Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bala Hissar or Bust! 1879 Fictional Scenario, Second Afghan War

Here are a few images of a Second Afghan War era game using "The Sword and the Flame" rules. The beautiful "set" was designed and built by Ethan "Mad Guru" Reiff. The figures are mostly Ethan's with a few units of Pathans and Bengal Lancers from my own collection.

The scenario called for the Anglo-Indian contingent to break out of their camp, together with a large hoard of camp followers, to try to gain the protection of the British-held fortress of Bala Hissar.

Despite some audacious cavalry attacks by Will and Jeff, pursued in true death or glory style, the overwhelming number of angry Pathans was too much for the column and it suffered the same fate as the British column at Gandamak in 1842.

Ethan's amazing "set" for the battle

The Civilian Camp Followers: quite a burden


The Citadel of Bala Hissar

Which road to use for the march?

The Anglo-Indian Imperial Army Deploys

Pathans appear on the Right flank

Jeff flushes more Pathans on the Right

Will's Bengal Lancers take the Center bridge

The fight on the Right and Center develops

Jeff presses home his cavalry charge

Sikh Infantry supporting the cavalry

Supporting fire on the right from the Encampment

The terrified civilians surge out of the camp gate

Will's cavalry continue the pursuit to the mountain pass

British Infantry follow up over the Bridge

Sikh firing line to the left of the Bridge

Large reserves of Pathan's are everywhere, including in Kabul

Disaster! Painting by Lady Elizabeth Butler: "Remnants of an Army".
What actually happened in 1842.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940 by Decision Games

In this rainy weather we are currently experiencing in California,  I am really enjoying the boardgame: "RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940" by Decision Games.

I have had little experience with "solitaire" games. RAF contains two; a game for the RAF player and another for the Luftwaffe. It also has a two-player game. So you are getting three games in one. I have just tried out the RAF solitaire game "Lion" and find it is very enjoyable and highly playable. It really works as a true solitaire game.

How it does so is via a very sophisticated set of cards designed to simulate raid targets, dates and times, sizes and formations. Really thrilling and highly recommended!

Here is a link to the game page:

As usual, Boardgame Geek has numerous useful aids, reviews and demonstrations of the system. I found the game through Geek, learned to play it and how to order it. What a service to the gaming community!

New Model Tours

One of my new followers recently brought his historical tour operation to my attention. As you will see from my Blog, I really love visiting battlefields and historical sites. Although I have had no personal expereince with this company, I really like what they stand for:

"New Model Tours has been formed with a view to sharing with you a seminal moment in the history of  England, a time when democracy as we know it was formed, and  the idea that the divine right of a Monarch to reign unfettered was challenged and changed"

Since I am also very interested in the English Civil Wars, New Model Tours seems tailor-made for fellow enthusiasts. Please feel free to contact David directly. This is not a paid ad....caveat emptor.

New Model Tours
History made real

Welcome to New Model Tours we specialise in creating personalised tours for people visiting the UK to sites within Northamptonshire and neighbouring counties with links to the English Civil War.
In Northamptonshire most notably Naseby where the decisive battle of the war took place and where the way England was ruled would be changed forever.
Learn how the Parliamentarian and Royalist troops were deployed in this epic battle whose outcome would tip the balance of power towards Parliament and seal the Kings fate.

We can cater for individuals or small parties, arrange transportation to the battle sites, museums, and other places of interest, give informative talks on the war in general and it's main characters.

Use the contact page to let us know about anything you may be interested in and if we can provide something catering to your particular interests we will endeavour to do so.


Friday, January 1, 2016

The Year 2015 in Review

2015 was another great year for my hobbies and, thanks to my readers and followers, Horse and Musket. Thank you all!

I closed the year with 109,987 hits to date, just shy of my goal of 110,000. I wrote 56 articles in 2015.

The English Civil War: Royalist Army remains in First Place for all time hits at 943.
The 7eme Hussards remains at 2nd with 683 hits.
The Battle of Bosworth Field , 3rd at 658 hits
HistWar: Napoleon, 4th at 651 hits
Hampshire Yeomanry, 5th at 625 hits

2015 saw the introduction of 1/350 scale Elizabethan/Spanish Armada ships to my collection. This now numbers 7 ships, all modeled in great detail by Julián Fenández de Sevilla of ModelJShip .

2015 being the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, I continued the pictorial essays of my Napoleonic collection with a review of all of the British Heavy Cavalry at Waterloo. I also wrote an article about the visit my brother and I paid to Waterloo for the celebrations.

I wrote similar pictorial essays of my Museum Quality ACW Collection.

After my retirement in March, I formed some new friendships with local gamers. I became introduced to Fire & Maneuver. I have not been involved in true Club Games for 45 years since my days in London with the South London Gamers in the mid-late 60's. I realized that I have built a figure collection that is really not designed for the rough and tumble of the gaming hall, although I do play wargames with my sons and good friend Jeff Lower at my house. 

I therefore embarked on a new project to build a suitable ACW Union contingent so that I could comfortably field some of my own figures in a club setting. In this endeavour, I was helped immensely by Frank Patterson who painted most of my new wargames collection. These are all Redoubt figures, based on metal stands, to typical F&M rules. My other collections are based on wooden Litko bases. This project was completed very quickly and I now have a Union infantry Brigade (and another in process), a Cavalry regiment (mounted and dismounted), artillery for both Brigades plus staff, etc. 

From Frank and other new friends I learned a lot about wargames scenery suitable for a game setting and acquired some excellent hills, houses, fences, roads, etc from Frank. I also added more scenics from Joe Linares and Hovels. I am now well set up to join in club games or stage them myself. 2015 really saw me transition from collector to collector AND gamer. Indeed I enjoyed some very fine F&M games during the year, including Wake Island and St Nazaire.

Since 2015 was  also the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain, 1940, I added a few excellent 1/72nd scale Corgi die cast aircraft models to the collection. A number of new boardgames including WW2 land and air, plus ancient Rome, joined the collection. I enjoyed and supported the resources of Boardgames Geek for a second year and came to fully appreciate this amazing resource with its associated Geek Market.

Special thanks to Will and Jeff for our terrific Craft Days, to Ethan (Mad Guru), to Yanni, Carl, Neil and Julián, and to Frank and my new F&M friends.

Happy collecting, painting and gaming in 2016! I plan to enjoy many more games. I'm also working on an Old School Seven Years War collection so that my gaming can include real retro games in the style of Brigadier Peter Young and his seminal book "Charge".  This will be based on Minden 28mm figures in a simpler, glossy style, individually based.  More on this in 2016...