Category Archives: Historics

What is Battletech?

BOARD GAME GEEK SUMMARY

Rating7.6 (900+ Reviews)
Players2-6
Playing Time120mins
Age14+
Complexity3.53/5.00

Since its beginnings as the BattleTech boardgame, the BattleTech/MechWarrior universe has captivated millions of fans worldwide. For almost three decades, the collision of interstellar politics and war has rewarded fans with amazingly detailed fiction, captivating characters and fantastic adventure. These dynamics have spawned a host games, novels, toys and more.

Choose your pill and spiral down through the links above to endless action!

Snalespune on Youtube has a great introductory video to Battletech, which explains the basics of the game.

If you’re interested in getting into Battletech, then I recommend you look at Battletech for more information. They have all the models and rules you need.

Thanks for reading! – Peter

What is Black Seas?

BOARD GAME GEEK SUMMARY

Rating8.1 (50+ Reviews)
Players2-12
Playing Time30-500mins
Age10+
Complexity3.43/5.00

Black Seas is naval wargame set in the age of sail fought using a range of specially designed 1/700 miniature ships from Warlord Games.

Using Black Seas you can fight battles from the american war of independence through the Napoleonic wars and beyond.

One of my favourite YouTube channels OnTableTop (Formerly Beasts of War) has a fantastic guide to playing Back Seas.

If you’re interested in getting into Black Seas, then I recommend you look at Warlord Games for more information. They have all the models and rules you need.

Miniatures & Rules

Warlord Games

Thanks for reading! – Peter

Warlord Games Releases Combined Arms

Combined arms is Warlord Games’ first board game but more importantly for the Bolt Action, Blood Red Skies and Cruel Seas players amongst you, it’s their first campaign supplement as well.

What does that mean? Well you’re able to play Combined Arms as a stand alone game using the pieces in the box to conquer Europe etc. Or you can link games of Blood Red Skies, Bolt action or Cruel Seas together for one large campaign.

Credit Warlord Games

The boxed set is priced at a very reasonable £50 and includes maps, cards and all the tokens you need to wage a complete campaign.

Bolt Action – Combined Arms is a strategic board game that commands the players to face off, seize the initiative and outwit their foe amidst the fog of war. Each game will see you fighting for control of air, land, and sea in order to claim objectives and hold them against the enemy.

Choose your theatre of war, from the western and eastern fronts to North Africa and the Pacific. Each theatre has its own challenges and opportunities, some rewarding control over the sea, some rewarding control over the skies. How many of your precious resources will you sink into each, and how much will be left to control the land? Will you rely on stealth as you move units secretly, springing up where you are least suspected, or will you attempt to overwhelm your enemy with brutal overkill?

Combined Arms can be played as a stand-alone game or players can incorporate Bolt Action, Blood Red Skies, Cruel Seas, or Victory at Sea for an epic continent-spanning campaign. Unique cards link your campaign with your chosen wargames, meaning your choices in the campaign could mean victory or defeat on the tabletop.

Combined Arms is available for Pre-order and will be shipped to customers in May.

6mm Black Powder Gaming – Part 1

I have bought the new Epic Battles: Waterloo by Warlord Games and I’m slowly making my way through the painting much like Declan (when I’m not painting those pesky Kruleboyz). However, one thing I’ve noticed (as I’m sure many others have as well), is that the models are epic in scale but the basing and the rules are standard Black Powder. What I mean by this is that a standard unit in Epic:Waterloo is the same as a standard unit in regular Black Powder.

Credit: Yith’s Wagaming Blog – Check it out, its a fantastic read

This got me thinking to how you could have truly cinematic and epic battles in Black Powder by converting the inches to centimetres (like many others have done).

By doing this, you can play a regular game of black Powder on a much smaller play area – 2.4 feet by 1.6 feet rather then 6′ x 4′. But also, it gives you the option of playing much, much larger games on a regular table.

