Thursday, 21 July 2016

1st Brigade, 6th Infantry Division in 6mm

Although I haven't had much time recently to do any painting, I did manage to finish off another French 100 Days brigade. This is the 1st Brigade of the 6th Infantry Division. The Division was commanded by Prince Jerome Bonaparte, non-other than the brother of the Emperor Himself. The 1st brigade was commanded by Baron Bauduin, who was killed during the campaign and was made up of the 1st Light and 3rd Line regiments (according to centjours).

The 1st Brigade is also over strength, as usual, represented by five battalions instead of four.

The brigade was heavily engaged at Quatre-Bras and also opened the day at Waterloo with a diversionary attack on Hougoumont. However, this turned into a day long slog, but only once did the French force the an entrance into the Châteaux.

As I said, things are a bit busy here, what with the impending house move and other life obstacles, so my painting will take a back seat, for the foreseeable. I'll post when I can, but output may be a bit patchy!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Joy of 6, 2016

I have just returned from a couple of enjoyable hours at the now annual Joy of 6 convention, run by Baccus and The Wargames Emporium in Sheffield. Each year the show gets bigger and bigger and this year was a bumper event. I have dumped all the photos I took. I apologise for the quality, the light in Sheffield Hallam University doesn't lend itself to good photography on a bright sunny day, plus they were all taken on a camera phone. anyway, on with the pictures.

This is the main hall, overlooked from the stairs entrance, the dominating board is the First Day of the Somme game at the bottom:

And a better picture of the entire board, a good looking game, my only criticism is the lack of support and communication trenches... But I think that would have cost a bit too much.

The Deeside Defenders had a refight of the film 'The Bridge at Remagen'. An interesting concept for a game!

Back to the First of July, this was the southern portion of the battlefield.

And the northern extent. It was nice to see the names of places I am very familiar with on the Somme, including many I have actually excavated!

The Cold War Commanders had a Cold War game called 'Red Effect'. Another large table.

I tried to get a decent picture of the Mailed Fist's game of Britannia, but the light reflecting off the Roman fort made it difficult!

Nearby was the MAD Gamers with the Battle of Dresden:

And the Leicester Wargamers with their refight of the Battle of Ligny.

My second favourite game today (after the Somme) was in one of the ante-rooms and was the Imperial attack on Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back.

This was massive and included the Rebel base and transports.

Along with the attacking AT-ATs (MicroMachines, if anyone is wondering).

Even the Imperial landing force was present.

Next door was the Battle of Endor, complete with the Death Star!

Even more AT-ATs were present:

As was Darth Vader:

Three of the ante-rooms were open and full of games, in one of the others, there was the Legion of Blokes and their game of the Battle of Wilton.

Waterloo was also present with Lee Sharpe & Ian Willey's Hougoumont game.

An excellent looking game and inspiring for future Blucher games.

There was also a couple of games of Saga in 6mm put on by Per Broden.

Andrew Brentnall's The Battle of Pharsalus.

Commission Figurines had their MDF Napoleonic figures battling it out:

Leeds Wargames Society staged a ground attack game from WW2:

And more Ancients in the form of DBMM from the Milton Keynes society:

Meanwhile, in true cinematic style the Remagen game was having an interval!

The light had improved for me to be able to take a photo of the Roman fort displayed by the Mailed Fist.

Another WW2 game was the Battle of Ponyri, by the Luton Lancers.

Lots of tiny SDKFZ 251s.

In the same room was Break The Line, by David Elks & Tim Rodgers.

And the RAF Cranwell gamers with their Battle of Skalitz.

And finally, my haul. I bought myself about £20's worth of 2mm houses from Brigade. I was thinking of redesigning my Blucher buildings to represent a larger collection of structures than the usual sized 6mm buildings. 2mm buildings seem about the perfect size to create an urban spread:

Watch this space for how they turn out. So, all in all another great Joy of 6, and a demonstration of how diverse 6mm gaming can be. I hope this show gets bigger and bigger as it seems to be doing.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Baron Campi's 2nd Brigade, 5th Infantry Division in 6mm

The second brigade of Bachelu's 5th Division of Napoleon's army was commanded by Baron Campi and was formed of the 72nd Ligne and 108th Ligne Regiments. Like the first brigade, this was a pretty standard French infantry unit.

However, they saw action both at Quatre-Bras and later at Waterloo, being involved in the fighting at Hougoumont.

Baron Campi was also wounded during the campaign along with four of his battalion officers, showing the amount of action they were involved in.

This is the second of eight infantry brigades for II Corps (less than I thought!), so it's a quarter of the way through the infantry already!

Things have slowed down a little with the painting, I was busy most of last week at the Western Front Association's York conference, but I am trying to get as much done as I can before we move house and everything is put on hold for a while!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Baron Husson's 1st Brigade, 5th Division in 6mm

In recent days I turned my attention from the First World War and back another hundred years to the ongoing 6mm Waterloo project. I made a start on the French II Corps, a daunting task in itself, but I began with Baron Husson's 1st Brigade of the the 5th Division. The Cent Jours website tells me 1st Brigade comprises of 2nd Light and 61st Line regiments. However, Mark Adkin's Waterloo Companion goes further saying that the 2nd Light were transferred on the 10th of June to 6th Division and were replaced by the 3rd Line Regiment.  Taking my pick, I went with the 2nd Light being part of the unit as it meant that I could paint half of the figures in blue trousers.

This was another standard French infantry unit, the division fought at Quatre-Bras and lost about 1,500 men.

5th Division was a veteran unit which had fought in Germany and Russia.

They formed part of the right hand flank of the French army during Waterloo, west of the Charleroi Road. Some of the division tried to advance against Hougoumont, but were driven back by artillery fire.

Every great journey begins with a single step and creating II Corps is no different, this is the first of about ten brigades. 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

1st July 1916 Square Bashing AAR

As I said in a previous post, this Saturday saw a Square Bashing refight of the 1st of July 1916 offensive on the Somme, between myself, Ninjasaurus Rex and Dean. Square Bashing is perfect for the massive proportions of the attack and this scenario included the attacks on the fortified villages of (left to right in the picture below) Serre, Beaumont-Hamel and Thiepval.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Serre, 2003

Some of the first excavations I was involved with on the Western Front was back in 2003, at Serre, an area attacked by my local Pals battalions (Sheffield City Battalion). We excavated the German strongpoint of the Heidenkopf, revealing trench boards, sniper plates, dug-out entrances and three sets of human remains. Two of these were Germans, killed in 1915 whilst defending against a French attack. The third was a British soldier from the Kings Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment killed whilst assaulting this position around 7.30 am 1 July 1916. Remember all of them.

Skeleton 2 was found lying extended on top of the chalk fill of the front trench of the Heidenkopf. Cause of death was a shell-burst, demonstrated by the numerous small shell fragments amongst the bones and the serious fracture to the right femur, a common blast-related injury. Some attempt at burial may have been made; the screw picket beside the body may have served as a temporary grave marker. However the body was sufficiently accessible to have attracted rats, whose burrows could still be seen in the abdominal area, underlining the realities of trench warfare. The skeleton still had remains of uniform, gas mask, candles and other pieces of material equipment, as well as a purse containing French, English and Channel Islands coinage. This latter currency is of interest as it suggests the body to have been a regular soldier, based on information that the 1st Battalion, The Kings Own had been on garrison duty in the Channel Islands immediately! prior to the outbreak of war. He lies in Serre Number 2 military cemetery. (from

Hawthorn Ridge, 1st July 1916 7:30am

1st July 1916 7:30am

Hawthorne Ridge, 1st July 1916 7:20am

1st July 1916 7:20am