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

Review of ‘The Gempei War 1180-85’ (Osprey)

Jonathan Aird reviews a 2016 Campaign series Osprey on the Gempei War in Samurai-era Japan.

It’s on the Ospreys at a Glance page.

Posted in Periods - Medieval | Leave a comment

Robert Hardy, the great longbow expert

By Rob Morgan

I met Robert Hardy, who died August 3, twice in the 1980s, at a Mary Rose conference, and later at the old Royal Armouries. I remember, he claimed when speaking to the audience on the second occasion, that he fell in love with the longbow when he played Henry V in a BBC TV series! He used that rare quote from Shakespeare’s Richard III, ‘Fight, bold Yeomen! Draw archers, draw your arrows to the head!’ I jotted it down (it’s from Act 5 scene 3 if you want to look).

I’d already bought a copy of his very sound, authoritative book Longbow,’ in the second-hand bookshop for a quarter of the cover price and wished I’d brought it to ask him to sign. He might not have done that, because he seemed a bluff character, and snappy if he didn’t fancy the question being posed to him.

Acting as a Lancastrian king aside, he’ll be long remembered for his all embracing social and military history of the magnificent weapon, what they call  a real sweep of bow history, and it is rather a magnificent volume. Yet I prefer the second, more medieval- focused of his archery books. ‘The Great Warbow’ by Hardy and Matthew Strickland was published in 2005, and really is a great publication, especially if read alongside Jim Bradbury’s ‘The Medieval Archer.’ Hardy was involved in a good deal of ‘hands-on’ longbow research over the decades, cropping up a number of books and in serious academic articles, and was skilled enough to become a consultant and then a trustee on the Mary Rose trust. No mean feat for an actor.

Posted in Periods - Medieval | Leave a comment

A sample article for August

This month’s sample article from previous issues of Lone Warrior is by George Arnold and explains a card-based system for randomizing orders of battle for gaming.

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Solo wargaming | 2 Comments

Suffolk – some intriguing WWII traces

By Jonathan Aird

I do like to be beside the sea side – but in all honesty I’m not all that bothered about strolling on the prom-prom-prom, even the additional attraction of a big brass band doesn’t really swing it for me. Now, the coastal footpaths, that’s a different matter. On a recent visit to Suffolk, I came across a number of things that I thought could potentially form one of the infrequent “holiday objects of wargaming interest” that crop up from time to time on the Lone Warrior blog. Framingham Castle, for example, is a fine and interesting building of great historic interest – well worth a visit for the rampart walk alone. However, once more, it is the more ephemeral WWII fortifications that really caught my interest. Just north of Thorpe Ness, along the footpath hugging the dune tops, several tank trap blocks came into view – some of these had seemingly tumbled down from a higher position.


 

Glancing around at this point I noticed that there was a high wall along the path edge which had several rifle loops in it.

Then, a little further along, there was a most peculiar pillbox. This is brick built with a concrete roof and again features only loopholes for rifles. Most peculiar. Nestling in the bushes on the other side of the path, facing the beach, there were a number of concrete posts – possibly these once carried barbed wire.


About half a mile south of this spot, another pillbox came into view – although closer inspection suggested that this was actually a gun emplacement. This is all on the East coast of England – and in WWII far too close to occupied France – but the actual arrangement of defences seemed rather unusual.

 

I don’t know if this is the actual case but a possible explanation is as follows. The gun emplacement was most likely manned by the regular army whilst the brick pillbox was a home guard strong point or command point from which patrols were sent out North and South behind the barbed wire and tank trap protected dune tops. This would explain the lack of provision for heavy weapons at the oddly flimsy pill box. It’s in a fairly isolated spot – but there is the large Thorpe Ness Hall just a little way inland – and one can imagine that the skeleton staff running this, as well as, perhaps, elder family members — would have provided sufficient manpower for a Home Guard platoon. This is all complete conjecture, of course, and may be completely wrong – if anyone knows better I’d love to know the truth of it.

As it is, this arrangement of defences could offer an intriguing and unusual table top game for a “what-if” German pre-invasion probing raid – hitting the shingle and sand beach with the dunes a formidable stop line ahead of them.

Posted in Periods - World War II | 6 Comments