I play DBA quite a lot in the and with my current enthusiasm for Big Bases I'm rebasing my ancients and medieval armies for Big Base DBA. To help with that process I wanted to know what nationalities the DBA elements correspond to.
I've decided to go for big bases for the Peninsular War. Each of my bases is 80mm wide and 40mm deep. Each stand gets six cavalry or 12 infantry. Two of these, one behind the other, is a V&B brigade stand. But for games at a lower level of abstraction a stand might be a battalion or even half a battalion (a "wing").
French Dragoons on Big Bases
"You can never have too many trucks" is a catch phrase of Megablitz players, and, in fact, of players of other operational games such as Not Quite Mechanised. You see Megablitz includes rules for logistics and transport for those supplies is very important. Megablitz forces also need headquarters and signals units; signals units in particular are something that rarely appear on a wargaming table.
As a consequence I've been building up my truck pool. Actually it is a transport pool and includes trucks, half-tracks, tractors, cars, and wagons. Some painted by me, some by people I know, some just purchased off ebay.
I thought I'd highlight the range so far.
Russian Zis 5 3 ton trucks (painted by Steven Thomas)
The Portuguese used a variety of equipment, both foreign and local made, during the Portuguese Colonial War and n the mid-1960s the Portuguese acquired a batch of Panhard AML-60 Armoured Cars for their reconnaissance squadrons. These vehicles have a mortar as the main armament, an unusual weapon for an armoured car, so I thought I'd do some research on them.
Portuguese Panhard AML-60 Armoured Car
War is merely the continuation of politics by other means
Given warfare is politics by other means it seems appropriate that a wargaming campaign system models the political element. And I've found a great little campaign system that does that: Kapitan Kobold: The Campaign For Alto Peru A Mapless Campaign for Liberated HOTT.
Kapitan Kobold's campaign is for the Wars of South American Liberation using his variant of HOTT. The campaign has the usual stuff about forming armies, fighting battles, troops gaining experience, and handling casualties. The bit of the campaign system I found particularly interesting were the victory conditions.
Kapitan Kobold's campaign system uses Political Tokens to simulate the political element. Players strive to gain Political Tokens and thus win the campaign. The mechanics are simple yet effective so I thought I'd paraphrase them here.
The Portuguese paratroopers were amongst the first to see action as the Portuguese Colonial War started in 1961 and were amongst the last to pull out in 1975 (Spencer & Machado, 1992). They achieved an impressive 20:1 kill ratio, i.e. 20 insurgents killed for the loss of one paratrooper. Although it was more like 3:1 for casualties in general.
In 1992 David Spencer and Miguel Machado wrote a great little article on the Portuguese Paratroopers during the Portuguese Colonial War. I've referred to the article in various places around the site but I thought I'd type up my notes on the operations the paras were involved in.
Martin Groat and group chose my Mekensievy-Gory Scenario to use as a Crossfire participation game at Salute 2012. I must say I was very impressed by the table. It was very rich. Small - it was only 1x1 metre rather than 4' x 4' - but very impressive. After the show Martin sent through some photos of the table.
Heart of Mekensievy-Gory
Having played the Battle of Gavilan with Liberators QPR, Chris Harrod and I played the Gavilan scenario for Liberators HOTT. This time around Chris was the defending Patriots and I was the Royalists. It was great fun and much faster than Liberators QPR. The Patriots won again thus reinforcing our suspicion that the Royalists are doomed from the start. Full battle report here.
Royalist Column Ordonez faces the Argentine Horse Grenadiers
Chris Harrod and I played the Gavilan scenario for Liberators QPR and I wrote up a battle report. I was the defending Patriots and Chris the Royalists. It was great fun but Another epic in terms of play time. The Patriots won. We're not sure the Royalists can win even with beefing up Morgado's forces.
Royalist Chillan Dragoons charge and rout
- The first outing of my of my four horse artillery limbers.
- The first time I've fielded my Russian and German supply carts.
- The first time I've used one of my newly painted MDF base boards.
- The first time I've used by 45x45mm sabots for Russian Rifle Regiments.
- The first time we've played a game on a ridiculously skinny table.
- The first Megablitz game in a long time
Chris took some snaps on his phone and I wrote the battle report.
A Russian Corps advances
on the positions of the German 87th Division
I'm thinking of using Cold War Commander for the Portuguese Colonial War but the rules don't have a Portuguese Army List. So I wrote my own. It is based on my historical Portuguese Order of Battle. I've adopted the updated army list format of Blitzkrieg Commander (2009) with AT and AP being separate and a CA column.
I am experimenting with using my 6mm terrain with 15mm figures on a DBA/HOTT sized table. The trouble is I've only got a small collection of 6mm terrain and this is from old Military Miniatures range crafted by Mark Strachan. I like the terrain, and the paint job by Gordon Roach, but Military Miniatures morphed into BattleFront and they no longer sell this stuff. So I decided to supplement my collection by making my own - starting with streams.
Variety of homemade stream sections
Chris Harrod, Robin Doran and I played the Alternative Chacabuco scenario from Fletcher (2006) using Liberators QPR. This is the third time I've played the scenario; the first time was Liberators QPR, the second was Liberators HOTT.
I was the Royalists / Spanish (for the second time). Chris was San Martin with Soler's Division. Robin was O'Higgins. This was Robin's first historical wargame.
Another good game. Went faster this time. We got to a conclusion in 4.5 hours including set up. The direct tactics of the Patriots helped with that. The game featured the rout of three squadrons of Elite Argentine Horse Grenadiers.
We took the opportunity to introduce some House Rules.
I wrote up a Battle Report.
