Thursday, 28 December 2017

The Big Freeze Starts Here

Monday  18th  December 2017 - WDW

Yes..I know that was some time ago but I do, as of 23.12.17, have some details of what went on:

Sikhs v Brits (re-fight of the previous game).
A boardgame - Andrew & Co
DBM - don't know which armies were involved though.

Sunday 24th December 2017

Finished the Dr Who book - "The Story of Martha" - which I picked up in Hebden Bridge at the end of last month.  A rather disjointed story - or series of stories.  It probably seemed a good idea at the time but I don't think it quite comes off.  Average.

Monday 25th December - BBC1

I watched the 'changover' Dr Who episode - not impressed.  The music was too loud and the voices too quiet.  Leaving with a cliff hanger is OK but having to wait until the autumn is a bit much.  Seen a lot of criticism online - kind of agree at this point.

Tuesday 26th December 2017

Working my way through Slingshot 315:

"Kidon a mace? I'm beten on it" (Guardroom) - nitpicking.  In the old days (eg WRG 6th) rules were weapons based.  The world has moved on.  Whether Goliath had a mace or short sword no longer matters.

"Is Goliath a Distraction" - after reading 2 paragraphs my brain switched off.  Maybe not a distraction but certainly a soporific.

"A Bit of Fun with Phalanxes" - I actually woke up for this one - it was more interesting than I expected. Comparing 7 different rule sets (admittedly some were ancient editions) did not look promising. Credit should go to the author (Chris Hahn) for his worthwhile efforts.

Wednesday 27th December 2017

More Slingshot 315:

"The Battle of Hearclea" - part one covers the background and local politics giving an insight into why certain things happened.  Part two is on tactics - interesting.

Thursday 28th December 2017

Suddenly realised it was Thursday - too easy to lose track during the festive season. 

The electrician turned up today and sorted out most of my ring main - all except the power to my central heating system.  The gas man cometh - but not until Saturday - to deal with the pump. That will be the eighth day since the breakdown. 

Tried to buy some heaters in B & Q only to find that the Barnsley building is empty. Wickes had nothing either.  Oh well!  Nil Desperandum.

In spite of all that I do wish all my readers A HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Thursday, 21 December 2017

Montezuma 1: Morgan 0

Saturday 16th December 2017 - WDW

I really wanted to be there but Montezuma had other ideas.  After downloading, printing out the main section of the rules and even reading them I was, like Cinders, not going to the ball.

Fortunately I received a battle report:

"Only one game this Saturday - a fictional Roses battle using "To the Strongest" rules, in which the Lancastrians smashed the Yorkist centre, with King Henry Looting the Yorkist camp.

The battle ended dramatically with Percy's bill men defeating  a Yorkist Mercenary pike block.  Inspired by this, Percy and household took on a neighbouring spear unit, driving it from the field. The battle mad Percy now turned his attention to a mounted retinue which had been immediately behind it, and charged that too. Unfortunately, it proved to be King Henry on his way back to his own lines...Percy blamed the incident on the lack of a standard, identifying the group.

Henry survived the assault on his dignity; but will Percy? Tune in for our next thrilling instalment of the saga in the New Year!"

Monday  18th  December 2017 - WDW

Again I wasn't there - and no reports received!  Will have to wait for the new year to find out.

Wednesday  20th  December 2017

Whilst mouldering at home I watched two new DBA v3.0 videos from Tony Aguilar and Co:

Early Armenian vs. Pergamene w/Kappadokian allies DBA 3.0

Scots-Irish vs Picts DBA 3.0

These two games were uploaded on the same day after a bit of a hiatus.  The 'break' was caused by some adverse criticism on the DBA Fanaticus forum.  I have learnt a lot from watching these battles and yes there were mistakes but what the hell we are all human!  If you put your head above the parapet  some non-contributor will shoot it off.  Glad to see that TA & Co have decided to continue.

Thursday  21st  December 2017

Just received the latest copy of Slingshot (315) so have only given it a quick look.  Will reserve judgement until the next blog.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Another Short Entry

 It's just the way things go...feast or famine.  Let's hope that next week there is more of (wargaming) interest for my readers.

Monday 11th December 2017 - WDW

Sikhs v British - "The Men Who would Be Kings"

British v Vichy French WW2 - Andrew's rules

DBM - Early Northern Barbarians v Sargonid Later Assyrian - CJ got the list wrong so had to adapt at short notice.  That meant we had masses of Wb(F) plus some Cv(O) and Cv(I).  The Assyrians put their powerful command on our left - it didn't look good.  After a series of 6:1 and 5:2 dice rolls we were triumphant - a well deserved win (NOT).

From DBA Fanaticus Forum:

(1)  Another DBA v3 report from TA:   Early Imperial Romans vs. Early Germans DBA 3.0

Footnote:  I have been carrying out some, initial, research on Napoleon in Egypt (and Syria).   I will put it all together asap and publish it as a separate entity. If you have any info please let me know.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Recon..and all that!

Saturday 2nd December 2017 -RECON @ New Pudsey

Well...the journey started off strangely - the train arrived 8 mins early at Fitzwilliam but reached Leeds 5 mins late !!!!   Just missed one connection but only 15 mins to the next.  Cold but not as bad as two days before. Recon was the usual boor and numbers were down.

Only purchased 1 bag of (8 metal) 'Fantasy Samurai' (from A.J.Dumlow) that I can use in a HotT army (it's about time I built something to face my Garden Gnomes).

Return journey was a 'piece of cake'.

Sunday 3rd December 2017 - Gt. Houghton

Tried out a game of DBM 200 - Northern Dynasties Chinese v Patrician Romans.  Ian was 'rusty' so it was not surprising when I demolished his cavalry command.  He was about to concede when, on a whim, he decided to have just one more round. You can guess what happened....I couldn't get the last two elements I needed to kill off his army.  The dice gods favored the Romans so that one of my commands broke.  Unfortunately if you have equal sized commands it only needs one extra element to exceed army break point. 

Casualties count for a lot more under DBM 200 - if you are going to lose a command make sure that it is the smaller one. Expensive troops like Reg Kn(F) @ 11 ap are not cost-effective - you need more 'filler'.

With time to spare we played a DBA v3.0 game using similar armies.  True to form I started off well but soon perished.  Oh Well!

Monday 4th December 2017 - WDW  

Another sparsly attended session.  Only two games going on:

Near Future FUBAR - Police v Insurgents - victory went to the rebels (why do I have Star Wars playing in my head?).

DBM - Huns v Northern Dynasties Chinese.  I went for the all mounted option with Jurchen-Chin allies.  Andy had an  Ostrogoth ally which looked remarkably arab.  The result was a draw - we had lost 7 elements (including 4 for a BUA) - they had lost none.  Not exciting.

