December 16, 2013

Digital Books

For those who don't know, Wargames Illustrated has gone digital (actually started last month, but I've had precious little free time of late)! I certainly have nothing against paper and I still enjoy flipping through my old magazines, but I currently have ZERO subscriptions of hard copy mags (now if I could only get my wife into the digital age of magazines). I am seriously running out of space to continue to add books and magazines to my shelves.

Before I had a tablet, I didn't know what I would use it for. Now my iPad is my near constant companion. At any given time I have hundreds of books and magazines at my finger tips and millions within reach of a quick download. Between Kindle and Nook Apps, the iPad Newsstand and PDFs stored on iBooks, I currently have the following:

Complete collections of Dan Abnett's Inquisitor and Gaunt's Ghost books, Edgar Rice Burrough's Barsoom series, Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe and Uhtred books, Fritz Leiber's Swords series, and the complete works of Robert E Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, Michael Moorcock, and J.R.R. Tolkien. There are also The Art of War, a dozen Osprey titles, and Michael McNally's The Battle of Aughrim 1691.  More and more titles become available for these formats every month.

I have tons of RPG books in PDF - every 1e AD&D book, module, and supplement, all of the ancient TSR box games like Boot Hill, Gamma World, Top Secret, Star Frontiers, and Marvel Super Heroes, other games like Call of Cthulhu, Villains and Vigilantes, Paranoia, and Universe, and few modern ones like The One Ring and Numenera. There are also a few wargames like Beneath the Lily Banners and Donnybrook that haven't been circulated as PDFs yet (we are looking into it - the files are ready to go)!

For magazines, I have issues 1-100 of The Dragon, 1-3 of Gygax (the new... err... old school RPG mag), the full collection White Dwarf since they went digital (maybe 13 or 14 issues), a few Battlegames PDFs, and two dozen old Wargames Illustrated PDF's that I most often find myself searching for through the stacks (there are some articles I read over and over). I have digital subscriptions to Bass Player, ImagineFX, Miniature Wargames, White Dwarf, and most recently Wargames Illustrated.

And that brings me back to Wargames Illustrated. Issue 315 has a six-page feature on Donnybrook written by Barry and me. There is a fairly detailed run through of the basics of the rules, the reason behind some of them, and a general overview of what else is included in the book. It is actually the first time I have been published in WI as an author, though I've had lots of photos published over the last few years. I got my digital copy this morning, but I will be buying TWO paper copies for my collection to go on the shelf...

December 8, 2013

Lord Clare's Dragoons

I finally had a chance to take a photo of a unit I finished a few weeks ago, the first unit of my Jacobite army, Lord Clare's Dragoons...
Of course, these are Warfare Miniatures models. There is some controversy about the uniform of this regiment. Most Irish horse and dragoons were clothed in red before 1690. French supplies for the Jacobite army in 1690 eventually saw most units clothes in gris-mesle, a cloth flecked with blue threads that varied in color from white to pale grey. The default color of turn backs in the French army was red unless the colonel of the regiment paid to replace them. The Battle of the Boyne falls in the middle of the transition. Lord Boisseleau's regiment was at the docks when the supplies arrived (they helped unload them) and he outfitted his troops straight away. It is unclear which other units received new uniforms before the Battle of the Boyne. While a case can be made for either coat, I chose to paint Lord Clare's Draoons in their old uniforms because there are a lot of white and grey among the other units I have planned. They would have likely been in a sorry state, but for table top presentation I have chosen to keep them uniform with the addition of a few different hat colors. Lord's Clare's Dragoons are sometimes named as the 'Yellow Dragoons' so it seems safe that their cuffs were yellow.

These models are based in a similar manner to my Dutch Grenadiers. I will be able to use these both for games of Beneath the Lily Banners and Donnybrook. The mounted dragoons are currently being sculpted and as soon as I can get my hands on some I will paint mounted versions of the regiment and include a horse holder vignette.

Speaking of the Dutch and the Williamites, that army is not quite finished - I am very close with only two foot regiments left, but the dragoons were calling to me! I am far more productive painting when inspiration strikes than following a set schedule so the Jacobites jumped the queue! The next unit on the table is Lord Dongan's Dragoons which will be handled in a similar matter. Then maybe I can get back to the army of King Billy!

December 7, 2013


Clarence Harrison - Donnybrook will be sent to the printer in a few days and will be available for pre-order very soon (watch this space). It has taken a year of work that I have thoroughly enjoyed (and putting on the finishing touches is one of the reasons my lack of posting recently). There is a full feature next month in Wargames Illustrated, but our loyal readers get a sneak peek here!

