Monday, 12 May 2014

Broadside 2014 ready to go!

 That's it, that is the last piece of the puzzle in place, Broadside 2014 is ready to go (all bar the last shouty bits of course)! It has been one hell of a ride but once we get to this point it all starts looking very real.

I hope that these lists will excite you, there are some very cool names on board and I think 2014 is really going to be our year! Despite losing the small hall we have managed to keep Broadside at the same size as before with the number of games and traders we have. This is of course thanks to the brilliant clubs all getting behind the new game competitions and taking the small 6x5 tables. Take a look at the plan and let me know what you think. Keeping the space between traders and around the games tables is important to us, visitors comment on how much they like the openness of Broadside.

There is still a lot to do behind the scenes but that is always the way and I am working day and night to tie those loose ends. But, for now, a great milestone is passed!


T1 - Adler Miniatures
T2 - Armourfast
T3 - Brigade Models
T4 - Redoubt enterprises
T5 - David Lanchester Books
T6 - Fenris Games
T7 - Ainsty Castings
T8 - Cymbeline Games
T9 - Tablescape
T10 - Harfields Military Figures
T11 - ToleHaven
T12 - Realistic Modelling
T13 - Early War Miniatures
T14 - Shellhole Scenics
T15 - Col. Bills.com
T16 - Lesley's Bits Box
T17 - WargamesNkits
T18 - 7th Heaven Games
T19 - Monarch Millitary Books
T20 - SHQ Miniatures
T21 - Polly Oliver Castings
T22 - Red Knight Wargames
T23 - Wargames Emporium
T24 - Always Darkk
T25 - Warmill
T26 - Andy's Models
T27 - Royal British Legion
T28 - Wargames Foundry
T29 - Warlord Games
T30 - WW1 display by Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne
T31 - Pilum Painting
T32 - Gladius Game Arts
T33 - Essex Miniatures
T34 - Sphere Products
T35 - Wargame Solutions
T36 - PE2 Collectables
T37 - East Street Games
T38 - Engine Shed Toys

G1 - Gravesend Wargamers Club
G2 - Maidstone Wargames Society
G3 - Posties Rejects
G4 - Whitstable Wargames Club
G5 - Deal Wargames Club
G6 - Skirmish Group
G7 - Shepway Wargames Club
G8 - The Gamers Hub
G9 - Southend Wargames Club
G10 - Hornchurch Wargames Club
G11 - Friday Night FireFight Club
G12 - Gravesend Gamers Guild
G13 - South East Essex Milliatry Society
G14 - Medway wargames Society
G15 - East Grinsted Gamers
G16 - Rainham Wargames Club
CTK (Crush The Kaiser) Wargaming will also be providing a demonstration game using their WW1 rule set but are not part of the club competition.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA  HA HA HA HA HA
. . . .
. . .
. .
.
. .
. . .
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Why do I put myself through this each year? Following the phone call I have just ended my wife has told me that I am not allowed to organise another Broadside. I think she found the fifteen minuets of dangerously hysterical laughter followed by another ten of sobbing too much to handle.

I now know why the ad did not go into the Miniature Wargames issue this month! After not receiving the call I was promised by young Alex, she who organises the advertising, I decided to chase her and see what was going on. Her phone was answered by another who was a little reserved once I explained the situation and passed me onto a higher manager. I explained to this third party all that had gone on (or hadn't) and she promised to get back to me too. I decided to call Henry Hyde himself, a passing acquaintance who loves Blood Bilge and Iron Balls BTW, and raise the issue with him.

It seems that lovely Alex did not raise the invoice for the ad despite her emails to me and so the ad was never passed along. Alex has also left her job and started another elsewhere so is unavailable for comment or summary execution. I know. This is the point at which the worrying laughter started.....I can still hear it you know, just there, on the edge of my senses...can you hear that?

