Sadly I discovered that Carry on Converting, Carry on Gaming and Carry on Painting are not a trio of 1960s British comedy movies with Barbara Windsor and Kenneth Williams. Not to mention Carry on Basing and Carry On Flocking …
Paint conversions, figure conversions from Pound Store plastic figures and old Airfix through to repairing old 54mm lead figures – more needed in 2020!
NGY 2020 Irresolution Two – More solo short small skirmish games
Including 15mm Peter Laing, Airfix 20mm up to 54mm figures across a range of periods including Romans, Bronte ImagiNations etc. using simple Featherstone inspired rules.
NGY 2020 Irresolution Three – Paint More Peter Laings
I should be putting more content of painted figures and gaming with Peter Laing figures on the MeWe Peter Laing community forum
NGY 2020 Irresolution Four – Full Metal Hic Jacet
15mm Peter Laing Romans vs Picts and Ancients ‘Small Skirmish’ games. I’m fairly new to Ancients, if you don’t count Airfix Romans and Britons:
NGY 2020 Irresolution Five – Return to Planet Back Yarden
I seemed to spend all year on and off enjoyably preparing for a 42mm or 54mm garden skirmish game with plastics or old lead that never properly happened. Sci-Fi Space Wars, American Civil War, ImagiNations and colonial Little Wars or WW2 – who knows which period will make it into the flower bed battles? I foresee creaky knees and an aching back …
NGY 2020 Irresolution Six – Develop my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop
‘Scouting’ happened along in April, when I picked up a copy of a vintage Wide Games book on a seaside holiday, which set me (and also Alan at the Duchy of Tradgardland) off on a new tangent.
In summer, the kind gift of a bag of old 1960s Airfix figures by Tony Adams at the Miniature Wood Screw Army led to some nice relaxed painting and rebasing of Airfix figures. This often feels quite relaxing to be like happy colouring in.
Who knows where my “gaming journey” will have taken me at the end of 2020 and by the end of the Twenty Twenties?
If it’s as fun as where it’s has taken me since 2010, I will be happy enough!
Moddelling and gaming and the company they bring (odd for a largely solitary prepping hobby) are good for your mental health. Just ask Models for Heroes …
Here’s best wishes for the tabletop gaming year to come to all my blog readers, to all those whose blogs I enjoy reading and for all those online strangers that I have not met yet who stumble across my Man of TIN blog and my other blogs this year.
Happy New Year! Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on 31 December 2019 / 1 January 2020.
Aerial view of the skirmish area set out as in the Solo Wargaming book. Turn 1
My tribute to Stuart, using some of his former 15mm Peter Laing troops, is a small Ancient skirmish.
It is based on the ‘Wheel Meet Again’ scenario in his Guide To Solo Wargaming. The rules are based on his simple rules in his Guide to Wargaming.
Scenario 8 – Wheel Meet Again
“A lightly guarded convoy of wagons has run into a spot of bother. One of the wagons has suffered a broken wheel and had to be left behind with a guard by the rest of the convoy. On reaching their destination the scouts pass on their news about the disabled wagon. At once a relief column is organised, complete with spare wheel to put the wagon back in service and sets off.
Meanwhile the enemy is also interested in the immobile wagon and its small escort and decide to investigate. The wagon guard, on the alert for just such an event, open fire on the inquisitive enemy, hoping that relief is at hand.
This scenario is fought in three stages. Firstly the wagon guards attempt to keep their attackers at bay. Next reinforcements arrive and deploy to allow the wagon to be repaired. Finally the wagon and its new escort have to gain the safety of the eastern edge of the table once more. A moderately complex, three-part engagement follows and offers numerous permutations for the solo player …”
Stuart Asquith, p.74 Solo Wargaming (1989)
I am not normally an Ancients player but having picked up several years ago a 15mm Pict / Celtic and Roman army from Stuart Asquith and also other figures from online sellers, I have enough scraps of Egyptians, Greeks, Assyrians etc to field several different national skirmish forces.
The setting: Roman Britain – the Pictish wilds
A Roman supply column has left behind a broken down wagon with a few escorts, promising to send a relief force.
A small shadowing hunting party of Pictish scouts lurk to the Northwest.
The broken wagon is a fire cart, a blacksmiths cart, belonging to the Roman Army.