Purchased 2 x Han Chinese 4h chariots from CJ.   Two standard Essex chariots with crew and canopy.  Except for these two figures that is - don't know what they really are - any suggestions? 

Thought about painting the canopies so did some research.
From the discussion on TMP [] it seems that only commanders had these brollies.  Given the emphasis on lightness the heavy discs supplied, formerly, by Essex seem inappropriate.  The canopy shown above is clearly not much more than a sun shade.  For earlier chariots I need to scratch build something and paint it in more muted colours.

As I slowly replace my dual-purpose 4h chariots with 'proper' Chinese models the early Carthaginians will, eventually, get sole use.


Thursday, 30 November 2017

A Missing Week

Last Week - nothing to report - no wargaming activity whatsoever.  Can't say that about this week though!

Saturday 25th November 2017 - Hebden Bridge / Old Town

After spending hours in a really cold hall I tried to escape by bus.  As I got on I asked if it went to Hebden Bridge and received the curious reply 'eventually'.  The driver was true to his word as we climbed up the moors to a remote turning circle (no buildings within half a mile).  The bus came down again passing the original bus stop on the other side.  It then proceeded to wind its way around Old Town and Wadsworth taking tortuous routes through estates and very narrow roads.  When we eventually got to 'town' I started my rounds of the charity shops.

Managed to purchased another Dr Who book:

Sunday 26th November 2017 - Halifax

Luckily the snow had melted but it was drizzling (and trying to sleet).  After spending quite some time looking for a parking spot I visited the model shop.


I have decided to try out this period but not to make any specific purchases - in other words if its there I will buy it.

Basically I needed to know how different the uniforms are from, later, Napoleonics (of which I have plenty).  Reasonable figure but a pain to remove from the sprue.  After much sawing , cutting and filing they have started chemical processing (and I have a blister).

I have done very little in the way of painting for maybe 5 or 6 months.  Today I gave my Aztecs a bit more covering - better a little progress than none I suppose! 

Monday 27th November 2017

Downloaded a pdf of these ancients rules.  It does not use dice (a bonus for me if ever there was one) but does employ playing cards.  I'm looking for a successor to DBM (which I think has stagnated).  So far I have tried "Triumph" and "Impetus" but neither have grabbed my attention.

WDW - 4 games going on:

Impetus - Samurai 1600
Bolt Action - US Marines v Japanese
Oregan - boardgame
DBM - Lysimachus at Ipsus v Antigonus One-Eye - I managed to throw quite good dice until it mattered.  After that the C-in-C was killed and my command crumbled. 

3 issues of Miniature Wargames turned up (413-415).  Will give them a quick perusal before returning them to the club stockpile.  Don't expect much - review in due course.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

DBA v3...and all that!

Saturday 11th November 2017 - Gt.Houghton

3 games of DBA v3.0:

(1) Abbasid Arabs - 1 x Cv(g), 3 x Cv, 1 x Lh, 3 x 4 Sp, 2 x 4 Bw, 1 x Wb & 1 x 7 Hd
     Thematic Byzantines - 1 x Cv(g), 3 x 3 Cv, 3 x Lh, 2 x 6 Cv, 2 x 4 Sp & 1 x 2 Ps

Awful movement dice handed me a 5:1 victory.

(2)  Fatimid Egyptians - 1 x Cv(g), 2 x Cv, 1 x Kn, 1 x Lh, 1 x 7 Hd, 1 x 3 Bw, 3 x 4 Bd & 2 x 4 Sp.
      Early Crusader - 1 x Kn(g), 3 x Kn, 1 x Lh, 4 x 4 Sp, 2 x 4 Xb & 1 x 3 Bw

Still poor movement dice meant another win (4:1).  I managed to shoot off a double-based element then captured the enemy camp.

(3)  Pre-Islamic Arabs - 1 x Cv(g), 1 x Lh, 1 x LCm, 4 x Cm, 2 x 4 Bd, 2 x 3 Bw & 1 x Ps
      Early Imperial Roman - 1 x Cv(g), 1 x Cv, 1 x Lh, 4 x 4 Bd, 3 x 4 Ax, 1 x 4 Bw & 1 x Art

The dice gods swapped sides.  I had the enemy general sandwiched, on even terms, but Ian six-oned me followed by a 5:1 to kill another Cm.  Game over with a 1:5 Loss.

I learned a couple of lessons -
(a) Don't put your troops in a column anywhere near the enemy - if the front element is pushed back it dies.  It's in the diagram section - not the main rules.
(b)  Camels are pretty awful with a factor of 3 against foot and horse plus only a 3 BW movement. 
Note to self - take my camera next time.

Elsewhere....... Another display at Horbury library - Sci-Fi tanks - some interest shown.

 Sunday 12th November 2017

Finished another Dr Who book:

A good yarn about degenerates fighting over a ball of metal.  Just goes to show what blind obedience to a religion can do.

Monday 13th November 2017 - WDW

Sparsely attended night. 

Impetus - Wars of the Roses
Honours of War - more 7YW action - Austrians & Russians v Revolutionary French
DBA v2.1 & HotT - players swapped between tables.  Byzantines fought Crusaders and the pseudo-Samurai were up against the pseudo-Medieval.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Getting Out

Monday 6th November 2017 - WDW

Got a lift tonight (thanks Tim) so I know, first hand, what went on.

Quebec 1759 - boardgame - convincingly won by John Smith
Impetus - Normans v Saxons - the Norman left came charging forward and got stuck.  After that it seemed to be a bit of a grind.
Honours of War - Prussians v Russians - the DBM group playing 7YW for a change.  I took part but it was such a slow battle.  Don't know if it was the rules (Osprey) or just the period.  Think that I would rather watch paint dry.
DBA v3.0 - Medieval clash of knights - neither player was enamored with the rules.

Tuesday 7th November 2017

My copy of Slingshot arrived.

The contents include:

"Speed in Action" - Paionian Cavalry - quite interesting
"Maths, Musings and Mistakes" - casualty calculations
"Arsuf Battle Day" - short report
"Fearsome Weapons" - early firearms and bows
"The Second (Plastic) Punic War - Part 2" - 28mm figures
"China's Defences"

Only had time to read the first article so I will reserve judgement.

Thursday 9th November 2017

PSR has reviewed the Caesar H029 box - Ancient Chinese Shang vs Zhou Dynasty Troopers -
(that I purchased last week).

The initial trawl through my books and the internet revealed very little information other than this box covers a very long time period.  As is often the case where manufacturers produce figures that appeal to the eye of young buyers these models are of the elite warriors.  The rank and file would have been much more poorly armed and armoured but are unrepresented. 

