Monday 30 April 2018

Back to School!

Here are some pics of a To the Strongest! game run at a school in the 'States by Jared Fishman.

"On Saturday, April 21st, Hackley’s game club (NYSGA- New York Student Gamers’ Association) ran a battle set in 1099 CE, during the First Crusade.  Eleven 6th graders, many of them novice gamers, took on the role of Saracen or Crusader in an epic game using “To The Strongest!”

In total, there were about 50 units present on the field.

The battle was dead even by the final turn. The Turks, having started on the flank, put immediate pressure on the Crusaders and delayed their advance, while on the opposite flank, a quick moving flank guard of allied Byzantines closed in, inflicting enormous damage.

The students learned a lot from the game.  Two memorable quotes were: “I liked that you had to use strategy and military tactics to win the game and succeed.” and “I liked that there was a lot of detail in the rules, and it simulated everything we learned in 6th grade history when we studied the Crusades.”

All in all, the students loved the game, with a rematch battle taking place in a few weeks. Jared Fishman, the GM who ran the game and painted all the miniatures, is a veteran gamer who has successfully blended gaming into his curriculum, using it as a conduit for learning and engagement with his students.  He currently teaches at Hackley School, in Tarrytown, New York, where he founded the school’s game club c.2008. He sought and received permission to post photos of the kids.

This is a splendid effort which I thoroughly applaud- kudos to Jared! If anyone else would like to run a school or youth project, I have a number of slight second copies of the rules that I'd be happy to donate for just the cost of postage. 

Wednesday 18 April 2018

For King and Parliament at Salute

I've been so busy since Salute that I've not even had a chance to post any photos! These were all taken by Ian Notter, who did a fine job. Most of the minis are Bicornes with a few Redoubt and Renegade added for variety. This thread is picture-heavy and all the pictures are "clickable."

Above, bluecoats guard the approaches to Soggy Bottom- stunning painting by Chris Meacham.

Above and below- Royalist siege guns with a stack of ammunition markers. These guns have the only straight-edge bases on the table- much more obvious than my usual wobbly-edged bases which vanish into the cloth.

Above are the mass of Royalist horse on the left- mostly Northern horse- with the King's Lifeguard of Horse to the fore. Below, Parliamentarian horse, with"Lobsters" to the rear.

Above, John Hampden's regiment. I used 42 miniatures, although perhaps half as many would have done! These were painted by either Chris Meacham or David Imrie.

Above- my own regiments for "For King and Parliament" are divided into "Swedish" troops of six or "Dutch" troops of nine, three troops to the regiment. Units of 18 or 27 horse are, however, strictly for masochists. 8/16 would be far more sensible.  :-)

Above- the  Parliamentarians eschew the protection offered by the stone wall surrounding the church of Saint Lasiurus Egregius. Below, the villlage of Soggy Bottom is largely composed of 25mm Hovels buildings- which have great character!

Above, sheep flee the sound of the guns. A lovely resin single-piece casting from 1stCorps, painted for me by Shaun McTague.

Above and below are shots from Andrew's game at the other end of the table. Andrew has a beautiful "Soggy Bottom." ;-)  Alas, I only have a couple of shots of this much-admired game.

Above is Lord Byron, the hard-fighting Royalist cavalry general. Below, Royalists defend a hedgeline. The long grass is from Killing Fields in the USA- a super product which I just needed to cut to fit the fields.

Bluecoats, again. The wicker fences are Renedra- a quality product that was easy to paint and assemble. 

Trotters- not the Peckham variety.

I've tried to depict plenty of livestock on this rural battlefield- sheep and lambs below, and cattle above, all painted by Shaun. 

Below- a view of the churchyard of Saint Lasiurus Egregiuso. Gravestones were still uncommon at this time. 

And finally, for today, His puissant Majesty King Charles and bodyguard of Gentlemen Pensioners. Tomorrow or Friday I'll have some more photos by Alan Daniels.

We fought the battle twice with, I believe, two Parliamentarian victories.

Salute is always fun- it's great to meet so many friends- I spent the entire day chatting! It was very well organised by the Warlords. Huge thanks to the chums who helped me put it on- especially Ian, Mike and co-author Andrew who helped with the set up on Friday, and Shaun who helped knock-down after the show.

The "For King and Parliament" rules were very well received and Foundry and Caliver had pretty much sold out by the end of the day, although I still have plenty of copies in the.BigRedBatShop. I've already started painting some more bits for the next games at Partizan on May 26th!

Tuesday 10 April 2018

To the Strongest! at Salute

At our table GG07, circled in whtie on the plan below, Andrew Brentnall and I will be running not one but TWO games of For King and Parliament. We'll start games in the morning at 11AM and afternoon at 2:30 PM. If you'd like to play for an hour or more, email me and I'll book you in! I have invested in some big banners, to help you find us... :-)

I don't sell anything at Salute- I'm always far too busy chatting. However, Wargames Foundry at TH14 and Caliver Books at TJ12 (circled in red on the plan above) are near to the games and will each have a stock of To the Strongest! and the new TtS! For King and Parliament rules.

There won't be any coins, mats, bases or chits on sale- however, if you order from the BigRedBatShop before lunchtime on Thursday, and add a note or email me, I can refund your postage and bring the package along for collection; I might even add some samples...

I hope to meet lots of chums, new and old, on Saturday- do please come by and say hello!

Wednesday 4 April 2018

Welcome to Soggy Bottom

The Borsetshire village of Soggy Botton will feature in our Salute game on Saturday week. All of the buildings are painted- the red-primed areas need to be textured and covered with mud or grass, and the brown strips around the edges with wattle fences. All the buildings, except for the tithe barn, are from Hovels' splendid 25/28mm range. 

If you are coming to Salute please make a beeline to us and say hello! We have spaces for up to a dozen players in the morning and afternoon. Many cards will be turned...

We are GG07, near the stage in the centre, circled white in the below diagram. As well as my 28mm game, For King and Parliament co-author Andrew Brentnall will be bringing the same battle in 10/12mm.