A few days before Christmas I was invited to speak on Sean Clark’s podcast Gods Own Scale, where I covered some thoughts and reflections from the year that just passed (link below the picture, if you want to check it out).
It is always great to catch-up with Sean and it is well worth checking up his back catalogue if you are not already familiar with it.
Anyway as a kind of complement I will do a quick overview of some of the things I did on the hobby front this year (mainly an organised listing of links to blogposts). As always in doing the review I realise that I have been doing far more than expected.
The sections are
More 3D printing
Commissioning some 6mm miniatures
Sweden 1943 Project 15mm
The Battle of Lund 1676 6mm and the 6mm Charity Project
Fantasy Ice Hockey 28mm
An Awarding Year – Caesar Award (Wargaming Blog 2021) and Best in Show at Salute (6mm Poltava 1709
More 3D printing
I continued some exploration of 3D printing and came to the conclusion after a lot of printing that I should stop just printing and just keep things back until I intended to paint stuff, avoiding creating yet another mountain – this time in resin instead of lead. On the whole I really enjoy using the printer and the result it produced – it has not really reduced the amount of stuff I buy but has given me some options for doing alternative stuff. Here are few of the stuff I did do.
More details on this here
Commissioning some 6mm miniatures
I also commissioned some 6mm miniatures to be used as commanders for my GNW 6mm stuff. I did 5 minutures in total, the one below shows Stenbeck at Helsingborg in 1710.
More about that here and the other miniatures that I commissioned.
Sweden 1943 Project 15mm
Further Progress was made on my Swedish 1943 Project and I added some more tanks and armoured cars (well trucks). I also did a high level army list for O Group, the new game from Too Fat Lardies.
More about this project here
The only big 6mm project I did start in the year was the Forces in Holstein 1700 as part of the start of the Great Northern War. This offers two very colourful opposing armies and the potential for a very interesting wargaming experience – in reality there were no big field battles, but this project offers some exploration of this.
I also bought some already painted 6mm ancients that I rebased and quickly got my 6mm Ancient Punic War collection substantially increased. I also did a summary blog on a lot of the #6mmtips I have shared on twitter over the last few years. More on these projects below.
The Battle of Lund 1676 6mm and the 6mm Charity Project
This year I took the Battle of Lund 1676 to the Virtual Joy of Six event, I ended up doing a video to present the game and also talked about the Charity Project that was completed last year. There are some links to two video that was produced to support these projects.
I did a lot of terrain projects this year most notably I did a lot of clutter, or immersion markers as I prefer to call them, for the 1943 table, but there are some generic ideas you could use for other theatres and scales. I also did a fair few buildings and fields.
These projects has allowed me to create some really immersive battlefields, like this one. Here a little video that Des Darkin did showing off the table laid out using many of the terrain elements produced this year (thanks Des).
Fantasy Ice Hockey 28mm
I did some further work on my Fantasy Ice hockey project and we are developing some alternative rules to use. More on some conversions and some 3d printed models below.
Those were my main activities for the year, here some of the smaller projects that was done
I received two awards this year, the Caesar Award for the Blog of 2021 organised by Little Wars TV and also the Best Game in Show (Presidents Award) at Salute for the 6mm Poltava 1709 table.
Here a video made by Alex at Storm of Steel covering the show with an interview with Nick and I discussing the battle.
Nick Dorrell, his Merry Wyre Foresters and I presented the Poltava 1709 6mm table at Salute yesterday and had a smashing day. We talked with so many people that came by of all ages, some knowing more than others about the period and the scale. We had a constant flow of people to our table up to about 1pm an after this it slowed down. For everyone that came to our table during the day I hope that either the table or our interaction with you blew you away, hopefully at least the former but I wish the latter too. I also, as always had great help from the family with the Better One and the Little One both making sure I got there and back safely.
Here some pictures of it all. All miniatures are by Baccus 6mm, the miniatures are based for playing the Twilight of the Sun King rules but we have used them for a number of rule sets over the years. I have made a very short summary of the rules here.
Here some pictures of the table.
