Some Napoleonics.

Hello again all, if anyone is still there that is, hope you are all doing well.

With the world slowly starting to return to some form of normality and I’ve finally managed to get a game in I thought it was high time to dust off the blog and get posting again. I’ll be writing up the fantastic game of IABCYM round Des’ the other day tomorrow but before that and to help kick this place off I thought it’d be nice to post some pics of the 6mm Napoleonics I’ve been slowly doing. I am really keen to get cracking on a lot more of these and have some prepped ready for painting after I have finished a 20mm AB WW2 British force for CoC for Dan (which should be done in the next couple of weeks) so expect to see quite a bit more over the next few months as I want to put on a game of my ‘Elegant Chaos’ rules sometime soon so need to get cracking on painting up forces for that.

Anyway without further ado here’s the figures: the Saxons are Baccus and everything else is Adler. I really wish I’d started with the Adler figures as I really enjoy painting them and although basing them can be a right royal pain in the Aris’ I prefer the more dynamic look the units have once finished and I prefer the sculpts too – the cavalry are quite beautiful! Flags are from the marvellous Maverick Models.

First up the infantry component of the Lutzow Freikorp – the chaps in green are the Jager component of the Reiche Jager Battalion photobombing! I’ve decided to paint up the lesser used units of the Prussian and allied army of 1813 so the force will be loosely based on Walmoden’s Korp plus some extra Prussian units.

Next up the Bremen & Lubeck infantry battalions of the Hanseatic Legion: the Lubeckers are in the fetching Green & Light blue, Bremen in Black & White. I am still trying to decide whether to paint up the Hamburg battalion in the early uniform as worn by the Lubeck infantry or the more boring later uniform which is basically a Russian one. The group shot contains the Reiche Jager battalion, another of the short lived volunteer units raised in 1813 and which was also in Walmoden’s Korp in northern Germany.

Now for a quartet of French battalions. I bought a Division pack off of Richard, a Twitter chum, and when it arrived some of the figures were already painted so I only had to add the command figures and elite companies to get them up to strength – worse thing was that Richard had painted the brilliantly so it meant I had to up my own game a bit, I think they have come out quite well so many thanks for the inspiration Rich! These are the 1st battalions of 4 different Line Regiments and I’ve decided to use different voltigeur plume and epaulette combo’s as distinguishing marks as much as possible – especially for the 1st battalions, some units will be in a more campaign attire but its nice to have some with their best clobber on too!

Next up some Prussian guns and some Saxon Hussars – in my rules a gun model represent a half battery of 3 or 4 guns and a cavalry stand is 2 or 3 squadrons but a total of 200-300 men. The cavalry figures are just magnificent sculpts (Austrian Hussars) and the next in the queue is another base of these and limbers for these guns – I really love the simple elegance of the Saxon Hussar uniform, the blue is just lovely I think.

Finally a couple of group shots including one of the 8 Saxon Line infantry battalions and single artillery base currently finished.

Gaming in the Quarantine.

At this horrible time it is great to have a distraction or 12 so to help us through Jonathan has kindly started up another PBEM game of Fistful of TOW’s. He did the same last year and I was going to do a full write up once we had finished but the game unfortunately fizzled out. However, we did get through a few moves and it was cracking fun so I am really looking forward to this one. Obviously as the new one is ongoing I can’t post anything about it yet as Des might get some good intelligence about what I’m up to so here’s some of the stuff from last time so you can get an idea of how we are going about it, hopefully it might be of interest and give you some ideas for doing something similar.

First of all Jonathan set out the terrain on his table in his lovely, lofty wargames chambre at his place and sent out a map and briefing to each of us. We wrote our orders and emailed them back and he played out the moves either until orders needed changing or there was some decision point that needed input from either of the players. He then sent out a SitRep that contained pictures from the game obviously taken to restrict the view and we sent new orders back.

It worked a charm and added a great level of friction to the game, best example of which was me completely screwing up a movement order that basically put one of my battalions out of the fight when they could have made a telling intervention, and the not knowing where your opponents units are until you run into them was great, very tense.

So nice and simple really but a bit of work for the host to set up, hopefully Jonathan will say how much in the comments?

