Wednesday 15 November 2023

Siege Mound

Here is a WIP shot of my new ECW siege artillery battery on a mound. Last night I added a few more Debris gabions, build the earth around them up and cut the base. Tonight, I need to model the approach ramp at the rear. I have an idea that I could build a gunpowder magazine into the side of this.

It will be an earthen mound, roughly 5cm tall, with storming poles and possibly an abattis.

I'm building the piece to accommodate some Bicorne siege guns painted by chum David Imrie. It feels strange that it is so much quicker to build huge bits of terrain than it is to paint a few tiny 28mm figures!

Monday 13 November 2023

Battery and Battlechat 105

Over the weekend, I've been working on my first ever siege artillery battery, for the Salute '24 game. My plan is to make it useable for both the ECW and 1672, by having interchangeable siege guns and crews. It will sit on top of a raised artificial mount with a ramp up to it, and store away in a RUB. The gabions are all from Debris of War, and very nice they are, too. I'll show some more images later this week; right now, it reminds me of back when I had braces, back in the '70's. ;-)

In other news, I did an interview with Henry Hyde last week which is up on his Battle Games site. Henry was a lovely host, asked lots of interesting questions and we chatted for longer than we should have but then, I could have talked all day! The interview can be found here:

To access it you'll need to join Henry's Patreon (which I've just done, I'm very keen to support him and  hear some of his other interviews) or wait for a week or so. I shall try to prevail on him to chat with me next year about my new enthusiasm for gunpowder...

Wednesday 8 November 2023

1672 work in progesss

As is so often the case, when I should be painting one thing, I find myself painting three other things. My excuse to myself is that I'm finishing them to make room. These are above, Walloon Regiment Vierzet, and below the Listenois Dragoons and some Royal Dragoons which I decided to give ECW flags to.  All for my 1672 project. Proper photos later, when flocked.

Friday 3 November 2023

Royal Regiment of Dragoons mustering

This is a unit for my 1670's project. They are British dragoons, probably most useful in 1678, by which time the British had allied with the Dutch and there were nine squadrons of dragoons in the field. I plan to depict them both on foot (with horse holders) and mounted. All North Star 1672 minis, mostly painted by Shaun McT. and finished by me. I still need to finish basing them.

Since the 1672 rules aren't yet written, I'm keeping my options open so that they can either be fielded as dismounted units of squadron size, whilst retaining the option of grouping two or three of these together to form a larger unit of up to battalion-size. In battle they will most likely be found out on the flank, somewhere, lining a hedge or guarding a supply column.

Wednesday 1 November 2023

Ancient Ruins

No, this is not about me and my grognard chums, but rather this printed scenery which I bought on eBay for around £50. I'm gobsmacked about the value- it's almost a foot high (28mm figure for scale) and there must be weeks of work in the design of it, and a ton of filament within it. O brave new world that has such buildings in it! How long would it have taken to build a model like this from scratch? I plan to customise it and use it in my Salute '24 game.

In other news I had an absolutely super chat with Henry Hyde of Battlegames this morning, which he'll be posting as a Podcast in the next few days, I'll talk about it more when I know the release date, soon, I think.

Thursday 19 October 2023

Regiment Vierzet mustering

This poor-quality WiP photo is of Regiment Vierzet, a Walloon unit from the Liege area that will be part of my 1670's French army. The uniform colour  is "morte feuille" or "dead leaves". The flags are from Not by Appointment blog, and the minis are 1672 Swiss with Warfare officers, painted by Richard O'Connor. I'll take a much better photo when they are fully based. I expect to have enough minis based to play a modest game using modified "For King and Parliament" rules, in the spring.

Friday 13 October 2023

Put Out More Flags


This is a command stand for Regiment Vierzet, a Walloon Regiment from Liege serving in the French army in the 1670s. Lacking information about the 1670's period flag, I've given it later colours from the Seven Years War from Dave at Not by Appointment Blog. Quite often French flag designs stayed the same, so it is plausible. The minis are from the excellent Warfare "officers with attitude" pack, excellently painted by Richard O'Connor. I'll write more about the unit when the other minis are based.

Tuesday 10 October 2023

Back in the Saddle

I've just come back from a late summer holiday and am struggling to get back into the saddle. I've caught up on the orders and am working though my emails, should be on top of them, soon. On Saturday we have a tournament on the day before SELWG and there are a few I's to dot for that, too.

