Tuesday, 28 August 2018

View From The Window

It's been a wee while and Life is part of the title here, there will no doubt be more wargaming coming along soon.

I am suffering particularly this morning, quick footsteps, a look up and I quickly duck back behind the screen and roll my eyes. This has to go to 'Bonnie Scotland,' which usually means it belongs to me for some reason and I have to expand with pride, then comes 'cheapest' and no the guy is not Scottish. I work my magic and then as I am putting the label on I get 'that's tracked and insured yeah?' No it is not, you didn't ask for that. His face says never mind it is expensive and handmade but I am too cheap to pay decent postage, and it won't get lost will it? I look at him blankly and smile.

Previous I had my dumb blonde(ish) in.
B: I need 50 euros.
G: I can't do that, I only have twenties.
B: I have sixty pounds.
(long wait)
B: Just give me fifty then.
G: I can't do that, I only have euros in twenties, I can give you sixty?
B: Then I'll have change, I don't want change.
G: I can't give you change, nowhere gives change for foreign currency.
She hands over sixty pounds, I give her sixty euros and change.
B: Is this change real money?
G: Yes, it's British.
B: I've got sixty euros now and only wanted fifty, I'll have to send sixty.
G: Blank look.
B: Is that tracked?
G: They have to sign for it but I cannot recommend sending cash.
B: It'll be all right, won't it?
G. I can't say.
B: Who would have thought Royal Mail didn't have somewhere in Italy?
G: AAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

Then I get 'Australia', fill in customs form please, what for, it's only photographs, what do they think it is (photographs probably when they read the customs form). I haven't got my specs, give it here, sign there, then he signs somewhere else, no there, where I am pointing. Don't I get proof of posting, you didn't ask for that, root about in the sack, retrieve photographs and give him proof of posting. my parting shot is "Won't do you any good, Aussies will say they didn't get it and Royal Mail will say they did" smiles inwardly as customer retreats shaking head.

I almost forgot, bloke comes in, I can see he has DVLA paperwork, I jump the gun and tell him we don't do cars here mate, he comes back with "it's not a car, it's a JCB!"

My missus is working at a real Post Office at the moment, helping out some people who wanted to go on holiday but couldn't get anyone to look after their office, not me, I did warn her, Warton Post Office is not work, despite having four bags of mail to go today, normally two, she fills around 20 every day. Doesn't get a break from 0830 - 1745 hrs, I should be dozing off in another hour, desperately trying to stay awake dreading the door bell going.

 Trouble with tech again, the other night I wanted to relax, I had just received my copies of Life's Too Short an hilarious comedy series starring Warwick Davis. I got my cold beer and accompanying crunchies, I always like something savoury when drinking a cold one, but it's hard nowadays as they take all the sugar and salt out of things, cut it down or use substitutes, I now have to put salt on my salted peanuts, leave them alone, that's why I like them! Anyway, I popped the DVD in and settled back, wouldn't work, no autoplay, they always autoplay, in out, in out, nope, I downloaded a DVD programme, thirty minutes lost. Put the DVD in again, reached for my beer, 'DO NOT RECOGNISE DVD', played the off on, in out game again, no use. Downloaded another programme, almost an hour gone now, blood pressure rising, missus shouting calm down. In goes the DVD, up it comes, thank god, on with the earphones, no sound, screams. Wait, headphones not plugged in, funny bone gives up, crunchies put away, beer back in fridge, off to bed.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

How Not to Survive the Apocalypse

Yes I know I have been ranting about the roads a bit recently, well they now close the main road through nearby Carnforth every evening from 1800 hrs, yes I know it needs repairing but to close it completely so that we are almost cut off from the rest of Lancashire unless you travel roads last used by a coach and horses is a bit much. Anyone want to put money on roadworks within a few weeks of it being finished?

Right, Club Night and only six of us in a rather empty room, Stuart had brought along his latest purchase, "Last Days" Osprey's attempt at getting in on the Zombie genre, which is probably approaching overkill I suspect. Although a two man game Stuart played umpire and brought us all in to the game. We had three gangs of survivors all armed with different weapons, from assault rifles to clubs, the objective was to grab some usefull items which lay scattered about the playing area, you are free to kill zombies and the other gangs.

My guys on the way out.

