And now, the end is near…

To all of you who have played our games, supported our endeavours or just like reading our scribblings, we wish you our heartiest felicitations for the season. May your stockings be filled with tiny marching feet and the rules with which to play them.
We sincerely hope that each and every one of you shall have time during the holidays to kick back, play a game or three, paint some miniatures, construct some terrain, eat well and make merry.

As far as we are concerned at the Ministry, we shall take some time to reflect on the year that has been and consider our plans for the year that is yet to come. Though no shades of past, present and future shall disturb our sleep this Christmas Eve. Bob Cratchett, or ‘Billy’ as he likes to be called, shall not starve.

For both of us it has been an interesting year. We launched our first hardback book, a work of some considerable personal satisfaction, and watched it do fairly well in what we did understand would be a highly competitive market. We knew it would not match Frostbite for sales, but we don’t write to entertain the masses, but for a more discerning enthusiast. One for whom having a toolkit upon which to draw and be able to create and play in the fantasy genres of their choice, is more important than everything being presented to them ready made and reliant on the imagination of another.

The shows that we have attended have been wonderful once more. It is here we get to meet our friends in the industry and, most importantly the players. Many new faces came to our stand to talk with us and enjoy our participation games. A special joy is when younger players come to experience our games for the first time. They are so quick to pick up the rules and often surprise their parents when they hand them their asses.

This year we were truly blessed by Billy’s huge and dangerous ravine board, where brave adventurers attempted to escape the clutches of a band of evil monsters, or a band of brave dungeon natives tried to stop a gang of murder hobos escaping justice – all depending on your point of view. We have never had a board so often admired and photographed. It has now been retired and donated to a worthy cause.

On a personal note I turned sixty years of age on the day of The Other Partizan show. My thanks to all of you who commiserated with me on officially becoming an old codger. Both Charles and I have been wargaming and roleplaying since our teens which means that between us we have enjoyed our hobby for roughly ninety years. Grognards indeed.

Since 2013 we have written and published seven books, three with Osprey – gawd bless ’em, and four under the Ministry imprint, not bad for two part-timers. Which means that much of our spare time has been dedicated to writing, editing, publishing, blogging and Facebook grouping, preparing showboards and figures, and attending shows.

So what is to come? Well despite our personal trials and tribulations this year, it really has not been as easy as it might seem, we have been laying the foundations for a new and mighty project. Something we shall properly announce after the New Year’s hangovers have subsided.

Finally, we would like to thank so many people for their assistance this year. Firstly everyone who has contributed in word and deed in our enterprise, most of whom are in the acknowledgements of our books. You know who you are and we salute each and every one of you.
A special thanks to the show-runners, especially Lawrence and Richard of Partizan, whose faith in us is so appreciated.
Also to the many players who have inspired us, and many others, by presenting their efforts on our Facebook pages, and in such fora as Lead Adventure and the Wargames Website. You are the reason that we carry on.

The New Blog

As you may know we believe in supporting our players through an active presence on Facebook and other fora. We also maintain a blog for each of our games. As you can imagine this is very time consuming, time we could use for writing new material.
Also, by having separate blogs for each game players do not get to see what else is going on in our range of games. This is a shame as all three games use the same core engine so players may find skills, powers, beasts and equipment from the others that they can adapt to their own games.

So we have decided to bring all of our games onto a single blog called, appropriately, The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare. You can find it here:

The current blogs shall not be deleted. There are hundreds of articles, battle reports, tutorials, pieces of fiction and other materials on them we do no want to lose. But they shall no longer be deleted.

Most of the additional/bonus materials we have placed on these blogs has been ported across to the new blog, where each game has its own page. Additionally we shall be combing through the original blogs an extracting all the useful articles, dropping them into PDF then placing them in the games pages of the new blog.

If you are a regular reader or follower of the original blogs we hope you will now transfer your allegiance to the new.

Partizan 2016

For all of you going to Partizan next week.

The Ministry shall not be running a game, instead I shall be attending as a punter for a change. It will lovely to have time to have time to mooch around the trade stands and observe the various games. The last six shows I have attended we have been so busy that even a toilet break was a hurried luxury.

