Sunday, 31 July 2011

Wise words from The worker leading to musing...

Morning all! I have been catching up with your blogs today. I was most taken with what I read at http://theweekswork.blogspot.com/ today regarding planning the rest of the wargaming year in terms of what to do and what to leave in the recesses of the lead vault!

Inspirational stuff, simple and straightforward some may say, but to a "wargaming butterfly" like me it is very hard to keep to a plan. In the course of a day my mind flies into planning myriad projects yet little happens on lead- sometimes loads on paper though. I can,of course, retain the jottings for future use and often do but one needs to plan or at least have some plan of wandering through the wargaming wood- trying to follow the path ,stopping for brief forays into fantastical glades before continiuing one's journey. But always being aware of the passage of time and the need to move towards the homely house with smoke billowing from the chimney and coffee upon the stove...

I have ,as regular readers will remember , been musing upon this on and off for ages and have sorted out a load of figures this summer with the intention of giving them away. However I retain too many "Rainy day " projects I cannot bear to part with,which evoke time and place or have memories or I feel I might "need" in the future. Often I think if I had remained focussed what fantastical armies in a few periods I would have amassed- but I didn't and that's that! So where am I going in all this- don't ask me...

Fitzbadger's blog and my own reflections remind me of the great joy of solo gaming,minimal sized armies,finite space and simple flexible rules. So the imagination project will continue most certainly. I also enjoy gaming with my local club and my long time wargaming partner too. Priorities will have to be made in relation to these demands and joys soon but not today. Apologies for the introspection,thanks for reading this far and have a good day- may the sunne shine on you!
p.s Bluebear Jeff I haven't forgotten your burning question - will research and post soon

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Sense,Sensibility and Les Higgins...





Yesterday (Saturday)saw the sunne shining here in Tradgardland. Coffee was made and provisions purchased and we headed off to the beach to drink coffee,paddle and enjoy the day. Our local beach (just over 6 miles) at Aberdour was too busy to park and so we headed off to Burntisland instead. Glorious views across blue crystal waters to Edinburgh - the Forth is amazing at times and we are fortunate where we live...
Enough of the travelogue .Prior to leaving the postman left a parcel in a largish jiffy bag. Mr John Cunningham had sent,as requested , some samples of 20mm ECW figures .They arrived very quickly indeed. He had very kindly sent ,as you can see, a generous array of figures- many thanks John! The Les Higgins chaps are delightful filled with character and just itching to be painted.I hope to have a go over the next few days - I do hope I can do them justice. As ever,dear reader, you will see the results here before anyone else.

The evening brought a quiet glass of ale and a movie on dvd- last night's choice being Ang Lee's excellent " Sense and Sensibility" awash with talent like Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson,Robert Hardy and too many more to mention. My thoughts drifted off to imagining the adventures of Colonel Christopher Brandon and Sir John Middleton in the army in India. I wondered what regiments they had been in,what campaigns etc. It is the stuff wargames projects are started by but I will put the thought carefully away for a future rainy day- there are already too many thoughts there already I fear...








Friday, 29 July 2011

Boules...

It is High Summer and the annual Boules championship has carried on for some weeks now in spite of some odd patches of rain last week....

We got the plastic set we still use around 10 years ago from the Early Learning Centre locally. They are still going strong and have been used in countless games here and at our holiday destinations over the years.

The girls have played since they were small and have grown up with the game- as teenagers they are still as keen ( and competitive!) as ever. Over the years I have had countless hours of fun with them and the game has developed and changed with the garden too.

Yesterday saw 13 games being played - myself without/with a partner against my other two daughters. It is played to win with no quarter sought or given - but mostly in a civilised fashion.

The game has much in common with Crown Green Bowling in so much as the slopes of the terrain add much to the game and the boule are thrown any way across the grass. A newish variant has seen the boule tossed across hedges ( very carefully I might add to preserve the garden) and over paths ( all boule ending up in a border or path are declared to be out of play) to add to the excitement.
A cheap purchase many moons ago has given hours of fun over the years and many happy memories too. BTW do any of you play games in the garden- other than with Lead Soldiers? Have a good weekend and may the sunne shine on you and yours.

On getting a new layer of skin and other arrivals...

Today a variety of reading material arrived here in the Duchy. The Airfix ECW guide came and is filled with many good things -many of which I remember from years ago when I had it in my late teens. It will certainly works well as a primer and has much to add to the knowledge of those with some knowledge already.

Also arriving here is the latest issue of the CWJ which has been enjoyed in the garden between cups of tea and games of Boule ( more of that anon) with the girls. As ever the journal has a good selection of articles with something for all tastes. My favourite is the Indian Mutiny stuff...







