Friday, 23 September 2016

An interesting list......

new stuff!

Things have been really busy recently so progress on most fronts has been pretty slow. However, I've been going through one of those periods where there is a lot of interesting stuff arriving on my desk. 

Books first....

  • The Men Who Would Be Kings (TMWWBK): The latest Dan Mersey rules from Osprey. From what I have read these are very simple and very entertaining. If I was starting Desert Eagle again, I'd start from here. Very interesting.
  • Table Top Wargames: By Risk Priestley and John Lambshead (Pen and Sword). The jury is out. I don't think they are giving any secrets away in this one. Some of the key design issues (movement distance vs. firing distance for example) were covered off nicely by Phil Barker in a short article in The Nugget (if I remember correctly) some years ago. 

  • Sandbox Infantry Patrols: This is brilliant (and only $2.99 from Wargames Vault). Basically a solo campaign for small scale patrols in Iraq or Afghanistan. Very, very nice. As some of you may have guessed, I don't do rules as written (RAW) but this one really tempts me to just do it as per the book.

Golan '73: This arrived very unexpectedly by post a couple of days ago. I had been watching the GMT P500 news on this for a while and had gone so far as to read the e-rules. My chum Pete, who well remembers our battles on the Golan using October War (SPI) in the 1970s, sent it to me as an early birthday present. A very welcome addition as well as being a great reminder of some happy times. I'll definitely win this time round!

In other news:

  • CnC Medieval: Check this out. I'm not sure 6/7th century Byzantium counts as medieval but very interesting nevertheless.
  • Heroes of Normandie Card Game: I love the boardgame, will this be even better?

  • Firestorm Bastogne: I'm a big fan of Firestorm as a concept, this looks great too. 
I'm sure there is lots of other stuff occurring but this is enough for me to be getting on with for the moment!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016


here come the bad guys!

An ISIS fighter with a competency issue

Having survived the back to school period, things return somewhat to normal. My priority is to finish up the Desert Eagle draft and get in some full game tests. I've been doing a lot of thinking about ISIS and have just completed the first draft of the background to an ISIS army list. This is now on the Desert Eagle page. The detailed ratings will follow shortly.

I have also been tempted by a few different things.....

The Men Who Would Be Kings: Yes, I've now got this and its great. It will not cause me to change my direction on DE but I can see other possibilities with it. It is cleaner and more simple than Dragon Rampant so it doesn't hurt my brain. Also, I've got loads of Hat colonials, so who knows what's next!

Tabletop Wargames: A Designers' and Writers' Guide: By Rick Priestley and John Lambshead. On the one hand its seems to be designer's notes for Bolt Action (and you know what happened when I read those rules!) and, on the other, a combination of Fowler's Modern English Usage and Usage and Abusage by Eric Partridge. The only thing I have found useful about this book so far is that it recommends that original historical research should be left to others since you can waste loads of time on it. Sorry, its a first impression, I'm sure a second reading will improve it. I may have missed a semicolon here!

Sandbox: I love the idea of this, especially for $2.99. Something for the weekend I think.

Monday, 5 September 2016

New Desert Eagle stuff...

it's quite good!

NSyA top brass promo pic

Well I think so anyway! I've been doing quite a bit of work recently on the New Syrian Army (NSyA) to generate a first army list for DE. I have been surprised by how complicated the internal wiring is for Dragon Rampant and converting it into something it is not intended for is fraught with complications. Nevertheless, I have produced two things:

  • An army list description which is, as far as I can see, pretty much up to date (within the last week);
  • A very first draft set of unit characteristics.

You can find both of these on the DE page here. Loads more work to do on these but nearing a first playtest on a table with some counters!

My thoughts have been drawn to the impending battle for Mosul, Op. FATAH (CONQUEST). Over Christmas last I worked on the Ramadi game and found myself drawn into the conflict in quite a personal way. I was encouraged to do a similar piece of work on the recent battle for Fallujah and, in fact, have done a lot of research on the fighting as information has become available. Although I will return to Fallujah at a future point, the Mosul operation will have enormous consequences so my intention now is to work up a similar game to the Ramadi one but looking at Mosul in real time. 

Anyone with concerns about wargaming and real life should look away now because Mosul will be my immediate focus. It will also generate what young people call factions(?) for DE. I have spent some very interesting hours looking at the Peshmerga and my level of understanding has substantially increased. The ability of wargaming to gain insight into the real world is vastly overlooked so my next few months I believe will be a real journey. At the end of which I'll probably revert to playing Stratego but, hey ho, who knows!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Desert Eagle play testing.....

its all go!

Well, I have made a start. I have finished the play test counters and these have been posted on the DE page. I have even put the counters on the board, or at least the NSyA.

I'm surprised how nice the counters look and how normal it feels to have 3D scenery and 2D counters.

I have yet to cut out the OPFOR counters and will do so during the week. I'm still working on the values for the various characteristics. I'm also pondering whether the Jordanian Special Forces, who I know to have night vision equipment, should move faster at night and if so, how much?

Coming to post this I realise two things, firstly this is my 200th post. A notable event and worth a beer or two tonight! Also, I haven't posted much recently on all of my other projects and interests. I'm sure I will return to these in due course. One precursor of a change in tack is my scouring of the net for interesting stuff. Just so you know, there is a huge bundle of FiveCore rules and supplements on Wargames Vault for "pay what you want". This includes the original versions of FiveCore Skirmish and Five Men in Normandy. Well worth a look. 

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Op. Desert Eagle 16-1

Mission GO!

SIGINT confirms that 4 NSyA prisoners are held in compounds at al-Susah, in Syria north of al-Bakamal but across the Euphrates and close to the Iraq border. 
Actual compounds in al-Susah
SIGINT suggests that they are held up because of Coalition air interdiction. They are waiting for a quiet moment to slip over the border to Qaim where they will be executed on live TV.


ISIS are believed to have one SF team in close protection of the prisoners with support in platoon strength with heavy weapons and sniper team. They are deployed to the west of the target area suspecting action by NSyA from the Syrian side of the border.


One Jordanian SF team from 71 Counter Terrorism Bn plus 2 NSyA teams and one heavy weapons support. These are in-bound from Iraq guided by the Desert Falcons, Sunni fighters from al-Waleed, so are coming from opposite direction expected by ISIS. 

All is calm at Dark o'clock...

A little more verdant than in real life...drone footage from the west (Iraq)
Remember, this is a game, its not real so no-one needs to bomb anything anywhere near al-Susah, that goes for the Russians too! 

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Action this day?

hmmm, well maybe tomorrow!

I have just prepared my non-wobbly counters for some play testing which may occur tomorrow if all other jobs are completed in good time. The counters are looking quite nice...

I have realised that I haven't put beards on the guys driving the NSyA's trucks. Nevermind, they must be Americans!

Next job is some 3D card houses and some 2D palm trees.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Desert Eagle counters...

Nearly there!

Just a couple of pictures of the counters as they develop. These are for the DE1 Scenario: Al-Bakamal Rescue Mission.

ISIS counters with SF team, sniper team and three squads in this sheet. All units are six counters, the 12 SP squads have counters with a value of 1, 2 or 3 so you can "make change" as they say in the US! Printed on flimsy paper so a bit wobbly for taking pictures. 

First go at (very wobbly) NSA counters and trial vehicles with Jordanian SF, two NSA squads, one pick-up transport and one technical, two trucks.

I'm pleased with the results. Much cannibalisation of Junior general images involved in this. Grateful thanks and credits will be posted when I have finished them. Testing not far off....