Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Fields of War Competition

Aaron Basham has informed me that the Fields of War website has a competition open to all:

Battle Report contest.
Throughout the month of October, we will have a competition for the best battle report. A battle report can be sent either through posting it as a comment on this link, posting it on the Facebook group wall, or in the forums. At the end of October, we will have a poll, and the person who submitted the Battle reports with the most votes, can create a special character for the army of his/her choice, and they may place an "ad" in the next Garmarian Daily Codex. Any battle report submitted, will be posted on the blog. When writing your battle report, you must include:
The composition of both armies
A description (or picture) of the field 
A turn by turn account of the battle (pictures are not necessary).

Writing contest.
Throughout the month of October, we will have a competition for the story. A story can be sent either through posting it as a comment on this link, posting it on the Facebook group wall, or in the forums. At the end of October, we will have a poll, and the person who submitted the story with the most votes, can create a special character for the army of his/her choice, and they may place an "ad" in the next Garmarian Daily Codex. Any battle report submitted, will be posted on the blog. When writing your story, it must contain:
Between 500 and 1500 words
No Major use of profanity
No Nudity

More information at: Link

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Review: The Wargaming Compendium

The Wargaming Compendium
by Henry Hyde
Pen and Sword 
RRP £35

Within the wargames hobby there are a number of publications that are a “must own” for any collection. Over the years this includes:

  • Little Wars by H.G. Wells
  • Wargames by Donald Featherstone
  • Charge! by Peter Young
  • Introduction to Battlegaming by Terry Wise
  • The War Game by Chares Grant
  • Achtung Schweinhund by Harry Pearson.

A recent release that certainly implies it may add to these titles is The Wargaming Compendium by Henry Hyde.

Henry is the Editor of Miniature Wargames and previous editor/founder of Battlegames Magazine which has now merged with Miniature Wargames.

The Wargaming Compendium is a hefty tome of 520 pages which is lavishly illustrated with colour photographs. The book contains 10 chapters which are colour coded so can be easily found on picking up. Lets have a look at what each chapter contains.

Foreward (1 page)
The book is introduced by veteran wargamer Charles S. Grant

Introduction (6 pages)
Henry gives us a brief overview of wargaming and his attraction to the hobby.

1. Basic Concepts of Wargaming (30 pages)
This chapter is designed for the novice to our hobby. It  explains the different scales available to wargamers for both miniatures and and on the tabletop. It is all explained in easy terms how wargames work from unit sizes, the element of chance, morale and everything else that describes to a newcomer what a wargame is. Its a great starter for newcomers but not so useful to veterans of the hobby.

2. A History of Wargaming (34 pages)
In this chapter it discusses how wargaming started  from Ancient times through to von Reisswitz kriegspiel for the training of Prussian officers. A look at important books for the hobby, which is a great bibliography for both newcomers and veterans alike. It moves on to some of the more influential games that have gripped the hobby.

3. Choosing a Period (42 pages)
Henry talks the reader through the different periods available to from Ancients to Modern, fantasy and science fiction. This is a brief introduction to each period but gives newcomers some good pointers as to where their interest may lie. Each period has photographs so that the gamer can see what a period looks like too.

4. Something to Fight For (60 pages)
An in depth look at the playing surface for miniature battles including terrain and scenery. It gives some ideas for all types of terrain and scenery with tips on what to use and how to make your own. Its like an encyclopedia within a compendium. The accompanying website also has downloadable paper terrain which you can print, construct and add to your games.

5. Assembling Your Forces (72 pages)
A guide to where to buy your miniatures from in the different scales and what sort of current prices you may expect. Plastic, metal and self casting is all discussed. There follows instructions on how to paint your miniatures with the tools required. There are tips on painting with some clear instructions and photographs guiding you through the process. The guide also describes basing and adding embellishment to your figures.

