Saturday, 28 August 2010


 A few years back, we had a refight of Borodino at Bobs, another local wargamers. Bob has a great table in his garage, and being removed by water from the mainland UK, it was this refight which inspired me to go into 28mm despite having already built up forces for this battle in other scales. This was a classic wargame designed for action, a few units from different nationalities can be seen masquerading in the battle, but that matters not a jot when the game is moving quickly and the blood is flowing. With WW2 this is never the case at this location, as there are more troops and materiel for this period in Bob's "Bunker", which is actually a bunker as it is in the basement, than I have ever seen anywhere else. He is planning a huge refight of Anzio next month and the German Orbat for Rapidfire runs to 23 pages!
 My apologies for the quality of some of the pictures, I had a really basic camera back then, still do, only basic is better these days. I just thought it would be fun to share some pictures of what was a particularly notable day in my wargaming career.

 The first picture gives an general overview of the centre, with the Russian earthworks to the fore. The rules used were La Republique, I believe, which are free to download off the internet. I had never played with them before, and it had been quite a few years since I'd played any Napoleonics at all - both these factors became obvious very early on.

The game kicked off much in line with the historical details, with initial pushes through Borodino and towards Utitsa.

 It was at this very early stage that I charged a regiment of French hussars straight at some Russian infantry, only to see them vaporised to the last man in a hail of musketry. "Different rules" sprang instantly to my mind. The battle was rapidly developing steadily along the table length.

 In the centre, again much in keeping with real events, the attack on the earth works mounted in size and pressure. The first few were pushed back until ever increasing forces were slowly but surely used to press home the assault. I do recall that the casuality records were enormous.

  In this picture we can see Vic, who was Napoleon on the day and lumbered with me on the right flank, pressing on with the attack. Due to his status as an international man of mystery, it is best that we only see the grim and gritty determination so evident in his chiseled jaw line.

 The battle eventually reached it's peak in the centre as the French eventually overwhelmed the Great Redoubt and Fleeches.

 The French had now succeeded in gaining ground in the centre, but not, needless to say, on the right flank where I was in command. This was the state of play at the end of what was a truly enjoyable game. The French were in no position to continue the fight and neither were the Russians, a Phyrric victory that opened the road to Moscow just like the history books.
 I hope to get the hang of writing up battle reports eventually but at the moment I'm just enjoying sharing pictures of battles, which I myself always enjoy when posted by others!


About 150 yards from where I live, lies Nelson's wargames room. I think it is one of the nicest gaming rooms I have ever been in. His passion is primarily for colonials, but he has some other cracking collections as well. At the moment he is working on a 28mm Rorke's Drift. There is a certain "gentleman's club" feel about Nelson's room which inclines the gamer to want to sit down for the cheese and port at regular intervals.
The exercise bike is clearly there as some kind of ruse of war or to put POWs though grotesque torments, long since banned by the Geneva Conventions.

Nelson is a cracking modeller as this Helm's Deep model, which has four other wall sections, clearly demonstrates. He built this from scratch in a week, using compnents from the Games Workshop HD model and fortress.

 We intend to have a large scale LotRs bash at some point, plus several colonial wars, Boxer Rebellion, Sudan, Zulu Wars and so forth. On the painting area are some more LotRs figures, I think, but the remaining two regiments of Black Tree zulus are in a box nearby waiting for the finishing touches.

The best thing about the collections he has are that he actually completes them - unlike most of my projects! In the past Nelson handmade two pirate ships when will soon set sail for darkest Peru and start off a Ripping Yarn in the deepest jungles.

 Together we make up the UB40 Wargames Club, the "Unphotogenic Basterds" - if it's okay for Quentin, it's okay for me, both of whom are well past the other side of 40 years of age. We will therefore not be appearing in any photographs.

Friday, 27 August 2010


    Welcome to my new Blog which I hope you will enjoy. This blog will be about wargaming and nothing but wargaming. I hope to post pictures of various games that will be held in "Der Bunker" over the months ahead, starting with a recent 28mm Napoleonic game which was more of a case of just putting some of my toys out to have a look.

