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

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hook's Trading Post and A Truce

This month has seen an almost unparalleled focus on one subject. All I have painted or played has been my 54mm NorthWest or Cyprus Hills game. Its time to switch focus for a few weeks so beware of Tricornes in September, and maybe a few other things.

Yesterday saw one last quick game. Really it deserves a full telling and narrative but not only was I  tired but I was called away several times by duties as jack of all. Now, the memories are fast fading and the pictures too few and too poor so this will be a quick "fare thee well till we meet again" post for the 54's.  Don't worry, they'll be back well before Christmas.

Its been 5 1/2 years since my Britain's engaged in battle at Hook's Farm and it seemed like as good a scenario as any to close the month with.
The Canadian and  US forces meet again at the site of Hook's Trading Post and Firely Mission. Each side having by arrangement a General, 2 Colonels, 2 cavalry, 6 infantry, and a gun.
I have been fearing, and working to avoid, this moment for 6 years now. Having cracked open the 54's and tried out actual toy style fashions on them, its going to be hard to keep them from expanding out of the box. Not only does that threaten the "No duplication of period, game scale and theatre of war in different figure sizes" rule but also the space distribution in my room, especially since "54mm wars" creep threatens.  We'll see.


A cavalry clash goes terribly for the Canadians but the Highlanders hold steady. They are unable to drive the Irish from the Whiskey Trader's General Store however and eventually Douglas concentrates on his left. 

Another old fluctuating choice beckons as well. When I started in 54's around 1995, I wrote a set of 1 stand = a unit rules but got drawn into Old School singles for Colonial's and for the War of 1812. Ever since I've felt the pull back to one base units and its strong now. I like knocking figures over for photos for a while but eventually the novelty wears off. With small units, not only does it look odd to me to have a single figure left as a functioning unit  and not only are stands easier to deploy and clear away and less prone to damage but I just have this odd irrational attraction to the idea of Permanence that a fixed and labelled stand has. A neat contrast of Permanence for toys, things which are usually considered Impermanent by nature. A question for later.


The end of turn 15 and with each side holding 1 objective, the American morale collapses. They have only 4 of 9 units left in action while the Canadians still have 6. Three turns earlier the Canadians had been behind thanks largely to the astonishing combat and rally dice of the Black Horse cavalry. E troop I'm afraid fell prey to "new unit syndrome".  


Summer is over (ok not technically). Autumn is coming!  (We have more than 2 season here..)

10 comments:

  1. Now that E Troop has been blooded, I am sure they will perform as well as they look.
    Canadians will fight hard for whiskey, that much is clear. :)

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    1. But obviously not as much as the Irish, in 2 separate games the Canadians have failed to seize the whisky stores from the Irish. Maybe they're beer drinkers?

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  2. Hi Ross,
    Here in Kleveland we have 4 seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction.

    I too share the stand-based preference. Sometimes I wonder if it's because, taking the rules from the two ground-breaking sets in 1962, Featherstone and Morschauser, I would rather play Morschauser -- even though I prefer Don's writing style and I own over a dozen of his wargaming and history books, which I re-read every few years for inspiration. Go figure.
    Regards,
    John

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    1. I read a lot of Featherstone but by the time I had enough figures painted up and found an opponent I was on to WRG Ancients and multifigure bases. So that seems sort of natural.

      It was not quite 20 years ago that I got hooked on Volley & Bayonet with its 1 stand bases after seeing some of Frank Chadwick's 54mm SYW and ACW units and then did my own.

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    2. John,

      I have become a real a Morschauser supporter over the years. I think that he was way ahead of his time, and even today his rules feel very modern and up to date.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Ross Mac,

    Its a great scenario and it really cries out to be used with your collection. Yet another great battle report ... and it was nice to see your latest troops in action.

    All the best,

    Bob

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    1. Thanks Bob, a rather cursory report but sometimes that's good too.

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  4. I didn't think youd have much hope of clearing the irish from the whiskey store.

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    1. I didn't plan to let them near it but somehow they found the way.

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  5. Nice batrep, glad to see someone's fighting for a good cause...whiskey!

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