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Northern Sydney Wargames Club

  Tabletop Miniature Wargaming

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Update April 19 2017

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About

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Campaigns

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Battlefield Reports

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Club member Boardgames

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Our President Lawrence, Steve, and Greg have an impressive number of boardgames and they bring a number each month.

Last Updated August 2016

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Club Member Wargames Projects

Update August 2014

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Wargame Links

Update Jan 2012

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Despatch

Updated, March-April 2015

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The Club welcomes all
to come along and play or just watch.

Come and enjoy.

The game play can be intense.

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WARGAMING "ANCIENTS"

by Ivan Withers.

1.          What's "Ancients" ?

"Ancients" is the name given by wargamers (and others) to the entire period of history before the invention of gunpowder.[1] If one considers recorded history to have started about 3,000 BC, it spans some four thousand years. Wargamers who call themselves "Ancients" therefore have a very wide choice of periods, peoples and cultures.

The earliest known organised warriors are those of the Sumerians, originating in the so-called Fertile Crescent of the Middle East. As time rolled by, such peoples as the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Greeks, the Trojans, the Han, the Romans, the Mayans, the Saxons, the Vikings and many others appeared.  The list of possible armies and weapons to discover is huge.

2.          Where Do I Start ?

Choosing a period to start may therefore seem a bit daunting.  However, somewhere you may have seen some friends playing a game, or perhaps you already have an idea about which particular army interests you enough to start. If you are still a bit doubtful, how about the Romans? Mind you, even having narrowed your choice down to this one particular people, there is still a pretty wide choice. The Romans started out as an obscure Latin village ruled by a foreign king and they provided troops for an imitation-early-Greek-type phalanx. After they kicked out their Etruscan overlords, they evolved into a Republic, which lasted for some hundreds of years before they put a king (sorry, Caesar) back in charge.  During this span of time they had at least three quite different organisations and armies. Not quite at random, let's settle on the Romans at  the time of Tiberius; that's say roughly 10 AD to about 35 AD. This period of Roman history is the best documented.  The information for the Roman Army a this time can therefore be found quite easily.

3. Starting With Romans.

For reasons of expense, it would probably be better to start with plastic figures when it comes to purchasing your first troops. I started with Airfix Romans, but I have seen some very nice Italian figures in hobby shops. Let me hasten to add that although many wargamers decry plastics for various imperfections, remember YOU ARE JUST STARTING. If you find that Ancients are not for you, then you have not sunk weeks or months of pocket money into scrap metal! If you later want to expand with metal figures, there is a huge range from several suppliers. If you want to stick with Romans, then metal Romans are available. If instead you want to build up a different army, you will not feel tied by a large capital outlay to the army you made your first choice.

4.Playing With the "Toy Soldiers".

Playing with "Ancients" need not just involve the figure you buy straight out of the packet, either. When you feel confident you can try conversions; i.e., making changes to the figures to look quite different. Again there are many books and magazines which can help you.   Some of your fellow club-mates even make their own moulds to cast their own figures.

5.By What Rules Shall I Play?

However you play, whatever you play, there must always be Rules. Rules for fighting Ancient Wargames come in many different varieties, simple or complex, cheap or expensive.  Again your choice will be governed by local conditions.  What rules do your prospective opponents use? What is available locally in shops?

The WRG (short for Wargames Research Group) in England provide rules for Ancients (among others) which are used in many parts of the world.  All rules have their advantages and drawbacks. The WRG set (currently in its 7th Edition) makes a game seem to take a long time, and the complexity can be a bit daunting to a beginner. However, the choice is entirely up to you. WRG Rules are used not only in small clubs, but in competitions between Clubs.

THE GREEK HOPLITE

Most Ancient wargamers have tried one of the many different "Greek" armies, but aside from finding they have a reasonable chance of winning competition battles, they may know very little about the warrior himself. "Greek" meant speaking one of the Greek dialects, and probably believing in some at least of the array of Greek gods and goddesses, etc. A typical Greek warrior came from one of the hundreds of Greek cities ("polis") around the Eastern Mediterranean. Usually, these "cities" would be struggling to reach our modern estimation of a small town.

Greek cities in the ancient world were very often at war with some other city or cities, due to a bewildering number of causes. One particular "polis" might be at war because of traditional alliances and enemies, and that war could be as short as a week, or as long as a generation. In the longer wars, the friends and enemies could change many times.

The typical Greek warrior was most often a small farmer.  There was no standing army.  His city would in effect call out a levy, and our warrior would leave his livelihood for weeks or even months, leaving his family to fend for themselves. He provided his own war-gear, or panoply. Since metal was relatively scarce and hence expensive, his panoply would be as expensive to him as buying a car is to us - and with a similar wide choice  of results and efficiency.

The backbone of any Greek army was the phalanx, and any self-respecting Greek warrior would try to be fit to join it. His principle defence was a large circular shield, about a metre in diameter. This was called the "hoplon", and hence the man who carried it was a "hoplite".  It usually had some brightly coloured motif painted on it, and had a strap for slinging and a handle for carrying into battle. Sometimes a sort of canvas apron would be hung under it to offer some protection for his legs.