The play sequence seemed a bit overly complex but that may have been because we had three gangs and five players rather than two, we were fairly quick by the time the game ended. The actual zombies to me were harder to kill than the other humans considering how many of the Undead in The Walking Dead are despatched on a regular basis. I have played Zombicide, The Walking Dead and now Last Days and the first is still my favourite as far as killing zombies goes. How did I do, Charlie and I were in charge of the most useless bunch of survivors ever, probably estate agents, double glazing salesmen and life coaches, we lost. "Zombie's are people too" shouted the Social Justice Warrior as her throat was ripped out.

My mate Julian kindly gave me a copy of Black Powder and then shortly after Warlord Games put it online for free, uh oh. Yes, Black Powder Second Edition is on the way at a whacking £30 as far as I am aware. Now if it is anything like Bolt Action Second Edition it will have a few new rules, almost the same typesetting and no index, ching! I am going with Black Powder for my Seven Years War project as eventually they will be large games and it seems to handle these with no problem, I may use Honours of War for smaller actions, this also has no index, none of Osprey's rule books do as far as I am aware, certainly not the two I have. This is a major annoyance with me, especially with a book which I am forking out £30 on, an afternoon on Word will get you a half decent index, buy a small programme and you will have a worthwhile addition to the tome. The War and Conquest rule book is an excellent example of how to do it right. At £30 don't cut corners.

OK, hoping to get delivery of some wee sojers today or tomorrow as I should finish the Bretagne battalion tonight, varnishing tomorrow, based by the weekend. I have also been inspired to add more 'scatter' terrain to my Bolt Action set up after seeing Matt's bits and pieces over the weekend, also on the list is at least two more Charlie Foxtrot buildings. Several new vehicles are also being added to the orders of battle. Aventine have brought out their Agema cataphracts and they are gorgeous, I had intended not to buy these but get the Companions, I think it is now only a question of when I buy them rather than will I. So a lot going on at Casa Anderson for the rest of the year.

Nearly forgot, a new movie about Robert the Bruce is premiering on September 6, only in select theatres and Netflix, read into that what you will. I have seen a two minute trailer and I do not hold out much hope for a great drama about my number one hero, next to Batman closely followed by Spiderman* and James Longstreet. Why does Hollywood always think it can improve on a great story by contemptuously tossing the story aside. A very small part of me hopes against hope this will be a good movie, but I fear disappointment is on the way.

*not the new 'inclusive' Spidey of course.

Monday, 20 August 2018

1944 to 577

Back from the pub and fortified with steak pie and lasagne we got our troops ready for the third Bolt Action battle. A simple meeting engagement around the Chateau Wartone only this time I took the British and Matt the Germans. We both had four squads along with supports and two tanks, a Cromwell and Sherman V for me and a StuG III and PzIV for the bad guys, remember that poor medic.

The terrain due to the size of the well kept Chateau grounds was fairly open, unlike both the previous battles, so we both put down a tank to help control the approaches, the StuG half hidden behind the brasserie wall while my Cromwell settled down on the edge of a small orchard. I was unsure where to make my main attack in this game but halfway through my deployment I decided to make the left flank my main effort although I put the Sherman on the right to watch a road junction while leaving it free to fire into the centre of the battlefield should I wish.

Impressive Chateau and grounds.
As the game opened I managed to kill off the German mortar with machine gun fire, this only confirmed my intent to assault the left, seeing what was coming Matt started to bring in reserves around the brasserie. We both had some men on the opposite flank waiting for an opportunity to do something should it arise, but this part of the field was fairly quiet apart from the PzIV/Sherman duel as shells whizzed past or bounced off the vehicles. Fairly early the StuG put paid to my Cromwell, first disabling it then killing it, thankfully this was followed shortly after by the PzIV going up in smoke, back to evens Stevens with the armour.

There was a lot of German infantry around the brasserie by now but I did not want to move the Sherman out of hard cover and waste a shot in case the StuG got him, these two now duelled but again no one could make a kill. I only had a 2" mortar this time and he was miles away, as was my PIAT team. I had tried a quick rush on the building only to pull my troops out as Matt got there first, however I was starting to build up a good number of squads in the area and just needed some luck. I got my flamethrower up by having him sneak along a hedge then the wall of an outbuilding, this forced Matt to bring troops out of the building and into the yard, he missed a good opportunity of flank fire into one of my squads then paid the price as I got a really good round of shooting in.

The fight hots up around the brasserie.

