Sunday, June 23, 2013


Day 2 - In 7 hours today with another short bar break we played 7 more moves in the game getting us to about 5:00PM in game time.  
The long struggle for Hougomont continued until turn 13 when the last of its  3 Built Up Areas fell to the French.  The allied troops massed north of the chateau did not launch any attacks to recover it.  The action west of Hougomont continued  in a desultory style but was certainly enlivened by a disordered British square managing to cause the rout of 2 French cavalry regiments.
Allied centre right before the French cavalry attacks west of La Haye Saint
Once Hougomont had fallen the French launched a series of cavalry attacks up the ridge between the chateau and La Haye Saint.  This forced the British infantry into square, routed a battalion and overran some artillery.  An attempt by the other half of Lobua’s corps to exploit the cavalry’s success was broken up by accurate British fire.

D'Erlon's attack was not making headway at the sunken road.  So the French commanders withdrew to the valley floor to reorganise, mass their artillery and await the arrival of reinforcements from Lobau’s corps before once again risking an attack on the ridge.

On the allied left a continuing series of cavalry melees ended with some victories for the French but they too withdrew to support the planned attack on the ridge.
Casualties of war - no Larey ambulance for these British heroes
The middle guard and the old guard finally took position near La Belle Alliance whilst I threw the Young Guard into Plancenoit just as the first brigades of Prussians arrived on the eastern edge of the table.  The Guard Light cavalry charged and drove the vanguard Prussian cavalry brigade of the field.  Given that the Prussians had arrived before the planned second  attack on the ridge could be launched by D’Erlon it was clear that the French could not win and the game ended at this point.  The game was declared to be a marginal allied victory as the French had taken Hougomont and still had effective troops in the field.

The allied figures all came from the collection of Iain Gale whilst the French came from the collections of Iain, myself, Angus Konstam and Dougie Trail.

A truly great game and a very enjoyable game....Iain plans to replay the game later in the summer.
End position - view from Belle Alliance
End position - Hougomont in French hands - hang out the tricolours

Saturday, June 22, 2013


I am busy this weekend at a big refight of Waterloo which Iain Gale author of "Four Days in June" has arranged in Edinburgh.

The terrain is very impressive - it is a labour of love by Iain. We are using Black Powder with some house rule amendments with 10 active players on Saturday and Sunday.  Figure scale is approx 1 to 40.
Iain setting up French left flank
Start position - view from the west over Hougomont
In 7 hours on Saturday with a short bar break we played 9 moves in the game getting us to about 2:15PM in game time. Great game....

As Napoleon I decided to play the game relatively historically launching D'Erlon supported by 2 cuirassier brigades against the ridge east of La Haye Saint whilst Reille's corps attacked Hougomont but also manoeuvred to its west.

Poor command rolls held up both attacks especially the manoeuvre west of Hougomont. After a long struggle with losses the French captured 2 of the 3 Built Up Areas that represented Hougomont. The advance west of Hougomont has ground to a halt in the face of a massive move of allied troops to that flank.

D'Erlons attack made headway capturing part of the hedgeline and engaging the troops in the sunken road. His left fank brigade lost heavily to artillery fire and allied cavalry attacks which were driven back by the supporting cuirassiers. Part of Lobau's corps and 2 reserve light cavalry brigades are moving slowly to support D'Erlon's attack which seems to be stalling.

On the allied left a series of cavalry melees largely ended in draws except for a single British hussar unit which broke through the French lines and after blundering to return is well on its way to Plancenoit.

All my photos with descriptions at

More action tomorrow.
D'Erlon engages the ridge line east of La Haye Saint

Continuing struggle for Hougomont

D'Erlon has got across first hedge line and engages the sunken road

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


This weekend I was invited to the League of Gentlemen Wargamers big Vietnam bash.

The mighty brown water navy about to depart on operations
The event was held at the base of the Kirriemuir Wargames Club in Kirriemuir Angus.  Peter Nicholson, Colin Jack and others provided the troops and terrain.  On the Saturday we played thru a series of 5 two player mini games that Dave O’Brien had devised to familiarise the 10 players with the Bolt Action rules.  The rules worked well and after the first mini game most of the players were comfortable with the basic rules.  My contribution to the event was to work out the Bolt Action weapon factors for Vietnam and come up with rules for helicopters and the brown water navy warships.  I have posted an excel file with this information on the Bolt Action Yahoo forum.

On the Sunday we played a single massive game on a 30ft by up to 8ft wide table.  Peter Nicholson came up with the scenario.   It proved to be a VC victory with the heavily equipped US side failing to achieve any  of their major objectives.

It was a great event – the terrain and figures were very impressive and everyone enjoyed the gaming.    I really liked the brown water navy and the helicopter fleet.   More photos with descriptions at Flickr
View down the 30ft long table - at this end firebase with port, then 5 villages, at far end a field hospital and POW camp

US advanced hospital under VC mortar fire
RPG rocket falls short of a Heliship

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Our game at the SESWC this week was our second test of the Dead Man’s hand rules.  Colin Jack provided the terrain and most of the figures whilst I provided a gang of lawmen.
Given we are just starting with the rules we only managed to play thru two 2 player actions.  In the first my lawmen were defeated by Tim Watson’s desperadoes.    Tim even used the dastardly seize a hostage card!   In the second game Curtis Murff who was visiting Edinburgh from Chicago was defeated by lucky Bart Zynda. 
Good fun – I will have to buy these rules - and not rely on the one set that we have - though I have bought a set of counters.
My lawmen move on the train station – not good gun jammed and 1 hit already

My mad preacher goes for the desperado outside Mr Ray’s emporium – sadly missed with both barrels!

Scantily clad ladies – just what you expect!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Partizan 2013

This Sunday I went to Partizan at Newark.

Colin Jack  presented a 28mm Bolt Action Korean War display as  the SESWC contribution.  Dave O’Brien and I supported Colin at the display.  We played the game for real but did not get to a result though it was likely given the North Korean advance that the US/UN forces would have to withdraw to their island bridgehead.  We spent lots of time talking to people about the display - other than the MASH helicopter and the M4 flamethrower tank all the figures and vehicles came from WWII or Back of Beyond collections.
MASH hospital

NK infantry assualt an M8 greyhound
 Other highlights of the show was the League of Augsburgs big 17th century game, the VBCW game and the very good Steampunk Victorian Sci-fi PP game.

The show seemed busier than last year....hopefully again next year.
Steampunk Victorian Sc-fi PP game - impressive buildings and harbour

VBCW game

League of Augsburg - big BTLB game
I will add briefing notes on the Korea game later....