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Great turning points of history

Can one middle aged man’s performance in a West Country wargame Show justifiably be called a major turning point of history? Could two wargame victories even be compared to the 1812 victory over Napoleon or the rescue of the B.F.G. from France via Dunkirk? Well if you add asked me if wargaming history was to be made last Sunday, then I must admit, I would have called you a liar. As I awoke in the spare bedroom of my host, how was I to know that the BHGS ADLG rankings would be set on fire with the news from Devizes……

Above, the BHGS ADLG rankings being set on fire last Sunday!

As  we arrived that morning,  I surveyed the scene. Not since the Nazi-Soviet pact had two foes been forced to be civil. Chris Rottweiler Jackson would be playing Colin “the hollow shell of a man” Cavanagh. To my left, wargames legend Tim the Porter (no relation) would “play’ Andy ‘ I will not be ignored’ Unwin. The atmosphere was electric, if indeed electricity has been discovered in these parts.

My third game would be against Richard the silent assassin with his feudal Germans. You know that you are in trouble when your opponent covers his side of the table with ambush markers. To add to the air of mystery, Richard’s allied Leidang were on the table in plain light of day? Realising my mistakes of yesterday, I decided to attack with my elite Knights on the left, with mu elite almoghavar cleaver weilders through the rough on the right. If a flank March did arrive, then my crossbowmen could shower them with bolts.

To my great surprise a plan of mine actually worked. My Knights skewered the Viking allies. A flank March did arrive behind my almoghavars but they were already the other side of a steep hill and a plantation.

You might just be able to see how Richard marks his losses. Even my Moslem spearmen excelled by destroying the German proto-pike blocks. One game left and the human train wreck that is Mr X was full of confidence. There was a slight atmosphere at luncheon at the mention of the Cavanagh game but still that Bagpuss like grin held to Chris Jackson’s face. He thought I was easy pickings……

As the mighty Swiss allies went to pounce on my crossbowmen and camp, my almoghavars screamed out of the undergrowth, “despertaferres indeed!”. The Italian Condotta hirelings charged my lines but their general was unhorsed in combat, whilst my gallant spearmen stoutly defended and then broke the charge. Used to poker games with violent individuals, I suppressed my desire to explode with delight! Try and guess which one I am in the photos below!

It had been a superb weekend. My thanks to Philip Mackie for the tournament. My thanks to the eventual winner Tim Porter for the organisation. Not that rankings are important, I include a results table. I forgot who was second๐Ÿ˜ก

Thanks for reading, a great summer awaits!

Filed under: Ancients wargaming, L'art de la guerre, Uncategorized

About the Author

Posted by

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. Colin C

    Why oh why do I think of you as friend!! You muck about with my camp tents! You post obviously photo shopped pictures of me so that my Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson body looks more like John Goodman and then you don’t even mention my crushing victory over the dark lord of ADLG Andy Unwin! Who coincidently is as we speak sprinkly newly bought glitter on his army, cause like they say you can’t polish a turd but you can spread glitter on it :-0

    Colin ‘Runner Up’ Cavanagh

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mark

    Yes – I did indeed witness a certain A.Unwin esquire blatantly flaunt all the various phials of multi-colored body-glitter he’d purchased from furtive dealers at the show (openly, & in public I might add) in front of two grown men (well me & Colin) in a highly provocative manner, yer ‘onour.
    However, i doubt that even such cheap and gaudy elven tricks will hide the true nature of his Bhindi-bhargee Greeks or do anything about his appalling ability to throw anything but 1’s on a D6.

    DATES! I need dates, cried the Arab in the market … come on Mike don’t be such a tease!

    As for the Xmas event … sadly her-in-doors had holiday brochures scattered across the sitting room floor when I Skyped her earlier this evening from my work prison-camp hotel in London. She is already planning a 10 day culinary walking holiday in the Western Ghats over Xmas … so that is heat, spicy food and excessive exercise … which if any of you know my current state of health is a sure sign that she has her eye on my corporate death-in-service & measly pension fund!

    Glad to hear that El Squid has finally got his act in gear Mike – did you tie him dead to his horse like in that epic movie? It certainly got old Charlton Heston a decisive victory.

    I am looking forward to Cardiff LadG (or is it ADLG or GLaD) event (but please don’t clash with my annual 6mm Cold War excessive over-doing it event in Cester on the 16th/17th/18th Sept (as I’ve already pre-paid my hotel room & the hire car).
    But can I use my SS Tiger Company please @ Cardiff LaDG? (although I had heard that all European wargames armies are going to have to be sent back to their manufacturers as a result of Brexit!).

