Monday 30 December 2013

Battle of Ilkleysburg

My son Max got the BMC Gettysburg playset for Christmas which together with his other 54mm figures means he can put on some fair size games.

This afternoon we set up and fought the Battle of Ilkleyburg using some simple Wellsian rules and a Lego Cannon.

I managed to capture a few Dariographs of the resulting brisk action.

I commanded the Rebels and deployed the bulk of my troops around  Tennants Farm.

I deployed my infantry in my centre ready to attack the Union line which was well entrenched behind rubble and fences.

We started trading shots (we had 3 rounds per turn). 

Ouch - Max's shorting was accurate. 

I decided to launch my infantry in an all out attack. Max takes careful aim and...

When the smoke clears the borken remains of my troops retire in disorder.


Friday 8 November 2013

American Civil Wargaming in History - Antietam

The Wargaming in History Books by Charles S Grant are truly inspirational. The writing style, content and approach to representing famous battles are a lesson to us all of how to recreate battles on the tabletop.

In the last few months I have once again returned to thoughts of gaming the American Civil War.  This has partly been inspired in my son Max who has got the ACW bug.

The other evening I started thinking about putting on some large games using my 28mm collection. Having just about finished reading the first volume of Shelby Foote trilogy's my head is full of the early battles and the battle of Antietam in particular.

Antietam has always been my favourite action and is I my opinion the best of all the battlefields I have visited. 

So I have decided to give Antietam the Grant treatment and put the game on in the same style as the battles in Wargaming in History books.  I am not sure which rules to use yet.

More later

Saturday 2 November 2013

Ilkley Young School

After Football training my son invited 2 of his friends over a game with their dads. I quickly set up a game for 4 players. 

Each player had 24 Infantry, 8 cavalry and a gun and 4 crew. Each player also had a General figure.  In all 37 figures each.

The rules used where the simple rules from Charge with a few house rules.

Mark struggled with the low ceiling in my basement. Whilst Loius decide decided to wear a steel helmet to protect his head.

The kids and dads had fun and they picked up the rules quickly.

Louis command started well causing loses to Max's troops. However Louis divided his infantry allowing Max to maneovre and fire into the rear of Louis infantry which took him over 50% loses and forced out of the game.

Harry and his Howard his father had been trading loses but as Max's victorious infantry turned on Harry flank the combined firepower was too much and Harry's command was soon joining Loius and forced to retire.

Both the boys and dads enjoyed the games and asked if they could play again. 

Thursday 24 October 2013

Plattville Project

I kicked off this project sometime ago and it has languished for over a year. Although I did put on the Battle of Plattville at Triples in May using my 40mm Prince August figures.

The recent passing of Donald Featherstone is something that I want to mark by celebrating his contribution to this great hobby.

I met Don twice. The first time was circa 1970 when my father took me to Dons house. I remember going but nothing about the conversation we had. The second time was about a decade ago at Historicon.

I have decided that that my stalled Plattvile project needs to re started and that it would be my celebration to Don.

I have now finished my second unit of metal Spencer Smith figures. They are Gloss varnished and un based.

I have also started gathering extra bits and pieces. Firstly I have managed to get 260 original plastic Spencer Smith figures. This cost a bit but are just right for my project. The first unit is on the painting table.

I have also got two packs of Merit plastic trees to use for Platts wood. And the search for a rubber Triang church is underway.


Thursday 10 October 2013

Max's First figures based

My son Max has started his first armies. ACW plastic figures which he is going to use unpainted. After some initial problems getting the figures to stick to the cardboard bases he has now got his first base finished.

The bases are simple with some scenic groundwork added.

He has also received some old Airfix figures thanks to Tim Hall from the WD3 Forum. So it's full steam ahead with basing.

I am going to use Don Featherstone rules for our first games.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

A day out

Today my children's school was closed due to a teachers strike so I decided to take a day off work and take them to Eden Camp at Malton.

Unfortunately my daughter is a bit under the weather so instead we went to the Duke of Wellington, aka 33rd, regimental museum just outside Halifax.

The 33rd fought in the American War of Independence and were Cornwallis regiment.

The uniform has a fair bit of lace and has got me thinking of painting up some of my 40mm Sash and Sabre figures as the 33rd

The museum boasts a hat worn by Wellington himself.

There is also a fair bit of on the Great War     
and they will have new section opening in August 2014 to coincide with the centenary of Britains entry into the war. Another visit is now on the cards.

After the museum we popped into Halifax  and I bought my lad some Italeri ACW plastic soldiers to get him going. On the drive back home I asked him how many ACW battles he could name. He got 9 right ! 

Sunday 29 September 2013

A pleasant afternoons gaming

My son Max is 7 and showing more interest in gaming. He has been getting into the American Civil War and has been looking at the drawings of the battles in a Bruce Catton book drawn by David Greenspan. These pictures inspired me as a youngster and seem to be having the same effect on my son.

So this afternoon I got out my old and battered copy of Battle Cry by Milton Bradley for a game. 

The initial dispositions showing the important railroad network.

I played the Confederacy and Max the Union. The rules are simple and he picked them up quickly. We played for an hour or so and the battle was raging in Kentucky when we had to halt the game for dinner.