Here’s the Maps, briefings and SitReps that we received so you get an idea of what actually went on. One thing I have done for the new one is I’m making situation maps after every SitRep so to avoid a balls up like last time (and it’ll help in the write up)

First contact at Kostanjevica – Soviet

First contact at Kostanjevica – Soviet arrival schedule

0735 UPDATE – Soviet

0745 UPDATE – Soviet

Kostanjevica - II

Quarantine update!

Well, I was expecting to have finished off the CoC campaign with Dan by now but obviously that has been shelved for a while, I do have one last report to do but haven’t really been in the mood lately for some reason.

I’ve been trying to get some painting done but had hit a bit of a wall and couldn’t be arsed until the other day when I got stuck in to basing some of my alt-history 6mm ‘Cold War’ kit in an attempt to kickstart something and it did!

After basing some bits up I then started ruminating over a new force – the Ukraine – and have an OOB and TO&E sorted now so pinged off an order to Scotia and will be looking to get that done as soon as they get here. This has led me to get all the 6mm Modern kit out and have a good old sort out and I’ll be cracking on with tarting it all up over the next few weeks, painting up some missing bits and ordering some more. Apart from that there’s the small matter of an epic rebasing job to do as the new basing looks so much better than my old ones and I know I just won’t be able to have both types in the collection, my slight OCD will do my head in! I’m going to be sensible though and its going to be done unit by unit in manageable batches in between painting sessions. It’s really good to have a bit of impetus again, which is probably down to something I’ve just finally figured out.

Since the success of Des’ ‘I Aint Been CoC’d Yet Mum’ rules merging the dice activation of CoC onto IABSM I’ve been thinking about trying the same thing with FFT3 as the lack of command and control friction has always bugged me and I’ve recently started to want to get away from strict IGO-UGO turn sequences. I had a bit of a eureka moment the other week and decided to have a run through today so had a quick playthrough. The basics worked well and I’ve made some tweaks already which I think will work better/well. I’m going to have another go this evening and if it goes alright I’ll be posting them on a separate page on here – I’m quite excited as I think its going to work very well.

Anyway, I hope you are all keeping well and safe and all the best.

Oh, and obviously there’s only one thing you can call a mash-up of ‘A Fistful of TOW’s’ and ‘Chain of Command’ isn’t thereā€¦.

Joy of 6, 2019

Just a quick one as it has been a couple of weeks since the show and I’m sure everyone has read bigger and better reports from others but here’s a few thoughts on this years show.

The first thing that was obvious to us was just how much the show has grown since our last visit 2 years ago. I think I preferred the new layout and even though there were two rooms at least they aren’t lots of smaller ones like there used to be which cuts down the chance to miss something. As usual there was a real lovely vibe about the place and everyone was keen to share info on terrain and painting tips as well as generally just being friendly which is one of the great things about the show.

There seemed to be more traders this year too, and great to see Richard there with the Scotia kit. He very kindly indulged me by allowing me to look through some of the modern kit that doesn’t have pics on the website which resulted in a nice sized purchase (I’ll be posting about the swag in another post) and it was a pleasure speaking to him properly after conversing via email and messenger for ages. The only other purchase I made was for a few Swedish infantry from H&R, but I did manage to speak to a knackered looking Ian quickly at the end of the day (I hope that Andy’s wife is on the mend soon) and TOW mounted Land Rovers might be coming at last. Bart bought some fantastic looking French mid-C19th 3d printed figures from a Polish company -http://www.gmboardgames.com/blog/en/ – that really were spiffing, the horses were particularly good, which piqued my interest. If they do an Austro-Prussian range I don’t think I could have resisted and their metal ACW kit was really nice too so something to mull over for future projects (like they’re ever needed!).

The games were of the usual mixture of quality, range and period as in all shows and the two absolute stand out ones for me were:

‘Poltava’ put on by Per Broden and the Wyre Foresters club, for lots of ace pics check out Per’s excellent blog here: https://rollaone.com/2019/07/08/poltava-1709-at-joy-of-six-2019-the-grand-finale-of-the-towards-moscow-trilogy-tmt/. It was great to see the real thing after following the build progress on Per’s blog, this table truly was not only a masterpiece and really showed just what can be done in 6mm but an obvious labour of love. Bravo gents and thank you for sharing it with us.

