Only death is smiling…

One thing you can rely on our friends Tony & Alec for is a cinematic and exciting battle report.

In this instance, there is a valuable boy missing in the centre of a complex set of ancient (Roman?) ruins. Arthur and his knights (based on the Saxon list) face off against a Draugr warband.

Arthur and the Wendol

Unfortunately, there is a complication – armed civilians, which turn out to be the possessors of the ruins, the cannibal Wendol. If you fall here you will end up with a dinner invitation…

So begins the bloodiest battle report we have yet seen, with a casualty figure that climbs into the dozens – I kid you not.

To read more go to Tony’s excellent blog:

Robin Hood!

Our friends at Northstar have just released an expansion pack for their Frostgrave Soldiers set that allows you to create Robin Hood and his Merry Men. He already had individual metal figures for Robin, Marian and the Sheriff based on the recent BBC TV series.

So, in honour of this excellent idea we at The Ministry have written complete Blood Eagle lists for Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham for Northstar’s website.

You can find the here:

Robin Hood

North of the Wall

Well, later today we begin the long trek from Mid-Wales to Falkirk in Scotland. Google tells me it will take six hours, but they have not met the official Ministry driver – Lorna, my wife.

There we shall be attending:
Carronade 2016
7th May 2016, 10am – 4pm
Graeme High School, Falkirk FK1 1SY

There shall be 30 + Clubs Presenting Demonstration & Public Participation Games, 40+ Traders, a Flea Market and a Bring & Buy.
Adults are £2.50 and Concessions £1.50
More details at:

I am so looking forwards to seeing all you Scots, Picts, Highlanders, Lowlanders and even any English who can get their passports stamped by Nicola Sturgeon😉

I shall be presenting and running Blood Eagle participation games all day, as well as flogging copies of that and Daisho if any of you are interested.

A report and pictures shall be forthcoming, you have my word on that.

The importance of book design

For any books, and especially ones for gamers, one of the critical aspects of it is the design. People are so used to getting publications today that are the product of teams of professional designers. Products that look good, lead the reader to and through all aspects of the game and provide a pleasant visual experience for them.

Unifying and enhancing text, logos, images into a pleasing and useful design is a real skill and one we did not have in our arsenal. We also could not afford the teams of designers other companies had.

Our first book as The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare, Daisho, was designed and laid out by my dear brother. Though a talented artist himself, he had never done such a layout before and it was a steep learning curve. The result was very good, but it took him a long time to get it right.

For our second we chose Millsy, and were not disappointed. He was recommended to us by Simon Miller of To the Strongest! A book I had admired for its clear and consistent design.

It has been a real pleasure to work with a chap who listened carefully to what we wanted then delivered it in ways that we could not have imagined. He is as much a contributor to our project as any.


Human Warbands 300dpi
Here is an excellent example of Millsy’s work.


You can read about how he went about creating the design for Blood Eagle here:

Salute 2016 – the report

A little after dawn o’clock Charles, Lorna and I departed our secret lair in the leafy suburbs of Surrey in a car laden to the rafters with our equipment. The M25 was eerily quiet, like in a post-apocalypse movie and the mood in the car was subdued. It was silently agreed that there is not enough caffeine for this time in the morning.

By the time we reached the Docks the world had woken up and it was time to get our war faces on.

As we have found before the Warlords team are cheery, helpful and, above all, efficient. The car was in and out of the hall in under five minutes and, while Charles went to stable it, we set about unpacking and getting ready.

We were soon joined by our friend Matt and the serious business of assembling Billy’s latest masterpiece – a cemetery in old Budapest – was accomplished.

The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare had been planning for Salute for several months. Charles’ organisation and checksheets ensured that nothing was forgotten and, that everything was in its assigned place.

The set-up included:
1. The village of Kattegat from the TV series ‘Vikings’, for Blood Eagle,


2. The Shrine of Dog-e-bite for Daisho, and


3. The old cemetery in Budapest for IHMN Gothic.


Three battlefields, three masters of the games (cough) and our Maitre ‘D, Lorna on front of house.

