Wednesday 28 June 2023

DBA and a Drubbing at Goya’s

Earlier this year Goya introduced me to the dark art of DBA games and to my surprise I have really enjoyed playing them. The limited figure numbers and playing area coupled with games that last less than an hour have a real appeal. The resulting games have been fun with more tactical depth than you would think at first glance at the rules. Goya also kindly gifted me an Essex Miniatures DBA Carthaginian Army that I have been slowly painting.

I'm just over halfway through the Carthaginians, there are four more infantry bases and of course an elephant then they'll be ready for action.

But this is where praise for Goya ends (only joking) as he invited me over this week to play through the CCN Essling scenario knowing that I was suffering from jetlag (excuses, excuses). The result was something of a drubbing for me as I lost both the games we played.

This is the initial deployment as per the CCN scenario. We played normal Commands and Colors rules but with Tony's firing amendments for Ramekin.
The centre piece of the game was this magnificent model of the Granary. The model is actually 15mm but works perfectly with Goya's 20mm figures.

All the troops on the table were from Goya's vast collection of (mostly) vintage Minifigs. There were lots of Austrians and all superbly painted - a joy to behold.

Austrian Cuirassiers riding the famous Minifigs 'fat bottomed' horses!

Some very nice French Guard Horse Artillery - love the moustaches.

Goya played the Austrians in the first game and managed to eject my French infantry from the Granary gaining vital VPs in the process - 9 to 6 final score in favour of the men in white.

When I saw this chap with the shako on his musket it brought back memories of the front cover of the old Minifigs catalogue.

Game two saw us switching sides and as I had a preponderance of Left Flank cards, I tried to turn the French right but it didn't go well. The hussars in the centre of this shot are from the Hinton Compatriots range.

Try as I might I could make no progress and my units were getting chewed up at a terrible pace.

This time the Granary stayed securely in French hands.

Great fun even if the 9 to nil score of our second game still smarts!

Thursday 1 June 2023

Old Soldiers

A couple of weeks back Tony gave me two rather unusual castings that had originally been in the Eric Knowles collection. They are figures believed to have been converted by none other than Peter Gilder for the famous 1965 refight of the Battle of Waterloo at the Duke of York’s Headquarters in Chelsea.

As far as I can make out they are two-piece castings and meant to represent Royal Horse artillery officers.

These are not Hinton Hunt and Tony believes they may be converted from Alberken figures. I confess that I know very little about figure types other than Hinton Hunt available in the 60s and the only Alberken horse I have does look cruder than these. I have some other horses that I think are Rose, but they don’t seem a good match either. Any ideas?

The famous 1965 refight of Waterloo at the Duke of York's Headquarters. All the figures here appear to be Hinton Hunt. I do like to see wargamers in formal attire.
This photo from the same event is tantalising. There are two British limbers in the background and possibly some mounted figures with them but even zoomed-in it's not very clear but I like to think they may be there!

The conversion is clever as wire reins and sword have been carefully added together with what I assume is a plasticine blanket roll (possibly hardened with the mysterious ‘banana oil’). The painting however is frankly pretty basic which is not what I would associate with Peter Gilder judging by the photos of his superb Hinchliffe figures in the early 70s. However, Matt G told me that, having seen some of Gilders ACW figures from the same era, his painting at that time was minimal. It may be that speed and quantity was the aim rather than quality.

"I say Mercer, haven't seen you since 65!"
"Ah Ramsay, good to see you looking so well!"

I couldn’t work out if the figures are meant to be RHA officers or just mounted RHA gunners but as a sword has been added to each, I have assumed the former. I didn’t strip them (they may well have fallen apart in the bleach) and have just repainted them sticking to the original colour scheme. Hopefully this refurbishment will see them through for the next 58 years and allow them a few more outings on a wargame table.