Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Black Powder American Civil War

Yesterday Trev and I tried out some Black Powder lists for American Civil War that he had been working on.

I took the Confederates and ended up with two brigades each of six infantry battalions with a battery of guns in support and one brigade of four large infantry battalions again with a battery of guns. My CinC was Staff Rating (SR) 9 while the leader of the four battalion brigade was SR8 and the two others SR7.


Trevs mix was a bit more eclectic, his CinC was SR8 and each of his four brigade commanders were SR7. I think one brigade had four battalions and a battery and the other two had six battalions and a battery, his force was finished off with a brigade of two cavalry squadrons.

Rolling for the commanders attributes Trev certainly had teh upper hand, my two SR7 commanders were both low independence while two of his were high!




My plan was a solid one of try to hold up 2/3 of his force with 1/3 of mine accting as an anvil and then use the other 2/3 as an hammer.

It did not pan out so well though, the six infantry battalions of the anvil got into position, but despite the better commanders and ratings the hammer failed to get moving intil far too late.


By the time the hammer blow swung into place the anvil had been shattered and the Union forces had managed to redeploy against me.

All for naught.

The terrain and Tonfederates are from my collection while the Union troops are Trevs. I have a load more Union of my own though.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A stranger walks into town

Yesterday evening Martin, Greg, Ben and myself had our first try of Dead Mans Hand. I had skim red the rules beforehand, but none of us really new how to play. I was sure we would be alright!

With the eleven  figures I finished painting yesterday still smelling of varnish, Gregs' buildings and my pieces of scatter we set up the table.

In the first game we would play the The Stranger scenario. Greg would be the Lawman


The Marshall

While Ben played the drunken outlaws, one each with a shotgun, rifle and pistol.

The Drunken Dudes

This game was over pretty dammed quick. In the first turn Greg moved towards the outlaws, aimed, shot and missed. The guy with the shotgun closed the range, let go with both barrels and blew the lawmans head off. Well that was quick and dirty.

Game one to the bad guys

We lined them up again and played the same scenario and it lasted until the deck ran out, but with no clear advantage.

Game two plays out for quite a bit longer

By now Martin had arrived so we set up the The Stranger scenario again, I would be the lawman and Martin the outlaws. This time it was another quicky, I got initiative and took cover, The outlaw with the rifle played the 'If I get one hit I get two more shots card', the first hit went home on a 20 - game over (we rolled the other two and they both hit!)

Time for a showdown - lawmen all in overcoats this time
Finally we decided that we would play a bit bigger game and selected the This Town Ain't Big Enough scenario, Martin and I were the Lawmen with a Marshall, two deputies with pistols, a deputy with repeating rifle and a deputy with a shotgun. Greg and Ben were the outlaws with a Gunslinger, two dudes with pistols, a dude with rifle and a dude with a shotgun.

The game started well for the outlaws, one broke cover and put three Under Fire markers on the Marshall, however the Marshall cooly turned and gunned the dog down. Our Deputy with shotgun despatched the outlaw with the rifle. Great start.

With our repeating rifle armed deputy on the roof of his building we dominated the town. The Gunslinger broke cover and exchanged ineffective fire with the Marshall. Next round the Gunslinger got the initiative drop and elected for three shots, so the Marshall chose to Duck Back out of range. Our repeating-rifle chap quickly put three under fire markers on the Gunslinger and another deputy finished him off with a pistol.

It was not going all our way though, the outlaws retaliated by despatching two deputies before they finally succumbed to weight of fire.

Gunslinger and Marshall duke it out

Well four games in about two and a half hours, it is certainly fast and furious. I am sure we did a few things wrong, but we'll certainly have another crack.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Low Down Yellow Bellied Varmits

That's enough of my regular gaming opponents, on to the figures I painted this weekend.


I've been meaning to get into Dead Mans Hand for quite some time now. Many years ago I purchased a dozen Wargames Foundry cowboys, cleaned them up, stuck them on bases, sprayed them with primer and then did bugger all with them.

Despite the hectic weekend, what with a day of gaming with Simon on Saturday and a day at Partizan on Sunday I still managed to get eleven gunfighters painted - I have lost one.

Up at 0600 on Saturday morning I did the base-coats, again up at 0600 on Sunday I did the Sepia Wash. After Partizan I made a start on the highlights and on Monday I finished the highlights and did a few washes with the Peat Brown.

This evening they got a spray of varnish and were used in my first game of Dead Mans Hand at the club - a report on that later


Monday, 8 September 2014

Step away from the figures



I had a great day at Partizan yesterday and played two very enjoyable Spanish Civil War games with chums Matt, James W and James M.

