Showing posts with label wargaming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wargaming. Show all posts

14 February 2015

Progress on the Turks

Gallipoli and The Turks: Diorama Progress report

I finally got a bit of time to progress the Turks I've built for the WW1 display in Wellington. Diorama to commemorate the Battle of Chunuk Bair.



Applied the first coats, and washes to the trousers and helmets helmets- starting to look like them Ottoman Gentlemen warriors now 






Have applied washes to uniform jackets now, pics to follow...

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20 September 2014

FoW: Operation Barbarossa: A sneak Peak and Sale

Flames of War: Operation Barbarossa: Russia Invaded - 

A sneak Peak and Sale

All the Flames of War fans out there: Battlefront miniatures have made a sneak peak available on their Operation Barbarossa book, soon to be released. (Oct 2014) 

Preview Of Barbarossa

The Barbarossa book promises the 3rd Reich rampant:
  • History of the German invasion of the Soviet Russia in 1941,
  • Battle for Moscow and the Soviet counter-strikel.
  • It appears Stalingrad is left out (?) Probably material for a next book.
  • Options for German tank companies: 
    • Leichte Panzerkompanie, Mittlere Panzerkompanie, and Czech Panzerkompanie. 
    • Mobile infantry with a Panzersch├╝tzenkompanie, Sch├╝tzenkompanie, and Kradsch├╝tzenkompanie.
    • Motorised and foot infantry with a Heer or SS Infanteriekompanie.
  •  Options for Soviet Army: 
    • T-34 tank equipped Tankovy Batalon, 
    • Lend-lease tanks with Inomarochnikiy Tankovy Batalon
    • Motor infantry with a Motostrelkovy Batalon
    • Infantry: Strelkovy Batalon with three different ratings options.
More info on their website (Clicky below)

So, great news for early war fans. Even better news: They have a limited time special on all their early war goodies!

Early-war Sale!

Check things out on their website: Buy two get one free!
(Now wouldn't it be great if Games Workshop took a page out of BF's book -never in a month of Sundays!)

New model releases include:
 New sculpt  Pz III G/H and J, and Pz IV E and F 1/2
• New  range of German infantry with greatcoats Early and Mid War.
•  ZIS-30 - a Zis-2 57mm gun mounted on a Komsomolyets
• Plastic and resin early model T-34.
• Updated sculpts for KV tank series.
• BM-8 Katyusha option included with the BM-13 Katyusha box

Q and A from their site:

Q: When will we be charged for the orders?
A: Just like the Vietnam sale, orders will be charged once they are downloaded from the website. 

Q: Will the new Barbarossa book and releases be included in the sale?
A: Barbarossa is released after the conclusion of the sale. However this is a great opportunity to get your supporting units and figures in preparation for the release of this book.

Q: How is the discount calculated?
A: We will sort your purchases in descending price order and change every third sale item to $0. So if you ordered 2 BR702 BEF Rifle Platoons ($18 USD each), 1 BR310 Daimler Dingo ($14.50 USD) and 3 BR052 Matilda IIs ($13 USD each), you would get the blister of Daimler Dingos and 1 of the Matilda II blisters for free.

Q: Do books count towards the Buy 2, Get 1 Free deal?
A: Yes. If you add any of the four books to your order they will count towards the buying 2 and getting 1 free (at the discounted prices obviously). So if you buy 1 book and 2 other products you will get 1 of them for free.

Q: Will there be stock?
A: Yes, although if demand is higher than our stock levels we will get it made as soon as possible and have orders completely fulfilled in the same order that they came through the webstore. Orders will be fulfilled in the order that they are received so get in early to avoid disappointment.

Q: Will the webstore show the correct discounted prices and freight
A: Yes! Our gnomes have been busy over the past week reprogramming the store so it should correctly determine which products will be free and apply the correct maximum freight charge.

Q: How long does the sale last?
A: The sale starts on 19 September 2014 and ends 6 October. The front page of the website will be updated once the store has the sale pricing.

15 July 2014

Anniversaries of Major Battles

Battle Anniversaries: Bannockburne


This year and next year sees the anniversary of many significant historical battles.
In the last year we've marked a few major armed clashes:

Kursk, D-Day, with many other favourites of wargamers to come (Eastern and Western Front, Ardennes offensive, and the Battle for Berlin, and Waterloo to come too!