The only issue is the basing and miniatures. if you take a standard unit in Black Powder with a frontage of 240mm and divide this so it suits the cm measurements rather than inches (i.e. dividing 240mm by 2.5) you’ll get a standard unit frontage of 96mm (let’s call it 10cm). If we use increments of 20mm then the basing could look something like this:

The great thing about his, is that if you use Baccus Napoleonic 6mm infantry you can get two large bases completed for just £8.00!

But what about different formations. Well these could either be represented by a dice in one of the dice holders on the base (i.e. 3, for line, 4 for square etc) or you could just model some other bases as Square and attack column etc. I’m inclined by the later personally.

The other dice holder can also be used to measure the units stamina. For Dice holders I’m always inclined to use Pendraken.

But I’d like to know the opinions of those experienced in Black Powder and what they think!

What is Saga?

Every age has its heroes. Singular men, whose prowess and virtue have raised them above mere mortals, and who have forged their own fates through their determination, courage and strength. Their names have survived the passage of time: King Arthur, William the Conqueror, Achilles and Conan.

Whether they were born in popular legend, the fertile minds of writers or the annals of history, they live forever in our collective memory as the most celebrated figures of ages past.

However, for each surviving legend there exist innumerable others still waiting to be written. Thousands of heroes wait to prove themselves on the battlefield, to speak with fire and steel, and to carve their mark on the world around them. With the book in your hands, you have the unique opportunity to take part in the creation of these legends and to see them master their destinies in turn.

Your Saga begins here…

Saga is a skirmish game taking place in the heroic ages, whether they are historical, mythological, or sprung from the minds of writers. It brings to life the battles between exceptional warriors – Warlords, who defy their enemies on the battlefield at the head of their warband.

It has been given a rating of 7.9 on BoardGameGeek from 300+ ratings

Rodge Rules has produced an excellent Guide and Playthrough of Saga. He also has no end of tactics videos, battle reports and reviews all on Saga. Give them a Sub!

Part 1

Part 2

Saga is a fantastic game which is easy to learn has a different play style to other games and has a lower model count meaning it can be a cheaper game to get into.

Getting Started

Miniatures

Gripping Beast
Victrix
Warlord Games
Footsore Miniatures

Rules

SAGA Rulebook
SAGA Age of Invasions (Supplement)
SAGA Age of Hannibal (Supplement)
SAGA Age of Vikings (Supplement)
SAGA Age of Crusades (Supplement)
SAGA Age of Magic (Supplement)
SAGA Book of Battles (Scenario Supplement)

If you’re located in the US then your best bet may be nobleknight.com who have all the rules, dice and rulers.

— Peter

Paints Used for Napoleonic French Infantry

This post is partly a reference for myself as to which colours to use (Citadel or Vallejo) when painting my Epic Battles Napoleonic French. I’ve listed colours that could be used from both systems.

All of the paints listed can be purchased from ElementGames. Why not use my referral code and get double the crystals when you purchase anything? XBJ9837

Line Infantry

An overall base coat should be applied with London Grey or Mechanicus Standard Grey.

BASE COAT

AreaVallejoCitadel
JacketsDark Prussian BlueKantor Blue
Belts/Muskets/Slings & LapelsLight GreyGrey Seer
TrousersAny of Offwhite, London Grey or Beige Pallid Wych Flesh, Mechanicus Standard Grey or Karak Stone
Shako & BootsBlackAbaddon Black
SkinBasic Skin ToneCadian Flesh
Collars, Cuffs & Lapel PipingDark VermillionMephiston Red
(Voltiguers) Plumes & EpaulettesBlack GreenCaliban Green
(Voltigeurs) Collar, Epaulette edging, Pompom, Tip of PlumeYellow OchreYriel Yellow
(Grenadiers) Plumes, Epaulettes and Shako LaceDark VermillionMephiston Red
Backpacks & Musket WoodFlat BrownMournfang Brown
Musket Barrel, Bayonet & CanteenOily SteelLeadbelcher
Shako Plates, Sword Hilts, Chin Scales & ButtonsOld GoldRetributor Gold

WASH

AreaVallejoCitadel
Grey Trousers, Shako Covers & SteelDark ToneNuln Oil
Beige Trousers & Shako CoversStrong ToneAgrax Earthshade
White TrousersDilute Light GreyDilute Grey Seer
Skin & GoldFlesh WashReikland Fleshshade

HIGHLIGHT

AreaVallejoCitadel
WhiteOffwhitePallid Wych Flesh
YellowFlat YellowDorn Yellow
GreenIntermediate GreenWarpstone Glow
BlackBlack GreyDark Reaper
BayonetsPlate MailStormhost Silver

Light Infantry in Greatcoats

An overall base coat should be applied with London Grey or Mechanicus Standard Grey.

