Wednesday, April 1, 2015


I was away at the weekend at Lundin Links in Fife for a 28mm Napoleonic event.  It was a large game based on Borodino.  Over the 2 days 10 gamers attended from the AB1 group.  We used Black Powder with my house rules. 

Russian forces deployed to meet the French around Utitsa

I made the Russian infantry Stoic and Poor shots.   Stoic means they can reroll their first break test while Poor shots is a -1 to their shooting dice.  Given the scale of the game to speed up play we did not use any skirmishers or mixed formations.
The forces
French: Infantry  99 battalions, Cavalry 35 regiments and 46 guns
Russian: Infantry 73 battalions, Cavalry 31 regiments and 57 guns
That’s a grand total of over 5,900 figures from the collections of Ken Pearce, Jack Glanville, Angus Konstam, Chris Henry and myself.

The Great Redoubt - held by my heavy guns and Pavlov Grenadiers

Ian Carter played the roll of Kutuzov and Campbell Hardie played the part of Napoleon.  Ian went for a fairly conventional deployment with troops spread along the line and a fairly substantial off-table reserve.  Campbell committed the bulk of the French strength to the flanks - a massive sweep around the north of Borodino and a reinforced attack by the Poles along the old Smolensk highway.  He set up a grand battery in the centre facing the Bagration fleches and the area south of the Great Redoubt.  However he had few reserves to commit in the area of the battery other than 5 cavalry brigades and the Old Guard.

Russians massed north of the fleches
I commanded the Russians immediately to the south of and behind the Great Redoubt.  The French did not attack the grand redoubt directly but attacked around it’s flanks – I held the French and Swiss attack south of the redoubt while Ian held the Neapolitan attack north of the redoubt.   The mass French attack north of Borodino commanded by Chris Stone was held up for at least 12 turns by the heroes of the  jaeger brigade holding Borodino and a gallant delaying action by Cossacks and Hussars.

French and allies close up on Borodino -- held by the gallant but eventually doomed Jaegers
The other mass French attack from the fleches southwards thru the wood to Utitsa was held by the forces of KenPearce and John Glass.  A last attempt to break thru near the fleches by the Old Guard was bravely defeated by Russian Grenadiers.

Fighting around the southern Fleche and the edge of the Utitsa Woods
A massive and very enjoyable game.   Officially it was declared a draw.  Thanks to Jack Glanville who organised the OBs and the scenario.

The great French sweep north of Borodino meets the Russian Hussars

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


I was at the Falkirk and District Wargames Club on Monday for a 6mm game of Blucher.  Dave Paterson provided the OBs, troops and terrain.
My Austrian forces move into the attack some French still concealed

My right flank attack begins to falter
We played the game with armies of 200 points as we have discovered that we cannot get a result in 3 hours using 300 point armies.   Dave has put in a lot of thought and effort into rebasing his French and Austrians on sabots for use with Blucher.   He has also put plastic strips on the sabots (see photo) so that the casualties/rounds expended can be recorded on the units. 

Sabot base showing plastic card system to record hits
I commanded the Austrians and I was the attacker in the game.  My corps strength attacks on both flanks initially looked promising but eventually my frontline forces were so worn down by the French fire that both my attacks faltered.

View from the Austrian right flank
Dave is away ordering more sabots so that he can rebase all of his Napoleonic armies.  I plan to try a 28mm game of Blucher in April.

Friday, March 20, 2015


I was away at the weekend at Kirriemuir in Angus for a 28mm War of the Roses event.  Over the 2 days 14 gamers attended.  The concept which was based on the classic game Kingmaker was developed by Steve Rimmer who also supplied the figures and the bulk of the terrain.  The figures were all beautifully painted by James Roach.

Forces engaging around Chester - in distance the northern table
The terrain was made up of 4 18ft by 6ft tables representing all of England plus smaller tables to represent Calais, Dublin and sections of the North Sea.

York and area - in the distance the Isle of Man
I played the Lancastrian Beaufort Admiral of England and started with 2 subordinate commanders and my other 3 subordinates were all activated during the game.  I managed to eliminate 2 of the Yorkist heirs and after 2 days of play I won the game largely by surviving, not losing many troops and holding onto the 2 towns that I captured.  At one point Beaufort was in a dangerous situation near London facing numerous Yorkists but luckily he and his command were called away to Pevensey Castle leaving De Vere to face them alone.

