Tuesday 31 August 2010

Back to work ...

Today was the first day back at work after the long summer holiday, and I was up at just after 6.00am – early but none too bright – in order to have my breakfast and get ready for my journey to work. For once the journey from my home on Shooters Hill to my workplace in Brockley took me less than thirty minutes, and by 7.50am I was sat at my desk trying to make sense of the emails that had accumulated over the six weeks I have been away.

After morning briefing – which, as usual, was far from brief – we had Faculty meetings, then a short break, then another Faculty meeting (because something was missed out during the first one!), and then spent the rest of the day signing students on to their courses.

The latter went quite slowly at first, and then it became apparent that not all the students had been sent the letter that told them that today was the day they had to come in to sign up ... so it was back to the office to make some rather quick 'phone calls to 'remind' students to come in. As a result, we were rushed off our feet for most of the afternoon ... just at the time the computer system decided it was going to slow down. The electronic course registration system almost – but not quite – ground to a halt ... and many of us ended up working past our proper finishing time to clear the backlog.

As a result of this somewhat frustrating day, when I got home I felt in no mood to do much except sit and vegetate in front of the TV ... but now that I have had time to recover I am going to go and prepare some hexed terrain tiles for painting. I might was well make sure that I do something productive today ... it will help me feel better about having to go back to work!

Monday 30 August 2010

The new 'Frontier': First draft ready

I have just finished the first draft of my latest version of Joseph Morschauser’s 'Frontier' wargame rules ... although the end result is more a melding of his 'Musket' Period and 'Frontier' wargames rules.

First and foremost, I have replaced the term ‘Basic Unit’ with the word ‘stand’, as the latter is more easily understood by most wargamers. I have also:
  • Used the 'Turn Sequence', 'Artillery', 'Movement', and 'Battle' sections from the 'Frontier' wargames rules almost unchanged, although the 'Artillery' section is now entitled 'Artillery Fire' and the 'Battle' section has been renamed 'Close Combat'.
  • Added a new section called 'Infantry, Cavalry, and Machine Gun Fire'. This uses similar game mechanisms to those used in the 'Artillery Fire' section for determining the effectiveness of hits on enemy stands.
  • Renamed the ‘Battle Power’ rating from the ‘Frontier’ wargames rules as ‘Close Combat Power’ and replaced the original ‘Battle Power’ ratings with the ‘Melee Power’ values from the ‘Musket’ Period wargames rules.
  • Generally tidied up the wording of the various sections in the wargames rules in order to make the 'style' more consistent.
This process has taken me somewhat longer than I had expected, but I now have a working draft that I can play-test. I hope that this will take place sometime within the next week or so, but as I go back to work tomorrow – and as yet do not have my teaching timetable – I am unable to plan what I will be able to do with my time too far in advance.

Why flock ... Why bother?

It was back in June 2009 that I first wrote about using Heroscape hexed terrain, and I extolled the virtues of improving their look by painting and flocking the hexed terrain tiles that came with the game. At the time I promised to write a 'How to' blog entry, and recently I finally managed to get around to it.

I also wrote about problems that I had had getting flock that matched the colour that I had already used on previous batches of hexed terrain tiles, and this led to several kind offers of help, for which I am very grateful. … and then I was asked – by email – why I was bothering to flock the hexed terrain tiles. My answer that I have always done it really does not hold up to serious scrutiny … so I put together some painted but unflocked hexed terrain tiles … and realised that they did not actually need flocking.

Since then I have thought about what I am going to do next, and my decision is to just paint the next batch and see how I get on with them. If, after I have used them, I think that they need flocking, I will flock them; if I think that they are all right as they are, they will remain unflocked.

As Aleksandr Orlov would say … ‘Simples!’

Sunday 29 August 2010

The new 'Frontier'

Whilst I was modifying the batch of Heroscape™ hexed terrain I described in my 'How to' blog entry, I was also thinking about the modifications I will need to make to Morschauser's 'Frontier' wargames rules so that they fit my requirements.

