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Progress Report

The self-imposed moritorium on gaming has paid handsome dividends. “Undaunted” the boardgame arrived as an unexpected birthday present from our Norfolk chapter and things have just got better as the week continued….

Boardgames continue to inspire my changing miniatures collection. This latest game from Spain is what I had in mind for my new basing system/ lifestyle. The raw material for the bases are my 15mm Huns as a start. 80mm bases by 60mm deep are under construction. 

Above is the before……below are the new bases before sand and flocking. The ruins are the ubiquitous Alienlab, a little over scale but my intention is to go for drama!

Lurkio miniatures provided the still to be painted “noble” Huns. Just can’t get my head round calling these barbarians “noble!” The new Lurkio sculpts are single piece castings and I must admit I was doubtful about two part castings. Would they survive the deadly grasp of John “sausage fingers” Gallacher? Hopefully the three millimetre deep bases will avoid the need to pick up the miniatures.

The sculpts are full of character and the horses are some of the nicest I’ve seen. Mongol horses were actually notoriously ugly with large heads. These are pure Disney but all the better for that. Deepcut studios were a delight to work with over the mat for Commands and Colors. I ordered the “prairie” mat with the hex to fit the boardgame but without the flank markings. A very professional outfit to work with and hopefully the mat will be here in two weeks. The hexes are quite faint but that was intentional. Hopefully the rules will work without hexes but to start with the hexes should cut down on a lot of fine measurements and “ambitious” moves!

All last weekend was spent finishing off the ECW and Acw basing so this weekend should be show off time. Thanks so much with sticking with the blog. Having a hobby cannot be rated highly enough. It has kept me “nearly” sane through a mad month and it has even rubbed off on my youngest. Below is his battle game replete with oven baked playing pieces. I shall start baking him Macedonian companions next weekend!

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Commands and Colors : the Miniatures Game

We all have our own conception of what would constitute the ultimate wargame. Mine would combine the excitement of Total War, the computer game,  with the collectibility of De Bellis Antiquitatis. It would have to avoid too many charts and tables, and end after an hour and a half. These days the ideal game would definately have to be of the “one brain cell” variety. I think I may have stumbled into Wargames nirvana.

 Image from GMT games
The Commands and Colors system with miniatures! Search for Commands and Colors, System X to find D.B.A. Armies for the game. The combat dice I mentioned last post are pretty generic. I intend to use my big base DBA bases for the playing pieces. I’ll see what colour coded bases look like on the weekend. If I use quite subtle shades of green, blue and red I think it may look quite appealing.

The dice with a corresponding colour gives the unit a hit. The three other sides of the dice is where I need to consult the community. I’ll have a go at putting an English Civil War skirmish together as a trial of the combat system. The card driven movement may or may not stay. Could general’s pips be substituted?

Using my child like geometry skills, a three inch hexagon is a little small. We may have to turn to the dreaded metric. Four inches would appear to be a little too large.

I gave up on the maths and sent off my requirements to Deepcut Studios. I shall let you know of their response. A four inch hex would allow my six man ECW units to be accommodated and 28mm L’art de La Guerre units.

So that’s the state of play thus far. Amazon sell lots of writeable dice so that should help with rules drafting. The rules are all free by the way from the GMT website. Please comment below if you have any ideas or suggestions. My youngest has already expressed his desire to add Sci Fi to the list of games scenarios so we shall see. Basing starts tonight!

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Green shoots

Three weeks without a post and what a three weeks! Just when everything seems  normal, around the corner trouble waits. The trouble in this case has left me housebound and wondering what the hell just hit our family. Without tempting fate, things look and feel a bit calmer now but enforced baby sitting has paid dividends.


With friends and companions temporarily stopped from visiting, and a curfew imposed on visits to the L.G.S., opposition had to be found closer to home. Our testing of Warhammer 40K had been an expensive non-starter but Risk was a different matter and King-domino a real favourite in pub beer gardens. You can see the level of complexity that I was aiming for. And then I tore myself away from the heady excitement of my birthday celebrations ( below) to start the fight back, Commands and Colors.


