Category Archives: Wargaming

Mustering the Troops (NZ WWI ANZAC Diorama)

The blog site for the painting project for the Anzac Diorama for the World War One Exhibition has been created. I urge you to have a look,especially at the FAQ and About pages to learn more about the project.  There has already been media publicity about the project and several people I know who are not war-gamers have already asked if I was going to be involved.

My painting schedule has been cleared and I am awaiting the arrival of my first contingent of troops.

Click on this link to get to the Project Blog.

Mustering the Troops

Sir Peter Jackson needs Kiwi wargamers

This is a great project for all New Zealand wargamers to get involved in. Please head over to Dressing the Lines and register your interest. We have a lot of figures to paint and not that much time to get them done. If we can get a hundred people to each paint forty figures we can knock this one off. Full details at Dressing the Lines.


poster wargamers-needed

Here’s the chance for New Zealand wargamers to volunteer for a massive modelling project to commemorate Gallipoli, led by Sir Peter Jackson and using never-seen-before figures by the Perry twins!

Below is an open letter to New Zealand wargaming clubs from Rhys Jones, a fellow wargamer and also the former Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force:

“I am asking your help in organising wargamers around New Zealand to paint 4000 x 54mm figures for a Gallipoli diorama in Peter Jackson’s Great War Exhibition.

One of my adventures in life is to be involved with Peter Jackson in creating the ‘New Zealand Great War Exhibition’, which will open on Anzac Day this year and run through to Armistice Day 2018. It will be housed in the former Dominion Museum building in Wellington, behind the Carillon and the new Memorial Park. With both Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor doing the exhibits, and…

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Call to Arms 2014 Photo Review

There was more to Call to Arms than our big Leipzig game and although pic heavy, I think that this post will show that wargaming is alive and well in New Zealand.  The variety of games, periods and general outlandishness on display was great. Once again the Warlords put on a superb little convention. My only complaint was that the mince and cheese pies from the cafeteria tasted bloody awful. Worst $4 I have spent on food in donkey’s years.

Views of the St Pats School Hall.
Views of the St pats School Hall
Views of the St pats School Hall
A CTA X-Wing 1
X-Wing Game. Either a Rebel Civil War or perhaps just a training exercise.
A CTA X-Wing 2
Where would a Star Wars game be without a Corellian YT-class Light Freighter popping up/
A W40K Tyrranid Army – I think. I quite liked the display board and the colours of the critters.
WFB – Pirate Ogre rats and things.
Pirate Ogre Ship’s Cook. I think this guy made the meat pies that the cafeteria sold.
WFB – Pirate Ogre mobile artillery. Cannons on Giant Crocodiles. How awesome is that?
A CTA Skirmish Sangin 5
Skirmish Sangin – entering a compound through a hole blown in the wall.
A CTA Skirmish Sangin 4
Skirmish Sangin – Insurgents I think – having a roof party.
A CTA Skirmish Sangin 3
Skirmish Sangin – Things get technical.
A CTA Skirmish Sangin 2
Skirmish Sangin – Humvee
A CTA Skirmish Sangin 1
Skirmish Sangin – a patrol approaches a village in the late afternoon sun.
A CTA Ronin 4
Ronin – Land of the Rising Sun. Dawns breaks over a Japanese village.
A CTA Ronin 3
Ronin- Ashigaru advance across the vege garden.
A CTA Ronin 2
Ronin – Two groups of enemy samurai come to grips in the village.
A CTA Ronin 1
Ronin – Japanese villagers go about their business.
A CTA Pulp 5
Pulp Alley – somewhere up the Nile.
A CTA Pulp 4
Pulp Alley – Inside the Temple of Doom, or something similar. Lava flowing around the alter. Love it.
A CTA Pulp 3
Pulp Alley – An intrepid explorer (or tomb robber) explores the passageways.
A CTA Pulp 2
Pulp Alley – Inside the Pyramid of Terror (I made that up because it sounded Pulpy). Scarab swarms and mummies abound.
A CTA Pulp 1
Pulp Alley – Ready, and Action!
A CTA Maori 6
New Zealand Wars – A British Supply column makes it way north from Wellington to Boulcott Farm.
A CTA Maori 5
New Zealand Wars – Maori defend their pa against attacking red coats.
A CTA Maori 4
New Zealand Wars – table overview
A CTA Maori 3
New Zealand Wars – Northland Chief Hone Heke directs his troops to fire their carronade.
A CTA Maori 2
New Zealand Wars – a settler cabin under attack.
A CTA Maori 1
New Zealand Wars – Maori Warriors attack the British settlement.
Flames of War – A 25pdr battery in action.
Flames of War – Game in progress
Flames of War – Polish motorcycle troops. Loved these guys. Great painting and base-work.
Flames of War – more games in progress.
A CTA Dystopia 3
Dystopian Wars – A fleet action of some sort.
A CTA Dystopia 2
Dystopian Wars – A big land walker thingy.
A CTA Dystopia 1
Dystopian Wars – the superb table that these guys had set up.
DBM – The Road to, well, Damascus.
DBM – Viking Cavalry
DBM – 25mm game in progress.
DBM – game in progress. This is quite popular at the moment. Great to see 25mm ancients being played.
A CTA Bushido 1
Bushido – Fantasy Oriental game.

