Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

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Friday 29 November 2013

Carve Out a Kingdom - Campaign Day

Game 2 in full swing
Last Sunday I travelled down to Peterborough to take part in the Carve Out a Kingdom Campaign Day run by Peterborough Wargames Club.

Andys' lovely Knights and General
The players would be divided into factions fighting for control in 11th Centrury Italy each using a 2400pt WAB armies. The factions available were:

  • Normans/ Italo-Normans
  • Byzantines
  • Lombard Princes & Papal States
  • Holy Roman Empire
  • Emirates of Sicily

All using slightly modified lists from the Armies of Antiquity book. I decided to represent the Emirates of Sicily using my North African Berbers and took the following list:

Emir: 156pts
Hand Weapon, Light Armour, Large Shield. Army General.

Berber Sheik: 84pts
Hand Weapon, Light Armour, Shield .

Berber Sheik: 97pts
Hand Weapon, Throwing Spear, Javelin, Light Armour, Shield, Horse.

Standard Bearer: 107pts
Hand Weapon, Light Armour, Shield . Army Standard Bearer.

11 Berber Cavalry: 301pts
Hand Weapon, Throwing Spear, Javelin, Shield . Leader, Musician, Standard. Light Cavalry, Feigned Flight.

9 Berber Cavalry: 244pts
Hand Weapon, Throwing Spear, Javelin, Shield . Leader, Musician. Light Cavalry, Feigned Flight.

9 Berber Cavalry: 212pts
Hand Weapon, Javelin, Shield.  Leader. Light Cavalry, Feigned Flight.

28 Spearmen: 442pts
Hand Weapon, Thrusting Spear, Javelins,  Large Shield. Leader, Musician, Standard.
Combined with 7 Archers
Hand Weapon, Bow .

28 Spearmen: 442pts
Hand Weapon, Thrusting Spear, Javelins,  Large Shield. Leader, Musician, Standard.
Combined with 7 Archers
Hand Weapon, Bow .

15 Spearmen: 255pts
Hand Weapon, Thrusting Spear, Javelins,  Large Shield. Stubborn, Leader, Musician, Standard.

10 Skirmishers: 60pts
Hand Weapon, Javelins. Skirmishers

I would be in the Emirates of Sicily faction alongside Martyn also using North African Berbers and Carl and Reuben both using Normans - there were a lot of Norman armies at the event.

Berber battle-line
After a quick 'fight-off' between generals Carl was declared leader of our faction.

It was time to get down to some kingdom carving. The first round would be a doubles game, myself and Martyn paired yo to take on the Normans commanded by Dave Sculley and Andy Hawes on a large 8ft table.

Daves' Norman Knights
This looked like it would be quite a difficult game, we put our infantry on the flanks to try to keep their flanks secured and screened in the middle with our light horse. It actually paid off, the Normans only managed a single 'First Charge' against us and we ground them down, at the end of the game one of the Norman Generals had even routed off the table. It would be a solid victory to the Berbers!

Our compatriots did not fare too well, losing a minor victory, so a net gain of one territory to our faction. As a consequence Martyn wrestled control of our faction.

It was over to Weatherspoons for some lunch while the tables were set up for the next game.

My Berbers fight amidst the burnt out village
Next up was a game against Tony Sampson with his Holy Roman Empire force. I would be the attacker in an Attack from the Sea scenario. I had to advance to the middle of the tale and burn some villages to get additional points while Tony advanced to meet me and tried to prevent me doing that.

My skirmishing horse were soon setting light to the villages while the infantry came up in support. Tonys' noble cavalry failed to break my spear block and when he tried to Give Ground with them they only fell back 4" so I maintained contact.

Tonys' warriors do indeed think they are hard enough.
An almighty slog took place in the middle with Tonys General and Standard Bearer in a large unit of dismounted nobles against my Emir and Standard Bearer in a large unit of spearmen. I fluked the challenge killing Tonys general and broke and ran down his bodyguard! Most of his army fled away from me although much of it was to rally before the end of the game.

Unfortunately for Tony, when we tallied up the difference in our points was 2002, just over the 2001 I needed for a complete slaughter!

My compatriots had not fared so well so I now became faction leader.

My Jinetes and Andys' Knights
The final game would be a Capture the Noble scenario against Andy Hawes again. Andys' beautifully painted Italo-Normans were using the cover of darkness to sally forth from a besieged town to rescue a drunken noble being entertained in my camp.

Berber spears advance on the walled town.
I soon roused my troops and we were advancing to meet the oncoming horde of horsemen. One unit charged my small unit of spears who did not even need their stubborn as they won the first round of combat. The Norman generals unit was tied up against a large unit of spearmen. However the cracks started to show. Although they kept staying in the combat, I was not killing Knights and soon my units were too small to Give Ground against the Knights, eventually the pressure took hold and one of my big spear units broke as did the stubborn unit who had been charged in the flank.

