Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Ligny Refought

On Sunday our regular group played a Napoleonic game based on Ligny. There were four players per side and one umpire. It was the fourth game we have played in the Waterloo series this year.

Vandamme attacked first against a weakly held Prussian right at St Armand, but despite some initial success struggled to make headway and after a while shifted right, across the stream in an effort to join Gerard's attack on Ligny.

On the opposite flank Gerard was cautious, expecting (quite correctly as it turned out) a Prussian force to advance against his right. The Prussians took advantage of Gerard's caution and pressed forward.

Meanwhile the Prussian cavalry arrived and filled the space between the two Prussian wings. But no sooner had the Prussian troopers begun to form up than the French Guard cavalry arrived. The two cavalry forces were soon locked in combat in which the Prussians were bested and driven from the field.

Gerard managed to drive off the Prussians he had been fearing on his right, but his left collapsed to s strong Prussian assault. The Guard infantry then intervened and after a very close fight managed to drive back the Prussians.

The French now were free to march against Ligny and the battle ended. 

Saturday, 17 August 2013

The RJW Armies Expand

Well the great annual weekend of wargaming at the lake was postponed - it was actually to be more of a week than a weekend this year - equally due to a leak in the roof of the lake house and to illness of one of the party. So instead of ending tomorrow, we don't go down until November.

There is a silver lining to this dark cloud, however, and that is the expansion of the RJW armies for use in my scenario for that weekend. My intention was to expand the Japanese by four regiments and the Russians by two. I placed the order on Tsuba Miniatures. True to form Markus' service was up to the usual standard and eight days later they were on the doorstep - literally half the world away. 

But I stuffed up the order and ordered too many Japanese rank and file - 42 too many figures to be precise. So there has been a change of plan and instead of four regiments, with the addition of some more command packs I will have expanded he army by eight regiments. So by the time that the game is played in November there will be three divisions - the whole 1st Army. The Russian expansion will go ahead as planned.

I have also been working on some more pieces of scenery for the game. I have finished a small temple plus two stone and thatch buildings and started work on some unique hill pieces.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013


Maybe it is an odd thing to admit to, but I can't remember a time in my life that didn't feature model soldiers. The first "little men" in my service came from my aunt who sent me some Britains 54mm guardsmen in 1966 either for my birthday or Christmas and from that moment on I was hooked. The next defining moment in my magnificent obsession came in 1968 when I saw the film "Custer of the West". The Civil War scenes at the beginning of the film started my life long interest in the American Civil War - although when I bought a DVD copy of the film a few years ago I was bitterly disappointed that it didn't live up to my childhood memory! 

What kicked off this line of thought was reading this article on the BBC news site a while ago about H.G. wells and his book "Little Wars" http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22777029. I suppose all of us who have suffer from this obsession have a trigger point that moves us from playing with toy solders to gaming with model soldiers and for many it was H.G. Wells' book. But for me that moment came in 1972 when my parents gave me the book "Charge!: Or How to Play Wargames" by Peter Young and J.P. Lawford. I still think this is the best wargames book ever written - and my copy is still in near mint condition. At least once a year I break it out and read part of it again. .

What makes this book so great for me is the stories told in the examples. There are the two players, Smith and Jones, who have a banter between them. "Oh bad luck, old chap"' says Smith with a wry smile as Jones removed the five casualty figures... In many ways that same, or similar,  banter is present in the groups of people I have gamed with all my life, so there is ring of truth in it and I love it.

Other books have had an influence on my obsession with model soldiers such as, Terry Wise's "Introduction to Battlegaming", Charles Grant's "The Wargame" and Donald Featherstone's "Wargames Campaigns", but "Charge!" still holds the prime position.

Not only was "Charge!" my first wargames book, but it also inspired me to write my first set of rules. This was by necessity because while Charge was written for Seven Years War battles, I wanted to play American Civil War games, so there was a need to customise. Since that time I have rarely used a commercial set of rules, and when I did they were heavily customised.

Oh well, enough reminiscing...back to the painting. I have decided to expand the Russo-Japanese armies by adding another six Japanese infantry regiments and two more Russians, plus eight Japanese and two Russian machine guns.