The day began with me adding another layer of skin, sorry super glue, to my fingers. What I was trying to do was to assemble some Perry plastic figures. What a mess I got into. I will try again tomorrow and hopefully get further with the task. Any advice more than welcome...







Thursday, 28 July 2011

Thursday Night High Medievals Game...

Last night Phil W came over for a game. I can't think when we last played a game here- well over a year I guess. Anyway it was high time to give my 15th Century French ( their first game ever) an outing against Phil's Burgundians under charles the Bold. I do like the late 15th century as a period in history and these are two of my favourite armies for it. Phil has Swiss too BTW. Rules used ( for sake of familiarity and no other reason at all ) were DBM. A view from behind the French lines...
Into the game somewhat. Coffee has been served-mug by Emma Bridgewater,coffee by Jan. On the right flank the flower of chivalry collided in the form of Ordnance Gendarmes from both sides and the French bill/partizan men are meleeing Burgundian pike and archers. To the far left of the picture some dismounted Burgundians trudge their way forward in full harness...



A view ( with accompanying chocolate biscuits and diverse goodies- always essential part of any game- in this case TimeOuts...) from the French lines.Centre stage can be observed the knight commanding the French. He has just killed the Burgundian sub general in hand to hand combat. Both sides have lost many troops ,one French command has become demoralised,the gendarmes still hack about them but the game is over. Both sides leave the table in disarray . A draw is declared and Phil and I shake hands. It has been a good game. The superiority of the French Gendarmes has come into play not to mention some fortuitous dice throwing by me. The game left us looking forward to the next one and also thinking we need to look at other rules. We both have Terry Gore's Medieval Warfare and intend to have a look at them once more. I also intend to add to the French . All in all a good evening was had ...





Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Brief notices...

Fitzbadger- here is the link to the articles I mentioned-

http://vintagewargaming.blogspot.com/search/label/English%20Civil%20War

I do hope you find them inspiring and useful...

I am hoping to attend the Claymore wargames show in Edinburgh a week on Saturday and am already looking forward to it- excellent venue,interesting and inspiring games not to mention myriad traders...

Finally thanks for the excellent puns to add to my Scottish mappe- if you can think of anymore do post them here as I feel a bout of cartography coming on soon.

Finally a mention for a really amusing BBC comedy programme, ostensibly made for children , but very ,very funny for adults too.I know I mentioned it before but I like to enthuse over things I enjoy. It's called "I'm sorry I've got no head" and can be found on BBC i player if not on bbc1 or cbbc. Do give it a whirl. The sketch about a school for midshipmen in which there is a pirate was one of my favourites...

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Another use for Grant ACW rules?






Morning all!I was having a look at Greg Novak's campaign guide (Remember the Maine and to hell with Spain - campaign Booklet IX) for this fascinating conflict over breakfast and was struck by the following quote- "This war did not last long enough to evolve tactics of its own, and was in many ways a rerun of the Civil War especially in the view of the American Army..." Has anyone used the Grant acw rules for this period?

Skirmish in Glen Michael...

Today I set up a small skirmish to try out the Neville Dickinson/Bayonet rules of circa 1969 kindly sent to me by Mark of late. Here is a battle report. The game takes place around 1639 in Glen Michael ,Scotland...
The Laird of Glen Michael's regt of foote advances upon some supporters of the Covenant( led by the Laird of Glen Campbell) who have taken up a position in a wood. It is hoped that they can be driven off from the Laird's land...



Alexander McNicol ( a professional soldier and veteran of the continental wars) commands the shotte to advance and bring fire upon the hedge. The Laird's men come under fire and take casulties...





A morale test is required, which the shotte fail, and so they retreat back to the waiting pike and Alexander McNicol...







With stirring words McNicol rallies the men and joins in as the whole regiment now advances upon the Laird of Glen Campbell's men reloading behind the hedge...









A furious exchange of musketry ensues and many casulties result from both sides.The men are wavering...












Finally both sides fail a morale test- the men of Glen Campbell rout back through the woods and the Laird of Glen Michael's Regt retreat from the battlefield.This is only the beginning of this "warre without an enemie..." in Scotland!


An enjoyable game was had using the aforementioned rules . Next time I will add more figures to the game including frames and cavalry and hopefully give the rules another playtest. I am more than certain they will be up to the job.












Monday, 25 July 2011

Mapping the ridiculous ...

Today I was involved in taking my mother home from hospital to her house. This involved much hanging about and travelling.To pass the odd moment I therefore decided to make some rough sketches for a background to my forthcoming ECW games set in Scotland around 1639 . Here is a photo of the notebook page and subsequent scribblings...


