Sunday, January 27, 2013


My father got out of hospital for a short period this week so in that interval I managed to get to a game at the SESWC.  It was a Napoleon in Egypt game set in 1798 and using Black Powder rules. Chris Henry provided all the figures and Angus Konstam the scenario. I adapted the troop types from those given for the Ottomans in the Last Argument of Kings and umpired the game. It was a welcome break from twice daily hospital visits.

The first French attack about to go in against the village
The game was loosely based on the Battle of Shubra Khit (or Chambreis), fought on Bastille Day (13th July) 1798. it was the first clash between Bonaparte's French army and the Mamluks, fought six days before the Battle of the Pyramids.

There is a full description of the game on Angus’ website at
And also on Bart Zynda’s blog at

We used the THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE rule from LAOK. So only the Mameluke CinC could issue normal orders while the subordinate brigade commanders could only issue FOLLOW ME and RALLY orders. Despite this major restriction on their command ability the game turned out to be a Mameluke victory with Bonaparte carried wounded from the field. 

French in the village - minutes later the Turkish guns blasted them out
Since the game I have reviewed the ratings for the Mameluke troops and downgraded them further and these are listed below. However these would not have changed the result. Lessons - avoid deploying squares in effective range of massed artillery and don’t make piecemeal column attacks on built up areas and artillery.

Chasseurs a Cheval take on the Sipahis....

Troop Types                      HH  Sh    Mo   Sta
Janissaries               Musket    6      3     4+      3
Reg Infantry           Musket    6      3     4+      3  Unreliable, Poor Shots
Irreg Infantry         Mixed      5      1     5+     3  Poor Shots, Levy 4+, Wavering
Irreg Fantics           Mixed      5      1     5+     3  Poor Shots, Levy 4+,
Irreg Skirmish         Musket    4      2     5+     2  Poor Shots, Skirmish

Mamluke Cav         Sw, Bw   7      1     4+    3
Irreg Cav                Sw, Bw   5      1     5+    2  Marauders, Unreliable, Levy 4+

Artillery                   SB          1  3-2-1  4+    2  Immobile
Camel Zambouk     Lt SB     1  2-1-1   5+    1  Do not need to unlimber to fire

Bloodthirsty    Reroll close combat misses in first charge
Immobile        Only 1 move per turn
Levy X+        Need to roll of disorder at end of turn
Marauders     Ignore distance modifiers for command
Poor Shots    -1 factor when shooting
Skirmish        Can adopt skirmish formation
Unreliable      No move on equal command roll
Wavering      Break test whenever casualties

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I have not managed to get to a game this week as I have been busy visiting my father who has been taken into hospital.

Here are some more of my new artillery.  These are French Guard Horse Artillery - the figures are by Elite and were painted by Reinforcements by Post in Bangladesh as a commission. I have ordered some Elite 6pdr guns to replace the Hinchliffe 4pdr guns which I used in the photo.

I sold my Neuchatel canary battalion last month and have replaced it with a second battalion of the Josef Napoleon regiment for my foreign brigade.  I like them as they are colourful, made up of Spanish POWs from Denmark, and their commander in 1812-1813 Baron de Tschudy had an interesting career.  He was born 1774, a French royalist officer, emigrated 1791 and joined Conde's Corps, 1795 joined British service in De Rolls and then the Queens Germans including serving in Egypt, 1802 joined the Portuguese service, 1808 entered French service in the Portuguese Legion after the Portuguese Army surrendered to the French , 1812 became Colonel of the Josef Napoleon Regt, wounded twice in Russia, 1815 went into exile with Louis XVIII and after various commands after the 2nd Restoration died as the Kings Lieutenant of Bayonne in 1834.

Here are some more of my first order of Renedra plastic tents. These are the bell tents based on square 2mm MDF bases from Warbases. I ordered some more of the tents from Renedra 2 days ago and they arrived yesterday.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I have been working away on completing my Christmas and New Year holiday projects.

I have added some artillery and French staff to my Napoleonic collection. The figures are by Foundry, Elite and Perry and were painted by Reinforcements by Post in Bangladesh as a commission whilst I painted the gun models. The guns are the impressive models from Elite. I like the look of these guns so much that I have ordered more of the Russian 6 pdr guns to re-equip some of my Russian foot batteries which at the moment all have 12 pdr guns.

Foundry Imperial Guard Foot gunners with Elite 12pdr guns

Elite Russian Horse Artillery with 6 pdr guns and 10 pdr licorne

The new staff figures are from the Perry pack FN2 (Corps Commanders - d’Erlon, Reille and Lobau). I have based these figures in pairs along with some of my existing figures as command vignettes. The 3mm thick MDF bases are from Warbases and the Silflor tufts were supplied by Mutineer Miniatures.

