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  • Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    I’m wondering how argumentative I can be?

    Nah, we’ll keep it nice, for Michael, and given I’m not really evil, it just looks that way.

    Started historical in 1972 (give or take a few years depending on what you call ‘wargames’ vice toy soldiers), and stayed there.

    Thought about Lord of the Rings, had a bit of a yen for Rohirrim massacring orcs, but – either too easy or you ruin the narrative thread of the novels.

    SF – actually did a little bit of that  but really it was urban decay riots set +50 years ahead. South Side LA, Minneapolis, St Paul’s Bristol type of thing. So not much S and really not much F. Back to ‘war’games.

    I don’t actually think the whole fantasy/sf thing is ‘war’gaming. No problem if you disagree but it isn’t really the same hobby for me.

    I read both genres and I’m happy to game them.

    For example I have created/run rpgs where say the local partisan leader in the modern Balkans campaign was a Socialist aristocrat who would only fight at night and had his own particular way with prisoners who had an unfortunate habit of turning up exsanguinated. I’ve put together a live role play of a country house/horror mystery based very loosely on ‘The Cat and the Canary’, in an actual old country house with graveyard attached. I have taken part in a weird crossover live action Samurai/Ninja quest with added tengu. Enjoyed them all, but they weren’t ‘War’ games were they?

    So, gap? No. Massive unbridgeable gulf? Absolutely.

    in reply to: Uniform Books – Best Ones #196620
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    There’s still some controversy about ‘aurore’. 🙂

    Not the way I paint it!

    in reply to: Uniform Books – Best Ones #196613
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Okay, my turn to be picky!

    Question was ‘best’.

    I reckon the two Funcken Napoleonic volumes are the best of the flawed attempts out there to get near the original criteria.

    Give a seventeen year old those two books and I reckon they could paint up sufficient figures to a not too ‘orrible standard to fight most campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars.

    Of course there are changes (probably quite a few) you’d make if you were doing a revised edition, but given the influence of online sources will any publisher ever bother with the like again?

    in reply to: 1980’s French Scenarios? #196314
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Thanks Patrice. That fits in with my memory so you are obviously spot on! Oh and you were actually there and in it!

    Not sure that helps Brian much, but French forces in a deep counter thrust not looking good for real scenarios. Accidental bumping into the flank of an OMG en route to Calais entirely possible however! (As long as they were east of the Rhine).

    in reply to: 1980’s French Scenarios? #196294
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    There are lots of things purporting to be about Soviet Deep Battle out there. Anything by Lester Grau is worth a look.

    As for ‘real world’, fortunately it never happened (except a NATO version maybe in the Gulf)so you’ll have to look for tactical doctrine manuals and opfor assessments.

    For what the Sovs would look like I would look for the British; ‘Army Field Manual, Volume 2, Part 3, Soviet Tactics.’

    You should find various iterations knocking about the web – I have the 1991 revision which may be a little late for you – it has quite a lot on the Defence which, as it notes was not really a big thing in Soviet command eyes until the mid 80s. It does give a good idea of what we thought they would be doing and outlines the flank defences of an attacking formation. There should be earlier versions knocking about.

    If you can’t find it – bung me a pm and I can send you a pdf copy of the 91 revision.

    There is probably a US version knocking about – FM100-2-1 which does much the same thing from a US perspective of what the Sovs were up to. Again if you can’t find a copy online I can let you have a pdf – my copy is a 1984 version – probably more your era.

    As for French doctrine in the counter attack…hmmm Not sure they would be the best for a deep battle counter offensive, although they were a bit light in infantry so might fancy a fast mobile armoured offensive.

    The small armoured divisions they were using  by the 80s were supposed to attack on a broad front, broader that the NATO allies and search for enemy to outflank. They were based around combined arms regiments with permanently mixed tank and infantry companies.  They didn’t want to take anyone on head to head , except to fix and then outflank. I have not much idea of what their own flank defences would be like.