Having read the feedback and ideas readers sent me, and having re-read – yet again – the relevant magazine article that described the ‘Frontier’ wargame rules and the chapter on 'Musket' Period wargames rules in Morschauser’s book, I have come to the conclusion that what I actually need to do is to meld the two sets of rules together. In other words, use the combat mechanisms from the 'Musket' Period wargames rules (but with Machine Guns equating to Artillery firing Grape Shot) with the turn sequence from the 'Frontier' wargames rules (i.e. with Artillery firing before either side moves). The rules are already quite similar, so the work required to meld the two together should not be too arduous.

I hope to begin work on this process later today or tomorrow morning, and will keep readers up-to-date with developments as they happen.

Why flock?

Since my blog entry about how to modify Heroscape™ hexed terrain, I have had an email that asked me why I bothered to flock the hexes after I had painted them. My answer was:


So I thought about it ... and then I put some of the painted (but as yet unflocked) hexed terrain tiles together and voila! ...

... they don't look too bad unflocked. In fact, the process of creating painted and unflocked hexed terrain tiles would be a lot quicker than flocked ones, and the figures would stand up just as well – if not better – on the unflocked hexed terrain tiles ...

This is going to take a bit of thinking about ...

Saturday 28 August 2010

How to modify Heroscape™ hexed terrain

In the past I have modified quite a lot of Heroscape™ hexed terrain by painting and flocking it. The following 'How to' blog entry explains how I did this.

The materials I used included:
  • Heroscape™ hexed terrain tiles
  • Acrylic paint (I used Games Workshop™ Graveyard Earth and Goblin Green in the following examples)
  • Flock (I used Dark Meadow Green [Scatter No. 11] supplied by Javis "Countryside" Scenics, of Stockport)
  • White PVA glue (I used Evo-Stik Wood Adhesive)
  • Various paintbrushes
Step 1
The first step is to wash the Heroscape™ hexed terrain tiles in warm soapy water to remove and grease or dirt. They should then be rinsed in clean, warm water, and allowed to dry.

Step 2
I then paint the sides of the hexed terrain tiles. I usually stack them in piles of seven, this being a thick enough pile for me to hold comfortably between my first finger and thumb whilst I apply the paint. (Incidentally, seven is also the number of hexed terrain tiles I can stack and store in my storage system)

The paint is actually thinned down and not used 'as it comes' from the paint pot. I find that a small, flat brush is an excellent tool for this task.

The point of painting the sides of the hexed terrain tiles is to dull the natural shine of the plastic, and too thick a coat of paint will stop the hexed terrain tiles locking together.

For this example I used thinned Games Workshop™ Graveyard Earth on the sides of the hexed terrain tiles.

Step 3
After the paint on the side of the hexed terrain tiles has dried they can be separated and the tops can be painted.

This is best done by painting the edge of each hexed terrain tile first, making sure that not too much paint goes over the edge of the hexed terrain tile as this will also make it difficult to lock the hexed terrain tiles together. I find that a small, flat brush is also an excellent tool for this task. I used Games Workshop™ Goblin Green to paint the top of each hexed terrain tile.

Once the edges are painted, the centre of the hexed terrain tile can also be painted. The paint is then allowed to dry, and any areas that have not been covered with sufficient paint can be touched up.

Step 4
Once the paint is thoroughly dry, the flock can be glued to the raised area on top of the hexed terrain tile.

I find that the best way to do this is to start by laying a bead or edge of white glue around the edge of the raised area on the hexed terrain tile with a thin paintbrush ...

... and then 'filling in' the middle section.

Step 5
As soon as the glue has been applied I place the hexed terrain tile in a shallow cardboard tray (the bottom half of a model kit box is ideal for this) and tip a generous amount of flock onto the hexed terrain tile, making sure that all the glued-covered surface has a thick layer of flock on it.

I leave the hexed terrain tile in situ for a minute or so, and then gently lift it out so that my fingers do not touch the area that was covered in glue. I then gently tip the hexed terrain tile over so that any excess flock falls back into the shallow tray.

The hexed terrain tile is then placed to one side and the glue is left to dry for at least four hours. The flock will look quite light at this stage, but as the glue dries it becomes transparent and the flock regains its original colour.


In between watching the third day of the Fourth Test Match between England and Pakistan and modifying some Heroscape™ hexed terrain (and photographing each state of the process for a 'How to' blog entry I will write later this weekend), I have been sorting out my airsoft gear.

