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Wargame Rules and I

I began wargaming many years ago. I started with the venerable Chainmail set by TSR. When those rules were no longer readable (due to frequent paging and re-reading), we moved on to the Battlesystem rules (also by TSR) and, of course, Warhammer. I began my Warhammer gaming on the old 3rd Edition set, the one with the three seperate booklets.

Due to various pressures I then dropped out of wargaming for a while, and rejoined the hobby (guided by Mike Schubert) as my local club (the Pretoria Wargames Club) were making the switch from WRG 6th Edition with its individually based 25mm figures to WRG 7th Edition with element-based 15mm figures. Mike got me back into gaming by convincing me that I needed an army of my own to play DBA against him. My first choice was a Marian Roman army (DBA 46, as I recall), as I'd just seen Spartacus again. Of course, as the basing was identical WRG 7th, it was a logical step to get some extra figures and build this out to a full WRG army. Being a little obsessive-compulsive, I had to have all the figures that the options of that list allowed. I built up a few more armies, including a full Southern Sung Chinese army and also a full Hundred Years' War English army (OK, actually a Cormyrean army- based on a Forgotten Realms fantasy kingdom's army). Then, for some reason I have yet to fathom, the entire group and affiliated clubs moved to the Daft Bloody Mess rules.

Now, I'm not really bothered by many things, but having to re-base the majority of a full Chinese army (3 keyboard boxes' worth) because someone decided that the troops were LMI instead of MI struck me as being a totally useless gesture (hey, I'd just gotten used to my 'table's-edge-to-table's-edge Chinese wall of spearmen backed with archers, and I'm rather slow to learn new tactics) and, as I was stuck with a bunch of useless armies, I sold the entire lot (bar one army) off. I also vowed off DBX (the generic name for all products related to DBM, DBA and HotT, as well as DBR).

When I happened to see an article in the current Wargames Illustrated about a version of Warhammer that was based on history rather than fantasy near an advert for Gripping Beast El Cid-era Spanish, I threw myself into that wholeheartedly. I placed an order for the Spanish and the new Warhammer Ancient Battles rulebook and managed to convince some of the other guys that this was a good thing. They followed suit. Unfortunately there were no real army lists available, so we had to write some. As I was the "WAB- guru", it fell to me. After having written some lists, I spotted an advert on the web announcing FALCON- the "First Army List Contest". Although I was right at the end of the entry- period, my entries for Spanish, Andalusians and Moors were accepted, and I won a copy of AoA signed by the Perry twins and Jervis Johnson (still a treasured book although it has been largely superseded by the various supplements that have been released since its publication).

After I moved to the UK in February 2000, I sort of dropped out of gaming a little (I'd arrived in a strange country and didn't know anyone, and needed to establish myself), but once I re-entered the wargaming scene, I renewed acquaintance with members of the WABlist, and got to play games against Stephen Patten (author of Shieldwall) and James Morris (author of El Cid). I struck up some memorable friendships on this list, but found something lacking from WAB. Possibly it was the fact that most of the players tend to be very competitive? I'm personally more interested in a fun game than winning first place at a competition, and have even less interest in rules-lawyering, and when Jeff Stuckey announced that he was going to work on a viable alternative to WAB, I managed to get involved with the group- calling the game Battlestandard Ancient Rules or BAR but left when I had a problem with all my various commitments.

I got involved with the playtesting of Blitzkrieg Commander (BKC) shortly after this, then re-joined the BAR group, where I got involved in the final part of the playtesting and editing. I'm fortunate enough to have credits in both books.

I've also been involved (albeit less than with BAR or BKC) with the development of Aetherverse by Triskele Designs, and have a credit in that.


I also managed to have another dream come true: I made the masters for the SdKfz 250/1 and SdKfz 250/9 produced by Bolt Action Miniatures, and have completed Jagdpanzer Hetzer too.

I have also been approached by a few other enterprises to do the odd master for them.

Rules Tinkering

Another facet of this hobby is "adjusting" rules to suit whatever period I feel like playing. I wrote a free Colonial conversion based on Slammer, available from Amazon Miniatures in the downloads section.

I'm currently hard at work reworking the Babylon's Burning rules from Hetzerdog Designs to WW2, which should be ready for release eventually (HD is currently on hiatus) under the name Reap the Whirlwind.

On the back-burner is an original set of ancients rules (as yet untitled) I'm writing, which have a few twists of my own. I also have a WW2 skirmish system and several other variations on hold.

Collecting Miniatures

& Scenery

Hmmmmmmm. That's a sore point with my wife. She feels I have too much in my collection. 'course, any wargamer'll tell you that, as long as you have unpainted miniatures, you're not going to die. I think, based on my current rate of painting, I might be around for the next hundred and fifty years or so...

My collection currently consists of more Normans, Moors and Byzantines than you can shake a stick at (a running joke is that I can do the Norman invasion of Sicily in 1:1 in 25mm), these being a mixture of Old Glory, Crusader, Gripping Beast, Perry Miniatures, Black Tree Design and Musketeer Miniatures, with some other odds athrown in for good measure.

The other period I'm into is the first half of the 20th century, which is where this site come into it. I had some (BAM or Black Tree Design?)figures, but wasn't sure what would fit with them. When I received some West Wind figures, I was horrified at the difference. After shopping about on the web, I only found one site that even came close to showing a comparison of manufacturers' offerings. I hijacked the idea, with the twist that on my site you can choose which figures to see next to which ones, and started e-mailing and buying miniatures...

Cartoon Me
'n this is is what I look like, if you're interested.

Name: Olaf
Occupation: software tester
Age: 40+
Hair Colour: black, going grey
Free / Taken: happily married
Fav RPG Games: AD&D 2nd Ed, Star Frontiers
Fav Board Games: probably Hour of Glory (Warmacre)
Fav Movies: The Indiana Jones series, the original Star Wars series
Fav Books: depends on what I'm reading
Fav Miniatures Game: WAB
Do you paint Miniatures: yup
Fav Miniatures Scale: the one, true scale- 28mm and 1:56th
Fav Card Games: none
Fav Artist: ?
Location: East Sussex, UK
Like to GM: not really, but I will if needs be
Best nights of the week to play games: Fridays?
Fitness level: considering my injuries- good
Purpose in Life: having fun!
Quote: ...
Any Family/Kids: just my better half, a cat and a kitten...
Controversial Dislikes: too many to list

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