Thursday, 31 August 2017

Mini project completed

I managed to round off a mini-project for my Taiping Era armies last night.

As I hinted in an earlier blog posting I had some spare figures and was considering using them for the Ever Victorious Army that defended Shanghai during the Taiping Rebellion. The EVA has a romantic air to it, having been founded by a Yankee soldier of fortune, Frederick Townsend Ward, before being taken over after his death eventually by Charles "Chinese" Gordon. This is the same Gordon who would finally meet his end in Khartoum.

I was not initially going to do the EVA as part of the Taiping project as too much fuss is made about them when compared to the overall size of the Rebellion (bit like the International Brigades in Spain) but as I said I had some odds and ends I could use to start them off. Following the annoyance I experienced with the 1860 Lancashire Games French I wrote about in the same blog above I ditched the over-sized devils, and dashed off a quick order to Mr Kay of Irregular to make up the EVA's numbers..

I'm using Sikhs because of the turbans. They aren't perfect. They shouldn't have an beards, and they needed blanket rolls as well. I added the rolls with a bit of Miliput, and got it on most units, when I remembered, and mostly on the correct shoulders too.

The Sikh artillery crew from Irregular weren't ideal, so I bought Mutineer gunners instead.

The EVA at its peak had 6 battalions, some of which had modern (for the period) Enfield rifles. They were supported by decent quantities of guns which usually proved to be decisive in their encounters with the rebels.

I painted the units in their white summer uniforms, which make a nice contrast with their green turbans and multi coloured blanket rolls. The Officer figures I did in blue. These are a mixture of late 19th century Japanese (which I really like) and ACW Unionist Officers (which I don't).

The flags are fairly authentic, although there is some conjecture involved. The flags we know were green with a red border. Ward's flag just had a big black "W" glyph in the middle and was apparently carried by the 4th battalion even in Gordon's time. Gordon had two of the rectangular flags in similar style, but with a red "G" glyph in a yellow wreath in the middle, and their victories in black Chinese characters. He also had a green dragon banner. That got me flags for 4 units, so I just put on the glyphs for 5 & 6 for the last two.

I painted the gun carriages red, as that was the Chinese way of doing things.

All things considered it isn't a big army, so it'll be interesting to see how they do against the long hairs, probably next Monday. Especially as they usually attack.

Some of the gun crew are in blue, representing European mercenary officers.

This is them in all their glory. I may have too much artillery for them (my 1860 British only have 5 guns in total), but that's a mistake I often make.

And here they are from the other direction.

I think they'll do.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Crimisus Bank Holiday

See what I did there? I set up a refight of the battle of Crimisus on the bank holiday, so I could use a post tile that looks like Christmas Bank Holiday. Yes? No? Oh well, please yourself.

Any how, plucked from the pages of "Lost Battles" again here is a big refight using AMW as has been done on previous Bank Holidays.

The Battle on the River Crimisus took place in in either 341 or 339 BC. It happened during the Carthaginian campaign to take control of the Greek colony of Syracuse on the island of Sicily. A large invasion force was lead by a pair of Generals called Hasdrubal and Hamilar (the Punic leadership was terribly lacking in imagination when choosing names). The Greeks/Syracusans were commanded by the Greek General Timoleon of Corinth.  History would indicate that Timoleon was a general of talent, something that couldn't be said of the Punic Pair.

Whilst we have some reasonable sources for the battle we don't really know where it was fought, so the terrain is speculative and taken from Sabin's book. There was high ground looking down to the River Crimisus, but the plain was cut by minor waterways running down to the river. The accounts indicate that Timoleon's army was heavily outnumbered, and he advanced to take on he invaders against the advice of others. He caught the Carthaginian army as it was crossing the River Crimisus and did okay until the enemy brought up more and more forces. He was then saved by a thunderstorm that blew in from behind him. The rain hammered into the faces of the Carthaginians, giving the Greeks an advantage as their opponents floundered in the mud, blinded by the downpour.

To capture all of this I introduced a few special rules:

1) The Cathaginians start with only their chariots across the river. Each turn the Carthaginian player rolls a d6, and can cross the river with that number of units.
2) Each Carthaginians general gets one dice re-roll each during the game.
3) Timoleon gets one selective re-roll each turn.
4) When the rain arrives at the Umpire's discretion Carthaginians are minus one on combat and morale rolls (subject to a 6 always being a hit/pass)

I also gave Timoleon's army an advantage in quality as well, being Elite/Average, the Carthaginians Average/Levy.

