2019 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

My Confessions of a Megalomaniac were my 2019 aspirations. How did I do?


Summary of the Year

I was pleased by 2019. Chris, Adam, Jamie and I have agreed to play at least one game a fortnight and, more or less, this is working out. So we continue to play a decent number of games, although not all of them make it to the site. There was also quite a lot of creativity – writing rules, making terrain, and researching history.

The surprise of the year was Tilly’s Very Bad Day. The Thirty Years War was number 12 on the likely list for 2019, but jumped to number 1. Crossfire was still strong this year but less than I expected. The Italian Wars was number 4 on my aspiration list for 2019 and made it to number 3. My daughter’s school project (Motte and Bailey Castle) took position number 4 but wasn’t even on the list at the beginning of the year. And then there was some other stuff.

Megalomaniac 2019

Megalomaniac 2019

But there were a few projects / periods that didn’t see any action this year. My big disappointment is that Deep Battle didn’t appear. This is my draft set of rules for the Operational level of war. It was number 3 on my aspiration list for 2019. Maybe 2020.

This is my megalomaniac aspirations from the start of 2019 and how I did on each:

  1. All >> Wargaming >> Any but mostly Crossfire, Big Base DBA/HOTT, and Operational [Good, not great]
  2. WW2 >> Ruins of Stalingrad >> Crossfire [Some progress]
  3. WW2 >> Operational / 2nd Kharkov >> TBD [Oh no!]
  4. Italian Wars >> Italian Wars >> DBA-RRR [Fair progress]
  5. Portuguese Colonial War >> Portuguese Colonial War >> Fogo Cruzado / Crossfire [Oh no!]
  6. New World >> Conquistadores >> New World DBA [Oh no!]
  7. New World >> Portuguese Explorers >> New World DBA [Bit of thinking done]
  8. WW2 >> Soviet Tank Riders >> Crossfire [Oh no!]
  9. Peninsular War >> Albuera >> Volley & Bayonet [Oh no!]
  10. Liberators >> Sipe Sipe (1815) >> TBD [Oh no!]
  11. Biblical >> Battle of Kadesh >> Big Base DBA [On no!]
  12. Thirty Years War >> Thirty Years War >> TBD [Surprise!]
  13. Arab-Israeli Wars >> 1967 Arab-Israeli War >> Crossfire [Oh no!]

And an honourable mention of the Rugby World Cup. New Zealand came third (sigh) but the last games of the competition were fantastic to watch regardless of who won.


#1 Tilly’s Very Bad Day and Thirty Years War

Tilly’s Very Bad Day caught me by surprise. I’ve been looking for a set of rules for the Thirty Years War for ages. And I was half expecting to write a set. But it was surprising to find myself, one night after a dinner party, drafting them.

The rules keep evolving and you can Download the latest version of Tilly’s Very Bad Day here. Thanks to Richard (doctorphalanx) for promoting Tilly’s Very Bad Day. The download pages has been visited 1,820 times. Of course that doesn’t mean downloaded let alone played. But if even 10% of of player download and play them I think I’ve done well.

Writing the rules encouraged me to look at some historical material. In particular, I had a look at William Guthrie on Tilly’s Big Tercios. Guthrie rightly has his critics, but until I find something more on Tilly’s Big Brigade.

Guthrie - 2000 man Catholic League Tercio with 1000 man Imperialist Tercio

Guthrie – 2000 man Catholic League Tercio with 1000 man Imperialist Tercio

I also refreshed my Painting Guide for the Thirty Years War by creating specific ones for: Generals, Imperialist, Spanish, and Swedish.

30YW-784 - Spanish - Pike and Shot

30YW-784 – Spanish – Pike and Shot

Initial drafts of the rules gave the defender a big advantage in terrain placement, so I came up Terrain Cards – Random terrain placement for pick up wargames. This is an idea from Peter of Grid based wargaming – but not always.

Terrain cards - Example - Real Cards

Terrain cards – Example – Real Cards

Musing:

I do like the way the bases look. They do have the potential, at least, of being mini-dioramas. This is most obvious with my dragoons.

30YW-801 - Catholic - Dragoons

30YW-801 – Catholic – Dragoons

Games, scenarios and battle reports:

I like the way the games look as well.

Tilly-473 See-saw infantry battle - Right

Tilly-473 See-saw infantry battle – Right

Tilly-667 Swedish centre

Tilly-667 Swedish centre

Finally, some other folk have got interested in Tilly’s Very Bad Day. Notably Richard (doctorphalanx) who already has 19 posts on Tilly’s Very Bad Day.


#2 Crossfire

Crossfire is still my go to game.

Stalingrad

We played a couple of games of Stephen Phenow’s 2019 World Wide Stalingrad Campaign for Crossfire. I didn’t post everything but here what got onto the site:

Stalingrad-Day-1 463 T-34 lurk behind railway station

Stalingrad-Day-1 463 T-34 lurk behind railway station

Burma

Pick up game in Burma – A Crossfire Battle Report

Burma 52 Table - from Japanese centre left

Burma 52 Table – from Japanese centre left

Guest Contributors

Brett Simpson is still my biggest contributor. Brett, after 2 years, Reflected on Crossfire in the Pacific.

Brett Simpson explained how he makes bamboo groves. I’ve bought the stuff. I haven’t done anything with it. Ooops.

BS2A-05 Japanese HQ

BS2A-05 Japanese HQ

Brett also contributed Marston Airfield – A Crossfire Battle Report in the Pacific. I love Brett’s tables. And his photography is inspiring. It all looks amazing.

