Last weekend the Devon Wargames Group and friends, Panjo and Andy, went on tour with a trip up to Nottinghamshire to take in the delights of Wargames Foundry on the Saturday and Partizan on Sunday interspersed with a bit of merriment and battlefield sight seeing.
|Lots of eye-candy at Patizan last weekend in the link below|
The trip up to Foundry based in Newark took just under four hours, so setting out at about 07.00 we were up to their show-room/shop/games-room for about 11.00 in time to get started on our game before lunch, provided by our hosts mixed in with a bit of occasional retail therapy.
When Tom, Vince, Steve M and I arrived the other guys were already there, so once the table was set up and the respective forces laid out, Mr Steve M our Gamemeister for the day briefed the players on their objectives.
|The cat herding begins|
We were looked after during the day by Diane Ansell and her team who kept our strengths up with liberal lashings of tea and coffee together with other sustenance as well as dealing with our purchases.
|French Coureur de Bois lead the advance across the river|
|British Rangers move forward to contest the French advance|
This mechanism meant that as well as dealing with the threat posed by the enemy opposite each player had an eye on an objective close by that had to be kept in mind as the forces tried to grab control of various parts of the table.
|My motley force are led across the river by a screen of Indians|
|The early moves were a rush to get forward and grab the terrain|
|British Regulars and Colonial Militia could chuck out the fire|
|Tom's regulars and light infantry on the advance|
No matter how much fire I laid down on the cover close by the wagon, his light infantry held firm and I ended up taking my frustration out on "Mr Steve" in the sector next door by continually showering his Rangers with a barrage of arrows that took out four of their number over the course of the game.
As the two lines closed on each other as each side sought to grab the best terrain from which to run their battle, the game settled into a struggle to wear down the enemy opposite to allow more freedom of movement to do the tasks each of us had been set.
|Bob manoeuvres his regulars down to the river|
|A pause in proceedings, perhaps due to a shopping foray|
|Dress those lines|
|Search everything and then burn it!|
|My militia can only observe the wagon, my objective, over in the copse of trees opposite as Tom's light infantry and regulars refuse to budge|
|Indians hugging the terrain and sniping at favourable targets|
|My Indians, probably my best performing unit on the day, 'darkening the sky' with their arrows|
|British fire-power was a constant threat to troops in the open|
|I get some much needed support but that wagon in the trees opposite still looks a long way away|
|The ladies are found and Tom's regulars provide a close escort as they make their way to the rear|
|Virginia Militia and regulars hold the cover|
|Another British objective achieved as French property goes up in smoke|
The game was a triumph of organisation and thanks go to the DWG members who provided figures and terrain to populate the Foundry provided tables, but principally to Steve M who pulled the game together and provided the bulk of figures from his very fine collection.
Thanks also to Diane and Wargames Foundry for hosting our day out. We were all made very welcome and thoroughly enjoyed the day.
Oh and not forgetting my retail therapy, aided and abetted by Mr Steve who kept thrusting packs under my nose all day, I picked up enough figures to build a Roman citizen legion together with some fine German ladies exhorting their men folk to kill lots of Romans and spare them from a fate worse than death.
|Rangers cover the open ground|
Unfortunately during our game the day had developed into perfect wargaming weather with a torrential downpour by the time we stepped out into daylight.
Thus we contented ourselves with a visit to the church next door and a drive around the back of the battle field to see the area of the "Red Gutter"where some of the fleeing rebel soldiers met their end during the rout towards the River Trent and in which several grave pits were discovered.
If you are interested, Wargames Foundry are promoting activities in support of the 530th commemoration of the battle next month and I have attached the link to their site for booking tickets.
|The two World Wars are commemorated in East Stoke Church with this plaque to |
the fallen, noticeably Gunner Price aboard HMS Queen Mary, the loss of which was covered
in my post on Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the WWI exhibition.
|That is an extremely large Union flag, we thought probably from a ship|
|The memorial stone to the Battle of Stoke in the local church close to where |
most of the burial pits were discovered
You can always tell when I have gone the extra mile for this blog when you can detect rain drops on the lens in the lower right corner of these pictures.
For a fuller understanding of the location of the "Red Gutter" area seen here, follow the link above to the Battlefields Trust site for a fuller explanation of the action together with a range of superb maps illustrating the possible positions of the two forces.
With the weather as bad as it was we contented ourselves to plan another visit to do this site justice on a future visit.
Next up the Queen's Sconce Newark and that Book Review.