The hoplite's principal weapon was a spear, varying in length and type over the centuries.  At the time of the wars with Persia, it would have been between say 1.5 and 2 metres long, with a large leaf-shaped blade.  Quite a number also had a butt-spike, which could prove handy if the spear was broken in use. Most hoplites wore a short sword or dagger for in-fighting, and this was carried hanging from a sash across the opposite shoulder, later to become the baldric. One favoured style of short sword at the type of Alexander and probably for some time previously was the kopis. This heavy sword has been described as "capable of shearing off a man's wrist".

Different styles of helmet prevailed, according to the different areas of origin of the hoplite and different historical periods. Often it seems very much a matter of personal choice, although the various cities would favour one style more than another. Armour was expensive and difficult to obtain and maintain.  Hence the spolas was quite popular, a sort of jerkin made from stiffened layers of canvas. Apparently this was a quite reasonable defence against slashes, as was the boiled leather cuirass. Patterns of studs helped the defence too. Metal or stiffened leather plates could be sewn on as added reinforcement. (The shoulder protection survives to this day as epaulettes).

It appears that, at least in the earlier periods, hoplites often went into battle naked, or wearing only a loin cloth, perhaps. At least this would help them run more fleetly than pursuers after they'd dropped their shields and spears! For below-the-waist security, the well-dressed hoplite often wore a frontal protection made up of leather strips. This idea was the forerunner of the Later Roman Pteruges. Greaves were like light-weight bronze shin-pads. The existing contemporary art isn't clear whether they were thin bronze shapes which sprung over the shin, or heavier protection more like today's cricketers' pads.

With all this aggressive individuality, how was it that the Greek fighting machine was so successful? Against all probability, these aggressive individualists had developed into the most effective team-players the world had seen up until that time. Provided they set up their formation in time (which later turned out to be a BIG proviso), then the only formation of anywhere near the same numbers which could defeat them was a similar phalanx. As long as the phalanx kept its formation, it could only be beaten by a similar formation unless greatly outnumbered. Alexander simply gave his virtually unstoppable phalanx longer spears which out-reached even the Greeks spears, at the price of even further rigidity. But Alex realised the weakness and supported the flanks with more flexible bodies of troops. Nevertheless, the Romans beat the phalanx because of the inherent flexibility of the legion. They effectively trimmed away the cohesion and exposed the vulnerable flanks.

This same idea of the pike-armed phalanx came to light briefly centuries later, when the Swiss army had its day in the limelight during the Renaissance. It failed eventually because of its rigidity, and the new weapon of gunpowder.

The GREEK PELTAST

The backbone of any Greek army was the phalanx, and any self-respecting Greek warrior would try to be fit enough to join it. Not everyone was able to afford the complete and expensive hoplite panoply. The more poorly equipped Greeks were usually classed as "Peltast", named after the lighter, smaller shield they carried.

The peltasts principal armament was two, possibly three javelins, varying in length and type over the centuries. At the time of the wars with Persia, it was between 1 and 1.5 metres long, with a relatively small blade. The javelin would be launched at the enemy, and the last one would be kept for close contact fighting. There has been some dispute about how the javelin was actually thrown. It seems possible that two cords were wound around the shaft; when the javelin was thrown, the cords caused the javelin to spin, giving a sort of gyroscopic stability and hence, presumably, increased accuracy and possibly even a slight increase in range. Aside from javelin and light shield,  the rest was pretty much up to the individual. Most peltasts wore a short sword or dagger for in-fighting, and this was carried thrust through or hanging from their belt.

The hoplites rather naturally looked down upon the poorly equipped peltasts as inferiors both socially and in battle usefullness. It came as a horrible shock during the wars between Sparta and the Hellenic League when a group of peltasts slaughtered a unit of so-called invincible Spartan hoplites.  The hoplites had become rigid and very stylised in their movement; the Spartans found to their horror that, on the right sort of terrain, the peltast was far superior in manoeuvrability and could dodge the heavier hoplite's superior weaponry and training.

 

[1] What  happened to the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages? (Ed.)

The Battle of the River Plate,

11th June 2008:

A General Quarters III Rules Battle

John McIntyre

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Panzerschiff Graf Spee

Action commences at 19:15 in the evening. The German Panzerschiffe Graf Spee is sailing to the south when she spies three Royal Navy warships, the light cruisers HMS Ajax, HMNZS Achilles and the heavy cruiser HMS Exeter, on the starboard bow, at a range of 25,000 yards.

Both parties open fire immediately, the British leaving the Exeter to fire with her 6 x 8-inch guns, whilst Commodore Harwood, his cruisers steaming about 10,000 yards apart, seeks to bring his 6-inch guns into close range before opening rapid fire.

First blood to the Hun: Exeter loses a forward turret and some speed. The Graf Spee changes course slightly, keeping its firing arc open on Exeter, whilst the British sail full speed ahead—the idea being that Ajax and Achilles would close and hit the German with torpedoes, whilst Exeter lobs 8-inch shells at her. After a few minutes of this, there are no further hits from either side and Harwood splits his light cruiser division, Ajax turning 15 degrees starb’d to improve her interception solution and open her A arcs. The Graf Spee is firing at Exeter with her 11-inch guns and at Ajax with her 5.9-inch guns, but continues to miss.

