August 24, 2017

Donnybrook... Why You Should Have These Rules!

Wargames Illustrated has a fairly new series that runs in the mag these days, called 'Why You Should Have These Rules'. Apparently it's a shout out for people to submit articles on rule sets they love. Donnybrook, written by myself and Barry Hilton, is surprisingly featured in the September issue of Wargames Illustrated!

The article is written by Rick Hudson and is a glowing review of Donnybrook. This is a gentleman neither of us know or know how to contact to thank properly, so I'll say thanks here. Maybe Rick follows me or follows the LoA blog where we've also said thanks! Producing a book is a huge undertaking, especially with a team of two, and it is always gratifying to see other people enjoying our efforts!

Donnybrook seems have quietly gained a following. Folk's have been using them for conventions. There's a new Facebook group (Donnybrook, the Skirmish Game) set up by fans. We know we've been remiss in supporting the game and hope to fix that it in the future, but many people have taken what's been offered and run with it, which is absolutely in the spirit it's intended!

For those who don't know what I'm on about, Donnybrook is a fast and fun skirmish game set in the period of the League of Augsburg (1660-1720, but read the article - it works almost unchanged for any pre-vehicle period) which is easy to pick up and full of period flavour. The book is 110 pages of rich colour with 186 beautiful photographs, maps, original artwork, seven scenarios, example game in comic strip format, period primer for numerous conflicts, faction guides/force builder, points system and comes with a satin finish full colour quick reference sheet. In is soft cover and perfect bound. The book also contains a force roster sheet template.

The rules are based on a card driven turn system. At a minimum, a force for a small game consists of one Character and four Units. The Character represents YOU on the table top. The Unit sizes range from four foot or three mounted models to twelve foot or nine mounted models, depending on their quality. Standard size games use six Units and large games use eight. There are eight factions to choose from - Army, Civilian Mob, Covenanters, Cultists, Highlanders, Outlaws, Rapparees, and Tribal. There are optional rules for including additional Characters (one per Unit) and these models come with various abilities to influence the performance of your army - most are unique to your chosen faction.

Donnybrook is available in the US from Warfare Miniatures USA or in the rest of the world from the League of Augsburg shop. You can still get printed copies or we have PDF's available which you could have in your possession tonight!

August 16, 2017

Wandering Around Ireland, Part IV

You thought I'd forgotten about this didn't you? I've just been super busy and these kinds of posts are much more of a time investment than the 'look what I just painted' type (though I've had precious few of those too). The first part of this day saw us around Newtown Butler and Athlone, but the rest was spent around Aughrim!

Again let me mention how strange this battlefield was to me as an American. In the US, I think the entire field would have been seized and turn into a park with admission fees, guided tours, and designated walkways. There was a Battle of Aughrim shop in the center of the small town, but it was closed so we left from there and went to the remains of Aughrim Castle that guarded the causeway.

And when I say we went to the castle, I mean we parked the car, climbed over a pair of bloody fences, traipsed through a sheep pen (see below) and hiked right up to it while discussing trespassing laws in Ireland. Barry assured us he's done this before. I think I could outrun him so I followed along...

Then began an epic car ride along back roads searching for the small plaques that marked specific points in the battle...

Here is Attibrassil Bridge which crosses the Tristaun Stream. Jacobite dragoons held off early attacks by the Dutch, Danish, and Huguenot Horse at this point. These pics involved Barry and I climbing over another wall and scaling a fairly steep bank, but I wanted to get some good shots so I could build a similar bridge for the tabletop. There was a bull in this field (last pic) and though he was a good ways off, we could see the hoof prints in the mud around us. Bob sagely stayed on the road and promised to help us up if the bull came our way - after taking some video with his phone no doubt!

We toured more sections of the forward Jacobite lines. What these photos fail to capture are the slopes and grades of the terrain. There is dead ground where entire battalions would have been hidden at times. The first is good shot of the marshy ground that dominated the center of the Jacobite forward position.

Then we looped around to the rear of the Jacobite lines, climbing onto Aughrim Hill (and climbing across yet more fences). There was an ancient Bronze Age fort on Aughrim Hill that St. Ruhe used as a command base. The places is completely overgrown and none of the pics I took around it show anything more than a mass of greenery. Standing inside the bowl of the structure it was more obvious, but from the outside we walked past it the first time. Looking down from the summit of Aughrim Hill, you would have had a good view of the armies as they maneuvered to the east.

Commander Hilton leading the troops in the advance...

Back in the car for a quick trip around to the Williamite position. The Tristaun Stream actually runs through the whole battlefield (see Attibrassil Bridge above). Something that struck me is how tiny this stream was, but it made a formidable obstacle in the battle. I'm thinking I've been modeling my rivers too wide on my game boards! The Tristaun Bridge shows me I'm definitely making my bridges too big...

A little further along behind Urraghry Hill which would have been the command position for the Williamite army (most likely the power poles would not have been there). Hey, look... Sheep!

We considered climbing another fence and climbing to the crest of the hill, but the day was waning and so were we. We still had a fair ride to reach Mullingar where our next hotel was reserved. It turned out to be very posh (thank you, Mrs Hilton). We spent several hours of dinner (closed the place down) and retired to bar, discussing the battlefields, wargames, and toy soldiers. What a great day.

More to come... next we head to the Boyne!

August 6, 2017

More Donnybrook Dark

Work has been stupid the last few weeks, but I FINALLY got the Scandavian Pack Master model finished for my wolves from my Donnybrook Dark project...

The model is from one of the dismounted dragoon command packs (WLOA89) and I added the cloak with green stuff. I wanted the model to appear more like a civilian or specialist who lives outside of the uniformed discipline of the rank and file soldiers. Using a model from a different theater (and a fur hat) was a great way to make him stand out from the 'turnback' coats of the others, even though I used the same color palette as my garrison troops.

I'm very happy with how this guy turned out and shows even simple conversions can add a lot of character to an army!

Several people have gotten in touch to ask about the wolves. They are old Ral Partha sculpts that I've had for years. They are probably still available somewhere...

More stuff as I find the time...