Thursday 30 March 2023

And in reverse order .....

 Just got back from sunny Penrith to gloomy Lancashire, I was at Matt's place for a change as he has been here for the last four Chain of Command games. He set up a Russian Civil War game which is apt as I am almost finished Antony Beevor's book on the War, the inhumane brutality during the Civil War, by both sides but especially the Reds, is hard to stomach. Moving quickly on to wee sojers Matt had a beautiful table set up, he took the Reds and I had the Whites, I was the attacker and had to take two of three objectives to win, these were a crossroads and two bridges.

Beautiful lay out.

Middle bridge in the background.

The crossroads.

A welcome addition to the White OOB.

Typical for the period I had normal infantry plus some Polish Legion, Tsarist Officers, cavalry and a captured British Whippet tank along with an Austin armoured car and a Nieuport 17 Scout. The Reds were also a mixed bunch with infantry, irregular townsfolk a light howitzer and a detachment of Red sailors, the bad guys. I admit I had no idea what to do with the cavalry but the aeroplane was a nice touch.

As the dice started to come out the bag I made my mind up to put my main effort on my left to get the crossroads and sent four squads at it, two I put in the middle to pressure the middle objective and I sent my tank towards the bridge on my right, I kept the cavalry in reserve for the first couple of turns, I had a cunning plan. My main attack drew in the same number of Reds along with their HQ and a Commissar to add some backbone, another two and an MMG along with the howitzer defended the middle position while a further MMG and an infantry squad looked after the right hand bridge.

Polish Legion advance.

Anastasia at the bridge.

Things started well for me and the White flood moved confidently on the crossroads, the Austin took the middle bridge under fire but soon moved towards the village to support the attack on the left. I also managed to get into a good position in the middle and Red casualties soon mounted up at the barricade, also a lot of Red NCO's were falling to White bullets. My slow but impervious Whippet kept moving towards its target and dealing out hurt and pins on the defenders. The White air force was playing a blinder and after a couple of straffing runs I turned him towards my right flank and concentrated on the forces around the bridge, which he did magnificently.

The Reds and the fearsome sailors.

White cavalry.

The crossroad defenders under pressure.

The amount of firepower I threw at the units around the crossroads paid off and following an assault by my Officers two Red units were dispersed while the others were whittled down, I did suffer one squad running just as I planned my main assault (a blunder) but despite this I edged closer and got a hold on the crossroads. The Red sailors seemed to be hesitant but decided eventually to move closer to the middle bridge, they ran a gauntlet of fire and as their casualties mounted they were broken by a very determined assault, this now put me on the flank of the defenders at the middle bridge.

Sailors wiped out.

The old and the new.

The end approaches.

Over on the right it was time to launch my cunning plan, I had brought the cavalry on while the tank and aeroplane had managed to wipe out the MMG defending the bridge and cause a large number of pins on the infantry squad which meant they were likely to ignore orders. It was now with two moves to go that I ran the mounted troopers straight up the road and captured the bridge, their firepower also sent the last of the defenders running. It was game over and a victory for the Whites.

An excellent game on beautiful terrain with inspiring figures, I could almost collect these having seen Matt's, down boy. The use of the plane was a great idea and it worked really well, thankfully most of the Reds were too busy firing at my troops to try and target the flimsy bi-plane as it really helped pin the enemy on my right. Matt is a gentleman to play against and I spent a great morning. Next up when I get the time will be a return to the Eastern Front.

A few days ago at the club it was Bolt Action again, this time I offered Michael a choice for an early war game, he took the Germans, I chose French, you get two 'free' units with the French for some reason but I did not take them as I do not like this rule. The game was 800 points so I brought three squads, a P16 armoured halftrack, a Somau 35 and an infantry gun along with an MMG, Michael had four squads, a mortar, MMG, anti-tank rifle and a Panzer IV.

We diced for the scenario and got Secret thingys, the briefcase was placed on the table and off we went. I thought I would set up a firebase with my armour etc. and then advance in the centre and pick up the documents. My tanks sadly failed miserably to cause much hurt on the enemy, and the strange P16 kept getting stunned and heavily pinned so basically was worthless, I had also put my infantry gun in such a position that it too could have gone on holiday. The Jerries seemed happy to sit back and cover the objective, I pushed my luck, which had not been great so far, and sent a squad over to the briefcase, I only needed my dice to come out first in the few turns left and I could leg it with the survivors and the prize. Not once did that happen and even when I did eventually manage to get the chance the remaining Poilus refused to move. The game ended as a draw as neither of us managed to grab and remove the secret despatches.

