The Last Post

All things must pass, and so it is to be with NDC Blog. ‘Why?’ I hear you wail (with murmurings of ‘big deal’ in the background). 

Well this blog was originally set up to be about the collaborative efforts of myself and my mate Dan. Dan has now been overseas for two years and so the rationale seems to have passed us by. Also, the title NDC Blog doesn’t really mean much to anyone, just another random acronym. I’ve also got a proliferation of old projects long since sold on, the beginnings of new projects that never went anywhere and a truly head-scratching variety of labels that even I can’t navigate anymore. I also envy some of the tools available through Blogger, and I already have a Blogger account, so I am going to move over to there instead of wordpress. Not an indictment on wordpress who have some great features, but more like a change of scene. 

I’m also looking at doing more solo wargaming as well as gaming with the Rotorua Irregulars, and I basically just feel that it is time to move onto a new blog that is more about me. Vain? No. Just self-absorbed.

Come on over and have a gander at the new blog – even better, follow it!

So from NDC Blog, thank you and we will see you on a different site for 2013.

Three Musketeer fight

Projects line up for 2013

Assuming the world doesn’t perish in a great fiery cataclysm tomorrow (although with the paucity of posting you could be forgiven for thinking that I had already gone that way), the following are the wargaming projects I have earmarked for completion in 2013.

1. The French Revolutionary Wars. This is my ongoing 15mm project that I hope to have completed and ready to game with by the end of January. A month ago I was on track for this, but then I just got so busy that my production line of painting halted completely.  I’m looking at solo gaming this using an adaptation of Neil Thomas’ rules in his Introduction to Wargaming book. I love the basic simplicity, but I have altered the structure to make it simultaneous phases allowing all units the opportunity to move and fire. I’ve also added a command structure with a purpose, so I’m looking forward to trying this out.  I plan to game out the Battlegames tabletop teasers and scenarios out of Charles Grant and Stuart Asquith’s Wargames Scenarios.

2. Star Wars. I’m pretty happy with the adaptations I’ve made to the basic FUBAR rules and the lists I’ve created. I’ve had several games now, but I keep forgetting to take my camera, so no battle reports I’m afraid. Anyway, I’m just painting up all of the bases unit by unit at the moment, and this looks due to be finished  at the beginning of next year. I had considered repainting the old prepaints, but it has occured to me how much less stressful it is not to worry about chipping paint jobs. I have no qualms with handling the figures indelicately and for that reason I don’t think that I will bother. It is not, at least, a priority.

3. Superheroes. I’m just getting more and more into this project, despite the fact that I am still not sure exactly how the rules will work. I have Supersystem, but to be honest, I’ve read through and had a couple of trial solo games, but the rules just don’t work for me. I like simple, and although many people have commented that these are simple, I don’t find this so. I’ve discovered some rules written by Pete Jones of Freewargamesrules which, like FUBAR are written on one sheet of A4. I’ve read through them and find them very elegant. I have some ideas to add to them which I’ve been dreaming up over the last few days, although I haven’t yet put pen to paper.  I’ve also been building up a cityscape terrain and repainting the odd character here and there. Below are a couple of my efforts.

Confronting Magneto 1

And a close up of the figures. Recalling the first issue of X-Men, it is the original X-Men vs Magneto. Although versus the modern versions of the most uncanny teens of all I think the master of magnetism is in a bit of trouble. Then again, the odds are pretty good that Jean Grey will actually be dead within a few seconds, as is her wont.

Confronting Magneto 2


4. The Yom Kippur War. This is all painted now, with an accumulation of 21 lovely T-55s. The terrain is done too. So all that is left is to actually playtest the lists we have for 3rd edition. I’m determined to do this in 2013, along with writing some scenarios based on the fighting in the Sinai.

T 55s charge

‘So Shmuel, another boring day sitting on this hill… Hang On! WTF!’

Yes it is a T-55 parking lot – so actually quite realistic for some of the Egyptian tank attacks in 1973. Still, I wouldn’t want to be in one of those two Sh’ots. Quite impressed I got all of the T-55s into the picture actually.

