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Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – the Swedish Camp (TMT)

In the last update on the Poltava project that will be laid out at Joy of Six in July this year I presented Poltava itself and I wrote about it here.

As I have stated on a number of occasions, this is just one of the many features I want to capture on the Battle Field.  In an earlier update I showed some plans I had in doing the Swedish camp.

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I had no idea whether a tent was standardised or not (but since everything else was I assumed it would be) and got some input from Oskar Sjöström who works at the Swedish Army Museum (and also wrote a brilliant book on the Battle of Fraustadt 1706) in the form of photos of tents from re-enactment groups (the one below representing enlisted tents).

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In addition I came across this old document from 1699, showing an officers tent. It is signed by the King himself (Carolus, Charles XII) – straight on top of the drawing.

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Another prominent feature of the camp are the Swedish Supply wagons, these were based on another design from the Period (I wrote a blog on how I made these wagons for the Lesnaya project here).

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The overall design of the camp is based on how a battalion camped during the era, and I used the following picture as an inspiration (from the book Poltava 1709 – Vändpunkten, by Moltusov and Lyth).

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Inspiration
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Initial thoughts and planning – tents are from Baccus 6mm
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Some further work – note the Supply Wagons discussed above. The blue foam is a perimeter wall around the camp. I made the camp on a 6mm mdf board, about 2 by 1 feet in dimension.
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The Tents – I made these on separate bases to allow some flexibility.
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Another angle…
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Some camp followers
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Some fires
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The tents in the Camp
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Some meat is being prepared

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Adding some supply wagons
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The final spectacle with enough space for some troops. Putting it away until the show, there is much more to do.

/ Hope that was of some interest

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Swedish Rifle Platoon in WW2 for Chain of Command – Getting a Ride

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You may recall that I did some work on a Swedish Rifle Platoon in WW2 for Chain of Command last year. This is part of a What-if Project I have been working on for some Potential WW2 actions involving the Swedish Army.  I have been working away slowly with this project in the background.  The rules I am using are Too Fat Lardies Chain of Command, but if you are interested in this What-if then you should be able to get something out of this even if you use another rule set.

More on this project here and here.

I will shortly do an update of the Swedish Platoon list for Chain of Command as there are a few errors in the support options.

One of the most iconic Swedish vehicles of the era was the Terrängbil m/42 KP (Off Road Vehicle), also known as the KP-bil.  It was a domestic development and would allow the troops to keep up with the tanks and also offer some protection from artillery and small arms fire. The KP-bil was a APC basically developed from an army lorry with armour-plates.  The first ones were delivered in 1944 but there were a produced in 1943 but rejected (due to weaknesses in the body).  In the What-if scenarios I am developing with a German invasion of Sweden in 1943 these will be pressed into service earlier.

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1944 Configuration (Picture from Wikipedia)

The KP-bil was finally de-commissioned from Swedish Military Service in 2004 and was baptised in fire during its service with the Swedish UN forces in Congo in the 1960s. It was sometimes referred to as the Coffin due to it shape and in Congo it was also known as the White Elephant.  You can find more about this vehicle, in English, from these web pages:

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Later Configuration painted as when in service in Congo – with machine Gun mounting on the Roof

Putting them into Service

In doing the research for this WW2 Swedish project I found that it is possible to buy the KP-bil in 1/100 scale from Shapeways (link here).

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Over £20 for a 15mm vehicle!, well I thought it was so favourable so I got 4 of them.  I am not here to justify the stupidity in this – I just love this whole idea and this project.

The first issue is in the fact that these come with Machine Gun Mountings that were not included as standard until the 1950s – I could have stretched the imagination a little bit in this what-if and said that perhaps when they were pressed into service the mounting were attached?  I decided to take them away. I did this with a fine cutter and then applied two pieces of thin card to cover the whole, the round piece incidentially the same diameter as a normal hole punch hole – I covered them with PVA glue.

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As they arrived from Shapeways – primed in grey.
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Cut away the mounting and clean up!
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Thin card applied – glued and sealed with some PVA glue.

I then painted them in three colour scheme – I have used this for the Tanks I am working on too (future posting).

