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.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

A Dragon at the Library

Saturday 13th May 2017 - Horbury Library

Played 2 games of HotT - one on the lawn at the front of the library area and one inside. 

Game One - two vaguely medieval forces - one with a dragon & hero - the other with artillery and lurker.  The dragon turned up on the second move - was shot at by some bow - and scuttled off the board.  The hero also took an early bath.  So my side was winning with a great chance of victory......NOT.   Nigel managed to batter me into submission so we packed away the 54mm figures before the rain started.

Game Two - Andrew v Nigel (Andrew won - no surprise there) plus Paul and myself.  My Garden Gnome army doesn't often get an outing and it usually looses when it does.  This time the enemy medievals/Normans came a cropper with their general biting the dust.  I could put this down to my masterful use of fliers...but maybe not.

Monday 15th May 2017 - WDW

Bolt Action - Americans v Germans - this scrap featured an AFV with 2 x flame throwers plus an Mg that couldn't hit the side of a barn.

DBM - Etruscan League v Syracusan - an actual historical match-up.  In the centre Al's C-in-C found himself in a sticky position and fell to a Warband onslaught.  Said warband almost immediately doubled the number of routing commands.  At close of play it was a 7:3 win to the Etruscans. 

Thursday 18th May 2017 

Currently de-cluttering my house.  It's amazing the stuff that gets pushed into corners or put in cupboards and drawers!  Nothing exciting has turned up yet but you never know. 

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Converting DBMM lists to DBM

 A friend recently requested a copy of my 'breakdown' of a DBMM army list.  He said "Why don''t you put it on your blog?"  Well....I don't think that the actual 'breakdown' would be a problem but using an example text might be!   So here goes and let's hope no lawyers are sharpening their pencils.

Stage 1:  Mark up the DBMM army list 

This is a 'fictionalised' version of the real list.  It sticks to the correct time references but deliberate mistakes have been made. No copyright infringement is intended - this page is reproduced only as an example to show my methods.  You will need a copy of DBM Army lists Book 1 to make complete sense of the 'breakdown'.

The scribbles - (a)  Mark each paragraph with a code letter (A-H in this case)
                         (b)  Delete lines that do not apply to DBM (eg brilliant generals and strategems)
                         (c)  Correct any army point values (for DBM v3.2)
The highlights - (a)  Allies
                           (b)  Clauses - usually in the bottom 'blurb'

Stage 2:  Produce a spreadsheet

In this case the resultant 'breakdown' need only be temporal.

As you can see some of the conditions are repeated - hence the ticks & crosses.  So rather than 12 separate lists there are only really 8.

Other lists can be much more complicated but I thought that I would start with an easy one (this is the folk dance  method).

Stage 3:  Look at the Allies

Some may be worth having and some not. Also consider any restrictive clauses.

Step 4:  Produce Army Lists

This is not always a matter of cramming in as many possibilities as you can - some may have very little value (like C, E or G above).

A Further Aid

The Wakefield & District Wargamers website has a link on this page:

to help you convert DBMM to DBM - terrain and troop type equivalents.

Hope you find this entry helpful!

Star Wars is back.....

I picked up a copy of "Scoundrels" by Timothy Zahn at the Mapplewell library:

This author is well-known within the Star Wars publishing universe so it should be a good read - at 512 pages it had better be!

Saturday 6th May 2017 - WDW

Bolt Action WW2 (yawn!)

Monday 8th May 2017 - WDW

Bolt Action WW2 - Germans v Americans
Trafalgar - naval with very pretty ships

DBM - Makkan v Achaemenid Persian.  Just goes to show how a historically successful army can fail dismally under DBM (like Assyrians and most Romans).  I held the enemy off on the Persian left flank (but probably advanced too far for comfort) but Chris's right crumbled when the Makkan warband reached it.

