I have attended Joy of Six every year since 2011 and have presented a game on the show since 2012 with the Wyre Foresters spearheaded by Nick Dorrell (except in 2016 when Neil Shuck and I was running two tables of Saga in 6mm) presenting various battles from the Great Northern War. We have done Fraustadt 1706, Klissow 1702, Kalisz 1706, Gadebusch 1712, Lesnaya 1708 and this year Horka 1708 (I wrote about that one in the last blog update here). Next year will be a very special game for us as we will do Poltava 1709. The Welsh Wizard called me Lord of 6mm the other day on Twitter, if that is so, then the Joy of Six should really be referred to as the House of 6mm Lords.
The show has grown over the years and so has the quality and range of games on offer. I know it is a typical thing to say, but I truly think the latest show was the best to date. I was scared about the move to the new location at the University but if felt like it was coming together nicely and I believe there is room to expand. The food arrangements were brilliant. I did not have/took the time to get involved in any of the other games but I took a few pictures that I will share (however contrary to my earlier post about shows – link here – I did not really do what I preached, but to my defence is the fact that I did put on a game). At the end of this short post are a few links to some very useful blog posts to get a better overall impression of proceedings – I suggest you have a look at these.
First a big shout out to a few of the people I met up with including Commodore Rob, Pete, Dan, the Wyre Foresters, Derek & Son, The Wargames Calculators, Vlad, Mike (Welsh Wizard), Neil Schuck, “6mm Sceptic” Dave, Dave Luff, Trevor Crook and the Other Mad Gamers and Simon. Some of these I had only known through the blog or twitter and it is really nice to put a face to a name. It honestly makes my day every time. I have inevitably forgotten a few, and I am sorry for this as my mind was somewhat spinning during the day. It is after all a little bit emotional to put your baby up for public display, especially as I had not done it before.
The Baccus/Wargames Emporium crew (i.e. people involved in the event, spearheaded by Peter Berry but with strong support) are always nice to see and they do a hell of a job. Also to the Little One who hanged around the table most of the day and joined in managing the Russian Elite Infantry (Golitzins Brigade/Command). Also to my daughter who has helped at Joy of Six for the last few years and the Better One of Course.
I thought the bring and buy was handled well and I managed to sell a few GHQ stuff, some board games I never play and even a few Flames of War StuGs. There were a mixture of scales on offer and some books, etc.
As for traders I think it is nice to have such a good number of specialised vendors in one place allowing you to see what the scale has to offer, traders attending were (with a link to their webpage):
Special mention to our new friends who came all the way from Poland, GM Boardgames, as promised here are some of the Polish Forces, including Winged Hussars, Pancerni and the Polish Camp we used for the Klissow and Kalisz battles.
Dr Mike’s painting clinic could not make it due to some logistical issues which is a shame because apart from showing you how to paint 6mm miniatures, Mike has the warmest smile on the wargames circuit and was sorely missed by me and I think many others – hope to see you next year Mike.
The first seminar was about Baccus itself and what the plans are moving forward. I did not go to this one but an overview is provided in one of the links below.
The second Seminar was a panel moderated by Peter Berry, with three brilliant panelists being Neil Shuck and Mike Hobbs from the Meeples and Miniatures Podcast (link to them here) and John Treadaway who is the editor of Miniature Wargames (here). The initial question was whether 6mm had a bad reputation, but I think the general conclusion was that it did not have a bad reputation but a low profile. Both the 6mm manufacturers, wargames press, and most importantly the hobbyists themselves have a shared responsibility. What I took away personally from it, with my afterthoughts added to it, was:
Spread the Joy of Six – blog about it, write articles and send them to the wargames press. John Treadaway left his card for anyone interested to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org , and I suppose you could try the others too, you know who they are. Nick and I decided to do a write-up on the Horka table and see how it goes. With this blog I have tried to highlight some different approaches and uses for the scale – mostly mass battle but also space efficient and easy to set-up skirmish gaming. As Neil Shuck says be passionate about it! It will shine through and people will get it.