For those of you who don't know what airsoft is, Wikipedia defines it as 'primarily a recreational activity with replica firearms that shoot plastic BBs that are often used for personal collection, gaming (similar to paintball), or professional training purposes (military simulations, a.k.a. MilSim, and police training exercises). A primary difference between airsoft guns and BB guns is that an airsoft gun uses a 6mm or 8mm plastic pellet and has a muzzle velocity of typically less than 180 meters per second (600 feet); which is generally considered safe when used in a controlled environment and with safety equipment like protective eyewear.'

I became interested in airsoft when I found a shop in King's Lynn, Norfolk, selling a lot of cheap 'springer' (i.e. spring powered, single-shot) airsoft guns a few weeks before a COW (Conference of Wargamers) some years ago. I took the guns along, where we played a few, impromptu games with them ... and that is how the whole thing started.

Since then, airsoft sessions have been a part of most COWs, and they have actually served a very practical purpose in showing wargamers who have not had much or any military training how important ‘battle drills’ and cover – however sparse or small it may be – are on the battlefield.

Would you read a blog written by this man?
This photograph was taken during an airsoft session held some years ago during February (hence the very necessary woollen gloves!). Gloves, thick clothing and – most importantly – eye and face protection are essential safety equipment. The gun I am carrying is an AK47 AEG (Automatic Electric Gun) made by CYMA, and the ammo pouch is a genuine ex-Yugoslav Army item; I know, because when I bought it there were four empty AK47 magazines (still in their greased paper wrappers) inside it!
Those cheap guns are long gone … but over the years (and before the Violent Criminal Reduction Act came into force; this Act makes the buying and selling of airsoft guns in the UK much more restricted than it previously was) I acquired quite a collection of guns. These need fairly regular maintenance and checking, and today was a day when I had enough time – and space – to do it.

I have not had the opportunity over the past years or so to take part in any airsoft battles, but one of the leading retailers recently opened a CQB (Close Quarter Battle) venue less than three miles for where I live, and hopefully I might be able to go along there soon and take part in an evening session.

Restless Natives ... at SALUTE2003

Before going to see my father-in-law yesterday, I was trawling through my collection of photographs when I came across a series that were taken at SALUTE2003.

Wargame Developments had been invited to put on a game at the show, and I volunteered to organise it. The game we eventually put on was RESTLESS NATIVES. These used a set of colonial wargames rules that I had been working on at the time (and which are still available in PDF format from the Colonial Wargaming website).

The rules were very simple, and used a card-driven turn sequence. There were a series of scenarios and Army Lists, and the players used dice to determine which scenario they played and what their army comprised. As a result no two games were the same, and from what I can remember, a lot of fun was had by all ... including the team putting the game on!

The game being set up. As can be seen, the terrain is very simple and can be moved around to suit the particular scenario that is being fought out. Note also that the presenter (me!) is now somewhat older, greyer, and even more well set up.
The two main game presenters – Tony Hawkins and me – with our 'funny hats'. The players were encouraged to wear appropriate headgear, and this seemed to add to their enjoyment of the game! (This picture has also been captioned as 'Brothers Peachy Carnahan and Daniel Dravitt reporting for duty.')
The Anglo-Sudanese are under attack, and have taken shelter behind improvised defences.
A close-up of the Anglo-Sudanese troops.

Aircraft of the Aces

Quite a large part of yesterday was taken up with driving my wife down to see her father in Herne Bay, Kent, then driving him to Canterbury to visit a friend in hospital there, and then driving him home again. During our return journey we were able to stop on the way back for a meal in a restaurant, and this gave me the opportunity to visit the branch of Waterstones at Bluewater.

What caught my eye on the Osprey display stand were two books from their AIRCAFT OF THE ACES series. The were FIAT CR.32 ACES OF THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR written by Alfredo Logoluso and illustrated by Richard Caruana (ISBN 978 1 84603 983 6) …

... and POLIKARPOV I-15, I-16 and I-153 ACES written by Mikhail Maslov and illustrated by Andrey Yurgenson (ISBN 978 1 84603 981 2).

They are Nos. 94 and 95 in the AIRCRAFT OF THE ACES series, and were both published this year.

As these books cover periods that are of particular interest to me – the Spanish Civil War and the Great Patriotic War – I bought them. I look forward to reading them in due course.

