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Absolutely FREE inside: A selection of articles from issues 1-18, packed with the kind of thought-provoking and fun ideas our readers say they love about Battlegames!
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 email@example.com, tel. 01273 323320. Web: www.battlegames.co.uk 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
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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
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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.
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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
where he headed the History Department. so there was a hatch which opened up in the centre of the table and troops moved thus. the late Charles Grant and his son (now a Brigadier and contributor to this magazine). using photographs from his book Little Wars on an overhead projector. plus about four of us in the area. and others from London. often they were amended by mutual consent to suit the conﬂict we had in mind. who had large numbers of troops and a ﬁne large table in a huge attic at the top of his gracious house in Dover. these visits represented the only real personal contact with others of like interests. when we wargamed – and argued – with Charles and his son. the wargaming stimulating. who was a bit of a loner) attended. When a gathering was planned.most fortunate possessed a local opponent – made friends of us all. Unfortunately. including Ted Suren (later of ‘Willie’ ﬁgures). As I write. I can still sense the excitement. 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. This was particularly applicable when visiting the late Charles Grant. because Brigadier Peter Young DSO. I had read of him and here he was.” On each and every occasion. is still the trophy annually contested. 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). to compete in a ‘Pairs Wargame Championship’ when Stan Aspinall from Huddersﬁeld and myself defeated Charlie Grant and Bill Mell in the ﬁnal. that it should not ﬂop or fall short of our expectations – and rarely did they! On the appointed day. 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. plans and details of the forthcoming battle. The talks were good and informative. for a change. but they take a long time to set up and ﬁgures get lost in the sand. In point of fact. loaned books. 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. with Peter Young at his house near the Royal Military College at Camberley. It was marked by the presence of one of the real veteran wargamers. when he umpired a battle in which I fought a pair of Territorial Army lads. Some travelled down from Yorkshire. that salver was placed in my custody and I suppose legally this is still the case – I wonder who has it now? Anyway. it seemed the rules were made up as the battle progressed. This was necessary because it was absolutely essential that that particular wargame should be a success. the late Charles Grant Snr. I can picture Peter’s round. at the very ﬁrst ever Wargames Convention held in my house (luckily. whose enthusiasm knew no bounds. invariably ton his advantage. although we worked on the principle that it was fought under the host’s house rules. we branched out and held a small convention at a local hotel. the glow of pleasure at those wonderful weekends. 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. Visiting – or having a guest – kindled enthusiasm resembling those of supporters of Manchester United. etc. borrowed from Sandhurst. One occasion remains in my memory.. From what was learned here originated the ﬁrst ever National Wargames Championships Conventions. MC. David Chandler. I believe. So much so that. who stood to attention whenever addressed by Peter. every one of the known wargamers broke blood vessels to be present and. what a glow it all produced! The following year. so that men from many walks of life and of all conceivable types and temperaments gladly gave advice by letter or telephone. and made models for the less skilful. For weeks we corresponded and exchanged maps. the answer was: “Appeal dismissed! Carry on as before!” It was a large and very impressive wargame.. others from the West Country. where a silver salver presented by Airﬁx Productions Ltd was fought for and. Because only a lucky few had so far found local opponents. etc. often men who had been at it longer. using vast quantities of terrain materials. white-moustached face appearing like a pantomime demon from beneath the table. if it was to be a challenge game between his and your forces. I think every known wargamer (except Ed Saunders from Taunton. a large Victorian one then) in Southampton in about 1960. although I always found it stimulating to play with the host’s armies. so large that it was not physically possible to reach the middle. wargaming on my table and eating in my house. desiring a wargames room and not having one in his small Taunton house. 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. He was noted for his huge table. . Peter Young. became a world-famous commando leader and perhaps Britain’s most decorated soldier of the Second World War. 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. came from Kent. the social features included a recreation of Wells’ famous Battle of Hook’s Farm. Oh. that led to me making one for myself. About 20 came. make it in an oﬃcial manner. The London Wargames Club won the trophy and the custom originated of the winners hosting the following year’s Championships. while a background narrative was read from the book. who had been ﬁghting tabletop battles before World War Two – evidently they paid oﬀ. or possessed speciﬁc talents so that talking to them usually revolutionised one’s whole approach to the hobby.
Of course. or sold to me a tabletop battle within minutes of arrival at ridiculously low prices. lancers. Mike Blake. the ceiling above began to sag his house. and we won! Next day there was an acrimonious rules discussion after breakfast before beginning the huge battle planned. period and type. I still use it and it has featured in from Southampton. Bemused by fatigue and the complexity of the rules. a scale used by few today. Midway through and made my devious way home via the meal. who claimed they to soldier on in our own lonely way. Early wargamers fought their battles with an astonishing variety of ﬁgures and armies. our terrain. Ian Colwill and the late Steve Curtis brought a completely new dimension to those large-scale ﬁgures. snugly ﬁring from behind a stone wall. the only basic resemblance being their small scale – and even so. Unfortunately. 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. with Bill’s hundreds of Hinton Hunt Napoleonics. painted armies on the most breathtaking he and a helper. The drive home was made bearable by minds brimming over with new ideas for improving our armies. 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. and in bed that night. we were often forced to mix ﬁgures of diﬀerent sizes in somewhat grotesque arrays. using Airﬁx nine-inch depth of sand. houses. carried out thoughtful tactical exercises with exquisitely converted and painted 54mm Napoleonics and British colonials. who glared at us before of an Ancient or Napoleonic aﬀair. with about 400 French cavalry – but alas. until ceasing wearily for athletics coaches at Loughborough lunch in the room below. because it truly seems that today’s wargamer only needs suﬃcient ﬁnancial resources and he can build up wonderful armies of any scale. rivers occurred when another colourful character. but it is and hussars about half an inch from the doubtful their trips mean as much to wall. cascaded down Bill Gunson. with from Norfolk. dragoons other for enjoyable weekends. only we were dangerously casting otherwise unobtainable ﬁgures in molten metal. although Ken Brooks. his judgement of distance was at fault The ﬁrst ever wargames convention. swop or make and one wonders how many of today’s wargamers actually make their own ﬁgures. their range for that war. it was medieval battles using Tony Bath’s 54mm ﬁgures. face of diﬃculties. tempered somewhat on surveying the surrounding of ﬂash that we knew had to be laboriously ﬁled away before the ﬁgure could be painted. 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. and so on and so forth. 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. 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. drew up countless buckets of Norfolk. wargames. trees. in the were leaning over their horses’ heads. The ﬁrst of them was a large through the weight of the table and its American Civil War game. a President of the Wessex Military Society in the late 1970s. ﬁrmly grasping the table and tipping it up At this time. as it was before they issued from the window whence it had arrived. Driving about 275 illustrations in some of my books. Subsequently. Attempts to ‘patch’ the mould seldom worked. when it was still going on. 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. these occasions gave us heart This did not deter Bill. who partnered me against Bill and Gibb McCall. sleep came slowly despite fatigue. 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. 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. roads. who deployed superbly modelled and Knocking together a sturdy timber table. Always miles to that place.m. when there were that they were méléeing our riﬂemen. 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. we slaved over hot stoves more often than our wives. I was conscripted into open-handed. a number of and was desperately trying to keep awake his beautifully painted regiments which at about 3 a. Peter presented it to on the Manchester Daily Mail) and myself me. Southampton 1959 and he ended up with hordes of Perhaps wargamers still visit each cuirassiers. when Bill entertained Peter Gilder surrounding hills. Bill charged our Light Division (some 150 riﬂemen). discouragement and often downright sneering.slashing at us with sabres – arousing even so that machine-gunners of long-past more laughter. a shrewd general ﬁrst-ﬂoor bedroom as a wargames room. 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. There was an immense satisfaction on prising from the mould a pristine silver casting. plus those of Peter Gilder. After many hours of inconclusive combat. using a bucket and a terrain. In the beginning. For many years. The more skilled also made their own original . Gibb McCall (a crime writer typical generosity. our rules and the hobby in general. built himself a sandtable. when he announced them as ours did to us. when he lived in long rope. it was all battles tend to tun up in the middle too much for Bill. controversial rule interpretations and plans for the next meeting. Peter gave. few alike in any shape or form. chasseurs. as our overworked minds mulled over tactical mistakes. In the very beginning. an amusing incident so that soldiers. Hastily thrown ﬁgures but. I praised it and. remain among my most favoured units.
because everyone needs cheap (they still are. Dixon. and converted the rest Sunday evenings while watching TV. When I write a sheer nostalgic article S. Prussian Uhlan. a system was Hinton Hunt. Seven Years’ War infantry esoteric productions were achieved. All of them remained in it was better in the Old Days.Germans. “what will it convert that motivated past generations of casting their own! So. entire Seven Years’ War set-up Hinchliﬀe. being earlier days the initial reaction to seeing experience something of the stimulation singularly adept at making moulds and any new ﬁgure was. travelling salesman for Britains Ltd. As I have and ﬁnally in South Africa. (Swedish building up with Plasticene painted with same spirit. and manufactured or campaign except with the ﬁrst in Ireland. [The Editor winces in sympathy: I’ve had Today’s wargamers will. It seemed that advice.E. were the very ﬁrst nail varnish.A. correct armies.A. It is hoped that they will numbers of German-made ﬂats. with ﬁgures to be used as the ‘master ﬁgure’ discovered the true beauty of these ﬁgures much ﬁling. the when reading military history. will fondly recall incidents and – all veteran wargamers with enormous I do not suppose it applies now. the arrival of American. ﬁghting their ﬁrst ever wargame in Peter’s watching World Cup football. who. fostered by ﬁgures obtainable from a newsagents in into whatever we needed. resulting in many breakages. but in events as I do.E. about Spencer Smith (cast nowadays in pewter). have their own memories and Tony Bath. alongside masterpieces months of work assembling the by Charlie Stadden. I parachutes on their backs. when I heard of these into?” and we searched out models in wargamers. British in HO/OO scale and in 30mm by of Ronald Spencer-Smith.] of the years. Jack Scruby. in the mid 1960s. although a triﬂe words are not written in that spirit at Scruby in California.E. nostalgia and the imagination. 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. rarely buying in any quantity African Engineers). emerged as Bavarian standardﬁngers to the bone ﬁling away ﬂash. hussars. each new period of interest. These The only other known source was Jack my collection for decades. charge of living in the past. 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.. competition and imitation. 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. cheek-by-jowl with more programmes: I painted up an modern oﬀerings by Miniﬁgs.. inconceivable nowadays! Collecting into lancers of all nations and periods. then in Madeira. such possibly it ain’t so much fun! and some WW2 British.000 of them! was allowed to paint on Saturday and viable sources of supply. at that time a and German airborne divisions. etc. always found new fascinations Fortunately for the hobby. one lays oneself open to the shipments were so rare and no system all-concealing!).000 ﬁgures. Suﬀolk. plus a vast host of painted and house at Scredington. to assemble fresh armies for and are available again today. I wargame in much the long-gone makers. Don with the late Peter Gilder. Archie Cass and the Bantocks dreams. Americans and as the S. Victorian era. moulding of Plasticene and for making the mould.A. whilst Customs Duty on these brittle. 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. but had was spawned via a rigid ruling that I a full stop simply because there were no to guarantee purchasing 1. and out that a few hours battling oﬀ-beat types by George van in the new period involved Tubergen. It was not long before they all the plentiful and excellent ranges of readysoldiers I ever bought. even in metal) 30mm back-street shops and transformed them encouragement and help. thrilling and stimulating of ﬁgures. British cavalry of the today’s wargamers with the claim that with their sole British agent in Brighton. I persuaded him to make a mould with a detailed narrative scenario) a time when my collecting had come to using the S.A. These were 30mm stimulated by a purely personal ﬁgures designed by a renowned preference of not reproducing Swedish designer. Napoleonic dragoons. Soon. imported ‘toys’ added greatly to their cost. of hectoring prevailed. very few were cavalry. WW2 pilots with bulky . entire stock of the local shop. There were beautiful colonials on reﬂection it usually worked by American Tom Cox. 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. so that one had to take pot luck chasseurs. range has been rescued by Peter this has resulted in having Johnstone of Spencer Smith. over the course I did not fancy the ﬂat ﬁgures beloved of many casualties to brittle plastic too. so that delivery times were room caused the plastic to become days made even more colourful by lengthy. using a razor blade and To this day. and that is no crime – but War types. I purchased the became either Federals or Confederates! made commercial ﬁgures now available. All of us wore our – they could be dramatically converted soldering.E. Lamming. so a London suburb. which seems I sold 500 or so. into something quite diﬀerent with bearers for my Franco-Prussian War army! My collection included models of ridiculous ease. Holger any particular historical battle Eriksson. armies! To do this. 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. Ted Suren (‘Willie’ evolved revolving around TV range). S. ﬁgures was diﬃcult because their natives (turbans are easy to make and like this. interested in them. which 3.
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
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.
PLAYING THE GAME
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?
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.
SOME CLARIFICATIONS FROM THE PREVIOUS PART
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!”
A WORD ON BASING
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
NEXT UP… THE FIRST OF THE HEAVY CAVALRY
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.
a useful nomadic horde to have in the collection). you want to copy something they have done.Phil’s Byzantines with their Italo-Lombard allies defend a pass against Khazars (played by Mongols . maps. after a couple of units of Cossacks/ Hussars/Pancerni. I am inspired. just go and prep up another unit for the project you are doing instead. 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.. As well as being a useful progress record. It can be a good way of taking a break from painting ﬁgures but maintaining momentum on a project. take it to the club. They paint them to display standard. make up army lists. or “that website with the really useful battle report and map”. 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. They show you their lovely work. It all helps keep motivation going. 2. and generally keep all your ideas together for the project. It can also help if you have a prepared ﬁgure where you can just decide to paint a face. Do something which you feel is needed and typical for the theatre of operations that this project is going to portray. People look at other’s painting and want to copy what others are doing. It’s really handy if you know (from experience) when you are likely to encounter the Painting Wall. Have a small game if possible to rekindle enthusiasm. and for painting competitions. When I look at other peoples’ beautifully painted ﬁgures. of course. put useful pictures.. Having done ﬁgures for one side. You can show this to your wargaming pals. note useful reference works to get hold of. but to improve my own style for what I’m doing. I painted and based up a Hovels building to suit the period. photo by Liz Olley. Do some terrain or make a small building. It made for a nice break. And painting a WW2 German Stormtrooper’s face is the same as painting a Napoleonic French Fusilier’s face. All ﬁgures painted by Phil Olley. But if you haven’t got one. Having a website for this purpose is highly recommended. 5. After all. such a journal is somewhere you can take notes. 3. Or if you have seen a lovely shade of red on a Napoleonic infantryman’s tunic. For example. Paint units for both sides. and create a written journal when building up your army. even if it’s just a couple of units per side. but as someone who is forever forgetting the name of “that book I really ought to get hold of”. OK. which is the same as painting an Imperial Roman Legionary’s face (apart from the nose!!). most ﬁgure painting is the same process. it might sound a bit like a fourth-form history project. when I did my Renaissance Poles. Choosing a project where armies can be allies or enemies helps here. . or even just keep it for personal posterity. see if you can create a similar red on an oﬃcer’s cloak for your chosen period. rather than switching periods totally. not necessarily to copy them and switch periods. 10 TIPS TO HELP BREAK THROUGH THAT ‘PAINTING WALL’ 1. and before you know it. because then you can prepare to beat it. it’s handy to be able to switch to the other side for variety. and allowed me to create a set-up on my table to keep the inspiration going. If the urge to paint something else is overwhelming and unavoidable. no matter how small. It’s purely psychological. rather than getting inspiration from it to apply to their own work. which is the same as preparing an Imperial Roman unit for painting. 6. and those wonderful pictures and so on. I know how valuable such a project journal can be. Record your progress. there’s still no reason why you can’t take a few photos. 4. and added a peasant ﬁgure. They sing out to you from the deep recesses of the online wargaming world. Beware of ‘Painting Sirens’! All over the Web you will ﬁnd guys who paint beautiful ﬁgures. of course.
and if you paint regularly you can always improve and practice new techniques. Paint something else. depending on your allegiance!). plus a Norman knight holding the army standard.g. and so using Norman milites with the addition of a few round shields. without them and to arm them with throwing spears/thrusting spears. a nice little vignette. 10. Have a regular painting regime. I decided to do some Normans and Lombards to face up to the Byzantine military machine. I start painting at 7pm with “The Archers” on in the background. it’s a matter of personal preference and taste. a gameable army in a month. 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). Given that lances were probably adopted as a result of lessons learned from ﬁghting the Byzantines in Italy. or even ﬁgure catalogues/adverts. and I have opted for 40mm square bases with two ﬁgures on each. 9. In the meantime. No matter how small this space. at the ﬁrst sign that I was ready for a break. My idea is that this project represents the period before the Normans became superheroes (or super-antiheroes. Again. Initially. Picture what it is you are creating with this project.) And so to the crossbowmen. 7. they make an ample force to take on my nomadic hordes (a mixture of Huns and Mongols) who I use as Khazars. added the inevitable Benedictine monk (from the Foundry Conquistador range). They can be enemies or allies for the Byzantines. basing them was another compromise between gameability and aesthetics. pictures from wargames magazines. For the milites.And even then. they can act as normal infantry (the frontage being the same as under normal WAB conventions). keep your work area clear. it seems better to leave the Lombard milites. 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. I wish you the very best of luck. namely Ian Heath’s excellent WRG publication Armies of the Dark Ages plus the Osprey on Charlemagne that showed some Lombards of 10th century. etc. and the next step will be a unit of Varangian guards (can’t resist). rather than spending time getting set up. 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. Melus of Bari. and I guess I just don’t want single-based ﬁgures for this project! Based thus. These are mercenary ‘Sergeants’ with crossbows and light armour under the WAB rules. it needs to grow. and there is the small matter of an opposing force to do… So further Normans and Italo-Lombard infantry are required. so resorted to a spare mounted ﬁgure from my Saxon command. I decided to switch and do an Italo-Lombard unit. as well as the Osprey on the Normans which has a nice plate of an early 11th century Norman knight. 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. This really helps because it’s a habit thing. so that you can pick up your brush immediately. And don’t get me started on WAB warhorse rules! As for the commander of the Lombard forces. My conclusions: most European ‘knights’ (milites) would look very similar. This is very important. Army standards. or websites. with the Italo-Normans as allies. I wanted to create a relatively small unit (the crossbows being unlikely to be used in any great numbers just yet). e.e. gave him a kite shield. I trusted some old reference material. mixed with the traditional kite shields. with the ability for them to count as light infantry and even be able to skirmish as well. Okay. I could ﬁnd no pictures of the rebel. every evening. and most of the Norman milites. and have the next ﬁgures you are working on sitting on the painting area ready for you to ‘dress’ them. and hey presto. Yes. just 30 days from the moment of deciding to do the project to having a useful little force together. plus some crossbowmen. not away on business). and be in skirmish formation with the bases slightly apart. 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. seems to ﬁt the bill. and with only a small number of ﬁgures. plus another Byzantine Heavy cavalry unit. if you just fancy a break… take a break. Whenever I am at home (i. So. . This allows me to introduce some groundwork to the bases (without overdoing it). Like most things. Rekindle the original vision of the end of the project in your mind. AN ARMY IN A MONTH! So there we have it. with this Byzantine project. this will be a couple of small units of mounted knights. Army generals. (See my comments above about command bases. Have a permanent painting table or workspace laid out if possible. No doubt the megalomaniac in me will want to keep expanding this force. and also have any inspiring photos available that got you started on this particular project. painting is a habit. So.
has a far larger and more professional staﬀ than Frederick the Great ever ﬁelded. 5: The unit commander cannot understand his orders and requests clariﬁcation. and that when we want stupid generalship we can behave stupidly on our own. be very clear before you begin what it is you’re trying to do. it will show up in the subsequent rules. Bad scouting 3. do you wish to represent the general. a command position on the battleﬁelds covered by your rules. that sort of depends. 4: movement orders are interpreted as meaning a diﬀerent terrain feature of the same type. what are the distinguishing traits of a bad general on the battleﬁeld? Do they actually give fewer orders? Not that I’ve noticed. And I’d like to get my two bits’ worth in here. be prepared to write out a rating for every individual who ever held. If defending. 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. John Bell Hood and George Armstrong Custer might both make the short list for the American Civil War. Whether they claim to be doing one or the other. feeling that the whole point of reﬁghting the Monongahelia is to prove that we’re brighter than Braddock. the right ﬂank goes where the left should have. Ney at Quatre Bras. producing maps and keeping other headquarters informed. If you’re describing staﬀs. Tendency to forget units 5. I’ve studied military history a long time and spent a LOT of time on staﬀ. either by a shallower . If I had to pick a general to inspire men for a desperate ﬁght. If ordered to deploy. or do you wish to represent his staﬀ? It is not the same thing. his deployment is hindered.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. and I say this every time. or could have held. Many of us object on principle to such rules. Are they surrounded by fewer ﬂunkies so they can’t transmit orders as frequently or as far? Again. Go back to 1862 and give the Confederacy 50 good staﬀ NCOs. 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. See how much good it did him? W If you wish to represent the general himself. Others point out that commanding stupid subordinates isn’t like commanding smart ones. SIGNS OF A BAD GENERAL “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. but I might suggest the following: 1. They were diﬀerent because they were diﬀerent marshals. 2. Ney and Davout had diﬀerent staﬀs to a degree. moving the unit one unit’s frontage out of position. the bad general has only a fraction of the normal distance between himself and the enemy at the start of play. they reduce his ‘command radius’ and they reduce the eﬀect of his presence on the troops. or the reverse. No action taken. And don’t laugh: we’ve all seen it done. Are the troops less inspired by their presence? Well. but not because Napoleon made them that way. things of which their staﬀs evidently were not capable a year earlier. yes. If attacking. thank you. and retreat orders trigger an advance. but neither are commonly listed among the war’s great generals. say. 1-3: carried out as written. on the other hand. forget Turtledove’s AK-47’s in 1864. Ambiguous or contradictory orders: Cast a d6 when a unit receives orders from a bad general. 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. throw away that entire chart. I wouldn’t say so. but not the one intended. Now. Ambiguous or contradictory orders 2. If you are vague or contradictory here. 6: Orders to advance are taken as withdrawal orders. If you have a time machine and wish to reverse the outcome of that war. Well. Well. Von Moltke said that you might not be able to make up for bad deployments in the whole course of a campaign. determining your objective is the deployment phase of wargame rules writing. Micromanagement 4. and block one out concerned with nationality and command level only. what makes a bad general? Or rather. The troops march on a village. I would say the following traits distinguish the oﬃcers you’d really prefer not to be commanded by: 1. Bad scouting. The best example I can show is the Seven Days’ Battles of 1862 in the American Civil War. most rules approach the problem in the same ways: they reduce the number of orders a general can give during a turn. Bad terrain selection Obviously whether these can be represented on a tabletop will depend on the rules used. First. Now.
especially when they’re out of his sight. There should be a signiﬁcant possibility of oﬀ-board units arriving late. In this case. if they are attached rather than assigned – foreign auxilliaries. at the wrong point. deployment zone. say. 5. it wasn’t likely to know the density of a woods. and will take part in any general retreat. Also. SIGNS OF A POOR STAFF What. the umpire or the opposing player either add or remove a piece of terrain from the bad general’s area. Oﬀ-standard units should have a greater probability of running low on ammunition. of course. After all. Well. bad generalship and inadequate staﬃng are not the same.Once ‘forgotten’. say. so it doesn’t get too far out of line. and consider suspending any ‘no drinking during the game’ rules. 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.“Look out Major Hogan: supplies have been ‘taken care of ’ by the Dons and Colonel bloody Simmerson. In the horse and musket period. and have the right ammunition. 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. though it will act to defend itself. he is not told the ﬁre and movement eﬀect of any terrain feature until his men are in contact with it. there should be the possibility of NO suitable ball or shell ammunition. ” 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. Micromanagement. but perhaps not double-shotted. this has some ‘feedback’ mechanisms. suspend all command or staﬀ rules. Or just skip that one: it’s either going to be ahistorical or not much of a game anyway. if we can’t improve on the 18th Century. Place the roads on the tabletop after the bad commander has marked his map and given his ﬁrst orders. sometimes ﬁnd a bad general with an inadequate staﬀ. The further they are from headquarters. a unit may not be given orders unless a similar-size unit of the same branch is taken out of play. or by having to march on and then deploy. 3. Now for the most part. Sadistic umpires might wish to consider making the bad general mark his deployment on an inaccurate map before seeing the table. Tendency to forget units. His logisticians must ensure that his troops are fed. (There might be a bias for a particular branch of service here. I would suggest the following: 1. Roll to see whether the bad general will remember he has certain units. Now looked at this way. and have a fair notion of the state of rivers. . Cannister can always be improvised. 2. on a 5 two levels and on a 6 three levels. or perhaps not at all. are the traits of a bad staﬀ? The commander’s intelligence staﬀ tell him who he’s facing. so that the corps commander is giving orders to a battery of artillery or a single cavalry squadron. but Lee and Longstreet will not abandon generalship to command squadrons or batteries. the more likely they are to be forgotten. 3. transmitting orders and ensuring that all his units have ammunition. His operations staﬀ ensure that people are where the general wants them. On a 1-3 the general is reasonably sane. WORST CASE SCENARIO One does. On a 4 he commands one level down. pick the dumbest player in your group. Once both armies are deployed. 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. you get the idea. Jackson may never show up at Malvern Heights. In any event. But for a commander given an inadequate staﬀ. In armies of limited artillery. but it should know good from bad roads. or an extra battery from the corps reserve – they are more likely to miss the action. “Are you sure the general wants us to stay here. Probably the easiest of the lot to represent.) 4. 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. on the other hand.. or it doesn’t show up on the battleﬁeld. why are we doing it again? Good luck and good gaming.. Poor terrain selection. A right pile o’ paella that’ll make.
