Review of Frostgrave, Rangers of Shadow Deep and Perilous Dark added

Paul Le Long finds these inter-related fantasy rules easy to learn and fun to play.

His review is on the Reviews page.

Posted in Periods - Fantasy | Leave a comment

Lone Warrior No. 211 is on the way!

Editor Rich Barbuto reports that the latest issue of Lone Warrior is wrapping up production and will soon be on the way to subscribers. Here’s a preview of this issue’s content:

  • “Who Would Hold a Crown?” by Kevin White. A fictional, character-driven campaign system set in the medieval era.
  • “Paperless (Almost) Campaign” by Andrew Doig. A quick campaign system based on “One-Hour Wargames.”
  • “Attack on the Paris Commune, 1871” by Jim Rohrer. Small-scale gaming of a tumultuous period in 19th-Century France.
  • “‘Legendary Leagues’ with the game Marvel Legendary,” by Craig Dunglison. Playing some pre-designed scenarios for the card game.
  • “The Raid on Didyma” by Peter R. Barkworth. Persian forces try to capture and loot a temple defended by the Greeks. A large-scale battle report.
  • “My Favorite Books” by Steve Turner. The author lists some favorite books for historical periods he enjoys and challenges others to list their own preferences.
  • “Fort Zinderneuf: The Loneliest Outpost in the Empire” by Rob Morgan. How to build a Colonial-era fort, along with several gaming ideas with the fort as a centerpiece.
  • “A Song of Frost and Shadow: Fantasy Skirmish Wargames” by Paul Le Long. Some rules for “RPG-light” gaming in the world of Frostgrave and Rangers of Shadow Deep, with a battle report as well.
  • “The Solo Wargamers Association: A Short History” by George Heath and Graham Empson. If you’ve ever wondered how the SWA and Lone Warrior came to be and developed into their present form, here’s a comprehensive look at the background.

All with the usual complement of photos, charts and other illustrations. This issue is a packed 74 pages. Coming soon to an e-mailbox near you!

Posted in Latest issue of LW | Leave a comment

Review of ‘One-Hour Skirmish Wargames’ added

Jim Rohrer reviews a book on skirmish wargaming, a follow-up to “One-Hour Wargames.”

It’s on the Reviews page.

Posted in Solo wargaming | Leave a comment

VE Day — 75 years on

By Rob Morgan

Here, as a reminiscence of the war, the defeat of Germany, and the greatest invasion in history, are three of my Normandy photos.

1. This is a Sexton SP Gun, a 25pdr AFV, which equipped British and Canadian artillery units, a very effective gun, fired on the way in to the beaches, over the bows of landing craft. This is mounted a little inland of Juno Beach.

2. A M IV Centaur tank, which equipped the Royal Marines Support Group on D-Day. The gun is a 95mm, and the markings on the turret are calibrations for use by an outside forward observer, to direct fire against enemy bunkers. The tank was mounted, as shown here, on a plinth at Pegasus Bridge, but has recently been moved into the new Pegasus Museum,and repainted in D-Day markings.

3. The ‘Barn-Door’ as German soldiers called it. This is an ’88,’ late war the complex cruciform carriages simply couldn’t be manufactured, so a basic two-wheeled, half-track towed variant, the Pak 43 was built. This was an absolute beast to haul around, and the gun was lost at a farm just inland of Omaha Beach,. The farmer, who charged me 5 euros to photograph and examine it, told me it hadn’t been touched since the war, optics had gone naturally.

I’d intended, hoped, to return to Normandy this summer, but of course the prospect of any travel across the Channel before autumn is much diminished.

Posted in Periods - World War II | Leave a comment

Latest painting project: Peninsular British

By George Arnold

During these days of social distancing (isn’t that what solo gamers have been doing all along?), I’ve had plenty of extra time to take on some new painting projects.

Not long ago, inspired by a renewed interest in the DBN rules (De Bellis Napoleonicis, see, I decided to expand my Napoleonic forces. I’ve got lots of French and Austrians, but I was looking for something different. I chose some British troops from the Peninsular War and got the first installment of figures a few weeks ago, right about the time things began shutting down in my neck of the woods.

Here are a couple of photos of the troops I’ve finished. They are all AB figures, 15/18mm, very nice sculpts that take even my so-so painting well. I bought them through Eureka Miniatures USA, which may have one of the fastest delivery systems anywhere — five days from ordering to opening the mail parcel at home.

From left, two units of British regulars, one of Highlanders, one of light dragoons, a detachment of the 95th Rifles, and the commanding general himself.


A different photo angle, same troops.

As these neared completion, I fired off another order to Eureka and, already having it in hand, I’m ready to start on those. Now on the painting table are more British regulars, some light infantry, artillery and a number of Portuguese allies, including another light cavalry unit. There’s even a unit of Spanish militia. When they’re finished, I’ll be able to field two different versions of Peninsular armies from the DBN army lists. I’m already thinking about some games to set up.

Posted in Current projects, Periods - Napoleonic | 2 Comments

Between camp and battlefield: Does distance matter?

By Rob Morgan

A few thoughts cross my mind in relation to Christopher Prest’s Biblical battlefield. I think the distance is too far, and has a faint reminiscence of the Crusader army being lured to the Horns of Hattin, away from the water supply at Tiberias. Anyway, camps and battlefields are an interesting and inevitable pairing, and not only in Biblical times. Peter Barkworth, commenting on the ancient world, is right, I think.

It’s not only the time taken, and the equipment needed to be carried or transported from camp to battlefield that matters, it’s the need for resupply, or indeed the vulnerability of the baggage train, and the potential for defeat in the whole campaign simply by it being lost.

A few battles come to mind, just a few, and these may broaden the original idea.

