A Bit of Basing

Taking advantage of the warm weather to try and get some of my own figures completed. Specifically getting all of the 54mm Napoleonic collection rebased and the bases finished off.

Took everything outside and managed to complete the 4 stages of basing on a box of Prussians and rebase some French Cavalry horse.

Bases have Brushscape dark sand added, then figure bases and edge of base painted with Desert Sand and a slight dry brush. Then dry brush with light sand. FInally adding flock to cover the figure bases.

This is how I’ve been doing bases since the late 1990s…

On to a box of French Infantry next then Dutch Belgians after that…

Gaming using Zoom

As Anthony, my regular opponent, and I are unable to meet up for a game, I decided to try and create a setup which would let you play a game using the Zoom Video Conferencing system. I decided on The Portable Wargame as a grid based game is easier for the player on the end of the video link and it stops problems with movement and fiddling with facing.

The setup was devised after a discussion with my wife, Sarah, who devided a system using bamboo canes across the table which would allow smartphone to be suspended above it.

I setup the table with a grid of letter and numbers down the sides and setup for One Hour Wargames Scenario 4 – Take the High Ground.

The smartphone above the tabel gave the following view enabling Anthony to plot his moves and see the whole table.

I setup a laptop on a chair on the opposite of the table to me so Anthony could see the table from a normal view and it appeared that we were playing a normal game.

Once Anthony joined, we had a 3-way conference call and Anthony was able to switch between the overhead view and the straight on view – though he most used the overhead one.

We used large foam dice for rolss which showed up well and Anthony was able to see them from the overhead camera.

The sides were 4 infantry, 2 cavalry, 1 artillery and a general each. We found that one the small table that the artillery was a little too powerful and for the second game dropped the artillery pieces.

Sadly, even though I was throwing all the dice, Anthony managed to win both games as the British!

But it was a successful test of technology and we are able to have two games of the Portable Wargame while maintaining social distance… We will definitely be repeating the experience.

PS> The photos are rather dark as the overhead lights shone too much on the shiny table tiles and made the overhead view harder to see,

LWR Forum Games Day 2020

The Little Wars Revisited 54mm Wargame Forum held the 3rd annual Games Dy in Woking. The venue was a room in Christchurch in the centre of Woking as usual.

Sadly, this year we had a number of dropouts due to diary clashes and then some last minute cancellations from Coronavirus fears or problems. This reduced the numbers from a healthy 12-16 potentials to just 5 hardy soulds who made it on the day.

There were three games run on the day:

Anthony Morton put on a Rorke’s Drift refight using Little Legion metal figures and the Portable Wargames rules.

I ran “The Relief of Fort Pippin” another game using The Portable Wargame and my own 19th century Blakc Hat Miniatures figures. This was a playtest of the participation game I have been working on for Salute 2020.

Eric and Jonny Kemp played a couple of variations on a Roman vs Celt game using Eric’s own rules (written the night before!).

Although numbers were down, a good time was had by all and people enjoyed the games they played.

Photographs of the games below:

ROMANS VS CELTS

Eric always produced superbly painted figures nad amazing conversions and this game was no exception. One particularly clever trick was taking the Call to Arms romans who are waving thier shields and swords around wildly (in a most unroman manner) and turning their heads through 90 degrees. This was very effective and makes the figures look so much better.

The first game involved a celtic attack on a Roman Watchtower and the second a mass brawl between the two sides.

RORKE’S DRIFT

Anthony Morton put on this Rorke’s Drift game. It used the Command and Colours scenarion from the C&C website and involved 3 waves of Zulus. The Zulus had to kill all British units before the british could destroy a wave (which happened when the Zulus lost 4 units). The closest the Zulus came across 3 games was killing 7 out of 10 British Units.

THE RELIEF OF FORT PIPPIN

This was a play test of a participation game. The germans have invaded Camberwick green and are besieging Fort Pippin, a relief force is dispatched from Chigley to save the fort. The game ran for 10 turns and whoever held the fort at the end of turn 10 wins. It was a very close game with the Germans capturing the fort on turn 8 before being thrown back out and then just failing to recapture it on turn 10.

Stuart Asquith Big Wars Memorial Game

Stuart Asquith very kindly sent me a copy of his Big Wars rules after I had mentioned them to him on the telephone when he had rung up to order some paint. I hadn’t had chance to play them up to now but Anthony and I both thought that a game using the rules would be a fitting memorial on the day of Stuart’s funeral.

The scenario chosen was Scenario 25 from the “Scenarios for all ages” book by Stuart and Charles Grant. The two armies are identical and coming along a road from east to west. The aim of the game is to seize a river crossing and deny a crossing to the opponent. The middle bridge is a footbridge only and is not one of the objectives.

We used my 19th Century Little Wars Revisited 54mm figures organised into 8 man infantry, 4 man cavalry units. Both forces were 4 infantry, 2 cavalry, 1 light infantry and a gun.

