Wednesday, 30 December 2015

More 2015

We played a few games of Saga in 2014 but, as far as I can recall, only one last year. The core rules are simple (nothing wrong with that) but I found the battle board a bit gimmicky.They are fun initially but become a bit tedious after a few games as opponents start to know what to expect. Inevitably the boards end up on the table top as they need to be seen by both players.

It is however an excellent marketing strategy. The rules are nice and glossy, additional supplements of course and special dice at £12 for 8. When fewer than fifty figures are required to play the game I expect most wargamers are happy to budget for these extras. I did!

My Irish warband getting hammered by Vikings

We have thousands of 6mm Napoleonics and in June we had a bit of an impromptu Waterloo using a set of rules based on Blackpowder. Not as good as Volley and Bayonet but not everyone likes the book keeping they entail. They worked okay and gave the expected result of the French dashing themselves against the red wall until the Prussians turned up.

We did have one splendid game of Volley and Bayonet. Thanks Richard. A 15mm Lobositz. Here, following a grand cavalry melee, the Prussians found themselves dashed against a resilient white Austrian wall.

It did look splendid and I had the honour of tormenting General Bevern with a horde of Croats

 At the close of play the Austrians look barely touched whilst the Prussians retreat.

Our big bashes tend to be ACW, as many of our club have a 28mm collection, and one such was Williamsburg.

Here Fort Magruder is well defended.

Charging Confederates and the victorious Union

Sadly there are no piccies of our AK47 day. One of the great sets of rules (the original set of course now available again as a pdf) that no one seems able to explain. Simple mechanics but comprehensive in setting the scene, effective army lists, giving a result in a not quite specified time and quite mad. Not everyone's cup of tea in Political Correct Land but no war is/was ever pleasant and all we are doing is playing with toy soldiers.

An interesting comparison with Saga as the subtleties are within the, cheaply produced, core rules but, like Saga, where wargamers' megolomania means that we need at least two armies and perhaps a choice of armoured car and tanks or artillery pulled by APCs or recoiless rifles on zebra striped landrovers................

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

2015 (cont)

We like Ganesha Games' The Songs of.... sets of rules. They are a simple but subtle set of skirmish rules, although we do stretch them to their limits with large table multi player games. In 2015 we had four games based on this rules engine.

(The loss of my camera unfortunately means few piccies of poor quality.)


This mess of felt and trees gave an interesting WW1 skirmish using Flying Lead. You can make out the trenches at the top of the picture. The final assault (surprisingly?) did not go well.....

We also used them in a great WW2 Normandy game. The highlight for me was getting my sergeant to jump out of the front door shoot a couple of jerries with my sten and jump back inside, the hail of reactive fire chipping the walls around me. Yep great rules. Until the Germans crossed up stream and wiped us out :(.

 Tony didn't seem to want to move from behind the hedge.

Another favourite is Jim's Indian Mutiny game using Songs of Drums and Shakoes. Especially these ladies looking for the back door.

Whilst we also used the rules for the "correct" period too. Here French assault British troops


who found themselves holed up in battered house.

If you haven't tried these rules they are whole heartedly recommended.

Hopefully in 2016 we'll try the Dark Age rules as an alternative to Saga (I'm not that keen).

Monday, 28 December 2015


So, all has been quiet in the land of Wine and Cheese due to a number of reasons (excuses). However some wargaming activity has occurred during 2015. I’ll make a brief note thereof below as a sort of personal diary for myself.

And of course there are even more plans and dreams whirring about what passes for my brain. Of which more anon.

2015 started and ended, coincidentally, with scenarios based on old favourite: Guilford Courthouse.

January 2015.

An American Rebellion game.

Using Blackpowder rules, which we made use of a few time in 2013 and 2014 but this was the last game we used them. I am a little critical of them, particularly the layout of the book, but they generally provide a fun game and although none of our group love them no one overly objects to playing them.

If I recollect correctly the rebellious colonials put up a damn good good show right from the start whereas the British and particularly the Hessians were very hesitant to push forward.

This slow start made a tactical draw inevitable and a strategic victory for General Greene

December 2015

Our Christmas game was also in America but almost a century later. Using a club favourite - Fire and Fury the Union took the part of the British hoping to quickly push aside a weak confederate force and take the town.

The Union Corps advance towards a depleted Confederate division

Pressing on through difficult terrain

To meet with stout resistance.

Again the defenders proved too good and the attack petered out on the second line of defence. 

Fire and Fury usually provides a good game whilst playing but is never entirely satisfying. The mechanics often giving surprising results that can be amusing if you are not on the wrong end of them but I find the game rarely provides a result and tends to end in a stalemate of less than half strength brigades hanging on for too long. I suppose more thought needs to go into the scenarios.


Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas