Friday, 22 August 2014

The Alpha and the Omega of Phil Barker

Having quite recently finished "my first complete run through" of Phil Barker's DBMM new (2010) rule-set (I say first, as I know there will have to be many potentially painful passes before I really get to grips with it), I unexpectedly came across his original Airfix Guide to Ancient Wargaming (1975) book when I was rummaging around in my cluttered garage.

The 1975 book endorsed the WRG (4th Edition) rules. I took the slim,  purple aside over the next few nights and I found it quite informing, stimulating and refreshing, hankering back to an era of fruitful experimentation and "make-do with models and rules". The butchers knife coming out to assemble in a Frankenstein manner new troop types from various boxes of mixed Airfix figures. In reading his chapter on tactics I saw that I have the uncanny knack or is it ability ability to commit every wargame sin under the sun as per one of his diagrams "Ho hum!" (see below):

Reading through DBMM v2, the spirit of the original tome (promoting WRG 4th ed, and I must confess to have never actually played the WRG Ancients rule sets, although I seem to have picked up battered copies out of "collectors interest") still seemed in keeping with his latest. The same refreshingly (to me at least) anti-competition style gaming and more praise for the historical aka Society of he Ancients.

Good reads, both of them, I hope I can get a few more DBMM games this year.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

WW2 US 1/144 aircraft production line

While I was on holiday I settled down to an industrialized production line of US 1/144 aircraft (as well as the 28mm Sparabara). A collection of US Pacific aircraft (see below):

  • Hellcat
  • Aircobra
  • Corsair
  • Warhawk

Cheap and tantalizing enough these Revell mini-kits are perfect to build up into formations of flights of three. Revell also do the Japanese opposition but I have not seen hem in the shops yet.

I will have to did out my "Battle of Britain" Spitfires, Hurricanes, Stukas and Me109s from the sam erange, I remember a bit of a bulk buy I made last year still residing up in the loft

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Persian 28mm Spara Bara

Danger! Danger! Threat of "scale duplication" and a "shiny project" appearing from out of NOWHERE!

Literally "given to me as a present" as the leftover 'spares' from a small Impetus Army from "another wargamer" (with a cunning 'evil master plan' to get me hooked) these SparaBara are a tempting lure to get me disinterested in my 15mm metal Ancients collection and start 'scale spanning' into 25mm plastics.

Naturally I am treating it as a pure academic painting exercise. We will see how long before my resistance breaks and I start planning an "order of battle" (see below):

I took them on a recent family holiday to Norfolk, my night times were pleasantly passed comsuming a nice cold lager or brandy and lemonade, while assembling the Sparabara (see below):

Enough for two units of twelve figures each in Impetus or five double based and a single base in DBMM ;)

The good thing that I like about Impetus armies in 28mm is that it allows each unit to be a diorama exercise in its own right and if far less figure intensive than a DBM or DBMM equivalent army.

So there I have my dilemma, go the scenic Impetus route or the more standard and pragmatic DBMM 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Renaissance Elizabethan Campaign Board Game: Tutorial Testing

Next up, wargaming , the Renaissance period, Elizabethan style courtesy of GMT games and The Virgin Queen (see below):

DBR is the designated rule-set, I sense many battles between the Turks, Spain and England. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

Lest we forget ...


Holiday Haul

My holiday trip to Edinburgh came up trumps on the model front (see below):
  • 1/700 USS Fletcher from Revell
  • Micro Wings US Pacific Planes
  • Valiant British 6 pdr AT gun 

The Valiant kit is nice to go alongside my Valiant British Infantry, plus the option (via their web-site instructions) to make the airborne variant. The 1/144 planes are an easy assemble item and likewise with a bit of care the USS Fletcher comes up as a nice basic kit (see below):

The cream of the crop however was a late addition, the new Airfix Airborne Jeep, including pack 75mm howitzer (see below):

Even better, it has a few extra parts (not in the instructions) which allow the "Airborne Reece Jeep" with a dual Lewis gun mount to be assembled! I cannot for the life of me figure out why this did not make it to the instruction pages! Perhaps it may be missing a little ad-hoc armoured cowling but it is an brilliant addition begging an Arnhem scenario! The US 50 cal and 30 cal HMG/MMG mountings are also nice items that won't stay in the spares box forever ;)

So good in fact I think I will need another ;)

Saturday, 2 August 2014

DBMM: The Die is cast

Following my recent DBMM AAR postings, with clear head and happy heart I can make the following announcement (to myself) ...

After countless sleepless nights lost in deep, deep thought (or should I say months/years stemming back to my first encounter with DBA in 1994) about the "DBx family of rules" I have come to a monumental, nay strategic decision. Well monumental for me at least and strategic because it means no rebasing but still allowing maximum enjoyment in the ancient period of the Wargaming hobby ;)

DBMM (version 2) is  now my official poison of choice. (With the caveat that the figures based for these rules can still be used "with the aid of sabots" for Impetus)

So DBM is dead for me but in all honesty has been for some time (the phrase cutting my losses seems apt here). It was only ever a competition orientated system (IMHO) and evolved slowly into a Byzantine geometry form of participation art rather than a vehicle for historical gaming.

DBA was and still is a seductive alternative (or rather was) but the pragmatics of both learning two 'similar but different' rule systems and remembering the rule differences when playing is just self-defeating. It also has the famous "rule of twelve" that artificially gives battles of "even sized" armies. The smaller DBMM 100, DBMM 200 allows an army to slowly grow in size :)

Please note the above is just a personal choice ;)