EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Monday, June 18, 2018

More Cowbells

I've had trouble trying to figure out what it is about my Square Brigadier rules that feels like its missing for this Fantasian adventure.

The Morschauser base that the Square Brigadier was originally built on is fast and emphasizes the over all plan and general military  principles (concentration, maintenance of the aim etc) which is great for even small battles. It "kinda" lacks flavour though for low level scenarios though an active imagination can still invent such things to explain what is going on "below the grain". 

I've been playing about with various alternate mechanisms and even found myself tempted to break my taboo on stealing recent, copyrighted, original, mechanisms from anyone  that hasn't urged readers to borrow and modify their ideas to make one's own rules. However, after much thought, what's lacking for the sort of game I'm thinking about for the Fantasian campaign, is more colour than substance. The sort of colour and faux detail that I used to get from MacDuff.

That's given me some ideas for rewriting the rules with minor technical changes and bigger language changes to help deliver a different feel  for this Border campaign.

New Fantasian Recruits.  I want these lads assembled and cleaned up before their officer appears.

In the meantime, I have been casting! Tomorrow I will finish the Officer mould and then get serious but I not only have the rank and file cast for my Fort Henry Guard but also for my next Fantasian unit. This one will be inspired by Britain's Confederate Infantry set with riflemen firing or 'ready' plus command, all in grey with kepis except for one pose in Butternut and slouch hat.

I didn't have the metal version but I did have the Eyes Right version which followed the same pattern so have been looking forward to doing this unit.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Volunteers are Pouring in.

Literally being poured in, from molten recruit to uni-formed soldier in no time at all.

Homecast copy of restored Britain's figure.
I chopped down a spare Ft Henry Guard shako to make a kepi.

Tomorrow, the officer hits the rubber.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

We interrupt this restoration

to report on today's WWII rules exploration at Ron's.

Modified Battle. The Soviets look to be in trouble.
It wasn't my fault really that we didn't play the proposed Colonial PW game, or even Ron's fault, no I lay the blame at the foot of Bob Kett of the (bobthepainterblog) and his initial fiddlings with a hex based WWII version of the tank side of Grant's Battle . Ever since I read that post I've had an itch to try a more old school WWII game again. The various mechanism heavy, rules heavy, planning and manoeuvre light, sudden death, WWII games we've been playing the last couple of years have not been satisfying. 

Ron laid out a table based on the Recce in Force scenario in Battle then we pitched four T34/85 against five PzrIVH. It was a fun little game that was over in 3 or 4 turns so we hauled out various Grant and Featherstone books and bent our minds to hex based infantry and artillery rules to match.

But they win in the end.
Before we were also looking at Bolt Action and Airfix Battles infantry rules (which appear to be derivative) and I was beginning to despair. This was not looking like it would get us back to the sort of enjoyable WWII games we used to have.

I started to reminisce about those fun, modified Memoir games from 3 and 4 years ago. It didn't take long for us to remember the issues we had meshing the card deck and 3 zone  system with Grant scenarios nor did it take long to speculate about using our modified armour rules without the cards and sectors. (In this case the 85mm gun on the T34/85 would hit the PzrIV on an emblem as well as on the armour symbol.)

Essentially a Featherstonian type game  where the players develop the plan and try to execute it in the face of the enemy while the dice help determine the success or failure of their plans. 
Modified Memoir: Everyone wins but technically the Soviets are about to win another close battle with a lucky shot at the critical point.
A sharp little refight was soon under way with the advantage swaying back and forth until a lucky die roll rescued the 'superior Soviet plan' from imminent disaster!  The whole thing lasted about the same time as the modified Grant game BUT we played twice as many turns and there was more manoeuvring, more tension and more swings of fortune. In other words, more fun.