I lost the flamethrower but the fear of it had opened up the defences, my boys piled in as the game came to an end, the Germans opposite my right began a run for the brasserie with my squad and the PIAT behind them but it was too late in the game for them to make a difference. I managed to claim a victory as I had taken out several of Matt's support units so he had lost more command dice than me. I had dropped one artillery barrage on the German mass around the brasserie but my spotter was off and it landed squarely on a family of harmless pigs in a nearby field. Again my sniper had a good game killing the German sniper and a few others.

It's all over.

Another good game which delivered more than it promised as the action around the brasserie became intense. For anyone interested as there has been a few comments elsewhere most of the buildings were from our mutual friend Colin at Charlie Foxtrot, the Chateau was Sarissa, the church Hovels, many of the fields and hedges The Last Valley (you have to catch him at a show) others were scratch built by Matt, like the churchyard. As we were playing in the Post Office we had several customers in on Saturday morning before we closed for the weekend and I had to warn Matt to stop being so nice and welcoming as they may expect this to continue once he had left.

Sunday, and I was on breakfast duty, fortified by a traditional full English we set off downstairs for the big event, a refight of Deorham 577AD. The Romano-British have an allied army of three kings from Bath, Cirencester and Gloucester (modern names) hoping to stop an invading army of Saxons from destroying their way of life and conquering the area, they line up on a ridge near a hill fort to deny the main road to the Saxons. The Saxon king Ceawilin and his son lead the Saxons and are determined to win loot and glory.
There was no finesse to this battle, Matt and his defenders (he lives in the area today) locked shields and decided to remain on their ridge, so I had to move him off it. I had two plans, one was to concentrate on his extreme right and overwhelm it while at a couple of other points try and goad his mercenary warbands to leave the security of their line and charge downhill. The battle opened with some desultory shooting from the skirmishers and his own massed archers while I manoeuvred to hit his 'weak' point, the warbands stood their ground sadly, so I thought I would hit one of his lesser units with Ceawilin's son's bodyguard unit and maybe punch a hole that way, I also thought I might take out the unarmoured archers and send them packing in disorder back through their own lines.

Romano-British on the ridge, Saxons advancing.
Saxon army in all its glory.
Still looking good.

Now things began to unravel, instead of two units charging into the British line on my left one refused, leaving the Frank mercenaries at a big disadvantage and fighting two of the enemy, not the other way around. Cuthwine's hearthguard on my right now found themselves the target of masses of javelins and missiles and it was apparent they would not make it to the British line in a fit state to beat anyone, Shieldwall! The same things was happening to the men sent to see off the massed archers, these had got the range and my men fell like rain, but were determined to stick those bows somewhere and bravely struggled on.

"I thought there was more of us" said the Frank Lord
At last almost the whole Saxon army is in melee.
It all goes wrong.
The Franks were beat but manfully stood their ground, at last in came their supports along with Ceawilin and his companions, they were up against the contingent of High King Farinmail himself and in true Dark Age fashion Ceawilin wanted him dead. A huge fight ensued and I got one opportunity to break the line, but it required a superhuman effort from my lads, sadly it did not happen and after that as bodies littered the ridge my men were only waiting for the inevitable. It came as the Brits dealt a crushing blow from which my boys could not recover, the army broke, at almost the same time sensing victory the rest of the British started to charge downhill, the Saxons fled, even the archers managed to stand up to my warriors and after a quick look round their opponents also joined the mass rout.

The Romano-British advance in victory.

It was a debacle for the Saxons, I have only seen one other such disaster and thankfully it was me handing it out that time. An exciting and tense battle and just the fact that all the wee sojers were on the table made it a worthwhile exercise. We did sit and discuss the scenario at the end and concluded I might have been a bit rash using so many troops and having the armies equal, we came up with several suggestions on how to improve it should we ever play again as it is an excellent base for a battle. So that was it, another excellent full on wargaming weekend, due to commitments the next will be in October for me when I travel south to Rob Broom's WAC weekend in Bristol. What a great hobby.

During the morning we had a passer-by try the door, normally I would have ignored such an interruption but the guy looked genuinely interested so I opened up and he asked if he could look at the table, he then asked if he could bring his sons in to look. In almost twenty years of living in this village that is only the second time I have talked to someone who has shown a real interest in a wargame and he was only passing through, hopefully we have left a memory in the minds of his kids for the future.

A big thanks to Matt for braving the horrible roads and being a great opponent, and the missus for looking after us.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Normandy over the Weekend

Mate Matt Smith turned up late on Friday after a horrendous journey on our discredited road network, almost eight hours to do a four and a half hour trip, but enough, Matt was here for the weekend and we had planned three Bolt Action scenarios and then an historical refight of the battle of Deorham from 577AD. The first game was a British paratroop attack on the sleepy German garrison of Warton-sur-Mer, I was the Germans and placed my four squads in buildings surrounding the vital crossroads, I had two veteran squads and two regular along with a sniper, MMG and mortar.

