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

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Whiskey You're The Devil or The End of the Beginning

I have other things to do, like preparing for Fall In as well as yardwork but I didn't feel like working and I wanted to complete the groundwork for future Toy Soldier games before getting back to other games. I needed to show how hostilities broke out between US and Canadian forces.

Saturday night, the Irish and some young Montreal Scots meet at the Whiskey Wagon. What could go wrong?
So there we were on the 13th of August, a hot muggy day. Colonel Douglas had led his expedition to the site chosen for Fort MacDuff. A low hill near the border with good observation and a spring nearby for water. It was a surprise when Colonel Lannigan showed up the next day with an equal force to protest that the hill was in US Territory. This was an argument that could only be settled one way, by surveyors. Both forces drew back and camped to await a decision.

In between the camps was a sutler, (ok a passing whiskey trader with an eye for making a buck). Both armies were under strict orders to stay away but somehow, after supper, a few of the Irish made their way up as did a few young Montrealers from what would become the Black Watch. A few words became a fistfight, became a call for support from comrades and soon an outdoor tavern brawl turned into a deadly armed melee. The poor young university lads didn't have a chance (or luck to translate that) and were soon sent streaming back down hill carrying their wounded. From the camps on either side the troops, unaware of the cause and assuming the worse, armed  themselves and rushed up the hill. (1d6 =< turn number to form and advance). Even the Commanders were caught off guard and had little choice but to rally their men and stabilize the situation before taking time to discover what was going on.  There was only 12 turns till dark and no time to lose! (Insert nice picture of the 2 scattered armies responding piecemeal except that I accidentally deleted all of them instead of all but one)

The American fire is hot but the return fire eventually drives them off and the Grenadiers will charge and take the American gun.
The initiative and advantage swayed back and forth, the Americans took early control of the hill and out shot the Canadians 2 to 1. Some of their units were slow to react though and midway through the game the Canadians managed a local superiority and eliminated the Irish and took the American gun.  The Americans were down 2 units routed to none.  With one card left for the Canadians to seize sole control of the whiskey cart/hill top or break the American morale it looked good. They drew a red king. A free move for one unit then the initiative. They brought up the Black Watch and hit B company from 2 sides with Douglas leading the charge. 7 dice vs 3. The end seemed inevitable.

Inevitable for a Hollywood movie with John Wayne in command of the Americans perhaps

Carnage around the Whisky Wagon on Turn 12
Four melee rounds later the Americans had lost a figure (yes folks that's a total of 20 dice rolled by the Canadians for 5 or 6 and only 1 scored plus, a 1 by the Commander which took him out, vs 10 by the Americans for 4 hits......sighhhh) , Col Douglas was wounded and the  Grenadiers routed. To the flank the Princess Louise Hussars who had charged in support were blown out of the saddle by the Rifle Association. (3 dice, 2 hits). The Canadian Morale hit 0.

As darkness fell the Canadians pulled back and Colonel Lannigan sent over a flag of truce expressing regret for the accidental battle and offering medical assistance.  All might have been well if cooler heads had prevailed at both upper and lower levels on both sides and if it hadn't turned out that Rocky Hill was in Canada and that Whiskey Hill was indeed in the US so that both sides had been wronged. While politicians  argued about who should apologize and what penalties should be paid by whom, a low level, unofficial, yet bloody,  3 way war of border skirmishes and raids dragged on, wargame after wargame.

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The big guys are now going away again for a while. The Seven Years War in America is about to break out again as I prepare for Fall In and I want to get back to my Elastolins. (Traditionally its not normally called the French and Indian War in Canada though there are some in Quebec who call it the English Conquest)

17 comments:

  1. Nice report.
    According to family lore some of my ancestors were sutlers at Calgary when it was still just Fort Calgary.

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    1. Thanks. So if a Fort Badger trading post shows up in some future post...?

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    2. Sounds good.
      According to my mother they were Scots with strong Scots accents, even her grandfather who was born in Calgary during that time.

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    3. Ah! A character figure in Scots bonnet! Got just the mold to start with.

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  2. Egad - that's a head scratcher. What's the plan with the Elastolins?

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    1. Well, the vague plan is a vaguely late 15thC/early 16thC -ish fantasy medieval setting inc Turks (inc Tatars aka huns), knights, landsknechts, barbarian/mountaineer tribesmen etc which doesn't explain why the only work I've done is on the Romans who don;t really fit.... its a poser.

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  3. Bloody, so bloody...but nice, so nice!

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    1. "No toy soldiers or horses were harmed in the filming of this episode"

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  4. Love the whisky wagon!

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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  5. I cannot even pretend to know what is going on in this scenario- I guess you need to be Canadian, Irish, Scottish or American? And know the times way back then on the Frontier...glad your enjoying things Ross. Regards. KEV.

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    1. No bar fights in Australia? Well no borders, no neighbours and no rebels I suppose.

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  6. Ross Mac,

    I am sorry to read that you are leaving matters as they are for the time being. Don't leave it too long before the next installment; some of us are of a delicate constitution and should not be held in suspense for too long as to what happens next!

    All the best,

    Bob

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    1. I doubt if it will be long but the US needs more troops!

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  7. Crikey, some furious melees and some abysmal dice throwing. Hopefully things will continue to fester between the antagonists whilst your away 7 year warring so that a full confrontation will ensue when you take up where you left off.

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