Sunday, 30 April 2017

About Cromwell...54mm ECW

I'm increasingly drawn to larger figures and I've finally got back to working on my North-West Frontier figures.  I don't have the 'toy soldier' nostalgia thing that some people associate with this scale, so I'm not a fan of the shiny varnish and block painted look that you often see but they are nice to paint and look very impressive on the table.

Last week I was lucky enough to play a game with my friend Anthony's 54mm ECW armies.  His figures are from 'A Call to Arms' and look really impressive.  The rules we used were 'About Cromwell'.  These are a Belgian set of rules which owe a lot to Command and Colours.  The card element has been removed though and orders are given by the overall CinC and subordinate commanders using dice...rolling an I allows you to activate an Infantry unit, a C, cavalry etc.  The CinC can also transfer an order that he has rolled to a subordinate if it is needed and he is within command range.  The rules were really easy to pick up and the game flowed really well.

I commanded the Royalists  and had more early success in getting my forces moving.  My Cuirassiers tried a speculative charge against the Parliamentarian Commanded Shot (I didn't fancy mixing it with the pikemen) but I discovered that musket range is quite long and took casualties getting into charge range and eventually lost the combat.  I had more success in the left as I advanced my Pike and Shot unit and this time it was my musket fire that proved very effective in causing casualties and driving back the enemy.

The Royalists begin to advance...

...cheered on by the Commanded Shot skulking behind a hedge

King Charles views the battlefield

Over on my right the cavalry engaged after a halting start and I was soundly beaten as Parliaments Cuirassiers routed one unit and then charged into the flank of my second.  The good news was that in true ECW style they then pursued off the table and refused to come back for the remainder of the game!  If they had turned up I would have had nothing except a nervous looking gun crew to defend against them so I was very fortunate!

Boo...the evil Parliamentarians...

Despite my success in driving back Anthony's units on my right the casualties were mounting and, having lost my cavalry command completely, I couldn't afford too many more.  Inevitably the weight of musket fire and a well timed Parliamentary cavalry charge proved too much and the Royalists were broken.

An excellent set of rules if you like the Command & Colours style of game.  Apparently there is also a Napoleonic version called, not surprisingly 'About Bonaparte' which featured in Miniature Wargames last November, and an Ancients version called...'About Caesar'.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Salute 17

So, another Salute has been and gone.  I'm lagging a bit behind my fellow bloggers who all seemed to get their posts up within a day or so (and especially Eric the Shed who must be the winner in the annual 'uploading lots of Salute photos' race).  Unlike the others I spent the hours after Salute  resting my aching feet and watching rubbish on the tv rather than being gainfully employed writing posts.  Since then work has annoyingly got in the way of fun.

This year I approached Salute with a relatively blank shopping list.  I knew I needed some paints and varnish etc and I've been planning to pick up a copy of the latest Osprey rules, 'Scrappers'.  These are designed for a post-apocalypse setting and look (on the surface at least) like Frostgrave meets Fallout.  Their release may have been spoiled a little by the news that Modiphius games have acquired the licence for an official Fallout game due to be released later this year...very excited by this!!

Anyway...back to Salute.  The journey to ExCel is a relatively straightforward one for me and only takes an hour and a bit door to door.  As usual the Marathon runners dominated on the tube and DLR but I always like to play 'Spot the Wargamer' on the way up... it's usually easy to pick us out.

I arrived about 11.15 and missed the queue completely (and the Salute freebies sadly) and first impressions were that the hall was very busy this year.  I'm never any good at judging numbers but it seemed pretty packed until after lunch when it began to thin a bit.  The games were, as usual, of a very high standard and it was nice to see  lots of engaging participation games.  I did think that the show was missing a real stand-out game (except perhaps Dalauppror's game...but everything was of excellent quality and certainly far better than anything I could manage.  Purchases were all made smoothly, including picking up a copy of Over the Hills Napoleonic rules for a friend and I resisted buying things that I really didn't need...apart from a laser line pointer: c''s a laser and it shines a line on the table!! Who could resist!!  I also bought a small Aztec-style pyramid from a company selling lots of resin scenery.  I cant remember who they were though and if anyone can shed light on this I'd be grateful.

I nearly bought the relatively new Warlord Games offering 'Test of Honour' which is a samurai skirmish game.  It looks relatively good value as their are 35 rather nice figures included but after a lot of wandering past and looking at the boxes on the Caliver stand I eventually decided that it is a purchase that can wait.  I already have some Japanese figures for Ronin and don't really need another Samurai game.  Let's face it... this is a pretty flimsy defence and  I suspect I'll eventually give in and buy it but as it wasn't any cheaper at Salute I was able to hold out for now.

I also nearly bought some figures from Oathsworn Miniatures.  These were from their Burrows and Badgers range and are anthropomorphic fantasy animals in a Mouseguard style.  I really have no idea what I'd do with them but they were really nice and I suspect I'll also end up buying some of them at some point!

At 1pm the assorted Bloggers gathered for the annual Bloggers meet and it was good to see some familiar (and unfamiliar) faces including Tamsin, Legatus, Eric the Shed (who then departed for the Lead Adventure gathering), Bob Cordery, Ray Rousell etc.  There were fewer of us than in previous years but clearly we were going for quality over quantity.

One of these people is your mystery correspondent (thanks to Tamsin for the photo)

I eventually left around 3.30 with very weary feet (not helped by a touch of Tendonitis) and tired eyes which I can only assume was something to do with the lighting.  As one of the 2 DLR stations that serve ExCel was shut the crowds leaving the centre were pretty awful but once I got onto the platform  the train was actually really quiet and I had a smooth journey back home.  As always a great day out and even if I didn't buy too much, I've earmarked a few companies for a return visit online at some point soon.

And onto the photos.  As usual I've identified the game where I could but often forgot to take a note of who was putting it on so apologies if I haven't credited the organisers.  As always when I look at other bloggers Salute reports I'm amazed at the number of games that I completely missed!

Dalauppror's Fort Mosquito game...Swedish colonists in North America...who knew!?  Really impressive game

Warlord Games and The Friends of General Haig - Inverlochy 1645

VBCW Naval Game

Batman game

Peter Pig updated Men of Company B rules

Prototype In Her Majesty's Name boardgame

Some kind of D Day game I think

Huge Warhammer game.  Very impressive but so crowded with
stuff it was hard to work out what it was all meant to mean!

6mm Cold War game

Big Red Bat's impressive Raphia game...lots and lots of pikes!


Skirmish Wargames...Blood in the Snow

Excellent Jurassic Park game...very popular with youngsters...

I'd assumed this was Hastings but apparently it's another battle entirely!

Battlegroup Tobruk rules

Fantastic scenery from Oshiro

Hogwarts Wizard Racing

Russian Revolution game...looked like lots of fun

Sino-Japanese battle

Frostgrave scenery display

And my relatively small pile of Salute loot....