Picking up those brushes again.

Hi and welcome to the occasional mutterings of Dave Doc, a military modeller and some time gamer. Gaming and model making has given me a real education, History & Geography(obvious really), Artistry, Politics, Economics, Logistics, Project Management -you try building miniature armies without the last 3.

I will use the blog to record my creations & the odd occasion I actually do some gaming.

I have always been inspired by the aesthetic side of gaming. Playing on well constructed terrain using excellently painted units is always a joy.

Friday 26 October 2018

Countdown to Crisis 2018

Next week I am off to Antwerp for the CRISIS show . I really enjoyed it last year. I picked up items exclusively from the non UK traders. I have a small shopping list of items again this year to finish the pre winter top up off -terrain bits, flags, , maybe a few figures - we will see.

I am hoping to catch up with some of the European blog guys for a chat , coffee or beer - so if you are going drop me a commentated lets see if we can arrange a meet.

catch ya there

Sunday 21 October 2018

WIP - preparing the winter projects

Now that the dust has settled on the first big outing for the Sudan game and the small handful of repairs made (only two stands needed a little work out of about a 1000 I reckon) its time to look at what I want to get done over this coming winter.

First off I want to clear the paint desk lurkers. I have just added a 10 mm ACW Union brigade as the Old Guard group are running a game at the Stockton Battle ground show at the end of November and we need/want some reinforcements. I have a unit of 28mm Bashi Bazook cavalry and a few other little items to do as well.

Having played the large Sudan game its also got me wanting to add some more stuff - so shopping has been taking place. More Ansar and Nile tribes to be completed - so another 4 boxes of Perry mahdists- and 2 British Infantry (NSW Infantry - 36 figs, and the West Kents 36 figures) to complete the last two larger infantry units I want. I have a number of vignette pieces in mind too so I have some more metal from Empress and Conniosseur laid in.

I have stocking up over the year for next years WW2 projects with Martin C , James M and Scotty which should see a large 15 mm D Day game - I have 2 companies of US infantry , one of Paras , 10 landing craft and 3 aircraft to crack on with.

I have more 6-10-15 mm terrain bits to crack on with too - James dropped me some more buildings for the  moderns which I have added too - so they should provide a good diversion. 

I shall be going over to CRISIS in Antwerp as well - meeting up with some guys and doing a bit of shopping for stuff you don't see in the UK . We will also visiting some WW1 sites in Belgium and France and will be visiting a family grave to lay a wreath but more of that nearer the time . 

Tuesday 9 October 2018

Sudan - The big game - Relief of Khartoum - thanks and phew!

It's been a really great weekend of gaming. Finally after 5 years of work on the Sudan project the long envisaged big game came off. We had the whole collection on the table, almost 3000 figures that I have painted , and all the terrain items. It’s a big itch scratched !

I had devised a scenario for 7 - 8 people to play in, based on the expedition to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum . We all met up at Marks Wargames holiday Centre just outside Basingstoke on Friday afternoon. The rules being used were Sands of Sudan with a few tweaks from me. I would be making changes as I went along while doing the umpire role to help balance things out. You can see lots of pictures in the  4 previous posts.

First off a thanks to Mark for hosting us and  to Carlo Pagano (Pyjamas through the desert blog)who managed to recreate the rules from various scraps of information. Carlo also supplied a bunch of extra play sheets for free. The guys (aka other loons) from the annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge ,who have been encouraging the never ending painting over the many years- Paul O from the Tasmancave sent me a captain figure for my new steamer - cheers mate.  Chris (Itinerant Waragamer) for making a fine large river board for the steamers to play on.

A big thank you must also go to the players who really got into the spirit of it all - so Tony, John, Brian, Bob , Dean,, Andy and Mark - thank you! 

at the heart of the action!
The OOB and briefing and some mechanism notes over and above the quick reference charts were distributed with most players taking the role of imperial commanders. On Friday and Saturday there were to be two simultaneous games going on with each using half the tables - effectively a 12 x 12 table each. The various casualties and ammunition expenditure (a finite resource for the imperials ) were to be carried over into the final Sunday game. 

