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Topics - Sean Clark

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Bloody Barons / Has anyone played Kingmaker?
« on: December 12, 2018, 12:23:00 AM »
Found my old copy the other day. Can't ever remember playing it! I think I bought it off eBay intending to use it as a campaign system for Bloody Barons.

I've watched a couple of YouTube videos and it seems quite a an elegant game and eminently suitable to use Bloody Barons to fight the battles.

I suppose the only issue is you might end up playing the boardgame for a couple of hours before a fight ensues and not have time to play it that night.

Bloody Barons / Why do we not know about Towton?
« on: December 10, 2018, 05:05:00 PM »
With a new Bloody Barons being considered, my reading has turned towards the period and I am currently listening to 'The Hollow Crown' by Dan Jones (very good).

I'm also doing some research around Blore Heath which is 2 minutes drive from my house. This was where famously Margaret had a local blacksmith reverse the shoes on her horse to make good her escape. The anvil that was allegedly used is displayed in our local church yard in Mucklestone.

Towton has always fascinated me as a battle, mainly due to the huge numbers involved, something like 2% of the entire population of England at the time. Numbers vary from source to source, some claiming up to 28,000 were killed. I suspect this number was greatly exaggerated but it remains true that Towton was the largest battle ever to be fought on these shores. And yet no one outside of historians and wargamers no much if anything about it.

What follows is an old article from the Guardian by Martin Kettle discussing this point. Makes for interesting reading...

"For some years, until it grew too yellow and curled, I had a New Yorker cartoon taped to my fridge door. In the cartoon, a middle-aged man and a middle-aged woman are conversing at a cocktail party. The woman is asking: "One question. If this is the information age, how come nobody knows anything?"
In Britain, people of that generation make remarks of that kind quite a lot. In August, while the school system belches forth the latest A-Level and GCSE results, the usual suspects queue up to say the usual things from their respective viewpoints. The pupils say they are thrilled, the teachers that they are vindicated, education ministers that the system works, and the Daily Telegraph that civilisation is at an end. Amid this annual ritual you can be sure that someone will also say that, while kids today are schooled to pass exams, they lack the broad education and general knowledge that we, their parents, once enjoyed.

My instinct is that a bit of caution is in order before we regurgitate too readily the idea that we of the older generation know so much and our children know so little. I say this partly because I'm often struck by the amount my children know that I don't - and partly because, with the obvious exception of Nicole Kidman, we're none of us perfect anyway.

A group of us, all intelligent, well-educated and middle-aged, were sitting around the table just the other day when I mentioned a fact I am always surprised is so little-known. And guess what? None of the rest of the group knew anything about it either. This week I asked a few colleagues at random what this thing meant to them. Once again, I drew a blank.

So here is my question. What does the word Towton mean to you? If you have the answer, as lots of you will, I'm glad, because you should. Yet if you don't, you are in very good company. It nevertheless says something about us as a nation that you are far more likely not to know anything about Towton than to know instantly what it is.

And here is the answer. Towton is a village about 10 miles south-west of York. It owes what fame it has to the fact that it was once the scene of a battle. But this was not just any battle. At the battle of Towton, more English people were killed than on any other day ever. And by ever I mean - ever.

It is often said that the bloodiest day in our history was July 1 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, when 19,200 soldiers went over the top and were mown down by German guns. As a result, the Somme has become synonymous with the frightful, mindless slaughter of a whole generation of young British men. It traumatised the survivors so much that they barely spoke of it. But it hangs over our country still, nearly a century later. Merely to think of it can make one weep.

Yet Towton was bloodier than the Somme. When night fell on March 29 1461 - it was Palm Sunday, and much of the battle took place in a snowstorm - the Yorkist and Lancastrian dead numbered more than 20,000. It should be said that the figures are much disputed and rise to as many as 28,000 in some accounts, and there were countless wounded besides.

