David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Plugging a gap in the line

Earlier in the week I popped over to Phil's OHQ for another run through our 'rules in development' for the 1914-15 period of The Great War. As I mentioned in an earlier post I've dabbled in this area of the war twice before with Phil: once in 15mm with three Minifigs armies and once in 20mm with Britannia Miniatures figures. In the 1980's I even had a set of rules for 1914-15 published {The Great War 1914-15 oddly enough} which might even be in publication somewhere or other still. Phil and I also wrote a set of rules for the period which featured in an earlier copy of Wargames Illustrated {The Guns of August} while I also wrote a series of seven articles for the magazine based on recreating historical scenarios from the early days of the war on the table top. I remember one of them being bought spectacularly to the table top at an Alumwell Show by Dave Page and his small Kinver group of gamers. Phil has recorded our game, by the way, over on his Blog News From the Front {see sidebar link} so I'll just post a few camera phone shots I took during the game here to give a flavour of the action.
South Staffords occupy the villa while the Royal Scots Fusileers hold the flank

The South Staffords dig in

The Royal Scots Fusileers guard the right flank near the factory

The Gordon Highlanders move forward on the exposed left flank

In support of L Battery, the Royal Horse Artillery

Cavalry deploy in advance of the main defensive line

The 17th Lancers engage the enemy's Uhlans to defend L Battery

In a stiff fight the Uhlans are driven off and the distant German battery overrun

And a supporting infantry regiment taken prisoner

In the end the Hun are little trouble. Time for tea I think...

We think the rules are developing nicely now to provide the size and nature of game we want to play. The Great War can be a little overwhelming when it comes to the tabletop if you let it. We are aiming at Brigade sized actions in the early months of the war, brought to the tabletop battlefield on a table sized no more than 7' x 4', probably the size most gamers have access to. As we both enjoy painting 28mm figures, that determines the scale of the game, and the wonderful range from Great War Miniatures provides most of the figures needed, although other ranges are available ~ Wargames Foundry, Musketeer Miniatures, Mutton Chop, Old Glory come to mind readily. Infantry battalions are represented by 10 bases of figures, each 50 x 40mm, including a command base and a machine gun company, while cavalry are represented in 6 or 8 figure squadrons on bases to suit tastes about 50 x 50mm in our case. Artillery are on bases 50 x 80mm and have two models to a battery, with limbers and the like being optional. Brigade and army commands are based on appropriate sized round bases. More news of the rules in due course as they say.
On a different front Phil was kind enough to rebase some ancient terrain pieces for me and I've been working on one this week. As it stands right now this is how it looks ~

Its an old Ian Weekley Battleground item with columns from Coritani I think. The mosaic patterns I downloaded after a web search and resized for use on the model. I will add extra groundwork, static grass and clump vegetation to give it a more worn look. Probably I'll also was the tiles and walls with a dirty colour to tone it down a tad too. Pop back to see it in all its glory next week some time. Now, as they might have said in August one hundred years ago, "Here we go, Cheerio, Toodle Oo, Goodbyeee..." until the next time.


  1. Nice bit of rules history there and jolly decent pics to boot, like the last one, how very British. A well won victory, let's hope the French have not left your flank in the air;-)
    You have made a splendid job on Ruinus Maximus, look forward to seeing it on our next game.

    1. The French? They are probably retreating {or surrendering} as I type ;~)
      The ruin is finished now.

  2. Wonderful terrain and figures.

    1. Thanks Dean we are both glad you like our game.