Hopefully next week we can get a full all arms scenario in.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Resurrecting my Ft. Henry Guard

The Work has begun.
Overnight in Natura Safe Strip to remove both original Britain's enamel and '70's hobby paint then onto the work table for repairs. (in progress)
Somewhere there is a B&W snap of these lads converted to War of 1812 models but it is hiding. Anyway, the plan is to cast one unit of 6 as originally issued and another wearing gaiters since one figure has them carved in. I also want to do a unit in combat poses wearing shakos and maybe, just maybe, a Fantasian unit in shako.

My 2nd FHG c 1999. All from Soldierpac, except the goat who is an old goat, nearly as old as me but "not dead yet". He'll be back, still in original coat.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Finding the Fantasians

Meriam Webster: Fantasia: (2) a work (such as a poem or play) in which the author's fancy roves unrestricted.


Les Chasseurs de St. Jean.
Well, my imagination is not totally unrestricted, though the restrictions are self imposed, so there will be Fantasians but no Fantasia, as there were Fenians but no country called Fenia bordering on Canada. In effect I am going to embark on a whimsical bit of alternate history, using the name Fantasians rather than Fenians to avoid confusion with the actual history.

This Fantasian unit was partly inspired by the uniforms of the Canadian Voltigeurs in 1812 and partly by various US, CSA, and British, Volunteer units.

This alternate history is based on the following proposals or assumptions:

1) The Fantasian movement was better led and organized than the historical Fenians and operated with a still angry US administration exercising a blind eye thus allowing them to mount larger, more effective raids and incursions into Canada.

2) Her Majesty's government was fully preoccupied with other matters and was unwilling to risk hostility with the US over anything less than an outright US invasion and therefore left the new Dominion to largely defend itself.

3) The Fantasians were in league with a renewed but very minor Patriote movement in Quebec, as the Hunter Lodges worked with the original  Patriotes in 1837/38's, and with Riel and the Red River Metis. However, the rest of Canada is still celebrating Confederation and eager to prove itself.

4) The original idea remains of armies that look like they were cobbled together from a range of boxed sets of toy soldiers in department stores in the '50s and early 60's though not necessarily sets that really existed.

The Papal Zouaves are still waiting in the wings but the next onto my painting table will be the remnants of my original Ft Henry Guard set which were converted to War of 1812 figures when I was 16. They were replaced via Soldierpac in the late 90's when I first started a 54mm Fenian Raid collection but were sold to a friend when I had to downsize. So, it's reconstruct time to be followed by some mould making.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Truth and Fantasy and Toy Soldiers

As long as I was reorganizing my old toy soldier armies back into 6 figure units now that I have figured out how to manage a table with sufficient 5" grid squares, and working on expanding my opposing conventional mid-19thC armies, I decided to revisit the "enemy" for my Canadian army.  I don't want to refight the actual Fenian raids since this is about playing a wide variety of scenarios as the mood takes me but the "Fenians" are starting to look a bit too much like the US army and I don't want to go there either.

Archive photo from April.

While I was pondering an alternative look for the "Fenian" invaders, I remembered another option, the one that provided my first wargame enemy back in the days of Black Watch Cadets, Airfix and Featherstone. I'll let this extract from an old, archived, Department of National Defence document about exercise-royal-flush explain:

In Exercise Royal Flush, there was a general reference to the enemy force mobilizing in the Montreal area. It must be made clear that this is a Cold War era exercise where the enemy force was referred to as FANTASIANS, a force based on Warsaw Pact structure and equipment. This scenario was created for realism in a Cold War environment and has nothing to do with the political situation in Canada......The reference to a Fantasian army in the Montreal area was for scenario purposes only. In other words, an artificial scenario is superimposed on actual maps."

"An artificial scenario superimposed on actual maps"... Yeah! That's what I wanted! Now I can start designing uniforms for the Fantasian Republican Guard as well as continuing to add to the Canadian Toy Army.

Not only are Governor-General's Footguards finally up to full strength but, they have a bugler!

which made me think of this bit from the irreverent  Perth Conspiracy's 1970 album, amazing what will stick in your mind over the decades (click on image below : 
"and then I heard it...the BUGLE cry......"