 

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The Spee misses Exeter again, those pesky light cruisers are getting verdammt close

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HMS Exeter

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 As the British light cruisers close the range to under 12,000 yards, the Graf Spee switches her 11-inch batteries to Achilles and quickly knocks out two turrets.  Nevertheless, the 6-inch guns start pounding, quickly getting multiple hull hits and a bulkhead leak on the Graf Spee. Then, Exeter knocks out the aft 11-inch turret, making it impossible for the Graf Spee to flee on a finer heading without taking unopposed fire. At last, the German’s 5.9s set fire to the Ajax’s hanger and spotter aircraft. But, both the fire and the bulkhead are solved by quick damage control within minutes.

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The light cruisers close and start pounding Graf Spee, some pounds go the other way, Ajax has a fire, fortunately only a temporary one

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HMS Ajax

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HMNZS Achilles

Suffering multiple short range hull hits and a fire, the Graf Spee slows and the Brits close in for the kill, including Exeter, who has been left behind, somewhat. Ajax, however, catches fire again and loses a set of torpedo tubes. A chill runs through the bridge: the port or starb’d tubes? The dice roll low; it is the starb’d tubes! The Graf Spee may be slow, but losing the port tubes would have ruined my torpedo run. The forr’d 11-inch guns also wipe out a stern turret– Graf Spee is still far from helpless. However, Achilles knocks out one of the directors—that would not be as bad as it could be, at this range. 

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Ajax and the Spee on fire and closing, the other RN cruisers are catching up too!

 Both sides fire torpedoes, the Ajax with a clear chance of hitting, and the Graf Spee to stop Ajax doing a U-turn and pounding her blind stern at short range. The Graf Spee is slow, it is an easy shot and although the German turns away, the torpedoes hit, not once but twice. Gunfire hits the Graf Spee’s bridge, making her travel straight, just as Achilles closes for her torpedo run. Ajax’s rudder jams hard a port, messing up fire control.  Ajax, however, has expended her torpedoes and at this range continues to pound the German with rapid 6-inch gunfire getting more hull hits and destroying the forr’d 11-inch guns.  Graf Spee is now reduced to being nothing but a well-armoured, old-fashioned, broadside light cruiser. 

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Ajax narrowly misses Spee’s torpedos, at the expens of her A arcs, Spee is not so lucky.  The blue tape shows the launch point and direction.

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HMS Ajax

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The same view zoomed out, Spee has no escape! 

Another 6 minutes and the Graf Spee is on fire, her rudder jammed to starb’d and very low in the water. Achilles fires her starb’d tubes at the Graf Spee, who replies with her port tubes, in order to prevent Achilles from doing a U turn and firing her starb’d tubes. 

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Graf Spee and Achilles swap torpedos; Spee is now taking broadsides from 10 x 6” guns and Exeter’s remaining 8” are closing

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HMNZS Achilles

 But Graf Spee is slow, low in the water, on fire and out of control, no sooner does damage control put out the fire than another bulkhead starts leaking. Six minutes later, her ensign flying, she sinks under a hail for fire from the Royal Navy: cue—strains of ‘Rule Britannia’ and footage of Churchill entering the House of Commons waving two fingers at the reporters. The time is 21:20 and I need to splice the mainbrace.

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Panzerschiff Graf Spee

(From Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About

The Northern Sydney Wargames Club was founded at least by 1970 (maybe a couple of years earlier) as the Northern Wargames Association, then by 1991 changed its name to the Northern Sydney Wargames Club. Gamers from all over Sydney come to have a great time at the NSWC.

After spending most of the clubs life at Lindfield (first the Masonic Hall, then Lindfield Seniors Hall) the local Council leased all Sunday mornings for the year to a new religious based group. This left only Saturdays for a full day or evenings (members on the whole were not prepared or avaiable for the offered times), so in the end we had to say farwell to Lindfield.

The Council offered two other sites in Turramurra (further north which you would think not be a problem for a club call "Northern Sydney Wargames Club"), one building was completely unsuitable in the size of the space offered and the position of the building, while the other Hall was not large but it's position just behind the shopping centre (food and drink) with good access and enough parking. 

After a couple of years at the Turramurra Hall the club had a similar situation arise with the Council (also a similar group as the one that took over the Lindfield Seniors Hall). The Council made the same offer as they did at Lindfield, still no good so we tried other places. One place we looked at is owned the Turramurra Free Masons (large). We apporached the Turramurra Masons about the use of their hall (had space access, lift, price was not good but not bad however, the Masons decided against renting space once a month to a wargames club.

One of our long term members (Geoff) a long time part of his church choir apporach Father Peter and obtained the Old Church within the school ground as our new meeting place.  Great size (it's a church after all) plenty of storage, parking etc in the geographical centre of Sydney at Rydalmere where The club has gained more new members and some returned members since this move within last few years than the previous 10 yeas at Turramurra and Lindfield (tells you something).

Go to the links to find the address, the dates are in the right hand column.

*A number of the images used on this page came from somewhere else, but I can no longer remember where.

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WWI SMS Beowulf was the second vessel of the six-member Siegfried class of coastal defense ships From Wikipedia

The NSWC is supported by

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War and Peace Games offers very good discounts to NSWC members.

Miniature World Maker MWM offers a very good discount to the  NSWC.

essex.gif (10305 bytes) Essex Miniatures

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The club meets at the Old Church, within the St Marys Primary School grounds at Rydalmere, 1 Myrtle Street.  Turn from Park Rd (runs off of Victoria Rd and Kissing Point Rd) into Pine Street and then left into Myrtle, the gate entrance is on the left.   The Rydalmere Catholic Church is on one corner of Pine & Myrtle the school is on the other.