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The looked ok, but as they do not cover with any passengers the look a little bit boring.  I thought I add some, but wanted to be able to take them out to show whether they were occupied or not on the gaming table.

During a very long telephone conference I got an idea and doodled it down – not a very clever one but good enough to achieve what I needed to do. I thought I would just create a block of soldiers that could be put in and out the vehicle.

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Not very engineering like!

I got some Italian Flames of War models (the one I used for the base Platoon I made) and created four bases (that I made sure fitted into the vehicles) with soldiers glued together (I used Grip Fill) trying to create some interesting “going ons”.

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Primed Grey and washed with Black Ink.

The I painted them as I did the other Platoon I did (see link here to that blog post for what Colours I used).

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I was really excited at this Stage!

Had to get them out on a test spin, I think it was worth it.

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Travelling through the Country side. You get the feeling that the men are nervous looking around in all direction, maybe the enemy is near.
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Getting off the main road.
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Parking Up
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Disembarking and advancing towards the Forest.

/ Hope that was of some interest,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Salute 2019 by the slightly Older One

The Little One wrote a blog entry last time around about his day at Salute (you can find the link here) and I said I would do the same but have not repeated the stuff he already covered (like the games we played!).  A lot of people have read that one and engaged in making comments on the blog, twitter, Facebook and various wargaming forums. It is  really encouraging that the hobby is so welcoming and happy to see youngsters amongst it ranks, so thank you all from the Little One and I.

For me Salute is about impressions and meeting people, In summary I felt Salute this year being spacious, having a lot variety in type of games being presented and we did have a good time – we always do.  There were games that could be played on a 2 by 2 mat and there were games on very large tables, some were very simple others were pieces of art, some were storyboards conveying the passion of a period, others were bland but functional. It reflects my gaming in a nutshell as for some projects I go absolutely mad and for other projects I just want to get it on the table and play – although I do have a LUDO set with a Green, Yellow, Red and Green “fire team” somewhere.

As always we wandered around and met a lot of nice new and old friends including Henry Hyde, Mike Whitaker, The Too Fat Lardies (Rich, Nick and Sidney), Simon T, Iain Fuller , Ken Eccentric!,  Dave Hickman, Neil and Josh Shuck, Peter & Dave and the other Wargames Collection Calculator crew, Mark Backhouse, Guy Bowers, Michael Leck and his Nordic Crew, the Berrys, the Space Vixen crew, Friends of General Haig, Dave Brown and then everyone I forgot as well.  I wanted to run into Big Lee but I failed, hi Lee!

Between the talking, playing a few games with the Little One, doing some limited shopping and picking up some pre-orders from Baccus (from their 6mm Great Northern War range) and Gripping Beast (the New Saga supplement and a few of the custom dice), I took a few pictures of things that interested me during the day.

I just thought I put a few of these pictures here, with a few comments where appropriate.  I hope this reflects a mixture of easily achievable as well as more inspirational long term projects.

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Lutzen 1632 (Friends of General Haig), Stunning set-up and you can find the story about this table on a very inspiration blog here.  It is one of the most famous Battles in Swedish history and would end up in a Victory but also the death of the Swedish King (Gustavus Adolphus).
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Windmills and Black Powder a winning combination. I really like the teddy fur mat with the roads incorporated.  I always wanted to do one but have not tried it yet – it would be fun to do a mat for some Kursk tank battles or something like that.
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The excellent Black River Debacle, by Ged Cronin. With the text taken from the handout The Governor has gone up the Black River (a tributary of the Red River) to inspect some warehouses. Meanwhile his wife, an amateur botanist who is quire headstrong, has wandered off looking for butterflies to improve her collection.
Soon it becomes apparent that the black flags have abducted the Governor’s wife.
The Black flags have done this to try and lure the French into an ambush as revenge for the loss of one of their commander’s, Liu Yung-Fu’s, favourite lieutenants.
Meanwhile the Black Flags have also taken a box of jewels from a Formosan merchant. The French have heard word of this. Also, the French have heard a rumour that the Black Flags have a giant ceremonial cannon that is inlaid with gold. Can this be true?”
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Some excellent detail on this table

