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Narnia – Spring is coming…..

“Please don’t try to run, we’re tired and we’d prefer to kill you quickly!”

Vardan, Jadis’ secret police, Narnia

Raised for the purpose of intimidation, reconnaissance and spying, these are the first miniatures for my second son’s Narnia collection. Most infamous for chasing that arch- traitor Tumnus, these wolves of the White Queen’s secret police are the latest attempt to brainwash my sons into collecting minis. 

They are based for Hordes of the Things ruleset. If you haven’t come across this set yet then search it out. It can be used for all fantasy genres and gives exciting and not too mentally taxing games. The listening tree auxillaries may be a challenge but there are so many suitable minis out there, we should be spoilt for choice. The films and books are favourites with my two so it may work…..

For the true Narnia fanatics who maybe wondering where Maugrim the chief policeman is? Well, he fell off the spraying tray and has just been recovered from under my wife’s kickboxing punchbag😝

Thanks for reading.

Long live the Queen!

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Caput Porci- War is declared!

It’s 350 A.D.and Constantius II wants to control more terraferma and ensure a faster route to the salt works at Commacchio and Cervia. So, war is declared on Magnentius of the Western Empire using a border squabble as a dispute.

Trouble had been brewing between the Huns and Ostrogoths for months now. When Theoden of the Ostrogoths had compared the head of Agul the Huns to a over-ripe pumpkin, blood was needed to avenge the insult. If it’s one thing a Hun is sensitive about, it’s his cranium!

My hundred  points of Huns (L’art de la Guerre) entered from the North near Vincenza. The bullying Ostrogoths careered onto the table, sensing an easy victory as their prey was neatly hemmed in by fields. Theoden did not restrain himself. A few arrows from the Hun mounted archers and the Ostrogoths were upon the Hun subject foot.

The Ostrogoth bowmen stopped the circling Huns in their tracks. Agul decided to move to the other side of the battlefield as the furious Gothic horse closed.

Agul would forever more be known as Agul the Pumpkin. The first phase of Constantius’ plan had worked. With his Northern provinces cleared of the Hunnic nuisance, the Eastern Empire could advance southward on the salt mines.

The Western Empire would need their prayers. A scratch force was marshalled at Ravenna and prepared to resist. The few defeated and dejected Huns arrived in the nick of time to bolster the defence.

The two sides met at Comachio on the coast road. The Hun foot cowers on the right wing as Constantius places his vicious, and victorious allies , on the left. Would history repeat itself?

The Eastern Romans quickly moved forward in the centre to occupy the orchard. Reasoning that my Hun allies weren’t strong enough to hold on the right, I sent my armoured horse archers and auxilia to attack on the left.

Without any threat to his left, or indeed centre, Dux Lane and his cataphract reserve were ready.

My assault was running out of steam. The Easterners brought their legions forward in the centre and these were matched by my own, more virtuous, ones.

The infantry lines fought to a standstill whilst on my left casualties mounted. But ominously Theoden Lowrie was back cutting through the Huns.

The Western Empire would need more and tougher allies! The war continues even if the first two battles had been lost. Our salt is ours!

One day mini campaigns are great fun and hopefully we can reconvene soon to fight the Westerners’ response. My thanks to Mr Lane for the use of his exquisite collection and Mr Lowrie for giving us a reminder of the beauty of fast Knights! The campaign map is to be found in Extra Impetvs number three, a veritable feast of good ideas for mini-campaigns like this one.

Thanks for reading!

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Weekly totals seem a long time ago now. Amongst the greatest gifts to wargaming man must surely be the day-light bulb! Mrs. Ferres has been bingeing  on the Crown and I have adopted Republicanism in order to gain more valuable painting time. It is at times like this that one wonders quite what I was thinking of when I bought over a hundred Old Lory Normans when I already had two hundred Two Dragons ones. I had planned to run a Dark Ages mini campaign but family illness have    interrupted the competition schedule for 2018. Still the pile of unpainted lead is at an all time low and guess what? I’m planning a Norman SAGA army!

The Old Glory minis are well animated and characterful. Unfortunately they are pre- shield transfer and the shields were a task. Steve Porter once thought me “tight’ for not wanting to waste paint. I usually have the next batch of minis on the painting table and any excess paint goes on the next in line. In this case I had too much red and that became the Norman shields. Big mistake, all my others are in the authentic Tapestry colours( including the “odd” green horse. The two ranges seem to mix well. The others and Duke William are below;

More spare red went on a freebie from Wargames Foundry.