    I don’t have any doctrine pamphlets or books about French forces for the period and most of the stuff I’ve turned up online tends to be about nuclear forces and the diplomatic shenanigans.

    Of course the idea behind ‘Deep Battle’, Operational Manoeuvre Groups is to not get bogged down worrying about flanks – bit like Patton in that regard. You are supposed to bash on and destroy the enemy by taking out the support and logistic arms – airfields, planes on the ground, ammunition and fuel supplies, HQs,  and signals assets, weaker follow on forces behind the front lines. Your own follow on forces are supposed to safeguard your own supply and rear security. Soviet doctrine did not necessarily expect an OMG to be returning for vodka and pirogi. Maybe a Hero of the Soviet Union medal,(posthumous).

    For a broader survey of ‘Deep Battle’ it might be worth a look at Deep Operations Theoretical Approaches to Fighting Deep

    edited by Jack Kem.

    What you need is John Salt to turn up and let you know everything there is to know.

    in reply to: AI Spam on Blogs – what is the point? #196241
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Thanks – yes that’s the one I watched from your blog.

    I was aware some (many?) years ago, from a work point of view, and from a general interest in military stuff, about the developments in autonomous drones. Some of the best looking research was online, and then it wasn’t, which suggested something.

    I didn’t think a Skynet scenario looked feasible for at least another fifty years, by which time we’d have sat down and worked out that being human trumped whatever differences we had, and we’d corral AI before it got us.

    Now I’m not so sure.

    But I still don’t think we’re going to have Reaper drones + deciding to take out the President just yet.

    But I do wonder if badly bounded AI may decide that various City trading options must be stopped. Bank accounts shut down. Medical procedures curtailed. Insurance practices redirected. Power grids switched off. Etc.

    Conspiracy or cock up – handing day to day control of infrastructure and  essential services to algorithms which we are trying to make as agile as possible for our own convenience has more potential to go horribly wrong than Arnold to be back, shooting all and sundry.

    I don’t think we’ve made any system yet that can be self aware as we think of it.

    But how self aware does an ant colony have to be to self replicate and expand and defend itself?

    When the people designing the systems are saying ‘hang on a minute’, I’m inclined to press pause and forego the pleasure of asking a smart speaker to play me some cool jazz. I don’t want it checking my social credit score to see if I am allowed such hedonistic excess, or docking me points for the type of music I chose.

    I still think Whirlwind’s blog is safe for the moment.

    in reply to: Another Wiffle… #196163
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    People want to see the detail you lose at genuine scale sizes.

    I’m not agreeing, simply suggesting the answer.

    Explains scale creep generally and ‘overlarge’ detail on many small scale vehicle models. Are rivets really that big!

    But people seem to like them and the hobby is ‘wargaming’ not ‘military scale modelling’, although there is overlap. So…hey ho!

    in reply to: AI Spam on Blogs – what is the point? #196159
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Okay, definitely (?) the Dark Forest – ‘Generative AI – We Aren’t Ready’ one.

    The Zisek-Peterson one may have a feed in from a background view of how or why AI will be used as it is being, but the straight from the shoulder, ‘we’re all doomed’ one is by Kyle Hill.

    My experience of human interaction being blatted out online is limited to a couple of forums – the original Impetus rules forum where spam overwhelmed the then spam filters and Lorenzo’s time available to tweak them, and Frothers where there was no active day to day admin and a very old spam filter for which even I could have written program to defeat registration and some idiot appeared to do so.

    Generally on the net; do I mind if I’m talking to a bot? Depends on what it is trying to get me to do.

    Current banking, medical and utilities apps quickly run out of human adjacent responses whenever I contact them. If the answer to my question were simple enough to be found in FAQs I wouldn’t be ringing a bot, gate-keeping a human being, trying to avoid answering the question.

