Wednesday 30 August 2023

Thoughts on A Bridge Too Far

My copy of the book A Bridge Too Far by the late Cornelius Ryan. I also own his book The Longest Day but as yet not his final volume on the war.

A flyer contained in the book - probably no longer available judging by the cost of the postage and packing! Nice idea though.

Operation Market Garden has always been of great interest to me and fighting elements of the campaign over the years has given me a huge amount of enjoyment. I have used various sets of rules including Command Decision, WRG, Charles Grant’s Battle, Memoir 44 and a couple of hex and counter boardgames. The only figures I have used thus far have been 6mm Heroics and Ros and that a long time ago, way back in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Whilst sorting through Eric’s collection - I should qualify this by saying that I am sorting through a portion of it! - it suddenly dawned on me that perhaps fighting the campaign was something he planned to do or indeed, perhaps even did so using 20mm kit. He has the following troops ready to use - the 1st British Airborne, the Polish Parachute brigade, an American Airborne regiment, two SS Panzer Divisions, the British Guards Armoured Division and a British infantry Division. He has also collected and organised a German 1944 Fallschirmjager Division (currently unpainted). With the exception of the German paratroops all are painted and ready to use and merely require some minor reorganisation to be more or less table ready.

The entire collection is of course up for disposal but I am thinking that there could be no better way of showcasing it than to actually use it on the tabletop. It would have to be something that could be organised relatively quickly so a detailed hour-by-hour or day-by-day simulation would be out. I am thinking along the lines of something like a series of linked scenarios, Portable Wargame style. The terrain would present a degree of difficulty - mainly as I do not own anything specifically 20mm scale so a dive into my collection of ‘town in a bag’ buildings will be in order. I could probably knock up a bridge or two easily enough - “It is all a question of bridges” - and in many ways the amount of improvisation required to pull this off would be very ‘Eric’ so I would be in good company!

The Portable Market Garden Wargame eh? There could even be a book in that….

Monday 28 August 2023

Commandoes - Eric Knowles Style

20mm Commandoes manufactured by lord alone knows who by! Any help would be appreciated as I have around 80 odd to dispose of! 

It has been as usual a very busy weekend but I was able at long last to get some ‘moving and shaking’ done in respect of Eric’s 20mm WW2 collection. The bulk of the 1940 collection is now at its new home meaning that I can at last begin to think about the huge amount of kit for 1944. 

I have found a new home for what Eric was using for his planned 14th Army set up - the Chindit column consisted of short wearing Australian infantry with trouser wearing NCOs. The latter was swiftly removed leaving nigh on a hundred agitated Aussies ready for service in the desert along with a similar amount of short wearing Indian infantry. Having sorted these out I then decided to tackle the unpainted 1944 NW Europe British stuff. Aside from a Kangaroo infantry battalion and a reserve formation, together with a four gun battery of 25pdrs with crews (metal) and four Priest SP guns with crews (resin and metal), there was a large box of assorted Commandoes. 

Around 80 figures of these are wearing the Airfix woollen hat whilst around 150 are in the Royal Marine beret and are representative of 40, 41 and 42 Commando. There are also a further 80 odd figures of the type you see represented in the picture above. I have no clue as to the manufacturer of these so if anyone has any idea please let me know.

Eric was very relaxed about mixing different figure manufacturers in his armies, even down to individual units. As I have gone through some of this collection I have even come across the odd plastic 20mm figure used to round out a unit and then of course there are his conversions. Eric was not averse to chopping figures around and I have come across a few examples of where he has changed heads and weaponry - some of these conversions are quite tricky to spot but for the most part can be picked out reasonably easily.

So including all the various Commando support units Eric has amassed around 350 or so figures - let that sink in a moment.

350 Commandoes - this is territory beyond the realm of a usual table top battle unless you have a/ plenty of space, b/ plenty of time and c/plenty of enthusiasm! 

Eric was never short of C above!

Thursday 24 August 2023

Of Warhammer 40K, Space Hulk and Xenos Rampant

“Cleanse and Burn….In the name of the Emperor!”

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…. I was really excited when Games Workshop first launched Warhammer 40K, essentially fantasy in space, and had many great games with a very nice painted collection of metal figures featuring Space Marines, Imperial Guard, Eldar, Orks and even Squats (40K Dwarves for the uninitiated). For the record these were painted for me by the late Mike Bush, a supremely talented figure painter and professional artist and all of this would have been during the mid 1980s. 

