Thursday, June 30, 2011

Marching Orders

The Rosmark army begins emabarkation for the Siege of Adelheim. Under the watchful eyes of the Engineers, the marines of the Starborde Battery load packing material as soldiers of the Irish and King's companies mount the gangway.

Two days until I depart for Historicon. Loaded up with anti-biotics, pain killers in reserve. According to Google Maps, I have a 4,000 km round trip planned. (Roughly the same as last time and the time before though the stops along the way are different.)  thats an average of  three 8 hour days of driving each way if anyone is wondering. Due to the various stops, it never works out to even days though, so usually a 5 hoiur day, a 9 hour day and a 10 hour day. I need to keep a close eye on myself this year given health concerns and am prepared to add a day or so on the way home if I need  to take a break and may skip some attractions that are off the path if I need to shorten the drive a little.

 In keeping with the siege theme of the games that Rob & I have planned and the fortress that Duncan, Norman and Rob have built, my en route touristing will have a fortress theme but will also link to my planned alternate history Aroostock War campaigns. After visiting family near Fredericton NB, I will cross the border on July 4th, the 1st anniversary of my heart attack, I understand the Americans have been gracious enough to declare it a holiday.

The first stop will be the remains of Fort George at Castine, Maine which the British occupied during the Revolution and again during the War of 1812, temporarily moving the border south to the Penobscot River. Something they just may try again in 1843. However, should they wait that long they will face a new obstacle.

Fort Knox, Maine.  Built in the 1840's to protect Bangor from British/Canadian invasion.

My 2nd stop will be to visit the nearby Fort Knox. (Who knew  there were was more than one Fort Knox? Not me until 2 days ago.)  This diversion in Maine means there will be no time to visit Gettysburg again, but it will give me a feel for another area of War of 1812 operations as well as some potential battlefields south of the border for my alternate history campaigns. I have had a tendency in the past to zoom down the Interstate missing Maine altogether apart from 100's of kilometers of trees and distant mountains.

On the way back I hope to stop at Ticonderoga if I have the energy after the convention, or at least take a look at Fort George. I have been to both locations before, but never while they were open to the public! Also on the list is Fort Lennox on Ile Aux Noix in Quebec. This fort was a main base of operations for the British during the War of 1812 and would have been prominent if relations with the US worsened in the 1830's and 40's.   I went to school just down river at the College Militaire Royal de St. Jean but never made the trip to see it, something I find hard to explain. Too much time playing ancients and drinking beer I suppose.  There is a hitch here as the Richelieu River experienced its worst flooding in decades and clean up is still in progress at Ft Lennox so it may be off the menu. I'll keep an eye on the website and make plans accordingly.

Fort Lennox above water from the Parks Canada website. 

One last stop if all goes well, will be to slip into the US again and see the blockhouse called Fort Kent. The seat of war on the Arroostock. Then home again to rescue my wife after 11 days of double shifts looking after  her mom and her menagerie and running her new in-house grooming shop. 

The route below is approximate only. I appreciate having google lay out the broad strokes for me but I rarely go exactly where and how they tell me.

View Larger Map


  1. Sounds like a good trip - enjoy!
    I don't fancy your chances of getting that howitzer up the gangplank...

  2. Hope you enjoy your break , take care .

  3. Ross Mac,

    I hope that you have an enjoyable break ... and come back reinvigorated and with lots of new enthusiasm (and ideas) for your wagaming.

    All the best,


  4. Keep a very good eye on your health, Ross . . . none of us want you to take any foolish chances.

    If you feel woozy, STOP! Be SAFE, sir. . . . and have a good time.

    -- Jeff

  5. Thanks Tim. The guns are being dragged by specially bred skinny horses but I believe the plan is to sway the guns up the side of the transport using block and tackle, or perhaps the mysterious hand of the Maker.

  6. I am absolutely gob smacked at the distances you guys travel for wargame shows - I've not been to one yet where I had to travel over two hours.... I can travel to the south of France in a day and a half!!

    Drive carefully and make sure the IPOD is fully charged up... :o)

  7. Steve, Just to put things in perspective, its only the lunatic fringe that travels that far. Without seeing official stats, I'd guess that 50% of attendees drive less than 2 hours to attend and that a further 45% drive less than 6 hours or fly in. Most of those people can attend smaller local conventions through the year.

    I'm a bit like someone living in Sweden who wants to go to a big London show but doesn't want to fly. Even the closest smaller cons are 12 hours away from me so may as well go the extra distance.

  8. Astonishing distances. Fantastic picture by the way - must steal the idea. It took me a moment to figure out what was happening and then I promptly went into hysterics.