Wednesday 30 December 2020

Battle Report

It seemed somehow fitting that, having started 2020 with a Battle involving the forces in The War of the Vaubarian Succession campaign (WVS), the year should end with the same protagonists fighting a highly enjoyable action today.

Both sides were on the march early, in a bid to contend the road junction and Koronaberg, and hoping that their reinforcing units would arrive to support the action.

Both sides also advanced their light troops to seize the Tierwald, The Karavani Croats for the Astrovians, and the Muller Light Dragoons for the Vaubarians. The latter advanced stealthily but steadily as the mist shrouded the open ground between the villages, and entered the woods. The Croats ascended the hill, and then descended into the woods on their side. The ensuing firefight was bloody, and after a couple of turns, the dragoons got the better of it. The Croats evacuated the woods and headed back to the village of Kovyd, no doubt to cause some trouble in the taverns (even though all such hostelries had been ordered to close).

The arrival of extra troops onto the table was controlled by random dice rolls, from turn 3 onwards, and the gods of battle were smiling on the Vaubarians today, both in terms of the speed of their arrivals and the points of entry to the table. It soon became apparent that the Astrovians would struggle to from a consistent battle line with which to carry the fight.

In the centre, the Dremel battalion and the Frankl battalion, having marched at pace towards the vital junction, were exchanging musketry. The Vaubarian Field Gun, in support of  the Dremel battalion, unlimbered and joined the fight, unleashing cannister shot onto the hapless Frankl men. It was too much for the Astrovians who eventually failed their morale test and retreated. 

Soon after, the Dremel battalion were shaken by Astrovian artillery fire from the hill by Kovyd village, but it was too late.

The Vaubarian battle line was fully formed, and they held the key parts of the battlefield. The Astrovians decided that, rather than spill more blood, they would withdraw from the field.

And so, Vaubaria ends the year triumphant...

Here are a few pictures of the action...

I have once again included the battlefield sketch map for ease of reference.

Above: Muller Light Dragoons.
Below: The Karavani Croats.

Above: the firefight in the centre. Dremel take on Frankl.
Below: action in The Tierwald. The black counter indicates a morale test for the Croats, and the Green counter indicates they have failed and must retreat.

There's one thing that inspires more painting... a good game. Needless to say, more figures will be appearing on the workbench in the next few days...

All the very best


Tuesday 29 December 2020

Seize The Koronaberg

Here is the table set up for tomorrow's game:

It is based on the Dominant Hill scenario by Charles S Grant, slightly adapted.

The villages of Kovyd and Vakczsyn are approximately 2km apart by road (you might say, socially distanced). They are overlooked by The Koronaberg, a large 'saddle' style mountain whose twin peaks are crowned by rock formations giving it its ancient name.

The curved road between the two villages has a junction with the road leading across the Koronaberg saddle... a vital strategic point in these parts.

Both Vaubarian and Astrovian forces have been ordered to secure this vital junction and The Koronaberg itself.

Vaubarian forces have arrived in the village of Vakczyn as follows:

  • Dremel infantry battalion.
  • Field Gun
  • Muller Light Dragoons

Meanwhile, a similarly sized force of Astrovians is reported to have garrisoned the village of Kovyd to the north as follows:

  • Frankl infantry battalion
  • Field Gun
  • Karavani Croats

Both armies have several other units operating in the region, and reinforcements will arrive randomly from turn three (apparently hastening to the sound of the guns)... each side has 2 further infantry battalions and 2 cavalry regiments in the vicinity. Where they will arrive, and at exactly which point on the table edge, will be determined via dice rolls.

The scene is set, and tomorrow the action will unfold...

Monday 28 December 2020

Review of the Year

It's traditional to take a short glance back before launching into a new year, and I jotted down a few notes yesterday afternoon whilst enjoying a nice malt.

Painting totals for the year:

  • Successors 202 points
  • Pils-Holstein project 30 points
  • Napoleonics 58 points
  • Back of Beyond 157 points (including terrain and adobe buildings scratch-built)
  • miscellanous bits n bobs 10 points

... making a grand total of 457 points for the year. 

Not a bad output, and best for a few years, helped in some small part by me being able to make particularly good use of the early weeks of the pandemic which afforded plenty of time at the paint desk.

Gaming has been poor, of course, although I am resolved to do more solo games from now on (I have one laid out in the wargames room right now which i will get to play over the next few days).