Also on the painting table was a winged horse. To augment the Normans, Pegasus is now St. Michael , patron saint of the Normans.

Two units of monks allow the Normans to go on Crusade and storm Jerusalem. As the first Normans over the walls were my namesakes it would be silly not to prepare for the journey East. What was silly was expecting my two sons to show any interest in famous Normans on siege towers…they have their eyes set on a Narnia army, and believe it or not, that starts next week….along with thirty SS greanadiers. What a mixed up multi-cultural painting table! Helix Painting lights are fantastic and painting is the new gaming, well at least til my other half gets to the end of her box set.

Thanks for reading- SAGA two out tomorrow! Cycling past Firestorm Games tomorrow- coincidence?

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Bolt Action Additions

” A shot disturbs the eerie silence of a deserted city street, punctuated by the frantic footfalls of men seeking cover…..”

If you are not familiar with the above lines then where have you been? Squad Leader was my introduction to the mad, sad world of gaming and I don’t think it has ever been bettered. Coming a close second, is Bolt Action by Warlord Games , now in its second addition. There are a huge number of webpages and YouTube clips in support and one of the best, Wahoo Warrior suggested a United States 1000points build that I was just a few figures short of. Well, not anymore, true to our new policy of finishing projects, here are the fine minis by Black Tree. Chunky figures with so much character. SS adversaries next….

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Godendag- the Victors and Vanquished

To the victors the spoils. It’s only a week after the event and the dust has finally settled. The venue is a new one to some of the veterans but the atmosphere was great and the tall tales grew in the telling. It was a fantastic chance to compare rules systems and see so many gloriously painted armies all under one roof. The 19th and 20th January is the date for Godendag 2019 so I shall hope to see you in Firestorm Games next year. Many thanks to all the system organisers who worked so hard to make the weekend such a success. All the competitions below will be running next year plus a few new ones. I’m hoping that L’art de La Guerre Renaissance will be viable but that’s quite a ways off. So, without further ado, the results; courtesy of the B.H.G.S.

L’Art de la Guerre
Placing Player 1 Player 2 Score Army Army Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4

1 Jamieson Allen 342 120 Northern & Southern Dynasties Chinese Victoire Victoire Victoire Victoire

2 Claxton Taylor 292 94 Ostrogoths Victoire DĂ©faite Victoire Victoire

3 Handley Sharp 272 80 Warring Kingdoms Chinese Nul Victoire Nul Victoire

4 Fry Price 253 96 Franks, Alamanic Burgundian & SuĂšvi Victoire Victoire Nul DĂ©faite

5 Young Masefield 243 115 African Vandal Victoire Victoire Nul DĂ©faite

6 Finkel McLeod 229 86 Late Roman DĂ©faite DĂ©faite Victoire Victoire

7 Whitby O’dae 225 87 Patrician Roman Victoire DĂ©faite DĂ©faite Victoire

8 Hacker McHugh 220 87 Patrician Roman Victoire Nul Nul Nul

9 Royle Scott 218 80 Warring Kingdoms DĂ©faite Victoire Victoire DĂ©faite

10 Cavanagh Jackson 198 89 Ancient Spanish DĂ©faite Nul Victoire Nul

11 Johnson Porter 188 87 Patrician Roman Nul DĂ©faite DĂ©faite Victoire

12 Clarke Walker 179 80 Warring Kingdoms Victoire Nul DĂ©faite DĂ©faite

13 Glew Bye 172 87 Patrician Roman DĂ©faite Nul DĂ©faite Victoire

14 Clarke Hayes 146 72 Galatians DĂ©faite DĂ©faite Victoire DĂ©faite

14 Mackie Ashdown 138 106 Palmyran DĂ©faite Victoire DĂ©faite DĂ©faite

16 Powell Poole 94 85 Middle Imperial Romas DĂ©faite DĂ©faite DĂ©faite DĂ©faite


Position Team No Players Army Total Score Scores by round Opponents by round

1 5 John Graham-Leigh & Russell King Middle Imperial Roman, 230 AD 27 10 4 4 9 6 2 8 4

