Friday, 22 December 2017

Episode VIII (not the last jedi) ...Le Duc on the Road - 'King John's Castle'

King John's castle in Limerick is a 13th century construction on the River Shannon, the site having been settled by the Vikings, played a major role in terms of their settlement in Ireland, was central to the Anglo Norman / Old English settlements of the 12th century (from which the Burkes, Barrets, Fitzgeralds (all the Fitz in fact!), Plunketts, Marsfields, Sarsfields, Seagraves, Tyrells and Wolfes...and a thousand others, are descended from in Ireland today after the Normans integrated with the then Gaelic society) and been a centre of operations in both the Confederate Wars and the Williamite War.

It was beseiged three times in 50 years (remaining one of two cities on the Isle which actually 'beat' a 17th century siege attempt - well, the first time around anyway), and is noted as the site where Patrick Sarsfield signed the Treaty of Limerick in 1691 and left with 15,000 'Wild Geese' to fight for the French in the War of the Grand Alliance; of course, some might argue that Lord Mountcashel of Munster was really the premier Irish general to lead Irish troops to France two years previously.

Some wonderful AV work in the museum. Great effects that you can watch for ages.

 Includes some development of the area - from Viking onward.

 Superb 1/200 scale (approx) rendition of C16th town.

Five minute info segments throughout. Very well presented, and wonderfully impartial in terms of historical accuracy.  

The diroama and visuals simulate the moment when the drawbridge was raised too soon during the attack on Thomond Bridge, trapping the defenders... The miniatures were 1/72 with later versions of Tricornes. I couldn't discern the manufacturer though.

The visual histories are impressive, and professionally done, linking one siege and context to the next.

...also good to see that someone got the priorities right.

Ongoing archaeological research beneath the castle. Escape tunnels and original samples of Viking settlements still in evidence.

 Remnants of the Great Hall.

View from the upper tower. Great to see that ridiculous Health & Safety rules were not in evidence, and access to the top of the bastion was easy, and safe.

The condition is excellent, and there are fairs and festivals inside the castle, year round.

The treaty stone, upon which Sarsfield signed the treaty to end the war in 1691. The plinth was moved here in the 1990s, and there are bronze sections re-telling the history around it.

View of the castle from the stone.

So with time in the afternoon, I went to find a local gaming store (about half a mile away). Great hospitality and 'not just warhammer' is very much their motto. I found this range of very useful buildings, which can be retro-fitted for C17th.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Panzergrenadier Deluxe - Hill 112

Another game of BGPzG yesterday at John's. Some great 15mm stuff on show and a lovely set of rules, with activation mechanisms which can be enhanced with scarce impetus. You can almost do what you want, until the initiative swings, and you lose control of the battle.

 Picture 1 of 1

To the pics!!!

 The approach is open, almost devoid of cover...

British armour clusters left of centre, hoping to exploit a weakness in the hidden defences.

 The 88 appears early, taking out armour at long range, which can do little in response. The British need to close in fast, and shut it down.

Though well entrenched defenders start to appear.


 Some progress in the centre.

 As allied armour loses some of its assets on the left to the 88 and PzIV.

Reinforcements make the difference...

...though the Germans have them too, in spades.



The Tiger is ultimately taken out by some effective long range anti-tank fire, though the British armour finds it impossible to close any further.

By game end, the British have suppressed/neutralised enough of the Germans to gain the upper hand, and the game ends on victory points.

A nice set of rules, which, when they get going flow smoothly. A great game as usual.