Author Archive

Would be African Kings

Posted on June 27th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

A game of The Men Who Would Be Kings, but transplanted from it’s usual colonial period forward to East Africa during the Great War, an often forgotten about theatre of that war. Dave M supplied the rules and figures.

A scenario straight out of the book with two balanced forces, of British and German led troops, trying to make their way across the table and ‘Just Passing By’.


I didn’t play but watched the action from the side and tried to assist with the rules. I do own an ebook copy of the rules and was interested to see how things flowed and how the differences from it’s ‘Rampant’ rules siblings panned out.

Things didn’t start to well for the Germans, First coming under heavy rifle fire and then losing the first unit, the games sole cavalry force, after it charged an infantry unit and lost against the odds, ending up pinned in front of a number of rifle units.

The momentum changed to the Germans when fire from a native unit of Ruga Rugas caused the opposing Askari unit to rout straight off the table in it’s rally phase.

The British MG never really got a chance to show what it could do as it was too busy moving from position to position, blocked from firing by it’s own friendly units, and only once getting a partial field of fire.

In the mean time the German forces had found cover and were sending a constant stream of fire into the enemy, keeping them pinned down. IT does seem that once this cycle of constant pins is reached then it’s hard to break.

For this level of skirmish it seemed to work well and flowed quickly with few difficult calculations to make. The difference in pinning and morale rules from the Rampants did take some getting use to. It seems to be a capable set of World War One rules in it’s own right.

Apparently the next test game will include artillery, and possibly Armoured Cars if he can make the rules up for them.

Steam Navy Punk

Posted on June 20th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

So a number of people at the club have the makings of some steampunk fleets. All we need now are some rules to play with.

Matt has discarded the idea of using Dystopian Wars (or its Fleet Action spinoff) despite having plenty of models, and has gone on to designing a heavily modified version of DTS, an in house set of rules that normally got used for Sci-Fi battles.

Fleets were based on DWs Federated States and Blazing Sun models. With two large ‘Squadrons’ in each fleet, one for each player. Numerous big ships on each side, with the Blazing Suns noticeably out-gunning the opposition at long range, and also having deadly short ranged options in torpedoes and cannonades.

Fleet sizes were rather on the large side for a trial game, and this slowed things down a bit, along with the paper shuffling of the ship sheets; each ship having their own deck plans for damage allocation and with multiple classes of ships on each side.

Not much in the way of strange technologies just yet, with rules for flyers still pending. Think Matt is more influenced by the type of tech in the IHMN universe than Dystopians, with ARC cannons and shields.

General behaviour is to pick on opposing ships one at a time. The concentration of fire into a single side or quadrant normally leading to a catastrophic cascade.

Game eventually ends with the two fleets closing on each other and a couple of smaller ships sunk on both sides.

I guess I’d better get a move on painting my newly purchased fleet from Phalanx.

Steam Navy Punk

Posted on June 20th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

So a number of people at the club have the makings of some steampunk fleets. All we need now are some rules to play with.

Matt has discarded the idea of using Dystopian Wars (or its Fleet Action spinoff) despite having plenty of models, and has gone on to designing a heavily modified version of DTS, an in house set of rules that normally got used for Sci-Fi battles.

Fleets were based on DWs Federated States and Blazing Sun models. With two large ‘Squadrons’ in each fleet, one for each player. Numerous big ships on each side, with the Blazing Suns noticeably out-gunning the opposition at long range, and also having deadly short ranged options in torpedoes and cannonades.

Fleet sizes were rather on the large side for a trial game, and this slowed things down a bit, along with the paper shuffling of the ship sheets; each ship having their own deck plans for damage allocation and with multiple classes of ships on each side.

Not much in the way of strange technologies just yet, with rules for flyers still pending. Think Matt is more influenced by the type of tech in the IHMN universe than Dystopians, with ARC cannons and shields.