If you are going I have a few recommendations for you:

  • T10 Northstar/Wargames Emporium, our constant friends and distributors of Blood Eagle and Daisho.
  • T31 Bad Squiddo Games, run by the inimitable Annie Norman
  • PG19 COGS/GCN, where Dave Wise and his stalwarts shall be running their infamous fast play In Her Majesty’s Name games once again.
  • DG15 Simon Miller’s To the Strongest! demo. If you want to see how to play a game with several thousand figures in a couple of hours.

Partizan 2016

I shall be wandering about in my black Ministry polo shirt so feel free to flag me down for a chat, or to give me a piece of your mind 🙂

Salute 2016

Ladies, Gentlemen and you at the back.

The great pilgimage to Salute 2016 begins here.

I have been up since oh-six-hundred printing, cutting, laminating, packing, checking the checklist Charles thoughtfully sent me because he knows me so well, breathing in and out of a small brown paper bag, rechecking, repacking and drinking numerous level 6 coffees.

This afternoon we shall journey down to Murton Towers arriving in time for the time-honoured pizza and wine. What you might not know is that we live a good four hours drive from one another and that 95% of our writing and collaboration is done through the auspices of the world-wide web.

We have one full participation game prepared for Blood Eagle, for Daisho and, for IHMN Gothic. Thus, we could be running three games and six gamers simultaneously. So please be patient with us if you have a question to ask or rulebook to sign.

My ever-patient wife Lorna shall also be on hand to assist you, a task she performed admirably at Vapnartak in York a few weeks ago.

We shall be on table GF17 so if you do not have a map to hand, proceed directly from the main doors to the centre of the hall and turn right. We are down that alley on the left. You shall be able to recognise us through our natty black polos bearing the Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare logo fore and aft.

MoGW Location plan

We look forwards to putting faces to all of you who have corresponded with us about our games over the last year and hope you find the time to drop by and say hello.

The Whitechapel Specials

Whitechapel Specials

The “Whitechapel Specials” are a police unit formed to deal with the uncanny goings on in the city’s underbelly. Where regular police units and the Watchmen deal with common criminals the Specials are called in to deal with the more unusual crimes: anything from escaped Martian prisoners of war to the risen dead or just your common-or-garden demonically possessed. The Constables are equipped with the latest weaponry, rubberised coats and breathing masks to allow them operate in the city’s more hazardous environments.

The Constables are equipped with the latest weaponry, rubberised coats and breathing masks to allow them operate in the city’s more hazardous environments.

The full company listing can be found as Item 28 on the Bonus Materials page.

The figures for this company are available through Northstar Miniatures at the following address:

Report of Constable Arthur Stokes, F Division, March 21st 1895

It being about half-past ten of the evening I was proceeding along the Lambeth Road towards the river. I was some four hundred yards from the bridge when I espied a steam truck driving towards me somewhat erratically.

Ensuring I was well-illuminated by a nearby lamp post, I held up one hand and indicated to the driver that he should come to a halt at my position. As the truck slowed down and eventually stopped I noted that there were, at least, a dozen men and women standing in the back brandishing placards, a large red flag, several shotguns and a couple of rifles.

I approached the driver’s door and engaged him in conversation.

“Where are you going in such high spirits this evening sir” I said.

“I’m not a ‘sir’ and you is a running dog of the bourgeoisie.” he replied, or words to that effect as some that he actually used were not worth recording.

“Don’t get chippy with me sir or I shall have to caution you.” I said.

Realising, at last, that he was dealing with a member of Her Majesty’s metropolitan constabulary he then sat up straight and tried to give me an ingratiating grin.

“Whereabouts are you and your friends proceeding to at this hour?” I enquired.

One of his companions in the back of the truck interjected shouting “None of your damn business, you class traitor!” I gave him a stern look and he fell silent. I then looked back at the driver.

“We was just going to a party constable” he slurred.

Having now experienced enough of his foul breath to determine his state of sobriety I continued my interrogation.

