EXERT 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

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig.

Here I am, Home from Huzzah!   Lets kill any suspense right off the top and say that I think the organizers did a great job and I greatly enjoyed my weekend. As much as I enjoy Cold Wars and Historicon, I sometimes find the smaller shows more enjoyable, less fuss and bother, easier to see all or at least most of what's going on and generally enough games and well stocked dealer tables to make it easy to spend money. The hotel chosen was easy to get to, easy to get around, and while not overly fancy, was more than reasonably priced with the convention discount and suited me to a tee, they provided great service, including cookies that were both good and free. They were also within easy walking distance of alternate eating places if you didn't like the menu. I would cheerfully go to any future Huzzah that I can manage. SWMBO and Warchest willing.

On a related note it was really great to meet some blog readers in person and even have a few join into games. Great gentlemen gamers that would be welcome at my table any time.
One of the theme Boxer Rebellion games caught between rounds. I think the Major General would have approved.

Hopefully some one will write a marvelous report with lots of pictures, my camera remained buried in a bag and I only took a few cell snaps. There seemed to be a good mix of popular games and (I'm trying to think of a neutral term here to avoid appearing to diss popular things which many people enjoy) lets say more personal approaches to the hobby. Games on land, in the air and on the sea in just about every scale and every style of rules and many periods.

28mm SYW, Teddy Bear fur and Carnage & Glory.

My friends the Deans, Rob and sons Norman and William had driven up from Maryland, Huzzah being almost precisely 1/2 way between us, a 1,000 km from either end, and we started the weekend with an introductory game of Basic Impetus using an old collection of micro-ancients dancing on heads of pins. (Mind you by the end of the game I was able to distinguish (just) cavalry from infantry by leaning close and peering.) Oh, by the way, a warning about the pictures on Rob's and Norman's blog reports, they seem to have photo shopped some ancient hermit or Saxon Thane into where I should be.



I didn't exactly fill up all the empty spaces in my car (until I looted my sister's place on the way home)  but I did pick up some more Trident 40mm figures to flush out my AR Loyalist rangers, bring my 7 Jaegers up to a more comfortable 8 and so on. The real treat though was a copy of Deneys Reitz's Commando, his experiences as a young Boer during the 2nd Anglo-Boer War. This war has been on my "todo" list since I was knee high to a grasshopper but recently my mind had started to wander towards a 10mm General's eye view of the battle but while I'm not finished, like when I ret de Wet's memoirs and various Canadian accounts, not to mention Churchill, this book is snapping me back to a 40mm toy soldier version of the Boer War, possibly a question of revisiting and extending MacDuff.


A poor snap of the magnificent Boxer theme games. Suddenly I missed the old MacDuff games.

OK one last distraction, I spent most of the convention parked beside Eureka/AB miniatures. I had been a big fan of Tony Barton since I saw the first ad for 15mm French Revolution in the first WI and they formed the bulk of my 15mm collection after that, bulked out by OG for largely financial reasons, FRW French, Austrians, Russians, Turks, ACW Rebs,....all gone now since I have resigned from 15mm. I was aware of Eureka 28's but this was the first time I'd really seen them in person. What marvelous figures! These are the first 28's I've ever seen and liked. Its not just that they aren't exaggerated its that the sculptor seems to really understand movement, balance, weight etc of people and other beings but also of inanimate things and clothing. I could cheerfully build armies of these, if I was still working and well paid. So like a diabetic standing beside the cake displays in a bakery, I spent my weekend!



Friday night saw the Aroostock War heat up, an aggressive American defence almost beat back the Brits but while the British managed to spread their hits around and rally them, the American forces got trapped into concentrated hits with losses of stands and eventually their army's morale cracked.

My "boys" watch the on coming Redcoats. The subtle grid corners are just visible.

Saturday morning, I played in Chris Parker's 40mm Brandywine game, played on a square grid using a mix of Battlecry with modifications including, I believe, some things borrowed from his own Day of Battle. This means that I finally got to use some of those funny dice with the sabers and flags etc. I really hate to admit this, but, they were fun to use!  Over all the game went well, provided a smooth, easy to pick up game which was fun but still seemed to capture the flavour of the period and delivered what felt like a reasonable result in a squeaker of a game. More grist for the thought mill.
I like to think having one of my Riflemen pick off Cornwallis, when he appeared at the head of some Grenadiers at about where this picture was taken from, was a factor in the American win.
Saturday afternoon and evening saw 2 games of Rough Wooing. The evening one was short handed so Rob and I pitched and played which we don't often get to do and it was a pleasure to play. Neither of these games were as close as the Friday games but since the French won in the morning and the English in the evening, it would seem that Mr. Kinch's scenario from Battle Games stood the test.  

Sunday morning, ended with a no-show of players so after hanging around a bit,  I quickly packed up and hit the road two hours early to my great relief. I hadn't been looking forward to navigating deer and porcupine infested, washed out back roads after dark as I made my way back to her place Sunday night.

So a good convention weekend, the planning, preparation is almost done, and the playing is all done, so its time to start looking at the year ahead. More on that in a day or so.

Ashley & Amelia, two of my sister's kids. 



13 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you had a good weekend Ross - and that you got plenty of use from the toys.

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    1. old toys new toys, old games, new games, yup, good vacation.

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  2. Ross

    Looks like a good weekend and really nice looking games on table.

    PD

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    1. Yeah, I almost wish the Colonial games hadn't been there. Excuse me, I think MacDuff is at the door.

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  3. Hey Ross,

    Good to see you made it back safe and sound. I look forward to seeing some Boer action in 40mm. As you are aware I am getting into this war myself currently playing Hill of Doves. Thanks for the link to Birch's book. When I finish Pakenham's book I'll have to check that one out. Please let us know if the book on Reitz is any good ... Jeff

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    1. Majuba, hmm for some reason the First Boer War (for some reason the 1st couple of clashes don;t seem to count) has never attracted me as much as the 2nd one. I'm only 1/3rd of the way through but I can assure you that the book is very good indeed, especially for the view from the trench or saddle rather than the General's eye or Historian's view.

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  4. Hi Ross,

    Looks like a great weekend and I can certainly echo the smaller show shout! Glad you are safe and sound and avoided the Porcupines....;-)

    All the best,

    DC

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  5. DC
    Prickly porcs? What am I missing -other than that the beasts are a typical road hazard on eastern North American roads?

    PD

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    1. The reference was to the 2nd to last paragraph "I hadn't been looking forward to navigating deer and porcupine infested, washed out back roads after dark "

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  6. Ok, I see it now. ON the whole deer are a much worse hazard than porcupines (who generally don't damage the vehicle). One of the most entertaining radio ads I've ever heard was from a body shop in Manitoba that started with the question "Have you had an unfortunate encounter with one of Nature's magnificent creatures?". Of course at the time I was navigating the car at night through Riding Mountain National park and avoiding said creatures..

    PD

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    1. OK, porcupines may not be magnificent but young ones can be cute. Had to stop for a young one the year before on a dark, rainy night. He stopped, faced the car and stared me down. Whatever happened to curling up in a ball?

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  7. Good report Ross. Liked the pics you posted here. Glad you enjoyed it and got home safe.
    I too am a Tony Barton fan, esp of his 20mm WW2 stuff. My wallet would have fared poorly if stationed where you were.

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