Royalist Chillan Battalion routs the Argentine Horse Grenadiers
Andrew Coleby and I played an early version of the Liberators HOTT version of the Alternative Chacabuco Scenario which is based on that in Fletcher (2006). Andrew was the Royalists and I was the Patriots.
Andrew is quite keen on using more-or-less standard HOTT for historical periods. He introduced me to horse and musket HOTT with a Seven Years War game.
This was the first time we'd tried Liberators HOTT and although both the rules and scenario need some tweaking it was jolly good fun. And we comfortably set up and finished within two hours which is a key requirement for our sessions.
I wrote up a Battle Report.
Chris Harrod and I played the Cancha Rayada scenario with the Liberators Quick Play Rules. A great game. Really fun. On the down side it was a bit long and revealed some flaws in the scenario. I wrote up a battle report.
Badly mauled Royalist Burgos Battalion
still sees off the Chilean Coquimbo Cazadores
Chris Harrod and I played the Maipo Scenario from the Liberators book using the Liberators Quick Play Rules. We rolled for sides and Chris became the Royalists and I got the Patriots. I wrote up a battle report. It was good fun, looked great with heaps of troops on the table, but took a while to get a decision.
Patriot right flank infantry
attack Royalist infantry and artillery
To celebrate the completion of my Liberators armies Andrew Coleby and I had a go at Alternative Chacabuco from the Liberators Supplement. We used the Liberators Quick Play Rules (QPR) from the same book. We played four hours over two sessions at which point Andrew conceded me a narrow victory. Liberators QPR has a good period feel but isn't quick by DBA standards. The first two hours involved manoeuvring to contact; we'd solve this next time by using a smaller table. After another two hours we'd only really played out half the actual fight. But, as we can only get two hour slots to play in, we decided not to play it out to a definitive conclusion. None-the-less it was fun. Next time we'll try Liberators HOTT. :)
Argentine 11th Infantry Regiment
after they rout the Royalist Chiloe Regiment
With the painting part of my 1817-18 Chilean Project for the South American Wars of Liberation coming to the close, I thought it about time to reorganise that part of my site. I've also turned my gaze to the rules to use. The main changes are:
- Created a new area focussing on the Liberators Quick Play Rules (QPR)
- Put anything specific to Chilean Independence into in a sub-section of Liberators. This is mainly material from what was my "1817-18 Chilean Project"
- Created the start of a sub-section on Argentina within Liberators
The supplement to Liberators (Fletcher, 2006) includes a set of Quick Play Rules (QPR). Following my pattern of keeping the rules separate from the military history I've started a section on these rules separate from the Liberators in general. So far I've got material on House Rules and Clarifications, Basing, and Markers.
I've been looking at making my own hills. Big hills to complement the smaller commercial hills I've already purchased. I knew I should use High Density Polystyrene which is otherwise called Blue or Pink Foam. But I was struggling to find that. After some googling I put together some guidelines.
I was going back over old emails from the Liberators 1810-1830 Yahoo Discussion Forum and found some material on uniforms. So I thought I'd put it somewhere - a new Liberators Painting Guide page. Mostly pictures of Gauchos but some notes on racial mix as well.
"El Gral. Martín Miguel de Güemes y sus Gauchos"
A. Struch - Salta 1912
Museo Histórico del Norte - Cabildo de Salta.
Originally I began building my Generic Building Sectors so I could play the Ponyri scenario from Hit the Dirt. Then I built a whole bunch more so I could run a big multi-player game using my expanded Ponyri Station scenario. Over the last couple of years I've been experimenting with playing Crossfire in highly built up areas ... starting with my 2 Foot City, then SU152s in Tarnopol, 92nd Naval in Stalingrad, and most recently Carabanchel in the Spanish Civil War. During this process I expanded my collection of building sectors with some bigger city blocks. And finally for Carabanchel I built some Triangular Blocks to allow Diagonal Streets. That has left me quite a big collection. Enough to fill a 6' x 4' table. Now that would be a real city fight. I've updated my Generic Building Sectors page to show photos of all of these including the shots of the big table.
All my Generic Building Sectors on one table
Continuing my experiments with Crossfire scenarios in heavily built up areas and/or on small tables, I put together a scenario set in the Carabanchel sector in Nov 1936 as the Nationalists assault into Madrid. The scenario features Moroccan Regulares versus Anarchist Militia - and I finally got to field my Nationalist Panzer Is.
This is also the first scenario which features my new triangular building blocks to give diagonal streets. I put quite a lot of thought into the design/floor plan of the triangular blocks. But it was worth it as the diagonal streets add quite a lot to the tactical challenge of a city game.
Chris Harrod and I played two very good games with this scenario. In both cases the defending Republicans won - once under Chris and once under my command. Despite this outcome we believe it was a near run thing in both games and have declared the game "balanced". The games played to conclusion in 60 minutes and 90 minutes so great for an evening session after work. Andrew Coleby and I will be giving in a go soon as well.
Although set in the Spanish Civil War it can easily be adapted for other arenas, for example, it would require very little work to adapt it to Stalingrad. The defenders become Russian and the attackers German. Replace the Panzer Is with something a little more 1942 in style (assault guns perhaps) and give the defenders one or two anti-tank guns (at most 76mm) to compensate. And lose the Political Cooperation special rule.
Whilst on holiday recently I read, and wrote up, Michael Jones's book "The Retreat: Hitler's first defeat". Prior to this my main source for the Battle for Moscow was Braithwaite's book Moscow 1941. I'd previously written up Braithwaite's book but with a second main source I took the opportunity to create a section specifically on the Battle for Moscow. I'd done something similar for Stalingrad and Moscow seems epic enough to warrant an area of its own. The starting point was my notes from Braithwaite's book, supplemented by Jones. Most of the detail is in the Timeline for Moscow and as usual I've included some ideas on potential scenarios.