Thursday 9th May 2017 - Extra post

I often have to convert DBMM army lists to their  DBM equivalents.  Breaking down these lists can be tricky.  The extra post gives a, relatively, simple example of my methods.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Back from my Hols...

Monday 1st May 2017 (Bank Holiday) - WDW

Saga - no details
Bolt Action - no details
HotT - no doubt practice for Saturday at Horbury library. 

DBM - Nikephorian Byzantine with Arab allies (Andy + Chris) against Ottonian.
"The arab ally was unreliable, until the moment the Germans went in, then sprang to life. There was a slaughter in the middle, of Byzantine bowmen and Ottonian knights, with the game ending a couple of casualties (on each side) short of a decision."

Tuesday 2nd May 2017 - Burnley WGC

I was last there two years ago - a touch of Deja Vu!

I struggled to find the turning off the main road (didn't help that Google maps had the wrong number for the A road).  Eventually turned into a filling station where I asked a guy working there where the college was - he didn't know.  The other guy pointed next door and said "turn right at the lights."  So I turned left and left again into Ennismore Street.

There were two guys with vehicles standing around outside the venue - it was 7.35 pm.  A few more arrived but nobody had a key!  A car was despatched and the hall opened up at 8.10 pm.

Deja Vu!  This was almost a complete re-run of two years ago.

On offer were two WW2 games (and that was it).  Normally I walk away from such games but after leaving Mytholmroyd some two hours earlier I was determined to play something. 

One table had "Bolt Action" which I have observed before and not been impressed by. 

The other was using 'home-grown' rules.  So I became the German second in command facing off against hordes of Russians.  In spite of some hairy moments we gave the Reds a pasting.  On paper the rules looked very complicated but they played well and were fun.

The Burnley lads are welcoming to guests so I would recommend visiting the club.  Maybe one proviso....don't expect to start at the advertised time (7.30 pm)....I don't think the word punctuality is in their dictionary!

Thursday 4th May 2017

Well I have unpacked and it is brilliant sunshine outside.  Plastic soldiers are going through 'chemical processing'.  My esteemed neighbours are being noisy again.  Just an ordinary day I suppose!  Must get on with de-cluttering my house. Watch this space!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Pastures New(ish)

Yes I'm on my hols in sunny Mytholmroyd|  It started to sleet just as I left Havercroft but brightened up as I reached Copley.  As I came out of the Co-op in Mytholmroyd the sky darkened and a hail storm commenced.  Since then there has been intermittent sleet.

Sunday 23rd April 2017 - Gt. Houghton

Three games of DBA versus Ian/Sonic in his underground bunker.  

First was a Dark Ages scrap (which I won by occupying a flanking steep hil).  

Second a Warring States civil war where I was annihilated 5 - 1 (including my general).  

Last was Radagaseus v Romans.  A more even game where neither of us could throw decent movement dice.  At half time we were both 2 elements down.  My situation was looking grim when the Romans came into contact but then the dice gods stepped in.  A 6-1 against a Roman psiloi opened up a flank.  Then came a 6-2 followed by another 6-1.  The surviving Romans fled the field.  

Of course it was my superior tactics that swept all before me - NOT.

Monday 24th April 2017 - WDW

The AGM tonight - yawn!!!

Bolt Action - Germans v Allies (British + Americans)
Trafalgar - ship action - models laid out and rules discussed
HotT - Orcs v Elves - Andrew & I won a game each (using the Elves); Jim didn't.

Thursday 27th April 2017 - Halifax

Took a bus trip to good old Halifax and its model shop - that wasn't there!!!  Well..the town was and, strictly speaking, so was the shop.  An empty shell with only an old sign above the door.  Disaster!

After enquiring at the newsagents next door I was told that it had moved around the corner towards the railway station.  I hot-footed it to 25, Horton Street, Halifax. HX1 1QE  (01422 349157).  The premises are much bigger with more light.  In scope it reminded me of the old premises in the Piece Hall.

