‘Apache Warrior versus US Cavalryman’ (Osprey) review

Jonathan Aird reviews an Osprey focused on the American Indian wars.

It’s on the Ospreys at a Glance page.

Posted in Periods - Nineteenth century | Leave a comment

‘Playing at the World’ book review

Paul Le Long reviews “Playing at the World,” a history of Dungeons and Dragons role-playing games, with a brief history of wargaming, from Chess forward, included. It’s highly recommended.

It’s on the Reviews page.

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Aubrey and Maturin

By Rob Morgan

I am, and always have been, a ‘Hornblower’ fan. But I’ve long intended to write a note about another Napoleonic Wars naval hero.

Jack Aubrey is a very different kettle of fish from Horatio Hornblower. His and his ship’s surgeon’s adventures cover some 20 novels, and are far more than the stirring adventures of a Royal Naval Officer fighting Boney. “Harbors and High Seas: An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Complete Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O’Brian,” by Dean King with John B. Hattendorf, is a substantial 250+ page guide to the books, the historical background and events, and to the world map on which Aubrey’s voyages and the Napoleonic Wars at sea were played out. It has the feeling of Darwin’s voyages underpinning it all. It really is a very worthwhile book for any enthusiast of those wars, and is superbly illustrated. The maps and drawings are excellent and valuable for any wargamer, in my opinion, though the diagrams of the voyages of Aubrey’s ships are less useful, and unlike the maps in ‘The Hornblower Companion,’ don’t seem to have a direct wargame application. There are, however, a large number of plans and charts of harbours and ports which do have use on the wargame table, or the map campaign — Gibraltar, Cadiz, Plymouth, Valetta and Lisbon among them.

The book falls into 20 chapters, one for each novel, and the novels do range around the Seven Seas, from The East Indies to the Horn and the close blockade of Brest, even surveying and anti-slavery patrols. There’s more sailing detail than in Forrester and, while the Hornblower books and stories have a strong feeling of the Royal Navy as a fighting service, in the Aubrey novels the conflicts, tensions and problems of the navy are more apparent.

Jack Aubrey finds himself opposing a French invasion of Ireland, in ship-to-ship duels in the Mediterranean, and dabbling in revolutions in Spanish South America, then fighting American privateers. King’s book avoids the detail of war, it doesn’t back up the novels in the ‘rattling good yarn’ manner in which the Hornblower companion does, but as a guide to the sea in those turbulent times it is one of the best accounts I’ve come upon. The guide does however give some sound hints for the wargamer, pointing in the right direction, if you dip into the texts, but you will need to delve deep in many cases to find more than a simple ship-to-ship action.

However, one of the chapters, number 19, dealing with the title ‘The Hundred Days,’ provides background to what I think would be a tremendous small-scale solo wargame campaign. Aubrey is sent with a light squadron into the Adriatic to destroy French vessels building there, and a host of small actions ensue, including the capture of a treasure galley. My caveats aside, this is a book worth acquiring by the naval gamer. Highly recommended.

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

A sample article for May

Steve Turner provides this month’s sample article from past numbers of Lone Warrior magazine. This article describes how he went about setting up a fictional Colonial campaign in North Africa.

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Periods - Colonial | Leave a comment

Friday Insights

By Rob Morgan

It often surprises me, knowing that wargamers are ardent historians and avid readers, how little so many of us share with the others in our fraternity. The title of this piece (which I know you opened up because it could be almost anything, couldn’t it?) is the title of the 2018 series of lectures held in London at the National Army Museum at 11.30 a.m. every Friday during the summer months. This year there are half a dozen talks by well-known historians with some value for the wargamer.

May 4th, ‘The British Fiasco in Norway 1940.’

May 11th, ‘The British Army and Victory in Tunisia.’

May 25th, ‘Weapons and Wounds in the First World War.’

June 15th, ‘Romania and the First World War.’

June 29th,‘The Battle of Dettingen 1743.’

That’s just a handful. The Romanian talk supports an exhibition on Romanian forces, and there’s a substantial event programme throughout the year on ‘Special Forces.’ Worth having a look at on


What’s happening where you live?

Posted in Periods - General history, Wargaming | 3 Comments

Review of ‘Last Stand’ book

Rob Morgan reviews a book about last-stand battles from Napoleonic times forward and finds some accounts useful for solo gaming, others not so much.

It’s on the Reviews page.

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A report on Salute 2018

Jonathan Aird reports on his annual trip to Salute, the big wargaming show in London.

His report is on the Miscellaneous page, to give adequate scope for his many excellent photos of games and displays at the show. Thanks, Jonathan!

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Review of ‘Outremer: Faith and Blood’ skirmish rules

Paul Le Long reviews a new set of rules for medieval skirmish games and finds them excellent for solo play.

It’s on the Reviews page.

Posted in Periods - Medieval | Leave a comment

Review of Daniel Mersey’s ‘Wargamer’s Guides’

Paul Le Long reviews wargamer guides to four different periods and finds them useful, even if basic.

It’s on the Reviews page.

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A sample article for April

Here’s a link to this month’s sample article from past issues of Lone Warrior magazine. This one’s by Rob Morgan, who uses a pair of book review to discuss South American wars and where to find useful figures for the period.

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Periods - Nineteenth century | Leave a comment