Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Friday, 6 September 2019

Swamp Fox - Game 2

This is the second scenario from the Too Fat Lardies Swamp Fox supplement and again we have Swamp Fox Buchanan pitted against Major May. In this scenario the table is covered in large areas of swamp with a river running through it and a road crossing it.
The scenario is where the Rebels are attempting to disrupt a Crown force column. Thus the Crown forces deployed in a column on the road and attempted to exit at least half their force off of the far edge of the table.
Two groups of Rebel militia quickly deployed and started harassing the tail end of the column
The rear group of Loyalist militia turned and returned fire, acting as a rearguard whilst the rest of the column headed for safety.

Numbers soon began the tell and the rearguard were driven off. Meanwhile the rest of the column had used the time wisely and had managed to reach the ford over the river.
However out of the swamp came Swampy Buchanan to try and out flank them. However the dice gods were not with Swampy this time and even with a bonus move his forces floundered in the mud.
The British regulars deployed into line and prepared to pour fire into Swampy's troops.

The Crown forces closed in whilst Swampy failed to get his forces into any sort of order with only a single group able to return fire.

Things were not looking good for Swampy with poor dice rolling not helping and the militia were taking too long to advance up the road.

Soon the Rebels were down to just one group and this wasn't able to slow up the Crown forces. So the Crown forces were easily able to get most of their forces off the table edge and win the game.

Another good game of Sharp Practice which Looked as if it would be all over quite early but the moveable deployment point used to get ahead of the Crown forces brought the initiative back to the Rebels. Had it not been for some truly atrocious movement dice it could have had a completely different outcome.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Trees from China

I had purchased some trees and when they arrived I was a little disappointed in that the foliage was quite brittle and didn’t appear to be very well attached; quite a lot had fallen off in the post. However, Tony had bought some similar trees although of a different species and these appeared in the recent Swamp Fox game. They looked superb so I had to know how he had transformed them. This is what he did:

  • Make bases i.e. layers of MDF and use a hole cutter on a drill. Or order some pre-cut MDF circles
  • Drill hole in middle of base and glue tree in with glue gun
  • I also put some dabs of plaster on the base and used my (wet) fingers to make up some roots.
  • Change the colour of the trees
    • Put down some baking paper on the work top you are using.
    • Get a large old style ice cream container (rectangular type).
    • Mix up PVA glue, forest green paint and water. A fair amount is needed, more than half but less than 3/4’s of the ice cream container
      • Got the forest green paint from “The Range” and used most of a tube.
      • Mix the PVA and Paint first and then add the water.
    • Dip the top of the tree.
    • Tip the container at an angle and spin the rest of the foliage (note you do not need to full cover all of the foliage about 3/4 or 5/6th is good.
    • Hold it above the container to let a bit of the mixture to drain
    • Put on the baking paper and let dry takes about 1-2 days
  • Paint the root structure in a suitable structure and the accessible bit of the trunk and dry brush
  • Flock
  • Sit back and enjoy your new forest

So I first drilled holes in some 25mm discs from Warbases and glued the trees in place; adding a metal washer to the base to give it some weight to help prevent the trees easily toppling over.
A number of the trees were looking a bit bare in places due to some of the foliage having fallen off so I glued the loose foliage back into place using PVA and left to dry.

Tree with missing foliage

Tree with foliage replaced

Next I mixed up a batch of green paint, PVA and water as per Tony’s instructions, using paint I had from a previous project. The green was a bit too bright so I added brown. 

Instead of dipping the trees as per Tony's method I used a large brush and applied the paint to all the trees and left to dry for a couple of days.
Then it was just a matter of adding filler to the tree bases, painting, dry brushing and adding flock.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Battle of Montgomery 1644 – For King and Parliament

Dave and Tony played a game of For King and Parliament (FK&P), sort of umpired by myself (when not making tea and coffee).  We used the scenario of the Battle of Montgomery 1644, which is straight out of the rulebook and I think it worked very well.

The scenario saw Tony’s initially smaller Parliamentary force facing Dave’s Royalists with some Parliamentary foraging cavalry due to return to the field of battle sometime in the game.
Initially the battle was a clash of cavalry, with the infantry surprisingly slow to get off the mark.  Units were lost but Dave, with superior numbers seemed to be winning the day. With Tony sitting between Eileen and Greg his chit drawing went downhill fast and matters seemed to be getting a tad sticky. But he held on.

Dave’s infantry finally got moving and began to put pressure on Tony’s line……
Turn 6…..the Parliamentarian foragers finally return and are now flanking the Royalist infantry.  Oh dear! Tony manages two attacks into the rear of Royalist infantry regiments but on draws of 10 chits each manages a paltry 2 disorders. However this is beginning to have an effect, and with Greg and Eileen gone Tony’s musketry chit-drawing improves immeasurably. Dave loses two infantry regiments plus his Forlorn Hopes and is in big trouble.

