Viewer's Choice Celebration MiniCampaign

It has now been over 20 years since I launched "With MacDuff On the Web" and nearly 10 years since I launched my 2 blogs: Gathering of Hosts and Battle game of the Month.

To celebrate the years and the friends and the million hits I've decided to run a 3 game mini-campaign in late October. By popular vot e it will be set in the mid 18th Century.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Boat Over the River Plaztik

Naryatrian   reserves lurk behind a hedge.

If you had asked me which part of my collection would be the first to see action on the  revised table, the Roscian/Naryatrian mid-20thC forces would probably have been my last guess. However, its been over a month now since I cut the table and 6 weeks since my last game upstairs and I have been itching to do something beyond a quick card table game. Today, finally, with a snow and freezing rain outside, I had both energy and free time to at least get set up. A test of the 40's on the smaller table was the obvious choice but I and they aren't ready so I decided to go for something that hasn't been out yet this year. After a quick review I was surprised to see that there were only 2 real candidates:  Not Quite the 7 Yrs War and Roscia.

There have been all these Memoir posts recently and I have been meaning to have another go at playing the game solo so Roscia it was.  Ok so Memoir doesn't actually cover the 1960's but close enough, there's a lot of obsolete equipment in play in Roscia and Naryatria anyway.

The next question was of course, "What Scenario?". Ding! I had had a request! So, John, this one's for you! Assault River Crossing from CS Grant's Scenarios for Wargames.

In July last year the Roscians were bested in a small border skirmish and fell back  to defensive positions along the Plaztik River. The Naryatrians with characteristic vigor pursued after a brief 18 month party.

The main on table Roscian force, 4 platoons of infantry (inc a 2" mortar, 2 GPMG 1 bazooka), a mortar, a recoiless rifle (artillery) and a Pershing tank platoon. A platoon of mechanized infantry from the Newpore Lancers holds a farm at the far end of the board.

The Naryatrians have 16 platoons of infantry, 2 of Elite Lion Brigade commandos,  a mortar, a mechanize rocket battery (artillery) and 2 batteries of Big Guns (very BIG), 2 mechanicals and 2 heavy tanks. They are still waiting for boats and for barges capable of ferrying a tank. Hopefully these will be delivered in the next day or so and the game can begin.

The field of battle is a Hotz mat which has been lightly mottled with green spray paint and roads made of traction sand. The river is a piece cut out of a blue recycling bag with flocking sprinkled over the edges - I must be getting fancy in middle age. The figures are various 1/72nd plastics, some from current releases but with a few Giant and Airfix figures dating back to the 60's so right in period. Vehicles include a few model kits but are mostly toys from the dollar store.


  1. Ross Mac,

    This is looking very interesting!

    I love the 1950s/1960s (and 1970s) because there was such a lot of different 'kit' being used in different parts of the world, including tanks from the Second World War, early and supersonic jets, helicopters, troops in '58 pattern webbing (wearing battledress and Denison smocks!) who are armed with SMLEs, Stens, Brens, GPMGs, SLRs, AK-47 etc. What's not to like!

    I look forward to seeing how this battle pans out over the next few days.

    All the best,


    1. I find it interesting/amusing that in the early 60's, when I was a kid, I played with toy soldiers/vehicles that depicted contemporary soldiers and vehicles and as such are of just this period ( and a very few of them are in the picture!) while the late 60's and early 70's saw me in army cadets, occasionally training with the militia and then going to military college, so in a sense this really is "my" period, even if I don't game it much.

  2. Too modern for my interests (anything post-Victorian is too modern for me. ha ha), but the setup looks quite good. I think the river looks especially good.

    1. The table looked so plain and practical (read ugly) when I first laid it out as a quick, adhoc game that I was amazed at how good it looked to me when I was done with a few very minor improvised embellishments. The river in particular looked just awful laying there on or above the ground as a twisted bit of blue plastic but a few minutes of pouring out flock made all the difference and it should be easy enough to reclaim it when done.

  3. Hi Ross,
    That battlefield looks really good. Thanks for choosing this scenario.
    Can you provide the dimensions of your mat in hexes?

    1. Its 16 deep ignoring the 1/2 hexes on the edge even though they are big enough to hold most units by 22 wide. At 2:1 that's equivalent to 11x8 so slightly smaller than a proper Memoir board. but at the same time the table is slightly smaller than what the 5x7 table the scenario calls for. Bottom line so far is that it is working for me.

  4. Great stuff - I look forward to seeing the battle report.

  5. Considering my recent embarcation into the field of post-WW2 war gaming, I'm most interested in this action. The forces and elements involved look as though you as well be playing 'Command Decision' - or at least its 'Moderns' incarnation. I think I'll be following up your 'Modern' archive to see what ideas I can steal for the equipping of my armies. I've lots of toys to play with - just unsure how to proceed. Ain't it fun. though?

    1. Way less serious than CD. The attackers were originally assembled for AK47 and the Defenders for Cold War Commander.

      I'm having fun so far!

  6. Great to see these chaps again! In my experience 'plaztik' rivers are always worth fighting over....