Dick Bryant play tested my draft Astrang Crossings Scenario. The scenario has the 5th Seaforths fighting off German attacks from both sides. I've put up Dick's comments as a Battle Report. Unfortunately the play test was pretty one sided with Dick believing the British mortar and artillery superiority was overly decisive. I've taken this on board and modified the scenario - hopefully achieving more game balance. In particular I have:
- reduced the FM of all the British artillery and mortars.
- made the breakout force "Reckless" to reflect the near suicidal determination of such troops to escape encirclement. This means they behave like Russians and Japanese when charging to contact, i.e. ignore Pins and get killed by a Suppress.
With those changes Dick thinks it well worth trying the scenario again.
General Der Artillerie Walter Hartmann commanded the German 87th Infantry Division from 1 Feb 1943 to 22 Nov 1943. In 1947 he wrote an analysis of German experience in positional warfare and retrograde movement based on his experiences. I wrote a summary of the Infiltration of Position Four and two draft scenarios based on it, one for each of:
The Crossfire Scenario is a mini-campaign linking two games; I've concentrated on the battles involving the infiltration force. The Megablitz Scenario covers the whole action in one game with the entire 87th Division on table and facing a Soviet Rifle Corps. Both scenarios are draft but seem to offer interesting games.
I've got almost a battalion of Fallschirmjaeger for Crossfire. This force was cobbled together from figures I got from John Mclennon and Rich Wilcox. It includes a well painted platoon by John Mclennon himself plus figures from ebay - a nicely painted company and an averagely painted half battalion. Roland Davis has volunteered to paint the missing bits - predominantly MG-42 stands. But he didn't want to do this until he'd seen photos of some of my existing troops. So I've duly added pics to my WW2 Painting Guide for Fallschirmjaeger.
I've painted the eight artillery stands necessary for the Royalists at the battle of Chacabuco (12 Feb 1817). This is part of my Chilean Project for 1817-18. I'm painting the Royalists and Roland is painting the Patriots (Argentines and Chileans). I think I've now all done for the Royalists for Chacabuco but I still need the Patriot artillery.
Royalist 4 pounders
Andrew Coleby and I tried out my Moroccan Knives scenario. Andrew wanted to try Spanish Civil War Crossfire and I wanted to experiment with a small table and lots of terrain; like the 2 Foot City but in the countryside. We only get a couple of hours to play when Andrew comes over so the game had to be small. All this meant we had small companies facing each other on a 4'x3' table covered in woods features. It turned out to be a good little game and I've written up the battle report. Andrew scored a well deserved win. I'd make only one change to the scenario; I'd add a time limit, for example, attacker has to achieve their victory conditions in 2 hours real time or the defender wins.
Moroccan Regulares Platoon outflanks the Anarchist positions
I picked up an Aztec army from ebay a while ago and yesterday I got a Mayan army. Coincidentally Chris Harrod has just visited the Canary Islands leading to a resurging interesting in Conquistadores and the New World. And New World DBA. From previous games we realised that the smaller, 75 AP, armies made a better game on a 2'x2' board so I've updated the New World DBA Army Lists for Mexico and Peru to include examples of 75 AP armies. For example:
Example 75 AP New World DBA Army Lists
- Conquistador (Mexico):
- 1 x Lancer (Gen) (Ln); 1 x War Dogs (Dog); 4 x Sword & Buckler (BdE); 2 x Crossbow & Arquebus (ShE); 1 x Field Gun (Art); 9 Stands Total
- 8 x Military Orders with supporting noble apprentices (Gen) (BdS); 10 x Macehualtin Clan Warriors (BdO); 2 x Skirmishers with Sling (Sk); 20 Stands Total
- 4 x Nobles and Military Societies (Gen) (BdS); 14 x Commoner Archers (ShO); 6 x Skirmishers (Sk); 24 Stands Total
- Conquistador (Peru):
- 2 x Lancer (Gen) (Ln); 1 x War Dogs (Dog); 4 x Sword & Buckler (BdE); 2 x Crossbow & Arquebus (ShE); 9 Stands Total
- 1 x Litter (Gen) (Lit); 10 x Inca Regulars (ShS); 4 x Militia (BdO); 5 x Skirmishing Slingers (Sk); 20 Stands Total
I've started work on a Nordlingen (6 Sep 1634) Scenario for FOG Renaissance. A spanish-Imperialist force against Swedish-Saxons. The order of battle is from Slitherine Forum: Nordlingen After Action Report although I have:
- Translated to the Troop Names in the relevant FOG lists
- Included the full troop description (rather than just, for example, "2Pk + 4Mq (Average 42 points)")
- Formatted using my normal orbat format
- Checked the points
And I've added a map.
I have a confession to make. When compiling the Crossfire orders of battle for the Spanish Civil War I got confused by quantity and structure. I've now rethought this and changed the orbats accordingly.
In terms of infantry there are only really two TO&E to worry about:
- Normal Infantry = Company of three Sections (Crossfire Platoon) of three Platoons (Crossfire Squad). Could be 145 men but normally 100.
- Legion Infantry = Company of three Sections of two Platoons of three Squads. Very odd structure. If you total the men in this structure you get to about 150 men but casualties would mean they operated with much fewer men. Accounts give the Squads as fighting on with only two men from the normal complement of 7.
In Crossfire I originally opted for 4 squads per platoon so the total number of men was roughly 145-150 divided between the three Platoons. This fitted both company structures above for the number of Sections (CF Platoons) and total number of men. It wasn’t intended to reflect the actual organisation within the Section (CF Platoon) particularly for the Legion structure which has that extra layer of command.
