Wandiwash India 1760

Seán takes us back to the 18th Century with some colonial action

We had a good day in India in 1760, Pete, Alan O, Tony G, Eric and myself so I wanted to say thank you for the game, though I was umpiring rather than playing. I think it worked well and we got speedy involvement from everyone because I had reworked the Principles of War rules to make them simultaneous.. It meant that with a big battle and about 100 units on the table one side wasn’t standing around for half an hour while the other made their move.

The Battle
It was a rare outing for my glamorous Moghul hordes and the rival East India companies of Britain and France.

Wandiwash was a relief battle. The town was invested by the French and their Indian allies and the British under Eyre Coote came to lift the siege. The French, under the Comte de Lally left 300 men to maintain the siege and came out to meet their rivals for power in India.

In the game I suggested that if the British, with their Indian allies, were to get three units to leave the table by the only road on the left flank of the French/Indian enemy and on their own right, it would be a good indication that they had won the battle. Unfortunately for them the British right flank, entirely consisting of unenthusiastic native forces with no disciplined East India Company sepoys or Brit regulars, melted as snow on a spring day before the wily tactics of the wicked Suraj ud Daulauh (of Black Hole of Calcutta fame). Meanwhile a sturdy advance on the left and centre led by those British company forces looked encouraging. There was only one fly in the ointment which was the growing risk of being outflanked by French company forces released from the left centre by the collapse of the British right – or rather the army of their untrustworthy ally Mir Jafar.

The Winners
There was no disastrous defeat but the near certainty that a message would arrive from Wandiwash saying the garrison had had to surrender was expected at any moment as the relief force faltered and failed to break through. So a win on points for the Comte – which went against the verdict of history.

The rules stood up well and simultaneous movement (which is how it used to be when I started wargaming in the 10th Century) sped up a big game very well. Some necessary amendments arose which I’ll incorporate. There was a request for a colonial battle with the same rules (adjusted for period) so I said I would bring another Moslem army into the field with a return of the 10mm Mahdists of the Sudan for another go at the Anglo-Egyptian imperialists in 1898. Who would like to be a desert sheikh or the model of a modern major general of models for that battle?

Trevor Pearless DBA Tournament 2019

Dave Sime reports on the recent DBA tournament (with statistical and photographic input from Andy).

We have a new DBA champion for 2019 – Paul Lymath – well done. However commiserations to Paul French who only just lost out, a very close finish.

A special thank you to Andy for bringing his PC and his Excel Tournament Package, relieved me from manually managing the scoring. Many thanks to the eight members who took part and enjoyed themselves. Special mention for Jack, who as a first time player acquitted himself very well, coming joint 4th.

Interestingly 6 of the 8 armies were Knight orientated or at least had a significant knight contingent. However the winning army (Paul L – Polybian Roman) and my army which came third (Chinese Southern Dynasties) are not Knight based armies. Knights, like Elephants, can be beaten !

Armies

David Si – Chinese Southern Dynasties (II 79b)
Paul L – Polybian Roman (II 33)
Jack – Medieval French (IV 64b)
Colin – Qara-Khitan (IV/15)
Mike – Free Company (IV 74)
Paul F – 100 Year War English (IV 62)
Andy – Norman (Italy) (III 51)
John La – Free Company (IV 74)

Round 1
David S 6-2 John La
Paul L 4-0 Andy
Jack 1-5 Paul F
Colin 1-5 Mike L

Round 2
John La 5-0 Mike L
Paul F 4-8 Colin
Andy 4-5 Jack
David S 0-5 Paul L

Round 3
Paul L 6-2 John La
Jack 1-5 David S
Colin 5-2 Andy
Mike L 1-6 Paul F

Round 4
John La 4-6 Paul F
Andy 0-5 Mike L
David S 4-2 Colin
Paul L 2-6 Jack

Round 5
Colin 2-6 John La
Mike L 2-6 Jack
Paul F 1-5 Paul L
Andy 1-5 David S

Final Table
1= Paul L – 22pts*
1= Paul F – 22*
3 David S – 20
4= John La – 19
4= Jack – 19
6 Colin – 18
7 Mike L – 13
8 Andy – 7

*Paul L declared winner as he beat Paul F in their game.

