short work of them. However, nearby firing upset the Ronto which stampeded, and one Rebel squad ended up in a firefight with some Jawas (which inevitably ended badly for the locals).

The Imperials slow-but-steady approach saw them unearthing some Rebel sympathisers, whose appearance was brief as they disappeared under a hail of fire. The two forces were by now engaging each other, and the slightly better armour and longer-ranged weapons of the Stormtroopers began to be significant. They unearthed a pair of Sabacc-playing smugglers – Han and Chewie made a dash for the Falcon (obviously wishing to avoid any ‘Imperial entanglements’) but Han was immediately gunned down as they tried to cross the square. Chewie’s bowcaster dealt out some measure of revenge, but eventually the Wookie went down too.

By now the Rebels were searching the last building, and found the two droids. All they had to do was return them to their U-Wing and get off planet. However, they had taken more losses than the Imperials in getting to this point and numbers began to tell. One by one the Rebels were picked off by the steadily advancing line of Stormtroopers, until there was one Rebel trooper left. He got the droids virtually to the U-Wing’s ramp but fell at the final hurdle, allowing the Empire to snatch victory at the last.

Society Meeting 23rd April

The society meeting on St Georges Day did fittingly manage to include a dragon!

Andy ran a game of Dragon Rampant with the players hunting for treasure and ultimately a dragon rather than just engaging in battle.

There were also two games of Field of Glory at the meeting.

Skirmishers get into action in an ancient game of FoG in 15mm.

Not sure of the period for the other game but it was played in 6mm.

The last game being played was another play through of Galleys and Galleons.

Ships sailing along the coast, some of which have taken damage.

The entire seascape for the battle.

 

Work in Progress Wednesday

Just a short work in progress this week. Above Tony has managed to finish the last dwarves to complete the company from the Hobbit.

Next up Andy has made some more progress on his WW2 Brits.

And last for this week, Eric has painted up an additional four Viking archers on top of last week’s efforts.

That’s it for this week, we’ll be taking a break next Wednesday from the WIP posts with something else but will be back the week after.

Wars of the Roses – 1st Battle of St Albans – Battle Report

This is the first battle report in what will be a long standing campaign to re-fight the Wars of the Roses. Details can be found on the campaign page. Stephen takes us through the first battle (with commentary from Jeremey)

First Battle of St Albans
Well, our first Wars of the Roses battle in a campaign to re-fight all of the major battles – First St Albans.
Jeremey’s plan is that we set up the historical battlefield, but after that it’s up to each commander. So not a true re-fight so much as just sharing the same battlefield, so keep that in mind. There’s positives and negatives to that approach, like there is to any other way of re-fighting a battle, but that is the approach we agreed on so that’s what we are going with.
(Jeremey – using a standard ruleset to refight an historic battle is almost impossible. I set the campaign up to just give the flavour of each of the major battles. Hence the only significance of the First battle of St Albans being that one players deployment was a defensive one on the edge of the town).

I had the Duke of Somerset in charge of my army. Since it was going to essentially be an attack and defend scenario (with me defending St Albans) I decided to use my army points prudently and spent a bit on militia archers (as well as retinue troops) to make the points go further. I decided I would keep them static, behind stakes for a bit of extra protection, and use retinue troops for any aggressive tactics. I also gave myself a Scottish contingent (yes, we know there were none present at the actual battle – read above for our take on this) of a pike block (protecting the central road into the town) and some light cavalry lancers who I put on the left flank to annoy Jeremey. Experience of using both troop types in previous games meant I wasn’t expecting much out of them. I had the men at arms in the middle, with Somerset, and on the right and left flanks, on the edges of the town, were the billmen and archers. I had quite a long frontage to my battleline thanks to bringing some cheaper troop types (the local militia archers) to bulk the army out.

In contrast, Jeremey had a smaller army that he deployed in two lines, meaning that he would struggle against my flanks. He also had lots of commanders! He obviously had low expectations of his army to follow orders. It looked like he had the whole of Burke’s Peerage on the table.
(Jeremey – In my defence we were expecting to be joined in this battle by other players so I went with more commanders than usual thinking the army would be split into two battles. In the end I spent 210 points out of a 700 point army on commanders!)

