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A selection of articles from
issues 1-18, packed with the kind
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ideas our readers say they love
about Battlegames!
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
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elieve me, there have been
times when I didnt think
Id make it into double
gures 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.
Tis is perhaps harder to dene, but our subscribers are
quick to tell me that they enjoy the very dierent avour
of my publication to the other wargaming periodicals.
Each of the others has their merits, of course, and
reect the approach to the hobby of their Editors and
production teams and it just so happens that I read
all of them myself! So whats dierent about mine?
Firstly, Im a writer, so the content of my magazine reects
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 hobbys
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. Te Recce section is often the rst section our
regular readers turn to, and I have included an example here.
Ive also been a graphic designer for nearly 20
years, and Im 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, Im 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. Im just grateful and relieved!
that so far, thousands of others have enjoyed my choices.
Of course, I hope that you will too.
Editorial Contents
Cover: Te Scots Greys charge at Waterloo during a magnicent 28mm game
staged by Loughton Strike Force at Salute 2008. Te game won Best of Show
and maintained the clubs reputation for staging superlative demonstrations.
Editorial 2
Te Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal 3
Support the charity that cares for veterans suering from PTSD
Issue 1 Wargaming: how it all began 4
Don Featherstone, UK
Issue 2 Game day protocols 8
Bill Protz, USA
Issue 3 A project too far, part I 10
Phil Olley, UK
Issue 4 Te art of bad generalship 14
Robert Piepenbrink, USA
Issue 5 Table top teaser: trouble on Treasure Island 16
C. S. Grant, UK
Issue 6 Te Wars of the Faltenian Succession part VI 19
Henry Hyde, UK
Issue 7 A brush with musketeers 22
Dave Robotham, UK
Issue 8 Race to the Rhine part 1 25
Barry Hilton, UK
Issue 9 Quickdraw 30
Andy Sykes, UK
Issue 10 Kriegsspiel rides again 36
Richard Clarke, UK
Issue 11 Forward observer 40
Mike Siggins, UK
Issue 12 Battles for wargamers: Trautenau 1866 43
Stuart Asquith, UK
Issue 13 Computer cartography for wargamers 48
Tyler Provick, Canada
Issue 14 Figure piracy: scourge of the hobby? 53
Bob Barnetson, Canada
Issue 15 To boldly go 57
Roger Smith, UK
Issue 16 Tally ho! 60
Tim Beresford, UK
Issue 17 Have you seen my Neil Diamond CD? 67
Diane Sutherland, UK
Issue 18 Recce 70
Products and services reviewed by our team
Te Battlegames shop 81
Te place to order your subscription and much more
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Battlegames 3
A o1v ruom 1nv Fo:1ou
Tis special edition is completely free to download, but
please spend a couple of minutes reading this message,
in support of the work of Combat Stress, the only charity
entirely dedicated to helping our ex-services personnel who
have been psychologically injured through active service.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a growing problem
for our ex-service men and women. Over the last four
years, there has been a 66% increase in the number
of new Veterans seeking help from Combat Stress.
Some can suer the eects almost immediately,
but for many, it may be years, even decades later
that the horrors of their involvement in a conict
can hit home, aecting not only themselves, but
of course their family and friends as well.
Psychological casualties form, perhaps, the majority of
overall casualty numbers, but are given the least resources to
be treated and remain the least well understood. On average,
Veterans contact Combat Stress 14 years after leaving
the Armed Services. Many are in a desperate situation
and a large proportion have started to self-medicate with
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level of future demand from those involved in recent
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numbers of Veterans is likely to utterly swamp the system
and overload the charitys already modest resources.
In addition, the increased use of the Territorial Army
and other reservists means that suerers could easily
be sitting next to you in your place of work or standing
next to you in a supermarket. Tey are men and women,
young and old, who risked everything to serve the
causes our governments have dictated: to serve us.
So, wnn1 tn wv oo
First of all, we can help the charity immediately by donating.
It doesnt matter if you can only aord a Dollar, a Pound or
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Secondly, we can spread the word. Its amazing
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And nally, you can of course decide to help
raise funds for the cause yourself. If you think
you could help in this way, then contact:
Josephine Grace
Fundraising Department
Combat Stress Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society
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Please mention the Battlegames Combat
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How 1o oon1v
Donate online at
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You can also send a cheque made payable to
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Te Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal
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Please do not make cheques for this
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Every single penny of your donation will
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Your support is greatly appreciated. Together,
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Te Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal
If you enjoy this special issue, then please help rebuild veterans lives
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
argaming, that bloodless
but inspiring military
preoccupation, has caused
the years to pass so rapidly that often I
ask myself, what on earth would I have
done with my life if I had not discovered
wargaming? Certainly, there would be
a grave shortage of warm and humorous
memories, an undoubted dearth of good
friends and acquaintances, and an existence
far less full and colourful than has been
the case. Counting childhood oor games
with Britains 54mm soldiers and not
cheating by including those years when,
in uniform, I participated in the greatest
wargame of them all, I have been ghting
battles with model soldiers for more than
three-quarters of my life. Looking back
on it all, undoubtedly the pioneer days
of more than 50 years ago were the most
interesting, yet the greatest stimulus
occurred some 25 years before that and
it is doubtful if todays wargamers can
ever achieve anything so exciting and
momentous as those schoolboy discoveries
in the local library when rst encountering
H.G. Wells classic book Little
Wars, and Robert Louis Stevensons
Yallobelly Times, later immortalized
by Lloyd Osbournes Stevenson at
Play, rst published in Scribners
Magazine in December 1898.
Tese two great British writers
were a pair of eternal boys who,
back in the misty realms of
nostalgically peaceful days more
than 100 years ago, pioneered
games of battles with model
soldiers, controlled by ingenious
rules to which practically every
set of rules since conceived owes
something. Quickly realising that
Wells had answered most of my
miniature battleeld problems,
his book became my Bible: the
immense thrill of discovering it
perhaps only matched by that of
later years when I realised there
was another sex called girls and
that they were dierent to boys.
At the time, I did not realise that
these literary eorts represented,
so far as I am concerned,
classical contributions to the art of
remaining young despite ones years!
No longer did my armies of Britains
54mm soldiers mill around on the oor
in semi-purposeless conict. Now the
Battle of Hooks Farm was fought, rst
to Wells rules and then, for the rst
time, I began adapting and amending
someone elses rules to suit my own
temperament and inclinations. Tat
rst 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 rst discovering the book Little
wars. Tis occurred at the same time as
I encountered my very rst 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 rst four copies of this wonderful
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
day! Such enthusiasm might be hard to
imagine now, but both Tony and I became
increasingly restless as the time came
round for our copies of Wargames Digest
to fall through the letterbox and phones
rang between us anxiously enquiring
if there was any news. Even today, re-
reading those tattered old magazines is
both stimulating and helpful, many of
the ideas and suggestions put forward
by its worldwide handful of wargaming
subscribers continue to hold merit.
As the hobby got into its stride, other
journals began to appear and it is an
interesting reection that there were
as many purely wargaming magazines
circulating in those days as exist today.
When Jack Scruby ceased producing
Wargames Digest from America, Tony
Bath and I coedited it in this country, while
Jack put out another journal Tabletop
Talk. Ten came my own Wargamers
Newsletter, beginning in April 1962 and
published regularly each month without
a single omission for 18 years until, in
January 1980, when it was being
published by Tradition of London,
it fell victim to rising costs of
production and inadequate
support from the people for
whom it was written. It is an
indication of changing attitudes
that, in the early days, the majority
of wargamers supported these
magazines by both subscribing
to them and contributing regular
articles some of them being
the truly classical literature of
the hobby (remember At the
Colonels Table?). But later,
when there came rushing into
the hobby enthusiasts lacking the
traditional background, there was
a marked disinclination to spend
cash on anything but actual model
soldiers! My own son represented
this group he never once read
a copy of Wargamers Newsletter
nor a single one of my many
published wargaming books!
At rst, the very scarcity of
fellow wargamers only the
Wargaming: how it all began
Fond memories of the early days of the modern hobby
by Donald Featherone
Te late Jack Scruby of California, veteran American wargamer
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
most fortunate possessed a local
opponent made friends of us
all, so that men from many walks
of life and of all conceivable types
and temperaments gladly gave
advice by letter or telephone,
loaned books, and made models
for the less skilful. When a
gathering was planned, every one
of the known wargamers broke
blood vessels to be present and,
at the very rst ever Wargames
Convention held in my house
(luckily, a large Victorian one
then) in Southampton in about
1960, I think every known
wargamer (except Ed Saunders
from Taunton, who was a bit of a
loner) attended. Some travelled down from
Yorkshire, others from the West Country,
the late Charles Grant Snr. came from
Kent, and others from London, to compete
in a Pairs Wargame Championship when
Stan Aspinall from Hudderseld and myself
defeated Charlie Grant and Bill Mell in
the nal. It was marked by the presence
of one of the real veteran wargamers,
who had been ghting tabletop battles
before World War Two evidently they
paid o, because Brigadier Peter Young
DSO, MC, etc., became a world-famous
commando leader and perhaps Britains
most decorated soldier of the Second
World War. I had read of him and here he
was, wargaming on my table and eating in
my house. Oh, what a glow it all produced!
Te following year, we branched out and
held a small convention at a local hotel.
About 20 came, including Ted Suren (later
of Willie gures); David Chandler; Peter
Young; the late Charles Grant and his son
(now a Brigadier and contributor to this
magazine); plus about four of us in the area.
Te talks were good and informative, the
wargaming stimulating; the social features
included a recreation of Wells famous
Battle of Hooks Farm, using photographs
from his book Little Wars on an overhead
projector, while a background narrative was
read from the book. From what was learned
here originated the rst ever National
Wargames Championships Conventions,
where a silver salver presented by Airx
Productions Ltd was fought for and,
I believe, is still the trophy annually
contested. In point of fact, that salver was
placed in my custody and I suppose legally
this is still the case I wonder who has
it now? Anyway, this aair 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
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). Te London
Wargames Club won the trophy and the
custom originated of the winners hosting
the following years Championships.
A most stimulating practice that holds
nostalgic memories was the way the few
existing wargamers travelled up and
down Britain to stay with each other for
wargaming weekends. Because only a lucky
few had so far found local opponents, these
visits represented the only real personal
contact with others of like interests,
often men who had been at it longer, or
possessed specic talents so that talking
to them usually revolutionised ones whole
approach to the hobby. Visiting or having
a guest kindled enthusiasm resembling
those of supporters of Manchester
United. For weeks we corresponded and
exchanged maps, plans and details of the
forthcoming battle; although we worked
on the principle that it was fought under
the hosts house rules, often they were
amended by mutual consent to suit the
conict we had in mind. Tis was necessary
because it was absolutely essential that that
particular wargame should be a success,
that it should not op or fall short of our
expectations and rarely did they!
On the appointed day, one set o
to drive to some distant place 500
miles round-trips in a weekend were
commonplace! Our army was carefully
packed in a protective case, if it was to
be a challenge game between his and
your forces, although I always found
it stimulating to play with the hosts
armies, for a change. Tis was particularly
applicable when visiting the late Charles
Grant, who had large numbers of troops
and a ne large table in a
huge attic at the top of his
gracious house in Dover.
As I write, I can still sense the
excitement, the glow of pleasure
at those wonderful weekends,
when we wargamed and argued
with Charles and his son, with
Peter Young at his house near
the Royal Military College at
Camberley, where he headed
the History Department. He
was noted for his huge table, so
large that it was not physically
possible to reach the middle, so
there was a hatch which opened
up in the centre of the table and
troops moved thus. I can picture
Peters round, white-moustached face
appearing like a pantomime demon from
beneath the table, and one had to watch
out for his sharp practice of disturbing
formations and replacing them to his
opponents invariable disadvantage!
Brigadier Young was a benevolent
autocrat who liked to win and amid his
ploys was the use of frequent drinks to
bemuse his opponents; it seemed the rules
were made up as the battle progressed,
invariably ton his advantage. One
occasion remains in my memory, when
he umpired a battle in which I fought a
pair of Territorial Army lads, who stood
to attention whenever addressed by Peter.
Unfortunately, my lack of similar deference
seemed to fuel the umpires venom towards
me and my protests were met with a bland:
If you wish to appeal, make it in an ocial
manner. On each and every occasion,
the answer was: Appeal dismissed! Carry
on as before! It was a large and very
impressive wargame, using vast quantities
of terrain materials, etc., borrowed from
Sandhurst, with a cunning narrative that
forced me to employ half my 18th century
army rescuing the Captain-Generals
mistress from a castle behind enemy
lines and escorting her coach to safety!
One of the most gifted of the early
wargamers was Ed Saunders, whose
enthusiasm knew no bounds. So much so
that, desiring a wargames room and not
having one in his small Taunton house,
he burrowed beneath the foundations to
dig a subterranean cavern with earthen
walls entered by a hole hacked in the
house brickwork at ground level! Fighting
down there was an indication of what it
must have been like to be buried alive!
Here I fought on the rst sandtable of
my acquaintance, that led to me making
one for myself, but they take a long time
to set up and gures get lost in the sand,
Don wargaming with Brigadier Peter Young
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
so that machine-gunners of long-past
battles tend to tun up in the middle
of an Ancient or Napoleonic aair.
At this time, an amusing incident
occurred when another colourful character,
Bill Gunson, built himself a sandtable.
Home on leave from Kuwait where he
was in the oil business, Bill rented a house
on the seafront at a little Welsh village
near Portmadoc and promptly annexed a
rst-oor bedroom as a wargames room.
Knocking together a sturdy timber table,
he and a helper, using a bucket and a
long rope, drew up countless buckets of
sand from the beach below and heaped
it onto the table, until ceasing wearily for
lunch in the room below. Midway through
the meal, the ceiling above began to sag
through the weight of the table and its
nine-inch depth of sand. Hastily thrown
from the window whence it had arrived,
the sand returned to the beach much more
quickly and easily than it had come up!
What can be classed as one of
wargamings legends occurred in that
house, when Bill entertained Peter Gilder
from Norfolk, Gibb McCall (a crime writer
on the Manchester Daily Mail) and myself
from Southampton. Driving about 275
miles to that place, I was conscripted into
a tabletop battle within minutes of arrival
and was desperately trying to keep awake
at about 3 a.m. when it was still going on.
Bemused by fatigue and the complexity of
the rules, cravenly I sought my
bed by recklessly throwing my
entire army into a suicidal ank
attack that I hoped would end the
game the crazy rules ensured
that I did, and we won! Next
day there was an acrimonious
rules discussion after breakfast
before beginning the huge battle
planned, with Bills hundreds
of Hinton Hunt Napoleonics,
plus those of Peter Gilder, who
partnered me against Bill and
Gibb McCall. After many hours
of inconclusive combat, Bill
charged our Light Division (some
150 riemen), snugly ring from
behind a stone wall, with about
400 French cavalry but alas, his
judgement of distance was at fault
and he ended up with hordes of
cuirassiers, chasseurs, lancers, dragoons
and hussars about half an inch from the
wall. Subsequently, when he announced
that they were mleing our riemen, Peter
and I howled with derision and pointed
out that they had not reached the target.
Tis did not deter Bill, who claimed they
were leaning over their horses heads,
slashing at us with sabres arousing even
more laughter. Unfortunately, it was all
too much for Bill, who glared at us before
rmly grasping the table and tipping it up
so that soldiers, houses, trees, roads, rivers
and so on and so forth, cascaded down
upon peter and I in what we claim must be
the only occasion when wargamers have
literally been ankle-deep in model soldiers!
I always enjoyed wargaming against
the late Peter Gilder, a shrewd general
who deployed superbly modelled and
painted armies on the most breathtaking
terrain. For many years, when he lived in
Norfolk, we had an annual wargaming
date after I had done a stint of lecturing
athletics coaches at Loughborough
and made my devious way home via
his house. Te rst of them was a large
American Civil War game, using Airx
gures but, as it was before they issued
their range for that war, Peter had done
some amazing conversions on hundreds
of quite dierent types. A feature of the
game was a magnicent terrain piece
about two feet square a harbour and
surrounding hills. I praised it and, with
typical generosity, Peter presented it to
me. I still use it and it has featured in
illustrations in some of my books. Always
open-handed, Peter gave, or sold to me
at ridiculously low prices, a number of
his beautifully painted regiments which
remain among my most favoured units.
Perhaps wargamers still visit each
other for enjoyable weekends, but it is
doubtful their trips mean as much to
them as ours did to us, when there were
so few wargamers in the country that
we all knew each other! More than just
wargames, these occasions gave us heart
to soldier on in our own lonely way, in the
face of diculties, discouragement and
often downright sneering. Te drive home
was made bearable by minds brimming
over with new ideas for improving our
armies, our terrain, our rules and the
hobby in general; and in bed that night,
sleep came slowly despite fatigue, as our
overworked minds mulled over tactical
mistakes, controversial rule interpretations
and plans for the next meeting.
It could be that the sole common factor
existing between those far-gone days and
the present is the time one needs to take
up with the hobby, because it truly seems
that todays wargamer only needs sucient
nancial resources and he can build up
wonderful armies of any scale, period and
type. Early wargamers fought their battles
with an astonishing variety of gures and
armies, few alike in any shape or form, the
only basic resemblance being their small
scale and even so, we were often forced to
mix gures of dierent sizes in somewhat
grotesque arrays. In the very beginning,
it was medieval battles using Tony Baths
54mm gures, a scale used by few today,
although Ken Brooks, a President of the
Wessex Military Society in the late 1970s,
carried out thoughtful tactical exercises
with exquisitely converted and painted
54mm Napoleonics and British colonials.
Of course, Mike Blake, Ian Colwill and
the late Steve Curtis brought a completely
new dimension to those large-scale gures,
converting them astonishingly
for their stimulating Individual
Skirmish Wargames even sexy
saloon girls emerged from a team
of Airx 1:32 scale footballers!
We battled with whatever we
could buy, swop or make and one
wonders how many of todays
wargamers actually make their
own gures. In the beginning,
we slaved over hot stoves more
often than our wives, only
we were dangerously casting
otherwise unobtainable gures
in molten metal. Tere was an
immense satisfaction on prising
from the mould a pristine silver
casting, tempered somewhat
on surveying the surrounding
of ash that we knew had to be
laboriously led away before
the gure could be painted. Most of us
made moulds out of Plaster of Paris (this
was before the boon of Silastomer) that
rapidly degenerated and crumbled so that
each successive casting bore an increased
halo of surplus metal or ash. Attempts
to patch the mould seldom worked. Te
more skilled also made their own original
Te rst ever wargames convention, Southampton 1959
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
gures to be used as the master gure
for making the mould. All of us wore our
ngers to the bone ling away ash...
My collection included models of
long-gone makers. S.A.E. (Swedish
African Engineers), were the very rst
soldiers I ever bought. I purchased the
entire stock of the local shop, rescuing
them from his cellar because no-one was
interested in them. Tese were 30mm
gures designed by a renowned
Swedish designer, Holger
Eriksson, and manufactured
rst in Ireland, then in Madeira,
and nally in South Africa.
Fortunately for the hobby, the
range has been rescued by Peter
Johnstone of Spencer Smith,
and are available again today.
Tere were beautiful colonials
by American Tom Cox, and
o-beat types by George van
Tubergen, alongside masterpieces
by Charlie Stadden, Jack Scruby,
Hinton Hunt, Ted Suren (Willie
range), cheek-by-jowl with more
modern oerings by Minigs,
Hinchlie, Lamming, Dixon,
plus a vast host of painted and
converted plastic gures by Airx
in HO/OO scale and in 30mm by
Spencer Smith (cast nowadays in pewter).
Tose plastics have a very special place
in my aections because discovering
them probably kept me in the hobby at
a time when my collecting had come to
a full stop simply because there were no
viable sources of supply, which seems
inconceivable nowadays! Collecting
S.A.E. gures was dicult because their
shipments were so rare and no system
prevailed, so that one had to take pot luck
with their sole British agent in Brighton.
Te only other known source was Jack
Scruby in California, who only had facilities
to turn out relatively limited numbers
of gures, so that delivery times were
lengthy, whilst Customs Duty on these
imported toys added greatly to their cost.
I did not fancy the at gures beloved of
Tony Bath, Archie Cass and the Bantocks
all veteran wargamers with enormous
numbers of German-made ats, being
singularly adept at making moulds and
casting their own! So, when I heard of these
cheap (they still are, even in metal) 30mm
gures obtainable from a newsagents in
a London suburb, I hastened there and
once again bought up a shops entire stock
at less than one old penny each! I found I
had a mixed collection of American Civil
War types, Seven Years War infantry
and some WW2 British, Americans and
Germans; very few were cavalry. Soon, I
discovered the true beauty of these gures
they could be dramatically converted
into something quite dierent with
ridiculous ease, using a razor blade and
building up with Plasticene painted with
nail varnish. It was not long before they all
became either Federals or Confederates!
Ten I discovered the address of their
actual maker and made the acquaintance
of Ronald Spencer-Smith, at that time a
travelling salesman for Britains Ltd, which
caused transactions in his side-line to be
carried out in the greatest secrecy! Needing
cavalry, I persuaded him to make a mould
using the S.A.E. Prussian Uhlan, but had
to guarantee purchasing 1,000 of them!
I sold 500 or so, and converted the rest
into lancers of all nations and periods,
natives (turbans are easy to make and
all-concealing!), Napoleonic dragoons,
chasseurs, hussars, British cavalry of the
Victorian era, etc. All of them remained in
my collection for decades, although a trie
battered through the passing of time and
a freezing winter when the chill wargames
room caused the plastic to become
brittle, resulting in many breakages.
[Te Editor winces in sympathy: Ive had
many casualties to brittle plastic too.]
I do not suppose it applies now, but in
earlier days the initial reaction to seeing
any new gure was, what will it convert
into? and we searched out models in
back-street shops and transformed them
into whatever we needed. It seemed that
the major part of any conversion was the
headdress: change a helmet and you had
a completely dierent soldier! Converting
was a compulsive practice and some highly
esoteric productions were achieved, such
as the S.A.E. WW2 pilots with bulky
parachutes on their backs, who, with
much ling, moulding of Plasticene and
soldering, emerged as Bavarian standard-
bearers for my Franco-Prussian War army!
To this day, I wargame in much the
same spirit, rarely buying in any quantity
the plentiful and excellent ranges of ready-
made commercial gures now available.
Te heterogeneous armies on my shelves
were born through whim and enthusiasm,
stimulated by a purely personal
preference of not reproducing
any particular historical battle
or campaign except with the
correct armies. As I have
always found new fascinations
when reading military history,
this has resulted in having
to assemble fresh armies for
each new period of interest,
on reection it usually worked
out that a few hours battling
in the new period involved
months of work assembling the
armies! To do this, a system was
evolved revolving around TV
programmes: I painted up an
entire Seven Years War set-up
watching World Cup football;
the Olympic Games resulted in
the arrival of American, British
and German airborne divisions, about
3,000 gures; and my medieval families
(a concept something between normal
wargaming and individual skirmishing
with a detailed narrative scenario)
was spawned via a rigid ruling that I
was allowed to paint on Saturday and
Sunday evenings while watching TV.
When I write a sheer nostalgic article
like this, one lays oneself open to the
charge of living in the past, of hectoring
todays wargamers with the claim that
it was better in the Old Days. Tese
words are not written in that spirit at
all: they revive happy memories that will
never return, thrilling and stimulating
days made even more colourful by
nostalgia and the imagination.
Todays wargamers will, over the course
of the years, have their own memories and
dreams, will fondly recall incidents and
events as I do. It is hoped that they will
experience something of the stimulation
that motivated past generations of
wargamers, because everyone needs
encouragement and help, fostered by
advice, competition and imitation, so
that they will nd their wargaming to be
immensely enlivened by personal contacts.
No doubt it is easier now to be a
wargamer, and that is no crime but
possibly it aint so much fun!
Don with the late Peter Gilder, ghting their rst ever wargame in Peters
house at Scredington, Suolk, in the mid 1960s. Te piece of terrain so
generously given to Don by Peter is in the centre of the picture.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Game day protocols
30 suggestions for more satisfying wargames
by Bill Protz
e didnt reach a decision AGAIN! Too much
time was lost processing game turns and Max
left early. Tere were other reasons too. I wish
we could have played a few more turns. Tats all we needed
for a more satisfying game. We must do better but how?
Te lamentation above is not uncommon. To deeply regret
lost opportunities of truncated war-games is a rst step. Te
next is to identify all gremlins. Finally we must minimize or
send them routing unralliable to the rear. Te time we spend
researching and raising our tabletop forces is enormous
compared to the much shorter time actually wargaming.
Terefore, it is important to introduce economies and
eciencies so battlegame
day is more productive and
Te critical dynamic
is playing enough turns.
Several things inuence
this, such as concise rules,
rules knowledge, skill,
planning, playing time,
basing systems, number of
miniatures and participants,
readiness, habits, health
and distractions. If these
are imbalanced, playing a
desirable number of turns to
conclusively declare winners
and losers or determine a
draw is jeopardized. In order
to maximize precious and
eeting time, we can call on
many remedies. Lets do that
now, starting in the fortnight before the big day.
Several duties ought to commence and end in the days or
weeks preceding the day of battle. Tese will help make it the
best it can be. Gratifying satisfactions are also to be derived
from such solitary activity. One might imagine being at
headquarters making preparations for the army to march and
ght. Its fun to study maps, organize forces, make plans, issue
orders and carefully draw dispositions on a map. Te key is
to get certain things done ahead of time so not one minute is
wasted doing them when miniatures and friends are waiting
for you. To do so maximizes the number of turns possible. To
do otherwise, in some cases, is poor form.
1. Agree about terrain.
2. Design the scenario and force sizes.
3. Agree victory conditions.
4. Send detailed maps and a game schedule to all players.
5. Discuss plans with your companions.
6. Draw up your order of battle
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.
10. Host sets up the table. Ask friends to bring loaner terrain
items, if needed.
11. Stop painting and basing miniatures at least a couple of
days before the game.
12. Relax, study the rules more and get appropriate sleep the
night before.
13. Obtain food and beverages, if applicable.
14. Load your vehicle the night before, if travelling with tons
of miniatures, etc.
Painting and basing something new in the few days or
hours before the next wargame is well known to many of
us. Tis often acts as an incentive, spurring us on. Giddy up!
Paint more! Recently, for
the rst time, I intentionally
stopped painting in the
week preceding the Seven
Years War Association
Convention this March.
My last brushstroke was
the previous Saturday. I
deliberately planned it
that way to more easily
accomplish most of the
duties above. For probably
the rst time, I was not
hurtling to the nish line at
the gallop. It helped me do
a better job as a game host.
I was more relaxed. Perhaps
the previous suggestions
will help as you awaken on
the day itself.
Te alarm clock sounds. You arise composed because of earlier
preparation. All you need to do is shower, dress, eat, take care
of dear ones and later get to the game table, wherever it is.
You have done many things to save a lot of time that would
otherwise be lost just before Turn 1.
Yet in spite of earlier xes, the prospect of new ways to waste
time still looms. Antidotes are available for these too. Tere
is probably a time limit to set-up, play, have companionable
banter, reach a decision, repack miniatures and have a post-
game chat. But what if set-up lasts longer than it should?
Lets not let it, shall we? Te important thing is to use time
economically to get to Turn 1 more quickly and have more
fun. What can we do before the game starts?
16. Arrive punctually and follow the hosts schedule.
17. Remove or unplug the television. It is a distraction if
friends love sports programs.
18. Provide time for Show and Tell plus charming chitchat.
19. Ocers Call to review and revise plans, dispositions and
orders for each force.
Protocol 29: Artillery is historically deployed in front of its supporting
Swedish 30 Years War troops. Start Turn 1 this way to avoid movement,
unlimbering and loading time. Photo: Liz Olley
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
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 benets, but consumes a lot
of time. Since saving time is the raison dtre of this article, we
should consider a means to maximize it. Te 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 benet 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 12
Division are grass green while
those of the 26
Division are light green. Tings are much
easier this way and more time ecient 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 awed.
Te 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 1,500-
2,000 miniatures bringing these to a conclusion in seven to
nine turns on a 6x20 table. Game duration is around four
to ve hours. At the SYWA Convention mentioned earlier,
we played 11 turns, elding 1,800+ miniatures and reaching a
decisive conclusion in four hours with mostly novice players
a rst for us. My personal goal is to breach 10 turns every
time. Wish me luck, will you?
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 Ocial arrival time and more companionable
12:30 pm Ocers Call
12:45 pm Deploy from storage or carrying boxes directly
onto the battleeld
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 nd and organize them on
side tables. Later, these were moved a second time to appear
on the battleeld.
In other situations the same occurred, but we were further
delayed by having to choose a scenario. Tereafter terrain was
laid out followed by unit placement. Deployment consisted
of Side A placing one unit rst, 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. Tough 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.

Te game is afoot. Players are moving and ghting, turn after
turn, driving toward a decisive nish. Time wastage here loses
tactical opportunities and costs irreplaceable turns. A seven-
turn game might be reduced to ve. 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 identication.
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
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
When I re-read the rst 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 doesnt seem very
relaxing. And I agree it is a hobby. Yet so many people get
frustrated that they arent getting to nish armies or projects
that I oer these ideas to help make it even more enjoyable
and relaxing. If you want to just paint and collect and not plan
it, ne. Tats 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 nishing! As soon as you start feeling guilty about not
getting things nished 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. Im 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 dierent. 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!
OK, back to the project in hand. Deciding on the rst unit
does require some discipline. Yet too many people seem to
start a project by just doing a favourite unit or a command
base or vignette, only to nd that when it comes to getting the
big core units done, they cant keep going, and have moved on
to something else. Teres nothing wrong with itting around
from one period to another, and painting
each piece beautifully. After all,
its a hobby, and you should just
do what you like. But for a
real project, requiring the
painting of more than a
couple of units, it does pay
o if you can apply a little
discipline here.
For me, the special units and
vignettes will normally be
done at intervals during the
project, as a sort of reward
for doing the sensible thing
So, in the case of my Byzantine project, I
decided to start with a unit of Byzantine Heavy Infantry
because it would be the biggest unit initially, and getting
it done would break the back of the project.
Te Byzantine heavy infantry units combine two ranks of
spearmen and one rank of archers (I know WAB people will
say its 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 rst two ranks) and
nine archers (I may expand this later, but initially this seems
a decent size for a WAB infantry unit). Te spearmen are on
three bases, with the leader, standard and musician in the
central base. Te archers are three gures to a base, 25mm
x 50mm, along the back of the spearmen. I added another
ocer gure to this rank from the infantry command pack
as its more economical than having a lot of left-over archers
from having to buy two blister packs of eight in order to use
nine gures. I nd that there are many savings that can be
made if you plan these things before rushing o and ordering
the wrong gures!
Te 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 dierent colours
used in any mixing. Tis is especially important when you are
going to be doing similar, matching units later on.
Rather than completing the basing on each stand as I go, I only
do the basing when Ive 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.
Te cavalry units are 12 gure combined units, in two ranks
of six, with kontarion-armed gures in the front rank and
archers in the rear rank.
I nd that its important to get a sort of production line
going in these early stages of a project, so that as one unit is
nished and is being based up, the next
unit is being prepared for painting.
Tis means that while waiting for
the various stages in the basing to
dry, the next unit is also getting
ready for painting. It keeps
momentum up and stops
me going stale on
a project. So, as I
am going though
the stages of
basing that rst
infantry unit, the
rst cavalry unit
is all prepared,
u n d e r c o a t e d
and ready to see
serious paint
I start with
the front rank of
cavalry, painting
A project too far: part II
Concluding our advice on ecient wargames project management
by Phil Olley
Here comes the cavalry:
spear-armed milites from Crusader
Miniatures. Paint: Phil. Photo: Liz Olley
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
the six horses, then the six riders.
Once the whole of the front rank is
complete (including the leader
and standard bearer) the rear
rank of heavy cavalry archers is
done. I have added some bucklers
to the mounted archer gures
(spares from packs of Foundry
Huns!), and used LBM transfers
cut down to t these small
bucklers, so the rear rankers
match their kontarion
armed front rank.
I still have some issues
with the archers ring to
the side. However, I have
managed to stagger the
basing a little.
Te Crusader gures
were a breeze to paint, nicely
detailed and easy to get into all
the nooks and crannies. Te only
thing to watch is the girth of the horses
which is often too wide for the riders
and some ling of the anks of the horses is needed to allow
the riders to t snugly.
It is when I am part way through this unit that I decide its
time to order the next batch of gures. Again not too many,
but enough to do a couple of units.
Te other thing I like to keep a close eye on, as I have
intimated above, is when a project gets to the gameable
stage. In this case, the rst stage I want to reach is to assemble
a small force of around 1000 points (WAB). To my surprise
this will actually be fairly soon.
Whilst I am waiting for the next batch of gures to arrive,
and, having done the two core units, its time I treated myself
to a couple of vignettes, dont you think?
So, next up is a small vignette of a dismounted Norman
knight with a dead horse. Both gures were lying around
my unpainted cupboard. (Notice how I now admit this is a
cupboard, not just an unpainted box as I stated earlier!)
I have roped in some other gures that were hanging
around as generic Dark Age infantry (spears/javelins,
shields/bucklers) and simply re-based them. I can count them
as Tematic Byzantine psiloi/ skirmishers. Tey will do the
job until I replace them with more modern style gures (Tey
are over 25 years old, from the former Citadel Dark Ages
range, though I do think they t rather well, so who knows
if they will ever be replaced!). Te keen-eyed amongst you
may have spotted a couple of the GW Riders of Rohan gures
added to these skirmish units to make up the numbers its
amazing what can be found lying in the old unpainted boxes
in Warcabinet HQ!
In the same way, picking up a unit or two on a Bring and
Buy or eBay can get you to the point where you can get a game
going fairly early in the project. Tis is particularly important
when you are embarking on something completely new and
where you are unfamiliar with the rules. Its good to get an idea
of what works and what doesnt and how the rules play, so that
you can build up your forces with that knowledge in mind.
Its no good getting part way through a project to nd you
have way too few cavalry, or too many light infantry. Building
a balanced army will allow you to game more quickly.
As I mentioned, once I get a couple
of core units done, I like to paint
up a fun vignette or two, and
certainly its important for
me to get a commander onto
the tabletop as soon as I can
justify it! I enjoyed doing this
command vignette, which depicts
the general and the Army Standard
Bearer. I wanted to have a
section of old Roman road
on the base, and therefore
needed one of the horses
hooves to be ush to the
paving stones. Tis meant
slicing o the metal base from
the horse. Oooops! Accident,
and one horse ruined by a
break at the ankle. Emergency
repairs were fruitless. Searching
in my drawers of unpainted gures
I found a plastic Riders of Rohan
horse which was swiftly drafted in.
Tese are baseless, and have a handy plug on the bottom of
one hoof to attach to a hole drilled in the base. Te horse is
slightly smaller than the larger Crusader model, but I think it
looks okay. Te crucix at the top of the banner pole was taken
from a Foundry Conquistador monk, drilled out underneath
and slotted onto the pole.
WAB acionados will be up in arms that I have broken with
basing convention here: surely a vignette stand such as this is
unuseable in games? Surely the General and Army Standard
Bearer must be based separately?
Not in this army! I have decided that I want to alter some
of the WAB rules a little to reect what I want to represent
with this project, and I am happy to sacrice some WAB
gameability to aid aesthetics. I also think that having the
standard bearer with the army general is a far more accurate
depiction of ancient warfare, the standard being a very
prominent indicator of the position of the general on the
battleeld. I think it would be rare for an ancient general to
operate away from the armys most important banner. In fact,
normally the reason the banner is the most important one
in the army is that it indicates the generals presence. Ill still
apply the rules for both Army General and ASB in the games,
but the two will be physically inseparable on the battleeld.
...and it can be so dicult to stick to one thing. Im not talking
here about those projects where going any further would
mean a signicant deterioration in your personal relationships
on the grounds of nances being stretched, but rather those
armies where you have just run out of steam and feel you cant
continue. Tere does come a point in a project for everyone
where you think you could do with painting something else!
So how do you deal with the rst Painting Wall? First,
recognise that everyone has one and its often after a specic
amount of time on a project or a specic number of gures.
For me, the rst minor wall comes after 60 painting points of
a project (i.e. about 60 infantry, or 30 cavalry, etc.). Ten I hit
another after about six weeks of a project!
Phils controversial command stands. Oooh, errr a
general and his Army Standard on the same base?
Whatever next! Photo: Liz Olley
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Its really handy if you know (from experience) when you
are likely to encounter the Painting Wall, because then you
can prepare to beat it. Its purely psychological, of course.
1. Paint units for both sides. Having done gures for one side,
its handy to be able to switch to the other side for variety.
Choosing a project where armies can be allies or enemies
helps here, of course.
2. Have a small game if possible to rekindle enthusiasm, no
matter how small, even if its just a couple of units per side.