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”. B (blue). Grant OBE The rival landing parties will land at their respective bays R or B in period 1. Blue force has a wide range of periods. marshy area. a lone pine. The The island is only a small one. INTRODUCTION Christmas is a time for the family. island. may see the map. Two parties of similar size (rival pirates. you stop reading because you have no interest in Situation pirates. pirates and marines. a dead tree Situation and a boot-shaped lake. the commander of the third force. a battalion of it was a long time ago!) as Treasure Hunt. Each group will quickly realize the presence of a rival and take appropriate action. Two landing bays are marked R (red) and remains is to get the treasure back to the longboats. 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. one side might be marines rather than pirates Mission and as you will read later. the Blue player is given clue 2. even fantasy or sci-ﬁ. A throw of 1 or 2 will mean it is found one period later. That said. can ﬁll this rôle. creek. with a fordable stream running south to the broader Red has a unit of about 20 ﬁgures. in which you could quite easily. the more enthusiastic wargamer will hope to ﬁnd a bit of what I believe is now called “quality time” to do some wargaming. if he is the game organizer. There is no requirement to provide ships or boats unless you already have them. to determine how quickly the clue is referred to later as the Green Force. arrived at the spot. Each has only a single clue to the location of the treasure. on which the top contours reduce movement. The island rises with a number of prominent hills. A number of other features include several woods. have a non-pirate option. However. Similarly. get BLUE FORCE ORDERS other family members involved. Indeed. Only the umpire or Green Force A much-valued treasure has been hidden on the Commander. The Captain Jack Sparrow Forces and Pirates of the Caribbean option may help! Its origins can Blue has a unit of about 20 ﬁgures. of the game. They could be be found in Scenarios for Wargames published in 1981 (yes. For a pirate scenario. the locals or natives (Green) will take exception to the incursion and in an evenhanded way do their best to upset the invaders’ plans. depending on how smooth a talker you are. 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. a wrecked ship. treasure. like other scenarios A much-valued treasure it has changed somewhat has been hidden on the over the years and can cover island. At this point. I To seize the treasure. a cave. before infantry. 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. but for other forces and periods it may be a “The toe of a wet boot starts the search”. it may simply be buried They have their ﬁrst clue to the treasure which is: treasure. 3 or 4 means two periods and 5 or 6 means in three GROUND periods. This is the south-east end of a boot-shaped lake marked . similar to Blue. The Island is sighted – a view of the magniﬁcent Redoubt Enterprises pirate They have their ﬁrst ship. In an RED FORCE ORDERS approximately central position on the island is a native Forces village. and occupies most of the process continues until the treasure is found.Table top teaser Trouble on Treasure Island by Brigadier (Ret’d) C. 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. been sent to retrieve it. buccaneers with a captain and lieutenant. parties.S. 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. Alternatively. shipwrecked person or a precious item that has been lost. French and British. located. All that wargame table. or whatever is appropriate for the period. and it will certainly help if this is the At this location a die is thrown when a ﬁgure has case. Here is a scenario with a lighter touch.
a dice is thrown a warm reception. 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. when a ﬁgure reaches the spot to determine how long it takes to ﬁnd the next clue. The Red and Blue players only have their ﬁrst clues and landing areas. where Willie ﬁgures of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. telegraph’ by period 4 unless. Foundry ﬁgures from the author’s collection. 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. including the Green force in the village. Green forces cannot be reasoned with (but Red and whatever is left of that side’s raiding party. 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. the location of the treasure. He can then move WINNING THE GAME as he sees ﬁt. hazards and minor bonuses to keep up the excitement. I intend to use these and others “Step three will be found in the centre of the diamond”. and their conduct a ﬁctitious mini-campaign in the West Indies. to The diamond is. feel free to rename Red Clue 2 the island Christmas Island. of a wrecked ship with a cross marked under the prow”. POSTSCRIPT . in fact. crudely executed. The umpire/ organizer should feel free to improvise new rules. The ﬁgures are Willie GAME MECHANICS Set out the table as shown. Clue four poorly-armed and lacking “Painted on the discipline. Only the umpire (or Green Commander if acting in that capacity) has a marked map. and may decide to try). The local occupants (Green Force) prepare to give their unwelcome visitors As for blue. Blue clue 2 At some stage in the future. then Green has won. they are already visible by line of sight from the village. they will ﬁnd their second clues as follows: They stand ready in my collection for a more ambitious project. He is not capable of a concerted attack. However. perhaps in the area of the cave. alongside the native inhabitants. more clues or other perils to beset the buccaneers. are based at the village. The remaining clues are as follows: Clue three “Seek the next step to the treasure in a cave close to the creek. 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. All that concerns him is the destruction The game unfolds as both sides move towards of intruders. broadly encapsulated in the title of “Island Hopping”. they stand the test of time and have a special appropriate period.” GREEN FORCE Forces ﬁgures by the late Ted Suren. Good hunting. while the be assumed that he will know of the intruders via ‘bush natives will undoubtedly do their worst. again. Red nor Blue achieves this. or its signiﬁcance. This light-hearted scenario is only an outline and can easily be developed with the use of maps. the wood so shaped. the scenario description. and once again it will take time to ﬁnd it. “A dead tree will lead to the the rival crews from the good ships Santa Clause and next step”. quality about them. These are marked at 3 and 4 on the umpire’s map. Once Christmas entertainment. he starts in his village. Similar dice throwing to that already described for Blue is required to determine how long it takes to ﬁnd the next clue. of course. From now on the locations of the clues are the same for both sides. This last clue is. French and British island raiders engage each other. that are being built up. 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.as 1R on the master map. 15 natives of the Designed almost 40 years ago. All that remains is to get the treasure back to the longboats. Mission To destroy any intruders on the island. If neither Blue commanders do not know that. and still available from Spencer Smith. In period 1. of course. despite the hope that this will provide some on the master map. inside of the cave is a picture. The process continues until the treasure is found. third clue is in the centre in a small clearing marked 2B Finally. 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. but it can a clash.
Battlegames 25 .
“What’s the best way to achieve that?” you ask yourself. I suspect. or HesseSeewald. Another aspect to consider. 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. is most often ‘fudged’ by wargamers. 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. as you cast your eyes over your existing collection of ﬁgures. distinctions were kept simple. “I’ve already got an army of Prussians and another of Austrians from the Seven Years’ War. At this stage. The logic is impeccable: these folk enjoy their fantastical forays and ﬁctitious fripperies. so I’ll just pretend that they’re the armies of SchlitzDrumhausen and The Electorate of Nieder-Schimmelsitz. rivers and mountain ranges. but most of the time. or the Duchy of Alzheim (the 18th century seems to dominate the ﬁctitious wars scene). naming all those towns. it takes a bold gamer indeed to decide not to paint them as the historical unit they were sculpted to represent. “I know!” you say. And ﬁnally. however. . of course. in all honesty. villages.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.” Now. 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. once you’ve gone to all the trouble of drawing up maps. After all. 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. On closer examination of the photos on view. A spread from the Editor’s campaign diary showing the birth of Prunkland’s army for gaming with WRG rules. 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. and I am aware of many gamers who do just that. one can often T discern the unmistakeable bearing of Prussian grenadiers or the French of King Louis or some other historical realm. there can be no major objection to this. you’ll probably just want to get on with the campaign and having the occasional tabletop game.
then.. my own. Such nations – Prunkland’s regimentals would. green. each unit’s genres generally handwriting later. perhaps in reverse order. Doing illustrations forces you to think about the smaller details. so whatever smaller states. 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. which may well prove that I am. This stuﬀ is absolutely real: I have. then . just a nation. and is British. but the for your armies that thought of creating is not what would the look of an army (or generally be thought multiple armies. be it France.. the uniforms. It is interesting colours. to note. as it of as ‘military’. these are all perfectly reasonable things for when Captain Hinundzu saved the regimental colour people to propose. experience. You get the general idea. wargamers and re-enactors devour this stuﬀ. 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. turned out) that would I remember. gaiters and all the best-known the heraldry of the works from these Another extract from the Editor’s diary. then. the architecture and has reminded me of just how subtle the distinctions can be. 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... the queen who held the hopes of her people. Saxony and enemies! It’s your a number of other army. To be sure. this time four campaign years and a change of battleﬁeld.of Zwetschkendatcherl in commemoration of the day Well. lace. at the cost of assembling a a battle honour on their colours which is paraded on ﬁctitious army. and bear in mind that your miniature men will be the ﬁrst the prince torn by the bitter rivalry that divided them. pick.. or that the buttons on their gaiters because we love doing it and it can be very satisfying in itself. piping. those of us who invent uniforms do so badge is worn just so. 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. induce coat with coloured a state of shock and. completely mad to have gone to the lengths that by hiding it in a dung heap. 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. indeed. artefacts of each race – given the same time and resources. beautiful Princess As it happens. soon to a screen near you. so take your perhaps. If your campaign then Prussia would does not reside in be the immediate the realms of history comparison. not brass. and a straightforward Russia is inevitably fantasy or sci-ﬁ brought to mind. chosen dark blue. my Trixie. as they say. in my ‘realistic’ in some way. red. the in any way. however. So setting. the king who bore the pride of When creating the army of a ﬁctitious nation. attempt to appear Now. As it happens. in the ranks of their Austria. or at least plausible. disorder. American entirely unique gamer Otto Schmidt’s provided tremendous armies serving the motivation. My according to where the character came from. experiments own current project painting British Napoleonic ﬁgures with diﬀerent cloths and natural dyes. God. just look at the fuss being made as the British Army goes First of all. facings. is in the details.. that buttons. so let’s address them. in result in something particular. 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. if regiments wear a white nothing else. I’m sure. dressed in imagined inevitably bright pink with lime resembled historical green facings. regimental colours.”) to tell you that they’re proud of the fact that their cap In short. gravelly voice: “Coming this subtle zigzaggy line running through it or the buttons are brass/silver and. some of own sense of decorum whom were. are silver. If I’d ﬂoats your boat. if I recall meant that what I correctly. or that they have such-and-such Let’s look now.
At an average of jut 35p for an infantryman and 95p for cavalry. In those days. they are no longer made in plastic. In fact. I have bought the armies of Prunkland and Faltenland in 6mm. as for the objection to painting your miniatures in alternative colour schemes. Prunkland could call nearly 77. I have to confess that. 11 regiments of cavalry. though now casting these same ﬁgures in metal. 6mm. four batteries of artillery. to either defend or attack a sizeable tract of territory. So strong is the demand for these ﬁgures that there is an excellent website dedicated entirely to reviewing the latest releases: see www. these represent great value not only for those of us building ﬁctitious armies. in theory. many of which are incredible little creations.plasticsoldierreview. we’ll look at how to introduce bags of personality into your ﬁctitious forces. both tactically and strategically. so you can have fun gaming with whatever you’ve got as you build up your miniature armies in the background. Last Valley trees. 15mm and 30mm. that’s down to your own conscience. the per-ﬁgure cost can be astonishingly low. (Prunkland has always been very advanced in this regard. I know. Strelets and Zvezda make the market for plastic ﬁgures sound very exotic indeed. Sadly. but thanks to the work of Peter Johnstone. six battalions of Grenadiers. Old plastic Spencer Smith 30mm ﬁgures painted by the Editor. In the last instalment. reconnaissance parties and the like. at the beginning of hostilities. but as a way into the hobby generally. For me. 10mm and 15mm ﬁgures in production. or by the thought of what your friends might say if they found out that you’d been (shock! horror!) just making things up. Prunkland’s army numbered about 27. My advice is to start with modest forces. perhaps a brigade or two a side at the most. with garrisons. I was inspired by Charles Grant’s The War Game and the hosts of plastic Spencer Smith miniatures that marched across his wargames table. the early incarnation of Prunkland’s forces now seems crude to me – which is why..500 men.you’d better have a limitless cheque book and a spare decade or two. I know. that’s the real turn-on. you could buy a bag of 80 infantry or 30 cavalry for just a couple of pounds. During this series I’ve said repeatedly that a ﬁctitious campaign is an act of creation. more readily.com. these still represent great value for money for the gamer looking to embark on a ﬁctitious campaign. two of Jäger. The most important thing – as with any wargames project – is that an army of this size is achievable. Now. it is strong enough for a commander to divide the force into two or three parts. this represents something akin to a Napoleonic corps and very alike the force that Frederick the Great commanded at Mollwitz.. though at a premium. Spencer Smith is still very much in business. names like HäT. but keen collectors can still ﬁnd boxes of Waterloo Cuirassiers and British Commandos tucked away in the dusty corners of small shops or. I stripped all the paint oﬀ my Spencer Smiths and started again. Balsa house. The Airﬁx company many of us recall with fondness from our youth has been beset by ﬁnancial troubles over the years. resulting in the ﬁrst re-painted unit that you can see at the foot of the page. you’ll need to buy a lot of boxes as they typically come with around 40 ﬁgures in a variety of positions. If you’re seriously troubled by this. only a few units. the building of a world of your own design. over the years. scouts. But this doesn’t have to be the case. because it requires a leap of faith that not everybody is comfortable with. . But plastic isn’t the only alternative. generally in 1:72 scale (20mm) and the range available is phenomenal. With 2mm. on eBay. When I ﬁrst embarked on this project. last year. Should you manage to concentrate all your forces onto a single battleﬁeld. and you’ll be able to get your campaign started knowing that in most encounters. and that creativity extends as far as the buttons on the soldier’s jackets.000 men to arms. we saw how. Italeri. Next time. four battalions of Grenzers. well. From theory to reality: Regiment von Eintopf on the march. organised into 20 battalions of Musketeers. At just a few pounds a box. will be involved. However. 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. though the level of detail that has interested me has evolved. On the other hand. though the drawback is that if you want disciplined-looking battalions all in the same pose.) Such a force is quite capable of challenging the most experienced of tabletop generals. then don’t do it. the design of their saddlecloths and so on. These days. a large battalion of pioneers and a small unit of medical staﬀ.
but you can increase the contrast by just adding a touch more white to the Bronzed Flesh. To add that ﬁnal deﬁnition to the face. For this guide. ﬁnished oﬀ with a dot of black or dark brown centrally on the white strip. a basecoat with layered colours over the top to deﬁne the features. and they form a wonderfully hardy looking reddish skin tone. I start with a mid-brown colour and paint all the wooden parts of the weapon. The colour of the lower lip is really up to you. but is growing steadily. FACES AND HANDS I will always try to paint the skin on a ﬁgure ﬁrst for a variety of reasons. I am going to tackle a Russian and a Swedish infantryman. make sure the black dot totally divides the white of the eyes. so you can add variety to your troops with ease. this is not really necessary if you want to save some time. then the tunic etc. I applied a ﬁnal highlight of Foundry’s Flesh 5C although. But there are literally hundreds of methods of painting skin with an equal number of formulated paints to help you along the way. you can see the extent to which I have covered the base colour with this layer. In the next picture. as with the Swede. you can choose almost any brown colour for this basecoat: just make sure it’s not too dark. paint the eyes and lips in. All the metallic areas were also painted dark silver (such as GW’s Boltgun . but this time I used paints from the Foundry and Privateer Press (P3) ranges. In eﬀect. but areas to try to deﬁne with this highlight are the nose and nostrils. I know many painters prefer a much pinker colour instead of the dark red-brown colour I have used. I added white to Bronzed Flesh for the second highlight. but build diﬀerent colours on top of it. I started with a watered down basecoat of Pelikan Plaka’s Red Brown. Painting the face and hands (and other ‘ﬂeshy’ bits) ﬁrst really does give life to the ﬁgure. 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. these two colours were designed to be painted one after the other. I started with the same Plaka Red Brown. and be done. Make sure you keep the deﬁnition of the nose and nostrils. I painted the Russian and Swede in two diﬀerent styles. I painted in the eyes and the lower lip. But. I will also detail a couple of diﬀerent techniques and paint combinations to add variety and speed things up. which is what we are looking for here. MUSKETS 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. both of which start with the same base colour. I painted a layer of Games Workshop’s (GW) Bronzed Flesh over the red brown. the biggest reason is that I enjoy painting ﬂesh on a ﬁgure and I ﬁnd it the most interesting part of most miniatures. as well the cheekbones and brow. (See photos at top of opposite page. Areas to focus on here are the same as before. you are minimising the chance that you will get paint on already ﬁnished areas of the model. Even if it does look a little too harsh in the fourth picture. making sure to leave the base colour in the deep recesses of the face. then the shirt.A brush with musketeers Painting infantry for the Great Northern War by Dave Robotham O ver the last few months I have been looking into the new range of Great Northern War ﬁgures produced by Musketeer Miniatures. those sharp highlights will really work to make the features of the face stand out. touching the top and the bottom of the eye. COLOUR PALLETE 2 – THE RUSSIAN COLOUR PALLETE 1 – THE SWEDE The Russian’s skin was painted using the same technique and template as with the Swede. I ﬁnd that if you paint the miniature from the inside layer out (the skin. To add more deﬁnition. At this point you could stop. I painted a layer of P3 Khardic Flesh followed by a second highlight of P3 Midland Flesh. If you are feeling brave. Due to the varied manufacturers of muskets from diﬀerent nations. you can add some more detail by splitting the highlight. Like the Foundry colour triads. as I have. For the next step. remember that on the tabletop. and can drive me on to complete the rest of it. To avoid that wide-eyed stare. You don’t want to leave too much of the red brown showing. However a ﬁnal highlight of pure white will make the face stand out on the tabletop. Finally. for me. as well as the cheekbones and muscles. Firstly. You can see in third picture how subtle my highlight is. Highlight the lips with either a single line or. After the basecoat of red-brown. 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. I used a diﬀerent pallete of colours this time. The eyes were painted is as a black stripe painted into the eye socket.) However. This is a relatively new line. then a white stripe painted over that.). you might also like to paint under the arches of the eyebrows and recesses under the eyes. you will not be painting over previous layers. This hobby paint dries totally matt and provides a great base colour for Caucasian skin tones.
Like many armies in the 17th and 18th centuries. when that was dry. To paint stubble. Using multiple layers. progressively building up the colour. make sure the lines are quite wide. At this point. Then I added several tufts of static grass in various colours. again retracing my previous lines to build up the deﬁnition of the woodgrain. Then I drybrushed the bases with GW colours starting with Bestial Brown then Snakebite Leather followed up by Bubonic Brown and ﬁnally Bleached Bone. On the Swede. as well as the Russian soldier’s coat and cuﬀs. but with a hint of brown to it. Starting oﬀ with a dark brown colour. THE UNIFORMS On the next page. I painted horizontal stripes along the wooden surfaces using Spear Shaft 13A. I varnished them again with Testors Dullcote for a wonderfully matt ﬁnish. You will notice that the Swedish Infantryman has not shaved for a few days. There is a huge variety of diﬀerent uniform colours you can use for the GNW. IN CONCLUSION . making sure the colour used was not bright or shiny. I then paint maybe six or seven layers. 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. you can make sure the pure granite colour is only along the jawbone and chin and fades out as it rises up the face. and ﬁnal. but don’t add too much. but fell back on the GW paint range for all the metallics. and after that had been left to dry for a day. but there is also a far more detailed approach you can use to paint up muskets and riﬂes and other wooden-stocked weapons. painting it on in small lines and dashes following the contours of the sculpted hair. I use Foundry Granite 31C. I ﬁrst varnished the model with GW’s Ardcoat spray gloss varnish. you should only see a slight change in colour. It will shade and stain the colours at the same time. GW’s Scorched Brown or Foundry’s Bay Brown 42A are ﬁne for this. So that is the fast method. I used PVA to glue down some rough sand and then. Using brighter silver (such as GW’s Mithril Silver or Chainmail). You could easily mix the shade of colour by taking a mid-grey (just black mixed with white) and adding a touch of brown. I have provided a full run-down of the colours I used. You can see the shades I used in this ﬁrst picture. The hair on these soldiers can be painted in hundreds of diﬀerent ways. Any brown will do. stage is to water down some black ink or black paint and wash that over both the wooden areas and the metallic areas. I used GW’s Scorched Brown. As you can see in the picture. the more opaque the colour will become as more pigment is layered onto the surface. This time. I suggest you head over to www.musketeerminiatures. The second.Metal).com for plenty more ideas and information about the troops and battles of the Great Northern War. Adding a 5 o’clock shadow is really not as hard as it might at ﬁrst seem. just simple layering of paint. I used diﬀerent colours for the rims of the bases. For protection. using a huge variety of colours. This is a grey colour. try to leave only a sliver of the Spear Shaft 13A showing as you retrace your design with this new colour. It is far easier to paint sand with a ﬂuid ink than with acrylic paint. When painting the diﬀerent uniforms. adding deﬁnition and that weathered look. The more layers you add. a much darker colour. starting with a dark basecoat and adding two or three layers of highlights – no blending or washes. I used a brown ink to stain the sand. I basecoated the wooden areas of the musket and used the same silver as I did in the ﬁrst method detailed previously. As a ﬁnal highlight I used Spear Shaft 13C. I used GW’s Bestial Brown and on the Russian. I also applied some highlights to the bayonet. I started with a dark base colour and applied a single highlight. just a dot of colour to tint the grey. To build up the colours of the wooden areas of the musket I used the Foundry’s Spear Shaft trio of colours. I water the paint down until it is incredibly translucent. you will see a colour guide for a Russian and a Swedish infantryman’s uniform. 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. uniforms were often brightly coloured and speciﬁc to diﬀerent formations. When you paint the ﬁrst layer. I used a simple layering technique. To ﬁnish oﬀ the bases. I used Foundry colours for the most part.
Players become attached to ‘pet’ units which then inﬂuence the frequent do I /don’t I decisions much more. I ﬁrst set out some broad working principles around which the detail would evolve. for me. and everyone agreed. well. I had no concrete plan. Decisions to commit reserves. I embarked on what has been. American armour. although I had vague ideas of what it might be and how it could run. a campaign oﬀers added dimensions not possible in one-oﬀ encounters.Race for the Rhine part I Building and running a multi-player wargames campaign by Barry Hilton O ver the last year or so I have found myself regularly attending a twice-weekly gaming session held in a local hobby shop. 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. launch all-out attacks or sustain enormous losses simply to win are put much more in context. The common interest across the attendees is Flames of War which. racing for the Rhine! Photo by Barry Hilton of part of his outstanding collection. 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. I also enjoy. any bus will do’. The main building blocks on which I constructed the campaign provided a very clear focus for my subsequent eﬀort. Although it is very diﬃcult to fault the approach Battlefront have taken. campaigns are for me the apex of the hobby in terms of overall experience. Having run a few scenario-based games and some table actions from my own Russian Front campaign for the members. The trouble was. Once the lads got tuned in. fortuitously. Although I enjoy almost all wargaming. . Why run a campaign? Well. productive and enjoyable little project. even the best thought-out gaming system will become tedious and predictable if every club night consists of equal points per side annihilation fests. Choices become more diﬃcult and their consequences carry more weight. I wanted to know exactly where this little project was going and also needed to know when I’d got there. THE PRINCIPLES OF WAR There’s a phrase which is commonly coined in my line of work ‘If you don’t know where you’re going. a very satisfying. I suggested a short campaign created speciﬁcally for the club might be of interest. 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.
My wish was that the games themselves. against typically determined before their projected end. three army groups (British 21st. 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. with no accounts. So. make the campaign more than simply ﬁghting a series Having weathered the storm of the Ardennes oﬀensive of encounter battles. in practice. to other evenings. mostly built immensely. By early March 1945. replacements. This led me to create a tiered level in December 1944. battle an evening. through to over-ambitious size. the decision to spend occurred in the time on getting it campaign. then switched to a D-Day breakout scenario. my principles for RftR were based on manageable time period and highly visible rapid progress.S. The oﬀensive began in Many wargaming campaigns splutter out and die desperate winter weather. 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. I was. The Sands of Time.I. I company. I personally enjoy I therefore embarked on any kind of Fog of a serious bit of frontWar mechanisms end work. into other activities. I completed it after three years and various incarnations of players. It was very important to the sense of tension opposition force based on the in situ German Division. together for what was to be the ﬁnal desperate struggle prisoner and equipment capture. to use the theatrical idiom. relatively speaking. Luxembourg and eastern France. To create this. but a competitive bunch. but deployment and reconnaissance vitally important. however. I was immediately able to create a credible right. I considered setting it in the Ardennes in late 1944.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 own Russian Front campaign. This rather excitement it generated tedious spadework A salvage operation in progress on a very chilly-looking piece of Barry’s terrain. Photo by BH. . asset to subdue the German armed forces in the west. Pushing management. length. my objective the ﬁrst place. but not for the faint-hearted. in the end unable to escape from my wargaming ‘Stato’ DRAFTING THE PLAN tendencies and tracked various statistics throughout. although the Generator’. loss replacement. So. although competitive. 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. Every game was. of the primary objective – reaching the river ﬁrst. very characteristic of me at my worst. The reasons vary from the enemy resistance. pleasant front operation of the war: Operation Veritable. and combat disorientation to have a signiﬁcant I will explain more of the Generator later. and will summarise very brieﬂy. In the end. scales and scope. Much Principle 6: Ensure at as I enjoyed it all. This did involve some record-keeping. and associated ‘carry over’ activity anally-retentive data. the ﬁrst units campaign not being very well planned or organised in were looking across the great river. umpired. 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. I also wanted Fog of War impact on every battle. 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. Principle 5: K. Initially. I all times that no-one had no wish to repeat has the foggiest what is this more than semihappening! masochistic experience.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. 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. losses and used a variety of tools that made force composition. A really wonderful experience. Belgium. combined operations and achievement from Holland. I a simple way to keep track of performance. 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. 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’. not a huge volume. So this around a device I came was perhaps a selﬁsh to know as the ‘Battle inclusion. the Allies gathered themselves of victory bonus based on the swiftness of the victory.
. I therefore oﬀered each player the simple choice of playing with a reinforced armoured or infantry company. dealing with situations and making choices along the way. German defensive positions. 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. but having done it and established the principles. 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. Tool 1: campaign rules First up was a set of campaign rules covering everything from choosing a force through weather. air support. ambulances. Some were easy and others stretched my competence a little. The campaign rules will appear in full as a later part of this series of articles. there was added incentive to play well as the enemy because. but it does the job! Time to dig out your Baedeker guide. The total available points for each force was set at 2. ‘passive’.100 as calculated using the Army Lists I prepared for the player’s use. . Enemy forces were to be controlled by the umpire and were. use of armour recovery vehicles. Battleﬁeld visibility and line of sight 5. ﬁghting battles. you were actually shortening the odds of winning yourself. they will be easily replicated or adapted for other periods or situations. I was able to control all aspects of the campaign mechanics. Force composition The campaign map designed by Barry using Campaign Cartographer. Battleﬁeld deployment 2. 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. British or Canadian. combined ops between two commanders and increasing/decreasing troop eﬃciency as a result of combat. № Turner Prize winner. The big twist built into the campaign was that all of the players would be on the same side. Pre-game reconnaissance 3.Flames of War is a ruleset built around company level actions. by damaging your friend’s chances and causing him heavy losses. On-table reconnaissance 4. with the additional choice of its nationality being American.. which I collectively labelled ‘the toolkit’. 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. for all intents and purposes. THE UMPIRE’S TOOLKIT I had to create several ‘tools’. As a further pinch of spice. With these.
This was a huge innovation for me. but was alas not available at the time. . the greater the chance of bumping into some opposition. Roads were always one zone hotter than the band through which they ran. The recently-released Festung Europa would have been handy. I wanted their ﬁrst experience to be short and sweet. Only if an encounter happened in any given turn would the use of the German divisional dispositions come into play. This activity dictates the core composition of the force. In practice. I made small alterations to the points costs as Battlefront’s calculation methodology is esoteric. making them far more precious and carefully considered. particularly the PDF Late War Intel Brieﬁngs which are semioﬃcial. towns and bridges were all treated in the same fashion as roads. You can see the map here. My biggest problem was the size of the hexes. This is a series of connected tables that create the German opposition randomly (but within deﬁned parameters) for each battle. Use of armour recovery vehicles 8. Tool 3: army lists Army lists (see examples. Their lists are primarily constructed to sell an attractive blend of miniatures and make money. Use of smoke 7. I used a software package called Campaign Cartographer II to make the map.g. it was easy for both players and umpires to navigate and served its purpose extremely well. which left me some ﬂexibility in the placing of certain towns and geographical features relative to each other. Villages. I did not apply deﬁnitive ground scale to the hexes. The area I mapped is on the west bank of the Rhine. which meant they were not totally linear. I suspect. Use of ﬁeld ambulances and corpsmen/medics These amendments and additions. forces which. This took several attempts to get right. left) were created with the help of Battlefront’s Intelligence Guides. It works on descending levels of detail as shown below: a. however. The British and Canadians were allowed to use either Shermans or Cromwells. It also meant the players were competing on an essentially even playing ﬁeld.6. will also be detailed separately in the next issue. but did not ﬁnd it very easy and lost patience. in the general operational area of XXX Corps and the Canadian 1st Army during the period from January through February 1945. would not be recognisable to any combat veteran of either side from the ETO [European Theatre of Operations] in 1945. to say the least. For the Americans. Tank companies were forced to include the full complement of platoons at full strength. I took a few liberties with the terrain and created a small number of ﬁctitious place names. that meant 17 Shermans minimum. I knew I wanted to use hexes and not squares (I had found those limiting during 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. Previously. My new method left me without that chore. Tool 4: the ‘Battle Generator’ By far the largest time investment went into the Battle Generator. As the club had never experienced a campaign before. Overlaid onto this map were further guidelines that marked the zones of control of ten German divisions. and consequently diﬃcult to predict from a player’s perspective. This results in some extremely improbable combinations of infantry companies being supported by the cream of available armour and artillery pieces. There were no predetermined German units positioned on the map. 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. but several players owned US Forces and I wanted them to be able to use what they had. Identiﬁcation of the parent German Division b. An infantry company was compelled to take a full complement of riﬂe platoons and the historical support weapons such as medium mortars. I did not want to give the players as much latitude in force composition as Battlefront allow in their handbooks. The Americans are a bit out of their historical zone of operation. My lists were far more prosaic and involved compulsory elements to a far more prescriptive and limiting degree. The zones were graded from LOW (20%) through MEDIUM (50%) and HIGH (70%) to SUPER INTENSE (90%). if not already dealt with. machine guns and small calibre AT guns. Cross-referencing the divisional type (e. but with a system that could generate a battalion-strength force down to platoonlevel detail anywhere on the map within ten minutes. resulting in a much less aesthetically-pleasing eﬀort than I’d hoped for. Tool 2: campaign map The next thing I had to create was a campaign map (see opposite). in Sands of Time. These zones of intensity were not marked on the players’ maps. The width of each zone was governed by distance from the river and terrain type. but in general terms I think the topography is recognisable. to represent the likelihood of the enemy blocking the most obvious or quickest routes. It was banded into ‘zones of intensity’ which in eﬀect meant that the closer Allied units moved towards the river. ‘Parachute’) with the predominant terrain type in the contact hex. only on the Umpire’s master map. Forcing the compulsory inclusions severely limited the available ‘free choice’ options.
