Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Nap Campaign: Battle of Grazzbenn 2nd April 1808 - Prequel

With lighting installed in the garage its time to return to wargaming on the tabletop. In advance I provide a recap of the events leading up to the next game to be played in the Napoleonic campaign - the critical battle of Grazzbenn:

On 24th March, Napoleon decisively captured the Prussian capital Grissburg. 



Continued -

Monday, 16 May 2022

Wargaming - The Return!

With the finishing touches all that remains in the new home, wargaming is on the verge of resumption. Moving house certainly gets no easier as age takes its toll! 

The first to complete towards the hobby was my new painting/study room. This enabled figure painting to resume but it has been far too long since the last wargame leading to serious withdrawal symptoms!

At the time of writing this, the garage modifications have mostly been completed with just new lighting to be installed. There are restrictions where I live on garage conversions. It must be capable of parking a car within and therefore the main garage door must remain. I therefore sealed it as much as possible with draught excluder and gaffer tape around the mechanism. An insulated ceiling was added with a rubberised tile floor. The breeze block walls and ceiling were painted white. 

The garage is left open plan with the half nearest the main door given over to household storage and the rest becoming a wargaming area. The lighting immediately above the wargames section are 5 spots on a single bar housing adjustable daylight bulbs. It will allow me to have a playing area of 4'6" in width and up to 10' in length although I doubt if I will ever exceed 9'. More table supports would be needed! 

All being well, the lighting will be installed within a few days and wargaming can resume. I will shortly be introducing the first game in my new retreat!


Friday, 15 April 2022

On the Workbench: ECW Foot Regiments and WW2 Ships

This will almost certainly be the last blog post before my house move. If all goes according to plan, in a little over 4 weeks I will have a new wargames room enabling the resumption of tabletop action.

In the meantime more units have been completed:

Two Royalist regiments have been added to the inventory. These are Salisbury's redcoats and Molyneux's bluecoats, both of Wentworth's brigade. 

Continued -

Friday, 8 April 2022

On the Workbench: HMS Repulse and Japanese Destroyers

Several 1/3000 scale ships have been completed for the "Defending the Malay Barrier" scenario.

Firstly, HMS Repulse:

This is a refurbished Navwar model. It is one of several in my collection that had been given a very basic paint job many years (in fact decades!) ago. I should have taken a 'before' photo to show the comparison but to give you some idea, this is HMS Malaya in pretty much the same state as Repulse before the make-over:

To remove the old paint I use nail polish remover. Normally one bathe in the stuff with scrubbing by a stiff brush does the job. But on Repulse some paint had collected very thickly in some of the recesses. It required a second bathe and even that did not remove it completely.

I shied away from the 1941 camo scheme and decided on how she would look in 1940. I have found painting camo in this scale a little hit-or-miss. In fact mostly 'miss'. So for the most part I avoid camo schemes adopting the more basic battleship grey.

Continued -

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

On the Workbench: Two Foot Regiments for Edgehill

 More units for Edgehill roll off the production line!

For Parliament, Brooke's Purplecoat regiment. Part of Thomas Ballard's brigade and a pike/musket ratio of 1:1. I have reduced several bases to 4 figures to allow for the formation to look right. I have minimised this as much as possible as in this scale it can be fiddly!

Dutton's whitecoat regiment for the Royalists. This was part of Charles Gerard's Brigade. In time, as the collection expands, more musketeers will be added to this and other pike heavy regiments for future games. 

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Defending the Malay Barrier

Over 10 years ago I bought a job lot of wargames figures from a local auction. The principle reason being that the lot consisted of a large number of reasonably well painted 28mm figures and I saw it as a money-making opportunity sprucing them up and selling them on ebay. That side of it went well but this is not what this blog post is about.

Included in that collection were over 100 1/3000 scale unpainted Japanese warships still in their manufacturer's bags - mostly Navwar with some Davco. I already had a collection of such ships which included a handful of Japanese. I retained these believing them to be useful addition and they have sat in a box ever since!

Fast forward to a few days ago and something on one of Storm of Steel's youtube videos caught my eye. He had a pdf file printed by a company called Doxdirect which got me thinking about all the pdf files stored on my laptop which rarely, if ever, get read. I am quite simply poor at reading rules and scenarios (unless very brief) in pdf format preferring the printed variety.

One such file is a General Quarters 3.3 campaign "Defending the Malay Barrier". I have glanced through it several times intending one day to do something with it and of course using those Japanese warships festering away unloved in a box somewhere!

'Time to get it printed' I thought and duly checked out Doxdirect's website. It was simplicity itself to send the pdf file for printing including selecting the type of paper required. I went for the basic 80gsm matt double sided print with 300gsm card outer covers. I also selected to have it spiral bound which I find by far the most useful for gaming purposes. This is the result:

There was a glitch in the original print with 2 maps only partially reproduced. It was explained to me by Doxdirect that the pdf file needed to be 'flattened' to prevent this problem occurring again. The necessary software would need to be purchased from Adobe which I had no intention of doing as I would be using it so rarely. Doxdirect kindly performed that operation for me and reprinted the file for no extra cost and in quick time. 