3. Do some terrain or make a small building. It can be
a good way of taking a break from painting gures but
maintaining momentum on a project. Do something which
you feel is needed and typical for the theatre of operations
that this project is going to portray. For example, when I did
my Renaissance Poles, after a couple of units of Cossacks/
Hussars/Pancerni, I painted and based up a Hovels building
to suit the period, and added a peasant gure. It made for a
nice break, and allowed me to create a set-up on my table to
keep the inspiration going.
4. Record your progress. Having a website for this purpose is
highly recommended. But if you havent got one, theres still no
reason why you cant take a few photos, and create a written
journal when building up your army. You can show this to your
wargaming pals, take it to the club, or even just keep it for
personal posterity. It all helps keep motivation going. As well
as being a useful progress record, such a journal is somewhere
you can take notes, make up army lists, put useful pictures,
maps, note useful reference works to get hold of, and generally
keep all your ideas together for the project. OK, it might sound
a bit like a fourth-form history project, but as someone who is
forever forgetting the name of that book I really ought to get
hold of , or that website with the really useful battle report
and map, and those wonderful pictures and so on, I know how
valuable such a project journal can be.
5. Beware of Painting Sirens! All over the Web you will nd
guys who paint beautiful gures. Tey paint them to display
standard, and for painting competitions. Tey sing out to
you from the deep recesses of the online wargaming world.
Tey show you their lovely work, and before you know it, you
want to copy something they have done, and lo and behold
your project hits the rocks! It is so easy to be distracted
into new periods when you see someone elses wonderful
work. People look at others painting and want to copy what
others are doing, rather than getting inspiration from it
to apply to their own work. When I look at other peoples
beautifully painted gures, I am inspired, not necessarily to
copy them and switch periods, but to improve my own style
for what Im doing. After all, most gure painting is the same
process, regardless of what it is you are painting! Preparing
a WW2 German unit for painting is the same as preparing
a Napoleonic French unit for painting, which is the same as
preparing an Imperial Roman unit for painting... And painting
a WW2 German Stormtroopers face is the same as painting
a Napoleonic French Fusiliers face, which is the same as
painting an Imperial Roman Legionarys face (apart from the
6. If the urge to paint something else is overwhelming and
unavoidable, just go and prep up another unit for the project
you are doing instead. It can also help if you have a prepared
gure where you can just decide to paint a face. Or if you
have seen a lovely shade of red on a Napoleonic infantrymans
tunic, see if you can create a similar red on an ocers cloak
for your chosen period, rather than switching periods totally.
Phils Byzantines with their Italo-Lombard allies defend a pass against Khazars (played by Mongols - a useful nomadic horde to have in the collection).
All gures painted by Phil Olley, photo by Liz Olley.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
And even then, if you just fancy a break take a break. Paint
something else. Like most things, painting is a habit, and if
you paint regularly you can always improve and practice new
7. Have a regular painting regime. Tis really helps because
its a habit thing. Whenever I am at home (i.e. not away on
business), I start painting at 7pm with Te Archers on in
the background, every evening. Whether I then paint for an
hour or three doesnt matter! Te association with a radio
programme or something like this that happens at the same
time every day creates a Pavlovs dog syndrome!
8. Have a permanent painting table or workspace laid out if
possible. Tis is very important, so that you can pick up your
brush immediately, rather than spending time getting set up.
No matter how small this space, keep your work area clear,
and have the next gures you are working on sitting on the
painting area ready for you to dress them.
9. Rekindle the original vision of the end of the project in your
mind. Picture what it is you are creating with this project,
and also have any inspiring photos available that got you
started on this particular project, e.g. pictures from wargames
magazines, or even gure catalogues/adverts, or websites.
10. Start to plan the next stage of the project in more detail
the next two or three units which are needed to make up a
nice balanced force?
As an example of how to keep the painting going, with
this Byzantine project, I decided to do some Normans and
Lombards to face up to the Byzantine military machine.
Initially, this will be a couple of small units of mounted knights,
plus some crossbowmen. Tey can be enemies or allies for the
Byzantines. So, at the rst sign that I was ready for a break, I
decided to switch and do an Italo-Lombard unit.
For the milites, I trusted some old reference material,
namely Ian Heaths excellent WRG publication Armies of
the Dark Ages plus the Osprey on Charlemagne that showed
some Lombards of 10th century, as well as the Osprey on
the Normans which has a nice plate of an early 11th century
Norman knight. My conclusions: most European knights
(milites) would look very similar, and so using Norman
milites with the addition of a few round shields, mixed with
the traditional kite shields, seems to t the bill. I have given
this unit throwing spears as opposed to lances which came
later (but with which Ill probably arm some of the Norman
allies). My idea is that this project represents the period
before the Normans became superheroes (or super-anti-
heroes, depending on your allegiance!). Given that lances were
probably adopted as a result of lessons learned from ghting
the Byzantines in Italy, it seems better to leave the Lombard
milites, and most of the Norman milites, without them and to
arm them with throwing spears/thrusting spears. And dont
get me started on WAB warhorse rules!
As for the commander of the Lombard forces, I could nd
no pictures of the rebel, Melus of Bari, so resorted to a spare
mounted gure from my Saxon command, gave him a kite
shield, added the inevitable Benedictine monk (from the
Foundry Conquistador range), plus a Norman knight holding
the army standard, and hey presto, a nice little vignette. (See
my comments above about command bases, Army generals,
Army standards, etc.)
And so to the crossbowmen. Tese are mercenary
Sergeants with crossbows and light armour under the
WAB rules.
I wanted to create a relatively small unit (the crossbows
being unlikely to be used in any great numbers just yet), with
the ability for them to count as light infantry and even be able
to skirmish as well. So, basing them was another compromise
between gameability and aesthetics, and I have opted for
40mm square bases with two gures on each. Tis allows me to
introduce some groundwork to the bases (without overdoing
it), and I guess I just dont want single-based gures for this
project! Based thus, they can act as normal infantry (the
frontage being the same as under normal WAB conventions),
and be in skirmish formation with the bases slightly apart.
Again, its a matter of personal preference and taste.
So there we have it, a gameable army in a month. Yes, just 30
days from the moment of deciding to do the project to having
a useful little force together. Okay, it needs to grow, and the
next step will be a unit of Varangian guards (cant resist),
plus another Byzantine Heavy cavalry unit. No doubt the
megalomaniac in me will want to keep expanding this force,
and there is the small matter of an opposing force to do So
further Normans and Italo-Lombard infantry are required. In
the meantime, with the Italo-Normans as allies, they make an
ample force to take on my nomadic hordes (a mixture of Huns
and Mongols) who I use as Khazars.
It often amazes me that people (particularly those who are
new to the hobby) may be put o getting stuck in because
they think they will need to have 300 gures per side to enjoy
a game. But Im sure you can see how a small project can be
developed from just a glint in the eye to being something
useable in a very short space of time, and with only a small
number of gures. I wish you the very best of luck.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Te art of bad generalship
Making decisions about decisions!
by Robert Piepenbrink
eve had a mild controversy going on in recent
years about the rules commonly inserted into
historical miniatures sets to reduce the eciency
of our miniature generals. Many of us object on principle
to such rules, feeling that the whole point of reghting the
Monongahelia is to prove that were brighter than Braddock,
and that when we want stupid generalship we can behave
stupidly on our own, thank you. Others point out that
commanding stupid subordinates isnt like commanding
smart ones, and that a general with a modern sta is not
in the same position as one with two aristocrats and a
son-in-law to receive and transmit his orders. Well, Ive
studied military history a long time and spent a LOT of
time on sta. And Id like to get my two bits worth in here.
First, and I say this every time, be very clear before
you begin what it is youre trying to do. Von Moltke
said that you might not be able to make up for bad
deployments in the whole course of a campaign. Well,
determining your objective is the deployment phase of
wargame rules writing. If you are vague or contradictory
here, it will show up in the subsequent rules.
Now, do you wish to represent the general, or do you
wish to represent his sta? It is not the same thing. Te
best example I can show is the Seven Days Battles of 1862
in the American Civil War. If you have a time machine and
wish to reverse the outcome of that war, forget Turtledoves
AK-47s in 1864. Go back to 1862 and give the Confederacy
50 good sta NCOs. Lee and Jackson will not be smarter
at Chancellorsville than they were during the Seven
Days but they will have stas capable of nding guides,
producing maps and keeping other headquarters informed,
things of which their stas evidently were not capable a
year earlier. Ney at Quatre Bras, on the other hand, has
a far larger and more professional sta than Frederick
the Great ever elded. See how much good it did him?
If you wish to represent the general himself, be prepared
to write out a rating for every individual who ever held, or
could have held, a command position on the battleelds
covered by your rules. And dont laugh: weve all seen it
done. If youre describing stas, throw away that entire chart,
and block one out concerned with nationality and command
level only. Ney and Davout had dierent stas to a degree,
yes; but not because Napoleon made them that way. Tey
were dierent because they were dierent marshals. And
the dierence between the stas of any two French corps
commanders of the Napoleonic wars is inconsequential next
to the dierence between them and a pre-Napoleonic sta.
Whether they claim to be doing one or the other,
most rules approach the problem in the same ways:
they reduce the number of orders a general can give
during a turn, they reduce his command radius and
they reduce the eect of his presence on the troops.
Now, what makes a bad general? Or rather, what
are the distinguishing traits of a bad general on the
battleeld? Do they actually give fewer orders? Not that
Ive noticed. Are they surrounded by fewer unkies so
they cant transmit orders as frequently or as far? Again,
I wouldnt say so. Are the troops less inspired by their
presence? Well, that sort of depends. If I had to pick a
general to inspire men for a desperate ght, John Bell
Hood and George Armstrong Custer might both make
the short list for the American Civil War, but neither
are commonly listed among the wars great generals.
I would say the following traits distinguish the ocers
youd really prefer not to be commanded by:
1. Ambiguous or contradictory orders
2. Bad scouting
3. Micromanagement
4. Tendency to forget units
5. Bad terrain selection
Obviously whether these can be represented
on a tabletop will depend on the rules used,
but I might suggest the following:
1. Ambiguous or contradictory orders: Cast a d6
when a unit receives orders from a bad general.
1-3: carried out as written.
4: movement orders are interpreted as meaning
a dierent terrain feature of the same type. Te
troops march on a village, say, but not the one
intended. If ordered to deploy, the right ank goes
where the left should have, or the reverse, moving
the unit one units frontage out of position.
5: Te unit commander cannot understand his
orders and requests clarication. No action taken.
6: Orders to advance are taken as withdrawal
orders, and retreat orders trigger an advance.
2. Bad scouting. If defending, the bad general has only
a fraction of the normal distance between himself
and the enemy at the start of play. If attacking,
his deployment is hindered, either by a shallower
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 Te Other Partizan 2006 featuring their new Great War Miniatures.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
deployment zone, or by having to march on and
then deploy. In any event, he is not told the re and
movement eect of any terrain feature until his men
are in contact with it. Sadistic umpires might wish to
consider making the bad general mark his deployment
on an inaccurate map before seeing the table.
3. Micromanagement. On a 1-3 the general is reasonably
sane. On a 4 he commands one level down, on a 5
two levels and on a 6 three levels, so that the corps
commander is giving orders to a battery of artillery or
a single cavalry squadron. (Tere might be a bias for a
particular branch of service here, so Bazaine winds up
siting guns as also a certain earlier French commander
who began his career in the artillery while certain
beau sabreurs such as Blcher... Well, you get the idea.)
4. Tendency to forget units. Roll to see whether the
bad general will remember he has certain units. Te
further they are from headquarters, the more likely
they are to be forgotten. Also, if they are attached
rather than assigned foreign auxilliaries, say, or an
extra battery from the corps reserve they are more
likely to miss the action.Once forgotten, a unit may
not be given orders unless a similar-size unit of the
same branch is taken out of play, though it will act to
defend itself, and will take part in any general retreat.
5. Poor terrain selection. Probably the easiest of the
lot to represent. Once both armies are deployed, the
umpire or the opposing player either add or remove
a piece of terrain from the bad generals area.
What, on the other hand, are the traits of a bad sta? Te
commanders intelligence sta tell him who hes facing.
In the horse and musket period, it wasnt likely to know
the density of a woods, say, but it should know good from
bad roads, and have a fair notion of the state of rivers. His
operations sta ensure that people are where the general
wants them, especially when theyre out of his sight. His
logisticians must ensure that his troops are fed, and have
the right ammunition. Now for the most part, this has some
feedback mechanisms, so it doesnt get too far out of line,
or it doesnt show up on the battleeld. But for a commander
given an inadequate sta, I would suggest the following:
1. Place the roads on the tabletop after the bad commander
has marked his map and given his rst orders. Dont tell
him how much trouble a body of water is until one of his
units reaches it perhaps not even until it tries to cross.
2. Tere should be a signicant possibility of o-board units
arriving late, at the wrong point, or perhaps not at all.
3. O-standard units should have a greater probability
of running low on ammunition. In armies of limited
artillery, there should be the possibility of NO suitable
ball or shell ammunition. Cannister can always be
improvised, but perhaps not double-shotted.
Now looked at this way, bad generalship and inadequate
stang are not the same. Jackson may never show
up at Malvern Heights, but Lee and Longstreet will
not abandon generalship to command squadrons or
batteries. Ney may forget he is a Marshal of France and
lead a cavalry charge but the superior Napoleonic sta
will go right on nding him maps, transmitting orders
and ensuring that all his units have ammunition.
One does, of course, sometimes nd a bad general with
an inadequate sta. In this case, suspend all command
or sta rules, pick the dumbest player in your group, and
consider suspending any no drinking during the game
rules. Or just skip that one: its either going to be ahistorical
or not much of a game anyway. After all, if we cant
improve on the 18th Century, why are we doing it again?
Good luck and good gaming.
Look out Major Hogan: supplies have been taken care of by the Dons
and Colonel bloody Simmerson. A right pile o paella thatll make.
Just one tiny scene from the amazing Spanish village diorama created by
Paul Darnell and Bill Gaskin at Te Other Partizan 2006 in Kelham Hall.
Are you sure the general wants us to stay here, sir? Tey aint howitzers!
Nervous 40mm Confederate infantry on a magnicent ACW display put on
by Ian Smith at Te Other Partizan 2005 using a host of converted gures.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Table top teaser
Christmas is a time for the family. Tat said, the more
enthusiastic wargamer will hope to nd a bit of what I
believe is now called quality time to do some wargaming.
Here is a scenario with a lighter touch, in which you could
quite easily, depending on how smooth a talker you are, get
other family members involved. Te Captain Jack Sparrow
and Pirates of the Caribbean option may help! Its origins can
be found in Scenarios for Wargames published in 1981 (yes,
it was a long time ago!) as Treasure Hunt. However, before
you stop reading because
you have no interest in
pirates, like other scenarios
it has changed somewhat
over the years and can cover
a wide range of periods.
Indeed, one side might be
marines rather than pirates
and as you will read later, I
have a non-pirate option.
So this version can be easily
be used in almost any period
for two similar-sized raiding
parties, even fantasy or sci-.
Te original scenario
was written with the intention of having a non-
playing umpire to arrange the clues and mechanics
of the game, and it will certainly help if this is the
case. Alternatively, the commander of the third force,
referred to later as the Green Force, can ll this rle.
Te island is only a small one, and occupies most of the
wargame table. Two landing bays are marked R (red) and
B (blue). Te island rises with a number of prominent
hills, on which the top contours reduce movement. In an
approximately central position on the island is a native
village, with a fordable stream running south to the broader
creek. A number of other features include several woods, a
cave, a wrecked ship, marshy area, a lone pine, a dead tree
and a boot-shaped lake. Only the umpire or Green Force
Commander, if he is the game organizer, may see the map,
so if your players have seen this article, make some changes!
Two parties of similar size (rival pirates, pirates and marines,
French and British, Greeks and Persians or whatever your
choice) are sent to the island to retrieve an appropriate
treasure. For a pirate scenario, it may simply be buried
treasure, but for other forces and periods it may be a
shipwrecked person or a precious item that has been lost.
Te rival landing parties will land at their respective bays
R or B in period 1. Tere is no requirement to provide
ships or boats unless you already have them. Each has
only a single clue to the location of the treasure. Each
group will quickly realize the presence of a rival and take
appropriate action. Similarly, the locals or natives (Green)
will take exception to the incursion and in an even-
handed way do their best to upset the invaders plans.
Blue has a unit of about 20 gures. Tey could be
buccaneers with a captain and lieutenant, a battalion of
infantry, or whatever is appropriate for the period.
A much-valued treasure
has been hidden on the
island. Blue force has
been sent to retrieve it.
To seize the treasure.
Coordinating Instructions
Blue forces land at B on
period 1 in two boats.
Tey have their rst
clue to the location of
the treasure which is:
Seek a second step 50
metres north of the Lone Pine. Te Lone Pine is marked
as lB on the master map and clearly visible on the table.
At this location a die is thrown when a gure has
arrived at the spot, to determine how quickly the clue is
located. A throw of 1 or 2 will mean it is found one period
later, 3 or 4 means two periods and 5 or 6 means in three
periods. At this point, the Blue player is given clue 2. Te
process continues until the treasure is found. All that
remains is to get the treasure back to the longboats.
Red has a unit of about 20 gures, similar to Blue.
A much-valued treasure has been hidden on the
island. Red force has been sent to retrieve it.
To seize the treasure.
Coordinating Instructions
Red force land at R on period 1 in two longboats.
Tey have their rst clue to the treasure which is:
Te toe of a wet boot starts the search.
Tis is the south-east end of a boot-shaped lake marked
Trouble on Treasure Island
by Brigadier (Retd) C.S. Grant OBE
Te Island is sighted a view of the magnicent Redoubt Enterprises pirate
ship. Ships and boats are not needed in the scenario but if you have them
aunt them! Photos by the author.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
as 1R on the master map.
Similar dice throwing to that
already described for Blue
is required to determine
how long it takes to nd
the next clue. Te process
continues until the treasure
is found. All that remains
is to get the treasure
back to the longboats.
15 natives of the
appropriate period,
poorly-armed and lacking
discipline, are based at the village.
To destroy any intruders on the island.
Coordinating Instructions
Green force does not know of the existence of the treasure
or its signicance. All that concerns him is the destruction
of intruders. In period 1, he starts in his village, but it can
be assumed that he will know of the intruders via bush
telegraph by period 4 unless, of course, they are already
visible by line of sight from the village. He can then move
as he sees t. He is not capable of a concerted attack, but
can harass and pick o the buccaneers by operating in small
groups. Green forces cannot be reasoned with (but Red and
Blue commanders do not know that, and may decide to try).
Set out the table as shown, including the Green force in
the village. Only the umpire (or Green Commander if
acting in that capacity) has a marked map. Te Red and
Blue players only have their rst clues and landing areas.
Red and Blue forces land on period 1 and make
their way to the objective of the rst clue, where
they will nd their second clues as follows:
Blue clue 2
Step three will be found in the centre of the diamond.
Te diamond is, of course, the wood so shaped, and their
third clue is in the centre in a small clearing marked 2B
on the master map. Once
again, a dice is thrown when
a gure reaches the spot
to determine how long it
takes to nd the next clue.
Red Clue 2
A dead tree will lead to the
next step. Te dead tree in
question is on the north-east
edge of the wood that lies
north of the boot-shaped
lake. It is marked 2R on the
master map and this is where
they will nd their third clue.
As for blue, a dice is thrown
when a gure reaches the
spot to determine how long
it takes to nd the next clue.
From now on the locations
of the clues are the same for
both sides. Te remaining
clues are as follows:
Clue three
Seek the next step to
the treasure in a cave
close to the creek.
Clue four
Painted on the
inside of the cave is a picture, crudely executed, of a
wrecked ship with a cross marked under the prow.
Tese are marked at 3 and 4 on the umpires map. Tis
last clue is, in fact, the location of the treasure, buried
under the wrecked ships prow well up on the sandy
beach, and once again it will take time to nd it.
Te game unfolds as both sides move towards
a clash, perhaps in the area of the cave, while the
natives will undoubtedly do their worst.
Either Red or Blue can win by nding the treasure
and getting it back to the boats and o the island with
whatever is left of that sides raiding party. If neither
Red nor Blue achieves this, then Green has won.
Tis light-hearted scenario is only an outline and can
easily be developed with the use of maps, more clues
or other perils to beset the buccaneers. Te umpire/
organizer should feel free to improvise new rules,
hazards and minor bonuses to keep up the excitement.
Some of the pictures show British and French 25mm
Willie gures of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.
Tey stand ready in my collection for a more ambitious
project, broadly encapsulated in the title of Island Hopping.
At some stage in the future, I intend to use these and others
that are being built up, alongside the native inhabitants, to
conduct a ctitious mini-campaign in the West Indies.
Finally, despite the hope that this will provide some
Christmas entertainment,
I have resisted the
temptation to elaborate on
the Christmas theme in
the scenario description.
However, feel free to rename
the island Christmas Island,
the rival crews from the
good ships Santa Clause and
Wenchy-Las with Captain
Rudolph and Captain
Michael Mass! Just make
sure that you do not end up
providing the locals with
their Christmas pudding!
Good hunting.
French and British island raiders engage each other. Te gures are Willie
gures by the late Ted Suren, and still available from Spencer Smith.
Designed almost 40 years ago, they stand the test of time and have a special
quality about them.
Te local occupants (Green Force) prepare to give their unwelcome visitors
a warm reception. Foundry gures from the authors collection.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Battlegames 25
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
his aspect of creating a ctitious war is the one
that, I suspect, is most often fudged by wargamers.
After all, once youve gone to all the trouble of
drawing up maps, naming all those towns, villages, rivers
and mountain ranges, youll probably just want to get on
with the campaign and having the occasional tabletop
game. Whats the best way to achieve that? you ask
yourself, as you cast your eyes over your existing collection
of gures. I know! you say, Ive already got an army of
Prussians and another of Austrians from the Seven Years
War, so Ill just pretend that theyre the armies of Schlitz-
Drumhausen and Te Electorate of Nieder-Schimmelsitz.
Now, in all honesty, there can be no major objection
to this, and I am aware of many gamers who do just that.
A brief visit to the Old School Wargaming Yahoo group
will reveal all sorts of folks popping up to announce the
latest goings-on in the Grand Duchy of Stollen, or Hesse-
Seewald, or the Duchy of Alzheim (the 18th century
seems to dominate the ctitious wars scene). On closer
examination of the photos on view, however, one can often
discern the unmistakeable bearing of Prussian grenadiers
or the French of King Louis or some other historical realm.
Te logic is impeccable: these folk enjoy their
fantastical forays and ctitious fripperies, but most of
the time, theyre facing opponents who want to game
on rmly historical footings in the Wars of the Austrian
Succession or the Seven Years War or whatever.
Another aspect to consider, of course, is that
modern miniatures are generally scupted with
such uncanny accuracy in terms of uniforms and
accoutrements that it almost seems sacrilege to paint
them in anything but their historical colours.
We also shouldnt overlook the fact that 25/28mm
metal miniatures these days arent cheap: at an average
of 1 for infantry and 2 per cavalry gure, it takes a
bold gamer indeed to decide not to paint them as the
historical unit they were sculpted to represent.
And nally, it would not be unreasonable for someone
to question whether its worthwhile inventing all those
imaginary uniforms when history provides us with a myriad
examples of military costume so fantastical as to border
on the ctitious anyway the 18th and 19th centuries in
particular can lay claim to some of the most extraordinary
outts that a man was ever expected to ght in.
Te Wars of the Faltenian Succession
Part VI: creating your ctitious armies
by Henry Hyde
A spread from the Editors campaign diary showing the birth of Prunklands army for gaming with WRG rules. At this stage, distinctions were kept simple.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Well, these are all perfectly reasonable things for
people to propose, which may well prove that I am,
indeed, completely mad to have gone to the lengths that
I have, so lets address them, perhaps in reverse order.
First of all, the uniforms. As it happens, I was so inspired
by the sight of historical uniforms that I wanted to invent
my own. Perhaps I should have become a fashion designer
rather than a graphic
designer, but the
thought of creating
the look of an army (or
multiple armies, as it
turned out) that would
result in something
entirely unique
provided tremendous
As it happens, my
own sense of decorum
meant that what I
imagined inevitably
resembled historical
nations Prunklands
regiments wear a white
coat with coloured
facings, so take your
pick, be it France,
Austria, Saxony and
a number of other
smaller states. If Id
chosen dark blue,
then Prussia would
be the immediate
comparison; red, the
British; green, and
Russia is inevitably
brought to mind. So
what you are left with
are the details: the
combinations of facing
colours, lace, piping,
buttons, gaiters and
the heraldry of the
battleeld, each units
regimental colours.
Now, in my
experience, wargamers and re-enactors devour this stu,
and we ll our shelves with the kind of reference works that
tell us precisely what the minute dierences were between
the uniform of regiment A compared to regiment B. My
own current project painting British Napoleonic gures
has reminded me of just how subtle the distinctions can be,
with umpteen units with identical blue or yellow facings
but the buttons are in ones/twos/threes or the lace has
this subtle zigzaggy line running through it or the buttons
are brass/silver and... You get the general idea, Im sure.
When creating the army of a ctitious nation, just
bear in mind that your miniature men will be the rst
to tell you that theyre proud of the fact that their cap
badge is worn just so, or that the buttons on their gaiters
are silver, not brass, or that they have such-and-such
a battle honour on their colours which is paraded on
the third Tuesday of every October through the village
of Zwetschkendatcherl in commemoration of the day
when Captain Hinundzu saved the regimental colour
by hiding it in a dung heap. Tis stu is absolutely real:
just look at the fuss being made as the British Army goes
through yet another batch of regimental amalgamations
at this very moment. God, as they say, is in the details.
Let me just say that there is nothing whatsoever to stop
you creating apparel
for your armies that
is not what would
generally be thought
of as military.
I remember, in
particular, American
gamer Otto Schmidts
armies serving the
beautiful Princess
Trixie, some of
whom were, if I recall
correctly, dressed in
bright pink with lime
green facings. Such
regimentals would, if
nothing else, induce
a state of shock and,
perhaps, disorder,
in the ranks of their
enemies! Its your
army, so whatever
oats your boat...
If your campaign
does not reside in
the realms of history
in any way, and is
a straightforward
fantasy or sci-
setting, then of course
you can let rip with
your tailoring as you
see t. It is interesting
to note, however, that
all the best-known
works from these
genres generally
attempt to appear
realistic in some way,
or at least plausible. Te lengths to which Peter Jackson and
his team went during the making of the Lord of the Rings
movies in order to create the right look were extraordinary:
subtle variations in weapons and armoury and shield designs
according to where the character came from, experiments
with dierent cloths and natural dyes, the architecture and
artefacts of each race given the same time and resources,
you bet this is precisely what Id be doing for the Wars of
the Faltenian Succession! (Deep, gravelly voice: Coming
soon to a screen near you, the king who bore the pride of
a nation, the queen who held the hopes of her people, and
the prince torn by the bitter rivalry that divided them...)
In short, then, those of us who invent uniforms do so
because we love doing it and it can be very satisfying in itself.
Lets look now, then, at the cost of assembling a
ctitious army. To be sure, if youre going to build a force
to rival Napoleons Grande Arme in 28mm pewter, then
Another extract from the Editors diary, this time four campaign years and a change of
handwriting later. Doing illustrations forces you to think about the smaller details.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
youd better have a limitless cheque book and a spare
decade or two. But this doesnt have to be the case.
When I rst embarked on this project, I was inspired
by Charles Grants Te War Game and the hosts of
plastic Spencer Smith miniatures that marched across his
wargames table. In those days, you could buy a bag of 80
infantry or 30 cavalry for just a couple of pounds. Sadly,
they are no longer made in plastic, but thanks to the work
of Peter Johnstone, Spencer Smith is still very much in
business, though now casting these same gures in metal.
At an average of jut 35p for an infantryman and 95p for
cavalry, these still represent great value for money for the
gamer looking to embark on a ctitious campaign. And
the latest news is that Peter even has new ranges arriving
that are perfect for the general of ctitious armies.
Every toy shop in the high street contains other
alternatives of course in the form of boxes of plastic
gures, generally in 1:72 scale (20mm) and the range
available is phenomenal. Te Airx company many of
us recall with fondness from our youth has been beset
by nancial troubles over the years, but keen collectors
can still nd boxes of Waterloo Cuirassiers and British
Commandos tucked away in the dusty corners of small
shops or, more readily, on eBay, though at a premium.
Tese days, names like HT, Italeri, Strelets and Zvezda
make the market for plastic gures sound very exotic
indeed. So strong is the demand for these gures that there
is an excellent website dedicated entirely to reviewing
the latest releases: see
At just a few pounds a box, these represent great value
not only for those of us building ctitious armies, but as a
way into the hobby generally, though the drawback is that
if you want disciplined-looking battalions all in the same
pose, youll need to buy a lot of boxes as they typically
come with around 40 gures in a variety of positions.
But plastic isnt the only alternative. With 2mm,
6mm, 10mm and 15mm gures in production, many of
which are incredible little creations, the per-gure cost
can be astonishingly low. I have to confess that, over
the years, I have bought the armies of Prunkland and
Faltenland in 6mm, 15mm and 30mm. I know, I know...
Now, as for the objection to painting your miniatures
in alternative colour schemes, well, thats down to your
own conscience. If youre seriously troubled by this, or
by the thought of what your friends might say if they
found out that youd been (shock! horror!) just making
things up, then dont do it, because it requires a leap of
faith that not everybody is comfortable with. During this
series Ive said repeatedly that a ctitious campaign is
an act of creation, the building of a world of your own
design. For me, thats the real turn-on, and that creativity
extends as far as the buttons on the soldiers jackets, the
design of their saddlecloths and so on, though the level
of detail that has interested me has evolved. In fact, the
early incarnation of Prunklands forces now seems crude
to me which is why, last year, I stripped all the paint o
my Spencer Smiths and started again, resulting in the rst
re-painted unit that you can see at the foot of the page.
My advice is to start with modest forces. In the last
instalment, we saw how, in theory, Prunkland could call
nearly 77,000 men to arms. However, at the beginning of
hostilities, Prunklands army numbered about 27,500 men,
organised into 20 battalions of Musketeers, six battalions
of Grenadiers, four battalions of Grenzers, two of Jger,
four batteries of artillery, 11 regiments of cavalry, a large
battalion of pioneers and a small unit of medical sta.
(Prunkland has always been very advanced in this regard.)
Such a force is quite capable of challenging the most
experienced of tabletop generals, both tactically and
strategically. Should you manage to concentrate all your
forces onto a single battleeld, this represents something
akin to a Napoleonic corps and very alike the force that
Frederick the Great commanded at Mollwitz. On the
other hand, it is strong enough for a commander to
divide the force into two or three parts, with garrisons,
scouts, reconnaissance parties and the like, to either
defend or attack a sizeable tract of territory.
Te most important thing as with any wargames
project is that an army of this size is achievable, and
youll be able to get your campaign started knowing
that in most encounters, only a few units, perhaps a
brigade or two a side at the most, will be involved, so you
can have fun gaming with whatever youve got as you
build up your miniature armies in the background.
Next time, well look at how to introduce bags
of personality into your ctitious forces.
From theory to reality: Regiment von Eintopf on the march. Old plastic Spencer Smith 30mm gures painted by the Editor. Balsa house, Last Valley trees.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
A brush with musketeers
Painting infantry for the Great Northern War
by Dave Robotham
ver the last few months I have been looking into
the new range of Great Northern War gures
produced by Musketeer Miniatures. Tis is a
relatively new line, but is growing steadily. At the moment
the range includes basic infantry for the Swedish and
the Russians and command groups, as well as grenadiers
and pikemen for the Swedish. For this guide, I am going
to tackle a Russian and a Swedish infantryman. I will
also detail a couple of dierent techniques and paint
combinations to add variety and speed things up.
I will always try to paint the skin on a gure rst for a variety
of reasons. I nd that if you paint the miniature from the
inside layer out (the skin, then the shirt, then the tunic etc.),
you will not be painting over previous layers. In eect, you
are minimising the chance that you will get paint on already
nished areas of the model. But, for me, the biggest reason
is that I enjoy painting esh on a gure and I nd it the most
interesting part of most miniatures. Painting the face and
hands (and other eshy bits) rst really does give life to
the gure, and can drive me on to complete the rest of it.
Both the Russian and Swedish infantry can be
painted with the same style and colours: there is not a
huge dierence in skin tone between the two nations.
But there are literally hundreds of methods of painting
skin with an equal number of formulated paints to
help you along the way, so you can add variety to your
troops with ease. I painted the Russian and Swede in
two dierent styles, both of which start with the same
base colour, but build dierent colours on top of it.
I started with a watered down
basecoat of Pelikan Plakas Red
Brown. Tis hobby paint dries totally
matt and provides a great base
colour for Caucasian skin tones.
For the next step, I painted a layer
of Games Workshops (GW) Bronzed
Flesh over the red brown, making sure to leave the base
colour in the deep recesses of the face. You dont want
to leave too much of the red brown
showing, but areas to try to dene with
this highlight are the nose and nostrils,
as well as the cheekbones and muscles.
If you are feeling brave, you might
also like to paint under the arches of
the eyebrows and recesses under the
eyes. In the next picture, you can see
the extent to which I have covered the base colour with this
layer. To add more denition, I added white to Bronzed
Flesh for the second highlight. Areas to focus on here are
the same as before. Make sure you keep
the denition of the nose and nostrils,
as well the cheekbones and brow. You
can see in third picture how subtle
my highlight is, but you can increase
the contrast by just adding a touch
more white to the Bronzed Flesh.
At this point you could stop,
paint the eyes and lips in, and be done. However a nal
highlight of pure white will make the face stand out on
the tabletop, which is what we are looking for here. Even
if it does look a little too harsh in the fourth picture,
remember that on the tabletop, those sharp highlights will
really work to make the features of the face stand out.
Finally, I painted in the eyes and the
lower lip. Te colour of the lower lip is
really up to you. I know many painters
prefer a much pinker colour instead of
the dark red-brown colour I have used.
Highlight the lips with either a single
line or, as I have, you can add some
more detail by splitting the highlight.
Te eyes were painted is as a black stripe painted into the
eye socket, then a white stripe painted
over that, nished o with a dot of
black or dark brown centrally on the
white strip. To avoid that wide-eyed
stare, make sure the black dot totally
divides the white of the eyes, touching
the top and the bottom of the eye.
Te Russians skin was painted using the same technique
and template as with the Swede, a basecoat with
layered colours over the top to dene the features.
(See photos at top of opposite page.) However, I used
a dierent pallete of colours this time. I started with
the same Plaka Red Brown, but this time I used paints
from the Foundry and Privateer Press (P3) ranges.
After the basecoat of red-brown, I painted a layer of P3
Khardic Flesh followed by a second highlight of P3 Midland
Flesh. Like the Foundry colour triads, these two colours
were designed to be painted one after the other, and they
form a wonderfully hardy looking reddish skin tone. To add
that nal denition to the face, I applied a nal highlight
of Foundrys Flesh 5C although, as with the Swede, this
is not really necessary if you want to save some time.
Tere is a very simple and quick way to paint muskets
and ries if you need to get them nished and onto the
table in a timely manner. Firstly, I start with a mid-brown
colour and paint all the wooden parts of the weapon. Due
to the varied manufacturers of muskets from dierent
nations, you can choose almost any brown colour for this
basecoat: just make sure its not too dark. All the metallic
areas were also painted dark silver (such as GWs Boltgun
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Metal), making sure the colour used was not bright or
shiny. You can see the shades I used in this rst picture.
Te second, and nal, stage is to water
down some black ink or black paint and
wash that over both the wooden areas
and the metallic areas. It will shade and
stain the colours at the same time, adding
denition and that weathered look.
So that is the fast method, but there is also a far more
detailed approach you can use to paint up muskets and ries
and other wooden-stocked weapons.
Starting o with a dark brown
colour, I basecoated the wooden areas
of the musket and used the same silver
as I did in the rst method detailed
previously. GWs Scorched Brown
or Foundrys Bay Brown 42A are ne for this.
To build up the colours of the wooden areas of the musket
I used the Foundrys Spear Shaft trio of
colours. I painted horizontal stripes along
the wooden surfaces using Spear Shaft
13A. As you can see in the picture, make
sure the lines are quite wide, leaving only
a sliver of the dark colour showing below.
Using Spear Shaft 13B I then painted
thin lines over the top of the previous
layer. Tis time, try to leave only a sliver of the Spear
Shaft 13A showing as you retrace your design with this
new colour. At this point, I also used a
black ink to wash all the metal areas of
the weapon and then used my original
silver colour to neaten up the edges.
As a nal highlight I used Spear
Shaft 13C, again retracing my previous
lines to build up the denition
of the woodgrain. Using brighter
silver (such as GWs Mithril Silver or Chainmail),
I also applied some highlights to the bayonet.
