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Sunday 29 December 2013

2013 – What a Wargaming Year

What a fantastic year of gaming I have had.  84 miniatures games and 5 board games – by far and away the busiest year for a very very long time.

This has included playing games at 17 different places – although obviously most at the Falkirk club I  also visited Washington, Dunbarton and Grimsby and played a round of the Scottish Impetus circuit at the Dunfirmline club

Games played at shows were at Vapnartak, Salute, Claymore and Targe

This year we got involved in putting games on for the public at the National Museum of Scotland, National Museum of Flight, Kinneal estate (Falkirk’s Big Roman Week) and the Culloden Visitor Centre.

Last but not least were games with Richard in Scone, Tim in Mid Calder, a game at Frank’s shop (Worlds at War) in Craighalls and even some games at home with a couple of visits from Brian.

The games at the Falkirk club included three Sunday games sessions, two of which were Impetus competitions and the third a joint event with the Society of Twentieth Century Wargamers. We of course also hosted the Carronade show which continues to go from strength to strength.

The 84 miniature games were spread over 30 different rule sets and all the board games were different. 

I have had an absolute blast gaming in 2013.

All this activity has been at the expense of longer term projects and painting.  However both the Mordhiem and Longstreet campaigns have been excellent and I have also enjoyed taking part in 3  Dux Britanniarum campaigns as well.

The blog has gone pretty well, the only downside being that it can gobble up more time than I would really like it to.

I will post up my plans for 2014 in a few days time but 2013 will be a very hard year to beat!

Tuesday 10 December 2013

November Targets

The plan was to paint – I failed miserably.
Back to the drawing board

Sunday 8 December 2013

Mutineer Miniatures

Another friends' wargaming business, actually three of them all Falkirk club members.

Their Indian Mutineer 28mm figures are excellent and I think their 20mm moderns deserve to be better known.

They have a 25% off Christmas sale on figures at the moment so I thought that this was a good time to give them a mention.

Oh they also do tufts that always seem to go down a storm at shows

Friday 29 November 2013


The Hundred Years of War event seems ages ago now but I have just seen this rather good write up of the Boxer game that stole the show

Sunday 24 November 2013

Longstreet 4 Games Later

Having now played 4 games of Longstreet I thought it time to share my thoughts on the rules.  They were introduced to the Falkirk Club a few weeks ago pretty much as soon as they were published.  The Maurice rules by the same author had proved popular and a move to ACW seemed logical as a number of people had usable figures in 15mm.

Although not in the absolute first wave I jumped on the bandwagon fairly early on for two main reasons.  First off there was a good vibe about the rules in the club with a number of games being played and the participants obviously enjoying themselves.  Secondly it was an excellent opportunity to reorganise my ACW collection.  I am not a fan of rebasing but having 3 very different basing conventions did need to be sorted out.

There was soon demand for a Longstreet campaign and the original half dozen grew to a final tally of 14 players.  This has been an added bonus for me as of the 4 games to date 2 have been against club members that I had not previously played.

The rules mechanisms themselves are very simple and easy to pick up.  The differentiator here is the card system.  Each player maintains a set of 6 cards which as well as being used to initiate firing, movement and charges also enable additional effects to be introduced such as move further, deliver more intense fire etc.  One killer card is the ability to put a bit of disordering terrain on, just where your opponent does not want it to be.  There are a number of cards that effect only one side.  As a Confederate commander I particularly like the Rebel Yell card which makes charges more effective, although only for the early years of the war.  It is also possible to interrupt your opponents move.

The campaign system exploits the fact that the rules cover a single war and uses this to  mimic the changing face of the conflict.  Thus at the start both sides are made up of Eager Recruits who are more effective in attack than defence.  As the war progresses the troops become more war weary, the effect cards swing from being more supportive of the Confederacy and Union armies on average become larger. 

Another interesting feature is the personalities of the generals which can enable them to have certain battlefield advantages - an engineering officer is better at putting up battlefield defences for instance.  Other cards are important in the post battle phase.

A mechanism that I have not seen before which is used in the campaign is that of epic points.  This is based on the premise that the point of the campaign is the personal prestige of the general.  Heroic deeds are more important than actually winning the battle.  Thus in my last game where I was the attacker trying to take a hill, despite being thrown back and losing the battle itself successive waves of heroic charges resulted in me scoring 7 epic points to Bill's 4.   At the end of the campaign it is the general with the most epic points that wins.

