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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, 5 March 2017


... or SNAFU?

The clash of mighty portabling forces, of brave, deluded, patriotic, desperate, 28mm figurines reached something of a resolution this evening.

Reviewing the table, it was clear (from my Olympian position - near the stove) that the key to events lay on the Reds' right:

As the photo above shows, the White armour very effectively pinned the Red cavalry, their command, their artillery, and their machine-guns. The long drawn out slogging match between the Whippet and the Red artillery meant that the other Red units there were stuck.  None of them had the capacity to destroy the White Whippet, so they had to wait for the artillery to clear the way...

That left the infantry action at Bowanski Junction:

Above, another view of the French fighting through the streets. While, below, the Red unit of clerks, ticket collectors, and suchlike, turned out to be a pretty useful group of chaps (well, they couldn't really be 'chaps' if they were Bolshies, but you get the idea). They did more damage than any of the other Reds.

Back on the armour vs artillery front, the Whippet finally put paid to the gunners, who certainly wouldn't be going back to old Shanghai. It was, 'Cheerio, Chin, Chin' for them.

To make matters worse for the Bolshies, it seems that treachery was afoot, and, surprisingly, it was to be found among the Red sailors. Had the Krondstadt virus appeared earlier than thought?  Whatever the cause (and rumours that the dice-thrower had forgotten that he had placed a unit in a building, that his mind was on seed catalogues, can, of course, be discounted), the outcome was that the sailors had taken no part in the earlier fighting.

They, finally, managed one offensive action, but by then, the entire Red force had reached its:

'Exhaustion Point' (TM, Bob C.)  That brought all Red offensive operations to a halt.  The Whites, meanwhile, threw more troops across the rail line to support their armour, now free of any real threat:

And, among the buildings around Bowanski Junction, the Whites surged forward:

Driving the Reds back:

That was a delight. And I can recommend Bob Cordery's The Portable Wargame to one and all. The ease of play that comes from a gridded table, and Bob's very nice card-driven mechanism for solo wargames, plus the 'Exhaustion Point', are all just the ticket.

Outside the Hobbit Bunker, and away from my lovely Jotul stove and wargame table, things are moving in the world of soil and growth. I was able to spend a couple of hours on my allotment plot, tackling demented brambles that have only been very roughly looked after for the last two years. That means a really good cut-back now.  And although the rest of the plot is just a sodden wilderness of mud and tufts of grass, it is still time to put the seed potatoes in their 'chitting' phase:

'Charlotte', 'Pentland', and 'King Edward'.


  1. Splendid stuff! It sounds like you've gotten to grips with things rather well. Those Copplestone figures are really lovely.

    Good to see that things are going well on the allotment front. Digging for victory no doubt.

    Could you drop me a line at when you get a chance?

    1. The whole gridded war game business does suit the solitary, old git, wargamer. Yes, Copplestone really makes figures for the chap who likes a bit of character in his heroes.

  2. Thanks for the ringing endorsement of my rules ... and for providing an excellent battle report!

    All the best,


    1. They're good, Bob. They really do what they claim to do. Top man!

  3. Good battle reports, like potatoes, have appeal. (Ho ho, the zaniness never stops here in the wargaming world.)



    1. The potatoes look like those little mud figurines that the cave men liked to make. Typically, all the university types make out that they were 'fertility goddesses'. Rubbish, they were wargames figures!

  4. Oh dear, I suspect there will soon be new officers leading the Reds! The infantry and cavalry may not be able to shoot a tank to death but they can still be close assaulted if one has the nerve errrr... patriotic revolutionary fervor that is.

    Still frozen winter here but a passing week of unseasonably springlike weather has induced the plucky (not to say pushy) garlic to poke their noses up.At least this year they didn't need to drill their way up through ice!

    (A peel indeed!)

    1. Oops that comment was supposed to include kudos on a very enjoyable report!

    2. Yes, they've changed trays in my cupboard - they could see which way the lead/tin wind was blowing. Well done that garlic! Mind you, anything growing from a bulb has an advantage.

  5. Wonderful figures (and potates!), a nice report with great pictures...

    1. You are too kind, my good sir! I blush (actually, my face is always red....I'm an example of the sort of Englishman who made the Froggies call us 'roast beefs'.