In the evenings I'm doing some c.17th modelling, for a bit of relaxation. Above is a unit of 1672 French Listenois dragoons, painted by Chris Campion and Richard O'Connor. I'm getting them ready for basing, perhaps as soon as tonight. I love the yellow justacorps and blue facings.

Below are some Flags of War standards for the ECW Strathbogie Regiment, and also the Scottish Royal standard. Strathbogie, which chum Redzed is painting, will be on the cover of an FK&P scenario books we intend to publish shortly.

Wednesday 27 September 2023

Not my Menorah

My chum Colin Knight sent me some images of his Israelites, and I thought they are so stunning, I just had to repost them! You can click the photo to enlarge it. They are Red Copper Miniatures in 40mm. I particularly love the Ark of the Covenant. He's based them on my 15cm Deep BatBases. 

In other news, 
  • We have TWO FREE PLACES for the annual TtS! Open tournament in Edmonton, North London, on Saturday 14th October, the day before the SELWG event. If you think you might be able to come, please email me ASAP at the address to the left, and I'll book you in. It's the day before the SELWG show and the tickets will get you into that, too.
  • There will be a TtS! get-together at the Games Bunker in Weston Super Mare on Saturday, 28th  October 2023. This event is especially appropriate for new players, and emphasises fun over competition. You can book tickets here:
  • There will be a TtS! tournament at Warfare in Farnborough on Saturday 11th November.  You can book tickets here:
Finally, we still have 8 places left for the TtS! Doubles event near Covent Garden in November- our last TtS! event before Christmas. We have prizes and there is an all day bar, with more socialising afterwards. More details here.

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Italian Spearmen and all the latest TtS! News!

A chum in Sweden has very kindly printed me some components that allow me to convert the lovely Perry European mercenaries into passable Italian spearmen, armed with huge-headed langue do boeuf spears. I used arms from the light cavalry set (converted from the ones holding a bow).

Here you can see the spearmen fording the Fornovo in 1495. The spearheads are so very large, they look almost like spades! None of the spearmen are armoured; I wonder whether any had armour, but deliberately left it behind to more safely cross the swollen river?

In other news, here's a list of all the remaining tournaments I can think of.... we have a very busy Q4 ahead, positively bursting with TtS! events:
  • We still have spare tables for the annual TtS! Open tournament in Edmonton, North London, on Saturday 13th October. If you think you might like to come, please email me and I'll put you in touch with the player who had to withdraw who can sell you his ticket.
  • There is a TtS! get-together at the Games Bunker in Weston Super Mare on Saturday, 28 October 2023. This event is especially appropriate for new players, and emphasises fun over competition. You can book tickets here:
  • There is a TtS! tournament at Warfare in Farnborough on Saturday 11th November.  You can book tickets here:
  • Lastly, our final event of the year, we have Two The Strongest!, our first ever doubles tournament, in Central London in November. This will be a cracking way to round the year off, not particularly competitive, all day bar, prizes and drinks afterwards. If you need a player to accompany you, we should be ale to identify one. You can buy tickets here:

Sunday 10 September 2023

Second Mantinaea at Colours


Yesterday we ran Second Mantinaea at Colours. Is was great to see to many friends and meet so many gamers who enjoy To the Strongest! Thanks very much to those who helped (especially Ian, Colin and Andy) and to everyone who played, or stopped by for a chat. It was a really super show and I spent far more than I should have. :-) Hot, though, so very, very hot. A big shout out to chum Andrew who couldn't come because he's had a brush with Covid, hope he's better soon.

While I was away though, Sharp Practice has been pulling ahead of TtS! in the Yarkshire Wargames Rules tournament on Facebook. If you've still not voted, could you give us a plug please? At the time of writing, the gap is around 55 votes, still surprisingly close, and I think we might yet be able to catch them! If not, we can go down, fighting gloriously, like Leonidas at Thermopylae. :-)

Thursday 7 September 2023

Updated TtS! Medieval Army Lists published and all the latest TtS! events.

I've latest version of the Medieval Army List eBook and latest news (at the bottom).  This 150-list, 293 page edition now includes six new lists:

  • Rshtuni Armenian
  • Bagratid Armenian
  • Tulunid/Iqshidid Egyptian
  • Daylamite Dynasties
  • Bulgar (moved from the Ancient eBook)
  • Early Byzantine (moved from the Ancient eBook)

The next Ancient Army List eBook will come out at the end of October and will be a Late Antiquity Special, with several new Late Antiquity Germanic lists and a lot of additional material added to the Gothic, Ostrogothic, Saxon, Frankish and Vandal lists. 