On the next page, you will see a colour
guide for a Russian and a Swedish
infantrymans uniform. I have provided
a full run-down of the colours I used. I
used Foundry colours for the most part,
but fell back on the GW paint range for all
the metallics, as well as the Russian soldiers coat and cus.
When painting the dierent uniforms, I used a simple
layering technique, starting with a
dark basecoat and adding two or three
layers of highlights no blending or
washes, just simple layering of paint.
You will notice that the Swedish
Infantryman has not shaved for a few
days. Adding a 5 oclock shadow is really
not as hard as it might at rst seem. To paint stubble, I
use Foundry Granite 31C. Tis is a grey colour, but with
a hint of brown to it. You could easily
mix the shade of colour by taking a
mid-grey (just black mixed with white)
and adding a touch of brown. Any
brown will do, but dont add too much,
just a dot of colour to tint the grey.
I water the paint down until it is incredibly translucent.
When you paint the rst layer, you should only see a slight
change in colour. I then paint maybe six
or seven layers, progressively building
up the colour. Te more layers you
add, the more opaque the colour will
become as more pigment is layered onto
the surface. Using multiple layers, you
can make sure the pure granite colour is only along the
jawbone and chin and fades out as it rises up the face.
Te hair on these soldiers can
be painted in hundreds of dierent
ways, using a huge variety of colours.
I started with a dark base colour and
applied a single highlight, painting it
on in small lines and dashes following
the contours of the sculpted hair.
To nish o the bases, I used PVA to
glue down some rough sand and then, when that was dry,
I used a brown ink to stain the sand. It is far easier to paint
sand with a uid ink than with acrylic
paint. Ten I drybrushed the bases with
GW colours starting with Bestial Brown
then Snakebite Leather followed up by
Bubonic Brown and nally Bleached
Bone. Ten I added several tufts of static
grass in various colours. I used dierent
colours for the rims of the bases. On the
Swede, I used GWs Bestial Brown and on the Russian,
I used GWs Scorched Brown, a much darker colour.
For protection, I rst varnished
the model with GWs Ardcoat spray
gloss varnish, and after that had
been left to dry for a day, I varnished
them again with Testors Dullcote
for a wonderfully matt nish.
Tere is a huge variety of dierent uniform colours
you can use for the GNW. Like many armies in the 17

and 18
centuries, uniforms were
often brightly coloured and specic
to dierent formations. I suggest
you head over to www.musketeer- for plenty more ideas
and information about the troops and
battles of the Great Northern War.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Race for the Rhine part I
Building and running a multi-player wargames campaign
by Barry Hilton
ver the last year or so I have found myself regularly
attending a twice-weekly gaming session held in
a local hobby shop. Te common interest across
the attendees is Flames of War which, fortuitously, I also
enjoy. Although it is very dicult to fault the approach
Battlefront have taken, even the best thought-out gaming
system will become tedious and predictable if every club
night consists of equal points per side annihilation fests.
Having run a few scenario-based games and some
table actions from my own Russian Front campaign
for the members, I suggested a short campaign created
specically for the club might be of interest, and everyone
agreed. Te trouble was, although I had vague ideas of
what it might be and how it could run, I had no concrete
plan. Once the lads got tuned in, I really had to get my
skates on and produce something as every Monday or
Tursday someone would say When is the campaign
starting? So, I embarked on what has been, for me, a
very satisfying, productive and enjoyable little project.
Why run a campaign? Well, a campaign oers added
dimensions not possible in one-o encounters. Decisions
to commit reserves, launch all-out attacks or sustain
enormous losses simply to win are put much more
in context. Choices become more dicult and their
consequences carry more weight. Players become attached
to pet units which then inuence the frequent do I
/dont I decisions much more. Rivalry amongst players
adds spice particularly when (as in this case) they are all
on the same side and vying for glory and plaudits in the
campaign press. Although I enjoy almost all wargaming,
campaigns are for me the apex of the hobby in terms of
overall experience. Its the dierence between watching an
exciting movie clip and sitting down to enjoy the whole two
hour feature complete with popcorn and a large drink.
Teres a phrase which is commonly coined in my line
of work If you dont know where youre going, any
bus will do. I wanted to know exactly where this little
project was going and also needed to know when Id
got there. I rst set out some broad working principles
around which the detail would evolve. Te main
building blocks on which I constructed the campaign
provided a very clear focus for my subsequent eort.
American armour, well, racing for the Rhine! Photo by Barry Hilton of part of his outstanding collection.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Principle 1: We must have fun!
I wanted the campaign to generate genuine enthusiasm
and a desire to get on with it from the players. My wish
was that the games themselves, although competitive,
could be played in a spirit of good sportsmanship and not
turn into the traditional who knows the rules best wins
type of competitive situation. Every game was, in practice,
umpired. Tis helped hugely in the overall smooth running
and on more than one occasion my co-umpire John or I
were able to pour oil on troubled waters when players got
a little tired and emotional, to use the theatrical idiom.
Principle 2: Tere will be little paperwork after the job
is done!
My previous campaign
experience lasted
over three years and
produced over 500
pages of notes, battle
accounts, and associated
anally-retentive data,
very characteristic of
me at my worst. Much
as I enjoyed it all, I
had no wish to repeat
this more than semi-
masochistic experience.
I therefore embarked on
a serious bit of front-
end work, mostly built
around a device I came
to know as the Battle
Generator. Tis rather
tedious spadework
did mean that when
a map encounter
occurred in the
campaign. I was immediately able to create a credible
opposition force based on the in situ German Division.
I will explain more of the Generator later. I also wanted
a simple way to keep track of performance, losses and
replacements. Tis did involve some record-keeping, but
not a huge volume, relatively speaking. I was, however,
in the end unable to escape from my wargaming Stato
tendencies and tracked various statistics throughout.
Principle 3: Gladiators will ght to the death!
Te guys at the club are pretty typical wargamers, pleasant
company, but a competitive bunch, and so I wanted to
make sure there were enough decisions and variables to
make the campaign more than simply ghting a series
of encounter battles. Tis led me to create a tiered level
of victory bonus based on the swiftness of the victory,
prisoner and equipment capture, loss replacement, asset
management, combined operations and achievement
of the primary objective reaching the river rst.
Principle 4: We will not reght the Hundred Years War
Many wargaming campaigns splutter out and die
before their projected end. Te reasons vary from the
campaign not being very well planned or organised in
the rst place, through to over-ambitious size, length,
lack of player commitment and diversion of the players
into other activities. Te Sands of Time, my own
Russian Front campaign, suered from several of these
symptoms and passed through phases where it limped
along in a dormant state for several months before
being reinvigorated by new players or a renewed burst
of enthusiasm from me. In the end, I completed it after
three years and various incarnations of players, scales
and scope. A really wonderful experience, but not for the
faint-hearted. So, my principles for RftR were based on
manageable time period and highly visible rapid progress.
Principle 5: K.I.S.S (Keep it Short & Sweet)
Not everyone has the luxury of being able to game for
a whole day and so
I needed to ensure
that every game
could be completed
with a clear result in
an evening, with no
carry over activity
to other evenings.
Principle 6: Ensure at
all times that no-one
has the foggiest what is
I personally enjoy
any kind of Fog of
War mechanisms
immensely. So this
was perhaps a selsh
inclusion, although the
excitement it generated
amongst the players
wholly vindicated
the decision to spend
time on getting it
right. It was very important to the sense of tension
and combat disorientation to have a signicant
Fog of War impact on every battle. To create this, I
used a variety of tools that made force composition,
deployment and reconnaissance vitally important.
Initially, I considered setting it in the Ardennes in late
1944, then switched to a D-Day breakout scenario,
but in the end I settled on the nal major western
front operation of the war: Operation Veritable. I
will resist ensnaring myself in the wargamers potted
history trap here, and will summarise very briey.
Having weathered the storm of the Ardennes oensive
in December 1944, the Allies gathered themselves
together for what was to be the nal desperate struggle
to subdue the German armed forces in the west. Pushing
from Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and eastern France,
three army groups (British 21st, American 6th & 12th)
launched a coordinated drive to reach the Rhine and
Germanys industrial heartland. Te oensive began in
desperate winter weather, against typically determined
enemy resistance. By early March 1945, the rst units
were looking across the great river. So, my objective
was to recreate some of the action and excitement
of this decisive campaign in a manageable form.
A salvage operation in progress on a very chilly-looking piece of Barrys terrain. Tis is
precisely the kind of scenario that can be critical in a modern campaign: commanders
cant aord to just trash their armour willy-nilly. Photo by BH.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Flames of War is a ruleset built around company level
actions. I did not want players to be buying and painting
masses of new miniatures and aimed to get the show on the
road as quickly as possible. I therefore oered each player
the simple choice of playing with a reinforced armoured
or infantry company, with the additional choice of its
nationality being American, British or Canadian. Te total
available points for each force was set at 2,100 as calculated
using the Army Lists I prepared for the players use.
Te big twist built into the campaign was that all of
the players would be on the same side. Enemy forces were
to be controlled by the umpire and were, for all intents
and purposes, passive. Te idea was to make the eleven
players race each other to be the rst Allied unit to reach
the river in an operational condition, ghting battles,
dealing with situations and making choices along the way.
As a further pinch of spice, players were to assume the
roles of the umpire-generated German forces in encounter
battles when not actually playing with their own force. As
the whole idea of winning the campaign was about reaching
the river rst with the most victory points, there was added
incentive to play well as the enemy because. by damaging
your friends chances and causing him heavy losses. you
were actually shortening the odds of winning yourself.
I had to create several tools, which I collectively labelled
the toolkit. With these, I was able to control all aspects
of the campaign mechanics. Some were easy and others
stretched my competence a little, but having done
it and established the principles, they will be easily
replicated or adapted for other periods or situations.
Tool 1: campaign rules
First up was a set of campaign rules covering everything
from choosing a force through weather, air support,
German defensive positions, use of armour recovery
vehicles, ambulances, combined ops between two
commanders and increasing/decreasing troop eciency
as a result of combat. Te campaign rules will appear
in full as a later part of this series of articles.
Te actual battles were fought using the rst
edition of the Flames of War ruleset with umpire
amendments and additions in the following key areas:
1. Battleeld deployment
2. Pre-game reconnaissance
3. On-table reconnaissance
4. Battleeld visibility and line of sight
5. Force composition
Te campaign map designed by Barry using Campaign Cartographer. Turner Prize winner, but it does the job! Time to dig out your Baedeker guide...
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
6. Use of smoke
7. Use of armour recovery vehicles
8. Use of eld ambulances and corpsmen/medics
Tese amendments and additions, if not already dealt
with, will also be detailed separately in the next issue.
Tool 2: campaign map
Te next thing I had to create was a campaign map (see
opposite). Tis took several attempts to get right. I knew
I wanted to use hexes and not squares (I had found those
limiting during Sands of Time). My biggest
problem was the size of the hexes. Scaling them
too small would create diculties in terms of the
distance that players needed to travel to reach
the river and of course lengthen the campaign.
As the club had never experienced a campaign
before, I wanted their rst experience to be short
and sweet. I did not apply denitive ground scale
to the hexes, which left me some exibility in
the placing of certain towns and geographical
features relative
to each other. Te
area I mapped is
on the west bank
of the Rhine,
in the general
operational area
of XXX Corps
and the Canadian
1st Army during
the period from
January through
February 1945.
Te Americans are
a bit out of their
historical zone of operation, but several players owned US
Forces and I wanted them to be able to use what they had.
I took a few liberties with the terrain and created a small
number of ctitious place names, but in general terms I
think the topography is recognisable. I used a software
package called Campaign Cartographer II to make the map,
but did not nd it very easy and lost patience, resulting
in a much less aesthetically-pleasing eort than Id hoped
for. In practice, however, it was easy for both players and
umpires to navigate and served its purpose extremely well.
You can see the map here. It was banded into zones
of intensity which in eect meant that the closer Allied
units moved towards the river, the greater the chance of
bumping into some opposition. Tese zones of intensity
were not marked on the players maps, only on the Umpires
master map. Te zones were graded from LOW (20%)
through MEDIUM (50%) and HIGH (70%) to SUPER
INTENSE (90%). Te width of each zone was governed
by distance from the river and terrain type, which meant
they were not totally linear, and consequently dicult to
predict from a players perspective. Roads were always
one zone hotter than the band through which they ran, to
represent the likelihood of the enemy blocking the most
obvious or quickest routes. Villages, towns and bridges
were all treated in the same fashion as roads. Overlaid
onto this map were further guidelines that marked the
zones of control of ten German divisions. Tere were no
predetermined German units positioned on the map.
Only if an encounter happened in any given turn would
the use of the German divisional dispositions come into
play. Tis was a huge innovation for me. Previously, in
Sands of Time, I had to pre-populate an enormous map
area representing central Byelorussia with the equivalent
of six Russian and one German Corps down to company
level asset detail before the campaign began. My new
method left me without that chore, but with a system that
could generate a battalion-strength force down to platoon-
level detail anywhere on the map within ten minutes.
Tool 3: army lists
Army lists (see
examples, left)
were created
with the help
of Battlefronts
particularly the
PDF Late War
Intel Briengs
which are semi-
ocial. Te
recently-released Festung Europa would have
been handy, but was alas not available at the time.
I did not want to give the players as much
latitude in force composition as Battlefront
allow in their handbooks. Teir lists are
primarily constructed to sell an attractive blend
of miniatures and make money. Tis results
in some extremely improbable combinations
of infantry companies being supported by
the cream of available armour and artillery
pieces, forces which, I suspect, would not be
recognisable to any combat veteran of either side from
the ETO [European Teatre of Operations] in 1945.
My lists were far more prosaic and involved compulsory
elements to a far more prescriptive and limiting degree.
An infantry company was compelled to take a full
complement of rie platoons and the historical support
weapons such as medium mortars, machine guns and small
calibre AT guns. Tank companies were forced to include
the full complement of platoons at full strength. For the
Americans, that meant 17 Shermans minimum. Te British
and Canadians were allowed to use either Shermans or
Cromwells. Forcing the compulsory inclusions severely
limited the available free choice options, making them far
more precious and carefully considered. It also meant the
players were competing on an essentially even playing eld.
I made small alterations to the points costs as Battlefronts
calculation methodology is esoteric, to say the least.
Tool 4: the Battle Generator
By far the largest time investment went into the
Battle Generator. Tis is a series of connected tables
that create the German opposition randomly (but
within dened parameters) for each battle. It works
on descending levels of detail as shown below:
a. Identication of the parent German Division
b. Cross-referencing the divisional type (e.g. Parachute)
with the predominant terrain type in the contact hex.
Tis activity dictates the core composition of the force.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
c. Establishing the morale and training rating of the force.
d. Establishing the size of the force.
e. Establishing the core compulsory elements of the force.
f. Establishing the variable elements of the force.
g. Establishing whether the force is in
prepared positions or not.
Basically, I had to make this up from scratch. You will
nd sample charts from levels b through e next issue,
together with a worked example to illustrate the concept.
Tool 5: Battle Generator
It was a certainty that every
turn there would be action.
I produced a standard form
which recorded the essential
data for each battle, allowing
it to be set up, played, judged
and archived. Tis was known
as the Battle Generator
Summary, an example of
which can be seen here.
Tool 6: Result table
Te result table operated
in an identical fashion to a
soccer league table as seen in the Sunday newspapers. It
recorded vital campaign statistics for each unit and ranked
the players in descending order of success at the close of
each campaign turn. I actually had to produce two versions
of the table. One recorded the points and stats for each force
at the end of the turn just completed, but before losses had
been replaced. Te second showed the situation after each
commander had made decisions about what equipment he
wished to replace and was used at the commencement of
the new turn. If a victory had been particularly costly, it was
possible for players to win a battle but drop down the table
because of a negative balance in points for loss replacement.
Te time between turns was actually very busy. Te
Umpire collated all of the stats from the battles, worked out
relative points gains and losses and prepared league tables.
Te players had to make decisions about whether or not
to replace losses, which new elements to include, discuss
potential combined ops and
plan their next moves.
Tool 7: campaign newsletter
Although completely
unnecessary, this was the
aspect of the campaign
administration I enjoyed
most. I drew my inspiration
directly from the splendid
work of Steve Ayers who
authored Neue Kampagne
Zeitung, an extremely witty,
informative and well laid-
out newsletter recording the
events of a Seven Years War
campaign. My eorts were
a tad more lowbrow that those of the erudite Mr Ayers
and being a lifelong devotee of British seaside humour
and the Carry On series of movies, I christened my rag Up
the Front! It did chart the progress of the campaign, but
with the reporting accuracy of the lowest quality tabloid
and the journalistic talent of a twelve year old pubescent
schoolboy, training to be a hack of the worst variety.
Coming next issue: playing the campaign.
Carry on campaigning: a few examples of Barrys entertaining newsletter.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Fast and f un Wi l d West shoot out rul es
by Andy Sykes with Henry Hyde
ndy Sykes always liked watching and
recreating Westerns. His rst gures were
the cheap and cheerful grip bags of multi-
coloured plastic, closely followed by the Airx HO/OO
Cowboys and High Chaparral sets (when they cost 17 pence
a box!) Later, he exchanged these for 1/32 scale Airx and
Britains gures. Te ghts were fast, bloody and the only
rule was that the best-looking or coolest gure always won.
As he got older, they were largely forgotten, as he
progressed through proper wargaming periods such as
Napoleonics, ACW and WWII, using smaller scales, ghting
bigger battles and amassing lots of gures, until he was
drawn back by the Guernsey Foundry releases, sculpted by
Mark Copplestone in the 1990s. Tese, along with various
rulesets, have been responsible, at his club, for pulling many
a budding Napoleon away from rewriting history for a
quick game or two as Two-Gun Pete or somesuch. Andys
Western gure collection now grows at every show, with
Dixons, Artizan, Mayhem, Old Glory and others. Some of
them are always lurking at the edges of his painting bench,
interrupting more mainstream units in the painting queue.
Te Editor, on the other hand, has come to cowboy
skirmish gaming rather late in life, as a welcome breather
from other big battalion periods like the Seven Years War.
Tis epiphany was largely caused by the discovery of Black
Scorpions wonderful range of 30mm-ish Tombstone
gures, followed quickly by Eric Hotzs superb Whitewash
City PDF buildings that can be downloaded, printed onto
card, cut out and glued to create a cheap and eective Wild
West town in the blink of an eye, and at very low cost. Te
photos you see here and on the front cover show just a small
part of these product ranges in the Editors collection.
It would have been perfectly possible to simply write a
scenario for one of the popular rulesets, such as Gutshot
or Legends of the Old West, but rstly, we didnt want
to assume that you had these in your possession, and
secondly, we thought that youd like to have something to
give you a feel for the period before you took the plunge.
Andy is responsible for working out the basic
rule mechanisms, and the Editor is responsible
for mercilessly ddling with them!
You need some gures and scenery, an ordinary
pack of playing cards, a tape measure and a collection
of the sort of dice youve probably got lying in a corner
somewhere and thought youd never use again since you
gave up Dungeons and Dragons, unless youre a skirmish
or roleplaying wargamer who uses them regularly, of
course. Tese are the dice with more or less faces than the
standard six-sided cube we all know and love as the d6.
So dig out your d4s, d8s, d10s, d12s, d20s and percentage
dice. Honestly, its worth it: their use makes it possible to
represent certain things very quickly and eectively. If you
nd yourself lacking d8s or d12s, for example, then a quick
search of the Internet, or a visit to your local gaming shop
or wargames convention, will quickly furnish you with
more types of hedra than you probably knew existed!
Te West is ideal for a new period as you dont need
a lot of gures, and you can paint them much as you
please, so for those of you who would like to give it a go,
we also present a simple scenario that can be played on
a mere 4 feet square with a dozen miniatures or so.
We hope the rules will give a fun game. Tey require
a little note-taking, but after a while you shouldnt need
to refer to them too much. Its a good idea to make
out a card for each character playing, so you can keep
a tally of wounds, ammunition and so on. At present
the rules will cover all you need for cartridge rearms.
Muzzle-loaders arent represented at the moment, but
we might attempt to cover them in a future scenario.
What You See Is What You Get, so each gure is one
man, horse, mule etc, an inch/25mm is roughly six
feet, and each Action is of a few seconds duration.
Each gure has a set of character traits, each
determined by rolling a d20. (Te characters in our
scenario are pre-determined, as youll see.)
Te sheris men make use of cover as they hunt down Zachary Beard and
the Bandidos. Black Scorpion miniatures painted by the Editor.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Shouldered weapon skill (SH)
Te characters ability to re a weapon designed
to be red from the shoulder, such as a rie.
Handgun skill (HG)
Te characters ability to re a weapon designed
to be red with one hand, such as a sixgun.
Mle skill (M)
Te characters ability to attack and defend
themselves in a brawl or mle.
Guts (G)
Te characters spirit or bravery.
Build (B)
Te characters physique, health and stamina.
Ability (A)
Te characters ability to accomplish any feat.
Te Deck
Te order of initiative is decided by a set of standard
playing cards. Each character is allocated a pair of cards
of the same colour which can readily be identied as
theirs (such as the queens of clubs and spades, or the
sixes of hearts and diamonds). Tese are then all shued
together and placed face down in a convenient spot
close to the wargames table. Te two Jokers should also
be added to the pack. When a Joker is drawn, the pack
is shued. Tis can be said to represent the directors
cut and makes the turn of events very unpredictable.
When one of a characters allocated cards is
drawn, he may make an Action. Tis 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 mle
Recover: attempt to regain composure
Other: another action e.g. dive through a window, mount/
dismount from a horse or wagon, stand up or lie down
Do nothing
NB It is not possible to re a weapon eectively and
Crawl in the same Action phase. Try it at home and see!
Each Action, character can Crawl, Walk, Run or Ride.
A Crawl is 2, with the character lying down
A Walk is 4
A Run is 8
A Ride on a walking horse or wagon is 5
A Ride on a trotting horse or wagon is 10
A Ride on a cantering horse or wagon is 15
A Ride on a galloping horse is 20
A team pulling a heavily-laden wagon may not gallop.
If a character wants to move towards a known
enemy or out of cover, he must rst pass a Guts test by
rolling less than or equal to his Guts score on a d20.
Dicult terrain prevents gures on foot from running,
and mounted characters from cantering or galloping. You
will need to consider and agree upon what constitutes
dicult terrain in each scenario, but obvious candidates
will be steep hills, deep watercourses, thick woods, rocky
slopes and so on. If ghting inside, you might like to
consider rooms with lots of furniture as slow going as well.
If you like to include weather, then a typical Wild West
dirt street after a thunderstorm would be a good bet too!
Characters may either re a single Snapshot or
Aimed shot or they can Pour it on. In all cases,
they must be able to see their target.
A single shot delivered instinctively. Use the relevant
skill: Shouldered weapon (SH) or Handgun (HG).
Add or subtract the following modiers (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 o-hand -5
Firing shoulder arm one-handed -5
Target is prone or Crawling and 10 or more distant -5
Ten apply Range modiers from the table below.
Te resulting number is the score or
lower needed on a D20 to hit.
* If the shotgun still has its stock, use (SH).
If it does not have its stock, use (HG).
** At these ranges, other gures within 1 of the
target may be hit instead. Re-roll at the normal
chance to hit using the optional rule below.
If a weapon is in range, a roll of 1 always hits, a roll
of 20 always misses and also indicates a misre.
Example: Curly Henry is armed with a stocked, sawn-
o shotgun; he takes a shot at One-Eared Bob. Curlys
SH is 10 and he is Walking, so -2; Bob is Running, so a
further -4. We are now at a score of 4. Te range is 12,
medium range, so we add +2. Te resulting number
is 6, so Curly needs a 6 or less on a D20 to hit.
Range modiers
Point Blank
Revolver(HG) -2 +4 0 -4 -10
Carbine (SH) -4 0 +5 0 -4
Rie (SH) -6 0 +4 +1 -2
Bualo rie (SH) -8 -2 0 +2 0
Shotgun (SH) -7 +8 +4 0** -8**
Sawn-o (SH) or (HG)* -3 +10 +2 -3** n/a
Trown weapon (HG) +2 0 n/a n/a n/a
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Optional Rule
If a target is missed at any range, (but not if a 20 was
rolled, which indicates a misre), the rer must re-roll to
see if they have accidentally hit any other gure within
1 of the target. Misses must continue to be thrown for
until a gure is hit, or there are no more gures at risk.
Aimed shot
Te character uses an Action card to aim he does nothing
else with that card but aim, and he res only when his next
card turns up. Use the procedure for a Snapshot, except that
aiming gives a bonus modier of +5. If he wishes to aim at a
specic location on the target, he loses the +5 modier, but if
he hits, he can choose the hit location without rolling for it.
Pour it on
Te character may re up to 6 shots; it may be rapid
re from a double-action or lever action or fanning
a single action. Note that the number of shots that
the weapon is capable of ring before reloading is
necessary may limit this, e.g. a loaded double-barrelled
shotgun can only re twice before it is emptied.
Multiple enemies may be targeted as long as
they are all within the same range bracket.
Use the same procedure as with a Snapshot,
however each shot is at -5 penalty. Missed shots
against adjacent gures do not incur this penalty.
A natural roll of 17-20 is treated as
a misre when pouring it on.
If a misre is rolled, roll a d10:
1 Weapon red before shooter was ready,
resulting in a dropped weapon, which
requires one Action phase to recover.
2-5 Gun jams. Roll a d6 next Action: 1-2 = xed; 3-4 =
still jammed, try again next Action; 5-6 = broken
mechanism, your rearm becomes an expensive club!
6-8 Wild shot, re-roll for hit on nearest
character (but not the original target).
9 Shot yourself in the leg; roll a d6: 1-3 = left leg, 4-6
= right leg. Ten roll a d8 for damage as below.
10 Gun blows up. Roll d6: 1-3 = wound in ring
arm, 4-6 = wound in ring arm and head. Roll
for damage as required on wound table below.
A characters Build represents his health and ability to take
damage. When a character is hit roll on the table below.
If a characters Build points are exceeded he is dead.
All hits are cumulative.
Any hit causes the character to take a Guts test.
A character that loses more than 50% of his starting
Build in one location loses the full use of that location:
Wounds have the following eects, depending
on where the character has been hit:
Head: -5 penalty to hit when shooting or mleing.
Chest: may only move at a walk.
d20 score 1 2-3 4-5 6-7 8-9 10-11 12-13 14-15 16-20
Head Chest Belly Groin Left leg Right leg Left arm Right arm Graze
d20 d12 d10 d10 d8 d8 d6 d6 d4
Te sheri and his deputies lock and load and prepare to move out. Time fer the law to take control, boys! Lets git those varmints and hang em high!
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Belly: cannot move.
Groin: -2 penalty to hit when shooting or mleing.
Leg: can only crawl or move with assistance.
Arm: cannot use that arm.
Example: continuing our story, let us say that Curly rolled
a 5, resulting in a hit on Bob. Curly then rolls a 9, so Bob is
hit in the left leg; the damage dice for this location is a d8
which Curly rolls and scores a 7. Bob has a starting Build of
12; the damage of 7 is over 50% of his total, therefore Bobs
leg gives and he crumples. He now has 5 Build points left.
If ring at a mounted target, roll to hit as normal,
but any missed shots may hit the horse instead. Roll
again to hit after a miss on the intended target, and if
successful the horse is hit. Any wound will put the mount
out of use. Roll against the riding characters Ability
if this fails, he takes 1d6 damage from the fall.
It takes one Action phase to load up to three rounds
in a metallic cartridge rearm. Optional rule: any
character under re requires an Ability test to
reload, otherwise he fumbles and fails this turn.
A character must take a Guts test under
the following circumstances:
He sees an enemy for the rst time
He wishes to advance towards an enemy; this must
be rolled to enter each closer range bracket
He wishes to leave cover
He is hit
His mount is shot
To test, roll against the characters Guts score.
An equal or lower result is successful,
and the character may continue.
A higher result is a failure. Te character must
head for the nearest cover or stay put if already
in cover. He will cower until he recovers. A
recovery is made with a successful Guts test.
If the character rolls a 20, he must move towards his
starting table edge, crying like a baby. He may attempt to
recover as normal each Action phase, but failure means
he continues to run. If he exits the board, he is lost.
Example: Bob is now lying in the dirt of Main
street with a bleeding leg. He must take his Guts test
immediately. Bobs Guts score is 10; you could say he
has average courage. He rolls 11 and fails, so on his next
Action card, he must try to crawl to the nearest cover.
A character may choose to engage a gure in close combat
at Point Blank range of 0-1. If the gure is not yet in Point
Blank range, he will have to make a Guts test to engage.
If this test is successful, he may attack an enemy character.
To hit, he must roll equal to or less than his Mle skill
(M) score. His skill is modied by the following factors:
Armed with:
Club, or gun being used in mle +2
Knife +3
Sword +4
Tomahawk +4
Spear/xed bayonet +5
Attacker is higher than/uphill from the defender +1
Defender is prone/crawling +1
If the attack hits, the defender may attempt to block it
by rolling equal to or less than his Mle skill. Only weapon
modiers apply. If he is successful, the attack is blocked.
If the attack is not blocked, roll on the wound table
opposite. A hit character must take a Guts test; if this fails he
must move away from the attacker on his next Action card.
Mexican bandidos up to no good near the freight depot! More Black Scorpion miniatures, painted for Battlegames by Jez Grin of Shakespeare Studios.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Unarmed attacks cause one third the damage
inicted with a weapon, with a minimum of 1 point.
If either gure rolls a natural 20, they break
the weapon they are currently using!
Example: the next Action card to be turned up is that
of Ornery Bart. He has seen Bob fall and decides to
move in to scalp him. Ornery is 5 from Bob and runs
at him; he passes his Guts test and closes. Ornery has a
Mle skill of 12. He adds +1 for Bob being prone and
+2 for his knife, so he needs 15 or less to hit. He rolls
14 success. Bob attempts to block the attack using his
clubbed Winchester. His Mle skill is 9 and he adds +2 for
his weapon, meaning he requires an 11 or under. He rolls
8, blocks Barts attack and lets out a huge sigh of relief!
A character only attacks on his own Action card. A
defender may counter-attack on his next card or move away.
Most Actions are automatic and obvious, such as mounting
or dismounting a horse. However, some are more dicult
and require a roll equal to or less than the Ability score of
that character, such as diving through a window, jumping
from a veranda, climbing a wall, trying to climb aboard a
moving wagon, jumping a gap between buildings and so
on. (In that connection, bear in mind that our little men are
not depicting Olympic athletes!) In some cases, failure may
require a roll on the Wound table. Likewise some Actions
may take longer than one round. Te list is endless and
such Actions are best dealt with as and when they occur by
gentlemanly agreement between the players. If in doubt,
take an Ability or Guts test, or both, as seems appropriate.
Te Plot
Te Clayburne Ranch is the biggest in the county and Mr
Clayburne the
richest man.
Zachary Beard,
a notorious
leader of a gang
of bandidos,
no-goods and
with his sidekick
Sixgun Red,
came up with a
plan to kidnap
son, Jeremy.
Red obtained
employment at the
Clayburne Ranch
and then two days
ago, whilst riding
the herd with
Jeremy, led him
into an ambush set
by the bandidos
of the Beard
gang. Jeremy
was knocked
and taken
to the gangs stronghold, a freight warehouse on a
railroad siding on the outskirts of Whitewash City.
A ransom note was then delivered to Mr Clayburne
demanding $10,000 dollars for Jeremys safe return.
However, the gangs plan has gone astray. Te hideout
they have chosen is the occasional home of Ol Jenkins, a
one-eyed vagrant of doubtful hygiene. Jenkins, who had been
in town for a week of celebrating on a chunk of silver he
had managed to dig out of the nearby hills, returned to nd
the gang in residence in the freight yard. He had overheard
talk of the kidnapping in the local saloon, and swiftly put
two and two together. Reckoning there might be a drink or
two coming his way if he told the sheri of his discovery,
he moved o swiftly without being spotted by the gang.
Back in town, Jenkins reported his ndings to Sheri
Winchester Rogers, who was in conference with Mr
Clayburne. Quickly gathering all available hands, a
posse is formed: Sheri Rogers, his Deputy Macleod,
Mr Clayburne with his foreman Harvey Walsh and four
cowhands. Also coming along is Ol Jenkins and Mr
Danvers, the father of Jeremys ance. Te posse arrives at
the freight yard on the edge of town just as dawn breaks...
Silver Canyon, the North American Southwest 1880.
Its hot as Hell and dry as dessicated tumbleweed.
Starting positions and objectives
See the table opposite. Te objectives are not always obvious!
To escape, a bad guy must exit the Southern table edge via
Crows Nest Heights. It really adds a lot if you have plenty of
crates, barrels, piles of lumber, water troughs, bits of scrub
and other potential cover as you can see in the overhead shot
below (mostly Frontline Wargaming bits). It is also useful to
have oor plans of the interior of the buildings these are
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
provided as standard with all the Whitewash City buildings.
Note: Dynamite has a blast diameter of 5. Choose a
point of aim and roll against the characters Handgun
skill (HG) to see if it hits the intended target. If not, roll
a D6: 1 = dynamite fuse cut too short, it explodes in the
throwers hand; 2 = lands 3 short of intended target; 3 =
lands 3 to the left of intended target; 4 = lands 3 to the
right of the target; 5 = lands 3 beyond intended target.
6 = this sticks a dud! Dynamite causes d20 damage. It
may also aect buildings if it lands within 1 of them.
(If further away, the eects are dissipated.) Assume
that an average wooden wall, door or whatever has 10
damage points, so a halfway decent blast will demolish
it. Stone or brick walls have 20 damage points.
Te Bad Guys SH HG MS G B A Weapons Cards Location Objective
Zachary Beard
Gang leader
13 14 16 19 15 13
2 Revolvers, 24
Ace of Clubs &
Morses Freight
Escape and kill
either of the
Sixgun Red
14 18 13 15 14 15
2 Revolvers, 36
King of Clubs &
Bunk house
Escape and get
more kills than
Juan Talamera
Sadistic bandido
12 16 15 12 13 12
Revolver, 40
rounds & knife
Queen of Clubs
& Spades
Escape and get
more kills than
Miguel Tostado
8 15 14 11 10 10
Revolver, 24
Jack of Clubs &
Morses Freight Escape
Loco Francisco
9 15 12 14 12 13
Revolver, 18
rounds &
2 sticks of
Ten of Clubs &
Escape and kill
Julio Tirador
16 11 11 13 15 12
rie, 30 rounds
& Revolver, 12
Nine of Clubs &
Toolshed Escape
Alviro Machete
9 14 16 14 12 14
Revolver, 30
rounds &
Eight of Clubs
& Spades
Lovers Grove
(with a local
lady of ill
Escape and kill
at least as many
as Juan
Te Good Guys SH HG MS G B A Weapons Cards Location Objective
Sheri Winchester
16 15 14 19 16 14
Rie, 24 rounds
& Revolver, 12
Ace of
Diamonds &
South table
Kill or capture
Beard, then the
Deputy Macleod
12 13 13 15 13 13
Double Barrel
Shotgun, 12
rounds &
Revolver, 12
King of
Diamonds &
Asleep in the
Jail (unlocked)
Kill or capture
as many outlaws
as possible
MR Clayburne
Ranch owner
11 12 11 17 13 11
Rie, 18 rounds
& Revolver, 12
Queen of
Diamonds &
South table
Kill Beard and
rescue Jeremy
Harvey Walsh
10 10 14 15 18 14
Double Barrel
Shotgun, 14
rounds &
Revolver, 12
Jack of
Diamonds &
South table
Protect Mr
Jake Powers
10 10 11 17 11 14
Revolver, 24
Ten of
Diamonds &
South table
Do whatever Mr
Clayburne or
Harvey say
Bullseye Dex
16 10 12 12 12 12
Rie, 27 rounds
Nine of
Diamonds &
South table
Kill more
outlaws than
anyone else
Slow Cartwright
8 8 12 16 13 3
2 Revolvers, 18
Eight of
Diamonds &
South table
Do whatever Mr
Clayburne or
Harvey say
Mr Danvers
Concerned father
9 11 10 15 12 13
2 Revolvers, 18
Seven of
Diamonds &
South table
Rescue Jeremy
Ol Jenkins
10 4 7 11 13 10
Double Barrel
Shotgun, 8
Six of
Diamonds &
Ma Bakers
Rob the dead
11 7 4 7 8 8 Unarmed
Five of
Diamonds &
Morses Freight Stay alive!
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
by Richard Clarke
ention the word Kriegsspiel to almost any gamer
and it is likely youll get some icker of recognition.
Many of us older types will recall the articles
in Practical
Wargamer in
the mid 1980s
when Bill Leeson
his original
translation of the
von Reisswitz
Kriegsspiel rules
I have met
countless people
who were inspired
by the article
and, seemingly
universally, the
photos that went
with them. Tat
said, it is also true
that most gamers
knowledge begins
and ends with
those articles
and the general
vague awareness
that they were
the genesis of
our weird, but
hobby. So, with
that in mind, I
thought that an
introduction to
Kriegsspiel, and,
more importantly,
the range of
they present
was in order.
