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

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Good Weather Can Be Such a Nuisance

Not that I'm complaining really, I've been getting a lot of necessary work done but it sure plays havoc with hobby time. Doesn't stop it altogether but nothing is ready to post about!
Luckily its cloudy with high hopes of some showers so time for an interim post at least.

The Gathering of Hosts has seen a bit of progress as a hangout game approaches. Four new stands of troops have been added and an initial coat of paint has begun the harmonification of bases to mottled table green.

Apart from the fantasy/medieval stuff I have been making progress on a stand of Oberberg Constabulary but after 15 minutes of cleaning flash from 1/2 a homecast horse last night, the legs broke so they remain dismounted police until I can recover enough ground in the woodshed to set up a worktable and find time for a casting session. There have been idle moments though such as when the back half of my brain has been able to wander while the front half supervises  my body as it carts firewood into the woodshed and stacks it. This has at least allowed me to clarify or rather reconfirm what the Oerberg campaign will look like.

An archive picture of an Oerberg ambush of a motor convoy c 1903 played out last January.

I am getting alot of enjoyment from my imaginings but also finding it difficult not to swerve into old, easy, habits of copying historical campaigns too closely. In many ways it would be easier to just do an historical Boer War, Riel Rebellion and East African campaign except experience suggests that none would ever get 'finished' and that I would miss the creative aspects and the not knowing what happens or how it will end.

However, its been 2 years since I laid out the key elements of the campaign I wanted to play with horses, machine guns, trains and motorcars, regulars and irregulars, sprawling territories thin on troops,  and so on.

My "history" seems to have mixed a bit of the 1880's in with the Big War of 1903 but these things tend to happen and at least we know those early clashes were indecisive. They were but the overture, the main event beckons.


  1. Dear Ross,

    Have you given consideration to what the "real event" will look like? Are any of your motor vehicles armed with early machine guns? Will you keep cavalry away from the killing grounds created by modern machine guns and artillery. Of course, the term "modern" is relative but even the artillery available in 1895 was quite lethal. For that matter, will your battles have wide open spaces with infantry marching in open formations as in the Boer War (also used by the AEF in France before they learned better) or will there be lots of broken terrain and hill tops, etc? If one of your armies decides to march on to the enemy's capitol have you given thought to a possible siege or what house to house fighting might look like?

    These questions should be part of that big picture that you are intellectually painting while you are doing more mundane chores. Heck - as you continue with the planning you are doing you might think about new terrain for your gaming. Does your capitol have a large church - did the C. of O. build a small cathedral? Will you need siege lines? And is there any room for an amphibious force making a landing either on a contested beach or even in a harbor?

    Whoa - I'm getting really carried away with your project! May you have much fun and take great pleasure as you get closer to actually starting the campaign.


    1. Thanks Jerry, the campaign per se started with a game last September, there hss just been a bit of waffling over what year and what the troops will look like. Faraway hss already fielded an improvised motor mg in a contemporary battle against Oberhilse, south of the mountains so I would not be surprised to see one here snd eventually a proper armored car.

      The question of cavalry historically has been much studied from 1870 through to the 1920s in Poland. It remains to be seen if both its triumphs and its disasters can be emulated on the table.

      I don't envisage any street fighting in large urban areas. Not only is this a land of small towns with no really large cities and no history of exposing civilians to the ordeal but I have no interest in building them on table! Sieges on the otherhand are a distinct possibility.

      I hadn't considered an amphibious landing but there is a coast in both theaters of war and Faraway has a navy so perhaps an attempt to bypass a tough defensive position in a year or two. Good idea!

  2. Tell us about the guys on the rocks-I find them really intriguing!

  3. In due course on the Gathering of Hosts.