Thursday 4 May 2023

Diceni Gaming Show 2023, Norwich.

 Sunday 30th of April saw the 10th Diceni Gaming Show in Norwich UK

This show is organised by the Aftermath Gaming Club in Norwich, held in the atrium of The Forum, home of the city library and BBC East and is free to enter.

As New Buckenham Historical Wargamers is a local Norfolk club we have supported this venture since it's inception and have hosted a demo or participation game each year the show has been held. The show features a mix of miniature games, board games, RPGs and card games as well as a selection of local and national gaming traders.

This year was the largest show so far, extending into the Gallery as well as the usual Atrium space.

Diceni 2023, Forum Atrium

Diceni 2023, Forum Atrium

After chatting last year with one of the regular traders, The Assault Group, the club decided that this year we would put on a participation game based around the Kett's Rebellion in Norfolk in 1549. Having in his range a selection of Tudor miniatures the Assault Group very kindly offered to supply all the figures we would need for this venture, even going so far as to have some new miniatures sculpted and cast to supply characters or troop types needed. All we needed to do as a club was get them all painted, based and come up with terrain and scenarios.

Fortunately within the club and members collections we had all the buildings we needed for inside the city walls that left our basing maestro to scratch build some city wall and a couple of the old city gates, he did volunteer.

As for the figures, various club members took on batches of either rebels or royalists to paint.

Two units of rebellious bill men I painted.

I painted up two units of twelve bill men with command for the rebels as well as some of his newly produced Tudor rabble figures. The flags were homemade and featured an oak tree design, a symbol of the rebellion.

I also 3d printed some random civilian figures to populate the streets as well as a selection of barricades for the rebels to use.

Some of the barricades I provided.

Four scenarios were worked up based on historical events using a very simplified version of the Impetvs rule set and amazingly everything was ready on the day.

Table layout with the scratch built city walls and gates.

From inside the city

Some of the club members brought along period weapons and armour to display, as well as our usual small cabinet with figures from other periods and scales we game. Information on the Kett's Rebellion was also laid out for viewing.

Our whole set up on the day.

Next are a few more pictures of the scenarios we ran.

Ye olde Inn

"What do you mean wrong way!"

We had a very busy table with lots of interest and, apart from the last game of the day, many players from the viewing public. At the end of it all the rebels and royalists shared the honours with two scenarios won each. A great club effort and games we will need to revisit.

Following are a few more pictures from the show. Somehow I didn't photograph the WWII desert tanks game using Bolt Action or the Lord of the Rings battle.

Games and stalls in the Gallery

Games and stalls in the Gallery

Grimdark Future game.

WWI trench skirmish game.

Sci-Fi ish, not totally sure.

Looked like 6mm Kings of War massed battle

Wild West bounty hunter game using Ruthless rules

Shiver RPG

All in all a great and rewarding day. Four fun scenarios played, many people talked to, hopefully some new players for local clubs and a very happy supplier of tudor figures for our game who also seemed to have a good day.

Now what to do for next year?


Thursday 13 April 2023

Dettingen 1743, Game at NBHW.

Over a Friday evening and Saturday in early March the club put on a game based on the Battle of Dettingen in 1743 during the War of Austrian Succession. This battle is notable as being the last time a British monarch lead troops in person. This was the second time the club had gamed this battle , see here,  this time it was on a slightly larger scale though.

View looking east from the River Main

View looking West towards the River Main and Dettingen

The rules this time were Tricorn which is a variant on the SYW section from Shako I with some Shako II bits also thrown in.

I had command of a mixed British and Austrian division forming the second rank of infantry in the allied centre. A division of Austrians were to my front.

Allied Centre

On the allied left were the majority of the allied horse with some Hanoverian infantry.

Left Wing

On the right a division of British infantry with King George II and some more allied cavalry. To our rear the rearguard of British guards, Hanoverian infantry and Scots Greys,watching the main French army closing from the South.

Right Wing and Rearguard

The allied task was to punch through the French and escape off the northern edge of the table either via the bridge over the River Main behind Dettingen or across the causeway behind the French centre.

The French were forced to start in their historical positions having crossed over the stream to advance on the allies against the orders of the Duc de Noailles.

