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Kalisz 1706 at Salute 2017 – The Show

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Nick and I had a fantastic day at the Salute Show and my thanks also goes to Rob and Laurent who provided some priceless support in helping out before, during and after the Show.  We basically talked to people about the table, the game, the battle and the rules all day – it was brilliant!.  We did not have time to do more than a few token moves on the table.

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Rob, Nick and Laurent

I also would like to thank all of you who have read this blog that came by to say hello – I really appreciate it.  In addition to all of the others who stopped by to have a look, ask a few questions or take a picture.  Finally, I have to say that Warlords are very good at organizing this massive event and we had no problems this, or the last time, we attended Salute in 2015.

I had a quick chat with Peter Berry of Baccus who said that Joy of Six in July was now full and that he had to turn away games – this is brilliant news! Not for the people who get turned away but that there is a huge interest in putting on 6mm games. I just wonder why there are not more 6mm, or smaller scale 2 to 10mm,  land battle games at Salute, or should I say, wargames shows in general? I have not heard many people say that they have a decent table worth of figures and some terrain in 6mm – but that have been turned down setting up a game by a wargames show.  But I will leave that thought for this moment.

Apart from our table there was one more 6mm game, the Battle for Neustadt that is a cold war scenario set in West Germany in 1984. This was a nice table run by Iain Fuller and others from the Warlords Club.  They will also attend the Joy of Six in July so there is another chance to catch them there. I have had some e-mail communication with Iain in the past so it was nice to have a quick chat and say hello.

I also got a chance to see the new Baccus TYW/ECW sculpts and I let the battalion of pike and shot talk for itself. Wonderful stuff from Baccus yet again.  Peter gave me a copy of the new Swedish flag sheet for the Thirty Years war – it is very tempting indeed.

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PIke and Shot from Baccus – Wonderful!

I also talked to Peter Riley and David Pead who are the men behind the wargames calculator that I have mentioned before on the blog (see here).  They told me they have some interesting stuff coming up so I would follow them on Facebook and see what they are up to.

I also said a quick hello to Neil Shuck but did not get a chance to give him the Sharp Practice stuff for Joy of Six as I had planned.

I also had a chat with an old friend of mine, Michael Leck who put on a really nice game using his Pikemans Lament rules called Fort Mosquito 1654. This was a battle between Swedish and Dutch colonial forces set in mid 17th century Delaware, involving native tribes, attempting to wrestle control of the river and the important fur trade.  Incidentially they grabbed two of the prizes of the day – well deserved.  For more information see his blog (link here). I had a very useful discussion with Jan (who did the terrain and buildings) on how to make log cabins and the trees using steel wool that I will have to try out some time in the future.

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Fort Mosquito 1654
Here are a few shots of our table in no particular order.

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In addition Nick has put on some pictures on his facebook page (here) and on the Wyre Forest Wargames club page (here).

We produced a few organization charts to simplify the proceedings, they turned out being very useful and look good too. There were made using SmartArt Graphic in Excel and then pasted into PowerPoint with some added pictures etc.

Swedish Playsheet 1

Saxon Playsheet 1

I also updated the PDF showing the bases used on the day (download link here – Kalisz Bases Polemos GNW and TOTSK v2 ).

We also handed out a leaflet with a few notes about the Battle and the Game, here –  Kalisz Leaflet Salute 2017.

Now getting ready for Joy of Six in July.

Finally, the 1914-21 Society (link here) who was attending had a Maxim machine gun on display but, in my view, the key piece was the Madsen Light Machine Gun.  I knew the Madsen as the LMG of the Norwegian and Danish soldiers of WW2, but did not know it was the first true light machine gun produced in a major quantity and that it was used extensively by the Russian Army in the Russo-Japanese war and during the Russian Civil War.  Thanks for your time gents!