Like Stamford Bridge in 1066, where a substantial Viking reinforcement, the only reinforcement, was at the boat camp more than 10bmiles away, and took several hours to arrive. They were by then tired out, not fully harnessed, and were slaughtered. At Arsouf in 1191AD, the Crusaders actually kept their camp within their formed defensive lines, and that was on the shore, which arguably echoes, and eases, Christopher’s problem.

At Crecy in 1346AD, the English army’s well-defended camp was perhaps 500 yards behind Edward III’s position. At Agincourt in 1415, the English camp was near enough to Henry’s lines to be attacked by and largely overrun by a flanking French group.

In the English Civil Wars the camp at Marston Moor was close enough for Prince Rupert’s cavalry to see and take it during his charge, but far enough away for him to fail to carry out any further successes in the entire battle! He lost. At Naseby, the only contemporary map I know of shows the Parliamentary camp within a cannon shot of the rear of the New Model Army’s lines — mind you, the chance of them losing to the smaller, inadequately equipped (and suffering low morale) force of the king was minimal.

You have to be careful with your camp. Look at Blenheim 1704. The French fortified that village as a base, and were literally stuck inside. While at Isandhlwana in 1879, the British were slaughtered fighting in defence of their substantial, well equipped, but utterly unfortified camp.

Lastly, and these are just a few thoughts. At Waterloo in 1815, Wellington and Bonaparte camped less than two miles apart, and the prospect of seeing the lights of the enemy’s camp fires the night before battle was common throughout the Peninsular War. The rule must be sleep as close to the battlefield as you can, fight and win it, make the other beggar march, become tired, and then run away , defeated!

Posted in Solo wargaming | 1 Comment

New sample article now available

This month’s sample article from previous editions of Lone Warrior is a set of skirmish rules for 54mm Napoleonics, by Kevin White.

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Periods - Napoleonic | 1 Comment

Camp distance to the battlefield

By Christopher Prest

In light of the lockdown, I decided to look around my neighborhood for inspiration, and see if I could find an area that I could represent on my tabletop.

As part of the narrative, I wanted to find a suitable place for each army to camp.

I am running a Biblical-era battle, where each army is fielding an army of around 2,000 mounted (chariots and cavalry), and close to 20,000 infantry.

From what I can see, these armies would need a considerable amount of space for their camps, and also a large source of fresh water, etc.

There is a river about 2.5km away from the area that I will be modeling for the battle, and I think this river would be a great place for one of the armies to camp.

From what I know, the average person can walk 5km/hour and thus the army should be able to to take about 30 minutes to get from the area near the river to the battlefield.

Would this be considered an acceptable distance for an army to march to get to the battlefield?

Thank you in advance for any replies.

Posted in Current projects, Periods - Ancient, Solo wargaming | 9 Comments

Writing for Lone Warrior made easy

During the current coronavirus lockdown, we’ve been seeing an increase in written contributions, both to Lone Warrior itself and to this blog. For subscribers, blog-readers and solo gamers in general, that’s a welcome bit of good news in the midst of an otherwise sobering world-wide event.

Material for the magazine and this blog has to come from somewhere, and that means you, Dear Reader.

Do you ever feel the urge to add something to this fascinating hobby? It’s easier than you might think. To help you out, and to give you some useful tips in how to go about writing that article that’s been in the back of your mind, Lone Warrior Editor Rich Barbuto has updated the how-to guide on this website on just how to go about putting your words down, and then getting them published.

The update is on the How to Write an LW Article page. Take a look. There’s inspiration there.

Posted in From the editor, Lone Warrior blog | Leave a comment

FAQ #1

By Jim Rohrer

Most people are not sufficiently interested in solo wargaming to ask about it, but when they do, Frequently Asked Question #1 might be something like this: Why do you enjoy it? How is it fun?

To answer this, we might separate what is fun about wargaming from what is fun about solo wargaming. Wargaming is enjoyable for people who like military history, or collecting toy soldiers, or painting, or making terrain, or designing games. Solo wargaming, on the other hand, can be a turnoff for many wargamers. They try it, don’t like it, and never come back. For them, wargaming is a social activity. And maybe they are competitive and want to beat someone in what they believe to be a game of skill.

Let me suggest that the enjoyable aspect of solo wargaming can be identical to the fun part of any other solo game. Consider Solitaire, the card game many of us learned as kids. When you pick up a deck of cards to play Solitaire, you already know the rules and the best way to play so the outcome is mostly due to the lay of the cards. You play a game, you probably do not win, but nevertheless you shuffle and deal them out again for another game. And then a third time. Why? If you will not be having fun until all the cards are up at the top, then you might have to play 10 or 20 games. Your spouse or partner will worry about this kind of obsessive behavior.

I suspect most people play another round of Solitaire because subconsciously they want to beat their score on the previous play or beat some approximation of their average score. If you got 10 cards up to the top, then this time you want more than10. Intellectually, you know that you cannot control the outcome, but most of the cards are hidden so you will not know your chances until most of the cards have been played.

Solitaire is enjoyable because you can try to beat your previous score and because random elements insert mystery and uncertainty.

Solo wargaming can be enjoyable for the same reasons and it can be more enjoyable if your game allows for more mystery and uncertainty. Dice rolls are good but if the game depends entirely on dice rolls, then it might get tiresome. Event card decks can help a lot.  And you need a way to keep score, such as the ratio of casualties or achieving mission objectives or a combination of both.

Solo wargaming is fun for all the reasons that wargaming is fun, plus mystery and uncertainty. Done properly, it is as addictive as Solitaire. When you want to play another round of the same scenario, then you know you are on the road to happy solo wargaming.

And when that gets old, change the scenario. The possibilities are not infinite but they are broad enough to keep anyone engaged with the hobby.

Posted in Solo wargaming | Leave a comment