Welcome to Marauder Moments - a chronicle of the Mortimer Street Marauders; the games we play, the rules we use, the figures we play with and the scenery they fight over. Hope you enjoy these pages and maybe call back to catch up with our escapades.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Road trip

We decided to have a boys day out. We planned to visit Maelstrom Games in Mansfield so Steve, who shall remain nameless, could undertake some covert industrial espionage. This was not to be however as was busy. So with Chris having to work Tony, Rich and I planned to make the trip ourselves.

On the morning of our great adventure we rose early and met at my place for coffee and more coffee. Then we had a filthy row about who was driving - a marauder moment! Rich was gracious enough to drive so we set off. It soon dawned on us that we didn't actually have to visit Maelstrom Games as we didn't have "Steve the baggage" with us - so we were free spirits!!!

Now, the Marauders are a Wiltshire folk, specifically a north west Wiltshire folk so the trip to the Nottingham area would be quite long, 2-3 hours depending on traffic. Plenty of time to do what wargamers do best - talk about wargaming! We covered everything; basing, glue, varnishes, pinning cavalry, rules, magazines, websites & blogs, who's who, who was who, who will be who and lots more.

Why Nottingham? Well, however you cut it Nottingham is wargames central on a macro global scale. We discussed who we should visit and where we could go; should we call in on Warlord games or Wargames Foundry? Should we burgle the Perry twins house? Maybe we could wake up Rick Priestley for a lecture on Black Powder and a cup of tea? There are so many manufacturers and traders up there that we actually got confused and ended up here...

Bloody hell it's Games Workshop head office! 
I know, how did that happen? Confession time. The truth is we used to play Fantasy and 40k to a lesser extent, we dabbled in warhamster and epic (tiddly 40k), we even played some boaty game, an orcy car game, some gang based skirmish game and still pull out Space Hulk occasionally. So we are not without influence from the Dark Side of the hobby. This is a good thing in many respects as it has informed much of what we want from the hobby and how we want to play games. GW sometimes brings out the worst in us and often the best, but we do have a history here so we popped in. Maybe it's like shagging an ex-girlfriend years later! I wouldn't know though - honest!            

The indoor castle that is Warhammer World. It's OK to be quietly impressed, really it is, no harm will come to you.
Those of you who have ever visited a GW "store" will be aware of the form; young male approaches you and attempts conversation about the Warhammer Hobby and is horrified to hear you play Napoleonics, DBX, FOG, FOW or God knows what uncommercial crap he's never heard of. He glazes over when you mention Seleucids and is baffled at Warhammer Ancient Battles because he didn't know it existed! So I was fully expecting this, what threw me was the interrogation I received about taking photos, especially as some other bugger was filming! Having established my credentials as a fully paid up, albeit ex Warhammer player I was allowed to continue my tour. Although I suspect I was shadowed, I like think so anyway!

By an incredible coincidence we then met Paul from The Bell pub in Seend where we held the annual Marauders Christmas Banquet, luckily he was still talking to us. I say "luckily" because I don't remember leaving the pub after imbibing much claret and more brandy - Napoleonic brandy of course. It got a bit messy I think but he didn't shout at us so it can't have been that bad!!! He plays that LOTR game I think. 

The gaming tables are really good.

Check out the cracked riverbed, not sure how they did that but I like it.

This one was ace. Naturally we nearly had an argument about movement in the watery bits. 

Got me thinking about Tau for some reason.

I thought our snow tables we pretty good but this one was actually cold! Better wear a bobble hat and mittens.

Remember these are gaming tables - you can use them - it's not a diorama.
A Necropololis in Khemri. See, I did play this.
 All that's missing are some Napoleonic artists nicking everything & some howling Mamluks.
The painted models are jaw dropping in both their excellence and quantity. Not sure who or what the lectern is for...

I cannot over emphasis just how superb the toys are. There's another lectern, WTF is going on? 
This is Bugmans Bar. Spent a few bad days & nights here in my youth!

Just as Rich tries to pinch the Space Marine's bolter his cloaking device fails!
Aaaaaaarrrgh! Run man.

 With the wretched Cloaking Device broken we made a speedy exit. Visiting Warhammer World was a trip down memory lane and a very nice one too. Always inspiring & always tempting. Also slightly dampening of the spirit at the same time. Why so? I hear you ask. Basically I'll never own such beautifully well painted models in sufficient quantities to play big games - and that's a bit sad - but only a bit.

It was now about midday and we headed off to Derby for our appointment with wargamings own mad professor, Ian Hinds. This was the real purpose of out trip and we were well excited. We chatted for nano seconds about playing 40k, agreed that we would return to Fantasy one day and then got lost! Marauder Moment number 2!

