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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Sunday, 13 October 2013


... no relation to Tate & Lyall, but, to the wargamer, just as sweet (and old school. Sort of).

As many of you chaps will know, one of the happy side effects of clearing stuff out is chancing upon stuff that you'd 'lost', and, in fact, have absolutely no intention of throwing out. In my recent onslaught on what has become the Hobbit Bunker, I came across these:

Nearly two decade old bits of overhead projector skins cut up and marked up (with some captions by my then small son) as instructed by:

The Lyalls - that is Gavin Lyall, who is my current thrilling yarn writer of choice, and his son, Bernard. First published in 1976, with the above, Pan, paperback from 1978. I didn't come across this until the early 1990s (something tells me that I bought it second hand in 'Till's Bookshop', Edinburgh), and my son and I had a few games using the simpler bits of the Lyalls' rules. And now,  I have decided that the happy coincidence of finding the grenade, machine and artillery grids, plus my Lyall novel-fest, means that I will have a crack at these IIWW rules again.  I have also ordered from John Curry (All Hail !!) his reissued Operation Warboard which has a forward by Bernard Lyall. A book of rules well worth investing in, even if just for the read - the Pont-de-la-Croix scenario is one of those fine, simple set pieces that are endlessly playable. 

And, before I sign off...

Maj. Vlasov:

With his immediate Order of Ss George and Andrew, First Class. Well may he puff out his chest!


  1. My hearty congrats to Maj Vlasov!
    I'v not read the book you mention.I will be interested to read more of your thoughts on the matter...

    1. I will convey them to Major Vlasov Ss G & A
      The book is nicely written, with a series of worked through scenarios (including an alternative outcome D-Day one), then rules that can be taken in simpler, or more complex form. Well worth a read, even if one does not try them out.

  2. Forgot to ask are these chaps painted with gloss,oil based paints or acrylics?

    1. Acrylics (mostly GW), with two/three coats of GW gloss varnish.

  3. Replies
    1. Medal ?! Medal, sir! An order, if you please.

  4. Classic book Stephen. I still have my templates as well.

    Time for a refresher on this I think.

    Nice post.

    1. Indeed, my memory is that the basic rules give a good game. However, I never tried to incorporate all the signals, for example. Rather remiss of me that; but I am an idle and simple fellow.

  5. I remember reading and re-reading Operation Warboard, devouring the after-action reports and ingesting the advice on building armies and how to store them... and looking confusedly at the incredibly complex rules on campaigning and man-hours (for building fortifications). The pictures of unpainted tanks on polystyrene hills with chalked-on roads and rivers are wonderful, too. Evocative of a simpler era, perhaps?

    And congratulations to Maj. Vlasov of the Order of Ss George and Andrew!

  6. Yes, it was all rather good, wasn't it? The rules that boggled my brain were the ones on signals' nets. Uh?