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I umpired another game of Sword and Spear as a demo last week, with Alex taking on the role of the French and Thorsteinn taking on the role of the English. As with the other games I’ve played or umpired, it was a close run thing (most have come down to both sides being in danger of a complete rout with the loss of one more unit), with the English ascendant again. This game involved more terrain than usual (some high dice rolls for terrain), including a river across the English line of defence.

 

Initial positions

Initial positions.

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I had a game of Sword and Spear against Ernie this week to teach him the rules (and to drum up some more interest in these rules – we had a couple of people watching, and a few of the club members have now also bought these rules or are planning to do so). I have a sizable English Hundred Years War army for Impetus, and since the two games use the same basing, it’s a cinch to use them in both games. It also meant I could split my army into two equal forces, one taking on the role of the French.

I took on the role of the French for this game (same as the last time), Ernie had the English. He won the scouting, so I had to set up my units first (heavies and train, then mediums – we had no lights in this battle). Our initial positions looked like this:

Initial positions

Initial positions

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Played a short game of these new rules the other day, splitting my Impetus HYW English army into two, one side being the English, and the other side portraying the French, and so I thought I’d do a review of them. They use the same basing as Impetus (you can also use 4 bases of DB* or FoG in place of a unit), but as the Impetus bases look better with their mini dioramas, and since I don’t have anything based up for DB* / FoG any more, Impetus basing it is then. For those not in the know, that’s 80mm base widths, with varying base depths depending on type of unit, from 10-15mm for skirmishers to 60mm for cavalry. The book does suggest that the game can be played with any basing as long as its the same for both sides though.

Sword and Spear rules

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There have been a few surveys floating around recently (the Survey Monkey one for WSS comes to mind but there have been others too in the last couple of months) asking about figure scale preferences, which I’ve had a hard time answering. For me, it varies considerably, and depends on what I’m hoping to represent on the table.

 

I have a variety of figures from 3mm (1/600) to 25mm, though somewhere tucked away back in England I think I have some Naval stuff that’s smaller scale, but Naval is a category that I don’t play at all often (not in the last decade at least), and I see it as a fringe element compared to the rest of the wargaming that I do. Air is a little different, since we’ve played Wings of War quite a few times at the club.

 

Figure scale is tied up in a lot of factors. The larger the figures, the more space needed to store them, the longer they take to paint, the more expensive they are (generally, anyway – you can always find cheap figures in any scale, as well as more expensive figures in smaller scales), and the more expensive it is to buy or make scenery that fits in that figure scale, especially if you’re gaming in a variety of periods.

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Got a doubles game of M&T in at the club the other night, 200 points of my British Rangers and 200 points of British Regulars versus 200 points of French Regulars and 200 points of assorted French Compagnie Franche de la Marine and some Native Allies. We decided to have a subplot for each officer rather than one per side, so that each player would have one. The main scenarios for the game were Kill the Bastards for the Brits and Setting Fire to Shit for the French. Can’t remember off hand what the actual scenarios were, but that about sums them up.

 

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This is the initial disposition of the table and forces. My Rangers are huddled in the woods, the regulars are next to them in the open ready to head for the village. Markus’ Indians were on each flank, his irregulars in the middle, alongside the two French regular units captained by Thorsteinn.

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Managed to get a game of Muskets and Tomahawks in last night against Thorsteinn, a blue on blue game of my British Rangers versus his British mixture of Regulars and Irregulars, 400 points each, and what a battle it was. This game really raged back and forth, at times I thought I was going to win, at other times I thought all was lost. We played with 3 event cards in the deck, and they really managed to change the battle at times. We also played with a subplot each, but each of us failed to achieve ours – stupidly in my case.

 

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The table at the outset of the battle.

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Another bare minimum post I’m afraid, but wanted to add these pics of the (just about) finished product. I’ll be basing them properly (rocks, tufts, static grass, and more / proper painting of the bases) once I get my Indians and Civvies painted up too. At least with the number of these done, I can actually play a 200 and probably 400 point force with painted figures now. Hurrah!

 

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These are in a fine formation ready to receive an attack from any direction!

 

The rest, however, are milling around aimlessly, having completely forgotten all their drill practice:

 

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