 (Oops, we somehow missed Anzio's 70th and Bannockburne's 700th anniversary ?!)

As usual distilled from the Internet: No copyright infringement intended, happy to credit and/or remove images

Bannockburne:


I opened my latest copy of Wargames Soldiers and Strategy, (BTW a great Dutch publication (in English); one of the few that also include 40K!); to find a fantastic write-up on the battle, and also it's playability with various rule sets! It turns out it was almost 2 battles rolled in one, and that the Scots employed tactics quite of character for the time, catching the over-confident English off-side!

The Battle of Bannockburn  (24 June 1314) was a significant Scottish victory in the First War of Scottish Independence, and a landmark in Scottish history.

Stirling Castle, a Scots royal fortress, occupied by the English, was under siege by the Scottish army. Edward II of England assembled a formidable force to relieve it. This attempt failed, and his army was defeated in a pitched battle by a smaller army commanded by Robert I of Scotland.

The Wars of Scottish Independence between England and Scotland began in 1296 and initially the English were successful, having won victories at the  Dunbar (1296) and at Berwick (1296).

The removal of John Balliol from the Scottish throne also contributed to the English success. The Scots had been victorious in defeating the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, however this was countered by Edward I of England's victory at the Battle of Falkirk (1298).By 1304 Scotland had been conquered, but in 1306 Robert the Bruce seized the Scottish throne and hostilities resumed.


Robert the Bruce

Edward II of England came to the throne in 1307 but was incapable of providing the determined leadership that had been shown by his father, Edward I. Stirling Castle was held by the English, commanding the route north into the Scottish Highlands. It was besieged in 1314 by Robert the Bruce's brother, Edward Bruce, with a threat that if the castle was not relieved by mid-summer then it would be surrendered to the Scots.

Drawing of Edward the Second

Edward II

The English could not ignore this challenge and preparations were made for a substantial campaign in which the English army probably numbered 2,000 cavalry and 15,000 infantry, many of them the feared longbowmen. The Scottish army probably numbered between 7,000 and 10,000 men, of whom no more than 500 would have been mounted. Unlike the heavily armoured English cavalry, the Scottish cavalry would have been light horsemen who were good for skirmishing and reconnaissance but were not suitable for charging the enemy lines.The Scottish infantry would have had axes, swords and pikes, with few bowmen among them, not in separate units.


Scottish Cavalry, comparatively light and maneuvrable

The precise size of the English force relative to the Scottish forces is unclear but estimates range from as much as at least two or three times the size of the army Bruce had been able to gather, to as little as only 50% larger.

Edward II and his advisors were aware of the places that the Scots were likely to challenge them and sent out orders for their troops to prepare for an enemy established in boggy ground near to the River Forth, near Stirling. The English advanced in four divisions whereas the Scots were in three divisions, known as 'schiltrons' which were strong defensive circles of men bristling with pikes. Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray, commanded the Scottish vanguard, which was stationed about a mile to the south of Stirling, near the church of St. Ninian, while the king commanded the rearguard at the entrance to the New Park. His brother Edward led the third division.


According to Barbour, there was a fourth division nominally under the youthful Walter the Steward, but actually under the command of Sir James Douglas. The Scottish archers used yew-stave longbows and though these were not weaker or inferior to English longbows, there were fewer Scottish archers than English archers, possibly numbering only 500. These archers played little part in the battle, as it turned out. There is first hand evidence from the captured Carmelite friar, Robert Baston in his poem, written just after the battle, that one or both sides employed slingers and crossbowmen.


The Battle
Site: There is some confusion over the exact site of the Battle of Bannockburn, although most modern historians agree that the traditional site, where a visitor centre and statue have been erected, is not the correct one. Although a large number of possible alternatives have been proposed, most can be dismissed leaving two serious contenders:
1. An area of peaty ground known as the Dryfield outside the village of Balquhiderock, about three-quarters of a mile to the east of the traditional site, and
2. the Carse of Balquhiderock, about a mile and a half north-east of the traditional site, accepted by the National Trust as the most likely candidate.




Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn

First day of battle:



Most medieval battles were short-lived, lasting only a few hours, therefore the Battle of Bannockburn is unusual in that it lasted for two days. On 23 June 1314 two of the English cavalry formations advanced, the first commanded by the Earl of Gloucester and the Earl of Hereford. They encountered a body of Scots, among them Robert the Bruce himself. A celebrated single combat then took place between Bruce and Henry de Bohun who was the nephew of the Earl of Hereford. Bohun charged at Bruce, hoping to make a name for himself and when the two passed side by side, Bruce split Bohun's head with his axe. De Bohun went down in history for a reason quite unlike he had planned!


(De BoHun's Livery is incorrect in this image, correct below)



Models with more accurate colours: His son Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, captured 
Coat of Arms: Azure a bend argent coticed between six lions rampant or Source: The Falkirk Roll 


The Scots then rushed upon the English under Gloucester and Hereford who struggled back over the Bannockburn. The second English cavalry force was commanded by Robert Clifford. They advanced on the flank of the Scots, towrds St Ninians, coming up against the schiltrom that was commanded by Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray. The English were unable to break the barrier of spears and pikes, and the English withdrew in confusion, unable to break the Scottish formation.


Modern re-enactment



Second day of battle


Under nightfall the English forces crossed the stream that is known as the Bannock Burn, establishing their position on the plain beyond it. A Scottish knight, Alexander Seton, who was fighting in the service of Edward II of England, deserted the English camp and told Bruce of the low English morale, encouraging Bruce to attack them. In the morning the Scots then advanced from New Park. The English archers should have been able to counter this advance but they were neutralized by a Scottish cavalry charge led by Sir Robert Keith.

 The English responded to the Scots advance with a charge of their own, led by the Earl of Gloucester. Gloucester had argued with the Earl of Hereford over who should lead the vanguard into battle, and argued with the king that the battle should be postponed. This led the king to accuse him of cowardice, which perhaps goaded Gloucester into the charge.  Few accompanied Gloucester in his charge and when he reached the Scottish lines he was quickly surrounded and killed.


 Gradually the English were pushed back and ground down by the Scots' schiltrons. An attempt to employ the English and Welsh longbowmen to shoot at the advancing Scots from their flank failed when they were dispersed by the Scottish 500-horse light cavalry under the Marischal Sir Robert Keith

 The English cavalry was hemmed in making it difficult for them to maneuver. As a result the English were unable to hold their formations and broke ranks. It soon became clear that the English had lost and Edward II needed to be led to safety. However one of Edward's knights, Giles de Argentine, declared that he was not accustomed to flee and made one final charge on the Scots, only to die on their spears.

Edward fled with his personal bodyguard, ending the remaining order in the army; panic spread and defeat turned into a rout. He arrived eventually at Dunbar Castle, from which he took ship to England.

From the carnage of Bannockburn, the rest of the army tried to escape to the safety of the English border, ninety miles to the south. Many were killed by the pursuing Scottish army or by the inhabitants of the countryside that they passed through.

Historian Peter Reese says that, "only one sizeable group of men—all foot soldiers—made good their escape to England." These were a force of Welsh spearmen who were kept together by their commander, Sir Maurice de Berkeley, and the majority of them reached Carlisle. Weighing up the available evidence, Reese concludes that "it seems doubtful if even a third of the foot soldiers returned to England." Out of 16,000 infantrymen, this would give a total of about 11,000 killed. The English chronicler Thomas Walsingham gave the number of English men-at-arms who were killed as 700, while 500 more men-at-arms were spared for ransom. The Scottish losses appear to have been comparatively light, with only two knights among those killed.

Aftermath
The defeat of the English opened up the north of England to Scottish raids and allowed the Scottish invasion in Ireland. These finally led, after the failure of the Declaration of Arbroath to reach this end by diplomatic means, to the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton. It was not until 1332 that the Second War of Scottish Independence began with the Battle of Dupplin Moor, followed by the Battle of Halidon Hill (1333) which were won by the English.