6. From Small to Large (64 pages)
This chapter discusses skirmish to mass battle games. A free set of Gladiator rules are included to introduce 1 on 1 gaming. It moves onto skirmish  gaming and includes rules for a Wild West skirmish game and they are quite comprehensive. It moves on to mass battle rules and campaigns. There are some campaign rules included together with information on map-making

7. Shot, Steel & Stone (72 pages)
The chapter is dedicated to a set of European Horse and Musket rules. These rules could have quite easily been released as a separate rulebook in their own right for about £12 - £15. They are very comprehensive and take inspiration from many other rulesets including Black Powder, Polemos and countless others. Everything is including some sample army lists.

8. Learn by Playing (26 pages)
A chapter giving an example how the Shot, Steel and Stone works using a scenario.

9. Other Aspects of Wargaming (26 pages)
Henry describes other aspects of the hobby including Naval gaming, air wargames role-playing, solo games and multi-player games. My own website freewargamesrules even gets a mention on page 423.

10. Advice for the Digital Age (14 pages)
The first part of the chapter discusses the best way to use digital photography within the hobby and how to take photographs of your miniatures. The second half discusses the power of the Internet for wargaming.
11. Resources (41 pages)
A treasure trove of information for all wargamers. Includes books, magazines, film, military history, museums, internet, manufacturers, suppliers, wargames shows.
Select Bibliography (2 pages)
Some core recommended reading material.

Index (14 pages)
A comprehensive index.

Afterword (1 page)
Final words from Henry

As you would expect from Henry it is very well written with a warm and friendly style which is easily accessible and the publication is lavishly interspersed with colour high quality photographs.

Pros: Very comprehensive, well written, colour photographs, supporting website with free downloads (password protected).

Cons: Its a heavy book, however, this is compensated for with the sheer quantity of content. The Compendium is going to date for certain aspects i.e. prices and web resources.

So the question is is this book a “must own” for wargamers like those mentioned at the beginning of the article. In my view it is an unequivocal yes.

Overall I cannot recommend this book enough for both newcomers to the hobby as well as “veteran” wargamers, there really is something here for everyone.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Lack of Website Updates

Astute followers of freewargamesrules may have noticed that there have been infrequent updates to the website over the last three months.

This has mainly been due to being extremely busy in work. Unfortunately this has meant all of my hobbies have been severely affected. I currently run 3 websites and 3 blogs and all have been in the same boat.

I have been running the website for 16 years now and it usually takes a considerable amount of time updating this website and the others which leaves me less time for hobbies and family.

There are other projects that I want to start and/or continue but am unable to do so at this time with all the demands on my time.

On top of this I have had some health issues and with retirement less than 13 months away from my current job it leaves me with some decisions to make on the future of the website. Currently there are several alternatives I am looking at:

  • Closure of the website altogether within the next 13 months.
  • Allowing the website to freeze in time and make no further updates.
  • Find someone else to take over the mantle who has the time, interest and expertise.
  • Reduce the amount of time I spend updating the site and not spend so much time looking for new content. (This would mean a freewargamesrules lite)
  • Find an alternative way to run the website which is community led and not dependant on one person.
All of this must be done cheaply as come retirement, although I will be looking for a new job, finances will more restricted.

None of these decisions have been made yet, so nothing will change short term.

I welcome any observations or suggestions from the hobby.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Great War of 1894 Rules

David Burn has sent me some rules for the late 19th century. He could do with some feedback on the rules as he is still playtesting them.

For the late C19th European War based on a fictional account of "The great War of 189?" written in 1891 on the cusp of the introduction of smokeless powder, magazine rifles and the maxim gun. they are based on tactical and field manuals of the time to test the prevailing theories.

I have uploaded the file to freewargamesrules (direct link) within the Word document is his email address, so if you can give him some feedback guys it would be appreciated.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

28mm Cowboys

Finished some of the 28mm Black Scorpion resin Wild West figures. They are lovely sculpts.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

15mm Sci Fi

Finished painting some Ground Zero Games New Anglian Conferderation infantry and Antenociti APC's.

I like basing the infantry on the Flames of War medium bases for squads and small bases for specialist weapons.

Haven't decided on a ruleset yet, tried Critical Mass and they played alright. I might try some Generic rules such as Pz8 Sci Fi rules, FUBAR or write my own based on Bernard Geraty's modern quick play rules.


