I was given the opportunity to be walked thru the Sword and Spear rules by Chris P,  a good friend of Spyros'. 

He brought his two very well painted armies- Republican Roman and Pyrrhic Macedonian.

I have never played these rules but Chris knew them well. The command and control were straight forward. Each unit has a die and they are all put into a bag. We drew 9 dice out each time. The side that drew the most had the initiative. All the dice that are drawn out are rolled. 1s are discarded. The other numbers are placed next to the units that you wish to move/fight or fire that turn.  

THE ARMIES OF LOUIS XIV...books..not the figures.

 Many...many..many years ago I had been inspired by the articles by Mark Allen in Wargames Illustrated and by the "Armies of Louis XIV' by Osprey  and these were about the only two sources of information that I had for the Armies of the Sun King ( as well as the Funcken and Funcken books at the Uni library!).  

As anyone who has spent more than 30 seconds on this Blog, Louis XIV's army is one of my biggest collections.  I love the uniforms, the characters, the history and the great figures available (Front Rank being my favourite!).

So the purpose of this post? No purpose- I just wanted to take photos of my books, because I now have an over abundance of information and it's awesome!

Helion have published some fantastic books and I, being an addict, have been buying them.

One of my all time favourite Osprey MAA books. Much loved and much read.

All the books I have ...so far!!

Tunisia 1943- Rapid Fire

   Spyros has a small force of LRDG who he wanted to use to cause mayhem and chaos.  Visiting his new wargame room a few weeks ago he told me to bring some suitable Fallschirmjager in desert camo.  They hadn't been in a good fight for a long time. 

His friend Chris P wanted an introduction to Rapid Fire, having been a fan of Bolt Action.  All very serendipitous- time for a game.

The scenario was a LRDG raid on a radar/ammo cache/fuel dump using Rapid Fire rules.
The German position was far behind from the front and the Germans weren't expecting trouble. (Seriously???? Well that was the scenario!). 

The first two turns were in darkness with 6" visibility. Turns 3 and 4 were played with 12" visibility. Turns 5 and 6 were 24" visibility and normal observation rules etc applied from turn 7.

The Raiders moved quietly and quickly, with the first Group getting to the Radar station undetected until the very last step, when they were forced to eliminate the German guards. The ensuing gunfire alerted the garrison that something was amiss but the limited visibility meant that they were limited in their response.  A randomised die roll for the various units of the garrison dictated the level of response. This meant that the armoured car unit, for example, didn't just drive over to the attackers and blast them to kingdom come- they couldn't see them for starters, so were hesitant to start committing everything all at once.

First group of raiders approach the radar installation. Visibility is 6" ..the guards couldn't see them.

Why did you buys those????

 Ever bought something completely irrelevant and unrelated to any of your projects just because they were very nice...and very cheap?

I did- these figures from the Carlist war of the 1830s:


I bought these on ebay by making a very low bid ( $40 for 40 figures) and ended up winning. I really like them....but not sure what to do with them!! I guess I'll figure something out!

Still, they are very nice!

AWI 28mm Purchase


I've had a sizeable collection of AWI for a while but don't have a single Indian figure to represent the native bands that fought during the conflict. They played an important role in some battles ( Oriskany for example) and decided to buy some Perry Miniatures. They just arrived ( within two weeks!) from the UK.

Time to start painting.

Normans vs Byzantines

 Lockdowns are finally over..so time for more games!! Ross threw his Byzantines into the path of my rampaging Normans. A good historical match that looked like it might go to the Normans in the early stages, but by mid game the tide had turned......but ended with both armies exhausted and over 50% casualties..so a bloody draw!

GNW- Battle of Holowczyn: July 1708.

Finally a chance to get all my Swedes and Russians onto the table- very gratifying to see the project come together! 

A large game that represented Charles XII attempt to force the Russian positions along the Vabich river in 1708.

A bit of background:

After dealing with Poland, Saxony and Denmark, Charles XII of Sweden decided in 1708 on an invasion of Russia.  The Russians had created a solid defensive line along the River Vabich. Charles decided to force the river by launching a surprise attack through what was thought to be an impassable marsh. He selected a spot between the villages of Holowczyn and Novoje Selo. Struggling through the marshes the Swedes took the Russians by surprise. In a very tough, confusing battle, fought with little subtlety, the Swedes drove the numerically superior Russians off.

The game:
I had been working towards recreating this for a while as I think it's a fascinating battle. The table was set up with two Russian infantry brigades in the redoubt (8 Battalions with 4 stands of guns) and the Swedes just emerging from the swamp to their north.

The Swedes: Ralph, Richard M, Richard T.
The Russians: Ross, Paul and me!

The Russian redoubt!

The table setup for opening moves.

Greek War of Independence- first game

 The scenario was simple- 24point force each- two units of Ross' Greeks were holding a small village and were being attacked by my Ottoman forces. The remainder of the Greeks had to break the siege.

The Greeks had a unit of regular cavalry ( which got destroyed pretty quickly) a regular infantry unit and three units of irregulars.