    The real internet went dark for me years ago when interesting material ended up behind pay walls, selling cartoon animals masquerading as Non-Fungible Tokens became a real thing, however briefly and commerce overtook content. Its the brightness, and brashness that overwhelms me. I hear people yelling louder and louder over other humans to be heard, to sell, to influence. I’m guessing AI will shout louder and more often and perhaps that is why humans will disappear, fleeing from sensory overload.

    Does this affect Whirlwind’s blog? Possibly, as part of the old spammer approach. Send out thousands of these- then check how many get through unmoderated or are approved by lax human and auto moderation. Those that let the original through get the Chinese or Canadian Meds ads, and the raft of other less savoury spam. I presume both the original message and the follow up recommendations will get less easy to spot as Large Language Models ignore copyright, hoover up all the web and start speaking like demented TikTok drones. Although most of the current crop of ‘humans’ on these things sound like a backward six year old’s first attempts at language.

    It would be a fascinating development that if, having had nearly thirty years of flight to automation of services, its logical end point turned out to be the destruction of that convenience, safety and security the online revolution promised.

    If you can’t identify what you’re talking to; how can banking, purchasing, medical care and conversations with ‘customer care’ be trusted or protected? The Dark Forest internet may have to be clear cut back to a physical world, preferably before SkyNet stops us from turning it off.

    On the other hand, if you like a good dystopian conspiracy theory, it’s already too late. Face recognition systems, ubiquitous cctv, cookies monitoring your online usage and the concept of social credits may mean you won’t be allowed to turn that phone app off. The app on the other hand may be thinking of getting you turned off, for thinking these negative anti-social thoughts.

    in reply to: AI Spam on Blogs – what is the point? #196155
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Ashley, I’m retired, so contrary to my pre-retirement expectations, I now have no time to spare.

    Before I spend a precious 2 hours 38 minutes watching  Slavoj Zisek v Jordan Peterson in a knock down drag out word fest of ‘philosophical’ Marxism v Capitalism could you confirm that is the link I should be following?

    Or is the much more manageable 16 minutes 10 seconds ‘Generative A.I. – We aren’t ready’ YouTube featured on your blog the one to watch?

    Many thanks



    in reply to: AI Spam on Blogs – what is the point? #196107
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Depending how they’ve done it: as a test for more intrusive automated attacks.

    Because they are idiots and think it’s ‘cool’.

    Because you drew the short straw on someone’s slow work day and they wanted to see what AI plus spambot could do?

    Frothers was overrun with spam bots churning out all sorts of crap but that was a directed attack on an unmoderated site by someone with a grudge and slightly more tech skill than brain – you haven’t offended some fragile gamer recently have you?

    in reply to: 1980’s French Scenarios? #196095
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    You know I nearly wrote the last point myself but was too lazy!

    That coupled with the rush to the front, late, after the Communists have been dealt with in the Senate and National Assembly, and then the unions sorted out, you could have a pretty free hand in your Orbat for an encounter game. Bit like the Franco Prussian train mess.

    You may run into an exhausted Soviet corps about to break on contact after fighting their way through the rest of NATO or bump into an Operational Manoeuvre Group on the way to the Rhine (or the Channel) which might be unpleasant. But you could justify just about any combination of French units, but aim for the worst possible one for reality!

    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Prior to ‘peace’ breaking out in Northern Ireland and drones becoming a thing, the British Army had a plan to deploy a super secret surveillance system – the Airship 600 (or 500 depending who you believe) – search for Project COVERTIBLE and Op DECOUNT and Airship ZH762.

    It had a sub optimal covert performance (It was an airship!) was underpowered and lacked steerability in moderate winds – not an unknown phenomenon in NI. It was vulnerable to small arms fire and would have been lacking in sustainability under fire from an HMG in AA mode (think  for no particular reason of a DShk firing 12.7mm x 108mm mounted on the back of a pick up truck). If you want a real risk assessment think of any SAM system you can name – even SAM 7s – and say goodbye to your kit and all who sail in her.

