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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, it is now required by law that you wear a face covering in a village hall (unless you are exempt), this of course means we have to wear a face mask at Society meetings.

Society Meeting 22nd January 2022

Back to the normal schedule, a short roundup of games at the last meeting…

Firstly, our second game of Barons War, this time a 1500 point a side affair with Jeremey & Stephen facing up to John & Andy

Opening positions.
John’s crossbows await the onslaught of Jeremey’s troops.
Stephen’s Lord all on his own.
Near the end.

One of our regular Field of Glory games, Italian Condotta vs Late Hungarian in 6mm.

The FOG battlefield
Serried ranks of Knights
Knights outflank Light Cavalry

Another 6mm game, Napoleonic Peninsula with a British, Portuguese and Spanish force attacking a French held town.

Allied forces approach the French positions. Where are the rest of the French?
View from the French lines
The Spanish prepare to advance
Battle in full swing
The Allies take the town
Close up of an Allied Brigade

And finally, Alan ran a Sudan game in 28mm using Sharp Practice.

The head of the British relief column enters the “empty” battlefield
The first of the British
Mhadist reserves await their turn.
Mahdist leader and escort
Mhadists outflank the cavalry

Yorkist Rampant! – Wars of the Roses Battle Report

After a gap of 17 months (for the obvious reasons)  Jeremey and Stephen finally got to field their Wars of the Roses armies again. Here Jeremey takes us through what happened.

Both Stephen and I agreed on making this a 700 points per side battle using the Sword and Spear rules. We invited other members to take part and ended up with the Lancastrian forces commanded by Stephen and Tony, with the Yorkist side commanded by myself and Andy.

Here we have the main bulk of the Yorkist forces, with the usual number of archers and billmen. The Yorkists didn’t bother to bring any unusual units like artilery, but did have welsh spearmen and archers to swell the ranks. I took the Yorkist Left flank facing the Lancastrians commanded by Tony, which left Andy facing Stephen’s lancastrians on the right.

The Lancastrian forces had a similar make up but went for some artillery and handgunners. Both sides drew up their forces in typical formations. Tony on the Lancastrian right had command of all the Lancastrian cavalry units.

To add a bit of flavour to the game I created a number of event cards, these were sort of successful but on drawing the cards the lancastrians came off worse with both the artillery and handgunner units being forced to join the battle after a set number of turns. This was due to having event cards designed to show the chaotic nature of forces during this time getting lost on the way or being hesitant to join the battle.

The initial activation of the armies saw both sides move up to longbow range and engage in an archery duel. It was at this point that a general theme of the Lancastrians (specifically Tony) having the most appalling dice rolls ever  began.

The archery duel didn’t last long and saw the majority of the Lancastrian archers wiped out for no loses on the Yorkist side.

Faced with the archery disaster the Lancastrians under Tony started an outflanking move with their cavalry, a mixture of mounted men at arms and currours.

This caused a bit of panic in the Yorkist ranks (well me really) who quickly brought up more of their billmen and cavalry to counter the move.

Having riden within range the Yorkist horse charged against the lancastrians attempting the outflanking move, the first charge nearly destroyed the Lancastrian cavalry. They were soon dispatched in the following turn.

However this didn’t discourage the Lancastrian who then charged with their mounted men at arms straight at a unit of billmen. Again Tony’s dice rolling saw the Lancastrian cavalry completely destroyed for just a single point of damage to the billmen.

Meanwhile on the Yorkist right flank the Lancastrians commanded by Stephen managed to buck the trend and shot Andy’s welsh spearmen to pieces. This put the right flank in danger as the Yorkists had fewer archers to try and even the score.

The alarming gap in the Yorkist forces where the welsh spearmen used to be. Facing the potential of another arrow storm Andy decided drastic measures were needed.

Much to my surprise this saw Andy charge the archers with his Northern Boarder horse. It didn’t go well with the cavalry being wiped out.

Having so far suffered only two points of damage to my units I felt emboldened and charged my billmen into the remnants of Tony’s archers scoring a number of hits and pushing the Lancastrian loses towards breaking point.

With the Lancastrians on the brink of breaking I charged the final unit of Lancastrian currours with my mounted men at arms. As was typical for the game so far the Lancastrian cavalry were wipped out handing victory to the Yorkists.

It’s always nice to win a battle but this game was one of the most one sided I’ve ever played. My Yorkist forces on the left flank had managed to almost wipe out the Lancastrians for the loss of no units and only suffering two points of damage. I must say the victory felt somewhat hollow and we were all left amazed at just how badly the dice can sometime go against a player.

