Sunday 13 May 2012

Byzarbia at Ayton Game.

Once again it's been a while, though in my defence I plead that I have been busy painting figures for our second Ayton Weekend Game, even forgoing two of our usual Wednesday evening games so that we could crack on a bit.
This game, if you recall, has come about from the 18thC Imagi-nations game of last year, which we also hosted here, was umpired & written about in BattleGames by the good Mr Henry Hyde, and was played out by chaps from the WD3 Forum. Well, following on from last year, it was decided to have a similar bash this year, and the tale followed on that Grennoiusse, after giving Granprix a thorough drubbing, then sailed forces across the ocean to invade Byzarbia, a small country based on Africa (ish).
M'Lord Peeler, having failed in the defence of Granprix, decided to change sides and sailed with his former enemies, whilst Tim Hall also did his own thing & decided to defend Byzarbia. I was confused until Henry explained it to me, and no doubt there will be another right good write up in the BG magazine to follow.
So, last weekend, with the weather not too bad, around 20 gamers, from far far away and also very very local, gathered once again at The Ayton Village Hall. As well as the 'main game', we also had a spiffing VBCW game put on by Bob of the Brompton Bankers, and some board games by the Scarborough Gaming Society, a newish group in our local town. All were welcome, and it was good to see old chums again as well as to meet some new ones. As blokes & gamers at a gathering, I have to say, that this bunch have to be among the most easygoing to get along with.    
So, in a short space of time the tables were set up & the terrain laid out. Here, Mr Tim Hall (good old chum, gamer & erstwhile former workpal), shows off his collection of buildings, some refurbished & others newly built for the game. They were absolutely cracking, and in the flesh, certainly show off Tim's considerable modelling skills.
One or two gamers had not yet arrived by dinner time on the Friday, one in particular having gone c/o goodness knows where, so after setting up we had a good feed at the local Dennison Arms ..
.. followed by quantities of beer & the musical entertainment of our own Hairy Dave & the Shamrockers ..
.. followed by yet more beer. 
We regained the Hall around 10am Saturday morning, the missing gamers arrived, and the troops were laid out. Basically, our forces were doing a ship borne landing in an attempt to take the city, whilst our opponents, naturally, were out to stop us. I could not give you an accurate account of the entire game, the table being between 24-30 foot long (with a dog leg added), but suffice to say that there was plenty to do, time to wander the rest of the table, partake of refreshments & tobacco, and some superb umpiring by Mr Hyde, with sound effects for exploding ships in the distance as well as a major sandstorm that messed up some gamers well planned plans.
Here's some pictures of various troops & parts of the game. The painting standard was a joy to see, with different figures from as diverse as Spencer Smiths to RMS, they were all good, and it reminded me to darn well up my own painting skills! My own Peasant Brigade, backed up by four elephants .. despite all the talk, I was the only one to field them. (At £4.99 each from a seafront tat .. er .. souvenir  shop.   
John Francis & Iain EssexBoy get to grips with it. There was plenty of dice rolling, both to hit & save.  
My Cavalry, being faced off by lights, who could shoot & retire .. damned cowardly, but damned effective! 
And after a short while, they sent my cavalry trotting backwards with heavy casualties, including those caused by a poisoned oasis... darned sneaky stuff! 
On the left, on the hill, can be seen Norman's camel Mounted light guns (wonderful figures & a credit to Norman's painting skills) - a short of a long punt gun, and rather lethal too, they caused enough hits to paralyse my left flanking move, and worse was to come.                             
Andy Beleras's magnificently painted cavalry troopers, going in against the lights, watched over by my line troops.                    

In the distance, those darned lights again, being faced off by my line Regts, including a new one - Lt Col Percy's Own Pinksters, on the right. In brief, I was making no headway at all, and to be frank, was just taking a continual slapping from my main oppo's, Norman, Paul & John. Something had to be done, & done swiftly & decisively. 
In short, it was Elephant time. In they lumbered, two by two, roaring away, chomping on buns, supported by the archers in the Hollow Backs. (Special elephants these, they started as candle holders).  After squashing & scattering those light cavalry with ease, I thought "Wahay, things are looking up!" until one went down to fire from those camel gunners .. 
.. whilst sadly, and to my deep upset, another two went down to well directed Btn fire. In fact, there were so many hits, I'd say that they'd have died from lead poisoning if nothing else. I decided to withdraw my final beastie, so as not to leave my opponent with yet more ivory for his collection. 
Oh, this was a good one - NDL's lights, being native arab types, trotted down, skipped gaily over the wall, & pushed back my infantry inside a small town. With a heavy sigh & an acceptance of the way things had gone, I packed away my awful dice. I may sell them. Or put them in a box marked "Give to the opposition". Notwithstanding, the other side played a very good game, and as ever, it was played in a gentlemanly & friendly manner. (Except when my third elephant went down - goodness, I was really rather miffed).        

