A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Friday, 7 December 2012

Anschluss Publishing – Ebb & Flow


I was sorting out my bookshelves a bit yesterday – trying to identify a bit of space for some new things, and seeing if I have any old things which I could usefully move on. In the process, as ever, I came across a number of books I didn’t even remember having bought, and some of them look pretty interesting!


One booklet which I came across again, having read it a few times, is the Diplomacy and Other Means campaign system. This was written by Ian Hinds some years ago for Anschluss Publishing. I got my copy second-hand through eBay. The book is interesting for a number of reasons – mainly for the holistic approach and the way it works. It is unlikely that I would ever actually play the game, since it does not lend itself at all to solo play and since it requires a lot of paperwork – albeit cleverly thought out paperwork.

The booklet makes reference to Anschluss's Ebb & Flow rules for miniatures wargames to cope with the combat aspcts of the campaigns. I had never heard of these, and did a bit of further research, and found they were still available, from (I think –and if this is wrong then humble apologies all round) Essex Miniatures. I phoned up and ordered the core rule system from them, plus an expansion – Module III, which covers the Peninsular Campaign of 1812-14. Sadly, I received only the expansion module – which is a series of army lists and OOBs, with some detail rule amendments for this particular campaign – plus an apology for the non-availability of the core rule booklet, which was now long out of print.


In the long history of wargame disappointments this was only a minor sadness, so I had a look at what I had received and put it away safely on the “small booklets” shelf, to be revisited periodically when I was looking for more space. I’ve kept a casual eye open for Ebb & Flow on eBay and elsewhere, just out of interest – not that I would be likely to adopt the system, but I sort of collect other people’s wargame ideas in the same way as a saxophonist friend of mine collects obscure minor scales – they might come in useful one day, but – more relevantly – I just like to read them.

Never found them, yet I still see reference to them here and there. Someone’s blog was reminiscing about Ebb & Flow the other week, and there is occasional mention on TMP. I’m still gently intrigued, if anyone has any experience of these rules, or tales to tell.

5 comments:

  1. I had all the Ebb and Flow booklets-bought from Essex Miniatures. Unfortunately the print was so small on the core rule set (and printed on bog roll quality paper)that it was annoyingly impossible to read them properly. I offloaded them all a couple of years back on ebay!

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    1. Thanks Matt - appreciated. Classic wargaming story of cold trails!

      In the night, the Archangel came to me and showed me the sacred scrolls which contain the Message - the truth about everything. Sadly, I did not have my reading glasses with me.

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  2. It is maddening how the unscratchable itches are created in the hobby as a result of the imperfect distribution system. The only ways out are either to get it and see for yourself, or have someone do a strong criticism to dampen the fire. But I can't do that; I would have picked it up myself if I saw it anywhere.

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    1. Agreed. The really maddening thing is that, if you do track down a long-fancied rarity, it seems that the quality and the value of the information it contains are inversely proportional to the square of the time taken to find it. This could be one of Foy's Missing Laws, in fact....

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  3. Many thanks to Neil, who contacted me by email with an offer to give me a sight of the E&F rules - these blog thingies work, by 'eck!

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