This Week


Austerlitz from Hexasim.

Having become quite familiar with Ligny, last night we opened the campaign game and played the first 4 turns of Austerlitz

The fog, mostly fixed orders for the first few turns and concealment (we used movement sleds) made for a fascinating and very engaging opening to the campaign.

As the French player, I had Davout on the right and far forward, his forces did a magnificent and surprising job of holding back the initial intentions of the enemy, getting most of his reinforcements onto the board to join him, while roughly holding his position.

I had Murat move the Cavalry Corps out on the right to go down and support him.

On the left I had Bernadote and Lannes pushing out to cover that flank.

In the Centre, I had Soult positioning ready to strike out into the now large gap between the enemy centre and their left flank, with a view to them hitting the outer left flank of the centre via that gap and the Imperial Guard and Grenadiers were setting up to smash into the front of the centre, to help make Soult's manoeuvre decisive.

Then suddenly helped by the fog of war, the Russian Guard popped up on my centre left and my own Guard were revealed, followed by a clash between these two important formations. The Russian Guard were roughly handled and then in my 2nd activation, I had the Guard just fire, so that I did not suffer counter-fires and a good run of dice brought about step losses and retreats. The edge had definitely been taken off the Russian Guard, I was still respectful of their capacity, but perhaps a bit less fearful.

At the start of turn 5, I rolled 6 for orders (minus 3) gave me 3 orders plus the Davout special order. Mike rolled for the Allies and got 'no orders', so would have to rely on his army commanders in the up-coming turn.

Though the evening's play stopped there for us, I felt as the French Player, that the initiative was with me and that re-ordering would help me destroy the centre (a plan which involved taking Murat's cavalry from the right and having Davout ((alone)) just keep falling back, absorbing the ebnemy advance, while the enemy centre was destroyed).

We felt that the way the game unfolded and the dynamic of orders and hidden forces, made the first 4 turns an interesting part of the game in it's own right.  

We hadn't played since February, so there was a bit of rule delving and these rules do have some fine nuances tucked away, but we felt that between the two of use, we pretty much got back into the swing of things quite quickly.


Arnhem by Beevor.

This is his newest title, just hitting the shops in hardback.

We have a local mobile library service and the staff on there know my reading interests, so it was rather nice that they had seen this title and snaffled it for me.

Being on loan, it jumps to the front of the reading queue and feeds into my 2018 ‘re-organisation of hobby’ to get back into the reading habbit and to try and match the subject to whatever is on the gaming table. By chance, I am just going through the Heroes of Normandy module from Lock ‘n Load, which includes the old ‘swift and Bold’ expansion that was built around the British Paratrooper actions, so all told, this has been quite a fortuitous matching ....... hoorah for libraries!

Edit - a few chapters into this enjoyable read as it looks at the initial planning stages and reveals the rather dismaying egotistical fractures within the senior Allied command, compelling reading so far.


Lock ‘n Load tactical have just updated their rules from V4.1 to V5.

Their release is imminent and having some early access to the rules, I have blogged about changes to the rules format and as to which new rules made it ... and what didn’t!

There is also a brief AAR, just to highlight a few points.

This just gives an early look for those interested.



I have just spent a couple of days up at Hadrian’s Wall and visited the Vindolanda site, which currently has archeologists working on it as the Roman excavations are getting enlarged. Enjoyable time and I was gifted this rather marvellous book.  

Northumbria at War by Derek Dodds and published by Pen & Sword in their battlefield Britain series. The blurb on the back starts by saying ‘Graphic account of 2000 years of warfare in Northumberland and Durham’, which says it all really. 

The first two chapters are Kingdom of conflict 43 - 1066 and The North in Revolt 1066 - 1093, just two things I am massively interest in at the moment.

Is it enough to encourage the painting brushes to come out again!


My own Two Flags - One Nation ACW hex based rules have just gone through a revision (version May 2018).

This has been more than the usual tidy up that the rules get from time to time. The changes have been driven by two concerns. 

Firstly, I just found some of the rules held a little awkwardley together, some things like the Rour result on the post Close Combat table just didn’t happen the way i wanted and some of the processes felt disjointed, meaning that the rulebook too often had to be reference.

Secondly, my attempts to merge the ACW and napoleonic rulesets together had hit a wall, primarily because both sets were written at different times and their different herritage meant that the there was a limit as to how much could be merged. To move that ultimate goal on, some changes had to be made to this set and I can see a way forward now for the two sets to come together, though of course the ‘Eagles at Quatre Bras’ will also have to make their own sacrifices to allow that to happen.

The design notes in the 2018 update have been amended to reflect the changes and are available as a new blog post for anyone interested.



The ‘Attack of Das Kochegschirr’ (6th June ‘44) scenario from Heroes of Normandy, mentioned below, has been played twice now, giving enjoyable games, if not something of a mystery as to how the German force can win.

I shall probably play it again and try to do something more radical to see how that goes. Then it is likey off to the east front to start some scenarios from the Heroes of the Motherland / Dark July packages.

The first replay notes have been blogged over on the Battlefields and warriors site, together with some musings of the system.



Lock ‘n Load tactical has not been on the table since January (The Snipers Den scenario), so as a referesher, the ‘Attack of Das Kochegschirr’ (6th June ‘44) scenario from Heroes of Normandy has just hit the table. It uses maps 14 and 15 as shown above. I have added the three circles and the arrow to show German objectives and their entry point. The map will form the basis of the next next blog post.

This is just me getting ready for what I hope is my next game fest (i.e. big game and / or game left set up for more than a day). Basically I want to do the full map battle from the Dark July supplement (an expansion to Heroes of the Motherland), which represents action from the Kursk campaign 1943.

The Dark July expansion has a full sized map (22" x 34"), but I have the X-Maps expansion, which basically covers the same terrain but does it at double size using two large maps. So bigger hexes and distances that aesthetically at least are fitting with those long guns on the German ‘big cats’. This will fit onto a 4’ x 3’ table and will probably be highlighted in the subsequent blog post.

All the recent ACW stuff has resulted in me doing a rather big edit to my Two Flags - One Nation hex based rules, with some needed steamlining being sorted, but also with changes that take the rules towards my ultimate goal of merging game engines with the napoleonic set (Eagles at Quatre Bras) to give a single Horse and Musket system engine. 

So between Lock ‘n Load and the ACW rewrite, it looks to be a full and busy month.

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