Thursday, 24 November 2016

Carthaginian veterans

I'm conscious that I've been posting much less frequently of late- it's not that I've been painting and basing less, but rather that I've not had sufficient time to take pictures and post them. I shall endeavour to post rather more regularly! Here are some 28mm Carthaginians veterans. Around a half were painted by Shaun McTague, and the other half by Steve? from Newark Irregulars.

They are a mix of A&A, Crusader and Aventine. At some point soon I shall base them as four units of  grim Carthaginian veterans. I feel a Zama coming on...

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Magnesia at Crisis

I've just returned from a splendid trip to Crisis in Antwerp with mates Ian Notter and Andrew Brentnall. The show war excellent, the Tin Soldiers great hosts and I ran into dozens of wargaming chums including many who I've previously only met online. Andrew displayed considerable sang froid in the face of some challenging roadworks and diversions. Antwerp is a great city to visit and a good deal of food, beer and wine was consumed!

Here are some photos of the game, which we ran using my "To the Strongest!" rules. All the minis were painted by Ian, and he took the great photos, too.

Deployment; Seleucids on the left.  The mat is a gigantic "Sagebrush steppe" mat that I've had specially made; it is 16' long!

The Roman camp; my only contribution! The Roman legions are Donnington.

Seleucid phalanxes interspersed with elephants and screened by innumerable lights. The Seleucids are mostly Xyston.

View from behind the phalanx, towards the cavalry on the Roman right.

Roman triplex axies; we used the "alternative Polybian list- worked great!

Late in the battle- cataphracts charge! The Roman triarii fought like the veterans of Zama they were and skewered Antiochus!

The Roman line bows but does not break.
We had such a fantastic weekend- I very much hope to make it back to Crisis next year- perhaps with a different sort of pike!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Magnesia 190 BCE at Crisis

A quick reminder that I will be visiting the Crisis show on 5th November in Antwerp, bringing a "to the Strongest!" participation version of the Battle of Magnesia, 190 BCE. The game will feature my friend Ian Notter's 15mm collection, and Andrew Brentnall (with whom I'm working on the ECW rules) will be with us too.

We will be at g10b01 in Hall 2, near (but not too near!) to the toilets- I've circled the location in red.

We will run the game twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. If you would like to play, please email me via the address to the left.

I won't be selling stuff at the show, but if you would like to order anything from the BigRedBatShop for collection at Crisis, please do so and I will refund your postage and bring it over with me. Postage free and with the current low, low pound, it's a great opportunity to pick up a set of the rules, some of the chits or one of the excellent Deep-Cut mats at a very much reduced price! Last orders for collection will be tomorrow, Wednesday 2/11/2016.

Friday, 28 October 2016

The 2017 To the Strongest! World Championships

The third annual "To the Strongest" World championship will take place in the (otherwise) quiet village of Chalgrove in southern Oxfordshire on the 25th of February 2017. The event is a friendly contest, hosted by the South Oxfordshire Generals, in which players get to fight three battles during the day against ancient or medieval armies. We hope to have thirty or more entrants this year. The atmosphere is more good-natured than competitive.

If you'd like to throw your hat in the ring, you can choose your army from any of the official "To the Strongest!" ancient and medieval lists, up to 130 points. If the list isn't already written for your favourite 28mm historical army, let me know and I will write a list for you. If you don't have a suitable 28mm army, mail me and I will lend you one from my collection. 

There will be prizes for the winner, for the best army, for sportsmanship and also a "wooden spoon." 

In addition to the ancients tournament, Andrew Brentnall and I will be bringing a demonstration game of "For King and Parliament", the English Civil War version of the rules that will be published in Q2 next year, and will be able to answer questions about it.

The "Worlds" is always a great event.  If you can make it, please email me at the address in the panel to the left and I'll forward your details to the organiser, Steve Dover. We hope to see you there

Sunday, 23 October 2016

An unusual "for King and Parliament" play test

On Thursday night I went to my first wargames club night in over a decade. Surprisingly it wasn't my local club (I think of myself as a somewhat lapsed Central London gamer) but rather the South East Scotland Wargames Club in Edinburgh, just over 400 miles from where I live. David Imrie had very kindly invited me up for a game and we'd decided to use the "for King and Parliament" ECW play test version to run a Seven Years War game (ECW minis weren't available, but several lovely SYW collections were). David Imrie, Angus Konstam, Ken Pearce and Jack Glanville played, whilst I helped out with the rules. Here are some shots of the game- below, David's Austrians pummel a British brigade.

Angus' Reicharmee very nearly took the hill and objectives from he Prussian grenadiers.
Throwing caution to the winds, I decided to trial diagonal movement. This turned out to be a great success and I'll look at it for games set after the period of the ECW, particularly the War of the Spanish Succession, where it seems to me that diagonal movement becomes more important. I've had some other ideas how fKaP could be adapted for later periods.

This pretty Austrian battery really clobbered the British!
A pic of the grenadiers who were so comprehensively out-shot by some very dubious Reicharmee.
Jack the Great of  Prussia
There are some super wide shots of the game on Jack's Pioneer Painting blog, and Jack describes the game very well.

South East Scotland Wargames club is very friendly and in a great venue with a nice bar, and the chaps were terrifically welcoming! It was great to see such a wide variety of different games being played. I very much hope to make it up there again!

Austrian hussars clash with the British cavalry that subsequently routed them.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


Here are some images of the Edgehill game I recently played at Andrew Brentnall's place with his lovely 12mm English Civil War collection. I posted them on Facebook, at the time, but neglected to blog them. All photos are clickable!

Parliament further table edge, Royalists, nearer.
The rules are an English Civil War re-engineering by myself and Andrew of my "To the Strongest" Ancients set. They are grid based, with activations driven by D10 or playing cards, and rattle along at a terrific pace!

The Royal Standard
Parliamentarian horse about to get Rupert-ed
The mat is a gridded Deep-Cut plains mat- I sell them in a variety of grid sizes (or without grids for that matter).

Dragoons fight it out in the hedges
The infantry lines close.

We had a great day running this epic play-test! It ended with a narrow Royalist victory, that wouldn't have been decisive. The working title of the rules is "For King and Parliament". I expect to publish them next May/June.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Crisis, what Crisis?

On November the 5th I will be at the Crisis show in Antwerp with chums Ian Notter and Andrew Brentnall.

The battle we are taking is Magnesia 190 BCE, which will pit upstart Rome against the might of the Seleucid Empire. Unusually, we will be playing in 15mm with substantially new armies that Ian has been raising all summer. Here are a couple of shots of the Seleucid phalanx, which is but one element of their vast host. Sticking elephants in the phalanx; will it work for Antiochus? 

Facing them will be a large Polybian Roman army. If you are coming to the Crisis show and would like to play either in the morning or afternoon game, please do drop me an email via the address on my shop

I won't be selling stuff at the show, but if you would like to order anything from the BigRedBatShop for collection at Crisis, please do so and I will bring it over and refund your postage. With no postage and the current low, low pound against the euro, it's a great opportunity to pick up a set of the rules, some of the chits or one of the excellent Deep-Cut mats at a very much reduced price!