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La resistance continua

God has smiled upon you this day
The fate of a nation in your hands
And blessed be the children
We who fight with all our bravery
‘Til only the righteous stand

You see the distant flames
They bellow in the night
You fight in all our names
For what we know is right

And when you all get shot
And cannot carry on
Though you die, La Resistance lives on

You may get stabbed in the head
With a dagger or a sword
You may be burned to death
Or skinned alive or worse

But when they torture you
You will not feel the need to run
For, though you die, La Resistance lives on


After seven years of blogging it’s time to move on. My thanks to all who have read and commented over those years! We must never allow ourselves to become the Blockbusters of gaming. It’s time to say “ farewell!”! It may be the end of Despertaferres on WordPress but the Dice Studz organisation continues on the usual channels.

God Bless and stay righteous!

Manuel Ferres,


Remember us kindly! Our work is done.
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Why we fight: SAGA by Tomahawk Games

Few cannot have noticed the current strain on household finances. I think it was me who said, “ the future lies in skirmish gaming!” The current raft of skirmish games are cheaper, easier to set up and can be a whole lot of fun for a reduced outlay. The grand- daddy of all modern skirmish games is of course SAGA by Tomahawk games, now in its second edition.

Even Alexander must keep an eye on finances!

Is it ungentlemanly to mention cash? Well, I think once we have established that you are going to have a lot of fun, perhaps the next question is maybe concerning practicality. We all may plan to refight Borodino but really? 3D printing has great potential for churning out the affordable minis but you still have to paint the beggars and store the armies somewhere.

Hopefully not a thing of the past! Marsden Moor St. George’s Day 2021.

I must admit to shying away from skirmish gaming for many years; not enough of a spectacle on the table and mired in superfluous detail. SAGA was a breath of fresh air. Firstly they increased the figure count to between thirty and sixty. So, with a following wind, at average pace, you can have a complete force ready to play in two months ( I hope you are reading this Mr. Gallacher!😳)

Anglo -Danes being prepared this very weekend.

Secondly, and most brilliantly, Studio Tomahawk came up with a fast play system that is easy to pick up, cheap ( there’s that word again) but beautifully produced. The rules and faction materials really are exquisite. The genius lies in the “ battle board” , a means of enhancing your missile fire or combat. The period character is enhanced and the dice management decisions add a whole new layer to the game.

Careful placing of the activation dice is essential.

This bank holiday weekend it was our monthly visit from John “ the Thunderbolt” Gallacher and we were fired up to play the “ Clash of Warlords” scenario, in this case two bleary eyed paladins stuffed with Chinese food!

Chance inspiration ; my mind set in motion by a chance Facebook post

My choice of force was the Romans from Age of Invasions supplement. With supporting artillery fire my mounted arm would cross the shallow river and sweep all before me! That was the plan at least…

Artillery on the bottom right. Oh those poor Saxons!
To stop the Saxons affecting a mad cap dash over the beige. Unlikely but….

John took the Saxon host, including an eight pack of hearthguard elites in the centre and twelve levy archers on the hill overlooking the bridge. But, it was the lesser warriors who were first to see the effects of the Roman technology. I allowed myself three Russel Crowe shouts of “ unleash hell!” and we were off.

The gallant equite!

The Saxons opposite the artillery were reeling and the Roman horse crossed the river. What could go wrong? John’s notorious knowledge of arcane battle board is what went wrong!

Forward the horse!
Why do I never learn? The horse only had to sweep up the depleted Saxon warriors but it was too much to ask!
Chastened and reduced by a half! John’s skill/ nefarious deal with the Devil saw my elites embarrassed. He also silenced my supporting artillery with “ jeers” : an activation that piles fatigue on shooters if they kill Saxons! How I laughed😳
This s not the timid John of old. As my cavalry milled around ineffectively in the pasture, hairy Saxons charged across the bridge. I’d underestimated my bearded foe.
It would take the sacrifice of three of my units to stop the fearsome Saxon lunatics!
He even dodged my carefully positioned archers😥

Hopefully the pictures go some way to capturing the fun we had! Even in abject defeat, when the Saxon warlord came over the bridge like some murderous Billygoat gruff( remember that tale?) it was cinematic fun. Stupidly I left me remaining legionaries close enough for the warlord to slaughter Roma’s finest! it’s always a good sign when you can’t wait for the next game / defeat.

Gentlemanly fun

Gentlemanly enjoying oneself has always been a priority for Cardiff Dice Studz. Hopefully we have covered most of the reasons why we class SAGA as a firm favourite. Large skirmishes also includes in my estimation Bolt Action and Pikeman’s Lament, both to be covered in later episodes of “ why we fight.” I hope you agree with our opinions and if you haven’t got into SAGA then why haven’t you?????

