Friday, November 30, 2012


This week was the AGM at the SESWC so it was all business and no gaming.  However last week as well as the big Lutzen game I took part in 2 other games.  On Thursday at the SESWC I played Angus Konstam in a test of Pike and Shotte.  My Scottish Covenanting Army took on Angus’ Parliamentarians.  It did not go well for my side with my 3 regiments of horse proving to be cowardly knavish scoundrels and buffoons of the worst type.  There is a full account of this debacle on Angus’ Edinburgh Wargames blog.

As Angus wrote the rules worked smoothly.   I had produced a sheet listing the differences between Pike & Shotte and the much more familiar Black Powder, and this proved really useful in keeping us on track. I will add this as a page on the blog.  We will certainly try another P&S game soon.

Parliamentary foot firing at the Scots.......
On the Tuesday night I went to Colin Jack’s Wargames shed where we played a Bolt Action game with Dave O’Brien and Bill Millar who was up visiting from London.   In this late 1944 game Bill and I commanded a German force that was trying to break through a Free French force to reach a vital supply dump.  Both sides started with reconnaissance troops on the table and their engagement proved interesting as both sides made escape moves from the enemy fire.  Once each sides heavy equipment a Panzer IV, armoured infantry, M10 and M4 Shermans arrived things got more exciting.  We scored one major success  breaking the M10 with repeated hits from the armoured cars, panzerfausts and  the Panzer IV.  We had a Luftwaffe liaison officer who called up a rare air strike but the inexperienced pilot went astray and attacked our troops - knocking out one of our SD232 8 rads.

It was a good game.  I had ordered some customised game tokens from Warbases to use for Bolt Action games but they only arrived this week and so I will show them in my next Bolt Action report.

Luftwaffe succes - our 232 8 rad burning

Dave's French armour advancing

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I was away on Saturday at the Manor House hotel at Lundin Links  in Fife for a large scale 28mm Napoleonic game.   It was played by 9 gamers from our AB1 group, largely members of the SESWC,  and was a refight of Lutzen 2 May 1813.  This time we decided to try to play our big game at Lundin Links in a single day rather than having a 2 day event.

The first Prussian attack on Gross Gorshen
The rules used were Black Powder with the revised  turn sequence. It was great fun with lots of troops but not to many to prevent some manoeuvring on the table.  We played the game from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM with a 45 minute lunch break and a couple of coffee breaks.  In that time we played 10 turns  each one being 30 minutes of game time starting at 11:30 am and our last turn was the 4:00pm one.  The game was still in the balance at the end but is was certainly beginning to go the way of the French..

Russian cavalry charge disordered square of Marie Louises - who broke them
We fielded 112 infantry battalions, 33 cavalry regiments and 45 guns - an approximate total of 3,500 figures.  The French had a marked superiority in numbers of infantry with 14 more battalions whilst the allied Prussians and Russians had more than twice as many cavalry and 50% more guns.   The allies also had a marked qualitative advantage as 22 of the French battalions were low quality Marie Louises. The table we used was 16ft long by 10ft wide.

I have added a separate page to the blog with more information on the scenario with the OB, game rules, deployment limits and troop ratings etc.

More of my photos with descriptions at

For a  full account of the how the game played with more photos see Angus Konstam’s excellent site at

9th Division engages Yorck's Corps with Russian guard to left

French guard lancers attack Blucher's worn down command

Saturday, November 17, 2012


This weeks game at the SESWC was a 28mm Russo-Japanese War game.  All the figures for this game were supplied by Colin Jack who also developed the scenario and acted as the umpire.  The game gave us a chance to try out Colin's expanding collection of Tsuba Miniatures Japanese infantry.

I commanded a Japanese force pursuing the retreating Russians.  Bart Zynda commanded the Russians as there may have been some Poles amongst them.  See the player briefing below.   We both split our forces to cross and cover the river at the 3 points A, B and C.  Bart and I then discovered that the table we were using only covered one of the these points and the battle would be fought where the most troops had been deployed.  It turned out to be at village C where I had deployed my weakest force of 2 trained battalions and the 2 units of Chinese auxiliary cavalry.  This meant that I was initially facing the strongest part of the Russian army.  The forces assigned to sectors A and B then appeared as reinforcements on the flank of the action.  Those in sector B could arrive in 1 to 6 moves those in sector A in 7 to 12 moves.

