SAS Wargames Club

SAS Wargames Club
Welcome to our home on the Web! Well it's brighter and hopefully better than ever before - well it all works - which is better than before. Don't worry despite this new glossy professional feel we're still the same bunch of reprobates looking to play toy soldiers!

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Boot Hill New Orleans Greys

 After purchasing these lovely Boot Hill figures on a whim about 9 months ago and starting but not finishing their paint jobs - I finally got around to completing them!

Eight figures in total, two officers, including a standard bearer and six other ranks. One officer and a guy in a cape carry what appear to be Baker Rifles, the five Other Ranks carry muskets.

I undercoated them all in a generic mid grey and when dry picked out caps and most tunics in Ash Grey. A couple trousers were also done in Ash Grey and one in a very light grey to give some variety.

Webbing was painted white, boos, belts, cap visors and cartridge boxes were painted in black.
I added in flesh and a variety of hair colours and then a crimson was used to paint in the officers' waist sashes.

Muskets and pistols were painted brown, with silver barrel and lock mechanisms.

Finally Prussian blue, dry brushed with Royal Blue was used for the cape and brass was used to add detail in for buttons, weapon fixtures, belt plates and cartridge box plates.

When dry and glued to a base - I used 5 Euro Cent coins (diameter of just over 20mm) - I painted liberally with Army Painter Dark Tone and allowed to dry. I have noted elsewhere on this blog how I use Dark Tone - in short, splash it on, allow to settle for about 2 minutes then us a brush to remove excess before setting aside to dry or at least 24 hours.

Bases were covered with fine sand and when dry, dry grass tufts were added to taste. A spray coat of Matt Varnish was used to take off the shine of the Dark Tone and there we are...

 Last touches were to add the flag of the 1st Company of the New Orleans Greys, a pale blue banner, edged with a gold fringe.

Historically the Greys numbered some 122 men who were organised into two companies plus an artillery section. They had a tough time, many of the the 1st company perished at the Alamo, others were present at most significant battles of the war, in total some 52 men died in battle. Read more here.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Battle of Appelfeldt 1673

Well now the dust has settles and I have had a chance to take on-board rules suggestions and improvements I thought I'd sort out the figures boxes and run through the casualty returns etc.
The Battlefield, French to left, Spanish / Dutch to right
Well it as a close run thing, the Spanish / Dutch armies were required to hold their lines whilst the French army's aim was to exit the tabletop by carrying the enemy positions.

The French army broke when the  elite 'Maison du Roi' brigade was routed in the centre after an epic struggle between the Swiss Guards & Dutch Guards of van Hussen's brigade. It was the Dutch Guards that held out longest, albeit with only 3 remaining damage points when their Swiss adversaries broke!

The French had already lost Guerette's Brigade on their left flank as they assaulted the Spanish lines - they routed a couple of turns prior to the centre. It is worth noting that both Spanish Brigades - Raventos & Laura, took significant casualties (General Laura himself being killed) and were close to breaking themselves. It also has to be said that Marchette's Horse brigade was untouched as it supported Guerette's attacking Foot, largely due to its unwillingness to move!

On the French Right Monmouth's brigade fought off an aggressive attack from McKay's Scots brigade which was its-self supported by Muller's brigade. Muller's troops began to engage with Montal's French brigade late in the game but to little effect.
In detail casualties in terms of Damage points was as follows:
Casualties/Original Strength

