Saturday 30 June 2018

The Swedish Army in the Great Northern War 1700-21

I was sent this book by Helion to review which is very kind of them (Thank you Charles). Please don't bar me from reviewing any more books on the basis of this review!

I was looking forward to getting this book as the subject has always been one of great interest to me. The author is a well respected expert on the Swedish army of the period and the book is certainly crammed full of information, some nice maps and some lovely colour illustrations of flags and uniforms.

The book has a few typos and the writing is in places 'clunky'. I understand the subject matter quite well, but at times I was confused!

To get back to the positives the book itself isn't half bad as a broad account of the War and the organisation, uniforms and tactics of the Swedish army. There is some interesting stuff on the development of fortresses in the region and of the critical naval aspects of the war. I would have liked a map of the theatre of operations nearer to the beginning of the book though, and maybe some orders of battle.

Wild Geese weekend goodies

I picked up quite a few gifts and I have to admit purchases at our Kenilworth weekend of gaming. First up, each of us was presented with a painted French SYW officer by Willz. Tony gave me  battalion of 24 Prussian grenadiers for 1806. Paul very kindly gave me a beautifully painted Prussian SYW vignette. My game also won the  ‘best looking game’, winning one of Chris Greggs lovely painting of a Wild Geese of Bulckley’s regiment in the War of the Austrian Succession. Finally the guys bought me a book about the real Wild Geese, which they all signed (the guys not the Geese).

Here is a link to a video of the weekend.

I managed to buy at very reasonable prices a couple more paintings from Chris, a job lot of unpainted late 17th century figures off Graham and several painted units of Renaissance Polish infantry and dragoons which will fill a gap in my army nicely off Paul.

Prussian 1806 Grenadiers off Tony Dillon
My prize for 'best looking game' donated by Chris Gregg
I just had to buy yet another Hussarette!
This is another of Chris' paintings, this time depicting Saxon Uhlans following the Prussians after their defeat at Colin on 18 June 1757. 
The Prussian vignette kindly given to me by Paul Robinson.

Willz Harley painted one of these for each of us.
My gift from all the guys for organising the event.
Just a few Poles to add to my existing army.
Late 17th Century figures. Already made a start on one battalion.

In return I commissioned a Wild Geese Wargames Group 2018 commemorative mug for everyone who attended. (Artwork by Chris Gregg).

I hope I've not forgotten anybody, but thanks to everyone.

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Versailles the Wargame, Kenilworth 2018

The inspiration for this game came partly from the tv series Versailles and partly from the League Of Augsberg's steeplechase game put on a Tactica and elsewhere.

The premise for this game was however slightly different and wasn't a straight horse race. There would be three of four French commands, each of between four and six squadrons of horse or dragoons (the better the troops the few squadrons). They were ordered to fight through the defending Spanish and Dutch troops and get to the bridge in the distance. The bridge was representing the sluice gates, which once opened would flood the area between the two rivers crossing ng the table. I played the defenders.

The other objective, which was where there was scope for lots of skulduggery and overt interference in each others' commands, was to collect as many of the objective markers as possible (each representing a potential new mistress for the King, or in some cases a less useful personage).
The Gypsey encampment .

Dutch cavalry defending the approaches to the sluices.

Movement was dictated by playing cards, each command being represented by one of the suits, which when drawn would allow the player to move all or as many units as they wished. Obviously this meant that some players had to sit around for a bit until their suit was drawn, but then they would no doubt get a 'run' of cards thus balancing things out. There was also a deck of random event cards, ranging from gaining a unit an extra turn, upgrading the quality of one squadron or even a unit of the enemy. (These cards were kindly sent to me by Barry Hilton). As was an added fun element, if a joker was drawn then the destruction of the sluice gates would be speeded up. The second joker would see them opened, at which point the game was over.
Tim's haul of ladies.

So near yet so far....

After much manipulation of the cards (not really) we managed three runs at the game over the weekend, using back of a postcard in my head rules which worked well). In every case the players took to the spirit of the game, and spent as much time charging hapless Spaniards and Dutchmen as they did trying to scupper the plans of their comrades in arms while scooping up fallen women, courtesans, and the odd surprise, e.g. Sister Josephine). The bridge was reached by one player each game, but none were able to stop the sluices from being opened, so the Umpire won. Yeah!

The largest number of objective markers, i.e. the aforementioned women etc was collected by Tim, while Gavin did well but had the honour of collecting some dodgy blokes along the way that didn't count in the scoring.

A fabulous weekend and after some uncertainty quite a good game. I was voted the 'best looking game' by the guys so I can feel pretty chuffed. My prize was a lovely painting by Chris Gregg depicting one of the Wild Geese in the Seven Years War. Thanks also to everyone for the great book gift and to Paul and Tony for their gifts too. Hope I've not missed anyone out.

Sunday 24 June 2018

Wild Geese Wargamers weekend 2018

This year's event has come to a close after another excellent weekend of wargaming in a very sunny Kenilworth. Twenty three dedicated wargamers from different corners of the kingdom, plus Jim from over the Pond, came together for our third annual gaming weekend. And what an excellent time was had by all. Four great games, old friends reunited, new friends made, lots of excellent banter and many a pint of beer to lubricate the vocal chords made for an excellent two days.

Back row l-r: Stuart Insch, Ken Marshall, Chris Gregg, Graham Cummings, Martin Gane, Steve Pearse, Lee Brewster, Garry Phillips, Graham Hitditch, Paul Robinson, Gavin Winspear, Tim Whitworth, Aly Morrison, Steve Metheringham, Me,
kneeling l-r: Tony Dillon, Guy Barlow, Willz Harley, Alan Perry, Des Darkin, Jim Purkey, Michael Perry, Douglas Thomson.

Thanks to Paul Robinson, Willz Harley, Gary Phillips (and me) for hosting the games (Great Northern War, 18thC, Zulu War and Versailles the Wargame) and to everyone for taking part.

Here are some pictures of the games.

I hope everyone had/has a safe journey home and I look forward to seeing everyone again next year. Thanks also to those of the group who donated items for the prize draw categories.