davdav

Coming a close second was Robert Dunlop’s WW1 Battle of Gnila Lipa from the Eastern Front. I’ve seen quite a few of Robert and his lads games at shows and I always love them. They are great for showing the vast scale of the industrial warfare that defined this conflict and always tempts me to have a dabble. I managed to have a good chat with one of Robert’s sons (sorry forget which one!) about the huge Marne game that they put on actually at the Marne a few years ago and he told me a story that made my weekend. Apparently they were able to point out to an elderly English chap the unit which his father was serving in and exactly where he would have been in the battle which apparently had a profound effect on him and he seemed to become more spritely as he followed the course of the action. Great stuff.

dav

Honourable mentions go to James Mitchell’s ‘Culloden’ which was a gem of a game9sadly my photo didn’t come out well enough, sorry!), Dan Hodgson’s Star War’s ‘Battle of Hoth’ (sadly only lacking in Pew-pew sound effects) and the Battle of Kolin 1757 put on by the Legion of Blokes which not only had great figures and terrain but truly inspired, hand-made, ‘table tidies’ to boot. Hat doffed gents.

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Our game went over quite well I think, it was the XXX Corp Hell’s Highway one we did at Colours in September, even though we didn’t get many quotes from A Bridge Too Far this time we still had a cracking time and ,weirdly, we even recruited a couple of new members for the club which was nice! Thanks go to Bart, Dan, Jonathan and Daren for making it such a great weekend and we already have plans afoot for next years game. The plan is to do a Western Desert dust up but swapping WW2 forces with Modern ones, so Caunter camo’d Chieftains and Challies with South Africans in Ratels vs Afrika Korp with Leopards and Marders and Italians with Centauro’s – watch this space…

Lastly a massive thank you to Peter and his Baccus crew and volunteers for the show for not only coming up with the idea for the show in the first place but making it such a success, here’s to many more.

 

Napoleonic update

Right then, I thought I’d bung these up to try and keep me motivated about painting. Now done a couple more Saxon battalions and the Lippe-Detmold battalion and a Saxon battery. There’s a few skirmish bases and the limber for the gun near completion and I’m starting on a couple more Saxon Battalions today as well as the Anhalt Battalion.

I’ve made the Lippe battalion at ‘paper strength’ just because as that’s all they get so I thought sod it! Also it shows up nicely the difference between the two sized bases I’ll be using (still contemplating an even larger one for the massive Austrian jobs) and the difference between a 4 company battalion in column of companies and a 6 company one in column of divisions.

The plan is to finish off a Saxon Division, so 2 more Infantry regiments with a Light Infantry Regiment and 2 Grenadier Battalions with Artillery then I’ll probably do all of the Rhinebund Regiments just because I’ve always had a fascination with them for some reason. Then will be some Prussians which I have the figures for and have started on one battalion for a tester.

Cavalry will be a mixture of Saxon and Prussian lights to start off with.

Of course I can see this going out the window as I progress and I get tempted by other units (like the Lippe one!).

And so it begins….

I’ve just finished the first 2 battalions of 6mm Napoleonics, Saxon Infanterie-Regt. von Low in the late war uniform. I’m happy enough in how they’ve turned out, not award winners but once there’s lots of them on a table they’ll look fine I reckon. Baccus figures.

They are based for my own rules (tentatively entitled ‘An Elegant Chaos’ – a million points if anyone knows where I nicked that from) which are aimed at the Brigade being the lowest tactical unit so no need for battalions to change formations as it is abstracted out. However I do want the units to look somewhat ‘realistic’ so am planning on each Army’s infantry to be based around columns as they fit the bases best – the Saxons are depicted in a column of companies (although they could be in column of Divisions too I suppose!), figure scale is 1:25. Dice frame to mark strength loss. I’ll bung some more pics up once basing is complete but just wanted to get something posted to mark the occasion as it were. The next regiment is already started and a battery is on it’s way too. Flags will hopefully be picked up at Salute this weekend.

Updated pics as based them up properly yesterday.