Not sure what I am going to do with these latest recruits - most likely they will just gather dust.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Back from 'Foreign Parts' (almost Lancashire)

Friday 27th October 2017

DB Colonial - played out two trial games making many mistakes along the way.  Didn't really need the DBN rules - attrition is optional (shaken status) and the terrain section is pure Barkereese (so I used DBA v3.0).  Discovered that Camels and Irregular cavalry are useless.  Will, maybe, give it another go when I find the time (and the enthusiasm).

Saturday 28th October 2017 - Halifax

After leaving home at 09.45 I eventually arrived at Mytholmroyd at approx 13.30 hrs.  A non-existant bus at the start meant a diversion to Wakefield (and 40 min wasted)  After that two trains - changing at Leeds.  Before taking the last leg (by bus) I stopped off at the Halifax Model Shop where I purchased two boxes:

Caesar H029 - Ancient Chinese Shang vs Zhou Dynasty Troopers BC 1050  [Awaiting Review]
When I figure out which is which I will decide where to employ these figures.

HaT 8271 - Dervish Warriors
Yet more 'canon-fodder' for my Imperials.  They are a trifle petite compared to other manufacturers.

Sunday 29th October 2017 - Mytholmroyd

All this travel meant that I demolished yet another Dr Who book:

Featuring Smith & Pond - better than I expected. A stealthy invasion.

Monday 30th October 2017 - WDW

6mm Sci-Fi (hover tank commander)
DBM - Later Crusaders v Fatimid Egyptian - another draw
Impetus - Wars of the Roses in 15mm
Colonial - Sikh wars 28mm (rules unknown)

Thanks to Deany & Chris for info.

Tuesday 31st October 2017

The return journey was much easier - catching the bus to Halifax at 09.35 I was home by 11.30 hrs.  The King's Cross train was pretty fast and let me off at Wakefield Kirkgate.  The final bus was only 10 minutes late!

I picked up another Dr Who book (Smith & Pond again) in Halifax and started on it during the journey (more on that later).

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Ancients, Colonials & Napoleonics

Saturday  October 2017 - WDW
(Mega) Bolt Action WW2 - ended in stalemate.

S & T  Russia v Sweden in Finland - overwhelming Swedish victory.

S & T  Napoleon v Ottomans in Egypt and the Levant - narrow victory to the Ottomans.

Tuesday 24th October 2017

A new update to my early access version of Triumph (0.7) arrived.  A number of minor changes and clarifications.  No doubt I will get around to reading through them - when time allows.  Still wish that Washington Grand Company would just do an update sheet.

 DBA v3.0 - watched some new videos by Tony Aguillar (and company) on YouTube:

(a)  Polybian Roman v Later Carthaginian
The Carthaginians achieved a decisive victory (the Roman general threw as badly as me).

(b)  Tang Chinese vs. Nanzhao
The Tang were blown away by fast pikes - bows are very weak in combat.

Some interesting pointers were taken from these games.

 Army of Egypt 1798 - has reached article 4.  Here's a link to article 1:

Illustrations of French uniforms of the period - interesting - some of the text in Spanish (which I can just about manage).  I think Strelets or Red Box produce some 1/72 figures for this period and so does BUM (if I could ever source a supplier in the UK). 

Off to Mytholmroyd on Saturday so hopefully a visit to Halifax (model shop) is on the cards!

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.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Learning DBA v3.0 - part 1

Sunday 27th August 2017 - Gt Houghton

I think that I had previously played 2 games of DBA v3.0 at WDW but remember very little about them.  As a consequence I started as a 'virtual' novice on Sunday.

In preparation I had read the rules but they are written in Barkerese with the 'Battlefield Terrain' page being a masterpiece in gobbledegook. I later did manage to find a visual aid on the net.  [Don Harting's DBA 3.0 Setup Guides - look in Files section of Yahoo DBA group (also in the Files section on Facebook).]

Ian had been watching videos put up by some Americans and from that he obtained insights into game play.
This helped a lot.

Game One:  Latins v Polybian Roman  (4-3 loss)

Wonderful movement dice but awful when fighting.

Note: Putting down a road restricts starting point to 2 sides of the board (long sides).

Game Two:  Picts v Mid Imperial Roman  (2-4 win)

I should have lost this one as Ian had a number of chances to kill off two of my fast pikes (but the dice gods said No).  I finally managed to chew through his frontage to take a fourth elelment.

It was a fun afternoon.

In the evening I re-read the rules (pp 4-7) and it brought up a number of points:

p5, para 6 (Bows) - "....longbows (Lb) or crossbows (Cb), are differentiated by effect."

p5, para 8 (Hordes) - a new troop type but not the same as that in HotT (no replacements).

p6, para 5 (Double elements) - "A double element is 1 element of the army's 12, but may count as 2 elements when lost."

p7, para 4 (Placing Features) - "There must be a gap of at least 1 BW between area features and between an area feature OTHER THAN A BUA and any battlefield edge."

p7, para 7 (Area Terrain Feature) - "...BAD GOING, which slows the movement of, and is an adverse close combat tactical factor for...and may hinder shooting..."

"...ROUGH GOING, which reduces move distances but is not a tactical factor and does not affect shooting."

"All hills slope up to a centre line crest and give a close combat advantage IF PART OF AN ELEMENT'S FRONT EDGE IS UPSLOPE OF ALL OF ITS OPPONENT." - in DBM I am used to requiring ALL of the front edge of an element to be upslope.

p7, para 10 (Roads) - "Movement by an element or group in column entirely along a road is in GOOD GOING and counts as straight ahead even when the road curves.  Combat on it is in the going it is passing through." 

My impressions:

(a)  This is not a simple set of rules.  Version 1 was simple - you could take it to a convention, put on a game and get kids and adults alike playing within minutes.  Versions 2.0, 2.1 and 2.2 added further complication but this could either be ignored (BUA rules for example) or simplified.  Version 3.0 is a complex set of small-scale rules.

(b)  There are masses of changes from previous versions.  Having v2 in your head is not much of an advantage - yes you have the 'framework' in your head but the devil is in the detail.

Monday 28th August 2017 - WDW

Another busy session at the homestead:

Lion Rampant - 'Hammer & Anvil' scenario (25mm) - I had a pacifist group of crossbowmen and some fierce foot who were very reluctant to wild charge.
Baroque - Spanish v Dutch (6mm) - Tim threw some awful dice
Sci-Fi - ground battle
DBM - Philistines v Makkan (guess who won) - Jim was the fourth player
Samurai - Test of Honour (card driven skirmish game)

Friday, 25 August 2017

One Day Older and.....

Saturday 19th August 2017 - WDW

 Bolt Action (big game)

I was too bound up in my own game to do anything but take a few pictures.

