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!

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Off the Workbench - Mike W, 16/05/18

What's Off the Workbench today,Wednesday  16/05/2018?

Again a lean couple of weeks in the painting front - this time down to my son's actual wedding and the ensuing holiday we took to get over the event!

Big news is that I completed the Activo Militia battalion for the coming Texas Revolution game in June, this battalion is now represented by 5 x 8 man companies plus officers and NCOs. All companies have been painted as Fusilier companies, assumption being Cazadore and Grenadier companies have been detached for special duties...

5 Coys of the latest completed Activo Battalion 

What's On the Workbench today?

Only two items on the workbench at present. First we have 5 x 1st Corps 28mm mounted Mexican Officers who will be used as Battalion and Brigade commanders in the forthcoming game. The two figures in cocked hats will be the Brigade Commanders,the remaining three in Shakos will be Battalion Commanders.

Mexican Mounted Officers being painted
The second item is a 28mm Front Rank mounted general for the Anglo-Dutch Wars projects. picked this up cheap from eBay and is already partly painted, I'll complete it and make it comparable with my other figures in the range.

Front Rank mounted General from eBay!
Assuming I get these mounted figures done quickly, I have two mounted Texian Officers to paint and a couple additional companies for the 1st Corps Matramos Battalion, previously showcased. After that back the Anglo-Dutch Wars project and the possibility of expanding that out to include Holy Roman Empire & Poles v Ottomans!

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Wandering Around Blenheim Palace

Took the opportunity to take a look around Blenheim Palace recently, the 'reward' that John Churchill received form a grateful nation, as a result of leading the allies to victory in the War of Spanish Succession.

The palace its-self is well worth a look around and there is good information on Marlborough's life and times, concentrating mainly on his WSS exploits and his service for Queen Ann, his later fall form grace and his reinstatement on the arrival of King George. His earlier, more dubious exploits have been left somewhat under wraps...

... save the night he was found in bed with Charles II's mistress!

Small case of WSS artefacts
found at Blenheim Battlefield
More WSS artefacts
found at Blenheim Battlefield
Actually there is not a huge amount of military history interest to see at the palace - except for the following...

The main items of interest are a series  of tapestries commissioned by John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough to commemorate his victories at Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenaarde and Malplaquet, designed by Lambert de Hondt and woven by Judocus de Vos in Brussels.

The photos do not do justice to the detail in the pieces, at present one of the ten tapestries was away at the cleaners (in Belgium), see if you can spot its replacement!

Detail of Winston Churchill's toy soldiers
Display Case with Winston Churchill's toy soldiers

Depicting the battle of Blenheim, the tapestry shows Marshall Tallard, escorted by two British officers, in the act of surrender to Marlborough (in the red coat on a white horse). Grenadier Guardsman can be seen furling a captured French standard on the left of the image

Wynendael Tapestry, Battle was on 28th September 1708. In the background, General Webb's forces are ambushing the French and Bavarians through a gap in the woods.

This tapestry depicts the battle of Elixham when Marlborough
breached the French fortified lines between Namun and Antwerp

Depicting the battle of Malplaquet, this tapestry shows Marlborough dispatching a rider with orders.
In the background we see Lord Orkney advancing on horseback to the main attack,
and the village of Halplaquet in the distance
, with period miniature
reproduction captured flags

The left hand tapestry shows Marshall Boufflers surrendering the city of Lille to Marlborough. The right hand tapestry depicts Marlborough's approach to the hilltop fortress at Schellenberg, part of his campaign to save the Habsburg capital of Vienna from a threatened advance by King Louis XIV

The first of the Bouchain tapestries shows the French encampment which is completely
surrounded and Marlborough ready to receive the surrender of Bouchain

Siege of Bouchain, 13 September 1711

Marlborough's crossing of enemy lines in August led to the siege of Bouchain,
Marlborough's last success. In this, the first of three tapestries depicting the event, we see the
Allies under Marlborough advancing on the city of Bouchain

The second of the Bouchain tapestries shows the first stages of the surrounding of Bouchain.
It also depicts the river Scheldt and the village of Sensee (This one is the replica)

Duke of Marlborough at the Battle of Oudenarde

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Off the Workbench - Mike W, 01/05/18

What's Off the Workbench today,Tuesday  01/05/2018?