Henry is now dealing with this personally and I have again sent him details and ads. I am sure things can be helped along via the web etc. In fact, Henry has just posted the ad onto the Wargames Illustrated facebook page. This will be a great help and go some way to filling the gap. Many thanks Henry! :) I knew I could rely on you! :)

Following this I have just confirmed that the ad in Wargames Illustrated is alive and well and in the shops today. Isn't that nice....I can still hear that laughing you know....its a sort of orange colour.....anyway. All I need to do now is fill one final stand and we are done-skie! Other than all of the other bits and bobs and stuff that still needs to be done of course.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Friday, 25 April 2014

Let down by Miniature Wargames


Bloody Miniature Wargames!

Organising a wargame show is bloody tricky at the best of times, always something to do or a metaphorical fire to put out. It is made all the bloody harder when 'Miniature Wargames Magazine' fails to publish the Broadside 2014 advert I placed!!!!!

This is not the first time we have been let down by the magazines and so I am extra careful to ensure everything happens in the right order at the right time. I even make a point of calling the relevant person to check things are okay. Imagine my disappointment of reading through the latest issue of Miniature Wargames...sent to me because I am running an ad, not because I subscribe, only to find a complete lack of sodding advert despite the promises!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This sort of thing is deadly for an event such as Broadside, we are still only in our fourth year and so advertising is a major issue. I can only hope that the one in the other mag goes through now....although I will now call them too to make damn sure!

Can I call on all of you to do what you can in helping to spread the Broadside word? All you bloggers and club members, Facebook users etc. please pass on the news and help make sure that we do not loose a single visitor. Thank you in advance for the help.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Maori Wars and why I hate me

A simple wargame discussion can get so out of hand. The shouting, the recriminations, the accusations, name calling...things thrown across the room; that once sacred boundary crossed......a relationship perhaps permanently destroyed. Some may consider it a tad disturbing that such unpleasantness occurred with me being the only person in the room. The Greek proverb, 'Know thyself' is all fair and well but what if it turns out that you are, in fact, a bit of a twat?

It all started with me thinking about wargames, as I often do in one form or another, and thinking about Donnybrook and Saga and Muskets and Tomahawks and Bolt Action and Wings of Glory WW1 and Hail Caesar and Black Powder and....well, you get the idea. The sad realisation dawned that I did indeed have a problem and one that affects so many of us wargamers....I am talking, of course, of OLABS or 'Oh Look, A Butterfly Syndrome'. Does the following sound a little familiar to you?

Mark: "Wow, Alan, your Marlburian French are coming along nicely. Many more to go"?
Alan: "Yeah, quite a few but I am really getting there now I ha.....oh cool, there are the new Donnybrook rules. I will go build a unit or two for them an......oh, hang on, I just need to go and buy some more Maoris...and some of these WW1 planes....and....."
Mark: "Oh for crying out loud...."
 
A Skaven Vermin Lord that I accidentally painted the other day. I have no idea.
 
I now have more projects underway than I have completed...ever. So, as terrible as the above row I had with me was, it did at least allow me to see a few things in a clearer light. I can now admit that I have a problem and that is the first step towards any form of recovery. After Salute I now have almost enough Empress Miniatures figures to complete my Maori Wars project; bar the odd command figure and perhaps four more Brits. The Wings of Glory stuff I picked up is actually self contained and needs no painting so will not affect much day to day so I can progress. My plan is simple and achievable, I will commit to running a Maori Wars game at a club meeting later this year.  
 
Here, in front of you all, I declare my intention to paint all of the figures I have and promise to run a Maori Wars game using Muskets & Tomahawks for several players on 
Tuesday 28th October 2014.

There. I have done it. I feel sort of ....odd, but actually very positive. I can do this. I shall use this blog to record my progress and my mental state....perhaps others will take comfort from my efforts.
 
A few figures completed previously, a few a quarter done...and a big box full of castings....deep breath....
 
