Saturday, 18 December 2010

22nd Armoured Brigade Group Nov 41 - finished.

22nd Armoured Brigade Group for Operation Crusader,
Western Desert, November to December 1941
As a change from the Punic Wars stuff that I'm ploughing through (I'm currently finishing a batch of 176 28mm Gallic infantry) I'm doing the odd bit for my WWII collection. I've just finished the first of the four brigade groups for 7th Armoured Division. Scale is 1:5 ish. Here it is:

The whole group and its overall command stand.

22nd Armoured Brigade - comprising 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, 3rd County of London Yeomanry and 4th County of London Yeomanry.

11th Hussars.

B Company 1st Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps and a troop from 102nd AT Regiment.

C Battery 4th Royal Horse Artillery and 3 Battery 1st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment.
All figures and models are FOW. All are painted in enamels and the liberal use of burnt umber acrylic ink.
All are based on 2mm MDF - frontages are 60mm. Command stands and FOO stands are circular. All are sand, grit and cat litter on PVA glue, ink washed and dry brushed with artists acrylic and household emulsion paint; grass tufts are Mininatur, spongy flock is Woodland Scenics products.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Parable of the Holy Turnip - battle report

A short pictorial battle report of last nights action.

From the Chronicles of Kermit the Hermit:

"Whilst the pilgrims and soldiers in Blakadah did suffer the attention of the Saracen archers......

......the two aforesaid Lords, arriving from the lines of Antioch, did push their men hard and came to the countryside around the Holy Turnip Fields before ever a Saracen had word of their coming. They skirmished with the heathen in running battles.......

......until the Lords, having sent many of the enemy scurrying back to their tents, arrayed their forces so as to come to handstrokes..........

.......It was now that the Saracen did emerge from his camp in force, wishing to overthrow the Christians in Blakadah...........
......sending wild Ghazis in furious charges against their hasty defences.......
To be continued next week.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Parable of the Holy Turnip Scenario

This scenario is based on the writings of Kermit the Hermit. Specifically, that section which has become known as the 'Parable of the Holy Turnip' (the lesson being - don't rub another mans turnip, it costs lives - apparently. The action took place sometime during the siege of Antioch but the exact date and location of the battle are unclear.

From the Chronicle of Kermit the Hermit:

"....with want coming upon the soldiers and pilgrims in the lines of Antioch, foraging parties were sent ever farther abroad into enemy country. One such party, led by a certain English captain named Baldrik, did raid the distant village of Blakadah, wherein the captain's men found fields in bounty of turnips. On the second day of the harvesting a piece of ground was dug, which since has been called Holy, where a large turnip, some say as big as a goose, in the shape of a Cross was discovered. It was thought to be a sign of God's Blessing.

News of the discovery reached the lines of Antioch and caused a great disturbance among the devout who dwelt there. Many hundreds deserted the place and did pilgrimage to Blakadah in the hope of feasting on Gods Holy Turnips rather than await the assured arrival of the Holy Vegetable. Soon the place was athrong and the Turnips all eaten. That night the multitude slept happy and sated. But on the morrow the Saracen was discovered encamped nearby and their heathen cavalry all about, cutting off their route back to Antioch.

Baldrik, immediately fortified Blakadah and deployed what forces, including the hapless pilgrims, as best he could. All prepared to defend themselves and many swore oaths to save the Holy Turnip from the clutches of the Hoards of Satan surrounding them.

News of the Saracen reached Antioch within hours. It was decided, at council, that so great a number could not be sacrificed. Succour was dispatched under the command of Lord Melchitte and Lord Flashart...................."

So much for the chronicle, but it gives just enough information to obtain an Ager Sanguinis scenario. The Map below shows my initial deployments.

The forces:
The Franks, army die D10.
Baldrik command stand, leadership D10.
Holy Relic stand, applies only to the pilgrims under Baldrik (the rest of the Franks think it mad).
1 unit of mercenary English seamen.
1 unit of mercenary Italian seamen.
1 unit of fanatic levy (pilgrims) with simple bows.
1 unit of fanatic levy (pilgrims) with light spears.
2 units of fanatic civilians (pilgrims).
Lord Melchitte:
Melchitte command stand, leadership D10.
1 unit of knights.
1 unit of turcopoles.
3 small units of mercenary sergeants.
Lord Flashart:
Flashart command stand, leadership D12.
Otherwise as per Melchitte above.
The Saracens, Army die D10:
Three commands of Turcoman horse archers deployed around Blakadah (see map) each:
Command stand, leadership D10.
2 units of Turcoman horse archers.
Undeployed commands:
Command stand '1', leadership D10.
2 units of Turcoman horse archers.
2 units of Ghazis.
Command stand '2', leadership D10.
1 unit of Ghulams.
2 units of Seljuk horse archers.
4 units of Ghazis.
Special Rules:
The Saracen player adds a 'Special 1' and a 'Special 2' card to his sequence deck. On the appearance of the cards the player can elect to pass or deploy the command with the same number (command 1 or 2). If the card is passed on, the player can add or subtract 1 from the roll of a D10 the next time it is turned (passes are cumulative). If the player elects to deploy he rolls D10 adjusted by any 'passes'. The command must deploy on the command in the map square corresponding to the result (the relevant squares are numbered 1 - 10 on the deployment map above).
I'll post a report with pics ASAP. We play the 'Parable of the Holy Turnip Scenario' tonight.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Blog passes 100,000 hits

I've had google analytics running on this blog since quite early on. It provided considerable encouragement and I still, if a little vaguely, remember the first time it passed 1000 hits in a single month - I was amazed. These days it averages over 3,500 a month; it once touched 7000.