 I have toys of many periods and although Napoleonics are my first love, and numerically make up the largest part of my collection with over 20,000 figures in 28, 15 and 6mm, there are lots of other games which I hope to share with the reader, including ACW, ancients, medieval, hopefully some Colonial, using another person's toys and a few fantasy games.
I have always been an avid collector and I have been doing this for a long time.

To start off here are some pictures of my 28mm Napoleonic Game. I previously posted these pics on Flickr but I thought it would be nice to give a bit of background to "Der Bunker". It is a complex of rooms which had not been entered in 27 years - yes 27 years! At he top of the complex is an attic which was in a bad state. I meant to take photos as I fixed it up but I forgot. This room allows for a main table of 18 x 6 feet with a second table of 16 x 2 feet. There is plenty of room for sitting - which is important at my age - and for making coffee etc As you will see I haven't tidied up around the table yet, such was my hurry to put some toys out.

 Below this set up of toys are three other rooms, one for storage and two others rooms which can both hold a 12 x 6 foot table, although one is bigger and will I think allow for a secondary table. I had originally planned to set up three simultaneous games, but I intend to put that on hold and just have two for the time being so that I can use the smaller of the potential gaming rooms for terrain builing and modelling.

 The table is set up with a rough Borodino in mind, without the redoubt, fleeches or many trees, as there wasn't much room. I originally planned to use TSS terrain, and still intend to do, but instead I built my own using boards, polystyrene, textured paint and eventually K&M flock. I had a kilo bag of it from years ago (sadly I lost the second bag), and as the keen eyed viewer will see I ran out before I had covered the second table. It's not a problem as can make as much of it as I want when I get around to getting some more flock.

As you look at the above picture you will see the field from the Russian main lines. The unbased artillery are where the Great Redoubt will be with the hill for the fleeches off in the distance. There are actually more toys than I could fit on the table for the French and Allied side. More are due to arrive, but that will be solved by removing the Saxons, Bavarians and some minor German states to be replaced by Westphalians and of course the Imperial Guard, which isn't here yet. Dutch grenadiers and Vistula Legion have been added since these pics were taken.

On the French side the far left is an initial stab at Borodino, but I haven't modelled the village base(s) yet, the river was made using various water colour paints and yacht varnish, which is very easy and I think looks quite nice.

My apologies for the poor focus on this pic. I intend to ask my eldest daughter to take future pictures with the all singing all dancing camera she got for her 21st birthday.
 The church is an Ian Weekley original with the buildings being a mix of Hovels, painted by the firm, and some older buildings for the Dark Ages that I had, which I think you can now get from PMC on Ebay UK. I will be having some one off buildings done before I stage Borodino itself.
 For those that haven't seen them here are two links. One to more pictures of the 28mm set up and one which, if you scroll down and view both pages, will show you some of the nicer figures in close up. I really like the Napoleon piece which, for the keened eyed, is a representation of the painting which is hanging on the French side of the room. It would be great if someone made the figures to represent the Russian scene on the other side with Kutusov siiting pointing at Gorky - don't know if he has a chicken leg in his hand or not!!

The next game I plan to set up is Borodino using approximately 12,000 professionally painted Adler miniatures at 1:20 based for In The Grand Manner in micro fashioon. I'm not sure what the best surface will be to display them, and I'm thinking of GW battlemats as they are brighter. Unfortunately the other terrain system I have at present that cover this table is also 28mm and I'm planning to use it for large Warhammer Battles.

 I gave on loan some of my Orcs and Goblins and High Elves to a new gaming centre for the launch of the new Warhammer rule set, and they put on a bit of display with them. Lest my historical brethern disown me, I have never played a game of Warhammer in my life. The whole point is that they look nice, which is what toys are all about! I'll let a few pictures do the talking:

I think they look really nice. I recently got rid of a rather nice Lord of the Rings siege tower, a period too far perhaps, so I replaced it with a new centre piece for my siege tower armada:

It stands 11 inches tall and is a bit knackered, made from matchsticks and bits of leather, but I bet that Bernie the Luftwaffe POW who made it in 1944 at a camp in Hampshire would never have envisaged my Black Orcs scrambling up it!

That's all for now.