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Wargaming with the great warbow

Gerald of Wales, a churchman and scholar of mixed Norman and Welsh parentage was accompanying Baldwin, the Archbishop of Canterbury on a preaching tour of Wales to drum up support for the Third Crusade and wrote of the men of Gwent,

“The bows they use are not of horn, nor of sapwood, nor yet of yew. The Welsh carve their bows out of dwarf elm- trees in the forest. They are nothing much to look at, nor even rubbed smooth, but left in a rough and unpolished state. Still, they are firm and strong. You could not only shoot far with them, but also they are powerful enough to inflict serious wounds in a close fight.”

…..inflicting serious wounds from afar!

How could I resist giving my longbowmen some special treatment. Unhappy with the quite uninspiring performance of longbows in L’art de la Guerre ( too many heavily armoured knights), I decided to rebase for Simon Miller’s totally addictive To the Strongest.

Flags of Saints George, Edmund and Edward

Eight units of longbowmen for roughly 1350- 1450 were produced. Most are from Gladiator with two bases of Damion’s Donnington New Era. I think all those games of Field of Glory are having an effect on me; every unit gets a standard!

What Agincourt army could be complete without a bevy of heroes!???

The sheer volume of firepower from massed archers is well reflected in To the Strongest by the option to shoot twice in a bound and each each veteran unit gets eight shots! Enough to dent any French Lord martial ardour!

And speaking of the French: two light infantry units with handguns

Much has been written about whether the longbow could have held up against early firearms? Was the English love of football responsible for the lack of time in the archery butts? Three bases of Tudor archers completes this week’s projects.

I feel another army has started! But no flags🤫

Not a bad haul for a week’s work but I hadn’t finished. Those stars at Terrain crate are producers of ready painted items and with minimal extra work we have an objective for SAGA.

It’s been such a mad week in this news and I’m reminded of the old Welsh saying, “ if you keep prodding a bear, don’t be surprised when he bites……“

Apologies to our French readers🤭You did win the Hundred Year’s War after all!
Have a great weekend!

Miguel Sanchez

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Wargaming the great divide!

I started wargaming before the first GW space marine landed! I was at least in my late twenties when Total War wiped away pencil and paper campaigns! I fear that my painting time will now diminish now that I’ve wrestled away my laptop from my eldest son and was able to download Field of Glory Medieval Two for a little over ten pounds.

A new time sink beckons!

Not only did I have my laptop back but I also had time on my hands. The current wife has developed Covid and wasn’t too impressed with my Valentines gift of an iron! What’s a man to do! Play wargames that’s what!

Quite a reaction!

With my new found financial precaution I only bought the basic download but YouTube’s Medieval Wargamer has already got me salivating for more. My first game was Anglo- Irish versus the natives. Right up my street for my pro- Norman sympathies!

The graphics are astounding and more importantly instant!
I was playing on a quite standard laptop but the quality was easily up to the best analogue minis and these ones now actually fight!
The Anglo- Norman knights chased the Irish chieftain off the field ….
It was hard fought but the invader’s spears and longbows settled the combat
I’m hooked!

Well there you have it ; our central dilemma. For ten pounds or nine dollars ( US) the novice gamer has everything that the older gamer has sweated years for. And, you have regular online tourneys and computer referees! My own painting efforts got me thinking…

Medieval longbowmen
Each block is a unit for L’art de la Guerre or two blocks for To the Strongest!
I do love painting but……

The FoG gameplay can get a little repetitive but it wins hands down for accessibility. Tabletop games are very much more personal but Jeffe James of the Norfolk Dice Studz was keen to relate just how friendly the online community is.

Houston we have a problem!

I’d be interested in hearing what the community thinks about both FoG on the computer versus the tabletop. I don’t really think I’d ever give up the lead but I’ve now found Blitzkrieg on Steam and that brings back memories of classic WW2 games and my Flames of War armies haven’t been out of their boxes for literally years.

The future?
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Wargaming in the land of bones

Present day Afghanistan may pride itself that it never has been conquered but two thousand three hundred years ago Alexander the Great held the area and left a legacy. After suffering some of the worst defeats of his entire career, Alexander transformed his army and one feature of that was elite light cavalry that became more than a match for the native insurgents.