Show others what we can do – take your stuff to other events – I have put up two 6mm tables at Salute. It was a different experience than Joy of Six and the average interest is somewhat different but there is enough interest for you to have a good day and if it looked good at Joy of Six it will look good on another show. We will make sure Horka get some other outings.
Enhance the signal by supporting each other – there is a 6mm community out there and I think we could encourage each other more and trying to do links in blogs, mentions on Facebook, retweets on twitter etc to make sure that we enhance the signal of the smaller scale stuff. This hobby is far from a competition, it is a co-operative game – if you like 6mm it is in your own interest to promote the hobby on a wider scale – more interest, more sales, more ranges, more Joy of Six (these things of course applies to other scales and aspects of the hobby).
In addition the issue of taking photos of 6mm games were raised and I agree that it is difficult. However, what are we taking pictures off? – men or battles?. Remember the painting from the last blog (here) – it provoked a life-long interest for at least one little boy I know very well.
It has been some busy weeks since the last update on this mat business. Had time to go to a 50th birthday party, visit the Tower with the kids, Father’s day celebration, some relaxation by the river and starting a new Job. However I have done some progress on the 12 by 5 feet battlement, or the hairshirt as I call it, that I will march my soldiers on at the Joy of Six on the 15th July.
I managed to do the dry brushing for most of the mat, I use the normal three colours on top of the chocolate brown I have used for the last 10 years or so. It may not be the best combination but serves to tone down the cholate brown and the final light yellow is very effective. All my stuff, terrain, model bases, etc. fits together, it is done with the same colour and even the static grass (I use the two tones of green that Kalistra sells).
Here is my best advice for doing the dry brushing of the mat, use a small brush (not a paint brush) and take your time, change direction, small brush strokes. Dry brush to scale!
I prefer a little bit of patchy application of the grass areas as I want parts of the base mat to be seen, you may like it differently. This is a messy process as it is difficult to turn around the mat to shake the excess of with this big mat without causing major mayhem – with static fibres flying everywhere. When I did my 2 by 2 boards I used to shake them in a large plastic bag. Now I use a bagless vacuum cleaner (make sure it is empty before you start) but it is not a perfect process. I also detailed up the river and used some high gloss varnish on top. This is how it ended up (note the darker grass areas are to be filled with trees on the day) and I am very happy – apart from the real estate, bridges and trees it is all in the mat.
So apart from making some bridges (5 No.) I think we are ready to go and I can fit the roll in the car….
the trees are ready….
and so are the men…
Joy of Six 2018 we are ready for you, I hope to see you there (link here).
I had a very nice day at Salute yesterday, but have decided to reflect on that next week as I think his blog post is long enough – but in summary of Salute I can say “a lot of people, met some new and old friends, the games looked great, got some gifts(!), picked up some stuff and bought some more, What a Tanker from Too Fat Lardies looked fun, a fantastic GNW battle from Michael Leck – from my perspective the Show rolled a Six.” More next week on this and some further on the progress on the Horka Project.
back to the main theme….
I decided to start this blog on the back of doing a participation game of Saga in 6mm with the gentlemen from the eminent Meeples and Miniatures podcast (link here) for the Joy of Six in 2016. The demo game was Saga in 6mm and I went all out and did starter armies (4pts) for the 12 factions from the three first books for the Age of Viking era (a total of 15 official Age of Vikings factions were produced for the first edition rules, if we exclude semi-official ones like the Skraelings, Revenant and Steppe Tribes).
This is the 100th blog update since the start and I felt it appropriate to do an update on Saga on the back of the Second edition being published earlier this year. It is a long one but I do hope you will find it of some interest.
For this special occasion I asked Neil Shuck for a few words as a kind of preface (thank you Neil).
“When I had a conversation with Dave Luff on the podcast about the possibility of gaming Saga in 6mm, we had no idea of the forces we were about to unleash.
Dave was on one of his ‘it’s only a counter’ monologues, and with the fact that that very nice Mr Berry had just brought out some more of his Dark Age range, we were discussing the idea of being able to play Saga in a smaller scale, and what impact that might have on the game. As with many of our ideas, it never got close to the painting table, so imagine our surprise when Per contacted us to say that he had taken our idea and moved it to the next level.
We may have planted the seed, but Per is a force of nature when an idea takes hold, and the rest is, as they say, history. Per did a fantastic job creating all the forces, plus building the tables, and the games were very well received on the day. More importantly, the game still works – if anything, the grander scale created by the smaller models gives it a more epic feel. Congratulations Per, you have done a fantastic job with this.”
– Neil Shuck, from the Meeples and Miniatures Podcast (link here).
Here is a link to that very first blog post with a postscript that makes a few notes and links to the other relevant posts. Note that the Factions are presented again in the text that follows, I will not repeat the information in the Part 6 to 8 sections about terrain, buildings and painting.
We had a blast on the day of the Joy of Six 2016 Show and Neil wrote about his experience on the Meeples and Miniatures webpage here and my report on the Roll a One blog is here.
It was a nice project to get done and all-in-all I did 2,474 miniatures in a total on 324 bases (25mm square). Each base contained between 3 to 10 miniatures depending on type, but in general:
Mounted – Warlord 5, Hearthguard 4, Warrior 3
Foot – Warlord 10, Hearthguard 9, Warrior 8, Levy 4
After the show the Little One and I played a fair few games of Saga and we really enjoyed it. We then drifted away to other things and the models have been left standing relatively still for a while (apart from a few sessions using the eminent Dux Brit rules from Too Fat Lardies, a test of the Sword and Spear Rules and a few games of Saga here and there). In the beginning of the year (2018) Studio Tomahawk released the updated edition of Saga (I will call is Saga 2) – where there is a core set of rules and then a book for each era (e.g. Viking, Arthurian, Crusade, etc.). I was debating on whether to get the new rules or not as we found the old ones more than satisfactory, but as I stated in an earlier blogpost.
I have all the old Saga books and I am aware this version will probably not blow me away in the same way as the first set, but it is on the basis of that very first set I bought the second edition. Saga is a fantastic game and I, and especially the Little One, want to be part of the ongoing process of making it even better.
I got the basic rule book for £8.50 (this contains the basic rules) and the Age of Vikings (this has the Viking factions and 12 battle boards) supplement for £25.50, which I believe is very competitive, from Dark Sphere (link here) with free postage (as at 14/03/18). That is a total of £34.
The original Saga Rules were typically sold for £25 and gave you 4 battle boards, three additional supplements (actually four if you count the campaign supplement) were produced cover the Viking Age at a typical total cost of say £42. This gives a total comparative cost at £67 vs. £34. So this new packaging is more cost effective, although the start-up cost is higher (£34 vs £25) as you need some battle boards to play the game.
The only thing that slightly irritated me is that there is only one base scenario in the basic rules – Clash of the Warlords, and that there are no specific scenarios in the source books either – instead there will be a specific scenario book. I really hope that this scenario book is something really special as I honestly think that some more scenarios could have been included in the basic rulebook or in the supplement(s) – so the comparison above is not fully a like for like.
On the back of having read the rulebook and the Age of Viking supplement and had a few games, I personally think it was worth the upgrade. I can use all of my existing models to play and the Saga Dice are the same (I have two sets of each type of dice as I used them for demo gaming and that allowed a higher number of combinations to be played over two tables at the same time) with one exception (the Last Romans, see below).
On the other if you have the old rules I am not sure I would be a position to strongly insist you should do or feel the same. It is still Saga after all. However, I do hope that more supplements covering other Ages will be developed and made available on the back of this re-release. The pictures of some Samurai warriors in the rulebook gives an interesting hint.
This blogpost will re-introduce the factions presented in those old blog posts, with what I hope are better pictures. In addition there are some changes to the composition and I have now enough figures to do starting warbands for the 10 of the 12 included in the Age of Vikings supplement. I will further include some notes on changes to the rules (that only makes sense if you know the first edition) and finally show a few pictures of from some of the games we have played over the Easter Period with some friends and family. I hope it is of some interest – it was nice to get them on the table again.
Factions (4 pt Starter Armies)
Anyway let us look at some of the miniatures (again!, note I do not have miniatures for two of the factions but are repeating the advice I gave in Saga in 6mm – Part 12). All models, with the exception of the Irish Dogs, are from Baccus 6mm (link here) and the codes are from their catalogue to indicate what miniatures have been used. The original picture showing the whole 4pt warband have been reused here, but I have also included close ups of each unit. I am in two minds about this as I think 6mm is best shown in mass not as individual close ups (well I let you form your own opinion). When you paint bulk and fast like I do for my projects it does not always look that great in a close up – but then why not. All are on 25mm square bases, you may want to refer to that as an inch at your own peril of being 0.4mm out!
A few changes are noted in the text basically:
Reduction of a Battle Board (-3)
The Welsh and Stratchclyde Welsh now share a Battleboard
The Normans and Bretons now share a Battleboard
Their is no longer a Pagan Prince board, but I assume this one is now assumed included in the Pagan Rus board (as one of their heroic options are a Pagan Prince)
Renaming of Battle Board (+/-0)
The Frankish board is now renamed the Carolignian board
The Byzantine battleboard is now renamed the Last Romans (and actually needs a set of dice I do not have (yet!) – the Roman/Briton dice that were introduced with the Saga Aetius and Arthur rules.
Anyway here are the Warbands:
Irish Starting Warband
Welsh Starting Warbands
I have two Welsh starting warbands as there were two separate boards in the first edition – one for Welsh and one for the Mounted Strathclyde Welsh.
Scots Starting Warband
Viking Starting Warband
Norman / Breton Starting Warband
As for the Welsh this is now one Battleboards for what used to be two – the Normans and the Bretons. The difference is that the mounted Hearthguards have Javelins.
Anglo-Danes Starting Warband
Anglo-Saxon Starting Warband
Carolignians / Franks Starting Warband
Norse-Gael Starting Warband
Jomsvikings Starting Warband
The Last Romans (Byzantines)
Did not make this faction, but here are my ideas (I have the miniatures and just need to get them done).
Starting Army: Mounted Warlord (CIS01 – Seljuq Turk Heavy Cavalry), Mounted Hearthguard (CIS01 – Seljuq Turk Heavy Cavalry), Mounted Hearthguard with Bow (ASS02- Armoured Horse Archers), Warriors (EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen), Warriors with Bow (ALR05 – Archer).
Did not make this faction either, but here are my ideas (I have the miniatures and just need to get them done).
Starting army: Warlord (EMV01 -Armoured Spearmen), 2 No. Hearthguard (EMV01 -Armoured Spearmen), Warrior (EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen) and Levy with Javelins (ALR04 – Lanciarii)
Starting Army (Rus Princes based): Mounted Warlord (CFR04 – Turcopoles), 2 No. Mounted Hearthguard (CFR04 – Turcopoles), Warrior (EMV02 – Unarmoured Spearmen) and Warrior with Bow (ALR05 – Archer).
Playing the Game
Changes to the 2nd Edition Rules
You may want to skip this sections if you have no interest in what the changes are between the two versions, as this only makes some sense if you are familiar with the rules.
When reading the two rules again side by side (pun not intended) a few changes can be noted between the versions. In addition to what I will cover here the battleboards have changed but I have not yet analysed them and probably will not. I have played most of the old battle boards at least once but would felt it a step too far for the purpose of this. Doing this review/rough notes took me longer than I wanted it to take, I do not pretend I believe it is complete and may have missed or misunderstood something:
The Warlord model (base in our case) can no longer use the side by side ability
Resilience ability now allows 1 fatigue to be taken instead of 1 hit up to its limit (see below – but to lower your suspense it is now 3 fatigue markers for all units).
Only a Hearthguard model/base (within (S)hort distance) can be used to sacrifice/taking damage on behalf of the Warlord.
We obey ability now allows free activation of any action – not just movement.
The Warlord now has 8 attack dice (previous he had 5) and only generate one Saga Dice (previously it generated 2 dice)
Heroic units gets the warlord abilities as well.
