Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Big Day in Warton

 Big day here at Casa Anderson on Sunday, Rob was organising a large Napoleonic game and the usual venue in Grange, the Gin Pit was not available, so I volunteered to host the game in the now defunct Post Office.

Rob came and organised the table on the Saturday and with the addition of one picnic table I managed an area of 17 feet x 5 feet, anymore and we would have been out on the pavement. I also managed to provide all the mats and terrain making a mental note that I have more stuff than I need, apart from some fieldworks for Italian Wars of course, but they don't count. With the cold spell I also warned everyone to come prepared, thermals and warm jumpers. Julian volunteered to do the catering and set up a curry on the old counter bubbling away nicely, Rob provided biscuits and Trukish Delight and Paul some excellent brownies, I sorted tea and coffee, a wargaming picnic. Don't get used to it guys.

French on the left, Allies on the right. Canal turns up later.

The troops muster.

The Allied right.

The Cumbrian Chef. Well done Julian.

The game was basically a meeting engagement with the main object control of the canal in the centre of the battlefield. We all had two commands, usually an infantry and a cavalry brigade, you chose which to bring on first and the second was diced for later, these commands were also picked out of a hat so only then did you know which side you were on. I ended up on the French side and my position was on the far right flank, just to the side of the canal, I brought my infantry on first, next to me was Stuart, our CinC with the Guard, he brought on the Guard artillery in a grand battery which at the time looked to be able to control the canal to his front. Next up was Fran and then Paul on the left. I am not sure what plans everyone else had but I had to secure the flank, opposite me was Rob with British infantry, he also chose to wait on the cavalry, I decided just to move forward and anchor my line on the canal, I did siphon off one battalion and some skirmishers to support the guns as who knew when the Guard infantry would show up, it looked like a big hole to me, we were expecting a lot from the artillery.

Fran moves to the hedge line.

My troops hesitantly advance.

French light cavalry, left flank.

My boys hold their positions.

The ineffective Grand Battery.

We halved the ranges and movement as we normally have a wider table at the Gin Pit, this meant our guns were not as effective as we thought and Ed, their opponent, kept out of range. On my front Rob quickly dashed forward into range and then stopped, some of his men even went backwards, and then were discombobulated when he was reminded the canal was not a road, but that was much later as the light faded. Once the Guard battalions turned up I turned to my own front and decided to test Rob's line, by this time my lancers had turned up while Rob's cavalry decided to wait awhile, until the last minute in fact. So I mounted my assault, I dispersed one of the British battalions then fell foul of the disordered rule which meant I could never really push forward. I did manage to use the Lancers to force the British into squares but then found my infantry could not be given orders to take advantage of the situation. Rob continued to have trouble moving forward even when his cavalry did turn up, by this time I had the measure of his infantry and the honours were even between the heavy cavalry and my lancers. The Scot's Greys wandered around in the rear too late to impact on the battle.

The Guard arrive.

Rob puts pressure on my lads.

Thoughtful moments.

Ed awaits the Guard.

The French left begins to build up the pressure.

Stuart had moved across the canal but in doing so had to move the grand battery, this potentially lethal enterprise did nothing throughout the battle but run here and there trying to find a good target. The Guard were eventually fought to a standstill at the canal and took horrendous casualties withdrawing on the last turn, however the Allies opposite were also in a mess. Fran, next along, had advanced very quickly across a large cornfield to a hedge line from which he threw back the enemy and then proceeded to hold it for the rest of the game despite several ferocious assaults. Soon his cavalry swept forward and began to push the enemy horse back. Once Paul got his infantry onto the table he took the battle to James who was holding yet another hedge line, the last thing I saw over there was French flags advancing, again after some very desperate fighting. With the food gone and exhaustion setting in we called it a day and the French were granted a marginal victory.

Paul assaults the Allied right.

The Guard taking punishment.

My right wins the day.

Beautiful lancers clash with British infantry.

Probably the most bitter fighting of all in Fran and Julian's sector.

The Guard simply hold the canal.

There we go, another excellent days gaming despite the rules. I really do not understand why being shot at would cause disorder to any unit in the Napoleonic period, wouldn't they be used to it, and it only has to be one hit, not even a casualty, grrrrrrrrrrr.  There is another game being organised in the Gin Pit for February which I cannot attend as it is the Memsahibs birthday and we are off for a posh lunch.

