28 February 2015

Thank you for the Adventures

Vale Leonard Nimoy.

You did indeed Live Long and Prosper, and took us on journeys to the stars.
You will be missed and most fondly remembered.


27 February 2015

Book Review: With Pike and Musket

 With Pike and Musket: Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Battles for the Wargamer 
by Charles Wesencraft

OOP 'classic' edition cover
This 204 page classic gives a basic overview of the period, provides rules with which to fight battles and sets out a number of battles to be refought.  As such, its a great primer but with lots of detail for the Pike and Musket veteran too.

The book starts by describing the weapons and their uses, the generic tactics of the day and the typical formations, troop types and how they were used.  The organisation and structure of Elizabethan, Irish, ECW and New Model armies are included. Very good and simply explained for the genre novice.

The book then goes on to include wargaming rues for the period, which are typical of the time when they were written in 1975.  Very much in the Featherstone/Grant style, they were of passing interest but would no doubt work most capably.

The highlight of the book is that no less than twenty-seven battles of the period are described, including the numbers engaged, types of troops, battle maps and objectives.  These battles 5 pre ECW in Europe, then every major ECW engagement from Edgehill to Naseby, with four battles subsequent battles:

Pinkie 1547
Yellow Ford 1598
Curlieu Hills 1599
Nieuport 1600
John Curry reprint- available from Amazon here
Moyry Pass 1600
Newburn 1640
Edgehill 1642
Syon House 1642
Hopton Heath 1643
Ripple Field 1643
Stratton 1643
Lansdown 1643
Roundway Down 1643
First Newbury 1643
Winceby 1643
Nantwich 1644
Newark 1644
Cheriton 1644
Cropredy Bridge 1644
Marston Moor 1644
Lostwithiel 1644
Castle Dore 1644
2nd Newbury 1644
Naseby 1645
Rowton Heath 1645
Dunbar 1650
Worcester 1651

Each battle has 4 or so pages dedicated to it, with detailed suggestions for refighting them including special rules where applicable.  Very gaming focused vice historical analysis.

Overall this is a well written, enjoyable and very informative book which I'm glad I bought.  Thanks again to Millsy for the recommendation (I bet you've got the 'classic' edition in that great collection of yours haven't you!)

5 stars based on its information content, clarity and wargaming utility.

25 February 2015

Awesome Man Cave

This got posted on FB the other day in an RPG group but it just has to be shared more widely.
This guy is either a life long bachelor or he has a very understanding better half!

see more great photos of this setup here:

24 February 2015

Royalist reinforcements

New foote regiments have rallied to His Majesty courtesy of Alan's lovely brushwork.  Figs by Baccus.

17 February 2015

Book Review: KURSK - The Vital 24 Hours

by Will Fowler

I had borrowed this from a library around a year ago, really enjoyed it and knew it had to be on my reference shelf.  Unfortunately out of print (but not for a long time), I figured I'd bide my time and find a cheap second hand copy.  I got a very good used copy this week for the princely sum of 78 cents, about the cost of a single 15mm figure from battlefront, plus $3.50 postage.  What a bargain!

Filled with great maps, pics, first hand accounts and a good operational level narrative.  Great stuff for both military history reading and generating wargaming scenarios though I would have liked some more tactical level maps for the latter purpose.  4 out of 5 stars and I'll be searching for the author's other works on Stalingrad and D-Day.


15 February 2015

Friends by the Sword Divided

So here begins the adventures of Alan, aka Dux Homunculorum, and Paul of the Man Cave as we delve into wargaming the English Civil War in 6mm.  Being a rebellious rapscallion, Alan aspires to command the New Model Army, while I am more of the Loyalist type and shall stay in His Majesty's service.

The first seven Royalist Foot units ready for service!
To date Alan has done the lion's share including painting both armies (using all Baccus figures).  You see, this is a year of preparation as we temporarily dwell in different countries.  With time in hand to paint and model, we hope to be able to get on with it when we again live in the same hemisphere next year.

Alan's Parliamentarian Army ready to do battle
The en mass look is rather cool - in fact, its what 6mm gaming is all about!

For rules we are currently undecided- Baccus's ECW Polemos or maybe the Basic Baroque (See here) as I know Alan really likes Impetus.  Of course there are many other options out there so we will see what happens.  Whatever happens, its going to be fun!

We plan in due course to post pics of models, book reviews and historical tid-bits as we find and enjoy them.  Aspirations to battle reports and even a campaign one day also.  Much more to follow using a timetable on the more brandy infused end of the flexible spectrum.

Declare Sir!

...being a new blog venture by Alan (aka Dux Humunculorum) and I for our joint 6mm ECW project.   There will probably be a bit of cross posting, but we are hoping that it will be a good spot for us to collate our intermittent project activity.

Are ye for King or Parliament?   http://declaresir.blogspot.com

14 February 2015

ECW Reading

Thanks to Amazon I am now enjoying some new ECW reading.  While we have yet to determine which more modern rules we will use (Impetus, Polemos etc) these classic titles have some great content.

I must admit that as nice as it would be to have original editions, the Curry reprints of classic books are very nice, at very reasonable prices, and immediately available.
...and thanks for the tip on the Wesencraft title Millsy!

