Monday, November 20, 2017


I was away at the weekend at Kirriemuir in Angus for a 28mm Italian Wars event.  Over the 2 days 14 gamers attended.  The concept which was based on the classic game Kingmaker was developed by James Roach who along with Steve Rimmer supplied the bulk of figures.  Most of the terrain came from Steve’s collection.  The game was set up over 5 12ft to 20ft long tables 6 feet wide representing all of Italy.
Venice the Serene Republic with a secret weapon
I played the King of France and Chris Henry was the King of Spain we each had a subordinate player of our nationality.  The other players represented the various Italian states and at the start of each session of play they had to declare as allies of France or Spain.  You could only fight someone in the rival alliance. This led to much Machiavellian plotting and changing of allegiances over the weekend.  Towns and cities provided revenue to their occupiers at the end of each turn.  This was used to buy new units, rebuild under-strength units and for general corrupt acts.  The winning player was the one who had the most cash in their bank at the end of game.
 Da Vinci's mobile artillery fort - it was transported by sea to southern Italy to strike terror into the Doge's enemies
The tactical part of the game was based on a simplified version of Pike and Shot which James developed.  The biggest change to the rules was that he did away with the P&S command system so that units could always move but they only could make 1 move a turn with a dice bonus.  All units had some chance of rolling of disorder at the start of the turn based on their quality.
Mighty push of pike - it was ended by a bribe to the commander of the Swiss
It was a truly enjoyable colourful weekend and the rules developed by James worked well and were easily picked up by all the players.   My thanks to James who acted as the hard working rules umpire and provided the inspiration,  organisation and lots resources for the very enjoyable game.  The winner was the wily Doge of Venice, Angus Konstam, who convinced the other Venetian player to meet most of the military costs of their campaign.
Colin Jack - Spanish No 2 - demonstrating how not to roll saving throws - ouch!
All my 42 photos from the weekend are on Flickr at
Girolamo Savonarola burning - watched by amused Lutheran pikemen
The successful Doge has added a full report from his viewpoint on his blog at


  1. Fantastic looking stuff. A Da Vinci tank and the castle is to die for.
    Cheers, Peter

    1. Castle is an amazing Ian Weekly model. It is I think Fort St Elmo in Malta. Now part of Charles Grant's collection.

    2. It's bloody marvellous and I remember it from one of CSG's Imagination mini-campaigns.

    3. Regarding the tank - It's a clip together plastic kit, made by Academy. It's part of their "Da Vinci Machines series", and is labelled as an "armoured car". The scale is roughly 1/50th.

  2. Bill,

    I hope you had a good weekend. Thank you for taking the trouble to write about it.

    I'm still trying to take the game in and, as the first truly big 'table campaign game' I've ever organised, I can tell you it filled me with inspiration and dread in equal measure.

    The gracious nature of the League of Gentlemen Wargamers made my umpiring a pleasure - everyone started smiling and finished smiling regardless of how well they did.

    Thanks to everyone for attending and thanks to you Bill who, knowing the rules better than most, acted as a 'rule medic' to everyone on both days.

    My Very Best Regards,

    James R.

    1. James - It was a great game - having organised the FIW weekend I know how much goes into setting up these games - but this was on a different scale. This was a huge effort so thanks again. I will have to make several addition to my Black Powder vs Pike and Shot differences page - some basic things I missed!

  3. Looks like a great weekend was had by all that fort is fantastic .


  4. I thought I recognized the figures and reading your text confirmed it. Lovely looking game!!


  5. What a great set of photos Bill. Wargaming at its finest!

    1. Carlo - many thanks for the complement. It was a great concept with friendly but devious players.

  6. Looks like a lot of fun. Great concept!