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So what’s happening?

9th December

I’ve been a bit busy, or obviously too busy to to keep up this!
I’ve been trying to put together a campaign book to go with Hell in Microcosm. The problem is, I want to do several things at once.
I want a campaign book which allows you to run a full planet and if necessary invade a full planet. Because Hell in Microcosm are a large scale set of rules.
But full planets are pretty darned big, and if you have a population measured in billions, pretty complicated as well.
Also if you’re going to invade other worlds you need space navies and rules. Well I’ve come up with set that work and I’m almost happy with. But then if you have worlds and oceans you’ll have ships and a ship can pack a lot of punch and project force pretty well. So as well as space navy I want wet water navy, and as a ship is merely a spaceship which cannot achieve escape velocity, there has to be some commonality?
But the commonality has to allow them to fit in with Hell in Microcosm land and air combat. So anyway I’m getting there.
But there is only so long you can bang your head against a wall before you wander off to play with something else, and in my case this meant I produced a solo campaign book for Hellfire. It’s a slimmer volume that the full books. It’s something of a trial to see if something this size works in paperback.

Anyway, from Wargame Vault, for £2.50 in pdf we have

And from Amazon, £2.50 on kindle, or £6.00 in paperback, we have Hellfire in the City

Hellfire in the City is a stand-alone solo sci-fi wargames campaign. Starting small and building your forces as you go, your aim is to control the sprawling city of Velonopolis.
The city is currently a patchwork of territories controlled by everything from petty thugs leading their bands of street scum through to corporate askari supported by mecha.
As well as city creation and discovering what hostile forces await you, this campaign guide contains rules allowing you to build new units, even mecha. At the same time, those troops you already lead will gain experience. Starting from scratch you can put together riverine or even air mobile forces.
At last you will realise why proper armies had vehicle recovery units and field hospitals.
Although designed for Hellfire rules and 6mm figures, there is no reason why you couldn’t convert troop types to fit with your favourite rule set.
Other campaigns finish with the stirring words, ‘Conquer or Die!’ In this case we allow losers to flee the city, pursued by their creditors.

28th July

And at last it’s been published. ‘The Incredible Events of the Century and the Attack of the Inner Planets,’ is now available for the discerning, you can purchase it from the usual suspects.

From Iliada Game Studio for £4 as a pdf

From Wargame Vault as a pdf for £4

And from Amazon for £4 on Kindle, or £9.50 in paperback

20th July

I’ve obviously been busy. I’ve sent ‘The Incredible Events of the Century and the Attack of the Inner Planets.‘ off to somebody to do a final proofreading. Then it just needs a front cover and it’s ready. This is the set of rules which will cover warfare from 1860 to 1900 with Martian invaders, steampunk machinery and all sorts of good things.
At the same time I’ve started playtesting a set of ‘Indigenous’ warfare rules for 1700 to 1870 that concentrate on battles where it’s the local forces, be they Indian or Chinese, that are the main interest.

24th May
Caldoom by Starlight is now released. It’s a supplement to Hell by Starlight Campaigns, and the Caldoom Sector is now revealed in all its tawdry glory. Not only the same sort of rules for trading and encounters that we had in Hell by Starlight Campaigns, but also scenarios and campaigns set on the world of Caldoom. Suitable for solo or multiplayer.

Available from the usual suspects
From Iliada Game Studio for £4 as a pdf

Or from Wargame Vault for £4 as a pdf

Or from Amazon for £9.50 as a paperback or for £4 on Kindle.

6th May 2022

I’ve released another novella, but there is a cunning plan.

I’m working with Ali at with the cunning plan to build a background for some fun SF games.
All is ‘sort of’ explained on the Touchdown page.

3rd April 2022

Well it’s out at last, I’ve published Hell by Starlight Campaigns. But I changed the front cover. The campaign book is an attempt to give you a coherent campaign, and what better way than to have you travelling from place to place with the SF equivalent of a tramp steamer fetching, carrying, buying and selling, and probably getting into trouble as you go.
Because of this I changed the cover, as Ali at Iliada Games Studio has produced some terrain, stackers, pallets and suchlike, which suited the ‘trading’ vibe. Don’t worry, you’ll still get into trouble and be shot at, but because you’re not some hired gun, you’re not being paid to do it. It’s happening in your own time.