5. The Three Musketeers. Unless it is sci-fi or superheroes I am making 15mm (18mm) my scale of choice, basically because of the interchangeability of scenery and the swiftness of painting. I purchased all of the different packs in the Blue Moon Miniatures Three Musketeers range because I couldn’t resist the figures or the idea of gaming it. I’ll be using Flashing Blades from Ganesha Games and these are the first few figures that I’ve painted.

Three Musketeer fight

‘Ah Monsieur! You giggled! Your giggling is an insult to my honour. Prepare to fight to the death!’ 

Yet again our heroes skewer their enemies over an insignificant matter which would be indefensible in a court of law today, but which was apparently a perfectly reasonable incitement to kill in the France of Louis XIII. Anyway, they are the cardinal’s men, and obviously baddies that deserve it.

Close up of Aramis dueling away.

Aramis en garde

6. The Great War. All based up and ready for undercoating, these are the 18mm Blue Moon Manufacturing British and German Late War figures. This is a major project, not because of the figures, but because I am going to construct a detailed 4′ x 4′ trench system for them. I’ve weighed this up a lot. My favourite period to game is 1918 where the lines were much more fluid, and for that modular free-standing trenches would be sufficient. But I might want to fight out earlier battles, and in 1918 there were still trench lines that were the old ones from the battle of the Somme and the Hindenburg line which had been reoccupied and were fought over. So I am going to go the whole hog and construct a system.  I’m looking at using the Too Fat Lardies rules – Through the Mud and Blood, and have recently made up a series of cards for them.

Also Great War, but a departure from the norm, is the construction of naval fleets for the Germans and the British in 1/3000. I just love Dreadnought Battleships,  especially in this period and so earlier this year I purchased to starter packs from NavWar. I’ve been surfing the net looking at possible rules, and it came down to a choice of Naval Thunder or Victory at Sea (WWI version). After reading several reviews I came to the conclusion that I will go with Victory at Sea, because everyone has said that they are simple – and so am I.

My first completed Battleship is below:

Royal Sovereign side Royal Sovereign stern


HMS Royal Sovereign, ready to set to sea.

So those are the aims for 2013. I have plenty of other projects kicking around which I may get to next year as well, but for now I want to keep it modest and achievable. Then anything else will be a bonus.  More to the point, I want to make sure that I actually play the games that I am working on. Too often my plan is to build and paint a project and i don’t really give the gaming a fair go. The one exception was the Marlburian period where I played a series of solo and opposed games in a linked campaign. The aim is to do something similar with the French Revolution (again set in the imagi-nation of Frankenberg) and the Superheroes (a linked series of adventures).

Well, have a happy end of ages when the long count finally gets to where it is going, and hopefully over the Christmas holiday period (we get 6 weeks in NZ), I can post a little more often.






More toys for Yom Kippur Flames of War

I’ve ordered even more goodies for the Flames of War 1973 project, including another three Centurion Sh’ot Cals and these beauties that I have pictures of below:

First up, three times the M51 Isherman. These are Quality Castings models that I bought from Old Glory 15s. They are my reserve force, specifically for scenarios and I just love the models.


This is the same M48 that has appeared in earlier pictures, but look closely. It now has the 105mm barrel of the upgraded Magach rather than the original 90mm barrel. I asked Steve at OG 15s whether I was able to buy the 105mm barrels from the Centurion Sh’ot Cals separately in order to convert my existing models. He was exceptionally helpful and said no problem. I have to say that I was as excited to receive these half dozen barrels as I was to receive the rest of the order that I had made from him (some extra 7 years War cavalry and Austrians for the French Revolutionary War project). No all of my Magachs have a decent 1973 gun on them. The only flaw is that the Israelis altered the cupola as well so that the .50 cal was not integral to it, but I think that would just be a step too far.


I felt like the Israelis didn’t really have enough options, and with only two M103 mortar carriers I decided to boost there low level fire support. These are Quality castings Israeli mortars – four teams plus a command stand and an observer. I have visions of these guys being used in a Bar-Lev Maoz (fort). I’m thinking through how to build the terrain piece and write up a scenario for it.  Needless to say, when it is done it will be posted here.


