Friday, 28 October 2016

And for completeness I suppose I should mention - Hussites and Derby

Given the earlier post about the Hussites I think it only fair to report on the result of the Impetus Competition and our trip to Derby for Derby World Wargames, which actually happens now in a large shed on Donnington Park. I should apologise for the pics - I'm rubbish with the camera on my phone and was really concentrating on other "stuff" for the most part to take coherent pics..

 The venue moved from the University to Donnington Park a couple of years ago and it is a bit of a mixed blessing. It certainly has more room, and everything is under one roof, but the noise level is high and the other facilities not that great. On the other hand the traders love the easy access and there is plenty of parking. It was as always well organised by the Derby Club, who have plenty of experience at this sort of thing so it runs like a Swiss watch.

The Impetus competition is a small and friendly affair - this year only eight players which put us rather embarrassingly less than the number playing WRG 6th.  It was an open format with the following armies present

Hussite, Chosun Korean, War of the Roses Lancastrian, Thracian, Italian Coalition, Parthian , Carthaginian and last but not least British & Welsh Kingdoms. 

My first round game was against the damned Italians. It was a close run thing, with the Hussites deploying badly and spending the first few turns getting their cavalry back inside the protection of the wagons, then trying a complicated wheeling to get out again. It wasn't quite shambolic but it took time - not helped by one of the generals having a crisis of confident and dropping from Poor to Incompetent. In spite of this I did succeed in turning the Italian flank and it was looking as though I may get a win but we ran out of time, resulting an a low scoring draw. As always the wagons did their thing and anchored the whole army.

Second game was against the Lancastrians. This time I decided to flank march my cavalry with the intention of falling on his exposed flank. This worked, but instead of arriving mid game when the opposition would be strung  out and disordered, they arrived on turn one to find the opposition waiting in their deployment zone. On they charged anyway, to be met by a resounding check all along the front - this shouldn't have happened, and the result was a third of my army was pinned in a corner outnumbered and too far away to be supported. In the end they broke, taking a significant proportion of the opposition with them. Both sides glared at each other, then offered a draw as he had no intention of trying his already battered army against the wall of wagons, and I couldn't launch a credible attack. Another low scoring draw :-(

Last game was against Parthians. This was a beautiful army but totally ill equipped to deal with Hussites. To be fair they did their best, attacking the Hussite cavalry that refused to move far from the  protecting fire from the wagons, `and in the end this was the deciding factor, leaving me with a win that looked a lot better on paper than in reality.

Overall I finished in a creditable second place, and a lot of fun was had. In my incompetence I seem not to have a good pic of armies before we started, however here are a couple of shots snapped between turns of the others.

Other stuff - spending was fairly limited - for reasons I bought some more Hussites (can't resist a Hussite)  and some Pig Iron miniatures Colony Militia, which hopefully will get converted into Serenity\Firefly Browncoats at a later date, plus some interesting fantasy character figures.

The demo games were of typically high standard and almost too many to mention, however mention must be made of the near legendary Sir Rich of Lard Island who was demo'ing Sharp Practice 2

and nearby was more SP2 - this time a Retreat From Moscow

and a final mention should go to the lads of Daruma who were showing off their SLA Industries :Cannibal Sector skirmish game. This looks very much like the one that got away, ie something I would really like to try but know I can't give enough time \ money to. Which is a genuine shame.

So that's my belated roundup of our trip to Derby!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Deja Vu - or I wrote this a few weeks ago and forgot to push the "Publish" button.

So it's Derby World Wargames next weekend, and that on Planet Renko usually means one thing - Impetus. Ok Impetus and beer. Impetus, beer, a curry...

Usually I have my army chosen and a fair few practice games under the belt before the big day - not so this time. This year we are stepping up to 400pts from 300 \ 350. I had originally planned to paint a new Thracian army up for Derby, but that particular bit of mo-jo leaked or was stolen after about half way. That left my Old Faithfull Early Achaemenid Persian, or Richard III, or Ancient British, or.....Hussite

The problem with the Persians is they are very old figures - some of them are from the QT Models range where you got to build the troops by selecting bodies, heads & weapons. All very Avant Garde in the 1980s but now they look rather sad. I have a big pile (a technical term meaning "enough") of Foundry Persians to replace them, but have not quite got around to painting them yet. A also need a camp making. This should be easy, and when completed will look like this

But better and made out of pink foam :-)

So having left it to late to rebuild Persepolis that leaves Richard III - aka Uncle Dicky  and his Yorkists. Problem here is that they are spectacularly unlucky, and not a great army to use - their tactic being to stand still and shoot a lot. All WotR armies are similar in that respect, and it makes for interesting games when they play each other but they are horribly one dimensional, and I didnt fancy that.

So Ancient British? Again I'm not feeling the urge. the Ancient Brits are the diametric opposite of the Yorkists - they charge across the table and win or die. Not a lot of command decisions there either, and open competitions like Derby tend to feature a lot of late Medieval armies with Knights - and they ride the Brits down in droves.

So the unloved child going to Derby is Hussites. I have a 300pt 28mm Hussite army based for Impetus. It looks quite nice, but it has all the on table charm of a car crash. I've decided to give it a go at 400pts to see if this step up improves it at all. I should add the Hussites are spectacularly good at what they do, which in Impetus competitions tends to be to act as a massive tripping hazard to competetive armies, particularly light horse armies, who may as well pack up and go home. This Hussite has seen off Mongols, Scythians, Numidians, Sassanids and Templars - mostly without breaking a sweat.

In case you are not au fait with middle European History, the Hussites were a religious group from Bohemia who fell out with the Church in about 1419 over such major issues as who should get the wine at Communion and which way the Priest faced. This all got out of hand to the point Joan of Arc threatened to lead a Crusade to put them right. The Holy Roman Empire thought it could handle this, and descended on them in a wave of heavily armoured knights. In almost all other circumstances this would have ended quickly with the Peasants ridden down and the wine being back as the sole prerogative of the priesthood. In this case they has a secret weapon - Jan Zizka. Zizka had lived the life of a fairly un-noteworthy soldier up to that point, but cometh the hour, cometh the Jan. He realised his army of peasants and townsfolk couldn't fight knights in the open, and couldn't stand a siege forever either. So he perfected a new form of warfare where his peasants fought from wagons that could be chained together to form a sort of mobile fortification. Each wagon was crewed by crossbowmen and handgunners, with some polearm equipped infantry just in case anyone got close. They also used numerous small cannons - another first as no-one thought they were of any use except in sieges.  The opposition didn't have a clue how to deal with this and so resorted to plan A - "Charge!!". This lead to a string of Hussite victories - in five years of constant war against just about everyone  Zizka never lost a battle, dying in 1424 of the plague. Hussites it is!