The main character will be the Laird of Glen Michael ( with his cavalcade of troops?) and I have drawn the area around Glen Michael. To the west lies Glen Forde home to the western clans of highlanders and to the south is Glen Campbell where there are mines for "rhinestones" as well as the famous cattle looked after by the local boys. The Laird's nearest neighbour is the Laird of Glen Close (Glen Close is the scene of many dangerous liaisons and holds a fatal attraction for some) who lives near the "muckle toun" of Aberdeen- the militia from there are said to be drilling as we speak...
More details to be added soon but I do enjoy a little background to my games- in this case to be fleshed out in geographical and other detail. Who will declare for Covenant or Crown ,only time will tell!
p.s my mother is ensconced safely and happily at home and I look forward to some quiet gaming time tomorrow.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

OS ECW plans...



Sunday morning ,sun shining and on hols- can't be bad! I am going to set up a few solo scenarios over the next few days using the above rules which were kindly sent to me by Mark of Ikley Old School ( many thanks to you Mark!) prior to my week away. Having been at the library yesterday I now have a hard copy to use during the games. Hope the sun is shining with you too!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Back from York

We returned yesterday(Friday) from a week away at Kelfield just South of York. We had a super time including a costume exhibition at Barley Hall in York.The above photo shows the family enthusing over Mr Darcy and Elizabeth's costumes from the definitive BBC adaption of Pride and Prejudice.Zoe and Anna returned two days later to take notes, pictures and make drawings of the costumes to aid their work-they have elected to design and make a costume each ( part of Higher and Advanced Higher respectively) in the coming school year...

Barley hall is a 15th century townhouse which was discovered behind a later facade and restored. The camera ran out of power so it is not a very good photo and contains a tour party in it. Nevertheless it shows the restoration of part of the hall including the tiled flooring and high status dais...



We all enjoyed the Hall and gardens at Beningborough Hall. Despite rain we had a good look inside and out. The National Trust have a lovely cafe there too which provided shelter, when needed, adorned externally with vines. The Hall is filled with many portraits of 18th century figures on loan from the National Portrait Gallery in London.


Whilst in York I looked for a wee wargames shop ( The Tin Drum?) that used to be in Gillygate but is alas there no more. It always had the feel of the Toy Tub in Edinburgh where the hobby began for me. However I did track down Barbican Books on Fossgate where I got many,many second hand books years ago. I managed to pick up some Osprey titles pertaining to Medieval Scandinavia and the Baltic.

The main reading of the hols was Sidebottom's "King of Kings" which is a fantastic historical novel and I have begun the next volume "Lion of the Sun" since I got home yesterday.Later in the holiday I picked up a concise yet very informative Shire publication on 17th and 18th century pleasure gardens- I guess the most famous of which are the Vauxhall ones in London. More holiday info later..



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Thursday, 14 July 2011

My ECW thoughts re Charge so far



Gentlemen



Many thanks for the enthusiasm and advice so far. I still feel that we are onto something as we walk the tightrope skilfully between too many additions/changes and the rules as the Brigadier wrote them...
I feel that we are getting to the point where a playtest of our ideas is becoming feasible . I do think that excellent games could be had filled with the fun and simplicity of Charge but in the 1640s.
I ,for one, already have a picture in my mind of Blastof Moor ( somewhere in the misty Highland glens) filled with drum and bagpipe martial music not to mention pike and musket with some highlanders for local colour. Already names for the local Laird are beginning to form in my early morning coffee fuelled mind!




Of course I may be wrong -perhaps Blastof Moor is in Yorkshire where some noble cavaliers await the enemy on a summer's morning...



Enjoy the weekend whatever you are doing!

An ECW colour...

Many,many moons ago a small group of us put on an ECW wargame at Claymore in Edinburgh. It depicted the Battle of Winwick Pass.
The game was in 25mm and put on (I think) in
conjunction with the Pike and Shot Society.
Jan painted this Scottish Regimental
Colour to display behind our game. I found it for the first time in years and photographed it for you enjoyment...





Wednesday, 13 July 2011

ECW Charge - some rules thoughts...



Morning all!


I have been musing upon the role of highlanders in ECW Charge as follows:units made of mixed figues armed as figure portrays.move as LI, only those with bow/firelock can fire and melee bonus in combat for unit...The above applies to clan irregulars and not to regular units recruited fromhighlanders .


Secondly I have been thinking of the firing from the wings in pike blocks asfollows:only the front figures in each block (three according to the brigadier'sorganisation) can fire each turn- this is to simulate fire by extraductionwhereby the commander can keep up a steady rolling fire...