Anyway halfway through the day we were presented with an award from the organisers of Salute – The South London Warlord. I have to admit I did not expect us to get it, but I think it was about time not for me but for a lot of small scale gamers out there old a and new. I am certainly no one-trick pony and I do understand the merits of each scale as a tool for telling a story – the Battle of Poltava needed to be told like this, the Town that was laid under Siege by the Swedes to force the Russian to give battle, the dense Yakovetski forest was there so we could understand how some of the Swedish Battalions got lost in it, and one of the key surprises was the fact that the Russians had built 10 redoubts slowing down the Swedish advance, all this before the main battle and not possible to show in less than 16 feet at 6mm with a battalion frontage of about 60mm – it would be tough to do it in 28mm.
In doing an inventory of the Units I had before the show I realised I had done about 20 bases of Dragoons I had surplus to my requirement and therefore thought I could do something for the hobby. Every person I noticed and judged being 10 years or under that came to the table during the day and showed some interest I gave a base. I had given away 15 at the end of the day and had a small talk with them and their Dad or Mum. They all now know the difference between a Dragoon and a Standard Cavalry unit during the period.
I did not declare this as I wanted to to make it as a surprise and I only had 20 bases and did not want to let anyone down. Anyway I wanted to do this on the back of dragging around the Little One to wargames shows since he was 5 years old and having him being occasionally either ignored or looked at like he was Satan himself. I, and more importantly he, cherishes the times when someone talked to him and engaged with him directly and got him involved. I just wanted to try to create a few of those moments.
If you are interested in the Poltava project there is a lot of posts on my blog covering various aspects of it, I think these are the main ones (the first two showing a lot of pictures of the set up).
The Little One and I went to the SELWG wargames show today – it is our local show. We both had a great time and it always has a nice mix of games in different scales. Here follows a dump of some of the photos I took with some notes here and there. I do hope it gives some kind of impression of the games that were laid out (I may have missed a few of the games – sorry!).
Special mention and my favourite of the day goes to Shepway Wargames Club’s WW! game “You will be home before the Leaves fall”. I hope the pictures conveys some of the goings on…
Thanks SELWG, we had a fantastic day and we were especially delighted to see so many dads and mums having brought their children and were allowed to engage with the games.
I based the two German Platoons I made last week for the Swedish 1943 Tourist Season (this being the What-if German Invasion of Sweden in 1943) on Sunday evening. These are the Skytrex 15mm ones that form part of the first part of the Campaign – the Northern Approach through Dalecarlia. This part of the Campaign will be infantry vs infantry with limited options for heavier support (perhaps an armoured car for the Germans, etc). I have a few ideas that I think will work well in a setting like this. Anyway here they are:
On Saturday I was invited to play a game of Chain of Command in Dulwich by Iain Fuller. This was one of the South London Warlords Saturday game days – they run these on the second Saturday every month – on this occasion a few Too Fat Lardies games were played. It was a really good game and although I lost I had the best of times. It was tense and hang in the balance more than once, more than a few bad rolls but then again a few good ones too. Chain of Command is a very enjoyable game! Below a few pictures from the day. it was nice to meet up with Iain Fuller and his chums, seeing Dave Brown again and having a chat with Rich Clarke. I may have a solution for playtesting the Swedish Campaign stuff thanks to Iain and Des – I will get back to you shortly.
I have been overwhelmed with the feedback on the Poltava 1709 table I put on at Joy of Six last weekend (see more here) and looking back at it and I think it is my best effort so far. A lot of people have asked me what I will do next year at JOS 2020?
Truth is that I do not intend to do a new table but instead revisit the first Great Northern War battle I put up at Joy of Six back in 2012, the Battle of Fraustadt 1706. I need to review the battle boards as they have been in storage for about 4 years (when we took it to Salute). I believe that a face lift will make them look stunning and it is a far more playable game than Poltava.
Further I want to revisit some of the miniatures and take it up a notch overall, I also want to add some more wintery trees (increase the density of the forest) to the table and a few more terrain features. It should not be a too big job.
In addition we are going to take the Poltava 1709 table to Salute in April next year and have already got our table accepted. I have a few improvements I want to do with regards to some of the features to improve the overall feel of the table – I think the Siege lines could be best done as a single piece and filled with some more people. I would also like to add some more life onto the walls of Poltava itself as well as some further smaller details (like some actual gates for the fortress and some guards for the Swedish Camp).