The post battle phase allows the recovery of many of the battlefield losses but the effects of camp fever (all stands throw a dice and are eliminated on the throw of a 1) can be deadly. Campaign cards are then drawn which generally provide recruits to bolster units and new personality traits for commanders.  Armies are then brought up to a minimum strength for the next game by attaching new units.

A campaign lasts nine battles, one in 1861, two in 1862, three in 1863, two in 1864 and one in 1865.

Overall my impressions are positive.  Games are generally a little short for my liking (mine have been under 2 hours) and the rules a little simplistic.  They will never be  my rules of choice for a meaty refight of an actual battle where a set such Fire and Fury would be my rules of choice giving a more intense, thought provoking encounter.   That is not to say that the games are not fun, just perhaps a little shallow.

The campaign system is what stands out for me.  The fact that although results carry forward from one game to another each commander is always left with a usable army for the next game is a real strength.  Indeed early in the war an army can actually be improved by an influx of eager new recruits.   Making the standard campaign nine battles long is also a great idea. In Falkirk we have committed to a game a month for nine months which is (hopefully) eminently doable.

To summarise - a reasonable fun ruleset for playing ACW battles backed up by an excellent campaign system.  Over the next couple of years I hope to fight a couple of campaigns and after that possibly a game or two a year - that is a good result for a new set of rules.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Visit to Grimsby Wargames Society

On learning that I was to attend a course in Grimsby I immediately did some research and put out a request on several forums to see if I could contact the local wargamers with a view to getting in a game or two.

Paul got in touch and invited me along the Grimsby Wargames Society's club house.
 I subsequently learnt that this had originally been a very run down old stable block which had been purchased many years ago, refurbished and turned into a bespoke wargames venue by the members of the Society.

My first visit was on the Monday night which was devoted to historical wargaming.  There were I think five games on including an impressive looking Boxer Rebellion game featuring a part of Peking, a large 25/28mm Wars of the Roses game, An English Civil war battle and a 15mm Napoleonic clash between the Austrians and the French.

I joined in with Paul playing the Austrians against Andy's French.  The rules were the Grimsby Wargames Society's 15mm Napoleonic rules.  They are fast play and well designed to allow the large number of figures on the table to play to a conclusion in an evening.

When I don't know a set of rules my instinct is all out attack so I sent forward my cavalry on the extreme left flank and 6 battalions of infantry beside them in a headlong charge towards the French.  The basic sequence of the rules are a roll for initiative with the winner moving first followed by the second player, firing, melee and finally morale.  Combat is decided by opposed dice rolls which use from D4 to D12 (or D20?).  Depending on the type of unit a number of hits equates to its total loss and immediate removal from the battlefield.

Both flanks were soon locked in swirling cavalry melees. These continue until one side breaks or each player throws the same number on an average dice.  Both were fought to the death - unfortunately the death of the Austrians.  My attack columns advanced and threw themselves on the French line throwing it back but not doing enough damage to destroy any foot units although a battery of artillery was taken out.  On the right French horse artillery supported an advance by their foot which disposed of much of Pauls infantry. My attack had also ran out of steam so at that point we conceded.

The rules were very easy to learn and the game was a lot of fun.  Thanks to Paul and Andy for being so hospitable and the club members for being so welcoming.

On a Tuesday night the venue is used by another group of gamers largely playing Fantasy and SF games but some board gaming is also done.  Although he does not usually attend on a Tuesday Paul very kindly invited me down .  There were six of us 
up for board games so we split into two groups of three.  I played two games, Carcassonne which is a tile game set in the Middles Ages and a dice game entitled Roll Through the Ages.  Somehow I managed to win both games.  It was another very enjoyable night out.

Grimsby is a long way from Falkirk so I don't know when I will get down again which is a great shame as I had an absolute blast.  Not only do they Grimsby lads have an excellent facility but the club also has a great atmosphere.  Thanks again to the members for having me and Paul for being such a gracious host.

The Austrians
The French
Full deployment
The right flank cavalry melee
My massed troops surge forward
What the French saw
The rather large downstairs table filled with WoR troops

Sunday 10 November 2013

CY6 Jet Age at Targe

The Kirriemuir club presented their annual Targe show on Saturday and I was part of a small team from the Falkirk club that put on a couple of scenarios from the Crisis in Kashmir CY6 Jet Age scenario book.