 

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Everything just worked nicely together
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Inspiring stuff
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That looks superb!
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I think this was one of my favourites of the day in terms of visual impact.  There was so much detail to explore.
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Another nice scene from a modern game set in the Helmand province. I shows the amazing effect of some clutter that could easily be used for a range of periods.  In this particular case the vehicles narrow down the time stamp.
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World famous Henry Hyde taking some pictures of the beautify Ligny 1815 out on by Dave Brown using his General d’Armee rules.
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Ligny 1815 would become Napoleon’s last victory and his opponent was no other than the Prussian Field Marshal Prince Blucher.  Even I know the importance of the Prince’s arrival at Waterloo, so the bittersweetness of the Ligny loss did not last long.
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Now I know from friends who play Napoleonic games that General d’Armee is a fantastic rule set.  However with a fantastic table like this, who really cares.
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Marching columns…
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Stunning Jungle terrain on the Too Fat Lardies table who were doing a Malaya Big CoC (Chain of Command) battle.  I took these pictures before battle commenced – it looked peaceful and beautiful. That Buddha statue in the background is one of those details that sets the scene and gives that sense of location.
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You can find some inspiring stuff on the build of this at the Lardies webpage here.
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Excellent…
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The units all lined up to fight!
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Peterborough laid on a IABSM game at Omaha Beach. Looked really fun.

 

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Hard work getting onto that beach! The table gave a nice sense of the battle field.  I went to Omaha beach a few years back and it left me with very strong emotions in just trying to imagine the hell of being there on 6th June 1944.
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Some games were presented just like the are out of the box – that works too.  I think this was Mantic Games Hellboy?
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Some coffee table sized games with enough immersion to draw you in.
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This terrain looked like something from my back garden – bloody brilliant!, the Game Arcworlde by Warplogue Miniatures.
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Crawley Wargames put on a Aztec game that looked really fun.
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Even a wooden fort, cocktail sticks and some patience!
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Warlord Showing off their two naval games – first Cruel Seas, and then…
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… the new age of Sail Game “Black Seas”,
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Naval Wargames Society put on a Stingray game that looked really fun, and like many other tables there were Children playing and having fun. There was a lot of Children at the show and I think this is a good thing.
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Wild in the Streets – Gang Fighting.  I bought their Death Metal team on a Kickstarter that is on its way.  Again fun on limited space.
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We watched the Burrow and Badgers game for a while.  I did not appreciate that it was playable on such a small table. It looked really fun. Wonderful models.

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Street Wars with Funky Skull Games, really liked the compact but effective terrain. Really nice.

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Red Alert by PSC games looked fun. I am resisting getting this one at the moment. I think it comes with the mat in the game? – I hope you can iron it?
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I think those ships would paint up really well.
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Another Command and Colors game especially for Jay Arnold.  This was a very inspirational table.

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This is how you play it!
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I did return to the Lutzen table at the latter part of the day
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Fighting was fierce!
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I seemed to be drawn to small city scapes? This being the Carnage City Chronicles Miniatures game.
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Really cool….
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A Seven Years wars table, the team was on break and the gentleman guarding it had no idea what it was about. Tricornes are enough for me to stop for a while.
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In doing some browsing on the net I think it was laid on by Rafael Fonseca & Friends
And was a Seven Years War battle, where the  French and Allied forces attack the Prussians.
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I do not know what is so special with Tricornes but the armies of this era, to sound a little bit younger than I am, really Rock!
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Flags and straight lines, warfare in a more civilized age!
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Battle of Bauge 1421 was put on by the Lance and Longbow Society
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Nice little scene
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The Warlords put on (at least) two cool tables, this one showing pilum against pike…
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…and a fabulous game on the moon…
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The background blur was – The Moon: 2039.  Play as US and Chinese forces in secret but deadly missions in the difficult, dusty, cratered terrain and in just one-sixth gravity.  But are there other forces in play…?
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More from the Pike and Pilum battle!
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Beautiful terrain from Oshiro. A Gothic horror game using the Fistful of Lead System, by Wiley Games.
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World Class terrain!
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Real Time Wargames always put on a nice show, this time some 10mm action on the North-West Frontier.
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Nice hills and the game was looked fun too!
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Boudicca vs Romans, Mancetter 61CE, To the Strongest Rules!

