The FYOB Blog

Lone Warrior 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 28 November 2018 03:25:00

For reasons that should be obvious, I have just become a fully paid up member of the Solo Wargamers Association.  The delays in me doing so are not so obvious - I really don’t have any!!

This has got me thinking about my gaming.  Unlike a lot of players, I restrict myself to one historic period and do not have armies of ancients, Romans, Naps and Sci-fi.  My interests in wargaming stem from my interests in history and these have always been focussed on WW2 hence my position.

Is that a good thing?  Everybody else subscribes to a magazine or various blog sites and gets something out of the contents - a bit of Naps, a scenario for a Roman game, something for their ACW armies to do etc.  Me, I often look through the wargame mags in the newsagents and then don’t buy them because I am not prepared to pay £4 for what is one article on some aspect of a WW2 game.

On the otherhand, without spending most of the household treasury, I have acquired a decent sized army for British, German, American and Italien forces that include infantry, paratroops, specialist units, CSW’s, lighter armour, artillery, aircraft, boats etc.  I also have a great deal of scenery meaning that I can have a stab at virtually any scenario I come across without having to go out and spend more cash or start making modifications to the ORBATS or table details.

There are arguments for and against.  At present however, I am happy to stay where I am, notwithstanding a growing interest in the Spanish Civil War.  I guess some flexibility is not going to be a bad thing...

The right way to move forward 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 27 November 2018 04:18:00

Hello from South Island NZ.  The country and the folk here remain stunning!!

I have been grafting for the last couple of days on both Heroes All and the FYOW re-vamp.  I’ve got the basics and just need to get them back onto the wargames table and test the pants off them.  Out of this I will get all the little tweaks and changes that create a proper set of rules.  I am sure that other writers don’t do it this way but it works for me.  When I used to write presentation material I used this method - get the basics down and then present it to myself over and over until I hammered out the finished article.  Its a well worn road for me.

One decision I have made, and its a big one, is that Heroes All and FYOW will probably be made available free of charge.  Yes - that’s free of charge.  FYOB will still be sold and may one day be revised into a freebie but not yet.  

The fact that HA and FYOW may be free does not make any difference as far as quality is concerned.  I am not going to bash something together and just stick it on the site with the idea that its a free download so any old crappy system will do.  No sir - it will be as godd as I can get it, just free.

Why?  I have just finished reading Tony Bath’s book on the Society of Ancients and Slingshot and his Hyboria campaign.  All that stuff was made available free of charge for the benefit of the wargaming community at large - and that community have lapped it up.  Now I am not in any way suggesting that my humble offerings are in the same league as Tony Baths.  I am feeling though that if his efforts were free, my stuff does not deserve to attract a charge.  After all, I do not need to be paid for it, I am just making a few $ on the side for my efforts.

It will be a couple of weeks before I am back and get full access to the website shop but stay tuned.

Stunning NZ 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 23 November 2018 20:09:00

Crikey!  I have been here over 3 weeks and have been enjoying it so much that I am very light on completed work.  I have been wrestling with maps for FYOW and have been rather side-tracked with various design types.  Having had something of an epipheny recently, I am at last moving forward but regret that I have not done the pdf about changes FYOB old vs new.  The next 10 days are packed with itinery so I think it will have to wait until the flight back to the UK.

In the meantime, I have found the most wondeful model shop in Hamilton NZ - its not the sort of town thats on the tourist trail but if you are over here, do get into the heart of the city and find it - Games Centre I think it was called - well worth a visit for no other reason that one of the owners is a young lady with a passion for wargaming/sci-fi fantasy who really knows her stuff!!

Prices out here are really high - in Christchurch today where a model shop selling wargame and railway bits is charging about 1.5x the UK rates.  I guess everyone here shops online but the wifi is pretty dismal and slow so the shops should really be pushing hard.

Stay tuned

Kia Ora from New Zealand 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 10 November 2018 18:57:00

New Zealand made a huge contribution to the Allied victories in both WW1 and WW2 and I am privileged to be able to be touring around the country for several weeks taking in their breathtaking scenery and wonderful hospitality.

It also means sitting on some very long flights to get here (via Hong Kong where the British were defeated in 1942) but at least this has given me the opportunity to spend some time working on the revised version of FYOW and the finer points of Heroes All.

I will share the fruits of my labours when I get back and hopefully post a few pictures of interesting things along the way.


You Tube is up and running 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 23 October 2018 16:11:00

Great day today!

I have completed the editing and publication of the first 3 videos for the FYOB channel and tonight uploaded them.  They cover a brief introduction of the mechanism, the mechanism in a bit more detail and the equipment needed to play the game.

I am already thinking about the next few and will plan/script these out while I am away.  I think I will do something on Heroes All and for FYOB, maybe another video showing a very small game with the mechanism in action.

More work but exciting times!!

Busy busy busy 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 22 October 2018 17:20:00

What a busy day after a busy weekend!

I have finished taking photos and video footage for a couple of short videos that I am looking to post on the new FYOB YouTube channel in the next day or two.  Unfortunately, I have a bit of a cold so the narration is a bit nasal but its OK and I wanted to get the content out there - I am sure people will forgive me.

The two new videos - to go with the FYOB Introduction - feature the equipment needed to play the mechanism and a look at some of the FYOB features like the Order Die and the Officer Reaction Tests.

Time is not my friend at the moment but I have a bit of time just before Xmas so in the next few weeks (when I am out of the country btw) I will start to plan and script a FYOB game to show the mechanism in action.

That also gives me a natural lead into Heroes All which is now at the stage of game testing.  I have just reversed a major re-write of the infantry small arms firing rules.  They sounded great on paper but they were really clunky at the table.  Sometimes, good ideas are just not good ideas!!

