Sunday 9 February 2020

The Horus Heresy, or Rogal Dorn - His part in my Downfall

Well, I thought the 40K itch had been scratched years ago, especially given that they now have 'Primaris' Marines, which appears to be an anagram of 'Marketing Ploy'. So, in my FLGS I came across a crudely built and undercoated Dreadnought. My fevered brain, not long recovered from the man-flu immediately persuaded me to buy it, strip it down, augment it with bits from ebay, and start on (yet) another project. That in turn has led me to investigating the accumulated lore of the Horus Heresy, and seeing how things have changed since the days of my Rogue Trader-era figures! This enabled me to steer entirely clear of this Primaris nonsense and concentrate on what I consider to be 'proper' marines! My painting skills with power armour are not what they were, and my WW2 tank-weathering looks a tad heavy-handed on the dreadnought, but I am enjoying myself, and that, after all, is what the hobby is all about. Have a good week.

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Deep in the Woods

The Warlord Woodland Indian Lodge painted up well enough - here's a couple of shots. Another (smaller) one, along with a campfire and a few items from my RPG collection I can make a credible Indian settlement for a future scenario. The figures are Warlord too, formerly Conquest Miniatures I believe, and they too paint up nicely (well, good enough for my purposes anyway)!

Sunday 5 January 2020

Ghost of Christmas Past.......

The New Year has finally shuffled in with plans of new armies and periods in which to dabble, but I found myself thinking back to a Christmas a long time ago. I suspect it was around 1972 and I had finally got hold of a copy of Don Featherstone's 'Wargames'. On a Saturday in December my Dad took me to Robin Thwaites' Model Shop in Arundel Street, Portsmouth (and if you are of a certain age you will remember it with fondness I'm sure) and asked me what I'd like for Christmas. I asked him how much I could have, and he said 'I'll tell you when to stop!'
So, having recently read 'Action in the Plattville Valley', I plumped for some ACW infantry, cavalry and artillery.
'Keep going' said my Dad.
So I added more and more Airfix ACW until I could barely hold all the boxes I had so many.
'And how about this?' said Dad, adding a Bellona vac-formed Log Fort to my booty.
Needless to say it was all paid for, then hidden away until Christmas Day when I had one of the most memorable and happy Christmases I can remember, fighting battle after battle on the parquet floor. Looking back it wasn't a huge outlay for my old man but it was the way he did it, knowing the joy it would bring me.
And that's what I was thinking about today, over forty years later, whilst contemplating my ridiculously large backlog of unpainted troops....
Happy New Year to you all.

(Airfix and Bellona pics shamelessly stolen from other Bloggers)

Monday 30 December 2019

Shelter from the Storm

Christmas brought me this delightful item from Warlord Games - their birch-bark lodge for the French Indian Wars. It's a heavy resin piece (albeit hollowed-out) and it will look great once painted up. I will of course post pictures once it's finished - I'm looking forward to including it in a skirmish game with the canoes I picked up at Colours earlier this year.

Sunday 29 December 2019

A Saturday Evening Skirmish

No, not a small ruckus at Closing Time, but tinkering with my skirmish rules. We set up an objective (abandoned supply wagon with booty and a mutilated colonist - courtesy of the Whitechapel boardgame) and went to it with small forces of French Marines and British Rangers respectively. After a protracted but futile exchange of musket fire, things got to close quarters and the game was quickly decided once the Rangers lost two men and the remainder melted away in panic. The French held the field but presumably had to bury the poor unfortunate colonist.

What was learnt? We upped the 'charge' distance from three to six inches into Hand Combat. Clarified that if a figure moved it lost it's aiming markers (Doh!) and if you're in Hard Cover, don't leave it unless you have to!

Very enjoyable game, and having newbie Jeff with us to question events and rules really helped refine everything, so thanks Jeff, and well done Heather on good use of the terrain!

Thursday 26 December 2019

French Indian War - Skirmish Rules Tryout

So we tried out the new skirmish rules I've written for the French Indian War, and they seem to work ok after some tweaking! They aren't complicated to play, but are quite subtle and have a 'realistic' feel. They are quite adaptable, so should be OK for most of the black powder era, although they may need a rule on volley fire if I paint up some regulars..
Now to try with larger forces and some scenarios. I've published them below so feel free to use them, and comment if you wish to. 

French Indian Wars Skirmish Rules


These rules are designed to simulate combat between the British and French, along with their Allies during the 18th Century in Canada and North America. Each Faction will be led by an individual Leader.
Equipment required: Counters: Black, white, blue and red. Dice: 1d20 and 1d6.  Tape Measure.

Miniature Figures

Whilst it is helpful if a figure accurately represents the equipment and weapons on its profile, this is not always possible. In all cases ensure the statistics for the figure are referred to.