So, what do I have to do in that time? Quite a bit. The Maori force consists of ten units of six warriors plus half a dozen chief/commanders. Six units are Braves with three officers, two are Blood Thirsty (increased attack but poorer shooting) plus an officer and two are Young Warriors with an officer. Then there is a force leader. This comes to some 618 points, or there abouts.
 
A few of the very nice Maori figures...notice how they are all looking at me in a funny way.....
 
The British force is made up of four units/sections of nine Imperial infantry plus three officers; forming a company. This is supported by two units of eight Provincial New Zealand troops with an officer and, last but by no means least, three units of five civilians/militia; settlers grouped together for safety during this uprising. This force comes to about 608 points, or there abouts.

This is quite a few 28mm figures to paint and no doubt other paint jobs may suddenly occur that need urgent attention but, I am confident. There, said it.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

3 months till Broadside 2014 and some great traders!!!

You would think, not unreasonably, that as you organise a yearly wargame show it would become easier year on year; almost look after itself in fact. You would think wrong.

Readers of this annoyingly sporadic blog will already know that the venue took away the smaller of the two halls and left us with a nightmare of reorganisation to deal with. We dealt with that and we think we have ended up with a better show having had to streamline and reinvent. In fact, we drew up a great hall plan that gave us a lot of options, found an interesting and unique (ish) way of presenting the games on offer and managed to fit in a bigger and better Bring & Buy than we ever thought possible.

We then had another call from the venue management team....something I have become to dread. There were two main points to the phone call, allegedly a 'good news, bad news' situation; their choice of words not mine.

 Good news? The work to alter the small hall into a huge gym has been postponed until July so you can have the hall back. This was not good news at all and they were a little put out when I explained why this was not actually good news. We will stick with the new plan thank you, it will have to change next year and I will not mess everyone around changing things back.....how stupid would that make us look?

Bad news? Due to a slight mix up (define slight) the main hall we use on the Sunday is actually booked until late at night on the Saturday. Usually, the club members meet up at the hall on the Saturday afternoon and set up the show, placing the tables etc. just where they need to be; it also allows some of the traders and clubs to set up early too. The venue staff, whilst generally attractive and pleasant in demeanour, tend to have IQ's somewhere between Courgettes and leaf mould and whilst they are supposed to set the hall up for us actually wander off, go home or get confused with any layout plan that isn't an empty room. I kid you not, one of these staff members cleared out a pile of rubbish from the store room to get access to the tables and dumped it into the very centre of the hall....then went home as it was 5pm leaving everything as it was. Oh how we laughed.

I have been assured that the venue staff will break down the equipment from the Saturday night event and set up ours for us. They are all working until 4am anyway so this should be fine as we have the hall from 8am. I was not convinced and said as much. We had planned to set up the new hall plan, label up each stand and game, chalk out the all important space allocation onto the floor around the strands (saves soooo many arguments between traders) on the Saturday night. We now have to get to the hall before 7am as the staff arrive, make sure the hall is not just set up correctly, chalk up the floor spaces and everything else that needs to be done from an extensive list.....all the time the traders and clubs will be waiting with various degrees of patients and trying to get in to set up ASAP.

Would you like some genuine good news, dear reader? The Flea Market style Bring and Buy now has its own room with plenty of space and disabled access, bring and buys at wargame shows are dying out quickly and it seem that we have one of the last! On top of that, take a look at the fantastic list of traders we have for you....and there are at least three more to come! I am particularly pleased with the number of manufacturers taking part both great and small.