The show itself had about a dozen traders and perhaps sixteen games along with a Bring and Buy.  I brought along half a dozen items and managed to shift all but one which paid for my purchases on the day which can't be bad.  It was all well organised and I enjoyed my day.

The first of the scenarios saw me flying a pair of Pakistani Sabres tasked with intercepting two Indian Canberra bombers, only for them to be jumped themselves by Gnats.  Kenny took the bombers and Doug the Gnats.  I got in a good firing position fairly quickly and put a lot of bullet holes in the Canberras, forcing one down.  The Gnats were all over me and their cannon firepower proved too much for the Sabres.  To give you an idea in terms of damage points caused the Sabres roll 6 x D6 and the Gnats 2 x D20.

The second scenario saw 4 Sabres being jumped by 4 Gnats.  It seems in the actual confrontation this was based on the Pakistanis never saw the Indian fighters and attributed the plane they lost to anti-aircraft fire!   Barry and I shared the Sabres and Doug took once again took the Gnats.  We also lost a plane before seeing our opponents and the game was a short and bloody affair with all the Sabres going down but not before Barry got a shot in throwing 34 on 6 D6 to cause the only Gnat shootdown of the day.

Doug had done all the preparation and planning and his was his excellent 1/200 scale planes we were using so it was probably only justice that he achieved a 6:1 kill ratio.  I would recommend CY6 to anyone looking to get into air combat.  We had lots of interested spectators throughout the day which always adds to the experience.

I was very pleased to meet fellow blogger Jim Duncan who came over to say hello, although I was saddened to hear of his loss of a close friend and fellow wargamer as reported on his blog.

We also took the opportunity to promote the next Carronade show (10th May 2014) and look to have signed up a new trader in Eagle Miniatures.

Congratulations to the winner of the best demonstration game which Rob Anderson of the Border Reivers club won with their Battle of Trafalgar Square 1984 and the RAF Leucars boys whose Divine Wind public Participation game was always going to be very hard to beat.

I managed a few photos:

A bit of a long shot but this shows the position where the sabres have turned and are about to take on the Cangerras rather than dogfighting with the Gnats

A shot of the main hall with our game in the foreground - that's Doug on the right talking to fellow club member David who was providing some moral support

The final Canberra with a Sabre on its tail which is just about to be taken out by a Gnat

A staged photo of the Canberrs and a Sabre

Another staged shot with a Mig 21 firing a missile at a Sabre - Doug had lots of positive comments about his pipe cleaner missile!
A rather poor shot of the Battle of Trafalgar Square game 

Sunday 3 November 2013

Painting and basing in November 2013

OK - I am going to do an experiment and see if going public with my to do list for a month helps me focus and complete it

1 - Rebase 15mm confederates for Longstreet.  I actually did some of this last night and have a usable army for my game on Friday (edit: Monday).  All the infantry, cavalry and dismounted cavalry are now on 25mm square bases, which now need to be painted, flocked and magnatised.  The artillery are on bases that are far too big but I have some replacements on order from Warbases which I will hopefully pick up at Targe.

2 - Paint up my Mordhiem warband.  This will be the tough one.

3 - Finish off the bases of some 25mm figures that I varnished a while ago.  They have been sitting there waiting for flock and magnetisation for months.  Before the end of the year I want to see what I have ready and what I need to work on for both sides of a Bloody Battles game

4 - Base up my 15mm figures, acquired about a year ago for the Paraguayan war.  I think I may be able to pad them out with some of my ACW figures

Lets see if this works?

Nearly forgot - tidy up the warattic a bit as well

Thursday 31 October 2013

Resolutions for November

Thinking about what I want to do for the rest of the year I have decided to put painting at the top of my list.  I have done almost none this year and would really like to get a couple of smaller projects moving.
I will ‘fund’ that time by reducing the amount of time I spend on the internet.  No real reduction in blogging (writing and reading) more the time on forums, facebook and the like.  I should be able to liberate an hour a day for painting I would think.  I will come up with a target for November, post it here, and see how I get on.
One other resolution.   A number of bloggers have commentated recently about blogging stats.  Most agree that the two most important are followers and comments and I would tend to agree.  I can’t do much about the followers but I will make an effort to comment more regularly and hope that others reciprocate.