Initiative and Motivation

Each player rolls 1d6 each at the start of each turn. Reroll draws. Highest goes first.
In any order, attempt to motivate each figure in turn. A motivated figure may then perform an action.
Motivation is achieved by rolling 1,2 or 3 on 1d6. Leaders and Civilians require no motivation.
Any figure that fails Motivation may do nothing except defend itself if attacked (using its Defence Value) or retreat two inches facing their opponent(s), or move up to their full allowance into the nearest cover (soft or hard), providing they do not pass within 3 inches of an enemy figure. See also ‘Individual Morale’.
A figure attacked in Hand Combat the previous turn requires no Motivation roll to retaliate in its own turn.
Wounded figures only motivate on 1 or 2 on 1d6.
Once all a Faction’s figures have either been rolled for (but not necessarily successfully), or have completed an action, then that player’s turn is complete, and control passes to the opposite player.

Actions within a Turn

Requiring Motivation:
Move three inches into hand combat
Load a firearm (blue counter) – If all players agree, figures may start the game already loaded.
Aim a shot (Maximum three turns, use black counters)
Move up to maximum move allowance (not into combat – See Terrain and Movement)
Special action (See Special actions)

Not requiring Motivation:
Attack with a hand weapon (range: 1 inch)
Defend (Hand Combat - out of turn if necessary)
Move into cover (cf)
Retreat or Flee from Hand Combat


Each figure will need the following statistics recorded
Enlisted Man or Native American: Attack Value is 14, Defence value is 6. Two wounds and a move allowance of six inches.
Militia: Attack Value is 12, Defence Value is 5. Two wounds and a move allowance of 6 inches.
Civilian: Attack Value is 10, Defence value is 4, One wound and a move allowance of six inches.


(Any figure may have one or more traits).

Fast                            +2 inches move allowance, +1 inch moving into combat
Tough                        +1 to own Wound Roll
Athletic                       +1 to Defence Value
Leader                        -1 to Motivation Roll of any figure within 6 inches
Legendary Leader    -1 to Motivation Roll of any figure within 12 inches. +1 to Initiative rolls
Strongman                -1 to target’s Wound Roll in Hand Combat
Keen-Eyed                -2 to shooting
Lucky                         Receiving 2 wounds = 1 wound; 1 wound = no wound
Veteran                      +2 Attack Value
Initiative                     -1 to figure’s own Motivation Roll (other modifiers may apply)
Determined               Ignores failed Morale Motivation roll

Points (cumulative)

Faction size is determined before the game. Unless a scenario dictates otherwise each player must be within 30 points of each other.


Civilian                                              5
Enlisted Man                                    20
Native American                               20
Militia                                                10


Improvised                                        0
Hatchet/Sword                                 10
Pistol                                                10
Musket                                              20  A musket can be used as a club (see Wounds)


Fast                                                   10
Tough                                                10
Athletic                                              10
Leader*                                              30
Legendary Leader*                            50
Strongman                                         10
Keen-Eyed                                         10
Lucky                                                 10
Veteran                                              10
Initiative                                             10
Determined                                        10

Hand Combat

In a turn an attacker may make one Hand Combat attack.
Attacker’s Attack Value minus the defender’s Defence Value. This number must be rolled equal to or less than on 1d20 to score a hit on your target figure.
A true ‘One’ rolled is always a Critical Hit: -2 to the Wound Roll.
A true ‘Twenty’ is always a miss.
Hand combat range is one inch.
Defence Values are halved (round up as necessary) if attacked from the rear (but not the side) at the same time as frontally, otherwise the figure will turn to face their attacker(s) at no cost in movement or actions, unless Fleeing.

Multiple Opponents in Hand Combat

If facing up to a maximum of three attackers a defender may split his Defence Value between the three as he sees fit. A fourth or further opponents then attack as if the target had a Defence Value of zero.

Escaping from Hand Combat

Instead of retaliating in Hand Combat a figure may either:

Not move at all
Retreat two inches facing their opponent(s)
Turn and Flee a full move – This allows an attacker (or attackers) in Hand Combat a free hit at the fleeing figure, with its Defence Value halved (round up as necessary).
None of these actions require Motivation.

Linear Obstacles in Hand Combat

A figure defending a linear obstacle, such as a fence or a wall, may add 1 to their Defence Value for Soft Cover, or 2 for hard cover. Note that Cover is already factored into Shooting modifiers.


Roll Attack Value or less on 1d20, modified by range/circumstances to score a successful hit. All modifiers are cumulative.

Per Aimed shot (black counters). Maximum 3 counters.
Short range: 1-5 inches (Max Pistol range)
Effective range: 5-10 inches
Long range: 10-15 inches
Target obscured by soft cover/protected by hard cover.
Target moved last turn
Shooters may not fire into melee.