The long running slaughter of Swansea
It was a truly enjoyable weekend and the rules developed by Steve Rimmer worked well and were easily picked up by all the players.   My thanks to Steve who acted as the hard working umpire and provided the inspiration, organisation and resources for the very enjoyable game.

Struggle between the forces of Durham and Berwick
All my photos with brief descriptions are on Flickr at

Northern naval forces

James has written a report on his blo below which has good views of the overall setup

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Over the past few weeks I setup a fictional game in my garage vaguely based on the action at Plancenoit in 1815 but I moved the action north to the area of Frischermont. I used a 10ft by 6ft layout on my table.  I have played it twice as the French player - first against Scott Duncan and secondly against Dave Paterson and Kevin Bowman.  We used Black Powder with the 66% using my House Rules.  All the commanders were rated as 8.  Both times it proved a French victory but the second game was much harder fought.  Luckily for me Dave and Kevin in the second game were hamstrung by some appalling command rolls which prevented their reserves arriving on time.  Their Landwehr brigade failed to arrive in 10 turns by which time their army had broken.   All these photos are from the second game.

French veteran brigade advances onto the table

French line infantry counter-attack at Frischermont.  Model was made by Iain Gale for his Waterloo game.
Here are the Player Briefings and OBs

Prussian Briefing

The enemy is defending the line of villages shown on the map.  Your objective is to defeat them and move your force of their side of the table.  Your force starts the game off table.  Two brigades can try to enter on each turn up to turn 3 and one per turn after that.  Decide your order of march and where the troops will enter the table.

Prussian Army
1st Brigade
4 Infantry Btns, Foot gun

2nd Brigade
4 Infantry Btns, Rifle det, Foot gun

3RD Brigade
4 Landwehr Btns, Foot gun

4th Brigade
3 Russian Btns, Foot gun

1st Cavalry Brigade
2 Dragoon Regts, Horse gun

2nd Cavalry Brigade
2 Hussar Regts

3rd Cavalry Brigade
2 Landwehr Cav Regts

Moment of Glory - French light cavalry strike the flank of the Russo-German legion

French Briefing

Your command is defending the line of villages shown on the map.  Your objective is to prevent the enemy moving of your side of the table.  Your initial starting troops can be deployed up to half way across the table.  However an outpost is established in the hamlet just over half way across the table.

French Army
1st French Brigade 
3 Infantry Btns, Foot gun

2nd French Brigade 
3 Infantry Btns, Foot gun

3rd French Brigade 
4 Veteran infantry Btns, Hvy Foot gun

4th French Brigade
2 Guard Btns

1st French Lt Cav Brigade 
2 ChaCH Regts, Horse gun

2nd French Lt Cav Brigade 
2 Hussar Regts, Horse gun
In addition there are 3 infantry detachments (small units) holding the hamlets.

The 3rd and 4th Infantry brigades and 2nd Lt Cav brigade are off-table marching to the sound of the guns. 

Arrival from
Turn 2 - 2nd Lt Cav brigade
Turn 4 - 3rd Infantry brigade
Turn 8 - 4th Infantry brigade

I am planning a 28mm French Russian Napoleonic game in mid March using the new Blucher rules. 

Landwehr cavalry threaten the French right flank

Old Guard charge home near Frischermont

Friday, February 20, 2015


I was at Hugh Wilson’s this week for the 3rd part of our Battle of Berwick VBCW game.  This covered the 2nd day of the counter-attack by the forces of the BUF and the Northern Militia.   We played 6 turns using the Bolt Action night fighting rules and then 10 daylight turns.

View over the table - the 3 bridges and the harbour in the distance

Warship supporting landing party attacking the walls
As before the BUF outnumbered the Scots by approximately 2 to1 but due to command limitations within Bolt Action we could not deploy all our strength onto the table.  The Scots called up an airstrike and like both attempts in our last game it proved a disaster as the novice pilot attacked and wiped out the newly arrived Scottish cavalry.

Lancelot covers the engineering party clearing the main road bridge
At the end of the game the BUF, after a desperate series of assaults and counter-attacks, had captured the railway station.  In addition our infantry supported by the medium tank Lancelot had cleared the main road bridge.  We also got our giant Char 2C Black Prince into action at the railway bridge.

