The Emerald Musketeers

The Emerald Musketeers

Thursday, 15 July 2021


The wait is almost over and the "Big Reveal" is almost upon us, so in time honoured fashion, here's a little picture gallery of what you can expect.

There'll be plenty of this.....

And this........

Along with a little bit of this....

All under the banner of..........

See you SOON!

Monday, 24 May 2021

An Announcement


I am so sorry for the lack of posts, there HAS been plenty going on "behind the scenes" which has unfortunately left the blogs in a state of limbo - but trust me, that is about to change!

"The Emerald Musketeers" has been chosen as the place to make this announcement since it is where the biggest changes will be made - "The Games Cupboard" and "The Wargame Addict" have been equally neglected, but won't be as radically changed as TEM.

So, what's occurring? 

First and foremost I must confess that I personally have strayed somewhat from the core purpose of this blog. "Historical Style Wargaming, set to a narrative approach of period saga...... Imagi-gaming, hobby mayhem and whimsical shenanigans thrown in." Stevie led us off in fine style with how things SHOULD be, but I'm afraid that when he could no longer post via the Blogger interface and I stepped in as editor, I ended up straying somewhat from that path and convinced myself that the campaigns I had running, along with the resultant games I was playing actually fitted the bill - in reality I'd 'shoe horned' them to fit!

The first thing I'll be doing to remedy the situation (if it hasn't been done by the time you read this) is to remove my previous posts which simply do not comply with the spirit of the blog. Don't panic if you have been following the ECW events around Trewes Castle or the Orcs of Albion attempting to oust the Emperor Mordred's Elves from the Peninsula, or even the fledgling Land of Nippon campaign - they will reappear elsewhere as part of the ongoing maintenance, and continue in their new homes.

I can then reveal The Big Project that we've been busy with over the past several weeks, so stay tuned, and thank you for your patience.


Thursday, 13 February 2020

The Battle

And so it begins.

I`ll keep it simple as I am just coming to grips with street fighting in Stalingrad myself, and am really not sure just how the Russians will fare in this rather unprepared skirmish to control the street. No preliminary mortar bombardment to pin the enemy behind their protective walls. No smoke to cover the Russians mad dash across the square, and worst of all, no clear idea of enemy numbers, or their composition.. or even their exact location among the building ruins.

The Commissar ordering the attack had said "There is no support available at this time!" and as the rifle company had not been supplied in days, they would have to make do with the meagre resources available to them. At least they had plenty of ammo and a few of those Molotov's Stinski had managed to concoct from their precious reserve of vodka.

`Recognisance in force` the Commissar had called it...  and no one was about to argue with him as to the potential suicide of this insane mission. "We can tell him all about it when we see him again in hell," Peterkin had joked, but no one had laughed.

A lone IS-2 heavy battle tank lay in wait behind a warehouse,  just in case of need.. "but only to be committed" the Commissar had stated, "if the situation demands it."

These clear plastic rulers are really handy for this type of close up range calculation.

