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Sunday 21 January 2024

Rules Rules and more bloody Rules.

 There are times when bits of this mostly fascinating hobby of ours bores me witless. The obsession with rules is one of my personal bugbears. Rule books become ever thicker and denser and often more expensive and equally often moving further and further from the historical prototype. I suspect that this is inevitable as each rule writer/ game designer has his own hobby horse to ride.

Could I really use these 40mm TYW with Renatio et Gloriam- somehow I doubt it .

This does not mean that new rules are all dross, but you do have to be more careful  these days than formerly when trying to pick the chocolate bar out of the cess pit.

Now one of the possible gems out there may well be the new Renatio et Gloriam set. Now I don't own these yet  but on the back of a few games of the ancient version -Mortam et Gloriam they do interest me. At least as much as any set of rules ever can. Being card driven they allow a bit of thought about how to play the hand you have been dealt and was it not Clauswitz or one of those 19th century thinking dudes who opined that war was more like a game of cards than of chess? So something a little more intriguing than the usual picture book with a few rules in I hope.

 The trouble is  when I get a copy I'll have to puzzle them out and not having a massive amount of time for such it may take me a while.

Moving swiftly on our groups next game will be a new period for us. I finally have enough Indian Mutiny stuff table ready. Not a huge amount but enough for a club game. So there is another problem- which rules?

The 'regular' part of the current Mutineers collection. I can add almost the same again in assorted 'irregulars' .

  I have several possibilities.

 1/. John Company- a phonebook thick American set of some age. I have tried to read these but gave up. Anyway my collection is not even remotely similar in basing.

2/. Black Powder- either version. Yes I could use these if I could actually read them. 2nd Edition is printed in brown on cream paper so is difficult to read in anything less than perfect light. There is some good stuff hidden in there but can I deal with the eyestrain?

3/. The Men Who Would be Kings.  Easy enough but small units and  some odd organisational quirks (no General Officers). Feels very dice heavy. Set unit sizes - which I have never been a fan of and rather a lot of 'abstracting out'. Tied to a silly points system which should not be hard to get round . Need a bit of setting up with unit stats and suchlike.  Artillery rules are not much use.

4/. Charge !  with  period amendments .  I know and like Charge- I use it for the 'Shinyloo' games and it has hidden depths not apparent in simple reading. Unlike more modern rules you can actually read the book. Playing  does not bore the arse off you  but I'm not sure I can make them fit the period. Hmmm.

5/. The Sword and the Flame. Pretty simple but possibly a bit long winded with card driven movement. Not sure they really fit the Mutiny but are rather for later 19th century.

So a bit of a quandary which I have to solve before next Saturday.  

Tuesday 19 December 2023

Here we go again another Crimbo......

 Well it is THAT time of year yet again- does not seem that long since the last one  really. Yes it is  Christmas. A time for overindulgence and frivolity. Well  for some anyway . I get the impression that plenty will have a pretty thin time this year. The exception as always being our 'glorious government' and its odious cronies.

 A Christmas booze-up in 1461 gets out of hand !
 Actually a picture of some of my 40mm Wars of the Roses collection. This pic is of some age - it once appeared as a front cover for Miniature Wargames magazine. 

Speaking for myself  I rarely push the boat out simply because Carole and I want a few days off to recharge after 50 weeks of work. Perhaps the odd glass or two a mince pie perhaps, but no bloody turkey - I hate the stuff.

I shall not be completely idle as I am now working on another book  and as always I have plenty of soldiers to paint. Currently th painting desk has a few additions to 'shinyloo', some Pathan tribesmen and a couple of  Landrovers on it to add to various ongoing projects, so we shall see what we actually get done over the holidays.

So Gentle Readers as the Festive Season approaches Carole and I wish you all good cheer. Merry Christmas to one and all and here's hoping for a brighter and better NEW YEAR. .

Andy and Carole. 

Thursday 7 December 2023

Last Posting Date Before Christmas.

 OLD GLORY UK's last posting date before Christmas will be WEDNESDAY December 20th.