More photos with descriptions on Flickr at

Scottish RAF attacks their own cavalry - a tragic error

Classic rustic scene - cricket team, cycling club and a 65 ton heavy tank

Friday, February 13, 2015


I was at Hugh Wilson’s this week for the 2nd part of our Battle of Berwick VBCW game.  Tim Watson worked out the scenario for the first game and Colin Jack the scenario for this second game.  Hugh has done great work again on the terrain for the games.  Due to camera problems I did not get any photos for either game but I have used Dave O’Brien’s photos for this report.  Bart wrote a report on the first game which is at

View from the sea showing 2 of the 3 bridges
The scenario over the 2 games was that the forces of the Scottish Republic had captured Berwick in the first game and this game was the counter-attack by the forces of the BUF and the Northern Militia.  We had 7 players for the game plus 2 umpires/supporters.

BUF forces advance on the bridges and their obstacles
The BUF outnumbered the Scots by approximately 2 to1 but due to command limitations within Bolt Action they could not deploy all their strength onto the table.  The highlight of the game was the airstrikes by both sides which went astray hitting their own units. 

Armour action at the railway bridge
At the end of the game the BUF had cleared two of the bridges but not entered the town.  We have decided for the game that night has fallen and the BUF will fall back to the south bank to regroup.   This game will be continued…….

Bart has written a report of this 2nd game including the OB:

BUF airforce strikes it's own side - pinning 6 of my units - terrible mercenary pilot

Thursday, January 29, 2015


This weekend Dave Imrie and I arranged a game for our AB1 group.  It was an AWI game – the Battle of Germanwine - based on a fictional action before the Battle of Brandywine.  The venue was the Old Manor hotel at Lundin Links in Fife.  There were 8 players at the game.  Jack Glanville, Michael Schneider, Angus Konstam and myself provided the troops and Dave Imrie provided his impressive terrain boards as the base of the terrain.
Patriot defence line
We played the game for 6 hours and at the end it was declared a Patriot victory as they had broken 9 British units.  Only the British left wing had managed to break into the main Patriot defence line.  The flank march on the British right by their Loyalist Brigade was held by the patriots whilst the flank march on the left wing by the cavalry and the elite 2nd British brigade proved a failure.   The cavalry when they arrived were driven off the table by Patriot infantry and the elite infantry only moved twice in 12 moves so only just got across the river at the start of their route.
Patriot left wing
The British found it a major issue crossing the river and this held up their advance for some time.  I think I made it too difficult to cross requiring a unit to get 2 moves in a turn.  This seemed to be beyond the dicing ability of the British commanders for a large part of the game.
British left wing cross the river

Link to more photos with descriptions on Flickr here


In late August 1777, after a distressing 34-day journey from Sandy Hook on the coast of New Jersey, a Royal Navy fleet of more than 260 ships carrying some 17,000 British troops under the command of Sir William Howe landed at the head of the Elk River, on the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay approximately 40–50 miles (60–80 km) southwest of  the rebel capital of Philadelphia. 

General George Washington had situated the American forces between Head of Elk and Philadelphia. His forces were able to reconnoitre the British landing from Iron Hill near Newark. Howe did not set up a typical camp but immediately prepared to march across the gently rolling country inhabited chiefly by Tories, with the expectation of making an easy conquest of Philadelphia. As a result, Washington was not able to accurately gauge the strength of the opposing forces.

After a skirmish at Cooch's Bridge south of Newark, the British troops moved north and Washington took up a defensive position along the Red Clay Creek near Germanwine.  This site was important as it covered the most direct route on the road from Baltimore to Philadelphia.  The British grouped south of the creek and General Howe decided to attack on the 11th of September.
Patriots await the British assault - the snake fence is by Last Valley

British Briefing

Your objective is to bring the rebel army to battle and defeat it thus ending the war.  Threatening their capital Philadelphia forces the rebels finally to stand and fight. 

You know that your troops are far better trained than the rebels but you know from experience at Boston that the rebels are formidable opponents when manning defensive positions.

The line of the Red Clay Creek is a good defensive obstacle though crossed by a bridge and is also fordable elsewhere.  Troops can cross the bridge normally and can also ford the creek by using 2 movement actions in a turn.  The creek can also be forded east and west of the map.  The high ground is on the rebel side of the creek.  You have observed that two redoubts have been constructed to cover the creek and the bridge.

