Wednesday 30 August 2023

Almansa 1707 - 2mm Roads


There's a fair bit of road need to try and recreate the battle of Almansa as you can see from above. So the question was how am I gonna try and make this and try and keep it cheap?

Reject Richard used lollypop stick for his 2mm roads, which looked brilliant, see below.


But at first they caused a few arguments, as we leant over the tabletop, some of the roads were pushed out of place, causing gaps to appear where they shouldn't be. So a un-named blogger suggested cutting up some small pieces of felt and glue them to the bottom of the stick, to make them stick to Posties terrain tiles. This worked!

So I had the thought of dumping the 100 odd lolly sticks I'd already bought and go straight to the felt idea.

I bought a few different shades of brown felt from Hobbycraft and went with a light brown in the end, I heavily dry brushed the sheet with the same colour paint I used for my bases, then dry brushed a lighter brown over, stuck on some 1mm flock to some edges, just to create that road look. I did try to add the odd bush, but they kept falling off, I tried using superglue, which stuck the bushes down but, it tended to leach around the bush an leave a stain.

Scale wise they should be probably be a little thinner, but I think that'd be a bit too fiddly. You might as well use string, like I've seen some 2mm gamers use. So I stuck with the width of a lollypop stick.

I did say cheap, I only used 2 sheets of A4 felt and I've probably got enough road to last me a lifetime, and all for 99p a sheet! And it sticks to Posties tiles like you know what to a blanket!!!

Wednesday 23 August 2023

Almansa 1707 - 2mm Spanish/Mediterranean Buildings


I've got the castle, so needed some normal homes and houses. Brigade Models make a range of excellent 2mm Mediterranean buildings, so these were my first choice and at £6.25 for 20 mixed buildings you can't go wrong.

I also bought some Roman buildings too and used the more modern buildings to add to the collection. I'm not sure if Almansa had a town square, but my Almansa does! 

Then I saw the recently released  2/3mm Greek buildings from Irregular Miniatures by Geoff Addison and realised that some of the buildings would fit in very nice with the Brigade models. The Fountain in the town square above is from this collection, based on some sandpaper.

I liked the look of Reject Richard's 2mm buildings, he painted up for his French Wars of Religion, so I based mine up on the same sized base as his, 40 x 40. And based then to look a little like a street like Richard did. So if need be we can borrow each others for our games.

Here they are in all their splendour around Almansa Castle. With a base of  2mm Spanish infantry for scale.

There's loads more terrain to come!

Sunday 20 August 2023

Anglo-Dutch Wars books


As you maybe aware if you're a regular reader of my blog, The Rejects are going Mad for Barry Hilton's Mad For Rules naval rules, we all have, let's just say a few ships each to paint up. I'm concentrating on the English and Dutch, now I have to admit to not knowing much about the Anglo-Dutch War, so thought I should buy a book or two to give me a little background on the naval battles.
I saw on the Mad For War facebook page,  back on July 12th , a chap called Ernie Fosker added a list of Must Read books, 
I chose the two above, Ernie wrote 

* ‘Warships of the Anglo-Dutch Wars 1652 – 74’ author Angus KONSTAM; publisher Osprey Publishing, New Vanguard 183; ISBN: 978 1 84908 410 9 – yet another excellent book, highly recommended. When I was organising the demonstration game of ‘The Battle of Solebay 1672’ back in 2017 this became my ‘bible’ for information about the warships.

* ‘The Four Days Battles of 1666 – The Greatest Sea Fight of the Age of Sail’ author: Frank L FOX, publisher: Seaforth; ISBN: 978 1 84832 044 4 – I cannot recommend this highly enough, it is absolutely fascinating, a superb book, a MUST READ!

What follows isn't a review of the books, but a few photos and lists, just to wet your appetite, because they sure wet mine!!