However the the orbats in Crossfire itself ignore the number of men (e.g. ignore casualties and non-combatant roles) and concentrate on how they are organised. For example a full strength US infantry company had 200 men. That would be a lot of stands in Crossfire. But the CF orbat just gives them the standard 3 squads per platoon. In light of that 3 squads per platoon (or less) is probably more sensible for SCW as well.
I have now changed my Crossfire orbats for the Spanish Civil War to have 3 squads per platoon. A beneficial side effect is that I now can use my "extra" painted stands to build more platoons.
It has been a while since the last post as I've been busy with a new job. However with the release of Field of Glory Renaissance Roland and I have restarted my Thirty Years War project. Roland has already painted a Dutch army for me covering the period. He is in the process of painting the Spanish. Meanwhile I've been reading the rules and making some notes on the armies: FoG R Army Lists, 30 Years' War Starter Armies, and 30 Years' Spanish. Essentially I'm trying to get starter armies for the Battles of Nordlingen (1634) and Rocroi (1643) with the option for as many other armies as possible. All by using the figures I've already got plus with minimal additional troops. The chart on the 30 Years' War Starter Armies is the main tool for this as it shows which troop types are used in which armies. There is a specific issue with Later Imperial Spanish in Wars of Religion: Western Europe 1610-1660 This list covers the period 1621-59 but the starter army is limited to 1632-34. Perfect for Nordlingen but not for Rocroi. On 30 Years' Spanish I explore a couple of Starter Armies for the latter period.
Post 1635 Spanish Tercio
For the Portuguese Colonial War - set in Africa - I used Wild Animals as my Blinds. Lion, Tiger, Giraffe, Rhino, Croc, African Cow, Hippo, Ostrich, Antelope, Warthog, Hyena and Ape on a tree. This is also a nod to the movie "Ghosts in the Darkness" where some supposedly supernatural lions kills a whole bunch of people in southern Africa. The Ghosts are meant to "suggest" something rather than "be" something so I don't bother painting them realistically. I paint them a generic green.
Lion Blind - the ultimate Ghost in the Darkness
Section K is my first unit of insurgents for the Portuguese Colonial War. They are well equipped with weapons and uniforms. The uniforms are a mix of khaki, olive drab and camouflage. Although khaki dominates a bit, as it did in reality, it was the camouflage which was fun to paint. I included quite a range of camouflage types.
Section K (to the right on the tree line)
skirmish with Portuguese Commandos
I've started my Portuguese 'army' for the Portuguese Colonial War. So far I've got a section of Cazadores and a fire team of Commandos. All in camo and equipped with G3 assault rifle and MG42 machine gun. The machine gunners are conversions.
Portuguese convoy arrives at a village
The Section Leader of the Cazadore escort organises perimeter defence
All of the games from Two Hour Wargames are based on the same mechanisms. Since Chain Reaction 3.0 has their core rules, and it is free, I wondered what the other rules sets are giving me. You could argue that this exercise is a waste of time as I've already bought the other rules but really I'm thinking "if I wrote my own supplement what would I have to write and what would come from Chain Reaction 3.0?".
I'm currently thinking about the Portuguese Colonial War so the three sets of rules I'd decided to compare are all 20th Century: CR3, FNG 1st Ed, and Nuts 2nd Ed. Both CR3 and Nuts 2nd Ed are new generation rules published in 2009. FNG 1st Ed is older (2006) but there is a new version coming soon.
My starting point are the table of contents for each set. I've highlighted where there are differences. The comparison is made slightly more difficult because the core mechanisms are evolving and older games differ from the newer generation. I've tried to gloss over these.
The summary is that the supplements have the core rules plus more detail on equipment (weapons and vehicles), army lists, running a campaign and specific missions.
I've started on the orders of battle for Fogo Cruzado my Crossfire variant of for the Portuguese Colonial War of the 1960s and 1970s. They are based on the historical orders of battle. As Fogo Cruzado is more or less 1:1 scale the basic stand is a Fire Team rather than a Squad. Similarly heavier weapons such as Medium Machine Guns (MMG) are individual weapons rather than sections of 2 or 3. So far it is Portuguese including Light Infantry (Caçadores), Intervention units (unidades de intervenção), and Special Groups (Grupos Especiais or GE).
Archiduque Painting Service have done some lovely work painting up Perry 28mm Carlist War figures. They kindly sent over some samples which I plonked into a gallery.
Carlist Navarese Lancer
Roby from Italy asked my advice on Sci-FI Crossfire. I'm no expert but that didn't stop me writing up some ideas.
I reread Geoffrey Parker's "Dutch Revolt" whilst on holiday recently. This time around I took notes for a Timeline of the Dutch Revolt. Unfortunately I only had time to write up the events through to April 1572. When I get time I'll add more detail.
I picked up a small Aztec army on ebay. I don't know the figure manufacturer. It isn't Essex, Gladiator or Falcon - I know because I've got unpainted figures from all of them. I've also mixed in three Essex figures that I had - two painted by John Mclennan and one by me. I took some photos of them.
My Dutch Revolt army was the first army that Roland Davis painted for me. In fact it was the second Dutch Revolt army Roland had painted in a row. He had previously painted this army for John Mclennan. I saw John's army at a Wargames Tournament in New Zealand, fell in love with it, and asked Roland to paint one for me. Which he did. He was, I understand, a little tired with the Dutch by the end of it. Now, after far too many years, I have finally got them out of their box to take a few snaps.