For figures I used a mix of Greeks, Roman Allies, Carthaginians from 2nd Punic War, and Assyrians.

For this game Phil got to be Timoleon. Chris A & I got to play the Cathaginians, although Chris joined us late on, having been held up in traffic.

Here is the set up, with Timoleon to the right. Those chariots always look good.

Phil immediately started by moving his troops wider to stop being outflanked. I rolled a "1" and got some cavalry across the river.

I pushed the chariots up to keep Phil away from the river line to allow me to get my army across.

The chariots look great but they have very big flanks, so my central left hand unit got well taken in the side by some peltasts. The cavalry on the right started to get stuck in. As you can see I got a lot more units over the river this turn. Those infantry are my good stuff, - the Carthaginian "Sacred Bands" and their Libyan supports, - i.e. Punic citizens, mostly, not scruffy mercenaries.

Having seen off the Greek Cavalry near the camera I thought I could pin Phil on the watercourse with my chariots, whilst bringing the cavalry round the flank. In the centre my chariots were getting a hiding, but they had done their job of covering my river crossing.

Over on my left I lost my last chariot unit, and Phil was able to push his cavalry wide.

At the other end of the table I was losing the fight across the river. However, I'd got lots of reserves coming up, including some Gallic Warbands. What could possibly go wrong?

My centre was a bit of a mess, with Timoleon's elite mercenaries carving their way through my Sacred Bands. Phil's second line of hoplites was also closing up to add some weight to the centre.

I pushed up my second line as well. Everyone was engaged all the way along the line, but taking a lot of casualties. The second lines were going to be crucial.

The Generals were also closely involved in the action

Typically for AMW when fights get down to one or two bases the combats can go on for a long time. The chariot on the river line, for example, just sat there, unable to kill or be killed. I'd pushed out a warband to my right, but they hit a unit of hoplites, and were coming off worse. I think by this point we'd introduced the bad weather rule.

The Carthaginian first line was now virtually destroyed, meaning the death of the flower of Punic Manhood. The gaps being opened up were being filled by my second line.

I'd lost a lot of units by now, although not enough to break my army. However, it was time to fire up the BBQ, so I called it a win for Timoleon, and left Phil & Chris in Shedquarters to chew the fat...

...but I clearly shouldn't have left my camera behind.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Biting off more than you can Manchu.

So I know this blog is usually about figure games, but I do play other stuff as well. On my last holiday I met a chap who lives near us who used to play old SPI games and wanted to get back into it. We have been meeting monthly for a while now and he, Gary, has turned up in a few posts. This month it was my turn to host, and I couldn't resist trying out a game I've had on the shelf for a few years.

When I premiered "Taiping Era" at COW several years ago it just so happened that the Strategy & Tactics issue with Rich Berg's game "Manchu" was on the bring and buy. Some one else had picked it up, but based on my offering passed it on to me.

This was published in S&T post SPI, when it was run by World Wide Wargamers, and dates from 1988. Berg has designed some ambitious boardgames (including Campaign for North Africa), but this one is remarkable for a number of reasons both in scope and design concepts.

For example, it has no ZOCs, and the CRT, such as it is, is rather bizarre, using 2D6 in a tens and units fashion. It also has a serious random events table (the "Interesting Times Table or ITT*") and open ended game turns.

A hex is 35 miles, and a turn is a year. The game last 16 turns. It isn't your typical game at all.

We started about 10:30am. Gary played the Imperial Chinese government, and so got to wear the mandarin cap. I'm therefore the Taiping rebels. You can just see the edge of my conical hat on the left.

It's a really colourful game, with each province being a different colour. There's some glare on the picture as I put a sheet of perspex over the map to keep it flat. The Pings start in bottom corner of the map (to the left of the picture, - I'm the four red counters in the yellow province). Peking is in the green province top right. The big blue river across the middle is the Yang-Tse. Shanghai is in the bottom right corner. I therefore start a long way from the centres of civilization. We're several moves in at this point, and neither of us has a game based strategy. I resolved to try and follow the Taiping Strategy as far as possible, and my initial aim was to move east and set up in Nanking. Gary wasn't sure, and just generally tried fire fighting where ever I popped up.