Due to their dispersal the Para's attacked piecemeal, however they tried to get a flamethrower into a position to roast my men in the local brasserie but I was aware how deadly these could be and did everything in my power to discourage or kill the team. I was successful and with their support gone the nearby squad could do nothing more than cower behind a wall. Meanwhile Matt made an attack near the large barn and ruined house, I caught one of the squads in a field and whittled it down to two men but couldn't wipe them out. The British reinforced with another squad which put some hurt on my men at the corner of the barn, the first dice out of the bag became very important and thankfully I got it and managed to get the survivors of the squad along the road to safety. Because of the night fighting rules I found that my mortar was worse than useless so I ordered the three man crew to pick up their rifles and get stuck in, this worked and in the end Matt lost a whole squad here.

Warton-sur-Mer 0200 hrs.

Matt fails to spot my guys and they leg it.

As the game approached the last turn I had one objective safely in my pocket but the other two were up for grabs, I had squads protecting the two of them but they failed to stop the Para's making a supreme effort and ensuring they ended the game contested, one by simply moving a man with an umbrella close enough!

'Umbrella' gets into a position to contest the objective.

The Germans only just hold the crossroads.

An interesting game and the sighting rules were kinder to me than Matt, this ruined things several times for him and stopped him from gaining some scalps, or rather command dice. The visibility severely disrupted the use of my mortar and MMG but the two veteran squads helped keep me in the game.

The gist of the second game was that close to Warton-sur-Mer was a bridge at Warton-St-Claire over an impassible river, the Germans had set the bridge for detonation with four charges, a British Para force had pushed ahead inland with the intent of capturing the bridge and holding it for the following armour. The Germans were determined to prevent the British getting the bridge and had formed a small Kampfgruppe around a PzIV. My plan was to cover the bridge with multiple machine guns from the tank, halftrack and motorbike sidecar, this was not going to be enough.

What I had forgotten was that I really needed to get people on to the bridge in order to stop the Para's disarming the charges, so my delay allowed the British to get on the bridge and disarm two of the four charges, this of course left two which were crucial to blowing the bridge, one would not do. I had a run of luck, especially with my mortar, and wiped out the original squad which had done so well on the bridge, I had also managed to get an infantry squad in range of the structure, things looked good. Matt now managed to get some reinforcements along the road and despite throwing everything at them they looked like making it to the two remaining charges.

The German mortar becomes a real threat.

Sitting back is not going to work mein herr.
"Shorty" Perkins.

It was crunch time, I sent my commander and the squad over the bridge to confront the Para's, a lot of Brits bit the dust but their medic managed to keep them in the fight. I then made a dreadful mistake of fighting the survivors rather than simply shooting them to death, I lost the fight, the look on Matt's face was priceless. In the desperate fighting I lost all my men but took the rash decision of running my tank up and over the explosives, the machine guns rattled and then the bridge was empty, the explosive officer waved frantically at the tank commander to get off the bridge and within a few seconds hit the plunger. Remember I needed both charges to go off to ensure the bridge was denied to the enemy, I made the rolls and as the tank reversed back to the road up went the bridge, a German victory, just.

Now to throw away my advantage by engaging in hand-to-hand, grrrrr

A great game and like the first it was anyone's until the last moment. I had miscalculated and thought I could simply spray the bridge and keep it clear of the enemy, this was not a good plan and I only just managed to get men up to make a fight of it. We had a few laughs, "Shorty" Perkins was for a time the lone British presence on the bridge but eventually fell to a swathe of MG42 bullets, and I, as the dastardly German, took my revenge on the Medic for saving around half a dozen guys by taking him out with my sniper with the last shot of the game. Matt muttered something about the Geneva Consumption?

What ave we here then.
Reverse Hans, reverse!
This took us to early evening on Saturday, we packed up and reset the table for the last action, a meeting engagement around Chateau Wartone, but this time we changed sides, I was attacking with the British and Matt commanded the Germans. We retreated to the George Washington for big eats and a refreshment before starting the finale.

