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, January 21, 2017

I'm Gonna Need More Men!

Here is the thing, for the Fenian Raids, or any campaigns in the Northwest, all infantry normally fought as skirmishers but for a What If 1862 Anglo American war or a traditional Toy Soldier Red vs Blue Wargame, I will need both.

By the time I'd done my homework on past versions and pushed some figures around, I found that, as suspected, I had been over all the various possibilities and resolved the issue a couple of years ago. I just hadn't needed the solution for the NorthWest game or the Great War, so had forgotten it.
The Final Game. In honour of Burns the British force is commanded by Colonel MacDuff and consists of 2 companies of the Scots Guards, 2 of the Black Watch a troop of Hussars and a gun. 

When I started to play the other day, with toy soldiers on my brain and the 6" grid before me,  my mind had gone back to the old Macduff days when I could break down a battalion, detaching a company or two as skirmishers and recalling them later. I don't bother these days. For one thing, my reading has given me the impression that in battle, once half or so of a battalion had been sent out to skirmish, it could be reinforced but it was easier to call up reserves than to recall the skirmishers and reform in preparation for a close order asault.

So it is that in the Square Brigadier there are small light or skirmisher units  and larger infantry units. The line infantry might have a thin security screen factored in but an 1870's style deployment of a heavy skirmish line and supports is to be represented by two light units in game terms.

Flank me? Flank you! Colonel Lannigan has sent two companies supported by artillery to take the farm anchoring the British light while two more companies and a company of cavalry hold the right against four British units.


The real problem was really a scarcity of American toy soldiers preventing a test game with several formed battalions. This was confounded by  a surfeit of recent drafts variously labelled Square Brigadier in X or Tin Army of Y, none currently aimed at the 1860's. I rather need to tidy up the drafts and tuck the old ones into an appropriate folder.

Point of Balance. As the British make headway to the North, Lannigan brings up his gun in an effort to stem the British advance. The garrison in the farm is stalwart and holds.
I ended up playing the game today as originally laid down. Twice actually. One decisive American Win (Not pictured) and what was almost an equally successful British Win which turned into a last 1/2 of the 15th turn win.

The End. Turn 15. American initiative. It looks like Lanigan may have pulled a draw out by having his gun block the road but a desperate bayonet charge by Highlanders with MacDuff at their head drives the gun back and captures Lanigan with the last die roll of the game.

10 comments:

  1. I have been looking at a few systems in which the unit is given a skirmishing factor (zero, one or two) and rather than having to deploy actual figures, the skirmishes 'presence' is notionally represented.

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    1. Yes I've played such games and that is effectively what I do now though the campaigns I fight rarely have unequal abilities.

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  2. No comments other than that your table and this game, in particular, really manage to capture "it" for me. Well done!

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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    1. Its not quite one thing or the other, a bit like me, so, in my comfort zone.

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  3. I will never underestimate your energy or invention.

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    1. Just ask me to do real work, the energy will magically evaporate!

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  4. Ah, the charging Highlanders. My first set of Britains. For more US ACW types, you could try Dutkin's Collectibles, Ross. Pretty good selection Lil Army molds.

    Cheers,
    Steve

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    1. The first toy soldiers I bought for myself. Eaton's toy department had a case of individuals. A quarter apiece. I saved up and bought 2 charging highlanders. One of whom is still with the colours though promoted.

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    2. Ps not fond of Lil Army, partly tge clunky style, partly the 56mm scaleof the newer ones. I had a number of them, never used except to test and sold off the moulds. I do have my eye on a mould for a Parrot from Mini moulds, the crew are IR copies so I presume the gun is too.

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  5. Looks a good game. The 6-man units look fine en masse.

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