I promised Tony a rematch just to throw off the dice rolling curse he was clearly suffering from.

Work in Progress Wednesday

It’s Wednesday and another offering of what members are working on.

I’ll start with me for a change, above I’ve almost finished my Vikings. These are the quickest I’ve painted a group of miniatures for many a year. I need these for a game of Saga and so have put in the time to get them done.

Next up Mark has been painting an assortment of miniatures. The first being a bunch of mutants for judge Dredd.

Next we have an Elf Mage complete with fire spell effect. Apparently the spell effect comes as transparent plastic which Mark has painted with a suitable ink wash to look like fire.

Felix has also been doing a bit of painting with a Halfling Thief.

And lastly for this week Stephen has started a dungeon project. Stephen hasn’t decided what to do with the dungeon but promises there is more of this to come.

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

Society Meeting 08/01/2022

A tad delayed, but here’s a photo round up of our first meeting of 2022. In addition to our AGM, we had a SAGA battle day, involving 8 players, a FOG Renaissance ECW game, a Lords of the Rings Game and some Spy-Fi action.

First up a SAGA-fest with Scots, Bretons, Welsh, Vikings and Anglo-Danes. In addition to some experienced SAGA players we had a couple of prospective members join in for their first games.

Andy’s Anglo Danish face off against Stephen’s Welsh
James’ Vikings vs Jeremey’s Anglo Danes
Tony’s Bretons vs John’s Scots
James’ Vikings vs Jeremey’s Anglo Danes
James’ Vikings vs Jeremey’s Anglo Danes
Close up of John’s Scots
Tony’s Bretons

Moving on the the English Civil War, 15mm figures using Field of Gory rules.

ECW Armies line up
Cuirassiers charge
Colonel John Lamplugh’s Regiment of Foot
Royalist Regiments

Moving from history to fiction, Marcus had a try out of his underwater Spy-Fi rules.

Marcus’ seascape
Divers and mini-sub
More divers hiding behind a shoal of fish
The two sides fight over the lost missile.

And finally to Fantasy, a Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game.

The scene is set.
Dwarves advance across the bridge
Uruk Hai advance with a Troll in support
Dwarf Heavy Metal
Dwarves holding the Bridge against the Uruk Hai

Dirge – Owain’s Lament

Following on from Stephen’s post Mae’n Rhyfel!

Woe!

Woe!

Lamentable Woe!

He is dead!

He is dead!

Go tell them in the north – he is dead.

Go tell them in the south – he is dead.

Let them know in the east – he is dead.

And all those in the west – he is dead.

The Wolf Tamer is no more. Owain of Bangor is dead!. Ambushed and killed by English bandits, Owain the Benevolent, Owain the Peaceful, Owain the Thrice-Blessed, now lies in Heaven.

The Death of Owain

Though his body now lies in the earth his soul and spirit still lives. Bleddyn ab Owain, his beloved son, has made his way back to Bangor. He has left his studies at the abbey of Llanbadarn Fawr to take up his rightful place as heir of his father’s demesne. With him he has brought the ways of the men of Deheubarth – pony riders skilled in making war from their mounts.

Let the English know this and tremble in fear!

Bleddyn Leads the Funeral

Encounter At Bishops Wyke

Stephen shares a report of a solo game fought over the Christmas break…

Over the Christmas period I fancied a game of something and thought I’d go with Outremer (from Osprey) – a nice, simple, game with about 10 figures or so a side.

The background behind the game is that it is early May 1264, the build up to the battle of Lewes. The forces of Simon de Montfort are advancing on St Pancras priory where king Henry III is holding out. Both sides send out scouting forces to spy on the opposition’s moves. And it is in the peaceful Sussex village of Bishops Wyke where the two sides encounter each other…

Sir Edward on the left and Sir Gregory on the right

The men of King Henry were led by Sir Edward Marsh and his men – a mix of archers, men at arms, spearmen, and the noted crossbow marksman ‘Big’ Eddie. De Montfort’s followers were led by Sir Gregory de Holt who also had a mix of archers, spearmen, and a pair of very capable swordsmen to bolster his forces – Balin of Brickenden and Howard de Shiel.

Sir Edward’s Forces Move Up

Gregory decided to shield his forces using his archer and crossbowman. He started in a difficult position, on the opposite side of a stream, meaning his levy would have to cross that and enter the village with little cover. Sir Edward’s group, on the other hand, had the cover of the churchyard and a cow field to screen their approach.

