Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Back To Base Lads

When I bought my first Prince August moulds, in the 1990's, it was to bring a regiment to play in the Hartford Area Weekly Kriegspiel's (H.A.W.Ks) club's multiplayer Charge! games at H.M.G.S. conventions. To fit in, I mounted each figure on a 1" wide metal washer. Since then, as the armies grew and I started experimenting at home and at conventions with different rules and levels of game, my poor armies went through a variety of basing ideas from single figures, to fixed stands with markers, to magnetised bases and so on.  

Well, life goes on and making a 3,200 km round trip drive is less attractive now than it was 20-25 years ago. This year, I donated a large contingent of my "Rosmark" troops to the H.A.W.K's to do their bit in club and convention games, and kept the units that would be useful in my planned not-quite-historical Acadian and Quebec campaigns.

My process: The single figures were mounted on steel washers using ordinary White (aka Carpenter's) glue and an hour of standing in water up to their shoes, makes it easy to pop them off. Being thrifty by upbringing as well as necessity after my choice of very early retirement, I cut my own bases from scraps, mostly from the boxes of Clementines etc.. Once the glue is dry, I flock with sawdust I've saved when doing repairs or projects and finally paint to match my table as well as I can.   

I confess that it hadn't taken long pushing scores and at times, hundreds, of individual figures to become a bit tiresome and, over the years, I have experimented with various alternate solutions from magnetic multi-figure stands and steel washers as bases on the figures, to a mix of multifigure and single figures and so on. Well, these days, the less fiddling with individual soldiers, the better, and since this is a solo project, open to a club or convention game now and then, all my armies, except Prince Valiant and friends, are going back on multi-figure stands.

Since I want to do both battles and large skirmishers, and want to play a game of toy soldiers, not conduct an accurate recreation, I have opted for an Old School approach where a Battalion of 300-500 men in a battle will be represented by 3 stands or "companies" of around 6 figures on a base.  In small actions or certain scenarios, an individual stand might be used to represent a detachment of 100 or so men or even less, depending on the situation, but with no change is ground scale, ranges etc.. Remember, its a game of toy soldiers. 

For my own convenience, the same rules will be used for my 1840's games at the other end of the smoothbore musket era but with different hats.

More to follow.   

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Meanwhile on the Eastern Front

Yesterday I made the long trip. (OK,OK, it's only 45 min on a good day, not as far as I used to commute to work but I don't often go so far from home these days.) to visit old long time friend Les for a game of Command Decision, Test of Battle. 12mm Eastern Front. (See Advancing on a Broad Front blog) First CD game in.....decades?  Anyway, we were starting to get the hang of the rules again when it was time to go home, so no decision made except that it was a very enjoyable afternoon.  

Opening Battle of Acadian campaign

Monday, November 20, 2023

Battle of Saint Croix: 1746

Popular history has little time for what is known in the US as King George's War, or the contemporary Duc d'Anville's unfortunate 1746 expedition to reclaim Acadia for King Louis. However, for someone who grew up on the banks of the St. Lawrence and now lives in what was Acadia, and has a friend who worked hard and finally bought back his Acadian ancestor's farm, some 250 years after their expulsion, that expedition seems like a good inspiration for a Not-Quite-Historical narrative-campaign. (i.e. a series of games linked by a narrative.) 

That campaign begins here.


As General St. Lambert crossed the Petite Riviere, he could see clearly the approaching column of redcoats with General Ross at their head. The French advance guard had done well to be first to cross over and occupy the little village on the far side of the bridge and be in position to cut the road to the next bridge. All he had to do now was to hold his ground. 

The British force seemed to be a bit hesitant if not confused in the face of the constant trickle of casualties from the Mi'kmaq and Acadian skirmishers and the approach of French reinforcements.

Once the British managed to deploy, the affair no longer looked one sided. Their attack seemed to be aimed evenly across the whole line (or not aimed at all according to some of his subordinates), so St.Lambert decided to put his faith in La Reine to hold the bridge and sent his last reserve to cross the ford and cut the road to the east.

When the Massachusetts regiment joined the battle line, the fighting raged from end to end. A company of La Reine was forced to take over the defence of the Inn and soon their 3 companies were the only defenders of the town against 8 British companies including Grenadiers and Rangers. 

At last, the Rangers managed to push the last Frenchmen from the Inn but it was too late. Moments later the Grenadiers and 26th broke after heavy casualties, followed shortly by the Massachusetts regiment. General Ross had no option but to order a retreat.  

Note: The armies were recruited from Prince August moulds with the exception of a few Irregular figures amongst the French skirmishers.