Review of ‘Armies of the Greek-Turkish War 1919-22’ (Osprey)

Rob Morgan provides a review of an Osprey Men-at-Arms number, “Armies of the Greek-Turkish War 1919-22,” as originally published in Lone Warrior magazine.

It’s on the Ospreys at a Glance page.

Posted in Periods - Twentieth century | Leave a comment

Two reviews of Cordery’s ‘The Portable Wargame’

Here’s another two-fer: Mike Crane and Arthur Harman have each separately reviewed Bob Cordery’s recently published rules for late 19th and 20th century warfare. Mr. Cordery uses gridded tables and simple rules to give fast-paced, entertaining games.

The reviews are on the Reviews page.

Posted in Periods - Colonial, Periods - Twentieth century | Leave a comment

Campaigning with the plague

By Rob Morgan

The weather column in The Times recently reported some research, with wargames potential, by Dr. Kathleen Pribyl of the University of East Anglia. Her team of researchers reconstructed the climate of that substantial part of England from crop harvests and other indicators between 1256 and 1431, the core of the medieval (wargames) period. There were, it seems, some rather interesting patterns. If a short run of average or cool summers was followed by a single warm, dry summer, “a plague epidemic would often follow.”

The pattern — and there were regular cycles — followed the changes in rodent population, rats possibly, but Dr. Pribyl suggests more likely the humble vole, and its fleas! A mild, or moderately cold winter would also help the plague, as the animals would survive. But a bitter winter would kill off the rodents, and so would a wet one, which flooded burrows.

 The wargame potential is obvious, and arguably not just for that then-very-prosperous part of these islands. The effect of a plague outbreak on the raising of a feudal force or on its fortunes when gathered for action or in camp, a force’s reluctance to pass through areas with an outbreak, for instance; the problems of foraging or of feedstuff for men and horses when there’s been an outbreak, among other things, all have potential to disrupt the conduct of warfare. Just a simple dice throw to determine the weather over the previous years would do the trick initially.

Incidentally, I do remember a short series of articles by Don Featherstone, oh, almost 50 years ago, in John Tunstill’s “Miniature Warfare,” on the effects of weather on wargames, but I don’t recall any rules or consideration of outbreaks of plague.

Posted in Periods - Medieval | 1 Comment

Review of alien fungus terrain models

Jonathan Aird notes many uses for Stone Mountain Miniatures’ offering of alien fungus terrain.

His review is on the Reviews page.

Posted in Periods - Fantasy, Periods - Science fiction | Leave a comment

Some updates to the Lone Warrior web site

Editor Rich Barbuto has updated material on the Back Issues and Tables of Contents page.

The updated information reflects that hard-copy back issues of Lone Warrior magazine are no longer available for purchase. Now listed are the .pdf versions of back issues that are available for e-mailing (lots of them).

Finally, the Table of Contents have been updated to include those through the current issue.

Posted in Lone Warrior blog, What's new | Leave a comment

Coming soon: Lone Warrior No. 199

Lone Warrior No. 199 is being completed and will be e-mailed in the next few days. Here’s a preview of the contents:

  • “An Aircraft Carrier Scenario for Damn the Torpedoes,” by Kevin White: A follow-up scenario to the Damn the Torpedoes solo WWII naval rules.
  • “Bursting the Mold — Taking it to the Next Level,” by Jeffrey G. Chorney: Building on an earlier article, this one offers more ways of doing solo wargaming in low-cost ways.
  • “The (Linear) Battle of Las Palmas,” by George Arnold: Ideas and a sample battle for making a wargame more “linear,” as first suggested by Paul Le Long in No. 197.
  • “Hastings, 1066,” by Paul Le Long. A refight of the epic battle using an old S&T magazine game, with some useful solo mechanics.
  • “Colonel Kingsley is Dead!: Officer Trauma Generation,” by Steve Turner: Ways to make the on-table deaths of commanders/characters more than just a statistic.
  • “Quatre Bras,” by Rich Barbuto: Mechanics and a battle report on re-fighting this prelude to Waterloo.
  • “Armies of the Greek-Turkish War 1919-1922,” by Rob Morgan: An extensive review of the Osprey Men-at-Arms title, with suggestions for figures for gaming this now-obscure conflict.
  • “Free Advertising,” By Rich Barbuto: The editor offers free advertising to subscribers, a cost-free way to sell gaming-related services or old figures, etc.

All well-illustrated with the usual color maps, photos and graphics.

Posted in Latest issue of LW | 2 Comments

A sample article for June

This month’s article from the pages of past Lone Warriors is from Paul Le Long and explains his simple World War II naval rules (including air power).

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Naval gaming, Periods - World War II | Leave a comment

25mm covered bridge model

Jonathan Aird reviews a Stone Mountain 25mm covered bridge with many gaming uses.

It’s on the Reviews page.

Posted in Periods - American Civil War, Periods - Eighteenth century | Leave a comment

The WWII flame barrage

By Rob Morgan

Lord St. Vincent said of Bonaparte’s rag-tag and bobtail, ‘I do not say they cannot come, I only say they cannot come by sea.’ Now this is another of those intriguing weapons devised to prevent, in this case, a German invasion. The May 2017 issue The Mariner’s Mirror (Vol. 103:2) contains a short description by R.G. Hart (pp.217-219) of the 50 miles or more of ‘flame barrage’ intended to be installed along the south coast of England to oppose Operation Sea Lion early on in the war. In fact, the actual length of flame barrage defences turned out to be only 10 miles or so at some key invasion threatened points, but Hart provides a decent, readable account of the research and development of this amazing weapon.

The oil fuel was supplied by two large bowsers — tankers on land — through underwater pipes. A range of fuels were used, petrol, diesel and heavy viscous oil, and it seems from detailed test results that a ‘…boat stopping … continuous bank of flame and smoke fully thirty yards in width’ could be controlled and adjusted for 30 minutes, consuming only four tons of fuel! A good, useful wargame point that, of course! The weapon was ignited incidentally by Admiralty pattern flare canisters, remotely operated on the sea-bed.

The results varied according to wind and weather, but a fair assumption given the quality of attack craft available in the first two or three years of war would be that any invasion would have to be attempted in decent weather. Part of the flame installation, almost all of which was underwater scaffolding, suffered damage in late 1940 during a storm (shades of Mulberry Harbour) and though the usual reason for no invasion taking place (the Royal Navy, of course, ably assisted by the RAF) prevailed, a bizarre cohort of legends grew up around the Flame Barrage. The writer also provides four titles which deal with this device, and there seemed to be potential for a larger weapon system.

A second ‘what if’ for wargamers in the East, deals with the capture of Singapore in 1942. Yamashita, commanding the Imperial XXVth Army, bombed and shelled the huge oil storage tanks on the island because the Germans had told him that the British could create a burning sea, and he feared the loss of his attack force in light boats crossing the Straits!

Posted in Naval gaming, Periods - World War II | Leave a comment

Review of ‘When Empires Clash!’ book

Mike Crane reviews Bob Cordery’s book on Colonial wargaming, “When Empires Clash!”

It’s on the Reviews page.

Posted in Periods - Colonial | Leave a comment