“It looks to me sir like you have already been to a party and are not in the best condition to be driving an eight-ton truck upon the highway. So I shall ask again, where were you intending to go?” I asked.

“I don’t have to tell you nuffin’ constable, I’m perfectly at liberty to proceed wherever I likes.” he stated.

“On foot perhaps sir. Unfortunately, driving a steam conveyance upon the public highway while under the influence of strong spirits is an offence under the Highway Safety Act 1888 sir, and I must ask you to step down for further examination” I said.

“Look out Sid, ‘e wants to check you over, maybe ‘e’s a molly-boy” shouted one of the women who seemed to be having some considerable difficulty in loading a shotgun.

The driver looked suspicious but, under my continued stare, chose to swing the door open and descend to the pavement in a sort of half-controlled collapse. Within the cab. I could see some crates of milk bottles with rags tied around their necks.

Once he had clawed his way upright, using the lamp post more for support than illumination, he straightened his jacket and put his cap back on his head.

“Hello constable, what’s seems to be the trouble then?” he said, as if he had only now noticed I was there.

“It is my opinion sir, that you are steaming drunk.” I said. This brought forth gales of laughter from the assembled throng in the truck. One of the women fell off the back of the truck and had to be helped back on by some of her companions.

“So what is your full name sir?” I asked.

“Don’t tell ‘im your name Jonesy.” said the woman with the shotgun, who had now dropped several cartridges at her feet. I looked at her, she looked at me and her mouth opened wide. I turned back to the driver.

“Sidney Jones I am arresting you on suspicion of driving a steam conveyance whilst under the influence of alcohol, as proscribed by the Highway Safety Act 1888. Are you going to come quietly or flopping like a fish?” I stated loudly and clearly so that the throng could also hear me.

“You can’t do that constable.” he said ” I’s got places I ‘as to be” he said, looking somewhat agitated.

“And where might that be Mr Jones?” I asked.

“Well we ‘ad this caucus see and decided it was time to overthrow the corrupt masters of the Empire and we was going to burn down the ‘ouses of Parliament.” he said. The silence from the back of the truck was deafening.

“Would this be because you are the ‘downtrodden masses’ sir?” I asked, having heard this tripe at the Dog & Duck many a long evening.

“Yes, that’s it son, we shall rise up we shall” and as he said this his legs gave way and he ended up sitting in the gutter.

It was then I noticed that he was fumbling for a service revolver that was pushed through his waistband. I applied the All-Electric English Truncheon to his head as a discouragement and he did indeed flop about a bit.

I then addressed the throng while cranking the charge box for my truncheon.

“Can anyone else drive this conveyance?” I asked.

“I can.” said one of the men, and he made his way to the front of the truck.

“Are you also drunk?” I asked.

“Probably.” he said, so I charged him with intent and left him flopping in the gutter next to his erstwhile comrade.

“Anyone else?” I said.

There was considerable muttering and shuffling of feet.

“Right then.” I said “I suggest you all dismount and proceed to the number seven omnibus stop by the bridge. There should be a late Bus along in a few minutes that can get you back to Brick Lane. No madam you can’t take your shotgun with you. Carrying one of them, and those rifles lads – put them back please, while intoxicated is also an offence. So be off with you before I consider charging you with Riotous Assembly”.

They looked at Sidney and his comrade who were, by now, in the drooling and shaking stage, then quietly got down off the truck.

Most staggered away towards the omnibus stop, but one younger man lingered a few moments.

“You’ll be first against the wall when the revolution comes copper” he said.

So I charged him with threatening an officer of the law and laid him down in the gutter with the others.

This is why, Sergeant, I have three unconscious men, a steam truck previously owned by Abel Caine Imports & Exports Ltd., eight Lee-Metford Rifles, six shotguns various, two-hundred assorted rounds of ammunition, a Webley service revolver, two crates of a dozen Brick Lane bottle grenades each, two pairs of ladies unmentionables, a 12lb carton of blasting dynamite (no fuses), a nun’s habit, sixteen shillings and sixpence, one wrapped fish supper, a red flag, nine placards, two policemen’s helmets and, forty copies of a revolutionary manifesto in the station yard.