4th March 2022

Just got busy! But anyway I’m working on two projects at the moment. One is a scenario booklet/campaign booklet for Hell by Starlight. I’m probably calling it Hell by Starlight Campaigns or something.

In simple terms it’s got reasonably rules for running your own merchant ship, running a haulage business, trading, and of course dealing with the problems that arise. You also get to sketch out the sector you’re trading in.
At the same time somebody asked by I didn’t do something like Dodgson’s World for Hell by Starlight. Linked scenarios, supported by figures, which produced a campaign. So I thought I’d run with the idea, and the idea is that I’ll produce a planet and there’ll be scenarios, background, but also a campaign. Ideally you could just add the planet to your campaign for Hell by Starlight and drop in and out of it as the spirit moved you.
The first one will probably be called ‘Starlight over Caldoom’ but the front cover doesn’t exist yet.
If anybody has a figure range or whatever that they fancy getting a planet built for (any scale figures) drop me a line. It’s nice to work in a cooperative project

31st January 2022

I’ve been thinking. It started by accident, and I’ll blame Sam Murray across on The Wargames Website. (If you’re reading this, Sam, ‘Hi’.)

But in an interesting exchange of ideas tagged onto the end of a discussion on the scenario ‘The God Machine’ he came up with some ideas about space combat.

Now I’ve held off tackling space combat, as I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to achieve, but Sam has pushed me over the edge into doing something.

The problem is, I suspect I probably want a hex mat. To be fair, being a wargamer with the sort of megalomania we know so well, I ‘need’ a hex mat.
But in line with my megalomaniac tendencies I don’t what some handy little mat, I want something about the size of a bed sheet, black, with hexes on it. In all candour, something made from cheap bed sheet would probably do!

I’ve pondered all sorts of things, from drawing hexes by hand using templates etc. I have had t shirts sewn with logos before now and it suddenly struck me that sewing the hexagons into the sheet would work really well and could be commercial. But the t shirt sewing machines probably couldn’t cope.

So I just wondered if you chaps knew of anything out there?

The game itself seems to be basing itself around power, sensors, and perhaps computer processing capacity which doesn’t necessarily sound too enthralling, but I’m sure I can introduce enough cack-handed humanity to spoil things.

28th January 2022

And Hell by Starlight is now live. I had this growing feeling I was trying to do too many things at once, and it was about time I cleared the decks and finished one. Now I’ve more time to give to some new stuff I’m working on with people.

Hell by Starlight is available from Wargame Vault as a pdf for £4 at

And it’s also available from Amazon for £9.50 in paperback and £4 on Kindle

2nd January 2022

New year, new rule set. At last, Hell in Microcosm is now out there, £4 from Wargame Vault in pdf

And from Amazon as a paperback for £9.50 and on Kindle for £4.

And looking into the New Year, as well as the slow steady process of republishing the old rules, I’ve got a new project. A Martian invasion, but they arrived a little early and rather further west than they may have intended. I mentioned it here

The first proper version of the rules is in the hands of the play testers. I did try a few solo games and the mechanisms do work. I tried them on the train heading down to Manchester to see the consultant who has finally discharged me and told me I’m fixed.
Actually I fought the games on paper, rolling dice in a tub. In reality the train was so empty I could have set up a six by four wargames table and nobody would have noticed.

13th December 2021

Yes, well, sorry about that. Two things happened. After the retina was fixed (I won’t go into detail but they replace the liquid in your eyeball with gas and then weld the retina back using lasers.) I had to ‘posture’.. I’ve had to sleep on my right hand side since, but also spend a fair amount of time sitting looking down. But in my case I was allowed to read. So three-quarters of an hour ‘posturing’ and 15 minutes for everything else.
But I was looking for a book. I was making inroads into my ‘to be read’ pile. But looking for one book, I found another. James F. Dunnigan. ‘How to Make War. A Comprehensive Guide to Modern Warfare’. OK it was published in 1982 so perhaps not all that modern but still. It’s a fabulous source of data, how many tons freight it takes to ship a division, supply requirements for aircraft (“Primary fuel; aircraft require an average of over five tons of supply for each sortie.”)
I had been looking for this because I wanted to check the campaign details I was putting into Hell in Microcosm.