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The 1914-21 Society Table (Laurent, thanks for the Picture)

/ That was a fun weekend

 

FIW – Sharp Practice in 6mm – Part 6 Inspiration and Some Progress

Braddock’s Defeat

I just finished listening to Braddock’s Defeat on Audible and ended up buying the physical book as well from Amazon as a reference copy.  This is an amazing piece of work by David Preston and I have not had so much enjoyment (reading a book on Military History) since I read Oskar Sjöström’s Fraustadt 1706: ett fält färgat rött.  The Fraustadt book unfortunately, as is the case for a lot of Great Northern War literature, is not available in English. But I digress…

If you are familiar with the French Indian War period of history you will have heard about the British General Braddock leading a expeditionary force, in 1755, through Pennsylvania to attack the French Fort Duquesne on the forks of the Ohio River. A smaller French Canadian force, led by the French Captain Beaujeu and supported by native Indian Tribes, had decided to seek battle before the British arrived to the fort and encountered and attacked the British at Monongahela (about 10 miles from what is now Pittsburgh).  It was the French Canadian resolve and ability to quickly get organised and use the terrain efficiently in applying woodland tactics that won the day.

“Historians have generally ignored French and Native perspectives on the 1755 campaign. The French were outnumbered, outgunned, and faced crippling supply problems in their Ohio Valley posts. They despaired of their inability to halt or slow Braddock’s relentless march. However, convoys of French reinforcements led by a veteran officer, Captain Beaujeu, came to Fort Duquesne after an epic 700-mile voyage from Montreal, arriving only a few days before the fateful battle at the Monongahela.  …..

A newly discovered French account from the Archives du Calvados transforms our understanding of French and Native American leadership and tactics at the Battle of the Monongahela. The French commander, Captain Beaujeu, sent out Native scouts who brought him exact intelligence on the location and disposition of the British. Dividing his force into three parallel columns, Beaujeu organized a frontal attack on the British column with his Canadian troops. He instructed the Indians to spread out in the woods on the right and the left, and to withhold their fire until he had engaged the British. The Monongahela was neither a meeting engagement nor an ambush, but a well-planned and executed French and Indian attack on a vulnerable British column. “

Ten questions about Braddock’s Defeat by David L. Preston, accessible here.

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Painting showing a contingent of French and Indians attacking General Braddock, in the background, who is falling from his horse being assisted by Major George Washington, the future first president of the United States of America – one of many key characters of the American revolution that were involved in this expedition. (Painted by Edwin W. Deming, the painting forms part of the Wisconsin Historicial Society’s collection)

I really enjoy the story telling aspect of real history and to paraphrase Dan Carlin, “it has destroyed fiction for me” (go and listen to one of his Hardcore History Shows if you have not done so yet!, here is a link).  However being factual, intellectual and educational does not need to be boring and can instead be truly inspirational and that is this book in a nutshell.  If you have any interest in the period, or military history in general, I suggest you get hold of this one.

I think a lot can be done with the skirmish rules I have (i.e. Sharp Practice, Musket and Tomahawks and  Songs of Drums and Tomahawks) but for the “larger” battles I am not sure what good rulesets are there that captures the flavour of not just the period but in the particular way the war was fought in this theatre. But then this was only a small diversion!

Crystal Palace and that very famous Battle

I was intending to spend the day at SELWG (South East London Wargames Group) show in Crystal Palace today, but the little one had his first rugby festival for the season and luckily, because I would be a really sad bastard otherwise, I actually prefer to see him play rather than going to a wargames show.  As it is very close to where we live we ended up going for the last 45 minutes on our way home – but the last part of a wargames show is very often like drinking a pint of lager that was poured two hours ago.  I did not take any pictures of the tables on offer, but there seemed to be a good collection – a nice ancient game with loads of pikes and a Doctor Who game caught my eye.  Next weekend (on both Saturday and Sunday) is the big event at Battle with the 950th Anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings. We are looking forward to this.

Supporting Cast, Real Estate and Markers

I decided to spend the little time I had available for diversions this week finalising as much of the painting as I could for the initial Sharp Practice stuff – so I and the little one could play a proper game in a not too distant future.  This, instead of getting diverted spending hours gluing small strips of spaghetti like last week (see my last blog entry here) I actually managed to get some of the more immediate and necessary stuff completed.