Stuart recommends a small ‘Wagon Guard’ force for part one, such as 6 archers (or musketeers in later periods).
A d6 is thrown to find out when reinforcements on both sides will arrive. In this game they would appear on Turn 5, Romans to the East and Picts to the West.
After playing the game I noticed that Stuart Asquith suggested that one d6 is thrown to work out which turn for the arrival of the enemy, two d6 for the arrival of the supply column.
There are several areas of uncrossable forest to the Southeast and Southwest and a passable rocky forest outcrop to the North East.
It takes two turns to fix the wagon once the Roman forces reach this waggon with the repair tools and a spare wheel. Repairs take the help of four men.
Phase 1 – Holding the Pictish Scouting Party at Bay
Turn 1 sees the Roman armoured archers spread out into a defensive circle, the Pictish scouting party spread out to the Northwest. The Roman archers land two successful hits at mid range and hit the two Pictish archers.
Without distance or range weapons, the Picts charge into melee – one Roman archer is killed and two more Pictish spearman.
In some melee situations, the +1 advantage of the armour of a Roman archers is cancelled out by being confronted by two Pictish spearmen +1.
Roman archers fought the melee with their swords, so are unable to fire this round.
With few Pict scouts left, we take a morale test to work out what the Picts will do. Roll d6 – 1,3, 5 continue for melee and 2,4,6 outnumbered, retreat. The Picts move into melee and being within firing range, the last Picts are quickly wiped out.
Turn 4 sees the Roman Archers regroup.
Phase 2 the Relief Column Arrives
The Pictish War Band and Roman relief column arrived on the scene at opposite ends. The Light Cavalry and Light Infantry head out ahead of the others. Roman archers take out a Pictish light cavalryman and archer. The Pictish archers miss their targets.
The Roman light infantry and cavalry ride up with the mounted office of the relief column to join the Roman archer Wagon Guards who fall back behind the wagon to join them.
In the ensuing movement / melee and fire turns, 2 more Pictish archers are successfully targeted by the Roman archers but the Roman mounted officer is killed by a Pictish archer.
Romans move first and the legionaries in the relief column reach the stranded waggon – the light infantry and cavalry on both sides clash in melee. Two Roman cavalry and two auxiliaries are quickly killed.
At this stage the Picts have a series of lucky dice throws, spelling disaster for the Romans. They slam into the Roman ranks, killing the last 4 Roman archers of the Wagon Guard.
The Romans are unable to fire their pilum short spears as their own men are out in front. Fortunately the Pictish archers are equally blockedfrom firing by the presence of their own men.
In the melee the Roman Eagle standard bearer and another infantry officer is killed. However the Eagle is quickly grabbed by another legionary.
As soon as the Romans can throw their pilums, six Pictish warriors are brought down.
Rule – only the first two rows can throw pilums.
In turn 8 the two front Roman ranks who have thrown pilums spread out to counter the Picts to their right. 6 more legionaries are lost in melee before the remaining pilums are thrown taking out three more Pictish archers and spearmen.
As the Picts move into further melee, 2 more legionaries fall – the Eagle is again grabbed to safety by the Roman officer – and 4 Picts are killed. Only one of the Pictish archers is left.
On the Pictish side, only one archer, a spearman and the mounted Pictish officer and one of foot remain.
On the Roman side, 4 legionaries, the trumpeter and officer with the Eagle remain.
The morale test – throw d6 1,3,5 to retire and 2,4,6 to fight on.
The Picts choose to retire, the Romans to fight on.
Phase 3 – The Wagon repairedand rescued
The Picts retreat and the Roman legionaries repair and recover the wagon, heading off to the East, wary of further Pictish attack.
A beer tribute to Stuart Asquith who watched over the whole proceedings.
Once the game was over, I raised a glass of WW1 anniversary beer to Stuart in thanks for all he had done for my hobby.
Sadly my last bottle of this 2014 WW1 anniversary Cornish vintage beer picked up on my travels hadn’t aged well in the bottle. I had picked up a couple of beer mats for figure basing from the pub after Sunday lunch after an earlier walk – appropriately drinking some Tribute beer.
Rest In Peace, Stuart Asquith – hope you enjoyed the game.