Recently, I've been watching it creep up to the 100,000 total hits count. This morning it heaved itself over. I thought you might like to see the breakdown.

Total hits: 100,039
Page views: 297,070
Average time on site: 00:01:59
New visits: 39.32%

Referring sites: 70.29%
Direct traffic: 23.22%
Search engines: 6.22%
Other traffic: 0.27%

Countries: 123
Top 20 countries (in high to low order): UK, USA, France, Canada, Australia, Germany, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Poland, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Japan, Greece, Finland.
Obscurer countries: Azerbaijan and the Dutch Antilles make a good showing with 3 hits each, whilst it seems only one gamer in Mongolia has had broadband in his yurt.

Thanks to everyone who has visited this blog since 28th April 2008.

Best Regards to you all,

James Roach

Sunday, 21 November 2010

FLEET OF BATTLE - Published in WI 278


Prometheus (hi) has just informed me that Fleet of Battle is out in issue 278 of Wargames Illustrated. I have not seen it yet, but apparently the article comprises the rules and combat tables; the card stock and full colour ship counters will be available as a download directly from Wargames Illustrated (which should enhance production value to you at home - a scanned copy is never as good).

Fleet of Battle was developed out of Field of Battle by Brent Oman (published by Piquet Inc.). It was published in WI with Brent's kind permission. The rules are for ancient naval warfare from Salamis to Actium. They are best for the Punic, Successor and Roman Civil Wars where the quinquireme (five) was the most common 'line of battle' ship. The rules have been well received. They won the Society of Ancients, Paul Morris Memorial Prize for 'most innovative wargames rules' last year - there is even a photo of me holding the memorial axe floating around on the web somewhere.

With the rules plus download you can play without further expense. Merry Christmas!

I will be glad to support the rules with Q & A here on this blog.

Monday, 8 November 2010

conversion - arm change to below

That's better. He looks less like a toddler in a high chair throwing a paddy. Right hand binoculars, left hand microphone - or possibly lunch.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

I can see the pub from 'ere!

Some time ago I came across a picture of a mobile observation tower in the Airfix guide to 8th Army in the Desert (number 20). I don't think anyone makes one in 15mm, so I had a go myself.

The tower is a little wider than the one in the picture I have (for ease of construction) and it's based on a Morris AA tractor (with the ammo boxes removed and some sides added) not the 30cwt(?) in the picture, but there is no mistaking what it is and it will make a good, and different, FOO stand.
The tower is made out of wire pins (the uprights), and thin card (red stuff) soaked with superglue. The metal bit at the top is a turret lid and this was the key to construction: I pushed 4 holes it in a 'square' pattern and glued the pins in these first, the other end of the pins were glued into holes in the resin casting - square, no-wobble solid from the start.
The figure is the upper half of a British officer and the legs of a German motorcyclist. The AA tractor and figure are FoW.
If you are wondering why they built them. The Western Desert is dead flat in most places and there are no tall buildings (not many buildings actually); if you wanted 'high ground' to observe from you had to take it with you.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Some bits and pieces

Recently I have been emmensely busy with work, the chaos caused by having the builders in (and subsequent decorating by yours truly with a much bigger brush!) and family life in general. I've also been putting the finishing touches to an article or two - the first, my rules for ancient naval warfare " Fleet of Battle" will be out in Wargames Illustrated next month (complete with playing counters). Consequently, this blog has been neglected of late - it will be for another month or so. But I have had time, just, to take a few shots of the basing I'm using for my desert stuff.

Bases are 2mm MDF (bought in 4 x 3 foot sheets - 5 for £20 - from a picture framing materials supplier), with painted 'sand and glue' texturing, woodland scenics coarse turf, and grass tufts by Mininatur. Minis are FoW.

First up, a British 'battle group' HQ stand - my C-in-C.

My first Germans - 2x 8.8cm flak guns and prime movers.

Monday, 20 September 2010

First WWII units

This weekend I took a break from the Punic Wars and painted a few vehicles and guns for 22nd Armoured Brigade Group, Nov 1941. (But don't worry - I'm now back with the Punic Wars project.). I'm still waiting for my sheet 2mm MDF so they are unbased. The first units are:

2nd RG Hussars Regiment- 10 Crusader Mk1.

Anti-tank battery 102nd AT Regiment - 2 2pdr portee and 1 truck

C Battery 4th RHA - 2 25pdr, 2 Quad tractors, 2 limbers, 1 truck, 1 AOP in carrier (this piece is a standard FoW carrier which has had extra radio equipment, a telephone-cable spool [rear], a scratch built rangefinder and 'map' [for easy table ID], and an extra crew member added), and 13 25pdr crew - 6 per gun plus battery officer.

Now back to the project.........................