Well its been a slow couple of weeks on the painting front - a lot of my spare time has been taken up with preparations for my son's wedding, so free time has been at a premium.
Front Rank Austrian Cuirassiers

That said I completed the 6 x 28mm Front Rank Austrian Cuirassiers and they have come up very nicely, they are just waiting a final matt varnish spray and a flag to be added, this will get done after the weekend.

Other work includes the completion of the 3 x Boot Hill 28mm Mexican Lancers, that you may remember I had managed to loose the riders for a few weeks ago. Well after a tidy-up I found them and completed them.

Boot Hill 28mm Mexican Lancers
Two were painted in the Regular Red with Green trimmings uniform and the third was painted in Green with Red trimmings - as used by the Activo Battalions - a company of which I will be painting in the coming weeks! Again these need a coat of matt varnish to complete
Boot Hill Texians

Next on the list were 8 x Boot Hill Texian Officers and Infantry men, painted in a number of uniforms to make up numbers for various companies that I have already completed - including an Alabama Red Rover, a couple of Tennessee Volunteers. All finished nicely and waiting for the rain to stop to give them a matt spray varnish.

Biggest addition to the completed list this last fortnight was the first of a batch of First Corp Mexicans that I acquired last week, 24 figures painted to represent two and a half companies of an Activo Militia Battalion, yet to be decided which one, but depicted in summer uniforms of white with red trim.
Un-named Activo Infantry Battalion

Each company is of 8 men plus there are two officers, an ensign and a musician (fifer). All figures completed in a week, based and ready for matt spray, depicted below in their storage box... 

What's On the Workbench today, well as noted my time is limited at present, I'll not start painting again for 3-4 days and then it looks like it will be the remaining figures I received from First Corps - so likely another two and a half companies of the Activo Militia Battalion or possibly an additional two companies for the Matramos Permiante Battalion.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Battle of the Marne, 1914


Tabletop, viewed from South Edge
Fought in early Sept 1914, this was the first clear victory by the Allied forces over the advancing Germans. The battle followed on from the Battle of the Frontiers where the Allied armies were forced into retreat and the pursuing Germans were on the verge of reaching the outskirts of Paris, where the French and BEF were able to hit the extended German lines in their western flank.

The Game
More 1st Korps advancing Battalions
Staged on April 20th, 27th and slated for a 3rd week on 4th May, was put on by Phil, using his collection of 15mm WWI figures and his own adaptations of Shako rules to meet the period change required for combat occurring 100 years later than originally designed for.
Seemingly endlesss Advance of German
1st Korps columns on Eastern roads

Hopefully we'll see some notes from Phil on how he went about the development of these rules at some point but in summary each nationality has its own play-sheets to represent specific doctrines and skills whilst the core mechanics of the Shako rules shine through.

Advancing French Battalions to South West of battlefield
Game is played on a detailed 8' x 6' table, with play running length ways of the table (ie Short edge to short edge. The forces involved are a snapshot of the opening phases of the battle and are not 100% historically accurate - rather they use as much of Phil's collection as possible whilst trying to respect historical balance.

Lead elements of German &
French Divisions clash in woods
Week One: The Germans start the game advancing with 3 infantry divisions and a cavalry division to north east of table.

Town dominating centre of
battlefield held by German Jeagers
French have deployed two divisions along the ridges at the south end of the table and they are later able to deploy a third (Zouave) division advancing into the German rear from the North East.