I am planning a series of games to test and pressure test the rules over the Xmas break.  If they survive, I will start the publishing process which involves photographs and artwork, layouts, examples and information panels.  I will also need to put a Codex together covering the major weapons of the war and then another Codex for all the weapons.  When you consider that this latter list has to cover all small arms, AT guns, artillery, CSW's, aircraft, boats and AVRE types, you will appreciate that this is a bit of job!

Luckily I have a lot of it already so its just (!!) a case of pulling it into shape (he says....)

How high is an aeroplane? 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 17 October 2018 16:28:00

I have been toying with the idea of aircraft in games for yonks.  Until now I have added 1/72 aircraft over my table of 20mm figures on shortish plastic sticks mounted on a suitable base.  However, I have always felt that they looked too low/the aircraft looked too big.

I discovered Heroics and Ros 1/300 whitemetal aircraft models covering all of the popular machines and recently invested £30 in a dozen or so models.

The service from H&R was brilliant and in a few days, my two airforces arrived.

I haven't done anything with them yet as I am still toying with the idea of longer poles (on which to mount them) and weighted bases to keep them in place.  Whether I get to do anythng with them before I go away is open to some debate.  In any event, as soon as I have something to show, I will post some pictures.

And so it goes on and on and on... 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 17 October 2018 16:20:00

Today I tore myself away from working on rules to build a few kits that I had acquired recently.

Pics to follow but I managed to get a couple of Airfix D-Day Coastal Defence kits and then a Horsa glider kit when I was at the Shuttleworth Air Show.  A couple of afternoons in the shed saw all three built.  Just as I finished, I found a kit for a Hurricane that I didn't know I had!!

The rules are at the "mechanical presentation" phase - they are written in dry form having been through a number of test games.  The next phase is to test them thoroughly, adding things in that come up in test gaes, clarifying bits, tweaking bits etc etc.  I am conscious that, like a number of rule sets, I have a short/medium/long range aspect but in reality, sections and platoons rarely fought over vast tracts of land so I am contemplating moving to "effective range" and "short range".  I will be testing this out shortly before disappearing overseas for nearly 7 weeks!!  I will be taking the ruleset with me to read, re-read and then check again.  Cross referencing and reading in the cold light of day (on an 11 hour aeroplane flight!) is a useful way of making sure that what you write makes sense later.

I will post some pictures of kits and test games in the next couple of days.

Commando Raid 

Testing new game rules
Posted by Barry Miltenburg 22 September 2018 15:44:00

Like a lot of players, I tend to use one set of rules all of the time but modify them to suit whatever game I'm playing.  My favourite is Rapid Fire but I am playing more and more Bolt Action for smaller, skirmish engagements.  However, there are things about Bolt Action that don't suit me and so I have started to modify them as well.

The upshot of all this is that I am developing my own Ruleset by welding the best of the 2 above-mentioned sets together and throwing in the FYOB mechanism and a few home-made rules.

The first real test game ran tonight - a Commando raid on a small harbour at night.

This picture is deliberately DARK to show the night-time scene.  The Commandos enter bottom left in rubber boats.  The key targets are the big crane, warehouse (top centre) and the oil tanks next to them (actually 2 paint pots!!)

The crane with German guard.  The large warehouse is where the German reserves are resting.

The Commandos storm ashore - the pillbox was not being used in this game.

Having moved inland, the Commandos break into 3 parties to attack the 3 targets.  The CO and the mortar team covered the move.

A guard goes to investigate something he saw (Commandos in the background)

The crane guard gets it in the neck - so to speak!!


The game was very successful.  It confirmed that the observation rules worked really well and that the moving and shooting rules, adapted to suit elements down to 1 figure, were effective.

The Commandos split into 3 parties but one of them was spotted by one of the 4 guards on the quayside.  He went to investigate not knowing that his mate under the crane had been jumped by another Commando group.  By the time he got to the edge of the quay, the attackers picked him off, triggering the activation of another 4 guards who emerged from the large warehouse.  They were hit by devastating SMG fire from the Commandos under the crane and the survivors rapidly retreated to hide under an Opel Blitz in the yard with a VERY broken Continuous Momentum Score - never to come out again!!  The Commandos made their escape and the 3 sets of charges they placed duly blew the place to pieces.  No casualties for the raiders, 4 plastic guards back in the box.

A new beginning 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 15 September 2018 14:58:00

Hello and welcome to my FYOB Blog.

This is something I have been meaning to do for ages and have only just got started, now that FYOB v5 is out there and the review of FYOW is well under way.

I have been playing and re-playing old games and running new scenarios in a burst of enthusiasm for gaming that, to be honest, was waning during the FYOB review - I just didn't get enough time to do the review AND play as well!!

Recent games have included a small amush scenario featuring a US CCA Recce Troop bumping into a German infantry company supported by a PanzerSchrecke team and a MMG.  A bit of "Concealed Elements" and "HE against buildings" alongside the usual rules for moving and firing.  I have found that playing a quick, simple game just keeps the brain ticking over and ensures that I don't forget the basics.  It also helps to reinforce the new bits of FYOB that are different from the way I have been playing for a couple of years.  To be honest, some of the new rules are just lifted from what I did anyway (The Order Dice Rule for example), but some things are different - like the "Command" section in place of the old "Initiative" section and how the rallying is now part of "Command" rather than being tacked on the end.  I'm glad I changed this because now that I have got used to it, it makes so much more sense!!

I will post a couple of pictures of recent mini-games and pen some thoughts around current campaign activity shortly.

In the meantime, please feel free to add a comment to say "hi".

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