Editor Rich Barbuto reports that the latest issue of Lone Warrior will be mailed this week. Here’s a preview of the contents:
- “Entertaining the Troops by Running a Multi-Solo-Player Campaign,” by Martin Smith. The author explains how he ran a four-player campaign on Dark Ages Britain during the pandemic, with lots of the game mechanics included too.
- “How to Use Excel for Mapping Wargames,” by Paul Wisken. A step-by-step guide to drawing gaming maps with any Excel program from 2007 on.
- “A Few Thoughts on Discovering the Thirty Years War,” by Rob Morgan. Plenty of background to a period that isn’t always easy to research.
- “Review of ‘Final Round’ (2006),” by Jim Rohrer. A review and a test drive of simple rules for infantry squad- and platoon-level combat with (mostly) bolt-action rifles.
- “A Grand Campaign or a Grand Folly,” by Craig Dunglison. The author combines his interest in astronomy with wargaming and suggests a system in which different worlds are the setting for any number of campaigns in any number of periods.
- “Mouse Count and Mouse Count Adventure,” by David Newport. Rules and an example of a basic adventure game, this one designed by the author so that he could play it with his young daughter. This game uses mice figures, but other figures will work too.
- “The Game is More Than the Player of the Game,” by Rob Morgan. Discussion of games from ancient and medieval times that can still be played.
- “Mig Pilot 2.0,” by Marvin Scott. A simple game about air-to-air combat during the Korean War, with an account of a play-through.
- “Game Design,” by George Knapp. Eight useful principles for designing solo or multi-player games.
- “The Spanish Ulcer: Napoleon Solo Squared (Version 2),” by Kevin White. Complete rules for a card-activated game played on a 3-inch grid. Printable cards for the game are included.
- “Tournament Tilting Ideas for Games on Gaming Boards,” by Rob Morgan. Ideas for Late Medieval games, and some figures that could be useful.
- “Writing for Lone Warrior,” by Brian Cameron. How researching and writing articles for Lone Warrior has increased the author’s enjoyment of the hobby.
- “Editor’s Comments,” by Rich Barbuto. In which the editor notes Brian Cameron’s preceding article and encourages others to take up the pen.
Paul Le Long has reviewed a new set of Napoleonic rules, “Absolute Emperor,” and finds them cleverly designed with an emphasis on simplicity. With the playing units representing divisions, even the largest battles can be played on a relatively small table.
It’s on the Reviews page.
By Rob Morgan
I’m grateful to my colleague Marco Galandra of Pavia for this little snippet. Now, chemical and biological weapons rarely crop up on the wargames table, and certainly I’ve never resorted to them in any modern campaign at least! However, in a book published in 2006, by Professor Frank Snowden (“The Conquest of Malaria: Italy, 1900-1962”) there’s an account of a well-planned Wehrmacht biological attack in the Autumn of 1943. The Germans were in difficulties, obviously, and so the High Command ordered the flooding of the low-lying landscape, and the release of millions of the anopheles species of insect. The intention was to infect the Allied troops and slow their advance. It failed because the Allies had access to DDT and the drugs such as Atabrine which were effective against malaria and the insects carrying it. What then happened was that the civilian population being unprotected, and indeed some Axis troops, suffered seriously.
Italy had suffered from malaria for centuries, of course, and the sickness wasn’t eradicated in the marshes until around 1962. Snowden’s book doesn’t give any other example of biological attacks during the Italian campaign.
This month’s sample article from past issues of Lone Warrior is by George Arnold, who describes some of the other parts of the hobby that absorb him besides gaming itself.
It’s on the Sample Articles page.
Martin Smith has reviewed an Osprey Elite title on “The Ancient Greeks” and highly recommends it.
It’s on the Ospreys at a Glance page.
A set of game rules for the Spanish-American War are now available on this website. The rules were written by Prisco Hernandez and George Knapp and were used by them for convention play. They’re finely balanced; either side can win.
The rules can be found on the Complete Rule Sets page.
By Rob Morgan
Yes, I realise the blog doesn’t have a letters page, but the old Lone Warrior, what 20 years ago, carried them from time to time, as did the best of all of the wargames magazines. We used to have ‘specialists’ to whom questions could be addressed too, I remember.
Here’s a question for you. Please find me an answer.
