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!


  1. Great follow up to the wargames illustrated article guys. I agree the article did give its reader a good sense of the not only the book, but also the people behind the book. I will say that I have BLB2, Donnybrook and Republic to Empires all of which are some of the best wargames books you will find, not only in design but also hobby goodness. All these books makes me feel like a kid in a sweet shop, pondering which sweets to buy. So I'm really looking forward to your next creation in BLB3.

    Oh and was that a Vietnam picture I spotted? Where can I find the rules for vehicles etc you mentioned? Also whose vehicle and figures were they ?

    Thanks guys

    1. I have several versions of vehicle rules, but they are very rough. There is one version posted here...

      There is an even simpler version when not using military vehicles. For a Call of Cthulhu scenario I needed a couple of cars (and rules for a d20 monster!). Movement was the same as the link. I made the vehicles themselves impervious to small arms fire (for my scenario there were no heavier weapons) unless the 'to hit' roll is 10+ which could result in disabling the vehicle (blown tire, busted radiator, whatever). This meant only Veterans and Heros could likely make such shots. All other fire at vehicles was assumed to be aimed at the occupants who received a 4+ cover save against any wounds. Hits were determined randomly against occupants. You could make this as complicated as you want. An armored truck might offer a 3+ save while targets in the open back of a truck only get a 5+.

      To be honest, I usually keep such add on rules the length that would fit on an index card and make the rest up as I go, though obviously this requires a GM. I've been a couple of other people use them for WW2 so the potential is there, at least for cinematic games!

      We may get around to publishing sets for different periods, but maybe that helps for now...

    2. Lee, the Vietnam kit is not mine but come from one of our League of Gentlemen weekenders a few years back. Not sure who made the figures but the vehicle is Corgi.

  2. Thanks Clarence, I will certainly check that out and give it a go.

    Barry, I thought that was the Corgi M113, but nice figures also.


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