I had to make this up from scratch. Establishing the core compulsory elements of the force. Establishing the morale and training rating of the force. judged and archived. worked out relative points gains and losses and prepared league tables. Tool 6: Result table The result table operated in an identical fashion to a soccer league table as seen in the Sunday newspapers. . This was known as the Battle Generator Summary. I christened my rag Up the Front! It did chart the progress of the campaign. discuss potential combined ops and plan their next moves. this was the aspect of the campaign administration I enjoyed most.c. together with a worked example to illustrate the concept. If a victory had been particularly costly. d. I produced a standard form which recorded the essential data for each battle. One recorded the points and stats for each force at the end of the turn just completed. The players had to make decisions about whether or not to replace losses. You will ﬁnd sample charts from levels b through e next issue. allowing it to be set up. informative and well laidout newsletter recording the events of a Seven Years War campaign. which new elements to include. f. g. 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. Tool 7: campaign newsletter Although completely unnecessary. training to be a hack of the worst variety. an example of which can be seen here. 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. Tool 5: Battle Generator Summary It was a certainty that every turn there would be action. The Umpire collated all of the stats from the battles. It recorded vital campaign statistics for each unit and ranked the players in descending order of success at the close of each campaign turn. but with the reporting accuracy of the lowest quality tabloid and the journalistic talent of a twelve year old pubescent schoolboy. Establishing whether the force is in prepared positions or not. I drew my inspiration directly from the splendid work of Steve Ayers who authored Neue Kampagne Zeitung. it was possible for players to win a battle but drop down the table because of a negative balance in points for loss replacement. Establishing the size of the force. I actually had to produce two versions of the table. Establishing the variable elements of the force. e. Basically. played. The time ‘between turns’ was actually very busy. Coming next issue: playing the campaign. but before losses had been replaced. an extremely witty. Carry on campaigning: a few examples of Barry’s entertaining newsletter.
and each Action is of a few seconds duration. Some of them are always lurking at the edges of his painting bench. 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. as a welcome breather from other ‘big battalion’ periods like the Seven Years War. 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. Muzzle-loaders aren’t represented at the moment. such as Gutshot or Legends of the Old West. he exchanged these for 1/32 scale Airﬁx and Britains ﬁgures. sculpted by Mark Copplestone in the 1990s. Artizan. It would have been perfectly possible to simply write a scenario for one of the popular rulesets. d10s. So dig out your d4s. and you can paint them much as you please. It’s a good idea to make out a card for each character playing. they were largely forgotten. The photos you see here and on the front cover show just a small part of these product ranges in the Editor’s collection. but we might attempt to cover them in a future scenario. until he was drawn back by the Guernsey Foundry releases. an inch/25mm is roughly six feet. as you’ll see. His ﬁrst ﬁgures were the cheap and cheerful grip bags of multicoloured plastic. They require a little note-taking. horse. C HARACTERISTICS The sheriﬀ ’s men make use of cover as they hunt down Zachary Beard and the Bandidos. have been responsible. and secondly. We hope the rules will give a fun game. mule etc. at his club. (The characters in our scenario are pre-determined. an ordinary pack of playing cards. and at very low cost. so each ﬁgure is one man. unless you’re a skirmish or roleplaying wargamer who uses them regularly. These are the dice with more or less faces than the standard six-sided cube we all know and love as the d6. along with various rulesets. so for those of you who would like to give it a go. Old Glory and others. each determined by rolling a d20. If you ﬁnd yourself lacking d8s or d12s.) . d12s. using smaller scales. and the Editor is responsible for mercilessly ﬁddling with them! You need some ﬁgures and scenery. then a quick search of the Internet. for pulling many a budding Napoleon away from rewriting history for a quick game or two as ‘Two-Gun Pete’ or somesuch. with Dixons. but after a while you shouldn’t need to refer to them too much. This epiphany was largely caused by the discovery of Black Scorpion’s wonderful range of 30mm-ish “Tombstone” ﬁgures. The Editor. Andy is responsible for working out the basic rule mechanisms. so you can keep a tally of wounds. As he got older. as he progressed through ‘proper’ wargaming periods such as Napoleonics. we also present a simple scenario that can be played on a mere 4 feet square with a dozen miniatures or so. ﬁghting bigger battles and amassing lots of ﬁgures. but ﬁrstly. has come to cowboy skirmish gaming rather late in life.Quickdraw! Fast and fun Wild West shootout rules by Andy Sykes with Henry Hyde I NTRODUCTION A ndy Sykes always liked watching and recreating Westerns. for example. printed onto card. Black Scorpion miniatures painted by the Editor. Mayhem. ACW and WWII. Honestly. interrupting more mainstream units in the painting queue. d20s and percentage dice. These. of course. S CALES What You See Is What You Get. we thought that you’d like to have something to give you a feel for the period before you took the plunge. followed quickly by Eric Hotz’s superb “Whitewash City” PDF buildings that can be downloaded. on the other hand. we didn’t want to assume that you had these in your possession. bloody and the only rule was that the best-looking or coolest ﬁgure always won. ammunition and so on. closely followed by the Airﬁx HO/OO Cowboys and High Chaparral sets (when they cost 17 pence a box!) Later. cut out and glued to create a cheap and eﬀective Wild West town in the blink of an eye. d8s. At present the rules will cover all you need for cartridge ﬁrearms. The ﬁghts were fast. it’s worth it: their use makes it possible to represent certain things very quickly and eﬀectively. Each ﬁgure has a set of character traits. Andy’s Western ﬁgure collection now grows at every show.
The two Jokers should also be added to the pack. mount/ dismount from a horse or wagon. 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. If ﬁghting inside. Use the relevant skill: Shouldered weapon (SH) or Handgun (HG). they must be able to see their target. you might like to consider rooms with lots of furniture as slow going as well. health and stamina. stand up or lie down Do nothing NB It is not possible to ﬁre a weapon eﬀectively and Crawl in the same Action phase. * If the shotgun still has its stock. A Crawl is 2”. Re-roll at the normal chance to hit using the optional rule below. 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.g. a roll of 1 always hits. If you like to include weather. Diﬃcult terrain prevents ﬁgures on foot from running. When a Joker is drawn. he must ﬁrst pass a Guts test by rolling less than or equal to his Guts score on a d20. Mêlée skill (M) The character’s ability to attack and defend themselves in a brawl or mêlée. Shouldered weapon skill (SH) The character’s ability to ﬁre a weapon designed to be ﬁred from the shoulder. such as a riﬂe. You will need to consider and agree upon what constitutes diﬃcult terrain in each scenario. ** At these ranges. Guts (G) The character’s spirit or bravery. In all cases. The range is 12”. We are now at a score of 4. Curly’s SH is 10 and he is Walking. use (HG). dive through a window. Handgun skill (HG) The character’s ability to ﬁre a weapon designed to be ﬁred with one hand. Snapshot A single shot delivered instinctively. he may make an Action. Build (B) The character’s physique. If a character wants to move towards a known enemy or out of cover. Example: ‘Curly’ Henry is armed with a stocked. he takes a shot at ‘One-Eared’ Bob. so -2. or the sixes of hearts and diamonds). Bob is Running. Try it at home and see! F IRING A CTIONS M OVEMENT Each Action. 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. but obvious candidates will be steep hills. so we add +2. so a further -4. These are then all shuﬄed together and placed face down in a convenient spot close to the wargames table. thick woods. If a weapon is in range. medium range. When one of a character’s allocated cards is drawn. such as a sixgun. The resulting number is the score or lower needed on a D20 to hit. This can be said to represent ‘the director’s cut’ and makes the turn of events very unpredictable. If it does not have its stock. 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) . other ﬁgures within 1” of the target may be hit instead. 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. I NITIATIVE 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. 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’. The resulting number is 6. a roll of 20 always misses and also indicates a misﬁre. Ability (A) The character’s ability to accomplish any feat. character can Crawl. use (SH). deep watercourses. rocky slopes and so on. sawnoﬀ shotgun. so Curly needs a 6 or less on a D20 to hit. Walk. the pack is shuﬄed. and mounted characters from cantering or galloping. Run or Ride.
4-6 = wound in ﬁring arm and head. however each shot is at -5 penalty. which indicates a misﬁre). Time fer the law to take control. All hits are cumulative. Aimed shot The character uses an Action card to aim – he does nothing else with that card but aim. When a character is hit roll on the table below. 5-6 = broken mechanism. resulting in a dropped weapon. he loses the +5 modiﬁer. and he ﬁres only when his next card turns up. Use the same procedure as with a Snapshot. 9 Shot yourself in the leg. (but not if a 20 was rolled. 3-4 = still jammed. If he wishes to aim at a speciﬁc location on the target.g. A natural roll of 17-20 is treated as a misﬁre when pouring it on. 10 Gun blows up. he can choose the hit location without rolling for it. try again next Action. but if he hits. 8-9 10-11 12-13 14-15 16-20 H ITS AND W OUNDS Head For damage use d20 Chest d12 Belly d10 Groin d10 Left leg d8 Right leg d8 Left arm d6 Right arm d6 Graze d4 . If a characters Build points are exceeded he is dead. or there are no more ﬁgures at risk. which requires one Action phase to recover. e. a loaded double-barrelled shotgun can only ﬁre twice before it is emptied. re-roll for hit on nearest character (but not the original target). the ﬁrer must re-roll to see if they have accidentally hit any other ﬁgure within 1” of the target. Missed shots against adjacent ﬁgures do not incur this penalty. 4-6 = right leg. Use the procedure for a Snapshot. ‘Pour it on’ The character may ﬁre up to 6 shots. Then roll a d8 for damage as below. 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. it may be rapid ﬁre from a double-action or lever action or ‘fanning’ a single action. roll a d6: 1-3 = left leg. d20 score 1 2-3 4-5 6-7 M ISFIRE If a misﬁre is rolled. 2-5 Gun jams. Misses must continue to be thrown for until a ﬁgure is hit. Roll a d6 next Action: 1-2 = ﬁxed. Multiple enemies may be targeted as long as they are all within the same range bracket. Any hit causes the character to take a Guts test.The sheriﬀ and his deputies lock and load and prepare to move out. depending on where the character has been hit: Head: -5 penalty to hit when shooting or mêléeing. except that aiming gives a bonus modiﬁer of +5. boys! Let’s git those varmints and hang ‘em high! Optional Rule If a target is missed at any range. A characters Build represents his health and ability to take damage. Roll d6: 1-3 = wound in ﬁring arm. Chest: may only move at a walk. roll a d10: 1 Weapon ﬁred before shooter was ready. Roll for damage as required on wound table below. Note that the number of shots that the weapon is capable of ﬁring before reloading is necessary may limit this. your ﬁrearm becomes an expensive club! 6-8 Wild shot.
Curly then rolls a 9. he is lost. If he is successful. painted for Battlegames by Jez Griﬃn of Shakespeare Studios. he may attack an enemy character. . he must move towards his starting table edge. The character must head for the nearest cover or stay put if already in cover. Bob has a starting Build of 12. but failure means he continues to run. Optional rule: any character under ﬁre requires an Ability test to reload. 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. A recovery is made with a successful Guts test. Bob’s Guts score is 10. If ﬁring at a mounted target. he will have to make a Guts test to engage. Mexican bandidos up to no good near the freight depot! More Black Scorpion miniatures. If he exits the board. Leg: can only crawl or move with assistance. Example: continuing our story. If the attack is not blocked. and if successful the horse is hit. the damage dice for this location is a d8 which Curly rolls and scores a 7. 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. Roll again to hit after a miss on the intended target. Example: Bob is now lying in the dirt of Main street with a bleeding leg. therefore Bob’s leg gives and he crumples. If the ﬁgure is not yet in Point Blank range.Belly: cannot move. He rolls 11 and fails. To hit. he must roll equal to or less than his Mêlée skill (M) score. If the character rolls a 20. Groin: -2 penalty to hit when shooting or mêléeing. resulting in a hit on Bob. A higher result is a failure. you could say he has average courage. the attack is blocked. 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. He must take his Guts test immediately. Only weapon modiﬁers apply. His skill is modiﬁed by the following factors: Armed with: Club. Roll against the riding character’s Ability – if this fails. A hit character must take a Guts test. Any wound will put the mount out of use. roll to hit as normal. the defender may attempt to block it by rolling equal to or less than his Mêlée skill. crying like a baby. If this test is successful. G UTS T EST A character may choose to engage a ﬁgure in close combat at Point Blank range of 0-1”. roll on the wound table opposite. let us say that Curly rolled a 5. and the character may continue. the damage of 7 is over 50% of his total. Arm: cannot use that arm. A TTACK R ELOAD It takes one Action phase to load up to three rounds in a metallic cartridge ﬁrearm. he takes 1d6 damage from the fall. He may attempt to recover as normal each Action phase. An equal or lower result is successful. but any missed shots may hit the horse instead. he must try to crawl to the nearest cover. He will cower until he recovers. so Bob is hit in the left leg. if this fails he must move away from the attacker on his next Action card. so on his next Action card. He now has 5 Build points left. otherwise he fumbles and fails this turn.
take an Ability or Guts test. returned to ﬁnd the gang in residence in the freight yard. The list is endless and such Actions are best dealt with as and when they occur by gentlemanly agreement between the players. led him into an ambush set by the bandidos of the Beard gang. meaning he requires an 11 or under. He rolls 8. such as mounting or dismounting a horse. Ornery has a Mêlée skill of 12. He adds +1 for Bob being prone and +2 for his knife. (In that connection.000 dollars for Jeremy’s safe return. his Deputy Macleod. with a minimum of 1 point. A defender may counter-attack on his next card or move away. with his sidekick ‘Sixgun’ Red. trying to climb aboard a moving wagon. The hideout they have chosen is the occasional home of ‘Ol’ Jenkins. or both. so he needs 15 or less to hit. He has seen Bob fall and decides to move in to scalp him. jumping from a veranda. If either ﬁgure rolls a natural 20. whilst riding the herd with Jeremy. It really adds a lot if you have plenty of crates. 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. no-goods and desperados. failure may require a roll on the Wound table. the father of Jeremy’s ﬁancée. water troughs.Unarmed attacks cause one third the damage inﬂicted with a weapon. Also coming along is ‘Ol’ Jenkins and Mr Danvers. piles of lumber. barrels. Quickly gathering all available hands. However. Back in town. The posse arrives at the freight yard on the edge of town just as dawn breaks. However. If in doubt. Reckoning there might be a drink or two coming his way if he told the sheriﬀ of his discovery. a notorious leader of a gang of bandidos. who was in conference with Mr Clayburne. Jeremy was knocked unconscious and taken to the gang’s stronghold. His Mêlée skill is 9 and he adds +2 for his weapon. came up with a plan to kidnap Clayburne’s son. a bad guy must exit the Southern table edge via Crow’s Nest Heights. He rolls 14 – success. Jeremy. and swiftly put two and two together. they break the weapon they are currently using! Example: the next Action card to be turned up is that of ‘Ornery’ Bart. the North American Southwest 1880. He had overheard talk of the kidnapping in the local saloon. jumping a gap between buildings and so on. Likewise some Actions may take longer than one round. Jenkins. The objectives are not always obvious! To escape. Red obtained employment at the Clayburne Ranch and then two days ago. a freight warehouse on a railroad siding on the outskirts of Whitewash City. The Plot The Clayburne Ranch is the biggest in the county and Mr Clayburne the richest man. It’s hot as Hell and dry as dessicated tumbleweed. bits of scrub and other potential cover as you can see in the overhead shot below (mostly Frontline Wargaming bits). as seems appropriate. bear in mind that our little men are not depicting Olympic athletes!) In some cases. Bob attempts to block the attack using his clubbed Winchester. he passes his Guts test and closes. blocks Bart’s attack and lets out a huge sigh of relief! A character only attacks on his own Action card. O THER A CTIONS Most Actions are automatic and obvious. Starting positions and objectives See the table opposite.. a posse is formed: Sheriﬀ Rogers. Setting Silver Canyon. he moved oﬀ swiftly without being spotted by the gang. Mr Clayburne with his foreman Harvey Walsh and four cowhands. climbing a wall. a one-eyed vagrant of doubtful hygiene. A ransom note was then delivered to Mr Clayburne demanding $10. It is also useful to have ﬂoor plans of the interior of the buildings – these are S CENARIO . the gang’s plan has gone astray.. Zachary Beard. Jenkins reported his ﬁndings to Sheriﬀ ‘Winchester’ Rogers. such as diving through a window. Ornery is 5” from Bob and runs at him. some are more diﬃcult and require a roll equal to or less than the Ability score of that character.
Weapons 2 Revolvers. 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. 18 rounds & 2 sticks of dynamite* Winchester riﬂe. 5 = lands 3” beyond intended target. 24 rounds 2 Revolvers. 36 rounds Revolver. Choose a point of aim and roll against the character’s Handgun skill (HG) to see if it hits the intended target. 24 rounds & Revolver. 3 = lands 3” to the left of intended target. the eﬀects are dissipated. 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 16 11 11 13 15 12 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. 14 rounds & Revolver. door or whatever has 10 damage points. roll a D6: 1 = dynamite fuse cut too short. If not. 12 rounds Revolver. (If further away. so a halfway decent blast will demolish it. 18 rounds & Revolver. It may also aﬀect buildings if it lands within 1” of them. 30 rounds & machete Weapons Winchester Riﬂe. 30 rounds & Revolver. Stone or brick walls have 20 damage points. 6 = this stick’s a dud! Dynamite causes d20 damage.provided as standard with all the Whitewash City buildings. it explodes in the thrower’s hand. 40 rounds & knife Revolver. 12 rounds & Revolver.) Assume that an average wooden wall. 18 rounds 2 Revolvers. Note: Dynamite has a blast diameter of 5”. 27 rounds 2 Revolvers. 2 = lands 3” short of intended target. 12 rounds Double Barrel Shotgun. 24 rounds Revolver. 24 rounds Winchester Riﬂe. 12 rounds Winchester Riﬂe. 12 rounds Double Barrel Shotgun. 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 12 13 13 15 13 13 Asleep in the Jail (unlocked) ‘MR’ Clayburne Ranch owner 11 12 11 17 13 11 South table edge Harvey Walsh Foreman Jake Powers Cowhand ‘Bullseye’ Dex Cowhand ‘Slow’ Cartwright Cowhand Mr Danvers Concerned father ‘Ol’ Jenkins Vagrant Jeremy Hostage 10 10 14 15 18 14 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 . 12 rounds Revolver.
thereby allowing junior oﬃcers to command forces. but however. His ﬁrst – I have met demonstration countless people to Baron von who were inspired Muﬄing. and in which they would likely play only a minor rôle. and. after the Prussian oﬃcers to develop their skills in anticipation Prussian victories against Austria in 1866 and France in of their duties in war. wanted to provide a set of rules that would allow manoeuvres to be conducted on a map. it is also true the old general. Indeed. and it is likely you’ll get some ﬂicker of recognition. and the general anticipating some vague awareness childish parody that they were of war. far larger than they would expect to do normally. was universally. and adopted the system themselves. interest grew until hobby. So. As the the genesis of game progressed. photos that went On ﬁrst setting with them. in the translation of the face of signiﬁcant von Reisswitz cynicism. his wonderful. he hoped. was in order. foreign armies began to see Kriegsspiel as a key part the mass exercises that would happen only once a year. an oﬃcer of the Prussian excellent training for the oﬃcer corps. And he did. in those successes. familiarise them with Many of us older types will recall the articles the problems of command and. It was indeed As a concept. the in Practical uncertainties Wargamer in and friction of the mid 1980s the battleﬁeld. vicinity of Seegerhof as opposing cavalry patrols gain high ground overlooking the valley. the a case in point. with he exclaimed. that in mind. our weird. must recommend more importantly. I shall be brief on the historical stuﬀ as I on a weekly basis. That up the game. encouraging broad M . to do Kriegsspiel rules just that. without having to rely solely on 1871.Kriegsspiel rides again by Richard Clarke The revival of the famous von Reisswitz rules Guard artillery. This experience would. were issues to THE BACKGROUND every regiment in the army and exercises were held Fear not. those articles was unimpressed. I “This is not a thought that an game. von Reisswitz. albeit in the form of miniature armies represented by blocks upon the ention the word Kriegsspiel to almost any gamer map. map and blocks. seemingly General Staﬀ. opportunities Kriegsspiel they present Red and Blue forces approach one another on the Umpire’s map. Action appears inmminent in the sets. 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. when Bill Leeson Suﬃce it produced to say that he his original succeeded. that most gamers’ like Reisswitz a knowledge begins veteran of the and ends with Napoleonic Wars. two-fold. the Chief by the article of the Prussian and. said. essentially. this is introduction to training for war! I Kriegsspiel. 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. wargaming After that. the rules. most importantly. The game’s appeal was. it to the entire the range of Army”.
an inconsequential bit of water than forms no practical military barrier. or is not. and clubs were formed in both military and civilian circles to enjoy Kriegsspiel. The instructions need to be precise and clear. In that situation. he has nothing to report to the players. but in THE GAME this situation. simple scenario that sees the two forces on a direct collision course. Column begins to march out. Blue has been more direct. but it is a key part of Kriegsspiel and one that can become something of an art form. In this situation. Here. 2. cavalry scouts are sent ahead as per orders. the game for the players is punctuated not by artiﬁcial turns of a set duration. the umpire would have the Red player (or team. Once they do so. they may receive a detailed map. With this structure. you have an umpire who is responsible for devising the scenario and ‘managing’ the game through to its termination. happening on the map. In the rules. If they know the area that is being fought over.rather than what they perceive that you want them to do. with outposts only being sent ahead to take them and report back if they encounter the enemy. or most versions of it. However this really only happens once in the game. who are left to assume that all is proceeding according to plan. are terms still in use in military circles today) – both of whom receive a brieﬁng outlining the situation in which they ﬁnd themselves. 06. for these games were often conducted with teams) in one corner. along with their forces and their objectives. The border between them is the Silde stream. then a more basic one is provided. 06. two minutes of time is the basic unit. The reason for this is that. Blue has deployed his 6pd is still stuck on the road. Once he received the orders from each team. so he moves the scouts forward to discover at what point they will spot each other. the umpire will be playing the rôle of the various subordinates and it is he that moves your troops on the map. 1. Learning to recognise the diﬀerently-coloured and shape other at 06. Perhaps some examples may help here. and his cavalry have been instructed to make straight for the Sildau heights. in a classic Kriegsspiel. a commander in the horse and musket period would be responsible for providing a written set of orders for his subordinates. I am sending a message ahead to my cavalry to try to push the enemy patrols oﬀ the . Red has a column that has been ordered to cross the border and seize the village of Schönkirch.26.26.00. but as yet. if they don’t. In the Prussian Army. You have two sides – in this case. but by decision-making points. “Write orders?” I hear some of you cry. whereas Blue has been ordered to seize the heights to the south of Sildau to protect their territory. For example. but it was also a very enjoyable exercise. presuming that his own territory is safe. Yup. games of Kriegsspiel would tend to be played in the oﬃcers’ mess. An example of this would be reﬂected in the following commander’s log. A messenger has arrived from the cavalry scouts. it is now up to them to devise a plan and write orders for their force. Blue and Red scouts may have spotted each Action! Red and Blue deploy their infantry and skirmishers. sending small patrols ahead to recce the route from the high ground that they will be moving through. these are always expressed as “Red” and “Blue” (which. the Blue team in another. In reality. Let us assume that Red and Blue are at war. he would adjourn to the map and begin moving the blocks according to those orders. The umpire calculates how long it will take for these messages to arrive and then he approaches the players to pass on the news. as the game is not played with any set bounds. A nice. The concepts behind Kriegsspiel are not too diﬀerent from tabletop wargaming. At the heart of the game.00. he moves both forces ﬁve times that. and his own map in a third. Blue’s is doing exactly the same from Schönkirch at the same time. write orders. This puts the two forces signiﬁcantly closer together. Red sends his messenger back and he reports to the column commander at 06. Now time is more critical. So. Red’s column is leaving the village of Hohenzell at 06. In either case. it is quite clear to the umpire that the two forces will not be encountering each other for a while. They have spotted enemy cavalry patrols on the heights to the south of Sildau. and replicating this is the key to getting your subordinates to actually do what you want them to do.thinking and an appreciation of the ‘bigger picture’. Red has ordered his two squadrons of hussars to advance down the main road. with 10 minutes passing. however. it is assumed that both parties send a messenger back to the main column with news of the enemy’s presence. Rather the duration of the ‘turns’ is dictated by what is. thanks to Kriegsspiel. we depart from tabletop wargaming.22.
G. The umpire will play a multi-rôle game. You may have a general idea where the enemy is. 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. and at this point the players are likely to be brought up to the map to view the battle proper. 6. 06. A tabletop game is. they can always be used to deliver the coup de grâce if things go to plan. but you certainly don’t know for sure. As can be seen. but actually if I do that. larger than my own two squadrons. that’s dangerously close to my right So. Indeed. Quick. the game for the commanders is a procession of decision-making opportunities. Kriegsspiel. we almost always need to assume that the approach march has been made. So. as I would do in a tabletop encounter. This worries me. but the game is far more of an holistic experience. I know they should be arriving on my left at around 10. you don’t know very much for sure. I’d like all that lovely cavalry on the table to charge gloriously.38. the game begins. for example. by deﬁnition. like what’s on your ﬂanks. When I ﬁrst got the rules. I am sending one of my ADCs to take them back to rally to the West of Tiefenzell. Will my own ﬂank column do as I ordered? Perhaps I should send my best subordinate oﬃcer to maximise the chance of it happening. all of which is controlled using the rules system of combat odds. the two forces will probably come into combat. 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. What the Red commander is not aware of is that Blue’s cavalry is simply demonstrating. THE BIG PICTURE 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. I could see them making their way oﬀ to the South-East. 06. artiﬁcially restricted by the ﬁnite space of the table that we play our games on. I’ll put my infantry battalion there in square… And so on. As such. rather than deploy all of my force in the battleline. in that they would often combine several elements into each dice roll.) 5.heights and see if any larger enemy force is further to the north. I can see them routing back in disorder – fortunately. the scouting is all done. I can’t see any enemy cavalry in pursuit.42. The enemy cavalry seem to have pulled away behind the hill.34. Here the battle progresses very much in line with any tabletop game. the armies have rather generously waited for each other to deploy into battle order and then. consequently. 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. working out distances travelled or eﬀects of combat. surprised to ﬁnd that whilst they were simple to use. I want my artillery to be able to take part in the battle that is to come. This is bad news! My cavalry appear to have been defeated by the enemy cavalry. In a nutshell. Your game begins with a force that has certain objectives. but that depends on the enemy not delaying them…All of . conversely.30. It looks like the enemy are now holding the heights at Sildau with a strong cavalry force. As the game progresses. it might be a good idea to hold back a reserve force to deal with any unexpected enemy reinforcements. The main column is to continue its advance. 06. Another messenger has arrived. (At this point. 3. send the Jägers forward into those woods to the left of the road. At times he is carrying out his usual duties with the rules. keeping hidden the location of Blue’s column. in order to buy time for the main Blue column to deploy on the heights above Sildau. the rules were actually very sophisticated. Wells’ Little Wars or early Featherstone. on the blow of some metaphorical whistle. the umpire will escort the player to the map. I had anticipated something akin to H. and how they react to victory or defeat. I was. but I don’t want them all at the front of my column without enough infantry support. these rules were clearly written by someone who understood the subtleties of combat. 4. that’s the basics of the rules: anything you can do with a set of tabletop rules you can do with Kriegsspiel. but I am instructing my squadrons to observe them and stop any enemy movement further south. has no such restrictions. My ﬂank. but allowing Red’s commander to deploy his forces on the map. one dice roll in close combat will tell you how many men both sides have lost and what their morale status now is. Bring the infantry battalion and guns up into line.
