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Tuesday 30 May 2017

Contingent upon being finished in time

My next gig so to speak is the Durham show on June 10th. Now Old Glory UK don't trade there as there simply isn't any space and frankly the show - whilst very enjoyable is just too small. So as we have done for the past several years we- that is the Tantobie Warfare and Tactical Society- will be running a demo game.
 Unlike many other demo crews around the country we will be running a different game from last year. if you recall last year Jim the Builder ran a 10mm Seven years War battle with over 2000 little 10mm dudes on the table.
 Indeed as I try to recall the games we have run at this show in the past I get quite a list of different periods and sixes.
 Off the top of my head I recall
 40mm American Civil War-possibly twice 2 different games including one where I deliberately changed the rules every few moves and made the players change sides.
28mm English Civil War
10mm Seven Years War- twice 2 different games
1/600th Russo- Japanese War naval.
28mm War of Austrian Succession.
15mm Modern- "not the Gulf War at all".
 and this year
40mm Wars of the Roses
Many but possibly not all of the games are recorded somewhere on this blog - which is now longer than Ben Hur and War and Peace put together- now THAT is a truly scary thought!
The Earl of Oxford's standard and badge banner.

Not bad for a group that currently only has half-a dozen members and has never reached double figures-well not for very long . If pressed we could probably add 15mm WW2- in at least 2 different theatres and maybe 20mm Cold War goes hot and 15mm Ancients- though this last might take more work just sorting out how many Greeks Shaun and Jim have between them!
 Now no mention is made of rules or "games" here as we would tend to tailor the rules we used to the period and scenario- especially if we are doing a public demo. At least one of the crew would be a dedicated talking head- usually me but all of the crew are capable of, and will talk to interested parties - unlike so many demos I see at shows where you are often ignored and- extremely -shouldered out of the way (that would be a pillock in a flying helmet at Derby a year or so back- tosser... I let him live.)
The Liveried contingent of the Earl of Oxford.

Equally there will always be someone at the table unlike more than one game I saw at Partizan last weekend, though to be fair most of the games were manned all the time and of course, being Partixan I saw none of those "introverts R us " board/card/boutique/skirmish/usually sci-fant games that are sometimes a feature of smaller show(not so far at Durham though) seemingly put on by clubs who just want to play the same game in a different room from their usual club night. Not really appropriate for a show that punters- however few or many- pay to get into. If that kind of crap gets to be the majority game type at shows, then goodbye shows. I don't care if they are "fun to play" ,  A bunch of mumbling unwashed around a 2 foot square board littered with cards is hardly impressive or inspiring and maybe a little hard on the olfactory organs as at York. So we don't do that because it is self centred and pathetic  and if that is being judgemental then I am JUDGE DREDD! .
(I was going to say Judge Jeffries but you have to have read a book or two to know who he was)

Oxford and Northumberland with artillery support

 Nevertheless I am quite proud of our little group and what we can do with just a little effort. So as always I am quite looking forward to the Durham show.
 As for the game my personal target was 120 finished singly  based 40mm figures plus a couple of guns. I have exceeded that by a little with a fortnight to go and some blokes still on the painting table. Jim the Builder will add around 30-40 more figures. Rules will be deliberately simple - but hopefully not simplistic and the table action should actually resemble a 15th century encounter. (so not rampant then) Basically the rules will be an altered version of Tony Clipsom's set Foray but with Imperial measurement instead of metric- somehow it does not seem right for medieval England to be in Millimetres !
Now as inn previous years you can order stuff for me to bring to the show- pay on the day or previously  your choice- though I won't have card facilities on the day as I'm not trading.
 Contact me on

See you at the show.

Wednesday 17 May 2017

The Next few weeks ......

After a pretty successful Carronade in Falkirk last weekend (I do like that show) you might think I'd be due a bit of time off. No chance We are at Partizan in Newark- that's Notts in the UK  in case Transatlantic readers were wondering if they had missed something in New Jersey !
After that, a bare 2 weeks later comes the Durham Wargames Group Open Day on June 10th.
 I'm not really trading there -though anyone who wants stuff bringing can email me on - save yourself a bit of postage and possibly take advantage of the "6 for5" deal.
Troops from the retinue of John Mowbray Duke of Norfolk. Mostly a Yorkist.

