Play-through of ‘Risk Legacy’ game

Russ Lockwood chronicles a play-through of a “Risk Legacy” board game with several of his friends.

It’s on the Miscellaneous page.

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‘Sails of Glory’ — The models for the game

By Rob Morgan

The other day, I had the chance to examine the ‘Sails of Glory’ game ship models of two nearby wargamers, Steve and Jay Button. It was the first time I’ve seen the 1/1000th scale models outside the four in the Starter Pack packaging in a games store, and in a demo tabletop. The game looks fine, though it really does seem to be ship-to-ship combat rather than fleet combat in the Bonaparte era, and a little before. Inclined towards the regular board-gamer rather than the traditional ‘old style’ wargamer (like me!) obviously, and I don’t think I could easily come to terms with the rather high bases — see the photographs — they don’t look right somehow.

It works well overall, and makes for a fairly speedy game, an hour or less, but is better suited to the ‘Hornblower’ small squadron action or, better still, single-ship encounters, plenty of frigates in the set. This is, I feel, due to the high cost of the ship models. HMS Victory comes at around £25, and a ‘74’ at £17, sloops and frigates just a little cheaper. So, to game ‘Trafalgar’ might cost!

There are around 40 models available, mainly Royal Navy and French, with a few American big frigates and some Spanish vessels,  coming on line. They are neatly made, and in 1/1000th, solid enough, metal and a little plastic. Indeed, the hulls are delightful (the attachment to the sea-base is by a single peg) and are nicely painted. There’s some potential for conversion to other nations of course, Dutch and Neapolitan come to mind immediately –and even pirate vessels. I liked them, but wouldn’t go overboard for this game.

These are much more expensive, and far less elegant models than Rod Langton’s magnificent 1/1200ths which leads me to comment: I wonder if you could successfully game this with my 1/1200th Tritons?

The box art for the starter set (at around £50-60 approximately) and a few of the models are shown here, the French ’Unite with red/yellow side strakes; a group consisting of HMS Bellona alongside the French Commerce de Bordeaux and Embuscade and a closer view of HMS Defence. This close-up shows the drawbacks of the moulding, which needs no comment for the keen Napoleonic gamer.

Interesting, but I’d only buy it if the ship models were a lot cheaper. A lot!

Posted in Naval gaming, Periods - Napoleonic | Leave a comment

Review of ‘Early Iron Age Greek Warrior 1100-700BC’ (Osprey)

Jonathan Aird reviews an Osprey from the Warrior series and finds it lacking.

It’s on the Ospreys at a Glance page.

Posted in Periods - Ancient | Leave a comment

Two reviews of Star Destroyer model

Today’s offering is a two-fer. Regular contributors Jonathan Aird and Rob Morgan provide reviews of the Hot Wheels Star War Star Destroyer model, which is now available at a discount.

Their reviews are on the Reviews page.

Posted in Periods - Science fiction | Leave a comment

A sample article for February

This month’s sample article from the pages of past Lone Warrior issues is by Rich Barbuto, editor of Lone Warrior, and features his game report on a refight of the Battle of Ligny.

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Periods - Napoleonic | Leave a comment

Found: ‘Scale Models’ magazines

By Rob Morgan

“I’ve got something here might interest you,” said my friend in the Oxfam charity shop: a pile of magazines from the late 1960s and, as they say on the TV antiques programmes, immaculate. Most were model railway and railway enthusiast stuff, but there were a handful of Airfix Magazines (got the lot) and a few others, of which I bought just two, Issues 1 and 2 of Scale Models, dating to October and November 1969. There were no other issues, sadly. Somehow, probably due to University, girls and beer, I don’t recall seeing them before, and I would certainly remember buying a Number 1.