Donnybrook is a fast paced skirmish game designed to cover conflicts across the globe from 1660 to 1760. The basic game of requires a force of 12-48 models, depending on their quality, and one character who represents the player on the table top. Games are played on a 4x4' table. You can add additional units and additional characters as you like, as long as both sides use the same conventions, though you'll need a larger table as you increase the numbers! Donnybrook uses a card driven turn system that creates exciting, unpredictable play. Besides leading government troops into battle, you can choose mobs of armed peasants, murderous brigands, religious fanatics, sinister cultists, ferocious highlanders, or tribal natives. The book includes the rules, faction lists, weapons primer, random events, seven scenarios, a thrilling battle report, a period and theater guide, and a double sided playsheet. The finished book is 112 pages and contains more than 150 awesome photographs by Mr Hilton!

Table of Contents

We'll announce the launch of pre-orders very soon so stay tuned!

October 16, 2013

The Realm of Chaos

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the release of the Realm of Chaos - Slaves to Darkness Warhammer book which was actually the second Warhammer product I ever purchased (after the Warhammer 40k Rogue Trader book). Besides being full of evocative artwork and loads of rules for both Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k, this book had rules for generating Chaos Champions and covers Khorne and Slaanesh. The second book Realm of Chaos - The Lost and the Damned covers Nurgle and Tzeentch. The system is crazy with random charts and almost comprises a game on it's own and was the source of endless hours of entertainment. The random tables can provide some unbalanced results that many today would balk at, but I find them a source for great inspiration and perfect for a solo project.

I've decided to build four warbands, one for each Chaos power, by rolling on the provided charts and maybe using a little divine intervention to tweak the results. The first warband I rolled was for Nurgle because I already had a handful of appropriate models for champions - the one I picked was dependent on the outcome of the dice.

The roll for the base champion was a Human Hero 10. Characters gain two rolls on the Rewards table, but I decided to make my champions more experienced because they get one roll on the Followers table for every two Rewards and I wanted each band to start with at least two 'units'. My four Reward rolls produced the following results: Mark of Nurgle (+1T), Bestial Face - Goat (+1A and +1 Fear Point), Gift of Nurgle - Hide of Nurgle (opponents have a -1 to hit in melee), and GM's choice. Now since I'm the GM I had a lot of latitude to determine what I wanted. Looking through my models, I decided to pick Enormously Fat (1/2M, +1T, and -1I).

So the stat line for my champion comes out as:

Human Hero 10254462348

I plan to field him in light armour and arm him with an extra hand weapon (which will give him another attack).He is a plodding beast, but if he ever gets in range to fight he will be fearsome and the Hide of Nurgle and high Toughness will help make up for his lack of armour.

Now I get two rolls on the table for Followers which works out as 6 zombies and 2 beastmen. I also get to roll Rewards for the followers and decide to pile them all on the beastmen. I end up with Technology - Bolt Pistol, +1S and +1T, and Tentacles. The first roll goes to one beastman and I put the others one the second.

So here is the starting warband for my Chaos Champion of Nurgle (I have yet to come up with a suitable name)...
The champion and beastmen were painted using Blanchitsu, using only Abaddon Black, Whitescar, Balor Brown, Gehenna Gold, and Runefang Steel. Highlights are mixed by building up these monotone shades and then GW washes are used to add color. The zombies were from an existing project, but I added more washes to make them better match the others.

Next up... the Chaos Champion of Khorne!

October 5, 2013

Yet More Shades of Grey

Here are four more models from my adventures in painting in black and white...

Professor KettlewellSlade
Dr RavenwoodAgent Archer

Hmmm... just realized I already posted Professor Kettlewell in the original post on this project, but that was with the color die for comparison so I guess I leave him here too for the sake of formatting. He is one of my favorite models of all time from any genre! Again all of the models are from Artizan or Copplestone. Next time I'll change it up and post a few gribblies for the project...

September 28, 2013

The Duke of Schomberg's Horse

Just finished a squadron of the the Duke of Schomberg's Horse...

This is yet another unit for which we have no real information on the uniform or the flag.If you remember my discussion on officer sashes from my Featured Regiments post on De La Melonière's regiment of foot there were a number of choices I could have made for the sashes of the officers. This time I went with white. Schomberg's horse was composed mainly of 'French gentlemen from good families' according to Matthew Glozier's book The Huguenot Soldiers of William of Orange and the Glorious Revolution of 1688. To me it seems more likely that these sort of soldiers would be more educated and likely to remember their past and thus more likely to adopt the white sashes of tradition. The flag is simply based on the Duke of Schomberg's coat of arms (and is available from the LoA shop). I trimmed away the gold fringe on a whim. The grey coats and red facings of the troopers could be used for dozens of other regiments with a flag swap.