00. See the may. however. blocks can never completely replace for me. what the battleﬁeld he was seeking to represent was really Imagine Fred and Bill who are due to meet next week for like. [Cheeky! Ed.groups. are you going to forgo a couple of Return of the Magniﬁcent Kriegsspiel. But it can also be used as a fantastic addition to our a game. however. You maps. that can be handed to the tabletop commander during the actual game. Any horse and musket period will do. at devised by a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars who knew just present. Why not give it a go? squadrons from that regiment of cavalry to patrol oﬀ-table.org. the possibilities catch up the head. If Fred is lucky. that removes the artiﬁcial Henry awake. Kriegsspiel is a on a plate. This shot gives that can be used as was originally consider what it can do for your a good indication of scale. As long as you know the scale of the map you are using. they have been fortunate enough to capture a messenger trying to get through to Bill with news of the Faltenland column’s imminent arrival. worked out beforehand. tremendously ﬂexible system But that’s not all.42. . but you can adapt this to suit the rules you use) Fred receives another report. At 11.yahoo. A quick Google turned up a few Kriegsspiel references. 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.com/group/Kriegsspiel/ and messages. The rules can provide some superb additions that can really enhance our tabletop wargaming. Let’s The Umpire resolves the action on the master map. Indeed. but to keep tabletop gaming and campaigning. and the orders of battle can be supplied as TooFatLardies. and CONCLUSION how long it will take the tail to To my mind. as a game in its own right. have worked with Bill Leeson over the past usual. identiﬁed the enemy column as being one of all arms. by then. at 11. His cavalry have fallen back before a larger force of enemy cavalry. All photos by Richard Clarke. estimated at two regiments of horse. 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. I recently purchased the CD version of You can abstract this stage if you wish. the more I think those ﬂanks? Are you going to leave them hanging in the air about it. this is what they will attempt to do. where the commander needs to consider the whole picture. Fred could well receive a report at 10. the more I’m convinced that this article has the and rely on your tabletop forces to deal with any surprise wrong title. I do enjoy a game of Kriegsspiel. the campaign option. There is. If there are any enemy approaching from that direction. but I also enjoy the magical sight of a table groaning with beautifullypainted ﬁgures that. But Kriegsspiel is not just an ‘either/or’ option. which are also available in ‘hard copy’. 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. or just report See the TooFatLardies’ Kriegsspiel ad on p.these issues become important in Kriegsspiel. intended. actually I’d never suggest that. he can use the Kriegsspiel rules to actually work out what of which the best were www. In detail. but lets add something to the scenario.toofatlardies. all of which will provide reports http://games.uk/ oﬀ-table and again. He can tell you how far your column will stretch in road distance. It’s his cavalry commander again.] let’s assume its 18th century. the march rates and column lengths speciﬁed will be easily translatable to your own campaign.kriegsspiel. this is the arrivals? Or. In fact. Bill those of Faltenland. They had. It’s all there are endless. the Blue as part of the larger picture that our historical counterparts forces. What about year to get the rules back into print.30 saying that an enemy column is advancing on to his right ﬂank.uk/ and will happen on that ﬂank. Red. of course. at tabletop set up. and what’s more it’s a game normal tabletop battle that.15 (I’m presuming the tabletop rules have a 15minute scale turn.47 for their back to the commander on the table as quickly as possible? contact details. prefer to have a larger scale map of the area Lardies’ own site at http://www. Kriegsspiel doesn’t just “ride again”. two battalions of foot and a 12-pounder battery. We can keep our normal would have recognised. his own cavalry were only two miles from the table edge. All of this sums up why we. In short. 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. When the message was written. Kriegsspiel provides the gamer with just about every piece of information he needs to conduct a campaign on any map you like.co. The next message Fred gets is at 11. it may be that both commanders hear artillery ﬁre from that direction earlier than Fred receives his report. they have been successful in halting the column and forcing the enemy to deploy his guns. frankly. If you don’t have an umpire to hand. parameters of the table and allows us to consider our battles Fred will be commanding forces of Prunkland. if you have the luxury of an umpire. but we’ll certainly do so in time there. as you’d expect. who is reporting that whilst they are not actually attacking the enemy. you can simply for issue 11. sent at 10. EDITOR’S NOTE do you want them to attempt to delay them. more sensibly. rather than what is happening immediately in front of him on the table.02. GET RID OF MINIATURES? 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. I’d wager you haven’t considered in your gaming.
and so makes shading your eyes harder. and halogen spot) I thought it might be wise to start looking at my options. DVDs Personally. which cannot be missed. which he also edits. which is a good price compared to other specialist hobby DVDs. from the local art shop. Encouraged. white light. In a nutshell. paint chipping (very trendy). right through masking. I plugged this into the 60w Anglepoise and have been using it for three months. For your average room light. It must be stressed that all of these DVDs concentrate on 1/35th and larger models. as are mix consistencies. but for halogen spots (very common these days) and modelling lights things may be changing more than you imagine. to 120 watts in old money. and regularly has work in Tamiya Model Magazine International magazine. We go from a base sprayed tank. 28mm multi-part historical plastics. More often than not. Marcus Nicholls is undoubtedly one of the best modellers in the world. often breaking new ground. which is intense. After the fun I have had converting and painting Valiant and Tamiyas in recent weeks. and apparently shows the infamous Marmite masking technique. some people have experienced physical reactions. For all round coverage. somehow. So. We are. Same 28mm plastics Well.Forward observer Is the future plastic? by Mike Siggins excellent effort. This is also by Mr Nicholls. As I am very happy with my lighting arrangements for painting (all Anglepoise: 100w daylight. which equates. The bulb gradually pulls the arm and head down to table level. Now I am more than a little green tinged. I would also recommend Mig Jimenez’ F. one – basically. I will be queuing. I don’t know about your group. Lots of it. it is an New lamps for old Many of you will know that in a couple of years or so. I use this light on its own. My neighbours don’t know. we are talking weight. you get droop. I really hoped it would. no headaches. Do I have a worthless and weak lamp. and slightly obsessed with candlepower to offset this dull winter. and a small case of fan fever. and I just know I will end up painting some Rebs. Wunderbar! Incredibly bright. rust streaks and general weathering. Not good. but not impossible. and also seen Richard Windrow’s Terrain Modelling in the same series. that is me. I suspect a 60w or 80w equivalent would be fine. I am very excited about the possibilities for the hobby. typically ten times that of a tungsten bulb. including extras. but this announcement caused quite a stir. Broadly speaking. tungsten light bulbs will be phased out in the UK. unless by some quirk their heads or weapons match Tamiya’s 1/48ths. I just can’t wait to get my hands on these. I get a lot from watching someone else make models or paint on video. and I don’t think I will change my mind. umm. And if you want to emulate the realistic techniques of Mr Nicholls. sometimes it is impossible to see what is being painted and how. but that is what we need to know. and an interesting meltdown evacuation drill if you should happen to break . and look forward to my first pack. and I will happily adopt these new devices without much prompting. I thought perhaps a Russian or Chinese company might try it.Q. or a rich American. availability and long life. I installed this in the 100w Anglepoise and immediately hit problems… Nothing wrong with the light output. the advantages are. The DVDs cost £13 to £15 and each runs around 90 minutes. I don’t really do ACW. these are tiny details being applied. these will show you an awful lot more than the magazines. it had to happen. big curly elements. 60w daylight. this topic is exactly what the DVD covers. Too much. Additionally. and he has very few rivals in this respect. and application is shown in every case. Colours are explained fully. therefore obliged to move with the times and seek environmentally sound alternatives. if anything. as with digital TV. I wouldn’t want to paint chip a 1/300th tank. I bought Marcus Nicholls’ DVD on Realistic Armour Finishing Techniques (Compendium Films). The downside? Well. washes. The only slight issue is that the bulb sticks way out of the hood. book as a great partner. and I don’t see even these figures making it happen. Highly recommended. filters (glazes). I have been trying them out on 1/72nd tanks and they work fine. but to be honest the techniques pretty much work all the way down to 15mm. Option two was to buy a Daylight™ long life bulb. So with that in mind. and I am pleased to see that I am not alone in my regular use of a hairdryer! Having enjoyed the first DVD. Stop giggling at the back. mainly rashes and headaches. And of course.A. Overall. I ordered a bigger lamp from ebulbshop. but I would have solar panels and a small wind farm on the roof tomorrow if I could afford it. because sometimes that is the only way to see exactly what is going on. you shouldn’t notice any difference. So when you plug them into an Anglepoise. Mr Nicholls also works very quickly. At the same time. perhaps? I switch lamps. He excels at realistic paint finishes and weathering. But the Perrys? Manna from heaven. The scale too sets them on their own. Granted. Option one is to stock up on tungstens like they are going out of fashion. These new bulbs are much heavier than the old glass models. or even Games Workshop. I am going to get Realistic Model Buildings as well. But the conversion possibilities are many. no problems. The downsides are higher prices. It is not a period I enjoy. they are. It loses marks only because it needs more close-ups. I love light. This was a 25 watt daylight spectrum.com who have an amazing range of bulbs and related items. It also might just get me out of the photographic hole that I still find myself in. No. If there is such a thing as borderline SAD. hold your breath and run. but I am sure there are those that have.
a tempting excursion into Mexican Revolutions. In a similar vein. Well. more Italian Paras (sale Mr Humphreys!) and now. There is one stand that always catches my eye at shows. and that in time it includes more and more paint ranges – especially W&N oils. I have written a full review elsewhere. And I do eat quite a lot of rice and sushi. And I am not alone. Overpriced.result. anyone? Endless undercuts. Candles. but they certainly are a flexible set and do manage to convey a good feel for the Dark Age period. so I have maintained my typical exoticism. just). and not credit card slips. and some memorable situations. a lot for me. It is that good. After what seemed like several hours. I play Samurai RPGs when I can. it is still providing some excellent. I will persevere. SS (minor purchase). I am hoping that Color Match emerges as a standalone offline product. happy with the general feel. probably writing the latter myself. I am. as they say. Well worth a look. I will check out options for ancients and medievals. And painting. say. Colour matching Games I am still playing a lot of games. on permanently). because I like the light quality. While Kagemusha remains overrated. among the best that Paul has done. by the talented Stan Kubiak. I have also started to play Pig Wars. tense battles. It shouldn’t. I was bitten fairly early on by the samurai bug. and get an average hex (Web colour. When I replaced the original Daylight™ bulb. because I am sworn off of 28mm WWII. Richard Ansell and the team they have churned out over 700 masters to date. Projecting this rate of output to even skirmish forces. And the match is good enough. big drums and katanas. No problem. Caught up in the pre-publication excitement. My zen powers are fading. Now. I thought highlanders were bad. With a camera crew in the works. All to no avail. I adore my Angus McBride plates. Inevitably. but rather less affordable. and designer Joe Kutz is open to suggestions on improvements. I then put the number into Color Match and it gives me a match. as it comes in a box.0 is a web-based tool that lets you do all sorts of clever stuff (see http://colors. I have listed all the figures I want from the Perrys. or find one on the web. even if they are a bit chubby. This means I can take a photo. easy. But it has the big paint names included. but I leave you with these findings. When the excellent West Wind figures appeared at Warfare. any skirmish from Sumer to Sci-fi. In truth. rounding out a very active period. The games are simple. such as CC0000 for Battlegames’ deep red) value using the colour dropper in Photoshop. Two products have surfaced recently that are going to make life a lot easier. but the harsh truth is that these are the toughest subjects I have ever had to paint. I was a lifetime convert to the old bushido boys. Want to work out a three band colour recipe? Again. we are looking to variants in other periods. This year they have tempted me with Italians (resisted. but suffice to say that this pulp game has been a great success. I am not sure about that. Ten minutes later. and they have a certain something. and the more recent Aerodrome. my beloved Fallschirmjaeger. there is a deceptive set of rules. I had got three months occasional use. all set. I’ll do one of those instead. I have almost every book by the ubiquitous Stephen Turnbull. is Astounding Tales. it has found favour with both groups. Would I pay for it? Yes. I much prefer Heian to the more popular Muromachi. armour. I even have John Jenkins buildings and torii stored away in cupboards. presumably because of their tonal similarity. samurai or medievals. but Bolt Action always have something new and tempting. Finally. but this is very much a miniatures game. I had completed one figure. Yojimbo and Ran. With the WAB samurai supplement due soon. I can see that I will be spending more time and money here. We are all painting Skytrex 1/144th planes to give us plenty of variety. What with global warming. it seems everyone and his dog is doing samurai models and planning armies. Color Match 1. it looked dim. curly light bulbs.000 hours (over a year. Excellent! I am not yet saying the package is perfect. Really hard work. And painting. it had died. I was forced to resist manfully. power costs and droopy lamps. They’re easy. to dream of horse archers. they work. come to think of it. And fun. a 1/144th scale WWI air game that I have mentioned before. and probably beyond. But… we played them.silicon-dragons. the Toshiro Mifune of samurai writing. quick and fun. 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. So from a lamp that promises 10. And to think I used to only play Napoleonics. These are likely to be 1940 (Blitzkrieg and Desert) and for me. I came across this in an interior design magazine. As I don’t always have access to the web. ribbon and florals all the way to the horizon. once I had seen The Seven Samurai. And that Kurosawa bloke. That said. so they might work for. The latter are excellent. because my mate Rob had bought some and cruelly left me with half a dozen figures to paint. It is a small device that you can hold up against a surface and it . You can even type in a hex number and it will show you the matching colours from all the paint ranges. under-produced and frankly not a model of clarity. We continue with our interest in AK47 and while I would make some minor changes to ease it towards ‘The Perfect Game’. Productivity drive The way of the warrior James Clavell has a lot to answer for. I phoned Rob and admitted defeat. You see how easily I am distracted? That night I sat there painting away. Want to find out the equivalent to Scab Red in other ranges? Or. I have samples of every figure range ever made. is the Matchstik. And it is free. the hobby may not be the same in a few years. 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. reminiscent of Sopwith for anyone who remembers that game from the 1970s. com/). I am thinking… Stug IIIs. give me the Vallejo equivalent of Tamiya NATO Brown. This may look like a boardgame. Another game earning its keep is Wings of War. my willpower was duly weakened. This might be because between Paul Hicks.
but I get the distinct impression that this is not a few quid. Compared to the peak of a few years ago. . I bought some. especially the horses. I am still flitting around. again reporting back as a number. sculpted by Jim Bowen. • Rackham’s AT-43 mechs. Not going to happen this year. Trident/Vanguard I met Sean Judd a few years ago at Euro Militaire. which I hope means that more traders are making a decent return. It is made by X-Rite in the States. Stockton etc). I remain about as positive about the hobby as I have been since the Seventies. come to think of it. with more and more able to go it full time. It will. be very interesting to see if SELWG makes it back. I would like some more knights please Sean. But we still have ranges not being finished… I am still waiting for a guilty manufacturer to drop me a line and explain why. and we haven’t even started to feel the impact of 3d prototyping. and many traders I have spoken to were chasing the business lost. Fortunately. crossbowmen and men at arms. I think it is now clear that the show circuit is contracting. hoping they expand the range. But while there is no doubt a Golden Age in terms of product quality. but even that is not troubling me as it once did. I am in the hole to the tune of 300 or more… I certainly don’t feel too badly about that. Oddly. but not the Apaches… • Bolt Action’s Italians. Colchester.will read the colour. much in keeping with other drains on our wallets. varied and fulfilling. they don’t always resurface. Very odd. I immediately painted Paul Revere. All the figures mentioned are available from Doug Carroccio at the Miniatures Service Centre. • Silicon Dragon’s Colour Match 1. • Italeri’s 20mm Napoleonics and 1/72nd Armour. which I aim to improve upon substantially this year. made and unmade. digging around in a box. some of the AWIs came along with them. I feel there will be a crunch point that pushes many newcomers and existing hobbyists towards skirmish games. • Tamiya’s 1/48th range. but are slightly spoilt by some companies allowing scale creep. we are still looking at some worrying signs. I found the knights. With some 28mm figures at £2 to £3. In return I can explain why some buyers won’t jump and buy until they have seen commitment from the sculptor. • HLBSCo’s 40mm multipart SWAT teams. I am still waiting for my hover boots. in about 10. 20mm plastics are looking up all the time. Meanwhile. so that one might check that one’s curtains matched one’s cushions! I had other ideas. Quality across the hobby is improving by the month. There are more models coming. In that very week I had taken delivery of some 40mm feudals from Graven Images. • Tom Meier. and I liked them a lot. and I recommend you have a good look if considering this period. Sean has not been quiet. I am putting it down to having both sculpting talent and the butterfly gene. That said. and to an extent relative cost. The characterful infantry are also excellent. and some smelly peasants. again in 40mm. ‘1250’. choice and availability. • Sash & Sabre’s 40mm Napoleonics and Landsknechts. • The Assault Group’s 30mm Napoleonic Austrians. He has also done a considerable number of AWI sculpts. When I put in an order for the knights. a cheaper one will be along soon. even without unwelcome re-enactors. whose mail order service is exemplary. more weapons. As you do. • Valiant’s 1/72nd Classic Germans. I feel it is still an affordable hobby for now. I did. things went a bit topsy turvy for me. but not much else. generally. He was showing his new range of 40mm knights and Robin Hood characters. I have not been able to find the device for sale. The shop offering the service made them available on loan. He has expanded the knights to include a decent range of archers. • Caesar’s 20mm Biblicals. Whether it is an accessible hobby is a different matter.0. Of course. they can be had for a song. making terrain and reading rules. • Dragon’s 1/72nd Armour. • WestWind’s Samurai. Sean is looking for options for a UK distributor. My next project. but only by selling a load of Foundry spares over Christmas! The net outflow was about 30 figures. Unlike me. Here they are. SS and Fallschirmjäger. • Kingmaker Miniatures’ Hussites • Little Big Man transfers – everything. several events have disappeared – interesting that while shows lapse for very good reasons (Walthamstow. • eBob’s 28mm Rebellion range. and is promising some very tempting ranges in the future including woodland Indians. • Black Hat’s early Samurai. The hobby is rich. • Artizan’s Thrilling Tales. Vikings etc. in alphabetical order: • Anglian Miniatures’ Spanish Civil War and buildings. • Asmodee’s Hell Dorado figures. for instance. as many of us thought it must. and rule sets regularly topping £15 or £20. sit for all my free time painting. • Black Scorpion’s Old West. and still provide great value for money. or even a price. No sir. just. who comes mounted on a superb horse – this is up there with the Drabant sculpts as the best I have seen in this scale. After that. Apart from a fairly solid commitment to 40mm Feudals and my 20mm Egyptians. I played more games in 2007 than in the previous decade. And another year is done • Zvezda’s 20mm Egyptians. Usually I try to restrict myself to ten favourite products for the year end round up. Be lucky to get under 20. modelling. if you counted plastics.000 graduations. really. Four years later. Civilians etc. quite happily. While we punters would prefer the bargains of years past. and marketed in Europe by Sikkens. was underway. 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. as it left a big hole in my calendar. • Trident Design’s 40mm AWI range. and I am really enjoying it. Prices are clearly rising. But as Tomorrow’s World always promised. Odd. HYW. Although. I could. I sincerely hope it does. I vowed to paint them with lots of neat heraldry. And I have to say I was bowled over. Arthurians and Wild West. With the dollar squirming. • Oshiro’s buildings – very promising start. • Perry Miniatures’ 28mm & 40mm Napoleonics. • Graven Images’ 40mm Feudals.
retreating still further back to Parschnitz and. Trautenau and the surrounding area were in Prussian hands and for three hours. before the Austrian light infantry were ordered to return to their positions on the steep slopes south of the town. Arriving at 5pm on the battlefield. Around 11. 1866. namely to block to the invaders this particular road into the country. gained from Denmark in 1864 when Austria and Prussia had fought on the same side. and Hopfenberg (Hop Hill).e. but the 3rd Brigade. some Austrian Jäger moved quietly down the hillside into the town and opened fire on their unsuspecting enemy. The newly-arrived Austrian 4th Brigade passed to the left of the 1st Brigade to attack the central Johannesberg. It was a costly victory. the Austrian commander began a sustained counterattack on the Prussian line. together with Hanover and Saxony. with the infantry having to perform reconnaissance duties. but one which. which was grouping for yet another frontal attack on the chapel. they did not follow up their success and the entire X Corps under Field Marshal Gablenz remained around Trautenau. a tributary of the River Elbe. which had been established in 1815. including a particularly fiercely-contested action around the Chapel of St John on the summit of the ridge line. but the weariness of the troops. promising the Austrian province of the Veneto as a prize. The Austrian attack soon floundered on the wooded. 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. 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 vanguard of the Corps’ advance guard pressed on and approached Trautenau at about 10am to find it only lightly-held by Austrian troops. Baden. often causing the column to halt and wait. more of the Prussian I Corps were in the fighting line. Around 1pm. As the weary Prussians entered the town and rested in the arcaded central square. Prussian troops and supplies rolled in from the border mountains. Württemberg. a small town on the River Aupa. The right-hand column was intended to be the advance guard and. the Austrian 1st Brigade fell back southwards and the Prussians occupied the three commanding heights behind the town: Galgenberg (Gallows Hill). operating in half-battalion masses. this conflict essentially stemmed from the background that Austria and Prussia were vying for leadership of the 39-state German Confederation. four miles south-east of the Silesian frontier. lost 43 officers and 859 men in the process. supported Austria. While the left column arrived at Parschnitz at 8am. A frenzied free-for-all firefight immediately ensued. by 3am.Battles for wargamers Trautenau 1866 by Stuart Asquith. was to be quickly neutralised by Austrian defeats elsewhere. Austria condemned both Prussia’s ‘power politics’ and expansionism. right column) moved slowly. The Prussians left their recently-acquired positions. spread out in open order. protected itself with a small right flank detachment. Preceded by an hour-long artillery barrage from 40 guns pounding the heights at close range. Also known as the Seven Weeks War. Owing to the steepness of the slopes and the broken ground. who by this time had been marching and fighting for 12 hours. and the two Hesses. The Prussian retreat became more rapid and they were also expelled from Trautenau. isolated groups. their advance had to be made in single file along narrow defiles and on the heavily-wooded slopes in small. but the Prussian commander – who had never before been in battle – resolved not to hold Trautenau and the heights. Austria declared war on 14th June. in the form of some dismounted dragoons holding a hastily-barricaded bridge over the Aupa. the Prussian right was in Hohenbruck and their left in Alt Rognitz. The Austrians had succeeded in what they had intended. in turn. 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. 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. ruled out any pursuit of the Austrians. the Austrian 3rd Brigade at once came up to support the 4th Brigade. Johannesberg or Kapellenberg (John’s or Chapel Hill). with some 14 infantry battalions and most of the artillery not having fired a shot. The smaller north German states supported Prussia and Bismarck had persuaded Italy to form an alliance with Prussia. with the Prussians suffering 15 officers and 249 . in the event.30am the Prussians. The action turned out to be the solitary success of the Austrians during the Prussian advance. while the 2nd Brigade passed on their right to work around the Prussian left flank and storm the Hopfenberg. By 3pm. the right column arrived two hours later. The two columns were directed to join at the village of Parschnitz and to rest there while the vanguard occupied Trautenau. and ordered a retreat. now strengthened by half a dozen infantry battalions that had made their way from Parschnitz. irregular and broken slopes. The weary Austrians had taken heavy losses during their attack. This small force was quickly overcome by the Prussians and forced out of the town. The south German states of Bavaria. They were therefore entitled to claim Trautenau as a tactical victory. after defending the steep and difficult terrain for an hour in fierce fighting. to the frontier they had crossed only 24 hours previously. At 4am on 27th June. as well as her occupation of the duchy of Schleswig. began to attack the Austrian position. inflicting heavy losses. illustrated by the Editor T he setting for this action is the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. This renewed attack was successful.
The Prussian artillery was not the dominant arm it was to become in the FrancoGerman War 1870-1871. I cannot reproduce this last effect). There is a bridge across the River Aupa within the town. each measuring 12” x 12” (or 30cm square). with three such battalions forming an infantry regiment of 36 figures. In my experience. and a maximum sight of 600 paces. it was in the disorganising process of being modernised. rather than needing any further legislation to be applied. Finally. in the final analysis there was not always a lot to choose between the artillery of the two sides. but I generally use one model gun. I placed more squares. The rules in use should pick up on these variances.282 other ranks. given the tactics employed and targets typically engaged. South of the town. providing . 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.e. This layer was then surmounted with irregularly-shaped one. 12 figures in total. plus 4pdr horse artillery batteries. the Prussians fielded 4pdr. the wargamer knows the figures are there as he/she can see them from a mile up in the sky. The figures are cast in multi-figure strips of either six infantry or four cavalry. The infantry of the multi-national Austrian army was not particularly well-trained and their weapon skills left a great deal to be desired. each of two brigades. being intersected by steep-sided and narrow defiles.) The difficult terrain was undoubtedly an important factor in the action. with muzzle-loading pieces being scrapped in favour of breech-loaders with an effective range of some 1. but they had a slower rate of fire and could not be loaded whilst the firer was lying down. limiting visibility and therefore ranges.and perhaps conveniently-placed houses and a few trees. offset to leave some gaps to act as defiles. as you will shortly learn. I was pleased with the overall result. 41 officers and 967 men wounded plus 86 men missing. 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. Considerations The Prussian infantry were armed with the Dreyse needle gun. My line and guard infantry battalions each consist of two strips of figures. Since Irregular Miniatures cast artillery pieces separately. several steep hills approach close to the outskirts. each of two regiments. I find that artificial limits on visibility are also tricky to apply. given the nature of the figures I use and their organisation. as just noted. or 250 yards. a fair proportion of the Prussians never came into action. all placed around a central square and. again with three battalions to a regiment. reducing the distance troops can move simply lengthens the game. there is no problem. 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 Austrians lost 196 officers and more than 5. An infantry division was supported by a regiment of cavalry and four artillery batteries. although it is duly noted that the battalion was the usual Jäger tactical formation. just outside the town. On top of the basic layer. a total of 56 officers and 1. or 500 yards or 457 metres. 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. 1859 or 1870-1871 to suit 1866. One point that should perhaps be reflected in the rules is that the Austrian artillery could use shrapnel. All my 6mm terrain was made for me some years ago by the talented Dave Marks and has proved to be very versatile. (Note that the name Trautenau will not be found on present-day maps. 6pdr and 12pdr foot artillery batteries. so that the very tops were four contours high. Jäger formations have one strip of six figures per battalion. That said. Wargaming Trautenau Terrain While I have been interested in the Seven Weeks War and have wargamed it in 6mm for many years.and twocontour hills. the town is now called Trutnov and is in the Czech Republic.500 yards.men killed. each of four figures. as a change from the more customary convenient. open green pasture. itself represented by suitable river sections.000 men. whilst the Prussian gunners could not. the performance of the artillery left a lot to be desired. but it is certainly an option. The town of Trautenau was represented by about a dozen buildings. The Prussian soldier was well-trained. the exercise proved to be easier than I had anticipated. There was a distinct lack of training on the new pieces and it was generally deployed both poorly and cautiously by commanders. The very nature of the terrain itself should provide its own movement and firing problems. The Austrians carried muzzle-loading rifles which outranged the Prussian weapon. each of which had three battalions averaging 1. although their Jäger and cavalry were excellent troops. i. including prone. with picturesquely. I do not differentiate between the respective organisations of the Austrian and Prussian troops in my lower levels of organisation. being organised as three squadron strips. It had a ‘battle sight’ of 300 paces. The weapon could fire five or more rounds per minute and was sighted to 600 paces – a pace being 30”. The Austrians had ‘state of the art’ 4pdr and 8pdr field batteries. and breaking up larger formations such as battalions (although. say. When it came to laying out the terrain. and lies in a hollow surrounded by wooded hills.500 men. The basis for the Trautenau terrain was my wooden terrain squares. limber and team to represent a battery or sometimes a half-battery. being effective at over 850 yards and very accurate at 450 yards. Situated in Bohemia. The cavalry regiments consist of 12 figures. 4pdr horse batteries and rocket batteries. Some of my hills. although the cavalry was not of the calibre of the Austrians and. although it is a relatively simple matter to adapt a set written for. I do not distinguish between the various artillery types. The Austrian artillery was well-equipped with rifled pieces and overall was well handled during the war. A typical Prussian infantry corps of 1866 consisted of two infantry divisions. 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. This can be reflected in a number of ways: halving the move distance of the troops. the latter serving largely in the Tyrol. which could be loaded when the firer was in any position. plus crew. a bridge over the River Aupa.
each either of two regiments of light cavalry or three regiments of heavy cavalry.75 per cavalryman (one piece with horse) they are an attractive proposition. It is worth noting that all the aforegoing represents theoretical strengths and organisations. the figures come moulded together on strips and secondly. 42mm ‘toy soldier’ style figures from Irregular Miniatures and I am very tempted to dabble in 1866 with other figures from the range. each of a Jäger battalion.25 per infantryman and £2.helion. Pioneers were attached at corps level. if rather characterised. I have raised French and Prussian forces for the FrancoGerman War using the charming. there were many variations and.] In 25mm plastic. What a daft hobby this is… . The variance in ratios has never given me any sleepless nights nor wargame problems. the recent release of the beginnings of an appropriate range of 28mm figures from Helion – see www. a battalion might average just over the 1. Two batteries might consist of horse artillery and there could also be a rocket battery attached. This admittedly unusual state of affairs came about for two main reasons. each of 560 troopers.An illustration by the Editor and Ann Prescott depicting the moment in the evening when men of the Austrian 3rd Brigade.co. Again.000 mark. each of eight guns.wargames. At £1. 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!). commanders on both sides often chopped and changed as necessary. At corps level there was also a Jäger battalion. The corps’ cavalry reserve was organised into two or three regiments. with corps consisting of four infantry brigades. as in most periods of history. finally managed to wrestle back control of the chapel from the 43rd East Prussian Regiment in fierce hand-to-hand fighting. Ed. there are some part-ranges in 15mm and likewise in 25mm. leaving the 1866 Austrians as poor relations. Horse artillery batteries were attached at brigade level. four foot artillery and (possibly) two horse batteries. Figures Apart from the excellent range of 6mm figures from Irregular Miniatures. as noted. Thus my system provides a varying man-to-figure ratio of around 85:1 to 100:1. a cavalry squadron and an artillery battery. plus an engineer battalion. two threebattalion infantry regiments. The corps’ artillery reserve fielded five or six artillery batteries. but at high cost. consisting of both Ukranian and Venetian troops. [We note.uk. but these tend to concentrate on the Franco-German War 1870-1871. 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. Cavalry divisions fielded two or three brigades. The Austrian 1866 higher organisation was slightly different to that of the Prussians. however. an infantry regiment of 36 figures laid out in three battalions each of 12 figures to me just looks about right. Firstly. 24 guns.
