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L’art de la Guerre and “necessary” swearing! 

With only two weeks to the Godendag slugfest, the denizens of Firestorm Games come together to introduce Wargames grandfather Mike ‘ the Brief’ Lane to L’art de la Guerre.  With bow armed cavalry being the Cardiff troop type of choice it was time to see if we understood how to use them……Judge for yourself!

Younger gamers look away. Mike has collected this lot over many years. He tells us that many haven’t seen daylight for ten years. It’s to be hoped that L’art de la Guerre continues to rescue such collections from the darkness of the spareroom. We were playing a classic game of Patrician Rome against the remnants of Attila’s hordes.

James and I ‘commanded’ the Huns. Two commands of eight light horse superior should keep up the arrow storm on both flanks. A command of Heruks gave us some solid combat troops. Our reserve would include three elite heavy Hun cavalry.

The glory days of the Legions are over. Mike had an infantry centre of medium swordsmen auxilia. Would they stand up to battle in the open? They should hold up against the Hun light horse but the heavies?

Mike Lane positioned an ally Alan command on his right. I was confident that my wing could beat the old Patrician Michael to the hill on the flank? After consultation with Mr X, the Romans and Alans were to ignore the flanking massif.

In classic nomadic horse archer style I thought to envelope the Alans. However, my ally had other ideas!
Being outnumbered by the Roman horse archers ( fielded as cavalry), James decided that the best course of action would be to enter into a close range archery duel. Similarly, the fading Empire called in six units of Visigoths from Southern France. James had four units of Herul heavy cavalry. The only option of course was to send our Heruls to seek glory against the effette proto-Frenchmen.

In glorious synchronicity, Heruls fell from their horses as Huns slumped in their saddles. Our only hope lay in stalling the advance of the Roman infantry in the centre. Could our heavy archers roll up the Alans!?

The light cavalry nearly broke the Roman centre. The archery from our Huns nearly broke the Alans. Mike Lane tried the “drop the six on the model tree” trick, followed by the “slide the dice over the back of your hand sideswipe”. Is anything beneath this old veteran? But wait a minute, who is this by our camp?

It was time to call a draw ( before we lost!). The Hun general made an ignominious retreat.

Lessons learnt? With a missile strong army you need to attack! We also remembered that light horse don’t have a zone of control so protecting flanks is problematic. Should I rebase all my Huns as cavalry in the remaining two weeks? Please send in your advice…………Thanks for reading and a big thanks to Mike Lane for the visit!😭

Filed under: Hobbies

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. Ann

    Pretty collection of miniatures; they certainly do deserve to see the light of day.

    “effette proto-Frenchmen” … lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mark

    Good to see the old 15mm armies out on the table again Mike … always a difficult army to play with is the Hun.

    Godendag has also got me rebasing an army that is 30 years old – an magnificent feast of Humbrol paint and gloss varnish – dug up from the depth of my gaming cupboard. It was originally put together and based to play Newbury Fast Play … Oh yes, if ever there was a set of rules that was exactly to opposite of its title, that was it.

    Watch out for it in all it’s newly based glory in a couple of weekends time … I’ve even managed to match my old painting style to create new Generals and a new camp. LadG … the rules set that just keeps on giving.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d quite forgotten the Humbrol headaches of my twenties! Mikes model dwarf pumpkin head Ottomans in gloss varnish- now that was a man’s army!


  4. mark

    I also have the Mike’s Models gloss Ottomans …. I have even fielded it relatively recently in FoGR competitions. But i believe Steve Hacker may even have a Mike’s Models Knight of St.John army … now that, is a ‘real man’s army’ … credit where credit is due.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mark

    PS: a Tin Soldier 15mm cartoon Hellenistic army is just about the only thing I can think of that might top the MM KstJ but you … dear reader … might know differently!!!! NB: does anybody actually still have a Tin Soldier 15mm Hellenistic army they play with? It is probably a collectors item … like Hinton Hunts or similar (or not)


    • Don’t you mention Tin Soldier Hellenistics I sold my army to David Lowrie for fifty pence a base😢😿😢😿😰😭😂😨😿😢😫😖😣😂😨👬


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