Perry Lobau  and unknown Cuirassier
Perry d'Erlon and Foundry ADC
When I played my Germantown AWI game I realised that I lacked anything to represent the British camp so last week I ordered sets of  plastic tents from Renedra. They arrived very quickly and I am  pleased with the finished results. I based the ridge tents on 2mm MDF Warbases pill shaped bases.
Renedra - their open ridge tent

Friday, January 11, 2013

28mm GERMANTOWN 1777 (2) & FLANDERS 1692

This week I have taken part in 2 games.  On Saturday I tried another game of my Germantown scenario at my house. Angus Konstam and I commanded the British and Kevan Gunn and Scott Duncan commanded the Patriots. I made a few minor changes to the OB from the first game and these are reflected in the Germantown scenario page.

Action on the British left wing and near Cliveden - heavy musketry exchanges
Once again it proved a good game. This time the Patriots initially largely ignored Cliveden and struck rapidly towards the encamped British army. They failed to make any headway once the British had finally bestirred themselves and a late attack on Cliveden proved a disaster leading to the rout of the 2 attacking units. At the end of the game after 10 turns the Patriots had lost 4 units and the British none.

Patriots mass to attack Cliveden
More photos are on my flickr site at

These and the following set were taken using my new Canon Powershot SX150 IS  - several light years ahead of my 5 year old Canon Powershot A620.

On Thursday I went to the SESWC and umpired Angus and Chris Henry testing Pike and Shotte for a late 17th Century War of the Grand Alliance game. Chris’s French got the better of Angus’s Allied Dutch army. After a brief initial success Angus’s left wing horse broke and fled and his foot were getting the worse of the musketry exchange with their French rivals due to some good rolling by Chris.

The big cavalry melee - Vive Le Roi....
We all agreed that Pike & Shotte worked well for the period. Though basically like Black Powder it has enough changes to make it a subtly different game. As an example disordered units can make a retire move under initiative and shaken units can get a free retire move. Using these options allowed Chris to replace his tired foot and reorganise his victorious horse. I think we may adopt both in full for our BP games - at the moment I have a house rule that allows disordered cavalry to retire under initiative.

Angus has written a full account of  both the actions which are on his blog at

More photos on my Flickr site at.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


My first game of 2013 was another Bolt Action 28mm game. We played again at Hugh Wilson‘s house. The scenario like our last one was set in the Ardennes in 1940. This time the scenario was provided by Campbell Hardie - his first wargame scenario. The figures were provided by Campbell and Colin Jack.  Hugh provided all the terrain for the fine looking 12ft by 5 ft table.

Burning German armour blocks the vital bridge
As in our previous game the Belgians (myself and Bart Zynda) had to again slow down the advancing the Germans (Donald Adamson and Hugh) while awaiting the arrival of the French forces (Colin and Campbell).
The game involved fighting for two river crossings. At the first my Belgian infantry and AT guns held up the German advance long enough for the French support to arrive. Though the Germans got some troops across the bridge at the end of the game the Germans held only one building in the village and the vital bridge was blocked by burning German vehicles.

Overall view of table from French approach
At the second crossing the Germans were held away from the bridge by the arrival of some French armour on a side road and a tank battle developed. The French disadvantages of the low velocity guns and one man turrets of their R35 tanks was offset for a time by their heavier armour. Eventually all their tanks were burning but the imminent arrival of a Char B would have prevented a German crossing.

In the end we decided the game was a Franco-Belgian victory. Next time we agreed that we will use more infantry as this game proved a bit of a tank fest but a very enjoyable one.

In our game we used a system of action tokens instead of the action dice as suggested by the rules. The tokens we used I ordered especially for Bolt Action games from Martin at Warbases. We also introduced ‘teatime’ or end of turn tokens, which adds an element of unpredictability to the turns in the game. We started the game with a single teatime token but decided very rapidly that this could end a turn too quickly so we added a second teatime token so that the turn only ends when both have been drawn. This approach is used in Muskets and Tomahawks. I will add a photo of the tokens to this post during the week.

Round tokens used for the draw - rectangles mark DOWN and AMBUSH orders
All the photos of the game were taken by Bart Zynda as my new camera was being used by Mrs Gilchrist to take photos for ebay. You can find a lot more photos at Bart’s Flickr site:
Here is the Ordre de Bataille:

Belgians (all troops regular)

Group 1 (Myself):
Force HQ – Officer, 2 rifles, light AT gun with 3 crew
Infantry section – Officer, 7 rifles, LMG, ATR
Mortar section – 3 crew, medium mortar, Spotter
AT gun section – 3 crew
Group 2 (Bart):
Infantry section – Officer, 6 rifles, LMG,
Infantry section – Officer, 8 rifles, LMG,
MMG section – 3 crew
AT gun section – 3 crew
T15 tank – light tank (7+), HMG

Advance Guard (Colin):
Somua S35 tank – medium tank (9+), medium AT gun, MMG, Inexperienced
Somua S35 tank – medium tank (9+), medium AT gun, MMG, Inexperienced
Infantry section – Officer, 10 rifles, LMG, Regular, Motorised
Infantry section – Officer, 10 rifles, LMG, Regular, Motorised
Mortar section – 3 crew, light mortar, Regular, Motorised

