Advisory Note

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

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Colonial Skirmish

Some 70 years before the Action at Twin Farms, the Colonial Army of Albiona is fighting an insurrection. Captain Carruthers leads a force of infantry to investigate a farm that is rumoured to be the meeting place of local rebels...

A Farmer contemplates building a second farmhouse...

"I remember this when it was all just open MDF.."

Martini Henry rifles open the skirmish

The Left flank

Casualties mount as the enemy advance

The enemy scale the wall and begin to cut down the infantry

Things are not going well on the left flank either

Disaster! The Captain is slain

The last man standing on the Albionan side..

Saturday, 4 November 2017

The Second Action at Twin Farms


As in the original Action at Twin Farms (Battle Part XVI, Meccano Magazine August 1969 by Charles Grant), the attacking force had failed to capture their objective (see previous post).
Having reinforced, the Commander of the Northern force (I've decided to call them the Uqbal Liberation Army), returned a few days later for another attempt.

In this second game I equipped the ULA with a tank but took away their machine gun (hey, they've got a tank!). The ULA (Army Tan) therefore have 5 Infantry units, a Commander and a Tank.
Assuming the tank was going to be a hard nut to crack I replaced one of the PDF's Infantry units with another Recoilless Rifle, so the PDF (Army Green) have 4 Infantry Units, a Commander and 2 Recoilless Rifle units.
The situation remains the same apart from the PDF have utilized the wrecked vehicle as additional cover.



Opening gambit
The ULA Commander, full of confidence due to the presence of his armoured support, threw most of his infantry in a mad rush at South Farm while his tank would remove the opposition from North Farm.
Defenders of North Farm
South Farm defence
Here we go!
Unfortunately, despite having Turn 1 initiative, the tank missed its first shot...
Things then got much worse as both Recoilless Rifles hit their target

A Double Whammy (according to the tabloid press)
Why did I give them 2 of those things? Oh, yes the ULA have a tank...

South Farm turn 3
On the left flank things seemed to be going better and hand-to-hand combat was initiated as the ULA attempted to storm the farmyard.
The right flank however can only be described as pear-shaped.
ULA tank - about as effective as cotton wool smoke
Turn 6 South Farm
Heavy fighting on the left saw one of the PDF Infantry units wiped out but a reserve unit moved up from behind the farm and engaged the ULA before they could take advantage of their success.
Turn 6 North Farm

Over on the right, the PDF broke from cover and moved to attack the ULA

Turn 8
Somehow by the end of Turn 8 the attackers had become the defenders!
It could have still worked out, the Strength Points were still in the balance, a few lucky dice rolls... then this happened
The ULA Commander falls!
Oh the humanity! With the loss of the Commander's 6 SPs the ULA went straight into Strength Point Debt (EP Exhaustion Point is set at 33% hits remember) and could only defend their current position, once again failing to take Twin Farms.
To be fair they defended gallantly reducing the PDF to EP by Turn 11 and thus ending the game.
End of Turn 11
I rather enjoyed that! It seems like a few more "Modern" games might be required. Thanks for dropping by.

Friday, 3 November 2017

PWG Action at Twin Farms


Some fantastic recent posts by the Archduke Piccolo and Ross Mac inspired me to have a go at a Portable Wargame in the "Modern" period. I have some pdfs of Charles Grants' articles in Meccano Magazine (1969-70) and chose the Action at Twin Farms as a scenario as it only involved infantry so should be easy for me to get a grip of the rules with (I haven't played a Modern game for many years).
I have one of these half-tracks somewhere...
Charles Grant had a beautiful style of writing; here is his dry description of one side in his conflict

In other words, Airfix WW2 Germans

Whilst I'm rambling on about inspiration, Mark the Man of Tin is doing great things with ultra cheap plastic figures on his blog so I thought I'd pay tribute to this by using some of my son's old toys. I have set this game in the Colony of my 19th Century Imagi-Nation that is referenced here - It is the early 1950s and The Kingdom of Albiona has granted independence to its former colony (Albionan Uqbal). The democratically elected government is headed by the DPFU (Democratic Party of Free Uqbal). Almost immediately fighting breaks out between ethnic factions from the North and South of the country. The Albionan Army still controls the Capital but fighting breaks out across the rest of the former colony...

Game Mechanics

For this game I have used the rules in Bob Cordery's first Portable Wargame book (ie without Pinning and unpinning) to keep things simple - I still managed to forget the 3 dice rule for machine guns, so have since written myself a crib sheet in Large Friendly Letters for the hard of thinking.


I'm going to start this with a quote from Charlie Wesencraft; "I had learnt my first lesson in warfare: men under cover are more difficult to hit than men in the open" (Practical Wargaming 1974).
A small force from the People's Democratic Front (PDF) from the South of the country have crossed into the North's territory and occupy a position at Twin Farms to use as a base for reconnaissance. A patrol from the Northern army arrives and is ambushed.