2 8 Dave Madigan & Chris Smith Burmese, 1300 AD 26 6 8 6 6 7 4 5 2

3 3 Jeremy Morgan & Richard Perry Alexandrian Macedonian, 335 BC 25 4 5 6 10 4 7 2 1

4 7 David Sheppard Sung Chinese, 1279 AD 25 4 5 6 10 8 3 1 6

5 2 Nick Coles & Paul Apreda Later Hoplite Greek, 450 BC 21 7 6 4 4 1 5 3 8

6 4 John Vaughan Alexandrian Macedonian, 332 BC 19 6 2 10 1 3 8 6 5

7 1 Ken Cooper & Andy Down Mannaian, 668 BC 13 3 6 4 0 2 6 7 3

8 6 Duncan Thompson Early T’ang Chinese, 623 AD 4 0 4 0 0 5 1 4 7

FoGAM V3.0

Steve Brown and Paul Bartlett: 74 points

Dave Ruddock and David Bannister: 58

Phil Powell and Ian Stewart: 54

Steve Murton and Terry Shaw: 41

Martyn and Owain Simpson: 40

Jon Akers and Paul Westmore: 40

Dave Morrison and John Patrick: 36

David Fairhurst and Lynda Fairhurst: 32

Mortem et Gloriam : (Singles)

Position Player Army Score

1st Alasdair Harley Antigonus I Monophthalmus (Asiatic Successor) 58

2nd Lance Flint Krateros (Asiatic Successor) 46

Joint 3rd Damian Ranasinghe Eumenes of Cardia (Asiatic Successor) 37

Joint 3rd Adrian Nash & Michael Bradford Mid Republican Roman and Pergamene 37

5th Richard Jeffrey-Cook Thraco-Macedonian with the Seleucid & Cassandrid allies 36

6th Peter Entwistle Alexandrian Macedonian 35

7th Dino Monticoli Thracian Hill Tribes 32

8th Peter Gregory Seleucid 32

9th Ian Crosby Seleucid 23

10th Jeremy Howison-Haworth Thessalians 11

FoGR : (Singles)

Place Player Number Player Name Army Opponent Score Total Score Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4

1 6 Ben Jones Japanese 3 9 4 7 24 25 11 7 67

2 7 Lynnette Maxim Japanese 1 8 2 6 13 10 11 18 52

3 9 Simon Green Colonial Dutch 4 6 3 2 15 0 21 9 45

3 4 Ian Wilson Japanese 9 3 6 8 5 22 9 9 45

5 8 Nik Gaukroger Mughul 5 7 1 4 11 10 11 11 43

5 1 Bruce Rollett Indonesian or Malaccan (Johor Sultanate) with Dutch Ally 7 10 8 5 7 12 9 15 43

7 2 Ray Boyles Martha 10 5 7 9 11 10 9 11 41

8 5 Dene Green Martha 8 2 10 1 9 10 10 5 34

9 3 Keith Spedding Indonesian or Malaccan (Johor Sultanate) with Dutch Ally 6 4 9 10 1 3 4 22 30

9 10 David Elks/ Nigel Phillips Colonial Dutch with Malay Ally 2 1 5 3 9 8 10 3 30

Congratulations to all attendees and especially the winner of the best terrain prize……See you in 2019!

Regards to Richard Bodley Scott who sent his regards and now lives in secure accommodation “close” to Usk Open Prison.

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Hussars de la Morte

IiIicPainting Napoleonic uniforms deters many would-be collectors of miniatures. Can the Despertaferres spraycan and washes ™ method deal with those darlings of any Napoleonic army, the hussars? Well, see what you think…..

The Wargames Foundry, Mark Coppelstone, Seven Years Wars figures are superb miniatures and full of character. I had originally bought them to represent Spanish Hussars but that army has lone since gone to the denizens of Fleabay. General d’Armee Wargames rules sent me off to reappraise my French collection, planned with Lasalle and Blucher in mind. For the pecuniary challenged I warn you, the unit sizes are big in General d’Armee. Fourteen miniatures game me a “small” unit in games terms but also provided two A.D.C.s.

