Sunday, 21 December 2014

Using 40mm semi flats for wargaming

Which rules do we use?

'Old school' wargaming.

The new PA range are a development of original HE semi-flats, which were the work of Holger Eriksson, who also sculpted the Spencer Smith range of figure. These figures feature prominently in classic wargames books such as ‘The War Game’ by Charles Grant, or ‘Charge’ by Brig. P Young & Lt. Col J.P Lawford. Both of these books are still available in paperback reprint - but if you can afford it treat yourself to a second hand hardbacks - they look so much better on the bookshelf!

Both of these use large units, which certainly look very impressive, however they are a lot of work - and you will need a big table!

A display game using large units of 40mm ‘Karoliner’ (mostly) figures.

We dallied with 'old school' rules for a couple of years, but found them 'hard work', needing a lot of time, and we rarely finished a game - so we don't use them much now. The thing is though that I really do want them to work - perhaps I just need opponents with lots of time on their hands?

More recent rules-sets

Having given the 'old school' a fighting chance we decided to go for more recent rule sets.

Field of Battle

Initially we used  ‘Field of Battle’ (FoB) by Brent Oman; we already used them (along with 'Shako') for 15mm Napoleonics, and they work fine with the semi flats. These are an interesting set of rules based on the Piquet rules system and use a variable move sequence which is card driven.


More recently we have been using  'Maurice’ by Sam Mustafa; these are a fun set, and again the action is card driven. They also contain a simple campaign system. A ‘lite’ version of Maurice is available for free download from:

Both sets have their places, Maurice is best for just two players, whereas FoB can be used with multiple players on each side.

Both of these rule-sets work well with small units of 16 infantry and 8 cavalry, and can still look very impressive. This could be either Maurice or FoB - the troop scale and basing is the same.

There are many other sets available - we have settled on these two.........for now.

Basing and organising figures into units

You might think that 40mm figures need a big table to play on, but that isn't really the case. As the figures are semi-flats,  the width is no more than full-round 28mm figures, so a 20mm  wide base works well for both infantry and cavalry. The bases do need to be a bit deeper than for 28mm, and we have found 30mm for infantry and 60mm for the cavalry to be about right. This is a period of linear warfare with relatively shallow battle lines, so the deeper bases aren't really a problem. The figures have been designed to fit neatly into units on these base sizes.

After a lot of heart searching, I decided to base up the figures so that they could be used either as a single 32 man unit......

.... or two 16 man units, which is all they have been used as so far.

I must do a battle report.................


  1. I have cast up armies using Prince August moulds and used 'Charge' and agree they do take time - as I play solo this doesn't matter as much , Have you tried BAR - Battles for the Ancient Regeme , a cross between the Charge and Grant rules ?.More controversially have you thought of using 'Black Powder' ? - my blog with my figures is at , Cheers Tony

  2. Tony

    I have a copy of Black Powder, but cannot get on with them, for one thing I do not like any horse and musket rules which allow troops to move and then fire. The defender should always get a chance of firing first.

    I also have BAR - but not enough figures.

    FoB and Maurice are both very good rules - if you have not tried them give them a go Maurice lite is free download.

    I have been viewing your blog on and off - I am now following it.

    Thanks for comments.


    1. I have a copy of Maurice but not got around to trying them out , Tony

  3. Agreed. Stunning set-up and units. Were I to start again, I'd choose 40mm PA figures, along with a few additions from German moldmakers. You just can't beat the look of everything. Amazing stuff.

    Best Regards,


  4. We use Charge! and find it fast to play with a good feel as well as fun for both small and large games. Our biggest games have seen over a 1,000 miniatures on a 30ft table but the more common small games with a handful of companies on a 5'x6' foot table have been just as much fun. Some battle reports can be found on my blog under the label NQSYW .

    1. PS for those who don't want to plow through 44 posts or who want to see pictures of our Lobositz game there is also the Not Quite Seven Years War blog .

  5. Great looking tables and figures. Of course, I am already a confirmed fan of Field of Battle!

    1. I must confess that in many ways I prefer FoB.

      However if you have not tried Maurice give them a go, the card system is great fun. They are only really suitable for one to one battles though.

  6. Have your tried "All the King's Men" rules with these figures?