Saturday 18 November 2023

From Flouncy Shirts to Lace

 What a miserable month so far, and we have a leak in the roof, that is going to cost. Just as well I have my final Imperial troops on order, this along with the cutting down of the rottern cherry tree, the painting of the downstairs and hall along with modifications to the two outhouses leaves this old pensioner skint and despondent, what's it all about Alfie?

Oh, and that order is now almost three weeks late and no reply to two emails so far apart from the old 'your message is important to us......' guff.

I played Bolt Action at the club on Tuesday, it was against Joel who came along for the first time, he has only played Bolt Action at tournaments and travels quite a lot to fulfill his urge to play the game. It was American paratroopers vs Germans, I was the bad guys and took four squads along with a Marder III, a panzerschreck and a MMG, Joel had two jeeps, a Chaffee, mortar and four squads.

I was put on the back foot right away as Joel ran two jeeps straight up the centre of the table at me, something which has never happened in all my years at the club, the first jeep had a machine gun and was annoying to kill, the second had a flamethrower team, agh! I quickly lost most of a squad with one man remaining before I could kill the flamethrower. Joel calmed down after this and I took the lead having taken out three of his command dice. Near the end it was me who got carried away and I made some mistakes so the game ended in a draw. Joel was a pleasure to play against but his comments on his tournament games just confirmed I could never play in one. With the new Case Blue campaign book the Hungarians can have Tiger I's and, wait for it, their tanks can have Recce, which allows a 54 ton tank to back up out of danger, no, I don't get it either.

I have managed to set up a few home games of late and this week it was Seven Years War with another new wargamer, Erik has been out of the loop for a while and wanted to get back in and found me through the blog and Charles at Helion. I set up a small scenario from an article on the Honours of War website, the British rearguard was facing a French force and had to retreat their baggage train and a couple of their battalions off the table. Once I had the table and deployment set up it seemed like a very hard job for the French to win, their flanking force was up against the British main body and there was simply no way it could threaten them, apart from possibly being a nuisance. The main French force was shoehorned into one corner and had to make its way through a wood and past its own vanguard to get at the British defenders on a hill, meanwhile there was nothing to stop the wagons making a leisurely exit once across a nearby ford. A river flowed through the battlefield and the only way across was three fords.

British rearguard.

View from behind the British left.

British cavalry and baggage train.

View from behind the British right.

I ended up with two dithering commanders while Erik had one in charge of his cavalry. I got my flanking force, one cavalry regiment and one battalion of infantry, across before Erik moved on them. I had no option but to charge the cavalry in and hope for the best, they were wiped out, however the Bretagne battalion stood their ground magnificently and twice forced the British back, but numbers told in the end and they too dispersed.
French flanking force crosses the river.

French main force arrives.

British cavalry get brave.

French in position to advance.

On the other flank I spent a lot of time getting my infantry brigade up and into a position to make a move on the two enemy battalions blocking my way into the British rear, the British also had two cavalry regiments but as they neared my troops the musket volleys scared them away and they retired. My vanguard infantry traded shots with the British on the hill while I decided to send my seemingly useless cavalry to the left to possible help my flanking force, but it took all day and by the time it approached the ford there was no friendly troops left.

More fragile cavalry.

The French breakthrough.

The pressure began to mount on the enemy defenders and they retired from the crest of the hill only to be followed up by my infantry as their casualties built up, the French main body now seemed unstoppable and one Battalion routed while the other was left facing hordes of French infantry. The baggage train as we suspected trotted along unharmed with the French having no chance of catching them, so I would have had to break the British force to win, and this was not going to happen with a weak flanking force and the rest of the army hugging trees.

A stirring sight.

My own useless cavalry on a forlorn journey.

Still, it was a good game but needs some tweaks, it was also good to get these visually impressive troops back on the table, so more SYW in the future I hope.

Next week it is War and Conquest against Stuart Smith's Normans with reinforcements, I have to make my mind up which army to use, Romano-British or Patrician Roman, the latter army would be a real challenge against Normans, do I feel lucky?

I have been very lax painting wise recently while waiting for my order to turn up, so I turned my attention to four tents given to me by Dan along with the three guns I recently painted up, nothing fancy but more than good enough for scatter terrain or to add depth to the camp I already have.

I have belatedly decided to get a bus pass as I get almost nothing else for my taxes, I found I had to alter the form, I am expecting it not to be approved or get a visit from the Old Bill to check my thinking.


  1. The Seven Years War game is a visual treat George, lovely figures.

    1. It does look good Stuart, but the British are hard work to paint.

  2. Always a joy to see your SYW armies in action. I recommend a travel pass to you, handy for nipping to appointments where parking is difficult or dear. As to being skint and despondent: it will pass and new toys will cheer!

    1. I can’t see me using the pass but you never know, services around here are dreadful.

  3. A splendid SYW game there George. As for Bolt Action, it gets more and more ludicrous.

    1. Thanks Phil, the BA system is fine but the constant changing for the sake of filthy lucre is damaging as well as stupid.

  4. George, those SYW armies are glorious mate! Really pleased you're giving them a good run out. Look forward to seeing more.
    A Tiger with "Recce" 😳 What next? Deployment via hot air balloon? Teleportation?
    If you're going to use those Patrician Romans then you'd best start polishing your dice now 🤣
    I prefer forms where you can describe yourself: "I am a non-binary woodland spirit creature"

    1. Thanks Matt. I like a challenge and again they deserve to get out the box. According to present thinking there should have been at least 132 other tick boxes.

  5. Great looking games. Tooo bad about the roof.

  6. Superb looking SYW presentation, George! Gret to see these armies out on maneuvers once again. Looks like you are picking up a handful of new wargaming friends in retirement. The Gods must not be too cheesed off!

    1. Thanks Jonathan, like the government the Gods are just after my cash.

  7. A nice looking game George…
    I still can’t get passed how short the ranges are in Bolt Action… I also get the feeling that it’s built for tournaments.
    I would prefer a box that says ‘to old to care’🤣

    All the best. Aly

    1. Thanks, BA really is built for tournaments and getting your cash, however Matt Crump uses it and puts on excellent scenarios, so it can work. I try hard not to care but am a grumpy old sod.

  8. Good looking games George…..let me know what the police say when they catch up with you !

  9. I think I am safe Matt, around here I couldn’t pick a copper out of a police line up.