Review of ‘The Wolf of Kabul’ book

Derek Clark reviews a (comic) book about adventures on the Northwest Frontier.

It’s on the Reviews page.

Posted in Periods - Twentieth century | 1 Comment

On Eastern rivers and lakes

By Rob Morgan

My Ostfront naval flotillas are, for the most part, 1n 1/300th scale, and range from the old Skytrex landing craft and gunboats to the newest acquisition, the Zvezda Russian-made armoured river boat shown here.

It’s a new issue and unusual for this company, Zvezda, which make tank AFVs and aircraft for the most part, and in larger scales. This small warship is in 1/350th, but will fit in nicely with my other Soviet river vessels. In fact, it’s only a few millimeters shorter than the Skytrex Project 1125 boat.

The model is in eight parts, and the hull about 50mm long overall. Discard the hefty and useless base, and use the flag for your Napoleonic fort or medieval troops. The hull fits neatly to the deck, and the few fittings are easily cemented in place. There are two mg turrets and a choice of T34 or T28 turret for the main armament. You can mix and match here, using as an alternative a 1/300th Heroics and Ross BT7 turret, for instance. The mg turret on the armoured deckhouse can be replaced with a searchlight, as another alternative. You can add a life-raft, a 1/600th scale one will do, either on the foredeck or right aft. You’ll need a pin for a mast with obligatory big red banner, of course! That’s about it.

The Germans and their Axis pals used quite a few of them after capture, and the options are open for all sorts of add-on armament there, but the T34 turret would almost inevitably be kept, I suspect. Paint job? Well, scruffy dark green or grey. A lovely model.

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

A sample article for October

For this month’s sample article from the archives of Lone Warrior magazine, Jeffrey G. Chorney offers advice on setting up a solo military campaign, a veritable checklist of things a solo campaigner needs to thinks about.

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Solo wargaming | Leave a comment

Yes! You can wargame with almost anything!

By Rob Morgan

The photograph is of a small wargame I prepared several years ago, to use at an ‘open day,’ simply to illustrate the ease with which a wargame can be created. Several other demonstrations chose to show off ranks of 25mm bright-coated 18th century or Napoleonic figures which were not to be touched or examined by the casual observer.

This was different.

I went back to basics, the way we wargamed in the old days, when we actually wanted people to participate. I gathered together a mass of small plastic ships boats, and rowing boats, with or without oars, added single masts and sails. One fleet had lateen rigs and the other square, just for the purpose of recognition. A small gun at each bow, as you can see.  I sprayed the lot Humbrol Matt Dark Earth (the colour for wooden walls, believe me!). I based them on games counters, painted the sails — all were white, but if I’d had time, maybe a coat of some other linen colour would have appealed. The sails had small decals added in some cases, or identifying emblems painted on. I added a couple of pennons and flags, and that was it.

Simple rules, a single page of A4, using only a pair of dice, I recall. The Umpire, me, had a range of interesting ‘interlopers’ at his disposal. The giant seagull, or should it be a Roc(?) is one, it came from a cake shop, and was intended as a decoration. It decided to circle the opposing fleets, and then swooped on one ship to break its mast, seize crew for dinner, or land on and capsize it, whatever. The add-ons provided as much entertainment as the wargame element.

Posted in Naval gaming, Wargaming | Leave a comment

And here comes issue No. 200

The latest issue of Lone Warrior magazine is about ready for e-publication, and it’s another landmark. For issue No. 200, Editor Rich Barbuto asked his regular contributors to discuss what writing for the magazine means to them: What are the good parts, what are the downsides, and more. He got a wide variety of responses and they form the heart of this edition.