BASECOAT

AreaVallejoCitadel
GreatcoatsLondon Grey, Beige or Light BrownMechanicus Standard Grey, Karak Stone or Balor Brown
Trousers & inside Open JacketsDark Prussian BlueKantor Blue
Piping, Belts & StrapsLight Grey Grey Seer
Shako & BootsBlackAbaddon Black
SkinBasic Skin ToneCadian Flesh
(Carabinier) Straps, Plumes, Epaulettes and Shako LaceDark VermillionMephiston Red
(Voltigeurs) Epaulettes & PlumeBlack GreenCaliban Green
(Voltigeurs) Collar, Edge of Epaulettes, Shako Lace & Tip of PlumeYellow OchreYriel Yellow
Backpacks & Musket WoodFlat BrownMournfang Brown
Musket Barrel, Shako Plate, Chin Scales, Bayonet & buttonsOily SteelLeadbelcher

WASH

AreaVallejoCitadel
Grey Greatcoats, Trousers, Shako Covers and SteelDark ToneNuln Oil
Beige & Light Brown Greatcoats, Trousers & Shako CoversStrong ToneAgrax Earthshade
SkinFlesh WashReikland Fleshshade

HIGHLIGHT

AreaVallejoCitadel
WhiteOffwhitePallid Wych Flesh
YellowFlat YellowDorn Yellow
GreenIntermediate GreenWarpstone Glow
BlackBlack GreyDark Reaper
BayonetsPlate MailStormhost Silver

What is Blood Red Skies?

BOARD GAME GEEK SUMMARY

Blood Red Skies is the new World War II mass air combat game from Warlord Games, written by renowned game developer Andy Chambers.

Packed with everything you need to play this fast paced air combat game, the Blood Red Skies starter set does what it says on the tin. Plus once started you’ll have the extra rules to introduce the play cards that really bring your fighter aircraft to life, allowing you to fly them just as they would have been by the Aces of WW2!

It has been given a rating of 7.4 on BoardGameGeek from 150+ ratings.

Simple but effective gameplay

Tabletop Anarchy has produced a series of videos explaining how to play Blood Red Skies.

1. Core Mechanics

2. Activation

3. Movement

4. Pilot Action

5. Shooting

6. Wingman

7. Clouds

8. Cards

9. Build A Squadron

10. Gameplay

Tabletop Anarchy also have a number of videos on painting the planes.

If you’re interested in getting into Blood Red Skies I can’t suggest you start anywhere else but these excellent collection of videos.

— Peter

What is Blucher?

BOARD GAME GEEK SUMMARY

Blucher is a tabletop game of the great battles of the Napoleonic Wars. Command an entire army from the first reconnaissance of the enemy to the deployment of forces and husbanding of reserves to the bombardment and engagement, and the final commitment of elite shock forces that will shatter the enemy’s weary defenders.

Blucher can be played with miniature figurines and terrain or with “unit cards” on any flat surface. You may in fact use both in the same game, since the cards provide a wonderful “fog of war” that conceals your forces until they are close enough to the enemy to be identified and represented with miniature figurines.

It has been given a rating of 8.2 on BoardGameGeek from 50+ ratings.

Epic Fox Table Top has produced a series of videos that are great at explaining the mechanics of Blucher.

1. Part One

2. Part Two

3. Part Three

If you’re interested in getting into Blucher. I can’t suggest you start anywhere else but these excellent collection of videos.

— Peter

Kreigsspiel Battle Report – Battle of Ravine-à-Couleuvres

Historically the Battle of Ravine-à-Couleuvres also known as the Battle of Snake Gully, was a major battle of the Haitian Revolution on 23 February 1802.

