Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014... what happened?

I enjoyed making snowy bases for the Scanian War 1675-79
I thought as the year draws to a close (whoosh, where did it go?) and the curtain falls for a second only to be opened on a brand new shiny year that a bit of gratuitous eye candy would be a welcome diversion and perhaps provide some inspiration.....
From Clarence and myself, Have a great Hogmanay and we hope 2015 is everything you want it to be..
The Scanian War 1675-79 really captured my imagination

My GNW Swedish cavalry grew in numbers

Played some great games like... Fraustadt

And Bloody Aughrim
Got a fantastic range of figures ALMOST to market

Er.. we got a book to market!

Shows.. Kirriemuir White Death 1706

And the previous week the same game in Antwerp.... or is it? Can you spot the difference? About 100 Euros worth!..
White Death 1706 in Antwerp... Spot the difference

Then there was Dumfries at the beginning of the year where we managed to squeeze in four games over a weekend playing  two of them 4 times one 3 times and the other twice I think!
Edinburgh which made it into WI as Anyburg.. hope you read it Jim!

Battle of the Boyne 1690
This Camisard Revolt game made it into CSG's Wargamer's Annual

Toggy Bob's Fighting Friars in the Cevennes.. good game says Brucie!

Gunter's Saxon hordes in Poland in 1702.. variable results against the Swedes
This Hilton kitchen Donnybrook game got out at York in February...

on a bigger table.. same result for Toggy and Gerry though. Small children regularly beat them up.
I just couldn't talk the lads into doing what I REALLY wanted them to do with Donnybrook which is more like this...
It is not hard to tell how much love I put into painting these!

A great use for my WLOA34 & 57 Enthusiastic Cavalry - Bokkenrijders!

Gard te Voet attacked by a Rapparee's Shih tzu...
It wasn't all 17th and 18th century you know! Our first big game was a one day Peninsular Napoleonic at Larkhall and here it is...
Quite a large and exciting game despite some mix up about location

And then there was this, late in the year but a magnificent effort by my northernmost wargaming buddy Bob Raglan Lauder and his glorious obsession with all things Crimean...
Barry bombs Kerch.. with Bomb Kertchs?

Barry throws a Division at DOB's 2 Turkish barbers in a kebab shop

Toggy Lucan Scarlett commanded  ALL of the Bwitish Cavalry..
So, having shared a little summary of some of the wargaming moments from my 2014 experience I have whetted my own appetite for 2015 and what is to come. Clarence will undoubtedly be prominent in our projects and soon he and I will be talking to prioritize what comes out of the sausage machine that is Wordtwister Publishing.
We hope our little blog livens up the odd moment during the working week for you all, come back and see us next year... err tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

Wishing you and your families the very best for the holiday season from all of us at the League of Augsburg!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Beauty & the Beast(s) The Hilton Ladies perspective on we Gamers

Antwerp to Kirriemuir.. on the road with the Hiltons
I suggested to Gwen (my wife) that she might like to offer a short comment for the blog on her particular perspective of the wargaming experience after our trip to CRISIS 2014. Gwen is no novice. She has run the Warfare trade stand at Carronade, Partizan and Crisis and has attended numerous shows over our 28 year marriage as well as hosting dozens of games at our house, feeding and watering my friends and generally putting up with piles of wargaming detritus around the house. Without further ado...
Breakfast in Dover 0900 31st October - incredible weather!
Getting up at 6.45am (5.45 actually as we'd just arrived in Belgium from the UK) is not my idea of fun at the best of times, but offering to help my husband at the CRISIS 2014 show in Antwerp meant up early (not a morning person), League of Augsburg t shirt on, hair and make-up done (whilst he stood tapping his feet), a very quick breakfast, before heading to the big sheds.
Allez to Calais! (yes the Hiltons are Carry-On-ers)
 After humping all the gear into the venue and setting everything up, we settled down for a cup of tea. We couldn't drink the wine I brought as we had nowhere to chill it! ( I should have paid an early morning visit to the champagne popping Red Baron's of Ghent.. where were you when I needed you Carl & Co?)  My daughter Emma and I people watched and it seems, at a wargaming event, anything goes. Strange sights as Transformers walked by followed by a mind boggling variety of other costumes. 
Eh Mum.. I just saw a Transformer. It's OK Emma, just smile.
Next year I want one of those dresses that Queen Elizabeth I wore! After a couple of hours of observation Emma turned to me and said "I don't get it". "Get what?" I asked "All these men and their wee soldiers ..... what's it all about?" "Fantasy, escapism, strategy and most importantly ...... winning!" I know because I have played before ... and yes I did win! 
Next year.. I will run the game.. less of this male stuff.
Despite my razor sharp logic she still didn't get it. Next year I'm going to run the game. We can have a women-only table with champagne and chocolates (the chocolates were wonderful Willie!). We'll field a female-only army who I predict will beat the living c*** out of all the male wee soldiers ..... well it is fantasy after all!
See you next year Antwerp!
And then there's always the shopping afterwards.  It is a dirty job but someone's got to do it.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sedgemoor 1685 Re enactment pictures