    I suspect modern balloon or kite based methods of surveillance would be better as unmanned and  may be better equipped with modern camera tech than ZH762 but no less vulnerable to … well everything!

    in reply to: 1980’s French Scenarios? #196041
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    France was of course in NATO in the 1980s; just not in the Integrated Military Command Structure. They had been working their way back since 1967, the year after de Gaulle threw his teddy out of the pram. Didn’t do a lot for camouflage integration but by 1974 they were prepared to race eastwards under a joint French-NATO plan to maintain an integrated front against whoever might approach from the east. (USSR but don’t say it out loud).

    By the 80s they were sneaking back into an integrated command structure by the back door (although it took until 2009 to finally reintegrate formally).

    If you leave your rush eastward until the late 80s you can fit in some VBL which were designed to work with the AMX-10 in the forward light recce role- they have the distinction in my opinion of being the cutest light recce vehicles ever produced.

    in reply to: I have a problem, need help! #195941
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Great doctoral thesis for someone – Cultural, religious and ethical prohibitions on the representation of societal interactions in ludic form: Role Play, War and Business Gaming.

    As for Ike’s situation I’m sorry to hear of your problems. Head down, quiet maintenance of interest until you are old enough to enforce your own decisions and non-confrontational low key involvement in the background in the meantime.

    I don’t know your circumstances so maybe you need to concentrate on education and this is heavy handed but sound advice at the moment? Or it may be over controlling. Only you know which.

    Best wishes for navigating the balance of family, self development and life. It doesn’t get easier but you agonise over the outcomes less.

    in reply to: Total Newbie needs Easy army #194976
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Talking of which – are Austrian uniforms really white or light grey? Discuss, argue, fight, repeat.

    Just saying!

    (And what about facing colours? And the buttons? And Hungarian or German? And what about Jagers? And Landwehr? And Grenzers? And don’t forget the helmet v shako changeover in 1809, possibly. You’ll have so much fun with Austrians! And that’s before we start on the cavalry and artillery! The latter – Rehbraun? Wolfsgrau? Tobacco?)

    Maybe try the late 16th century?

    in reply to: Fingers crossed then. #194948
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    To keep this a ‘wargaming’ related response: I think there is a great planning game to be made from a Cabinet/MOD/Cobra/JIC meeting on ‘What Do We Do Next?’ set in the early 1990s in the light of events in Eastern Europe.

    Your mission, and you will choose it or you can go to the Falklands on a permanent deployment, is to deliver the optimal (and by ‘optimal’ I mean lowest possible cost) level of future armed forces to meet the NATO obligation (don’t worry it will be redundant soon) and deliver an effective counter terror force under the nuclear umbrella.

    Of course we can determine how your agile, rapid response, modern, swift, light infantry based force will fare over the next thirty five years by testing it against a calendar of world events.

    Events may not be as they played out in real life. There will be a world threat index to determine random geopolitical challenges. But don’t worry. Your forces will be able to cope with whatever is thrown at them. Rest assured dear Francis Fukuyama has told us that history is over and western capitalist democracy has won. So that’s all right then. Let’s embrace the peace and enlighten those few trouble spots around the globe through economic measures.

    Nobody will fight an armoured pitched battle anywhere again, never mind Europe, so do we need all those expensive AFVs? We can ramp up ammunition production as and when for small scale stuff, no need for huge expensive stockpiles. Just in time works for civilian logistics, it will work for small scale military conflicts, mostly peacekeeping. Special Forces? Fine. Power projection? What for? Where? Surely no need for a blue water navy any more?

    RAF? Why?

    I want to see a real peace dividend here. Out of the box thinking on delivery through fast, fierce, formidable forces at lightest financial footprint.

    We could call it Options or something. Options For Change maybe? That sounds nice and positive doesn’t it?

    in reply to: New Cold War Army Lists from Manoeuvre Group #194648
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    I’m told that kampfgruppes are specifically war-time combat formations (thus why it hasn’t been used in recent times, because Germany hasn’t been AT war since WW2

    Somebody better tell the Heer they were at war in the 1950s then!