You have 8 infantry brigades (4 British, 3 German and Loyalist) and a cavalry brigade available.    The main body of the army is deployed off-table south of the map.  4 brigades a turn can attempt to march onto the table.  Note that German infantry battalions can never get 3 moves in a turn.

You can attempt flank marches by crossing upriver and downriver from the rebels to fall on their flanks.  No more than 3 brigades in total can be assigned to the flank marches.

Decide which of your brigades will be committed to the main body and if required to the flank marches and their order of march and their deployment.
End situation
American briefing

Your objective is to prevent the British from crossing the creek and capturing your capital Philadelphia.  Compared with last year your army contains far more regular continental troops and is less dependent on militia. 

The line of the Red Clay Creek is a good defensive obstacle though crossed by a bridge and is also fordable elsewhere.  Troops can cross the bridge normally and can also ford the creek by using 2 movement actions in a turn.   The creek can also be forded east and west of the map.

The high ground is on your side of the creek.  Two redoubts have been constructed to cover the creek and the bridge. The redoubts can each contain a gun and also accommodate a battalion.

You have 9 infantry brigades and a cavalry brigade available of which 6 or 7 can be deployed on the table north of the line shown on your map.   The other 3 or 4 brigades are deployed in reserve off-table to the north.  You must decide on the deployment of your brigades.  Only you can commit the reserves.

12 figure infantry units are small all others 16-20+ are standard sized units.

Order of Battle


1ST British Brigade                                      
4TH Foot
De Lancey’s
5th Foot
9th Foot
Light Infantry skirmishers 12 figs
6-pdr gun

2nd British Brigade                                      
Combined Grenadier battalion
Combined Light Infantry battalion
5th Foot
Grenadier Regiment Rall
Light Infantry Pickets 8 figs
6-pdr gun

3rd British Brigade                                       
64th Foot
7th Foot Royal Fusiliers
35th Foot
28th Foot
6-pdr gun

4TH British Brigade                                      
Composite British Grenadiers
3rd Foot
71st Highlanders
Volunteers of Ireland
Light Infantry skirmishers 12 figs
6-pdr gun

1ST Loyalist Brigade            
New York Regt
British Legion
Queens Rangers
Queens Rangers Skirmishers 12 figs
Indians   Skirmishers 12 figs
Indians   Skirmishers 12 figs

1st German Brigade                                    
4 Brunswick btn.                                         
Brunswick Jager 12 figs                            
Field Gun                                                     

2nd German Brigade                                                           
Fusilier Regiment von Lossberg
Fusilier Regiment von Knyphausen
Musketeer Regiment von Mirbach
Musketeer Regiment von Donop
J├Ąger 12 figs
4-pdr gun

3RD German Brigade                                                           
2 Brunswick Btn
2 Hessian Btn
Hessian Jager 12 figs
Field gun

British Cavalry Brigade
British Legion Cavalry  12 figs
Light Dragoons 12 figs                              


1ST Patriot Brigade                                      
4 State Regts
Rifles 12 figs
Field gun                              

2nd Patriot Brigade                                      
4 State Regts
Rifles 12 figs
Field gun

3RD Patriot Brigade                                      
Continental Army (Washington’s Guard)
Continental Army generic (blue)
Continental Army generic (brown)
Riflemen    12 Figs
6-pdr gun

4th Patriot Brigade (M)                                
Continental Army/ uniformed Militia mixed
Uniformed Militia mixed
Southern Militia

5th Patriot Brigade                                       
1st Virginia Continental Line
4th Virginia Continental Line
5th Virginia Continental Line
9th Virginia Continental Line
6-pdr gun

6th Patriot Brigade                                       
1st Maryland Continental Line 
5th Maryland Continental Line 
Continental Light Infantry
6-pdr gun

7th Patriot Brigade                                       
1st Pennsylvania Continental Line
7th Pennsylvania Continental Line
8th Pennsylvania Continental Line
Hartley’s Regiment  skirmishers  (12 figs.)
6-pdr gun

8th Patriot Brigade (M)                                
1st North Carolina Militia
2nd North Carolina Militia
Militia skirmishers 12 figs

9th Patriot Brigade (M)                                
1st Virginia Militia
2nd Virginia Militia
3rd Virginia Militia
4th Virginia Militia
Militia skirmishers 12 figs

Patriot Cavalry Brigade
Light Dragoons  12 Figs                            
Light Cavalry  12 figs