Your thoughts please gentlemen!


I spent some time rebasing some figures onto round bases of value ( if you get my drift...) and was taken aback by the extra weight in the drawers of the Ikea storage I have...


Having deployed a couple of units on the kitchen table I am pleased by the visual appeal of the figures and the potentiality for smallish scale fun gaming ahead...

A good day in the Duchy...

A good day in Tradgardland for a variety of reasons...

Firstly Jan had her Consultant appointment today and all continues to be well- we don't return there until the beginning of October.

Secondly I have enjoyed sorting out the "lead mountain" in the garage (see attached photo) and have found interesting things to use and many to get rid off which I no longer wish to have/play with. A useful morning's work indeed!

Finally I have enjoyed the OSW Charge ECW project - mustering forces ,planning games and rule amendment- just the ideal thing to do when sorting lead out...

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Brigadier writes...







I have enjoyed working in the garden this afternoon as well as continuing the ECW Charge chat on OSW...





Andy of Old Glory kindly sent me the article from over 50 years ago that began this chat/planning/adapting of the Charge rules for the mid 17th Century. I thought you might enjoy seeing the article for yourself-

Whilst I laboured in the intermittent sun my thoughts drifted off to an imaginary Scottish glen in 1639, now where did I put my pad and paper?

Monday, 11 July 2011

ECW Charge- a unit deployed upon the table...








This evening I laid out an ECW Charge unit ( a la Brigadier Peter Young) on the kitchen table. I have only laid out the shot wings and central pike. I have not deployed the 5 officers and 4 serjeants with 2 drummers and CO who is also present



A 12 inch steel rule is there for scale. I know the figures are not old school but it is the impression I am interested in...




As ever your comments are welcome!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

ECW Charge



Evening all!I wondered if anyone was interested in exchanging ideas/information/suggestions about adapting "Charge" for the ECW? If so I would be delighted to hear from them...Do get in touch or leave a comment here!






ECW Charge...

Fascinating post recently from Andy C at OSW- concerning a Peter Young article-

> Now to Charge ECW.
> The article I have here is from "Bayonet" vol3 no 1 December 1969- the only issue I have or have ever seen bought as part of a job lot of stuff many years ago from Don Featherstone .
> Most of the article is simple basic knowlwdge but there is a short piece - including a "Charge style" diagram A BODY OF ecw foot
> They are inn 3 ranks central body of 16 pikes and 2 ensigns then 2 wings of 9 musketeers each
> between the 3 bodies are 5 officers and 4 serjeants with 2 drummers- a CO is also present so the unit isa total of 46 figures.
> .For my money ist over officered and under " musketed" but would suit early Royalists. Parliamantarians would normally have 2 muskets to each pike as would some Royalist units when they could Scots also - though 3 to 2 was not unknown.
> Young makes the point that this body could represent a Tercio - 2 or more regiements in 1 body
> he also remarks
> "Of course the troops would normally be 6 deep but one is compelled to scale things down"

I do hope we find out more...
Can you help?

Saturday, 9 July 2011

A quick post...

Good morning!
What Pike and Shot/ECW rules do you use and why? Do share your thoughts here...

Pike and Shot Society rejoined...



Upon my return from town today I opened the package that the postman had left. It was from the Pike and Shot Society. I had recently rejoined ( after a period of absence ) and knew the journals were on the way thanks to a helpful and friendly email from Gary Flack their membership secretary.

I had simply not rejoined some time ago as I was probably trying to save some money at the time. I also ,a couple of years ago, gave many of my copies of “The Arquebusier” and “Slingshot” to the Charity shop in attempt to reclaim space upon the shelves. However I felt there was room to join once more

Recently I looked at the Pike and Shot Society website and found it filled with many good things. I resolved to rejoin and found the process so easy by way of Pay Pal. And so I waited patiently for the brief period the journals took to come…

And what of the copies of “The Arquebusier” that arrived today. Firstly they are A5 in size which is handy and pleasing on the eye, secondly they are filled with many excellent articles ,reviews ,colour illustrations and much more. I have really enjoyed reading them and am so glad to be back in the fold so to speak…

Many moons ago I was involved in putting games on for the Society one being Winwick Pass from the ECW. We also displayed leaflets and merchandise the society at our game . It was good to talk to the public and meet like minded gamers.
So gentlemen why not have a look at the contents on the P&SS website-
http://www.pikeandshotsociety.org/arquebusier.htm
Who knows you may decide to join or rejoin yourself!!!!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Out and about...









