Welcome to the Blog of a Skirmish wargamer! I hope you enjoy reading it!

All my rule sets are freely downloadable from our club website's Downloads page

If you need to contact me my E-Mail address is richardbradley5@gmail.com

Saturday 28 December 2013

In Memoriam

Sadly, one of club members passed away on Boxing day morning.

He came to our club about a year ago when he started at Newcastle university.
It soon became clear one of the reasons Gareth had chosen Newcastle was the fact that he had a heart transplant 8 years previously. Newcastle boasts one of the top cardiac units in the UK (Freeman Hospital), and he would be readily be able to get expert care should he need it.

Gareth joined our little group of players in our club, as he too likes skirmish games!
Every other week (he shared his time with a board gaming group in Newcastle) he joined our games, and was an enthusiastic participant.
He was very easy to get on with and a good, kind young man.

As an ex nurse, I noticed signs that his heart was giving him problems around the middle of 2013. 
He was quite happy to discuss his care and condition with me, but he clearly managed his condition by not thinking over much about it. (I have found such people usually handle serious conditions better than those who dwell on their situation.)
We all treated him like everyone else, which I am sure was what he wanted. No one ever likes to be treated as a cripple!

Gareth started missing the club a couple of months ago, and his absences became more frequent. 
I had received text responses from him in November saying he had been in hospital getting monitored, and his anti-rejection medication modified. He was told he was likely to need another transplant soon.

Sadly, his condition continued to worsen. He did try to get to the club on 14th December, but deteriorated and was re-admitted instead, and we later found out he had been in ICU (via his sister on Facebook).

Yesterday, I got an E-Mail from Lawrence saying Gareth had passed away.

This was very sad news for us. We all feel for his poor family. Gareth will be sadly missed.

Gareth (with Phil) in September.
 Gareth in February.

We join his sister in thanking the family of the heart donor who gave Gareth 9 years extra life.

I wish more families would act so selflessly.

Wednesday 25 December 2013

Happy Christmas!

Hi Everyone!


Thanks to all of you who have read or followed my blog this year!

Here is a Christmas card, you may have seen it before, but its quite cute! Christmas Card


Saturday 21 December 2013

Wings over Flanders

Today, we wanted a simple game to relax with before the Christmas club break. Wings of Glory WW1 seemed to fit the bill, so we did another campaign game to try and progress our characters.

Lawrence took a Sopwith camel, Phil, Ian and I took SE5a's. The DH4 and the Germans were run by my solo rules.

Our mission was to escort and protect a DH4 from a German attack. 
The German force was 3 Albatross DVa's and 3 Fokker triplanes. 
 The Germans approached in line abreast
..we scattered to try to get round the boche.
Lawrence's Camel went nose to nose with an Albatross.
The Albatross fired ineffectively but the Camel immediately got the first kill of the day! 
Exit 1 Albatross, the numbers were even now! 
Ian escorted the DH4 round the side of the Germans.
2 Albatrosses turned to meet me as I turned into their formation and got the best of the exchange! 
Phil turned to face a Triplane but neither hit! 
(an overview at this point) 
Phil ended up on top of the triplane as they passed. 
I flew past the Albatrosses that were ganging up on me. 
Lawrence, Ian and the DH4 managed to isolate a triplane. 
We all then tried to circle onto our opponents tails. 
That green Fokker managed to get a bead on the DH4 , but Lawrence managed to get a good hit on it.
 Lawrence moved onto the red Fokker and again had all the luck! 
 Ian had circled and also had a great shot at an Albatross.
(an overview at this point) 
Despite the escorts best efforts, the red Fokker attacked the DH4, which defended itself well. 
Another Fokker joined in the attack on the DH, but the rear gunner destroyed the red Fokker. 
Things were looking good now for the Allies! 
I tried to get a bead on the sky blue Fokker, but an Albatross got on my tail. 
The rest of the Germans were pretty dispersed, but turned to re-engage. 
 Phil and Ian turned to engage one of the remaining Albatrosses..
The DH got a shot at a Fokker too! 
..and then from the rear gunner! 
Phil and Lawrence both combined against the blue Fokker, and both jammed their guns! 
 The DH was still defending itself against repeated attacks by the Germans.
The Germans were still full of fight! 
Ian managed to hit the red hulled Albatross. 
I unfortunately got caught between 3 German planes, but managed to down the green Fokker. 
The DH, with heavy damage tried to keep out of trouble.. 
Ian managed to finish off the red hulled Albatross. 
 ..but the last Albatross slipped past and destroyed the DH before the Germans broke off for home.
A German victory, but at a very high cost!