Friday, June 8, 2018

Zulu's? No mostly I won.

Every time I get the old Britains' out, I seem to get the urge to paint more of them and to play another game. It occurred to me that by expanding the One Hour game to full table size and using double the number of units to maintain the ratio of unit foot print to battlefield, I was robbing myself of the opportunity to have a simple, clear, distinction between really quick, simple  OHW scenarios with  a handful of units  in a corner of the table and longer, more complex Grant Teasers with larger forces on the full table, all while drawing from the same armies with the same campaign background. By adopting a scale of 1 square per 4" on the OHW table instead of 3" as in the previous game, I could use a 1:1 ratio of units equating to the smaller 4" frontage suggested by Thomas for his scenarios.

I reset the table using 81 squares instead of the previous 144.
"Zulus sir! Dozens of them!"
 Since only my Zulu War units are set up for my planned 6 figure infantry units, and haven't been out in over a year, I decided to go to South Africa.
The shrunken layout with hippo instead of a cat.
 Once I got the troops out I remembered that I hadn't gotten around to adding spearmen and the like to the Tin Army and decided that I was over due for a Portable Wargame anyway.
One unit of Lancers tried to deal with 3 Zulu units but they zoomed past them and bounced them and, well, I think they did manage to stick one Zulu in 5 rounds of melee before they were surrounded and cut down.

The line gets pushed back but thank heavens there was a Taboo preventing the Zulus going into the woods. The British are also grateful that for 4 turns the Colonel single handily held off 2 units of Zulus in hand to hand combat after the Naval Brigade was cut down. 

Turn 15 of 15.  A desperate, last half of the last turn  British counter attack got the Rutlandshires to with 6" of the road thus earning a technical but cheesy win.

As usual,  the Portable Wargame  served well and the game came out at roughly an hour so the whole thing can be considered a success.

Now I want to play a full Grant game but I need to get back to bringing the armies up to scratch since a few of the existing units are short a few figures  or are temporarily mounted on slightly wider bases which won't allow 6 figures in a 5" square and I need to add a few more units to both Canadian and American armies.

We have work to do!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

They've Still Got It!

Excerpt from "The Defended Border" by H. MacDuff. 

"When Major Saur  offered to raise and equip a squadron of cavalry recruited exclusively from retired British veteran cavalrymen, there was some skepticism about the value of old parade soldiers on the modern battlefield but the action at Round Lake Narrow put an end to that!"
General Byrd being taken during the pursuit by an officer who turned out to be a distant cousin.
"Early on the morning of the 7th of June a dense fog hung over Round Lake blocking the view but scouts reported that while the enemy had erected a formidable abatis along the edge of the woods to the East, rendering it effectively impenetrable to the Canadians, there was a clear path to the West of the Lake leading to the open enemy flank."
Some fanciful participants claim that the fog on the lake looked like the silhouette of a giant cat.
" General Douglas' plan was to pound the invaders with his artillery, use his Highanders to mask the woods and form a reserve, flank him with his cavalry and then push up the center with the Hochelaga Fusiliers and the Foot Guards."

"As happens all too often with volunteers, the men and their officers were too eager to get to grips with the enemy despite the General's plan. Soon the Highlanders were stung by accurate rifle fire to throw themselves upon the abatis and attempt to drive off the enemy. It earned them a short reprieve but at a heavy cost in casualties.

In the centre the Guards, impatient with the apparent lack of effect from the artillery barrage pushed forward with out orders and ran into a hail of cannister and rifle fire. The Douglas was forced to order his cavalry to charge in hopes of relieving the pressure on the infantry."

"The first charge, by the Governor General's Bodyguard, was repulsed  but the Queen's Pensioners, breastplates shining, smashed the enemy line scattering one unit and driving the other back."

"Elated by the sight of this success,the infantry pushed forward in the centre.The Highlanders, having learned their lesson edged away from the woods and pressed forward to support the remnants of the Fusiliers."

