comments 11

Rock, paper, scissors, stone-age……

 Salute 2016 left me in deep thought after our annual pilgrimage. My regular reader will know that I shy away from the “steam-punk, wacky nerd” types , it didn’t look good upon our arrival. I know historical wargamers wouldn’t benefit from a show like Salute without sci-fi and fantasy but I do feel quite uneasy when I’m queuing up in line with an eight foot high red  40k storm trooper and a plastic sword armed Commisar/ Nazi space pixie. Confidence came back to me after pouring over the likes of Trent and the newly upholstered Bicorne miniatures. I don’t think I will ever get the scissors to work cutting out a wargames army ( the YouTube instructional video put me off I’m afraid). For a long time now, I’ve been boring my pals with dire warnings that Virtual Reality will be ending our hobby in the next ten years and then, wargamers start collecting paper armies, go figure? There were fewer games that for me had that special wow factor this year. The siege of Bristol game and the Dark age seaborne raid were my favourites.

For sheer, “I could never even contemplate that”, the Vietnam game was favourite. My daughter complains now that she is surrounded by Workd War two tanks in “her” room, I wonder how she would feel about palm trees and erm…..a Viet-cong sniper?

The Cardiff lads were spending freely but I myself bought a measly one pack of Late Roman officers. I was definately having an off day.  Thankfully the Polish boys on the Fire and Sword stand raised my spirits. These boys were friendly and knowledgeable. I loved my sample game of Swedes versus Poles in the late seventeenth century. I have arranged with a few old acquaintances to try a few more games of this system, so keep posted. After one game, the system is logical and exciting. The skirmish level is the same size as DBA so I must admit I was hooked.

So, it was worth the trip after all! A new period and system on the way. And horror of horrors, I won a game! The barren spell is over !!

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About the Author

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The wild ramblings of an infamous wit and wargames guru. One of nature's true gentlemen who devotes his time to the care of his two sons, i.e. watching episodes of Peppa Pig together, and recreating great moments of military history using toy soldiers. Currently a leading light in The Collectivo Despertaferres wargames and duelling association who meet regularly at Firestorm Games ( formerly Ali Baba's Carpet Warehouse). Find me also on Facebook "Despertaferres"!


  1. Richard

    Wish I could have gone there too.
    Despite having spent quite a lot on Pike&Shotte already, I’m tempted to give By Fire and Sword a try. The Rules seem interesting and the miniatures cost a fraction of what I’ve paid for the Pike & Shotte stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to admit that it’s an era of history that I don’t know much about but it looks really exciting. There’s a classic film trilogy that I will have to get hold of too!


    • I’ve got Ottomans already and lots of szeckler types so wouldn’t need many more. Two old pals from Clevedon have invited us down there one Friday soon?


    • They would be just right! The period begins just after the close of the Thirty Years War. Your cavaliers and Roundheads would be great for Prussians, Swedes, Brandenburgers, Prussians and assorted European style mercenaries for Poles and Muscovites!


  2. richard

    I found the official Online Store for By Fire & Sword and they charge $75.-… a little too far beyond what I feel comfortable to spend for a rule book… a pitty really


  3. My BF&S rule/source book arrived today. £29.3 from Wayland.
    It is humongous large and really lavishly illustrated with pics and photos – 420 odd pages. Best first impression of a wargaming book in all my 48 years…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m going to get that film trilogy if you fancy fourteen hours of Polish Commonwealth anti Ukranian eastern bloc film montage. I’ll send for the rules tonight and dust down my Turks😜


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