The unit was among the volunteer corps raised at the beginning of the Revolutionary Wars but what wargamer worth his salt can resist black and silver hussars. Two companies were raised in 1792 and later these were intended to join the 13th Chasseurs a Cheval along with the Equality Hussars. Eventually after administrative delays, the ‘Death Hussars’ joined the 14th. In 1793 General Dumourier organised several other companies, wearing similar dress but with mixed black-and-White braid, white skull-and-crossbones on the upper sleeves of the dolman and pelvises, black cuffs, red waistcoat, white sash with black barrels, black sabretache with white edging, bearing the skull-and-crossbones and motto; La Republique une et indivisible ou la Morte; black over white plume and white sheepskin. The best single reference I found was the Histoire et Collections, ‘French Hussars’ volume one. The classic standby volume for this period is by Philip Haythornwaite and Christopher Warner, ” Uniforms of the French Revolutionary Wars ( quoted above)

Black undercoat, a wash of null oil and several shades of grey were included in my palette. Embarrassingly the sabretache skull transfer is from my Flames of War spares box. The standard is Argenteau’s at Rivoli , rationalised by imagining that this was perhaps a unit attached to divisional headquarters.

Thanks so much for reading. Godendag gossip and Bolt action news this weekend!

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Godendag 2018- To be perfectly Frank…..

A great weekend of 15mm LadG doubles was had by Steve & I over at Firestorm Games in Cardiff. The event was of course, Godendag, the Tercio’s annual tribute to our spiritual sensei, Richard Bodley Scott This years Godendag was 300pts of 15mm armies drawn from the later Classical period – so from the Hellenistic world through to the Fall of Rome. All organised most capably by that Mike Baldwin fellow and Colin Cavanagh – “gawd bless ’em!!!’

As Steve & I knew we had no time to do any practice ahead of the event, he suggested that we go for Franks, Alamanni, Burgundi, Suevi army No.96 (the one with all the ferocious axe throwing heavy infantry warband types) and as I had the army (only requiring the addition of a couple of generals) it seemed like a sound plan. We went for the Frankish option from the list as all the HF could be upgraded to elite, and we also bought Clovis (496-511AD) as a Strategist – which turned out to be a really good use of points in the end.

We had considered using a Classical Indian (the Gupta variant) instead, as at 300pts the army list mins & max are multiplied by 1.5 – so that would have given us 9 elite Elephants and 6 HC impact elite + 9 Bowmen. But insanity prevailed and we went & committed ourselves to the Frank. Steve said he didn’t want to sit on the base-line any longer and in the end the Frank gave us 4 fast and aggressive games with our infantry getting within a move of the enemy baseline in two of them.

The Frank is a pretty 1 dimensional army – as we picked 22 bases of HF elite impetuous swordsmen + 4 HC elite + 4 LF bow and 1 LF javelin (the latter for dealing with enemy elephants – of which surprisingly there was only 1 in the competition). We had Clovis, as a Strategist and 3 other Ordinary commanders. However, Clovis was a really good choice as we ended up winning the terrain choice in 3 out of 4 games, and he allowed us to pick all 5 terrain pieces (as the defender) but still attempt to move 1. He also allowed us to place 3 ambush markers instead of 2 as well.

Saturday (Game 1) – we played against Nigel Poole & “friend’ who were using a Middle Imperial Roman.

In true Nigel fashion he’d gone for as many fully upgraded legionaries as possible, so all were armoured, with rear support and 6 out of 12 were elite. This is a tough army for the Frank as the Roman legionaries are almost the worst possible enemy for our infantry (see game 4). We also handy-capped ourselves by putting our cavalry division on a flank march … which caused us some concern as our casualties mounted, as by being off-table they reduce your armies break-point, until they (hopefully) come on. So it was relief that after 4 turns they appeared and charged into the rear of the Roman MF auxilia … and that as they say, “was that!”. We broke the Roman army, giving us the game. But we’d suffered 28 casualties – so it was a close run thing.

Saturday (Game 2) – we were now facing Tim Porter and Kevin Johnson who were using a Patrician Roman (so very late Roman with hordes of impact and impetuous HC with an Alanii allie).

As we’d done with the Middle Imperial Roman we won the terrain choice and chose to defend in Forest terrain, ending up shortening our frontage by choosing a Waterway, a Wood, a Steep Hill (covered with a wood), a Marsh and a piece of Impassable. This allowed us to put our Camp in a corner next to the waterway & out of harms way, but also enabled us to advance rapidly and take the attack to our opponents.

