Monthly Archives: May 2009

Huge Antietam game at Tin Soldiers of Antwerp – The Set Up


Just a few of the thousands of miniature soldiers in the collection of the members of the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp gaming group in northern Europe.

Patrick Roovers of the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp, Belgium, sent me a link to his club’s website with dozens of photographs of a huge Antietam wargame they ran recently at the clubhouse. TSOA used Johnny Reb 3 as the rules for this massive engagement, which, as you will see from his photos, took thousands of miniature soldiers and dozens of gamers to play on a very large series of terrain tables.

tabletop TY2

For dozens more photos of the set up, please visit TSOA’s Flicker photo gallery.  In my next post, I will show some photographs of the first night of actual gaming.


Categories: Antietam, Johnny Reb 3 | Leave a comment

HISTORICON Celebrates 25 Years of Historical Miniatures Gaming Pre-Registration Now Open

Bel Air, MD (May 27 2009) — The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society East ( commemorates the silver anniversary of HISTORICON, “the mother of all war gaming conventions” from July 16 – 19, 2009 at the Lancaster Host Resort & Conference Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Attracting thousands of historical gaming hobbyists, HISTORICON 2009 celebrates its 25th year with four days of fun on the convention theme of the 200th Anniversary of 1809 Napoleonic Wars. HMGS is a non-profit educational organization that promotes the study of military history through historical miniatures gaming, seminars, grants, and conventions. HISTORICON 2009 features over 600 events, including elaborate historical miniatures games reflecting Napoleon’s 1809 Austrian Campaign and the Peninsular War (1807-14) and the massive and most extensive tournament program in North America – everything from DBA, DBR, and Warhammer Ancients to Field of Glory (FoG) and Flames of War (FoW).

More than 700 games over the entire four days of the convention attract players from across the United States and Europe. “The Napoleonic era has always been a great period for the wargamer and this theme allows for a broad cross-section of games, from formal massed European armies to the Spanish guerilla actions and games involving Sharpe’s Rifles,” said Pete Panzeri. “Aside from the Napoleonic era, HISTORICON 2009 offers hundreds of games and tournament events from nearly every other period of military history.” HISTORICON also holds the HMGS War College with 40 historical presentations by scholars such as René Chartrand, military historian and author of 30+ books, and Matt Eversmann, veteran of the Battle of Mogadishu (‘Blackhawk Down’), and a Napoleonic Wars Exposition: “The Sharpe Experience.”

The convention’s Painting and Modeling University allows participants to choose from a variety of classes to learn new techniques for miniature painting. Attendees can also register for the “Iron Paintbrush” Competition where teams compete to create the most eye-catching figure mini-diorama. Other special HISTORICON events include a Wild West costume contest with prizes for kids and an adult costume contest related to pirates of 1809 – British, Spanish, French, American Navy or Marines.

As part of the silver anniversary of HISTORICON, all attendees are invited to join in the free celebration. The first 3,000 attendees will receive a free 10-foot long lockable metal tape measure, and exhibitors Old Glory, Wargames Factory and Warlords will provide free figures to attendees (while supplies last). A special 25th Anniversary cake is being made just for HISTORICON by Charm City Cakes (of the Ace of Cakes Food Network show) featuring the original “Hands Bridge” logo created by artist Rich Hasenauer to promote the first HISTORICON in 1984. The cake will be on display Friday and will be served to attendees.

Everyone is invited to HISTORICON’s Silver Celebration Party on Friday at 9:30 p.m. in the Windows Restaurant. Free beer samples and promotional items will be provided by various distributors, including Kirchner (Yuengling/Sam Adams), Lancaster Beverage (Coors Light/Heineken), Sheffer (Miller Lite/Lancaster Brew), and Wilsback (Budweiser).

As the popularity of HISTORICON grows, in 2010 the convention will move to the Baltimore Convention Center in Maryland. Baltimore offers a wide variety of budget, mid-range and luxury accommodations, and access to historical attractions such as Fort Henry, the USS Constellation, and the Baltimore Civil War Museum.

HISTORICON is the largest historical miniatures gaming convention in the United States. Each year, thousands of avid gamers descend on what the New York Times has described as the “mother of all war gaming conventions.” The event features thousands of attendees (adults and children), hundreds and hundreds of games, the world’s biggest war game hobby shop, painting events, and a special awards celebration. Admission to the 4-day convention is $15 for HMGS members and $35 for non-members.

Other HMGS events include the annual “Fall In” convention to be held Nov. 6 – 9, 2009 in Gettysburg, PA, “Cold Wars”, to be held March 11 – 14, 2010 in Lancaster, PA, and “HISTORICON 2010” to be held July 8 -11, 2010 in Baltimore, MD. For more information on HMGS, visit For more information on HISTORICON, visit

Categories: Wargaming in general | Leave a comment

New Louisiana Tigers book now listed on the website of LSU Press

Pre-orders are now being taken!

Categories: Civil War books, Gettysburg | Leave a comment

CHARGE #23 is in the mail! On-time yet again!

Members of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society around the world should shortly be receiving the May 2009 issue of the CHARGE! fanzine, the officially sanctioned newsletter for Johnny Reb wargamers.

There are three scenarios in this issue – the battles of Averasboro, First Newtonia, and Honey Springs. John Mayer of Round Top Miniatures contributes a fascinating technique for “Making Flexible Tree Stands and Forests”. Larry Reber of reports on “Hidden Movement”. And, there are several interesting and unusual vignettes from “Gettysburg Glimpses.”

Membership to the JRGS is open to the public; annual dues are still $20 USD in the USA and a bit more overseas in and Canada because of increased postage. Each active membership includes four quarterly issues of the society’s newsletter.

Categories: Charge newsletter | 1 Comment

Getting into ACW naval / riverine miniature wargaming


I recently purchased a collection of painted and assembled 1:600 model Civil War boats, all of which are from Toby Barrett‘s Thoroughbred Figures. I went out and bought two yards of dark blue denim from Wal-Mart in historic Hanover, Pennsylvania, to use as coastal waters, and will later pick up some black denim when available for the darker, muddier look of the Mississippi River. At the suggestion of veteran naval wargamer Tim Marshall, I also purchased 2 yards of clear, thick vinyl to add gloss and sheen to the layout, and to make it very easy to move the boats (they tend to catch on the fabric). The denim has some directionality, so the ridges follow the direction of the water movement and the hint of white adds to the look of the layout.


The Union boats include the heavy ironclads Benton and Essex, as well as two City class ironclads (the Cairo and Mound City; this class was often called “Pook’s turtles” or “Eads’ turtles” for their distinctive shape and appearance in the water). In the back are a pair of Ellet rams, the Monarch and Queen of the West, plus the timberclad gunboat Tyler, which served at the Battle of Shiloh.

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Categories: Civil War wargaming | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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