Early Dutch Brederode 1653

The Restoration HMS St Andrew 1673

The Commonwealth Naseby 1652

The Sovereign 1662

Later Dutch Eedracht 1666 & Gouden Leeuw 1672

Raid on the Medway 1667

Thursday 17 August 2023

Almansa 1707 - 2mm Almansa Castle


After finishing the two opposing armies for my Almansa 1707 project, I thought I better start making some terrain. The first thing on my mind was whether or not to make Almansa Castle, as it didn't feature in the battle, the Franco-Spanish army set their battle lines with their back to it. But as the armies are in 2mm and there's a lot of room for terrain I thought why the hell not!

Almansa Castle resides on an elongated rocky, craggy mass rising out of the plain on the north edge of the city of Almansa, in the province of Albacete in what is now called Castilla La Mancha. It is speculated that both a Roman fort and a Moorish fortress occupied the site before the conquest in Almansa by James I 'the Conqueror', the King of Aragon, in 1255. He ceded Almansa to the Knights Templar, and it is very likely they constructed some sort of the castle on the rocky summit before they were discredited and suppressed in 1312. Much of the castle as we see it today was built by Don Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena (1282- ), about 1346. He was extremely wealthy and powerful, and chose writing as his vocation and greatest claim to future fame.

In 1444 King Juan [John] II granted Almansa, and the surrounding area in southeastern Spain, to Alfonso Téllez Girón y Vázquez de Acuña (d. 1449), a Castilian soldier and nobleman of Portuguese origin. He passed Almansa on to his son, Juan Fernández Pacheco y Téllez Girón, generally known as Don Juan Pacheco (1419-1474), 2nd Marques of Villena, who added the tall rectangular donjon and other sections to the castle. In 1469 when Princess Isabella married Fernando [Ferdinand] II, King of Aragon, and the War of Castilian Succession soon followed, Juan Pacheco sided with Juana of Castile, known as la Beltraneja (bastard daughter of King Henry IV), in a losing cause.

Beginning in the 16th century, the castle was in a continuous state of gradual deterioration, though it was used by troops of the Duke of Berwick in 1707 during the War of Spanish Succession. Berwick commanded the troops of the Philip V, Bourbon claimant to the Spanish throne, against his Habsburg rival, Archduke Charles of Austria. Clearly outnumbered, Berwick won what has been described as "the single most important battle fought in Spain". The castle had so deteriorated by 1919 that the mayor of Almansa requested permission to demolish it. A report by the Royal Academy of History resulted in the ruin not only being saved, but declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument in 1921. Several restoration projects have resulted in the castle being an important and stunning tourist attraction.

So back to my model after the history lesson.

I didn't have much to go on, apart from modern photos online, but found this plan below, so I tried to copy it the best I could with various Castle bits and bobs from the great selection of Modular Castles at Brigade Models. Unfortunately its made as to how the castle looks today, not in its heyday or in 1707. I just couldn't find the info. I was helped by Julián, who recreated the battle using converted Playmobile figures.  His Facebook site is called PlayAlmansa Espana, check it out.

Its nowhere near an exact copy, and is slightly too big, but hey ho, this is 2mm after all.
The map's great but I couldn't work out the scale, so I took a quick look on Google earth, very close to the castle is a football pitch, so I based the scale from the normal size of a football pitch, 110x70 yards or 100 x 64 metres

The hill is made from layers of purple foam cut about to try and simulate the mount, based on a plasticard base.
I covered the mount with layers of Polyfiller to sculpt the terrain.

I did mean to do a few shots after everyday of how I was progressing, but kept forgetting, so here's 1 pic to give you an idea???

Do check out Brigade Games 2mm scale buildings, they make some fantastic terrain items. I've bought quite a bit and will be showing some other stuff over the next couple of weeks.

Well I'm rather pleased with it, even if its not 100% correct or even the right size, but I won't tell
 anyone if you don't???

Saturday 12 August 2023

WWI Batrep - The Battle of Montceaux-les-Provins 6th Sept 1914


Or as the French players named it...
The Batille de la Mission Impossible, see Lee's report here, be prepared for a little whinging, even though it may have been worthy?

