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, 30 December 2018

Off the Workbench - Mike W,31/12/18

So as the year draws to a close I pick-up my paint rush again and start to exercise the mysterious arts once again!

This time it is as part of a global online, competition, so hopefully I won't fall flat on my face and I can bring some honour to the club!

The 'Analogue hobbies Painting Competition' runs until the end of March,  part of the process is submitting figures to be judged and awarded points each Monday, so these 'Off the Workbench' posts will tie into those weekly competition updates

What's On the Workbench 31/12/18

Well the workbench is actually fully loaded!

I have 22 x 28mm Assault Group Polish Hajduk Infantry for the Siege of Vienna 1683 project. These are currently undercoated and part painted, I actually need to acquire two more figures to complete the unit - I got these off eBay and whilst there was a good range of figures I'm short two musketeers.

28mm Assault Group Polish Hajduk Infantry

Likely I'll order some new figures form Assault Group - getting a pack of Hajduk musketeers and combine that with a larger order for 12 x 28mm Polish Pancerni cavalry.

Next on the workbench are 15 foot and 2 mounted 28mm  Foundry Mountain Men, these again are undercoated and will join the Texcans who are bravely fighting against Santa Anna's Mexican army. Again this batch came form eBay and strangely includes a Chinese gentleman armed with a Machette - I'm pretty sure there were no Chinese people at the Alamo but he can add colour to the Texan Independence  campaign!

28mm Foundry Mountain Men
and their comrades on foot....

Next up are another group of eBay finds, 6 x 28mm Ottoman Light Cavalry - actually they are Mamelukes from the Reiver Castings range, with them came three Ottoman mounted officers. Again all are undercoated and awaiting a lick of paint.

28mm Reiver Castings Ottoman Light Cavalry & Officers

Finally there are some 28mm Warlord Games, Croat Light Cavalry- these have been on the workbench for some weeks now, stalled and desperate to get completed. They are very nearly done so hopefully you'll see the end results soon.

What's Off the Workbench today...

Well so far nothing!

With Xmas this week I have had little time to do a lot of painting, although I have made good progress with the Polish infantry and am hopeful that they will be completed in time for the 7th January competition submission!

I've also made a start with the Mountain men and the Mamelukes.

Under the competition rules you are allowed to undercoat figures before the start date, so these are the batches that I had pre-prepared, Other figures still waiting to be added to the workbench include a number of 28mm Mexican units for Santa Anna's army,multiple 28mm 17th Century Franco-Dutch Wars / Siege of Vienna units plus a coupe of Cruel Seas Flotillas.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge IX

So I have taken the plunge to enter into a Painting Competition and fly the SAS Wargamers flag for the club!

Luckily the competition does not focus 100% on quality, though I think my attempts are of  reasonable level in that area but it also awards points basis quantity - from what all our guys say to me,I seem to be able to bang out the figures at a good rate!

Competition runs form midnight tomorrow through to midnight 31st March (I believe), so you will see the return of the 'On The Workbench Posts' during this period as well as links to the Competition Website <here>

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Warlord Games - 1:300 MTBs

Well I could bang on about being really busy at work and that with the days getting shorter and shorter and darker and darker as we head towards Xmas  - but the bottom line is that I haven't done much painting over the last few weeks...

I did finish a 3rd Squadron of Polish Winged Lancers - bringing up to full strength the first of 3 Hussar Brigades I plan to have in the collection but this took me nearly a month to get done, in fits and starts,all round a poor show...

What I have been able to paint with some satisfaction the other week was two E-Boats off the front cover of Wargames Illustrated and then after obtaining a set of MTBs off a duplicate magazine at start of week, I now have two matching MTBs.

I present these below, 2 x Warlord Games MTBs, 1/300 scale for their new Cruel Seas game, each sprue allows the creation of 1 x Type I and 1 x Type II Vosper MTB. Models are pictured here in the dark night of the English Channel, hunting for E-Boats....

Type I Vosper MTB, Starboard view

Type I Vosper MTB, Port view

Type II Vosper MTB, Port view

Type II Vosper MTB, Starboard view

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

SAS Games Stats and Annual Review 2018

Its that time of the year when Steve 'Statto' Cast publishes his annual review of club activities. As ever we are recording it for posterity here fr all to see.

We acknowledge that there are contrary views on these 'official' stats - but thanks again to Steve for the work put in to compile the data.

