Monday, 31 December 2018

It's the End Of The Year Post

The End Of The Year Post!

Well 2018 has almost come to an end and it's been quite a year. We've settled into a routine between home and the OH's posting in Moray and work has gone bananas as the downturn in the industry came to an end. I've seen some great gigs and added a new Spider to the garage. 

Oh yeah and played some great games with some great folks too and managed to get my Wargaming the Sugar Islands book published too. 

The Book
I started writing this in 2017, initially just to see if I could do it. It was published in November and I've managed to sell 65 copies in since then (more than I thought I would and far quicker too!), posted out to Australian and New Zealand, America and Canada, to the Uk and to Europe, to folk I've known for ages and some newer friends too, to visitors to my blog and to gamers who've read about it on other forums and sites or from other gamers. 

Thank you all. 

The feedback has been great and I've heard of versions of the scenarios being fought with Spanish and Brits as well with Great Northern War Russians and Swedes. There's plenty stock so anyone who wants a copy please use the contact form on the side of the blog and drop me a line.

There will be a sequel of sorts. The provisional title will be "Against Spain. The War of Jenkins Ear and the capture of Havana and Manila".

I have started gathering material, working from the original sources as much as possible once again. I have no publication date in mind as yet but will keep you up to date via the blog.

Campaign Cards
My next project is already well underway. Charles Grant and I have been working on a deck of campaign event cards that can be used to generate events to spice up your battles - morale and fire modifiers caused by weather or supplies, raids and skirmishes on your marching columns for you to fight out and some cards which deal with individual leaders and units. As well as the printed cards there will be blank ones for you to customise yourself. 
We will be finalising the design after the holidays and hopefully have things ready well before Easter.

I've had some great games with my local club, the lads at Oldmeldrum Wargames Group. They were great help testing the scenarios for the book and we've also played a lot of The Men Who Would Be Kings - vs Zulus, Boers, Sikhs and even against Garibaldi's Redshirts. A great set of skirmish rules, it looks like we will be hitting the Nile and the Crimea in 2019. We've also been playing Blood Eagle - a skirmish set based in the Viking age. These have been great fun too. 

June this year saw me at the annual gathering of gamers now called The Wild Geese. Admirably organised by Colin (and Katherine!) Ashton, I had some great games with a lovely bunch of chaps. Burning a Zulu Kraal, rescuing the ladies of "Versailles", seeing off the Highland Clans on teddy bear fur and a big battle with loads of old school spencer smiths which really topped off the weekend for me (nice one Will!). Much booze and food was consumed and my table even won the quiz🤓. I'm looking forward to next year already.

I also had the opportunity to play several 40mm games with Graham Hilditch. Graham's lovely figures really stand out and together with his excellent scenery have graced many of the reports on the blog. It's always a pleasure to head up for a game and we're planning a SYW campaign to run through 2019. Graham's a nice chap and it's always good to catch up with him. I may even get some 40's of my own to play with!

Figs and Rules
I've not had a lot of time to paint this year but I've really enjoyed the clean, proportionate sculpts from Crann Tara and have some French Calvary and Spanish sitting waiting to be prepped. Graham Cumming also made some special figures for the Sugar Islands and his newest figures are just superb. 

I was lucky to purchase a Sikh Wars set of armies from Graham and am working on some Akali fanatics at the moment to complete the Sikh army. I was also able to purchase a WSS Spanish force from Grimsby lad Paul Robinson and have bought dragoons and artillery from Ebor to paint up. I have made some head swaps using Warlord heads to give me dismounted dragoons too so hopefully these will grace a Lily Banners game sometime soon. 

I'm eagerly awaiting Rebels and Redcoats, Ospreys latest offering, as it will tie in with my next book project and also considering some of Warfare's Cossacks. Helion have a load of books coming which tickle my fancy and I'm planning a trip to Salute next year too.

Well that's all folks. Have a happy Hogmanay. I hope last year hasn't been to harsh, (it's been trying at times for many I know), and that next year is good to everyone.

See you in 2019.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

A Sugar Islands Battle - "Surrounded"

A lovely afternoon spent with GrahamH playing the "Surrounded" scenario from the Sugar Islands book today.

In this scenario, representing the British attempting to advance on Port Royal, Martinique, the Grenadiers, Highlanders and 63rd Foot come under attack from French militia and marines.

After a nervous start, becoming shaken by the sniping from amongst the trees , the Grenadiers squared off to take on their attackers on the left flank. They drove off the first unit of French skirmishers with a couple of volleys and changed into the second, scattering it. A unit of militia came up and deployed and a sharp melee ensured. After winning the first round the Grenadiers recoiled but by that time the flank had been secured.

On the right the Highlanders and 63rd faced off against a unit of French marines and a large group of militia (Prussians in disguise! ). 
The highlanders traded volleys with the marines but their shots told more. The marines were first shaken then forced back. The highlanders moved into the undergrowth and followed up their success, drivng back the marines again. The 63rd also had success against the militia. After another firefight they were driven back and the 63rd followed up with the bayonet. In the melee the militia routed back and although they reformed they took another volley and turned and fled. 

The British were now in control of the road, the French had all been driven off. Success like this wouldn't lead to the capture of the island however. All the French units would be able to reform and return to harass the British on the next stage of their march.

A lovely afternoons gaming with Graham's 40mm figures and scenery. Always a pleasure and already looking forward to a game later in the month, using Muskets and Tomahawks to fight the attack on the bastion at Point Negro.


Response to the book has been excellent and copies have winged their ways to Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada (despite the strike!), the Netherlands, Ireland and France as well as all over the UK. Thank you very much to everyone who has purchased a copy. If you'd like one, drop me a line via the blog and I'll get in touch

Thanks to John Ray who was inspired to run his own version of "Madame Ducharmey's". Please visit his blog and take a look. I think you'll find it quite a spectacle.