Oh Joy

I am sure that I am not alone in having that feeling of expectation you have when you ordered something from overseas and then sit back to wait its arrival – this goes back to when I was a lad sending my £2 postal notes to Britain and waiting six months for the surface mail to arrive.  It is almost as much a part of the war-gaming hobby for me as actually painting and playing games.

So, it is Christmas time in July for me here at the Woolshed.  136 Zulus, 32 British and some special set/characters. My painting for the next month has been taken care of.

This was my first ever order from Black Tree Designs so I was a little apprehensive. However, I had emails when the order was received, picked and posted. Then I got updates with an ETA for the parcel that said 28th July. Low and behold – it arrived on the 28th July.





Leipzig Game: More info.

John Hutton, the esteemed organiser and referee for the Project Leipzig game held 5-6 Oct, sent us a few photos (all these photos are courtesy of John Hutton).  He also provided these details.

– 38 players, plus Napoleon’s Aide de Comp and other camp followers.

– Twenty 6’x4′ tables, for a total of 720 square feet of gaming board (not counting reserve tables);

– French had 160 units of infantry, 52 cavalry, and 40 batteries;

– Allies had 196 units of infantry, 63 cavalry and 51 batteries;

– For a total of around 8544 foot miniatures, 1380 cavalry miniatures, and 182 cannon on the table (not counting command figures or limbers).

Heavy fighting in the southern sectors.


The entire table at the conclusion of the the first day’s fighting.


Napoleon (Steve Sands) briefing the French commanders. I am the joker in the cowboy hat.


Steve had an ADC who ran all orders to his subordinate commanders. This little guy lasted the entire weekend and did a sterling job.


Leipzig: Kiwi Style

I am back home. Shell shocked after two days of war-gaming. We just played what I gather was the largest reenactment wargame in New Zealand gaming history. I am not sure how many figures were on the table but I heard a figure of over ten thousand and there were something like 30 players I think. The game was played with some variant Black Powder rules.  John Hutton, from Wellington, was the organiser. and frankly, people like him are either to be admired, or pitied. I am not sure which.  it was obviously a labour of love and I cannot praise his efforts highly enough.

I played General Souham, in charge of the French III Corps.  I had under my direct command three French Infantry Divisions of 6 battalions with an attached foot battery  (one division was Provisional infantry and somewhat poor in quality), two cavalry brigades – one of two Light Cavalry units and one one of 2 Light and one Dragoon Regiment. I was assigned the defence of the northern flank.  All we knew was that a large Russian force was bearing down on us and Napoleon ordered me to hold the bridges over the River Parthe.  For the first day of gaming I was pretty much unengaged as the Russians did not arrive in my sector but funneled troops into an adjacent sector.  On the second day the Russian IX Corps attacked me but I managed to defeat them and drive them off the table except for some weakened cavalry units that were bottled up by my defensive line.  I am a novice Black Powder player and everyone helped – friends and foes – to ensure that things happened as they should.

