Advisory Note

Please Note: This blog contains poorly painted toy soldiers that may offend those of an aesthetically sensitive disposition.

Saturday, 2 March 2019


Due to domestic and work pressures I haven't managed to post much recently. There has however been a little hobby activity which I thought I'd share with anyone who was passing.

1. Skirmish Games

I have written, though not yet posted, an update to Heroic Encounters. This has benefitted greatly by some ideas sent to me by Arthur Harman (thanks Arthur). Hope to get this posted soon(ish). The play test games were influenced by the many posts I've seen on other peoples' blogs that feature "Hunting" games using the Paleo Diet game. I do have a few cavemen and dinosaurs somewhere, however I tried a game with some Minifigs Gnomes hunting old Britains' animals.

Chief Thistledown and members of Gnomeland Security 

Staring down a Boar
Exit pursued by a Bear
Having a butterfly mind I have also been working on another set of skirmish rules, a gridded version of Eric Knowles' "Quest of Thane Tostig". This venerable ruleset from the mid-1970s was accompanied by figures sculpted by Barry Minot ; though I remember seeing them at the time I never bought any, though I did have some of Minot's Olympians range. 

2. Reading material

With regard to Eric Knowles, I have just (today) received a copy of The Madashatta Campaign (compiled and edited by Bob Cordery) which looks like a great read, and have been reading Charge! by Brig. P. Young and Lt. Col. J.P. Lawford, which has been reprinted by The History of Wargaming Project.

3. RPGs

Being short of time for tabletop gaming I'm probably going to be doing some more solo RPGing using the Four Against Darkness (4AD) rules by Ganesha Games. To that end I have invested a whole $3.00 (US) and purchased The Crucible of Classic Critters, the 4AD expansion that features woodland encounters.

4. One Hour Wargames Mini Campaign

Last weekend I managed to squeeze in a few OHW scenarios (using a gridded version of Neil Thomas's rules), featuring Horse & Musket 2mm units; these were put together to form a mini campaign. I may post these later though I wasn't too enthused by the action so may consign them to the archives instead. Here's a couple of pics from three of the games that give an idea of play:

  Happy gaming everyone.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Hertfordshire Jones and the Kidnapped Antiquarian


Count Sokolov, the White Russian Counter-Revolutionary Spy-Master and all-round cad, has kidnapped Professor Augustus Cartwright and his daughter Flora. The Count has been using threats of menaces against Miss Cartwright to cajole the Professor, an expert in Near Eastern and Central Asian Antiquaries, into helping him search for treasure. Meanwhile, The Royal Society for the Protection of Ancient Artefacts has asked Harry "Hertfordshire" Jones to rescue the Prof and his daughter post-haste, as Cartwright has some overdue post-excavation reports to write. Jones quickly assembles a team including Anthony "Boggles" Bogglesworth (ex Royal Flying Corps), Cyril "Mad" Carew (ex British Army in India) and Patrick "Left-Ear" O'Toole (almost deaf munitions expert).

Professor Augustus and Miss Flora Cartwright


The Captives are being held in a mud-brick building with two guards; the Count and the majority of his men are away doing something dastardly and will not appear until turn 4 of 12. Whichever side has control of the captives at turn 12 wins.

The building with guards (and goats)

Jones, Boggles, Mad Carew & Left-Ear, and 2 stout chaps disembark
3 more of Jones's men approach from the left

Boggles and Carew rush for the building whilst the rest distract the guards with gun fire

The Count and his men arrive back
The Cowboys take control of the left of the building and the vehicle is brought up

The Count's men rush forward

Boggles, Left-Ear and Jones cover the Captives as they flee the building

Boggles in hand-to-hand combat with the Count (Sword against Cigar)

One of the chaps is shot in the back whilst running for the vehicle

Jones leaps from the Model T and wings the Count with a lucky shot

Count Sokolov is once again left cursing on the last turn of the game

Sunday, 28 October 2018

After the Battle - A Skirmish

Recently I acquired a 2nd hand copy of Napoleonic Wargaming for Fun by Paddy Griffith (1980). Chapter 2 of this excellent book features rules for a skirmish game. It's a little bit more complicated than I would like and would ideally have two players making simultaneous moves, so, naturally, I simplified it a little and made it a grid game. I think it still retains the general feel of the original and will add the rules to my In-House Rules section in the side-bar in the near future. This game requires quite a lot of record keeping which I undertook using tiny dice and counters (see below).