Finally I purchased and finished painting up some Egyptians. pictured is one of the three BRDM scout cars and one of the six BTR-60 APCs. As I think BMPs should only be used in certain specific scenarios I wanted a more generic APC, and this is it. It is a big heavy model! Both are from the Command Decision Modern range from Old Glory 25s.  Not pictured but also purchased and painted up – another three T-55s. But this wasn’t enough. I have since bought another 6 T-55s which I am just putting together at the moment. Grand T-55 total? 21. Will that be enough? We’ll wait and see.



Grenz close up

Foreseeing future frolicking in Frankenberg

When last we heard from Frankenberg they were in the middle of the War of Spanish Succession. There is still more history to be written in regards to that epoch, but we now focus our attention on another era in the life of that rather special Principality-Archbishopric.

In 1794 Frankenberg joined the First Coalition to challenge the chaos taking place in France. Austrian troops were sent to the Principality-Archbishopric which soon found itself on the frontlines of the great Revolutionary mission to liberate all of Europe – whether they wanted it or not. Internally things were not as they should have been. Fed up with centuries of extravagant and wasteful excess from their rulers and buoyed by the writings of Rousseau,  there was an element in Frankenberg prepared to support the French in their quest to make Europe freer and Frencher.

This is where the new tales of Frankenberg will take off, as a French army moves into the lands of the Holy Roman Empire and the valley of the Frank river.  To play it out I have been putting together 15mm French and Austrian armies for the Revolutionary period using figures from Lancashire Games and Battle Honours (via Old Glory 15s). By and large the French army is Lancashire Games and the Austrian army is Battle Honours, although there is some crossover as well. The completed forces so far are as follows:

IR4 the Hoch und Deutschmeister regiment. These are all Battle Honours figures.


Here they are close-up.

This is IR25 Brechainville, composed of Lancashire Games figures, but with a Battle Honours standard bearer. The Lancashire standard bearer is holding the flag a little too low for my tastes, but I really love the officer in the long coat.


Grenzer regiment 73 (the pink regiment). Not pictured but complete are Grenzer Regiment 63 (they’re orange).

On the French side I’ve completed six battalions and have another four to paint for the first phase of the project. Among them are the following (all are Lancashire Games figures):

The 8th Legere represent the early French as they go through the amalgame. A mixture of uniforms, some blue, some still Chasseurs green with pink cuffs, some in bicornes, some in Tarletons. Stripey pants, breeches, and white culottes all looking tattered and makeshift. The French of this period are an atmospheric bunch.


This battalion of the 75th Line is much more uniform and is composed of figures from Lancashire Games’ most recent release for this period. These are French with Backpack:


Before the release of these I had made backpacks out of green stuff for all of my French figures.  When I mentioned that the French usually had backpacks to Alan at Lancashire Games he went and sculpted some figures. Fantastic! Here they are from the front:


The rules that I am using are a modification of Neil Thomas’ rules from Wargaming: an Introduction.  These are simple but capture the feel of the very first old school type Napoleonic games that I played with plastic figures as a kid. The Revolutionary War campaign in Frankenberg should be ready to kick off before the end of the year.






German Line

Late October Games Night

It has been a few weeks since these games were played but things are still pretty hectic and blogging has taken a definite back-seat to everything else that is going on.

There were two games played with Paul, Terry, Shane and Jeremy playing a Flames of War Desert Encounter and John and I playing a Contemptible Little Armies World War One game.

The Great War battle was a trenchline slog with the Brits assaulting the German lines. It had been a while since we had played CLA, and it was some time into the game before we found our rhythm. The game is very simple, but for the sake of  ease of play we didn’t include any off-table barrages. That was a bit of a mistake for the poor old Brits.

The first part of the British assault was a failure, but the German counterattacks were just as bad, and in the end with the body count mounting we decided to call it a draw. This game reinforced all the stereotypes associated with the First World War, mostly because we weren’t using the key weapon – artillery. I’ll make sure that for the next game we take the time to plan the use of the barrage rules.

Anyway, some pictures of the battle:




The German line


The British Line


The advance on the left flank


The advance on the right flank to capture the town


Going over the top can be a hazardous business


trying to storm the trenches from the town proved too difficult


The German counterattack was no more successful


The Germans were slowly being whittled down, but there were not enough Brits to exploit the gaps in the line.

Having seen off the RFC the red baron took to strafing the PBI.