For Beneath the Lily Banners, you must designate your cavalry as either Bullet or Blade to represent the two prevailing tactical doctrines of the time. Bullet cavalry advanced slowly and fired pistols before engaging in close combat while Blade cavalry drew their swords and charged! The main of William III's army employed Bullet tactics, but the Huguenot horsemen were all veterans of the French army which favored Blade tactics. I've chosen to call the Huguenot regiment Blade (and signified this by modeling them with swords instead of pistols) for the Irish theater, with the idea that the newly formed regiment was probably more naturally inclined to their old training.

I have a second squadron on the painting table now...

September 24, 2013

More Shades of Grey

Almost forgot my promise to add more pics from my 'black and white' project circa 1920...

MannieProfessor Randall
GraceDr Holland

Again all of the models are from Artizan or Copplestone.

September 14, 2013

Guns for King Billy

This week I finished the artillery for the Williamite army...

These have been painted in the uniform of King William III's artillery trayne for the campaign in Ireland - blue coats with orange facings (orange in the same manner that my Dutch Guard were painted - no reason to think the artillery uniforms held up any better than the guard unit). Only trained artillerists were issued with uniforms, with the 'fetch and carry' labor being provided by civilians so I have mixed in a few models in grey or brown. In the last photo you can see I cunningly included an officer and chap in grey which means this gun will work equally well for either side.

The guns are separate from their bases. I intent to paint up limbers for each and will be able to use the same guns. I still need to paint up stuff for the artillery park to go behind each field gun, but I haven't gotten around to acquiring stuff for those.

Two field guns will be plenty for the size games I will normally run on a 4x8' table. BLB recommends no more than one battalion gun per brigade. I actually have four brigades of Williamite foot, but again I think two is enough for my table. When I paint the Jacobites, one of their guns will be generic as well so I will be able to load up three guns on one side if necessary.

I also have two monster guns of position, but I'm saving them for when I begin to build up siege stuff. I want to get the field armies finished first.

In further news, last week I received a very heavy box from Barry loaded to the gills with Warfare stuff. Besides enough infantry to finish my Williamite army (two more Huguenot battalions and St. John's), there were enough dragoons for two squadrons of dismounted dragoons to start on my Jacobites and some spare cavalry to model more brigadiers! A squadron of the Duke of Schomberg's Horse are also on the table and should be finished soon...

September 12, 2013

LoA Blog Lottery

We're not there yet over at the League of Augsburg Blog, but in honor of reaching 100 followers my lovely wife will throw percentile dice to generate a number from 1-100. I will count through the followers list as it appears here on the site and the lucky winner gets a very rare (I don't think Barry even has one) first edition copy of Beneath the Lily Banners!

This is the first book Barry and I worked on together. Even if you have the second edition this is a great addition. if only for all of the photos. If you haven't signed up on the LoA Blog, head over do it now... there's no prize until we reach 100!

September 5, 2013

Swedish Flags for Poltava

The Swedish flags for the GNW are finally ready and should be available from the LoA shop soon.

This release provides all of the foot units that were present at Poltava. The last sheet is actually variations for Skaraborg, Uppland, and Kalmar based on descriptions given by the Russians at Poltava - there are official government versions for these units scattered through the other sheets for those who want the earlier flags. Again, thanks to Örjan Martinsson (Tacitus of the Fighting Talk forum) for all of his help sorting through these.

September 4, 2013

The Loneliest Pikemen

These models have been on my painting desk for a year and I just managed to find the time to paint them last week. The only unit in my Williamite army to have pikes is Hamner's so far. I'm going to paint up a few more stands to go with some of my other units with an eye toward swapping flags and fielding them as something else from time to time - the grey coated units in particular may be used for dozens of others!

September 1, 2013

Shades of Grey

I know my activity here has been very limited. Running the LoA blog has been quite a bit of fun but it's also been fairly time consuming. I am trying to finish Donnybrook, add to the range of Quindia Studios flags (almost have all of the Swedish foot for Poltava ready to go), and still piddling around with other projects.

One of these projects is a collection of adventurers for pulp era games, destined for an H.P. Lovecraft style setting. I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with them - I envision a skirmish game with several groups of adventurers (possibly rivals) and 1920's era policemen facing off against cultists, deep ones, and other Things That Should Not Be. My Donnybrook rules will work perfectly well with a few modern additions like vehicles and SMGs and some rules for madness and giant gribbly monsters.

Anyway, more on that at a later time. I decided pulp horror is best in black and white and so I set out to try my hand at a few noir minis...

Professor Kettlewell

Professor DysonMrs Sunderland
I've got lots of these characters painted and I'll post some more in a few days. They have all been painted with various Foundry triads. The models are all from Artizan and Copplestone.

August 1, 2013

De La Melonière

Here is the first of my Huguenot battalions...

There is much more info on the League of Augsburg blog as it stars in our FEATURED REGIMENT series. I am only two battalions and two squadrons away from finishing my goal for my Williamite 1690 army!