Wow! The Kings Life Guard of Horse Sedgemoor period
I spoke with a very nice chap called Alan at the September 2014 Partizan show in Newark. He was very interested in Warfare Miniatures cavalry models. He asked lots of questions about equipment positions and I remember, quizzed me hard on why sword scabbards sometimes appeared to sit at odd angles! I explained that was the way we had glued them on and not the way they were cast. He was happy with that!
Officer and trooper, Royal Dragoons 1685
Alan, I was learning, was a horseman. Not just a horseman but a serious re-enactor who reconstructed the forces of the Monmouth Rebellion. His group's project sounded absolutely fantastic and he was kind enough to share some truly excellent photographs which he has kindly allowed me to share with the Blog members.
The Duke of Monmouth at the original George Inn, Philips Norton
So, here are some really wonderful and atmospheric shots of what appear to be truly accurate re- enactors of both the King's and the Duke's followers. Inspiring stuff and linked indirectly to a new direction for Warfare Miniatures... keep visiting!
WLOA21 Royalist Cavalry Officer
WLOA35B Earl of Oxford's Regiment - Royalist Horse

WLOA57 Earl of Oxford's Command
WLOA11 Royalist Grenadiers - skirmished at Philips Norton
As it stands, the Warfare Miniatures range allows for every Royalist regiment to be represented and many codes are ideal for the Monmouth Rebel Army including use of WLOA34 Enthusiastic Cavalry for Monmouth's own cavalry. Some other Warfare codes suitable for Sedgemoor refights:

WLOA34 Rebel Horse

WLOA18 Battering piece
WLOA10 Royal Dragoons accurately recreating Alan's picture above

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A typical week - work - eat - sleep - hobby

Barry Hilton - I perhaps should have subtitled this post work-hobby-eat-sleep as that is the usual order of priority for me from day to day. A lot of conversations I have with people seem to begin with remarks such as;
How do you do it? How do you manage to find the time? I don't understand where you fit it all in, are you married? , You are a f***wit (no actually it is only Toggy Bob that usually says that!)

What is the formula? I have never thought of it in those terms but put simply, the reasons why I can maintain such a prolific output in hobby terms is down to a few factors: energy, avoiding dangerous distractions, a fairly continuous stream of ideas and a very understanding wife. That's it! I tend to make use of almost any available moment to get on with something or other.

When at home (which is not very often) I usually dump every other hobby related task and concentrate on painting. This means avoiding tele watching unless it is something which is on in the background whilst I paint. I long ago abandoned my mobile painting kit which I used to carry around in my suitcase. The world's paranoia with terrorism and the suspicion attached to anything carried in your luggage deterred me from trying to explain my hobby to someone in uniform whose first language is not English!
I remember only too well trying to describe why I painted the carefully toilet-tissue wrapped lead horses in my suitcase to two Saudi Arabian border guards. The look on their faces was (with distance and hindsight) quite comical but at the time the sphincter twitching experience was most uncomfortable. Vallejo paint bottles through an airport security X ray machine clearly appear far more sinister than they actually are.I do have a painting kit permanently in Dubai but I don't often find the time to sit and paint anything there!