The game is a classic and after three hours of creating the pieces for the game, we were ready. After two games, the influence of this classic game is obvious. Most notably, I couldn’t help notice similarities with the combat mechanism of Mortem et Gloriam. A six sided dice that decides combat mechanisms, I was hooked and looking to expand into miniatures myself.

Next Friday is our first excursion into the English Civil War skirmishing using the Commands and Colors dice. The week after its the American Civil War and then World War Two. Truly inspired to face my two young opponents and make a virtue out of a temporary necessity.

One date which remains however is Virtus 2019 and we now have thirteen players on the runners and riders list. Between crises I’ve also got some news about Godendag 2020 on the 8th and 9th of February at Firestorm. Tickets are up for the two 28mm mini tourneys and Field of Glory Renaissance. The To the Strongest lads will be in attendance and still more systems are in the planning stage.

Thanks for reading





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The Despertaferres Cup Round Two

Come and join us for the next round of this prestigious cojoining of Wargames intellects on Sunday 29th September . The venue is Firestorm Games, Cardiff and the cost is only entry to the warehouse/lgs. Armies are 200 points in God’s own 28mm. Armies and allies to be drawn from the Roman period, from Julius Caesar to the Fall of Rome ( end date for armies and their allies 425AD.#

We already have a fine field of competitors, plus Chris Jackson. Invites have been sent out but please circulate the event to your friends and companions. It is legal to bring two armies if you wish. We can always lend armies to the metally deficient. 

Please note that armies cannot be drawn from Ancient Asia! Apologies.

I would be most grateful if attendees could let me know a.s.a.p. so that Andrew , our technical expert without par, can set up/fix the draw. Modest prize support will be provided by the Tercio as usual. 

Please wear sensible dress and refrain from vaping outside the church next door. 

# any Libtards referring to Common Era will be severely dealt with by the Tercio Inquisition Team. (T.I.T)

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Bactrian Colour Explosion

Trends and fashions surely don’t affect us military aficionados? Well look again friends and companions, colour has come back. After years of Tolkien style gloom, ancient armies are sporting the latest in gaudy hues. I recall the late Terry Wogan lamenting the fact that the BBC experts were depicting computer generated dinosaurs in day glow warpaint. Elephant hide was no longer a guide, rather a 1970’s punk rocker’s wardrobe. 

Who am I not to be swayed? Big mistake! I had a disaster with the new Game Workshop contrast paints. I loved their washes that I used on my recent camel armada. The contrast paints needed the right undercoat and I had already primed the Bactrians with car primer grey. When I used the contrast paints I thought they were far too watery. I prefer a more cartoony, block style of painting and I’ m not sure I pulled it off on these particular miniatures. The Aventine sculpts are of course amazing! The faces are great and the detail crisp. I just hope I’ve done theme justice.

Leisure centre blue I think was a mistake. Worse was the pooling of the GW paints that I should have avoided.

I wanted “mediocre” recruits and I think I achieved that! The drill sergeant needs to work on this formation. On a related point, nine figures I think is enough on a L’art de la Guerre pike unit.

Anyway the three units are complete. Half way through the Virtus army for the tail end of November. Keep tuned for details of holiday adventures, progress on Rebels and Patriots and my new must have  ancient and medieval wargames rules.

Hope you had a great Summer, it ‘s the painting season again!

Miguel de Sanchez

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The Despertaferres Cup- Round One

Bank holiday Sunday and Cardiff is playing host to the nation’s lesbian and gay community ( L.B.T. For those travelling by train). But hold on a minute, in a small corner of an industrial area, Alpha males are to be found. Not for them, rainbows, pink cowboy hats and cowboy chaps. These are real men, males who will only go dewey eyed when they hear the Last Post or read of heroic acts in defence of Queen ( the real one) and country. Two players failed to turned up due to recent back injuries, hopefully not sustained on the weekend,  but were we deterred?