The Ruins Of Saint Solange

Stephen previews his game for the next meeting

The year is 1355 and you are invited join The Black Prince on his grand chevauchee throughout France.
At the next meeting we’ll be having a game of Lion Rampant set during the Hundreds Year War.

Whether you see yourself as the flower of French chivalry astride your mighty warhorse, or an English yeoman armed with longbow and a quiver of arrows, you’re welcome to join our game.

Laissez aller!

GASCAR ’19 Tri-Series Event 2

John Lambert updates us on an exciting second round on the Gaslands series.

Gascar 19 returned to the track for Event 2 in the Tri Series Cup following the sensational Death Race in Event 1. Event 2 would be bigger and better featuring two arenas and the addition of an extra team. Both arenas would be covered by Warner Duovision ensuring pay per view customers would not miss any of the action. The action would kick off with not one but two simultaneous Death Races! As tension ratcheted up, a protest was received from S. Vettel concerning Event 1. Following a VAR review, the protest was upheld and the second and third places were reversed. Arenas were allocated to drivers and it was time to rev up those engines!

Death Race A
Teams sponsored by Warden, Idris and Rutherford would take part in this race with a clean start being made by Idris and Warden. Suspected substance abuse by the drivers of the Rutherford team saw them fall away at the back of the pack.

The Warden car of Lefty o’Tool had a good line to gate 1 but was beaten to it by the Idris car driven by Black Stalin which passed through the gate using a classic slide turn, helped by a great dice roll.

Lefty O’Tool followed shortly afterwards and the race was well and truly joined! As these two cars drove neck and neck along the back straight, the second Idris car Chalkdust was catching them.

Lefty O’Tool was able to score hits on Black Stalin as they passed through Gate 3. These hits accumulated and in a final deadly blast, Black Stalin was destroyed. For the second race in succession, a Trini Scorpion car had been eliminated in touching distance of the winning line. It looked as though Lefty O’Tool would win but coming from behind a carefully judged power surge by Chalkdust saw this car shoot over the line first. The Rutherford team had won event 1 and had been the bookies favourite but today the bookies cleaned up! It had been a stitch up, there could be no other explanation.

Death Race B
This saw a tight packed field of 8 cars struggle to get away from the start line with only the Idris sponsored Ghost of the South able to make a clean break away from the pack, multiple collisions causing CARNAGE in it’s wake.

One of the Miyazaki buggies set off in pursuit of Ghost of the South and Razor from the Idris team was making good progress until a wipeout just before Gate 1. As Ghost of the South approached Gate 2, the Miyazaki buggy passed through gate 1 and Razor from the Idris team had almost reversed through gate 1. At that point with TV audiences plummeting, the Race Controller was instructed to stop the race and award points based on track position.

Arena of Death
This saw 8 cars pitted against each other and 10 turreted machine guns where the last car standing wins. On one side of the arena cars from Idris (Trini Scorpions) and Slime were making short work of turrets in their zone but tellingly, the Idris cars in particular were taking punishment back. On the other side of the Arena the Miyazaki Buggies were using careful tactics to eliminate turrets in their area so that they could clear a path to attack the Idris sponsored Chain Reaction and Queen of the South.
SMASH!

Slime Car Evangaline rammed Chalkdust causing critical damage.
SMASH!

Chalkdust and the second Slime car Riley hit each other head on in a mutually destructive death charge. The Idris sponsored Black Stalin narrowly avoided a collision with a fuel tanker and managed to get a shot into Queen of the South.
SMASH!

With everything to lose and nothing to gain Queen of the South rammed Black Stalin head on. The resulting explosion took out Chain Reaction and now both Idris teams were out of the running. The Miyazaki buggies had played a shrewd hand and had a clear run with no machine gun turrets as they cornered the last Slime car Evangaline, the Coup de Grace being delivered by a flame thrower.

WHOOSH!

It was canny driving by the Miyazaki team who scored maximum points and it lived up to its name of Arena of Death!!

Saturday Night Live
Whilst the Arena of Death was taking place, close by a Saturday Night Live event was taking place. Due to the exclusive broadcasting rights, no photography was allowed at the event. The rules had proved to be confusing and many VAR challenges were registered. The Warden car Constance Sin made a good start in this event, giving the Rutherford car Rocketman the slip, whilst the second Warden car Lefty O’Tool was unable to amass any audience vote. The Rutherford cars were fighting back and at the end the result was a tie between the two teams. It had been a close run thing!