I was supposed to be playing Italian Wars this Wednesday but it has been cancelled as Julian has other commitments now. probably for the best as I am very busy at the moment, and here I thought I was retired. I do have the next Smolensk game with Matt Crump on the 1st Feb, it might take me that long to decided what to spend my measly four support points on.

Some time ago I ordered up a 3D print of a Brummbar (Grouch) sturmpanzer from Paint and Glue Miniatures, the print was lovely but small, it did not scale with either Warlord or Rubicon. I sent the model back and Garry determined that something had gone wrong and it printed smaller than 1/56, so he offered another by return. As it was Christmas and the post was a shambles I said fine but it could wait. I got it about a week or so ago, again the print was very good and I painted it up with the 'ambush' camouflage scheme and added some oil cans, spent shell casings and a bucket. I am very happy with Paint and Glue and look forward to using it and causing fear among my enemies.

My vanity project, an Italian Wars camp setting is finished, I might still add the odd barrel or box or some such when the mood takes me, I have some little dogs which might be nice. I have not put heraldry or flags in the camp so that it can be used by any side. I have to say the Warlord vignettes, the dice players, the minister and camp scribe along with the rest were a pleasure to paint and really bring the scene to life. I was very pleased with the tents which I got from Slovakia, the table and chairs were Ainsty Castings. Apart from more soldiers all I need now are some field fortifications, especially gun pits, but these will have to wait.

Vapnartak at York is approaching but I have just about decided to give it a miss this year, which will be the first an a long while. I have a small mountain of troops to paint and a couple of Wargames Foundry vouchers to spend so I really do not need anything and I find York to be mainly a traders show. I also feel that a two hour drive and petrol prices being what they are mitigate against it. I will keep myself  for Partizan in May, but that too might be a show too far for this mean old codger, we will see once the gloom of January/February lifts.

My dream of a wargame room is back on hold with my planning permission being refused, I now move to an appeal. The gist is that despite there being no business to sell the room is looked at as a business first and has to be marketed according to some (*&&^^%**%£$ on the council. Missus is out of hospital and improving but a long way to go, right, clean fire, take in washing, fill coal bucket, make tea and toast and then shopping, sigh.

On a happier note while we were pondering our moves a dog walker banged on the now closed PO door, opening the real door the chap informed me that there was a box of soldiers under a nearby car a bit further up the road and suspected they had something to do with me. Rob ran to retrieve his box. It can be useful being known as the village armchair general.


  1. A fine game there George and equally fine additions to the WW2 and Italian Wars collections. It is good to hear that your wife as been discharged and is steadily on the mend. Good luck with the planks.

    1. Thanks Phil. I might need a lot of luck and patience this year, both of which are normally in short supply.

  2. Quite a game, looks like it was fun. Good to hear your wife doing well. Great Brumbar and Italian Wars additions. Funny how retirement has not added much time to the mix, a phenomena experienced here as well.

    1. Thank you, it was good fun, always is. You are right, at the moment I do wonder how I managed before I retired. Sadly I cannot simply sit and paint soldiers :)

  3. A grand AAR there George, enjoyed that. Your camp scene is looking really good too. Glad SWMBO is out of hospital and on the mend.

    1. Thanks David. I am shattered and it has only been a week and a half, but things improving slowly,ta.

  4. I’m not sure which is more impressive, the epic game with 100s of lovely soldiers or the splendid catering! All round good fun I’d say.
    Smashing little camp vignette there too George.
    Best wishes to Mrs A

    1. Thanks Matt. Both were impressive, and enough left for Monday tea. Mrs A on the mend slowly.

  5. Great looking battle , I suspect the Brummbar is more than 4 points though ?

    1. It looked like a battle Matt. The Grouch is for Bolt Action really, although in one off Games of CoC I choose a time frame and then take anything which I have from the Consolidated Arsenal for that period, (within reason). Not a lot of success as so few games, but lots of toys in boxes.

  6. What a great looking game, George!

    1. Thanks Ray, you do need a lot of space with 28 mm.