Another different mechanism is that the Imp player has three levels of involvement, as he gets increasingly concerned about the growth of the rebel movement.  So at the start of the game there's only limited things he can do, and the Pings literally have the initiative. As the Rebellion grows he finally wakes up and gets more chance of having the initiative in the game turn, and can deploy more troops.

The Ping player has to balance his advance with triggering the might of the Empire too soon. One of his key decisions is when and where to set up the Capital of his Heavenly Kingdom. Historically this was Nanking, and this was my intention. There are two other locations you can use, one also on the Yang-Tse and then Peking. Gary tried to nail down the Yang-Tse locations, but I got past him and attacked Peking. This was possible because the key to the game is movement by water. If you can get your chaps on junks you can move quicker and you don't suffer attrition for multiple moves in a year. I was able to assemble a massive fleet of junks, embark most of my army, sail past the Imp outposts, and attack Peking.

This contained the Emperor, but a lot of the defenders were Mongolian cavalry, - less use in a siege, so I captured the Capital, and did for the last of the Ch'ins.

I did not know it then, but that was pretty much as good as it got. The game has an initiative system that determines who goes first each year. If you win you get two free actions. Otherwise you have to roll on the "Turn Continuation Table". This may let you perform your announced action, pass the turn to your opponent or end your turn immediately. What that can mean is that a run of bad luck can paralyse your forces. In the three or four turns leading up to the attack on Peking I lost the initiative each time (Imps went first on a 5,6. Never been so cross at rolling high numbers), and then rolled turn end when it came over to me. That meant I wasn't recruiting or causing havoc anywhere else. So although establishing my Capital was a brilliant coup and I subsequently got a decent share of initiatives by that point the ground I needed to make up elsewhere on the map was too great. I also made the error of defending my controlled provinces too thinly on occasion. The Taiping units are twice or four times as strong in terms of fighting ability than most Imps for the same manpower steps. That means a single Ping step can hold off decent sized Imp forces both in the fields and also under siege. However the combat system inflicts hits as a percentage of the stack involved, so even if you win with a one step counter, inflict 75% casualties on your enemy the minimum 5% hits you take will end up being your entire force if it only has one manpower step.

By the end of the game we were both impressed by the level of thought you had to put into each move and the options you have to consider. After over 6 hours of play I was unable to control enough of China to declare the Heavenly Kingdom complete, and the Imperial forces were unable to suppress the rebellion. China was sunk into long term turmoil with no prospect of an end. The game was a  draw.**

We both really enjoyed the game. It is very different, and although there are games with more rules, this one has a lot of odd nooks and crannies. It is so intricate as well that some options don't always work. For example after I had seized Peking and made it my Capital we got "Foreign Intervention" on the ITT. The common outcome for this roll is that the French & English forces capture Peking. The game expects this to happen when the Imps control it, so the consequences of the capture are good for the Pings. But what if the Pings control it? And so in the end we ignored the outcome. The only other problem with the game was that the counter mix isn't big enough. You can end up with a lot of scattered units, so the low value counters are at a premium. It's all very well to suggest you can make more of your own, but that's not likely to happen part way through a game. If anyone out there has an unpunched counter sheet I'd appreciate a scan of it.

I benefited from having a historical knowledge of the period and the Rebellion, but it wasn't enough. If Gary had been more clued up he'd have realised the significance of the Ever Victorious Army in  Shanghai, instead of dismissing it because it could only move a few hexes from the city. He'd have also cottoned on earlier to the importance of the British occupying Canton.

Given the advantages I had before we started it's probably fair to say that Gary probably would have won if we'd used a handicap system.

I really liked this game. It's a challenge to both players, and the history is pretty good too. It isn't perfect, but it is a really good attempt to capture what it was all about.

Anyway, next time we meet we'll be back to something more conventional, with Panzer Group Guderian.

* This is as in "May you live in interesting times" rather than  2 x 3 = fish, 2 x 4 = mushroom, and so on.
** Of course as British cricket lovers a draw that only takes 6 hours is not a problem.

Monday, 21 August 2017

A Sunday in Newark

Can it really be a year since last year's "Other Partizan"? Well, it seems it can be, so we were back up the A1, heading North with a boot load of crates and display materials.