Now remember two other things while you absorb that. First, that while the population of Britain in 1916 was more than 40 million, that of England in 1461 was considerably less than 4 million, so the proportionate impact on the country must have been seismic. One in every hundred Englishmen died at Towton. Its impact must have been a bit like an English Hiroshima.

And, second, that, this being 1461, not a shot was fired. This was not industrial killing from a distance. Every Englishman who died at Towton was pierced by arrows, stabbed, bludgeoned or crushed by another Englishman. As a scene of hand-to-hand human brutality on a mass scale, Towton has absolutely no equal in our history. It was our very own day of wrath.

Towton is not a secret. It is in the books and on the maps. If you visit, there is a memorial. The same river which was so packed with corpses that men fled across them from one bank to the other still runs through it. If you study the Wars of the Roses, you learn it was a decisive Yorkist victory. If you go online you can discover some of the detective work done by the University of Bradford on mutilated skeletons exhumed from some of Towton's mass graves. And if you go to a performance of Henry VI Part 3, you will see that the national poet himself set potent scenes at Towton, where, in the thick of battle, a father finds he has killed his son and a son that he has killed his father, and where the watching and hapless Lancastrian king wishes himself among the dead - "For what is in this world but grief and woe?"

Yet, though not a secret, Towton is largely now forgotten. It carries none of the civic weight that Gettysburg does in America. Of course, Towton was all much longer ago, though more distant Hastings is still recalled well enough. Perhaps the dynastic cause in which Towton was fought is simply too obscure, though plenty of people today can recall roughly what the much later internecine battle at nearby Marston Moor was about.

Towton undoubtedly meant something to Shakespeare and his audiences. He uses it to warn against the great fear of all Tudors, the catastrophe of civil strife. We have no fear of civil war today. Such things belong to the past, where they did things differently. And yet ... Might something other than the fact that it all happened a long time ago partly explain our sustained expunging of Towton from the national memory?

Perhaps Towton is simply too brutal, too senseless and thus too traumatic to acknowledge today. I wonder whether Towton denial is even something we inherit in our DNA, an experience we do not want to confront because its intensity and slaughter do not fit with our island story, our national self-esteem and our enduring need for meaning and optimism. Yet when I think about the mindless killings of our own times, whether at home in the streets of Liverpool or abroad in the bombing of distant cities and villages, it seems clear that something of the savage spirit of Towton still lives on within us, even today - and that we should know about it.

General discussion / My blog
« on: December 10, 2018, 01:03:58 PM »
I'm not sure I've highlighted this before. My blog, 'Buckets of Dice' has been going for over 10 years now. It is my  Peter Pig hobby and some family stuff but has been sorely neglected for the last few years. This coincides with the birth of my daughter, Ava, who is now 8.

I do hope to continue it for the foreseeable future with a bit more content. It has been interesting and quite nostalgic to look back on games from years ago.

Anyway the link is beneath my name over to the left of this page (the globe symbol) but here is a direct link:


Take a look!

Pieces of Eight / Raid on Port St. George now also updated
« on: December 07, 2018, 08:40:24 AM »

The Raid on Port St George boxed set has now been updated to the new Land Raid game. Lovely little write up too! Very R.L. Stevenson 😃

Having already bought my Christmas box, this will have to wait for me. I'm being incredibly frugal for me and clearing the decks (pun not intended 😂🤣) of half finished projects. I'll add some pictures to my painting log and may even add a post to my long neglected blog detailing where I am and what I'm up to.

General discussion / Christmas treats
« on: December 05, 2018, 08:57:50 AM »
Thank you to Nigel and Mike in the workshop for not only turning around my order in super quick time but also for making some last minute additions for me.

Nothing nicer for a Wargamer than the thought of new figures on their way to you. It's a bit like waiting for  Christmas!

I have one or two bits coming  for my AWI meaning I'll be able to do any of the scenarios in the Washington's Army rule book. I've also bought the last 2 packs I needed to enable me to do all of the scenarios in Civil War Battles.

