Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Last Monday Colin Jack and Ray Neal visited for a game and I decided to start my long term project of playing all the scenarios in the Black Powder Rebellion Supplement with Breeds Hill 17th June 1775.  Better known to history as the Battle of Bunker Hill which is actually the next hill along the Charlestown Peninsula.

Howe's brigade closes on the rebel redoubt
We used the troop ratings and rules suggested in the scenario except for one change in that I reduced the stamina of the British Line units to the standard value of 3.  The rebels in the redoubt have a +2 morale modifier, ignore retire results and count as sharpshooters when shooting downhill.  All the British infantry are Superbly Drilled whilst the Elites are also Elite 4+.  We used full scale ranges but as suggested due to the rough terrain reduced infantry moves to 8”.   We used the alternate turn sequence.

Bunker under ineffective howitzer fire - militia are steady

The long struggle for Charlestown
Colin and I commanded the British while Mr Ray commanded the Patriots as he is from Connecticut.  The Patriots deployed as per the scenario with the 4 large militia units and their gun  holding the defences and the 3 tiny detachments deployed in the 3 building elements representing Charlestown.  My brigade Howe’s deployed on the British right to attack the left front of the redoubt.  Colin deployed 2 of Pigot’s battalions to attack Charlestown whilst the others were to move on the right front of the redoubt.  My brigade made good headway up the hill but Colin’s command never got more than a single move in its command rolls.  His units attacking Charlestown got bogged down in a long melee attempting to take the first built up area from its tiny unit of defenders. 

First British assault goes in - wins next round!

Mr Ray considers the worsening situation at the redoubt
Meanwhile my command had closed with the redoubt and my first unit charged in – it drew with the defenders - but next turn the militia broke and fled.   Mr Ray had to move the unit defending the fence line to face the breakthrough.  The broke the British unit which had entered the redoubt but the redcoats had then flanked another defending unit which also broke.  Colin’s units advancing on the left front of the redoubt had finally got into action and shook the militia facing them.  Mr Ray’s rolls for reinforcements were very poor and only a single unit arrived to support the redoubt.  His command was broken and he conceded the game.  The British lost 2 units in the battle.

End situation at the redoubt - rebels shaken and disordered
The Patriots were extremely limited in their manoeuvrability/flexibility due to their large units once the British broke into the redoubt.  I think it would be better if they had 4 standard units and 2 small units   
Here is the OB for the game


Connecticut Militia                 1 Regiment
Massachusetts Militia              2 Regiments
New Hampshire Militia           1 Regiment
Massachusetts Artillery           1 Light gun

Massachusetts Militia              3 detachments

Massachusetts Militia              5 companies

2 Elite Battalions
2 Line Battalions
Field gun

1 Elite Battalion
4 Line Battalions

2 Line Battalions


Militia Regt Musket 4 4 5+ 4 Large Unit
Militia Btn Musket 3 3 5+ 3 Standard Unit
Militia Coy Musket 2 2 5+ 2 Small Unit
Militia Det Musket 1 1 5+ 1 Tiny Unit
Lt Artillery smoothbore 1 2-1-1 4+ 2 --
Elite infantry Musket 6 3 4+ 4 Elite 4+, Superbly Drilled
Regular Infantry Musket 6 3 4+ 3 Superbly Drilled
Artillery smoothbore 1 3-2-1 4+ 2 --
Howitzer smoothbore 1 2-2-2 4+ 2 --
Elite 4+ Roll of Disorder at start of turn
Superbly Drilled One action if order is failed

Saturday, September 13, 2014


On Wednesday I went to Dave Paterson’s shed for another 15mm test game Fireteam Andromeda rules.  Once again Dave setup some superb terrain for the game including his new terrain mat from Lithuania.

NeoSov advanced mining station with technicians and garrisons
Federal heavy walkers advance on station 2
This time I commanded the Federal forces attacking a NeoSov mining complex.  My force consisted of command, medics, 3 infantry squads, missile squad, 3 light and 3 heavy walkers.   My opponents had similar infantry supported by 2 security droids and 2 assault hover choppers.  I managed to capture the first mining station, contest the second and knock out all my opponents’ heavy weapons.  My casualties were 1 infantryman.

NeoSov heavy equipment and infantry move to counterattack

Federal units advance on station 2- NeoSov security droid in trouble
Again an enjoyable game – the rules worked and this time I had read the rules.

Friday, September 5, 2014


As my wife was away in London Dave Paterson invited me to the latest weekly Wednesday evening game in his shed.  This was a 15mm SciFi game to test the Fireteam Andromeda rules.  Once again Dave setup some superb terrain for the game.  Mark Taylor and I commanded the NeoSovs whilst Guy Hunter and Steve Caffrey commanded the Federals.  Dave umpired.
NeoSov APCs advance into the settlement
NeoSov troops parade before the action - the hovertanks did not last long
The highlight of the game for me was when my NeoSov hover APCs managed to knock out 2 of the enemy heavy tanks with flank shots.  An enjoyable game – the rules work but more than one of us should have read them first.
NeoSov commander watches his holographic tactical display

Federal heavy tanks fall victim to the flanking fire of the well handled NeoSov APCs

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


On Saturday I went to Shedfest 5 which Dave Paterson staged in his shed and garden.    It was a day of eating, drinking and gaming.  The game Dave setup was something very different for me - a superb 15mm Zombie Apocalypse game.  The objective was for the 9 player characters to run the gauntlet of the zombie infested Anytown to reach the heliport were a helicopter would take the first survivor to arrive to safety.  In 6 hours of play not one of us got to the helicopter – I was lucky my character was killed only once. 