Force HQ – Officer, SMG, 2 rifles, medic, Regular, Motorised
Reinforcements (arrived on turn 3)(Colin)
Char B1 tank – Medium tank (9+), light AT gun, light howitzer, MMG, Inexperienced
Infantry section – Officer, 10 rifles, LMG, Regular, Motorised
Mortar section – 3 crew, medium mortar, Spotter, Regular, Motorised
25mm gun + tow – 3 crew, light AT gun, Regular

Lieutenant 'Ardee (aarived on turn 6)(Campbell)
Renault R35 tank – Medium tank (9+), light AT gun, MMG, Inexperienced
Renault R35 tank – Medium tank (9+), light AT gun, MMG, Inexperienced
Infantry section – Officer, 11 rifles, Green, Motorised
Schneider Half Truck – Light AT gun, Regular – Special rule: unreliable clapped out POS

Recce troops: (Hugh)
PzKpfw II tank – commander, light tank (8+), light autocannon, Regular, Recce
SdKfz 222 – Armoured car (7+), light autocannon, Regular, Recce
SdKfz 222 – Armoured car (7+), light autocannon, Regular, Recce
Luftwaffe liaison – Officer, radio op., Regular, VW Van with 2 x Henchel 123 air support available.
Group1 (arrived on turn 3)(Donald)
PzKpfw 38(t) – light tank (8+), light AT gun, MMG, Regular
PzKpfw 38(t) – light tank (8+), light AT gun, MMG, Regular
PzKpfw 38(t) – light tank (8+), light AT gun, MMG, Regular
Infantry HQ – Officer, 2 SMG, 2 rifles, medic, Regular, Kubelwagen
Infantry section – Officer, 2 SMG, 8 rifles, LMG, Regular, SdKfz 251
Infantry section – Officer, 2 SMG, 8 rifles, LMG, Regular, SdKfz 251
Group 2 (arrived on turn 5)(Donald)
PzKpfw IV/D – medium tank (9+), light howitzer gun, MMG, Regular
PzKpfw IV/D – medium tank (9+), light howitzer gun, MMG, Regular
PzKpfw III/E – medium tank (9+), light AT gun, MMG, Regular
Infantry section – Officer, 2 SMG, 8 rifles, LMG, Regular, SdKfz 251
Infantry section – Officer, 2 SMG, 8 rifles, LMG, Regular, SdKfz 251
Infantry section – Officer, 2 SMG, 6 rifles, light mortar, LMG, Regular, SdKfz 251

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

20mm Rapid Fire: A Bridge Too Far

This weekend I went to the RAF Leuchars Wargames club for their big holiday season game which was a 2 day 6 table 20mm refight of Operation Market Garden using Rapid Fire. We had 24 players and 2 umpires at the height of it all, and I'm sure that most of them enjoyed their weekend as much as I did.

I commanded a Regiment of the 101st Airborne which was engaged on the Uden, Veghel, St Oedenrode table. I took both the towns and held of the limited German counterattacks until 30th Corps arrived.

1st Airborne landing ground

Thanks to Jed and Steve from Leuchars who took on all the umpiring.  Here is the end of game situation report by the chief organiser Jed Harbridge-Rose after of 2 days play amounting to 4 campaign game days….

30 Corps armour engage a counterattack

More photos and descriptions at

After Action Report
Wednesday 20th September 1944 ......

Arnhem and The Island
A few units of British Airborne Division finished the game in buildings next to the north ramp of Arnhem bridge.
Although several German units were also the same distance away, on the other side!
After landing around Driel and Elst, at least one unit of Polish paras held the southern ramp, with several more advancing north over the bridge.
General Sosabowski was the only survivor of the Polish Para Brigade HQ when ambushed on arrival.
Two batteries of British airborne artillery were lost when the Driel ferry sank under their combined weight.
The DZs and LZs remained firmly in Allied hands, with the Polish heavy support units landing safely north of Oosterbeek.
More German arrivals are expected.

Nijmegen and Grave
In the hands of 82nd All American, with Groesbeek also quiet (at the moment).
A Tiger 1 which sat on the north ramp of Nijmegen bridge was destroyed by the USAAF.
A Stuart tank of the Welsh Guards Armoured Recce has been spotted on the northern ramp of Grave bridge!
More German arrivals are expected.

Uden, Veghel, St Oedenrode
Germans still in evidence, but the pesky JagdPanther finally lost the unequal duel with the XXX Corps spearhead after 15 hours parked slap in front of them.
More German arrivals are expected.

Best bridge exploding - forcing allies to rebuild bridge at Son.

Son, Best, Eindhoven
XXX Corps stretches from Grave back to Joe's Bridge, and still the last part of Guards Armoured Division (Grenadiers) has not crossed over the border from Belgium.
The other XXX Corps divisions have not even started their engines yet.
There is a new bridge at Son, courtesy of Elliot Gould and the Royal Engineers.
More German arrivals are NOT expected, as we shut down the first two tables due to a shortage of players on the second day.