We picked sides out of the hat
Germans - Surj & Ray
French - Richard, Lee & Steve

The battlefield

The French were tasked with capturing terrain pieces, we the Germans didn't know how many and which ones, we guessed it would be towns, woods, hills, crossroads and our 2 HQ bases. We the Germans, just had to stop them doing this.

5th Army
18th Corps - HQ Guard 1 squadron 18th Chasseurs a cheval
35th Division
69th Brigade - 6th (3 battalions) 123rd (3 Battalions)
70th Brigade - 57th (3 Battalions) 144th (3 Battalions)
1 Pioneer Company
9 Artillery Battalions

36th Division
71st Brigade - 34th (3 Battalions) 49th (3 Battalions)
72nd Brigade - 12th (3 Battalions) 18th (3 Battalions)
1 Pioneer Company
9 Artillery Battalions


2nd Army
VII Army Corps - HQ Guard 1 squadron 16th Uhlans

13th Division 
25th Brigade - 13th (3 battalions) 158th (3 Battalions)
26th Brigade - 15th (3 Battalions) 55th (3 Battalions)
2 Pioneer Company
12 Artillery Battalions

14th Division
79th Brigade - 56th (3 Battalions)

We were allowed a glimpse at our set up, we could see the French set up also, but Postie told us, this was their troops, but this is Not there set up.
Gotta admit we were very worried as we were outnumbered 2-1.

The French were then left alone in the shed to set their troops up for around 10 minutes, so we couldn't even make a battle plan, coz we didn't know where they were going to be! When we went back, we found their troops in exactly the same position, so Posties fog of war worked well.

This is my command, the 56th infantry, 3 units v Steve's 6!

The game stared early in the morning, we the German's were totally unprepared to fight as we were either still asleep or have breakfast, hence the wavy infantry lines.

Luckily for us and a real bit of bad luck for the French, Surj was asked to throw a dice. This was to see if we had spotted the French creeping forward, he threw a 6, which was what we needed.
If he hadn't the French would have a free 8 inch move forward, while we would carry on enjoying our bratwurst brekkie! And then the next turn he would have had to throw again, although this time we'd have spotted them on a 5 & 6, so it could have worked out that they have a free 16 inch move, which would have been a disaster for the Germans.

After we spotted them all we could do on our first turn was form up.

So artillery was positioned ready to fire.

Our HQ, on our left of the battlefield

Steve targeted my 56th, in a slit trench, with 6 guns!

I also took some of Surj's troops on the centre right, I moved up 3 artillery pieces on the main hill

The centre right, I have 3 units, 1 in the woods, one to the right of the woods in a slit trench and 1 at the back of the woods, in reserve. Lee's 6 units can be seen top left.

Slap bang in the centre of our lines, Surg has a lone unit skulking behind a hedge, which has taken casualties from Lee's artillery. If you throw a 10 on a D10, it counts as 2 casualties and you also go red, turning your marker over. This forces a morale check, if you fail, you move back 4 inches and your opponent if artillery can change their target if they wish.

on our left Surj was having a torrid time trying to defend the small village, he did very well and held Richard up for quite a few turns.

Meanwhile over on our right, Steve was having trouble crossing the river, if he threw a 1 whilst crossing, the unit would become stuck in the swollen river. 

Surj finally gets pushed out of the village.

Surj defending, Richard moving forward.

Steve's artillery is taking its toll!!!!
And he's over the river too!

A veiw down the table at Surj's lines.

Our right, Steve is well and truly over the river, I have half a unit in the slit trench in front of the bridge, I've lost my machine gun that was in the village top right and hav 2 unit on the right.
I also moved my 1 stand of Pioneers over to help out.

A closer look at our right, after losing my machine gun, I moved in 2 stands (that was all I was allowed) from the unit in the field, into the village. Its not looking good for me as I'm totally outnumbered. Looking at the points they could capture, I see 5, the village, the 2 slits trenches, the HQ base and the field. Unbeknownst to us we'd already lost 2. The bridge and the hill on the left. We ont found that out at the end of the game.