However an incident happened yesterday that has really irked me.

We has played the first game and I suggested that the chaps grab some lunch while I set up the second game. I was busy tiding away the Falange and started getting out the Regulares. As you can see I have a backdrop of rolling hills and it is quite a good place to set up the awaiting forces behind here.

Anyway, I was getting the figures out of the boxes and setting them up in their units when a chap wanders over and picks one up and starts rolling it around in his fingers.

I was about ready to go all; 'What gives you the fucking right to paw my figures. Put the thing down you prick' but he probably saw the look in my eye and put it down anyway.

Just because I am putting on a game at the show does not put the figures I have spent hours painting public domain. These things are delicate and take a lot of time to paint, what gives you the right to come along pawing them?

I have just realised that this in my 400th post, I suppose marking a milestone with my first rant is not such a bad thing.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

My Spanish Civil War game at Partizan.

Well, I'm back from 'The Other Partizan' and here are a load of pictures and a bit of text describing the two Spanish Civil War games that I put on today.

I would be playing two games over the day, we were doing games from the very early period of the Spanish Civil War, General Queipo de Llano had ordered that the village of Gran Salicias be taken so that the road to Seville can be forced.

The village is on the edge of a substantial forest and contains a small church, a collection of houses and an olive grove. The Republicans have fortified the area, throwing up large barricades of furniture and goods in an attempt to stop the advance.

You can get an idea of the geography of the area from the photo on the right, you may also note the small tapas of olives, manchego, falute and tortilla that I set up in the corner to keep the players nourished and in character.

For the first game Matt took the Nationalists and James the Republicans, I kept the game going, taking over each side where necessary.

Initially a Centuria of Falangista under their Jefe Gonzalo Prieto are tasked with taking the village. Four whole Falange of troops are supported by a 75mm Schneider infantry-gun and a Hotchkiss machine-gun. The Republicans are bolstered by a large Tiznao armoured car.


The Nationalists deploy three Falange, one on the left sets up a light machine-gun in the woods overlooking the barricades, one in the centre heads towards a large walled estate and one starts a flanking manoeuvre around the right.



The Falange in the centre captures the house, but are driven back by a ferocious charge by the Milicanos.


On the left the Falange cautiously throws one team out of the woods while the other teams provide covering fire, however the Republicamn Tiznao appears and starts a brisk fire on these troops.



My wife Victoria has painted me a backdrop and I really think it sets off these games, she is very talented with a paintbrush!



Republicans man the barricades and try to drive back the Falangista.


In another brisk hand-to-hand fight the central building changes hands again, the Milicianos are driven back in disorder but the Falange holding it are now low on numbers.



On the Nationalist left the Falange try to press on through the woods, but are unable to make headway in the face of the fire from the Tiznao


The Nationalists set up their Hotchkiss machine-gun overlooking the Republican positions, however trading fire with the Milicianos behind teh barricades it soon came off worse and was silenced.


However, on the Nationalist right, the Falange attacking on that side make a wide sweep and are soon in the Republican rear.


However it was not meant to be, the Republicans deployed a large section of Militia with a light machine-gun and were soon cutting down the flanking Falangista who in the face of fire soon melted away.


Matt moved a jump-off point to the centre and kept trying to deploy his fourth Falange in the house in the centre to press his advantage, however with no office off table he failed five successive attempts to deploy them on a four plus!


In a stunning round of shooting the 75mm infantry-gun took out the Tiznao with two very well aimed shots, however, with lunch fast approaching it was clear that the Falangistas were not up to the task so the attack was withdrawn.

Matt, James and myself, kindly taken by a clumsy WSS editor.


While the chaps went to get lunch - I was still munching tapas - I set up the next game. This time the Nationalists would be attacking with a Seccion of Moroccan Regulares supported by a PaK 37 anti-tank gun and a Panzer IIB light tank. Hearing that the dreaded Regulares were on the way they stiffened their resolve (Highly Motivated) and headquarters despatched a valuable T-26 tank to the front.

This time James Morris would take the Nationalists, James Woodward stayed with the Republicans. It did not look good that there were no figures on the table, so while the lads grabbed lunch, I was assisted by a young helper who rolled the dice. On the first roll he threw four sixes and the building in the centre of the table caught fire - bugger I had forgotten my smoke!

The Republicans were soon deploying and the T-26 was on its way. The Milicianos started to man the barricades. Under cover of the smoke, one Peletone of Regulares made straight for the burning building. and under cover of the smoke took up positions.


The Panzer IB advanced on the barricades and the T-26 was not able to counter while the PaK36 was in place. The tank put some shock on the gun, but as it moved off the PaK37 took a great shot (double-sixed) and hit the tank in the flank, brewing it up.


