Thursday, 19 October 2017

Life is Not a Bowl of Cherries

 Saturday  14th October 2017 

Got another book to read:

As I am still wading my way through Stilicho  this one will have to wait its turn.  On the positive side there are no papers in my reading pile (whew!).  No fiction either for that matter.

Monday 16th October 2017 - WDW

Of course I wasn't there - no transport - but I do know what went on:

Bolt Action - British v Germans with a narrow German victory

DBM - Ancient Britons v Early Imperial Romans

Hordes of Things (mini competition)

Andrew won 1 game
Tim won one game
Andrew and Ian played a third game

Results / further details when I get them.

Tuesday 17th October 2017

Downloaded a copy of DBC and gave them a quick glance. 

Looks like I need to refer to the DBN rules for clarification on terrain deployment and "shaken" status.  I think I know who has a copy!
Once that's done I intend having a solo scrap - watch this space.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Black Jacobins

Monday 9th October 2017 - WDW

Bolt Action - Germans v British
HotT (1) - Rats v Zulus
HotT (2) - Goblins v Zulus

DBM - Normans v Communal Italian - I exceeded my personal best on bad dice throwing.  I suffered at least 3 x 6:1 and many more 6:2 or 5:1.  Whenever only a 1 could end in defeat I managed it.  Both of my commands were broken.  Chris could only look on and weep!

Tuesday 10th October 2017 

My copy of Wargames Illustrated 277 (Nov 2010) arrived.  I had shelled out £3.90 for one article - "An Island in Flames - The Revolution in Haiti 1791-1804" by Neil Smith.  The 8 pages were interesting if a little over-burdened with pretty pictures.  The blurb at the end says - "Look out for more Trouble in the Caribbean in future issues when we follow up this article with more on Haiti's Struggle for Independence."  Does anybody know if such an article actually appeared?

I had already read "The Black Jacobins" by CLR James but never thought of it as a wargaming project.  Now that I am sorting out my loft space I am trying to decide what can be used and/or converted and what goes to the next Bring & Buy. 

Given the amount of half-painted Napoleonics I have (mostly Airfix) it seems a pity not to, at least, try to use them. Some have already found themselves fighting in the South American Wars of Independence and others in the 1812 American War.  The first half of the Haitian conflict would need Revolutionary French figures but the latter a mixture of Napoleonic French, Spanish, British and some native 'mash-ups'.  Will I do more than just think about it?

In addition to the above I found two more articles of value:

"Spanish Silver" - fighting in the American SW - Spanish v Indians.
"Ireland's Norman Invasion" by Paul Leach

Otherwise the issue seems to be populated by WW2 articles for which, obviously, there is plenty of information available.  About as captivating as two day old porridge!

Wednesday 11th October 2017

Finished the last of the ERB stories:

11)  "Tarzan and the Land That Time Forgot" by Joe R Lansdale (46p) - plenty of adventure but little character development

My last comment could apply to the entire book, and indeed the writings of ERB himself.  The modern authors have tried to give indivuals more 'life' but in the short story format that is difficult.  To me adventure comics (and stories) of ERBs era were just romping good yarns with stereotype heroes, damsels in distress and crisis after crisis.  Styles and tastes have moved on.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Yes It's Saturday (Again)

Monday 2nd October 2017 - WDW

HotT - (1) Lizardmen v Samurai (2) not recorded
Black Powder - ACW
Bolt Action (WW2) - Japanese v Americans

DBM - Chola Empire v other Tamil Indians.  Regular troops with blades versus (very) irregular warband.  The terrain suited the empire with a steep hill on the left flank and a wood on the right.  The Tamils had a large wood and a steep hill in their central sector.  My central command fell to pieces against the enemy bows (before they even got to the blades).

Wednesday 4th October 2017

The fourth issue of "Wargamer's Notes Quarterly" has just come out. 

"Conington Contraband' - French v Rebels
"Breaking New Ground" - renaissance campaign - the Italians
"Chit Games" - Barnet 1471 - played as a 3-hander
"Making a Fort for the Caribbean" - 18C
"Eureka Stockade" - Australia 1854
"Atlantic Breakout" - WW2 Naval
"Battle of Fehrbellin 1675" - Swedes v Brandenburgers
"Building a Boat" - Australian colonial 'flat irons'
"Combat of Dva Mosta" - Russians v French Napoleonic)

If you want to receive a copy (or even submit an article) contact the authors by email at:

Saturday 7th October 2017 - Gt. Houghton

4 games of DBA v3.0 - started around 13.10 and finished about 16.30.  Clearly we are getting more used to the rules - but I am still making mistakes!

Game 1: Lysimachid v Thracians - my usual dice throwing but managed to lose  only 3 to 4 - time 60 mins.

Game 2: Italiot Greeks v Samnites - I managed to keep a good line of hoplites and the lack of enemy movement dice meant that my flank was not turned. - a 6 to 0 win - 40 mins.

Game 3: Moorish v Maurikian Byzantine (single based Cv) - I almost threw this one away but poor enemy dice prevailed - a 4 to 0 win - 30 mins.