 The main thrust of the day for me will however, be the 40mm Wars of the Roses game Jim the Builder and I are putting together  It will be in the smaller of the 2 min rooms at the show and is growing nicely. The photos show the latest figures I've painted and Jim reckons to have around 40 figures finished by the time of the show which should bring the forces (they are not large enough to be "armies")  to a little under a hundred a side ... maybe.
A couple of individual armigerious gentlemen wearing their coats of arms. Just because I fancied painting them.

Of course one of the madder asides with the Wars of the Roses in that splendid baordgame Kingmaker which manages to capture the feel of the period without being too pedantic. It is the only boardgame I own and is a speldid basis for a campaign. However you can bet that during a wargame of the WOTR someone will begin to utter phrases such as "Mowbray to Framlingham" or Percy to Alnwick" in the same way that some chaps utter lines from Zulu during a Zulu war game.... sad isn't it?

So the plan is for a colourful game at the show- come along it is a small show but worth a look. Details in the picture above.

Why waste time and money on this dross?

Now on to an entirely different matter. I have read the various reviews of the Perry's Travel Battle on TMP and on a couple of the blogs I follow and I still can't see the point other than to make God's Anointed Perry's  some more shekels.  The whole thing is so insipid and brain free. It might be great if you are eight- I recall having a game  called Battle of the Little Big Horn or something that was on a squared board with roughly 40mm plastic US cavalry and Indians. As I recall the figures were even coloured in so already it looked better than this latest effort. I doubt the box it came in was much bigger either but I might be wrong there. The Perry thing look a dammed sight more unattractive with it little Monopoly houses and 2 legged horses.  If you want easy to move about and ready to play there are shedloads of more attractive boardgames out there- and I speak as a non- boardgamer, I've seen interesting looking games with very very pretty counters and maps that beat the shyte out of a couple of gridded plastic squares with a few monopoly houses on - sometimes for  far less money and with more options too.
 If you like  model soldiers in your wargames then TB is pretty much the antithesis of what you are about. for rules dudes the rules seem simplistic to the point of childishness- again great if your are eight(or perhaps if you are 38 and missing being 8) but not really for grown ups.
All this nonsense about  being able to travel with it- see the raised eyebrows of those pert and efficient   girls behind reception in hotels I use as you grasp your Travel Battle box with your luggage (Too mean to watch the porn channel like everyone else is what she is thinking !!!!)  Nah leave me with some shreds of credibility......

But joking apart I really can't see the point. There are far better ways of  having a travelling wargame-though why you need to I still can't fathom-  than this collection of plastikrap.. I wonder which bunch of fanboys will be the first to try to pass it off as a demo at a show- that will be yet another nadir

Friday 12 May 2017

Drabant Does It Again.

I've just had some more news from  those fine chaps in Russia, Drabant miniatures.  My next shipment will include some new releases.
 The  E range- Nomadic Horse People will have Pechengs added
The Pechengs 

 Tallifer will be added to the Normans

Tallifer- another Norman personality.

and a new pack of Saxons will replace the old A2801 pack with some really smart active figures.
 Anyhow judge for yourselves as here are the pictures.
The new Saxons

As you can see they are well up to the Drabant standard.
 The new Saxons will mix with A2807 the shieldwall to make a pretty impressive unit . I may be even tempted back into the Dark Ages myself.
 I'm actually tempted to  sell my 40mm Viking and Normans and replace them with these fantastic models or maybe I'll just add some to the collection

Monday 8 May 2017

Villainous Saltpetre

So the 40mm Wars of the Roses project marches on.  Figures are actually coming off the painting table at a pace slightly faster than glacial. Not only that but a second "comedy bombard"  and crew are now finished so there will be one for each side and perhaps, if time permits, more than one as I have parts for 2 more including a double barrelled "cart of war" which should be amusing ...assuming I get it finished.

The first "comedy bombard"  made from an Old Glory OXTG1  Super-heavy gun- with scratch built  carriage and mantlet.

 2 of the guns are identical- being the Hincliffe 25mm  Landsknecht Siege gun- in the foremost range. Now frankly nice model though it is it is not what it says on the tin- being on a 15th century "burgundian" type carriage which had largely been superseded  by guns with trunnions by the 1520's  or so . Nevertheless it makes a cracking 15th century "medium" gun for 40mm,
 The crew- like the Bombard are all minor conversions from  my 40mm Wars of the Roses range- the ex- Brooks Miniatures range which I now own and have added to. There are now roughly 30 different figures in the range.