Thursday 26 August 2010

Ooops! The wrong colour green!

After my last blog entry, I was putting the flock and paints that I bought today into the draws I use for storage when I realised that paint I had used on the original modified Heroscape™ hexed terrain was not Goblin Green ... it was Camo Green!

Camo Green
I don't know how I confused to two colours as they don't look anything like each other!

Anyway, the new Heroscape™ hexed terrain will be painted in Goblin Green (and not Camo Green!) as the latter does not match any of the flock that I have bought ... or even seen on sale.

Where can you buy flock?

One thing that my recent play-tests have confirmed in my mind is that I intended to use my modified Heroscape™ hexed terrain more. It is simple to use, quick to put together (and take apart), and figures stand up easily on the hills that you build with it.

At present I have quite a bit already painted and flocked, but I have been thinking about adding to collection. To do that I will need paint and flock. The paint is no problem. To date I have used Games Workshop™ Goblin Green because it was – and still is – easy to get hold of and I find it easy to use. The flock, on the other hand, is not so easy to find.

Goblin Green
When I did my first set of modified terrain, Games Workshop™ sold pots of flock that matched the Goblin Green paint they sell. It was not cheap ... but it was easy to get hold of. It isn't now. Apparently they no longer sell flock; they sell static grass.

So this afternoon, I set off on a flock hunt. First I trawled the Internet to find a list of all the possible model shops and craft stores in South East London and North West Kent that might sell flock. A quick phone call to each soon indicated that most did not sell what I wanted – 'There's no call for it nowadays; people only want static grass'. The only place that did have anything suitable in stock was THE SIGNAL BOX in Rochester, Kent. Pretty well as soon as I had put the phone down after my conversation with the member of staff I had spoken to, I was on my way to Rochester.

In the end I bought enough green and brown flock for my purposes, and although the green is not a match for my existing Games Workshop™ green flock – it is a much brighter shade of green – it is quite a good colour match for the Goblin Green paint.

When I start work on my new batch of modified Heroscape™ hexed terrain, I will take some photographs of each stage of the work involved and write it up as a 'How to' blog entry.

Rain started play ...

Typical British summer weather (i.e. rain showers and overcast skies) has meant that play on the first day of the Fourth Test Match between England and Pakistan has been somewhat fragmented, and this gave me the excuse to push some model soldiers around on my wargames table.

What I actually did was to set up a simple tactical problem, and then played it through several times using slightly different versions of the rules I have been developing from Joseph Morschauser's 'Frontier' wargames rules. The versions included the ideas I set out in an earlier blog entry plus suggestions made by some of the blog's regular readers. The results were, to say the least, interesting.

First and foremost, all the variants worked ... and a big 'Thanks!' needs to be said to all those who made suggestions; they were all very helpful. Secondly, this exercise made me think about two things:
  • What was the end result that I wanted to achieve by developing these rules? (i.e. Did I want rules that were simple to learn, quick to use, and fun to fight battles with or did I want rules that were somewhat more complex, possibly more 'realistic', and that might be less 'fun' to use?)
  • Would they still retain the essential 'feel' of the original Morschauser rules or would they become increasingly less Morschauser-like as they underwent further development?
At the moment, I am unsure of the answers to these questions ... but I can feel myself leaning towards the 'quick, simple, and fun' and 'Morschauser-like' options more than the others.

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Still thinking

I received some very interesting comments in response to my recent blog entry that mentioned the various options I was looking at with regard to the further development of Morschauser's 'Frontier' wargames rules. They were all thought-provoking, and although there was no commonality in the suggestions made, I have not ruled any of them out (or in) as yet.

What I am probably going to do is to set up a couple of simple tactical situations and play each through using the different options suggested. I will then have a feel for which of them meets my particular requirements.

I might be able to do this later today or some time tomorrow. In the meantime I am re-reading various sections of Morschauser's book and some of the articles he wrote to see if there is a possible solution therein.

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Looking through my picture albums ...

My wife and I began going on cruises before I began writing this blog, and as part of the 'clean up' process I did yesterday in the hope I could improve her computer's performance, I found quite a few photographs from those earlier cruises stored thereon, some of which I though might interest my regular readers ... so here goes ...

