Saturday, August 30, 2014


This week’s game at Hugh Wilson’s was a further test to try out my draft 1860-1870 period naval rules.  I had revised the rules again whilst I was on holiday in Madeira last week.  This time there were 4 players involved and I umpired and explained the rules. 

CSS Governor Moore rams the US double ender USS Mattasesett
As before this was a fictional scenario involving a Union force attacking a confederate bay with a harbour but given the smaller number of players I reduced the number of squadrons but increased their strength.  The Union objectives were to suppress the coast defences and capture a commerce raider which was trying to break out to the sea.  
View from south end of the table
The Union had 4 monitors and 4 gunboats versus 3 Confederate ironclads, 4 cotton clad rams/gunboats, a commerce raider supporting a large coastal fort and 2 shore batteries.
CSS Tennessee takes on 2 of the monitors
The game went well and the rule changes worked well.  I think they are almost there.  At the end of the game the Union had lost 3 ships sunk and the Confederacy 2 ships sunk.  They were all unarmoured ships.  The Confederate rams and the forts were getting the better of the fight with the monitors.  Amazingly no ships struck their colours.   We decided that it was a marginal Confederate victory. 

All the photos at

Bart Zynda has written a report of the game on his blog

Friday, August 15, 2014


This week’s game at Hugh Wilson’s was another test to try out my draft 1860-1870 period Ironclad naval rules.  I had revised the initiative and movement system whilst I was on holiday in Majorca this year.  There were 10 players involved while I umpired and explained the rules.  The table was 13ft by 5ft - my thanks to Hugh for creating the seascape.

Overall view at start of game - US gunboats steam into action - Monitors enter thru 2nd strait
This fictional scenario involved a Union force attacking a confederate bay with 2 harbours.  Their objectives were to suppress the coast defences, capture a commerce raider which was trying to break out to the sea, and blockade the 2 harbours. 

Union gunboats manuevre away from the CSS ironclads
The Union had 6 monitors and 5 gunboats versus 6 Confederate ironclads and 4 cotton clad rams/gunboats supporting a large coastal fort and 2 shore batteries.
Action underway - Fort Sumter and it's supporting rams face the monitors

The game went well and no obvious problems were found with the rules though I think I may look at increasing the effect of ramming.  At the end of the game no ships had been sunk but 3 ships and the impressive Fort Sumter lookalike had struck their colours and another 4 ships broke of action and fled.  In the end it was a marginal Union victory.  Our next game will be another test of these rules.

USS Tecumseh rammed twice in a single turn
All my photos with descriptions at

Sunday, August 10, 2014


On Friday Dave Paterson, Scott Duncan and I played a 6mm variant of my Black Powder Brandywine scenario.  Dave Paterson has just completed his very pretty 6mm AWI collection so we decided to give them an outing.  We staged the game in my garage using an 8ft by 6ft section of my TSS tiled table with Dave providing the bulk of the terrain.  The layout was based on the map of Brandywine in the Maurice rulebook.  We used the alternative move sequence and 50% ranges and movement.  Dave’s standard infantry units comprise 64 figures – 4 bases of 16 on 40mm by 30mm bases.

British centre right prepares to cross the creek
 For this game we allowed the Brandywine Creek to be fordable by infantry and cavalry along it’s entire length with artillery limited to crossing at the known fords.  Given this the British commander Dave decided to forego the historic flank march and just launch the entire British and Hessian force across the creek.  I commanded the British right wing of 2 British brigades and a Hessian brigade whilst Scott took on the challenge of commanding the Patriots.

The struggle on the right centre - British elites wade the creek - militia deploy on Patriot right
 It proved to be a good game with the Patriots succeeding in comprehensively outshooting the supposedly superior British.  They even took the battle to the British and one Brigade crossed the Brandywine Creek.  Their poorest troops, the militia brigade, who had been held back in reserve advanced and drove back and then broke the British far left wing!  Once 4 of the 6 British brigades were broken we conceded the game to the Patriots.
The commander and troop ratings are on my Brandywine scenario at

All my photos with descriptions on Flickr at

Hessian grenadiers engage the Continentals

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Last Thursday I went to Hugh Wilson’s for the continuing 28mm Back of Beyond game – it was evening 3 of the game.  I played the Bolshevik’s on the first evening see my report at

I missed the 2nd evening as I was on vacation in Majorca.  My Bolshevik command was then taken over by Tim Wilson so Colin Jack decided to act as full time umpire and I took over command of his Imperial Japanese interventionists. 

Disabled Chinese gunboat drifts downstream ......
My troops spent the game skirmishing with the Chinese troops who held the main town whilst keeping a wary eye on the Chinese bandits who claimed to be my allies.  Highlights of the evening were watching the disabled Chinese gunboat drifting of the table and the unfortunate fate that overwhelmed the Czech Legion.  Bart commanding the Czechs abandoned the gold reserves and fled with all his troops to the harbour where they boarded a junk.  Just as it had got underway they were strafed ineffectively by my Japanese aircraft but then the junk was blown to pieces by the Chinese field gun.  There were no survivors!

Air attack on the Czech junk - Japanese airpower
A major cavalry struggle took place for the gold reserves between the Chinese bandits of Campbell and Donald’s Mongolians from which the Mongolians emerged victorious.  They carried the gold away to their mountainous Buddhist temple and this was enough for them to be declared the winners.

The grim struggle for Train No 1 and the gold reserves

My photos from both the games I attended with descriptions are at

Sunday, August 3, 2014


I got to Claymore this year – missed last year even though I was the organiser due to a vacation in Spain.  Good to see so many familiar faces and chat to people.   This year the weather was unusually cool and wet so no overheating problems!

Kirriemuir - 28mm Ancients - Macedonians vs Thracians

Spartan Games - Planetfall

Best Display
1st - Kirriemuir - Ancients
2nd - Spartans - Planetfall


Best PP game
1st - Leuchars - Dambusters
2nd - Dingwall - Pesasus Bridge

Leuchars - Dambusters PP
Dingwall - Pegasus Bridge PP
More of my photos with descriptions at

My old Friend Jim Duncan has posted his own show report at

More great fund raising success for Combat Stress by Jim and Hugh.

Photos taken by Michael Harker are at
Dame Imrie at his Medieval game
Falkirk - Siege of Delhi - Mutineers attack the camp on Delhi Ridge