Finally, I would like to use the Fraustadt table to test a few sets I have not played with before and see how they work – especially Gå-På.
However I have a plan for Joy of Six 2021 when I would like to do a Battle from the Scanian War (1665-69)! I got myself some of the new Sun King range from Baccus at Joy of Six. It is an interesting period in Swedish history with a King (Charles XI) who needs to step up and deliver during the war and realises what a shaky ground his empire was standing on following years of neglect by the regency council who had rules the country for 12 years until Charles came to age. After the war he sets out to take back control from the noblemen and strengthen the countries defenses and military might. This is the key reason to the ability of the Swedish army to be as powerful as it was in the Great Northern War.
I will discuss this in more detail at a later date, but currently I am leaning towards the Battle of Lund 1676 (another wintery battle) but have not yet made my mind up.
All the regiments on both sides have different Uniforms with a wide colour variety, this is the biggest appeal to me. I still intend to base them in the way I have based my GNW miniatures (60 by 30mm bases) as I am relatively fond of the approach, I may however base the cavalry on (30 by 30 bases) to represent a squadron instead of a base being 2 squadrons – but I have not yet made up my mind but looking at some of the paintings from the era makes me want to recreate that feeling with smaller blocks of cavalry than infantry.
You can find more information about the Scanian War here.
There are two books I do recommend for the Scanian War Period in English (thinking about it there are not many others!):
Charles XI’s War – the Scanian War between Sweden and Denmark, 1675-1679 by Michael Fredholm von Essen. It is, I think, the military history overview of this wars. I have a number of Swedish books as well but I think this is my favourite overall. Here is a link to it https://www.helion.co.uk/charles-xi-war.html
The second book can be a little bit harder to get hold of and is Scanian War 1675-79 Colours and Uniforms by Lars-Eric Höglund. It contains information of the Swedish uniforms, standards and organisation of the period.
You can find some more on the Sun King range from Baccus here.
This will be a slow project and will probably not take off until after the Summer holiday, but if you are interested you can follow this journey and the other madness on this blog, by:
On reflection there are plenty other projects I need to crack on with that are well developed but not yet nailed. Hopefully I will be able to complete these sooner than later (I wrote about some of these in the 2018 year end Roll a One Accounts – here).
Some Poltava 1709 bonus stuff
The Meeples and Miniatures Podcast has a special place in my heart and over the years it has given me a lot of pleasure whilst doing a lot of my hobby work (yes there are others that I really like too, like the Veteran Wargamer, the Lardy Oddcast, the WSS Magazine podcast, the Wargames Recon). They are also very nice people and very god friends and it was a joy to welcome them and two of the guest commanders, sorry presenters, to my table at Joy of Six again.
I am blessed with a fantastic family and my wife and two of our children joined me at Joy of Six this year – it has become a little bit of a tradition going up north doing some sight-seeing on the Saturday and then Joy of Six on the Sunday. The Better One had taken some pictures on the day of the table that I really liked – I was to excited by the grandeur of it all whilst she zoomed in on some of the details. I hope you like them too.
Putting on a table at a Wargames Show does not go very well with trying to cover what is available on the day, I had a short lunch break and then attended a panel with Guy Bowers and Neil Shuck – that was my day! I had a little ego-trip with the Poltava table in an earlier blog here, this covers most of the other fantastic games on display.
Anyway a few pictures from the “car window”, there were many tables on offer showing a range of games and periods. I did not get a snap of all of them. I hope this give you enough to perhaps search for them on Google to get more detail. Also I did not include the trader details, but if you go to the Baccus webpage it should be all there if you need.
In addition a video was put up on youtube that does a brilliant job in showing what was going on, by Storm of Steel Wargaming (thanks for this Mate!):
I had the pleasure of attending the wargaming event Operation Market Larden 7 (OML7) in Evesham last weekend. I was going to go to OML6 last year but things conspired against me. Luckily, it was whispered, this one was the best one so far.
I arrived the evening before and caught the end of the drinking session at the hotel where the day would be held and a small contingent of us ended up in a pub for far too long – but good times were had.