I picked up the Dreadball game by Mantic at WMMS a couple of months ago. The set was going cheap as the new version was due out anytime (and is out now).

I've played a couple of games down at Deeside Defenders club night against Paddy and really enjoyed the game. Its a lot more fluid than Bloodbowl which it seems always ends up like a game of chess. As Paddy likes the human team I thought I would paint the Orc type team Greenmoon Smackers.

Personally I think the Human team is a stronger team than the Orcs as their Strikers have a skill of 4+ so when they throw to another striker there is a high probability the receiver will get 2 successes on a catch and thus get a free action. Its quite easy to get 3 free actions in a turn that way and helps them scopre often. I've found that throwing my Guards against the strikers with an Jack in support is still quite hard to hurt Human strikers as they use skill for dodge and often dodge easily any attack.

So I'm painting Humans up next!

Monday, 29 April 2013

Border War FAQ

Border War a Fantasy set of rules now has a Frequently Asked Questions page at: FAQ

Friday, 22 February 2013

Crusader Hex Rules

I have been playtesting Mark Sims new Hex World War 2 rules and here are some pictures from last nights game between me and Paddy. More info on the write-up at the Crusader Forum.

This was French v German with 9 infantry stands each , 1 HMG stand and 5 tanks each.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Broadside 2013

Milton Hundred Wargames Club has had its club's website hacked, with the result that it had been closed down by the ISP. 

This is a disaster for the club as they are in the run-up to the show and need to ensure that it is as widely publicised as possible. He has asked for help.

Broadside 2013
is on
Sunday 9th June
(10.00am to 4.00pm)
Swallows Leisure Centre,
Central Avenue,
ME10 4NT

There will be three Halls, lots of traders, several club games and ...
a wargamer’s flea market!

To book a trade space, club game or flea market pitch get in touch by 'phoning 01795 873379 or 07588806306 or by email

The traders include:
  • Ainsty Castings
  • Alchemy Miniatures
  • Andy’s Models
  • Armourfast
  • Brigade Models
  • Colonel Bills
  • Conquest Games Ltd.
  • Crooked Dice Game Design Studio
  • Cymbeline Games
  • David Lanchester Books
  • Early War Miniatures
  • Fenris Games
  • Frontline Wargaming
  • Harfields Military Figures
  • IT Miniatures
  • Lesley’s Bits Box / KR Multicase
  • Monarch Military Books
  • No Mans Land (Maidstone)
  • Polmodels
  • Products for Wargamers
  • Realistic Modelling Services
  • Red Knight Wargames
  • Redoubt Enterprises
  • Shell Hole Scenics
  • Tole Haven
  • Wargames Emporium
  • Warmill
The clubs that will be attending include:
  • Maidstone Wargames Society
  • Rainham Wargames Club
  • Society of Ancients
  • Gamers Hub
  • Skirmish Wargames
  • South East Essex military society
  • Hornchurch Heroes
  • Shepway Wargames Club
  • CTK Wargaming
They have set up a Facebook page about BROADSIDE 2013 so that interested parties can lend their support and be kept up-to-date with developments.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Batman Miniature Rules

As promised the one set of rules in Draft have been completed:

Batman rules

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Batman (Heroclix)

I have been rebasing all my Batman Heroclix figure. Changing them from their original clix bases.

As can be seen from the Riddler below a textured base makes a difference.

After the fun of writing a new set of One Page rules for the One Page Rules Challenge I have started writing a 1 page set of rules for the Caped Crusader. I am trying to get the rules system and the figure stats all on one page (two sides of paper).

I was inspired by the Ludus Gladiatorius rules from em4miniatures which is a really simple little game. They are about 75% done and I will post them all for you to read when finished. Each character will have the following stats:

Attack Trait (Number of dice to roll), Range (distance in inches they can make ranged attacks), Defence (number of diced rolled in defence to block attacks), Hit Points, Speed (in inches). The stats have been based on work from reading the comics, the Heroclix stats and the Superscape project

Bolt Action Game 2

Here are some photos from our second Bolt Action Game. This was Scenario 3 from the book. All the Germans were Veterans and they were all in hard cover. The Americans were all regular.

