Thursday 28 August 2014

Thirtieth Year of a Private Wargames Event - The Tarawera Weekend

Thirty years ago, on a cold wet night in July 1985, six wargaming friends drove to Lake Tarawera three hours south of Auckland for a weekend of gaming. The goal was to reinvigourate our group after we had become somewhat fractured. 

We arrived on the Friday night, played an English Civil War game on the Saturday and half of Sunday, then drove home again. It was a fantastic weekend of gaming and friendship. It achieved its goal of reinvigourating us all and started a tradition that saw the Tarawera weekend run every year since. The event has extended to beyond a weekend and now we go down on the Tuesday and back on the Sunday. The attendees have changed a little over the  years; two have passed away some have moved and others have joined. Of the original six four remain.

While the weekend is now almost a week, the format remains the same. Each full day is a full day of gaming, usually organised and umpired by one of the group. Over the years scenarios have ranged from the Crusades, to English Civil War, Border Reiver's Cattle Wars, American Revolution, the campaign of the Revolutionary French in the Vendée, Napoleonics, American Civil War, Austro-Prussian War, Franco-Prussian War, Russo-Japanese War, WWI, WWII and the Falklands War. The Sunday half day game has a tradition of its own, it is always a naval game - Napoleonic, American Civil War ironclads or ancient galleys.

This year's event, the thirtieth successive year will be this week. We head off tomorrow, Tuesday 2 September. I will post some reports of the event after we return.

Friday 22 August 2014

Crimean War Project

With the WWI project all but finished, although I suspect that the WWI armies will be added to over the coming years - especially after seeing the lastest British and German offerings from Mutton Chop Miniatures - I have begun work in ernest on the next project, the Crimean War.

This project is long over due and has a bit of history behind it. In 1966 my partents took me along to Carlaw Park in Auckland to see the band of the Scots Guards. The programme for the event contained this picture of the Scots Fusilier Guards at Inkerman.

 When my English aunt sent me some Britain's 54mm Guards figures for Christmas, I was hooked on model soldiers and the desire to recreate that dramatic painting on the wargames table has been in the back of my mind throughout my life. So finally I am going to do it. 

In an earlier post I included an image of the Coldstream Guards. Well now I have finished the Guards Brigade, all three battalions. Below is the brigade in line of battle, with the 1/Scots Fusiliers on the right, the 3/Grenadier Guards in the centre and the 1/ Coldstream Guards on the left.

Below is the Brigade in column of battalions

Things will slow down a little now as I make the final preparations for our annual wargames weekend away in early September (where the WWI figures will have their major outing). I still have a reasonable amout of scenery to finish off for that weekend, but after that I will place then next order for Crimean figures - the Highland Brigade from the Alma and the guns for the division.

Monday 11 August 2014

The Town Finished

Before Christmas 2013 I commenced a rather ambitious project - the creation of a complete town in 28mm, both intact and in ruins. On the weekend just gone I finished the last of those buildings, being sixteen intact and sixteen ruined equivalents.

Because the buildings are built to be reversible, with a different face front and back, there are many possible configurations. The town, in the configuration it will be used in its first game in early September, is built around a central square and is shown in its intact version below.

And then the ruined versions.