SAS Wargames Club

SAS Wargames Club
Welcome to our home on the Web! Well it's brighter and hopefully better than ever before - well it all works - which is better than before. Don't worry despite this new glossy professional feel we're still the same bunch of reprobates looking to play toy soldiers!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Off the Workbench - Mike W, 24/12/17

Well, I didn't think this through properly when I posted my first 'Off the Workbench' report - tomorrow's Xmas Day and even I'm not sad enough to be writing such reports then! So here it is a day early...

So as of today 24th December 2017, what's ON MY WORKBENCH...

Anglo-Dutch Officers & Artizan Heroes of the Alamo
First off the 4 x Anglo-Dutch figures are still there - although to be fair they are very near completion now, a few more buttons to be added and ensuring everything is ready fro the application of Army Painter Dark Tone Dip.
Davey Crockett, Jim Bowie & Col. Travis

3 x Artizan 'Heroes of the Alamo' were promoted to the workbench, these are nice figures based on the John Wayne 'The Alamo' film, representing Davey Crockett, Colonel Travis and Jim Bowie, I got them at a bargain price from eBay. Painting is progressing well here and again will soon be ready for 'dip' to be applied.

Boot Hill Mariachi Band & Dancer

The other group of figures added to the workbench were the lovely Mexican Mariachi Band and dancer from Boot Hill Miniatures, 2 guitarists, a rotund trumpeter and a young dancing girl. All approaching a finish.

Discovery of the week was a Norman crossbowman, he's not had much work done to him to be fair, removed some flash on the helmet and freshened up some of the old paintwork. Likely get him finished next week. 

Its approaching decision time as to what to get out for holiday time painting - with a few days off at Xmas there's the opportunity to do a substantial unit. Will it be an 28 man Anglo-Dutch Infantry Unit? An 8 man Regular Cavalry or 20 man Infantry unit for the Texian Revolution or will I go off piste again and dig out something else - 15mm WWI British Infantry, 20mm Team Yankee 'Yanks' or even more Normans for the Hastings project?


Now to what's OFF THE WORKBENCH...
Conquest Games Norman Knights
The 8 x 28mm Norman knights were completed, banner added and bases completed after dip being applied. These are now awaiting matt varnish spray finish.
Mexican Zapadores
Mexican Officers
More Taxian Volunteers

In the Texas Revolutionary period the 4 x Mexican Officers, 4 x Mexican Zapadores and 4 x Texian volunteers - (all 12 from Boot Hill miniatures), were completed as anticipated. One of the officers will be used to command the Zapadore contingent, one to command the white uniformed San Luis Potosi Active Militia Battalion which is nearing completion and of the other two officers one is ear-marked for the artillery and the final one to command the next Infantry battalion I have that is awaiting the workbench! (likely the Regular Matamoros Battalion)

Then as a bonus my AWOL Mexican Peasant has now been completed to add to their small merry band.
Mexican Peasants

Monday, 18 December 2017

Off the Workbench - Mike W, 18/12/17

So the idea of this semi regular repeating post is to give an update on stuff that we're doing here...

It will obviously be dependent upon contributions by club members ad how often they  (and I) can be bothered to write the posts and more importantly take the photos to show what we are doing!

Lately there has been a lot of discussion within the club on the relative merits of different scales and so one of the points of this series of posts is to document the relative volumes of different scales of figures the team are producing.

So I'll start today 18th December 2017, with what's ON MY WORKBENCH.

Boot Hill Mexican Officers & Zapadores
All 28mm, from the Texas Revolution we have 4 x Mexican Officers, 4 x Mexican Zapadores and 4 x Texian volunteers - all 12 from Boot Hill miniatures.

Mexican peasants and the missing figure...
Along the same theme are 6 unfinished 1st Corps (I think) Mexican Fusiliers and 5 finished Mexican peasants who are waiting a 6th figure -  that I temporarily lost - to be painted -up. I hope to get all these completed in the next week.

Reality is the 1st Corps Fusiliers have been sitting waiting to be finished for over six weeks now - to be honest when compared to the Boot Hill figures they are very rough and ready and don't excite me much.