By the end of Sunday, it was decided - without much doubt, that the invading forces ( including me) had failed. Only just, in some parts of the table, but I think fairly decisively in mine. Humph. 
Whoops, only got the one shot of Bob, Russ, Billy & the Testo's at the VBCW game, which was played throughout, and looked excellent. 
So, there we are, a right good weekend was had by all I'd say. Naturally, we had more Dennison & Forge on the Saturday, and er, those who remained on the Sunday evening too. By Monday, we just  weren't hungry any more, due to the decent portions dolled out. Around 5pm Sunday evening, the figures, terrain & tables were packed away, the floor swept, and the Hall was again empty. It was like it had never been! Most said their goodbyes, and I have to admit, I was quite sad to see them go off. 
All the players brought along figures, some also brought terrain, and we used Henry's own rules, which I think may well be published soon. My thanks to those who came & gamed, and to Mrs Peeler & Mrs Wright for the kitchen duties & cakes. Each gamer paid £15, as a result of which we gave  £285 to three charities, being the Hall, Combat Stress & the local Jubilee committee. Not bad at all really! For further pictures, write ups, and - even - a movie - pop over to the WD3 Forum, and take a look through the WD3 Games section & see the BG Blog. 

"Historical Note" - As for Lord Peeler, having twice been unsuccessful in his campaigns, it is rumoured that he did then retire to a small estate, there to mull over his remaining forces, drink beer and smoke roll ups. One of his sons apparently ran away to sea, whilst another went away to Germany, where he (luckily) married into a minor aristocratic family. This family strand was not heard of again, as history will recall, until the 1860's - which is when next years game is set for! The Hall is already rebooked for the same weekend & I've already ordered some Spencer Smiths, for Count von Peeler's Forces.   

Regards,  (and my thanks & welcome to the new Followers),

Sunday 11 March 2012

A Large DBN Bash & Witter..

Well, how are things? As usual, busy times have interrupted one's Blogging. I look forward to the day when my time is my own, to (more or less) do as I please - not that I want to become unemployed you understand, it's just that - well, life gets in the way of the hobby doesn't it.
Anyway, here's some photos from a Large DBN Game we played over a weekend way last November (!) ably planned & set up by Alex Testo & Bob Carter, the two chaps of DBN fame, at Alex's hotel in nearby Scarborough. Thinking on, as I say 'a ... game', it was in fact three - the main game on the Saturday being an 'Imagi' game involving most countries in a fictional 1813 battle, which ended in an early Allied victory, so giving time for a series of one-on-one games in the evening, followed by another main game on the Sunday. One advantage of DBN 'easy-to-play' rules is that you don't get bogged down in tables of modifiers, and so if the game pans along and one side (by decent planning & set up) gets the upper hand in a proper way, it's over in time to have another bash. We certainly weren't at a loss for gaming, and as usual with these weekends, the rest of the time passed happily with beer & curry, and beer and erm, more beer .. at which I think we put the world to rights, as gamers of our age tend to do.
The figures used were supplied mainly by Bob, based on the original DBN style, and very nice they are too, as well as being lots of them (he even had enough spare to sell me rather a lot too, at a decent price). Alex made the table specifically for the game, but it can be reused for others, and he did all this in just less than two days which is pretty good going I reckons. I think there was about 14'x6', which gave ample space to
game on.

The relevant armies were placed, about a dozen twelve point armies per side, and there was still sufficient room for flanking movements and gaps to go for.   
Much of the initial battling took place around the centre towns & villages, which after some hard fighting, fell to the French & their Allies. My own Corps, being rather splendid in red Danish, had a long march to get on in there, and the opposition was nicely softened up by that time..
Whilst the Allies had the advantage of interior lines, the extra space allowed to the French was used to good effect to deny part of the table, whilst massing in others, and heading for the 'bend', which turned out to be a rather masterful plan. 
The fighting was soon full on & rather serious, as can be seen ...  

