Summary: Much better game. The shield wall clash was realistic but took too long to resolve. Battles on the wings were interesting and had an impact in the
Vincent Tsao and I have been playing around with a version of Twilight of the Sun King for the early medieval period in Britain. I started with a rewrite of my original 2001 version of Twilight of the Sun King and incorporated ideas from Vincent’s Battle of Hastings variant. The result is called “Twilight of the Britons: Fast play rules for the English invasion of Britain”. I got Adam and Chris to give an early draft a go. So early I’d only written the rules that day, so isn’t wasn’t so good.
Summary: Too much dark age shield wall stodge. Not enough heroics. But a glimmer of hope for the rules.
I’ve shared some DBA Arthurian Campaigns based on Martin Smith’s “Arthurian campaign” article in Slingshot (Smith, 2021), itself based on Kaptain Kobold’s solo HoTT campaign (Dux Bellorum). Both Martin and the Kaptain give solo opportunities so I thought I’d share how to use my campaigns in solo mode. You can play a solo variant of the campaign, like Kaptain Kobold. Or you can play a multi-player campaign with the table top battles fought solo, like Martin Smith (2021). Both options are presented here.
In my pile of lead I have two, count them, two battalions for the 14th Army in the Burma Campaign. One Welsh. One Gurkha. So I figured I needed a painting guide. Luckily most of the troops in the 14th army wore the same kit. Same with the Chindits. Whether the early redyed Khaki Drill (KD) or custom Jungle Green (JG) the troops in 1943-45 wore “grey-green” which was, once in combat, far more grey than green. Recommendations are for Vallejo Model Color although I occasionally mention alternatives using Humbrol paints.
I’m indebted to the various wargamers that have gone done this journey of exploration before me, particularly Mark Davies (aka Jemima Fawr), Doms Decals, Mick in Switzerland, and Paul Scrivens-Smith (AKA scrivs).
So I have written yet another DBA Arthurian Campaign, but this time using the Skodbac concept. Like The Bear Exalted, this campaign is set in 518-537 AD, the most likely time period for a historical Arthur.
Being 518 AD, the Roman legions are long gone and the barbarians – Angles, Saxons, and Scots-Irish – are established on the soil of Britannia. The Picts remain troublesome neighbours, and the Gewissei are the enemy within. But the Romano-British kingdoms (Dumnonia, Powys, Hen Ogledd) and their Celtic people (Kymry), continue to fight back.
It is 518 AD. The Roman legions are long gone and the barbarians – Angles, Saxons, and Scots-Irish – are established on the soil of Britannia. The Picts remain troublesome neighbours, and the Gewissei are the enemy within. But the Celtic people (Kymry) of the Romano-British kingdoms continue to fight back.
I have written two DBA Arthurian Campaigns based on Martin Smith’s “Arthurian campaign” article in Slingshot (Smith, 2021), itself based on Kaptain Kobold’s solo HoTT campaign (Dux Bellorum). The first was The Legions Have Gone (420-439). This is the second campaign. It is called “The Bear Exalted” and is set in 518-537 AD, the most likely time period for a historical Arthur. The campaign name, “The Bear Exalted”, is based on the title Arthwyr, a possible, if dubious, old Welsh origin of the name Arthur.
It is 420 AD. The Roman legions left 10 years ago and the barbarians are pounding at the doors. The Angles, Saxons, and Scots-Irish all want a piece of Britannia. The Picts and un-Romanised Welsh are also troublesome neighbours. But the Romano-British kingdoms are fighting back with a combination of ex-Roman troops and men fighting in native styles.
I have written two DBA Arthurian Campaigns based on Martin Smith’s “Arthurian campaign” article in Slingshot (Smith, 2021), itself based on Kaptain Kobold’s solo HoTT campaign (Dux Bellorum). This campaign is “The Legions have Gone” and is set in 420-439 AD. The campaign assumes Arthur existed, was early 5th century, and led Roman troops.
I like the Arthurian setting. I like Campaigns. I like DBA and HoTT Campaigns because they are relatively simple and quick. I’ve played a few games of Arthurian HoTT. I’ve run Britannia 600 AD as a HoTT campaign for six players, although it can be used for DBA. I like the idea of gritty dark age DBA games. A recent article by Martin Smith on his “Arthurian Campaign” for DBA got me thinking about campaigns in this period again. The question is, what to do? How can I improve on previous efforts? What does an even better Arthurian campaign look like? And what army lists to use?
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 to, units in other theatres.
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.
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. I’ve called my version “Populous, Rich, and Rebellious”.
Brett Simpson got me inspired to write Tilly’s Very Bad Day and he has kindly been play testing them as the rules evolved. Brett’s interest is the English Civil War so, nominally at least, these play tests are for that war not the Thirty Years War. He has shared three play tests with me over the last couple of weeks.
I’ve been on the hunt for a set of wargaming rules for the Thirty Years War for a couple of decades. The hunt has taken so long that I’ve ended up writing my own. I’ve called the rules “Tilly’s Very Bad Day” in memory of the Battle of Rain (15 April 1632) where Field Marshal Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, got hit by a Swedish cannonball. He, of course, subsequently died. I’d like to thank Brett Simpson for the inspiration to undertake the project and for play testing from the first draft.
Jamie couldn’t make it to our regular meet up, so Adam brought along his fresh off the painting blocks figures for the Burma Campaign and I set up a pick up game that I thought would be interesting. Japanese Imperial Army and British 14th Army. Adam doesn’t yet have enough figures for Mac’s Missions in Burma, so this is a fairly small game in Crossfire terms.
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.