Twin Farms setting - RH Farm is already burnt out
PDF troops in position - Commander embedded with recoilless rifle unit
First vehicle to arrive is knocked out and its occupants take a hit
I treated the recoilless rifle like artillery and decided that a hit on a soft vehicle was going to be enough to disable it - unluckily for the Northerners, the first shot of the game brought their motorised advance to a halt. Not knowing what they were facing the entire force disembarked and advanced on foot...

Turn 2
Machine gun behind cover but out of range
Turn 3
Turn 3 - Advancing through the open to get in range

Turn 5 - all the attacking troops are forced into the open to get in range
Fierce fighting continues
The machine gun (hampered by my forgetfulness) finally starts to do some damage
Turn 10 The Attackers have reached Exhaustion Point 
I used a roster to record SPs lost so you can't really tell from the pictures how many casualties each unit had taken; suffice it to say, by Turn 10 the Northern troops had suffered too many losses, reached Exhaustion Point (set at 33% hits) and withdrew to go and look for a tank.
I will have to play more games with the first set of rules before I start introducing pinning etc.
The PDF Commander celebrates

Firing Line in the open


Sunday, 29 October 2017

Fish Stew - An All Hallows Special (not for the faint hearted)

Game Design

This game featured the rules written and used by Sprinks over at the Wronghammer blog (that's a link I hope, though my HTML is not what it was...). I tinkered slightly with the rules, "Blood, Guts and Severed Heads" to allow for one-on-one skirmish fighting, so it's now BGSH Lite. In the spirit of the Sprinks System, figures were left unpainted.


Old Sir Bernard had retired from the Baronning business, moved to the coast and bought himself a nice little Manor he named Dun Slaughterin. He'd hung up his sword, thrown his armour in the shed and was looking forward to spending some quality time with Lady Bernard, sitting by the fire with his feet up on a serf, or some such. Then the messenger arrived.
"The King demands that all knights, old or young, must march North to The Death Lands with as many fighting men as possible, and join him in a mighty final battle against The Evil Personage and his monstrous army of... monsters. Oh, and as you live by the Sea he also demands that you bring a large cauldron of that fabulous fish stew they do around here. Farewell!"
Sir Bernard sighed and went to look for his horse...


Sir Bernard and the Good Men must get the Fish Stew across the board. The Ambushing Goblins and the Troll must stop them. The Troll is hungry (of course) and wants the stew. The Goblins just want to kill as many men as possible. All normal Fantasy fare.

The Game

Overview of the board - What no grid?
Sir Bernard sends archers out to cover their advance through the Bad Lands. A measuring devise is used!
The precious cargo

The Ambush is sprung - Circle the Wagon!

First blood - A well aimed shot takes down a Goblin


Blood, guts and severed heads indeed

The body count rises
The troll slinks away and it's defeat for the baddies

Sir Bernard has lost most of his men but saved the Royal Gumbo - hurrah!


A fun game with plenty of carnage and no serious consulting 200 page rulebooks or very expensive expansions, so therefore a success. Once again my troll was completely ineffective - another game like that and they'll be playing for the reserves.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Nano Campaign - Two Tribes Part 5 (The End)


So we come to the final battle in this little campaign (collective sigh of relief).
The remnants of the Lunares' army (Blue) led by their Chief Vindicatus, hurry to the nearest fording point on the Great River after their failure to destroy a third Solarii (Army Red) village. Having rested in the hills overnight they arrive at the ford at dawn only to find the army of Chief Divios, who have marched through the night, have arrived already.
Rules, as before, are Bob Cordery's The Portable Wargame, using variations shown in Part 1. Objectives; Blue must get 50% of his army across the ford in 15 turns. Red needs to stop this happening. If Blue reaches Exhaustion Point before thet get 50% across they can still keeping moving towards the ford but can only defend and not attack Red units.

Game 5 - Taken at the Flood

The Solarii had a slight numerical advantage but were fatigued after their long march so things were pretty evenly matched as the two armies lined up.

Starting Position (the ford is slightly closer to Red)

Both sides rush forward to get command of the river crossing (end Turn 1)

Heavy fighting by the ford and on the hill (end Turn 3)
Blue moves more men onto the hill. Both sides have taken casualties (end Turn 5)
Blue is pushed back from the ford but Red is losing men fast (end Turn 7)
Blue throws more troops at Chief Divios' Warband (centre) (end Turn 8)

Chief Divios of the Solarii falls! Army Red reach Exhaustion Point. (end Turn 9)
The Lunares begin to cross the ford unopposed as Red can no longer take action to stop them

Blue's last unit fighting is able to disengage (losing 1 SP) and head for the river (end turn 11)
The Lunares' were just able to get more than 50% of their force across the ford after 15 turns and so won the day. Overall they failed to destroy 3 villages but with the death of their Chief the Solarii were not going to look for revenge (not for a while anyway).

Although the 2mm units are not attractive, they  are truly portable and quick to set-up and work well with fast play rules.

My Portable Wargame (with Bic pen for scale  - other ballpoints are available)