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elieve me, there have been times when I didn’t think I’d make it into double figures with the magazine, let alone be celebrating three years and looking forward to it entering its twenties! But here we are, and it seemed appropriate to commemorate the occasion and to say “thank you” to everyone who has helped and supported Battlegames since its launch in 2006, either by contributing, advertising, buying the magazine, or simply speaking well of it to others, whether they have been a subscriber since day one, or have just picked up (or downloaded) the occasional issue. I extend my sincere gratitude to them all. At the same time, this is also a convenient vehicle for those of you who may be completely new to the magazine to gain an insight into what Battlegames is all about. This is perhaps harder to define, but our subscribers are quick to tell me that they enjoy the very different flavour of my publication to the other wargaming periodicals. Each of the others has their merits, of course, and reflect the approach to the hobby of their Editors and production teams – and it just so happens that I read all of them myself! So what’s different about mine? Firstly, I’m a writer, so the content of my magazine reflects my passion for original, high quality, thought-provoking and entertaining writing. I take great pride in encouraging new writers, as well as giving space to many of the hobby’s ‘established’ names. We have gained a reputation for tackling thorny subjects and not being afraid to say precisely what we think about products and services available to the wargamer. The Recce section is often the first section our regular readers turn to, and I have included an example here. I’ve also been a graphic designer for nearly 20 years, and I’m red-hot on what these days is called ‘usability’: in other words, conveying information in a clean, uncluttered style that is easy to read, avoiding distracting graphics wherever possible. But most importantly, I’m a wargamer, and with every issue I assemble, I have the privilege of choosing from a wide range of superb articles that have been submitted by fellow enthusiasts just like you, to create the magazine that, as a wargamer, I want to read. I’m just grateful – and relieved! – that so far, thousands of others have enjoyed my choices. Of course, I hope that you will too.
Battlegames magazine is a bimonthly publication of Battlegames Ltd, 17 Granville Road, Hove BN3 1TG, East Sussex. Company No. 5616568. All content © Battlegames and its contributors. Strictly no reproduction without prior written consent. All rights reserved. Opinions expressed in articles are those of the individual authors and reviewers concerned. Editor: Henry Hyde, email, tel. 01273 323320. Web: Design, layout and typesetting by Henry Hyde in Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop on Apple Intel iMac. Set in Adobe Warnock Pro and Helvetica Neue. Photography by Henry Hyde using Fuji S7000 except where otherwise credited.


Editorial The Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal Issue 1 – Wargaming: how it all began Issue 2 – Game day protocols Issue 3 – A project too far, part I Issue 4 – The art of bad generalship
Robert Piepenbrink, USA C. S. Grant, UK Phil Olley, UK Bill Protz, USA Don Featherstone, UK Support the charity that cares for veterans suffering from PTSD

2 3 4 8 10 14

Issue 5 – Table top teaser: trouble on Treasure Island 16 Issue 6 – The Wars of the Faltenian Succession part VI Issue 7 – A brush with musketeers Issue 8 – Race to the Rhine part 1 Issue 9 – Quickdraw Issue 10 – Kriegsspiel rides again Issue 11 – Forward observer Issue 12 – Battles for wargamers: Trautenau 1866 Issue 13 – Computer cartography for wargamers
Tyler Provick, Canada Bob Barnetson, Canada Roger Smith, UK Stuart Asquith, UK Mike Siggins, UK Richard Clarke, UK Andy Sykes, UK Barry Hilton, UK Dave Robotham, UK Henry Hyde, UK

22 25 30 36 40 43 48

Issue 14 – Figure piracy: scourge of the hobby? Issue 15 – To boldly go Issue 16 – Tally ho! Issue 17 – Have you seen my Neil Diamond CD? Issue 18 – Recce The Battlegames shop
Products and services reviewed by our team The place to order your subscription and much more Diane Sutherland, UK Tim Beresford, UK


Cover: The Scots Greys charge at Waterloo during a magnificent 28mm game staged by Loughton Strike Force at Salute 2008. The game won “Best of Show” and maintained the club’s reputation for staging superlative demonstrations.
downloaded from PLEASE KEEP US ADVISED OF ANY POSTAL OR EMAIL ADDRESS CHANGES. STAY IN TOUCH! All event notifications for inclusion in our calendar should be sent to Richard Tyndall (Tricks) of the Newark Irregulars at All submissions and articles should initially be sent to the Editor. We recommend submission of articles via email. Battlegames Ltd takes no responsibility for unsolicited articles. Please apply or see our website for submission guidelines.

Copy editing and proofing by Henry Hyde and Steve Gill Advertisers, contributors and businesses wishing to send samples for photography and review should contact the Editor. TRADE PLEASE NOTE: Battlegames does NOT ask its reviewers to contact companies direct unless by previous arrangement authorised by the Editor in writing. In all other cases, please send items for review to the address above Subscription enquiries should be addressed to the Editor or you can subscribe online. Current rates (as at September 2009) are £31.50 per annum post-free in the UK; EU Airmail £36.00; Rest of the World Economy Airmail £43.00. Blog: Podcast: “View from the Veranda” with Neil Shuck can be

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The Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal
If you enjoy this special issue, then please help rebuild veterans’ lives
A note from the Editor
This special edition is completely free to download, but please spend a couple of minutes reading this message, in support of the work of Combat Stress, the only charity entirely dedicated to helping our ex-services personnel who have been psychologically injured through active service. Please mention the Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal when doing so.

How to donate

The facts

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a growing problem for our ex-service men and women. Over the last four years, there has been a 66% increase in the number of new Veterans seeking help from Combat Stress. Some can suffer the effects almost immediately, but for many, it may be years, even decades later that the horrors of their involvement in a conflict can hit home, affecting not only themselves, but of course their family and friends as well. Psychological casualties form, perhaps, the majority of overall casualty numbers, but are given the least resources to be treated and remain the least well understood. On average, Veterans contact Combat Stress 14 years after leaving the Armed Services. Many are in a desperate situation and a large proportion have started to self-medicate with alcohol and/or drugs. There is great concern about the level of future demand from those involved in recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan: the huge growth in the numbers of Veterans is likely to utterly swamp the system and overload the charity’s already modest resources. In addition, the increased use of the Territorial Army and other reservists means that sufferers could easily be sitting next to you in your place of work or standing next to you in a supermarket. They are men and women, young and old, who risked everything to serve the causes our governments have dictated: to serve us.

Donate online at Donating through Justgiving is quick, easy and totally secure. It’s also the most efficient way to raise funds: Combat Stress gets your money faster and, if you’re a UK taxpayer, Justgiving makes sure 25% in Gift Aid, plus a 3% supplement, are added to your donation. You can also send a cheque made payable to Combat Stress to the following address: The Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal 17 Granville Road, Hove BN3 1TG East Sussex, UK Please do not make cheques for this appeal payable to Battlegames. Every single penny of your donation will go towards helping those who have put themselves in the line of fire on our behalf. Your support is greatly appreciated. Together, we can really make a difference.

So, what can we do?

First of all, we can help the charity immediately by donating. It doesn’t matter if you can only afford a Dollar, a Pound or a Euro – every and any amount helps in the most direct way possible, enabling Combat Stress to provide facilites and highly trained staff to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and related conditions. Of course, if you are in a position to donate more, your gift will be hugely appreciated. Secondly, we can spread the word. It’s amazing how many people still aren’t aware that Combat Stress exists, and if just one ex-service person finds the help they need because of the word-of-mouth publicity you provide, then you may just have saved a life. And finally, you can of course decide to help raise funds for the cause yourself. If you think you could help in this way, then contact: Josephine Grace Fundraising Department Combat Stress Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society Tyrwhitt House Oaklawn Road Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 0BX Battlegames  3
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Wargaming: how it all began
Fond memories of the early days of the modern hobby


hand-typed and duplicated journal with separate photographs stuck in each copy. I can recall sitting up in bed reading it until my wife rebelled, then waking at dawn to continue in the early light of argaming, that bloodless day! Such enthusiasm might be hard to but inspiring military imagine now, but both Tony and I became preoccupation, has caused increasingly restless as the time came the years to pass so rapidly that often I round for our copies of Wargames Digest ask myself, “what on earth would I have to fall through the letterbox and phones done with my life if I had not discovered rang between us anxiously enquiring wargaming?’” Certainly, there would be if there was any news. Even today, rea grave shortage of warm and humorous reading those tattered old magazines is memories, an undoubted dearth of good both stimulating and helpful, many of friends and acquaintances, and an existence the ideas and suggestions put forward far less full and colourful than has been by its worldwide handful of wargaming the case. Counting childhood floor games subscribers continue to hold merit. with Britain’s 54mm soldiers and not As the hobby got into its stride, other cheating by including those years when, journals began to appear and it is an in uniform, I participated in the greatest interesting reflection that there were wargame of them all, I have been fighting as many purely wargaming magazines battles with model soldiers for more than circulating in those days as exist today. three-quarters of my life. Looking back When Jack Scruby ceased producing on it all, undoubtedly the pioneer days Wargames Digest from America, Tony of more than 50 years ago were the most Bath and I coedited it in this country, while interesting, yet the greatest stimulus Jack put out another journal Tabletop occurred some 25 years before that – and Talk. Then came my own Wargamers it is doubtful if today’s wargamers can Newsletter, beginning in April 1962 and ever achieve anything so exciting and published regularly each month without momentous as those schoolboy discoveries a single omission for 18 years until, in in the local library when first encountering January 1980, when it was being H.G. Wells’ classic book Little published by Tradition of London, Wars, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s it fell victim to rising costs of Yallobelly Times, later immortalized production and inadequate by Lloyd Osbourne’s Stevenson at support from the people for Play, first published in Scribner’s whom it was written. It is an Magazine in December 1898. indication of changing attitudes These two great British writers that, in the early days, the majority were a pair of eternal boys who, of wargamers supported these back in the misty realms of magazines by both subscribing nostalgically peaceful days more to them and contributing regular than 100 years ago, pioneered articles – some of them being games of battles with model the truly classical literature of soldiers, controlled by ingenious the hobby (remember “At the rules to which practically every Colonel’s Table”?). But later, set of rules since conceived owes when there came rushing into something. Quickly realising that the hobby enthusiasts lacking the Wells had answered most of my ‘traditional’ background, there was miniature battlefield problems, a marked disinclination to spend his book became my Bible: the cash on anything but actual model immense thrill of discovering it soldiers! My own son represented perhaps only matched by that of this group – he never once read later years when I realised there a copy of Wargamers Newsletter was another sex called girls and nor a single one of my many that they were different to boys. published wargaming books! At the time, I did not realise that At first, the very scarcity of these literary efforts represented, fellow wargamers – only the so far as I am concerned, The late Jack Scruby of California, veteran American wargamer

by Donald Featherstone

classical contributions to the art of remaining young despite one’s years! No longer did my armies of Britain’s 54mm soldiers mill around on the floor in semi-purposeless conflict. Now the Battle of Hook’s Farm was fought, first to Wells’ rules and then, for the first time, I began adapting and amending someone else’s rules to suit my own temperament and inclinations. That first adventure was perhaps the greatest stimulus of my wargaming career; since then, there have been others, mainly personality stimuli in the form of other wargamers, early pioneers who, whilst raising the hobby from a childish pastime, gladly gave much of themselves in the form of help, experience and knowledge to their fellow-hobbyist. High on the list was American Jack Scruby, whose home-produced magazine Wargames Digest reincarnated thirty years later those same thrills experienced when first discovering the book Little wars. This occurred at the same time as I encountered my very first wargames opponent – Tony Bath (who sadly died in 2000, a great loss to the hobby and to those who knew him). He lent me the first four copies of this wonderful

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most fortunate possessed a local opponent – made friends of us all, so that men from many walks of life and of all conceivable types and temperaments gladly gave advice by letter or telephone, loaned books, and made models for the less skilful. When a gathering was planned, every one of the known wargamers broke blood vessels to be present and, at the very first ever Wargames Convention held in my house (luckily, a large Victorian one then) in Southampton in about 1960, I think every known wargamer (except Ed Saunders from Taunton, who was a bit of a loner) attended. Some travelled down from Yorkshire, others from the West Country, the late Charles Grant Snr. came from Kent, and others from London, to compete in a ‘Pairs Wargame Championship’ when Stan Aspinall from Huddersfield and myself defeated Charlie Grant and Bill Mell in the final. It was marked by the presence of one of the real veteran wargamers, who had been fighting tabletop battles before World War Two – evidently they paid off, because Brigadier Peter Young DSO, MC, etc., became a world-famous commando leader and perhaps Britain’s most decorated soldier of the Second World War. I had read of him and here he was, wargaming on my table and eating in my house. Oh, what a glow it all produced! The following year, we branched out and held a small convention at a local hotel. About 20 came, including Ted Suren (later of ‘Willie’ figures); David Chandler; Peter Young; the late Charles Grant and his son (now a Brigadier and contributor to this magazine); plus about four of us in the area. The talks were good and informative, the wargaming stimulating; the social features included a recreation of Wells’ famous Battle of Hook’s Farm, using photographs from his book Little Wars on an overhead projector, while a background narrative was read from the book. From what was learned here originated the first ever National Wargames Championships Conventions, where a silver salver presented by Airfix Productions Ltd was fought for and, I believe, is still the trophy annually contested. In point of fact, that salver was placed in my custody and I suppose legally this is still the case – I wonder who has it now? Anyway, this affair was attended by about a hundred wargamers from all over the country and we took over the Cotswold Hotel in Southampton where visitors stayed and where a dinner was

Don wargaming with Brigadier Peter Young

held at which prizes were given for such stimulating things as those wives who regularly wargamed with their husbands – and a special prize for any wife who had beaten her husband (there was one – I think it was Mary Bath). The London Wargames Club won the trophy and the custom originated of the winners hosting the following year’s Championships. A most stimulating practice that holds nostalgic memories was the way the few existing wargamers travelled up and down Britain to stay with each other for wargaming weekends. Because only a lucky few had so far found local opponents, these visits represented the only real personal contact with others of like interests, often men who had been at it longer, or possessed specific talents so that talking to them usually revolutionised one’s whole approach to the hobby. Visiting – or having a guest – kindled enthusiasm resembling those of supporters of Manchester United. For weeks we corresponded and exchanged maps, plans and details of the forthcoming battle; although we worked on the principle that it was fought under the host’s house rules, often they were amended by mutual consent to suit the conflict we had in mind. This was necessary because it was absolutely essential that that particular wargame should be a success, that it should not flop or fall short of our expectations – and rarely did they! On the appointed day, one set off to drive to some distant place – 500 miles round-trips in a weekend were commonplace! Our army was carefully packed in a protective case, if it was to be a challenge game between his and your forces, although I always found it stimulating to play with the host’s armies, for a change. This was particularly applicable when visiting the late Charles Grant, who had large numbers of troops

and a fine large table in a huge attic at the top of his gracious house in Dover. As I write, I can still sense the excitement, the glow of pleasure at those wonderful weekends, when we wargamed – and argued – with Charles and his son, with Peter Young at his house near the Royal Military College at Camberley, where he headed the History Department. He was noted for his huge table, so large that it was not physically possible to reach the middle, so there was a hatch which opened up in the centre of the table and troops moved thus. I can picture Peter’s round, white-moustached face appearing like a pantomime demon from beneath the table, and one had to watch out for his sharp practice of disturbing formations and replacing them – to his opponent’s invariable disadvantage! Brigadier Young was a benevolent autocrat who liked to win and amid his ploys was the use of frequent drinks to bemuse his opponents; it seemed the rules were made up as the battle progressed, invariably ton his advantage. One occasion remains in my memory, when he umpired a battle in which I fought a pair of Territorial Army lads, who stood to attention whenever addressed by Peter. Unfortunately, my lack of similar deference seemed to fuel the umpire’s venom towards me and my protests were met with a bland: “If you wish to appeal, make it in an official manner.” On each and every occasion, the answer was: “Appeal dismissed! Carry on as before!” It was a large and very impressive wargame, using vast quantities of terrain materials, etc., borrowed from Sandhurst, with a cunning narrative that forced me to employ half my 18th century army rescuing the Captain-General’s mistress from a castle behind enemy lines and escorting her coach to safety! One of the most gifted of the early wargamers was Ed Saunders, whose enthusiasm knew no bounds. So much so that, desiring a wargames room and not having one in his small Taunton house, he burrowed beneath the foundations to dig a subterranean cavern with earthen walls entered by a hole hacked in the house brickwork at ground level! Fighting down there was an indication of what it must have been like to be buried alive! Here I fought on the first sandtable of my acquaintance, that led to me making one for myself, but they take a long time to set up and figures get lost in the sand,

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slashing at us with sabres – arousing even so that machine-gunners of long-past more laughter. Unfortunately, it was all battles tend to tun up in the middle too much for Bill, who glared at us before of an Ancient or Napoleonic affair. firmly grasping the table and tipping it up At this time, an amusing incident so that soldiers, houses, trees, roads, rivers occurred when another colourful character, and so on and so forth, cascaded down Bill Gunson, built himself a sandtable. upon peter and I in what we claim must be Home on leave from Kuwait where he the only occasion when wargamers have was in the oil business, Bill rented a house literally been ankle-deep in model soldiers! on the seafront at a little Welsh village I always enjoyed wargaming against near Portmadoc and promptly annexed a the late Peter Gilder, a shrewd general first-floor bedroom as a wargames room. who deployed superbly modelled and Knocking together a sturdy timber table, painted armies on the most breathtaking he and a helper, using a bucket and a terrain. For many years, when he lived in long rope, drew up countless buckets of Norfolk, we had an annual wargaming sand from the beach below and heaped date after I had done a stint of lecturing it onto the table, until ceasing wearily for athletics coaches at Loughborough lunch in the room below. Midway through and made my devious way home via the meal, the ceiling above began to sag his house. The first of them was a large through the weight of the table and its American Civil War game, using Airfix nine-inch depth of sand. Hastily thrown figures but, as it was before they issued from the window whence it had arrived, their range for that war, Peter had done the sand returned to the beach much more some amazing conversions on hundreds quickly and easily than it had come up! of quite different types. A feature of the What can be classed as one of game was a magnificent terrain piece wargaming’s legends occurred in that about two feet square – a harbour and house, when Bill entertained Peter Gilder surrounding hills. I praised it and, with from Norfolk, Gibb McCall (a crime writer typical generosity, Peter presented it to on the Manchester Daily Mail) and myself me. I still use it and it has featured in from Southampton. Driving about 275 illustrations in some of my books. Always miles to that place, I was conscripted into open-handed, Peter gave, or sold to me a tabletop battle within minutes of arrival at ridiculously low prices, a number of and was desperately trying to keep awake his beautifully painted regiments which at about 3 a.m. when it was still going on. remain among my most favoured units. Bemused by fatigue and the complexity of the rules, cravenly I sought my bed by recklessly throwing my entire army into a suicidal flank attack that I hoped would end the game – the crazy rules ensured that I did, and we won! Next day there was an acrimonious rules discussion after breakfast before beginning the huge battle planned, with Bill’s hundreds of Hinton Hunt Napoleonics, plus those of Peter Gilder, who partnered me against Bill and Gibb McCall. After many hours of inconclusive combat, Bill charged our Light Division (some 150 riflemen), snugly firing from behind a stone wall, with about 400 French cavalry – but alas, his judgement of distance was at fault The first ever wargames convention, Southampton 1959 and he ended up with hordes of Perhaps wargamers still visit each cuirassiers, chasseurs, lancers, dragoons other for enjoyable weekends, but it is and hussars about half an inch from the doubtful their trips mean as much to wall. Subsequently, when he announced them as ours did to us, when there were that they were méléeing our riflemen, Peter so few wargamers in the country that and I howled with derision and pointed we all knew each other! More than just out that they had not reached the target. wargames, these occasions gave us heart This did not deter Bill, who claimed they to soldier on in our own lonely way, in the were leaning over their horses’ heads,

face of difficulties, discouragement and often downright sneering. The drive home was made bearable by minds brimming over with new ideas for improving our armies, our terrain, our rules and the hobby in general; and in bed that night, sleep came slowly despite fatigue, as our overworked minds mulled over tactical mistakes, controversial rule interpretations and plans for the next meeting. It could be that the sole common factor existing between those far-gone days and the present is the time one needs to take up with the hobby, because it truly seems that today’s wargamer only needs sufficient financial resources and he can build up wonderful armies of any scale, period and type. Early wargamers fought their battles with an astonishing variety of figures and armies, few alike in any shape or form, the only basic resemblance being their small scale – and even so, we were often forced to mix figures of different sizes in somewhat grotesque arrays. In the very beginning, it was medieval battles using Tony Bath’s 54mm figures, a scale used by few today, although Ken Brooks, a President of the Wessex Military Society in the late 1970s, carried out thoughtful tactical exercises with exquisitely converted and painted 54mm Napoleonics and British colonials. Of course, Mike Blake, Ian Colwill and the late Steve Curtis brought a completely new dimension to those large-scale figures, converting them astonishingly for their stimulating Individual Skirmish Wargames – even sexy saloon girls emerged from a team of Airfix 1:32 scale footballers! We battled with whatever we could buy, swop or make and one wonders how many of today’s wargamers actually make their own figures. In the beginning, we slaved over hot stoves more often than our wives, only we were dangerously casting otherwise unobtainable figures in molten metal. There was an immense satisfaction on prising from the mould a pristine silver casting, tempered somewhat on surveying the surrounding of flash that we knew had to be laboriously filed away before the figure could be painted. Most of us made moulds out of Plaster of Paris (this was before the boon of Silastomer) that rapidly degenerated and crumbled so that each successive casting bore an increased halo of surplus metal or flash. Attempts to ‘patch’ the mould seldom worked. The more skilled also made their own original

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Germans; very few were cavalry. Soon, I parachutes on their backs, who, with figures to be used as the ‘master figure’ discovered the true beauty of these figures much filing, moulding of Plasticene and for making the mould. All of us wore our – they could be dramatically converted soldering, emerged as Bavarian standardfingers to the bone filing away flash... into something quite different with bearers for my Franco-Prussian War army! My collection included models of ridiculous ease, using a razor blade and To this day, I wargame in much the long-gone makers. S.A.E. (Swedish building up with Plasticene painted with same spirit, rarely buying in any quantity African Engineers), were the very first nail varnish. It was not long before they all the plentiful and excellent ranges of readysoldiers I ever bought. I purchased the became either Federals or Confederates! made commercial figures now available. entire stock of the local shop, rescuing Then I discovered the address of their The heterogeneous armies on my shelves them from his cellar because no-one was actual maker and made the acquaintance were born through whim and enthusiasm, interested in them. These were 30mm stimulated by a purely personal figures designed by a renowned preference of not reproducing Swedish designer, Holger any particular historical battle Eriksson, and manufactured or campaign except with the first in Ireland, then in Madeira, correct armies. As I have and finally in South Africa. always found new fascinations Fortunately for the hobby, the when reading military history, range has been rescued by Peter this has resulted in having Johnstone of Spencer Smith, to assemble fresh armies for and are available again today. each new period of interest, There were beautiful colonials on reflection it usually worked by American Tom Cox, and out that a few hours battling off-beat types by George van in the new period involved Tubergen, alongside masterpieces months of work assembling the by Charlie Stadden, Jack Scruby, armies! To do this, a system was Hinton Hunt, Ted Suren (‘Willie’ evolved revolving around TV range), cheek-by-jowl with more programmes: I painted up an modern offerings by Minifigs, entire Seven Years’ War set-up Hinchliffe, Lamming, Dixon, Don with the late Peter Gilder, fighting their first ever wargame in Peter’s watching World Cup football; plus a vast host of painted and house at Scredington, Suffolk, in the mid 1960s. The piece of terrain so the Olympic Games resulted in converted plastic figures by Airfix generously given to Don by Peter is in the centre of the picture. the arrival of American, British in HO/OO scale and in 30mm by of Ronald Spencer-Smith, at that time a and German airborne divisions, about Spencer Smith (cast nowadays in pewter). travelling salesman for Britains Ltd, which 3,000 figures; and my medieval families Those plastics have a very special place caused transactions in his side-line to be (a concept something between normal in my affections because discovering carried out in the greatest secrecy! Needing wargaming and individual skirmishing them probably kept me in the hobby at cavalry, I persuaded him to make a mould with a detailed narrative scenario) a time when my collecting had come to using the S.A.E. Prussian Uhlan, but had was spawned via a rigid ruling that I a full stop simply because there were no to guarantee purchasing 1,000 of them! was allowed to paint on Saturday and viable sources of supply, which seems I sold 500 or so, and converted the rest Sunday evenings while watching TV. inconceivable nowadays! Collecting into lancers of all nations and periods, When I write a sheer nostalgic article S.A.E. figures was difficult because their natives (turbans are easy to make and like this, one lays oneself open to the shipments were so rare and no system all-concealing!), Napoleonic dragoons, charge of living in the past, of hectoring prevailed, so that one had to take pot luck chasseurs, hussars, British cavalry of the today’s wargamers with the claim that with their sole British agent in Brighton. Victorian era, etc. All of them remained in it was better in the Old Days. These The only other known source was Jack my collection for decades, although a trifle words are not written in that spirit at Scruby in California, who only had facilities battered through the passing of time and all: they revive happy memories that will to turn out relatively limited numbers a freezing winter when the chill wargames never return, thrilling and stimulating of figures, so that delivery times were room caused the plastic to become days made even more colourful by lengthy, whilst Customs Duty on these brittle, resulting in many breakages. nostalgia and the imagination. imported ‘toys’ added greatly to their cost. [The Editor winces in sympathy: I’ve had Today’s wargamers will, over the course I did not fancy the flat figures beloved of many casualties to brittle plastic too.] of the years, have their own memories and Tony Bath, Archie Cass and the Bantocks dreams, will fondly recall incidents and – all veteran wargamers with enormous I do not suppose it applies now, but in events as I do. It is hoped that they will numbers of German-made flats, being earlier days the initial reaction to seeing experience something of the stimulation singularly adept at making moulds and any new figure was, “what will it convert that motivated past generations of casting their own! So, when I heard of these into?” and we searched out models in wargamers, because everyone needs cheap (they still are, even in metal) 30mm back-street shops and transformed them encouragement and help, fostered by figures obtainable from a newsagents in into whatever we needed. It seemed that advice, competition and imitation, so a London suburb, I hastened there and the major part of any conversion was the that they will find their wargaming to be once again bought up a shop’s entire stock headdress: change a helmet and you had immensely enlivened by personal contacts. at less than one old penny each! I found I a completely different soldier! Converting No doubt it is easier now to be a had a mixed collection of American Civil was a compulsive practice and some highly wargamer, and that is no crime – but War types, Seven Years’ War infantry esoteric productions were achieved, such possibly it ain’t so much fun! and some WW2 British, Americans and as the S.A.E. WW2 pilots with bulky

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Game day protocols
30 suggestions for more satisfying wargames
7. Send clear and concise orders to subordinates. 8. Pack your army, rules, dice, measuring devices and other gizmos, if travelling. 9. Study the rules. e didn’t reach a decision AGAIN! Too much 10. Host sets up the table. Ask friends to bring loaner terrain time was lost processing game turns and Max items, if needed. left early. There were other reasons too. I wish 11. Stop painting and basing miniatures at least a couple of we could have played a few more turns. That’s all we needed days before the game. for a more satisfying game. We must do better – but how?” 12. Relax, study the rules more and get appropriate sleep the The lamentation above is not uncommon. To deeply regret night before. lost opportunities of truncated war-games is a first step. The 13. Obtain food and beverages, if applicable. next is to identify all gremlins. Finally we must minimize or 14. Load your vehicle the night before, if travelling with tons send them routing unralliable to the rear. The time we spend of miniatures, etc. researching and raising our tabletop forces is enormous Painting and basing something new in the few days or compared to the much shorter time actually wargaming. hours before the next wargame is well known to many of Therefore, it is important to introduce economies and us. This often acts as an incentive, spurring us on. Giddy up! efficiencies so battlegame Paint more! Recently, for day is more productive and the first time, I intentionally enjoyable. stopped painting in the The critical dynamic week preceding the Seven is playing enough turns. Years’ War Association Several things influence Convention this March. this, such as concise rules, My last brushstroke was rules knowledge, skill, the previous Saturday. I planning, playing time, deliberately planned it basing systems, number of that way to more easily miniatures and participants, accomplish most of the readiness, habits, health duties above. For probably and distractions. If these the first time, I was not are imbalanced, playing a hurtling to the finish line at desirable number of turns to the gallop. It helped me do conclusively declare winners a better job as a game host. I was more relaxed. Perhaps and losers or determine a the previous suggestions draw is jeopardized. In order Protocol 29: Artillery is historically deployed in front of its supporting will help as you awaken on to maximize precious and Swedish 30 Years War troops. Start Turn 1 this way to avoid movement, the day itself. fleeting time, we can call on unlimbering and loading time. Photo: Liz Olley many remedies. Let’s do that SET-UP ON GAME DAY now, starting in the fortnight before the big day. The alarm clock sounds. You arise composed because of earlier BEFORE GAME DAY preparation. All you need to do is shower, dress, eat, take care Several duties ought to commence and end in the days or of dear ones and later get to the game table, wherever it is. weeks preceding the day of battle. These will help make it the You have done many things to save a lot of time that would best it can be. Gratifying satisfactions are also to be derived otherwise be lost just before Turn 1. from such solitary activity. One might imagine being at Yet in spite of earlier fixes, the prospect of new ways to waste headquarters making preparations for the army to march and time still looms. Antidotes are available for these too. There fight. It’s fun to study maps, organize forces, make plans, issue is probably a time limit to set-up, play, have companionable orders and carefully draw dispositions on a map. The key is banter, reach a decision, repack miniatures and have a postto get certain things done ahead of time so not one minute is game chat. But what if set-up lasts longer than it should? wasted doing them when miniatures and friends are waiting Let’s not let it, shall we? The important thing is to use time for you. To do so maximizes the number of turns possible. To economically to get to Turn 1 more quickly and have more do otherwise, in some cases, is poor form. fun. What can we do before the game starts? 1. Agree about terrain. 16. Arrive punctually and follow the host’s schedule. 2. Design the scenario and force sizes. 17. Remove or unplug the television. It is a distraction if 3. Agree victory conditions. friends love sports programs. 4. Send detailed maps and a game schedule to all players. 18. Provide time for ‘Show and Tell’ plus charming chitchat. 5. Discuss plans with your companions. 19. Officers’ Call to review and revise plans, dispositions and 6. Draw up your order of battle orders for each force. by Bill Protz


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20. Do not unpack miniatures and later place them on the table. Deploy units directly from storage or carrying boxes within their assigned deployment areas in one step, not two. How might suggestions 16-20 be implemented? 12:00 pm Early arrival, conversation plus ‘Show and Tell’ 12:15 pm Official arrival time and more companionable conversation 12:30 pm Officers’ Call 12:45 pm Deploy from storage or carrying boxes directly onto the battlefield 01:00 pm Commence Turn 1 – sooner, if possible 06:00 pm? Complete turn in progress, pack up and after action review (AAR) I have been a participant in games where set-up lasted nearly two hours. Usually this was because players took their miniatures out of carrying boxes to find and organize them on side tables. Later, these were moved a second time to appear on the battlefield. In other situations the same occurred, but we were further delayed by having to choose a scenario. Thereafter terrain was laid out followed by unit placement. Deployment consisted of Side A placing one unit first, followed by a unit of Side B, and so on until everything was on the table. Even in systems predicated on this type of arrangement, this process could be accomplished the week before. Use email to exchange changing information. Sitting and waiting is tolerated better by some than others. Though we must expect sudden and unexpected delays, time is mostly controllable. Why allow wastage? Take steps to be economical. If more than 30-45 minutes is needed to set-up even a game of 2,000 miniatures, fewer turns will unfortunately be played.


The game is afoot. Players are moving and fighting, turn after turn, driving toward a decisive finish. Time wastage here loses tactical opportunities and costs irreplaceable turns. A seventurn game might be reduced to five. However, let us ponder instead the extra advantages, additional turns and greater fun when some of the following suggestions are implemented. 21. Explain to observers that overindulging in banter slows things down. Ask them to play. 22. Resumption of ‘Show and Tell’ more than a little also delays the game. 23. Speeches, soliloquies, rants and interminable arguments harm the game. 24 Obey orders as best you can. 25. It is often unnecessary to move every unit, every turn. 26. Tend to your duties. Play the game. 27. Rules should be concise, using easily understandable Quick Reference Charts. 28. Movement rates are typically too short. Try increasing them 25%-50%. 29. Allow artillery to set up a little forward of friends in horse and musket games. 30. Use the fewest number of movement stands possible and label them for identification. Basing miniatures individually may be thought to be a contemporary innovation, but in fact it is only now experiencing a resurgence in popularity, harking back to the innovative days of Brigadier Peter Young and Charles Grant, Sr. of more than 30 years ago. Even they were mentored by writings in some cases more than 100 years old. Gaming with individual miniatures has been around for decades, biding

its time in the quieter wargame rooms of more gamers than might be thought. It is a fun, useful and visually stimulating thing to move, position and care for each little fellow as he tends to his mission. Skirmish games are best suited for individual basing, because numbers of miniatures are few. Conversely, moving hundreds of individual miniatures does have strikingly meritorious and visually nostalgic benefits, but consumes a lot of time. Since saving time is the raison d’être of this article, we should consider a means to maximize it. The easy solution, as many already know, is to use magnetic systems, placing each individual warrior locked mysteriously onto large underlying movement trays. Consider a brigade formation of 192 miniatures. Moving every one, albeit without casualties, in a seven-turn game means moving 1,344 pieces. Extra time is also needed to place each fellow exactly in formation. However, if we group the same lads on underlying movement trays by twelves, there are only 16 items to move instead. Over seven turns this means moving only 112 items. Lining up movement trays is also much easier and less time-consuming. What benefit will you obtain? Playing more turns. Small, medium and large actions are all fun. Hopefully you get to experience each kind. In BIG games, it will be useful to label units in smaller scales especially if there are a lot of similarly uniformed combatants. For example, all of the 24 battalions and several artillery batteries of my 15mm 1812 Russian VII Corps have labels on their underlying trays identifying the unit, brigade, division and corps. To further help me, labels of the 12th Division are grass green while those of the 26th Division are light green. Things are much easier this way and more time efficient in the punctilious command control environment in which these diminutive warriors live. Otherwise, I would become discombobulated wasting time discerning unit identities after several hours of play. In our 25mm-30mm Seven Years’ War multiple brigade actions, small removable pieces of paper or card identifying each unit are temporarily inserted in each battalion, squadron and battery at set-up so friends quickly know who is who. Sometimes players continue using these as games progress.


A great wargame experience also depends on our companions. We desire friends rather than toxic competitors, fun-loving buddies instead of people who are mean-spirited, agreeable pards, not argumentative nitpickers and companionable folk instead of anti-social personalities. It is also a bonus if they are contributors to the cause, helpful, polite, patient, honest, communicative, timely, exercise forbearance and will absolutely refuse to commit gross historical irregularities because rules are flawed. The 30 protocols proposed are suggestions, but my hope is that they will enhance your games and bring greater enjoyment. Each idea arose from a passion to manage time better and gain more turns per game. Currently my group is able to play large Seven Years’ War games with 1,5002,000 miniatures bringing these to a conclusion in seven to nine turns on a 6’x20’ table. Game duration is around four to five hours. At the SYWA Convention mentioned earlier, we played 11 turns, fielding 1,800+ miniatures and reaching a decisive conclusion in four hours with mostly novice players – a first for us. My personal goal is to breach 10 turns every time. Wish me luck, will you?

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A project too far: part II
Concluding our advice on efficient wargames project management
by Phil Olley The Byzantine heavy infantry units combine two ranks of spearmen and one rank of archers (I know WAB people will say it’s better to go with four ranks because of the rules, but I think it looks too deep as a formation compared with the frontage). So my unit is 18 spearmen (the first two ranks) and nine archers (I may expand this later, but initially this seems a decent size for a WAB infantry unit). The spearmen are on three bases, with the leader, standard and musician in the central base. The archers are three figures to a base, 25mm x 50mm, along the back of the spearmen. I added another officer figure to this rank from the infantry command pack as it’s more economical than having a lot of left-over archers from having to buy two blister packs of eight in order to use nine figures. I find that there are many savings that can be made if you plan these things before rushing off and ordering the wrong figures! The unit took just 8 days to complete. At this point, it is handy to write out an Index card to record the paints used, and proportions of different colours used in any mixing. This is especially important when you are going to be doing similar, matching units later on.