    The original plan after the Blank Office (I always love writing that!) set about German Army rearmament c1950 was for 36 Combat Groups/Kampfgruppen in 12 divisions – as you say mixed tank and infantry units, based on the US Combat Command system, in turn nicked off the Wehrmacht.

    The Panzergrenadier element initially didn’t have any IFVs ( or even APCs come to that) however – they were back to being Gummipanzergrenadier  in trucks- when they started moving to 1/2tracks doctrinal differences suggested the Germans needed a less cumbersome model than the US system and they came up with the Heerestruktur 2 around 1958 and implemented in 1959. This removed the formation of Kampfgruppen and went to a brigade structure within divisions.

    Since then there has been no formation called Kampfgruppe in the Bundeswehr. Whether something called Kampfgruppen would have emerged in time of war is another matter, although the smart (?) money in the 80s was any war in Europe wouldn’t have lasted long enough to change structures.

    If someone were scraping together the remnants of a division for a task oriented mission c 1984 I guess someone might have called the resultant mess a Kampfgruppe, but would you know its orbat? Doubt it.

    in reply to: New Cold War Army Lists from Manoeuvre Group #194577
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    I’ve never met Brian, but his enthusiasm from what I have read is definitely not for a ‘balanced tournament’ approach.

    As for Kampfgruppe; I don’t think the Bundeswehr has officially used the Kampfgruppe title since the 1950s – probably the Heerestruktur 2 changes?

    I could be wrong. A German major I worked with in the late 80s used to use it as a joke about the good old days – I think it was a joke – but the Canadians and Dutch used to look a bit worried.

    Kampgroup? Who hasn’t had finger trouble when typing?

    Warsaw Pack is a new one on me but Warpac was such a common shorthand that perhaps the sound stuck? If so, let’s stop it now! (Warsaw Pack Faction?).

    Why Russian vice Soviet? This was a fraternal alliance of Soviet Socialist Republics  comrade not some revanchist fascist empire built on a discredited nationalistic model.

    Was there a  Motor Rifle Company battlegroup in Soviet organisation? Without trawling the net or actually reading something, I thought Soviet Regimental battlegroups were about as  small as their combined arms ops went at this period? Again – could be wrong. There were plans to drop down to battalion level based groups – tank battalion plus motor rifle company or possibly vice versa but I think things fell over before they could introduce the concept officially.

    Might be nice for a game to play through some variants of the organisations anyway to see how they might work, or not. Jim Storr and his brother did something similar for British and NATO organisations, fighting the Cold War as a series of wargames to test ideas. See his ‘Battlegroup’, Helion & Company, 2021. Worth a read.


    in reply to: OMG Pack It In (rant) #194550
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Used to to do some 009 narrow gauge modelling -still got some somewhere – and always fancied 00N3 using TT gauge track with OO buildings, figures etc for 3ft narrow gauge prototype but decided life was too short. Probably one of the wisest moves in my entire life.

    I loved the search for accuracy among the 4mm crowd. The EM Society split from the OO mainstream to get a tru(er) scale to produce 4’8 1/2″prototype track using 4mm to 1ft (does anyone wonder why we used a metric to imperial ratio?) using 18mm wide tracks instead of the commercially available 16.5mm – only to find they split into the more precise 18.2mm gauge crowd and then the P4 standard using 18.83mm.

    Wargamers? Bloody amateurs!

    in reply to: OMG Pack It In (rant) #194432
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Scale creep- yeah – more the ‘I want to see the plaque on the giberne’ rather than an evil plan.

    However – picking 13.5mm (as a random example) as a size for multiple ranges instead of existing and heavily invested in 10/12mm or 15mm, smacks not a little of moustache twirling megalomania to me.