 Quetcoatl Rampant (small game)

Chris offered to play with my South American stuff so I took along my Aztecs & colonial Spanish.  Decided to use small units (as my troop numbers are limited) with 6 hits per stand (reducing according to casualties)  Neither of us had much idea about the "Lion Rampant" rules but we struggled on.  Nigel turned up after the first game and became my opponent.

What we found out - it was impossible to kill certain Spanish units (horse and caballeros) and the artillery was deadly.  Both fights went to the Spanish. 

Using solid blocks (40mm x 40mm) was fine if a dice holder is on each base.  However...according to the rules...only skirmishers should have been in 'small' units AND dice should never have been reduced below 6.  That wpuld have made a big difference!  Thanks to Deany for his help and advice. 

Chris was not happy with the activation sequence so probably would not want to play theses rules again.  Well there is another set to try out...'DBA in the New World'.  Maybe next year!

Sunday 20th August 2017 - The 'Other' Partizan @ Newark

It took me 1hr 40 mins to get to Newark - roadworks, roadworks and more b*£%^* roadworks.  This time I knew how to negotiate the horrendous Newark roundabouts so getting to the showground was not so bad.

Fought an interesting little game 'Battle of Northampton' (7 turns only) - quite fun and educational.

On the way back I had to get off the A1 at Thaxted (interesting windmill), but was able to rejoined above the accident.  Luckily I took the Wakefield turnoff as there was standing traffic beyond that point.

My purchases were:

2 packs of 7mm dice squares (10 per pack)

1 x Aztec Warriors - Caesar H028
1 x Aztec Warriors - Mars 72018
1 x Conquistadors - Mars 72019 (the one with the war dogs)
1 x Chinese Han Dynasty Troopers - Caesar H043
(All of these are on PSR)

With so many reinforcements I can now sort out my SA figures and paint up some as dedicated Tlaxcaltecs.
The 4 war dogs mean that I can make an additional Wb base.

Not sure about the Han Chinese figures - another case of  'too many chiefs' I fear.  They might be of use as Imperial troops of the Taiping & Boxer rebellion period.

Tuesday 22nd August 2017

My Naismith order turned up today.  A few more conquistadores:

1 x CQ12 Mounted Conquistador with lance & shield (3 figs)
1 x CQ13 Mounted Conquistador - lance & shield at rest (3 figs)
1 x CQ14 Sword & Buckler man - standing (6 figs)
1 x CQ15 Sword & buckler man - attacking (6 figs)
1 x CQ16 Conquistador gun & crew  (1 gun & 3 crew)

These are destined for "Irregular Wars" usage.  Still need to source some other figures - seems that Grumpy & Eureka figures are no longer available in the UK!

Thursday, 17 August 2017


Monday 14th August 2017 - WDW

A quiet night at the club:

(a)  DBMM - Later Muslim Indian v Seljuk Turks
(b)  Black Powder - AWI - Brits v Americans

(Note: this is the picture that I couldn't add last week - dwarves v lizardmen)

(c)  HotT - Skeletons v Rats

I scratched together an army based on the club's rats (plus a few samurai) - 4 x hordes, 3 x beasts, 1 x hero general, 1 x magician, 1 x blades plus 1 x behemoth. 

Jim had a skeleton army of 1 x behemoth, 2 x lurkers, 1 x seekers, 3 x shooters, 5 x horde and 1 x magician. 

For once the dice favoured me and starved Jim of movement points.  A 12 - 2 victory for the rats after nearly 90 minutes of play.  What a a marathon!

Wednesday 16th August 2017

Finished the Terry Pratchett book - "A Hatful of Sky".  I love the logic of his arguements - "It's not what a witch is, it's what she appears to be."  Thinking back to the "Hustle" series - they could walk into anywhere if they had enough hutzpah.

Thursday 17th August 2017

Read all that I wanted to from "Slingshot" 313.  In the 42 pages of text were only 3 articles that interested me:

"Wagaming with Vandals" - shows that the one DBM(M) list is inadequate
"The Battle of the 5 Lamas" - outside the Ancient period but worth a read
"Mythological Wargaming" - a twist on classical warfare

Still unimpressed by Slingshot and unlikely to re-subscribe.

Footnote:  preparing for a game of "Quetcoatl Rampant" against Chris on Saturday.  Previously I have only played solo (and put the result on this blog).  I now have the chance to find out what I did wrong.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Summer At Last

Monday 7th August 2017 - WDW

                                      WW2 - Bolt Action - Americans v Germans

                                    DBM - Tuaregs v Welsh (Tuaregs deploying)

I was partnering Al taking the left flank (Viking allies) and left centre (Wb & Cv).  We started off with 2 - 2 - 4 - 5.  So I couldn't close the left edge gap and the Cv only got one move towards the Vikings.  On the next roll Andy threw a six so his mounted forces could soot forward.  The allies did manage one five for movement but normally it was 3 or under with the opposition doing much better.  My Vikings fell in droves.  Al also lost a command to the dreaded Cm(S).  Not a good night.

Note:  HotT Lizardmen v Dwarves also took place with Andrew winning (yet again).  Couldn't add the extra picture in Edit mode - very strange!   Try to remember for next week.

 Tuesday 8th August 2017

Finished the Dr Who book.  The villains are the Slitheen (almost).  A good yarn and well worth the time.  Just started on the Terry Pratchett book.

Thursday 10th August 2017 - Worsborough

Whilst looking at the DBA forum I saw a notice for a model shop in Worsborough (going south out of Barnsley towards the M1).  As it's August I was free and so made the journey post haste.  I chatted with the friendly owner for a while.  He had only been there for 10 years - I must go around with my eyes closed!

Specialises in 25/28 mm figures and fantasy so not ideal for me.  Still...there are gaming nights on Thursday, Saturdasy & Sunday,
Small room at the back but might join in with the upcoming DBA competition.

Footnotes:  actually had some sunshine today - amazing!
                    thanks to Andrew for the photos.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Another Week in Paradise!

Building work still going on.  Periods of intense activity followed by long waiting times - remind you of anything?  Weather very changeable with lower than average temperatures.

Monday 31st July 2017 - WDW

"Sink One & Sea" - WW1 Naval
"Rebellion" (Black Powder) - Cowpens (AWI) in 15mm
"Baroque" - Grolle 1627 - Dutch v Spanish in 6mm
"Oregan" boardgame

DBM - Early Samurai v Yuan Chinese - a three-hander as Andy was away. 

In the centre I  was facing off against loads of Bw(S) & Bd(F) with only Bw(X), Bw(I) & Bd(I).  I could hear Frasier (Dad's Army).

My cavalry superiority on the left flank counted for nothing as my crummy infantry collapsed.  Another loss in a long series of failures - maybe I need a break!