Here is a fairly typical 10 days in my life:

Wednesday: Drove from Glasgow to Solihull. Business dinner, hotel room by 2200 hours. Wrote articles and worked on a new book till 0100+1 hours.
Thursday: Worked at office till 1400. Drove from Solihull to Heathrow picked up family. Drove to Dover and arrived at 1900. Had dinner and a walk. Spent 2200 - 0000 Blogging and internet researching.
Friday: Boat to Calais, drove to Antwerp. Walked and ate. Blogged and wrote from about 2300 - 0030 +1.
Saturday: Crisis 2014 Antwerp: Ran a demo game, talked with casting suppliers, agents, gamers and worked the Warfare Minis trade stand till 1700. Had dinner and a walk. Blogged and downloaded the day's photos till 0100+1.
Sunday: Lie in! Walked in Antwerp from 1130 till 1430. Spent 1430 till 1800 writing in the hotel. Working on material for new book. Went for dinner and drinks. Blogged and did Warfare business till 0000.
Monday: Drove from Antwerp to Calais. Boat and rough seas - writing and LoA forum replies on board. Drove from Dover to Heathrow and dropped off family. Went to hotel and ate dinner. Worked on books and blogging till 0100+1.
Tuesday: Worked till 1900, drove to Richmond and ate early. Blogged and worked on books till 1130.
Wednesday: Worked with clients from 0730 till 1630. Caught flight to Frankfurt. Arrived hotel 2300. Worked on books and blogging till 0100+1.
Thursday: Meeting all day in Frankfurt. Flew back to LHR arriving hotel 2000. Ate dinner whilst watching ITV 3 and working on books and new rule set. Correspondence with magazines and hobby contacts. Lights out 0100+1.
Friday: Drove from London to Glasgow. Arrived 1600. 4 hours sorting out back orders for Warfare Miniatures. Dinner at 2000. Bed at 2230.
Saturday: Up at 0600. Drove to Kirriemuir to run demo game and run Warfare Miniatures trade stand with Toggy Bob. Home for 1830. Dinner at 2100. Bed at 2230.
Remembrance Sunday: The Archers in bed. Remembrance ceremony. Shave. Brunch. Pack. Glasgow Central at 1500. Train to Wolverhampton. 3 hours of work plus the blog post you are reading right now. Dinner at 2000. Work on book until 0000.

And so it continues......There you are.. what a life! But, you get lots done!

Monday, December 8, 2014

It's wonderful in Copenhagen! The Battle of Lund 1676 with Warfare Miniatures

The Battle of Lund

Soren and Michael from Stockholm have been planning their group's appearance at the Copenhagen wargaming show for some time. They have been enthusiastic advocates of Warfare Miniatures and some of their work has been seen and admired on the blog before.

Soren's Danish Horse Guards (Warfare Minis of course!)

The Copenhagen show DFFCon 2014 (catchy title I know) is located in the Army Museum and from what Soren had told me was neither huge nor very commercial but rather a chance over 2 days for Danish (and Swedish!) gamers to get together and put on some nice games.

Danish Army Museum venue

Soren and I had discussed how we might promote Warfare to the Scandinavian market through the portal of DFFCon. The organization of the game was I believe down to Michael's efforts and as can be seen from the pictures it was up to his usual high standard. The commercial promotion was down to Soren's business approach and in the end he did us proud!

The game AND the products!

I had in a moment of madness, held out a vain hope of returning to the UK, transferring at Heathrow and flying straight into Copenhagen but common sense prevailed and I headed north instead of east nor' east on the way back from the desert.

Michael in full flow!!