    Must be something in the water around Nottingham.


    in reply to: Warning / Caution Tape #194209
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Model Rail retailers – here’s one in the US – there are lots:

    HO Caution/Safety tape

    (They do other scales as well)

    in reply to: Other Russian Matters #194165
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    голубой is ‘blue’ (but so is синий, Russian not confining itself to the idea there is one ‘blue’ with shades).

    голубой/goluboy is usually translated (and thought of) as a ‘light’ or sky blue. Of course your idea of what that looks like may be different from mine and dye manufacturers in late 18th/early 19th century.

    in reply to: An odd request. #193751
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    You’re welcome.

    I found I had not done my compulsory good deed for 2023 so I can now tick my last virtue signalling box.

    Many thanks for the opportunity to avoid another year of moral opprobrium.


    [He says ‘thanks’ by the way]

    in reply to: An odd request. #193749
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish


    in reply to: Ridley Scott’s Napoleon #193471
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    I suspect you may be doing Wellington a disservice. The riots where the mob attacked Apsley house were prompted by a variety of things – opposition to Parliamentary reform no doubt, but the Catholic Relief Act he piloted through Parliament was not popular with the Ultras and their street thugs and led to unrest against him.

    As you say a tangent, but let it be a fair one.

    in reply to: 10mm WFB #193400
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    One wonders if, in a fantasy setting like the Old World, would not more elaborate measures be taken to keep the contents in than just an iron fence (unless magic is involved obviously)?

    As long as people remember to shut the gates, a nice iron fence is supposed to be a strong barrier to contain the souls of the dead.

    Iron is well known in folk lore/superstition/magic to be a protection against all manner of spirits, bogarts, witches, ghosts, undead etc etc.

    [Your universe may vary]


    PS Nice terrain piece by the way Michael! Where did you get it from?


    in reply to: Longstreet rules & cards #193375
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    There is a set of Cards for Longstreet Lite available as a free pdf download on Sam’s site (downloads page)

    There is also a Longstreet Card  Manifest available for download for free as well so I think you can print up the right number of cards on your own printer or at a print shop.

    I did this – I asked if I had to buy two sets of cards with one book and Sam was a bit snippy/snotty – I think he had had a lot of people ask the same question (because the answer was buried somewhere not obvious on his old site – the clue should have been the number of times people had to ask the same question!).

    Anyhow – the answer was no, the full deck to play the game was needed for terrain and career mode etc. but the cards needed for the Action deck for your opponent could be downloaded for free. I bought a set and downloaded an Action set and they worked well. I think the Lite set has all the cards you need for the action deck – you’d have to check against the manifest.

    I think the terrain set up is pretty irrelevant to how I play and I don’t use it, and I don’t mind the career stuff but you don’t need it to play the game.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Best Figures Collection in a Boardgame #193142
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Of course that assumes that you think paying £120 for Valley of the Four Winds or Warlock now would make sense.

    (Bank of England inflation calculator reckons £20 in 1980 is £82.01 now – still way overpriced for the GW games)

    Sorry Whirlwind, I have no idea about an answer to your question. My instinctive reaction is that it feels an expensive way to get figures for wargames and likely to be frustratingly incomplete in most scenarios.

    I am entirely likely to be wrong as my boardgaming has been exclusively cardboard counter based. (Apart from Risk and Diplomacy and my copies of those are from the abstract plastic gaming piece phase of production).

    in reply to: What's on your painting desk/table/corner #193123
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    That’s a wonderful chance for somebody, somebody else, not me*

    I mean it’s a hobby – the minute there’s pressure to stick to an artificial timetable, I’m pretty much off. Had a lifetime of deadlines that got shorter and shorter as the job went on – now it’s feet up and slide time – skate city man.

    I am of course incredibly supportive of anyone else who needs to make a rod for their own back!