Monday 28 October 2013

Dead Man Walking - my best Impetus Tournament result yet

Sunday saw the third running of the Scottish Impetus Open.  Numbers were down a little at 8 but there were sufficient of us to make a good enjoyable day of it.
I say enjoyable, but I was full of an absolutely stinking cold and found it difficult to concentrate for most of the day.
My first game was against a Gallic army brought along by Russ from the Dunfermline club.  They were a bit out of period facing my Early Feudal English which pretty much rolled over his warband, despite Russ rolling impressively on his cohesion tests – the first 6 were all 1’s!
My second game was against an old adversary, David Burns, and his Normans.  I was able to concentrate my knights on the left flank in a relatively narrow area and gradually grind him down whilst taking a few casualties myself.  The coup de gras was delivered by my unit of mounted sergeants (overpowered I think in game terms) which broke two Norman units and won me the game.
The final game was against another Falkirk club member, Chuck, and his borrowed army of Medieval Swedes.  Although facing wall to wall Crossbow A I was able to turn his right flank before being held up by a very stubborn unit of halbardiers.   The result was a draw marginally in Chuck’s favour.
No photos as I did not take my camera.
I was pretty much a Dead Man Walking all day and played by instinct rather than thinking much about what I was doing.  That said I achieved my highest Impetus tournament position ever with a second place behind the redoubtable Dax.  I will have to try this brain dead approach again as it seems to work!

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Monty's Wargaming World - a friend's new wargaming business

I can vouch for Richard's painting and terrain building skills and if he can develop his new gaming mats as planned I think they will be excellent value.  He is a Lardie ambassador and if you are into Chain of Command his markers will be right up your street.

I know a number of other wargames traders (Richard is the first to start up since I began blogging) so I will give them a mention in future blog posts.

Monday 21 October 2013

A-Z Book survey

This is another of those lists that do the rounds from time to time, seen here  I started reading before I went to school and have always read a lot.  Currently fiction is mainly SF and Fantasy, non fiction history, but I will dip in anywhere.  I find a lot of inspiration at my local library.Anyway here is my list:

Author you've read the most books from

Impossible question without a bit of research but probably Enid Blyton.  Other possibilities are Agatha Christie and JT Edson
Best sequel ever:
Lieutenant Hornblower (just to  get Hornblower in the list somewhere)

Currently reading:

The Mountain of Gold by JD Davies
The American Civil War by John Keegan (having just started a Longstreet Campaign)

Drink of choice whilst reading


E-reader or physical book:

I much prefer physical books but the kindle is great if I am going to be away for a day or two and is also good for impulse buys

Fictional character you would probably have dated in high school:
Winston Graham’s Demelza

Glad you gave this book a chance
Gentleman Captain by JD Davies – a tale of Charles II navy that exceeded expectations

Hidden book gem?
That’s me in the Middle by Donald Jack.  Bartholemew Bandy is a great character (in the first four books of the series at least)

Important moment in your book life

Reading Lord of the Rings for the first time.  I was in a complete daze by he time I had finished it and could remember virtually none of what I had read but I was totally blown away.

Just finished:
Happy Hour in Hell byTad Williams. Bobby Dollar is a very unusual angel.

Kind of book you won't read

Celebrity biographies..

Longest book you've read

Possibly Tros of Samothrace by Talbot Mundy.

Major book hangover because of  disappointing endings

Rarely happens – I normally will stop reading if a book is going nowhere

Number of bookcases you own:
6 in total but only 2 filled with proper books.

One book you've read multiple times:

Lord of the Rings and will again

Preferred place to read:
At home in a comfy chair.

Quote that inspires you

That’s sad – I can’t think of any

Reading regret

Je nr regret rein

Series you started and need to finish

Fifty shades?  I only made it through the first 2 chapters of the first book. Or perhaps I won't bother.

Three of your all-time favourite books:

Lord of the Rings – Ross Poldark - Sharpe
Unapologetic fanboy for:

Very excited for this release:

Sleeping Late on Judgement Day by Tad Williams

Worst bookish habit:

Not wanting to stop reading a good book so not going to bed until very very late when I have work the next morning.