We have a very busy Q4 ahead, positively bursting with TtS! Events:

  • At Colours in Newbury on Saturday I'll be running Second Mantinaea- please drop by and say hello, or even come and join in! We are upstairs near the B&B.
  • On Monday evening I'll be on the Plastic Crack Podcast, no doubt explaining why Renaissance isn't finished.  :-/   
  • On September 16th we have the Chalgrove tournament- good luck to all the players!
  • Also on September 16th (diary clash!), I'll be talking about the location of the Battle of Ceresole, 1544 at the Helion Tudor Warfare conference in Birmingham.
  • We have a spare table for the annual TtS! Open tournament in Edmonton, North London, on Saturday 13th October. If you think you might like to come, please email me and I'll put you in touch with the player who had to withdraw.
  • Tickets have just gone on sale for Two The Strongest!, our first ever doubles tournament, in Central London in November. This We have a limited number of tables so I recommend early booking!   

Last but not least, some of you must have already encountered Yarkshire Gamer's World Cup of Historical Wargames Rules on Facebook. For King and Parliament fell (after a valiant fight) in the Quarter finals, thankd for all your votes. Astonishingly, To the Strongest! will shortly be pitted against Sharp Practice in the semi finals! Sharp Practice is a very popular (and by all accounts a very good) set of rules, and TtS! will need every vote that it can get to remain in contention... so please help us with a vote when it goes live.

Thursday 31 August 2023

Late Knight Progress


I'm close to finishing a couple of units of dismounted later knights (above) that, most unusually, I mostly painted myself. They are intended to be generic men-at-arms for those tricky moments when a unit of later knights is better off on foot (perhaps when there are nellies about!). The unit I fielded at Britcon performed rather well; in one game, cutting its way right through the heart of the enemy army.

These are all Perry plastics, with some slight conversions. The original figures I painted were a bit too "shiny" and well armoured, so I've mixed in a bunch of scruffier chaps in brigandines and riding boots with a selection of weapons including pole-arms and a few bows. I'll take a proper photo when they are flocked and bannered. For the banners- I'm thinking Wars of the Roses. Something heavily folded so one can't make it out particularly well, so it fits the generic concept. :-)

PS To the Strongest! and FK&P are both currently up for voting in the Yarkshire World Cup on Facebook- both votes ,are too close to call, at the time of writing. If you'd like to vote for either (or, indeed, for their opponents) you can find them here (TtS!) or here (FK&P).

Wednesday 30 August 2023

Rally Round the King!

Over on the Yarkshire World Cup of Wargames Rules poll, the King is in danger! Our FK&P rules are currently trailing a tantalising 40 or so votes behind the popular "O" Group rules, with only a little over a day to go. Can you help to save the King? If you've not yet voted, please vote here. Ask your friends to vote, too, please! If we make it though this round, I'll co-write another free scenario with Andrew Brentnall, and perhaps even take it to Salute!

Tuesday 29 August 2023

Every day, once a day, give yourself a present

I take Special Agent Dale Cooper's advice extremely seriously; here is today's gift-to-self, some rather splendid TYW cuirassiers from eBay. The flags are anachronistic but easily changed.

In other news, FK&P is up against the popular O Group rules in what must be the plucky bantamweight contender's most serious challenge yet on the Yarkshre World Cup of Wargames Rules, all votes most gratefully received!  It's going to be a really close one, I reckon, could go either way.

Lastly, there will be a friendly TtS! event at the Games Bunker in Weston-super-Mare on 28th October, details below:

To The Strongest – A Call to Arms

Unlike most competitive events this event is a casual day and is intended to help newer players learn the rules. The day will take the form of three two-hour games and there will be no restriction on army choice other than it may not exceed 135 points. Lists must be submitted no later than 20th October to

The scale is 25/28mm. We will do our best to keep regular opponents apart for the first couple of games but in the last you may have to face your nemesis! There will be prizes but not for the usual reasons, so we advise bringing your favourite army and not necessarily your most lethal!