Editor's Note: 25mm includes 28mm figures as well, Steve has yet to adjust his abacus to the new scale!
Definition of Categories

The Raw Stats by Week
Member attendance

Bookings by Club Member

Game Categories by week

Games put on by individual club members

Games put on by multiple club members

Games put on by club members,individually or as part of a group

Games by Period
Games by Sub-Period

Most Frequently used Rule Sets

Most Popular Figure Scales

Most Popular Venue

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

The Alan Martin Collection

We have just published a catalogue of the the figures and terrain owned by our good friend Alan Martin, who was a member of the SAS Wargames group for many years.

Please feel free to follow the link below or at side of page to review his fine work and consider any purchases of that work for your own collections

The Alan Martin Collection <here>

Monday, 3 December 2018

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Off the Workbench - Mike W, 04/08/18

What's Off the Workbench today, Saturday  04/08/2018?

Its been a long time coming this latest 'Off the Workbench' post, as ever I have excuses - busy at work and latest I've been scrambling last couple of weeks to put on the first two Texas Revolution games. All major time drains, that eat into painting and modelling time.

But I have kept busy on the paining side of things with a wide range of items churned out in the last few weeks - but not so many pictures to show for it. 

I finished the 28mm Warlord Games Janissaries, re-basing the musketeers, after a rethink on how the units would operate on the tabletop,  I have gone for a composite Regiment of Musketeers and Swordsmen. Pleased with the way that these have come out and would certainly consider getting more to bulk out my fledgling Ottoman Army.

28mm Warlord Janissaries

Azab Musketeers
Azab Archers
Similarly I have now completed 5 bases of plastic musketeers, converted as before from Gripping Beast Arabs, with a sixth base nearing completion - albeit that I have run out of figures temporarily and will have to get some more to complete this unit and the Archer unit of Azabs that now stands at 3 bases.

28mm Hinchcliff Sipahis
Finally on the Ottoman side of things I acquired some Hinchcliff 28mm Ottomans and ave painted up the first six of these to represent a unit of Ottoman Sipahis. These figures are from eBay and there were 25 in the lot so more units to come.

Away from the Ottomans I also completed a unit of Kentucky Volunteers for the latest Texas Revolution game - will need to wait until that completed to get a photo out on these guys, believe it was about 18 figures painted to represent the The Newport Kentucky Rifle Company, ​lead by Colonel Edward Burleson. These had all dark blue uniforms with white trim, dark blue peaked caps and a fetching white flag with 'Lady Liberty' on it.

Polish Winged Hussars
Also got the Polish Winged Hussars finished...

The final items that I completed were another half dozen or so Norman foot soldiers to join their comrades, waiting for a chance to re-fight 1066 and all that!

What's On the Workbench today,

Trimming Pile
Currently I am just trimming and filing 12 x Hinchcliff 28mm Ottoman Sipahis, I'll make this into two more units for the Ottoman Army. Some minor conversion work - adding a trumpet to one figure and hopefully a sword to another will provide a clear musician and officer figure.

The unfortunate French Musketeer duo are still languishing on the workbench - just can't get the enthusiasm together to get these fellows done.
28mm Polish Cossack Officer

Almost finished, bar 'dipping' and basing is the commander for the Polish Cossack unit, made fro Gripping Beast Ara Light Cavalry plastics set. And yes it seems it wasn't just the Winged Hussars that had wings in the Polish army at this time, seems they were a more general  indication of rank than previously thought.

There's also a 28mm Reiver Castings mounted General to be painted....

Battle of Egypt Crossing,1836

Can you hear the drums Fernando?
I remember long ago another starry night like this
In the firelight Fernando
You were humming to yourself and softly strumming your guitar
I could hear the distant drums
And sounds of bugle calls were coming from afar

Game Map
The Alamo has fallen and Texican units are scrambling eastwards to rally with Houston's army - where ever that was and make a stand against the advancing Mexican forces. A series of rearguard actions are being fought on the way, one such action was at the Egypt settlement and the nearby bridge over the Colorado River.

The Game
Played on 3rd August and to be extended to a second week by popular demand - sees five Mexican battalons plus supporting troops pitted against three Texican battalions plus their support. Game was put on by Mike W, with venue and scenery supplied by Mikey N. Figures are 28mm and a mixture of Boothill Miniatures, 1st Corps and Wargames Foundry, whilst the rules were revised the Texas Glory set used last week for the Battle of Conception game.

Steve, Mikey and Dave played the advancing Mexican hordes whilst Phil and Rupert opted to put up a stalwart Texican defense. Player numbers were somewhat impacted by the call of duty by significant others to view 'Mama Mia 2: Here we go again!'  Ironically, one of the big musical numbers is set during the Texas Revolutionary period - I'll let you try and guess which one...