Fear not, I shall be brief on the historical stu as I
want this article to be more of a practical guide than a
retrospective viewing. Suce to say here that Kriegsspiel
was developed to be a system of rules that allowed
Prussian ocers to develop their skills in anticipation
of their duties in war, without having to rely solely on
the mass exercises that would happen only once a year,
and in which they would likely play only a minor rle.
As a concept, von Reisswitz, an ocer of the Prussian
Guard artillery, wanted to provide a set of rules that would
allow manoeuvres to be conducted on a map, thereby
allowing junior ocers to command forces, albeit in the
form of miniature armies represented by blocks upon the
map, far larger than they would expect to do normally.
Tis experience would, he hoped, familiarise them with
the problems of command and, most importantly, the
and friction of
the battleeld.
Suce it
to say that he
succeeded, in the
face of signicant
cynicism, to do
just that. His rst
to Baron von
Muing, the Chief
of the Prussian
General Sta, was
a case in point.
On rst setting
up the game,
the old general,
like Reisswitz a
veteran of the
Napoleonic Wars,
was unimpressed,
anticipating some
childish parody
of war. As the
game progressed,
however, his
interest grew until
he exclaimed,
Tis is not a
game, this is
training for war! I
must recommend
it to the entire
Army. And he did.
After that,
sets, the rules,
map and blocks,
were issues to
every regiment in the army and exercises were held
on a weekly basis. Its acceptance level was so high that
von Moltke insisted that any ocer being put up for
promotion required a report into how he conducted
himself during Kriegsspiel games. Indeed, after the
Prussian victories against Austria in 1866 and France in
1871, foreign armies began to see Kriegsspiel as a key part
in those successes, and adopted the system themselves.
Te games appeal was, essentially, two-fold. It was indeed
excellent training for the ocer corps, encouraging broad
Kriegsspiel rides again
Te revival of the famous von Reisswitz rules
Red and Blue forces approach one another on the Umpires map. Action appears inmminent in the
vicinity of Seegerhof as opposing cavalry patrols gain high ground overlooking the valley.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
thinking and an appreciation of the bigger picture, but it
was also a very enjoyable exercise, and clubs were formed
in both military and civilian circles to enjoy Kriegsspiel.
Te concepts behind Kriegsspiel are not too dierent from
tabletop wargaming. At the heart of the game, you have
an umpire who is responsible for devising the scenario
and managing the game through to its termination. You
have two sides in this case, these are always expressed
as Red and Blue (which, thanks to Kriegsspiel, are
terms still in use in military circles today) both of
whom receive a brieng outlining the situation in which
they nd themselves, along with their forces and their
objectives. If they know the area that is being fought over,
they may receive a detailed map; if they dont, then a
more basic one is provided. In either case, it is now up to
them to devise a plan and write orders for their force.
Write orders? I hear some of you cry. Yup, write orders.
However this really only happens once in the game, but
it is a key part of Kriegsspiel and one that can become
something of an art form. In reality, a commander in the
horse and musket period would be responsible for providing
a written set of orders for his subordinates. Te instructions
need to be precise and clear, and replicating this is the
key to getting your subordinates to actually do what you
want them to do,rather than what they perceive that you
want them to do. Te reason for this is that, in a classic
Kriegsspiel, the umpire will be playing the rle of the various
subordinates and it is he that moves your troops on the map.
In the Prussian Army, games of Kriegsspiel would
tend to be played in the ocers mess. In that situation,
the umpire would have the Red player (or team, for these
games were often conducted with teams) in one corner,
the Blue team in another, and his own map in a third.
Once he received the orders from each team, he would
adjourn to the map and begin moving the blocks according
to those orders. Here, however, we depart from tabletop
wargaming, or most versions of it, as the game is not played
with any set bounds. Rather the duration of the turns is
dictated by what is, or is not, happening on the map.
Perhaps some examples may help here. Let us assume
that Red and Blue are at war. Te border between them
is the Silde stream, an inconsequential bit of water
than forms no practical military barrier. So, Red has
a column that has been ordered to cross the border
and seize the village of Schnkirch, whereas Blue has
been ordered to seize the heights to the south of Sildau
to protect their territory. A nice, simple scenario that
sees the two forces on a direct collision course.
Reds column is leaving the village of Hohenzell at
06.00, Blues is doing exactly the same from Schnkirch
at the same time. Red has ordered his two squadrons of
hussars to advance down the main road, sending small
patrols ahead to recce the route from the high ground
that they will be moving through. Blue has been more
direct, presuming that his own territory is safe, and his
cavalry have been instructed to make straight for the
Sildau heights, with outposts only being sent ahead to
take them and report back if they encounter the enemy.
In this situation, it is quite clear to the umpire that the
two forces will not be encountering each other for a while.
In the rules, two minutes of time is the basic unit, but in
this situation, he moves both forces ve times that, with
10 minutes passing. Tis puts the two forces signicantly
closer together, but as yet, he has nothing to report to
the players, who are left to assume that all is proceeding
according to plan. Now time is more critical, so he moves
the scouts forward to discover at what point they will
spot each other. Once they do so, it is assumed that both
parties send a messenger back to the main column with
news of the enemys presence. Te umpire calculates
how long it will take for these messages to arrive and
then he approaches the players to pass on the news.
For example, Blue and Red scouts may have spotted each
other at 06.22. Red sends his messenger back and he reports
to the column commander at 06.26. With this structure, the
game for the players is punctuated not by articial turns of a
set duration, but by decision-making points. An example of
this would be reected in the following commanders log.
1. 06.00. Column begins to march out, cavalry
scouts are sent ahead as per orders.
2. 06.26. A messenger has arrived from the cavalry scouts.
Tey have spotted enemy cavalry patrols on the heights
to the south of Sildau. I am sending a message ahead
to my cavalry to try to push the enemy patrols o the
Action! Red and Blue deploy their infantry and skirmishers. Blue has deployed his 6pdr battery atop the ridge (the blocks with four white dots on them) whilst Reds artillery
is still stuck on the road. Learning to recognise the dierently-coloured and shaped blocks is one of the ner points of Kriegsspiel along with learning to map-read!
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
heights and see if any larger enemy force is further to
the north. Te main column is to continue its advance.
3. 06.34. Another messenger has arrived. It looks like the
enemy are now holding the heights at Sildau with a strong
cavalry force, larger than my own two squadrons. Tis
worries me, but I am instructing my squadrons to observe
them and stop any enemy movement further south.
4. 06.38. Tis is bad news! My cavalry appear to have been
defeated by the enemy cavalry, I can see them routing
back in disorder fortunately, I cant see any enemy
cavalry in pursuit. I am sending one of my ADCs to
take them back to rally to the West of Tiefenzell. My
column wait a minute its now 06.39 and I can see
enemy cavalry coming across the ridge opposite. (At
this point, the umpire will escort the player to the map,
keeping hidden the location of Blues column, but allowing
Reds commander to deploy his forces on the map.)
5. Quick, send the Jgers forward into those
woods to the left of the road. Bring the
infantry battalion and guns up into line.
6. 06.42. Te enemy cavalry seem to have pulled away
behind the hill. I could see them making their way o
to the South-East, thats dangerously close to my right
ank. Ill put my infantry battalion there in square
And so on. What the Red commander is not aware of is
that Blues cavalry is simply demonstrating, in order to buy
time for the main Blue column to deploy on the heights
above Sildau. As can be seen, the game for the commanders
is a procession of decision-making opportunities. Te
umpire will play a multi-rle game. At times he is carrying
out his usual duties with the rules, working out distances
travelled or eects of combat, and at others he is writing
reports from patrol commanders or rle-playing the
report of the breathless hussar who probably knows
less than the commander-in-chief would like him to.
As the game progresses, the two forces will probably come
into combat, and at this point the players are likely to be
brought up to the map to view the battle proper, all of which
is controlled using the rules system of combat odds. Here
the battle progresses very much in line with any tabletop
game. When I rst got the rules, I had anticipated something
akin to H.G. Wells Little Wars or early Featherstone. I
was, consequently, surprised to nd that whilst they were
simple to use, the rules were actually very sophisticated, in
that they would often combine several elements into each
dice roll. So, for example, one dice roll in close combat
will tell you how many men both sides have lost and what
their morale status now is, and how they react to victory
or defeat. In a nutshell, these rules were clearly written
by someone who understood the subtleties of combat.
So, thats the basics of the rules: anything you can do
with a set of tabletop rules you can do with Kriegsspiel,
but the game is far more of an holistic experience. A
tabletop game is, by denition, articially restricted
by the nite space of the table that we play our games
on. As such, we almost always need to assume that
the approach march has been made, the scouting is
all done, the armies have rather generously waited for
each other to deploy into battle order and then, on the
blow of some metaphorical whistle, the game begins.
Kriegsspiel, conversely, has no such restrictions. Your
game begins with a force that has certain objectives.
You may have a general idea where the enemy is,
but you certainly dont know for sure. Indeed, you
dont know very much for sure, like whats on your
anks, or where exactly your battle will be fought!
It is critical in Kriegsspiel to give far more consideration
to your order of march and your use of troops. I want
my artillery to be able to take part in the battle that is
to come, but I dont want them all at the front of my
column without enough infantry support. Id like all
that lovely cavalry on the table to charge gloriously, but
actually if I do that, what will be happening on my anks?
If the enemy has split his force and is making a march
against my ank I sure as Hell want to know about it!
Perhaps, rather than deploy all of my force in the battle-
line, as I would do in a tabletop encounter, it might be a good
idea to hold back a reserve force to deal with any unexpected
enemy reinforcements; they can always be used to deliver
the coup de grce if things go to plan. Will my own ank
column do as I ordered? Perhaps I should send my best
subordinate ocer to maximise the chance of it happening.
I know they should be arriving on my left at around 10.30,
but that depends on the enemy not delaying themAll of
Action! Red and Blue deploy their infantry and skirmishers. Blue has deployed his 6pdr battery atop the ridge (the blocks with four white dots on them) whilst Reds artillery
is still stuck on the road. Learning to recognise the dierently-coloured and shaped blocks is one of the ner points of Kriegsspiel along with learning to map-read!
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
these issues become important in Kriegsspiel, where the
commander needs to consider the whole picture, rather than
what is happening immediately in front of him on the table.
So why on earth should you keep all of those gures
youve amassed over the years? Why not og them on
eBay and replace them with a handful of blocks and
just play Kriegsspiel? Well, actually Id never suggest
that. I do enjoy a game of Kriegsspiel, but I also enjoy
the magical sight of a table groaning with beautifully-
painted gures that, frankly, blocks can never completely
replace for me. But Kriegsspiel is not just an either/or
option. Te rules can provide some superb additions
that can really enhance our tabletop wargaming.
Tere is, of course, the campaign option. Kriegsspiel
provides the gamer with just about every piece of
information he needs to
conduct a campaign on any
map you like. As long as you
know the scale of the map
you are using, the march rates
and column lengths specied
will be easily translatable to
your own campaign. Reisswitz
can tell you how long it will
take a company of pioneers
to bridge a river depending
on what sort of buildings can
be found locally. He can tell
you how far your column will
stretch in road distance, and
how long it will take the tail to
catch up the head. Its all there
on a plate, as youd expect.
But thats not all. Lets
consider what it can do for your
normal tabletop battle that, at
present, Id wager you havent considered in your gaming.
Imagine Fred and Bill who are due to meet next week for
a game. Any horse and musket period will do, but to keep
Henry awake, [Cheeky! Ed.] lets assume its 18th century.
Fred will be commanding forces of Prunkland, the Blue
forces, Bill those of Faltenland, Red. We can keep our normal
tabletop set up, and the orders of battle can be supplied as
usual, but lets add something to the scenario. What about
those anks? Are you going to leave them hanging in the air
and rely on your tabletop forces to deal with any surprise
arrivals? Or, more sensibly, are you going to forgo a couple of
squadrons from that regiment of cavalry to patrol o-table.
If there are any enemy approaching from that direction,
do you want them to attempt to delay them, or just report
back to the commander on the table as quickly as possible?
You can abstract this stage if you wish. It may be enough
to simply accept that there is a ank and you do have patrols
there. If you dont have an umpire to hand, you can simply
accept that the patrols will give warning of any approach
from that direction, and maybe even delay the enemy. You
may, however, prefer to have a larger scale map of the area
o-table and again, if you have the luxury of an umpire,
he can use the Kriegsspiel rules to actually work out what
will happen on that ank, all of which will provide reports
and messages, worked out beforehand, that can be handed
to the tabletop commander during the actual game.
In detail, Fred could well receive a report at 10.30 saying
that an enemy column is advancing on to his right ank.
Hes already said that as hes allocated a reasonable-sized
force a regiment of cavalry let us say to that area and
he wants them to harass any enemy advance aggressively,
this is what they will attempt to do. Te next message Fred
gets is at 11.00, sent at 10.42. Its his cavalry commander
again, who is reporting that whilst they are not actually
attacking the enemy, they have been successful in halting
the column and forcing the enemy to deploy his guns.
Indeed, it may be that both commanders hear artillery re
from that direction earlier than Fred receives his report.
At 11.15 (Im presuming the tabletop rules have a 15-
minute scale turn, but you can adapt this to suit the rules
you use) Fred receives another report. His cavalry have
fallen back before a larger force of enemy cavalry. When the
message was written, at 11.02,
his own cavalry were only two
miles from the table edge. Tey
had, by then, identied the
enemy column as being one of all
arms, estimated at two regiments
of horse, two battalions of foot
and a 12-pounder battery. If Fred
is lucky, they have been fortunate
enough to capture a messenger
trying to get through to Bill
with news of the Faltenland
columns imminent arrival.
To my mind, the possibilities
are endless. Kriegsspiel is a
tremendously exible system
that can be used as was originally
intended, as a game in its own
right, and whats more its a game
devised by a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars who knew just
what the battleeld he was seeking to represent was really
like. But it can also be used as a fantastic addition to our
tabletop gaming and campaigning, that removes the articial
parameters of the table and allows us to consider our battles
as part of the larger picture that our historical counterparts
would have recognised. All of this sums up why we, at
TooFatLardies, have worked with Bill Leeson over the past
year to get the rules back into print. In fact, the more I think
about it, the more Im convinced that this article has the
wrong title. Kriegsspiel doesnt just ride again; this is the
Return of the Magnicent Kriegsspiel. Why not give it a go?
See the TooFatLardies Kriegsspiel ad on p.47 for their
contact details. I recently purchased the CD version of
the rules and maps which I regret weve not had time
to review in this issue, but well certainly do so in time
for issue 11. In short, however, Im very impressed with
the attractively-presented PDF versions of the rules and
maps, which are also available in hard copy. See the
Lardies own site at
A quick Google turned up a few Kriegsspiel references,
of which the best were and
Te Umpire resolves the action on the master map. Tis shot gives
a good indication of scale. All photos by Richard Clarke.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
z8mm v:ns1:ts
Well, it had to happen. I really hoped
it would. 28mm multi-part historical
plastics. I thought perhaps a Russian or
Chinese company might try it, or a rich
American, or even Games Workshop.
But the Perrys? Manna from heaven.
After the fun I have had converting
and painting Valiant and Tamiyas in
recent weeks, I just cant wait to get my
hands on these. Te downside? Well,
I dont really do ACW, and I dont see
even these gures making it happen. It
is not a period I enjoy, and I dont think
I will change my mind. Te scale too
sets them on their own, unless by some
quirk their heads or weapons match
Tamiyas 1/48ths. But the conversion
possibilities are many, and I just know
I will end up painting some Rebs. I
dont know about your group, but this
announcement caused quite a stir. I
am very excited about the possibilities
for the hobby, and look forward to
my rst pack. I will be queuing.
Personally, I get a lot from watching
someone else make models or
paint on video, because sometimes
that is the only way to see exactly
what is going on. So with that in
mind, and a small case of fan fever,
I bought Marcus Nicholls DVD
on Realistic Armour Finishing
Techniques (Compendium Films).
Marcus Nicholls is undoubtedly
one of the best modellers in the world,
and regularly has work in Tamiya
Model Magazine International
magazine, which he also edits. He
excels at realistic paint nishes and
weathering, often breaking new
ground, and he has very few rivals in
this respect. Broadly speaking, this
topic is exactly what the DVD covers.
We go from a base sprayed tank,
right through masking, washes, lters
(glazes), paint chipping (very trendy),
rust streaks and general weathering.
Colours are explained fully, as are
mix consistencies, and application is
shown in every case. Overall, it is an
excellent eort. It loses marks only
because it needs more close-ups;
sometimes it is impossible to see what
is being painted and how. Granted,
these are tiny details being applied,
but that is what we need to know. Mr
Nicholls also works very quickly, and I
am pleased to see that I am not alone
in my regular use of a hairdryer!
Having enjoyed the rst DVD,
and also seen Richard Windrows
Terrain Modelling in the same series,
I am going to get Realistic Model
Buildings as well. Tis is also by
Mr Nicholls, and apparently shows
the infamous Marmite masking
technique, which cannot be missed.
It must be stressed that all of
these DVDs concentrate on 1/35th
and larger models, but to be honest
the techniques pretty much work all
the way down to 15mm. I have been
trying them out on 1/72nd tanks and
they work ne. I wouldnt want to
paint chip a 1/300th tank, but I am
sure there are those that have. And
if you want to emulate the realistic
techniques of Mr Nicholls, these
will show you an awful lot more
than the magazines. For all round
coverage, I would also recommend
Mig Jimenez F.A.Q. book as a great
partner. Te DVDs cost 13 to 15
and each runs around 90 minutes,
including extras, which is a good
price compared to other specialist
hobby DVDs. Highly recommended.
Nvw :nmvs rou o:o
Many of you will know that in a couple
of years or so, tungsten light bulbs
will be phased out in the UK. We are,
as with digital TV, therefore obliged
to move with the times and seek
environmentally sound alternatives.
For your average room light, you
shouldnt notice any dierence, but
for halogen spots (very common
these days) and modelling lights
things may be changing more than
you imagine. In a nutshell, the
advantages are, umm, availability and
long life, typically ten times that of
a tungsten bulb. Te downsides are
higher prices, big curly elements, and
an interesting meltdown evacuation
drill if you should happen to break
one basically, hold your breath
and run. Additionally, some people
have experienced physical reactions,
mainly rashes and headaches.
Now I am more than a little green
tinged, and I will happily adopt these
new devices without much prompting.
My neighbours dont know, but I
would have solar panels and a small
wind farm on the roof tomorrow if
I could aord it. At the same time, I
love light. Lots of it. If there is such a
thing as borderline SAD, that is me.
Stop giggling at the back. As I am very
happy with my lighting arrangements
for painting (all Anglepoise: 100w
daylight, 60w daylight, and halogen
spot) I thought it might be wise to start
looking at my options. It also might
just get me out of the photographic
hole that I still nd myself in.
So. Option one is to stock up on
tungstens like they are going out
of fashion. And of course, they are.
Option two was to buy a Daylight
long life bulb, from the local art
shop. I plugged this into the 60w
Anglepoise and have been using it for
three months. Wunderbar! Incredibly
bright, white light, no problems, no
headaches. More often than not, I use
this light on its own. Te only slight
issue is that the bulb sticks way out
of the hood, and so makes shading
your eyes harder, but not impossible.
Encouraged, and slightly obsessed
with candlepower to oset this
dull winter, I ordered a bigger lamp
from who have an
amazing range of bulbs and related
items. Tis was a 25 watt daylight
spectrum, which equates, somehow,
to 120 watts in old money. I installed
this in the 100w Anglepoise and
immediately hit problems
Nothing wrong with the light
output, which is intense. Too much,
if anything. I suspect a 60w or 80w
equivalent would be ne. No, we
are talking weight. Tese new bulbs
are much heavier than the old glass
models. So when you plug them into
an Anglepoise, you get droop. Te
bulb gradually pulls the arm and
head down to table level. Not good.
Do I have a worthless and weak
lamp, perhaps? I switch lamps. Same
Forward observer
Is the future plastic?
by Mike Siggins
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
result. When I replaced the original
Daylight bulb, it looked dim. Ten
minutes later, it had died. So from
a lamp that promises 10,000 hours
(over a year, on permanently), I had
got three months occasional use.
I will persevere, because I like
the light quality, but I leave you
with these ndings. What with
global warming, curly light bulbs,
power costs and droopy lamps,
the hobby may not be the same in
a few years. Candles, anyone?
Tnv wnv or 1nv wnuu:ou
James Clavell has a lot to answer
for. And that Kurosawa bloke, come
to think of it. In truth, I was bitten
fairly early on by the samurai bug.
While Kagemusha remains overrated,
once I had seen Te Seven Samurai,
Yojimbo and Ran, I was a lifetime
convert to the old bushido boys.
I have almost every book by the
ubiquitous Stephen Turnbull, the
Toshiro Mifune of samurai writing.
I adore my Angus McBride plates,
even if they are a bit chubby. I much
prefer Heian to the more popular
Muromachi, so I have maintained
my typical exoticism. I play Samurai
RPGs when I can. I have samples of
every gure range ever made. I even
have John Jenkins buildings and torii
stored away in cupboards. I have
listed all the gures I want from the
Perrys. And I do eat quite a lot of rice
and sushi. I am, as they say, all set.
And I am not alone. With the WAB
samurai supplement due soon, it
seems everyone and his dog is doing
samurai models and planning armies.
Caught up in the pre-publication
excitement, my willpower was duly
weakened. When the excellent West
Wind gures appeared at Warfare,
I was forced to resist manfully, to
dream of horse archers, big drums
and katanas, and not credit card slips.
All to no avail, because my mate Rob
had bought some and cruelly left me
with half a dozen gures to paint.
You see how easily I am distracted?
Tat night I sat there painting away.
And painting. And painting. After
what seemed like several hours, I
had completed one gure. Projecting
this rate of output to even skirmish
forces, I phoned Rob and admitted
defeat. I thought highlanders were
bad, but the harsh truth is that these
are the toughest subjects I have
ever had to paint. Really hard work.
Endless undercuts, armour, ribbon
and orals all the way to the horizon.
My zen powers are fading. I am
thinking Stug IIIs. Teyre easy.
And fun. Ill do one of those instead.
Puoott1:v:1v ou:vv
Tere is one stand that always
catches my eye at shows. It shouldnt,
because I am sworn o of 28mm
WWII, but Bolt Action always have
something new and tempting. Tis
might be because between Paul Hicks,
Richard Ansell and the team they
have churned out over 700 masters
to date. Tis year they have tempted
me with Italians (resisted, just), SS
(minor purchase), more Italian Paras
(sale Mr Humphreys!) and now, my
beloved Fallschirmjaeger. Te latter
are excellent, among the best that
Paul has done. With a camera crew
in the works, I can see that I will be
spending more time and money here.
I am still playing a lot of games.
Well, a lot for me. We continue with
our interest in AK47 and while I
would make some minor changes to
ease it towards Te Perfect Game,
it is still providing some excellent,
tense battles, and some memorable
situations. Inevitably, happy with the
general feel, we are looking to variants
in other periods. Tese are likely to
be 1940 (Blitzkrieg and Desert) and
for me, a tempting excursion into
Mexican Revolutions. I will check out
options for ancients and medievals,
probably writing the latter myself.
Another game earning its keep is
Wings of War, a 1/144th scale WWI
air game that I have mentioned before.
Tis may look like a boardgame, as it
comes in a box, but this is very much
a miniatures game. Tat said, it has
found favour with both groups. Te
games are simple, quick and fun,
reminiscent of Sopwith for anyone who
remembers that game from the 1970s,
and the more recent Aerodrome, by
the talented Stan Kubiak. We are all
painting Skytrex 1/144th planes to give
us plenty of variety. Well worth a look.
I have also started to play Pig Wars.
Now, there is a deceptive set of rules.
Overpriced, under-produced and
frankly not a model of clarity. But we
played them, they work, and they have
a certain something. I was swayed by
a chat with a fan at Partizan who was
convinced that the rules could handle
any skirmish from Sumer to Sci-, and
probably beyond. I am not sure about
that, but they certainly are a exible set
and do manage to convey a good feel
for the Dark Age period, so they might
work for, say, samurai or medievals.
Finally, rounding out a very active
period, is Astounding Tales. I have
written a full review elsewhere,
but suce to say that this pulp
game has been a great success.
And to think I used to
only play Napoleonics.
Co:otu mn1tn:c
I am not that great at converting
colours from real life to paint. Two
products have surfaced recently that
are going to make life a lot easier.
Color Match 1.0 is a web-based tool
that lets you do all sorts of clever stu
(see http://colors.silicon-dragons.
com/). And it is free. Want to nd
out the equivalent to Scab Red in
other ranges? Or, give me the Vallejo
equivalent of Tamiya NATO Brown.
No problem. Want to work out a
three band colour recipe? Again, easy.
You can even type in a hex number
and it will show you the matching
colours from all the paint ranges.
Tis means I can take a photo, or
nd one on the web, and get an average
hex (Web colour, such as CC0000 for
Battlegames deep red) value using the
colour dropper in Photoshop. I then
put the number into Color Match
and it gives me a match. And the
match is good enough. Excellent!
I am not yet saying the package
is perfect, because obviously it does
not have all the paints in the world
(it cost enough to get the many
existing swatches in and analysed)
and it does occasionally come up
with odd answers often suggesting
silver or other metallics for light
greys, presumably because of their
tonal similarity. But it has the big
paint names included, and designer
Joe Kutz is open to suggestions on
improvements. As I dont always have
access to the web, I am hoping that
Color Match emerges as a standalone
oine product, and that in time
it includes more and more paint
ranges especially W&N oils. Would
I pay for it? Yes. It is that good.
In a similar vein, but rather less
aordable, is the Matchstik. I came
across this in an interior design
magazine. It is a small device that you
can hold up against a surface and it
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
will read the colour, in about 10,000
graduations, again reporting back as a
number. Te shop oering the service
made them available on loan, so that
one might check that ones curtains
matched ones cushions! I had other
ideas. It is made by X-Rite in the
States, and marketed in Europe by
Sikkens. Oddly, I have not been able
to nd the device for sale, or even a
price, but I get the distinct impression
that this is not a few quid. But as
Tomorrows World always promised,
a cheaper one will be along soon.
Although, come to think of it, I am
still waiting for my hover boots.
Ao no1nvu vvnu :s oov
Usually I try to restrict myself to ten
favourite products for the year end
round up. Not going to happen this
year. No sir. Be lucky to get under 20.
Here they are, in alphabetical order:
Anglian Miniatures Spanish
Civil War and buildings.
Artizans Trilling Tales,
Arthurians and Wild West.
Asmodees Hell Dorado gures.
Black Hats early Samurai,
hoping they expand the range.
Black Scorpions Old West,
but not the Apaches
Bolt Actions Italians, SS
and Fallschirmjger.
Caesars 20mm Biblicals.
Dragons 1/72nd Armour,
made and unmade.
eBobs 28mm Rebellion range,
especially the horses.
Graven Images 40mm Feudals.
HLBSCos 40mm multi-
part SWAT teams.
Italeris 20mm Napoleonics
and 1/72nd Armour.
Kingmaker Miniatures Hussites
Little Big Man transfers
everything, really.
Oshiros buildings very
promising start.
Perry Miniatures 28mm & 40mm
Napoleonics, HYW, Civilians etc.
Rackhams AT-43 mechs,
but not much else.
Sash & Sabres 40mm Napoleonics
and Landsknechts.
Silicon Dragons Colour Match 1.0.
Tamiyas 1/48th range.
Te Assault Groups 30mm
Napoleonic Austrians.
Tom Meier, generally.
Trident Designs 40mm AWI range.
Valiants 1/72nd Classic Germans.
WestWinds Samurai.
Zvezdas 20mm Egyptians,
Vikings etc.
But while there is no doubt a
Golden Age in terms of product
quality, choice and availability, and
to an extent relative cost, we are still
looking at some worrying signs, even
without unwelcome re-enactors.
I think it is now clear that the
show circuit is contracting, as many
of us thought it must. Compared to
the peak of a few years ago, several
events have disappeared interesting
that while shows lapse for very good
reasons (Walthamstow, Colchester,
Stockton etc), they dont always re-
surface. It will, for instance, be very
interesting to see if SELWG makes
it back. I sincerely hope it does,
as it left a big hole in my calendar,
and many traders I have spoken to
were chasing the business lost.
Prices are clearly rising, much
in keeping with other drains on our
wallets, which I hope means that more
traders are making a decent return,
with more and more able to go it full
time. While we punters would prefer
the bargains of years past, I feel it
is still an aordable hobby for now.
Whether it is an accessible hobby
is a dierent matter. With some
28mm gures at 2 to 3, and rule
sets regularly topping 15 or 20,
I feel there will be a crunch point
that pushes many newcomers and
existing hobbyists towards skirmish
games. Fortunately, 20mm plastics
are looking up all the time, and still
provide great value for money, but
are slightly spoilt by some companies
allowing scale creep. Quality across
the hobby is improving by the month,
and we havent even started to feel the
impact of 3d prototyping. But we still
have ranges not being nished I am
still waiting for a guilty manufacturer
to drop me a line and explain why.
In return I can explain why some
buyers wont jump and buy until they
have seen commitment from the
sculptor. Meanwhile, I am putting
it down to having both sculpting
talent and the buttery gene.
Tat said, I remain about as
positive about the hobby as I have
been since the Seventies. I could,
quite happily, sit for all my free time
painting, modelling, making terrain
and reading rules. I played more games
in 2007 than in the previous decade.
Apart from a fairly solid commitment
to 40mm Feudals and my 20mm
Egyptians, I am still itting around,
but even that is not troubling me as it
once did. Te hobby is rich, varied and
fullling, and I am really enjoying it.
Ivno vt1un:
At least three people (quite a chunk
of my readership) have asked me if I
maintained my pledge to sell or paint
more gures than I bought in 2007.
I did, just, but only by selling a load
of Foundry spares over Christmas!
Te net outow was about 30
gures, which I aim to improve upon
substantially this year. Of course, if you
counted plastics, I am in the hole to
the tune of 300 or more I certainly
dont feel too badly about that.
I met Sean Judd a few years ago at
Euro Militaire. He was showing his
new range of 40mm knights and Robin
Hood characters, and I liked them a
lot. I bought some, I vowed to paint
them with lots of neat heraldry. As
you do. After that, things went a bit
topsy turvy for me. Four years later,
digging around in a box, I found
the knights. Odd. Very odd. In that
very week I had taken delivery of
some 40mm feudals from Graven
Images, sculpted by Jim Bowen. My
next project, 1250, was underway.
Unlike me, Sean has not been
quiet. He has expanded the knights
to include a decent range of archers,
crossbowmen and men at arms. Tere
are more models coming. He has
also done a considerable number of
AWI sculpts, again in 40mm. When I
put in an order for the knights, some
of the AWIs came along with them.
And I have to say I was bowled over. I
immediately painted Paul Revere, who
comes mounted on a superb horse
this is up there with the Drabant
sculpts as the best I have seen in this
scale. Te characterful infantry are also
excellent, and I recommend you have
a good look if considering this period.
All the gures mentioned are
available from Doug Carroccio at the
Miniatures Service Centre, whose
mail order service is exemplary. With
the dollar squirming, they can be
had for a song. Sean is looking for
options for a UK distributor, and is
promising some very tempting ranges
in the future including woodland
Indians. I would like some more
knights please Sean, more weapons,
and some smelly peasants.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Battles for wargamers
Trautenau 1866
by Stuart Asquith, illusrated by the Editor
he setting for this action is the Austro-Prussian War
of 1866. Also known as the Seven Weeks War, this
conict essentially stemmed from the background
that Austria and Prussia were vying for leadership of
the 39-state German Confederation, which had been
established in 1815. Austria condemned both Prussias
power politics and expansionism, as well as her occupation
of the duchy of Schleswig, gained from Denmark in 1864
when Austria and Prussia had fought on the same side.
Te south German states of Bavaria, Baden,
Wrttemberg, and the two Hesses, together with
Hanover and Saxony, supported Austria. Te smaller
north German states supported Prussia and Bismarck
had persuaded Italy to form an alliance with Prussia,
promising the Austrian province of the Veneto as a prize.
Austria declared war on 14th June, 1866.
At 4am on 27th June, I Corps of the Prussian 2nd Army
under General of Infantry von Bonin crossed the frontier
from Silesia into Bohemia in two columns via passes in the
Giant Mountains. Te right-hand column was intended
to be the advance guard and, in turn, protected itself
with a small right ank detachment. Te two columns
were directed to join at the village of Parschnitz and to
rest there while the vanguard occupied Trautenau, a
small town on the River Aupa, a tributary of the River
Elbe, four miles south-east of the Silesian frontier.
Lacking scouting cavalry probably a command decision
owing to the rugged nature of the terrain over which the
Prussians were advancing the advance guard (i.e. right
column) moved slowly, with the infantry having to perform
reconnaissance duties, often causing the column to halt
and wait. While the left column arrived at Parschnitz
at 8am, the right column arrived two hours later.
Te vanguard of the Corps advance guard pressed
on and approached Trautenau at about 10am to nd
it only lightly-held by Austrian troops, in the form of
some dismounted dragoons holding a hastily-barricaded
bridge over the Aupa. Tis small force was quickly
overcome by the Prussians and forced out of the town.
Te Prussian delay at Parschnitz had allowed time for
the Austrian 1st Brigade to arrive and deploy on the ridges
to the south of Trautenau. As the weary Prussians entered
the town and rested in the arcaded central square, some
Austrian Jger moved quietly down the hillside into the
town and opened re on their unsuspecting enemy. A
frenzied free-for-all reght immediately ensued, before
the Austrian light infantry were ordered to return to
their positions on the steep slopes south of the town.
Around 11.30am the Prussians, now strengthened by
half a dozen infantry battalions that had made their way
from Parschnitz, began to attack the Austrian position.
Owing to the steepness of the slopes and the broken
ground, their advance had to be made in single le
along narrow deles and on the heavily-wooded slopes
in small, isolated groups, spread out in open order.
Around 1pm, after defending the steep and dicult
terrain for an hour in erce ghting, including a particularly
ercely-contested action around the Chapel of St John on
the summit of the ridge line, the Austrian 1st Brigade fell
back southwards and the Prussians occupied the three
commanding heights behind the town: Galgenberg (Gallows
Hill), Johannesberg or Kapellenberg (Johns or Chapel Hill),
and Hopfenberg (Hop Hill). By 3pm, more of the Prussian
I Corps were in the ghting line, the Prussian right was in
Hohenbruck and their left in Alt Rognitz, but the weariness
of the troops, who by this time had been marching and
ghting for 12 hours, ruled out any pursuit of the Austrians.
Trautenau and the surrounding area were in
Prussian hands and for three hours, Prussian troops
and supplies rolled in from the border mountains.
Preceded by an hour-long artillery barrage from 40
guns pounding the heights at close range, the Austrian
commander began a sustained counterattack on the Prussian
line. Te newly-arrived Austrian 4th Brigade passed to the
left of the 1st Brigade to attack the central Johannesberg,
while the 2nd Brigade passed on their right to work around
the Prussian left ank and storm the Hopfenberg.
Te Austrian attack soon oundered on the
wooded, irregular and broken slopes, but the Prussian
commander who had never before been in battle
resolved not to hold Trautenau and the heights, and
ordered a retreat, with some 14 infantry battalions
and most of the artillery not having red a shot.
Te Prussians left their recently-acquired positions,
but their rearguard the 1st and Fusilier Battalions of the
East Prussian 43rd Infantry Regiment stationed near
the summit chapel, maintained a steady and accurate
re on the attacking Austrians, inicting heavy losses.
Arriving at 5pm on the battleeld, the Austrian 3rd
Brigade at once came up to support the 4th Brigade,
which was grouping for yet another frontal attack on
the chapel. Tis renewed attack was successful, but
the 3rd Brigade, operating in half-battalion masses,
lost 43 ocers and 859 men in the process.
Te Prussian retreat became more rapid and
they were also expelled from Trautenau, retreating
still further back to Parschnitz and, by 3am, to the
frontier they had crossed only 24 hours previously.
Te weary Austrians had taken heavy losses
during their attack, they did not follow up their
success and the entire X Corps under Field Marshal
Gablenz remained around Trautenau.
Te Austrians had succeeded in what they had intended,
namely to block to the invaders this particular road into the
country. Tey were therefore entitled to claim Trautenau
as a tactical victory, but one which, in the event, was to
be quickly neutralised by Austrian defeats elsewhere.
Te action turned out to be the solitary success of the
Austrians during the Prussian advance. It was a costly
victory, with the Prussians suering 15 ocers and 249
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
men killed, 41 ocers and 967 men wounded plus 86 men
missing, a total of 56 ocers and 1,282 other ranks. Te
Austrians lost 196 ocers and more than 5,500 men.
