Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Well it's been awhile since i posted future plans about some games I'd like to try out and some games which I haven't played for awhile.

This is all my megalomania talking so bear with me.  I've found I'll probably play about 30% of the games / rules I'm proposing here but a guy can dream, can't he?

Modern Flames of War.  Flames of War's "Team Yankee" concept is all the rage right now and I've noticed we're starting to see more and more interest in Cold War GOne Hot gaming as more rules pop out (Sabre Squadron, 3rd Generation Warfare, and Battlegroup: NORTHAG come to mind).  Using the supplemental rules from "Stopping the Red Tide" I would like to try a modern Flames of War scenario using a National Guard force equipped with M60A3s and M113s against Pact T-72s.  I have enough tanks and M113s done just need to finish all the infantry.

Sabre Squadron.  See above.  I have read through Sabre Squadron a few times and really like what I see.  (by the way, the full version of the rules is due out in September of this year.  You can get your hands on a copy of the "Rapid Deployment" rules here.)

Chain of Command.  These rules have been immensely popular and I have had them in my clutches for over a year.  The guys on WWPD have even posted a few AARs of Chain of Command games so I guess it's about time I gave it a shot.  In fact I'm reading them now!

I Aint Been Shot Mum.  Another set of rules from Too Fat Lardies.  These rules have been around for quite some time and are also very popular.  While they are 1:1 they bill themselves as "company level rules" so I'm assuming that puts you in the place of the Company Commander.  The rules use some interesting mechanics using troop blinds for hidden movement, card drawings for turn progression, and the use of the "Tea Break" card brings the turn randomly to conclusion.

Kings of War.  I have known about this great FREE rules set by Alessio Cavatore for quite some time now.  Did I mention they're free?  They're also crisp and seem to deliver a good game in a reasonable amount of time.  Fantasy rules are always something I'm on the lookout for.  Problem here is I have 10mm fantasy troops - not exactly suited to singular figure removal for casualties...

WARBAND.  I bought these rules the DAY they came out.  They look like a really good, Mass Battle combat system set in an age of fantasy with all the standard fantasy races.  This are built specifically for the discerning 10mm gamer.  I have read through them and they're intuitive and easy to pick up.  Just what this "one brain cell" guy needs.  You can read about them here.

GRUNTZ: "Space Opera" 15mm Sci Fi skirmish game that is very, very applicable to late 20th century and 21st century skirmish gaming.  The system in Gruntz is intuitive, even if adding special abilities and traits "seems" complicated.  Still, Gruntz is one of the only rules sets out there that I actually have enjoyed just reading, for both the material in the book and the splendid pictures of miniatures.  I have a few Squads painted up to look like "Space Opera Guard" and "Galactic Marines in Blue with Greek letters on their shoulder armor" and would like to play a game with them.

SHAKO 1st Edition.  Battle of Vimeiro.  The Battle of Vimeiro is a "small" battle by Napoleonic standards, but it's a challenging one to say the least.  I believe much of the mythology revolving around the fighting in the Peninsula started with this battle  Here is a battle which, if I can get my rear in gear, I could paint up enough Battalions to fight soon.  Given that Shako Battalions are 3 stands, I could very easily finish enough units to assemble the Divisions required.  I actually already have most of the French completed.  Long way to go with the Brits and Portuguese though.

Black Powder: AWI Battle of Hubbardton.  One of my all-time favorite battles of the AWI, and my favorite AWI Battlefield to visit.  I have been there countless times.  Anyways I have most of the forces to play this battle, just need to finish 1 or 2 "stands" (literally, 8 figures) to play.

Volley & Bayonet: Battle of Lobositz  Volley & Bayonet is one of my staple rules sets. I've been wanting to play this battle, which is the "introductory battle" in the first edition, since I can remember.  When i've purchased Old Glory bags of 15mm guys, there is usually a bag of Prussians or Austrians included in that order specifically to play this battle.  Right now I have nowhere near the amount of painted units assembled.  That said, I definitely have most of the lead.  Lacking artillery, dragoons, and irregulars.


  1. Plenty to keep you occupied :)

    1. Al,
      I'll be content if I can get to 3 of these games the rest of 2015!

  2. Steve, you've got an excellent list to keep you going. I am especially interested in hearing your reactions to the Lardies rules, IABSM and CoC, which are quite different and both excellent tools of simulating friction and command/control in combat.
    I just finished reading Dan Bolger's Dragons at War, about his experience as a mech infantry coy cdr at the National Training Center in the 1980s. That almost made me want to get back into WW3 gaming, but I wisely resisted. Excellent book.

    1. Michael,
      I love that book. I have a signed copy from General Bolger and here's a funny story for you:
      I brought "The Battle for Hunger Hill" "Dragons at War" and also "Feast of Bones" with me to my last OIF rotation. I was the Brigade S2 for a big Combat Aviation Brigade. We were there during the 4th Infantry to 1st Cavalry Division transition in Multi-National Division Sector Baghdad (MND-B).