Meeting time: 9.15am to 5pm

 

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ON SQUARES

by Don McIntyre

WRITING in his diary, in 1811, Captain Thomas Browne saw an extraordinary sight. His own words describes it best.

"1811. March 15th. (During Massena's retreat from Portugal).

"About this time, a circumstance occurred, which proved the efficiency of well conducted squares of infantry, however small, against the attacks of powerful bodies of cavalry. A Brigade of our light Dragoons overtook and were about to charge, on a plain distant nearly three quarters of a mile from any rising ground, a part of the French rear-guard of about 150 infantry. When our Cavalry overtook them, they were moving off in line, under the command of a French Officer, mounted on a miserable little bit-of-a Pony, who immediately formed his Detachment into two Squares. Whilst one of these Squares retreated, the other kept up a constant fire, on our Squadron of Cavalry attempting to charge it.   The horses would not face it and many of them were killed.    When the retreating Square was pursued, it halted; and began the same sort of unapproachable fire; the other then commencing its retreat, & passing by the Square that was engaged, which in its turn moved off, when its partner in this conflict had stopped to face our Cavalry. By this alternate movement in Square this little body of French Infantry defied the efforts of a whole Brigade of well mounted British Cavalry, to capture them, and gained the heights in their rear, with little or no loss. Our Cavalry could not pursue them to this high ground, on which there was a thick wood. The last man who entered this cover, was the French Officer himself, who before doing so, rode forwards a few paces, and taking off his hat, waived it in a sort of triumphant good bye. This occurrence took place in sight of both armies, and although an anxious desire that the French Detachment should be taken, was naturally felt by us, it was not possible to withhold from the gallantry and skill of its Commander, a sort of reluctant congratulation on his escape, the success of which could not but prove both interesting and instructive, to many an Infantry Officer who witnessed it."

ACCORDING to my calculations, each square was composed of less than eighty men. Now before you go claiming that, as a three figure element represents more than eighty infantrymen under the WGR Rules, such an element can form a square, two points should be noted. The first is that this was a display of professionalism by an officer obviously in command of veteran troops which was quite out of the ordinary or Browne would not have devoted so much space to it in his diary and the second is that the troops had not been reduced in numbers by casualties. Nevertheless, I would hope this will reopen the argument about what is the minimum number required to form a square.

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ON CUIRASSIERS

by Bruno Just

(Wherein I resuscitate an old argument of mine).

CUIRASSIERS. Their presence on the battlefield inspired awe. Napoleon always expected his cuirassiers to make a tremendous impact on the battlefield. In the opinion of von Bismarck, a Prussian expert on cavalry, had they been provided with lances, they would have been the deadliest horsemen on any battlefield.

According to The Napoleonic Sourcebook, "...the cuirass was of greatest use in close-quarter melee, proof against sabre and bayonet blows". Also: "In combat the cuirass was proof against long-range musketry but was of most value in melee. The breastplate would turn a sabre or lance..." Weapons & Equipment of the Napoleonic Wars.

At Quatre Bras, the famous 42nd Highlanders, the Black Watch, mistook General Baron Guiton's two regiments of cuirassiers, wearing their blue-gray capes, for dragoons and fired at them as they swerved past their square, at long range (over 100 paces). They noticed that those who were hit merely swayed in the saddle and realized then that they were cuirassiers. To make any impression, the officers had to order them to fire at the horses. (Johnson, Napoleon's Cavalry). Had Guiton had more presence of mind, his horsemen would have caved in the square.

It seems that it was in the fact that large horsemen and horses in sufficient quantities were difficult to procure, (conscription was first started in France), wherein lies the reason for the absence of proper cuirassiers in other European Napoleonic armies. Certainly the Russians gave their cuirassiers the cuirass again, in 1812, and the Prussians theirs in 1815. The British Life-Guards obtained the cuirass in 1815, also.

Why then should we labour under rules which disadvantage them in the melee?

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A PUZZLE

by Mark Longhurst.

1. "Kilroy was here." Who said that first?

2. Who, where and when responded to the German surrender ultimatum with: "Nuts!" (It was definitely not General Cambronne).

3. What was the last major Luftwaffe air-raid in W.W.II?

4. Do you know to what the Caesar line referred? (It wasn't a new fashion of toga, white with red spots).

5. What was P.C.Bruno?

6. When did the German naval war with the Soviet Union begin, in W.W.II?

7. Who commanded the Westfalian depot in Perpignan, in 1812?

8. To what formation were the Kleve-Berg sappers attached, in 1812?

9. During the Napoleonic Wars, a certain formation had the initials L.L.L. What was it and who was its commander?

10. Attila the Hun would show something that denoted that he was the fuhrer of his people. What was it?

11. In 1739, the Turkish Grand Vizier and a certain Russian Marshal Keith signed the peace treaty for their respective nations. What country of origin did they have in common?

12. Who was Hannah Snell?

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The Answers

 

1. "Kilroy was here!" was first said by James A. Kilroy, a rivet inspection checker at the Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Mass., during W.W.II.

2. General A.C.McAuliffe, while acting commander of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division, at Bastogne, during the Battle of the Bulge, replied: "Nuts!" to the German request to surrender. (He was an illiterate - Ed.).

