Review of ‘Cthulu Campaigns’ (Osprey)

Jonathan Aird reviews an entry in the Osprey Adventures series, about the “history” of mythical Cthulu.

It’s on the Ospreys at a Glance page.

Posted in Periods - Fantasy | Leave a comment

Review of ‘Dux Bellorum’ rules

Paul Le Long reviews a set of rules by Daniel Mersey that focuses on small-scale combat during the Dark Ages.

It’s on the Reviews page.

Posted in Periods - Dark Ages | Leave a comment

Bombers and Fighters Over Europe: A sample game

By Mike Crane

The appearance of this article as the sample game for June was a delightful surprise. However, it appeared in a 2015  issue of Lone Warrior magazine and although that doesn’t seem so long ago, I had forgotten the “feel” of playing the game. So, I printed the article and cut out the counters late one night and played the game the next day. Here is an account of my experience. A clipboard with notebook paper was handy for taking notes and a cellphone with a camera was a useful memory aid.

Items used to play the game.

Getting Started

First, 1d6 was rolled for each German plane to determine the type of target it would attack. A roll of 1-3 would mean the German fighter (GF) was dogfighting with an American fighter (AF) and 4-6 would mean it was attacking an American bomber (AB). In this game, three FW190s would roll the lower numbers — GF1 rolled (3); GF2 (1); and GF6 (2) — and would dogfight with the US fighters while the remaining five avoided the American fighter cover and attacked the US bombers. GF3 rolled (6); GF4 (4); GF5 (6); GF7 (5) and GF8 (6).  The German planes were divided into two groups: (1) those that would attack the enemy fighters, and (2) those that would attack the bombers.

German fighters were organized into two groups — one to attack the US fighter cover and one to attack the US bombers.

Identifying Individual Targets

After that, 1d8 was rolled to identify which US fighter each German fighter would attack.  GF1 would attack (8), GF2 rolled (7), and GF6 would hit (3). A 1d12 was rolled to identify the American bomber (AB) targets. GF3 would attack (8), GF4 (7), GF5 (10), GF7 (10), and GF8 (3). Notice that AB10 would be attacked by two FW 190s—GF5 and GF7.

 

German fighters in position to attack the selected American fighters and bombers.

Fighter vs. Fighter

The Germans shot down two American fighters (AF8 and AF7) and an Americans P-51 (AF3) shot down one FW190 (GF6).

GF1 vs. AF8 (6,1) = AF8; G2 vs. AF7 (5,1) = AF7; GF6 vs. AF3 (1,4) = GF6.

Fighter vs. Bomber

German fighters destroyed one American bomber (AB7) and damaged two others (AB10-1 and AB3-1).

GF3 vs, AB8 (2,2) = miss; GF4 vs. AB7 (6,2) = AB7; GF5 vs. AB10 (3,5) = AB10-1; GF7 vs. AB10-1 (2,3) miss; GF8 vs. AB3 (3,2) = AB3-1

The effects of the German fighter attack.

 

Flak Attack

Flak took out one bomber (AB3) that already had been hit by a German fighter and damaged two others (AB2-1 and AB12-1).

AB1 (5); AB2 (11) = AB2-1; AB3-1 (10) = AB3; AB4 (1); AB5 (2); AB6 (4); AB8 (8); AB9 (5); AB10-1 (6); AB11 (8); AB12 (10) = AB12-1.

Bomber Score

One d12 was rolled for each surviving bomber. The numbers rolled were placed in the appropriate boxes and added for the total bombing score. The German’s lost one aircraft (5 points) and the Americans lost four aircraft—two fighters and two bombers (20 points). Since the Germans shot down more US planes, subtract 5 from 20. Subtract the remaining 15 points from the bombing score of 70. Since 55 Victory Points is more than the 50 points needed for an American win, this mission is listed as an American victory. Follow the same procedure for the next missions. If you decide to play a campaign, the side that wins three of five missions will win the campaign. Good luck!

