Monday, July 30, 2012


More details of traders and displays at

Hope to see lots of people at the show.  I will be looking busy and modelling the new SESWC tshirt.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I did not get to the SESWC this week so I have done an update on some new figures I have added to my Napoleonic collection.

First there are some new staff figures which I will use with my French and British armies. The figures are by Front Rank. They are actually Dutch Belgian staff for Waterloo. I bought these nicely painted figures on ebay mounted on single bases and I have now rebased them in pairs as command vignettes. The MDF bases are from Warbases and the Silflor tufts were supplied by Mutineer Miniatures. Here are 3 photos.

Prince of Orange and Gen Chasse

Gen Perponcher and an ADC

Gen Saxe-Weimar and a Nassau ADC

Then there are some recent additions to my ongoing Russian 1812 army project. I have added some units of Russian Cuirassiers which I bought painted from South Africa on ebay. I have added some Games Workshop wash to their flesh, matt varnished them and rebased them to match my other units. The flags I got from the colourful F G Hourtoulle book Borodino, The Moskova , The Battle for the Redoubts. Here are 2 photos of the Novgorod regiment.

Since I took this photo I have added static grass to the bases
Next week I will be busy doing last minute planning for this years CLAYMORE which is on Saturday 4 August at Telford College Edinburgh.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sino-Japanese War 1938

This Thursday I went down to Colin Jack's place for a game in his wargames room with Dave O’Brien and Mr Ray Neal who was making a rare appearance from over the pond. This 28mm game was set in China in 1937. Mr Ray and I commanding a motley mixture of Chinese whilst Colin and Dave commanded the well equipped veteran Japanese.

Students hiding at the nomad yurts....

The scenario was set at the river mouth of a Chinese peninsula where a train commanded by Colin packed full of Japanese infantry were attempting to make their way down to meet up with a naval landing party commanded by Dave. Unfortunately for them our Chinese force didn't intend to let things go quite so smoothly so a mixture of regular troops and volunteer students had blocked the main line and set up a series of ambushes.

The considerable Japanese landing force at the other end of the table was a mixture of Marines and sailors backed up by a light gun, an Hmg and a tank facing a few units of poor Chinese troops supported ineffectively by an Hmg and a gun. These troops managed to delay the landing force who only had a single bridge to cross to the mainland.

The massive Japanese seaborne effort....

The key action was around the train. Under the Triumph and Tragedy rules we use the high quality Japanese troops should have had few problems facing the poor quality Chinese troops and especially the students. Luckily this had not been explained Mr Ray who launched his students in a series of charges against the halted train. I supported their attack with the fire of our only 2 trained Chinese regular units.

Students take the loco - Japanese veterans surrendered!

The students took the locomotive and then worked down the train defeating in total 3 veteran Japanese units in close combat. Defeating even one was a shock. Doing this meant that we managed to capture the whole train so winning the game.

The final highlight in the game and a rare success for the Japanese was when their plane arrived and shot down our Chinese fighter in a dog fight.  A fun game and Triumph and Tragedy worked well again. 

Japanese success in the air but to late to save the train....

You can find a report from the biased Japanese viewpoint at Daves site...

Friday, July 13, 2012

AWI Smaller scale game

This weeks 28mm AWI game that I arranged at the SESWC was a quick game that I threw together to show the Black Powder Rules to Mike a new member of the SESWC. Mike has been busy building up smart looking British and Patriot armies.

Ragged Continentals fire the first volley.....

The Setup
The game was fought across a 6ft by 4ft table. Given the smaller table we used the 66% movement and range version of the rules.  The terrain on the table was assumed to be wooded except for two areas of open ground flanking the road which ran across the centre of the table.  We played the alternate turn sequence that has proved so successful.

Mike Provided a British regular brigade and a continental brigade of 3 units and a light gun each whilst I provided a brigade of Loyalists and a brigade of Patriot militia each of 2 units and small unit of riflemen. I made all the commanders 8s for this game. Mike commanded the Patriots whilst I commanded the British.
How the game played
We played it as a straight battle with both sides ready and deployed to fight. The British army deployed the regulars on the right of the road and the Loyalists on the left of the road. The Regulars were facing the Patriot militia whilst the Continentals faced the loyalists.
I advanced the loyalists to cover the fence at the edge of the open ground whilst planning to quickly drive in the militia with my regulars then to envelop the Continentals.
Unfortunately my command rolls for the regulars were very poor and they failed to move for 3 turns- the militia were not much better as having advanced once they then blundered and retired 2 moves.

Royal Yorkers answer the Patriot fire......