Friday 27 September 2013

Miniature Warfare

You can tell the age of tree by counting its rings. For a wargamer it's a bit harder. For me I know I was gaming by August 1969 because I still have the first magazine I bought from Teddington Model Supplies.

And a closer look at the date.

The next issue had one of my favourite covers and certainly helped kick of my ACW Airfix collection.

With adverts like this it was not long before I ventured North of the River buy Hinton Hunt figures from Camden Passage near the Angel Islington.

I am now going to browse through my collection of Miniature Warfare mags whilst sipping a glass or two of fizz.

Breaking news - today I bought 267 Spencer Smith original plastic figures on eBay. Looks like my Plattville project is back on

Sunday 22 September 2013

Musket and Tomahawks

We had a game of Musket and Tomahawks on Friday. This was our first game with these rules and it was good fun game.

The game was set during the American War of Independence and featured our small collection of 40mm figures made by Sash and Sabre and Front Rank. We will be using these rules and figures for our participation game at next February's York show.

The British had one regular and light infantry units whilst the rebels had one continental, militia and rifle units.

The game was close with each side thinking they were going to win until the end.

Ultimately it was the British Light Infantry who won the day.

They fought and attack by the American militia. Falling back they reformed and them proceeded to open up with their muskets. The militia were unable to take the accurate fire and quit the field,

These rules are fun and I can see working for some Petit Guerre action between the Elector of Lederhosen Furstenburg and Duke of Calvados using my 40mm Prince August figures,

Monday 16 September 2013


I have recently bought a copy of the Longstreet ACW rules. I know these are not Old School but after a couple of games I can confirm they are a cracking set that are great fun to play.  It's been while since my ACW collection has been on the table however we are planning to kick off a Longstreet campaign in the next few weeks. So you can expect more updates on this.

Here are a few photos of one of these games.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Well that Summer went quickly

It's been a while since I posted anything. This post is also my first using the Blogger App on my IPhone. Not every Old School I know.

June was spent finishing off and article and pictures for the Wargamers Annual 2014 titled "Casting Away". The article is about how I got started gaming, casting Prince August figures at home and my Imagination Armies.

I have also been to Partizan with my 7 year old son. He spent most the time playing games and really enjoyed playing Dead Man's Hand cowboy rules by Great  Escape Games. So much so I ended I up buying a copy to use with some old 54mm Timo cowboy figures I had when I was a lad.

The game that grabbed my attention was   Aly Morrisons Hook Farm game using the     Little Briton range available from Spencer Smith.

Monday 17 June 2013

Triples 2013 - Battle of Plattville

A rather late update to my blog with pictures of my game from
the recent show in Sheffield.  

We put on the Battle of Plattville set in 1763 as a tribute to the founder of modern Wargaming - Donald Featherstone. The game featured Prince August figures and we used the rules from Dons book War Games, first published in 1962, with a few amendments. Being gamers we came up with more rule ideas over the weekend.  

The game was fun and we all enjoyed the weekend including a nice 'Ruby' on Saturday night. 

Tuesday 2 April 2013

The Action in the Plattville Valley -1753

The Grand Duchy of Calvados and the Electorate of Furstenburg-Lederhosen have had an uneasy truce during the cold winter of 1752.  With spring approaching and the improvement in the weather both sides start planning their summer campaigns  They turn their gaze to the small principality of Malbec situated on the borders of the two sparring nations. 

The Principlaity of Malbec would not normally attract such attention other than it is is Europe's main source of  Schnupftabak (snuff) - 'Chevalier pour Homme' - a much sort after after dinner indulgence for gentlemen of society and which attracts a high price on the International Snuff Market.

A gentlemen indulges in some after dinner Chevalier pour Homme  

The prime area for cultivation is centred on the Plattville Valley and the Elector and Duke are determined to seize the area to control distribution and the price of this annual snuff crop. 

Each side send a small force consisting of  6 infantry battalions, 3 cavalry squadrons, 2 Light Infantry companies and one battery of artillery (2 guns). 

The only map available of the area available to both sides was obtained from the Schnupftabak Newsletter published in Southampton. 


The game will feature at the forth coming war game show in Sheffield over the weekend of May 18-19th and will feature my old school 40mm Prince August figures and will use the Horse and Musket rules from Donald Featherstone's book - War Games - Battles and manoeuvres with model soldiers with minor modifications. 

Unit sizes are planned to be:-

Infantry 20 figures plus 2 Officers
Cavalry 10 figures plus 1 Officer
Light Infantry 10 figures plus 1 Officer   

Rule modifications identified 

1. Infantry can fire in two ranks rather than single ranks

2. Artillery only use a single dice for ranges over 18" and two dice for under 18"

3. The musket ranges to be reduced to represent smoothbores rather than the rifled muskets in the original rules. New range bands will be 0 - 6" (deduct 1), 6 - 12" (deduct 2) 12 -18" (deduct 3) 

4. Cavalry and Light Infantry test for officer casualties using one coloured dice in 3 rather than the standard 1 in 5 used by infantry.  

  As a  prequel to the Plattville Valley action I have set up a small game for the Ilkley Old Schoolers to have a go at these classic rules.  

I will post after action reports and photos shortly.....