When I re-read the first part of this short series, it struck me that some people may deem the approach as too much like hard work. I can hear the cries of “this is supposed to be a hobby” and “all that serious planning doesn’t seem very relaxing”. And I agree – it is a hobby. Yet so many people get frustrated that they aren’t getting to finish armies or projects that I offer these ideas to help make it even more enjoyable and relaxing. If you want to just paint and collect and not plan it, fine. That’s another way of doing it. However, when chatting at shows, and online on the various forums, one of the hot topics is always project building, or how to overcome the guilt of not finishing! As soon as you start feeling guilty about not getting things finished in your hobby, the chances are that it is being counterproductive, and is no longer a hobby! I should also perhaps clarify the idea behind my monthly painting points. I’m not suggesting you set your target as the same. Nor am I suggesting that there is a required level of painting output below which you are a painting failure and should hold your head in shame! Everyone is different. You know how much time and energy (and money) you want to devote to your hobby. Counting up your Painting Points is simply a way of knowing from experience your level of output, and is therefore a good way to plan what you are likely to be able to do next. It does also act as an incentive and a target. Remember the old saying: “Man with no target, hit nothing!”


Rather than completing the basing on each stand as I go, I only do the basing when I’ve got a full unit done, and sometimes much more (i.e. two or three units, or even the full army) and again I record the paints used for every stage, each highlight, so that I can reproduce this on future units.

The cavalry units are 12 figure ‘combined units’, in two ranks of six, with kontarion-armed figures in the front rank and OK, back to the project in hand. Deciding on the first unit archers in the rear rank. does require some discipline. Yet too many people seem to I find that it’s important to get a sort of production line start a project by just doing a favourite unit or a command going in these early stages of a project, so that as one unit is base or vignette, only to find that when it comes to getting the finished and is being based up, the next big core units done, they can’t keep going, and have moved on unit is being prepared for painting. to something else. There’s nothing wrong with flitting around This means that while waiting for from one period to another, and painting the various stages in the basing to each piece beautifully. After all, dry, the next unit is also getting it’s a hobby, and you should just ready for painting. It keeps do what you like. But for a momentum up and stops real project, requiring the me going stale on painting of more than a a project. So, as I couple of units, it does pay am going though off if you can apply a little the stages of discipline here. basing that first For me, the special units and infantry unit, the vignettes will normally be first cavalry unit done at intervals during the is all prepared, project, as a sort of reward undercoated and ready to see for doing the sensible thing serious paint first! So, in the case of my Byzantine project, I applied! decided to start with a unit of Byzantine Heavy Infantry I start with Here comes the cavalry: because it would be the biggest unit initially, and getting the front rank of spear-armed milites from Crusader it done would ‘break the back’ of the project. cavalry, painting Miniatures. Paint: Phil. Photo: Liz Olley



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the six horses, then the six riders. THE COMMAND GROUP Once the whole of the front rank is As I mentioned, once I get a couple complete (including the leader of core units done, I like to paint and standard bearer) the rear up a fun vignette or two, and rank of heavy cavalry archers is certainly it’s important for done. I have added some bucklers me to get a commander onto to the mounted archer figures the tabletop as soon as I can (spares from packs of Foundry justify it! I enjoyed doing this Huns!), and used LBM transfers command vignette, which depicts cut down to fit these small the general and the Army Standard bucklers, so the rear rankers Bearer. I wanted to have a match their kontarion section of old Roman road armed front rank. on the base, and therefore I still have some issues needed one of the horses’ with the archers firing to hooves to be flush to the the side. However, I have paving stones. This meant managed to stagger the slicing off the metal base from basing a little. the horse. Oooops! Accident, The Crusader figures and one horse ruined by a were a breeze to paint, nicely break at the ankle. Emergency detailed and easy to get into all repairs were fruitless. Searching Phil’s controversial command stands. Oooh, errr – a the nooks and crannies. The only in my drawers of unpainted figures general and his Army Standard on the same base? thing to watch is the girth of the horses I found a plastic Riders of Rohan Whatever next! Photo: Liz Olley which is often too wide for the riders horse which was swiftly drafted in. and some filing of the flanks of the horses is needed to allow These are baseless, and have a handy ‘plug’ on the bottom of the riders to fit snugly. one hoof to attach to a hole drilled in the base. The horse is It is when I am part way through this unit that I decide it’s slightly smaller than the larger Crusader model, but I think it time to order the next batch of figures. Again not too many, looks okay. The crucifix at the top of the banner pole was taken from a Foundry Conquistador monk, drilled out underneath but enough to do a couple of units. and slotted onto the pole. The other thing I like to keep a close eye on, as I have intimated above, is when a project gets to the ‘gameable’ WAB aficionados will be up in arms that I have broken with stage. In this case, the first stage I want to reach is to assemble basing convention here: surely a vignette stand such as this is unuseable in games? Surely the General and Army Standard a small force of around 1000 points (WAB). To my surprise Bearer must be based separately? this will actually be fairly soon. Whilst I am waiting for the next batch of figures to arrive, Not in this army! I have decided that I want to alter some and, having done the two core units, it’s time I treated myself of the WAB rules a little to reflect what I want to represent with this project, and I am happy to sacrifice some WAB to a couple of vignettes, don’t you think? gameability to aid aesthetics. I also think that having the So, next up is a small vignette of a dismounted Norman knight with a dead horse. Both figures were lying around standard bearer with the army general is a far more accurate my unpainted cupboard. (Notice how I now admit this is a depiction of ancient warfare, the standard being a very cupboard, not just an unpainted box as I stated earlier!) prominent indicator of the position of the general on the battlefield. I think it would be rare for an ancient general to I have roped in some other figures that were hanging around as ‘generic Dark Age’ infantry (spears/javelins, operate away from the army’s most important banner. In fact, shields/bucklers) and simply re-based them. I can count them normally the reason the banner is the most important one in the army is that it indicates the general’s presence. I’ll still as Thematic Byzantine psiloi/ skirmishers. They will do the job until I replace them with more modern style figures (They apply the rules for both Army General and ASB in the games, are over 25 years old, from the former Citadel Dark Ages but the two will be physically inseparable on the battlefield. range, though I do think they fit rather well, so who knows “THE PATHWAY TO WARGAMES HELL IS PAVED WITH if they will ever be replaced!). The keen-eyed amongst you may have spotted a couple of the GW Riders of Rohan figures GOOD INTENTIONS...” ...and it can be so difficult to stick to one thing. I’m not talking added to these skirmish units to make up the numbers – it’s here about those projects where going any further would amazing what can be found lying in the old unpainted boxes mean a significant deterioration in your personal relationships in Warcabinet HQ! on the grounds of finances being stretched, but rather those In the same way, picking up a unit or two on a ‘Bring and armies where you have just run out of steam and feel you can’t Buy’ or eBay can get you to the point where you can get a game continue. There does come a point in a project for everyone going fairly early in the project. This is particularly important where you think you could do with painting something else! when you are embarking on something completely new and So how do you deal with the first ‘Painting Wall’? First, where you are unfamiliar with the rules. It’s good to get an idea recognise that everyone has one – and it’s often after a specific of what works and what doesn’t and how the rules play, so that amount of time on a project or a specific number of figures. you can build up your forces with that knowledge in mind. For me, the first minor wall comes after 60 painting points of It’s no good getting part way through a project to find you a project (i.e. about 60 infantry, or 30 cavalry, etc.). Then I hit have way too few cavalry, or too many light infantry. Building another after about six weeks of a project! a balanced army will allow you to game more quickly.

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Phil’s Byzantines with their Italo-Lombard allies defend a pass against Khazars (played by Mongols - a useful nomadic horde to have in the collection). All figures painted by Phil Olley, photo by Liz Olley.

It’s really handy if you know (from experience) when you are likely to encounter the Painting Wall, because then you can prepare to beat it. It’s purely psychological, of course.


1. Paint units for both sides. Having done figures for one side, it’s handy to be able to switch to the other side for variety. Choosing a project where armies can be allies or enemies helps here, of course. 2. Have a small game if possible to rekindle enthusiasm, no matter how small, even if it’s just a couple of units per side. 3. Do some terrain or make a small building. It can be a good way of taking a break from painting figures but maintaining momentum on a project. Do something which you feel is needed and typical for the theatre of operations that this project is going to portray. For example, when I did my Renaissance Poles, after a couple of units of Cossacks/ Hussars/Pancerni, I painted and based up a Hovels building to suit the period, and added a peasant figure. It made for a nice break, and allowed me to create a set-up on my table to keep the inspiration going. 4. Record your progress. Having a website for this purpose is highly recommended. But if you haven’t got one, there’s still no reason why you can’t take a few photos, and create a written journal when building up your army. You can show this to your wargaming pals, take it to the club, or even just keep it for personal posterity. It all helps keep motivation going. As well as being a useful progress record, such a journal is somewhere you can take notes, make up army lists, put useful pictures, maps, note useful reference works to get hold of, and generally keep all your ideas together for the project. OK, it might sound a bit like a fourth-form history project, but as someone who is

forever forgetting the name of “that book I really ought to get hold of”, or “that website with the really useful battle report and map”, and those wonderful pictures and so on, I know how valuable such a project journal can be. 5. Beware of ‘Painting Sirens’! All over the Web you will find guys who paint beautiful figures. They paint them to display standard, and for painting competitions. They sing out to you from the deep recesses of the online wargaming world. They show you their lovely work, and before you know it, you want to copy something they have done, and lo and behold – your project hits the rocks! It is so easy to be distracted into new periods when you see someone else’s wonderful work. People look at other’s painting and want to copy what others are doing, rather than getting inspiration from it to apply to their own work. When I look at other peoples’ beautifully painted figures, I am inspired, not necessarily to copy them and switch periods, but to improve my own style for what I’m doing. After all, most figure painting is the same process, regardless of what it is you are painting! Preparing a WW2 German unit for painting is the same as preparing a Napoleonic French unit for painting, which is the same as preparing an Imperial Roman unit for painting... And painting a WW2 German Stormtrooper’s face is the same as painting a Napoleonic French Fusilier’s face, which is the same as painting an Imperial Roman Legionary’s face (apart from the nose!!). 6. If the urge to paint something else is overwhelming and unavoidable, just go and prep up another unit for the project you are doing instead. It can also help if you have a prepared figure where you can just decide to paint a face. Or if you have seen a lovely shade of red on a Napoleonic infantryman’s tunic, see if you can create a similar red on an officer’s cloak for your chosen period, rather than switching periods totally.

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And even then, if you just fancy a break… take a break. Paint something else. Like most things, painting is a habit, and if you paint regularly you can always improve and practice new techniques. 7. Have a regular painting regime. This really helps because it’s a habit thing. Whenever I am at home (i.e. not away on business), I start painting at 7pm with “The Archers” on in the background, every evening. Whether I then paint for an hour or three doesn’t matter! The association with a radio programme or something like this that happens at the same time every day creates a ‘Pavlov’s dog’ syndrome! 8. Have a permanent painting table or workspace laid out if possible. This is very important, so that you can pick up your brush immediately, rather than spending time getting set up. No matter how small this space, keep your work area clear, and have the next figures you are working on sitting on the painting area ready for you to ‘dress’ them. 9. Rekindle the original vision of the end of the project in your mind. Picture what it is you are creating with this project, and also have any inspiring photos available that got you started on this particular project, e.g. pictures from wargames magazines, or even figure catalogues/adverts, or websites. 10. Start to plan the next stage of the project in more detail – the next two or three units which are needed to make up a nice balanced force? As an example of how to keep the painting going, with this Byzantine project, I decided to do some Normans and Lombards to face up to the Byzantine military machine. Initially, this will be a couple of small units of mounted knights, plus some crossbowmen. They can be enemies or allies for the Byzantines. So, at the first sign that I was ready for a break, I decided to switch and do an Italo-Lombard unit. For the milites, I trusted some old reference material, namely Ian Heath’s excellent WRG publication Armies of the Dark Ages plus the Osprey on Charlemagne that showed some Lombards of 10th century, as well as the Osprey on the Normans which has a nice plate of an early 11th century Norman knight. My conclusions: most European ‘knights’ (milites) would look very similar, and so using Norman milites with the addition of a few round shields, mixed with the traditional kite shields, seems to fit the bill. I have given this unit throwing spears as opposed to lances which came later (but with which I’ll probably arm some of the Norman allies). My idea is that this project represents the period before the Normans became superheroes (or super-antiheroes, depending on your allegiance!). Given that lances were probably adopted as a result of lessons learned from fighting

the Byzantines in Italy, it seems better to leave the Lombard milites, and most of the Norman milites, without them and to arm them with throwing spears/thrusting spears. And don’t get me started on WAB warhorse rules! As for the commander of the Lombard forces, I could find no pictures of the rebel, Melus of Bari, so resorted to a spare mounted figure from my Saxon command, gave him a kite shield, added the inevitable Benedictine monk (from the Foundry Conquistador range), plus a Norman knight holding the army standard, and hey presto, a nice little vignette. (See my comments above about command bases, Army generals, Army standards, etc.) And so to the crossbowmen. These are mercenary ‘Sergeants’ with crossbows and light armour under the WAB rules. I wanted to create a relatively small unit (the crossbows being unlikely to be used in any great numbers just yet), with the ability for them to count as light infantry and even be able to skirmish as well. So, basing them was another compromise between gameability and aesthetics, and I have opted for 40mm square bases with two figures on each. This allows me to introduce some groundwork to the bases (without overdoing it), and I guess I just don’t want single-based figures for this project! Based thus, they can act as normal infantry (the frontage being the same as under normal WAB conventions), and be in skirmish formation with the bases slightly apart. Again, it’s a matter of personal preference and taste.


So there we have it, a gameable army in a month. Yes, just 30 days from the moment of deciding to do the project to having a useful little force together. Okay, it needs to grow, and the next step will be a unit of Varangian guards (can’t resist), plus another Byzantine Heavy cavalry unit. No doubt the megalomaniac in me will want to keep expanding this force, and there is the small matter of an opposing force to do… So further Normans and Italo-Lombard infantry are required. In the meantime, with the Italo-Normans as allies, they make an ample force to take on my nomadic hordes (a mixture of Huns and Mongols) who I use as Khazars. It often amazes me that people (particularly those who are new to the hobby) may be put off ‘getting stuck in’ because they think they will need to have 300 figures per side to enjoy a game. But I’m sure you can see how a small project can be developed from just a glint in the eye to being something useable in a very short space of time, and with only a small number of figures. I wish you the very best of luck.

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The art of bad generalship
Making decisions – about decisions!
by Robert Piepenbrink e’ve had a mild controversy going on in recent years about the rules commonly inserted into historical miniatures sets to reduce the efficiency of our miniature generals. Many of us object on principle to such rules, feeling that the whole point of refighting the Monongahelia is to prove that we’re brighter than Braddock, and that when we want stupid generalship we can behave stupidly on our own, thank you. Others point out that commanding stupid subordinates isn’t like commanding smart ones, and that a general with a modern staff is not in the same position as one with two aristocrats and a son-in-law to receive and transmit his orders. Well, I’ve studied military history a long time and spent a LOT of time on staff. And I’d like to get my two bits’ worth in here. First, and I say this every time, be very clear before you begin what it is you’re trying to do. Von Moltke said that you might not be able to make up for bad deployments in the whole course of a campaign. Well, determining your objective is the deployment phase of wargame rules writing. If you are vague or contradictory here, it will show up in the subsequent rules. Now, do you wish to represent the general, or do you wish to represent his staff? It is not the same thing. The best example I can show is the Seven Days’ Battles of 1862 in the American Civil War. If you have a time machine and wish to reverse the outcome of that war, forget Turtledove’s AK-47’s in 1864. Go back to 1862 and give the Confederacy 50 good staff NCOs. Lee and Jackson will not be smarter at Chancellorsville than they were during the Seven Days – but they will have staffs capable of finding guides, producing maps and keeping other headquarters informed, things of which their staffs evidently were not capable a year earlier. Ney at Quatre Bras, on the other hand, has a far larger and more professional staff than Frederick the Great ever fielded. See how much good it did him?


If you wish to represent the general himself, be prepared to write out a rating for every individual who ever held, or could have held, a command position on the battlefields covered by your rules. And don’t laugh: we’ve all seen it done. If you’re describing staffs, throw away that entire chart, and block one out concerned with nationality and command level only. Ney and Davout had different staffs to a degree, yes; but not because Napoleon made them that way. They were different because they were different marshals. And the difference between the staffs of any two French corps commanders of the Napoleonic wars is inconsequential next to the difference between them and a pre-Napoleonic staff. Whether they claim to be doing one or the other, most rules approach the problem in the same ways: they reduce the number of orders a general can give during a turn, they reduce his ‘command radius’ and they reduce the effect of his presence on the troops. Now, what makes a bad general? Or rather, what are the distinguishing traits of a bad general on the battlefield? Do they actually give fewer orders? Not that I’ve noticed. Are they surrounded by fewer flunkies so they can’t transmit orders as frequently or as far? Again, I wouldn’t say so. Are the troops less inspired by their presence? Well, that sort of depends. If I had to pick a general to inspire men for a desperate fight, John Bell Hood and George Armstrong Custer might both make the short list for the American Civil War, but neither are commonly listed among the war’s great generals.


“I think the Oberst used to be a doctor – can you read his handwriting?” A scene from the stunning WWI display by Aly Morrison and Dave Andrews at The Other Partizan 2006 featuring their new Great War Miniatures.

I would say the following traits distinguish the officers you’d really prefer not to be commanded by: 1. Ambiguous or contradictory orders 2. Bad scouting 3. Micromanagement 4. Tendency to forget units 5. Bad terrain selection Obviously whether these can be represented on a tabletop will depend on the rules used, but I might suggest the following: 1. Ambiguous or contradictory orders: Cast a d6 when a unit receives orders from a bad general. 1-3: carried out as written. 4: movement orders are interpreted as meaning a different terrain feature of the same type. The troops march on a village, say, but not the one intended. If ordered to deploy, the right flank goes where the left should have, or the reverse, moving the unit one unit’s frontage out of position. 5: The unit commander cannot understand his orders and requests clarification. No action taken. 6: Orders to advance are taken as withdrawal orders, and retreat orders trigger an advance. 2. Bad scouting. If defending, the bad general has only a fraction of the normal distance between himself and the enemy at the start of play. If attacking, his deployment is hindered, either by a shallower

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“Look out Major Hogan: supplies have been ‘taken care of ’ by the Dons and Colonel bloody Simmerson. A right pile o’ paella that’ll make. ” Just one tiny scene from the amazing Spanish village diorama created by Paul Darnell and Bill Gaskin at The Other Partizan 2006 in Kelham Hall.

or it doesn’t show up on the battlefield. But for a commander given an inadequate staff, I would suggest the following: 1. Place the roads on the tabletop after the bad commander has marked his map and given his first orders. Don’t tell him how much trouble a body of water is until one of his units reaches it – perhaps not even until it tries to cross. 2. There should be a significant possibility of off-board units arriving late, at the wrong point, or perhaps not at all. 3. Off-standard units should have a greater probability of running low on ammunition. In armies of limited artillery, there should be the possibility of NO suitable ball or shell ammunition. Cannister can always be improvised, but perhaps not double-shotted. Now looked at this way, bad generalship and inadequate staffing are not the same. Jackson may never show up at Malvern Heights, but Lee and Longstreet will not abandon generalship to command squadrons or batteries. Ney may forget he is a Marshal of France and lead a cavalry charge – but the superior Napoleonic staff will go right on finding him maps, transmitting orders and ensuring that all his units have ammunition.

deployment zone, or by having to march on and then deploy. In any event, he is not told the fire and movement effect of any terrain feature until his men are in contact with it. Sadistic umpires might wish to consider making the bad general mark his deployment on an inaccurate map before seeing the table. 3. Micromanagement. On a 1-3 the general is reasonably sane. On a 4 he commands one level down, on a 5 two levels and on a 6 three levels, so that the corps commander is giving orders to a battery of artillery or a single cavalry squadron. (There might be a bias for a particular branch of service here, so Bazaine winds up siting guns – as also a certain earlier French commander who began his career in the artillery – while certain beau sabreurs such as Blücher... Well, you get the idea.) 4. Tendency to forget units. Roll to see whether the bad general will remember he has certain units. The further they are from headquarters, the more likely they are to be forgotten. Also, if they are attached rather than assigned – foreign auxilliaries, say, or an extra battery from the corps reserve – they are more likely to miss the action.Once ‘forgotten’, a unit may not be given orders unless a similar-size unit of the same branch is taken out of play, though it will act to defend itself, and will take part in any general retreat. 5. Poor terrain selection. Probably the easiest of the lot to represent. Once both armies are deployed, the umpire or the opposing player either add or remove a piece of terrain from the bad general’s area.


One does, of course, sometimes find a bad general with an inadequate staff. In this case, suspend all command or staff rules, pick the dumbest player in your group, and consider suspending any ‘no drinking during the game’ rules. Or just skip that one: it’s either going to be ahistorical or not much of a game anyway. After all, if we can’t improve on the 18th Century, why are we doing it again? Good luck and good gaming.


What, on the other hand, are the traits of a bad staff? The commander’s intelligence staff tell him who he’s facing. In the horse and musket period, it wasn’t likely to know the density of a woods, say, but it should know good from bad roads, and have a fair notion of the state of rivers. His operations staff ensure that people are where the general wants them, especially when they’re out of his sight. His logisticians must ensure that his troops are fed, and have the right ammunition. Now for the most part, this has some ‘feedback’ mechanisms, so it doesn’t get too far out of line,

“Are you sure the general wants us to stay here, sir? They ain’t howitzers!” Nervous 40mm Confederate infantry on a magnificent ACW display put on by Ian Smith at The Other Partizan 2005 using a host of converted figures.

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Table top teaser
Trouble on Treasure Island
by Brigadier (Ret’d) C.S. Grant OBE The rival landing parties will land at their respective bays R or B in period 1. There is no requirement to provide ships or boats unless you already have them. Each has only a single clue to the location of the treasure. Each group will quickly realize the presence of a rival and take appropriate action. Similarly, the locals or natives (Green) will take exception to the incursion and in an evenhanded way do their best to upset the invaders’ plans.


Christmas is a time for the family. That said, the more enthusiastic wargamer will hope to find a bit of what I believe is now called “quality time” to do some wargaming. Here is a scenario with a lighter touch, in which you could quite easily, depending on how smooth a talker you are, get BLUE FORCE ORDERS other family members involved. The Captain Jack Sparrow Forces and Pirates of the Caribbean option may help! Its origins can Blue has a unit of about 20 figures. They could be be found in Scenarios for Wargames published in 1981 (yes, buccaneers with a captain and lieutenant, a battalion of it was a long time ago!) as Treasure Hunt. However, before infantry, or whatever is appropriate for the period. you stop reading because you have no interest in Situation pirates, like other scenarios A much-valued treasure it has changed somewhat has been hidden on the over the years and can cover island. Blue force has a wide range of periods. been sent to retrieve it. Indeed, one side might be marines rather than pirates Mission and as you will read later, I To seize the treasure. have a non-pirate option. So this version can be easily Coordinating Instructions be used in almost any period Blue forces land at B on for two similar-sized raiding period 1 in two boats. parties, even fantasy or sci-fi. The Island is sighted – a view of the magnificent Redoubt Enterprises pirate They have their first ship. Ships and boats are not needed in the scenario but if you have them clue to the location of UMPIRE flaunt them! Photos by the author. the treasure which is: The original scenario “Seek a second step 50 was written with the intention of having a nonmetres north of the Lone Pine”. The Lone Pine is marked playing umpire to arrange the clues and mechanics as lB on the master map and clearly visible on the table. of the game, and it will certainly help if this is the At this location a die is thrown when a figure has case. Alternatively, the commander of the third force, arrived at the spot, to determine how quickly the clue is referred to later as the Green Force, can fill this rôle. located. A throw of 1 or 2 will mean it is found one period later, 3 or 4 means two periods and 5 or 6 means in three GROUND periods. At this point, the Blue player is given clue 2. The The island is only a small one, and occupies most of the process continues until the treasure is found. All that wargame table. Two landing bays are marked R (red) and remains is to get the treasure back to the longboats. B (blue). The island rises with a number of prominent hills, on which the top contours reduce movement. In an RED FORCE ORDERS approximately central position on the island is a native Forces village, with a fordable stream running south to the broader Red has a unit of about 20 figures, similar to Blue. creek. A number of other features include several woods, a cave, a wrecked ship, marshy area, a lone pine, a dead tree Situation and a boot-shaped lake. Only the umpire or Green Force A much-valued treasure has been hidden on the Commander, if he is the game organizer, may see the map, island. Red force has been sent to retrieve it. so if your players have seen this article, make some changes! Mission GENERAL OUTLINE To seize the treasure. Two parties of similar size (rival pirates, pirates and marines, French and British, Greeks and Persians or whatever your Coordinating Instructions choice) are sent to the island to retrieve an appropriate Red force land at R on period 1 in two longboats. treasure. For a pirate scenario, it may simply be buried They have their first clue to the treasure which is: treasure, but for other forces and periods it may be a “The toe of a wet boot starts the search”. shipwrecked person or a precious item that has been lost. This is the south-east end of a boot-shaped lake marked

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as 1R on the master map. Similar dice throwing to that already described for Blue is required to determine how long it takes to find the next clue. The process continues until the treasure is found. All that remains is to get the treasure back to the longboats.

when a figure reaches the spot to determine how long it takes to find the next clue. From now on the locations of the clues are the same for both sides. The remaining clues are as follows: Clue three “Seek the next step to the treasure in a cave close to the creek.”


Forces figures by the late Ted Suren, and still available from Spencer Smith. 15 natives of the Designed almost 40 years ago, they stand the test of time and have a special appropriate period, quality about them. Clue four poorly-armed and lacking “Painted on the discipline, are based at the village. inside of the cave is a picture, crudely executed, of a wrecked ship with a cross marked under the prow”. Mission To destroy any intruders on the island. These are marked at 3 and 4 on the umpire’s map. This last clue is, in fact, the location of the treasure, buried Coordinating Instructions under the wrecked ship’s prow well up on the sandy Green force does not know of the existence of the treasure beach, and once again it will take time to find it. or its significance. All that concerns him is the destruction The game unfolds as both sides move towards of intruders. In period 1, he starts in his village, but it can a clash, perhaps in the area of the cave, while the be assumed that he will know of the intruders via ‘bush natives will undoubtedly do their worst. telegraph’ by period 4 unless, of course, they are already visible by line of sight from the village. He can then move WINNING THE GAME as he sees fit. He is not capable of a concerted attack, but Either Red or Blue can win by finding the treasure can harass and pick off the buccaneers by operating in small and getting it back to the boats and off the island with groups. Green forces cannot be reasoned with (but Red and whatever is left of that side’s raiding party. If neither Blue commanders do not know that, and may decide to try). Red nor Blue achieves this, then Green has won.

French and British island raiders engage each other. The figures are Willie


Set out the table as shown, including the Green force in the village. Only the umpire (or Green Commander if acting in that capacity) has a marked map. The Red and Blue players only have their first clues and landing areas.

This light-hearted scenario is only an outline and can easily be developed with the use of maps, more clues or other perils to beset the buccaneers. The umpire/ organizer should feel free to improvise new rules, hazards and minor bonuses to keep up the excitement. Red and Blue forces land on period 1 and make Some of the pictures show British and French 25mm their way to the objective of the first clue, where Willie figures of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. they will find their second clues as follows: They stand ready in my collection for a more ambitious project, broadly encapsulated in the title of “Island Hopping”. Blue clue 2 At some stage in the future, I intend to use these and others “Step three will be found in the centre of the diamond”. that are being built up, alongside the native inhabitants, to The diamond is, of course, the wood so shaped, and their conduct a fictitious mini-campaign in the West Indies. third clue is in the centre in a small clearing marked 2B Finally, despite the hope that this will provide some on the master map. Once Christmas entertainment, again, a dice is thrown when I have resisted the a figure reaches the spot temptation to elaborate on to determine how long it the Christmas theme in takes to find the next clue. the scenario description. However, feel free to rename Red Clue 2 the island Christmas Island, “A dead tree will lead to the the rival crews from the good ships Santa Clause and next step”. The dead tree in Wenchy-Las with Captain question is on the north-east Rudolph and Captain edge of the wood that lies Michael Mass! Just make north of the boot-shaped sure that you do not end up lake. It is marked 2R on the providing the locals with master map and this is where their Christmas pudding! they will find their third clue. The local occupants (Green Force) prepare to give their unwelcome visitors As for blue, a dice is thrown a warm reception. Foundry figures from the author’s collection. Good hunting.


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The Wars of the Faltenian Succession
Part VI: creating your fictitious armies
by Henry Hyde his aspect of creating a fictitious war is the one that, I suspect, is most often ‘fudged’ by wargamers. After all, once you’ve gone to all the trouble of drawing up maps, naming all those towns, villages, rivers and mountain ranges, you’ll probably just want to get on with the campaign and having the occasional tabletop game. “What’s the best way to achieve that?” you ask yourself, as you cast your eyes over your existing collection of figures. “I know!” you say, “I’ve already got an army of Prussians and another of Austrians from the Seven Years’ War, so I’ll just pretend that they’re the armies of SchlitzDrumhausen and The Electorate of Nieder-Schimmelsitz.” Now, in all honesty, there can be no major objection to this, and I am aware of many gamers who do just that. A brief visit to the Old School Wargaming Yahoo group will reveal all sorts of folks popping up to announce the latest goings-on in the Grand Duchy of Stollen, or HesseSeewald, or the Duchy of Alzheim (the 18th century seems to dominate the fictitious wars scene). On closer examination of the photos on view, however, one can often


discern the unmistakeable bearing of Prussian grenadiers or the French of King Louis or some other historical realm. The logic is impeccable: these folk enjoy their fantastical forays and fictitious fripperies, but most of the time, they’re facing opponents who want to game on firmly historical footings in the Wars of the Austrian Succession or the Seven Years War or whatever. Another aspect to consider, of course, is that modern miniatures are generally scupted with such uncanny accuracy in terms of uniforms and accoutrements that it almost seems sacrilege to paint them in anything but their historical colours. We also shouldn’t overlook the fact that 25/28mm metal miniatures these days aren’t cheap: at an average of £1 for infantry and £2 per cavalry figure, it takes a bold gamer indeed to decide not to paint them as the historical unit they were sculpted to represent. And finally, it would not be unreasonable for someone to question whether it’s worthwhile inventing all those imaginary uniforms when history provides us with a myriad examples of military costume so fantastical as to border on the fictitious anyway – the 18th and 19th centuries in particular can lay claim to some of the most extraordinary outfits that a man was ever expected to fight in.

A spread from the Editor’s campaign diary showing the birth of Prunkland’s army for gaming with WRG rules. At this stage, distinctions were kept simple.

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of Zwetschkendatcherl in commemoration of the day Well, these are all perfectly reasonable things for when Captain Hinundzu saved the regimental colour people to propose, which may well prove that I am, indeed, completely mad to have gone to the lengths that by hiding it in a dung heap. This stuff is absolutely real: I have, so let’s address them, perhaps in reverse order. just look at the fuss being made as the British Army goes First of all, the uniforms. As it happens, I was so inspired through yet another batch of regimental amalgamations by the sight of historical uniforms that I wanted to invent at this very moment. God, as they say, is in the details. my own. Perhaps I should have become a fashion designer Let me just say that there is nothing whatsoever to stop rather than a graphic you creating apparel designer, but the for your armies that thought of creating is not what would the look of an army (or generally be thought multiple armies, as it of as ‘military’. turned out) that would I remember, in result in something particular, American entirely unique gamer Otto Schmidt’s provided tremendous armies serving the motivation. beautiful Princess As it happens, my Trixie, some of own sense of decorum whom were, if I recall meant that what I correctly, dressed in imagined inevitably bright pink with lime resembled historical green facings. Such nations – Prunkland’s regimentals would, if regiments wear a white nothing else, induce coat with coloured a state of shock and, facings, so take your perhaps, disorder, pick, be it France, in the ranks of their Austria, Saxony and enemies! It’s your a number of other army, so whatever smaller states. If I’d floats your boat... chosen dark blue, If your campaign then Prussia would does not reside in be the immediate the realms of history comparison; red, the in any way, and is British; green, and a straightforward Russia is inevitably fantasy or sci-fi brought to mind. So setting, then of course what you are left with you can let rip with are the details: the your tailoring as you combinations of facing see fit. It is interesting colours, lace, piping, to note, however, that buttons, gaiters and all the best-known the heraldry of the works from these Another extract from the Editor’s diary, this time four campaign years and a change of battlefield, each unit’s genres generally handwriting later. Doing illustrations forces you to think about the smaller details. regimental colours. attempt to appear Now, in my ‘realistic’ in some way, experience, wargamers and re-enactors devour this stuff, or at least plausible. The lengths to which Peter Jackson and and we fill our shelves with the kind of reference works that his team went during the making of the Lord of the Rings tell us precisely what the minute differences were between movies in order to create the right ‘look’ were extraordinary: subtle variations in weapons and armoury and shield designs the uniform of regiment A compared to regiment B. My according to where the character came from, experiments own current project painting British Napoleonic figures with different cloths and natural dyes, the architecture and has reminded me of just how subtle the distinctions can be, artefacts of each race – given the same time and resources, with umpteen units with identical blue or yellow facings you bet this is precisely what I’d be doing for the Wars of but the buttons are in ones/twos/threes or the lace has the Faltenian Succession! (Deep, gravelly voice: “Coming this subtle zigzaggy line running through it or the buttons are brass/silver and... You get the general idea, I’m sure. soon to a screen near you, the king who bore the pride of When creating the army of a fictitious nation, just a nation, the queen who held the hopes of her people, and bear in mind that your miniature men will be the first the prince torn by the bitter rivalry that divided them...”) to tell you that they’re proud of the fact that their cap In short, then, those of us who invent uniforms do so badge is worn just so, or that the buttons on their gaiters because we love doing it and it can be very satisfying in itself. are silver, not brass, or that they have such-and-such Let’s look now, then, at the cost of assembling a a battle honour on their colours which is paraded on fictitious army. To be sure, if you’re going to build a force the third Tuesday of every October through the village to rival Napoleon’s Grande Armée in 28mm pewter, then

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you’d better have a limitless cheque book and a spare decade or two. But this doesn’t have to be the case. When I first embarked on this project, I was inspired by Charles Grant’s The War Game and the hosts of plastic Spencer Smith miniatures that marched across his wargames table. In those days, you could buy a bag of 80 infantry or 30 cavalry for just a couple of pounds. Sadly, they are no longer made in plastic, but thanks to the work of Peter Johnstone, Spencer Smith is still very much in business, though now casting these same figures in metal. At an average of jut 35p for an infantryman and 95p for cavalry, these still represent great value for money for the gamer looking to embark on a fictitious campaign. And the latest news is that Peter even has new ranges arriving that are perfect for the general of fictitious armies. Every toy shop in the high street contains other alternatives of course in the form of boxes of plastic figures, generally in 1:72 scale (20mm) and the range available is phenomenal. The Airfix company many of us recall with fondness from our youth has been beset by financial troubles over the years, but keen collectors can still find boxes of Waterloo Cuirassiers and British Commandos tucked away in the dusty corners of small shops or, more readily, on eBay, though at a premium. These days, names like HäT, Italeri, Strelets and Zvezda make the market for plastic figures sound very exotic indeed. So strong is the demand for these figures that there is an excellent website dedicated entirely to reviewing the latest releases: see At just a few pounds a box, these represent great value not only for those of us building fictitious armies, but as a way into the hobby generally, though the drawback is that if you want disciplined-looking battalions all in the same pose, you’ll need to buy a lot of boxes as they typically come with around 40 figures in a variety of positions. But plastic isn’t the only alternative. With 2mm, 6mm, 10mm and 15mm figures in production, many of which are incredible little creations, the per-figure cost can be astonishingly low. I have to confess that, over the years, I have bought the armies of Prunkland and Faltenland in 6mm, 15mm and 30mm. I know, I know... Now, as for the objection to painting your miniatures in alternative colour schemes, well, that’s down to your

own conscience. If you’re seriously troubled by this, or by the thought of what your friends might say if they found out that you’d been (shock! horror!) just making things up, then don’t do it, because it requires a leap of faith that not everybody is comfortable with. During this series I’ve said repeatedly that a fictitious campaign is an act of creation, the building of a world of your own design. For me, that’s the real turn-on, and that creativity extends as far as the buttons on the soldier’s jackets, the design of their saddlecloths and so on, though the level of detail that has interested me has evolved. In fact, the early incarnation of Prunkland’s forces now seems crude to me – which is why, last year, I stripped all the paint off my Spencer Smiths and started again, resulting in the first re-painted unit that you can see at the foot of the page. My advice is to start with modest forces. In the last instalment, we saw how, in theory, Prunkland could call nearly 77,000 men to arms. However, at the beginning of hostilities, Prunkland’s army numbered about 27,500 men, organised into 20 battalions of Musketeers, six battalions of Grenadiers, four battalions of Grenzers, two of Jäger, four batteries of artillery, 11 regiments of cavalry, a large battalion of pioneers and a small unit of medical staff. (Prunkland has always been very advanced in this regard.) Such a force is quite capable of challenging the most experienced of tabletop generals, both tactically and strategically. Should you manage to concentrate all your forces onto a single battlefield, this represents something akin to a Napoleonic corps and very alike the force that Frederick the Great commanded at Mollwitz. On the other hand, it is strong enough for a commander to divide the force into two or three parts, with garrisons, scouts, reconnaissance parties and the like, to either defend or attack a sizeable tract of territory. The most important thing – as with any wargames project – is that an army of this size is achievable, and you’ll be able to get your campaign started knowing that in most encounters, only a few units, perhaps a brigade or two a side at the most, will be involved, so you can have fun gaming with whatever you’ve got as you build up your miniature armies in the background. Next time, we’ll look at how to introduce bags of personality into your fictitious forces.