More to come.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Travel Pains

Matt Smith is coming for a weekend of wargaming, he started off this morning from just south of Bristol at 1015 hrs, he has just arrived north of Birmingham (it is now 1445 hrs), being a clever sort of chap he has worked out he has been managing around 34 mph so far. This means he is still over two hours away. My son lives near Heathrow and travel by road or rail nowadays means having to think twice on whether the journey is really necessary, it is a national disgrace.

I have got the PO organised for the bloodletting over this evening and the next two days, Matt has the information for the scenarios and knows what kind of terrain is needed but all is ready to go from my end.

I think my latest SYW battalion will be finished some time next week, so instead of ordering one new unit I have ordered two, Foot Guards (Scots) and Gardes Lorraine, a nice light blue uniform for them instead of the more normal white/grey.  I have also ordered up some senior officers from Wargames Foundry to see how they fit in with Front Rank, my research seems to suggest all will be well.

More of the games early next week.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Club Night

My turn to organise a game for Rob this week, an introduction to War and Conquest, Rob at first was interested in Ancients but as I gave it some thought bringing Romans and Seleucids to a first outing was not a great idea, both armies are complex, the Seleucids especially. So I turned to the good old Dark Ages and their not overly complicated style of warfare, besides, I like a good Dark Age stand up fight.

I simply chose two small armies which mirrored each other with the Romano-British having a slight edge in that they had large shields, I gave these to Rob while I once again led the Saxon hordes. I explained the overall gist of the game and we set up one unit at a time, as it turned out the only thing which worried me was that I had split my skirmishers while Robs were all on his right flank, suddenly my archers there looked vulnerable. As the battle commenced I turned my javelinmen and sent them to help my archers, I advanced my left which contained my King and his bodyguard, Rob advanced to meet me, his left however was a tad more cautious, but then I did not push forward my right to meet him. The cavalry on both sides merely stood around watching each other to see how the infantry battle went.

Rob works on his fiendish plan.
Rob slammed into my left flank with two warbands, one was quickly overwhelmed and outclassed by the King's household and sent packing, while the other initiated a fight which swung too and fro for several turns. This unit fought with passion as did mine opposing it and the slaughter was great, eventually my King and his men joined in and flanked the Brits, even then they only just failed to stand.
The Brits attack.

By now Rob had attacked my cautious right, his leaders bodyguard cut through one of my warbands like a knife through butter while his Pedyts saw off my Ceorls, I could see disaster on the horizon, I would be left with only my King's troops and the cavalry as a fighting force. Lady Luck came to my rescue, The Romano-British Dux and his men had to take a morale check for some reason, they needed nine or less on three dice to pass, Rob threw three fives, they bolted and found my Gedriht on their flank as they fled, game over.

A great slaughter ensues.

An excellent little game with quite a bit of excitement during several of the melee's, I did manage in the end to win the skirmish battle but these troops played no role in the main events. Still not convinced about those Saxon dice.

I have been lucky this year to host two weekends of wargaming at Casa Anderson, one with my son and another with Mike Jordan, this weekend I have mate Matt Smith of The Wargames Table blogspot coming for some Bolt Action and War and Conquest. Matt has put together three linked Normandy scenarios to fight hopefully Friday night and Saturday, while I have organised the battle of Deorham 577AD between the Romano-British and an invading Saxon force for Sunday morning. I have fought this battle once before solo, so I am looking forward to having an opponent this time, Matt will be taking the Brits as they hail from his neck of the woods. Will he change history and save the West Country for the locals, we will see.

The phrase 'Harry Redders' came to mind during the recent warm spell, this is a Naval weather term and things were either Harry Redders of Harry Icers, there is no Harry Unsettled Showers or Harry Don't Travel if you Don't Have To warnings. Anyway, I looked it up online to make sure I had it correct and found the items below, can't wait to try em.

I almost forgot I took these very interesting photos of AP rounds fired at a sheet of metal at Tankfest, they show the entry and exit holes, fascinating if frightening.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Not Romans, but Seleucids, OK a couple of Romans

I have just this afternoon put the finishing touches to my new Line Cataphracts for my Seleucids, I bought a unit deal, twelve figures and horses, the new large horses, from Aventine, a joy to paint and very nicely detailed. They are mostly armour which is no problem for me as I, like most wargamers, hate painting horses, so just legs, ears and a tail for this lot. These were going to be Agema cataphracts but I have no patience to wait for them hence the Line figures, and if I ever got around to fielding Agema and some Companions for War and Conquest the second of my two figure army would have to be on foot as I could not afford the points for his horse. Joking aside these should be a welcome addition to the Seleucids, now I just have to see if their new dice are up to it.

