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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Tuesday 29 January 2019

Rebels and Patriots

A new set of rules from Michael Leck and Dan Mersey is a no brainer purchase, especially as the Osprey range is good value as well. There is a useful interview with Dan in this month's Wargames Illustrated.

This set builds on the mechanisms in Pikeman's Lament and the Men Who Would Be Kings, in a North American setting. It covers a very wide time period, but that doesn't matter as long you stick to historical match ups. The rules will actually work outside North America, bringing these simple rules to the Horse and Musket and 19th-century conflicts. In essence, if you want to play asymmetrical warfare then the Men Who Would Be Kings is the set to use, for everything else, these will work just fine.

You get a wider range of options with each unit type than previous rules. This provides for the wide range of conflicts and allows for some interesting matchups. For example, large, green units against small, veteran units. Shock infantry and cavalry give some extra punch, although I am not quite sure why shock cavalry has 12 models instead of the normal 6.

The game mechanisms are similar, but not the same as previous rules. Each unit has to be activated, but you don't lose the initiative if you fail - just move on to another unit. Ignoring modifiers, there is a 50% chance you will be able to move, attack, fire, skirmish etc. Not too random, although I know this does irritate some people. There are two levels of disorder before routing and units can be quite brittle. That is of course why the games play quickly. We typically play two games at a club session.

The book comes with 12 scenarios and your officer can progress or otherwise in a campaign setting. Finally, there are some starter army lists, including one of my favourite 'What-ifs' - British intervention in the ACW.

For the test game, I decided to use my 28mm South American Wars of Independence figures. In the first game, a well balanced 24 point company on each side, with infantry skirmishers, artillery and cavalry. San Martin's Argentinian forces on the right, against the Royalist Spanish.

The Argentinian Cacadores grabbed the house and caused some damage to the large Spanish line unit.

However, the story of the game was the small, green, Gaucho unit that routed two line regiments!

The second game represents two advanced guard forces, mostly cavalry with some light infantry and artillery support. I do like a Napoleonic cavalry battle!

This time the Royalist Cazadores seized the house, although they were pinned down by artillery and light infantry.

The Gauchos did well again, while the Grenaderos a Caballo destroyed the Royalist centre, as they often did during these wars.

Another great set of rules, which will get a lot of play at our club.


  1. I'm beginner with miniatures wargaming, I would like how to play with the South American Wars of Independence figures.Can you recommend me something?

  2. http://www.grenadierproductions.com/ is a good starting point. This includes John Fletcher's wargaming guide and 15mm figure range.

    This page shows how I went about the task in 28mm.