But as things improved it was obvious that I needed more time with those rules, but Hell by Daylight were almost ready as I’d worked them up into a modern electronic form when the rules appeared in Miniature Wargames. So actually it seemed that given the amount of posturing I had to do was falling (yes, I love the term as well) but still sleep on my right hand side, it meant I ought to just publish Hell by Daylight. Actually it took more time that I expected because I did entirely new scenarios for it, and added some rules about drones. When using a mechanical typewriter to write the original rules, drones existed in bee hives.

But anyway, Hell by Daylight is now out! Both in Wargame Vault as a pdf for £4

And on Amazon as a paperback for £9.50 and on Kindle for £4

And the front cover? Taken by a friend of mine of an isolated patrol in Afghanistan. She was in logistics and they flew in with supplies, but more importantly, mail.

26th November

Run into something of a problem. I’ve got to go into hospital to have a torn retina mended, so I suspect they won’t let me near a computer for a while. My cunning plan of having Hell in Microcosm available for Christmas is probably too optimistic

30th October

Been busy but other than some scenarios, nothing obvious. The scenarios did take more time than I’d expected. War of the Worlds and Hellfire actually took research, because I wanted to do it properly. It’s the same with Who do you think you are kidding? A solo scenario. I don’t suppose I needed to go to the extent of checking what weapons were issued in which year, but it seemed sensible. I had to bring together a year when the Germans were still using or hoping to use blockade runners, and the Home Guard had decent weapons. On top of that I wanted suitably autumn storms and discovering that the notorious Commando Order had been issued not long previously was merely icing on the gingerbread. Desperadoes waiting for a train. was also quite a major piece of work, but still, it’s done, it’s out there.

But the big time hog was doing a SF section for Hell in Microcosm. It started off as a scenario but of course I got ideas above my station! Still, it’s done, not only can you use your mecha in the games, but now you can ship them between planets and land them using assault landers. You’ll even know what size of invoice somebody is going to hit your treasury with. Now I’m at the final editing and reading through.

The rules only have one ‘proper’ scenario to give you a feel, but even with that they’re still bigger than the two previous sets. It’s the SF section which gives it the extra thickness.

Anyway here’s a look at the front cover.

29th September

Just realised I’d not written anything here for a while. At the moment I’m working on republishing ‘Hell in Microcosm’ which allows you to play games from brigade to corps level actions for 1900 onwards. The rules are ‘done’ but getting the scenarios right is taking the work. I decided to include SF because at the higher level the rules work for them. Whether you talk about brigades and legions of Sardaukar, or stick to good old-fashioned divisions, under the terminology the engine is the same.

But of course at this level of operations you start looking at planetary landings and similar. So I’ve had to try and put together a system for creating troopships and assault landing craft, which also fits in with the cost system I put together for Hellfire Campaigns. I think I’ve done it. Mind you as an exercise in spurious accuracy it takes an awful lot of beating. Calculating the cost of an imaginary troopship, using technology that is generations off being developed, and allowing you to do so to the nearest fifty pence struck me as an exercise in applied hubris.

13th September

Been busy. I’ve put the Tsarina Sector novels on Wargame Vault as pdfs. You can find them at

Also I finally published ‘In on a Chance’ which is the start of the ‘Touchdown Collection’. These aren’t a series, in that they’re relatively loosely connected. This is on Wargame Vault as a pdf at

It’s also available on Amazon in paperback and also for kindle.