Casting room miniatures

The javelin armed light horse gain an impact advantage against bow armed raiders in hand to hand combat, if they can catch them! These are Castingroom miniatures from Wargames Foundry.

Contrast paints are great to get vivid colours onto the metal!
Four units for L’art de la Guerre

I chickened out of doing anything intricate on the robes. I just went for the brightest colours available .

Just the Bactrian companions, three elephants and a pike block to complete the army for our Successors tourney!
Planning for our April Feudal competition proceeds apace but can you guess the title????
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Wargaming with Condottiero

Can miniatures that you have bought ever be as loved as those you have painted yourself? Britain’s Deetail range were my favourite. One toy soldier a week. The newsagent’s shop window filled with rank upon rank of miniature heroes! They were the days.

Endless days of fun!

Alas the collection was all sent to the local orphanage many moons ago. I never tire of reminding my father that his prize possessions will face a similar fate in the years to come! Am I bitter after forty years? You know I still am! But, how does a grown man still feel the attachment? That’s a whole other post and one my current wife would be interested to read.

My favourites ( predictably)

Twenty odd years ago Darren Matthews painted many 15mm Italian Wars figures for me and it was their rebasing that got me thinking. They have been in my possession for so long that I do not even consider their provenance unless asked. They are part of “ my” collection and I would never part eith them.

Too many stripes for me to paint
Generals for sale
Milanese chîck
Papal command

I can see why people do get very touchy about the subject. I always ask tourney players whether they paint their own minis and the replies are often illuminating. I seem to fall into the “ all these minis are mine- whether I painted them or not” category! I don’t think it cheating to collect the work of others and it also gives me something to aim at. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on collecting ? Would an army painted by another ever be yours? At least the basing is mine I guess….

Dice Studz attend the “ Truck off Trudeau” support meet in January!
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Godendag 2022: Wargaming at Danger level zero

Even the night before the competition, I had my doubts whether Godendag 2022 would be a success. Would the resolve of the sixty odd players hold? Would ( prime🤣) minister Dripford change the regulations once more? On the morning of the event, I need not have feared. The Field of Glory were already set up and the To the Strongest tourney was almost through their first game. But, the L‘art de la Guerre boots don’t start till they’ve had at least one McDonalds breakfast!

We had a range of armies and the standard of paintwork has just gone from strength to strength!

Umpire and West Country Dice Stud : Andy “ Tory- boy” Unwin- known for his firm but unfounded rulings!

Gordon Malcolm – Hannibal in Italy, Steve Price- Selukid, Edward Ashley Glew Galatian madmen, Andrew Whitby- Archie Medes Persians, Mark Clarke- Hannibal in Birmingham, Don McHugh- Alexander the Great, Keith Mcglynn- Selukid cheese, Andrew Unwin- Hurri Mitani ffs! Richard ‘generosity’ Walker- Selukid, Chris Jackson🧸Republican/Repugnant Romans, me – Bacterial Greeks, mark fry- Early Carthage, Mike Shephard- Pergammon.

Mark Fry’s Carthage tank battalion
Don’s exquisite Indians- Newline Designs and winners of best painted!

Many thanks to all those who made Godendag 2022 such a laugh! Congratulations to our winners!
First: Mark Clarke
Second: Steve Price
Third: Richard Walker
Fourth: Andrew Unwin
Fifth: Chris Jackson !!!!!
Sixth Andrew Whitby
Seventh Don McHugh ( best painter)
Eighth: Edward Ashley Glew
Ninth Keith McGlynn
Tenth: Mike Shepard
Eleventh: Mark Fry ( Bravery)
Twelfth ; Gordon Malcolm ( Best Scot)

Bravery award!!!
Steve Price’s Alexandrian

Hopefully the tinpot dictators will be back in their box next year. Our thanks to all those who made Godendag such a memorable weekend; we look forward to an even bigger and inclusive 2023!

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Godendag 2022 sweet inspiration from To the Strongest

What a weekend! We had threats of lockdown, border embargoes, limits on attendees and strictures on eating food! On the day we even had to track down a sixty year old who vaulted a covid safety rail! Such were and are the issues of gaming in 2022! Still we did manage three game systems on the weekend; L’art de la Guerre, Field of Glory and To the Strongest. And, it was this last set of rules that got me thinking about recruiting younger ( i.e. those under thirty) into the hobby. The ideal set for a demonstration game at the forthcoming Firestorm gaming day perhaps?