Only made one purchase - Strelets M052 Turkish Army (Crimean War).  Suitably painted they will join the ranks of my colonial Egyptians to fight the Mahdist hordes.  It also occurred to me that they might work for WW1 in Mesopotamia.  Hmmm!  Just what I need another period and theatre when I am trying to de-clutter.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Friday Post

Only a day late this time.

Monday 10th April 2017 - WDW

DBM - Macbeth v West Sudanese

Our newcomer commanded the (Scottish) Islesmen allies and the cavalry. Unfortunately the horse broke under a mix of archery, expendables and spears (Norman knights) but the Islesmen were one element shy of breaking a Sudanese archer command.

On the other flank, it was touch and go whether the Tuareg allies would break before the smaller Scottish Lh command did..

An enjoyable game which could have gone either way.

 Monday 17th April 2017 - WDW

The only game in town - "Bolt Action" WW2 Americans v Germans - the flow of the rules was easy to pick up (even for a mere observer).    Some of the troops thought they were auditioning to be Star Wars baddies -  giving creditably poor performances.

Entertaining, if frustrating, fare for an evening.

In the Future

I will be on holiday as from Tuesday.  Back in the Calder valley so expect reports on 'foreign' clubs (Lancastrians) plus a vist or two to the Halifax shop. 

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Yes It's Sunday!

Those with a long memory may have thought of Radio Luxembourg. Nobody under 50 need apply.

Monday 10th April 2017 - WDW

No, I wasn't there but am reliably informed that these games took place:

"Bolt Action" WW2 - a practice for the big game on Saturday
DBM - don't have any details
"Chain of Command" WW2 scrap with Andrew & Tim once again struggling with the rules.

Saturday 15th April 2017 - WDW

I called in around 1300 hrs to see what was going on.  Almost immediately I was grabbed by the chairman to collect the subs.

"Bolt Action" WW2 -  'Bastogne' -  Americans v Germans - played over an extended table in three sections
"Chain of Command" WW2 - A & T finally getting to grips with the rules but not being impressed by them.
Baroque -  English Civil War.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Words! Words! Words!

[ It's 01.18 GMT on Thursday 6th April 2017]

Monday 3rd April 2017 - WDW

"Chain of Command" - another wrestle with the rules by Tim & Andrew.  Brits v Germans somewhere in war-torn Normandy.
"Bolt Action" - American v Germans
DBM - Northern Dynasties Chinese v Huns (another fantasy game).  The terrain fell to my liking thereby constricting my opponents manoeuvrability.  Unfortunately my sub-general advanced his Sp(I) a bit too far - was softened up by Bw(I) then crunched by Kn(F). Seems that I am still on a loosing streak!

Wednesday 5th April - 2 'free' magazine issues have come out recently:

 (1)  "Wargames Journal" No.4 (2006)

At one time a commercial publication - the issues are slowly being archived,  Main articles in this issue are:

To Catch a Warlord - Somalia 1993 ............................12
Modular Battlefields .................................................. 30
Verdun 1915 ............................................................... 38
Crocodile Tears 1945 ................................................. 42
Where the Eagle Dies (Romans v Germans) ............. 52
The Vienna Bridgehead 1945 .................................... 64
Raze the Fort (Gallic Wars) ....................................... 78
The Zulu War of 1879 ................................................ 84
I Am Your King (Monty Pythonish Arthur) ............. 100
Brush Strokes (phalanx) ........................................... 106

(2) "Wargamer's Notes Quarterly" No.2.

Available from the authors at:

A new venture with a real 'old-school' feel to it. The contents list:

My Charge Mk2 Project..............................................................................3
Setting the Scene for Russo-Japanese Naval Armageddon - Part 2............7
Building Walmington on Sea .....................................................................11
Antares 2401: A Narrative Science Fiction Campaign...............................13
Quick tips: Black Outlining the Easy Way..................................................22
Converting Plastic 20mm WW2 German Paratroopers - Part 2..................23
Little Lead Men ..........................................................................................26
Slightly Irregular.........................................................................................27
Wargaming the Ninth Cape Frontier War - Part 2.......................................31
Call It Macaroni! The Test Game...............................................................37

Thursday, 30 March 2017

A Missed Deadline

Yes I know I missed a posting last Thursday - it was just that I had nothing to say - an unusually quiet week.