Levies now generate Saga Dice if the unit has 6 or more figures – previously they did not generate any at all.
Warriors generate Saga Dice if the unit has 4 or more figures – this avoids the 1 man warrior unit being withdrawn to generate Saga dide.
The Saga Dices left on the battleboard from a previous round does not affect how many you roll in your next turn (unless the total of dice on the board + allowed Saga dice from units is higher than 8. As 8 Saga Dice is still the maximum in play at any given time).
In combat you can use 2 fatigue to cancel an enemy activation
You can spend 1 fatigue to reduce the movement of an unit activating to S(hort)
In shooting you can spend more than 1 fatigue to decrease the defending units armour, and in melee the same and also for increasing the attackers armour.
All units are now exhausted when it has 3 fatigue markers allocated to it (3 is the maximum accumulation allowed), this gives -1 to all attack dice.
All units in a group fight if they are engaged with another unit.
Movement is done in straight line (including charges/attacks)
Models (bases in this case) in a unit to stay within S(hort) from the first unit being moved – this technically means that levies at 12 models cannot create a long line. For our purposes not a big problem, we tend to play the units as 2 deep by 6 frontage (levies), 2 by 4 warriors and 1 by 4 for hearthguards. This to simulate some kind of depth in shield wall concept typical for the “Age”.
Movement is free (cost no Saga dice) if you are at L(ong) range away from any enemy and movement ends up L(ong) range from any enemy.
Shooting – combat pool maximum at Step 1 at 8 dice, final maximum at Step 3 16 dice. There is no limit on the number of defence dice that can be applied (previously twice the number of hit was the maximum).
Meele – a unit can only be engaged with one enemy units. There is no longer a step 0 (the reaction abilities are no longer being used). Maximum combat pool is now 16 at Stage 1 and double at Stage 3. As for missile there is no limit for the number of defence die than can be applied. Defending unit may choose to Close Ranks and gain the effect of solid cover but only gets half of its normal number of attack dice (The old rule of sacrificing attack dice to get defence dice is no longer used). Note this rule is not available to mounted, bow/crossbow armed units and heavy weapons (e.g. dane axes). So perhaps a better name for the ability would be to “Form Shieldwall!”. Defenders in solid cover never withdraw if they outnumber the attacking unit, other units may end up less than VS if there are terrain restrictions.
If all the figures are in cover, the cover counts – if not it does not count.
Dangerous terrain introduced – works like uneven terrain but also causes 1 fatigue to the unit.
Changes to the dimension of the sizes of terrain – I let you go a figure this one, I do not tend to care about these things – sorry!. It is getting late.
Equipment /Weapons – clarification of modifications and restriction, changes to rules for composite bows (free activation and no fatigue), crossbow (+1 to attack instead of -1 to Armour, and can only shot once per turn), javelin (+1 melee attack dice when charging, an example of this is the classic roman infantry attack I suppose), there is a new improvised weapon category.
Playing it over Easter
We decided to play a few games over the Easter Period and we only used starter warbands and I used my 2 by 2 terrain tile (famous from sessions of Pikemans Lament last year) as this one can easily be accommodated in a house full to the brim of family and friends. As we had mixed familiarity of the rules this was sufficient to get a few games played, starting within direct engagement distance.
We play the rules exactly as written, one a base is the same as a base in the 28mm version, no adjustments for ranges of missile weapons or movement.
Here are a few pictures from these games, the games flowed nicely and went really well.
Conclusion: Saga is still fun and works really well in 6mm whether you have the old or the new set of rules. In its base it is a simple I go you go – you roll to hit and then your opponent rolls to save kind of game. But with the addition of being able to use your opponents fatigue to gain benefits and the battle boards it is a unique game and I, and the Little One, really like it.
Note: I have played six games with the new version and lost five.
/ I hope that was of some interest, below two bonus parts one about music and the other some old Saga battle shots!