Visually To the Strongest is a real head turner especially here in 28mm. Dice stud Eddie will soon be trialling a live stream of said system.
Units are easy to handle and big bases protect the minis from rough handling to some extent.
The rules are simple but really exciting. You hit on a 6 when in combat and an 8 when shooting. Everything else is factored into easy to remember saving throws!
The games should last about an hour. The TTS competition managed I think to get four games in on Saturday?
Hopefully we can show that modelling can be a big attraction to our hobby! Above is a samurai camp!
If we had one team member per side we could get four new recruits each game.
No measuring on a grid!
If they ever watched Bruce Forsyth’s “ Play your cards right” then 70s fun is back with a new spin in 2022!
My pick would be to start with the Fall of Rome. We all have minis and the period has a certain dark charm for the Lord of the Rings generation.

Anyway thanks for reading. Please have your comments ready for the February High Council meeting when the Jeffe can decide. More plans discussed on the weekend were a DBA competition in the Summer. Again, a potential good recruiting sergeant? Our thanks to all the TTS players who attended and put on such a brilliant, inspiring display.

L’art de la Guerre results and photo dump this week!
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Wargaming the Madness!

How difficult can organising a wargames competition be? Well, the answer would be,” not too difficult”, were we not in the last week of Covid panic. But we have three tournaments running, the prizes are bought and we are full steam ahead to next Saturday!

Competitors to confirm identity upon arrival!

I was so inspired by last Friday’s game of To the Strongest, I spent Saturday afternoon rebasing my French medieval knights. The knights are the ephemeral Rank and File minis that were available via Foundry many, many years ago. Still, I like them and they now have a new lease of life! Longbowmen to follow!

Into the arrow storm
Shields makes them before 1400 but good for procuring too! A knight is a knight ?
The rest of the host!
I do like these quite slender but detailed minis!
Good old Essex minis make up the men- at- arms or genre d’armas!
Six knights bases and three men at arms.

The list checking for Godendag was finished but for two amendments that I need to follow up. The runners and riders for Godendag 28mm adlg will be my next post. I even had time to work out my own army, Bactrian Greeks. I’m honoured to be borrowing some of Martin’s figures for this competition but not that many it would appear. In my new spirit of “ chipping away” at projects, “ a little but often”, my only task are some Persian style light horse.

Easily finished in five days; Phil Mackie would be proud, painting in the last week before a tourney!

The 2022 life guide is paying dividends! The hobby room floor is looking a lot better! the finished figure count is healthy and a competition weekend is approaching! Life is good( ish) again!

Cardiff Dice Studz specialise in “ necessary” encouragement. Do not read Jessamyn!

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Wargaming greats!

What do you want from your wargame? Sometimes you want an intricate simulation of history and sometimes you need, at the end of the week, a mad- cap free for all and that’s what you get with Simon Miller’s “ To the Strongest”.

Now let’s put our cards on the table here( see what I did there, TrS is not intended to be arcane lore driven rules for the librarian. You play on a grid, in this case for 15mm , which is marked in 10cm boxes. This gets rid of all tedious measuring and angle prevarication. Within ten minutes, it was soldiers on table and we were away.

Some difficulty experienced by mask wearer!

I would be leading the French of 1460 attempting to rest Naples away from the Iberians. I had the best horse in Europe and they would sweep up Fernado’s flank.

The crème de la crème!

However, I was taking a risk with just one other command. The Duc de Suffolk led far two many Franc archers or “ chicken killers” as they were so unkindly called. I had emptied the royal coffers though and purchased the most modern artillery…

The French nearest the camera.

The Neopolitans had feudal knights on their right, mass skirmishing sword and buckler men in the centre, and the mercenary knights on the left. The fraudulent knights also benefited from “ heroes” in the units that enable refills to hit.

The cannon boomed and the Neopolitans surged forward!
My large infantry command were less than impressed, refusing to move before disaster struck…
Boom- the cannons blew up!!!!!!!!!!
The answer was to charge blindly at the Neopolitan horse without support fro either knights or longbow men!!!!!
The King’s followers don’t follow!

The French King smashed through one enemy unit before a bloody big cannonball did for old Charles! Obviously Spanish gunners are better made!!!