When the Aliens inspired game Space Hulk came out, followed by Space Crusade and Advanced Space Crusade and ultimately Epic 40K and Adeptus Titanicus (we have not even gotten to Battlefleet Gothic yet!) my interest in the original game fired off in various directions which certainly served to dissipate my efforts in due course. Space Hulk was always a favourite and so by the time the dust had settled in the early 1990s it was pretty much all I was playing from the 40K universe and even then my enthusiasm had paled substantially.

For me the endless upgrade of units and the increasing choice of models etc - not to mention the cost - kind of put me off the whole thing. It became a chore trying to keep up with it all and so in the end I didn’t bother. I always rather liked the 40K universe background though.

Fast forward to now and things on a Sci Fi front have been making rather unexpected but welcome progress, My acquisition of assorted bits and pieces for Another Glorious Day in the Corps will serve to satisfy my Aliens fixation, even more so now that I have a copy of the Aliens Space Hulk variant found in an early issue of the Ragnarok - the journal of the Society of Fantasy and Science Fiction Wargamers (SFSFW) - courtesy of Steve Blease (many thanks Steve!). This will enable me to play Space Hulk, Aliens style should I want to. 

Enough of the rather rambling background and on to the main course.

That is a whole of models to be going on with. 

Warhammer 40K Leviathan is a rather large box set that contains 72 Citadel models (including some BIG pieces, not just ‘man-sized’ figures), a 392 hardback rules and background book and a deck of cards specific for the rules. There is also a booklet containing assembly instructions for the models (it reminded me of a Lego instruction booklet) and a sheet of decals representing a number of Marine chapters should you wish to use them. There are no dice, templates or measuring devices included - essentially it a large box of figures with a hardback rule book.

The hardback rule book. This really is a thing of beauty. A full background to the 40K universe and its assorted denizens, the main rules and also for Combat Patrol, a surprisingly brief introduction to the “Warhammer 40K Hobby, lots of model pictures and plenty of suitably doom-laden artwork, as befits the “grim darkness of the far future (where) there is only war.”

I looked long and hard at this over the course of a couple of weeks and did a whole pile of research and cost comparisons. Last night, at Wayland Games in Hockley, the home of SEEMS - the South East Essex Military Society, aka my occasional club - I pulled the trigger and bashed the debit card to the tune of £120. On the scale of GW this is a bargain and I was not the only one to think so as whilst last week there were no fewer than a dozen or so copies of this set on display - NOT on the website I might add - yesterday evening saw but four copies remaining. 

The cunning plan - at least part of it….

Why? The reasons are many and varied but what it all boils down to is that I wanted two forces for use with Xenos Rampant. I am happy to use GW figures and background with non GW rules but they are there if I need them. There is sufficient variety of core troops for each force - Marine and Tyrannid - to field a couple of armies for Xenos Rampant - sadly there are not enough figures from Another Glorious Day in the Corps to be able to do this successfully - as well as being able to tackle a Space Hulk or three. There is a certain degree of irony in the fact that I will be using GW figures on the map boards from Another Glorious Day in the Corps to play Space Hulk missions and using Colonial Marines to fight them as well!

Certainly a great way to restock my sprue supply….

Of the figures themselves there is little to say other than that they are simply incredible to look at. There are some that are very ‘GW-ish’ which for me means over the top in terms of  detailing - usually an excess of ornate trappings, cloaks, purity seals and all manner of ‘bling’ - but the main bulk of the collection is, and I use this term carefully, ‘Sci Fi generic normal’. That is the main thing for me, the figures are GW but suit my rather more restrained take on the 40K universe!

True to form I shall be painting the models in anything but ‘official’ colour schemes - for the marines with over a thousand chapters I have pretty much Carte Blanche in this respect - and to be honest, I have always enjoyed painting Sci Fi stuff, albeit not very well!

Previously I had looked long and hard at Adeptus Titanicus but never did anything about it. I think I have missed the boat on this to be honest and the after market for anything for this game is ruinously expensive.

I almost left it too late to get into Aeronautica Imperialis but luckily managed to secure a copy of the base game. Luckily the extra models appear to be relatively plentiful so topping up the collection should not be too painful - it is quite a self contained item in any event.