Uninvited Dinner Guests by John Ewing

So after a spell of playing Daisho I thought it was about time we got some of our IHMN figures out at the Falkirk Club. It was also an excuse to give a first outing to my friend Allan’s new Fu Manchu Company. Our regular villains the Servants of Ra were ably handled by David our Club Chairman in what I think was only his second IHMN game. Meantime I took charge of my Armed Archaeologists, intrepid explorers one and all.
The game was set at 300 points and each player was given the following briefing as background.

The Quest for the Regalia of Ra
The House Party
Having failed so far in their efforts to find the Amulet of Isis, the Servants of Ra have returned in secret to London to track down one of the other pieces of the legendary Regalia of Ra, namely the Crown of Lower Egypt. This ancient artifact is believed by some to be a piece of alien technology once feared by the builders of the Pyramids for it destructive power.
Professor Abir, Akhenaton and Sairah have travelled to the home of their old adversary and renowned Egyptologist and Orientalist Sir William Poppington amongst whose papers Abir believes will be found some ancient manuscripts and other notes collected by Poppington containing information on the location of the Crown.
They now lie in wait in the grounds of the house with some of their supporters awaiting the opportunity to enter the house and search the Library and Study. It is a dark night, but there is a full moon giving some limited visibility.
There are lights in the House suggesting Sir William is entertaining guests. While he is thus distracted now is a chance to enter the House and search the Library.
However, there are others who are in search of the Crown. The darkness also hides the gang of that evil genius Dr Fu Manchu whose ingenuity and ruthlessness knows no bounds.
Who will prevail?
Can London be kept safe while such evil prowls its leafy suburbs?
Where is Sherlock Holmes when you need him?”

Pic 1

Sir William Poppington’s family mansion, with some substitute walls since we couldn’t find the originals. For the game, these were assumed to be of man height. Players could set up inside the walls if they wished.
It was a moonlit night with visibility outside limited to 12″.

Pic 2

The evil Servants of Ra led by Akhenaton and Professor Abir and their fanatical cultists gather outside the walls of the Mansion. They had a cunning plan which slowly revealed itself as the game went on

Pic 3

The sinister and diabolical Dr Fu Manchu with his daughter Fah Lo Suee and an assorted collection of Eastern miscreants. A mix of Dacoits, Thugs, Tong and Boxers all linked by a fanatical loyalty to their master driven by fear.

Pic 4

Our Armed Archaeologists gathered to reminisce over old adventures and plan their next expedition. Sir William’s daughter Lady Jane is opposite her father with her back to the window. Her betrothed Captain Carruthers is to her right while on her left is the intrepid American adventurer Dr Henry ‘Montana’ Smith. To Sir William’s right is his old friend and academic colleague Professor Osman and opposite him the somewhat rough and ready ex-colonial adventurer Ric O’Shea. Farouk the loyal manservant is dispensing drinks, the wine and port have been flowing freely all evening.
As a confirmed orientalist, Sir William has dispensed with the traditional furniture. Naturally we also removed his usual rugs and cushions so that they wouldn’t be damaged in the ensuing mayhem.

Pic 5

Fu Manchu decided to deploy within the garden but sent a small group of boxers along the outside wall. His dacoits with rifles are moving into position amongst the shrubbery to be able to provide covering fire into the dining room.
A couple of Thugs have been dispatched to try to find a rear entrance.
The good Doctor is accompanied by a swarm of his pet rats.

Pic 6

The Tong lieutenant and a Tong Warrior prepare to silently open the front door while Fu Manchu waits.

Pic 7

Meantime the Thugee Pharsingars have slipped the lock on a rear door and are about to slip into the Library. Meantime the Boxers and Tong are covering their rear.

Pic 8

Meantime the Servants of Ra have made no attempt to enter the garden and instead have made the long trek along the outside of the garden wall out of sight of the dining room windows which overlook that side of the garden. What are they up to?