The launch of the magazine was international, sold at three shillings in the UK, and 70 cents in the USA and Canada. What surprised me was the amount of wargame-useful material this publication contained. Issue 1 had articles on German aircraft camouflage, colours and markings in World War I, a very good piece on Red Army tank markings 1941-45, the insignia of the British Army in World War II, and a scratch-building set of drawings for a 1485-period War of the Roses warship. Excellent stuff, continued in Issue 2 with articles on the most numerous aircraft ever built, the Soviet Polikarpov Po-2 (40,000 of them), on M-109s on Israeli service c. 1948, and more late medieval warship models. A wargames scale c1900 armed steamboat too.

Nostalgia corner? Yes, if there’s one thing I enjoy it’s reading the reviews of long ago, and the adverts too. Whatever happened to Bellona AFV prints? Did the 1969-70 Model Engineer Exhibition in London really have wargames? There’s a warning on page 58 of Issue 1 that Airfix HO-OO scale figures (and the AFVs) were now on sale at an increased cost of two shillings and nine pence a pack. What are they now?

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Review of ‘Bloody Mohawk’ book

Rich Barbuto reviews a book on the fighting along the Mohawk River, “Bloody Mohawk: The French and Indian War & American Revolution on New York’s Frontier,” and finds it a well-done account.

It’s on the Reviews page.

Posted in Periods - Eighteenth century | Leave a comment

Review of ‘Maurice’s Strategikon’ book

Rob Morgan reviews a translation of this Byzantine-era work and finds much useful in it for the wargamer.

It’s on the Reviews page.

Posted in Periods - Dark Ages | Leave a comment

Review of Tabletop Gaming magazine, Issue 7

Jonathan Aird reviews the latest issue of the magazine, which has announced it is going to a six-issues a year schedule.

It’s on the Reviews page.

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Some Thirties aircraft

By Rob Morgan

I picked up a packet of Hasegawa 1/700th-scale aircraft the other day. The box is QG23-72123 in their range and contains 18 Japanese biplane aircraft models. There are nine Nakajima Type 90 fighters, and nine Mitsubishi Attack Bombers Type 13 Model 2. Delightful models!

They are small, and so a little fiddly to assemble, but that really only applies to the undercarriage; they are moulded in light grey plastic and make up well. The Torpedo Bomber is particularly attractive. They are, of course, carrier aircraft and intended to sit on the flight deck of the Hasegawa Akagi model, though I’d use them in wargames mode mounted on clear plastic stands.

The pack also includes a very large sheet of decals, roundels and numbers, and I suspect these would be fiddly to fit!

The choice of 1930s biplanes is unusual and useful. The Type 90, a single-seat fighter, of course, became obsolete in 1941, but I believe soldiered on in Manchukuo and parts of mainland China. Only 100 of them were built, from 1932 onwards, and they were armed with 2-7.7mm mgs and could carry two light bombs. They were similar in appearance to the Gloster Gamecock and owed much to the overall design of Boeing biplane fighters. Very little work will create a range of pre-WWII planes of use to the wargamer. The Sopwith Snipe, Gloster Greb, the Hawker Woodcock, Curtiss P-6E (several Curtiss variants, in fact), the Armstrong-Whitworth Siskin, Bristol Bulldog,  Svenska J-6A,  in service with many nations for a decade. The Finnish Gamecock variant had skis, they’d be easy enough to add to this model.

Some 400+ of the 2- or 3-seater Mitsubishi Type 13s were built and they saw significant action over China as bombers carrying two 500lb bombs rather than the single 18in torpedo which the model has. It can be omitted, of course. The type was phased out after 1938, but again soldiered on in remote parts of the Empire. Some were fitted as floatplanes, and it’s possible to alter two of the torpedoes to create this version. Obvious conversion options for the Type 13, well, the Bristol F.2B Brisfit looks promising, and the Italian Breda Ba.25 occur to me at first sight.

Yes! There’s definite potential in this bargain pack of 18 planes for about £5, and the conversion opportunities are many and varied. There are so few biplane models in this scale, and doesn’t a biplane dogfight look fascinating over a table top? None of this high speed, one-shot passing rubbish; the top speed of the Type 90 was 180mph, very sedate.

Posted in Air gaming, Periods - Twentieth century | Leave a comment