Sunday, July 8, 2018

New Books and an Austrian- Ottoman Wargame

     Yesterday I went to the used bookstore that at the last visit had received a good selection of British Army books. Below you will see the volumes I bought. The book on "Records of the Scottish Volunteer Force 1859-1908" was a great find that I almost missed. The plates are filling my head with visions of Peter Laing and 40mm figures painted toy soldier style with the uniforms in this book.

    I made it a point to leave myself time for a wargame. I had decided to use my Peter Laing Ottomans and WSS Austrians. After buying these books, I almost brought out my Peter Laing Victorian Parade figures, but in the end went with the Ottomans. For rules I used The Stronghold Rebuilt GNW version of "See the Elephant". I tried to use the rules as written, even using regular 6d dice instead of Battle Cry dice. I proved an enjoyable game, with some of his rules that I normally don't use playing a big part in this game.
The best find of the day. A large collection of color plates to give plenty of inspiration. Below is three pages of the plates.


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Another great book with the regimental badges and history  through WW2.
I finally saw most of the movie "Lawrence of Arabia". That, and a Man of Tin  wargame  based on a train ambush in the desert made me want to find out more about this part of WW1 history.

The two armies deployed. The Turks have three cavalry and three infantry units.  The Austrians have two cavalry and four infantry units.  I used the same size forces as I used in the last game.

The deployed Ottomans.

The Austrians deployed.





The Turkish cavalry kills two infantry, and the janissaries kill another Austrian.

With these rules, you roll 1 dice for each unit on the board . If you roll 4-6, you can activate one unit.  If you roll  1-3, the unit isn't activated, but if it has suffered losses, you roll 1 dice for each lost piece. For each  5 or 6 you roll, the piece "rallies" and the unit gets that piece back. One of the Austrian units has one piece rally, and it rejoins its unit.


The Austrian cavalry has no success against the Turks, but infantry fire kills two  janissaries.

The janissaries rally. The Turkish cavalry hits the Austrian cavalry in it's front.

The Austrian cavalry retreats.




The Austrian infantry push forward to try to divide the Turks.

The blue janissaries lose 2 men, but hold fast. One Turk cavalryman is lost and the unit falls back.

The Turks push their forces forward. The blue janissaries don't move, but rallies. In the upper right of the picture a Turkish cavalry unit can be seen. This unit eliminated one of the Austrian cavalry units.

The Austrian general sends his cavalry reserve across the back of the army. to protect again the Turkish cavalry that is now behind his line.

The Turkish cavalry behind the Austrian line attacks the Austrian cavalry, while all the janissaries push forward.

The Turkish cavalry drives es off the Austrian horse.

What's worse, the janissaries force one infantry unit to retreat, eliminates another infantry unit, and kills  an Austrian in the other unit.

The situation facing the Austrian general after this move. The Turks have yet to lose a unit. The Austrians flee the field.

The victorious Ottomans.  An army that needs to see more action. I am thinking of making a GNW Russian army, that could also engage the Turks.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

2mm Wargame

       I have been trying to get a game in since my wife went back to work and things are getting back to normal. However, I still couldn't figure out what to play. I found myself looking though my collection trying to decide which armies to use.  On Sunday I was looking at the stats for my blog, along with the most popular hits. And then I did something I rarely do; I went back and started reading some of my posting. In the last year I used my 2mm armies quite a bit. I decided to use them for a game.  When in doubt, they are the answer to get a game going.

    I have been reading David Chandler's " The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough". I was surprised at the amount of cavalry the armies had back then.  I have also been thinking of wargaming battles between the Austrian Empire and the Ottoman Turks.  During this period the Turks had 45% cavalry in the 1648-1715 period ( the period I'm thinking of wargaming), the Austrians 30%. For this game both sides will have 6 units, so the Turks have 3 cavalry and 3 infantry units. The Austrians have 2 cavalry and 4 infantry. I used A Stronghold Rebuilt "See the Elephant" rules, with minor changes.

The Turks are at the top of the photo, the Austrians at the bottom.

The Turks send forward two cavalry units to seize the hill in front of their line. They manage to drive off one Austrian  cavalry unit.

The Turks move off the hill to engage the advancing infantry.