Shows - well, the York weekend seems so long ago, almost another world, but it was a highlight of this current year, with Steve Gill and I taking the opportunity to also see the delights of York, including the Yorvik Centre which I hadn't been to for a few years.

Virtual Wargames Club - very much a highlight of the year, with a zoom gathering taking place every Saturday since 2nd May. Packed with inspiration, ideas, and a chance to share and appreciate others' efforts, it has been a hobby morale booster for all members, myself included.
I have decided to hand over the reins now to a new President/ Chairman/ organising commitee, and am delighted that what started out on a bit of a whim will continue into the new year. I will still attend when possible, and sit on the 'back-benches' contributing where possible.

So, that was 2020.

As mentioned earlier, I have a game laid out at the moment, and will post a few pictures over the coming days along with a brief battle report.

To all who have supported the blog this year, many thanks. I note that I have posted over 50 times, which is very good going for me, and perhaps reflects (along with the improved painting output) just how important the hobby is when the world around is in turmoil. I know I'm not alone in being very grateful to have such an absorbing and engaging pastime. Long may it continue...

Saturday 26 December 2020

So that was Christmas...

... and what did you get?

I did rather well, on the wargames front, even though much of that was my own doing.

Here are my hobby acquisitions:

The Back of Beyond project is well represented, via Copplestone Miniatures, and an Empress Miniatures tank for the Chinese Army (I ordered 3, but only received one... I will chase up, and I'm sure the other two will be on their way asap). There's also a box from Front Rank with some 18C cavalry for the WVS campaign.

The film DVD, Battle of Kruty, was a complete surprise. Look it up. It's right in the Back of Beyond flavour... a great guess by the donor. 

The Helion book was part of a shortlist given to a good friend some weeks ago, so was one of those happy moments on opening it up.

One additional festive item was the Virtual Wargames Club Annual which I compiled from submissions from our little club which has been so valuable during the last 8 months. The 'Members Only' 60+ page pdf is packed with articles, great galleries and eye candy, battle reports, and all manner of 'good stuff'. Members of the group are currently enjoying its contents as we speak.

I do hope all blog visitors had a great day, and managed to find some hobby-related items under the tree.

In a couple of days I will review the year... as it turns out a highly productive and fulfilling hobby year.

All the best for now...

Saturday 19 December 2020

Under the Tree

Firstly, a very Merry Christmas to all readers and commenters on the blog.

(Hmmm... these ornamental Christmas scenes happen to fit nicely with my Little Britons!)

It has been quite a year... and I will do a full review in due course.

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here, with the tree up and the kitchen cupboards full and the fridge and freezer at bursting point.

Under the tree, I have three wargame-related parcels (gifts from me, to me!)...

I just wondered if anyone else does this?

Or... if you have been brave enough to trust others with your Christmas hobby list, what are you expecting (or hoping for) under the tree on Christmas morning?

Whatever the day brings, Merry Christmas, one and all!

Sunday 13 December 2020

Terrain and Buildings

The past couple of weeks, I have been scratch-building some terrain and making adobe buildings for the Kaimenistan expedition.

The hills are made from styrofoam (using a simple styrofoam hot cutter) with some sand and stones for texture, and several layers of emulsion paint from a dark brown to a very light final highlight.

The bits of cork bark were added to MDF bases, tetrioned, and then given the same paint treatment as the hills.

The mountainous peaks were a set of plastic ones made by Kallistra which i picked up at the York show around 5 years ago. They've been waiting to be 'tarted up' since then, and I final got round to it, and painted with the same method as described above.

The buildings are mainly scratchbuilt, very simple. The gatehouse is a Sarissa MDF piece, as are the two towers, and the domed building is one of Renedra's adobe kits. The whole lot was given a simple colour scheme, and it seems to work ok. I left them 'unbased' to give maximum flexibility.

I have still got some extra details to do, such as ladders, pots and jars, and other paraphernalia to give it a 'lived in' look.

Although I had my Back of Beyond project firmly in mind when creating this, the whole set up will, of course, serve for many theatres and periods... I can see my ancient Successor armies fighting over it, for example, and my Colonial troops.

The Renedra building, in a certain light, looks like it is some sort of christmas cake, with an icing covering! Well, it keeps it festive! 

Finally, I added a bit of flock to indicate sparse patches of grass, typical of the region, and the picture shows the British contingent arriving to garrison the town.

And so, the Back of Beyond project moves forward! Next up, some more troops...