LEADER BOARD
After two events the Leadership standings are:-
Jack (Miyazaki) – 11
Bob (Warden) – 9
Dave (Rutherford) – 9
Andy (Idris) – 8
John (Idris) – 5
Chris (Idris) – 2
Eric (Slime) – 1

There’s one Event day left and everything to play for!

The Battle Of Antietam

Stephen takes on the Union in this historical refight.

At a recent meeting we had an American Civil War game – the Battle of Antietam!

Being such a large battle, and the bloodiest in American history, we didn’t do the whole battle. Instead we focused on the action at the end of the day – the Union grab for Sharpsburg.

Our game took place after the battle for Burnside bridge. We set up the brigades as they were after the Confederates had been pushed back and Burnside’s corps advanced toward Sharpsburg.

Taking the Union were Jon Roche (Corps command plus Wilcox and Sturgis’ divisions) and Paul French (with Rodman and Scannon’s divisions). In control of the Confederates were Jeremey Claridge (Jones’ division) and Stephen Tucker (Hill’s division). There was no overall Confederate commander, with the two Confederate divisions (which were much larger than the Union divisions) acting independently.

The Union side also had a large artillery park with three batteries which were under Army command, so couldn’t be moved but would shoot at targets that came in range.

The Union objective was to get a brigade in Sharpsburg, the Confederate objective was to stop them!

Initially, Hill’s division was not deployed – his brigades were busily marching up the road from Harper’s Ferry to bolster the Confederate line. So at the outset the Union outnumber the Confederates. As such, the Union made an advance on the Confederate line. Not so on the southern edge – Scannon’s division was a bit tardy in its approach. Meanwhile, John deployed his artillery in a field, near to the Army artillery park, which would provide a powerful incentive for the Confederates not to counter-attack on that side.

Hill’s division came on, but was hampered in its deployment due to cramped conditions – it was proving hard to fit the brigades and artillery where they were needed.

Eventually the two sides came to blows – Jones’ division to the north around Cemetery Hill facing off against Wilcox and Sturgis, and Rodman (waiting Scannon’s arrival) to the south coming over Centre Hill.

The early part of the battle was going slightly in favour of the Confederates. The artillery to the north was making it hard to take the battle to the Union, so Jones’ brigades and artillery dug-in and pushed back the Union attacks.

On Centre Hill, Rodman came over the top, took a round of musketry, and then pulled back! Much to everyone’s amazement (not, least Burnside’s!). Paul did try to explain this (ahem) ‘cautious’ move.

But maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Because emboldened by this withdrawal, Hill advanced his brigades over Centre Hill and took the battle to the Union with a wild rebel yell. And paid the price for charging the guns.

Equally emboldened, Jones advanced Drayton’s brigade against the Union brigades and artillery to the north. After a round of pummelling from Union Corps and Army artillery they soon regretted it and hobbled back all but destroyed.

In the end our game had a very historical outcome – the battle just fizzled out. The Union didn’t have it in them to continue the push to Sharpsburg and the Confederates didn’t have it in them to counter attack. Like the actual battle itself, it was a no-score draw – both sides had taken so many casualties neither could carry the day.

My thanks to Jeremey and Andy for taking some pictures.

Gaslands Scenery

Andy makes some scenery for the Wastelands.

At Broadside back in June I bought some scenery pieces for Gaslands, as we have another of the Maidstone Wargames Society’s GASCAR’19 events coming up I thought I’d better get them ready. All paints are Vallejo matt acrylics unless stated otherwise.

First up is a set of four MDF gates from Blotz.

Each gate comprises eight pieces, the two halves of the gate, two connecting pieces, two bases and two number boards. These were assembled (apart from the number boards) using superglue.

Once assembled they were primed with Halfords grey primer, then sprayed with Rust-oleum metallic chrome. The bases were then painted with Black Grey, at this point I realised that spraying the bases with the Chrome paint wasn’t a good idea, as it was not a good surface to try painting with acrylics. After three or four coats the bases looked OK.

The number boards were given three thin coats of matt white; the numbers were painted Red one side and Green on the other, and the borders painted Black. Once all was dry, I added the number boards and gave them a coat of matt varnish.

Next up were some resin accessories from Debris of War; some Jersey Barriers, a Storage Tank and some Crates.