I will point out one thing. I rolled exactly 11 five times in a row for command for one of my divisions. I didn’t realise that if I had had them in March Column they could have got at least one move. In the end it was not a concern but some of the mathematical minded amongst my opponents said that it was something like 1 in 1.8 million to make that many rolls in a row. It felt like it too:)


Some other people will be blogging more photos but here are a few I took with my cell phone.

Player badges and the command map used by Napoleon (Steve Sands) to allocate reserves and move his forces.


My badge of command: Brian (Souham).


These are the Russian forces that I knew were coming my way. As it happened only a stack of cavalry and one Russian Corps came my way – Phew!


My French III Corps advancing to hold the Northern Flank.  At this stage the Russian hordes had not made their appearance.


One of several Austrian Corps advancing in the Southern Sector.


In the days ahead there will be a stack of posts on various Kiwi blogs about this game.  I suggest that you look at all of them. It was a great two days of gaming and I cannot wait until Waterloo 1815 done at 1:1 units.

A night (well a few weeks) at the Museum


The Whanganui Regional Museum is a top rate museum – a gem for a small provincial town like Wanganui.  If you are ever holidaying in New Zealand and go to the picturesque riverside town of  Wanganui, please visit the Regional Museum. My favourite exhibit is the great Maori War canoe “Te Mata o Hoturoa.  This vessel was used in combat and still has bullet holes along it’s hull.  Empress Miniatures needs to make one of these in resin for the Maori War’s Range of minis that they make.


Anyways, I was asked to put on a display of miniatures as part of a retro-gaming themed display that was run during the last school holidays. They had a lot of old school video games (like Donkey Kong and Spacies) and while I am not sure that wargaming is completely ‘retro’, I think it added a little something to the week.  I also put on a participation games of Wild West Skirmish using The Rules With No Name – but to be honest, I mostly fudged and made stuff up. I met a few guys who are local wargamers and entertained a bunch of kids for a few hours. It was fun.

I apologise for the quality of the photos but I took them with my cell phone just before I packed up and took all my toys home.

The display case was quite neat – and try as I might I could not fit it in the back of the 4×4. I tried to throw in a bit of everything that I have. There was a lot of interest and there is the distinct possibility of a Wanganui Wargaming Club being resurrected.  There is also the possibility that the museum may be interested in providing a space.


In this picture you can see my Kapiti Fusiliers badge. Although the Fusiliers are now in hiatus, I am very proud of my Fusilier name badge.  Here you can see some 15mm WWII and Napoleonic 1200th Naval vessels (made from balsa).


Some Wild West up top and my 15mm New Zealand forces for Flames of War (or other games as required).


A Wild West hotel (and that is Al Swearengen up there).


Warhammer 40K Models (Space Marines and old school metal Necrons). Some Bretonnian knights top left.




Some time today I got my 10,000th view. Now that is not much by any popular standard on the internet, but pretty pleasing to me. My daughter said that means there are 10,000 sad lonely gamers out there. She may have a point.

I started this back in January. My purpose was to make myself improve my painting output, and I hope, the quality of my painting. Paint something new and put it up. I had/have so many unpainted miniatures that I was starting to feel guilty about it.  Well the output side has improved.

As far as my Napoleonic forces go, since I started in January I have completed 3 British, 2 Spanish, 1 Bavarian and 1 Swiss infantry battalions, 1 4-gun French Foot battery, a regiment of Saxon Heavy Cavalry and two regiments of French chasseurs-a-cheval.  That is more Napoleonics than I had done in the previous ten years to be honest.   I have also re-based over twenty battalions of French and French allied Foot and seven cavalry regiments.

Of course, I am pretty sure that none of this would have happened without my muse, who never complains (too much) about my painting gear and models spread out all over the dining table.  To her I say I do love you.

Monday Music: Kilt him a B’ar when he was only three.