10:00-12:00       Round 1
12:30-14:30       Round 2
15:00-17:00       Round 3
17:15-17:30       Awards

 What You Need To Bring
  • One 25/28mm army, of 135 points value
  • Markers to show the ammunition each unit has (eg. a unit of with bows has 3 arrows) - several D6 will do (you don’t need any dice to play the game)
  • Markers to show disorder
  • Markers or miniatures to show Heroes (most armies will have 2-5 heroes available in the army list), individually based heroic looking figures look good but a counter will suffice
  • Tokens or coins to represent how many victory medals your army has (up to 15 usually)
  • A scenic piece to represent your camp
  • Two decks of ordinary playing cards (remove the jacks, queens, kings and jokers into a separate pile, shuffle the remaining 80 cards well)
  • If you are able to bring a 6x4 Mat marked out with a 150cm square grid, could you please contact us to let us know. Please ensure it has your name on it somewhere or is easily identifiable.
Parking is available in our car park or on the street. Disabled access is not currently available to all event areas. Please contact us if you need more information.

Tickets are £20.00 each and are available here –


Monday 21 August 2023

More Britcon Photos


I recently posted some photos of one of my games at Britcon, here are some more. This game was against Robert Avery's veteran Imperial Romans; veteran because most of them were, but also because many of them were Minifigs! Above, I threw my army forwards whilst Robert tried to turn my left and threaten the camp.

However, the camp was well defended and the Romans tried to break the left of my battle line. Above a flank charge on my general and dismounted knights, which happily they survived!

One of my  pike blocks broke through. My trouble was that it was too hard to kill the legionaries- every time I disordered them, they fell back and rallied. Some rallied like this two or three times.

However every time they fell back, I took ground, until they became pinned against their camp and baseline. 

Above I'd been doing my best to pretend that the rampaging Roman cavalry unit behind my lines wasn't there, but it proved hard to ignore. Before it could kill a unit though, my knights managed to chop up a unit of legionaries to win the game. This was a lonnnggg game- over three hours - more like a siege than a battle- and I was lucky to win it! Robert has an account of the same battle, here. The longer Britcon game durations really help avoid frustrating draws.

In other news, TtS! is up against Black Powder in the Yarkshire World Cup of Wargames Rules tournament- at the time of writing BP has pulled ahead- we desperately need every vote we can find!

Saturday 19 August 2023

Two the Strongest!

An advance date for your diaries (tickets not yet on sale). Seven Dials club is the place I've been hanging out at recently, a very nice crowd! Later we'll publish details of army selection and how it'll work.

Thursday 17 August 2023

Kinky Boots and Studded Leather


...a headline that promises much but delivers, little. ;-) 

I've been sculpting more riding boots on some coustillier-types to accompany my dismounted knights of recent posts. I'm getting a little faster on the sculpting, and a little better, too. This is just as well because I'll likely need quite a few, later on, when I tackle the Burgundian mounted archers. I've also discovered that liquid greenstuff is quite good for building up the legs of the boot.

Ultimately I covet this unit of Charles the Bold's. I think it would be great fun to model, and might be pretty good on the gaming table; dismounted knights with 2HCCW, extra longbows, extra stakes, veteran. Want 'em! Not cheap, points-wise, though.

In other news... For King and Parliament is storming through the Yarkshire Gamer World Cup of Wargames Rules. There is still time to vote; hopefully it'll make it through to Round Three and looks likely to be matched against "O" Group in the semi-finals.

Tuesday 15 August 2023

Battles at Britcon

We had an absolute blast this weekend at Britcon. I cannot praise this event enough- the venue is superb, Sid does a great job at organising the tournament, and I enjoy Nottingham. The games were very friendly and there was enough tome to see most to a conclusion, and some of the armies were really beautiful. There were trade stands, too!  I attach some photos, below. I'm already looking forward to next year.

Before the photos though, the next round of the Yarkshire Gamer World Cup of Wargames Rules has begun, and For King and Parliament is up against Grand Manner, it's most serious opponent so far. It's very tight- just one vote in it- so any support for our niche period set with its hard to read font and renaissance woodcuts would be very greatly appreciated! You can vote here.

Here are some photos of my first game of the tournament, proper.

My Hapsburg-Burgundian deployment was the same in most of the games- a camp anchoring my right, with a bombard and crossbows in it, and a long line of pike stretching to the left. English longbows on the extreme left and Maximilian with  a bodyguard of dismounted knights to the right of the pike. In this game I had the stratagem to force march, and pushed my left forward. I was fighting Simon Purchon's Sassanids, he's a very tough opponent and I've rarely (if ever) beaten him.

You can see my line breaking up (above), as Simon shifted most of his strength against my left.

My right began to break up under a hail of arrows and lance-charges by cataphracts. 

