Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My New Favorite Web Site for 18th Century Wargaming

Russian infantry figures from the collection of John Ray (copywrite by John Ray and published here with his kind permission)

In September 2013, John Ray released his book, titled "A Military Gentleman in the 18th Century", the story of a soldier of fortune named Nicholas Walsh. Walsh was an American Loyalist who fought for the Czarina of Russia,  Frederick the Great of Prussia and George III of Britain. His fascinating story finds him fighting the Ottoman Turks on the steppes of Russia, the Wurttemburgers and French in Europe in the little know Fulda War, and enlisting in the Prussian army to fight against the Austrians during the War of Bavarian Succession. And that is just for starters: the intrepid Walsh returns to his native America to fight for the Loyalist cause and runs into Americans and Spanish antagonists in the New World.

Major Walsh's story is supplemented by a lavish full-colour portfolio of photographs of the fabulous collection of John Ray. John creates and sculpts his own figures in a style that is reminiscent of the old RSM (Pax Britannia) range of figures designed by the late Steve Hezzlewood. As a matter of fact, John learned his sculpting trade under the tutelage of Hezzlewood, whose graceful and realistically proportioned figures look as up to date now as they did back in the 1980s when they were first introduced.

John Ray decided to publish the story of Major Walsh and use it as a vehicle to tell the story via his own collection of figures representing the armies of Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Wurttemburg, Hesse Kassel and France; Prussia, Spain and both sides of the American Revolution. More recently, John opened a new web site devoted to his book, see the link below:

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book, then click on the link below:

Now I freely admit that I am an unabashed fan of John Ray's work and when I first heard that I could purchase a book full of pictures of his military creations, I did not hesitate to jump at the chance. The print run is limited to 500 copies and after that, you will not be able to purchase one new ever again. This is a book that you will want to keep and refer to often if you are keen on 18th Century military history. I would imagine that I pick up my copy several times each week to browse through the pages and read parts of the story or ogle the eye candy of miniatures.

But there is even more coming: John is currently conducting an 18th Century campaign with a number of players in the UK and he promises to post campaign reports, battle summaries and best of all, PICTURES! All of these new items will be posted on the new website and updated as the campaign progresses. John indicates that he will eventually offer a truncated version of the book as a PDF, which is an interesting idea. And finally, for those of you who purchase a copy of the book, you will become eligible to participate in a growing on-line forum devoted to wargaming and topics related to the book.  It has been a lively group so far, full of hobby names that most of you will recognize but you will have to join the forum to find out who they are. The forum promises to be a polite and civilized place to just hang out and talk about wargaming, without all of the strife, rancor and rudeness that is the trademark of That Other Place.

As the title of this thread suggests, the AMG forum is rapidly becoming one of my favorite places to visit on a daily basis. So why not click on the above link, check it out, and see what is going on. I give both the book and the new forum my highest recommendation and I don't think that either will disappoint you. I hope to see some of my readers there soon.


  1. Thanks for the heads up on Johns new site. Bought the book when it first came out.


  2. Many thanks for this post telling us about this site. His book looks very tempting and his figures are wonderful.

  3. Lovely looking book and something I've been considering.


  4. Thank you a lot for the advise. Really interesting life!!!

  5. Thanks for this post. I had expressed interest in the book when I first heard about it, but was a bit intimidated by the price. I hastily tried to join the forum without realizing I had to have a copy of the book first. I felt quite foolish. But John emailed me back and after a few exchanges I will be receiving my copy of the book this week! I am very excited. The bonus of being able to join the forum was the incentive I needed to jump in. And I have your post to thank for that. Thank you!