Sir Gregory Orders His Men Forward

Edward’s two archers – Ewan and Gamal – took up position behind the church wall and as Gregory’s men advanced, they let rip with their arrows and down went Gregory’s archer, Bernard of Calcote. Big Eddie took up a similar position on the field wall and, carefully levelling his crossbow, he took a shot and down went Amis Hughes, Gregory’s crossbowman. This left Gregory with no missile support!

Gregory’s Men Advance Across the Bridge Minus the Archers

Gregory’s other men, Balin, Howard, and Cedric Brooker chose to wade across the stream using the cover of one of the cottages to keep them protected from the deadly hail of arrows. With little respect for the farmer’s crop, they tramped through the cabbages and carrots.

Edward left his archers in their advantageous position (with a French mercenary, Raoul Allaire, to protect them in case they were charged) and led the rest of his levy around the other side of the same cottage that Howard and the others had moved behind.

Moving Around the Buildings.

Having lost both archer and crossbowman, it was obvious that Sir Gregory and his men would have to advance as quickly as possible or risk being picked off. To this end, Gregory’s spearmen made a quick move down the village lane. Big Eddie was loaded and ready, raised his crossbow and down went Gareth of Whitley. Raoul took command of Tankard Jenkins and Hallet Adkin and raced them forward to block Gregory’s men. This led to a clash between the two sides at the crossroads in the middle of the village.

Melee at the Crossroads.

Meanwhile, Sir Edward and his men came lurching around the side of the cottage, with Will Fuller charging into contact with Howard de Shiel. They swapped several blows and eventually Howard came out on top and down went Will. This fight drew Sir Gregory and Balin over to join the melee. This was clearly going to be the decisive fight between the two sides, with both drawing in more men to join the battle.

Balin Joins The Fight

At the crossroads the fight came to an end. Raoul Allaire’s experience had shown and he then called over to Big Eddie, Ewan, and Gamal to take them to the fight going on behind the cottage amid the vegetable patch.

Raoul Takes Down Carsen

Big Eddie and the archers formed a line, ready to drop any of Gregory’s men who were caught out alone, and Raoul came up behind Balin, swinging his flail, to take Balin by surprise. Raoul’s flail found its mark, but the blow was merely a glancing one with no harm to Balin, who then turned around to confront the Frenchman with a show of arms.

Raoul Attacks Balin From Behind

The fight behind the cottage carried on. One of Sir Edward’s men, John Manners, joined his lord with the attack on Sir Gregory. That didn’t look good, and Sir Gregory took a wound. But then Sir Gregory swung his sword and down went John bringing it back to a one-on-one between him and Sir Edward.

Carnage in the Cabbage Patch

Balin prevailed in his fight with Raoul, and the French mercenary also fell under the blows. But seeing the line of archers ready to let rip, Balin decided to quickly charge in before they let loose. Having seen how deadly Big Eddie had proved to be, Balin made him the target of his attack. Eddie may be handy with that crossbow, but not with a sword. And so down went Eddie. Before he could charge the others, Ewan and Gamal took aim with their bows and peppered Balin with arrows. Balin had proved a good, and essential, part of Sir Gregory’s force. But he was no more.

The Duel Between Edward and Gregory Still Rages

Sir Edward and Sir Gregory continued hacking at each other. Sir Gregory had been wounded but he evened the score – taking a chunk out of Sir Edward. Neither could take another wound so the next would be the victor.

But time was up. The turn limit had been reached. Maybe a distant clarion call could be heard, marking the sudden appearance of a major lord with a sizeable retinue. Either way, it was game up, and both sides could slope away and lick their wounds.

The encounter had been a slight victory for Sir Edward and his men.

Work in Progress Wednesday

It’s the first Work in Progress Wednesday of 2022 and we start the year with a bumper crop.

Eric has found his painting mojo again, above we have some Games Workshop Chaos Cultists.

Next up from Eric we have a rather snazzy looking dino warrior (apparently a Blacktooth Suppressor from Reaper Miniatures) and Theddra Skullscryer from Games Workshop.

Followed by some Games Workshop Chaos Marauders.

And lastly from Eric another Games Workshop miniature Custodian Guard Shield Captain. Never dared paint a miniature gold myself so kudos to Eric for this one.

Next up are a whole bunch of Vikings from me. These are 16 Viking archers and 16 Bondi warriors from Crusader Miniatures. I’m painting these up for SAGA.

Now we move on to Andy who has made progress on his Poles, in his own words “A little more work on the Poles, muskets, packs and greatcoats and fusilier company pom-poms done”.

Tony managed a last ditch effort to reach his target of 50 Lord of the Rings miniatures painted in a year. Here we have three more dwarves from The Hobbit (Dwalin, Dori and Gloin).

Then 3 orc berserkers, clearly in the middle of a workout down the gym.