3. The last German air-raid of W.W.II occurred on 1st January 1945 when 800 Luftwaffe aircraft raided the Netherlands They lost 364 aircraft to the Allies 125.

4. The Caesar Line was the German defense line protecting Rome, in 1943.

5. P.C. Bruno was the code name for the French cryptographic service prior to the German occupation, in W.W.II. (It meant: "Please, call Bruno," who was obviously the French plant at the Wehrmacht H.Q. - Ed.).

6. The German naval war with the U.S.S.R. began on 15th June 1941, with the order for German submarines to conduct "the annhilation of Russian submarines without any truce, including their crews."

7. The Westfalian depot in Perpignan in 1812, was commanded by General Kusinski.

8. The Kleve-Berg sappers were attached to the Imperial Guard, in 1812, and none survived.

9.The Loyal Lusitanian Legion's initials were L.L.L. It was commanded by Sir Robert Wilson, and consisted of three 1,000-man battalions, 1 regiment of cavalry and 1 battery of light artillery.

10. Attila the Hun flashed the iron sword worshipped as the god of war by the Scythians, to show that he was the fuhrer of his people.

11. The Turkish Grand Vizier and Russian Marshal Keith, who signed a peace treaty in 1739, were both from Scotland and were school-buddies from Kirkaldy. (Did you know that, Don?)

12. Hannah Snell (born 23 April 1723 ) enlisted into the Colonel Guise Regiment, in 1745, where she received 500 lashes. She deserted and enlisted in Colonel Fraser's Regiment of Marines, went to the East where she was shot twelve times, once in the groin, at the siege of Pondicherry. Hannah returned home in she revealed her sex to her shipmates on 2 June 1750, received a pension of $30 from King George. She died on 8 February 1792

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The Adriatic Littoral 1943-1945

 

After 8 September 1943, the Third Reich created the ‘Adriatic Littoral’, a large area that extended from Trieste toward Slovenia. Gauleiter Reinier was the regional governor and General of Mountain Troops Ludwig Kübler was the General commanding the Wehrmacht troops.

Odilo Lotario Globocnick, by birth a Triestino, became ‘der Höher SS und Polizeiführer in der Operationszone Adriatisches Küstenland’ receiving his orders directly from SS Reichesführer Himmler.

The whole zone encompassing Piazza Oberdan, the Villas Ara and Weiss, the Synagogue, the Deutsche Haus (Goethe Institut) and the former Hotel Regina became the command centre for the whole of the Adriatic Littoral nick-named Kleine Berlin.

On the night of 29 April 1945, Gauleiter Reinier and General of SS Police Globocnik abandoned the city of Trieste and headed for Austria. On 30 April, the Trieste insurrection began instigated by the Committee of National Liberation.

On 1 May, the Yugoslav partisans entered Trieste wishing to force the surrender of the remaining German troops in their last strong-points. Among these was the Palazzo del Tribunale which was connected to the air-raid shelter. The Yugoslavs must have been ignorant of the connecting gallery, because there was no evidence of an attempt to force an entry. The German resistance in the city was brief. The soldiers surrendered to General Freiberg’s New Zealand Division. The 20-month German occupation was over.

Meeting Dates    2017

As a rule, the Club meets once a month on the second Sunday except where indicated; in May (for Mother's Day) and November (every other year school Fete: 2017):


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2017

August 13

September 10

October 8

November 19

December 10                                                    

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The Battle of Punto Stilo

British and Italian forces clash off the Italian coast in WW2

By Steve Thomas

(This is an account of the battle fought at Lindfield on 14th September 2008.  It is based on the historical battle of 9th July 1940, but with fewer cruisers and destroyers to make the scenario more manageable.)

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Italian cruiser Trento

Main Guns 8 x 203mm (8inch)

A substantial force of two light battleships (Conte di Cavour and Giulio Cesare), four 8-inch gun cruisers Trento, Trieste, Bolzano & Zara), two 6-inch gun cruisers (Raimondo Montecuccoli and Duca degli Abruzzi) and 8 destroyers of the Italian Regia Marina is attempting a return to port and finds a blocking force of slightly smaller size, two battleships, four 6-inch gun cruisers and five destroyers of the Royal Navy.  The 15-inch guns of the two British battleships outrange anything the Italians have and, as events prove, more than offset their numerical inferiority.

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INS BB Conte di Cavour

10 x 320mm (12.6); 28 knots.

As the two fleets approach each other the British have deployed in three columns with the two battleships, HMS Warspite and HMS Malaya, in the lead, the four cruisers to the left and the destroyers following behind, ready to deploy as required. The Italians have also entered the battle in three columns, one with the 8-inch gun cruisers; the other, with the two light battleships, and the third with the 6-inch gun cruisers. The eight destroyers, however, are deployed in line abeam across the front of the formation, a deployment whose intent soon becomes apparent.

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HMS Warspite

Main Guns 8 x 15inch (381mm)

The opening salvoes fired at extreme range are ineffective. In the second round, both side’s battleships score hits at the remarkable range of 23,000 yards.  Unfortunately for the Italians, their 12.6-inch shells bounce off the heavy armour of HMS Warspite’s turret. The British 15-inch shells of HMS Malaya smash into the Conte di Cavour’s hull slowing her to 23 knots and immediately negating the Italian battleship’s superior speed.