How it played out...
Texican Cavalry Company
The Plans 
Dave took command of the Mexican left flank, commanding the Mexico City and Vera Cruz battalions,his force began an advance across the Colorado River to sweep into the Egypt settlement form the north.

Mikey N,took the left flank, commanding the Mexican Cavalry, the Yukatan battalion and the independent Zapadores company. His task was to cross the river way south of the Egypt settlement and then sweep north to envelop the rebels.

Finally, 'El Supremo' Steve, commanding the Tres Villas and Matramos battalions plus artillery and a company of independent Cazadores held the centre. His strategy was to hold unnil the flank attacks stretched the defenders and then strike home with an unstoppable surge.

The Egypt Crossing
Meanwhile on the Texican side Rupert was put out on the left flank and centre ground with the Texican cavalry plus a battalion of infantry to hold up any enemy advances in that area.

Phil concentrated other Texican troops (two infantry battalions plus some independent companies, including the Texican artillery) in and around he Egypt settlement to defend the bridge and town.

Week One
The Mexican advance started almost immediately and went to plan until about turn 2 or 3!

Texicans opposing Mexican advances
on their centre & left flank
On the Mexican right, the Zapadores were caught mid stream as the crossed the Colorado river and took two casualties, forcing Mikey to re-think his bold approach and  regroup and continue advancing more cautiously, which he did to good effect grinding out each step through the forested areas and forcing the defending Texicans to withdraw, whilst harrying the Mexicans with fire each step of the way.

Finally by the end of the evening the Texicans had been pushed out of the woods and on the extreme right of the Mexican lines  each side had two Cavalry companies facing off of a potential melee in week two. Rupert had played his part well - delaying and delaying the Mexican advance to the south of Egypt.

To the north of the Egypt settlement Dave drove his Soldatos forwards across the river, the terrain was much more open in the river valley on this flank, though closer as it nears the town. Phil had deployed two companies of veteran Tennessee backwoodsmen in the forest areas on this flank and their marksmanship began to take a toll on the advancing Mexico City battalion.

Calm before the storm at Egypt Township
More fighting on Texican right flank
First one company and then a second company broke and ran under their withering fire. luckily the first company of routers was rallied by their colonel, the fate of the second is still in the balance! Facing such unexpectedly stiff opposition Dave decided to regroup his forces and move to a more central position to support Steve who by the end of the evening was in a position to mount is own attack on the settlement.

In the Mexican center,Steve held back his battalions whilst he used his artillery to engage with their Texican counterparts, this artillery duel lasted most of the evening with crews taking casualties sporadically until finally first one the the second Texian gun was disabled by Mexican fire. This was the signal for Steve to launch his assault on the town, the outcome of which will be in week two.

Egypt Church, with disabled Texican Artillery
Sergento Óliver Andino
Honorable mention must go to Sergento Óliver Andino, a sniper the Tejano company under Colonel Carter's command, who advanced ahead of the Texican lines and engaged the Mexican 12lb Gun crew, killing two and taking out a Grenadero from the company sent out by Steve to protect the guns. Brave Óliver fell to a concentrated volley from those same Grenaderos.

Week Two
The battle continued with hoe sale changes n personnel on the Mexican side as John & Nigel entered the fray and Steve slacked off. Additionally the Texicans were bolstered by Mark joining their numbers.

Events on the Texican southern flank continued in much the same way as week one, with building Mexican pressure the Cavalry gave ground until finally forced into a 'Death or Glory' charge. Unfortunately it was the latter, with the US Deserters charging Regular Mexican Presidial Guard lancers, although outnumbering them the lances made short work of the sabre carrying Americans and routed them. This left the Tajano cavalry to hold the fort on the southern wing - an isolated position as the Texican infantry withdrew to the township - so the Tejanos slipped away off the table to save their numbers for another day...

To the north John was driving the Mexican columns who mounted a concerted attack across the bridge,capturing the church and driving into the town square where they met the town defenders. Further north the Vera Cruz militia attacked again and were repulsed with heavy losses.

The game ended,without a clear result - due to time constraints - mechanics worked pretty well. Feedback on saving throws and making the officer hits easier to handle have been taken on board and rules will be adjusted accordingly. as will the role of NCOs.