Above, the noose tightening around my fortified camp. Assaulted from both sides, it was ultimately defended only by a bombard, which put up a valiant resistance in the face of attacks by no fewer than four enemy units!

Simon was well ahead after the first hour, but I managed to fight back and took a lot of medals off him before he was able to finish me off. This is what usually happens when I play Simon. Although I lost, I felt I'd put up a brave fight!  I'll show pictures of some of the other games, tomorrow.

Saturday 12 August 2023

To the Strongest! at Britcon ‘23

This weekend I’m at the Britcon tournament in Nottingham, kindly organised for us by chum Sid. After a refreshing pint of Britcon Ale and a natter, we launched into a warm up game, I played Robert Avery’s vintage Minifigs Imperial Romans.

Robert out-scouted me, and here is the view from behind his line. I was pretty despondent at this stage, because my camp (top left) was only lightly defended and my left wing had no one to fight!

Here’s the view of the backs of my army; mostly composed of reluctant (raw) guildsmen from the Low Countries.

Luckily I successfully made a whole slew of tricky diagonal moves and was across the battlefield before theRomans could get into my camp, which was surprisingly ably defended by a handful of scruffy crossbowmen, who turned the game by unexpectedly shooting down a cohort of veteran legionaries.

This (along with a shout of “Tax remission!” from the future Emperor Maximilian, who was valiantly leading a unit of dismounted Burgundian knights on the right) seemed to inspire the rest of the guildsmen in a general charge on the Roman camp. Poor Robert’s cards failed him at every turn; although most of the pike blocks were down to a single hit, he just couldn’t deliver the coup de grace to any of them.

…and finally I managed to kill the Roman general to take his last victory tokens. Luck had been with me at every turn of the game.

After the game we has a very nice meal at Wagamamas and put the world to rights! Should be a great weekend, nice people and a super venue with some great traders.

Thursday 10 August 2023

Looks like I'm going to need a bigger bag

I got the minis out of my cellar for Britcon, tomorrow, and it has dawned on me that I'm going to need a rather bigger bag than I'd planned! This will be a Hapsburg Burgundian army, built around a core of Liégeois militia that I've never used, and Burgundian pike, which I have. I had to use a few bits to proxy for pike and for German crossbowmen. Happily, it's a mostly plastic army, since I'm going to Nottingham by train!

Here are some previous closeups of the militia, who are very much the stars of the show. These are raw pikemen in TtS! parlance. Hell, they look good! The flags are for the different guilds and were very kindly made for me by Mats Elzinga.

Red Romans

To finish my yellow and black shield cohorts, I find I need to paint a few more legionaries in red (the colour of Mars) tunics, because I don't want the two units to be mostly in white tunics as it seems a little unmilitary!. These are they, still only partially blocked in after two nights work. Starting to paint 7 minis from scratch has served to remind me why I like to get Shaun McTague (or Redzed) to paint most my minis! I think it'll take 5 or even 6 evenings to finish these 7 minis, and I need 234 more to finish the two legions. :-/

In other news, I'm pleased to report that FK&P made it through to the next round of the Yarkshire Rules Tournament on Facebook- pretty good going for such a niche set! It'll be up against "In the Grand Manner", next.

Wednesday 9 August 2023

Late knights IV - Kinky Boots!

Last night I finished a third base (centre) from spare minis and repaints from the "reserves". I sculpted riding boots on a couple of minis in brigandines, they add a pleasing variety (one is in the second rank and thus largely out of sight). It wasn't quick doing the boots, perhaps 20 minutes a mini, but it'll probably get easier with time. I painted the coustilliers' armour to be less "bright." In the fullness of time, I'll probably add more coustillier types, and form a second unit out of the then-surplus knights (blended with even more coustilliers). I'll also mix in some knights in blackened plate, for variety, and perhaps a surcoat or two. I'm really pleased with them, it must be years since I (mostly) painted an entire unit.

Makes me wonder how the coustilliers might be armed when dismounted; perhaps light lances as when mounted, or swords? Or even the odd bow or crossbow?

Also makes me curious how they will do on the battlefield. I can't recall ever having used a dismounted knights before, in TtS. IIRC they cost 16 points (veteran later knights) which is a whole lot of points for an infantry unit, even one with a great save and choppers... 

I'm pleased to report that plucky underdog For King and Parliament is doing well in the Yarkshire World Cup- looks like it'll go through to the next round.