View from the start point over Anytown - still strangely clear of zombies
A was a good fun game.  The rules Dave has developed fit on a single A4 page and cover special events, generating and moving zombies, weapons, combat, searching buildings etc.

Some of the 200 zombies wandering along North Street
Thanks to Dave for the excellent breakfast to dinner catering and the endless supply of zombie punch.  I walked home in a happy state.
Zombies surround the impressive mayor's house - my doomed character at the left on his red base

More photos at
Roll on Shedfest 6 next year.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


This week’s game at Hugh Wilson’s was a further test to try out my draft 1860-1870 period naval rules.  I had revised the rules again whilst I was on holiday in Madeira last week.  This time there were 4 players involved and I umpired and explained the rules. 

CSS Governor Moore rams the US double ender USS Mattasesett
As before this was a fictional scenario involving a Union force attacking a confederate bay with a harbour but given the smaller number of players I reduced the number of squadrons but increased their strength.  The Union objectives were to suppress the coast defences and capture a commerce raider which was trying to break out to the sea.  
View from south end of the table
The Union had 4 monitors and 4 gunboats versus 3 Confederate ironclads, 4 cotton clad rams/gunboats, a commerce raider supporting a large coastal fort and 2 shore batteries.
CSS Tennessee takes on 2 of the monitors
The game went well and the rule changes worked well.  I think they are almost there.  At the end of the game the Union had lost 3 ships sunk and the Confederacy 2 ships sunk.  They were all unarmoured ships.  The Confederate rams and the forts were getting the better of the fight with the monitors.  Amazingly no ships struck their colours.   We decided that it was a marginal Confederate victory. 

All the photos at

Bart Zynda has written a report of the game on his blog

Friday, August 15, 2014


This week’s game at Hugh Wilson’s was another test to try out my draft 1860-1870 period Ironclad naval rules.  I had revised the initiative and movement system whilst I was on holiday in Majorca this year.  There were 10 players involved while I umpired and explained the rules.  The table was 13ft by 5ft - my thanks to Hugh for creating the seascape.

Overall view at start of game - US gunboats steam into action - Monitors enter thru 2nd strait
This fictional scenario involved a Union force attacking a confederate bay with 2 harbours.  Their objectives were to suppress the coast defences, capture a commerce raider which was trying to break out to the sea, and blockade the 2 harbours. 

Union gunboats manuevre away from the CSS ironclads
The Union had 6 monitors and 5 gunboats versus 6 Confederate ironclads and 4 cotton clad rams/gunboats supporting a large coastal fort and 2 shore batteries.
Action underway - Fort Sumter and it's supporting rams face the monitors

The game went well and no obvious problems were found with the rules though I think I may look at increasing the effect of ramming.  At the end of the game no ships had been sunk but 3 ships and the impressive Fort Sumter lookalike had struck their colours and another 4 ships broke of action and fled.  In the end it was a marginal Union victory.  Our next game will be another test of these rules.

USS Tecumseh rammed twice in a single turn
All my photos with descriptions at

Sunday, August 10, 2014


On Friday Dave Paterson, Scott Duncan and I played a 6mm variant of my Black Powder Brandywine scenario.  Dave Paterson has just completed his very pretty 6mm AWI collection so we decided to give them an outing.  We staged the game in my garage using an 8ft by 6ft section of my TSS tiled table with Dave providing the bulk of the terrain.  The layout was based on the map of Brandywine in the Maurice rulebook.  We used the alternative move sequence and 50% ranges and movement.  Dave’s standard infantry units comprise 64 figures – 4 bases of 16 on 40mm by 30mm bases.

British centre right prepares to cross the creek
 For this game we allowed the Brandywine Creek to be fordable by infantry and cavalry along it’s entire length with artillery limited to crossing at the known fords.  Given this the British commander Dave decided to forego the historic flank march and just launch the entire British and Hessian force across the creek.  I commanded the British right wing of 2 British brigades and a Hessian brigade whilst Scott took on the challenge of commanding the Patriots.

The struggle on the right centre - British elites wade the creek - militia deploy on Patriot right
 It proved to be a good game with the Patriots succeeding in comprehensively outshooting the supposedly superior British.  They even took the battle to the British and one Brigade crossed the Brandywine Creek.  Their poorest troops, the militia brigade, who had been held back in reserve advanced and drove back and then broke the British far left wing!  Once 4 of the 6 British brigades were broken we conceded the game to the Patriots.
The commander and troop ratings are on my Brandywine scenario at

All my photos with descriptions on Flickr at

Hessian grenadiers engage the Continentals