Saturday 25th March 2017 - WDW

Another Baroque scrap between the Swedes and the Spanish.  History also repeated itself with a Swedish victory (but Gustavus was alive at the final whistle this time).

Monday 27th March 2017 - WDW

14 of us turned up tonight:

"King of ther Battlefield" - Prussians v French
"Damnation Z War 1" - a figure game on a gridded 'battlefield'.  Intrepid adventurers fighting zombie hordes!
DBM - Early Libyan v Sea Peoples.  I had one round of good fighting dice.  Another round saw me throw plenty of fours - I still lost every time against Al's higher achievements.  At close of play our central command was one off breaking and the enemy right was half an element from destruction.  A very close run thing.  It proved that determined resistance (and good dice) means that Bd(O) can hold out against Wb(F).

Thursday 30th March 2017

A visit to Mapplewell library meant that I found this:

It's in a series that started with "The Long Earth" (which I have read),;"The Long War", "The Long Mars" and "The Long Cosmos".  The blurb for the last states that it is "The closing chapter in the awesome Long Earth story"!   At a hefty 434 pages this is going to take me some time to get through!

Meanwhile I have re-started painting with the Vikings getting some attention (at last) and some repair work to a broken Dalek (a long story).

I should be going to Cannon at Retford this Sunday.  Need some tiny dice holders.  Might end up with something else as well - I'm a wargamer after all!!!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

A Blog Too Far

Monday 13th March 2017 - WDW

"King of the Battlefield" - French v Prussians

"In Magnificent Style" - boardgame adaptation to hex terrain - Pickett's Charge (ACW).  Seemed to go quite well with two players (Confederates) trying to cross the board and taking heavy casualties in the process.  Realistic anyway!

DBM - Samurai v Xi-Xia - just another day when I should have stayed in bed.  My fighting dice were appalling - its rare to see so many ones in succession.  Alright, my set-up could have been better and Andy's Lh(S) didn't really get off the starting blocks.  On my left I had superior numbers of Bw(I) v enemy Bw(I) on a steep hill.  So how come I lost 5 and Al none?

Wednesday 15th March 2017

Received an email telling me that 'Triumph" has been updated to v 0.5.  I dutifully downloaded same and printed it out.  An amendment sheet would have been nice!

If you are thinking Manuel's catch phrase ("I know nothing!") here's a brief explanation.  'Triumph' is based upon DBA plus a number of additions from the forum and DBA Fanaticus.  More troop types are available including Raiders, Rabble, Elite Foot, Horde and Pavisiers.

The best part, I think, is the terrain system.  One side throw a d6 to choose which page and the other side throws a second d6 to determine which of the 6 diagrams to pick.  The maps are simplistic but do give a better outcome than DBM(M) (WRG has always made a pig's ear of this).

I had been looking through a load of rule sets that I have purchased or downloaded during the past year.  I'm sure that, at the time,it seemed like a good idea.  If I had payed out good money for a rules set then maybe  I might actually use them!  The butterfly mind of a wargamer is prone to this self-delusion.  Triumph was going to be my next trial after QR/TPL [last week].   Now I will have to thoroughly re-read the set before I can begin.  Also need to look at the revised army lists.

Microsoft forced another update upon me late in the evening.  After I had re-booted I tried getting onto the internet - eureka!  The boffins had undone the mess they had caused with the previous data.  Why, Oh Why, doesn't Microsoft check their work BEFORE inflicting it upon their customers?