Of course we have the knew version of Epic 40K to look forward to at some point this year which is something I shall take a look at with my well known open mind and mastery of objectivity….

“In space, no-one can hear you get the debit card out….!”

Friday 18 August 2023

What on earth are Sprue doing?

Really pleased to have gotten a supply of these - the four ‘flagpoles’ are incredibly useful and have solved one particular building issue….

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….I purchased the first edition of Games Workshop Epic 40K game along with the original version of Adeptus Titanicus. I had a lot of fun with both until it all went very “Games Workshopy” - lots of supplements, add one and increasingly expensive models - and the collections of both were disposed of. True to form, at the time I remember using many of the component parts from both games for a variety of things - the weapons from Adeptus formed the basis of a couple of fleets of starships - but there was one piece in particular that was extremely useful. It is also a piece I have been trying to get a hold of for a number of years. 

The piece in question is a figure base base sprue. The bases for the figures at the time were 20mm square with five circular recesses - aligned like the five on a D6 - to drop the figures into. Also on the sprue were four ‘flagpoles’ used to identify command bases. It was these that I was after, not the bases, just the ‘flagpoles’. If you look closely at the picture above you can see that each of these has what looks like a muzzle brake on one end - this fits into the base - and a flat circular tab on the other. I used loads of these for weapons on a vast array of scratch built star fighters based on a combination of Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica. I have a huge surplus of these as of the four bases on a sprue only one had the hole to affix a flagpole so there were three spare from every sprue.

The spaceships and star fighters have long gone - around thirty odd years long gone - but I always remembered those flagpoles and for something very specific for the American Civil War ship collection.

Spar Torpedoes.

I have tried all manner of things to fashion a spar torpedo mount but nothing I tried seemed to look right and whilst using these ‘flagpoles’ may seem like a cop out they certainly fit is with the aesthetic look of my models. They are, after all, purely representational!

My plan is to fit both of the Atlanta models I have completed and also the C.S.S. Webb. I will also be able to use these for a few other models currently under consideration. I picked up 21 sprues - no bases, just the flagpoles - from a chap on eBay for next to nothing so I will have plenty to use going forwards.

Wednesday 16 August 2023

Back to the Grind

The final two games from the recent haul. They look good but are not for me, despite being interested in both wars.

After a busy couple of weeks with work, the medical profession (nothing serious, just the usual battles with officialdom that Laurel has to undertake), some domestic issues and packing, sorting and organising a man cave that is doing a fair impersonation of Steptoe’s Yard - I am at last able to resume digging in to the WW2 collection of Eric Knowles. This means that I shall be once again knee deep in cardboard boxes, bubble wrap and brown tape and needless to say, pictures will be shown on the blog as I work through the collection. There are another couple of boxes to sort through as well.

In the meantime though, the two boardgames pictured above are the last of the recent haul for disposal.

They are priced at £40 for the ACW game and £50 for the AWI tri-pack. If anyone is interested in either or both then drop me a line or a comment. The email is, as ever,

Tuesday 15 August 2023

“Get Away From Her, You B***h!”

Once again the box lid….

….and the back. Note the fearsome looking Alien Queen.

The final part of my Aliens adventure arrived this morning, titled as it is from the iconic showdown scene between Riley in her power loader and the Alien Queen. Contained in this expansion are extra double sided game boards, more cards and counters and of course, the last of the figures.

I now have all I need to kick the whole Aliens thing off but first of all the models need assembling. The humans are quite straightforward but the Aliens need a little more work. The tails have been identified as being a bit of a weak point which will need to addressed with some pinning. 

I was pleased to see that the power loader can be assembled with or without the Ripley figure - this is useful as the power loader in the game can be used by any character. Ripley in the driving seat would be more appropriate though.

I have no fears over the assembly of the models but I will need to think about the painting and so some research will be needed and I think you can guess what that might be!

Sunday 13 August 2023

Ultimate Badasses

The customary front of the box shot….

….and the back. Apone doing what he does best - pointing and shouting!

The first of two expansions to Another Glorious Day in the Corps arrived yesterday morning which means that the cast of character models is nearly complete. The set contains 6 models including Apone, Drake, Crowe, Wierzbowski, Dietrich and for some unfathomable reason, the company bad guy, Carter Burke. Also included are the character cards, a deck of cards for equipment etc, more special marine dice and the additional rules which are geared mainly towards character development.