Filled-in columns for Bombing Scores, Planes Lost, and Victory Points.

Afterword

I hope playing this sample mission has been useful to you. Enjoy the game!

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

No. 203 ready for takeoff

It’s that time again.

Editor Rich Barbuto plans delivery of the latest issue of Lone Warrior for this weekend.

As usual, here’s a quick preview of the contents:

  • ‘Not Your Grandfather’s Waterloo,’ by George Knapp. Rules for a Napoleonic game based on the SPI board game “Napoleon at Waterloo,” with solo adaptations.
  • ‘A Little Morschauser Medieval Magic,’ by Kevin White. Some ideas for setting up a gridded game board with a smaller number of figures.
  • ‘Caesar’s (Floating) Palace: The Wargame c. AD 41,’ by Rob Morgan. Scenarios for an ancient naval game, based on an unusual ship model.
  • ‘An Idea is Where you Find It,’ by George Arnold. Cross-pollination between some very different games and rules.
  • ‘Employing the “Mythic GME” in Wargames and Campaigns,’ by Stephen Turner. Using the Mythic Games Master Emulator (available on the Web) to augment your own gaming.
  • ‘A Most Remarkable War,’ by Rob Morgan. A review and more of the Osprey on the Greek-Turkish War of 199-22, including notes on usable figures.
  • ‘The Battle of Alton (or How Wargames Changed My Life),’ by Paul Le Long. Discussion of the English Civil War battle, along with the author’s personal connection to the site of the battle itself.
  • ‘From Bunker Hill to New Orleans,’ by Rich Barbuto. Our editor provides his set of modified rules for the American Revolution through the War of 1812.
  • ‘Editorial,’ by Rich Barbuto. Some thoughts on Lone Warrior.

A full issue, with the obligatory color photos and charts. Look for it soon.

Posted in Latest issue of LW | Leave a comment

A sample article for June

This month’s sample article from the archives of Lone Warrior is a set of rules for a solo World War II game by Mike Crane: “Bombers and Fighters Over Europe.”

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

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

Missing medieval cog models?

By Rob Morgan

The cogs in the photographs are 1/3000th scale, made originally by Bill Lamming in the North of England. Fairly old models now, I bought them from Bill in the late 1970s. I later wrote a series of articles in Hobilar, the medieval wargames journal about them and their potential on the table top.

I decided that the sails of each fleet should be painted in, well, ‘house’ colours — of cities and states, using a 1979 guide from an article in Military Modelling. Not historically, totally accurate, but it looks just right in this scale. I refined this system a little by painting each cog’s ‘castles’ and fighting top a different colour. So, you could have ‘The White Cog of Pisa,’ the ‘Blue,’ and the ‘Red’ and so on. To denote flagships, I added touches of gold, or paper pennons from the mast head. Merchant ships I either left with plain buff or off-white sails, and scruffier hulls.

Bear in mind the models in the photos are now 40 years old, and if I was attempting a fleet these days, then stronger glues and thin plasticard might make pennons easier to fashion, and it would probably be possible to add a jack-staff at each stern and bow with added small pennons or banners. Using the masts and sails trimmed from one or two of the delightful 1/2400th medieval vessels of Tumbling Dice for lateen masts or foremasts would make later or slightly larger cogs. The Tumbling Dice pirate galley, ASC14, makes a splendid medieval galley to accompany the Lamming cogs to war, looking the right scale. Can I also take the opportunity of recommending a little background reading into cog encounters in the medieval period. It’s ‘The White Company’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, set in the 100YW. An early chapter deals with a sea-fight between a cog and galleys off Gascony. Valuable background.

But now, well, there’s a problem where the models are concerned. Indeed, I’m glad I bought a hundred of the little cogs when I did. They were selling at a mere eight pence each in 1979, and the value was incredible. They are about 10mm long on chunky sea bases, and 10mm to the mast top. Mine are based on rectangles of plasticard. Yes, en masse these little cogs always look superb.