From theory to reality: Regiment von Eintopf on the march. Old plastic Spencer Smith 30mm figures painted by the Editor. Balsa house, Last Valley trees.

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A brush with musketeers
Painting infantry for the Great Northern War
by Dave Robotham


ver the last few months I have been looking into the new range of Great Northern War figures produced by Musketeer Miniatures. This is a relatively new line, but is growing steadily. At the moment the range includes basic infantry for the Swedish and the Russians and command groups, as well as grenadiers and pikemen for the Swedish. For this guide, I am going to tackle a Russian and a Swedish infantryman. I will also detail a couple of different techniques and paint combinations to add variety and speed things up.


I will always try to paint the skin on a figure first for a variety of reasons. I find that if you paint the miniature from the inside layer out (the skin, then the shirt, then the tunic etc.), you will not be painting over previous layers. In effect, you are minimising the chance that you will get paint on already finished areas of the model. But, for me, the biggest reason is that I enjoy painting flesh on a figure and I find it the most interesting part of most miniatures. Painting the face and hands (and other ‘fleshy’ bits) first really does give life to the figure, and can drive me on to complete the rest of it. Both the Russian and Swedish infantry can be painted with the same style and colours: there is not a huge difference in skin tone between the two nations. But there are literally hundreds of methods of painting skin with an equal number of formulated paints to help you along the way, so you can add variety to your troops with ease. I painted the Russian and Swede in two different styles, both of which start with the same base colour, but build different colours on top of it. I started with a watered down basecoat of Pelikan Plaka’s Red Brown. This hobby paint dries totally matt and provides a great base colour for Caucasian skin tones. For the next step, I painted a layer of Games Workshop’s (GW) Bronzed Flesh over the red brown, making sure to leave the base colour in the deep recesses of the face. You don’t want to leave too much of the red brown showing, but areas to try to define with this highlight are the nose and nostrils, as well as the cheekbones and muscles. If you are feeling brave, you might also like to paint under the arches of the eyebrows and recesses under the eyes. In the next picture, you can see the extent to which I have covered the base colour with this layer. To add more definition, I added white to Bronzed Flesh for the second highlight. Areas to focus on here are

the same as before. Make sure you keep the definition of the nose and nostrils, as well the cheekbones and brow. You can see in third picture how subtle my highlight is, but you can increase the contrast by just adding a touch more white to the Bronzed Flesh. At this point you could stop, paint the eyes and lips in, and be done. However a final highlight of pure white will make the face stand out on the tabletop, which is what we are looking for here. Even if it does look a little too harsh in the fourth picture, remember that on the tabletop, those sharp highlights will really work to make the features of the face stand out. Finally, I painted in the eyes and the lower lip. The colour of the lower lip is really up to you. I know many painters prefer a much pinker colour instead of the dark red-brown colour I have used. Highlight the lips with either a single line or, as I have, you can add some more detail by splitting the highlight. The eyes were painted is as a black stripe painted into the eye socket, then a white stripe painted over that, finished off with a dot of black or dark brown centrally on the white strip. To avoid that wide-eyed stare, make sure the black dot totally divides the white of the eyes, touching the top and the bottom of the eye.



The Russian’s skin was painted using the same technique and template as with the Swede, a basecoat with layered colours over the top to define the features. (See photos at top of opposite page.) However, I used a different pallete of colours this time. I started with the same Plaka Red Brown, but this time I used paints from the Foundry and Privateer Press (P3) ranges. After the basecoat of red-brown, I painted a layer of P3 Khardic Flesh followed by a second highlight of P3 Midland Flesh. Like the Foundry colour triads, these two colours were designed to be painted one after the other, and they form a wonderfully hardy looking reddish skin tone. To add that final definition to the face, I applied a final highlight of Foundry’s Flesh 5C although, as with the Swede, this is not really necessary if you want to save some time.


There is a very simple and quick way to paint muskets and rifles if you need to get them finished and onto the table in a timely manner. Firstly, I start with a mid-brown colour and paint all the wooden parts of the weapon. Due to the varied manufacturers of muskets from different nations, you can choose almost any brown colour for this basecoat: just make sure it’s not too dark. All the metallic areas were also painted dark silver (such as GW’s Boltgun

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Metal), making sure the colour used was not bright or shiny. You can see the shades I used in this first picture. The second, and final, stage is to water down some black ink or black paint and wash that over both the wooden areas and the metallic areas. It will shade and stain the colours at the same time, adding definition and that weathered look. So that is the fast method, but there is also a far more detailed approach you can use to paint up muskets and rifles and other wooden-stocked weapons. Starting off with a dark brown colour, I basecoated the wooden areas of the musket and used the same silver as I did in the first method detailed previously. GW’s Scorched Brown or Foundry’s Bay Brown 42A are fine for this. To build up the colours of the wooden areas of the musket I used the Foundry’s Spear Shaft trio of colours. I painted horizontal stripes along the wooden surfaces using Spear Shaft 13A. As you can see in the picture, make sure the lines are quite wide, leaving only a sliver of the dark colour showing below. Using Spear Shaft 13B I then painted thin lines over the top of the previous layer. This time, try to leave only a sliver of the Spear Shaft 13A showing as you retrace your design with this new colour. At this point, I also used a black ink to wash all the metal areas of the weapon and then used my original silver colour to neaten up the edges. As a final highlight I used Spear Shaft 13C, again retracing my previous lines to build up the definition of the woodgrain. Using brighter silver (such as GW’s Mithril Silver or Chainmail), I also applied some highlights to the bayonet.


On the next page, you will see a colour guide for a Russian and a Swedish infantryman’s uniform. I have provided a full run-down of the colours I used. I used Foundry colours for the most part, but fell back on the GW paint range for all the metallics, as well as the Russian soldier’s coat and cuffs. When painting the different uniforms, I used a simple layering technique, starting with a dark basecoat and adding two or three layers of highlights – no blending or washes, just simple layering of paint. You will notice that the Swedish Infantryman has not shaved for a few days. Adding a 5 o’clock shadow is really

not as hard as it might at first seem. To paint stubble, I use Foundry Granite 31C. This is a grey colour, but with a hint of brown to it. You could easily mix the shade of colour by taking a mid-grey (just black mixed with white) and adding a touch of brown. Any brown will do, but don’t add too much, just a dot of colour to tint the grey. I water the paint down until it is incredibly translucent. When you paint the first layer, you should only see a slight change in colour. I then paint maybe six or seven layers, progressively building up the colour. The more layers you add, the more opaque the colour will become as more pigment is layered onto the surface. Using multiple layers, you can make sure the pure granite colour is only along the jawbone and chin and fades out as it rises up the face. The hair on these soldiers can be painted in hundreds of different ways, using a huge variety of colours. I started with a dark base colour and applied a single highlight, painting it on in small lines and dashes following the contours of the sculpted hair. To finish off the bases, I used PVA to glue down some rough sand and then, when that was dry, I used a brown ink to stain the sand. It is far easier to paint sand with a fluid ink than with acrylic paint. Then I drybrushed the bases with GW colours starting with Bestial Brown then Snakebite Leather followed up by Bubonic Brown and finally Bleached Bone. Then I added several tufts of static grass in various colours. I used different colours for the rims of the bases. On the Swede, I used GW’s Bestial Brown and on the Russian, I used GW’s Scorched Brown, a much darker colour. For protection, I first varnished the model with GW’s Ardcoat spray gloss varnish, and after that had been left to dry for a day, I varnished them again with Testors Dullcote for a wonderfully matt finish. There is a huge variety of different uniform colours you can use for the GNW. Like many armies in the 17th and 18th centuries, uniforms were often brightly coloured and specific to different formations. I suggest you head over to for plenty more ideas and information about the troops and battles of the Great Northern War.


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Race for the Rhine part I
Building and running a multi-player wargames campaign
by Barry Hilton


ver the last year or so I have found myself regularly attending a twice-weekly gaming session held in a local hobby shop. The common interest across the attendees is Flames of War which, fortuitously, I also enjoy. Although it is very difficult to fault the approach Battlefront have taken, even the best thought-out gaming system will become tedious and predictable if every club night consists of equal points per side annihilation fests. Having run a few scenario-based games and some table actions from my own Russian Front campaign for the members, I suggested a short campaign created specifically for the club might be of interest, and everyone agreed. The trouble was, although I had vague ideas of what it might be and how it could run, I had no concrete plan. Once the lads got tuned in, I really had to get my skates on and produce something as every Monday or Thursday someone would say “When is the campaign starting?” So, I embarked on what has been, for me, a very satisfying, productive and enjoyable little project. Why run a campaign? Well, a campaign offers added

dimensions not possible in one-off encounters. Decisions to commit reserves, launch all-out attacks or sustain enormous losses simply to win are put much more in context. Choices become more difficult and their consequences carry more weight. Players become attached to ‘pet’ units which then influence the frequent do I /don’t I decisions much more. Rivalry amongst players adds spice particularly when (as in this case) they are all on the same side and vying for glory and plaudits in the campaign press. Although I enjoy almost all wargaming, campaigns are for me the apex of the hobby in terms of overall experience. It’s the difference between watching an exciting movie clip and sitting down to enjoy the whole two hour feature complete with popcorn and a large drink.


There’s a phrase which is commonly coined in my line of work ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, any bus will do’. I wanted to know exactly where this little project was going and also needed to know when I’d got there. I first set out some broad working principles around which the detail would evolve. The main building blocks on which I constructed the campaign provided a very clear focus for my subsequent effort.

American armour, well, racing for the Rhine! Photo by Barry Hilton of part of his outstanding collection.

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Principle 1: We must have fun! I wanted the campaign to generate genuine enthusiasm and a desire to get on with it from the players. My wish was that the games themselves, although competitive, could be played in a spirit of good sportsmanship and not turn into the traditional ‘who knows the rules best wins’ type of competitive situation. Every game was, in practice, umpired. This helped hugely in the overall smooth running and on more than one occasion my co-umpire John or I were able to pour oil on troubled waters when players got a little ‘tired and emotional’, to use the theatrical idiom.

into other activities. The Sands of Time, my own Russian Front campaign, suffered from several of these symptoms and passed through phases where it limped along in a dormant state for several months before being reinvigorated by new players or a renewed burst of enthusiasm from me. In the end, I completed it after three years and various incarnations of players, scales and scope. A really wonderful experience, but not for the faint-hearted. So, my principles for RftR were based on manageable time period and highly visible rapid progress.

Principle 5: K.I.S.S (Keep it Short & Sweet) Principle 2: There will be little paperwork after the job Not everyone has the luxury of being able to game for is done! a whole day and so My previous campaign I needed to ensure experience lasted that every game over three years and could be completed produced over 500 with a clear result in pages of notes, battle an evening, with no accounts, and associated ‘carry over’ activity anally-retentive data, to other evenings. very characteristic of me at my worst. Much Principle 6: Ensure at as I enjoyed it all, I all times that no-one had no wish to repeat has the foggiest what is this more than semihappening! masochistic experience. I personally enjoy I therefore embarked on any kind of Fog of a serious bit of frontWar mechanisms end work, mostly built immensely. So this around a device I came was perhaps a selfish to know as the ‘Battle inclusion, although the Generator’. This rather excitement it generated tedious spadework A salvage operation in progress on a very chilly-looking piece of Barry’s terrain. This is amongst the players did mean that when precisely the kind of scenario that can be critical in a modern campaign: commanders wholly vindicated a map encounter can’t afford to just trash their armour willy-nilly. Photo by BH. the decision to spend occurred in the time on getting it campaign. I was immediately able to create a credible right. It was very important to the sense of tension opposition force based on the in situ German Division. and combat disorientation to have a significant I will explain more of the Generator later. I also wanted Fog of War impact on every battle. To create this, I a simple way to keep track of performance, losses and used a variety of tools that made force composition, replacements. This did involve some record-keeping, but deployment and reconnaissance vitally important. not a huge volume, relatively speaking. I was, however, in the end unable to escape from my wargaming ‘Stato’ DRAFTING THE PLAN tendencies and tracked various statistics throughout. Initially, I considered setting it in the Ardennes in late 1944, then switched to a D-Day breakout scenario, Principle 3: Gladiators will fight to the death! but in the end I settled on the final major western The guys at the club are pretty typical wargamers, pleasant front operation of the war: Operation Veritable. I company, but a competitive bunch, and so I wanted to will resist ensnaring myself in the wargamer’s potted make sure there were enough decisions and variables to history trap here, and will summarise very briefly. make the campaign more than simply fighting a series Having weathered the storm of the Ardennes offensive of encounter battles. This led me to create a tiered level in December 1944, the Allies gathered themselves of victory bonus based on the swiftness of the victory, together for what was to be the final desperate struggle prisoner and equipment capture, loss replacement, asset to subdue the German armed forces in the west. Pushing management, combined operations and achievement from Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and eastern France, of the primary objective – reaching the river first. three army groups (British 21st, American 6th & 12th) launched a coordinated drive to reach the Rhine and Principle 4: We will not refight the Hundred Years War Germany’s industrial heartland. The offensive began in Many wargaming campaigns splutter out and die desperate winter weather, against typically determined before their projected end. The reasons vary from the enemy resistance. By early March 1945, the first units campaign not being very well planned or organised in were looking across the great river. So, my objective the first place, through to over-ambitious size, length, was to recreate some of the action and excitement lack of player commitment and diversion of the players of this decisive campaign in a manageable form.

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Flames of War is a ruleset built around company level actions. I did not want players to be buying and painting masses of new miniatures and aimed to get the show on the road as quickly as possible. I therefore offered each player the simple choice of playing with a reinforced armoured or infantry company, with the additional choice of its nationality being American, British or Canadian. The total available points for each force was set at 2,100 as calculated using the Army Lists I prepared for the player’s use. The big twist built into the campaign was that all of the players would be on the same side. Enemy forces were to be controlled by the umpire and were, for all intents and purposes, ‘passive’. The idea was to make the eleven players race each other to be the first Allied unit to reach the river in an operational condition, fighting battles, dealing with situations and making choices along the way. As a further pinch of spice, players were to assume the roles of the umpire-generated German forces in encounter battles when not actually playing with their own force. As the whole idea of winning the campaign was about reaching the river first with the most victory points, there was added incentive to play well as the enemy because. by damaging your friend’s chances and causing him heavy losses. you were actually shortening the odds of winning yourself.


I had to create several ‘tools’, which I collectively labelled ‘the toolkit’. With these, I was able to control all aspects of the campaign mechanics. Some were easy and others stretched my competence a little, but having done it and established the principles, they will be easily replicated or adapted for other periods or situations. Tool 1: campaign rules First up was a set of campaign rules covering everything from choosing a force through weather, air support, German defensive positions, use of armour recovery vehicles, ambulances, combined ops between two commanders and increasing/decreasing troop efficiency as a result of combat. The campaign rules will appear in full as a later part of this series of articles. The actual battles were fought using the first edition of the Flames of War ruleset with umpire amendments and additions in the following key areas: 1. Battlefield deployment 2. Pre-game reconnaissance 3. On-table reconnaissance 4. Battlefield visibility and line of sight 5. Force composition

The campaign map designed by Barry using Campaign Cartographer. № Turner Prize winner, but it does the job! Time to dig out your Baedeker guide...

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6. Use of smoke 7. Use of armour recovery vehicles 8. Use of field ambulances and corpsmen/medics These amendments and additions, if not already dealt with, will also be detailed separately in the next issue. Tool 2: campaign map The next thing I had to create was a campaign map (see opposite). This took several attempts to get right. I knew I wanted to use hexes and not squares (I had found those limiting during Sands of Time). My biggest problem was the size of the hexes. Scaling them too small would create difficulties in terms of the distance that players needed to travel to reach the river and of course lengthen the campaign. As the club had never experienced a campaign before, I wanted their first experience to be short and sweet. I did not apply definitive ground scale to the hexes, which left me some flexibility in the placing of certain towns and geographical features relative to each other. The area I mapped is on the west bank of the Rhine, in the general operational area of XXX Corps and the Canadian 1st Army during the period from January through February 1945. The Americans are a bit out of their historical zone of operation, but several players owned US Forces and I wanted them to be able to use what they had. I took a few liberties with the terrain and created a small number of fictitious place names, but in general terms I think the topography is recognisable. I used a software package called Campaign Cartographer II to make the map, but did not find it very easy and lost patience, resulting in a much less aesthetically-pleasing effort than I’d hoped for. In practice, however, it was easy for both players and umpires to navigate and served its purpose extremely well. You can see the map here. It was banded into ‘zones of intensity’ which in effect meant that the closer Allied units moved towards the river, the greater the chance of bumping into some opposition. These zones of intensity were not marked on the players’ maps, only on the Umpire’s master map. The zones were graded from LOW (20%) through MEDIUM (50%) and HIGH (70%) to SUPER INTENSE (90%). The width of each zone was governed by distance from the river and terrain type, which meant they were not totally linear, and consequently difficult to predict from a player’s perspective. Roads were always one zone hotter than the band through which they ran, to represent the likelihood of the enemy blocking the most obvious or quickest routes. Villages, towns and bridges were all treated in the same fashion as roads. Overlaid onto this map were further guidelines that marked the zones of control of ten German divisions. There were no predetermined German units positioned on the map.

Only if an encounter happened in any given turn would the use of the German divisional dispositions come into play. This was a huge innovation for me. Previously, in Sands of Time, I had to pre-populate an enormous map area representing central Byelorussia with the equivalent of six Russian and one German Corps down to company level asset detail before the campaign began. My new method left me without that chore, but with a system that could generate a battalion-strength force down to platoonlevel detail anywhere on the map within ten minutes. Tool 3: army lists Army lists (see examples, left) were created with the help of Battlefront’s Intelligence Guides, particularly the PDF Late War Intel Briefings which are semiofficial. The recently-released Festung Europa would have been handy, but was alas not available at the time. I did not want to give the players as much latitude in force composition as Battlefront allow in their handbooks. Their lists are primarily constructed to sell an attractive blend of miniatures and make money. This results in some extremely improbable combinations of infantry companies being supported by the cream of available armour and artillery pieces, forces which, I suspect, would not be recognisable to any combat veteran of either side from the ETO [European Theatre of Operations] in 1945. My lists were far more prosaic and involved compulsory elements to a far more prescriptive and limiting degree. An infantry company was compelled to take a full complement of rifle platoons and the historical support weapons such as medium mortars, machine guns and small calibre AT guns. Tank companies were forced to include the full complement of platoons at full strength. For the Americans, that meant 17 Shermans minimum. The British and Canadians were allowed to use either Shermans or Cromwells. Forcing the compulsory inclusions severely limited the available ‘free choice’ options, making them far more precious and carefully considered. It also meant the players were competing on an essentially even playing field. I made small alterations to the points costs as Battlefront’s calculation methodology is esoteric, to say the least. Tool 4: the ‘Battle Generator’ By far the largest time investment went into the Battle Generator. This is a series of connected tables that create the German opposition randomly (but within defined parameters) for each battle. It works on descending levels of detail as shown below: a. Identification of the parent German Division b. Cross-referencing the divisional type (e.g. ‘Parachute’) with the predominant terrain type in the contact hex. This activity dictates the core composition of the force.

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c. d. e. f. g.

Establishing the morale and training rating of the force. Establishing the size of the force. Establishing the core compulsory elements of the force. Establishing the variable elements of the force. Establishing whether the force is in prepared positions or not. Basically, I had to make this up from scratch. You will find sample charts from levels b through e next issue, together with a worked example to illustrate the concept. Tool 5: Battle Generator Summary It was a certainty that every turn there would be action. I produced a standard form which recorded the essential data for each battle, allowing it to be set up, played, judged and archived. This was known as the Battle Generator Summary, an example of which can be seen here. Tool 6: Result table The result table operated in an identical fashion to a soccer league table as seen in the Sunday newspapers. It recorded vital campaign statistics for each unit and ranked the players in descending order of success at the close of each campaign turn. I actually had to produce two versions of the table. One recorded the points and stats for each force at the end of the turn just completed, but before losses had been replaced. The second showed the situation after each commander had made decisions about what equipment he

wished to replace and was used at the commencement of the new turn. If a victory had been particularly costly, it was possible for players to win a battle but drop down the table because of a negative balance in points for loss replacement. The time ‘between turns’ was actually very busy. The Umpire collated all of the stats from the battles, worked out relative points gains and losses and prepared league tables. The players had to make decisions about whether or not to replace losses, which new elements to include, discuss potential combined ops and plan their next moves. Tool 7: campaign newsletter Although completely unnecessary, this was the aspect of the campaign administration I enjoyed most. I drew my inspiration directly from the splendid work of Steve Ayers who authored Neue Kampagne Zeitung, an extremely witty, informative and well laidout newsletter recording the events of a Seven Years War campaign. My efforts were a tad more lowbrow that those of the erudite Mr Ayers and being a lifelong devotee of British seaside humour and the Carry On series of movies, I christened my rag Up the Front! It did chart the progress of the campaign, but with the reporting accuracy of the lowest quality tabloid and the journalistic talent of a twelve year old pubescent schoolboy, training to be a hack of the worst variety. Coming next issue: playing the campaign.

Carry on campaigning: a few examples of Barry’s entertaining newsletter.

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Fast and fun Wild West shootout rules
by Andy Sykes with Henry Hyde



ndy Sykes always liked watching and recreating Westerns. His first figures were the cheap and cheerful grip bags of multicoloured plastic, closely followed by the Airfix HO/OO Cowboys and High Chaparral sets (when they cost 17 pence a box!) Later, he exchanged these for 1/32 scale Airfix and Britains figures. The fights were fast, bloody and the only rule was that the best-looking or coolest figure always won. As he got older, they were largely forgotten, as he progressed through ‘proper’ wargaming periods such as Napoleonics, ACW and WWII, using smaller scales, fighting bigger battles and amassing lots of figures, until he was drawn back by the Guernsey Foundry releases, sculpted by Mark Copplestone in the 1990s. These, along with various rulesets, have been responsible, at his club, for pulling many a budding Napoleon away from rewriting history for a quick game or two as ‘Two-Gun Pete’ or somesuch. Andy’s Western figure collection now grows at every show, with Dixons, Artizan, Mayhem, Old Glory and others. Some of them are always lurking at the edges of his painting bench, interrupting more mainstream units in the painting queue. The Editor, on the other hand, has come to cowboy

skirmish gaming rather late in life, as a welcome breather from other ‘big battalion’ periods like the Seven Years War. This epiphany was largely caused by the discovery of Black Scorpion’s wonderful range of 30mm-ish “Tombstone” figures, followed quickly by Eric Hotz’s superb “Whitewash City” PDF buildings that can be downloaded, printed onto card, cut out and glued to create a cheap and effective Wild West town in the blink of an eye, and at very low cost. The photos you see here and on the front cover show just a small part of these product ranges in the Editor’s collection. It would have been perfectly possible to simply write a scenario for one of the popular rulesets, such as Gutshot or Legends of the Old West, but firstly, we didn’t want to assume that you had these in your possession, and secondly, we thought that you’d like to have something to give you a feel for the period before you took the plunge. Andy is responsible for working out the basic rule mechanisms, and the Editor is responsible for mercilessly fiddling with them! You need some figures and scenery, an ordinary pack of playing cards, a tape measure and a collection of the sort of dice you’ve probably got lying in a corner somewhere and thought you’d never use again since you gave up Dungeons and Dragons, unless you’re a skirmish or roleplaying wargamer who uses them regularly, of course. These are the dice with more or less faces than the standard six-sided cube we all know and love as the d6. So dig out your d4s, d8s, d10s, d12s, d20s and percentage dice. Honestly, it’s worth it: their use makes it possible to represent certain things very quickly and effectively. If you find yourself lacking d8s or d12s, for example, then a quick search of the Internet, or a visit to your local gaming shop or wargames convention, will quickly furnish you with more types of ‘hedra’ than you probably knew existed! The West is ideal for a new period as you don’t need a lot of figures, and you can paint them much as you please, so for those of you who would like to give it a go, we also present a simple scenario that can be played on a mere 4 feet square with a dozen miniatures or so. We hope the rules will give a fun game. They require a little note-taking, but after a while you shouldn’t need to refer to them too much. It’s a good idea to make out a card for each character playing, so you can keep a tally of wounds, ammunition and so on. At present the rules will cover all you need for cartridge firearms. Muzzle-loaders aren’t represented at the moment, but we might attempt to cover them in a future scenario.


What You See Is What You Get, so each figure is one man, horse, mule etc, an inch/25mm is roughly six feet, and each Action is of a few seconds duration.

The sheriff ’s men make use of cover as they hunt down Zachary Beard and the Bandidos. Black Scorpion miniatures painted by the Editor.

Each figure has a set of character traits, each determined by rolling a d20. (The characters in our scenario are pre-determined, as you’ll see.)

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 Shouldered weapon skill (SH) The character’s ability to fire a weapon designed to be fired from the shoulder, such as a rifle.  Handgun skill (HG) The character’s ability to fire a weapon designed to be fired with one hand, such as a sixgun.  Mêlée skill (M) The character’s ability to attack and defend themselves in a brawl or mêlée.  Guts (G) The character’s spirit or bravery.  Build (B) The character’s physique, health and stamina.  Ability (A) The character’s ability to accomplish any feat.


A Ride on a trotting horse or wagon is 10” A Ride on a cantering horse or wagon is 15” A Ride on a galloping horse is 20” A team pulling a heavily-laden wagon may not gallop. If a character wants to move towards a known enemy or out of cover, he must first pass a Guts test by rolling less than or equal to his Guts score on a d20. Difficult terrain prevents figures on foot from running, and mounted characters from cantering or galloping. You will need to consider and agree upon what constitutes difficult terrain in each scenario, but obvious candidates will be steep hills, deep watercourses, thick woods, rocky slopes and so on. If fighting inside, you might like to consider rooms with lots of furniture as slow going as well. If you like to include weather, then a typical Wild West dirt street after a thunderstorm would be a good bet too! Characters may either fire a single Snapshot or Aimed shot or they can ‘Pour it on’. In all cases, they must be able to see their target. Snapshot A single shot delivered instinctively. Use the relevant skill: Shouldered weapon (SH) or Handgun (HG). Add or subtract the following modifiers (cumulative):  Firer or target is Walking -2  Firer or target is Running -4  Firer or target is on Walking horse/wagon -4  Firer or target is on Trotting horse/wagon -6  Firer or target is on Cantering horse/wagon -8  Firer or target is on Galloping horse/wagon -10  Firer using off-hand -5  Firing shoulder arm one-handed -5  Target is prone or Crawling and 10” or more distant -5 Then apply Range modifiers from the table below. The resulting number is the score or lower needed on a D20 to hit. * If the shotgun still has its stock, use (SH). If it does not have its stock, use (HG). ** At these ranges, other figures within 1” of the target may be hit instead. Re-roll at the normal chance to hit using the optional rule below. If a weapon is in range, a roll of 1 always hits, a roll of 20 always misses and also indicates a misfire. Example: ‘Curly’ Henry is armed with a stocked, sawnoff shotgun; he takes a shot at ‘One-Eared’ Bob. Curly’s SH is 10 and he is Walking, so -2; Bob is Running, so a further -4. We are now at a score of 4. The range is 12”, medium range, so we add +2. The resulting number is 6, so Curly needs a 6 or less on a D20 to hit.
Range modifiers Medium 10-20” 0 +5 +4 0 +4 +2 n/a

  

The Deck The order of initiative is decided by a set of standard playing cards. Each character is allocated a pair of cards of the same colour which can readily be identified as theirs (such as the queens of clubs and spades, or the sixes of hearts and diamonds). These are then all shuffled together and placed face down in a convenient spot close to the wargames table. The two Jokers should also be added to the pack. When a Joker is drawn, the pack is shuffled. This can be said to represent ‘the director’s cut’ and makes the turn of events very unpredictable. When one of a character’s allocated cards is drawn, he may make an Action. This may be:  Fire: discharge a weapon at an opponent  Reload: load a weapon in his possession  Move: move any distance up to the maximum permitted*  Move & Fire: combine the above  Attack: engage an enemy in mêlée  Recover: attempt to regain composure  Other: another action e.g. dive through a window, mount/ dismount from a horse or wagon, stand up or lie down  Do nothing NB It is not possible to fire a weapon effectively and Crawl in the same Action phase. Try it at home and see!




Each Action, character can Crawl, Walk, Run or Ride.  A Crawl is 2”, with the character lying down  A Walk is 4”  A Run is 8”  A Ride on a walking horse or wagon is 5”

Weapon Revolver(HG)

Point Blank 0-1” -2 -4 -6 -8 -7 -3 +2

Short 1-10” +4 0 0 -2 +8 +10 0

Long 20-50” -4 0 +1 +2 0** -3** n/a

Extreme 50-100” -10 -4 -2 0 -8** n/a n/a

Carbine (SH) Rifle (SH) Buffalo rifle (SH) Shotgun (SH) Sawn-off (SH) or (HG)*
Thrown weapon (HG)

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The sheriff and his deputies lock and load and prepare to move out. Time fer the law to take control, boys! Let’s git those varmints and hang ‘em high!

Optional Rule If a target is missed at any range, (but not if a 20 was rolled, which indicates a misfire), the firer must re-roll to see if they have accidentally hit any other figure within 1” of the target. Misses must continue to be thrown for until a figure is hit, or there are no more figures at risk. Aimed shot The character uses an Action card to aim – he does nothing else with that card but aim, and he fires only when his next card turns up. Use the procedure for a Snapshot, except that aiming gives a bonus modifier of +5. If he wishes to aim at a specific location on the target, he loses the +5 modifier, but if he hits, he can choose the hit location without rolling for it. ‘Pour it on’ The character may fire up to 6 shots; it may be rapid fire from a double-action or lever action or ‘fanning’ a single action. Note that the number of shots that the weapon is capable of firing before reloading is necessary may limit this, e.g. a loaded double-barrelled shotgun can only fire twice before it is emptied. Multiple enemies may be targeted as long as they are all within the same range bracket. Use the same procedure as with a Snapshot, however each shot is at -5 penalty. Missed shots against adjacent figures do not incur this penalty. A natural roll of 17-20 is treated as a misfire when pouring it on.
d20 score 1 2-3 4-5 6-7


If a misfire is rolled, roll a d10: 1 Weapon fired before shooter was ready, resulting in a dropped weapon, which requires one Action phase to recover. 2-5 Gun jams. Roll a d6 next Action: 1-2 = fixed; 3-4 = still jammed, try again next Action; 5-6 = broken mechanism, your firearm becomes an expensive club! 6-8 Wild shot, re-roll for hit on nearest character (but not the original target). 9 Shot yourself in the leg; roll a d6: 1-3 = left leg, 4-6 = right leg. Then roll a d8 for damage as below. 10 Gun blows up. Roll d6: 1-3 = wound in firing arm, 4-6 = wound in firing arm and head. Roll for damage as required on wound table below. A characters Build represents his health and ability to take damage. When a character is hit roll on the table below.  If a characters Build points are exceeded he is dead.  All hits are cumulative.  Any hit causes the character to take a Guts test.  A character that loses more than 50% of his starting Build in one location loses the full use of that location: Wounds have the following effects, depending on where the character has been hit:  Head: -5 penalty to hit when shooting or mêléeing.  Chest: may only move at a walk.
8-9 10-11 12-13 14-15 16-20




Head For damage use




Left leg

Right leg

Left arm

Right arm


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Belly: cannot move. Groin: -2 penalty to hit when shooting or mêléeing. Leg: can only crawl or move with assistance. Arm: cannot use that arm. Example: continuing our story, let us say that Curly rolled a 5, resulting in a hit on Bob. Curly then rolls a 9, so Bob is hit in the left leg; the damage dice for this location is a d8 which Curly rolls and scores a 7. Bob has a starting Build of 12; the damage of 7 is over 50% of his total, therefore Bob’s leg gives and he crumples. He now has 5 Build points left. If firing at a mounted target, roll to hit as normal, but any missed shots may hit the horse instead. Roll again to hit after a miss on the intended target, and if successful the horse is hit. Any wound will put the mount out of use. Roll against the riding character’s Ability – if this fails, he takes 1d6 damage from the fall.

   

A higher result is a failure. The character must head for the nearest cover or stay put if already in cover. He will cower until he recovers. A recovery is made with a successful Guts test. If the character rolls a 20, he must move towards his starting table edge, crying like a baby. He may attempt to recover as normal each Action phase, but failure means he continues to run. If he exits the board, he is lost. Example: Bob is now lying in the dirt of Main street with a bleeding leg. He must take his Guts test immediately. Bob’s Guts score is 10; you could say he has average courage. He rolls 11 and fails, so on his next Action card, he must try to crawl to the nearest cover.



It takes one Action phase to load up to three rounds in a metallic cartridge firearm. Optional rule: any character under fire requires an Ability test to reload, otherwise he fumbles and fails this turn. A character must take a Guts test under the following circumstances:  He sees an enemy for the first time  He wishes to advance towards an enemy; this must be rolled to enter each closer range bracket  He wishes to leave cover  He is hit  His mount is shot To test, roll against the character’s Guts score. An equal or lower result is successful, and the character may continue.


A character may choose to engage a figure in close combat at Point Blank range of 0-1”. If the figure is not yet in Point Blank range, he will have to make a Guts test to engage. If this test is successful, he may attack an enemy character. To hit, he must roll equal to or less than his Mêlée skill (M) score. His skill is modified by the following factors: Armed with: Club, or gun being used in mêlée +2 Knife +3 Sword +4 Tomahawk +4 Spear/fixed bayonet +5 Attacker is higher than/uphill from the defender +1 Defender is prone/crawling +1 If the attack hits, the defender may attempt to block it by rolling equal to or less than his Mêlée skill. Only weapon modifiers apply. If he is successful, the attack is blocked. If the attack is not blocked, roll on the wound table opposite. A hit character must take a Guts test; if this fails he must move away from the attacker on his next Action card.

Mexican bandidos up to no good near the freight depot! More Black Scorpion miniatures, painted for Battlegames by Jez Griffin of Shakespeare Studios.

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Unarmed attacks cause one third the damage inflicted with a weapon, with a minimum of 1 point. If either figure rolls a natural 20, they break the weapon they are currently using! Example: the next Action card to be turned up is that of ‘Ornery’ Bart. He has seen Bob fall and decides to move in to scalp him. Ornery is 5” from Bob and runs at him; he passes his Guts test and closes. Ornery has a Mêlée skill of 12. He adds +1 for Bob being prone and +2 for his knife, so he needs 15 or less to hit. He rolls 14 – success. Bob attempts to block the attack using his clubbed Winchester. His Mêlée skill is 9 and he adds +2 for his weapon, meaning he requires an 11 or under. He rolls 8, blocks Bart’s attack and lets out a huge sigh of relief! A character only attacks on his own Action card. A defender may counter-attack on his next card or move away.