 

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That is a battle line of 6mm proportions (if that makes sense)
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But with 28mm detail if you look close enough (wonderful, effectful, I wish I had the time and patience to do that one day! – I will stick to my 6mm for now)
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It is always nice to see Michael Leck and crew.  He serve the Battle of Danholm 1807 using his new Rebels & Patriots rules that works as well in a Scandinavian themed setting as in North-America!
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I ended up chatting and with only two photos – I suggest you check Michaels blog Dalauppror (A good start is in the link here)
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Wings of War or Wings of Glory, this Looked fun!

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Bad Squiddo Games offered a little oasis to sit down and do some colouring. The War Peegs stuff looks fun and hopefully the rules will be out soon (you can see the vehicles on their website, here)

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Aughrim 1691 was a part of the Williamite Wars in Ireland 1688-1691 by Crewe & Nantwich Wargaming.
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It was a fantastic looking table from a conflict I knew nothing about – now I know a little bit more.

 

I also have to say that the new WW2 Vehicle ranges from Baccus is something special and well worth a look and I think good value for money.

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We also got a little appearance on the Too Fat Lardies Oddcast, you can listen to it on youtube (link here).

Until next year, we Salute you!

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Salute 2019 by the Little One

[The Little One has written the blog today… I will write a little bit more next week from my perspective, but enough of me…]

I asked my Papa (that is what I call my Dad) if I could write the blog post today as we both went to the Show. I played two games at Salute. I could have played more but some were demonstration games whilst other were crowded when we went there and Papa tended to stop and talk to all kind of people that he knows. We did not maximise the playing time very well – but we both did have a good time and I know he likes to talk. I wanted to play the Omaha Beach game but it was full every time we went there – it looked really good [ed: this was the Omaha Beach game put on by  Peterborough Wargames Club]. I will write about the two games I did play in more detail below, but first a few general things.

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Omaha Beach by the Peterborough Wargames Club – it looked really nice.

I did like

  • I really enjoyed the show, there is a lot to do and buy;
  • I got myself 3 Tiger tanks in 15mm from Peter Pig and they gave me a bonus miniature (thanks!) and I also got the Osprey Book about the Tiger I. We also bought a target lock laser line each – this will help us when we determine whether something is in an arc of fire or not. It avoids arguments, I tend to be more rules strict than my opposition (like Papa). I always see Peter Pig at shows and Papa has a lot of their WW2 stuff – I think he has the world record.  I also got some dice, but they were not very exciting.
  • Everyone was friendly to me and answered all my questions really well;
  • There is a lot of different games at this show, I really like historical games but you could also play fantasy and science fiction (I was looking for someone playing Star Wars Legion but I could not find any, we play it at home so I was not too sad about it).  Some games are more like street fights but there are a lot of very big battles as well;
  • We went to the venue using the Cable Car – it is very exciting, and
  • They always have some cool people with costumes at the show, like Star Wars and 40k. This year they had a Spartan from the HALO universe too.
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I took this picture from the Cable Car, you can see the big Excel centre in the background just behind the big boat, that is where Salute takes place every year.
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Peter Pig doing a Pirate Game, it looked really funny!
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There was even a game using Lego models, that is really cool.
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Romans fighting Celts – very exciting. I am currently reading a lot of books about the Roman army, you should too it is really interesting.
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Spartan Soldier

I did not like

  • I was looking for some of the latest Star Wars Legion releases but the traders were only selling older stuff from the range – things I already have.
  • I am not used to walking around that much and should have taken better shoes.

 

The Battle of The Little Big Horn 1876 – The Wargamer Collection Calculator

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The first game I played was the Battle of Little Big Horn, it was fought in 1876. It was a battle between 650 soldiers of the US 7th Cavalry regiment under the command of Lt Colonel Custer against Allied Native American tribes led by Sitting Bull. It was fought over land that had been given to the Native Americans but the Government wanted to take it back because they found gold in the region.