Calvi (Corsica)
This is a monument that commemorates the landing of the French Batallion du Choc at Ajaccio on 13th and 14th September 1943, and its subsequent recruitment of local Corsican resistance fighters into its ranks.

Zeebrugge (Belgium)
The newly commissioned Leopold I (F930). She was formerly the HNLMS Karel Doorman (F827), the name-ship of a class of Dutch frigates that have now mostly been sold to other countries (two to Belgium, two to Portugal, and two to Chile).

St Petersburg (Russia)
The famous Cruiser Aurora, which is preserved as a monument and museum ship on the River Neva that runs through the centre of St Petersburg.

Her bow gun is supposed to have fired the shot that signalled the storming of the Winter Palace at the start of the October Revolution ...

... but this may not actually be true!

Montjuich Castle (Barcelona)
This military museum is situated on a hill overlooking Barcelona, and was the scene of serious fighting during the early days of the Spanish Civil War. Amongst is large and varied collection are some interesting pieces of artillery including two different models of 57mm Anti-tank Gun ...

... a Vickers 75mm Anti-aircraft Gun (which seems to have a lot of mount for not much barrel!) ...

... and a Vickers 105mm Field Gun.

The latter was supplied to the Spanish Army before the Civil War, and has had a longer barrel added at a later date as part of an upgrading programme. The original Vickers design influenced the development of the famous British 25-pounder Field Gun/Howitzer.

Brest Naval Base
The rusting hulk of the French Aircraft Carrier Clemenceau awaiting disposal.

Unlike her sister ship Foch, she was sold for scrapping rather than for further service with another navy.

Maritime Museum (Rotterdam)
HNLMS Buffel is a nineteenth century iron-clad ram ship, and she is now one of the main attractions of the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam.

Not a restful day ... but not an unproductive one

Today has been a day for doing domestic cleaning chores. My wife and I have taken down and changed (or washed) all the curtains, and I have cleaned all the windows and window frames. Other than a short break for lunch, this has taken us most of the day ... but now it is done and won't need to be done again for some time to come.

Although I don't like having to do these sorts of chores, they do give me time to think, and that is always a good thing to be able to do. What has occupied my mind for most of the day has been trying to find a solution to a problem with my latest version of Joseph Morschauser's 'Frontier' wargames rules. As they stand at the moment, they work ... and work well for what I want. That said, I think that now that I have modified the rules to allow firing, the rules relating to Machine Gun Units are not quite right.

In the original rules Machine Gun Units – along with Infantry and Cavalry – could only fight enemy Units that were in adjacent squares/hexes. In these circumstances Machine Gun Units were very deadly (They had a Battle Power of 6, and to destroy an enemy Unit they had to throw a D6 die and get a score that was equal to or less than their Battle Power; this meant that in almost all circumstances they would 'destroy' an enemy Unit. Infantry and Cavalry had Battle Powers of 5 and were therefore not assured of a victory in the same circumstances). Now that Infantry and Cavalry can fire up to 3 hexes, the Machine Gun Units have lost their 'edge' except when fighting against enemy Units in adjacent hexes.

I have been pondering the various solutions that I could use. These include:
  • Allowing Machine Gun Units to throw two or three D6 dice when they fire (This would certainly restore their ‘edge’, but as all the other rules mechanisms use single D6 dice, this would make them ‘out of step’ with design philosophy Morschauser espoused in his rules)
  • Giving Machine Gun Units a longer firing range, which would enable them to fire at approaching enemy Units more than once before they came into hex-to-hex contact (This would be a simple solution, but would give Machine Gun Units quite a long ‘reach’, and may require the Artillery ranges to also be increased)
  • Reverting to the original system for resolving ‘Battles’, but allowing them to take place at a distance rather than between Units in adjacent squares/hexes (This would restore the now missing ‘edge’, but would make Machine Gun Units more deadly than before, which just generates another set of game design problems; in addition, it would mean that an Infantry Unit that is being fired at by a Machine Gun Unit could ‘destroy’ the Machine Gun Unit even though its own fire would not reach the Machine Gun Unit!)
These possible solutions have been whizzing around in my head for most of the day, and I have tried to examine all the options in detail before I opt for my preferred solution. What that will be is – as yet – undecided.

A day of rest ... well, not quite!

After Sunday's somewhat long blog entry, I thought that I would take things a bit easy today ... how wrong I was!

