Welcome to my blog!

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
or on Mastodon @balkandave@mastodon.scot, or Threads @davewatson1683

Sunday 29 May 2011

Wargame Magazines

Caught up with my growing pile of wargame magazines this weekend. I hope the great choice we now have reflects a healthy and viable hobby rather than the economics of publishing. Perhaps it is both.

Wargames Illustrated has long been my favourite. Good use of photies and a good balance between historical and gaming articles. It has come in for a fair degree of criticism since being taken over by Flames of War. However, in fairness there is plenty of non FoW material in every issue.

I gave up on Miniature Wargames some years ago. It started to look very dated and tired and I found little of interest. Under new direction it has certainly improved. Not sure if they are not trying to reach too wide an audience with the computer and fantasy sections. A risk that they appeal to no one enough.

Very pleased to see Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy back with an English language version. I like the themed issue format and they have a strong historical focus that appeals to me. Strong presentation has always been a feature of this magazine.

At the risk of contradicting myself I still enjoy the Battlegames format. It may not have the presentational strength of the others but it is strong on content. Maybe I am just nostalgic about my early wargame experiences.

Not sure about Recon but I have persevered. I want to see plenty of reviews in my wargame magazines but I am not convinced that it justifies this as the main content. Some of the reviews are also a bit eclectic for my taste.

Let's also not forget the wide range of society publications. I take Slingshot, Arquebusier, Hobilar and the Foreign Correspondent to name just a few. These don't tend to be up to the presentational standard of the commercial offerings, but often have great content.

Overall, I think we are well served as historical gamers by our magazines. I hope they all flourish.

Tuesday 17 May 2011

FoG R - new army lists

I have just taken delivery of two new army lists for FoG Renaissance.

The first is Colonies and Conquest. This covers the spread of gunpowder weapons in Asia, both in the states and the European colonists. Not my normal territory, but I bought it for the Mughals and their opponents. An opportunity to dust down my army again as the list ties in well with those I developed for WAB.

The second is Duty and Glory. This covers the period from the end of the Thirty Years War to the end of the 17th Century. A period dominated by the Sun King, Louis XIV. My interests are more in Eastern Europe during this period. Venetian, Austrian, Polish and Hungarian lists attract me.

No one can doubt that FoG is properly supported with these quality offerings.


Friday 13 May 2011

Silver Eagle

Just finished the latest in the Forgotten Legion series - The Silver Eagle by Ben Kane.

The story covers Roman troops captured at Carrhae who are enlisted by the Parthians as border troops. There is a parallel story covering the sister of one of the leading characters back in Rome. The backdrop is Caesar and the Roman civil war.

This is well researched historical fiction with lots of detail about Roman life and the legions. A storyline that is both interesting and credible - just. Recommended.

The Silver Eagle


At the Carronade show in Falkirk last Saturday. As usual, it was well organised by the Falkirk lads with a good range of games and traders. The venue is excellent, just a pity it wasn't as well supported by the public. I suspect a sign of the straightened times we live in.  

At GDWS we brough a 28mm display game Somerled's Last Stand 1164. Somerled, King of Argyll and Lord of the Isles died at the Battle of Bargarran (sometimes called Knock or Inchinnan) in 1164. The battle was fought somewhere close to the site of the current Glasgow Airport. His Islesmen, Manx and Irish allies were defeated by a Norman/Scots army led by the High Steward, Walter Fitz-Alan. We actually know very little about the battle or the forces involved, so this wargame is somewhat conjectural.

None the less a good excuse to put large numbers of our Norman and Viking collections on the tabletop, supplemented by some Scots spearmen and various hairy types to make up the numbers. I see that pictures of the figures are making there way around the web and it was good to talk about them with fellow gamers and visitors.

There were a range of other excellent games including a fine Viking raid participation game from the Kirriemuir club. Plenty of Very British Civil War including the dockside game I first saw at Dumfries. Inspired me to buy a few trucks from Simon at Solway Miniatures for my own VBCW project and some evil fascists from Reiver Miniatures. Good day out all round.

Sunday 8 May 2011

Scots Spearmen

Despite best laid plans it was still the night before the Carronade show when I finished off the last units.

Last two Scots spearmen units are published below. They did rather well in the game, holding off hordes of Irish and Viking troops on the left flank.