  1. Col. Bills.com

  2. Early War Miniatures

  3. Shellhole Scenics

  4. Redoubt enterprises

  5. Brigade Models

  6. David Lanchester Books

  7. WARGAMESNKITS

  8. Realistic Modelling

  9. Monarch Millitary Books

  10. Polly Oliver Castings

  11. ToleHaven

  12. Lesley's Bits Box

  13. Wargames Foundry

  14. Cymbeline Games

  15. Fenris Games

  16. Tablescape

  17. Wargame Solutions

  18. Red Knight Wargames

  19. Armourfast

  20. Warlord Games

  21. Adler Miniatures

  22. Warmill

  23. Wargames Emporium

  24. Harfields Military Figures

  25. Andy's Models

  26. Pilum Painting

  27. Ainsty Castings

  28. Always Darkk

  29. Gladius Game Arts

  30. East Street Games

  31. Engine Shed Toys

  32. SHQ Miniatures

  33. 7th Heaven Games

  34. Essex Miniatures

Friday, 7 March 2014

DBA Campaign

It has been a while, my last DBA game. And I actually like the game although I know it does polarise opinion amongst games; it just works for me with little hassle or fuss. To this end, whilst in a reflective kind of mood, I thought it might be fun to play a few games at the club; rope a few more in.

The campaign is essentially the one that comes with the rule book but set in an island and with the addition of three extra armies over the six used normally. The new armies allow for a foreign invader (from beyond the island), a tribe of nomads and the army of the dead Emperor based at the central city on the original campaign map.

The background is simple enough, the Emperor is dead without an effective heir and so a war of succession breaks out. The Emperor's personal army is led by an evil (what else?) Chancellor, this is faced by the six armies of the islands six regions, who also hate each other. I have added a tribe of nomads by adding four camp sites around the spaces in the map from which they can start, essentially their equivalent of the three settlements the main players have. The nomads can be chased back to these campsites and if defeated there that one is forever lost. The Foreign invader, tempted to take advantage of the chaos, has three possible landing sites that work much like the camp sites. Once one has been lost they must operate from another, once all three have gone there is no way back for them and they are out or, the remaining forces come under the control of the player that defeated them. This all allows for nine players and a lot of politics!

The last meeting saw a few moves and several battles. Already some players have had a rough ride whilst others seem to have escaped relatively unscathed....for now, its all early days!

I thought you might like to see a few of the battle reports from the members playing, it is always interesting to see the various takes each has.

The first comes from Andrew (not Andy or Drew...so confusing these days). He is the Nomad faction and chose to attack one of my own cities. Interestingly, the Emperor's force also went to the same city and a bit of a row ensued out side the city gate...watched with some bemusement by the city populace from the wall tops.



Harthah, the Scourge of the Desert, Serpent of the Sands, husband to a dozen wives, and father to a hundred sons had been visited by the god Al-Qaum in a dream.
“This land must be cleansed of the Infidel! Slaughter their sons, burn their buildings and mate with their maidens, for they are soft of belly and round of rear!” said Al-Qaum.
He consulted his first-wife Shaqilath, Oracle of Al-Qaum, hoping for a sign as to which city should kneel first.  Shaqilath spend hours consulting the entrails of a freshly slaughter camel and at last decreed “The decadent city of Elysium will be the first to fall before you husband”.

So Harthah gathered his forces and set off on this most holy of wars. This land would tremble and bow at his feet.

He approached Elysium through the desert plains, but on approaching the city scouts reported that the forces of the so-called “Emperor” had gathered in defence of Elysium.
Harthah ordered his men into the battle formation known as the Camel’s Jaw, ready to crush these Imperials and grind them into the desert sands as Al-Qaum wills it.

Battle was met but the ending was not as he had planned.  His elite units of Camelry, the Teeth of Al-Qaum, proved to be as soft-bellied as the women of Elysium and were slaughtered to a man.  As a shrewd tactician Harthah knew when to retreat and like the shifting sands he returned to the Oasis of Serenity to plot his next move.

As they retreated all that could be heard was Shaqilath saying “I said NOT to attack Elysium, why do you never listen to me?!”

Indeed. The battle was indeed great but nobody came away with anything, each withdrawing back whence they came and leaving a mess outside the baffled city. No comment was made by the Chancellor.

Two of the regional forces next, Phil invading his neighbour, Drew. Drew had this to say...


