Thursday, August 22, 2019

Rapid Fire battle of Bréville 1944.

The table has had its first outing, although all of the tiles require more work. Hedges, trees, airbrushing the fields, some pigments, the roadside weeds, crop fields, water puddles and ponds and road connections to be completed  on the whole twelve boards. So a lot to do

Visitors  Cookie and Mick from Perth Western Australia stayed with us at L'Hotel de Hercé, on their way to visit the grand white Chateaus of the lower Loire with their wives. They also booked in a rapid fire game with me, giving me the chance to bless the table for its first outing.

We played a scenario I wrote for the 9th parachute regt defending against the german counterattack by the 857th Grenadier  Regiment at Bréville 8th June 1944. The British Commandos were on the left on hold/support orders, the 9th Parachute regiment held the high ground south of Bréville to the woods south of Chateau Sainte Come on hold/defend orders.

Cookie who played as the Germans elected to slowly advance using the two battalions of  infantry to capture the village and advance on the left with a single Stug and on the right with a single Stug in support, the allies used off table fire support from HMS Arethusa 6 inch guns, frustratingly the radio failed to contact the ship for the first two turns, and only really came into effect later in the game.
The Germans advanced unmolested into the village, gaining good firing positions, the 81mm mortars pinned the advancing paras, giving the german infantry time to capture the buildings on the edge of the village. Para rifle and MG Fire managed to cut down a few, but not enough, the Germans managed to place two MGs in the buildings who created great gaps in the advancing paras, bogging the attack down, again the support fire failed to arrive to pin the Germans. On the left flank the german mortar fire and support from the Stug, the HE fire managed to cause casualties amoung the supporting commandos, who although dug in, lost a number of men, and a bad morale roll saw them retreat behind the ridge line, and not offering any fire support nor partaking in the remainder of the battle.
Finally the support fire arrived from HMS Arethusa, pounding the chateau to dust with all four rounds hitting, breaking the two german infantry companies within. In the same turn a para of the second battalion hidden on the edge of the woods managed to get a heroic roll and advanced from cover  and fire his piat destroying the supporting Stug. Things were looking up for the Paras on the right flank. In the middle though the pinned paras suffered under the german machine guns and rifle fire, breaking two companies, leaving the third to assault the church. In the next turn the remaining British para managed to reach and enter  the church, but then suffered from HE fire from the remaining Stug and accurate rifle fire, the para support company also suffered from the 81mm mortar, bringing the battalion test, which it promptly failed, the HQ coy, and support coy both leaving the table, giving the Germans a complete victory to the Germans and in command of the village. 

An enjoyable but tight game, the poor morale and radio rolls really changed the tide in favour of the Germans, plus the accurate german mortar, HE and MG fire. Cookie was thrilled as it was his birthday also!

Stug waiting to pounce

Table overview

Thursday, August 15, 2019

28mm Neustria Franks Milities and Vassi I

Carolingian Frank Heavy Infantry I 

Off the desk some 28mm Gripping Beast plastic dark age figures. This unit will represent the first of my Neustria Franks for the 8th century defending the Breton/Maine Marchers. Shields are LBM transfers, based for Impetus.

"walk the battlefield in the morning, wargame in the afternoon"™


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

28mm Dark Age Breton Warlord Cavalry

Breton Warlord Cavalry I

Off the desk this week another unit of Breton warlord cavalry, again from the footsore miniatures range. Should be quite flexible to be Alans, Goths, Franks and late Romans. A real pleasure to paint with LBM transfers.

"walk the battlefield in the morning, wargame in the afternoon"™


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

28mm Dark Age Breton Coloni I

Breton Coloni

Off the desk this week some Breton Coloni (colonizers from Britain) peons, adding to my Dark Age Domnonée army, this base could also be used as Carolingian Franks Anjou-Maine, saxon pirates or early Normans.

28mm Gripping beast plastics with some Victrix heads and hands, plus some metal shields, several more units not to far away from completion.