General behaviour is to pick on opposing ships one at a time. The concentration of fire into a single side or quadrant normally leading to a catastrophic cascade.

Game eventually ends with the two fleets closing on each other and a couple of smaller ships sunk on both sides.

I guess I’d better get a move on painting my newly purchased fleet from Phalanx.

Phalanx 2017

Posted on June 18th, 2017 under , , , , , , . Posted by

A little trip on Saturday, heading down to the place where Napoleon would have been exiled but for a typo, St Helens; and the Phalanx convention at the Sutton Leisure Centre. A number of the Furness Wargames, both past and present, made their way down as well.

Seemed a bit quieter in terms of footfall, despite car park being full as usual. A scorcher of a day so may be people decided to do other things. Thankfully the Hall was cool enough and with the fire exit doors open there was a nice breeze in places. Unfortunately there’s still the dreadful amber lighting in the Main hall itself.

There seemed to be a shortfall in traders this year, with the ones that were there a bit more spread out. Plus there didn’t seem to be much competition in wares; You could generally get what you want but only one trader would be stocking it.

A number of demo games going on as usual, Samurai seemed to be a popular theme with a couple of games under different rule-sets, historical and fantasy.

There was a big Seven Year War, and the bloke at the table admitted it was probably too big for the Ruleset ‘Honours of War’ by Osprey.

With an Egyptian themed Dragon Rampant game on show as well, Osprey was well covered. My wife did point out that the Egyptians wouldn’t use Scarab beetles for giant statues.

One of the most impressive was by a group who had come over from the Netherlands.

There didn’t seem to be many outright Sci-Fi games this year, there’s normally at least on large 40K game going on, and with the all the filmTV franchise games currently out I sort of expected a bit more.

Another thing my wife mentioned was how helpfulthoughtful people were to her being on crutches, opening doors and clearing the way for her. This is a far cry from the classic cliche backpack swinging convention goer crowding people out.

My Purchases…

On the advice of Matt, who mention they were on sale, I bought a Dystopian Wars box, the East India Merchant Company naval battle group. It was going to be either those or one of the Italian States sets.

Also came across some Heroes of Normandie stuff at Magister Militum. Got myself a platoon board for the Allies ( Royal Winnipeg Rifles ), and the both the River and Battleground Terrain Packs. If I want to I can do a really big game now. Had been looking for some extra conventional foot-sloggers to run a D-Day game and these should fit the bill.

Went on the hunt for paints, one in particular – a paint that matches (or is near enough) to the old Games Workshop ‘Desert Yellow’ – the replacement ‘Tallarn Sand’ (with ™ Trademark) is darker and lacks the slight orange tone of the original.

Since I’ve already used the colour for basing I was quite keen to get a match for the remaining troops and for the movement trays I purchased of Warbases at the show. These are intended for use with my Lion Rampant Crusader force, made from the plastics I purchased from the show last year.

Looks like Army Painter has come to the rescue, as their version of ‘Desert Yellow’ is a lot closer in tone to the original. I bought a couple of cheap droppers (knocked down in price as they have settled a bit) and a can of primer.

My only major non-purchase was of Gripping Beast Dark Age Archers – was looking for the 12 ‘Saga’ figure pack rather than the 30 figure box (which was far too many for my intentions.) but none to be found anywhere.

Phalanx 2017

Posted on June 18th, 2017 under , , , , , , . Posted by

A little trip on Saturday, heading down to the place where Napoleon would have been exiled but for a typo, St Helens; and the Phalanx convention at the Sutton Leisure Centre. A number of the Furness Wargames, both past and present, made their way down as well.

Seemed a bit quieter in terms of footfall, despite car park being full as usual. A scorcher of a day so may be people decided to do other things. Thankfully the Hall was cool enough and with the fire exit doors open there was a nice breeze in places. Unfortunately there’s still the dreadful amber lighting in the Main hall itself.

There seemed to be a shortfall in traders this year, with the ones that were there a bit more spread out. Plus there didn’t seem to be much competition in wares; You could generally get what you want but only one trader would be stocking it.