A French division under General Donatien de Rochambeau was advancing down a ravine (the Ravine-à-Couleuvres), towards Lacroix, Artibonite, where they attacked the army of Toussaint Louverture. Louverture’s forces consisted of 1,500 elite grenadiers, 1,000 grenadiers in different Demi-brigades, 400 dragoons. Louverture’s forces resisted the attack strongly, but had to retreat across the Petite-Rivière after suffering 800 deaths.

Prior to the battle on 22 February 1802, the French occupied the heights of Morne Barade and were attacked by rebel troops; the battle raged throughout the night and the French forces successfully resisted the attack. The following morning, the Haitian forces advanced out of the Ravine-à-Couleuvres as the French were travelling down it towards Lacroix, while Louverture rallied his cavalry. According to Bell, the losses of Louverture’s army were minor.

The Gameplan

This would be my first game in Kreigsspiel and as such I was learning the ropes from the other players when I was able to communicate with them during the battle. That said it was an awful lot of fun and made me think of Kreigsspiel as more of an RPG wargame rather than the table top precisely measured game you imagine it to be.

This game took place with six players on each side, an overall General and then five Generals of Brigades. I was placed on the French side and in command of the third Brigade.

Unfortunately there were no accurate maps of the area available and so the game was to be played on a similar landscape using the Fredericksburg map from the Amercian Civil War.

The Battlefield

Our mission was simple, we were to enter from the north and take and hold the river side city as quickly as possible, while the rebels were out to stop us.

Our General issued his orders to us, which involved the Cavalry Brigade scouting the main route down to the city and assessing where the rebel locations were while avoiding combat if possible. My brigade was to follow the route taken by the cavalry as quickly as possible to try and take and hold the southern most part of the city ensuring that we held those bridges. The remaining brigades were to move to the northern part of the city to secure the crossing points there.

My initial orders showing the target positions of where I wanted my battalions to be placed once they reached the city.
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07:45 On our route down our wagons get stuck in mud and I’m forced to lose time ordering our lead battalion to assist in freeing the wagons. At this point I wasn’t quite aware that orders had already not been understood, as my wagons were leading the column towards the enemy!
At 08:00 I assumed that the lead four battalions were well ahead of us this point after our delay freeing the wagons from the mud. So I sent orders to them via ADC advising them where to position themselves in the city until our arrival.
At 08:15 it became clear that all of my battalions were in fact towards the rear of the column.
At 8:30 contact is made with the enemy by the Cavalry screen in front of us.
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08:30 Some frantic ordering in response to the firefight ahead sees me attempting to move my battalions in front of my wagons finally and deploying skirmishers while our General rides on ahead bravely to see whats going on
Brigade makes contact with the enemy and moves to support our cavalry.
08:45 As we were no co-located with the Cavalry commander we were able to get his report on the situation straight from the horses mouth (pun intended). I order my remaining battalions that have not yet arrived to push into the fields on the right as the nearest bridge to he city was just a couple of fields away to our right. We had the intention to punch through the enemy and try and make it to those bridges.
09:00 The initial combats appear to be going in our favour although the cavalry on the right are already starting to suffer casualties and the arrival of enemy cannon does not help our situation. I order my remaining three battalions to move up on the right flank to try and relieve the wounded cavalry elements.
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09:15 My infantry start to gain the upper hand in the combat but the artillery is a worry.
I give orders for my troop movements with the intention to try and push my very slight advantage, I also send a message to the other Brigades to inform them of our plight.
09:30 The fighting intensifies, but my men start to run out of ammunition and are taking casualties at an alarming rate. I order my troops to retreat back along the road until we’re beyond the range of the enemy artillery.
10:00 My men begin to pull back
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10:15 and my men begin to recuperate and rearm, while are Cavalry push back into the fields on the right.
10:30 and our Cavalry route the rebel cavalry and pursue their Generals. Only to be halted by the dreaded artillery. Prompted by this I order my battalions to take the enemy guns as quickly as possible, hoping to remove them from play or possibly even capture them for our own use.

