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.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Russian Boyars with banner of St.George (1350-1550)

Here is my third unit of Muscovite Boyars. I have decided to allow myself out-of-scale banners for this army, the potential of using icon images is too appealing and it deserves a larger rendition. This first banner is of St.George, sure to have another with the more usual 'slaying a dragon' image. Have also made some progress on sixteen Cossacks but I must raise a few 18th century figures for a coming battle. MGB

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Akinji and Ghazi Horse Archers (Ottoman)

For many years my Ottoman collection could only muster six Turkic 'irregular' horse archers. This has now changed with the original unit of Akinji being drafted into two new formations: a medium armoured Ghazi unit of eight, and a light Akinji unit of six, soon to be eight. With twenty-four Tartars also at my disposal, this section of the army is now suitably represented. Figures are 28mm Hinchliffe, Essex, and The Assault Group. MGB

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Russian Boyar Cavalry (1350-1550)

Two more units of Russian Boyars are ready for the wargames table. The figures are Hinchliffe. Those with the large heater shield are listed as Lithuanian Boyars and came with an embossed emblem. As I prefer to paint my own designs, it was not difficult to file the shield flat. As previous entries have mentioned, these figures are to cover a wide period of service. With their lance pennants added, I'm pleased with the general appearance. MGB

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Russian Druzhina or Lesser Boyars (1350-1550)

Have been painting up 18th century figures over the last two months, to use in several recent wargames. Its only during the last two weeks that I've had time to return to my Winter Project; to raise 100 Medieval Russians, or Muscovites. The time spent has been quite productive, and I will be shortly uploading more photos of several cavalry units. My first are some Lesser Boyars, that can also serve as Druzhina (Medieval Retinue). The figures are Hinchliffe but I have added shields to increase their protection in actions against the Tartars. MGB

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Muscovite Archers (Hinchliffe)

Have recently completed my first unit of medieval Russians. This will form part of a collection that will muster no more than 100 figures. They are to cover a fairly wide period 14-15th centuries, and some will occasionally serve with a later force of largely streltsy, which will number a further 100 figures. The collection will operate against my Tartars and Ottomans, but I am also thinking the earlier types could easily pass as Orthodox medieval armies in the Balkans , again fighting the Ottomans. The figures are Hinchliffe and arrived quite clean and tidy. I will be adding some TAG miniatures for greater diversity and to provide artillery crews. MGB

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Tartar Horse Archers, PAINTED & READY

Well here are the twenty-four Tartar horse archers finally painted and based. I have issued two flags influenced by those thought to have been used by the Tartars of Kazan. Some historians have suggested that the dragon is a Russian distortion of a winged snake, the latter does have some historical links to the legends of the founding of their khanate. The figures are mainly Hinchliffe but I have added some Essex Miniatures to some spare horses for variation. All are on larger bases to confirm they are irregular raiding cavalry, and they can operate in bands of six, eight or twelve. These figures will also serve with my Ottomans, providing a much needed element to their army. MGB
NB.The flag renditions are taken from the excellent CRW FLAGS website for purposes of research.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Acemi Oglan Troops (Ottomans)

Here is my just completed unit of trainee Janissaries, or Azamoglami, drawn from the Acemi Oglan school. The figures are Hinchliffe with TAG officers and I'm quite pleased with how they have turned out. The castings were also very clean and tidy to work with. As I already have a fair number of Ottomans with firearms I may restrict this unit to garrison service (siege games), there is some evidence they occasionally carried out police duties. Contemporary paintings and prints show members in a uniform coat colour, usually blue, or a multi-range of coat colours. I think a uniform-issue coat seems quite probable if only for financial advantages. MGB

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Ottoman Wargaming News

Dave Watson of Balkan Military History (see links) has just posted a nice little article on the Serbian Uprising of 1815. It includes several photos of Steve Barber figures serving as Balkan irregulars. Robbie Rodiss of Wargaming the Borgias (see links) has recently uploaded a fair number of photos of his Akinji and Tartar light horse in 28mm. He has also mentioned that he hopes to be staging an Ottoman game at the STAND TO show at the Railway Museum, Shildon, County Durham later in the year. BLACK CAT BASES are retailing two Ottoman-Corsair naval crew in 28mm, slot bases required. They cost £2 each plus postage. Here's a photo from their website. MGB

Monday, 6 July 2015

Sultan's Chapel and Baggage Train

Work commitments have cut my summer painting time, but here's a few additions to my Ottoman army on the march. A visit to a local antiques shop furnished me with three 28mm camels for a total price of £1.50. My spares box had some chests, and miliput was used for some sacks and water containers, providing suitable baggage. Another camel not in use has become the Sultan's chapel, this is based on 'The Sultan's Procession' by Claes Ralamb, late 17th century. My converted Solaks, some mounted, provide the guards. MGB