We have been out and about a bit. Yesterday,Friday, we went


to Aberdour beach and enjoyed some time walking and beach combing there. We looked across the Forth (five miles) to Edinburgh and it was covered in clouds and what looked like heavy rain. Subsequent looking on the internet confirmed that they had localised flooding and quite a storm. For us all we had was rumbling thunder.


In the background you can see Incholm Priory on the island of Inchcolm. My "wargamer's brain" thought it looked an excellent spot to use as base camp for a raiding /invading force. Plans forming of Republican French threatening the good people of Scotland in 1798 a la Sharpe Practice...


Finally I have posted a pic of the garden with excellent potato crop for your entertainment. There seem to be quite a few of us blogging chaps who enjoy our garden/allotments too.Enjoy your weekend whatever you do...





On the workbench and a 19th century rules question...

A view of the dining room table with the current Impetus project laid out whilst working this morning. A smallish,manageble and fun project...

Prince Lupus, if you read this can you tell more of your amendments for Impetus as you reffered to on Tom's blog recently?

Sunny here in the Duchy and hope to go out for a walk later en famile.

One of the great joys of this mini project is that I have endeavoured only to use figures I have lying around the house. I have taken a few liberties with figures used but am more than happy with the forthcoming troops. It is good to reuse rather than spend at times and very satisfying indeed...

Finally I have rediscovered my 15mm Spanish American war of 1898 collection in the garage- any suggestions for old school type rules to use them with? As ever I am relying on your ideas and suggestions!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Keeping the Impetus up...

Some of you may recall this November post-



http://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2010/11/real-imagination-if-you-know-what-i.html where I mentioned my desire to do an Basic Impetus Baroque army to oppose Tom's Danes ( he of the recently mentioned recently started blog on these pages) with the army of the Duchy of Holstien -Gottrop. Readers wishing a little insight can click on the above link to find a little background to H-G and the personalities of the age...


I started the army this morning and have decided to base it with a winter/snowy theme. The picture is of a Swedish regiment in the Duchy's service . I have started on a command element with tent and fire also today.


While on the subject of tents here is the link to where I got the tent making /template pdf-


Today I had my hair cut ( short once more) for the first time in over 16 or so months and am actually quite pleased with the result. tomorrow will see me continuing the work on Ducal forces.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Not today I fear...

The weather has returned to rain today so no al fresco painting/gardening I fear. I am off into Auld Reekie later today to catch up with a friend and then pop out to see my mother in the suburbs. Hopefully the rest of the family will have a reasonable balance of R&R /chores in my absence.
As ever when in the Royal Mile I have a look in the GW shop. After all the figures are interesting and the styling/painting gives one ideas. I often buy bases and hobby sundries there. They always ask (in a friendly manner) what I am painting- and so they hear of 1938,syw ,imaginations and the alike. Sometimes a brief but interesting dialogue ensues...

Midsummer Manoeuvres...

It is now a month since the Electors of the Disputed Valley met in Wargstadt. No decisions have been reached and all have dispersed back home with a desire to meet together again within one lunar month . The killers of Ulric von Wargstadt remain at large and nothing is known of their identity or whereabouts. Rumours abound of plots and counter plots.

Being Midsummer it is time for the regiments of the Disputed Valley to gather together under canvas for their annual shooting match and manoeuvres. Here we see the Town Regiment of Adlerfort making it's way into camp. The men are recruited mainly from the Falconers and Falconry Craftsmen's Guild based in the town. They are reputed to be amongst some of the best shots in the valley. Over the next few days we shall see if that is true...

Monday, 4 July 2011

Alarms & Excursions...

8.00am
Last week an electrician spent ages replacing our old and installing new mains electric smoke/heat alarms. At 4am this morning they went off and it was a false alarm/malfunction. It took us 45 minutes en famile to get them to stop!!!!!!!!!!

Weather has been lovely here - girls have been to the beach with friends and yesterday we all went for a brief foray to Ikea to pick up two garden chairs. They are to replace the material foldy ones which rotted in the leaky garage. They were assembled with not to much beastliness and are most comfy! Hopefully some more al fresco painting today when I am fully awake!

Finally may I end with best wishes for an excellent 4th of July to all who are celebrating- enjoy!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

The dogs of R&R unleashed...



Well the hols have arrived here in Tradgardland- a loud huzzah resounding from all inhabitants! Last nite we had a bbq and listened to Andy Murray being sadly defeated on the radio in the garden. This morning, following in the illustrious footsteps of a fellow blogger, I ventured to paint some figures al fresco. It worked really well and I will continue to do so later today. Other than that I intend to do very little and begin getting those energy levels recharged. I hope the weather smiles upon you today wherever you are...