Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Norman Castle Project.

Apart from after-shave,shirts and rum,my wife also bought me this little beauty for my birthday.

I think the primary target for this company must be schools,but as a very cost-effective way to get wargames scenery/terrain they are on the right track,and at £7.99 it's great value.

The instructions- basically it's cut,fold and stick!! and for someone like me with "sausage fingers" it was straight forward and not at all difficult(although one piece did tax my patience a bit!)

The Keep went together easily, this photo shows the keep with two of the four towers in situ,and the other two ready to fold.

These are the tools I used-the craft set contained a small scalpel with a chisel edge,which was ideal for cutting out the battlements(you have an option of cutting them out or leaving them black-and as there are 250 of them,I would think alot of people would choose to leave them black!!)
I changed the glue I used to UHU after a series of "non-sticks" and it worked great.

The completed Keep-the design and printing is superb,now for the walls and battlements.

One section of wall,plus a square tower,and suddenly the castle is coming to life!

This is a "D-Shaped" tower,the only tricky bit was getting the roof folded,but only took minutes.

This shows the tool used to cut out the battlements-the battlements are stuck to the top of the wall,and are really quite effective....................

Wall and battlements,ready to be stuck-note line at top of wall,indicating where to stick the battlements-even a fool like me can follow these type of instructions!

Now for the Gatehouse,which I quickly re-named the "shit-house!" because it was the only bit that got me "rattled"-it was very intricate and required a bit of skill and patience(neither of which I possess in any great quantity!)

Hurrah!! finished and not looking too bad!

The six-sided tower took alot of folding,but was simple to complete-everything is done now,so lets see what the finished article looks like...............................

Fit for a King!! although the castle is 1/72 scale it looks ok with 25mm figures,and I am impressed with the time it took to complete and the size and look of  it-it is worthwhile looking at the Usborne web site-they do some good-looking stuff.

You get a base-board layout with the kit,but I am leaving mine in separate pieces,and will probably mount them onto cardboard or hardboard for rigidity-piled up like this the whole lot looks like it will take up no space at all in the garage(club house)-what next????

Monday, 17 July 2017

Raid on St. Cuthbert's island 917AD

Last night's game was a variation on a theme,ie a beach landing,like last week,but using Vikings and Saxons.

Top photo is the scenario,bottom two are the table before any movement.In a reversal of last week,Paul and I were the attackers(Vikings) whilst Brian and Graham were the defending Saxons.

As  Paul and I struggled ashore,both Brian and Graham mounted attacks on us!!-On Graham's flank,all went well(for a while!) but Brian's troops "bounced" off Paul's contingent of Vikings,and he was driven back towards the town-hurrah!!

The second wave(no pun intended!) of Vikings wade ashore,and the Saxon resistance looks as if it is about to crumble!!

Graham and I are locked in a mass brawl,but my dice throwing is rather good(for a change) tonight and I am slowly getting the edge on the Saxons.But what of Brian????????

His troops are streaming back to the town,closely followed by Paul's "lusty" Vikings,intent on a bit of pillage and plunder!!

Paul's Vikings are in the town,and the game is won on that flank!!

On Graham's flank,most of his troops have fled,leaving my victorious Vikings to despoil the remains of St. Cuthbert!!
This was probably the shortest game we've had all year,but enjoyable despite that-well done lads.
Roll on next Sunday-a Marlburian game,I think.
I have had a birthday this week,and my wife bought me,as usual, a rather different present,which has turned into a nice little project-I will blog more later on  this week...........!

Monday, 10 July 2017

55BC-Kent Coast.

Having just re-read my book on Caesar,and his conquest of Britain in 55BC,I thought it would make a good game,featuring on his initial landing on the Kent coast,and what a "Corker" of a game it turned out to be.

Top photo is he scenario,and bottom one is the table before any movement.
Brian and Graham were the Roman commanders and Paul and I were the British.

The Romans are desperately trying to get more cohorts ashore to support the isolated troops that have already landed!