The next arrival will be the “Get away from her you Bitch!” Set which, as mentioned previously, includes Ripley in a power loader, Bishop - whole and in half, Ripley carrying Newt and the Alien Queen.Most importantly it also has a campaign system so that the whole LV 426 experience can be gamed.

The figures are really nice and are instantly recognisable as to who they are. The bases have the character name and feature a piece of metal flooring, appropriate for the colony complex of Hadley’s Hope. I need to think about these as they are a little restrictive in use - how many games would you fight in a colony complex? I may look to use something more generic but will need to thinks about it.

As an aside I have been looking at the models with a view to using them with Xenos Rampant - the Sci Fi Rampant series rules but would certainly need to expand the forces somewhat first.  

“Ready to get it on!” 

Friday 11 August 2023

Another Glorious Day in the Corps

The obligatory front of the box….

….and the back. 

I am a huge fan of the Alien films and in particular Aliens, the James Cameron directed second film in the series. I should also mention that I prefer the extended version as it puts a lot of the film into context, significantly the relationship between Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and Rebecca or ‘Newt’ (Carrie Henn). Plus you also get Sentry Guns….

Following the release of Aliens in 1986 and its subsequent success it was inevitable that the gaming world would take note and so licensed material appeared from West End Games and a number of miniatures manufacturers also got in on the act with unofficial versions - some of which are still around today. Even Games Workshop had a cheeky dabble with Space Hulk - substituting Colonial Marines for Terminator Marines and the eponymous Genestealers for the ‘acid for blood’ aliens. This remains by far my favourite GW board game. As I recall there was a variant of Space Hulk published in the Ragnarok - the journal of the Society of Fantasy and Science Fiction Wargamers - that factored in the Colonial Marines which was rather fun to play at the time. 

Anyways, a couple of years or so ago, Gale Force 9 launched the game you see above. An updated version is now available and after an extended period of careful contemplation and consideration as well as being buoyed by a rather fuller war chest than usual (as in there was actually something in the chest rather than cobwebs and moths!) I pulled the trigger.

The game is described as ‘A Cooperative Survival Game’ meaning that the players really need to work together to accomplish their mission. The game features most of the characters from the film although the base game only includes seven, one of which is Newt. There is of course the aliens themselves - sixteen of the stand up warrior type so no face huggers, chest bursters or the Queen but these can be purchased. With the original release there were a number of expansions including a full set of the characters from the film, extra aliens, the Queen, Ripley in a power loader and a terrain box featuring sentry guns, crates, computer consoles and alien eggs, face huggers and the young reptilian/snake/lizard alien. With the current release GF9 have an expansion with the rest of the film characters including Apone and Drake as well as Carter Burke and a set that contains the Queen, Ripley in her power loader, Bishop - whole and in half, nice touch! - and Ripley carrying Newt. Both of these sets have a stack of additional material - rules, cards missions and campaign material - so it does mean buying them both to get the full experience.

Colonial Marines plus Ripley and Newt and the ‘busy little creatures’

The components are very high quality and the figures are hard plastic, 32mm and require assembly so playing this straight out of the box is not going to happen. I rather like the idea with the double sided map board as one side is very ‘Sci fi corridor and room generic (with some nice Weyland Yutani touches)’ whilst the other shows the structure after the aliens had infested and ‘decorated’ the place.

Corridors on the left and the ‘hive’ on the right

Did I mention sentry guns? Well you get them but only in counter form but you do get an ammo counter dial which adds to the flavour! There are also motion tracker cards and a couple of face hugger counters.

So the whole lot has nudged into three figures cost wise but I am happy with it. The number of models is not too onerous to contend with from an assembly and painting perspective and the game itself will certainly be a lot of fun with plenty of film based flavour. 

My initial reservation with the whole thing was along the lines of ‘would it too limited in scope?’. It is after all a game based primarily on one film. I thought about this long and hard and came to the conclusion that in many ways it is almost like Space Hulk on steroids or rather the game I wanted Space Hulk to be. Back in the day I played an awful lot of Space Hulk so the idea of a Sci Fi dungeon crawl is something that I enjoy so I am sure this will tick an awful lot of boxes.

