Category: Gunpowder Warfare

Black powder guns from arquebus to flintlock musket. I have chosen to start this period with the discovery of the New World (1492) and end it with the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855).
Sub-categories: New World, Italian Wars, Eighty Years’ War, Thirty Wars’ War, War of Spanish Succession, Napoleonic Wars, Liberators, Liberal Wars, Carlist Wars, New Zealand Wars.


Review of 2 by 2 Napoleonics Rules

2 by 2 Napoleonics Logo v3

I recently discovered 2 by 2 Napleonics by Rod Humble, John Rigsby and Eric Sprague. They are simple but elegant way of representing corps level actions with units as either brigades or regiments. Here is an overview of the rules and my take on them.

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Making a ditch and bank for the Italian Wars

Ditch and Bank 43 Swiss attacking Spanish camp

The Spanish surprised their French and Swiss opponents in the Italian Wars by putting arquebusiers behind a ditch and bank. So I thought I should make one. Or, more accurately, make some modular sections of ditch and bank so I can make any shape of fortifications. The modular features are using my Big Bases for use with Big Base DBA and DBA-RRR.

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Choosing a date for a DBA-RRR game in the Italian Wars

DBA-RRR Army List Logo

DBA-RRR has lots of army lists for the Italian Wars. I can field all the variations so the question is, which army lists will we use for each game. In our recent games we have arbitrarily chosen a date and that has given us the army lists. One night I went for 1512 (Battle of Ravenna) and another night Adam chose 1525 (Battle of Pavia).

I’d like to systematise the choice, preferably using a die roll or cards. So in this post I do a bit of analysis on the battles in the Italian Wars and line them up

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Armies and enemies of the Portuguese in Africa 1415-1670

1670-79 Kongo - Soldiers - Ezio Bassani

Armies and enemies of the Portuguese in Africa 1415-1670 This review of warfare focuses on south central Africa, from what is Angola (west central Africa) today to Mozambique (south-east Africa). This area is what the Portuguese referred to as a the Pink Map during the Scramble for Africa although I do a small diversion to Ethiopia. The review is not complete but I figured I should publish it as is and refine over time. This is the period before the Scramble for Africa, the early period of the Portuguese explorers – the period some historians call Medieval Africa.

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15mm Wargaming Figures for Malay and/or Sinhalese

Grumpy MAL01 Chieftain or officer

I have a long term interest in the Portuguese colonial exploration. Amongst a sea of possibilities, two locations stand out for me: Malacca on the Malaya peninsular and Sri Lanka. So I wondered what 15mm Wargaming Figures are available for Malay and/or Sinhalese. It happens that most people use the same figures for both so I can imagine a combined force that mixes the figure options. So here are the options and a bit of a commentary / comparison at the end.

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2019 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac

So here we are. 2019. My inner megalomaniac is as crazy as ever. I’ve talked about my recent successes in 2018 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian. Now it is time for the overly ambitious, world conquering even, list of what I’d like to get done this year.

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2018 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac 2018

Continuing my Megalomaniac tendencies, this is my reflection on 2018 and how I did against my world conquering goals. Check out my 2018 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian for my overly ambitious aspirations.

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Darkest Waikato: New Zealand Wars variant for In the Heart of Africa

Darkest Waikato

In 2003 Martin Craig sent me his Heart of Africa (Foundry) variant called Darkest Waikato. In hindsight I wish I’d published them on my site back then. But, in the principle that is it never too late to rectify old mistakes, I’m posting them now. All words are by Martin and the rules are copyright by Martin. You can download the rules as a PDF.

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Top 20 Pages on Balagan

Balagan Site Stats

I started this blog on 21 Feb 2001 and then Migrated Balagan to WordPress on 15 Sep 2013. So, roughly 4.5 years ago. One of the great things about WordPress, compared to the hand crafted HTML site I had before, is that I get statistics on page views. Apparently I’ve had 1,176,779 views since I migrated and 1,125 comments. My biggest day (23 Feb 2018) brought 2,420 views – this was because Reddit got hold of my Academy of Street Fighting: Tactics during the Battle of Stalingrad post. Today is a typical day with 750 views.

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15mm Wargaming Figures to use for Samurai armies of the Sengoku period 1467-1603

Museum Miniatures sm01 Samurai Kawanakajima Swords

The fact that the Portuguese were in Japan is sufficient excuse for me to consider getting Samurai armies for the the Sengoku period. I thought I’d look at what 15mm figures are available. I found five ranges of figures available and one set of transfers/decals for Sashimono banners. Before I do a (brief) review of the figures I explain what is distinctive about the period I’m interested in.

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My Wishlist for DBA-RRR Big Base Italian War

Italian Wars 47 Existing Figures

You have gathered from my recent posts on the Reformatted DBA-RRR Spanish Army Lists and Reformatted DBA-RRR French Army List that I’m currently keen on DBA-RRR and the Italian Wars (1494-1559 AD). I started this project 20 years ago when I commissioned the Spanish from a professional painting company. I got the Spanish infantry back but I never saw my Spanish cavalry figures or the money again.

It has taken two decades to get over the shock but I’m having another go. I’m repurposing what figures I have for big bases and filling in the gaps. Of course I’m

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Reformatted DBA-RRR French Army List (Italian Wars 1494-1559 AD)

DBA-RRR Army List Logo

Following my reformatting of the DBA-RRR army list for the Spanish, I’m now doing their main opponents … the French of the the Italian Wars. The aim is to: (1) more closely match the style of other DBx army lists; (2) to understand them better with a view to perhaps tweaking them in the future; (3) know what to buy/build/paint.

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Reformatted DBA-RRR Spanish Army Lists (Italian Wars 1494-1558 AD)

DBA-RRR Army List Logo

Tony Aguilar’s DBA-RRR, for DBA Extension rules for Renaissance, Reformation and Restoration 1500-1700, look promising for playing the Italian Wars. Aguilar provides army lists to accompany the rules, based on those for DBR, but I have some gripes with the formatting. In this post I reformat the DBA-RRR Spanish Army Lists (1494-1558 AD) to more closely match the style of other DBx lists. I admit it also helped me internalise the lists – understand them better – with a view to perhaps tweaking them in the future.

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2018 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac

My inner megalomaniac is back. This post is a follow on from my 2017 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian. The previous post was a retrospective of the last 23 months, which means pointing out my successes. This post is the (overly ambitious) list of what I’d like to get done in the coming year. It is the more embarrassing part. The confession. Bear in mind these are more or less active projects.

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2017 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac 2017

I have noticed that my The Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian of 2015 was literally a confession, describing my overly inflated ambitions and incomplete projects. But the 2016 edition was more a reflection on my progress against those goals. It has been a 23 months since the 2016 edition and it is time to revisit. But I’m going to split the reflection aspect from the confessions bit. So this is my reflection on the 23 months from the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2017.

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