Week Two: The French Zouave division push on securing one of eth two roads used by the Germans as lines of communication, in the process mauling 1st Korps Artillery and a Reserve Korp Landwehr Brigade that blundered into the advancing French.

Advancing 2nd Korps Battalions
along North central roads
Elsewhere the Germans fared better, 1st Korps captured the town in the South West of the tabletop, before swinging north to move between the two French ridges. In the process two French divisions were badly mauled, being forced to retire with heavy casualties. The Germans also suffering heavy casualties to their 1st Korps: 1st Division.
German Divisional Artillery
To the North the Reserve Korps and Cavalry Korps were hit by fast advancing French troops bit managed to hold them off in a series of firefights, before pushing back one of the French divisions with both sides taking casualties.

Week Two ended with elements of the BEF arriving to bluster the faltering French line, moving North West to South East and approaching the center of the table where a brigade of German Jeagers have been bravely holding out against repeated French attacks.

More to follow as the game progresses

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Off the Workbench - Mike W, 18/04/18

What's Off the Workbench today,Wednesday  18/4/2018?

So without much real thought, I have decided that these posts will now be approximately every fortnight, this accounts for the longer summer evenings and the need to get other jobs I have been putting off all winter done before we get too far int the summer months...

Since last post I received a delivery of 28mm First Corps Mexican soldatos, artillery (Mexican & Texian) and associated crews, these have all been duly painted and made ready for gaming - with the deadline for the first Texas Revolution game set at early June - time is running out to get enough of these little guys ready.
Matamaros Battalion Companies plus officers & NCOs

Matamaros Bn unifrorm
with red plastron

Firstly I completed 2 units of 8 Soldatos, painted up as the Matamaros Perminate Battalion, these guys had sky blue trousers, blue jackets with red collars and cuffs and a red plastron on the front of their jackets, all trimmed with white. These First Corps figures have a mixture of shakos and field caps on the figures. I'm not convinced the field caps are 100% accurate as they more closely resemble Spanish Isabellista caps than the French bonnets they were meant to be modelled on.
Boot Hill Texian Gunners with 6lb Gun

Overall the units have turned out well and I'm pleased with them. Their detail is no where near as crisp and easy to paint as the Boot Hill figures but they are considerably cheaper!

The delivery also included 2 x 6lb guns for the Texians, plus an 'American' crew - the other will be crewed by Boot Hill artillerymen - they don't yet supply artillery pieces in their range,
First Corps Mexican Gunners with 6lb Gun

The guns put themselves together pretty easily, fiddly as ever but again the norm of any scale really. The Mexican and 'American' crews painted  up nicely. I like the 'American' crew in their entirety more than the Mexicans - better poses and easier to paint. However the best figure of the bunch is the Mexican artillery officer who has a foot up on a stone and resting his telescope.

Boot Hill Mexican Gunners with 6lb Gun

First Corps 'American'  Gunners with 6lb Gun
Best bonus was that I was spurred on to finally complete the 6 First Corps Mexican Soldatos that I gave up on a couple months back. These now represent an under strength Grenadier company for their Matamaros Perminate Battalion stable mates.

Final completed item was a 28mm MDF Wagon, this was so simple to put together and build - I can't praise it enough, I have a second in the packet waiting to go - I just need to get some cart horses to pull them!

What's On the Workbench today?

At present there are 6 x Front Rank 28mm Austrian Cuirassiers, that I got from Colonel Bills a few weeks go, there's a couple more days painting work on these before I 'Dip' them and get them completed.

Then I'll be looking to get back to the Texian Revolution again to meet my self imposed June deadline...

... I've still got to finalise the Melee rules and design a scenario!

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Sikh Wars Battle - Photos

Tabletop Battlefield
Tabletop Detail
The Game

Staged on April 6th & 13th  by John & Dave, using their collection of 15mm Sikh Wars figures, fought over an 8' x 6' table.

Sikh Regular Cavalry

Sikh Irregular Cavalry

Sikh Irregular Infantry