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My temporary “Out of ammunition markers” using crates from Perfectsix – I did a few more. “Resthouse” by Leven Miniatures. The bases are 9mm in diameter.
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Ammo markers for artillery (again made from PerfectSix materials).
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Mule Train from Baccus
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Barricades based on various items from PerfectSix
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As above but from a different angle
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Breastworks based on some old Irregular stuff I had lying around. Painted up really well!
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As above but from a different angle
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Holymen and Doctors for both sides – Pere Bleu, Docteur Bleu, Doctor Red and Father Red.
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Carts – Engineering, Water and Ammunition Carts

I was thinking about a scenario with the characters from a famous movie set during the French Indian War – and did the three little chaps below.  / Until next

3-guys

 

 

 

Saga in 6mm – Part 11 – The Joy of 6 2016

I have had a few busy days since returning from the Joy of 6 show and I suppose I need to write a summary of what happened on the day. In short it was an excellent day.  We actually arrived the evening before and had the pleasure of doing the traditional stop in Broom Hill for an ale at the York and then a Curry at the Balti King with Peter Berry et al. It is a nice little preamble to the show and this year the discussions ranged from milk protein paint (looks interesting indeed) to kickstarters we had backed (seems like I am not the only one who has some big boxes of stuff at home).

The Sunday weather on offer was magnificent and I do not miss the old venue as it tended to get very hot inside. The new venue is superb and it is nice to see how the show grows every year and the selection of periods, game systems and style of presentation is very varied and makes the event well worth going to.  It is also nice to meet up with some old friends, although the time for a chat is limited when you are running a participation game.  Here are a few links showing off some of the stuff presented on the day (one, two, three, four).

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Our two tables on the day.  Note the Lewis chess set Queen overseeing the proceedings on the table. According to the British museum they are from the period 1150-1200 which is a little bit later than the 10th to 11th century of the Saga game – no one seemed to mind though.

 

I and Neil Shuck arrived at about 9am with the doors opening at 10am. Usually I have hundreds of Great Northern War units to put up which invariably I mess up giving me an headache in setting up – does the Kalmar regiment stand on the left or right flank?, is the Dorrellian Dragoons dismounted or on their horses? Instead I just rolled out the mats and placed the terrain and we were good to go.  Neil umpired the Kings table where we had Normans vs. Strathclyde Welsh and I umpired the Queens table where we had Vikings vs. Anglo-Danes. You can read about Neil’s day on his blog here.

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One of the first battles involved a lot of maneuvering in the forest areas.  Note the canopies having been taken off leaving the darker tiles to represent the forest area. In later games I took away some of the forest areas to allow a more full on clash.

 

Neil, not just a smooth voice on the radio but a pro umpire, just got straight into it and had a father and son playing within minutes so I just had to get going. We ran 7 or 8 games over the day and we did not dramatically change (at least knowingly) any of the original rules – they (the rules) works very well as a 6mm game. And it gives a different feel to the warband than in 28mm of being bigger – but not big enough to be an army.  The Saga rule set allow the person with the most impressive facial hair to go first in case of a tie in rolling for initiative – and on more than one occasion it was hard to tell the best beard of the day!  What is great with Saga is that it takes a while to master each faction and I learn something new every time I play (or in this case watch others playing it).

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Less forest and a more straightforward battle!

 

I think everyone who tried out the game enjoyed it and although I do hope it promoted the Saga rulesets per se I am more keen that it provoked some thought about using alternative scales for other games.  This is not universal but applies to a lot of games –  Mike Whittaker has posted some interesting things about ground scale and other considerations you may need to take (see his blog.). I have seen Flames of war in 6mm and it looks beautiful especially when there are many tanks on the table compared to 15mm, Chain of Command is based on a 15mm ground scale but perfectly playable in 6mm using centimeters instead of inches (but some consideration should be given to the basing of team instead of individuals).

Thanks to everyone who came by and asked about the terrain and how I had done this and that – it really makes my day! In addition a very big thank you to my daughter who helped out on the day and of course to Peter Berry and Wargames Emporium for putting on another fantastic show.  I am also more than grateful for the support I have had from the Meeples and Miniatures crew in getting this done (Dave I hope your foot gets better soon and Mike we need to have a beer at some point) – so thank you Neil.

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Neil’s first skirmish of the day

 

I am not 100% sure what to do for next year but I have some thoughts….

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Maybe a proper GNW action like the Battle of Lesnaya 1708?

 

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…or a Pegasus Bridge Chain of Command Scenario in 6mm?

 

I will discuss a few more Saga issues in the next posts, including some thoughts on other factions and what Baccus models to use.  Then we may move on to something completely different – but more about that later.

All the very best