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, January 23, 2016

Upsetting The Civilians (or MacDuff Junior Pt 2)

"Well sir, it was a near run thing." 

"The natives shot straight, a bullet to the head more often than not while they were just as lethal with blade in hand. The poor Gordons and Naval Brigade were wiped out to a man. If the enemy's nerve had held up under artillery fire I'm not sure we could have shifted them but shift them we did in the end."

One might notice a very major shift away from Macduff in the quickie rules in the last post. MacDuff was specifically designed for Imperial forces to take on Native forces with 2 or 3 time their numbers on an even footing. This quick set treats everybody as basically equal thus allowing both sides to have similar numbers of toys.  One is always free to assume that less effective units represent more men per toy soldier. (I should also note that only 1/2 of each of my Arab infantry units had rifles.)

There is room for lots more chrome but the rules provided just the sort of quick diversion that I had in mind. (Quick as in an hour+ playing time for 9 out of 12 possible turns with 5 units per side.)  There were enough dice flying to make sure outcomes were always in doubt. The Natives saved their 6's for shooting and melee, the British used up many of theirs testing the effect of hits! (Ouch!). They were however outrageously plucky on morale rolls.  It was nip and tuck until the last turn when the artillery womped some camel mounted infantry which failed morale followed by the Sheikh failing Army Morale.

I did some tidy up editing to the rules and am thinking of calling them "Upsetting the Civilians" but name proposals are invited.

** Update. After some post game reflections and trials I've decided to drop the killed/wounded/pinned test or at least make it optional in favour of 1/2 dice at long range 6 vs cover, 5,6 vs open and instead take a morale check if taking any hits from shooting or  suffering more hits in melee.  Same test but the 1,2,3 result will be pinned if 1/2+ strength or retreat if below 1/2 or in melee.

This is now my official 8th Active Period: Old Toy Soldier 1880's Colonials in Nkukhuland and in the NorthWest. The Nkukhuland upgrades will have to wait though till the NW side is done. I may not get at it till  2017 but I anticipate some homecasting and maybe a few purchases from  London Bridge in the US and possibly from Dorset in the UK. 

The Active Duty List
1. 25mm fantasy Medieval massed battles (Gathering of Hosts)
2. 40mm Elastolin Prince Valiant skirmish
3. 40mm 16thC small battles
4. 40mm NQSYW Charge! games
5. 40mm Atlantica gridded Horse & Musket
6. 20 mm ACW battles
7. 54mm Colonial skirmish
8. 40mm Atlantica gridded early 20thC


  1. I quite enjoyed this post and the last, Ross. Great to see the Britains in action and the rules entirely appropriate to them.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Chris but although I have hauled metal 54' there not what I thick of as Portable! Transportable maybe.