We tore up and down roads and dual carriage ways named after football people whilst running out of petrol! Now that would have been a disaster, very much the most Marauder Moment of all time.

Then we ended up in Spondon.

Spondon sounds very rude. "Stiffer than a monkeys spondon." See what I mean?
Spondon had petrol and a girl with crazy make up & no command of her native English language so we left. By some miracle we arrived at Chez Hinds bang on time.

Ian Hinds owns Hinds Figures Ltd which he runs from his home in Derby and we had an appointment with him to buy some toys. Ian sells painted soldiers and also Hinchcliffe Models. We had a shopping list
which was basically to buy as many of his best painted 28mm Napoleonic Russians as we could find - we also had a four figure budget to take care of it. It's not fair to say how much we spent as it's Ian's business which is also why there's no piccies of his home! Just seems wrong.

Basically Ian has a website with tens of thousands of painted figures for sale, see here for full details http://www.hindsfiguresltd.com/home.htm   He has even more at his house. One can visit, strictly by appointment only. In our case we had to see and touch before buying so the visit was essential. As well as Russians we would obviously be keen to buy anything else we fancied too. Rolls of twenties and credit cards were about to be deployed...

We were ushered into a viewing room - essentially a sitting room with a big empty table and A4 box files from floor to ceiling on three walls. There were 75 boxes alone of 28mm Nappies and a lot of those were Russian - kids in candy store - oh yes. There are other rooms and two garages for other scales, 15mm, 6mm etc. etc.

Ian is very helpful and very patient, good humoured and quite witty too. By the time we had been through every single one of 75 boxes twice and some thrice he needed to be. Eventually we narrowed down a good selection of well painted or very well painted new toys, we didn't want any crap. Here's what we got;-

13 x 32 Russian infantry, mostly Front Rank but some Foundry too
32 x Russian Uhlans by Elite Miniatures
32 x Russian Cuirassiers also by Elite
4 x French canon and 16 crew by Front Rank
20 x British skirmishers by Foundry; these were exceptionally well painted.
11 x Russian mounted generals by Foundry and Front Rank.
That's just over 600 pieces counting cavalry as two. 

These will all be rebased, tarted up & tidied up where needed, new flags added and sent straight into action. When they're ready you 'll get some photos. Next year is the bicentenary of Borodino, (as surely everyone knows) and we mean to be ready for it! Tony's collection of Russians is very large and growing but the poor man can't paint fast enough to meet the demands of some really big games next year. In addition to the stuff from Ian we are getting together 6 x 32 Russian Guard, 32 x Russian Guard Hussars and 32 x Russian Guard Cuirassiers and 2 x 6 gun Russian Guard batteries. We'll be pushing 50 Russian battalions by next year, I should do a parade style post.

To contact Ian to buy some kit just visit;-


Thanks to Ian for putting up with us - I thoroughly recommend him to you.

So that was that! I was due at a solicitors Christmas drinkies in Bath so we headed back to our beloved Wiltshire, home of heroes and Marauders. Derby is about a 2-3 hour drive depending on traffic. Plenty of time to do what wargamers do best - talk about wargaming! We covered everything; basing, glue, varnishes, pinning cavalry, rules, magazines, websites & blogs, who's who, who was who, who will be who and lots more. Happily we arrived half an hour early so went to the pub and did the thing wargamers do best while talking about wargames - drink beer!

The Crown at Bathford where our Road trip ended. We had a few quid left for a few pints of Doombar, a good ale.
Don't 'spose I'll post much before Christmas but I'll sort out something about the big Christmas all dayer.

Cheers for now.    

Saturday, 10 December 2011

A rare occurrence indeed!

These piccies are rare in that they show off some of my Prussians actually winning a battle. We set this one up along the lines of the Battle Report in Barry Hilton's "Republic 2 Empire". Basically one side has to attack a farm and nearby road junction - nothing spectacular so we added some more cavalry and shoved in a rudimentary arrival schedule for them. Naturally we used our preferred General de Brigade rules.

Monsieur Hilton's scenario involves French v Dutch Belgian types which we don't have, so we put my Prussians in the attackers role and Rich's French on the Defensive.

Brigade General Steinmetz directs Line and Reserve Regiments against the blazing farm. It is stormed with ease.
Wargames Foundry toys, GMB flags, Snap Dragon farm.
Lovely formation this! Combined squadrons of  Landwehr cavalry with flags and pennants flying.
Foundry with GMB banners.

The illustrious Mecklenburg Strelitz Hussars tearing along at a cracking pace.
Calpe castings.