See you soon!
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Stupor Mundi 2022: General assembly

Stop press: The results of Stupor Mundi: 28mm adlg Feudal 100 points: decided on number of wins and then percentage losses🙀

First Richard Walker😷 Wonder of the World ( well Cardiff)
Second Mike Ferres🤡
Third Don McHugh🧛🏾‍♀️
Fourth Mark Clarke🧙🏽‍♂️
Fifth Andrew Whitby🤮
Sixth Edward Ashley Glew😾
Seventh Mark Fry😿
Best new comer; Ashley ✌🏾

Cardiff Dice Studz ( the early years)

Who would have thought it? The magnificent seven assembled last Sunday for 28mm L’art de la Guerre. Much merriment ensued and not a single walk out/ scuffle/ policing action!

I finally got to play Eddie in a tourney. His Seljuks drew against the army of merry England ( with Welsh archers!)
Recently published rules author Mark Fry brought his beautifully painted Highlanders and islanders!
I can’t see why Mark chose this army!!!!!!
Eddie’s Ghulams rained pain on my feudal English!
Turks against English: look out for NETFLIX Resurrection Erdogulan ! It’s like thirteenth century Game of Thrones ( with fewer bras)
Andrew adjusts Mark’s waterway!🥺
Big Don’s Communal Italians!
Ashley’s Crusaders face the arrow storm!
Richard the Undefeated…erm….defeats the other Byzantines!
Don’s warwagons stole the show! You just can’t ignore models this big!
Sunday saw Mark Clarke welcomed into the Dice Studz nest!
Islesmen bring fear and loathing from the North!
Galwegians! An ethnic group that has had a big influence on Cardiffian etiquette!
Syrian lancers find a Greek weak spot!
It was all over too soon. Four games of one hundred points in one day! A resounding success and soon to be imitated in Berkeley and now Weston ( details to follow)
Be prepared for more…….Start collecting your minis!
A site dear to every Welshman’s heart!
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Wargaming: small or far away?

If you haven’t watched the television show Father Ted then where have you been? Just yesterday, I was reminded of the scene where the Father is explaining perspective to Donald. As my family sat on the beach, a group of horse riders passed by on the other side of the river and my gamer’s mind was off…..

200 metres away?

The point being, why was I spending my time painting with hobby lenses when your average Welsh peasant could just about work out if the Norman invader was in armour, cloth or naked? Although the last option was unlikely in Wales in April!

Crossing back to the castle a decision was made.

The first decision was never to let my family cross on stepping stones in public! Two soaked teenagers and an irate dog walker later and my mind returned to the issue; namely how much detail is enough?

Movement slowed by a half?

In 15mm I was decided, one hour of painting maximum. The Khurasan miniatures had come all the way from the United States but if you can’t see it, don’t paint it!

Lovely detail to pick out on these minis
Perhaps a bit too much foliage?
I relented and spent two hours on four units of Frankish skirmishers!

So, if anyone peers to closely at your wargames figures just tell them, “ you can see what their miniature opponents could see!”It really is amazing how much time you can save if you don’t agonise on the superfluous details!

Careful now! Not too close!

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Wargaming: Hungary for success!?

How lucky the British are to be surrounded by sea! Less happy people have no rivers or mountains to mark their borders. It was only the Lviv ( latest incarnation) sign writers who benefitted from the twentieth century incessant changes of ownership. It was our 6th of April Corvinus celebration this week and the Dice Studz had a fine time.

April 6th will always be remembered in Cardiff.
Hungarian Dice Studz

And it was Mathias Corvinus of course who first developed a way to hold the steppes with a combination of heavily armoured knights and light horse that later achieved fame as the “ hussars”.

Speed and steel: a winning combination ( usually)

The party had added sparkle this year now that Orbán has won a decisive election victory yet again. How better to celebrate the new builders of Europe’s shield than to prepare a fifteenth century Hungarian miniature army?

Six units of Hussars for the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century.
Nab war Roundway 15mm miniatures are full of character: rather knave of hearts in style?
The big bases for To the Strongest do allow you to get that skirmish feel.
This part of the steppe is Hungarian
Or Polish, or Lithuanian or Ukrainian???

The armoured knights are in preparation for our Mohács game; a real test for the knight and hussar combination. To all our Hungarian members we look forward to our continued association.

Avanti Raggazi!

Late addition: note to self- more flags needed!
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Wargaming fame at last!

We thought we had him to ourselves but West Country Dice Stud, Mark Fry, has been whisked away to wargaming Tinseltown! Follow the link to the biography of this West Country wargaming legend.

Remember; we knew him before he was famous!

Having just completed his masterful overhaul of Blitzkrieg Commander, Mark fully intends to devote his retirement to Cold War commander and the care of fallen ladies in the Berkeley area.

The Battle of Templehof airport more years ago than I care to remember.

Great to see the world media finally recognising a real talent and genuinely nice guy!

Perhaps we can tempt him to give a few more hints for his retirement projects in the near future?

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Wargaming; how to reload a magazine!

A strange phenomenon has been observed in my hobby room. I can see the carpet and it was described as “ quite tidy” by my current wife! Strange times indeed…..