X marks the spot - Start at the top left of your bookshelf and pick the 27th book:

James IV by Norman MacDougall

Your latest book purchase:

Princeps  by LE Modesitt Jnr

Zzz snatcher book (the last book that kept you up waay too late)

Happy Hour in Hell by Tad Williams


Friday 18 October 2013

First Post to get to 1000 pageviews

A blogging milestone - about blogging itself appropriately enough!

The next milestone I am looking for is 100 followers, at which point I will do a giveaway

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Culloden Wargames and Modelling Fair – The Battle of Falkirk Muir

Doug and John and myself made the trip up to Culloden last weekend.  We actually went up on the Friday and stayed in Inverness.  A meal and a couple of drinks helped the evening pass very pleasantly and (after a good breakfast at the local Morrisons) we got to the visitor centre at 9am in time to set up.  We put on the Battle of Falkirk Muir, 17th January 1746, which was appropriate to both the setting and our club (Falkirk and District)

Doug provided all of the figures and had done the prep work to make the recreation look professional to the public with a write up on the battle, providing unit and place names in an appropriate font, and some of the terrain.  John also provided terrain including the cloths which worked well draped over some of the club’s terrain squares.  Between them they had worked out some tweaks to the Maurice rules to better reflect the nature of the warfare (highland charges and the like) and the conditions under which it the battle was fought.  I also had made a few suggestions, all intended to make the refight work both as a faithful recreation of the battle and as a decent game to play as well.

Following the decision to retreat back to Scotland from Derby the previous month the Jacobites were besieging Stirling Castle.  A relief force of government troops under general Hawley advanced from Edinburgh via Linlithgow to raise the siege.  Having expected to face battle on the 15th near Bannockburn the Jacobites decided to force the issue and advanced towards the English camp.  Hawley did not take earlier reports of the Jacobites movements seriously and it was mid-afternoon before he started to mobilise his forces.  His artillery, which was made up of pieces from Edinburgh Castle on improvised carriages, got stuck in the mud and played no part in the battle.  Numbers were about 8000 on the Jacobite side (rather more than at Culloden) and 7000 on the government side.

Both sides considered the occupation of the high ground on the Moor to be key.  Hawley ordered forward his Dragoons in the belief that the opposing Highlanders would not stand against cavalry.  This proved to be a mistake as they kept advancing towards the cavalry who were forced to charge or be hit at the halt.  A devastating volley pretty much stopped them in their tracks and the Highlanders then charged home and quickly broke them.

Battle was joined at 4pm on a dismal Scottish January afternoon with a rainstorm (which turned to sleet) battering in the faces of the government troops.  Seeing the Dragoons flee the foot regiments behind ran without a fight and soon most of the government centre turned and fled as well.    However the right wing, which had some protection from a ravine to its front, stood its ground and fired several very effective volleys into the Highlanders.  A number of the routing troops, including some of the Dragoons, rallied and a good portion of the government army made a measured retreat from the battlefield.  Such was the confusion in the sleet and darkness that the Jacobites only realised they had won the following day and no attempt was made to follow up the victory allowing the government forces to regroup at Edinburgh under the newly arrived Duke of Cumberland.

The above tells the story of the actual battle but could also serve pretty much as a description of the wargame.  I took the government side and John the Jacobites.  We started with the fight between the Dragoons and the Highlanders to keep the historical context – no sane wargamer would have voluntarily committed his forces in that way.   It was set up so that better than average dice from John could have broken the cavalry which, under Maurice, would have led to their instant removal.   However instead they withdrew in some disorder followed up by their foes.  This meant that in order not to lose the Dragoons, which would have had a detrimental effect on army morale, I had concentrate in the early part of the battle on withdrawing them to the rear rather than reorganising my infantry to meet the new threat.

The Jacobite right kept storming forward and my centre also gave way but not without putting up a stiff fight.  My right wing then got into the battle (2 of its units being rated trained whilst the rest were conscripts on the day to reflect their actual performance) and started to redress the balance.

The army morale system allocates each side a morale value at the start of the game.  Mine was 12 to John’s 10.  Each time a unit is lost this is reduced by 1, 2 or 3 depending on a die roll.  Suffice it to say that John’s army could have broken on a bad roll when either of his last two units broke and we were both on 1 on army morale when my army was finally defeated.

Overall a very close run thing which succeeded in being both a close representation of the actual battle and an excellent game to play.  We had a fait bit of interest from members of the public who were complimentary about our efforts.

