Japanese Excursions

Over recent weeks I’ve had the opportunity to play a couple of games covering the Sengoku or Warring States period as a result of another player building a Japanese army and providing my own army with an historical opponent. It’s a fascinating period with much historical interest and colourful armies that look great on the table so it’s pleasing to game this period rather than the normal ahistorical games I’ve previously used my Japanese in.

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In the first I tried using fixed obstacles to counter my opponents mounted Samurai, alas this was a complete disaster. Clearly, my concept of the enemy smashing themselves against these obstacles while my arquebus armed ashigaru pouring fire into them was flawed. Worse however was the martial abilities of my own mounted Samurai, who collapsed in a series of charge and counter charge. The fixed obstacles are made by Baueda who make some very useful resin items.

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The next engagement was more positive for my clan who after a very deadly battle finally secured a narrow victory. Again, both armies were based on the later period with a number of ashigaru armed with arquebus.

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Then today, as a way of creating some variety for my opponent, I fielded a English army for an invasion of the east. Obviously not an historical engagement, yet it still proved very enjoyable. At least the army was of the same period and by the 17th Century the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch all had armies in the area, such is the global landscape of the Renaissance.

Harquebusiers & Hussars – May 2015

The date of Sunday the 17th of May has been confirmed for the Autumn round of “Harquebusiers & Hussars”, our local 15mm DBR gaming event.

The focus is on casual games in a friendly atmosphere. As such it is an ideal format for new players to experience Renaissance gaming and for veterans to dust off troops for a social event. The format is designed to provide a couple of games in the standard club day with army size such that players can field alternate armies. This is achieved by using 300 point armies on a slightly smaller table.

Interestingly, we tend to see some armies that typically are not seen in larger DBR competitions, such as Montrose’s Scots Royalists shown above. This is partly because players take a relaxed approach to the day, or in some cases because small armies that can not be fielded when larger points budgets apply are used.

Full details of Harquebusiers & Hussars can be found here. Hopefully we will see you there!

De Bellis Renationis – Back in Print

For some time the DBR rules and associated army list books have been out of print. Yesterday, Sue Laflin-Barker announced that WRG have republished the DBR ruleset via Lulu.

The publication is in a new format which now includes the 2004 edition of the rules as well as all three army lists books in a single volume. The result is a publication that runs to 150 pages with a perfect-bound paperback binding, complete with a new front cover.

The observant reader will notice the colour of the cover and its significance. WRG have opted for purple for their Ancient & Medieval rules, black for their fantasy rules and green for their Renaissance rules. Interestingly green was used in the Gush rules published by WRG and these rules effectively defined Renaissance wargaming. The colour seems a fitting tribute to the Gush rules.

While I understand neither the rules or army lists have not been updated having the rules back in print is very useful for new players looking to obtain a copy, or existing players looking to replace tired well used copies of the rules. Given the price and the fact the package includes both the rules and around 125 army lists, it seems a very good buy. Indeed, I have ordered a copy and will provide a short review when they arrive.

If you, or someone else, is looking for a copy of the rules be sure and visit Lulu and order a copy. Here is a link to the DBR rules package in the Lulu Australian store.

English Civil War Gaming Scenarios: Volume 4

The fourth volume in the series and also written by Robert Giglio this is the final volume in the series I have purchased to date. It maintains the same format with around 60 pages.

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The battles coverd are Aylesbury 1642; Bradford 1642; Highnam House 1643; Gainsborough 1643; Shieldfield 1644; Inverlochy 1645; Sherburn-in-Elmet 1645; Ballaghkillgevill and Benburb 1646; Y Dalar Hir 1648; St Quen’s Bay 1651 and the Rising of John Lambert 1660.

Looking at some of the scenarios a couple of points are worth noting. Both Y Dalar Hir, in Northern Wales, and Lambert’s Rising are very small actions and may need to be scaled up to provide interesting games, especially so if you are using DBR.

Bradford, with around with 1000 Roundheads and 1500 Royalists while small, should provide an interesting normal sized game while the relief of Highnam House looks a fascinating scenario and very different from typical equal points games.

For those with a Scots Royalist army, Inverlochy will be a challenge for the Marquis. Being outnumbered almost 2:1 it illustrates the need for more poorly trained Scots Covenanters in armies in Scotland, something that is missing in the DBR Scots list.

Benburb, set in Ireland, is a scenario that I find particularly interesting having read Clive Hollick’s excellent book on the campaign and battle. It will be interesting to compare the scenario with Hollick’s order of battle when time permits. This scenario should make an excellent open battle.

St. Ouen’s Bay is perhaps the most unusual scenario dealing as it does with the Parliamentarian landings on Jersey in 1651. Outnumbered the veteran Parliamentarians will have a hard time undertaking an amphibious landing, but given their is little historic detail on the engagement this scenario can, and possibly should, be modified to increase playability. Indeed, this is worthwhile remembering with many of these scenarios as sources are often limited and while the scenarios are well presented, most if not all, could be interpreted very differently.

In some respects I consider this to be the weakest volume in the series, yet it still combines some useful and interesting scenarios. Inverlochy and Benburb are two outstanding scenarios of interesting battles. All volumes are available from Caliver Books.