.. with infantry attacks ably supported by some lucky cavalry charges. 
Pretty soon, shortly after lunch, the main point to focus on was clearly pointed out, and all French forces in the vicinity were ordered to attack towards it.  

 Now this doesn't happen too often, but John's Elite column went forward, expecting to win a fair bit, but in fact trounced it's way through I think a good half dozen units, seemingly invincible and impervious to anything the Allies could throw at it. If medals & pies were to be awarded after the battle, then this column would have been at the front of the queue.

The end was clearly in sight when, finally, my footsore Danes broke into the centre space made by John's Corps, which had left precious little of the Allies left to fight with. 

The Allied commanders decided that it was time to wave a white dishcloth, their forces shattered asunder, their centre collapsed, their own personal gaming morale crushed underfoot & wiped into the plush carpet. Well not quite, but you know, when you win, you have to make the most of it don't you....

Mind you, their early surrender did nicely pave the way for a some mini games in the evening, and for another rather grand game the next day, so really, credit to them for making the early decision. Mind you, they did decline to buy all the beer that night, as demanded by the French ... tsk, eh. 
As with other large games, you can only give an overview - there really was too much going on to include everything, and you don't see all the table all the time - but needless to say, all the participants had a right good time. It's what gaming is al about innit. My thanks to Alex & Bob (and Mrs Alex for feeding us), and all the other gamers for making it such an enjoyable weekend.

Now then, I've just remembered - young Testo has put together this video - or DVD, or whatever they call them nowadays, of the weekend, and I must insist that you have a look at it .. it's superb.

Looking ahead, we have Ayton 2 - or perhaps, Ayton, the Return - coming up in early May, another weekend of Old School gaming with most of the original gamers as well as a few new ones, and figures & bases are currently being painted & respruced, and yes, elephants are being bought too, as it is set in a north Africa type scenario. The good Mr Hyde will soon be very busy running the pre weekend campaign, and in less than two months the gamers will be gathering, for wargames, beer, vast quantiles of Dennison food, & more beer ..  Life ain't bad at times is it eh?

Kind Regards,

Sunday 29 January 2012

A Pie Post.

As you may be aware, a lot of our group's general wargaming hobby enjoyment comes from food - and in particular, from the joy of pies. We went along to The SmoggyCon show last November and put on a DBZulu/Brit game, the pictures & quality write up of which can be seen on Andy's 'Slight Diversion' Blog,

On the way home of course, our journey took us near to the seaside town of Whitby, which had long been rumoured to boast a pie shop of distinction. As we had time to do so, we made a short detour, and were overjoyed to find said pie shop, on the southern part of the town, just over the swing bridge and on the right, next to a useful & spacious car park.   

Outside, it looks the very picture of one of those 'happy places' that you come across from time to time, whilst inside, though small, it has bags of local & nostalgic character, helped along by the pleasantness of the staff, who clearly enjoy their work.

And here it is - the steak pie version, with lashings of mashed potatoe, peas, and a goodly ladle of gravy, supported by a decent mug of tea. It was, I have to say, a sheer delight, and if you're ever in the area, make sure you call in. You won't be disappointed. If you like pie, that is.  

Regards, Peeler

Tuesday 10 January 2012

2012 &DBN Armies ...

Well here we are in 2012 then eh! Where on earth did the last year go? So I thought, it's about time I got back onto my Blog, so I log on & find that it's all gone Fubar. Apparently my computer no longer supports the browser. Or the other way round maybe ... so I had to book into Google Chrome? Did that, eventually, and here it is .. I'm not quite sure what it will look like, and I have to say - I don't like change! Though to be fair, the photo upload was very quick. I suppose it's progress then. And maybe I'm just being a grumpy (getting) old technophobe, but I do wish 'they' would just stop changing things when what we had worked perfectly well. Phew, there, rant over. I shall have to persevere. 
So, a belated Happy New Year to you all, I hope it's a good one for you. The Peeler family had a quiet stopping in sort of Christmas/New Year this time, following the previous two years Yuletide events of myself & Mrs P losing our respective Fathers, and I'm happy to say that this year passed without anything major happening. I worked Nights in between, and that was fairly quiet too, with only the odd stabbing here & a slashing there, but overall, fairly quiet.
So, on to the wargaming wittering! As with some other gamers, I've decided - nay, decreed - that this year I must & will get my wargaming house in order. I have too many part started nearly finished not quite done or yet to start projects sat in boxes, and so I have, at last, got my butt into gear with my 15mm DBNapoleonics, and finally got them all based up. (All the painted ones that is, there are still several hundred unpainted to sort yet.) They are a mixture of figures, MiniFigs bought from BobofBrompton,Grubby Tanks Figures, and AB, some of which I have even painted myself! 
Here's some random photos of them anyway - 

a Brigade of French Light cavalry..      

and a Brigade of French Allies Heavy cavalry .. 