The American advance down the left flank with infantry behind a Sherman and M3 half track. Up ahead the Germans had a Panzerschreck in the woods

In the middle of the table a MMG in a bunker with veteran troops in the woods make the centre of teh table a no go for the Americans. One unit was caught in the open and quickly wiped out. The Americans were unable to get good HE support on the Germans all game.

The lone Tiger on the right flank hull down fended off 2 M4 (75mm) and one M4 (76mm). Despite 12 shots at the Tiger only a 75mm Sherman hit it and the shell bounced off. Fortunately the Tiger was a bad shot as well only hitting 1 Sherman which brewed up. To the right of the Tiger is another Panzerschreck team trying to pick of the 76mm Sherman.

Troops on the right flank cannot advance until the Tiger is neutralised and get stuck their all game.

Again troops on the left flank cannot advance over the open ground until they have pinned the Germans in front of them. Despite the use of HE, LMG and 2 squads pouring fire at the Germans as they are behind a stonewall the Americans cannot pin them.

After 7 turns the game ends in a major German victory. The US kill 1 German loader to the Panzerschrek team and lose 1 M4 Sherman, 1 entire US squad caught in the open and 1 US squad retreats under heavy fire. The US commander is also killed.

I have now ordered some US Bazooka teams and LMG to give me more fire support. However, veterans in Hard Cover are very difficult to beat.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Home Made Terrain Mats

Came across this great method of creating terrain mats using canvas and acrylic.

Tobi's Paint Blog

Canvas can be bought reasonably from Ebay or use Thermal Curtain Lining available from most fabric stores.

Bolt Action Game 1

These are the photos from the first game of Bolt Action we tried out. This was scenario 1 in the book with Paddy defending with the Germans.

I was the Americans, we han an infantry only action with about 350 points.

The Americans attacked from left to right with the Germans defending on the right.

Paddy had this great idea to use shell craters as Pin markers, they really look good on the table. Above are the Americans trying to advance down their right flank using the walls as cover. Don't get left out in the open you will quickly get cut down.

This was the Germans view down the same flank, nicely entrenched behind their wall. The order dice are the core Turn Sequence of the game. I have now made my own see previous post.

A German MMG in fortifications this kept the Americans heads pinned down and was a real headache for them.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Bolt Action Dice Labels

I've recently been playing a couple of games of Bolt Action with Paddy down at the Deeside Defenders Club night over the last  weeks. I will post some photos shortly of those games.

Both games have been good fun and we really enjoyed the rules, they suit the way we play. I have some of the 28mm Wargames Factory figures which I bought for my Weird War II project. Paddy has bought some of the order dice but at £8 for 10 dice and 2 sets required I think they are a but expensive.

So I headed over to Blank Dice who have indented six sided dice in multicolours and ordered 10 grey and 10 dark green at 20 pence each.

They arrived 24 hours later. Blank Dice do templates in the popular word processor formats so you can print create your own dice so I downloaded the Open Office template as I use LibreOffice on my Linux laptop.

I created the six sides of the dice in the template and printed them out onto an A4 label. This was then covered with the plastic covering I got from Tesco which kids cover their school books. Once cut out and stuck to the dice they look good.

I have included the template I created below so you can create your own Order Dice.

Download Dice Labels

Friday, 18 January 2013

1 Page Rules Challenge

To stimulate some ideas in wargame rule writing I have set a Forum up to try and gain some interest in simple sets of rules on one sheet of paper.These sets are not for competition games but for people who want a nice simple pick up set for a club gaming night.

The idea is that we decide on a period / battle / war from suggestions. We then have a poll to see which wins. We all then write a set of rules for the chosen challenge.

I have also set up an area where some existing 1 page rules I am aware of have been added to give ideas or just for general interest.

So if you want to join the challenge, join us over at the forum and register:

One Page Rules Forum