Wnucnm:c Tunt1vnt
While I have been interested in the Seven Weeks
War and have wargamed it in 6mm for many years,
my main reason for selecting this particular action as
the setting for a wargame was that I wanted to ght
an encounter action over some challenging terrain,
as a change from the more customary convenient,
open green pasture, with picturesquely- and perhaps
conveniently-placed houses and a few trees.
Te town of Trautenau is situated on the southern slopes
of the Giant Mountains that form the boundary between
Bohemia in the Austrian empire and Silesia in Prussia,
and lies in a hollow surrounded by wooded hills. Tere is
a bridge across the River Aupa within the town. South of
the town, several steep hills approach close to the outskirts,
being intersected by steep-sided and narrow deles.
When it came to laying out the terrain, the exercise
proved to be easier than I had anticipated. All my 6mm
terrain was made for me some years ago by the talented
Dave Marks and has proved to be very versatile.
Te basis for the Trautenau terrain was my wooden
terrain squares, each measuring 12 x 12 (or 30cm
square). On top of the basic layer, I placed more squares,
oset to leave some gaps to act as deles. Tis layer was
then surmounted with irregularly-shaped one- and two-
contour hills, so that the very tops were four contours
high. Some of my hills, and indeed the ordinary squares,
are drilled to receive the twisted wire trunks of miniature
trees and when these (quite a few of these in fact)
were in place, I was pleased with the overall result.
Te town of Trautenau was represented by about a dozen
buildings, all placed around a central square and, just outside
the town, a bridge over the River Aupa, itself represented by
suitable river sections. (Note that the name Trautenau will
not be found on present-day maps. Situated in Bohemia, the
town is now called Trutnov and is in the Czech Republic.)
Te dicult terrain was undoubtedly an important factor
in the action. Tis can be reected in a number of ways:
halving the move distance of the troops, limiting visibility
and therefore ranges, and breaking up larger formations such
as battalions (although, as you will shortly learn, given the
nature of the gures I use and their organisation, I cannot
reproduce this last eect). In my experience, reducing the
distance troops can move simply lengthens the game, but it
is certainly an option. I nd that articial limits on visibility
are also tricky to apply, the wargamer knows the gures are
there as heishe can see them from a mile up in the sky.
Te very nature of the terrain itself should provide
its own movement and ring problems, rather than
needing any further legislation to be applied.
Finally, a fair proportion of the Prussians never
came into action, and again the funneling of the
troops caused by the nature of the terrain will
see to it that this is very much the case.
Te Prussian infantry were armed with the Dreyse
needle gun, which could be loaded when the rer was
in any position, including prone. Te weapon could re
ve or more rounds per minute and was sighted to 600
paces a pace being 30. It had a battle sight of 300
paces, or 250 yards, and a maximum sight of 600 paces,
or 500 yards or 457 metres. Te Prussian artillery was
not the dominant arm it was to become in the Franco-
German War 1870-1871, it was in the disorganising
process of being modernised, with muzzle-loading pieces
being scrapped in favour of breech-loaders with an
eective range of some 1,500 yards. Tere was a distinct
lack of training on the new pieces and it was generally
deployed both poorly and cautiously by commanders.
Te Prussian soldier was well-trained, although the
cavalry was not of the calibre of the Austrians and, as just
noted, the performance of the artillery left a lot to be desired.
Te Austrians carried muzzle-loading ries which
outranged the Prussian weapon, being eective at over 850
yards and very accurate at 450 yards, but they had a slower
rate of re and could not be loaded whilst the rer was
lying down. Te Austrian artillery was well-equipped with
ried pieces and overall was well handled during the war.
Te infantry of the multi-national Austrian
army was not particularly well-trained and their
weapon skills left a great deal to be desired, although
their Jger and cavalry were excellent troops.
Te rules in use should pick up on these variances,
although it is a relatively simple matter to adapt a set written
for, say, 1859 or 1870-1871 to suit 1866. I do not distinguish
between the various artillery types, the Prussians elded
4pdr, 6pdr and 12pdr foot artillery batteries, plus 4pdr horse
artillery batteries. Te Austrians had state of the art 4pdr
and 8pdr eld batteries, 4pdr horse batteries and rocket
batteries, the latter serving largely in the Tyrol. Tat said,
given the tactics employed and targets typically engaged,
in the nal analysis there was not always a lot to choose
between the artillery of the two sides. One point that should
perhaps be reected in the rules is that the Austrian artillery
could use shrapnel, whilst the Prussian gunners could not.
Figure Scale
My 1866 armies are Irregular Miniatures 6mm gures
which I feel are ideal for portraying both the strategic and
the tactical moves of the conict. Te gures are cast in
multi-gure strips of either six infantry or four cavalry.
I do not dierentiate between the respective organisations
of the Austrian and Prussian troops in my lower levels
of organisation. My line and guard infantry battalions
each consist of two strips of gures, i.e. 12 gures in
total, with three such battalions forming an infantry
regiment of 36 gures. Jger formations have one strip of
six gures per battalion, again with three battalions to a
regiment, although it is duly noted that the battalion was
the usual Jger tactical formation. Te cavalry regiments
consist of 12 gures, being organised as three squadron
strips, each of four gures. Since Irregular Miniatures
cast artillery pieces separately, there is no problem, but I
generally use one model gun, plus crew, limber and team
to represent a battery or sometimes a half-battery.
A typical Prussian infantry corps of 1866 consisted of
two infantry divisions, each of two brigades, each of two
regiments, each of which had three battalions averaging
1,000 men. An infantry division was supported by a
regiment of cavalry and four artillery batteries, providing
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
24 guns. At corps level there was also a Jger battalion, four
foot artillery and (possibly) two horse batteries, plus an
engineer battalion. Te corps cavalry reserve was organised
into two or three regiments, each of 560 troopers.
Te Austrian 1866 higher organisation was slightly
dierent to that of the Prussians, with corps consisting of
four infantry brigades, each of a Jger battalion, two three-
battalion infantry regiments, a cavalry squadron and an
artillery battery. Again, a battalion might average just over
the 1,000 mark. Te corps artillery reserve elded ve or six
artillery batteries, each of eight guns. Two batteries might
consist of horse artillery and there could also be a rocket
battery attached. Pioneers were attached at corps level.
Cavalry divisions elded two or three brigades, each either
of two regiments of light cavalry or three regiments of heavy
cavalry. Horse artillery batteries were attached at brigade
level. It is worth noting that all the aforegoing represents
theoretical strengths and organisations, there were many
variations and, as in most periods of history, commanders
on both sides often chopped and changed as necessary.
Tus my system provides a varying man-to-gure ratio
of around 85:1 to 100:1. Tis admittedly unusual state
of aairs came about for two main reasons. Firstly, as
noted, the gures come moulded together on strips and
secondly, an infantry regiment of 36 gures laid out in three
battalions each of 12 gures to me just looks about right.
Te variance in ratios has never given me any
sleepless nights nor wargame problems, but any readers
throwing up their hands in horror or wistfully shaking
their sage-like heads at such nonsense are very free to
create their own manigure ratios and need not send
me the results in writing (as they said in Charge!).
Apart from the excellent range of 6mm gures from
Irregular Miniatures, there are some part-ranges in 15mm
and likewise in 25mm, but these tend to concentrate on the
Franco-German War 1870-1871, leaving the 1866 Austrians
as poor relations. [We note, however, the recent release of
the beginnings of an appropriate range of 28mm gures
from Helion see Ed.]
In 25mm plastic, Waterloo 1815 (thats a
manufacturer) produce boxes of Austrian infantry
and artillery for 1859 and Lucky Toys (!) have a
pretty grim set of Austrian Uhlans for 1866.
I have raised French and Prussian forces for the Franco-
German War using the charming, if rather characterised,
42mm toy soldier style gures from Irregular Miniatures
and I am very tempted to dabble in 1866 with other
gures from the range. At 1.25 per infantryman and
2.75 per cavalryman (one piece with horse) they are
an attractive proposition. What a daft hobby this is
An illustration by the Editor and Ann Prescott depicting the moment in the evening when men of the Austrian 3 Brigade, consisting of both Ukranian and
Venetian troops, nally managed to wrestle back control of the chapel from the 43 East Prussian Regiment in erce hand-to-hand ghting, but at high cost.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Te new range of 40mm Shiny Toy Soldiers designed
by the genial Aly Morrison and distributed by Spencer
Smith might also oer possibilities, but the gures are
slightly more expensive and do need some assembly.
However, in true H G Wells fashion, they really do
convey something of the avour of the period.
Ouovus or Bn11:v
Prussian Forces (I Corps)
(29,000 men: 24 battalions, 21 cavalry squadrons, 96 guns)
General Commanding: General of Infantry von Bonin
Right Flank Column
Aovcvo Guvo or :nv Covvs
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 Ries (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 (3 Sqdns)
1st Pioneer Battalion (1 Coy)
Reserve Infantry of the Corps
43rd Infantry Regiment (2 Bns)
3rd Regiment of Grenadiers (2 Bns)
4th 12pdr Artillery Battery
8th Uhlan Regiment ( Sqdn)
Rion: Fi Dv:cnrv: (rvor
:nv Aovcvo Guvo)
1st Dragoon Regiment (1 Sqdn)
41st Regiment of Infantry (2 Bns)
1st Rie Battalion (1 Coy)
2 guns, 5th 4pdr Artillery Battery
Lvr: Fi Coiur
Main Body of the Army Corps
3rd Brigade of Infantry
44th Regiment of Infantry (3 Bns)
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
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
Rvsvvvv Cvivv or :nv Covvs (roiioio
:nv ivr: ri coiur)
1st Cavalry Brigade
3rd Regiment of Cuirassiers
12th Regiment of Uhlans
3rd Horse Artillery Battery
Rvsvvvv Av:iiivvv or :nv Covvs
Horse Artillery Division
2nd Horse Artillery Battery
4th Horse Artillery Battery
First Field Artillery Division
1st 6pdr Artillery Battery
Second Field Division
2nd 6pdr Artillery Battery
4th 6pdr Artillery Battery
2nd 4pdr Artillery Battery
6th 4pdr Artillery Battery
1st Battalion of Pioneers (3 Coys)
Austrian Forces (X Corps)
(30,000 men: 28 battalions, 5 cavalry squadrons, 72 guns)
General Commanding: Field Marshal Gablenz
9th Uhlans
Reserve horse artillery
Reserve eld artillery
1st Brigade
12th Jger Battalion
10th Infantry Regiment (3 Bns)
24th Infantry Regiment (3 Bns)
Light Foot Artillery Battery
2nd Brigade
16th Jger Battalion
2nd Infantry Regiment (1 Bn)
23rd Infantry Regiment (1 Bn)
Light Foot Artillery Battery
3rd Brigade
28th Jger 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 use my own rules for my 1866 actions. Tese are set at
brigade level and allow quite large actions to be tted on the
tabletop and fought out in an evening, although, in fairness,
sometimes this does require a particularly long evening!
I have also nearly nished the rst draft of the challenging
but fascinating task of converting von Reisswitz 1824
Kriegsspiel rules for possible use with my 6mm gures.
I understand that Bruce Weigle of the USA is currently
working on a ruleset for 1866. Judging by his already
published rules 1870: Grand Tactical Rules for the Franco-
Prussian War (2001) and 1859: Grand Tactical Rules for the
Second Italian War of Independence (2006), the latter also
including complete rules for the Second Schleswig War
1864, these new rules will be well worth the wait. Actually,
it is worth pointing out that Mr Weigles publications oer
far more than just rules, providing as they do a wealth of
background information, scenarios, orders of battle etc.
Not cheap, but certainly excellent value for money.
Te Continental Wars Society concentrates on post-
Napoleonic, pre-Great War European conicts. Te
Society publishes Te Foreign Correspondent, a quarterly
newsletter which is an excellent read and full of hard-to-nd
information. Te current UK annual subscription is 6 and
I thoroughly recommend you try a years sub. For further
details contact Ralph Weaver, 37 Yeading Avenue, Harrow,
Middlesex HA2 9RL. (On a personal note, I must thank
Ralph for taking the time to peruse the rst draft of this
article and for suggesting some very helpful amendments.)
Im sure that there are umpteen websites out there
with all sorts of information, but as I am not particularly
internet-oriented, I am quite happy for readers to explore
this area of research. [Some Web rambling unearthed
an incredible site at Its in Czech
(apart from a single introductory page in English) but the
photographic and art references in the Gallery section
alone make it worth persevering. Do we have a Czech-
speaking reader who can translate the whole thing Ed.]
Some books that will prove useful include:
Te Campaign of 1866 in Germany
Compiled by the Department of Military History of the
Prussian Sta
Te 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
Te Campaign of 1866 in Bohemia
Lieutenant Colonel Neill Malcolm DSO (1912)
Partizan Press 2007
Te Prussian Campaign of 1866: A Tactical Retrospect
Captain Teodor May 1870
Helion & Company Ltd 2006
Te Seven Weeks War 1866
C A Sapherson
Partizan Press 1991
Te Austro-Prussian War: Austrias War
with Prussia and Italy in 1866
Georey Wawro
Cambridge University Press 1996
Te Armies of 1866: A Guide to the Uniforms
and Armies of the Seven Weeks War
Nigel J Smith (1989 & 1994)
Pickelhaube Press
Te Campaigns of 1866: A Guide to the Campaigns
and Orders of Battle of the Seven Weeks War
Nigel J Smith (1995)
Pickelhaube Press
(Both these last titles are out of print, but
are well worth tracking down if you can.)
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Computer cartography for wargamers
A simple introduction to producing maps using free software
by Tyler Provick
f a picture is worth a thousand words, a map is worth
a thousand more. In its most basic form, a map is
simply the visual representation of spatial data: how
far the coast is from the mountains. At the same time, a
map can be a beautiful work of art, worthy of framing. For
the wargamer, maps serve many practical purposes. Tey
are used to designate deployment for scenarios or tell the
story of a battle in a battle report. Ambitious wargamers
even use maps to run complex map-based campaigns.
With well-documented historical periods, it is possible
to nd maps that can be used by the wargamer. Like most
of the hobby, however, it falls to the wargamer to make it
themselves if the appropriate map isnt available. While
pencil and paper, pen and ink are still staples in the creation
of maps (see those produced by the Editor in previous
issues), computers are becoming a popular choice for the
creation of maps. A computer allows a wargamer to quickly
colour a large area with a single click. It is much easier
than dragging out the pencils, crayons or watercolours.
Tis article will focus on the use of a specic graphics
program that is free and can run on almost any computer
whether it is running Windows, Linux or Mac. Specic steps
will be provided, so that even someone new to computing
can follow along. It is assumed that the reader is already
familiar with map-making without a computer and will
have some idea of the type of map they want to make.
I1uoott1:o 1o I
Te rst step in creating a map on the
computer is nding the right program to
use. Tere are professional cartography
programs, amateur cartography
programs made by wargamers for
wargamers, and generic graphics
programs available. Both the professional and amateur
cartography programs cost money, with the amateur
programs being much more aordable. Personally, I
nd that all the maps made by one popular amateur
cartography program end up looking the same.
A graphics program, while not designed specically for
map-making, is designed to make all types and styles of
graphics. Tese programs are tools, like a pencil, which
can be used to create anything the user wants to create.
Another advantage to generic graphics programs is their
price. While it is possible to spend a great deal of money
on a graphics program, there are many free applications
that are very powerful. Inkscape is one of them. Tough
free, it works on most Operating Systems, is easy to
use, and is a perfect tool for the wargamer who wants to
quickly create a map for their webpage or club campaign.
Tere are other free graphics applications, but it is
the fact that Inkscape uses vectors in order to create its
graphics that makes it special to the amateur cartographer.
Vectors are mathematical expressions of geometric shapes.
Tere is a lot to vectors and their colleagues, rasters, but
it isnt necessary to take up space explaining them here. It
is sucient to say that vector images are easier to create
and edit than more common raster images, making it more
suited for mapping. [Tink of vectors as lled drawings,
like cartoons or animations, and rasters or bitmaps as
photographs, consisting of millions of tiny dots or pixels. Ed.]
Inkscape can be downloaded for free from www., so go right ahead and do so as your rst
step! [Editors note: Mac users will need to be using
at least Mac OSX 10.4 (Tiger) and ensure that they
have the X11 platform installed, which is one of the
Developers Tools supplied on your installation disc.]
Cuvn1:c n vw :mncv
Te rst thing to do after installing Inkscape is to open the
program and take a moment to look over your new toy.
Experienced computer users can probably skip this section,
but its important for those that arent as familiar with
computers. At the very top is the Menu Bar where most of
the tools are accessible. Click on a menu, such as File, and
you will see a list of options called a dropdown list. Items
with a black triangle to their right can be clicked on or
moused-over (moving the cursor over something without
clicking on it) to reveal an additional dropdown list.
What the image looks like within Inkscape.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Below the Menu Bar are two toolbars that contain
icons representing frequently used tools. It is possible
to customize these toolbars, but for the purposes of this
article it is best to leave them alone. Te top toolbar is
the Command Bar which performs commands such as
Grouping and Ungrouping Objects, Undoing mistakes or
Editing Objects. Te Tool Control Bar is used the change the
properties of the specic tool you are using. It will change
depending on which tool is chosen from the Tool Box.
Along the left side of the screen is another toolbar
called the Tool Box. It contains tools specically used
for creating and manipulating vector objects. Any icons
in a toolbar can be moused-over in order to bring up
a tooltip (a short explanation of the specic tool).
Te Workspace is the large white space with
the rectangular box in the middle. On the top
and left of the Workspace are two rulers that
can be helpful for keeping things to scale.
Te multi-coloured bar below the Workspace is the
palette, where you can quickly choose colours. Clicking
on a colour selects it as the ll colour; holding Shift
while clicking a colour selects it as the stroke colour.
Te currently selected ll and stroke colours can be
seen in the top-right corner above the Workspace.
At the very bottom of the screen is the status bar. It
shows important information about the tool you are
using or the object you are manipulating. Te left of the
status bar shows the ll and stroke colours of the object
currently selected. Te middle suggests keys that can be
pressed to change how the tool behaves. For example:
with many tools holding Ctrl while using the tool will
constrain any action to just the horizontal or vertical.
Inkscape uses the left-click for the majority of
actions. Double-clicking, if called for, is always with the
left mouse button. Multiple objects can be selecting
by holding Shift and clicking each one in turn, or by
clicking and holding the mouse button while moving
the mouse over the objects to be selected. A box will
appear with one corner located where you rst clicked
with the opposite corner following the mouse.
When Inkscape is rst opened, it automatically creates
a new image based on the programs defaults. Tese
defaults can be modied in the Document Properties
editor located in the File menu. Tey can be edited at
any time. Te page size will not constrain the size of the
image on the screen; it is only a reference for printing.
Begin by playing around a bit and clicking on some of
the buttons or menus that you see. Dont worry, theres
nothing there that will cause your computer to explode!
Now that youve thoroughly messed-up the Workspace
it is time to get rid of it and create a new, fresh Workspace.
Click on either File/New/Default or the Create New
Document command in the Command Bar. If you decide
that what youve created is worth saving, click File/Save
As or the Save Document command. Save As saves the
image as a new le. Save or Save Document will save
the image as a new le if it hasnt already been saved,
otherwise it will overwrite the existing saved le. Pay
attention to the dierence, as sometimes its important
to Save As in order to keep the original le intact.
When saving les a window will appear asking you what
you want to save the le as, what you want to name the le,
and where you want to save it. If the folder shown in the Save
in folder prompt is not the folder you want to save the le in,
click on the plus sign next to Browse. Tis will expand the
window and show more options. Te left box is a selection of
frequently used folders. Double-click on one of these folders
to move to it. Te middle box shows you the contents of the
folder you are currently looking at. Te right box will show
a preview of the currently selected le if one is available.
Below that is a dropdown list where you can choose the
le type. Best leave it as Inkscape SVG; other le types
may change the way the image works. For example, saving
the le as a JPG will automatically convert the image into a
raster image, which negates the advantage of using vectors.
Loading les works in exactly the same way, either
through File/Open or the Open Existing Document
command. Te dierence is that you are opening an existing
le instead of saving one. Opened les will open in a
separate window so that you can still access the le you are
currently working on. Objects can be copied between two
open les. If you want to open a le as part of the image
you are currently working on, choose File/Import to do so.
Tats the basics of Inkscape without getting
into object creation and manipulation.
S1nu1:c n mnv
Now comes the fun part: creating the map. Troughout
the article I will describe dierent techniques for creating
objects used in a single map. Readers can follow along to
create their own map while learning the application.
Tere are three types of maps commonly used by
wargamers: campaign maps, scenario maps and battle-
report maps. Te last two are fairly similar, battle-report
maps having additional information such as troop
movements and status. I will create a map that can be
used as the basis for a scenario or battle-report map,
which will allow me to create basic shapes without having
to do too much work deciding where to place mountain
ranges, towns, etc. It can be helpful to begin with a sketch,
especially if re-creating a battle, but it isnt necessary.
Tnv nn11:vr:v:o
Te rst step is to dene the battleeld. Click on the blue
square in the Toolbox to select the Square/Rectangle
tool. Draw a large square; this will be the border and
background of the map. It doesnt really matter how
big it is, as we can scale and zoom later, although as
Te Save dialogue is neither Windows- nor Mac-standard and may be
confusing to some users, so take your time!
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
everything will be inside this square, make it fairly big. If
you havent made it big enough, there are tiny squares in
the top-left and bottom-right corners of the box, called
handles. Grabbing one of these handles will allow you to
resize the box. In the Tool Control Bar there is an option
to change the width and height. You can enter numbers
there to precisely control the size of the box. In this case,
well specify the size of the box to make it the dimensions
we want. Well use pixels as our unit of measurement in
Inkscape. Tere are usually 72 pixels to the inch when
viewing on your computer screen. To change what unit
of measurement is used, open File/Document Properties
and set Default Units to px for pixels. Well use a scale
of 1 on the tabletop = 20px. Our 6 x 4 table therefore
becomes 1440px wide and 960px high. Tis scale is
arbitrary; the image can be enlarged or shrunk as needed.
Now you have a rectangle which, depending on
whether you played with the Palette or not, may be any
combination of Stroke and Fill colours. To change the
colours, click the Edit Objects Style command in the
Command Bar. A new window will open allowing you to
edit the Fill and Stroke of an object. For Fill, there are a
number of options: Solid, Linear Gradient, Radial Gradient,
Pattern and No Fill. Well choose Solid Fill for now.
Most wargamers have green tables, so well use that
colour for our battleeld. Tere are four ways to choose
colours, each with their own quirks. We will use HSL which
stands for Hue, Saturation, and Lightness. Its a quick and
easy way to choose colours. At the bottom is an RGBA
number which is a code for the specic colour. Below that is
the Master Opacity slider which will change the opacity of
the ll and stroke colours, allowing objects below to show
through. I chose 95c665, a mid-green, for my colour; you
can copy that into the RGBA eld or choose your own.
Te stroke or border for our battleground should be black.
On the Stroke Paint tab select Solid Stroke and black as the
colour; slide the L slider all the way to the left. We want the
Stroke Style to be fairly thick, so lets set the Width to 5px.
Aoo:c n cu:o
A grid will help when determining where a unit or terrain
item should be placed on the map. Click on Draw Bezier
Curves in the Toolbox and draw a straight, vertical line
at least 960px long. Te length is shown in the status bar;
holding Ctrl while drawing will keep the line vertical.
Click once to start the line, click again to end it, and press
Enter to nalize it. Copy this line by using the Select tool
to select the line a dashed box will surround it then
clicking Edit/Copy followed by Edit/Paste. Tis will create
two vertical lines. To align these lines with the battleeld,
select one line and set the X to 480. Select another line
and set X to 960. Select both lines, either by clicking
and dragging a box around them, or by holding shift and
clicking on each in turn. Set Y to 0 and the H to 960.
Repeat the process, but this time for a single horizontal
line 1440px wide located at 0X, 480Y. Select all three lines
and click Path/Combine. Tis merges all three lines into
one object. Select the grid and the battleeld, click on Align
and distribute objects in the Command Toolbar. In the
Align window, select Center on Vertical Axis and Center on
Horizontal Axis. Tis will position the grid directly above
the battleeld. Later we can modify the line width and style.
We can make it dashed, dotted or slightly translucent.
A nns:t n:::
A basic hill is our rst complex shape. Again we will use
the Bezier tool; this time we will use it to draw curved lines.
Drawing curves with the Bezier tool is more complicated
than drawing straight lines. To curve a line you must adjust
the handles of the nodes you are drawing. Nodes are the
points that Inkscape uses to create shapes. Te box we
created had a node at each corner; the lines, a node at each
end. Te line between the nodes is a segment. Clicking and
dragging when creating a node will drag the handle and
curve the line. Its a little tricky at rst, so take a little time to
Te basic battleeld, before anything is added.
A grid is a standard map item, and will make placing terrain on the
wargames table easier.
A few layers and a gradient makes the shape recognizably a hill.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
practice. You can add, delete and edit nodes to get the shape
you want using the Edit Paths tool. If you need more nodes
you can add more by either selecting the entire shape and
click on Insert Node in the Tool Control Bar to add a new
node splitting each segment, or by selecting a segment by
clicking on it, or shift-clicking on the two nodes bordering it,
and clicking Insert Node. Clicking and dragging a segment
will aect its curve, allowing you to shape the object. In
the Tool Control Bar there are other controls that you can
modify to change the shape. You can make the node a corner
or smooth point, make the segment straight or curved, etc.
A quick way to rough in basic shapes is to just use
straight lines to draw the shape. Once its drawn, select
all the nodes and click the Make Smooth button to
round them all. Delete and move nodes, curve segments
and rene the shape. Teres also a Draw Freehand
Lines tool, which can be used with node editing and
the Path/Simplify command to rene the shape.
To show that this is a hill we should show the slope.
Create a copy of the hill and click Path/Dynamic Inset.
Make sure you are using the Edit Paths tool to see the white
diamond handle which controls the inset. Drag this inward
to shrink the shape. Tis is dierent from scaling the shape,
as the edge will keep a consistent distance from the original
location. Once youve started insetting the shape, you can
select both hills and align them like we did the grid over
the battleground. It is easier to judge how far the inner
shape should be inset when the two shapes are aligned.
Now we can edit the colours. To make the hill stand
out from the battleground, we want to make the hill the
same colour but slightly lighter than the surface. We can
either eyeball the colour, or copy the RGBA value from the
battleground object and paste it into the smaller hill shape.
Moving L slider to the right will lighten the colour without
changing hue or saturation. To copy and paste use the
keyboard shortcut Ctrl-C for copy and Ctrl-V for paste.
For the larger hill shape, I created a gradient to give
the illusion of light hitting the slope. Click on the Create
Gradient tool in the Toolbox and select the larger hill.
Click and drag to start the gradient. It wont look like
much right away. Still using the Create Gradient tool,
select one of the stops of the gradient and edit its colour.
Use the same colour as the battleground, but make one
stop lighter than the hill, the other stop darker than the
battleground. Te stops of the gradient are like nodes on
a shape. Tey have a colour value which the computer
automatically blends together to create the gradient.
Te nal step is to group the smaller and larger hills
together so they dont move in relation to each other. After
grouping you can use the Select tool to move, scale, rotate
or skew the shape as needed. For example, if the shape is
too small, select the shape and click on one of the double-
arrows in the corner. Drag this handle while holding Ctrl
to scale the object evenly. Click in the center to change
the handles from scale to rotate. Use the handles to rotate
the object. If you want a two-tiered hill, follow the same
steps but make the second tier smaller and slightly lighter
in colour. Group the two hills to keep them together.
Mn:c n rouvs1
Making the forest starts in much the same way as making
the hill, except were not creating an inset, just the outline of
the forest. Make a dark, forest-green ll, then size and place
the forest where you want. To create trees well use a new
tool, the Star/Polygon tool. Click and drag to draw a star.
Dont worry too much about the size or number of points.
Tese can be edited just like everything else. Use the Tool
Control Bar to change the number of corners to ve or six.
Tere are a couple of handles within the star, one on the
inner corners and one on the outer corners. Clicking and
dragging these will change the shape of the star. For now,
drag the inner handle out until the rays of the star are small
and stubby. Hold Shift and drag the handles to make the star
rounded. Finally, hold Alt and drag the handles to make the
star randomized. We want
to create an irregular tree
canopy shape. Use the Create
Gradient tool to create a
radial gradient within the star,
light in the middle, darker
on the outside, but with the
darkest parts lighter than the
forest oor we created earlier.
Tis is our tree. To make the
tree more interesting, we can
copy the tree several times,
scale the copied trees down
and arrange them inside the
tree to make it look bushy.
Use the rotate feature or
play with the randomness
of the star to make them all dierent. Group them
all together so they can be moved as one.
Now, duplicate that tree two or three times and make each
one slightly larger or smaller. Make copies of those trees to
ll the area dened by the forest. Tis eect can be enhanced
by varying the shades of the components that make up
the trees and varying the shades of the trees themselves.
Group the whole forest together. If you have diculty
selecting objects because a larger object below it keeps
getting moved, hold Shift while dragging to tell Inkscape
that youre making a selection, not moving an object.
Tnv uono
To make a road use the Bezier tool again and draw a
selection of paths or lines forming the borders of the road.
In order to create the illusion of the road fading o into
the grass we will not close the object. Tis will allow us to
have the stroke broken where the road fades away. Draw
the borders of the road as individual objects. Select all the
paths making up the road and group them. Make a copy
From left to right: the basic shape drawn with straight lines, the same shape
with the lines curved, and nally, the shape with extra nodes removed.
I didnt bother lling out the back
of the forest since I knew it would
be outside the map later.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
of the group, click the Edit Nodes tool
and click Path/Combine to make all the
paths in the group part of one object.
Make the ll colour a nice brown road
colour. Unfortunately, its lling the wrong
sections of the road because the object
is not closed. Find the open points of the
object and close them by selecting the
two end nodes and clicking Join Selected
Endpoints with Segment. Once the object
is closed, the ll will jump to the inside.
Combine the rst road we created,
but dont add a ll. Center the two roads
over each other with the unlled road on
top. You may have to adjust the position
of the roads as they may not be perfectly centered. Using
Edit Objects Style, remove the stroke for the lled road.
You can also make a gradient for where the road fades out.
C:vn:c tv
Te nal step is to clean up the map, to make sure no objects
reach outside the border of the table and add some nal
details. First, lets clip o any objects overlapping the border
of the table. Copy the battleground and remove the ll. Align
the new border over the battleeld. Select any item that
is overlapping the border, then the border itself, and click
Object/Clip/Set. Tis should clip the outside of the objects,
leaving a nice, neat map. You may want to pull the gridlines
forward. Select the grid and use Raise Selection to Top to put
it above everything else. Nows a good time to play with the
opacity and style of the grid and adjust it so that its visible
but not disruptive. I like a dotted, slightly translucent grid.
Finally, I added a compass rose that Id previously created.
I now have the basis for a map that can be used for a scenario
or battle report. I can grab the hill and save it as a separate
SVG le, then import it into another map. In this way I can
create an object for every piece of terrain in my collection
to quickly throw a scenario or battle report map together.
Once the map is nished it should be saved as a SVG
le. Tis is the le Inkscape uses and will keep the map
exactly as you left it. Not all applications can read SVG
les, so it may be necessary to make a copy in a JPG or
PNG format. Use the Save As or Export function to create
the copy. Now the image can be uploaded to a website
or sent in an email, and anyone with a web browser
installed on their computer will be able to view it.
Map-making with Inkscape allows the easy creation
of campaign maps, scenario maps, maps for hidden
deployment and movement, and for battle reports.
Te simplicity and price of the program leaves more
time and money for the wargamer to buy and painting
miniatures, since that, and not map-making, is the
focus of the hobby. Wargamers, by nature, are visual
animals, and any wargamer that maintains a website can
stand to have a bit more visual interest on their site.
Experiment and have fun. Hopefully you will end up
with some great maps that will enhance your wargaming
experience without taking away too much of your
wargaming time. Te skills learnt making maps could also
be applied to the art of designing waterslide transfers and
ags. Te scalability of vector images makes them very
powerful. Adding a free tool like GIMP ( that
can handle rasters will allow even more complex maps.
All the items that overlap the border are clipped with the Object/Clip/Set
command to give a nice, clean edge. Tis is much easier than trying to build
them to match the edge earlier.
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Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Figure piracy: scourge of the hobby?
Copyright infringement and its impact on historical miniatures
by Bob Barnetson
Editors note: amount quoted are in Canadian Dollars. As at
21st August 2008 the exchange rate was 1 = $1.978 CDN.
ew miniature-related discussions generate more
heat than the piracy of intellectual property (IP).
Discussion typically centres on the recasting and
sale of existing gures. A related issue is the development
of original gures that infringe upon a copyright (e.g.
sculpting and selling unlicensed Scooby-Doo miniatures).
As a historical gamer dabbling in sci-, I was surprised by
the breadth of unlicensed
miniatures available and
uncertain about whether
to buy. Te discussion of IP
piracy online tends towards
the polemical reecting
the vested interests of
some posters and the
strong moral dimension
of the issue and was
thus rather unhelpful.
In grappling with
this issue, Ive spoken
to miniaturists who
have intentionally and
unintentionally purchased
recasts. Ive also spoken
with manufacturers of
historical miniatures
as well as recasters and
copyright infringers.
Everyone spoke on the
condition of anonymity.
Rvtns1:c m::n1tuvs
Recasting miniatures
without permission is the
most commonly discussed
form of IP piracy. Typically,
a gamer purchases gures
on eBay or Bartertown and,
upon receipt, discovers
they are of low quality
and suspects recasts.
In this transaction, the
original manufacturer has
been denied a sale and
the purchaser has been
defrauded. Tere is almost universal condemnation of this
practice. A variant of this story is a purchaser knowingly
buying recast miniatures to reduce the cost of an army.
A slightly dierent angle is a miniaturist who purchases
a miniature and then recasts some or all of the miniature.
Sometimes, the recasts are used to increase the size of
an army and thus the manufacturer has lost sales. And
sometimes an individual recasts a purchased model
for use in a conversion or enhancement project. Tere
is a long tradition of such use in military modelling,
particularly when commercial kits are unavailable or
incorrect. Again, there is a loss to the manufacturer,
although the volume of lost sales is signicantly lower.
A nal subcategory of recasting is instances of recasting
copies of out-of-production (OOP) miniatures. Tis
appears most commonly when licensed toys (suitable for
wargaming) go OOP. Tis creates a notional loss to the
copyright holder, with this loss being actualized only if the
OOP item subsequently comes back into production.
How nnuo :s :1 1o
Recast models are typically
said to be less detailed than
the original, including the
absence of ne detail and
having dull edges. Tey
may also contain air holes
or bubbles or have two
mould lines (although this
latter characteristic may
also be present on some
legitimate gures). Recasts
may also be smaller than the
originals and may be made
from dierent materials
(e.g. plastic originals
recast in metal) or exhibit
dierent properties such
as being more brittle.
In order to get a sense
of the practicalities of
recasting, I contacted a
gaming friend who is an
experienced caster of his
own sculpts. He has not,
to my knowledge, ever
recast. For the purpose of
this article, I asked him to
recast a 25mm Kingmaker
Miniatures gure I own as
well as some plastic and
metal starships produced
by the Amarillo Design
Bureau. Mould making
took about six hours,
with the space ships
and 25mm gures generating excellent moulds.
Using the starship moulds and liquid plastic, high
quality drop casts of the starships were produced. Te
photos of the Federation ship show some small defects
(e.g. a blemish on the top of the saucer section) but
also that ne surface detail can be reproduced.
An original Kingmaker Miniatures 25mm gure (top) and its recast below.
Dierences are subtle, but evident. Photos by BB. Battlegames does not
condone recasting. Tese have been made for investigative purposes only.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Te starships were also quite eectively cast in metal. Te
metal is harder on the moulds and more labour intensive
to cast and clean up. Te metal Klingon cast (with some
minor ling) is indistinguishable from the original, perhaps
reecting the mediocre quality of the commercial product.
Te 25mm gure was cast in metal. I chose the
Kingmaker gure because I wanted to see how crisp
reproductions of exquisitely detailed gures would be.
Te rst mould turned out okay, but the gures drop
cast from it were smaller than the originals and there
was some loss of detail typical signs of recasting.
A second mould was made with a super-sized pour
chamber. Tis results in a better ow of metal during drop
casting. Te result is almost
indistinguishable from the
original. Tere 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 ash.
But the gures is the same
size, has the same level of
detail and there are no double
mould lines that I can nd. Te
biggest give-away that it is a
recast is the poor quality of the
gures integral base, resulting
from nipping o excess metal
from the pour chamber.
Is uvtns1:c vuor:1nn:v
When casting with liquid
plastic, the caster expected
a 90% success rate for the
Federation starship and thought
the mould would be good for
about 100 casts. Te Klingon
ship was more dicult, due
to the shape of the original,
and he thought a 75% success
rate with a maximum of 50
casts would be possible.