Dutch Regiment of Foot
Last year Roland Davis painted up the staff, cavalry and infantry for the Chilean component of my Army of the Andes. This is part of my 1817-18 Chilean Project for which I'd already posted some pictures of the Argentine element. I've finally put up some photos of the Chileans. I’m particularly pleased with the Caballeria Cazadores de la Escolta Directorial; Roland had to add epaulettes to Granaderos a Caballo figures for these chaps. Just the Patriot artillery and most of the Royalists to go.
Chilean Caballeria Cazadores de la Escolta Directorial
Chris Harrod and I played my Almanza scenario using my 5mm figures on a newly painted 3'x2' gaming board. So I wrote up a Battle Report. I had 14 units to Chris's 20. Even with three "Elite" brigades I thought I was doomed. That all changed when Chris advanced his Spanish horse off the hill and my Portuguese horse routed them. The battle was also notable by the fact three of the four generals were killed in action.
Duke of Berwick dies
I picked up Visigothic Sain 409-711 by Roger Collins. Right up my alley. So I've been adding Visigothic events to my Timeline for the Fall of Rome.
The Yahoo Group: TwilightSK discuss various tweaks to the standard rules. In particular Tom Loback and Vincent Tsao of the Corlears Hook Fencibles generate lots of suggestions. This is my list of optional rules and/or musings based on that discussion. It is largely the suggestions of Tom and Vincent but with some twists of my own.
Vincent and Tom from the Corlears Hook Fencibles are the most prolific contributors to the Yahoo Group for the Twilight of the Sun-King rules. Every week they submit a scenario, some tweaks to the rules, or an after action report (AAR). This week it was an AAR for Battle of Chotusitz which, with their permission, I've republished here.
I'm in the process of re-flocking my Fall of Rome armies. I've mostly done the Alans, Huns, and Germanic Cavalry (Visigoths, Vandals, Suevi). Now I've got the the Germanic foot horde to do. Romans later.
All this activity has got me thinking about a mini-campaign. Basically I want to try out the armies under Field of Glory (although it could be any rules) and wrap a very light weight campaign around it. The context is the barbarian invasion of Roman Hispania.
I'm still keen on the Portuguese Colonial War so I've been looking at the 15mm Figures available. Peter Pig is the only source of Portuguese figures. The trouble is the machine guns. The Peter Pig figures have a GPMG as the squad support weapon and some Russian thing on wheels as their heavy. That might be suitable for Insurgents but not for Portuguese. The Portuguese started the war using the Dreyse (MG13) in the squads, the German MG42 at company level and a Breda at battalion level. From 1962 all of these were phased out in favour of the German M3 which the Portuguese designated the m/962 MG42-59. This was a slightly modified version of the original MG42. So my plan is to find suitable figures with an MG42 (i.e. WWII Germans) and do a head swap - Peter Pig have a suitable head pack with the Portuguese cap.
Paul from the Man Cave wondered if I'd seen Solo Wargamer: Micro-Campaigning Part II. I hadn't, but I did find it quite interesting. It seems perfect for a campaign featuring Alexander the Great's invasion of the east.
I've been on the hunt for a set of rules for the ancients period. I've read about Commands & Colors Ancients a few times so thought I'd give it a go. In our first outing Chris Harrod and I played three games in four hours. The verdict is that it is a fast and easy game to play but with only a very modest score on simulation. We liked it enough to consider playing through all 15 scenarios in the core rules.
One day in 2009 I came home and found that I'd published a set of rules called the Twilight of the Sun King. Or more accurately the Pike and Shot Society had published the rules on behalf of Andrew Coleby and myself. OK, I admit it wasn't a complete surprise because Andrew had mentioned a vague plan to do this in Mar 2007 but after a year and half I'd forgotten all about it. But there they were ... a nice little booklet with my name on it. Rather gratifying at the time and surprising since the rules had originated in 1994. Imagine how pleased I was today to discover that there is a Yahoo Group: TwilightSK, that people are playing the rules, and that they like them. Rather chuffed I was. :)
I was attracted to Legends of Araby by Two Hour Wargames because of the Arabian Nights theme and its reputation for good Solo Wargaming potential via the campaign system. Unfortunately Legends of Araby was written in 2003 and the rules do not reflect current thinking as defined by Chain Reaction 3.0 Swordplay (released 2009) and I'm more interested in Spanish history so a more apt setting for me is Al-Andalus and the Reconquista. So that is why I started work on a Legends of Al-Andalus Campaign Game.
I was looking into options for Solo Wargaming and discovered references to Legends of Araby by Two Hour Wargames. Their games are based on the mechanisms of Chain Reaction 3.0 and are pitched as RPG-lite, i.e. role playing games without the book keeping. In fact they are fairly brutal skirmish level wargames. They appeal to me because they are quick (less than 2 hours), there is a low cost of entry (rules can be free and only need a few figures), you can play on a 2'x2' table, and many of the games come with a campaign system.
The Holy Roman Empire (HRE) board game by Mark McLaughlin has elements, including a great map, which make it a good basis for a miniatures campaign. A Mapless Campaign is simple to run and encourages on-going participation by the players. I thought it would be possible to combine these hence my Mapless Holy roman Empire Campaign.
Added Field of Glory (FOG) stats to my Mapless Campaign page.
In my musings on Desert Warfare using Crossfire I starting thinking about the possibility that different terrain and/or troops might be different heights. As it happens Blitzkrieg Commander implements this concept so I wrote up how Visibility with Different Terrain and Troop Profiles could work in Crossfire.
Back in 1984 Mark McLaughlin designed a board game of the Thirty Years War called "Holy Roman Empire" or HRE for short. It looks a good basis for a miniatures campaign so I've summarised some of the features which I think make it interesting. Some areas of the original game are a bit obscure so I've also added some clarifications where necessary.