"The invaders stood their ground and continued to pour a murderous fire into their assailants  but were unable to resist the impetuous onslaught of the cavalry from the flank and before the sunset the pass had been secured."

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

A Little Trade Dispute

It occurred to me that this is June 6th, DDay that was and that I have no WWII armies for a commemorative invasion game and that what amphibious forces I may have for other "periods" are in refit. Still  I've been itching to get some kind of game set up.

Softwood lumber tariffs are always a good excuse for a spat.

"There is your enemy!"
Apparently there are still some One Hour Wagame scenarios that I haven't played yet. This one is #24 Bottleneck.

Overview of the table. Each sq=3 inches on the OHW map so there are 2 "companies" for each OHW  6 inch wide "unit". The artillery is still one gun for one gun.
I am pleased to announce the arrival in Canada of a squadron of her Majesty's Life Guards. (The Scarlet coated, armoured, cavalry in the bottom right corner of the picture.) These are part of a generous donation by a friend and I am doubly pleased to get them. Some of the Lifeguards are old figures, pre-1952 at least but some are from one of the Coronation  sets (according to Rose's guide). More importantly, I had the small set of these Lifeguards in the 60's and converted them during my "Military Miniature" phase. He was reconverted a few years ago and now leads the US cavalry so I am MOST pleased to have one of this figure in his original uniform again.

The Lifeguard Officer on the left  is how US General Byrd started life. 
My intent was just to play the Square Brigadier with bigger figures but in light of my re-dedication  to having each collection provide a different gaming experience beyond different figures, I'm hastily adjusting the Tin Army using similar principles but at a different scale and some slightly different mechanisms for a mid-19thC Small Wars  feel.

Of course there isn't actually time to play today but a battle report is only a day or two away.

Friday, June 1, 2018

1813: Spring Training Underway

I find to hard to believe but its been five years (!!) since my last liquid rtv mould  of an original figure. ( see getting-mold-y) 

First sample casting of an early War of 1812 US Infantry man.
Well, this lad has been a while in the making. The head was originally done in 2005  to convert Sash & Saber British into Americans, the naked dolly was done around the same time, the musket just 5 years ago. One of the dollies was dressed and given head and uniform just a year or so again and now, at last, they are ready.

I was just going to paint him straight up in regulation blue faced with red but I've painted enough of that uniform in 54mm and in chunky 40mm and wanted something different. Since I like the grey or drab uniforms I went for that.

The 1813 period of the war saw some of my favourite engagements but the new tombstone shako was being introduced during 1813 and troops along the  Niagara front and at Sackets Harbour  seemed to have gotten it first so I'm pegging this lot as one of those who were stationed on Lake Champlain and fought at Chateauguay.

Of course, his regiment  will have to fight when and where they are told regardless of their hats.
Mould with figure.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Sorting the Twin Campaigns: 1812 and the Red Queen

Today I made time to sit down and review the current state of my War of 1812 plans and figure out where I want to go and what my vague urge for "more" meant. I was soon reminded that many elements of the 1812 British army cheerfully serve the Red Queen in Atlantica and that it would really help if the two used the same organization and rules.

After much reviewing of past blog battlereports, my current preferences, and a good look at organization, basing and rules trials over the last five years, I think I have it figured out. 
War of 1812 Square Brigadier Game New Year's Eve 2016.

To start with, "more" mostly meant units with more staying power than at the present but also a game where units were close to the old 20 figure Featherstonian regiments or Charge! companies. It also means  the flexibility to break line infantry battalions into at least two detachments.

A Square Brigadier game from July 2016 where each battalion was represented by 2 separate units. 

Last year I had been contemplating going back off the grid for these armies but a review of games over the last three years has convinced me that I would prefer to stay on the grid but it will have to be the 5" one or bigger so that I can field sixteen figure units. (Not that the rules care how many figures your unit has.)

Another shot of that end of 2016 Square Brigadier game.