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on 17 / 18 November 2019.
My Solo Opponent for the weekend? Stuart Asquith in his 1988 Guide to Solo Gaming.
I was saddened by the news about Stuart Asquith’s death, whose funeral is on Monday the 18th of November. It has been good to read the many tributes to him by his gaming friends and readers, as his family have also publicly said.
One of these excellent books mentioned by Stuart is literally top of my list of Ancients research, Nils Saxtorph’s Warriors and Weapons of Early Times (Blandford Colour). Many of my childhood drawings were based on this book. Like the Asquith titles, my copy of this wonderful colour book came from my local childhood branch library when they started inexplicably selling off ‘old’ books in the 1990s (!) That was back in the days of reading Stuart Asquith in Military Modelling.
Choosing just one suitable small scale Skirmish scenario has been a challenge from the many ones in his Solo Wargaming book. One that I have looked forward to playing again is the ‘Stranded Wagon’ scenario 8, Wheel Meet Again, adaptable to almost any period from stranded oxcart of early times and Wild West waggon to broken down supply lorry or futuristic (but broken) cargo speeder.
When is the rescue party going to arrive?
Will the escort hold out long enough?
Can wheel repairs be done in time under the threat of attack?
Stuart’s stranded waggon scenario in his Guide to Solo Wargaming
Before I play out this Solo scenario at the weekend or on the evening of the day that he is put to rest on the 18th November, I need to slightly undo some of Stuart’s handiwork to turn these figures back to single basing.
I’m sure Stuart would be pragmatic about my adapting his multi figure basing to single figures. Stuart’s basing tips from his Guide to Wargaming are shown above, including beer mats that Stuart has used here.
Beer mats aside, some Beer may need to be opened and drunk in Stuart’s memory as well, on or close to the 18th November in spirit alongside my fellow gamers and admirers of Stuart’s many books.
I also want to fit in a 54mm game skirmish in Stuart’s memory soon, an unfashionable scale that he supported.
I shall post pictures afterwards.
The Click2Comic treatment of Stuart Asquith, Solo gamer!
And finally … my Peter Laing 15mm Ancient British Chariot Squadron which will probably not be appearing in this “Wheel Meet Again” Stuart Asquith Solo Scenario.
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on 15 November 2019
Preparing for an Ancients Solo Skirmish this weekend, a tribute game in Stuart Asquith’s memory, using Stuart’s very own old 15mm Peter Laing Roman and Pictish Army.
I bought these figures, which were painted and based by Stuart, from him via an online dealer about two years ago. I have yet to split or alter the beermat bases into individually based skirmish figures.
Before I do this rebasing (which mostly involves simply cutting the multiple figure beermat bases like the archers into two individual bases), I wanted to photograph them all together, under the watchful eye of their old commander for the last time.
The Picts have some attractive swirly body tattoo or body paint, along with some great command figures.
Elsewhere if I want to transform these into Ancient Britons, I have some old Peter Laing 15mm British chariots somewhere and some Assyrian and Egyptian ones – good for chariot racing games.
There are some attractive 15mm Peter Laing Pictish and Roman / German Auxiliary Cavalry and Mounted Archers. There is also a non-Laing Pictish C in C on Horseback
The Roman and Pictish foot soldiers are backed up by these colourful Peter Laing Pictish and Roman Cavalry.
Many of the figures have Stuart’s unit ID notes on the bases, which I will do my best to photograph and preserve as I split up the bases to individual figures bases.
The Peter Laing Romans are superb little figures.
There are also what I take to be auxiliary troops and some great Roman artillery.
I’m sure my fellow Peter Laing collector colleagues will help me ID with catalogue numbers some of these Ancients figures over the next few months.
I have other Peter Laing 15mm Ancient figures acquired over many years or dual use items from my teenage Middle and Dark Ages Peter Laing figures. Stuart’s Romans can take on (in Ancient future) my Egyptians, Greeks, Sea Peoples and others, even my Zulus. I even have a Peter Laing elephant with howdah somewhere!
I wish I’d asked Stuart for a bit of ‘commander in chief’ advice, as Ancients are a relatively new period for me, aside from playing rough games with my Airfix Romans and Britons many years ago.
However there are his many books to give me some strategy advice.
