Friday, 31 May 2019

CoC Operation Martlet Campaign

The lads from the 12SS try and make their way to the other wall
We certainly enjoy playing Chain of Command WW2 rules from Too Fat Lardies.  In my opinion Richard Clarke has put together an excellent system for playing low level games in the period with a great deal of ease, pleasant complexity and period feel.

Mike and I had long ago discussed the fact that we were not playing enough games gainst eachother at the club in recent years and both decided that a monthly CoC would be the best way to rectify this concern!  Then with the added spice of playing one of the fantastic Pint Sized Campaigns made available by TFL, we decided to venture into Operation Martlet which occurs some 19 days after the intial D-Day landings of the Normandy Campaign.

These "Pint Sized Campaigns" are available for purchase from TFL on their website. They are tremendous value and              I couldn't recommend them highly enough.  Get on their and purchase them know you want to!

Table set-up with initial Patrol markers on the table before the patrol phase

The map from the campaign scenario one is reproduced only to show how we tried to replicate it ourselves

The patrol markers start to make their way out and jump off points are chosen

Mike sends his first section on and takes the house on the extreme left of the field.

The campaign has several fascinationg nuances which I will not share too much of in case you wish to play the game yourselbes.  Suffice to say that it was proving difficult for both forces to get thwir troops onto the table as they wanted to due to a myriad of designed cirecumstances including barrages, mist and poor die rolling.

I chose to purchase some entrenchments in my supports - bloody good investment as well!

So was this...though it was part of my initial force

Gorgeous Panzer MkIV model originally put together by Neil at Troop of Shrewe.  Clever man.

The British infantry make their way down the left hand side of the board

Whilst a jeep with PIAT team attached ends up in a bad way

Martin and Angus look very excited as casual observers

Another entrenchment with a senior officer in the background barking out orders left, right and centre

Some chaps considering their options as the jeep burns in the distance

The PzMKIV makes it way out to the crossroad

Whilst the troops ready a PIAT team

The PIAT team takes fier whilst the first section makes a run for it across the road and onto the road

I had purchased an additional rifle section as a mobile reserve - thank goodness I did

The first British section makes a bolt for the table edge and victory

A view down teh table showing the nearly sole left flank/table edge attack by the Brits

The German Rifle section hit the British infantry in the open

Then follow up in an assault

The German armour, confident in a lack of enemy AT takes off down the road

The Senior Sergeant looks for men to add to the push

This section looks like its going to fit the bill

Who thinks they know what may well be about to happen?

This shot shows the effect that hull mg fire and a section over watch can do to an advance

At this point the British force had to withdraw due to a loss of Force Morale.  We still have to tally up all the losses, returns etc. however it was obvious that the German had managed to defend the line.

A great game, due for a replay as Mike once again attempts to push through the table.  Four weeks time should be perfect.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

The Napoleonic Library snapshot

One side of the wargames room has this wonderful bookcase built by fellow wargaming mate Steve

Many years ago I decided to commence cataloguing my collection of books in my library and thought it best to start at the largest section - Napoleonic.  As you can imagine it is always a task that takes discipline and a meticulous attention to detail.  That can be hard when miniature figurines and fighting table top battles are calling your name sooooo close to where you are completing "homework"!

Then of course I had my eureka moment.

Digital photography can be everyone's friend, including the lazy wargamer!

So without any further adieu a few shots of the Napoleonic bookcase shelves including some generic wargaming and uniform tomes.

A few favourites here.  Eltings Swords around a Throne is a cracking read.

On this first shelf are quite a few very good books that helped the young aspiring wargamer that was me understand the period a little better with every page.  Rogers "Napoleons Army" was a pick up at an early wargaming show put on by Mike W and Phil C many years ago.  A second hand book trader attended on the first night and was out of stock very early in the piece.  A few here that I have only skimmed through.  John Eltings book was a great holiday read by the pool in Kalabarri on an early holiday to the north of the state with Fiona many, many years ago.

