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

Monday, May 21, 2018

Halfway Home

A quick snap of an impromptu replay on Sunday.
A bit over 500 km after the con yesterday, a bit less to home tomorrow. Today is a rest and family day.

I wish I could promise a full, heavily illustrated report once I get home but I'm afraid that for 3 days I  was so busy either playing, GM'ing, talking with friends and generally enjoying myself, that pictures were few and memory a bit blurry but I'll share  what I've got!
Overlooking the Saint John River and my "halfway house".

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Huzzah Teaser

2 days down.

1/2 day and a drive to go.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Drummer, Sound Assembly

Strike the tents! Its time to go

1,000  kilometer march with a battle at the end. Issue the men a double tot of .. ummh strike that,  have the cook issue the men an extra coffee.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Other Huzzah Game

For those interested in the lighter sides of miniature wargaming, I've just posted a report of the first test game for the two 1/72nd fantasy armies that I am bringing down to Huzzah as my contribution to Rob Dean's six player Dragon Rampant game which I am assisting in.

"A magic cauldron is no match for a good blade!" (link)

This catapult came in one of my best Christmas presents EVER, a 25mm, handpainted, hard plastic, MARX Knights and Vikings castle playset. I put a new elastic on it and it'll still shoot a missile across the room. As a bonus, this army includes some of the Orion 1/72nd copies of the Marx 25mm vikings (see below) so the catapult feels right at home.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Final Flocking Offensive

The armies are finally flocked and ready to go,

and the British battalion has even got its own MG at last!

The Germans have double the number of infantry companies and the support of that field kitchen but the quantity of artillery and machine guns is equal and the Allies have a slight edge in cavalry, not to mention the armoured car, but only 1/2 the Allied units begin on the table.

I don't think it'll be easy for either side.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

New Recruits Begin Training

The hoped for box (car) of recruits for the Foreign Legion arrived today and went straight into training.
Scruby 40mm from Historifigs. Primed with Burnt Sienna mixed with a bit of matte varnish. I  find this works well under red.
Now if these were Model Soldiers, for France 1914 I'd have to consider whether or not the pants should be white and if the havelock was appropriate but since they are toy soldiers I can just go to the ultimate authority on what the Foreign Legion should look like.
The original Airfix box art. A bottle of my mother's  nail polish supplied the red trousers for my first box.
Six days and a wake up left.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Good to go!

Well, I want a to paint a few more figures and work on some shrubbery but if I had to, the game is ready to go and the final version of the rules is now set and available (click)

Over view as the game gets under way. The US infantry near the white house are just filling in for now.
It was a tremendous struggle. The fight over the rules I mean, not the game although it was hard fought and close as well.

The idea, ever since getting hooked on Morschauser in 2003, has been to keep the rules results based rather than the process based approach I had been used to for the 30 years preceding that. It seems that my subconscious mind has yet to fully surrender on the issue though, despite being shown time and time again that the results based approach ends up giving me, not just a more interesting game, but also one where the tactics and results more closely resemble my reading. 

The British are coming! The British are....HERE!

In the case of late 19th/ early 20th wargames, my mind wants to see an explicit rule for "pinning" amongst other things but getting an effective rules with the right feel and effect has proved elusive for a long time. Time and again, experience has shown me that dumping the various explicit "pin" rules always gets me closer to the right feel but with a more interesting flow and more player choices to make.

In essence, troops in the open which come under fire have two options if they are attacking: return fire or advance. Advancing can work, as it sometimes does in life, as long as the distance is short and the quantity of fire not excessive but it will tend to be costly and there is a strong risk that an assault against an untouched enemy will fail. The alternative is to lay down, return fire and call for artillery or for a friend to flank the enemy while you keep them occupied. These things aren't specified, they just work that way if you think about it or experience it.

The Germans turn the Allied right flank.

The other silly thing I've had to contend with over the last 2 weeks is a strong urge to increase the firepower of units because I increased their strength. It took several tries before the obvious finally sank in that increasing potential hits that a unit can inflict in the same ratio as I increased the number of hits it can sustain, meant little change on the tabletop.

No matter how much it rubbed me the wrong way, to get the effect I wanted without complicating everything, I needed to increase the number of hits that a unit can take without changing the maximum number of hits that it can inflict in one turn. 
End Game: to everyone's surprise the French cavalry are still holding the line but the farm has been lost to the Germans.
 There were a few other details to fuss over but the rules are once again relatively straight forward, quick to learn and quick to play. Much like the early versions that I have to keep bring back. Maybe this time.....
On the other flank, the hill redoubt was lost, retaken and lost again along with the woods. The Allies get 2 VP for the town but the Germans have 3 for the rest. An 11th hour victory. 
This time two weeks from today, it will all be over!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Getting Closer!

Three weeks from today I'll be in Portland, Maine for Huzzah. Time is running short!

I now have the German forces almost up to the New Order, just a dozen more Bluecoats to modernize and a commander or two to base up.

One German player's Command: Battalion commander, 4 infantry companies @of 6 figures, an MG company and a supporting battery of infantry
Of course, now that I had realized that I needed more persistent units rather than just more units, I had to revisit the rules again.

After wasting considerable time making the rules slightly more complicated and less exciting (which was NOT the plan), a little light went on and I reverted to the good old Square Brigadier (click) adjusted for larger units. I just had to remember that the rules were Morchauser inspired, designed to get the right effect, not to show the detailed processes. If the game goes well I'll have more to say on that.

The French are ready.
I'm hoping to play a test game on Friday but certainly by Sunday so stay tuned.