Monday 21 December 2020

Last Post of the Year


Well what a strange and difficult year this has been. Other than the lack of shows and wargaming opportunities, the hobby seems to have continued with some vigour. I suppose unlike many team sports, we can all bury ourselves away in various projects, waiting for the day we can get it all back on the table and enjoying it again. Obviously the Seelow Heights book has taken up a lot of my time, but I haven't been idle on other fronts, with more AWI and Napoleonic units added, which I will post on next year. I have also been busy with new terrain features, again more anon.

All Seelow Heights orders received to date have been posted, will get any others off after the holidays.  Once again, many thanks to everyone that has bought a copy. Simon's Soldiers in Australia will be carrying the book "Down Under"; the first consignment is on its way. Dave Ryan at Caliver Books will also be stocking it.

Another thing I am hoping to do early next year is to post a series of notes on the Seelow Heights book, outlining some of the thinking behind the various scenarios and special rules.

Well, that is it for 2020. Let's hope for better in the coming year. Take care and best wishes.


Tuesday 15 December 2020

Arrived at Last.

Well they did arrive more or less on time - 200 shiny new copies. Will get the pre-orders off in the next day or two. If anyone would like a copy, please let me know. See the previous post for details of how to order.

Nations In Arms: The Seelow Heights: Preview Copies. (

For those readers Down Under, Simon (of Simon's Soldiers), will be stocking the book and able to send it to you far more cheaply and easily than I can. I will hopefully be getting them off to him shortly. Thanks to those who have supported this little venture by buying the book; I hope you enjoy it.

Friday 11 December 2020

Well What A Surprise!!


The printer's assured me I would have the 200 copies on Thursday, which slipped to Friday (no problem). It now appears that due to Christmas or Covid or Brexit, or possibly a combination of all 3, they will now arrive on Tuesday afternoon. Sorry about that. For those of you who have pre-ordered it shouldn't matter as sending by 1st Class signed for seems to get them through to people (in the UK at least) in a couple of days, so you should have them well before Christmas - another hostage to fortune? Let's hope not. 

Should you wish to pre-order, I will get it in the post within 1 day of the books arriving.

Thank you to all those of you that have bought a copy - it is much appreciated. I will post again once the books have arrived.

Best wishes


Monday 7 December 2020

The Seelow Heights: Preview Copies.

Well here it is (at last!) It has been a long haul, but worth it, now it is finally done. Never having used this particular printer before, I ordered 20 pre-production copies just in case. I needn't have worried, they have done a good job. I have now ordered another 200, which should be here by Friday 10 December. This means that I can get them out in time for Christmas (a few people have asked). If you would like a copy delivered by Santa, I can take advanced orders now; that way, I can write up the envelopes and, as soon as they arrive, pop them in the post. Otherwise, I will post again when the reinforcements arrive.

Cost is £18.50 + £4.00 1st Class (Signed For) Postage and Packing for inland customers. Payment can be made via PAYPAL to my email address:


I am hopeful that I will soon have a distributor for customers "Down Under", which will save on the horrendous postage costs involved!!

To anyone who buys a copy, thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy it. 

Wednesday 25 November 2020

The Seelow Heights: A Sample Page

Here is a sample page from the forthcoming book. Hopefully it gives a clearer idea of the format and general look of the thing. I must admit that the experts I got in to help with the technical stuff have really come up trumps and I am very pleased with the finished article. For the eagle-eyed among you, the captions are still the Latin "blanks" as this page was produced before the actual captions were inserted, although this has now (just) been done.

This is scenario number 10: "Breakthrough at Diedersdorf" and is my favourite. It is one of the two "large" games in the book and represents the fighting on the penultimate day as the Soviet 8th Guards and 1st Guards Tank Armies try and force the pace along Reichstrasse 1 - the most direct route to Berlin.

This last weekend has been taken up with proof reading; my wife, who is both meticulous with detail and an expert at pointing out my faults, has spotted a few little inconsistencies of style and one or two grammatical bloopers. I will give it one final read through and then I think I have done all I can. Hopefully we should be off to the printers in a couple of weeks. If all goes well, Santa should have time to deliver! It has been a long haul, but nearly there now and I must admit, it does look nice. Will post again when the book is available.

Monday 2 November 2020

The Seelow Heights: A Taster.

Final photoshoot is done and managed to get some nice ones I think.

Just got this back from my sister-in-law who is doing the design work for me. It is definitely starting to come together.

She has unfortunately suffered from a terminally ill computer, which needs replacing. This might hold things up for a week or two. Other than that, things are progressing nicely. Just need to drop in the photos, design the inside  rear cover and insert the captions. After that, more proof reading!!

Here is another photo that didn't make the final cut.

Tuesday 13 October 2020

The Seelow Heights: A Progress Report.

Proof reading is continuing. This is perhaps the hardest bit as after a while you start to see what you expect to see, rather than what is there. Hopefully nothing of importance will slip through. About two-thirds of the photos are done and I must admit, I am pretty pleased with them. Old wargaming friend John Smith, of Leeds Wargames Club (of FIASCO fame) has done a lovely job and his professional advice has been invaluable. Here is another of his efforts which will probably not make the final book, at least not in this form.