Pic 9

As they reach the corner of the wall Akhenaton signals back to the cultist he has left opposite the far corner of the house who places his lantern on top of the wall and fires his pistol into the air. But why do the Servants want to attract the attention of Sir William and his guests?

Pic 10

Naturally the House Party respond to the shot by moving to the windows and open the door of the dining room to encounter Fu Manchu and the Tong who have just entered the house.
It is now clear that the Servants of Ra are hoping that their opponents will fight each other to a standstill and leave them in peace to mop up any remaining and search the building at leisure.

Pic 11

Montana Smith backed up by Captain Carruthers take on the Tong Lieutenant while the others move to the Windows to see what is going on outside. Fah Lo Suee is about to head upstairs to search the study accompanied by the Tong Warrior as the rats enter the hall.
Meantime in the Library one Thug has been rooted to the spot by the sight of the terrifying Mummy in the corner, but the other is made of sterner stuff and moves to touch the Mummy to see if it is real. Trouble is about to break out big time.

Pic 12

The Boxers and Tong reinforcements arrive at the back door to enter the library, but two remain nervously outside watching the Servants of Ra who have just crossed the wall out of shot. Meantime fighting has broken out elsewhere in the house as the Mummy in the Library suddenly comes to life.

Pic 13

The Thugs make the fatal mistake of attacking the Mummy to no avail only to see it reach out and remove the heart of one of its victims (Heartrending spell) while clubbing the other senseless.
Meantime the noise and smell of rats has brought Kitty, Sir William’s pet hunting cat, up from the cellar into the hall.

Pic 14

Kitty engages with the rats but decides there are more of them than she fancies tackling and high tails it back into the cellar ( failed pluck test).
At the dining room door, Montana is slogging it out with the Tong, neither getting the upper hand and both blocking others from intervening.

Pic 15

There followed a confusing series of moves for which there were no photos taken.
Briefly by this point the Tong at the door had been struck down before Montana fell temporarily to a blow from Fu Manchu. As the evil genius held his opponents up, his daughter successfully found Sir William’s notes in the study at the first attempt and both have fled from the mansion sacrificing one of the Tong members who has just succumbed to Sir William’s night stick while covering their retreat.
Meantime the Mummy has quietly slaughtered all the Thugs and Boxers sent against him and is just about to dispatch the Cultists sheltering in the corner.
Professor Abir and Sairah have used the Path of Shadows to enter the Library where they are engaged by Montana. While Akhenaton and Ambullah are both delayed outside by a little Tong Warrior who simply refused to die.

Pic 16

Pic 17

Fu Manchu and the remains of his gang flee the scene with their notes.

Pic 18

All that was left of the Yellow Peril Gang at the end of the game.

Pic 19

With the single exception of the Tong Lieutenant, this was the Mummy’s haul for the evening.


After months of development between the excellent chaps at 4Ground and our good selves, we are proud to announce that you can now purchase a set of Laser-cut MDF counters for use with our games.

We took suggestions and advice from players around the world and using our KISS furnace boiled them down to what people actually felt they needed.


You can find a guide to what each counter stands for on the Bonus Material page of this blog (scroll down to item 27).

If you would like to purchase a set our friends at Northstar are now selling them here:

What is missing from IHMN Gothic?

As many of you know by now Charles and my objectives for the coming twelve months are to complete and publish:
1. Blood Eagle: skirmish wargaming in the legendary Dark Ages, and
2. IHMN Gothic: the third unique supplement for our original milieu,
in that order.

Gothic will include all the elements you currently see in the free section on the blog ( This comes to about 25,000 words and the book will need at least 40,000 words as it will be the same size and format as Daishō.

Now we have already covered a wide range of gothic companies, beasts and equipment, yet we are not going to be the sole arbiters of content for Gothic. Is there anything you think that we have missed, which you would like to see covered in our own inimitable style?

Note that we are not asking for fully-worked up examples with lists and points, more a number of concepts and elements. So take a look at what we have produced so far and take into account that IHMN Gothic is presently a European and mostly [u]not[/u] anglo-centric book.

Any ideas we use shall be credited to the originator and will get their name in the acknowledgements in the book.