Welcome to "Dust, Tears & Dice", a blog dedicated to the hobby of miniature wargaming.
If you fancy gaming periods off the beaten track then this is the place for you.
I am a regular member of The Wyvern Wargamers, formerly The Evesham Wargames Club drawing gamers from Worcester, Redditch, Kidderminster, Cheltenham and Stratford.
All players welcome.
No Work, No DIY, no Kids a whole day of playing with toy soldiers....
Two of us with a days holiday in the middle of the week, what better time for a wargame, time we to dust off the WW1 collection, we used Mud & Blood from the Too Fat Lardies, the scenario was simple, hold the village by 4.30pm....
Each player would select a unit in secret until one person called a halt to the purchase of units, a unit could range from a section of 10 men to a HMG or artillery piece.
Reinforcements of an additional 4 units would be brought on at 1pm
The Village of Poudre Jambon in the NE of French 1914, the Germans had been pushing hard for the coast, the British & French threw what they could in to the line to slow the German advance, the front was still very static in those days with troops from both sides looking to make the important break through. If the Village could be secured it could be the anchor point needed to push forward.
View of the table facing North.
View of the Table facing South.
Both commands advanced on a wide front looking to spot the enemy early on, with 9 elements each, but with no prior knowledge of the make up of the formations if concentrations of troops could be identified before the other blinds were revealed it may give one of us the early advantage we both craved.
As German commander my plan was simple throw a couple of units to the North of the village to slow the allied advance, place a couple of small close assualt units hidden in the village to give me a foot hold whilst the bulk of the German forces push up the Southern edge of the table sweeping across the bridge and catching any allied forces in the open hidden at the rear of the village.
Whilst the British Commander had placed two Blinds on the Southern river bank I was confident his forces would be merely a token force. I was wrong.
I came off blind with 3 squads supported by a HMG section and Artillery, I had also attached my Big Man Status 3 with the force to keep them moving.
The British forces revealed, 2 Infantry sections, a HMG Section, plus Artillery, we were practically equal in numbers and the British were defending the hedge row, so much for the sweeping right hook.
The German Artillery primed and ready for action it was to spend much of the game swapping Rounds with it's British Counterpart.
Knowing that the clock was ticking there was nothing for it, I threw my Infantry sections into close assault catching the allies before the gun crew and HMG could be brought to bear, I hoped with the extra points for charging and big man present, I could make the extra unit tell and force the British off table before any protracted firefight took place.
The Hedge row proved a tough nut to crack, the extra 1:3 dice gave the British a slight advantage, 2 German units were beaten back with significant casualties, but I had gained a foot hold damaging the crew men on the gun and HMG and forcing back a British infantry section.
In the North of the table the majority of my blinds had be uncovered and my bluff had been unearthed, all that held up the northern end of the village was a single sniper who continued to slow the French as they hopped from hedge row to hedge row.
Other French units began to inflitrate the village responding the my assault on the right river bank. I had to act.
A number of British units had moved out of the corner house being sent to support the defenders on the other side of the river, I activated my two sections in the village and assaulted the house, driving the defending section back 9 inches and putting pressure on the allied defenders how gathering in the fields opposite the village.
1PM the British reinforcements arrived first and massed behind the house, I need to buy some time for my own reinforcements to arrive and deploy, the cards were going against me at this stage, my German defenders pourer fire into the British in the road hoping to inflict a enough shock to slow them down, however the British fire was two great as they out numbered the Germans by 2:1 the volume of fire drove the Germans from the House.
The Germn reinforcements rushed up the roads and lanes to support the defenders in the village, however the French had managed to deploy a HMG at the road junction which slowed the flow of reinforcements and inflicted significant shock on my reinforcements.
A second round of fire from the French HMG and the advancing Germans turned and fled.
However additional German units had now massed behind the house which only a turn before had been in German hands, and pushed into the building which was now held by a fraction of the original British force and already held a number of shock points.
The German reinforcements push into the terrace house in force.
To the North the French had dug in to the farm house and surrounding hedge rows but were to few in number to make a concerted push into the village, their own sniper had run out of ammo before he was able to be brought to play, quickly to be followed by the German Sniper who rolled a double 1 on the following turn and left the table.
On the southern river bank I had recovered sufficently to make a push over the road, but it was to little to late and whilst the HMG continued to pour fire into any British brave enough to line the hedge row, I was to few in number to push over the river into the village.
The British took cover in the hedge row, whilst the Germans tookup positions in the village both of us content to hold our ground after a number of bloody enounters. A marginal victory to the Germans but more importantly a cracking days gaming....
Having spent what seemed like days putting together 60 Victrix 1804, I finally got a chance to put some paint on them. Whilst technically a little late for Egypt 1798 it gives me a cheap way to bulk out the French units before I add some specialist units in Metal.
Based on 1p pieces and in movement trays from Warbases my plan is to create 10 figure units for Sharp Practice vs 8 man units for the Ottoman Turks which should give the French a little more staying power.
Historically I have always used a black under coat and this was a new departure for me using a white base coat and a greater use of inks, but I am generally pleased pleased with the result, the Victrix figures hold the paint well and the detail is easily picked out (although it's difficult to see on these photo's..
Next up more Ottoman's.
Undercoat Citadel White together with a Citadel Wash Gryphonne Sepia.
