Author Archive

The Price of Glory

Posted on August 1st, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Still gaming the Great War, but this time back to Europe and with a different rules set ‘The Price of Glory’ (or rather a Dave M variant of), which we have played in the past and is at a much larger scale to the previous weeks activity.

The Western Theatre

 It’s Early War and the initial French push into Germany has come to a halt as the Germans outflank them via Belgium. The Germans are now launching the counter-attack to grab back their territories


The Bridge

The initial French assault in 1914 tends to be forgotten a bit, but was an integral part of the Schlieffen Plan. If the German commanders had held their nerve and just pinned the French the war might actually have been ‘over by Christmas’ as the notorious saying went .

The target for this assault is to capture a village at a river crossing, but with a bonus condition of getting troops off the board. The bridge is the only point at which the river can be crossed and the French start with troops on both sides of the river.

The German Advance

The Germans have managed to send a force round the flank and over the river (which otherwise can only be crossed at the bridge), these would appear after a random number of turns. Fortunately they turned up earlier than expected.

The Flank Attack

Things looked bad for the Germans as the initial advance took heavy casualties from the village and the artillery. Extra reinforcements gave them new impetus and they managed to storm the village and force the defenders back over the bridge.

Storming the Village

The two armies trade fire across the river as the Germans attempt to force their way unsuccessfully over the bridge. On the Flank the Germans are making slow progress along the rail embankment pinned down by the artillery and French reinforcements shifted over onto the embankment.

Firefight across the River

So the Germans get the win by kicking the French out of the village but not the decisive victory as they did not manage to get off the table via the heavily defended roads.

Stuck Truck Ruck

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

Two more games of TMWWBK’s, once again set in East Africa during the Great War, with the first scenario being very lopsided and over quickly, and the second lasting a bit longer and a very close finish.

The first game was already under way when I got to the Hall, A truck is stuck in the middle of the table and the two unit of British defenders have to wait for reinforcements to help them out as the enemy approaches.

Slowness of the reinforcements to move up (they entered on a random roll at start of a British turn.) and bad orientation of the MG defending the truck led to this being one sided. Massed fire power saw the truck defenders routed before they could be supported and the now out-numbered reinforcements stood no change of a successful counter-attack.

In the second scenario it’s the get off the table scenario again, as played in the first trial game. The scenario rules meant that the British could just sit there and blast away and not even attempt to get off the table as there’s no real risk of time running out – the slow MG movement, with the movement rate governing the length of game, granting them enough turns to do so.

The Germans launched their native contingent in a mad dash across the battle field, trying to make as much use of cover as possible. The British meanwhile move across to cover their baseline to prevent any enemy units getting off. This would have worked well but for some bad dice rolling from the British and good morale checks from the natives. This lead to two native units getting off the table edge. The third native unit wasn’t so lucky.

The German regulars decide to hang back. having no realistic way of getting off after getting badly shot up and losing a couple of leaders (for the first time in any of the games played). The game ends in a close German win 5-4 in points, with no British units off but a large portion of the German force destroyed.

The system does not seem to like equal forces meeting with the defenders having a large advantage in normal conditions. Maybe more terrain would have helped but you’ve still got the problem of the first to shoot having a big advantage, and when you have equal size forces it’s difficult to gain local superiority in numbers.

Next week is a prospective big battle with two 24pt forces on each side.

Stuck Truck Ruck

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

Two more games of TMWWBK’s, once again set in East Africa during the Great War, with the first scenario being very lopsided and over quickly, and the second lasting a bit longer and a very close finish.

The first game was already under way when I got to the Hall, A truck is stuck in the middle of the table and the two unit of British defenders have to wait for reinforcements to help them out as the enemy approaches.

Slowness of the reinforcements to move up (they entered on a random roll at start of a British turn.) and bad orientation of the MG defending the truck led to this being one sided. Massed fire power saw the truck defenders routed before they could be supported and the now out-numbered reinforcements stood no change of a successful counter-attack.

In the second scenario it’s the get off the table scenario again, as played in the first trial game. The scenario rules meant that the British could just sit there and blast away and not even attempt to get off the table as there’s no real risk of time running out – the slow MG movement, with the movement rate governing the length of game, granting them enough turns to do so.

The Germans launched their native contingent in a mad dash across the battle field, trying to make as much use of cover as possible. The British meanwhile move across to cover their baseline to prevent any enemy units getting off. This would have worked well but for some bad dice rolling from the British and good morale checks from the natives. This lead to two native units getting off the table edge. The third native unit wasn’t so lucky.

The German regulars decide to hang back. having no realistic way of getting off after getting badly shot up and losing a couple of leaders (for the first time in any of the games played). The game ends in a close German win 5-4 in points, with no British units off but a large portion of the German force destroyed.

The system does not seem to like equal forces meeting with the defenders having a large advantage in normal conditions. Maybe more terrain would have helped but you’ve still got the problem of the first to shoot having a big advantage, and when you have equal size forces it’s difficult to gain local superiority in numbers.

Next week is a prospective big battle with two 24pt forces on each side.