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Rorke's Drift in South America

Monday 6th March - WDW

"King of the Battlefield" - French v Prussians
"Baroque" - ECW
"Chain of Command" - WW2 - Germans v Russians
DBM - Tuareg v Welsh  - Andy's typically sneaky set up meant that our opponents could only see two full commands and part of a third.  Our fourth command came onto the flank almost immediately and the remainder of the third emerged from the dunes.  Poor Al was in the mire for another week.  At close of play the Welsh had one broken command and another getting close.

Thursday 9th March - Quetzalcoatl Rampant - first game:

I had already typed up the Lion Rampant additions and worked out a Tarascan army list.  All I needed to do now was a trial game using "The Pikeman's Lament" - easy!!!   Well maybe not.

 The initial set-up with the Aztecs on the left and the Tarascans to the right.  Here are the 'companies':

Aztecs (Ood general) with Eagle & Jaguar Warriors @ 4 pts; 1 x Veteran Warriors @ 4 pts; 4 x Warriors @ 3 pts; 2 x Skirmishers @ 2 pts.  Total = 24 pts

Tarascan (Judoon general) with Veteran Warriors @ 4 pts:  4 x Archers @ 4 pts; 1 x Warriors [+ Atlatl] @ 4 pts.  Total = 24 pts

The Aztecs advanced along the line until one unit decided not to join in.  The Tarascans were more cautious only advancing their archers.

At last the Aztec right began to move forward but only into the wood.  On the far left the skirmishers decided to have a rest.

Now it is getting nasty on the Tarascan right with enemy warriors bearing down on the archers.  Did I hear "Men of Harlech" being whistled?  Whatever it was it worked as the gods frowned upon the Aztec general whose unit took casualties from shooting and then he threw 'snakes eyes'.  The resulting morale tests meant two units retreated and one fled the field.  This is what it looked like:

The Aztecs never recovered.

I thought, when I started, that it would be a walkover for the Aztecs.  Serendipity wiped out the Aztec general on move 5 and a high failure rate to 'activate' units resulted in Aztec pin cushions.

I'm sure that I got many things wrong but managed to carry on.  Lion Rampant (and therefore QR) refer to 'Courage' and' Armour' whereas TPL likes 'Morale' and 'Stamina'.  I hope that I made the correct substitutions.

As you can see I used an 'occasional table' 40" x 24" with green A4 sheets of paper on it.  The three pieces of terrain I diced for.  A pretty primitive  set up but sufficient to try out the rules.  Think I need to play a game with some of the club experts before I go for a second attempt.  Also need to get a copy of Lion Rampant for myself.

Altogether an interesting experiment.


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Still Struggling

Saturday 18th February 2017 - WDW

Yes that far back!  Apparently there was a big 7YW game going on with French v British in India.  Both sides were supported by local sepoys.  Rules used -  "Honors of War" (Osprey).

Monday 27th February 2017 - WDW

"Honors of War" - repeat of Saturdays game but on a much smaller scale. 
"Oregan" boardgame (3 handed) - a popular option for the club 'spares'.

DBM - Maccabean Jewish (Al) v Arabo-Aramaean (Tom & Andy).  No Chris this week.  Andy set up 3 commands and I had to hold the left (more than Mr Corbin could manage!).  Al was not tempted to rush his troops towards the enemy low hill - very wise.  As it happened an allied command was hiding there with 10 x  Irr Cm(O) - Al's Bette Noir!  At close of play the Arabs had suffered 2 casualties and the Jews 11.

Tuesday 28th February 2017 - Royston Library

I have pretty much exhausted their stock of relevant books but, as luck would have it, I found this:

The first that I have seen featuring the latest Doctor and Clara.  On the back it says "This trilogy of adventures across time and space follows the Doctor's search for the Glamour, the most desirable - and dangerous - artefact in the universe."  Printed in 2015 it would seem to be the first of the series.  Will have to carry out some research - and get reading.