Most Actions are automatic and obvious, such as mounting or dismounting a horse. However, some are more difficult and require a roll equal to or less than the Ability score of that character, such as diving through a window, jumping from a veranda, climbing a wall, trying to climb aboard a moving wagon, jumping a gap between buildings and so on. (In that connection, bear in mind that our little men are not depicting Olympic athletes!) In some cases, failure may require a roll on the Wound table. Likewise some Actions may take longer than one round. The list is endless and such Actions are best dealt with as and when they occur by gentlemanly agreement between the players. If in doubt, take an Ability or Guts test, or both, as seems appropriate. The Plot The Clayburne Ranch is the biggest in the county and Mr Clayburne the richest man. Zachary Beard, a notorious leader of a gang of bandidos, no-goods and desperados, with his sidekick ‘Sixgun’ Red, came up with a plan to kidnap Clayburne’s son, Jeremy. Red obtained employment at the Clayburne Ranch and then two days ago, whilst riding the herd with Jeremy, led him into an ambush set by the bandidos of the Beard gang. Jeremy was knocked unconscious and taken

to the gang’s stronghold, a freight warehouse on a railroad siding on the outskirts of Whitewash City. A ransom note was then delivered to Mr Clayburne demanding $10,000 dollars for Jeremy’s safe return. However, the gang’s plan has gone astray. The hideout they have chosen is the occasional home of ‘Ol’ Jenkins, a one-eyed vagrant of doubtful hygiene. Jenkins, who had been in town for a week of celebrating on a chunk of silver he had managed to dig out of the nearby hills, returned to find the gang in residence in the freight yard. He had overheard talk of the kidnapping in the local saloon, and swiftly put two and two together. Reckoning there might be a drink or two coming his way if he told the sheriff of his discovery, he moved off swiftly without being spotted by the gang. Back in town, Jenkins reported his findings to Sheriff ‘Winchester’ Rogers, who was in conference with Mr Clayburne. Quickly gathering all available hands, a posse is formed: Sheriff Rogers, his Deputy Macleod, Mr Clayburne with his foreman Harvey Walsh and four cowhands. Also coming along is ‘Ol’ Jenkins and Mr Danvers, the father of Jeremy’s fiancée. The posse arrives at the freight yard on the edge of town just as dawn breaks... Setting Silver Canyon, the North American Southwest 1880. It’s hot as Hell and dry as dessicated tumbleweed. Starting positions and objectives See the table opposite. The objectives are not always obvious! To escape, a bad guy must exit the Southern table edge via Crow’s Nest Heights. It really adds a lot if you have plenty of crates, barrels, piles of lumber, water troughs, bits of scrub and other potential cover as you can see in the overhead shot below (mostly Frontline Wargaming bits). It is also useful to have floor plans of the interior of the buildings – these are


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provided as standard with all the Whitewash City buildings. Note: Dynamite has a blast diameter of 5”. Choose a point of aim and roll against the character’s Handgun skill (HG) to see if it hits the intended target. If not, roll a D6: 1 = dynamite fuse cut too short, it explodes in the thrower’s hand; 2 = lands 3” short of intended target; 3 = lands 3” to the left of intended target; 4 = lands 3” to the
The Bad Guys Zachary Beard Gang leader ‘Sixgun’ Red Outlaw Juan Talamera Sadistic bandido Miguel Tostado Bandido ‘Loco’ Francisco Bandido Julio Tirador Bandido Alviro ‘Machete’ Bandido The Good Guys Sheriff ‘Winchester’ Rogers Lawman Deputy Macleod Lawman SH 13 14 12 8 9 HG 14 18 16 15 15 MS 16 13 15 14 12 G 19 15 12 11 14 B 15 14 13 10 12 A 13 15 12 10 13

right of the target; 5 = lands 3” beyond intended target. 6 = this stick’s a dud! Dynamite causes d20 damage. It may also affect buildings if it lands within 1” of them. (If further away, the effects are dissipated.) Assume that an average wooden wall, door or whatever has 10 damage points, so a halfway decent blast will demolish it. Stone or brick walls have 20 damage points.
Weapons 2 Revolvers, 24 rounds 2 Revolvers, 36 rounds Revolver, 40 rounds & knife Revolver, 24 rounds Revolver, 18 rounds & 2 sticks of dynamite* Winchester rifle, 30 rounds & Revolver, 12 rounds Revolver, 30 rounds & machete Weapons Winchester Rifle, 24 rounds & Revolver, 12 rounds Double Barrel Shotgun, 12 rounds & Revolver, 12 rounds Winchester Rifle, 18 rounds & Revolver, 12 rounds Double Barrel Shotgun, 14 rounds & Revolver, 12 rounds Revolver, 24 rounds Winchester Rifle, 27 rounds 2 Revolvers, 18 rounds 2 Revolvers, 18 rounds Double Barrel Shotgun, 8 rounds Unarmed Cards Ace of Clubs & Spades King of Clubs & Spades Queen of Clubs & Spades Jack of Clubs & Spades Ten of Clubs & Spades Nine of Clubs & Spades Eight of Clubs & Spades Cards Ace of Diamonds & Hearts King of Diamonds & Hearts Queen of Diamonds & Hearts Jack of Diamonds & Hearts Ten of Diamonds & Hearts Nine of Diamonds & Hearts Eight of Diamonds & Hearts Seven of Diamonds & Hearts Six of Diamonds & Hearts Five of Diamonds & Hearts Location Morse’s Freight Bunk house Blacksmith Morse’s Freight Blacksmith Objective Escape and kill either of the Clayburnes Escape and get more kills than Juan Escape and get more kills than Red Escape Escape and kill somebody







Toolshed Lovers’ Grove (with a local lady of ill repute) Location South table edge

Escape Escape and kill at least as many as Juan Objective Kill or capture Beard, then the outlaws Kill or capture as many outlaws as possible Kill Beard and rescue Jeremy

9 SH 16

14 HG 15

16 MS 14

14 G 19

12 B 16

14 A 14







Asleep in the Jail (unlocked)

‘MR’ Clayburne Ranch owner







South table edge

Harvey Walsh Foreman Jake Powers Cowhand ‘Bullseye’ Dex Cowhand ‘Slow’ Cartwright Cowhand Mr Danvers Concerned father ‘Ol’ Jenkins Vagrant Jeremy Hostage







South table edge South table edge South table edge South table edge South table edge Ma Baker’s cabin Morse’s Freight

Protect Mr Clayburne Do whatever Mr Clayburne or Harvey say Kill more outlaws than anyone else Do whatever Mr Clayburne or Harvey say Rescue Jeremy Rob the dead Stay alive!

10 16 8 9 10 11

10 10 8 11 4 7

11 12 12 10 7 4

17 12 16 15 11 7

11 12 13 12 13 8

14 12 3 13 10 8

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Kriegsspiel rides again
by Richard Clarke

The revival of the famous von Reisswitz rules
Guard artillery, wanted to provide a set of rules that would allow manoeuvres to be conducted on a map, thereby allowing junior officers to command forces, albeit in the form of miniature armies represented by blocks upon the ention the word Kriegsspiel to almost any gamer map, far larger than they would expect to do normally. and it is likely you’ll get some flicker of recognition. This experience would, he hoped, familiarise them with Many of us older types will recall the articles the problems of command and, most importantly, the in Practical uncertainties Wargamer in and friction of the mid 1980s the battlefield. when Bill Leeson Suffice it produced to say that he his original succeeded, in the translation of the face of significant von Reisswitz cynicism, to do Kriegsspiel rules just that. His first – I have met demonstration countless people to Baron von who were inspired Muffling, the Chief by the article of the Prussian and, seemingly General Staff, was universally, the a case in point. photos that went On first setting with them. That up the game, said, it is also true the old general, that most gamers’ like Reisswitz a knowledge begins veteran of the and ends with Napoleonic Wars, those articles was unimpressed, and the general anticipating some vague awareness childish parody that they were of war. As the the genesis of game progressed, our weird, but however, his wonderful, interest grew until hobby. So, with he exclaimed, that in mind, I “This is not a thought that an game, this is introduction to training for war! I Kriegsspiel, and, must recommend more importantly, it to the entire the range of Army”. And he did. wargaming After that, opportunities Kriegsspiel they present Red and Blue forces approach one another on the Umpire’s map. Action appears inmminent in the sets, the rules, was in order. vicinity of Seegerhof as opposing cavalry patrols gain high ground overlooking the valley. map and blocks, were issues to THE BACKGROUND every regiment in the army and exercises were held Fear not, I shall be brief on the historical stuff as I on a weekly basis. Its acceptance level was so high that want this article to be more of a practical guide than a von Moltke insisted that any officer being put up for retrospective viewing. Suffice to say here that Kriegsspiel promotion required a report into how he conducted was developed to be a system of rules that allowed himself during Kriegsspiel games. Indeed, after the Prussian officers to develop their skills in anticipation Prussian victories against Austria in 1866 and France in of their duties in war, without having to rely solely on 1871, foreign armies began to see Kriegsspiel as a key part the mass exercises that would happen only once a year, in those successes, and adopted the system themselves. and in which they would likely play only a minor rôle. The game’s appeal was, essentially, two-fold. It was indeed As a concept, von Reisswitz, an officer of the Prussian excellent training for the officer corps, encouraging broad


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thinking and an appreciation of the ‘bigger picture’, but it was also a very enjoyable exercise, and clubs were formed in both military and civilian circles to enjoy Kriegsspiel. The concepts behind Kriegsspiel are not too different from tabletop wargaming. At the heart of the game, you have an umpire who is responsible for devising the scenario and ‘managing’ the game through to its termination. You have two sides – in this case, these are always expressed as “Red” and “Blue” (which, thanks to Kriegsspiel, are terms still in use in military circles today) – both of whom receive a briefing outlining the situation in which they find themselves, along with their forces and their objectives. If they know the area that is being fought over, they may receive a detailed map; if they don’t, then a more basic one is provided. In either case, it is now up to them to devise a plan and write orders for their force. “Write orders?” I hear some of you cry. Yup, write orders. However this really only happens once in the game, but it is a key part of Kriegsspiel and one that can become something of an art form. In reality, a commander in the horse and musket period would be responsible for providing a written set of orders for his subordinates. The instructions need to be precise and clear, and replicating this is the key to getting your subordinates to actually do what you want them to do,rather than what they perceive that you want them to do. The reason for this is that, in a classic Kriegsspiel, the umpire will be playing the rôle of the various subordinates and it is he that moves your troops on the map. In the Prussian Army, games of Kriegsspiel would tend to be played in the officers’ mess. In that situation, the umpire would have the Red player (or team, for these games were often conducted with teams) in one corner, the Blue team in another, and his own map in a third. Once he received the orders from each team, he would adjourn to the map and begin moving the blocks according to those orders. Here, however, we depart from tabletop wargaming, or most versions of it, as the game is not played with any set bounds. Rather the duration of the ‘turns’ is dictated by what is, or is not, happening on the map. Perhaps some examples may help here. Let us assume that Red and Blue are at war. The border between them is the Silde stream, an inconsequential bit of water than forms no practical military barrier. So, Red has a column that has been ordered to cross the border and seize the village of Schönkirch, whereas Blue has been ordered to seize the heights to the south of Sildau to protect their territory. A nice, simple scenario that sees the two forces on a direct collision course. Red’s column is leaving the village of Hohenzell at 06.00, Blue’s is doing exactly the same from Schönkirch at the same time. Red has ordered his two squadrons of hussars to advance down the main road, sending small patrols ahead to recce the route from the high ground that they will be moving through. Blue has been more direct, presuming that his own territory is safe, and his cavalry have been instructed to make straight for the Sildau heights, with outposts only being sent ahead to take them and report back if they encounter the enemy. In this situation, it is quite clear to the umpire that the two forces will not be encountering each other for a while. In the rules, two minutes of time is the basic unit, but in


this situation, he moves both forces five times that, with 10 minutes passing. This puts the two forces significantly closer together, but as yet, he has nothing to report to the players, who are left to assume that all is proceeding according to plan. Now time is more critical, so he moves the scouts forward to discover at what point they will spot each other. Once they do so, it is assumed that both parties send a messenger back to the main column with news of the enemy’s presence. The umpire calculates how long it will take for these messages to arrive and then he approaches the players to pass on the news. For example, Blue and Red scouts may have spotted each

Action! Red and Blue deploy their infantry and skirmishers. Blue has deployed his 6pd is still stuck on the road. Learning to recognise the differently-coloured and shape

other at 06.22. Red sends his messenger back and he reports to the column commander at 06.26. With this structure, the game for the players is punctuated not by artificial turns of a set duration, but by decision-making points. An example of this would be reflected in the following commander’s log. 1. 06.00. Column begins to march out, cavalry scouts are sent ahead as per orders. 2. 06.26. A messenger has arrived from the cavalry scouts. They have spotted enemy cavalry patrols on the heights to the south of Sildau. I am sending a message ahead to my cavalry to try to push the enemy patrols off the

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heights and see if any larger enemy force is further to the north. The main column is to continue its advance. 3. 06.34. Another messenger has arrived. It looks like the enemy are now holding the heights at Sildau with a strong cavalry force, larger than my own two squadrons. This worries me, but I am instructing my squadrons to observe them and stop any enemy movement further south. 4. 06.38. This is bad news! My cavalry appear to have been defeated by the enemy cavalry, I can see them routing back in disorder – fortunately, I can’t see any enemy cavalry in pursuit. I am sending one of my ADCs to take them back to rally to the West of Tiefenzell. My

flank. I’ll put my infantry battalion there in square… And so on. What the Red commander is not aware of is that Blue’s cavalry is simply demonstrating, in order to buy time for the main Blue column to deploy on the heights above Sildau. As can be seen, the game for the commanders is a procession of decision-making opportunities. The umpire will play a multi-rôle game. At times he is carrying out his usual duties with the rules, working out distances travelled or effects of combat, and at others he is writing reports from patrol commanders or rôle-playing the report of the breathless hussar who probably knows less than the commander-in-chief would like him to. As the game progresses, the two forces will probably come into combat, and at this point the players are likely to be brought up to the map to view the battle proper, all of which is controlled using the rules system of combat odds. Here the battle progresses very much in line with any tabletop game. When I first got the rules, I had anticipated something akin to H.G. Wells’ Little Wars or early Featherstone. I was, consequently, surprised to find that whilst they were simple to use, the rules were actually very sophisticated, in that they would often combine several elements into each dice roll. So, for example, one dice roll in close combat will tell you how many men both sides have lost and what their morale status now is, and how they react to victory or defeat. In a nutshell, these rules were clearly written by someone who understood the subtleties of combat.


dr battery atop the ridge (the blocks with four white dots on them) whilst Red’s artillery ed blocks is one of the finer points of Kriegsspiel along with learning to map-read!

column… wait a minute… it’s now 06.39 and I can see enemy cavalry coming across the ridge opposite. (At this point, the umpire will escort the player to the map, keeping hidden the location of Blue’s column, but allowing Red’s commander to deploy his forces on the map.) 5. Quick, send the Jägers forward into those woods to the left of the road. Bring the infantry battalion and guns up into line. 6. 06.42. The enemy cavalry seem to have pulled away behind the hill. I could see them making their way off to the South-East, that’s dangerously close to my right

So, that’s the basics of the rules: anything you can do with a set of tabletop rules you can do with Kriegsspiel, but the game is far more of an holistic experience. A tabletop game is, by definition, artificially restricted by the finite space of the table that we play our games on. As such, we almost always need to assume that the approach march has been made, the scouting is all done, the armies have rather generously waited for each other to deploy into battle order and then, on the blow of some metaphorical whistle, the game begins. Kriegsspiel, conversely, has no such restrictions. Your game begins with a force that has certain objectives. You may have a general idea where the enemy is, but you certainly don’t know for sure. Indeed, you don’t know very much for sure, like what’s on your flanks, or where exactly your battle will be fought! It is critical in Kriegsspiel to give far more consideration to your order of march and your use of troops. I want my artillery to be able to take part in the battle that is to come, but I don’t want them all at the front of my column without enough infantry support. I’d like all that lovely cavalry on the table to charge gloriously, but actually if I do that, what will be happening on my flanks? If the enemy has split his force and is making a march against my flank I sure as Hell want to know about it! Perhaps, rather than deploy all of my force in the battleline, as I would do in a tabletop encounter, it might be a good idea to hold back a reserve force to deal with any unexpected enemy reinforcements; they can always be used to deliver the coup de grâce if things go to plan. Will my own flank column do as I ordered? Perhaps I should send my best subordinate officer to maximise the chance of it happening. I know they should be arriving on my left at around 10.30, but that depends on the enemy not delaying them…All of

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these issues become important in Kriegsspiel, where the commander needs to consider the whole picture, rather than what is happening immediately in front of him on the table.


So why on earth should you keep all of those figures you’ve amassed over the years? Why not flog them on eBay and replace them with a handful of blocks and just play Kriegsspiel? Well, actually I’d never suggest that. I do enjoy a game of Kriegsspiel, but I also enjoy the magical sight of a table groaning with beautifullypainted figures that, frankly, blocks can never completely replace for me. But Kriegsspiel is not just an ‘either/or’ option. The rules can provide some superb additions that can really enhance our tabletop wargaming. There is, of course, the campaign option. Kriegsspiel provides the gamer with just about every piece of information he needs to conduct a campaign on any map you like. As long as you know the scale of the map you are using, the march rates and column lengths specified will be easily translatable to your own campaign. Reisswitz can tell you how long it will take a company of pioneers to bridge a river depending on what sort of buildings can be found locally. He can tell you how far your column will stretch in road distance, and CONCLUSION how long it will take the tail to To my mind, the possibilities catch up the head. It’s all there are endless. Kriegsspiel is a on a plate, as you’d expect. tremendously flexible system But that’s not all. Let’s The Umpire resolves the action on the master map. This shot gives that can be used as was originally consider what it can do for your a good indication of scale. All photos by Richard Clarke. intended, as a game in its own right, and what’s more it’s a game normal tabletop battle that, at devised by a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars who knew just present, I’d wager you haven’t considered in your gaming. what the battlefield he was seeking to represent was really Imagine Fred and Bill who are due to meet next week for like. But it can also be used as a fantastic addition to our a game. Any horse and musket period will do, but to keep tabletop gaming and campaigning, that removes the artificial Henry awake, [Cheeky! Ed.] let’s assume its 18th century. parameters of the table and allows us to consider our battles Fred will be commanding forces of Prunkland, the Blue as part of the larger picture that our historical counterparts forces, Bill those of Faltenland, Red. We can keep our normal would have recognised. All of this sums up why we, at tabletop set up, and the orders of battle can be supplied as TooFatLardies, have worked with Bill Leeson over the past usual, but lets add something to the scenario. What about year to get the rules back into print. In fact, the more I think those flanks? Are you going to leave them hanging in the air about it, the more I’m convinced that this article has the and rely on your tabletop forces to deal with any surprise wrong title. Kriegsspiel doesn’t just “ride again”; this is the arrivals? Or, more sensibly, are you going to forgo a couple of Return of the Magnificent Kriegsspiel. Why not give it a go? squadrons from that regiment of cavalry to patrol off-table. If there are any enemy approaching from that direction, EDITOR’S NOTE do you want them to attempt to delay them, or just report See the TooFatLardies’ Kriegsspiel ad on p.47 for their back to the commander on the table as quickly as possible? contact details. I recently purchased the CD version of You can abstract this stage if you wish. It may be enough the rules and maps which I regret we’ve not had time to simply accept that there is a flank and you do have patrols to review in this issue, but we’ll certainly do so in time there. If you don’t have an umpire to hand, you can simply for issue 11. In short, however, I’m very impressed with accept that the patrols will give warning of any approach the attractively-presented PDF versions of the rules and from that direction, and maybe even delay the enemy. You maps, which are also available in ‘hard copy’. See the may, however, prefer to have a larger scale map of the area Lardies’ own site at off-table and again, if you have the luxury of an umpire, A quick Google turned up a few Kriegsspiel references, he can use the Kriegsspiel rules to actually work out what of which the best were and will happen on that flank, all of which will provide reports and messages, worked out beforehand, that can be handed

to the tabletop commander during the actual game. In detail, Fred could well receive a report at 10.30 saying that an enemy column is advancing on to his right flank. He’s already said that as he’s allocated a reasonable-sized force – a regiment of cavalry let us say – to that area and he wants them to harass any enemy advance aggressively, this is what they will attempt to do. The next message Fred gets is at 11.00, sent at 10.42. It’s his cavalry commander again, who is reporting that whilst they are not actually attacking the enemy, they have been successful in halting the column and forcing the enemy to deploy his guns. Indeed, it may be that both commanders hear artillery fire from that direction earlier than Fred receives his report. At 11.15 (I’m presuming the tabletop rules have a 15minute scale turn, but you can adapt this to suit the rules you use) Fred receives another report. His cavalry have fallen back before a larger force of enemy cavalry. When the message was written, at 11.02, his own cavalry were only two miles from the table edge. They had, by then, identified the enemy column as being one of all arms, estimated at two regiments of horse, two battalions of foot and a 12-pounder battery. If Fred is lucky, they have been fortunate enough to capture a messenger trying to get through to Bill with news of the Faltenland column’s imminent arrival.

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Forward observer
Is the future plastic?
by Mike Siggins excellent effort. It loses marks only because it needs more close-ups; sometimes it is impossible to see what is being painted and how. Granted, these are tiny details being applied, but that is what we need to know. Mr Nicholls also works very quickly, and I am pleased to see that I am not alone in my regular use of a hairdryer! Having enjoyed the first DVD, and also seen Richard Windrow’s Terrain Modelling in the same series, I am going to get Realistic Model Buildings as well. This is also by Mr Nicholls, and apparently shows the infamous Marmite masking technique, which cannot be missed. It must be stressed that all of these DVDs concentrate on 1/35th and larger models, but to be honest the techniques pretty much work all the way down to 15mm. I have been trying them out on 1/72nd tanks and they work fine. I wouldn’t want to paint chip a 1/300th tank, but I am sure there are those that have. And if you want to emulate the realistic techniques of Mr Nicholls, these will show you an awful lot more than the magazines. For all round coverage, I would also recommend Mig Jimenez’ F.A.Q. book as a great partner. The DVDs cost £13 to £15 and each runs around 90 minutes, including extras, which is a good price compared to other specialist hobby DVDs. Highly recommended. one – basically, hold your breath and run. Additionally, some people have experienced physical reactions, mainly rashes and headaches. Now I am more than a little green tinged, and I will happily adopt these new devices without much prompting. My neighbours don’t know, but I would have solar panels and a small wind farm on the roof tomorrow if I could afford it. At the same time, I love light. Lots of it. If there is such a thing as borderline SAD, that is me. Stop giggling at the back. As I am very happy with my lighting arrangements for painting (all Anglepoise: 100w daylight, 60w daylight, and halogen spot) I thought it might be wise to start looking at my options. It also might just get me out of the photographic hole that I still find myself in. So. Option one is to stock up on tungstens like they are going out of fashion. And of course, they are. Option two was to buy a Daylight™ long life bulb, from the local art shop. I plugged this into the 60w Anglepoise and have been using it for three months. Wunderbar! Incredibly bright, white light, no problems, no headaches. More often than not, I use this light on its own. The only slight issue is that the bulb sticks way out of the hood, and so makes shading your eyes harder, but not impossible. Encouraged, and slightly obsessed with candlepower to offset this dull winter, I ordered a bigger lamp from who have an amazing range of bulbs and related items. This was a 25 watt daylight spectrum, which equates, somehow, to 120 watts in old money. I installed this in the 100w Anglepoise and immediately hit problems… Nothing wrong with the light output, which is intense. Too much, if anything. I suspect a 60w or 80w equivalent would be fine. No, we are talking weight. These new bulbs are much heavier than the old glass models. So when you plug them into an Anglepoise, you get droop. The bulb gradually pulls the arm and head down to table level. Not good. Do I have a worthless and weak lamp, perhaps? I switch lamps. Same

28mm plastics

Well, it had to happen. I really hoped it would. 28mm multi-part historical plastics. I thought perhaps a Russian or Chinese company might try it, or a rich American, or even Games Workshop. But the Perrys? Manna from heaven. After the fun I have had converting and painting Valiant and Tamiyas in recent weeks, I just can’t wait to get my hands on these. The downside? Well, I don’t really do ACW, and I don’t see even these figures making it happen. It is not a period I enjoy, and I don’t think I will change my mind. The scale too sets them on their own, unless by some quirk their heads or weapons match Tamiya’s 1/48ths. But the conversion possibilities are many, and I just know I will end up painting some Rebs. I don’t know about your group, but this announcement caused quite a stir. I am very excited about the possibilities for the hobby, and look forward to my first pack. I will be queuing.


Personally, I get a lot from watching someone else make models or paint on video, because sometimes that is the only way to see exactly what is going on. So with that in mind, and a small case of fan fever, I bought Marcus Nicholls’ DVD on Realistic Armour Finishing Techniques (Compendium Films). Marcus Nicholls is undoubtedly one of the best modellers in the world, and regularly has work in Tamiya Model Magazine International magazine, which he also edits. He excels at realistic paint finishes and weathering, often breaking new ground, and he has very few rivals in this respect. Broadly speaking, this topic is exactly what the DVD covers. We go from a base sprayed tank, right through masking, washes, filters (glazes), paint chipping (very trendy), rust streaks and general weathering. Colours are explained fully, as are mix consistencies, and application is shown in every case. Overall, it is an

New lamps for old

Many of you will know that in a couple of years or so, tungsten light bulbs will be phased out in the UK. We are, as with digital TV, therefore obliged to move with the times and seek environmentally sound alternatives. For your average room light, you shouldn’t notice any difference, but for halogen spots (very common these days) and modelling lights things may be changing more than you imagine. In a nutshell, the advantages are, umm, availability and long life, typically ten times that of a tungsten bulb. The downsides are higher prices, big curly elements, and an interesting meltdown evacuation drill if you should happen to break

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result. When I replaced the original Daylight™ bulb, it looked dim. Ten minutes later, it had died. So from a lamp that promises 10,000 hours (over a year, on permanently), I had got three months occasional use. I will persevere, because I like the light quality, but I leave you with these findings. What with global warming, curly light bulbs, power costs and droopy lamps, the hobby may not be the same in a few years. Candles, anyone?

Endless undercuts, armour, ribbon and florals all the way to the horizon. My zen powers are fading. I am thinking… Stug IIIs. They’re easy. And fun. I’ll do one of those instead.

Productivity drive

The way of the warrior

James Clavell has a lot to answer for. And that Kurosawa bloke, come to think of it. In truth, I was bitten fairly early on by the samurai bug. While Kagemusha remains overrated, once I had seen The Seven Samurai, Yojimbo and Ran, I was a lifetime convert to the old bushido boys. I have almost every book by the ubiquitous Stephen Turnbull, the Toshiro Mifune of samurai writing. I adore my Angus McBride plates, even if they are a bit chubby. I much prefer Heian to the more popular Muromachi, so I have maintained my typical exoticism. I play Samurai RPGs when I can. I have samples of every figure range ever made. I even have John Jenkins buildings and torii stored away in cupboards. I have listed all the figures I want from the Perrys. And I do eat quite a lot of rice and sushi. I am, as they say, all set. And I am not alone. With the WAB samurai supplement due soon, it seems everyone and his dog is doing samurai models and planning armies. Caught up in the pre-publication excitement, my willpower was duly weakened. When the excellent West Wind figures appeared at Warfare, I was forced to resist manfully, to dream of horse archers, big drums and katanas, and not credit card slips. All to no avail, because my mate Rob had bought some and cruelly left me with half a dozen figures to paint. You see how easily I am distracted? That night I sat there painting away. And painting. And painting. After what seemed like several hours, I had completed one figure. Projecting this rate of output to even skirmish forces, I phoned Rob and admitted defeat. I thought highlanders were bad, but the harsh truth is that these are the toughest subjects I have ever had to paint. Really hard work.

There is one stand that always catches my eye at shows. It shouldn’t, because I am sworn off of 28mm WWII, but Bolt Action always have something new and tempting. This might be because between Paul Hicks, Richard Ansell and the team they have churned out over 700 masters to date. This year they have tempted me with Italians (resisted, just), SS (minor purchase), more Italian Paras (sale Mr Humphreys!) and now, my beloved Fallschirmjaeger. The latter are excellent, among the best that Paul has done. With a camera crew in the works, I can see that I will be spending more time and money here.

any skirmish from Sumer to Sci-fi, and probably beyond. I am not sure about that, but they certainly are a flexible set and do manage to convey a good feel for the Dark Age period, so they might work for, say, samurai or medievals. Finally, rounding out a very active period, is Astounding Tales. I have written a full review elsewhere, but suffice to say that this pulp game has been a great success. And to think I used to only play Napoleonics.

Colour matching


I am still playing a lot of games. Well, a lot for me. We continue with our interest in AK47 and while I would make some minor changes to ease it towards ‘The Perfect Game’, it is still providing some excellent, tense battles, and some memorable situations. Inevitably, happy with the general feel, we are looking to variants in other periods. These are likely to be 1940 (Blitzkrieg and Desert) and for me, a tempting excursion into Mexican Revolutions. I will check out options for ancients and medievals, probably writing the latter myself. Another game earning its keep is Wings of War, a 1/144th scale WWI air game that I have mentioned before. This may look like a boardgame, as it comes in a box, but this is very much a miniatures game. That said, it has found favour with both groups. The games are simple, quick and fun, reminiscent of Sopwith for anyone who remembers that game from the 1970s, and the more recent Aerodrome, by the talented Stan Kubiak. We are all painting Skytrex 1/144th planes to give us plenty of variety. Well worth a look. I have also started to play Pig Wars. Now, there is a deceptive set of rules. Overpriced, under-produced and frankly not a model of clarity. But… we played them, they work, and they have a certain something. I was swayed by a chat with a fan at Partizan who was convinced that the rules could handle

I am not that great at converting colours from real life to paint. Two products have surfaced recently that are going to make life a lot easier. Color Match 1.0 is a web-based tool that lets you do all sorts of clever stuff (see http://colors.silicon-dragons. com/). And it is free. Want to find out the equivalent to Scab Red in other ranges? Or, give me the Vallejo equivalent of Tamiya NATO Brown. No problem. Want to work out a three band colour recipe? Again, easy. You can even type in a hex number and it will show you the matching colours from all the paint ranges. This means I can take a photo, or find one on the web, and get an average hex (Web colour, such as CC0000 for Battlegames’ deep red) value using the colour dropper in Photoshop. I then put the number into Color Match and it gives me a match. And the match is good enough. Excellent! I am not yet saying the package is perfect, because obviously it does not have all the paints in the world (it cost enough to get the many existing swatches in and analysed) and it does occasionally come up with odd answers – often suggesting silver or other metallics for light greys, presumably because of their tonal similarity. But it has the big paint names included, and designer Joe Kutz is open to suggestions on improvements. As I don’t always have access to the web, I am hoping that Color Match emerges as a standalone offline product, and that in time it includes more and more paint ranges – especially W&N oils. Would I pay for it? Yes. It is that good. In a similar vein, but rather less affordable, is the Matchstik. I came across this in an interior design magazine. It is a small device that you can hold up against a surface and it

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will read the colour, in about 10,000 graduations, again reporting back as a number. The shop offering the service made them available on loan, so that one might check that one’s curtains matched one’s cushions! I had other ideas. It is made by X-Rite in the States, and marketed in Europe by Sikkens. Oddly, I have not been able to find the device for sale, or even a price, but I get the distinct impression that this is not a few quid. But as Tomorrow’s World always promised, a cheaper one will be along soon. Although, come to think of it, I am still waiting for my hover boots. Usually I try to restrict myself to ten favourite products for the year end round up. Not going to happen this year. No sir. Be lucky to get under 20. Here they are, in alphabetical order: • Anglian Miniatures’ Spanish Civil War and buildings. • Artizan’s Thrilling Tales, Arthurians and Wild West. • Asmodee’s Hell Dorado figures. • Black Hat’s early Samurai, hoping they expand the range. • Black Scorpion’s Old West, but not the Apaches… • Bolt Action’s Italians, SS and Fallschirmjäger. • Caesar’s 20mm Biblicals. • Dragon’s 1/72nd Armour, made and unmade. • eBob’s 28mm Rebellion range, especially the horses. • Graven Images’ 40mm Feudals. • HLBSCo’s 40mm multipart SWAT teams. • Italeri’s 20mm Napoleonics and 1/72nd Armour. • Kingmaker Miniatures’ Hussites • Little Big Man transfers – everything, really. • Oshiro’s buildings – very promising start. • Perry Miniatures’ 28mm & 40mm Napoleonics, HYW, Civilians etc. • Rackham’s AT-43 mechs, but not much else. • Sash & Sabre’s 40mm Napoleonics and Landsknechts. • Silicon Dragon’s Colour Match 1.0. • Tamiya’s 1/48th range. • The Assault Group’s 30mm Napoleonic Austrians. • Tom Meier, generally. • Trident Design’s 40mm AWI range. • Valiant’s 1/72nd Classic Germans. • WestWind’s Samurai.

And another year is done

• Zvezda’s 20mm Egyptians, Vikings etc. But while there is no doubt a Golden Age in terms of product quality, choice and availability, and to an extent relative cost, we are still looking at some worrying signs, even without unwelcome re-enactors. I think it is now clear that the show circuit is contracting, as many of us thought it must. Compared to the peak of a few years ago, several events have disappeared – interesting that while shows lapse for very good reasons (Walthamstow, Colchester, Stockton etc), they don’t always resurface. It will, for instance, be very interesting to see if SELWG makes it back. I sincerely hope it does, as it left a big hole in my calendar, and many traders I have spoken to were chasing the business lost. Prices are clearly rising, much in keeping with other drains on our wallets, which I hope means that more traders are making a decent return, with more and more able to go it full time. While we punters would prefer the bargains of years past, I feel it is still an affordable hobby for now. Whether it is an accessible hobby is a different matter. With some 28mm figures at £2 to £3, and rule sets regularly topping £15 or £20, I feel there will be a crunch point that pushes many newcomers and existing hobbyists towards skirmish games. Fortunately, 20mm plastics are looking up all the time, and still provide great value for money, but are slightly spoilt by some companies allowing scale creep. Quality across the hobby is improving by the month, and we haven’t even started to feel the impact of 3d prototyping. But we still have ranges not being finished… I am still waiting for a guilty manufacturer to drop me a line and explain why. In return I can explain why some buyers won’t jump and buy until they have seen commitment from the sculptor. Meanwhile, I am putting it down to having both sculpting talent and the butterfly gene. That said, I remain about as positive about the hobby as I have been since the Seventies. I could, quite happily, sit for all my free time painting, modelling, making terrain and reading rules. I played more games in 2007 than in the previous decade. Apart from a fairly solid commitment to 40mm Feudals and my 20mm

Egyptians, I am still flitting around, but even that is not troubling me as it once did. The hobby is rich, varied and fulfilling, and I am really enjoying it.

Lead neutral

At least three people (quite a chunk of my readership) have asked me if I maintained my pledge to sell or paint more figures than I bought in 2007. I did, just, but only by selling a load of Foundry spares over Christmas! The net outflow was about 30 figures, which I aim to improve upon substantially this year. Of course, if you counted plastics, I am in the hole to the tune of 300 or more… I certainly don’t feel too badly about that.


I met Sean Judd a few years ago at Euro Militaire. He was showing his new range of 40mm knights and Robin Hood characters, and I liked them a lot. I bought some, I vowed to paint them with lots of neat heraldry. As you do. After that, things went a bit topsy turvy for me. Four years later, digging around in a box, I found the knights. Odd. Very odd. In that very week I had taken delivery of some 40mm feudals from Graven Images, sculpted by Jim Bowen. My next project, ‘1250’, was underway. Unlike me, Sean has not been quiet. He has expanded the knights to include a decent range of archers, crossbowmen and men at arms. There are more models coming. He has also done a considerable number of AWI sculpts, again in 40mm. When I put in an order for the knights, some of the AWIs came along with them. And I have to say I was bowled over. I immediately painted Paul Revere, who comes mounted on a superb horse – this is up there with the Drabant sculpts as the best I have seen in this scale. The characterful infantry are also excellent, and I recommend you have a good look if considering this period. All the figures mentioned are available from Doug Carroccio at the Miniatures Service Centre, whose mail order service is exemplary. With the dollar squirming, they can be had for a song. Sean is looking for options for a UK distributor, and is promising some very tempting ranges in the future including woodland Indians. I would like some more knights please Sean, more weapons, and some smelly peasants.

