Review of medieval artillery figures

Rob Morgan reviews a useful set of 1/72 plastic figures, depicting medieval artillery and gunners.

It’s on the Reviews page.

Posted in Periods - Medieval | Leave a comment

A sample article for the New Year

This month’s sample article from the pages of Lone Warrior is an innovative way by Steve Turner to create random terrain for wargame battles, especially for ongoing campaigns.

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

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Upcoming Friday Insights

By Rob Morgan

These short, free talks continue to be held at the London-based National Army

During January to March 2019, sadly, only a few seem to have material to offer
the wargamer.

11th January: ‘The Last Cavalry War in Europe’ by the historian Adam Zamoyski.
This will deal with the astonishing sweep of vast mounted forces across the
western steppes of Poland, Ukraine and Russia post-1918, an immense and still
too little understood series of conflicts.

15th February:  ‘SAS Italian Job’ by Damien Lewis who recounts a significant
British raid against German positions in Italy in 1944.

There are other talks, on rations in WWI, on horse supply in the same war, and
on the origins of the Zulu War, but these two offer most, or seem to. The talks
start at 11.30, and last about an hour. If anyone is able to attend Zamoyski’s
talk and can provide a comment on it for these pages, I’m certain it would be a
rare and valuable delight for SWA members.

The NAM is always worth a visit, and its programme of events is usually

Posted in Periods - General history, Wargaming | Leave a comment

ACW ironclad rules added

Here’s another addition to the Complete Rule Sets page, “Virginia vs. Monitor.” Mike Crane’s original rules can be played out on a square grid, featuring the first clash of ironclads during the American Civil War.

The rules are on the Complete Rule Sets page.

Posted in Naval gaming, Periods - American Civil War | Leave a comment

Table of Contents updated

The Table of Contents for Lone Warrior has been updated to include all the issues for 2018 and the first issue for 2019.

The update is on the Back Issues and Tables of Contents page.

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New rule set: ‘Bombs Away’

Here’s another rule set from past issues of Lone Warrior. This one is by Kevin White and is titled “Bombs Away.” It’s a set of rules depicting the British bombing campaign over Europe in World War II. All you need to play is a standard deck of cards, some paper and a pencil. A suspense-filled game.

The rules are on the Complete Rule Sets page.

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

Spanish Royal troops 1898

By Rob Morgan

My colleague and friend Jaime de Miguel of Madrid sent these photos to me: Spanish soldiers of the 1898 war with the USA, at a recent re-enactment. The kit is attractive, the rayadillo striped blue and white cotton ticking jackets and trousers for tropical wear in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. With customary straw hats, the royal coat of arms pinned at right. The collar regimental number in gold is 5. The rest of the kit and equipment is perfect if my reading of Alejandro de Quesada’s Osprey No. 437, “The Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection” is correct. They’d make a lovely table top unit and, in Cuba, caused the headstrong Americans some problems at El Caney.

The war, which began with the explosion aboard USS Maine, didn’t truly end until well into 1902, beyond that, arguably, into the years of the Great War, and it provides a wide range of scenarios suitable for the solo wargamer. I have gamed the naval encounters, rather one-sided as they tend to be. All you need can be found in 1/3000th scale.

In terms of figures, the new manufacturer GerMan makes two packs of Spanish infantry in 20mm plastic, one pack identical to these re-enactors, the other in sun helmets and garrison caps. You could use Red Box’s Boxer Rebellion Americans to oppose them, but you’d be grubbing around for artillery and cavalry, I think. It crosses my mind that there must surely be a number of US manufacturers of figures for these wars, and I’m sure that if there are, someone will mention it.

Posted in Periods - Nineteenth century | Leave a comment

The ‘Pulemet Maksima’ 1910 Machine Gun

By Rob Morgan

My favourite machine gun! It had the longest production run of any of the numerous Maxim versions made, and was made in vast numbers. I’ve not encountered an estimate for the numbers manufactured but someone else may know. It will be huge. Not surprisingly, it achieved popularity as it served well under the most vile of conditions and extremes of climate, and proved ideal for the Russians and later, Soviets, in a number of conflicts. It was a heavy beast, and usually mounted on a small wheeled carriage — almost like a field gun! This was the easily identifiable Sokolov mount, with a turntable for traversing and a wheel operated screw to elevate; and in addition it usually sported a removable gun shield as shown in the photographs.

The weight of the whole weapon, incidentally was a little under 75 kg, and it was dragged by its gunners using a U-shaped handle. In the worst of conditions it could be found mounted on sleds. Weight aside, this was a tremendously efficient machine gun, and could be fired almost endlessly, and it required very little maintenance.