As well as Stuart’s very simple rules in his books (pictured), there are also simple Ancients rules in Donald Featherstone’s War Games (1962), which also has as an appendix my favourite ‘Close Wars’ Skirmish rules.
So still a little work to do to get my Skirmish game ready for Sunday / Monday in Stuart’s memory.
I have chosen a scenario from the Stuart Asquith book of Solo Wargaming.
The WW1 centenary (2014) ‘soldier’ beer is ready.
Preparation of the game blog post to follow.
Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 15 November 2019
It is often said that a man dies two deaths, once when he physically dies and second when he is past living memory and his name and works are forgotten.
Someone like Stuart Asquith with his magazine columns and books, along with the many figures he painted, will not be forgotten, at least not by a small band of wargamers of a certain age and hopefully younger people who discover his simple approach in his accessible wargaming books.
Beginners will not forget borrowing from branch libraries or now tracking down online his Military Modelling Guide to Wargaming, which had lots of entry level plastic figures and simple rules. I still have and use the local branch library copy that I borrowed as child, picked up cheaply when it was sold off by the library service.
Solo Wargamers will not forget his interesting book on the topic with some innovative solo games mechanisms.
Siege Wargamers will not forget his book on this unusual subject.
I really like his ComfortableWargaming articles with their laid back, enjoy your games approach with No Units. No Morale Tests: “If you want to shell out around £30 for a set of rules, then feel free, but you know, you really don’t have to – don’t worry about phases or factors, go back to simple enjoyment.”
I never met Stuart in person but you feel like you sort of know somebody when you have read and reread their books and magazines for 30 to 40 years.
However in the last couple of years I was fortunate enough to be able to say a small thank you for all that he had done for my hobby.
I heard from Stuart after reprinting some sections of the Brian Carrick article Big Wars on 54mm gaming sections from the Battle For Wargamers Military Modelling Wargames Manual on my blog(s) as part of a discussion on 54mm garden gaming.
Stuart asked if anyone had a spare copy of this Manual magazine / annual as he could not find his own copy. He wanted to see a copy again but there were no second hand copies around. Not wishing to part with the original (a treasured gift from my Dad), I managed to photocopy it all and send it in a presentation folder to him.
It was my small way of saying thanks for all he had done for simplifying and inspiring my hobby over many years. I was happy to have given him a weekend of comfortable wargames nostalgia.
I was trying not to be a total fanboy but Stuart Asquith – the Stuart Asquith – had read my blogs. He left a comment on them and then I had a few emails from him.
Could I have imagined that as an 1970s 1980s Airfix kid pushing my plastic armies around a felt cloth on the dining room table?
The editor of the wargames bits and books from Military Modelling Magazine, Stuart Asquith was a giant in my Airfix boy eyes, along with Donald Featherstone. More important to me than any 1970s or 80s popstar, TV celebrity or footballer. (No, you’re right, that is a bit total fanboy but still …)
I was delighted and not a little surprised to hear that he was still enthusiastic and active in our wonderful hobby, cropping up on some of his regular gaming partners’ blogs. Hope for us all yet …
I received an appreciative email or two back from Stuart, who was also pleased when I let him know that his 15mm Peter Laing Roman Army and Ancient British Celtic armies were in good hands, mine, and still in use. Painted and used by Stuart, they now take pride of place amongst many treasured objects in my games room, still looking good after many years but awaiting rebasing.
They receive a passing mention of these very troops in his Comfortable Wargaming article in the form of Boadicea in her chariot that Peter Laing had specially made for Stuart, one figure that he had not parted with when he started downsizing his figure collection.
Amidst our email conversations, I mentioned the Wargames Manual’s general unavailability secondhand to John Curry of the History of Wargaming Project, who started talking to Stuart about possibly reprinting the Wargames Manual as part of his long to-do list of reprints. John has already reprinted several Stuart Asquith titles. http://www.wargaming.co/recreation/asquithandwise.htm
Thinking back to my first Osprey book written by him to help paint my Pater Laing ECW armies, Stuart’s 2019 reprinted ECW rules book ought to be on my Christmas list.
Tell it to the Bees …
Like bees, when their bee keepers die, I wonder if you have to break it to the tiny tin and lead men very gently that their painter and former (owner) Commander in Chief is no longer with us, gone to that Valhalla in the skies which is a bit like an eternal weekend of the Wargames Holiday Centre.
