New Rail track in 6mm

A thank you to Leven Miniatures for producing for me – and no doubt for you too – some new 6mm railway track.
I was struggling with creating curved railways – specifically twin-track – for my Hexxon II tiles and asked Mick if he could design a double track curved railway, compatible with his (and other) 6mm railway systems.
I have received these samples. Four pieces designed specifically to fit 10cm hexagons, and useful for any double track railway.
Well done Mick. I will be placing an order as soon as they are on the website.

Where does stuff go?

I have several, many, too many wargaming projects on the go at any one time.  I run a system whereby the next project to surface in my in-tray gets one hour of my time until it is ready for a game, when it is entitled to a full day.

The problem with this system is that I order stuff on the internet, recycle the project to the bottom of the in-tray, and carry on.  When the required items are delivered I place them aside and wait for the project to re-emerge.

In the meantime, the physical manifestation of the ordered goods vanishes, never to be found again.  I forget that I have got it and order it again.  That’s why my loft is full of stuff in boxes, obscuring the stuff I need now!

Am I alone?

Donald Featherstone tribute weekend 2017

This year’s battle for the annual Donald Featherstone weekend at the Wargames Holiday Centre was Blenheim.  This was particularly appealing, as I have had a desire to fight the battle on the wargame table for getting on for 30 years – I have painted one Anglo-German brigade so far!  Also this was the battle in which I first commanded the forces of the “Grand Alliance” in 1830mm scale with live action (i.e. Historical re-enactment).

As usual we arrived on Friday afternoon to find the table ready with some forces in their pre-determined positions, like the French dragoons in Blindheim village.  We had ten players who had all been present copies of the period amendments to the Black Powder rules that we would be using for the battle.  The picture heading this post shows the starting positions, viewed from Blindheim towards the west.

We split into teams and prepared our deployment.  I, as commander of the Franco/Bavarians, foolishly opted for the historical set-up.  I took command of three French brigades in the centre.  The Grand Alliance, which included one player who was a much called-upon walking encyclopedia of the rules, opted for a different set-up.

Thus, when the battle started, I found myself in the centre of the French line opposed by a Dutch brigade reinforced by General Cutts’ brigade that had historically attacked Blindheim.


During the course of the battle I suffered greatly from the Anglo-Dutch Platoon fire (which we discovered on day 2 should have only been used for the first firing), but was able to counteract this by the French “Ferocious Charge” (which we later discovered was actually supposed to be only used for cavalry)

By the end of Saturday it was declared  a victory for the Grand Alliance against the Franco-Bavarians.  The centre – my area – had collapsed with three broken brigades.

We reset the battlefield and changed sides.

This time my team, as Grand Alliance, decided to simply screen Blindheim on the left flank and Lutzingen on the right flank and punch a hole through the Franco-Bavarian centre.


We adjourned to spend the evening at a formal dinner in a nearby hotel.  Many anecdotes were exchanged about ancient wargames figure designers. Chris Scott told us some tales about the late, great Donald Featherstone.  I was invited to recant the stories of the 2004 re-enactment of Blenheim. Henry Hyde told us of how our hobby had helped him through a recent bereavement.

Henry then conducted an auction of items donated by those attending.  We raised between £300 and £400 for Combat Stress, a charity for which Henry has now raised over £26,000.


On the right flank it became very sticky.  One Swabian brigade which could have been very useful spent the entire battle misenterpreting its orders and marching hither and thither.

On the left flank the screening of Blindheim resulted in a repulse, and in the centre the massed cavalry attack not only failed, but got in the way of any supporting troops.  My own command was interesting.  The troops screening Unterglau ran away.  The rest of their brigade was useless at causing enemy casualties, but took no end of punishment before breaking. The Hanoverians, rescued the English troops.  To my satisfaction, the only English battalion that did not break was Orkney’s – my own re-enactment unit in another hobby.

The Irish troops holding Unterglau for the Franc0-Bavarians simply stood and took whatever was thrown at them.

After some very hard fighting it was clear that the Franco/Bavarians had held their line.

So, the result of the weekend was: Grand Alliance vs Franco-Bavarians 1-1.  Team A vs Team B 2-0

At the end of the weekend Steve Thompson was declared the winner of the “most gentlemanly wargamer” award.  He gets his name engraved on the glass trophy jar, free entry to next year’s game and a miniature diorama of the period to keep.  Well deserved, as throughout the weekend he not only commanded his own brigades but was always available to explain the rules to all who needed help.

Next year we will probably return to the American Civil War.

In the past few days I have added from eBay to my collection of ASL game boards.

I do not play Squad Leader because it is far too complex for my taste, but I do use the geomorphic game boards for my home-grown games.

The photo shows a Napoleonic battle in progress. Each infantry block represents a close order company of 60 men in two ranks or 90 men in three ranks. “Dotted” infantry are skirmishers, representing 30 light infantry. A French light Infantry battalion can be seen advancing through the woods on their right flank in skirmish order.

For cavalry a block represents three ranks of 10 men and artillery blocks each represent a gun and crew.

For these games I halve the Squad Leader claimed ground scale so that each hexagon is 20 yards across (could also be 20 paces or 20 metres according to period).

The plastic blocks are sourced from “Plastics for Games” with labels created in Excel.

I aim to eventually own the entire collection of ASL boards. My stock of boards is currently:

When I set up a game I take the stack of boards and roll three dice to select which three boards from the stack I will use. A further die roll decides the orientation of each board.

As I go through the stack to select the boards for play, boards that are not chosen go to the bottom of the pile, thus further randomising future selections.