For so many commanders he made a slow and ponderous approach. The front line seemed to consist mainly of his archers. Out on my left flank I sent the Scots lancers charging forward. I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them. My initial tactic was just to put them somewhere it would annoy Jeremey and he would have to turn troops to face them just in case.
(Jeremey – I must admit I didn’t bother with cavalry thinking Stephen wouldn’t bother either and just pick units to sit and defend the town. They did disrupt my movements towards the town, but then I was making a pigs ear of that anyway!).

But it turned out I had them in quite an advantageous position, looking straight on to the flank of some of his archers. I rolled a couple of 6s so made the choice to send them in.
This set the ball rolling. First blood went to Somerset’s army – the Scots routed a unit of archers! At that point I decided they’d already paid for themselves. Mind you, not too far away were a unit of his armoured men at arms and it was obvious what was going to happen. In they went and off the table went some lancers.
(Jeremey – the loss of the archers and disruption to my line made me think this battle was already over. Given I was already attacking a defensive army with less units, I’d also failed at the simple tactic of using overwhelming force.)

Like I say, this set the tone. Because what happened is that Jeremey was having trouble keeping his two battle lines going. In the middle he moved his crossbows forward, looking straight at the pike block. I knew what would happen if I stayed there – a steady rain of missile fire and the pikes gone for nothing. So I decided to push them forward as fast as I could, plonking a 6 activation dice on them whenever I could to give them an extra move unit to get in quickly.
(Jeremey – I’d finally got the main line of my archers into firing position, but didn’t realise you could not give crossbows a bonus dice or 6 to increase their range. I was hoping to get at least two volley’s off against the enemy before they closed the distance).

I advanced the retinue archers on my extreme left and right flanks to over lap his army, create some oblique fire lanes to keep him in arc as he approached, and see what casualties I could cause before he got to the town.
(Jeremey – this move was what I expected and once the cavalry were dealt with I turned my archers and gave them 6’s or bonus dice and started the archery duel).

Jeremey’s lines got more and more separated. Due to both the Scots lancers, the Scots pike block, and the flanking archers, he was taking casualties and his line was breaking up. He was having to use his best activation dice to keep his line in order, turning this way and that to see off a threat as it came. And all this meant his men at arms and billmen at the back just got left behind.
(Jeremey – In the end I only got one volley off from the crossbows before the pikes got into contact. The missile fire did no damage and the pikes destroyed the crossbow unit. But I was doing better on the flanks with the enemy taking greater loses).

At this point the only troops I had committed to melee were the lancers and pikes, which I ultimately lost, but it also meant I had not sustained any other casualties. By the end of it I had more or less routed all his archers (I think he had one or two units left, but that was about it), one of his commanders was dead (might have been two?), and many other of his units had taken hits. Apart from the pikes and lancers my army was still intact. The two armies had taken similar number of routed units but Jeremey had many more that had taken casualties and were looking weak.
(Jeremey – Although my plan was not going well, I did actually win the archery duel on my left flank. I did have to face the rampaging pike block with some ineffecual missile fire but the casualties suffered by both sides was actually quite even at this point).

(Jeremey – Strangely Stephen’s account seems to be light on details on what happened next. As I mentioned the Yorkist forces had won the archery battle on the left flank and once the pike block had broken through the archers they were headed for my billmen. I still had some badly mauled archery units on the right flank but they were able to get off a few shots).

(Jeremey – I can only assume Stephen missed this bit out of his account because I finally managed to organise my Billmen and charged in against the pikes with an additional unit providing support).

(Jeremey – The resulting fight saw a rare bit of luck for the Yorkist forces in this battle with some appalling dice rolling from Stephen. This saw the pikes destroyed and a chance to redress the Yorkist line).

