Monday, 11 November 2019

A tribute to Stuart Asquith

I appreciate that the passing of Stuart Aasquith is not news, it having had extensive coverage over the past week, but thought I would add my own tribute by posting on my Classic Wargaming blog.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

At the sign of The Prancing Pony...

As I mentioned last time, Steve and I decided to meet up this week for a discussion of 'Fosseway Indie-Fencible' plans for 2020, and beyond.

Yesterday, we gathered in The Cotswolds at The Bell Inn (in Moreton in Marsh) which is reputed to be Tolkien's inspiration for The Prancing Pony Inn at Bree.

Now, I know that, as historical wargamers, many readers will be pretending not to know what I'm talking about, ahem, but I thought some may be interested in the odd photo.

The inevitable blue plaque photots...
above: yours truly
below: Steve.

The most noticeable Tolkien reference is the large wall map in the room we sat in for lunch:

A couple of photos hanging on the walls also allude to the Tolkien connection...

...and of course, I had to have a picture of the bar. I can just see Pippin excitedly rushing up to get a 'pint'!!

We had a very enjoyable lunch (not booked under the name "Underhill"... although I was tempted), and a three hour chat about all things wargaming. 
I'm not sure what the barman, or the other patrons thought of us sitting with notebook, paper and pen, and talking about ideas for our hobby. 
But who cares!

Most importantly, we emerged with what I'm calling Battle-plan 2020.

The fact is, we haven't had much chance to game over the past year or so, but yesterday we were able to identify a few opportunities to play in the year ahead. We've also got a project schedule that allows us to go "off piste" a little, as well as continuing with the Wars of the Vaubarian Succession stuff as our mainstay.

The proliferation of rule sets and 'systems' allowing quick games with around 40-50 figures per side has not gone unnoticed by these Fencibles, and it was agreed that every now and again, a painting blitz might be used to produce something game-able very quickly, allowing us to tame the butterflies rather than always fighting them off.

Already I'm looking forward to getting more table time in 2020.
And that will spur the painting on too.

Bring it on...

Monday, 28 October 2019

A Show, Gaming, and a Book

Well, the last couple of months have to be the busiest on record for me, but that's no excuse for not writing up the Battle of The Elbaubach which we conducted at The Cotswold Open Day on 1st September. So, my apologies.

Having said that, others have already covered the day, with ample reports and pictures (including many of our game), so I have very little to add ... And it does rather seem a bit late now anyway!
Suffice to say, Steve and I had a good day, we won a prize for the painted armies (presented by the esteemed Stuart Asquith), and the game got played to a conclusion twice through.
Well done to Keith Flint who put on a good show. And thanks to those who attended and showed an interest in our project. We will, hopefully, return next year, perhaps with a more 'participation-style' game... Although even for this year I didn't actually get to play in the game, so insistent were visitors to the table that they should take command! Following set up, my foray into the village to obtain sustenance in the form of bacon rolls, saw me return to a battle in full swing!
It was good to see the forces laid out on the tabletop though.

Above and below, Steve and Keith go at it in the second game.

Above: death ride of the Vaubarian Cuirassiers Vogts.

More recently, Dianne and I were out for a quick bite one evening at our local hostelry, The Saracen's Head in Balsall Common. One of the quirks of the establishment is that they bring the bill to you inserted in an old book... Various titles are used, at random, from classic literature to all manner of encyclopaedic tomes. On this occasion, flicking through the pages, I found some of the chapter headings enticing, and then realised it was a book by Peter Young, from 1958. I asked if I could purchase the book, and the manager offered it for free, in return for a positive tripadvisor review. Result!

This coming week, Steve and I have called a General Meeting of The Fosseway Indie-Fencibles, to address the coming year, projects we fancy doing, where we take The Wars of the Vaubarian Succession, and other such wargamery. The reality is that we're meeting up for a chin wag.
We've chosen a new venue, with the sort of connotations readers of this blog might appreciate. It's a pub in Moreton in the Marsh which apparently was the inspiration for Tolkien's "Prancing Pony". Seems apt. Looking forward to it.

Friday, 30 August 2019

The Battle of The Elbaubach

…  homage to The Battle of the River Elbow by David Barnes which was published in The Wargamer’s Newsletter in the 1970s.
This is the game Steve and I are playing at The Cotswold Wargames Day in Northleach on Sunday.