The other completed gun. That Hinchliffe piece looks just right for 40mm
Now if I'd been a boring "samey-gamey" type I could have done Wars of the Roses in 25/28mm just the same old same old, after all it is easy there are plenty of good ranges about including the Old
Glory one and I used to have some 15mm Essex WOTR  but then doing things the expected way has never had any appeal for me - at least not since I packed in competitive gaming in the early 80s.
 No the point here is to present something a little differently. After all boredom is an ever present threat when all you do is play  pillock Rampant or whatever skirmish game is flavour ofthe week this week.

Wednesday 3 May 2017

More Roses- More Thorns.

Since the last post in the "Battles" department I've been  bashing out more 40mm Wars of the Roses gear and will be doing so for at least another month.
 So it seemed appropriate that our April game should be another go at this period to get our heads round it for the Durham Show at the beginning of June.
 Thus it was that 4 T.W.A.T.S. gathered at our usual pub  for the game last Saturday..
 We toyed with the idea of Lion Rampant- but you know my views on that and after looking through the book Andrew the Tekkiie joined in my disdain as did Shaun and Jeff - the others present.
 So it was back to Tony Clipsom's set Foray which we had used last time and quite liked- though it had the odd problem- this time we'd test a little more deeply.
I thought I'd do an atmospheric black and white shot of the table laid out before the action began. Very featherstone . Actually the only shaft of sunlight that day caught me at the wrong moment. Yorkists at the far end. 

So , after a bit of dice rolling Floating Jeff and Mechanical Shaun took the Yorkist forces and decided to defend. They were outnumbered but did have the advantage of villainous saltpetre in the form of my almost scratch built  comedy bombard and converted crew. Andrew the Tekkie took the more numerous  Lancastrians.
 He had to attack  over the town ditch which would impede progress and was declared to be "verie muche filled with  the noisome shytte and rubbishe of ye towne" . Or he could take the bridge and keep out of the poo!.
 Longbowmen immediately searched for targets- at a range of a meter in these rules and arrows flew tick and fast.
The Yorkist position showing the come dy bombard and rubber rivers that don't lie down! 

 The "comedy Bombard" ended up being pretty effective - despite all the obstacles I could put in its way. Shaun deftly avoided throwing any doubles so did not explode and managed to actually fire two rather effective shots removing a total of 4 casualties from the Earl of Oxfords retinue which halted their advance for some time. In the Lancastrian centre Lord Clifford company continued its advance and on the left The earl of Northumberland showered Warwick with arrows and caused him to retire into the town- the way was clear to cross. Would Northumerland's men deliberately put feet into the  unwholesome semi- solids of the town ditch?
Yorkist archers on the brigde- not getting their boots covered in poo!
Warwick's company on the far side.

 As it happened they never got the chance Warwick rallied his men with much shouting began to return to the ditch. However that was not the worst for the House of Lancaster. Clifford's company in the centre came under fire again and this time it was too much after a truly bum die roll-  yes a 1- they broke and with his centre gone Andrew conceded.
Warwick.s men rallying in the town.

Archery  became the dominant feature of the game very quickly. Longbows are deadly . Too deadly we felt, so after a bit of discussion we changed firing from D6 base to D10 and Longbows immediately became useless ! . On a D6 base shooting was, or at least seemed, for more effective than in the previous game- even at long range with only a 6 needed for a hit- and plate armoured men needing 2 hits.
 After more discussion we decided to put armour based saving throws into the next game- though not for hits caused by gunpowder weapons. Ranges seem about right though somehow the metric distances don't "feel" right. This is daft I know but a medieval game should have medieval measurement so I'm going to convert the rules to inches. I'll also make a few other modifications but I don't want to change the basic simplicity of the system.. In many ways I'd rather roll more D6 so it should average out rather than fewer but different dice at the behest  of a more complex set of mechanisms..
 Any how that is the theory.......
Clifford's company moves up with Northumberland in support.
The same place in the following turn - BUMMER shouts Andrew as Cliffords men break and  he has nothing left but empty space.

The next outing for these lads will be the Durham Wargames Group open day on June 10th. The game will be bigger with roughly half as many troops again as were on this table and also more villainous saltpetre- yes I have more  comedy bombards .
 Old Glory don't have a trade stand there but as always anybody who wants to avoid paying postage - and collect gear at the show should contact me  at
 Mind you I've gt 2 shows I'm trading at in the coming month Carronade -Falkirk on May 13th and Partizan on May 21st - so a crowded month with no time for any games .
C'est la guerre!