The current issue of The Mariner’s Mirror, Vol. 107, No. 2, for May 2021 contains an excellent article on Robert Fulton’s steam warship designs c.1814, sometimes called Fulton the First or Demologos, pages 188-201, by Dr. Andrew J.B. Fagel of Princeton University. Brilliant read! The article stirred a few of the little grey cells, and though a subject vaguely known to me it is one that clearly has some war game potential. My mind, and you’ll like this, Jim, came up with Early Steam Punk possibilities. Hm? Anyway, this clearly is a landmark in American naval technology, so I thought there must be a wargames scale model of the warship manufactured somewhere in the States. I thought either 1/600th, 1/700th, maybe even 1/1200th might turn up. I found information and illustrations of plenty of lovely museum quality craftsman-made models, but nothing else.
Yet, surely there will have been a model of it made in the USA at some stage, the wargames potential against the British blockade demands it. Plenty of ACW ‘blockade- busters’ c.1863 around, so there must be an 1814 ‘Fulton’- same principle. Can anyone help? Where can I find a ‘Fulton’. Or do In have to try to scratch-build one?
Help! Over to you.
Martin Smith provides a review of “Scots Armies of the English Civil Wars,” finding it a useful addition to understanding the period.
The review is on the Ospreys at a Glance page.
By Rob Morgan
This, as you will all recognise, is a PzKw V, the Bergepanther recovery version of the Panther tank. When the Mk V appeared in numbers on the Ostfront ready for the debacle at Kursk, there was a decree from the Fuhrer (A. Hitler) that no tank of this design should fall into the hands of the enemy. This led to the quick conversion of some earlier models of the Panther into Bergepathers, turretless ARV’s with a spade, a small hoist and ample tools. The turret well was replaced with an open topped box- shaped structure. Like most afv’s it carried an lmg for anti-aircraft and close-quarter defence. Early Bergepanther variants, and there were several, each with a slightly different set up of gear, had a 20mm Kwk-30 cannon, the excellent gun found on several 4-wheeled armoured cars, like the 222. Mounted centrally over the bow and operated from inside the hull, this gun was used for close-in defence. Although its firepower potential would be a boost to the recovery crew when advancing, it would probably have been less useful in overall combat terms, given the limited traverse.
This addition seems to have ended by mid-1944, and later Bergepanthers were more simply constructed. The order that no Panther should fall into enemy hands failed to have much effect, well any effect at all, really. Bergepanthers or not, the Red Army captured dozens of the 75mm gunned tanks intact, and were impressed with some technical features. They found the tank overall less impressive. However, they used the captured Mk V’s as front line afv’s under their own colours, until they failed mechanically. A more detailed description of this is found in Osprey Duel No 4: Panther v T34 Ukraine. There’s a review of that in the Osprey archive of this very blog. The photograph was taken at the French army’s Armour Museum at Saumur in 2015. Best afv collection around.
By Jim Rohrer
Articulating why we like the eras we model can be challenging. The reasons may not be the same for all of our favorite eras. I like Dark Ages because I have read accounts of many battles involving Uhtred in the Bernard Cornwell books. But I also have enjoyed the Sharpe series and cannot seem to work up an interest in Napoleonic wars. It is a mystery. I like the 1890s and World War I because they seem to fit with Steampunk and I like Steampunk for no particular reason.
On the other hand, I think I can explain why the Thirty Years War is interesting. First, it was big. Perhaps 30 percent of the population of central Europe died, many of them civilians. Second, it was an extension of the Protestant Reformation but in a strange way; France helped the northern German states despite being Roman Catholic. So, the TYW had more to do with the balance of power than with religion.
Third, national armies were not up the challenge of such extended campaigns so mercenaries were widely used. Mercenary companies worked for whoever paid them so they could and did switch sides. This makes them the consummate professional soldiers in the TYW.
Fourth, the TYW took place in central Europe prior to the unification of the German state. One could argue (and many did) that the German “nation” was composed of people who spoke German. On the other hand, are south Germans really culturally similar enough to north Germans to make this argument? I do not know the answer but north and south certainly fought hard against each other in the TYW. And are the Dutch part of the north German area or not? The Dutch language is related but different from German. Central Germans cannot understand Swiss German so maybe the common language argument falls apart. Polish mercenary units fought on both sides and yet they were not German. Fascinating!
Most people who model this era focus on the ECW. Presumably that is because they are English and so it is part of their national history. But other gamers might find the TYW to be interesting if they tried exploring it. Mars makes 1/72 sets for this era that are affordable.