‘A Gentleman’s War’ skirmish, with angry nuns.


There had been some discussion about a ‘skirmish level’ version of ‘A Gentleman’s War.’ So, last week we tried it, with a single unit of 12 French infantry and a cantiniere defending a cemetery against twice as many Russians.

The Russians, nominally led by the company officers, were actually commanded by a tiny but irascible Orthodox nun. It was her harangue that inspired  the bayonet charge that cleared the French out of the cemetery.

This  week we went to Dan’s house for a bigger game, a thoroughly bloody event in which almost everyone was killed. At least, it seemed that way. My highlight was when my artillery piece was charged by Spanish infantry. I ha theee dice. I need a 3+ to hit. I could blow this attack to smithereens. I rolled all ones and twos. Well, huh.

The rules. Right. We wanted to leave as much ‘as is’ as we could. Here are the differences.

The unit, which we’ve always been vague about anyway, is much smaller. It’s not necessary 1/1 scale, but something under 1/10. The unit might be a platoon, or a small company.

A Court card activates your whole force, a number card one group of figures.

You can break down a unit into as many groups as you like. However, once you’ve done that, each requires it own card to activate.

Each officer figure is treated as a general, with all those particular rules applied.

Long range for shooting is anywhere on the board, but short range is 12” for muskets or rifles, because we aren’t making those distinctions.

A saving throw failure of 1-2 means the figure is dead, and placed face down. Above that (but still failing) it’s wounded, face up. It may return.

On a joker, aside from everything else, roll for wounded men. 1-2 they die, 3-4 remain in wounded state, 5-6 jump up and rejoin unit. +1 if medic, nurse or cantiniere with unit.

We will be working on this.

‘A Gentleman’s War’ at Cold Wars


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:



“A Gentleman’s War” released!


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…




A Gentleman’s War Approacheth

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!


Multitudinous and Various


image 2

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.



A Step into the Past.

Children playing. 3

I bought a copy of Joseph Morschauser’s “Wargames” in Miniature “ from 1962 – the original rather than John Curry’s recent reprint. $8 at the Historicon flea market. Aside from noticing that the author lived – he died in 1993 – within easy driving distance of me, I was fascinated by the resource materials in the last few pages.

In 1962 the list of toy soldiers, and where to get them, was very short. Traditional 54mms, now increasingly in plastic. Flats from Germany. 30mms from Scruby and SAE. 20mms, which he refers to as ‘tiny’, including those brand new Airfix figures. And we have a list of mostly toy shops, where you could get them. Most are in New York, because that’s where the author lived.

Do you remember when we thought it was absolutely normal to write to people – private individuals – for lists of figures, or places you could buy figures?


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