I am pretty pleased with the scenarios too. I think they should provide interesting and playable games, giving the Germans a realistic chance. One of the main premises is that whilst the Germans are clearly going to lose the war, the urgency for the Soviets comes not from the final result, but whether they can win quickly; Marshal Zhukov was terrified that his old rival, Marshal Koniev, would beat him to Berlin. As a result he imposed a punishing and highly optimistic timetable on his troops and subordinate commanders, leading to some serious reverses and horrific casualties. This, as much as the German opposition and awkward terrain give the Soviet players plenty to think about.

Still looking good for a November release so fingers crossed!

Tuesday 29 September 2020

The Seelow Heights 16-19 April 1945. A Wargamer's Guide

This is the first post for an exciting project that I have been working at on and off for the last 3 years or so. As readers of this blog may remember, I did a demo game on this subject at Partizan some while back (see under labels) and have retained a real interest in this final Soviet offensive on the Eastern Front. As I read more about it, I started to think that it would make a really interesting wargaming guide, in the style of the popular and lovely campaign books produced by Colin and Richard of Rapid Fire fame. Over the last few months I have started to push the project along and it is now within sight of the finishing post.

So what will it be like. Well I have enlisted the help of technical people who know what they are doing to help with the layout and photography - from the early drafts that I have, it should look lovely. It will be a glossy A4 production with fully illustrated front and rear covers (inside and out) and 56 internal pages. There are 12 scenarios, between 3 and 6 pages each, plus plenty of hopefully interesting background information. Each scenario will be supported by specially commissioned maps and full colour photos. There are also lots of additional rules and amendments to the basic Rapid Fire set, which hopefully capture some of the characteristics of the operation.

Although the orders of battle are expressed in Rapid Fire terms (we have used these rules ever since they first came out), they can easily be amended for other rule sets. A couple of the games are quite large and would suit a day long club game, the majority though are suitable for a typical 3-4 hour evening bash.

Here are three of the photos that didn't make the team (at least in this form).

Well I think that is about it for now. As the project nears completion (I am hoping to publish in November), I will put more information on the blog. Keep popping back to check or "Follow" the blog if you aren't doing so already. Hopefully you will find it of interest. If you have any questions, you can contact me at

Thursday 2 July 2020

Napoleonic Russian Cavalry

A little short of Russian cavalry at the moment; only have a single "standard" dragoon regiment, with another under paint and a brigade of Mark Allen mercenaries in the form of 2 regiments of Kurassiers. Again these came in 16s so had to stretch them a bit to fill the six bases. Lovely and chunky old Foundry figures with Mark's hand painted flags.

Did these dragoons some time ago and only had 17 figures on hand. Cheated a bit with one of the bases (see the last photo). Quite like adding a bit of extra detail to the bases occasionally - a bit of fencing or some standing water.

Perry figures with GMB flag. Should have the 2nd regiment done soon and also have a 24 man (large) hussar unit about half done. Will probably add a second in time, along with a lancer and a couple of small Cossack regiments.

Wednesday 3 June 2020

Napoleonic Russian Infantry

Again these units have been upgraded from 24s to 32s for use with General d'Armee. However with these 32 man battalions I have used 3 bases of 8 and 2 bases of 4 so that I can represent 24 figure "small" battalions as well as 32 figure "standard" battalions using an even number of bases (4) so I can form neater looking attack columns. I think the chunkier looking 32 figure battalions do look nicer, although having to paint those extra figures is a bit of a chore. Still, once it is done, it is done and the result, for me, is worth it. Only have a couple of jaeger battalions at the moment - am looking to increase that to 6 eventually. All figures are Foundry and the flags GMB.

Next up are 3 battalions of grenadiers, each 32 strong (made up from 4 earlier 24 man units). Again they are based in 8s and 4s. I also have a couple of battalions of Mark Allen Pavlovs to varnish and re-base when I can get round to it. they will also double as Guards from 1813.

Below are 16 bases of skirmishers. In General d'Armee, the Russians usually get a lower allocation of these, so this will probably be all that I will need. They are based in threes as per the rules, so that on the third casualty a base can be removed from the table - this is the only figure removal in the game. These are all Perry Miniatures.

Lastly the bulk of the infantry - 9 musketeer battalions, all 32 figures strong. Would like to add another 3 in due course. Foundry figures with GMB flags.

I have a couple of batteries of artillery and command bases to finish off. That done, I should have enough to play a reasonable sized game. After all this time, it will be great to get them on the table.

Monday 18 May 2020

Napoleonic French Command

I almost always paint my own figures, but as I also do this for a living, I don't often make the progress I would like on my own stuff (no, really?). I therefore dip into the transfer market from time to time, if I can find something that moves my collections on a little. Such was the case with these little beauties. All they needed was a little TLC, varnishing and re-basing. Result: one less job for me to do.

All by the talented Mark Allen. Next up probably Russians, although a few French reinforcements are also on the way.

Tuesday 28 April 2020

Napoleonic French Infantry

I am a fair bit further back with my infantry arm, only 3 standard (36 figure) light infantry battalions and 3 small (24 figure) line battalions. The lights first featured on this blog almost 10 years ago (!!) in their first iteration as 24 man units. All I have managed to do is bring them up to strength. Not great progress in a decade. Ah well. Better late than never.

The 3 line battalions I decided to leave as 24s in order to get some units on the table - with my rate of progress, probably a good idea. I do at least have another couple of battalions of 36 painted, awaiting basing. Just about enough for a game. Figures are mainly Perry metal, with a few plastics thrown in.

At the moment I have no artillery or skirmishers done, so that is the next priority. I do however have some very nice Mark Allen command bases, which will feature in the next post.