We stood back to admire our work but only had moments before the starting gun was fired and the horde descended upon us.

Over the next seven hours, we ran at least nine games of Blood Eagle, seven of Daisho and six of IHMN Gothic. This may not seem much until you realise that each game took 30-45 minutes, required us to instruct and entertain forty-four people from eight to seventy years old, in a hall with the acoustics of an aircraft hanger and several thousand people in.

Some players were already aficionados of IHMN but most were playing their first games. The preparation we put into the figure cards and reference sheets really paid off here, making it much easier for people to get their heads around the rules. In most games people were up and running by the end of turn two, and everyone seemed to have a great time. Indeed, some of those manning adjacent tables were rolling their eyes at the amount of laughter and shouting going on in our small portion of the arena.

As before the youngsters and the non-gamer partners really gave their regular gamer parents/friends a good run for their money. Every battle was closely fought with many going to the wire. We still had people playing when the Warlords began gently ushering everyone out.


It was really great to meet new people catch-up with old friends. Here are just a few of those we met:

  • Viv Chandra of the gamers YouTube channel Rubbish-in, Rubbish-out. He came all the way from Australia to see us (and friends, family and others).
  • Mark Byng, the creator if the IHMN Boardgame, and his friend Richard.
  • Craig Thompson of Tiny Terrain, who provided so many great photos for the Blood Eagle book.
  • Annie Norman of Bad Squiddo Games. A young lady who has a growing reputation as a trader and figures manufacturer.
  • Simon Miller of To the Strongest! An old friend and fellow independent designer.
  • Karl and Mick from the White Hart Gamers. The original gang who demo’ed IHMN at Salute 2013.
  • Nick Eyre of Northstar Miniatures, our friend and distributor of our rules.
  • Dave Wise of the Games Club Network, the man who has put on more games of IHMN, at more shows, than anyone else on the planet.
  • Tony Yates, friend, artist and all round good egg, with his regular opponent Alec.
  • And in the dying moments of the day Ben and Lloyd from Beasts of War.

There were so many other excellent ladies and gentlemen who stopped by to chat, ask about the games and even ask us to sign their copies of the books. This, I assured them, would double the value of the books should we suddenly and tragically die.

Each of us managed to get a few minutes away during the day and do a quick walkabout. I must admit mine was a bit of a whistlestop as I rushed between the stalls selling Blood Eagle. Two fo the three sold out by lunchtime and even Northstar only had a handful left by close of play. I did not see much in the way of steampunk going on despite the theme, but that is more because I was rushing than any actual lack.

We eventually made it back to the lair around seven and collapsed to partake of too much pizza and wine. Despite feeling like beaten men we agreed that we’re coming back next year.

So a heartfelt thanks to all of you who managed to make it to Salute and say hello to us. It means a lot to us talking face to face with players. To those that didn’t we hope that this report and the photos, help give you an idea of what a frenetic and wonderful experience it is.


Salute 2016

Ladies, Gentlemen and you at the back.

The great pilgrimage 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 worldwide 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.

Six days to go…!

So, less than a week to go to Salute 2016 and its craft city here in the Cartmell household.

The Blood Eagle board is just having a few finishing touches applied and the figures are painted though still need their bases finishing then varnishing. The Longship is assembled to the level I want for the game, but I debating how to paint it.

2016-04-10 10.02.40

Down south our very good friend Billy Harrington is putting the finishing touches to his incredible IHMN Gothic cemetary, and we already have his autumnal Daisho board. I have painted the Imperial Nights Watch for the IHMN Gothic game and Billy is providing the Vampire and his minions.

Most of the cards and reference sheets are done and now just need printing and laminating.

Charles has created a huge checklist of things to pack because I am an idiot and will forget things.

Nick and the Northstar boys have plenty of copies of Blood Eagle and Daisho for the Wargames Emporium stand.

All in all, we are well on our way to providing an entertaining experience for any of you who stop by table GF17.