Category: Country

I am fascinated by military history and in particular the history of Spain and Portugal. But with my connections to New Zealand and Israel I’ve also acquired an interest in the wars of those nations as well.


14th Army Battalion – Order of Battle in Crossfire

14th Army - Recoloured

I’ve got both a Welsh and a Gurkha battalion planned for the Burma Campaign. So I thought I should get a clear idea of their order of battle for Crossfire. Information is scarce, particularly for the Gurkhas. George Forty, in his “The British Army Handbook, 1939-1945”, lumps all British and Commonwealth battalions, in all theatres, together under a single order of battle. This corresponds well with the Crossfire rules themselves, which have a single organisation for a “Great Britain: Leg Infantry Battalion (1939-’45)”. However, I have found the British and Commonwealth formations in Burma were similar to, but not identical

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ANZACs in Vietnam – Steven’s Wargaming Project

When I was a kid, New Zealand troops were still fighting in Vietnam. I knew we had engineers, artillery and SAS over there. What I only realised recently is we also had infantry fighting alongside the Aussies. In fact New Zealand contributed one or two companies to an ANZAC battalion from May 1967 to Nov 1971. That is enough national connection for me, and I instantly started collecting figures for a new wargaming project. For Crossfire of course.

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Planning my New Zealand Carriers In Italy for Crossfire

New Zealand Universal Carrier - Rimini, Italy - September 1944

My Kiwis in Italy Project isn’t going well. I still haven’t started painting my the New Zealand infantry of 2 (NZ) Division in Italy. Sigh. But I do continue to make plans. I know I’ve got to do at least one carrier platoon when I finally get around to this. So I want to get my thinking straight about carriers in British / Commonwealth Leg Infantry Battalions and Motor Infantry Battalions. And Crossfire has that silly single APC carries a platoon thing, which is doubly silly for a 4-man universal carrier.

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Download Populous, Rich, and Rebellious – English Civil War Campaign

Populous, Rich, and Rebellious is a campaign game system for the First English Civil War (1642-46) in England and Wales. The campaign assumes Tilly’s Very Bad Day as the tactical rules, although you can any rules that suit you. The campaign uses a simple area based campaign map to drive tactical battles and weaves in a bit of flavour with campaign cards. The first version was a web page, but I thought folk might like a PDF version, hence a download page.

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Lockdown Crossfire – Kiwis in Italy – Two Battle Reports

Lockdown 1-08 storming

Bruce Stewart played through his Lockdown Crossfire – Kiwis in Italy – A Crossfire Scenario twice and shared some narrative and photos from each. Bruce games with 1/56 figures and 1/48 – 1/50 vehicles.

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Lockdown Crossfire – Kiwis in Italy – A Crossfire Scenario

Crossfire Lockdown - Scenario deployment areas

Bruce Stewart, like many of us, has been trying to figure out how to wargame during the Covid-19 lockdown. Bruce’s idea involves video conferencing, a situation from the Band of Brothers, and New Zealand accents. You might recall that last year Bruce sent through a couple of battle reports for Kiwis in the Italian Campaign using Crossfire. Well, there is more of the same here.

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English Civil War Campaign Rules for Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Chris is really keen that we do a Campaign. Every time we play Tilly’s Very Bad Day he mentions this. So here it is. At least here are the rules. Unexpectedly I’ve chosen the English Civil War as the setting for the campaign, but only because I’m following the lead of Peter of Grid based wargaming – but not always. Peter’s ECW campaign system uses a simple area based campaign map to drive tactical battles and weaves in a bit of flavour along the way. Exactly what I’m looking for, but I feel obliged to change some things, of course.

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Portuguese Painting Guide for the Portuguese Colonial War

Caçadores - Painting Guide for Portuguese Colonial War

This is both a uniform guide and a painting guide for the Portuguese Colonial War. It covers all of the Portuguese forces. It is an update of an earlier post, primarily adding a graphic on painting ‘french’ camouflage.

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How to get a paper copy of Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Tilly's Very Bad Day - Printed Book - Lulu

Tilly’s Very Bad Day is available free for Download (PDF). Some some people will want a paper copy. Here are three options: print and staple; print and bind; lulu print on demand.

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Four Player Big Battle Big Base Triumph in the Punic Wars

Triumph-295 Iberians form battle line in woods

We played Big Base Triumph in the Punic Wars – liked the Triumph rules but thought some of the troop types sucked. To really challenge ourselves and test out that impression, we played another, bigger, game with Iberians on the table in force. So “Light foot” for both Scutarii and Caetrati and “Javelin Cavalry” for Roman, Numidian, Carthaginian, big shield Iberians, and small shield Iberians. I felt, somehow, I was about to rub salt in the wounds. Of course this is Punic Wars.

Summary: Romans (Chris, Adam) beat Allied Carthaginian (Jamie) and Iberians (Steven)

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Small Fleurus – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 1

Tilly-192 Protestant left wing

Chris and Adam played my Small Fleurus Scenario. This was, of course Tilly’s Very Bad Day, and was played before I published Version 2.

Summary: Spanish won. Scenario was too challenging for inferior Protestant Paladins. But potential for a good game with tweaks.

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Version 2 of Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Tilly's Very Bad Day Logo

We’ve been playing Tilly’s Very Bad Day for a few months now and I think it is time for some substantive changes – a version 2. This post describes the changes.

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Battle of Nieuport 2 July 1600

Nickle Figure 1 - Dutch formation - Battle of Nieuport - Hexham Part II diagram between pp 21 and 22

The Battle of Nieuport (2 July 1600), also known as the Battle of the Dunes, was one of the few open field battles of the Eighty Years War, and the Dutch beat the Spanish. At that time anybody beating the Spanish was a surprise. I have reproduced Barry Nickle’s (1975) account of the 1600 campaign including the Battle of Nieuport. Then I’ve supplemented with some other sources, including Henry Hexham (1641).

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Small Fleurus – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario

This scenario represents the Battle of Fleurus (29 Aug 1622) using Tilly’s Very Bad Day. Historically the Spanish defeated the Protestant Paladins Mansfeld and Brunswick, and destroyed the Protestant infantry, but did not prevent the Protestant horse from reaching the Dutch. Given the number of troops involved in the real battle, this is a small game on a small table with small armies (in numbers of units).

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Rafa “Archiduque” paints Minairons’s Spanish Civil War Figures

Archiduque 6 - Mando Miliciano

Every now and then I have a chat with Rafa, aka “Archiduque”, from Rafa “Archiduque” Miniatures Painting Studio. He got in touch recently and, after our chat, I had a look at his blog. Specifically his Spanish Civil War Gallery. Wow.

Rafa has kindly let me post some of his work here. Amazing. Have a look.

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