Saturday, 27 February 2021

Not wargames related but........

 In the local news today we had this headline.

Exeter WW2 bomb detonated after homes evacuated

In that report is the best "state the obvious" phrase ever. 

Now I for one always expect a bang when a bomb detonates, if it's a f*****g big bomb then I expect a similar size bang. In other news from Devon and Cornwall police "Water is wet" and "Rocks are hard".

The other news to mention is commiserations for the England rugby team, the RFU and all the fans. That French referee was poor and definitely got the first try wrong, possibly the second one too. However, even if you assume that he got both calls wrong that takes 14 points off the score and Wales won by 16, so thank you and well done to Wales for another Triple Crown in the year when every "expert" wrote them off. They may be playing crap, but they can win when they play crap so be afraid when they start playing well.

Normal service will be resuming with my next post when I return to wargaming and such things. More Wars of the Roses beckons.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

A solo game of Never Mind the Billhooks

As lockdown continues it is very hard to get any wargames in, what with work, family etc all taking up time. On top of that, my PC is a long way from the gaming table and my wife has been using said table for jigsaws. Fortunately I managed to sneak a game in when she had finished one and before she started the next. Unfortunately it was mid-week so all my gaming mates were working. In a moment of madness I decided to have a game of Never Mind the Billhooks solo and see how it went. It went ok and here are some pictures and a bit of a review of my solo attempt.

First off I needed two balanced forces. So I made up some cards with the units I had, as detailed in the final section of the rules, and after picking the core troops of two units of bills and bows each I randomised the extra forces.

The left side gained a unit of Knights, one of light horse and a Men-at-Arms group. The right side gained light horse, Knights, another unit of bows and some handgunners. The forces were split between the three leaders on each side, then each leader was drawn at random from left to right on their side of the table. It ended up with all the cavalry on one flank, but that was just the way it happened.

My solo rules were pretty basic, if an archer or handgunner unit had a target in range it would fire, otherwise it would advance to get into the range. The bill units, Knights and Men-at-Arms would advance until they could get into a fight. Pretty simple but it seemed to work.

Here are the initial positions, with the right cavalry being separated from the main force by a wood.

Pre-action moves saw the Lefts cavalry move up onto the hill, only to be matched by the Rights Light Horse. Most of the infantry advanced until..........
The Lefts archers got into range. A veritable storm of arrows saw three archers from the Right side fall, despite only hitting on 6's and only firing once.
As the cards began, the Rights archer unit returned fire and even managed a third volley due to a bonus card. And what a bonus it was with six hits from nine dice at the rapidly nearing Lefty bill unit.
During the first action round several things became clear. Light horse are very very fragile! The Rights light horse lasted one round against their opposite numbers, routing after rolling three on 2D6 after losing the fight. Double archer units can be deadly, somehow killing four enemy archers at long range. While their cavalry was getting spanked, the Right sides extra archers were proving the saying that quantity is a quality all it's own.
So in the centre things were progressing nicely. The blue and yellow unit were whittling down their opposing bill armed unit while the double archer unit was completely outshooting it's outnumbered opposition. The one question was how would their arrows do against the armour of the Men-at-Arms.
On the flank the Lefts light horse moved up to close range of the Rights Knights, while their Knights took position to threaten the flanks of their opponents. The Men-at-Arms advanced through a withering hail of arrows, relying on their thick armour to save them. Sadly it did not work too well as nearly 50% of them fell in the shade. Even the leader was wounded so they charged the archers, who bravely evaded and fell back through their supporting billmen.
Here is a closer look at the action in the centre, as the denuded unit of Men-at-Arms closes with the enemy line.
On the other flank the handgunners finally got a move, coming out of the woods to fire at the Men-at-Arms. At the same time the billmen clashed as the archers fell back before their charge. 
It did not go too well for the Lefts billmen though. The dice behind the units are how many armour saves they need to make after a round of fighting. Nine to three is never a good score, as the Left billmen were cut down to a man. At the same time the Rights Knights charged the light horse, who evaded. They were then charged by the Lefts Knights and a bloody combat began. The culmination of which was that both units were nearly wiped out, but the Lefts broke and ran. Then the Men-at-Arms got into the fight and lost by one, promptly rolling snake eyes on their morale roll and routing. 
This was enough to take the last of the lefts morale chits, they had lost their Knights, Men-at-Arms, one archer unit and a billmen unit, while only killing the light horse and some scattered figures from the other enemy units. 

I enjoyed the game and look forward to playing it again, either alone or with my son. I might even try an online game using WhatsApp on my phone. We shall see. 

That's the lot for now, just a quickie as they say. Take care and stay safe folks.

Thursday, 11 February 2021

The end is here, at least for now.

 Don't panic, it's just that I have painted all the Wars of the Roses figures I have, everything is done and there are no more. At least until my Perrys order for a pair of cannons turns up.

The last unit I had to do was some Claymore Castings crossbowmen with pavises. These figures are absolutely lovely and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Plus the service was excellent too, 2 days from order to arrival. I ordered three packs, one of crossbowmen, one of pavise and crossbow teams and one of crossbowmen hiding behind pavises. One slight issue was some of the figures are lying down which made them too big for my usual penny bases, so I decided to do some multiple skirmisher bases, with two men trying to hide behind one pavise.  Each six man unit has two multibases and two single figures. I think they came out alright, I like them anyway.

12 Crossbowmen taking cover 

Having taken this picture I decided they could have some extra detail added, so I cut off some arrows, drilled some holes and voila, the reason why these mercenary Frenchies are hiding behind their big shields.

Added arrows just for some fun

Like any self-respecting wargamer, I decided to get the whole force out and take a group shot. So here they are arrayed for battle. 36 mounted and 221 foot, ready for battle. That'll do for a small scale skirmish game I think. The whole lot has been painted between Christmas and now, so that's pretty good for my own stuff.

My army deployed for battle

So now I need to find something else to focus on. Maybe some of the WW2 desert figures will be next? Or some Persians? Who knows.

Take care folks and I'll catch you next time.

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Still on project, which is a miracle!

I am still getting on with my Wars of the Roses project, which makes a change. Normally by now I would be on to a third project leaving partially finished figures behind me. So here are the latest offerings. First up are another two foot blocks, each with 12 archers, 12 billmen and 3 command figures.
That gives me six blocks each of a similar make up, which should be enough for a decent sized game.
I also finished another unit of mounted Men-at-Arms, giving me two units of them as well now. 

The total force is now 168 foot and 32 mounted. All I have left to do now are four mounted figures as commanders and 12 crossbow men. I made a slip yesterday and ordered two Perrys cannons as well though. 

I may need to get some Irish kerns just to give some other options. 

Anyway, there they are. I am going to set up and play a game tomorrow, just so I can get all the figures out on the table. 

Stay safe folks