I had a great game against Phil, the new army you (Alan) kindly lent me allowed me to be a bit more tactical then the Gauls I’d practised with. Unfortunately i lost but it was pretty close and I’m used to that. Phil's follow up with a lucky 6 in the siege on my capital was a bit of a s*#t. But not to worry as the Romulan Empire has a long memory, we'll be quietly sharpening our biggest "stab in back" knives...... our new motto is "Come the day"
 Also Mark's for it as well. LoL



Well, Drew did get a bashing and came off worse than anyone. As he says, he lost one city to Phil, another to a besieging Mark and then, adding insult to injury, lost a siege to Phil and so became Phil's vassal. Phil, understandably, was rather pleased with himself and was not in the least bit smug...well, not too  much...


With only one army to protect against three neighbours it was immediately obvious that diplomacy was the only way to prevent a war on multiple fronts. So I decided I would take on the role of supporting the beleaguered Emperor in the centre to reunify the Empire (though the Emperor declared war on me -along with everyone else - anyway). I enlisted Steve to this cause also, thereby securing my left flank and leaving me free to concentrate on my right, which turned out to be Drew's place. It was just luck that Mark also attacked him from the other side simultaneously (or, as I see it, sneaking in the back door as I heroically fought Drew's field army).  My battle with Drew was one of the longest DBA games I can remember. I was using the Late Seleucid (a) army list and he was using New Kingdom Egyptians.  
As the aggressor I rolled for the direction I was coming from and got the worst result, with a deployment area cluttered with forests. This combined with rolling a 1 for command points for the first few rounds to prevent me forming a decent battle line for ages.  I think my 2 elephants were first to actually get into action but ended up facing off against archers and pesky psiloi. His psiloi were chased off once but came back and destroyed 1 elephant. The other elephant then had a long-running battle with the same psiloi unit, which it only eventually destroyed after he'd got himself into a position where he could not flee or retire.   Drew's archers on this flank were very unlucky and achieved nothing except disrupting my advance a little, and the same goes for his archers on the other flank where they faced off against my two psiloi and 1 auxilia for the whole game. On the centre right my 2 cataphracts tackled Drew's four chariots, the two generals going toe to toe. This is where my first kill came but there was lots of back and forth. On the centre left my 4 elements of pikes, in two ranks, eventually got to grips with Drew's blades but again there was lots of pushing back and forth with no breakthrough for ages. I think I did finally kill one of them.  Drew had me really worried when one of his chariots swung in on the flank of my pikes but he failed to engage them frontally as well so they were able to turn. They managed to push back that chariot. At the end, my general finally managed to kill the enemy general, the psiloi got trapped by the elephant against the side of my pikes and destroyed.  The final result was 4 elements (including Drew's general) to me, 1 element (an elephant element) to Drew, but that was not a fair reflection on the closeness of this epic struggle and I really felt he had me on the back foot until the last couple of rounds. A really good game. 

The battle won, I captured Sisyphus (appropriate name considering the uphill task I had winning it - go look up the Greek myth of Sisyphus if you don't get the reference) and  was free to attack Drew's capital. As Mark had already taken his other city, meaning Drew faced losing all his cities in year 1, I offered to spare his capital if he acknowledge me as his overlord but Drew bravely opted to stand a siege, obviously hoping I would fail to take the city, suffer losses and be forced to withdraw by the approach of winter. My luck held and I rolled the 6 necessary to take the city on the first attempt. A very satisfactory start to the campaign for me obviously, but I'm well aware I got lucky both in the battle and the siege at the end.   Mark's obviously the next target. 



Mark gets a lot of that, understandably really. Andy provided, as usual, a more rounded and reasoned report of his games. I shall end this post with his report. The next few rounds will be very interesting indeed!



Ixion Campaign Diary

Army Muster
Anglo-Norman army comprising 4 Knights, which can dismount as either Blades or Spears and one of which is the General; four Spears (of the 4Sp variety); three elements that can be deployed as either Bows or Psiloi in any combination; and finally one element of either Cavalry, War Wagon or Spears (of the 3Sp variety).

