The Roaring Northerners are Dave Stewart, John Hill and Iain Robertson; a loose affiliation of tabletop wargamers and figure painters who inhabit the frozen and somewhat soggy wastelands of west central Scotland. Shadowy and secretive, they stoically quest to reduce the scale of the lead mountain that threatens to engulf them all, and perhaps even find the time for the occasional game...
....This is their story

Friday, 28 March 2014

Romans Redux.

I have finally finished the 'Last stand of the 9th' to a level I am happy with.........mostly.
These guys will leave some room on the painting table once they are gone.
28mm Aventine figures.
Next up an ox-cart for the FaIW in 28mm, or possibly some 15mm Knights.....or Cold War Czechs, or.......

I was pleased how the shields turned out in the end.

As ever comments pro and con gratefully received.



Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The Animals of Farthingwood

...if you're of a particular age, you'll get that reference.

Anyway, enough of my parochial prattle. Finally got the two Brit recce elements finished and based (and quite pleased with the over all effect if may say so...) Both from the workshops of those talented chaps at S&S Models, and based on the finest lasercut MDF from Warbases, suppliers of basing, scenery and counter materials to the Gentry.

CVR(W) FV721 Fox

FV701 Ferret


Sunday, 9 March 2014

Show Report- Albanich 2014, Dumfries

Saturday saw Dave and I brave the elements and the inevitable horrors of a wet M74, and head down to Albanich, Dumfries’ annual wargames show, held in the Cairndale Hotel in the town centre. Ably hosted by Solway Crafts and Miniatures, the show packs a great deal of top class traders and games into a relatively small venue.

Broadly divided into two halls, one containing traders and the other the display games (and refreshments!), both lead of the main foyer, where the weary travellers were relieved of their meagre entry fee, and had it replaced by…free zombies! A frame of two of Studio Miniatures wonderfully executed (no pun intended!) 28mm plastic Nazi Zombies was given on entry, already this was shaping up to be A Good Day, free zombies are never to be sniffed at!

A good selection of traders in hall 1, included some big names like Solway Crafts and Miniatures themselves, Foundry and Figures in Comfort

The League of Augsburg were on hand with a wonderfully original “Darrien” board to promote Barry Hilton’s latest work “Donnybrook”, a 28mm skirmish ruleset incorporating RPG elements, pitched ideally at the age of Horse and Musket. Intrigued by this as it seemed to offer an ideal set of rules for using my own, currently somewhat moribund, Front Rank Jacobites, I managed to have a chat with Barry (whom I've not seen years) regarding the rules, and the thoughts behind them; so inevitably a copy (which is a predictably beautifully presented piece of work) made it's way into the rucksack…

Palm trees and a Saltire, how often do you see that combination? It could only be one thing…

Beautiful minis on display as always

The man himself

Moving through to Hall 2, there were a number of cracking looking games on display from a variety of clubs from around the country

West Coast Gamers of Cumbria had followed the old Reivers’ trails to bring us this wonderful re-fight of Sword Beach and Pegasus Bridge in 15mm, using Flames of War. A truly epic table, the photos don’t quite do the sheer length of it justice!

The table featured the lovely new 15mm Pegasus Bridge (the original prototype no less!) by Warbases. I’d spotted this on their stand in the other hall, and was sorely tempted to just bodge it for 20mm…

Sadly, I was unable to get the name of the group responsible for this impressive Muskets & Tomahawks set-up. Featuring a blockhouse and fully rigged sloop, it certainly showed what could be done with this period, a little imagination and some effort!

The Tradeston Wargames Club, from Glasgow, a new offshoot of the Phoenix group put on this colourful demo of the battle of Pea Ridge from the American Civil War. An incredible amount of time and effort had clearly gone into producing this spectacle. ACW isn’t one of my consuming passions, but you couldn’t help but be impressed by this!

Falkirk & District Wargames Club were in attendance with this brilliant display of WWI aerial combat, using the Too Fat Lardies “Algernon Pulls A Fast One!”  Rules.  At first glance, I’d thought it was Wings of War on a massive scale, but having played and enjoyed those rules before, I was chuffed to see that there was something else on offer a wee bit different on the subject.  As ever, the guys were very friendly and extremely knowledgeable on the subject, and got tore into their game with every sign of enjoyment!

Plenty of source material and background on show as well!

Tucked up in the far corner were South EastScotland Wargames Club, with a simply wonderful Korean War game, using the Bolt Action rules system. A very well laid out board, showing a load of reference material and even some artefacts from one of the members’ father’s service on HMS Ocean during the conflict in addition to some very pretty toys on the table. This ranked as one of my favourite things on show, since I’ve also got a bit of a thing for the Korean War, and was a very welcome sight to see, since it’s otherwise very much “The Forgotten War” in gaming terms as well as historical!


Overall, a very friendly and convivial atmosphere prevailed throughout the day, (doubtless helped by the opening of the hotel bar in the afternoon…) with many an old face caught up with and new traders discovered noted for future projects.  There was also a painting competition to be entered (of which your humble correspondent failed miserably to get any usable pictures of…) in addition to the plentiful opportunities to have a go at the games on show.

