Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Portable Grenadier

and now for something completely different.

Last week, Ron and I were going to get the 20mm RCW troops onto the table using either BKCII or Bob Cordery's Postable Wargame. However, I got the flu and cancelled. Left to his own devices, Ron broke out his 25mm Minifig SYW Austrians, based for Volley & Bayonet, and used them to try out Bob's rules. Then the dasterdly fellow sent me pictures.
(Hopefully Ron won't mind me sharing a picture of his troops, 25mm Minifigs....)

 These, of course, brought to memory some glorious games from the late 90's when my motley force of 1/72nd, 25mm, 28mm and 30mm French fought them using Age of Reason, then Koenig Krieg, Shako and finally Volley and Bayonet.     The 20mm figures (Lauzon's Legion and various Hessians) now live at Jerry's house, the 25's and 28's have been sold, but the 30mm figures, a mix of some old Spanish made figures, my very 1st metal wargame figures, bought back in 1973 to use with Charge! and my own home-grown Alexander Keith's Regiment remained. 

They were in pretty tatty shape however, many cardboard bases the worse for wear and in various basing modes since only my 1/72nd, 25mm and 28mm troops had made it onto V&B bases. So I started re- basing (sigh). Only green paint as a finish as time was short but it draws them all  together.  

I was also feeling, ....uncomfortable I guess, because all of Ron's troops were old 25's and none of mine were any more, I was also short on light troops, not a big problem for the period but I happed to have a box of Hat 28mm Voltigeurs in the cupboard. Lovely, elegant figures, couldn't resist a box even though I had absolutely no use for them. A few minutes of trimming, an hour with the paint brush and I had a dozen chasseurs wearing a Hungarian crossed with Voluntaires de Flandres, inspired Chasseurs.  I meant to do 2 units, 6 men each but then I noticed in the pictures that Ron's Grenz were in 4 man groups so suddenly I had 3 light units. I can live with that.

Those are Dark Forest Green coats, honest. Hat 28mm hard plastic.

The last time Keith's Regiment fought, at the Battle of Wollmitz in Saxe Bearstein, (btw a most enjoyable day that was, great bunch of guys and Jeff was an excellent host  read an account here) they were on single bases. Magnetic, true, but annoying and not nearly as closely packed as Ron's lads. So I rebased them too. Six figures on each 40mm x 40mm base, 2 of these making a roughly 3"x1.5" V&B base.

In front, some Old Glory command figures, behind them,  my own original 30mm figures (homecast), Keith's regiment and Les Compagnies Franches de la Marine. 

I know that the Portable Game was not intended for 18thC Warfare, or a hex surface, but I have every confidence that we will enjoy ourselves and the game will perform well with minimal adjustments
Some of my (large) 30mm Spanish made troops, 1759 British Grenadiers converted to French. These were commissioned for the Museum on the Plains of Abraham and I have seen the diorama there. (Years ago, I don't know if it still exists)  I came across a model soldier shop selling off surplus stock of them and bought enough for 4 Charge! Regiments for each side in 1973. The French got painted as did the Highlanders, artillery and a handful of Saxon Cuirrassiers converted from mounted officers before the project petered out as I turned to ancients and then to 15mm.  I think they got in 1 brief skirmish before finally getting to see action in the mid-90's to my great surprise.


  1. Ross, I remember our game fondly too . . . although my troops didn't get to do much thanks to the orders I received . . . at least I didn't take the drubbing that our C-in-C did.

    How did you like/dislike the rules that you mentioned (Age of Reason, then Koenig Krieg, Shako and finally Volley and Bayonet)?

    I actually have all of them (original editions, not the newer versions) but have never played V&B and the others only once or twice. . . . So I would appreciate your thoughts on each . . . and perhaps a preference list (favorite to least favorite).

    Golly, that gives you a subject for a whole post . . . if you want.

    As always, sir, I enjoy reading this blog of yours.

    -- Jeff

  2. Interesting - I don't know how you find the enthusiasm for rebasing.

    Those HAT figures are lovely, I raised a battalion of voltigeurs from the same series. Do you think you'll invest in any more?

  3. So good to see you (again) in tricorn!

  4. Conrad, in this case they didn't have proper bases to start with. I forgot to mention that I had ordered "magnetic bases" not realizing that they were peel and stick magnets cut to match wooden bases! I was in a hurry so I peeled and stuck on to the figures directly. Flimsy by any definition and 20mm wide, now the lads are snuggled up shoulder to shoulder with 13.3 mm each. or in other words I can get 1/3rd more troops into the same space.

    I doubt that I will indulge in more 28mm Hat figures. These are the only 28mm figures I own and will likely stay that way, as lovely as they are.
    Actually I expect that this 30mm army will remain an enemy-less orphan.

    Don't another Tricorn army in another scale
    (sorry Jean Louis)

  5. Jeff, Its been 12 or more years since I played any of those rules. I don't own Age of Reason and only played it 3 or 4 times, which says something right there.

    I suppose it says something about the others that I haven't played them in a decade either. To be fair, It would mean a test game of the 3 sets I do have. I'll think about it though.

  6. There are still dioramas at the Plains of Abraham museum, but they use much smaller figures than those 30mm!

  7. Thanks Mike, the old diorama was huge and not the highest quality. (I think it probably showed the British winning too which probably isn't PC these days)

  8. The homecasts look just great, Ross. Well done !

    Steve C.

  9. The Alexander Keith's Regiment HUZZAH!