The day started with a shopping expedition to buy all sorts of odds and ends that we need this week. I then did a reconciliation between my company's accounts and the latest bank statement that the Royal Mail had delivered whilst we were out, and prepared the annual accounts so that I can send them to the accountants later this week.

After lunch I then tried to spend some time reviewing the play-test battle I fought on Sunday, and to note down any minor changes that might need to be made ... but my wife's computer started playing up and I ended up trying to fix it. After two hours of sweat and swearing, I used the tried and tested solution espoused by IT professionals across the world; I switched it off and walked away from it. Needless to say, after an hour or so being switched off, the computer worked perfectly well after its 'rest'.

I then watched the opening overs of the Gloucestershire vs. Essex forty-over cricket match on Sky Sports, but my viewing was interrupted by a series on unsolicited telephone calls – mostly from overseas call centres – and in the end I gave up trying to follow what was happening.

After dinner this evening my wife and I watched a couple of television programmes, but at about 10.00pm my wife announced that she thought it would be a good idea if we used the carpet cleaner to shampoo the carpets in the rooms we use most often. Her logic is impeccable; if we do it at night, it will dry whilst we are asleep, and we will be able to walk on clean, dry carpets in the morning. Unfortunately it took us nearly two hours to do, with the result that I am now writing Monday's blog entry early on Tuesday morning!

Perhaps I will have a rest tomorrow ... but somehow I don't think I will!

Sunday 22 August 2010

A Most un-Civil Little War

The following battle was fought to test my latest version of Joseph Morschauser’s ‘Frontier’ wargame rules. It is worth noting that the Militia Units all have lower Combat Powers than the Regular Units they are facing, and this will affect their ability to fight at close quarters.

Internal political dissent has been an ongoing problem in Westland, one of Morschauserland’s near neighbours. Recently this has escalated into a full-blown civil war, with the majority of the Regular Army supporting the right-wing Republican Party whilst the Militia has declared for the left-wing Constitutional Party.

So far most of the fighting has been local skirmishes between the supporters of the two opposing sides, but the Regular Army has gathered together a brigade-strength formation which it intends to be the vanguard of the main attack upon the capital. The Militia have managed to scrape together a force that their leadership hopes will delay the advance of the Regular Army long enough for a larger Militia force to be gathered around the capital to defend it. The Militia force has dug-in across the most obvious line of advance the regular Army will use.

The Regular Amy’s formation includes:
  • 3 Infantry Battalions (each with 2 Rifle and 1 Machine Gun Company)
  • An Artillery Battery
  • A Separate Machine Gun Company
  • A Command Company
The Militia has:
  • An Infantry Battalion (with 4 Rifle Companies)
  • A Machine Gun Battalion (with 3 Machine Gun Companies)
  • An Artillery Battery
  • A Command Company

Turn 1
As neither side’s artillery is in range, both sides throw a D6 die to see who will move first. The Regular’s throw 6 and the Militia throw 3; hence the Regulars move first.

The Commander of the Regulars realises that a frontal assault on dug-in troops – even Militia ones – will be very costly in terms of men and material, and although he knows that he has to act swiftly, he also knows that he has to conserve as much of his strength for the forthcoming attack on the capital. He therefore decides to move one of his Infantry Battalions (supported by the Artillery Battery and the Separate machine Gun Company) forward so that it appears to be threatening the centre of the Militia position whilst he moves the bulk of his force around the right-hand side of the Militia position.

The Militia Commander knows that his men are quite capable of defending a fixed position, but that they are incapable of fighting Regular troops in a more fluid. mobile battle. He therefore opts to keep all his troops where they are.

Turn 2
As neither side’s artillery is still not in range, both sides throw a D6 die to see who will move first. The Regular’s throw 6 and the Militia throw 4; hence the Regulars move first again.

Whilst he halts the movement of his units in the centre, the Regular Commander orders his other two Infantry battalions to continue their flanking march. He is sure that the terrain makes it impossible for the Commander of the Militia force to see this movement ... and he is right!

The Militia Commander is not yet aware of the danger that is developing on his left-hand flank, and orders his men to stay put and to hold their fire. He knows that the longer he can keep the Regulars at bay, the greater the force that his superiors will be able to gather to defend the capital.

