Saturday, January 4, 2014

Opening shots 1914

I have posted an AAR of this week's game 'Opening shots 1914' in which an Austrian division meets an Russian division in an advance to contact in August 1914.

The game was played using 20mm figures, and one of my favourite rules sets: Great War Spearhead. The AAR can be found here:

One of the most exciting GWSH games I can recall playing. Great fun!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

An absolute hero, dear boy!!

Overheard in the mess earlier in the evening, as Major General Caruthers introduced the newest arrival to his fellow officers:

'Let me introduce you to my young nephew Lieutenant Winstanley, my sister's boy, don't you know. Dashed decent young man, oodles of spirit and a bally hero to boot, eh wot!!'

Winstanley seen hear raising a cheer for Caruthers, with his off-sider Sergeant Evans of the Royal Marines.

Evans stands behind Winstanley because after all every hero has someone watching his back!!!

As I expanded the VSF army, I realised that in fact I would have heaps of troops, but possibly too few of the larger elements, and of course every British army has a hero amongst its ranks somewhere.

So, a Hero it is, making use of a couple of nicely spare figures .. there, that's another box emptied, another box I won't have to pack up for the pre demolition shift.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Opening shots on the Eastern Front ..

A teaser from today's opening action on the eastern front.

What happens to the beleaguered Austro Hungarian infantry ensconced in the woods? Will the Russian infantry overcome their resistance

Keep an eye on 'The Great Adventure' over the next few days to find out.

Monday, December 30, 2013


So there were these two die cast model planes... perfect size for flyers for Hordes of the Things 20mm armies.... on sale at a local Toyworld.

Now the first one I could easily justify.. the WW2 Soviets needed some air support.. a flyer. This Mig 3 is just the thing. I was going to repaint it, but the white has 'grown on me'.

But then there was this Me 262.

Now I don't have a WW2 German HotT army of any sort, although I've been attracted to the idea of what is dubbed 'Weird World War 2".

Anyway.. I couldn't resist the Me 262, but to count as what? A flyer?

How about an aerial hero. After all this jet technology was meant to be the saviour of the Reich???

Only problem now is.. the rest of the army. I have a few painted WW2 German figures that were surplus to the Spearhead WW2 army.. but these few figures do not a German army make. And anyway, if it is 'weird', shouldn't there be Pterodactyls with German infantry riders? Zombies? Advice gratefully received.

Oh well.. another HotT army may have to be born.

Aha, finally some magicians and dinosaurs ...

"Aha, this is more like it ... magicians, giant apes and dinosaurs -  much more my cup of tea don't you know" muttered Caruthers as his forces advanced on the third day of their invasion.

He pushed forward with:

1 x Bayonet wielding British infantry blades general (Caruthers)
2 x Bayonet wielding British infantry
2 x Shooters
1 x Airboat
1 x Gardner gun artillery
2 x 17th Lancers knights
1 x Steam powered robot behemoth

Facing him were peoples and creatures from a long lost tribe (although after the battle they commented that they had known where they were all along, and had never really felt lost at all):

1 x Warband general
1 x Witch doctor magicians
2 x Warbands
1 x Jolly large dinosaur behemoth
2 x Pterodactyl flyers
1 x Slightly smaller dinosaurs beasts

and hopefully their huge Ape God (the big KK himself apparently).

The ape God appeared ...

.. and the very next move disappeared again.. apparently not enough had been sacrificed for him to stay ...

Caruthers split his line and advanced.

The magician witch doctors were apparently too busy killing sacrifices in the sacred grove to fire much in the way of incantations at the British.

The Pterodactyls advanced to stop the lancers advancing on their stronghold.

Slowly the lancers pushed the flyers back as the remainder of the lines collided.

The warband general was lost and the tribes people fled back into their stronghold.


In all fairness, this was one of those weird games. It has been a long time since I have seen player with such bad luck as Nick experienced in this game. His God appeared, and then disappeared in the very next turn. He scored one other movement pip die roll of '6' in the game. Every other roll was in fact a '1', a '2', and in one case a '3'. He was genuinely unable to get a single magic attack off in the entire game, and was constantly starved of pips. The few combat die rolls he had were also very low. I think that Nick could justifiably feel aggrieved at lady luck's performance on this one... he is muttering about 'next time', with good reason.