"walk the battlefield in the morning, wargame in the afternoon"™


Monday, August 12, 2019

28mm Royal Catholic Armee Vendee/Chouans part two

Second small skirmish screen of Vendee/Chouan troops added to the collection. I am waiting for the Revolutionary Armies Vendee troops to arrive to start my formed units. Off to another Chouan chateau and museum on Tuesday, I will post some pictures later in the week.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

28mm Dark Age Goth-Alani cavalry I

Gothic Alani Cavalry I

Next unit to join my Breton army are some Alani-Goth cavalry from the Footsore range. These. Will be for my later 5th century Armorican army, but I will possibly also use them for Goths, Visigoths or Burgundians.

The Vandals, Alani (including Sarmation confederation tribes) and other confederate Germans crossed the Rhine in 406AD pushing far into western Roman territory. Alan tribes settled along the Loire and up the Sarthe river beyond Le Mans and west to the Mayenne river. Many place names in the Pays de la Loire region still relate to this period of 40 odd years of occupation. This I believe also lead to the unique horse breeds in western Pays de la Loire

The Alani leader Goar agreed with the romans to ally with them and in 440 the Alan's were gifted Orleans and the lower And Upper Loire to act as a buffer in the west with the Bucaudae of Armorica, and to the south the Visigoths and Burgundians. The Alani also played in the internal politics of the western empire supporting Jovinus as emperor 411-13. The Alani had contingents in the Roman army at Chalons against the Huns and again at at Orleans against the Visigoths. Contingents were still with the Roman army at Soissons, and retreated to Armorica after the defeat, coming to terms with Clovis and the Franks, becoming part of the Merovingian and Carolingian empires.

Ammianus Marcellinus writes their military customs resemble the Huns "they enter battle drawn up in a wedge shaped masses, while their medley of voices make a savage noise". The Alans like the Huns disliked fighting on foot, and unlike the Huns they seemed to have utilised armour for themselves and their horses.

Alans in Gaul Bernard S Bachrach.
The History of the Alans in the West Bernard S Bachrach 
Long Haired Kings JM Wallac-Hadrill
Rerum Gestartum libri qui supersunt XXXI 2,21. Ammianus Marcellinus. 

"walk the battlefield in the morning, wargame in the afternoon"™


Sunday, August 4, 2019

TTSFN part five and six

Total Terrain System For Now 

Part 5 added tree stumps and drybrushed some more, then taped the edges of the board

Part six
Sacrificed several teddy bears, clipped, cut and hot glued down the fur, more clippings, then some airbrushing, quite happy with my results so far, loads more to do yet though 


Saturday, August 3, 2019

TTSFN part two modular terrain

Total Terrain System For Now 

Modular Normandy Table part two

More work today on the table, of my Normandy Bocage modular table, lots more to complete before I finish. 


Thursday, August 1, 2019

TTSFN modular wargames table

Total Terrain System For Now.

Building a modular wargames table. 

We are having a rest break at the moment as we have had back to back visitors at the B and B for the last two weeks. I decided to finally get myself sorted out and add some more terrain tiles to my collection, these are specifically built for Normandy and Mayenne Bocage for 20mm and 28mm games, but more suited for 20mm. I have a table just over 5 meters in length and 1.8m wide to complete over the next month or two. So to begin with I am doing four 1200mm x 600mm tiles of ww2 specific + a number of 600 x 600 ww2 specific before I move onto adding a few pieces for medieval and ancients specific table.

All of the tiles were made on mdf board with timber edging, polystyrene centre and hills, then paper plaster mix to smooth out the hills. I will be adding magnets and door strips to make the joints more seamless. On top of the table tile grout was used as the road base, which I will paint and add roadside bits. The bocage edge is permanent on these four tables but the hedges and fences will be removable. My 20mm and 28mm buildings were laid out to achieve maximum flexibility.

Hopefully all going well be playing on them this weekend