Today from the depths of my childhood memories, comes The Ballad of Davy Crockett. Davy Crockett is one of those enduring historical figures –  a real genuine Legend of the Frontier. This version is sung by Fess Parker. Down the bottom of the post is a list I accumulated of various Davy Crockett miniatures. Once again – if you know of others let me know and I will update the post.

This version has about a dozen more verses and covers pretty much the whole of the life of Davy Crockett.



Old Glory 15s (Blue Moon) 

The chap middle bottom is Davy. This set is the Alamo Leaders set.


1/72 or 20mm

Imex make a 1/72nd Alamo Defenders set that includes a Davy Crockett figure wielding his rifle like a club.  This set is available from a myriad of hobby and toy stores so I wont link to any particular one in this case.


Reaper Miniatures make a great looking Davy. Quite the dandy in his buckskins and coonskin hat.


Dixon Miniatures have a great little range of Alamo figures, including this one. Very Dixon-ish which is something I like.


Boot Hill Miniatures.  I don’t know anything about these guys but I love these models. Davy is in the middle, pointing out either a Creek warrior or Santa Ana.


UPDATE: Boot Hill Miniatures showed me a much cooler pic of Davy Crockett. Here it is.

Boot Hill Davy Crockett  new

Old Glory has a big range of Texan War of Independence sets. The photo is a bit indistinct but I am sure there is a Davy in there in a coonskin hat.  The product description says “4 Individual Poses for Davy Crockett, Col. Travis, Jim Bowie on cot & Man Servant


Blazeaway Miniatures (Cannon Fodder Miniatures) has a range of Alamo figures as well.  I think these are super. I am sure you know which one is Davy.


Artizan Designs. 

This looks like a nice clean sculpt but he has a face that only his mother could love. An older, wiser Davy perhaps. On the whole I really like Artizan Design miniatures. They are seldom a disappointment.


UPDATE: A helpful reader pointed out this figure to me. Apparently an Artizan Designs’ Limited Edition Davy Crockett. I think it came with the Warhammer Historical ‘Alamo’ supplement.

Artizan Designs Davy Crocket Limited Edition


There are two 40mm manufacturers that I found. The first is:

Gringo 40s.  What can I say about these. If I wanted to get into a new scale it would be 40mm, and Gringo40s would be my starting point.


Sash and Saber 40mm. There is no picture on the Sash and Saber website of this miniature. That is a shame because Sash and Saber make really nice 40mm models. I am sure it is a great sculpt, but who knows.

Why I was banned from Battlefront Forums

Webb Cartoon from 2004
Webb Cartoon from 2004

After some email to-ing and fro-ing between Chris Townley (from Battlefront) and myself we arranged for a call from BF for this morning and subsequently today I got a call from one of the owners of Battlefront to explain why my account was deleted from the battlefront forum.  Peter Suminovich was polite and explained very clearly why I was evicted, which is all I was asking for.

Back in 2008 I made a post on a New Zealand political blog, at a time when a major New Zealand politician was in the news with regards to a big political spat over scampi, fishing quotas, alleged corruption, dodgy politicians, paper bags with money in them and an injunction on a video interview with a guy who worked for Peter S who said that he had told him to lie to a Parliamentary commission.   There was this big court case where Peter Suminovich and another joker sued a media company and state-owned TV for defamation and I understand it was settled out of court.  It is all on the internet as part of public record if you want to read about it.  Anyway, that is the background.

I had forgotten all about that period in New Zealand history and could not even remember the comment so after a lot of searching archives on a multitude of political blogs, I think I found the offending post.  I am not sure that there were others but if there were I couldn’t find them.

He said to me on the phone that I wrote a hurtful thing and he didn’t want anything to do with me and by inference that included my having any interaction with his company Battlefront. He obviously has a long memory.  My mother was a Southern European, so I know all about that.

So, there you have it.  It was not anything I said or did on the Battlefront Flames of War forums. He is exercising his right of ownership of the Flames of War Forum – and that is that. Perhaps in a similar circumstance I would do the same as Peter S did if someone called me Fat Brian.