Boot Hill Texians and 1st Corps Fusiliers
Moving on we have a smattering of North Star, Front Rank and Foundry Anglo Dutch Wars figures awaiting completion - these are all to be generic Dutch figures to be added to existing regiments as needed but again have been on the workbench for a couple months now...

Conquest Games Norman Cavalry
Finally in 28mm we have 8 Conquest Games plastic mounted Norman Knights, aim is to get these finished this week and add to the slowly growing Norman forces - with a view to re-fight Hastings using SAGA rules system.

Change of scales down to 12mm / 144, we have an Isreali Jeep awaiting basing, recently found on the floor under the workbench, I really don't remember loosing it in the first place...

Finally a single Jugula Gladiator awaiting construction and painting, its been waiting for a couple of months - one day I'll get around to completing him!

Now to what's OFF THE WORKBENCH...

Eight Boot Hill, 28mm mounted Presidial Guards, all that is waiting is a coat of matt varnish to finish them off. That won't happen until the weather behaves - warms up a little and isn't wet. Impatience will greatly increase the risk of bad varnish finishes that make painting the figures a waste of time...

The other items off the workbench were a selection of 8 x 28mm Anglo Saxon figures, all Gripping Beast plastics, again awaiting a final varnish...

Sunday, 3 December 2017

SAS Games Stats and Annual Review 2017

by Steve Cast.

With only 2 wargaming weeks left before Christmas the time draws near for us to say farewell to yet another year in our wargaming careers and we can all look back and reflect on what has been a bumper year for new innovation, imagination and dedication. Oh no hold on, I’m thinking of another club.

“No but seriously folks” we’ve actually had some fresh impetus from players this year:

Firstly, Marks two splendid Vietnam games:

1.1. “Full mental straight Jacket” a game that follows a platoon of wargamers through basic training under the guidance of their drill instructor Gunny Sergeant Cooper who struggles to understand why these people are so stupid.

1.2. “QuornBurger Hill” follows a group of FNG wargamers who are taken under the wing of game weary Platoon Leader Hardy who tries to explain why close order Napoleonic formations really shouldn’t be used against gooks armed with automatic weapons.

There was also Mike Whiteford's 1960s game with colourful, lacy, flamboyantly dressed, long haired hippies, nope hold on that’s not it. Aha! Mike's 1690s game which was awash with colourful, lacy, flamboyantly dressed, long haired cavalier looking types that makes any ECW game look so, so, well so puritan. “No but seriously folks” I personally thought it was an excellent game, thanks Mike.

Then there was the rebirth of Dave’s Sikh Wars ably assisted by Sahib John.

I would say that there was some innovation with a new figure scale on the horizon but like the unwanted cousin that lurks in the attic who no one talks about we won’t mention that particular scale...

Dave’s Sikh campaign got off to a blustering start and promised to be something quite enjoyable. But unfortunately things didn’t go the way Dave wanted them to. Dave’s plans were derailed from the very start when he gave the script to the players, foolish boy! Instead of following Dave’s carefully scripted plot players went awry with their own masterly plans that blew the campaign out of the water. So after pulling out what hair he had left Dave pulled the plug and in a spate of self-flagellation dedicated himself to the scale that shouldn’t be mentioned.

Rupert’s 2nd Punic wars campaign loiters with intent with what appears to be complete bewilderment from both sides as they look for ways to win.

My 1798 campaign drags on with neither side knowing whose winning. Did I mention the French? When will those burley blue uniformed garlic eaters turn up? Oh, are those sails on the horizon Mon ami?

Achtung! Home guard! John's Sealion campaign continues with the Germans still looking for that elusive landing strip and the British still looking for the rock emporium.

Then there’s Marks Vietnam campaign. An excellent campaign where I get lots of points for knowing absolutely nothing about the period, brilliant! There should be more of these campaigns then I might win one once in a while!

Где немцы? (Where have all the Germans gone?)

What has happened to Mikes WWII campaign? The Russian steppes are devoid of any German activity. Have the Germans run out of fuel or even worst knockwurst!