Curiously, both of us organised our column of march identically! We also both rolled so that the head of the column was level with the first bridge when the game began.

We soon discovered tht artillery was fairly ineffectual in the rules (though we did miss the rule to do with firing at structure which would have made it slightly more effective at infantry hiding in a house).

The first cavalry clash came by the far bridge with the Germans coming off the worst and being wiped out in the two rounds of melee.

The game developed with both sides moving along the river with occasional potshots at the enemy. The British were driven back from the first bridge by the German light Infantry.

The Germans then moved across the central bridge in column and were attacked by a cavalry unit who wiped them out to a man. This cavalry unit then crossed the bridge and wiped out another infantry unit before succumbing to a charge by the remaining German cavalry.

The loss of two units to the cavalry proved to much and the Germans were eventually forced to concede as they no longer had enough forces to hold a bridge.

The game was fun and both of us enjoyed it, having not played the scenario before, but we did have some problems with the rules:

We added an initiative roll to determine who moved first, with all shooting and melee being simultaneous after movement as there is no turn sequence described.

The major problem we had was with Cavalry. Even if we had been using the suggested 10 men Infantry units, they would have still been eliminated by cavalry as Infantry shooting at Cavalry halve their hits, so struggle to eliminate a figure when being charged. Then, in the melee the Cavalry are +2 for cavalry, +1 for charging, +1 for lance against an infantry of +1 for bayonet…

In both melees, the infantry were almost completely elminiated in the first round of combat…

I don’t think we read the rules incorrectly, but cavalry seem too powerful for 1870 onwards.

Memoir ’44 Dalek Game

My regular opponent Anthony is a keen fan of the Memoir ’44 system and a Dr Who fan so it is natural that he should want to combine the two. There is a variant for Memoir ’44 for Dr. Who which lets you take any historical scenario and replace the germans with daleks (or cybermen).

So, a couple of weeks ago we convened at Anthony’s to have our second game of the variant (the first one didn’t work terribly well as Anthony hadn’t read all the rules correctly and the Daleks were rather overwhelmed (and underwhelming)). This time we were sure of the rules.

The daleks are treated as Armour and have the advantge of moving further and firing at full strength regardless of the distance they fire at. They can also be only be hit on the armour symbol and ignore the first flag retreat result. In the scenario we played, the daleks had 6 units and a unit of Dalek troopers who didn’t could towards victory conditions. The UNIT side required 4 victory points to win (destroying dalek units) and the daleks required 10 victory points (destroy units or destroy a town).

It was a close fought game and UNIT finally won with their 4th victory point while the Daelks were on 8 points. In retrospect it would have been better on a couple of occasions for me, as the daleks, to destroy a town and risk losing a unit.

Definitely a good variant and one we will play again.

The figures are all 54mm with corgi daleks. The dalek troopers are repainted Star Wars figures.

Post game analysis was had over a cuppa with Anthony’s cat Leonard looking on…

Little Wars Revisited Forum Games Day 2019

A group of us from the Little Wars Revisited 54mm Wargames Forum met up in Woking for the second LWR Forum Games Day on Saturday March 16th.

The idea of the day is to bring a group of people interested in 54mm wargaming together, put on some different games so that people can see what others have been working on and chat to some fellow enthusiasts. We managed slightly more people this year with the furthest traveller coming down from Fife.

We have 5 games this year:

Anthony Morton put on a Zulu Wars games using the Portable Wargames Rules and using Little Legion figures

Eric Kemp and his son Jonny put on a Schleiswig-Holstein skirmish game using figures converted from ACW ones and using their own rules.

Tim Rose put on a VBCW game using various figures and his own rules

Brian Carrick ran and Battle Cry ACW game using Britain’s detail figures

and I ran a 19th Century game using my own Little Wars Revisited Figures and the “A Gentleman’s War Rules”

People arrived at 9am and after introductions, coffee and some chat, we started playing the first games around 10am. There was a break for lunch in the church cafe and then we swapped around to play another game in the afternoon.

After packing up, 5 of us went for a meal in a local Turkish restaurant and then onto the pub for a drink and more chat about toy soldiers.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the day.

There are many more photos and reports on the day on the Little Wars Revisited Forum here:

http://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net/thread/172/lwr-forum-2019-games-day?page=3

A Gentleman’s War playtest

“A Gentleman’s War” is a new set of rules that Howard Whitehouse has been working on for a while. They are shortly to be published as a book but I used the playtest rules from April 2018 for a test game.

AGW is a deliberately old school set of rules for playing with toy soldiers on a table top. It used card activation, quite a few dice and single figure removal.

I am planning on running this at the Little Wars Revisited Forum Games Day on March 16th in Woking, so wanted to try out the rules ahead of time and test out the Hook’s Farm scenario to see what tweaks I would need to make. As always, Anthony gave me a hand by playing the British side…

The table laid out for the game, complete with Gizmo the cat surveying the scene…

The Prussian setup at the start of the game.