21 cavalry squadrons.000 men: 24 battalions. Orders of Battle Prussian Forces (I Corps) (29. However. 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. but the figures are slightly more expensive and do need some assembly. 5th 4pdr Artillery Battery Left Flank Column Main Body of the Army Corps 3rd Brigade of Infantry 44th Regiment of Infantry (3 Bns) . they really do convey something of the flavour of the period. in true H G Wells fashion.The new range of 40mm ‘Shiny Toy Soldiers’ designed by the genial Aly Morrison and distributed by Spencer Smith might also offer possibilities.
The current UK annual subscription is £6 and I thoroughly recommend you try a year’s sub. I am quite happy for readers to explore this area of research. 37 Yeading Avenue. (On a personal note. but are well worth tracking down if you can. but as I am not particularly internet-oriented. I must thank Ralph for taking the time to peruse the first draft of this article and for suggesting some very helpful amendments. [Some Web rambling unearthed an incredible site at www. a quarterly newsletter which is an excellent read and full of hard-to-find information. pre-Great War European conflicts.cz/1866/. For further details contact Ralph Weaver. The Society publishes The Foreign Correspondent. 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.trutnov. Middlesex HA2 9RL. Actually. the latter also including complete rules for the Second Schleswig War 1864.) . Sources Rules I use my own rules for my 1866 actions. it is worth pointing out that Mr Weigle’s publications offer far more than just rules. orders of battle etc. providing as they do a wealth of background information. 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. scenarios. 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.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.] 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.) I’m sure that there are umpteen websites out there with all sorts of information. These are set at brigade level and allow quite large actions to be fitted on the tabletop and fought out in an evening. in fairness. although.000 men: 28 battalions. Do we have a Czechspeaking reader who can translate the whole thing? Ed. Harrow. but certainly excellent value for money. 5 cavalry squadrons. The Continental Wars Society concentrates on postNapoleonic. 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). Not cheap. these new rules will be well worth the wait.
and generic graphics programs available. I find that all the maps made by one popular amateur I 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. it is possible to find maps that can be used by the wargamer. Ed. While it is possible to spend a great deal of money on a graphics program. Like most of the hobby. a map can be a beautiful work of art. however. 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. It is sufficient to say that vector images are easier to create and edit than more common raster images. is designed to make all types and styles of graphics. . 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. Introduction to Inkscape What the image looks like within Inkscape. For the wargamer. Ambitious wargamers even use maps to run complex map-based campaigns. Personally. inkscape. such as File. Though free. 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. like a pencil. There are professional cartography programs. In its most basic form. There are other free graphics applications.Computer cartography for wargamers A simple introduction to producing maps using free software by Tyler Provick cartography program end up looking the same.] f a picture is worth a thousand words. These programs are tools. consisting of millions of tiny dots or pixels. Another advantage to generic graphics programs is their price. a map is simply the visual representation of spatial data: how far the coast is from the mountains. it falls to the wargamer to make it themselves if the appropriate map isn’t available. [Think of vectors as filled drawings.] Inkscape can be downloaded for free from www. They are used to designate deployment for scenarios or tell the story of a battle in a battle report.4 (Tiger) and ensure that they have the X11 platform installed. maps serve many practical purposes. 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. Both the professional and amateur cartography programs cost money. and is a perfect tool for the wargamer who wants to quickly create a map for their webpage or club campaign. but it is the fact that Inkscape uses vectors in order to create its graphics that makes it special to the amateur cartographer. Specific steps will be provided. With well-documented historical periods. While pencil and paper. which is one of the Developers’ Tools supplied on your installation disc. so that even someone new to computing can follow along. a map is worth a thousand more. with the amateur programs being much more affordable. There is a lot to vectors and their colleagues. pen and ink are still staples in the creation of maps (see those produced by the Editor in previous issues). but it isn’t necessary to take up space explaining them here. computers are becoming a popular choice for the creation of maps. rasters. amateur cartography programs made by wargamers for wargamers. A computer allows a wargamer to quickly colour a large area with a single click. and you will see a list of options called a dropdown list. worthy of framing. while not designed specifically for map-making. it works on most Operating Systems. A graphics program. making it more suited for mapping. Experienced computer users can probably skip this section. The first step in creating a map on the computer is finding the right program to use. like cartoons or animations.org. but it’s important for those that aren’t as familiar with computers. there are many free applications that are very powerful. Click on a menu. It is much easier than dragging out the pencils. Linux or Mac. At the very top is the Menu Bar where most of the tools are accessible. and rasters or ‘bitmaps’ as photographs. Vectors are mathematical expressions of geometric shapes. Inkscape is one of them. At the same time. which can be used to create anything the user wants to create. is easy to use. crayons or watercolours.
Don’t worry. That’s the basics of Inkscape without getting into object creation and manipulation. The battlefield The first step is to define the battlefield. 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. what you want to name the file. When saving files a window will appear asking you what you want to save the file as. Save or Save Document will save the image as a new file if it hasn’t already been saved. The multi-coloured bar below the Workspace is the palette. The page size will not constrain the size of the image on the screen. It is possible to customize these toolbars. otherwise it will overwrite the existing saved file. Inkscape uses the left-click for the majority of actions. Double-clicking. if called for. The right box will show a preview of the currently selected file if one is available. This will expand the window and show more options. it automatically creates a new image based on the program’s defaults. but for the purposes of this article it is best to leave them alone. I will create a map that can be used as the basis for a scenario or battle-report map. The top toolbar is the Command Bar which performs commands such as Grouping and Ungrouping Objects. where you can quickly choose colours. Starting a map Now comes the fun part: creating the map. Save As saves the image as a new file. scenario maps and battlereport maps. Clicking on a colour selects it as the fill colour. Pay attention to the difference. The left box is a selection of frequently used folders. Opened files will open in a separate window so that you can still access the file you are currently working on. Multiple objects can be selecting by holding Shift and clicking each one in turn. The difference is that you are opening an existing file instead of saving one. The Save dialogue is neither Windows. or by clicking and holding the mouse button while moving the mouse over the objects to be selected. towns. so take your time! Loading files works in exactly the same way. Any icons in a toolbar can be moused-over in order to bring up a tooltip (a short explanation of the specific tool). The last two are fairly similar. The left of the status bar shows the fill and stroke colours of the object currently selected. For example: with many tools holding Ctrl while using the tool will constrain any action to just the horizontal or vertical. choose File/Import to do so. although as . saving the file as a JPG will automatically convert the image into a raster image. Click on the blue square in the Toolbox to select the Square/Rectangle tool.nor Mac-standard and may be confusing to some users. but it isn’t necessary. Double-click on one of these folders to move to it. either through File/Open or the Open Existing Document command. It can be helpful to begin with a sketch. Throughout the article I will describe different techniques for creating objects used in a single map. which will allow me to create basic shapes without having to do too much work deciding where to place mountain ranges. For example. On the top and left of the Workspace are two rulers that can be helpful for keeping things to scale. It shows important information about the tool you are using or the object you are manipulating. is always with the left mouse button. The Tool Control Bar is used the change the properties of the specific tool you are using. as sometimes it’s important to Save As in order to keep the original file intact. as we can scale and zoom later. which negates the advantage of using vectors. It contains tools specifically used for creating and manipulating vector objects. click File/Save As or the Save Document command. If you decide that what you’ve created is worth saving. Below that is a dropdown list where you can choose the file type.Below the Menu Bar are two toolbars that contain icons representing frequently used tools. There are three types of maps commonly used by wargamers: campaign maps. this will be the border and background of the map. A box will appear with one corner located where you first clicked with the opposite corner following the mouse. If the folder shown in the Save in folder prompt is not the folder you want to save the file in. Begin by playing around a bit and clicking on some of the buttons or menus that you see. At the very bottom of the screen is the status bar. click on the plus sign next to Browse. It doesn’t really matter how big it is. it is only a reference for printing. These defaults can be modified in the Document Properties editor located in the File menu. When Inkscape is first opened. Draw a large square. If you want to open a file as part of the image you are currently working on. Undoing mistakes or Editing Objects. Along the left side of the screen is another toolbar called the Tool Box. etc. battle-report maps having additional information such as troop movements and status. Best leave it as “Inkscape SVG”. Objects can be copied between two open files. The middle box shows you the contents of the folder you are currently looking at. The currently selected fill and stroke colours can be seen in the top-right corner above the Workspace. especially if re-creating a battle. and where you want to save it. other file types may change the way the image works. They can be edited at any time. Click on either File/New/Default or the Create New Document command in the Command Bar. fresh Workspace. The Workspace is the large white space with the rectangular box in the middle. holding Shift while clicking a colour selects it as the stroke colour. Readers can follow along to create their own map while learning the application. It will change depending on which tool is chosen from the Tool Box. The middle suggests keys that can be pressed to change how the tool behaves.
there are tiny squares in the top-left and bottom-right corners of the box. It’s a little tricky at first. Click on Draw Bezier Curves in the Toolbox and draw a straight. click the Edit Object’s Style command in the Command Bar. In the Tool Control Bar there is an option to change the width and height. a node at each end. this time we will use it to draw curved lines. To change the colours. click again to end it. A grid is a standard map item. Clicking and dragging when creating a node will drag the handle and curve the line. Saturation. Radial Gradient. This merges all three lines into one object. The length is shown in the status bar. Most wargamers have green tables. you can copy that into the RGBA field or choose your own.everything will be inside this square. The stroke or border for our battleground should be black. Nodes are the points that Inkscape uses to create shapes. I chose 95c665ff. select one line and set the X to 480. for my colour. a mid-green. each with their own quirks. We will use HSL which stands for Hue. Pattern and No Fill. To align these lines with the battlefield. vertical line at least 960px long. This scale is arbitrary. make it fairly big. To change what unit of measurement is used. We want the Stroke Style to be fairly thick. Drawing curves with the Bezier tool is more complicated than drawing straight lines. The line between the nodes is a segment. This will position the grid directly above the battlefield. or by holding shift and clicking on each in turn. allowing objects below to show through. We’ll use a scale of 1” on the tabletop = 20px. To curve a line you must adjust Adding a grid A few layers and a gradient makes the shape recognizably a hill. Click once to start the line. Our 6’ x 4’ table therefore becomes 1440px wide and 960px high. There are four ways to choose colours. Select both lines. Select all three lines and click Path/Combine. We can make it dashed. Later we can modify the line width and style. A basic hill A basic hill is our first complex shape. the lines. 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. We’ll use pixels as our unit of measurement in Inkscape. slide the L slider all the way to the left. click on Align and distribute objects in the Command Toolbar. We’ll choose Solid Fill for now. Repeat the process. dotted or slightly translucent. Set Y to 0 and the H to 960. so take a little time to . Select another line and set X to 960. called handles. either by clicking and dragging a box around them. holding Ctrl while drawing will keep the line vertical. Linear Gradient. Enter to finalize it. This will create two vertical lines. Now you have a rectangle which. there are a number of options: Solid. A grid will help when determining where a unit or terrain item should be placed on the map. 480Y. depending on whether you played with the Palette or not. and press the handles of the nodes you are drawing. Select the grid and the battlefield. The basic battlefield. On the Stroke Paint tab select Solid Stroke and black as the colour. The box we created had a node at each corner. Grabbing one of these handles will allow you to resize the box. For Fill. we’ll specify the size of the box to make it the dimensions we want. In the Align window. Below that is the Master Opacity slider which will change the opacity of the fill and stroke colours. A new window will open allowing you to edit the Fill and Stroke of an object. Again we will use the Bezier tool. and will make placing terrain on the wargames table easier. It’s a quick and easy way to choose colours. so we’ll use that colour for our battlefield. There are usually 72 pixels to the inch when viewing on your computer screen. but this time for a single horizontal line 1440px wide located at 0X. select Center on Vertical Axis and Center on Horizontal Axis. open File/Document Properties and set Default Units to px for pixels. before anything is added. You can enter numbers there to precisely control the size of the box. In this case. the image can be enlarged or shrunk as needed. may be any combination of Stroke and Fill colours. so let’s set the Width to 5px. If you haven’t made it big enough. At the bottom is an RGBA number which is a code for the specific colour. and Lightness.
To create trees we’ll use a new tool. Now.practice. Click and drag to start the gradient. It won’t look like much right away. the Star/Polygon tool. Use the Tool Control Bar to change the number of corners to five or six. It is easier to judge how far the inner shape should be inset when the two shapes are aligned. light in the middle. Group them all together so they can be moved as one. This is different from scaling the shape. Use the handles to rotate the object. Clicking and dragging a segment will affect its curve. allowing you to shape the object. If you want a two-tiered hill. The stops of the gradient are like nodes on a shape. Don’t worry too much about the size or number of points. We want to create an irregular tree canopy shape. There are a couple of handles within the star. Finally. Still using the Create Gradient tool. 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. For now. which can be used with node editing and the Path/Simplify command to refine the shape. drag the inner handle out until the rays of the star are small and stubby. Use the Create Gradient tool to create a radial gradient within the star. Make sure you are using the Edit Paths tool to see the white diamond handle which controls the inset. Make a dark. Click on the Create Gradient tool in the Toolbox and select the larger hill. Now we can edit the colours. In the Tool Control Bar there are other controls that you can modify to change the shape. then size and place the forest where you want. just the outline of the forest. In order to create the illusion of the road fading off into the grass we will not close the object. Drag this handle while holding Ctrl to scale the object evenly. except we’re not creating an inset. To make the hill stand out from the battleground. as the edge will keep a consistent distance from the original location. or shift-clicking on the two nodes bordering it. not moving an object. Drag this inward to shrink the shape. These can be edited just like everything else. forest-green fill. To copy and paste use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-C for copy and Ctrl-V for paste. For example. Once you’ve started insetting the shape. we want to make the hill the same colour but slightly lighter than the surface. duplicate that tree two or three times and make each one slightly larger or smaller. curve segments and refine the shape. To make the tree more interesting. or copy the RGBA value from the battleground object and paste it into the smaller hill shape. Use the same colour as the battleground. darker on the outside. They have a colour value which the computer automatically blends together to create the gradient. and clicking Insert Node. follow the same steps but make the second tier smaller and slightly lighter in colour. together so they don’t move in relation to each other. Use the rotate feature or play with the randomness of the star to make them all different. the other stop darker than the battleground. You can make the node a corner or smooth point. Hold Shift and drag the handles to make the star rounded. We can either eyeball the colour. Group the whole forest together. Group the two hills to keep them together. rotate or skew the shape as needed. Select all the paths making up the road and group them. You can add. 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. To show that this is a hill we should show the slope. There’s also a Draw Freehand Lines tool. delete and edit nodes to get the shape you want using the Edit Paths tool. hold Shift while dragging to tell Inkscape that you’re making a selection. but with the darkest parts lighter than the forest floor we created earlier. the shape with extra nodes removed. If you have difficulty selecting objects because a larger object below it keeps getting moved. select the shape and click on one of the doublearrows in the corner. one on the inner corners and one on the outer corners. if the shape is too small. select all the nodes and click the Make Smooth button to round them all. Clicking and dragging these will change the shape of the star. Making a forest From left to right: the basic shape drawn with straight lines. Moving L slider to the right will lighten the colour without changing hue or saturation. Click in the center to change the handles from scale to rotate. Delete and move nodes. This will allow us to have the stroke broken where the road fades away. select one of the stops of the gradient and edit its colour. A quick way to rough in basic shapes is to just use straight lines to draw the shape. For the larger hill shape. After grouping you can use the Select tool to move. Draw the borders of the road as individual objects. 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. Create a copy of the hill and click Path/Dynamic Inset. or by selecting a segment by clicking on it. The final step is to group the smaller and larger hills Making the forest starts in much the same way as making the hill. we can copy the tree several times. you can select both hills and align them like we did the grid over the battleground. This is our tree. etc. be outside the map later. Make copies of those trees to fill the area defined by the forest. make the segment straight or curved. Make a copy . 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. I created a gradient to give the illusion of light hitting the slope. scale. the same shape with the lines curved. Click and drag to draw a star. and finally. but make one stop lighter than the hill. hold Alt and drag the handles to make the star randomized. Once it’s drawn.
and anyone with a web browser installed on their computer will be able to view it. Hampshire. To fit our standard three-column format. Now the image can be uploaded to a website or sent in an email. are visual animals. This is much easier than trying to build them to match the edge earlier. New & antiquarian books on military history and weaponry. Once the object is closed. This is the file Inkscape uses and will keep the map exactly as you left it.uk.uk. Professional design and copywriting services from the Editor of this very magazine! Call Henry on 01273 323320 or email henry@battlegames. so it may be necessary to make a copy in a JPG or PNG format. Play by mail.org.uk. then the border itself. approx 57. 32 Rosebery Avenue Eastbourne BN22 9QB. add £10 per image/logo. slightly translucent grid. Using Edit Object’s Style. subject to approval. The scalability of vector images makes them very powerful. THE GLORY OF KINGS – La Gloire du Roi – is now playable by email or post! Order online at our website: agema. Second City historical. by nature. You may want to pull the gridlines forward. Experiment and have fun. BA TT LEGAM E S CLA S S IFIED A D S 20p per word.. Bookings for a series of 6 issues qualify for a 10% discount.org. Don Featherstone is surrounded by a host of military memorabilia and research papers. Payment with order. collected over a period of more than 50 years. . Not all applications can read SVG files. I like a dotted. The skills learnt making maps could also be applied to the art of designing waterslide transfers and flags. Write to Don Featherstone. P. The final step is to clean up the map. Send for a free catalogue or visit our web site. maximum 2 images.com An ageing man.5mm wide. limited editions. maps for hidden deployment and movement. Select the grid and use Raise Selection to Top to put it above everything else. For boxed ad including photo and/or logo. 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. Saving Cleaning up Once the map is finished it should be saved as a SVG file. remove the stroke for the filled road. Highfield Lane.of the group.org) that can handle rasters will allow even more complex maps. Huntingdon PE29 2XW www. it’s filling the wrong sections of the road because the object is not closed. First.kentrotman. Sci Fi/ Fantasy wargames items new & used. Use the Save As or Export function to create the copy. the fill will jump to the inside. Conclusion All the items that overlap the border are clipped with the ‘Object/Clip/Set’ command to give a nice. Find the open points of the object and close them by selecting the two end nodes and clicking Join Selected Endpoints with Segment. Ken Trotman Ltd. scenario maps. Align the new border over the battlefield. which he will be pleased to give to interested collectors. Southampton SO17 1RH.gimp. and not map-making. Please contact him for detailed lists.Box 505. Also features Ancient and Napoleonic games. let’s clip off any objects overlapping the border of the table.uk or SSAE for catalogue. and click Object/Clip/Set. You can also make a gradient for where the road fades out. is the focus of the hobby. neat map. wargame rules and painted wargame figures! Wars of the Roses game under development – visit the site and have your say! agema. Hopefully you will end up with some great maps that will enhance your wargaming experience without taking away too much of your wargaming time. but don’t add a fill. Combine the first road we created. and any wargamer that maintains a website can stand to have a bit more visual interest on their site. Copy the battleground and remove the fill. PC games. United Kingdom. Make the fill colour a nice brown road colour. to make sure no objects reach outside the border of the table and add some final details. I now have the basis for a map that can be used for a scenario or battle report. since that. 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. online shop www. Select any item that Map-making with Inkscape allows the easy creation of campaign maps. Center the two roads over each other with the unfilled road on top. clean edge. This should clip the outside of the objects. I can grab the hill and save it as a separate SVG file. You may have to adjust the position of the roads as they may not be perfectly centered. Limited Edition publishers. Finally. 28 Glebe Court. Unfortunately. and for battle reports.secondcity.O. is overlapping the border. Adding a free tool like GIMP (www. then import it into another map. The simplicity and price of the program leaves more time and money for the wargamer to buy and painting miniatures.co. All your military book requirements: new books. Wargamers. Layout of ads is at Editor’s discretion. I added a compass rose that I’d previously created. click the Edit Nodes tool and click Path/Combine to make all the paths in the group part of one object. rare and second hand. leaving a nice.org. minimum 15 words including address/contact details. Private ads now accepted.
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. A final subcategory of recasting is instances of recasting copies of out-of-production (OOP) miniatures. metal starships produced In this transaction. I’ve also spoken with manufacturers of historical miniatures as well as recasters and copyright infringers. This appears most commonly when licensed toys (suitable for wargaming) go OOP. I’ve spoken to miniaturists who have intentionally and unintentionally purchased recasts. but evident.g. high buying recast miniatures to reduce the cost of an army. He has not. In order to get a sense of the practicalities of recasting. F Recast models are typically said to be less detailed than the original. This creates a notional loss to the copyright holder. Discussion typically centres on the recasting and sale of existing figures. the recasts are used to increase the size of also that fine surface detail can be reproduced. Everyone spoke on the condition of anonymity. practice. Photos by BB. And sometimes an individual recasts a purchased model for use in a conversion or enhancement project. took about six hours.g. 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. quality drop casts of the starships were produced. an army and thus the manufacturer has lost sales. There is a long tradition of such use in military modelling. Battlegames does not Bureau. upon receipt. this article. without permission is the to my knowledge. a blemish on the top of the saucer section) but Sometimes. discovers Miniatures figure I own as they are of low quality well as some plastic and and suspects recasts. the An original Kingmaker Miniatures 25mm figure (top) and its recast below. there is a loss to the manufacturer. the purchaser has been with the space ships defrauded. 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). ever most commonly discussed recast. There is almost universal condemnation of this and 25mm figures generating excellent moulds. sculpting and selling unlicensed Scooby-Doo miniatures). In grappling with this issue. Again. plastic originals recast in metal) or exhibit different properties such as being more brittle. For the purpose of form of IP piracy.978 CDN. These have been made for investigative purposes only. A variant of this story is a purchaser knowingly Using the starship moulds and liquid plastic. Mould making been denied a sale and condone recasting. particularly when commercial kits are unavailable or incorrect.g. 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. How hard is it to recast? . A related issue is the development of original figures that infringe upon a copyright (e. I asked him to a gamer purchases figures recast a 25mm Kingmaker on eBay or Bartertown and. including the absence of fine detail and having dull edges. As a historical gamer dabbling in sci-fi. by the Amarillo Design original manufacturer has Differences are subtle. I was surprised by the breadth of unlicensed miniatures available and uncertain about whether to buy. although the volume of lost sales is significantly lower. As at 21st August 2008 the exchange rate was £1 = $1. Typically. Recasts may also be smaller than the originals and may be made from different materials (e. with this loss being actualized only if the OOP item subsequently comes back into production. I contacted a gaming friend who is an Recasting miniatures experienced caster of his Recasting miniatures own sculpts. ew miniature-related discussions generate more heat than the piracy of intellectual property (IP). (e.
This results in a better flow of metal during drop casting. resulting from nipping off excess metal from the pour chamber. the caster expected a 90% success rate for the Federation starship and thought the mould would be good for about 100 casts. Based on the numbers provided. DVDs) and the poorer quality of typical recasts. 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. 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. although both sites have policies against such sales and complaints procedures. Rather. primarily motivated by profit. Although not conclusive. Although most reports of Resin recast recasting appear to be of sci-fi and fantasy figures. The result is almost indistinguishable from the original. due to the shape of the original. What our experiment suggests is that one-man shops doing recasts are unlikely to turn a significant profit. caster prepared to work hard at it can produce fairly high quality results. This is consistent with what manufacturers say. reflecting the overall low demand for historical miniatures (versus. An alternative argument is that the lower quality of recasts may turn an unwitting purchaser of recasts off a manufacturer. and he thought a 75% success rate with a maximum of 50 casts would be possible.e. The need for six moulds. we could generate a $1. Recasting may also be more financially viable when gaming systems require significant number of identical figures to fill rank-and-file forces. even legitimate castings). The direct financial impact of recasting on manufacturers largely turns on the volume of recasts made.00 profit per figure. however. The metal Klingon cast (with some minor filing) is indistinguishable from the original. Figures Armour and Artillery (FAA) USA revealed a similar concern with this same seller shortly thereafter. The first mould turned out okay. 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. AB Figures alleged the sale of counterfeit 15mm Napoleonics in 2004. Large lots of recasts purchased on eBay and Bartertown have also been reported. this evidence. We weren’t able to generate an hourly wage rate based on our limited experience. whether for use at home or for sale in the marketplace. The metal is harder on the moulds and more labour intensive to cast and clean up. Metal recast thus reducing sales. we could have produced approximately 37 Klingon ships and 90 Federation ones using $70 of materials and 27 hours of time. one was fairly direct with a clear explanation of the narrow financial margins of the business. mass counterfeiting in the developing world) has so far not materialized. our net profit would have been $565 (roughly $20/hour. Originals sell for approximately $9 each. particularly with vehicles. the manufacturer sells six figures for £10 (roughly $20). Conversations with miniature manufacturers suggest that the level of recasting in historical figures is small. While few manufacturers were forthcoming about the financial consequences of recasting. recasting does appear to act as a disincentive for introducing of new lines. but the profits are not insignificant either. has the same level of detail and there are no double mould lines that I can find. indeed. but the figures drop cast from it were smaller than the originals and there was some loss of detail – typical signs of recasting. and the time involved in mould making and casting suggest that on a price of $3. The doomsday scenario (i. But the figures is the same size. With this in mind. Recasting deprives manufacturers of sales. An experienced . The Klingon ship was more difficult. A second mould was made with a super-sized pour chamber. I chose the Kingmaker figure because I wanted to see how crisp reproductions of exquisitely detailed figures would be. not including time spent selling). It is not possible to get an accurate count of recasts (or. This may be reflected in the greater reported incidence of figure recasting for popular sci-fi and fantasy systems. The 25mm figure was cast in metal.00 each. The recasters I spoke to were not. many sought to make OOP minis available while earning a few dollars on the side.The starships were also quite effectively cast in metal. The biggest give-away that it is a recast is the poor quality of the figure’s integral base. If we discounted each to $5. even a small amount of recasting would significantly lengthen the time it takes for a new line to recoup its cost and. the shorter life span of these moulds when using metal. but we expect it would be somewhat less than what we could make selling recast space ships. assuming his numbers were representative of the industry. say. perhaps reflecting the mediocre quality of the commercial product. With the 25mm metal figures.