Needless to say, cracking deployment and a series of 1 sided melees left our enemy in tatters after only 4 turns, as the Frankish infantry held all the Roman and allied Alani charging HC on impact and then proceeded to chop them into cat-food. Tim & Kevin also sent 8 cavalry units on a flank march that hadn’t turned up by the time we broke their army. Ending up with a massive 36-4 victory for us (which was nice … oh how we chuckled – & we shall wait and see how the Madaxeman blog reports this slaughter). I did have to empathize with Tim when in one turn he threw 6 straight D:1s for his Alani noble HC in combat, whilst I was throwing 4,5 & 6’s.
So a good days gaming had been had and both games actually lasted under 2 hours each – a result of aggressive play and our terrain choices really channeling our opponents into the jaws of death with our Frankish warriors. Below, Mike allowed us to practise our acceptance speech….

Sunday (Game 3) dawned sodden, pouring with rain, grey & overcast – as only welsh weather knows how and saw us facing an African Vandal. Historically accurate as an enemy, our opponents Richard Young and Charles Masefield had selected an almost all heavy  cavalry force, but with 2 small commands of LH, designed to cramp our maneuverability on one flank, as the HC aimed to hit us like a hammer on the other. This time we lost the terrain choice & ended up fighting on a Plain- but again the terrain deployment favored us, (but I still hadn’t managed to deploy my Frankish village – that never appeared throughout the event). This was another tough fight, but this time our smaller commands of just 6 HF and the 4 HC faced the wrath of 12 elite impetuous HC. However, we held on long enough and inflicted enough damage (whilst Clovis and the 2 larger Frankish infantry commands chased a host of Moorish & Alan LC across the other flank) to give us a winning draw, but once again our dice had held up and tactically we managed to use our LF to lure the enemy cavalry into impetuous charges onto the axes of our Frankish warriors.

Sunday (Game 4) – now we were in real trouble as we faced Dave Allen and Gordon Jamieson – who were leading the score table, with their Warring State Southern Dynasty Chinese army. This is a fiendish mix of elite Cataphracts, MC bow, LH bow, MF impetuous swordsmen, MF swordsmen HCW, archers, crossbows, LMI javelins and, oh yes, an Elephant! So almost the opposite of our simple army. Again, we won the terrain choice and defended in a Forest, but this time failed to get our much needed Waterway to reduce the playing frontage. However, we managed to block off a flank with the Impassable terrain feature and as we rushed eagerly forwards the cunning Chinese started to withdraw and refuse a flank in front of our main infantry command. Things were looking pretty evenly matched until their six elite Cataphracts hit our infantry and our Warriors hit their HCW halberdiers … and then it all started to go horribly wrong.


Over the course of 3-4 turns of combat our infantry ended up in tatters (some really poor dice rolls contributing hugely to this) and the effect of the Cataphracts heavy armour and being elite and the extra plus 1 factor for HCW winning in melee meant we were soon racking up multiple hits per combat turn. Steve threw our HC into the fray and started to do some serious damage to the Chinese MC and Cataphracts, and Clovis lead a charge into the 4th Chinese infantry division that was now just 2 moves from its own base line defending their Camp – inflicting multiple casualties and unit losses in the process – including killing the Elephant – but by then it was all too late. Our central infantry divisions had both collapsed and we had reached our 31 point break-point, but had inflicted 26 casualties – so an honorable defeat.
In the end we came 4th – with Dave & Gordon winning the competition with the Warring State Chinese. So we felt that our honour had been satisfied, especially as we had only played 4 competition games. Winning the terrain 3 times out of 4 had been very helpful and our dice throwing had also been exceptional (for 3 out of 4 games) as against the African Vandal our opponents had been cursing the numbers of 6’s we’d been throwing – until we caught one of their integral generals in combat and beat him in melee, only for Steve to promptly throw a D:1 to kill him (which was nice) … ho ho ho.

What will next years Godendag bring???
Or will we see you participating next year or at Don’s BIG 225pts Late Medieval 28mm event in May?
Mark Fry

Biography- Mark Fry is an established writer for the Despertaferres organisation. His frequent posts and flamboyant lifestyle choices have made him a form favourite. More from the less gifted members of the bandera to follow…