Friday, 28 October 2016

The 2017 To the Strongest! World Championships

The third annual "To the Strongest" World championship will take place in the (otherwise) quiet village of Chalgrove in southern Oxfordshire on the 25th of February 2017. The event is a friendly contest, hosted by the South Oxfordshire Generals, in which players get to fight three battles during the day against ancient or medieval armies. We hope to have thirty or more entrants this year. The atmosphere is more good-natured than competitive.

If you'd like to throw your hat in the ring, you can choose your army from any of the official "To the Strongest!" ancient and medieval lists, up to 130 points. If the list isn't already written for your favourite 28mm historical army, let me know and I will write a list for you. If you don't have a suitable 28mm army, mail me and I will lend you one from my collection. 

There will be prizes for the winner, for the best army, for sportsmanship and also a "wooden spoon." 

In addition to the ancients tournament, Andrew Brentnall and I will be bringing a demonstration game of "For King and Parliament", the English Civil War version of the rules that will be published in Q2 next year, and will be able to answer questions about it.

The "Worlds" is always a great event.  If you can make it, please email me at the address in the panel to the left and I'll forward your details to the organiser, Steve Dover. We hope to see you there

Sunday, 23 October 2016

An unusual "for King and Parliament" play test

On Thursday night I went to my first wargames club night in over a decade. Surprisingly it wasn't my local club (I think of myself as a somewhat lapsed Central London gamer) but rather the South East Scotland Wargames Club in Edinburgh, just over 400 miles from where I live. David Imrie had very kindly invited me up for a game and we'd decided to use the "for King and Parliament" ECW play test version to run a Seven Years War game (ECW minis weren't available, but several lovely SYW collections were). David Imrie, Angus Konstam, Ken Pearce and Jack Glanville played, whilst I helped out with the rules. Here are some shots of the game- below, David's Austrians pummel a British brigade.

Angus' Reicharmee very nearly took the hill and objectives from he Prussian grenadiers.
Throwing caution to the winds, I decided to trial diagonal movement. This turned out to be a great success and I'll look at it for games set after the period of the ECW, particularly the War of the Spanish Succession, where it seems to me that diagonal movement becomes more important. I've had some other ideas how fKaP could be adapted for later periods.

This pretty Austrian battery really clobbered the British!
A pic of the grenadiers who were so comprehensively out-shot by some very dubious Reicharmee.
Jack the Great of  Prussia
There are some super wide shots of the game on Jack's Pioneer Painting blog, and Jack describes the game very well.

South East Scotland Wargames club is very friendly and in a great venue with a nice bar, and the chaps were terrifically welcoming! It was great to see such a wide variety of different games being played. I very much hope to make it up there again!

Austrian hussars clash with the British cavalry that subsequently routed them.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


Here are some images of the Edgehill game I recently played at Andrew Brentnall's place with his lovely 12mm English Civil War collection. I posted them on Facebook, at the time, but neglected to blog them. All photos are clickable!

Parliament further table edge, Royalists, nearer.
The rules are an English Civil War re-engineering by myself and Andrew of my "To the Strongest" Ancients set. They are grid based, with activations driven by D10 or playing cards, and rattle along at a terrific pace!

The Royal Standard
Parliamentarian horse about to get Rupert-ed
The mat is a gridded Deep-Cut plains mat- I sell them in a variety of grid sizes (or without grids for that matter).

Dragoons fight it out in the hedges
The infantry lines close.

We had a great day running this epic play-test! It ended with a narrow Royalist victory, that wouldn't have been decisive. The working title of the rules is "For King and Parliament". I expect to publish them next May/June.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Crisis, what Crisis?

On November the 5th I will be at the Crisis show in Antwerp with chums Ian Notter and Andrew Brentnall.

The battle we are taking is Magnesia 190 BCE, which will pit upstart Rome against the might of the Seleucid Empire. Unusually, we will be playing in 15mm with substantially new armies that Ian has been raising all summer. Here are a couple of shots of the Seleucid phalanx, which is but one element of their vast host. Sticking elephants in the phalanx; will it work for Antiochus? 

Facing them will be a large Polybian Roman army. If you are coming to the Crisis show and would like to play either in the morning or afternoon game, please do drop me an email via the address on my shop

I won't be selling stuff at the show, but if you would like to order anything from the BigRedBatShop for collection at Crisis, please do so and I will bring it over and refund your postage. With no postage and the current low, low pound against the euro, it's a great opportunity to pick up a set of the rules, some of the chits or one of the excellent Deep-Cut mats at a very much reduced price!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Nellie B

I'm sculpting an elephant as a master for next year's planned Successor battles. I have called her nellie B because I sculpted an elephant once before. She'll be a female Indian elephant; no one makes one, as far as I know. As such she will be a little smaller than the Aventine males that I favour, and tusk-less.

So far I've made the armature (from paper clips) and bulked out the body with a mix of Milliput and green stuff. The next stage will be to add the ears and trunk. After that I'll need to see if I can manage wrinkly skin.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Raphia at SELWG

I had a very enjoyable day yesterday at SELWG, running Raphia again. Here are some shots of the game taken by mate Ian- lovely rich colours! The elephants (mostly Aventines) look brilliant.

To cap it all, SELWG awarded us best participation game! Thanks to Ian for the carrying and for taking all the photos, to Mike for his help setting up and to everyone who played or chatted! As ever, SELWG was a friendly and well-organised show- it was nice how a SELWG team came around at the start to greet us and check we had everything we needed.