Sunday, September 23, 2018

Princess Royal Fortress - Albany

This was my second visit to this fortress in Albany and first since the new ANZAC centre had been completed.  Worth visiting just for the views alone.  I ended up cutting my tour of the ANZAC centre short as it was all getting a bit depressing, plus I realised my companion was waiting for me.

 There are two gun emplacements you can freely clamber around plus other installations.

More information about the site and what is there. 

What I found interesting was that it was started twenty years before WW1.

I know other forts in Australia were commenced earlier due to concern about Russian expansion.  My guess is the German colonies in the Pacific spurred on this upgrade to Western Australia's defences.

Princess Royal was in operation during WW2 but its guns were never used in anger.

Annals of a Fortress

Been on a bit of a local holiday which is always a good time for me to catch up on my reading.  Simon lent me this book and a jolly good read it was.  At times rather technical, but the plentiful diagrams helped.  It was also a good companion to the various castles I had seen in France earlier this year.

The book covers twenty two centuries of siege warfare based on a semifictuous location somewhere in Burgundy.

The translation in the copy I read was good, but still had some local flavour plus a feeling for the time it was written (nineteenth century).  It is very patriotic and militaristic as can be expected in the period preceding WW1.

What I really enjoyed were the descriptions of the various sieges that took place.  

Arnhem - The Battle for the Bridges, 1944

I couldn't take the risk of not getting this book for Father's Day so I bought it myself.  I've enjoyed every Antony Beevor book I've read except Spain (which I found way to confusing).  This one was no exception, although I wish I'd kept the OOB handy as I got mixed up on who was commanding what.

Well explained, day by day, blow by blow account of the campaign with the preliminary and post conflict covered well with no holding back on the horror, stupidity and gallantry inherent in military actions.

Definitely a bridge too far.

I'm now looking forward to playing the GMT boardgame, Holland '44.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Byzantine Foot

After my impulse buy of these second hand figures and then seeing that I could create a generic Byzantine army for Basic Impetus I got stuck into to tarting them up, focussing on flags, faces and bases.  They got to the 80% stage really quickly, but then I stalled with flocking the bases (I want more tufts) and flags.  The flags were sourced from images I found on the Internet and I had a few goes to size them to my liking.  They are still a work in progress and all detachable.

Major inspiration for this army came from one of Archduke Piccolo's blog posts.

Three units of Skoutatoi with their supporting archers, 
an independent unit of archers and the Varangian mercenaries.

 The main flag gave me a lot of grief and the other units are yet to receive theirs.

 Perhaps a few more archers to pad out the base would have been good, but... nah.

 The front rank centre figure has had his spear replaced by a brass tube 
which takes a flag mounted on a pin.

 The other flags have been designed to slot over the existing spears.
There is not a lot of paint on these figures,
it is amazing what a wash can do (brown for flesh and black for everything else).

 One uniform is red, another white and these guys are green.
There is no historical basis for this, it just seemed to happen.

 The third unit of Skoutatoi can only be fielded if the Varangians aren't used.

 A bit sparse, but a few more tufts should do the trick.

 The archers, including the supporting archers are T troops in Impetus 
and are mounted on a deeper base than the heavy foot.  
This contributes to the sparseness (visual) problem I think.  
However these guys only have a VBU (strength) of 3 and so looking a bit weak is actually okay.

 These are from figures rebased from my Dark Ages army that were providing my Viking forces, along with some figures given to me by Archduke Piccolo.

A mix of Tin Soldier Dark Age figures.

Now to get on with the cavalry!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Seven Pines Some More

Having the purpose made terrain and being a relatively small scenario makes this easy to put on for a club games day..  I've had it now for a few years and a good number of different people have played it.  Yesterday it was the turn of James of the ANF to take command of the Union defences against the onslaught of the Confederates.  Craig was doing his best to channel Longstreet and it looked like he was headed for a disaster for a while...

 After some umming and arring 
the Confederates decided to charge in rather than engage in a firefight.