The event itself was quite small.  A nice looking 28mm Prestonpans was the pick of the other 5 games on offer.  In the afternoon John and Doug entertained a couple of young lads and ran through the battle again with them resulting in a much more emphatic Jacobite victory.  I played a game of Wings of Glory and chatted to one or two of the other people there.

We had pretty much finished by soon after 3 when the organiser offered to let us have a free viewing of the exhibition.  It is very well one.  The highlights for me are a room with screens on all four walls depicting the battle, which was very atmospheric, and a large ground level computer based reconstruction of the movement of the troops on the day with an excellent voice over.  Battlefield tours are available but although it was certainly worth seeing it was a little pricey at £10.50 a head or £25 for a family I thought.

Fortunately the weather was good on both the Friday and Saturday making the drive a pleasant one in both directions – thanks to Doug for providing the transport.

The event will probably be held again next year and we may well be back with another Jacobite Rebellion themed offering.

The Jacobite Army
The Government Foot
The Artillery gets bogged down
The Dragoons take the high ground
View from the government lines
The 28mm Prestonpans Game

Monday 30 September 2013

My Wargames Projects September 2013

WarBattles – doing refights of all the battles in a war or a campaign with no restrictions on rules, probably against multiple opponents
Peloponnesian Wars – this is a mammoth undertaking which I very much doubt I will ever finish.  There are 50+ battles of which I have done 4 of the land ones so far and none of the naval.  I have a plan to do one of the Athenian naval raids using Dux Britanniarum so that might happen in 2014

Battles of Phillip II and Alexander the Great – with 5 battles done I am about a quarter of the way through.  The first was back in 1982 though!
1066 Year of Three Battles – only Gate Fulford to do to complete this

The Italian Wars – I have added this to my list of projects as I have done 3 of the battles and have quite a number of the troops
The Wars of the Roses – only 3 of these done back in the late nineties but I am hoping to get a move on with this using Bloody Barons

Henry VIII’s campaign in France in 1513 – ever since I read Cruickshanks book  I have wanted to game this campaign.  It is the only 25mm pre 1700 period for which I have been buying bare metal figures but unfortunately most of them have stayed that way. One game so far.
Scots Renaissance Battles – a book called Grampian battles aroused my interest in this  - I have so far only done Linlithgow Bridge though

The War of the Triple Alliance – an impulse buy of painted figures got me into this – no games palyed as yet
The Fleet Air Arm month by month – the plan is do do at least one game from each month the FAA was involved in carrier based air to air combat.  I just about have Mers el Kebir ready to roll.

So 18 games over 9 projects since 1982.  I think I will have to speed up!

Side Projects – trying to build up forces
Interwar in 28mm – Marco from Rif Raf has been painting up Freikorps for me- I want to continue to expand this force and  get a few more games in

Indonesian Confrontation – I was taken with Commando Miniatures figures and have managed to get some paint on a few figures – this is something for 2014.
Science Fiction in 28mm – I want to built a small generic force based on some of the Pig Iron figures

Fantasy in 28mm – I have a usable Chaos Warriors army but need to finish it
Steampunk in 28mm – I have a Khador force for Warmachine – it needs some more paint

WSS in 15mm – My Dutch army  just needs the cavalry painted – the Maurice rules are now popular at the club and might prove the inspiration to get these finished and on the table
Modern Iraq in 28mm – a couple of impulse buys mean I have the figures and a couple of vehicles but unpainted at the moment I fear

ACW in 15mm – for the Longstreet campaign – these actually don’t need a huge amount of work
Twinkles in the Eye – who knows whether these will ever turn into projects or not – I hope so!

Cyprus 1974 in 28mm – Greek Cypriot T34s against Turkish M47s.  If I could get my hands on some die casts at sensible prices I would buy some infantry and give this a go

British Honduras in 28mm – What if the Guatemalans had invaded
Napoleonic Naval – small scale frigate actions

Sikh Wars in 15mm- I have some rules but am not sure this will get any further

Then there all my other toys (lots of 25mm ancients/medieval/ECW and 15mm Napoleonics) and of course I will get distracted by gaming other periods and campaigns, both using my own figures and others. The joys of being a wargamer eh!