Bonus 1: Old Battle Shots 6mm in Action
Bonus 2: Music for you musings
In the original postings we included some recommended music whilst painting your warbands – so here are a few oldies and a few new ones
Amon Amarth starting with their Twilight of the Thunder God (that incidentially would be a fantastic title for a set of wargame rules in the Age of Vikings) followed by At Dawn’s First Light and Pursuit of Vikings – it does not get much more Viking melodic death metal than this. This is perhaps not everyone’s cup of, sorry I meant horn of mead!
If that was too heavy for you do not despair there are some equally good options (youtube is full of this kind of things – should get your warbands done in an afternoon or give you plenty of inspiration to crush your opponents on the wargames table).
Last year the Little One had a rugby tournament, but this year the day was free to go up to Crystal Palace and attend the SELWG 2017 wargames show. With the Little One in recovery after an injury from Karate I had to endure the day on my own – but then it was a good day!
I did enjoy the show and was not really there with any mission of buying things but still managed to get away with the Raiders Supplement for Dux Britanniarum (by Too Fat Lardies) with a Deck of Cards, as well as some stuff I need for yet another side project I am doing with some 15mm Finns (and Soviets) for the Continuation war and the June 1944 Soviet offensive (but more about that some other time) – I got some stuff from Ironclad Miniatures (link here) and a damaged T-34 from Peter Pig (link here), it will add some character to the battlefield.
I also got a little 10mm Spanish Gunboat from Stonewall figures (their 10mm Napoleonic Ship Range, link here) that will try to get away with as a bigger boat for a GNW scenario (with 6mm miniatures) I am planning to do with the Little One. I followed the instruction but added a bowsprit – I hope it will look presentable, and not too inaccurate, once painted and with sails. It did not take long to put it together.
So what about the games? Well I did not take photos of all of them, not necessarily because they were not impressive but because I did not stop for a chat. For example, I wanted to have a go a trying out Peter Pigs Spanish Civil War game and thought I take some pictures, but never seemed to pick a moment when it was not too busy.
So here are the ones I did get a few pictures of..
This was a nice weekend indeed, Saturday was spent driving around the Kentish/Sussex countryside and we went to Chartwell House (Churchill’s family home) and Penhurst Place (The Sidney’s family home for more than 460 years) – both well worth a visit. On the way home we ended up in the Blacksmith Arms (in Cudham) where the comedian Harry Relph was born (1887 to 1928). He performed under the stage name “Little Tich” and was (amongst other things) famous for his routine with very long shoes (see a video here). They had his famous shoes on display in the pub – equally impressive with the Wellington boots we reported on some time ago (see here). I knew immediately who he was as I had ended up listening to his 1910 recording “What a Risky thing to do” (see here) looking for some background music for a Call of Cthulhu campaign many moons ago. A great, although not very tall, Briton (a Wikipedia write-up here). I had a pint in his honour before we embarked on the short journey home. I suppose you can do your own research on that other great Briton Churchill, if he is not familiar to you ;).
On the Sunday I went to the Skirmish Wargames show in Sidcup run by Redcoat Models(see here) – a small wargames show that occurs twice a year. I did not count the number of traders but call it 15 with about the same amount of wargames tables. The theme was Napoleonics and probably 1 in 4 of the tables were Napoleonic offerings. I did not take many pictures but here is what drew my interest. I had a good time.
I played a game with John, who was running a fictional Battle in India with a Sikh uprising supported by French advisors (and some troops) against the British, using the Fire and Fury rules. John had not laid on a table for 15 years but it did look good when it was all set up. We used activation for getting reinforcements on the table but we both failed miserably but when we were successful John seemed to be able to get more out of each reinforcement wave – typically the French (yours truly) “spawned” one or two units whilst the British managed to get 6 to 10 units on the table. It was fun and I managed to get a cavalry unit into the British outpost and steal a cannon. However, the luck was only short-lived as they ran into a strong group of light infantry (Riflemen). One of those games that gets that narrative kick that makes all the difference in my view. Many thanks John!, I think the game was yours 😉 .. Great fun.