The Oman's are an interesting collection.  They seem to divide Peninsular purists but I enjoyed them
In the very early days of our having purchased our first home together and starting with a new company these purchases were one a month from Boffins Bookshop in the city.  It was always great seeing the salesman Les and grabbing another volume on a Friday mid-month.
The same applies for this wonderful Greenhill Books collection.  Boffins was a godsend.

I actually managed to grab quite a few of the Greenhill books when Fiona and I were on holiday in England many years ago.  A great second-hand book agent selling from his home in Maidenhead.

I know people have strong opinions about Peter Hofrescher and on a personal level its not good at all.  His writing though is first class and the topics he covered were just as controversial.

On the shelf above is one of my favourite books on my favourite Napoleonic General Prince Eugene.  I religiously read this while still in high school while I was building the Army of Italy in 15mm for Empire III games at the Napoleonic Wargaming Society.  John Gills books are so informative and the often, at that time, ignored contribution of German units during the period gets a very good going over.

Well the Napier's are a must for anyone interested in the Peninsular chaps.  Christopher Duffy's books are sensational and are so well written that the most complicated scenarios and strategies are broken down and made understandable

More John Gills on the 1809 campaign and those wonderful Petre's. Gosh Marshall MacDonald also gets some space!

Arnold's books are a sensationally written, deep in detail and some great sources.  He is a wargamer as well so an added bonus.  The two volume set of the KGL was a great find at a long gone bookshop in Swanbourne called Burridges.

Fiona bought me my first copy of Chandlers Campaigns of Napoleon and it is a favourite.  The Folio Societies three volume set alongside it is a very nice piece of printing and publishing

Great set of books.  The CS Grants are wonderful.

Some crackers here.  The Anatomy of Glory, both first editions.  One purchased at Foyles in London for 100 quid!  What was I thinking.  The three part 1812 volumes were great reads whilst travelling between Perth and Sydney.

The famous Nafgizer trilogy on 1813 and the tremendous Polish books from Karabella on the Grand Duchy of Warsaw units.  They are the only reference you will ever need if collecting and painting Polish troops in the Napoleonic period...Murawski Miniatures of course!

Lots of general stuff here.  Remember when Funckens and Ospreys were nearly our only source for painting guides!

Great shelf here - the wonderful Military History Press volumes and the Bucqouys

Eltings, Adkins and H&C

Digby Smith aka Otto Von Pivka was always a favourite book from the UWA Library.  I jumped at the chance to buy my own many years later for $5.00.

I promised that I would rad Tolstoy's "War and Peace" cover to cover and over the course of six months travelling between Sydney and Melbourne short-haul flights I did.  The last 60 pages of Tolstoy postulations were hard work but the rest was pure magic - ahhh Natasha!.

Everyone loves a Blandford

Wargaming books - how much fun it was to discover these in the Midland library as a boy and then get a chance to slowly find copies for sale in second hand bookshops across the globe

Wargaming in History from Ken Trotman books are worth their weight in gold for we gamers

If you are anything like me I am always drawn to another gamers bookshelves to see what absolute treasures they may have and flick through the pages of long sought after volumes.  I hope that for some of you seeing the spines of some old favourites may bring some fond memories as they do for me everytime I walk up those stairs.

Best wishes until next time.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Empires Eagles and Lions and the equisite artwork of Mike Gilbert

Hows that for detail? The regular contributors and wargamers within the NJAW can be seen in the drawing.
Regular visitors to this particular blog will know of my genuine affection for the now defunct Empires, Eagles and Lions Wargaming Journal from the wonderfully productive and creative group known at the time as the New Jersey Association of Wargamers.

As a teenager growing into a young man in my wargaming infancy the journal was a great source of information, discussion and entertainment.  At the time I was very much enjoying Scott Bowden's wonderful Empire III rules and the journal was a great read.

Mike used to paint as well - very amusing advertisement in EEL 29.

Of special attraction was the sensational line drawings and illustrations of the incredibly talented Mike Gilbert.  I wanted to share this wonderful cover so that many of today's gamers who may not have heard of Empires, Eagles and Lions could see some wonderful pieces of artwork.

Ill be occasionally adding a new drawing on the blog just to show how talented Mr Gilbert truly was.