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

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Red Queen Prepares for War(games)

``C`` Battery of the Royal Faraway Artillery prepares to go on campaign. 

Thank you to all who took the time and trouble to vote in the poll, make comments or email me. Polls are of course open to interpretation so one could say that 5 people favoured a uniform with dark blue coat and 5 favoured a uniform with dark blue pants (though they were probably plumping for the red coats). Many of the comments provided some good, useful thoughts and when I came across the archival footage which reminded me that bu the 1850`s, the Farway artillery took the field in dark blue shell jackets and dark blue trousers, all trimmed in red, well, that sealed it.

For those who were wondering what the fuss was, the following picture shows 3 artillerymen. Which 2 look like they come from the same side?

The question now is what to do with my 1837 Royal Artillery. One option is to leave them on the shelf until I decide to do an historical Canadian Rebellion game, which seems like kind of a waste. I could draft them into the Oberhilse army along with all the other light blue trouser guys and  claim that any pictures of them fighting on the side of Faraway are merely artists error. I could repaint their trousers dark blue and not worry about it since I'm not all that likely to refight thehistorical rebellion as opposed to borrowing ideas for a fictional game.  Or I could rely on the service dress batteries for day to day action and save the full dress one for the rare occasions that I need to field 3 batteries.

 In the mean time, the question of Heavy Cavalry has been addressed. A unit has been planned for years but all that has been painted up are light cavalry which has resulted in the Director General's Bodyguard often being deployed in that role. In recognition of their service, the Queen is taking them on as Dragoon Guards and they will be issued new red coats but maintaining their white facings. A brand new regiment  regiment has also been raised with the Queen's daughter as Colonel in Chief.

 Princess Charlotte Heavy Horse .

This clears the way to raise a unit of Lancers, a unit of Mounted Rifles and a unit of Horse Guards.

 As an aside, the danger of drinking tea late at night.

After last night's post, instead of going to bed as intended, I sat up tweaking HofT and have uploaded the result. The more I looked at how to include the possibility of a short, decisive  close range firefight without making a short decisive long range fire possibly as deadly and while not allowing defenders to be mowed down by a frontal assault without a chance to defend themselves, all without reverting to my old 3" "melee" zone, the more changes I could see that I needed to make. I've been down this road before so just went back to what worked. Morcschauser's 3" melee zone has been re-instated but with last years differentiation between a charge and a fire fight.

At the same time, the old struggle between using die modifiers ala WRG and Grant or 1/2 casualties as per von Reiswitz and Lawford & Young resurfaced. I have seesawed between these (and saving throws) for at least 15 years. There are anomolies both ways. The 1/2 is cruder but effective. the die modifiers need to be very carefully modulated to get the right result. The issue is that lowering the odds does not change the possible maximum and minimum number of hits unless other measures are also taken. halving does both but with small numbers and rounding becomes no hit or little or no difference and unless one is handy with math is hard to tweak. (eg sharpshooters add a quarter before halving) . I also prefer to use one or the other, not both, so I have reverted to the original idea of assigning a "to hit" number to each unit rather than having ageneric number with + and - based on quality etc.  This allows easy tweaking of troops so is a bter way to go really.

The result is available at left but a play test is probably a week away.


  1. Ross,

    Different regiments in the same army often have "different" uniforms from the rest of the army . . . why not the same thing with artillery batteries?

    That would certainly solve your "should I repaint" problem . . . and might allow for some interesting background creativity as to who raised this battery and why their uniforms are a bit different.

    -- Jeff

  2. The Princess Charlotte Heavy Horse look really good!
    Looking forward to discover the upgraded 'Body' -> 'Dragoon' Guards.

  3. Jeff, the "why" is simple, one unit is in full dress with coatees and shakos, the other is in "undress" shell jackets and forage caps. The original problem remains that the full dress looks alot like the other side. Can be confusing for those not intimate with the armies when playing or when reading accounts.

  4. Hi Ross

    The Princess Charlotte Heavy Horse look good and look ready to show that they are good. You need to get them into action before they get bored and into trouble!

  5. Very dashing the new cavalry.

    Perhaps maintaining the red v blue distinction, for the benefit of clarity, might be more useful with the cavalry, who move about a lot, and possibly not so critical with the gunners.

  6. Dave, to be honest, the main reason for a fuss about artillery uniforms is that I only had 1 gun crew's worth painted up and wanted to paint at least 3 more. Figured I should decide what they ought to look like before I started.

  7. Jean-Louis, I'm working on the back story and investigating options. There is a certain degree of push back so it may all come to nothing.