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Battles for wargamers
Trautenau 1866
by Stuart Asquith, illustrated by the Editor


he setting for this action is the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. Also known as the Seven Weeks War, this conflict essentially stemmed from the background that Austria and Prussia were vying for leadership of the 39-state German Confederation, which had been established in 1815. Austria condemned both Prussia’s ‘power politics’ and expansionism, as well as her occupation of the duchy of Schleswig, gained from Denmark in 1864 when Austria and Prussia had fought on the same side. The south German states of Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg, and the two Hesses, together with Hanover and Saxony, supported Austria. The smaller north German states supported Prussia and Bismarck had persuaded Italy to form an alliance with Prussia, promising the Austrian province of the Veneto as a prize. Austria declared war on 14th June, 1866. At 4am on 27th June, I Corps of the Prussian 2nd Army under General of Infantry von Bonin crossed the frontier from Silesia into Bohemia in two columns via passes in the Giant Mountains. The right-hand column was intended to be the advance guard and, in turn, protected itself with a small right flank detachment. The two columns were directed to join at the village of Parschnitz and to rest there while the vanguard occupied Trautenau, a small town on the River Aupa, a tributary of the River Elbe, four miles south-east of the Silesian frontier. Lacking scouting cavalry – probably a command decision owing to the rugged nature of the terrain over which the Prussians were advancing – the advance guard (i.e. right column) moved slowly, with the infantry having to perform reconnaissance duties, often causing the column to halt and wait. While the left column arrived at Parschnitz at 8am, the right column arrived two hours later. The vanguard of the Corps’ advance guard pressed on and approached Trautenau at about 10am to find it only lightly-held by Austrian troops, in the form of some dismounted dragoons holding a hastily-barricaded bridge over the Aupa. This small force was quickly overcome by the Prussians and forced out of the town. The Prussian delay at Parschnitz had allowed time for the Austrian 1st Brigade to arrive and deploy on the ridges to the south of Trautenau. As the weary Prussians entered the town and rested in the arcaded central square, some Austrian Jäger moved quietly down the hillside into the town and opened fire on their unsuspecting enemy. A frenzied free-for-all firefight immediately ensued, before the Austrian light infantry were ordered to return to their positions on the steep slopes south of the town. Around 11.30am the Prussians, now strengthened by half a dozen infantry battalions that had made their way from Parschnitz, began to attack the Austrian position. Owing to the steepness of the slopes and the broken ground, their advance had to be made in single file

along narrow defiles and on the heavily-wooded slopes in small, isolated groups, spread out in open order. Around 1pm, after defending the steep and difficult terrain for an hour in fierce fighting, including a particularly fiercely-contested action around the Chapel of St John on the summit of the ridge line, the Austrian 1st Brigade fell back southwards and the Prussians occupied the three commanding heights behind the town: Galgenberg (Gallows Hill); Johannesberg or Kapellenberg (John’s or Chapel Hill); and Hopfenberg (Hop Hill). By 3pm, more of the Prussian I Corps were in the fighting line; the Prussian right was in Hohenbruck and their left in Alt Rognitz, but the weariness of the troops, who by this time had been marching and fighting for 12 hours, ruled out any pursuit of the Austrians. Trautenau and the surrounding area were in Prussian hands and for three hours, Prussian troops and supplies rolled in from the border mountains. Preceded by an hour-long artillery barrage from 40 guns pounding the heights at close range, the Austrian commander began a sustained counterattack on the Prussian line. The newly-arrived Austrian 4th Brigade passed to the left of the 1st Brigade to attack the central Johannesberg, while the 2nd Brigade passed on their right to work around the Prussian left flank and storm the Hopfenberg. The Austrian attack soon floundered on the wooded, irregular and broken slopes, but the Prussian commander – who had never before been in battle – resolved not to hold Trautenau and the heights, and ordered a retreat, with some 14 infantry battalions and most of the artillery not having fired a shot. The Prussians left their recently-acquired positions, but their rearguard – the 1st and Fusilier Battalions of the East Prussian 43rd Infantry Regiment – stationed near the summit chapel, maintained a steady and accurate fire on the attacking Austrians, inflicting heavy losses. Arriving at 5pm on the battlefield, the Austrian 3rd Brigade at once came up to support the 4th Brigade, which was grouping for yet another frontal attack on the chapel. This renewed attack was successful, but the 3rd Brigade, operating in half-battalion masses, lost 43 officers and 859 men in the process. The Prussian retreat became more rapid and they were also expelled from Trautenau, retreating still further back to Parschnitz and, by 3am, to the frontier they had crossed only 24 hours previously. The weary Austrians had taken heavy losses during their attack; they did not follow up their success and the entire X Corps under Field Marshal Gablenz remained around Trautenau. The Austrians had succeeded in what they had intended, namely to block to the invaders this particular road into the country. They were therefore entitled to claim Trautenau as a tactical victory, but one which, in the event, was to be quickly neutralised by Austrian defeats elsewhere. The action turned out to be the solitary success of the Austrians during the Prussian advance. It was a costly victory, with the Prussians suffering 15 officers and 249

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men killed, 41 officers and 967 men wounded plus 86 men missing, a total of 56 officers and 1,282 other ranks. The Austrians lost 196 officers and more than 5,500 men.

Wargaming Trautenau

Terrain While I have been interested in the Seven Weeks War and have wargamed it in 6mm for many years, my main reason for selecting this particular action as the setting for a wargame was that I wanted to fight an encounter action over some challenging terrain, as a change from the more customary convenient, open green pasture, with picturesquely- and perhaps conveniently-placed houses and a few trees. The town of Trautenau is situated on the southern slopes of the Giant Mountains that form the boundary between Bohemia in the Austrian empire and Silesia in Prussia, and lies in a hollow surrounded by wooded hills. There is a bridge across the River Aupa within the town. South of the town, several steep hills approach close to the outskirts, being intersected by steep-sided and narrow defiles. When it came to laying out the terrain, the exercise proved to be easier than I had anticipated. All my 6mm terrain was made for me some years ago by the talented Dave Marks and has proved to be very versatile. The basis for the Trautenau terrain was my wooden terrain squares, each measuring 12” x 12” (or 30cm square). On top of the basic layer, I placed more squares, offset to leave some gaps to act as defiles. This layer was then surmounted with irregularly-shaped one- and twocontour hills, so that the very tops were four contours high. Some of my hills, and indeed the ordinary squares, are drilled to receive the twisted wire trunks of miniature trees and when these (quite a few of these in fact) were in place, I was pleased with the overall result. The town of Trautenau was represented by about a dozen buildings, all placed around a central square and, just outside the town, a bridge over the River Aupa, itself represented by suitable river sections. (Note that the name Trautenau will not be found on present-day maps. Situated in Bohemia, the town is now called Trutnov and is in the Czech Republic.) The difficult terrain was undoubtedly an important factor in the action. This can be reflected in a number of ways: halving the move distance of the troops; limiting visibility and therefore ranges; and breaking up larger formations such as battalions (although, as you will shortly learn, given the nature of the figures I use and their organisation, I cannot reproduce this last effect). In my experience, reducing the distance troops can move simply lengthens the game, but it is certainly an option. I find that artificial limits on visibility are also tricky to apply; the wargamer knows the figures are there as he/she can see them from a mile up in the sky. The very nature of the terrain itself should provide its own movement and firing problems, rather than needing any further legislation to be applied. Finally, a fair proportion of the Prussians never came into action, and again the funneling of the troops caused by the nature of the terrain will see to it that this is very much the case. Considerations The Prussian infantry were armed with the Dreyse needle gun, which could be loaded when the firer was

in any position, including prone. The weapon could fire five or more rounds per minute and was sighted to 600 paces – a pace being 30”. It had a ‘battle sight’ of 300 paces, or 250 yards, and a maximum sight of 600 paces, or 500 yards or 457 metres. The Prussian artillery was not the dominant arm it was to become in the FrancoGerman War 1870-1871; it was in the disorganising process of being modernised, with muzzle-loading pieces being scrapped in favour of breech-loaders with an effective range of some 1,500 yards. There was a distinct lack of training on the new pieces and it was generally deployed both poorly and cautiously by commanders. The Prussian soldier was well-trained, although the cavalry was not of the calibre of the Austrians and, as just noted, the performance of the artillery left a lot to be desired. The Austrians carried muzzle-loading rifles which outranged the Prussian weapon, being effective at over 850 yards and very accurate at 450 yards, but they had a slower rate of fire and could not be loaded whilst the firer was lying down. The Austrian artillery was well-equipped with rifled pieces and overall was well handled during the war. The infantry of the multi-national Austrian army was not particularly well-trained and their weapon skills left a great deal to be desired, although their Jäger and cavalry were excellent troops. The rules in use should pick up on these variances, although it is a relatively simple matter to adapt a set written for, say, 1859 or 1870-1871 to suit 1866. I do not distinguish between the various artillery types; the Prussians fielded 4pdr, 6pdr and 12pdr foot artillery batteries, plus 4pdr horse artillery batteries. The Austrians had ‘state of the art’ 4pdr and 8pdr field batteries, 4pdr horse batteries and rocket batteries, the latter serving largely in the Tyrol. That said, given the tactics employed and targets typically engaged, in the final analysis there was not always a lot to choose between the artillery of the two sides. One point that should perhaps be reflected in the rules is that the Austrian artillery could use shrapnel, whilst the Prussian gunners could not. Figure Scale My 1866 armies are Irregular Miniatures’ 6mm figures which I feel are ideal for portraying both the strategic and the tactical moves of the conflict. The figures are cast in multi-figure strips of either six infantry or four cavalry. I do not differentiate between the respective organisations of the Austrian and Prussian troops in my lower levels of organisation. My line and guard infantry battalions each consist of two strips of figures, i.e. 12 figures in total, with three such battalions forming an infantry regiment of 36 figures. Jäger formations have one strip of six figures per battalion, again with three battalions to a regiment, although it is duly noted that the battalion was the usual Jäger tactical formation. The cavalry regiments consist of 12 figures, being organised as three squadron strips, each of four figures. Since Irregular Miniatures cast artillery pieces separately, there is no problem, but I generally use one model gun, plus crew, limber and team to represent a battery or sometimes a half-battery. A typical Prussian infantry corps of 1866 consisted of two infantry divisions, each of two brigades, each of two regiments, each of which had three battalions averaging 1,000 men. An infantry division was supported by a regiment of cavalry and four artillery batteries, providing

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An illustration by the Editor and Ann Prescott depicting the moment in the evening when men of the Austrian 3rd Brigade, consisting of both Ukranian and Venetian troops, finally managed to wrestle back control of the chapel from the 43rd East Prussian Regiment in fierce hand-to-hand fighting, but at high cost.

24 guns. At corps level there was also a Jäger battalion, four foot artillery and (possibly) two horse batteries, plus an engineer battalion. The corps’ cavalry reserve was organised into two or three regiments, each of 560 troopers. The Austrian 1866 higher organisation was slightly different to that of the Prussians, with corps consisting of four infantry brigades, each of a Jäger battalion, two threebattalion infantry regiments, a cavalry squadron and an artillery battery. Again, a battalion might average just over the 1,000 mark. The corps’ artillery reserve fielded five or six artillery batteries, each of eight guns. Two batteries might consist of horse artillery and there could also be a rocket battery attached. Pioneers were attached at corps level. Cavalry divisions fielded two or three brigades, each either of two regiments of light cavalry or three regiments of heavy cavalry. Horse artillery batteries were attached at brigade level. It is worth noting that all the aforegoing represents theoretical strengths and organisations; there were many variations and, as in most periods of history, commanders on both sides often chopped and changed as necessary. Thus my system provides a varying man-to-figure ratio of around 85:1 to 100:1. This admittedly unusual state of affairs came about for two main reasons. Firstly, as noted, the figures come moulded together on strips and secondly, an infantry regiment of 36 figures laid out in three battalions each of 12 figures to me just looks about right.

The variance in ratios has never given me any sleepless nights nor wargame problems, but any readers throwing up their hands in horror or wistfully shaking their sage-like heads at such nonsense are very free to create their own man/figure ratios and need not send me the results in writing (as they said in Charge!). Figures Apart from the excellent range of 6mm figures from Irregular Miniatures, there are some part-ranges in 15mm and likewise in 25mm, but these tend to concentrate on the Franco-German War 1870-1871, leaving the 1866 Austrians as poor relations. [We note, however, the recent release of the beginnings of an appropriate range of 28mm figures from Helion – see Ed.] In 25mm plastic, Waterloo 1815 (that’s a manufacturer) produce boxes of Austrian infantry and artillery for 1859 and Lucky Toys (!) have a pretty grim set of Austrian Uhlans for 1866. I have raised French and Prussian forces for the FrancoGerman War using the charming, if rather characterised, 42mm ‘toy soldier’ style figures from Irregular Miniatures and I am very tempted to dabble in 1866 with other figures from the range. At £1.25 per infantryman and £2.75 per cavalryman (one piece with horse) they are an attractive proposition. What a daft hobby this is…

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The new range of 40mm ‘Shiny Toy Soldiers’ designed by the genial Aly Morrison and distributed by Spencer Smith might also offer possibilities, but the figures are slightly more expensive and do need some assembly. However, in true H G Wells fashion, they really do convey something of the flavour of the period.

Orders of Battle
Prussian Forces (I Corps) (29,000 men: 24 battalions, 21 cavalry squadrons, 96 guns) General Commanding: General of Infantry von Bonin Right Flank Column Advanced Guard of the Corps Vanguard 1st Dragoon Regiment (2 Sqdns) 1st Regiment of Grenadiers (2 Bns) 1st 4pdr Artillery Battery Detachment of Pioneers Main Body of the Advanced Guard 1st Battalion of Rifles (3 Coys)

1st Regiment of Infantry (1Bn) 41st Regiment of Infantry (1Bn) 5th 4pdr Artillery Battery 1st Horse Artillery Battery 1st Dragoon Regiment (2 Sqdns) 8th Uhlan Regiment (3½ Sqdns) 1st Pioneer Battalion (1 Coy) Reserve Infantry of the Corps 43rd Infantry Regiment (2 Bns) 3rd Regiment of Grenadiers (2½ Bns) 4th 12pdr Artillery Battery 8th Uhlan Regiment (½ Sqdn) Right Flank Detachment (from the Advanced Guard) 1st Dragoon Regiment (1 Sqdn) 41st Regiment of Infantry (2 Bns) 1st Rifle Battalion (1 Coy) 2 guns, 5th 4pdr Artillery Battery Left Flank Column Main Body of the Army Corps 3rd Brigade of Infantry 44th Regiment of Infantry (3 Bns)

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4th Regiment of Grenadiers (3 Bns) 4th Brigade of Infantry 45th Regiment of Infantry (3 Bns) 5th Regiment of Grenadiers (3 Bns) 1st Regiment of Hussars 3rd Field Division of 1st Field Artillery Regiment 3rd 4pdr Artillery Battery 4th 4pdr Artillery Battery 3rd 6pdr Artillery Battery 2nd 12pdr Artillery Battery Reserve Cavalry of the Corps (following the left flank column) 1st Cavalry Brigade 3rd Regiment of Cuirassiers 12th Regiment of Uhlans 3rd Horse Artillery Battery Reserve Artillery of the Corps Horse Artillery Division 2nd Horse Artillery Battery 4th Horse Artillery Battery First Field Artillery Division 1st 6pdr Artillery Battery Second Field Division 2nd 6pdr Artillery Battery 4th 6pdr Artillery Battery 2nd 4pdr Artillery Battery 6th 4pdr Artillery Battery 1st Battalion of Pioneers (3 Coys) Austrian Forces (X Corps) (30,000 men: 28 battalions, 5 cavalry squadrons, 72 guns) General Commanding: Field Marshal Gablenz 9th Uhlans Reserve horse artillery Reserve field artillery 1st Brigade 12th Jäger Battalion 10th Infantry Regiment (3 Bns) 24th Infantry Regiment (3 Bns) Light Foot Artillery Battery 2nd Brigade 16th Jäger Battalion 2nd Infantry Regiment (1 Bn) 23rd Infantry Regiment (1 Bn) Light Foot Artillery Battery 3rd Brigade 28th Jäger Battalion 3rd Infantry Regiment (1 Bn) 1st Infantry Regiment (1 Bn) Light Foot Artillery Battery 4th Brigade 13th Infantry Regiment (3 Bns) 58th Infantry Regiment (3 Bns) Light Foot Artillery Battery

I understand that Bruce Weigle of the USA is currently working on a ruleset for 1866. Judging by his already published rules 1870: Grand Tactical Rules for the FrancoPrussian War (2001) and 1859: Grand Tactical Rules for the Second Italian War of Independence (2006), the latter also including complete rules for the Second Schleswig War 1864, these new rules will be well worth the wait. Actually, it is worth pointing out that Mr Weigle’s publications offer far more than just rules, providing as they do a wealth of background information, scenarios, orders of battle etc. Not cheap, but certainly excellent value for money.



I use my own rules for my 1866 actions. These are set at brigade level and allow quite large actions to be fitted on the tabletop and fought out in an evening; although, in fairness, sometimes this does require a particularly long evening! I have also nearly finished the first draft of the challenging but fascinating task of converting von Reisswitz’ 1824 Kriegsspiel rules for possible use with my 6mm figures.

The Continental Wars Society concentrates on postNapoleonic, pre-Great War European conflicts. The Society publishes The Foreign Correspondent, a quarterly newsletter which is an excellent read and full of hard-to-find information. The current UK annual subscription is £6 and I thoroughly recommend you try a year’s sub. For further details contact Ralph Weaver, 37 Yeading Avenue, Harrow, Middlesex HA2 9RL. (On a personal note, I must thank Ralph for taking the time to peruse the first draft of this article and for suggesting some very helpful amendments.) I’m sure that there are umpteen websites out there with all sorts of information, but as I am not particularly internet-oriented, I am quite happy for readers to explore this area of research. [Some Web rambling unearthed an incredible site at It’s in Czech (apart from a single introductory page in English) but the photographic and art references in the Gallery section alone make it worth persevering. Do we have a Czechspeaking reader who can translate the whole thing? Ed.] Some books that will prove useful include: The Campaign of 1866 in Germany Compiled by the Department of Military History of the Prussian Staff The Naval and Military Press Ltd 2005 Notes on the Campaign Between Prussia and Austria in 1866 T Miller Maguire and Captain William V Herbert (1897) Helion & Company Ltd 2001 The Campaign of 1866 in Bohemia Lieutenant Colonel Neill Malcolm DSO (1912) Partizan Press 2007 The Prussian Campaign of 1866: A Tactical Retrospect Captain Theodor May 1870 Helion & Company Ltd 2006 The Seven Weeks War 1866 C A Sapherson Partizan Press 1991 The Austro-Prussian War: Austria’s War with Prussia and Italy in 1866 Geoffrey Wawro Cambridge University Press 1996 The Armies of 1866: A Guide to the Uniforms and Armies of the Seven Weeks War Nigel J Smith (1989 & 1994) Pickelhaube Press The Campaigns of 1866: A Guide to the Campaigns and Orders of Battle of the Seven Weeks War Nigel J Smith (1995) Pickelhaube Press (Both these last titles are out of print, but are well worth tracking down if you can.)

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Computer cartography for wargamers
A simple introduction to producing maps using free software
by Tyler Provick cartography program end up looking the same. A graphics program, while not designed specifically for map-making, is designed to make all types and styles of graphics. These programs are tools, like a pencil, which can be used to create anything the user wants to create. Another advantage to generic graphics programs is their price. While it is possible to spend a great deal of money on a graphics program, there are many free applications that are very powerful. Inkscape is one of them. Though free, it works on most Operating Systems, is easy to use, and is a perfect tool for the wargamer who wants to quickly create a map for their webpage or club campaign. There are other free graphics applications, but it is the fact that Inkscape uses vectors in order to create its graphics that makes it special to the amateur cartographer. Vectors are mathematical expressions of geometric shapes. There is a lot to vectors and their colleagues, rasters, but it isn’t necessary to take up space explaining them here. It is sufficient to say that vector images are easier to create and edit than more common raster images, making it more suited for mapping. [Think of vectors as filled drawings, like cartoons or animations, and rasters or ‘bitmaps’ as photographs, consisting of millions of tiny dots or pixels. Ed.] Inkscape can be downloaded for free from www., so go right ahead and do so as your first step! [Editor’s note: Mac users will need to be using at least Mac OSX 10.4 (Tiger) and ensure that they have the X11 platform installed, which is one of the Developers’ Tools supplied on your installation disc.]

f a picture is worth a thousand words, a map is worth a thousand more. In its most basic form, a map is simply the visual representation of spatial data: how far the coast is from the mountains. At the same time, a map can be a beautiful work of art, worthy of framing. For the wargamer, maps serve many practical purposes. They are used to designate deployment for scenarios or tell the story of a battle in a battle report. Ambitious wargamers even use maps to run complex map-based campaigns. With well-documented historical periods, it is possible to find maps that can be used by the wargamer. Like most of the hobby, however, it falls to the wargamer to make it themselves if the appropriate map isn’t available. While pencil and paper, pen and ink are still staples in the creation of maps (see those produced by the Editor in previous issues), computers are becoming a popular choice for the creation of maps. A computer allows a wargamer to quickly colour a large area with a single click. It is much easier than dragging out the pencils, crayons or watercolours. This article will focus on the use of a specific graphics program that is free and can run on almost any computer whether it is running Windows, Linux or Mac. Specific steps will be provided, so that even someone new to computing can follow along. It is assumed that the reader is already familiar with map-making without a computer and will have some idea of the type of map they want to make. The first step in creating a map on the computer is finding the right program to use. There are professional cartography programs, amateur cartography programs made by wargamers for wargamers, and generic graphics programs available. Both the professional and amateur cartography programs cost money, with the amateur programs being much more affordable. Personally, I find that all the maps made by one popular amateur


Creating an new image

The first thing to do after installing Inkscape is to open the program and take a moment to look over your new toy. Experienced computer users can probably skip this section, but it’s important for those that aren’t as familiar with computers. At the very top is the Menu Bar where most of the tools are accessible. Click on a menu, such as File, and you will see a list of options called a dropdown list. Items with a black triangle to their right can be clicked on or moused-over (moving the cursor over something without clicking on it) to reveal an additional dropdown list.

Introduction to Inkscape

What the image looks like within Inkscape.

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Below the Menu Bar are two toolbars that contain icons representing frequently used tools. It is possible to customize these toolbars, but for the purposes of this article it is best to leave them alone. The top toolbar is the Command Bar which performs commands such as Grouping and Ungrouping Objects, Undoing mistakes or Editing Objects. The Tool Control Bar is used the change the properties of the specific tool you are using. It will change depending on which tool is chosen from the Tool Box. Along the left side of the screen is another toolbar called the Tool Box. It contains tools specifically used for creating and manipulating vector objects. Any icons in a toolbar can be moused-over in order to bring up a tooltip (a short explanation of the specific tool). The Workspace is the large white space with the rectangular box in the middle. On the top and left of the Workspace are two rulers that can be helpful for keeping things to scale. The multi-coloured bar below the Workspace is the palette, where you can quickly choose colours. Clicking on a colour selects it as the fill colour; holding Shift while clicking a colour selects it as the stroke colour. The currently selected fill and stroke colours can be seen in the top-right corner above the Workspace. At the very bottom of the screen is the status bar. It shows important information about the tool you are using or the object you are manipulating. The left of the status bar shows the fill and stroke colours of the object currently selected. The middle suggests keys that can be pressed to change how the tool behaves. For example: with many tools holding Ctrl while using the tool will constrain any action to just the horizontal or vertical. Inkscape uses the left-click for the majority of actions. Double-clicking, if called for, is always with the left mouse button. Multiple objects can be selecting by holding Shift and clicking each one in turn, or by clicking and holding the mouse button while moving the mouse over the objects to be selected. A box will appear with one corner located where you first clicked with the opposite corner following the mouse. When Inkscape is first opened, it automatically creates a new image based on the program’s defaults. These defaults can be modified in the Document Properties editor located in the File menu. They can be edited at any time. The page size will not constrain the size of the image on the screen; it is only a reference for printing. Begin by playing around a bit and clicking on some of the buttons or menus that you see. Don’t worry, there’s nothing there that will cause your computer to explode! Now that you’ve thoroughly messed-up the Workspace it is time to get rid of it and create a new, fresh Workspace. Click on either File/New/Default or the Create New Document command in the Command Bar. If you decide that what you’ve created is worth saving, click File/Save As or the Save Document command. Save As saves the image as a new file. Save or Save Document will save the image as a new file if it hasn’t already been saved, otherwise it will overwrite the existing saved file. Pay attention to the difference, as sometimes it’s important to Save As in order to keep the original file intact. When saving files a window will appear asking you what you want to save the file as, what you want to name the file, and where you want to save it. If the folder shown in the Save

in folder prompt is not the folder you want to save the file in, click on the plus sign next to Browse. This will expand the window and show more options. The left box is a selection of frequently used folders. Double-click on one of these folders to move to it. The middle box shows you the contents of the folder you are currently looking at. The right box will show a preview of the currently selected file if one is available. Below that is a dropdown list where you can choose the file type. Best leave it as “Inkscape SVG”; other file types may change the way the image works. For example, saving the file as a JPG will automatically convert the image into a raster image, which negates the advantage of using vectors.

The Save dialogue is neither Windows- nor Mac-standard and may be confusing to some users, so take your time!

Loading files works in exactly the same way, either through File/Open or the Open Existing Document command. The difference is that you are opening an existing file instead of saving one. Opened files will open in a separate window so that you can still access the file you are currently working on. Objects can be copied between two open files. If you want to open a file as part of the image you are currently working on, choose File/Import to do so. That’s the basics of Inkscape without getting into object creation and manipulation.

Starting a map

Now comes the fun part: creating the map. Throughout the article I will describe different techniques for creating objects used in a single map. Readers can follow along to create their own map while learning the application. There are three types of maps commonly used by wargamers: campaign maps, scenario maps and battlereport maps. The last two are fairly similar, battle-report maps having additional information such as troop movements and status. I will create a map that can be used as the basis for a scenario or battle-report map, which will allow me to create basic shapes without having to do too much work deciding where to place mountain ranges, towns, etc. It can be helpful to begin with a sketch, especially if re-creating a battle, but it isn’t necessary.

The battlefield

The first step is to define the battlefield. Click on the blue square in the Toolbox to select the Square/Rectangle tool. Draw a large square; this will be the border and background of the map. It doesn’t really matter how big it is, as we can scale and zoom later, although as

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everything will be inside this square, make it fairly big. If you haven’t made it big enough, there are tiny squares in the top-left and bottom-right corners of the box, called handles. Grabbing one of these handles will allow you to resize the box. In the Tool Control Bar there is an option to change the width and height. You can enter numbers there to precisely control the size of the box. In this case, we’ll specify the size of the box to make it the dimensions we want. We’ll use pixels as our unit of measurement in Inkscape. There are usually 72 pixels to the inch when viewing on your computer screen. To change what unit of measurement is used, open File/Document Properties and set Default Units to px for pixels. We’ll use a scale of 1” on the tabletop = 20px. Our 6’ x 4’ table therefore becomes 1440px wide and 960px high. This scale is arbitrary; the image can be enlarged or shrunk as needed.

A grid is a standard map item, and will make placing terrain on the wargames table easier.

The basic battlefield, before anything is added.

Now you have a rectangle which, depending on whether you played with the Palette or not, may be any combination of Stroke and Fill colours. To change the colours, click the Edit Object’s Style command in the Command Bar. A new window will open allowing you to edit the Fill and Stroke of an object. For Fill, there are a number of options: Solid, Linear Gradient, Radial Gradient, Pattern and No Fill. We’ll choose Solid Fill for now. Most wargamers have green tables, so we’ll use that colour for our battlefield. There are four ways to choose colours, each with their own quirks. We will use HSL which stands for Hue, Saturation, and Lightness. It’s a quick and easy way to choose colours. At the bottom is an RGBA number which is a code for the specific colour. Below that is the Master Opacity slider which will change the opacity of the fill and stroke colours, allowing objects below to show through. I chose 95c665ff, a mid-green, for my colour; you can copy that into the RGBA field or choose your own. The stroke or border for our battleground should be black. On the Stroke Paint tab select Solid Stroke and black as the colour; slide the L slider all the way to the left. We want the Stroke Style to be fairly thick, so let’s set the Width to 5px.

Enter to finalize it. Copy this line by using the Select tool to select the line – a dashed box will surround it – then clicking Edit/Copy followed by Edit/Paste. This will create two vertical lines. To align these lines with the battlefield, select one line and set the X to 480. Select another line and set X to 960. Select both lines, either by clicking and dragging a box around them, or by holding shift and clicking on each in turn. Set Y to 0 and the H to 960. Repeat the process, but this time for a single horizontal line 1440px wide located at 0X, 480Y. Select all three lines and click Path/Combine. This merges all three lines into one object. Select the grid and the battlefield, click on Align and distribute objects in the Command Toolbar. In the Align window, select Center on Vertical Axis and Center on Horizontal Axis. This will position the grid directly above the battlefield. Later we can modify the line width and style. We can make it dashed, dotted or slightly translucent.

A basic hill

A basic hill is our first complex shape. Again we will use the Bezier tool; this time we will use it to draw curved lines. Drawing curves with the Bezier tool is more complicated than drawing straight lines. To curve a line you must adjust

Adding a grid

A few layers and a gradient makes the shape recognizably a hill.

A grid will help when determining where a unit or terrain item should be placed on the map. Click on Draw Bezier Curves in the Toolbox and draw a straight, vertical line at least 960px long. The length is shown in the status bar; holding Ctrl while drawing will keep the line vertical. Click once to start the line, click again to end it, and press

the handles of the nodes you are drawing. Nodes are the points that Inkscape uses to create shapes. The box we created had a node at each corner; the lines, a node at each end. The line between the nodes is a segment. Clicking and dragging when creating a node will drag the handle and curve the line. It’s a little tricky at first, so take a little time to

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practice. You can add, delete and edit nodes to get the shape you want using the Edit Paths tool. If you need more nodes you can add more by either selecting the entire shape and click on Insert Node in the Tool Control Bar to add a new node splitting each segment, or by selecting a segment by clicking on it, or shift-clicking on the two nodes bordering it, and clicking Insert Node. Clicking and dragging a segment will affect its curve, allowing you to shape the object. In the Tool Control Bar there are other controls that you can modify to change the shape. You can make the node a corner or smooth point, make the segment straight or curved, etc.

together so they don’t move in relation to each other. After grouping you can use the Select tool to move, scale, rotate or skew the shape as needed. For example, if the shape is too small, select the shape and click on one of the doublearrows in the corner. Drag this handle while holding Ctrl to scale the object evenly. Click in the center to change the handles from scale to rotate. Use the handles to rotate the object. If you want a two-tiered hill, follow the same steps but make the second tier smaller and slightly lighter in colour. Group the two hills to keep them together.

Making a forest

From left to right: the basic shape drawn with straight lines, the same shape with the lines curved, and finally, the shape with extra nodes removed.

A quick way to rough in basic shapes is to just use straight lines to draw the shape. Once it’s drawn, select all the nodes and click the Make Smooth button to round them all. Delete and move nodes, curve segments and refine the shape. There’s also a Draw Freehand Lines tool, which can be used with node editing and the Path/Simplify command to refine the shape. To show that this is a hill we should show the slope. Create a copy of the hill and click Path/Dynamic Inset. Make sure you are using the Edit Paths tool to see the white diamond handle which controls the inset. Drag this inward to shrink the shape. This is different from scaling the shape, as the edge will keep a consistent distance from the original location. Once you’ve started insetting the shape, you can select both hills and align them like we did the grid over the battleground. It is easier to judge how far the inner shape should be inset when the two shapes are aligned. Now we can edit the colours. To make the hill stand out from the battleground, we want to make the hill the same colour but slightly lighter than the surface. We can either eyeball the colour, or copy the RGBA value from the battleground object and paste it into the smaller hill shape. Moving L slider to the right will lighten the colour without changing hue or saturation. To copy and paste use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-C for copy and Ctrl-V for paste. For the larger hill shape, I created a gradient to give the illusion of light hitting the slope. Click on the Create Gradient tool in the Toolbox and select the larger hill. Click and drag to start the gradient. It won’t look like much right away. Still using the Create Gradient tool, select one of the stops of the gradient and edit its colour. Use the same colour as the battleground, but make one stop lighter than the hill, the other stop darker than the battleground. The stops of the gradient are like nodes on a shape. They have a colour value which the computer automatically blends together to create the gradient. The final step is to group the smaller and larger hills

Making the forest starts in much the same way as making the hill, except we’re not creating an inset, just the outline of the forest. Make a dark, forest-green fill, then size and place the forest where you want. To create trees we’ll use a new tool, the Star/Polygon tool. Click and drag to draw a star. Don’t worry too much about the size or number of points. These can be edited just like everything else. Use the Tool Control Bar to change the number of corners to five or six. There are a couple of handles within the star, one on the inner corners and one on the outer corners. Clicking and dragging these will change the shape of the star. For now, drag the inner handle out until the rays of the star are small and stubby. Hold Shift and drag the handles to make the star rounded. Finally, hold Alt and drag the handles to make the star randomized. We want to create an irregular tree canopy shape. Use the Create Gradient tool to create a radial gradient within the star, light in the middle, darker on the outside, but with the darkest parts lighter than the forest floor we created earlier. This is our tree. To make the tree more interesting, we can copy the tree several times, scale the copied trees down and arrange them inside the I didn’t bother filling out the back of the forest since I knew it would tree to make it look bushy. be outside the map later. Use the rotate feature or play with the randomness of the star to make them all different. Group them all together so they can be moved as one. Now, duplicate that tree two or three times and make each one slightly larger or smaller. Make copies of those trees to fill the area defined by the forest. This effect can be enhanced by varying the shades of the components that make up the trees and varying the shades of the trees themselves. Group the whole forest together. If you have difficulty selecting objects because a larger object below it keeps getting moved, hold Shift while dragging to tell Inkscape that you’re making a selection, not moving an object.

The road

To make a road use the Bezier tool again and draw a selection of paths or lines forming the borders of the road. In order to create the illusion of the road fading off into the grass we will not close the object. This will allow us to have the stroke broken where the road fades away. Draw the borders of the road as individual objects. Select all the paths making up the road and group them. Make a copy

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of the group, click the Edit Nodes tool and click Path/Combine to make all the paths in the group part of one object. Make the fill colour a nice brown road colour. Unfortunately, it’s filling the wrong sections of the road because the object is not closed. Find the open points of the object and close them by selecting the two end nodes and clicking Join Selected Endpoints with Segment. Once the object is closed, the fill will jump to the inside. Combine the first road we created, but don’t add a fill. Center the two roads over each other with the unfilled road on top. You may have to adjust the position of the roads as they may not be perfectly centered. Using Edit Object’s Style, remove the stroke for the filled road. You can also make a gradient for where the road fades out.

is overlapping the border, then the border itself, and click Object/Clip/Set. This should clip the outside of the objects, leaving a nice, neat map. You may want to pull the gridlines forward. Select the grid and use Raise Selection to Top to put it above everything else. Now’s a good time to play with the opacity and style of the grid and adjust it so that it’s visible but not disruptive. I like a dotted, slightly translucent grid. Finally, I added a compass rose that I’d previously created. I now have the basis for a map that can be used for a scenario or battle report. I can grab the hill and save it as a separate SVG file, then import it into another map. In this way I can create an object for every piece of terrain in my collection to quickly throw a scenario or battle report map together.


Cleaning up

Once the map is finished it should be saved as a SVG file. This is the file Inkscape uses and will keep the map exactly as you left it. Not all applications can read SVG files, so it may be necessary to make a copy in a JPG or PNG format. Use the Save As or Export function to create the copy. Now the image can be uploaded to a website or sent in an email, and anyone with a web browser installed on their computer will be able to view it.


All the items that overlap the border are clipped with the ‘Object/Clip/Set’ command to give a nice, clean edge. This is much easier than trying to build them to match the edge earlier.

The final step is to clean up the map, to make sure no objects reach outside the border of the table and add some final details. First, let’s clip off any objects overlapping the border of the table. Copy the battleground and remove the fill. Align the new border over the battlefield. Select any item that

Map-making with Inkscape allows the easy creation of campaign maps, scenario maps, maps for hidden deployment and movement, and for battle reports. The simplicity and price of the program leaves more time and money for the wargamer to buy and painting miniatures, since that, and not map-making, is the focus of the hobby. Wargamers, by nature, are visual animals, and any wargamer that maintains a website can stand to have a bit more visual interest on their site. Experiment and have fun. Hopefully you will end up with some great maps that will enhance your wargaming experience without taking away too much of your wargaming time. The skills learnt making maps could also be applied to the art of designing waterslide transfers and flags. The scalability of vector images makes them very powerful. Adding a free tool like GIMP ( that can handle rasters will allow even more complex maps.

