My name is Tim Simmons. I have been a fan of toy soldiers since Primary school in the 1960s.. I collected Swoppit knights and Timpo cowboys before discovering Airfix HO-OO figures. My cousin and I made up rules to fight battles between British Grenadiers and Washington's Army, rolling marbles to kill the enemy. In 1970 my Dad bought me Rules for Wargames by Arthur Taylor, my first real wargames set. From then until now most of my leisure time has been dedicated to one aspect or another of military history and wargaming.
Over the years, my main interests have been the Napoleonic Wars, the War of Spanish Succession, Hellenistic warfare, Renaissance Warfare in Eastern Europe, the American Civil War and World War 2. I have played against many opponents but my most constant enemy and dear friend since 1982 is Keith, a military historian who to my mind combines the three qualities of interest in the history, desire for a good game and fondness for fine beer and food. I genuinely don't mind losing to him, which is just as well because he has a killer instinct on the wargames table.
In the late 1990s my sons and I discovered Games Workshop. For several years we collected and played with lots of Warhammer and 40K armies, as well as Epic, Necromunda, Blood Bowl and Mordheim. One son became an ace player and the other got steadily more interested in the modelling. We don't collect the figures any more but we still run our armies out occasionally and always have a good game.
I will play just about any game that my wargaming group arranges, but i most enjoy games set in periods that I have read something about. I especially enjoy researching and writing scenarios and have written several, including for the Leipzig campaign of 1813; Gettysburg 1863; First Bull Run 1862; Ukraine 1660; and Ramillies 1706.
I keep dabbling with rules writing, mainly for the Renaissance and Marlborough's Wars as I have yet to find a convincing commercial set for either period.
Rules I have played over the years, in order of discovery, include:
Arthur Taylor, Rules for Wargames
Bruce Quarrie, Airfix Napoleonic rules followed by his set published by Patrick Stephens Limited.
Donald Featherstone, Battles with Model Soldiers
WRG, 6th edition and DBA*
Tabletop Games, Shock of Impact
Hoplite Warfare and Hellenistic Warfare, by Adams and Clarke
Dodo Publications' Rules for the ECW
The Courier, On to Richmond*
Avalon Hill, Napoleon's Battles*
Frank Chadwick, Volley & Bayonet
Warhammer* (several editions but not the Sigmar version)
Warhammer 40k* (several editions)
Sam Mustafa, Grande Armee
Warhammer Historical, Kampfgruppe Normandy*
Great Escape Games. Dead Man's Hand*
Warlord Games, Pike & Shotte
Polkovnik publications, Sword and Spear*
Warlord, Bolt Action*
Simon Miller, To the Strongest*
L'Art de la Guerre*
Simon Miller and Andrew Bentall, For King and Parliament*
Chain of Command, Too Fat Lardies*
What a Tanker, Too Fat Lardies*
* still playing the rules
Figures collected, in order of discovery (* still playing with them)
Airfix plastic 20mm Napoleonics*
Heroics & Ros 6mm Napoleonics*
Heroics & Ros 1/300 WWII
Minifigs 25mm Ancient Greeks and Macedonians*
Minifigs 15mm Carthaginians*
Lancashire Games 15mm Renaissance Poles and Muscovites*
Minifigs 15mm ACW
Games Workshop Warhammer and 40k*
Various makers, 20mm plastic Napoleonics*
Combat miniatures, PSC and Armourfast, 20mm WWII British and Germans*
Fire and Sword, 15mm 17th century*
Various makers, 28mm Wild West*
Kallistra 10/12mm ACW*
First Corps 25mm Ancients*
Warlord Bolt Action 28mm*
Black Tree Design Ancients and WWII*
Newline 25/8mm Ancients*
Periods often played but never collected
French Indian Wars
15mm WWII (Flames of War)
The map has the following features:
Named towns (large dot)
Named villages (small dot)
Numbered farms (spotted dot)
Forest hexes. Each patch of forest is lettered for identification purposes.
Main roads (dark brown)
Minor roads (tan)
Railway line (black)
Open hexes. Although ‘open’, these still represent farmland with fields and hedges, streams and ditches.
Hex rows are labelled with letters. Individual hexes are identified by counting away from the left of the row containing the letter (including part hexes). Thus, La Redoute is in hex E7; Saint Michel de Livet is in hex J3.
Each player has various assets, including fighting men and women, vehicles, technical resources and bases. As the campaign is under way at present I am not listing all of these on the website yet. But examples include
German infantry section with Opel lorry
Active Maquis cell
Sleeping Maquis cell
Every turn, each player receives a briefing on events in the previous turn, along with one or more tasks for the turn ahead.
A turn is not a fixed period of time but an episode in which something happens. Each turn, the players will receive a briefing on the situation and should then issue orders to their assets to allow them to deal with the current challenge. Play is similar to a Dungeons and Dragons approach: they will not be constrained by mechanical rules although these exist in the umpire’s set. The umpire will try to carry out the players’ instructions and will report the outcome at the end of the turn.
That said, the players are given some guidelines:
Lorries can reach anywhere on the map using the road net. Their passengers can then disembark and move on foot. I will presume that lorry-borne units will return to base at the end of the turn unless a player orders them to stay in another village or town. The gas powered lorries risk breaking down but otherwise are the same as the Opel lorries.
The Steyr heavy car and kübelwagen can reach anywhere on the map, not just on the road net.
Troops on foot may walk up to 4 open hexes, either from their base or from the point where a vehicle has transported them. I will presume they will return to base at the end of the turn unless a player orders them to stay in another hex (troops on foot can bivouac in non-urban hexes).
The tank can travel up to 12 hexes in a turn and will end the turn where it has been sent (ie it won’t return to base at turn’s end). It derives no benefit from roads.
Players may issue contingency orders, for example to lie in ambush or to look out for a signal and then take another action..