Figure Scales
Where figure scales are concerned, last year I introduced a new “Potty Time” figure category in
anticipation of Dave putting on a 2mm game. However, I clinched that title from him in November when I put on my 1:1200 scale Napoleonic ships or “Lumpy boat game” that are in fact 1.5mm scale!

Club Enthusiasm
Talking of new categories I’ve introduced another one this year that I’ve called the “Enthusiasm” category. This reflects player’s dedication to the club depending upon how often they turn up. Now there are two ways of looking at this, it can either be seen as a player’s commitment to the hobby of wargaming or a sad reflection of a players lack of social life outside of Wargaming and guess what, me and Rupert are right up there, hurrah!

Awards Ceremony
I’ve also decided to dish out some awards again this year: I’m calling the first Prize “The most committed player” award which I feel should go to Mark.

This prize is for Marks zeal for driving all the way from Essex nearly every week, not only to put on his own games and participate in others but also for meeting us at the pub on Mondays! To me this shows that he is either completely mad or completely dedicated and there must be something special about our club that Mark likes for him to come all that way every week. So thanks Mark for supporting us and joining our little band of Brothers.

“The charge of the Light Brigade award” or Battlefield blunders of the year. 
I’ve come up with three blunders this year but you may be able to think of more.

1. Myself for charging what I thought were Roman light infantry but turned out to be veteran axillaries in Rupert’s Battle of Nisibis game which resulted in the rout of 80% of the Persian Light cavalry allowing the Persian army to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.

2. The entire government command during the battle of Carlow in my 1798 campaign for their inept attack on day one which resulted in them losing an entire brigade of infantry.

3. Mark for allowing the Sikh cavalry to fully deploy during Dave’s battle of Ferozeshah game which allowed them to annihilate the British cavalry and hence win the game.

The Disciplinarian award 
In my mind this should go to Mark for his skill at questioning players as to their actions. Many’s the time we’ve been challenged with “Why are you doing that, you have no reason to”, or “No you can’t”. His ability to discipline those naughty boys at the back of the class means that they’re kept under strict control and suffer the consequences should they try to slip one past Headmaster Cooper!

The SAGA Holiday award
 No nothing to do with Vikings or Normans but now most of us are over 50 I’m dishing out the “SAGA award” for the best trip of the year and this year it goes to Dave for his West Country mystery tour or Monmouth’s rebellion.

Oh dear, my pad’s wet I need the toilet Naughty Minx she’s showing her Girdle line! Apart from some Somerset traffic jams (Obviously all tourists because West Country folk aren’t technically advanced enough to drive cars) it was a great trip. The only disappointment was that we didn’t get to see a brother marry his sister but Paul did ask me whether I’d like to marry his half-sister Mildred the sheep. Well, I couldn’t refuse, woolly minx, so the wedding’s next week if anyone’s interested. So well done Dave for an excellent weekend.

Apart from some Somerset traffic jams (Obviously all tourists because West Country folk aren’t technically advanced enough to drive cars) it was a great trip. The only disappointment was that we didn’t get to see a brother marry his sister but Paul did ask me whether I’d like to marry his half-sister Mildred the sheep. Well, I couldn’t refuse, woolly minx, so the wedding’s next week if anyone’s interested. So well done Dave for an excellent weekend.

2017 Statistics 
Right, now you can all have a nice little afternoon nap whilst I drone on about Statistics!

As you will see from the charts below the period Musket to Rifle (1700 to 1900) is still the clubs favourite with modern (1900 to present) coming 2nd and medieval (1000 to 1500) coming 3 rd. However, WWII was the most played sub period with the 1798 rebellion and Napoleonic’s come in joint 2nd and the Sikh wars, Vietnam, Sicilian Vesper and Barons war all coming 3rd .

I put on the most individual games, with John being next and Mark and Rupert coming in together.

People who collaborated on games were John, Dave, Mike N and Mark.

And finally we are a prolific team of rule writers because we used our own rules 58% of the time compared to 42% usage of off the shelf rules.