The British setup at the the start

AGW uses 12-man infantry units, 6-man skirmisher units and 6 man cavalry units. Guns are crewed by 4 figures.

The Prussians advance.

The game uses activation cards which determine which side moves and how many units it can move (it is possible to brigade units together) – you can also have hold cards in your hand which enable you to interrupt the other person’s go before they have taken an action.

The British Cavalry

Shooting is fairly straightforward, rolling a D6 for each figure in the first two ranks and the number needed depending on range. Hits can be saved which is modified by cover.

The melee around Hook’s Farm

Close combat is a little more complex and there are a number of factors which determine whether one side has an advantage or not. This affects the number you need to roll to cause a casualy. I did like the fact that casualties are counted and that determines the winner of the melee and THEN the outcome determines what number you will roll to save your casualties. People running away are more likely to bayoneted!

Hook’s Farm

Terrain does disorder units which restricts what you can do and we have too much terrain on the table for this game – I will run the LWR game on a wider table which should allow for freer movement.

Firefly Church

I also got the melee rules wrong – partly by reading a table incorrectly and also for a couple of other reasons. This seemed to make skirmishers in a building too strong but in retrospect I think that they are about right with the correct rules!

I enjoyed the game – it has an Old School feel and gives a good game with larger units and probably larger forces than The Portable Wargame…

Shambattle

Anthony and I tried out the Shambattle rules this week using my LWR 19th Century figures.

The rules were originally published in 1929 and draw on some of the ideas on H G Wells’ Little Wars with some other changes. The interesting thing about the game is that the table top represents two countries divided by a river with 3 towns each and the game involves attacking the other country. The version of the rules we used are the set published and enhanced by Thor Shiels (who sadly died late last year) which have some suggested amendments and updates.

There are 3 levels of game – Lieutenant, Captain and General – we played the middle sized game. The Captain’s game involved 25 figres a side plus a gun and 2 crew, of which no more than half could be cavalry. We settled on 6 cavalry, 18 infantry, an officer and a gun with crew. The enhanced game includes victory conditions and Anthony was charged with capturing both the east and west bridge and holding them for 3 turns, while I had to capture the opponent’s frontier town and hold it for 4 turns.

The photo shows the setup at the start of the game.

The game is very luck based as there is no shooting, just combat and artillery fire. Combat involves rolling a D6 for each of your own men and on a 1-3 they die, 4-6 they survive. My die rolling was fairly poor and my men died in droves..

Artillery fire only hits on a 1 (and only Anthony managed to hit all game) but all figures under the arillery template (which could cover 4-5 men) are killed.

Eventually, Anthony eliminated all my troops and won the game.

The General’s game with some additional terrain, 40-50 figures a side and the use of field hospitals which enable you to recover wounded troops looks the most interesting variant.

Not something I can see us playing as regularly as The Portable Wargame or other rules but something that makes a nice change of pace and scale.

Little Wars Revisited Forum Games Day 2019

The 2019 LWR forum 54mm games day is booked for Saturday March 16th 2019. This will be a day of playing 54mm games with fellow enthusiasts and talking about 54mm gaming.

Full details are here:

http://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net/thread/172/lwr-forum-2019-games-day?page=1

and pictures from last year’s event can be seen here:

http://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net/thread/112/little-wars-revisited-games-march?page=3

Please let me know if you are interested in coming along and please advertise the event if you have a blog devoted to 54mm gaming.

Many thanks

All the Queen’s Men Toy Soldier Ranges

In 2015 we acquired the “All the Queen’s Men” colonial ranges from a local collector. I am now pleased to say that we have now acquired all of the rest of the AQM ranges including the vast Napoleonic, Bands, Crimean, etc sets.

The last of the moulds will arrive today and I expect to collect the 20+ boxes of masters over the next week or so.

It will take me a while to sort and catalogue all the moulds and check through all the masters to make sure that we can produce all the sets on offer. In particular, a lot of the older horse moulds will require remaking.


I am in the process of putting together a full price list for the ranges which will include prices for painted sets and castings. For the vast majority of these sets it will be the first time they have ever been available as castings.


I don’t have the moulds for the resin scenery for the vignette sets but will be recreating these in due course to be able to offer such things as the hougoumont sets and the storming of Badajoz.

I hope to start offering the sets in about 4-5 weeks and have the price lists up on the website. I will then work through casting and photographing sets to add to the online shop over the next few months (or more!)

Please inquire if there anything you are particularly interested in and I can look out for that set as I sort things.

This does mean I will finally be in a position to produce the Imperial German sets that I know people were interested in.

www.imperialminiatures.co.uk

This is part of a change in direction for as I have now also sold all of my wargames figure ranges that I produced through Black Hat Miniatures. The 15/18mm ranges will go to their new owner in the middle of next week.

I still own and will be retailing and distributing the Coat D’arms range of acrylic paint but this will enable me to concentrate more on the 54mm ranges.