One thing I did notice on eBay is that there is a massive amount of unofficial 3D printed material that you could enhance the game with. I have seen a scale APC with a detachable roof to fit the troops in, even a drop ship although that would be beyond my needs and budget!


Following on from my recent piece of wheeling and dealing with the recent board game bonanza I have been able to finance and finish off a couple of long distance projects. The Flying Colours project was partially unexpected - I certainly did not expect to find the base game and the campaign game for such a good price - and Another Glorious Day in the Corps was something I had a very long distance eye on. Luckily I had the resources available to realise it!

I have one final piece of expenditure on the horizon which will complete a further project or rather will enable me to acquire what I need to finish it and then it is once again a sit down to sort out what is what and when is when.

Wednesday 9 August 2023

Of Wind and Water

It has been an eventful week for a number of reasons. To begin with our cul de sac resembles a building site as all the exterior gas pipes have to be dug up and replaced - lorries, compressors, tracked diggers and jackhammers at the bottom of the drive is a head splitting experience for sure! To add to the carnage we had a burst water main at the bottom of our road which stopped all of the gas works due to risk of flooding! This meant we had two four hour stints without water as the pipes were encased in Asbestos Concrete so the crews had to wear what looked like full NBC suits - it looked something like the setting for a doomsday/apocalypse  movie! To cap it all today Laurel is out with a friend and will be unable to get back into our road for at least another hour as there are yet more holes being dug and pipes being laid. All essential works but tedious to endure all the same.

The bound copies of the rules, scenarios and the magazine compendium - soon to be installed in a folder. The original are in pristine and unread condition

The front of the box….

….and the back.

“Some are born to a project, some achieve a project after diligent application and reasoned argument whilst others have projects thrust upon them. This is the way.”

Anyways, on to the good stuff.

You may recall that I received amongst the batch of boardgames I recently purchased - most of which are now winging their way to their new homes - that I had two standalone expansions for the Flying Colours: Age of Sail fleet action series. The two cover the South American Wars of the early 19th century and the Russian Navy in action in the Baltic and the Black Sea and Mediterranean. After having decided that I would keep these two it only remained for me to (re)purchase the base game which includes the British, French, Spanish, Dutch and Danes. I say “repurchase” as I have owned a copy of this previously, back in 2020 but, for a variety of reasons now lost in the mists of time, I disposed of it. Well, a quick trawl through eBay later I am now the proud owner of a pristine and unpunched copy of the base game with a whole pile of extras included in the price and at a really good price - in fact less than half the RRP!

The two expansions

The customary ‘back of the box’ shot

The extras included in the game are bound copies of the rule book, the scenario book and also a compendium of scenarios from the C3i magazine. The original versions are unused as the chap selling must have obtained these copies to use rather than the originals - very handy indeed and will be going into a folder shortly. There are also additional copies of the main play sheets as well a series of national gunnery charts designed for use during the American Revolution or earlier. I am not sure where these came from but I can only assume that these reflect naval gunnery as being less efficient than during the Napoleonic Wars. 

So I now have three age of sail boardgames to play around with (and about a gazillion counters to punch out) which is a project I always intended to look at only not just yet and certainly not as widely! Still, you can’t always get what you want but sometimes, you might find, just what you need….

A campaign system would by nice to go with this and so lo and behold, on the recommendation of that well known naval rule author and all round good egg, Mr David Manley, I have also managed to score a copy of 1805 - a boardgame that covers the naval warfare during the Napoleonic Wars at a strategic level - in other words, a useful campaign scenario generator.

Joking aside the total cost of this project that has been thrust upon me is a little over £50 for which I have four pristine quality boardgames and more ships than I could shake a large stick at.

A wise man once said, buckle up, it’s gonna be a wild ride!

(That is because I thinking about models for this….)

Friday 4 August 2023

Boardgames Old and New

These were games for sale - there are now only three left

Four ‘bonus’ games - really pleased with all of them and I remember playing Sirocco ‘back in the day’ - in this case the mid to late 1980s!