And with that the game was over. While myself and my fellow gamer who was in charge of the Cavalry had managed to smash aside the Haitians, capture their guns and even wounded their commanders (I think)in our little corner of the battlefield. It just wasn’t enough with the 1st and 2nd French Brigades getting badly mauled to the north there was no hope of our little force crossing the river and securing the town.

A victory for the Haitians but a costly victory.

Summary

This was a fantastic introduction to Krieggspiel and I thoroughly enjoyed myself throughout.

It wasn’t anything like I expected, and in the end felt more like a Role-playing game where you’re in charge of a specific General. I highly recommend anyone to take a look at this game and perhaps join the International Krieggspiel Society and dip your own toes in!

Unboxing – French Starter Army for Black Powder: Epic Waterloo

Warlord Games have released their Epic Waterloo miniatures and game system this weekend just gone. I was lucky enough to pick my French Starter Set from SCN Hobby World yesterday and I was eager to take a peek and see what was inside.

It’s one of the largest starter boxes I’ve seen, and one of the heaviest! I picked mine up at 20% off for £72 through Sarah at SCN Hobby World.

Lifting the Lid

Theres a tonne of sprues inside. Ten infantry, three heavy cavalry and three light cavalry. Along with the meaty full colour rulebook, a scenery piece, painting guide and flags. I

It was all very nicely packages tightly inside. Warlord must have learnt their lesson form the ACW version Starter Set here, as a common complaint was that everything was a bit loose inside that box and often some of the contents would arrive damaged.

“Do you have a flag….?” – Eddie Izzard

They have coloured the plastic of both starter sets, (blue for french and Red for British) so if you’re eager and know someone with the other set you can play straight away without the need for painting.

Sprue 1 Light Cavalry

Hussar!

There enough here for 11 bases of Light Cavalry, as well as 3 artillery. Made up of 4 Lancer bases (one spare model), 3 Hussar bases (3 spare models) and 4 Chasseur bases (1 spare model). None of these models are command models but the addition of two Imperial Eagles on each sprue allows you to convert some in to standards. You can also use the spare models for ADC’s or for diorama pieces on your Brigade Commander stands.

Geek Point 1: The standards were made optional as none of the French Cavalry had their standards on the Waterloo campaign.

Sprue 2 Heavy Cavalry

These are the other 10 bases of Cavalry, but these make heavier versions of the Cavalry regiments. Here you’ll have 4 bases of Cuirassiers, 3 bases of Carabiniers and 3 bases of Dragoons. Again, you have the inclusion of an artillery piece on each sprue and two french eagles. There were a lot more Cuirassiers and Dragoons at Waterloo than Carabiniers but I can understand why Warlord have included one of each type on the sprue.

Sprue 3 Infantry

There’s loads of infantry… all told just over 800 men. The detail on the sprues is incredible given their size, and time has been taken to differentiate the flank companies of Grenadiers and Voltigeurs from the centre companies.

This sprue is packed. You’ve eight stands of infantry and enough skirmishing Voltigeurs for another stand, as well as some foot artillery and a command figure.

Bases

Bases… lots of them!

Of course, none of these would play well without the basic addition of bases… just look at that pile! It’s huge.

Dice

And some dice… as if wargamers don’t have enough to build their own fort! Still a good inclusion for a starter set.

Declan’s picture of the dice included

Decoster’s House – Building

Decoster’s House

Warlord games have teamed up with Sarissa Precision to bring some scenery with the boxset which also comes with its own painting guide and stencil.

Flags & Painting Guide

A great addition is a full colour sheet of French flags. This will really add to the colour and make the regiments individual on the tabletop. Well done to Warlord games for this inclusion.

Rulesbook

The full rules book for the Waterloo Campaign in Epic Battles. This appears to be a full rulebook at 260 pages. It’s in glorious full colour as well and means you don’t need a separate copy of any of the existing Black Powder rule books.

Summary

This is a great box, and real value for money. It should draw many GW fans looking to get into Napoleonics. Declan and I are just two of them.