Perry plastic Prussians with GMB flag, sadly I forget which Regiment - Doh! 

Mecklenburg Strelitz hussars run the gauntlet of French skirmisher fire - wow that looks good!
Calpe cavalry - Perry and Victrix voltigeurs. 

With the farm captured the Prussians set about clearing the woods of pesky Frenchman.
Foundry versus Victrix.

General Jurgass oversees the attack of his cavalry brigade. Calpe Hussars lead the way, Foundry Kurass in reserve. 

Terrified Marie Louises huddle in square as Jurgass' troopers close in for the kill.
Perry plastic french easily hold off Calpe and Foundry cavalry - Bah!!!  

Yorke takes pleasure in his "oh so successful attack" whilst his staff enjoy some saucy captured French engravings.
Original Perry sculpts from the Foundry range.
I have a win! Possibly more to do with Chris's help than my tactical judgement. Rich and Tony never really got back into it after the farm was stormed and a battery cut down by the Landwehr cavalry which opened up their flank - get in!!! Late arriving French cavalry were never going to rescue the situation.

Not many piccies but some good ones I think. Another fun nights gaming. Planning something bigger for our annual  all day Christmas bash. I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Great Escape...some photos

I came across these photos from an evening game which was largely inconclusive. However it did involve some interesting ideas; a lot of Skirmishers and  high proportion of cavalry plus staggered arrival of reinforcements and Dragoons on foot with remounting rules. Quite a lot of odd stuff on a T shaped table with two French forces trying to catch a retreating Russian force with baggage - quaintly old skool in many ways. We never really finished, due to time constraints, but I did get a few good piccies for you. Enjoy!


Russians taking pot shots from the tree line - lovely bases.
Foundry toys by Tony. 

Russians in line. Note replaced sword for the officer - clever Tony. 

Russian infantry herded into a sheep pen - easily done. Docile muppets! Foundy by Tony. GW fence by me. 

What fool wrote these crazy orders?

"Mr Crazy Orders" from behind. More superb basing by Tony. Foundry and Perry toys messed with by Tony.

Jaeger and Voltigeurs skirmishing over farmland. Nice day for it.

These boys mean business. Rolled copper flags - hand painted. Foundry by Tony.

The vodka and pies are marched off table to avoid the greedy French. Baggage by the talented Tony.

"You shall not pass!"
Perry plastic dragoon outnumbers Front Rank cossacks. By Tony, Dragoon by Barry.

"Follow me - I know the way"
Foundry Russian Cuirassiers - all swords replaced. Predictably by Tony.

French heavies milling about. Perry Plastics by Barry Hill.

Very busy shot. French heavy division deploys; Saxon horse artillery, French and Saxon heavies in the background.
All Perry twins stuff from my tool boxes - painted by Perry Pender, based by me.

More of the same division a turn or so later, five cavalry Regiments spreading out. Russian heavies approaching in the distance and some cossacks pissing about too.

Lovely command group seen enjoying some summer sunshine. I these come from Tony's "enamel" period.

I hope you enjoyed a peak at a few units in action. As I said the game fizzled out without the motivation to finish it in a second week. Happens sometimes, but always good to get the toys out for a run and a chat.
cheers - warpaintjj

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Vitoria Day 2 - Contraction & Collapse.

So Sunday morning saw three merry warriors arrive on time and hangover free! WTF? I hear you say! Wargamers arriving on a Sunday morning with no hangovers? Well Saturday was 5th November Fire Works; so we pissed off home to bonfires, kith and kin. No harm was done except burning effigies of everyone's favourite anarchist. Although I like to think of him/her as any number of modern day state funded villains...

 Triple Helix had kindly decided to open on the Sunday so we could play our game to a conclusion over two days. We jumped straight back into the fray. Coffee and bacon butties served at the table - greasy hands kept well away from the pretty toys.

A couple of Brit Top Brass with nobs on congratulate each other; "Aren't we brill!"
My predicament was every bit as bad as I remembered. The Brits had unlocked the French right and were flooding onto the ridge. Only one lone French battalion formed line to cover the retreats and routs. Another isolated French square had surrendered in the face of almost 100 cavalry & several battalions; my decision.

Luckily my reinforcements had arrived and were moving into position for what would be my task for the day - to recapture the ridge. Simply put; I had to get more troops onto the ridge to hold the allied surge, then mount a counterattack to reclaim the lost ground. At worst I wanted to hold the southern end of the ridge and Arinez which was effectively my strategic line of retreat.