OML7 is one of the many Lardy Days that are being arranged by various Lardy Ambassadors in the UK and also in many places abroad. Basically there were 12 games being played on the day and each participant played in two games (one in the morning and one in the afternoon). I did take some random shots but have to admit that I was a little bit like a child in sweetshop on the day and focus on the games. I had none of the stresses of a show where I put on a table or where my compulsion forces me to run around and find new shiny. The only thing to purchase were an excellent collection of old books that were being sold to support the Combat Stress charity – I bought a few.
The games played were, of course, all using the Too Fat Lardies excellent rule sets and although the lion share of the Games were using the Chain of Command (CoC) or Sharp Practice 2 (SP2) rulesets, there were also individual games using; I aint been shot Mum (IABSM), Bag the Hun (BtH) and Dux Britanniarium (DB).
I played in an excellent game of WW1 East Africa action as Lt Beaverton in charge of a supply dump on the Shore of Lake Victoria and a force of some Kings African Rifles, a few regular british and a Vickers Team. I was further supported by a platoon of Belgian Force Publique. The Supply dump was being attacked by a company of German troops. Very well Umpired by Bob Connor and the table looked stunning.
In the afternoon I played a Bag the Hun scenario controlling some mighty machines of the Italian Airforce in a joint German and Italian attack on a convoy (somewhere near Malta in 1942) defended by Hurricanes Our side had B109s and Stukas (with bombs) and Machis/CR42s and SM79 (with torpedoes). It ended up with classic dogfighting, bombs immobilising the ships and some torpedoes in the water hitting home but not on the main objective – the tanker – but it was great fun. This game was put on by Geoff Bond and we flew Mike Hobbs wonderful 1/600 Tumbling Dice aircraft – some excellent decaling going on there.
The day was excellent and I met a lot of people which whom I have had interaction with on Twitter and other social media – I did not manage to have a proper chat with all but I really appreciate the ones I had. I do think our little Twitter corner is a wonderful place. Normally, I judge an event on how many “arseholes” in the allegorical sense I meet, and I have to admit I met none. Just some excellent games being put on and people having a bloody good time playing them.
The evening entertainment offered a nice curry and later some more beer drinking at a local pub with a small but cheerful crowd.
A big thank you to Ade Deacon, his family and friends who arranges the event, and to the Too Fat Lardies crew (Nick, Rich and Sid) and all the other wonderful people – good stuff.
I need a pretty good reason for not coming back to OML8.
The Little One wrote a blog entry last time around about his day at Salute (you can find the link here) and I said I would do the same but have not repeated the stuff he already covered (like the games we played!). A lot of people have read that one and engaged in making comments on the blog, twitter, Facebook and various wargaming forums. It is really encouraging that the hobby is so welcoming and happy to see youngsters amongst it ranks, so thank you all from the Little One and I.
For me Salute is about impressions and meeting people, In summary I felt Salute this year being spacious, having a lot variety in type of games being presented and we did have a good time – we always do. There were games that could be played on a 2 by 2 mat and there were games on very large tables, some were very simple others were pieces of art, some were storyboards conveying the passion of a period, others were bland but functional. It reflects my gaming in a nutshell as for some projects I go absolutely mad and for other projects I just want to get it on the table and play – although I do have a LUDO set with a Green, Yellow, Red and Green “fire team” somewhere.
As always we wandered around and met a lot of nice new and old friends including Henry Hyde, Mike Whitaker, The Too Fat Lardies (Rich, Nick and Sidney), Simon T, Iain Fuller , Ken Eccentric!, Dave Hickman, Neil and Josh Shuck, Peter & Dave and the other Wargames Collection Calculator crew, Mark Backhouse, Guy Bowers, Michael Leck and his Nordic Crew, the Berrys, the Space Vixen crew, Friends of General Haig, Dave Brown and then everyone I forgot as well. I wanted to run into Big Lee but I failed, hi Lee!
Between the talking, playing a few games with the Little One, doing some limited shopping and picking up some pre-orders from Baccus (from their 6mm Great Northern War range) and Gripping Beast (the New Saga supplement and a few of the custom dice), I took a few pictures of things that interested me during the day.
I just thought I put a few of these pictures here, with a few comments where appropriate. I hope this reflects a mixture of easily achievable as well as more inspirational long term projects.
I also have to say that the new WW2 Vehicle ranges from Baccus is something special and well worth a look and I think good value for money.
