EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Papal Zouaves are Recruiting

Some 500 Canadians joined the Papal Zouaves, largely French Canadians but also some Catholic Irish of whom there were significant numbers in Montreal.
This one appears to be Scottish in origin.......
now to make him some baggy pants.

Once done he'll look a bit like the fellow below, all natty in grey trimmed red, but in the charging pose used by Britains for their Zouaves. Its a bit late for the Montreal contingent to go save Rome but it seems that there are plenty of Heathens right here at home.

Pontifical Zouave c 1865
Lombardi Historical Collection
Author Photographer, Fratelli D'Alessandri, Roma

Friday, June 22, 2018

Interim Report: The Work Continues

Thursday  I made it back to Ron's for another game. Again I was a bit late and there was much discussion before we got stuck into Sawmill Village. (A familiar, dependable, Meeting Engagement scenario by CS Grant if anyone hasn't yet met it.)
My lead platoons approach the Village and the Sawmill.
Our plan was to try using our modified version of Memoir without either sectors or cards but using an OSW  initiative die roll at the start of each turn. Each side gets 6 units from an available list. After some discussion of how to equate the available forces  to the scenario list crossed with our amended rules we finally settled with the following:

Canadians (me) 3 infantry, a 3" mortar (arty), a Sherman and a Firefly and an HQ.

Germans (Ron) 2 Elite infantry, 2 1/2 tracks acting as MG armed Light Armour and 2 PzrIV and an HQ.

(We do actually randomly choose sides but the power of positive thinking seems to come through for me.)

His original thought was to use the 1/2 tracks to transport his Pzr Grenadiers then support them in battle but we could not find a transport rule nor remember back the several years to our last games with this system and the clock was ticking.

The view from the other side. The 1/2 tracks have sped ahead to seize the town while I concentrated on deploying my slower force for a concentrated counter attack with fire support from my 3" mortars. 
The game was fine despite our being extremely rusty and getting rules from various supplements, not to mention other sets, mixed up but it was fast with lots of tactical decisions to make. Really fast. We probably should have called it after an hour, discussed things and played another game but we had the bit between our teeth and no turn or force morale rule so fought it out to the last man standing.

Last Call. The German  HQ surveys the wreck of his force and watches as my last infantry platoon prepares to advance covered by the mortar and last remaining Firefly.
(Note: we have doubled the ranges)
Overall, the most enjoyable WWII game since our last modified Memoir game a few years ago but there was room for improvement. After more discussion about various aspects, Ron hauled out a card deck to check something and we remembered what lovely cards they are and what fun and we felt the urge to make some use of them again.

The problem had always been that the Grant scenarios we enjoy just don't squeeze well into the 3 zone. Especially the ones where opposing sides are moving on from multiple corners towards an objective in the centre. The 18 hex by 18 hex table size is a factor as well. So, the current plan is to try a scenario using the cards but ignoring the sector aspect, just using it to activate units and for the various special rules.

We'll see how that goes but not until mid-July.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Rebels with a Cause

Another unit for the Fantasians, Bright and shiny and ready to rumble!

The  'Old Toy Soldier' look is certainly fast! My version is not terribly authentic if compared to the real thing but I like 'em like they are.


This puts me back on track for the planned mix of Union, Confederate and ..."special" units which I abandoned in 2016 to make a plausible Western US army for a fictional clash on the Prairies.

The uniforms and mix of poses were inspired by the following Britains set.

The Fort Henry Guard  officer has now been cast and work will start on them and then, finally, maybe, a game!