July 22, 2013

Join the League of Augsburg

The LoA blog is off to a great start and we have lots of great articles coming up, but in the spirit of alliance that was the League of Augsburg, we would like to invite you to participate! We are now accepting submissions for guest authors to add articles of their own. This could be a snippet of history, an article on painting or collecting models, building terrain, a scenario or after action report, a FEATURED REGIMENT, info on uniforms, flags, or equipment, or simply some nice photos of models or units.

Unfortunately as this is mainly a labor of love on our part, we can't provide compensation other than the promotion of your personal blogs or other projects you may be involved in.

This is awesome! How do I get involved?
Send a brief outline of your submission to to make sure we don't already have a similar article on the schedule (the same subject of a Featured Regiment for example). I just don't want someone putting lots of effort into a project only to find out we can't use it. If you have an epic idea along the lines of one of Barry's series, we can publish the piece in installments. Don't panic if you don't hear back right away... I will try to check the email account every day, but I might not always be able to respond the same day.

I'd like to submit an article, but I don't have photos.
No problem... We probably do. We borrow from each other already and we can most likely find something to go with your idea, create maps, etc. Just mention that when you send your outline.

Do I have to use BLB, Donnybrook, or Warfare Miniatures?
Not at all. Obviously Beneath the Lily Banners and Donnybrook are our chosen rules, but if you run games with Black Powder, 1644, or something else it's fine to include references to them. Likewise we have an interest in promoting Warfare Miniatures, but our own collections and articles feature models from other manufacturers. The only restriction on submissions is that the period fall within the late 17th/early 18th century... If you have any doubts we will sort them out in the outline process.

Once the outline is approved, will I have a deadline?
No. We don't work to deadlines and neither do you. Assuming we approve the outline, I will make a note of the submission, but your article will not be scheduled for the rotation until it's finished... No pressure from this end.

I'm not a great writer.
Yeah, neither am I. Submit a photo spread and we'll work out the text to go with it. Articles may be subject to editing as well, though anything major will be discussed with the author first. 

So that's it! If you simply want to submit a one off article or a more ambitious series of posts, your efforts will be welcome. We want the LoA blog to grow into a resource for the period, both for history and wargaming, and having the help of the community will go a long way toward achieving that goal (and won't have to just listen to us spout off all the time).


July 15, 2013

Huguenot Regiment

Still expanding my Williamite army, here is a WIP of the first unit of my Huguenot Brigade...

After some fairly extensive research I have been unable to find out much about the uniforms of the Huguenots other than the fact that they wore grey (gris-mêle). The fact that they were in the middle of so much of the fighting in Ireland and there seems to be no record of facing color might indicate that the facings were simply grey as well. There is a painting by van Wyck that seems to show a unit of grey clad troops with blue facings so I will probably paint one of my Huguenot regiments that way.

In any case, this regiment is destined to be de la Meloniere's I think.

I also took this pic with my iphone 4S using the 645 PRO Mk II app and am impressed with the results. There was absolutely no post editing done on the photo. While it won't replace my normal camera for serious work, it works great on quick shots for web posting!

July 5, 2013

The Duke of Wurttemberg

Don't know if you've been following along over at the LoA blog, but I wanted to post pics here of the latest addition to my Williamite army here as well. The good Duke will lead my Danish brigade in games of Beneath the Lily Banners.

You can find step by step directions on how I painted this gentleman over on the LoA blog...

Things have been quite here, but I have had my hands full with organizing the other blog, adding new flags to the Quindia Studios range, writing and layouts for Donnybrook, and a few other side projects here and there (some of which will be featured here soon).

June 13, 2013

The League of Augsburg

I want to announce a new blog that I am participating in... The League of Augsburg. Barry Hilton has kindly allowed me to use the name for this new effort which will be a joint project between myself, Barry Hilton, Dave O'Brien, Bob Talbot, Bob Miller, Adrian Howe, and Clibinarium. We will focus this blog on all aspects of the period covered by Beneath the Lily Banners and Donnybrook with articles on history, painting, wargaming, and news on all of our commercial projects. Besides providing articles, I designed the site (edited a template really) and will be editing the articles (a bit like herding cats).

I will still be continuing to post here, but my BLB projects will often be featured on both blogs to some degree. Stop by and join the site. If you'd like to participate, we will also be accepting articles from guests after we get rolling (keep an eye for the announcement there).

June 7, 2013

Donnybrook Cover Art

Thanks for your patience! Here is the full cover art...

As with all of my work, the painting is digital, done mostly in Adobe Photoshop, but it started the old fashioned way - with a pencil drawing!

There were lots of small changes along the way, but the end result was basically faithful to my original design and I'm happy with the way this piece turned out.

More on Donnybrook soon!