Snakes and Ladders Campaign for Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Tilly's Very Bad Day - 30 Years War - Snakes And Ladders Campaign

Peter of Grid based wargaming has sparked some interest in using the children’s board game Snakes and Ladders as the basis for a wargaming Campaign. The snakes become tribulations and the ladders are campaign successes. So I have made up a board for a Tilly’s Very Bad Day Snakes and Ladders campaign based on Peter’s board for the 18th Century.

There is no skill in playing this campaign system as, like the children’s board game, random dice rolls lead to success. If you are lucky, you will win. For me this makes a Snakes and Ladders Campaign most suited

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Jesús Dapenas paints a Spanish FT-17 for service in the Rif

FT-17 Tank Number 8 - Cipris Turtle Mascot - 24

Jesús Dapena has continued his interest in Renault FT-17 Tanks in the Rif War by building a 1/16th model of a FT-17. He has painted it to represent Lieutenant Cipriano Briz (“Uncle Cipri”) tank, in the Rif War. Jesús shared his ideas and photos, and gave me permission to post them here. All words are Jesús’s.

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S140 Dominant Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 2

Tilly-54a Table

Jamie and I thought we’d have another go at S140 Dominant Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario. Our first play test was a blast and we both had ideas for how to play it differently. Once again Jamie was Saxons as the Red Army and I was Imperialists as the Blue Army. Tilly’s Very Bad Day of course.

Summary: Another great game. Five game turns. 1.5 hours game time. Tense and gritty, with a decisive result. We will play it again.

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S140 Dominant Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Battle Report 1

Tilly-35 The battlefield

Roger Calderbank play tested my S140 Dominant Hill – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Scenario and gave it a thumbs up, so I thought I’d have a go. Jamie came over and took Saxons as the Red Army and I took Imperialists as the Blue Army. Tilly’s Very Bad Day of course.

Summary: A great game. Six game turns. 1.5 hours game time. Seemed balanced but ended in a decisive result. We will play it again.

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Planning my Cool Ruins for Crossfiregrad and Ponyri Station

Warbases Stalingrad Building A-150-B2

I have lots of ruins already, but I’ve mentioned “cool ruins” a couple of times over the last couple of years. Most recently in my 2021 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian where I planned to “Buy, build, paint more 3″ x 3″ sectors so I can play both Crossfiregrad and Ponyri Station solely with cool ruins”. So what do I mean by “cool” Ruins? Well Ruins that look the best in my collection (i.e. commercial MDF structures that I’ve enhanced) and that are 3″ sectors. I don’t have enough. I want more of them, lots more of

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2021 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian


2020 was a good year for wargaming projects and I thought I should lay out my plans for 2021. Crazy megalomaniac plans, of course.

As usual I’ve done a brain dump of my active projects, i.e. those all projects that are more or less “in progress”. No off the wall fantasy here. They are all active but I have to admit that some of them are on a slow burn. A very slow burn. So I’ve split the list into parts: likely in 2021, unlikely, and background activity. You get to have a say in the priority order –

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I found a new Dulux paint for Dark Sand

Dark Sand - Vallejo to Dulux

Back in 2014 I started using Dulux Paints for Wargaming Bases and Terrain. Dulux paints are house paints and much, much cheaper than modelling paints like Tamiya and Vallejo. And I use a lot of paint on bases and terrain so saving money was a big incentive. But the last couple of times I’ve been to the Dulux shop they said “Sorry we don’t have 23YY48254 Medium W45 / RAL1001 any more.” This is the Dulux equivalent of Vallejo (123) 70.847 Dark Sand, a colour essential for flocking my bases. Oh, no. Disaster.

The good news is I’ve found

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2020 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac 2020

My Confessions of a Megalomaniac were my 2020 aspirations. How did I do? Not too shabby I reckon, despite “the Virus”.

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Bishenpur, Potsangbam and Ningthoukhong – Gurkhas on the Imphal Plain 1944

Fighting at Potsangbam 12 May 1944 Square

Bishenpur is a large village on the Tiddim Road on the western edge of the Logtak Lake in the Imphal basin. In the three battles fought at Bishenpur the Japanese 33 Division battered itself to destruction against 17 Indian Light Division. This was all part of climatic finish of the Battle of Imphal. For this post I focus on the conflict in the plains, near the road and in the villages (Bishenpur, Potsangbam and Ningthoukhong), so gloss over the actions on the Silchar track and on the roadblock at Torbung. Although other nationalities are involved, the infantry in 17 Division

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WW2 Painting Guide: Anglo-Indian Tanks in Burma

Tac Signs for Stevens Anglo-Indian Tanks in Burma v2

I have already chosen my Anglo-Indian tanks in Burma and now I need a painting Guide for them. My guide is customised for the vehicles I want. If you want something wider in scope then I can recommend two invaluable sources for Anglo-Indian tanks in Burma, both by Mark Davies; British & Indian Armoured Units Of the Burma Campaign: A Painting Guide (V1.8) and his excellent series on the 14th Army on his Jemina Fawr website (lots of links below). I have used both for my own guide.

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Musing on Unmounted Cavalrymen in Tilly’s Very Bad Day

von Essen 2000 Lion from the North - Vol 2

I was just reading Michael Fredholm von Essen’s latest book on the Swedish army of the Thirty Years War (Von Essen, 2000), and it seems the Swedes sometimes had unmounted cavalrymen. Not dismounted, unmounted, i.e. they were horsemen without horses. Naturally I started pondering how to simulate these men in Tilly’s Very Bad Day.

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Commandos in the 14th Army in Burma

Scraggy Hill (known to the Japanese as Ito Hill) on the Shenam Pass, captured by the 4:10th Gurkhas

Commandos in the 14th Army. Yup. Commandos in Burma. What is that about? Some infantry units of the 14th army had commando platoons and/or companies. These are not the British Commandos formed to fight in occupied Europe. They were something else. The question is, what where they? Who were they? What were they for?

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Choosing my Anglo-Indian tanks for Burma

9th Deccan Horse - British commander and Indian crew encounter elephant near Meiktila

My British and Gurkha infantry in Burma will need some armoured support. Of course Shermans and Stuarts appeared in Burma, as they did everywhere. But Lee tanks did well in Burma and, unlike other theatres, were in service until 1945. And for armoured car support I’m going for the Daimler. Where possible I’m opting for Sikh units just so these vehicles are obviously different to the same vehicles fighting in other theatres – that Sikh turban (‘Puggaree’) will stand out. However, in Burma, the Lee tank was reserved for British units. This post covers my options and my choices.

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1760 British vs French in India – Turbans and Tricornes Test Game 2

India-2212 French Centre (Sepoys and Irish)

Chris (British) and Steven (French) fought another unnamed battle from the 3rd Carnatic War (1756-63) (Seven Years War in India). We were using Adam’s home baked rules and figures, with jungles and fortifications provided by Steven. Once again the disciplined troops – European and Sepoy – showed their dominance over the lesser trained locals. All subsequent words are Adam’s.

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Sinhalese and Tamil New World DBA Army List

Codice Casanatense Sinhalese Warriors - left

Sinhalese and Tamil (1494-1700) army list for New World DBA, my New World variant of DBA. The list covers the Sinhalese and Tamil kingdoms of Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka). Admittedly most of my information is about the Sinhalese and I assume the Tamil were similar. The New World DBA list is my equivalent to DBA II/42d, DBR III/21 and FoGR Hindu Indian, but differs from these in significant ways.

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