With this in mind, we could
have produced approximately
37 Klingon ships and 90
Federation ones using $70
of materials and 27 hours
of time. Originals sell for approximately $9 each. If we
discounted each to $5, our net prot would have been $565
(roughly $20/hour, not including time spent selling).
With the 25mm metal gures, the manufacturer
sells six gures for 10 (roughly $20). Te need for six
moulds, the shorter life span of these moulds when
using metal, and the time involved in mould making
and casting suggest that on a price of $3.00 each, we
could generate a $1.00 prot per gure. We werent able
to generate an hourly wage rate based on our limited
experience, but we expect it would be somewhat less
than what we could make selling recast space ships.
What our experiment suggests is that one-man shops
doing recasts are unlikely to turn a signicant prot, but
the prots are not insignicant either. An experienced
caster prepared to work hard at it can produce fairly
high quality results, particularly with vehicles. Tis is
consistent with what manufacturers say. Te recasters
I spoke to were not, however, primarily motivated
by prot. Rather, many sought to make OOP minis
available while earning a few dollars on the side.
Recasting may also be more nancially viable
when gaming systems require signicant number of
identical gures to ll rank-and-le forces. Tis may
be reected in the greater reported incidence of gure
recasting for popular sci- and fantasy systems. Te
doomsday scenario (i.e. mass counterfeiting in the
developing world) has so far not materialized.
Imvnt1 o mntrnt1tuvs
Recasting deprives
manufacturers of sales. Tis
assertion is often extended by
noting that lower sales reduce
the incentive for new gure
production and can cause
manufacturers to shut up shop.
An alternative argument is that
the lower quality of recasts may
turn an unwitting purchaser
of recasts o a manufacturer,
thus reducing sales.
Te direct nancial impact
of recasting on manufacturers
largely turns on the volume
of recasts made, whether
for use at home or for sale
in the marketplace. It is not
possible to get an accurate
count of recasts (or, indeed,
even legitimate castings).
Although most reports of
recasting appear to be of sci-
and fantasy gures, AB Figures
alleged the sale of counterfeit
15mm Napoleonics in 2004.
Figures Armour and Artillery
(FAA) USA revealed a similar
concern with this same seller
shortly thereafter. Large lots
of recasts purchased on eBay
and Bartertown have also been
reported, although both sites
have policies against such sales and complaints procedures.
While few manufacturers were forthcoming about the
nancial consequences of recasting, one was fairly direct
with a clear explanation of the narrow nancial margins of
the business. Based on the numbers provided, even a small
amount of recasting would signicantly lengthen the time
it takes for a new line to recoup its cost and, assuming his
numbers were representative of the industry, recasting does
appear to act as a disincentive for introducing of new lines.
Conversations with miniature manufacturers
suggest that the level of recasting in historical gures is
small, reecting the overall low demand for historical
miniatures (versus, say, DVDs) and the poorer quality of
typical recasts. Although not conclusive, this evidence,
combined with the paucity of examples of recasting
Original ADB
casting of
Federation warship
Metal recast
Resin recast
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
that I was able to identify, suggests that recasting is
something of a bogeyman in historical gaming. Certainly
it happens, but it does not appear to be widespread.
Tnv :vcn::1:vs
Many gamers assert (often
vociferously) that recasting
is theft and that recasts are
often sold in a fraudulent
manner. In Commonwealth
countries, recasting is typically
viewed as a type of copyright
or trademark infringement.
Te rights are collectively
referred to as Intellectual
Property, or IP for short.
Te most common remedy
awarded by courts in the
Commonwealth would be
damages in the form of lost
prots. An injunction to
prohibit further recasting
is also possible, as are civil
search warrants (Mareva
injunctions) and orders for
the sale of seized goods with
prots paid to the plainti.
All of these remedies require
the copyright owner to hire
counsel and pursue the issue,
although a stern cease-and-
desist letter may discourage
some recasters. Some IP
lawyers trawl through ea
markets, a list of clients
trademarks in hand, looking
for something to enforce
their clients are happy to foot
the bill. Tey view this as
much less boring than drafting
endless documents. Te same
occurs on the internet.
Te most eective aspect of
these lawsuits is indirect the
person breaching the law may
not be worth suing, but the
businesses surrounding him
(his distributors, customers
and the bank) are likely to stop
doing business with him rather
than defend a lawsuit or risk
that hell be made insolvent.
Depending upon the
nature of the infringement
and the laws of the country,
regulatory and criminal
prosecution is also possible. I was unable to document any
cases of actual prosecution, although more than 90% of
cases led never reach the court judgment stage. Tere are,
however, reported cases involving boardgames, computer
software, movies and even yo-yos. I again suspect this has
to do with the low volume of recasting that occurs and the
(perceived) low degree of harm this does when compared
with, say, counterfeit aeroplane parts or prescription
drugs. Nevertheless, some manufacturers may aggressively
defend their intellectual property to avoid a precedent-
setting case, as later judges
may regard their failure to
defend their copyright as an
admission that no rights exist.
Covvu:cn1 :ru:cvmv1
An interesting wrinkle on the
IP debate are instances where
someone has designed an
original but unlicensed gure
based upon a popular (and
copyrighted) book, comic,
movie or television show.
For example, a manufacturer
might produce mercenaries
or kid-detectives that closely
resemble the characters in
television shows. Although
some of these gures may be
dierent enough from the
originals to avoid the claim of
copyright infringement, many
are not. Te allure of these
gures is, of course, that they
are close or exact replicas of
the copyrighted material!
Some larger manufacturers
produce such gure lines,
often being careful to avoid
direct infringement. More
commonly, gamers looking
for unlicensed gures that
replicate copyrighted materials
often turn to the so-called
garage kits produced by
small operations. Commonly,
garage kits gures ll in
where licensed products
necessary for gaming are hard
to acquire or unsuitable (for
example, are of extremely low
quality). In other cases, these
kits are available where no
licensed gures are made.
Copyright infringement
appears to mostly aect
large media corporations.
Tis reects a combination
of factors. Tey hold the
largest pool of IP. Teir
IP is also the most likely
to be in demand and thus
protable to recast, although
again, for what it is worth, few copyright infringers
seem prot motivated. Finally, licensing costs of their
IP may discourage production of gaming appropriate
miniatures (which is a very small market).
Wno oovs tovvu:cn1 nt1tn::v vuo1vt1
Te evidence (such as it is) appears to support the general
Original ADB
casting of Klingon
Metal recast
Resin recast
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
notion that recasting has the potential to detrimentally
aect historical miniature producers. Most concerning
is the disincentive recasting can create to introducing
new lines. Even producers of copyright-infringing
material that I spoke with agreed with this position.
Tere is much greater debate about original sculpts
that violate a copyright of a popular book, television or
movie franchise. Many gamers and manufacturers assert
that this is no dierent than recasting, in that it deprives
the copyright holder of control over their product and,
assuming they produce miniatures, potential revenue.
Tere are, however, many gamers who disagree. While
some justify copyright infringement with reference only
to their own desire for gures not being produced by the
copyright holder, others present more nuanced arguments.
One of the more interesting propositions is that a
copyright is simply that, a property right that must (by
and large) be privately enforced by the copyright holder
to have meaning. I expect this perspective comes as little
comfort to small producers who quite readily acknowledge
that they cannot aord to enforce their rights.
While this diculty for small producers should
certainly be of concern to all historical gamers (whose
needs are largely met by these small producers), it
raises the interesting question of whom copyright laws
protect. Tat is to say, who has the means to enforce
their rights? Te short answer is that the laws oer
disproportionate protection to large producers and
copyright holders. Tis isnt particularly surprising, given
that economic power is often reinforced by legislative
and judicial policy (e.g. in employment relationships).
It does, however, raise signicant issues of equity.
While large producers and copyright holders are the
most likely targets of copyright infringement, they are
also the least likely to be fundamentally aected by it.
Conversely, small producers are unlikely targets but
are much more vulnerable to the negative eects of
infringement and are largely unable to enforce their rights.
Im not convinced this justies copyright infringement.
Nevertheless, it suggests that equating illegality with
immorality (as many do when speaking on this topic)
is to ignore that the law is a social construct that
dierentially advantages copyright holders on the
basis of their nancial means. In eect, the law has
been dragooned into defending the property rights of
the wealthy. When copyright is justied as a means of
protecting the interests of small manufacturers, perhaps
this dynamic ought to give us pause for thought.
Covvu:cn1 :ru:cvmv1 ns n mnuv1 uvsvosv
A second line of argument addressing whether copyright
infringement is really that bad again swirls around
popular book, comic, movie and television franchises,
mostly of a non-historical character. In short, proponents
argue that licensed producers intentionally limit gure
production and availability to heighten price.
Tis is certainly within the licensees rights. Nevertheless,
this choice, when combined with aggressive promotional
activities and the licensees monopoly, virtually guarantees
a shortage and raises prices beyond what they might be
in a freer market. Tis, in turn, creates the market for
recasts. In eect, this argument goes, copyright holders and
their licensees are the authors of their own misfortune.
Again, Im not sure this justies copyright infringement.
It does, however, point out that the way in which a copyright
holder uses their copyright can aect the behaviour
of gamers. Manufacturers seeking to maximize prots
by inducing an articial shortage are more vulnerable
to copyright infringement than, say, manufacturers
seeking to maximize prots without manipulating
the supply-side of the market. More plainly, gures
with reasonable price and availability are less likely to
induce recasting or the production of substitutes.
Wnn1 oo I 1n:
Having considered this at length and being pragmatic at
heart, I nd myself of two minds (ah, sweet hypocrisy!).
I think purchasing recasts of available products is bad
for the hobby because of the negative impact it can
have on manufacturers. As Im mostly a historical
gamer, the gure makers I deal with are particularly
vulnerable to the eects of recasting. Consequently,
I choose to support them so they stay in business.
Im also prepared to buy the rather expensive licensed
miniatures for the sci- lines Im interested in. Te
copyright holders have recognized the gamer market and
Im inclined to support them for this. For example, the
prices Ive recently paid for some Star Trek ships are high
(particularly given the mediocre quality), so my investment
will just be smaller. In short, the high cost involved (perhaps
reecting the licensing costs) limits sci- to a fringe period
for me. As a market signal to the producer, this isnt as clear
as the case would be if I had an alternative source. Tis
does not, however, give me access to OOP miniatures.
Yet there are some large gaps in the existing lines. In
particular, no one is producing licensed small ghters
for the Star Wars universe. Larger, licensed versions
are available, but the quality of them is very poor and
the way they are sold makes it dicult to get adequate
numbers, even looking to eBay. Garage casters make
look-alike ships and they ended up getting my business.
Having made the purchase, Im not sure how I
feel about that. I think a fair question to ask is, how
would I feel if someone took something I created and
reproduced it without my permission? I expect Id be
upset. Doing that is, at the least, discourteous. Yet, if
I sat on my rights, by not enforcing my copyright or
failing (for decades) to meet the demand for what I had
created, who should my anger be most directed at?
Fo:1ous o1v
I want to thank Bob for his well-balanced and reasoned
contribution to the debate on this controversial issue.
For the record and as someone who has, in fact,
suered at the hands of copyright thieves and plagiarists
in the past let me make my own views clear.
No-one can copyright, for example, the idea of
a French Napoleonic carabinier; but they can claim
copyright of their specic sculpting and casting of one;
that is the fruit of their labour, and if someone else
wants it, they can pay for it, or sculpt their own.
If someone plagiarized your written work, how would
you feel? Or used your photographs in a magazine without
asking or paying you? Whats the dierence between
writing, sculpting or designing in this respect? None, and
therefore I would not condone it under any circumstances.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
To boldly go...
ometimes its good to sit back,
take as break and remind oneself
of what it is you are trying to
achieve. Easy for me, at the moment,
as Im on board a large cruise liner
in the middle of the Mediterranean
en route from Tunis to Naples for a
long-awaited visit to Pompeii lying,
as it does, ominously in the shadow
of Mt. Vesuvius. I nd myself in
that wonderful place where history
and myth meet, where the edges
of fact and fantasy blur. Tough at
times its hard to recognize it for
what it is, the search for meaningful
recreation is my passion and the
realization of that goal is the grail.
And the more I learn, and the more
I delve into the previously untapped
pool (for me) that is historical
wargaming, the more I come to realize
that historical and fantasy gaming are
just dierent faces of the same animal.
Both rely on diligently researching
the background of the chosen subject,
both require the knowledge and
employment of a given set of rules
and both require the use of suitable
scenic playing areas to represent their
elds of battle. Te rules for both
historical and fantasy wargames tend
to be remarkably similar, and anyone
with a reasonable knowledge of any
one ruleset can quickly pick up and
play another. Te models, too, are
often universally recognizable and
will easily make the transition across
the gulf that apparently divides our
hobby and, as for scenery, well Im
sure even the most obstinate of us
will admit that, at least, is universal.
Here, however, the similarities
cease. Whilst historical wargamers
enjoy the aable cameraderie
shared by a close-knit and serious
community, they also suer from
the lack of benets brought by the
huge commercial market riding
on the back of the massively
successful fantasy genre of games
and game-related products.
It is to the success of such ventures
that we owe the fact that highly
talented artists, whether they be
writers, painters or sculptors, are
gathered under our banner. For
without the means to tempt the best
to work within this industry, we would
be all the poorer for it. I am sure most
would agree that, certainly over the
past twenty years, the best gures
available for detail and pose, have
all come from the work of fantasy
sculpting. Tis, I am delighted to say,
by Roger Smith
Into the lions den
is spilling over into historical gaming
as many artists, such as the Perry
twins, are gradually producing more
and more historical models after
leaving the fantasy sphere altogether.
Te dierence in scale between
these two factions is immense.
Henry has been kindly helping me
to explore the world of historical
gaming and gain an understanding
of the wealth of knowledge and
enthusiasm that is contained therein
and it has been and will continue
to be not just an eye opener, but
a pleasant and rewarding one.
But in the wake of recent shows
such as Firepower at Woolwich and
Salute in Londons Docklands, I
thought I would oer him the chance
to see the other side of the coin
Games Workshops annual Games
Day, held at the massive National
Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.
I have attended this event every year
for the past 12 years and have seen
the event grow from 5,000 visitors
(when still held at the National Indoor
Arena) to this years staggering 10,000
through the doors. When talking
to the guys from Games Workshop
US (yes, a daughter company)
who had brought along a game of
Texan proportions, I was amazed
to learn that the Birmingham event
draws more people than all ve
US Games Days added together!
At this juncture, I should inform
the reader that the Games Day event
solely promotes the GW range of
products and related services, like
subsidiary publishing businesses,
and licensed products, for example
the new generation of computer
games currently available or under
development. Yes, one single
company is able to attract a staggering
10,000 gamers through its doors.
And the gure rises every year.
For the past three years, my gaming
club, Clayton Warlords, have taken
participation games to the event, two
(for the rst time) this year: one for
Warhammer and one for Warhammer
40,000. Henry was invited to help run
one of the games although, if truth be
told, he was being given a free pass
to enter the exhibition early with his Te Golden Daemon cabinets. Not much interest there, then.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
hobby besides the playing of games.
What this particular show
demonstrates more than anything
else, is just how many people are
willing to give up their precious time
and energy to support the hobby.
For the rst time this year, half the
participation/demonstration games
were designed, constructed and run by
volunteers from among the numerous
independent gaming clubs around
the country. Tere is a rising trend of
non-Games Workshop involvement
in their national, showcase exhibition
and its producing a far greater degree
of diversity in the types of games being
represented. Tis is probably partly
due to the fact that all volunteers and
clubs have to be registered members
of the Gaming Club Network (GCN),
an organization created to promote
all variations of tabletop wargaming.
Additionally it serves to monitor
and regulate its members, ensuring
equality of opportunity and the vetting
of personnel, improving safety by
ensuring that ocers of clubs are CRB
(Criminal Records Bureau) checked.
With this peace of mind, clubs can
actively encourage younger gamers, as
well as veterans, to participate in the
hobby outside of the in-store sessions
provided by Games Workshop.
It should also be stressed, and I
cannot do so enough, that the GCN,
although supported by GW, is an
entirely independent organization,
itself relying on volunteers to maintain
day to day administrative and
promotional oces. It is, I believe,
largely due to this increased input
from outside the GW hierarchy that
the variety and quality of tables seen
at Games Day continues to soar. Tis
has meant that whilst the Games
Workshop store built games tend,
almost solely, to be based around
the three core games (Warhammer,
Warhammer 40,000 and Lord of the
Rings), the GCN clubs often produce
tables supporting more specialist
games such as Battleeet Gothic,
Mordheim, Blood Bowl, Inquisitor,
Warmaster and Warhammer
Historical. It also sees some creative
re-invention of some of the systems,
such as a beautiful WWI-styled
trench warfare game using adapted
Warhammer 40,000 rules! I wanted
to play, but I had work to do.
Warhammer Historical also
hosted a magnicent Cornish pirate
game on a wonderful scatter scenery
famed digital camera where, armed
with his not inconsiderable stature
and charismatic charm, he would have
opportunity to see and photograph
many of the boards and displays
before they were totally obscured by
the madding crowds, soon to ow like
lava (not unlike the aforementioned
Vesuvius) over the oors and stands
of the three enormous halls housing
the event. I do not believe he was
disappointed with the wealth of
material on hand, nor the enthusiasm
of the volunteer gamers who stoically
manned the boards and ran the games.
Indeed, to say he was impressed would
be an understatement, since (and I
have this on good authority) he was
close to speechless during the drive
home which, as I am sure you will
all be aware, is almost unheard of!
Tis was also the rst major Games
Workshop event to be held since the
introduction of the new Warhammer
40,000 rules. Te revised set has
greatly enhanced the ow of the game
and does much to compensate for
some of the accidental imbalances
caused by the successive reworking
of some Codices during the natural
development of army lists, which
unfortunately often ends up playing
to the strengths of some armies
in particular whilst handicapping
others never, I believe, deliberate or
crippling, but irritating nonetheless.
Such successive small scale changes
tend to require some minor reworking
of the rules to adjust the gameplay and
its always nice to see this achieved
in a sensitive and practical manner.
However, for all the improvements
I welcome with open arms, one brings
its own inherent drawbacks. I refer,
specically, to the real line of sight
now employed. Te rules say that, in
case of doubt as to whether you can see
a target or not, one should get down
to table level and physically check
to see if the target is in sight or not.
Brilliant, but not if the board is built
on many levels, with scenery liberally
dispersed throughout which, to make
matters worse, normally also varies in
height and size considerably. Great fun
if you have a generous nature and are
willing to compromise frequently!
Games Day also saw the (advance)
launch of the new Space Marine
Codex (although only 1000 copies
were available for sale) and a few
of the new line of Space Marine
models, especially the plastic drop
pod which, at a cost of 18, makes it
a viable proposition for those wishing
to sport inltration-style forces.
On a negative note, however, the
replacement Space Marine Codex
carries the same price tag, which
represents a 50% increase in cover
price over the previous cost of 12.
Lets hope this is not a general trend
but just an attempt to cash-in on
the fact that the Space Marine range
is the single largest selling line in
the Games Workshop catalogue.
Still, cynicism aside, lets return
to what the company does best
promotion of the hobby. For those
who have never attended the show,
and I think thats a pity, I should like to
explain that it is basically divided into
ve distinct areas; retail, participation
games, modelling, game development
and the famed Golden Daemon
painting competition. Te latter is
always incredibly competitive and
draws a large number of entrants from
all over Europe: getting to actually see
the entries, however, is another matter.
We, the ardent showgoers, dont always
agree with the judges when it comes
to the winners but, whatever else
we may think, it does emphasize the
fact that the wargaming hobby (for
many) is not just about kicking your
opponents arse with a bucketload of
cannon and a few hundred archers!
No, there are other elements to the
Fernando Prieto was awarded the coveted
Golden Daemon Slayer Sword for this gure.
Photo Games Workshop. Tanks, Tom!
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
table that looked for all the world
like a scratch-built custom board.
Complete with wharves and jetties,
villages, trees and roads, it made a
wonderfully realistic British setting
that would have felt at home in many
an 18th Century skirmish game.
But I digress. Te 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. Tose 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?
Te trickle of punters that started to
lter through to the arena rapidly rose
to a raging torrent, with the larger
(and visually most impressive) games
attracting crowds of enthusiastic
gamers keen to get in on the action,
before overowing to the many smaller
tables that covered the area between.
Tough less imposing to the casual
eye, the smaller games often contained
much ner modelling and detailing
and presented scenarios that were
simpler to grasp and play, an ideal
choice for those wanting to nish an
entire game before moving on, rather
than simply playing a minor role in
a game which was meant to play out
over the course of the whole day.
Te games that we took with
us worked on the basis of a simple
scenarios and short playing time,
though they worked very dierently
in overall structure. Te Warhammer
game, Squig Hunt, involved giving
gamers a couple of teams of goblins
apiece with which to capture the
aforementioned squigs, the teams
remaining in play until being eaten by
their quarry. (Imagine a 1970s Space
Hopper with a bad attitude, insatiable
appetite and huge teeth: thats a squig!)
Once a players goblins met with their
inevitable demise, another gamer
would step in and new teams would
be placed on the board. Similarly, dead
squigs were re-spawned and entered
play from a cave on one of the board
edges. A running tally was kept on a
blackboard at the head of the table
and, despite all the odds against them,
the goblins won out the day having
captured a total of 390 squigs! One
incidental benecial outcome from
running this game was the unexpected
conclusion that the basic Warhammer
rules will still work reasonably well
for small skirmishes, without having
to resort to more complicated
specially adapted versions.
In our other game, 40K Imperial
troopers were pitted against their
corrupted cousins in a bleak, trench-
defended outpost. Te odds were
deliberately stacked against them,
being outnumbered, out-gunned and
outclassed. Amazingly, out of the six
games played (averaging just under
an hour apiece) the beleaguered
loyalist forces managed to achieve the
objective of this little adventure by
storming the walls (metaphorically
speaking) and killing the heavily
guarded psyker (a sort of space-age
warlock of moderate power), on no
less than three occasions! Te moral of
both these stories is simple: however
hard you try to rig the outcome, some
muppet (sorry, tactically enlightened
genius) will always materialize to
upset your carefully-laid plans.
At the end of the exhausting day, the
overpowering impression left was just
how broad the interest was throughout
the show. It wasnt just a massive
spending spree though I imagine the
turnover on the day was satisfyingly
huge there was just as much interest
shown in the forthcoming products,
online gaming (a development that Im
sure well see for historical in the near
future) and other hobby aspects such
as modelling, painting and gaming.
After all, ten thousand people
cant all be wrong, can they? Tousands of hours of work well spent: Orc raid on a dwarven stronghold by the GW in-house team.
Rick Priestley deep in conversation with Phil Mackie as Grant Tomas masterminds his attack at the
Warmaster Medieval table. Te game is Wakeeld 1460, with spectacular castle, using 10mm gures.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Tally ho!
One wargamers journey into the blue
by Tim Beresford
aving cleared the runway and retracted its
undercarriage, a P51 can be carving through
sky and hammering over my roof in less than
a minute. One is about to do so as I write and will no
doubt be chased away by the nger four of Spitres
I saw heading out a few minutes previously.
Ive 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 ghters are restored, pampered and
enjoyed. Living so close, Im lucky enough to witness an
almost daily parade of historic warbirds, at least during
the summer months. Recently, the noise that brought
me rushing outside from my home studio turned out
to belong to an earlier era four colourful Fokker Dr1
Triplanes that Id not seen before nor since. While the
graceful Spitre tugs the heart strings every time, those
gaudy, brash P51-Ds and their American brethren, the slick
Tigercat and the stoic looking Bearcat, remain favourites.
Fnu:v :sv:un1:os
My father, ex-Fleet Air Arm, was only too happy to
encourage my early interest in planes and would often
guide my six-year-old hands, wielding pencil and
paintbrush, to recreate the action straight from the pages
of my well-thumbed Biggles books. He also made me
a collection of WWI biplanes from tiny kits that came
in my breakfast cereal they were exquisitely painted
whilst I slept. Imagine waking up to those gems!
I suspect that like many Battlegames readers, I operated a
production line assembly of dozens of plastic aeroplane kits.
However, it wasnt until my early teens that my wargaming
activities rst switched from live re exercises to a more
intellectual practice which involved dice and a rule book.
Id been using matchstick-launching cannon to fell my
unpainted plastic gures, hidden amongst the debris of a
ruined Lego citadel. Of course, model planes had to feature
in all of these games, but were usually only targets for my
Long Range Desert Group or a clutch of Paratroopers.
I was never really a tankie and before I immersed myself
further into WWII gaming, Id moved schools and been
introduced to the delights of 25mm metal horse and musket
gures. For the next 25 years or so, my air combat gaming
remained a series of brief and unsuccessful irtations.
Prompted by my French language teacher (an ex-Desert
Rat) reading the class extracts from Dr Alfred Prices brilliant
Battle of Britain history Te Hardest Day, I bought SPIs
Spitre game that promised so much. Within hours of
ripping the box open, I realised that it would fail to deliver
very much in the way of excitement and so it sat, unloved, in
my cupboard for years, to be joined by the overly complex
Avalon Hill oering Knights of the Air. Tis in turn was
followed by Richthofens War some years later. Te latter
proved to be fun for a short period of time before we tired
of its predictability. It is easy to see where they all failed for
me; none delivered the excitement of pressing that inviting
red gun button to obliterate an opponent, briey caught in
the ring sight, in quite the same way the arcade games did.
Tere was no split second timing and no sense of speed
in their measured, cardboard gameplay. I concluded that
models were much better suited to replicating the slower,
more formulaic patterns of warfare that characterised the
horse and musket era than two ghter aircraft closing at 700
miles per hour. Whatever issues I faced with my terra rma
games, depicting relative altitude was not one of them.
In the early 90s, Skytrex released their Red Eagle 1/144
metal WWI kits and I was tortured by a dozen whilst I
huddled in my student attic room. I made fancy telescopic
ight stands from radio aerials to bravely hold my hard-
won metal creations aloft. Paragon provided the rules and
I provided the bin into which they ew. I therefore sadly
came to the conclusion that air combat with miniatures
was not worth bothering with. Te Red Eagles were
subsequently demobbed some were accidently left on
a train and some were sold, but I didnt miss them.
I suppose this article could have ended here, had it
not been for that endless parade of real Spitres, the
books, the lms and that nagging interest which remained
conned to an artistic expression. I found myself in
the fortunate position of funding my college days by
selling drawings of the ghters at Duxford. Id work in
sometimes freezing cold hangers for up to ten hours
a day, producing intricate pen and ink renderings. My
brief walks around the hangers to restart my circulation
were made more rewarding by my security pass that
ensured Id often be stopped by older Americans asking
Tis is where it all started. I must have read every Biggles book
cover to cover 20 times by the time I was ten. Capt W. E. Johns, the
author, ew for the Royal Flying Corps during WWI.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
me about the museum and its facilities. I like to think
they were all ex-78th Fighter Group aces returning to see
Duxford again. I spent so much time there drawing that
my prescription was reduced as my eyes grew stronger.
S1nu1:c nruvsn
Fast forward to Salute 2006 and, probably as a result
of having watched the Battle of Britain lm for the
umpteenth time, I rashly bought a few 1/300 Spitres
with no real idea of what Id do with them once they were
painted. I just liked them. True to form, once Id cleaned
and primed this impulsive purchase, they remained
stranded in my must do box. Shy of daylight, these
little planes were never to feel the gentle caress of my
paint brush, but they had piqued my interest again.
Many months after Salute, I came across a company
new to me Raiden Miniatures. Following a brief urry
of emails between myself and Mark, the Chief Mechanical
Engineer, a few days later I was the proud owner of one of
their newly released Me1009Es which, quite simply, snarled
paint me now in a particular Daimler Benz kind of way. If
youve not heard the real thing, the in-line Benz engine has
a denite rasping note like an old motorbike. Further orders
to Raiden followed, providing me with the means to indulge
myself in my favourite Battle of Britain period but still with
no clear idea of where I might be heading. Id postponed
the delicate question of playability these aircraft might
turn out be a pure painting project like the pirates and the
Sudan gures that had previously littered my workbench.
I make no bones about the fact that I love these Raiden
models and, at the time of purchase, was completely hooked.
Its not just that the castings are beautifully clean but, as
I relayed to their designer, his renditions are so good I
imagine they contain a tiny Merlin coughing into life or
an equally minute Daimler Benz 601 grizzling its malign
intent. At 1/285 scale, they are slightly larger than the
1/300 ranges (think 25mm verses 28mm or heroic 1/300
if you prefer) but all the better for it, avoiding the pinched
proportions that some of the slightly smaller models seem
to have. I like the smoothness of line the designers have
resisted the temptation to clutter the models with too much
detail that can look overscale on such a small airframe.
Tese castings ooze the slipperiness, the aversion to drag
that the real thing displays, particularly when airborne.
Sometimes ghters were waxed and polished to a state
of perfection in an eort to glean that extra ounce of
speed that could be a matter of survival. If I ever decide to
advance my collection to 1944/5, Im going to experiment
polishing the bare metal of the P51s rather than relying
on paint. At the time of writing in late 2008, the Raiden
range is relatively small but, in the fullness of time, Im
certain it will grow into a comprehensive selection.
Tvmv1n1:o :vnos mv ns1unv
As usual, part way into this project, I allowed myself to get
diverted, in this instance back in time to 1917. Te ready-
painted Wings of War (WoW) 1/144 models and rules were
released and, unsurprisingly, caught my attention, especially
since they were almost ready to y I chose to add pilots
cut down from N-gauge plastic railway gures to occupy the
ghostly empty cockpits. Riversco make suitable white metal
pilots, although I felt they look too big-headed to suit the
ne plastic models. Te WoW game held my interest whilst I
deliberated over even continuing the WWII collection which
was aimlessly dithering around and without focus. Te
initial games were great fun, but before too long, Id worked
out some thoroughly unhistorical but very eective tactics
and, perhaps with this aw exposed, WoW inevitably joined
my rejects pile, being just too simplistic to really satisfy.
If you like the WoW models but want more types, the
metal kits from Skytrex under the Red Eagle banner, which
I had wrestled with as a student, and those from Riversco,
are perfectly suited to building up your collection. To be
honest, its unlikely that Wings of War will bring out plastic
versions of the venerable BE2c or a Fokker Eindecker
any time soon if ever. You may also be able to nd the
out-of-production Mamoli metal kits on eBay from time
to time, or the semi-assembled, ready-painted plastic
oerings from F-Toys. Ive chosen not to mix and match
metal with plastic, as I cant help feeling that the metal
models look so, err leaden, encumbered as they are with
their overthick wings that lack an aerofoil prole when
compared to the delicately proportioned plastic oerings.
For the truly insane, SRAM make a range of 1/144
resin kits which are really more suited to safe and
prolonged life in a display case than the dangers
of the wargames table, but if you must have scale
delity and are up to the challenge, they are another
option, but not one I personally wanted to pursue.
Similarly, for small WWII engagements, there
are ready-painted 1/144 models available. Nexus,
who brought us WoW, are promising a range of
ready to play 1/196 ghters (near enough 1/200).
A partly stripped-down Harvard at Imperial War Museum Duxford.
Pen and ink drawing by the author.
Dogght! Wings of War miniatures from the Editors collection. Tis is the
game that gets Battlegames HQ reverberating to the sounds of Dakka-
dakka-dakka-dakka! from time to time. Yes, its sad, I know... Photo HH.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Hno I tnosv 1nv u:cn1 stn:v
I had one major 1/600 scale blip while dallying around
with my biplanes. I spent a good long while in front of the
Tumbling Dice stand at one show, considering a change
to 1/600 scale, which has a huge gaming advantage over
larger models: the sky is a big space and fast, WWII piston-
engined ghters eat a lot of it very quickly. Similarly, larger
bomber formations take up plenty of space and if you are
really interested this type of game, then the diminutive
scale may be the way to go unless you are blessed with
a large playing area and very long arms. As is inevitable
with such small models, there is a certain loss of scale
delity in terms of wing thickness etc, although the
models remain characterful and instantly recognisable.
I was sorely tempted by the apparent ease of using
1/600 and, if you are in any doubt regarding scale, then
perhaps it may be best to start with them. Tese models
are relatively cheap and readily available. If you take to
air gaming but nd them too small, youve lost little and
can change up a scale or use dierent scales for dierent
types of game. Acquiring a schwarm of ghters in a new
scale is unlikely to be the equivalent commitment to
replicating a Napoleonic division in a dierent scale!
However, scale appearance was important to me, and
I was fully committed to 1/285, but if space is no issue
then 1/72 and even 1/48 scale models can be used; the
oor or even the garden can be the playing surface. 1/72
scale plastic kits are justiably popular for WWI games
and if you wish to go down this route, there are plenty of
types available at reasonable prices, along with vast ranges
of decals. Revell have started to re-release their range of
WWI kits and although not the most detailed, they are
quite rugged models, more suited to gaming than the more
recent hi-delity models oered by Roden and Eduard. And
yes, youve guessed it: I got diverted yet again, acquiring
sixty 1/72 kits (box art is so alluring). I did, however,
nally see sense and sold the lot without losing a penny.
Pn:1:c no ovtoun1:c
Painting the Raiden models with acrylics was very
enjoyable, especially as I opted for solid, at colour as
opposed to a multi-layered, shaded method. I would never
consider using the shading techniques I usually employ on
wargames gures on a 1/72 plastic kit of an aircraft and
therefore even at 1/285 scale, I chose to use simple at
colour, believing this to be the best style to preserve that
clean, slippery and desirable aesthetic I mentioned earlier.
Te Vallejo and Humbrol acrylic ranges provided suitable
colours, but if these dont meet your own expectations,
Hannants, amongst others, sell specialist aviation colours.
You may nd these turn out a little dark if used straight
from the bottle on very small models. Adding a little white
or yellow depending on the hue will make the dierence.
Tere are dozens of books and plenty of online sources
for colour scheme details. I spent an inordinate amount
of time researching these, being fascinated by the various
permutations. As with many military uniforms, once you
begin to research the variants which break the rules, you
start to wonder what the rules were in the rst place.
Ive listed below those colours I used, and these
serve as a very simple guide to a complex subject, so I
recommend some investigation unless you are happy with
very generic colour schemes. For example, I chose a unit
that used the day ghter scheme on many, but not all,
of their Me110s; in reality these Zerstrer aircraft were
usually painted using the green bomber colour scheme.
Te He111 ying in the Battle of Britain lm seem to
have been painted in the more contrasting day ghter
colour scheme which, although not accurate, does look
great. You may nd my suggestions for the bombers are
not very contrasting tones; I think they look about right
but you may disagree feel free to adapt as you wish.
Camouage green
Vallejo 893 US Dark Green
Camouage brown
Humbrol 29 (acrylic) Dark Earth
Humbrol 90 (acrylic) Beige Green
Day ghter, green scheme (a grey scheme was also used
later in the Battle of Britain but Ive not yet tried this option)
Dark camouage
Vallejo 888 Olive Grey
Light camouage
Vallejo 971 Green Grey
Vallejo 906 Light Blue
Day bomber scheme
Dark camouage
Vallejo 897 Bronze Green
Light camouage
Vallejo 888 Olive Grey
Vallejo 906 Light Blue
As somebody who wished there had been cameras
around during the Napoleonic wars, being able to consult
photographic evidence initially seemed such a blessing,
but ultimately became a source of frustration. Often
all but the exact plane I wanted to see were shown in a
squadron line-up or, having painted something, Id nd
an image countering my original deduction. Deciphering
the colours of orthochromatic photographs is a black
(and white) art with no denitive solution. Ultimately,
my ideas were still conjectural in some instances but, by
ignoring my inner pedant, I found I could get enough of a
colour scheme right for my small models to look good.
Even so, Ive worked hard to resist that perfectionist
streak which kept holding up any progress, an urge
which, perhaps surprisingly, I dont have when painting
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Napoleonics. I have frequently had to remind myself of
the small scales Im working with and the limitations this
brings. If the models looked believable, that had to be good
enough: after all, my ECW and Napoleonic gures are, by
necessity, painted using this compromising approach.
One of the things I particularly began to enjoy as I
ploughed on with the painting and research was the
camaraderie born of a niche within what is already
a niche hobby. Tose 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 gure manufacturers. Its an
exciting time as all sorts of new items are coming onto
the market. New and better models than those that
existed even ve years ago are now available and more
and more decals to decorate them are also emerging.
Te whole
aspect of decals
was one Id not
envisaged getting
as absorbed in
as I reluctantly
became. As
this project
progressed, I
became more
interested in
getting it right,
rather than just
being generic
with my colour
Doms Decals
in the UK, I-94
Enterprises and
Scale Specialities
in the USA all
deserve a special
mention for the
enormous amount
of research
and eort they
put in to bring their products to market.
I found that no one manufacturer yet covers the Battle of
Britain period in totality and each range has its strengths.