A number of demo games going on as usual, Samurai seemed to be a popular theme with a couple of games under different rule-sets, historical and fantasy.

There was a big Seven Year War, and the bloke at the table admitted it was probably too big for the Ruleset ‘Honours of War’ by Osprey.

With an Egyptian themed Dragon Rampant game on show as well, Osprey was well covered. My wife did point out that the Egyptians wouldn’t use Scarab beetles for giant statues.

One of the most impressive was by a group who had come over from the Netherlands.

There didn’t seem to be many outright Sci-Fi games this year, there’s normally at least on large 40K game going on, and with the all the filmTV franchise games currently out I sort of expected a bit more.

Another thing my wife mentioned was how helpfulthoughtful people were to her being on crutches, opening doors and clearing the way for her. This is a far cry from the classic cliche backpack swinging convention goer crowding people out.

My Purchases…

On the advice of Matt, who mention they were on sale, I bought a Dystopian Wars box, the East India Merchant Company naval battle group. It was going to be either those or one of the Italian States sets.

Also came across some Heroes of Normandie stuff at Magister Militum. Got myself a platoon board for the Allies ( Royal Winnipeg Rifles ), and the both the River and Battleground Terrain Packs. If I want to I can do a really big game now. Had been looking for some extra conventional foot-sloggers to run a D-Day game and these should fit the bill.

Went on the hunt for paints, one in particular – a paint that matches (or is near enough) to the old Games Workshop ‘Desert Yellow’ – the replacement ‘Tallarn Sand’ (with ™ Trademark) is darker and lacks the slight orange tone of the original.

Since I’ve already used the colour for basing I was quite keen to get a match for the remaining troops and for the movement trays I purchased of Warbases at the show. These are intended for use with my Lion Rampant Crusader force, made from the plastics I purchased from the show last year.

Looks like Army Painter has come to the rescue, as their version of ‘Desert Yellow’ is a lot closer in tone to the original. I bought a couple of cheap droppers (knocked down in price as they have settled a bit) and a can of primer.

My only major non-purchase was of Gripping Beast Dark Age Archers – was looking for the 12 ‘Saga’ figure pack rather than the 30 figure box (which was far too many for my intentions.) but none to be found anywhere.

Steampunk Village People

Posted on May 23rd, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

A big (possibly too big) game of ‘In Her Majesty’s Name‘.

A quite English village gets disrupted as nefarious groups from around the world converge to loot it’s treasures. Five factions, and the GM controlled villagers.

Intended as a refresher game to get us familiar with the rules again, it tended to get bogged down a bit with the turn sequence.

The heroic band of the Prince of Wales’s Extraordinary Company.

Heathens looting the church of it’s treasures (a minor victory condition if they could get it off board), and inspecting the noise from the house.

All pile in! Massed combat in the house (but actioned outside on paper floor plan); not the best place for the Dragon Hands spell or flamethrower. This lasted multiple turns due to the fearless nature of the combatants. But broke up before the house burnt down on top of them.

Our Heroes creep around the outside of the Manor House. Nothing to be found inside. Not even in the wine cellar. Four buildings searched without success.
Villagers react to indiscriminate shooting of town folk by indiscriminately shooting at strangers. Turns out the main treasure is in large building on the left. 


Germanic aligned Rabble attack the villagers.
Riflemen keeping an eye out on the left. The marksman failed three consecutive long range shots, before being shot himself.

Time ran out with no treasure getting off the border. Lack of knowledge of the rules lead to a lot of book reading, and the ‘move one’ turn sequence also slowed things down to a crawl.

Steampunk Village People

Posted on May 23rd, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

A big (possibly too big) game of ‘In Her Majesty’s Name‘.

A quite English village gets disrupted as nefarious groups from around the world converge to loot it’s treasures. Five factions, and the GM controlled villagers.