Turn 3
Again, both side’s artillery is still out of range, and therefore they both throw a D6 die to see who will move first this turn. The Regular’s throw 5 and the Militia throw 4; the Regulars move first again for the third turn running.

This turn follows the same pattern as the previous one; the Regulars continue to advance of their right whilst staying where they are in the centre, and the Militia hunker down in their trenches and wait for events to unfold.

From his commanding position on top of the hill in the centre of his defences, the Militia Commander has, however, now seen the leading Infantry Company of the Regular forces that are moving towards his left-hand flank. He ponders what to do in response, as he thinks that they are currently out of range of his Artillery Battery.

Turn 4
Much to his annoyance, the Militia Commander realises that his Artillery Battery is unable to fire at the developing threat on the left flank. Likewise the Regular Artillery is also just out of range of the Militia units in their trenches, and they too do not fire.

Both sides throw D6 dice to see who will move first. The Regulars throw a 6 and the Militia throw a 3. Yet again the Regulars move first!

The Regular troops continue their advance on their right, apparently oblivious to the fact that they have been seen …

... but the Militia Commander decides to throw caution to the wind and orders one of his Infantry Companies out of its trenches to counter the threat to his left-flank.

However the flag signals he has made to the relevant Infantry Company (N.B. the Militia have not yet been equipped with field telephones and have to rely on flag signals and written messages sent by runner) have attracted the attention of the Regular Artillery Battery, who now realise that the Militia Commander’s position is just in range.

Turn 5
The Regular Artillery Battery opens fire on the position occupied by the Militia Commander. They throw a D6 die to determine if the shells land in the right hex (a score of 2 means that they don't!), and a further D6 die throw (of 3) indicates that the shells actually land in an empty hex at the base of the hill the Militia Commander is standing on.

Realising that some of the Regular troops in the centre must be in range of his own artillery, the Militia Commander orders then to open fire on the nearest Regular Infantry Company. A D6 die score of 2 means that the shells miss, and the second D6 die throw (a 1) determines that the shells actually land in the hex behind the target.

D6 dice are thrown to determine which side will move first during this turn, and the Regular's throw of 2 is less than the Militia throw (a 6), which means that for the first time in this battle the Militia will move first!

The Militia Commander makes not changes to the disposition of the bulk of his troops, who remain in their trenches whilst the detached Infantry Company continues to move forward on the left flank to block the advancing Regulars.

The Commander of the Regular forces now orders the troop in the centre to begin their advance, as he hopes that this will now divert the attention of the Militia from the threat that is beginning to develop of their left flank.

Turn 6
This turn begins with an exchange of artillery fire. The Regular Artillery battery concentrates its fire on the Machine Gun Company in the trenches to its right, and D6 dice scores of 1 and 3 results in the shells missing their target and landing in an empty hex in front of the trenches.

The Militia Artillery battery retaliates by firing at the Regular Artillery Battery, and score of 2 and 3 mean that the shells also miss their intended target and land in an empty hex in the middle of the advancing Regular forces!

D6 dice are then thrown to see which side will move first; the Regulars throw 3 and the Militia throw 6, which means that the Militia will move first again this turn.

The detached Militia Infantry Company moves into the small wood on the left flank, and from there they see the leading Regular Infantry Company. Without hesitation they open fire on it. A D6 die score of 2 destroys the Regular Infantry Unit! First blood goes to the Militia!

The Regular response is immediate. The leading Infantry Battalion on the right moves forward and, supported by fire from an Infantry Company of the second Battalion, engages the single Militia Infantry Company that is in the woods. D6 dice scores of 4, 5, and 1 result in the Militia Company being wiped out.

In the meantime, the Regular troops in the centre continue their advance towards the Militia trench lines. They are now in range of the Militia troops in the centre, and open fire on them. The Regular Infantry Battalion's Machine Gun Company and left-hand Infantry Company fire at the Militia Machine Gun Company, but D6 dice scores of 1 and 3 mean that the Militia Unit is unscathed. The right-hand Infantry Company fires at the Militia Command Company, but its D6 die score of 5 means that it does no damage to the target.

Turn 7
Both sides use their artillery to batter their opponents. The Militia Artillery Battery again fires at the Regular Artillery Battery, but D6 dice scores of 2 and 3 again result in the shells missing their target and causing no collateral damage.