And as a little treat I've also ordered the new Dockside characters pack for the  Pieces of Eight land raid game. Along with the civilian packs available in the Washingtons Army range there is quite a selection of 18th century civilians for you to choose from.

Happy Wednesday and do try to get a game in or else paint at least 1 figure.


Interesting to see these two old sets of rules being played! Bought back some memories!

Piggy Days and Competitions / Weymouth Wargames Weekend report 2018
« on: December 03, 2018, 11:13:46 PM »
After a last minute shift change I was able to make the weekender. It was my 4th year attending what for me is the highlight of my gaming year. It was a record year for games played (11) and I can say it was probably my favorite of the 4 weekenders I have attended.

I had painted up a Posse/Lawmen force to play a couple of Western games and I also took down my Anarchist Militia for a game of Bayonets and Ideology. I was also keen to play Pieces of Eight, both the sea and land raid game which I did, accounting for 7 of my 11 games! The rest were made up of 3 Western games and 1 SCW game.

This is an image from my first Western game on Friday night. Myself and Miles took on Martin and Mark who were using Plains Indians.

Another shot of the same game. I suspect Miles and I lost this game but I can't for the life of me remember the score. What I can say is for one days work painting and preparing my figures, I was really pleased with how they looked.

Also from Friday night on the table next to our Western game, Mike, Chris and Rob were playing through a playtest of the Pirates Land Raid game. I think they player either 3 or 4 games with the defenders winning all of them.

A Pieces of Eight sea battle with Les, Stewart (the organiser), Mike, Chris and Paul. One side is the Merchant fleet trying to make it from one corner to the opposite corner. The other side plays the Pirates trying to capture the Merchants. Although still in playtest, they feel 90% done with the victory point system to be tweaked with one or two other minor adjustments.

An image from my SCW game on Saturday morning. Rob and I took on Chris and Mike who were playing Assault Guards. A really excellent game ending in a narrow win to the Assaultos. They only managed to hold one objective by the game end but the Anarchists just couldn't get hold of any of the others. In the distance in the picture you can just see the bridge objective. The militia in the forefront made several attempts at assaulting along the gully which is dead ground in the rules. Chris held me off with his platoon but had suffered considerable losses. With one more turn I think we could have made it!

A close up of two fleets engaging. The two ships on the smaller bases are from Martin's collection. The other ships are from Les's collection. Very nice they are too.

For the first time, there were two none RFCM games played over the weekend. This is Stewart's Rorkes Drift game. I can't remember whether the buildings are Warlords or Redoubts but they are very nice. Stewart has painted loads of Zulus (not quite thousands) and all of the personalities were present for the Imperial forces. I spotted Michael Caine in a spot pf bother. I'm unsure of the outcome of the game. Interestingly the rules were home grown from Stewart's fevered imagination and based on squares.

I think this was Saturday afternoon. In the distance, Chris and Rob face off in a game of Washingtons Army. In the foreground is another playtest of Pirate ships with Martin and Simon taking on Miles and Les.

The first of two Western games on Saturday night. Myself and Mark as Posse playing against Rob and Miles using Plains Indians. We won this one but it was a slightly odd game. I chose to extend the game to a ninth turn and a final assault on the homestead in the middle distance paid off winning us the game. In our second game, we lost two out of five units in the first turn. 2 of the other units took a bit of a pasting and it was all too much for Mark who wondered off elsewhere. Martin jumped into his seat and the game ended up being an absolute stonker. My commander, Bad Bob, held on until the last turn when he fell in a cinematic death giving victory to the Indians 60 points to 46. Just goes to show with RFCM games, it's never over until it's over and never give in!

The second none RFCM game hosted by Mike. WW2 aerial combat using lots of these lovely little planes. I think they are from Tumbling Dice in the main. Interestingly, the homegrown rules written by Mike are also grid based. Mike has kindly forwarded me a copy of the rules to peruse. Lovely looking game.

