Saturday, September 16, 2017

Breaking the surface

The yin and yang of constant travel - herbal tea and cakes


No, I have not sunk to the bottom of the sea, missing without trace. I am acutely aware of my lack of blog output over the last week+. Unfortunately work commits have taken me around the square - London -Amsterdam -Stuttgart - Paris - London, by planes trains and automobiles meaning, naff all time to witter like a curmudgeon.

Things have been happening and so I thought it may be time to explain what is occurring....

Rehnskiold, Leijonhufvud and Stenbock

On the Warfare Miniatures front we will soon release our six BIG MEN from the Great Northern War: Leijonhufvud, Stenbock  and Rehnskiold for the Swedes and Menshikov, Shermetyev and Repnin for the Russians. The figures are currently being production moulded and should be available in October.


Menshikov, Repnin and Shermetyev


In addition, we are well advanced with our new Danes and Prussians which can be used across the period 1690 - 1720 with variants to suit the evolving dress styles. This makes official our first venture into the War of the Spanish Succession.

Sneak peek at the new Prussian WSS/GNW dolls

Further to these developments we have new lines of product coming, including Thirty Year War and English Civil War plus, contemporary troops from other theatres in that period.


Also coming soon with 6 horse and 9 rider variants for ECW/TYW

On the long awaited, Billy Bunter's postal order-esque War of Three Kings (Beneath the Lily Banners 3rd Edition) the book is laid out, we are currently proof reading and finish some artwork. It currently stands at a page count of 150+ and we are delighted with how it looks and plays as a rule set. We have trailed the game mechanics at Tactica, Carronade, Partizan I, Historicon and will do so again at Crisis in 2017. Following that we'll see the gates open on a backlog of other publications and pdfs which are awaiting attention.



We are back in the Caribbean in October plus England, Scotland and.. Flanders


Our now long running 1693 Battle for Britain campaign continues in October when we return to Dumfries to continue the power struggle for the throne of the Three Kingdomes. I believe at the moment we have around twelve of the regular characters attending and the shenanigans will doubtless continue.(well, I know they will because I have been particularly devious this time!).


Toggy's Danube summer hut


I've always like this Young Guard unit and it got to play this summer at Arcis sur Aube!

Apart from all this, Toggy continues to amass the 1814 Austrian Army on a one to one scale whilst collecting more wargaming objet d'arte in the form of wonderfully hand crafted buildings.


Great boost for Donnybrook in this issue - thanks Rik!


I have a couple of pieces due for ventilation in Wargames Illustrated over the next few issues but I suspect none will have quite the positive impact on sales that Rik's piece on Donnybrook had. Well thanks again Rik for a real marketing lift!!


This year's Tactica effort may well be further south and west than the Ukraine

We are hopefully heading for Tactica in 2018 and by then various other projects long awaited and unexpected should be peeking out for the gaming community to have a gander.

So, despite rumours to the contrary, I have not switched off my scrivener's angle lamp for the last time and will continue to agitate for the foreseeable future... right! Which gate is this flight boarding from...

one of the more remote airports I have had the pleasure of

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Solidifying the Ghost Army Part 7: Wounded Sentinels

The wounded sentinels in the raw state

The sentinels completed


Although the Ghost Army force has only four units each with two characters attached I added two extra demi-units in order to make the scenario work. The first of these are three sentinels, each supposed to be wounded and therefore rated as Drilled in the scenario.


Ralf Abrahamsson in the raw form with milliput ragged cape


This unit has no characters attached. Two of the men have captured and outdated Russian bandoliers for their powder charges.

Mikael Gabrielsson  of the Narke Varmland Regiment in his Russian cap


These sentinels are set to guard a small cart containing wounded comrades.

Johan Lund a survivor of Lewenhaupt's army from Lesnaya


All three sentinels have some degree of conversion work. Two are from the Streltsi musketeer pack with head swaps. One is a tricorned head from S13 whilst the other is a head from Cavalry pack WLOA45 which contains bareheaded Imperial cuirassiers.


During the production process - left hand base unfinished

Ralf Abrahamsson has a nasty, open head wounded 

His blanket has seen better days but is keeping the blood off his tattered coat!