The other table saw the Afrika Korps take a bit of a hammering as the Brits stubbornly held onto their objectives:

No commentary on this battle I’m afraid, it was still going when I headed home. Not too sure who won, but the Brits were looking pretty comfortable.





ancients 2

Last Games Night

Not a lot of posting happening, sorry, but heaps of things have been happening. Hopefully I can do an update next week. Meanwhile, here are some photos of what the Irregulars got up to last Friday:



John and I played an ancients game using the Neil Thomas Introduction to wargaming rules. Greeks vs Persians.


Shane, Richard and Jeremy played a 40K game set somewhere in Arthurian Britain.


Terry ad Chris played Flames of War – Germans vs US

More later




Burning Jedis – a Star Wars game

Last night we played another Star Wars game, but this time using the FUBAR rules that had been recommended to me by John Leahy on TMP.  A scenario was written up, and I just guessed what would be balanced forces, I didn’t try to use the points system that is also available on the page. In the end, it was a pretty good guess.

The scenario was as follows:

Pelagios 9 is secret research facility set up by the Republic. It is so confidential that only the Supreme Chancellor knows its true purpose. Despite this, the Separatist leaders have somehow found out about it and are preparing to make a raid in order to capture the scientist Cham Zharr (seen above  – he’s the Nikto with the Mon Calamari bodyguard).

In the vicinity of Pelagios 9 are Anakin Skywalker and his padawan Ahsoka Tano with a platoon of Clone troopers. They have been dispatched to aid in the defence of the research facility until more help can arrive.

Meanwhile, Count Dooku and a large droid contingent are leading a lightning raid on the facility. Even Dooku is not 10% sure about what is going on a Pelagios 9, but Darth Sidious is adamant about the importance of this mission (how does he find out about all of this secret stuff?).

So the scenario set up with four units of battle droids and one AAT arriving on randomised table edges. Defending the facility was a squad of Clones and half a dozen Mon Calamari security detail. There were also two Golan Arms defence turrets ( I might repaint these in camo colours – what do you think?)

Reserves arrived at random times based on the whim of the random gamesmaster (me).

The first couple of turns saw the AAT and right flank turret go head to head and not achieve much. A lot of units failed activation rolls and so couldn’t move to allow the ‘on guard’ units to retaliate.

The first Clone reserves to arrive got a rude shock as they headed to the research facility to bolster its defences. Led by Ahsoka they were caught in an ambush by a unit of B2 Battle Droids arriving (below).

On the left flank the Clones faced a unit of B2 Battle Droids ducking and weaving (is that standard operating procedure for droids?)

Oh no! A series of successful activations and Ahsoka’s unit is taken down in a hail of blaster fire – including the Padawan herself!

The Republic’s remaining reserves arrived at the same time as the rest of Separatist forces ( I just wanted to get everything on the table). A LAAT blasted in and dropped Anakin and a clone squad into the middle of the melee.

On the left three ISP speeders arrived and wiped out the B2 droids – and the Sith apprentice leading them.

In order to get the AAT to activate, Count Dooku turns up and jumps in to tell the droids what to do. They say Roger, Roger and ignore him totally.

Clones, the turret and Speeders have to hold off the Hailfire Droids and a Spider droid (see photo below) on the left. The Speeders kept having their guns knocked out, which made them pretty pointless – although I allowed them to fly close and throw grenades.

Boom! the LAAT takes out the AAT – finally! As you can tell from the smoke, the right turret had been taken out in the previous turn by the droid tank, so Dooku was feeling quite proud of himself. Just as well he got to have his moment as he failed his 3+ saving roll and went up in smoke with the AAT.

The clones waded into the droids, led by Anakin, and despite a good kill record, couldn’t clear them out. For some reason Anakin then broke off contact and ordered his squad back.

Which left him vulnerable to a crossfire from the B2 battledroids and a Spider droid.

The last Jedi on the table went down. And at about the same time, as they were not anywhere near capturing him, the Separatist Hailfire droids bombarded the Mon Cal squad and killed Cham Zharr. So in the end no-one held the objective. It ended up a Separatist victory anyway, because it turns out Palpatine wanted the scientist dead and figured that would be the most likely outcome if he sent Dooku in to screw things up again.