For a spur of the moment event I was very pleased that ten of us made it to the start line. Two rounds were fought on the day, with three on-lookers who either were too nervous or drunk to take part this early on a Sunday. The great joy of 28mm is of course the miniatures. We had allowed contestants to bring any army from the rules, with only the most ambitious/ organised taking us up on the offer. 

Ambitious and organised, the Don chooses the eye wateringly beautiful Swiss.

Unfortunately, the Don would face me! My Almoravids had a good number of elite spearmen but couldn’t match the width of the alpine supermen.

My wonder weapon was of course my newly painted camel riders. After dodging some unpleasant remarks about ammo belts and Mausers( I bought Tauregs but they were more appropriate for facing the Foreig Legion). However, they did remarkably well. Their charge from the dunes bested knights and light horse. But something dreadful was happening to my left, Mr. Jackson was reading the rules to Eddie “Glue”.

It’s always worrying to see Chris reading, it usually means that trouble is brewing. We used the colour chart to gauge Chris’ anger levels and play proceded. On the other table, serenity was the order of the day, as Mike Lane took on Andrew’s Hindus.

On my table, Don’s steamroller had hit and I was on the ropes. But, my camels were in full effect!

Don was busy skewering the faithful in the centre but my camels were worth their weight in gold. With a break through on my right, they were able to assist the fight in the centre, chase crossbowmen and loot the camp. Their exploits managed to get us a draw against the master of the green cloth.

I would face Andrew in the second game, or rather Eddie barged in and demanded that we show him the secrets of playing with a Galatian army. Andrew smirked and sat Cheshire Cat like on a ridge. Whilst I was consigned to the orchard on the flank, Eddie had that blood thirsty look on his face. He had faced down Chris and now wanted the title of “Hindu Kush” – translated as killer of Hindus of course.

Team England brought out Mr.Hacker  to calm down Mr. Jackson. I’m sure you have heard the phrase ” red rag to a bull” well, Steve had brought more flags than Medieval Italy could have ever produced on child powered looms.

Mike Lane faced off against the Don. We had always hoped that the Tourney would bring out neglected metal and Mike’s Persians were a joy to behold. Not a transfer anywhere!

They may have been pretty but Don had changed to his early option, Selucids. It did gain Mike the ” newcomers” award for his gallant play.

On my table, I skulked in the undergrowth as Eddie enacted our plan. The uphill charge against elephants! If only we could have known……

It was dreadful. I know the old phrase beloved of the miserly is ” it was my dice” but really! The Galatians were destroyed and what sounded like a baby elephant was rampaging on the table behind me. The Viking flank March had failed to arrive and Jarl Jackson wasn’t happy.As security was called to separate Chris from his opponent, it was time to call a halt! Chris was now a shade of purple and maths was needed to determine the winners, it was so close! Good job, two mathematical geniuses were on hand. One however was the tourney administrator….

Don had come second and Andrew ,after calculations that made Diane Abbot’s economic forecasts appear believeable, Andrew had won the first ever round of the Despertaferres Cup. Security was again called to reduce the number of plastic cups being thrown at the English team captain! Next round planned for last Sunday in September t.b.c.. 

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The Despertaferres Cup

If you are around Cardiff on Sunday 25th August you are more than welcome to drop in to the opening mini- tourney of the Despertaferres Cup ( Firestorm Games). It’s 200 points L’art de la Guerre goodness. Spaces are limited and tables cannot be booked so proceedings are set to commence at ten thirty. So far the line up of top players is;

Team England

Andy Whitby, Eddie Glew, Steve Hacker and Don Mc Hugh
Team Wales

Me, Chris Jackson, Mike Lane And Dave Lowrie

We have also been in receipt of two desperate pleas for inclusion from Keith Mc Glynn and Andy Unwin.

Should be a good day and the start of more regular small mini tourneys in God’s own scale. Any army and any number of armies should get some miniatures dusted down. Prizes for first and second place- scores towards the Despertaferres Cup. So if you are interested come and say hello. Future meets to be advertised here!

Thanks for reading!