It has been quite a while since I updated this blog. real life has got in the way with a couple of Hospital visits for tests for stomach problems and the recent death of my Mother which has meant I haven’t had as much time or inclination to report on games or actually play games.

I also have been playing fewer 54mm based games recently, which was originally meant to be the focus of this blog.

I have decided to expand the focus and just to blog all the games I am currently playing and projects that are on the go.

I reccently had a clearout of projects in an attempt to focus on projects that I wanted to play and periods I was interested in. This has seen the selling off of a range of projects including everything under 20mm except my own Martian Empires 18mm collection.

I sold a lot of 15mm Napoleonics and ancients and then swapped the rest of my painted 15mm Napoleonics with Ian Hinds of Hinds Figures for a large, painted 20mm plastic ACW collection. The initial idea was to get enough to play Battle Cry ACW with figures, but in the end, I decided to get the whole collection which will allow me to play larger games with other rules as well.

As part of the clearout I also catalogued my painted figure collection and was rather surprised by the totals which are:

4201 Infantry
437 Cavalry
64 Artillery
66 Vehicles

They vary in size from 18mm to 54mm. The largest collections are around 750 25mm FPW, around 600 25mm Lord of the Rings figures and the 500+ 20mm ACW collection.

I have a number of other collections that I am working on and want to bring up to scratch to get on the table. These include:

40mm AWI
I was offered a collection of Front Rank AWI figures for a price that made them irrestible and consequently I bought all 800 unpainted figures for less than £1 each (usually £2.50 each)…

I need to sort them properly into units and work out what I need to add in the way of cavalry and generals but I have painted 2 12 man British units so far for Rebels and Patriots rules.

54mm Punic Wars

This is a long term project to play Command and Colours Ancients using 1 54mm for each block. I have nearly everything I need. The intention is to simply undercoat each side a diferent colour initially and then to gradually get them all painted.

54mm Napoleonics

This is mostly the collection I bought from Andy Duff’s widow, plus some Prussians I bought from Anthony Morton and a few units I had already painted. I need to sort the British out and carve off the wings to make centre company figures before sortng them into units. I also need to add more cavalry – which I have unpainted and in boxes and plan the rest of the additions…

28mm Konflkt ’47
I have a fairly large collection of DUST figures and would like to play K47 with them but need to add a couple of squads of normal WW2 infantry to the Germans and Soviets to start the forces. i have the figures from Great Escape Games and have undercoated them but haven’t started painting them yet.

20mm WW2
I haven’t used this early war collection for quite a while but played a fun game of Bolt Action recently with them which re-awakened my interest, so I need to add some more support weapons and sort out some additional troops.

54mm 19th Century

I am booked in to run a participation game at Salute next year using the Portable Wargame so I need to add to my existing forces to increase them for a 4 player game and I want to add some civilians as well.

So, quite a lot of variety and a lot of things to work on in between painting Toy Soldiers for other people. I am hoping to get the part completed projects to the stage where I can play a game with them over the next year before starting on anything new (such as the 54mm ECW project which has 25 boxes of plastics sitting in the loft!).

First 54mm Napoleonics Game

I bought a large collection of 54mm Napoleonics last year from Andy Duff’s widow (Andy sadly died in December 2017) and I have slowly been working through it making sense of the figures an rebasing them into my planned arrangement for 12 man units based on 4 stands of 60mm x 40mm. The figures are a some what eclectic mix (as Andy himself admitted) and contain a fair amount of austrians repainted as other nations which will evntually be restored to their white coats and correct uniforms.

I have also bought a fair number of Prussians from Anthony who has decided to move to metals for his napoleonic collection.

I now have enough based up for a game and so Anthony and I met up to play a game using Neil Thomas’s Napoleonic rules with 8 units a side.

Each side had 1 cavalry, 1 gun, 5 line infantry, 1 poorer quality infantry, 1 general and 1 officer.

The game worked very well and we both enjoyed it – simple victory conditions were to claim the crossroads or reduce the enemy to 2 units. After a hard fought battle which swung both ways at times, the prussian jagers managed to almost completely destroy the last intact French unit with some lucky die rolling and I admitted defeat.

I need to finish the bases off for the figures but was keen to get them on the table as I always find that playing a game keeps up my interest in a project…

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…

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:

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

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

The Battle of Hooks Farm, Woking

Saturday September 2nd saw the Battle of Hook’s Farm take place in the Woking between the forces of Army Red and Dark Green (in my side garden).

The game was played using the Funny Little Wars rules with 6 infantry, 2 cavalry and 3 guns aside for a total of 120 infantry, 24 cavalry and 3 artillery. Each side also had one sniper.

I umpired.

Anthony with the forces of Army Red deployed on their baseline.

The battlefield of Hook Farm, showing the farm, firefly church, the cottage and the hovel. A small stone wall provides some cover in the middle.

Brian with the deployed forces of Army Dark Green.

Army Red start their initial manouevres.

The catering corps observing the action

Army Red send a cavalry detachment to seize the farm.

On the other flank the cavalry dash towards the church

Army Dark Green advance more cautiously having refused one flank

Army Red advance in a steady line

Both sides cavalry contest the farm

First blood to Army Green as a well placed shell kills some cavalry

General view of the battlefield

Army Dark Green deploy the guns

And the artillery duel begins

Army Green advance to line the wall

Army Red Sniper hides by the Hovel

Slavs skulk in cover – unfortunately they were hit by their own guns just after this as a stray shell landed in front of the woods…

Forced into retreat by their own artillery…

The action hots up with a firefight developing

By firefly church the Red cavalry threaten the Dark Green heavy gun.

And over run it

Dismounted cavalry fight over the farm…

The game was fun and eventually, Army Red got the better of the firefight and having spiked their guns Army Dark Green withdrew from the battlefield. We were very lucky with the weather.

We played from 11am to 5.30pm with an hour or so’s break for lunch at 1pm and another short break for cake and tea…