 This of course does not mean that orders received on the 20th will automatically go out on the same day. Orders have to be pulled, processed and packed, so it will depend how much of a queue there is.

All of our deliveries go  via Royal Mail or Parcelforce through our local Post Office. (Well done that Postmistress and here excellent crew). Items are sent First Class with tracking and signature where appropriate.

Normal service will resume in the NEW Year on or about January 4th 2024.

Orders will be taken over the holiday period- the website will be active- but no posting will take place until  early January as nothing really can go anywhere until the holidays are over. 

Carole and I are having a few days off during which  we won't have to think about metal men or sticky tape!

Monday 4 December 2023

A Game of Soldiers !

 November 25th saw four members of the Tantobie Warfare And Tactical Society attend Battleground  in Stockton with an Anglo Sikh Wars demo game.

General view of the 8 feet by 6 feet playing area. Sikh forces on the left. guns closest to the camera.

 Now James 'not-very' Cleverly notwithstanding we found the venue very good and a good day was had by all. I was going to do a battle report of  our game  but such was the interest from the ' customers' or attendees of the show that we only played out 5 moves all day in between  discussions on the period and model availability- even signing a few copies of the new  guide to wargaming the period of which Gentle readers of this blog will doubtless have hear. Especially as I have been banging on about it for the past few months ! 

I did mange to take a few pictures of the game which will give a flavour of what happened. Also bear in mind the the IIC(thats Idiot in Charge)- forgot the box containing most of the British cavalry.. Even without these 30  missing models the British disposed of 7 infantry battalions and 3 guns. The Sikh had 5 guns- all heavier than anything the British had 5 regular battalions. One of Nujibs and a bundle of irregular infantry- including a unit of Akalis who, in the event, never got into the action. The Sikh cavalry consisted of around 40 assorted Ghoracharra and a single unit of regular dragoons

  The game opened with the 4 gun Sikh battery on their extreme right   blowing big holes in the Bengal Native infantry unit opposite them. As usual the Sikh guns were the mainstay of their forces. The casualties caused on that particular brigade caused it to veer off to their right to avoid more carnage. One of the battalions even retiring in some disorder after getting a particularly severe spanking from those terrible guns.

The Sikh guns which caused all the trouble to the British left. 

 Over on the other British flank Sikh irregulars advanced into the scrub- jungle but didn't much like the British artillery once it found them as a couple of rounds and off went the surviving irregulars

 Rules were modified 'Warfare in the Age of Reason' and while they do work there were a few points I was less than happy with so I  next time I shall try  General De Brigade- again with the amendments that are in the aforementioned book. If I can ever puzzle them out I will also try Black Powder 2nd Ed. but since I lose the will to live reading them this may take some time. No I don't have either the time or inclination to watch some U-tube vids on 'How to' either. On the whole I'd rather watch paint dry- it's quicker..

The British left and centre before the carnage.

 Waspish jests apart  the real reason is simply because I don't play enough games in any single period to become a  single set rules slave.  I can't honestly say that ANY set of rules in over 50 years of wargaming has ever had that effect on me. Mind you plenty of sets have had the opposite effect, a sort of ' Oh no here we go again more turgid twaddle'. Though in truth most are in the middle ground - 'Well they might be useful...... possibly .... one day. 

The Sikh  regulars begin a cautious advance. 

The British await the assault. In the event it never happened. 
Sikh  Cavalry and skirmishers hovering around a selection of 'jungly bits' 

The British right. A squadron of Bengal Irregular Cavalry on the extreme right.

They did manage to turn up! 

As for the show it was a good day out well run and pretty well attended. and  the group and I will be going back. 

Friday 17 November 2023

Khalsa ! A Guide to Wargaming the Anglo Sikh Wars.

It's Out!  

So here is my second book and my first in the Helion Wargames series.