Although some of these figures may be different enough from the originals to avoid the claim of copyright infringement. looking for something to enforce – their clients are happy to foot the bill. movie or television show. say. This reflects a combination of factors. although a stern cease-anddesist letter may discourage some recasters. computer software. regulatory and criminal prosecution is also possible. They view this as Resin recast much less boring than drafting endless documents. Depending upon the nature of the infringement and the laws of the country. few copyright infringers seem profit motivated. for what it is worth. Some IP lawyers trawl through flea markets. The allure of these figures is. often being careful to avoid direct infringement. a manufacturer might produce mercenaries or kid-detectives that closely resemble the characters in television shows. Their IP is also the most likely to be in demand and thus profitable to recast. Copyright infringement appears to mostly affect large media corporations. are of extremely low quality). 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. More commonly. gamers looking for unlicensed figures that replicate copyrighted materials often turn to the so-called ‘garage kits’ produced by small operations. although again. that they are close or exact replicas of the copyrighted material! Some larger manufacturers produce such figure lines. All of these remedies require the copyright owner to hire counsel and pursue the issue. The most common remedy awarded by courts in the Commonwealth would be damages in the form of lost profits. Nevertheless. although more than 90% of cases filed never reach the court judgment stage. Commonly. or ‘IP’ for short. 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 . however. The same occurs on the internet.that I was able to identify. For example. They hold the largest pool of IP. as later judges may regard their failure to defend their copyright as an admission that no rights exist. movies and even yo-yos. The most effective aspect of these lawsuits is indirect – the person breaching the law may not be worth suing. In Commonwealth countries. counterfeit aeroplane parts or prescription drugs. There are. but it does not appear to be widespread. reported cases involving boardgames. I was unable to document any cases of actual prosecution. Finally. Certainly it happens. suggests that recasting is something of a bogeyman in historical gaming. of course. The rights are collectively referred to as ‘Intellectual Property’. comic. a list of clients’ trademarks in hand. many are not. In other cases. these kits are available where no licensed figures are made. recasting is typically viewed as a type of copyright or trademark infringement. An injunction to prohibit further recasting Metal recast is also possible. 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. some manufacturers may aggressively defend their intellectual property to avoid a precedentsetting case. 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. garage kits figures ‘fill in’ where licensed products necessary for gaming are hard to acquire or unsuitable (for example. 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. as are civil search warrants (‘Mareva’ injunctions) and orders for the sale of seized goods with profits paid to the plaintiff.
Yet there are some large gaps in the existing lines. I choose to support them so they stay in business. figures with reasonable price and availability are less likely to induce recasting or the production of substitutes. they are also the least likely to be fundamentally affected by it. sweet hypocrisy!). More plainly. in that it deprives the copyright holder of control over their product and. the high cost involved (perhaps reflecting the licensing costs) limits sci-fi to a fringe period for me. no one is producing licensed small fighters for the Star Wars universe. but they can claim copyright of their specific sculpting and casting of one. at the least. discourteous. For the record – and as someone who has. . but the quality of them is very poor and the way they are sold makes it difficult to get adequate numbers. Nevertheless. In short. suffered at the hands of copyright thieves and plagiarists in the past – let me make my own views clear. a property right that must (by and large) be privately enforced by the copyright holder to have meaning. I think a fair question to ask is. Garage casters make look-alike ships and they ended up getting my business. This is certainly within the licensees’ rights. and if someone else wants it. creates the market for recasts. In particular. If someone plagiarized your written work. licensed versions are available. however. Even producers of copyright-infringing material that I spoke with agreed with this position. say. others present more nuanced arguments. One of the more interesting propositions is that a copyright is simply that. I’m not convinced this justifies copyright infringement. Again. sculpting or designing in this respect? None. While this difficulty for small producers should certainly be of concern to all historical gamers (whose needs are largely met by these small producers). As a market signal to the producer. The copyright holders have recognized the gamer market and I’m inclined to support them for this. copyright holders and their licensees are the authors of their own misfortune. in turn. how would I feel if someone took something I created and reproduced it without my permission? I expect I’d be upset. Having made the purchase. manufacturers seeking to maximize profits without manipulating the supply-side of the market. Yet. Nevertheless. assuming they produce miniatures. No-one can copyright. television or movie franchise. how would you feel? Or used your photographs in a magazine without asking or paying you? What’s the difference between writing. the prices I’ve recently paid for some Star Trek ships are high (particularly given the mediocre quality). this isn’t as clear as the case would be if I had an alternative source. While large producers and copyright holders are the most likely targets of copyright infringement. I find myself of two minds (ah. I think purchasing recasts of available products is bad for the hobby because of the negative impact it can have on manufacturers. in employment relationships). many gamers who disagree. raise significant issues of equity. given that economic power is often reinforced by legislative and judicial policy (e. Consequently. It does. this choice. the law has been dragooned into defending the property rights of the wealthy. It does. For example. if I sat on my rights. I expect this perspective comes as little comfort to small producers who quite readily acknowledge that they cannot afford to enforce their rights. it raises the interesting question of whom copyright laws protect.notion that recasting has the potential to detrimentally affect historical miniature producers. even looking to eBay. This isn’t particularly surprising. mostly of a non-historical character. comic. This. When copyright is justified as a means of protecting the interests of small manufacturers. movie and television franchises. Conversely. I’m not sure this justifies copyright infringement. by not enforcing my copyright or failing (for decades) to meet the demand for what I had created. perhaps this dynamic ought to give us pause for thought. the figure makers I deal with are particularly vulnerable to the effects of recasting. What do I think? Having considered this at length and being pragmatic at heart. and therefore I would not condone it under any circumstances. in fact. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Doing that is. however. There are. That is to say. the idea of a French Napoleonic carabinier. potential revenue. give me access to OOP miniatures. In short. As I’m mostly a historical gamer. who has the means to enforce their rights? The short answer is that the laws offer disproportionate protection to large producers and copyright holders. for example. they can pay for it.g. Many gamers and manufacturers assert that this is no different than recasting. however. In effect. virtually guarantees a shortage and raises prices beyond what they might be in a freer market. so my investment will just be smaller. While some ‘justify’ copyright infringement with reference only to their own desire for figures not being produced by the copyright holder. or sculpt their own. proponents argue that licensed producers intentionally limit figure production and availability to heighten price. Larger. Most concerning is the disincentive recasting can create to introducing new lines. In effect. Manufacturers seeking to maximize profits by inducing an artificial shortage are more vulnerable to copyright infringement than. I want to thank Bob for his well-balanced and reasoned contribution to the debate on this controversial issue. 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. 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. I’m also prepared to buy the rather expensive licensed miniatures for the sci-fi lines I’m interested in. when combined with aggressive promotional activities and the licensees’ monopoly. this argument goes. however. small producers are unlikely targets but are much more vulnerable to the negative effects of infringement and are largely unable to enforce their rights. that is the fruit of their labour. This does not. There is much greater debate about original sculpts that violate a copyright of a popular book. point out that the way in which a copyright holder uses their copyright can affect the behaviour of gamers.
And the figure rises every year. the more I come to realize that historical and fantasy gaming are just different faces of the same animal. Henry was invited to ‘help’ run one of the games although. my gaming club. are gradually producing more and more historical models after leaving the fantasy sphere altogether. 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. Vesuvius.000 visitors (when still held at the National Indoor Arena) to this year’s staggering 10. I should inform the reader that the Games Day event solely promotes the GW range of products and related services. as it does. then. for example the new generation of computer games currently available or under development. Yes. have all come from the work of fantasy sculpting. Though at times it’s hard to recognize it for what it is.. however. I have attended this event every year for the past 12 years and have seen the event grow from 5. whether they be writers. For the past three years. 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. if truth be told. is universal. two (for the first time) this year: one for Warhammer and one for Warhammer 40. Easy for me. and licensed products. ominously in the shadow of Mt. The models. one single company is able to attract a staggering 10.To boldly go. well I’m sure even the most obstinate of us will admit that. the best figures available for detail and pose. For without the means to tempt the best to work within this industry. the search for meaningful recreation is my passion and the realization of that goal is the grail. at the moment. held at the massive National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. I thought I would offer him the chance to see the other side of the coin – Games Workshop’s annual Games Day. where the edges of fact and fantasy blur. The rules for both S historical and fantasy wargames tend to be remarkably similar. Here.000. a daughter company) who had brought along a game of Texan proportions. And the more I learn. 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. he was being given a free pass to enter the exhibition early with his . I am delighted to say.000 through the doors. too.. are gathered under our banner. is spilling over into historical gaming as many artists. have taken participation games to the event. are often universally recognizable and will easily make the transition across the ‘gulf ’ that apparently divides our hobby and.000 gamers through its doors. Whilst historical wargamers enjoy the affable cameraderie shared by a close-knit and serious community. Not much interest there. Clayton Warlords. I find myself in that wonderful place where history and myth meet. painters or sculptors. It is to the success of such ventures that we owe the fact that highly talented artists. certainly over the past twenty years. like subsidiary publishing businesses. 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. but a pleasant and rewarding one. This. When talking to the guys from Games Workshop US (yes. as for scenery. at least. we would be all the poorer for it. Both rely on diligently researching the background of the chosen subject. and the more I delve into the previously untapped pool (for me) that is historical wargaming. such as the Perry twins. the similarities cease. I was amazed to learn that the Birmingham event draws more people than all five US Games Days added together! At this juncture. But in the wake of recent shows such as Firepower at Woolwich and Salute in London’s Docklands. and anyone with a reasonable knowledge of any one ruleset can quickly pick up and play another. take as break and remind oneself of what it is you are trying to achieve. The difference in scale between these two factions is immense. Into the lion’s den by Roger Smith ometimes it’s good to sit back. The Golden Daemon cabinets. I am sure most would agree that.
is almost unheard of! This was also the first major Games Workshop event to be held since the introduction of the new Warhammer 40. especially the plastic drop Fernando Prieto was awarded the coveted Golden Daemon Slayer Sword for this figure. soon to flow like lava (not unlike the aforementioned Vesuvius) over the floors and stands of the three enormous halls housing the event.000 and Lord of the Rings). game development and the famed Golden Daemon painting competition. retail. is an entirely independent organization. the replacement Space Marine Codex carries the same price tag. I do not believe he was disappointed with the wealth of material on hand. however. I believe. the ardent showgoers. half the participation/demonstration games were designed. at a cost of £18. is another matter. With this peace of mind. It also sees some creative re-invention of some of the systems. 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. normally also varies in height and size considerably. with scenery liberally dispersed throughout which. to say he was impressed would be an understatement. there are other elements to the hobby besides the playing of games. whatever else we may think. one brings its own inherent drawbacks. For those who have never attended the show. Tom! pod which. for all the improvements I welcome with open arms. the GCN clubs often produce tables supporting more specialist games such as Battlefleet Gothic. and I cannot do so enough. to be based around the three core games (Warhammer. however. Warhammer 40. The latter is always incredibly competitive and draws a large number of entrants from all over Europe: getting to actually see the entries. ensuring equality of opportunity and the vetting of personnel. nor the enthusiasm of the volunteer gamers who stoically manned the boards and ran the games. Warmaster and Warhammer Historical. constructed and run by volunteers from among the numerous independent gaming clubs around the country. participation games. showcase exhibition and it’s producing a far greater degree of diversity in the types of games being represented. to make matters worse. and I think that’s a pity. I should like to explain that it is basically divided into five distinct areas. let’s return to what the company does best – promotion of the hobby. which represents a 50% increase in cover price over the previous cost of £12. makes it a viable proposition for those wishing to sport infiltration-style forces. improving safety by ensuring that officers of clubs are CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checked. It should also be stressed. This has meant that whilst the Games Workshop store built games tend. However. Mordheim. 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. although supported by GW. don’t always agree with the judges when it comes to the winners but. is just how many people are willing to give up their precious time and energy to support the hobby. but irritating nonetheless. clubs can actively encourage younger gamers. There is a rising trend of non-Games Workshop involvement in their national. It is.000 rules. Inquisitor. such as a beautiful WWI-styled trench warfare game using adapted Warhammer 40. but not if the board is built on many levels. What this particular show demonstrates more than anything else. since (and I have this on good authority) he was close to speechless during the drive home – which. but I had work to do. Blood Bowl. Indeed. he would have opportunity to see and photograph many of the boards and displays before they were totally obscured by the madding crowds. one should get down to table level and physically check to see if the target is in sight or not. 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. itself relying on volunteers to maintain day to day administrative and promotional offices. Additionally it serves to monitor and regulate its members. Still. Warhammer Historical also hosted a magnificent Cornish pirate game on a wonderful scatter scenery . armed with his not inconsiderable stature and charismatic charm. Photo © Games Workshop. deliberate or crippling. For the first time this year. 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. which unfortunately often ends up playing to the strengths of some armies in particular whilst handicapping others – never. Thanks. 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. that the GCN. On a negative note. I refer.000 rules! I wanted to play. I believe. Brilliant. as I am sure you will all be aware. to participate in the hobby outside of the in-store sessions provided by Games Workshop. an organization created to promote all variations of tabletop wargaming. almost solely.famed digital camera where. We. as well as veterans. This is probably partly due to the fact that all volunteers and clubs have to be registered members of the Gaming Club Network (GCN). in case of doubt as to whether you can see a target or not. modelling. cynicism aside. The rules say that. to the ‘real line of sight’ now employed. specifically. 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.
it made a wonderfully realistic ‘British’ setting that would have felt at home in many an 18th Century skirmish game. despite all the odds against them. rather than simply playing a minor role in a game which was meant to play out over the course of the whole day. 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 odds were deliberately stacked against them. villages. trees and roads. on no less than three occasions! The moral of both these stories is simple: however hard you try to rig the outcome. 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. apiece with which to capture the aforementioned squigs. dead squigs were re-spawned and entered play from a cave on one of the board edges. (Imagine a 1970s Space Hopper with a bad attitude.table that looked for all the world like a scratch-built custom board. The Warhammer game. another gamer would step in and new teams would be placed on the board. In our other game. without having to resort to more complicated specially adapted versions. 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. can they? . 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). tactically enlightened genius) will always materialize to upset your carefully-laid plans. 40K Imperial troopers were pitted against their corrupted cousins in a bleak. 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. the smaller games often contained much finer modelling and detailing and presented scenarios that were simpler to grasp and play. with spectacular castle. Amazingly. 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. the overpowering impression left was just how broad the interest was throughout the show. After all. the teams remaining in play until being ‘eaten’ by their quarry. with the larger (and visually most impressive) games attracting crowds of enthusiastic gamers keen to get in on the action. Though less imposing to the casual eye. an ideal choice for those wanting to finish an entire game before moving on. online gaming (a development that I’m sure we’ll see for historical in the near future) and other hobby aspects such as modelling. Complete with wharves and jetties. out-gunned and outclassed. “Squig Hunt”. The game is Wakefield 1460. insatiable appetite and huge teeth: that’s a squig!) Once a player’s goblins met with their inevitable demise. painting and gaming. using 10mm figures. A running tally was kept on a blackboard at the head of the table and. running this game was the unexpected conclusion that the basic Warhammer rules will still work reasonably well for small skirmishes. ten thousand people can’t all be wrong. some muppet (sorry. being outnumbered. At the end of the exhausting day. before overflowing to the many smaller tables that covered the area between. 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. trenchdefended outpost. Similarly. But I digress.
the films and that nagging interest which remained confined to an artistic expression. the slick Tigercat and the stoic looking Bearcat. a P51 can be carving through sky and hammering over my roof in less than a minute. This in turn was followed by Richthofen’s War some years later. I therefore sadly came to the conclusion that air combat with miniatures was not worth bothering with. depicting relative altitude was not one of them. wielding pencil and paintbrush. Paragon provided the rules and I provided the bin into which they flew. H Early inspirations My father. The Red Eagles were subsequently demobbed – some were accidently left on a train and some were sold. 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. Living so close. I realised that it would fail to deliver very much in the way of excitement and so it sat. I suppose this article could have ended here. Capt W. I bought SPI’s Spitfire game that promised so much. E. pampered and enjoyed. my air combat gaming remained a series of brief and unsuccessful flirtations. but I didn’t miss them. It is easy to see where they all failed for me. I’m lucky enough to witness an almost daily parade of historic warbirds. For the next 25 years or so. briefly caught in the ring sight.Tally ho! One wargamer’s journey into the blue by Tim Beresford aving cleared the runway and retracted its undercarriage. I was never really a tankie and before I immersed myself further into WWII gaming. The latter proved to be fun for a short period of time before we tired of its predictability. ex-Fleet Air Arm. 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. the author. I made fancy telescopic flight stands from radio aerials to bravely hold my hardwon metal creations aloft. I suspect that like many Battlegames readers. Johns. Of course. model planes had to feature in all of these games. Whatever issues I faced with my terra firma games. to be joined by the overly complex Avalon Hill offering Knights of the Air. I must have read every Biggles book cover to cover 20 times by the time I was ten. had it not been for that endless parade of real Spitfires. 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. 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. unloved. cardboard gameplay. more formulaic patterns of warfare that characterised the horse and musket era than two fighter aircraft closing at 700 miles per hour. 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 . flew for the Royal Flying Corps during WWI. remain favourites. in quite the same way the arcade games did. producing intricate pen and ink renderings. I found myself in the fortunate position of funding my college days by selling drawings of the fighters at Duxford. was only too happy to encourage my early interest in planes and would often guide my six-year-old hands. brash P51-Ds and their American brethren. 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. While the graceful Spitfire tugs the heart strings every time. 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. 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. those gaudy. in my cupboard for years. Recently. none delivered the excitement of pressing that inviting red gun button to obliterate an opponent. but were usually only targets for my Long Range Desert Group or a clutch of Paratroopers. hidden amongst the debris of a ruined Lego citadel. the books. There was no split second timing and no sense of speed in their measured. to recreate the action straight from the pages of my well-thumbed Biggles books. I concluded that models were much better suited to replicating the slower. In the early 90s. Imagine waking up to those gems! This is where it all started. However. I’d moved schools and been introduced to the delights of 25mm metal horse and musket figures. I’d been using matchstick-launching cannon to fell my unpainted plastic figures. at least during the summer months. I’d work in sometimes freezing cold hangers for up to ten hours a day. I operated a production line assembly of dozens of plastic aeroplane kits. Within hours of ripping the box open.
these little planes were never to feel the gentle caress of my paint brush. 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. 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. unsurprisingly. in this instance back in time to 1917. being just too simplistic to really satisfy. or the semi-assembled. Nexus. snarled ‘paint me now’ in a particular Daimler Benz kind of way. For the truly insane. At 1/285 scale. but if you must have scale fidelity and are up to the challenge. but not one I personally wanted to pursue. 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. Dogfight! Wings of War miniatures from the Editor’s collection. in the fullness of time. To be honest. I’d worked out some thoroughly unhistorical but very effective tactics and. Photo HH. Starting afresh Fast forward to Salute 2006 and. at the time of purchase. I came across a company new to me – Raiden Miniatures. These castings ooze the slipperiness. I’m certain it will grow into a comprehensive selection. which I had wrestled with as a student. quite simply. WoW inevitably joined my rejects pile. and those from Riversco. 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. 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. once I’d cleaned and primed this impulsive purchase. caught my attention. the Chief Mechanical Engineer. Riversco make suitable white metal pilots. Temptation leads me astray A partly stripped-down Harvard at Imperial War Museum Duxford. I’m going to experiment polishing the bare metal of the P51s rather than relying on paint. 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. 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. as I relayed to their designer. True to form. as I can’t help feeling that the metal models look so. The WoW game held my interest whilst I deliberated over even continuing the WWII collection which was aimlessly dithering around and without focus. Many months after Salute. Similarly. who brought us WoW. they remained stranded in my ‘must do’ box. Pen and ink drawing by the author. but before too long. are promising a range of ready to play 1/196 fighters (near enough 1/200). The initial games were great fun.. If you’ve not heard the real thing. it’s sad. are perfectly suited to building up your collection. I know. part way into this project. I rashly bought a few 1/300 Spitfires with no real idea of what I’d do with them once they were painted. ready-painted plastic offerings from F-Toys. particularly when airborne. for small WWII engagements. Following a brief flurry of emails between myself and Mark. a few days later I was the proud owner of one of their newly released Me1009Es which. I allowed myself to get diverted. the metal kits from Skytrex under the Red Eagle banner. there are ready-painted 1/144 models available. It’s not just that the castings are beautifully clean but. probably as a result of having watched the Battle of Britain film for the umpteenth time. I like to think they were all ex-78th Fighter Group aces returning to see Duxford again. If I ever decide to As usual. 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. At the time of writing in late 2008. This is the game that gets Battlegames HQ reverberating to the sounds of “Dakkadakka-dakka-dakka!” from time to time. err… leaden. You may also be able to find the out-of-production Mamoli metal kits on eBay from time to time. 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. Shy of daylight. although I felt they look too big-headed to suit the fine plastic models. Yes. If you like the WoW models but want more types. avoiding the pinched proportions that some of the slightly smaller models seem to have. . but they had piqued my interest again.advance my collection to 1944/5. encumbered as they are with their overthick wings that lack an aerofoil profile when compared to the delicately proportioned plastic offerings. the Raiden range is relatively small but. I spent so much time there drawing that my prescription was reduced as my eyes grew stronger. I’ve chosen not to mix and match metal with plastic. me about the museum and its facilities. perhaps with this flaw exposed. The readypainted Wings of War (WoW) 1/144 models and rules were released and. the aversion to drag that the real thing displays. I make no bones about the fact that I love these Raiden models and. they are another option. was completely hooked. Further orders to Raiden followed. the in-line Benz engine has a definite rasping note like an old motorbike. I just liked them..
Revell have started to re-release their range of WWI kits and although not the most detailed. you’ve lost little and can change up a scale or use different scales for different types of game. being fascinated by the various permutations. There are dozens of books and plenty of online sources for colour scheme details. shaded method. For example. but ultimately became a source of frustration. perhaps surprisingly.Had I chosen the right scale? I had one major 1/600 scale blip while dallying around with my biplanes. but if space is no issue then 1/72 and even 1/48 scale models can be used. Hannants. you start to wonder what the rules were in the first place. I’ve worked hard to resist that perfectionist streak which kept holding up any progress. although not accurate. Similarly. so I recommend some investigation unless you are happy with very generic colour schemes. And yes. I don’t have when painting Painting and decorating Painting the Raiden models with acrylics was very enjoyable. acquiring sixty 1/72 kits (box art is so alluring). I’d find an image countering my original deduction. and I was fully committed to 1/285. 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. my ideas were still conjectural in some instances but. I spent an inordinate amount of time researching these. but if these don’t meet your own expectations. that used the day fighter scheme on many. finally see sense and sold the lot without losing a penny. having painted something. considering a change to 1/600 scale. which has a huge gaming advantage over larger models: the sky is a big space and fast. I found I could get enough of a colour scheme right for my small models to look good. you’ve guessed it: I got diverted yet again. along with vast ranges of decals. Ultimately. I did. once you begin to research the variants which break the rules. I’ve listed below those colours I used. Often all but the exact plane I wanted to see were shown in a squadron line-up or. I chose to use simple flat colour. slippery and desirable aesthetic I mentioned earlier. although the models remain characterful and instantly recognisable. 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. If you take to air gaming but find them too small. flat colour as opposed to a multi-layered. RAF Camouflage green Vallejo 893 US Dark Green Camouflage brown Humbrol 29 (acrylic) Dark Earth Undersides Humbrol 90 (acrylic) Beige Green LUFTWAFFE Day fighter. Adding a little white or yellow depending on the hue will make the difference. by ignoring my inner pedant. sell specialist aviation colours. amongst others. there are plenty of types available at reasonable prices. the floor or even the garden can be the playing surface. then perhaps it may be best to start with them. they are quite rugged models. but not all. of their Me110s. an urge which. I was sorely tempted by the apparent ease of using 1/600 and. more suited to gaming than the more recent hi-fidelity models offered by Roden and Eduard. Even so. WWII pistonengined fighters eat a lot of it very quickly. The Vallejo and Humbrol acrylic ranges provided suitable colours. I chose a unit . As with many military uniforms. You may find these turn out a little dark if used straight from the bottle on very small models. in reality these Zerstörer aircraft were usually painted using the green bomber colour scheme. 1/72 scale plastic kits are justifiably popular for WWI games and if you wish to go down this route. I think they look about right but you may disagree – feel free to adapt as you wish. does look great. 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. however. larger bomber formations take up plenty of space and if you are really interested this type of game. These models are relatively cheap and readily available. I spent a good long while in front of the Tumbling Dice stand at one show. Deciphering the colours of orthochromatic photographs is a black (and white) art with no definitive solution. being able to consult photographic evidence initially seemed such a blessing. The He111 flying in the Battle of Britain film seem to have been painted in the more contrasting day fighter colour scheme which. and these serve as a very simple guide to a complex subject. there is a certain loss of scale fidelity in terms of wing thickness etc. believing this to be the best style to preserve that clean. if you are in any doubt regarding scale. then the diminutive scale may be the way to go unless you are blessed with a large playing area and very long arms. especially as I opted for solid. scale appearance was important to me. As is inevitable with such small models. You may find my suggestions for the bombers are not very contrasting tones.
my ECW and Napoleonic figures are. by necessity. The Triplanes are partly repainted and like me. I-94 lot of patience. Each used correctly and with care. High minimum production runs render screen-printing out of reach for one-off commissions. 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. a tiny new tattoo on your forearm. I used Dom’s excellent 1/144 WWI made on ALPS printers. as far as I could discover. although these makers’ advice for application. I ended up deciding to use Dom’s for my Me109s. painted using this compromising approach. 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. that had to be good enough: after all. removing as much of the clear carrier film as you see the sheets I’d suggested make it into production. but there are colours that they just can’t match. Dom’s Decals tweezers. in fact. I of course there became more is no such thing interested in as white ink for getting it right. you just can’t get what you want and wrapping the decal to a surface. to cut the decals from the sheet. as I reluctantly rendering them of became. However. If the models looked believable. and would happily use either company in the future. I have frequently had to remind myself of the small scales I’m working with and the limitations this brings. For example. 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. Decals. and progressed. these printers. they can work wonders. but be was one I’d not aware decals from envisaged getting this source won’t as absorbed in always be opaque. ensure the best results from their particular printer. dexterity. artwork. Wings of War ready painted models. resist the urge to cram every millimetre of space on your sheet with artwork. Incidentally. as it makes for a much harder task cutting each marking out to use. designed for my British fighters and Scale Specialities for my German fly fishermen. Precision faced with compound curves such as a tapering fuselage. your temper and and effort they hurl whatever put in to bring their products to market. while others avoid it. though. You can buy decal paper Decals for your home The whole inkjet or laser aspect of decals printer. Too much film can cause creases or lifting when fitting Sometimes. 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. There were no decals suitable for a complete Me110C into the contours of your model. dare. you lose of research decorated with the individual markings from the Jasta 19 sheet produced by Dom’s Decals. I-94 for I used a pair of very fine pointed scissors. It’s worth following the and so I resorted to custom-made decals. some prefer inks overprinting. 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. 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. Individual also required if. Precision Decals use the ALPS printers for production (as does Dom’s decals) which will print opaque white. With those bombers. you need to cut very close to the range for my WoW repaints and I was very excited to graphic. As very limited use in this project application. on a tail fin is. and a in the UK. 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. It’s an exciting time as all sorts of new items are coming onto the market. 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. enormous amount aircraft letters were added using an old sheet of Letraset. I was also impressed by Brunel models in Australia but feared the decal melting power of the latter. 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. 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 . rather than just Applying these being generic tiny graphics with my colour required some schemes. you will need to cut your markings out individually as they are on one continuous piece of clear film.Napoleonics. Unlike the screen-printed examples found in plastic kits. manufacturer has their own preferred methodology to My models were varnished with gloss for protection.
