Tuesday, 30 November 2010

GdB Leipzig Game, London.

On the weekend of November the 5th, the good people of the GdB Forum put on a rather large & hugely enjoyed Leipzig game, held in the Officer's Mess, Wellington Barracks, London. Myself & Hairy Dave had booked up early, and took the train down to the Metropolis on the Thursday, thence to take in the sights, visit both the Imperial War & the National Army Museums, and also to visit as many central London pubs as we could manage. We did rather well I think, and I would so like to take you on a verbal walk through the many pubs we attended in, but frankly, my memory is rather hazy. So, that must mean that we had a good time, drank lots, and as neither of us recall , didn't get arrested or do anything bad. I do recall that we met some really pleasant people, and had a good talk with some members of the Armed Forces too.
Oh, and if that rather unpleasant chap who was abusing that young lady in Trafalgar Square is reading (which I very much doubt!), then just think on - if you behave in such a manner, then you can't complain when passers by intervene and make you stop.
So, we stayed at the St Ermins, Caxton Street, which is a wonderful hotel near to St James' and just round the corner from the Barracks. Luckily, it also has a bar which serves Guinness & Boddingtons, stays open til late, and has a pleasant and chatty group of 'locals' who drink there too.

And it's only 25 yards from here ..

And about 150 yards from here ..

Naturally, we wandered by both places and paid our due respects. Here's The Albert Pub, on Victoria Road, a great little place squashed in between two modern monstrosities. Good beer and food, good company too. This was our first pint of the day on Thursday lunchtime..

.. and we then trawled our way across to and up & down and around the Whitehall area, visiting every pub at least once. We went to the one opposite Big Ben three times I think, as I remember being in it in daylight, presumably at 5pm ish, and also at last orders too ..

Being able to have a beer & fag outside whilst also hearing Big Ben chime away was, being from Yorkshire, rather great. Other drinkers, obviously seeing it every day, plainly thought we were just a pair of daft yokels who'd wandered in off some desolate Northern Moor. Naturally, we ended the day in the hotel bar, chatting with people who we saw this time last year, which was nice.
After doing the museums & sights on the Friday, we met up with Brown, Gary, RJ and others, and got ourselves talked into having some strange meal called 'Tappas'. It took a while for the 'share the bowls' theory to sink in, but when it did, it was ok really. This was followed by a pub visit, where oddly it ran out of beer. The Lithuanian lager wasn't too bad though, and again we repaired to the hotel bar till the early hours.
So to the game, on Saturday morning, by which time myself & Dave were feeling a tad tired if not quite emotional. We were cheered by the sight of the large table of around 30ft by 6ft deep, stacked with around 6,500 AB figures, all well painted & supplied by members & chums of The Loughton Club. They don't do things by half, and it was a great layout. Here's the setting up..
We played on the Allied side, and for our own specific part in the game, we were to assault & take this hill & area, hold it, draw off some French Reserves, and not take too many casualties whilst doing it. This all proved rather difficult, but was good to play. Here's my attempt at a swift cavalry charge, supported by infantry, to clear the hill top.

I realised, rather too late, that I was facing elements of the Imperial Guard. And they weren't in a mood to let us off lightly.
My cavalry attack faltered in the face of some rather furious canister fire.
Though they did their best, and hung around long enough to reform and try again, though without any more success.
At one point in the morning, a despicable event occured .. someone had left a cup & saucer atop a Gents GdB edition. We were preparing to lynch the culprit, until it transpired that both cup & book belonged to the same player.
After three courageous attempts at closing with the massed guns, my original cavalry Brigade finally gave up, and decided to Retreat rather than get wiped out. Can't say I blame them really.
So I had no choice but to continue with the infantry attack, supported by my one remaining cavalry Regiment. Those French guns were still blazing away happily.
Saturday evening beckoned, with a good feed at The Albert, and then, that's right, loadsa beer followed by more beer at the hotel bar.
Sunday morning, and things were looking up as to my left on the hill, Gary got some units into the French lines.
The French artillery began to wobble - I think they'd actually run out ammunition, they'd fired that much - and one of them routed away.
A general exchange of musketry began, with casualties on each side. As seen, the French had rather a lot of reserves here, but at least we were keeping them occupied!
My remaining cavalry unit did a marvelous charge & breakthrough, making three units retreat & rout, though without causing a single casualty. It did buy us some time & space however.
The high point of our attack, over the hill and very nearly far away..
But then, Mr Jackson swept into our rear with a Guard Light Regt, riding down three - yes, three - batteries, one after the other. Whilst he was evidently happy with this, we affected not to be bothered too much. Though we were actually very bothered, and there was much gnashing of teeth.
On the hill, things went a bit to & fro, as we were gradually worn down.
Mr RJ again, gaily charging about, taking out guns as if he was a collector of them. I have to say, I threw some pretty awful dice around this time, even worse than during the rest of the game, and it was never good really.
At the same time, we got well and truly bounced off the hill and sent packing for a while.
Though we did reform a semblance of a defence line, which held on for a bit, and for my saving grace, my last Btn's last volley of the day resulted in Faltering two attack columns. Honour was thus duly saved before we left the table!
Following such a good volley, I then attempted a Charge, to top things off and to go out in style. It didn't work, and I ended up in Retreat. Hey ho, I then had to leave to catch the train.
It was decided that overall the game was a draw, and there is a write up & photos of the entire game over on the GdB forum, here..
Whilst on the balcony, having a fag, we saw part of The Changing of the Guard. Smart chaps all, and brought home what our hobby represents.
Overall, a right good weekend was had, though it has taken a while for my liver to recover, and Hairy Dave has not been seen out in daylight since. It was good to meet up with old gaming chums, and my thanks to Dave Brown & the GdB group for having us take part in an absolutely wonderful game.