The following skirmish takes place, as the title suggests, after a large battle has been resolved. Some soldiers from a battalion of the victorious Army Blue are out foraging when they come across some stragglers of the defeated Army Brown who are looking for somewhere to shelter.
Blue's troops approach the ruined farm 

The two sides spot each other and open fire (the dice indicate hits)

A general scramble for cover ensues (the white counters indicate who has fired)

The fire fight continues (blue counters indicate who is pinned)

Close combat - the blue soldier is at max. hits and pinned!

Left the Blue soldier goes down spraying flock - Right sharp shooting takes its toll

A superb (lucky?) shot takes out the man behind the hedge

The Brown Captain takes cover inside the farmhouse to reload his pistol

The surviving Brown soldiers are losing heart but fight on (much ramming home of cartridges)

Hand to hand combat and appallingly bad shooting in and out of the building continues

The 2 remaining men of Army Brown admit defeat and surrender

Saturday, 25 August 2018

A Last Stand


Today I unexpectedly found time for a game so went with a Portable Wargame based on Scenario 17 of Scenarios for All Ages by Grant & Asquith.


The Albionian colony of Uqbal has been increasingly suffering attacks by indigenous hill tribes. Suspecting involvement by a foreign power, a spy is put ashore from His Majesty's Gun Boat, Kobayashi Maru, and sent deep into the hill territories to find proof. The Spy has sent a communication by carrier pigeon that he has succeeded in his task but is trapped. Captain Pine is determined to get the evidence back to the War Ministry and leads a force in land. They reach the Spy's last location, a ruined compound, but find that he has been killed and that the relief force is itself now surrounded by a larger enemy force. "It's a trap", says the Captain, mixing his Sci-Fi metaphors. As dawn beaks the enemy are poised to attack...

The gunboat Kobayashi Maru (image from the internet)


Normal Portable Wargame rules apply, except I have excluded Exhaustion Point as both sides will fight to the end. At least one of the defenders must survive until turn 15 when he or they can escape under cover of darkness. The attackers must destroy all of the relief force to win.  The Albionian force consists of a company of Hibernians who, being tough elite veterans, have an SP of 5 and a company of sailors from the gunboat, who have an SP of 4. The Tribesmen are a mix of musket armed men and sword wielding men. They are led by a Swarzlandian Colonel accompanied by a unit of hussars.


The hill tribes start their attack on the compound

The Defenders

Battle commences at the walls

The exposed tribesmen take hits

The compound holds

The Hibernians are caught in a relentless crossfire

The enemy closes in on the defenders

The Swarzlandian Colonel watches as his men breach the walls

The Hibernians just before their last glorious bayonet charge

The Navy's last stand

Captain Pine's end

Swarzlandia's involvement in Uqbal remains a secret, but for how long?

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Portable Wargame Encounters

The following game used a simple set of skirmish rules (Heroic Encounters - see In-House Rules in the side-bar) that are based on Bob Cordery's popular Portable Wargame rules.

Treasure Hunt

A team of Treasure Hunters led by Harry "Hertfordshire" Jones is searching for an artefact of possible power, lost in distant Pesbekistan. They are pitted against a group of local tribesmen who have been recruited by a White Russian Agent-Provocateur, Count Sokolov, who are searching for the same thing for use in counter-revolutionary activities, or something...

The Treasure Hunters

The Count and his followers

The Artefact hidden in the undergrowth

Let the skirmish commence

The tribesmen look for cover

Hertfordshire Jones and his men rush across the open area

A tribesman cries out when he locates the artefact

He immediately comes under fire

The home made HIT DICE features the cunning use of an H on 2 sides of a d6 - clever stuff

Casualties on both sides

Tribesmen attempt to out-flank the Treasure Hunters

Fighting on all sides

50% casualties are reached for the Counts' side

Tribesmen begin to lose the will to fight...

they slip away on both flanks

"This belongs in a museum"

"Curse you Hertfordshire Jones! We'll meet again...grrr"