More Dystopia

Posted on July 11th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

More shenanigans at sea, as the Steampunk navy’s raise steam again. All figures are again from Spartan Games, who produce nice models for Dystopian Wars even if the club are not over keen on using their rules.

Matt’s DTS variant rules have been streamlined a bit since last time, no more rolls for reloading the big guns, just a negative to hit to compensate instead.

Blazing Sun vs the Federated States again. In terms of the fleets the Federates have been up gunned a bit.


Three players per side. The Blazers were a bit disorganised as they advanced on the enemy. While the smaller ships sought shelter behind an island so did the Battleships blocking their own field of fire and allowing the Corvettes of the Federates to close up with them.

The game bogged down a bit as the rapid firing guns of the numerous Federate corvettes lead to a long stream of repetitive dice rolls, with each hit only doing light damage to the Battleships. Matt’s now talking of tweaking the rules to make linked firing easier.

Getting into torpedo range was difficult, and some early launches were attempted to try and marshal the enemy together. One of the cruisers, already badly damage being used as cover for the other two. These pictures are from the end of the game, prior to the final round of firing that never occurred.

More players now have fleets in being as Dave M has some French and Mark has both British and Prussians after obtaining then second hand off eBay; New paint jobs will ensue. I’m continuing the painting if my East Indian Co. fleet and hopefully will get them finished sometime in next couple of weeks.

Then will come the task of developing some DTS ship sheets for each type.

More Dystopia

Posted on July 11th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

More shenanigans at sea, as the Steampunk navy’s raise steam again. All figures are again from Spartan Games, who produce nice models for Dystopian Wars even if the club are not over keen on using their rules.

Matt’s DTS variant rules have been streamlined a bit since last time, no more rolls for reloading the big guns, just a negative to hit to compensate instead.

Blazing Sun vs the Federated States again. In terms of the fleets the Federates have been up gunned a bit.


Three players per side. The Blazers were a bit disorganised as they advanced on the enemy. While the smaller ships sought shelter behind an island so did the Battleships blocking their own field of fire and allowing the Corvettes of the Federates to close up with them.

The game bogged down a bit as the rapid firing guns of the numerous Federate corvettes lead to a long stream of repetitive dice rolls, with each hit only doing light damage to the Battleships. Matt’s now talking of tweaking the rules to make linked firing easier.

Getting into torpedo range was difficult, and some early launches were attempted to try and marshal the enemy together. One of the cruisers, already badly damage being used as cover for the other two. These pictures are from the end of the game, prior to the final round of firing that never occurred.

More players now have fleets in being as Dave M has some French and Mark has both British and Prussians after obtaining then second hand off eBay; New paint jobs will ensue. I’m continuing the painting if my East Indian Co. fleet and hopefully will get them finished sometime in next couple of weeks.

Then will come the task of developing some DTS ship sheets for each type.

Stuck in the Middle

Posted on July 5th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Back to East Africa and another trial game of TMWWBK in the Great War. Set up by Dave M to test the artillery rules and to get a few more players involved.

A German led force is stuck between two British led groups ( Askari and Indian based respectively ). Naturally enough things didn’t quite go as planned.


The British-Askari force, lead by Matt, moved up the games sole artillery piece. The crew of which is then decimated by a single volley of German rifle fire. Another round of fire saw the gun completely crewless.

The British-Indian force uses successive rounds of fire to dislodge the German MG from it’s position, and to cover the approach of a unit into charge range of a damaged and pinned German unit.

In scenes reminiscent of the previous game the first close assault went against the attacker despite overwhelming advantages. The British change tact and just sends repeated shots into the now surrounded unit till it breaks.

So the link up occurs and the remaining German units are under attack from three sides. They manage to break a couple of the attacking squads as they close but there is just too many to repulse.

The Germans could have done with a couple of prepared positions rather than having to rely on just the rough terrain. And we never found out about the artillery, but from the book it seems the weapon is great just like Machine Guns.

Stuck in the Middle

Posted on July 5th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Back to East Africa and another trial game of TMWWBK in the Great War. Set up by Dave M to test the artillery rules and to get a few more players involved.

A German led force is stuck between two British led groups ( Askari and Indian based respectively ). Naturally enough things didn’t quite go as planned.


The British-Askari force, lead by Matt, moved up the games sole artillery piece. The crew of which is then decimated by a single volley of German rifle fire. Another round of fire saw the gun completely crewless.

The British-Indian force uses successive rounds of fire to dislodge the German MG from it’s position, and to cover the approach of a unit into charge range of a damaged and pinned German unit.

In scenes reminiscent of the previous game the first close assault went against the attacker despite overwhelming advantages. The British change tact and just sends repeated shots into the now surrounded unit till it breaks.

So the link up occurs and the remaining German units are under attack from three sides. They manage to break a couple of the attacking squads as they close but there is just too many to repulse.

The Germans could have done with a couple of prepared positions rather than having to rely on just the rough terrain. And we never found out about the artillery, but from the book it seems the weapon is great just like Machine Guns.

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.

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.