 Garland's brigade on the right smashed through Palmer achieving a breakthrough 
that allowed the Confederates to avenged the repulse of Rode's brigade.

 End of the 13:00 turn and DH Hill is pushing his boys to victory.

 Garland continues to attack Palmer after routing a Union artillery battery.

 End of 13:30 and the Confederates, despite the arrival of reinforcements 
are repulsed before the Twin House redoubt.

 End of 14:00 and again the Confederates have failed to take the Twin House redoubt.

 But by 15:00 the Union defenders of the Twin House redoubt had broken.
Fighting had commenced for the Crossroads redoubt.

 15:30 and one Confederate brigade has broken as the Union skillfully alternate the defence of their right wing between the remnants of Casey's division and Deven's cavalry brigade.
The Confederates appear bogged down behind a line of abatis 
and any chance of victory is slipping from their grasp.

 16:00 and the Confederates have taken a beating.  
(James had a run of good die rolls).
Both sides have received their last reinforcements.  
Stephen N takes command of Heintzelman's newly arrived Corps.

 16:30 and in possibly the decisive, but erroneous charge, Kemper's brigade has routed the newly arrived Union force.  The Confederate had formed field column by turning to their right and then charging, but the rules say charge target must start within the front 45 degree arc of the charging unit.  Doh!  Who was umpiring this game?  Oh yeah, it was me.  

 RH Anderson directing Kemper's Brigade against Heintzelmann.

 17:00 and the Union are in trouble. 
although the Confederates can just not get the breakthroughs required.

 17:30 Jenkins, the one remaining fresh unit for the Confederates has fallen back 
(top left of the picture)

 18:00 and end of the game.

 The Confederates might have taken the Crossroads redoubt, but their brigade was spent, so they don't get the VPs for it.  The same goes for the Williamsburg Road.

The Union are left with one worn brigade (Peck seen above) 
and one spent brigade (Develin's cavalry seen in previous picture).  

The Union had six brigades "quit the field" and two batteries wrecked.  The Confederates had at least four spent brigades with the rest worn.

As always an excellent little scenario, but I think it is time to look for something different.

Sunday, August 12, 2018


A bit of history here with some models that are about to depart for foreign shores.  They are all around 1/76th scale.

 Plastic Nebelwerfer, unknown brand.  (#139)

 T70, from the Skytrex/Hinchcliffe 20mm WW2 range (#156)

 BA64 again from the Skytrex/Hinchcliffe 20mm WW2 range (#148)

 Three Schwerer Whermachtsschlepper from Roco Minitanks code DB6M (could be DBGM).  
They have drop down sides, but don't have whatever it was they were mounting.  
I had thoughts of using them in some kind of Nebelwerfer unit, 
but never progressed beyond thinking about it in twenty years.

An early 1990s visit to Brockhurst Models in California
 resulted in random purchases of all sorts of things.  
Sadly never even opened.
RAFM 6859 RSO German Tracked Truck.

Same visit picked up this with the same outcome.
RAFM 6860 75mm IG18 German Infantry Gun.

Skytrex/Hinchcliffe 20mm WW2 range purchased mail order with living memory.  20/43 is a limber and I was disappointed when I realised I had no suitable horses (I had a crazy idea to use the ones from the Airfix French Napoleonic Artillery set, but they would have been too small).  20/42 is... I forget.  Along with the T70 and BA64 I think I was just getting samples rather than any specific plan.

Thankfully they are about to find a new home with the Archduke Piccolo.  Bon Voyage and may you serve faithfully.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Book for Tognasher Quest in Everquest

The first page of the ancient book required for the Book for Tognasher quest is located in The Steppes and is a ground spawn in the grove.   It is a challenge, not because it is really hard to see, but rather it is rare and not in the same spot (except for being in the grove).

Eventually I gave up looking in bushes, following satyrs and trying to work out the location coordinates and just ran around.  After a relatively short while I found it.

It looked like this:

I had unticked Allow 2.0 Pixel Shadows and unticked Radial Flora (aka Showgrass) under Advanced Options in the Display tab.

Good luck finding it.