General Notes

(1)  Yes - still struggling with the last Windows update.  I have spent hours trying to fix the mess created by Microsoft but with little success.  Writing this blog has taken quite some time with frequent failures.

(2)  Quetzalcoatl Rampant - finally got around to incorporating the 'Special Rules' & 'Upgrades' from 'Lion Rampant'.  Now, of course, I have 'The Pikeman's Lament' in my hot stickies!  I think that I should try out QR as it stands before I even think about updating them.


Thursday, 23 February 2017

F*$£*&^ B!$*&!£ Windows

Thursday 16th February 2017 - Microsoft

That kind, considerate and ever thoughtful company Microsoft forcibly installed its Anniversary Update on my computer late on Thursday evening.  On Friday morning I came down to find the machine still on.

Getting onto the Internet, sending passwords, etc has now become a nightmare.  The whole system is completely slugged.  It feels like I am back on dial-up.  There is, of course, no news as to when this American Giant will sort out its own mess.

Saturday 18th February 2017 - WDW

I didn't go and nobody has told what went on.  As there is no meeting on Monday (20th) I will have to wait until next Monday (27th) to find out.

Monday  20th February 2017

Luckily for me I have another computer with Linux (Ubuntu 16.10) as the primary operating system.   I am migrating everything I can to this machine even though it is only 32 bit.  It might be possible to dual boot my 64 bit computer if I can get Windows 10 make some room (another nasty Windows trick).  Meanwhile I will struggle on in the Microsoft  midden.

Thursday 23rd February 2017 

My other hobby - Folk Dancing - has been taking up my time this week - Monday at Great Preston (nr Castleford); Tuesday calling at Sherburn in Elmet and Wednesday at Barnsley.  Will be sharing the calling on Friday at Wrenthorpe (Wakefield) as well.

No commitments next week so maybe, just maybe, I can fit in some wargaming!  I can only hope.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Just One of Those Weeks!

Monday 13th February 2017 - WDW

King of the Battlefield - French v French (7YW)
Baroque (Impetus) - Montrose v Covenanters - Auldearn 1645
DBMM - Later Achaemenid Persian v Chiang & Ti

DBM - NW American v Anglo-Norman - setup by 18.30 hrs - finish at 19.58 hrs.  The Welsh ally threw a '1' at the start so it sat back and watched proceedings.  The flank march came on first round and its general promptly threw another '1'.  On paper this should have been a walk-over for the Anglo-Normans. Good dice on the NWA side and sluggish response on ours meant that we lost one command and then the Welsh changed sides. I cannot disclose which individual threw both poor dice!!!

Footnote:  didn't know if I would attend WDW this evening after attending the funeral of a close friend.  Really brings home human mortality.

Tuesday 14th February 2017

Having been loaned a copy of "Lion Rampant" I could compare it to "The Pikeman's Lament" (which I purchased at Vapnartak).  The two rule sets are pretty similar - same mechanisms with some period-specific fine tuning.  With LR in my hot stickies I could check out the references in QR (see last posting) and make sense of them.

I have no doubt that a 'primary' set plus supplements could have been produced but applaud Osprey for not going down that particular road with the 'Mersey' books.

Wednesday 15th February 2017

Managed to slap some basic colours on my Incas & Vikings before it got too cold and my fingers turned white.  Not fooled by the sun streaming through the window either. 

Thursday 16th February 2017 - HS2

Going to a traveling show of HS2.  Don't quite know what to expect - it could just be all propaganda.  Strongly opposed to a vanity project which will only benefit London (AGAIN).

Another footnote:  struggling to log out after posting.  Since Microsoft forced the 'Anniversary Update' upon me my internet connection has been slugged.  Will have to resurrect my old 32 bit machine so that I can use Linux again.....or spend yet more time trying to figure out how to get Windows to share......sigh!!!!!


Thursday, 9 February 2017

Quetzalcoatl Rampant

........I couldn't resist an unpronounceable title.