Marco Grillanda kindly sent through some pictures of the Rif War figures from Rif Raf Miniatures. They do 28mm and specialise in the 1920s. Very nice too.
28mm Riffi from Rif Raf Miniatures
It has taken just under five months but I finally published today. There is still a lot to do but it was good enough to go live. It turns out there are over 890 pages on the site and I ended up having to hand finish each one. That means there are bound to be problems with at least some of them. If you spot any problems please let me know.
In a spare moment I made a Timeline for the Fall of Rome.
FrontPage to Web Expression29 Oct 2009 at 09:01
I'm in the middle of revamping the whole site. I started back in July but I thought I should post something here just so you know about the changes. I've written up the technical details of the migration in a Web Development Blog if you are interested. As part of this process I'm changing the folder / URL structure. I will ensure that all major pages will have a redirect but some minor links will break.
Balagan Wargaming Blog and Sitemap23 Jul 2009
Crossfire meets I Ain't Been Shot Mum29 Jun 2009
Wishlist for Crossfire II22 Jun 2009
One day Arty will do a version 2 so I thought I'd write up my Wish List.
Megablitz Orbats20 Jun 2009
I thought I see what my favourite two divisions look like under Megablitz:
Megablitz Quick Reference Sheet19 Jun 2009
Moscow 194114 Jun 2009
I wrote up some notes from Moscow 1941: A city and its people at war (Braithwaite, 2006).
A Dot in Russia - A Megablitz Scenario07 Jun 2009
Portuguese Colonial War25 May 2009
World Crossfire Day04 Apr 2009
I played Game 8 of World Crossfire Day.
Field of Glory Terrain30 Mar 2009
Punic Wars Painting Guides17 Mar 2009
Field of Glory Punic Wars Battle Report10 Mar 2009
Chris and I have been playing a few games of FoG lately so I took a few snaps and wrote up one of the battles - Punic Wars Battle Report.
Field of Glory24 Feb 2009
With tons of Ancient and Medieval figures in storage after becoming dejected with DBM I was quite keen to find a new set of rules. I recently bought all of the Field of Glory books and started converting my armies. First up were the armies for the Rise of Rome: Mid-Republican Roman, Later Carthaginian, Ancient Spanish, and Later Seleucid.
Fortifications27 Jan 2009
In the general burst of photographic activity I updated the photos on my Fortifications page.
Making and Painting Wooden Buildings13 Jan 2009
Jim's Spanish Buildings09 Jan 2009
Trees03 Jan 2009
Photos of Napoleonic Spanish and French02 Jan 2009
Portugal in WW130 Dec 2008
Added some notes on East Africa to my timeline for the Portuguese Involvement in WW1. Still lots more to do.
Albuera - A Shako Battle Report18 Nov 2008
One of our Generals is Missing Matrix Game31 Oct 2008
Hit the Dirt - Crossfire Scenarios30 Oct 2008
Some notes on the scenarios I've played from Hit the Dirt.
Making a Terrain Mat29 Oct 2008
DBM/DBR Mapless Campaign18 Oct 2008
John Gillson inspired me to write up the DBM/DBR modifications for the Mapless Campaign
What I like in a campaign / multi-player game18 Oct 2008
John Gillson got me thinking about What I like in a campaign / multi-player game.
Balagan on WW209 Oct 2008
I decided to move all my World War II stuff into one place. Mainly this is because things like my account of Stalingrad, Arhem, and Tarnopol were buried in my Crossfire section. The Spanish and Kiwi involvement in WW2 are also here. And all the stuff which is purely about gaming with Crossfire is still in that section.
Portugal in WW108 Oct 2008
Did some work on Portuguese Involvement in WW1 but a lot more to do.
Modelling08 Oct 2008
Created a Modelling section and moved the relevant pages into that section.
Oriamendi East - Shako Battle Report28 Aug 2008
Painting Guide: Adobe Buildings23 Aug 2008
First Spanish Battalion for Peninsular23 Aug 2008
I painted my first unit for my Spanish Army of the Peninsular War. An infantry battalion in brown with top hats.
Royalists in Chile15 Jun 2008
I updated my 1817-18 Chilean Project with the plans for the Royalists.
Argentine Army of the Andes17 May 2008
Andalusian Motorcade - Crossfire Battle Report14 May 2008
Ebro Offensive16 Apr 2008
Converting Ansar to Riffi12 Apr 2008
I've already got the Spanish Foreign Legion and 2nd Tabor of Regulares of Tetuán for the Rif War but I've been struggling to find actual Riffi figures. So I decided to make my own and Convert Ansar Figures into Riffi.
I also finished rereading Shannon Fleming's Primo de Rivera and Abd-el-Krim: The Struggle in Spanish Morocco, 1923-1927 and updating my Timeline for the Rif War.
Crossfire Unit Pages09 Apr 2008
Patriot Flags for 1817-1826 Mar 2008
Carlist War Gallery of New Stuff26 Mar 2008
Basing for the Liberators Quick Play Rules (QPR)22 Mar 2008
Setting and Rules for the Rif22 Mar 2008
Rif War19 Mar 2008
Following directly on from my renewed interest in the Spanish Civil War, I have seriously updated my material on the Rif War including
Flocking09 Mar 2008
1817-18 Chilean Campaign Project24 Jan 2008
The South American Wars of Liberation span an entire continent across 20 years, so I've decided to focus on one campaign hence my 1817-18 Chilean Campaign Project.
South American Wars of Liberation23 Jan 2008
New World DBA03 Jan 2008
I moved this material into a folder of its own and renamed the New World DBA Index.
