Thursday 23 February 2023

Wedding photos

 A couple of pictures of my step son Homi and his bride  Shara’s wedding. Parsi ceremonies are much shorter than Hindu ones and involve lots of meat products and booze!

The cake was 12 kilos of cheese we brought over from the cheese stall in Durham market!

Yes that’s me at the back in trad Parsi clobber. The reception is this evening at the Parsi temple. Only about 700 guests expected!

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Mumbai Monday

A few snaps from today’s jaunt around Mumbai.

The ceiling of the main railway station.  Gold leaf  decoration. 

Inside the RC cathedral

Mother Theresa sat here. I had to shift an old biddy out of the way to get the photo 

View from Malabar Hill over the bay and the Arabian Sea.

The Dhobi Ghat. Amazing hive of activity.

Inside the RC cathedral

Cannonball tree at the hanging gardens on Malabar Hill.

It’s stepson’s wedding ceremony (part #1) this evening. Parsi weddings are a little less OTT than Hindu ones. No elephants or grooms on horseback thank goodness. Looking forward to it.

More soon.

Monday 20 February 2023

Another trip down Route 1866

Last Saturday the Burrow was home to a capacity crowd with nine of us playing another 1866 Austro-Prussian War game using suitably amended Picket’s Charge rules. (Thank you Neil).  Dave, Richard, Ivor and myself were the Prussians while Nigel, Shaun, Mike and John H were the Austrians. Neil adjudicated.

The scenario was simple. One Prussian division with a cavalry brigade attached was deployed on the table. Another infantry division commanded by yours truly and more cavalry would arrive around midday (real time) somewhere along the baseline. ALL the Austrians (a full corps of four brigades plus heavy and light cavalry) were permitted to start on the table. They had to move fast if they were to drive the invaders back (again!) before enemy reinforcements arrived. 

Here are some pictures and a brief narrative of the game, in more or less the right order as I lost track of what was going on in the centre and on the right once my troops arrived.

The Prussian high command. 
The Austrian CinC looking unconcerned at the sight of the Prussians deployed  to their front.
The Prussians refused their left and held the centre weakly with a small North German infantry brigade, the cavalry, and the divisional artillery, while a brigade of solid Prussian infantry held the right.

The Saxon brigade on the Austrian left.
The Prussian right and beyond the thinly held centre

The Austrians massed their infantry in the centre but they were unable to take advantage of their superiority in artillery due to the congestion in front of it. 

Enthusiastic Austrians in storm columns
Two North German battalions facing a brigade of Austrians bearing down on them. No pressure guys!
On the Prussian left my leasing brigade had marched up the road into a maelstrom as they were facing another Austrian infantry brigade and a brigade of light cavalry.

Richard’s cavalry in the centre wisely kept out of the way.
More Austrians….

The Austrians just keep on coming.

The Prussian centre was only held by a thin line of guns.

Mike’s cavalry ready to pounce on my brigade in march column. I wouldn’t have chosen to join the battle in this formation but the scenario rules I created forced me. Doh!


The central Prussian brigade faltered as the enemy pressed home their attack. Thankfully they passed the test and carried on.
Mike threw his cavalry and infantry towards my Prussians. Despite being caught in march column every Austrian attack was bloodily repulsed. That result seemed very wrong but as my units were well supported and I threw much better dice than Mike the Austrians were destroyed or forced to retire beaten.
The right wing of the Prussian army advanced against the Saxons facing them.

Saxons on the Austrian left. 

Storm Columns
The Saxe Altenberg battalion engaged in the centre.

In order to buy some time in the now crumbling centre Richard launched his cavalry against the advancing Austrians. A brave sacrifice indeed.

Austrian artillery. The Austrians weren’t able to make very good use of their artillery as they were crowded out by the massed infantry columns in the centre. Austrian doctrine called for the artillery to be brought into action as soon as possible.

Mike’s Austrians attempted to halt my brigade as it marched up the road. Again march columns prevailed over the assault columns. Mmm?

Another futile charge by the Prussian dragoons in the centre.

The Austrians pressed on in the centre.

Cuirassiers and Uhlans of the Reserve Cavalry made a late entrance to the fight. Too late to influence the outcome.

We called a halt at this point due to running out of time (4pm and we’d been playing for about five hours). The outcome was technically a draw - neither side had achieved their objectives although I suspect that when the remaining Prussian reinforcements arrived they would be able to push the Austrian right wing back; the Austrian and Saxon troops on their left had already been pushed back so the centre was at risk of being enveloped, given time and a few good dice rolls.

A tremendous game I thought which everyone seemed to enjoy. Some useful lessons learnt for next time as well and a very few anomalies need tweaking eg march columns, and maybe the skirmish rules we’ve imported from GdA need a minor adjustment. The poor Austrians don’t get ANY brigade skirmish screen bases as they didn’t use them; the j├Ąger can skirmish but in reality they were used as elite shock troops and frittered away.

This is my last game until I’m back off holiday in India at the end of March. Can I survive Seven weeks without a game or without painting anything? 

Tuesday 7 February 2023

Vapnatark - York 5 February 2023

I went to the York show on Saturday with John. I didn’t have a shopping list as such but had some cash with me ‘just in case’. There appear to be some very mixed views regarding the event, both damning and praising. Here’s what I thought.

I enjoyed the day overall, mainly due to the numerous conversations had with friends, acquaintances and the occasional complete stranger.

The trade was very well represented and there was no short of things to spend my money on, particularly those things I had no prior intelligence that I needed.

I thought the games were, with a couple of exceptions, quite uninspiring. I didn’t take any photos of the games as a consequence.  The Back of Beyond game was by far my favourite but glaring sunlight ruined the photo opportunity.

We arrived at 10:15 and because of the very long queue didn’t get inside until about 11:00. Why? How come it took so long to get in? Good job it wasn’t raining I guess.  It took the edge off the potential for excitement during the day as after such a long wait I was struggling and in pain, although I had a pleasant chat with Charles Grant in the queue.

The info on FB about the traders and games was pretty lame and not much help as some of the traders were unknown to me.

Nobody I asked knew where the disabled toilets were - not good! I, and anyone else with a roll at or or on a scooter couldn’t get through the doors of the normal loos. The same issues arose in the cafe where it was impossible for me to negotiate the queue and to get round the crowded tables. There were also cars and vans in the (few) disabled spaces not displaying blue badges which is a pet hate of mine.

My obviously very personal assessment of the show would be that it ‘requires improvement’ . It’s only an hour from home so I expect I will go again next year, but to be honest I won’t loose sleep over not going.

My swag?  I collected some figures off Barry that he’d done for me, bought some shrubs from the Tree Fellas and some plastic ACW artillery as I have a use for the guns and limbers, oh and a couple of scout carriers off EWM for the BEF project.

I have a game planned for this coming Saturday which will be last until early April when we’re back from India.

Wednesday 1 February 2023

Prussian Commanders 1866 plus an inappropriate picture from France 1940

Spurred on by the 1866 game last week and by a desire to get all the unfinished stuff off the painting station I knocked off some more Prussian commanders as I am actually short of three or four for the figures I already have or are in said unfinished pile. These are all Perry or North Star and I’m happy with them. Some should see action in a little over a week’s time.

I also finished this little vignette for my 1/72 scale France 1940 project.