CinC Conte de Vicque (Rupert), 3 x Army Batteries                                                          12/45 DPs
Monmouth's Brigade (Phil),  3x Regts Foot                                                                    119/170 DPs
Maison du Roi (Rupert), 1 Foot Regt, Musqueaires & 2 x Gendarmes                          186/194 DPs
Montal's Brigde (Rupert),3 x Regt Foote                                                                          52/190 DPs
Guerette's Brigade (Steve),4 x Regts of Foot                                                                  210/220 DPs
Marcheterre's Brigade (Steve) 4 x Horse Squadrons                                                          0/100 DPs
                                                                                                TOTAL                            589/919 DPs
CinC Raentos (Mike)
Raventos' Brigade (Mike), 2 x Regts Foot, 1 Horse Sqdn, 1 x battery                              77/160 DPs
Laura's Brigade (John), 4 x Regt Foot                                                                               79/240 DPs
                                                                                                TOTAL                              156/400 DPs
CinC William of Orange (Nigel) 4 x Army Batteries                                                          25/60 DPs
van Hussen' Brigade (Nigel), 3 x Regts Foot, 1 Horse Sqdn                                           170/230 DPs
Muller's Brigade (Mark / Andy), 3 x Regt Foot                                                                60/170 DPs
McKay's Brigade (Mark / Dave), 3 x Regt Foot, " x Dragoon Sqdns                               83/200 DPs
                                                                                                TOTAL                             338/760 DPs

Coldstream Guards in Fire fight with Scots of MacKays
Foote and a supporting squadrons of Dragoons
Overall the French had approx 900 Damage Points (DP) whilst the Allied Spanish & Dutch had about 1000 DPs between them. it was always going to be a tough ask of the French to win this battle but they came close - witness the 'squeaky bum' time when Laura's Spanish brigade was directly intervening to support their Dutch neighbours...

Regiment d'Anglais supported by Lord High Admiral's Foote in firefight with Dutch Foote,
who are in turn supported by MacKays Foote.
Note: Brigade Commander Duke of Monmouth & Colonel John Churchill leading the English lines. hindsight / historically this did not happen and so I need to make this limitation clear in future games. If the Dutch Guards had broken it might have taken the rest of van Hussan's brigade with them leaving a big hole in the Allied centre.
So there it is - hope you enjoyed it, another 28mm spectacular to follow later in the year, once everyone's fingers have healed!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Thoughts on why 2mm

2mm’s, and why I do them., other than I can’t be arsed to spend hours/weeks on painting 6 blokes that no one can see on the table once they get 2 or 3ft away.

First of all, I would like to think that the gang are willing to try anything new, possibly controversial, or downright silly, but hopefully provides a bit of entertainment or pleasure on a Friday night, amongst the general guffawing, buffoonery and man talk.

So what are my reasons for down-sizing to 2mm -

Storage – no, I’m not saying have the Imperial Guard in a trouser pocket or the Army of Northern Virginia in a man thong (I like to keep them warm, but salty..they must have served near the sea) lugging boxes up and down lofts, cupboards, several trips back and forth loading/unloading cars at the venues. I have an Austrian Corps, artillery, cavalry in an old tape cassette box, and room for another level or two.

Cost –  dirt cheap..nuff said

Painting – once you have sussed out a way to do this, its dead easy and quick..grey under coat..I tried black once but it looked like a burnt match and couldn’t see anything (!)

Trousers first, coat, dab of flesh for face then hat. Thin lines drawn across figure strips, virtually dry brush. Detail not relevant (cos there aint none!). You are not trying to make display models, but playing pieces.

This brings me nicely onto the next bit..why 2mm?

Example of a wonderfully painted 2mm army - helpfully supplied by Nigel!

Whatever the scale, period, scenario, our figures represent a given number of men, covering a given area of ground. For example, 24 Napoleonic infantry are supposed to represent a unit of about 500 men strong. The same goes for 9 cavalry figures for a 300 strong regiment. They are placed in a town area for instance, with a couple of buildings, which represents a given area of a town or village. A hill model represents one or several contours, that never appear as several ‘steps’ up to the top. Do you see what I am getting at? I’ve never seen a WW2 tank the same length as a street in a town, but there it is on the table!

So, whatever the size of the unit, in whatever period, they are just playing pieces, as are poker chips, chess pieces, draughts etc.

These 2mm toys I have been doing are just playing pieces. Not highly detailed models that look great close up, a short distance away or on a display cabinet.

Where was I? Oh yes..

Size of table – One can have a reasonably sized game on a 6’ x 4’ table, with enough room behind players to get past without causing a standing Mexican wave when players have to make room for someone to get past. Also no crawling under tables, none of us are getting any younger. My first game (oh no I hear the cry) will be on a table that size.
Larger games can go on a 6x6..