Of the four I was originally looking at only the two Tank Duels and Seas of Thunder are in the box above - Dark Sands I have sold. Note the two Flying Colours expansions

Some time ago I picked up a copy of the Columbia Games block based board game Combat Infantry, the WW2 squad level game of tactical battles set in 1944 in north west Europe. It features the US and Germans and a further volume (which I have yet to get) covers the eastern front from 1941 to 1945. I picked this up from a chap that lives around twenty minutes from that was working through the disposal of his father’s collection. At the time he had a huge selection of mint, unopened and unplayed military board games covering everything from Command and Colours Ancients through to modern ‘Cold War turned hot’ actions. For a curious reason the vast majority of these games were produced the American games company GMT.

His father had connections with a number of gaming companies and indeed, helped out at a number of the big American game conventions back in the day, hence the GMT angle - he has advised them on multiple occasions that his father is no longer around but games still arrive occasionally with the latest being Under the Southern Cross. He believes that this avenue is now closed but will let me know if anything else turns up!

Two standalone expansions for Flying Colours - the age of sail fleet action boar game

And the back of the boxes - I wish I still had the base game so a swift trawl of the net may be in order!

The chap’s father also had a huge collection of role playing material - that was his main passion - along several thousand vinyl albums from his days of being a DJ during the 1980s.

Anyways, after much thought and consideration I asked him to set aside a couple (in fact four - call it a kind of mission creep….) for collection at a later date as I was engaged in raising some gaming finances. Where possible I try and finance my hobby myself in that I tend to sell stuff off to buy new stuff as the mood takes me. This is probably why my collection is relatively modest in size!

The day of collection was drawing near and still his list of games showed little sign of diminishing, despite his advertising them in various places. I had offered to help him with the disposals but he seemed happy to ‘wait it out’ until they went although when his personal circumstances changed it then became rather more urgent. The prices he was asking for the games were very modest and considering all were in unplayed and unpunched condition there were some real bargains to be had. As I had been in regular contact with him he came to me with a price for the whole lot - again very modest but still a big chunk of money to lay out. I wrestled with the idea of this for a couple of weeks but, after a few disposals had a sufficient war chest to ‘pull the trigger’.

So I did.

On Wednesday I collected four boxes of board games - thirty in all - which included the four I was after and some extras he threw in for good measure. He admitted that virtually all of these games were free in that they were sent to his father as review or goodwill copies which is why he could be very modest in the prices he charged but he now needed the space as they were clearing out his father’s house and for a variety of reasons could not spend the time sorting through stuff for selling. As he observed there are bargains to be had!

He mentioned that his father also played a lot of DBA and similar in 25mm and had a substantial number of painted armies and boxes of unpainted figures which he had yet to get to but willet me know when he does. Then there are books, rules and all the usual gaming paraphernalia one accumulates. He wants to sell it but will do so cheaply so that it goes to them that will appreciate it rather than ending up in landfill.

There will be more to come from this for sure but for now I am content to handle the board game side.

Of the 30 games collected I have sold 19 which has covered my initial outlay and then some meaning that the games I wanted were in effect free of charge. Of the remaining 11 there are 3 that are still up for grabs meaning that my collection has grown by 8 games that have not cost me a bean other than the time spent to list on various Facebook groups and then the packing and posting - which, along with some disposals from Eric’s collection - will take up pretty much all of this weekend!

More on the games I am keeping when I eventually get around to cracking them open.

An Apology

For the record I should point out that usually I would post of any disposals on here first of all but in this case time was of the essence as I needed to get the funds back in the Imperial coffers with all speed.

What a week!

Tuesday 1 August 2023

Napoleonic Flights of Fancy

Six bags of Napoleonic goodies

A short while ago Bob Cordery was getting a supply of the hard plastic figures used in the US version of the board game Risk. These are also the figures that were available in the Napoleon’s Wars series of board games produced by Worthington Games. When he asked if I wanted to ‘piggy back’ off his order I jumped at the chance and so the figures duly arrived yesterday morning.

Infantry, cavalry and the rather heavy looking artillery piece

They come in six colours and there are sixty pieces in each pack - twelve cannons, twelve cavalrymen and thirty six infantry. More than enough for a Portable Wargame style set up with an ‘imagi-nation’ style twist. I have no immediate plans for these chaps but it is good to have them in store so to speak. 

The figures are very generic looking with both the cavalry and the infantry sporting what looks like a stovepipe style shako. Definitely suitable for any purist offending wargamer to use!