Wednesday  2nd August 2017

I have workmen in yet again - the plasterer this time.  So I high-tailed it to the lauderette (my life is toooooo exciting).  Whilst wandering around Mapplewell library a tome caught my attention:

This is the first in the Tiffany Aching series (the only one that I have not read) so it has forced itself into my reading pile.  I'm close to finishing the Dr Who book so, maybe, it won't sit idle for too long!

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Working Down The Stack

Finished one book and just starting on a new one:

Saturday 15tth July 2017 - WDW

Black Powder - ACW
Age of Eagles - Napoleonic - Hohenlinden

Monday 24th July 2017 - WDW

Bolt Action - WW2 - Japanese v Americans
Space Ship Battle - Tim's Rules - searching for pirates in an asteroid belt - encounter another fleet.
Heroes of Normandie - WW2 - boardgame / tile game

DBM - Marian Roman v Pyrrhic - terrain deployment gave the enemy two steep hills in the centre - this severely cramped my style!

My left wing consisted of two commands - cavalry & light horse plus a 'pip sink' (sorry - strategic stike and reconaissance).  I was able to clear the slight opposition but couldn't get between the steep hills and our central command.

At close of play a  Pyrrhic command was one element away from breaking.  Our central command was also in trouble.  Yet another draw!!!!

Thursday 27th July 2017

"Conquistadors" by Michael Wood - "The Spanish Explorers and the Discovery of the New World."  The story certainly shows what an appalling bunch the Renaissance Spanish were - exploitative, perfidious, land-grabbing and cruel.  They destroyed whole civilisations and peoples.  Capitalism in the raw.

The last section "El Dorado" concerns not conquest but exploration. The struggles and privations of the journey are well illustrated comparing the modern trek against the historical.  Herein also lies a problem - it is sometimes hard to tell when the author is in the present or the past.  On tv different voices are often used so it is obvious, to the viewer, which is which.  In print the reader has no such auditory clues.

Nevertheless the book is well worth reading if, perhaps, a little lightweight.

"Monsters Inside" features my favourite Doctor of the modern ers (I may have said that before).  Only about 30 pages in so a review might be a tad premature!

Plenty more books in the stack plus some academic papers - will it ever end?  Well if I hold on long enough somebody else will be reading them to me - I hope the nurse is cute!


Thursday, 20 July 2017

Out of Chaos

Another week struggling to get around my house.  No floor in the 'living room', furniture and boxes everywhere and no room to swing the proverbial cat.  Work re-commences on Saturday so maybe, just maybe, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! 

Excursions outside the house have provided some wargaming escapism:

Saturday 15th July 2017 - Gt. Houghton

4 games of DBA - took along some of the more unusual armies:

Villanovan v Samnite - Villanovan Wb were demolished two at a time.
Hawaiian v Tupi - the Tupi couldn't stand up to the Hawaiian Bd.
Sumerian civil war - managed to win by chance.
Hittite v Later Babylonian - the terrain fell to my advantage so I could dictate the battle.

Saturday 15th July 2017 - WDW - two games going on - details to follow.

Monday 17th July 2017 - Wakefield (Al's Place)

DBM - Classical Indian v Tamil Indian & Sinhalese - an early bath - over by 2100 hrs.  Couldn't get my left flank moving - centre was demolished.  Will definately have to morph the Classical Indians into something with more winning potential.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Place Was Packed!

Saturday 8th July 2017

Slingshot 312 finally showed up.  More interesting, for me, than the previous issue - "The Second Sui Invasion of Koguryo" by Nicolas Spratt and "The Battle of Amnias 89 bc" by Richard Andrews being of particular note.

Horbury Library - Andrew put on a WW2 game based upon the "One Hour Wargame" book.  Some interest shown.

Monday 10th July 2017 - WDW - 17 people in attendance - is this a weekday record?

A pile of these mags was dropped onto a table with the general invitation to take what you wanted - these are the three that I fancied.  There was also cake contributed by the same 60 year old (I can vaguely remember being that young).

HotT competition - 'round robin' divisional play starting.  Tim took on Andrew (Lizardmen v Wood Elves).  Surprisingly the Lizardmen were triumphant in a very long game. 

"Heroes of Normandy" boardgame set up by Bob but the Hott game dragged on too long.

Trafalgar - naval games with ships of the line are always a treat for the eyes.

Black Powder - Texans v Mexicans - an unusual period - Deany seems to have so many PAINTED figures!

DBM - Hussite v Yorkist - a boooooring game with no conclusion.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Magazine Roundup

 WNQ issue 3 - available as a download - maybe not as interesting as the previous two but worth a look.

 Paid for Download - in order to get "Chariot Rampant" (Lion Rampant variant).  The rest of the mag was mostly WW2 so of no interest to me.

After not being able to purchase this at Phalanx I ordered it online.

Still waiting for this - was not impressed by issue 311 either.

Sunday 2nd July 2017

Received an email telling me that a new version of 'Triumph' was out.  One free download later I was able to give it a quick read.  Can't see any substantial changes just a few tweaks.  Seems like there will be one more pre-issue "in the fall" before a winter publication.  Now I must get round to playing a test game.

Monday 3rd July 2017 - WDW

'Black Powder' Crimean War fight
'Talon' hex game, sci-fi, spaceships
'Hordes of the Things' - Ian's Orcs v Tim's (pseudo) Medievals v Andrews Rats - all practice for the HotT Cup (tournament)

DBM - Latins v Athenians.  I wanted an infantry fight so I put together a Latin army.  Seemed like a good idea at the time - until I worked out just how much the compulsory troops cost.  Precious few points left - certainly not enough for an ally and the Latin cavalry.  So I fielded a Gallic ally which gave me 8 chariots and a load of warband.

Our two Latin commands set up at the front with the Gauls hidden behind.  The right (allied) command promptly went on strike.  Luckily, after 2 rounds, Lazarus came back to life.

When the Wb(F) hit the 73 hoplite elements their central command suffered and was one off breaking.  Unfortunately both the Gallic Wb and the chariots fell first and streamed off the table.  We never did get that last element.

Chris complained about the Wb(F) but as he picked the only Early Hoplite Greek army that has any Bw plus a load of Lh ........

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Not A Lot

Monday 26th June 2017 - WDW

'Black Powder' - Frreman's Farm re-fight (AWI)
'Oregan' - boardgame

DBM - Makkan v Philistine - Al wanted to field the later version of the army with Cv(S).  That meant he also had to convert all his Bd(F) into Sp(I).  We were facing an army bristling with Wb(F) and Bw(I).

I was just managing to hold onto the extreme left flank with a block of chariots (versus the inevitable Camels).  Unfortunately my Ps(I) and Sp(I) were demolished when the warband hit. 

Meanwhile Al had managed to slaughter a load of Wb & Bow breaking an enemy command.  So victory was a distinct possibility!