Last year I decided to experiment with different basing and organization for these two collections for reasons that escape me now but probably had to do with  making them  "different" as an excuse to paint more figures. The evidence suggestions that I don't actually NEED a reason to paint more so I'll quietly drop that part and put everyone back on 60mm bases with 2 to a unit.

What this looks like in Atlantica at present but with improvised terrain.
(see battle report )

I also spent time brushing up the existing 1812 Variant of the Square Brigadier rules but they aren't ready to go yet. Hopefully I'll get that finished by the weekend and get a game on.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Now that that's over

As often happens I am back from my trip with a head full of ideas.  This doesn't involve any new periods but it does involve some new moulds, lots of painting, a shift in approach to some of my periods meaning new or revised rules and a partial return to larger units which means infrastructure work as well. 
More of this.

First Hurdle. My plan calls for each part of my collection to offer a different gaming experience but old habits coax me to share a good idea until everything blend together. Last summer I began the fight to restore the differences again and give myself a functional, more traditional feeling horse and musket game. One part of that is going to be the overlapping War of 1812 and the overlapping, non-historical,  Red Queen vs the Brethren campaign.
and more of this.
A call for a return to bigger armies means that, I'm going to need more men! I started sculpting a new US infantryman in early shako a few years ago and finished him, ready for casting last summer. He got pushed out of the way by  the 20thC but it is time for my first new liquid RTV mould in a lonnnnngg time followed by a new US battalion. At the same time, I finally have two dozen Scruby "natives" and "Boxers" which will be joining the Brethren once painted.

"Hurry up and wait!"

While the new figures are being done and work continues on reorganizing and rebasing my old 1812-1840 figures, I will  revise either MacDuff or Hearts of Tin to suit what's in my head. Expect a game by early June at the latest.

The Turks are coming! The Turks are coming!

Second Hurdle: Rob and I have agreed to do a 16thC Turkish vs Imperial game next year if I can get the Turks done. I do have some Turks already and some Drabant Poles and Russians which will be pressed into service as some form of Balkan levies  and some of my Elastolin Huns can be pressed into service as Tatars but I need Akiniji and Jannisaries. I'll tackle sculpting a Jannisary first and then do a cavalryman to fit the Zinnbrigade horse molds, especially the Hussar horse with large, pointed shabraque.  I intend to have a small Imperial-Turkish game on the table in time for my birthday in late July.

Patiently waiting.
Third Hurdle.  My room is still a mess! The table is only a few scraps of plywood cobbled together shakily so building a proper table is a top priority, maybe just a little bigger. Building more shelves and storage for the larger armies is also a high priority. Ideally I want things done by the end of June. Just got to draw some plans, find some spare cash for materials, and do the work.
Not done with these yet though, 
or these (New rules already written) or any of my collections.

Lots more ideas bubbling in my head so we'll see what surfaces.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Square Brigadier in the Great War: Debriefing

This sudden, unexpected, WW1 game seems to have been with me almost constantly for months now and I'm looking forward to "changing horses" for a while. However, I plan to revisit the early 20th Century again before too long and have to write up a full set of rules to support the existing two-sides-of-a page quick reference. 

I will need to remember the observations that follow when I do!

The allies deployed for the first game. 
It really helps having someone else play your game. Always interesting to see where the rules work the way you planned and where they don't, where others pick up things as you intended and where they either don't 'get' something or see things that you had missed, whether that is good or bad. Its also interesting to see what sort of tactics and plans others try and how they interface with the rules, scenario and other players.   So a BIG thank you to the eight adults (and the two kids) who played in the two sessions  of My Grandfather's War. 

Scruby Foreign Legionnaires waiting for the enemy.
One of the things that had given me brain stress in the lead up was the question of how to handle the different way the two sides organized and used their machine guns. Basically, the allies distributed a pair to each battalion while the Germans grouped their machine guns into six gun companies, one  attached to each three battalion regiment (giving the same ratio), plus some which were independent companies for various purposes.