I ended up deciding to use Doms for my Me109s, I-94 for
my British ghters and Scale Specialities for my German
bombers. Incidentally, I used Doms excellent 1/144 WWI
range for my WoW repaints and I was very excited to
see the sheets Id suggested make it into production.
Sometimes, though, you just cant get what you want
and so I resorted to custom-made decals, although these
are not cheap compared to the price of an o-the-shelf
sheet. Tere were no decals suitable for a complete Me110C
colour scheme and I wanted them so badly I designed a
set which were printed by a UK-based company, Precision
Decals. I was also impressed by Brunel models in Australia
and would happily use either company in the future. Each
manufacturer has their own preferred methodology to
ensure the best results from their particular printer, so
its best to follow their advice to the letter when creating
artwork. For example, some prefer inks overprinting, while
others avoid it. Precision Decals use the ALPS printers for
production (as does Doms decals) which will print opaque
white, but there are colours that they just cant match.
Te design and research of these tiny details chewed
up even more of my time and I only realised they still
werent perfect once new books and photographs were
inspected some weeks after Id applied them to my models!
If you do create your own decals, resist the urge to cram
every millimetre of space on your sheet with artwork, as it
makes for a much harder task cutting each marking out to
use. Unlike the screen-printed examples found in plastic kits,
you will need to cut your markings out individually as they
are on one continuous piece of clear lm. High minimum
production runs render screen-printing out of reach for
one-o commissions, as far as I could discover. You can
buy decal paper
for your home
inkjet or laser
printer, but be
aware decals from
this source wont
always be opaque,
rendering them of
very limited use in
application, and
of course there
is no such thing
as white ink for
these printers.
Applying these
tiny graphics
required some
tweezers, and a
lot of patience. A
limitless supply
of small brushes
to tempt them
into position is
also required if,
like me, you lose
your temper and
hurl whatever
is in your hand across the room in sheer frustration when
the 1mm square decal you thought was safely positioned
on a tail n is, in fact, a tiny new tattoo on your forearm.
I used a pair of very ne pointed scissors, designed for
y shermen, to cut the decals from the sheet. With those
made on ALPS printers, you need to cut very close to the
graphic, removing as much of the clear carrier lm as you
dare. Too much lm can cause creases or lifting when tting
and wrapping the decal to a surface. Its worth following the
makers advice for application, particularly regarding the use
of setting solutions that are designed to melt the artwork
into the contours of your model. Te two most common
are called Micro Set and Micro Sol I used the former if
faced with compound curves such as a tapering fuselage,
but feared the decal melting power of the latter. However,
used correctly and with care, they can work wonders.
My models were varnished with gloss for protection,
but I avoided spirit-based varnish as this will simply melt
or lift some types of decal which have been so carefully
Biggles and Algy from the ctitious 266 Camel Squadron take on the DrI triplanes of Jasta 19 during a
game of Algernon Pulls it O. Wings of War ready painted models. Adding the micro-pilots proved to
be something of a nightmare! Te Camels have had part of the markings of the factory-nished WoW
Barker Camel overpainted to leave a single white stripe a plausible but ctional marking. Individual
aircraft letters were added using an old sheet of Letraset. Te Triplanes are partly repainted and
decorated with the individual markings from the Jasta 19 sheet produced by Doms Decals.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
and often painstakingly tweaked and coerced into position.
Generally, its safer to stick with acrylic varnishes. I nally
nished my camouaged models with a matt acrylic
varnish, Daler Rowney being my preferred brand.
Feeling justiably proud of the small force Id assembled,
I was tempted one last time to see if I could nd a
ruleset I really liked and, after all, this is Battlegames
youre reading, not Tiny Scale Aeroplane Modeller
As with most periods, I found there was a plethora of
rules, with many, but not all, using hex-based movement. I
liked this, as I thought it would accelerate gameplay and I felt
that speed remained an all-important essence of air combat.
I couldnt hope to mimic the split-second decision making of
the ghter pilot or the arcade game in my table top action,
but anything that
was contrary to
the sense of pace
had to be avoided.
I looked at one
very popular set of
rules which uses
plotted moves, i.e.
the players write
down the exact
path they intend
their models to
trace, but I found
this paperwork
the complete
antithesis of
air ghting and
more suited to,
say, a ghting sail
game as a rule
mechanism than
to dogghting.
During the
Battle of Britain,
control was by
telephone and
radio, not pencil
and paper, and
so I discarded those types of games from my potential list.
Finally, for want of knowing better, being very happy
with the Napoleonic rules from TooFatLardies and liking
their general ethos (Lardy Rich would probably deny that
they have anything as formal as an ethos), I plumped for
Bag the Hun (BTH), their WWII air combat oering. It was
an added bonus that the rules were principally designed
specically for the Battle of Britain, with variants available
for other eras such as Algernon Pulls it O (Algy) covering
the 1914-18 air war and another for the Korean air war. I
have to admit that by the time Id struggled with paint chips,
endless photographs, decals and decal artwork, I really just
wanted an easy way out, and the idea of ight-testing half
a dozen or so possible sets just wasnt going to happen.
I wasnt sure what to expect of these rules, given my
previously less than successful choices, but if the Lardies
have a talent, it seems to be in creating something fresh
from periods which have previously, at least in my mind,
posed many challenges for the designer. I wasnt to be
disappointed: at last, I could sweep over broad Churchillian
sunlit uplands, unencumbered by the mathematics that
plagues so many rules covering technology-based warfare.
I gave in at this point having nally got my hands on a
set of rules I liked the feel of. Dusting o the Richthofens
War game board and counters, my early games of Bag
the Hun were played out in a curious quasi WWI/WWII
mix. Tis phoney cardboard cut-out war served to
galvanise the rule choice and developments. Somehow,
I contrived to imagine the silhouette depicting a Fokker
triplane on a at counter was really an Me109, the deadly
foe of the equally imaginatively-conjured Hurricanes
(SE5s) and Spitres (Camels). I nally longed for the
SPI Spitre game, if only for its counters and hex sheet
which would have been perfect for this trial stage.
Te Lardy approach to the period very much brings
pilot quality and
altitude advantage
to the fore. Te
sequencing is
card activated,
so theres plenty
of chaos and
snatching of
opportunity which
has a resonance
with what often
seems to have
been confused
warfare. A
bucketload of dice
is used for ring
and, whilst not
to everybodys
taste, I nd this
quite fun, having
not encountered
it before. Te
open structure of
the Lardy rules
allows the gamer
to get in and
unpick and adapt
where they want
without upsetting the game balance such tinkering
being actively encouraged by the authors. I have
adapted here and there, being unable to leave any
published set of rules alone, bringing certain qualities
I wanted into the mix whilst dulling or removing one
or two aspects I found slowed the game play.
For example, I decided not use the optional staying in
formation test in the interests of speed. I also tinkered with
pilot qualities and the implications of genuine novice pilots
losing control. I eased the permutations possible, although
I wanted to keep the historically correct eects of these
less well trained aircrew being thrown into the thick of
the action before they were really ready. Ultimately, fewer
options and modiers to remember and less consulting
the rule book resulted in more rapid game play.
Contrary to my speed is best modications, I added
more altitude bands to compound the advantages of
ceiling enjoyed by some types, noticeably the Spitre
and Me109, over other less capable machines.
I couldnt buy suitable decals from anywhere for these Me110Cs of 9/ZG26, so I drew up the artwork.
Precision Decals printed the sheet to a high quality, though I later found more images of 9/ZG26 and
discovered there should really be individual aircraft letters on each wing. Luckily, I had a few suitable
letter As on a Scale Specialities sheet and added these to the Staelkapitans machine only. I chose
ZG26 as they used the contrasting day ghter colour scheme with mottled fuselages and white tactical
markings applied in temporary washable paint an attractive combination.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Of course I could have foregone the models entirely and
with relative ease made up some more suitable WWII
card counters, but though practical, it wouldnt have quite
been the same, so there were one or two accessories to
purchase or make before my models could take to the air.
Firstly ight stands, the air gaming equivalent of
basing. Opinion seemed divided into two distinct camps.
Te rst favoured a complex telescopic stand showing
height, often incorporating a swivelling mechanism at
the top to enable to the model to be held whilst banking
or even inverted. Tis type, being the more complex, is
more expensive and generally places the models at about
eye level. During the Red Eagle experience of student
days, I found this type of stand too visually intrusive,
even if they do show relative height quite eectively, so I
decided to use an alternative concept; simple, clear plastic
ying bases sold by Games Workshop. A tiny but high-
powered rare earth magnet was added to each stand and
each model to hold them a few inches above the playing
surface. Tere is reduced ability to show height variation
using this type of stand, but on balance I preferred them.
A luxury development of this type places plastic
numbered dials around the central pin to denote altitude.
Litko in the USA sells this type and Id probably use them
if Id not been given a big bag of the Games Workshop
variety, for which I devised a very simple modication.
Using a 45 mitre block and a ne tooth razor saw I
cut the top of each stand o before supergluing on the
magnet. My ghter models all now y at interesting
dynamic angles, banking, diving or climbing and
each can be changed by simply rotating the model in
relation to the 45 angle of the top of the stand.
Again, for simplicity and being budget conscious, I
added micro dice to denote altitude and ID. Tese are held
on the base of the stand with a tiny
discreet blob of Blu-Tac. Black dice
denote the six low levels and white
dice the higher of the 12 levels in my
game, replicating the graphic display
of an articial horizon instrument. All
refreshingly low-tech and a system
that I found quite fast to use dont
trust me on this, you may disagree.
As BTH features hex-based
movement, I opted for the ready-made
European Fields mats available from
Eric Hotz which are quite superb
and easily stored. I have found a 6
x 4 mat printed with 2 inch hexes
on one side and 1.5 inch hexes on
the other adequate for my edgling
games, though Id love to double
this area one day to allow a really big
stream of bombers into the action.
Te nal mountain I chose to climb
was in designing the cards required
by BTH to sequence play. I could have
downloaded these from the Lardy site,
but instead I went the hard way about
it. Te Battle of Britain lm was one of
my inspirations for the entire collection
and so too for the cards. Tese were
designed to t clear small plastic sleeves ensuring longevity.
A ight case supplied by Figures in Comfort provided
a perfect storage solution to the completed collection.
Rocvu uvo :vnovu
At last I was ready to play At this point, I have to admit
that Ive only really scratched the surface of the possibilities
of BTH and Algy, although there is every indication Ive
made the right choices. Having played about a dozen
games of each, I can report that the former plays out rather
like the action from the 1968 Battle of Britain lm and
the latter, well, that takes me back to the pages of those
Biggles books which is where this all began. Our games
have typically lasted about forty minutes to an hour each
and always given believable results. We often nd the
RAF ghters dive for home, bringing the game to a close,
having expended their meagre ammunition allowance.
A :vnu:c vxvvu:vtv
Im not claiming any world record, but from initial
inspiration to realisation, this project has been hanging
around me for the best part of 35 years. My two combined
collections of aeroplanes remain on the modest side
of 70, but I suspect at some point Ill add to them.
Of course my learning curve has gone beyond the
connes of this single project which was, in reality, one of six
I worked on simultaneously. Five have now been brought to
successful, if perhaps temporary, conclusions and the sixth
remains what I suspect will be a lifelong labour of love.
Tere were many times I felt like giving up, not least
during the hours spent on the computer designing
decals and game cards, both of which felt a little too
much like my day job to be truly relaxing, but I do take
enormous pleasure in just looking at the jewel-like models
I now possess. Perseverance has its own rewards.
Blue section you take the starboard, Red section follow me, well take the port. Tally Ho!
I experimented with adding the crew-served machine guns to these Heinkels of KG53 they looked
nice but were fragile, so I reluctantly abandoned the idea. Te He111s are great big Raiden creations,
decorated with the Scale Specialities decals that were lovely to work with.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Painting small scale WWII planes can make for a very
welcome diversion if youre already immersed in a large
project which requires endless repetitive painting of complex
uniform details. Equally, unless you insist that your models
y over a miniature contoured terrain complete with elds,
roads, settlements and woods (some air gamers enjoy this
added spectacle), then you avoid the need to acquire the
terrain paraphernalia associated with land-based games.
With hindsight, Ive realised that you only need a small
number of models to get your rst games under your belt,
which can be so important in crystallising your commitment
to a period. One of the nice things about air gaming is
that you can dabble without committing months or even
years of painting time, unless you want to. I, of course,
missed this all too important facet and worked on my
entire collection en masse, completing each phase before
moving on to the next. Id have been better completing four
ghters for each side initially, thus giving me something
to play with while I struggled with the remainder.
I also learnt the folly of taking on too much, even
with a smallish project like this. What initially seems
quite manageable at the outset will, I suspect at some
point, hit some sort of brick wall which threatens to sap
the initial enthusiasm. In my case, this meant sourcing
the decals and especially in completing the Me110s.
Unfortunately, I have no real advice as to how to
avoid the diversions which suddenly appear to be so
tempting whilst working through an existing project,
other than helpfully suggesting you perhaps just look
the other way! Te 1/72 WWI plastic kits were a blind
alley for me, but the WoW models less so, as they
opened up another era and are a nice addition to my
armoury without requiring too much extra work.
If you do take up the challenge and try air combat, I urge
you to begin with just four or a maximum of eight ghters
for each side. Paint and play with them before seriously
adding to your lead (or plastic) pile. Depending on the rules
chosen, you really can play tense one against one dogghts
or enjoy more challenging games as your collection grows.
Teres only one thing left to be written. Predictable
perhaps, but still totally necessary: chocks away!
St:1nn:v vuoott1s
Raiden 1/285 white metal models.
Tumbling Dice 1/600 white metal models.
Skytrex Red Eagle 1/144 white metal models.
Reviresco 1/144 white metal models.
Hannants SRAM 1/144 resin kits, plastic kits, paint and
Doms Decals Decals and the cheapest supplier I know
for WoW models.
I-94 Enterprises Decals.
Scale Specialities Decals.
Precision Decals Custom made decals.
Brunel Models Custom made decals.
TooFatLardies Bag the Hun and Algy rules.
eM-4 Dice.
Games Workshop Flight stands.
Litko Flight stands.
Eric Hotz Hex mats.
Kallistra Plastic hex terrain system.
Figures in Comfort storage cases.
During the course of this project a small library of books
served to keep me inspired even during my darkest hour.
Te 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
Te Battle of Britain Richard Hough and Denis Richards
Te Battle of Britain Michael J F Bowyer
Zerstrer John J Vasco & Peter D Cornwell
Histoire & Collections Me109 Vol 1 provided many
inspiring colour proles and comes highly recommended.
Osprey Aircraft of the Aces series various titles covering
the WWI and WWII periods.
For information about Biggles:
All photos by the author except where noted.
Yellow nosed b******ds coming down now, break right and climb!
Classic Battle of Britain action. Tese mottled Me109s are painted in a
conjectural scheme based loosely on a machine from I/JG26.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Have you seen my Neil Diamond CD?
Te continuing tales of a wargames widow
by Diane Sutherland
suppose I should have noticed that the CD case was
light when I picked it up. I also should have realised
that something was afoot when he asked me to pick up
an AOL installation CD and if Id noticed whether Tesco
had any CDs for their Internet service at the tills. Ten
there was the strange obsession with tropical sh. We
dont have a sh tank, so why is he buying plastic plants?
Just a little Vietnam project, he assured me.
Not Ia Drang by any chance? I replied,
noting that hed been watching We Were Soldiers
Once and Young for the umpteenth time.
So, have you seen my Neil Diamond CD?
I growled. Nothing gets between me and Neil
Diamond, certainly not Mel Gibson.
I dont think Ive stuck anything to
it yet, he replied cautiously.
I must admit, the idea is an old one, a great way of
getting rid of those unwanted CDs out of the Sunday
papers and the profusion of Internet disks than drop
through the letterbox. Add tropical sh plants, a hot
glue gun and thats all you need to make a jungle
environment for your south east Asia wargames.
Games Workshop have a nice collection of jungle plants
in a large blister set (24.95), but it contains only three
dierent types of plant, so you need to spread your wings
and think laterally. EBay is a good place to look; exercise
caution, as some of the plastic foliage is truly revolting,
far too bright and garish and you shouldnt need to go to
the trouble of painting anything except the base. Large pet
stores are favoured hunting grounds (also handy for nely
shredded hamster bedding and kapok). Dont forget to
try places that sell imitation owers and plants: if youre
lucky, youll nd 100 freestanding plants on a large square
sprue for under 10. In fact, on eBay, you should be able to
nd a mat of plants for around 3 - 7, plus the postage of
course. Just search for plant mat and all will be revealed.
Firstly, you need to do some knife work. Score the silvered
surface of the CD to help the glue and the basing material
to key to it. Its advisable to score the playing surface of
the CD for two main reasons the label side is less likely
to slide about and youll be less tempted to try to cram the
CD back into the player at some point and spot weld the
plastic plants to the innards. Not advisable, and certainly
not a malfunction that is covered by the warranty.
Before we go any further, a few brief words of warning
on using hot glue guns. Our glue gun is an old one; you
have to push the glue stick into the gun and it takes a
little while to heat up. Once it is up to temperature, the
hot glue will literally pour out of the nozzle if you push
the stick too hard. It is not a precision instrument and,
Our venerable hot glue gun, along with a pair of scissors (to snip the plant
mat sprues), a craft knife to score the CDs and a plundered selection of ISP
installation CDs.
A selection of plastic aquatic plants and plant mats. Most are sold on a
large sprue but can be pulled o making the construction of the terrain
much easier. None of the plant mats in this picture cost more than 7 each
for 100 plants.
Te evil deed is averted as the wargame widow delivers a pre-emptive strike
to preserve essential assets for the ongoing campaign. Objective Neil is
successfully held by the forces of liberation.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
whats more, hot glue is not a friend to human skin. Whilst
peeling o white wood glue from your ngers can be a
pleasurable experience, doing the same with welded-on hot
glue is most certainly not. Neither are the accompanying
blisters that attractive or desirable. Be warned, its a two-
handed job wielding the glue gun, so prepare yourself
beforehand. Also, be aware of the fact that the hot glue
will continue to seep out even if you are not pushing
the glue stick, so dont be tempted to use it on a French
polished tabletop. More modern glue guns are slightly more
foolproof, with proper triggers and such, and even have
their own stands, but dont trust a glue gun not to deposit
scalding sticky uid precisely where you dont want it.
Try to plan your jungle bases if you can. If you have been
fortunate enough to nd a variety of dierent plant styles,
colours and sizes, you can vary the look of each of the CD
clumps. Many of the plants will also come with bases. Do
not discard them as they are your friends. Trim them down
by all means and use the small plugs from the plant mats.
Te reasons for this are three-fold: rstly, even hot glue
will struggle to secure a small point or trunk and you will
need to hold the plant upright until the glue has cooled and
hardened, which is clearly very tedious; secondly, the more
plants you secure with bases, the easier the storage of the
terrain pieces you can simply unplug the plants from the
CD base; and nally, 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 ddly.
When planning your CD terrain, less is often more. Tat
is, unless you want solid thickets of plants that you dont
intend to hide gures in. Scattering a handful of plants over
the base will mean you can deploy gures amongst them.
Te central hole of the CD is an issue. We tend to
use Games Workshop plastic multi-part jungle trees.
Although these are out of production now, there are literally
thousands of them available on eBay or at Bring and Buy
stands at wargame shows. If you have the choice, go for the
coloured plastic ones. Te trunk parts come in brown and
the foliage in green. All you have to do is to wash them in
soapy water, let them dry and then liberally slosh brown
and green ink over them whilst they are still on their sprue.
Construct them using polystyrene cement (the type you
use to put together plastic kits). If you can only get hold
of the grey jungle trees, just spray the trunk sections with
a mid-brown, then give them an ink wash or a delicate
drybrush and a green spray for the foliage and green ink or
a yellow drybrush. Te 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.
Now we have our plants in place, we can now turn
our attention to the CD base itself. We tend to use the
same basing mixture as we use for the terrain boards
and the gure bases. At a distance, this means you
cant actually see the base at all; it simply blends into
the overall colour of the terrain boards. We get our
base brown mixed at a DIY superstore by the litre.
To get the right mix, we give the paint a really good stir,
then ll around a third of a jam jar with the paint. Add
to this some dry play sand (you can buy a medium sized
bag from most DIY stores dont be tempted by builders
sand, its got too much clay in it and makes the mixture too
cloggy). Keep adding the sand, handful by handful, until
youve got a porridge-like consistency. What you want is
Some CDs with a selection of plastic plants xed in place with a hot glue
gun. You can see the square of card over the central hole and the sprues of
the plant mats. Scoring the CDs is just a minor precaution to help give the
glue and the paint a key.
Four nished jungle terrain pieces. Te paint and sand mix has been
added, then drybrushed and some static grass stuck in place with white
wood glue. You can get considerable variation with just a handful of
dierent plant types and dierent planting schemes.
Games Workshops original jungle plants, now out of production, but still in
wide circulation in the second-hand market. Tese are the green and brown
ones; they have simply been washed in soapy water (a hangover chore from
painting soft plastic gures and not strictly necessary), then washed with
slightly watered-down Renaissance inks. You could also wash with watered-
down dark green paint or simply drybrush. Its much easier to do this with
the plant parts still on the sprues.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
a mixture that can be painted on without being too thin
or too thick. We use fairly large, at brushes to apply the
mixture to the CD base. It will usually need a couple of
applications; paint once and youll cover most of the base
the rst time, then leave at least overnight as it does take
some time to dry. Ten give it another coat to cover the
bare patches. Make sure you also cover the edges of the
CD; this will help it blend in with the terrain boards.
Once dry and before putting the plants back into
place on their bases, give the brown paint and sand
mix a liberal drybrush with white (we use Daler
Rowney Cryla). Optionally (and particularly if youve
still got some bald patches on the CD), apply some
white wood glue and x some static grass to the CD
base. We use shades from Realistic Terrain, but the
Army Painter static grass is very good as are the ranges
from several of the railway modelling companies.
Tere you have it. Cost is very low. A couple of plant
mats, some glue, a little paint and sand and some free CDs.
Even if you put ve plants on each CD, the cost per terrain
base wont be more than about 25p.
Youll also be surprised just how dierent your
wargame table will look with these dotted around.
Tere are other things you can do with the plastic
plants. We have stuck three or four to twigs mounted on
old pennies to make exotic looking trees. We also found
some seed pods which we dried and then hot glued a
single plastic plant to the top to make credible palms.
For SF and Pulp gamers, why not try some of the more
outlandish plastic aquatic plants and dried owers? Fake
orchids make terrifying-looking carnivorous plants!
For insurance, Ive bought myself an iPod. Tat
way, if the unthinkable happens, Neil and his timeless
music will never be lost. I wonder just how long it will
be before the wargamer comes up with some cunning
scheme to utilise an iPod? Perhaps an interactive
diorama of wartime Path News features being screened
in a cinema? Why not yesterdays technology always
seems to become tomorrows must-have terrain item!
For plastic aquatic plants;
For plant mats;;
Bamboo plants. Tese are based dierently, just on a square of 2mm MDF.
We bought a chain of bamboo from a home dcor store which provided us
with 150 individual bamboo shoots. Tree or four have been hot glued to
the centre of the MDF.
Twig and plant mat trees. Each of the plastic plants has literally been
pushed onto the branches of the twigs. Each twig has between three and
ve of the plastic plants inserted into it. For stability, the twig has been hot
glued to an old coin.
Seed pods with a plastic plant mat plant stuck to the top to make palm
trees. Te natural shape of the seed pod was ideal for the trunk.
Tese add a bit of extra colour to the Indian village featured in issue 14
of Battlegames.
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Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Products and services scrutinised by our team
Battlegames strives to give fair, unbiased
and truthful reviews of all products
and services. Our reviewers have
been asked to express their honest,
measured opinions, which are not
necessarily those of the Editor.
Tis magazine will never submit to
intimidation of any kind, howsoever
disguised, and though we do not publish
critical reviews lightly, we reserve
the right to do so where we believe
constructive criticism is justied.
Pn1nvu vs. Snvumn 1nv
Bn11:v or 1nv Bt:cv 1||
Osprey Duel 13 by Steven J. Zaloga,
One of the recent titles in the
Osprey Duel series, Panther vs.
Sherman compares the Sherman
M4A3 with the Panther Ausf G
amid the backdrop of the German
1944 Ardennes Winter Oensive.
Te book is 80 pages long, and
contains the usual Osprey mix of
historical photos, artwork and cutaway
diagrams. Te format looks at the
design, development and technical
specications of the vehicles, the
training and performance of the tank
crews, and then goes onto give an
overview of the conict itself. All
this cumulates in a description of a
skirmish between elements of the US
Armoured Division and the 2
Panzer Division at Freyneux on 24

December 1944
Having read
through this, I nd
myself somewhat
perplexed as to
what the target
audience of
this publication
actually is
envisaged to
be. It seems to
be an amalgamation of several of
Ospreys other publications, and
whilst it serves to give a somewhat
brief introduction into each of its
subjects, it only seems to scratch the
surface when compared to the more
detailed titles available in either the
New Vanguard or Campaign ranges.
Whilst it is true that other titles
in the Osprey range may not provide
the direct side-by-side comparison
of details, it would not be dicult to
read several titles and nd a much
deeper and more satisfying coverage
of all the information covered here.
Ultimately, I think this title fails
to gives anything but the most
rudimentary coverage of its subject
whether it is the tanks involved
or the conict they fought in. In
short, unless you are looking for the
very broadest of overviews, with
little interest in delving deeper into
the subject matter, then I suggest
that you may want to look to other
publications for your information.
Neil Shuck
Ivs H:cc:s M::n1tuvs
20mm English Civil War, contact
In Battlegames 13, John Preece
welcomed the reappearance of the
classic 1970s Les Higgins Marlburian
range, and from the same stable
we now have the English Civil
War gures available again.
Back in the early 70s, as the
new craze of wargaming swept the
Remove, these were the rst metal
gures I ever owned, bought second-
hand from a fellow schoolboy, who
had announced portentously that
he was going to concentrate on
Napoleonics (in those days only
opticians used the word focus).
Delighted with my new
acquisition, I was not to know that,
in terms of design and sculpting
quality, things would rarely get as
good in the decades to follow.
In those innocent days, we happily
elded dashing cavaliers in plumed
hats and grim helmeted roundheads,
but now we know better, and as
the years have passed the expert
spoilsports of the Partizan Press
have explained how each sides horse
dressed identically and the foot
marched barefooted to battle wearing
nothing but binliners and bobblehats.
Te Les Higgins range certainly
follows the traditional pattern,
featuring musketeers in morions
using musket-rests and a plethora
of broad-brimmed hats, but there
is little adornment or plumage and
a relative plainness in the costume,
and an authenticity of pose, which
was rather ahead of its time.
One could assemble an attractive
army with these gures, plausible
but with a nod to nostalgia.
Prices are still to be conrmed
at the time of going to press.
Steve Gill
Bu:1:sn I:cn1 Cnvn:uv 181
20mm plastic, 4.19
As the excellent box art quickly
tells you, these are not the Hussars
that many of us started our hobby
life painting, but the oft-neglected
Light Dragoons. Rather less foppish
than their colleagues, but in my
mind just as smart and at least
as eective on the battleeld.
Tese gures are made in the newer
semi-hard plastic that has found
favour with we collectors and painters.
It takes paint well, is much more
resilient, and yet
remains safe and
bendy enough for
the kids market.
Sculpts are
excellent as we
have come to
expect, with
detailed carbines
and belts. Te
horses are also
very good, but perhaps a shade
small, even for light cavalry. As the
date indicates these are pitched at
Waterloo, and so wear the shako.
Tis would, I believe, allow usage in
the late Peninsular battles as well.
Poses are of the charging, sword
waving variety and comprise fteen
troopers and two ocers. Tere
are three trooper poses, with ve
Les higgins 20mm ECW. Original photo
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
of each, which could be better but
mixed up in the unit look okay.
It is dicult to say anything new
about these releases. If it comes
from Italeri, Revell, Caesar or Zvezda
there is a high percentage chance of
incredible work. No change here.
Mike Siggins
Fuom Rots 1o Rotv1s
by William Gilkerson, Osprey
Publishing, ISBN 978-1-84603-497-8,
Tis is a funny little book and a
strange thing to attempt to review.
Osprey have for some while now
been trying to broaden the range of
types of titles they produce, and this
is a re-print, originally published way
back in 1963 (before I was born).
In only 64 pages, the author
illustrates the advancement in military
technology from the Stone Age to the
nuclear age! You are now thinking,
how on earth is this possible? Well,
the author simply tells the story
through the media of stick gure
cartoons, most of which are quite
witty and some very clever too.
I passed the book onto my ten-
year-old, who laughed quite a bit and
asked a few questions before nishing
the whole thing in about 30 minutes.
Richard Baber
Umnvo Avu:n: Vvn:t:vs:
Rono1:t A:u Wnurnuv 11A-zooA
New Vanguard 144, ISBN 978-1-
84603-243-1 9.99
Tere are a number of things one
expects from all Osprey publications
and these include an attractive
layout, well appointed images and
photographs (when appropriate),
and structured text that takes the
reader though the subject area. In
this instance we get all of this.
Steven J Zaloga has written quite
a number of Osprey books and
this one is perhaps one of his most
specialised and unusual subjects. Te
spread of the topic over 90 years of
history is, perhaps, most surprising.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
have received quite a bit of attention
in recent years due to conicts in Iraq
and Afghanistan. However, Zaloga
has traced back the history of robotic
aircraft to the First World War when
attempts were made to make pilotless
torpedoes, with mixed success.
Te book as described by
Zaloga is an examination of ..the
dawn of robotic air warfare and
he also states that spite of
their advances, robotic aircraft
are still in their infancy.
Te 48 pages are full of facts,
acronyms, diagrams, photos and
references that allow the reader
an insight into this fascinating
subject. It is a specialised area and
so perhaps will not be one of their
greatest sellers within the wargaming
fraternity, but for a starting point in
research projects it is a good buy.
For anyone who has an aviation or
modern warfare interest this would
sit well in their library and for those
who want to incorporate the use of
UAVs into their wargames, it will
provide some useful guidance. Whilst
it naturally concentrates a lot on USA
eorts (and their present day coalition
allies), there are also discussions on
European, Israeli and Soviets attempts
into generating eective UAVs. If this
subject oats your boat then this is a
good buy for you, but remember it is
a starting point for further research.
Major Dave Fielder, RM
Bu:1:sn Fou1s : 1nv
Acv or Au1ntu
by Angus Konstam, Osprey Fortress
80, ISBN: 9781846033629, 11.99
I know Angus Konstam for his
excellent writing on maritime and
piratical matters, so was surprised to
see his name on such a specialised
subject as post-Roman British
fortications. Delving into this book
on one of my favourite subjects, I was
a bit disappointed with the content.
Other Fortress titles Ive read go into
more detail on the subject matter;
this is dicult to tackle for post-
Roman British forts given the available
evidence, but reading cover to cover,
I felt this book really lacked analysis,
and in other places over-stated the
available archaeological record.
Starting with a broad discussion
of form and function, the author
does a good job of distinguishing
the dierent types of fortication
in a succinct manner, but never
really discusses the very important
non-military functions these forts
fullled. Te walls themselves are
only part of the overall picture. Te
geographical spread of fortications
raised my eyebrows, using Hadrians
Wall as a northern cut-o, but I have
picked up some useful snippets of
information to go and research further
about other sites (for example, my
local hillfort Cissbury is noted as
having been refortied by the British,
which I cant recall reading before, but
sadly theres no further information
beyond a name check in this book).
South Cadbury hillfort is the main
site discussed here. It would have been
nice to see more space given over to a
lesser-known and perhaps more typical
fortication of the period (South
Cadbury is pretty unique and I dont
believe that much that has ever been
written about this site can be applied
to many other post-Roman British
fortications). Te book concludes
with a basic overview of tactics and
strategy of the period, the aftermath
of the period (which nicely ties up the
end of British power), and a reasonably
helpful gazetteer of sites to visit.
More positively, the book is
a reasonable introduction for a
newcomer to the subject although Id
recommend the aged but still helpful
Arthurs Britain by Leslie Alcock
for an equally detailed account of
fortications and warfare with most
other aspects of life in this period
also thrown in for a similar price.
Te colour plates are nicely handled,
although I still wait for the day when
a hillfort is presented without the
extremely tentative South Cadbury
gateway on show; but at the very least,
the plates do give a nice feel for how
these fortications might have looked.
Overall, this book isnt as
recommended as Id have liked it to
have been. For me, its very much a
missed opportunity, possibly because
the subject matter is far too open-
ended for the present Fortress series.
Dan Mersey
Tnv V:t1ou:n Po::tvmn
by Simon Dell, Shire Classics
Shire Publications are a comforting
presence that seem almost timeless,
so it seems appropriate that this title
falls into the Shire Classics series.
Although only a slim, 40 page
A5 paperback, it is crammed with
detail covering the evolution of the
Victorian police from the medieval
parish constables and watchmen,
via the Bow Street Runners, to
Peels Metropolitan reforms and
ultimately the detectives of the 1880s,
with ngerprinting, the beginnings
of forensic science, and books of
photographic criminal records.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
sprues, each labelled as Praetorian.
Odd. Perhaps the production
process makes this economical.
Released at the same time we have
Boadicea (another spelling will be
along in a moment) in her chariot.
Tis is of course pretty much an
essential centrepiece for your British
army, especially if, like me, you were
brought up on local stories and have
the London Bridge statue etched in
your mind. Te model is up to the task.
Te queen has thoughtfully brought
along a severed head (fast becoming
Warlords analogue to the GW
Skull) and is joined by a tubby little
bodyguard holding aloft a Roman
standard. Te food at court must be
very good. Tese gures are okay
rather than inspirational, and also
suer from the common sculptors
inability to render female faces. Te
chariot and ponies, conversely, are
nicely done. As with most command
models, it deserves a decent paint job.
Tis one will set you back 15, which
has just made me cringe. A little bit.
Warlord continue
to make models of a high standard,
balanced by increasingly high
prices especially for command,
equipment and elite gures. Not yet
GW level, Ill grant you, but I think
we can detect a wannabe. As usual,
the choice is yours and if you are
committed to Warlords range then
these new gures will be a no-brainer,
but in this case I recommend a look
at some rival gures before you buy.
Mike Siggins
Sncn or 1nv Snmtun::
R:sv or 1nv Tnvon
Solum and Rue, published by
Brookhurst Press
Given that we often discuss how big
the wargaming hobby is, without
a convincing answer, we can be
Te text is fairly small, almost
uncomfortably so for older eyes,
to t so much detail between the
covers, but the book is profusely
illustrated, and pictures adorn
almost every page. Most are
atmospheric, grainy, black and white
photographs, but there are a number
of line drawings and engravings.
Te narrative ows smoothly and
the details help to esh out quite a
substantial subject. Chapters cover
not only the Bow Street Runners
and the Peelers, but also buildings,
some of which are still visible today,
and a brief bibliography suggests
sources for further research. Te
book is rounded o by a list of
museums that may be of interest.
Overall, a very handy book for
anyone with an interest in the
subject, which might appear slightly
esoteric, but given the current
interest in Victorian science-
ction and pulp games it may
provide a few useful small details
for gamers or gure makers.
Gary Hughs
Romn Punv1ou:n Gtnuo no
Boto:tvn Tu:tmvnn1
Warlord Games
Te latest release in the Warlord
ancients range is the long promised
Praetorian guard, surely a unit
as desired, indeed required,
as the Black Watch or Rushs
Lancers. Checking my handy
Warlord Price Chart we
nd Legionaries at 57p. Te
Praetorians are twenty gures
for 15, which is 75p per gure.
It does not take a genius to work
out that metal gures are available
for very little more, but then these
are yer genuine elite troops, guv.
Te basic body dollies are much
the same as the earlier legionary sets
and repeat the three, slightly stilted,
poses which provide neither a uniform
unit nor one where all gures look
unique. Tere are some shield transfers
(waterslide) which are strangely dull.
Te key new components are the
signature oval shields, and fortunately
we are provided with one per gure.
At this point I have to say I
guessed incorrectly last issue.
Rather than simply providing the
old legionary sprues and adding
shields and command on a separate
sprue, the latter are integrated into
what are apparently completely new
sure that the wider military hobby
is considerably larger. It certainly
manages to support a number of
specialist book publishers. Of these,
we know Ospreys longevity and
success well enough and it has been
interesting to see various competitors
emerging with innovative, cheaper
and often better works most
notably typied by H&C in Paris.
Te books under review are the latest
in this very welcome development,
this time from Brookhurst Press.
Saga of the Samurai focuses on the
Takeda family from the Kai province.
Te 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. Te
Saga currently comprises four volumes,
with a fth in preparation. Judging by
the dates so far covered, there could
be seven or eight volumes planned.
Te format of each book is
similar: a history covering a section
of the family history (the rst
volume goes back to 1130, via the
Gempei Wars), some excellent
line illustrations and photographs,
colour diagrams and maps, and the
highlight for Osprey fans ten or
so colour plates. Each volume is
approximately eighty pages.