I declare the position of my Russian sniper and prepare to kill the MG42 machine gun crew located on the top floor of the ruined building across the square. She has a bead - she takes aim, and shoots... and misses her target completely (despite her +2 for being a sniper)! It was always going to be a difficult shot, but in the excitement and heat of the battle, as she watches her comrades dash across the open ground, her hand shakes ever-so- slightly, and the shot goes astray.
 The fight for the ruins is about to begin in earnest.
But fortunately, the rifle section charged with attacking the ruined building across from The Commissar`s Offices, lose no time in coming into close contact with their enemy.
The ensuing melee is fierce, but the Germans do not give ground. The Attackers roll a nice high 6 on the die, and receive a +1 for charging on the first round of combat: but the enemy outnumber the Russians by 2 to 1 (-2 to the die roll) and another -2 because the Germans are defending a building = 3. The Germans only roll a 2, which gives the Russians a pip point advantage.. but its not enough to win the fight for either side, and the melee continues for another turn.
Collective fire from several rifle `strips` pour down upon the ruin, but do little more than cause a myriad of pock marks in the brick work.
A strip is a group of 3 or 4 miniatures acting as a single base/unit (less if a leader or special unit). There can be any number of strips in a full unit - 1 to 6 strips being the norm.
Measuring the distance to the ruined building.. medium to long range for these supporting rifle units!
One strip does manage to create an accurate fire group, but a high save by the Germans (for being in hard cover) soon diminishes this to a `no effect` result.
The wargamer happy at his play.
The attack presses on.
High on the roof tops of the Ruminov Building Suite, German spotters radio in the Russian positions to their friends on the ground. 
More Russians filter into the square, for the time being.. protected by the tall buildings in front of them. But Germans on the roof above - have now spotted them....
Germans start to appear from many roof tops all around the square, and engage in some sporadic fire, aimed down upon the attacking Russians.
A lone anti tank rifleman takes up position behind cover, and lies silently in wait in case the Germans bring up any support armour. An anti tank rifle against an AFV or even a half track does not stand much hope of defeating it, but any help is still better than none.. hey comrade?
A few grenades tossed from a roof top overhead, soon dispatches a few strips of Russians sneaking round the side of the building.
Back at the ruined house, a second round of combat sees a repeat of the last phase, and both sides remain tied in a stalemate of suppression fire and cover saves. Without their initial charge bonus, the Russians are finding it increasingly difficult to oust the Germans out of their strong dug in positions.
The German MG42 swivels into new position, and absolutely riddles the derelict vehicle they suspect the enemy sniper is hiding behind. The rusty old car begins to resemble a pin cushion... but the sniper is not harmed.

Meanwhile, the Russian rifles making their way round the side of the building.. seeing their comrades at the front get blown apart by lobbed grenades, decide to crash through the windows and into the unexplored house itself.
They are momentarily overcome with awe at the hidden cashe of food supplies they have discovered in the first room they enter. An urgent hunger starts to gnaw at their bellies: and this costs them the initiative.
Germans crash into the room, panicked.. but determined to kill their hated enemy. Stiff resolve also gives them a firm bonus to their morale... defending their food stuff is vitally important to them. 

A swirling mass of close quarter fighting ensues
All is chaos for a few moments
... but it is a Panerfaust  that finally finishes off the Russians...fired at extreme close range, it nearly singes the hairs off the German`s heads as well. The building (and the food store) is secure and remains in German hands.
But the Russian attack is beginning to falter, and so the Commissar sends in the tank.
 This should really even the field.
It swivels its turret toward the ruined building. Takes aim and....
And misses the MG42 entirely.
Heat from this multi ton behemoth melts the ice on the ground under its very tracks, and oil, like ichor drips from its terrible metal body. A scream of metal on stone as the beast begins to turn for another shot.., and a howl from its hot diesel engines makes the vehicle sound primordial and alive.
The German heavy machine gun can do little else but return fire and hope for a miracle. But miracles do occasionally happen.
The MG needs a 6  followed by another 6.
All that searing heat and dripping fumes must have been a ticking bomb waiting to go wrong. A flash, a spark, a flame, and a sudden fireball... and the tank explodes from the inside.
There is a ragged cheer from the Germans on the roof tops.
Over in the ruins, the Germans inflict blood and a strip of Russians is removed from play. Morale is checked on both sides, and surprisingly both sides remain firm, though the Soviets are beginning to feel a little shaky.
A whistle is blown from somewhere behind the Russians, probably from the Commissar's section of the streets, and they start to retire from the battle and back to their start lines along the Pugovits and Rachkov warehouse district. The heavily smoking tank helps provide cover for the retreating troops to find safe paths back through the rubble.
Russian losses have been high this day. But the Commissar does not see it as a complete failure. 
"For we have learned the resolve of the enemy in this sector. The next attack will be more successful."
Article by Steve