Strange infernal machines to throw at a chap, eh wot?

Caruthers turned to his ADC: "My God, suh, what strange and fiendish creatures are these that present themselves to us?" For as his army woke in their encampment on the second day of his latest campaign, strange khaki clad hordes with oddly futuristic looking mechanical contraptions advanced towards their tent lines.

With much shouting and general sounding of bugles Caruthers ordered his troops deployed.

In the front lines he ordered:

1 x Bayonet wielding blade General (Caruthers)
3 x Bayonet wielding blade
2 x Shooters
1 x 17th Lancers knights
1 x Gardner gun artillery
1 x Steam powered robot behemoth
1 x Airboat

Attacking his encampment was a Soviet World War force, apparently caught in a time bubble:

1 x T34 behemoth general
1 x Commissar paladin
2 x Riflemen hordes
4 x Sub machine gunner shooters

All of whom prayed for the arrival of their God of War, artillery

Caruthers advanced his battle line. A firefight developed between sub machine gunners and British riflemen.

The lines hit ..

Caruthers' riflemen made short work of the shooters and hordes with their bayonets.

The Soviet T34 armoured behemoth general shattered the British steam robot... couldn't be faulty British engineering, surely? However the Soviets were running out of troops to support their commander, and still their Gods hadn't blessed them with their presence.

Shooters and hordes rushed to support their commander ..

But too late, the Soviet force had lost too much of its strength. The artillery barrages had never arrived, and Caruthers sat back, wiping his brow and sighing with relief. This threat to his advance had been defeated. 

The last line in Caruthers' diary entry for the day: "Strange and infernal machines, and odd people too.. give me spiders any day... "

On Campaign with Caruthers once more ...

December 29th:

" 'Join the army, travel to strange and wondrous lands, meet mysterious people .. and kill them.' You can be damned sure about that eh wot? Because that's exactly what a chap intends to do to welcome in the new year."

An entry from Major General Caruthers' diary for December 30th, as he set out on more wondrous adventures conquering new lands and killing new people.

Past distant copses and over low lying ridges a ghastly horde of eight legged horrors scuttled forward to meet Caruthers' invaders.

Caruthers marched forward, his forces arrayed for battle:

1 x Bayonet wielding blade General (Caruthers himself)
2 x Bayonet wielding blade
2 x Shooters
1 x Airboat
1 x Gardner gun artillery
1 x Steam robot behemoth
2 x 17th lancers knights
1 x 14th yeomanry riders

The Spider host similarly advanced:

1 x Spider hero general
1 x Giant spider behemoth
10 x spider horde
2 x spider lurker
1 x Spiderman God

Caruthers decided to advance on his right with his mounted troops, supported by their airboat.

Caruthers positioned himself in the centre.

The spider general and his behemoth advanced with their host.

The stronghold must be protected from the invaders.

The 17th Lancers charged in and disposed of the first of the hordes.

And lo and behold .. the arachnid incantations were rewarded with the intervention of the Gods themselves.

In the face of divine intervention, the Imperial cavalry fell back on the support of their air arm.

Spiderman flew contemptuously over their heads and landed right behind them.

The mounted advanced once more. It was clear that they would need to defeat the rest of the spider host before the Gods could cause too much damage. The first charge of the lancers was pushed back by a solitary spider horde.. eh???? That won't go into Caruthers' official despatch, that's for sure!!

Spiderman flew into the rear of the Imperial army ready to attack, so many juicy 'rears' .. to choose from. Meanwhile the British left flank was threatened. A unit of shooters advanced into bad going, was surprised by a spider lurker, and pushed back.

In his haste, Caruthers threw his forces at the central battle line with the largest spider elements, general against general, and behemoth against behemoth .... the hero attempted to fall back but was caught beneath the murderous attack of the airboat in his rear.

Their leader gone, the spider horde dispersed.


Forcing the Uvarova

The vastness and the difficulty of the terrain through the Caucasus meant that by 1915 there were still avenues to be explored if victory wa...