Thirty Years War Timeline01 Jan 2008
Painting Guide - the Black Undercoat Method23 Nov 2007
I asked Roland Davis to write a painting guide for the Black Undercoat Method. The vast majority of my figures use this method and Roland is a master of the technique.
Camp DBA/HOTT Mini-Campaign21 Oct 2007
Inspired by an article by Steve Burt I wrote up some rules for a small DBA/HOTT Camp Mini-campaign. Essentially small force, based in a camp, is blocking an enemy force's attempt to break an off-table siege. Chris Harrod and I are play testing.
Painting Guides for the Napoleonic Period22 Sep 2007
Kongo and Angola 1500-170011 Aug 2007
Guidelines for Historical Scenarios using Shako04 Aug 2007
I've got interested in the Peninsular War and the Wars of South American Independence again, so started thinking about Shako Scenarios, and put together some Guidelines for Historical Scenarios using Shako.
Galleries for Britannia 600 AD14 May 2007
Andalusian Motorcade - A Crossfire Scenario14 Mar 2008
Crossfire Basing13 Mar 2008
I wrote up how I Base figures for Crossfire, including variations for FO and Commissars.
Flags as Crossfire Terrain Objective Markers12 Mar 2008
I use flags for my Terrain Objective Markers.
45 Pesetas Crossfire Scenario10 Mar 2008
Britannia 600 AD - A DBA/HOTT Mini-Campaign10 Mar 2007
I've always love the Avalon Hill board game called Britannia and thought the map at least would make a good basis for a DBA/HOTT campaign = Britannia 600 AD.
Steven's Naval Infantry Battalion10 Mar 2008
Crossfire Unit IDs09 Mar 2008
Wrote up my current thinking about Unit IDs in Crossfire.
92nd Naval Infantry in Stalingrad - Crossfire Battle Report16 Mar 2007
SU-152s Up Close and Personal - Crossfire Battle Report03 Mar 2007
Crossfire Planned Operational Zones28 Feb 2007
I made the Planned Operational Zones house rule slightly more lenient. You can now move in another operation zone, but risk losing the initiative.
92nd Naval Infantry in Stalingrad - A Crossfire Scenario27 Feb 2007
Cristino Organisation24 Feb 2007
Updated the Cristino Organisation page, in particular added a full list of provincial regiments
Cristino Regimental Histories22 Feb 2007
I translated the Cristino Regimental Histories from Camacho: Un siglo de presencia militar en nuestra provincia (1833-1936) [Spanish].
3 Greek Mountain Brigade and the Turcomen16 Feb 2007
Added further description of the Greek and Ostruppen fighting at Rimini in Sep 1944.
New material on First Carlist War04 Feb 2007
I just got some more material and started updating my Timeline for the First Carlist War. The first one I'm working through is:
Alcalá, C (2006). 1a Guerra Carlista [ Guerros y Batallas 31]. Madrid: Almena. [Spanish]
Astrang Crossings - A Crossfire Scenario21 Dec 2006
I converted a the Astrang Crossings scenario I saw in the SOTCW Journal. The 5th Seaforths fight off German attacks from both sides
Analysis of the Crossfire Moving Clock19 Dec 2006
Kodorov - Crossfire Battle Report16 Dec 2006
How to make Wooden Buildings10 Dec 2006
Wrote up my instructions for Making Soviet/Russian style Wooden Buildings in 15 mm, although still lacking enough photos
'Old Chapel' Crossfire Scenario08 Dec 2006
Zerstorer Crossfire Scenario for Russians07 Dec 2006
Changed the Zerstorer scenario so there is a Russian option (rather than British). Seems fair enough to me given I've got Russian figures and not British
3rd Battle of Kharkov - A Crossfire Battle Report26 Nov 2006
Stalingrad26 Oct 2006
Finished my write up of the Stalingrad campaign through to 18 Nov, i.e. just before the Soviet offensive.
Carlist War Scenarios22 Oct 2006
I started writing up ideas for scenarios in the Timeline for the First Carlist War
Zerstorer: A Crossfire Scenario21 Oct 2006
Converted Matt Hingely's Zerstorer scenario into Crossfire. This is not your average run of the mill attack-defence scenario. The Germans are trying to evacuate a top secret war winning weapon, and the Allies are trying to prevent this
El Mercenario Gallery21 Oct 2006
El Mercenario sent through photos of some Carlists he's been painting. They're from the new range by the Perry Brothers
Korean War and Crossfire16 Oct 2006
Cut and pasted some excerpts on the Korean War from the Crossfire Discussion Forum
Castelfrentano to Orsogna15 Oct 2006
While on holiday recently I outlined the Kiwi operations from 28 Nov to 7 Dec 1943 as they took Castelfrentano and moved up tot attack Orsogna for the first time
Coat D'arms conversion chart11 Sep 2006
I use Coat D'arms paints, so I thought a conversion table to other painting schemes would be useful
Figures for Colonial Brazil: Tupi etc09 Sep 2006
Add a Figures page to the Brazilian area
Painting Guide for Colonial Brazil07 Sep 2006
Created a Painting Guide for Brazil, including Tupi and their enemies
Crossfire Unit Identification02 Sep 2006
Added photos of several variations of Unit Identification that I've tried for Crossfire.
Links between Military History and Rules01 Sep 2006
Northern Pocket Crossfire Scenario30 Aug 2006
Colonial Spanish and Buccaneers for New World DBA30 Aug 2006
Chanca and Chimu for New World DBA27 Aug 2006
HOTT in the New World25 Aug 2006
26 (NZ) Battalion on the Sangro15 Aug 2006
Restarted work on the Kiwi action on the Sangro in Nov 1943. Only got as far as 26 Battalion on 28 Nov, but there is more to come
Zumalakarregi Museum on Carlists War31 Jul 2006
Added some more notes to my First Carlist War page based on Zumalakarregi Museum: 19th Century Military History in the Basque Country .