A swirling melee ensued as the French knights sought to seek revenge and repute…
A sneaky French flank attack levelled the score!
But, it was the Neopolitan condottiere who stole the day! Over a ridge and through the raw French bows..
The mercenaries went straight through the organ gun batteries and into the French camp. It was all over!

It had been a great two hours. Despite losing, you cannot help but enjoy this system. Simon Miller is “ 75%” finished with the new Renaissance version of his rules and I for one cannot wait! Two months and all my 15mm miniatures will be based for this innovative and exciting rule set.

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Renaissance at Warfare and Roll Call

Bob Medcraft, friend to Cardiff Dice Studz and all round nice guy, is after your thoughts on the following two tournament themes. The rules system is Field of Glory Renaissance.

Warfare Wargames Competition

The options were: –

Option 1 – Wars in North America & Caribbean 1622-1700,
Colonial Spanish,
Colonial Dutch,
Colonial English,
Colonial French,
Eastern Woodland Culture,
Plains Culture,
Pacific North West Culture,
Pueblo Culture,
South Eastern Woodland Culture,
English West Indies Expedition, 

Option 2 – Armies of Asia, Africa and America, between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn 1500 – 1644: –  

Muslim Indian, Hindu Indian, Indonesian or Malaccan; Thai, Burmese and Khmer; Vietnamese; Horn of Africa; Hawaiian; Mughal; Aztec; Tlaxcalan, Huaxtec or Otomi; Tarascan; Zapotec or Mixtec; Chinatec; Mayan; Inca; Mapuche or Araucanian; Tupi; Amazonian Forest Tribes; Chichimec; Western Sudanese; Central African; Central Sudanese; West African Forest; Mossi. (European Allies allowed – no more than 4 BG’s)

Option 3 – Last Trumpet of the Elephants, Southern Asia 1650-1698
Minimum of 4 Elephant bases, no more than 16 bases of Superior Battle troops

Vietnamese (May have Khmer allies)
Thai Burmese and Khmer (May have Portuguese allies)
Indonesian or Malaccan (must be an option that has Elephants),(may have Dutch allies if Johor Sultanate)
Hindu Indian (May have Dutch allies if Sinhalese Kingdom)
Muslim Indian

If I do not receive more views by the end of the month a theme will be chosen by Bob!

Roll Call

Tim Porter has asked whether we want a two day competition at Roll Call. Bob reminded him that in the past Roll Call was our 25mm 650 points competition. If you are interested can you let him know either by email or on the Slitherine Forum.


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2022 To the Strongest

It was November when I last ventured near the painting table. After two years of lockdown, I wasn’t feeling the love. Christmas bled into New Year and progress there was none. It was time to go back to basics, and follow my oft tried but never copyrighted “ guide to getting back into doing something constructive.”

The challenge ahead!

I find it helps if you can try and do something. Nothing too big, just so that tomorrow you are not in exactly the same mess that you are today! I started by just seeing what miniatures I had in the trays on the “ to do” list. Literally twenty minutes was the start to the process of recovery!

Don’t overdo it! If twenty minutes is all you can do then you have learned something about the state you are in!

I still wasn’t in the mood to tackle painting but basing is always easier. PVA glue was night two, with each evening after that devoted to highlighting and tufts.

It was working; I went from “ can’t be bothered” to looking forward to the next stage!

By the end of the week, I had some tangible evidence that I was moving forward. Twenty minutes had become forty minutes a night and in total three hour hobbytime had put me in a better place.

Franc archers or the more impolite “ chicken killers”
Some more warlike than others! A suspect case of a self inflicted wound!
French arquebusiers!
Italian firepower!
The premier regiments of the French army started like this “ grande bands”

So it had been a good week and I no longer get a sinking feeling when I enter the hobby room. Your hobby should be uplifting and not another drag. More good news this weekend when the protesters ( rioters) who tore down the Colston statue in Bristol were found “innocent“.

Good job the police were there to see that the innocent could lower the statue down gently!

This now of course means that the Dice Studz protest against communism that occurred on the sixth of January “ now it’s our turn’” commemoration should be re- evaluated by the authorities. Spraying Diet Coke over the International Brigade statue in the Temple of Peace is not a crime. What fate Spain if the Stalinists had won in 36 aided by these dupes? We wait with interest to see how our case develops?

Justice for the Diet Coke two!