 

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PBEM Fistful of Tows 3

My friend Jonathan lives in France and is bereft of any opponents and when I was over there last year he suggested he was thinking of setting up a Play by Email (PBEM) game and would I be interested once we had sorted out another person to join in. The idea is this:

  • Jonathan comes up with the scenario and sends out a map and forces involved to me and my opponent (which is Gavin, a lapsed member of the club which is good in a way as I don’t have any contact with him!)
  • Gavin and I send back orders of march and our orders
  • Jonathan fights out the battle on his table sending us updates and requests for new orders when needed which he then acts upon

It has taken a while to get things going but we have started it recently and the first moves have just happened and I’m actually quite excited by it as I like the concept and it is giving Jonathan a nice spin on solo gaming to keep his games room busy!

I’m going to just copy the scenario briefing and map for now as I don’t want to give Gavin any information than he might not know about already. I will be adding more posts as the battle moves along but it will be a few moves ‘behind’ as it were, so again and to not give Gavin any info that he might be able to use to his advantage (that is if he even visits here!), so bear with me but there will be some pics going up in the upcoming weeks once the shooting starts. Bonus points for those that recognise where this scenario is from.

Scenario Briefing: (This has been edited to prevent any precise intel for Gavin!)

Title: First contact at Kostanjevica

Date/Time: 2nd August 1985, 0730.

Forces: US Marines meet Soviet Motor Rifle troops for the first time.

Location: Yugoslavia, somewhere West of Zagreb.

Weather: Clear and dry, visibility is good with a light wind from the SW.
General Background

Relations between the East/West blocs having been fraught from some time and Yugoslavia has become one of the flashpoints.

The post Tito regimes have not proven capable of keeping a lid on the nationalist aspirations of the various groupings in the years following his death in 1980.

Following a failed attempt by the pro Soviet Federal government to suppress the, pro Western, Slovenian provincial government the Committee for the Defence of Yugoslavia has called for assistance from the Warsaw Pact.

Specific Background – Soviet

The Soviet Union has once again responded to the calls for help against Western Imperialism by its fraternal brothers. Using Warsaw Pact forces based in Hungary (2 Motor Rifle Divisions) and an airborne division from the strategic reserve first Belgrade and then Zagreb have been secured and the pro-imperialist, secessionist forces forced to retreat. Soviet forces are now following up into Slovenia in order to bring the area back under the control of the legitimate federal government.

As the Commander of ******** the invasion so far has proven to be nothing more than a drive through the towns and villages of Yugoslavia, with the main issue being the number of vehicle breakdowns in the initial move to make contact with the airborne forces.

Unfortunately it seems that the Western powers are not willing to let the people of Yugoslavia make their own decisions but are determined to impose capitalism upon them as intelligence reports indicate that US forces from the Sixth Fleet have landed on the Adriatic Coast of Yugoslavia and are even now headed towards Zagreb.

Your ******* has been tasked with acting as the advance guard for ******* move West to establish contact with the invading forces and secure the area necessary for the rest of the ****** to deploy to defeat the enemy. Your command is currently approaching the town of Kostanjevica on the roads from the North and East, with the rest of ****** behind you.

Somewhat to your surprise (and annoyance) your HQ unit has arrived in Kostanjevica ahead of ********* with only your advance guard ahead to the West. Contact with the ********* has been sporadic (radio issues in the valleys of Yugoslavia?) but you are assured that they are not far behind you.

Intelligence

Initial reports are that elements of the USMC 26th MAU have landed at Fiume and are headed towards Zagreb on your line of march using the roads to the West and South of Kostanjevica.

The air situation is reported as favourable with Soviet, and fraternal comrades from the WP, fighter and air/ground units established in Belgrade and operating over the divisions march route providing support.

kostanjevica - ii

6mm Goodness…..

In between coughing and spluttering for the past month or so (and indeed for a few weeks before) I have been pootling away at some 6mm stuff. The majority of it has been for the good comrade Noakes, it took me ages to do a Soviet force for him as I was trying to ‘get’ drybrushing and wanted to make sure that I didn’t ruin them. I’ve been quite pleased with the results and here are some pics (models are all GHQ).

Unfortunately having painted these up my own collection now looks a bit shite so the next month or so will be spent re-doing them. This will just mean a wash and drybrush for most models but some are being stripped down to start again – I bought some 99% Rubbing Alcohol to do this with, trying it out now and will report how it goes – but all of them will be re-based as I want to start using the Baccus basing grit/sand to add some texture.