Tuesday 24 September 2013

An Old Project Revived

Can I first direct you to another report on our weekend event, with some more photos particularly of the Mad Mullah game

What was more exciting to me was that Craig, whose blog it is, also has a long standing interest  in the Wars of the Roses. This is one of the wars where I have the aim of refighting the battles.  In 1997 I did Bosworth and in 1999 the First St Albans and Blore Heath, all using WRG 6th.  I had planned to do Mortimer's Cross this year but have not progressed it as yet.

What is also great is that Craig has been trialling a period specific set of rules in Peter Pig's Bloody Barons.  Hopefully we can get a game in relatively soon.  Coincidentally on 7th October we have the author of a new set of WoTR rules called 'The Hollow Crown' is doing a demo game at the club.

Looking good for some interesting gaming!

Sunday 22 September 2013

A Hundred Years of War - Event Report

This event, jointly sponsored by the Falkirk Wargames Club (FDWC) and Society of Twentieth Century Wargamers (SOTCW) has been long in the planning.  The idea was for members of both organisations, together with any other gamers with an interest in this period to get together for a day's wargaming.  It was held at the FDWC venue in Grangemouth.

There were two sessions in the day.  We had 3 games in the morning with 17 participants and 2 in the afternoon with 14.  The numbers were a little lower than I had hoped for (we could easily have coped with double the number) but that minor disappointment was more than offset by the universally positive feedback.

The morning games were a 1904 Mad Mullah battle hosted by the Bathgate club with their own house rules,  a WW1 air game using a playtest version of the second edition of Algernon gets it Off put on by SOTCW member Richard and a Bolt Action game that FDWC member Andy had organised.

In the afternoon Derek put on a 15mm Chain of Command game and there was a large Boxer game organised by another FDWC member, Mark.

All the games were very well received by those playing them.  I am hopeful of being able to make this an annual event so if anyone wants be involved in 2014 please get in touch.

Some photos
The Mad Mullah's forces mass, ready to attack

The British led forces await the onslaught

The German planes have the drop on their British foes

The Bolt Action game

The Boxers mass

The Boxer game

The Chain of Command game
A longer feature on the event will (hopefully) appear in the Journal of the SOTCW

Saturday 21 September 2013

Falkirk Big Roman Week - Real PPW again

We were invited along to another 'meet the people' event today.  The Falkirk Big Roman Week consists of a number of events, walks talks films etc.  We were at Kinneil in Bo'ness which is the site of an Antonine Wall fortlet and has a small Roman museum.  The Roman encampment also featured re-enactors in the shape of the Antonine Guard and several other contributors.  The kids enjoyed dressing up and waving plastic Roman swords and shields around.  It is also the first time I have wargamed in a tent!

The main focus of our presentation was a Basic Impetus game.  The idea was that a Roman official had been dispatched from Londinium to inspect the army's progress in building the wall and he was also bringing the soldiers back pay with him.  The local tribe had caught wind of this and were intent on intercepting his coach.  It succeeded both as a game and as a draw for a number of interested spectators. Reversing the result in both the practice games the Coach made it to the local fort to enable the Romans to claim victory, although not before suffering significant casualties.

I did not take part in the game but instead set up the gladiator game  Ludus Gladaitorius - the idea being to show that wargames has a lot of variety to offer.  Although it was quiet at first two quite young brothers had a couple of games and seemed to really enjoy it and then two teenage lads also had a go.  Certainly worth doing.

All in all a pleasant way to pass an afternoon and promote both the club and the hobby.  We may get a further invitation to a WW1 themed event next year.


The Fort

The Auxiliary Archers man the walls

Cavalry reinforcements

A re-enactor looks on

The Antoine Guard
The coach and supplies head for the fort, with the barbarians in the background
Not quite the right order but you get the idea!


Saturday 14 September 2013

Whatever is going on?

I don't do campaigns - in 30 years + wargaming only one in total until this last 12 months.  That one consisted of 4 battles against one opponent and took over 5 years to complete.

Most campaigns that I have seen first hand have started with a lot of enthusiasm and then very quickly fizzled out, hence the lack of appeal.  What I have done in place of campaigns is to work out and play scenarios for historic battles with aim of doing all the battles in a war or campaign.  That gives me freedom with timing and being able to play different opponents and rules.

