Tag Archives: SAD

10mm, 12mm, or is it simplY epic?

My foray into 12mm American Civil War

A while ago, probably getting on for 2 years now (OK, maybe 3) a very close friend Glenn broached the idea of doing the American Civil War, but in a ‘grand scale’. I had already stumbled into the period some years before when Mike, another close friend, had convinced me to building a division in ‘classic’ scale (or 28mm), so wasn’t completely new to the period. However the idea of being able to actually play larger battles, even on my limited gaming space, was very appealing, and so we started to investigate our options.

After discussing the relative merits of 6mm, and 15mm, we went for the compromise of 10mm and explored who did what, and for how much. Surprisingly, there are (or were then) already a few options available, including Pendraken, Old Glory, Minifigs, and Kallistra to name a few. All of these offered a fairly extensive selection of figures at reasonable prices, and most importantly were available for mail order.

After a bit of deliberation we opted for Kallistra. We liked the look of the figures, and they were offering a multi-pack deal which clinched the deal. Starting with a small purchase each we each bought ourselves enough figures for a division or so of infantry, along with associated artillery and some cavalry, as well as our all important commanders. I would start with the Union, and Glenn with the Confederates.

We hadn’t determined which rules we were going to focus on, so basing was going to need to cater to a multiple of rule sets. As such we settled on 4 infantry figures to a 20mm by 20mm square as the baseline, with the option to pair the bases for 40mm by 20mm with 8 figures on etc. Cavalry would simply be 2 cavalry to a 20mm square base. The Kallistra figures arrived with plenty of 40mm by 20mm plastic bases, so it seemed to solidify the choice. I meanwhile had ordered a large batch of steel bases from Products for Wargamers, my reasoning being that I it would facilitate by next cunning plan. Through the simple use of magnetic paper I could now create simple sabot bases suitable to whatever rules we ended up playing. It had the added benefit that I wouldn’t need to magnetise the figures, but simply line my figure box with a magnetic sheet instead.

When the figures arrived I quickly cleaned the figures for flash and visible mould lines before priming a sample batch with a white base coat. Games Workshop had released their Contrast Paints and I wanted to try those out initially, but if they didn’t work out I intended to revert back to a black undercoat and block the colours in from there. Fortunately the contrast paints were very easy to work with, with the paint seeming to ‘bleed’ into crevices, highlighting all of the detail which I would have inevitably missed. I went for a fairly simple pallet of colours to be able to paint the figures without too many complications. Within a fairly short time I had finished my four regiments of infantry, along with artillery and limbers. Feeling rather pleased with the results I then undercoated the next batch in white to repeat the process.

It was around this time that Warlord Games released their Epic ACW range. After lots of confusion and discussion the online community seemed to align that these new figures were around 12mm to 13mm tall (or there abouts). They weren’t 10mm, and they weren’t 15mm, but somewhere in between. Fortunately for myself and Glenn, we had gone with the 12mm Kallistra ACW figures which seemed to fit in rather well with this new offering (we were fortunate to be in the Goldilocks zone). So I bought a box, and what a box that was! The box was huge and contained 2,400 infantry and other figures, along with terrain and a set of the Blackpowder rules. The figures though come in strips of 10 men, designed to fit on a 60mm frontage base, so so serious consideration will need to be made as to how to integrate my existing figures and my established basing convention, with that of the newcomers. With lockdown now upon us I was sure that I would have the time to find a solution.

It was about that time that all of my progress came to an abrupt halt. We had ordered a new kitchen as seems to have been the fashion for lockdown, and it was about this time that it was delivered. Unfortunately the fitters wouldn’t be available for some months, so the dining room and conservatory became effective no-go zones whilst the kitchen was stored there. Since this is where I did my painting I would have to put it all on hold until a space for painting would become available again – I hadn’t quite appreciate just how long that would be. And so this was to be the case for many months whilst we waited for the installation to be completed. At least it gave me time to continue to explore the various rule sets which were available, and there are a lot of them available.

A Song of Heat and Sand

The Dervisher Command Decks

I took a first stab at the Dervisher Command Cards, so generated the general set along with a few specific commanders which tie to the Dervisher units I currently have available. As I manage to muster new units (or my friends raise new units to throw into the fray) I anticipate the cards evolving to accommodate them.