But there’s more traditional fare too. Such as:

  • “Sparta vs. Hippias” by Peter R. Barkworth, a battle report on 6th century BC fighting between Sparta and Athens, and their allies.
  • “Tank Battle: Golan ’73 A6 and ‘Tank Shock’ rules” by Nic Birt. A battle report on Israelis vs. Syrians, along with a set of solo rule adaptations for fighting such modern armor encounters.
  • “Gangland 1926” by Preston Shah. A how-to article on setting up a role-playing game featuring gangsters and G-Men from the Roaring Twenties.
  • “Quiz” by Rob Morgan. A wide-ranging 10-question quiz that Rob describes as “relatively easy” for wargamers with some interest in history. (With answers a few pages later.) See how you do!
  • “Random Wargames Terrain” by Steve Turner. A clever system for randomly creating terrain for battles within a campaign.
  • “A House Divided (Again!)” by Kevin White. Solo rules for the English Civil War, and where to find paper soldiers (very low cost) to man the table.
  • “Champs de Bataille” by Rob Morgan. A review of a French military history magazine.

And, as always, lots of color photos, as well as numerous maps and charts to illustrate the above. All coming soon to an e-mail address near you!

Posted in Latest issue of LW | 1 Comment

Golden oldie, Part I

While the blog’s in-box waits patiently to be replenished (yes, we need more “stuff”), let’s reach back into the archives and link to some contributions from earlier days.

For starters, here’s a post from Mike Crane, from way back in August 2011, titled “Playing more for less.” In this post, Mike provides ideas for gaming in new periods without spending a fortune. Here’s the link. And thanks again, Mike!

p.s. It’s possible that some of the links in the post no longer connect.

Posted in Solo wargaming | Leave a comment

A sample article to start the month

This month’s sample article from the Lone Warrior archives is by regular contributor Jonathan Aird and features his ideas on setting up a Lepanto galley game. Lots of good ideas!

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Naval gaming | Leave a comment

Review of Osprey’s ‘The Composite Bow’

Jonathan Aird reviews an Osprey of the Weapon series, titled “The Composite Bow.”

It’s on the Ospreys at a Glance page.

Posted in Periods - Ancient, Periods - Medieval | Leave a comment

Review of ‘World War II Croatian Legionaries’ (Osprey)

Jonathan Aird reviews a recent Osprey on the Nazi-allied Croatian legionaries.

It’s on the Ospreys at a Glance page.

Posted in Periods - World War II | Leave a comment

A rare find: ‘Armada’ board game

By Rob Morgan

I’ve just acquired a naval board game produced by Jeux Descartes of Paris. Invented by Phillipe des Pailleures and Patrice Pillet, their names are on the box. I bought it intact, for £2 in the local Oxfam shop.

An interesting game, with similarities to Waddington’s Buccaneer’ in some ways, but with more land-based action, against “native tribes” to support the ship-to-ship and conquest action. However, my reason for writing this note is what’s to be found in the game box!

First, a large jigsaw base, half a dozen pieces, easy to put together and sturdy. A map of an archipelago, as you can see from the photograph, a little larger than a Monopoly’ board in full colour and most attractive. It could be used as the base for wargames with small-scale models, say 1/3000th or 1/4800th perhaps. It reminds me of the Ursula le Guin Earthseamap, or that of ‘Game of Thrones.’ There are clear divisions for sea areas too, valuable for campaigns and sea control.

Then 12 metal model ships, each two-masted. Sturdy vessels, each is 50mm long from stern to spar, as you can see in my photograph, 12mm wide and to the top of the masts is some 30mm. Immediately, I was reminded of Jack Scruby’s early models and of Don Featherstone’s basic models in his ‘Naval Wargames.’ Nostalgia! The models, I think, have some sound potential as wargames ships, and can be easily be converted into 1/1200th or 1/600th maybe, by the addition of rigged masts, or even simple lateen sails. They could fit in with Peter Pig’s 1/450th Pirate ship range too.

The rest of the game consists of about 200 flat plastic tokens, which could be used as bases for 15mm or 10mm models on land. Some are round, others are 10mm square, and they come in a range of colours. Another bargain. As I’ve said before, don’t ignore charity shops!

Posted in Board games, Wargaming | Leave a comment