Overall everybody agreed they enjoyed the game very much, and the FUBAR rules were extremely easy to pick up. We did think that the Jedi were a bit wimpy and had virtually nil influence on the outcome.  I’m going to power them up a bit (even more h2h attacks and able to strike any model within 3″ – not just base to base) and make them a bit more survivable (give them a number of wounds). We’ll see how that works.

We also had a couple of turns where pretty much no-one passed their activation roll. This caused mirth at the time, but if you play the rules on a frequent basis I can see this getting just slightly irritating. I think that the answer might be to give the squad sergeants a higher activation rating than the rest of the squad, but I’ll think that one through a bit more.

FUBAR did seem to lead to a fairly static sort of firefight game. I’m not sure if that is just because the players couldn’t really be bothered moving, because there were so many missed activations, the defensive nature of the Republic side,or what. With characters a bit more suped up there might be more movement in the future – even if it is a case of rampaging Jedi and Sith doing their thing.

Terry played the Republic side and Adam and Sam (both pretty much newbies) played the Separatists. There was a lot of laughter, so everyone obviously had a ton of fun.


Quarrie’s book on the Arab-Israeli Wars

Tank Battles in Miniature: A wargamer’s guide to the Arab-Israeli Wars since 1948

For the princely sum of £1.70 plus £7 postage I purchased a second hand copy of this book via Amazon Marketplace. I stayed up late last night reading it from cover to cover and feel it is worth every penny.

Written in 1978, a mere five years after the Yom Kippur conflict the book suffers from being too close to the conflict to have benefited from information that may have come to light later, and Quarrie readily admits this. Yet it has some extremely useful information, especially regarding ATGMs and the way that they were treated and perceived. He describes the evolution of of ‘watch and dodge’ to deal with saggers, and the dent in the Israeli tank hubris as a result of the first days of the war. He points out the lessons that the Israeli tanks commanders seemed to have forgotten by 1973 about concentration of force and effective combined arms tactics. He does this all in a succinct style designed to get the gamer’s head into the nuts and bolts of the Arab-Israeli wars. I particularly liked chapter 2 – What it was really like where he quotes from Shabtai Teveth’s Tanks of Tammuz in order to set the scene for the gamer of how combat in swirling melees of Cold War armour was experienced by the ordinary tanker .

The book’s contents are:



1 Prelude to conflict – The Middle East and the establishment of Israel up until 1948

2 What it was really like – extracts from Tanks of Tammuz

3 Chronology of the Arab-Israeli Wars 1948-1973 – a succinct review of the politics, wars and campaigns

4 Israeli Armoured Fighting Vehicles –  the essentials – armour, speeds, armament etc. Interestingly he mentions the Merkava as it is just being introduced.

5 Arab fighting vehicles – as above but for the other side.

6 Anti-tank missiles and recoiless weapons

7 Towed artillery and anti-tank guns

8 Rocket artillery

9 Infantry weapons

10 Organisation and tactics

11 Minefields

12 Helicopters

13 Playing rules

14 Skirmish-type games

15 Aerial warfare, by Mike Spick

16 Aerial wargaming, by Mike Spick

17 The naval war

Appendix: Availability of model vehicles (in 1978!)

Select bibliography


136 pages in total.

The rules are interesting in that Quarrie admits that they have not been playtested thoroughly (in a published book) and they were written for a then newly-emerging 1/300 scale. But what I find most interesting is that he abandons armour thicknesses and replaces these with generic categories of light medium and heavy. His rationale is that the weapons being used could pretty much penetrate anything within a certain category (eg. tanks guns could go through heavy armour) and individual thicknesses are not needed.

I won’t be using his rules, but they will give me some ideas to go with my Flames of War modifications.

Overall, I’m really glad I bought this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in gaming the conflicts as a primer. If you see it second hand, pick it up. Hopefully John Curry might end up reprinting it as part of his History of Wargaming project.


Austrian IR3

IR3 Duke Karl Lothringen

The first regiment of Seven Years War figures. They are Old Glory 15s, and have plenty of personality. A Prussian regiment is also painted but I have to complete their bases. Pictures soon.

I’m going to use the Minden Rose rules which are now available as a free PDF. I’ve had a good read of them and they seem like they will give a nice slightly Old School feel while still using manageable sized units.


Edit: Minden Rose can be found free to download from here.