All posts by TWR

About TWR

Historical Miniatures Wargamer from Christchurch, New Zealand.

In the Field with Grouchy

One of the aspects of Volley & Bayonet which I particularly enjoy is the ability to refight the great battles of the black powder period. Over the years I have indeed been fortunate to refight many of these famous battles, including many from the Napoleonic Wars. These include all those from the Hundred Days Campaign.

Over the last week I’ve revisited the smaller battle of Wavre and twice resolved this battle on the table. First playing against Jim, who I unfortunately infrequently manage a Volley & Bayonet game against. You can find an account of the game here.

Then more recently, we refought the battle as a multiplayer game during our usual Friday evening gaming slot. A report of this game can be found here.

Both refights of course had similarities, yet each was different as players all approached the battles from a different perspective, each with their own views of what could be effective. Indeed at one point there was significant debate in the second refight between the two Prussian commanders who had very different styles – one deliberate and one more aggressive.

Few rule sets produce a narrative which is so similar to these great battles. Yet the games don’t become bogged down with excessive detail. Indeed, as I’ve read accounts of the action at Wavre during the week I’m reminded of the similar narrative that could easily be applied to our refights. A fact that even after using these rules for over 23 years continues to fascinate me.

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War Wagons, Castles & Tweets

As those of you who are unfortunate enough to follow me on Twitter know I’ve managed a couple of DBA gaming sessions this week. Twitter you say, really? Yes I’ve been experimenting with Twitter for a while now. Professionally I’m trying to understand social media a little more. Forcing myself to try different forms of communication if you like. From a hobby perspective it seems a useful way to post a couple of photos of my games which don’t warrant the investment in time to post here. I’m of course not sure if it is of value to punters though as my “Twitter Followers” are few. Perhaps I need to be more outspoken as has been the case of some Presidents?

Anyway, for those without Twitter here are a couple of photos of this week’s games which I really thought needed to be highlighted a little more.

Firstly, above and below, a couple of photos from Tuesday’s excellent encounter between my Wars of the Roses English and Jim’s new Hussites. The massed War Wagons certainly had me scratching my head especially when the English cannon were destroyed early on! Another engagement is on the cards this coming week.

Then, for those with a model making bent, don’t miss my post on another opponent’s excellent use of his recently completed castle for use with his Yi Dynasty Koreans.

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Above, the scratch built castle, complete with Korean garrison. Below, a photo of another battle, with the castle now in Japanese control, just visible in the distance.

You will find a more detailed post in the Ancient wargaming section here.

It’s is good to get my regular gaming for 2018 underway. Watch out for more late night tweets as the year develops…

Campaigning on the Ostfront

Over the last couple of days my son and I have deployed our 1941 Soviets and Germans for a series of challenging Spearhead games. In both games the Germans have been restricted to relatively small but well motivated formations. In contrast the Soviets have fielded numerically larger formations which have been significantly hamstrung by defensive requirements and completely inflexible command and control.

The games were both generated with the Scenario Generation System and to the German commanders relief both battles found the Germans on the offensive. I remain nervous of facing a massive Soviet counter-attack!

Brief reports of both games can be found on my Spearhead blog. The first looks at the Soviet Pocket around Dzhelishay while the second action focuses on the Defence of Zahvizdya. Both involve reinforced brigade actions with all models in 6mm.

Reflections on 2017

Here we are at the end of another year and I find myself wondering where the year has gone. Without doubt I have had a few family projects to focus on which have provided much pleasure and meaning. Obviously this has allowed less time for painting which during 2017 has been extremely limited. I have had a few attempts to complete projects but these have been lost to real life. However, I am really at the place that additional painting doesn’t provide too much additional benefit. More often I struggle to get my existing armies on the table. I’m sure some of you know the feeling! Of course, I have a few projects that I do intend to get on to. However, let’s not get carried away and start naming them here of course.

