Tuesday 27 October 2015

Honours of War Website

In preparation for publication on the 20th of November, I have now opened a modest website for the Honours of War rules. It is quite basic as websites go, being mainly a forum with a few pages of additional content attached. Check it out at

A recent photo of a real game of HoW. Guaranteed not posed.

I think in this day and age a bit of online support is appropriate for a new set of rules. There are of course any number of forums already out there (notably TMP) on which the rules can be discussed, and perhaps will be. But I wanted the main interaction on the rules to take place on ground of my own choosing, as it were. There we can keep things polite and suitably highbrow.

The Yahoo group has been a great facility for getting input from playtesters, but I felt a proper forum would make things easier and better for users, as well as being a more attractive and welcoming environment. The Yahoo group will close in a couple of weeks, so take advantage of any of the downloads while you can. I hope all the valued participants on Yahoo will move over to the forum, and that the atmosphere of well-mannered but honest and open discussion will gravitate to the new location.

A sample page. Thanks to Phil Smith at Osprey for providing copyright content.

This month's Miniature Wargames (391) contains a nice positive review of the rules, for which I am most grateful. It seems that some current users are already plotting to extend the rules to other conflicts of the 18th century, which sounds like fun.

Publication date remains the 20th of November. Not long now!

Thursday 1 October 2015

General de Cavalerie The Count Florian von Lenzbourg

Ours is a very 'whimsical' hobby. Just check out the first definition of that word that comes up online: playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing or amusing way. The word could have been invented to describe playing with toy soldiers. So I'm sure you will excuse this particular piece of whimsy.

I have of late been giving my SYW brigade and army commanders labels with names on, to identify them during games. I have a set of generic colonels, brigadier generals, lieutenant generals and generals whose names are printed on small cards, and which can be allocated as required. This I find adds a modest bit of interest to my games in this period. Rather than saying "I'll move that brigade next", I (or my opponent) can declare "right, Driesen's brigade next". It's surprising how quickly a few lucky dice rolls enable these characters to come to life as expert leaders of men, or how a disastrous move or two can make them a laughing stock. A bit of banter is vital to any wargaming occasion, and anything that might increase it seems to me to be worth trying. Of course, in games representing real battles, the printer will be employed to deploy some real names.

I have recently taken this modest concept one step further, by creating my first ever wargaming 'personality', General de Cavalerie The Count Florian von Lenzbourg.

The painting scheme is, of course, completely fictional

Keen SYW gamers will see straight away that the Count is the figure of Maurice de Saxe in his carriage at Fontenoy, as produced by Crann Tara Miniatures. It is almost exactly a year since I bought the model, as you can see in this post. I decided that the general seated in the carriage would have to be able to serve with both my Austrian and Prussian armies, so I made him a Swiss mercenary general who has served in many armies of the eighteenth century during his career.

The Count in a Carriage.
This wayward son of a Swiss aristocratic family left home at the age of 13 to serve with the Army of France, during the War of the Spanish Succession. Rising swiftly in rank, he served subsequently as a cavalry commander with the armies of Russia, Austria and Bavaria. It was with the latter army (in 1743) that he suffered the wound in the groin from a ricocheting musket ball that meant he would never be able to mount a horse again.

Here we see the Count in Prussian service, with his escort of Black Hussars.

Whilst this was some relief to the ladies of central Europe, von Lenzbourg decided to have a special carriage made to enable him to continue his military duties. The SYW saw his talents employed by both Austria and Prussia. He became known as 'The Count in a Carriage', although sadly the more rough-tongued of his enemies adopted a very slightly different, but much ruder, epithet. How the loss of a single vowel can alter a meaning!