A unit of elite British Riflemen .. 

A unit of French Light Infantry..  

and a Brigade of close order muskets, these ones are French Allies also.  

You'll get the picture then, that for DBN, you don't need many figures, and each base represents an awful lot of troops, about 2500 for foot & 1250 for mounted. So here's the Brits .. 
 The Prussians ..
The French .. 
French Allies .. 
More French Allies .. 
Spanish .. 
Altogether, around 1400 foot, 200 mounted &  20 guns so far. This may not sound like an awful lot, but then 8 foot figures represents a Brigade - so in fact me armies are rather large, and in the case of the Spanish, perhaps even larger than the historical army was - so I may even end up selling some bits. And thus funding some others. Or funding the painting of some of my unpainted piles. Next to do is to paint, basetex  & flock the bases up & then .. get them on the table, which I'm sure will impress Mr Testo. 
When that's done,I'll need to sideline onto my 25mm SYW so as to be ready for the Ayton bash in May, then I think back to the Naps again. Then onto 15m Marlburians, and to get all my unpainted stuff painted, based & playable with by the end of 2012!! 
Well, that's the plan anyway .... I'll let you know how I get on. 

Saturday 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas.

Well it's been one of those busy times again lately for me & mine, and I haven't had time for much Blogging at all really, which is a great shame. I have managed to fit in some rather good DBNapoleonic and DBColonial games, as well as a really good weekend game at Chez Alex, and a day at Chez Tim's too, as well as Smoggy & Recon, so it hasn't all been bad, and ... and ... I have also finished decorating the two boys rooms, so after a quick paint the wall job in the spare room, I reckon that the new year will usher in some serious spare time to enable me to paint & base a lot of stuff. And I have lots of it to catch up on.

I wish a Merry Christmas to you all, I hope it's a good one for you, and a Happy New Year too.
Best Wishes,

Friday 11 November 2011

In Remembrance.

This photo was recently taken on a wander nearby to Ayton, by David Wright, one of our gaming chums.

When you see a field like this, it does make you stop & think for a moment or two, in remembrance of those who have gone before, and for those who are still serving. God bless them all.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Pickering War Weekend, October 2011

It was the annual War Weekend at nearby Pickering a few weeks ago, so here's a few pictures of the event. We've been away to Spain since then, hence the delay!
As usual, the day started well enough, with a rather large breakfast..

Pickering itself was well busy, and you could hardly get a look in, so we turned our attention to the village of "Le Visham", as usual done out as a German occupied area. Sentries were posted to ensure the locals good behaviour.

Germans looked on, as an Englishman abroad took in the sights & sounds of how things may have been.

I wanted to take this toy home .. there was one for sale in a militaria shop in Pickering, at around £1500 ... nice to have, but I don't see how I could have sneaked it past Mrs P. And then there'd be the credit card bill too. So I wimped out.

Peeler Jnr, by the newly Frenchiefied village sign.

This one was a jaw dropper .. we waited in vain for it to be launched, though it was pointed towards the distant moors.

German reenactors were generally chatty & helpful, and there wasn't too much strutting about.

This French patriot wasn't allowed into the occupied area, and had to make do with vocal resistance from the sidelines.

Onto to nearby Goathland, where the Allies were holding out. I have always thought that a .30 cal MG was pretty impressive ..

.. until I compared it with a .50 cal MG,, which was just mahussive. Difficult to jog around whilst shooting that one from the hip Rambo style I reckon!

The LDV were on guard near the train station, with some nice weaponry on display.

Bren gun on a tripod, not something I've seen before.

On the way home, across the moors, there was a road block .. deep undercover resistance fighters perhaps, or SOE reenactors? Whatever they were, the one in the middle was as hard as nails and refused to shift until I got out and gave it the word. It wandered off slowly, giving a look back that said,"Yeah, whatever".

An extra one from a recent boat trip on the Coronia, from Scarborough Harbour. I knew that the boat had been at Dunkirk, as had it's sister boat The Regal Lady, but hadn't realised the original name of it until I saw this plaque.

So there we are, a good day out was had, and we were lucky with the weather. Unlike whilst in Spain!