After cleaning up a little flash and filling a few holes I gave these a good wash in soapy water and once dry sprayed them with Halfords grey primer.

The Jersey Barriers were painted all over with Deck Tan, followed by a liberal wash of Army Painter Soft Tone wash.

The Storage Tank was sprayed Chrome, and, having learnt from the gates, I then undercoated the tank base and supports White. The base was painted Black Grey, the supports Deck Tan and the recesses of the ladder Black.

The crates were painted London Grey with Light Grey sections. I decided to paint the top panels in different colours, two each in Red, Intense Blue and Flat Green. The grey areas were then given a coat of Army Painter Dark Tone, and the coloured panels coat of the appropriate coloured tone.

I also did some scratch-built pieces. A while ago I found some sheets of corrugated cardboard in the recycling bin and thought “corrugated iron wall”. I also had some large lollipop sticks from a craft shop, 150mm x 18mm, bases I thought.

I cut the sheets into strips, scored the plain side of each strip along the centreline to make it easier to fold. I then coated one side of the carboard with PVA glue and folded the two sides together. When the glue had set, I trimmed the strips down to 20mm high, and cut them to length to fit the lollipop stick bases.

This left some short lengths which I ended up using to make some gate sections. I had enough sections to make eight wall and four gate sections. I then got the hot glue gun out, and assembled each base as follows: I laid a strip of glue down the centre of the lollipop stick and pushed a fence section into the glue and held it until it set.

The sections were undercoated Halfords grey and then the walls were painted Gunmetal Grey and the bases Black Grey. The walls were given a liberal coat of Army Painter Dark Tone wash. The excess hot glue was coated with PVA glue and some grass flock applied. Once all was dry they were sprayed with Matt Varnish.

Dearly Beloved

For our sins, Stephen builds a chapel.

At MHWC’s Broadside show in June I was glad (and surprised!) to see that Scotia/Grendel would be there.

What I bought off them was a resin ruined chapel, which would make a great piece of terrain for medieval games.

I cleaned up the pieces, cut some ply for the base, and glued the pieces together on the day after buying it. It then sat on the shelf for a few weeks. But last Sunday I finally got around to slapping some paint on it.

Before painting I thought I’d make a bit more of it. The first thing to do was create a tiled floor. I made the tiles out of thick plasticard. I chamfered the edges roughly and then scratched and gouged the surface to make them look worn and damaged. I then needed some more rubble. I made this from a mixture of sand and dried plaster broken up into bits. Though you can buy some rubble scatter mixes.

Once this was all dry I gave it a spray of dark khaki. This was then washed with my favourite all-purpose brown wash: GW’s Agrax Earhshade. I decided I wanted it to look like it was made from sandstone, so it was drybrushed with a khaki-heavy mix of khaki and grey.

An important thing to realise about medieval churches is that they were very colourful places. It was only with the advent of the Reformation and Protestantism that church wall paintings were considered idolatrous and were chiseled off or painted over. So I scoured the internet for pictures of surviving painted medieval church walls and then printed them off.

These were then glued to the walls. To make them look like they belong there and look a bit damaged and eroded by time and weather I splotched (that’s the best way I can describe it) the edges of the pictures to make it look like they belong on the walls and blend in.

Some staining and damp was added with a very dry brush using dark green and brown.

The model was then based with some mixed ballast and static grass.

The result is a ruined chapel worth fighting over!

From The Halls Of Montezuma

Stephen goes all John Wayne on us.

I’ve toyed with the idea of doing some WW2 games for a while but never really knew what I wanted to do. I had a false start with Flames Of War some time ago but I found the rules so dire that it soon fell by the wayside.

But then a recent issue of Wargames Illustrated had some plastic 28mm US infantry as a freebie. I bought an issue, put them together and then slapped some paint on them. I enjoyed it so much that I decided that 28mm WW2 was the way I was going to go. I also decided that I would focus on small-scale infantry actions rather than huge set-piece battles – Chain Of Command has been played at the club and it seemed like the scale of game I was interested in.

I then bought another copy of WI so I could get some more. Realising this could be an expensive way to go about it I then asked if anyone at the club had an unwanted sprue from the magazine. Phil and Marcus both stepped up (cheers, chaps).

When it came to painting them I made a snap decision.