There, Stuart Asquith and Donald Featherstone, H.G. Wells and many of the wargames pioneers who are no longer with us are, I hope, having good natured arguments about wargaming in the afterlife and rolling the odd dice together …
Thank you Stuart Asquith, not forgotten, whenever and wherever a simple comfortable wargame is played and enjoyed.
Iremain proud to lead his tiny legions and tribes into battle with his blessing as their new Commander.
Blog posted by Asquith fanboy Mark Man of TIN, 4/5 November 2019
After a cool early morning stroll through my nearest local village I walked past a fundraising car boot sale. I was tempted to start a small Sylvanian Army by equipping small furry clothed creatures with shields, swords and spears (Redwall style) but kindly left them all to be discovered with delight by a local child.
Instead I bought a Scottish Croft for a Pound.
Thankfully I don’t now have to upsticks and move Northwards to embrace the Good Life of Self Sufficiency anytime soon, only to find both the off-grid smallholding novelty and the delusion wear out quickly. Then write a book about it.
Or maybe not – because it is a very very tiny Croft House and a very small piece of land. It also comes with a tiny flock of sheep built in!
Instead I moved in some suitably tiny tenants into this little resin Lilliput Lane building – some of my vintage 15mm Peter Laing 1715 or 45 Rising figures. I’m not too sure if they are happy about the sheep or the related Highland Clearances that will follow in the next century.
Crofting, Clearances, Sheep or People?
The Highland Clearances (or the “eviction of the Gaels”) were the forced evictions of many tenants in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, mostly in the period 1750 to 1860.
“After the initial swift and bloodthirsty retribution for the Jacobite rebellions, laws were instigated to prevent any further groundswell of support for the previous monarchs. In 1747 ‘The Act of Proscription’ was passed. Clan tartan had become popular during the Jacobite years and this was outlawed under this new act, as were bagpipes and the teaching of Gaelic. The Act was a direct attack on the Highland culture and way of life, and attempted to eradicate it from a modern and Hanoverian-loyal Scotland.”
The article continues: “It was not only Highland culture that disappeared over this period but also the Highlanders themselves, for the most prosaic of reasons: money. It was deduced by those landowners on whose lands the clans lived and worked, that sheep were exponentially more financially productive than people. The wool trade had begun to boom and there was literally more value in sheep than people. So, what followed was an organized and intentional removal of the population from the area. In 1747, another Act was passed, the ‘Heritable Jurisdictions Act’, which stated that anyone who did not submit to English rule automatically forfeited their land: bend the knee or surrender your birthright …”
The hundred or so years between 1750 and 1860 saw the bulk of the Highland Clearances, forced eviction from farms or a move into alternative Crofting tenancies. For many, it led to eventual forced emigration to avoid famine and failed industries like kelp farming. It is still an emotive area of many people’s family histories scattered around the world. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Clearances
So a Scottish Croft for only an English Pound has a lot of complex and partisan economic, social, colonial and military history lurking behind it.
With such big spending, I could have posted this blog post on Pound Store Plastic Warriors.
About 18 months ago I re-read Rosemary Sutcliff’s first book The Eagle of The Ninth for the first time since childhood. I also had strong memories of this Roman adventure story set beyond Hadrian’s Wall in Scotland from the late 1970s BBC Children’s / Family TV serial version.
Hang on a minute, I ask myself, weren’t you working on Scouting Wide Games?
This is not a million miles from my Scouting Wide Games as some of the recommended imaginative historical reading for “The Cloak of Romance” section of Scouting Wide Games includes authors that Sutcliff’s admired. Rosemary Sutcliff also liked Kipling’s historical romance Puck of Pook’s Hill.
The historicalnovels.info webpage mentions:
“Sutcliff felt a particular affinity with Rudyard Kipling. His work, especially his collected stories Puck of Pook’s Hill, aroused her interest in the way a conquered land can become “heart-home” to its conquerors, as seen in The Eagle of the Ninth and epitomised by Kipling’s poem “The Roman Centurion’s Song”.
I think Rosemary Sutcliff’s work and Henry Treece books have probably inspired the odd Wide Game Scouting scenario.