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Figure piracy: scourge of the hobby?
Copyright infringement and its impact on historical miniatures
by Bob Barnetson Editor’s note: amount quoted are in Canadian Dollars. As at 21st August 2008 the exchange rate was £1 = $1.978 CDN. ew miniature-related discussions generate more heat than the piracy of intellectual property (IP). Discussion typically centres on the recasting and sale of existing figures. A related issue is the development of original figures that infringe upon a copyright (e.g. sculpting and selling unlicensed Scooby-Doo miniatures). As a historical gamer dabbling in sci-fi, I was surprised by the breadth of unlicensed miniatures available and uncertain about whether to buy. The discussion of IP piracy online tends towards the polemical – reflecting the vested interests of some posters and the strong moral dimension of the issue – and was thus rather unhelpful. In grappling with this issue, I’ve spoken to miniaturists who have intentionally and unintentionally purchased recasts. I’ve also spoken with manufacturers of historical miniatures as well as recasters and copyright infringers. Everyone spoke on the condition of anonymity. an army and thus the manufacturer has lost sales. And sometimes an individual recasts a purchased model for use in a conversion or enhancement project. There is a long tradition of such use in military modelling, particularly when commercial kits are unavailable or incorrect. Again, there is a loss to the manufacturer, although the volume of lost sales is significantly lower. A final subcategory of recasting is instances of recasting copies of out-of-production (OOP) miniatures. This appears most commonly when licensed toys (suitable for wargaming) go OOP. This creates a notional loss to the copyright holder, with this loss being actualized only if the OOP item subsequently comes back into production.


Recast models are typically said to be less detailed than the original, including the absence of fine detail and having dull edges. They may also contain air holes or bubbles or have two mould lines (although this latter characteristic may also be present on some legitimate figures). Recasts may also be smaller than the originals and may be made from different materials (e.g. plastic originals recast in metal) or exhibit different properties such as being more brittle. In order to get a sense of the practicalities of recasting, I contacted a gaming friend who is an Recasting miniatures experienced caster of his Recasting miniatures own sculpts. He has not, without permission is the to my knowledge, ever most commonly discussed recast. For the purpose of form of IP piracy. Typically, this article, I asked him to a gamer purchases figures recast a 25mm Kingmaker on eBay or Bartertown and, upon receipt, discovers Miniatures figure I own as they are of low quality well as some plastic and and suspects recasts. metal starships produced In this transaction, the An original Kingmaker Miniatures 25mm figure (top) and its recast below. by the Amarillo Design original manufacturer has Differences are subtle, but evident. Photos by BB. Battlegames does not Bureau. Mould making been denied a sale and condone recasting. These have been made for investigative purposes only. took about six hours, the purchaser has been with the space ships defrauded. There is almost universal condemnation of this and 25mm figures generating excellent moulds. practice. A variant of this story is a purchaser knowingly Using the starship moulds and liquid plastic, high buying recast miniatures to reduce the cost of an army. quality drop casts of the starships were produced. The A slightly different angle is a miniaturist who purchases photos of the Federation ship show some small defects a miniature and then recasts some or all of the miniature. (e.g. a blemish on the top of the saucer section) but Sometimes, the recasts are used to increase the size of also that fine surface detail can be reproduced.

How hard is it to recast?

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The starships were also quite effectively cast in metal. The metal is harder on the moulds and more labour intensive to cast and clean up. The metal Klingon cast (with some minor filing) is indistinguishable from the original, perhaps reflecting the mediocre quality of the commercial product. The 25mm figure was cast in metal. I chose the Kingmaker figure because I wanted to see how crisp reproductions of exquisitely detailed figures would be. The first mould turned out okay, but the figures drop cast from it were smaller than the originals and there was some loss of detail – typical signs of recasting. A second mould was made with a super-sized pour chamber. This results in a better flow of metal during drop casting. The result is almost indistinguishable from the original. There are a few instances where the details are not quite as crisp on the cast and a couple of areas where wax left over from the mould making caused some flash. But the figures is the same size, has the same level of detail and there are no double mould lines that I can find. The biggest give-away that it is a recast is the poor quality of the figure’s integral base, resulting from nipping off excess metal from the pour chamber.

caster prepared to work hard at it can produce fairly high quality results, particularly with vehicles. This is consistent with what manufacturers say. The recasters I spoke to were not, however, primarily motivated by profit. Rather, many sought to make OOP minis available while earning a few dollars on the side. Recasting may also be more financially viable when gaming systems require significant number of identical figures to fill rank-and-file forces. This may be reflected in the greater reported incidence of figure recasting for popular sci-fi and fantasy systems. The doomsday scenario (i.e. mass counterfeiting in the developing world) has so far not materialized. Recasting deprives manufacturers of sales. This assertion is often extended by noting that lower sales reduce the incentive for new figure production and can cause manufacturers to shut up shop. An alternative argument is that the lower quality of recasts may turn an unwitting purchaser of recasts off a manufacturer, Metal recast thus reducing sales. The direct financial impact of recasting on manufacturers largely turns on the volume of recasts made, whether for use at home or for sale in the marketplace. It is not possible to get an accurate count of recasts (or, indeed, even legitimate castings). Although most reports of Resin recast recasting appear to be of sci-fi and fantasy figures, AB Figures alleged the sale of counterfeit 15mm Napoleonics in 2004. Figures Armour and Artillery (FAA) USA revealed a similar concern with this same seller shortly thereafter. Large lots of recasts purchased on eBay and Bartertown have also been reported, although both sites have policies against such sales and complaints procedures. While few manufacturers were forthcoming about the financial consequences of recasting, one was fairly direct with a clear explanation of the narrow financial margins of the business. Based on the numbers provided, even a small amount of recasting would significantly lengthen the time it takes for a new line to recoup its cost and, assuming his numbers were representative of the industry, recasting does appear to act as a disincentive for introducing of new lines. Conversations with miniature manufacturers suggest that the level of recasting in historical figures is small, reflecting the overall low demand for historical miniatures (versus, say, DVDs) and the poorer quality of typical recasts. Although not conclusive, this evidence, combined with the paucity of examples of recasting
Original ADB casting of Federation warship

Impact on manufactures

Is recasting profitable?

When casting with liquid plastic, the caster expected a 90% success rate for the Federation starship and thought the mould would be good for about 100 casts. The Klingon ship was more difficult, due to the shape of the original, and he thought a 75% success rate with a maximum of 50 casts would be possible. With this in mind, we could have produced approximately 37 Klingon ships and 90 Federation ones using $70 of materials and 27 hours of time. Originals sell for approximately $9 each. If we discounted each to $5, our net profit would have been $565 (roughly $20/hour, not including time spent selling). With the 25mm metal figures, the manufacturer sells six figures for £10 (roughly $20). The need for six moulds, the shorter life span of these moulds when using metal, and the time involved in mould making and casting suggest that on a price of $3.00 each, we could generate a $1.00 profit per figure. We weren’t able to generate an hourly wage rate based on our limited experience, but we expect it would be somewhat less than what we could make selling recast space ships. What our experiment suggests is that one-man shops doing recasts are unlikely to turn a significant profit, but the profits are not insignificant either. An experienced

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that I was able to identify, suggests that recasting is something of a bogeyman in historical gaming. Certainly it happens, but it does not appear to be widespread.

The legalities

Many gamers assert (often casting of Klingon warship vociferously) that recasting is theft and that recasts are often sold in a fraudulent manner. In Commonwealth countries, recasting is typically viewed as a type of copyright or trademark infringement. The rights are collectively referred to as ‘Intellectual Property’, or ‘IP’ for short. The most common remedy awarded by courts in the Commonwealth would be damages in the form of lost profits. An injunction to prohibit further recasting Metal recast is also possible, as are civil search warrants (‘Mareva’ injunctions) and orders for the sale of seized goods with profits paid to the plaintiff. All of these remedies require the copyright owner to hire counsel and pursue the issue, although a stern cease-anddesist letter may discourage some recasters. Some IP lawyers trawl through flea markets, a list of clients’ trademarks in hand, looking for something to enforce – their clients are happy to foot the bill. They view this as Resin recast much less boring than drafting endless documents. The same occurs on the internet. The most effective aspect of these lawsuits is indirect – the person breaching the law may not be worth suing, but the businesses surrounding him (his distributors, customers and the bank) are likely to stop doing business with him rather than defend a lawsuit or risk that he’ll be made insolvent. Depending upon the nature of the infringement and the laws of the country, regulatory and criminal prosecution is also possible. I was unable to document any cases of actual prosecution, although more than 90% of cases filed never reach the court judgment stage. There are, however, reported cases involving boardgames, computer software, movies and even yo-yos. I again suspect this has to do with the low volume of recasting that occurs and the (perceived) low degree of harm this does when compared

Original ADB

with, say, counterfeit aeroplane parts or prescription drugs. Nevertheless, some manufacturers may aggressively defend their intellectual property to avoid a precedentsetting case, as later judges may regard their failure to defend their copyright as an admission that no rights exist. An interesting wrinkle on the IP debate are instances where someone has designed an original but unlicensed figure based upon a popular (and copyrighted) book, comic, movie or television show. For example, a manufacturer might produce mercenaries or kid-detectives that closely resemble the characters in television shows. Although some of these figures may be different enough from the originals to avoid the claim of copyright infringement, many are not. The allure of these figures is, of course, that they are close or exact replicas of the copyrighted material! Some larger manufacturers produce such figure lines, often being careful to avoid direct infringement. More commonly, gamers looking for unlicensed figures that replicate copyrighted materials often turn to the so-called ‘garage kits’ produced by small operations. Commonly, garage kits figures ‘fill in’ where licensed products necessary for gaming are hard to acquire or unsuitable (for example, are of extremely low quality). In other cases, these kits are available where no licensed figures are made. Copyright infringement appears to mostly affect large media corporations. This reflects a combination of factors. They hold the largest pool of IP. Their IP is also the most likely to be in demand and thus profitable to recast, although again, for what it is worth, few copyright infringers seem profit motivated. Finally, licensing costs of their IP may discourage production of gaming appropriate miniatures (which is a very small market).

Copyright infringement

Who does copyright actually protect?

The evidence (such as it is) appears to support the general

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notion that recasting has the potential to detrimentally affect historical miniature producers. Most concerning is the disincentive recasting can create to introducing new lines. Even producers of copyright-infringing material that I spoke with agreed with this position. There is much greater debate about original sculpts that violate a copyright of a popular book, television or movie franchise. Many gamers and manufacturers assert that this is no different than recasting, in that it deprives the copyright holder of control over their product and, assuming they produce miniatures, potential revenue. There are, however, many gamers who disagree. While some ‘justify’ copyright infringement with reference only to their own desire for figures not being produced by the copyright holder, others present more nuanced arguments. One of the more interesting propositions is that a copyright is simply that, a property right that must (by and large) be privately enforced by the copyright holder to have meaning. I expect this perspective comes as little comfort to small producers who quite readily acknowledge that they cannot afford to enforce their rights. While this difficulty for small producers should certainly be of concern to all historical gamers (whose needs are largely met by these small producers), it raises the interesting question of whom copyright laws protect. That is to say, who has the means to enforce their rights? The short answer is that the laws offer disproportionate protection to large producers and copyright holders. This isn’t particularly surprising, given that economic power is often reinforced by legislative and judicial policy (e.g. in employment relationships). It does, however, raise significant issues of equity. While large producers and copyright holders are the most likely targets of copyright infringement, they are also the least likely to be fundamentally affected by it. Conversely, small producers are unlikely targets but are much more vulnerable to the negative effects of infringement and are largely unable to enforce their rights. I’m not convinced this justifies copyright infringement. Nevertheless, it suggests that equating illegality with immorality (as many do when speaking on this topic) is to ignore that the law is a social construct that differentially advantages copyright holders on the basis of their financial means. In effect, the law has been dragooned into defending the property rights of the wealthy. When copyright is justified as a means of protecting the interests of small manufacturers, perhaps this dynamic ought to give us pause for thought.

Again, I’m not sure this justifies copyright infringement. It does, however, point out that the way in which a copyright holder uses their copyright can affect the behaviour of gamers. Manufacturers seeking to maximize profits by inducing an artificial shortage are more vulnerable to copyright infringement than, say, manufacturers seeking to maximize profits without manipulating the supply-side of the market. More plainly, figures with reasonable price and availability are less likely to induce recasting or the production of substitutes.

What do I think?

Having considered this at length and being pragmatic at heart, I find myself of two minds (ah, sweet hypocrisy!). I think purchasing recasts of available products is bad for the hobby because of the negative impact it can have on manufacturers. As I’m mostly a historical gamer, the figure makers I deal with are particularly vulnerable to the effects of recasting. Consequently, I choose to support them so they stay in business. I’m also prepared to buy the rather expensive licensed miniatures for the sci-fi lines I’m interested in. The copyright holders have recognized the gamer market and I’m inclined to support them for this. For example, the prices I’ve recently paid for some Star Trek ships are high (particularly given the mediocre quality), so my investment will just be smaller. In short, the high cost involved (perhaps reflecting the licensing costs) limits sci-fi to a fringe period for me. As a market signal to the producer, this isn’t as clear as the case would be if I had an alternative source. This does not, however, give me access to OOP miniatures. Yet there are some large gaps in the existing lines. In particular, no one is producing licensed small fighters for the Star Wars universe. Larger, licensed versions are available, but the quality of them is very poor and the way they are sold makes it difficult to get adequate numbers, even looking to eBay. Garage casters make look-alike ships and they ended up getting my business. Having made the purchase, I’m not sure how I feel about that. I think a fair question to ask is, how would I feel if someone took something I created and reproduced it without my permission? I expect I’d be upset. Doing that is, at the least, discourteous. Yet, if I sat on my rights, by not enforcing my copyright or failing (for decades) to meet the demand for what I had created, who should my anger be most directed at?

Editor’s note

Copyright infringement as a market response

A second line of argument addressing whether copyright infringement is really that bad again swirls around popular book, comic, movie and television franchises, mostly of a non-historical character. In short, proponents argue that licensed producers intentionally limit figure production and availability to heighten price. This is certainly within the licensees’ rights. Nevertheless, this choice, when combined with aggressive promotional activities and the licensees’ monopoly, virtually guarantees a shortage and raises prices beyond what they might be in a freer market. This, in turn, creates the market for recasts. In effect, this argument goes, copyright holders and their licensees are the authors of their own misfortune.

I want to thank Bob for his well-balanced and reasoned contribution to the debate on this controversial issue. For the record – and as someone who has, in fact, suffered at the hands of copyright thieves and plagiarists in the past – let me make my own views clear. No-one can copyright, for example, the idea of a French Napoleonic carabinier; but they can claim copyright of their specific sculpting and casting of one; that is the fruit of their labour, and if someone else wants it, they can pay for it, or sculpt their own. If someone plagiarized your written work, how would you feel? Or used your photographs in a magazine without asking or paying you? What’s the difference between writing, sculpting or designing in this respect? None, and therefore I would not condone it under any circumstances.

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To boldly go...
Into the lion’s den
by Roger Smith ometimes it’s good to sit back, take as break and remind oneself of what it is you are trying to achieve. Easy for me, at the moment, as I’m on board a large cruise liner in the middle of the Mediterranean en route from Tunis to Naples for a long-awaited visit to Pompeii lying, as it does, ominously in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius. I find myself in that wonderful place where history and myth meet, where the edges of fact and fantasy blur. Though at times it’s hard to recognize it for what it is, the search for meaningful recreation is my passion and the realization of that goal is the grail. And the more I learn, and the more I delve into the previously untapped pool (for me) that is historical wargaming, the more I come to realize that historical and fantasy gaming are just different faces of the same animal. Both rely on diligently researching the background of the chosen subject, both require the knowledge and employment of a given set of rules and both require the use of suitable scenic playing areas to represent their fields of battle. The rules for both


historical and fantasy wargames tend to be remarkably similar, and anyone with a reasonable knowledge of any one ruleset can quickly pick up and play another. The models, too, are often universally recognizable and will easily make the transition across the ‘gulf ’ that apparently divides our hobby and, as for scenery, well I’m sure even the most obstinate of us will admit that, at least, is universal. Here, however, the similarities cease. Whilst historical wargamers enjoy the affable cameraderie shared by a close-knit and serious community, they also suffer from the lack of benefits brought by the huge commercial market riding on the back of the massively successful fantasy genre of games and game-related products. It is to the success of such ventures that we owe the fact that highly talented artists, whether they be writers, painters or sculptors, are gathered under our banner. For without the means to tempt the best to work within this industry, we would be all the poorer for it. I am sure most would agree that, certainly over the past twenty years, the best figures available for detail and pose, have all come from the work of fantasy sculpting. This, I am delighted to say,

The Golden Daemon cabinets. Not much interest there, then.

is spilling over into historical gaming as many artists, such as the Perry twins, are gradually producing more and more historical models after leaving the fantasy sphere altogether. The difference in scale between these two factions is immense. Henry has been kindly helping me to explore the world of historical gaming and gain an understanding of the wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm that is contained therein and it has been – and will continue to be – not just an eye opener, but a pleasant and rewarding one. But in the wake of recent shows such as Firepower at Woolwich and Salute in London’s Docklands, I thought I would offer him the chance to see the other side of the coin – Games Workshop’s annual Games Day, held at the massive National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. I have attended this event every year for the past 12 years and have seen the event grow from 5,000 visitors (when still held at the National Indoor Arena) to this year’s staggering 10,000 through the doors. When talking to the guys from Games Workshop US (yes, a daughter company) who had brought along a game of Texan proportions, I was amazed to learn that the Birmingham event draws more people than all five US Games Days added together! At this juncture, I should inform the reader that the Games Day event solely promotes the GW range of products and related services, like subsidiary publishing businesses, and licensed products, for example the new generation of computer games currently available or under development. Yes, one single company is able to attract a staggering 10,000 gamers through its doors. And the figure rises every year. For the past three years, my gaming club, Clayton Warlords, have taken participation games to the event, two (for the first time) this year: one for Warhammer and one for Warhammer 40,000. Henry was invited to ‘help’ run one of the games although, if truth be told, he was being given a free pass to enter the exhibition early with his

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famed digital camera where, armed with his not inconsiderable stature and charismatic charm, he would have opportunity to see and photograph many of the boards and displays before they were totally obscured by the madding crowds, soon to flow like lava (not unlike the aforementioned Vesuvius) over the floors and stands of the three enormous halls housing the event. I do not believe he was disappointed with the wealth of material on hand, nor the enthusiasm of the volunteer gamers who stoically manned the boards and ran the games. Indeed, to say he was impressed would be an understatement, since (and I have this on good authority) he was close to speechless during the drive home – which, as I am sure you will all be aware, is almost unheard of! This was also the first major Games Workshop event to be held since the introduction of the new Warhammer 40,000 rules. The revised set has greatly enhanced the flow of the game and does much to compensate for some of the accidental imbalances caused by the successive reworking of some Codices during the natural development of army lists, which unfortunately often ends up playing to the strengths of some armies in particular whilst handicapping others – never, I believe, deliberate or crippling, but irritating nonetheless. Such successive small scale changes tend to require some minor reworking of the rules to adjust the gameplay and it’s always nice to see this achieved in a sensitive and practical manner. However, for all the improvements I welcome with open arms, one brings its own inherent drawbacks. I refer, specifically, to the ‘real line of sight’ now employed. The rules say that, in case of doubt as to whether you can see a target or not, one should get down to table level and physically check to see if the target is in sight or not. Brilliant, but not if the board is built on many levels, with scenery liberally dispersed throughout which, to make matters worse, normally also varies in height and size considerably. Great fun if you have a generous nature and are willing to compromise – frequently! Games Day also saw the (advance) launch of the new Space Marine Codex (although only 1000 copies were available for sale) and a few of the new line of Space Marine models, especially the plastic drop

Fernando Prieto was awarded the coveted Golden Daemon Slayer Sword for this figure. Photo © Games Workshop. Thanks, Tom!

pod which, at a cost of £18, makes it a viable proposition for those wishing to sport infiltration-style forces. On a negative note, however, the replacement Space Marine Codex carries the same price tag, which represents a 50% increase in cover price over the previous cost of £12. Let’s hope this is not a general trend but just an attempt to cash-in on the fact that the Space Marine range is the single largest selling line in the Games Workshop catalogue. Still, cynicism aside, let’s return to what the company does best – promotion of the hobby. For those who have never attended the show, and I think that’s a pity, I should like to explain that it is basically divided into five distinct areas; retail, participation games, modelling, game development and the famed Golden Daemon painting competition. The latter is always incredibly competitive and draws a large number of entrants from all over Europe: getting to actually see the entries, however, is another matter. We, the ardent showgoers, don’t always agree with the judges when it comes to the winners but, whatever else we may think, it does emphasize the fact that the wargaming hobby (for many) is not just about kicking your opponent’s arse with a bucketload of cannon and a few hundred archers! No, there are other elements to the

hobby besides the playing of games. What this particular show demonstrates more than anything else, is just how many people are willing to give up their precious time and energy to support the hobby. For the first time this year, half the participation/demonstration games were designed, constructed and run by volunteers from among the numerous independent gaming clubs around the country. There is a rising trend of non-Games Workshop involvement in their national, showcase exhibition and it’s producing a far greater degree of diversity in the types of games being represented. This is probably partly due to the fact that all volunteers and clubs have to be registered members of the Gaming Club Network (GCN), an organization created to promote all variations of tabletop wargaming. Additionally it serves to monitor and regulate its members, ensuring equality of opportunity and the vetting of personnel, improving safety by ensuring that officers of clubs are CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checked. With this peace of mind, clubs can actively encourage younger gamers, as well as veterans, to participate in the hobby outside of the in-store sessions provided by Games Workshop. It should also be stressed, and I cannot do so enough, that the GCN, although supported by GW, is an entirely independent organization, itself relying on volunteers to maintain day to day administrative and promotional offices. It is, I believe, largely due to this increased input from outside the GW hierarchy that the variety and quality of tables seen at Games Day continues to soar. This has meant that whilst the Games Workshop store built games tend, almost solely, to be based around the three core games (Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000 and Lord of the Rings), the GCN clubs often produce tables supporting more specialist games such as Battlefleet Gothic, Mordheim, Blood Bowl, Inquisitor, Warmaster and Warhammer Historical. It also sees some creative re-invention of some of the systems, such as a beautiful WWI-styled trench warfare game using adapted Warhammer 40,000 rules! I wanted to play, but I had work to do. Warhammer Historical also hosted a magnificent Cornish pirate game on a wonderful scatter scenery

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table that looked for all the world like a scratch-built custom board. Complete with wharves and jetties, villages, trees and roads, it made a wonderfully realistic ‘British’ setting that would have felt at home in many an 18th Century skirmish game. But I digress. The point of all this is the gradual shift of emphasis during the day away from the initial ‘feeding frenzy’ at the retail stands towards the outer halls. Those new to the event might have been forgiven for thinking that they were going to be in for a quiet day – how wrong can you be? The trickle of punters that started to filter through to the arena rapidly rose to a raging torrent, with the larger (and visually most impressive) games attracting crowds of enthusiastic gamers keen to get in on the action, before overflowing to the many smaller tables that covered the area between. Though less imposing to the casual eye, the smaller games often contained much finer modelling and detailing and presented scenarios that were simpler to grasp and play, an ideal choice for those wanting to finish an entire game before moving on, rather than simply playing a minor role in a game which was meant to play out over the course of the whole day. The games that we took with us worked on the basis of a simple scenarios and short playing time, though they worked very differently in overall structure. The Warhammer game, “Squig Hunt”, involved giving gamers a couple of teams of goblins

Rick Priestley deep in conversation with Phil Mackie as Grant Thomas masterminds his attack at the Warmaster Medieval table. The game is Wakefield 1460, with spectacular castle, using 10mm figures.

apiece with which to capture the aforementioned squigs, the teams remaining in play until being ‘eaten’ by their quarry. (Imagine a 1970s Space Hopper with a bad attitude, insatiable appetite and huge teeth: that’s a squig!) Once a player’s goblins met with their inevitable demise, another gamer would step in and new teams would be placed on the board. Similarly, dead squigs were re-spawned and entered play from a cave on one of the board edges. A running tally was kept on a blackboard at the head of the table and, despite all the odds against them, the goblins won out the day having ‘captured’ a total of 390 squigs! One incidental beneficial outcome from

Thousands of hours of work well spent: Orc raid on a dwarven stronghold by the GW in-house team.

running this game was the unexpected conclusion that the basic Warhammer rules will still work reasonably well for small skirmishes, without having to resort to more complicated specially adapted versions. In our other game, 40K Imperial troopers were pitted against their corrupted cousins in a bleak, trenchdefended outpost. The odds were deliberately stacked against them, being outnumbered, out-gunned and outclassed. Amazingly, out of the six games played (averaging just under an hour apiece) the beleaguered loyalist forces managed to achieve the objective of this little adventure by storming the walls (metaphorically speaking) and killing the heavily guarded psyker (a sort of space-age warlock of moderate power), on no less than three occasions! The moral of both these stories is simple: however hard you try to rig the outcome, some muppet (sorry, tactically enlightened genius) will always materialize to upset your carefully-laid plans. At the end of the exhausting day, the overpowering impression left was just how broad the interest was throughout the show. It wasn’t just a massive spending spree – though I imagine the turnover on the day was satisfyingly huge – there was just as much interest shown in the forthcoming products, online gaming (a development that I’m sure we’ll see for historical in the near future) and other hobby aspects such as modelling, painting and gaming. After all, ten thousand people can’t all be wrong, can they?

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Tally ho!
One wargamer’s journey into the blue
by Tim Beresford aving cleared the runway and retracted its undercarriage, a P51 can be carving through sky and hammering over my roof in less than a minute. One is about to do so as I write and will no doubt be chased away by the finger four of Spitfires I saw heading out a few minutes previously. I’ve lived most of my life within earshot of the harmonious beat of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine emanating from the Imperial War Museum at Duxford where many airworthy examples of WWII fighters are restored, pampered and enjoyed. Living so close, I’m lucky enough to witness an almost daily parade of historic warbirds, at least during the summer months. Recently, the noise that brought me rushing outside from my home studio turned out to belong to an earlier era – four colourful Fokker Dr1 Triplanes that I’d not seen before nor since. While the graceful Spitfire tugs the heart strings every time, those gaudy, brash P51-Ds and their American brethren, the slick Tigercat and the stoic looking Bearcat, remain favourites.


Early inspirations

My father, ex-Fleet Air Arm, was only too happy to encourage my early interest in planes and would often guide my six-year-old hands, wielding pencil and paintbrush, to recreate the action straight from the pages of my well-thumbed Biggles books. He also made me a collection of WWI biplanes from tiny kits that came in my breakfast cereal – they were exquisitely painted whilst I slept. Imagine waking up to those gems!

This is where it all started. I must have read every Biggles book cover to cover 20 times by the time I was ten. Capt W. E. Johns, the author, flew for the Royal Flying Corps during WWI.

I suspect that like many Battlegames readers, I operated a production line assembly of dozens of plastic aeroplane kits. However, it wasn’t until my early teens that my wargaming activities first switched from live fire exercises to a more intellectual practice which involved dice and a rule book. I’d been using matchstick-launching cannon to fell my unpainted plastic figures, hidden amongst the debris of a ruined Lego citadel. Of course, model planes had to feature in all of these games, but were usually only targets for my Long Range Desert Group or a clutch of Paratroopers. I was never really a tankie and before I immersed myself further into WWII gaming, I’d moved schools and been introduced to the delights of 25mm metal horse and musket figures. For the next 25 years or so, my air combat gaming remained a series of brief and unsuccessful flirtations. Prompted by my French language teacher (an ex-Desert Rat) reading the class extracts from Dr Alfred Price’s brilliant Battle of Britain history The Hardest Day, I bought SPI’s Spitfire game that promised so much. Within hours of ripping the box open, I realised that it would fail to deliver very much in the way of excitement and so it sat, unloved, in my cupboard for years, to be joined by the overly complex Avalon Hill offering Knights of the Air. This in turn was followed by Richthofen’s War some years later. The latter proved to be fun for a short period of time before we tired of its predictability. It is easy to see where they all failed for me; none delivered the excitement of pressing that inviting red gun button to obliterate an opponent, briefly caught in the ring sight, in quite the same way the arcade games did. There was no split second timing and no sense of speed in their measured, cardboard gameplay. I concluded that models were much better suited to replicating the slower, more formulaic patterns of warfare that characterised the horse and musket era than two fighter aircraft closing at 700 miles per hour. Whatever issues I faced with my terra firma games, depicting relative altitude was not one of them. In the early 90s, Skytrex released their Red Eagle 1/144 metal WWI kits and I was tortured by a dozen whilst I huddled in my student attic room. I made fancy telescopic flight stands from radio aerials to bravely hold my hardwon metal creations aloft. Paragon provided the rules and I provided the bin into which they flew. I therefore sadly came to the conclusion that air combat with miniatures was not worth bothering with. The Red Eagles were subsequently demobbed – some were accidently left on a train and some were sold, but I didn’t miss them. I suppose this article could have ended here, had it not been for that endless parade of real Spitfires, the books, the films and that nagging interest which remained confined to an artistic expression. I found myself in the fortunate position of funding my college days by selling drawings of the fighters at Duxford. I’d work in sometimes freezing cold hangers for up to ten hours a day, producing intricate pen and ink renderings. My brief walks around the hangers to restart my circulation were made more rewarding by my security pass that ensured I’d often be stopped by older Americans asking

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advance my collection to 1944/5, I’m going to experiment polishing the bare metal of the P51s rather than relying on paint. At the time of writing in late 2008, the Raiden range is relatively small but, in the fullness of time, I’m certain it will grow into a comprehensive selection.

Temptation leads me astray

A partly stripped-down Harvard at Imperial War Museum Duxford. Pen and ink drawing by the author.

me about the museum and its facilities. I like to think they were all ex-78th Fighter Group aces returning to see Duxford again. I spent so much time there drawing that my prescription was reduced as my eyes grew stronger.

Starting afresh

Fast forward to Salute 2006 and, probably as a result of having watched the Battle of Britain film for the umpteenth time, I rashly bought a few 1/300 Spitfires with no real idea of what I’d do with them once they were painted. I just liked them. True to form, once I’d cleaned and primed this impulsive purchase, they remained stranded in my ‘must do’ box. Shy of daylight, these little planes were never to feel the gentle caress of my paint brush, but they had piqued my interest again. Many months after Salute, I came across a company new to me – Raiden Miniatures. Following a brief flurry of emails between myself and Mark, the Chief Mechanical Engineer, a few days later I was the proud owner of one of their newly released Me1009Es which, quite simply, snarled ‘paint me now’ in a particular Daimler Benz kind of way. If you’ve not heard the real thing, the in-line Benz engine has a definite rasping note like an old motorbike. Further orders to Raiden followed, providing me with the means to indulge myself in my favourite Battle of Britain period but still with no clear idea of where I might be heading. I’d postponed the delicate question of playability – these aircraft might turn out be a pure painting project like the pirates and the Sudan figures that had previously littered my workbench. I make no bones about the fact that I love these Raiden models and, at the time of purchase, was completely hooked. It’s not just that the castings are beautifully clean but, as I relayed to their designer, his renditions are so good I imagine they contain a tiny Merlin coughing into life or an equally minute Daimler Benz 601 grizzling its malign intent. At 1/285 scale, they are slightly larger than the 1/300 ranges (think 25mm verses 28mm or heroic 1/300 if you prefer) but all the better for it, avoiding the pinched proportions that some of the slightly smaller models seem to have. I like the smoothness of line – the designers have resisted the temptation to clutter the models with too much detail that can look overscale on such a small airframe. These castings ooze the slipperiness, the aversion to drag that the real thing displays, particularly when airborne. Sometimes fighters were waxed and polished to a state of perfection in an effort to glean that extra ounce of speed that could be a matter of survival. If I ever decide to

As usual, part way into this project, I allowed myself to get diverted, in this instance back in time to 1917. The readypainted Wings of War (WoW) 1/144 models and rules were released and, unsurprisingly, caught my attention, especially since they were almost ready to fly – I chose to add pilots cut down from N-gauge plastic railway figures to occupy the ghostly empty cockpits. Riversco make suitable white metal pilots, although I felt they look too big-headed to suit the fine plastic models. The WoW game held my interest whilst I deliberated over even continuing the WWII collection which was aimlessly dithering around and without focus. The initial games were great fun, but before too long, I’d worked out some thoroughly unhistorical but very effective tactics and, perhaps with this flaw exposed, WoW inevitably joined my rejects pile, being just too simplistic to really satisfy. If you like the WoW models but want more types, the metal kits from Skytrex under the Red Eagle banner, which I had wrestled with as a student, and those from Riversco, are perfectly suited to building up your collection. To be honest, it’s unlikely that Wings of War will bring out plastic versions of the venerable BE2c or a Fokker Eindecker any time soon if ever. You may also be able to find the out-of-production Mamoli metal kits on eBay from time to time, or the semi-assembled, ready-painted plastic offerings from F-Toys. I’ve chosen not to mix and match metal with plastic, as I can’t help feeling that the metal models look so, err… leaden, encumbered as they are with their overthick wings that lack an aerofoil profile when compared to the delicately proportioned plastic offerings. For the truly insane, SRAM make a range of 1/144 resin kits which are really more suited to safe and prolonged life in a display case than the dangers of the wargames table, but if you must have scale fidelity and are up to the challenge, they are another option, but not one I personally wanted to pursue. Similarly, for small WWII engagements, there are ready-painted 1/144 models available. Nexus, who brought us WoW, are promising a range of ready to play 1/196 fighters (near enough 1/200).

Dogfight! Wings of War miniatures from the Editor’s collection. This is the game that gets Battlegames HQ reverberating to the sounds of “Dakkadakka-dakka-dakka!” from time to time. Yes, it’s sad, I know... Photo HH.

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Had I chosen the right scale?

I had one major 1/600 scale blip while dallying around with my biplanes. I spent a good long while in front of the Tumbling Dice stand at one show, considering a change to 1/600 scale, which has a huge gaming advantage over larger models: the sky is a big space and fast, WWII pistonengined fighters eat a lot of it very quickly. Similarly, larger bomber formations take up plenty of space and if you are really interested this type of game, then the diminutive scale may be the way to go unless you are blessed with a large playing area and very long arms. As is inevitable with such small models, there is a certain loss of scale fidelity in terms of wing thickness etc, although the models remain characterful and instantly recognisable. I was sorely tempted by the apparent ease of using 1/600 and, if you are in any doubt regarding scale, then perhaps it may be best to start with them. These models are relatively cheap and readily available. If you take to air gaming but find them too small, you’ve lost little and can change up a scale or use different scales for different types of game. Acquiring a schwarm of fighters in a new scale is unlikely to be the equivalent commitment to replicating a Napoleonic division in a different scale! However, scale appearance was important to me, and I was fully committed to 1/285, but if space is no issue then 1/72 and even 1/48 scale models can be used; the floor or even the garden can be the playing surface. 1/72 scale plastic kits are justifiably popular for WWI games and if you wish to go down this route, there are plenty of types available at reasonable prices, along with vast ranges of decals. Revell have started to re-release their range of WWI kits and although not the most detailed, they are quite rugged models, more suited to gaming than the more recent hi-fidelity models offered by Roden and Eduard. And yes, you’ve guessed it: I got diverted yet again, acquiring sixty 1/72 kits (box art is so alluring). I did, however, finally see sense and sold the lot without losing a penny.

that used the day fighter scheme on many, but not all, of their Me110s; in reality these Zerstörer aircraft were usually painted using the green bomber colour scheme. The He111 flying in the Battle of Britain film seem to have been painted in the more contrasting day fighter colour scheme which, although not accurate, does look great. You may find my suggestions for the bombers are not very contrasting tones; I think they look about right but you may disagree – feel free to adapt as you wish.