Monday, 1 November 2010

A Room & a Change of Scale.

Well, once again it's been a while, made so because of working shifts, changing shifts, doing extra shifts, home life and a rather good week in Sunny Majorca! I think that should be our last foreign holiday for a couple of years as the old bank account is starting to complain. And as the Euro seems a tad strong at the moment, it's home country holidays for the foreseeable I reckon, and perhaps rightly so too, considering the country's current financial problems.
So, I've been getting my spare room sorted out to be .. A Wargaming Room. At long last, as was the original plan when we bought this house ten years ago, after being used as the boys playroom and then the Father in Laws room, I'm finally getting on with it. The room has been cleared, the walls are freshly repainted and the wood flooring is down. A new table has been delivered c/o Ikea, and I just need to decide on the table top board size to buy from the local MKM. That's proving a bit difficult for me to decide on, but will probably be an 8ftx4ft playing surface, to allow a comfortable amount of room around it for the gamers, the room being a good 15ftx10ft size. I may of course buy more than just the one board, to allow various widths & depths for different games. And of course, we'll need space for pie plates, ashtrays and suchlike. Shelves are now going up, books are being gathered up and placed on said shelves, and my gaming stuff has been piled together, from storage in the spare bedroom upstairs, under the bed, the understairs cupboard, the farthest recesses of the garage, and oddly I found yet more in a kitchen drawer.
Probably like yourselves, I didn't realise I had quite so much of it. Some of it I don't even recall buying. Some of it, I wondered just why on earth I had it. So I've had a bit of a clear out, sold a few bits and so on, but the main change is that I've disposed of my 10mm Napoleonics. I looked at what I had painted up, and what I still had unpainted, and thought, "I just don't want to paint that scale anymore". It's an odd feeling, but once you've had it, and it's persisted for a while, then you know it's time to move on to something else. And, I realised, I'd hardly painted any of them for the last two years.
So, wanting to keep it all easy and stress free, I contacted that pleasant Mr Hinds by email, we agreed a price and proportions for swaps and so on, and a few weeks ago I trotted off to Derby to see him. What a treasure trove of figures he has in his house! I was rather taken aback at just how much there was. But, over a cup of tea and a natter, we had a pleasant exchange of figures and cash, all done without fuss and with fairness on both sides. I know these things can be difficult, maybe it depends on who you deal with, but I can certainly recommend Mr H for openness, honesty, and reasonableness. I'd certainly trade with him again. So I came away happy, with a large quantity of painted 15mm Napoleonic Prussians, Spanish, a few French, along with a fair number of painted SYW figures, for use in my newly remembered Village Wars project.
The next weekend it was Derby Show, and along I went with cash in hand. I was delighted to see Mr Grubby Tanks, he of the stacked green boxes full of painted 15mm Napoleonics! The figures are his own production, have a certain style & character that I like, and were a mere 80p each. Painted. Well, I thought, I can't be turning that down really, so I duly bought 8x36 figure Btns, of French Allies, Saxons, Westphalians and the like. Being mostly white uniforms, that will save me a lot of painting pain, as I just don't like painting white. I'll definitely be seeing him again, and buying similar. Whilst there, I had a nice chat with Andy of Old Glory, and could not resist his new 15mm Marlburians, so had to buy just a few, to do a DBMarlburian type game. Nice figures, quite large, easy to paint, and, the same Blue Moon range is rumored to be bringing out Napoleonics in the same style next year. Nice one. This also led to a couple of books on the period being obtained from Caliver books, which seem to have all the info I'll need to get going.
So, with bases purchased from ERM, I've started the task of rebasing all these Napoleonic figures. Now, I want to do GdB, but also in our local group, we do DBN, so there's a bit of a problem as the basing is different. I don't want to be having separate armies for each set of rules, that would just be plain silly. So I came up with the easy and rather obvious solution, which is to base them on 40mm frontage bases to fit in with the DBN, and use 4 bases to a normal GdB Btn, 2 bases for a GdB Squadron, and so on. Sorted. Or it will be, when I've got them all done.
Talking of GdB, I recently ordered & received The Gent's Edition of the updated rules.
To say they are rather nice, just does not do this set justice. Apart from the very playable updated rules, there are pictures galore in this book, mainly of 15mm. That may have been a final deciding factor in my change of scale I think. I really can't praise it enough, it does, to me, set a new and high standard for a set of rules, hardback, neatly laid out & explained, wonderfully presented and with enough eye candy to make your retina's ache. If you haven't yet got one, be quick and speak to Caliver Books to obtain your copy, before they sell out.
So then, gaming wise, our group is getting it together again after the usual summer break, and we were recently treated to a very tightly played Waterloo DBN game put on by Alex at his hotel, along with some rather fine culinary delights. The game went to the wire, and was thoroughly enjoyed. Also, Richard put on a rather fun & quick moving Zombie board game, along with a delightful home made steak pie lunch by Mrs Richard Snr. Frankly, if Mrs R ever opens a pie shop, I'll be in there daily.
A swift welcome to Fran & Angry Lurker, latest Followers, thanks for joining, appreciated, and I hope you both enjoy the Blog.
In the near future, our group has games on at the SmoggyCon & Recon Shows, which are both really good show days out to be looked forward to, and worth attending if you can. Also, a couple of us are lucky enough to be at the large GdB game, Wellington Barracks, this coming weekend. Organised by the good Mr Brown & Co, having been to previous games, I know that we have a quality game & weekend coming up, along with perhaps more than a few beers with some old chums. I'll be reading those GdB rules on the train as we travel down on the Thursday, to take in some sights & museums, and to sample a pot or three of London Pride before the game starts....