Monday, 21 May 2012


No, not the dodgy Midlands soap of yesteryear, so beloved by my late grandmother***, but that mythical point of choice by which one takes a route to get to somewhere. One also hopes during this moment of selection, that the chosen route is easy-going, as short as possible and actually takes you somewhere close to one's intended destination! But we are talking wargames figures here and that is one rocky, sometimes fraught, occasionally tedious but ultimately satisfying trail of wonder.

So, after the various lay-ups in proverbial lay-bys, sojourns in greasy spoons and toilet dashes on the Toll Road of wargames life, what does the signpost say now???

Well, the Afghans are nearly all finished, having cruised over that particular speed bump without fuss, so not that. So.......(and I have not yet totally ruled out a U turn and left at the last junction!)....

LEFT - Sarsfield's horse - 12 figures (well, 11 and a broken cannon in honour of Ballyneety) ready "built" and undercoated. Two squadrons under the BLB rules.

RIGHT - some more of England's finest, circa 1314. Another dozen built and undercoated.

STRAIGHT ON - some more Thirty Years' War. Jung-Tilly and Aldringen both need musketeers.

Somewhere in the vicinity is 2nd SS for Kursk, captured T34's to the fore, and even a few Daemons (yes, heresy I know, but the Inquisition does not visit sunny Staffordshire.....) I may even finish the last few figures for the Panipat Panzer Division (aka Ancient Indians).

So, with the map discarded many miles (and many more years) ago, "anything can happen in the next half hour", to keep the TV metaphor running a while longer (though I am way too young to actually have seen that one in the flesh).

Feel free to vote for a favourite. I may even listen!
I will post photos when I get something done.


***She was also a fan of Emmerdale, when it was still about a farm!!! I blame the family roots in the Forest of Dean myself.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Staffsburg - The Final Word

A final few pics from that most memorable game staged at Stafford Games last Saturday, with Steve Morgan from Warlord Games hosting an encounter with his "Pike & Shotte" rules.

I bought a set and I have the apparently similar "Black Powder", but have not played them, and this was my first outing with this new set. I must have enjoyed it, as I have another bash set for 24th May, though no doubt a lot smaller in scope.

I am not really one for rules reviews, as I find a lot of what people write in such things to be highly subjective, but I may throw one in at some point based on my experiences with P&S. I am as happy buying a good £30 rulebook as I am playing a set typed on a couple of pages of A4 - if I like it, I like it. I object to jargon, I like rules to feel right, I like good English, I can cope without a detailed index, but it is useful to have one, and I don't like silly little things introduced just to be different, such as centimetres instead of inches in an otherwise very similar set of rules........and I detest power gamers, so any set that allows skirmishing crossbowmen to overpower a game is WRONG! (There is a very recent story to that comment, but maybe some other time!)

Anyway, without further ado, here are the "final few pics" referred to above.


The hedged lane, forming the centre of the Imperialist position, lined with commanded shot and backed by a sizeable reserve who had the good grace to exit stage left and allow the centre to be breached far more easily than we had thought it could be when the game started!

The bridge, more commanded shot and my culverin in the dubious care of the was the first thing to die!

John's command (horse and commanded shot, to the left of the lane) alongside Yorkshire Steve's, to the right of the lane up to the stream.

My command to the right of the stream, our tiny reserve and Andy's horse to the right of the farm. The low-flying hot air balloon in the foreground is Andy's head.

John's cavalry clash against Trevor was a close fought thing, but the Protties (to the right of the picture) edged it.

The manor house, mine for the taking - if I ever managed to get any troops to move!

The bridge again, the Imperialists faling back under severe pressure and the bridge's nemesis at the foot of the picture in the form of a big barrel of powder.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Staffsburg - Meet the Imperialists (aka Losers)

Further coverage of yesterday's big game is here as I give due coverage to the gallant losers.

If you missed the previous post, Roland at Stafford Games staged a "Pike & Shotte" Demo Day at his store, when Steve Morgan of Warlord Games, and author of the "Pike & Shotte" rules, spent a fantastic day taking us newbies through a thoroughly enjoyable outing with said rules. 12 x 6 table, a fair few figures and a great game.

Thanks Roland, Steve and fellow players! This was a truly fantastic gaming day!!!


The gallant opposition, in the form of Trevor (seated), Chris (in black, perhaps in recognition of what was to come!), Alan and Greg

Aldringen - these were Steve Morgan's figures and some at least of those he brought to the game were from the former Mark Allen collection seen in WI 20-odd years ago - VERY NICE!!!