Trench Warfare in Crossfire23 Jul 2006
Wrote up my current thinking of Trench Warfare using Crossfire
Portuguese Auxiliary Division12 Jul 2006
More on Portugal's Liberal Wars11 Jul 2006
Having acquired quite a lot more material - much of it from Nuno Pereira - I've updated my page on the 1826-34 (Portugal's) Liberal Wars
Tarnopol: Russian Recce - Crossfire Battle Report08 Jul 2006
Cristino gallery02 Jul 2006
Portuguese from 183301 Jul 2006
Added some pictures to the Portuguese Painting Guide
Split Cristino Painting Guide30 Jun 2006
Cristino Painting Guide26 Jun 2006
Belgian Corps21 Jun 2006
More Carlists11 Jun 2006
Added details from volume 2 of Duncan (1997) to my account of the First Carlist War. Only four more volumes to go
Duncan, F. (1997). The English in Spain: The story of the War of Succession between 1834 and 1840 (Vols. 1-6). UK: Pallas Armata. (Original work published 1877.)
Portuguese Liberal War10 Jun 2006
Crossfire: Revealing hidden stands on a one06 Jun 2006
Moved CF6.7 Revealing hidden squads on a One [Optional Rule] to the House Rules. Although optional it is starting to appear a lot in scenarios
New Mexico01 Jun 2006
Started writing up the Spanish conquest of New Mexico
Converting Advanced Squad Leader to Crossfire30 May 2006
Inspired by some suggestions of Steve Burt I wrote up Converting (Advanced) Squad Leader Scenarios to Crossfire
Wildly Inspired Miniatures29 May 2006
It seems Wildly Inspired Miniatures are producing again, including their ranges of NZ Wars figures
More Crossfire FAQ29 May 2006
Added two items to the FAQ:
Perano = Kiwi Tanks19 May 2006
Wrote up the Kiwi and Indian attack on Perano,18 Nov 1943. This was the first time New Zealand tanks saw combat
Perano Scenario ideas19 May 2006
Wrote up the Kiwi and Indian attack on Perano,18 Nov 1943. This was the first time New Zealand tanks saw combat. I've included thoughts for a Crossfire scenario
Crossfire Scenario Guidelines05 May 2006
SU152s up close and personal - A Crossfire Scenario04 May 2006
NZ Wars Gallery01 May 2006
Rules for NZ and Naval27 Apr 2006
Portuguese in Japan25 Apr 2006
Added a place holder for the Japanese episode in Portuguese history (or the Portuguese episode in Japanese history), although really this was an excuse to show some pictures of my mate Vince's Samurai
Vince's 28mm Japanese
Costumes of the Spanish Army, 185924 Apr 2006
A long time ago Chris Tubb sent me an article from the Illustrated London News of 1859 entitled "The Costumes of the Spanish Army". I finally added these details to my page on the First Moroccan War
No-mans Land - A Crossfire Mini-Campaign14 Apr 2006
NZ Military History11 Apr 2006
Kiwis in WW209 Apr 2006
I started work on a Timeline of New Zealand involvement in WW2. It will be a long time before it is finished
Crossfire Time scale08 Apr 2006
Crossfire Telescoping Ground Scale01 Apr 2006
Crossfire Datasheets28 Mar 2006
Converted the Crossfire Datasheets into PDF format to make it easier to download
Historical Tactics27 Mar 2006
Crossfire Ranges26 Mar 2006
Added some musing on Ranges in Crossfire but without rulers
Flocking07 Mar 2006
I'm experimenting with a style of flocking using C1229 Earth.
Complete Revamp05 Mar 2006
Completely revamped the Wargaming pages. The gist of this change was to separate all content related to specific rules - Crossfire, Shako, DBx - from other military history and wargaming content - Luso-Spanish, Arab-Israeli, New Zealand. Campaign rules are catalogued with the tactical rules they relate to, but there is a master Campaign index as well. Apologies to anybody who had links.
Massive rearrangement05 Mar 2006
Rearranged my entire wargaming section, and moved Crossfire one level up in the folder hierarchy, thus effectively breaking all links from outside (sorry). This included moving all Crossfire related pages into the same area, including Spanish Civil War, Blue Division, New Zealand Wars, and Arab-Israeli Wars - such as they are.
Tarnopol Crossfire Scenarios26 Feb 2006
2d6 Armour Crossfire Rules22 Feb 2006
Some musings on Armour uses using 2d6 rather than ACC + PEN
Restructure Site (a bit)19 Feb 2006
Russian Scouts Crossfire Scenario18 Feb 2006
Added Scouts scenario - a probe by a Russian Recon Company in 1943
Ghosts in Crossfire15 Feb 2006
Field of Fire12 Feb 2006
Started writing up Field of Fire (Swaab, 2005) about a British Gunner Officer who fought in North Africa, Italy and NW Europe.
Russian Brigade Crossfire Orbat12 Feb 2006
Added a new Russian Brigade Orbat covering Oct 1941 - Jun 1942. This is the one the early Naval Infantry Brigades would have used
Tarnopol Crossfire Campaign7 Feb 2006
Wooden Buildings5 Feb 2006
Added rough notes on how I painted my wooden buildings - hopefully to be added to later
Rimini Airfield Campaign30 Jan 2006
Wrote up ideas for scenarios bound together by a campaign based on the Greek/Kiwi attack on the Rimini Airfield in Italy (Sep 1944)