Jack Scruby’s ‘Letter from America’ (1968)

Rob Morgan provides a copy of a letter from Jack Scruby, one of the founders of the hobby in the United States, to Miniature Warfare magazine, at a time (1968) when author John Tunstill had just taken over as editor of MW.

Apparently, Mr. Tunstill requested the contribution from Mr. Scruby, and may have gotten more than he bargained for. The letter contained some remarks on the differences between gaming in the U.S. and Great Britain that seem to have been controversial at the time.

Rob Morgan’s introduction, as well as the letter itself, are on the Reviews page.

Posted in Wargaming | 1 Comment

Review of ‘The Soldier Shop Quarterly’

Rich Barbuto reviews a venerable publication from the early days of the hobby in the U.S. “The Soldier Shop Quarterly” was published by the New York hobby store and was part catalogue, part reference work, and some other things as well, all beautifully done.

The review includes numerous examples of the quarterly’s art work.

It’s on the Reviews page.

Posted in Wargaming | 1 Comment

‘Rebels and Patriots’ review (Osprey)

Paul Le Long reviews a set of rules in Osprey’s Wargames series, “Rebels and Patriots,” covering small-unit action from American Colonial times through the American Civil War.

It’s on the Ospreys at a Glance page.

Posted in Periods - Eighteenth century, Periods - Nineteenth century | Leave a comment

Catching up on my reading

By Rob Morgan

It’s a touch on the miserable side here as I write this, and so I’m catching up with some of  my late Winter reading. Currently, reading in support of my occasional wargaming, includes one of those ‘bits and pieces’ books which make a wargamer’s life easier. ‘War on the Eastern Front 1941-45’ by James Lucas, was first published (by Macdonald & Janes) about 40 years ago, and I picked up my copy in a second-hand bookshop, and, as usual for me, ‘reasonably priced.’ It’s subtitled ‘The German Soldier in Russia’, but it deals with the OstFront campaigns right up to the capture of Berlin.

It’s 28 short chapters, each dealing with a small aspect of the war, from the Nazi point of view, of course, and provides endless scenarios, and small actions, ideas for games and tactics to suit any World War II wargamer active in the East. One I must look to create is ‘The last days of tank destruction unit DORA II in Brandenburg during April 1945,’ a short five-page tale of action which cries out to be replayed, and is ideal for the skirmish gamer! No win, naturally. I can slip a good 25mm late WWII Wehrmacht modelling point in here. The headed pins which come in shirt packaging, if cut to 12mm long, make damn good panzerfausts, you’ll need loads of them if you recreate DORA II!

Other superb short items are ‘A platoon of SP guns in action against the Soviet thrust to capture Rzhev, Autumn 1942.’ If you own a group of Stugs, this is for you. ‘To Moscow by Horse,’ dealing with the miseries of the cavalry, also has something to offer as a game — apparently there were more horses in the Axis armies invading the USSR in 1941, than there were in Bonaparte’s army! There are notes on adapting to Winter warfare, on Partisans and how to fight them, on the influence of terrain and climate on war and weapons, and an excellent one on anti-tank weapons and tactics. Nothing in this book is wasted on the WWII wargamer. It’s unusual for me to say I couldn’t put it down, but it really does come to that.

Posted in Current projects, Periods - World War II | Leave a comment

‘In Good Company’ colonial rules added

Kevin White provides a simple set of rules for Colonial engagements, with a nod to Don Featherstone.

The rules are on the Complete Rule Sets page.

Posted in Periods - Colonial | Leave a comment

Lone Warrior: No. 206 is coming soon

Another issue of Lone Warrior is being prepared for e-mailing and will be arriving soon. Here’s a sneak peek at the contents:

  • “Channel Islands 1944: A Solo ‘What If?’ Campaign” by Paul Le Long. A complete, original game depicting a fictional invasion of the Channel Islands soon after the D-Day landings.
  • “Battle in Africa, 1879-1914” by Rob Morgan. An in-depth review of Howard Whitehouse’s 1987 book on colonial wars in Africa.
  • “Black Spot” by Preston Shah. Re-imagining a pirate game as a solo endeavor. Several scenarios.
  • “The Siege of Vienna  (1683)” by Steve Turner. The history of the siege by Ottoman forces, and their defeat by John Sobieski’s army.
  • “Let’s Blow Up a Factory” by Peter R. Barkworth. A report on a game played on a model railroad table, with French partisans attacking a factory defended by World War II Germans.
  • “Mesopotamia: A Solo Game” by Mike Haran. Complete rules for a game played in 2mm, featuring ancient Chaldeans, Bactrians, Persians and Scythians.
  • “War Diaries” by Nic Birt. Suggestions for recording the campaigns and battles of solo gamers.
  • “Science Fiction Campaign Rules in Action” by John Horrell. A report on a science fiction exploration game, based on earlier rules and descriptions.
  • “The Hex and I” by George Arnold. Playing DBA on a hex-grid, with a battle report on Greeks vs. Ptolemaic Egyptians.
  • “Editorial” by Rich Barbuto. Our editor’s thoughts on the future of the Solo Wargamers Association, Lone Warrior, and the Lone Warrior Blog.

All with the usual complement of color photos, charts and graphics. Lots of good reading for soloists and any others interested in the hobby.

Posted in Latest issue of LW | 1 Comment

March’s sample article

This month’s sample article from previous issues of Lone Warrior is by Editor Rich Barbuto and is titled “Shiloh, April 1862.”

The article explains Rich’s effort to replicate the confusion and close-quarter fighting that the Battle of Shiloh featured.

The article is on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Periods - American Civil War | Leave a comment

Review of Osprey’s ‘Black Ops’

Paul Le Long reviews an Osprey from their Wargames series, this one a set for “Black Ops,” skirmish wargaming with small teams of Commandos or Special Forces, etc.

It’s on the Ospreys at a Glance page.

Posted in Periods - Modern | Leave a comment

‘The Barbary Pirates’ review (Osprey)

Rob Morgan reviews an Osprey title from their Elite series, “The Barbary Pirates 15th-17th Centuries.”

It’s on the Ospreys at a Glance page.

Posted in Naval gaming, Periods - Renaissance | Leave a comment

Just a spy ship or AGI

By Rob Morgan

The basic model here is simply a resin 1/1200th-scale cargo ship, bought for a few pence a while back at a show. I didn’t really have much need for it, and it sat there for ages, until I happened to pick up an old issue of War Machine that dealt with the subject of intelligence gathering ships in the 1980s and before. It crossed my mind that this little vessel might make a decent Warsaw Pact (let’s not be too specific) AGI (Auxiliary, General Intelligence). So I cleaned up the hull and the decks, added two hefty masts, a host of sinister black aerials and some ship’s boats. There’s a pillar at the front, on the foc’sle next to the hatch, which I thought would represent a Soviet twin 30mm.

Painted light grey with corticene decks — that’s it.

Bears some resemblance to the 7,000-ton ships of the Akademik Kurchatov class and the large Tropik class of former factory ships. As old Admiral Sergei Gorshkov used to say, “You’re never alone when there’s a spy ship around.”

Posted in Naval gaming, Periods - Modern | Leave a comment