I’ve been guilty over the past few months of neglecting getting anything done with regards to tackling the leadpile in any way. Thankfully this seems to have passed as having to paint some kit up for our Salute game has re-kindled the passion for painting somewhat (I have been suffering terribly from ‘painting block’). It has also made me realise that I need to focus my attention on what it is I really want to get done, therefore I’ve decided make an effort to restart my stalled Alt-History Modern project. I really want to get some more 6mm kit done for a big game I have planned for later in the year and, to be honest, it isn’t that hard to paint the little blighters! This is also a way to give me the impetus to tackle some projects/jobs that aren’t finished as they will be a nice break from painting all that camo. (That means your stuff Martin, been feeling very guilty about that!!)
With this in mind I have laid out all the kit I have for my ‘Polish’ army so that I can see what I need to either paint up or order to finish off units and that is all in hand, waiting on an order from H&R for the missing bits now and will be tackling what I have that needs to be finished painting next. I have also looked at what kit I had in drawers and have sent out an order to Scotia to augment that and now have the beginnings of a Soviet MR Regiment en route, the email arrived yesterday saying it is dispatched, so that will be the next job after finishing the Poles. The kit that I bought at Salute to complete the ‘Lithuanian’ brigade is now well on the way to being finished, and I’ll bung up a post with pics when they are done.
After the exertions of Salute it was nice that Philip was putting one of his Plains War games, they are always fun and nice and straightforward, just what knackered wargaming types need!
The scenario was a unit of Cavalry with an Infantry company attached was tasked with escorting three wagons across the table. Unfortunately for them an Indian village was present near the ford and they would not look kindly to the transit of said wagons. Myself and Terry took the side of the US whilst Dan and Stephen took the Sioux (Dan had to apparently as they are ‘Red’ Indians and I think he was still smarting from our defeat in the Salute game). Philip also told Terry and I that if we wanted to steal the pony herd near the village and burn the village down ‘in the best traditions of the service’ then that would be ok too. In between us and the creek though were a number of places where the pesky Indians could spring ambushes so we had to be somewhat careful.
A simple plan was hatched. Terry would take the more experienced troops, the Crow scouts and the infantry with the wagons and head straight for the ford. I’d take the 3 greener troops and aim for the village to the right of Terry’s troops hoping to spring attacks from the potential ambush positions there and hence reduce the numbers attacking him. This didn’t really work as we wanted to. It quickly became apparent that there were a lot of Sioux across the creek and they started moving towards us in a fantastic looking wave of horses and feathers. Pretty soon Terry seemed in trouble with the bulk of the Indians taking on his forces which were slowly being whittled down, helped a lot by the very faulty cartridges that his lads were using that meant nearly every time he fired he caused no casualties (he rolled a quite incredible 5 1’s on the trot using different dice too!).
I seemed to be doing better on my side of the field, although I didn’t have as many bands to face so managed to outnumber one to soundly beat it eventually. However after seeing off the Crow Scouts and one of the Cavalry troops the Indians transferred a couple of bands over to take my lads on, pretty soon one had been routed off and another wiped out. With Terry’s column also virtually wiped out or skedaddling too the game ended in an overwhelming victory for the Sioux.
Many thanks to Philip for putting the game on, it was tons of fun and even with Terry’s awful shooting the game wasn’t a complete walkover for the Indians – the rules worked really well and the game felt right.
I was picked up by Daren at 7 a.m. yesterday and I wasn’t feeling too great to be honest as my blood condition had chosen the past few days to be a complete bastard and make me feel shite so I was hoping that I would be able to last the day. A quick and easy drive across the water into Docklands saw us parked up right near an entrance to the Excel centre in about 20 minutes and so we were at our assigned table before 8 which was good. Dan arrived shortly after us and between the three of us we pretty soon had the game set up and we were munching on much needed Bacon baps and wondering where on earth the 4th member of the team, Tommo, was!
Tommo arrived at about 9 and after some much deserved ribbing he took over command of the NATO forces ready to cover the evacuation of the supplies at the Neustadt rail depot and to defend the river crossings from the Soviet breakthrough force collectively led by myself and Dan. I won’t go into the details of the game itself as it is still too painful! Suffice to say that the addition of 2 FV438 Swingfires, Warren’s brutal use of concentrated artillery and aggressive use of the Jagdpanzer Kannone’s ensured that what was seriously looking like a NATO defeat at one point ended in a defeat for the glorious Red Army.
