Saturday, 24 March 2012


The latest set of rules in the Honour series from Sam Mustafa (author of Lasalle and Might & Reason) is now available for pre-order.

Maurice is intended to cover the period from the Wars of Louis XIV up to the French Revolution.  It has a campaign system and the rules themselves are card driven.

More details are available on the Introductory Flyer and a "lite" version of the rules is also available for download along with some sample pages from the rules from the site.

Northstar are handling the UK sales and have the rules and cards available for pre-order (£25 and £10 respectively or £30 together).  The pdf version can be ordered direct from Sam Mustafa.

Great and Glorious Days

Having read and enjoyed both the books by James Faulkner in the Battleground Marlborough series (Blenheim 1704 and Ramillies 1706), I decided to move Great and Glorious Days: Marlborough's Battles 1704-09 by the same author up my reading list.

This book is written in the same very readable style as the other two books and covers the Marlborough's major campaigns of the War of the Spanish Succession. As you would expect it includes the storming of the Schellenberg and the battles of Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet.

Having read the other two books the earlier sections cover the same ground and whilst not identical are unsurprisingly very similar.   The other campaigns and battles are covered to a equivalent level and suffer (from a wargamer's perspective) from not having a little more detail on the units and orders of battle.

This is certainly a good introduction to Marlborough and is very accessible.  I enjoyed it but am now looking for something with that greater level of detail.

Pike & Shotte Rules

Warlord Games have announced that the new addition to the Black Powder rules family - Pike & Shotte - are now available for pre-order.

I had thought that these rules were intended to cover the Thirty Years War and the English Civil War but according to Warlord's announcement they have been expanded to include the Italian Wars, the Tudor Wars in the British Isles and the War of the Grand Alliance.

I am in two minds about ordering them as I know they will be nicely produced with some lovely eye candy and I do have both Tudor Wars and Montrose figures that I could use with them; however, I am still not entirely sold on the Black Powder system.

In any event, if you are interested Amazon have them available for pre-order at a significant discount - £19.50 as opposed to the £30 RRP.  Although you won't get the free miniature that Warlord are offering.

If you're interested I've popped an Amazon affiliate link below:

Saturday, 17 March 2012

SAGA: Northern Fury

Gripping Beast have announced the first supplement for Saga, their Dark Ages rules.

The supplement includes four new factions: Anglo-Saxons, Bretons, Jomsvikings and Scots, all with new battleboards.  The first three utilise the existing Anglo-Dane, Norman and Viking dice but the Scots have their own new dice set.

A new multi-player scenario is also included.

The supplement is 22 pages long, £12 and Gripping Beast are taking pre-orders for the book, the Scots dice and some appropriate figure packs on their website.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Ramillies 1706 - Year of Miracles

Having read and enjoyed James Falkner's book on Blenheim, I decided to pick up the companion volume on Marlborough's next major victory - the Battle of Ramillies.

As you might expect this book is written is the same style as the Blenheim one and so is quite accessible.  It is only a fraction longer than the other volume, coming in at 144 pages.  Unfortunately it lacks an Order of Battle but otherwise I found it an excellent primer on the battle.

The book starts with some biographical notes which is pretty handy if you aren't familiar with the main characters of the period, especially as some have proper names along with their titles.

In a way Ramillies was a greater victory for Marlborough than Blenheim despite the fame of the latter, as it was won without the help of Prince Eugene of Savoy and against a French force of almost equal size in a good defensive position.

I have now moved on to Falkner's larger and broader volume - Great and Glorious Days - which covers some of the same ground as the Battleground volumes but much more besides.