It was  both fun and challenging to write. To be honest I found the 'wargaming' bits sometimes more of a challenge then the 'history' bits but it all seems to have come out right in the end.. I have not yet seen a print copy  but the final proof looked pretty dammed good in my very biased opinion.
 Interested chaps can  buy a copy here. 

on the Helion website at an introductory offer price.
 Also Helion will be at Battleground Wargames show in Stockton - on- Tees on Saturday 25th November - as indeed will I .
 My gaming group and I will be running a Sikh Wars game in 28mm based around one of the scenarios in the book.
 See your there perhaps. ?

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Corvus Miniatures - A Brief and possibly inaccurate history.

 Corvus Miniatures were a British wargames figure company that flourished  briefly in the 1980s before disappearing without trace sometime after 1987 .

 They produced a quite extensive range of 25mm figures that today would be called 28mm being around the same size as Foundry.

 The began production in 1983 but the first advert I can find from them is in Miniature Wargames no 12 

 Corvus advert from no 12 of MW showing 'New Releases'.

The company steadily added new items to its listings.  Including a Dark Ages range - which I had completely forgotten about - even though I'm sure I had some of the Normans and maybe some ofthe Welsh.

Another advert- this one from MW13

For me the best of their ranges was the ECW- much of it based on the the then very new Haythornthwaite book published I think by Blandford, which I may still have somewhere. The range would in time become quite extensive. 

The advert in MW14 announcing the ECW range. 

The next advert in MW15 shows more releases in different periods The company certainly had some ambition. My own view was that I almost always liked the figures I bought from them and found them of pretty high quality and detail.

Another ad from MW15 though they missed off the company name ! 

 Though as others noted the horses tended to be on the small side. 
MW18 had almost a page and a half of figure reviews from Corvus- these are the days before the internet- we used to actually read stuff back then! 

The 2 pages of the review. I note that while Corvus has sunk without trace Trev Dixon is still  going strong ! 

This review - also from MW this time no 21 gives a look at the models themselves. I  have a couple of the officer with half pike and 10 of the loading musketeer. plus a few Pikemen - all picked up a couple of years ago second hand. 

Some of the Corvus Normans. 

Another review  this time from MW27  August 1985- a bundle of ECW personalities- which I never got around to buying. 

 December 1985 issue of MW has an advert for the 1986 'Corvus Miniatures  World Team Championships run by the Derby Wargames Associates- with whom I and Old Glory UK would be happily involved sponsoring the World Team Championships  during the mid 1990s and on past the millennium

 Corvus' next advert in MW  that I have been able to find is May 1986 and the company has moved to a new address but is still making new ranges.

 The final mention of the company that I have so far found is from later in 1986 and shows their Franco- Prussian War range. This is a photo- review though the quality is no wonderful 

Corvus Franco- Prussian War.  I seem to recall seeing some of these at a Durham Wargames Group meeting. I was a member back then! 

The above is the last mention I have so far found. It might be telling that the address given in the review is for a shop 'The Parade Ground' in Sussex. I have a dim recollection that Corvus may have become 'Sussex Miniatures' but have not so far found any documentary evidence to support this.. The above review appears in MW39 August 1986 . I have found no more mentions of the company in MW though I do have some early issues of WI to check through. and have so far found that Corvus seem to have been taken over by 
 The Parade Gound, WI no1 has an advert for the Osprey World Championships 1987 which had 'The Parade Ground (Including Corvus and Tin Soldier) listed as attending the show.  More info if and when I discover any. 

November 8th 2023.
 An addendum.
 In  WI no 2  October 1987. an advert for Sussex miniatures appears 'formerly the Parade Ground'   stating that they now manufacture the Corvus range under the trade name of Sussex Miniatures.  Now all I have to do is find what happened to Sussex Miniatures. The same Company also manufactured the Tin Soldier range so I wonder how long that connection lasted and if the current 'Tin Solder' range are the same. 

Tuesday 17 October 2023

Khalsa- a Guide to Wargaming the Anglo- Sikh Wars.

 Well here is the cover of our - that is mine and Jim's -  book on wargaming the Sikh Wars due out next month. 

So here Gentle readers is some actual evidence ! 

On the Helion Website here