Nice 6mm terrain internet find

I’ve recently started visiting some Facebook pages after resisting them for ages and apart from the odd silly comment (usually from people not reading the OP properly) it has not been too bad. The other day on one of the pages, 6mm Miniatures and Wargaming, a lovely bloke called Ricky posted that he had found (or more correctly his missus had) some A4 sized ‘Plush Foam Sheet’ that are perfect for fields whilst in a Hobbycraft shop. Upon checking out their website I saw that they do ‘Corrugated Foam’ sheets too so with my ‘Club Terrain Chap’ hat on I duly ordered some – Beige, Dark Green and Yellow ‘Plush’ and Brown ‘Corrugated’ and they arrived the next day, and they are ace: look good, great texture to the ‘plush’ ones and will drape over hills nicely and seem pretty durable to boot. Oh, and they cost 80p a sheet!!

Here’s some quick pics of what they look like with some hedges chucked on a map board:

And a link to the shop’s website if anyone is interested:

https://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/dark-green-plush-foam-sheet-225-x-30cm/637221-1000

 

 

 

Brief sojourn en France, part 2.

Quick apologies about taking so long posting this part but a combination of not feeling great and some PC problems have meant it has taken a while….

After a quick change of plan when we were about to set up we decided to go for a late war Soviet vs German game using the same table as the last battle. As we couldn’t decide which direction we preferred to play a dice was rolled and we ended up playing from opposite sides of the table than last time. This was going to be an encounter battle with both forces tasked with exiting off the other side of the table, classic wargame style. So after picking our forces and hatching plans we got to it.

I had at my disposal the following:

  • Heavy Panzer Company (Excellent)
    • 3 x King Tiger
  • Recon Company (Good)
    • 5 x Puma
  • StuG Company (Good)
    • 3 x PzJgrIV
  • Panther Btln (Good)
    • 2 coys @ 3 Panther
    • 1 coy @ 4 Panther
  • PzIV Btln (Good)
    • 2 coys @ 3 PxIVH
    • 1 coy @ 4 PzIVH
  • Armoured PzrGren Btln (Good)
    • Pak 40 75mm ATG (Schlepper)
    • 75mm Inf Gun (Truck)
    • Sdkfz 251/2
    • 3 x Coys
      • 3 Armd PzGrens (Sdkfz 251/1)
      • 1 MG (Sdkfz 251/17)
      • 1 Sdkfz 251/10
      • 1 Sdkfz 251/9 section
  • Motorised PzGren Btln (Good)
    • Pak 40 (Truck)
    • 75mm IG (Truck)
    • 81mm Mortar (Truck)
    • 3 x Coys
      • 3 Motor PzGrens (Trucks)
      • 1 MG (Truck)
  • Off table
    • 150mm & 105mm Battalions

 

Whilst Comrade Jonathan Elliski had:

  • 1 x Recce Armoured Car company (Good)
    • 4 x BA64
  • 1 x Assault Gun Regt (Fair)
    • 4 x SU85
  • 1 x Hvy Tank Regt (Fair)
    • 4 x IS2
  • 2 x Tank brigades
    • 1 x 76mm field gun + truck
    • 2 x 12.7mm AA truck
    • 3 x medium Tank battalions (all were Marginal)
      • 8 x T34/76
        4 x T34/85
    • 1 x Inf battalion (1 was Good/1 was Fair)
      • 6 x SMG inf stands + truck
        3 x SMG stands (desant – attached to tank battalion)
        3 x ATR stand + truck
        1 x 45mm ATG + truck

Off table artillery was:

  • 2 x 76mm battalions (on +1 availability)
    1 x 122mm battalion
    1 x 152mm battalion

 

I clearly had the qualitative advantage this time and was hoping that this would help negate the disparity in numbers.

I split my force into 2 roughly equal Kampfgruppe with the Armoured infantry and Panthers tasked with taking the crossroads on the left and then exploiting forwards along the road, they would be led by 3 of the Puma platoons and supported by the 155mm battalion. The truck borne Infantry supported by the assault guns and led by the remaining 2 Puma platoons would go hell for leather for the town and hold it if possible. Whilst this was happening the PzIV battalion was to head across the middle of the battlefield for the lateral road near the enemy’s startline and then exploit either left or right as the situation dictated. The Tiger company was to take position on the long ridge to the left rear of the town to cover the advance of the Pz IV’s and to act as a reserve. I had also planned to put my troops into battle over a few moves so that I could change plans if needed and also to not show my hand too early.

