Wednesday, 31 May 2017


Cool old school artwork!

My trawl through the dusty, cobwebbed corners of my hard drive in search of simple, 'beer and pretzels' games continues! This time I unearthed a copy of Jon Tuffley's simple tactical level space fighter miniatures rules, Tacship, as published in Ragnarok Issue 3, now long out of print but available for free via the SSFFW website.

Here's a handy link:

How these ended up pasted into a WORD document on my hard drive is anyone's guess. I can't remember when I added them to my sci-fi collection but I must have done at some point. Anyway, they are what look to be a very straightforward but fun set of rules, with a definite emphasis on fast play and a lack of complicated book keeping, fancy turn sequences or complex mechanisms.

In fact they appear to be the perfect 'tea and a wad', space dogfighting rules with plenty of scope for designing and arming your own fighter space craft including all the whistles and bells, from pulse lasers to missiles and mines. There would be nothing to stop you adding additional type of ordnance if you wanted to or even tweaking your space fighter with extra technological add-ons, as the rules are simple enough to be adapted and extended should you wish to do so.

Groovy 70's retro typeface!

I really like the look of these rules, which have a neat thrust and velocity based movement system and can be played with hexes or without, adding another layer of flexibility. I'm thinking of using them with the old Silent Death plastic space fighters that you can now buy from EM-4 for peanuts, so this could be a very cheap and cheerful project indeed.

I'm pretty sure that I've already got a couple of boxes of these in the loft somewhere...just have to find out exactly where???

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Sails and Powder

I spotted this print and play Napoleonic naval game on Wargame Vault this afternoon and thought it was worth a closer look. It's a simple set of rules for the Battle of Trafalgar and includes print and cut out counters for the three fleets, together with a free printable sea mat.

I downloaded the core rules and an expansion for the Battle of Cape Ortegal, which was a follow on engagement after the Battle of Trafalgar itself. I'm on holiday at the moment, so don't have access to a printer, but will print out the components and try out the rules when I get home in a few days time.

I think this looks like a really neat little beer and pretzels level game, so I'm looking forward to giving it a play test as soon as I can find the time. When I was a kid, I played the old TTG Micro Fleet Napoleonic Naval counter game to death, so if this is in the same vein I'll be very happy. 

Not bad for $8.00 or just over £6.00 in proper money.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Half Term Holidays

It's the half term break so we're off on holiday! I'll be packing some games to play, in case the weather socks in and to occupy the evenings, including X Wing which I haven't played for ages and which the kids really enjoy. I'm also planning to bring along Zombies! which I got back in November last year but haven't had time to play yet. As usual I'm going to pack a couple of 'print and play' games, as well as my copy of Trapdoor, so I can set up some old fashioned, dungeon crawl roleplaying with the kids. I'm sure I'll only scratch the surface of this lot but it will be good to get a few games in for a change!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Ad Mare Bellum

These are a new set of fast play ancient naval rules by David Manley, which I've just found on Wargame Vault and which I'm going to use with the Tiny Tin Troops card ship counters that I originally acquired for use with Osprey Publishing's Poseidon's Warriors. They are based on David's medieval and renaissance naval rules, the first of which I already have but haven't tried out yet, so I'm sure they will be very good. It's half term so I'm planning to get some fast play card counter, classical galley gaming underway over the next few days.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Cavern Crawl

Thanks to Randy, I've got the link to a download of the original free version of Trapdoor which is aptly titled as Cavern Crawl. The rules are virtually identical to the later Trapdoor edition but without some of the extra bits like examples of play, a scenario and aspects of character advancement. Still, it's a pretty tidy set of miniature role playing rules with all the things you need for a bit of a dungeon adventure. And it's free!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


I have unearthed my digital copy of this cracking little set of dungeon crawl rules and have been reading it through again. It really is a very simple beer and pretzels level system with all the classic features you'd expect in a set of basic dungeoneering RPG-light rules. I particularly like the fact that it's all squeezed into only 36 pages, some of which are illustrated examples of play, tables and charts. The rules themselves probably only occupy about half of that page count again, so very streamlined but not lacking in detail at all. They're not available any more as far as I can tell, having looked in all the usual places, but if you can locate a copy they are well worth grabbing.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Dungeon Crawl

My sprogs love dungeon crawl games, so I've been thinking of doing a little project based around the re-released Pendraken Miniatures 10mm dungeon set, complete with adventurers, monsters, treasure and traps. I toyed with the idea of this a few years ago, when I saw the dungeon terrain starter set on sale at Warfare, but decided to spend my pocket money on something else.

Now, I think it would be a very good way to encourage the sprogs into miniatures gaming and to have a set up that is compact enough to pack away for holidays. There's a set of Beer and Pretzels rules called Trapdoor! that I already have on the hard drive which would be ideal for just this sort of thing. All I need to do is save up my hard earned pocket money again (!) to buy enough corridors, rooms and figures for a decent dungeon adventure.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Ludus Gladiatorius

For various reasons my thoughts have been turning to gladiatorial combat games of late and, as a result, I've dug out a battered old copy of the EM-4 Ludus Gladiatorius 'beer and pretzels' style game, complete with pre-painted gladiator figures. I say figures but a couple are missing from my set, having been converted into dead gladiators for a long abandoned Warhammer Gladiator project that bit the dust a few years ago, after I realised too late that the rules were wonky.

I do have plenty of painted 28mm Foundry and Crusader Miniatures gladiator figures, as you can see, so it will be easy to set up a game or two of Ludus Gladiatorius with substitutes. The EM-4 figures are a bit two dimensional anyway and I'm not keen on the painting style, even if it's a great way to get a game on the table. I've played the game a few times before with my kids and it is easy to pick up, fast and pretty deadly. I'll see if I can get a game or two underway over the weekend.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Tank on Tank: Westfront - Night Action

I played a scenario from the Tank on Tank: Westfront rules booklet yesterday, with my nine year old daughter once again taking command of the Wehrmacht and myself the Yanks. The scenario was a night action with limited range due to low visibility, so it was a bit of a challenge for both sides. In the end I managed to win by stopping the Germans from blocking the North-South roads which ran across the map. It was a good game and the night rules made it really interesting, especially as it neutralised some of the advantages of the Tigers and made it easier for the Shermans to get in some crucial flanking shots.