The Regular Artillery Battery engages in counter-battery fire, but its D6 dice scores of 4 and 4 are also 'misses'.

The D6 dice are thrown yet again to determine who will move first this turn, and the Regulars throw a 5. In response the Militia throw a 1, and this means that the Regulars will move first.

The Commander of the Regular forces decides to seize the opportunity that moving first will give him and orders all his troops to advance as quickly as possible.

In the centre, the right-hand Regular Infantry Company fires at the Militia Machine Gun Company that is to its front. A D6 dies score of 1 means that they miss the target, but the Regular Machine Gun Company destroys the Militia Machine Gun Company when it fires at it ... and throws a D6 die score of 6!

The left-hand Regular Infantry Company then fires at the Militia Command Company. Its D6 die score is 3, and the fire has had no effect. At the same time the Regular Separate Machine Gun Company fires at the Militia Machine Gun Company that is positioned near the Command Company on the hill. Its D6 die score of 4 is sufficient to wipe out the Militia Machine Gun Company.

The situation for the Militia forces has changed dramatically in a very short time. They have now lost all but one of their Machine Gun Companies and a quarter of their Infantry Companies. Prudence would suggest that they should withdraw before they are overrun ... but the orders say 'Fight to the last man!' The Militia Commander orders the units in his right-hand trenches to move as quickly as possible towards the left to counter the threat that is rapidly developing there. At the same time, his remaining troops fire at the advancing Regulars.

The only Militia Infantry Company in the left-hand trenches now fires at the Regular Infantry Battalion's Machine Gun Company, and its D6 die score of 6 results in the target's destruction.

Turn 8
The battle is now reaching its climax, and both sides know that whatever happens next will be crucial.

The Militia and Regular Artillery Batteries fire at each other. The Militia throw a 3 on their D6 die, which means that they miss their target. Their second throw score is 4, and the shells land harmlessly in front of the Regular Artillery Battery. The latter's fire also misses its target (they throw a score of 2 on their D6 die) but its shells land in a hex that is occupied by a Militia Infantry Company. A third D6 die throw is made ... and its core of 4 means that the Infantry Company is destroyed!

The D6 dice are thrown to determine which side will move first, and the Regulars throw a 2 and the Militia throw a 4; this means that the Militia will be able to move (and fire) first.

The Militia Commander is fast running out of options, and all he can do is move down from the hill to support the Infantry Company that is in the left-hand trenches whilst the remaining Militia Infantry Company and Militia Machine Gun Company move from the right flank towards the left.

The Militia Infantry Company that is in the trenches fires at the nearest Regular Infantry Company, and the D6 die score of 2 means that the Regular Infantry Company is destroyed.

The Commander of the Regular forces reacts to the loss of this Infanty Company by halting the advance in the centre whilst urging the flanking force to move forward as quickly as possible.

They do so with alacrity, and the Commander of the Militia troops realises that his flank has been turned, and that he has very little left to counter-attack with.

Turn 9
For the third turn running, the artillery of both sides fire at each other. The Regular Artillery battery throws a 1, and therefore misses its target. Its second D6 die score is 2, and its shells land in an unoccupied hex that is adjacent to both the Militia Command Company and the remaining Militia Machine Gun Company.

The Militia Artillery Battery's D6 die score of 1 means that it misses its target, and its second throw of 5 means that its shells land in an empty hex that is adjacent to the Regular Command Company!

The Regulars throw a 4 on their D6 die to see if they will move first this turn, and the D6 die throw of 3 made by the Militia means that they will.

The Regular troops that have turned the Militia's flank now advance and the leading two companies (an Infantry Company and a Machine Gun Company) fire at the Militia Infantry Company that is in the trenches. Their D6 dice scores are 5 and 4, with the result that the Militia Infantry Company is wiped out.

At this point the Commander of the Militia forces knows that he can do no more. Despite his order to 'Fight to the last man!' he knows that all this will result in is a massacre of his remaining troops. After ordering his gunners to spike their guns, he orders his troops to retreat. He hopes that he has managed to delay the Regulars long enough for other Militia troops to arrive in the capital so that they can defend it. If he has, his Court Martial may only result in his demotion; if not, he will probably have an appointment with a firing squad.