The overall quality is excellent and all 74 pages for approximately £12.50 including postage. There is just one small glitch in a couple of symbols on one of the maps has printed in a different colour for some reason. It is not a major issue and something I can live with. Next time I will probably go with the 120gsm satin finish paper which does not cost that much more. 80gsm is fine for this scenario book however.

This has spurred me on to diving into that Japanese collection with the first 3 destroyers on the workbench. I am conscious of the fact that I cannot keep adding to my projects list so this will probably sit in the background to be dabbled with as the urge takes me. I tend to find with Naval wargaming that the painting and collecting of the various ships has more fascination than the actual playing! The majority of my ships in various scales have never seen the tabletop.

I have a softspot for ships probably stemming back to my brief time in the Merchant Navy in the 1970's. Researching the different ship classes and painting them up, even in such a small scale, is very satisfying. 

As an aside, and with what is going on in Ukraine, that time in the Merchant Navy included a visit to Odessa. We had an all-British crew on a British registered ship which made for an interesting experience at the height of the cold war. We were guests of honour at the Opera House with front row seats to watch the Battle of Stalingrad enacted on stage! I gingerly turned around to see that the entire audience consisted of Soviet soldiers and I swear that they were all sat to attention - and appeared to be staring at us! In the Soviet era Odessa was pretty austere but even then still had some very attractive areas. I am keeping my fingers crossed it does not suffer the utter devastation inflicted on Meriupol. 

I will post the painted Japanese destroyers on the blog when completed. They are currently sat at one end of the workbench providing a useful break from painting countless ECW figures!

If anybody is interested in trying out Doxdirect you will find them here 


Sunday, 27 March 2022

On the Workbench: Lord General's Regiment.

 A quick update on the Edgehill project. The Lord General's orangecoat regiment of Grand Division 1 and Grand Division 2 have been completed.

These two units were part of the Roundhead Thomas Ballard's brigade. I have given Division 2 a more irregular appearance with Division 1 having armoured pikemen and the former unarmoured. 

As with most of my 6mm, these are all Baccus figures. 

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

On the Workbench: Prince Rupert's Horse

Since my last blog post I have completed 100 French infantry for Bussaco and now back to figures for Edgehill.

Continued -

Monday, 28 February 2022

On the Workbench: SS Units for the Battle of Cristot

Preparation for the house move has necessitated packing away most of my terrain tiles meaning my wargaming will be on hold until after the move. The latest from the builder was another slight delay so at least a month away yet before that gets completed. Then there is the small matter of converting the garage!

My workbench is still active though and will continue to be so soon after the move. I am therefore concentrating on painting figures for future battles in my projects list.

Referring to a previous post I had intended to play Cristot, a WW2 Normandy game using 'O' Group rules but lost interest. Cristot was always on my 'to do' list but a larger version taken from a Rapid Fire scenario book and using Blitzkrieg Commander rules. The failed attempt at the 'O' Group game gave me the impetus to progress the BKC version.

On checking the orders of battle I found several German units needed to be completed along with a couple of British recce platoons. These were all painted in one lot and, apart from the British, are detailed here:

An overview of the German collection. Consisting of 5 x PzIVH, Sdkfz 231 8 rad armoured car, Sdkfz 10 and 11 halftracks, 5 x motor cycle combos, a SiG33 15cm infantry gun, 2 x MG42 on tripod sections, and 2 x Panzerschrek platoons.  

Continued -

Monday, 14 February 2022

Battle of Tamames - 18th October 1809

Following on from Talavera, this is the next battle in my Peninsular War project which roughly plays through actions in a chronological order.

In September 1809, the Spanish Duke del Parque assumed command of the old army of Galicia, his native force, which had been recruiting and training in Leon. By 25th September, del Parque had concentrated 25,000 infantry and 1,500 cavalry and was awaiting the arrival of the other formation of the Army of the West under Ballesteros. It was his job to pull the French reserves away from Madrid with the expectation that the Army of La Mancha would take advantage of this and advance on the capital.

Facing him were the French 6th Corps commanded by Marchand, centred on Salamanca and numbering just over 14,000. The division of Kellerman added another 5,000. By 5th October, del Parque had advanced from Ciudad Rodrigo to Tamames. As soon as news of this Spanish advance reached Marchand he resolved to attack. On 17th October Marchand departed Salamanca with his entire Corps except for 2 battalions of the 50th Line who were left to hold the city. 

He arrived north of Tamames the following day where he was delighted to see the Spanish deployed to his front and ready for battle.

The initial deployments and first few moves will follow those along historical lines. Thereafter I shall seek to restore French pride or confirm Marchand's over-confidence.

 4'6" x 3' board
General de Brigade rules
All figures Baccus 6mm.

Terrain -
Open wood
Hill - difficult terrain across the whole of the raised area. Amendments to rules - Cavalry formed when stood but unformed as soon as moves. May charge unformed. Artillery may deploy. 
Tamames capacity 120
Chapel (to south of Tamames) capacity 40
Church (to east) capacity 25.

Continued -