It was really cool engaging with the people in the show who stopped by for a butchers or a chat about what we were doing. I didn’t hear a negative comment all day and there were some really nice things being said about the game with a lot of justifiable praise going to the excellent terrain made by Daren. Thanks to everyone that stopped by, we hope that you enjoyed it. One person said it was ‘elegant’ which I thought was really nice and completely understood where he was coming from and some lads from Germany took one look and said ‘is this game set in Germany’ which has got to be good! I did end up drawing people’s attention to the river though, I don’t think people realised that it was set between two tables which was a shame as I think it really is quite ingenious.
There was one interesting theme I noticed whilst talking to people, the younger punters were the ones that asked ‘is this Team Yankee’ whilst the older ones were happy that it wasn’t. There were a few people that mentioned that they might get their old collections out again which was nice and we also converted at least one chap to 6mm Cold War gaming, he re-appeared at the table with a great big smile on his face blaming us for the fact that he’d just spent £40 at H and R!
I got to meet a couple of people who said that they’d stop by which was cool too, really good to put faces to names and I got a chance to pop over to Baccus to talk about the Joy of 6 and grab some fliers but we didn’t get a chance to have a good look around the show ,which was a bit of a shame, as we were too busy running the game and chatting to people but from what I saw it looked like it was a good one. I did get to stop Richard from Too Fat Lardies as he walked past before the doors opened to say thanks for ‘Chain of Command’ and to have a quick chat about what is planned for it in the future, which was nice. Loot wise I just picked up some kit from a very busy Andy at Heroics and Ros and got a chance to have a look at their new Cold War infantry figures – I’ll definitely be putting in an order for some Brits and East Germans very soon. The day went very, very quickly and it was a great blast, apart from feeling knackered I even managed to head out for a beer and a curry with some of the other Warlords so my worries about staying the course earlier on were unfounded.
One last thing: I have to say many, many thanks to the three other chaps involved. Warren played a blinder and was a pleasure to play against as usual although he did pick on my lads quite unfairly! Dan was great to have as a teammate, apart from the many laughs our collectivism was unflinching even in defeat. Last but not least, Daren, who not only worked really hard making the game possible by his great terrain building skills but umpired the game too, we even forgave him for saying ‘we’ when referring to the Brits!
Gents it was a pleasure and a privilege, bags of fun was had and I am already looking forward to June and the Joy of 6.
Yesterday saw myself, Dan and Daren meet up bright and early at the home of the South London Warlords to have a run through of the game that we are putting on at Salute this weekend. The game is set during the Cold War and sees an outnumbered British force holding a collection of river crossings in the face of a Soviet tank heavy force.
The rules we will be using are GHQ’s Micro Armour ones so the scale is 1:1, all the vehicles are GHQ and, bar most of the buildings, the terrain is hand made by Daren and it is quite something!
I won’t go into detail about the game as it was just a practice to see if everything was working ok and if the force balance was right but Comrade Noakesavitch and myself succeeded in breaking through to bring peace, prosperity and freedom to the poor oppressed workers of some more of Germany by the use of overwhelming numbers and firepower!
We have decided to add a randomly arriving force of FDR Leopard 1’s that have escaped fighting to the flank to bolster the NATO defences (there are already a platoon of JagdPanzerKannone available to the Brits) as well as a couple of FV438’s that I found in my leadpile as the 5 Chieftain’s currently assigned just weren’t enough! We have also decided that the point of the scenario should be the evacuation of the supplies from the rail depot by a convoy, hence why the crossings haven’t been blown yet.
It should be a cracking game so please stop by at table GG05 and have a look and a chat.
Any way here’s a lot of pics to give you an idea of what is in store, I might not get to take many on the day so there’s quite a few. First up some of the action then a slideshow of the terrain (you can click on the pics to see them bigger).
It is a week until Salute and I won’t be working there this time or visiting as a punter because I am helping put a game on. It will be a 6mm Cold War affair with a Soviet force trying to bounce a crossing over a river line that is defended by a joint British and West German Territorial force. To say I am excited about it is a bit of an understatement, I can’t wait!
We are due to have a full run through of the game on Monday down at the Warlords and I will post some ‘taster’ snaps afterwards as it does promise to be a belter! This is due to the fantastic efforts of the good Bombardier, Daren, who has turned his considerable talents to making some truly fantastic terrain (some of which can be seen elsewhere on this blog) and it will include his terribly ingenious ‘sunken’ river.
For my part I’ve only had to paint 25 T-62’s and 5 JagdpanzerKanones plus knock up a few log bunkers and dug-in bases and write up the background which doesn’t feel like much compared to what Daren has turned out! We will be using the MicroArmour rules by GHQ, to which Daren and Dan have added some great touches (for example the Soviets have to write a Fire Plan that will be hard to adjust once battle is joined) and all the vehicles will be GHQ. You can find us on table GG05 so stop by and have a chat if you are passing.