End Piece

Now we're old and grey Fernando
Since many years I haven't seen a rifle in your hand
Can you hear the drums Fernando?
Do you still recall the fateful night we crossed the Rio Grande?
I can see it in your eyes
How proud you were to fight for freedom in this land

There was something in the air that night
The stars were bright, Fernando
They were shining there for you and me
For liberty, Fernando
Though we never thought that we could lose
There's no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Fernando

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Battle of Concepción - October 28, 1835

Brief Summary of the Battle of Concepción

On October 11, 1835, Stephen F. Austin was elected commander-in-chief of the Army of the People, also known as the Army of Texas. Austin wanted to take the Texas capital, San Antonio de Béxar, and drive the Mexican military out of Texas. To this end he took his men and began his approach from Gonzales north towards San Antonio, sending out scouts before each move and trying to ensure that his somewhat disorganized group of volunteers would not be caught by surprise. By the time he was encamped at the remains of Mission Espada his force had increased by about 1/3 as new volunteers joined along the way..

It was from Espada that the following order was written:

Head Quarters, Mission Espada, October 27th, 1835. Colonel James Bowie, Volunteer Aid: 

" You will proceed with the first division of Captain Fannin's company and others attached to that division and select the best and most secure position that can be had on the river, as near Béjar as practicable to encamp the army tonight, keeping in view in the selection of this position pasturage and the security of the horses, and the army from night attacks of the enemy.
You will also reconnoiter, so far as time and circumstances will permit, the situation of the outskirts of the town, and the approaches to it, whether the houses have been destroyed on the outside, so as to leave every approach exposed to the raking of cannon.
You will make your report with as little delay as possible, SO AS TO GIVE TIME TO THE ARMY TO MARCH AND TAKE UP ITS POSITION BEFORE NIGHT. Should you be attacked by a large force send an express immediately with the particulars."

S. F. Austin By order. P W Grayson, Aid-de-camp 

Bowie and Fannin with 4 companies moved north along the River San Antonio. They decided on a place where a large bend of the river west of Mission Concepción formed a natural cul-de-sac about one hundred yards across. The river was about 6 to 10 ft. below the relatively flat plain that extended east to the mission.

Mexicans Advance
Because of the lateness in the day, Bowie decided to camp there for the night, instead of returning to Espada, as he had been ordered. He placed Fannin’s company along the southern portion of the bend and Colman’s men along the northern curve, enabling them to provide crossfire across the plain. Aware that his position left him vulnerable to a surprise attack from the forces of General Martín Perfecto de Cós, commandant of the Mexican forces in San Antonio, Bowie placed pickets drawn from each company and posted a sentry in the tower of the mission.

The morning of October 28, 1835, the countryside was wrapped in a dense fog. Despite the limited visibility, General Cós elected to move upon the small force before they could be reinforced by the main body of the army. He dispatched Colonel Domingo de Ugartecha with a total of about 400 men and two cannons. Infantry approached from the south and east, between the Texans and the Mission, while cavalry were placed along the west bank of the river to cut off retreat. The Texans crouched below the protection of the river bank, which formed a natural trench, while musket balls, canister, and grapeshot swept the pecan trees over their heads.

Mexican Artillery
Sharpshooters with Texan long rifles devoted their attention to the gunners and quickly silenced the artillery. As Fannin’s position began to draw heavy fire, Bowie manoeuvred Colman’s men into position to offer them aid. Faced with the additional firepower, the Mexican force faltered. The infantry attempted to bring pressure, but bullets from Texan rifles were hitting them long before their smoothbore muskets were in range. The Mexicans began to fall back. Taking advantage of this retreat, Bowie led a headlong charge against them and was soon able to turn one of their own canons on them. The first conflict of the Siege of Béxar ended. Only one Texan had been killed.

Austin, in his official report, claimed 16 Mexican soldiers were left on the field with reports of as many more carried away. Bowie claimed the number was about 67. A count of 27 bodies with about 20 believed to have been carried away or thrown in the river was given in a report that is by far the most interesting contemporary account of the battle.

However many Mexicans soldiers were killed in the battle there can be no doubt that the result of the battle made a great impression on both the Texans and the Mexicans. Texans had been outnumbered roughly 3 to 1, yet still, the battle had been won by the smaller force.

The Battle
Game Map
Our game was put on by Mike W, on 27th August, with his collection of 28mm Texan Revolution
figures, using a home made set of rules called Texas Glory.

The Texans had 5 companies in three commands under Bowie, Fanning & Coleman - ably commanded by Rupert & Phil.

The Mexicans had 4 battalions of infantry, commanded by Nigel, Mikey & Steve, whilst Dave had overall command as well as direct command of the Cavalry. One gun was given to Steve and Nigel's commands.

The game played out well enough for the first outing of these new rules, though a few changes will be made around morale, artillery movement & melee mechanisms.