Now I am in five campaigns.  How did that happen?  The first was a Dux Brittaniarum campaign against Richard.  We get to play at his house usually 3 or 4 times a year.  He was keen and I thought why not?  It will help string some battles together and as Dux Brit campaigns generally don't have a fixed ending anyway it will run its natural course.

The one campaign that I have seen run recently which was a success was the Mordhiem campaign run last year at the Falkirk club.  It ran through its set number of games to completion and looked a lot of fun.  I have always enjoyed Mordhiem and when Rory said he wanted to run it again this year I thought why not?  Ten games over a year is doable.

The next two are once again Dux Brit campaigns, this time with members of the Falkirk club.  See above for why not?

The final campaign is ACW using the Longstreet rules.  As with Mordhiem this will run for a set number of games.  I have not played theses rules but 15mm ACW is something I have not done much of recently. I have a fair number of figures and this will also give me a chance to reorganise them into some consistent basing.  So I thought why not?

My main worry now is how I will fit in all the other games I want to play. 

Wednesday 4 September 2013

RIP Donald Featherstone

Many others have blogged today mourning the passing of this truly influential man.  I simply wanted to add my voice and pay my respects to a giant of the hobby.

Saturday 31 August 2013

100 years of war gets closer

The list of games is getting close to being complete - there may be one more

Spanish Civil War - Triumph and Tragedy

Boxer Rebellion - Sons of the Desert

Iraq - Force on Force

WW2 Air - Bag the Hun or WW1 - Squarebashing

Mad Mullah

WW2 Platoon - Chain of Command

Secrets of the Third Reich

Indonesian Confrontation

WW1 Air - Algernon Pulls it Off

There will be two 3 hour sessions so 4 to 5 games each session.

I am starting to get a bit nervous.

Scratch that - I am having kittens!

The idea was simple.  The Falkirk club gets together with the Society of 20th Century Wargamers and other local clubs to put on a few games.

Do we have the right number of games for the number of people taking part?

Not everybody will be able to play in their first choice games.  What if 8 people want to play one game and no one wants to play in another?

These things are usually alright on the night but at the moment I am not so sure.

Saturday 24 August 2013

The Gathering - Rosyth Impetus Tournament 11th August

It is a couple of weeks ago now when several members of Falkirk Wargames Club turned up at the Rosyth home of the Dunfirmline Wargames Club for a day of playing Impetus.

I find these Impetus tournaments very relaxing.  A couple of the players had very limited experience (one or two games) with the rules but veterans and newcomers alike were able to enjoy a pleasant days gaming  - winning is the aim but certainly not at the expense of mutual enjoyment of the fray.

I took along the same army that I had used at the Antonine's Folly competition earlier in the year, namely Feudal English.  I usually try to take something different but I had not managed to sort anything else out so I stuck with the same army this time.

My first opponent was Frazer.  A very competent player, although I had the good fortune to beat him quite convincingly just a few weeks before.  The tone of the game and my level of competence was set at my first cohesion test.  Having taken hits a unit throws to see what the damage is with a high throw potentially spelling disaster.  I reached into my dice bag gave a good shake of the dice and proceeded to throw an 8, which, given that Impetus only uses the traditional D6, caused much merriment.

Frazer easily outmanoeuvred me and although I was able to cause some him some damage I ended up pretty close to the bottom of the table after round 1.

Next up Was Richard from the Dunfirmline club with his 100 Years War English army.  My tactics were quite good but Richard's Longbowmen threw unbelievably bad dice and I ended up with a comfortable victory.

My final opponent was Justin who had answered a late call to make the competition numbers even and used Ottoman Turks.  He has played very little recently but that did not seem to cramp his style at all as he gave me a sound thrashing.  It did not help that the dice gods, who had been so kind to me in my previous game deserted me entirely in this one.

A great days gaming - I finished 7th out of 12 which was fine.  Frazer won the competition, the first time Dax has been beaten north of the border so congratulations to him.  Thanks to Ross for organising the event and the Dunfirmline club for being such gracious hosts

I took a few photos - here are the best of them

Frazer's Yuan Chinese
Dax's Assyrians
Richard's 100YW English
Two very nicely painted armies from the Dunfirmline club - Richard's Almoravids and Ross's Patrician Romans
David (Falkirk) with his Normans against Russ (Dunfirmline) with Sui Chinese.  I am not sure where the rest of the Chinese army is!