The game was cleverly designed and was played on four different boards, each linking to the other boards and events were interconnected. First I played as the Indians but later I took the role of Custer himself, and my strategy was to get into the Indian village and take the women, elders and children hostage. However I found this challenging, first I attacked when I thought the Warriors had gone off hunting but they were still around, second I had left my Gatling guns behind.  During the game, I found myself facing three different enemy leaders (one being commanded by my Dad) but managed to fight bravely and get into the actual village, but unfortunately I had lost my bonus (as my leader – Custer had taken injuries) and had nothing to counter the Native Americans – ensuring my defeat.  I did put up a brave fight and when I talked to Peter who was one of the organisers at the end he said that I was the closest to Victory on that day. I do not like losing and felt annoyed at first, but I realised that as a consequence the children and the women would be safe – so that is a good thing.

It was a really good game, and I really recommend it if you see it on another show.  It is being run by the Wargamer Collection Calculator – you can find a link to them here.  I heard that they won best Participation Game on the day – I think they deserved it.  I hope I can play it again at Joy of Six in July as I will be going there this year [ed: as if you had any choice mate!].  I am getting the book about the Battle by Philbrick.

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Here is the first of the four areas that was part of the game, the small board is the Native American Village and the big board is where Custer fought. In reality he died on top of the Hill in the Middle. The wooded arrows show how the board links with the other boards.
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Here are the other two boards that form part of the overall Battle.

Space Vixens from Mars – “Meine Ehre heiβt Treue”, The Road to Castle Itter May 1945

The second game was interesting too and was about a situation at the end of WW2 where a German Army Major and an American Lieutenant joined forces to save French prisoners in the Austrian Alps. These prisoners were being guarded by loyal SS Soldiers at Castle Itter, determined to ensure that the prisoners are terminated.

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The Book that inspired the game – The Last Battle with Stephen Harding. I ordered it today as I found it really interesting.

In the game I played the German major and his two squads of the finest German Army Soldiers.  We had to convince the SS checkpoints at two stages to successfully enable us to get behind the PAK 40 AT Gun and the Tiger Tank the SS soldiers were equipped with. This would allow me to conduct a surprise attack whilst the American approached the SS position with his Sherman tanks.  Once the Shermans were spotted, they concentrated their fire on the Tiger and managed to disable it. I overwhelmed the gun crew and put some of my men to operate it and managed to use it to destroy some enemy positions.  The American commander did his job well and finished off the remaining opposition.  As a results we managed to free the prisoners.  All-in-all another great game indeed.  They were using the SFD rules. Really nice people (Phil, Gary and Steve) and they have a webpage too (link here) [Ed: and thanks to Josh Shuck who played the American Commander].

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The Germans approaching the SS position – the Major in his Kubelwagen and his men in the American lorries behind. This requires nerves of Steel.
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The German Major is bluffing his way through as the Sherman Tank sneaks closer at the far end of the table, getting ready for the knock-out shot on the Tiger. Then all went according to plan.

/ Hope that was of some interest, Great Show and Great day. Thanks to the organisers and all the people who put on nice games and shared the hobby with me!

 

 

 

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Poltava Town done (TMT)

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For this years Joy of Six project, you may be aware, I needed to represent the Town of Poltava, in searching for some maps from the era I came across this beautiful map from the period showing the Battle of Poltava 1709, it was made by Anna van Westerstee Beeck. She produced a lot of maps showing battles of the period for the Great Northern War and the War of the Spanish Succession (more here and here).

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Anyway the focus today is Poltava itself (see below). we can see the Swedish Siege lines on the left. I wanted to capture the general feel of the town – wooden walls and the wall in the middle.

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I set out some ideas on a 6mm mdf board.

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I then built up a some walls with 6mm underfloor heating polystyrene and tooth picks.

 

The wooden towers required some thought and was made using pieces of lego cladded with tooth picks and I then made one roof and made a mould from putty silicon and produced enough for all the towers.

 

Anyway, here it is, buildings from Total Battle and Timecast.

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/ All the best, hope that was of some interest