Project Update

Having pretty much completed the first phase of Mahdist War project and with my Indian Mutiny project nearing a similar state I thought I would take a look at how things are shaping up. My major project for this year will be my 15mm Marlburians with a couple of other minor ones on the side (budget permitting); however, Lenin decided to get his DPM paints out and so a couple of "modern" projects have jumped the queue. I say "modern" but given both of these are really 1980's I wonder whether we need an alternative term given we're talking about 30 years ago! As someone pointed out to me a couple of weeks ago, if they filmed Back to the Future now Marty McFly would be going back to 1982 (now that's scary - it only seems like last week to me...). Anyway, onto the update:

28mm Falklands War

With this year being the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War, I thought it would be appropriate to expand my collection to include it - with a view to being able to use some of the British troops for other things (see below).

Initially I wondered about doing this at 15mm (and that still has its advantages); however, I had a chance to get some 28mm Royal Marines from a friend of mine so that rather decided things.  The figures are from the Gripping Beast Mo-Fo moderns range, so I have acquired a few more figures from the same range to bulk out the Marines and add some opposition.  This will give me around a weak platoon for each side which should be plenty for my table.

As to rules, there is a scenario covering the encounter at Top Malo house in the Force on Force book so that's clearly a possibility; however, I may drop down to using Chain Reaction/Nuts!

28mm Cold War Gone Hot

I had been interested in doing something in this genre for quite a while before the Force on Force supplement came out.

Indeed we have already played a couple of games based on this previously (for the latest see here) using some of my existing figures and Lenin's Soviet paras.

The germ of the idea came when I started collecting the rather lovely Mongrel modern British (originally for Northern Ireland - see here for photos) followed by some of their Soviets for Afghanistan.  World War 3 was a chance to get these figures to the table a little more often.  As I didn't have enough British Infantry nor were a number of the Afghanistan invasion Soviets suitable for Europe I decided to pick up a few more figures.  I have the Soviets on the workbench being based up at the moment.

As to rules, once again this is a toss up between Force on Force and Chain Reaction/Nuts!

Lenin is hoping to have some more figures ready for Salute so I should be able to get some photos up around then.

With these side projects queue jumping I suspect I will have to limit what else I am able to start this year but I do have a couple of part finished projects that I can progress without too much more "investment".

Sunday, 4 March 2012

First Look: 1812 - The Invasion of Canada

In my search for a light, family friendly entry board wargame, recently picked up a copy of 1812: The Invasion of Canada from Academy Games.  Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly the game is based around the US invasion of Canada in 1812.

This is a relatively recent release and having read some early reviews it looked like a good candidate to introduce certain wargame-phobic members of the family to a game themed around a historic conflict (I have had mixed success in this area previously with Shogun (the Queen Games version), Friedrich and Wars of the Roses).

1812 is an area control game which can be played with between 2 and 5 players.  It is essentially a team game with the US regulars and US militia facing up against the British regulars, Canadian militia and Native Americans.  The units are represented by wooden cubes and each faction has their own deck of movement and special cards which drive the game.

The board is a map of the US/Canadian border, the former in blue and the latter red, with each broken into the various regions.  The objective of the game is to capture the key areas on the opponent's side of the board.
Turn order is randomly determined by drawing from a bag.  Movement is governed by the cards and combat through special dice for each faction.  The faces of the dice are printed with either a target (a hit), a running man (meaning the unit flees) or a blank (a command decision - allowing withdrawal to a friendly region).  The faction dice differ to reflect the nature of the forces, for example the British regular dice have no running men.

During a turn a player musters new troops, recovers troops which have fled from previous combats, plays a movement card and, if they wish up to two special cards, fights any ensuing combats and then refills their hand.  The movement cards show how many units can be moved and how far either by land or by water (across the lakes).  The special cards provide various advantages, based on history and differ from faction to faction.

As you can see the basic mechanisms are very straightforward.  The challenge is in the decisions which have to be made which are different for each side.  The British muster their regular units at Montreal on the East side of the board but have a number of key regions in the centre whilst the US have their muster locations more evenly distributed but have farther to go to reach the border.

The game comes with three scenarios, the short introductory one and full 1812 and 1813 campaigns.  I have only played the introductory scenario so far but I am really keen to try the full blown campaigns.