I like to think this scale is a hybrid between war gaming as we know it, and a board game. We quite happily play with board games on our trips away. This could be a 3D version of a board game!!

Article by Dave Vallance

Thursday, 15 December 2016

SAS Games Stats 2016

The annual Games Statistics debate is kicked-off by Steve this year, with his in-depth analysis of the club games,all carefully logged and set-out below.
Hopefully the captions will be self-explanatory, that wit Steve's notes, there isn't much else needs to be added,of course certain members of the club will - as usual - have a different point of view and we'll leave it to them to contribute those views separately....

As the time draws near for me to produce the SAS stats for 2016 and with regard the on-going saga between myself and John as to whose points system is more acceptable, this year I’ve decided to drop my system and concentrate more on the meaningful information such as the games themselves.

Not having a points system to shackle me I can now supply you with a plethora of completely worthless, yet useful information. Had enough of the wife turning her back on you in bed, then read her these stats and she’ll soon give in and cow tow to your perverted demands.

There are several new categories including “Individual Games”. Individual games are those games that are run by one person who, forced to become a tyrannical despot, tries in vain to keep the players under control and focused on the game rather than listen to lewd jokes and stories told by players who shall remain nameless.

I’ve also introduced a “Most widely used figure scale” category that includes a special “Lumpy Counter” section should Dave decide to carry out his threat of putting on a 2mm game.

I’ve also decided to dish out some awards this year:

1. “Most biased Umpire award”
And the winners are:
1st Phil for his game “Sunburn, blood and crusaders”. Simply basically for allowing everyone to gang up on me (You bunch of bastards!)
2nd John for his game “Vive l'Empereur! –For the torment of Dresden”
3rd Rupert for his campaign game “The humiliation of Rome” –For the heinous crime of allowing Romans to face Numidians
4th Dave for his game “Brit bashing” For not giving the Sikhs any entrenchments
5th Mikey N for his game “Spittoons at Noon” For allowing poor defenseless Indians too much fire water.
6th Steve for his game “The walls of Wexford” for being too fecking Irish!

2. “The absentee Umpire award” goes to Dave for his games “Brit bashing” and “Cromwell, My part in his down fall”

3. Most Consistent dice roller of the year “Cocked dice award” goes to Rupert for rolling more sixes than you can shake a stick at.

4. Battlefield blunder of the year “The charge of the Light Brigade award” goes to Steve for being gullible enough to think that Romans would easily beat Carthaginians!

5. Surreptitious unit move of the year “The hidden movement award” Goes to John for his ridiculous
dinosaur marker.

6. “The Most frustrating scenario of the year award” goes to John for his game “Slavs, Bogs and Nazis”

SAS Wargaming Periods

Coalition Games

Individual Games
Most widely used rules
Breakdown of Periods
Most widely used figure scales
Breakdown of Sub-Periods
Venues Used
Sub-Period by Player

Game Details by Week

Monday, 9 May 2016

United Irish: 1798 Campaign

Background to the campaign
In the late 1790’s the movement known as the United Irishmen (UI) had flourished as apolitical movement but because of its sympathies towards the emancipation of Irish Catholics it was forced to become an armed underground movement.

In December 1796 the French attempted to land 15,000 troops in Bantry bay in an effort to support a planned rising by the United Irishmen in Ulster but the landing failed due to a winter storm and the rising was aborted.

The Irish Government, now unnerved by the fact that they could have had an armed insurrection on their hands, went to extreme lengths to find out who the rebel leaders were and over the next 18 months also attempted to suppress the movement. Through a combination of torturing suspects and the free quartering of troops, which became known as the “Dragooning of Ulster”, it revealed large arsenals of Muskets and Pikes that the rebels had been stock piling and it looked like the movement was on the verge of collapse. With most of the leadership in prison and in an act of desperation the remaining council members launched what was to become an uncoordinated rising in the eastern counties of Ireland.

