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, July 16, 2018

Modern Old Toy Soldier Style Zouaves

The transition is complete and the Rebels have now raised a battalion of Zouaves.

My "New Toy Soldier" Papal Zouaves facing some original Old Toy Soldier examples of the Soldierpac casting I used as a basis for the master.

 The differences between modern toy soldiers and antiques can be  small enough and not really important except to antique enthusiasts but to be honest, its the old style sculpting and attitude crossed with the modern toy soldier style painting that I love.

This may not have be the worst mould I've ever made but it certainly isn't my best. While I was cleaning up the castings I found numerous little flaws. Some were the result of sloppy work on the conversion which I was in too much of a hurry to catch let alone fix. Others are due to flaws with the mould which were at least partly due to the way I laid it out. If my intention had been to paint up detailed models, I would have been sunk but luckily, the toy style is more tolerant of small flaws in detail.

Gratuitous 2nd shot.
(It was one of those bad day for photos.

 Now they just need to learn how to stay in formation and not fall over by going through Base Training and they will be ready for battle.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Crossroad: Day Two.

Order, counter order? At any rate, these things happen, the Rebels fell back while the Government forces reoccupied their old positions and had to be attacked again.

 "Here they come again!"
There were two main changes to the rules since the first game. 

First I ditched all the new Brigade and Army morale rules, reinstated my usual 50% unit loss Army Morale rule, and I brought back an improved version of a risk of panic rule that I had experimented with a few from a few years ago but hadn't adopted.  

In essence each time an infantry unit breaks nearby infantry units that see it roll a die with a chance that they will take a hit representing an increase in fear as well as possible straggling. This allows infantry to ignore the comings and goings of cavalry and sharpshooters. The roll is affected by the usual morale grade modifiers so an army of raw recruits or similar will be more susceptible to panic. 

I opted to repeat the battle plans for both sides. 
The second, smaller change was a correction to an oversight. I had been tinkering with various ways to represent what various scenario unit lists call "light infantry" in order to give them special characteristics but it was the least of my concerns. It became clear in the last game that my final choice had produced a super troop that could go toe to toe with line infantry with barely any "light" characteristics beyond the ability to move more quickly through difficult terrain and no weakness beyond being able to take 1/3 fewer hits. I decided to fix this by making them clearly "sharpshooters". I extended their range and let them keep their +1 for shooting  but dropped them to a single die instead of 2. When in the open they also share cavalry's reluctance to stand toe to toe in close combat. 

I also discovered that the flash on this smartphone actually helps.

The Rebel cavalry managed to drive back but not rout the Hussars who did equal damage on them but they had been under accurate fire from the  Sharpshooters in the Stonehouse and  were soon driven from the field.  On the other flank, the Rebel Sharpshooters had been quickly driven from the woods now that the Highlanders remembered that it wasn't a fortification.
The view from the other side.

Casualties have been heavy on both sides but there is a hole in the Government line and the Rebels are shifting their freshest units to the front to push the attack. 

Again, the view from the other side. Note the routing Blue unit which has just shaken the Grey's a bit, causing them to take a hit. 

2 turns later, the Rebels have taken the wall and it was beginning to look like another Rebel victory until fire from the battery and the Highlanders broke another unit while the Queen's commanders were holding their battered units in the line by sheer force of character (and good die rolls).

As another unit breaks the panic spreads and the Greys join the rout as does another battered unit on the farside of the wall. Suddenly the Rebel army is below half strength and must retreat. 

 This simple scenario lasted about 10 turns and took under 1/2 hour to play not counting set up and take down. Plenty of scope for bigger games with more forces on table, more complex scenarios and more time lost in the game. But, I need to paint and base more troops first!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Crossroad: First Assault

Its been a busy day so this is going to be a very quick look at the first game which was played last week.
Rebels: A brigade with 3 infantry, a brigade with 2 infantry and a light infantry, plus a battery and a unit of cavalry.
Government: A brigade with 2 infantry and a light infantry deployed along the ridge supported by a gun and by a unit of Hussars in support on the base road. A second brigade will march on table from the wall when they roll d6 less than the turn number. 
The scenario was an impromptu one. I wanted to have the Origawn Rebels attacking but I don't have enough troops ready for a large attacking force so settled on a reinforcement scenario.
Turn 2. The Rebel right is pushing ahead hoping to cut the road before reinforcements arrive. His left has advanced and engaged in a firefight while the cavalry carries out a flanking movement. A rather rash charge by the Hussars has just been bloodily repulsed. 
The Rebel cavalry has suffered heavily by fire from the house and a charge by the Hussars but they have forced the Fusiliers to move back from the wall to protect the gun, allowing Rebels to close on the wall. Across the road the Rebel light infantry is more than holding its own against two units of Highlanders though in part this was because I forgot that the woods provide protection against shooting and cavalry charges but not against infantry charges.

Minnow takes command. By the time the Fusiliers had dealt with the cavalry, the Ft Henry Guard and Victoria Rifles had both been broken. Under this version of the rules, the Brigade was now shaken and not allowed to move towards the enemy and was penalized if shooting or in melee.
Each side has now lost 2 infantry units but the Government has a shaken Brigade because both units were lost from the same brigade. Since the brigades on both sides were intermingled this felt more than a little unfair. Mind you, having lost their gun and the stone wall on the crest of the hill, the Government's hopes are a bit forlorn. On the next turn the Fusiliers  were broken and the Queen's forces were forced to retreat from the field.

Tomorrow the replay and a bit on the rules tweaks and how they affected the game.