The battle started on the allied left flank where a mass cavalry melee was soon underway with the allies also under artillery fire from the french cannon emplaced across the Main river.

Cavalry melee continues while British horse reforms

This did not go well for the allies with much of the British horse either forced back behind the Hanoverians to reform or destroyed by superior French cavalry. Fortunately the french horsemen were soon to be brought up short by the concentrated fire of the Hanoverian infantry.

In the centre the leading Austrian brigades moved off at a slight oblique to try and force back the French infantry just east of Dettingen while my Austrian and British brigades moved off behind them with a right oblique to head for the causeway, which French troops were still arriving over, and link up with King George on my right.

Allied centre moves off, my brigades to the rear.

Austrians start to close with the French.

On the right wing the British infantry advanced under the watchful eye of King George while allied cavalry moved to the extreme right flank to counter French horse seen moving in that direction.

Right wing advances

Cavalry face off on the extreme right, seen from allied baggage train.

The infantry advance in the centre and on the right was delayed by standing crops and boggy terrain which meant the early action was to the left where the swirling cavalry action saw the allied horse repeatedly beaten back by the French horsemen only for them in turn to be forced back by Hanoverian muskets. To try and break this stalemate the French commanders started to bring up their own infantry in support.

Left flank melee
Centres engaged.

On the right the French cuirassiers, dragoons, and hussars made short work of the Hanoverian cavalry they faced, forcing King George to redeploy the right flank of his infantry to counter this threat. Fortunately to our rear the allied rear guard now about faced and started to move off to support this flank.

Right wing cavalry charges.

With the Austrians to my front engaged in a furious musketry duel with their French counterparts and unable to advance it became increasing difficult to get my brigades into action and some time was lost changing deployments to fit into the narrow gap between the Austrians and British to my right.

My brigades get into action crossing the stream and heading for the causeway.

The British to my right initially got the upper hand over the French they faced but re-enforcement's steadied the French line for a while and started to inflict serious casualties amongst King George's men.

Allied right.

Despite the traffic jam in trying to get my battalions into contact I was making steady headway towards the causeway to the rear of the French centre.

The causeway tantalisingly close

To my left several battalions of Austrians were repulsed and fled the field, allowing the French to turn onto my flank, while on the far left the continued cavalry and infantry melee in front of Dettingen now saw the French finally getting the upper hand with the arrival of fresh French horse under Noailles.

French turn to flank my advance in the centre.

With my command, almost at the point of a break through and the rearguard being the only allied commands still in fighting order and with fresh French troops arriving, King George was forced to concede the field and hope to attempt terms with the French, who were also badly mauled on the day.

Basically the Allies failed an army morale test with a "broken" result while the French failed one with a "demoralised" result.

So that was the end of a hard fought game. Victory, just, to the French.

More pics and fuller AAR on the club's Facebook Page

Monday 13 March 2023

Another hobby update.

 So I've been slacking on the blogging front again, resulting in the need for another update post. I'll start the post off with a few pictures from games I have been involved in at the club. 

TYW Mingolsheim 1622

Thirty Years War

First up a Thirty Years War game based on an encounter at Mingolsheim in 1622. A new period to me but one I'd be interested in playing again. This game fell into the "continuing the search for a set of rules the majority like" realm as apparently many sets have been tried and fallen by the wayside.

Club pics and AAR click

Genappe 17th June 1815

Near Genappe 17th June 1815

Next up a purely cavalry action from the day before the Battle of Waterloo as Vivian's Hussar brigade and Vandeleur's Light Dragoon brigade withdraw northwards towards Mont St Jean, via the bridge over the river Dyle at Thy, whilst being pursued by the advancing French. I actually played as one of the French commanders in this game, shocking I know, and was just unable to stop the British withdrawal before the heavens opened drenching both sides and ending the pursuit.