The Sunday game saw Khartoum in the middle of the table with the relief forces heading from either end. The twist was that any casualties a force caused would recycle back onto the table but opposite the other relief force. 

The imperial commanders were also vying for "prestige" trying to out do each other with prestige points being awarded or deducted for :-
winning / losing a melee 
wiping out enemy units.
capturing standards
acts of derring do - or buffoonery 
publicity - telling tales to the war reporters of their deeds , or their peers failings.
Being first to reach Gordon.

The guys really got into the spirit of this and there was a lot of laughter when they claimed their "prestige points" each turn . In the end Dean claimed the honours - well done sir! 

The classic one for me was Bob who was in desperate straights facing a horde of charging troops deciding he had to select to fire all 20 rounds from his Gardner gun - needing to roll a 20 to not jam it - who then rolled a 20 and accompanied it with a "1"  which made it the most effective hit possible, - the stuff legends are made of! Then again John had Major Kitchener carefully scouring the field looking for fallen mahdist flags when units had been destroyed and returning them to show off in front of the war correspondents. 

So a few things I will be working on coming up :-

Some extra rules tweaks to make it more a two side game with players doing more of the mahdists moves, but still retain the key elements of the random card and disc systems. Add in a simple moral system. Add in a simple random fire effect when being charged. 
Change a few of the modifier tables - getting my head around a 1 being good and 6 bad just seems counter intuitive. 
Get the new random events cards made up into a proper deck. (the memsaabs want to go shopping... leaving the column in a random direction, the Nile falls - to slow the steamers , who left that gate open for the city and a few more yet) 
Complete some more bits for the armies - horse holders and close order troops for my mounted infantry.
Extra terrain for a more accurate rendition of the walls at Khartoum.
Dhows for the mahdists forces to make more of river game.
I may actually need MORE mahdists, more Ansar to balance the Beja numbers. 
A few "big" guns for mahdist river forts . 
Some extra casualty markers .
work out how to weave my FFL into this too!! 

All in all phew - its good its done , and I have been in discussion with Mark and we will be looking to run the game again next May with luck.

Sunday 7 October 2018

Sudan. Relief of Khartoum

pictures from the seconds days action. Which was a game played across the whole table . Khartoum is in the centre with the 2 relief forces heading in from each end , with about 12 foot of table to cover. Any casualties caused to the Mahdist forces , were recycled so they appear at the the rend of the table fighting the other column - he , he!!


the full table with relief forces coming from both ends

Every single dervish figure in the collection plus some borrowed were on the table

Imperial commanders Tony and John , trying to work their plan out!! the city gates seem a long way  off!

The assault on the city begins
The Camerons ready for action - 3 huge charges they fought off

Captain O'Grady finds a sand bar with his steamer!

The river column stuck!

The Queen of the nile -breaks free and heads to the city

Gordon heads for the jetty

"you lot took your time!"

Saturday 6 October 2018

Sudan .The relief of Gordon Part 1

The Imperial columns have set off. Two games running along side . The desert column and the Suakin to Berber railway .

The 2nd Naval contingent hopes the gatling does not jam..

In the  Suakin column Scots guards set off in advance of the railway construction crew

the railway is under construction

drums are heard across the battlefield

better deploy the New South Wales artillery

Here they come!

the Bengal Lancers in action

the Desert column lines out

the river column progresses

The Gordons disembark
19th Hussars charging in to action

The desert colum battles the hordes - Burnaby falls!

The Guards commander gets ready for action.

Hold them lads!

commanders consult!
The Yorks and Lancs take to the boats 

Friday 5 October 2018

Sudan. Time for THE big game

Today sees the first of the big games at the Mark Freeths Wargames Holiday Centre. Memories of  the pictures of the original Peter Gilder collection in the 80s is what inspired me to do my own thing. Well 5 years later it’s great to be here with some old friends , and some new ones. Thanks to Carlo Pagano for his work with re creating the rules and for supplying extra play sheets etc.

I will have every single figure , over 2500 of them out of this weekend .. it’s already starting to look good, will the Imperial relief columns save Gordon?  .