Jonathan and his red horde won the initiative and took a typically bullish Soviet approach with all of his units hitting the table from the off. He had had a similar idea as me it seemed pushing a Tank Brigade down each of the cross battlefield roads, one headed for the town on my right and one headed for the crossroad on the left. His heavy tanks waddled towards the small wood in the centre but apart from them there was a huge gap between the two forces. Pretty soon our respective recce types clashed with mixed results, on the left I managed to get onto the ridge by the crossroads and cause the Soviets to duck into the wood for cover, on the right I got bounced out of the town and passed a message back to the following infantry to deploy across the road and into the woods and get ready for company! The battle now split into 2 battles on the flanks which were quite close run things.

Over on the left the Soviets quickly abandoned the road and the mass of tanks swung round the right whilst the majority of the infantry and the surviving recce holed up in the wood along the road. I managed to place 2 companies of Panthers into position along the ridge and down by the farm just in time to face this massive onslaught, whilst deploying a company of infantry into the wood on the extreme left as a back-stop position and deploying the battalion heavy weapons in the small copse. The remaining 2 Halftrack companies along with the larger Panther company were swung round towards the ridge across from the swamp to try an outflanking manoeuvre but came up against the SU-85’s Jonathan had left here. The fighting around the farm and crossroads was very intense with the awful Russian troops having a very hard time registering any hits on the defending Germans who were happily content to sit in whatever cover they could find and whittle away at the masses of tanks. I had also won the artillery duel over here too with my gunners far out performing their opposite numbers.

On the right the Soviet infantry quickly took possession of the town and my Infantry had shaken themselves out into a line to try and stop a Soviet breakthrough, hoping to buy enough time for the PanzerJagers and Tigers to come up. Things didn’t look to go too well initially with a FUBAR with one of my barrages coming down on the chaps that called it in causing a complete company of infantry in the woods to become suppressed just as the Soviet tanks and SMG wielding tank riders hit them in a close assault. This caused a hole that looked like it would be enough for the godless Bolsheviks to exploit as the are wont to do but they came acropper through a combination of last ditch defending from the remaining infantry, a timely intervention by the company of JagdPanzer IV’s and an absolutely heroic stand by a platoon of Puma armoured cars that swatted off numerous attempts to destroy it whilst taking out T-34/76’s with gay abandon (again helped greatly by the disparity in troop quality).

In the middle my attempt at inserting the PzIV company into the rear of the Soviets nearly came unstuck as the company of IS-2’s emerged from the wood and started knocking out platoons from long range, however after some judicial use of smoke and scarpering off as quickly as I could I managed to get the survivors out of harms way. About this time my King Tiger company had also taken up its post to cover the rear of the advancing PzIV’s and they seemed to entice the Soviet heavies onto them like giant armoured sirens, surviving a long range salvo and causing one of the Soviet behemoths to brew up in the return fire.

It was at this point in proceedings that Jonathan decided that it was pointless to carry on and risking a meeting with the NKVD was better than trying to bludgeon his way forwards. By now he had lost nearly all his tanks and my PzIV’s and flanking Panther company were about to break into the rear of his survivors on the left, I wouldn’t have been able to retake the town on the right from him as my infantry over here were too weak after their heroic defence but once the Tigers had finished with his heavy tanks there was nowt stopping them from trundling into the rear of that position too. So, another great game came to an end (the amount of FUBARS rolled with our artillery during this game was amazing causing some great moments of fun!) and Jonathan’s new table was well and truly broken in. It was good to play FFT3 in a WW2 setting as I’d only done so once before and they did stand up well, showing that you don’t have to fleece gamers by bringing out rules and stats ad infinitum just to make more money (you know who I mean!), just write one good set of rules and bung all the stats you need into one edition. We did have a chat about some things that might be worth trying out in future games, such as a rolling a df10 for Quality tests as sometimes it just seems pointless trying when you’ve got shite troops and infantry will have more of a chance of sticking around too after they’ve been hit.

Again many, many thanks to Jonathan for a great weeks holiday in his lovely place it was truly fantastic. I’m already looking forward to next years trip and hopefully I will be joined by a couple of others so that we can have a some proper big games.