On a vital match up my Sp(I) managed a '5'.  "Only a 6 will win this", said Andy.  Guess what happened!  The dice gods were clearly not on my side this day.

Wednesday 28th June 2017

After complaining about record high temperatures in June I noticed the car (external) thermostat - 11 degrees at 14.00 hrs.  It started raining Monday evening and has not let up since.  We are not talking biblical proportions here just constant light rain, wind and grey skies.  No wonder the British are always talking about the weather - it's so damn changeable. 

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Crumbly Castle

Saturday 17th June 2017 - Phalanx 2017

Steam hissing from their noses, feet pawing the ground, jostling, fidgeting and a heady sense of excitement.  No not the Paplona run or the start of a marathon but something far more tense - the opening of the Bring & Buy at Phalanx 2017. Once the starting whistle went off the crowd surged to engulf the tables - two and three deep in places.  I waited my time - necessity - as I'm not the biggest or burliest contestant in that particular rugby scrum.

When there was space I took a look and came away with two boxes of plastics:

Caesar 009 - Egyptian Army
Revell 2557 - Swedish Infantry

I managed to resist three boxes of Samurai (2 x Cav & 1 x Inf) telling myself that I would never paint them.

At the traders I was unable to purchase a copy of 'Lion Rampant' as rules were, generally, in poor supply.  I did manage to pick up some dice holders and 7mm dice for my New World project though.

This year I drove across from Mytholmroyd using the M62 /  M60 / M62 route. Luckily it was too early for the Trafford centre traffic but the roadworks meant that nearly all my journey was at 50 mph.  It took me 1 hr 20 mins - and would have been less if the signing between the M60 and the second part of the M62 had been up to the job. 

Here's some other views about the event:

Sunday 18 June 2017 - Will's Wargames Blog -

Saturday 18th June 2017 - WDW

Whilst I was in 'foreign parts' and strongly holding onto my passport, there was action on the home front.  Here's Chris' report:

"Saturday 17th June 2017 saw the 102nd anniversary of the day that was neither Quatre Bras nor Waterloo.

There were two games. Tim Kohler and Chris North, both regular competitors in The Northern League,  had a close-fought DBMM between Book 3 Poles (Tim) and Mediaeval Hindu Indian (Chris). At half time the score was 1 command each; but in the second half, the Poles finished the Indians off.

Chris Jackson organised an Age of Eagles Marengo refight, with John Smith as Napoleone Buonaparte and Andrew Parkin and Jim Ellis as Melas and Ott respectively. As with the original, the French had the advantage in Infantry (Columnar, with a sprinkling of Elites in Desaix's force); the Austrians (Linear) a numerical advantage in Cavalry (Albeit lights only) and artillery. The Austrian objective was simple - force open an escape route to the East via Marengo.

Given the difficulty of a direct assault on Marengo across the Fontanone, the Austrians reinforced their left and tried a turning movement. The French responded with a spirited attack by Kellerman's cavalry brigade, supported by dragoons. These took a battery; seriously damaged a light dragoon brigade, and pushed back an infantry brigade before Jim stabilised the situation. With Desaix seen in the distance, Andrew pushed several cavalry brigades across to the South of Marengo, while fixing the French frontally in the centre.There followed a fierce battle with Cavalry riding down French infantry brigades, only to succumb to the next brigade in line; which in turn was taken out by the next cavalry brigade.  The Austrians lost three cavalry brigades; the french three infantry brigades with three more "worn". As the sun began to set in the West, Andrew threw a large fresh Austrian brigade at two smaller worn brigades at the side of Marengo; victory would have opened the way to freedom. They bounced him back. A Hussar brigade was across, and in position to breakout; but that was all. By now, Jim had forced the French right-wing cavalry to withdraw, (Albeit largely undamaged), and had established a line of three batteries, half a dozen foot brigades, and some cavalry, and was advancing menacingly towards the French right. However...By common consent, it was agreed that a long day of battle had ended. Melas and Desaix had fought each other to a standstill; Jim had been held up long enough by the French cavalry. Tactically, this was a drawn battle; strategically, a french win, with only Ott able to escape being driven back and surrounded by converging French columns."

Sunday 18th June 2017 - Halifax

Another visit to the new store.  It seems to me that 28mm is taking over from 1/72nd (20mm) so there is less for me to purchase these days.  I did get one box though:

Waterloo 1815 AP 011 - Dervish Infantry

In addition I obtained 2 wide brushes (fan shaped) for dry-brushing.

Looking at my figure acquisitions it seems that I am majoring on the 'Universal Soldier' (Dylan?). 

The Swedish infantry have found themselves in all sorts of 30 Years Wars armies from French to Germans to Swedes to Danes. 

Some of the Dervishes may actually end up in the Sudan but others will be supporting the Brits in WW1 East Africa.  Also possible would be 'ancients' use and for some of the African DBA-RRR armies.

Finally the Egyptian army are hindered by their strange wigs and tapered breech clouts.  However I can think of ways to wield a crafting knife to overcome these problems.  What's a little Green Stuff between friends huh!

Wednesday 22nd June 2017

I heard that a record temperature was recorded at Heathrow yesterday - 35.4 C. The shortest night should, however, be more bearable as it has just rained in the north of England.

Finished the re-paint of "Crumbly Castle" at last (think that title came from a very old computer game).

Started reading a 'new' book:

Monday, 19 June 2017

French Revolutionary infill

This Thursdays blog includes a report on Saturdays WDW game.  Whilst reading it I suddenly realised that you, my readers, would be lacking the background necessary to fully understand the situation.  So I went back hunting for Chris' previous report and found it (sent to me on the 27th May).

Sorry that there are no pictures.

My (French) Revolution game - 1794 Tourcoing

"The strategic situation in May 1794 was that the French had raised an army of 730,000 - a vast number for the time; and the equipment shortages were coming to an end.  Lazare Carnot - the famed "Organiser of Victory", wanted to arrange for a large army to drive the Allies out of the Low Country. There were rumours that the Austrians wanted to be out of the war so that they could filch more of Poland, instead. The year began with allied victories; but by the beginning of August, the French , for the first time in years, proved able to form square. On balance, I felt the French foot deserved regular status. All had skirmishers, as at this period, whole brigades  - even line ones - could dissolve into skirmishers. The cavalry were still, for the most part, bad. From Blenheim down to the revolution, the French moved from having a lot of cavalry in a cuirass to just one regiment - the 7th Cavalry (and no, their sweethearts did not wear a yellow ribbon...). By this time, no British regiments wore armour. However, some 7 years war surplus cuirasses were dug out of store and issued to The Blues for the campaign. They were so impressed that they went back into store at the end of it.