Sadly, I was unable to make it for both days, with Sunday featuring a large “Hail Caesar!” participation game, and all too soon, it was time to load up my trusty steed with plunder and booty, and head back north, out of the West March, to the fertile (if still defiantly soggy) plains of the central lowlands…

Thanks and congratulations to be extended once again for the guys and gals at SC&M for putting on a magnificent show as usual, and one I’ll be sure to return to whenever I can!


Tuesday, 4 March 2014


So, dear reader, we are transported back to the year 312AD and an epic recreation of the battle of Turin as the Roman Civil War approaches its bloody climax.

Iain took control of the forces of Maxentius whilst I took the place of Constantine of sacred memory.

As the forces lined up it became clear that Maxentius had the edge in sheer numbers and choccy biccies, but Constantine's veterans took the field confident and battle tested, and with the better part of a leftover Christmas chocolate selection box to browse upon.

Maxentius' Forces took their positions in noisy and boisterous fashion. Despite their advantage in numbers, perhaps they were trying to suppress a certain nervousness as they eyed Constantine's seemingly unstoppable veterans across the chosen field.

Maxentius clearly looked to take advantage of his longer battle line and envelope Constantine.

Interestingly they had brought with them a battery of heavy catapults.

Clibanarii Cataphracts.

And some men with very pretty shields.

Meanwhile one of his best auxiliary units concealed themselves cunningly behind a piece of rough terrain. The plan seems to have been to burst forth at a critical moment. Sadly, they were apparently distracted by the local flora and fauna, and stayed there for the entire battle.

His legions looked across the plain as their adversaries formed up. Both sides traded long-range latin insults.

Constantine's forces took the field in good order and with a grim, silent determination. His renowned Infantry including men from the British Legions and many of them carried the signs of the new god on their shields.

On their flanks, small but elite units of Clibanarii, heavy cavalry and lighter Sagitarii horse archers formed up. Constantine himself took command of the right wing and the majority of the Cavalry.

While the left wing was weaker in numbers but not in quality.

From the first moves it was clear that  Constantine was aiming to break Maxentius' line before bringing his veteran legions up to the 'meat grinder' in his centre. Maxentius however was endeavouring to envelope and attack his opponent from the flanks.

Maxentius brought his three elite legions on, in echelon to the left of his line whilst his right took advantage of the hills to their front and his wings of light cavalry surged forward.....the catapult crews all the while, tested their machines and nervously checked and re-checked their ranges.

Constantine concentrated his forces, the Legions came on in good order and his weak left wing trotted forward to threaten, whilst he formed up a massive cavalry punch on his right under his own personal command.

Soon, Constantine had his cavalry ready and seeing his flanks already being harried, he determined to make his move. Senior commanders counselled caution as the centre was proving slow to come up, but the chosen one carrying the sacred banner of the one true God would brook no delay....the juggernaut rumbled forward and crunched into Maxentius' left wing light cavalry screen.

Constantine's Clibanarii contemptuously swatted the light cavalry aside, but ominously, his supporting units were held up for a small but significant two turns.

Soon the light cavalry broke though and Constantine turned his attention to the Auxilia to his front.
Tails up and 'mad for it' they tore into the Auxiliary unit. After a short sharp engagement the Auxilia had had enough and turned tail. Constantine ploughed onward, hacking and slashing at the running men. To his rear his support formed up to come on again, and on the other flank the Sagitarii with their Clibanarii support trotted forward to harass Maxentius' right flank and clear the foot archer screen.

Soon the Auxilia burst upon and dispersed around Maxentius' left flank legion. These were the renowned  Legio X, the legion of Mars the old god of war. Through the dust Constantine saw their banners and spurred ever onward.

The new God against the old Gods.

The Legion barely had time to brace, then Constantine and his elite Clibanarii smashed into their centre......the infantry line buckled and staggered, but crucially it did not break!

The men of Mars, Legio X hold and catastrophically, Constantine's support is too far behind to help as Maxentius' own Clibanarii puts in a devastating charge into Constantine's flank.

Meanwhile, seemingly miles away, as the Maxentian right flank is itself seeming to be threatened, the catapults loosed their first and only volley......Constantine's flank commander was targeted......and suddenly that flank found itself without a commander!

Worse was to follow, as in the furious melee between Constantine's Clibanarii, the Legion of Mars and Maxentius' Clibanarii, Constantine himself falls!........The chosen one and his sacred banner are down and trampled in the dust!!

Word soon spreads across the army. The Infantry centre hesitates, then takes a knee, Maxentius is victorious!

Thus, on a wet Wednesday in East Kilbride, is the entire history of the western world rewritten in 15mm!

This was a superb game and too long delayed. Much though I love painting 28mm, there is something about the sweep and scope of 15mm on the table that fascinates me more than any other scale.

Maxentius' forces painted by John Hill and Captained by Iain Robertson. Constantine's forces painted and Captained by myself.

As ever, comments, pro and con,  gratefully received.


David Stewart.