Luckily.and often painstakingly tweaked and coerced into position. unencumbered by the mathematics that plagues so many rules covering technology-based warfare. radio. fewer a dozen or so possible sets just wasn’t going to happen. its safer to stick with acrylic varnishes.e. ceiling enjoyed by some types. being very happy being actively encouraged by the authors. It was or two aspects I found slowed the game play. 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. not Tiny Scale Aeroplane Modeller… I contrived to imagine the silhouette depicting a Fokker As with most periods. although have to admit that by the time I’d struggled with paint chips. I had a few suitable Battle of Britain. I find this game as a rule quite fun. I really just less well trained aircrew being thrown into the thick of wanted an easy way out. their WWII air combat offering. 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. whilst not more suited to. Generally. an added bonus that the rules were principally designed For example. I found there was a plethora of triplane on a flat counter was really an Me109. so I drew up the artwork. not pencil unpick and adapt and paper. the Lardy rules letter ‘A’s on a Scale Specialities sheet and added these to the Staffelkapitan’s machine only. but I found been confused this paperwork warfare. to everybody’s say. 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. I gave in at this point having finally got my hands on a set of rules I liked the feel of. 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. This phoney cardboard cut-out war served to ruleset I really liked and. 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. I finally longed for the that speed remained an all-important essence of air combat. as I thought it would accelerate gameplay and I felt (SE5s) and Spitfires (Camels). I wasn’t to be and Me109. 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. the fighter pilot or the arcade game in my table top action. to dogfighting. I could sweep over broad Churchillian sunlit uplands. the deadly rules. options and modifiers to remember and less consulting I wasn’t sure what to expect of these rules. I have with the Napoleonic rules from TooFatLardies and liking adapted here and there. a fighting sail taste. previously less than successful choices. for want of knowing better. using hex-based movement. disappointed: at last. A the complete bucketload of dice antithesis of is used for firing air fighting and and. and the idea of flight-testing half the action before they were really ready. SPI Spitfire game. I finally finished my camouflaged models with a matt acrylic varnish. Daler Rowney being my preferred brand. it before. I wanted to keep the historically correct effects of these endless photographs. bringing certain qualities they have anything as formal as an ethos). decals and decal artwork. I eased the permutations possible. with variants available formation test’ in the interests of speed. my early games of Bag Feeling justifiably proud of the small force I’d assembled. at least in my mind. without upsetting the game balance – such tinkering Finally. but if the Lardies Contrary to my ‘speed is best’ modifications. sequencing is I looked at one card activated. over other less capable machines. and where they want so I discarded those types of games from my potential list. I decided not use the optional ‘staying in specifically for the Battle of Britain. after all. . with many. this is Battlegames galvanise the rule choice and developments. I losing control. Dusting off the Richthofen’s Rules War game board and counters. but not all. very popular set of so there’s plenty rules which uses of chaos and plotted moves. I added have a talent. having mechanism than not encountered I couldn’t buy suitable decals from anywhere for these Me110Cs of 9/ZG26. it seems to be in creating something fresh more altitude bands to compound the advantages of from periods which have previously. Somehow. i. Ultimately. The had to be avoided. I plumped for I wanted into the mix whilst dulling or removing one Bag the Hun (BTH). noticeably the Spitfire posed many challenges for the designer. given my the rule book resulted in more rapid game play. I foe of the equally imaginatively-conjured Hurricanes liked this. 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. you’re reading. The Precision Decals printed the sheet to a high quality. being unable to leave any their general ethos (Lardy Rich would probably deny that published set of rules alone.
both of which felt a little too relation to the 45˚ angle of the top of the stand. clear plastic having expended their meagre ammunition allowance. As BTH features hex-based movement. I could have downloaded these from the Lardy site. 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. not least dynamic angles. We often find the even if they do show relative height quite effectively. although there is every indication I’ve The first favoured a complex telescopic stand showing made the right choices. added micro dice to denote altitude and ID. magnet. one of six variety. the air gaming equivalent of that I’ve only really scratched the surface of the possibilities basing. Black dice denote the six low levels and white dice the higher of the 12 levels in my game. but from initial surface. Five have now been brought to Using a 45˚ mitre block and a fine tooth razor saw I successful. of BTH and Algy. Having played about a dozen height. There is reduced ability to show height variation inspiration to realisation. this project has been hanging using this type of stand. The final mountain I chose to climb was in designing the cards required by BTH to sequence play. in reality. if perhaps temporary. you may disagree. well. 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. The He111s are great big Raiden creations. Red section follow me. I worked on simultaneously. 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. At last I was ready to play… At this point. so I reluctantly abandoned the idea. replicating the graphic display of an artificial horizon instrument. we’ll take the port. often incorporating a swivelling mechanism at games of each. being the more complex. so there were one or two accessories to Roger red leader purchase or make before my models could take to the air. During the Red Eagle experience of student have typically lasted about forty minutes to an hour each days. 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. 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 though practical. I I now possess. Opinion seemed divided into two distinct camps. 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. so I RAF fighters dive for home. of 70. Our games eye level. All refreshingly low-tech and a system that I found quite fast to use – don’t trust me on this. and always given believable results. but I do take enormous pleasure in just looking at the jewel-like models Again. simple. bringing the game to a close. 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. is the latter. my inspirations for the entire collection decorated with the Scale Specialities decals that were lovely to work with. ‘flying bases’ sold by Games Workshop. for simplicity and being budget conscious.5 inch hexes on the other adequate for my fledgling games. I have found a 6’ x 4’ mat printed with 2 inch hexes on one side and 1. I found this type of stand too visually intrusive. but I suspect at some point I’ll add to them. around me for the best part of 35 years. “Blue section you take the starboard. I have to admit Firstly flight stands. These are held on the base of the stand with a tiny discreet blob of Blu-Tac. 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. and so too for the cards. 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. it wouldn’t have quite been the same. I opted for the ready-made ‘European Fields’ mats available from Eric Hotz which are quite superb and easily stored. Perseverance has its own rewards. card counters. These were . The Battle of Britain film was one of nice but were fragile. decided to use an alternative concept. banking. though I’d love to double this area one day to allow a really big stream of bombers into the action. much like my day job to be truly relaxing. but on balance I preferred them. My fighter models all now fly at interesting There were many times I felt like giving up.Accessories designed to fit clear small plastic sleeves ensuring longevity. This type. for which I devised a very simple modification.
skytrex.If you do take up the challenge and try air combat. I’d have been better completing four fighters for each side initially.uk • Figures in Comfort – storage cases.info All photos by the author except where noted. www. Predictable perhaps. What initially seems quite manageable at the outset will.com • Games Workshop – Flight stands.kallistra. unless you insist that your models fly over a miniature contoured terrain complete with fields. which can be so important in crystallising your commitment to a period.co. www.figuresincomfort. With hindsight.com • Skytrex Red Eagle– 1/144 white metal models.co.hannants. other than helpfully suggesting you perhaps just ‘look the other way’! The 1/72 WWI plastic kits were a blind alley for me. • Osprey Aircraft of the Aces series – various titles covering the WWI and WWII periods. www.biggles. paint and decals.co. Unfortunately. www.tin-soldier.ss-sms. www.co. 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.i-94enterprises.com • For information about Biggles: www.com • Reviresco – 1/144 white metal models.domsdecals. • 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.co.com • I-94 Enterprises – Decals. Bibliography During the course of this project a small library of books served to keep me inspired even during my darkest hour.uk Suitable products “Yellow nosed b******ds coming down now.com • Litko – Flight stands.uk • Tumbling Dice – 1/600 white metal models. www.com • TooFatLardies – Bag the Hun and Algy rules. These mottled Me109s are painted in a conjectural scheme based loosely on a machine from I/JG26. www. 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. I suspect at some point. as they opened up another era and are a nice addition to my armoury without requiring too much extra work. thus giving me something to play with while I struggled with the remainder. I’ve realised that you only need a small number of models to get your first games under your belt. www.litkoaero. www. I.raidenminiatures. Paint and play with them before seriously adding to your lead (or plastic) pile. unless you want to.uk • eM-4 – Dice.em4miniatures. One of the nice things about air gaming is that you can dabble without committing months or even years of painting time.toofatlardies. plastic kits.games-workshop.com • Hannants – SRAM 1/144 resin kits. www. missed this all too important facet and worked on my entire collection en masse.com • Kallistra – Plastic hex terrain system. www.precisionlabels. www.hotzmats.brunelmodels. In my case. www. I urge you to begin with just four or a maximum of eight fighters for each side. www.com • Eric Hotz – Hex mats.tumblingdiceuk. hit some sort of brick wall which threatens to sap the initial enthusiasm.ospreypublishing. you really can play tense one against one dogfights or enjoy more challenging games as your collection grows. Equally. settlements and woods (some air gamers enjoy this added spectacle).com • Precision Decals – Custom made decals. of course. but still totally necessary: “chocks away”! • Raiden – 1/285 white metal models.uk • Dom’s Decals – Decals and the cheapest supplier I know for WoW models.uk • Brunel Models – Custom made decals. break right and climb!” Classic Battle of Britain action. www. but the WoW models less so. Depending on the rules chosen. There’s only one thing left to be written. this meant sourcing the decals and especially in completing the Me110s. www. then you avoid the need to acquire the terrain paraphernalia associated with land-based games. even with a smallish project like this. completing each phase before moving on to the next. www. www.com • Scale Specialities – Decals. I also learnt the folly of taking on too much.co. . roads.
the idea is an old one. “So. a few brief words of warning on using hot glue guns. on eBay.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. Just search for “plant mat” and all will be revealed. . Once it is up to temperature. far too bright and garish and you shouldn’t need to go to the trouble of painting anything except the base. exercise caution. EBay is a good place to look.95). Don’t forget to Our venerable hot glue gun. Most are sold on a large sprue but can be pulled off making the construction of the terrain much easier. you should be able to find a mat of plants for around £3 . you need to do some knife work. It is not a precision instrument and. The evil deed is averted as the wargame widow delivers a pre-emptive strike to preserve essential assets for the ongoing campaign. “I don’t think I’ve stuck anything to it yet. Add tropical fish plants. you’ll find 100 freestanding plants on a large square sprue for under £10. try places that sell imitation flowers and plants: if you’re lucky. have you seen my Neil Diamond CD?” I growled. along with a pair of scissors (to snip the plant mat sprues). a hot glue gun and that’s all you need to make a jungle environment for your south east Asia wargames. so why is he buying plastic plants? “Just a little Vietnam project. Then there was the strange obsession with tropical fish. I A selection of plastic aquatic plants and plant mats. plus the postage of course. “Not Ia Drang by any chance?” I replied. None of the plant mats in this picture cost more than £7 each for 100 plants. you have to push the glue stick into the gun and it takes a little while to heat up.” he replied cautiously. Before we go any further. Objective Neil is successfully held by the forces of liberation. Score the silvered surface of the CD to help the glue and the basing material to key to it. and certainly not a malfunction that is covered by the warranty. Not advisable. b I must admit. but it contains only three different types of plant. noting that he’d been watching We Were Soldiers Once and Young for the umpteenth time. as some of the plastic foliage is truly revolting.£7. the hot glue will literally pour out of the nozzle if you push the stick too hard. certainly not Mel Gibson. a craft knife to score the CDs and a plundered selection of ISP installation CDs.” he assured me. 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. In fact. Our glue gun is an old one. Games Workshop have a nice collection of jungle plants in a large blister set (£24. Firstly. 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. so you need to spread your wings and think laterally. 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. Large pet stores are favoured hunting grounds (also handy for finely shredded hamster bedding and kapok). Nothing gets between me and Neil Diamond. We don’t have a fish tank.
Try to plan your jungle bases if you can. 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. go for the coloured plastic ones. All you have to do is to wash them in soapy water. until you’ve got a porridge-like consistency. Trim them down by all means and use the small plugs from the plant mats. To get the right mix. but still in wide circulation in the second-hand market. let them dry and then liberally slosh brown and green ink over them whilst they are still on their sprue. Do not discard them as they are your friends. It’s much easier to do this with the plant parts still on the sprues. You could also wash with watereddown dark green paint or simply drybrush. 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. Neither are the accompanying blisters that attractive or desirable. The paint and sand mix has been added. it’s got too much clay in it and makes the mixture too cloggy). More modern glue guns are slightly more foolproof. Keep adding the sand. . Many of the plants will also come with bases. At a distance. and finally. colours and sizes. Some CDs with a selection of plastic plants fixed in place with a hot glue gun. The trunk parts come in brown and the foliage in green. Construct them using polystyrene cement (the type you use to put together plastic kits). now out of production. Four finished jungle terrain pieces. which is clearly very tedious. If you have the choice. with proper triggers and such. We get our base brown mixed at a DIY superstore by the litre. We tend to use Games Workshop plastic multi-part jungle trees. you can vary the look of each of the CD clumps. less is often more. we give the paint a really good stir. Although these are out of production now. Whilst peeling off white wood glue from your fingers can be a pleasurable experience. we can now turn our attention to the CD base itself. this means you can’t actually see the base at all. but don’t trust a glue gun not to deposit scalding sticky fluid precisely where you don’t want it.what’s more. then give them an ink wash or a delicate drybrush and a green spray for the foliage and green ink or a yellow drybrush. That is. Scattering a handful of plants over the base will mean you can deploy figures amongst them. it’s a twohanded job wielding the glue gun. so prepare yourself beforehand. Scoring the CDs is just a minor precaution to help give the glue and the paint a key. then fill around a third of a jam jar with the paint. doing the same with welded-on hot glue is most certainly not. the more plants you secure with bases. just spray the trunk sections with a mid-brown. You can get considerable variation with just a handful of different plant types and different ‘planting’ schemes. If you can only get hold of the grey jungle trees. there are literally thousands of them available on eBay or at Bring and Buy stands at wargame shows. Now we have our plants in place. If you have been fortunate enough to find a variety of different plant styles. unless you want solid thickets of plants that you don’t intend to hide figures in. be aware of the fact that the hot glue will continue to seep out even if you are not pushing the glue stick. then washed with slightly watered-down Renaissance inks. The reasons for this are three-fold: firstly. it simply blends into the overall colour of the terrain boards. they have simply been washed in soapy water (a hangover chore from painting soft plastic figures and not strictly necessary). Also. Be warned. so don’t be tempted to use it on a French polished tabletop. 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. then drybrushed and some static grass stuck in place with white wood glue. hot glue is not a friend to human skin. What you want is Games Workshop’s original jungle plants. These are the green and brown ones. The central hole of the CD is an issue. When planning your CD terrain. 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. the easier the storage of the terrain pieces – you can simply unplug the plants from the CD base. handful by handful. and even have their own stands. You can see the square of card over the central hole and the sprues of the plant mats. We tend to use the same basing mixture as we use for the terrain boards and the figure bases. secondly.
buaquatics. why not try some of the more outlandish plastic aquatic plants and dried flowers? Fake orchids make terrifying-looking carnivorous plants! b For insurance. Seed pods with a plastic plant mat plant stuck to the top to make palm trees.uk or subscribe via iTunes Available direct from .. We have stuck three or four to twigs mounted on old pennies to make exotic looking trees. give the brown paint and sand mix a liberal drybrush with white (we use Daler Rowney Cryla). There you have it. a little paint and sand and some free CDs. 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! Resources For plastic aquatic plants www. but the Army Painter static grass is very good as are the ranges from several of the railway modelling companies. We use shades from Realistic Terrain. discussion and much. I’ve bought myself an iPod. Three or four have been hot glued to the centre of the MDF. We also found some seed pods which we dried and then hot glued a single plastic plant to the top to make credible palms. the twig has been hot glued to an old coin. Neil and his timeless music will never be lost.co.aquatics-online.a mixture that can be painted on without being too thin or too thick.co. We bought a ‘chain’ of bamboo from a home décor store which provided us with 150 individual bamboo shoots. much more. It will usually need a couple of applications.uk For plant mats www.sweetknowleaquatics. paint once and you’ll cover most of the base the first time. www. You’ll also be surprised just how different your wargame table will look with these dotted around.uk. These add a bit of extra colour to the Indian village featured in issue 14 of Battlegames. the cost per terrain base won’t be more than about 25p. www. Cost is very low.com. Make sure you also cover the edges of the CD. The natural shape of the seed pod was ideal for the trunk. then leave at least overnight as it does take some time to dry. this will help it blend in with the terrain boards. Bamboo plants.petzoo. apply some white wood glue and fix some static grass to the CD base. That way. 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. We use fairly large. Even if you put five plants on each CD. A couple of plant mats. just on a square of 2mm MDF. Once dry and before putting the plants back into place on their bases. www. For stability. www.co. Optionally (and particularly if you’ve still got some bald patches on the CD).fishandfins. Each twig has between three and five of the plastic plants inserted into it.uk. These are based differently.co. flat brushes to apply the mixture to the CD base. There are other things you can do with the plastic plants.co. some glue.uk Twig and plant mat trees.meeplesandminiatures. Each of the plastic plants has literally been pushed onto the ‘branches’ of the twigs. if the unthinkable happens.. Then give it another coat to cover the bare patches. For SF and Pulp gamers.
date indicates these are pitched at whilst it serves to give a somewhat in terms of design and sculpting Waterloo. with five the years have passed the expert Panther vs. and classic 1970s Les Higgins Marlburian As the excellent box art quickly contains the usual Osprey mix of range. and then goes onto give an figures I ever owned. Steve Gill . with little interest in delving deeper into the subject matter. things would rarely get as subjects. Panther vs. we reserve the right to do so where we believe constructive criticism is justified. Our reviewers have been asked to express their honest. but perhaps a shade be an amalgamation of several of Delighted with my new small. and from the same stable tells you. featuring musketeers in morions using musket-rests and a plethora of broad-brimmed hats. then I suggest that you may want to look to other publications for your information. and as in the Osprey range may not provide are three trooper poses. Osprey Duel 13 by Steven J. £12. development and technical Back in the early 70s. these are not the Hussars historical photos. life painting. it only seems to scratch the This would. The format looks at the War figures available again. The Les higgins 20mm ECW. One could assemble an attractive army with these figures. Sherman – the Battle of the Bulge 1944 the direct side-by-side comparison of details. resilient. unbiased and truthful reviews of all products and services. brief introduction into each of its quality. and an authenticity of pose. the new craze of wargaming swept the than their colleagues. but in my training and performance of the tank Remove. which are not necessarily those of the Editor. As the Osprey’s other publications. I was not to know that. sword fielded dashing cavaliers in plumed New Vanguard or Campaign ranges. In those innocent days. Prices are still to be confirmed at the time of going to press. Zaloga. Ultimately. artwork and cutaway we now have the English Civil that many of us started our hobby diagrams. All as effective on the battlefield. we happily detailed titles available in either the Poses are of the charging. contact M4A3 with the Panther Ausf G cunnjoh@aol. I believe.com/ envisaged to horses are also be. and so wear the shako. and acquisition.Recce Products and services scrutinised by our team Battlegames strives to give fair. I find the kid’s market. is much more Panzer Division at Freyneux on 24th opticians used the word “focus”). but the oft-neglected design. 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. and though we do not publish critical reviews lightly. howsoever disguised. There but now we know better. This magazine will never submit to intimidation of any kind. £4. welcomed the reappearance of the British Light Cavalry 1815 20mm plastic. Rather less foppish specifications of the vehicles. John Preece 1944 Ardennes Winter Offensive. measured opinions. but there is little adornment or plumage and a relative plainness in the costume. waving variety and comprise fifteen hats and grim helmeted roundheads. Original photo © http://plasticpelisse. Les Higgins Miniatures Sherman compares the Sherman 20mm English Civil War. hand from a fellow schoolboy. with this publication detailed carbines actually is and belts.blogspot. bought secondoverview of the conflict itself. it would not be difficult to read several titles and find a much deeper and more satisfying coverage of all the information covered here. 3rd Armoured Division and the 2nd SS Napoleonics (in those days only It takes paint well. and yet December 1944 remains safe and Having read bendy enough for through this. 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. myself somewhat Sculpts are perplexed as to excellent as we what the target have come to audience of expect. these were the first metal mind just as smart and at least crews. as the Light Dragoons. allow usage in good in the decades to follow. plausible but with a nod to nostalgia. It seems to very good. Whilst it is true that other titles troopers and two officers. which was rather ahead of its time.19 The book is 80 pages long. 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.com Italeri amid the backdrop of the German In Battlegames 13.99 One of the recent titles in the Osprey ‘Duel’ series. unless you are looking for the very broadest of overviews. The Les Higgins range certainly follows the traditional pattern. even for light cavalry. In short. surface when compared to the more the late Peninsular battles as well.
£11. Revell.. £8. but at the very least. Osprey have for some while now been trying to broaden the range of types of titles they produce.the dawn of robotic air warfare” and he also states that “. who laughed quite a bit and asked a few questions before finishing the whole thing in about 30 minutes. The colour plates are nicely handled.. possibly because the subject matter is far too openended for the present Fortress series. Steven J Zaloga has written quite a number of Osprey books and this one is perhaps one of his most specialised and unusual subjects. If it comes from Italeri. It is difficult to say anything new about these releases. and books of photographic criminal records. Overall. ISBN 978-184603-243-1 £9. Osprey Publishing. my local hillfort – Cissbury – is noted as having been refortified by the British. For me. I was a bit disappointed with the content. Zaloga has traced back the history of robotic aircraft to the First World War when attempts were made to make pilotless torpedoes. ISBN: 9781846033629. but reading cover to cover. Other Fortress titles I’ve read go into more detail on the subject matter. The book concludes with a basic overview of tactics and strategy of the period. Major Dave Fielder. Starting with a broad discussion of form and function. which I can’t recall reading before. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have received quite a bit of attention in recent years due to conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. the aftermath of the period (which nicely ties up the end of British power). but never really discusses the very important non-military functions these forts fulfilled. . photos and references that allow the reader an insight into this fascinating subject. there are also discussions on European. I felt this book really lacked analysis. the author simply tells the story through the media of stick figure cartoons.of each. Osprey Fortress 80. 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). and structured text that takes the reader though the subject area. originally published way back in 1963 (before I was born).in spite of their advances. it’s very much a missed opportunity. it is crammed with detail covering the evolution of the Victorian police from the medieval parish constables and watchmen. with mixed success. it will provide some useful guidance. It is a specialised area and so perhaps will not be one of their greatest sellers within the wargaming fraternity. although I still wait for the day when a hillfort is presented without the extremely tentative South Cadbury gateway on show. Whilst it naturally concentrates a lot on USA efforts (and their present day coalition allies). South Cadbury hillfort is the main site discussed here. More positively. In this instance we get all of this. this is difficult to tackle for postRoman British forts given the available evidence. Recommended. The walls themselves are only part of the overall picture. acronyms.99 This is a funny little book and a strange thing to attempt to review. In only 64 pages. ISBN 978-1-84603-497-8. so it seems appropriate that this title falls into the Shire Classics series.99 There are a number of things one expects from all Osprey publications and these include an attractive layout. most surprising. Delving into this book on one of my favourite subjects. “how on earth is this possible?” Well. but remember it is a starting point for further research. so was surprised to see his name on such a specialised subject as post-Roman British fortifications. which could be better but mixed up in the unit look okay. and in other places over-stated the available archaeological record. the author illustrates the advancement in military technology from the Stone Age to the nuclear age! You are now thinking. 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. well appointed images and photographs (when appropriate). via the Bow Street Runners. 40 page A5 paperback. but for a starting point in research projects it is a good buy. The spread of the topic over 90 years of history is. Richard Baber Zaloga is an examination of “. most of which are quite witty and some very clever too. RM British Forts in the Age of Arthur Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Robotic Air Warfare 1917-2007 New Vanguard 144. using Hadrian’s Wall as a northern cut-off. Shire Classics Shire Publications are a comforting presence that seem almost timeless. the beginnings of forensic science. I passed the book onto my tenyear-old. but I have picked up some useful snippets of information to go and research further about other sites (for example.. The geographical spread of fortifications raised my eyebrows. Caesar or Zvezda there is a high percentage chance of incredible work. The 48 pages are full of facts. this book isn’t as recommended as I’d have liked it to have been. 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. but sadly there’s no further information beyond a name check in this book). robotic aircraft are still in their infancy”. diagrams. the author does a good job of distinguishing the different types of fortification in a succinct manner. with fingerprinting. If this subject floats your boat then this is a good buy for you. Mike Siggins From Rocks to Rockets by William Gilkerson. and this is a re-print. Israeli and Soviets attempts into generating effective UAVs. perhaps. However. No change here. Dan Mersey The Victorian Policeman by Simon Dell. the plates do give a nice feel for how these fortifications might have looked. The book as described by by Angus Konstam. Although only a slim. to Peel’s Metropolitan reforms and ultimately the detectives of the 1880s.99 I know Angus Konstam for his excellent writing on maritime and piratical matters. and a reasonably helpful gazetteer of sites to visit.
Perhaps the production process makes this economical. The basic body dollies are much the same as the earlier legionary sets and repeat the three. A little bit. but also buildings. indeed required. The books under review are the latest in this very welcome development. like me. with a fifth in preparation. The key new components are the signature oval shields. and a brief bibliography suggests sources for further research. the Saga would deliver around 500 pages of fascinating information. which is 75p per figure. surely a unit as desired. You will now have some idea of the scale of this project. It is a clever device. There are some shield transfers (waterslide) which are strangely dull. The food at court must be very good. Of these. Importantly. Combined into a single binding. The chariot and ponies. This also makes for an engaging narrative. This is of course pretty much an essential centrepiece for your British army. grainy. this time from Brookhurst Press. there could be seven or eight volumes planned. some excellent line illustrations and photographs. As usual. to fit so much detail between the covers. almost uncomfortably so for older eyes. This one will set you back £15. they are very atmospheric and more than once I put the book down and imagined a . but given the current interest in Victorian sciencefiction and pulp games it may provide a few useful small details for gamers or figure makers. The Praetorians are twenty figures for £15. but then these are yer genuine elite troops. sieges. Mike Siggins Saga of the Samurai: Rise of the Takeda Solum and Rue. original. balanced by increasingly high prices – especially for command. are nicely done. we can be sure that the wider military hobby is considerably larger. which might appear slightly esoteric. Most are atmospheric. a very handy book for anyone with an interest in the subject. I’ll grant you. slightly stilted. but I think we can detect a wannabe. The book is rounded off by a list of museums that may be of interest. the books are well written. Not yet GW level. the latter are integrated into what are apparently completely new Warlord continue to make models of a high standard. especially if. and I found it portrayed an enlightening slice of Japanese history. and also suffer from the common sculptor’s inability to render female faces. but the book is profusely illustrated. and the highlight for Osprey fans – ten or so colour plates. Saga of the Samurai focuses on the Takeda family from the Kai province. colour diagrams and maps. familial struggles and a background to understand the honour and tradition of the samurai. equipment and elite figures. and fortunately we are provided with one per figure. Released at the same time we have Boadicea (another spelling will be along in a moment) in her chariot. for example the use and meaning of the horo. Rather than simply providing the old legionary sprues and adding shields and command on a separate sprue. This is an epic read. conversely. which has just made me cringe. which is certainly much better than the usual isolated sequence of battles. Each volume is approximately eighty pages. as the Black Watch or Rush’s Lancers. These figures are okay rather than inspirational. published by Brookhurst Press Given that we often discuss how big the wargaming hobby is. Overall. guv. Generally. and as it follows the fortunes of a specific family we discover unusual facts and an appealing new angle. you were brought up on local stories and have the London Bridge statue etched in your mind. Checking my handy Warlord Price Chart we find Legionaries at 57p. Odd. and form an excellent reference work.The text is fairly small. some of which are still visible today. emphasising the Takeda’s power base. The narrative flows smoothly and the details help to flesh out quite a substantial subject. 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. but in this case I recommend a look at some rival figures before you buy. each labelled as Praetorian. 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. poses which provide neither a uniform unit nor one where all figures look unique. Gary Hughs sprues. It certainly manages to support a number of specialist book publishers. Judging by the dates so far covered. The Saga currently comprises four volumes. the choice is yours and if you are committed to Warlord’s range then these new figures will be a no-brainer. The model is up to the task. it deserves a decent paint job. The format of each book is similar: a history covering a section of the family history (the first volume goes back to 1130. It does not take a genius to work out that metal figures are available for very little more. we know Osprey’s longevity and success well enough and it has been interesting to see various competitors emerging with innovative. As with most command models. and randomly emphasised episodes. black and white photographs. Chapters cover not only the Bow Street Runners and the Peelers. 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. gripping. but there are a number of line drawings and engravings. I have to say that occasionally I found a statement that differed from my previous readings. cheaper and often better works – most notably typified by H&C in Paris. At this point I have to say I guessed incorrectly last issue. and pictures adorn almost every page. via the Gempei Wars). but it will be interesting to check into this using other sources. without a convincing answer.