The turks push back the other Austrian cavalry.

The Austrians move some infantry to the hill on it's left flank.

The Austrian cavalry and infantry engage in "close combat". With this rule, if they eliminate or force the other unit to retreat, they can advance into the vacated space, then engage again with one dice. However, if the enemy unit is not eliminated or forced to retreat, they get to battle back with one dice.  For the Austrian cavalry, which has already lost one stand, it is a dangerous move.

However, it paid off. The Turks lose one stand and retreats. The Austrian infantry  force the Turks back up the hill.

The Turks now bring forward their infantry to give the cavalry time to reorganize.

The  Turks on the hill causes 50% losses to the infantry in front of them; the Austrian cavalry loses another stand.


The Turks eliminate the last Austrian cavalry stand.


The Austrian infantry is now trying to hold back two Turkish units.

The Austrian infantry loses another base.

The Turks hits the infantry's left flank.

The Austrian infantry is pushed back two squares.


The Austrians are almost down to 50% and the Turks still hasn't lost a unit. The Austrians wisely retreat.

It was good to get a game in, even if I had to rush it. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A New Book and More Temptation

    Recently I realized that I have been doing little real reading. I spend more time on my cell phone or computer, but spend it  looking up videos. So a couple of months ago I started bringing books to work with me that I read during coffee breaks and my lunch time. I have been reading different books from the Ballentine Illustrated History of the Violent Century, a series of books mainly about WW1 & WW2 from the 1970's.

     May wife was given the OK to go back to work. So she wanted to go strawberry picking two towns over. As I passed right by a used bookstore that has a large collection of the Ballentine books, I was going to pull in to pick a couple more books. When I went to the row where the books are, there were several boxes of new books out. Going quickly through them, it was obvious that the former owner had a great interest in the British Army uniforms from the 19th century, as I do. I couldn't spend much time looking at them, as my wife was out in the hot car (I did leave it running with the AC on). There was one book I couldn't leave behind on the Foot Regiments of the Guard.  Hopefully I will have some spare money that I might be able to pick up some more of these books.
A book I couldn't pass up. Richly illustrated with photographs from the period. 
This picture really caught my attention. I would have imagined wagon drivers of the Guards would be wearing some kind of forage cap. I sure would have loved a Peter Laing set like this photo!


Another great picture that explains the William Britain's Guards wearing bearskins  in combat poses. I was surprised to read that the Guards wore their bearskins during field exercises. It must have truly been brutal in  the summer.


Another (out of focus) photo of a rout march, again wearing bearskins.

Another photo of the Guards on the march wearing bearskins, although a few are actually carrying their bearskins. In the background is a steam tractor, perhaps pulling a trailer with supplies.

The collection of books have several other books with regimental histories and uniforms, including several militia regiments.  There are also books with regimental badges and cloth badges, and one very interesting book showing regimental buttons from all the different militia regiments.  With my wife returning to work, I might pay another visit to the bookstore next Saturday.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

New Tanks for Interwar Gaming

     A few months back I saw a video on Youtube of the British Army using tankettes and  small mechanized units on maneuvers before WW2.  Watching the video I thought of what an actual battle between two forces armed the same might look like. It started me thinking of doing some interwar games.  With several other bloggers doing interwar gaming, there are plenty of good ideas for such gaming.

     What I really like about the interwar years are tankettes. Somehow I find the concept tanks that were made during the interwar years more interesting than the tanks designed during WW2. I was looking for tanks that might work for interwar gaming and with Peter Laing figures. I started  looking at Axis & Allies miniatures.Several gaming companies sell the tanks and figures individually. The prices tend to run on the expensive side, based on the "rarity" of the tank. However, I did find some early war tanks that could work for interwar games at a reasonable price.
Peter Laing figure compared to Japanese Type 97 TeKe tankette and Type 95 Ha-Go.


Italian L3/35 tankette  and Carro Armato M13/40.

Renault R-35 and Polish TKS tankette.

Micromachines Panzer Mk1, compared to the Axis & Allies tanks.

U.S. M3 Stuart.

I bought some other tanks, which were larger, and probably more to scale with 15mm figures (such as the Stuart tank).
As I "play" wargames, scale is not a high priority for me.