The organisers like the idea of a "History Zone", so we were buried in with "Lance and Longbow" and the like. We were covering the Northampton Battlefield Society, the Naseby Project and the Society of Ancients (Battlefields Trust were there in their own right). Consequently we had quite a spread, and could have done with more volunteers. Above you can see our participation game and the NBS "shop"

Due to the layout our weapons display was on the opposite side of the zone. Not ideal...

..and the Naseby display was on a separate island of tables. Personally I do not like the History Zone. I prefer to have things a bit more mixed up, with traders, Societies and display games all mixed in for variety.

We had an odd day. Last year we ran the game 12 or so times (although a good  proportion of those was Jerry from WD). This year it was 3 or 4, - people did not want to stop and play. Of those that did we had a high play to sales conversion rate, which is good.

As we're in the 28mm lead belt the production of the display games was of a uniform standard. There's a way of doing these now, - carved terrain, figures painted in a certain way. The team running it in uniform t-shirts, or even in uniform. It all looks lovely. When I was small most holidays included a trip to a model railway display, and I always wanted to play wargames on the beautiful terrain boards. That's where the public side of the hobby now seems to be.

I may be being unfair but I didn't seem a lot of innovation in game design or mechanisms used. Anyway, on with the eye-candy.

Across the way from us Blitzkrieg Miniatures had an epic D-Day landing game. They took terrain to a whole new level by embedding the landing craft into the game board, so retreat was not an option. They had matching t-shirts and seemed to be having a great time.

On the other side was this big chariot game. The players all had coloured hats to identify what chariot they were driving. The game seemed to include alligators and the odd pitch invasion to liven it up. My initial thought was that if you need to do something to liven up chariot racing you're probably doing it wrong anyway.

Also near us was this game. It's a set of rules to play with primitive people near Earth's Core. Or something. The two you lads running it did their best but had very few takers, despite it having Warlord Game figures.

It was fun to see a tie-in game for the classic "Wild Geese" movie, with a nicely beaten up Dakota on the corner of the table. I put this in as it's a more "traditional" piece of table lay out, obviously using pieces that can be re-used for other games (look at the road) unlike the D-Day game above.

The Sheffield Boys were there doing their excellent 6mm game, based on the British army's 1940 tactical manual. If you get a chance to play this you should.

The FOW WW1 game was being peddled by a local group. One of our team got suckered in for a game. His conclusion: "It's all right".

Simon Miller's "To the Strongest" always makes me wish I had the time to take part in a game. I like how he does the game board so you can't see it's being done on squares. I don't like the cards. He should use those little tiles I have for Op14.

This game intrigued me. They've done the unit stat cards as a customised professionally printed deck of playing cards. Looked great. Shame they didn't texture the mdf unit trays

And then there's this game with a big submarine. Who doesn't like that?

In addition there was the usual collection of "Very British Civil War" games (Why?), the Discworld Witch racing, and several games with 40mm figures, although they looked more like 45-50mm. Is there no scale with scale creep issues?

As ever it was also a chance to catch up with old friends, including MR Peter Berry of Baccus 6mm (the only true 6mm figures. He told me so himself). It is always good to chew the fat with Pete and admire whatever he has recently been up to. Truly, if he made 28mm figures he'd be spoken of in the same tones as the Perry Twins.

Alas Pete had some sad news. I've known Pete for nearly 40 years now (!) since I met him at University, just as he graduated. His year had a strong group of wargamers, and together with several from my year we all went on to join the English Civil War society. Although I haven't seen many of them for a long time, I still look back on that group really fondly. Sadly, one of that number died recently. That's a shocker. Pete is only a few years older than me, and to lose someone of the same age is a great sadness. The person concerned, Ian Lewis, was a keen wargamer and cricketer, and one of those I always intended to look up if I had the time. Now it's over 30 years since we last met, and now I won't have that chance. As John Donne said:

No man is an island entire of itself; 
every man  is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; 
if a clod be washed away by the sea, 
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were;
any man's death diminishes me, 
because I am involved in mankind. 
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
it tolls for thee. 

Friday, 18 August 2017

Down in the West Country Again, Again, Again

After I cleared away our final treat was Chris' 10mm Zulu War figures. Chris doesn't just have the figures, he has a rather good book on the subject. His intention was for us to do this with "Science v Pluck" but as he was short of time he resorted to "Black Powder" (hence my practice game the day before).