Camouflage green Vallejo 893 US Dark Green Camouflage brown Humbrol 29 (acrylic) Dark Earth Undersides Humbrol 90 (acrylic) Beige Green


Day fighter, green scheme (a grey scheme was also used later in the Battle of Britain but I’ve not yet tried this option) Dark camouflage Vallejo 888 Olive Grey Light camouflage Vallejo 971 Green Grey Undersides Vallejo 906 Light Blue Day bomber scheme Dark camouflage Vallejo 897 Bronze Green Light camouflage Vallejo 888 Olive Grey Undersides Vallejo 906 Light Blue As somebody who wished there had been cameras around during the Napoleonic wars, being able to consult photographic evidence initially seemed such a blessing, but ultimately became a source of frustration. Often all but the exact plane I wanted to see were shown in a squadron line-up or, having painted something, I’d find an image countering my original deduction. Deciphering the colours of orthochromatic photographs is a black (and white) art with no definitive solution. Ultimately, my ideas were still conjectural in some instances but, by ignoring my inner pedant, I found I could get enough of a colour scheme right for my small models to look good. Even so, I’ve worked hard to resist that perfectionist streak which kept holding up any progress, an urge which, perhaps surprisingly, I don’t have when painting

Painting and decorating

Painting the Raiden models with acrylics was very enjoyable, especially as I opted for solid, flat colour as opposed to a multi-layered, shaded method. I would never consider using the shading techniques I usually employ on wargames figures on a 1/72 plastic kit of an aircraft and therefore even at 1/285 scale, I chose to use simple flat colour, believing this to be the best style to preserve that clean, slippery and desirable aesthetic I mentioned earlier. The Vallejo and Humbrol acrylic ranges provided suitable colours, but if these don’t meet your own expectations, Hannants, amongst others, sell specialist aviation colours. You may find these turn out a little dark if used straight from the bottle on very small models. Adding a little white or yellow depending on the hue will make the difference. There are dozens of books and plenty of online sources for colour scheme details. I spent an inordinate amount of time researching these, being fascinated by the various permutations. As with many military uniforms, once you begin to research the variants which break the rules, you start to wonder what the rules were in the first place. I’ve listed below those colours I used, and these serve as a very simple guide to a complex subject, so I recommend some investigation unless you are happy with very generic colour schemes. For example, I chose a unit

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Napoleonics. I have frequently had to remind myself of the small scales I’m working with and the limitations this brings. If the models looked believable, that had to be good enough: after all, my ECW and Napoleonic figures are, by necessity, painted using this compromising approach. One of the things I particularly began to enjoy as I ploughed on with the painting and research was the camaraderie born of a niche within what is already a niche hobby. Those who make the products are usually open to discuss suggestions for new models and ranges in a way that is completely unheard of with the mainstream wargames figure manufacturers. It’s an exciting time as all sorts of new items are coming onto the market. New and better models than those that existed even five years ago are now available and more and more decals to decorate them are also emerging.

artwork. For example, some prefer inks overprinting, while others avoid it. Precision Decals use the ALPS printers for production (as does Dom’s decals) which will print opaque white, but there are colours that they just can’t match. The design and research of these tiny details chewed up even more of my time and I only realised they still weren’t perfect once new books and photographs were inspected some weeks after I’d applied them to my models! If you do create your own decals, resist the urge to cram every millimetre of space on your sheet with artwork, as it makes for a much harder task cutting each marking out to use. Unlike the screen-printed examples found in plastic kits, you will need to cut your markings out individually as they are on one continuous piece of clear film. High minimum production runs render screen-printing out of reach for one-off commissions, as far as I could discover. You can buy decal paper Decals for your home The whole inkjet or laser aspect of decals printer, but be was one I’d not aware decals from envisaged getting this source won’t as absorbed in always be opaque, as I reluctantly rendering them of became. As very limited use in this project application, and progressed, I of course there became more is no such thing interested in as white ink for getting it right, these printers. rather than just Applying these being generic tiny graphics with my colour required some schemes. dexterity, Dom’s Decals tweezers, and a in the UK, I-94 lot of patience. A Enterprises and limitless supply Scale Specialities Biggles and Algy from the fictitious 266 Camel Squadron take on the DrI triplanes of Jasta 19 during a of small brushes in the USA all game of Algernon Pulls it Off. Wings of War ready painted models. Adding the micro-pilots proved to to tempt them deserve a special be something of a nightmare! The Camels have had part of the markings of the factory-finished WoW into position is mention for the Barker Camel overpainted to leave a single white stripe – a plausible but fictional marking. Individual also required if, enormous amount aircraft letters were added using an old sheet of Letraset. The Triplanes are partly repainted and like me, you lose of research decorated with the individual markings from the Jasta 19 sheet produced by Dom’s Decals. your temper and and effort they hurl whatever put in to bring their products to market. is in your hand across the room in sheer frustration when I found that no one manufacturer yet covers the Battle of the 1mm square decal you thought was safely positioned Britain period in totality and each range has its strengths. on a tail fin is, in fact, a tiny new tattoo on your forearm. I ended up deciding to use Dom’s for my Me109s, I-94 for I used a pair of very fine pointed scissors, designed for my British fighters and Scale Specialities for my German fly fishermen, to cut the decals from the sheet. With those bombers. Incidentally, I used Dom’s excellent 1/144 WWI made on ALPS printers, you need to cut very close to the range for my WoW repaints and I was very excited to graphic, removing as much of the clear carrier film as you see the sheets I’d suggested make it into production. dare. Too much film can cause creases or lifting when fitting Sometimes, though, you just can’t get what you want and wrapping the decal to a surface. It’s worth following the and so I resorted to custom-made decals, although these makers’ advice for application, particularly regarding the use are not cheap compared to the price of an off-the-shelf of setting solutions that are designed to melt the artwork sheet. There were no decals suitable for a complete Me110C into the contours of your model. The two most common colour scheme and I wanted them so badly I designed a are called Micro Set and Micro Sol – I used the former if set which were printed by a UK-based company, Precision faced with compound curves such as a tapering fuselage, Decals. I was also impressed by Brunel models in Australia but feared the decal melting power of the latter. However, and would happily use either company in the future. Each used correctly and with care, they can work wonders. manufacturer has their own preferred methodology to My models were varnished with gloss for protection, ensure the best results from their particular printer, so but I avoided spirit-based varnish as this will simply melt it’s best to follow their advice to the letter when creating or lift some types of decal which have been so carefully

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and often painstakingly tweaked and coerced into position. Generally, its safer to stick with acrylic varnishes. I finally finished my camouflaged models with a matt acrylic varnish, Daler Rowney being my preferred brand.

disappointed: at last, I could sweep over broad Churchillian sunlit uplands, unencumbered by the mathematics that plagues so many rules covering technology-based warfare. I gave in at this point having finally got my hands on a set of rules I liked the feel of. Dusting off the Richthofen’s Rules War game board and counters, my early games of Bag Feeling justifiably proud of the small force I’d assembled, the Hun were played out in a curious quasi WWI/WWII I was tempted one last time to see if I could find a mix. This phoney cardboard cut-out war served to ruleset I really liked and, after all, this is Battlegames galvanise the rule choice and developments. Somehow, you’re reading, not Tiny Scale Aeroplane Modeller… I contrived to imagine the silhouette depicting a Fokker As with most periods, I found there was a plethora of triplane on a flat counter was really an Me109, the deadly rules, with many, but not all, using hex-based movement. I foe of the equally imaginatively-conjured Hurricanes liked this, as I thought it would accelerate gameplay and I felt (SE5s) and Spitfires (Camels). I finally longed for the that speed remained an all-important essence of air combat. SPI Spitfire game, if only for its counters and hex sheet I couldn’t hope to mimic the split-second decision making of which would have been perfect for this trial stage. the fighter pilot or the arcade game in my table top action, The Lardy approach to the period very much brings but anything that pilot quality and was contrary to altitude advantage the sense of pace to the fore. The had to be avoided. sequencing is I looked at one card activated, very popular set of so there’s plenty rules which uses of chaos and plotted moves, i.e. snatching of the players write opportunity which down the exact has a resonance path they intend with what often their models to seems to have trace, but I found been confused this paperwork warfare. A the complete bucketload of dice antithesis of is used for firing air fighting and and, whilst not more suited to, to everybody’s say, a fighting sail taste, I find this game as a rule quite fun, having mechanism than not encountered I couldn’t buy suitable decals from anywhere for these Me110Cs of 9/ZG26, so I drew up the artwork. to dogfighting. it before. The Precision Decals printed the sheet to a high quality, though I later found more images of 9/ZG26 and During the open structure of discovered there should really be individual aircraft letters on each wing. Luckily, I had a few suitable Battle of Britain, the Lardy rules letter ‘A’s on a Scale Specialities sheet and added these to the Staffelkapitan’s machine only. I chose control was by allows the gamer ZG26 as they used the contrasting day fighter colour scheme with mottled fuselages and white tactical telephone and to get in and markings applied in temporary washable paint – an attractive combination. radio, not pencil unpick and adapt and paper, and where they want so I discarded those types of games from my potential list. without upsetting the game balance – such tinkering Finally, for want of knowing better, being very happy being actively encouraged by the authors. I have with the Napoleonic rules from TooFatLardies and liking adapted here and there, being unable to leave any their general ethos (Lardy Rich would probably deny that published set of rules alone, bringing certain qualities they have anything as formal as an ethos), I plumped for I wanted into the mix whilst dulling or removing one Bag the Hun (BTH), their WWII air combat offering. It was or two aspects I found slowed the game play. an added bonus that the rules were principally designed For example, I decided not use the optional ‘staying in specifically for the Battle of Britain, with variants available formation test’ in the interests of speed. I also tinkered with for other eras such as Algernon Pulls it Off (Algy) covering pilot qualities and the implications of genuine novice pilots the 1914-18 air war and another for the Korean air war. I losing control. I eased the permutations possible, although have to admit that by the time I’d struggled with paint chips, I wanted to keep the historically correct effects of these endless photographs, decals and decal artwork, I really just less well trained aircrew being thrown into the thick of wanted an easy way out, and the idea of flight-testing half the action before they were really ready. Ultimately, fewer a dozen or so possible sets just wasn’t going to happen. options and modifiers to remember and less consulting I wasn’t sure what to expect of these rules, given my the rule book resulted in more rapid game play. previously less than successful choices, but if the Lardies Contrary to my ‘speed is best’ modifications, I added have a talent, it seems to be in creating something fresh more altitude bands to compound the advantages of from periods which have previously, at least in my mind, ceiling enjoyed by some types, noticeably the Spitfire posed many challenges for the designer. I wasn’t to be and Me109, over other less capable machines.

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designed to fit clear small plastic sleeves ensuring longevity. Of course I could have foregone the models entirely and A flight case supplied by Figures in Comfort provided with relative ease made up some more suitable WWII a perfect storage solution to the completed collection. card counters, but though practical, it wouldn’t have quite been the same, so there were one or two accessories to Roger red leader purchase or make before my models could take to the air. At last I was ready to play… At this point, I have to admit Firstly flight stands, the air gaming equivalent of that I’ve only really scratched the surface of the possibilities basing. Opinion seemed divided into two distinct camps. of BTH and Algy, although there is every indication I’ve The first favoured a complex telescopic stand showing made the right choices. Having played about a dozen height, often incorporating a swivelling mechanism at games of each, I can report that the former plays out rather the top to enable to the model to be held whilst banking like the action from the 1968 Battle of Britain film and or even inverted. This type, being the more complex, is the latter, well, that takes me back to the pages of those more expensive and generally places the models at about Biggles books which is where this all began. Our games eye level. During the Red Eagle experience of student have typically lasted about forty minutes to an hour each days, I found this type of stand too visually intrusive, and always given believable results. We often find the even if they do show relative height quite effectively, so I RAF fighters dive for home, bringing the game to a close, decided to use an alternative concept; simple, clear plastic having expended their meagre ammunition allowance. ‘flying bases’ sold by Games Workshop. A tiny but highpowered rare earth magnet was added to each stand and A learning experience each model to hold them a few inches above the playing I’m not claiming any world record, but from initial surface. There is reduced ability to show height variation inspiration to realisation, this project has been hanging using this type of stand, but on balance I preferred them. around me for the best part of 35 years. My two combined A luxury development of this type places plastic collections of aeroplanes remain on the modest side numbered dials around the central pin to denote altitude. of 70, but I suspect at some point I’ll add to them. Litko in the USA sells this type and I’d probably use them Of course my learning curve has gone beyond the if I’d not been given a big bag of the Games Workshop confines of this single project which was, in reality, one of six variety, for which I devised a very simple modification. I worked on simultaneously. Five have now been brought to Using a 45˚ mitre block and a fine tooth razor saw I successful, if perhaps temporary, conclusions and the sixth cut the top of each stand off before supergluing on the remains what I suspect will be a lifelong labour of love. magnet. My fighter models all now fly at interesting There were many times I felt like giving up, not least dynamic angles, banking, diving or climbing and during the hours spent on the computer designing each can be changed by simply rotating the model in decals and game cards, both of which felt a little too relation to the 45˚ angle of the top of the stand. much like my day job to be truly relaxing, but I do take enormous pleasure in just looking at the jewel-like models Again, for simplicity and being budget conscious, I I now possess. Perseverance has its own rewards. added micro dice to denote altitude and ID. These are held on the base of the stand with a tiny discreet blob of Blu-Tac. Black dice denote the six low levels and white dice the higher of the 12 levels in my game, replicating the graphic display of an artificial horizon instrument. All refreshingly low-tech and a system that I found quite fast to use – don’t trust me on this, you may disagree. As BTH features hex-based movement, I opted for the ready-made ‘European Fields’ mats available from Eric Hotz which are quite superb and easily stored. I have found a 6’ x 4’ mat printed with 2 inch hexes on one side and 1.5 inch hexes on the other adequate for my fledgling games, though I’d love to double this area one day to allow a really big stream of bombers into the action. The final mountain I chose to climb was in designing the cards required by BTH to sequence play. I could have downloaded these from the Lardy site, “Blue section you take the starboard, Red section follow me, we’ll take the port. Tally Ho!” but instead I went the hard way about I experimented with adding the crew-served machine guns to these Heinkels of KG53 – they looked it. The Battle of Britain film was one of nice but were fragile, so I reluctantly abandoned the idea. The He111s are great big Raiden creations, my inspirations for the entire collection decorated with the Scale Specialities decals that were lovely to work with. and so too for the cards. These were

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If you do take up the challenge and try air combat, I urge you to begin with just four or a maximum of eight fighters for each side. Paint and play with them before seriously adding to your lead (or plastic) pile. Depending on the rules chosen, you really can play tense one against one dogfights or enjoy more challenging games as your collection grows. There’s only one thing left to be written. Predictable perhaps, but still totally necessary: “chocks away”! • Raiden – 1/285 white metal models. • Tumbling Dice – 1/600 white metal models. • Skytrex Red Eagle– 1/144 white metal models. • Reviresco – 1/144 white metal models. • Hannants – SRAM 1/144 resin kits, plastic kits, paint and decals. • Dom’s Decals – Decals and the cheapest supplier I know for WoW models. • I-94 Enterprises – Decals. • Scale Specialities – Decals. • Precision Decals – Custom made decals. • Brunel Models – Custom made decals. • TooFatLardies – Bag the Hun and Algy rules. • eM-4 – Dice. • Games Workshop – Flight stands. • Litko – Flight stands. • Eric Hotz – Hex mats. • Kallistra – Plastic hex terrain system. • Figures in Comfort – storage cases.

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“Yellow nosed b******ds coming down now, break right and climb!” Classic Battle of Britain action. These mottled Me109s are painted in a conjectural scheme based loosely on a machine from I/JG26.

Painting small scale WWII planes can make for a very welcome diversion if you’re already immersed in a large project which requires endless repetitive painting of complex uniform details. Equally, unless you insist that your models fly over a miniature contoured terrain complete with fields, roads, settlements and woods (some air gamers enjoy this added spectacle), then you avoid the need to acquire the terrain paraphernalia associated with land-based games. With hindsight, I’ve realised that you only need a small number of models to get your first games under your belt, which can be so important in crystallising your commitment to a period. One of the nice things about air gaming is that you can dabble without committing months or even years of painting time, unless you want to. I, of course, missed this all too important facet and worked on my entire collection en masse, completing each phase before moving on to the next. I’d have been better completing four fighters for each side initially, thus giving me something to play with while I struggled with the remainder. I also learnt the folly of taking on too much, even with a smallish project like this. What initially seems quite manageable at the outset will, I suspect at some point, hit some sort of brick wall which threatens to sap the initial enthusiasm. In my case, this meant sourcing the decals and especially in completing the Me110s. Unfortunately, I have no real advice as to how to avoid the diversions which suddenly appear to be so tempting whilst working through an existing project, other than helpfully suggesting you perhaps just ‘look the other way’! The 1/72 WWI plastic kits were a blind alley for me, but the WoW models less so, as they opened up another era and are a nice addition to my armoury without requiring too much extra work.


During the course of this project a small library of books served to keep me inspired even during my darkest hour. • The Hardest Day – Dr Alfred Price (if you just obtain one book this is the one to get) • Battle of Britain Day September 15 – Dr Alfred Price • The Battle of Britain – Richard Hough and Denis Richards • The Battle of Britain – Michael J F Bowyer • Zerstörer – John J Vasco & Peter D Cornwell • Histoire & Collections Me109 Vol 1 provided many inspiring colour profiles and comes highly recommended. • Osprey Aircraft of the Aces series – various titles covering the WWI and WWII periods. • For information about Biggles: All photos by the author except where noted.

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Have you seen my Neil Diamond CD?
The continuing tales of a wargames widow
by Diane Sutherland suppose I should have noticed that the CD case was light when I picked it up. I also should have realised that something was afoot when he asked me to pick up an AOL installation CD and if I’d noticed whether Tesco had any CDs for their Internet service at the tills. Then there was the strange obsession with tropical fish. We don’t have a fish tank, so why is he buying plastic plants? “Just a little Vietnam project,” he assured me. “Not Ia Drang by any chance?” I replied, noting that he’d been watching We Were Soldiers Once and Young for the umpteenth time. “So, have you seen my Neil Diamond CD?” I growled. Nothing gets between me and Neil Diamond, certainly not Mel Gibson. “I don’t think I’ve stuck anything to it yet,” he replied cautiously.


A selection of plastic aquatic plants and plant mats. Most are sold on a large sprue but can be pulled off making the construction of the terrain much easier. None of the plant mats in this picture cost more than £7 each for 100 plants.

try places that sell imitation flowers and plants: if you’re lucky, you’ll find 100 freestanding plants on a large square sprue for under £10. In fact, on eBay, you should be able to find a mat of plants for around £3 - £7, plus the postage of course. Just search for “plant mat” and all will be revealed. Firstly, you need to do some knife work. Score the silvered surface of the CD to help the glue and the basing material to key to it. It’s advisable to score the playing surface of the CD for two main reasons – the label side is less likely to slide about and you’ll be less tempted to try to cram the CD back into the player at some point and spot weld the plastic plants to the innards. Not advisable, and certainly not a malfunction that is covered by the warranty.

The evil deed is averted as the wargame widow delivers a pre-emptive strike to preserve essential assets for the ongoing campaign. Objective Neil is successfully held by the forces of liberation.

b I must admit, the idea is an old one, a great way of getting rid of those unwanted CDs out of the Sunday papers and the profusion of Internet disks than drop through the letterbox. Add tropical fish plants, a hot glue gun and that’s all you need to make a jungle environment for your south east Asia wargames. Games Workshop have a nice collection of jungle plants in a large blister set (£24.95), but it contains only three different types of plant, so you need to spread your wings and think laterally. EBay is a good place to look; exercise caution, as some of the plastic foliage is truly revolting, far too bright and garish and you shouldn’t need to go to the trouble of painting anything except the base. Large pet stores are favoured hunting grounds (also handy for finely shredded hamster bedding and kapok). Don’t forget to

Our venerable hot glue gun, along with a pair of scissors (to snip the plant mat sprues), a craft knife to score the CDs and a plundered selection of ISP installation CDs.

Before we go any further, a few brief words of warning on using hot glue guns. Our glue gun is an old one; you have to push the glue stick into the gun and it takes a little while to heat up. Once it is up to temperature, the hot glue will literally pour out of the nozzle if you push the stick too hard. It is not a precision instrument and,

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what’s more, hot glue is not a friend to human skin. Whilst peeling off white wood glue from your fingers can be a pleasurable experience, doing the same with welded-on hot glue is most certainly not. Neither are the accompanying blisters that attractive or desirable. Be warned, it’s a twohanded job wielding the glue gun, so prepare yourself beforehand. Also, be aware of the fact that the hot glue will continue to seep out even if you are not pushing the glue stick, so don’t be tempted to use it on a French polished tabletop. More modern glue guns are slightly more foolproof, with proper triggers and such, and even have their own stands, but don’t trust a glue gun not to deposit scalding sticky fluid precisely where you don’t want it. Try to plan your jungle bases if you can. If you have been fortunate enough to find a variety of different plant styles, colours and sizes, you can vary the look of each of the CD clumps. Many of the plants will also come with bases. Do not discard them as they are your friends. Trim them down by all means and use the small plugs from the plant mats. The reasons for this are three-fold: firstly, even hot glue will struggle to secure a small point or trunk and you will need to hold the plant upright until the glue has cooled and hardened, which is clearly very tedious; secondly, the more plants you secure with bases, the easier the storage of the terrain pieces – you can simply unplug the plants from the CD base; and finally, being able to remove the plants from the CD after you have glued their base into place makes painting the CD a whole lot easier and far less fiddly. When planning your CD terrain, less is often more. That is, unless you want solid thickets of plants that you don’t intend to hide figures in. Scattering a handful of plants over the base will mean you can deploy figures amongst them. The central hole of the CD is an issue. We tend to use Games Workshop plastic multi-part jungle trees.

Construct them using polystyrene cement (the type you use to put together plastic kits). If you can only get hold of the grey jungle trees, just spray the trunk sections with a mid-brown, then give them an ink wash or a delicate drybrush and a green spray for the foliage and green ink or a yellow drybrush. The alternative is to cut a small square of card and stick this over the centre hole of the CD or use any plants you might have found with large bases.

Some CDs with a selection of plastic plants fixed in place with a hot glue gun. You can see the square of card over the central hole and the sprues of the plant mats. Scoring the CDs is just a minor precaution to help give the glue and the paint a key.

Now we have our plants in place, we can now turn our attention to the CD base itself. We tend to use the same basing mixture as we use for the terrain boards and the figure bases. At a distance, this means you can’t actually see the base at all; it simply blends into the overall colour of the terrain boards. We get our base brown mixed at a DIY superstore by the litre. To get the right mix, we give the paint a really good stir, then fill around a third of a jam jar with the paint. Add to this some dry play sand (you can buy a medium sized bag from most DIY stores – don’t be tempted by builders’ sand, it’s got too much clay in it and makes the mixture too cloggy). Keep adding the sand, handful by handful, until you’ve got a porridge-like consistency. What you want is

Games Workshop’s original jungle plants, now out of production, but still in wide circulation in the second-hand market. These are the green and brown ones; they have simply been washed in soapy water (a hangover chore from painting soft plastic figures and not strictly necessary), then washed with slightly watered-down Renaissance inks. You could also wash with watereddown dark green paint or simply drybrush. It’s much easier to do this with the plant parts still on the sprues.

Although these are out of production now, there are literally thousands of them available on eBay or at Bring and Buy stands at wargame shows. If you have the choice, go for the coloured plastic ones. The trunk parts come in brown and the foliage in green. All you have to do is to wash them in soapy water, let them dry and then liberally slosh brown and green ink over them whilst they are still on their sprue.

Four finished jungle terrain pieces. The paint and sand mix has been added, then drybrushed and some static grass stuck in place with white wood glue. You can get considerable variation with just a handful of different plant types and different ‘planting’ schemes.

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a mixture that can be painted on without being too thin or too thick. We use fairly large, flat brushes to apply the mixture to the CD base. It will usually need a couple of applications; paint once and you’ll cover most of the base the first time, then leave at least overnight as it does take some time to dry. Then give it another coat to cover the bare patches. Make sure you also cover the edges of the CD; this will help it blend in with the terrain boards.

Seed pods with a plastic plant mat plant stuck to the top to make palm trees. The natural shape of the seed pod was ideal for the trunk. These add a bit of extra colour to the Indian village featured in issue 14 of Battlegames.

Bamboo plants. These are based differently, just on a square of 2mm MDF. We bought a ‘chain’ of bamboo from a home décor store which provided us with 150 individual bamboo shoots. Three or four have been hot glued to the centre of the MDF.

Once dry and before putting the plants back into place on their bases, give the brown paint and sand mix a liberal drybrush with white (we use Daler Rowney Cryla). Optionally (and particularly if you’ve still got some bald patches on the CD), apply some white wood glue and fix some static grass to the CD base. We use shades from Realistic Terrain, but the Army Painter static grass is very good as are the ranges from several of the railway modelling companies.

You’ll also be surprised just how different your wargame table will look with these dotted around. There are other things you can do with the plastic plants. We have stuck three or four to twigs mounted on old pennies to make exotic looking trees. We also found some seed pods which we dried and then hot glued a single plastic plant to the top to make credible palms. For SF and Pulp gamers, why not try some of the more outlandish plastic aquatic plants and dried flowers? Fake orchids make terrifying-looking carnivorous plants! b For insurance, I’ve bought myself an iPod. That way, if the unthinkable happens, Neil and his timeless music will never be lost. I wonder just how long it will be before the wargamer comes up with some cunning scheme to utilise an iPod? Perhaps an interactive diorama of wartime Pathé News features being screened in a cinema? Why not – yesterday’s technology always seems to become tomorrow’s must-have terrain item!


For plastic aquatic plants; For plant mats;;

Twig and plant mat trees. Each of the plastic plants has literally been pushed onto the ‘branches’ of the twigs. Each twig has between three and five of the plastic plants inserted into it. For stability, the twig has been hot glued to an old coin.

The UK’s longest-running independent wargames podcast M In-depth reviews of miniature wargaming rules M Reviews of figures and strategy boardgames M Interviews, discussion and much, much more...

There you have it. Cost is very low. A couple of plant mats, some glue, a little paint and sand and some free CDs. Even if you put five plants on each CD, the cost per terrain base won’t be more than about 25p.
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Battlegames strives to give fair, unbiased and truthful reviews of all products and services. Our reviewers have been asked to express their honest, measured opinions, which are not necessarily those of the Editor. This magazine will never submit to intimidation of any kind, howsoever disguised, and though we do not publish critical reviews lightly, we reserve the right to do so where we believe constructive criticism is justified.

Osprey Duel 13 by Steven J. Zaloga, £12.99 One of the recent titles in the Osprey ‘Duel’ series, Panther vs. Les Higgins Miniatures Sherman compares the Sherman 20mm English Civil War, contact M4A3 with the Panther Ausf G Italeri amid the backdrop of the German In Battlegames 13, John Preece 1944 Ardennes Winter Offensive. welcomed the reappearance of the British Light Cavalry 1815 20mm plastic, £4.19 The book is 80 pages long, and classic 1970s Les Higgins Marlburian As the excellent box art quickly contains the usual Osprey mix of range, and from the same stable tells you, these are not the Hussars historical photos, artwork and cutaway we now have the English Civil that many of us started our hobby diagrams. The format looks at the War figures available again. life painting, but the oft-neglected design, development and technical Back in the early 70s, as the Light Dragoons. Rather less foppish specifications of the vehicles, the new craze of wargaming swept the than their colleagues, but in my training and performance of the tank Remove, these were the first metal mind just as smart and at least crews, and then goes onto give an figures I ever owned, bought secondoverview of the conflict itself. All as effective on the battlefield. hand from a fellow schoolboy, who this cumulates in a description of a These figures are made in the newer had announced portentously that skirmish between elements of the US he was going to concentrate on semi-hard plastic that has found favour with we collectors and painters. 3rd Armoured Division and the 2nd SS Napoleonics (in those days only It takes paint well, is much more Panzer Division at Freyneux on 24th opticians used the word “focus”). resilient, and yet December 1944 remains safe and Having read bendy enough for through this, I find the kid’s market. myself somewhat Sculpts are perplexed as to excellent as we what the target have come to audience of expect, with this publication detailed carbines actually is and belts. The Les higgins 20mm ECW. Original photo © envisaged to horses are also be. It seems to very good, but perhaps a shade be an amalgamation of several of Delighted with my new small, even for light cavalry. As the Osprey’s other publications, and acquisition, I was not to know that, date indicates these are pitched at whilst it serves to give a somewhat in terms of design and sculpting Waterloo, and so wear the shako. brief introduction into each of its quality, things would rarely get as subjects, it only seems to scratch the This would, I believe, allow usage in good in the decades to follow. surface when compared to the more the late Peninsular battles as well. In those innocent days, we happily detailed titles available in either the Poses are of the charging, sword fielded dashing cavaliers in plumed New Vanguard or Campaign ranges. waving variety and comprise fifteen hats and grim helmeted roundheads, Whilst it is true that other titles troopers and two officers. There but now we know better, and as in the Osprey range may not provide are three trooper poses, with five the years have passed the expert

Panther vs. Sherman – the Battle of the Bulge 1944

the direct side-by-side comparison of details, it would not be difficult to read several titles and find a much deeper and more satisfying coverage of all the information covered here. Ultimately, I think this title fails to gives anything but the most rudimentary coverage of its subject – whether it is the tanks involved or the conflict they fought in. In short, unless you are looking for the very broadest of overviews, with little interest in delving deeper into the subject matter, then I suggest that you may want to look to other publications for your information. Neil Shuck

spoilsports of the Partizan Press have explained how each side’s horse dressed identically and the foot marched barefooted to battle wearing nothing but binliners and bobblehats. The Les Higgins range certainly follows the traditional pattern, featuring musketeers in morions using musket-rests and a plethora of broad-brimmed hats, but there is little adornment or plumage and a relative plainness in the costume, and an authenticity of pose, which was rather ahead of its time. One could assemble an attractive army with these figures, plausible but with a nod to nostalgia. Prices are still to be confirmed at the time of going to press. Steve Gill

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of each, which could be better but mixed up in the unit look okay. It is difficult to say anything new about these releases. If it comes from Italeri, Revell, Caesar or Zvezda there is a high percentage chance of incredible work. No change here. Mike Siggins

From Rocks to Rockets

by William Gilkerson, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 978-1-84603-497-8, £8.99 This is a funny little book and a strange thing to attempt to review. Osprey have for some while now been trying to broaden the range of types of titles they produce, and this is a re-print, originally published way back in 1963 (before I was born). In only 64 pages, the author illustrates the advancement in military technology from the Stone Age to the nuclear age! You are now thinking, “how on earth is this possible?” Well, the author simply tells the story through the media of stick figure cartoons, most of which are quite witty and some very clever too. I passed the book onto my tenyear-old, who laughed quite a bit and asked a few questions before finishing the whole thing in about 30 minutes. Recommended. Richard Baber

Zaloga is an examination of “..the dawn of robotic air warfare” and he also states that “ spite of their advances, robotic aircraft are still in their infancy”. The 48 pages are full of facts, acronyms, diagrams, photos and references that allow the reader an insight into this fascinating subject. It is a specialised area and so perhaps will not be one of their greatest sellers within the wargaming fraternity, but for a starting point in research projects it is a good buy. For anyone who has an aviation or modern warfare interest this would sit well in their library and for those who want to incorporate the use of UAVs into their wargames, it will provide some useful guidance. Whilst it naturally concentrates a lot on USA efforts (and their present day coalition allies), there are also discussions on European, Israeli and Soviets attempts into generating effective UAVs. If this subject floats your boat then this is a good buy for you, but remember it is a starting point for further research. Major Dave Fielder, RM

British Forts in the Age of Arthur

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Robotic Air Warfare 1917-2007
New Vanguard 144, ISBN 978-184603-243-1 £9.99 There are a number of things one expects from all Osprey publications and these include an attractive layout, well appointed images and photographs (when appropriate), and structured text that takes the reader though the subject area. In this instance we get all of this. Steven J Zaloga has written quite a number of Osprey books and this one is perhaps one of his most specialised and unusual subjects. The spread of the topic over 90 years of history is, perhaps, most surprising. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have received quite a bit of attention in recent years due to conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, Zaloga has traced back the history of robotic aircraft to the First World War when attempts were made to make pilotless torpedoes, with mixed success. The book as described by

by Angus Konstam, Osprey Fortress 80, ISBN: 9781846033629, £11.99 I know Angus Konstam for his excellent writing on maritime and piratical matters, so was surprised to see his name on such a specialised subject as post-Roman British fortifications. Delving into this book on one of my favourite subjects, I was a bit disappointed with the content. Other Fortress titles I’ve read go into more detail on the subject matter; this is difficult to tackle for postRoman British forts given the available evidence, but reading cover to cover, I felt this book really lacked analysis, and in other places over-stated the available archaeological record. Starting with a broad discussion of form and function, the author does a good job of distinguishing the different types of fortification in a succinct manner, but never really discusses the very important non-military functions these forts fulfilled. The walls themselves are only part of the overall picture. The geographical spread of fortifications raised my eyebrows, using Hadrian’s Wall as a northern cut-off, but I have picked up some useful snippets of

information to go and research further about other sites (for example, my local hillfort – Cissbury – is noted as having been refortified by the British, which I can’t recall reading before, but sadly there’s no further information beyond a name check in this book). South Cadbury hillfort is the main site discussed here. It would have been nice to see more space given over to a lesser-known and perhaps more typical fortification of the period (South Cadbury is pretty unique and I don’t believe that much that has ever been written about this site can be applied to many other post-Roman British fortifications). The book concludes with a basic overview of tactics and strategy of the period, the aftermath of the period (which nicely ties up the end of British power), and a reasonably helpful gazetteer of sites to visit. More positively, the book is a reasonable introduction for a newcomer to the subject – although I’d recommend the aged but still helpful Arthur’s Britain by Leslie Alcock for an equally detailed account of fortifications and warfare with most other aspects of life in this period also thrown in for a similar price. The colour plates are nicely handled, although I still wait for the day when a hillfort is presented without the extremely tentative South Cadbury gateway on show; but at the very least, the plates do give a nice feel for how these fortifications might have looked. Overall, this book isn’t as recommended as I’d have liked it to have been. For me, it’s very much a missed opportunity, possibly because the subject matter is far too openended for the present Fortress series. Dan Mersey

The Victorian Policeman

by Simon Dell, Shire Classics Shire Publications are a comforting presence that seem almost timeless, so it seems appropriate that this title falls into the Shire Classics series. Although only a slim, 40 page A5 paperback, it is crammed with detail covering the evolution of the Victorian police from the medieval parish constables and watchmen, via the Bow Street Runners, to Peel’s Metropolitan reforms and ultimately the detectives of the 1880s, with fingerprinting, the beginnings of forensic science, and books of photographic criminal records.

