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

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fight At The Four Arms: Over so soon?

The Blue General declares the game over and rests on his laurels.
It was much too nice a day to be inside today but I slipped in a turn at lunch and watched as Brigadier Zinn rallied his brigade.  It was beginning to look like this game might go a full 18 turns and last all week so as evening drew on and the clouds came over, I put away the tiller just a little bit too early for supper and retired upstairs to my games room. Then I slipped upstairs for the decisive initiative roll and  then lingered to play the turn. In moments it was all over at the end of Turn 9.

Turn 7 ends.

The Initiative returned to Faraway on Turn 7 and the Bodyguards charged in , breaking the enemy 1st Infantry in a tough fight but being so badly beat up that they had to retire to the board edge. A storm of volley fire and canister sent the 3rd & 4th Infantry reeling backwards as well. Nothing daunted, General Scott and Brigadier Zinn galloped over and managed to rally all three broken units. It was going to take 2 or 3 turns to bring the regiments back to fighting status but at least they were there and sheltered from enemy action. Across the stream, the Blue Guards and Lafeyette Volunteers advanced into the gap.

 Turn 8 Brigadier Glasse goes down and the Royals break!

Again Faraway held the initiative but had to spend it rallying troops and filling gaps in the line, preparing for the oncoming storm. It was not long in coming, on the far right the San Carlos cavalry which had  crossed over beyond Red's flank charged into Larsen's Lancers fighting a prolonged and bloody melee. In the center, the Blue Dragoons split into troops and began making their way across the stream, reforming on the far side before they could be charged.  Beside them the Blue Guards and Volunteers pressed forward screened by skirmishers. Caught in a crossfire between the 5th Infantry firing from the edge of the woods and the Lafayette Volunteers, The 1st Royals were cut to pieces. When Brigadier Glasse attempted to steady them, he was shot from his saddle and soon the battalion was streaming to the rear.

Turn 9 - The end.

Then disaster struck! Oberhilse again stole the initiative and pulled a "Someone had blundered" chance card allowing them to move one enemy unit forward a move. They chose the Green Tigers and drawing them out of their cover, sent them in disorder over the stream. The Tigers converted the move to a charge but were checked by fire from the Grenadiers and  then routed by a blast of cannister. On Blue's left, the San Carlos cavalry renewed the fight and both regiments were blown and had to retreat leaving the way open for the Frontier Lancers. In the center, the Blue Dragoons, Kearney at their head, charged into the Princess Charlotte's Dragoons routing them and pursuing into the rallying skirmishers of the 2nd brigade, scattering them. Musketry from the Blue Guards, canister and skirmish fire tore into the 2nd Royals, already battered by their melee with the Guards on the previous turn and the remnants were also forced to retreat in disorder. Finally the Lafayette Volunteers advanced with a cheer and charged the gun that had been canistering them with little effect. The Dover Fusiliers were in close support and 1/2 the battery was saved but the line was in ruins and no troops stood between the Blue Guards and the crossroads, just a broken down steam tractor, towing a deflated balloon, smack dab in the middle of the crossroad.  To make matters worse, with both of his units in fierce firefights and showing signs of wavering, Brigadier Topper was also hit by enemy fire.

There was one chance left, if Faraway could rally enough troops they could pull back into the buildings and try to defend them. Blue's cavalry and artillery was in good shape but their infantry had also been badly battered in the fighting. It turned out to be a fat chance as unit after unit ran off the back of the table. There was no hope of resisting for more than a few turns, it was time to save what was left. Pondering how it had gone so wrong so quickly and whether or not there was a way to come back, I looked up and saw that the Blue Commander had made up his mind that it was over and had curled up behind General Scott for a victory nap.

Thoughts on the game in a day or so.


  1. Hi Ross,

    This is a humdinger of a bar fight to be sure! Games like this are guaranteed to do two things for me - firstly, I get hugely inspired in a crusading zealot 'I-want-to-paint-hordes-of-figures-to-game-with' kind of way and secondly, worn out with the excitement!

    It looks like your furry companion (is that Hector?)is of a similar mind....;-)

    Great report Ross, really enjoyable and well done indeed!

    All the best,


    1. Thanks DC. Hector & I both do a lot of catnapping these days.

  2. A true Battle Royal on a spectacular scale, most enjoyable.

    And there should be lots more pictures of cats on wargame blogs! Best wishes, Brian

    1. Thanks Brian. At least our cats have never eaten any of my figures!

  3. Hi Ross,
    I've noticed that the blue army always does better when Marshal Hector commands them. :oP```
    What a great battle report. That had to be a blast.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks John. Yes he can beat me in his sleep it seems. Of course every one I've played this year has beat me. Maybe I should nap more.

  4. What is it with cats and wargaming tables ? , they draw like a magnet !

  5. Magnificent pictures of what looks and reads like a stirring action. The calm confidence of the Oberhilse General officer Commanding must have been an inspiration to the troops, to have routed so easily Faraway's finest...

    1. Thanks Ion. It may be that or his mystic influence on the dice.

  6. Some wonderful pictures and figures here!

  7. Please tell me where you get that rubber river material from. looking at imagineimage dot org

  8. The stream is not rubber. Its a square of blue felt from the dollar store or a craft store, cut to shape, some stripes added with craft paint as well as brown banks and then some flocking has been glued on the edges. Takes about 10 -15 minutes to do a couple of feet of stream.


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