Distinctive because of the Sokolov mount, and the corrugated jacket, the 1910 was encountered in WWI, the Russian Civil War and many other post-1918 conflicts. It cropped up in large numbers in China, proved a popular weapon on armoured trains, and fast Tchanka carts. It proved equally reliable in the Spanish Civil War, and in “The Great Patriotic War.” In Korea too, and in Vietnam. There are many photographs extant of the 1910 being used by German and other Axis troops, on the Ostfront, as they recognised it had obvious, and immense, combat value in those conditions, where complex German weapons often failed. It’s cyclic rate of fire being over 500 rpm of 7.62 mm rounds, fed by a fabric belt system.

I’ve long believed that where weapons of any sort are concerned, re-enactors can teach us wargamers and historians a great deal. The PM 1910 shown here is a WWII specimen, the “tractor cap” entry point for cooling water gives it away, and the first crew shown here are Russians in Imperial service from the 1914-21 Society’s Eastern Front group (I’m grateful to Martyn Clarke of the Society for the use of the photograph). The second PM1910, a much earlier piece (no tractor cap) is manned by members of the La Columna Spanish Civil War group (photo by Richard Thorpe, taken at an event in Spain).Though this is a heavy gun, and looks it, I’m given to understand that the crew can move it easily and rapidly on the Sokolov mount, using the handles, and additional ropes on the axle, four men being most effective.

I first encountered this machine gun in wargame terms as a component of the Airfix Russian Infantry set, back in the 1960s, and it was quite a while before I realised that the set’s Maxim was more or less in 15mm scale, and far too small for the 20mm troops manning it! Peter Laing made a wintry, fur-hatted Russian Civil War Maxim and crew in 15mm a few years later, and they fitted the bill neatly, still got them. Of course,now there are plenty of examples around in all sorts of scales.

Does anyone know of examples of the gun in Regimental or other military museums in the UK?

Posted in Periods - Twentieth century, Periods - World War I, Periods - World War II | Leave a comment

Another issue of Lone Warrior is coming soon

The latest issue of Lone Warrior is in the final stages of production and will be e-mailed to subscribers soon. As usual, here’s a preview of the contents to increase the anticipation.

  • “Editorial” by Rich Barbuto. Our editor has some words about this latest issue and updates readers on his own projects, both hobby-wise and professionally.
  • “Race for the Coast” by Kevin White. A solo version of Don Featherstone’s Agincourt Campaign, using a strategic diagram to bring on battles.
  • “Simple Rules for Two Duelling Figure” by Michael Barlow. A quick set of skirmish rules for fighting duels between two opponents, either for blood or for points.
  • “The Tochi Valley Escapade 1897” by Nic Birt. Rules for Northwest Frontier game with the enemy controlled randomly and the Imperial opponent tasked with carrying out a fighting retreat.
  • “Blockade Runner Part III: The Deep State” by Jeffrey G. Chorney. A different approach to a solo game, this one run entirely on paper, using a deck of cards and dice, and focused on political and economic developments during the American Civil War.
  • “Air War Burma” by Marvin Scott. Rules for air combat in a nearly forgotten theater of World War II, featuring outdated aircraft (paper outlines for models included).
  • “Mythic Word Lists and How to Use Them” by Steve Turner. Using a Mythic GamesMaster Emulator to generate campaign developments and adding in customized word lists to provide even more possibilities.
  • “Playing an Army That Doesn’t Fit Your Style” by Daniel Barbuto. Lessons in expanding your gaming horizons by trying out armies that fight differently than the ones you usually play.
  • “1066” by Nic Birt. Description of a new board game being marketed by the author. The game is used to set up miniature battles for the strategic conflict among Saxons, Vikings and Normans.
  • “Discovering a New Wargaming Period” by Steve Turner. Finding joy in discovering a long-neglected period of history, in this case the Thirty Years War.
  • “Jack Scruby’s Thirty Years War” by Rich Barbuto. Where to find rules for the period, written by one of the American pioneers of wargaming, plus photos and a nostalgic advertisement from on the his old catalogues.

As always, with lots of photos, maps, charts and color. Coming soon!

Posted in Latest issue of LW | Leave a comment

A sample article for December

This month’s sample article is an oldie, from Lone Warrior No. 27. It’s by the late Wally Simon and reviews his ideas for limiting the ability of a solo wargamer to favor one side or the other, a prime need for us soloists.

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Solo wargaming | Leave a comment