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Monday, 3 October 2016

The Great Northern War

The Great Northern War was a series of conflicts that enveloped the Northern states of Europe around the Baltic Sea during the early part of the eighteenth century.  Most think of it as a war between Sweden & Russia, and yet it involved Denmark, Poland, Saxony and a host of smaller states and city armies including the Ottoman empire.  It is a war that pitches Renaissance style armies against pike and shot and Western armies using modern tactics.  A real melting pot of ideas, tactics and weaponry.  
This weekend the club hosted a game pitching Swedes against Russians with guests travelling from far afield to take part.
 The table at the start of the day.  Russians on the left and Swedes on the right.
 The Swedes launched several assaults into the face of stubborn Russian resistance on the ridge.  The first two were repulsed with heavy losses on both sides.
 After both sides had regrouped and recovered the Swedes launched another wave of attacks and this time made the Russian lines recoil.
 On the northern edge of the battlefield large cavalry melees were taking place as both sides looked to create an advantage.
 The Russians delayed the Swedes long enough to allow their extreme right wing division to outflank the Swedish army.
Unfortunately it was a little too late as the Russian resolve collapsed and the Swedes poured over the ridge.

The Swedes had deployed their reserve Guard brigade in an outflanking move but it arrived earlier then expected and allowed the Russians to form a defencive line to hold them off for a few moves.

.The Russian redoubt was never threatened but provided a secure position to anchor their centre for the duration of the battle.

Figures form the collection of Paul Robinson and are all Footsore Miniatures painted by Paul.
Scenery from the Grimsby Wargames Society (redoubt from Paul's collection)
Rules used were the Grimsby Wargames Society "Russian Bear Swedish Eagle" house rules.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Society Fun Day 2016

The Society has gamers from a variety of genres and backgrounds and the Fun day is a chance for all of them to get together and play games from all the different aspects of the hobby.  This year was no exception and the day was a great success with fun and laughter throughout.
This years champion, the person who collected the most overall points from the four games was Andrew who gets his name on the trophy and walks away with the tankard of triumph.  Runner up was Kyle with Andy in third.  The highly sought after "stragglers ward" - a GWS mug - went to Steve.
 The only demand for the four games is that they are quick, fun and show the other members what there is to offer in the rich tapestry that is the wargaming hobby.  Leading the charge this year were Steve & Chris from the Tuesday night team who presented "Worms".  A figure game based on the highly addictive video game and loads of fun with some lovely figures.  great fun.
"Magic the Gathering" is one of the most popular games around and very well represented at the Society with regular tournaments and events being held,  This year George gave us a terrific insight into this game and presented a simple introductory game that was enjoyed by all who played.
Board gamers take over the club on Wednesday & Sunday and this year Mike hosted a great little game "Kingdom Builder".  Deceptively simple in appearance but calling for a degree of strategy and planning, this game was very quick but great fun and thoroughly enjoyable.
The historical gamers play on a Monday and this year presented a large figure skirmish game based in the French Indian Wars.  Titled "Winners of the Wilderness" the players could take command of British regulars, Colonial Militia, French Marines or Woodland Indians in a bid to capture stores and defeat the enemy.

All the games were played four times with different players each time.  All four games were terrific fun, well presented and thoroughly enjoyable.  The fun day is just that - the Society getting together for a great day of gaming and enjoyment.

thanks to Malcolm for organising another great event.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Ramillies Restaged

Saturday 27th August saw the culmination of a project I have been planning for a considerable time.  The Grimsby Wargames society has several players who have an interest in the War of the Spanish Succession.  That interest has led us to collect a large number of figures, for a wide variety of manufacturers, for the period.  Saturday was one of the few occasions when we can get most of these on to a tabletop and fight a large battle.
As the title of the post says, the battle for this occasion was Ramillies.  Arguably Marlborough's greatest victory.  The battle pits almost evenly matched numbers of troops against each other in a confrontational engagement in almost a classic style.
The view an hour before start as the final figures are put in place.  Ramillies is in the centre left of the photograph.
Together we combined nearly 5,000 figures.  All in 28mm in battalions of an average figure strength at 32 but varying from 30 to 54.   Squadrons of horse we kept to approximately 6 figures no matter the nationality.  Overall we had seventy battalions of foot and one hundred and fifty squadrons of horse.  Eighteen field pieces completed the on table deployment.  The table was twenty two feet in length and six feet deep (extending to eight feet deep along one edge).
The first wave of the French horse with the Maison du Roi in the front.
 Six players turned up for the event, a reduction from the original estimate and a little cause for concern since each would have a large number of figures to command.  But the rules are quick and very brutal so the numbers would be reduced very quickly as the game played.
Bavarian foot from the paintbrush of Ashley.  Very nice they looked and they performed admirably on the day.
 The Allied and French commanders were given individual briefings and a range of additional victory conditions.  These were chosen to try and reflect some of the key events of the actual battle without removing the players desire to fight the battle their way.
English horse and dragoons from Mark.
 With plans set and decisions made the game started with a fairly tentative advance from the Allies.  A short move forward to allow more of their reserves to appear.  The French watching without committing anything.  The Allies had decided to move most of their second line over to their left before the game started.  These duly began appearing and series of large cavalry melees commenced on the flat ground around the village of Taviers on the banks of the Mehaigne.
with Tilly on the allied left conducting marching exercises to try and confuse the French.  The French saw a large gap opening and began a descent from the slope between Offus and Autre-Eglise.
This did rather denude the right flank of the Allies and despite the best efforts of Tilly to disguise this (he marched his troops left and right for a large portion of the morning to cover the gap) the French took advantage and began an advance.
Just one of a series of large sprawling cavalry melees that were fought over the course of the morning.
Neither side could gain an advantage initially with their horse.  The first melee sucked in almost half of the French forces.  Unfortunately the Allies kept delivering more and more reserves and overwhelmed the French in the end.
Bavarian foot deploying into lines.
 Time had been gained though to have the Bavarians deploy and close off some of the open ground.
 The confused fighting on the ground between Ramillies and Taviers continued all day and only cleared as the Dutch guard slowly marched forward clearing everything in its path.

Robbie, James & Ashley wondering how they lost to Mark & Mike
By the end of the day the Allied right had been defeated but the victorious french were not in a position to exploit that.  The Allied centre and been pushed back across the Petite Geet.  but most telling was the French right which was on the point of collapse and a hoard of reasonably fresh Allied cavalry poised to exploit the advantage that would have been presented.
A close run thing and a marginal victory to the allies based on the number of victory conditions fulfilled.

The rules were our own "Corporal John & the Sun King" set.  Quick, simple and brutal which reward historical play and punish unhistorical tactics.  Easy to understand and with three players unfamiliar with the rules there was little need to discuss them after a few moves.
Figures from the collections of Mark, Andy H, Ashley and Andy S.
Scenery & layout from the extensive resources of the Grimsby Wargames Society.

A terrific day and a great looking game played in a friendly and well mannered way, despite the lack of spots on Robbie's dice.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

More ACW at the club

Another ACW game using Black powder, figures Danny and myself , all terrain the Clubs. A draw this time but the Union would have edged it if we had played on.

































A great game and fish and chips for lunch!