The situation was that the Austrian army was nominally under the command of the Emperor, with General Mack - the man who caused the disaster at Ulm in 1805 - making the plans. As the French were strung out from Lille to Courtrai, York agreed, against his better judgement, to launch a co-ordinated attack with the Austrians with a view to cutting off 50,000 French in the North, and compelling them to surrender, trapped against the Lys and Scheldt. No sooner had he agreed it, than Mack decided to divert some of the Austrian army with a view to besieging Lille. For good measure, Mack decided upon an over-complicated plan, involving six separate columns to converge on the French. This was how the Austrians did things; and it is worth considering it was an Austrian plan of this kind which caused the defeat of the Russians at Austerlitz. Given Archduke Charles in the south had 50 miles to cover, it is no surprise his wing did not make it. The main fighting on 17th May was done on the ridge in the centre of our battlefield, by the British and Hanoverians and Hessians.  The end of the day saw them holding Mouveaux, Roubaix, and Lannoy, the three villages we depicted. If the Austrians in North and South could move quickly, there was every chance a large part of the French army could be cut off and destroyed, ending the war in the Low Country. Orders were issued accordingly on the night on 17th May by the Emperor's HQ. However...

In the South, Kinsky just ignored the orders. The Archduke suffered an epileptic attack over night; his staff did not want to disturb him; and so not a single man moved until mid morning - by which time the opportunity was gone. Clerfayt started late, but took two villages and began to push down the road to Lille. However,  two Chasseur battalions turned up at a crucial moment, and so he gave up. In the centre, the overstretched British and Allied forces did a good job holding the ridge, despite being over extended. The French managed to take the central village eventually - Roubaix - and this effectively forced a withdrawal. The Southern village was nonetheless held by Hessians against 9,000 French. As the guards retired, they effectively gave them the opportunity to escape. Both the Guards and Fox's brigade performed prodigies throughout the campaign, here and at Famars, and this was why I gave them re-rolls. They out fought and out shot the French to such an extent I considered making them "impulse" infantry. This is in stark contrast to some of the British regiments which turned out later in the year, which were pretty poor. However -  they had to retire; and that is not a victory.

The overall result was an allied loss of 3,000 - 930 of them British. The following week, the French were heavily defeated at Tournai. However, the damage was done; the Austrians pulled out, to nick more of Poland, and the British went home believing the Austrians had deliberately taken virtually no part in the battle.

I decided that for our game to work, we would have to let the allies have a better chance of getting the Austrians in. The rules suggest the French should be columnar, and the Allies linear. This means the French foot move very much faster. The initiative system does not work terribly well for allied armies trying to attack in this period. I settled for giving Clerfayt and York zero initiative, and allowing them to use this for movement - and I apologise for not having made this sufficiently clear. Although I imposed a penalty on Kinsky, amazingly, he moved with more haste than the Archduke.

The result:
In the North, Bob and Adam came within an ace of not merely holding the French, but driving them back and cutting off part of the French army. The single most deadly French unit on table, Stu's Carabinier Brigade, dissolved an allied cavalry brigade, and sabred an infantry brigade. Trapped between allied cavalry and an intact infantry brigade volleying into its flank and rear for three firings, it nevertheless suffered  not a single stand lost. This is why I do not like D10s and favour re-rolls for better units. Bob and Adam managed to set up a very good attack into Stu's flank (Souham); but the dice prevented what could have been a devastating counter attack. Fighting on this flank effectively stabilised out, pretty much as in the real battle. Interestingly, most of Clerfayt's force was allied units paid for by English gold.

In the centre, perhaps wisely, Mark, John and Andy by passed Roubaix (Centre) and and Lannoy (south). This resulted in  the Hessians in Lannoy being surrounded by a sea of French, just like the Hessians in the real battle. While Jim, as York,  did very well to hang on so  long (hence my "Man of the Match" award), Mark's constant attacks kept the allied forces concentrating on the gap between Mouveaux and Roubaix, thus preventing them providing support to Mouveaux, which eventually fell to Stu's attacks. Mark did well in containing the best allied unit - The Blues and Royals - from doing more damage than they might have done. Given their special rule re charging and re-rolls, this was a unit potentially capable of carving a path right through the French line from one end to the other. Further south, John and Andy passed forces each side of Lannoy, just as the French did. This left the Hessians surrounded; and, coupled with the fall of Mouveaux, gave the French a breakthrough, cutting the allied line in two. John managed to drive the guards Brigade back and take a stand from it, despite my attempts to rig the scenario in its favour.

In the South, Dave got Kinsky moving quite fast, unlike Kinsky himself. This resulted in Chris North, who took over Kinsky, getting the chance to deliver a devastating charge with an elite Hussar brigade against one of Andy's demi-brigades. Result? The French were driven back... into the safety of a Marsh, and the Hussars then had to retire.  Andy had moved up another brigade to flank the Hussars. This was crucial, as it prevented Kinsky moving further north and  preventing the breakthrough in the centre and North.

In the South, Dave as the Archduke, had problems getting his infantry moving consistently. Andy took advantage of this to drop his infantry back to safety. Dave, seeing where things were going, settled for rushing his cavalry forward. This included one of the strongest units on the field - the 10 base strong Austrian dragoon brigade. Supported by two elite Hussar brigades, this could have really hurt. However. we timed out before it could get into combat...

I think they all did better than they thought they did. I thought initially that the casualties were 4:3 in the Allies favour. When the losses resulting from the fall of Mouveaux were added in, it was much closer. The allies lost three batteries - all from York's force. this compares reasonably with York's actual losses of 19 guns out of 28.  Not a single French gun was lost.

Our battle ended with stalemate in the north - like the original. We had a broad breakthrough in the centre -like the real battle. Unlike the real battle, we had an allied cavalry division cutting in behind the French and their main supply base - Lille - in the south.

SO - the question you have to ask is this: with their army split in two, would the allies stay where they were? With allied cavalry cutting them off from their supply base in Lille, would the French hold their ground or fall back? A Wellington would have stayed put, resulting in the French having to drop back; a Napoleon would have pressed on, forcing the allied wings to drop back.  On balance, given the real generals, I back a fall-back by the allies. Both sides get bragging rights."

Thursday, 15 June 2017

The Ups & Downs of a Wargamer

Saturday 10th June 2017 - Gt. Houghton

Another session in the games room - HotE & HiDA.

The first battle was Force Publique v Azande using "Hordes of the Empire".  We started out too far apart and it took a long time to get into action.  Neither of us were happy with the rules (the Imperialists won).

The second game we set up closer and used "Hordes in Darkest Africa".  This time the Brits were fighting the Azande.  Ian managed to throw an amazing number of ones and twos for movement while I danced all over the place. Still the music had to stop....and when it did...the Brits were annihilated. 

Under these rules the warriors could be re-cycled (like Horde) so only the Shooters were in any danger.  The Brit elements cost more (3 as compared to 2 for the Azande) so were fewer in number.