The game was based on the crossing of Myer's Drift by one of the British columns (this is like the Ntombi game in the original BP). I had the Zulus, Richard had the British. Some of my pictures are a bit washed out as by this time the sun had actually come out and was streaming through the windows.

Here we see my massed warriors advancing towards the invaders.

As Richard tried to deploy his forces my Impis closed in on him. My initial rush had driven back his cavalry screen. The cavalry had failed to buy enough time to allow the infantry to deploy, and had retired to save their own skins.

I did catch one cavalry unit, which retired across the drift. Richard had started to open up with his Gatling Gun and some rifle fire, inflicting a bit of disruption. My desultory musket fire was strangely effective. At this stage Disorder is useful to inflict as it stops the British deploying into a more useful formation than, say, march column.

I crashed headlong into the hapless British in column. Due to a "Useful Rule" they were able to hold on despite taking more casualties as they had an automatic "12" for their Break Test roll*.

It availed them naught as in the next turn I beat them again and they rolled low on the Break Test. They turned and fled across the Drift. In the centre some lucky shooting inflicted Disorder on my advancing unit, stopping them in their tracks.

On the other flank the prowess of the British in hand to hand fighting when in a firing line against an on rushing horde broke my chaps.

By this time we were thinking about dinner and a whole load of rather silly things had happened so we shut up shop. I've referred to the "Zulu" supplement, which makes minimal rule changes especially when compared to "LAOK" and really is nothing other than some glossily illustrated battle reports. It has nothing that would fix the issues we encountered. Like the WSS game everything is okay as long as things are going okay.

Yes, we can adapt the rules and fix the problems ourselves but I'd expect more bearing in mind what you are paying.

But I'm not grumpy. We had an excellent day's gaming with good food and company, and resolved to do it again in 3 months time.

Although probably not with Black Powder.

* I may have misunderstood how this works, but this was a scenario where the rules have got it wrong. I charged a unit in march column with Zulus. I roll 6 dice in combat, the British roll 1. We both save on 4+. If I hit with all of my dice and he misses with all of his and all of his saves I inflict 6 hits. As he is Stubborn he counts as rolling 12 on two dice for the break test. My modifier for excess hits  is -3, so his score is 9. Break Test passed comfortably as he needs 7 or more. This means an Impi charging a British unit in March column can't even make it retire, let alone break it. Even if it is caught completely by surprise from the rear it cannot be broken or forced off its ground. Even if it is disordered before the charge it can't be broken or forced to retire. Only if it has been previously shot up can it even have a chance of being broken or getting a negative outcome. Even an Imperial Impi can't force a retire result or break them as they only roll 7 dice. There is no "Useful Rule" that makes it possible either, they just let you re-roll misses, and what you need is more dice. This looks like the game hasn't been properly tested, - either that or they think this is the right answer. Even in the second round of combat the odds on breaking the British aren't good. This means the British player can be careless and get away with it. That shouldn't be the case.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Down in the West Country Again Again.

After lunch it was my turn. Richard L had never had the chance to play with my 6mm WW1 figures, so they seemed a good choice. Plus they're really easy to transport.

As I wanted something to fill an afternoon at most I recycled my Marchais-en-Brie Op14 scenario, which I had previously played with Richard Brooks. The map is slightly tweaked from that game, and there was a minor change to the orbats and deployments. Richard B had sent me a rules update since then as well, so a chance to give them a go.

The French (Chris) are to the right, trying to turn the right flank of von Bulow's 2nd Army. The Germans (Richard) are trying to hold on to Montmirail in the centre of the table. I was also using some re-cut hill tiles as I hadn't liked the look of the last lot.

Chris pressed aggressively on his left, as needed, whilst Richard dug in some more. Richard's Uhlan screen slowed Chris down by forcing him to deploy, but was steadily driven back.

The French developed their attack quickly, and also pressed on the river line at the top of the picture. Artillery up to this point had not been decisive.

Richard's Uhlans couldn't hold on to the village in the face of the French with their bayonets, attacking a l'outrance.

Chris pressed heavily but luck wasn't going his way. He nearly broke through at the village in the centre, but the losses sustained in the assault meant the attack forces were exhausted. That's why the playing card is under the HQ unit.