Andy did not recapture the noble, but he did secure a minor victory against my troops.

At the end of the day I had finished as a Prince of Italy and was leading the Berber faction after a successful power struggle, but the Normans were clear victors on the day with

Here are some more images from the day:

Andy Hawes' Italo Normans

Dave Scully Normans and Andy Hawes Italo-Normans

Andy Hawes Italo-Normans

My Berbers

Tony Samsons warriors advance on the Berbers

Andy Hawes Knights

Monday 25 November 2013

Indian Machine Gun Section

This week I've finished off a pair of Vickers Machine-guns to support my growing collection of Indians for the 1941 East Africa campaign.

The models are from Perry Miniatures and take very little cleaning up and are a doddle to paint using the standard method I have used for all the Indians so far.

Currently on the painting table, two Perry Miniatures 3" mortars to go with them.

Here's a a few photos from different angles:

Friday 22 November 2013

Chain of Command - Burma 1945 - The Probe

Quinton and I had another game of Chain of Command yesterday evening. We have had a few games now and are getting quite good at remembering the rules, or if not the actual rule then how to find what we are looking for in the rule book.

We decided to throw a couple of new things into the game, and had a try at the second scenario 'The Probe'. I would be using a standard British Infantry platoon from the rule, book, where Quinton would use a Japanese platoon picked from my list. With the additional force points I added a Vickers Machine Gun with five crew and an Adjutant.

We rolled for attacker/defender and I would be the attacker.

The table was set up as a piece of open jungle with several patches of virgin jungle, and a village in one corner (this was to have no effect on the game), a couple of Japanese pill-boxes denoted the start of a defence line that we were to penetrate.

Rolling for Force Moral, for the second time in two games I rolled a '6' and would start with 10 points, even though the Japanese get +2 to the dice roll, they would start with a Force Moral of 9.

We got into the patrol phase and it ended up with pretty much a straight line across the table about 24" apart, although I did manage to put one of my jump off points on the far left within about two foot of the enemy base edge that was my objective. Quinton would have to try to ensure that I did not capitalise on this.

I rolled a four for Force Support and picked a Universal Carrier with Junior Leader and Bren Gun, our first foray into using vehicles!

The first turn started well for me with a 1,3,3,6,6 roll for the first phase, I'd be getting another go straight away. I deployed two Rifle Sections and my Light Mortar and in my subsequent phase pushed them both forwards. Quinton had a pretty poor roll, but did get his Grenade Launcher team and Platoon Sergeant deployed.

In my next phase I 'double sixed' again and my first squad pushed on towards the Japanese table edge while the other one took up covering positions. It was looking pretty poor for the Japanese, hardly any troops had been deployed and the British were pushing on towards their objective unopposed.

The Japanese managed to deploy a couple of Rifle Squads to try to block the on-rushing British Section, but one was caught in the open and shot up quite badly by the covering Rifle Section and a recently deployed Vickers Machine-gun. The Universal Carrier had already started it's journey into the engagement and the British Platoon Sergeant had now joined the rapidly advancing Section that by now had over-run one of the Japanese jump-off points. Quinton on his next throw rolled three sixes and the first turn was over and the jump-off point removed.

One of the Japanese sections that had been deployed to stop the British push launched a Banzai charge against them, but the combination of withering LMG fire directed by the Platoon Sergeant (and some very lucky dice!) meant that the Japanese were driven off having suffered 12 casualties, while the British only four. Having failed to break up the advance the other Japanese Rifle Section launched a charge against them only the Corporal, three men and the Platoon Sergeant remained, however this Japanese Section had been badly shot up earlier. The plucky British inflicted eight casualties, but in return were wiped out to a man.

What with having lost a Jump-off Point, two Junior Leaders and three Teams of Infantry the Japanese force moral plummeted to four, although the British was now on six. Things were looking dice, although the Japanese had lost a lot of manpower. A lucky grenade launcher shot wounded a British Corporal, gulp, I was now on a Force Moral of four myself.

However, my Universal Carrier was chugging along towards the Japanese table edge and some concerted Rifle and Bren Gun fire directed by the Subaltern meant that the Japanese were on Force Moral two and another Jump Off Marker was removed, I chose to leave only the one furthest from the action.

In a desperate bid to stop the Universal Carrier making off the Japanese turned their grenade launchers onto it but failed to score any hits. The Carrier gunned its' engine and exited off the Japanese edge, a victory to the British.

Another great game of Chain of Command. I hope to have enough Afrikakorps painted to start having a go in the deserts of Northa Africa soon.

