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

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Winnie at the Pass Pt 1.

On Saturday General Milne got his chance to command HM forces in battle for the first time.
Curiosity has brought Lord Snooty back into the field to report home on this new Red General. 
After several successful small scenarios from OHW I decided that I was in the mood for something a little larger. Not necessarily something with more figures but with more units, choices and depth that would play as quickly and easily but last a little longer without dragging.

I briefly thought about Charge! and the NQSYW but I didn't feel like chasing 200 individuals about the table and haven't made my planned movement trays yet. Besides, the Pandour Grenadier company is about to be formed (new Hungarian Grenadier mold arrived Friday)  and then they'll be eager to see action. However, that got me thinking about my table plans again.

The idea for the current layout was that the 5x4 was big enough to handle 90% of what I want to do and it is, sort of.  It is possible to play a small game on part of the table but because of the last minute height increase it is too tall for a sit down game which was one of the original criteria. Luckily for the last 6 months I haven't needed a sit down game but I'm not sufficiently optimistic that there will never again be times when I would really appreciate that facility. Since my removal of the 2nd desk I now have room to go back to the original plan of shifting the bookcase to the North wall and lowering the table. Of course, the table has grown since then so the question has become, leave it 4x5 or reduce it to 4x4 or 3x3 and have my modular expansion ready for bigger games once a month or so. As part of the shuffling and reassessing I found that I now have room to turn the table sideways with the 5 foot length against the wall. This would allow for a 2 foot extension  to quickly give me a 5x6 upon demand, a size that is well proven as adequate for my occasional need for a bigger game surface to allow me to do a particular game, like the  air & sea amphibious game last year.

This in turn reminded me that I had made this table to allow for a 1 foot expansion to 4x6 but had never actually tried playing on it.  I slipped in two offcuts lay some offcuts of thin plywood and cardboard, secured the lot with duct tape and decided I would have to forego  the squares and throw my old ground sheet back on. 18 years of hard service at home and abroad (as in multiple HMGS cons and Huzzah), one refit, and still answering the call. Not bad for a cheap, on sale, end of roll, fabric remnant and a splotch of paint.

Meg gets to fire in anger for the 1st time.
I decided Broken Ground from CS Grant's Programmed Scenarios would fit the bill for this game and since the Tin Army (or whatever  they end up being called) are supposed to work on or off grid I started picking forces. Having lost the last 2 games and having the least amount of infantry ready to go, Blue or Oberhilse was chosen to defend with 2 cavalry squadrons, 2 guns and 5 battalions  totalling 11 companies of infantry. Red or Faraway attacked with 3 squadrons of cavalry, 3 guns and 4 battalions totalling 12 companies of infantry. The rules are still fairly ummh flexible,  at this stage in their development and I gave each side 3 subordinate commanders with full command radius forgetting that as a stand-based replacement for MacDuff to the Frontier, there should have been 1 General plus a Colonel with limited command range for each battalion. A minor matter but might have given Red control problems on one wing.

There was also some confusion as in a couple of the recent games as to what exactly constituted "a unit". Was it always a 2 stand "company" or was it sometimes a single stand of skirmishers or a formed battalion of any number of stands?  I was playing without any written reference and was too engrossed in the game to bother checking so I wobbled now and then but ended up pretty close to the same conclusion as twice previously which is good enough for me. The 6 figure (infantry -  4 figure cavalry) "company" is the "basic unit" of the game to use Morschauser's term. Rather than allowing any company to extend into a skirmish line and reform at any time, Companies may be  broken into 2 "skirmish" or "light infantry" units when deployed either at the start of the game or upon arrival on table as reinforcements, or when committed from a reserve, and they may not normally be regrouped during the game. (There may be a special "regroup" option to allow units to merge.) Adjacent formed companies will have the same benefits on and off the grid and act as one in charge combat but I need to reword it for off grid play.

and so
"How did they game go?" you ask?

"Well, ...Oh gosh, is that the time?"

Part 2 to follow.....

Somewhere around Turn 3-ish.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, I was caught by surprise getting a comment before I'd written the actual post. Oops!

  2. See some of the 'new recruits' are getting a blooding ! , Tony

    1. Just the last 6, the others have been in action already, most twice. EGer volunteers!

  3. Terrific stuff, Ross. Is the cow supervising the artillery crew?

    1. The ladies say that sailors have animal 'traction. Actually there is one oxen in there, the rest scampered so Flossy and Bess are covering.

  4. Ross Mac,

    C'est magnifique!

    All the best,


  5. Splendid 40mm Action - do like the New Recruits. KEV.

  6. I'm enjoying reading this with C.S.Grant's Black Book in front of me...

    1. I blush to confess that I had to ask a friend why he referred to a book with a white cover as the Black Book. It did make sense once explained.