I had to be content with dispatches from Marshal Christiansen on the Monday after the show relating the tales of his army's great PR victory in the Danish capital!  The game ran 6 times over two days with each run being full of participants. The hall as can be seen is very grand and military in appearance. I hope next year to visit this show together with a May event in Sweden.

Other exhibits in the market

Warfare Miniature's campaign in the Baltic region has begun!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Aughrim once more - back at the foot of the hill - Derby Weekender October 2014

Aughrim castle defended by the Jacobites

By playing the Battle of Aughrim at home and taking 21 hours to do it we got a fairly good idea how it might run as a large multi player event. I chose it as one of the scenarios for our October weekender.

Several of the players attending had an interest in the campaign in Ireland and also had units painted up for the theatre. This was an ideal opportunity to get those troops on the table beside our own collections.

Jacobite soldiers in Aughrim village.

Adrian took it upon himself to custom build an expanded Aughrim table. He went on my recommendation to expand both flanks by two feet to incorporate some extra features. The table turned out to be a magnificent piece of work. Some aspects were enlarged for scenic effect. Ade chose to make the Tristuan stream look more like a river mainly to accommodate one of Adrian's Walls wonderful resin bridges which was used as the Attibrassil bridge.

Move up! the dashing Jacobite cavalry

He also built a lovely representation of the ruined Aughrim castle and used his range of crofter's cottages to create the village of Aughrim itself.

We represented every regiment and squadron one for one making about 51 squadrons (BLB sized), 55 battalions, 7 regiments of dismounted dragoons, 6 detachments of commanded shot and two garrisons together with 11 gun models.

The brave Danes push up the hill

Our intention was to run the game twice, once on Saturday and then again on Sunday. My contingency if the game got bogged down or looked as if a decisive outcome would not be achieved was to use a 'time shift' concept which I will explain later.

I need not have worried about indecisive results!

Immovable? The Jacobites secure on Kilcommodan hill

The Jacobite team was composed of three players in each run of the game whilst the Williamite team had four members.

Irresistible? The Williamite centre looking across the Melehan

The usual hot spots developed as the games unfolded; The bog around the Tristuan stream, Bloody Hollow and the Causeway. It was clear that the players swapped ideas between game one and game two. A clear indication of this was the failure of 2 regiments of dismounted Williamite dragoons to penetrate the the bog through to the Attibrassil bridge in the first run of the game. In the second game they were deployed on the opposite flank and quickly traversed the Causeway to attack the garrison of Aughrim castle! This clearly was a recommendation from Ginkel #1 to Ginkel #2!

Enniskilliners on the warpath - Wolseley sweeps down from Urraghry

The result on the first run of the game is hard to articulate without it sounding pre ordained. The Jacobites conducted a masterful defence from 1000 hours till 1820 hours parrying every thrust and blunting every attack. Williamite casualties were high and they were clogged up in all the old trouble spots.

St Ruhe... oh can this be true??? Stranger than fiction

10 minutes to go before game end and Adam Hayes attaches St Ruhe to a shaky front line battlaion on Kilcommodan hill. Paul (Ginkel) say's let's fire a gun at that unit... yes you know what is coming... a hit (10 needed on a d10). Now, is the commander at risk (6 on a d6)... bloody hell! Officer hits chart - (1,2 or 3 required on d6).... It's a 2... Silence... From both sides. The morale checks then took away a huge portion of the Jacobite centre and a sure fire victory evaporated in 5 minutes. The first totally against the run of play went to the Williamites... Bloody Aughrim reproduced exactly. Poor Paul Patrick, Gerry and Adam.

These dragoons received a battlefield promotion to Elite status!
In the second run of the game the Williamites made a better showing. The Huguenots got onto Kilcommodan hill as did the English infantry near Foats. The Causeway was breached and Aughrim castle attacked. The Dutch cavalry punched through to Attibrassil but.... St Ruhe did NOT die and the Jacobites ran out winners with a stubborn defence.

Defending the causeway

The pictures are from both games. Join us again to here about 4 runs of the Battle of Fraustadt over the 2 days, fast, furious and only once did history repeat itself!

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