Little Wars Revisited Forum Games Day

On Saturday March 10th a bunch of us from the Little Wars Revisited 54mm Wargames Forum met up in Woking, Surrey for a day of 54mm wargaming. The idea behind the day was to play a number of different games with different rulesets and see what other people did with 54mm wargaming and experience some new things as well as meet up with some people in Real Life for the first time.

The venue was Christchurch, a church in the very centre of Woking.

There were 5 games run on the day with people switching games between the morning and afternoon sessions.

First up, I ran my game of The Portable Wargame by Bob Cordery using the same scenery, Little Wars Revisited figures and scenario that we had used for the Cavalier game.

Anthony Morton brought along his ECW collection and and ran a game using the Pikeman’s Lament ruleset by Dan Mersey.

Alistair Jack ran a North West Frontier scenario with the British rescuing a garrison from hordes of Pathans using The Sword and The Flame ruleset from Larry Brom.

Eric Kemp and his son Jon ran a Napoleonic game using their own homegrown rules featuring a mass of Fench (160 figures!) assaulting La Haye Sainte against a few plucky British.

Brian Carrick ran a Lion Rampant game (again, rules by Dan Mersey) with English and French medieval armies clashing – featuring some very clever conversion (crossbow men from ww2 figures…)

We played a game in the morning, broke for lunch in the excellent church cafe downstairs and then played a second game in the afternoon. After clearing up a few of us retired to the local Turkish restaurant for an evening meal and more discussions of 54mm figures and wargaming.

All in all, a fun day and something that I have already been asked about repeating next year.

Cavalier 2018: The Portable Wargame

Anthony Morton and I attended the Cavalier Wargames Show in Tonbridge, Kent on Sunday 25th February. I had arranged for us to run a 54mm 19th Century version of the portable wargame to promote the Little Wars revisited forum, Black Hat’s range of Little Wars Revisited figures and Bob Cordery’s rules.

We used my usual armies of British and German organised into 6-man Infantry regiments, 2 man cavalry regiments and guns with 3 crew.

Anthony waiting for some players and the action to begin:

I made the board over a couple of days the week before the show by laser cutting a mix of 4mm,3mm and 2mm mdf into 100mm square tiles. Hills are represented by an 80mm square on the tile representing the hill top, rivers are 2 layers of 2mm mdf, roads are engraved into the tiles. The trees are simple, representative shapes on the edges of the tiles as are the fields and the town area.

The forces consisted on 6 infantry, 2 cavalry and a gun on each side:

The action begins:

We ran 3 games during the day and had a lot of interest in the rules, the board and the figures so it achieved our all objectives.

This shows one very enthusiastic young player who had amazing luck with the dice:

And his slightly older opponent who wasn’t quite so lucky:

We also had a lot of interest in the Little Wars Revisited forum and the games day I have arranged for March 10th in Woking.

The Battle of Hooks Farm, Woking

Saturday September 2nd saw the Battle of Hook’s Farm take place in the Woking between the forces of Army Red and Dark Green (in my side garden).

The game was played using the Funny Little Wars rules with 6 infantry, 2 cavalry and 3 guns aside for a total of 120 infantry, 24 cavalry and 3 artillery. Each side also had one sniper.

I umpired.

Anthony with the forces of Army Red deployed on their baseline.

The battlefield of Hook Farm, showing the farm, firefly church, the cottage and the hovel. A small stone wall provides some cover in the middle.

Brian with the deployed forces of Army Dark Green.

Army Red start their initial manouevres.

The catering corps observing the action

Army Red send a cavalry detachment to seize the farm.

On the other flank the cavalry dash towards the church

Army Dark Green advance more cautiously having refused one flank

Army Red advance in a steady line

Both sides cavalry contest the farm

First blood to Army Green as a well placed shell kills some cavalry

General view of the battlefield

Army Dark Green deploy the guns

And the artillery duel begins

Army Green advance to line the wall

Army Red Sniper hides by the Hovel

Slavs skulk in cover – unfortunately they were hit by their own guns just after this as a stray shell landed in front of the woods…

Forced into retreat by their own artillery…

The action hots up with a firefight developing

By firefly church the Red cavalry threaten the Dark Green heavy gun.

And over run it

Dismounted cavalry fight over the farm…

The game was fun and eventually, Army Red got the better of the firefight and having spiked their guns Army Dark Green withdrew from the battlefield. We were very lucky with the weather.

We played from 11am to 5.30pm with an hour or so’s break for lunch at 1pm and another short break for cake and tea…

19th Century Portable Wargame

I played another 19th Century game using The Portable Wargames rules this week. My hardback copy of the rules appears to have been lost in the post, so we played using the downloaded version. But, actually, we would have used that version anyway as I prefer it to the version published in the book. I will expand on that in a review of The Portable Wargame once I get a chance.

I chose Scenario 14 – A Static Defense from One Hour Wargames by Neil Thomas and we rolled up our forces from the same book, adding 2 infantry to the totals for a total of 8 units.

The game was played on a 4′ x 3′ mat with 4″ squares so I adjusted the map slightly to allow for the extra width over the 3′ x 3′ map in the One Hour Wargames book.

The scenario places the Red player (British played by Anthony in this case) in defence with the task of defending a hill and a town. They must start with hald their forces near each location and keep at least 2 units within 3 squares of the objectives at all times,.

The Blue Player (myself playing with German troops) has to take one objective and be the sole occupant at the end of the game on the 15th turn.