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Acemi Oglan Arquebusier, late 16th Century

Have just received a batch of Acemi Oglan arquebusier from Hinchliffe Miniatures. The figure is dated for the late 16th century but I would suggest its fine for the 17th century, and we can turn a blind eye for battles in the 18th (as we all do with 28mm collections). Ian Hind decided to make new moulds for this casting so its totally free of flash. In my opinion, they are equal to TAG, and I have some spare Janissary officers from that company which will mix perfectly. The Hinchliffe catalogue code is RE69, but the website photo presently needs changing. Here is my photo to show what they actually look like.
The Acemi Oglan were, I believe, young slaves, most of whom ended up serving in the various Janissary ortas. Others may have found themselves in the state administration. These castings will be a joy to paint up. MGB

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Wargaming the Borgias {Ottoman Battle Photos}

Robbie Rodiss has just uploaded photos of his revamped Ottoman collection on their 'inaugural outing', taking on a fair number of Poles. If you haven't visited his blog, do so now, and also see how not to throw dice! Great viewing. See Wargaming Links. MGB

Monday, 20 April 2015

Tartar Horse Archers, first seventeen painted

Have just completed a new batch of horse archers for my Ottomans. I can't base them yet until I'm sure some Essex archers and banner men will mix with these Hinchliffe castings. I noted John of BAND OF WARGAME BROTHERS BLOG has a fair number of six-figure light horse units on skirmish bases and I like this obligation to use them this way. I've painted mine in bold colours as the kidnaping and slave trade has been quite profitable lately. MGB

Tuesday, 17 March 2015


Having mentioned my plans to raise a strong contingent of Akinji and Tartar horse archers, I thought I would disclose the humble numbers I can so far field. Hence the arrival of Tartar horse archers in the previous post. At present, I have been fighting games mainly thanks to my 24 Moorish light horse serving as skirmishers. Their use is not incorrect but a fair number of proper horse archers was something I have failed to muster for too long. The Akinji below are a mixture of TAG and Essex, I think they work quite well together. MGB

Monday, 16 March 2015


Pleased to report that I have been quite busy over the weekend. At a quick count I have filed, occasionally drilled, and undercoated over 250 castings. There is still another fifty or so needing this work but its a welcome sight to see so many figures primed and ready. Included among these are eighteen Tartar horse archers, as Robbie Rodiss of 'Wargaming the Borgias Blogspot' has rightly pointed out, the Ottomans need 'large amounts of unpaid marauding light cavalry'. He has plans to increase his collection, I'm doing the same. I already have a handful of Akinji, but I am planning to increase them to a more appropriate number too. I also picked up a bag of Black Tree Arab crossbowmen(20) for service with my Granadines. Must say they look very good and came with hardly a cast line, and no flash whatsoever. MGB

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Early Moorish or Arab Artillery, 1250-1600

Unhappy using the same commercial spearmen to serve as artillery crew, here are some newly converted gunners. The heavy bombard forms part of my Hafsid (Tripoli and Tunis) army but will, no doubt, support other states too. Additional gunners have been raised for the Almohad-Marinid army, and Corsair raiders. There is still some debate as to the earliest reference to Arabs using bombards but some historians have given Seville in 1248. MGB

Monday, 16 February 2015

Medieval Siege Equipment

I have made it a plan to reduce my extensive accumulation of model materials (aka rubbish), having also found my collection of miniatures severely deficient in siegecraft, I have put the following together. I don't use balsa as I find it too soft and light in weight, I prefer harder woods, stiff card, and bamboo cane. With charity shop visits etc, I doubt the items cost more than £5 including paint and wood glue. The damaged stockade was actually made from the off-cuts and leftovers from the others (no wastage here!) Many sieges were enacted on towns and cities that possessed fairly low walls, so many siege towers were probably quite humble in size. While I intend to construct a larger model, this will still add another threat to any garrison. I know these items will enhance my games, hope you find them of interest. (Have included a few figures to help with scale.)
As a footnote to the above. The stockade sections were constructed mainly for my Balkan and Russian games but there are occasional references to the Moorish and Reconquista states using wooden stockades to supplement town and castle defences! Not so strange when we remember that many surviving castles in Spain were built over 8-11th century fortifications that typically included wood stockades, not that dissimilar to northern Europe.

Thursday, 15 January 2015


Just found another blog with 28mm Ottomans making an appearance. Most of the figures are Hinchliffe and there is a rumour they may find themselves in action against the Poles in the near future. Update, more photos appear on Jan.17, a fair number of Sipahi cavalry

Monday, 5 January 2015

Turkish Janissaries

Have just completed a new unit of Janissaries. This is an early portrayal armed with bills and kalkan (cane) shields. Less uniformed than my other ortas, they are predominantly in shades of green. I think these additional 'blades' will be useful in any siege games. MGB