Intended as a refresher game to get us familiar with the rules again, it tended to get bogged down a bit with the turn sequence.

The heroic band of the Prince of Wales’s Extraordinary Company.

Heathens looting the church of it’s treasures (a minor victory condition if they could get it off board), and inspecting the noise from the house.

All pile in! Massed combat in the house (but actioned outside on paper floor plan); not the best place for the Dragon Hands spell or flamethrower. This lasted multiple turns due to the fearless nature of the combatants. But broke up before the house burnt down on top of them.

Our Heroes creep around the outside of the Manor House. Nothing to be found inside. Not even in the wine cellar. Four buildings searched without success.
Villagers react to indiscriminate shooting of town folk by indiscriminately shooting at strangers. Turns out the main treasure is in large building on the left. 


Germanic aligned Rabble attack the villagers.
Riflemen keeping an eye out on the left. The marksman failed three consecutive long range shots, before being shot himself.

Time ran out with no treasure getting off the border. Lack of knowledge of the rules lead to a lot of book reading, and the ‘move one’ turn sequence also slowed things down to a crawl.

Frosty ADnD

Posted on May 9th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Things go a bit old school! Modified 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons but in a Frostgrave setting. All organised by Matt. Multiple parties entering the deathtrap city to grab as much loot as they can.

Gates of the ruined city.

Adventurers assemble! My party. All parties were constituted the same. Wizard, Cleric, Tank, Thief, Archer and Grunts.

Part of the city. Lots of buildings and walls. And plenty of portals for monsters to appear at. Having my wizard select ‘spider climb’ as one of his spells proved to be useful in getting our first treasure chest.

Treasure everywhere! Our second chest of the night.

Another party encounters a brute, and soon discover that the ADnD spell ‘Mend’ is not meant for reattaching limbs. Monsters pop up at random portals on any natural D20 rolls of 20.

Evil party grabs some loot. They lost a couple of members prior to this from a spider’s poisoned bite. Even little critters can be lethal.

A Big Nasty Worm randomly appears.
Disposed of in heroic charge fashion. (But rivals are still making off with the treasure)

Ye olde tome of legend.

More randomness.

 The game ends. Result was determined by treasure captured minus party members lost. I had lost my Cleric from a bow shot, but got two treasures. The Winner had three treasures and one loss.

Frosty ADnD

Posted on May 9th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Things go a bit old school! Modified 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons but in a Frostgrave setting. All organised by Matt. Multiple parties entering the deathtrap city to grab as much loot as they can.

Gates of the ruined city.

Adventurers assemble! My party. All parties were constituted the same. Wizard, Cleric, Tank, Thief, Archer and Grunts.

Part of the city. Lots of buildings and walls. And plenty of portals for monsters to appear at. Having my wizard select ‘spider climb’ as one of his spells proved to be useful in getting our first treasure chest.

Treasure everywhere! Our second chest of the night.

Another party encounters a brute, and soon discover that the ADnD spell ‘Mend’ is not meant for reattaching limbs. Monsters pop up at random portals on any natural D20 rolls of 20.

Evil party grabs some loot. They lost a couple of members prior to this from a spider’s poisoned bite. Even little critters can be lethal.

A Big Nasty Worm randomly appears.
Disposed of in heroic charge fashion. (But rivals are still making off with the treasure)

Ye olde tome of legend.

More randomness.

 The game ends. Result was determined by treasure captured minus party members lost. I had lost my Cleric from a bow shot, but got two treasures. The Winner had three treasures and one loss.

Colonial Impetus

Posted on April 25th, 2017 under , , , , , , . Posted by

Something a bit different as Matt coverts the Baroque version of the Impetus rules to cover 19th Century action in the Sudan. Matt digs out his British and Mahdists, which are currently based for Principles of War.

The British are trying to revive a fortified town under attack by the Mahdists. The town is garrisoned by Tristan’s force.

The town comes under attack straight off from three directions. The defenders not having enough units to fire at all attacking forces.

