Wednesday, July 31, 2019


I've been slowly working my way though my Easterlings forces for Middle Earth gaming using a mix of figures- Fireforge Medieval Russians for the infantry, Gripping Beast plastic Goth Cav for the heavy Cav, Gripping Beast huns for the light Cav, and GW LoTR rangers for the skirmishers/lighter bow armed troops.

I am happy with how the force has turned out and look forward to getting it onto the table soon


Monday, July 22, 2019

Wargaming likes it's 1985

In 1985 I was 17. Over winter my friend Ian would pop round on Saturday evenings and we’d wargame. We used our own rules we’d developed over the years and were a combination of Lionel Tarr’s rules (from Donald Featherstone’s Wargames) and also Gavin Lyall’s Operation Warboard. We were right into World War Two, and to us there was no other era worth gaming.

We used to frequently undertake D- Day landings but also river crossings figured heavily too by the looks of it. The buildings were a combination of HO/OO model railroad cardboard buildings and home made one’s that had originally been part of a rather large model railway layout my father had build my brothers and me when we were younger. Most of the trees had been repurposed from that model railway layout as well.

The models we used back then were a mix of Airfix, Matchbox and Esci and by this stage I’d replaced most of my earlier Matchbox and Airfix figures with Esci ones which I thought had much better detail even thought they were noticeable bigger than the other two ranges. We painted our vehicles and guns but not our figures by the looks of it.

I have no idea who won or lost now but that doesn’t matter, these grainy photos are the only ones I have of that period and so now I’ve rediscovered them will treasure them.

 An assault on a village somewhere in France. By the looks of it this one is based on Gavin Lyall's Pont- De la Croix in Operation Warboard- I am assuming by the pillbox in front of the Airfix pontoon bridge

 A German mortar crew barely visible in the foreground.

Beach landings- we gamed these ones a lot. you can see our mortar template on the right- the idea of which we borrowed from Charle's Grants Battles?) and a plastic Airfix DUKW is clearing the beach- which is denoted in chalk- totally old school that!

Homemade landing craft and a Fujimi (?) watchtower in the foreground. I think I was the invader in this one.

My younger brother watches on. We usually didn't let him in our gaming room, must have been feeling generous. Note World of Grehawk map from AD&D on the wall.

 This landing doesn't seem to be going well.

Another game and view from the landing craft. IIRC I attacked with commandos in this one.

Marchbox Sherman fireflies with homemade flails, you don't see those every day!

The Airfix gun emplacement featured prominently for many, many years. I got it for my 9th or 10th birthday and it got a lot of use in our wargames.

Note the foxholes we had cut out of pynex and the cardboad pillboxes. The dark Green Esci German infantry.

A village somewhere in France. The red roofed buildings were "borrowed" from the model railway layout.

A view from the German positions of another invasion of Normandy.

My friend Ian plots his next move.


Sunday, July 14, 2019

Kings of War vs Martin and Jeff

I had to pop up to Christchurch for work on Monday and so decided to head up for the weekend and catch up with some mates. I arranged a game of Kings of War vs Martin & Jeff- they were using Martin's dwarves while I used my KoW Historics inspired LoTR Easterlings list

We decided ot play 1700 points, which meant there were alot f dwarves n the field.

The two forces meet.

Only a 3ft wide board so we were ibno combat pretty quickly. My two units of heavy cavalry smashing into a rather large horde of dwarves.

My infantry hung back and paid the price once the organ guns got the range- it was  slaughter.

Boris gets stuck in
 I will kill that one!

My knights break though the dwarven line,.

Having eaten a regiment of dwarves Borsi the Beastman decides that a horde would be just as tasty.

In the end though the dwarven line held, it was a brutal fight but the dwaves came out on top.

We then had  second game with Martin rearranging his army to have 3 dwarven hordes and unfortunately the Easterlings got streamrolled, not being able to do enough damage before the dwarven tsunami overwhelmed them.

Here they come!

The dwarves surge forward

You know you are having a bad day when this happens!

A couple of fun games, the second iteration of Martin's list was damn tough and would require a bit more thought from my force to slow down- I only had one unit of cavalry in game 2 which didn't help. However, I learned a lot from the experience and need to coordinate my various units a bit better, especially my light cavalry to try to get more flanking opportunities. The narrow table also probably affected things a bit as I wasn't able to have any depth to my set up, but that is no excuse fr the result. I was comprehensively outplayed in game 2, game 1 was pretty close though.

I was pretty impressed at how tough heavy spearmen are as a core to build round and may look at fielding a horde rather than a regiment next time to provide a solid base. Two units of heavy cav hitting a unit can do some serious damage so will continue to experiment with that as well- and coordinating/supporting them more effectively with the light cavalry

I look forward to a few more games and getting to grips with the rules a bit more. It is pretty dice intensive but a lot of fun.


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Victrix Vikings and Easterlings of Middle Earth

I've been chipping away at my projects when I find time. Ive complted 4 units (32 figures) using the new Victrix Vikings. They don't disappoint. I'd seena  fw people commenting on the way they have done the chain mail on the figures but really t is a non issue once painted, and before that too really.

The figures have fantastic detail, lots of options and are now my go to source for rank and file vikings.

My horde is a mix of the new Victrix plastics, Gripping  Beast Plastics and metals and a few assorted odds and sods such as Artizan. Size wise the Victrix are a bit taller than the Gripping  Beast plastics. I've a unit of huscarls to finish and that is going to be a mixture of Footsore and Victrix models. The Victrix are noticeably taller and bulkier than the Footsore but don't think it will too much of an issue. I intend to bulk up the bases of the footsore so it isn't too noticeable.

I've still got some basing to go. You may also notice that I've been busy making myself movement trays for the troops- out of cardboard and balsa.

I've also added another regiment of spearmen to my Easterlings Middle Earth forces- these are Fireforge plastic medieval Russians with Gripping Beast Tumerid shields.