More importantly, a great game enjoyed by all!!!

Saturday 14 December 2013

Return to the Lily Banners!

Today, we decided to 'Strike while the iron was hot' and have a rematch using the excellent 'Beneath the Lily Banners' rules. Unfortunately, Phil was watching the local team, Newcastle United, drawing with Southampton, in a bit of a grudge match, so neither Phil or his Turks were available for our game!

Ian (left) brought down his Austrian army, and split off the Danish allies and a few indistinctly Austrian battalions and squadrons for Lawrence (right) to fight him with.

I decided to sit the game out and act as a kind of umpire, as this was another familiarisation exercise for BTLB2. We tried a few more variations from the rules like using different quality troops to see how they worked...

Ian won the choice of side, and chose a defensive position around hedged fields and woods. 
Ian placed a brigade of foot and his field gun to the left of the fields...
 His second brigade was placed in the fields, he obviously planned to form a redoubt!
 To their right, in open ground, he placed his 6 squadrons of Kuirassiers.
Facing the Austrian horse, Lawrence placed his horse. Half were 'Bullet' horse, half 'Blade' horse. 
In the centre, opposite the fields, he placed 2 more squadrons of 'Bullet' horse, and a brigade of Danish foot supported by a light gun. 
Another  light gun supported another infantry brigade on the right.
The Austrian positions. 
  Lawrence advanced his centre infantry in column.
 His left wing horse advanced on the Austrians slowly.
The Danish right was happy to wait, rather than attack. 
As expected, the Austrian infantry swarmed into the fields. 
Their field gun fired... 
..Out of range! 
The Danish infantry centre paused out of sight of the Austrians.. 
 Looking very impressive!
The Danish horse wondered why the Austrians didn't attack (a long series of appalling die rolls was immobilising them!!!) 
Most of the infantry of both sides, having satisfied their orders, now halted to await the result of the cavalry battle. 
Finally, the Austrian horse stirred, and advanced on the Danes. 
Ah, to charge, or not to charge! 
 - are we in range? 
 The Austrian gun still banged away at a Danish light gun, but without effect.
 A small move forward had put them in range.
The Austrian horse halted, and the Danish horse massed to attack them. 
Of all these units, only half of the Danish horse charged! 
They smashed their opposite numbers then rallied back. the rest of the Danish horse then charged, only one Austrian squadron succeeded  in countercharging.
Ian's dice failed again, and another Austrian horse squadron broke. The rest amazingly kept drawing in numbers of hits caused, so butchered each other. 
The infantry, unable or willing to attack, stood by and watched! 
 In the end, all but two Austrian squadrons failed morale checks and broke!
 The Danes only lost one!
the last action occurred when a Danish squadron contacted a fresh Austrian one disordered by being burst through - as usual, the Danish dice rolling was stupendous, and the Austrian squadron dispersed in rout.  

The battle ended here, as  the Austrian cavalry was destroyed, leaving their infantry flank unprotected.

One wonders how the Danish attack would have fared if the Austrian dice had been kinder?, but it was clear the Austrian defence of the fields was pointless, as it only had value if the Danes had been forced to attack them! Instead, the Danish centre was free to help their horse, had they needed to!

A lesson learnt for the future, perhaps?

However, all this will make my French army's job much harder when I finally get them painted!