With Dave down to one Victory Medal and several units on double disorders we called it a day and a Parliamentarian victory.

So, what did we think? We got through 10 turns in two and a half hours. With one query about the direction pursuers have to go we had no issues with the rules. It was a lot faster than the game three weeks ago, and we had introduced slightly more complexity. All in all a satisfactory evening’s gaming.

Yesterday Mr Miller published another smallish ECW scenario of the 1646 battle of Stow-on-the-Wold in his TTS/FK&P newsletter. I think you will be seeing this re-played in the near future.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Swamp Fox - Game 1

Last Thursday we played the first scenario from the Too Fat Lardies Swamp Fox book. This is based on the Francis Marion campaign in South Carolina during the American Revolution.

In the first scenario the Rebels (Francis Marion) is attempting to rescue prisoners whilst driving off the Crown forces. The Rebels deployed from the left hand side of the table near to the building.

The Rebel militia rapidly arrived on the road and spread out with the skirmishers taking advantage of the cover in the swamp. 

Once the sentry had raised the alarm the Crown forces started to deploy from the plantation house and proceeded to move the carts to make a blockade. 

However the Rebel skirmishers were making this difficult for some of the provincial troops and they eventually gave up and retired to the plantation house.
Meanwhile the British regulars had formed up at the edge of the orchard to prevent an outflanking manoeuvre by Marion.

In the centre the main militia force slowly trudged towards the farmhouse, eventually getting to the cart barricade and poured fire into the plantation house causing severe casualties.
Marion meanwhile nervously advanced through the orchard towards the steady British line. 
With a hurrah the British charged towards Marion’s troops and stopped at point blank range, ready to pour in fire. 
However, luck was with Marion as he managed to fire first with a devastating volley. 
The British were reeling and even with superior musketry skills were unable to stand against the Rebel Militia. 
The Rebels cheered as at first the British faltered and then broke in front of them. At this point the British morale was plummeting and with little chance of holding back the Rebels they retired from the table.

Friday, 2 August 2019

1st Bishop's War - For King and Parliament

Dave and Tony (English Royalist) vs Chris and Rob (Covenanter), in a scenario set during the Bishop’s War.

With two commands per side Chris decided to take the Covenanter Cavalry leaving Rob the Covenanter foot. In one of the most bizarre set ups I have seen Mr Banks elected to set up facing a series of hedges. His “poorly mounted” Scottish horse were going to try to charge across Aintree-style jumps or the Badminton Horse Trial field. This was not going to end well…


As expected Tony took the battle to Rob. Rob’s response saw him pull a “1”. In fact rumour has it that Rob pulled three “1s” in successive turns. We looked for Greg but couldn’t find him anywhere…..

On the Covenanter left flank Chris’ bold… or stupid… gamble failed. Dave’s infantry easily repulsed him and Chris’s command began to waver.

Tony attacked Rob and finally turned his flank. Not a good thing to happen to you in FK&P. Rob visibly winced when Tony announced that he would be drawing 10 “to hit” chits. Goodbye Scottish Covenanter infantry regiment.

Things were looking grim for the godly Covenanters. Chris began to pull back even as Rob attempted a spirited counter-attack and one of his infantry regiments broke the Royalist line and even managed to turn to attack the Royalist rear. Two of Tony’s cavalry regiments pursued off-table but eventually would return.

With the Covenanters only having 2-3 victory medals remaining plus a Colonel dead so command becoming problematic, we decided to call it a day and a hard-fort Royalist victory.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Rescue the Guvnor

A rescue mission was arranged after the Guvnor of the Isle of Buchansmay was captured and held for ransom. Captains Alderan and Landfill were given the task although Landfill was put out by having to share command with that guttersnipe Alderan. He would show the brass who was the better man by rescuing the Guvnor without Alderan’s help.

The forces of freedom were relaxing in the fort and the barracks as they were expecting a small landing party to negotiate the ransom of the Gunvor’s party. However Landfill and a large force of sailors disembarked the ship and headed towards the fort, looking very menacing.

Meanwhile, Alderan and his marines landed on the beach.

The alarm was up and the mobs headed out of the fort to teach the British a lesson.

The 95th rifles had made a quick dash for the nearest building to the fort and started a delusory fire into the mob, whilst covering the advance of the sailors.

In response the mob charged the riflemen who retired in good order but the mob sensing blood continued on into the sailors as they tried to outflank them and after a brief fisticuffs sent them back.

Not to be bested by a group of stick armed corn munchers, the second group of sailors counter charged and sent the mob packing. There was now a Mexican stand-off with the second mob manoeuvring to get in close to the British, whilst their comrades in the fort continued their sniping of the British.

Charge went the mob and the rifles tried to evade but failed and were cut to pieces.

Meanwhile on the other flank the marines had formed line and were trading shots with the militia. Although the militia held their ground this was not going to end well for them.

At this point the British retired to the ship as they were unlikely to gain access to the fort to rescue the Guvnor as their force was now running low on men.