Airfield-04 Japanese Company Command

Airfield-04 Japanese Company Command

Brett also sent through Assault at Walkers Creek – Mac’s Crossfire Missions in the Pacific. I’m pleased to see other people playing Mac’s Crossfire Missions.

MMP2-02 Type 95 Ha-Gō Light Tanks

MMP2-02 Type 95 Ha-Gō Light Tanks

Chuck Noland sent through Eye of the Tiger – A Crossfire Battle Report.

CN-Tiger-6 German armour sticks to roads

CN-Tiger-6 German armour sticks to roads

Bruce Stewart sent through Kiwis in Italy – Two Crossfire Battle Reports

BS 16 marder reveals itself

BS 16 Marder reveals itself in Italy

And finally Andrew Fisher adapted a couple of my Eastern Front scenarios to the Polish Campaign of 1939. He didn’t go for tried and tested scenarios, he went for one’s that were frankly draft. So it was great to see them tried out.

Terrain

I was a bit active on Crossfire Terrain.

Home made Burmese Pagoda for 14th Army

Burmese Pagoda 78 Finished including flocking

Burmese Pagoda 78 Finished including flocking

Home made cemetery in 15mm

Homemade cemetery 416

Homemade cemetery 416

Making boulder and rock fields for Crossfire

Rocks24 Portuguese Cacadore in the rock field

Rocks24 Portuguese Cacadore in the rock field

What to use for Crests in Crossfire – Part 2

Crests2 61 Russians behind 8 inch crest

Crests2 61 Russians behind 8 inch crest

Crossfire Musing

I also did a bit of musing:

Crossfire Forum

Finally the Yahoo groups is dead. Long live groups.io for Crossfire Discussion. With financial help from the community I arranged to move the material from the yahoo discussion forum to Crossfire WWII at groups.io

Crossfire WWII Cover Image Cropped

I also took over ownership of the Crossfire Miniatures Game Facebook Group.


#3 Italian Wars and DBA-RRR

The Italian Wars was number 4 on my aspiration list for 2019 and made it to slot 3. So I tried out DBA-RRR to see how they fit with the Italian Wars

For a start I realised that, because the army lists change regularly throughout the wars, one of us suggesting the date for a pick up battle was prone to bias. So I created a random system for Choosing a date for a DBA-RRR game in the Italian Wars and hence the army lists.

Choosing a date for a DBA-RRR game - Option Counters

Choosing a date for a DBA-RRR game – Option Counters

We also need a way to Construct 24 element armies for DBA and DBA-RRR i.e. double size. The DBA-RRR lists are quite generous and just doubling produced unhistoric results.

Constructing 24 element armies for DBA and DBA-RRR

Constructing 24 element armies for DBA and DBA-RRR

A few of the Italian Wars battle involve field fortifications. So I made a ditch and bank for the Italian Wars

Ditch and Bank 43 Swiss attacking Spanish camp

Ditch and Bank 43 Swiss attacking Spanish camp

On the historical front I looked at three battles:

Tragically that only resulted in one battle report: 1529 French v Spanish – A 24 Element DBA-RRR Battle Report. We played other games but they didn’t make it to the website.

DBA-RRR-484 French centre

DBA-RRR-484 French centre


#4 Dana’s Castle Project

Much to my surprise a solid fortnight of my year was spent on Dana’s Year 7 Castle Assignment – Lütjenburg Castle in 1:150th scale. A really great father-daughter effort. And a nice result. The model is still on display in the school’s board room.

Year 7 Castle 2338 Find plan of Castle

Year 7 Castle 2338 Find plan of Castle

Year 7 Castle 3311 Dana painting the stream

Year 7 Castle 3311 Dana painting the stream

Year 7 Castle 3323 Keep Motte Moat and bridge

Year 7 Castle 3323 Keep Motte Moat and bridge

Year 7 Castle 3331 Castle from the Keep

Year 7 Castle 3331 Castle from the Keep

Year 7 Castle 3333 Castle from the gate

Year 7 Castle 3333 Castle from the gate


Minor Projects

Peninsular War and 2 by 2 Napoleonics

Review of 2 by 2 Napoleonics Rules
2 by 2 Napoleonics – A battle report
2 by 2 Napoleonics – Questions following our play test

2x2Nap-93 End Game - from side

2x2Nap-93 End Game – from side

DBA and HOTT and Triumph

DBA 3 – Improving the Simulation – Some Comments

BBDBA Hundred Years War English Archers

BBDBA Hundred Years War English Archers

Big Base Triumph in the Punic Wars.

Triumph-18 Romans close with Libyans

Triumph-18 Romans close with Libyans

I am surprised that we didn’t play any Arthurian HoTT this year. I like my conception of gritty Dark Age Arthurian.

I am also surprised we didn’t play any Biblical.

Portuguese Explorers

Portuguese Explorers was number 7 on my aspiration list for 2019.

Armies and enemies of the Portuguese in Africa 1415-1670

15mm Wargaming Figures for Malay and/or Sinhalese

3 comments to 2019 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

  • Richard

    Hi Steven

    Thanks for the mentions. I really must start actually playing TVBD but now I’m waiting for your next iteration…

    I’m just writing my own annual roundup but am more excited by the prospect of outlining my projects for next year.

    Wishing you and yours a merry Yule and a happy New Year.

    Richard

  • Jonathan Yuengling

    I love it all, but the cemetery and castle are great. May 2020 be just as good.

Leave a Reply to Richard Cancel reply