13 February 2015

More ECW Reading

Thanks once again to Amazon, I am now enjoying some more ECW reading.  While we have yet to determine which more modern rules we will use (Impetus, Polemos etc) these classic titles have some great content.

I must admit that as nice as it would be to have original editions, the Curry reprints of classic books are very nice, at very reasonable prices, and immediately available.

...and thanks for the tip on the Wesencraft title Millsy!

10 February 2015

Contemplating Tiny Terrain

To support our ECW project (see here), I started to cast my eye about for appropriate 6mm terrain.  I have a bunch of old SF terrain in 6mm but obviously not a lot of that will be useful (and to be honest after 20 years in boxes undergoing around a dozen house moves I have grave doubts as to its condition).  So another lovely excuse to spend Hobby money emerges!

What do I (think I) need? Enough terrain for a 4 x 4 or so table, including a river, a few roads with bridges, and a town or two.

First up, Baccus (whose lovely figures we are using) is an easy starting place with this nice village set

Here are some nifty tips for DIY stuff:

And here are some more manufacturers
6mm Terrain Manufacturers:
     Some painted up nicely here: http://walladvantage2.blogspot.com.au/search/label/6mm%20ECW
     Curt's nicely painted up granary set here;: http://analogue-hobbies.blogspot.com/2013/03/product-review-total-battle-miniatures.html
Curt's lovely granary terrain set (Total Battle Miniatures)

While its listed in their Napoleonic rage, Leven Miniatures make a nice fortified Manor House that would do nicely as a Royalist stronghold
Leven's NAP06 - Fortified Manor House from here

Leven also make these fine Tudor Style buildings - can't have an English village without a pub now can we!
GEN11 - Tudor Style Public House
HOU14 - Detached Tudor style house

Dungeon Castings make this nice "House with Tower" as an alternative Manor House (DC-D0118)

Total Battle Miniatures also do this fantastic walled town set - very pretty but not sure if I need to drop 65 pounds on it at this stage and instead need more functional terrain.  Very shiny though!  Would make a great centrepiece for a Campaign though
The unpainted pics show what you get in better detail I think:

And finally, what kind of Royalist would I be without a good keep or castle to fall back on?  But my quick look around didn't provide me with the lots of options that I expected.  I thought for sure there would be many examples of big '5 star' castles like Conwy, Raglan or Caernarfon.  What I'd really like is a nice tower like Donnington (where the battle of Newbury was fought in 1644). 
JR Miniatures' "European Siege Castle"

And finally, some inspiration for baggage/camp elements here (all made with Baccus figures):

If you other suggestions or recommendations for us I'd love to hear them!

08 February 2015

The Royal Standard has been raised!

Forces are now mobilising both for His Majesty and in support of the Parliamentarian cause.  
For whom do you declare?

The King's standard is raised at Nottingham castle, August 1642.  

An intermittent blog by two gamers sharing their adventures into wargaming the ECW in 6mm.

07 February 2015

6mm ECW

One of the long term projects I have is some big battle ECW with Alan, aka Dux Homunculorum***.  Being a rebellious rapscallion he aspires to Command the New Model Army, while I am more of the Loyalist type and shall stay in His Majesty's service.  The Lad has also expressed interest in gaming this period as well, and though his loyalties are yet to emerge I suspect he will be another Roundhead cur.

Alan has done the lion's share at this point.  Actually, he has done everything including painting both armies so that we might be able to get on with it when we again live in the same hemisphere.  However, a rather large parcel is now making its way from Baccus to allow us to take the war north of Hadrian's wall.  For rules we are planning to use Baccus's ECW Polemos, or maybe the Basic Baroque (See here) as I know Alan really likes Impetvs.

Excitingly, Alan has now finished the first seven Royalist Foot units, which is very exciting news!

And here is Alan's Parliamentarian Army ready to do battle - impressive en mass!

You can see Alan's great 6mm ECW offerings, using the lovely Baccus range of figures, at his blog here: http://dux-homunculorum.blogspot.com/search/label/6mm%20English%20Civil%20War

So anyway, for those somewhat interested (but mostly as a notebook for me), here is some eye candy and inspiration for ECW in micro scale.

Inspiration from the Baccus site:

These fantastic figures are from Lee's sadly abandoned ECW project here: http://ecw6.blogspot.com.au/ and here
An impressive array
Trotters and Gallopers
Dismounted Dragoons
Commanded Muskets
Scenario Wise this series of books looks interesting - has anybody tried them?

As does this:  http://www.caliverbooks.com/Partizan%20Press/partizan_ecws.shtml

Basing tutorial: http://walladvantage2.blogspot.com.au/search/label/6mm%20painting

Interesting: http://wiki.bcw-project.org/

OK, thats probably enough rambling about 6mm ECW for now but expect more in the future!

*** Actually, now that I think about it, Alan has a lot to answer for in terms of my gaming expenditures overs the past few years: Battlegroup (various) and the introduction of 15mm WW2 into my Man Cave, SAGA (5 war bands and counting) and now this, but I'm sure there is more...  Thanks mate, now I have some sort of plausible deniability - at least to myself anyway (for some reason SWMBO doesn't find this rationalisation credible).