Monday 10 February 2020

Not Just Old School......a bit of a catchup

Regular readers may be thinking I've given up!  Nothing could be further from the truth. It's hard to pin down why I have not done any proper wargaming blogging since about last October but I blame the computer!  It's not just that but a series of priorities in family life, art work, a significant model soldier project, planning wargames, charity work in my village and Christmas/New Year. All of this militated against any significant wargames reports as I like to put proper effort into them. But nearly all of this requires a reliable computer and plenty of time.

I don't know what caused it but my 5 year old iMac started playing up about Spring 2019, and by August I had to consult Apple Care to restart, wipe the hard drive, replace with backed up data and try again. Similar stoppages came in October and November so it went into Cirencester for major repair - a new hard drive. This actually brought more problems as in the process I had the most up to date operating system, Catalina, and lost use of my old Adobe Photoshop Elements program. I bought Elements 2020 but could not get it to work. It took me till early January to sort that out but in the process discovered that "something" was causing my account to slow up. That involved a couple of weeks verifying I had all I need from a new account which the lady technician from Adobe created for me. Even then I had difficulty deleting the old account which was clogging my system. All this had knocked my confidence and turned the iMac into a very sick friend that needed constant care. However, although I've been told that Catalina does bring its own problems, I think now (fingers crossed) that Chris' iMac is a fun friend again.

No need to feel too sorry for me as throughout I've kept up some wargaming; I think I've arranged about 7 games here since October and played one away, that's a good average for me. Many of them deserve blog reporting in due course, and I have not forgotten I need to do at least three more parts to the AAR on the Raid on Vestisle mini-campaign.

So I've been "celebrating" the new reliability of Photoshop with a few enhanced photos that I hope you will like, and serve as a taster to things to come.

First up is a pic of a splendid battle I staged here in November 2018, but never got round to blogging!
This was another WW2 10mm game. 24th Panzer Division's attack on Barracks Hill just North of the Stalingrad old city on 16th September 1942.

I loved making the terrain for this - sculpted and landscaped over the 8 ft x 6 ft table. This part shows German combat engineers and Panzer grenadiers assaulting the barracks on the hilltop. A lot of the Russian trenches and emplacements have been over-run by this stage of the game.

More recently I have been spending many months collecting and painting two Imagi-Nations armies for my young grandson Sebastian. It finally numbered the best part of 300 1970s style "classic" 25mm Minifigs, Les Higgins figures and similar. The full story is worth a blog and it resulted in what I think is a good workable set of Napoleonic type rules that anyone could pick up yet have enough depth to interest more mature wargamers too. For now here is a photo from Test Game Two.

A game of "Seb's Soldiers - Napoleonic"  in which "British" forces are defending two river crossings and in this photo the Scots Greys are taking on two "Russian" regiments, one of which is being hit in the rear by Light Dragoons.

I had a return to my beloved mid 18th Century Imagi-Nation armies in December when I made the excuse to entertain Kevin and Glenn with a refight of Klein Krefeld. The terrain, situation and forces were adapted from Phil Olley's very manageable scenario in Charles Grant's first volume of "Wargaming in History". The real battle involved the French defending between two uncrossable water courses against Ferdinand Duke of Brunswick's allied army of Hanoverians, Hessians and Brunswickers. It turned out very exciting and I'd highly recommend this as an intriguing game.

A "French" battery attempts to see off a Hessian battalion with canister while the mercenary Scots light infantry protect their backs from Prussian Jagers.
The final game to show at the moment is the most recent. 10mm WW2 again but this time a much different game using a scenario from the Rapid Fire! Eastern Front book. This was a refight of Kamenewo on 6th October 1941 when the panzers met their match against a brigade of mostly T34s and KV1s during the push towards Moscow. I used the Rapid Fire figure/model scale and rules as they stand but with the 1:144 scale/10mm models and it worked very well. It gave a much more open feeling of space than when using 20mm models.

Near the end of the game. Luckier dice and subtle tactics enabled the Russian superior firepower and armour to dominate so the ridge is ablaze with Panzer IIIs and IVs and knocked out German guns

And just for good measure you can take a look at the oil painting commission which was exercising me for much of the Autumn - King Harold and his most trusted warriors just at the start of the battle of Hastings.

King Harold at Hastings, 1066. Original oil on canvas by Chris Gregg (Copyright), 16" x 12"
This was a companion to a commission from 2018 which readers may not have seen - William the Conqueror during the heat of battle at Hastings.

William the Conqueror at Hastings, 1066. Original oil on canvas by Chris Gregg (Copyright)
16" x 12"

If any readers have views on what I should prioritise to blog about please comment accordingly, thank you for visiting.


  1. Good to hear from you again Chris. I am particularly envious of the 'old school' Napoleonic's its nice to see them in action.It looks like you have mastered the art of photo-shop, whatever that is, so well done.

    1. Thanks for your support, as ever, Robbie. Yes that old school project was very satisfying and I'm looking forward to telling the story, especially as some good friends, and family, helped develop it. Adobe Photoshop is the world's leading program/app/system for messing about with photos to produce special effects or just make them a lot better to look at. For my paintings I take multiple figures and arrange, resize etc to plan a final picture reference to work from. For wargaming photos it is great for disguising figure and terrain bases, adding smoke, and phasing in backgrounds (such as in Barracks Hill above) and trying to make them feel "real". I hope I mastered what I need of Photoshop some years ago but it was the latest version that was playing up till recently.

  2. Good to see you back in the saddle. Wasn't technology supposed to make life and work easier? My suggestions for forthcoming blog posts? Anything Napoleonic or mid-18th century! And your canvases are impressive works. How long does it take to suggest the chain mail though??!! It looks very convincing.

    Best Regards,


    1. Stokes, thank you very much for your suggestions. The King Harold painting turned into quite a labour-of-love challenge as, like many wargamers, I get a bit obsessed! Eyes were seeing spots on doing the maiI! The whole painting took about 32 hours on the canvas, not including the planning and prep time and I suspect about 10 of those were mainly doing mail. Thank you for your compliments.

  3. Loved Harold at Hastings. As for what to prioritise I'd go with interesting game scenarios and rules mechanism in action, ideally wrapped up in a roller-coaster of an AAR.

    1. Rob thanks very much for your suggestion and appreciation of the painting.

  4. Good to hear you're enjoying yourself gaming Chris
    I have to say that the pictures are great but that first picture is just stunning

    1. Good to hear from you too Kerry. Thanks for your supportive comments