On Sunday whilst in Vienna I had arranged with the Mem that I could nip out in the morning to either visit the museums in Aspern and Essling OR the one in Deutsch Wagram. I went for the shorter journey just across the Danube from where we were staying and decided Aspern and Essling it was. These museums are only open on Sunday’s from 10-12 and from April-October, so as I would be there on the first day of the season I’d pop over the Danube on the U-bahn and have a look.
Sunday morning saw me up early and out at 8 as I wasn’t sure how long it would take for me to get there as I had to take a bus at the end of the tube journey. My plan was to go to Essling first, check out the museum which is in the Granary and then bus it back to Aspern next – I was also thinking that I might be able to squeeze Wagram in too if I had enough time or if the missus wanted to get out of the city for the afternoon (it was a glorious day and I thought this might be on the cards). The journey on the U1 line was nice and quick and upon leaving the station at Kagran jumped on the 26A Bus to Bad-Enzerdorf for Essling. Aspern and Essling are both now suburbs of Vienna so one had to try and imagine the terrain without the buildings but one thing that is noticeable is how flat it is – really, really flat. This explains the ferocity of the Artillery fire mentioned in accounts of the battle, there’s no elevations to shelter behind if you are in the open, it must have been brutal.
I arrived in Essling early and, thankfully, finding an open café plotted up until opening time at the museum. I have to admit I was quite excited heading round the corner towards the Granary as I have been reading ‘Thunder on the Danube’ again before I left so was eager to see this famous building ‘in the flesh’. I arrived about 9:55 and started taking some snaps of the truly impressive building, it is massive and you can completely see why it was so important to the battle it would have dominated the area at the time. I finished taking the photos and began to get an uneasy feeling as I noticed that the door to the building was still padlocked and it was now about 10 o’clock. By 20 past I had decided that whoever was supposed to be opening up wasn’t and so I headed off to Aspern in the hope that that was open and to ask why the Granary wasn’t!
The short trip to Aspern on the (thankfully) very regular 26A over I was relieved to see a sign outside the museum stating that it was open. However, the much vaunted ‘Lion of Aspern’ statue was encased in a large wooden shed, so again disappointment. The 3 volunteers at the entrance to the large shed/outhouse type building that was the museum assured me that Essling was open and called the guy there who apparently had been there since 10, I was feeling quite miffed by this time as you can imagine!
It took me about 10 minutes to check out the displays in the museum which contained a large collection of musketballs, shrapnel from shell casings, canister, roundshot, assorted swords and hangers and the odd rusty musket barrel. There were a few articles of clothing and the walls were covered in prints of the battle and uniform plates but all in all it left me cold. There was no description of the battle that I could see, no maps and if you didn’t speak German no information from the volunteers. I realise that it is entirely volunteer run and so probably badly underfunded but you would expect that one of the most important battles of Austrian history that actually ended in a victory and is on the doorstep of the capital would warrant some sort of government assistance.
Assured that Essling was indeed open and disappointed in what I had just seen I, yet again, jumped on the trusty 26A and headed back. The granary is huge once you get up close to it and the walls are bloody thick but, again, disappointment is the first thing that hits you upon entering. I was expecting the museum to take up at least half of the bottom floor but it was sadly not the case, probably about a third if that. The room is nearly filled by the diorama of the battle which is actually very impressive with tons of figures – 8,000 plus apparently – and some nicely modelled terrain. The tardy volunteer chap did explain some salient points of the battlefield but as the language barrier was up he didn’t attempt any more than that, which was understandable but I appreciated the effort. There were a couple of display cases and a map of the battle in the entrance part of the space but again, it was all slightly disappointing probably not helped by me having to stand around like a lemon outside earlier.
I headed back to Vienna to meet the missus as she wanted to go to Schonbrunn and felt quite disappointed. I think I spent more time on the 26A than I did in the Museums and think it is a shame that they aren’t funded so that they can be improved, I can see why they don’t charge for entry due to their size which must affect what they can do and I appreciate the effort of the volunteers who run them. Oh well, next time we visit, Sunday will definitely be spent in Wagram, at least you can get an idea of the terrain more there.
Excuse the teen-like wailing but I have noticed that no-one hardly ever hits the like button at the end of posts. It is extremely satisfying when I am told either by message or in person that someone has liked what I have written but every now and again it would be nice to have someone hit the like button too. Helps keep you wanting to post and doesn’t feel like you are shouting into the void.