Chinese auxilaries lead the advance
Luckily for me the Russians were still marching back to the river and I managed to throw my 2 Chinese cavalry units over the narrow ford across the river followed by a trained infantry unit.  The cavalry delayed the Russian advance but both units were destroyed once they engaged in melee!   My infantry at the river came under heavy fire from the Russians who using their local numerical superiority had now occupied the village.  I reinforced them with the other trained unit.  My one piece of artillery arrived quickly from sector B and its accurate fire managed to break 2 of the raw Russian units on their right flank.  However both my units across the river were being worn down by surprisingly good Russian rifle fire and my first veteran infantry unit had only started to cross the ford when the game ended.

Skulking Cossacks......

Fatal charge into flank of the Cossacks....
So the end of the game saw the Japanese with a very tenuous bridgehead over the river held by the remnants of 2 trained infantry units.  If the Russians could launch an assault they would be able to drive us back across the river.

We used Triumph and Tragedy for this game.

An account from the Russian side is at Bart Zynda's blog at

End action situation - bridgehead under heavy fire...

Your march through Korea continues with the Russians steadily withdrawing before you.  You expect them to turn and make some kind of stand, perhaps at the River X.  You are maintaining contact with the retreating Russians using your Chinese auxiliary cavalry backed up by your own cavalry.
During the night, and a heavy rainstorm, contact has been lost but the advance continues.  On the basis of the following report from your cavalry commander you must decide how your advance should proceed.

"During the night, in low cloud and heavy rain, our scouts lost contact with the Russians. They are approaching the River X and there are three possible crossing points - a bridge at Village A and fords at Villages B and C.  It appears that the Russians may have crossed at all three points."

You have the following troops at your disposal:-
Infantry Battalion No 1    Veteran     10 rifles
Infantry Battalion No 2    Veteran     10 rifles
Infantry Battalion No 3    Veteran     10 rifles
Infantry Battalion No 4    Veteran     10 rifles
Infantry Battalion No 5    Trained     10 rifles
Infantry Battalion No 6    Trained     10 rifles
Infantry Battalion No 7    Trained     10 rifles
Cavalry Squadron No 1    Trained    5 sabres
Cavalry Squadron No 2    Trained    5 sabres
Chinese Auxiliaries A       Raw          5 sabres
Chinese Auxiliaries B       Raw          5 sabres


You have been steadily withdrawing before the inexorable Japanese advance.  Your Cossack cavalry provides the rearguard and maintains contact with the leading elements of the Japanese force.  Thanks to a heavy overnight rainstorm, contact now appears to have been lost.
Orders from Army HQ demand that you halt your withdrawal and attempt to hold the line of the River X which you crossed yesterday afternoon.  The Japanese have not reached the river but their axis of advance is unknown.
There are three crossing points, a bridge at Village A and fords at villages B and C.  You must decide how to deploy your troops to halt the Japanese advance.

You have the following troops at your disposal:-

Infantry Battalion No 1    Trained     10 rifles
Infantry Battalion No 2    Raw          10 rifles
Infantry Battalion No 3    Raw          10 rifles
Infantry Battalion No 4    Raw          10 rifles
Infantry Battalion No 5    Raw          10 rifles
Infantry Battalion No 6    Raw          10 rifles
Infantry Battalion No 7    Raw          10 rifles
Cossack Cavalry A          Raw+          6 sabres
Cossack Cavalry B          Raw+          6 sabres
Cossack Cavalry C          Raw+          6 sabres
Cossack Cavalry D          Raw+          6 sabres
Line Cavalry                    Trained         6 sabres
Artillery                           Trained

Sunday, November 11, 2012

TARGE 2012

This Saturday I went to the Kirriemuir Wargames Club's show Targe 2012.

Colin Jack put together a game from the Very British Conquest of Space with various alien factions attacking the 1950s Anglo-Canadian secret airfield/ rocket base at Fort Churchill with its underground laboratory. I supported Colin by running some of the games and during the day I think Colin and I each ran 4 fun games each. We used a slightly adapted version of the 7TV rules. The attacking and defending players both got to select their team from a variety of evil and good teams. I was pleased that our game won the trophy for best PP game.

SESWC - British Conquest of Space - A4(GB) prepares to launch
All my photos of the show at my flickr site below

My highlights from the show were the the Iron Brigades Viking Saga game (which deservedly won best display), the Border Reivers Vietnam game, the League of Augsburg’s Nine Years War siege game set in Ireland and Dave Imrie’s fine Otterburn game. A few photos of these below……

Border Reveir's 28mm Vietnam War

The League of Augsburg - ficticious Irish Jacobite siege relief scenario set in 1690's

Dave Imrie's Battle of Otterburn

Iron Brigade - Viking saga
I got some good bargains at the Bring and Buy and stocked up on some necessities for the long winter months as Targe should be my last show of the year.
My thanks again to Dale Smith for all the effort he and his fellow club members put into it's organisation.

