Monday, 26 October 2020

Final Countdown to a Tactical Withdrawal

The Great Tarawera Wargame Extravaganza is upon us, we have had two or three days without a single case of Covid 19 in the community (we do have some cases in the managed isolation facilities but that’s ok), so looks like nothing can get in the way of this finally going ahead! Twenty four hours ago, Mark referred to it as a “retreat”, but being a military man, I prefer my description!

The rather uninspiring header image of a pile of cardboard file boxes is my contribution to the weeks activities – a great deal less than it often is, as I am not running a game this year and am not required to bring along any scenery.

The yellow boxes contain 28mm Napoleonic Austrians for Chris’s game, whilst I am also contributing the Light Division to Marks Crimean game, some Buffalo Soldiers to Julian’s Pony Wars game and western gunfighters to our quick Sunday morning game, run by Rick.

Following the images of boxes and some of their contents, there are the latest three Fenryll figures, the third of the Noble Ladies and two more serving girls. The latter two must have been amongst the first sculpts, as unlike all the others, they come attached to a resin base that is approx 5-6mm thick, making them tower over everyone else in the collection. I did have a half-hearted attempt at sanding down the bases but I was too scared I would bugger up the figures, so in the end I did not reduce the thickness by much. They are most likely only going to be “human scenery” anyway, so it probably doesn’t matter that much.

I had a good result on the second package of Fenryll figures – for once the extortionate cost of international shipping actually worked in my favour – the charge via NZPost to return the package to Thierry in France was NZ$60 tracked and NZ$40 untracked – as the intrinsic value to him of the figures is presumably very little bar his labour, he told me it was not worth it to him and so I now have a second tranche of all the figures!

A number of posts will follow in about ten days’ time as I document our week away, although our friend Mark at 1866 and all That may be sending out evening reports live from the battlefield, so mine may end up being a bit redundant – but that wont stop me! 

Contents of the first Austrian box - Jaegers. Grenzers and Landwehr

The British Light Division for the Crimean War

Some Western Gunfighters

The full contingent in the boot (trunk) of my CX5

Serving wench number one, carrying a bucket of water - perhaps she should be christened "Jill"?

Serving wench number two, carrying some fresh backed bread in a basket on her head

The third Noble Lady with a suitably Jacobean background

That's my last post for a while.

Stay safe, take care in these troubled times, and I will be in touch again soon!

Thursday, 22 October 2020

"Noblesse Oblige"......First Pair of Fenryll Noble Ladies

Here are the first two of the four Fenryll figures supplied under the description of Noble Ladies.

One is photographed against the white background but the second one I could not get that to work…whenever I got to the point where most of the image was the figure rather than the paint pot she is standing on, the whole image went “yellow” – I am assuming its to do with the colour of her attire. I put a background behind her, as I normally do, and the image looked much better – that’s the only reason they are pictured differently.

The final pic shows two of the previous Courtesans plus two of the Hokahey Reivers for scale – I think they work fine together….


I think the shading came out very nicely on her pink skirt...

Lady number two has a bird on her left wrist - I painted it as a peregrine falcon although I think it is intended to be a dove.....

Final group shot showing height comparison with the male Reivers...a bientot mes amis!

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

A Trio of French Beauties

Tonight, we present for your delectation the three ladies supplied under the description of Female Courtesans by Fenryll … (are there such things as MALE Courtesans…??)

There are three figures in this pack, and if I do say so myself, I think I have done a better job on their faces this time.

Not much more to say except once again, they really are exquisite figures, and like the maids, they wear reasonably generic clothing, so can fit into a number of eras from Renaissance to early eighteenth century (in my opinion anyway!)

This lady seems to be a bit of a drama queen!

This one could be from the court of Marie Antoinette....

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Face to face gaming - The First Carlist War

Today the group got together for our first Face to Face game at Barry’s place for a couple of months. The era chosen as the First Carlist war 1830ish - Barry, Rick and I took the loyalist Isabellina forces, comprising Spanish, French Foreign Legion and British Auxiliary Legion troops, whilst Mark, Paul and Chris took the Carlist forces of the pretender to the throne.

The Carlists were holding a small town on the far side of a river that was fordable at all points for everything except wheeled guns. The Isabellinists aim was to take the town.

Our plan (mine mainly as Rick was a dissenting opinion) was to concentrate as many units as possible in the left centre of our side of the table and attempt to refuse our right flank, held by Barry with our best troops – FFL and the Spanish Guards (who were classed as trained, whereas most of the other troops on both sides were raw). I would lead the attack with the BAL – four raw battalions and one small battalion of British Royal Marines supported by a small battery, a troop of cavalry and a rocket battery. We were prepared to lose this command to pave the way for a secondary assault across the river by Barry’s command. Rick was on the extreme left flank with most of our cavalry, not the best position as he was confronted by a densely wooded area.

On the other side, Paul was occupying the woods opposite Rick on the Carlist right, Chris held the centre and Mark had the cavalry and some infantry on the left wing with the empty half of the table to exploit with his horsemen.

Rick struggled to get going with a number of poor activation rolls and did not get to grips with Paul until well into the second half of the game. For some reason, the Carlists were allowed to deploy a brigade well forward, on our side of the river and this hampered Barry’s movement from the start. The advance across the central plane under constant artillery fire went as well as could be expected and our support fire from guns and rockets whittled down Chris’s defending forces. Marks sweeping advance across the empty half of the table meant Barry had to deploy a number of units in a defensive screen but it proved to be insufficient, and Chris added to his discomfort with the brigade that had started on lour side of the river.

It was basically a battle of attrition where both Barry and I got to a point where under the rules, we were required to do a brigade morale test on the same turn and we both failed. This left Paul in a very bad state as Rick had the upper hand, the majority of Chris’s command gone from the field, but Mark coming in from Ricks rear with several units of fresh cavalry. As with many games, the dice decided things in the end – if Barry and I had held on another move or two, we might possibly have crossed the river and taken the town.


Initial layout showing the town on the far side of the river – all buildings scratch built by Mark


The Isabellinist deployment on the left of the road dissecting the battlefield


My command – troops are all mine bar the gun, Royal Marines (at rear), cavalry squadron and officers


The Carlist force defending the small town that was our objective


Barry deploys in a defensive posture – note Chris’s Carlist troops in the middle distance – they started the game occupying the small built up area


Pauls forces moving through the woods to confront Rick


Marks infantry cross the river on the Carlist left to march against Barry


First line of the BAL brigade close in on the river


The FFL wait for the Carlist onslaught


Close up of some of the FFL figures – everything we used in the game bar my four BAL battalions were supplied by Mark


Rick finally got some decent activation rolls and managed to deploy to engage Paul on our left flank

The wide open space on our right that was exploited by Mark with the Carlist cavalry


The BAL Scots battalion fires at the Carlist defenders across the river


The Carlist defenders advanced across the river and engaged in a close range fire fight with my BAL brigade. The eventual outcome was one Carlist unit quit the field, another routed and the third pulled back, but they did some damage to my units too

The struggle in the woods was going Ricks way for sure

This looks impressive for the Isabellinists, but in reality, all the troops in this image were on their last legs..

…as can be seen in the next image, where a couple of our units have quit the field

Rick was triumphant in his fight with Paul and was all ready to throw some cavalry across the river to complete his victory….

….but Barry and I both needed a brigade morale roll of 6 to hang about – and this time, both of us failed.


One more work week to go – then a three day public holiday weekend, Labour day here in NZ – and then we are off to Lake Tarawera by Rotorua in the central N Island for our week long annual wargaming retreat – yeeha!