Waiting for the onslaught.

On the left, Richard continues his advance whilst Surj sits and waits, Richard has concentrated 6 artillery pieces at Surj's unit in the field. While at the back by the village, sits a unit me and Surj fired at, at the beginning of the game, because we haven't thrown a 10, we cannot change our target, oh how we wish we could!!!

The French especially Lee, where throwing 10's nearly every turn, but we were countering the 10, by passing our morale.

Another 10 with the artillery, this time from Richard!

And a Cavalry charge too!
Richard's Chasseurs made mince meat of Surj's machine gun.

And then followed up into Surj's infantry.

Throwing a few 10's and decimating the unit, which turns tail and runs.

Surj charges his Uhlans....

Who win 2 melee's but not decisively

Steve joins in charging, this time its at my 1 stand, in the trench.

Now here was where the game got a tad heated, Postie had changed the rules from last time (apparently my fault) Steve was only allowed to fight with his stands in contact, which meant 1 v 1, which did seem a little (ok a lot ) unfair. In our last game I suggested that it wasn't fair if a unit of 4 stands just clips a unit, then it shouldn't all fight, which seems fair enough to me, as in the initial charge not all figures can touch the enemy.
But Postie changed it to stands in contact, changing it to stands in contact plus 1 either side would have been fairer, I did suggest this at the time, but Postie didn't want to change it. which I do believe ruined the game for Steve and probably soured the whole effect of the game (sorry Postie, but its true)

So Steve lost the fight....

It was around about know, that I believed we could actually win the game. Only if we could hold on, because it was getting on a bit (real time)

I think more in desperation, Lee charged the woods and slit trench, it was a bit more of a fair fight as the numbers were pretty equal.

Richard continued to push forward, challenging Surj in the woods. While blasting him with artillery.

I was still holding my own on the left, but was losing figures everywhere.

Steve changes tactics, rather than charge me again, he turned all the fire he possibly could onto my troops, inclding his Pioneers and a machine gun.

Lee's dice finally deserted him in the melee's and I pushed him back.

Richard moved 3 units into the field, could we hold on?

He also charged Surj in the woods.

Knocking Surj back

2 German stands in the trench are all that stand between the French and the crossroads.

Lee charges again

and gets pushed back again....

And at the end of the turn Postie called time on the game.

The French hadn't taken enough points, its a German win!!!!!!


Postie explained their were 24 points on the table, the French had only taken 3, Richard had taken the village, Steve, the bridge and the hill.

The French weren't very happy, saying it was an impossible game for them to win, as most of the points were in the last 12 inches of our end of the board. I've had my share of these types of games and been on the losing side, so I can appreciate their frustration.
I think the game was won and lost on the very first throw of the game, when Surj threw that 6, so we knew the French were coming. That stopped them being at least 8 inches further forward and possibly 16 inches forward. If you add those inches to the table, they would have scored a few more points, ok, maybe not 13 points they needed, but it would have been a closer game for them. BUT then, would that have been a winnable game for us the German's?
Their dice rolling was considerably better than ours throughout the game, so I believe it would have been a lot closer, either way. 
I did speak to Postie a few days after the game, he said the French paused too much, when they first met the German troops, Richard should have left 1 unit at the village and marched on moving 8 inches each turn to close with Surj's trrops in the fields. The same with Steve, he concentrated too many troops and too much time on the first slit trench, he could have marched straight passed it and onto the other terrain points further up the table. He asked me what would I have done if Steve had done that,  I couldn't really answer as I only had another 2 units in defence, so probably would have been overrun.

I'm pleased we won, a wins a win after all, but I can certainly feel the French players frustration and it did leave a sour taste inn my mouth,

Talking of sour taste, as I'm writing this post I was watching Australia v France in the Women's World Cup, what a penalty shootout that was! I was sweating' watching it, Now that definitely left a sour taste in all French mouths!