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Sunday, 13 August 2017
It's 13th August and therefore the Battle of Blenheim day so I thought I ought to get my finger out and update the blog with the latest updates from the painting table. Painting progress has been slow these past few weeks due to having rather a lot of real work to do and the Wisconsin summer going into that hot and humid phase that's not conducive to wielding a paintbrush.
I have though managed to make some small progress on the French. The first addition is another three bases of Commanders, I'm finding whatever rules we are using I always seem to be light on command stands. These are a mix of figures from the generals pack and the command stand that comes in the basic cavalry pack.
Four new squadrons of horse also join the French, more chaps in grey coats with red cuffs, not really sure how I shall be able to distinguish at a glance between all my French horse when it is done.
As a break from painting grey coats, the last unit to join my Frenchmen is Greder's Regiment of Germans in French service, light blue coats with yellow cuffs, waistcoats and stockings. I'm not sure if the grenadiers in mitres are correct, but, it breaks up the colours nicely and allowed me to use up a couple of strips I had spare.
During our last game I had used clumps of lichen to represent the fields and hedgerows to break up our battlefield, it looked ok, but I thought it was time to make something a bit better looking.
The hedgerows are Woodland Scenic clumps in a mix of olive and medium green, while the walls are made from strips of cork tiles that has been roughed up a bit with the flat of a scalpel blade, I think these will look a lot better.
Wednesday, 9 August 2017
We had a splendid game of Chain of Command: Espana on Saturday. I had booked the community room and it had allowed us to set up a 12ft x 5ft table for the scenario I had in mind. Phil, Ed and Liam would be driving up from Illinois while Drew and Bruce would be joining up on the Madison team.
We started with a rather splendid lunch at Sprechers, before retiring to the community room to rearrange the furniture and set up the table.
I had in mind a scenario for very early in the war, three Republican militia columns would be defending the town while two column of Falange and one of Requetes would attempt to drive them out, it was nominally 5th August 1936, 81 years ago to the day.
The night before I had decided that I really must add some walls to the terrain collection so knocked out 6ft of wall sections that you'll see in some of the shots.
As we had three distinct columns of Republican militia, one of UGT trade unionists, one of Marxist P.O.U.M and one of CNT-FAI militia I modified the Random Event table slightly, on a 1-3 use the normal table, on a 4-6 a random militia section fires on a section from a rival faction.
Liam and Ed played the Falangists, Phil the Carlists, I played the UGT, Drew the POUM and Bruce the CNT-FAI.
We would be playing the Attack and Defend scenario. Playing out the Patrol Phase the Republican jump-offs were placed in and around the town, with a couple of supporting positions on the flanks, while the Nationalists were in a broad arc around the town. The end 4ft of the table was practically unused.
The Nationalists started their advance and for two or three phases no Republicans showed their heads above the parapet. The Nationalists placed some sections ready to react to any Republican moves while others cautiously advanced on our lines.
A double phase from the Carlists faction saw a suspicious Tiznao (Armoured Truck) decorated in UGT slogans and motifs approach the Republican lines stopping at the road block just outside the town.
Before the Republicans could react the truck stopped at the roadblock and disgorged a section of the terrible Moroccan Regulares who took up firing positions along the walls.
A large section of CNT-FAI militia emerged from their hiding places in the taberna and a sharp firefight ensued with light casualties on each side until a 70mm howitzer shell set the taberana afire - this building seems to catch light in a lot of our games!
Eventually, the flames became too much and the Anarchists poured out of the building to be cut down by deadly fire from the Moroccans and their supporting troops.
On our left the UGT Trades Unionist militia had set up a stout position in the church, while their machine-gun was deployed in the bell tower the rest of the troops took to desecrating the place and pissing in the font. This incensed the Nationalists who poured some devastating fire into the church - in one instance six hits resulted in five kills!. The Jefe was also mortally wounded so it was only a matter of time before the vengeful Requetes and Falangista stormed the place, killing all they found and hurling down the Anarchist banner that had been flying from the bell tower!
It was pretty much all over for the Republicans now, an end of turn saw two jump-off points captured and the CNT-FAI morale collapsed taking the remaining factions to untenable levels.
Another great game and we are planning more again soon.
More shots from the game below.
Sunday, 6 August 2017
Inspired by watching the film Dunkirk - I've seen it twice already - we convened on Thursday evening for my first game of Bag the Hun in about a year, I last played in Brown Deer near Milwauke with Bill and company.
We played the 'Bandits' scenario at the back of the book I oversaw events and Bruce took the Hun with four Bf-109 and Drew the RAF with four Spitfire I.
In a great run of cards at the start of the game the RAF snook up on the Luftwaffe and got into a very advantageous position. The Hun caught unawares twisted and weaved, twice the RAF were on the tail of the Messerschmidts but the RAF failed to capitalise, the RAF ace emptied all his ammo into one of the Hun but it still limped off table and completed its objective. The only damage the Hun achieved on the RAF was a cracked windscreen!
At the end of play four Bf-109s had escaped albeit two badly damaged and all the RAF were still in the air for honours even. Although the dastardly Bosche Schwarmfuhrer abandoned his mates and made a break for it when he could have been helping out.
I hope we get the opportunity to play much more of these games.
More photos from Drew, I only managed a couple of my own.