2/3 of the way through the 1st game. A prolonged barrage  by 2/3 of the German artillery backed by MG and rifle fire have finally cleared the unsupported British infantry from the hill and the Chasseurs have moved over to counter attack the advancing Germans.

What I had decided in advance was that the allied MG's would be treated like infantry but have an extra die when firing and have the defensive bonus in melee while the German MG companies would always have a "superior firepower" bonus but would not be allowed to assault and would taken fewer hits. However, by the time I got to the convention I had changed my mind and decided to treat all the MG units on both sides the same as the German units. Partly this was because it would be simpler for 1st time players to grasp but mostly because it seemed to have a more Old School feel which pleased me.

Game 1.The end. Robbed of the 2nd last turn by a Joker as a chance card, the Allies lacked time for  last ditch counter attack for  draw or win. The Germans ended with possession of the Wood, Hill and Farm for 15 pts while the Allies clung to the town for 10 pts.
During the two games the MG's had what seemed like just the right effect: deadly but needing infantry support. They were particularly effective in the second game when Rob tried throwing rank after rank of infantry into a hail of mg fire and lyddite. On the Allied right, Norman launched the Zouaves into a surprise counter attack with cold steel which swept away some already shot up German infantry but which eventually faltered in a hail of MG bullets as well.

I liked the feel of the MG's enough that I am adopting that approach as standard.

Game 2 getting underway.
Towards the end of my pre-game play testing I had decided to change the "-1 die" modifier for artillery changing targets to "artillery must cease fire for a turn when changing target". I then promptly forgot for the first game but remembered for the second game.

Over all I prefer the feel of the second approach and its effect on player's decisions. The quicker switching of artillery fire seems more suited to later artillery with radio and telephone communication.

I was initially uneasy at the delay when a gun had to switch from indirect fire to point blank fire over open sights at an attacking infantry unit but the infantry had emerged from cover at a very close range and ended up in melee range where the gun was able to fire in self defence anyway. If the infantry had approached in the open there would have been time to switch fire and give the infantry real issues, especially with the Bombardment rule.

Game 2: The Zouave attack up the right has been stopped by infantry backed by an MG hidden from the camera by a tree at the corner of the field.
Speaking of the Bombardment rule, which reduces the effect of shooting for units (including artillery) in an area under artillery fire (because they have their heads down) and forces units to test for hits if trying to leave, enter or attack the area, I'm really pleased with how it works as an alternative to a Pin and Rally rule. It now occurs to me that it could well apply to MG fire as well.

Game 2 end. The Germans eventually captured the wood and farm but never took the redoubt and have taken absolutely horrendous casualties. 
I'm not expecting to play many (any) more France 1914 games but luckily both figures and rules will see use in early 20th Century "Colonial" or "Back of Beyond" games in the years to come and the Great Atlantican War is still ongoing.

Gratuitous shot of the Cycle Company in action.
Next post: What to expect to see on my blog over the next month or two.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Huzzah 2018 through the Mists of Time

Well, I'm home!

How was it? In short, every one of the 2,000 kilometres that make up the round trip  was worth it. It was a great Con! Three days of looking and playing and discussing and generally talking, and talking.  I'd say I'm all talked out but Rob and I have been exchanging notes on next year's Huzzah game so perhaps not quite.

Anyway,  Gary (my friend and passenger from Nova Scotia) and I arrived at the South Portland Doubletree Hilton on Thursday in time for a late supper with friends Eric and Vicky from Maryland. On Friday the convention doesn't start until after lunch so I volunteered to help with a few minor set up chores after breakfast then got my game set up early.

Setting up begins on Friday morning as Gamemasters and Vendors arrive and get to it.

I had a full slate of eight players, mostly friends and acquaintances from past conventions.  There were two brothers who were a little short in terms of height and  experience but they have played in my games before and their dad has done a good job of raising and  'training' them so the three made a good team controlling the German infantry and artillery (with the occasional bit of coaching from the veteran opposition ). 