While my painting has certainly been limited my gaming has not been. I am fortunate having almost always had one gaming evening per week, and often two. DBR remains a regular Tuesday evening activity with, most recently, a range of exotic armies taking the field including Sumatrans, my new East African Pagans and Maori seen below engaged against Swedes.

DBA and Big Battle DBA have also feature on Tuesday evenings. Mostly these games have been between historical opponents, often a result of the Empire Campaign we have been running during the year. Interestingly DBA has provided the only competitions outings  I’ve attended during the year.

My Friday gaming slot has generally been allocated to Volley & Bayonet which continues to focus an the Napoleonic and American Civil War periods. The rules are without doubt one of my favourites.

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Periodically I deploy my Spearhead or Modern Spearhead armies on a Friday evening and while the number of such games has been fewer in the last couple of months, with opponents being busy, these are both great systems and the games providing much entertainment.

Occasionally of course we have managed Wings of Glory or Sails of Glory evening both of which are excellent systems particularly suited to multiplayer games. Though they can prove challenging in head to head games as well. I’m particularly thinking of my inability to counter Jim’s Me-109s in 1940 games here…

Blogging wise I’m pleased with the general balance I’ve achieved. Postings here are less frequent and only cover a small sample of my gaming activities. However, I think provide a reasonable summary of events, especially when the other blogs that comprise my interests are considered. This site continues of course continue to be supported by Twitter where I try and post a couple of photos after a game. I’m sure the marketing department would have a different view on my posting success. With few comments I’m probably not engaging my audience that well, but then my audience is arguably not that numerous. After all 6mm and 15mm are not the current “in scales”.

So where do I think 2018 will take me? This coming year I would like to play a couple of larger games of Volley & Bayonet, stretching over a full day or multiple evenings rather than our usual single evening slot. I would further like to organise a Spearhead weekend but that would require some out of town support and is probably more a stretch target. In the meantime I’ll make do with some games over next week and then return to some regular gaming slots as the year gets underway.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your own New Year and wish you and your families all the very best for 2018.

Snoopy’s Christmas

It’s almost an institution that a few of us gather for “Snoopy’s Christmas”, a Wings of Glory gaming session, just prior to Christmas. This year five of us took to the air last night somewhere over the Western Front. So to set the scene:

The Baron had Snoopy dead in his sights
He reached for the trigger to pull it up tight
Why he didn’t shoot, well, we’ll never know…

Our first scenario was the ubiquitous air superiority mission with initially three allied aircraft tackling two German machines. The allies fielded two Spad XIII and a Sopwith Triplane. The Germans meanwhile managed to place a couple of Albatross in the area.

Above, a Spad goes almost head to head with an Albatross. The Spads lived up to their reputation of being fast but lacking in manoeuvrability. The German aircraft, in contrast, repeatedly out turned the Spads.

However, the Germans didn’t have it all their own way. Below, the Sopwith Triplane flown by Pilot Officer Sutton. His first burst of fire, earlier in the battle, caused a massive explosion in an Albatross.

This kill, as well as a series of others, resulted in several additional reinforcements to be substituted. Below, an Albatross D.Va prepares to engage a Spad.

By the end of the mission all but one machine, a Spad with a wounded pilot, was suffering some form of engine damage reducing their ability to manoeuvre. All were heavily damaged, forcing the survivors to head for home.

Next up was a photo reconnaissance mission by a Breguet BR.14 B2 supported by a DH.4. Below, the Breguet flies toward the monastery while the DH.4 attempts to disrupt the Hun.

The Germans put up a series of aircraft. These included initially an Albatross, a Fokker DR.1 and a Aviatik D.1. Unfortunately the Central Powers pilots were woefully ineffective and as a result suffered heavy casualties for their inexperience.

No less than five German or Austrian pilots were shot down as they tried relentlessly to disrupt the allied aircraft. However, the allied pilots, and their expertly trained rear gunners, fought off all attacks.

Another great evening of Wings of Glory.