The rebel’s initial plan was for the UI forces based in Dublin to take the city, with the counties bordering Dublin rising in support and preventing the arrival of crown reinforcements. The rest of the country was to tie down other garrisons. The signal to rise was the interception of the mail coaches that were to leave Dublin on the morning of the rising. However, last-minute intelligence from informants provided the Government with details of rebel assembly points in Dublin city and the military managed to occupy these and prevented the rebels from rallying. Deterred by the presence of the military, the gathering groups of rebels quickly dispersed. In addition, the plan to intercept the mail coaches miscarried, with only the Munster-bound coach halted at Johnstown, near Naas on the first night of the rebellion.

Although the planned nucleus of the rebellion had imploded, the surrounding parishes around the city of Dublin rose as planned eventually followed by most of the counties outside County Dublin. The first clashes of the rebellion took place just after dawn on 24th May.

Fighting quickly spread throughout Leinster, with the heaviest fighting taking place in County Kildare where, despite the Army successfully beating off almost every rebel attack, the rebels gained control of much of the county after the military were ordered to withdraw to Naas for fear of being isolated. However, rebel defeats in Counties Carlow and Meath effectively intimidated the rebels enough for them to start seeking terms with the crown.

Surrender terms were agreed to and disarming the rebels was on the whole successful however, during one that was overseen by General Duff at Gibbet Rath both sides started firing on each other after things got out of hand and a “massacre” by crown forces ensued. News of other incidents such as the execution of suspected rebels by overzealous Yeomanry at Carnew and Dunlavin Green spread into Wexford.

These incidents were enough to incite the UI Council in Wexford into action with the rebels converging at Oulart Hill. 400 men led by the Reverend John Murphy, won a small yet significant victory by defeating a company of the North Cork Militia. This gave confidence to the rebels and their numbers began to grow. Wexford was aflame and with little in the way of garrison to stay the rebel surge the Government soon lost control and the garrisons locked themselves in hoping that relief would arrive before it was too late.

Current Situation (From the Memoirs of Miles Byrne)
“After their victory at Oulart hill Father John and his little army of some 5,000 men now became quite flushed with their victory. Seeing the King's troops flying and escaping in every direction, they were at a loss to know which division they should pursue; they however, having as yet no cavalry, marched from Oulart Hill, and encamped for the night on Carrigrew Hill. Next morning, the 28th of May, at seven o'clock, they marched to Camolin, and from thence to Ferns. Not meeting with any of the King's troops in this town to oppose them, they were at a loss as to what to do….”

So, as with the Wexford council in 1798 there is no clear plan as to what to do next because of the limited amount of time it had to organise a rising.

The umpire supplied the UI leaders with some information and objectives that will not be shared here until the campaign has ended - to stop the sneaky Brits snooping to see what is to be done!

Campaign Notes
Or how the campaign will be run - this is not a democracy it's a dictatorship...

Unit sizes
Because the rules I’m going to use aren’t casualty based I will refer to numbers of units rather than numbers of men throughout the campaign. Therefore unit strengths are as follows:
Units of Pikemen nominally 600 men in Close order
Units of Gunsmen nominally 200 men in skirmish order
1 model artillery piece = 1 artillery piece

You have 4,800 pikemen (8 units), and 200 men armed with assorted firearms, the rest are
armed with pikes and assorted farm implements. The campaign will last for 50 days the
exact same number of days the Wexford army continued to exist.

Logistics will become an important part of the campaign. To make this as simple as possible during any campaign battle your camp will be represented on the table. Should this be attacked or god forbid lost during the battle then problems will set it.

Lines of supply
If you do lose your camp then re supply will be relatively easy because the local population will support you. However, if the Crown comes up with a scheme to impede this then things could become difficult.

Family ties
Because the men were terrified of retribution being carried out against their families by the Yeomanry and Militia whilst they were away fighting, wives and children always accompanied the UI army. These family members will be represented on the gaming table and should you lose them then this could have a demoralising affect on your army.

Command control
Unlike other campaigns players won’t be allocated personality figures as normal because I want to take a slightly different approach to try and counter the rather flaky appearance of people at the pub on Monday nights were most of our campaign planning activities take  place. Instead players will act as either the UI Wexford Council or the Irish parliament giving much more scope for minimal player involvement when it comes to issuing orders to the Umpire.