If a figure is struck, then the attacker rolls a 1d6:
1-3: Target takes 2 wounds
4-6: Target takes 1 wound
7+:  Negligible wound - Ignore
A wounded figure is marked with a red counter and it only motivates on a roll of 1 or 2.
Improvised weapons add 2 to the Wound Roll. Muskets used as clubs add 1.


Cover is defined as Hard or Soft. Hard cover includes walls, buildings or logs. Almost everything else (fences, vegetation etc.) is Soft.
Soft cover obscures whilst hard cover protects.

Terrain and Movement

Most terrain is designated ‘open’ and will not affect movement.
‘Tough’ terrain, such as dense undergrowth, swamp, rocky ground, thick mud etc will half movement.
‘Impassable’ terrain is exactly that.
Linear obstacles such as walls and hedges impede movement. A figure must stop at the obstacle. Next turn they may cross at half move if the obstacle is undefended.
Single obstacles such as rocks, buildings and so on can be circumvented normally as part of a standard move.

Special Actions

Within a specific scenario, a special action may be required. These should be noted before the start of the game and be defined at the same time. For example, knocking down a door may be a straightforward Attack Value roll on 1d20, modified by the strength of the door. Searching a cabin may take multiple turns, and count as that many actions, likewise a figure carrying booty or leading livestock may be restricted from other actions. Scalping, for example, takes one action.

Individual Morale/Morale Motivation Roll

When a Leader is killed, and/or the faction is reduced to half their original points or less, then any subsequent failed Motivation roll means the figure has fled and is removed from play.

Optional Rule
Aggression Points

Each player rolls 1d6 at the game’s start and receives that number of white counters, or matchsticks, or a special D6. These Aggression Points can be ‘spent’ to influence dice rolls in your favour (but only on your own faction’s rolls). Once all are expended, they are not replaced.
As they are an ‘attempt’ rather than a sure-fire method of influencing events, Aggression Points must be allocated prior to any dice being rolled.

Copyright 2019 by Stuart Markham

Tuesday 30 August 2016

Lincoln Steampunking Part the Second

Greetings Gentle Readers,

More costuming from Lincoln, including the birth of a new league of superheroes!

The Revengers - From Right to Left, The Deadly Assassin Madame Kraken, Professor Cavor - Scientific Genius, and The Mistress of the Seas - Spurned Lover of that bastard Nemo......

The Revengers frequented numerous pubs throughout Lincoln, picking up gossip and rumours which enabled them to piece together whether Steampunk constituted a threat to Her Imperial Majesty, Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria - Armed and Dangerous

During these 'investigations' some scurrilous types were encountered:
The Thieving Magpie - One for Sorrow

Allan Quatermain, complete with kilt
The Raven, Short but Deadly

Captain Smith of the First Airship Flotilla
Corporal Punishment of the Twelfth Burlesque Regiment, and AMIE (Automated Male Intimate Entertainer)

..and Juniper Jones, AKA The Dragonfly and her Jetpack

and finally, the dastardly Lord Elpuss, white slave trader and all-round Cad...

With such rogues abroad, it's no wonder Her Majesty turns to The Revengers for aid!

Revengers Dissemble!

Until next time.......

Monday 29 August 2016

Lincoln Steampunk Asylum 2016

Greetings Gentle Readers,

Newly returned from Lincoln, you can view The Jetpack Race here: Cheating Ensued....., one of the many brilliant events over the August Bank Holiday Weekend

I will post further when I have recovered from this fantastic four day extravaganza!

Until next time.....

Sunday 21 August 2016

Normal Service will be resumed as soon as possible....

Greetings Gentle Readers,

Yes, I know - it's been far too long since my last post. I can only apologise, and assure you it was down to exceptional circumstances. Those who read this drivel for the wargaming content may be pleased to know that a new and exciting project is under way, details of which I shall be blogging soon, along with lots of pictures. A huge hint as to content is the fact that I recently read Antony Beevor's excellent book 'Stalingrad'.....

But in the meantime the Steampunking continues, and our intrepid heroes are gearing up for a fabulous weekend at Lincoln's Steampunk Asylum!

We have no less than four costumes each. Artemis has been entered in the Jetpack Race, and we have tickets for the burlesque evening on Sunday evening. We also hope to meet up again with some wonderful people such as The Captain:

The Captain and No1 Fan

..and we are hoping to bump into the creative genius that is  Pia from Sweden:

(I love this picture :D)
..and no doubt we will come away having met lots of lovely intelligent drink-fuelled costumers who share our love of the Victorian view of the future, as we always do!

Breathtaking costumes!

Planned costumes are:

The Thieving Magpie
Lord Elpuss
The Jetpack seated firmly on the back of Miss....

....Juniper Jones - daring Aviatrix, AKA The Dragonfly

Corporal Punishment, Burlesque Regiment

Allan Quatermain - Dinosaur Hunter

Madame Kraken and Professor Cavor

Plus some surprises!

Until next time.........