I’ve started with three generals as options, which should give enough variation for the early part of the war. Just print these off onto A4 paper – they should all scale to the same sized cards.

Base Dervisher command deck – just print off two copies to have 14 cards
Abdulla Ibn Ahmed General Command Cards – just print off once
Osman Digna General Command Cards – just print off once
The Mahdi General Command Cards – just print off once

A Song of Heat and Sand

The Sudan Intrigue Board

As the start of the Sudan ASOIAF project I created a variant to the politics board. Since the Sudan is hardly a hotbed of politics, the board needed to be revised and so became the ‘Intrigue Board‘. No doubt it will go through additional changes to further fit the theme.

A slight change to the icons, with a more appropriate background.

A Song of Sand and Heat

I’ve recently been playing the Game of Thrones miniatures game called “A Song of Ice and Fire” from CMON with various members of the Swindon And District War-games Club (strangely enough based in Swindon). It is an excellent fantasy miniatures war-game based around the George RR Martin A Song of Ice and Fire books (if you’re a fan of the TV series, then you’ll know what’s going on). I fell in love with the rules after a few games, it enthused me like no other rules system has done for a long time, and it’s currently my preferred set of fantasy war-games rules at the moment.

OK, so like most warmers I started to tinker. Not so much with the ASOIAF game, since I’m enjoying everything that game is currently throwing my way, but rather to see where else I can apply the mechanisms. To this end I looked at whether it would be a nice fit for my recent Sudan excursion. My figures have been deliberately based to support a variety of existing popular rule sets, including ‘The Sword and the Flame, ‘The Men Who Would be Kings’, and ‘Sharpe Practice’. To use the miniatures for these rules would simply mean creating unit movement trays to take the figures. To this end I discussed my ideas with the vary accommodating Simon and Sue at Blotz and in a very short order had bases suitable for my Dervisher infantry and cavalry, as well as more tailored bases for the regular Egyptian and British infantry.

You’ll have seen my progress in getting these units rebased and ready for the table in previous posts. For the Dervishers I’ve now managed to have 6 units of Beja tribesmen (the classic ‘Fuzzy Wuzzies’). as well as 2 units of Beja camel riders, and 2 units of Baggara cavalry. My Brits are somewhat smaller with only 6 units of infantry now complete. I’m in the progress of sorting out the Gardner and Gatling guns, then will need to order some more bases from Blotz for the guns. Next up will be rebasing more of the Brits, as well as organising the Mahdist Ansar infantry. At some point I’ll need to sort out things for British cavalry, along with the Egyptian infantry (and the Naval Brigade, the Indian troops, the Nile Arabs etc. and of course the steam ships…)

Well, back to the rules. I’ve managed to redo the rules for the Sudan, keeping many of the core mechanics, and introducing things which are key features of 19th century colonial wargames. I have a revised intrigue board, and even a series of different sets of generals cards for the two sides. I’m still working on the various unit stats so that I can get the forces to the table. I’ve had to change some of the core principles of the game though due to the asymmetric nature of the two principle protagonists; we have fast moving irregular troops who are primarily vicious close combat types fighting against formed regular troops who rely upon long range shooting to try and keep the enemy at bay. To this end I’ve introduced some longer ranges for shooting, going beyond the 6″ short and 12″ long in the original rules. I’ve also introduced some basic formations for the formed troops (line, march column, and of course square), as well as new unit types such as different river craft, with trains to eventually make their appearance for later period events.

Certain elements of the original rules aren’t really pertinent to the Sudan (or even historical games in general), so those aspects have been dropped. The game modes were dropped in favour of scenarios, but I have attempted to keep these non-specific to allow for the casual pick-up and play games. There are however some specific scenarios to cover some of the more pertinent battles in the campaigns.

Battle of Austerlitz

6mm Blucher

A few members of the Swindon and District Wargames club have played Blucher over the last couple of years and there are now a wide selection of armies available.

In March 2017 Peter David and I had a go at refighting Austerlitz using the rules. There is an extensive library of scenarios available produced by fans of the rules, some of them produced in a really professional manner. I found one which suited what we had in table size and units. Peter chose to be the Russians and Austrians given he had recently received a beautifully painted Austrian army, whilst I took the French.