Foundry Deep Blue Shade 20A followed by Deep Shade Light 20C Highlight together with a Citadel Wash Asurman Blue.
Highlight Blood Red
Citadel Wash Baal Red
White over the Citadel Wash Gryphonne Sepia
Vallejo Neutral Grey 160
Followed by a Citadel Wash Devlan Mud
Webbing and other fittings.
Bestial Brown and or Dark Afrian Flesh 121B followed by a Citadel Wash Devlan Mud
Tan Shade 14A
Bolt Gun Metal
Citadel Wash Devlan Mud
Highlight after wash - Mithril Silver
Vallejo Old Gold 173
GW Elf Flesh.
Citadel Wash Devlan Mud
Followed by Elf Flesh highlights
Sunday night club night and another outing for Lt Henshaw our standin hero.
Using the Too Fat Lardies, Sharp Practice rules with a few tweaks for the Zulu Wars, campaign games are generated using the Platoon Forward suppliment again tweaked to give a more colonial feel.
After the last encounter at Hamel's Hill the British player rolled well and was fully reinforced back to Platoon Strength, he also picked up reinforcements for the next game and was aided by a Section of RA to support the platoon.
The next scenarion rolled for was "Ambush" a chance for the British player to intercept a Zulu War Party and inflict more damage than he recieved before retiring....
The British Player chose to deploy a full platoon plus the support.
The Zulu player had 7 blinds available with a further 8 on the 5th turn of active engagement.
We pick up on Sunday evening in the British Camp.
Chances like these are few and far between. A Swazi Chief came in to camp on Sunday evening with details of a planned Zulu raid across the Natal border. Henshaw and his platoon are sent out to ambush the Zulu party attached to his platoon is a section of artillery to add much need fire power to the British forces.
The terrain was in the favour of the Crown player with a wooded ridge line running across the centre of the table and several hundred yards of open veldt in front of the British Sections hidden amongst the rocks and thorn bushes...
Turn 1 the Zulu player advances on Blind with neither side aware of the strengths that they were facing.
Turn 2 and the Zulu's first unit is spotted a small skirmish unit, the British all unmask as they pour a full platoon of fire into the skirmish unit including shells from the artillery piece, whilst casualties are lite, the shock is sufficent to force the Zulu's from the table.
It could be a long night for the Zulu's.
Henshaw and 2nd Section hidden amongst the under growth. The opening volley from Henshaw proved to be critical for the British. Henshaw rolling more 1's than 6's resulted in a low ammunition penalty which reduced his firing to short range and was to significantly reduce the British Fire power. (Mules needed... I think)
Turn 3, the Zulu player draws first and the Zulu blinds swing right, out of the arc of the Royal Artillery who are set back behind the British Rifle sections, the Zulu's drive towards 3rd section who are detached from the bulk of the British forces.
Moving on a blind at 3D6 +2 Pips per dice the Zulu Blinds tend to cause a small degree of panic in many British players as their speed can rapidly chance a situation on table.
The British player at this stage are still unaware of the full size of the Zulu force facing them as many of the blinds spotted turn out to be fake.
The Zulu are spotted by the experienced Sgt Taylor (Status III) who much to his horror is faced by the full Zulu War Party, Tiffin comes around with the Bitish Section unable to move and the volley have limited impact on the advancing Zulu.
A break for the British, Sgt Taylor's card lands first and he is able to retire in reasonable order, the Zulu's crest the hill and engage with the British Section who are beaten back losing 6 men to the Zulu's 3..... (A bad day at the office for the Crown or just the luck of Zulu's again.....)
The Britsh are thrown back 9"'s leaving the Zulu's to butcher the wounded.
The British forces retire knowing the Zulu's are massing the other side of the ridge line. The RA fires only to be covered in a shroud of smoke which restricted their firing for a number of turns.
British blinds are thrown forwards in a vain attempt to slow the Zulu relief column fast approaching the ridge line.
As the Zulu's massed the clocked ticked down for the British who retire off table having inflicted a mere 5 kills on the Zulu resulting in a loss on the night by 1 figure.....
If Henshaw is to win grace and favour in the British army he is going to have to do better than that.
Better Luck next time Henshaw...
GAME REPORT 3 Post Script
A reasonable roll on the Fixed Event table in Platoon Forward results in the Platoon being brought up to 2 short of fall strength.
With the British rolling 4+ pn a D6 they remain on the offisive dispite the set back above.
Next Up - Scenario F - Platoon Attack - Crossing the Drift.
This is what happens when you go on holiday....
You suddenly find yourself with some free time and in bookshops reading stuff that would normally pass you by.
Next thing you know you have a new period to add to Lead Mountain.
Having wargamed for over 25 years I have always looked at "big" Napoleanic Battles and thought I would never be able to paint that volume or that many for just one unit, however Sharp Practice by the Too Fat Lardies goes some way to address that urge. Larger than your average skirmish game, but flexible enough to feel like a large battle.
Now I am not one for gaming regular periods - ask anyone at the club, but this may be as close as it gets to regular period wargaming.
Napoleon in Egypt satisfies my interests in a number of areas, Colonial Wargames ish, painting up some Arab figures that have been kicking around for a while from a Crusade Project that never really got off the ground, use of my Arab Village that never gets enough table time and Napoleonic gaming that I have largely ignored since starting out in the hobby.
First out of the blocks - Ottoman Infantry from Brigade Games.