Each side will be given a list of principle leaders and Generals involved in the campaign and the players can then allocate forces to them and send them on their way. This can be done by one person per side if this should be the case on a Monday night, the decisions made by that person will prevail

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Punic Wars - Night Raid on Carthaginian Camp

Friday night saw the continuation of Rupert's Punic War campaign, after a somewhat dormant period, with the Romans in North Africa, sallying out in strength to raid the Carthaginian forces that were besieging their positions.

Initial set-ups saw the Carthaginians, asleep in their beds within the camp walls (red units, in the grey squares on map to left) with cavalry, heavy & light infantry dispersed across the camp.

The Roman (blue units) forces lined-up with 5 legions in the centre, screened by some light infantry, then on each near flank more light infantry plus heavy cavalry on each remote flank.

At this point it should be noted that each Carthaginian unit would check each turn to see if it 'wakes-up', whilst unwoken the unit cannot move and is considered disordered if attacked.

The terrain was unknown to the Romans, but known to the Carthaginians, that shown in yellow was all they were certain of, being clear terrain. All green squares were split into quarters with a one in six chance of bad terrain in each quarter of a tile.

The final scenario special rule was that given this is a night raid, the game is played with all units limited to 8" moves, only reverting to full moves again once daylight arrives on turn 21!

'Michaelus Maximus Meridians' was Commander of the Roman Army and the African Legions, loyal servant to the Emperor. Commander of the Carthaginians was one of Hannibal's minions...

the heght of teh battle, Carthaginians make a stand within the camp
as routers pass them by as the the Romans hesitate
The Carthaginians, not knowing where the Romans might attack from, were distributed around their camp, whilst the Roman plan was simple, a concentrated hammer blow at one end of the enemy camp. With luck, the Roman's would be into the camp quickly, hitting units before they wake and drive defeated units back through the camp, preventing any reinforcements hampering the Roman advance.

The Roman legions cracked-on once the game started, moving across the cream terrain at 6" per turn. The Carthaginians managed to wake some light infantry and cavalry, which were thrown forward to delay the advancing legions, which they managed to do for a few turns, albeit that they were driven back to the camp walls each turn.

Carthaginians streaming out of the camp's rear gates in a state of rout.
Eventually the light infantry broke, allowing the legions to surge into the camp, meanwhile on the Roman left flank the light infantry and cavalry were able to start tracking around the flank of the camp. On their right flank, the light infantry ran into bad ground, though the heavy cavalry were able to move on and check emerging Carthaginian light cavalry that had left the camp.

Then after morale checks, additional Carthaginian units began to break, all of a sudden half of the Carthaginian camp was in rout. Then the Roman forces frozen, not gaining enough command factors, two turns in a row, to move any units. In that time the Carthaginian routers cleared much of the camp and a number of units rallied.

The Romans pressed on, engaging with Carthaginian heavy infantry, several rounds of melee continued with the Romans wearing down their opponents and breaking one then two heavy infantry units.
The roman 3rd legion were battered by Carthaginian units and evenually broke.

On the flanks, Carthaginian cavalry broke the Roman light infantry on the Roman right flank, in turn the Roman heavy horse pushed forward and finally broke one of the enemy light horse. On the Roman left flank, the lights flanked and attacked advancing Carthaginian units whilst the Roman heavy horse, crashed into the rear of the camp.

More Carthaginians routers
As day broke in the game (turn 2) we reached the end of the night,the game had been planned a s a 2 week affair but there wasn't enough of a game left to allow for a second week. the Carthaginians had two heavy infantry units engaged with a veteran legion and one of these had just been hit in the flank by a fresh Roman legion, both the Carthaginian units had reached zero cohesion points and would break soon.

It was left to Rupert as umpire to deliberate the impact on the campaign,this will be communicated to the commanders in due course. An enjoyable game that a number of 'nip & tucks' / 'to and fros' despite the apparent one sided nature of the game.