Finally I had a nice chat with Glen Hardy of Art of War Shirts. Glen has recently launched his business selling a nice selection of t-shirts that I think some of you may find nice – what I like is that they are nice designs and less in your face than some other offerings. Do check out his webpage and get a few and/or let your better half and your mates know what you would like for Christmas (you know that any hard ones will be in the wrong scale or period anyway!). Here is a link to his page.
As for any progress this week I am slowly doing some DreadBall miniatures (yes I did get a few more teams). Doing Forge fathers and some MVPs this week but no progress on Rommel stuff. The Better One said to me the other day “I did not know you were into this game now!”, “Been working on it for years!”, I answered back having just ordered a few more teams on eBay.
I based the Forge Father colour scheme of my favourite Swedish Coffee Brand Löfbergs Lila. Purple with some green detailing for strikers, yellow for jacks, red for guards and blue for the Keeper. Can you smell the nice aroma?
Talking about Great Britons, I could not avoid to reflect on the likeness with one of the MVPs and a very famous TV personality that recently passed away. Anyway I let you reflect on your own.
/ “Nice to see you, to see you nice!”, until next week!
Nick and I had a fantastic day at the Salute Show and my thanks also goes to Rob and Laurent who provided some priceless support in helping out before, during and after the Show. We basically talked to people about the table, the game, the battle and the rules all day – it was brilliant!. We did not have time to do more than a few token moves on the table.
I also would like to thank all of you who have read this blog that came by to say hello – I really appreciate it. In addition to all of the others who stopped by to have a look, ask a few questions or take a picture. Finally, I have to say that Warlords are very good at organizing this massive event and we had no problems this, or the last time, we attended Salute in 2015.
I had a quick chat with Peter Berry of Baccus who said that Joy of Six in July was now full and that he had to turn away games – this is brilliant news! Not for the people who get turned away but that there is a huge interest in putting on 6mm games. I just wonder why there are not more 6mm, or smaller scale 2 to 10mm, land battle games at Salute, or should I say, wargames shows in general? I have not heard many people say that they have a decent table worth of figures and some terrain in 6mm – but that have been turned down setting up a game by a wargames show. But I will leave that thought for this moment.
Apart from our table there was one more 6mm game, the Battle for Neustadt that is a cold war scenario set in West Germany in 1984. This was a nice table run by Iain Fuller and others from the Warlords Club. They will also attend the Joy of Six in July so there is another chance to catch them there. I have had some e-mail communication with Iain in the past so it was nice to have a quick chat and say hello.
I also got a chance to see the new Baccus TYW/ECW sculpts and I let the battalion of pike and shot talk for itself. Wonderful stuff from Baccus yet again. Peter gave me a copy of the new Swedish flag sheet for the Thirty Years war – it is very tempting indeed.
I also talked to Peter Riley and David Pead who are the men behind the wargames calculator that I have mentioned before on the blog (see here). They told me they have some interesting stuff coming up so I would follow them on Facebook and see what they are up to.
I also said a quick hello to Neil Shuck but did not get a chance to give him the Sharp Practice stuff for Joy of Six as I had planned.
I also had a chat with an old friend of mine, Michael Leck who put on a really nice game using his Pikemans Lament rules called Fort Mosquito 1654. This was a battle between Swedish and Dutch colonial forces set in mid 17th century Delaware, involving native tribes, attempting to wrestle control of the river and the important fur trade. Incidentially they grabbed two of the prizes of the day – well deserved. For more information see his blog (link here). I had a very useful discussion with Jan (who did the terrain and buildings) on how to make log cabins and the trees using steel wool that I will have to try out some time in the future.
Here are a few shots of our table in no particular order.
In addition Nick has put on some pictures on his facebook page (here) and on the Wyre Forest Wargames club page (here).
We produced a few organization charts to simplify the proceedings, they turned out being very useful and look good too. There were made using SmartArt Graphic in Excel and then pasted into PowerPoint with some added pictures etc.
Finally, the 1914-21 Society (link here) who was attending had a Maxim machine gun on display but, in my view, the key piece was the Madsen Light Machine Gun. I knew the Madsen as the LMG of the Norwegian and Danish soldiers of WW2, but did not know it was the first true light machine gun produced in a major quantity and that it was used extensively by the Russian Army in the Russo-Japanese war and during the Russian Civil War. Thanks for your time gents!