We also got a little appearance on the Too Fat Lardies Oddcast, you can listen to it on youtube (link here).
[The Little One has written the blog today… I will write a little bit more next week from my perspective, but enough of me…]
I asked my Papa (that is what I call my Dad) if I could write the blog post today as we both went to the Show. I played two games at Salute. I could have played more but some were demonstration games whilst other were crowded when we went there and Papa tended to stop and talk to all kind of people that he knows. We did not maximise the playing time very well – but we both did have a good time and I know he likes to talk. I wanted to play the Omaha Beach game but it was full every time we went there – it looked really good [ed: this was the Omaha Beach game put on by Peterborough Wargames Club]. I will write about the two games I did play in more detail below, but first a few general things.
I did like
I really enjoyed the show, there is a lot to do and buy;
I got myself 3 Tiger tanks in 15mm from Peter Pig and they gave me a bonus miniature (thanks!) and I also got the Osprey Book about the Tiger I. We also bought a target lock laser line each – this will help us when we determine whether something is in an arc of fire or not. It avoids arguments, I tend to be more rules strict than my opposition (like Papa). I always see Peter Pig at shows and Papa has a lot of their WW2 stuff – I think he has the world record. I also got some dice, but they were not very exciting.
Everyone was friendly to me and answered all my questions really well;
There is a lot of different games at this show, I really like historical games but you could also play fantasy and science fiction (I was looking for someone playing Star Wars Legion but I could not find any, we play it at home so I was not too sad about it). Some games are more like street fights but there are a lot of very big battles as well;
We went to the venue using the Cable Car – it is very exciting, and
They always have some cool people with costumes at the show, like Star Wars and 40k. This year they had a Spartan from the HALO universe too.
I did not like
I was looking for some of the latest Star Wars Legion releases but the traders were only selling older stuff from the range – things I already have.
I am not used to walking around that much and should have taken better shoes.
The Battle of The Little Big Horn 1876 – The Wargamer Collection Calculator
The first game I played was the Battle of Little Big Horn, it was fought in 1876. It was a battle between 650 soldiers of the US 7th Cavalry regiment under the command of Lt Colonel Custer against Allied Native American tribes led by Sitting Bull. It was fought over land that had been given to the Native Americans but the Government wanted to take it back because they found gold in the region.
The game was cleverly designed and was played on four different boards, each linking to the other boards and events were interconnected. First I played as the Indians but later I took the role of Custer himself, and my strategy was to get into the Indian village and take the women, elders and children hostage. However I found this challenging, first I attacked when I thought the Warriors had gone off hunting but they were still around, second I had left my Gatling guns behind. During the game, I found myself facing three different enemy leaders (one being commanded by my Dad) but managed to fight bravely and get into the actual village, but unfortunately I had lost my bonus (as my leader – Custer had taken injuries) and had nothing to counter the Native Americans – ensuring my defeat. I did put up a brave fight and when I talked to Peter who was one of the organisers at the end he said that I was the closest to Victory on that day. I do not like losing and felt annoyed at first, but I realised that as a consequence the children and the women would be safe – so that is a good thing.
It was a really good game, and I really recommend it if you see it on another show. It is being run by the Wargamer Collection Calculator – you can find a link to them here. I heard that they won best Participation Game on the day – I think they deserved it. I hope I can play it again at Joy of Six in July as I will be going there this year [ed: as if you had any choice mate!]. I am getting the book about the Battle by Philbrick.
Space Vixens from Mars – “Meine Ehre heiβt Treue”, The Road to Castle Itter May 1945
The second game was interesting too and was about a situation at the end of WW2 where a German Army Major and an American Lieutenant joined forces to save French prisoners in the Austrian Alps. These prisoners were being guarded by loyal SS Soldiers at Castle Itter, determined to ensure that the prisoners are terminated.
In the game I played the German major and his two squads of the finest German Army Soldiers. We had to convince the SS checkpoints at two stages to successfully enable us to get behind the PAK 40 AT Gun and the Tiger Tank the SS soldiers were equipped with. This would allow me to conduct a surprise attack whilst the American approached the SS position with his Sherman tanks. Once the Shermans were spotted, they concentrated their fire on the Tiger and managed to disable it. I overwhelmed the gun crew and put some of my men to operate it and managed to use it to destroy some enemy positions. The American commander did his job well and finished off the remaining opposition. As a results we managed to free the prisoners. All-in-all another great game indeed. They were using the SFD rules. Really nice people (Phil, Gary and Steve) and they have a webpage too (link here) [Ed: and thanks to Josh Shuck who played the American Commander].