Nevertheless an entertaining game with the 'natives' coming close to breaking a few times.  Maybe some rule tweaking needs to be done!

Monday 12th June 2017 - WDW

An interesting set of games tonight:

"Horse, Foot & Guns" being used to fight some 19thC imagi-nations - Kingdom of Yorkshire v East Anglians.  Andrew's Easterners failed to make any real impression on the hubristic northerners.

"Baroque" - ECW clash with the Parliamentarian horse getting a pasting.

"The Men Who Would Be Kings" - a Crimean War fight between the Russians and the Allies (Brits & French).  The players were not happy with the rules as too many units were getting 'pinned' and unable to do anything.

DBM - Assyrians v Medes - three players aside.  Bob and I managed to hold onto the wings of the Assyrians (only just in my case) but the 'corporation dust carts' and their associated cavalry fell in the centre. 

In history the Assyrians were usually the victors but under DBM they are under-achievers.  The army list has precious few bowmen which seems out of kilter with the histories.  Oh well!

Thursday 15th June 2017

The hordes descended upon me today (all 2 of them) to clear my living room of its furniture.  Now everything is stuffed into any available nook or cranny.  Of course I have no idea where anything I want is right now.

Finally got my computer back up and running after much unprintable language being voiced.  I only moved it upstairs - why such a hoo-ha from the modem?

Anyway I'm now ready for the contractor to call and give me a final price.  No doubt I will need to partake of one uncovered treasure - one-quarter bottle of rum.  Maybe normal wargaming service can be resumed at some future date...but I'm not holding my breath.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Just Another Week

Monday 5th June 2017 - WDW

'The Men Who Would Be King' - Mahdists v Egyptians (and Sudanese) - good to see a colonial game going on.  The Egyptians managed to hold off the hordes of Dervishes.

'Square Bashing' - Austrians v French 1914

'Roll Through the Ages' - dice game - using a 'peg-board' - unusual

DBM - Later Crusader v Syrian - a tough game with Lh(S) facing off on our L (their R).  Our right flank showed Irr Kn(F) supported by Bw(O).  Al advanced wondering what was hidden behind the crest of a steep hill.  The answer turned out to be 10 x Irr Ax(O).  This flank could have gone either way and finished with both commands teetering on the edge of oblivion.  In the centre the dismounted Armenian knights backed up the Bw(O).

I was lucky on the dice killing 3 Lh(S) elements in the first round of contact.  The next round I killed 3 more and that command collapsed.  For once the dice gods smiled upon me.

Thursday 8th June 2017

RL getting in the way of wargaming (and I am not referring to a certain uk event).

Have found some photos of red-brick buildings so, when time permits, I can finish off my aquarium ornament.

Dug out my copy of "Hordes of the Empire" and dusted off my colonial figures.  Trouble is that I have never found a 'colonial' set that I am entirely happy with.  As a consequence I have figures on a multitude of different base sizes and numbers per element.   Saturday's game(s) will require 24 points per army so hopefully I have enough for that.

'Furioso' - new set of early Renaissance rules have just come out.  Although I prefer to fight in the 17th century period rule mechanisms are often transferable.   Generally I play DBA-RRR but there are certain aspects that I want to tweak - Reiters for example.

Still de-cluttering my house.  Still found nothing of great interest.  At least all the junk is being amalgamated into 'dedicated' boxes.  Friends turning up tomorrow to help me lug furniture around - oh joy!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

King of the Castle

Saturday 27th May 2017 - Pontefract

 Went shopping in a steamy atmosphere.  Buying oddments and looking around the cheapo stores.  As the skies opened up I scuttled into Wilkos (formerly Wilkinsons) where I purchased a "Rosewood Aquarium Orn" for £2.95.  As I don't have a suitable 'stronghold' for my HotT armies I thought that this would do.  No building work needed at the front.

Not sure what colours weathered red bricks would be - need to do some research.

Not so good round the back.  There is a hole where the price tag links through.  It needs to be filled in or a pipe ending added - as a necessary outflow! 

On the left side is the number - this needs filing off and the rock restored.

WIP - the terracotta is far too bright and needs toning down (more dry-brushing).  Watch this space!

Monday 29th May 2017 - WDW

Bolt Action - WW2 Germans v Americans (double yawn)

DBM - Later Tang v Sung Chinese - definitley a couple of second rate armies.  This was a rare ocassion when Andy did not field masses of Warband.  Instead he relied on large numbers of Irr Bw(X),Bw(O) to ponderously roll forward.

Chris' warband eventually reached the enemy bow and it was touch and go for a while. Fortune smiled upon the Tang breaking the enemy (with only a 2 element margin).

My duties had involved covering the right flank of the warband and keeping a mass of Lh(F) from interfering.  Andy retreated the Lh until he was 6" from the table edge and I had to cautiously persue with Bw, Cav & Ps.

At end of play it was a minor victory for the Tang.

Wednesday 31st May 2017

Two boxes of soldiers arrived from Emodels:

RB72101 - 16C Italian Infantry (set 3) Pike
RB72098 - 16C Spanish Infantry (set 3) Pike

These troops are probably too old-fashioned to be employed in 17C armies (my prefered Renaissance period).  However the various colonial adventures undertaken by Europeans are another matter. There was an ethos of adaptation in the New World with metal armour being abandoned and local materials used.

Given that I now have 32 pike (which will have to be shortened) I may have to look elsewhere to employ them all.  Substitution for existing elements will free some later figures for a Spanish army at the time of the Dutch conflict.

The 16 halberdiers I am not sure how to deal with.  I guess some could become pirates but not many.

If you want pictures take a look at the 'Awaiting Review' section on PSR.  As usual with Red Box it was difficult to remove the figures from the sprue.  There was also quite a bit of flash in places.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Vandal Who Saved Rome

Was given this on Sunday - it will have to go into my queue of books to be read.  Review to follow in due course.

Saturday 20th May 2017 - WDW

Napoleonic game put on by CJ - a full report will be in next week's blog!

Sunday 21st May 2017 - Gt.Houghton

3 Games of DBA-RRR...and I lost all 3. 

Game 1 - Polish v Russians - just rotten dice!
Game 2 - French v German Protestant - got creamed by Kn v Pi matchups.
Game 3 - Safavid Persians v Ottomans - my general was supporting a unit that was destroyed.

Of course this was the first time that my opponent (Ian) had played these rules!!!!

Thursday 25th May 2017

Unable to contact "Wargaming Girl" aka TamsinP.  No activity on her website since 2nd May.  Cannot read comments so maybe it's a problem with the site itself!   Has anyone had contact and can confirm that she is OK?  As one of the leading wargames bloggers in the UK her contributions to the hobby are sorely missed.