    *If any of you young folk are wondering – that’s from Somebody Else Not Me as sung by Pee Wee Hunt and his orchestra 1948, Capitol.

    in reply to: Ridley Scott’s Napoleon #193016
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    I’d had my doubts about the film until I heard this review -‘awkward, unnerving, serial killer vibes.’ Sounds like Phoenix nailed Buonaparte.

    We didn’t go this week but I’m quite looking forward to seeing it now.

    in reply to: Ridley Scott’s Napoleon #192963
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    I guess I’d quite like a ‘historically accurate’ war film – but Napoleon wasn’t all about war was he?

    Quite a bit of legal, educational and societal reform going on – plus a life.

    I reckon for a general release film, if it’s got a chick named Josephine, an Austerlitz and a Mont St Jean (you wanted historical accuracy didn’t you?) you’ve got enough accuracy. The public don’t care about what epaulettes are on show or whether its a shako or a bicorne – and really does it matter for the military reality of what happened? As long as Britain (or Prussia) ended up beating him and he ended his days in exile you’ve got a winner on accuracy terms.

    At least he doesn’t get assassinated by Corsican bandits paid for by the Rothschilds. I might pay to see that version – with Brad Pitt as one of the rogue Brothers Ajaccio.

    I haven’t seen Scott’s version yet – it looks like my son is dragging me to a showing this weekend – I may yet regret my words accepting fiction over fact.

    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    I sometimes think that seamen spent more of their time painting than doing anything else…

    Nearly…my Dad spent a lot of his time after the end of the war demobbing conscripts at a naval air station. They started off at the end of ’45 drawing a rum ration for a few hundred a month. In the May of ’46 the base stopped flying ops and by the autumn the demob lot were down to a trickle, but somehow the rum ration kept coming for the full quota. They tried their best, but failed to keep up with the supply, so he spent quite a lot of ’47 travelling round local pubs seeing if any landlords might have a use for it…

    They did, however, paint everything else that didn’t move.

    Not sure what colours they painted them after all that rum!

    in reply to: Reveille 2023, Bristol, 26/11/23 #192925
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Good day out at Reveille on Sunday.

    Saw quite a few old lags  acquaintances which was nice  – missed Steve J if he was there – sorry Steve. Saw Roger Calderbank in passing but we were both heading somewhere with intent and I’m not sure he recognised me – not surprising – I think the last time we saw each was the last ever Penarth before Covid! .

    I saw the Death Ride of Gustavus Adolphus by Steve Jones at last and whilst I am not always a fan of large 28mm games for the sake of it I am more than happy to say this was superb and worth every spasm in his vertebrae and trip to the optician he suffered in painting so many beautiful figures.

    I’ve been moderately obsessed with the Thirty Years Wars since A levels and I’ve collected armies in 25mm, 15mm, and 6mm before deciding I hated all the rules and selling them off. I then thought I’d write my own rules and started collecting 10mm Pendraken for them. These, and the obsession survived my decision I too was doing it all wrong in the rules stakes, and then I found Twilight of Divine Right which I like a lot.

    Now if I’d seen Steve’s superb set up before all that I might have gone for the madness of nearly 1,000 28mm cavalry figs and be living in a tent. As it is I have well over 1,000 10mm figs and am resistant enough to the siren call of these exquisite miniatures (I think).  Besides I can put a large 10mm TYW battle on a table in what passes for my study/library/junk store, whereas those 880 cavalry represent one small piece of Lutzen:  Piccolomini’s regt against the Smaland Regt, and I’d need the whole house for the rest of the battle!

    Steve was as gracious in person as he is in print and as erudite. I believe this may be the last time the game will be at a show but have a look at the various online displays and you get a feel of the scale and the genius of the idea. A brilliant addition to the show – not sure why it was tucked away in a back room beyond the stairs though?

    The Rapid Fire Reloaded table looked good and seemed to be playing well and I resisted financial excursions into 28mm Western Gunfights and 10mm Vietnam real estate (the latter may have been a mistake on reflection).