Link to the Targe website

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I managed to catch up with some gaming this week.   During our Thursday meeting at the SESWC club, we tried out the death in the Death in the Dark Continent set of rules by Chris Peers. The game was organised by Colin Jack, who umpired it, provided all the figures, terrain and the scenario. In this battle the Egyptians were commanded by myself and Angus Konstam, whilst the Mahdists were led by Donald Adamson, Campbell Hardie and Bart Zynda. The game was played along a 6ft by 8 ft table.

Madhists surge forward
The Egyptian objective was to advance down the table and capture the village of Ey Bai at the far end whilst the Madhists simply had to prevent this.  It quickly became apparent to Angus and I that this was beyond the ability of our force - our best armed troops were all raw - and we decided to form a firing line and hope that the Madhists would destroy themselves against it.

We only attacked on our right flank where Angus threw the Egyptian light horse against a unit of Ansar.  The cunning Madhists had deployed a unit of soldiers in a hidden position  at the side of the table and after defeating the Ansar our cavalry were surprised by the ambushers.  They attempted to ride round the Madhists lines to escape but were cut down by a unit of Beja.

Hicks pasha watching the steady Remington fire
In the centre our infantry did well initially destroying the Madhist cavalry and inflicting heavy casualties on the Ansar screening the advancing fanatical Beja units.  Things were going well until I decided to throw my Egyptian armoured cavalry into a Beja unit.  The cavalry broke in the melee and the resulting morale tests disrupted 3 of our 4 well armed infantry units.   The Beja saw their chance and charged 2 of our infantry units who firing widly into the air broke under the attack and fled the field.

Just before my fatal decision to charge with the heavy cavalry....
At that point with things looking very bad for the Egyptians we ended the game.  Death in the Dark Continent worked well and were fun. They are different from Chris Peer’s other more skirmish type rules - but still very simple - the actual rules are only 26 pages.  We will be trying them again.  I may even write a review.  Here are the orders of battle of the 2 sides.

Hick Pasha, disciplined
Raw Soldiers with breechloaders (1)
Raw Soldiers with breechloaders (2)
Raw Soldiers with breechloaders (3)
Bazingers, untrained soldiers with muskets (1)
Bazingers, untrained soldiers with muskets (2)
Bashi Bazouks, untrained skirmishes with muskets
Mounted Bashi Bazouks, untrained light horse
Heavy cavalry
Medium rifled field gun

Uthman Digna, organised
Heavy Camelry
Jihadiya, soldiers with breechloaders
Jihadiya, elite soldiers with muskets, hidden
Beja, elite warriors (1)
Beja, elite warriors (2)
Beja, elite warriors (3)
Ansar, untrained skirmishes with muskets
Ansar, skirmishes with spears
Untrained light field gun
On Saturday I went to Hugh Wilsons for a big 1920s Gangster game.  Colin Jack worked out the scenarios and he and Hugh provided the figures and terrain.  Many thanks to Susanne Wilson for providing the US themed lunch.  

The rules we used were a modification of Legends of the West and came from an article in Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy.  There were 10 players at the game.  We played as 2 two man teams and 6 individuals in 2 mini leagues were we each played 3 games and then had a final round of games to decide the overall winner and loser.

Docklands before the bloodbath....
The long table was split into 4 districts each of which had a different scenario to play - the Docklands, Mainstreet USA, Hooverville and an aerodrome.   My gang got to the top final game after 3 fairly bloodless games.  In an exciting dockland shoot out with Dave O'Briens 18 strong Chinese tong - my guys were giving better than they took - nailing 9 of Daves for 5 losses on my side - until they headed for the hills or at least Brooklyn heights.

Aerodrome with impressive 1/48 diecast DC3
 Heroes armed with Tommy Guns and 38s are very effective.   No one made any use of vehicles and that is something we should look at in our next game.  There are a few minor things I would like to change in the rules to better suit gangsters but it all worked and it was great fun. 

Dave's chinese tong gang take cover from my shooting...

This coming week we are preparing our game for TARGE the Kirriemuir Wagames club show on Saturday the 10th.  So my next report will be all about TARGE 2012.