David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Making use of those annoying odd figures!

I’ve never really forgiven Foundry for starting the trend of selling historical wargame figures in blister packs. I always enjoyed building up my units to suit the look I wanted by choosing individual figures. As the trend to blistering spread I’m sure I’m not alone in having a box of odd figures left over from units or projects. Having chosen TAG for the core of my Italian Wars collection I find the situation is no different, having currently two orphan Command figures. I combined these with a spare Foundry Gendarme command figure and an odd figure sculpted by Matt which I picked up at last December’s Wargamer show. The result is a Command vignette base which we will be using as sub commanders in our games. The bases are the same 100x50x3mm bases that other units are on as Sub Commanders can fight either on their own or by joining other units, at least in the current version of our rules!

I’m quite pleased by the way these odds and sods have meshed together. The General appears to be consulting his chief spy, a master of disguise, feared throughout Italy, Matteo Bicclione. An aide stands by to carry off the expected order, while the General’s personal standard flutters prominently in the breeze as a focus for his command. A bit of whimsy I know, but it’s a hobby and it’s meant to be fun remember. Next up should be the great man himself, Cesare Borgia, and his entourage, at least when the base turns up from Warbases.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

A base of (very) Large Ordnance completed.

Back in early January I went to the Penkridge Table Top Sale. While the majority of stuff on view is for Fantasy and Sci-Fi gamers I’ve had one or two real bargains there over the years. This year I got some Front Rank handgunners, which have already featured on the blog, and a Warlord Games/Pro Gloria Landsknecht Light Gun and crew, which is primed and nearing the head of the painting queue. But I also got this monstrosity, a large gun and Empire crew from Games Workshop for just £7.00 I recall. Now, I know it’s strictly not historical at all, but it was fun to paint and it makes a talking point in games and perhaps even here on the blog, you never know. Here it is ~

I hope to be at WMMS with Phil on Sunday, at least for a little while. I wasn’t expecting to go as you will know, but I shall make the most of my opportunity and look to buy some scenic stuff for the Italian Wars project, perhaps from Charlie Foxtrot for instance. If you see me on Sunday don’t hesitate to say hello.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Some better pictures of the Italian Wars collection

I've been messing around with taking photos of my progress so far on the Italian Wars collection. I think these pictures are better than the earlier ones I posted and you may agree ~

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Light Ordnance base completed.

I’ve managed to complete the groundwork and vegetation on my base of light ordnance for my Italian Wars project. The gun is the TAG light ordnance piece and the crew is from the Neapolitan/Spanish listing. The mantlets are from Wargames Foundry and the base from Warbases. I thought the mantlets should be a bit of a feature, hence the red and yellow colour scheme. For the bare wood I used Foundry Spearshaft with a wash of their Brown Ink. I am really enjoying painting for this project, the figures are really paint friendly and the riot of colour is fun to work with. Anyhow, you can make up your own mind I’m sure ~

I’m working on three mounted TAG figures now as a command base for the whole Papal States army.  I’ll hope to finish them next week. Why so long, you ask? Well, we have the plasterer and decorators in over the next fortnight so things are a bit disrupted. Not least GHQ, which is now a furniture and picture store!

Monday, 5 March 2018

The Pontifical Guard

The latest base of figures to join my part of our joint Italian Wars project is a unit representing the Pontifical Guard. The figures are by TAG and the flags by Pete’s Flags, via eBay. I chose a colour scheme for the figures loosely based on images of near contemporary members of the Guard, Robbie Rodiss’s rendition on his Aut Cesare blog, and the day to day wear of the modern iteration of the Guard ~

Next to be completed should be a more vignette style base depicting some field artillery. I just have the basework to do on that and it’s finished. More later in the week on this I expect.

Thursday, 1 March 2018


Well, the Pre~Operation appointment didn’t go to plan, throwing up something unexpected. As a result I’m off to see a further specialist in due course and the hip replacement is postponed for now at least. In a way it’s a convenient outcome as we are having some replastering done this week following on from last year’s water leaks. That would have meant the painter was here while I was in hospital, putting a double strain on Sue. That’s not the case now of course. However, there will still be a break in games in GHQ as it’s now a store for furniture and so on from the living room and landing. I’ll try to post a few updates and news as and when I have some. In the meantime, you may take your ease...

In the meantime you can always browse older posts and leave new comments to keep me on my toes!

See you soon!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

On The Road To Manderlay...

...well, no flying fishes playing I’m afraid, nor is dawn coming up like thunder from Rangoon across the bay, just Phil and I playing our latest Monday game here in GHQ: a WWII game set in Burma 1943 game using Bolt Action 2 to give my Imperial Japanese and British Commonwealth force’s a bit of an airing. The sharpest amongst you may notice that the terrain looks oddly familiar. I’ll tell you why later, but you’ll wish you hadn’t asked. Meanwhile, on with the game which sees the Commonweath forces trying to oust the Japanese from a defensive position guarding a strategic river bridge ~
The bridge in the foreground is the Commonwealth objective.

The bridge is heavily defended by the Japanese with infantry
and an anti-tank gun.

The British infantry advance cautiously wary of the Japanese
snipers' presence.

On the right the Ghurkas have flushed out and neutralised the

The bridge defenders are under heavy and sustained attack
but are hanging on grimly.

Turn 4 and the Japanese reinforcements arrive on time! They
head straight for the bridge to reinforce the defenders.

Banzai! A squad of Ghurkas are surprised by th Japanese,
who take advantage of the 'Double Action' dice we introduced
to charge home!

The Japanese defeat the Ghurkas! They go on later to charge
the Commonwealth HQ but are wiped out!

Another Ghurka squad occupies the ruins of a temple and from
there fire of the bridge defenders' flank.

The defenders are having a very hard time by Turn 6.

The Japanese infantry gun fires on the Ghurkas occupying
the temple ruins.

The Commonwealth tank is knocked out by the anti-tank gun,
but the Japanese reinforcements are caught on the bridge and
heavily punished by concentrated fire.

The Japanese are hanging on when they come under heavy
aerial attack. The defence looks very frail by now!

At the end of Turn 9 smoke conceals the gathering final
assault from the Commonwealth forces.

The game ended in an inconclusive draw after nine turns as we ran out of time! The Japanese were hanging on grimly to their positions around the bridge while the Commonwealth forces would need a further two or three turns to see if they could wrest control away from the Emperor ‘s sons. That's it from GHQ now as far as games go until after my hip replacement operation and the inevitable convalescence, though I shall hope to continue to post from time to time.