On my left the 3 units of Continentals advanced and engaged the Queens Rangers and New York Royals. One of the Continental units moved into the open ground so that all 3 of their units could mass their fire against the Rangers. This left their flank exposed to enfilading fire from my light gun and the Royal New Yorkers hit them with close range volleys. Their factors before rolling their break test was -8 which is a new record - unsurprisingly they broke and fled.  The Royal New Yorkers were then engaged by the Patriot gun and 2 turns later they also broke and fled.

Regulars fire a volley then vault the fence breaking the militia

On the right my command dice improved and I broke one militia unit with a well timed charge - the other unit and the rifles were driven back by the British advance and the second militia unit retired shaken of the table. That ended the game as at that point the patriots had lost 3 units and the British only one.

Near end game on my left - just before the Royal Yorkers broke...

It was a good game. It could have all been over in 30 minutes but it took us just over 2 hours to play. The game was characterised by amazingly good saving throws by both sides in the early part of the game.

Monday, July 9, 2012

NAP Battle of Perekrjostok October 1812

This weeks big game was held on Saturday.  It was a 28mm game of a fictional action, the Battle of Perekrjostok,  on the Northern wing of the 1812 Russian campaign played using Black Powder Rules.   It was actually a hidden scenario based on a real action - more to follow on that.

2nd attack on the convent
Organising the game
The game was fought at Hugh Wilson’s house on a 14ft by 5ft table.  I provided the scenario and the figures.   Their were 6 players and I umpired. Donald Adamson, Jimmy Conquer and Mark Taylor were the Russian players. Colin Jack, Dave Paterson and Hugh Wilson were the French players.  After Jimmy Conquer departed before lunch I took over his Russian command.

I have added a Perekrjostok 1812 page which gives more complete information on the game set-up, terrain map, rules used, the player briefings and order of battle.

Link to Flickr photoset of the game with further descriptions

I based the OB on the troops I had available taking into account to the proportions at the actual battle with the French having 1 more brigade in total but the Russians having more cavalry.
The French army whose objective was to hold the road junction deployed with a Bavarian infantry brigade on table and a cavalry brigade in reserve of table.  They had a further 6 brigades marching to the action.  The Bavarian infantry were split holding the 2 strong points of Kaminski and the Convent of Piredovichii and gambling on their immediate reserves, the light cavalry, holding the centre, until the main body arrived. 
The attacking Russians deployed with an infantry brigade on table and another infantry brigade and a cavalry brigade available to be ordered on in the first turn.  They had a further 2 infantry brigades and 2 cavalry brigades marching to the action.  The initial infantry brigade and the following brigade of jaegers was to move up the St Petersburg Highway to pass the Convent of Piredovichii.  Their first cavalry brigade was intended to come on in the centre and strike across the stream towards the road junction.

Russian infantry cross bridge on way to Piredovichii
How the game played
The battle turned into 3 distinct actions - for Piredovichii Convent, for Geminskii and in the centre.

Piredovichii Convent
It took time for the column of Russians to cross the bridge over the stream and for the first brigade to deploy into attack columns.  Two of the battalions attacked the Bavarian light infantry holding the convent whilst the other 2 battalions attacked the supporting Bavarian battalion covering the flank.  The attack on the convent was beaten back.  Whilst the other 2 Russian battalions did eventually force the covering Bavarian battalion to retire.

Third attack on the convent and the Opolcheniye go in....
By the time the Russians had reorganised and threw their line infantry into a further attack on the convent supported by the Jaeger brigade who had now crossed the bridge the French foreign brigade had arrived on table and moved up to support the convent.  The leading Irish battalion held of the flanking Russians who were then driven back by the other battalions.  The second mass attack on the convent saw both the Russian line battalions break.  A final third mass attack by 2 battalions of Jaegers was thrown in and also failed against the stout Bavarian defenders.

Final situation at Piredovichii
Whilst this was going o the Russian CinC threw his final brigade - the Opolcheniye militia - against the foreign units on the road to the convent.  The brave volunteers went on in massed columns and drove back 2 of the French units but hit by fire from the convent and by a fresh French brigade arriving their courage failed them and they wilted away.  At the end of the game there were only 4 Russian battalions left of the original 12.

The Russian commanders threw an infantry brigade and their Cossack brigade against Geminskii and French right flank.  They were held by the Bavarians holding the village and by the French second cavalry Brigade of Hussars and Lancers.  They held up the Russian advance by forcing some infantry into square and broke one of the Cossack units.  The Russians eventually massed 4 guns against the village and this and the fire of the Russian infantry broke the defending battalion but the gun in the village was still holding on at the end of the game by which time a fresh French infantry brigade was moving to support the village.