All the figures and terrain are from my collection assembled and painted by myself.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Age of Arthur Campaign Day - 16th March 2014 - FULL


Age of Arthur Campaign Day

I am pleased to invite you to a one day WAB 2.0 Campaign day at the Polly Bowls Club in Sutton in Ashfield on Sunday 16th March 2014. The cost of the day is £12.00 and includes a buffet lunch and teas and coffees throughout the day. If you are there on time there will probably also be pastries and croissants for breakfast.

I currently have space for 18 players.

Arriving in the morning you will be split into (hopefully) equal sized factions and over the course of the day you will play three games of Warhammer Ancient Battles. Dependent on the results of the game you will either gain or lose territories and gold. The winners of the campaign will be the team of players who control the most territories, and the team that has amassed the most lucre.

If you are planning on staying over on the Saturday night, please let me know and we can arrange to go out for a curry.

Your Army

Players will pick a 1600 point list from the earlier lists (pre-600 CE) in the Age of Arthur supplement along with a 250 point set of reinforcements that you may or may not use in some of your games. Chosen troops from one of the following lists:
  • The Twilight of Britannia
  • The Age of Vortigern
  • Brittany
  • The British Kingdoms
  • The Welsh Kingdoms in the West
  • The Welsh Kingdoms in the North
  • Dumnonia and the Southwest
  • The Sea Raiders
  • Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms
  • Early Merovingian Franks
  • Early Southern Pictish Kingdoms
  • The Picts of the North
  • The Attecotti
  • Scots-Irish Raiders and Settlers (no chariots!)
  • Dalriada
  • The Kingdoms of Ireland (no chariots!)
Your army must be made of representative models and be fully painted and based to a least a gaming standard. There may be a prize for the best painted army at the event.

Army List Submission

Please submit your lists by Sunday 2nd March to


Starting at 09:30, during the day you will play in a mixture of singles and doubles games with different scenarios. If you would like to forge an alliance with any specific player or group of players for the event, please let me know and I’ll accommodate you. Else, you will be associated with an ally commensurate with your army and situation on the campaign map.

Depending on your game result you will lose or gain up to two of your territories and gain or lose gold.

Special Rules for the Campaign Day

  • With the release of WAB 2.0, units that are fleeing may not use the leadership of any character in the unit. Having spoken with James Morris, the author of the El Cid and Age of Arthur supplements, this is not intended and the leadership of any character in the unit may be used.
  • Light infantry who start the game deployed in skirmish formation may elect not to field a standard bearer, replace the model with a normal trooper.
  • As the campaign is set in mainland Britannia and the Irish only used chariots on 'home turf' you are not allowed the Chieftains Chariot upgrade.

Payment Details

Please may a PayPal payment to your place will not be confirmed until Payment is received.

Cancellations after Sunday 2nd March 2014 will not be refunded.

If you have any special needs please contact me before the event and I will try to make any reasonable adjustments.


The event will be held at the Polly Bowls Club, Sports Ground, 10 Unwin Road, Sutton in Ashfield, Notts, NG17 4HN.
From the South exit junction 28 of the M1 and follow the A38 Mansfield signs. Stay with this dual carriageway through all sets of traffic lights (this is a long stretch, easily five of six miles) until you come to a set of lights with a pub called the King and Miller and a Macdonald’s on your left. Filter left and go past McDonalds, turn left at the next set of lights and you are on Unwin Road, the entrance to the sports grounds are on your left, if you get as far as the Unwin Social Club you have gone too far.
The venue can be quite difficult to find as it is behind some buildings off of Unwin Road, however if you look out for the Rugby Club banner, go down the right hand side of the green-panelled building and drive around the rugby pitch the car park and bowls club building are at the bottom.

Please try to arrive at 09:00 for an 09:30 start.

This is the entrance you are looking for, drive down the right hand side of that green-panelled building and around the sports pitches

'Satellite' image showing the location of the venue

Local Accommodation


Travelodge have an excellent hotel with plenty of rooms within two minutes’ drive or 5 minutes walk of the venue. They've a lot of space and ample parking!
Telephone: 0871 984 6140
Address: Lakeside Point, Mansfield Road, Sutton in Ashfield,
Nottinghamshire. NG17 4NP


A lovely hotel is the Pine Lodge, situated on the A60 Nottingham Road. It has twenty bedrooms and various prices. Telephone: (01623) 622 308
Address: 281-283 Nottingham Road, Mansfield. NG18 4SE


A lovely Georgian mansion of a hotel set in fifteen acres of parkland, the Portland Hall is relatively difficult to find but worth it if you're not bothered how much you spend. It's about fifteen minutes from the venue by car.
Telephone: (0871) 716 1883
Address: Carr Bank Park, Windmill Lane, Mansfield. NG18 2AL