The Ottomans had 2 cavalry ( One regular  - which got shot to bits by the Greek regular infantry) and one irregular (which also got shot to bits by the same Greeks!), a field gun, two irregular infantry units and one regular infantry.

Our first small attempt using the Men Who Would Be Kings rules. 

A unit of Greek Klephts ( Brigands- irregulars) holding the ruined house. ( Wargames Foundry figures- Greeks from their Russian Crimean War range)

Christmas stocking!


Santa was very good to me this year- a variety of wargame goodies that should keep me busy for a while!

More Renaissance Poles.

 I sent away to The Assault Group a few weeks ago for some more figures to add to the Poles. 

They arrived a couple of weeks later- Cossacks, Artillery, some Tatar light cavalry. 

Now painted and added to the collection. I think I will order some more!

Great Northern War Saxons

 As this ridiculous obsession grows over the Great Northern War, I looked into the Lead Mountain and dragged out a pile of figures from the late 17th Century - Front Rank ones- that I had bought a while ago. I had plans for these guys, to do some late 17th Century conflict- the Boyne, or Grand Alliance..but never got around to it...so decided to paint them up as Saxons for the GNW!

Flags from Warfare Miniatures!

I took the photos in direct sunlight and I kinda like the effect.
I know that each Saxon Regiment should have three flags each. I have the flags but didn't have the figures to hold them except for one of the Regiments - Reuss'.

So I decided I would just have two flags for the others.
......I know I know, I can hear the cries......."weak"........"shame"......"poor form"......."lazy"......."let the side down"......"standards are slipping" ......"a wargame's disgrace"......"would never have happened under Wellington".....etc etc.....thanks boys.

Four Regiments: Konigin's (yellow and white flags), Lowenhaupt's (dark navy  and white flags), Heyne's (red and white flags) and Reuss' (dual pale blue and white flags). 

Boxer Rebellion- The Seymour Expedition - Part 3 ( Solo)

 ....the outlying troops have been drifting in slowly in accordance with Seymour's orders, but all is not going to plan. 

Despite Seymour's orders to wait until all the Allied forces have been concentrated, many local commanders attempt to take the matter in hand and deal with the Boxer and Imperial troops in their jurisdictions.  In one particularly troublesome area the local commander had a dilemma. An ancient abandoned earth fort had been reoccupied by Boxers and Imperial troops, who began to work on repairing the derelict fortifications by creating firing platforms, rebuilding the gates etc. 

At his disposal he had a unit each of US Marines, German Kriegsmarine, British Sailors and French Sailors.  The Americans also had a Colt Machine gun. 

The mud fort would not stand up to large calibre modern artillery but he only had an Austro-Hungarian 3pdr at his disposal. Believing the garrison to outnumber his meagre forces, (he was right) it was decided that the Allies would attack only one side of the fortification. The US Marines would attack the south-east corner, the British the main gate, The Germans, the length of wall to the north of the main gate and the French the north east corner. The 3pdr would target the gate only. Then provide any support fire if necessary.

The repaired firing platforms with Boxer artillery.

The Allied attack plan.

Renaissance Poles

I once had a 25mm Renaissance Polish army, a long time ago and sold them off to start my ACW stuff. But I had a yearning to rebuild one. So, after painting up some winged Hussars earlier in the year (see previous post) I decided that they looked rather lonely sitting on my shelf - right next to a couple of hundred Ottoman Turks. So they clearly needed some support!!

So over the last few weeks I painted up some Pancerni from the  "The Assault Group" to go with them and some Hungarian Haiduks for fire support!

So a small force....but growing....... 

( I know it's growing....I ordered some Tartars, Cossacks and artillery.)

Boxer Rebellion - The Seymour Expedition- Part 2 (Solo).


China, 1900- In the very early stages of Admiral Seymour's expedition,  outlying troops on his line of march, were ordered to move towards the train line to be collected by the advancing column.

A unit of Allied troops near a small village move towards the main train line to await the approaching allied troops. The local Boxers, prompted by the local Imperial commander, decide to deal with the foreigners.

The Austro-Hungarian sailors with their machine gun arrive first, to await the arrival of a unit of French sailors and another of Japanese sailors.....but the Boxers and Imperial troops have other ideas.

The table.

The Austro-Hungarian sailors and their MG arrive first.

Great Northern War- solo: Russians and....Turks!!


Using a similar sort of scenario from my last AWI solo effort- I had a column Russian Troops attempting to push thru a Turkish defensive position ...during the fighting of 1711....the Russians probing the Turkish lines.

A small force of Turks were holding a village at a crossroad. A unit of skirmishers, a Unit of Janissaries, some local militia, two guns and 3 units of Tartar cavalry ( 1 light and two sipahi types).

The Russians had three battalions of Foote- all trained and all armed with pike and musket. They also had four squadrons of trained Dragoons and a single gun.

I played the Russians. The Turkish infantry were driven by a card system, that gave them the 'stand' option being the most numerous  and with a  'counter attack' and 'retreat 1 turn' thrown in. Instead of cards you could just use a chart and roll a d6 or 2.