29th August
Well Hell and Uncivil Disorder is now out there. The joy of working in three formats. Because to put things into paperback with Amazon it’s best to use the template they provide. Which is easy enough to use. But because it off-sets stuff on the page to allow for the binding, and odd and even pages are offset differently, whilst this works well for paperback, it just looks silly on a pdf. So I have to set the word document for the pdf up separately. And the page breaks fall differently because the documents flow slightly differently. Which means that a table which fits nicely at the bottom of a page on one has to go on the top of the next page in the other, because you don’t want to split it.
And then with kindle you don’t have to worry about page flow at all or where to set up tables, because the reader will change the font anyway. But the difficulty arises with making sure tables are narrow enough to read on a page, pretty much whatever font. With Hellfire I gave up and produced a QRS as a pdf so that they had something they could guarantee to read.
But anyway that is behind me and I’m pondering the next steps.

It’s a time to take a look ahead and ask what’s coming next. I’ve another SF novel, ‘In On A Chance’ which is with the proof reader/editor so that could be ready in a couple of months. It’s set in the Tsarina Universe but a long way from Tsarina so none of the characters appear.

When I did the Policing the Archonate scenario I kept seeing other possibilities, so I’m slowly working on a novel based on that background.

Then it’s a case of which is the next set of rules I work up for republishing. I’m looking at the heap and pondering.

25th August

Finally got a front cover for Hell and Uncivil Disorder. Now trying to wrestle the rules into paperback, pdf and kindle formats

20th August

Finally got a front cover for the scenario book

Hopefully in the next few days I’ll get it set up with Wargame Vault and Amazon.
Also today I got the last episode of the Dodgson’s World scenarios posted. Today the campaign went live. All three scenarios and the campaign are now available from the Hellfire page as a pdf

6th August

Got the scenario booklet worked up ready for publishing. It’s going to be called, ‘Hellfire Campaigns, the Universe at Your Feet.’
I’ve almost got a front cover but a friend thinks he might have a better one.
It’s in three sections, the first and largest is how to build your planet, (eat your heart out Slartibartfast) fit in the geography, economics, populations and politics. Then it runs through ‘starting a war’ and how you might fight it, recognising that you’ll probably be doing a lot of this solo.

The next section, ‘The Man Who Would Be King’ actually goes back to an 18th century setting where you have the Grand Moghul who is nominally in charge and everybody is a potentially rebellious vassal. Whilst you could run the campaign ‘as is’ and fight actions using Hellfire, it’s more to give you even more ideas of how to handle different political attitudes and social constraints. It would shift nicely to a SF setting

The third section is shorter, it gives you three ‘societies’ or ‘peoples’ as examples of how you can have different societies and backgrounds in a campaign.


Saw some rather nice artwork from a gentleman called Paul Williams. This photo was so atmospheric he’d obviously spotted troops operating on a wet day near Coniston. I suspect it’s a bit dark to work as a cover which is a bit of disappointment

26th July 2021

Finally got the Dodgson’s World scenarios and campaigns into word format, the first will be on the blog on the 27th

19th July 2021

I’m now hunting for a suitable photo for the front cover of ‘Hell and Uncivil Disorder.’ Once I have that I can crack on and publish it. The scenario booklet has sort of grown. Because I wanted to stretch things a bit. I wanted to give people a chance of fighting their battles in campaigns where the participants were culturally/socially very different. Over the next however many thousand years, things are going to get interesting. Whilst I wouldn’t like to live in the 40K universe, I’ve always admired the way they’ve managed to make it both different yet still comprehensible.

4th July 2021

Added a Roster Sheet to the Hellfire page as a download.
Published a blog post with suggestions for solo play for Hellfire

3rd July 2021

Keeping busy. At the moment I’m waiting to hear back from people who have been proof reading Hell in Microcosm and Hell and Uncivil Disorder.

On the Hellfire front, a copy has gone to Miniature Wargames, hopefully a review in due course. I’ve got a scenario article written for the magazine, just waiting for a couple of play testers to get back to me with their comments.
I’ve put a couple of scenarios up for people (with pdf downloads from the site) and there’s another about ready.

I’m also working on a ‘campaign’ booklet. It’ll let you fight campaigns on a balkanised planet. Effectively the mechanisms driving these campaigns are intended to be solo, but it would be nice to find somebody else once you get to the ‘operation’ level, and even more so when you get onto the wargames table.
This booklet will almost certainly work for other rule sets as well.

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