I just finished listening to Braddock’s Defeat on Audible and ended up buying the physical book as well from Amazon as a reference copy. This is an amazing piece of work by David Preston and I have not had so much enjoyment (reading a book on Military History) since I read Oskar Sjöström’s Fraustadt 1706: ett fält färgat rött. The Fraustadt book unfortunately, as is the case for a lot of Great Northern War literature, is not available in English. But I digress…
If you are familiar with the French Indian War period of history you will have heard about the British General Braddock leading a expeditionary force, in 1755, through Pennsylvania to attack the French Fort Duquesne on the forks of the Ohio River. A smaller French Canadian force, led by the French Captain Beaujeu and supported by native Indian Tribes, had decided to seek battle before the British arrived to the fort and encountered and attacked the British at Monongahela (about 10 miles from what is now Pittsburgh). It was the French Canadian resolve and ability to quickly get organised and use the terrain efficiently in applying woodland tactics that won the day.
“Historians have generally ignored French and Native perspectives on the 1755 campaign. The French were outnumbered, outgunned, and faced crippling supply problems in their Ohio Valley posts. They despaired of their inability to halt or slow Braddock’s relentless march. However, convoys of French reinforcements led by a veteran officer, Captain Beaujeu, came to Fort Duquesne after an epic 700-mile voyage from Montreal, arriving only a few days before the fateful battle at the Monongahela. …..
A newly discovered French account from the Archives du Calvados transforms our understanding of French and Native American leadership and tactics at the Battle of the Monongahela. The French commander, Captain Beaujeu, sent out Native scouts who brought him exact intelligence on the location and disposition of the British. Dividing his force into three parallel columns, Beaujeu organized a frontal attack on the British column with his Canadian troops. He instructed the Indians to spread out in the woods on the right and the left, and to withhold their fire until he had engaged the British. The Monongahela was neither a meeting engagement nor an ambush, but a well-planned and executed French and Indian attack on a vulnerable British column. “
Ten questions about Braddock’s Defeat by David L. Preston, accessible here.
I really enjoy the story telling aspect of real history and to paraphrase Dan Carlin, “it has destroyed fiction for me” (go and listen to one of his Hardcore History Shows if you have not done so yet!, here is a link). However being factual, intellectual and educational does not need to be boring and can instead be truly inspirational and that is this book in a nutshell. If you have any interest in the period, or military history in general, I suggest you get hold of this one.
I think a lot can be done with the skirmish rules I have (i.e. Sharp Practice, Musket and Tomahawks and Songs of Drums and Tomahawks) but for the “larger” battles I am not sure what good rulesets are there that captures the flavour of not just the period but in the particular way the war was fought in this theatre. But then this was only a small diversion!
Crystal Palace and that very famous Battle
I was intending to spend the day at SELWG (South East London Wargames Group) show in Crystal Palace today, but the little one had his first rugby festival for the season and luckily, because I would be a really sad bastard otherwise, I actually prefer to see him play rather than going to a wargames show. As it is very close to where we live we ended up going for the last 45 minutes on our way home – but the last part of a wargames show is very often like drinking a pint of lager that was poured two hours ago. I did not take any pictures of the tables on offer, but there seemed to be a good collection – a nice ancient game with loads of pikes and a Doctor Who game caught my eye. Next weekend (on both Saturday and Sunday) is the big event at Battle with the 950th Anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings. We are looking forward to this.
Supporting Cast, Real Estate and Markers
I decided to spend the little time I had available for diversions this week finalising as much of the painting as I could for the initial Sharp Practice stuff – so I and the little one could play a proper game in a not too distant future. This, instead of getting diverted spending hours gluing small strips of spaghetti like last week (see my last blog entry here) I actually managed to get some of the more immediate and necessary stuff completed.
I was thinking about a scenario with the characters from a famous movie set during the French Indian War – and did the three little chaps below. / Until next