/ Hope that was of some interest, Great Show and Great day. Thanks to the organisers and all the people who put on nice games and shared the hobby with me!
I went to the SELWG 2018 show this Sunday and in summary had a great time! I think it is a good show and has a good blend of traders, games and the bring-and-buy is always brilliant. This is not a full walkaround report, more my own absent-minded rambling around the show. There were things I did not take pictures of that I perhaps should have, like the neat little 7TV game or a few of the naval games that looked very nice.
On the 7TV subject a big shout out for their latest kick-starter if you are into Post-Apocalyptic stuff (link here). Some really interesting stuff and a nice nod in the direction of some of the different movies and tv-series from the past.
However this is what I did take pictures of at the show…
Tonbridge Wargames Club presented The Battle Segesvár 1849 (somewhere near Transylvania), this was part of the Hungarian revolution in 1848 to 1849 of which In knew nothing. The battle was fought between the Hungarian Revolutionary army (supported by Polish volunteers) and a Russian-Austrian army. The battle was fought using their own ‘War in the Age of Blood and Iron” using the “War in the Age of Empires” supplement. I think it was fought using Heroics and Ros 6mm miniatures. Here is the Wikipedia link to the battle. Very interesting times.
Simon Miller was fielding his very nice English Civil War 28mm miniature using his new For King and Parliament rules – it looked like great fun. The action was the Battle of Soggy Bottom 1643.
Gravesend Gamers Guild was also putting on English Civil War game but in a smaller scale in their Skirmish at Staplethorpe. Great little game, with 4 factions (royalist horse, parliamentarian horse, neutral local defenders and raiding deserters) with differing objectives. Fun idea using the good old Featherstone’s Skirmish rules.
Battle of Asculum from the Society of Ancients.
The Too Fat Lardies were busy all day doing a Barkmanns corner game with the participants, supported by Nick Skinner, trying to blow up Richard Clarke’s Tiger tank. Of course using their fun What a Tanker ruleset.
There were two other games using the Too Fat Lardies rules, first out the last outing of the beautiful “Alliés Peu Fiables” a Chain of Command game set during the retreat to Dunkirk in 1940. The action takes place in the small Belgian town of Gehondeskirk..
Another Lardy one was a Sharp Practice game – the Biscotti War. I let you read the small print yourself – I have seen this one before and it is a nice game.
Battle of Mats, sorry I meant Battle of Matz was put on by Robert Dunlop. Another of his fantastic 6mm battles. Full of stuff going on.
This is the Beautiful Battle of Kawanakajima 1561 – a Sengoku era battle that looked really nice. I forgot to ask about any details at all – I got samurai struck!
There was also this fantastic Middle Earth battle presented by the Shepway Wargamers, it is a table fully loaded with different stuff and was one of those you needed to look at from different angles – a lot of things to see.
…and finally (almost) a participation game by Peter Pig with their new Western Rules. I also did most of my shopping from Peter Pig – 15mm WW2 stuff.
As for what to do with the warlord miniatures, after the show, I ordered some heads from Sally 4th that I thought could be used to make a nice set of characters for my Mutant 1984 project.
My favourite of the day was the absolutely beautiful game from Maidstone Wargames society that I was so happy to see again.
Twisting the Dragon’s Tail
On St George’s Day! 100 years ago the Royal Navy attempted to block the Belgian port of Zeebrugge. The idea was to block the canal entrance by sinking obsolete ships – this to stop U-boats and light shipping from leaving port.
The game shows HMS Vindictive that carried a troop of royal marines that were to take out some German Gun positions. It is a fantastic looking game and the work that has gone into the terrain is phenomenal!
I also had a chat with a few of the traders, and a special shout out for the dynamic duo who can take care of not just your painting needs, but also make sure your dice are safe and sound and that you can change into something more leisurely than your combat fatigues and black t-shirt – it is of course Deborah and Matt of Glenbrook games and Saddle Goose Designs.