Saturday 27 June 2015


Not that I need any extra....

I seem to have inspiration coming out of my ears lately. Well, that's what I'm saying it is!

Currently on the stocks are some early war British tanks and stuff. These may or may not be entirely related to the KISS My Arras project. My slight hesitation in allocating them to this game is that my original intention was to use 6mm toys, the following are, of course, 15mm!
My painted up Zvezda dingo, bigger than real life

A&A Miniatures Matilda II repainted

Nice new A10 from Zvezda with A&A Miniatures
Crusader cunningly disguised as an A10
I am experiencing some excitement at the prospect of receiving the PSC Great War game shortly. It may even arrive next week. This, plus my recent re-reading of Volley Fire has caused me to take another look at Square Bashing (first edition). Just look at these great photos from the RFCM Yahoo Group....

These were posted by cycleman572004 and show his use of some great orginal Airfix Germans and some Hat French. The inspiration here is that he has used single 1/72 figures in place of 15mm bases. Lots cheaper and allowing a smaller battlefield size. I'll be giving this some more thought. Check out his other photos because they are fantastic.

I'm hoping not to make any more random Zvezda purchases, excluding the U-2 and Blenheim that happened to just pop into my rucksack the other day, so I can get round to sorting out the rest of the Firestorm Neuve Chapelle.

Saturday 13 June 2015

Volley Fire

Nice rules....

Following a comment on my last post I thought it would be nice to provide a bit more information about these rules by Nick Bouette.

I got these a very long time ago from Irregular Miniatures. A quick check on their website indicates they are no longer available, at least from them.

These rules use a six by six square grid, any size really depending on the scale of the troops used. Bob Cordery has provided a good description of the mechanics in an earlier post on his blog so no need to go into detail here.

When I got these rules I was very interested in using them to game the 1918 German offensive against the British. I felt these rules would be very effective at showing the use of barbed wire, trenches and redoubts and also that they would easily cope with tanks as well as stormtroops (diagonal moves for these guys). Happily I have boxes (and boxes) of Hat and Revell troops for the period and a load of tanks, all in 1/72. I like to think that this project is not delayed, it is maturing!

There is a very interesting sidebar to these rules. The use of a lead unit in each square to act as attacker and defender and the use of terms such as "spent" for units taking damage, indicate a lineage going back to Avalon Hill's Turning Point: Stalingrad. 

Any excuse to use a picture of a great map like this!
Free stuff

I have mentioned Clayton J Callahan before on this blog. This guy is a character: soldier, Federal Agent and science fiction writer as well as wargamer. I admire his enthusiasm and highly recommend you get a copy of his Battlefields: From Broadswords to Bullets. A unique and simple introductory set of figure rules for plastic men from ancient times to the far future. Get them here for free (for the rest of this month) and share the simple joy of playing toy soldiers as God and nature intended!

Monday 8 June 2015

Favourite Rules

Just the five?

I was reading David Crook's Wargaming Odyssey earlier today in which he has come up with his top five favourite sets of rules. I wondered whether I would be able to arrive at a similar list. Tough choices. However, you need to set appropriate criteria. In my case, as I rarely play anything straight out of the box, my favourite rules are those which I have plundered most for ideas. These are, basically, the ones I have carried around with the the longest and which are therefore the most widely traveled.

1. Battle: Charles Grant

I have carried this around since I bought it in Scotland about 45 years ago. This drove my early "proper" gaming. The original Meccano Magazine articles are available (officially of course) on the web.

2. Warring Empires: Chris Pringle

This set me off on the 19C gaming kick. Highly innovative rules which led on, unfortunately, to Principles of War by people that missed the point of the original set. Nice to see Chris return to 19C in Bloody Big Battles. However, these are still available from Irregular for a fiver!

3. AK47: RFCM

That's Mr Pig to you and me. No picture here because the cover of the first edition is pretty naff. Great rules and ones which I much prefer to the later second edition. probably the only set of figure gaming rules I'm happy to use without some sort of grid. Also, a top choice as the basis for a future WW2 set.

4. Volley Fire: Nick Bouette

An unusual basic set of rules using card activation and a small 6 by 6 grid.

As you can tell, these are getting a bit knackered. I get these out very now and again for inspiration.

5. If I had got Blucher this would be number five but I haven't so it is probably PBI second edition by RFCM: You never know, this might arrive for Father's Day (hint). Otherwise, its the second PBI which I still think is probably one of the best small unit WW2 games going. Playing it reminds me of reading 18 Platoon by Sidney Jary.

That leaves a lot out including Bruce Rea-Taylor's OMG game, Rapid Fire, Clive Lane's hex grid rules (still in the garage) and many others.

In case you were wondering, I'm still working on the Neuve Chapelle game which is coming on quite nicely, hence limited recent blogging.