ISBN 978-1-85818-585-9 A welcome reprint of this wargames classic of 1974. Dave Thomas usually stocks these books at shows. 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. generously illustrated with relevant colour photos and very helpful in understanding how the original rules worked in practice. This is described in nice detail with several accounts of patrols and company-sized actions. with additional material by the author’s son. In a year of what looks to be significant activity in the publication of Napoleonic rules. but a merciful relief to the ventrally-challenged among us. it has been refreshing to revisit the roots of the genre. this is the only period in the whole book where Patton receives any criticism from the author. 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. when against all odds. all of which will prove enlightening to anyone gaming US forces in NW Europe. for anyone interested in the period the Saga is essential reading. The division began to arrive in France in July 1944 and were sent straight into the fighting in the Normandy Bocage. On re-reading the original. living day-to-day with the horror and humour of war. . Bilder. at times elusive but always entrancing. who dangles such appendages with gusto. this will come as a disappointment to our esteemed Editor. including the shocking revelation that the bouncestick and other artillery devices are no longer in use. very attractive in their own right. Mike Siggins Napoleonic Wargaming by Charles Grant. and this is interesting in itself. There then follows a tantalising glimpse into how the original developed into the versions still in use today. Arguably. covering day-to-day operations and small unit actions. The division was part of Patton’s Third Army and took part in the drive across France. it would not have been practical to detail his current rules. which resonates to this day. Always a popular title. The colour plates are also some of the best I have seen. material which might have engendered tedium in the hands of a lesser author.series of battles inspired by the stories. ISBN 978-1-932033-91-5. In fact. etc. The incidental illustrations are superb. and rival the best in the business. The additional material by C S Grant includes a Napoleonic replay of The Action (from The War Game). cold autumn and the fighting on the German border. 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. 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. the author goes to great pains to highlight Patton’s skill at command. but never quite attaining the status of The War Game. Partizan Press £25. not aggressive enough. or even on order from your local bookshop. as the baby flew out with the bathwater. After Metz. C S Grant explains convincingly how. Steve Gill by Michael C. 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. which of course was a disaster! What then followed was the wet. but one cannot help thinking that these would make an attractive subject A Footsoldier for Patton for a future publication. he also frequently is less than complimentary about Montgomery. 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. until mid-December. or you can source them from online retailers. Napoleonic players began to descend into a fascinating but exhausting immersion in data and national characteristics and. There is no better primer for this absorbing but demanding period. and with at least ten there is no skimping. there was a change in Allied strategy and Patton was forced to sit still whilst Montgomery tried Market Garden in Holland. The battles for the fortress town of Metz are also covered in fair detail. Bilder describes his life in the front line with an easy style. using all the cliché remarks – too slow. which was very interesting. Bilder with James G. C S Grant. I particularly like the line drawings. The author was a regular soldier. This book is a very good read. the Germans mounted their last major counter-offensive of the war in the west – the Ardennes. 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. Topping all that are the graphics. with several different versions in use. perhaps this book came to seem charmingly naïve. Casemate Publishing. Why? Many of the illustrations featured the collection of Peter Gilder. hb. but disconnected from the text. Overall. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Not long after publication. Reconstructing a viable set from this book requires some work but I found the process stimulating and rewarding. Perhaps we simply baulked at producing the 54-man battalions.
pondering Operation Sealion and those wretched Spitfires lurking across the Channel. I assume. In play. my Stukas seemed to be enjoying themselves. and it seems we are still perfecting it for. So. so I spread out a bit into Holland. By looking in detail into a series of related topics. and investigates the entire social. I had taken Warsaw and the Poles surrendered. alliances! It got a bit more difficult from that point onwards. So. In short. after an encirclement that surely would register ‘Genius’ on the Rommelometer. this is a quick overview and there is much more depth to . We are allowed access to strategic decisions. By his taking this one thread and following it from start to finish. economic and logistical structure behind the archer on the battlefield. the author talks candidly about his looting and the shooting of prisoners (by others in his unit). An enjoyable book. You may be pleased to know it is the sort of game where you can take as long as you like over your turn. apart from having very little space to manoeuvre. to find Richard Wadge’s work to be a balanced. Mmmm. because I went to a good school and I have done this sort of thing before. War in Europe. and helped keep the book an engaging read. Obviously. troop strengths and annual recruitment figures for campaigns. it is what I would call old school: very clean. It covers World War II in Europe. there is something in this book for anyone interested in wargaming the high middle ages. considered and wellresearched examination of the world of the archer in the Hundred Years War. not least through the link ups with Osprey and Field of Glory. To the East we have a decent chunk of Russia. but related essays. and makes the book easy to dip in and out of. Part two. I was under attack by the French air force. and it shows. pay and retirement prospects. An hour later I saved the game. navies and air forces. a willing market. viele Panzers. campaign booty is evaluated by what kind of house the returning archer might buy. 256pp When I first heard the title Arrowstorm I must confess to having felt some trepidation. and we all know what happens there. It is this approach. the increasing codification of military service through the various Assizes of Arms of the 13th Century. Axis & Allies. covers the men themselves. 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. logical controls. The depth of colour which he is able to bring to what could otherwise be a rather dry work is admirable. this is an epic hex and counter style boardgame – Third Reich. I despatched my U-Boats into the Atlantic to stem the tide of convoys supplying all and sundry. Still. from the extant records of the time to current academic research. of course. Bilder ended his war in Austria where he explains the rotation points system. production. you are the leader of a country. feed and upkeep. firmly bedded within the wider context of their times. I declared war on Belgium and piled across the border. Wadge is widely read. ISBN 978-1862273887. but kept the Kriegsmarine in port. logistical minutiae and international shipping figures for grand strategic grognards. Meanwhile I was building up new mechanised divisions and. The History Press Ltd. The map covers all of Europe.Bilder was part of Third Army’s drive to relieve Bastogne. equipment requirements. I think it is well known that Slitherine Software is tied into the hobby in various ways. The game covers the entire war. wondering if I was in for a book along the lines of “Longbows were the ultimate super weapon of their day”! I was delighted. with the book more as a series of standalone. or play the tutorial. Suddenly. rather than having to move the mouse around like a whirling Dervish. Richard Baber Arrowstorm: the World of the Archer in the Hundred Years War by Richard Wadge. Strategic movement shifted my armies across to the Western Front. The scope is impressive. “How and why men became military archers”. and quotes freely from various sources. and the rise of the practice of military indentures. and the bowyers’ part in the international arms trade. discipline and desertion. North Africa and even the North Atlantic – yes. in the widest sense. Really good. Wadge begins with the question “How were armies raised?” and then. Edward I’s development of Commissions of Array. he builds a book of chapters which stand in their own right. for instance – converted to the PC and so made playable in hours rather than weeks. Blimey. Someone high up in the Slitherine hierarchy is a wargamer. Part one. with much to recommend it to anyone interested in the war in NW Europe and the US infantry in particular on a personal level. There is depth. All went well. though there are scenarios should you wish to indulge. their recruitment. and easy to get into but difficult to master. he is able to draw a coherent picture of the archer’s world. how he avoided staying in the army and managed to get home to be married. but it is not swamped with detail. simple graphics. Arrowstorm offers the wargamer a great deal of inspiration for any Hundred Years War project. before then crossing the Rhine and taking part in the encirclement of the Ruhr. Wadge takes 1300-1550 as his timeframe. Throughout the book. It also has plenty of staying power – there are literally hours of gaming value here. you will need to run/sink convoys and Lend Lease plays a role. Information on pay rates is given context by information on purchasing power. campaign conditions. he follows the development in recruitment practices through the whole period of his study. and small company strength breakdowns for skirmish games. but is always honest and meticulous in his accreditation. Names. therefore. I refuse to read the manual. 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. World in Flames. Twenty minutes later. “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. what do we get? Essentially. declarations of war. Counters represent entire armies. Excellent stuff. starting with the roots in the Fyrd system. In the first part of the book. which I found particularly appealing. technology development and production queues. I choose Germany in 1939.
but is the work of an established rules writer.50 This neat but modest 32 page softcover has glided across the Atlantic and in under the radar with little fanfare and hype. before they both turn to the infantry and foot artillery in the same pattern. each counter can be clicked to show all sorts of interesting statistics. The purpose of the pa became purely military. The British did work out how to deal with pas. not too taxing. often on a hilltop. Steve Gill Maori Fortifications Warfare in the Age of Napoleon by Tod Kershner. incidentally). but without dominating. A quietly competent set likely to be overshadowed by flashier product emerging this year. For those worried about boardgame infection. you can also turn the hexes off. which are very good indeed. No ground scale is advised. with a French battalion portrayed by four bases each of six figures in three ranks. Back then. Burton . however. Movement is alternate. 2009 ISBN 978 1 84603 370 4 During my first visit to New Zealand a couple of years ago.be discovered. Yet it was there. Rifle pits were added outside the stockade to slow down attackers. There are no photos of games in by Ian Knight and Adam Hook. Osprey deserve congratulations for publishing a book on a subject that is far from mainstream. 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. Now we have a book from Ian Knight. Choosing your production priorities is a game in itself. The arrivals of firearms led to a revision of pa construction – men waving spears on a fighting stage were easy targets. It is. 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. was often pyrrhic as a pa always had an escape route through which the Maori could slip away to build another pa somewhere else. who is to Victorian military history what South Island is to sauvignon blanc. I have to say I was a little disappointed not to find much in the way of Osprey artwork within the game. even if I won’t type it all in again. that the then Honourable Arthur Wellesley forged his career and his reputation as ‘the sepoy general’. more time in fact than he spent in the Peninsula. Anyone wishing to model a pa will find all the information they need together with inspirational artwork by Adam Hook. as this is billed as a major feature. which gives some indication. the author is at pains to emphasise that no rigid basing system is to be imposed. but I can’t find it! Perhaps it refers to the cute little icons. photos and contemporary watercolours (which are particular interesting and atmospheric). As is commonly the case nowadays. 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. with some interesting ideas and mechanisms. British and Prussians. not least in the 1:30 unit sizes. but highly enjoyable for that. but it is disappointing that his formative years. but only at the end of a long and bloody road. Wellington’s Campaigns in India provides a significant contribution to our understanding of those campaigns and Wellington’s part in them. if achieved. a problem not solved until towards the end of the wars when heavier artillery became available. one is left with the impression of a coherent and well-balanced set of rules. plus a pull-out quick play guide. Without the opportunity to playtest. The book is well illustrated with diagrams. Giles Allison Wellington’s Campaigns in India by Major R G Burton. It may be there. how it was constructed and the role it played in the New Zealand Wars of the 1840s-60s. author of the popular Warfare In The Age of Reason and Pig Wars. particularly on public transport. On Military Matters $22. It is not a modified Age of Reason. and very quick to learn. For instance. But then I have found that seeing how many different ways you can pronounce “Titokawaru” and “Ruapekepeka” is a fun game to play. as they used to say. it is the lack of any Maori pronunciation guide. I had no idea what a pa was. whilst firing steps and trenches were prepared inside. Caliver Books £17. Victory. Mike Siggins action but a generous sprinkling of diagrams and examples of play. followed by the loser. with the players dicing for initiative in a familiar manner. Allies join you and your enemies. I was barely halfway through before I started looking to see who makes suitable figures (Eureka Miniatures. The army lists have a similar 1815 bias. but later found out that it was some kind of Maori fortified camp. In short. If I have one criticism. 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 recommend MHC:EAWG. that explains in detail what a pa was. this is a real gamer’s game. You can research technologies that will help you in combat. Two scenarios are provided – La Haye Sainte and Quatre Bras. and a middling level of complexity. I had an excellent red wine from a vineyard called Bridge Pa. Whilst the author is a popular authority in this general field. but with the interesting variant that the winner moves cavalry and horse artillery first. have received relatively scant coverage. featuring the French. between 1797 and 1805. highly intuitive and great fun. Osprey Publishing. 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. which was protected by a number of ditches and palisades with ‘fighting stages’ on towers placed at regular intervals around the perimeter. The pa began as a fortified village. so existing collections in a variety of scales and sizes can be deployed. which can easily replace the dull counters. 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. but musket long range is 6”. Enjoyable. while the British have the same in two ranks and the Austrians and later Prussians three by three. It is all quite broad brush. Highly recommended. national characteristics are of some significance. particularly in India.
I eventually forced myself to delete the game. They are what drew me in originally. I will talk about the campaign detail briefly. this is a massive improvement and I could spend the rest of the review listing all the changes. Unfortunately. and a truly impressive upgrade on the previous incarnations of Total War. the orders of battle. The book provides an extremely useful chronology of Wellington’s time in India. thank you. because I needed to regain my friends. and there are zoomable graphical vignettes all over. 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. many aspects (armour. It reflects on Wellington’s failed night attack before the fall of Seringapatam. This detailed account was first published over one hundred years after the events it recounts. the diplomacy seems to be more solid and believable. the book is reproduced without maps and the reader will benefit from having one to hand. economy. It also covers his successes including. Wellington’s Campaigns in India is very good value at £11. Finally. Each ‘impulse’ represents just a . 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. and became a noted military historian. Although these rules appear complex. but standard artillery seems quite deadly enough. There are men in tricornes on my screen. Even if you thought the original game weak. It has an appeal that goes beyond a narrow interest in the campaigns in India and is highly recommended.99. But most of us. by the Division of the Chief of Staff of the Intelligence Branch of the Army in 1908. They are even forming square. random and largely unplayable (like me!). but if you like the fun. and trying very hard to keep my brave and expensive troops alive. These have taken on a new aspect – wholesale carnage! My first battle was bloody. my resistance has failed again. My downfall was the Medieval II edition and many. it is possible that the later versions may well have drawn you in. because now it seems that everything has more detail. and its rolling. you must get this game. and his resolve as a result never to attack at night without previous reconnaissance. They are firing artillery. The game generally is a little sluggish on my machine. This is a must for anybody with an interest either in these campaigns or in Wellington’s formative years. It started almost a decade ago and has improved inexorably with each iteration. Assaye. £16. It is now brought fully into the public domain by Lancer Publications in a beautifully produced book. I thought it was an anomaly and put it down to inexperience. There is a common refrain amongst writers. I found basic infantry combat a relatively easy. enjoy the 3D battles. loose. of course. its campaigns. as in history. 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. Time has not yet permitted me to investigate yet another new feature: 3D naval battles. then brace that credit card. many informative footnotes and nine extremely interesting and varied appendices. cockades and tactics are important. Unless you have problems with real time play or dodgy historicity. Wellington’s recorded concerns about the licentious soldiery and their plunder are a foretaste of his views on his soldiers in the Peninsula. Lovely. that the economy is more credible. These look amazing. for official use only. But suffice to say everything is better and. so I will have to see if the naval module fells it! This is a superb release. But who should buy? Stay your hand if you are a man for whom exact uniform colour. It gives details of the battles. Even so. not all historical. everything works pretty well. The second one was far worse. at the time of writing. Empire: Total War moves us on to the 18th century. importantly.99 I can’t help but admire the scholarship that has been poured into this 144page tome designed to cover squad level infantry combat. mumble. a major in the 94th (Russell’s) Infantry. which is about three years behind the cutting edge. Mike Siggins Soldat II Skirmish rules 1900-1955 by Tim Goodlett. there is now research. They are facing cavalry charges. perhaps from Jac Weller’s Wellington in India. which might have halted his career were it not that he was the brother of the Governor General. Now. 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. SMPress. surely a strong favourite among readers of this magazine. But one gets used to them. and the remnants of my army took an awfully long time to rebuild. or the rather powerful academic spies. pseudo history of Total War. information on the Indian forces. require a lot of processing power. Perhaps. and the AI is now much tougher.was. Charles Grant and re-building my empires. I won’t. I am lost. I found myself learning new tactics. also known as the Scotch Brigade. There are decent sieges. chaotic battles. Mumble. but as you might imagine. I assume. Produced in hardback with 175 pages. One might raise an eyebrow at The Rake that one can send off to extract the enemy’s secrets. and they add to the period flavour. many hours were spent fighting battles and building rightfully expect an upgrade when we buy a new series game. 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.
or not! 54 pages cover the rules and a further 20 pages national. so readers can easily follow the events and see the early successes of the AK expanding their area of control. The black and white production is more than adequate and at just over £1. Goliath demolition ROVs. well considered. 30 – 100 figures per side are recommended. The ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ tabletop environment is a defining concept in the system. Real time is allocated to spotting and players are required to refrain from walking around the table during the game. as well as providing a good solid historical analysis of the events. The book doesn’t shy away from the atrocities that took place in the 60-odd days of the Rising. which add greatly to the gaming experience. which you will either love (for the ‘being there’ quality it brings to the game). As far as painting an AK force is concerned. rather than relying on blinds for concealment. the implication being that the more true-to-scale your terrain. 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. Tim Beresford Commonwealth Skirmish Scenarios: WW2 ETO 1940 – 1945 by Andy Turlington. Figures can be physically hidden within the model landscape. with weapons like the Polish-produced sten-like SMGs. The scenarios are varied but principally cover the fighting in France during the summer of 1944. of course. ’42 and ’45. Smaller sized models can be used. Tactics such as the German use of Polish human shields will certainly challenge anyone wanting to game the Rising in its entirety. ’41. £14. Crucially. and photographs of Polish equipment provide the information a gamer would need to field a force on the table. the illustrations. It is also mentioned that the AK usually summarily shot any SS prisoners. an Order of Battle for both the Polish and German sides and thumbnail biographies of some of the key commanders. although scenarios are included for 6’ x 4’ and smaller playing areas which most gamers should be able to manage at home. Rules are recommended for play on a 12’ x 6’ table (representing just 250 x 500 yards of real estate) using 20mm figures.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. Tim Beresford Warsaw 1944: Poland’s Bid for Freedom by Robert Forczyk.000+ in Warsaw. but not all other sets. particularly given the reported rise in popularity at conventions States-side. 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.00 per scenario.few seconds of real time and forces you to choose your tactics accordingly. My overall feeling is of a very solid. Thoroughly recommended. It is even possible to have a Polish armoured force using captured tanks and half-tracks against German defenders. All are designed for a 10’ x 6’ table using 20mm figures but may.000. A periscope and/or a laser alignment tool are recommended by the author for the advanced sighting rules. such as Karl mortars. Black and white images of varying quality add a sense of history to the publication. the (nearly) day by day narrative of the fighting is backed up by numerous maps of the areas being described. 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. illustrated by Peter Dennis. Martin Penneck . there are plenty of actions that could be brought to the tabletop – both Polish and German attacks. the author quite readily acknowledges that the 14 scenarios presented here may be used for any WW2 skirmish rules. However.99 Although ostensibly published as a supplement to the Soldat II system. A conversion table is provided to cover many. although this is not a lavish or glossy book. represents good value for your money. Games typically feature one or two platoons per player plus supporting armour where appropriate. The total number of civilian deaths resulting from the Rising is claimed at being over 200. 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. the 30. precisely written product that is well worth a look. the resources that the Wehrmacht put in suppressing the uprising including the specialised equipment brought to bear on the AK positions. and Brummbars. a thought-provoking book that will give wargamers many scenario ideas. SMPress. but also in actions such as the capture of the PAST Building telephone exchange. Extensive AFV data tables and ten WW2 scenarios complete the package. a detailed OOB and a deployment map for each side are included. company level. 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. Umpire’s notes. The £17 price tag is very reasonable – everything you need to play is covered by this one volume. 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. organisations and tactics. be adjusted accordingly for other sizes of models. An umpire is recommended for ambush games where the figures aren’t initially placed on the table. Osprey Campaign 205 This book offers a narrative of the Warsaw Uprising of August to October of 1944. In conclusion. 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. The quality of this black and white production is reasonably good and more than adequate for wargames rules. the more satisfying this aspect will be. Four others are included for actions set in 1940. It also shows the ingenuity of the AK forces. plus a look at the political plan behind the AK (Armia Krajowa) offensive.
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. ISBN 978-1-84603-433-6. Pacific Theatre by Donald Nijboer. The wonderfully evocative artist’s impression. ‘belltop’ shakos (covered and full dess). but one that suggests an enlightening read. The text plots the development of each aircraft. albeit in its naval configuration – the Seafire – and the Zero-sen. anyone sufficiently dabhanded at conversions could do some sanding. kolpacks and the shako rouleau. With their Wars of the Roses plastics due out first. we wait with bated breath! Henry Hyde Seafire vs A6M Zero. the subject matter only really crackles and bursts into . £12. However. Due to hit the shops early next year. assessing and directly contrasting the merits and tactics of each design. 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. has already served as the catalyst for such a project! Three-view colour profiles of each aircraft are also included and provide useful. scraping and Green Stuff sculpting to substitute the shabraque of their choice. a pair of archetypal fighters of WW2. if basic. of course. Alan Perry informs me that they may come in two different sets. but also because of the myriad possibilities that they offer.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. a ghostly image of a successful Seafire sortie. 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. Their entwined story is concluded by a strategic and tactical overview of their deployment. 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. In this respect. The horses are all equipped with a sheepskin with the classic dogtoothed edge but again. Perhaps an off-beat combo. Bodies are split at the waist to allow the choice of either full dress breeches or campaign overalls. 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 instance. Similarly Duel presents two opposing war machines. The head types included in the box(es) will include mirlitons. 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. The chap sporting that magnificent mirliton could. During a recent visit to Nottingham for the weekend of the Partizan show. guides for your model painting. depending on the technical conundrum of sprue capacity.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. defining the particular model variations and the training of their pilots before bringing them together in an analysis of their relative combat capabilities. that the low-level advantages of the Seafire over the Zero were best realised. not just because of the superlative quality of the sculpting. Osprey Publishing Duel 16. the Spitfire.
with regimental name-changing to rival the French Young Guard and uniforms evolving from season to season.50 per volume In the world of Napoleonic uniforms. Freikorps & New Regiments 1813-1840 ISBN 978-1-85818-584-2 by Dr Stephen Summerfield. C. Partizan Press.I. usable from Saxony in 1813 to Belgium two years later. La Mancha Guerillas and Merino’s Lancers. a Portuguese division and the Cristino Spanish forces? Opposite them were Carlists wearing their distinctive berets. the Cabrera Guides. Although the content is interesting. and stuffed full of the material that every wargamer craves. and rounded off with some lovely eye candy of those Perry Miniatures we came in with. in such an attractive format. 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. and is physically easy to read. there is no subject more complex than the rapidly-mobilised Prussian infantry of the Befreiungskrieg. including an historical overview. 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 intriguing Spanish civil war from the mid-19th century may have had you Googling and scratching your head. over Tokyo Bay. but who can resist the temptations of a conflict where a substantial British Auxiliary Legion in Spanish pay (including red coated infantry. re-published by an Casemate. though to be fair to the publisher. £29. stop searching. 104pp. flags. 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. It includes portrait pictures of the individuals it describes (apart from . I’ve found inspiration for my own gaming within these pages. 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. 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. The causes of the war were somewhat complex. Tim Beresford useful. Steve Gill Prussian Infantry 1808-1840 Vol 1 Line & Guard 1808-1814 ISBN 978-1-85818-583-5 Vol 2 Jager. Reserve. Highly recommended. if not terribly comprehensive and potentially useful to the wargamer. both of whom gave a possible insight into Wellington’s period of life and campaigns in India. that remains significantly more engaging and rewarding. At £59 for the pair. It is nonetheless uplifting to be able to greet publications of such impressive quality. an examination of the course of the war in different parts of Spain. covering as it does the more fluid activities of the ‘second eleven’. This is especially true when considered alongside the companion series. Engaging. Henry Hyde by Conrad Cairns. has large.E. 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. because this little gem of a book is packed with everything you are ever likely to need to know about the Carlist Wars. lancers. Perry Miniatures Publications. well-spaced print. I’ve come to expect better value than this slim volume ultimately delivers. Aircraft of the Aces. informative. only to find that precious little reference material exists out there for the gamer seeking not only to understand the conflict. at some point. so I suggest that this particular book and the Duel series in general are worth a look. most of us will be content to field a variety of model battalions characteristic of the later Prussian army. if one could afford only one of the two. but also to paint up those pretty miniatures. with wonderfully evocative names like the Guipuzcoans. This standardsized hardback book. Sepoy Generals – Wellington to Roberts by G W Forrest. with the added blessing of further material by Bob Marrion in a characteristically evocative style. 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 edition was published in 2008 but Sepoy Generals was in fact first published in 1901. the illustrations draw heavily on the work of Knötel and Bauer especially. details of the forces involved including excellent uniform reference illustrations and paintings by Michael Perry.life in the last few pages describing the final air fighting of WW2. and with some of the snazziest troops you are ever likely to encounter. artillery and Royal Marines) fought alongside the French Foreign Legion (with its own squadrons of Polish Lancers). this would be no trivial investment. this is a no-brainer for anyone interested in having a go at this underrated period. Not surprisingly. then perhaps volume 2 could be the most The First Carlist War 1833-1840: a Military History and uniform Guide Well. there was relatively little combat recorded between these two aircraft to draw on as source material. Lancer Publications ISBN: 978-098153780-1 Having thoroughly enjoyed the historical fiction of Bernard Cornwell and Simon Scarrow. £15. and reassuring to know that the information is now readily accessible. In spite of the shortcomings mentioned. descriptions of key battles together with the orders of battle and useful ‘3D’ maps.
Italy Koblenz. It also did the same for the other generals. as such. both in. files. I might surmise. TX Lancaster. UK AND IRELAND 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 EUROPE Warsaw. The author.tyndall@ntlworld. Recommended. Germany NORTH AMERICA Plano. Each chapter is well-populated with footnotes further detailing references illustrating the text and includes information from throughout each general’s career. After a useful and interesting preface which sets the individuals in place and gives further references the author used to describe them. and Field-Marshal Lord Roberts. allowing you to read through a particular general. LA REST OF THE WORLD Sylvania Heights. The English style. it can be picked up. being the exdirector of records for the Government of India. only hindered occasionally by lists of names of those individuals accompanying the particular general. To that end. but I found it pleasant. had access to ancient files in the archives at Bombay. as one would expect.Wellington who only rates a picture of his bust). Australia 16th August Southern Battle Gamers Winter Historical Competition For further details and updates please see the Newark Irregulars site at www. MO Indianapolis. Sir Herbert B Edwardes.and outside India. most important in a work of reference. Did the book fill out my fictional brief on Wellington? Yes it did. 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. If you are an event organiser and wish to ensure that your show is listed here. the book lays out a series of biographical military essays on each of the Generals. Sir William Lockhart. put down and restarted later. more flowery than one is used to (especially in contemporary quotes).com. Sir Charles Napier. TX Hazelwood. Madras and Calcutta [sic]. well written and. but no campaign or battle maps. IN New Orleans. please contact Richard at richard. I thoroughly enjoyed it and with its format. Poland Stockholm. Sir David Bard.org.newarkirregulars. dated and. but also illustrating the courage of the period and the rise of the British Empire. Sir Donald Stewart. 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. General John Jacob. generally a good read. PA Austin. Sweden Rome. that may be now either lost or difficult to find by contemporary writers.uk . These are: The Duke of Wellington. Sir Thomas Munro. 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. is rather jingoistic.
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