Club pics and AAR click

Great Northern War 1710

Great Northern War 1710

Great Northern War 1710

Great Northern War 1710

Now for the Great Northern War, again a new conflict to game, and a fictitious game that continued the Swedish advance upon Smolensk had the Battle of Poltava not taken place. The game saw Swedes and Ottomans attacking Danish and Saxon defenses while a Russian support force, me, moved to support them. A fun game where the Saxon horse spent the game moving away from the advancing Ottomans while their infantry and that of the Danes held off the attacking Swedes and rampaging ottoman horsemen. My Russians advanced but were unable to do much more than prevent the Swedish horse from concentrating solely on the Danes before game end. We gamed a continuation of this scenario a few weeks later with the Saxons, Danes and Russians attempting to cut off the Swedish withdrawal, alas I took no photographs.

Club pics and AAR click

FPW Gravelotte St Prival 1870

Gravelotte St Prival 1870 FPW

Gravelotte St Prival 1870 FPW

Gravelotte St Prival 1870 FPW

Gravelotte St Prival 1870 FPW

Gravelotte St Prival 1870 FPW

Next up Franco Prussian war in 10mm. For one reason or another we were down a few players for this Friday night / Saturday game so it was decided to ignore the southern third of the battle and concentrate on the center and northern sectors where the majority of the historical action occurred. 
I had command of what would have been the Prussian center but was now the right. It's a strange period to play as the French rifles outrange the Prussian's but the Prussian artillery is superior to the French. The Prussians are also better in melee. So the choice I had was advance to melee as fast as possible while coming under rifle fire for longer or sit behind artillery out of rifle range and try and pound the French. As my task was to tie up the French center and left to prevent them supporting their right where our main assault was to go in, I decided on the latter. I moved the infantry up to just outside French rifle range and set up massed batteries of artillery to pound the French.
This didn't entirely work as the French moved down the slope until they were in range for their rifles and shot away at my infantry and artillery crews. By the time I sent my infantry in to attack they were weakened by the constant small arms fire and most failed to make contact. However I had done my job in occupying the French to my front and despite the  French right putting up stiff resistance the numbers deployed against them finally told giving a tactical victory to the Prussians despite severe casualties.

Club pics and AAR click

So that's the gaming taken care of so what else Have I been up to?

Hobby Stuff

On the Napoleonic front with my British army being based around Talavera I found myself not having any Light Infantry battalions for pick up games so I have decided to remedy this by painting up a battalion of the 43rd Light Infantry. Command are by Front Rank, from the reinforcements range, rest are Victrix flank company figures with Light infantry heads from Brigade Games. In the back you may see three sappers which I 3d printed as needed for Shako games.

43rd Light Infantry

43rd Light Infantry

So plans for after the 43rd are finished?

Having roughly two and a half divisions of British and Portuguese infantry plus five regiments of cavalry and supporting artillery I have no problems putting on games at the club where I can utilise other members' hordes of French. However should I wish to play elsewhere I'm stumped, so with the opportunity presented by Christmas I decided "Oh the horror!" to get some French. So between then and a gaming show last weekend I have enough French for three line battalions, three infantry casualty markers, Mounted infantry command, one regiment of Chasseurs à Cheval and one cavalry casualty marker. I have still to get the two artillery models I want as they were out of stock at the show. The majority are Perry plastics with a few donated Victrix bodies to make up the numbers in the third battalion, a second Perry command sprue was bought separately.

I have assembled all of the infantry and am in the process of doing the cavalry so I can do one mass priming session for the whole project.

AHH! French, what am I doing?

French regiment in the paint queue

French Ligne awaiting prime and paint

More pressing however is a participation game that the club is running at Diceni in May in collaboration with The Assault Group manufacturer (TAG). As Diceni is based in Norwich and we are a Norfolk based gaming club we have decided to game scenarios based on the Ketts' Rebellion of 1549.
TAG having a range of Tudor miniatures and being a show regular, have provided us with "quite a few" including some new and custom sculpts to put on these games. Now all we have to do as a club is get them all painted in time.

TAG, Tudor forces for Kett's Rebellion game. I'm painting command and billmen.

Alongside these as an owner of a 3D printer and having access to Wargames Atlantic's STL files on My Mini Factory I have produced a couple of barricades and some belligerent citizens of Norwich to flesh out the terrain

Medieval peasants from Wargames Atlantic STLs

Peasants and barricades printed from Wargames Atlantis STLs

So lots to do and many more games on the horizon.