The relief column comes under piecemeal attack, losing it’s lancers who went on the charge. So the town falls as the Relief Column can’t make enough pace to get there.

General view was that the conversion works but that using the group movement of the original Impetus might lead to some more dynamic movement and assaults. With the given movement rates there was no real chance of the relief getting anywhere near the town in a reasonable time frame.

Colonial Impetus

Posted on April 25th, 2017 under , , , , , , . Posted by

Something a bit different as Matt coverts the Baroque version of the Impetus rules to cover 19th Century action in the Sudan. Matt digs out his British and Mahdists, which are currently based for Principles of War.

The British are trying to revive a fortified town under attack by the Mahdists. The town is garrisoned by Tristan’s force.

The town comes under attack straight off from three directions. The defenders not having enough units to fire at all attacking forces.

The relief column comes under piecemeal attack, losing it’s lancers who went on the charge. So the town falls as the Relief Column can’t make enough pace to get there.

General view was that the conversion works but that using the group movement of the original Impetus might lead to some more dynamic movement and assaults. With the given movement rates there was no real chance of the relief getting anywhere near the town in a reasonable time frame.

St George’s Tobruk

Posted on April 22nd, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

The annual St George’s Day, or thereabouts, game, fought as an all day game on the Saturday.

North Africa, World War 2 and one of the many sieges of Tobruk.

 Tables galore in this big Rapid Fire game organised by Derek (on what happened to be his birthday.) and with extra terrain by Matt. Four separate, but adjoining zones, of four trestle tables each, for a total of sixteen in use.

Keiron is in charge of the Axis offensive, with Jim, Simon and S.O.Else as his command staff.
The defending allies were organised by Matt, with Tristam, A.N.Other and Tel in charge of the perimeter defences.

As the Axis approached the sent out recce aircraft, with the Allies responding to try and drive them away.

The central road in, the principle point of attack for the Germans, becomes a brutal close-quarter struggle, featuring both Armour and Infantry.

To the west the Italian flamethrower vehicles proved effective in clearing out the strong-point closest to the sea, but despite initial success, when they even managed to take out a Matilda tank, the armoured advance bogged down, This was despite of the overwhelming support of five batteries of Axis artillery.

Strafing runs by the Blenheim and Hurricane helped blunt the Infantry assault on the second eastern strong-point, with the elimination of the infantry flamethrower removing the biggest threat.

The allies ended up losing two of the six outer strong-points, but the inner perimeter was never breached. With the day reaching it’s end the Axis backs off back to the start point.

St George’s Tobruk

Posted on April 22nd, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

The annual St George’s Day, or thereabouts, game, fought as an all day game on the Saturday.

North Africa, World War 2 and one of the many sieges of Tobruk.

 Tables galore in this big Rapid Fire game organised by Derek (on what happened to be his birthday.) and with extra terrain by Matt. Four separate, but adjoining zones, of four trestle tables each, for a total of sixteen in use.

Keiron is in charge of the Axis offensive, with Jim, Simon and S.O.Else as his command staff.
The defending allies were organised by Matt, with Tristam, A.N.Other and Tel in charge of the perimeter defences.

As the Axis approached the sent out recce aircraft, with the Allies responding to try and drive them away.

The central road in, the principle point of attack for the Germans, becomes a brutal close-quarter struggle, featuring both Armour and Infantry.

To the west the Italian flamethrower vehicles proved effective in clearing out the strong-point closest to the sea, but despite initial success, when they even managed to take out a Matilda tank, the armoured advance bogged down, This was despite of the overwhelming support of five batteries of Axis artillery.

Strafing runs by the Blenheim and Hurricane helped blunt the Infantry assault on the second eastern strong-point, with the elimination of the infantry flamethrower removing the biggest threat.

The allies ended up losing two of the six outer strong-points, but the inner perimeter was never breached. With the day reaching it’s end the Axis backs off back to the start point.