      One morning during the BUB (Battle Update Brief) I heard the 1CD Division commander talking and I'm thinking "who is that? that name seems REALLY familiar" Anyways, I come to find out it was the author of some of my absolute favorite books, Dan Bolger himself. To make a long story short, I took the next Blackhawk down to Baghdad (one of the benefits of working for an Aviation Brigade and having a boss who was also well-read) and went to the Division Main TOC and up to the Command Group and got Dragons at War signed!

      yes I'm trying to resist additional genres, and actually trying to get some plans I've had for awhile into motion (IE Fantasy gaming has long eluded me but something I very much want to play)

      As far as the lardies go, I'm still trying to figure out how to play IABSM but I'll muscle through it. I think I'm about 85% ready to play Chain of Command.

      Thanks for commenting - and I leave you with a question - with all the great modern rules coming out - how do you have the willpower to resist getting into WW3 gaming?!?!? The rest of us have already succumbed! :)

  3. I love that story, thanks so much for sharing it! It doesn't surprise me that he got his star. I see via the net that he is now on the history faculty at UNC - who wouldn't want him for a prof? I also see that he wrote a mitfull of books, so I am going to have to track some of those down for my summer reading. I didn't realize until the end of Dragons at War that Bolger was the Bravo coy commander, since he always referred to himself in the third person and never by name. Not an easy task to write your own AAR assessment but he seemed to do it fairly.
    IABSM - I find it helps to buy the card deck from TFL but if you haven't yet made one, let me know as I have a spare I will happily mail to you.
    WW3 - I would find it interesting at the operational level, but always found it dull at the tactical level. I played a lot of micro armour games back in the 80s and it was always a swarm of WP stuff moving and dying en masse. I never found it tactically interesting, but I mostly played with students and grunts. It would be interesting to play it with someone like yourself who had some proper tactical training.
    Let me know how IASBM goes.

    1. I totally understand that sentiment about Cold War Hot gaming. I feel pretty much the same but would offer that the "new" rules sets (the latest in a long line) are much more geared towards small unit actions where small unit leadership, spotting (lose sight, lose the fight), and a little forward planning are much more important.

      Gone are the days when the US or UK (or 4 CMBG ;) ) just sits there and shoots while Ivan comes on.
      Rules like Battlegroup, 3GW, and Sabre Squadron I think will put us in the position of Captains, Lieutenants and Staff Sergeants making quick decisions while trying to get the draw on the tank or squad in your sights. It's an exciting time to be a gamer I think, especially a modern gamer where we have this wealth of experience and all these new ideas coming out.

      His last assignment, I believe, was G-3 Army or the Army's operations and training officer at the Pentagon. I'm not sure if he retired immediately after that or had a follow-on assignment. I sat in meetings (I was either in the back row or gave a VERY quick brief on 1 or 2 slides) with him and he is extremely articulate, incredibly well read and well versed in military history. My favorite of his books are Dragons at War and "The Battle for Hunger Hill" both centered on US Maneuver Training Centers (NTC and the JRTC).

      Now as far as IABSM goes, I'm just finishing up the meat and potatoes of Chain of Command and am getting ready to muscle through that game. IABSM seems to be at the graduate level for me but it looks like a very, very fun game to me.

  4. Looking at Sabre Squadron and great to see V&B getting a mention too. I'll be doing Brandywine in 25mm soon.

    Also a joy to see some Dan Bolger stuff discussed. 'Dragons at War' and McDonough's 'Defense of Hill 781' are two of my absolute favourites from their NTC experience.

    1. Darren,
      See my comments above - I have actually spent a little time around General Bolger. Not much but it was enough that he made a positive impression on me.

      Brandywine is a GREAT scenario. If you do a search on my blog, you can find an AAR I posted regarding the Brandywine Scenario from the first edition of V&B. It's tricky.


      Remember - regardless of what side you play, don't lose sight of the mission objectives!!! It's easy to get bogged down in knife fights at the numerous fords over the Brandywine.

  5. Ciao Steven your post are always a source of inspiration and information. Basing on your gaming program i discovered sabre squadron and asked for their free preview or lite version.obviously I underlined i was aware of their ruleset thanks to your blog!!

    1. Ciao Marco and Grazie!
      I appreciate your confidence and I'm glad you have been enjoying my blog :)

  6. These rules sound interesting for modern Coy+ level engagements too - might want to add them to your dream 'to try' list :-)


    1. Paul,
      Already way ahead of you :) Look in the upper right hand corner! 5Core Company Commander is already there :)

    2. Great minds still think alike then!

  7. Steve, email me at madpadre@gmail.com with your coordinates and I'll put my extra set of IABSM cards in the mail for you.