I was going to paint them in standard European theatre colours and do late war games. Then I thought about the scenery. Woods, roads, hills, etc would be no problem – I have plenty already. It was the houses though, that made me pause. I wanted to do this on the cheap because WW2 would never be a ‘main’ period for me, so it had to pay its way in terms of money and storage space. Piles of European houses, that would not be used for anything else I do, would take a lot of space and money.

So I suddenly thought, ‘Pacific war!’

Trees, trees, and more trees.

I know there’ll be some out there who will object and say the figures aren’t wearing Marine issue equipment. Quite frankly, I couldn’t give a monkey’s. Once painted, especially in that duck-hunter camouflage the Marines wore, I reckoned no one would be able to tell.

So I went for it.

They were given an all-over spray of khaki. Flesh and weapons were given a base-coat of a chocolate brown colour. I then washed all webbing and weapons with GW’s agrax earthshade. I use VMJ medium flesh for…er…flesh. The wooden bits on the guns were picked out with GW’s Bestial Brown (or whatever they now call it). The webbing was given a base-coat made from a mix of khaki and mid green, and a bit of white was added for highlights.

For the uniforms I decided to mix it up a bit to create a rag-tag look. Some would be in green, some in duck-hunter, some in a mix of the two. For the green just choose your favourite olive drab colour. For the camouflage the base colour was a 50/50 mix of khaki and white. And then blobs of chocolate brown and mid-green were randomly dotted all over.

The sprues themselves give a good mix of poses. I managed to get a good variety, even better with a slight bit of chopping up. I’ve given each squad a sergeant (armed with a Thompson), two BARs, and nine M1-armed infantry.

I also scratch-built a flamethrower using bits from the sprue.

The motivation is still there so I’m making head-way in painting these whilst I can. I will need a few more to complete a platoon. And I will also have to get some Japanese. So an order to Warlord will be made later in the year.

By the time it’s all done and ready it will likely be 2020, so for next year some WW2 games will be in the offing.

The Second Battle of Linton

Chairman John puts some flesh on the bones of his Open Day game.

After the Royalist forces of King Charles won a great victory at the 1st Battle of Linton under the command of Lord John, the Parliamentarians are looking to recover lost ground by forcing a 2nd battle on the hallowed Linton ground. Putting their faith in a new commander, Earl Campbell, they boldly advance into battle hoping for a decisive victory.

Open Day 2019: The Tower Of Ballicroney

More Open Day updates from Stephen as he wows us with the size of his tower

I’ve been lucky for this year’s Open Day – I more or less had everything I needed for the game.

There’s been just a few jobs that needed doing – some Norse Gael axemen and an Irish round tower.

The game will be set in the early 12th century with the Normans raiding an Irish religious community. A key feature of early Irish monastic sites were the needle like round towers. These were built as safe places during earlier centuries when Viking raiders made their way around the Irish Sea. A few were also built in Scotland, mainly by the Irish settlers.

Entrance to the tower was on the second floor via a ladder. The ground floor was often solid stone to resist being battered down.

I made a few concessions with my model. It is to scale height and the ground diameter is also to scale. The actual towers converge which mine doesn’t. This is because of what I used to make the tower – three empty (Christmas) tubs of cheeselets. So it had to have parallel sides.

I also decided to use more elaborate windows. During the period when the towers were constructed the windows were just plain openings. I went with a Gothic window frame, which is out of period. I did this to make it more interesting to look at, so it can be used for other periods, and maybe fantasy games as well. I also went with a tiled roof rather than a stone roof. This was done to create a different surface texture and colour again, to keep the model interesting.

The windows were spare castings I had from a previous project.

The tubs were glued together using internal tabs. I then chose to hide the external joint using pieces of card to look like bricks – it makes it look like a decorative feature.

Individual bricks were made using heavy duty water-colour paper. This is ideal because it has a textured surface. These were stuck in groups and clumps all over the outside.

The tiles on the roof were made using the same card.

The ladder is made from styrene sprue.

The entire model was given a spray with a dark khaki colour. This was then washed using GW’s Agrax Earthshade. It was then dry-brushed using a mix of khaki and light grey, with a bit of white added for subsequent highlights. To create damp patches and mould I used both a brown and a dark green, paying attention to windows and doors (where people are likely to throw things out of) or around the base, where the damp could be.

All that was left to do was decorate the base with odds and ends.