The figure with the bare head has had a tattered blanket thrown over his upper body for warmth.


Johan Lund a Baltic soldier from de la Gardie's Regiment.

Lund has looted old Russian equipment and wears a Private Pike style scarf!

His clothes have seen better days

The third figure is from S1 with one of the removed Streltsi heads added and a little tidying up using milliput around the neck area.
Bertil Arnesson he also has a head wound


Rear view of  Bertil Arnesson

Arnesson was in the Narke Varmland Regiment

All of the attached heads on all conversions are drilled and pinned.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Champions of Pike & Shot 1: Mark Shearwood

Siege of Athlone 1691 - wonderful solo effort by Mark


I decided to highlight the work of fellow gamers who I feel make a significant contribution to the popularity of the period 1660-1720. Mark Shearwood's output is both prodigious and high quality.


Meanwhile back in Brixham 1688 - Kidnapping King James


Mark has produced imaginative and inspiring games which have appeared at various shows mostly in the Midlands. His Siege of Athlone 1691 was extremely popular at Partizan in 2016 and featured fantastic detail and a large number of troops.

This wonderful star fort has appeared in our 1693 campaign


In August of 2017 he produced an interesting and innovative game set in October 1688 at Brixham. John Churchill is attempting to lure his benefactor King James into a trap, kidnap him and then hand him over to the enemy! Mark tells me this was based on a real plot which did not evolve to plan and resulted in the King having a nosebleed and retiring from the field.


Mark is a fan of hex bases too


Mark also asserts than Marlborough was prepared to kill the King if he could capture him. I can feel the keyboards twitching already but don't accuse me of Marlphobia please direct the ire towards Mark in Derby!

King James.. a potential kidnap victim


The table looked sumptuous and was busy all day. Stuart Parkin who can often be found gaming with Mark did his best to flummox me with Beneath the Lily Banners rules queries but I fended him off manfully.


Danish infantry with Quindia flags 



King James and his loyal Scots troops

I know at least two Churchill fans who are followers of this blog and who were there n Sunday and I wonder what they both thought of Mark's game. Maybe you let us know P and R! I was not guilty!!


More of Athlone 1691


Mark has made some excellent contributions to digging up new information on the period and recently did me a tremendous favour when I become custodian of Alan Sapherson's research papers. Mark took the entire collection away and sorted it out by period and subject matter, He uncovered a lot of unpublished stuff that Alan had but didn't get round to sharing.

This was a mega effort and rightly admired by the crowd at Partizan


So, Mark - You do a great job promoting our pet period. Thanks for the inspiration and imagination. I hope others get as much from your output as I do!


Who is changing sides? Units were monitored at Brixham

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Donnybrook.. no, we didn't write this review!

White Death GNW Donnybrook at York in 2015

Sometimes life is just nice to you. When I opened Wargames Illustrated issue 359 an article about Donnybrook caught my eye... Why I Love Donnybrook! well, I had to read on!

An enthusiast for the rules has written a very glowing piece extolling the virtues of the rules and recommending them for periods well beyond the core 1660-1760 span (which is of course what we intended).

Jim Masson's creative Cult Leader.. Lord of the Hunt?

I can do little but endorse Rick Hudson's insightful comments and state for the record, that I do not know Rick nor have we ever discussed Donnybrook! If we ever meet Mr Hudson, I will stand him a large one of his choice. Thanks Rick!

The Wolf pack attacks the Swedes in White Death

Donnybrook has to some extent not be supported by H&H as well as our other rule sets only by dint of us having little time to follow through on supplements, scenarios and Donnybrook Dark.

Hungry like the Wolf...led by pack master Simon Duran?

Clarence has recently been made aware of a Facebook group (Donnybrook, the Skirmish Game) who have a liking for the rules and interestingly Toggy and I have seen it in action at several shows including Partizan and Tactica.

Rick was right about creative flexibility - skill is needed to steal goats!

If anything Donnybrook's flowering is in spite of our circumstantial  neglect. There exists a steady stream of email correspondence, pictures, posts on TMP, Facebook updates, figure painting, character conversion and scenarios being brought to our attention.