The PaK36 was victorious and the Panzer 1B was able to push the advantage.


Supported by a seccion of Regulares the Panzer I soon made it to the barricades, the Republicans falling back before them.


Things were looking bad for the Republic, their Force Morale was tumbling rapidly and although there were few Moroccans left on the field of play with only two Command Dice there was very little they could do to counter.


Eventually, a team of Regulares jumped the barricades and captured the jump-off point there, they were cut down by the Republican fire but in the fire-fight the Jefe was struck twice and went down, the game was up for the Republic and the road to Seville was open.


I had a great day and met many old friends and made a few new ones. I'd like to thank Martin, Matt, James and James for their help in setting up and playing the game.


To the Strongest

No dice and no rulers, how can this be any good - It Was Excellent

I mentioned in yesterdays post that Simon Miller came to Mansfield and in the morning we played a game of Chain of Command.

Well in the afternoon Simon set up a huge table and Martin in myself played a game using Simons' 'To the Strongest' rules. A truly epic game, well over a thousand figures on a 6ft x 12ft table.

Martin commanded a Republican Roman force, one half of his force was escorting loot back to the camp and had been ambushed by my Celtic force while the other half of  the Roman force rushed to relieve them.

Things started really well for the Celts, one of my units had a rush of blood and first broke one Roman unit, killing the General of that cohort and then immediately broke another Roman unit.

Martin was rushing his relief column up the field, harried by my light chariots.

Some bad command cards meant the Celtic attack stalled and the beleaguered Romans started to regroup, but the relief column also got rather sluggish.

The Celtic unit that had earlier been so successful again polished off another unit of Romans, that cohort became demoralised. However I had seven other units of warriors and these were not of the same calibre of my super unit so the Romans defending the baggage still clung on while the relief column crawled towards them.

It was getting late and time to pack up, a shame really as despite my earlier successes the game was now in the balance, If I could kill three or four more of those shaky Roman units before the relief got engaged I would win, but Martin was now in a position where he could grab victory from the jaws of defeat.

Simon is a great chap, his rules are great and he has a lot, and I mean a lot of lovely 28mm ancient figures.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Having at them again with the Falange


Today we have been having a be of a pre-Partizan gaming day and have had a couple of great games.

First of all Martin, Simon and myself played a game of Chain of Command pitting myself and Martin with the Falange against Simon with the Republican Militia.

As it was a first game for Simon we played the standard Patrol mission. The Republicans bulked out their force with an additional 10 Milicianos, an Army Officer Advisor, a Bilbao armoured car, an LMG (that we forgot to put on the table) and a Megaphone. The Nationalists added a 75mm Infantry Gun.

The Nationalists were on a Force Morale of 9 and the Republicans on an 8.

We played out the Patrol phase and the jump-off points were deployed, although the photo was 'over cropped' and the middle Nationalist one was actually in a substantial building just out of shot.

The Nationalists kicked off and were soon lining the hedge into the field directed by the sub-Jefe, the Republicans countered by deploying a unit in the Church and another in the house. The Nationalists deployed a gun in the the courtyard of their building and were soon plugging away at the Church tower.

Seeing an opening the Nationalist sub-Jefe grabbed one of his teams and made a break for the building on their left, unfortunately they rolled very low - double one - and were caught in the open by a Republican section deploying on the ridge line of the low hill in front of them, the sub-Jefe was also wounded costing valuable Force Morale for the Nationalists. Unable to rally the troops or get them moving another volley killed the sub-Jefe and broke the team, we were already down to Forve Morale 5!

Things did get better for the Nationalists, the howitzer kept up a steady fire on the Church causing a trickle of casualties and the Jefe also appeared with the troops behind the hedge and soon the Republican casualties were taking their toll on the hill so Simon withdrew those troops out of sight.

The other Falange deployed in the woods and went on overwatch. A Republican section advanced to the hedge and were shot up pretty badly by the teams on overwatch. The Nationalists then double-sixed and triple-sixed in subsequent phases and the Republicans were falling like flies. Unfortunately, Simon managed to withdraw the shot up section.

The Bilbao now came into play and supported by the troops in the church soon were replying to the fire in the woods.

We were getting to the stage when it was time to wrap it up and play our second game. The Republicans had taken a lot of casualties, but their Force Morale remained stubbornly unchanged while the Nationalists had dropped to Force Morale 5, a minor victory to the Nationalists. EDIT: a minor victory to the Republicans again.

All the figures and terrain are from my collection and were painted by myself.

Here are some more images from the game.