Just a bit of painting on my Tangiers 1680 project, in 42 mm. Grenadiers of Kirke and Dumbarton’s regiments, dismounted horsemen shooting.
The Tangiers Horse, shown in helmets.
The infantry, in formation.
And Eliza, in command.
I had no plans beyond something small to play on my kitchen table. I’d been collecting Chinese temples, as one does, so I thought we’d try some criminal activity in the mysterious East, with a sorcerer hiring bandits to steal an amulet from some peaceful monks.
So, that was me, and Dan the evil mage and his minions.
Who behave badly, but not that effectively, being bandits. Still, the monks were outnumbered.
The sorcerer sent in his daughter, a swordmistress, who did some efficient slicing and dicing.
Meanwhile the sorcerer and his other daughter wire-fu’d their way to the highest of the four pavilions, pursued by the master of the monastery – –
Which makes for a great cliffhanger. Because I have no photos of what happened next.
It’s been a couple of weeks, and I still haven’t written this up. At Cold Wars I put on a ten player game of A Gentleman’s War, set in the late American Disturbances, using the now famous comic book flat armies. It was based on no actual battle or OB, but featured far too much cavalry and too many native warriors, cardboard building from the 70s, flat wooden trees and an absurd Kelly green cloth.
The players were broken up into pairs, five Redcoats and five Rebels, each pair sharing a deck of cards for activation. It doesn’t matter where other players are in their own turn sequence as long as the two matched players follow the fall of cards in their own deck. A couple of times in this game, one player found himself under attack by not merely his direct opponent, but the player next to him.
The British player in the centre rashly attacked at what must be regarded as uphill odds, which meant that, after this early failure, he spent the rest of the game desperately fending off an overwhelming number of irate colonial fellows. The Hessians to his right, despite gallant efforts, failed to clear away the American left flank, and mostly seem to have decided to desert in favour of farming in Pennsylvania.
On the far flank everything went very well for the forces of the Crown, the Americans falling back outnumbered. Gallant cavalry charged in ways that would surprise a student of the campaign.
After a couple of hours of conflict, it was clear that each side had won on one flank. A sudden rainstorm, courtesy of a random ‘What Luck’ card, was taken as reason to call the game, both sides write home of their great victory.
Few of the players had payed AGW before, but all seemed to pick it up quickly — it’s fast and simple — and the multiple decks of cards meant the whole thing moved along at a fast clip.
I think everyone enjoyed it, which is all I can hope for.
you can get paperback copies of the rules at
while a pdf version, and the cards, can be found here:
Our shiny toy soldier game, ‘A Gentleman’s War’ is now available. In a collaborative arrangement between Pulp Action Library (which is Roderick Robertson and myself) and Vince Rospond at Winged Hussar, we offer the rules as either paperback or pdf. The pdf includes the ‘What Luck!’ and Cameo Role cards, which are available separately, either pre printed or for downloading.
For the paperback:
Why yes, you want a copy…
For the monthly game evening at our local game shop, Toy Wiz in Nanuet NY, Dan set up the battle of White Plains, just across the river from us. I suspect that the terrain no longer looks like 1776. Dan brought everything except for my test copy of ‘A Gentleman’s War’ and some dice and counters.
He used a rather nice game mat and had everything set up by the time I arrived. I chose to be the Americans, on the grounds that they were mostly militia, and if I lost it would not be my fault. We did decide that there were two regular Continental units, from Connecticut and New York, who could at least be rated as vanilla average. Not really an elite force.
The cards ran Dan’s way at first, and he advanced boldly. Okay, not too boldly. There was a lot of shooting, in a not very lethal way. Yet. I had three very good hold cards, but nowhere worth using them for now. Why waste a king?
The first of these photos shows the first volley of my 3rd NY regiment. Hoping for sixes. Do you see any sixes?
when Dan charged my militia unit at the fence line it did what you’d expect, and ran away. A second unit, advancing to fill the gap, also ran away when charged. In fairness, Dan had dropped the ‘ate green apples’ random card on it, and it didn’t feel well at all. In fact, on a D6 roll, it scored a modified 0.
Things got better for a while. I plugged the gap and shot at Dan’s lead units, whittling them away. A Hessian unit charged uphill against the 3rd NY, rolled terribly as the New Yorkers rolled well, and was destroyed. In a fit of excitement, however, the N.Y. unit charged downhill into the supporting Hessian grenadiers, and took almost 50% losses from a very effective volley. Then the melee went about as you’d expect. Oh.
… and that was it. Nine units a side, two hours, lots of chatting with friendly gamers who came to see what we were doing. Good game!
We are getting very close to releasing ‘A Gentleman’s War’ as a set of hardcopy rules and a pdf. Right now Roderick is adjusting photos on the layout, and then we’ll be ready to go. This is a game for gentlemanly gamers, not too long in play, not too complicated, not too abstract. It’s a toy soldier game.
It’s a deliberately old school game, using a standard card deck, handfuls (although not buckets) of dice, saving throws and removing casualties one by one. That said, we’ve avoided the mathiness of actual 1960s and earlier rules, because we didn’t come here to play arithmetic.
Everyone is very brave. You don’t take a morale test to charge, because we encourage that sort of thing. And a unit ignores casualties until it’s taken one third casualties, and then one half.
You can play with any figures, really, but the mood is set for very traditional figures. Ours are 40-42mm shiny toy soldiers for the Victorian era, but my AWI collection is plastic flats in around 30mm.
I will keep you posted!
I’ve been woefully neglectful in updating this blog lately, so here’s a photographic tour of games I’ve played in the last few weeks.
So, first off, some pics of last week’s game at Toy Wiz, largely to try out a melee system I’ve been playing with, based on the one in Flint and Feather, but fantasy, so more geared to heroes who slay minion after minion. Mostly they didn’t, though, because Matt Thorenz managed to roll astonishingly bad dice. Come on, when you have a 7-1 advantage, a draw isn’t a good result.
Next up, for the previous week, is more or less the same set up, but infested with cats. Maisie on the left, Eliza on the right, plus part of Elmore.
And, last up for now, is an American Revolution battle using my comic book flats armies and the AWI variant on A Gentleman’s War. A tied battle, but a good one. My artillery hit nothing at all for several turns, but made up for it when, in time of crisis, it inflicted five or six casualties on the approaching Green Mountain Boys, who then failed morale badly and ran away when, frankly, I could have been in trouble. A lot of trouble.