I have also added another couple of Roman officers to the Thunderbolts as they will be getting new recruits before the year is up.

I have had to do a bit of surfing this week, with the planned new units I would need steel paper for the movement trays, Coritani, where I normally get my stuff no longer sell .02 sheets which would mean any new units would stand proud  from the rest of the army. After several hours of dismissing .04, .05 and .08 sheets I managed to find some .02, this is not sticky and will have to be glued to the trays but that should not present a problem, naturally they were more expensive than Coritani used to be. Just as I hit the Paypal button I realised my son might have odd sheets lying around from his Carolingians, duh, yes he has, grrrrrrrr.

I took delivery of my latest Front Rank SYW troops today, a French battalion this time in a lovely firing pose, I hope to get these cleaned up and primed by the end of the day.

I opened my iPad yesterday to find Safari looking for 'short haircuts for women over 50', the last straw, it was time to divorce our iPads, to be fair the missus was not best pleased when the like of 'Roman Legions in Mesopotamia' pops up. It has taken several hours and two phone calls to stop them communicating, a lawyer would not have been cheaper but maybe faster. I now have to tell my iPhone it has a new partner as well, it never ends. How can TV people break into high security computers in about 30 seconds when I cannot get into my own accounts without renewing my password?

Friday, 3 August 2018

Is it me? NO!

We have decided to further stick our toes into the 21st Century by not only carrying our mobiles around but to get a contract. The missus picked BT and went online to order up two SIM's and get a £30 reward, only to find out there was a problem and it had to be done on the phone. On the phone having gone through everything she was told you do not get the reward unless you do the transaction online, which of course you cannot do as it doesn't work. She cancelled the order and was told to wait 48 hours (why?) and do it online. You can see what's coming here. The order was not cancelled, I took over the helm and also found out nothing works online, I phoned up. The upshot was that Erica said she would not cancel the deal but would give us £30 off our bill, would that suit, well yes, but Erica did not know that we are still waiting for previous bill credits to show up, but that is another story. I took the easy option, I put the SIM's in the phones, carefully took down the numbers and asked for them to be activated.

This morning my SIM was activated and BT wished me all the best but sadly identified me as Evelyn and not George, yes, it had all gone far too easy. After 45 minutes on the Chat Line with Ayesha she said her system was down but I could do it online! With over an hour now lost I think I have now changed my name from Evelyn to George, but I am not holding my breath. I had triple checked all the numbers I had entered and written them down so no, it is not me, but once again the faceless incompetence of modern big business.

Now, the battle report, Rob was back from holiday and agreed to put on a Black Powder colonial game, we had six players and newbie Mike was getting another lesson in wargaming fun. We had an Egyptian garrison held up in a small village being attacked by two large forces of Mahdists, two Imperial brigades were coming to the rescue but there was another bunch of Johnny Foreigners around somewhere. I led my lads on to the field of battle with the intention of quickly knocking out some of the enemy ensconced in a small fort which would have threatened my flank, and then march smartly on the village. Mike on the opposite side of the table would also move as quickly as possible to the front.

The village.
The Fort.

My reluctant brigade.

So much for Plan A, my boys were not as keen as I was to move forward and failed most of their command throws, I did manage to assault the little fort with the Derbyshire's but was crestfallen when they were beaten back from the walls by guys wearing long T-shirts and a rifle between every ten men. Mike was also having problems getting any enthusiasm from his men, he was also beset by Mahdist camelry and cavalry but he managed to beat these brave but ultimately desperate attacks.

The Mahdist attack begins.
Desperate action.

The Egyptians meanwhile, despite a lack of ammunition, were fighting like Trojans in their make shift fortress, no one expected these troops to hold out and it was up to the British to save the day, but with the reluctance of both Imperial brigades that was not going to happen and the locals were on their own. Time and again the Mahdists hurled themselves into the village but despite everything the brave Egyptians held out, we were all quite frankly amazed. I did manage at last to get my boys to pull their socks up, split my square and send the Blue Jackets and some mounted infantry towards the village but it was too little too late, the honours went to the Egyptians. These troops have now held out in two games and are gaining a reputation far better than their historical counterparts.

I am too late.
 I am half way through painting my line cataphracts and they should be done in about a week, so I shall have to order up my next SYW battalion so they are sitting ready to go, I am thinking perhaps I may get some cavalry and artillery soon to give me a change, that being as good as a rest.

Right, I better get on, I have maps to draw and have lost a complete morning almost.