Useless Schnieder P16.

Misplaced gun.

Annoying panzer.

Less than annoying Somua.

Not a bad little game but a big ask for both sides to march to the centre and pick up the objective in six turns, it can take almost six turns to reach it if there is half decent terrain on the table, maybe it is a job for a halftrack or a carrier to rush the thing and hope the passengers will survive to pick it up and return. No matter, it got my French on the table after blowing the cobwebs off them.

Historical gamers look away now.

Last but not least, the week before I had taken part in Rob's participation game which he takes to shows, it is a tongue in cheek romp where basically the French Foreign Legion attempt to stop some evil people from ending the world or something like that. Scattered throughout are characters from Literature and the Silver Screen who turn up at odd moments to help one side or the other, for example Alan Quartermain, Indiana Jones, Flashman and a film crew along with many others. The younger elements (20 somethings) thoroughly enjoyed this game and it was well umpired by Rob but it is just not my thing.

Archeologists and friends.

La Legion.

The bad guys.

I have done well with my Imperials and now have two full pike blocks and a field gun, the idea being that eventually those two blocks will form one, really pleased with these figures, all Steel Fist, yes sticking the heads and swords on is a pain for me but worth it. I have a game next Friday with Julian so looking forward to that.

Imperial field gun.

Imperial landsknechts.

I have undercoated both my Flakpanzer 38(t) and StuiG33 3D prints so am going to get them done this weekend as well as getting six Imperial cavalry ready for next week. Six more cavalry to go then I will have to buy a small pile of lead for the next part of the Imperial army, I am tempted to go with Spaniards or maybe one of the Italian states, we will see.


One parting shot, Amso Useless is running Scotland, words fail me.


  1. Someone is actually in charge of Jockshire? Really?πŸ˜‰ Matt lays on a great table doesn't he? You should loose your inhibitions and join the game, Pulp games are hilarious usually. Makes a splendid, light-hearted run out. The Imperial figures have come up well too.

    1. Great to play at Matt’s. Rob’s game was impressive and well run, maybe I had too much on my mind.

  2. You have got some cracking games under your belt there George. Nice to see the Imperialists making good progress too.

  3. Some great looking games George. Your Imperialists are looking great too.

  4. You and Matt both set fine looking tables for what looks like a fun game. The RCW collection is super.

    More terrific additions to your Italian Wars project. How many figures do you have now?

    1. Thanks Jonathan. I have just under 500 figures now so about 800 will finish the ‘Pavia’ period then I hope to add earlier units, Swiss, city militia etc.

  5. Three for the price of one! Matt’s table is beautiful 🀩 lovely toys too. I want a biplane now πŸ˜‚
    Glad to see the Frenchers out and about. That scenario is very tricky. When played before we’ve agreed a 9 or 10 turn limit. The pulp game looked good too. Think these sort of non-historical games make a pleasant diversion… I keep looking at Silver Bayonet 🫣

    1. Thanks, a good run there again, think I was in the wrong mindset for Rob’s game it was well done.

  6. A good write up George, glad you enjoyed it and other games too πŸ‘ Italian wars definitely looking good and would be happy to play some time in the future perhaps when the Russians have won at Smolensk ?

    1. Really enjoyed playing with those troops Matt, I’ll pencil you in for some Renaissance fun in the future.

  7. Nicely done RCW game, great looking game. The pike and shot figures are impressive, especially if you have 500 of them.

    1. A pleasure to play in The Dungeon as always Joe. I think another 300 should see the core of both armies done.

  8. Really interesting sir!
    Lovely game.
    Best regards

  9. A wonderful pike block. Beevor serves us the cruel brutality of war in a number of his titles and I noticed the same in Dimbleby’s Barbarossa (recommended) recently. There shockingly seems such a narrow divide between the humane and the inhumane once war permits the environment for such things …. thank goodness for toy soldiers!

    1. Thanks Norm. I will look into Dimbleby’s book, David Stahel’s books up to Winter ‘41 are superb.