When night fell the French cavalry had managed to get round the German rear and occupy the village on the board edge (you can pick up the sky blue chasseur uniforms if you look). The Germans had redeployed their field guns onto the ridge towiden their field of fire to cover their retirement. The French were established across the Petit Morin River, and were making life difficult for the German defenders.

This was a win for the Germans as the flank remained un-turned and they were able to retire overnight to realign with Kluck's 1st Army. I think they would have had problems extracting the brigade trapped by the river, however, but overall got a slightly better than historic outcome.

Both players were good enough to say they enjoyed the game, and took away the copies of the rules I printed for them. This is a good small scenario that enables players to get a grip of the mechanisms over a short period of time. As the attack starts at 10am and runs to dusk you only have 6 turns, although you can play it with an option to have an extra turn as the actual battle carried on as it got dark in a thunderstorm.

Down in the West Country Again (1)

Is it that time of the year again? Why, yes it is. Off to Richard Lockwood's for a day of wargaming fun.

We correspond before these days to work out who is going to put on what, and we usually try to have something new to share. Richard has been talking up "Dux Bellorum" from Dan Mersey, published by Opsrey. He has been using it for Greeks & Persians, but we agreed to use it for what it was intended on this occasion.

I wanted to try them but had low expectations. I've been underwhelmed by the Osprey rules that I have had a chance to read, but Richard was keen on them.

Richard set up some Saxons (me) and Irish (Chris A). He threw some terrain on the table, including a marsh in the middle, which proved to be decisive.

Gratuitous eye candy shot of the Saxons. The rules focus on troop types (warriors/shieldwall etc) and leadership, through the allocation of leadership points.

The Warrior Irish can fight in the swamp without hindrance, unlike the Shieldwall Saxons. I therefore had to wriggle past the marsh, whilst holding back some of my force as a flank guard. On reflection I should have just sat on my baseline, banging my spears on my shields, but that would have been dull. I put skirmishers in the marsh as a delaying tactic, and also on the right of my shieldwall.

Our skirmishers clashed on the hill on my right, but I would eventually prevail by running in some heavier troops to help out. This gave me a shieldwall unit out on the flank to roll up Chris's line as soon as an opportunity arose. Chris was having problems motivating his chariots, which are out of shot, so he was having issues with his flanking manoeuvres.

The battle lines collided. The stars represent leadership points. You can use them to add extra combat dice or cancel hits.

The skirmishers all fled. My spare shieldwall unit was now available to intervene in the centre. Instead it decided to sit on the hill for at least 3 turns, despite me spending leadership points on them. Rubbish.

In the marsh Chris caught my skirmishers. I put in some Leadership Points to cancel some hits...

...alas to no avail. Chris rolled devastating attack dice and I was swept away.

Like BP you need to roll low to activate. These are the first three activation rolls by Chris' Irish Chariots. Not good for him.

My flank guards on both ends of the line were being recalcitrant, and I only got one unit up to hold off the Irish emerging from the swamp. The unit on the hill just sat there.

The combat in the middle ebbed and flowed, and had a nice feel to it.

The Irish prevailed over my first line flank guard. I had a unit or two left, but loss of units reduces your leadership points, which started to cause problems for me.

Chris charged my rear units, and finally motivated his chariots. In the centre a lot of units - mostly mine - are down to one cohesion point. The unit on the hill still sits there, having been shot by some Irish slingers.

At last the hill sitters get involved. It is almost certainly too late. Too many of my units are down to 1 cohesion pip, and as Chris now has more Leadership points, and crucially, I have to put mine down first, he can now shore up where he has problems better than me.

What this means is that despite getting in the extra unit on the end of the line, - but not a flank charge - it isn't enough to save my nobles, who are broken. Chris loses a couple of units in the centre, which is good news, but he is winning at the back of the table.

Then it goes really badly, on one end of the line, and Chris out sixes me 3:1. My other noble unit breaks.

The judicious use of Leadership Points keeps his warriors in the game, and another shieldwall breaks. Game over, comprehensive Irish win.

Thoughts? Well, I really loved it. Good period feel, good simple mechanisms that work, well written rules (would be nice to have a playsheet). Everything clear and well explained. Well done, Dan Mersey. Shame I don't have any suitable armies. Yet.