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HMS Liverpool

Main Guns 12 x 6inch (152mmm)

Thereafter, the Italian fleet turns to its left and cuts across the British front at 45° with the intention of allowing their vessels to close to a more favorable gunnery range. The Italian admiral, appreciating the lack of long range firepower has wisely decided to close as quickly as possible under a smokescreen and then bring his superior numbers into play. The destroyer screen lays down a blanket of smoke that effectively hides the battleships and cruisers, a brilliant strategy that has the potential to allow the Italian heavy ships to close undamaged into effective gunnery range. It leaves the British with nothing to fire on but the destroyers–which they do with a vengeance and 15-inch shells crash down into at two of the destroyers.

Now, the British turn to the right to create a situation where both fleets are converging at right angles. The two battleships lead the British forces so as to deploy their heavy guns while the cruisers turn inside them and increase speed to attempt a move ahead.  Fortunately for the Royal Navy, all the British cruisers can bring their 6-inch guns to bear on a group of Italian destroyers, and 28 guns pour a torrent of fire onto the plucky Italian destroyers–without scoring a single hit! HMS Warspite and HMS Malaya, however, have the destroyers in their sights and 3 destroyers are hit by their main and secondary armaments. One destroyer alone appears to receive several 15-inch shell hits.  It is clear that a number of destroyers are damaged and slipping out of line. Hidden behind their own smokescreen none of the Italian ships are able to return fire.

The Italians sail on bravely with their destroyers, but the range is narrowing, increasing the effectiveness of the British gunnery.  Now, the battleships are able to use their 4-inch guns as well and one Italian cruiser has moved within sight of the heavy guns and pays the price as 15-inch shells crash into it. The Royal Navy cruisers now find the range on the destroyers and more hits are observed. It appears at this stage that at least four of the Italian destroyers have suffered heavy damage.

In their drive forward, the Italian forces have to a degree split into two formations with the two cruiser groups forming the wings and the two light battleships in the centre somewhat behind. Of these wings, the faster light cruisers on the left wing have advanced furthest and now emerge from the smoke in a position to bring fire to bear on the British cruisers. The three remaining destroyers on that wing now turn towards the British, presumably with the intention of launching a torpedo attack. A minor duel rages between the two leading British cruisers and the two Italians and both HMS Gloucester and HMS Liverpool are damaged, with both losing a bow turret.  Their return fire however inflicts serious damage on the Montecuccoli. The remaining two cruisers and the battleships continue to engage the destroyers and cruisers and inflict hits. One Italian heavy cruiser is badly hit.

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INS Raimondo Montecuccoli

Main Guns 8 x 152mm (6inch)

To try and negate the threat of the torpedo launch the Royal Navy battleships make a bold turn left into the centre of the Italian line, a move which leaves them heading towards the two light battleships. The British destroyers have been racing at full speed to the head of the line and now at last are able to open fire. Massed fire from battleships, cruisers and destroyers pours into the surviving Italian destroyers and cruisers. In turn the British suffer only several minor hits.

After 36 minutes of battle, the Italians have 4 destroyers, 1 heavy cruiser and 1 light cruiser badly damaged, plus 2 heavy cruisers and 2 destroyers with light damage and 1 light battleship operating at reduced speed. Admiral Gregorio di Sentito now makes the decision to retire, laying down a smoke screen and sacrificing the heavily damaged ships in order for the rest of the Italian fleet to escape at the best speed it can.

The Royal Navy, with 2 cruisers and destroyer suffering light damage, are distracted by the 6 remaining Italian ships which they quickly finish off and focus on picking up survivors before returning to Malta.

Overall, the balance of forces was probably not as equal as planned. The superior numbers of Italian ships was more than offset by the big advantage of the British 15? guns with their ability to inflict damage outside effective gunnery range of the Italians.  Perhaps, the Italians needed one of the fast modern battleships to give them some long range gunnery. The smokescreen was an excellent idea, but it needed the destroyers to weave in and out of their own smokescreen to make them less exposed to the British fire.

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ZOUAVE UNITS OF

THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

by Bruno Just

(from Phillip Ross, The Zouaves of the American Civil War, in CAMPAIGNS, No.18)

THIRTY-FIVE Regiments and as many or more individual companies adopted Zouave dress, on both sides, during the American Civil War. A large proportion of these maintained this unique uniform to the end. One entire Union brigade was issued Zouave uniforms, as a mark of commendation, as late as 1863. The uniform was copied from the Algerian Zouaves of the French Colonial Army of the Second Empire. The most recent war being fought in Europe was the Second War for Italian Liberation, in 1859. This involved French, Italian and Austian armies, accoutred in the most colourful uniforms ever seen. Even more splendid than the those of the Napoleonic era. Naturally, other nations copied the uniforms of the victors. (If one cannot achieve the substance, at least one can cultivate the image). The unit with a uniform most loyal to the original Algerian Zouave garb was the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry (Duryea's  Zouaves).

OTHER units were:

NORTH

9th New York Volunteer Infantry.

10th New York Volunteer Infantry.

11th New York Volunteer Infantry (Ellsworth's Zouaves; 1st New York Fire Zouaves).

14th New York State Militia.

69th New York State Militia.

146th New York Volunteer Infantry.

95th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.

SOUTH

Louisiana Tiger Battalion.