Bill’s models are as attractive and useful now as they were back then, but it seems that they are no longer going to be available. When the Lamming business closed, the moulds were sold to East Riding Miniatures, and Tony Barr intended to re-issue them, he told me so several years ago (ERM did issue the Lamming Napoleonic warships, I believe), though not at 8p each cog, unfortunately, but at two for a pound. Sadly, they never appeared, and news I have is that ERM are no longer trading. Some other reader may have better information of course. It would be a great shame if the Lamming cogs vanished from the table top. Anyone know more?

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

‘Apache Warrior versus US Cavalryman’ (Osprey) review

Jonathan Aird reviews an Osprey focused on the American Indian wars.

It’s on the Ospreys at a Glance page.

Posted in Periods - Nineteenth century | Leave a comment

‘Playing at the World’ book review

Paul Le Long reviews “Playing at the World,” a history of Dungeons and Dragons role-playing games, with a brief history of wargaming, from Chess forward, included. It’s highly recommended.

It’s on the Reviews page.

Posted in Wargaming | Leave a comment

Aubrey and Maturin

By Rob Morgan

I am, and always have been, a ‘Hornblower’ fan. But I’ve long intended to write a note about another Napoleonic Wars naval hero.

Jack Aubrey is a very different kettle of fish from Horatio Hornblower. His and his ship’s surgeon’s adventures cover some 20 novels, and are far more than the stirring adventures of a Royal Naval Officer fighting Boney. “Harbors and High Seas: An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Complete Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O’Brian,” by Dean King with John B. Hattendorf, is a substantial 250+ page guide to the books, the historical background and events, and to the world map on which Aubrey’s voyages and the Napoleonic Wars at sea were played out. It has the feeling of Darwin’s voyages underpinning it all. It really is a very worthwhile book for any enthusiast of those wars, and is superbly illustrated. The maps and drawings are excellent and valuable for any wargamer, in my opinion, though the diagrams of the voyages of Aubrey’s ships are less useful, and unlike the maps in ‘The Hornblower Companion,’ don’t seem to have a direct wargame application. There are, however, a large number of plans and charts of harbours and ports which do have use on the wargame table, or the map campaign — Gibraltar, Cadiz, Plymouth, Valetta and Lisbon among them.

The book falls into 20 chapters, one for each novel, and the novels do range around the Seven Seas, from The East Indies to the Horn and the close blockade of Brest, even surveying and anti-slavery patrols. There’s more sailing detail than in Forrester and, while the Hornblower books and stories have a strong feeling of the Royal Navy as a fighting service, in the Aubrey novels the conflicts, tensions and problems of the navy are more apparent.

Jack Aubrey finds himself opposing a French invasion of Ireland, in ship-to-ship duels in the Mediterranean, and dabbling in revolutions in Spanish South America, then fighting American privateers. King’s book avoids the detail of war, it doesn’t back up the novels in the ‘rattling good yarn’ manner in which the Hornblower companion does, but as a guide to the sea in those turbulent times it is one of the best accounts I’ve come upon. The guide does however give some sound hints for the wargamer, pointing in the right direction, if you dip into the texts, but you will need to delve deep in many cases to find more than a simple ship-to-ship action.

However, one of the chapters, number 19, dealing with the title ‘The Hundred Days,’ provides background to what I think would be a tremendous small-scale solo wargame campaign. Aubrey is sent with a light squadron into the Adriatic to destroy French vessels building there, and a host of small actions ensue, including the capture of a treasure galley. My caveats aside, this is a book worth acquiring by the naval gamer. Highly recommended.

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

A sample article for May

Steve Turner provides this month’s sample article from past numbers of Lone Warrior magazine. This article describes how he went about setting up a fictional Colonial campaign in North Africa.

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Periods - Colonial | Leave a comment