6th Donald Featherstone weekend

I spent a very enjoyable weekend at the Wargames Holiday Centre near Basingstoke where Mark hosted the  6th annual Donald Featherstone tribute weekend.

This year we took a trip up the Nile in an effort to rescue Lady Kitchener (I believe) and to relieve a town at the far end of the 24ft (around 7.5m) long table.    We had a strong force of horse, foot and guns along with two paddle steamers and a small gunboat.

long view

Our camp at the other end of the table also had to be protected, as did the baggage waggons accompanying the main force.  I had the unenviable task of commanding the baggage train.  Twice during the game I had to issue the order “Convoy is to scatter”, or otherwise “Every man for himself”!

Baggage
The Baggage Train

Just to add to the fun a railway train passed across the table at one point, and that too had to be assured of a safe passage.

The objective was for each officer to gain the maximum recognition by destroying Mahdist warriors, and achieving personal objectives unknown to the other players.  The Mahdists were generated in random strength at 20 random points around the table edge, or at half a dozen ambush points.

The Nile was also swarming with crocodiles, but luckily their event card never turned up.

Croc.
“Keep a sharp look out, man. We’ve had enough surprises today.”

On Saturday evening we held at the dinner an auction of our unwanted wargaming items and books, raising over £600 for Combat Stress.  In addition Mark donates £25 each of our gaming fee, so the charity will be £1000 better off.  John won the “dandy” prize for best dressed gamer at dinner, resplendent in top hat and tails.

A huge thank you to Steve Thompson for creating the game, making the models, painting thousands of figures and writing the rules.  Thanks also to Mark for hosting, Henry for being, with Mark and Ron, instrumental in the whole Featherstone Weekend concept and to the other players Ben, David, Eddie, John, John, Melvyn, Sid, Steve, Steve, Tony and Tony for a superb weekend full of laughter. 

Here you can see two days of gaming condensed into one minute.  Thanks to Ben for this.

https://youtu.be/gXbRYGHqjoM

 

 

Confession time: February 2019

In the style of the Meeples and Miniatures podcast, here is my confession for February 2019.

So, what have I been squandering my pension on?
In February, I bought or paid for:
Deposit for 2 players at the Donald Featherstone tribute game: £200
Plastic soldiers for playtesting the Sudan game for above: £112.39
Plastic palm trees for playtesting the Sudan game for above: £16.17
Bases for 6mm model trees (100): £13.95
Model for my character at the Donald Featherstone tribute game: £4.70
Replacement models for above: £13.98
Plastic bases for 6mm wargames: £35.00
UHU Glue: £5.98
Game (Santorini) for 6mm model houses: £24.81
Model cargo ships for Axis & Allies naval: £7.27

Total February wargame spend: £434.25

This is more than my pension will support, but almost £350 (80%) is unusual spending related to the Featherstone Tribute weekend. This is not only a once a year event, but this year I am paying for two players, and I needed a playtest. Whether that was worth spending well over £100 on models in a scale that I do not normally play is something to review later.  They may well turn up in the Belgican Wars at a future date.

 

Middle Eastern buildings for 6mm

I cannot remember if it was Bob Cordery or Chris Kemp who recently alerted me via their blog to the board game Santorini.  Anyway, I ordered a copy forthwith.

Forget the game.  In the box there are component to make buildings:

  • 22 ground floor/level 1 square pieces;
  • 18 first floor/level 2 square pieces, which can also be stacked together to make higher structures or sit on the ground as houses in their own right;
  • 14 second floor/level 3 octagonal colonnades with a square base;
  • 18 hemispherical cupolas.

That’s enough for a decent sized town, and for less than 25 quid!

All the sections are hollow and the first two will take a 2cm x 2cm base of 6mm figures inside or on the roof.

In the photo’ below are the four components and one full building.  A 6mm Irregular Miniatures unpainted insurgent is added for scale.  Incidentally, each face of the first two levels is different, to add some variety to the street.

F73D9033-E6EE-49F7-BBA6-63435A64F62B

A lick of paint and these will do nicely, thank you.

Where did February go?

Since my last wargame posting I have finished the game that was in progress as part of the Market Garden campaign.
By the parameters of the game the British won, with two thirds of the 7th Hampshire’s moving off the board to the north. However, The Germans are holding much of the town of Oploo in strength and the British have a regiment of field artillery ranged in and the remains of the 1st Worcester’s as protection. Reinforcements are arriving, but once again XXX Corps advance was stalled for four hours.

I have also been preparing for the Donald Featherstone Tribute Weekend at the end of March at the Wargames Holiday Centre. We have received the rules (“Will Victoria be Amused?”) and the “General Idea”. This year it’s an expedition up the Nile fighting the Mahdi. The game appears to be very much a rôle playing exercise with all players against a randomised enemy.  Our game provider, Steve Thompson, has gone to incredible lengths with production of model soldiers, boats, buildings, dogs, crocodiles, etc. , not to mention producing a game character sheet and back story for every officer!

I decided that we needed to try out at least the basic rules, so I ordered a load of 20mm plastic figures and gave them a basic undercoat. Unfortunately on the first solo test I ran out of enemy on turn 2! (Half the order of Mahdists had not yet been delivered).
So I quickly took some “top-down” photo’s of what I had available, stuck the results onto vinyl floor tiles to make some units and we set to.
Large warband We found that this is not going to be easy.

Of course, I now have lots of half painted plastic soldiers for a scale and period that I don’t normally game, so they have gone into the painting pile.

One model has been completed, and the umpire has already written extra character rules for the pair of characters:
The Right Honourable Sir Armstrong Whitworth C’nardley-Stannde with his servant/gamekeeper and now batman, Gordon Bennett.
Sir Armstrong Whitworth CNardley_Standde
These were created from a mix of body parts found on eBay. I needed riding legs and a bewhiskered face resembling my own, and ended up with a pack of two Lancers and a pack of two steampunk adventurers.   With my painting skills, or lack thereof, I used basic block painting followed by a coat of Army Painter dip and then a matt varnish spray.  It has been touched up in detail  since this photo’ was taken.

Apart from that I have achieved very little in the past couple of weeks, apart from some gentle gardening in the ridiculously fine weather we have been enjoying in Britain. So kind of Europe to let us share some of the warmth before we drift off into the fogs of isolation.