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Boardgames

Photos on Blog

Updated September

----------------------------

January-April 2017

      Bolt Action, Napoleonic, Vietnam Air War, Australians in Afganistan Skirmishes

     Organised by

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

November-December 2016

      Napoleonic & WWI Airwar

Organised by

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

October 2016

      1813 Napoleonic,

Organised by Robert

Photos on Blog

     Quickfire Naval Rules

1905 Russo-Japanese War

Organised by Geoff

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

September 2016

      All photos in one Blog this month.

Peninsula Napoleonic,

Organised by Robert

Photos on Blog

     L’Art de la Guerre

Organised by Michael W

Photos on Blog

Bolt Actio

Organised by Bryan

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

August 2016

      Battle of Saalfeld,

10 October, 1806

Organised by Thoran

Photos on Blog

     L’Art de la Guerre

Organised by Michael W

Photos on Blog

Chain of Command

Organised by Steve McG

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

July 2016

      Battle of Burkersdorf,

21 July, 1762

Organised by Geoff

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

June 2016

      Battle of Waterloo (Plancenoit)

18 June, 1815

Organised by Thoran

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

May 2016

      Battle of Jutland,

May, 1916

Organised by Geoff and Greg

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

April 2016

      Napoleonic Fast Play,

Testing

Organised by Steve M

Photos on Blog

Thud Ridge

Vietnam Air war

Organised by Jason

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

March 2016

      Battle of Saguntum,

October, 1811

Organised by Thoran

Photos on Blog

Thud Ridge

Vietnam Air war

Organised by Jason

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

February 2016

      Battle of Eggmuhl,

1809

Organised by Thoran

Photos on Blog

Bolt Action

WWII

Organised by Steve E

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

January 2016

      28mm Blackpowder

Battle at Salem Church,

May 3rd, 1863

Organised by Paul B

Photos on Blog

WWI Airwar Games

Organised by Geoff, Greg & Steve M

Photos on Blog

 

----------------------------

December 2015

WWI Airwar

Organised by Geoff, with help from Greg, Robert & Peter

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

November 2015

28mm WRG Napoleonic

Battle of Talavera

Organised by Rob

Photos on Blog

28mm Bolt Action

Finnish vs Russian

Organised by Bryan

Photos on Blog

WWI Airwar

Organised by Greg & Geoff

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

October 2015

28mm WRG Napoleonic

Organised by Rob & Thoran

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

September 2015

28mm WRG Napoleonic

Organised by Thoran

Photos on Blog

28mm AWRG Napoleonic

Organised by Steve McG

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

August 2015

28mm AWI

Organised by Jason

Photos on Blog

25mm Zulu War

Organised by John E

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

July 2015

15mm Napoleonic

Organised by Mark L

Photos on Blog

25mm Napoleonic

Organised by Steve McG & Martin

Photos on Blog

Bolt Action

Organised by Bryan & Andrew

Photos on Blog

To the Strongest

Organised by Steve A

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

June 2015

Zorndorf 1758

Russians vs Prussians

Organised by Geoff

Photos on Blog

Battle of Waterloo at Hall of Heroes, Campbelltown

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

May 2015

25mm Napoleonic

Organised by Robert

Photos on Blog

A few phone pictures (by Geoff) of all the games, no one with a camera.

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April 2015

ACW

"Early’s Attack on Barlow’s Knoll"

Gettysburg Day 1

Organised by Jason

Photos on Blog

World War I

Gallipoli 1915

Organised by Steve A

Photos on Blog

25mm Napoleonic

Organised by Steve McG

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

March 2015

25mm Napoleonic

"Battle of Salerno 1806"

Organised by Thoran

Photos on Blog

20mm World War I

Organised by Steve A

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

February 2015

25mm Napoleonic

"Waterloo Soldiers"

Organised by Thoran

Photos on Blog

Flames of War

Organised by Rob & Roy

Photos on Blog

Napoleonic

"Sails of Glory"

Organised by John E

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

January 2015

28mm Italian Wars

Organised by Paul B

Photos on Blog

25mm Napoleonic

Battle of Popoli 1806

Italian Campaign

Umpire Thoran

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

December 2014

WWI Airwar

Organised by Geoff

Photos on Blog

-------------------------------------

November 2014

40K

Organised by Bryan & Andrew

Photos on Blog

25mm Napoleonic 1813

Battle of Castalla

French vs Anglo-Spanish-Sicilian

Organised by Thoran

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

October 2014

25mm Napoleonic 1813

Battle of Kalish

Russians vs Franco-Saxon-Polish

Organised by Robert & Geoff

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

September 2014

28mm ACW 1862

Battle of Chantily

Organised by Robert

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

August 2014

25mm Napoleonic

Russia 1812

Russians vs Austro-Saxon

Organised by Robert & Thoran

Photos on Blog

----------------------------

July 2014

Napoleonic 1806 Neapolitan Campaign

Battle of Pescara

19 February 1806

Organised by Umpire

Photos on Blog

 

 

 

 

Gaming Types

Some of the gaming we do:

  • Many, many Boardgames

  • 6mm Ancients (L’Art de la Guerre, Impetus)

  • 28mm Italian Wars 15-16th Cent (Pike & Shotte, Maximillian, DBR)

  • 15/18/25/28mm Napoleonic (WRG, BP, AoE, Shako, Lasalle, Rank & File, Napoleonic Fast Play, Horse Foot & Guns)

  • 10mm Seven Years War

  • 28mm ECW (in development)

  • 15/28mm ACW (BP, Gettysburg Soldiers)

  • Warhammer

  • WWI Airwar

  • WWII Airwar

  • WWI Trench Warefare

  • WWII Land War (Bolt Action, Rapid Fire, Chain of Command & Flames of War)

  • Napoleonic Naval "Sails of Glory"

  • 1/2400 ACW Naval

  • 1905 Russo-Japanese Naval

  • 1/1200 WWI Naval GQ Rules

  • 1/1200 WWII Naval

  • 40K

  •  

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    NAPOLEONIC INCONSEQUENTIALITIES

    by Don McIntyre.