The game was too fast paced for me to keep track of everything that was going on for all 15 turns and 4 hours but it was close fought and not decided until the second last turn. There was an impromptu reprise of the game on Sunday so I'll save the details and my thoughts on the two games for another post.

1/72nd Dragon Rampant 'Fantasy'.

Friday evening had been set apart for Rob and I to get in a test game of our Dragon Rampant event to see how the scenario and armies would work, train me up a bit and make sure we were agreed on how everything works. We were fortunate enough to snag some friends to fill in and make it a 6 player game. I'm still not really sold on the rules but they worked much better than I expected and I was much more comfortable about our event. My main worry was that my Black Cauldron army seemed to be less worth its points than the others, especially if it got caught in open ground by cavalry.

Saturday morning was the real event and as it turned out we had some "no-show"s so I filled in and took the Black Cauldron force myself. I had originally thought my armies were going to be part of the defending alliance but it turned out we were the attackers. The enemy who was heavy in cavalry and archers were on the defence and immediately launched an all out offensive. Luckily there was a good bunch of people around the table and a pleasant couple of hours were spent before I was crushed completely.  Prometheus in Aspic had donated a small 3D printed fantasy/medieval tower kit to me last fall which I awarded as a prize to my direct opponent who had suffered the least loss and inflicted the most damage of any player in the game.

The Queen reviews a few of Gregory' brave soldiers.
More nostalgia for my 54mm heyday!

Once we cleaned up I was more than ready for lunch but had to stop 2 tables over to see Gregory Arofan's With the Colours in the Late War setup.  I just missed the award of the VC to a young fellow playing with his dad. Unfortunately I was tired and hungry and it was time for him to clear the table for the next GM so I didn't get to try it then but we had a good chat and I have the link and a...few toy soldiers so I will give it a go.

25mm Saxons vs Normans 6 player Lion Rampant game being picked up.

Rob was signed up for a Viking/Saxon Lion Rampant game after lunch and I didn't see anything else that tempted me so I checked it out.  There were no free spots so I snuck back up to my room for a delightful and much needed nap then came back out to wander around checking out vendors and games and stopping to chat with friends, returning to watch the end of the Viking game.

Al Coughlin's AWI game. Ah nostalgia for my 54's!
The Brits are largely Accurate, ATKM and Imex.

Saturday night I had an invite to help test out Keith Flint's Honours of War using 54mm AWI armies and the introductory scenario.  Pushing 54's around a table with friends, rolling dice and talking miniatures and wargaming, how could I resist?  I can't really comment on the rules other than that they seem to work but aren't my style. I like long moves, handfuls of dice and a minimum of tables and modifiers. However, it was a most enjoyable evening.
The Americans recruited primarily from AIP and ATKM.

That brings us to Sunday morning. There are generally fewer games on Sunday as some people head home early and what games there are often fill fast. After checking out the options we decided to run my 1914 game again with Rob taking the Germans and Norman the Allies. Once that was done there was time for a long lunch then I hit the road north just me and a Audiobook of RE Howard's Conan tale "The People of the Black Circle". I forget what had happened to Gary... 
 (OK not really some friends dragged him off into the hills for a pre-planned week's holiday) .

One more shot of the 54's for old times sake. These are ATKM cavalry nearest the lens. Good luck to Ken in his new venture and hopefully ATKM will rise again one day. 


Just to give a taste of some of the variety of land, air and sea games, historical, fictional and fantastical played in the 6 rooms in 5 time blocks, each of 4 hours. (There were more small figure games and more big battles not to mention more air and sea games than seen in these random clips.)

(Not 100% sure if the FB links will work for everyone or not. If a Non-FB person could test it and let me know I would appreciate it.)

A very small part of the massive Bolt Action Stalingrad.

 A Trench Raid at night. The B&W painting was amazing!
"Cold hearted orb that rules the night, steals the colours from our sight"

Pulp action in Shanghai for all ages. A perennial favourite.

Next up a debrief on the WWI games and a look ahead at plans for the next few months now that the sudden WWI distraction is done.