The Parkhurst Guest House, situated fifteen minutes from the venue by car, is really a bed-and-breakfast so it should suit those on a tight budget.
Telephone: 01623 627 324
Address: 28 Woodhouse Road, Mansfield. NG18 2AF


Next door to the Parkhurst is the Mansfield Guest House, and again if you prefer bed and breakfasts to hotels you can find none better in Mansfield.
Telephone: 01623 629 352
Address: 27 Woodhouse Road, Mansfield. NG18 2AF

Confirmed Entrants:

  1. Peter Howarth
  2. Alex Barnes
  3. Bryan Bowdell
  4. Craig Green
  5. Jim Sweeny
  6. Tom Greenwood
  7. Pete Johnson
  8. John Carter
  9. Steve Marshall
  10. Keith Tait
  11. Neil Dee
  12. Philip Morgan
  13. Peter Plinston
  14. Stephen Haran
  15. Paul Scrivens-Smith
  16. Simon Pope
  17. Tom Webster-Deakin
  18. James Morris

Unconfirmed Entrants:


  1. Paul Doyle

Tuesday 12 November 2013

El Cid day - 10th November 2013

In Sunday I held an El Cid campaign day at the Polly Bowls club in Sutton in Ashfield.

I originally planned for 16 players, but the event was very popular and I eventually ended up with twenty players, but, had a couple drop out on the run up to the event.

My eighteen players were split into five factions as follows:


  • Jim Sweeny - Taifa Kingdoms
  • Craig Green - Age of El Cid
  • Tom Greenwood - Almoravid
  • Pete Johnson - Taifa Kingdoms
  • Tom Webster-Deakin - Almoravid
  • John Carter - Taifa Kingdoms

African Invaders
  • Alex Barnes - Almoravid
  • Peter Howarth - Almoravid
  • Bryan Bowdell - Almoravid
  • Martin Gibbins - Almoravid
  • Simon Pope - Almoravid
  • Keith Tait - Almoravid

Christian Spain
  • Carl Fisher - Age of El Cid
  • Steve Marshall - Age of El Cid
  • Neil Dee - Age of El Cid
  • Geraint Osborn - Age of El Cid
  • Peter Plinston - Age of El Cid
  • Philip Morgan - Age of El Cid
As can be seen the usual reluctance to play with the Andalusians was manifest.

The starting map
Unfortunately, on the day, John Carter had to drop out so I fielded an Andalusian army as part of the Andalusian command, and three of my Almoravid players were held up in traffic so the start was about an hour delayed. Fortunately I had laid on lashings of Danish pastries, croissants, tea and coffee to pass the time.

Next on to the setup. Each faction was allocated 35 territories on the map of the Iberian Penninsular as shown in the image to the right. Each faction was also allocated a treasury of about 70 gold coins - ok they were chocolate and it was quite a test to prevent them from being eaten.

The treasury
At the start of each round, each faction was allowed to spend a random number of gold coins on mercenaries laid out in a smorgasbord  of various abilities, from units of weak skirmishers through mercenary characters to Caballeros, spear and bow units and elite spearmen. These were all made up of my units, minus those I had to take out to make up an Andalusian force so that I could play.

I also laid out six gaming tables, three doubles games and three singles games each one had a certain mission or scenario, based upon the result of the game players would gain or lose territories from their map. The scenarios were also changed around so that players could play again on the same table. At the start of each game each player was given a bonus card to use during the game, well I say bonus, there were quite a few of them inferring that their general preferred farm animals to his wife and adversely affected his leadership.

Also, after each battle, if any characters were lost then they had to be ransomed back with gold changing hands at 2 pieces for a general and 1 for any other character.

We then set down to playing. At the start of the first round the mercenaries were allocated, the Andalusians were allowed no gold to spend on mercenaries, the Christians five gold and the Moors six gold. After the first round it was pretty much stalemate, with territories being won and lost on all sides, but nothing much changing.

We then had a buffet lunch that seemed to defeat the players, in fact we were still eating left-overs in the office today.
After the first turn
In round two the Andalusians poor form in attracting mercenaries continued, a paltry two gold could be spent on mercenaries, while the Christians and Moors attracted eight or nine gold each. The ensuing games did not go so well for the Andalusians either they were soon conceding territories and ransoming back characters at an alarming rate. The Christians had a clear upper hand by this time.
After round 2
In the third round I upped the Andalusians chances a little, each of the six players could draw a mercenaries card, even with six cards (ranging from 0 to 4 gold on each) they only managed eight gold while the Christians and Moors with four cards each still beat them!

The Moors fared a little better in this round and even won a couple of games, however the Christian landslide was complete, not only did they hod the most territories, but their coffers were also bulging with all the ransomed Andalusian characters

I'm pretty sure that all the players had a great time and we also raised £50.00 for the British Legion Poppy Appeal by holding a raffle.

Here are some more photos from the event.