Friday, 26 June 2009

Kingdom of Heaven

I managed to get some more work done on my mounted hospitaller knights and the basework on my unit of crusader infantry tonight. At this rate I'll need to order more figures soon! I might even have something to photograph by next week.

I also finished watching the extended version (director's cut) of Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven". I don't normally do film reviews but must point out that this version totally transforms the film into the truly spectacular epic it should always have been. The replaced scenes meant that the film now tells a coherent story and the motivations of the characters are explained and their fates tied-up at the end. Orlando Bloom still slightly fails to convince and I think that the reviewer got it right who said that he looks like he is holding the fort until the real leading man turns up...but never does.

The 4-DVD set is currently available via for under £5 and this is superb value if you want to treat yourself. The visuals are fantastic and the extended version concentrates on events and how the characters are involved in them, rather than trying to be a character-centred action movie in the way the cinema version had been butchered to be. In this sense it is more in the flavour of "Black Hawk Down" than "Gladiator". Needless to say, it still takes enormous liberties with history, but after all it isn't supposed to be a documentary.

If you are looking for some inspiration to get into Crusades wargaming, dash out and get this.


Monday, 22 June 2009

Ploughing on

There has been a bit of a hiatus since my last post, Crusaders seem to cause this effect!

In truth there have been a number of sporting distractions: T20 cricket, the Lions tour and a Formula 1 season that is much more interesting than in the last few years. Work has also been occupying quite chunk of my attention.

I have been getting on, slowly, with some crusader types and still have lots of arthurians to re-base, it just all takes time. I'll post some pictures soon, and in the meanitime will try and photograph some actual games in action. The BoB stuff is still set up in the garage and I'd like to get some 6mm Naps action in at the club.


Monday, 8 June 2009

Crusader Impetus base 1

As part of the conversion to Impetus style basing I have given "the treatment" to my one and only unit of crusaders! I have a unif of foot on the table at the moment to paint up and base to match. cheers

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Battle of Pashminia - day 2

Earlier this week I concluded the action at Pashminia that features in an earlier post .
The British commander kicked off with an aggressive attitude, launching the Borsetshires directly at the town from their positions around the Merchant's House. This aggression, combined with some favourable dice rolling allowed the troops to take the southern environs of Pashminia.
Following further heavy fighting, the Borsetshires advanced as far as the town Mosque and were able to target the Dagastani headquarters in the railway station. The advance through the town was accompanied by a parallel attack towards the sandbagged defences east of the town, by the fourth comany of the borsetshires and the machine gun company. The machine guns suppressed and then eliminated the Dagastani artillery, allowing the infantry to clear the defences. The machine guns then moved up allowing them a clear line of fire on the railway station.

The position after the initial attacks is shown below. While all of this was going on, far to the East a flanking force of Ghurkas and cavalry advanced on the hill.

This was defended by Dagastani militia and tribesmen, who put up a solid defence, but were eventually worn down by the disciplined marksmanship of the Imperial troops and then swept from the crest of the hill by a determined charge by one of the three Ghurkha companies.
Dagastani reinforcements arrived, by train, during the attack but disembarked into the face of relentless machine gun fire and were forced to fall back behind the railway station.
With the Borsetshires advancing through the town and the flank defences on the hill beginning to crumble, the Dagastanis pulled out of town to fight another day.

British casualties were relatively light on day 2, largely by virtue of an aggressive early approach that caught the Dagastanis off balance before they could reinforce. The positioning of Dagastani artillery within rifle range of the British reguars was probably naive, and these may hev been better placed on the hill to take advantage of their superior range.
Campaign attention must now turn to the remainder of the British brigade, who are some 20 miles to the South East guarding the airfield and supply base at the fort of Khoton-Khandi.
Defending forces are as follows:
4th Foot and Mouth Regiment (4 companies)
17th Ghurkha Rifles (1 company)
Machine Gun Company
Gorblymee Light Cavalry (1 squadron)
Attackers are currently unknown, but likely to be a LOT of Dagastani tribesmen.
Pictures of the defences are shown below:

If I get the chance I might start this one tomorrow (Sunday), however the Lions tour is proving distracting, but after yesterday's game the 20:20 cricket may not be for long...

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Arthurian Impetus (1)

Here is my first finished base for my Impetus arthurian collection. I have re-based 6 of my arthurian heavy cavalry, including the head honcho himself on a 120mm x 80mm base. I made ned flags for this unit, as the previous ones were verging on the ridiculously large! Overall I am very pleased with the effect. The base is VERY heavy however and I think I'll limit the number of such bases with so much lead on them. Other heavy cavalry will probably have 5 figures, and lighter cavalry 4.


Monday, 1 June 2009

BoB Rules

I thought I'd post a little about the way I am using Blitzkrieg Commander for fighting BoB battles, as people tend to want to know that sort of thing.

I use the rules pretty much "as is" except for the following:

Infantry and cavalry are organised into "units" (companies/squadrons of 3-4 bases). Guns, armoured cars etc are fielded as 1-2 stand units. Units are ordered around and take actions rather than the individual stands in the BkC rules. Firing, fighting and losses are still calculated on a stand-by-stand basis (like the original Warmaster). Units may be reduced to a single stand.

Each unit has a commander who may order the unit if no more senior officer is going to do so.

Most British (and some other) units are of a higher quality, so roll 1 less d6 when checking for suppression and fall-back

Most native types are of lower quality so roll 1 extra d6 when checking for suppression and fall-back

Stats for stands are smilar to BkC, but it is often necessary to adjust things for simplicity.
HMG stands are given a damage level of 6 to match the rest of the infantry. When an infantry unit containing both rifle and HMG stands accumulated 6 "hits" the player decides whether the rifles of HMG is lost (HMGs shoot better but are worse in close combat).

I use the close comabt rules from Cold War Commander as these give a better flow, I find. I also use the opportunity fire rules from CWC at the moments, although the original ones from BkC might actually work quite well for the Back of Beyond, so I might revert to test them out.

All in all, the rules work very well for BoB and the use of "units" is very similar to the "fixed formations" that many BkC players already use.

As my games are in 28mm, I use inches rather than centimeteres for measurement, but reduce the numerical distances by about 1/3, so riles have a range of 20" (10" for close range) and HMGs I allow to fire at up to 40" if regular or 30" if not so well trained. HMG teams may either move or fire in a turn, once they have done one, they cannot do the other, regardless of how many orders they receive. This saves having to worry about "setting-up" rules

Cavalry who fire are assumed to dismount first, but must ignore the first stand in the unit (assumed to be horseholders) when calculating how many dice to roll. As they use carbines I downgrade their fire at long range but allow +2d6 per stand at under half range rather than the usual +1d6 for other weapons.

Armoured cars are treated as mobile HMG stands with 360 degree field of fire. I don't bother with saving rolls and allow them to take up to 4 damage, but only from artillery etc, or HMGs that roll 6s to hit.

Usually the British CinC has a CV of 10 and subordinates/unit commanders have a CV of 8. Opposition commanders usually have CVs of 9 and 7 respectively. Dropping CVs too low might be historically justified, but I want the games to be fun for both sides to play! The command radius is 20", as is initiative range (although I might drop this to 15" for lower quality troops).

After a battle, eliminated stands may return. I have been allowing regular stands to return on d6 rolls of 1 to 5 and irregular stands to return on rolls of 1 to 4. Rolls can be adjusted depending on the level of victory or defeat.

I think that this just about covers things! The rules play really fast. The first day of Pashminia only took around an hour to complete.