“To infinity and beyond!”
We already have a good line up to what looks to be a bumper harvest for next year. Dave will unleash his lumpy counter game upon us on 5th Jan with an encounter between two armies of salt and pepper grounds sprinkled on different flavoured crackers masquerading as an 1859 Austro Italian confrontation. The reason they’re flavoured is so you can bite into them to tell which side they’re on. “But seriously folks” I’m sure it will be a fantastic game (If we can find it that is!)

The New Year will also see a second outing of Phil’s WWII North Africa rules in a game called “Ice cold in Horsham” where a group of wargamers fight their way through the desolate landscape of Crawley infested with troglodytes to reach an Oasis in Horsham called “Wings” where a cold beer and a Chinese await them.

There’s even more WWII with Johns Operation Sealion and we’ll also see the 2nd battle of Sligo with the rebels returning to seek rewengee against the crown.

A brand new period from Andy will make its debut in the baking heat of the Moroccan dessert (Rum impregnated sponge terrain tiles topped with custard, cream and raspberries) with his French Foreign Legion game or “Carry on Follow that wargamer”. This is a game about a wargamer called Nigel who receives 4 white feathers in the post from jealous work comrades. Unable to go to France to join the French Foreign Legion to prove his bravery, due to a poor per diem rate from Bae, he joins the SAS instead only to find that, unlike the Legion, its organised by a bunch of Buffoons who couldn’t run a bath even if they tried.

There’s also some action in Flanders with the Flemish cheese weavers Guild armed with a cheese
board and a jar of chutney standing up against the cream of French Nobility in the Battle of Courtrai 1302 and finally there’s John and Rupert’s Battle of Bautzen which from all accounts is yet another mega battle on the lines of Dresden. So have those boarding passes ready for your winter break in Siberia or face Bautzen!


For those of you who would like to come on the trip to Ireland it will be a medley of Cromwellian, James II and 1798 battlefields, and a trip to the 1798 visitors centre in Enniscorthy. We’ll be traversing County’s Dublin, Wiklow and Wexford with a packed itinerary that should wear us out enough each day for us to pine for O’Flanagan’s, a roaring fire and a pint of Guinless.

Now from my experience this trip should be done in the limited months in Ireland when the sun shines and the Leprechauns make hay but some have said that the trip should be done in October when the wind howls, the rain falls in buckets, and sensible Irish folk stay indoors. However, it’s up to you if you want to fly into Dublin with the plane pitching and yawing all over the place, climb to the top of Vinegar hill and view the battlefield in the pelting rain whilst at the same time watching my rain sodden description of the battle fly off into the distance.

Well, that’s about all I’ve got to say on what has been a most enjoyable year. So happy Christmas and a happy new year.

The Stats Charts

Friday, 1 December 2017

Alabama Red Rovers

These are more of the  Boot Hill  range of Texan War of Independence figures and despite my poor pictures they have painted up even better than the New Orleans Greys figures I have previously posted.

In November of 1835, urges for help went out to newspapers throughout the United States. In Alabama, Dr. Jack Shackelford. Shortly after reading this plea for help, Shackelford stood in the town square of Courtland, Alabama and made his own plea to the people of Courtland to mobilize and send aid to the suppressed Texans in their aid for independence. 

Before long Shackelford had about sixty volunteers ahead of him, of whom they elected Captain. As a third of Courtland’s population had volunteered, the remaining citizens of the hamlet also mobilized in making the Volunteer company uniforms, the ladies and children of the town made uniforms for their husbands, fathers, sons, nephews, cousins or friends. 

They came to be called the Red Rovers because of the colour of their uniforms.As part of  the command of Colonel James Fannin, they fought in the Battle of Coleto on March 19–20, 1836. The Texians were defeated and forced to surrender. 

Most of the prisoners, including Fannin, were executed in the infamous Goliad massacre, but Jack Shackelford and several other doctors were spared to care for the Mexican wounded. During the Mexicans' retreat after their defeat at the Battle of San Jacinto, Shackelford and Dr. Joseph Henry Barnard managed to escape.

Shackelford was honourably discharged and returned home to Alabama.