Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Castles and cash

 We had a break in Welsh Wales last weekend, specifically the village of Harlech, on the way we visited Conwy to again tour its magnificent castle, the next day we made for Caernarfon and the second imposing castle which like it's builder reminds me of the walls of Constantinople. Harlech castle was a mere few hundred yards from where we were staying. Wales I am informed is the most fortified country on the planet, while I am not sure of this it must have the largest number of beautiful castles all in the one place. Despite the castles the highlight of the weekend for me was a visit to a Slate Mine and the tour run by "Badger" a talkative, ex Royal Marine. We took the opportunity to climb a rather steep incline to get out of the mine rather than take the normal route, I was going to do it anyway but as the Memsahib had already expressed her intent to make the climb I thought I would go along to protect her.

Conwy

Conwy   

Harlech

Harlech

 
Caernarfon

So back to the club last night as I had missed it last week due to a cold, Bolt Action and an 800 point game as the Germans kicked off Operation Barbarossa. I was the Russians and chose four infantry squads, a BT-7 tank, a BT-10 armoured car, an MMG and HMG along with an Ampulomet anti-tank mortar. Duncan who was the Germans sent in a list with four small squads, one veteran, two medium mortars and a Panzer III. Now being an experienced player I thought this was going to be a walk in the park for my Soviets as it was a strange list to bring to a battlefield in 1941.

Duncan being the Germans was the attacker and had to take a village which I would defend, I only showed half my forces and kept half in reserve, it soon became evident that Duncan was going to go all out and attack my left flank. I made for a large wood there and decided to hold it or die in the attempt, but I was not taking the German attack seriously. I had warned against taking two mortars but Duncan was insistent, to my horror they never missed a target once and he hit first time every time, I lost my HQ and HMG very quickly while other defenders took serious casualties. I felt compelled now to bring on my armour.

NKVD Border Guards

DHSK MG

Beware the mortars

Achtung Panzer!

 The BA-10 I kept out of LOS from the Panzer III and began to take on the defenders of a small nearby wood, the crew's accuracy was astoundingly bad, the BT-7 I sent to the right and pushed my troops there to swarm the German left. Before this happened I also lost the Ampuloment but not before it helped to wipe out the German veterans, I was a bit shocked by my losses up to this point but as there was no chance now that the Germans would get any of the objectives I decided to damn the torpedoes and throw everything I had at the Jerries, in essence I now became the attacker while Duncan got bogged down. In the last turn all the vehicles fired on each other and none got a hit.

For the attack scenario the attacker needs more points it should not be an equal point game, and with the Soviet free squad (which I also do not agree with) Duncan was heavily outnumbered due to his choices. We ran into a couple of Bolt Action stupidities but overall it passed an entertaining club night. I have another BA game next week, Germans (me) against British Para's which I was supposed to play a week or so ago.

I have just about finished the Blood Bowl team and come to the conclusion that despite all the fancy tips and video 'how to's" I will not be painting a lot of fantasy after these, it is just not my thing so I shall admire from afar. I am also more than a bit cheesed off with my Army Painter brushes which have been pretty rubbish, I switched from Winsor and Newton as I had got a couple of bad brushes from them and at that price I could not afford useless brushes. But my foray away from these has not proved successful, so I might go back, depends on how my Citadel synthetic brushes work out, so far so good.


My French figures arrived from the far side of the Pond at last and they are very nice and should work if I ever field French engineers again otherwise they will simply be extra men. These are now officially my most expensive wargame figures and a lesson to me to be more careful with my dosh in the future.


I will probably go to the FIASCO show in Leeds at the end of the month, I was very impressed with all the photos from the recent Partizan show in Newark and have a hankering to brave the outside world to perhaps see some at Leeds.


11 comments:

  1. Beautiful scenery, George! you are fortunate to have such sights close.

    On brushes, I am a devotee of W&N Series 7 and have used them almost exclusively for more than 25 years. Lately, I have been getting a few that do not last like they once did. I continue with my evidence gathering to see if something has changed in the manufacturing process.

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    1. Yes, we are lucky we still have these places. You are still entitled I think to shoot a Welshmen with a bow within the walls of Chester after dark or if they approach.

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    2. A crossbow after midnight on a Sunday, just checked before buying a longbow, phew.

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  2. Brushes are one of those areas of our hobby where experiences and opinions abound. I abandoned W&N Series 7 years ago, far too expensive. I used the Sable brushes sold by Coritani then for years, but their quality similarly nosedived in my opinion. Two years ago I lighted on ProArte 40 sable round brushes sold by ABC Brushes, 7 for £10 at shows. Hard wearing, keep the point and slow to shed hairs I've found. Just two to paint my two large 28mm Punic Wars armies. I bought a lifetimes supply at Partizan last week!

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    1. I had the same problem with Coritani. I will look at ProArte.

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  3. Great pics of the castles, I'm ashamed to say I've never been to any of them. Give Pro Arte brushes a go, if you haven't already. They're very good and a hell of a lot cheaper too. I use them all the time.

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  4. I visited the Welsh castles a few years bag with my son - they were magnificent and to think they were all built in a very small period of time.

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    1. Superb building feats, and very small garrisons which always amazes me.

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  5. Fine castle photos there George, we were going to go to Caernarfon for my birthday but stayed local due to a family bereavement so it is doubly nice to see them, have not been since I were a lad.
    A grand game from the looks of it too, as for brushes I switched from W&N years ago to Rosemary ones which have never let me down despite mixing with them, gouging paint out of the pot, painting Perry figures (nasty hard edges) and cleaning them in screen wash.

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    1. Imposing bastions of medieval power Phil. Got several suggestions for brushes now, might splash out at Leeds if I can get to my wallet.

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