Turn 1 Spring
Declared war on Elysium, but invasion of Juno by Sea Raiders precluded an attack. Instead the army (which fortuitously was stationed at Juno) took to the field to defend Juno against some very Celtic looking barbarians under Bob's command.

The city of Juno was on my left flank, with a wood on the right. One element of Spears was told off to garrison Juno, the remaining Spears deployed between Juno and the Wood with an element of Psiloi in support. The two elements of Bows were deployed in the woods, in column. The general and two elements of Knights were deployed in column behind the Spears, and the final element of Knights and the Cavalry were deployed to the left of Juno.

The Celts deployed opposite, with a wood on their left flank, and a gentle hill on the right. The Celts deployed their 8 Warband elements in the centre, supported by their Chariot borne General and a couple of elements of Cavalry, with an element of Psiloi skulking at the rear.

Now Warband and Spears don't mix too well, at least not from the Spears point of view. On the other hand, Warband really don't like Knights. Time for some rearrangement. As defender I was allowed to swap the positions of two pairs of elements, I chose to swap the Psiloi with one of the spears, so instead of having 3 Spears in a line with a Psiloi behind, I had two Spears in the front line, with the Psiloi on the left flank and the third element of  Spears in the centre of the second rank. This was done so as to allow the column of Knights to advance through the Psiloi (as they are permitted to do) and then form a line in front of the Spears.

The game then slowed down as a combination of low PIP rolls on both sides, and in my case the extra PIP cost of moving groups over 600p from the General and out of sight in woods or behind the city, resulted in the armies closing at snails pace.

Eventually I had the army rearranged as I wanted, with the Knights in front of the Spears, the left wing Knights and Cavalry in line and in sight of the General, and the Bows at the edge of the woods. In the mean time the hordes of Warband had split like the Red Sea to allow the General and Cavalry to come forward and form a united mass with the mounted in the middle and the Warband split evenly on the flanks. To prevent my knights being outflanked one of my Bows left the wood and took position on the end of the line of Knights, while the other advanced out of the wood into range of the Warband and started to annoy them with archery. I didn't really expect to kill anything, but by recoiling them I would give Bob the dilemma of how to spend his PIPs, would he use one to get the recoiled Warband back into line or use it elsewhere?

After a bit of manoeuvring, a couple of Warband elements on Bob's right flank turning to face my left wing, battle was finally joined as Bob's Cavalry charged my Knights; he had wanted to bring the Warband forward as well, but didn't quite have enough PIPs to give them the second move they needed, and would have been allowed, to get them into contact. This turned into shoving match, Generalissimo à Generalissimo, with the nice neat line splitting up as my Knights either recoiled when they lost, or followed up Bob's recoiling Cavalry and Chariot. Eventually I rolled high enough to double the score of one of Bob's cavalry units. First blood to me!

Meanwhile, on the left flank my Knights charged into the Warband Bob had used to refuse his flank. Bob got +1 for a second rank of Warband, but this was countered by my element of Cavalry outflanking him, and as Knights get a quick kill on Warband, I only needed to beat Bob's score by 1 to kill both Warband elements. So of course the first round was a draw! Eventually Bob's luck ran out and I managed to beat his score, killing both Warband elements. 3-0 to me.

The clash of the Cavalry and Knights in the centre continued, with Bob not rolling enough PIPS to bring any more of his Warband into the fight.

Now came the decisive moment, the Knights on my left flank were able to charge Bob's right hand end Warband units in the rear, forcing the one in the second rank to turn and face. The Knights rolled high, the Warband didn't and died.

So, a 4-0 win to the Ixion army, forcing the Celts to withdraw to Stheno. Shame his general got away!

Turn 2 Summer
The war with Elysium was put on hold, as the army pursued the defeated Celts back to their beachhead at Stheno. Not wishing to face the victorious Ixion army in their depleted state the Celts withdrew back to sea. Which I believe denies them the use of that beachhead in future.