Notable casualties
Deaths
Gilbert de Clare, 8th Earl of Gloucester:



Sir Giles d'Argentan:



John Lovel, 2nd Baron Lovel



John Comyn, the Red Lord of Badenoch

Robert de Clifford, 1st Baron de Clifford

Sir Henry de Bohun




William le Marshal, Marshal of Ireland
Edmund de Mauley, King's Steward
Sir Robert de Felton of Litcham, 1st Lord

Captives
Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford
John Segrave, 2nd Baron Segrave
Maurice de Berkeley, 2nd Baron Berkeley
Thomas de Berkeley
Sir Marmaduke Tweng
Ralph de Monthermer, 1st Baron Monthermer
Robert de Umfraville, Earl of Angus
Sir Anthony de Luci
Sir Ingram de Umfraville

15 June 2014

Malady Part 2: The Allied Ordnance Factory

Allied Artillery: The Royal Ordnance Factory in Action

Seems that the cooler weather here in NZ has caused most gamers to have some introspection, or is that inspection of the into pile of shame. That lead and/or plastic pile that has not been touched, or that games system that you no longer play...

It is also a about balance and avoiding the avarice. (Pontificates the King of Avaricious collectors)
Stilling that magpie in us that wants to collect them shiny toys! I suspect I have not only a single magpie, but a whole colony!

Balance ! That's it boys! So this weekend I got stuck into my 1:1 earthworks project, rather than paint and model (too much)



Looking a bit like Rommel's west wall and hemmbalken to capsize Allied Higgins boats, my retaining walls start to take shape, Call them Herman's asparagus if you wish, but the posts are concreted in...

Rather satisfying, and now we have to wait for the concrete around the piles to set. So thoughts turn to a soak in a hot tub, and to the Royal Ordnance Factory:


Three Matadors with 3.3 inch guns bought off Trademe, and four in the process of being built


"Dead Ants" Matadors, glue drying and awaiting their wheels, as are two of the guns,all  freshly assembled.

And 2 QF 17 pounders to add to the existing battery to make 4. 
Surprisingly hard to come by these OOP models.


And my 105 mm medium howitzers


..and 2 Long Tom What the $@&?!s. 
Survivors from my childhood. Probably fictitious Chimera guns with little historical accuracy. 
Useful  in a pinch, as no-one can really accurately identify these horrors!  


QT 25 pounders

 

6 pounder AT guns. Nice little quick to fire devils!


And as I have no Allied AA apart from a single half-track mounted GMC and 2 Russian 37 AA guns, the Royal Ordnance Factory has now been instructed to build those 40 mm Bofors guns and tractors that have been lurking in that pile o' plastic for a while...





10 June 2014

The Extent of the Malady: Bagration and then some

The Obsession: Extent of the Wargames Malady Part 1

Surely every miniatures builder-painter-collector has to have an element of OCD.

Getting my Russian Troops ready for Operation Bagration also inspired me to document the extent of my malady: Why not photograph all of my armies ?

So here goes: Za Stalinha! : My 1943-44 Russian Army:

I have only photographed what is just about ready to roll out on the snow-covered steppe. No lend-lease vehicles or equipment either, only the hardware made in Mother Russia:


The River of Heroes, FoW book at the ready


Siberian Ski Troops and Guards Division Iosef Stalin IS 2 Heavy Tanks


Zis 3 Battery no.1 and Medium mortars 


IL-2 Sturmovik's Eye View of Soviet assault guns


The same Sturmovik taking a snap of Zis 3 Battery no 2 ... 


...and 122 mm Field Howitzers





And sweeping over the Tankovy: KV 1-Es, KV 2s and a single KV-85; 
T34s Obr 1941 (Stalingrad turret) and T34/76 Obr 1943s


The ungainly KV2s leading the way


T34/76 Obr 1943


T34 Obr 1941 w Stalingrad turren (I think)


Hastily applied whitewash Camo on two T34 Obr 1942 s and a T34/76


Pride of the Guard's Division: IS-2s


The heart of the Soviet assault: Strelkovy: The humble foot soldiers



Heavy mortars to beat the Hitlerites into submission


Medium Mortars too


Business end of the Medium 122 mm Field Howitzers



Cossacks on the warpath...

and dismounted


37 mm Antitank guns, and a commissar and standard bearer
(to enthuse those that may be slightly unwilling to fight for Mother Russia and Comrade Stalin)