Regiment Verdugo

Greg's cavalry that gave Andy so much trouble on our right flank - I love Kurassiere and they are seriously tough in "Pike & Shotte"!!!

The Imperialist reserve who gamely marched off to their right flank, opening up their centre for a good bashing!

Imperialist foot under serious pressure trying to defend the manor house from our assault

The infirm Imperialist commander in his "wheels"

Closer view of some of those rock hard Kurassiere

Oops, double pictures......

Playing "King of the Castle" won't save you...

The Imperialist heavy battery that gamely deigned to catch a number of my cannon shot, but refused to yield

The Battle of Staffsburg, 1632 (or 12th May, 2012)

Stafford Games hosted another of their "special days" yesterday, the eagerly-awaited "Pike & Shotte" Demo Day. Steve Morgan from Warlord Games came along and laid out a 12 x 6 table for nine of us to get a go with his ruleset, aptly named "Pike & Shotte"

I added a few cavalry and artillery to the figures ready to go when I got there and played the role of Protestant right-centre brigade commnader and annoying dude with camera! My role was to march into a carefully arranged jaws of death set up whilst we Protties as a whole had the dual role of blowing a bridge and capturing a manor house. With my brigade largely refusing to move due to endless failed command rolls, the jaws of death eluded me, but the Imperialist centre greaty obliged our overall aims by redeploying its reserve to their right wing, so we were able to break through, split them in two and swinging right to the manor after blowing the bridge. "So good of those Imperialists to oblige with the move", thought Yorkshire Steve and I from our position opposite!

They put up a stiff fight for the manor and defeated our right wing cavalry in a close fight (better luck next time, Andy!), but the game was up.

We Protties did think we were being hustled at one point, however, as they seemed to know the rules over THAT side of the table........but God's will saw us home!!!!! Huzzah!!!!!!!!!!

Great day, great game, bought the rules and will be playing again.

Massive thanks from Major-General Lord G of Wyrley to Steve Morgan, Roland at Stafford Games and the other gamers who helped make this a most memorable occasion.

First up - the victorious Protties.

Protestant Command - Andy "Shortshanks" (Der Kavallerie Verderber), Generalissimo Yorkshire Steve (hair freshly bouffed to give extra height and presence), Major-General Lord G of Wyrley (grinning, bespectacled, suave and debonair) and Big John (Royalist Red sweater and big beard)

View from the Minstrel's Gallery - John on left flank, then Yorkshire Steve's infantry, my brigade to the right of the stream and then Andy with the right flank

View up the table from our left flank

Andy's cavalry..........RIP

Major-General Lord G of Wyrley's Blue Regiment (Roland's figs) push the desperate Imperialists back across the hedgerows into the manor grounds.

Yorkshire Steve's brigade (Big John's figs I think)

Schlammersdorf's was our sole reserve, but did sterling service in support of Andy's late cavalrymen (I'll stop now Andy!)

Yorkshire Steve in miniature

With the rash redeployment of the Imperialist reserve from the centre to their right, Yorkshire Steve was able to reinforce the blitz through their centre

Our heavy battery was able to do some serious execution - once we had executed the original master gunner, Blind Pete, and installed another in his place.......

The bridge is forced and the yellow musketeers at the bottom of the photo will be there soon with the powder...

Yorkshire Steve crossing the stream to help at the schwerpunkt - the Imperialist centre

Sunday, 6 May 2012

A quiet week

Work and family have finally succeeded in getting in the way of quarrying the lead and plastic mountain, as I seem to have less and less time (or is it inclination???? Or old age ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!) to actually get on with anything for long.

But all has not been lost completely. I have now based Mad Mullah Chapman's Turbaned Terrors and the Fireforge knights are now all built and ready for a paint job.....................time notwithstanding. I have even been busy enough to prepare the remaining figures for the Terrors, which I hope to have complete in a week or two, but the T62 and technicals are still neatly bubble-wrapped.

And Stafford Games now have the Perry men-at-arms (cue condottieri, probably with a Papal bias, although I have some Stradiotti knocking about somewhere, so Venice is also an option) and the Fireforge Sergeants to keep me keen on the Anglo-Scots project too.

And then there is Ray Roussell's recent post of some James II Lifeguard cavalry to consider, which almost had me braking out the 1690 stuff again.............................

I even have my first game in over a month set for this Wednesday evening.

Future weeks could start to get a lot noisier...................