The sipahi cavalry were driven by cards that said  'stand' ( 1 card) 'move towards nearest enemy' ( 2 cards). the light cavalry unit was just a skirmish unit, so it would 'skirmish' or 'retreat'. 

The Narvski Regt deploys facing the Turks.

Local militia hold the village with artillery support.

Swedes on Parade- Great Northern War

 I'm kinda proud of this lot; I'm still working on them- some officer figures needed, Charles XII himself needs to be painted up and a couple of battalions of infantry to go.

I've got two light guns and two field guns- 7 battalions of Foot and 19 Squadrons of Horse at this point. When I finished off the most recent battalion, I put them all out on parade and am happy with the results so far!! GA PA!

The Horse

American War of Independence - Solo effort


Lockdown again...solo effort..again.
Somewhere in the Carolinas.........

This was a simple game played on a small table in over a couple of hours. A British column, advancing thru an abandoned plantation was ambushed by a Rebel force.

The Redcoats had two regular battalions, a detachment of Light Troops and a detachment of Tarleton's Legion on foot. One Artillery piece filled out the redcoat force. The Rebels had two militia battalions, three unit of riflemen and two guns.

A simple job for the Patriots- inflict casualties on the British column and force them to retreat. The British, who had been chasing the rebels now have an opportunity to smash the troublesome Americans!

ECW- Battle of Tippermuir 1st September 1644.

 Montrose's battles are a source of fascination for me. Any one of them is small enough to represent on the table with the limited units I have.  Today I looked them over : Tippermuir, Aberdeen, Fyvie, Inverlochy, Auldearn, Alford, Kilsyth and Philiphuagh.

What the hell- start at the beginning.

Tippermuir it is! I dug into my scenario books and allocated my units and refought the battle over a couple of hours- another solo effort in lockdown.

I had to incorporate some special rules in the scenario.
Under our rules, infantry charging cavalry lose their charge bonuses. Nor can Foote countercharge. In this battle the Highlanders and Irish were particularly aggressive- so they were allowed to. And when charging cavalry the Highlanders kept their secondary charge bonus ( ferocious charge).

Additionally, during the battle, Montrose's troops captured the Covenanter guns and turned them on their former owners. So for this scenario, if/when a gun fell it was available to be fired the following turn by its captors. As Montrose had no guns or Horse, these rules were designed to allow Montrose's troops to perform as they did historically!

One of the Irish Regiments of Foote.
(Being used as Lt Gen Alexander McDonnell's Regt- but carrying Col. James MacDonnell's flag)

Thirty Years War and English Civil War- The Horse..my kingdom for the Horse

      The Horse..my kingdom for the Horse...or something like that..
Following on from my musings about my basing for my infantry (see last post), I was struck by the basing conventions of many rules as being rather random. Sure, some tried to be proportioned and approximated some ground scale.  Some rules insist that each figure is based on 25mm frontage, or 20mm , or 15mm. Other rules- those with a "big base= one unit" approach tend to have a standard frontage for the infantry and perhaps the same for the cavalry (or Horse!) (Baroque) . Some have the Horse on smaller bases  (Tercios). 
SO many rules, so many variations, so little time...... I am so confused.....and a little disheartened.
(Not withstanding phone calls and emails from so called friends calling me after the last post - inquiring as to the state of my mental health!)

I got my classifications from all rules that I have: Pike and Shotte, Polemos, Field of Glory (Renaissance), 1644, Warhammer ECW, Baroque, DBR,  George Gush's WRG rules, For King and Parliament, Liber Militum Tercios and Twilight of Divine Right.  I think there is a small fortune in every wargamer's library that consists of rules never used- or intended to be used but 'never got around to it'.
Anyway with the categories, I just unashamedly copied them: Sipahis, Cuirassiers, Trotters, Gallopers, Arqubusiers, Light Cavalry and Mounted Dragoons.
Some people say this is too many categories.
Other say not enough.
I say "Go away". 

THIRTY YEARS WAR AND ENGLISH CIVIL WAR. - Problems with Pike and Shot.

 I'd always wanted to give the Thirty Years War a go- or even the English Civil War and have bits and pieces packed in boxes....Lockdown is a good opportunity to sort the mess out! 

Like most wargamers I've got rule sets galore on my shelves: Warlord Games Pike and Shotte, Polemos, The Warre Game, 1644, Warhammer ECW,  Baroque,  DBR, the old WRG rules,  For King and Parliament (TtS) and Liber Militum Tercios and too many others to remember.

Everyone has their own favourite set. However I find myself getting caught up in some of the details. The big issue for me started to become pike to shot ratio and how to depict this on the table. For some rules it is easy. With Warhammer, individual figures are used so just build up the unit with the figures in the ratio you want. A shot heavy unit with pike to shot 1:2 with thirty figures? No problem- 10 pike in two ranks in the middle with 20 shot, 10 each side of the pikes. It is a period that lends itself to BIG units, but I just wanted to stick to the figures I've got and make a little go a long way!