Oh my God! There is carpet after all!

Two related thoughts come to mind, namely do I really want to start adding more “ stuff” to the collection? Secondly, I started musing on the utility of the monthly hobby magazine. I would be interested to hear from my readers if they remain regular subscribers to the printed matter..

Boyish enthusiasm replaced by financial angst?

Of course, it’s not just financial angst. One also has to store the magazines somewhere. On several occasions I’ve gone through the shelves throwing out those with no foreseeable relevance to current projects. Cutting out reference material just gives you a pile of vandalised magazines of course.

The survivors who survived the purge!

But, this month’s Wargames Illustrated caused more fear, namely the new project!!!! 2mm Ancients and Brits for Bolt Action? Now I know I’ve changed if I haven’t got at least ten or more new ideas swirling around. The next few weeks I thought to detail the current crop of interests under the title of “ Why we fight ( add system here)

Hungarian Hussars ready for basing
Anglo- Saxon army in a month? Challenge accepted

I do feel quite sorry for magazine publishers these days. The competition with the internet must be hurting circulation but Miniature Wargames and. Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy remain my favourites. Has Covid made me realistic about what can be achieved given albeit self imposed financial and time limits? I’ll refer to the photo below to assure you that the butterfly tendency remains strong.

Pile of shame or inspiration corner?

So the plan is therefore one of realistic target setting in 2022! How do you manage your hobby!? Do you set limits on your spending? Is twelve pounds a month too much for magazines that can add to collectors stress? So many questions; I look forward to hearing your solutions…

Time for a clear out in your hobby space?

All the very best!

Miguel Ferres

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Spring wargaming!

Ten days of Covid enforced inactivity hasn’t been kind! The long gone lock down plans are now a thing of the past. Massively over paid Libtards are baying for blood on the TV. Bloodletting is good, nationalism is now good and the massive spending spree of the last two years is not to blame for our penury but a nasty Russian ogre who has anger issues! What better way to cheer everybody up with some Hunnic camps……

Not quite deserted!
The geese saved Rome but these two might not be looking forward to the return of the host!
Hun des- res : all welcome
Home is where the hearth is!
Back with a more regular schedule from today!
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Stupor Mundi: L’art de la Guerre 100s—28mm-lart-de-la-guerre-cardiff

24th April at Firestorm Games, Cardiff and we are back together joined in tabletop combat!

Our hero!

The period is the early medieval era of clashing knights, rapacious barons and nervous maidens. “ The wonder of the world” was of course Frederick II, King of Sicily from 1198, King of Germany from 1212, King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor from 1220 and King of Jerusalem from 1225. He was the son of emperor Henry VI of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and Queen Constance of Sicily of the Hauteville dynasty. And it is he we honour with four one hundred point battles of L’art de la Guerre in 28mm. I’m sure he would approve.

Already half the tickets have been sold so hurry if you are intent on competing in this most convivial of meetings. The Dice Studz pride themselves on their innovative Personality match game draw system so forget Swiss chess and come and play four light hearted games in one of the UKs top gaming venues!

Who doesn’t like a knight! And a night in Cardiff is always an experience!
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When wargaming gets serious

“In unguarded comments to British troops, Wallace boasted that his old regiment the Scots Guards had ‘kicked the backside’ of Tsar Nicholas I in 1853, adding: ‘we can always do it again.’

Except they cannot. In 2021, the Scots Guards were the most critically undermanned unit in the British Army, barely able to fill half their ranks. An internal report found that Britain’s infantry as a whole needed 14,984 soldiers, but only 11,301 were ready for deployment. The government responded to this problem by slashing the size of the infantry and the army in general in last year’s defence review.”

The Spectator


Whilst the Russians were putting the finishing touches to their plans for their invasion what was the priority of Woke Britannia?

You couldn’t make this stuff up? The party that suggested sending an aircraft carrier to landlocked Afghanistan is now suggesting a no fly zone in Ukraine policed by non- existent squadrons to fight against the Russian air flotilla that turned the war in Syria.

Let’s move to Switzerland

When one watches the scenes in Ukraine I feel nothing but depression. I am guilty of expressing my support for President Putin in the past. I do think that the eastward expansion of NATO was I’ll conceived, I did think the 2014 coup did undermine the legitimacy of “ democratic” Ukraine.

Will I be changing my Facebook page to include the Russian tricolour? Friends who have added the blue and yellow worry me. The treatment of the East of Ukraine has to be recognised. Perhaps the UK would need to act in the future if any Sinn Fein / I. R. A. government increased the victimisation of the Loyalist people of Northern Ireland. How would Biden react to the U. K. standing up to ethnic cleansing?

So, no flags on Facebook, no glamorous Ukrainian women posing with Aks and no crocodile tears for a completely foreseeable disaster. And I’m afraid to say, it’s time to stop pretending us armchair generals know more than a fraction of what has gone on.