There then followed a lull in the battle. I moved my flanks a bit further forward, sent some billmen to the right flank to give it a bit of backbone against some advancing men at arms, and moved my men at arms units into the centre where the pikes had been. Meanwhile, Jeremey was ‘re-dressing’ his ranks (moving them to the rear is what he was doing!), sorting out his lines, and getting that rear rank forward.
The final stage of the battle then got underway.

(Jeremey – At this point Stephen had no archers on the left flank and so I took the opportunity to gather my Men at arms and Billmen units into a cohesive force. Casualties at this point were even for both sides with Stephen having a slight advantage due to the number of units he started the battle with).

(Jeremey – With the archers Stephen claims to have destroyed I once again put pressure on the units sitting in the town. This time it was the Men at arms, who getting the hint marched out. Once again I failed to judge their speed and they soon caught up with and destroyed the archers).

(Jeremey – In a reversal of the luck I manged a dreadful roll when trying to stop the advancing Men at arms!).

Jeremey, with army now sorted out, continued his advance on St Albans. There was a push on my right flank as his billmen and men at arms came into conflict with my archers. It went his way. Out on the left things were a bit more static – it seems he still hadn’t fully recovered from the lancers. I moved my archers on the left into arrow range and let rip. He then double timed his infantry to close them into combat as soon as he could. There then followed a surprising victory for my archers.
(Jeremey – It’s funny how sides remember a battle, no melee combat took place on the Lancastrian right for the whole battle. All that took place was an archery duel that the Yorkists won. However on the Lancastrian left I finally got my Billmen and Men at arms into melee against Stephens remaining retinue archers).

They were charged by his plate-armoured men at arms, they drew their hatchets and blades and prepared for the inevitable. However, against the odds (and thanks to some demon dice rolling) the archers prevailed and routed the men at arms (who had been weakened due to bow fire).
(Jeremey – Again as we can see my Men at arms were still standing and with the help of some Billmen punched a hole in the Lancastrian archers. The subsequent round of melee saw all of Stephen’s archers destroyed).

In the middle Somerset ordered his men at arms forward, down the road, to meet the enemy in combat. That was very much the endgame. My men at arms, fresh and ready for battle, charged into what remained of Jeremey’s archers and billmen, taking them out of the game.

With that, it was the end – Jeremey’s army had reached its rout morale level and it was game over. A victory for Somerset!
(Jeremey – I’m calling this a close defeat for me, given my poor deployment and smaller army the final casualties give a different picture to that portrayed by Stephen).

Yorkist Loses
6 Units of Longbows (18 points)
1 Unit of Crossbows (3 points)
1 Unit of Welsh Spearmen (3 points)
2 Units of Billmen (3 points)
Total loses 30 points (Army morale 30 points)

Lancastrian Loses
6 Units of Longbows (18 points)
2 Units of Northern Boarder House (6 points)
1 Unit of Scottish Pikemen (6 points)
Total loses 30 points (Army morale 37 points)

Lancastrian Victory

Work in Progress Wednesday

Welcome to another Work in Progress Wednesday. Above we start with Tony and his freshly painted Knights of Rivendell.

Tony has also been making some 6mm roads.

Next up Felix has made some good progress on his Polish army.

Eric has been as busy as usual, first up a standard bearer for his Chaos Warriors.

Then we have something Eric calls a Hellbrute.

And finally from Eric something slghtly different with some Viking archers.

See you next Wednesday.

 

Society Meeting 9th April

April kicked off with a fairly quiet meeting. Three games were being played.
ALAN put on a WW2 game using the ruleset ‘Nuts!’. The meeting was actually the anniversary of an action involving Germany and Denmark in 1940.

Jeremey and Stephen finally managed to start their Wars of the Roses campaign.

Sword and Spear was the ruleset being used, in this first battle of St Albans with an historical twist seeing the house of Lancaster win the day.

The third game was another opportunity to test a future show game from Pete of Fallujah in 2004 using 20mm miniatures and Force on Force rules.

Don’t forget if you fancy coming to a meeting to see the society in action, check out the diary page and pick a day that interests you the most.

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