Wargame Rules

I have set up this blog for my wargaming interests in the Muscovite-Tartar Wars, Reconquista Wars, the Barbary Coast Pirates, and the early campaigns of the Ottoman Turks and Saracens. Some lesser known crusades will also be covered. All miniatures are 28mm scale, if my photographs serve to encourage others to complete their collections I shall be pleased. I will also be mentioning other sites with interesting collections on the above. Do join the 'Friends' if you like what you see.

I prefer to use my own rules which are kept simple and involve eight-sided dice. These allow for fast results with various types of weaponry. Morale dominates my games.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

More Muscovite/Cossack Cavalry completed

A recent Ebay purchase furnished me with 37 Essex-made Cuman, Pecheneg, Byzantine, and other tribal figures, supplied with 28 suitable horses. The whole lot delivered came to £35, a real bargain. Only one mounted figure turned out to be a lost cause, and two horses needed paint stripping. Most of the others were bare metal, and in excellent condition. The Pechenegs have now been painted up and based, and have received a Cossack banner with an appropriate design of a composite bow. These figures are really quite useful, they can serve as Balkan tribes, Byzantine allies, early Cossacks, medieval Hungarians, the list goes on. Several more Byzantine and armoured Arabs have been drafted into the Muscovite Boyar horse archers, and they now muster two units of eight. All these figures are based as skirmishers. MGB

Saturday, 10 November 2018

54MM TOY KNIGHTS, Crescent, Timpo, Britains, and Chinese

I've had some real success, and pleasure researching the history behind some very old 54mm toy knights. Some time ago I purchased a bag of common CHINESE plastic knights. To be honest, I did not think much of them, while the sergeants were fair, the fully armoured were poor, and all needed additional basing. So I decided to purchase, off Ebay, some 1970s BRITAINS, to form the basis of a gift to my Grandnephew, Young Oliver. Now the latter castings arrived needing new weapons fortunately, replacements are available. Job done! Subsequently, in a charity shop, I purchased a single plastic knight for 20p. This turned out to be a 1960s SOLID TIMPO, and I really enjoyed restoring this figure. Also picked up for a total of 80p two lead mounted knights, and I could tell these were old. They are CRESCENT figures and date to the early 1950s. I will only carry out a slight restoration, where necessary, as these are very rare. Well, I've painted and based the best of the CHINESE figures, and they aren't bad, I will add them to the superb BRITAINS. And now, having just arrived, a box of twenty 1960s CRESCENT plastic knights seeking restoration. For reasons unknown, I was the only bidder and picked them up for a delivered total of £5, they normally go for somewhat more. This has been a fun diversion from my 28mm war-games figures, and I love giving the painted a gloss varnish. Note, BRITAINS, CRESCENT, and SOLID TIMPO were all made in England. MGB
PHOTOS: 1. BRITAINS 2. SOLID TIMPO restored 3. SOLID TIMPO original 4. CRESCENT lead 5. CHINESE painted sergeants 6. CHINESE painted knight 7. CRESCENT plastic

Friday, 2 November 2018

The Ebay Horse Archers are Prepared

Work on completing the recent Ebay purchase has started well due to the very little flash on these Essex figures. Most had no flash whatsoever and only faint mould lines. Unfortunately, the painted horses did have some tough resin-like glue on their bases and also where the saddle would have been affixed. Removing this stuff led to some bare metal and I was obliged to spray prime these areas, but these horses are now looking good. Not bad for a single day's work. Looking through the horses, I can now assess which looks best with what figures. And I can also see how these castings will form new units, or be drafted into others. The Cuman helmeted figures came with a sock holding two throwing spears, I won't need these weapons for my planned Lesser Boyars (sixteen strong) but nor will I put them in the melting pot as they will be easy to convert into useful quivers. The Pechenegs will become Cossack horse archers (mustering twelve) and the Ebay purchase included enough step ponies for this unit. The remaining eleven figures have all found homes in some of my established cavalry formations, being able to draw on spare horses already painted and based. MGB
As a footnote, I spotted these two lead 54mm medieval knights in a charity shop toy bin, costing only 40p each. I believe they date back to the 1950s or even earlier. Would like to find out more about these figures before any decisions on whether to restore them, its a project for the future. MGB

Monday, 29 October 2018


I've had some real success on Ebay recently. Picked up a load of Essex figures and horses for the delivered total of £35. The figures are a mixture of Cumans, Pechenegs, and a few heavily armoured Byzantines and arabs. They came with a full range of horses, many of which arrived with some enhancing paintwork. In my estimation, the Pechenegs would not look out of place as early Cossack horse archers, while the armoured Cumans will make some useful Muscovite Druzhina or lesser Boyars. Some of the others can serve as standard bearers, or drafted into my Tartar horde. MGB

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Asquith's Cuirassiers

My latest acquisition is somewhat distinct from previous purchases. Costing £23.00 from a seller on Ebay, I have just picked up this small unit of 17th century cuirassiers. These will now serve as Swedish or Muscovite cavalry, as required. Now I have no intention of repainting or altering these 'Warrior?'castings as they were previously part of Stuart Asquith's collection. I've been inspired since the 1970s by this gentleman's wargaming books and articles, I even briefly corresponded with him in the 1980s, so I am VERY pleased to now have this unit of cavalry in my collection. MGB

Sunday, 7 October 2018

The Preobrazhenski Guards, 1st Moscow, and Novgorod Streltsy

Some new recruits for the Tsar are now ready for service. In their green coats are the Preobrazhenski Guards c.1700, still wearing streltsy type uniforms. The 1st Moscow Streltsy have gained an additional twelve figures, making a total of thirty (1,500 men). Some spare figures have been formed into a small garrison unit and given light-red coats, they carry a Novgorod flag. While the blue streltsy unit continues as a baggage guard, they have now received a Pskov flag. This makes seven streltsy regiments for the field army with a further two smaller units serving in a reserve capacity. Surely now there is enough to take on the Tartar-Ottoman alliance. MGB

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Field Day for My Muscovite Mercenaries (or Swedish?)

Although a fair number of figures have been recently completed I will only post them up when their flags have been issued. Pleased to have completed eighteen musketeers for my second 'German' regiment serving the Muscovite State. Being mercenaries, however, you will not be surprised to know I have some alternative command bases (just waiting for their flags), so these two regiments might just find themselves serving the King of Sweden. What do you expect, they are mercenaries! Also, my Muscovite baggage train has gained an artillery limber, and several civilian drivers have been newly employed. MGB