I added some extra cover to the map as we are playing a version of the Portable Wargame where a unit eiher dies or has to retreat if it is hit. If it can’t retreat then it also dies (as we shall see).

Unusually, Anthony and I both rolled a 1 for our force composition which gave as each 2 artillery, 1 cavalry and 5 infantry. We designated the rifle troops on each side to be elite, all other units were average.

The initial deployment – the Germans had to enter the table on the southern edge on turn one.

The British left wing defending the town with the general.

Defence of the hill.

The initial deployment of the German attackers.

The second turn saw an artillery exchange which destroyed both the German guns (as they were unable to retreat) and caused the British to lose one gun (as it couldn’t retreat) and one British foot unit was eliminated when the German gun overshot its original target.

The Germans advancing on the hill – the plan was a small nuisance force on the right flank and a main thrust at the hill.

Continuing to advance on the hill while the Bavarian unit threatens the town.

Germans advance on the hill fairly unhindered.

Just after this point the german cavalry were hit by artillery fire when the gun on the other flank missed the intended infantry target and hit the cavalry when they were unable to retreat.

The Bavaran infantry were able to extract revenge and destroyed the artillery the same turn.

The British cavalry finally move off the hill and get stuck in.

The Bavarians attempt to win the game all by themselves by finishing off the only British unit on that flank and taking the town. Sadly they pushed he British back but then failed to take the town and were destroyed.

On the other flank, this was the final result at the end of turn 15. The remaining German unit was unable to take the hill or force the remaining two British units from it.

It was a very close game with Anthony convinced he had lost about turn 8 when the hill looked likely to fall but his cavalry was able to survive a melee from two units and then turned that to their advantage to destroy most of the German attackers on that flank before being shot down.

Once again we managed a fun, very close game in just over 2 hours including set up and packing away – One Hour Wargames Scenarios with The Portable Wargames rules are proving a winning combination.

Return to the Portable Wargame

After the two games of the Airfix Wargame and some lunch we played a game of The Portable Wargame again, using my 4′ x 3′ mat marked in 10cm squares. We used my Little Wars revisited armies (with some Pathans standing in for Prussian levies).

The scenario we used was from Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames and was scenario 12: An Unfortunate Oversight which as the blue player attacking over a river through ford the Red player hasn’t discovered. We also used the random army lists from OHW but adding two infantry units to make the totals up to 8 units a side. The scenario lasts for 15 turns and who ever holds the hill uncontested wins.

Anthony rolled up 6 infantry, one poor unit and an artillery piece which were deployed like so:

PW1

Defending the town as the Red player.

I rolled up 6 infantry, 1 poor infantry and a cavalry unit.

pw3

I deployed on the edge of the table south of the river.

pw2

There is a balancing act between using scenarios from one book and rules from somewhere else and we had already learned that you must have cover for the Portable Wargame. In PW the units can be killed in one shot while the OHW rules use attrition so units take hits but don’t immediately disappear. At first, I thought that the balance of the game was off as Anthony’s artillery piece killed my very slow moving infantry as it tried to cross the ford. I sent the cavalry on ahead with the general as an advance strike force.

We realised towards the end of the game that Anthony should have not been able to shoot across the river using direct fire as I was too far away and should have been using indirect fire on the ford itself…

When my cavalry unit finally manage to engage the enemy it proved its worth by wiping out an infantry unit and the artillery in one round and then turning on the other infantry to clear the hill. Unfortunately it was eliminated as it pushed the poor quality infantry off the board. Anthony had the foresight to have moved one unit from the bridge towards the hill and it came down to a melee on turns 14 and 15 to determine who would gain the hill, a struggle that Anthony won.

In the end, a very close game and a tense, interesting game to play. If I had been given artillery for the game I could have countered Anthony’s strengths, but then my superiority in cavalry meant I had more opportunity to outflank his infantry.

We will definitely be playing these again with Neil Thomas’s scenarios.

The Portable Wargame

I have become slightly fascinated by grid based wargames over the last month after re-reading about Bob Cordery’s The Portable Wargame and Bob’s postings about the Joseph Morschauser’s book on wargaming from the 1960s.

I picked up the Morschauser book and found it fascinating as a different style of wargame that didn’t really seem to catch on, yet one that reflects a lot of more modern gaming.

So, I bought a gridded mat and Anthony came round this afternoon to give the Portable Wargame rules a go. We used my Little Wars Revisited figures, using 6 figures for infantry and 2 figures for cavalry units and played a simple “capture the crossroads” game.

British and German forces lined up ready to deploy.

The deployment made.

Anthony commanding the British (as always!)

The German cavalry get stuck in.

We found the rules very enjoyable and a very elegant set that worked really well with 54mm figures. Both of us liked the look of the gridded game and plan to play again soon.

Boer Long Tom

A quick picture of the first casting and test assembly of our new Boer Long Tom 155mm Creusot gun for the Imperial Miniatures 54mm range. Shown here with a British Sgt Major for scale.

This will come with crew and I am hoping to have it available in complete form at the April Toy Soldier show….

Mike

All the Queens Men Price List

I have added a full price list to the Imperial Miniatures website listing all of the AQM sets we have available with prices. I’ll be adding sets to the online shop as fast I can photograph them but if there is anything you want to order from list then please just contact me.

http://imperialminiatures.co.uk/price-list/

I am expecting a large update of photographs at the beginning of next month.

thanks

Mike