The Emperor of Astrovia and The Elector of Vaubaria are at odds, as the famous saying goes, so little introduction is needed. A balanced Vaubarian force of horse, foot and guns, under The Markgraf Karl von Orff, has been despatched into the disputed territory of Mundania which nestles between the competing states. 

Below: Markgraf Karl von Orff, commander of Vaubarian forces.

Here is the map of the disputed territory of Mundania, which is squeezed between the Electorate of Vaubaria (to its west), and the Astrovian Empire (to its east).

Only major features are shown on the map, including the capital of Mundania, Krisdeburg. The rest of this region is a patchwork of small hills, farms, hamlets, villages, woods, copses, rivers and  streams - perfect wargaming territory in fact!
Approaching The Elbaubach from the north, having made a wide sweeping move northward on entering Mundania, the Markgraf finds himself facing a similarly sized Astrovian force under the command of Reichsgrafen von Schwarzenatter arriving south of the river.
Whoever can command the crossing, will win the day.

The Markgraf Karl von Orff has with him the following Vaubarian force:
IR1 - The Leibgarde
IR2 - Regiment Dremel
IR3 - Regiment Breitner

Dismounted Dragoon regiment Muller
Vogts Cuirassiers
Podolski Hussars

2 Field Guns

For the Astrovians, Reichsgrafen von Schwarzenatter is in command of the following force:

IR1 - Frankl
IR2 - Schrodinger
IR3 - Grenadiers Mahler
Light Infantry: Karavani Croats
Klammer Kuirassiers
Czardas Hussars

2 Field Guns

Steve and I are very much looking forward to the showdown, and to meeting a few blog readers who may have made the journey to the Cotswolds. 

A report on the action will be forthcoming sometime next week.
Full details of The Cotswold Wargames Day can be found here:

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

The Battle of The River Elbow

A while ago, Steve and I discussed a scenario which would suit our needs for the Cotswold wargames Day being organised by Keith Flint for this coming weekend.
We needed something that was appropriate for just a few units per side, and that looked sufficiently interesting in terms of terrain to give the armies a good 'run out'.

We settled upon an old favourite... The River Elbow, originally published as an article in The Wargamer's Newsletter c 1979, by David Barnes. The lovely sketches accompanying the original article are just so very special too.
Our game will be loosely based on this one, and I'll come to that in a future blog post.
For now, here is the original article.

Friday, 23 August 2019

More Hussars

For the upcoming Cotswolds Wargaming Day, I needed a unit of Astrovian light cavalry to even up the sides, and so set about doing a speedy paint job on these chaps... The Astrovian Czardas Hussars.

The motto on the flag actually comes from a 16th century Landsknecht motto, "semper in excretum, sed sole profundum variat." Translates as, "Always in the sh*t, it's just the depth that varies." This seems particularly appropriate for this unit of vagabonds, rascals, and ne'er-do-wells.
A spokesman for the regiment has refuted claims that the motto in some way refers to their brown uniforms.
Talking of which, whereas with the VaubarianPodolski Hussars featured a while ago, I left the pelisses off, for this unit, I decided to include the standard flamboyant hussar dress. Students of Astrovian military history will, of course, be familiar with the fact that this unit was the first to wear the fur lined attire, which led to the creation of the regimental march, "Fur Pelisse" composed by one Peter Von Hoven (aka Pete Hoven)... Are you groaning yet?!

Coming soon, the build up to next weekend's game...

Thursday, 1 August 2019


Just to show that it's not all about Journals, sketch maps and coloured crayons around here (see previous post), here is the latest unit off the Astrovian production line:
Astrovian Grenadiers von Mahler.

They are numbered IR3 in the regimental numbering system, but being Grenadiers have a certain business-like and elitist swagger about them.
Figures are Front Rank.
Painted, as are all the infantry in the Astrovian army, using the Army Painter dip, and highlighted. Fairly quick to do.
Flags are hand painted on metal foil.

In addition, I've painted a little vignette piece for the Vaubarian side...
The Vaubarian army marches to war with this cross carried at its head, reputedly made from the tree against which St Sebastian was martyred (Sebastian being the patron saint of the country).

The figure is from Trent Miniatures. I picked it up at Partizan in May whilst chatting to proprietor Duncan MacFarlane at his stand. He allowed me to break up one of his packs, and pay a small price for a single figure, as long as I painted the figure and showed him! So, if you're reading this Mr Mac, here he is...
Lovely figure actually, and I knew exactly what I had in mind as soon as I saw it...
He is accompanied by a Front Rank figure in the uniform of The Leibgarde.

More to come soon...