Russians close up on Geminskii
The French light cavalry - 2 regiments of Chasseurs - came onto the table quickly deployed along the stream.  The opposing Russian Hussar brigade took 4 turns to get onto the table!  Their advance continued to be slow and eventually the Russian Brigadier and the CinC both did a Follow Me and brought the regiments into action with the counter charging French brigade.  In the first round of the melee it went well for the Russians as one of the Chasseur regiments broke.  However next turn one of the Hussar regiments was broken by horse artillery fire and the other broke in hand to hand combat.  Eventually the Russian Cuirassier brigade arrived and charged the surviving Chasseur regiment.  They broke and fled thru the newly arrived 1/2 Chasseurs a Pied of the Guard.  The Cuirassiers did a sweeping advance into the Guard who could not react and broke them at once.  Another Brigade of French line infantry had arrived and facing this mass the Cuirassiers then rallied back and moved to support the attack on Geminskii.

Long delayed light cavalry melee in the centre - both Russian units broke

It was agreed at the end of the game that it was a major victory for the French.  Russian losses were double those of the French.  The Russians had become bogged down in the attacks on the strongpoints and had made no progress towards the road junction which was the objective.  They had also simply run out of units in their centre and right flank.
Cuirassiers about to beat chasseurs and then ride down the Old Guard
Heroes of the day where:
a) the Bavarian Light Btn who held onto the Convent vs 2 Russian Brigades
b) the other Bavarian battalion and gun holding Geminskii where the gun was still holding the village at the end of the day.
c) the Opolcheniye who acting like they were the old guard charged into and pushed back a Swiss battalion.
Award for poorest performance of the day must go to the
1/2 Chasseurs a Pied of the Imperial Guard (in their first outing) who were ridden down in line by the sweeping advance of the Russian cuirassiers and broke even with a reroll!
"Colin you have lost the guard."
They were even a large 9 stand unit with 8 hand to hand dice
"Colin you have lost the guard"

We agreed that the Stoic rule for the Russians worked better than making them Steady and the alternate approach to Broken Brigades certainly made brigades which had lost units more fragile.

Hidden Scenario
This is actually a hidden scenario.  Perekrjostok is Russian for crossroads and a common name for crossroads in Belgium and France is Quatre Bras.  So it is actually the Battle of Quatre Bras 1815 - with the French playing the Anglo-Allied role and the Russians the French. The Bavarians are the Dutch Belgians and the French Guard are the British Foot Guards.

Monday, July 2, 2012


As you will know from the reports in the blog I am an enthusiast for the Black Powder rules. I find them simple and fun to play. But a few issues have appeared in our games. I have a separate page for some house rules and ideas for house rules that we have used in our games. I updated the page in June and now in again July with ideas I have seen suggested on other sites or which I have picked up from the other BP based rulesets - HAIL CAESAR and PIKE and SHOT. These include

Another option for Interpenetration

option 3 - When Interpenetrating a formed friendly unit, if the centre of your formed unit does not pass through the friendly unit, then there is no penalty - however if the centre does pass through then you risk disorder - dice for each unit and on a score of 1,2,3 it becomes disordered.
This is taken from HAIL CAESAR.

Disordered Cavalry Rally Back under initiative
Often cavalry can be stopped standing disordered in front of units firing at them and if disordered are unable to move. There is a rule in PIKE and SHOT for disordered units rallying back so my suggestion is that this can be applied to cavalry in BP.
Rule - a disordered cavalry unit not in combat can rally back a move under Initiative.

Revised Broken Brigade Rule

I do not like the optional standard ‘Broken Brigade’ rule in BP and in particular it tends to penalise small brigades of two or three units such as cavalry brigades. Instead, I suggest the following system:-
a) -1 Command Modifier for each lost or destroyed unit in the brigade.
b) -1 Break-Test modifier for each lost or destroyed unit in the same brigade.
This makes brigades become harder to control as the battle goes on and units are lost. (I would not include the loss of tiny units or guns). This is a variant of a suggestion on the BP forum.

Levy Useful Rule

This is taken from HAIL CAESAR. Useful for applying to militia - the problem with poorly trained troops is keeping them organised in action. Value can be modified eg 2+ to 5+. I would combine with Unreliable for militia units.
Levy Useful Rule - Unit must roll 4+ to remove disorder at the end of its turn.

Stoic Useful Rule

I gave Russian Napoleonic the Steady useful rule. However there is no risk of failure in the first break test with Steady which I think makes it too powerful a useful rule with units surviving in quite impossible situations. Some uncertainty is required. My solution is to use a version of Valiant but amended so that the unit can only reroll the first break test it makes rather than the first test it fails.
Stoic Useful Rule - Unit can reroll the first break test it makes.