…and so into Autumn

Another good show at Partizan.  Simon Miller put on yet more epic sized games for his To the Strongest (TtS) rules – this time around Late Roman/Arthurian themes.  It was great fun to play in such large games.  I eagerly await the photos that will hopefully be put on the TtS forum soon.

Over on the Society of Ancients, Phil Steele led and coached participants through a well-researched Big Battle DBA of the battle of Bouvines in 1214 – sometimes described as the most important battle that people haven’t heard about!  A really interesting scenario.

Back on the subject of TtS,  I realise that I will never win the biggest battle competition, so I thought I might have a go at the prize for smallest.  Here are some photos of a “sort of” Poitiers game using 12mm Kallistra figures on a 24 x 16 inch board with 2 inch boxes.





I think this shows how flexible the system really is.

Anyway – that’s all for now.  I hope to be at the Derby show in early October.

Long time no write!

Cripes – just realised that my last entry was the end of May just after the last Newark Irregulars Partizan show at Newark! Where did the summer go?

Fortunately the absence of blog entries does not mean that there has been nothing happening on the wargames front.

I have been playing more games of To the Strongest, now firmly there as my favourite Ancient/medieval set with its simple but elegant mechanisms giving realistic, fast paced and fun games.  One memorable game was Alexander v Porus as a refight of the battle of Hydaspes.   I used Philip Sabin’s Lost battles to create the OOBs – happily, using 2/3 of his lists for his scenarios, produced a couple of 140 points or so armies and it was simple to map the troop types across.  I intend to use his book for planning other scenarios.

The game did not start auspiciously for my opponent.  he played an ace when attempting to activate his right wing under Alexander and his companions – any other card would have done!  Normally this would not be a problem as a general gives a replay of the card for activation attempts in the same box as the general – but he went on to play another ace!

The game was a close one – Alexander’s right wing routed the opposing Indian cavalry and chariots and in the centre there was a brutal but even fight between the phalanx and the elephants.  Alexander’s left wing did less well and in the end it was a raw Indian bow unit, surviving against all the odds that took the final victory medal from the great Alexander.

The next game was a Romans v Ancient Britons.   Here the Britons could not avoid being ground down by the Romans and were well and truly trounced.  This was probably not helped by me forgetting to use the special move forward and fire activation for my light chariots.  But … another fun and engaging game.

There have also been a couple of good games of the 18th century rue set Maurice by Sam Mustafa.  I really enjoy this game but have yet to get my head round the right strategy – I keep getting distracted into fighting in the wrong part of the battlefield and losing the initiative!  The game is driven by cards and, if you haven’t played it, well worth investigating.

As far as the painting bench is concerned, my focus is building a few 15mm DBA armies for the 11th century – Early Muslim North African and Sicilian, Norman, Pecheneg, Communal and Papal Italian, Byzantine and Seljuqs – to fight campaigns for that part of the world.

I hope to get to the next Newark Partizan show on 6 September – Simon Miller will be putting on a huge Arthurian To the Strongest game and I would hate to miss that!

Partizan wargames show Kelham Hall Newark Sunday 31 May

Another good show put on by the Newark Irregulars.  I spent most of my visit there having a great time playing in the participation game using the To the Strongest rules by Simon Miller – and Simon was there in person to lead those who joined in through the rules.  The game was a Roman v Ancient Britons game with a large number of superb looking 28 mm figures, complete with a fortified camp for the Romans and a baggage camp for the Britons.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera and had to rely on my not very good phone but here is a photo of Simon explaining the rules to a young gamer who was actually on holiday from New Zealand with his family.  Brett, his father, played on the opposing British side with me – we lost gloriously!


I am sure that there will be lots of much better photos of this game – particularly as photographers from Wargames Soldiers & Strategy and Miniature Wargames magazines dropped by and showed keen interest – as did many other visitors to the show.  Historian and author Dr Harry Sidebottom took part in the afternoon game, so there was quite a lot of ancient warfare knowledge round the table!

For those new to To the Strongest, it is a grid based game (although the grid is very discreet) and uses playing cards to activate the units and quickly resolve melees, shooting and saves – so you can leave your dice and rulers in the cupboard.  The game that I participated in the morning moved at a fast, fun and furious pace and reached a credible historical conclusion in 90 minutes even with new players and the rules being explained and the large number of figures as shown in the photo above.  Another thing I really like about the rules is that the game can accommodate any basing convention and so you could equally play with, for example, 40mm DBx units on a 12 x 8 grid 24 inches by 16 inches.

There is more information, including free army lists, on Simon’s website at http://bigredbatshop.co.uk/ and there is also a forum at http://tothestrongest.yuku.com/ with the author being very helpful and willing to answer questions.

I will be playing more with these rules!

I ran out of time at the show and one game I regret missing was the SOA one.  Phil Steele was putting on a very good looking DBA 3 Byzantine v Arab game using 30mm flats.   I do hope that one is put on again at another show.