You will now have some idea of
the scale of this project. Combined
into a single binding, the Saga
would deliver around 500 pages of
fascinating information. Tis is an
epic read, and as it follows the
fortunes of a specic family
we discover unusual facts
and an appealing new angle. Tis
also makes for an engaging narrative,
which is certainly much better than
the usual isolated sequence of battles,
sieges, and randomly emphasised
episodes. It is a clever device, and I
found it portrayed an enlightening slice
of Japanese history, emphasising the
Takedas power base, familial struggles
and a background to understand the
honour and tradition of the samurai.
I have to say that occasionally I
found a statement that diered from
my previous readings, for example
the use and meaning of the horo, but
it will be interesting to check into
this using other sources. Generally,
the books are well written, original,
gripping, and form an excellent
reference work. Importantly, they are
very atmospheric and more than once
I put the book down and imagined a
Warlord Games
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
series of battles inspired by the stories.
Topping all that are the graphics.
Te incidental illustrations are superb,
and rival the best in the business. I
particularly like the line drawings.
Te colour plates are also some of
the best I have seen, and with at least
ten there is no skimping. Overall,
for anyone interested in the period
the Saga is essential reading.
Dave Tomas usually stocks these
books at shows, or you can source
them from online retailers, or even
on order from your local bookshop.
Mike Siggins
Nnvo:vo:t Wnucnm:c
by Charles Grant, Partizan Press 25,
ISBN 978-1-85818-585-9
A welcome reprint of this wargames
classic of 1974, with
additional material by the
authors son, C S Grant.
Always a popular title, but
never quite attaining the status
of Te War Game. Why? Many
of the illustrations featured the
collection of Peter Gilder, very
attractive in their own right,
but disconnected from the
text. Not long after publication,
Napoleonic players began to
descend into a fascinating but
exhausting immersion in data
and national characteristics
and, as the baby ew out with
the bathwater, perhaps this book
came to seem charmingly nave.
Perhaps we simply baulked at
producing the 54-man battalions.
On re-reading the original, one is
struck by the familiarity of many of
the discussions and the realisation
dawns that in many cases this was
the rst time in print that many of
the issues were covered. Arguably,
one of the great talents of Charles
Grant was to write so entertainingly
and conversationally about the
painstaking transposition of historical
tactics into wargaming mechanics,
material which might have engendered
tedium in the hands of a lesser author.
Tere is no better primer for this
absorbing but demanding period.
Te additional material by C S
Grant includes a Napoleonic replay
of Te Action (from Te War Game),
generously illustrated with relevant
colour photos and very helpful in
understanding how the original
rules worked in practice. Tere then
follows a tantalising glimpse into
how the original developed into the
versions still in use today, including the
shocking revelation that the bounce-
stick and other artillery devices are
no longer in use; this will come as
a disappointment to our esteemed
Editor, who dangles such appendages
with gusto, but a merciful relief to
the ventrally-challenged among us,
cursed by an unreliable sense of
balance and a persistent inability to
decide whether the colonels horses
rear end is actually in the frame.
C S Grant explains convincingly
how, with several dierent versions in
use, it would not have been practical
to detail his current rules, but one
cannot help thinking that these would
make an attractive subject
for a future publication.
In a year of what looks to be
signicant activity in the publication
of Napoleonic rules, it has been
refreshing to revisit the roots of the
genre. Reconstructing a viable set
from this book requires some work
but I found the process stimulating
and rewarding. Te great gift of the
Grant legacy is a sight and touch
of the holy grail rules which give
both a plausible simulation and an
enjoyable game and there is a spirit,
at times elusive but always entrancing,
which resonates to this day.
Steve Gill
A Foo1so:o:vu rou Pn11o
by Michael C. Bilder with James G.
Bilder, Casemate Publishing, ISBN
978-1-932033-91-5, hb, 294 pages
Tis is a personal account of Michael
Bilders service during WWII from
his induction into the US Armys
Infantry Division in 1941 to the
wars end. Te author was a regular
soldier, living day-to-day with the
horror and humour of war.
Tis book is a very good read.
Te author covers the training his
unit received before going overseas
and their time stationed in Iceland
and later in the UK in fair detail,
and this is interesting in itself.
Te division began to arrive in
France in July 1944 and were sent
straight into the ghting in the
Normandy Bocage. Bilder describes
his life in the front line with an easy
style, covering day-to-day operations
and small unit actions, all of which
will prove enlightening to anyone
gaming US forces in NW Europe.
Te division was part of
Pattons Tird Army and took
part in the drive across France.
Tis is described in nice detail
with several accounts of patrols
and company-sized actions.
Te battles for the fortress
town of Metz are also covered
in fair detail, which was very
interesting; this is the only
period in the whole book where
Patton receives any criticism
from the author. In fact, the
author goes to great pains
to highlight Pattons skill at
command; he also frequently
is less than complimentary
about Montgomery, using
all the clich remarks too
slow, not aggressive enough,
etc. Hindsight is a wonderful
thing, and I very much doubt if a
corporal in a US infantry division
had any real idea about what was
actually going on outside his own
foxhole during the campaign.
After Metz, there was a change in
Allied strategy and Patton was forced
to sit still whilst Montgomery tried
Market Garden in Holland, which
of course was a disaster! What then
followed was the wet, cold autumn and
the ghting on the German border,
until mid-December, when against
all odds, the Germans mounted
their last major counter-oensive of
the war in the west the Ardennes.
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Bilder was part of Tird Armys drive
to relieve Bastogne, before then
crossing the Rhine and taking part
in the encirclement of the Ruhr.
Troughout the book, the
author talks candidly about
his looting and the shooting of
prisoners (by others in his unit).
Bilder ended his war in Austria
where he explains the rotation
points system, how he avoided
staying in the army and managed
to get home to be married.
An enjoyable book, with much
to recommend it to anyone
interested in the war in NW
Europe and the US infantry in
particular on a personal level.
Richard Baber
1nv Wou:o or 1nv Autnvu :
1nv Htouvo Yvnus Wnu
by Richard Wadge, Te History Press
Ltd, ISBN 978-1862273887, 256pp
When I rst heard the title Arrowstorm
I must confess to having felt some
trepidation, wondering if I was in for
a book along the lines of Longbows
were the ultimate super weapon of
their day! I was delighted, therefore,
to nd Richard Wadges work to be
a balanced, considered and well-
researched examination of the world of
the archer in the Hundred Years War.
Wadge takes 1300-1550 as his
timeframe, and investigates the
entire social, economic and logistical
structure behind the archer on the
battleeld. By looking in detail into
a series of related topics, he is able
to draw a coherent picture of the
archers world, rmly bedded within
the wider context of their times.
In the rst part of the book, Wadge
begins with the question How were
armies raised? and then, starting
with the roots in the Fyrd system, the
increasing codication of military
service through the various Assizes
of Arms of the 13th Century, Edward
Is development of Commissions of
Array, and the rise of the practice of
military indentures, he follows the
development in recruitment practices
through the whole period of his
study. By his taking this one thread
and following it from start to nish,
he builds a book of chapters which
stand in their own right, and makes
the book easy to dip in and out of.
It is this approach, with the book
more as a series of standalone,
but related essays, which I found
particularly appealing. Wadge is widely
read, and quotes freely from various
sources, from the extant records of
the time to current academic research,
but is always honest and meticulous in
his accreditation. Te depth of colour
which he is able to bring to what could
otherwise be a rather dry work is
admirable, and helped keep the book
an engaging read. Information on pay
rates is given context by information
on purchasing power, campaign booty
is evaluated by what kind of house
the returning archer might buy.
Part one, How and why men
became military archers, covers the
men themselves, their recruitment,
campaign conditions, feed and
upkeep, discipline and desertion,
pay and retirement prospects.
Part two, Te supply and
manufacture of bows & arrows covers
the materiel and the huge domestic
industry which evolved to support
the men in the eld armies and
garrisons, equipment requirements,
production, and the bowyers part
in the international arms trade.
Arrowstorm oers the wargamer
a great deal of inspiration for
any Hundred Years War project.
Names, and small company
strength breakdowns for skirmish
games, troop strengths and annual
recruitment gures for campaigns,
logistical minutiae and international
shipping gures for grand strategic
grognards, there is something in
this book for anyone interested in
wargaming the high middle ages.
Dan Towse
M:::1nuv H:s1ouv Commnovu:
Ftuovv n1 Wnu Go:o
Slitherine Software for the PC
Tis is a very good game with a very
long title. It covers World War II in
Europe, in the widest sense. In play,
it is what I would call old school:
very clean, simple graphics; logical
controls; and easy to get into but
dicult to master. Tere is depth, but
it is not swamped with detail. It also
has plenty of staying power there are
literally hours of gaming value here. I
think it is well known that Slitherine
Software is tied into the hobby in
various ways, not least through the link
ups with Osprey and Field of Glory.
Someone high up in the Slitherine
hierarchy is a wargamer, and it shows.
So, what do we get? Essentially,
this is an epic hex and counter style
boardgame Tird Reich, World in
Flames, War in Europe, Axis & Allies,
for instance converted to the PC
and so made playable in hours rather
than weeks. It is the sort of thing that
we hoped for back in the eighties
when it became clear what computers
might be able to do, and it seems we
are still perfecting it for, I assume, a
willing market. You may be pleased to
know it is the sort of game where you
can take as long as you like over your
turn, rather than having to move the
mouse around like a whirling Dervish.
Te scope is impressive. Counters
represent entire armies, navies and
air forces. We are allowed access to
strategic decisions, declarations of
war, technology development and
production queues. Mmmm. In
short, you are the leader of a country.
Te game covers the entire war,
though there are scenarios should
you wish to indulge. Te map covers
all of Europe, North Africa and even
the North Atlantic yes, you will
need to run/sink convoys and Lend
Lease plays a role. To the East we
have a decent chunk of Russia, and
we all know what happens there.
So, I choose Germany in 1939.
I refuse to read the manual, or
play the tutorial, because I went
to a good school and I have done
this sort of thing before. Twenty
minutes later, after an encirclement
that surely would register Genius
on the Rommelometer, I had taken
Warsaw and the Poles surrendered.
Meanwhile I was building up new
mechanised divisions and, of course,
viele Panzers. I despatched my U-Boats
into the Atlantic to stem the tide of
convoys supplying all and sundry,
but kept the Kriegsmarine in port.
Strategic movement shifted my
armies across to the Western Front.
I declared war on Belgium and piled
across the border. All went well,
apart from having very little space to
manoeuvre, so I spread out a bit into
Holland. Still, my Stukas seemed to be
enjoying themselves. Suddenly, I was
under attack by the French air force.
Blimey, alliances! It got a bit more
dicult from that point onwards. An
hour later I saved the game, pondering
Operation Sealion and those wretched
Spitres lurking across the Channel.
Excellent stu. Really good.
Obviously, this is a quick overview
and there is much more depth to
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
be discovered. For instance, each
counter can be clicked to show all
sorts of interesting statistics. You
can research technologies that will
help you in combat. Allies join you
and your enemies. Choosing your
production priorities is a game in
itself. It is all quite broad brush,
but highly enjoyable for that.
I have to say I was a little
disappointed not to nd much in
the way of Osprey artwork within
the game, as this is billed as a major
feature. It may be there, but I cant
nd it! Perhaps it refers to the cute
little icons, which are very good
indeed, which can easily replace the
dull counters. For those worried
about boardgame infection, you
can also turn the hexes o.
In short, this is a real gamers
game. Enjoyable, not too taxing,
and very quick to learn. It is, as they
used to say, highly intuitive and great
fun. I recommend MHC:EAWG,
even if I wont type it all in again.
Mike Siggins
Wnurnuv : 1nv
Acv or Nnvo:vo
by Tod Kershner, On Military Matters
$22, Caliver Books 17.50
Tis neat but modest 32 page
softcover has glided across the
Atlantic and in under the radar with
little fanfare and hype, but is the
work of an established rules writer,
author of the popular Warfare In
Te Age of Reason and Pig Wars.
It is not a modied Age of Reason,
however, not least in the 1:30
unit sizes, with a French battalion
portrayed by four bases each of six
gures in three ranks, while the
British have the same in two ranks
and the Austrians and later Prussians
three by three. As is commonly the
case nowadays, the author is at pains
to emphasise that no rigid basing
system is to be imposed, so existing
collections in a variety of scales and
sizes can be deployed. No ground
scale is advised, but musket long range
is 6, which gives some indication.
Movement is alternate, with
the players dicing for initiative in
a familiar manner, but with the
interesting variant that the winner
moves cavalry and horse artillery
rst, followed by the loser, before
they both turn to the infantry and
foot artillery in the same pattern.
Tere are no photos of games in
action but a generous sprinkling of
diagrams and examples of play, plus
a pull-out quick play guide. Two
scenarios are provided La Haye
Sainte and Quatre Bras. Te army lists
have a similar 1815 bias, featuring
the French, British and Prussians;
national characteristics are of some
signicance, but without dominating.
Without the opportunity to playtest,
one is left with the impression of a
coherent and well-balanced set of
rules, with some interesting ideas and
mechanisms, and a middling level
of complexity. A quietly competent
set likely to be overshadowed by
ashier product emerging this year.
Steve Gill
Mnou: Fou1:r:tn1:os
by Ian Knight and Adam Hook,
Osprey Publishing, 2009
ISBN 978 1 84603 370 4
During my rst visit to New Zealand a
couple of years ago, I had an excellent
red wine from a vineyard called Bridge
Pa. Back then, I had no idea what a
pa was, but later found out that it was
some kind of Maori fortied camp.
Now we have a book from Ian Knight,
who is to Victorian military history
what South Island is to sauvignon
blanc, that explains in detail what a pa
was, how it was constructed and the
role it played in the New Zealand Wars
of the 1840s-60s. Whilst the author
is a popular authority in this general
eld, Osprey deserve congratulations
for publishing a book on a subject
that is far from mainstream.
Te pa began as a fortied
village, often on a hilltop, which was
protected by a number of ditches
and palisades with ghting stages
on towers placed at regular intervals
around the perimeter. Te arrivals
of rearms led to a revision of pa
construction men waving spears
on a ghting stage were easy targets.
Rie pits were added outside the
stockade to slow down attackers,
whilst ring steps and trenches were
prepared inside. Te purpose of the
pa became purely military, built not
to protect a village but as a show of
deance and an invitation to draw
the enemy into battle at a time and
place of the defenders choosing.
Te British did work out how to
deal with pas, but only at the end
of a long and bloody road. Te local
puriri wood was strong enough to
withstand lighter cannonballs and
so it was dicult to soften up a pa
before men could assault a breach, a
problem not solved until towards the
end of the wars when heavier artillery
became available. Troops making a
frontal attack would often ounder in
the wide ditches or nd themselves
isolated in the network of palisades if
they managed to break through the
outer ramparts. Victory, if achieved,
was often pyrrhic as a pa always had
an escape route through which the
Maori could slip away to build another
pa somewhere else. Te 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.
Te book is well illustrated with
diagrams, photos and contemporary
watercolours (which are particular
interesting and atmospheric). Anyone
wishing to model a pa will nd all the
information they need together with
inspirational artwork by Adam Hook.
My standard measure of an
Ospreys success is whether I want
to give the period a go by the time
Ive nished; I was barely halfway
through before I started looking to see
who makes suitable gures (Eureka
Miniatures, incidentally). If I have
one criticism, it is the lack of any
Maori pronunciation guide. But then
I have found that seeing how many
dierent ways you can pronounce
Titokawaru and Ruapekepeka is a
fun game to play, particularly on public
transport. Highly recommended.
Giles Allison
Wv:::c1os Cnmvn:cs
: Io:n
by Major R G Burton, published by
Lancer Publications
Tere is an abundance of books and
accounts that trace Wellingtons
career through the peninsular War
to the battleeld of Waterloo, but it
is disappointing that his formative
years, particularly in India, have
received relatively scant coverage. Yet
it was there, between 1797 and 1805,
more time in fact than he spent in the
Peninsula, that the then Honourable
Arthur Wellesley forged his career and
his reputation as the sepoy general.
Wellingtons Campaigns in India
provides a signicant contribution to
our understanding of those campaigns
and Wellingtons part in them. Burton
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
was, at the time of writing, a major
in the 94th (Russells) Infantry, also
known as the Scotch Brigade, and
became a noted military historian. Tis
detailed account was rst published
over one hundred years after the
events it recounts, for ocial use only,
by the Division of the Chief of Sta of
the Intelligence Branch of the Army in
1908. It is now brought fully into the
public domain by Lancer Publications
in a beautifully produced book.
Tis is a must for anybody with an
interest either in these campaigns or
in Wellingtons formative years. Te
book provides an extremely useful
chronology of Wellingtons time in
India. It gives details of the battles,
the orders of battle, information on
the Indian forces, many informative
footnotes and nine extremely
interesting and varied appendices. It
reects on Wellingtons failed night
attack before the fall of Seringapatam,
which might have halted his
career were it not that he was the
brother of the Governor General,
and his resolve as a result never to
attack at night without previous
reconnaissance. It also covers his
successes including, of course, Assaye.
Wellingtons recorded concerns
about the licentious soldiery and
their plunder are a foretaste of
his views on his soldiers in the
Peninsula. Unfortunately, the book
is reproduced without maps and
the reader will benet from having
one to hand, perhaps from Jac
Wellers Wellington in India.
Produced in hardback with 175
pages, Wellingtons Campaigns in
India is very good value at 11.99.
It has an appeal that goes beyond a
narrow interest in the campaigns in
India and is highly recommended.
Charles Grant
Fmv:uv: To1n: Wnu
Te Creative Assembly for the PC
Almost all of you who have chosen
the PC as your gaming platform
will be familiar with the Total War
series. It started almost a decade ago
and has improved inexorably with
each iteration. Even if you thought
the original game weak, random
and largely unplayable (like me!),
it is possible that the later versions
may well have drawn you in.
My downfall was the Medieval II
edition and many, many hours were
spent ghting battles and building
and re-building my empires. Even
so, because I needed to regain my
friends, I eventually forced myself to
delete the game. Now, my resistance
has failed again. Tere are men in
tricornes on my screen. Tey are
ring artillery. Tey are facing cavalry
charges. Tey are even forming
square. I am lost. Mumble, mumble.
Empire: Total War moves us on
to the 18th century, surely a strong
favourite among readers of this
magazine. But who should buy? Stay
your hand if you are a man for whom
exact uniform colour, cockades and
tactics are important, but if you like
the fun, loose, pseudo history of Total
War, its campaigns, economy, and its
rolling, chaotic battles, then brace that
credit card. We
expect an upgrade when we
buy a new series game; this is
a massive improvement and
I could spend the rest of the
review listing all the changes.
I wont. But suce to say everything
is better and, importantly, everything
works pretty well. One might raise
an eyebrow at Te Rake that one can
send o to extract the enemys secrets,
or the rather powerful academic
spies. But one gets used to them,
and they add to the period avour. I
will talk about the campaign detail
briey, because now it seems that
everything has more detail, that the
economy is more credible, and there
are zoomable graphical vignettes all
over. Lovely. Tere are decent sieges,
the diplomacy seems to be more solid
and believable, and the AI is now much
tougher. Finally, there is now research.
But most of us, I assume, enjoy the
3D battles. Tey are what drew me
in originally. Tese have taken on a
new aspect wholesale carnage! My
rst battle was bloody. I thought it
was an anomaly and put it down to
inexperience. Te second one was
far worse, and the remnants of my
army took an awfully long time to
rebuild. Perhaps, as in history, your
armies need to be bigger because there
are many new and dierent ways to
die I am reliably told there are even
Congreve rockets in there somewhere,
but standard artillery seems quite
deadly enough, thank you. I found
myself learning new tactics, not all
historical, and trying very hard to keep
my brave and expensive troops alive.
Time has not yet permitted
me to investigate yet another new
feature: 3D naval battles. Tese look
amazing, but as you might imagine,
require a lot of processing power.
Te game generally is a little sluggish
on my machine, which is about three
years behind the cutting edge, so I will
have to see if the naval module fells it!
Tis is a superb release, and a
truly impressive upgrade on the
previous incarnations of Total War.
Unless you have problems with
real time play or dodgy historicity,
you must get this game. Tere is a
common refrain amongst writers,
and it is that needing to write this
review was the only thing pulling me
away from the game! Empire: Total
War is a modern classic and is what
PC gaming should be all about.
Mike Siggins
So:on1 II S:um:sn ut:vs
by Tim Goodlett, SMPress, 16.99
I cant help but admire the scholarship
that has been poured into this 144-
page tome designed to cover squad
level infantry combat. Although
these rules appear complex, many
aspects (armour, o-table support
weapons and demolition to name but
three of the many) wont feature in
every scenario you play and may be
introduced as you become familiar
with the core rules. I found basic
infantry combat a relatively easy,
free-owing game to pick up having
a logical sequence of play which has
four rounds or impulses before two
concluding segments complete each
turn. Each impulse represents just a
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
few seconds of real time and forces you
to choose your tactics accordingly.
Rules are recommended for play
on a 12 x 6 table (representing just
250 x 500 yards of real estate) using
20mm gures, although scenarios are
included for 6 x 4 and smaller playing
areas which most gamers should be
able to manage at home. 30 100
gures per side are recommended.
Smaller sized models can be used,
although I would be wary of going
below 15mm because the precise line
of sight rules might become tricky to
implement using very small gures.
A periscope and/or a laser alignment
tool are recommended by the author
for the advanced sighting rules, which
add greatly to the gaming experience.
Figures can be physically hidden
within the model landscape, rather
than relying on blinds for concealment,
the implication being that the more
true-to-scale your terrain, the more
satisfying this aspect will be.
Real time is allocated to spotting
and players are required to refrain
from walking around the table during
the game. An umpire is recommended
for ambush games where the gures
arent initially placed on the table.
Te what-you-see-is-what-you-get
tabletop environment is a dening
concept in the system, which you
will either love (for the being there
quality it brings to the game), or not!
54 pages cover the rules and a
further 20 pages national, company
level, organisations and tactics.
Extensive AFV data tables and
ten WW2 scenarios complete
the package. A single page makes
mention of playing campaign-
based games without oering any
rules for this and I certainly feel
theres potential for the author to
expand this aspect in the future.
Te quality of this black and white
production is reasonably good and
more than adequate for wargames
rules, although this is not a lavish or
glossy book. Tere a few minor layout
errors which could be corrected in
the next reprint and I would like
to see a key directly adjacent to all
the tables which use symbols.
My overall feeling is of a very
solid, well considered, precisely
written product that is well worth a
look, particularly given the reported
rise in popularity at conventions
States-side. Te 17 price tag is very
reasonable everything you need to
play is covered by this one volume.
Tim Beresford
Commowvn:1n S:um:sn
Stvnu:os: WWz FTO
1|o 1|
by Andy Turlington, SMPress, 14.99
Although ostensibly published as a
supplement to the Soldat II system,
the author quite readily acknowledges
that the 14 scenarios presented here
may be used for any WW2 skirmish
rules. A conversion table is provided
to cover many, but not all other sets.
A brief overview begins this 90 page
book which is nicely designed to allow
pages to be photocopied for each side
without betraying any information
about their opponents forces that
shouldnt be revealed before the game.
Umpires notes, a detailed OOB and
a deployment map for each side are
included. Te scenarios are varied
but principally cover the ghting in
France during the summer of 1944.
Four others are included for actions
set in 1940, 41, 42 and 45. Black and
white images of varying quality add a
sense of history to the publication.
Games typically feature one or two
platoons per player plus supporting
armour where appropriate. All
are designed for a 10 x 6 table
using 20mm gures but may, of
course, be adjusted accordingly
for other sizes of models.
Te black and white production
is more than adequate and at just
over 1.00 per scenario, represents
good value for your money.
Tim Beresford
Wnusnw 1||:
Po:nos B:o rou Fuvvoom
by Robert Forczyk, illustrated by Peter
Dennis, Osprey Campaign 205
Tis book oers a narrative of the
Warsaw Uprising of August to
October of 1944, plus a look at the
political plan behind the AK (Armia
Krajowa) oensive, an Order of Battle
for both the Polish and German
sides and thumbnail biographies
of some of the key commanders.
Crucially, the (nearly) day by day
narrative of the ghting is backed up
by numerous maps of the areas being
described, so readers can easily follow
the events and see the early successes
of the AK expanding their area of
control, followed by the axes of the
German counter-attacks and their
building by building (or so it seems at
times) reduction of the AK control.
Tese 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
o-the-peg buildings placed in the
right positions on the games table. It
also emphasises the importance of
the vertical nature of the ghting as
in the illustration of Te 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 ghting the
size of the AK forces involved
numbering 40,000+ in Warsaw, the
resources that the Wehrmacht put in
suppressing the uprising including
the specialised equipment brought
to bear on the AK positions, such
as Karl mortars, Goliath demolition
ROVs, and Brummbars. It also shows
the ingenuity of the AK forces, with
weapons like the Polish-produced
sten-like SMGs, but also in actions
such as the capture of the PAST
Building telephone exchange.
Te book doesnt shy away from
the atrocities that took place in the
60-odd days of the Rising; the 30,000
civilians killed in the Wola massacre
are remembered by a double page
illustration showing some of them
being rounded up by Dirlewanger (who
commanded the unit responsible) and
some of his men. Te total number
of civilian deaths resulting from
the Rising is claimed at being over
200,000. It is also mentioned that the
AK usually summarily shot any SS
prisoners. Tactics such as the German
use of Polish human shields will
certainly challenge anyone wanting
to game the Rising in its entirety.
However, there are plenty of
actions that could be brought to the
tabletop both Polish and German
attacks. It is even possible to have a
Polish armoured force using captured
tanks and half-tracks against German
defenders. As far as painting an AK
force is concerned, the illustrations,
and photographs of Polish equipment
provide the information a gamer would
need to eld a force on the table.
In conclusion, a thought-provoking
book that will give wargamers many
scenario ideas, as well as providing a
good solid historical analysis of the
events. Toroughly recommended.
Martin Penneck
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Pvuuv M::n1tuvs
28mm Napoleonic French Hussars
Te online world has just discovered
that the next range of 28mm
Napoleonic plastics that will emerge
from the Perry stables [groan!] will be
an exquisite set of French hussars.
During a recent visit to Nottingham
for the weekend of the Partizan
show, I was given the chance to see
the original 3-up sculpts of these
magnicent gures that are bound
to prove a hit with wargamers and
modellers alike, not just because
of the superlative quality of the
sculpting, but also because of the
myriad possibilities that they oer.
Te 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 gures for pretty much
any French hussar regiment in full or
campaign dress from 1790 to 1815. Te
head types included in the box(es) will
include mirlitons, belltop
shakos (covered and full
dess), kolpacks and the
shako rouleau. Bodies
are split at the waist to
allow the choice of either
full dress breeches or
campaign overalls.
Te chap sporting
that magnicent mirliton
could, of course, even be
adapted for the earlier
Seven Years War conict
and modellers with a bit
of imagination and some
skill could even change
the gures allegiance
entirely and send him
into the open recruiting
arms of a Frederican
Prussian sergeant major.
Te horses are all
equipped with a sheepskin with
the classic dogtoothed edge but
again, anyone suciently dab-
handed at conversions could do
some sanding, scraping and Green
Stu sculpting to substitute the
shabraque of their choice.
Due to hit the shops early next
year, Alan Perry informs me that
they may come in two dierent
sets, depending on the technical
conundrum of sprue capacity.
With their Wars of the
Roses plastics due out rst,
we wait with bated breath!
Henry Hyde
Svnr:uv vs AM Zvuo,
Pnt:r:t Tnvn1uv
by Donald Nijboer, Osprey Publishing
Duel 16, ISBN 978-1-84603-433-6,
Te Osprey Duel series is a relatively
recent addition to their catalogue but
one that evokes memories of happy
childhood days assembling Airx
Dogght Doubles two adversaries
packaged together. Similarly Duel
presents two opposing war machines,
assessing and directly contrasting
the merits and tactics of each design.
In this instance, a pair of archetypal
ghters of WW2, the Spitre, albeit
in its naval conguration the
Seare and the Zero-sen. Perhaps
an o-beat combo, but one that
suggests an enlightening read.
Te text plots the development of
each aircraft, dening the particular
model variations and the training
of their pilots before bringing them
together in an analysis of their relative
combat capabilities.
Teir entwined story is
concluded by a strategic
and tactical overview of
their deployment. It was
whilst operating in a close
defence role of the British
Pacic Fleet, stationed
o the Japanese mainland
and under threat from
kamikaze attacks, that
the low-level advantages
of the Seare over the
Zero were best realised.
Such a scenario
could make an exciting
participation game
combining the spectacle
of an impressive
battleship (King George
V) or aircraft carrier
model defended by
the legendary Spitre (in disguise)
against a deadly foe. Te wonderfully
evocative artists impression, a ghostly
image of a successful Seare sortie,
has already served as the catalyst for
such a project! Tree-view colour
proles of each aircraft are also
included and provide useful, if basic,
guides for your model painting.
However, in many respects the book
fails to really live up to expectations
or Ospreys claim: step onto the
battleeld and immerse yourself in the
experience of real historic combat.
In this respect, the subject matter
only really crackles and bursts into
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
life in the last few pages describing
the nal air ghting of WW2, over
Tokyo Bay, though to be fair to the
publisher, there was relatively little
combat recorded between these two
aircraft to draw on as source material.
Although the content is interesting,
if not terribly comprehensive and
potentially useful to the wargamer,
Ive come to expect better value
than this slim volume ultimately
delivers. Tis is especially true
when considered alongside the
companion series, Aircraft of the
Aces, that remains signicantly
more engaging and rewarding.
In spite of the shortcomings
mentioned, Ive found inspiration
for my own gaming within these
pages, so I suggest that this
particular book and the Duel series
in general are worth a look.
Tim Beresford
Putss:n Irn1uv 18o8-18|o
Vo: 1 I:v a Gtnuo 18o8-181|
ISBN 978-1-85818-583-5
Vo: z Jncvu, Rvsvuvv, Fuv:ouvs
a Nvw Rvc:mv1s 181-18|o
ISBN 978-1-85818-584-2
by Dr Stephen Summereld, Partizan
Press, 29.50 per volume
In the world of Napoleonic uniforms,
there is no subject more complex
than the rapidly-mobilised Prussian
infantry of the Befreiungskrieg, with
regimental name-changing to rival the
French Young Guard and uniforms
evolving from season to season.
Tis is not the rst time the subject
has been covered in English but the
rst occasion in my experience that
no fences have been refused; at some
point, previous authors will have
thrown in the towel and referred
mysteriously to uniform variations (for
the reserve regiments in particular)
there was insucient space to list.
A bullet has been bravely bitten
here and the painstaking academic
research of the text combines with
an abundance of illustrations in a
happy marriage of science and art.
Not surprisingly, the illustrations
draw heavily on the work of
Kntel and Bauer especially, with
the added blessing of further
material by Bob Marrion in a
characteristically evocative style.
At 59 for the pair, this would be
no trivial investment; if one could
aord only one of the two, then
perhaps volume 2 could be the most
useful, covering as it does the more
uid activities of the second eleven.
Tere also remains the perennial
question of how far one can go in
representing units of an army so
precisely selected as to represent
an exact snapshot of a particular
campaigning season; most of us will
be content to eld a variety of model
battalions characteristic of the later
Prussian army, usable from Saxony
in 1813 to Belgium two years later. It
is nonetheless uplifting to be able to
greet publications of such impressive
quality, in such an attractive format,
and reassuring to know that the
information is now readily accessible.
Steve Gill
F:us1 Cnu::s1 Wnu 18-18|o:
n M:::1nuv H:s1ouv no
t:roum Gt:ov
by Conrad Cairns, Perry Miniatures
Publications, 104pp, 15.
ISBN: 978-0956184207
Tose of you who frequent Partizan
will have seen the Perry twins
exhibiting their lovely range of
Carlist War gures in games that
look suspiciously Napoleonic,
but you would also be forgiven
for thinking Qu es eso?
Just as that little smattering
of Spanish may have sent you
scampering for the dictionary, this
intriguing Spanish civil war from
the mid-19th century may have had
you Googling and scratching your
head, only to nd that precious little
reference material exists out there
for the gamer seeking not only to
understand the conict, but also to
paint up those pretty miniatures.
Well, stop searching, because this
little gem of a book is packed with
everything you are ever likely to
need to know about the Carlist Wars,
including an historical overview, an
examination of the course of the war
in dierent parts of Spain, details of
the forces involved including excellent
uniform reference illustrations and
paintings by Michael Perry, ags,
descriptions of key battles together
with the orders of battle and useful
3D maps, and rounded o with
some lovely eye candy of those
Perry Miniatures we came in with.
Te causes of the war were
somewhat complex, but who can
resist the temptations of a conict
where a substantial British Auxiliary
Legion in Spanish pay (including
red coated infantry, lancers, artillery
and Royal Marines) fought alongside
the French Foreign Legion (with its
own squadrons of Polish Lancers),
a Portuguese division and the
Cristino Spanish forces? Opposite
them were Carlists wearing their
distinctive berets, and with some
of the snazziest troops you are ever
likely to encounter, with wonderfully
evocative names like the Guipuzcoans,
the Cabrera Guides, La Mancha
Guerillas and Merinos Lancers.
Engaging, informative, and
stued full of the material that
every wargamer craves, this is a
no-brainer for anyone interested
in having a go at this underrated
period. Highly recommended.
Henry Hyde
Svvov Gvvun:s
Wv:::c1o 1o Ronvu1s
by G W Forrest, C.I.E, Lancer
Publications ISBN: 978-098153780-1
Having thoroughly enjoyed the
historical ction of Bernard
Cornwell and Simon Scarrow, both
of whom gave a possible insight
into Wellingtons period of life and
campaigns in India, I was glad to be
given the opportunity to review a
more detailed and hopefully accurate
account of those individuals who came
to be known as Sepoy Generals.
Tis edition was published in 2008
but Sepoy Generals was in fact rst
published in 1901. Tis standard-
sized hardback book, re-published by
an Casemate, has large, well-spaced
print, and is physically easy to read.
It includes portrait pictures of the
individuals it describes (apart from
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
E V E N T S J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 0 9
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iser and wish to ensure that your show is listed here, please contact Richard at
Closing Date for SOA Leeds Doubles Entries 4
Gauntlet Broughton 4
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Middlesborough Gamers Club Open Day Middlesborough 5
Schiltron 15mm DBM Glasgow 11
Warboot by the Sea Morecombe 18
SOA Leeds Doubles 2
Rnd Leeds 18
Attack Devizes 18
15mm DBM Pairs Doubles 3
Rnd Devizes 18
Festival of History Kelmarsh Hall 25
To the Redoubt Eastbourne 25
Toy Soldier Preston 25
Stoke Challenge Stoke on Trent 26
Claymore Edinburgh 1
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Britcon Manchester 13
Present Arms Romford 15
Closing Date for Northern DBM Doubles 4
Rnd 20
Military Odyssey Detling 29
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Scandinavia in Flames FOW Stockholm, Sweden 4
IWF European Individual Championships Rome, Italy 9
KoMiCon Koblenz, Germany 21
Skirmish Plano, TX 11
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For further details and updates please see the Newark Irregulars site at
Wellington who only rates a picture
of his bust), but no campaign or battle
maps. Te author, being the ex-
director of records for the Government
of India, had access to ancient les in
the archives at Bombay, Madras and
Calcutta [sic], les, I might surmise,
that may be now either lost or dicult
to nd by contemporary writers.
After a useful and interesting
preface which sets the individuals in
place and gives further references the
author used to describe them, the
book lays out a series of biographical
military essays on each of the Generals.
Tese are: Te Duke of Wellington;
Sir Charles Napier; Sir Herbert B
Edwardes; Sir Tomas Munro; Sir
David Bard; General John Jacob; Sir
Donald Stewart; Sir William Lockhart;
and Field-Marshal Lord Roberts.
Each chapter is well-populated with
footnotes further detailing references
illustrating the text and includes
information from throughout each
generals career, both in- and outside
India. Te English style, as one would
expect, is rather jingoistic, dated and,
as such, more owery than one is
used to (especially in contemporary
quotes), but I found it pleasant, well
written and, most important in a
work of reference, generally a good
read, only hindered occasionally by
lists of names of those individuals
accompanying the particular general.
Part of the authors stated intention
was to also record the gallantry and
courage of the native infantry as
well as that of the British soldier.
To that end, the book is mainly
lled with short descriptions of
military actions bringing out the
decisive character of the generals
and showing their development
throughout their careers, but also
illustrating the courage of the period
and the rise of the British Empire.
Did the book ll out my ctional
brief on Wellington? Yes it did.
It also did the same for the other
generals. I thoroughly enjoyed it
and with its format, it can be picked
up, allowing you to read through a
particular general, put down and
restarted later. Recommended.
Tom Hutchinson
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
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Every now and again, there is a book which
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Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)
Ted Ketchum (order #4549852)