The Roman objective was to establish a beach-head,and then drive the British back beyond the stream-in this shot both Graham and Brian are in trouble,as more and more warbands attack the "stranded" cohorts,forcing them back and preventing the support troops from landing-tense and exciting stuff!

Viewed from the British side of the board,you can see the "logistical problem" the Romans faced-too many troops trying to occupy a small space,and all the while being attacked by ever increasing numbers of British.

Brian is staring defeat in the face!!-his relief cohorts can not get ashore,and Paul's relentless attacks are wearing him down-"Omaha Beach" was mentioned a few times!!-look at the British reinforcements arriving-the Romans stand no chance of winning(can you see where my comments are going???)

Graham has managed to get a "toe-hold" on the beach,and my first wave of warbands,to use a military term,are "knackered!"-this could be the start of a Roman revival!!!

Yes!!-my first lot of warbands have been driven away,and Graham is establishing a good-looking Roman line,and Brian is trying to link up his legion with Graham's,however Paul is putting him under so much pressure,that if he was a bunch of grapes he would be a glass of wine by now!!!!!

This shows Paul's chariots,and warbands doing a splendid job of keeping Brian's legion tied down-but in the background you can see Graham's magnificent line taking shape.

My second wave of warbands,led by my cavalry,are meeting stiff resistance from the now organised 7th legion,who outnumber them-oh hell!!!

In this photo,my flank has collapsed,and my troops have been driven back to the stream,but Paul is still giving Brian's legion a good slapping!!

As Graham's legion presses forward,and crosses the stream,Brian has managed to get all his cohorts ashore,and now Paul is suffering-this looks like the end of British resistance!

One final shot,of Paul's last warbands about to be wiped out!-defeat is not dishonour-we did well,and as they say,the rest is history!!!
This was another great game,played in a fantastic spirit-well done lads,and roll on next Sunday.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Medieval Siege-solo game

Having had a grand week of solo wargaming,I decided that I would attempt a siege last night,using my Normans against a Spanish castle.I wanted to test everything that a siege would involve,ie Catapults,Siege Towers,and "sorties".................................

This is how my table looked before any movement-catapults and towers in position and Spanish cavalry executing a "sortie" from the rearward gate.

As the cavalry formed into line,to the right of the castle,the towers plodded forward the troops also have ladders to assault the walls.

The Spanish cavalry advance across the stream,but the "canny" Normans are biding their time,letting the Spanish come on,and hopefully expose their flank to the waiting Light Infantry,who are guarding the Catapults.Meanwhile,in the castle,the Normans have reached the walls and are beginning their attack!

With blood curdling yells,the Normans charge across the ramps and attack the defending Spanish,only to be held back by some wondrous dice throwing!!-will the Spanish luck hold??

On the right,both sets of cavalry have charged,and a furious melee is taking place-one unit of Spanish cavalry has out-flanked the Norman light infantry-this could be tricky!!

It was!!-the light infantry are fleeing,but the reserve Norman cavalry are facing the threat,and will hold the flank(??)

The Normans are trying their hardest to get into the castle,but it looks as though the Spanish are winning,even though casualties from the catapults,earlier,are telling on the brave defenders,can they hold out?

Well,yes and no!!-one section is holding on but the left hand troops are being forced back-good job there are reserves behind them-a "sortie" has now been launched out of the front gate,aimed at the catapults-thrilling stuff!!

There they go-on the right of the catapults are stationed some heavy infantry,so they could be in a spot of bother!!

The Norman heavy infantry are just about to make "mincemeat" out of the "sortie" party,but,nothing ventured,nothing gained!!(and they did manage to knock out two catapults!)

Meanwhile,back at the castle,the Normans have finally been "ejaculated" and the towers set on fire!! if only the cavalry can do as well,the day will belong to the Spanish....................

They did!!-the Norman cavalry is,everywhere, beaten or fleeing!!-hurrah!!
So the Spanish won,and maintained a hold on their castle!

The Bishop mounts the castle tower and makes a suitable gesture to the Normans!!
This was yet another very enjoyable and taxing game,which took a bit of planning,and thought,but which worked well-and,as I was Norman,I lost this one!!-how can you lose a solo game????