    I am looking forward to the new Star Trek movie (Beyonce) next weekend – what with me being an unreformed trekky & all

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love having literate contributors but remember Colin has to have this read to him! First weekend of December is what we are looking at for Virtus, last weekend of January for Godenbags. Just waiting for confirmation from Firestorm Carpets and Colin’s mum….๐Ÿ˜œ ( she does worry so!)


  3. Colin C

    3rd/4th December Firestorm Carpet Warhouse
    25mm 200pts pre 1040 (So no Knights)

    That was what was agreed at weekend and I’m not letting back out of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mark

    PS: those feudal germans looked remarkably close to 20mm in size Mike, did you get him the sign a disclaimer that he wouldn’t come after you for bullying?

    Also apologies for using the Roman spelling of Chester … my classical training occasionally slips through this thinly veiled ‘man of the people’ disguise

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just because a man is a little, incey wincy bit larger than other men, is he not a brother too? Honestly, you akadeemiks is so quick to judge!


  5. Mark

    Wonderful Colin – thanks – I knew I could count on there being one gentleman west of the Seven estuary. I will scribe it on the House Calendar in Mithril to avoid any chance of a mishap and there’s plenty of time to get a new army up & running.
    Maybe that Burmese with 6 elite Elephants & 3 allied Siamese Elephants that has recently taken my fancy …. but perhaps it will just have to be Hussites (just for a larf you understand)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Colin C

      Sorry to disappoint but I’m East of the Seven! There’s no gentlemen in the West since Ron James moved this side of the water

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elephant warwagons? They must be in one of the lists! And if they aren’t, they will be when I write the official Despertaferres LARPing amendments…….


      • Mark

        Yes – I do feel that Hussite’s are hard done by in the LadG lists Mike. Surely a wagon pulled by 4 horses but with a crew of 20 fanatical Czechs wielding sharpened sticks, clubs, flails, halberds, billhooks, axes and swords, singing psalms and shooting at you with crossbows, a few bows and a load of handguns and light artillery pieces deserves to be classified as ‘Elite’ … what have the frenchies that wrote the LadG lists got against Hussites is what I ask!

        PS: there was a medieval German emperor that had a warwagon pulled by an elephant … I have a picture somewhere & will send it into you for publishing … but only if I get a Blue-peter badge for my efforts

        Liked by 1 person

      • Now that is a project! Weren’t the Franks given the original white elephant!? Now just think what Colin could do with that, now that he has finished his tents!๐Ÿ™€


  6. Mark

    Oh bugger … just re-read your post … pre 1040 … so no Serbs, no Hussites, no Burmese, no SS Tiger Company! So it looks like it might have to be my Romans again. Or I could go large & adventurous and use my Sertorian Spanish … now there’s a thought (not a sensible one but it is a thought).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bring something hairy ( and I don’t mean Keith McGlynn! I’m a shade off finishing my Late Romans I.e. They are mostly under Coated! Can’t wait to “draw” against Steve! If only I had six weeks without any marking or preparation to do๐Ÿ˜œ


  7. Who’s Ron James??
    Nothing like a back handed compliment to make you feel loved!
    December date in my diary, and likewise looking for something new to bring after the stunningly ill conceived LC Hun army of last year. Glad to hear no
    Knights ๐Ÿค“

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Colin C

    New Army for me too! Either AngloSaxons with unreliable Welsh Allies ( Their Welsh so bound to be unreliable) or Carolingians

    Liked by 1 person

      • Colin C

        Yes another example of their unreliability! There’s me with actual Welsh Granparent and you kot recruit a bunch of mercenaries!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Mark

    What about a Welsh army Colin … think of the fun you could have deliberately making it run away or turn its flank to the enemy, or starting off-table in a flank march and never coming on ๐Ÿ™‚

    And before anybody shouts at me I have 3 welsh grandparents – one of whom captained Wales & Glamorgan rugby teams during the late 1930s and traceable welsh ancestry back to 1069 – with an ancestral Gronow (my middle name – all eldest son get it – which is why I deliberately only fathered daughters) buried in a north Welsh churchyard. North Welsh being the only proper welsh in the village (look-you).

    NB: I think I can just field the Burmese … but need to confirm whether we are using the Russian or Greek orthodox calendar to establish the proscribed dates?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. My Vikings are almost done! But already I want to paint something different for this. Thinking of going back to my first love….Macedonians???

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that’s a man’s army! I could be tempted to put on a Wars of the Successors tourney on if you paint those toys!๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜†


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