    It concerns me that some of us who "fight" Napoleonic Wargames seem to regard our superbly painted figures as so many chess pieces to be used in a game. To me they are the embodiment of the heroes of yesteryear, for all were heroes, from the newly enlisted Spanish Miquelettes, who would break on every battlefield only to reform and fight again, to the indomitable Ney, the Bravest of the Brave.

    My various regiments have acquired their individual attributes over the years. My British Foot Guards can be relied to stand regardless of the most severe casualties. My Mounted Rocket Corps battery could not hit the side of a house. Might I add, Bruno's Artillerie a Cheval of the Imperial Guard suffers from the same problem. When this unit deploys within cannister range of my squares, I am not the least bit concerned. Were it any of his other companies of artillery, I should have to do something about it.

    But it is my generals who take on, most dramatically, the characters of their historical personae. Ponsonby is always the first of my generals to die in any campaign, leading his Union Brigade in charge after charge. Sir Hussey Vivian, with his Hussar Brigade, "Hussey's Huzzars", is equally reckless and with plenty of dash. Whereas Colquhon Grant, with

    To encourage you all to do more background reading, I have devised a quiz, to be followed by others in due course, of inconsequential facts regarding the men of various armies, both the greater and the lesser known of those who regarded the honour of serving their countries more important than life itself, in an attempt to give their characters some flesh. As encouragement, I am offering as a prize the Osprey Men-at-Arms Series, Napoleon's Guard Infantry (1), as the Quiz concentrates on the French. The rules are simple.

    1. Entries to be sent to Don McIntyre, 4 Lynne Place, Hornsby. N.S.W. 2077.

    2. The first envelope opened with all the correct answers wins. Otherwise, the one with the most answers correct.

    3. Umpire's decision is final. Copious correspondence will be entered into.

    4. Entries close 1st February 1992.

    NAPOLEONIC INCONSEQUENTIALITIES THE FRENCH.

    PART I: The Emperor's Family.

    1. What was Davout's family connection with Napoleon?

    2. Common knowledge that Bernadotte was connected by marriage to Napoleon, having married Desiree Clary, Joseph's sister-in-law. There was a more direct family connection with the Empress Josephine. What was it?

    3. Eugene's marriage to Princess Augusta of Bavaria caused a problem as she had been fianceed to the Hereditary Prince of Baden. Never phased, Napoleon found the Prince another wife. Who was she?

    4. Which descendant of Napoleon killed which descendant of George III, and under what circumstances?

    5. Name the only member of the Bonaparte family to die in action and name the campaign?

    6. Which distant relative of Napoleon married Marie Walewska Napoleon's "Polish wife", after she became a widow, and why was he lucky to live so long?

    PART II: The Marshals.

    7. Who was Massena's son-in-law?

    8. Which Marshal married General Joubert's widow?

    9. When Desiree Bernadotte asked Augerau how much interest he was going to charge on a loan he had made to her husband, what was his reply?

    10. How long did it take Davout to woo his bride?

    11. Which Marshal married a Princess of Bavaria?

    12. On the first night of the Battle of Aspern-Essling, when Bessieres met Lannes in Massena's camp, they drew swords on each other because of a message Lannes had sent Bessieres earlier in day. Massena intervened and a duel was avoided. What were the two words in the message that caused Bessieres such offense?

    13. What was the underlying cause of Lannes' dislike of Bessieres?

    PART III: The Men of the Grand Armee and Their Enemies.

    14. At which action did Napoleon receive his first wound?

    15. At the Battle of Austerlitz the Mameluke Mustapha brought an enemy colour to Napoleon apologizing for not capturing the Grand Duke Constantine, by saying: "Ah, if me catch Constantine, me cut off him head and bring it to Emperor!" What was Napoleon's retort?

    16. Who is credited with killing Prince Lewis of Prussia in single combat, during the Battle of Saalfeld?

    17. What was the fate of Prince Augustus, brother to Prince Lewis, when he was a prisoner of the French?

    18. Who were the first two Frenchmen to scale the walls of Ratisbon?

    19. At the Battle of Wagram, a regiment of Saxon Hussars charged and overthrew a regiment of Austrian kurassiers What was the extraordinary coincidence relative to this encounter?

    20. After being captured at Kulm, General Vandamme was taken before Emperor Aleksandr of Russia and his brother, the Grand Duke Konstantin. Vandamme was insulted and called a brigand and a plunderer. What was his reply?

    PART IV: The Curley One.

    21. Who sent the message "Pecavi" and to whom?

    (Note: PART IV need not necessarily refer to the Napoleonic Period).

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