The Brits get a "surge on".
The northern end of the ridge is now firmly in Allied hands. Can they roll up the whole position?   
So what was my plan? Cunning and worth a go I thought.
If I could form a line across the ridge with the redoubt as the hinge I might hold them off, but they would attack on two fronts. The "out of ammo" artillery battery happily returned from the artillery park with fresh supplies. This was set up to face the onslaught, many of the British troops had taken a pasting and might not relish point blank canister fire. Three fresh battalions were moved up to bolster the two Swiss and one Wurtemburg battalion who were so stalwart yesterday. This force should just hold the line especially with the CinC overseeing there deployment.  

The refitted and resupplied Saxon battery straddling the ridge to see off the hoards of Redcoats trying to roll up the flank. In the back ground the reinforced ridge line and redoubt await the final act of the day - Wellington's attack.     
Wellington massing for the attack. Picton's battered brigades are up the ridge to the left. The French artillery are arriving back with bags of fresh ammo and baguettes on the far horizon.   
In order to take the pressure off the ridge I conceived a dastardly plan. If Wellington was allowed to attack unmolested and in concert with Picton the day would be lost. However a weak point had developed in Wellington's line as it attempted to move south in order to attack along the whole line and threaten Arinez. One brigade of infantry and one of light cavalry was basically crossing my front with only a small battery and some riflemen linking them to the main force. If the French could just attack them at this crucial juncture Wellington might have to draw off troops from the main assault or even stall it. This would buy time for the good people on the ridge to fight off the plucky Picton and save the day. What could possibly go wrong?

Looking north, Arinez on the right. Italians sally out to snuff out the over extended British line of March.
Those Light Dragoons on the left were about to suffer...
 The picture above shows quite well where the hammer blow would fall. Just below the ridge were my regiments of Dragoons and Cuirassiers; these would charge down the guns and threaten the flanks of the Brits in the fore ground as the Italians attacked frontally. Out of shot the Spanish Hussars have routed one Regt of Light Dragoons and is threatening the one shown above.

My attack develops. Out of shot two Hussar Regiments threaten Ponsonby's remaining Light Dragoons.
Wellington (left), seemingly unconcerned, prepares his main assault.
Picton (right) deploys the "string puppet brigade" to gall me further. They'll pay for this.
British foot and Rifles move unmolested along MY ridge. Picton smugly sits on his nag with his silly brolly!
My counter strike was initially very successful. Wellington's leading Light Cavalry brigade was bundled off the table leaving my hussars free to challenge the exposed foot as they prepared to meet my Italian columns.

The charge of the heavy cavalry was exactly the opposite. Both regiments took hits in the face of fairly feeble artillery fire but once again deadly rifle fire caused both to break and abandon the attack - hmmph!

Up on the ridge disaster was only just around the corner. My freshly returned battery let loose a short range  canister barrage only to run out of ammo again!!! The twats must have come back with the wrong caliber rounds or something; this undermined the whole position and allowed Picton to deploy his own RHA to blow holes in my lines as the British Guards charged out of the tree line into the Swiss. This coincided with Wellington pushing his first assault up through the vineyards to bayonet charge the ridge line.

Wellington's boys finally get to charge. Check out Picton's masses up on the ridge and his bloody cavalry beyond that.
The British Guards charge is halted by the Swiss! Too little too late says me.
 Sadly there were no piccies of the Italian attacks and the surprise success of the Spanish Hussars. So this is their story. The Hussars triumphant from routing Ponsonby flung themselves on the foremost British battalion, now in square. Finally realising that they were conscripts after all they turned tail at the first whiff of black power never to be seen again. The Italian Brigade of four battalions was taught a tough lesson by two battalions of redcoats and their forward movement halted - "back to Arinez!"    
My counter attack had utterly failed.

Duo of Dapper Dandies lead a vast column of allied cavalry behind the ridge to seal my fate.

The French position virtually enveloped. The battery low on ammo and down to two guns; relentless attacks everywhere and all my plans in tatters. What a great end to a magical game.  
So I threw in the towel. Well, what can I say? How do we explain this back at HQ? Napoleon Bonaparte is a tough brother in law, overbearing alfa male, know it all, ego maniac control freak - what does he know?

Then to the pub for a large Napoleon Brandy - what else? Then a few pints and a debrief. All of us were frazzled, me in particular. Possibly a little emotional too- wargaming can get you like that sometimes.

My sincerest thanks must go to Rich for sorting the scenario; he and Tony for being excellent opponents and for playing in the spirit of the thing. Lastly to Triple Helix for being such accommodating hosts.

Unflappable Steve, (owner of Triple Helix), flaps his way through an explanation of our game.
The guy in the deerstalker actually fought with Picton in the Spanish Peninsular so didn't buy any of Steve's bollocks what so ever.