And lastly from Tony a great looking Arathorn and a dwarf king.

Last but by no means least for this week, Stephen has added to his Sci-Fi collection with a couple of droids, another space dinosaur (must be all the rage) and a converted dog miniature as a sabre toothed pug.

See you next week …

Lights! Camera! Action! Take 1.

Shortly before Christmas Stephen issued a challenge, throughout the rest of December post pictures on our members groups.io page of famous scenes from military history, or myth, or fiction. Fantasy or sci fi, film or whatever, but using models from our collections.

Stephen kicked off the challenge with a picture of Grendel and Beowulf

Grendel and Beowulf

Moving from myth to history, Andy contributed Gaius Julius Caesar leading Legio XIII Gemina across the river Rubicon in January 49BC precipitating (another) Roman Civil War.

Alea iacta est

And going back to fiction, Andy staged the battle between Gandalf and the Balrog in the Mines of Moria:

Gandalf and the Balrog at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm.

Marcus provided a scene from Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

“Your dead sleep quietly, at least, Captain, out of reach of sharks” “Yes, sir, of sharks and men.”
― Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Stephen had a play with his camera to create a sepia print of Pickett’s Charge.

Picket’s Charge

Mark delved into comic-lore to give us a scene from the comic 2000AD, Judge Death vs Judge Dredd.

Judge Death Lives! 2000ad progs 224-228, “you cannot kill what doesss not live”.

Marcus offers a scene from an Iron Hand mission in Vietnam.

Two MiG 21 Én Bạcs pursue a pair of F105 Thunderchiefs on an Iron Hand mission. A SAM-6 site is the F105’s target.

Bingo!

We promised something new to replace the To-do lists, which have been a source of inspiration and entertainment for quite a few years, but have probably reached a natural end point.

So instead we have … Hobby Bingo. The idea isn’t new, it’s been shamelessly adapted it from the pages of White Dwarf. Their versions are very much tailored towards Games Workshop rulesets, so the tasks have been modified to make them as generic as possible and not tied to particular scales or periods, that way everyone can take part. It’s more flexible than the old To-do lists because you don’t need to commit to anything in advance – if you happen to paint something on a whim one weekend, or start a new army halfway through the year, it all counts.

Everyone gets a 5×4 Bingo Card (below), and on each square of the card is a task – some are straightforward ones like painting a unit of infantry or cavalry, or a piece of terrain. Some are a bit more involved, like converting or scratchbuilding a model. Others require you to play a game, write a blog post or take a photo or two.

We won’t be all that strict about things, it’s only meant to be a bit of fun. The definition of a ‘unit’ would depend on the scale of the figures – maybe 6-10 28mm figures, a platoon of 15mm figures or a company of 6mm figures (or vehicles). It should constitute a complete unit for whichever sets of rules they’re intended. An ‘army’ is a complete force for a game of your choice, but it should be a proper army, not just a skirmish force – again, this might be scale dependent (a 15mm Hammer’s Slammers detachment might be an army, but their 6mm equivalent would only be a unit).

Cavalry could be horse mounted (or some other beast – camels, elephants or giant lizards would all qualify), or armoured vehicles – after all, many regiments of horse converted to tank or armoured car units. Likewise, artillery could be towed guns, self-propelled howitzers, ballistae, catapults or even rocket batteries mounted on landing craft! Anything that vaguely fits the bill will qualify – in the event of disputes, you’ll be judged by a jury of your peers (ie we’ll see what the consensus is on the email list).

The rules, such as they are, can be summarised as follows…

– entries should be submitted on WIP Wednesdays, with proof – pictures or it didn’t happen. The ‘read a book’ task would include your brief book report and preferably a photo of the book cover (we’ll work out something for those of us that use Kindles…).
– each entry can only be used for one square – the exception is complete armies which can be made up of previously finished units (although they should contain at least one new unit that hasn’t been used for another square).
– each square is worth 10 points, each complete line 20 points, so a complete card is worth 380 points. If you finish all 20 squares, you can start a second card if you want to. If someone gets as far as a third card we’ll be mightily impressed!

So that’s it – once again, to your brushes, gents!

Click on the image for a larger version

Mae’n Rhyfel!

Owain, Lord of Bangor, has unfurled his warbanner – the famous Banner of the White Wolves.

Rumour has it that those two English rogues, Andraes Willhelmson and Erik Uhtredson, are taking up arms to go raiding again.

Let it be known that Owain of Bangor will take up his war spear, his shield, and his warbanner, and intends on teaching these two scoundrels another lesson.

The anger of the Red Dragon is not to be trifled with!