We had a great game and we had to call the game to a close due to time, more due to us faffing around and wasting time rather than the scenario being too long for a single day play.

For the Kingdom

A variant for Richard Borg’s Battle Cry covering the English Civil War, which will also be familiar to player of the Commands and Colors games and their variants.

The Swindon and District Wargames club was invited to run a game at the annual Devizes ‘Attack’ Wargames show. Given that Phil and I have fairly extensive English Civil Wars armies in 28mm we thought it would be a great opportunity to dust off the figures for a game.

I suggested that we keep the game simple, with the view to being able to run multiple games to conclusion on each day whilst being able to talk to anyone interested and perhaps getting them involved. There are a substantial number of rules readily available, but few really seemed suitable for these key criteria. I proposed to use a the Richard Borg mechanisms from Battle Cry and develop an informal variant for our English Civil War project.

To keep up the interest across the two days Phil suggested running the games as a series of linked battles in an ongoing campaign, and duly set to work creating a nice simple campaign system to generate the battles. Using the game’s banner board Phil created maps where forces were shown moving as battles were fought. The campaign system was elegant in its simplicity and allowed us to play over 12 games on the two days.

SAD Dredd League kicked off and going strong

The SAD Dredd League kicked off with 7 players managing between 2 and 3 games each.

The second meet took place last week but turned into a large multiplayer game of judges against the undesirables.  John Alpha and his cutie mob joined forced with Ma Balls and her Ape posse.  Against them were ranged the Judicial might of Simon and Allan.

Allans forces were soon put out of action with my Apes following after the demise of Ma Balls.  Simons Judges looked to be in the winning position until the true nature of Johny Alpha was determined and he slowly whittled Simons forces down with the assistance of the few remaining apes.

Eventually it was a close thing but Alpha eventually killed Dredd and the remnants fled the field.

It was a great game and I am looking forward to having a few more large multi-player Dredd games in the future.

SAD 2015 – Judge Dredd Campaign

The second and final day of the Judge Dredd campaign took place on Wednesday (25th February).  Again we had 10 players continuing to battle it out over two or three games in the evening.

At the end of the evening the champion was identified as Simon with his zombie horde.  The prize was a great Judges badge to commemorate the event.  Andy came in a very close second with his Klegg Invasion force.

I think that the two day event worked well with most people getting either 4 or 5 games in over the two days.  It is a very quick game and lends itself to short campaigns very well.

Rules and figures can be obtained from Warlord Games and Mongoose, though most sci-fi figures will work.


Judge Dredd Campaign – SAD 2015

I am running a very short Judge Dredd campaign at the SAD Wargamers over two Wednesdays in February.  Given the nature of the game players should be able to get between 2 or 3 games in an evening.

The first day kicked off well with 12 participants playing across 6 tables of ruined urban, Cursed Earth, and Industrial.  The mix of gangs was fairly wide with nine different flavours being taken. Unfortunately I forgot to take any photos during the evening so will try and remedy that next time.

  • 1 x Renegade Robots
  • 1 x East Meg Invasion force
  • 2 x Justice Department
  • 1 x Ape Gang
  • 1 x Street Gang
  • 2 x Apocalypse War Resistance Unit
  • 2 x City-Def
  • 1 x Klegg Invasion force
  • 1 x Zombie Horde

the majority of the players were fairly new to the rules (and one completely fresh to miniature wargaming all together).  I tried to split the new comers up so that they were either sitting beside or playing against someone who had a basic grasp of the rules.  A few of us have played quite a bit in the past but were a bit rusty so the first games were slow.  Fortunately subsequent games speeded up significantly as well moved into the campaign.

I do enjoy the games and recommend it to anyone who wants a game which has minimal outlay on figures (many use old Necromunda and Dark Future figures to supplement to Mongoose figures) and most of what you need is contained in the core rules.  The new rulebook is a lovely piece of work incorporating both of the old Mongoose JD Miniatures rules and Block War supplement into one hardback book.  The presentation is fantastic, I’m just disappointed that the spelling mistakes and awful grammar errors are still present and carried over into the new rulebook.