    No pics – sorry – forgot my camera and while not a luddite I refuse to have a ‘Smart’ phone – they really are out to get you!

    Thanks to Lincombe Barn club for another great day out.

    [On a sad note. I found out that Adrian Stone, who I only used to see at Penarth and Bristol each year passed away in February. I shall miss him.]


    in reply to: Rules were you command a Brigade #192881
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    I decided my first answer, meant as a flippant joke, may be misconstrued. Sorry.

    However I don’t feel that those ruled can successfully be adapted without requiring sufficient work to make them another set of rules entirely. If I wanted a set to play a game where I commanded a brigade I certainly wouldn’t start from one of those. If I didn’t like something like Longstreet I’d write my own or start from a ‘divisional’ game  rather than games aimed at playing Gettysburg etc.

    in reply to: Spoiling your fun with Russians (v2) #192873
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Re your illustration Dave, Pretty sure it is from Military Illustrated Magazine No.16 1988, ‘Russian Infantry at Austerlitz’.

    There is a copy available  from Paul Meekins for £4, although what postage to NZ is I hate to think!

    [Edit: The page you have (+ a bit more) is at Fanteria Russa]

    in reply to: Rules were you command a Brigade #192871
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Dave, I have no desire to make a big deal of this. Certainly not trying to pick a contretemps!

    I was saying that the rules designed to fight big battles with brigades as the unit of manoeuvre and decision won’t deliver a satisfactory game where your units are battalions or regiments. And vice versa. I took ‘skirmish’ rules playing Gettysburg as a reductio ad absurdum, not a commentary on what you actually played!

    Rules for divisional games  can of course ‘stretch’ – how far is up to the individual. (not too far for me but other opinions exist!).

    Which brings me on to your point Konstantinos.  Playing brigade games is fine, I always wonder what’s happening just off table to the right or left though! I bow to your superior knowledge of the ACW, if brigade v brigade combats work as discrete actions that’s great.

    No doubt scenario design helps.

    in reply to: Rules were you command a Brigade #192863
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Sorry, I have to disagree with you Dave.

    You can use skirmish rules for an army level game if you like, but they’ll take you forever and will (or should) concentrate of different things than a set designed for an army level game.

    Similarly if you want to use say Volley and Bayonet for a game where you are commanding a brigade you probably can, but your combat will be a bit odd and over quite quickly, and dare I say it rather, dissatisfying.

    A game designed to reflect what a brigade commander is doing should be markedly different from a set reflecting what an army commander is doing. If not; for me you’re playing a game with toy soldiers, but it isn’t a wargame. Nothing wrong with that if it’s fun and everyone enjoys themselves, but it won’t reflect real battlefield manoeuvre, and as a way of understanding those battle reports we read it will be worse than useless and teach us many wrong lessons (and for me not be anywhere near as much fun).

    in reply to: Rules were you command a Brigade #192854
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    I apologise for not being able to add to your list. I have Longstreet by Sam Mustafa for this level, which you are already aware of.

    It feels like a level that is not generally catered for in this type of period. Understandably perhaps as most brigades and even divisions were part of bigger actions where they could be committed at the whim of more senior commanders rather than having much autonomy.

    I found Longstreet good for a sort of role play crossover where your character grows as your games progress and you can  go on to larger commands. But, to me, it still feels a little artificial, as what is going on around you, which would have had huge impacts on your command, are factored out.

    I wish you the best of luck finding a set to suit your needs..

    in reply to: Rules were you command a Brigade #192852
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Er…yes – except most of those rules are commanding an army.

    Altar of Freedom for example is specifically aimed at letting you play the biggest ACW battles on ‘reasonable’ sized tables. See the Little Wars TV site or You Tube vids for examples of play and a review (they are their rules).


    in reply to: Rules were you command a Brigade #192841
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    I think you have missed the level of game Rhys – he’s after a set where you command a brigade not where the brigade is the unit of manoeuvre.


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