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The text is fairly small, almost uncomfortably so for older eyes, to fit so much detail between the covers, but the book is profusely illustrated, and pictures adorn almost every page. Most are atmospheric, grainy, black and white photographs, but there are a number of line drawings and engravings. The narrative flows smoothly and the details help to flesh out quite a substantial subject. Chapters cover not only the Bow Street Runners and the Peelers, but also buildings, some of which are still visible today, and a brief bibliography suggests sources for further research. The book is rounded off by a list of museums that may be of interest. Overall, a very handy book for anyone with an interest in the subject, which might appear slightly esoteric, but given the current interest in Victorian sciencefiction and pulp games it may provide a few useful small details for gamers or figure makers. Gary Hughs

sprues, each labelled as Praetorian. Odd. Perhaps the production process makes this economical. Released at the same time we have Boadicea (another spelling will be along in a moment) in her chariot. This is of course pretty much an essential centrepiece for your British army, especially if, like me, you were brought up on local stories and have the London Bridge statue etched in your mind. The model is up to the task. The queen has thoughtfully brought along a severed head (fast becoming Warlord’s analogue to the GW Skull) and is joined by a tubby little bodyguard holding aloft a Roman standard. The food at court must be very good. These figures are okay rather than inspirational, and also suffer from the common sculptor’s inability to render female faces. The chariot and ponies, conversely, are nicely done. As with most command models, it deserves a decent paint job. This one will set you back £15, which has just made me cringe. A little bit.
Photo © Warlord Games

Roman Praetorian Guard and Boudicea Triumphant

Warlord Games The latest release in the Warlord ancients range is the long promised Praetorian guard, surely a unit as desired, indeed required, as the Black Watch or Rush’s Lancers. Checking my handy Warlord Price Chart we find Legionaries at 57p. The Praetorians are twenty figures for £15, which is 75p per figure. It does not take a genius to work out that metal figures are available for very little more, but then these are yer genuine elite troops, guv. The basic body dollies are much the same as the earlier legionary sets and repeat the three, slightly stilted, poses which provide neither a uniform unit nor one where all figures look unique. There are some shield transfers (waterslide) which are strangely dull. The key new components are the signature oval shields, and fortunately we are provided with one per figure. At this point I have to say I guessed incorrectly last issue. Rather than simply providing the old legionary sprues and adding shields and command on a separate sprue, the latter are integrated into what are apparently completely new

Warlord continue to make models of a high standard, balanced by increasingly high prices – especially for command, equipment and elite figures. Not yet GW level, I’ll grant you, but I think we can detect a wannabe. As usual, the choice is yours and if you are committed to Warlord’s range then these new figures will be a no-brainer, but in this case I recommend a look at some rival figures before you buy. Mike Siggins

Saga of the Samurai: Rise of the Takeda

Solum and Rue, published by Brookhurst Press Given that we often discuss how big the wargaming hobby is, without a convincing answer, we can be

sure that the wider military hobby is considerably larger. It certainly manages to support a number of specialist book publishers. Of these, we know Osprey’s longevity and success well enough and it has been interesting to see various competitors emerging with innovative, cheaper and often better works – most notably typified by H&C in Paris. The books under review are the latest in this very welcome development, this time from Brookhurst Press. Saga of the Samurai focuses on the Takeda family from the Kai province. The main period covered is the Sengoku Jidai (1467-1615) and the dates will quickly tell you that we are dealing with the story of a dynasty. The Saga currently comprises four volumes, with a fifth in preparation. Judging by the dates so far covered, there could be seven or eight volumes planned. The format of each book is similar: a history covering a section of the family history (the first volume goes back to 1130, via the Gempei Wars), some excellent line illustrations and photographs, colour diagrams and maps, and the highlight for Osprey fans – ten or so colour plates. Each volume is approximately eighty pages. You will now have some idea of the scale of this project. Combined into a single binding, the Saga would deliver around 500 pages of fascinating information. This is an epic read, and as it follows the fortunes of a specific family we discover unusual facts and an appealing new angle. This also makes for an engaging narrative, which is certainly much better than the usual isolated sequence of battles, sieges, and randomly emphasised episodes. It is a clever device, and I found it portrayed an enlightening slice of Japanese history, emphasising the Takeda’s power base, familial struggles and a background to understand the honour and tradition of the samurai. I have to say that occasionally I found a statement that differed from my previous readings, for example the use and meaning of the horo, but it will be interesting to check into this using other sources. Generally, the books are well written, original, gripping, and form an excellent reference work. Importantly, they are very atmospheric and more than once I put the book down and imagined a

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series of battles inspired by the stories. Topping all that are the graphics. The incidental illustrations are superb, and rival the best in the business. I particularly like the line drawings. The colour plates are also some of the best I have seen, and with at least ten there is no skimping. Overall, for anyone interested in the period the Saga is essential reading. Dave Thomas usually stocks these books at shows, or you can source them from online retailers, or even on order from your local bookshop. Mike Siggins

Napoleonic Wargaming

by Charles Grant, Partizan Press £25, ISBN 978-1-85818-585-9 A welcome reprint of this wargames classic of 1974, with additional material by the author’s son, C S Grant. Always a popular title, but never quite attaining the status of The War Game. Why? Many of the illustrations featured the collection of Peter Gilder, very attractive in their own right, but disconnected from the text. Not long after publication, Napoleonic players began to descend into a fascinating but exhausting immersion in data and national characteristics and, as the baby flew out with the bathwater, perhaps this book came to seem charmingly naïve. Perhaps we simply baulked at producing the 54-man battalions. On re-reading the original, one is struck by the familiarity of many of the discussions and the realisation dawns that in many cases this was the first time in print that many of the issues were covered. Arguably, one of the great talents of Charles Grant was to write so entertainingly and conversationally about the painstaking transposition of historical tactics into wargaming mechanics, material which might have engendered tedium in the hands of a lesser author. There is no better primer for this absorbing but demanding period. The additional material by C S Grant includes a Napoleonic replay of The Action (from The War Game), generously illustrated with relevant colour photos and very helpful in understanding how the original rules worked in practice. There then follows a tantalising glimpse into

how the original developed into the versions still in use today, including the shocking revelation that the bouncestick and other artillery devices are no longer in use; this will come as a disappointment to our esteemed Editor, who dangles such appendages with gusto, but a merciful relief to the ventrally-challenged among us, cursed by an unreliable sense of balance and a persistent inability to decide whether the colonel’s horse’s rear end is actually in the frame. C S Grant explains convincingly how, with several different versions in use, it would not have been practical to detail his current rules, but one cannot help thinking that these would make an attractive subject

A Footsoldier for Patton

for a future publication. In a year of what looks to be significant activity in the publication of Napoleonic rules, it has been refreshing to revisit the roots of the genre. Reconstructing a viable set from this book requires some work but I found the process stimulating and rewarding. The great gift of the Grant legacy is a sight and touch of the holy grail – rules which give both a plausible simulation and an enjoyable game – and there is a spirit, at times elusive but always entrancing, which resonates to this day. Steve Gill

by Michael C. Bilder with James G. Bilder, Casemate Publishing, ISBN 978-1-932033-91-5, hb, 294 pages This is a personal account of Michael Bilder’s service during WWII from his induction into the US Army’s 5th Infantry Division in 1941 to the war’s end. The author was a regular soldier, living day-to-day with the horror and humour of war. This book is a very good read. The author covers the training his unit received before going overseas and their time stationed in Iceland and later in the UK in fair detail, and this is interesting in itself. The division began to arrive in France in July 1944 and were sent straight into the fighting in the Normandy Bocage. Bilder describes his life in the front line with an easy style, covering day-to-day operations and small unit actions, all of which will prove enlightening to anyone gaming US forces in NW Europe. The division was part of Patton’s Third Army and took part in the drive across France. This is described in nice detail with several accounts of patrols and company-sized actions. The battles for the fortress town of Metz are also covered in fair detail, which was very interesting; this is the only period in the whole book where Patton receives any criticism from the author. In fact, the author goes to great pains to highlight Patton’s skill at command; he also frequently is less than complimentary about Montgomery, using all the cliché remarks – too slow, not aggressive enough, etc. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I very much doubt if a corporal in a US infantry division had any real idea about what was actually going on outside his own foxhole during the campaign. After Metz, there was a change in Allied strategy and Patton was forced to sit still whilst Montgomery tried Market Garden in Holland, which of course was a disaster! What then followed was the wet, cold autumn and the fighting on the German border, until mid-December, when against all odds, the Germans mounted their last major counter-offensive of the war in the west – the Ardennes.

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Bilder was part of Third Army’s drive to relieve Bastogne, before then crossing the Rhine and taking part in the encirclement of the Ruhr. Throughout the book, the author talks candidly about his looting and the shooting of prisoners (by others in his unit). Bilder ended his war in Austria where he explains the rotation points system, how he avoided staying in the army and managed to get home to be married. An enjoyable book, with much to recommend it to anyone interested in the war in NW Europe and the US infantry in particular on a personal level. Richard Baber

Arrowstorm: the World of the Archer in the Hundred Years War

by Richard Wadge, The History Press Ltd, ISBN 978-1862273887, 256pp When I first heard the title Arrowstorm I must confess to having felt some trepidation, wondering if I was in for a book along the lines of “Longbows were the ultimate super weapon of their day”! I was delighted, therefore, to find Richard Wadge’s work to be a balanced, considered and wellresearched examination of the world of the archer in the Hundred Years War. Wadge takes 1300-1550 as his timeframe, and investigates the entire social, economic and logistical structure behind the archer on the battlefield. By looking in detail into a series of related topics, he is able to draw a coherent picture of the archer’s world, firmly bedded within the wider context of their times. In the first part of the book, Wadge begins with the question “How were armies raised?” and then, starting with the roots in the Fyrd system, the increasing codification of military service through the various Assizes of Arms of the 13th Century, Edward I’s development of Commissions of Array, and the rise of the practice of military indentures, he follows the development in recruitment practices through the whole period of his study. By his taking this one thread and following it from start to finish, he builds a book of chapters which stand in their own right, and makes the book easy to dip in and out of. It is this approach, with the book more as a series of standalone,

but related essays, which I found particularly appealing. Wadge is widely read, and quotes freely from various sources, from the extant records of the time to current academic research, but is always honest and meticulous in his accreditation. The depth of colour which he is able to bring to what could otherwise be a rather dry work is admirable, and helped keep the book an engaging read. Information on pay rates is given context by information on purchasing power, campaign booty is evaluated by what kind of house the returning archer might buy. Part one, “How and why men became military archers”, covers the men themselves, their recruitment, campaign conditions, feed and upkeep, discipline and desertion, pay and retirement prospects. Part two, “The supply and manufacture of bows & arrows” covers the materiel and the huge domestic industry which evolved to support the men in the field armies and garrisons, equipment requirements, production, and the bowyers’ part in the international arms trade. Arrowstorm offers the wargamer a great deal of inspiration for any Hundred Years War project. Names, and small company strength breakdowns for skirmish games, troop strengths and annual recruitment figures for campaigns, logistical minutiae and international shipping figures for grand strategic grognards, there is something in this book for anyone interested in wargaming the high middle ages. Dan Towse

Military History Commander: Europe at War Gold

Slitherine Software for the PC This is a very good game with a very long title. It covers World War II in Europe, in the widest sense. In play, it is what I would call old school: very clean, simple graphics; logical controls; and easy to get into but difficult to master. There is depth, but it is not swamped with detail. It also has plenty of staying power – there are literally hours of gaming value here. I think it is well known that Slitherine Software is tied into the hobby in various ways, not least through the link ups with Osprey and Field of Glory. Someone high up in the Slitherine hierarchy is a wargamer, and it shows. So, what do we get? Essentially,

this is an epic hex and counter style boardgame – Third Reich, World in Flames, War in Europe, Axis & Allies, for instance – converted to the PC and so made playable in hours rather than weeks. It is the sort of thing that we hoped for back in the eighties when it became clear what computers might be able to do, and it seems we are still perfecting it for, I assume, a willing market. You may be pleased to know it is the sort of game where you can take as long as you like over your turn, rather than having to move the mouse around like a whirling Dervish. The scope is impressive. Counters represent entire armies, navies and air forces. We are allowed access to strategic decisions, declarations of war, technology development and production queues. Mmmm. In short, you are the leader of a country. The game covers the entire war, though there are scenarios should you wish to indulge. The map covers all of Europe, North Africa and even the North Atlantic – yes, you will need to run/sink convoys and Lend Lease plays a role. To the East we have a decent chunk of Russia, and we all know what happens there. So, I choose Germany in 1939. I refuse to read the manual, or play the tutorial, because I went to a good school and I have done this sort of thing before. Twenty minutes later, after an encirclement that surely would register ‘Genius’ on the Rommelometer, I had taken Warsaw and the Poles surrendered. Meanwhile I was building up new mechanised divisions and, of course, viele Panzers. I despatched my U-Boats into the Atlantic to stem the tide of convoys supplying all and sundry, but kept the Kriegsmarine in port. Strategic movement shifted my armies across to the Western Front. I declared war on Belgium and piled across the border. All went well, apart from having very little space to manoeuvre, so I spread out a bit into Holland. Still, my Stukas seemed to be enjoying themselves. Suddenly, I was under attack by the French air force. Blimey, alliances! It got a bit more difficult from that point onwards. An hour later I saved the game, pondering Operation Sealion and those wretched Spitfires lurking across the Channel. Excellent stuff. Really good. Obviously, this is a quick overview and there is much more depth to

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be discovered. For instance, each counter can be clicked to show all sorts of interesting statistics. You can research technologies that will help you in combat. Allies join you and your enemies. Choosing your production priorities is a game in itself. It is all quite broad brush, but highly enjoyable for that. I have to say I was a little disappointed not to find much in the way of Osprey artwork within the game, as this is billed as a major feature. It may be there, but I can’t find it! Perhaps it refers to the cute little icons, which are very good indeed, which can easily replace the dull counters. For those worried about boardgame infection, you can also turn the hexes off. In short, this is a real gamer’s game. Enjoyable, not too taxing, and very quick to learn. It is, as they used to say, highly intuitive and great fun. I recommend MHC:EAWG, even if I won’t type it all in again. Mike Siggins

action but a generous sprinkling of diagrams and examples of play, plus a pull-out quick play guide. Two scenarios are provided – La Haye Sainte and Quatre Bras. The army lists have a similar 1815 bias, featuring the French, British and Prussians; national characteristics are of some significance, but without dominating. Without the opportunity to playtest, one is left with the impression of a coherent and well-balanced set of rules, with some interesting ideas and mechanisms, and a middling level of complexity. A quietly competent set likely to be overshadowed by flashier product emerging this year. Steve Gill

Maori Fortifications

Warfare in the Age of Napoleon

by Tod Kershner, On Military Matters $22, Caliver Books £17.50 This neat but modest 32 page softcover has glided across the Atlantic and in under the radar with little fanfare and hype, but is the work of an established rules writer, author of the popular Warfare In The Age of Reason and Pig Wars. It is not a modified Age of Reason, however, not least in the 1:30 unit sizes, with a French battalion portrayed by four bases each of six figures in three ranks, while the British have the same in two ranks and the Austrians and later Prussians three by three. As is commonly the case nowadays, the author is at pains to emphasise that no rigid basing system is to be imposed, so existing collections in a variety of scales and sizes can be deployed. No ground scale is advised, but musket long range is 6”, which gives some indication. Movement is alternate, with the players dicing for initiative in a familiar manner, but with the interesting variant that the winner moves cavalry and horse artillery first, followed by the loser, before they both turn to the infantry and foot artillery in the same pattern. There are no photos of games in

by Ian Knight and Adam Hook, Osprey Publishing, 2009 ISBN 978 1 84603 370 4 During my first visit to New Zealand a couple of years ago, I had an excellent red wine from a vineyard called Bridge Pa. Back then, I had no idea what a pa was, but later found out that it was some kind of Maori fortified camp. Now we have a book from Ian Knight, who is to Victorian military history what South Island is to sauvignon blanc, that explains in detail what a pa was, how it was constructed and the role it played in the New Zealand Wars of the 1840s-60s. Whilst the author is a popular authority in this general field, Osprey deserve congratulations for publishing a book on a subject that is far from mainstream. The pa began as a fortified village, often on a hilltop, which was protected by a number of ditches and palisades with ‘fighting stages’ on towers placed at regular intervals around the perimeter. The arrivals of firearms led to a revision of pa construction – men waving spears on a fighting stage were easy targets. Rifle pits were added outside the stockade to slow down attackers, whilst firing steps and trenches were prepared inside. The purpose of the pa became purely military, built not to protect a village but as a show of defiance and an invitation to draw the enemy into battle at a time and place of the defenders’ choosing. The British did work out how to deal with pas, but only at the end of a long and bloody road. The local puriri wood was strong enough to withstand lighter cannonballs and

so it was difficult to ‘soften up’ a pa before men could assault a breach, a problem not solved until towards the end of the wars when heavier artillery became available. Troops making a frontal attack would often flounder in the wide ditches or find themselves isolated in the network of palisades if they managed to break through the outer ramparts. Victory, if achieved, was often pyrrhic as a pa always had an escape route through which the Maori could slip away to build another pa somewhere else. The Maori were eventually overcome by superior numbers and weapons combined with the type of containment and scorched earth strategy that would be deployed on a far greater scale in the Boer Republics 40-odd years later. The book is well illustrated with diagrams, photos and contemporary watercolours (which are particular interesting and atmospheric). Anyone wishing to model a pa will find all the information they need together with inspirational artwork by Adam Hook. My standard measure of an Osprey’s success is whether I want to give the period a go by the time I’ve finished; I was barely halfway through before I started looking to see who makes suitable figures (Eureka Miniatures, incidentally). If I have one criticism, it is the lack of any Maori pronunciation guide. But then I have found that seeing how many different ways you can pronounce “Titokawaru” and “Ruapekepeka” is a fun game to play, particularly on public transport. Highly recommended. Giles Allison

Wellington’s Campaigns in India

by Major R G Burton, published by Lancer Publications There is an abundance of books and accounts that trace Wellington’s career through the peninsular War to the battlefield of Waterloo, but it is disappointing that his formative years, particularly in India, have received relatively scant coverage. Yet it was there, between 1797 and 1805, more time in fact than he spent in the Peninsula, that the then Honourable Arthur Wellesley forged his career and his reputation as ‘the sepoy general’. Wellington’s Campaigns in India provides a significant contribution to our understanding of those campaigns and Wellington’s part in them. Burton

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was, at the time of writing, a major in the 94th (Russell’s) Infantry, also known as the Scotch Brigade, and became a noted military historian. This detailed account was first published over one hundred years after the events it recounts, for official use only, by the Division of the Chief of Staff of the Intelligence Branch of the Army in 1908. It is now brought fully into the public domain by Lancer Publications in a beautifully produced book. This is a must for anybody with an interest either in these campaigns or in Wellington’s formative years. The book provides an extremely useful chronology of Wellington’s time in India. It gives details of the battles, the orders of battle, information on the Indian forces, many informative footnotes and nine extremely interesting and varied appendices. It reflects on Wellington’s failed night attack before the fall of Seringapatam, which might have halted his career were it not that he was the brother of the Governor General, and his resolve as a result never to attack at night without previous reconnaissance. It also covers his successes including, of course, Assaye. Wellington’s recorded concerns about the licentious soldiery and their plunder are a foretaste of his views on his soldiers in the Peninsula. Unfortunately, the book is reproduced without maps and the reader will benefit from having one to hand, perhaps from Jac Weller’s Wellington in India. Produced in hardback with 175 pages, Wellington’s Campaigns in India is very good value at £11.99. It has an appeal that goes beyond a narrow interest in the campaigns in India and is highly recommended. Charles Grant

and re-building my empires. Even so, because I needed to regain my friends, I eventually forced myself to delete the game. Now, my resistance has failed again. There are men in tricornes on my screen. They are firing artillery. They are facing cavalry charges. They are even forming square. I am lost. Mumble, mumble. Empire: Total War moves us on to the 18th century, surely a strong favourite among readers of this magazine. But who should buy? Stay your hand if you are a man for whom exact uniform colour, cockades and tactics are important, but if you like the fun, loose, pseudo history of Total War, its campaigns, economy, and its rolling, chaotic battles, then brace that credit card. We

Empire: Total War

The Creative Assembly for the PC Almost all of you who have chosen the PC as your gaming platform will be familiar with the Total War series. It started almost a decade ago and has improved inexorably with each iteration. Even if you thought the original game weak, random and largely unplayable (like me!), it is possible that the later versions may well have drawn you in. My downfall was the Medieval II edition and many, many hours were spent fighting battles and building

rightfully expect an upgrade when we buy a new series game; this is a massive improvement and I could spend the rest of the review listing all the changes. I won’t. But suffice to say everything is better and, importantly, everything works pretty well. One might raise an eyebrow at The Rake that one can send off to extract the enemy’s secrets, or the rather powerful academic spies. But one gets used to them, and they add to the period flavour. I will talk about the campaign detail briefly, because now it seems that everything has more detail, that the economy is more credible, and there are zoomable graphical vignettes all over. Lovely. There are decent sieges, the diplomacy seems to be more solid and believable, and the AI is now much

tougher. Finally, there is now research. But most of us, I assume, enjoy the 3D battles. They are what drew me in originally. These have taken on a new aspect – wholesale carnage! My first battle was bloody. I thought it was an anomaly and put it down to inexperience. The second one was far worse, and the remnants of my army took an awfully long time to rebuild. Perhaps, as in history, your armies need to be bigger because there are many new and different ways to die… I am reliably told there are even Congreve rockets in there somewhere, but standard artillery seems quite deadly enough, thank you. I found myself learning new tactics, not all historical, and trying very hard to keep my brave and expensive troops alive. Time has not yet permitted me to investigate yet another new feature: 3D naval battles. These look amazing, but as you might imagine, require a lot of processing power. The game generally is a little sluggish on my machine, which is about three years behind the cutting edge, so I will have to see if the naval module fells it! This is a superb release, and a truly impressive upgrade on the previous incarnations of Total War. Unless you have problems with real time play or dodgy historicity, you must get this game. There is a common refrain amongst writers, and it is that needing to write this review was the only thing pulling me away from the game! Empire: Total War is a modern classic and is what PC gaming should be all about. Mike Siggins

Soldat II Skirmish rules 1900-1955

by Tim Goodlett, SMPress, £16.99 I can’t help but admire the scholarship that has been poured into this 144page tome designed to cover squad level infantry combat. Although these rules appear complex, many aspects (armour, off-table support weapons and demolition to name but three of the many) won’t feature in every scenario you play and may be introduced as you become familiar with the core rules. I found basic infantry combat a relatively easy, free-flowing game to pick up having a logical sequence of play which has four rounds or ‘impulses’ before two concluding segments complete each turn. Each ‘impulse’ represents just a

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few seconds of real time and forces you to choose your tactics accordingly. Rules are recommended for play on a 12’ x 6’ table (representing just 250 x 500 yards of real estate) using 20mm figures, although scenarios are included for 6’ x 4’ and smaller playing areas which most gamers should be able to manage at home. 30 – 100 figures per side are recommended. Smaller sized models can be used, although I would be wary of going below 15mm because the precise line of sight rules might become tricky to implement using very small figures. A periscope and/or a laser alignment tool are recommended by the author for the advanced sighting rules, which add greatly to the gaming experience. Figures can be physically hidden within the model landscape, rather than relying on blinds for concealment, the implication being that the more true-to-scale your terrain, the more satisfying this aspect will be. Real time is allocated to spotting and players are required to refrain from walking around the table during the game. An umpire is recommended for ambush games where the figures aren’t initially placed on the table. The ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ tabletop environment is a defining concept in the system, which you will either love (for the ‘being there’ quality it brings to the game), or not! 54 pages cover the rules and a further 20 pages national, company level, organisations and tactics. Extensive AFV data tables and ten WW2 scenarios complete the package. A single page makes mention of playing campaignbased games without offering any rules for this and I certainly feel there’s potential for the author to expand this aspect in the future. The quality of this black and white production is reasonably good and more than adequate for wargames rules, although this is not a lavish or glossy book. There a few minor layout errors which could be corrected in the next reprint and I would like to see a key directly adjacent to all the tables which use symbols. My overall feeling is of a very solid, well considered, precisely written product that is well worth a look, particularly given the reported rise in popularity at conventions States-side. The £17 price tag is very reasonable – everything you need to

play is covered by this one volume. Tim Beresford

Commonwealth Skirmish Scenarios: WW2 ETO 1940 – 1945

by Andy Turlington, SMPress, £14.99 Although ostensibly published as a supplement to the Soldat II system, the author quite readily acknowledges that the 14 scenarios presented here may be used for any WW2 skirmish rules. A conversion table is provided to cover many, but not all other sets. A brief overview begins this 90 page book which is nicely designed to allow pages to be photocopied for each side without betraying any information about their opponent’s forces that shouldn’t be revealed before the game. Umpire’s notes, a detailed OOB and a deployment map for each side are included. The scenarios are varied but principally cover the fighting in France during the summer of 1944. Four others are included for actions set in 1940, ’41, ’42 and ’45. Black and white images of varying quality add a sense of history to the publication. Games typically feature one or two platoons per player plus supporting armour where appropriate. All are designed for a 10’ x 6’ table using 20mm figures but may, of course, be adjusted accordingly for other sizes of models. The black and white production is more than adequate and at just over £1.00 per scenario, represents good value for your money. Tim Beresford

Warsaw 1944: Poland’s Bid for Freedom

by Robert Forczyk, illustrated by Peter Dennis, Osprey Campaign 205 This book offers a narrative of the Warsaw Uprising of August to October of 1944, plus a look at the political plan behind the AK (Armia Krajowa) offensive, an Order of Battle for both the Polish and German sides and thumbnail biographies of some of the key commanders. Crucially, the (nearly) day by day narrative of the fighting is backed up by numerous maps of the areas being described, so readers can easily follow the events and see the early successes of the AK expanding their area of control, followed by the axes of the German counter-attacks and their building by building (or so it seems at

times) reduction of the AK control. These maps are helpfully backed up by photographs and several dramatic illustrations to show the architecture of the city itself so wargamers can scratch-build the appropriate key positions rather than just opt for off-the-peg buildings placed in the right positions on the games table. It also emphasises the importance of the vertical nature of the fighting as in the illustration of “The Defence of Piwna Street” – anyone interested in a two week campaign for one street? What the book also gets over is the scale of the fighting – the size of the AK forces involved numbering 40,000+ in Warsaw, the resources that the Wehrmacht put in suppressing the uprising including the specialised equipment brought to bear on the AK positions, such as Karl mortars, Goliath demolition ROVs, and Brummbars. It also shows the ingenuity of the AK forces, with weapons like the Polish-produced sten-like SMGs, but also in actions such as the capture of the PAST Building telephone exchange. The book doesn’t shy away from the atrocities that took place in the 60-odd days of the Rising; the 30,000 civilians killed in the Wola massacre are remembered by a double page illustration showing some of them being rounded up by Dirlewanger (who commanded the unit responsible) and some of his men. The total number of civilian deaths resulting from the Rising is claimed at being over 200,000. It is also mentioned that the AK usually summarily shot any SS prisoners. Tactics such as the German use of Polish human shields will certainly challenge anyone wanting to game the Rising in its entirety. However, there are plenty of actions that could be brought to the tabletop – both Polish and German attacks. It is even possible to have a Polish armoured force using captured tanks and half-tracks against German defenders. As far as painting an AK force is concerned, the illustrations, and photographs of Polish equipment provide the information a gamer would need to field a force on the table. In conclusion, a thought-provoking book that will give wargamers many scenario ideas, as well as providing a good solid historical analysis of the events. Thoroughly recommended. Martin Penneck

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Perry Miniatures

28mm Napoleonic French Hussars The online world has just discovered that the next range of 28mm Napoleonic plastics that will emerge from the Perry stables [groan!] will be an exquisite set of French hussars. During a recent visit to Nottingham for the weekend of the Partizan show, I was given the chance to see the original 3-up sculpts of these magnificent figures that are bound to prove a hit with wargamers and modellers alike, not just because of the superlative quality of the sculpting, but also because of the myriad possibilities that they offer. The photos show the pre-production castings and the exciting thing as far as I am concerned is the inclusion of a variety of headgear that will allow you to create figures for pretty much any French hussar regiment in full or campaign dress from 1790 to 1815. The head types included in the box(es) will include mirlitons, ‘belltop’ shakos (covered and full dess), kolpacks and the shako rouleau. Bodies are split at the waist to allow the choice of either full dress breeches or campaign overalls. The chap sporting that magnificent mirliton could, of course, even be adapted for the earlier Seven Years War conflict and modellers with a bit of imagination and some skill could even change the figure’s allegiance entirely and send him into the open recruiting arms of a Frederican Prussian sergeant major. The horses are all equipped with a sheepskin with the classic dogtoothed edge but again, anyone sufficiently dabhanded at conversions could do some sanding, scraping and Green Stuff sculpting to substitute the shabraque of their choice. Due to hit the shops early next year, Alan Perry informs me that they may come in two different sets, depending on the technical conundrum of sprue capacity. With their Wars of the Roses plastics due out first, we wait with bated breath! Henry Hyde

Seafire vs A6M Zero, Pacific Theatre

by Donald Nijboer, Osprey Publishing Duel 16, ISBN 978-1-84603-433-6, £12.99 The Osprey Duel series is a relatively recent addition to their catalogue but one that evokes memories of happy childhood days assembling Airfix ‘Dogfight Doubles’ – two adversaries packaged together. Similarly Duel presents two opposing war machines, assessing and directly contrasting the merits and tactics of each design. In this instance, a pair of archetypal fighters of WW2, the Spitfire, albeit in its naval configuration – the Seafire – and the Zero-sen. Perhaps an off-beat combo, but one that suggests an enlightening read. The text plots the development of each aircraft, defining the particular model variations and the training of their pilots before bringing them together in an analysis of their relative combat capabilities. Their entwined story is concluded by a strategic and tactical overview of their deployment. It was whilst operating in a close defence role of the British Pacific Fleet, stationed off the Japanese mainland and under threat from kamikaze attacks, that the low-level advantages of the Seafire over the Zero were best realised. Such a scenario could make an exciting participation game combining the spectacle of an impressive battleship (King George V) or aircraft carrier model defended by the legendary Spitfire (in disguise) against a deadly foe. The wonderfully evocative artist’s impression, a ghostly image of a successful Seafire sortie, has already served as the catalyst for such a project! Three-view colour profiles of each aircraft are also included and provide useful, if basic, guides for your model painting. However, in many respects the book fails to really live up to expectations or Osprey’s claim: “step onto the battlefield and immerse yourself in the experience of real historic combat”. In this respect, the subject matter only really crackles and bursts into

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life in the last few pages describing the final air fighting of WW2, over Tokyo Bay, though to be fair to the publisher, there was relatively little combat recorded between these two aircraft to draw on as source material. Although the content is interesting, if not terribly comprehensive and potentially useful to the wargamer, I’ve come to expect better value than this slim volume ultimately delivers. This is especially true when considered alongside the companion series, Aircraft of the Aces, that remains significantly more engaging and rewarding. In spite of the shortcomings mentioned, I’ve found inspiration for my own gaming within these pages, so I suggest that this particular book and the Duel series in general are worth a look. Tim Beresford

useful, covering as it does the more fluid activities of the ‘second eleven’. There also remains the perennial question of how far one can go in representing units of an army so precisely selected as to represent an exact snapshot of a particular campaigning season; most of us will be content to field a variety of model battalions characteristic of the later Prussian army, usable from Saxony in 1813 to Belgium two years later. It is nonetheless uplifting to be able to greet publications of such impressive quality, in such an attractive format, and reassuring to know that the information is now readily accessible. Steve Gill

Prussian Infantry 1808-1840 Vol 1 Line & Guard 1808-1814
ISBN 978-1-85818-583-5

Vol 2 Jager, Reserve, Freikorps & New Regiments 1813-1840

ISBN 978-1-85818-584-2 by Dr Stephen Summerfield, Partizan Press, £29.50 per volume In the world of Napoleonic uniforms, there is no subject more complex than the rapidly-mobilised Prussian infantry of the Befreiungskrieg, with regimental name-changing to rival the French Young Guard and uniforms evolving from season to season. This is not the first time the subject has been covered in English but the first occasion in my experience that no fences have been refused; at some point, previous authors will have thrown in the towel and referred mysteriously to uniform variations (for the reserve regiments in particular) there was insufficient space to list. A bullet has been bravely bitten here and the painstaking academic research of the text combines with an abundance of illustrations in a happy marriage of science and art. Not surprisingly, the illustrations draw heavily on the work of Knötel and Bauer especially, with the added blessing of further material by Bob Marrion in a characteristically evocative style. At £59 for the pair, this would be no trivial investment; if one could afford only one of the two, then perhaps volume 2 could be the most

The First Carlist War 1833-1840: a Military History and uniform Guide

Well, stop searching, because this little gem of a book is packed with everything you are ever likely to need to know about the Carlist Wars, including an historical overview, an examination of the course of the war in different parts of Spain, details of the forces involved including excellent uniform reference illustrations and paintings by Michael Perry, flags, descriptions of key battles together with the orders of battle and useful ‘3D’ maps, and rounded off with some lovely eye candy of those Perry Miniatures we came in with. The causes of the war were somewhat complex, but who can resist the temptations of a conflict where a substantial British Auxiliary Legion in Spanish pay (including red coated infantry, lancers, artillery and Royal Marines) fought alongside the French Foreign Legion (with its own squadrons of Polish Lancers), a Portuguese division and the Cristino Spanish forces? Opposite them were Carlists wearing their distinctive berets, and with some of the snazziest troops you are ever likely to encounter, with wonderfully evocative names like the Guipuzcoans, the Cabrera Guides, La Mancha Guerillas and Merino’s Lancers. Engaging, informative, and stuffed full of the material that every wargamer craves, this is a no-brainer for anyone interested in having a go at this underrated period. Highly recommended. Henry Hyde

by Conrad Cairns, Perry Miniatures Publications, 104pp, £15. ISBN: 978-0956184207 Those of you who frequent Partizan will have seen the Perry twins exhibiting their lovely range of Carlist War figures in games that look suspiciously Napoleonic, but you would also be forgiven for thinking “¿Qué es eso?” Just as that little smattering of Spanish may have sent you scampering for the dictionary, this intriguing Spanish civil war from the mid-19th century may have had you Googling and scratching your head, only to find that precious little reference material exists out there for the gamer seeking not only to understand the conflict, but also to paint up those pretty miniatures.

Sepoy Generals – Wellington to Roberts

by G W Forrest, C.I.E, Lancer Publications ISBN: 978-098153780-1 Having thoroughly enjoyed the historical fiction of Bernard Cornwell and Simon Scarrow, both of whom gave a possible insight into Wellington’s period of life and campaigns in India, I was glad to be given the opportunity to review a more detailed and hopefully accurate account of those individuals who came to be known as Sepoy Generals. This edition was published in 2008 but Sepoy Generals was in fact first published in 1901. This standardsized hardback book, re-published by an Casemate, has large, well-spaced print, and is physically easy to read. It includes portrait pictures of the individuals it describes (apart from

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Wellington who only rates a picture of his bust), but no campaign or battle maps. The author, being the exdirector of records for the Government of India, had access to ancient files in the archives at Bombay, Madras and Calcutta [sic], files, I might surmise, that may be now either lost or difficult to find by contemporary writers. After a useful and interesting preface which sets the individuals in place and gives further references the author used to describe them, the book lays out a series of biographical military essays on each of the Generals. These are: The Duke of Wellington; Sir Charles Napier; Sir Herbert B Edwardes; Sir Thomas Munro; Sir David Bard; General John Jacob; Sir

Donald Stewart; Sir William Lockhart; and Field-Marshal Lord Roberts. Each chapter is well-populated with footnotes further detailing references illustrating the text and includes information from throughout each general’s career, both in- and outside India. The English style, as one would expect, is rather jingoistic, dated and, as such, more flowery than one is used to (especially in contemporary quotes), but I found it pleasant, well written and, most important in a work of reference, generally a good read, only hindered occasionally by lists of names of those individuals accompanying the particular general. Part of the author’s stated intention was to also record the gallantry and

courage of the native infantry as well as that of the British soldier. To that end, the book is mainly filled with short descriptions of military actions bringing out the decisive character of the generals and showing their development throughout their careers, but also illustrating the courage of the period and the rise of the British Empire. Did the book fill out my fictional brief on Wellington? Yes it did. It also did the same for the other generals. I thoroughly enjoyed it and with its format, it can be picked up, allowing you to read through a particular general, put down and restarted later. Recommended. Tom Hutchinson

E V E N T S J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 0 9
The Editor is grateful to Richard Tyndall (Tricks) of the Newark Irregulars for compiling this calendar on our behalf. If you are an event organiser and wish to ensure that your show is listed here, please contact Richard at
Closing Date for SOA Leeds Doubles Entries Gauntlet Battlegroup South Middlesborough Gamers Club Open Day Schiltron 15mm DBM Warboot by the Sea SOA Leeds Doubles 2nd Rnd Attack 15mm DBM Pairs Doubles 3rd Rnd Festival of History To the Redoubt Toy Soldier Stoke Challenge Claymore Strongbow’s Shield Britcon Present Arms Closing Date for Northern DBM Doubles 4th Rnd Military Odyssey Avangardowe Potyczki FOW Scandinavia in Flames FOW IWF European Individual Championships KoMiCon Skirmish Historicon Texas DBA Open Tournament Spearhead Gencon Heat of Battle Broughton Bovington Middlesborough Glasgow Morecombe Leeds Devizes Devizes Kelmarsh Hall Eastbourne Preston Stoke on Trent Edinburgh Dublin Manchester Romford Detling 4th July 4th – 5th July 4th – 5th July 5th July 11th – 12th July 18th July 18th – 19th July 18th – 19th July 18th – 19th July 25th– 26thJuly 25th– 26thJuly 25th– 26thJuly 26th July 1st August 1st August 13th – 16th August 15th August 20th August 29th – 31st August 4th – 5th July 4th – 5th July 9th – 12th July 21st – 23rd August 11th July 16th – 19th July 26th July 8th August 13th – 16th August 21st – 23rd August

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Sylvania Heights, Australia 16th August Southern Battle Gamers Winter Historical Competition For further details and updates please see the Newark Irregulars site at

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