Chris hosted a game of Bloody Barons for Paul on Sunday morning. One of my favourite RFCM games and I would have taken part  but was busy with Pirate  Ships.

I was surprised how few pictures I had actually taken. No pictures of the Pirate land raid games I played for instance. This is a cracking game that takes less than an hour to play and is fast and furious. I am tempted to build a custom board for this as it's played on a 3'x2' board.

Another year over. Hopefully the George hotel will still be available to host us again next year. If not I do hope we can secure another venue as the chance to play so many games with such a good crowd is a real pleasure. It's as much about the company and the camaraderie as playing toy soldiers. It's a great mix and long may it continue.

Thanks to Stewart for organising. Thanks to all my partners and opponents in all 11 games I played. And thanks to all attendees for making it such a memorable weekend.


Pieces of Eight / New Pirate fleets up on the website
« on: December 01, 2018, 12:12:40 AM »
Just noticed that ready made fleets for Captain Crimson and Captain Gorgeous are up on the website http://www.peterpig.co.uk/pirateships.html

Great write up for both!

Pieces of Eight / Typical buildings for the land raid game
« on: November 30, 2018, 12:27:25 PM »
Thinking about this the other day. I had always thought that buildings in 18th century Port Royal or Nassau for instance would be similar to the Mediterranean style with pantile roofs and rendered walls. I think this line of thinking must have come from the Gary Chalk articles in Wargames Illustrated years ago when he showed how to scratch build a town for Pirates.

But from pictures I can find on the internet there is a real mash of styles from plantation style houses to timber framed houses to mud huts. I'm wondering what style to go for to populate my land raid board. I'd like to make it look really nice and eye catching as opposed to just using any old buildings I can lay my hands on.

Anyone any thoughts?

Pieces of Eight / Playtesting at WWW
« on: November 26, 2018, 11:03:10 PM »
I have to say that now I've played all 3 versions of the Pirates game, I am enjoying it immensely and can't wait to take it to the club.

The land raid and ships both feel like they are 'nearly' done. 8 think mechanisms for both are sound and give good games. The only major issue I can see is the Victory point schedules. With defenders coming out on top in all but 1 game that I took part in. I think this is the experience of most players so far?

I have my ships out and intend to start painting them this week. I'm looking forward to getting the figures for the land raid game too. I really think a custom board is doable to take to a show...Salute maybe.

General discussion / What type of gamer are you?
« on: November 17, 2018, 09:13:48 PM »
By this I mean do you play:

1. For the love of seeing nice toy soldiers on a nice table and not really care about the outcome?
2. Do you like to calculate the odds of every move and only take the best statistical move?
3. Is it for the love of a particular period?
4. Is it purely a social thing?
5. Do you want to win at all costs (although you'd never openly admit it to your opponents)?
6. Do you only want to play a game where you feel you have a fair chance of winning?
7. Is it a combination of 2 or more of the above....or some other reason entirely?

General discussion / Interesting relatives
« on: November 16, 2018, 06:54:34 PM »
With mention of Radars relatives from the ECW and a real life life Sharpe, it got me wondering what other members might have turned up from family histories that might be if interest.

I have traced a paternal relative back to 1790's who served in the Royal Navy and recieved a sizeable pension. He lived in Portsmouth and then retired to London.

Not my relative but one of my close friends is a descendant of General George Elliott who fought in the Seven Years War.


Terrain and Figures / Question for Radar - Hovels buildings
« on: November 16, 2018, 06:46:26 PM »
Are the Hovels buildings in your pictures recent acquisitions? I've not seen them at shows in years but their website seems to imply they are still trading. I could do with fleshing out my villages.

Grumbles / MOVED: New Year plans
« on: November 14, 2018, 12:57:38 AM »

The 15 Mill / Word Limit?
« on: November 13, 2018, 10:30:39 PM »
Any word limit proposed for articles? I'm up to 1,200 words so far and probably half way through so I expect around 2,500 words. Is this ok?

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