Game 4: Moorish v Maurikian Byzantine (double based Cv) - I used the terrain reasonably well this time (but still forgot about the road movement.  A 4 to 1 win - 40 mins.

The dice gods were definitely on my side after the first game.  I even had 3 x 6:1 results.  I have promised not to gloat (makes a change from my usual losses though).

Home - Two more of the ERB stories read:

9)  "To the Nearest Planet" by Todd McCaffrey (64p) - Poloda and its associated planets - as told by a ghostly typewriter - not a bad yarn at all.

10)  "The Dead World" by F Paul Wilson (58p) - inner Earth - rather long-winded but it got there eventually.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Not A Lot!

 Not a lot happening this week - too much RL getting in the way.

Monday 25th September 2017 - WDW

Definitely quiet on the western front (Horbury) - only 3 games and few players:

Black Powder (AWI) - "Gloucester Road" scenario
Hitler's War (boardgame)

DBM - Fanatic Berber v Hindu Indian (both book 3).  Had to pull an army together at short notice.  The list wasn't great nor the deployment.  A pretty 'hairy' game with a number of commands broken or close to collapse.  Next week I will be trying out the Tamil Indian (book 2).

Thursday 28th September 2017

 Two more stories from the ERB book:

7)  "Tarzan and the Martian Invaders" by Anderson & Hoyt (24p) - not a Barsoom story but an alternative devised by the two authors.  Unexciting.

8)  "The Two Billys, A Mucker Story" by Collins & Clemens (26p) - after the 'stutter' start the tale tries to be atmospheric but somehow falls short.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Two Days Late

Saturday 15th September 2017 - WDW

A FUBAR modern game running (so of  no interest to me).

Saturday 23rd September 2017 - Gt. Houghton

Three more games of DBA v3.0.  I took along my boxes of Indians & Malays.

(1)  Classical Indian v Alexandrian Imperial - 4:1 loss - discovered just how difficult it is to move elephants around.  If you get the pips it's OK - if not...well!  Bowmen are also pretty crummy under this version.

(2)  Mountain Indian v Graeco-Indian - 5:4 loss - last 4 throws were twos.

(3)  Malay v Tamil Indian - 4:3 win - Ian decided to charge down the road with his elephant general.  He destroyed my artillery but fell to overlaps in the next round.  I was 3:1 up at one stage but the dice gods didn't like that.  At 3:3 it was anybody's game - for once it was mine.

We are getting more used to the new system but it is a steep learning curve - tactics will come later - I hope!

ERB stories:

4) "The Forgotten Sea of Mars" by Mike Resnick (82p) - strictly speaking this is a re-print and not an original story.  Stereotypical action hero (John Carter) stuff.

5)  "Apache Lawman" by Ralph Roberts (50p) - what a contrast to the last tale - a character you actually care about.

6)  "Moon Maid Over Manhattan" by Peter David (42p) - a somewhat depressing tale set in an alternative reality.

There is a normal WDW meeting on Monday and I am likely playing DBM again.  The HotT competition seems to have ended up in the long grass so what else will be going on is anybody's guess!

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Saturday 9th September 2017 - WDW

Another session at Horbury library.  Samurai skirmishing using "Ronin" rules.  Tim & Nigel helped Andrew out but public interest was low.  Can't win them all I suppose!

Monday 11th September 2017 - WDW

Big game was "The Walking Dead" - gallant heroes trying to stem the flood of zombies issuing from a cabin. 
Sci-Fi battle tanks had another outing - a cautious approach with much taking of cover.

DBM - Pre-Feudal Scots v Sub-human (sorry - Sub Roman) British.  Yes I was back playing and supporting Al with his mass of truly awful Irr Sp(I).  Once the enemy Wb(S) got into contact it was just a matter of time.  A 6:4 defeat.  I can still hear Frasier in my head (We're Doomed!  We're All Doomed!).

Thursday 14th September 2017

Finished another ERB story - "Scorpion Men of Venus" by Richard A Lupoff (42pp) - the titular villains are soon replaced by a mad scientist.  Lots of loose ends.

With the calling season now in full swing (plus American Football) my wargaming time is going to be pretty limited.  Hopefully though  I will get some more DBA v3.0  in soon!

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Battle of Wakefield

Monday 4th September 2017 - WDW

DBM - Tupi v Anglo-Irish - a strange battle with flank marches on opposite short edges of the table.  The result was a draw (again Jim was the fourth player).

Lion Rampant - Attacking Wakefield Castle - not entirely satisfactory as both my artillery and bowmen were pretty ineffective.  The attackers had too many useless troop types - knights and sergeants who could not dismount plus light spear who are only good in defence.  Methinks the scenario needs some tinkering!

Sci-Fi Tanks - another outing for Andrew's rules.  Two quick games were played in succession.

Tuesday 5th September

Starting on a new book: "Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs" - a collection of short stories set in the various worlds of ERB's imagination.

1)  "Tarzan and the Great War" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (30pp) - a small incident in Algeria but very atmospheric.

2)  "The Fallen - A Tale of Pellucidar" by Mercedes Lackey (20pp) - set in the Inner Earth - somewhat ephemeral.