Donnybrook is well suited to the world of Pirates

I have had a fair bit of face to face feedback at shows about published scenarios in Wargames Illustrated such as Escape from Anyburg and Goat Riders in the sky. These both seem to have been tried by several groups who were also keen to tell people about their gaming experiences.

It has been used for modern gaming too - Clarence has written vehicle rules

Back for a second to the WI piece. Clarence and I have yet to hook up and discuss the writings of Mr Ric but it certainly has given me a poke up the posterior in terms of getting more collateral out there.

Donnybrook is being used for Napoleonics - Waterloo skirmish

If any Donnybrookers are reading this and you have a scenario to share, please email it to me and we'll get it on the blog.

I can truthfully say, I have been through Donnybrook - twice!

In a moment of synchronicity two weeks ago whilst travelling into the centre of Dublin from Co Wicklow, my wife got very animated, pointing to the left and right - Look! Donnybrook this and Donnybrook that.. yes, we were in fact travelling through the suburb of Donnybook - home of the ancient Fair, origin of the euphemism for a bit of a barney and the source of our rule set's title.

How appropriate. I think someone is trying to tell us that Donnybrook needs more oxygen from its creators.

Harrison! Hilton! Do better!

Addendum (Clarence): Wow... I don't know how to get in touch with Rick, but I'd like to thank him for the article! What we intended Donnybrook to be is exactly what Rick found with it. I've documented the fact many times that I've used the rules for pretty much every period I game in. I'd love to make supplements available for all of them, and I hope that we can, but it's been gratifying to see what others have come up with and see people enjoying the rules! Check out the Facebook page (no, we didn't start that either) and post your Donnybrook adventures!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

LoA on tour over the years..

Neerwinden 1693 at Partizan perhasp in 2008 or 2009?


Holowczyn at Partizan perhaps 2009


On the eve of yet another Partizan show I thought I would make one of those occasional breaks with the 17th century and show case our breadth of offering over the many years we have spent on the show circuit.


bijou Normandy game at Carronade around 2010


Dark Age Late Romans roamin' in the gloamin' about 2003  at Claymore 

Most of the assets featured in the posts are still in my possession in full or in part and maybe I need to start being a little more selective in what I keep otherwise as I get older my house may have to be up-sized rather than downsized.


One of several runs at Borodino 1812 possibly at Claymore in 2011


I am into Napoleonics there is no doubt - A section of Waterloo Carronade about 2012


I have been the constant member of the band since the beginning in 1992. Others have come and gone, some making significant contributions, others coming along for the ride which for the most part, was fine.


Genappe scenario 1815 - can' t remember where but the shot was used in WI


Bautzen day 2 at a LoA weekender


These days the hard core is Toggy and myself and its been that way for about five years now. Dave gets along as much as he can and also makes a great addition to the table and team. Tog is a major contributor and our effort this weekend is almost a solo Tog-Fest based around his very substantial Napoleonic horde.



1854 Tchernaya - played as a test for the unreleased FOUR EMPIRES rules


I talked about this game in Victoria with the Don of gaming - Featherstone in about 2003



This was as much a journey down memory lane for me as a sharing exercise. Too many collections and not enough time.


My TYW collection which lives not too far away from me now.. Out often in the late 1990s


My debut at Crisis about five years ago... something in Ireland I remember


No doubt on the five hour car journey we'll explore the options for the next outing which is going to be Crisis in Antwerp.


Lvov 1939 - I loved the early war Eastern Front stuff - Partizan or Claymore


The LoA it truly international as our US Chapter is represented by my main creative partner and pal Clarence Harrison. I am proud to say we have presence in the fine state of Virginia.. no better location in North America I reckon!


Across the Pond - CH & BH do LoA in the Land of the Free


And then, there is the potential revisit to Tactica in Hamburg in February. In the week when I finally got behind a mic with a guitar once again after a long time it has defintely got me thinking about my previous life as a muso on the road and whether I would like to get back to that again.


Here we are in Hamburg - cold terrain at a hot show 2016 GNW


Toggy, can you play drums?

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