Sunday 5th February 2017 - Vapnartak, York

Well it took me less than an hour to reach the venue and parking was straightforward (if muddy).  Entry was free for an old codger (£5 for the working aged). As usual there were plenty of stalls including a number of 15mm manufacturers.  It was also pretty crowded.

My haul included "The Pikeman's Lament" skirmish rules (Osprey) plus 44 Viking blades (Magister Militum & Museum Miniatures).  The only 'plastics' I found were the expensive Perry models plus odd items on the selling tables.

So what were my impressions of the show?  Retrenchment was my feeling.  Ranges seem to have shrunk and continue to do so (this applies to all the shows that I have been to in the past year).  Perhaps this is a reflection of Britain's current economic malaise!

Still probably the best show in the North but.....they really need to sort out the 'Bring & Buy" (throughput is awful).

Monday 6th February - WDW

"The Men Who Would Be Kings" - Colonial bash between Mahdists and Egyptian/Brits.  As expected the Egyptians got a pasting (including the Sudanese) but the Brits also suffered a bloody nose.  
"Cry Havoc" - Ian had discovered some (long forgotten) sets in his loft.  A 3-handed scenario was played out to the pleasure of all.
DBM - Later Carthaginian v Polybian Roman.  Another drawn game but the Roman left and centre were in trouble.

Tuesday 7th February

Whilst meandering through the Internet I discovered  Quetzalcoatl Rampant:

It is a variant on Daniel Mersey's "Lion Rampant"

As regular readers will know I have tried out a number of rule sets for warfare in the New World without being really taken with any of them.  This 'new' set looks interesting but doesn't fit into any of the basing systems that I use.  For "DBA in the New World" my 20mm figures are on 40mm x 40mm bases with 5 (warriors) or 3 (skirmishers) models on them.  My 15mm figures are currently on standard DBM-type bases with a 40mm frontage and various depths.  QR wants individuals with 6 or 12 to a company. 

Some of the club members play "Impetus" or "Baroque" with sabot bases. Integral are small, raised, squares to house tiny dice.  Casualties are not removed directly but indicated by the die.  It seems to work well.  Maybe I can use something similar!

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Vapnartak on Sunday

Monday 30th January 2017 - WDW

Baroque ECW - a straight Royalists v Parliamentarians battle (the over-priviledged v the miseries)
Star Wars (Imperial Assault) on cardboard terrain.
Honshu (card game) - this is one I have played before
DBM - Serbian v Hungarian.  I thought that I had broken Chris' command only to find that I had placed some of my casualties in the wrong column.  The result was that one of my (Serbian) commands broke shortly followed by another.  Chris was within one element of breaking.  An 'early bath' at 21.10 hrs.

Thursday 2nd February - DBA in the New World

I finally got around to putting together a Tarascan army list.  It's based upon the Fog lists in "Blood and Gold" plus "Cities of Gold".  I compared the bases total to the DNW Aztecs then reduced it to 30% to make it comparable.  Before the Spanish turned up the Tarascans were getting the better of their enemies and gaining territory on them.


2 to 11         Tiacham             Bd(S)        5
7 to 48         Archers              Sh(O)        3
0 to 4          Slingers               Sk             2
0 to 11         Archers               Sk            2

Example 75 pts Armies

Tarascan                                                             Aztec:

6 x Tiacham      Bd(S)  @  5  =   30                 8 x Warriors        Bd(S)  @   5   =   40
12 x Archers     Sh(O)  @  3  =   36                 10 x Warriors      Bd(O)  @   3  =   30
2 x Slingers       Sk       @   2  =   4                  2 x Slingers         Sk        @   2  =   4
2 x Archers       Sk       @   2  =   4

Comparing the two combatants it would seem that the Aztecs will have a 'walk-over'!  I will have to play it out  and see. Maybe upgrading the archers to Sh(S) would better reflect their reputation as the supreme bowmen in the area!